Recent Belize News
4/1/2014 to 4/10/2014
Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

April 10, 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

Thousands of primary school students sit the first paper of the PSE
Over 5,600 primary school students countrywide sat the first paper of the Primary School Examination (PSE) on Monday April 7th. Developed and prepared through the Ministry of Education, the PSE tests the students’ knowledge and skills in four areas, Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science. The exams are taken on two different dates, with the first date entailing English and Science. Amongst the thousands of students that sat the exams, there were 238 from Caye Caulker Village and San Pedro Town. 92 students were from the San Pedro Roman Catholic School, 45 from New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist, 34 from Holy Cross Anglican School, 31 from Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School, 15 from La Isla Bonita Elementary School, 11 from The Island Academy, eight from Ambergris Caye Elementary School and two private candidates. The examination center for both islands is the San Pedro High School.

Ambergris Today

Discovery Channel Airs Naked and Afraid Belize Episode
Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid episode 12 was aired on Sunday, April 6, 2014, and it featured two survivalists who were challenged to survive in a flooded jungle of our beautiful Belize. The man and woman faced a labyrinth of Mayan caves filled with poisonous snakes and rabid bats. Naked and Afraid takes "survival of the fittest" to the next level. Each week, a new pair of complete and total strangers - one man and one woman - find themselves stranded in and, quite literally, exposed to some of the world's most extreme weather environments. Each duo is left high and dry with no food, no water...and no clothes. They must survive on their own for a full 21 days, with nothing but one personal item each and the knowledge that the only prize is their pride and sense of accomplishment.

Celebrity Couple David Cross and Amber Rose Tamblyn visit Ambergris Caye, Belize
Easter is just around the corner and a celebrity couple has already been sighted enjoying the best of Ambergris Caye, Belize. American actors David Cross and lovely wife Amber Rose Tamblyn are rumored to be staying at Cayo Espanto Resort and were spotted at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. David Cross is known for his acting roles in Small Soldiers, Kung Fu Panda, Scary Movie 2, Men in Black 2, Alvin and the Chipmunks and more. Amber Rose Tamblyn is known for her acting roles in The Ring, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Django Unchained, 127 Hours and more.

Misc Belizean Sources

BAS Earth Day Celebrations
The Belize Audubon Society really knows how to celebrate Earth Day. They've launched a campaign to educate everyone about Belize's protected areas, they'll be doing cleanups, planting trees, showing movies on the subject, and they're having a video competition. They've already visited Roaring Creek Nazarene School and United Evergreen Primary School, click to see their pictures, courtesy of Dirk Francisco. Thanks, BAS, and happy Earth Month! "In continuing to be a part of this world wide initiative, this April the Belize Audubon Society will once again embark on several activities in celebration of Earth Day. In recognizing the importance of our environment, these events are vital and necessary tools for educating the general public about conservation and creating support in fostering responsible livelihoods for a sustainable and greener environment."

SATIIM accuses US Capital of bullying attempt by US Capital
Last Thursday, Justice Michelle Arana ordered US Capital Energy and the Government of Belize to enter negotiations with the Maya of southern Toledo before continuing with their plans and preparations to drill for petroleum within the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The leaders of the Maya communities surrounding the park are asking for an opportunity to dialogue with the company despite being told that all they want is money. It appears that US Capital has tried to begin that dialogue – but not in the manner SATIIM would have liked. A press release issued on Tuesday evening states that within 72 hours of the decision being handed down, indigenous leaders received an invitation to meet with US Capital representatives and their attorney, Michael Peyrefitte in Punta Gorda Town.

Toledo Spelling Bee representatives chosen
The Toledo district representatives in the National Coca Cola Spelling Bee have been chosen. Spellers from the different zones in the Toledo district converged on the Father Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda town for the district finals. At the end of the competition Anselmo Choc from Aguacate Roman Catholic School emerged as the first place winner.

(SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY): The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility
(SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY): The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) has expanded its scholarship programme to include Caribbean universities . The CCRIF website provides information on the scholarship programme, including detailed eligibility criteria, application requirements and selection criteria. Applications for the CCRIF Scholarship Programme must be submitted via the CCRIF website at: no later than May 19, 2013.

Joris Hendrik Fall Winter Fashion Show
Joris Hendrik is having his Fall Winter 2014 Fashion Show this weekend. The troupe will travel to Belize City for the event, which will be at 6:30pm at the Princess Hotel. It sounds like it'll be another unique show, with Chantae Guy as the headline model. Joris was one of many artists that participated in the Paint Up A Storm art event this Saturday, and afterwards, he and the models went to Fuego for a post-fitting celebration.

Launch of Traffic Safety Campaign
Everyone is invited to the Sir George Brown Field in Belmopan for the launching of an anti-drink and drive campaign this Thursday at 10:00am. "The Belize National Road Safety Demonstration Project in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Belize Municipal Development Project under the Social Investment Fund launches a don't drink driving education campaign nationally. The don't-drink driving campaign was organized under the BSIF Belize Municipal Development Project to be implemented as a part of the Traffic Safety and Management component with Town and City Councils nationwide with a collaboration with the National Road Safety Project. "

Caribbean Export Launches In-Firm Design and Branding Project
The Caribbean Export Developmental Agency (Caribbean Export) has launched an In-Firm Design and Branding initiative that will provide participating CARIFORUM state firms with technical support and financial assistance for the strengthening of their packaging design and product branding. The In-firm Design and Branding Project is the second phase of the Agency’s Brand Development initiative, the first of which was the successful hosting of a Brand Development and Packaging Workshop/Webinar in July 2013. The Brand Development and Packaging Workshop was developed to address the specific limitations which regional firms face in branding and preparing their products’ packaging for export and to educate them in the required standards for packaging for export to the European Union. This In-firm Design and Branding Project will take a more practical approach, providing a unique opportunity for regional firms to receive technical assistance in the formulation of effective branding specific to their businesses from the internationally recognised UK based design firm Brand 42.

Jury deliberates after trial of accused in 2010 murder
A jury of five men and seven women were late this evening considering the fate of 21 year old Leon Gomez, accused of stabbing Salvador Martinez to death in January of 2010 during a high school football match which both attended at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. On January 18, 2010 Martinez was stabbed four times in the upper chest, abdomen and right leg and died while being transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. He had gotten into a fight with the accused, Leon Gomez, according to main witness Elton Metzken, who told the court that the incident started when he was approached by Gomez and two other persons and asked about whether he had problems with another individual who was not brought to court in this trial. Thereafter a struggle ensued and the witness said he saw Gomez and Martinez fighting, leading to the stabbing.

Police capture man accused of chopping an officer in the head
Orange Walk Police have taken custody of the man suspected of the attempted murder of police officer Marilyn Pate last December in Trial Farm village. 45 year old Oscar Jose Perez Hernandez was apprehended by Corozal police this afternoon in an area between Camp 31 and Camo 37 in the Mennonite community of Little Belize. Hernandez, who is originally from Trial Farm village, Orange Walk was being investigated by police and Human Development Department officials for alleged sexual abuse of minors when he attacked the police officer, chopping her in the head with a machete. The incident happened on December 5, 2013 and left Constable Pate hospitalized in critical condition.

Women helping women in Orange Walk
For over 9 years, the MAMAS program short for ‘Mujeres Ayudandando a Mujeres asusperase’ has been a major productive haven for women of all ages and backgrounds. And for 16 young women, honing their skills in the art and science of beauty is a trade always in demand. Stephanie Avilez travels once a week from San Pedro Ambergris Caye to attend classes. And Lucianni Solis who hails from Sarteneja are testaments that they have the enthusiasm needed to succeed in life. Cosmetology instructor, Aurora Cal, says the group has been evolving over the years. Choices are plentiful and growth potential is nearly limitless with cosmetology careers. Cal says the possibilities for creating a feel-good career are equally inspiring for these women.

Tomorrow Universe Promo Show
The Tomorrow Universe EDM Festival is scheduled for July 11th through the 13th, and you can get a free preview this Friday at the Cayo Welcome Center. DJ Diaz and Xavier will be there mixing some great music. "LOCATION CHANGED!!!!!!!!!!!!.. BUT NOW ITS FREE....... BRINGING THE MADNESS TO EVERYONE IN CAYO"

Away Go We to San Ignacio
Great travel article about San Ignacio. Cahal Pech is highlighted in the article, and they have some great pictures. "San Ignacio is a unique place as far as Belize cities go in the sense that it actual feels like a bustling town with some life to it (as does Dangriga), but also feels much more Guatemalan than Belizean (very likely due to its close proximity to Guatemala). This is difficult to explain if you’ve never been to either Belize or Guatemala, but the important take away point here is that San Ignacio is not like anywhere else in the rest of the country."

MCHS Open Day
Mount Carmel High School had their Open Day today. Education is the key, and everyone should attend high school. In related news BCAPPS has a video out about the value of a Catholic Education. It's done well, and mentions the 11 member schools, including Sacred Heart College, MCHS, and St. Ignatius High School.

Sanitary landfills and coral reefs
On a recent trip to Belize to supervise the execution of the Solid Waste Management Project (SWMP), I visited the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker to assess the rate of progress in the construction of two transfer stations from where solid waste is to be transported into the mainland for final disposal. As I was leaving the town of San Pedro in Ambergris Caye on a small 12-seat airplane to go back to Belize City, the passenger next to me surprisingly told his partner “look at that, we were diving not far from there!” The passenger was referring to San Pedro’s dumpsite, where the smoke from burning garbage was spoiling the otherwise magnificent view of turquoise waters and the endless barrier reef. I felt unease listening to this comment as this was precisely the reason I was on that plane. We had just visited the sites where the solid waste transfer stations in both islands were being built to assess the progress made to date. Once these stations are finalized and the municipal solid waste from the islands is transferred to the mainland, the works to close the dumpsites will start. However, the works in both transfer stations at San Pedro and Caye Caulker, a nearby island in Northern Belize, have been very slow. This has prevented the initiation of the works to close both dumpsites, both of which are subject to the burning of garbage.

IT'S YOUR MONEY - Is Belize offshore investments in trouble?
Offshore investment in Belize is suffering as a result of the “gun to our head” financial and banking laws that GOB was recently obliged to pass, Senator Mark Lizarraga said. At last week’s Senate meeting, Lizarraga, quoting from a recently published government Gazette, explained that approximately 10,000 foreign companies had been struck from the registry list. Lizarraga made the assertion that Belize was forced into implementing the financial laws or risk being blacklisted by the Caribbean Financial Action Taskforce because the government has become too dependent on borrowing and increasing national debt. Lizarraga said that Belize has been put at the mercy of these institutions because of having indebted ourselves to them. According to Lizarraga, in 1987 Belize had an external debt of $200 million. That figure, however, has since increased to $2.16 billion in 2014.

Video: San Pedro Ambergris Caye Reef Belize
4min. Ambergris Caye is the largest island of Belize located northeast of the country in the Caribbean Sea. Though administered as part of the Belize District, the closest point on the mainland is part of the Corozal District. The caye is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) long from north to south, and about 1.6 kilometres (1 mi) wide. The Belizean island, where it has not been modified by man, is mostly a ring of white sand beach around mangrove swamp in the centre. San Pedro Town is the largest settlement and only town on Ambergris. Tourism development of Ambergris Caye began in the early 1970s and grew considerably in the later years of the 20th century. The main attractions are the Belize Barrier Reef and its beaches. That barrier reef is the second largest in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.

Video: Turneffe Atoll Reef Belize
4min. Turneffe Atoll is a group of small Caribbean islands southeast of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, off the coast of Belize in Central America, 20 miles (32 km) from the capital, Belize City. It is approximately 30 miles (48 km) long and 10 miles (16 km) wide, making it the largest coral atoll in Belize. The atoll was officially declared a marine reserve on May 1, 2013.

Video: Belize Barrier Reef
3min. The Belize Barrier Reef is a series of coral reefs straddling the coast of Belize, roughly 300 meters (980 ft) offshore in the north and 40 kilometers (25 mi) in the south within the country limits. The Belize Barrier Reef is a 300-kilometer (190 mi) long section of the 900-kilometer (560 mi) Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which is continuous from Cancún on the north-eastern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula through the Riviera Maya and up to Honduras, making it one of the largest coral reef systems in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the New Caledonia Barrier Reef. It is Belize's top tourist destination, popular for scuba diving and snorkeling and attracting almost half of its 260,000 visitors.

Video: Expeditions with Patrick McMillan - Belize
27min. Patrick is the host, co-creator, and writer of the popular, Emmy-award winning ETV nature program Expeditions with Patrick McMillan. For over 20 years Patrick has worked as a professional naturalist, biologist and educator. His range of experience has concentrated on botany (plant science) though he is also well-respected through his work in ichthyology, herpetology, and mammalogy. Patrick is a professional naturalist, faculty member of the School of Agriculture, Forestry and Environmental Science at Clemson University, and director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden.

Video: The Ecological Impact of the Illegal Xate Palm Harvest in Belize
2min. Illegal harvest of Xate palms in the Chiquibul National Forest along the border of Guatemala and Belize is negatively affecting the forest. Join Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD) in Belize and a group of Sewanee students in Tennessee to raise awareness and funds to help stop the degradation.

Video: Bottlenose dolphin "Pack" inspects our boat during research surveys in Turneffe Atoll, Belize
1min. "Pack" is an adult male bottlenose dolphin who has been seen regularly at Turneffe Atoll, Belize by Oceanic Society researchers since 1993. When encountered, Pack often approaches our boat to get a closer look. Our researchers and research volunteers use a combination of underwater video and a hydrophone to document and analyze dolphin behavior around Turneffe Atoll. The information we gather is used to learn more about these mysterious animals so that we can more effectively protect them.

Video: Belize dive 2014

Video: Scuba diving with dolphins in Belize
1.5min. While on one of my dives I was able to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity and swim with dolphins in the wild. Truly the best dive in my entire life!

Video: Lighthouse Reef Atoll Belize
5min. Lighthouse Reef Atoll is approximately 50 miles east off the coast of Belize City. Equivalent to a large saltwater lake surrounded by a ring of coral in the middle of the Caribbean, the Lighthouse Reef Atoll is 27 miles in length and about eight miles wide.With its unique variety of marine life in such an untouched state, Lighthouse Reef is one of the largest and most impressive examples of an atoll coral reef ecosystem.

Video: Belize National Anthem - Land of the Free (Instrumental)

Video: HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS May/June 2014 Issue : First Lady Kim Simplis' Belize
5min. Take a look Behind- The-Scenes at HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS: KIM SIMPLIS' BELIZE April 2014 Photo shoot produced by Harper's Bazaar International Style Editor LUIGI IRAUZQUI and be part of this breathtaking pictorial adventure: from the tropical Central American jungles to the turquoise waters of the Belizian Caribbean Sea.

Channel 7

Croc Attack#2 In Bze District Not Fatal
There was another crocodile attack at mile 9 on the Western Highway yesterday afternoon, fortunately this one was not fatal. But, coming only 48 hours after a croc killed a man in Ladyville, it is very disturbing. Fortunately, we can confirm that the two male victims received only minor injuries and are out of the hospital. Here's how it happened: At around 3:00, a 13 year old boy was diving for fish with his adult brother in law – who is a BDF soldier - in the Almond Hill Lagoon off mile 9 on the Western Highway. It's an area they often fish in but yesterday, the 13 year old says he was in the water up to his thigh, when he felt something unusual nudge against his foot. He told us off camera what happened next: Michael Mark Majill - Survived Croc Attack "I was in the water toward the roadside, and I just felt something hit my leg. When it hit my leg, I felt it bite me, and when I spun around, the crocodile was right there. When I screamed out, my brother-in-law hit it in the head. I then spun around and watched him. He shoved his hand into its mouth. He was fighting with it, and it dragged him under the water. It brought him back up, and when I saw him run, I ran behind him."

Man-Eating Croc Almost Caught On Tues. Night
But he can't be in a greater rush to find a croc than Vince Rose. Rose is the Crocodile expert at ACES the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary in Ladyville. Since yesterday he's been hunting the man-eater that killed 47 year old Carl Diaz, who was fishing in the area of Green Estate on Monday afternoon, when a crocodile killed him. Vince Rose set traps yesterday and last night he had a close encounter with the ten foot beast – who seemed to have no fear of humans. He told Monica Bodden about it this evening: Vince Rose - Crocodile Expert, ACES "I was really close. I had him within a couple feet of me. I just couldn't get him to open his mouth to get that rope around his top jaw - we call it. It's the only croc around here. I looked at the whole area all night. This is the croc; it's probably - it's pretty aggressive. I got into the water, and it charged me, so I am pretty sure that this is the croc. And like I said, it's the only croc in this area, so, I'm just going to try again tonight, and hopefully get him tonight. Like 99.9% sure that it's a fresh water morelet's; it's not an American crocodile, and it's probably right around 9 feet, I'm gonna guess. It is probably going to be euthanized because really, we have no room for any more crocs at our facility, and I think that the Zoo is filled.

Street Mob Attacks Transgender Vanessa Paris
And while that killer croc is being hunted – yesterday in a disturbing episode a transgender person was pursued and harassed in a similar fashion on the Belize City streets. It happened in broad daylight at around 5:00 pm. The transgender male from Independence who identifies as Vanessa Champagne Paris was coming from the vital statistics office – where she had gone to get a birth certificate. She was walking back to Vernon Street to catch a bus when, near the Berger Football Field, a group of men seized upon her. She told Monica Bodden about the frightening chase that followed – for her safety we have blurred her face – and we warn you that the story does have some strong language: Vanessa Champagne Paris - Was Assaulted By A Mob "When I got close to the football field, there a lot of boys playing football. One of them saw me, and said, 'That's a man'. The other guys started looking at me, and then one of them ran off the field, grabbed stones and started throwing them at me. They were all calling me 'batty man' and 'faggot'. The others joined him throwing stones at me. I tried to avoid that, and I tried to run. When I got a little distance away, some other boys were on the street, and the boy who was chasing me, shouted to them that I was a man. So, they started to chase me, and I started to run as fast as I could, but I couldn't escape. They grabbed him in my dress - because I had on a black dress. They then pulled off my wig, held me down, and started to punch me in my face. They dragged me to the ground and started to beat me up, 4 boys. I walked to the roadside to Central American Boulevard, and some kids were still following me. They were throwing stones at me. I went to a drug store, stood there hoping somebody would help me, but nobody came to my aid. A boy picked up a stick, and tried to beat me with it. He threw the stick at me.

Norwegian Cruise Line Defends Reputation Against BTIA
On Monday, we showed you our interview with Environment Minister Lisel Alamilla, about the BTIA's accusation that the National Environmental Appraisal Committee and the Department of the Environment acted irresponsibly when they gave the environmental green light to Norwegian Cruise Line's Harvest Caye Project. As has been widely reported, the company wants to build a cruise port in the south. But, their complaint was against NCL itself, claiming that the company's Environmental Impact Appraisal was inadequate, failed to meet environmental standards, and basically done only because they wanted the project to get to the next stage. That's a major allegation to make against an international company, which depends heavily on its reputation of environmental friendliness to do business abroad. So, when we got the opportunity today, we asked one of its senior executives to make a comment. Here's how Collin Murphy, the Vice President of Destinations and Strategic Development responded: Colin Murphy - V.P. of Destination and Strategic Development, NCL "My understanding is that the BTIA has concerns over the development. I seem to recall that they first registered their concerns more than a year ago, before really, they knew what the project was. So really, they were against it before they had much in the way of information. My understanding is that they've written a letter to the Department of Environment expressing their concerns in the EIA and in the process. That does not involve us, so we have to kind of rely on DOE, which will respond appropriately, I'm sure. But certainly, we're very confident in our science; we're very confident in our EIA, and we'll let that situation play out."

Neighborhood Claims Police Came Seeking Revenge For Media Interview
Last night we told you about 18 year old Christopher Hyde. He's the young man who was accused of a hundred thousand dollar robbery, and then acquitted. But police never gave him back the thousand dollars they found on him when he was arrested. They said it was evidence – but now that the case has fallen away, he can't get it back. That was last night's story but today his neighbours say the after effect of his appearance on the news was being felt when a police search team descended on the area where Hyde lives and hangs out on West Canal. They ripped down the burglar bar door at an apartment on the canal and ransacked the rooms. A resident told us they showed no restraint or respect. For safety reasons, he asked to conceal his identity: Voice of: Area Resident "Well, boss, those men they came through the lane on so many different cycles, ran up here, broke down the gate, and put a thing to my head, telling me not to move and all kinds of things. They stamped open the gate, and stamped open the door. They told me that I was under arrest. They gave me a 'roach' to eat, and they twisted up my neck. They didn't show any warrant, and they just came. This is disrespect to just come into a private property like this without any warrant or anyone concerning them. Last time, when they came, they broke the key for the gate, and this time, they came because my friend went on the media yesterday about a money that they took away from him, and he is trying to get it back."

Pharmacists Want Hon. Contreras' Daughter Gone
One month ago we told you about Danini Contreras. She's Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras's daughter – and is the newly installed Director of the Drug Inspectorate in the Ministry of Health. Contreras has a degree in Chemical Pharmaceuticals, but no working experience, and in March, the Belize Pharmacists Association sent out a release saying that she was not qualified for the post. Since then the Ministry of Health has engaged the Association in dialogue to try and work out a compromise that would satisfy the Pharmacists and keep the young Ms. Contreras in the post. The news tonight is that dialogue has failed, and the compromise proposal put forward by the ministry has been rejected. A lengthy two-page release from the Pharmacists Association today says that Contreras's contract should be rescinded, because she was contracted in a non-existent post and is not qualified under the job description set out by the Ministry of Health. The Association demands that the Ministry adhere to proper procedure when filling the post, and that it create an entire unit to do the job.

Squatters Tell Hon. King To Remember Pre-Election Promises
On Monday, we showed you the Lake I Area Rep. Mark King's no nonsense position on the squatters who are in the way of the Lake I Boulevard development. His message to them was that they needed to move their houses, and join the line of persons who are applying for land in Lake Independence. Well, it seems that some of those squatters have heard his warning, but are still hesitant to heed it. We spoke with one of them yesterday, and she told us that King should remember that he made promises to them when he asked for their votes in the last elections: Voice of: Squatter "I just want to remind the Prime Minister or Area Representative, and our Hon. Dean Barrow, that when we had our meeting with our area representative in November, he promised us that they were going to survey this land, and give us with leases and titles. All that we are asking; we are not asking for everything. We just want a small piece of land to put our houses. We're quarrelling with the Government; we do not want them to do as we are saying. We are begging please and asking for leniency from him. Have some compassion; we are all human beings. As how he said that we are illegal and what's not, the same Government that is in the position make sure that everyone in this area get their nationalities already. All that we want is that for him to please touch his heart and not move us from our houses."

SATIIM Scolds Mike Peyrefitte
Last week Thursday, we told you about the decision handed down by Justice Michelle Arana where SATIIM and the Mayan Communities challenged the Government's decision to grant US Capital Energy a permit to drill for oil inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Both sides were claiming an overwhelming victory. Well, it seems that US Capital Energy invited the Mayans to a sit-down meeting in which their Company Lawyer, Michael Peyrefitte, wanted to explain their interpretation of the judgement. That meeting was supposed to have taken place yesterday at the US Capital Energy office in Punta Gorda, but the communities boycotted. They took that as an attempt by US Capital to try to weaken their resolve, which they found to be outrageous. A statement sent by SATIIM yesterday says, quote, "When did Mr. Michael Peyrefitte become the legal counsel for these communities? Is this even ethical for his profession?" End quote. The Statement continues, "US Capital Energy and its operatives need to understand that maintaining the status quo – bullying communities - is no longer an option and that this action by the company is a vile disrespect for indigenous communities."

PUP Convention Contention: Silva's Camp Cries Foul
For months we've been telling you about the upcoming PUP convention in Cayo Central pitting Luke Espat against Dan Silva. It's one of the most hotly contested internal political contests in a while – and with only weeks to go tensions are through the roof tonight. That's because Dan Silva's committee says the party's national executive is playing favourites with Luke Espat. The dispute centers over the location for the convention. The Cayo Central Committee wants it at the Santa Elena RC School. But the Committee is chaired by Collet Montejo – who is a Luke Espat supporter – and he reportedly wants it at the United Pentecostal School. Now, party Chairman Henry Usher has decided that it should be held at United Pentecostal. Party Secretary General Myrtle Palacio was sent to investigate and she agreed with the Committee, that the RC School was better. But Chairman Usher over-ruled her and tonight Silva's Committee is crying foul. They sent a heated press release this evening saying that quote, "(the) decision by the National Executive to side with the Party Chairman and the Luke Espat team to overrule the decisions of the duly constituted Cayo Central Executive Committee and to sideline the written objective recommendations made by the Secretary General of the Party…is strongly condemned by the Daniel Silva Executive Committee."

Solid Waste, The Way Forward
Last year, the way your waste was handled was drastically changed, from an unsanitary, unsafe mess, into the model of garbage disposal in the region. With the transfer stations and the Sanitary Land Fill becoming operational, solid waste management has been streamlined, but the Solid Waste Management Authority is not satisfied with the progress they've made. They want to improve on the model, so today, they held their third workshop to discuss the implementation of a National Solid Waste Management Policy and Strategy. 7News stopped and spoke with the organizers about it: Today's workshop was the third out of a series of 8 to engage stakeholders on this policy and strategy.

Aboard The Jewel
Norwegian Cruise Line's Harvest Caye project has been the source of controversy ever since talks emerged last year between the company and the Government to open the south cruise tourism. Opponents, principally from the Belize Tourism Industry Association say that cruise tourism undermines and devalues their big ticket item, which is overnight tourism. So, to try to change the perception of cruise tourists as cheapos, Norwegian invited the media unto one of its cruise ships on a tour to show the public a little of what happens behind the golden curtain. Daniel Ortiz attended today, and he was duly impressed: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The Norwegian Jewel - this behemoth of a cruise ship, launched in 2005, is pretty much a floating world-class hotel and resort with 15 decks, 1,100 crew members from 60 different countries to manage it, and enough space to comfortably accommodate about 2,500 passengers.

BlakBerry Goes "Internash" With New Video
Local reggae artist BlakBerry is one of the most determined and focused artists on the local scene. And now he's hoping that a slick new music video put together by a high profile Jamaican director will get him some much deserved attention. He told us that the video is a two in one and he believes it breaks new ground:

Channel 5

Transgender woman is stoned and beaten by an angry mob

On Tuesday evening, a transgender woman was badly beaten in Belize City. She goes by the name of Vanessa Champagne Paris and was walking on Vernon Street when she was [...]

B.N.E. gifted building is destroyed even before it is handed over

Band Fest 2014 has been moved to the Santiago Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town. The decision was made on Monday, less than a week before the event. The original venue [...]

NCL Executives comment on EIA for multimillion dollar tourism project

The top executives of the Norwegian Cruise Lines were in the Jewel today and invited the media to a tour of one of its two ships that called on port. [...]

NCL says its port of call project is going full steam

According to Vice President Murphy, Norwegian Cruise Line has been calling on port in Belize since 1998 and the Harvest Caye project will further reinforce its presence in Belize. With [...]

Band Fest 2014 moved from Orange Walk to Corozal

Earlier we told you about the decision by organizers to move the popular Band Fest from the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk to the Santiago Ricalde Stadium in Corozal. There’s [...]

The state of the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk

So that’s the Band Fest story in a nutshell. But since we were at the People’s Stadium, we couldn’t help but take a closer look at the facilities there. It [...]

Update on the consultation called by U.S. Capital Energy in the south

As we reported on Tuesday, attempts by U.S. Capital Energy to convene a meeting with indigenous leaders in the south, in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling in favor [...]

The murder trial of Leon Gomez wraps up

In the Supreme Court today, the murder trial of Leon Gomez was summed up by Justice Adolph Lucas and at news time, a jury was still deliberating. Gomez, a Belize [...]

Mother of 5 fined $10,000 for drug trafficking conviction

A mother of five children, the youngest only one year old, was today imposed a non-custodial sentence and fined a whopping ten thousand dollars for drug trafficking. The court also [...]

A media tour on the Norwegian Jewel

The Norwegian Cruise Ship project on Harvest Caye has been getting a battering from private tourism stakeholders in the south. The project came under fire from as soon as it [...]

Pharmacists Association wants MOH to cancel appointment of Director of Drug Inspectorate

Since the appointment of Danini Contreras, daughter of U.D.P. minister Erwin Contreras, to the post of Director of Drug Inspectorate on March fourth, the Pharmacists Association of Belize has been [...]

Association says it has the support from PSU and NTUCB

President of the association, Hortence Humes, says that they have presented the matter to the Public Service Union, as well as the National Trade Union Congress.  She says that they [...]


Illegal Trading Of Rosewood Continues In The South
The pillage and blatant disrespect for our natural resources in Toledo keep plaguing the southernmost district as loggers are stripping off the rosewood in our forests. These illegal activities have been occurring for a while now and authorities at the Forest Department have their hands full in monitoring the situation. On Sunday, our colleagues at PGTV TV got a call about illegal logging in the Trio area. Information was that the pieces of Rosewood flitches were being taken to a location in Bella Vista Village. Acting upon the tip, the crew found all this freshly cut and unstamped Rosewood, about seven thousand board feet stowed away at the PG entrance to Bella Vista Village, deposited about half mile off the road.

Fisherman Killed By Crocodile
Forty seven year old Carl Diaz, a resident of Benque Viejo Del Carmen was killed yesterday by a crocodile. Authorities in Ladyville report that they received a call around 3:00pm and dispatched a team 900 feet south west to Green Estate property located in Lords Bank Village. Upon arrival, they saw Diaz’ body lying face down in a water channel with his right foot almost severed and what appeared to be a huge irregular wound on the right leg and three bite marks on the left foot. A witness, who was in the immediate area at the time of the incident, reported that whilst walking in the area to go fishing he heard a noise coming from the water channel and that’s when he saw a male person being dragged down the channel by a large crocodile.


Transgender Woman Attacked and Assaulted
A young man was attacked by a mob after he walked down a city street dressed as a woman. Renee Trujillo and cameraman, Brian Castillo sat down with the victim and brought us the story. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING Hate crime –it is usually violent, a prejudice motivated crime that takes place when the perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain class or social group …. That is the term being used on the social media to describe an incident that occurred yesterday in Belize City against a young man who has opted to express himself as a woman. It is not an unheard of issue for many as transgender men and women can be found worldwide. What it simply means is that the person chooses to express herself against her assigned sex. Vanessa Champagne Paris is the name that the victim has chosen to use and had begun the paperwork to get a name change while living life as a transgender woman. Incidentally, she was leaving the Vital Statistics office yesterday and upon reaching Vernon Street she was attacked by a mob of men who, for their own reasons, found it offensive that Vanessa was dressed as a woman. Vanessa sat down with Love News, to recount the details of yesterday’s experience.

Belize Represented in Bahamas for Drug Seminar
Belize has representation at a drug treatment seminar that began today in Nassau, Bahamas. The seminar is organized by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission and the Organization of American States. The objective of the training is to strengthen the capacity of the Research and Information Unit of National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) as well as rehabilitation and treatment facilities in Belize to gather, analyse, and report drug related information in a standardized form. According to the Regional Drug Observatory, of which Belize is a member, drug treatment is one of the sectors where drug-related data is most underdeveloped. Ava Jean Budna, Research and Information Coordinator and Ismael Vallejos, Director of Jacob’s Farm Rehabilitation and Treatment Center are representing Belize.

Fined for Not Complying with Visa Permit
Forty-two year old Jean Kay Hughes, The project manager of Trextel, an international company with a branch in Belize, was fined $1,000 by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after she pled guilty to failure to comply with the conditions of her visitor’s permit. Hughes was ordered to pay forthwith, in default three months imprisonment. She paid the fine and she was released. The facts of the case revealed that Hughes arrived in Belize on February 19, 2014, via Phillip Goldson International Airport and she was given a permit to remain in Belize until March 18, 2014. Today at approximately 11:15 a.m. Hughes arrived at the immigration office in Belize City and presented her US passport. A check of her passport revealed that she had failed to comply with the conditions of her visa permit.

Accountant Fails to Render Particulars to Social Security
Thirty-two year old Oscar Leiva, the accountant for Fuel Logistics Limited, located at the corner of Vernon Street and Youth for the Future Drive, was charged with failure to render particulars, social security numbers of each employed persons no later than 14 days after each calendar month, when he appeared today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. He pled not guilty to the charge and his case was adjourned until May 8. Leiva is alleged to have committed the offence for the period July 2013 to November 2013. In another case brought to court by Social Security Board, Alfonso Gomez, the general manager for Pasa Belize Limited, a construction company located at 22 St. Thomas Street, was charged with failure to render particulars, social security numbers of each employed person no later than 14 days of each calendar month for the period December 2013 to January 2014. But before Magistrate Stuart read the charge to him his attorney, Stevanni Duncan, submitted that Gomez is not the appropriate person for the charge because he is not the owner of the company and that the charge should be dismissed. The prosecutor for Social Security Board asked for an adjournment to respond to Duncan’s submission and she was granted it. The next court date is April 24.

Jury Deliberates Fate of Accused Murderer
A jury of five men and seven women is deliberating today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas to see if it can reach a verdict in the trial of 21 year old Leon Gomez, charged with the murder of 27 year old Salvador Martinez. The charge arose from an incident that occurred on January 18, 2010, at a high school football game at the MCC Grounds. Martinez was stabbed four times-twice to his upper chest, once to his lower abdomen and once to his right leg. He died while being transported to KHMH. The chief witness for the prosecution was Elton Metzken. Metzken testified that while at the game, Gomez and two of his friends approached him and asked him what he had with Justin Usher. Metzken said he and Gomez friends began to fight and Gomez wanted to intervene. Metzken said that was when Gomez and Martinez began to fight.

General Council Meets with BTL’s Executive Committee
Last Friday, the employees at the Belize Telemedia Limited staged their own internal protest within the confines of their offices by banging on their desks for sixty seconds, once in the morning and another time in the afternoon. The protest was geared at getting management’s attention on some issues that they would like to see addressed including a salary increase and other benefits. Since then what we can tell you is that the Executive Committee of the company’s Board of Directors, led by Anwar Barrow and comprising of Nestor Vasquez, Ambrose Tillett and Dr. Colin Young has met with the entire General Council of the company which is made up of representatives of each department countrywide.

Empowerment for Entrepreneurs Through BNE
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust has launched the first phase of its Empowerment Fund. The objective of the fund is to empower entrepreneurs through the establishment of revolving loan facilities to finance viable business ideas that contribute towards bettering Belizean communities. The first phase is being rolled-out through La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited with seed capital of 750 thousand dollars and will be implemented out of both the credit union’s Orange Walk and Belmopan offices. Memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday at La Inmaculada Credit Union headquarters in Orange Walk Town.


Pharmacists Association not Budging; Threatens Further Action
The Pharmacist Association of Belize say they have not received a satisfactory response from the Ministry of Health about their queries over the sudden creation of a post of Director of Drug Inspectorate which was filled by a Minister’s daughter, and so the Association says it sees no other...

Negotiations Ongoing With BTL and Employees
Negotiations are ongoing between BTL’s executive committee of the company’s board of directors and employees. Last Friday, BTL employees participated in an unusual demonstration as they want a 5% raise of pay while the state-run company counter-offered at 3.5%. The employees made their stand with a one-minute protest in...

What Will the Fate of Leon Gomez be? Jury Deliberating
At news time the jury of five men and seven women are considering the fate of 21 year old Leon Gomez, accused of stabbing Salvador Martinez to death in January of 2010 during a high school football match which both attended at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. On...

Mother of 5, Guilty of Drug Trafficking
A mother of 5 children, the youngest only 1 year old, was today imposed a non-custodial sentence where she was slapped with the mandatory minimum fine of $10,000 for drug trafficking and must pay the court $5,000 now. If in default of that payment, she will be escorted to...

Police Give Detained Man Another Man’s Property
25 year old Jermaine Jergenson, was sentenced to 2 years for theft. This morning, he appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he was accused of stealing $500 in cash and 4 gold rings at a total of over two thousand dollars. These were stolen while...

Employers Charged for Social Security Offences
Today in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, two businessmen appeared separately on charges of failing to render particulars, being Social Security numbers, for their employees within fourteen days of the start of the calendar month as provided for in the Social Security Act. The charges were levied against 32...

Dangerous Mix: Alcohol, Children, Water, Violence and Lewd Behavior
Alcohol, river, sexually explicit moves, children, and violence. Those words just don’t sound like they should go together but at a Belikin Bash this past weekend, they all came together in a most shameful display. The Belikin Bash was held this past weekend at...

St. Matthew’s: Latest Village With Land Complaints
The Villagers of St. Matthew’s Village are complaining about a land issue they say has been brewing since 2011 and is causing much frustration in the village. They say that 15 parcels of 5 acre plots were issued by the Village Council in collaboration with the then area representative...

Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust Empowerment Fund Launched
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust and La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited launched the first phase of the today in Orange Walk Town. The overall objective of the fund is to empower entrepreneurs through the establishment of revolving loan facilities to finance viable business ideas that contribute towards bettering Belizean communities. The first phase roll-out...

Man who Chopped Police Officer to the Head Found and Arrested
On December sixth of last year, senior woman police constable Marilyn Pate was chopped to the head when she went on a domestic abuse call to Trial Farm in the Orange Walk District. The alleged assailant attacked WPC Pate with a machete viciously chopping her to the head. Pate...

Cayo Central PUP Convention Woes
There is turmoil brewing in the Cayo Central division concerning the PUP convention to be held on the 27th of April between Luke Espat and Daniel Silva’. The PUP committee for Cayo Central is apparently upset that their decisions are being over ride by what they are referring to...

BTIA Orange Walk Chimes In on Band Fest Decision
The Town of Orange Walk was already gearing up for the much anticipated Band Fest 2014. Twenty three vendors had already signed up and preparing for the thousands of people who attend the event. However, yesterday the Organizing Committee made a last minute change moving the venue to another...

Martial Arts and the Gospel; Christian Combat Team Visits School
Brian Bryan, Brandon Stowers, and Jarred Sweat , are all members of “The Combat Team”, a missionary group that literally combines martial arts with preaching about Christ and his saving power. The group has been together for the last 18 years and has since travelled to 45 different countries....

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Ronnie’s is having an Easter event!


Two Budget Hotel Options When You Travel to Hopkins, Belize
Hopkins, along with Caye Caulker and San Ignacio, Belize, seem to be more “backpacker hotspots”. And so I started with the Funky Dodo Hostel. The hostel is located right in the village center right across the street from King Cassava…most convenient. And dorm rooms start as low as $19bzd or $9.50USD. You really can’t beat that. A few days later, I spent a bit more money and found a LOVELY spot right on the beach that I can whole heartedly recommend. The place is called Jungle Jeanie’s by the Sea and it is a gem. About a fifteen minute walk down the beach from the village center proper, I walked into Jeanie’s bar and dining room area. And the view from the patio is gorgeous.

What is the Eco Kids Summer Camp all about?
Officially known as the Children’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program, this annual event gives 24 young Belizeans between the ages of 8 and 13 a chance to learn about their natural world through a mix of adventure, social interaction, and fun filled applied education – all aimed at instilling a sense of wonderment in the unique cultures that constitute Belize and the environment that sustains us all. Some of our guided educational activities include: Hiking to ancient Maya sites where we will perform archaeological excavations, Horseback Riding through Jungle Trails while studying the medicinal flora within our 365-acre private reserve, Song writing and talent show sessions, Hands-on sustainable organic farming techniques, and Supervised water activities. The Eco Kids are selected after submitting a 300 word written essay which is reviewed and shortlisted by the Chaa Creek scholarship committee with the winners going on to attend the week long summer camp.

Trouble Shooting Belizean Powder Buns
In this video, I go through all the aspects of how to measure the dry and wet ingredients to make our Belizean Poda Buns. I've come to the realization that some of my Belizean viewers are still using coffee cups and eating utensils to measure the ingredients and this will give different results that using the universal measuring utensils.

Who visits Belize
I decided to analyze the data from the 2013 Belize tourism statistics and give you an overview of where most people who visit Belize come from. Since I follow tourism news I wasn’t surprised from what I uncovered but I’m sure you, the reader, will find it interesting. Compared to other countries in the region, Belize receives a small amount of tourist at less than 300,000 overnight arrivals per year. Neighbouring countries such as Mexico receive over 23 million per year and Guatemala receives almost 2 million a year. Those are staggering numbers. The main countries that visit Belize are the USA, Canada, England, Guatemala and Mexico. As of last year, I hear that a lot of South Americans (i.e. Brazilians) are starting to travel to Belize – now that’s interesting. 2013’s breakdown follows Overnight tourists Americans: 183, 513 Europeans: 32, 191 Canadians: 26, 713 Belizeans living abroad: 11, 489 Guatemalans: 8,860 Mexicans: 5,842 Other: 25,567 Total: 294,177

A devastated ruin in the south of Belize where British explorers claimed to unearth the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull. The Mayan ruin of Lubaantun has had an unfortunate "recent" history. Discovered and written about in 1903, it was revisited in 1917 by a Thomas Gann who haphazardly used dynamite in his search for treasure. This counter-intuitive method of treasure hunting decimated many of the ruins and hindered possible future research. It was visited again by a team of British Archaeologists between 1921 and 1930 but little more was documented and evidence suggests they cared very little for the history of the ruins. Thomas Gann returned to the ruins In 1924, with adventurer F.A. Mitchell-Hedges and others in tow. Anna Mitchell-Hedges, daughter of F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, claimed to have stumbled upon the infamous crystal skull while tagging along with her father. While it made a lovely story, there is absolutely nothing to support the claim, and plenty to debunk it—including the unlikelihood that the younger Mitchell-Hedges ever even set foot in Belize.

How to rig a chicken drop
Alright now you know the basics now its time to win. The game relies crowd participation and one of the crowds duties is to prep the chicken for the ring and to put them in to play. There is more than most people think involved in prepping a chicken for a quick round. There is a good amount of shaking the chicken, you have to do it fast, and the slow in a circular motion. Then what really gets them ready to go is to lift the tail feathers and blow on the the business bits. Then there off! The real trick is to look at you tickets before you shake your chicken. Then if you do a good enough job of shaking and blowing your chicken put your chicken down on you square. You put them on your square and then hope the walk forward and quickly do their thing.

Infectious case of pupusaria in Belize
Wait… it’s not the way it sounds… It may sound like a bad VD that you got having too much fun in a hostel, but I assure you it is not. As many travelers to Central America already know its a shop/restaurant/street cart that makes Pupusas. A Pupusa is a quick, cheap, filling, and most importantly good meal or snack. I caught my case in Belize, but they can be found throughout the region, and have their roots in El Salvador. They are made of a thick handmade corn tortilla, then stuffed with a meat and beans. Although it seems in most higher end pupusasrias you can get anything from just cheese to fancy lobster ones, and obviously price depends on fillings. You are likely to get a better deal from the ladies selling just the basics, the shops selling the fancy ones are likely catering to tourists.

International Sources

Closing Ports to Stolen Fish
The oceans are vast and humans are small — as the monthlong hunt for a vanished Malaysian jetliner demonstrates. Think of the challenge, then, for law enforcement and fisheries managers in going after fleets of shady boats that engage in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. These criminals ply the seas and sell their catches with impunity, making off with an estimated 11 million to 26 million metric tons of stolen fish each year, a worldwide haul worth about $10 billion to $23.5 billion. Many use banned gear like floating gillnets, miles long, that indiscriminately slaughter countless unwanted fish along with seabirds, marine mammals, turtles and other creatures. The danger that illegal fishing poses to vulnerable ocean ecosystems is self-evident, but the harm goes beyond that. Illegal competition hurts legitimate commercial fleets. And lawless fishermen are prone to other crimes, like forced labor and drug smuggling. The convergence of illegal fishing with other criminal enterprises makes it in every country’s interest to devise an effective response. That’s the job of the Port State Measures Agreement. It is a treaty adopted by the United Nations in 2009 that seeks to thwart the poachers in ports when they try to unload their ill-gotten catches. Many countries have been unable or unwilling to enforce their own laws to crack down on poachers flying their flags.

Bermuda Student Makes Difference In Belize
Aisha Bassett, a Bermuda student pursuing her medical education in the UK and serving a medical internship in Belize, has turned her original dream of lending a hand to Belizeans in need into a charitable opportunity thanks to not only her generosity, but that of all Bermudians. A spokesperson for the Belize Cancer Center, where Miss Bassett is serving her internship, said “Cancer treatment should be accessible to all, not just the privileged. So it was most welcome when Bermudian Ms. Jenefer Brimmer, President of HI Group Investment and Management Ltd. donated $1000BZ to the Belize Cancer Centre in Dangriga. “The donations, however, didn’t stop there. “Ms. Brimmer’s initial support of fellow Bermudian Miss Aisha Basset’s dream of an internship in Belize has been generously supplemented by funding from the Bermuda public. Miss Basset, a medical student in the UK, had appealed for the public’s support a year ago to follow her heart in doing her medical internship at the Belize Cancer Centre.

Lincoln Jones, renowned minister in the Central American Nation of Belize, Dies at 56
Lincoln Jones, a renowned evangelist among Churches of Christ in the Central American nation of Belize, died April 3 after suffering an apparent stroke. He was 56. Jones was baptizing new souls into Christ as recently as March 23, according to members of the Burrell Boom Church of Christ, who posted photos of the event on the congregation's Facebook page. "He was such a pillar in the church in Belize," said Barbara Kee, a longtime friend of Jones who served, along with her husband, Windle, as a missionary in the African nation of Cameroon. The Kees, who now live in Texas, made regular mission trips to Belize, a nation of 324,000 souls south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. The couple worked alongside Belizean ministers - including Jones and Andrew "Tex" Nunez - and U.S. missionary Bill Amason, who died in 2011.

Forest degradation: firming up the second ‘D’ in REDD
The UN’s programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) has seen considerable attention paid to deforestation but “the second ‘D’ is poorly understood and accounted”, according to a team from Winrock International, US. With that in mind, the researchers have come up with a simple method for emissions accounting of selective timber harvesting, based on the volume of wood extracted. “Timber harvesting in tropical forests is often confused with deforestation – we wanted to show unequivocally that the impact of logging is vastly different from deforestation in terms of carbon emissions,” Tim Pearson of Winrock International told environmentalresearchweb. “We also wanted to develop a method that readily correlates emissions with an easily captured metric of logging. We designed an approach that would work equally across forests throughout the world with relatively low fieldwork costs.” Most of the carbon emissions from logging are due to damage to surrounding vegetation and from infrastructure such as skidding trails rather than arising from the removal of the logs themselves, Pearson and colleagues found. The researchers calculated emission factors for selective timber harvesting in six tropical nations – Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana, Indonesia and Republic of Congo. To do this, they added up the emissions related to the extracted log, emissions from dead biomass left behind by logging and dead biomass resulting from the construction of logging infrastructure. The emissions factors ranged from 0.99 to 2.33 Mg of carbon per cubic metre of logged wood.

Island Shopping in Belize
When your friend tells you she’s thinking about buying an island and suggests you accompany her on a site visit, wouldn’t you jump at the opportunity? That’s exactly what I did when my friend Kendra invited me to Belize. The all-inclusive resort, Yok Ha, which we’d call home while island “shopping”, was priced under $1,000 for two for four nights. Needless to say I was in. Unfortunately, in the end work got in the way and I had to postpone my departure date, never seeing any of the islands Kendra intended to buy. But my later arrival in December was the perfect time to experience the island resort. Without a doubt Yok Ha has to be one of the most magnificent properties in the Caribbean. Surrounded by lush mangroves and a sea full of brightly colored starfish, dolphins and tropical fish, this secluded little island is off the coast of Dangria in the middle of the Caribbean. From Belize City a small plane whisks you to Dangria, about a 15 minute flight, and then it’s a 30 minute boat ride (more if the sea is choppy) to Yok Ha on Waterfoot Caye (pronounced key). The journey is stunningly picturesque and upon arrival you’ll feel as if you’ve landed in your own little Robinson Crusoe world.

April 9, 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

What’s new? The Hotel Bar and Restaurant
On Friday, April 5th The Hotel Bar and Restaurant opened its doors to the San Pedro community. Previously known as Molly Malone’s Pub, The Hotel Bar is located just a short drive north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, besides Legend’s Burger House. The Hotel Bar opens every day from 11AM till midnight. Be sure to visit The Hotel Bar and Restaurant next time you’re in the mood for something new!

Baby Joannie Faridi Cortes needs your help
Carmen Cortes and family are asking for financial supports from the San Pedro community to help her three-month-old child Joannie Faridi Cortes receive urgent medical attention. Joannie has been diagnosed with severe Retinopathy of prematurity, which has impaired the child’s vision. The baby girl has been referred to the Charles Retinal Institute in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, but the family has been unable to take her due to financial challenges.According to Cortes, Joannie was born prematurely, and as a result, was diagnosed with Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). ROP is caused when abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina, the layer of nerve tissue in the eye that enables sight. The growth can cause the retina to detach from the back of the eye, leading to blindness. Some cases of ROP are mild and correct themselves, but others require surgery to prevent vision loss or blindness.

The fish was HOW big?
Guests on Ambergris Caye rarely have to exaggerate about how big the fish was when bragging about their catch when fishing our clear Caribbean waters. On March 31st, while fly fishing for permit in Belize, Amy Trina not only landed a whopper but bragging rights to spare! Amy, who hails from Missoula, Montana USA, sent us this great photo and wrote, ” I caught this beauty my first time ever fly fishing for permit in Belize. It weighed between 25 and 30 pounds and took me an hour and 10 minutes to land! This was my first time to Belize and my second time fly fishing in saltwater. I live in Montana but I really truly am in love with Belize and can’t wait to come back which will be sooner than later!” Amy’s fishing guide was Darrel Smith.

Ambergris Today

FIFA Grassroots Training Takes Place in San Pedro
The San Pedro Sports Council, along with the Football Federation of Belize, held FIFA Grassroots Training in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye which consisted of physical and technical training from Wednesday, April 2, 2014 and culminated with a football festival on Saturday, April 5, 2014. This is the 8th Annual Football Academy Course that is held countrywide in Belize and this year, thanks to the San Pedro Town Council, the youth of the community were able to be a part of the FIFA Grassroots training. Coaches Renan Couoh of the FFB, along with Edward Gongora and Shinya Nabata, were on the island working with children between the ages of 6 to 17. Training included physical training with the children in three different categories and both physical and technical training with coaches. San Pedro coaches attended physical training along with the children and then had technical classes at the San Pedro Town Hall.

25 Years Ago: Virginio 'Bill' Henkis the Self-Taught Boat Builder
I have a ways maintained that I can do something by simply watching someone doing it, but that is something simple like a food recipe or fabricating a kite. This story proves me wrong- that even a complex thing like building a boat can be learned by observation as Mr. Bill Henkis did. His name is Virginio Henkis, but everyone calls him Bill. He came from a large family and being the first boy after four girls, he would accompany his dad, Fredrick Henkis, on everything and everywhere. It is from him that he learned to sail a boat. He missed a lot of classes due to this and came out of school when he was in Standard 3 or Grade 5. He recalls taking the small boat when his dad got drunk - he and his friends, Eiden Salazar Sr. and Daniel Dawson set sail to Caye Caulker causing the parents to worry and send the police to get them; but they came before the police found them at 1a.m. Hungry and penniless they ate raw conch but not in a ceviche. Bill Henkis worked with four different boat owners in their boats as a fisherman, mastering the art of sailing and fishing. They were Arthur “Ata” Bradley, Allan Forman, Romel Gomez and Milo Paz. Thereafter he obtained his own boat and worked for himself. His first sail boat was built by Maurice Bladden, who was well known for his designs, giving the vessel great shape, buoyancy and speed. It was a 28-foot long sailboat named after his sister, La Gloria! He ended up selling the boat and after going through four different owners he repurchased the boat as a wreck! He then rebuilt it together with Hector Alamina better known as Trosa. He did all the deck and cabin work on his own and Trosa did the hull and it was named after his daughter Yanira.

Misc Belizean Sources

Students lay sawdust carpets in Orange Walk town
Students from several high schools in Orange Walk were involved in a unique project on Monday in this northern municipality. The event, which included the laying of sawdust carpets, was organized by the Banquitas House of Culture. Each year during the religious procession on Good Friday, the townspeople of Benque Viejo del Carmen take to the streets to commemorate the death of Christ. Holy Week, or Semana Santa, is a weeklong celebration of colorful processions that open on Palm Sunday and culminates on Easter Sunday. The The community cooperates in creating sawdust tapestries, which involves the participation of hundreds of Benqueños of all ages, along the procession´s route. And this year, organizers of the “El Santo Entierro’ are in Orange Walk to teach interested individuals about the tradition.

Cold front approaches, temperatures to cool down
The weather has been on the HOT side in the last week or so, with temperatures in the low to upper 90’s. But the mercury will fall a bit in the next few days as an approaching cold front will bring the temperatures down. The forecast for Belize and her coastal waters starting this afternoon is for an increase in cloudiness, showers and thunderstorms. The change in weather will start in the north and inland areas and then spread to the rest of the country tonight. With the hot daytime temperatures that have dominated our weather recently, this sudden change has the potential to cause severe thunderstorms. Winds over the open sea and along the coast will be northerly to northwesterly at five to fifteen knots, increasing and becoming gusty later this evening.

Belize Botanic Gardens continues to train professional gardeners
The Belize Botanic Gardens continues to provide top-of-the-line training for persons interested in a career in gardening. According to a press release issues on Monday, students from the Professional Gardeners Training wrapped up a week of landscape design with a competition to choose the most appropriate one for the permanent erection at the Belize Botanic student garden. garden3 Belize Botanic Gardens continues to train professional gardeners According to the official release, Kayla Usher won the competition with a simple design which incorporated plants already in the area with new plants which are expected to attract birds and butterflies to the area. As winner of the competition, Usher will now get to supervise the other trainee gardeners as they construct her design. These students, according to the Belize Botanic Gardens will graduate on May 23 and be ready to enter the workforce. Before they graduate, the current group of trainee gardeners will proceed on their on-the-job training on Monday, April 14.

The don't drink driving campaign is a precursor for a road traffic monitoring exercise, which will be implemented over the Easter vacation. The monitoring for don't drink driving will be a collaboration between the Department of Transport in each district with authority for traffic on the roadways and highways as well as the municipal authorities responsible for traffic within the town and city limits. All launch activities are being held under the auspices of the respective City and Town Councils. All are invited to attend the launch to be held in the City of Belmopan at the Sir George Brown Field on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 10 a.m. Each municipality will host their respective launches in their area on the same date and at the same time.

Another Happy Turtle Rescue (Update) from the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program.
UPDATE: The health of the female loggerhead that was sent to Hol Chan for rehab in February has improved. She is now off all medication and fluids and is eating on her own. She is full of strength and will soon be ready for released. We are happy that she has recovered and would like to thank everyone that assisted in her rescue and treatment. Big thanks to the Hopkins Humane Society, Saga Humane Society, Poly Clinic, and the staff of Hol Chan.

Beware of the Pica Pica! Jellyfish in Abundance During Easter Season in Belize
Many explain it as having hundreds of mosquitoes biting you all over at the same time. Most of the time you will not be aware that you have been stung by the hundreds of Thimble Jellyfish that you have come in contact with. Spring/Easter season brings the ‘Pica Pica’ jellyfish to the shores of Belize. The Thimble Jellyfish make their appearance to the shores of Belize during the windy days between March and May, but its not uncommon to find these jellyfish from late January all the way to June. They suddenly arrive when the high winds and strong currents start making their way into the area. The Thimble Jellyfish is locally known as the Dedal and the discharge of their larvae is called the Pica Pica, although locals call the jellyfish Pica Pica. It is this discharge that contains the stinging cells that will cause a skin irritation. Many will find that playing with the actual jellyfish will not cause any skin irritation unless they are releasing their larvae. This marine animal is a small jellyfish resembling a thimble that measures about 1" in diameter and is conspicuously mottled with dark brown markings. They appear in dense aggregations which are transported by winds and current.

BHS Spay/Neuter Clinic
The Belmopan Humane Society had another spay and neuter clinic, and are trying to have them every month, on the second Sunday. San Ignacio is due for another round of clinics too, courtesy of the BWRC. "Another successful clinic. A long day, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. We did 12 dogs, 2 cats, 1 emergency treatment, several checkups, a bunch of vaccinations. Thanks to the great team of Dr. Baptist, his assistant Joseph from Hopkins Humane Society, BHS volunteers, Mike Bracewell, Nildy Olmedo, Sonia Neal, Dewey Morison. We try to hold a clinic every second sunday of the month."

Belmopan Defeats Dangriga
The Belmopan Bandits defeated the Dangriga Warriors 66 - 54, giving them 2 wins in a row. They travel to Orange Walk to play the Running Rebels this Friday, April 11th. In related news, the Bandits will be playing the Western Ballaz in a free exhibition game tomorrow night at the SHC auditorium at 8:00pm. The Galen Eagles will play the Dangriga Warriors at 7:00. "We have won two in a row!!! We stand 4-5, Good game team!!! I love my Point Bandits!!!

When the Levees Broke Screening
April's Screen on the Green movie will be 'When the Levees Broke,' and will take place on Wednesday and Thursday since it's a long documentary. "Belize is no stranger to the devastating impact hurricanes can cause on a community. This week Belize Screen on the Green will feature the documentary, 'When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts' to look at the impact Hurricane Katrina caused in New Orleans, and start a discussion on the environmental and disaster management issues we can all learn from to better prepare for the upcoming hurricane season in Belize. We hope that you will be able to join us for this important screening. Please note this screening will show in two parts on Wednesday and Thursday this week!"

Free medical care provided to Belizean people
More than 100 people received medical care from U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Canadian medical professionals in cooperation with caretakers from a local health facility April 7 in Chunox, Belize. Free medical care will continue to be available 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. through April 9 at the Chunox Roman Catholic Pre-School. Available care includes optometric, general medicine, pediatric, dental, and pharmaceutical services. The care is provided as part of a medical training exercise, or MEDRETE, that offers U.S. and Canadian military doctors and nurses the opportunity to train and interact with their Belizean counterparts. "I think everything went smoothly overall," said U.S. Army Capt. Andrew Nickel, New Horizons MEDRETE officer in charge. Belizean medical professionals, community coordinators and a veterinarian are scheduled to train side by side with U.S. and Canadian medical providers.

We Were Very Lucky: Life Lessons Learned off Glover's Reef, Belize
Lloyd Nunez is a quiet guide . THE 46-YEAR-OLD Garifuna man directs mostly by discreet hand gestures and forced whispers. He’s never been to New York, but wears a shirt that declares, “Brooklyn: Only the Strong Survive.” He has an enigmatic smile and rough, work-hardened hands. He’s guided for bonefish, tarpon and permit off the coast of central Belize for 22 years, and knows the coral isles that make up the Great Barrier and Glover’s reefs well. Because he was raised on them. Nunez spent most of his youth on South Water Cay, 15 acres of coral with no running water or power (even today). South Water Cay is part of Belize’s Great Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world. The cay and its surrounding isles are skirted with shallow flats, often carpeted with turtle grass. Some have deep coves that hold pods of resident tarpon. And between them, in nondescript patches of ocean water, the reef rises to just under the surface. Here permit sometimes tail in world-class concentrations. This stretch of ocean offers one of the world’s best shots at a grand slam. And this past October, Nunez and his son, Alvin, guided me in search of one. To the east of the barrier reef, 30 miles out, rests Glover’s Reef. By stringing together angling days on both reefs Nunez promised a bounty of chrome. A true atoll, Glover’s is a ring of coral that surrounds more than 160 square miles of shallow turquoise water. The water thins to skinny as it approaches the eastern edge of the reef, where a fin of jagged coral runs the length of the reef. It’s only exposed above water for a few miles, allowing it to generate four idyllic, remote islands that are decidedly Tahitian in character. Adjacent there are vast expanses of perfect flats teeming with tailing bones.

PUP Cayo Central Committee issue clarification
The convention to elect a Standard Bearer for the People’s United Party (PUP) in the Cayo Central division will take place on Sunday, April 27 in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. But the political temperature has been ramped way up as the fateful date approaches where businessman Luke Espat will square off against former area representative Daniel Silva. Tonight, the PUP Cayo Central Executive Committee issued a release noting its concern that an attempt is being made to sidestep certain decisions that were previously agreed. The Cayo Central Executive Committee in its release, explains that 7 of 9 executive members voted in the meeting of Friday, March 21, 2014, that the venue for the Convention be the Santa Elena Roman Catholic School and that the Convention will be a closed convention. The Committee also agreed that all new voters who register by April 25th will be allowed to vote as long as they bring along the receipt from the Election and Boundaries Department on Convention Day.

Transgender man attacked and beaten in Belize City
An 18 year old man was set upon and beaten up by an angry mob in Belize City tonight. The incident happened just after 6 pm. The young man, who identifies himself as transgender, was dressed in women’s clothing, namely a long black dress. As he walked down Vernon Street, the youth who gives his name as Vanesa Champagne Paris says she was verbally harassed by a man who hurled derogatory words at him. According to Vanesa, when his attacker asked why a “f*king fagot is walking this block,” he turned around and responded to the attacker that he did not own the street. That was when, according to Vanessa, that the man picked up rocks and started to “boom” him.

5 year old boy is crushed by a forklift
A five year old boy was killed this afternoon in the Spanish Lookout community in the Cayo district when he was run over by a forklift. The victim has been identified as Kenton Kornelson. Preliminary information says that Kornelson and another small child were riding their bicycles in an area near the Reimer’s Service Station on Center Road in Spanish Lookout around 1:30 pm today when the incident happened. Forklift operator Elias Jacobs, 22, was in the process of moving tires from one place to another, when the boys reportedly climbed up on the forklift, one on the front of the heavy machine and the other sitting near to Jacobs. Exactly what transpired next is not yet known, but a loud scream was heard as the boy was crushed by the forklift.

St. Hilda Anglican Church announces Easter Services calendar
Activities for Holy Week will be held around the country by the various religious denominations. One group that has already released its calendar of events for the observation which starts on Palm Sunday is the St. Hilda Anglican Church in Georgeville. The Anglican congregation in the village will be joined by congregants of the Pentecostal and Salvation Army churches for some of the services. The priest in charge, Father David Alenski says that activities start with Palm Sunday service at 11:30 am. On Holy Thursday, there will be two services, one at 6:30 pm and the other at 8:30 pm. On Good Friday, a Spanish mass will be said at 10 am and then the traditional Good Friday service will be held at 3 pm.

Free medical and veterinary clinics offered in Corozal villages
Residents of villages in northern Belize are the beneficiaries of a series of free medical clinics and veterinary services. The services are being offered by the United States military working in conjunction with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, the Public Health Department, the Canadian army and Belize Defence Force. Today in Chunox village, Corozal, over a thousand inhabitants got a chance to receive free general health awareness information and services. A visiting veterinarian also provided free rabies shots for domestic and farm animals in a house-to-house visit. The medical team’s next stop is in Progresso village on Thursday and Friday. Next week, the same services will be offered to residents of Libertad village and surrounding areas.

"Think before you drink. Don't drink and drive" Campaign
We would like to invite everyone to the Launch of the "Think before you drink. Don't drink and drive" Campaign. We will have demonstrations and the presentation of advertisements, radio jingles and more that make up the campaign. See you all there! April 10 • 10:00 A.M. • Central Park

Launch of Traffic Safety Campaign
Everyone is invited to the Sir George Brown Field in Belmopan for the launching of an anti-drink and drive campaign this Thursday at 10:00am. "The Belize National Road Safety Demonstration Project in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Belize Municipal Development Project under the Social Investment Fund launches a don't drink driving education campaign nationally. The don't-drink driving campaign was organized under the BSIF Belize Municipal Development Project to be implemented as a part of the Traffic Safety and Management component with Town and City Councils nationwide with a collaboration with the National Road Safety Project. "

BNECT Empowerment Fund
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust has launched its Empowerment Fund, and have signed an MOU, which will provide loans to entrepreneurs with projects that better communities. Thanks, BNE! "The BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust is pleased to announce the launch of the first phase of its Empowerment Fund. The Overall objective of the Fund is to empower entrepreneurs through the establishment of revolving loan facilities to finance viable business ideas that contribute towards bettering Belizean communities. The first phase of the Empowerment Fund is being rolled-out through La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited with seed capital of $750,000 and will be implemented out of both the credit union’s Orange Walk and Belmopan offices."

Paint Up A Storm
The Winsom Foundation's Paint Up A Storm at the Cayo Welcome Center drew a crowd as the artists came up with their unique designs. "For the professional artists they were each given a surprise box ... Each box contained one kind of item which they were told they had to create a costume for their assistant ... All morning was spent doing it with help from the audience.... the designs was then showcased on the stage with the artist giving their concept for the design.... Some times designs was changed half way through the process because it was not working... Sadly some of the Artist did not show up but the ones that was there I think had fun as they were taken out of their comfort zone of their own art form......"

Sarteneja Easter Regatta - Sunday, April 20th

Dr. Arlie Petters at Purdue University.
The Corozal Daily wishes to congratulate our wonderful friend and Belizean patriot Dr. Arlie Petters of Duke University giving the "Math is Key" Lecture at Purdue University. Best wishes to Dr. Petters. Belize is proud of you sir.

ART in the PARK
Please support our local artists and artisans this weekend April 12th at the monthly ART in the PARK event. If you happen to be visiting Corozal for the Band Fest 2014, make sure you stay for the Art in the Park displays at the Corozal Central Park. Hotel rooms available.

Corozal Junior College (CJC’s) Annual Expo
Corozal Junior College (CJC’s) Annual Expo will be this Friday, April 11, 2014. There will be lots to eat, drink and learn. Come and support our talented students. More than 20 businesses from the community will be having special promotions at our Expo! Interesting and innovative science projects will be a major attraction of our CJC Expo. Everyone come out and enjoy!! See previews of what to expect!!

Belize Band Fest 2014
Belize Band Fest 2014 sponsored by Love FM moves to Corozal’s Santiago Ricalde Stadium after organizers of the event made a bold decision to relocate the entire Band Fest since the Orange Walk People’s Stadium is unfit and unhealthy for the program. The committee tried every means to mitigate the situation but unfortunately there is no other option but to move the event to Corozal. Many sponsors, participants and Band Fest fans will be inconvenienced by the decision to move the entire event at this time to Corozal but Corozal wishes to welcome everyone from all over the country to our beautiful town and hope everyone has a enjoyable and safe Band Fest celebrations. The parade will start at 8:00 a.m. and the field show at 1:00 p.m. this Saturday April 12th at the Santiago Ricalde Stadium. A total of 9 bands, three marching bands and six jump core will be participating. Come out and witness the colorful display of marching band attire and Belizean style live band music. Let’s give these kids that extra medal they deserve for soldiering this event.

The Secret Beaches of Ambergris Caye, Belize
Those of us who live on Ambergris Caye in Belize head to the north island for our beach escape days… We frequent the hidden gems few tourists find–even though it’s fairly easy to reach them. Just hop on a Coastal Express water taxi. The boat trip itself is a thrill…and you’ll get an entirely different view of the island from the water. Water taxis run about every two hours.

Video: Thimble Jellyfish in Ambergris Caye, Belize
30sec. Spring/Easter season brings the 'Pica Pica' (Thimble) jellyfish to the shores of Belize. The Thimble Jellyfish make their appearance to the shores of Belize during the windy days between March and May, but its not uncommon to find these jellyfish from late January all the way to June.

Video: Scuba Diving Belize - The Aquarium

Video: Belize My New Home on Caye Caulker 1989

Video: Lion Fish Hunting in Belize 2013

2min. Hunting lionfish in the waters of Belize 8-3-2013. A typical LionFish Hunt, diving thee canyons along the outside of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Video: Hiking the Antelope Trail at Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Belize
3min. A 30-45 minute up-and-back hike alongside a 1,000-foot waterfall culminating in a dip in a pretty bathing pool. Bocawina is off the Southern Highway not far from the junction with the Hummingbird Highway.

Video: Isla Marisol Resort diving - Glovers Atoll Belize

Video: Belize // 2013
31min. Short-term outreach to Punta Gorda, Belize.

Video: Kate Upton for Beach Bunny Swimwear Spring/Summer 2012
2min. Kate Upton for Beach Bunny Swimwear Spring/Summer 2012 2014 Go behind the scenes with Kate Upton for the very 'Bond-esque' Deep Blue Collection shoot at Sanctuary Belize (). The collection boast. Go behind the scenes with Kate Upton, Yu Tsai, & Team as they take over the white sandy beaches at Sanctuary Belize () to shoot Beach .

Video: Threatened Cave Systems In Belize
1.5min. Sewanee: The University of the South is working with Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) to help stop the spread of deforestation in the Chiquibul National Park

Video: Diving Halfmoon Caye in Belize
10min. Diving at Halfmoon Caye in Belize after diving the Great Blue Hole earlier that morning. So amazing!

Video: 2014 San Ignacio Belikin Bash Police Abuse
1min. If alcohol is causing this, then why are our celebrations and community gatherings based on alcohol? Belikin Bash... Why not Family Bash and leave alcohol out of it? We need to find ways to get away from alcohol not promote it.

Video: black hole drop belize

Channel 7

Traps Set for Killer Croc
Last night the headline news was that a crocodile had killed an unidentified man on a private property in the Ladyville/Lord's Bank area. Well, the victim was identified late last night as 47-year-old father of five Carl Michael Diaz. Diaz is from Benque Viejo, but his family lives nearby and he was fishing when the killer croc caught him. Tonight while the family mourns for this most unexpected, incomprehensible death, authorities are trying to catch the killer croc. Monica Bodden has the full story:.. Monica Bodden reporting A routine fishing trip to the back of Green Estate for 47 year old Carl Diaz turned into a tragedy when a crocodile attacked and killed him yesterday. He was spotted by another fisherman who was in the area at the time and heard a loud cry. That man told police that he saw Diaz being dragged down this channel of murky waters by what he described as a large crocodile.

27 Year Old charged For Killing 17 Year Old
Twenty-seven year old Justin Lemoth, a resident of Hattieville, was charged with murder and attempted murder when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Lemoth was remanded until May 8. Lemoth is accused of killing 17 year old Richard Waight Jr. and injuring his 16 year old friend. It happened at 9:25 on Friday night on the basketball court in Hattieville. Waight, his friend, and some other young men had a misunderstanding and the older Lemoth got involved. He stabbed both teenagers to the chest area and Waight Jr. died from sever bleeding shortly after he reached the KHMH. The police say that they have retrieved a knife which they believe was used in the stabbing.

Did Surge of Water From Vaca Dam Factor Into Double Drowning?
Did the runoff from the Vaca Dam have anything to do with the drowning of two teenagers in the Macal River on Friday? 7News has learned from a clothing vendor who sets up right beside the river that every afternoon at around four a surge of water rolls down the river from the Vaca dam. She said she observed when the students - who have no familiarity with the river - and could not swim were swept off their feet by the wave. As is now well known 17 year-old Egar Puck and 16 year-old Anahi Zepeda were swept off into depths where they could not touch and they drowned. She says they were wading in water up to their ankles and when it suddenly got higher, it swept them away.

Police Investigate 9mm As Stolen Weapon
The intrigues are swirling about the 9 millimeter Taurus pistol which police recovered in Belize City on Saturday. As we reported last night, it is being investigated as a murder weapon in last Thursday's killing of 18 year old Anfernee Romero. But, police are also trying to find out if it was stolen from their own department, specifically in the House of Culture Incident in October of 2013, when four 9 millimeter pistols went missing from the Tourism Police Booth. Even more disturbing is a theory being circulated within law enforcement that criminal elements within the department may have sold the weapon to their street counterparts. A senior police officer told us they are aware of this allegation and are investigating it. Meanwhile the weapon in question is at the Forensic lab for ballistics testing.

Teenager Acquitted, Police Can't Find His Cash
Businessman Vinod Chawla was robbed On January 29, 2012, of over $100,000 at his Amara Avenue Home. He told police that 3 men ambushed him and robbed him at gunpoint. 22 year-old Lloyd Valentine, and 18 year-old Christopher Hyde - who was a minor at the time - were jointly charged with robbery. Well, 7News has confirmed that both men have been acquitted of that charge on February 26, 2014. The case was thrown out because the investigators couldn't produce evidence against both men. Since his acquittal, Hyde has been trying to recover $1,000 which he said was confiscated from him by police, supposedly as evidence of proceeds of that robbery. He called us today to say that police have been turning him around for a month, and they don't seem to want to give him back his money. Hyde who has a speech impediment, tried to explain in his own words to us: Christopher Hyde "They charge me for robbery and now I won my case and they are pushing me around. I am tired of that." Daniel Ortiz "We understand that you had $1,000 with you at the time."

922-Tips Led To Gun Found On Street Construction Worker
Last night we told you about the 3 firearms Belize City police had confiscated since last week Friday. One of them was taken from 26 year old Justin Richards, a construction worker of 11 Flamboyant Street. On Friday April 4, police received a tip through 0-800-922-TIPS saying that Richards - who was working on the street construction programme on Central American Boulevard - had a weapon. They pulled up, searched his bag and found a.38 revolver with 5 live rounds of ammunition. Twenty-six year old Richards was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a license when he appeared yesterday before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Richards pled not guilty and was remanded until June 6th.

Belize's #1 Fried Chicken Joint Goes Through Changes
Li Chee - it's only a Belize City fried chicken joint, but it's also a cultural fixture - immortalized in song and by the hundreds of patrons it once drew to line up outside burglar bars on Freetown Road. But at the end of last year, the bars were gone, and the Chinese restaurant owners seem to have hit the big time when they opened a ways down the road, in a fancy, air conditioned buffet style setting. In terms of looks and the customer experience it was a welcome upgrade, but in terms of business, apparently not. The buffet was the first thing to go - that only lasted a few months - and now, less than 6 months after it opened, the New Li Chee has closed down! Best part is, the operation has moved back down the street - to the original location - only now it is named Key Ley, not Li Chee. How do we know it's the same operation? Well, first off, we bought the chicken and the flavor is the same. And second, the workers are the same ones from the previous location. They were even wearing the same uniforms they had been using at the fancy spot. When we asked them about it, they told us that the other Li Chee down the road is only closed for remodeling.

Police Crashed Into Sidewalk, Knocked Unconscious
This morning in Belize City, a police officer on a motorbike was knocked unconscious when he crashed on the sidewalk. The police press office has not provided the details that we've requested, but we know that this morning at 10:00, 7News responded to a call about a police officer on motorbike that had crashed on Regent Street in front of the House of Culture. When we got there the officer was unconscious - and an ambulance had to be called to take him away. He appeared un responsive as he was being carted off, and an examination of the area suggests that he had crashed into the sidewalk. Reports say he lost control of the motorbike as he rounded the corner. We'll try and get more information from police about the accident tomorrow.

Cayo Cops Charged Women For River Brawl
Social media has made much of a video showing Cayo police running into the Macal River on Saturday to stop a fight between three unruly women. IT happened at an event called the Belikin River Bash where there was a fight involving three women. Six police officers were on special duty, and they went to break up the fight. But they say that during the process, they were obstructed by a man who threw water on them. He was taken into police custody - which meant more or less dropping him into the back of a pickup truck. He was later released into the custody of his father who is a town Justice of the Peace. Police say the man had been drinking. Well Cayo police have confirmed that the three women were charged for disorderly conduct, and one of them was charged for harm. They have all been arraigned in court.

A Fund For Micro Business
The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust and La Immaculada Credit Union Limited have teams up for a novel micro-credit enterprise. The Trust has earmarked three quarter million dollars that has been set aside for micro loans through the credit union. It's called the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust Empowerment Fund and it was launched today in Orange Walk. We found out who's eligible:.. Daniel Guttierez, TRUSTEE - BNE Charitable Trust "The interest rates on these LICU loans will remain competitive and be within the framework of what is expected of credit unions. That way the finding is not only easily accessible to those we want to empower but easily repayable. At the trust we believe that empowerment funding need not be expensive funding. It must be competitive and encouraging of the further growth and development of the individuals it serves." Ena Martinez, President - La Immaculada Credit Union "We challenge our young inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs and change makers to take advantage of this opportunity afforded by this fund to a make a positive difference that will enhance the social and environmental situation in our communities in time create employment and generate income."

Buying Into Biodiversity
Biodiversity offsets - it might not mean anything to you, but the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute is hoping that Belize will adopt it when entrepreneurs come here looking to invest. It's a principle of planning where the Government Officials try their best to encourage development, but impressing upon investors that certain projects are harmful to the biodiversity in different ecosystems. The CZMAI has been working with the Australia-Caribbean Coral Reef Collaboration to develop an offset strategy. Today, the organizers held a workshop to include stakeholder partners from the Private Sector, and we stopped by. Here's how they explained the principle to us: Vincent Gillett, C.E.O., CZMAI "The goal of the workshop is to create conditions which will allow development and conservation ideals to work together without conflict or serious conflict." Daniel Ortiz "Give us an example of where there is symbiosis between the two."

Media Poll Says 7News Most Credible
A new poll says that 7News is perceived as the most credible television newscast in Belize. Now, it's not our style to blow our own horn, but the findings do provide some compelling information, and so we'll share. The poll was conducted by Karim Berges - who has conducted a number of noteworthy polls dating back to 2008. He says this one was a selective poll where he chose 100 persons, primarily adults with a university degree or persons employed in a senior position with an established business or firm. The five question survey sought to establish quote, "media perception within the higher learning population of Belize." The first question was "Which local newscast do you think is most likely to influence change in your society?" 8% of responde4tns said Channel 5, 60% said Channel 7, while 16% said LOVE TV and PLUS TV. The second question was "Which local newscast do you think is most informative?" Again 60% said Channel 7, 12% said Channel 5, 20% said LOVE TV and 8% said PLUS TV.

FFB Stadium Undergoing Major Overhaul
The pitch at the FFB stadium in Belmopan is considered the finest in Belize - but it's been gutted because it's not really all that good. It's part of a major renovation, with a budget of $500,000 US dollars to get it done. FFB representatives tell us that the field, the locker room, the bleachers, VIP area and the Administration buildings will all get construction upgrades, and the lighting will be changed to meet international standards. The works started 3 weeks ago, and the upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of May, or the beginning of June. One of the main reasons that this renovation has become important is that the FFB is trying to become compliant with the standards set for stadiums used to play games in the CONCACAF Champions League. Viewers may remember that Belize couldn't participate in the Champions League 2013-2014 due to a list of regulations the country didn't meet, one of them being the quality of the FFB Stadium.

Few Visited Forestry Fisheries Finance Fair
When thinking of big money industries, you may jump first to tourism or oil, but as the final quarter of last year's GDP Figures from the Statistical Institute shows, there is wealth in fisheries. And if the persistence of illegal logging is any indication, there's much the same in forestry. So accepting that there is a big market from which the country can benefit, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development held a fair on Saturday. We stopped in to see how it went: It was the first fair of its kind focusing on Forestry and Fisheries products, showing the public just how important these sectors are. Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development "Our forest and fisheries sector plays an important role in the social and economic development of Belize." So booths with all types of wood and marine products were showcased, highlighting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Hunting For Eggs
Easter is about a week and a half away, and some children will be expecting their basket of treats and goodies. Well, a little over a hundred pre-schoolers got an early basket from BTL, and 7News stopped in see an Easter egg hunt in action. Here's what the PR officer told us about it:

Channel 5

Benque man is mauled by a crocodile; search party combs the area for the reptile
More details are available tonight on how a crocodile mauled a resident at a pond at Green Estates in the Lord’s Bank area on Monday afternoon. It is a rare [...]

5 year old schoolboy is crushed to death by a forklift in Spanish Lookout
There is another tragic story to report tonight. A five year old boy, Kenton Kerr Neilson, was crushed to death when a forklift ran over him. The incident happened early [...]

$29 Million in marijuana goes up in flames by the B.D.F. and U.S. forces
Twenty-nine million dollars….that’s the value of marijuana that went up in smoke last month. While the destruction of the marijuana happened since then, it is only now that it is [...]

Squatters say Minister King promised them title to the land, but he says not so
Tonight, the fate of squatters along Lake Independence Boulevard remains somewhat uncertain. The contractor has done all necessary to work around homes in his way, and residents maintain that they [...]

Should G.O.B. provide land to the squatters of Lake Independence Boulevard?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe that government should provide land to the squatters of Lake Independence Boulevard? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

Justin Lemott is arraignment for the stabbing murder of Hattieville minor
Richard Waight Sr., Father of Murder Victim [File: April 7th, 2014] “The last conversation I had with my son dah fi know how much pain ih deh ina. The last [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley’s political future
Where his political future is concerned, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has been dodging the question of late. Months ago, he announced his intention to throw his hat into the [...]

Illegal harvesting of rosewood on the surge
The Forestry Department has announced that it will soon be conducting a sweep of the Stann Creek District in an effort to halt illegal harvesting of precious rosewood. The operation [...]

An update on infrastructure works in Belize City
As we told you earlier, Mayor Darrell Bradley was a guest on OYE this morning. He’s been in the news a lot lately, primarily due to recurring litigation with sanitation [...]

Temperatures on the rise between SATIIM and U.S. Capital
Temperatures are on the rise between SATIIM and U.S. Capital. Last Thursday, the Mayan community, led by SATIIM’s Executive Director Greg Ch’oc, won another major legal victory in the Supreme [...]

2 contractors appear in court for immigration offenses
  Two contractors, a Belizean and a Salvadoran with permanent residency in Belize, were before the court on separate charges for employing persons not in possession of a valid temporary [...]

Mayor says CitCo’s debt is staggering
If Mayor Darrell Bradley has seemed a little frazzled lately, it’s because he is. On one hand, there has been massive works done in the city – that can’t be [...]

Norwegian Cruise Line crew member killed during a robbery in Roatan
On Monday, a crew member employed by Norwegian Cruise Line was shot and killed during a robbery on the bay island of Roatan, Honduras.  The man, of Filipino descent, was [...]

Coastal Zone Management concerned about controversial offshore developments
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute held a two-day workshop this week. It discussed controversial offshore developments such as the multimillion dollar project by Norwegian Cruise Lines on Harvest [...]

Marine biodiversity offset – a concept to promote sustainable development
Marine Biodiversity Offsets… it is a concept that when put into principle is to be used as a tool for the private sector and the government to work together to [...]

Biodiversity offset gives private sector an opportunity to be creative
Day-two of the workshop targeted the private sector on how the concept of biodiversity offsets can help the economic status of the country and alleviate poverty; specifically for those living [...]


Another Chinese Store Robbed In Corozal

Thousands Of Students Sit PSE
Thousands of students sat the first two papers of the Primary School Examinations today across the country. Those papers are English Language one and two and Science. The examination was taken at various secondary institutions. This afternoon we caught up with some of the students as they exited the schools after long hours of concentrating on the exams. From the look on their faces standard six students were more than happy to be out and over with the first two exam papers in the PSE. They quickly gathered into their small cliques and no doubt the discussions surrounded the exams. While some students shied away from the camera, a few were more than happy to share what their experience was. Many felt the exams were rather easy. Sophia Xia- Student “I did not find any part difficult because they have all been taught before in standard four. I prepared a lot for today and that is why I was ready and I am excepting a good grade at the end.” Emily Ma- Student “I found it to be easy only that some parts I did not understand especially in the Science paper. I prepared a lot and I am expecting a good grade.”

BandFest Moves To Corozal, Field At OWPS In Bad Conditions
News spread like wildfire today after Love FM’s announcement of the venue change for the BandFest this year. As we all know, the event was to take center stage at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium, but unforeseen circumstances got in the way and the venue was changed to the Corozal Municipality. It’s one of the biggest events in the country where marching bands and drum corp all meet in one place to showcase their talent. So why the change in venue? According to member of the Bandfest Committee, Julia Carrillo, the People’s Stadium was deemed unfit for the event. Julia Carrillo– Bandfest Committee Member “When we went there on Friday with the bands because we normally do an interview, we normally take the bands the week before the Band-Fest, we would take the band directors and we go look at the route and we look at the stadium and do all the final logistics but when we got there on Friday there was no way that we could do band –Fest there because when you walk through it, it creates like a cloud of dust and so you imagine young people dancing on the field on the sound movement you will have a fog of black dust so some of the bands were concerned because they have students who are asthmatic and there was no way they could perform under those circumstances, so we spoke to the Sport Council and we were told way until today that it seems that anything that we can do to remedy the situation and unfortunately it couldn’t be ready for Saturday so a decision has been made and we ask all the bands and they already knew that and we had agreed that we had a backup plan which would be Corozal and this morning when the call came from by the coordinator and the director saying that we will have to go to plan B the arrangements had been made and the Town has been very helpful and I just want to be thankful and fair but the only reason is that the stadium has not been in a situation that is not ready for us to put marching band on that stadium.”

The Art Of Making Sawdust Carpet
Each year during the religious procession on Good Friday, the townspeople of Benque Viejo Del Carmen take to the streets to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ. Holy Week, or Semana Santa in Spanish, is a weeklong celebration of colorful processions that opens on Palm Sunday and culminates into the weekend of Good Friday. For the celebration, the community cooperates in creating sawdust tapestries, which involves the participation of hundreds of Benqueños of all ages, along the procession´s route. And this year, organizers of the “El Santo Entierro’ are in Orange Walk to teach interested individuals about the tradition. Today, members of the Banquitas House of Culture, along with some high school students, learnt more about the tradition as they engaged in a sawdust carpet making project. Organizer, Josefina Salas, says it’s a tradition brought down from Guatemala that she has been doing for over 14 years.

Orange Walk Fire Department Prevents Catastrophe
The heat is on and according to many; the temperature we are experiencing in Belize is unlike that in previous years. With the scourging heat though, come threats of fires, much like the one that the Orange Walk Fire Department officials, monitored this afternoon along the Phillip Goldson Highway. Dalila Ical has more on what could have been a catastrophic incident. Thick smoke hovered over the Phillip Goldson Highway by Z Gas Belize. The overgrown lot was engulfed in flames. The fire ignited around two thirty this afternoon behind the butane plant. Daniel Chan – Plant Operator “They advised us to call the fire station and we called them then the fire went wild and it was going in two directions. The employees deemed it wise to call the Fire Department, and two fire fighters responded quickly and thankfully so. One of them was Miguel Medina, Second in charge at the Orange Walk Fire Station.

Health Post In San Lazaro Village Receives Facelift
Today is being observed as World Health Day and municipalities across Belize are being sensitized on the main theme, “Vector Borne Diseases”. A release from the Ministry of Health states that half of the world’s population is at risk from diseases such as malaria, dengue, lyme diseases and yellow fever carried by mosquitos, ticks and flies. In addition, these diseases affect the poorest populations particularly where there is a lack of access to adequate housing, safe drinking water and sanitation. Today, to coincide with World Health Day, residents of San Lazaro inaugurated their newly renovated Health Outpost where testing and medical checks were being carried out. Isidora Flota– Community Health Worker “Estamos con el programa de médicos en general y están los dentistas y se está haciendo popsmear pero actualmente cada mes hacemos prenatal, mobile clinic para niños y todo eso hacemos y siempre se hace popsmear. Lo remodelaron otra vez poro este programa siempre ha sido desde anos que siempre estamos aquí con el de prenatal y de los niños y todo ese inmunización y cada mes tenemos popsmear cuando hay tiempo lo hacemos con las enfermeras.”

Tragedy Hits ESTM, Fourth Form Students Will Not Sit Final Exam
Without a doubt the unfortunate incident that occurred on Friday has left the students of ESTM in shock especially those who were on the field trip and witnessed the drowning of Edgar Puck and Anahi Zepeda. Today when we arrived at the school we were informed that students are currently receiving counseling from five councilors in order to deal with the dreadful the situation. What is worse though is that fourth form students are scheduled to take their final exams tomorrow before graduation. This is cause of concern for parents who believe that students will not be able to perform well since they are still in shock. Over the weekend parents voiced their concern to the school’s faculty. Today, the good news is that in sight of the situation the school’s Board of Directors has decided that forth form students will not sit the final exams and that the daily grades will be used as final grades.

ESTM Students Laid To Rest, MOE Launches Investigation Into Their Deaths
The Macal River claimed the life of two promising students from the Corozal District on Friday. The fourth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico were returning home from a school trip at the Che Chem Ha Caves, when the group made a stop in San Ignacio near the low-lying bridge to wash themselves. That is when death came calling as 16 year old Edgar Puck from the Village of Patchakan and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin, were carried by the currents and drowned. It is a sad situation, one that has prompted an investigation and has left more questions than answers for those who lost their loved ones. Victor Castillo has the story from Corozal. Sixteen year old Edgar Puck from the Village of Patchakan and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin, were scheduled to graduate from Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in a few months. Puck was scheduled to give the valedictorian speech while Zepeda, an honor roll student was to walk the aisle with the rest of her peers. But instead of planning a graduation party the families of both students are tonight mourning their death.

Fisherman Kiilled By Crocodile
Forty seven year old Carl Diaz, a resident of Benque Viejo Del Carmen was killed yesterday by a crocodile. Authorities in Ladyville report that they received a call around 3:00pm and dispatched a team 900 feet south west to Green Estate property located in Lords Bank Village. Upon arrival, they saw Diaz’ body lying face down in a water channel with his right foot almost severed and what appeared to be a huge irregular wound on the right leg and three bite marks on the left foot. A witness, who was in the immediate area at the time of the incident, reported that whilst walking in the area to go fishing he heard a noise coming from the water channel and that’s when he saw a male person being dragged down the channel by a large crocodile. Diaz’s screams apparently caused the crocodile to let go of him and the animal submerged, leaving its victim severely wounded. Diaz’s body was transported to the KHMH where it was pronounced dead at 6:02pm. Diaz was a fisherman from Benque Viejo Del Carmen in the Cayo District. The body now awaits a Post Mortem Examination. Police are treating this case as a sudden death.

Five Persons Detained For Armed Robbery In Corozal
Yesterday we told you about the robbery that took place at Jing Jing store located in the Santa Rita area of Corozal Town. Tonight there are more details into the robbery. The proprietor of the store, 52 year old Chinese National, Hui Bang Chen, reported to authorities that around 2:50pm he was inside the store attending to customers when three male persons, two described as being of creole descent and the third of Hispanic descent, entered the business establishment. The men concealed their identity by partly covering their faces with caps. Chen reported that one of the men had what appeared to be a hand gun which he pointed at him. While that took place the other criminals went over the counter and took out approximately $300.00 to $400.00 in cash from the drawer. One of the men attacked a customer and by the use of force stole his wallet containing $150.00 in cash and his I/D cards.

OW Mayor Clarifies Band-Fest Situation
As mentioned last night, the football field at the Orange Walk People’s Stadium is in no way adequate to host BandFest 2014. The field is covered with ashes and organizers deemed it unfit to hold the event hence why the venue was changed to Corozal. Since the news broke out, there is no shying away from the fact that there has been a lot of finger pointing with people wanting to know why the field was not ready and who is at fault. For clarification, the People’s Stadium is managed by the Orange Walk Sports Council, chaired by Mr. Derrick Gillette, who responds to the National Sports Council, which falls under the Ministry of Sports. Amongst those being accused for the present conditions of the People’s Stadium, is the Orange Walk Town Council, who, according to Mayor of Orange Walk, has nothing to do with upkeep of the stadium.

OWTC Continuous To Work On Guadalupe Park
The story of Guadalupe Park located in the Orange Walk East constituency first made headlines in the month of February when it was revealed that the public space had been privatized and ended up the hands of Adin Aragon, the son of Elodio Aragon Senior. After much public outcry, the Aragon’s transferred the property back to the Government of Belize. Right after, the Commissioners of Lands, Wilbert Vallejos, announced that the Ministry of Natural Resources would be taking in applications for the property. In order for the park to remain as a public space, as was first intended, the Orange Walk Town Council jumped at the opportunity and applied for the parcel of land at the Orange Walk Lands Department. Their application though, was not accepted. Instead, the council was informed that they must submit their application in Belmopan. And that they did, but to date have received no response. Standing firm in their decision to return the park in the hands of the public, the Orange Walk Town Council, in collaboration with the community has been refurbishing the park and today the work continued as a basketball rim was set up.

Norteneous Benefit From New Horizon Belize 14
New Horizons is a project that was first brought to Belize by the US Southern Command in 2001. It was implemented again in 2007, 2013 and now the project is back in Belize for 2014. This time the US Air Force and the US Army arrived in Belize on March 30th and joined forces with the Belize Defense Force, the Belize Agriculture Health Authority, BAHA and the Public Health Sector to carry out the New Horizon Belize 14. The joint exercise combines training with infrastructure projects and education, health and humanitarian works carried out in different communities across the country especially in rural areas. Today we caught up with the team in the Village of Chunox in the Corozal District and found out what New Horizon 2014 is offering to Belizeans this time around.

Corozal Police On The Hunt For Wanted Men
Tonight, the man hunt for two fugitives who are wanted by the Corozal Police Department continues. Despite a warrant for their arrest, Alex Reid, (aka cat) who is wanted for the crime of robbery and Robert Locke who is sought for rape, remain on the run. Reid, who hails from the Cayo District, is being sought for the November 18th robbery of Chong Sang Supermarket located on College Road in Corozal. He is also wanted by San Ignacio Police for a spate of robberies committed in that district. As previously mentioned, Reid is no stranger to the law. He was released from the Kolbe Correctional Facility in the month of December 2013. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of the two men is asked to contact the nearest police station.

BNE And LICU Launches Empowerment Funding
This morning the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust in conjunction with the La Inmaculada Credit Union launched its Empowerment Fund. These funds are now available to persons especially from the north and western parts of the country that are interested in boosting their micro or small businesses or have a business idea they wish to develop. Reporter Dalila Ical has the details. Dalila Ical – Reporting The contract was officially signed this morning between the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust and the La Inmaculada Credit Union in a brief ceremony. Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust says that just as the title of the fund says, they hope to empower the productive sector of the country contributing to their economic growth.

Students And Cane Farmers Benefit From Fair-Trade Funds
A general meeting was held for cane farmers in the Orange Walk branch on Saturday. Part of the meeting included the distribution of school grants for students and grants for sugar cane farmers above age fifty. Alfredo Ortega, Vice Chair of the Committee of Management at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association told us about the initiative. Alfredo Ortega “Es de los el premio de Fair-Trade eso es parte del programa social a el cual La Asociación tiene que dar un porcentaje para apoyar en los programas sociales ya sea a nivel de educación o a niel de la comunidad.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Para los estudiantes este dinero se tiene que usar específicamente para las escuelas o los gastos de las escuelas?” Alfredo Ortega “Bueno si porque se les pide que traigan recibos adonde han pagado al colegio y también se les pide que les traigan prueba de que están asistiendo a ese colegió particular porque sabes a nosotros todo somos auditados y entonces eso es lo que refleja si realmente la persona califico para conseguir ese o ser partícipe de ese proyecto.”


King Reneges on Promise; Squatters Will Have to Move
HIPOLITO NOVELO NARRATING “A few months ago, the Holy Emmanuel Street Squatters met with Lake Independence Area Representative Mark King and in that meeting King promised them title for the lands they occupy. However, the squatters now believe King’s promise might not be fulfilled. “ SQUATTER “When we had our meeting with our Area Representative in November, he promised us that they were going to survey this land and give us with title and leases; all that we want is for him to please touch his heart and not move us from our houses.” HIPOLITO NOVELO NARRATING “Development in the area is ongoing and sooner or later, King says that the squatters will have no choice but to move out.” MARK KING “They need to simply move their homes and stay with their friends and families until I can assist them in finding a piece of land. For years, we have allowed squatters in this country to just come and take a piece of land, they need to realize, which they have already realised they are in the wrong.” HIPOLITO NOVELO NARRATING “While the argument continues as to whether the squatters are wrong or right, most of those we spoke with said they left their mother country to seek a better life in Belize. Most of them found a bit of it at the swampy area of Holy Emmanuel Street. They have developed the lands the best they could. For years they have been cutting down trees, putting together London bridges and working together to make the area habitable. However it would appear despite his earlier assurance, their area representative has made an about face.”

A Look At the Care for Belize’s Senior Citizens
RENEE TRUJILLO NARRATING “Growing old is what is expected with the passing of time; many people spend countless hours working and saving money to try and safeguard a dignified lifestyle when they reach the retirement age or when they are no longer fully capable of taking care of themselves…..but what happens to those who don’t have the means to safeguard that future, what happens to those who once formed a crucial part of society but no longer have family members who are present or willing to ensure a good life for them in their golden years. This is the reality of many elderly persons in Belize. …. After doing an initial visit to the Sister Cecelia home last week, I went back to find out more about the way of life for these elderly people who make up about seven percent of our population. Ivorine Bulwer is the Executive Director for Helpage Belize, the parent organization for the Sister Cecelia Home located on Wilson Street in Belize City.” IVORINE BULWER “Sister Cecilia is a residential home; we have two and under the umbrella of Helpage, we have eleven branches including the two residential homes, Sister Cecelia and Octavio Waight in San Ignacio and very shortly we should be establishing a residential home in Belmopan. Quite a number of older persons may not have anywhere to stay or their loved one may be abroad or their family members might be financially challenged and they really cannot cope or they don’t have the space to facilitate their older persons or sometimes their older persons just want to be out of their residence. At Sister Cecilia, we have four private rooms and so, it facilitates those who can pay for those rooms. Others, as part of the state we have to facilitate those clients who need care and have nowhere to stay.”

Infants Go Easter Egg Hunting
The first of what is hoped to be an annual event was held for children, ages 4 – 5 this morning at the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks in Belize City. The staff of the Belize Telemedia Limited lobbied to the company for their support in hosting an Easter Egg Hunt for an estimated one hundred children. Of the five preschools that were invited to attend, two preschools participated in finding treats and sweets hidden within the perimeter of the park. In addition to that the company also presented Easter baskets to the toddlers and engaged them in some fun games. According to BTL’s PR Representative, Gail Ozaeta, the company is also exploring the possibility of having an event for the children for Halloween. This morning’s egg hunt started around nine thirty and lasted just under two hours.

Crocodile Kills Father of Five
Belize is known to have two species of crocodiles; the crocodylus acutus known as the American crocodile which can grow up to 20 feet and the morelet which is the freshwater crocodile and can grow up to 12 feet. Described as the smartest reptile, crocodiles have special pores called ISO’s that are capable of detecting pressure changes and vibrations in the water and can even detect vibrations from you when you walk near the water’s edge, using this ability is how they find their prey and that is just what happened yesterday afternoon just after two o’clock in the Green Estate proposed housing site in Ladyville Village, Belize District. Carl Michael Diaz, a resident of Benque Viejo del Carmen in the Cayo District, reportedly went fishing but how his tragic death unfolded is anybody’s guess as his body was discovered by some children who went to the area later that afternoon. Brian and I visited the area this morning and met up with Diaz’ wife and brother to get some answers. PAUL DIAZ “He was fishing; that’s his hobby, he loved to fish.” RENEE TRUJILLO “Was he familiar with the area around here to know that the ponds had crocodiles?” PAUL DIAZ “I think he was because he told my stepfather, he showed him some tracks where the animal had been around; it was a huge beast and I think he was familiar that there was crocodile in the area.” RENEE TRUJILLO “Tell me about your brother; I know that he lived in Benque, what was he doing in Ladyville?” PAUL DIAZ “Well, he came down and he said he was going to get a job with NEMO down here and he came back on Sunday and I told him the day before that we were going to link up because I was planning on starting up a little something and I want him to be a part of it and that we had to get together and chat a bit.”

Contractors Face Immigration Charges
Two building contractors were charged with one count of employing persons not in possession of a temporary valid employment permit when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. They are 45 year old Belizean Oscar Chan and 40 year old Salvadoran national Samuel Erazo. Chan pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $1,000 and his case was adjourned until May 8. Erazo pled guilty to the charge and he was fined $1,000. He was ordered to pay by April 30. If he defaults on payment he will serve 6 months. Chan and Erazo were busted yesterday when immigration officers went to a construction site at Biltmore Plaza and found a Honduran national, Jose Ortiz, and a Salvadoran national, Edwin ponce, working there without employment permit. Ponce told immigration officers that he was working for Erazo and Ortiz told immigration officers that he was working for Chan. As a result, Chan and Erazo were arrested and charged.

Murder and Attempted Murder Charges Levied Against Lemmoth
Twenty-seven year old Justin Lemoth, a resident of Hattieville, was charged with murder and attempted murder when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Lemoth was remanded into custody until May 8. The charges are in connection with an incident that occurred around 9:25 p.m. on Friday, April 4, at a basketball court in Hattieville. According to police reports, there was a fracas on the court and two persons were stabbed. Seventeen year old Richard Waight Jr. was stabbed to the left side of his chest while the second person, a 16 year old boy, was stabbed to the right side of his lower abdomen. Both of them were rushed to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where Waight succumbed to his injury. The 16 year old survived.

Corozal Police Seeks Suspects for Robberies and Rape
Corozal Police is asking for the public’s assistance in arresting two wanted men. Corozal Police are looking for 26 year old Alex Reid who is wanted for a number of burglaries and robberies in Corozal Town. Reid is being sought for his role in allegedly holding up the proprietor of Chong Sang Supermarket at gun point on November 18 2013. Reid had a partner at the time of the robbery and he is Kevin Manzanero, who has already been arrested. Reid is also a person of interest for robberies committed in San Ignacio Town. The second person Corozal Police is looking for is Robert Locke. Corozal Police have issued a warrant for Locke’s arrest who is wanted for the crime of rape. You are asked if you know the whereabouts of these men to call the nearest police station, 911 or 922-TIPS.


Child’s Head is Crushed by Forklift
A child was killed when his head was crushed by a forklift. The incident happened at Esso gas station in Spanish lookout when the 6 year old son of Mennonite business owner Melvin Cornelson of Reimer’s Service Station, was somehow run over by a forklift. The exact details of...

25 year old Man Arrested for Stabbing Two Teenagers; One Dies
25-year-old Justin Lemott of Hattieville Village was charged by police for the murder of 17 year old Richard Waight Jr. and for Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly Means of Harm, and Grievous Harm upon 16-year-old Austin Rhaburn today when he appeared for arraignment. 17 year old Richard Waight, Jr., of...

Fugitives on the Run
Corozal police are on the hunt for two fugitives who remain on the run after warrants for their arrest were issued. The wanted men are Alex Reid for the crime of robbery. In that robbery incident, Kevin Midget Manzanero has already been arrested. The robbery incident in question was...

Orange Walk Mayor Upset About Band Fest Move to Corozal
The much anticipated Band Fest 2014 which was to take place in Orange Walk Town has had a last minute change of venue and will now take place in Corozal Town. However, one very agitated Mayor of Orange Walk Town sent out a press release in which he expressed...

Crocodile Kills Man While Fishing
A man was killed by a crocodile yesterday in the Ladyville/Lords’ Bank area. The body of 47-year-old Carl Michael Diaz, Belizean fisherman of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Cayo District, was found near a pond on a private property called Green Estate. It appears that Diaz was fishing in the...

Chinese Stores Targeted in the North
Last week we reported on the armed robberies of two Chinese stores in Corozal. There was another one last night. This one occurred at Jing Jing store located at the corner of Phillip Goldson Highway and Paraiso Village Junction. Hui Bang Chen, 52 year old Chinese Business man, reported...

Cordell Hyde Back on PUP Saddle
Plus News has been reliably informed that last night, former Area Representative for Lake Independence Cordel Hyde was vetted by the People’s United Party to be a potential candidate for the Lake Independence Constituency. Sources say Hyde’s is the only name submitted to represent the PUP in that division....

SATIIM Decries Bullying Attempt by US Capital
Last Thursday, Justice Michelle Arana ordered US Capital Energy and the Government of Belize to enter negotiations with the Maya of southern Toledo before continuing with their plans and preparations to drill for petroleum within the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The leaders of the Maya communities surrounding the park...

The Never Ending Saga of Rosewood Smuggling
Rosewood in the Toledo district is still being harvested despite a moratorium on the logging of the endangered wood. On Sunday, our colleagues at PGTV said they were called out to the Trio area to see that illegally obtained rosewood was being hauled to Bella Vista Village which is...

Millions of Dollars of Marijuana Destroyed
The United States department of defense is reporting that a marijuana eradication operation in Belize, from March 15-20, was extremely successful. It was a joint military operation involving Belize Defence Force soldiers and Belize police where the Belizean government destroyed 34 marijuana fields at an estimated value of US$29...

Men Busted for Illegal Exportation of Shark Meat
The Fisheries department has reported a large bust of salted shark meat and dried shark fins along the coast between Punta Negra to Abalone Caye. According to the Fisheries Department, the vessel was spotted and there was a boat chase but the culprits were eventually caught. The two men...

UB Students on Community Outreach
Every year for the past 4 years, UB has held its biannual community outreach in which students, enrolled in the department of education, under the guidance of their professor, Dr. Thomasine Baker, coordinate and prepare workshops and symposiums for teachers and students alike at the primary school level. This...

New Garbage Truck for Citco
The Belmopan City council has a new, state of the art garbage truck. The truck came all the way from England and was purchased eight months ago. However, it only recently arrived in the country due to health protocols in relation to shipping. The truck was purchased at a...


Crocodile kills man in Lords Bank swamp
Police have confirmed a breaking story that a man was killed by a crocodile in the Lords Bank area of Ladyville. The victim was reportedly fishing in a swampy area of Lords Bank and was in the water when a crocodile attacked him and dragged him under the water at about 2:30 this afternoon. Police do not yet know who the victim is, because his body has not been recovered. A man who was in the area who saw what happened, quickly went to the police, and the alarm was raised.

1st leg of PSE held for primary school students
The first of a 2-part sitting of the biggest exam in the curriculum of Belizean primary school students – the Primary School Examinations (PSE) – took place today and over 7,500 primary school students faced the challenge of overcoming the first part of the nationwide exams, which included assessments in the English and Science subjects. As soon as the youngsters had put down their pens and handed in their examinations sheets, Amandala sought some of the participants to find out just how difficult the two exams were. Interestingly, most of the students whom we spoke to commented that the tests were somewhat easier than they expected and some even ventured to say that they had aced the exams and that they anticipated grades in the 80’s and 90’s. Shena Reun, a student of Belize Elementary School, told us that she began preparing from the start of the year with the help of her mother so she wasn’t nervous going in to the exams. “For Science I think that maybe I will get an 84 [percent] and for English, maybe like 95 or 98 [percent]”, she speculated. She remarked that there were only 2 questions that she found challenging while taking the Science exam.

The life of a promising and talented young student and footballer was unexpectedly cut short last Friday night after a fight on the Hattieville basketball court after 9:00 p.m., which resulted in two minors suffering different degrees of stab wounds, one of them proving fatal. The incident occurred in the jurisdiction of Belize District’s Rural Executive Officer, ASP Chris Noble, and last Saturday, April 5, he told the media what police knew about the stabbing incident, which started out as a small feud between a group of minors and unfortunately escalated into a fatal confrontation which eventually cost a 17-year-old Hattieville resident his life. Noble said, “Sometime after 9:00 last night, an incident occurred on the basketball court which is very near to the police station in Hattieville. The end result of that incident is that two minors were injured; one of them unfortunately succumbed while being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and we have one person in custody. “We’re working with the information that we’ve gathered from other persons that were around and we have contacted CIB in Belize City; and with their assistance, we are trying to cover the entire report. Our information so far is that there were several persons in the area; it is a village and persons in the village are known to each other. It is not something that was imported into the village, so the cooperation is very high.”

The fourth form students of the Escuela Mexico High School, of San Roman, Corozal, who were on a school tour to the Che Chem Ha Caves in the Cayo District, are mourning the death of two of their classmates who drowned while swimming in the Macal River near the low wooden bridge in San Ignacio, at about 3:30 Friday afternoon. The students had stopped at the Macal River to refresh themselves before travelling back to Corozal. Anahi Zepeda, 15, of San Joaquin Village, and Edgar Puck, 16, of Patchakan, Corozal District, and other students were in the water near the wooden bridge when Zepeda was dragged down by the river currents. Puck went to help her, but both of them were sucked down by the strong undercurrent. People who saw what was happening jumped in to try to help. Puck was found shortly after under the water. CPR was administered, but it was too late. Puck was then taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. A further search by tour guides, police officers and people of the area was conducted and the body of Zepeda was found about an hour later in the general area where they went down. She was also taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where she also was declared dead on arrival.

Sentencing someone to jail for stealing a phone to satisfy his or her drug addiction does not solve the problem, unless that person is rehabilitated while incarcerated to cure his or her addiction. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith told us that it is with this in mind that members of the judiciary have been meeting with community activists to set up a drug court, which, she said, will handle crimes driven by drug addiction. The steering committee, which is chaired by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, is due to meet this Wednesday. Benjamin, Smith and mental health expert Jenny Lovell traveled recently to Vancouver, Canada, to attend an intensive training, and they will be reporting back to the committee when they meet in a few days. Meanwhile, officials of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Belize are reviewing a draft memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the drug court. Chief Magistrate Smith told us that there is a list of offenses which would be handled by the drug court, and a list of those which would continue to be heard in the mainstream courts. She said that the intent is to treat drug addiction as an illness, so that persons guilty of certain offenses would be committed to rehab rather than to prison.

Anfernee Romero, 18, of Central American Boulevard, lost his life in a shooting incident, and his friend, Troy Hyde, 26, also of Belize City, who was shot in the back, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The men were at a locksmith’s shop on Central American Boulevard at about 5:00 Thursday evening when they were attacked by the gunmen. Police say that Hyde and Romero were at the shop when two men riding on separate bicycles rode up to the shop and fired at them. Romero was shot in the right side of the head, while Hyde was shot in the back. The gunmen then rode away. The injured men were rushed to the hospital, where they were admitted in a critical condition, but Romero died at about 4:30 Friday morning. Hyde, shot three times, continues to recover at the KHMH. In an interview with Amandala, the owner of the workshop reported that he had just left the shop when he heard that the two men who were at the shop had been shot. He and Hyde were friends, he said, but Romero, who was a friend of Hyde, had just started going to the shop about four days before the shooting, and he was not well acquainted with him.

Editorial: Belizean nation
Primarily in an attempt, we suppose, to explain historical voting patterns which still hold true today in the United States of America, the historian and journalist Colin Woodard published an intriguing book entitled American Nations in 2011. He identified eleven rival regional cultures in North America, which included what he called Yankeedom, New Netherland, the Midlands, Tidewater, Greater Appalachia, the Deep South, New France, El Norte, the Left Coast, the Far West, and First Nation. For us at this newspaper, one importance of Woodard’s book is that it confirms the academic legitimacy of micro analysis within the national framework. There are historical realities which many people, including leaders, prefer to gloss over from day to day, but which help to explain the various socio-political behaviors of certain groups of citizens within the same national borders. Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington got himself into trouble in 2010 when he described Belize’s border with Guatemala as “artificial.” The adjective he should have used is “arbitrary.” Africa is probably the continent where we can see the most arbitrary of national borders, because most of these states were created by various imperialists and colonialists, not by the people who had lived in these territories for centuries and millennia.

From The Publisher
In our editorial last weekend, we mentioned that our various Prime Ministers, and there have been four of them, often have behaved similarly. One of the reasons for this is that all our Prime Ministers have to take instructions from Washington and London where certain crucial issues are concerned. The most crucial issue in Belize is the predatory Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory. There are many prominent Belizeans who want for the “Guatemalan claim” to be preceded always by the adjective, “unfounded.” I understand their position, but, as a respectful student of Dartmouth’s Professor Vincent Starzinger, it does not matter to me whether the claim is founded or unfounded: what matters to me is that the claim is real. The claim exists in our daily lives. The claim exists because of the power realities involved. If Belize decided to claim the Petén, that would not be a real claim, because Belize is not in a position to enforce such a claim. Because of a superior size and military, Guatemala is in a position to enforce her claim to Belize. For me, that is what makes the claim a real and present danger. Until Belize became independent in September of 1981, the defence of the territory was the responsibility of Great Britain, British Honduras having become a colony of hers in 1862. Even after British Honduras became a self-governing colony in 1964, our defence remained a portfolio responsibility of the British.

LETTERS: “The Voice of Authority” and “The Fee”
One day awhile back, feeling restless and in the mood for a road trip, I accompanied my friend Robert from Placencia (where I had been living for a few years) to Dangriga, where he had some business to do at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Robert had no car, but he did have a small motor scooter to use for putting around the village, so the two of us hopped on a James Bus and were soon at the DMV, which was conveniently located next to the bus station in Dangriga. On the trip over, Robert explained to me that both his registration and his license had expired, but he foresaw no insurmountable problem here; a simple matter of renewing the documents and we would be on our way back to Placencia. Entering the office the first person we saw was a huge sergeant, resplendent in his crisp uniform and sitting at a desk reading a newspaper. Feeling like truant schoolboys, we stood before him until he finished catching up on the news and deigned to look up at us.

Rosewood pillaging by Guats continues
It appears that despite a moratorium on the harvesting of rosewood in Belize, and notwithstanding increased international trade restrictions, the pillaging of this prized hardwood continues. Yesterday at about 3:30 p.m., PGTV News got a call that someone was hauling rosewood from the Trio area and taking it to a secret location in Bella Vista Village, which is in the north of Toledo. PGTV crew followed the story and came upon stacks of rosewood, freshly cut. The information was relayed to the forest officer at Savannah Forest Station, and had they moved on time all of this could have been confiscated. Up to this time, we have no idea if they did or not, but what we are sure of is that there was no stamp, signifying official certification, on these logs and that they were freshly cut.

12 persons missing since 2014 began
The mystery of several individuals who went missing in the first three months of the year deepens, as another person, a Sarteneja resident, is added to the growing missing person list. So far, twelve persons have been reported missing, including the most recent disappearance, which was reported yesterday, Wednesday. Corozal police found the boat of a Sarteneja resident known as “Dean” abandoned in the Sarteneja area, and 4 expended shells were found in his boat. The year began with the disappearance of Katherine Illeana Medrano, 16, who ran away from home on Thursday, January, 13. She has not been seen since. Then Osborne Jones, of Ladyville, left home at about 10:00 Saturday morning, February 22, which was the last time he was seen or heard from. Two men of San Pedro, Vincent Crawford and Dean Joseph of the San Mateo area, have been reported missing since March 1. They went to sea in the northern San Pedro area and have not been seen since.

Maya leaders urge dialogue to end litigation
Following a favorable ruling yesterday by Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana, the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) have stated that the dispute between the Government and the Maya can only be resolved through dialogue, on the premise that their land rights exist, and they are inviting the Office of the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Forestry and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of the Environment, for talks which they say should put an end to the need for further litigation. “We want to get to work demarcating and registering our lands, so that both the Maya and Belize as a whole can focus on the more important work of improving the lives of all Belizeans with sustainable development that preserves the environment on which we all depend,” the Maya leaders said. They noted that later this year, the MLA and TAA will be going to the Caribbean Court of Justice to seek an order for the Government of Belize to recognize and respect the rights of the Maya people to their lands and resources – which they contend is an obligation that Belize has under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Suriname’s Terrence Craig to head OAS office in Belize
Terrence Craig, who has been serving as the representative for the Organization of American States (ASO) in Grenada since October 2008, has been picked to head the OAS office in Belize, effective in May. Craig would succeed Juliet Phillip, who was assigned to Belize in January 2013. Ambassador Craig, who formerly served as head of the Americas Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Suriname, told us that he has been to Belize twice before, as a government representative for Suriname. We were advised by the OAS Office in Belize that Craig is due to take up the post on Thursday, May 1; however, Craig told us that he and his supervisor are still working out some details.

1st Forestry, Fisheries and Finance Fair happens in the City
The ITVET Campus on Freetown Road in Belize City was the venue for the first ever Forestry, Fisheries and Finance Fair which was hosted today by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. The event featured presentations from the Forestry and Fisheries Departments who mainly showcased sustainable forestry and fishing initiatives, as well as business people and entrepreneurs who displayed various local seafood products and cuisines in addition to wooden creations such as handicraft, sculptures, benches and other furniture, and even fully-equipped miniature children’s parks. One of the reasons for the fair, according to Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Hon. Senator Lisel Alamilla, is to showcase a snapshot of the economic opportunities that exist in the forestry and fisheries sectors. In her keynote address during the opening ceremonies, Alamilla made it clear that Belize’s natural resources need to be protected and preserved if we are to have them for future generations, and that our abundant seas and pristine forests should not be subjected to unwarranted plundering.

World Health Day Observed in Belize
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and the Ministry of Health have joined forces in the celebration of World Health Day today at the Belize City Lions Club parking lot on Princess Margaret Drive. According to the World Health Organization, vector-borne diseases are entirely preventable and a newly published article called “A global brief on vector-borne diseases” outlines steps that governments, community groups and families can all take to protect people from infection. Vector-borne diseases are known to affect the poorest populations, particularly where there is a lack of access to adequate housing, safe drinking water and sanitation, and malnourished people and those with weakened immunity are especially susceptible.

Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control are almost at the brink over the Council’s arrears
The Belize City Council continues to struggle to pay its arrears to the sanitation company Belize Waste Control (BWC), and the parties had one more round of litigation on Tuesday in the chambers of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Their case has been adjourned to Friday morning, when the parties are scheduled to return to court to provide an update on the council’s plan to pay its outstanding arrears to the sanitation company. Coming out of the Chief Justice’s chamber, both parties updated the media on the continuing litigation. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, who represented the City Council at the hearing, said that by Friday, the council is expecting to reduce the amount it owes the sanitation company to just one month of arrears. The Mayor added,” That itself means that we do owe four weeks, but that does not constitute a breach of contract and so our position is that by Friday…. that would ameliorate some of the issue in terms of the litigation and we are making good faith efforts to try to see that we can maintain that four-week period.”

Calamity in Santa Elena – uninsured house completely destroyed by fire
The two-flat uninsured house of Augustine Martinez, 82, of Carillo Puerto Avenue, Santa Elena Town Cayo District, and his belongings, were completely destroyed by fire at about 10:45 Saturday night. Martinez lived in the lower flat of the house, while Evelyn Estell, lived in the upper flat. Martinez reported that she was asleep in her house when she was awakened by smoke and heat. She got up to see what was happening, and saw that the house was on fire. She quickly escaped the inferno. Estell also made it to safety. Martinez said that the house was not ensured.

City Council narrows its debts to Waste Control to two weeks of arrears
The Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control (BWC), one of the council’s sanitation providers, have been slugging it out in the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin over the council’s hundreds of thousands of dollars of arrears to the sanitation company. But when they returned to court on Friday, the two entities appeared to have worked out their differences to an acceptable degree to avoid further litigation for the time being. Mayor Darrell Bradley told reporters, “I was able to inform the court that we were only two weeks outside of what we owe them and they are still pursuing litigation. I had impressed upon the court to consider the fact that by the terms of the contract, we can be 4 weeks in arrears and I want to make that very clear.” “What we are saying is that as long as we are within this four-week period, and at the present moment we are two weeks, we are not to be sued and the case is to be discontinued. The judge gave time for Waste Control to file a statement of facts and issues because the judge wants to be satisfied with respect to what remaining try-able issues there are and we are to return to court on the 15th April for the judge to consider that and to consider whether or not the matter has been settled or whether or not the matter is to proceed forward,” explained the mayor.

John Downard, 49, an American accused of importation of hemp seed, has no case to answer
An American man who has been living in Belize for ten years and who is the director of Vortech Limited, a company that represents newly patented technologies, was arrested and charged on December 4, 2013, after he was found to be bringing 461 grams of hemp seeds into Belize on his return from a trip to Colorado. Authorities charged John Downard with one count of importation of a controlled substance and one count of distribution of a controlled drug. The trial started in February and has been through a number of adjournments. But on Monday morning, John Downard, who resides in San Ignacio, was cleared of the two charges, when in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, Magistrate Leslie Hamilton ruled in favor of a no-case-to-answer submission made by Downard’s attorney, Rachael Montejo.

Guatemalan man drowns in Macal, in Santa Familia
Less than two days after two high school students drowned in the Macal River near the low bridge in San Ignacio on Friday evening, a Guatemalan, Francisco Martin Juan, 33, of Huehuetenango, San Miguel Acatan, Guatemala, drowned in the Macal River, in Santa Familia, Cayo District. According to police, Jose Miguel Gaspar, 48, a Guatemalan laborer of Huehuetenango, San Miguel Acatan, Guatemala City, presently living in Santa Familia, told them that Juan, his nephew, was under the influence of alcohol when he jumped into the river and tried to swim across at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon. Strong currents, however, dragged him under. People in the area began to search for him, but by the time he was found he had already drowned. He was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Byron Pope first, Marlon Castillo second in Pre-Cross Country race
Just over 50 cyclists took part in the first ever Pre-Cross Country race that went from Leslie’s Imports to Mount Hope and back, for approximately 115 or 120 miles on Sunday, April 6. There were no foreigners in the race, but a number of “big names” took advantage of the opportunity to further their preparation for the Holy Saturday main event. Top 5 finishers in Sunday’s Pre-Cross Country were: 1st Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes, 5:10:04); 2nd Marlon Castillo (BTL Cycling, 5:10:04); 3rd Henry Moreira (Predators Belize, 5:10:13); 4th Gregory Lovell (BTL Cycling, 5:11:03); 5th Brandon Cattouse (C-Ray Road Addikz, 5:11:03). We expressed some reservation about the benefits of winning such a race as the Pre-Cross Country; but then, personalities are different, and what may make one person become complacent, may instead further motivate, inspire and embolden another.

Bandits to host Houston
Belmopan Bandits FC manager Kenneth Budna informed the sports desk tonight, when we queried the reason for their previously scheduled Saturday night game vs Paradise/Freedom Fighters being moved up to this Wednesday night, April 9, at the Isidoro Beaton, that they had just confirmed an invitational match against the Houston Hurricanes for Saturday. The Bandits had held previous discussions with the League, and once the Hurricanes visit was finalized, they agreed to bring forward the Closing Season match with the Freedom Fighters to Wednesday night at the same Isidoro Beaton Stadium, where the game against the Hurricanes will be played at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Table Tennis
Primary school table tennis took center stage at the BES Auditorium just over a week ago on Friday, March 28, where the 2014 3rd Annual Dutch Lady Primary School Tournament resulted in St. Joseph Primary sweeping all 4 top positions. The hosts, Belize Elementary School (BES) fielded the largest team that included some top junior players, but that did not deter St. Joseph Primary School who walked away with the Championship Cup. Other participating primary schools were Hummingbird Elementary, St. Mary’s and Wesley, as well as first time entries St. Ignatius and Ephesus. According to the Belize Table Tennis Association (BTTA) release on the event, some 64 students from the 7 primary schools played a total of 250 matches in Friday’s event. 8 groups of 8 players took part in an Elimination Round Robin, with the top 2 players from each group advancing to the “16 Draw Double-Elimination Finals.”

Burglary in Punta Gorda
Ivan Ramclam, 19, a resident of Punta Gorda, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April 30 on charges of theft and handling stolen goods. Police believe that Ramclam was the thief who burglarized the house of Stephanie Brown of Hibiscus Street, Hopeville, Punta Gorda. Ramclam was taken to the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court, where he was arraigned on the charges. Brown reported that on Friday, February 28, she left her home locked, and returned on Wednesday, March 19, and saw that that her home had been broken into.

Robberies on Santa Rita Road in Corozal
Two stores were robbed on Santa Rita Road in Corozal on Wednesday and Thursday, and thieves got away with cash, phone cards and an iPhone. At about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday night, two thieves robbed Bam’s Shop and got away with $1,500 and an iPhone from a storeowner and $7 from a customer and got away. Then, at about 7:15 p.m. on Thursday night, China Store was robbed and two thieves got away with $1,200 in cash from the cash register and $700 worth of Smart phone cards. In the incident on Wednesday, Jiam Bon Wu, 28, a Chinese businessman of Santa Rita Road, the owner of Bam’s Store, was robbed at gunpoint. He told police that at about 9:00 that night, two gunmen entered the store when he pulled up the shutters to allow his brother-in-law to come out of the store.

Gun found on Usher Street
Residents of the Victoria and Usher Streets area of the old capitol can breathe a sigh of relief now that a gun has been taken out of the hands of criminals. A .38 Special Revolver, loaded with 6 rounds of live ammunition, was found by police while on patrol on Usher Street at about 9:00 Saturday night. A newly formed unit called the Quick Reaction Team said that they were on anti-crime patrol and went to the Usher Street area, where they conducted random searches for drugs, guns and ammunition.

Man charged with 3 counts of aggravated assault upon policemen, claims police brutality
A Ladyville man who spent four days in the hospital because of an alleged beating by Ladyville police officers was arraigned on a string of charges when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning, Monday. Henry Pleytes, 25, was escorted up and down the stairs at the court by his sister and another relative, because he says that he is still unable to walk on his own, without assistance. Pleytes was slapped with three counts of aggravated assault on three police officers. The allegation against Pleytes is that on Sunday, March 30, he assaulted PC #411 Mathias Cholom, Corporal #347 Luis Quixaj, and PC #964 Diego Pech, who are all attached to the Ladyville Police Station. In addition, police charged him with harm upon Cholom and resisting lawful arrest from Cholom, while in the execution of his duties.


Two Very Funky Businesses in Hopkins, Belize Producing Great Stuff
Hopkins, on the southern coast of Belize, has a feel all it’s own. The landscape is beautiful…beach to mountains. And the village proper is tiny, friendly and colorful. (You can look at many of my pictures here.) I really enjoyed my four nights in Hopkins and was busy the whole time. There are PLENTY of tours to keep you more than busy but I found that just a slow walk or lazy bike ride through town was interesting too. I met some very cool people, both transplants and locals, who are starting small businesses, making a little bit of money and just doing their own thing. The first is Caitlin’s bakery. Caitlin is a American expat turned local who has been in Belize for over 15 years…since her college days. She owns a small piece of land back by the school in the center of town. Look for her handpainted signs…

“Just Can’t Get Enough” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye,Belize.
In Sunday’s edition I tried to provide you with a flavour of what Mérida Centro is like at the weekend and especially on a Sunday. Hopefully – even though I forgot ((have mentioned repeatedly (well I think I have!) that advancing age may be getting the better of me))to crop a fair number of the photos – I managed to give you a reasonable insight as to what a fun place it is for people that live there and tourists alike. In today’s edition, the last in this scintillating (who do I think I am kidding) series, I primarily focus on the trip that Rose and I made to Chitchen Itza on our penultimate day. During our travels around Central America Rose and I have visited quite a few Mayan sites and although there are (quite obviously I suppose) distinct similarities there is always something different to see and be amazed by. And I’ll never cease to be impressed by how clever and ‘ahead of their time’ they were. I could fill up a fair amount of space and ‘pad’ this edition out with Interesting facts (for some of you anyway) about the Maya and specifically those that constructed and lived at Chitchen Itza but I’m not going to. There’s loads of interesting facts about the people and the archeological site by just clicking on the links I have provided (I’ve only provided two but there are many, each with interesting information). Instead I am going to have a relatively easy time with this edition and let the photos ‘do the work’ (I deserve it, I’ve ‘knocked out’ so many editions in the last few days it’s been like being at work. I mean it’s not as if I’m doing this for a living!).

Guatemalans Illegaly Entering Belize
The situation on the Belize Guatemala border has become very dangerous and threatens the national security of Belize. The “authorities” informed local media house that there was only one truck that passed to Guatemala and it did not open fire on the SAT check point but was fired on by Guatemala military. Our further investigations have revealed that this claim by “Belize Authorities” is false. Eye witnesses to the event state clearly that there were two vehicles that approached the SAT checkpoint at the border. The occupants of the first truck disembarked and fired over the heads of the SAT officers and then both trucks crashed the checkpoint. The Guatemala military base is on the west side of the bridge at least 100 yards from the SAT check. The Guatemala military was alerted to the forced entry and were able to get off only a few rounds as the trucks sped by. The trucks did not fire on the military but did fire at SAT as they forced across the border. Following this the Guatemalans formed an armed detail who proceeded to the entry of the Benque Viejo Free Zone where they demanded the guards on duty produce the documentation for the two trucks that had just crossed. The guard had no paperwork or records of any kind. The armed Guatemalan detail proceeded into the Free Zone which is Belize territory and started to make their way down the road looking for the source of the contraband. It was at this point that Supt. Thompson arrived on the scene and the armed Guatemala detail agreed to leave Belize territory. This was by any definition an invasion of Belize by armed Guatemalan detail even though the Guatemalans appear to have right on their side. Let those who do not believe that this government sanctioned contraband is a treat to our sovereignty should take note. On 29 March the Guatemala government intercepted a load of cigarettes leaving Melchor for the interior. This shipment was of approximately 3 Million cigarettes. Last year Mexico busted around 200 Million cigarettes all from the Belize Free Zones.

Best Beach Resort for 2014
Outside Magazine just named South Water Caye, Belize the best beach in 2014 and Pelican Beach Resort the best place to stay while you're there. From the Belizean styled wooden cottages to the breathtaking views, Pelican Beach Resort on South Water Caye is a the perfect spot for everyone looking to escape the chaotic city life and go wild on their Belize beach and active adventure. Find peace and tranquility surrounded by the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Families love the safe sheltered beach for swimming, where kids can even have their first snorkeling experiences. Adult travelers love this piece of paradise because of the flexibility to either join a guided excursion or just get kayaks and snorkeling equipment and ‘get lost’ on a short adventure. Not to mention this is the perfect place for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Don't just take my word and Outside Magazine's word, check out what resent travelers have shared with us: "We loved the Pelican Beach Resort. Being right in the middle of the ocean is magical. It was clean and comfortable. We had an eagles nest platform right above our room and the stargazing was incredible. We watched both sunrises and sunsets on the beach. The snorkeling was superb and we could do it right from the beach at the resort. All the people there are great and really took care of me. I asked to meet the two women who cooked for us because they did such a wonderful job for me. Every place in which the food was prepared, especially at Pelican Beach Resort the managers, servers, and chefs knew what my restrictions were and were careful that what I was served was correct for me. I give it a 10!" - Tina Straley and Joy Reed, March 2014

What Expats moving to Belize need to know
There are many reasons why Expats choose to move to Belize. Its warm climate, diverse cultures and the overall relaxed lifestyle of the country are just a few of the reasons. Moving to Belize, however raises several questions for expats and the whole process appears daunting especially when you may not know what to expect when it relates to the health care system, the education system, cost of living and other aspects of your new life in Belize. Here, we will provide you with a guide that we believe all expats moving to Belize should know. Healthcare in Belize Belize has a relatively well established medical care system both at the private and public sector level. In Belize, there are hospitals or poly clinics in every major city and town in the country with eight public hospitals and approximately 70 public health facilities that you can have access to. Anyone can attend these clinics or hospitals. Having medical insurance is recommended but not mandatory, for expats that are moving to Belize to gain access to healthcare.

Suspicious Activities in Belize’s Western Border Area
For months reports have been pouring in of suspected illicit activities near Belize’s western border with Guatemala. Strong allegations have implicated even Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras and his senior person at the Benque Viejo Free Zone, Alfred Satler. According to sources the two along with others have colluded in the smuggling of contraband in and out of Belize. NBZLive was recently contacted with reports that children are being used as mules to ferry contraband cigarettes into Guatemala. The rationale for all this is still unknown however there have been reports in the media of busts in the area of illicit cargo either destined for Guatemala or for the free zones in Belize. A recent activity was captured on video by an alert observer.

International Sources

Off the Eaten Path: Expect the unexpected
Anita Martinez fished through the refrigerator, pulling out a plastic container. She popped off the lid and took a whiff of the peppery, deep red paste. “That smell,” she said of her annatto paste. “I grind this myself — every week.” Martinez grinds it the old-fashioned way, as she did in her native Belize; with a hand-cranked grinder that crushes the corn-like nibs against a stone. She mixes in her secret blend of spices and a little water to get that thick, buttery consistency. Hand-ground annatto paste might be the last thing you’d expect at a restaurant called The Gathering Place. But nothing about this funky little breakfast-lunch spot is expected. “You get hints of her flavor throughout our menu,” co-owner Tony Clark said, “in the chicken salad and in the Cordon Bleu sandwich. She’s our secret ingredient.” Clark opened The Gathering Place in February with partner Shawn Leiva, Martinez’s son. The restaurant is hidden away in the guts of the Beacon Executive Suites, a nursing-home-turned-business-park sandwiched between Beacon Boulevard and U.S. 41 in south Fort Myers. Clark and Leiva originally envisioned a Belizean food truck. But when this out-of-the-way café — the space used to be a nursing station — opened up they saw an opportunity. Clark spent his life in restaurants, cooking and serving and bartending. Leiva grew up at his mother’s side, making food of all kinds from scratch.

Exploring Belize with the Moon Travel Book as Your Guide
Moon Travel Book Belize - Travel writer, photographer, and Belize expert Lily Girma knows the best ways to experience Belize. Packed with information on dining, transportation, and accommodations, Moon Belize gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience. Listen to the interview below or download it from the link;

LISTEN: Pitbull & Jennifer Lopez Debut "We Are One (Ola Ola)" For Brazil World Cup!
Pitbull released the 2014 FIFA World Cup official song... and it's hot, hot, hot! The Cuban-American rapper dropped "We Are One (Ola Ola)" on Tuesday, two months ahead of the Brazilian games. The anthem, which features Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, will be performed by the Latin trio during the soccer tournament's opening ceremony on June 12 in Sao Paulo, the Huffington Post reports. Pitbull tweeted an iTunes link to the track and posted the song to his official YouTube account. Listen to the song! Do you love it?

April 8, 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

SPHS volleyball and basketball teams to travel to North Carolina
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) volleyball and basketball teams are holding a series of fundraising events to raise money to travel to Jacksonville, North Carolina, USA. The trip will enable the students’ participation in a sports exchange program with Northside High School which will be held from April 16 to 25, 2014. A total of 25 students will be travelling and the estimated cost for travel expenses is $10,000. On Friday, April 4th the students and teachers of SPHS held a radio-thon and dollar-drive in front of Reef Radio on Pescador Drive. The Radio-thon brought in an estimated $4,000.

Message on World Health Day
world-health-day-2013Every year more than one million people die from diseases carried by mosquitoes, flies, ticks and other insects, such as triatomine bugs. These vector-borne diseases – which include malaria, dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis – cause chronic illness and immense suffering for hundreds of millions more. Climate change, altered habitats and increased international trade and travel are exposing more people to the vectors that transmit these diseases. They present a risk in all regions, including countries where the threat had formerly been eradicated, but the most affected are the world’s poorest people, especially those who live in remote rural communities far from health services or in urban shanty towns. By profoundly affecting people’s health, vector-borne diseases are a serious impediment to poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Saga Humane Society presents 2013 Annual Report
Since 1999, Saga Humane Society has been assisting Ambergris Caye with the abuse, neglect and overpopulation of island pets. Throughout 2013, Saga implemented several projects aimed at reducing strays and unwanted pets on the island. These projects included Operation SNIP (spay and neuter campaign) and mobile clinics to provide vaccinations to pets whose owners are unable to take them to the clinic. Saga reports that 170 dogs were taken off the streets and into the shelter in 2013, a 5% decrease as compared to 2012. Out of 170 dogs picked up, 32 were returned to their owners. Unfortunately, Saga reported a 2% increase in euthanization, as 101 of the dogs that were roundup had to be humanely put down, due to age and other medical reasons. Owner surrenders also saw a decrease as only 266 pets were given up to Saga, out of which 178 were euthanized. Sadly, adoption figures were also down, with only 108 animals adopted into new homes. This 36% decrease in adoptions is believed to be a result of the buying and importing of full breed animals.

Lazy Croc – Southern style food, BBQ, and PLENTY of it!
I think it’s safe to say that barbeque is a staple around here. There’s just something about grilled and smoky meats that has us licking our chops! One place that offers a taste like no other is Lazy Croc BBQ Smokehouse. I might even be so bold to as to say it is one of the best on the island- especially when it comes to good ole Southern style BBQ! Located just a couple miles north of the bridge, Lazy Croc serves up some true, finger-licking smoked dishes: baby back pork ribs, BBQ chicken, smoked fried chicken (yes, I said smoked), and plenty more. As a matter of fact, my mouth is watering just thinking about all the yummy goodness. Owner Christiano has really added to Lazy Croc’s menu, and its location! With two wooden patios overlooking one of the island’s many salt water lagoons, which is also home to Jaws the resident crocodile, Lazy Croc is the perfect place for both a great meal and sightseeing. Unfortunately, my partner in crime, Monique, and I didn’t get to see the croc Jaws; regulars say he’s a bit shy with newcomers. Nevertheless, we got our wildlife fix spotting several green iguanas and various birds; however don’t bother asking me the names because I’m not a birder like some people (side-eyes the boss). We enjoyed the atmosphere and the sightseeing from the comfort of our reserved seating on the “Huckleberry Ferry.” Yes, the Huckleberry Ferry – I swear that’s what it’s really called! It’s a picnic table set atop a floating platform that takes customers on a smooth ride from one end of the lagoon to the other, all while they enjoy their meal and take in the scenery. Very idyllic and indeed, unique and fun.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Touch the Horizon in Belize
Nothing short of spectacular sunset viewings in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize where you can touch the horizon. Sit on the shore line as the waves creep up to your feet or step into the water and head for the horizon. Enjoy these and many more amazing sunsets that can only be found in Belize. - picture by Gerry Badillo

Oceana and Maya Community Win One Against Oil Drilling in Belize
SATIIM and Indigenous Mayan Communities Supreme Court Victory is a Victory for all Belizeans - The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Oceana in Belize salute the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) for its ongoing efforts to have the indigenous rights of the Maya of Southern Belize respected. Madam Justice Michelle Arana's historic ruling on April 3rd 2014 affirmed those rights when the Supreme Court found that while the Government of Belize has the right to issue permits to explore for oil and even drill, they must consult with the members of the affected indigenous communities to determine what activities can happen on their lands as well as the forms of compensation to follow. The lesson all Belizeans should take away from this issue is that we all have the inherent right to be part of a consultative and participatory process in the management of our resources - especially when political policies have the potential to cause irrevocable damage.

University of Belize Sports Delegation Heads to Central American Games
On Friday, April 4, 2014 a contingent of more than 80 persons—including athletes and coaches—will represent the University of Belize (UB) and the jewel in the V Juegos Deportivos Universitarios Centroamericanos (JUDUCA V)—translated in English (The Sport Games of Central American Universities 5). "Brotherhood, Solidarity and Integration" is the theme for this fifth edition of JUDUCA scheduled from April 07 – April 12, 2014 in Managua, Nicaragua. The delegation from UB will join counterparts from 21 other Central American universities to compete in the disciplines of chess, soccer/football, basketball, track and field, futsal, table tennis, swimming, karate, and volleyball. In 2012 at JUDUCA IV held in Guatemala City, Guatemala, UB Black Jaguars team won gold for male basketball and two bronze medals for track and field. Irice Reyes finished third in the female long jump (4.95 m) and Mark Anderson also finished third in the Male 200 m clocking 11:01 seconds. In basketball, UB Black Jaguars defeated University de San Carlos de Guatemala to take the gold with an undefeated record after overpowering Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. UB Black Jaguars finished fourth in male volleyball and soccer/football.

Easter's Traditional Religious Celebrations in San Pedro
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is the place to be for Easter Break, the mainland folk flock to the island and the tourists come to enjoy their spring break. Nothing like spending some great time on the beach, soaking up some sun, sipping on cool cocktails partying on endless night…but one aspect of Easter in San Pedro goes pretty much unnoticed by the masses. Amongst all the chaos of parties there is also the religious celebrations that take place during Easter. The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church is responsible for conducting a Lenten Schedule every year. The staff of Ambergris Today took turns in participating on the highlights of the schedule and discovered the rich and traditional celebrations of the Catholic Church for Easter.

Misc Belizean Sources

FISHING REPORT: Week of March 30th– April 6th, 2014
The Fly Shop of Redding brought a great group of anglers down this week that made our lodge an even better place to live and work. My heartfelt thanks to Kara (of The Fly Shop in Redding CA) for her undying enthusiasm for our sport that made all of us here at El Pescador a little happier each day..

Students who drowned have been laid to rest
The two high school students from Corozal who drowned in the Macal River on Friday afternoon have been laid to rest. They have been identified as 15 year old Anahi Zepeda and 16 year old Edgar Puck, both Fourth Form students of the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman village, Corozal. Zepeda and Puck were with classmates on a field trip that earlier in the day had visited the Che Chem Ha Caves. On the return journey, police say that a teacher told them that they stopped so that the students could wash themselves in the river near the low-lying wooden bridge. While in the river, police say Anahi Zepeda was dragged down by the currents. Seeing that she was in trouble Edgar Puck reportedly tried to assist Zepeda when they both went under the water and did not resurface.

Guatemalan man drowns in the Belize River
The body of Guatemalan man has been retrieved from the Belize River in Santa Familia village, Cayo. The victim has been identified as 33 year old Francisco Martin Juan who is from Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Police say that Juan’s uncle Jose Miguel Gaspar, also from Huehuetenanco, Guatemala, reported to them that around 12:30 on Sunday afternoon, he and his nephew went to the river to swim. Gaspar told police that at the time he entered the water Francisco Juan was “highly under the influence of alcohol.” The police report says that as Juan was attempting to swim across the river, the current pulled him under and he did not resurface.

Fire guts house in Santa Elena Town
A late Sunday night fire in Santa Elena town, Cayo, has left at least two people homeless. Just before 11 o’clock last night, fire officials were called to a house on Carrillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena town where a two storey building was engulfed in flames. Preliminary reports indicate that Evelyn Estelle was asleep in the lower flat of the building, made of concrete, when she smelled smoke. When Estelle went to investigate, that was when she found out that the building was on fire. The upper part of the building, which was made of wood, was being occupied at 82 year old Augustine Martinez.

Residents accuse San Ignacio police of abusive behavior
A group of women is expected to be charged in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today following a melee at an event over the weekend. A scuffle broke out among patrons of the event which was taking place at the Macal River Park but the police is taking heat for the way officers handled the situation. As a third-party video – which is used with permission – shows, police officers pushed a handcuffed man into the pan of a pickup truck. He had apparently been detained. An officer then got into a verbal exchange with another man who was concerned for the way the man was being handled.So far there haas not been any response from the Police Department pertaining to accusations of excessive force being used by the officers in apprehending the man who was taken away from the scene in the back of the vehicle.

Toledo farmers discuss food security
The Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, IICA, is facilitating a discussion in Toledo on the issue of family farming and how it can contribute to Food Security. Farmers from different communities are taking part in the discussion which is looking at the topic of “the role of family farming in food security.” The forum is being moderated by IICA’s country representative Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, with inputs from the Chief Agriculture Officer Roberto Harrison. Organizers of the discussion are hoping that through networking, farmers in the Toledo district will come to realize that they can contribute effectively to food security. Coming out of the discussion were ideas on how the individuals and their families can become self-sustainable and by extension, help in the development of their communities.

Orquidea Negra with BNDC and Friends
The Orquidea Negra Dance Company represented Cayo by performing at the Bliss Centre with the Belize National Dance Company in their 'BNDC and Friends' production this weekend. Awesome photographer Will Moreno was there, and he got some amazing shots. Well done, BNDC and Orquidea Negra! "We are proud of all the wonderful performers who graced the Bliss Stage last night and tonight for 'BNDC & FRIENDS' Dance and Music/Dance Concerts. You were all amazing! and THANK YOU!"

UB's Evening of the Arts
The University of Belize is having their very first Evening of the Arts tonight, Tuesday, April 8th. They'll have art from the famous Carolyn Carr, and also Valerie Penner, an up-and-coming artist, who did an exhibition at the Soul Project recently. The event will also have music and poetry from the talented UB family. "The upcoming Evening of the Arts, which will take place on April 8th from 5 to 7 p.m., will feature the works of two visual artists: Valerie Penner, an Associate's degree student here at UB whose work is presently on display at the Bliss, and Carolyn Carr, a well-known, very accomplished Belizean artist. The evening's line-up will also include about a dozen sensationally gifted vocalists, pianists and poets who are students, faculty, and esteemed friends of UB. The event is free of charge, so bring your family and friends, and let's make it a lovely, fun-filled evening."

$29 million of marijuana destroyed in Joint Task Force-Bravo supported marijuana eradication operation in Belize
Joint Task Force-Bravo and the U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan partnered with Belizean military and police forces in a highly successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize, March 15-20, 2014. The operation resulted in the Belizean government destroying 34 marijuana fields and approximately 57,283 mature marijuana plants for an initial estimated value of USD $29 million. In addition, the team also found and destroyed 25 pounds of marijuana seeds. Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and caving ladder training for 52 Belizean personnel who participated in the operation.

Face of Defense: Marine Connects Using Sign Language
Hands wave through the air in an organized fashion, and children follow the movements as they enjoy the children's story "A Day at the Farm." Marine Corps Cpl. Parnell Sararana put his Universal Sign Language skills to use here April 4 as he translated while Air Force Staff Sgt. Jon Espinoza read aloud at the Stella Maris School Belize Academy for the Deaf. Sararana is deployed from the 1st Civil Affairs Group at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in support of New Horizons Belize 2014, an exercise in which U.S. service members train with Belizean professionals in engineering and medical care. The civil affairs role in the exercise is to engage with the local population, as well as government and nongovernment organizations, to facilitate the best possible environment to build educational and health facilities and provide medical, dental and veterinarian care throughout the country.

Millions of dollars worth of marijuana goes up in smoke
The United States department of defence is reporting that a joint military operation involving Belize Defence Force soldiers and Belize police has resulted in the destruction of twenty nine million dollars worth of marijuana. The operation was carried out during the week of March 15 to March 20. According to a news report compiled by Captain Steven Stubbs and published on the department of defence website, a total of “34 marijuana fields and approximately 57,283 mature marijuana plants” were destroyed. The exercise was carried out by Joint Task Force-Bravo and the U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan in partnership with Belizean military and police. According to the online story “Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and caving ladder tr

World Health Day celebrated
Today is World Health Day and the focus is on control of vector-born diseases; that is, diseases caused by insects such as mosquitoes that carry deadly viruses and bacteria. Common examples include dengue fever and malaria. A formal ceremony was held in Belize City and we spoke with CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, who reports that the Ministry has made great strides in certain areas, reducing the number of malaria cases in Belize to 26 last year, as well as a consistent spraying and eradication program. He notes that there is still much work to do to completely eliminate diseases like these and reminds Belizeans to get rid of possible breeding sites for mosquitoes and insects carrying malaria and dengue fever. Following the ceremony there was an informational health fair.

Man shot near bar in Ladyville
An altercation inside the Blue House Bar on the Philip Goldson Highway, a stone’s throw from the police station, early on Saturday morning led to injuries for two men. Dennis Burke, 47, apparently got into an altercation with one Edwin Perez and both had to be escorted out. They continued to brawl and Perez’s brother, Oscar Perez, a construction worker of Airport Road, intervened. He, it is alleged, pulled out a folded five-inch pocket knife and stabbed Burke in the chest. Burke retaliated by shooting Oscar Perez with his licensed 9mm handgun in the abdomen. Both men were treated at the BDF hospital at Price Barracks before being transported to the KHMH.

Hattieville youth stabbed during fight
Promising youth athlete Richard Waight Jr of Hattieville died this weekend after being stabbed in the chest in a late-night melee on the basketball court next to the police station. Two men, an adult and a minor, have been detained as part of the police’s investigations. A second teenager, aged 16, was also stabbed during the assault. Police report that a fight had broken out on the court between two Hattieville teenagers and an older man was trying to part it. That man was then assaulted and this was when the teenagers were wounded.

Corozal families say sad goodbye to fallen students
Two promising lives were cut short on Friday afternoon when two fourth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico drowned in the Macal River. 16 year old Edgar Puck a resident of Patchakan village and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin were scheduled to graduate in a few months time. But instead on Sunday, their families were bidding sad goodbyes as they were laid to rest in their respective villages on Sunday. Puck was to have been the valedictorian at his graduation, while Zepeda, an honor roll student herself, would have taken her place among the graduates; but instead their bright smiles will be missing from the class of 2014 graduation.

Armed robbery in Corozal town; police investigate
A broad daylight robbery in the Santa Rita Area of Corozal Town this afternoon has left police searching for three suspects. Around 4 o’clock this afternoon the proprietor of Jing Jing Store reported to police that three men entered the store, one armed with what appeared to the a fire arm. Fearing for her life the proprietor says she handed over an undisclosed amount of money. According to reports one of the customers who was inside the store at the time of the holdup was pistol-whipped by the assailants. Police have processed the crime scene and continue investigate the armed robbery.

Disturbed, Disappointed
I am Kenny Jacobs, Executive Director of Teens Belize Organization and television host of Developing Toledo TV Show aired on PGTV. First of all, our education system needs to change its ways of teaching. Students are enrolled in an institution and are fed with materials daily, all of which, I agree, is important to their learning. The question remains, are they being taught to graduate and look for a job? Or are they being taught to construct their own business after graduation? Every year there are thousands of graduates from high schools and tertiary institutions countrywide who are unable to move on, due to financial and/or other constraints. These students have been taught by our education system to seek employment at a company/business after graduation. We cannot allow our system to continue doing this. Our students deserve an utmost challenge from primary school or high school to be bred with the relevant knowledge and skills to start their own business, once they graduate.

Businessman released from drug trafficking charge
The difference between cannabis and hemp proved vital to a San Ignacio businessman who walked away today from charges of drug trafficking and importation of a controlled substance. 49 year old naturalized Belizean John Daniel Downard, who is director of a company called Vortech which is researching the potential of pulverizing hemp seed, was busted with 460 grams of hemp seed in his luggage at the Philip Goldson International Airport last December. The item was declared but investigators pressed charges even after tests run locally came back negative for cannabis resin. Hemp seeds are not banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act and thus, according to attorney and former Magistrate Rachel Montejo-Juan, the prosecution had not proved that Downard was trafficking or importing a controlled substance, which cannabis is. Magistrate Leslie Hamilton agreed that Downard had no case to answer and dismissed the charge.

High hopes for good 2014 PSE performance
Teachers across the country are holding out high hopes for their students to do well on the first part of the Primary School Examination which was administered today. Students wrote papers in Language Arts and Science. Thousands of Standard 6 boys and girls across the country took the PSE today. In Toledo, there were three testing centers; namely Toledo Community College where 266 students sat the PSE; Corazon Creek High School where 338 students took the PSE and Julian Cho Technical High School where 97 students sat the PSE. Dr. Carmen Lopez who works with the Ministry of Education in Punta Gorda town says that no matter what the outcome, the Ministry will continue to work hard with teachers, students and parents in providing quality education for the children. “I believe we have done out part and it is now for the students to show us that yes indeed we have done an effective job,” says Dr. Lopez.

Clayton Williams - Bibagari
Musical interlude. Clayton Williams, a promising Garifuna musician, has released Bibagari, proving yet again that Belize has some of the best music in the hemisphere. Clayton's Canadian tour with the Lebeha Drummers last year has inspired him to create some really touching music. Thanks for the music, Mr. Williams! He has a behind the scenes video on Youtube. "Here is my new single Bibagari (your life) written by me and produced by Juni Mar. I like to apologize to everyone for the delay releasing the song but its here now,tell me what you think, like it and most of all don't forget to share. The song is also available to download on Soundcloud.

Purchasing Belize Real Estate
Purchasing Belize real estate is very simple and extremely secure. The extensive documents that are common with a property purchase in the USA, Canada and/ or Europe are thankfully not part of the buying process here. There are no barriers to foreign investment and, as a member of the British Commonwealth, Belize has a legal system based on British law and is the only English speaking country in Central America. Understanding your documents will be much easier than in other countries in Central America. Title is fee simple absolute title so is extremely secure. Title insurance is available yet rarely utilized. Foreigners have the same property rights in Belize, as do local citizens. Foreigners can own beachfront property in Belize. In addition, Belize has no capital gains or inheritance taxes and a growing private offshore banking sector. Corporate income taxes are also quite low and can be as low as 1.75% of gross sales! Property taxes are extremely low (normally below $US 100 annually) so holding costs are very low.

Lincoln Jones, renowned minister in Belize, dies at 56
Lincoln Jones, a renowned evangelist among Churches of Christ in the Central American nation of Belize, died April 3 after suffering an apparent stroke. He was 56. Jones was baptizing new souls into Christ as recently as March 23, according to members of the Burrell Boom Church of Christ, who posted photos of the event on the congregation's Facebook page. "He was such a pillar in the church in Belize," said Barbara Kee, a longtime friend of Jones who served, along with her husband, Windle, as a missionary in the African nation of Cameroon. The Kees, who now live in Texas, made regular mission trips to Belize, a nation of 324,000 souls south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. The couple worked alongside Belizean ministers — including Jones and Andrew "Tex" Nunez — and U.S. missionary Bill Amason, who died in 2011.

SATIIM And Indigenous Peoples - Another Legal Victory
SATIIM, the foremost environmental and human right organization in Belize along with four indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya communities have achieved another monumental legal victory yesterday. The Belize Supreme Court Justice, The Honourable Michelle Arana declared: That the decision of the Government of Belize to allow oil drilling and road construction in the National Park is irrational and Wednesbury unreasonable, that decision having been made without the free prior and informed consent of the indigenous Maya communities; That the decision of the Government of Belize to allow oil drilling and road construction in the National Park is in breach of the legitimate expectation of the indigenous Maya Peoples, that the Government of Belize would comply with their obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to respect the rights of Indigenous Maya Peoples to their lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired; ORDER directing the Government of Belize to obtain free, prior and informed consent from the indigenous Maya peoples with respect to any contract permit or licence that falls within the National Park.

Corozal Family Fun Day
Youths from San Pablo Presbyterian "Emmanuel" Church will be hosting this activity. Kite Flying, Games and Music for the entire family!! April 26th at 2:00 P.M.

Corozal Drowning
On April 4th, two fourth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM) tragically drowned while on a field trip to the Cayo District. Today was a sad day for the family of the late Anahi Zepeda as she was laid to rest on Sunday April 6th with special honours from her alma-mater. Thanks for supporting the ESTM Family on a difficult day! Photo shared by Modesto Cano.

Video: Belize City Tourist Guide
5min. I make a short video in Belize City about why I believe it is worth seeing when one visits Belize. It represents a country in the infancy of independence and all that is good and bad in these early stages.

Channel 7

Croc Kills Man In Ladyville
A man was killed by a crocodile today in the Ladyville/Lords' Bank area. It happened on a large private property known as the Green Estate. Reports are sketchy but we do know that the body of a Hispanic man was found near a pond all the way to the back in the area - and there were signs that a crocodile had killed him. It happened on a private property called Green Estate. The unidentified man's body was found near a large drain which feeds into the river that runs along the property. Police say he had markings and indentations on his body - but it will be up to the forensic examiner to determine if a crocodile killed him. Police got the call at around 3:00 pm -from someone who heard him screaming. There is also an eyewitness account form a minor who reportedly partially witnessed the croc attack but is too traumatized to speak with police at this time.

2 Students Die, When School Trip Turns Into A Swimming Trip
On Friday we told you about the two high school students from Corozal who drowned on a class trip to Cayo. Fourth former 17 year old Edgar Puck would have been his school's valedictorian - but when he saw his 16 year old classmate Anahi Zepeda get under by the Macal's currents, he had to save her. He couldn't and they both drowned. It is tragedy beyond words for their family and school community, and there is also rage because the students should not have been swimming. Today we went north to San Roman, Corozal find out about a class trip gone terribly wrong: Daniel Ortiz reporting The entire faculty, staff and student body of Escuela Secondaria Technica Mexico joined the families of 17 year-old Edgar Puck and 16 year-old Anahi Zepeda in their continued mourning. Jahmoor Lopez - Representative, Ministry of Education "We continue to mourn. As a school community we ask the nation to keep us in their prayers, to keep the family of these young persons and very promising Corozalenos and Belizeans - to keep them in their prayers and that's what we are asking for. Certainly we are doing an investigation."

Stabbed To Death By A Grown Man; He was Only 17
And our next story is about another teenager's death - but this 17 year old didn't drown; he was killed. Richard Waight Jr., a resident of Hattieville lost his life in a village brawl on Friday. It started out a fight between boys, but things escalated when one of the parties went for an older man to settle the beef, not with conflict resolution, but with a blade. He stabbed two teenagers, leaving one critical and another dead. We visited the grieving family today:... Jules Vasquez reporting Today Richard Waight Sr. thumbed through his son's certificates; Richard Jr had been an exceptional football player - but now all that was gone. Richard Waight Sr. "I found my son dying Jules." Richard Waight Jr. was stabbed in a fight that broke out here on the village basketball court near to the village police station - seen in the background in yellow. An older man stabbed him and a 16 year old friend. The stab was to Waight's chest. He fell on the grass and bled profusely.

Police Recover 3 Guns from the Street; One May Have Been Stolen From The Department
Belize City Police have taken three weapons off the street since Friday. This one - a 38 pistol - was found by Precinct 3 police on Usher Street Saturday. It was concealed under an abandoned pick up truck and carried 6 live rounds. Precinct two police found two guns as well, a 38 pistol and a nine mm pistol. 7News has confirmed from multiple sources that the 9 mm is being investigated as the possible murder weapon in last Thursday's murder on Central American Boulevard where 18 year old Anfernee Romero was killed. A very disturbing twist on this story, is that police are looking at the likelihood that this 9 millimeter pistol was stolen form the police department. The theft, investigators believe was carried out by a police officer who sold the weapon unto the streets. IT could be related to the theft of the trove of weapons from the house of culture, where four 9 mm pistols - and plenty of ammunition were stolen.

Fishermen In South Found With Shark Fin For Guatemala
On Friday March 24th Fisheries and TIDE Rangers had to play sea sleuths with a boat carrying a large amount of salted shark meat and dried shark fins - likely designated for illegal export to Guatemala. First, they had to team up to catch the vessel which tried to escape from the Port Honduras Marine Reserve Rangers. Then after they detained the vessel and its two crew, and were escorting them back to Punta Gorda, they escaped again, this time under the cover of night. The rangers searched all along the coast, but found nothing. It wasn't until the next morning when a good Samaritan called TIDE and reported that two fishermen had requested his assistance in exporting salted marine products to Guatemala. With that, an arrest was finally made on the morning of Saturday March 22nd. The fishermen, Jose A. Chulin of Ranchito in the Corozal District and Lineker Ortega of Temash River in the Toledo District were charged with shark finning, possession of a gill net longer than 100 metres, and attempting to export fish without an exporters license.

More Rosewood Smuggling Revealed
And the resource rich Toledo is also still being stripped of its rosewood. On Sunday our colleagues at PGTV responded to a call that someone was hauling rosewood from the Trio area and taking it to a secret location in Bella Vista Village which is at the northern boundary of Toledo. PGTV followed the info and found all this freshly cut and unstamped Rosewood, about seven thousand board feet stowed away at the PG entrance to Bella Vista village, deposited about half mile off the road. Wil Maheia says he gave the information to the Forest officer at Savannah Forest Station, but today the Chief Forest Officer reports that they only found a single individual in a pickup carrying ten pieces of Rosewood totaling about 160 board feet. That is going to court later this month, but Forestry says that's not the end of it. Chief Forest Officer Sabido tells us via text, quote, "we recognize that there is a lot of rosewood in farms in that area, (which) we are going to systematically start confiscating later this week." Maheia says if they had moved on this haul they could have confiscated it all.

After X Week
13 year old Ishmael Flores is the little boy who was knocked down in a hit and run incident just outside of Burrell Boom Village 6 weeks ago. He was knocked off his bicycle in the Buttercup area on February 23th - while returning from his aunt. After spending a week and a half in a coma at the KHMH, he succumbed to his injuries. Three weeks after his death, and still no one has been arrested and charged. His family believes the police are dragging their feet in the investigation. Octavia Lucario, mother of Earl Flores "From last night I told my gentleman that I am going to Channel 7 to make a report because I am tired of this. The police are pushing us around and we want justice, I am tired of it. Up to this moment we are not hearing anything. They told us that they will give us a call and we are not getting any calls or anything." Monica Bodden "You mentioned to me earlier that blood samples were taken?" Octavia Lucario, mother of Earl Flores "Yes." Monica Bodden "Explain that to us because we understand that a vehicle is at the police station that is supposedly the vehicle that hit your son."

Man In Accident Says They Crashed Into Him
Last week we told you about the head on collision involving two Belizean drivers and two tourists. It happened at mile 3 on the Western Highway where a new pedestrian cross walk has been installed. Well today, one of the drivers told us that the cross walk is what led to the crash where he was the victim. Edmond Carter was driving his Toyota Previa says when a Mazda Protege crashed into him: Edmond Carter, contractor "I reach the pedestrian crossing and I came to a stop and then the gold vehicle, the guy says that his foot got stuck on the accelerator and the brake. What happen is that there was a vehicle in front that had passed and then he came from behind that vehicle and swerve into my lane. Now I am heading up to Belmopan and he was heading to town and the impact from his vehicle spins my van into the direction of Belize City."

Hon. King Says Squatters Need To Move
All last week we showed you those squatters on the area known as Lake Independence Boulevard - which will lead to the new bridge cross from Belama into Lake Independence. There are 6 families and they are playing the sympathy card to the max by begging government to find somewhere to put them. That falls to area representative Mark King. We'd been trying to reach him all last week and he agreed to an interview today. He explained that asking for land in Lake I is asking to get into a long line:... Hon. Mark King "They concur with the government. They moved, we got the contractor to assist them to move whatever - their houses are very small and so we believe we can move them. But at the end of the day they can't force us to just find a piece of land and give it to them. I have to wait for that information to come in to know where there is land and a sub-division is being done. Again if that information comes in and there is no land available then I simply can't give it to them. I would apply for them at the Lands Department just like regular folks that I apply for."

Blue House Bru Haha Leaves One Man Shot
On Saturday morning at 1:55a.m, there was as shooting and stabbing in front of Blue House Bar in Ladyville Village. 47-year-old Dennis Burke from Vista del Mar was stabbed to the right upper chest and was lying on the side of the highway along with 31-year-old Oscar Perez a construction worker of Airport Road, with a gunshot wound. Police say Burke was inside Blue House Bar when he got into a fight with Edwin Perez. They were thrown out, and Perez's brother Oscar intervened and reportedly stabbed Dennis Burke to his chest. Burke then took out his licensed 9 mm Luger brand Pistol and fired one single shot at Oscar Perez which caught him in the Abdomen. Both men were rushed to the BDF hospital, but police say the Blue House Bar and its environs are a source of recurrent problems:.. Supt. Chris Noble, Regional Executive Office "The incidents occurred outside of the establishment. Far and few between is that the incidents occur inside. However inebriated these persons might be or amped up on whatever they do inside there, it spills over into one; a major highway and trying to avoid it we made attempts to communicate this to several agencies to see what they can do. The establishment has limited parking, it is on a major highway, it prolongs into the wee hours of the morning where people would want to get in or out of the city for work purposes. It is a wonder that we have not dealt with the loss of life and hopefully other entities that are involve will see it our way and assist us in looking at it in another way that we don't have loss of life."

Hon. Alamilla Talks About Harvest Caye
Last Wednesday, we told you about scolding 3-page letter which the Belize Tourism Industry Association wrote to NEAC Chair Martin Allegria demanding that the body rescinds its decision to approve NCL's Harvest Caye Project. That 3-page letter outlined what the BTIA believes to be oversight or ignorance of the environmental laws. But, is it being taken seriously? That's what we asked Lisel Alamilla, the Minister in charge of Environment, this weekend at another event, and here's how she responded: Hon. Lisel Alamilla "On Friday the ministry met and reviewed the environmental compliance plan for the Harvest Caye development and so they have gotten clearance from NEAC and we are just now developing the easy peak." Daniel Ortiz

All The Cycling Hopefuls Head For Mount Hope
The Holy Saturday Cross Country classic is only 12 days away - and this weekend, the Belize cycling Association held a crucial warm up event. It's a race from Belize City to the feared Mount Hope and back. 7News followed along and witnessed who could stand up to the test on the road:... The next event is the 86th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic.

Wondering About World Health Day?
Today was celebrated as World Health Day under the theme Small Bites, Big threats. Protect yourself and your environment from vector borne diseases. An official ceremony to mark the day in Belize was held this morning at the Lions Club Parking Lot, in Belize City. Dr Peter Allen explained:..

Channel 5

Crocodile kills a man in Lord’s Bank
A crocodile reportedly killed a Lord’s Bank resident this afternoon. Police are processing the scene and not providing details at this time, but sources tell us the grisly death occurred [...]

17 year old stabbed to the chest in Hattieville and dies in his father’s arms
A senseless murder on Friday night has left the Hattieville community in shock and a family grieving the loss of one of their own. The murder victim is a seventeen [...]

Escuela Mexico students who drowned in Macal River are laid to rest
This weekend, two families in the Corozal District laid their loved ones to rest after a tragic accident on Friday. Fifteen year old Anahi Zepeda and sixteen year old Edgar [...]

School and Ministry of Education ask who’s responsible
According to school officials, two students who were on the trip have had to be hospitalized. It is an extremely serious matter, and the parents of Edgar Puck and Anahi [...]

Guatemalan man drowns in the West
A third person lost his life in the west due to drowning. On Sunday afternoon, thirty-three year old Francisco Martin Juan went swimming with his uncle near the Belize Old [...]

Businessman is arraigned for a shooting at a Ladyvillle bar
Less than five hours after the murder in Hattieville, Rural Belize Police officers responded to a shooting incident in front of Blue House Bar on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Ladyville [...]

More than 7000 students sit day-one of the P.S.E.
Primary school students around the country were up bright and early this morning for day-one of the Primary School Examination. More than seven thousand six hundred sat the exam, for [...]

Still no answers in hit & run that claimed the life of 13 year old
The family of thirteen year old Earl Flores Junior continues to reel over his death. The minor was hospitalized since February in a coma after he was injured in a [...]

Fisheries Department in Toledo record a huge bust
A routine patrol in the south has yielded a huge catch of salted shark meat and dried shark fins. The Fisheries Department is just reporting the incident that took place [...]

American national freed of drug charge
In December 2013 American national John Downard, a Director and someone who was living in Belize and going back and forth to the United States was busted at the PGIA in [...]

A case of arson in Santa Elena
There is a case of alleged arson in Santa Elena. Police believe the ex-common-law-husband of Evelyn Estell, is responsible for setting on fire her house located on Carillo Puerto Avenue, [...]

Man, who claims police brutality, charged for assaulting cop
On March thirtieth, twenty-five year old Henry Pleytes reportedly went to get two of his children from his common-law-wife, Jessica Hernandez, whom he claims, had taken them with her to [...]

World Health Day 2014 celebrated
World Health Day is being commemorated universally today.  In Belize City, representatives from the Ministry of Health, as well as the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, formally recognized the day [...]

The latest stats on basketball, football, cycling and billiards
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. We take you immediately top the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Capital City where the Belmopan Bandits played host Verdes FC [...]


The King Promised Land Papers; Will the Squatters Become Homeless?
The situation of the squatters on Holy Emmanuel Street remains unresolved amidst ongoing developments in the area. The Government’s project is threatening the homes of those who have come to call the swampy area their home. Seeing the necessity of having a roof over their heads, the people built their own houses from scratch, cleared the area of huge trees and constructed “London bridges” over the murky swamp waters. But a few months ago, surveyors came around, nailed pegs in the ground near their homes. In a meeting last year, Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King, told the residents they would be given titles for the land they are on. HON. MARK KING “That land in the Gungulung area; the people there were worried because they thought that we would kick them off but I am happy to tell you that that is not so. What we will do, Mr. Morris is surveying the land and when he is done surveying the land, all I will do is give you the paper; that is what I promised you before the election. Remember when I went and protest my own city council, you called me crazy but I keep my promise to you guys. Now, at the end of the day, all of you who live just across the bridge in Gungulung, you are going to get your land title very soon.”

Fire Consumes Home in Santa Elena
Police in San Ignacio and fire officials are investigating a fire that occurred in the Santa Elena Town, Cayo District just before eleven o’clock last night. Reports indicate that the authorities were called out to Carrillo Puerto Avenue, where they encountered a 2-storey green building engulfed in flames. Preliminary investigations have revealed that naturalized Belizean, Evelyn Estell was asleep in the house when she was awoken by the smell of smoke. Upon making checks, she realised that the house was on fire. The wooden, upper flat of the house was occupied by the owner, 82-year-old, Augustine Martinez while Estell, who was renting, occupied the lower flat of concrete. All items inside the house were destroyed and neither the structure nor its contents were insured.

Crocodile Kills Man in Rural Belize; Police Seeks Identity of Victim
A man is dead tonight after he was attacked by a crocodile in the Green Estate compound, a proposed housing site in the Ladyville area. Up to news time investigators were still processing the scene of the incident but we do understand that just after two o’clock this afternoon, a man, unidentified to us was gathering fish out of a pond in the Lord’s Bank area in the Belize District when the crocodile made its move. Details are not forthcoming as the police was not allowing the media on the scene. We will have the details for you in tomorrow’s newscast. We do know that police are seeking assistance in identifying the victim. The man bears a rose tattoo on his left arm and a peace sign tattoo on his right arm. he is of fair complexion and is about five feet six inches in height; he has a mustache and beard. A blue fishing net and red sack was found in the water.

Construction Worker Found with Firearm and Ammunition
Twenty-six year old Justin Richards, a construction worker of Flamboyant Street, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today before the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Richards pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until June 6. The incident occurred on Friday, April 4. The police were on mobile patrol on Central American Boulevard when they saw Richards with a bag in his hand. The police reported that when they stopped Richards and they searched the bag they found a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver with 5 rounds of ammunition in its chambers. As a result, Richards was arrested and charged. The firearm and ammunition were labeled as exhibits.

Arrested and Charged for Hemp Seed
Forty-nine year old John Downard, the director of Vortech, a company investigating the potential of pulverizing hemp seeds, was freed of charges of drug trafficking and importation of cannabis seeds today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. Downard, who is a naturalized Belizean originally from the United States, was charged with the offences on December 4, 2013, when he arrived in Belize via Phillip Goldson International Airport and 460 grams of what was perceived as hemp seed with cannabis resin. Downard was charged despite the fact that he declared that they were hemp seeds and they were tested twice and the presence of cannabis resin was negative. Today at the close of the case for the prosecution, Downard’s attorney, Rachel Montejo Juan, submitted that Downard did not have a case to answer to because the prosecution had not proved its case. Magistrate Hamilton upheld the submission and dismissed the charges. The prosecution has given notice that it intends to appeal Magistrate Hamilton’s decision.


Man Shot and Another Stabbed at Notorious Bar in Ladyville
There was nearly a second and possibly third death in as many nights this weekend, this time in Ladyville. According to police, there was an altercation inside the Blue House Bar on the Philip Goldson Highway, a stone’s throw from the police station. One Dennis Burke, 47, apparently got...

House in Santa Elena Goes up in Flames
There was a fire in Santa Elena on Friday night which totally engulfed a house on Carillo Puerto Avenue. Evelyn Estelle was at home sleeping when she was awakened by the smell of smoke and realized that her house was on fire. Augustine Martinez- Fire Victim “One of my...

Edgar Puc Drowns Trying to Save his Friend
On Friday April 4th, we reported on another drowning incident when two High School students lost their lives in the Macal River, in San Ignacio. According to the official police report, at about 3:30 p.m. 4th form High School students were on their way back from a school trip...

Hattiville Youth’s Life Cut Short by Stabbing Incident
He had a promising future as an athlete, but his life was cut short in the blink of an eye on Friday night. 17 year old Richard Waight, Jr., of Hattieville, Belize District, died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after receiving a stab wound to the chest during...


Sunday at the Gorgeous Rojo Lounge on North Ambergris Caye, Belize
The weather on Ambergris Caye continues to be beautiful. Warm (and getting warmer), windy and lots and lots of sun. Apparently, for the past few weeks, the terribly beach-chic Rojo Lounge has been opening on Sundays for a bit of a Sunday fun day celebration. (Rojo is a favorite on all sorts of international best bar lists.) But only this week did I see the announcement… Time to head up there…to just soak in the gloriousness that is the Rojo Lounge. Finn snapped a picture of me soaking it in. Can you imagine better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon? But let me concentrate on my department, food. And a myth that I can now dispel properly. This food is not really expensive. First, it is DELICIOUS. DEEE-Licious. Everything we tried was really really, worth coming back for, good. The prices might look a bit steep but the portions are for 2 or even three people. You get tongs with your dish…it is one to be shared. Not for just one person.

Belizean Beef Soup
In this video, I show you how simple it is to make beef soup Belizean style. The recipe is simple the soup is scrumptious and the beef is tender. This recipe uses very few ingredients and can also be done in the slow cooker.

International Sources

How New York City Embraced the Chocolate Revolution
Chocolate used to be simple to buy. There was chocolate candy, and then there was chocolate to make brownies and other baked goodies. In more recent times, however, chocolate buyers have been inundated with new terms and compound words printed on the labels of this much sought-after sweet. Artisan, single origin, blend, percentage, fair trade, are a few relatively new designations given to chocolate bars found everywhere from supermarket chains to small gourmet shops. One of the newest of these nomenclatures is bean-to-bar, a term and practice easy enough to understand that is inching toward a revolution in the chocolate-making industry and paving its way through American cities, especially New York. Raaka Virgin Chocolate, which makes unroasted (or raw) chocolate bars, is praised for the impact of the raise it gives to the farmers: an effective 20 percent for their beans, far higher than even Fairtrade standards and essentially unprecedented in the industry. Raaka’s co-founder, Ryan Cheney, claims that this premium not only guarantees net monetary gain for the farmers but it also supports local growth and development. One of the farm-towns Raaka buys from, for example, from the Moho River Valley of Belize, has seen a 40 percent increase in school enrollment for children of cacao farmers.

Cayes to the Forest
With its rainforests, unspoilt coastline and eco-retreats, Belize is a must for intrepid travellers with a penchant for luxury, writes Anisha Shah Blessed with virgin beauty, tiny Belize is wedged between Guatemala and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Pristine beaches give way to translucent azure waters that wash over the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Two hours inland, dense rainforests and remote rivers shelter endangered species, many indigenous and unique to Belize, the rich foliage also concealing Mayan ruins. Alongside the astonishing array of marine and jungle life, a laid-back Caribbean vibe completes the allure. Belize has become renowned for its luxury eco-lodges and retreats, and its government has earned praise for designating large swathes of land as protected. Although an influx of visitors means that things are changing fast, eco-conservation remains at the heart of the tourism industry, which is determined to preserve the Belizean soul. And what a soul it is! Distinctly different from its neighbours, Belize is Central America’s sole English-speaking nation, with an ethnically diverse population of Mayans, Mestizos, Mexicans and Afro-Indians alongside immigrants from across the globe, the latter attracted to the relaxed work-life balance of the country’s cayes and atolls that lie just off the coast. Myriad luxury properties are peppered across Belize, offering serious rest and recreation. None are finer than the multiple-award-winning retreats of film director Francis Ford Coppola, a godfather of the country’s hotel industry.

April 7, 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

Wolfe’s Woofer: Late For School
“Hi, Grandpa,” Davin said, after knocking on the door and coming in. “Hey, boy,” I said. “Where is your mom?” “She’s outside in the golf cart. She wants to talk to you.” I went outside to Melody’s golf cart and said, “Hi, Sweetie. What’s up?” “I need a big favor,” she said. “My golf cart’s […]

Letter to the Editor: Saga says thanks!
Saga Humane Society would like to give a big Thank You to Bella Italia for hosting our Cook Off Italian/Pasta March 26. There was an air of hungry eagerness as the Chef’s began to arrive with their pasta entries. It was a lively crowd that kept our raffle tickets sales busy. The new VIP tables for six sold quickly to Saga HS supporters Wolfgang Wind and Eisenberg family to enjoy. Thank you to everyone who attended to help support Operation SNIP, we consider you all Very Important People. It was a pleasant night for all that raised money for 25 SNIPs (spay/neuter) for low income residents. After the votes were tallied the winner was Lasagna – Heather Smith. 2nd Place went to Tuscan Italian Soup with pesto toast- Nancy Nida from Fido’s. 3rd Place was Mama’s Classic Spaghetti & Meatballs – Rosa La Rosa. The other fine dishes were: Macaroni & Cheese Balls with ranch dip and Chipotle – Luna Loca, Penne Pasta With Cheese Sauce – Carolina Mckay (sponsored by Michele Colbert), Bacon Spaghetti – Bella Italia, Parmesan Chicken Pasta – Faride Lima. We are grateful to the Chef’s for their scrumptious entries, creativity and for their support.

Works to complete the police barracks has restarted!
Meanwhile, another project addressing the same housing issue is the completion of the new police barracks building spearheaded by a group of business people. The group announced last week that they were short $44,750 to complete the building, and they appealed to the business community for support. Since then four more monetary donations: $3,000 from Lola’s Pub, $5,000 from a frequent guest at The Phoenix, $500 from Hidden Treasure Restaurant and $500 from Henry and Mary Beissner have come in. With those donations, the project remains short $38,750 from completion. Three in-kind donations were also made; Abel’s Painting has donated $10,000 worth of paint and labor, Kama Lounge is donating new sheets, pillows and ten toilets amounting to $5,000 and The San Pedro Sun will donate a full sized refrigerator. Work on the building is expected to commence on Friday April 4th as well. . Anyone wanting to contribute financially or in-kind to the barracks building is asked to contact Mukul Kanabar at [email protected], Gricel Graniel at [email protected] or The San Pedro Sun at 226-2070.

Doctor Love: Affair of Love
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, I am a fifty-one year-old man who has been married for twenty-nine years this month. My wife and I have three beautiful children […]

Misc Belizean Sources

Fire guts building in Santa Elena town
A late Sunday night fire has gutted a building in Santa Elena town in the Cayo district. The fire happened on Carrillo Puerto Avenue. More details will be posted as they become available.

Primary School children to sit PSE part 1 on Monday
Thousands of Primary School boys and girls will head to examination centers on Monday morning for the first half of the Primary School Examinations, PSE. The students will write papers in Language Arts and Science. For the last few weeks, teachers and tutors have been working with the Standard 6 students to get them ready for the PSE. Private candidates will also be sitting the PSE on Monday. The second half of the PSE will be administered in May and the results are expected to be released shortly thereafter. Good luck to all the primary school boys and girls.

IMF says Trinidad and Tobago economy is performing well
The International Monetary Fund, IMF, is giving Trinidad and Tobago good marks on its economic outlook. The just concluded Article Four consultation mission of the IMF had issued a preliminary report indicating that the twin-island nation is experiencing more robust growth than previous years. According to the IMF, the projected economic growth for this year is 2.5%. In 2013, Trinidad and Tobago registered a 1/5% economic growth. Further evidence of good fiscal standing is shown in the country’s external position with ten billion US dollars in external reserves.

How Big H Changed Belize’s Coconut Fortunes
Big H launched its fresh bottled natural coconut water at the Agricultural Show in 1998. Before this….coconut production in Belize was falling rapidly….especially since a disease called “lethal yellowing” was rapidly disseminating the coconut palms. The sale of dried coconut was still vibrant, since housewives still used it to make home-made coconut milk for use in baking creole bread and preparing the popular “rice and beans”. A small amount was used in cottage industries to make coconut oil. However, even this was in decline, since importers started to bring coconut milk powder in convenient sachets for a rather inexpensive price….and they also imported large amounts of coconut oil already packed for retail sale. Today, this imported milk powder has almost completely displaced the grating of dried local coconuts.

Suspected drowning in Santa Familia village
The body of a man has been retrieved from the Belize River in Santa Familia village, Cayo. The name of the victim, believed to be a Guatemalan national, is being withheld, pending proper notification of his family. Reports of the suspected drowning came in around midday and officers from San Ignacio town were dispatched to the area to investigate. More information on this story will be posted as information is received and confirmed.

Corozal man wins new vehicle from Courts
Corozal resident Aron Cowo is the proud owner of a brand-new 2014 Kia Sportage SUV courtesy of Courts Belize Limited after emerging the winner of the Get Ready for the Road promotion which climaxed in Belize City on Saturday morning. Cowo and five other winners from each of Courts’ branches countrywide participated in several rounds of games of chance to determine who would advance and Cowo, who bought various household goods at the local branch to enter the raffle, survived all four challenges. He is a first-time vehicle owner and says he didn’t expect his good fortune. The father of two couldn’t wait to drive his new vehicle back to Corozal Town but will have to, at least until Monday. He also gets free gas for a year from Puma Energy and free insurance from RF&G also for a year.

Belize's Underdevelopment
The enemies amongst us is crafty The enemy has made themselves our deity They even gave us ethnicity To keep us divided and in constant rivalry They even placed us strategically In different parts of the country They even denied us accessibility If it was not for cross country Which not a sport; initially they were brave riders who dared to travel the country We should also be grateful for Hurricane Hattie For opening up our country We need to acquaint ourselves with our own history

Paint up a Storm 2014
The Winsom Foundation's Paint Up A Storm was Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center, and it was a big hit. Daniel Velasquez was there to get some pictures of the event. "Paint up A Storm in San Ignacio has ended for another year and the Winsom Foundation would like to Thank all the people that was involved in making it a success… The artists giving of their precious time… Marlene for weeks and weeks of driving me to get items etc… The volunteers on the day…Bowen and Bowen for providing a tent Alicia for a tent, Fuego Bar & Grill for providing a wonderful lunch for the artist and their assistance , SISE House of culture for helping with materials and last but not least the Welcome center,,, not only providing the space but bags of water which was so needed in this heat… Again Thanks everyone for taking part or sponsoring.. Winsom Foundation Paint Up A storm…."

Western Ballaz Defeat Running Rebels
The Western Ballaz hosted the Orange Walk Running Rebels Friday night, and they crushed them with a score of 100 to 50. The Western Ballaz are the first team in the league to hit the century mark. Adma Photography got some great shots from the game. In related news, the Western Ballaz will be playing a friendly game on Wednesday. The Western Ballaz, Dangriga Warriors, Galen Eagles and Belmopan Bandits will be playing. Entrance is free, and the fun starts at 7:00pm.

BAS Earth Day Film Competition
The Belize Audubon Society is having a film competition to celebrate Earth Day, with the theme being 'Our Protected Areas.' Wow, doesn't that make around a dozen or so different Earth Day competitions around the country? Kind of proves how beautiful and sustainable Belize is, and, percentage-wise, how there are more reserves and parks than most other countries...let's keep it that way. There will be 3 prizes, and first place will get $500, and a tour to Cockscomb Basin. The deadline for entries is April 22nd. Good luck!

Video: Fly Fishing Belize at El Pescador
3.5 min. A week of fly fishing the flats surrounding Ambergris Caye and El Pescador Lodge.

Video: Belikin Livin It Up Video
Belikin has released a new video entitled 'Livin It Up.' Once again, it has a little bit of most districts in it. "Whether a game of pool, a rice and beans stand, with friends at the sandbar hanging out, a domino game or cooking up some barbecue, it is always a great time with Belikin, the beer of Belize."

Video: Zip Lining Belize
4min. Zip-riders Howling Hills, an awesome experience!

Video: Schooleys in Belize 2014
13min. 10 days in Belize over Spring Break 2014.

Video: The Lebeha drummers of Hopkins, Belize

Video: The Lebeha drummers of Hopkins, Belize 2

Video: The Lebeha drummers of Hopkins, Belize 3

Video: The Lebeha drummers of Hopkins, Belize 4

Video: Belize - Immersion 2014
Oakwood Secondary School took a surreal and amazing trip to Belize and immersed themselves into their culture for eleven days.

Video: Belize. The Great Blue Hole
2.5 min.

Video: Belize Hol Chan

Video: Belize Animals

Video: Spring Break 2014 - Cruise to Belize and Cozmel

Video: Diving in Belize
8min. Fantastic diving trip to Belize, March 2014. Plenty of sharks, eels, and, of course, the Great Blue Hole.

Video: Flying over Sanctuary Belize on March 31, 2014
1min. aka

Video: The Land of Belize
A history of the land of Belize.


ITVET Displays The Work Of Students
The Orange walk Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, ITVET, hosted its annual Expo at the school grounds today. The event marked an opportunity for trainees to showcase some of the work done since the beginning of the new school year. The invitation was extended to our studios and Reporter Maria Novelo and video journalist Fernando Sanchez was on hand to capture their vocational accomplishments. Here is that story. Maria Novelo – Reporting With a student population of 160 full and part time trainees, the Orange Walk Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, ITVET, has evolved into an integral center for learning that assists trainees with obtaining employment, job retention, increased wages and career development. And today, these trainees went all out to showcase their skills and talents. From Auto Mechanics, Carpentry, Electrical to welding, they all had one thing in common, unique aspirations and abilities.


“All I Wanna Do” when away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Today’s edition brings you the next ‘thrilling’ instalment about the recent trip that Rose and I made to Mérida in the Yucatan, Mexico. So far it’s been compulsive reading. If you’ve been (notice the past tense) suffering sleep deprivation that is! Still awake? Good, I’ll get on with then. In the first of this series I told you that I’d booked accommodation for our stay at El Gran Hotel. As you can see from the photo above, it’s been around for a long time, 113 years in fact. Not surprisingly-given its longevity- it’s had some illustrious and/or notorious (depending upon your political leanings) guests. And Rose and I had only been there a day when we were informed (with some pride I might add) that Fidel Castro had stayed there in July 1955 after being released from prison by Fulgencio Batista. We were told that although he only stayed there a few days (before heading to Mexico City where he resided for around eighteen months before returning to Cuba) he was insistent that he be allocated a room without windows. Do you think he may have been concerned about his well being ?

ReefCI doing amazing stuff with Lionfish!
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP WITH THE LIONFISH INVASION?? EDUCATE YOURSELF on the invasive lionfish and the devastating effects they are having on our reef! Then, help educate others! ReefCI recently started a community outreach program in local primary schools. The main focus is to educate the children about this fish and its long term effects on the already fragile marine ecosystem! Get them young we say! BOOK A LIONFISH TRIP: ReefCI operates all year, with the exception of October. This means that you can learn to spear lionfish any week you visit ReefCI. If you want to totally immerse yourself in everything lionfish then visit in July when we are running our next “Lionfish Special”. Join our LIONFISH WEEK in July!

Cruising, Zipping In Belize
Our stop in Cozumel is a non event since we have been there so many times. A day at the beach and we are soon back onboard the Conquest ready to sail to Belize. With rough early morning seas our tendering is delayed about an hour. It is about a fifteen minute boat ride to Belize city were we join fellow cruiser for our off ship excursion with “Butts Up.Com”. An hour bus ride across this small but diverse Central American country and we are soon seeing a part of it from an exhilarating hundred feet or so up in the air and learn an interesting fact.

International Sources

Into the blue: The jawdropping 310 metre wide Great Blue Hole in Belize
AT 310m wide and 125m deep, this azure submarine sinkhole is a paradise for divers in search of crystal-clear water that hides treasures in its depths. Welcome to the Great Blue Hole near Belize, a spectacular sight which Lonely Planet has explored for the new book The World’s Great Wonders. From above, it looks like an eye — a large, dark pupil surrounded by a sliver of turquoise iris, framed by the eyelids of the reef. But now that you’re within its embrace, it’s hard to get a sense of its circular shape. A school of yellow angelfish linger by the reef. A lone parrotfish nibbles on the coral. Pressing on your scuba gear’s purge valve, you follow the stream of bubbles from fellow divers. As you sink lower, you are surprised by the absence of marine wildlife down here. You peer into the darkness, hoping for a glimpse of a turtle, or maybe a shark. But 40m down, there is an even more spectacular sight.

Local students do mission work in U.S. and Internationally
During her trip to Belize, Hannah Myrick was overwhelmed by how grateful the people were for the small gifts that the student missionaries brought. “We went to one of the poorest villages and passed out rice and soap,” Myrick said. “That was probably my favorite part. They were just flocking to us and it was like ‘Wow, all they’re getting is rice.’ It wasn’t anything spectacular and they were jumping up and down, they were so excited. I go home and I have a pantry full of food and they were excited because we brought them packets of rice.” While William Outlaw remembers the ministry work his team did in Israel, he also remembers seeing for the first time the places mentioned in the Bible.

April 6, 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

High number of stranded turtles washing up on Ambergris Caye
Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the entity that runs the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program, is reporting that a high number of young and juvenile turtles are washing up on shore. These “stranded turtles,” if possible, are cared for, rehabilitated and then re-released into the open seas.

Police Report
Robbery, Forgery and Claiming Upon a False Document Acting upon information received of a fight behind the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School sometime around 6:50PM on the Tuesday, March 25th, San Pedro Police visited the area where they found Justin Romsa, American businessman and owner of Mata Grande Grocery located 4.5 miles North Ambergris Caye and a resident of the same address. Romsa handed over a person identified as Eulalio Witz, 59 years old, Belizean mason of San Pablo Area, to the police along with some money and a Belize Bank Check #000646 dated March 25, 2014 in the name of Eulalio Witz for the sum of $875. Initial investigation revealed that sometime around 2:50PM on the same day, Tamara Romsa, American businesswoman and co-owner of Mata Grande Grocery was giving Witz a lift from town to North Ambergris Caye of San Pedro Town and upon passing Lost Encantos, Witz pulled out a knife and took away her bag containing cash, personal documents and her check book and ran away. The check, American passport in the name of Tamara Romsa and other personal documents were recovered. Eulalio Witz was detained and is pending charges. Burglary *Ezequiel Witz, Belizean Businessman of Bayside Area, San Pedro Town visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that between 1AM and 5AM on Saturday, March 29th someone burglarized his business place, namely Olympics Gaming Center located on Angel Coral Street, San Pedro Town.

Sunshine Scholarship Foundation says thanks!!
The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation would like to thank Estel’s Dine by the Sea for allowing them the opportunity to host a 50/50 draw fundraiser during their BBQ Cook Off held on Saturday, March 11th. The 50/50 draw raised $480, and coupled with a generous $600 donation from Estel’s, the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation was able to raise a grand total of $1080 which will go towards paying tuition fees for deserving students of La Isla Bonita Elementary. The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation thanks the owners and staff of Estel’s, the band and the patrons for making the event a huge success. Currently the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is funding six children with full tuition scholarships. To learn more about the non-profit foundation or to make a donation contact Joy Flowers at 610-0084 or [email protected], or Eve Dirnback at 623-9962 or [email protected]

San Pedro Lions gear for membership elections
The San Pedro Lions Club has announced that it is gearing up for the election of new officers for the next calendar year. The elections have been set for April 10th, during the monthly membership meeting of the Lions Club. All posts will need to be filled, except for Treasurer which Lion Abel Guerrero has agreed to continue to hold. The other position that needs to be filled is that of the President, whose main duty is to be the club leader, ensuring the smooth running of the general affairs of the club. Also vacant are the post of Vice President whose main duty is to assist the President and serve as the second in command of the club, Secretary whose post is considered extremely important since this person keeps all the records of the club, and the membership Chairman who is tasked to ensure the attraction of potential candidates to the club. Also needed is the Tail Twister whose main duty is to promote harmony, goodwill and enthusiasm at club events, and a Lion Tamer who is responsible for the safekeeping of the clubs’ property and paraphernalia. The club will also need two Club Directors, whose main duties are to ensure that the club, as well as the board, is carrying out their respective duties as mandated by Lions Club International.

San Pedro Tigersharks and Toledo Diplomats
Well the second face-off between San Pedro Tigersharks and Toledo Diplomats can't be disputed! Final score: 86 Tigersharks, 52 Diplomats!!! Go 'Sharks!!!

Misc Belizean Sources

Prep finalized, community ready for New Horizons construction
U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine Corps civil engineers unpacked their tools and are ready to engage with members of the Belize Defense Force Light Engineer Company to start construction on five sites in Belize. The U.S. and Belizean teams will construct four school facilities in Belize City, one school facility in Hattieville and a medical facility in Belmopan. The New Horizons civil engineering commander, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Feng, met with officers from the BDF engineer company April 3 to solidify cooperative schedules, and members of the BDF company are set to join U.S. engineers on the construction sites April 7. "I'm excited to see how the local Belize construction unit operates," said Tech. Sgt. Steven Ernst, project manager at the Hattieville school construction site. "We don't work with block as much as they do, so I'm interested to see their expertise level and if we'll be able to improve our processes. I'm hoping both sides will be able to make our processes more efficient."

Marine uses sign language to connect with community
Hands wave through the air in an organized fashion, children following the movements, as the hands relay the children's story of "A Day at the Farm." U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Parnell Sararana spent time April 4 putting his Universal Sign Language skills to use translating while U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jon Espinoza read aloud at the Stella Maris School Belize Academy for the Deaf in Belize City, Belize. Sararana is deployed from the 1st Civil Affairs Group at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in support of New Horizons Belize 2014, an exercise encompassing U.S. armed forces services as they train with Belizean professionals in the fields of engineering and medical care. The civil affairs role in the exercise is to engage with the local population, as well as government and non-government organizations, to facilitate the best possible environment for U.S. and Belizean engineering and medical professionals as they build educational and health facilities and provide medical, dental and veterinarian care throughout the country.

Jewel Of Belize's National Park System Tarnished By Poaching, Gold Seekers, Border Strife
Gold is an alluring color, whether woven into the feathers of a Scarlet macaw winging through the Maya Mountains rainforest or mixed in the gravels of streams that thread beneath the understory of Chiquibul National Park in the Belizean highlands. You hear the macaws before you see them. These magnificent birds, nearly 3 feet long from beak to tail feathers, give themselves away with their raucous squawking as they fly in groups to a roost. The flecks of gold in the soils of Chiquibul, the largest protected area in this Central American country, are not as easy to spot. But they're equally precious. And both birds and metals lie at the root of illegal activities that are poking holes in the park's faunal assemblage and streambeds. Encompassing 416 square miles, Chiquibul is said to contain mountainous landscapes undisturbed since the Maya lived here centuries ago. Within the forests are Scarlet macaws, an endangered species that breeds in the park, Spider monkeys, and toucans, while beneath the forests the Chiquibul Cave System worms through the karst geology. It is thought to be the largest cave system in Belize and the longest in Central America.

Forestry and Finance fair held in Belize City
A first of its kind Forestry, Fisheries and Finance fair was held today in Belize City. The grounds of the ITVET Compound on Freetown Road was the venue for this event which was sponsored by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. Organizers say the purpose of the fair was to give the general public a more in-depth look at what goes into the finished products that consumers see on the market from day to day. The fair included display booths, food tasting stalls and information centers designed to connect, facilitate and promote the members of BCCI and the general public.

The Magnificent Belize Manatees
Manatees are lovable and gentle water creatures that spend their entire lives in the water. According to researchers, manatees can have a life span of up to 60 years and are found habitually in warm shallow waters. They only eat plants making them herbivores. Belize has the region’s largest concentration of manatees by the count of the United Nations Environment Programme due to the fact that our country has the largest coral reef in the western hemisphere and extensive mangrove swamps. In addition, Belize’s network of rivers and lagoons which is protected in part by the reef provides fertile feeding grounds and shelter for these amazing mammals. Manatees can be spotted along Belize’s entire coast line and can weigh as much as 1000 pounds. According to a UNEP report, manatees in Belize number fewer than 1000 but the population’s birth rate and cub survival rate is moderately stable and analogous to the population of Florida’s Crystal River area.

Voice of the West Winners
Rotary had their Voice of the West Elocution contest this week. Congratulations to all the winners, and every student that participated. Thanks, Rotary! "In the eyes of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio all participants were winners. We would like to thank you and your Schools for all the hard work that you put into the outstanding presentations. Official Winners: Impromptu Speech: 1st Place.........Kiely Gonzales ........... Eden Seven Day Adventist 2nd Place........Antwan Leslie ........... Our Lady of Guadalupe 3rd. Place........Nelson Hernandez ..... Mopan Technical

3 hour double stage dive in Giant Cave
Awesome 3 hour double stage dive in Giant Cave yesterday- Laid about 400 feet of line and was gifted a pre 1900's peppersauce bottle while mucking around under Pauls "famous" boulder on my deco stop at 40 feet- Life is good!!

On The Scene
The Corozal Bay Sailing Club is hard at practice on the Corozal Bay for the upcoming optimist regatta sailing race, to be held in San Pedro Ambergris Caye during the Easter holiday. More information will be forthcoming on this sailing regatta.

Exhibition: A History of Slaves and Emancipation
The Corozal House of Culture in association with the Institute of Social and Cultural Research is looking forward to opening an educational exhibit that delves deep into Belize's past. Opening April 29, 2014 at (CHOC).

Belizean Artist, Tanya Carter, releases her new single "Bullie Mix Final"
"Sometimes good girls just want it rough" - Tanya Carter

Video: BELIZE on MSNBC: Discovering the Blue Hole, Belize Barrier Reef
Originally aired on November 17th 2008, Matt Lauer visits the famous Blue Hole of Belize Barrier Reef. Joined by Fabian Costeau.

Video: Belize Blend
13min. GoPro footage from scuba diving and sailing in Amergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Belize Overview

Video: Belize Tom Bonefishing
28 min.

Video: Belize Golf Carts Adventure Day
57min. Touring San Pedro

Video: Scuba Diving Belize - Ambergris Caye Dive 1

Video: Belize Fishing

Video: Ziplining in Belize with the family
10 min.

Video: Vinny and Moraima's Belize Wedding
5 min. A highlight video of Vinny and Moraima's wedding in Belize.


Father Accuses Son Of Burglary
Corozal Police are tonight seeking one man from Libertad Village for questioning into a burglary. Fifty eight year old Israel Torres, Belizean Security Guard of Libertad Village, reported to police that on Thursday April 3rd 2014, at about 4:15pm, he was checking a bus belonging to the Libertad Seventh Day Adventist Church that is parked in his yard, when he noticed that one black battery valued at $380.00 was missing from the vehicle. Corozal Police are currently seeking the complainant's son, Melvin Torres, for questioning. Of note is that it’s not the first time that Israel Torres makes a burglary report against his son.

Time Changes In Mexico
And for those who like to travel over the border be informed that Mexico will begin observing Daylight Saving Time on Sunday. In a press release issued today, the Mexican Embassy in Belize makes it known that starting Sunday, April 6th; clocks in Mexico will go forward by one hour. This means that Mexico will be one hour ahead of Belize’s local time. The observance of Daylight Saving Time will apply to most of Mexico, including Chetumal, Cancun, Merida and Mexico City.

School Trip Turns Deadly For Students Of ESTM, Two Drown
A class trip for forth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Corozal went horribly wrong when two students drowned in the Macal River in the San Ignacio area near the low lying bridge around four this evening. Authorities have retrieved the body of 16 year old Edgar Pook of Patchakan Village in the Corozal District and 15 year old Anais Zepeda of San Joaquin Village also in the Corozal District. Both victims were in fourth form. They were part of a group of students from Escuela Mexico that were on a field trip to the Chechem Ha cave in Benque Viejo Del Carmen in western Belize. Information to our newsroom is that the students were on their way back from their trip in a Morales Bus when they stopped near the Macal River Park in San Ignacio/Santa Elena. A group of the students decided to go swimming and that is when things went terribly wrong as Puk and Zepeda were carried away by the current, disappeared under the water and never resurfaced. We’ll have more on this story in Monday’s newscast.

Ruthless Criminals Attack Chinese Businesses In Corozal
Two more Chinese business establishments in Corozal fell victims to the hands of robbers last night. In the first incident Ri You Lin, 42 year old Belizean/Chinese Businesswoman of Santa Rita Road, Corozal Town, informed police that on Thursday April 3rd, at about 7:15pm, she was at her business place namely China Store when two male persons of dark complexion entered the store. One of the individuals, armed with a pump action shotgun, was wearing a red jacket with a dark color hood and black stocking mask while the second, armed with a machete, was wearing a dark color jacket with hood and black stocking mask. According to Lin, as soon as the men entered the store they demanded that she hand over all the cash. Fearing for her life, she did as she was told and handed over $1,200.00 to the criminals. The men also walked away with $700.00 worth of Smart phone cards. Police are looking for two men suspected to be from Belize City.


First Orange Walk Town Music Summer Camp and second one for San Pedro
Last year’s music camp in San Pedro was such a hit they are doing it again and expanding to host the first Orange Walk Town Music Summer Camp August 25-30, 2014 At the Banquitas House of Culture Daily classes Monday to Saturday. Maestro Carlos Perrote will bring a truck load full of percussion instruments to the Banquitas House of Culture to provide for the participants of the First Orange Walk Music Summer Camp and will teach how to play Steel Pan, afrocuban percussion, acoustic guitar and keyboards In the afternoon children can join acoustic guitar and keyboard lessons in small groups. 8:30 – 10 a.m. PERCUSSION, all instruments are provided 10:30 – 12 ACOUSTIC GUITAR, bring your own 1 – 2:30 p.m. KEYBOARDS, bring your own Children starting age 5 will learn how to play Steel Pan, Bongos, Batas, Timbal, Tambor, Cajon, Congas, drum set, Garifuna and Afrocuban percussion instruments and much more. Minimum age : 5 years for percussion and keyboards, 7 for guitar. Guitar and keyboards classes are limited to 10 participants.

Hopkins, Belize’s Bioluminescence Night Tour: Dip Your Hand into the Burnin’ Wata!
But one of the major draws to this part of Belize is the landscape…and the wildlife. Within the hour, you can be at the beach or on the gorgeous green Sittee River searching for manatee or hiking the Cockscomb Wildlife preserve searching for jaguar tracks. My very first night, the manager at my hotel, Parrot Cove Lodge, insisted that I go immediately out on a tour. The lovely Yoli is so passionate about Belize and knew this is a trip that I would love. She was very right. I knew absolutely nothing about the burning water. I’d never heard a peep about this trip. But at 7pm, I made my way over to Jaguar Reef Lodge – they arrange for guests to go out on this very cool lagoon. About 12 of us loaded into a van and set off for the 10 minute ride to the Sittee River Marina. Here’s a daytime look at the main lodge Jaguar Reef Lodge.

International Sources

Circa 1920 Crisfield-built buyboat Winnie Estelle joins Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s floating fleet
The historic 1920 Chesapeake Bay buyboat Winnie Estelle has arrived at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels where she will remain as the new workhorse of CBMM's floating fleet for scenic Miles River cruises and a wide variety of on-the-water educational programs. The Winnie Estelle joins CBMM’s floating fleet of historic boats, which includes the recently restored 1955 skipjack Rosie Parks; the 1889 nine-log bugeye, the Edna E. Lockwood; the 1912 river tug Delaware; the 1909 seven-log crab dredger Old Point, the 1934 dovetail Martha; the 1931 Potomac River dory boat; and the 1961 tuck-stern, Jackson-built Pot Pie skiff. The authentic buyboat replaces the museum’s replica buyboat Mister Jim, which has operated as a passenger boat since 1982. The museum currently has the Mister Jim for sale. “About a month ago, we began fundraising to acquire the Winnie Estelle,” said CBMM President Langley Shook. “We are so fortunate that a generous donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, stepped right up to purchase her for an undisclosed amount to donate her to the Museum.” CBMM will engage in fundraising to build an endowment to cover ongoing and long-term maintenance of the historic buyboat.

Ancient people anything but jaded
To the ancient Maya, jade was the most precious of all stones. Its green color symbolized water and sprouting plants, hence fertility, life, rejuvenation and rebirth. Jade was carved into religious and ornamental objects that were placed in temples and tombs. Jade necklaces and earrings adorned the members of royal families, who also inserted jade beads into holes in their teeth to further flaunt their status. Kings made public appearances wearing belts and breastplates accessorized by remarkably realistic-looking, mosaic jade masks of human faces and decorative, ax-head-shaped jade bars called “celts.”

8 Reasons Why Half Moon Caye is an Amazing Caye in Belize
Half Moon Caye is located at the southwest corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll and just this week was selected as a top dive site by Jacksonville Business Journal, a popular business website in the United States. Kristina Fazzalro, the writer who put together the article entitled “10 Best Dive Sites in North America” described the Caye as follows: 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.

April 5, 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

St John’s College hosts reading fair
St John’s College School in Belize City hosted its third annual reading fair on Friday March 28th, with newspapers as the highlight for this year’s event. Held under the theme “Newspapers matter: they connect us to the world,” the event was aimed to encourage students to look at newspapers as an alternate source for reading. Amongst the newspaper publications invited to attended was Ambergris Caye’s only print media, The San Pedro Sun. According to Angie Moody, Head of Language Arts Department at St John’s College, the idea of the reading fair was conceptualized three years ago. Moody said that over 66.6% of Caribbean Examination Council’s curriculum caters to reading, and given that the students were not reading as much, the school introduced a campaign encouraging them to read in their leisure time.

Child Stimulation Month ends with parade
On Friday March 28th, Child Stimulation Month came to a close with a parade through the streets of San Pedro Town. The preschoolers, accompanied by teachers and parents/guardians, were dressed in brightly colored school tee’s waving balloons as they made their way singing and dancing from Central Park north to the roundabout along Pescador Drive and back. Schools present included Ambergris Caye Preschool, ABC Preschool, Holy Cross Preschool, Little Angels, Brighter Tomorrow Preschool and San Pedro Preschool. Under the theme “Family and Culture” the second week of events included a trip to Lady Bug Garden Shop, storytelling day, a cultural day and family movie day.

Unsightly Garbage at new Sunset Boardwalk raises concerns
Residents neighboring the Honorable Louis “Cuz” Sylvestre Sporting Arena, commonly known as the Saca Chispas Football Field, are irate at the amount of garbage being left behind after The San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament and other events. According to residents’ complaints, which have surfaced on social media networks, the field is not cleaned after use and the mounds of garbage drift into other neighboring areas. The lack of adequate garbage cans in the area also adds to the dilemma. This past weekend in particular, the unsightly garbage was in larger volumes due to the fact that the field was used both for the football tournament and a softball tournament. According to Kenrick Bracket, Councilor in charge of Solid Waste Management, both The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and The San Pedro Sports Committee (SPSC) have been made aware of this problem. According to Bracket, SPSC members in charge of the football tournament are not ensuring that the public picks up their garbage after they leave the field, nor are they providing garbage bags for people to dispose their trash in.

Take the Belize adventure eastward to the Reef!
Belize is bordered to the east by the Caribbean Sea, from Corozal down to Toledo, and these seaside areas are a haven for those seeking something different from the mountains and flats. Options include enjoying the flight of pelicans and seagulls over the howls of monkeys or cheep of the rainforest birds if only for a moment. For these sorts of delights, there are islands dotting the crystal waters of the Caribbean, offering powdery white sand, swaying coconut trees, seagrape and almond trees offering shade from the blinding sunshine, and water everywhere to wash away every ounce of stress.

Small vessel has capsizes off the coast of Ambergris Caye
The San Pedro Sun can confirm that a small vessel has capsized off the coast of Ambergris Caye shortly around midday today, Friday April 4th. Personnel from the Belize Coast Guard stationed in San Pedro Town and local tour guides were deployed to the area to assist in rescue efforts. Despite a small craft warning for choppy to rough seas, the group of three local men decided to venture into the high seas off of the Belize Barrier Reef on board a small Mexican type skiff. Somewhere near the San Pedro Main Channel, located directly in front of San Pedro Town, the vessel capsized sending all men into the sea. According to a Coast Guard official, when they arrived on the scene, the men had received assistance and the vessel had moved away from the area.

Ambergris Today

New Belizean Rum Sold Exclusively In The USA Wins Award
Belizean rums may not be world famous, but locals and visitors from all over the world who taste rums from the country fall in love with them and are always looking for ways to get their Belizean rum back home. There is exciting news as a new product of Belizean rum has entered the market, Tiburon Rum, a Belizean premium rum sold exclusively in the United States. Tiburon Rum hit the US market about a year ago and has already garnered its first award. Tiburon Rum was entered in the 14th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition that took place on March 20 through the 23, 2014 at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. Thirty-nine spirits experts convened at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco where Tiburon Rum was awarded with a Bronze Medal.

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal Police have been reporting a number of armed robberies and burglaries, lately
The Corozal Police is asking the neighborhood watch groups in the different areas to be more vigilant and to report any suspicious activities or persons in their areas. As Easter approaches, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez would like to advise all the business community and public at large that as we enter the Easter season, criminal elements will step up their criminal activities. Whilst the Corozal Police will commit itself to do its constitutional part, they are asking the public to do the same and together they can combat crime. Corozal Police is asking the general public to please assist in the following: 1. Report anything suspicious vehicle or person(s) especially anyone not known from to live in your area. 2. Close your business on time and do not risk opening after the prescribed hours. 3. Be vigilant at all times and take nothing for granted.

Chinese stores on the Philip Goldson Highway in Corozal targeted by armed robbers.
Naturalized Chinese/Belizean, 28 year old JIAM BON WU, businessman of Philip Goldson Highway, Corozal Town, reported that on Wednesday April 2nd, 2014April 2014 about 9:00 p.m. whilst he opened the shutter in order for his brother in law to exit his shop namely Ban's Store located at his address, two male persons one of Hispanic decent and the other of dark complexion with dark clothing and who had what appears to be warm caps covering their faces came out from the side of his shop and walked up towards him. The dark skin male person was holding what appears to be a .38 revolver hand gun in his hand pointing it at him.

Capital Factory in Corozal
Is now offering construction steel or rebar

Congratulations Jacinta!
Lots of young Belizeans are placing Belize on the map with their successes. Earlier this week, Miss Jacinta Gomez was crowned the University of South Florida's (USF) Miss International. Congratulations Jacinta! We're proud of you for - as you said -putting "[OUR] beautiful jewel on the map" and for "educating the USF community about what we have to offer as a country, as a people."

Government of Belize Press Office

Government of Belize Press Office

Paint Up A Storm
This year's Paint Up A Storm is tonight, Saturday, April 5th, at the Cayo Welcome Center. The fun starts at 9:30am, and goes until 2:00pm. They will show the movie 'Wasteland' at 6:00pm. Go see, and make, some art.

NEMO Donates Houses
NEMO turned over the 2 houses that were made for the families that lost their houses in November's flash floods. Thanks, NEMO! SISE Town Council's pictures. Video. "Mr. Calbert Thompson and Mr. Vigilio Requena Sr. and their families were recipients of homes built by Plett’s Home Builders."

Mexico to observe Daylight Saving Time
Mexico will begin observing Daylight Saving Time on Sunday. A press release sent out by the Mexican Embassy in Belize says that starting on Sunday, April 6, clocks in Mexico will go forward by one hour. Horario de Verano means that Mexico will be one hour ahead of Belize’s local time. The observance of Daylight Saving Time will apply to most of Mexico, including Chetumal, Cancun, Merida and Mexico City. Daylight Saving Time in Mexico will end on October 26.

Corozal town gets a donated garbage truck
The municipality of Corozal has received a donation of a garbage truck to help with keeping the town clean. According to Mayor Hilberto Campos, the truck has already been pressed into service. Mayor Campos says the Town Council hopes to acquire another truck like this one to compliment the work of the municipal body.

High School principals meet in Punta Gorda
The Belize Association for Principals of Secondary Schools ( BAPS) met with stakeholders in the education sector to discuss ways of improving the overall efficiency of Secondary Schools in Belize. The meeting was held at the Social Security Board Conference room i n Punta Gorda Town and had the participation of principals form all over the country. According to the president of the Association Maria Johnston, “we are here to discuss the main topics about how we can go about improving the delivery and the quality of education in the Secondary Schools, to understand what are the roles of Principals, teachers and of course the role of students. They are the key stakeholders in education. “

Belize City youth succumbs to gunshot injury
An 18 year old Belize City youth is dead, following a Thursday evening shooting incident. Anfernee Romero died early this morning while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Romero and another man, 26 year old Troy Hyde, were injured when a pair of gunmen opened fire on them at their workplace on Central American Boulevard around 4:45 pm yesterday. Police say Romero was shot to the left side of his head, while Hyde sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

Two students drown in Macal River
There are reports that two students have drowned in the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena. Preliminary information is that one of the bodies has been recovered so far. More information as they become available.

High school students from Corozal drown in the Macal River
Two high school students drowned this afternoon in the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena town. The deceased students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in Corozal, have been identified as 16 year old Edgar Puk and 15 year old Anahli Zepeda. The two students were part of a class trip to the Chechem Ha cave in Benque Viejo del Carmen. On the return journey to Corozal, the bus stopped in the vicinity of the Macal River Park. And that was when some of the students decided to go for a swim. Around 4 pm, tragedy struck. Puk and Zepeda were carried away by the current in the river and disappeared under the water and did not resurface.

American diplomat visits Belize, donates to library
On Thursday, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central America and the Caribbean in the Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Francisco Palmieri, began a two-day visit to Belize. After meeting with the heads of the Belize Defence Force (BDF), Brigadier General David Jones, and the National Coast Guard, Rear Admiral John Borland, his next stop was the Leo Bradley Library, headquarters of the Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS). He handed over a donation of books for the establishment of the Education USA Reference Center, to be housed at the Leo Bradley Library on Princess Margaret Drive. The books include reference guides on education, U.S. culture and law and is intended to help students going to the U.S. to develop their knowledge of our giant northern neighbour.

Mayor not backing down from Waste Control
Belize Waste Control (BWC) will continue its lawsuit against the Belize City Council despite Mayor Darrell’s Bradley’s stance, which is that by the terms of the contract the Council is allowed to be four weeks behind on payment but not more without being sued. The Mayor repeated his concerns about the high cost of sanitation and suggested that City residents are obligated to take on more of the burden. After all, he says, it’s their City too. The Council also has sizable payments owed to the other sanitation company, Belize Maintenance Limited (BML.) The case returns to court on April 15.

Mayor missed deadline to run for second term
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has admitted he missed the Monday, March 31 deadline to file papers declaring his intent to run for a second term under the United Democratic Party (UDP). While he has earned rave reviews for his work thus far, his chances of continuing past next March depended on making that deadline. But it does not seem to bother the Mayor, who says he is more worried about keeping up his current performance and being able to report continued success to the people of Belize City. So that is that. Or is it? The Mayor says he does wish he could run again, but he was honest enough to say that before he considers a second term, he wants to fulfill the promises he made in his first. Nevertheless, he admits it is now out of his hands.

BTL employees protest pay negotiations
This afternoon in Belize City, there was an unusual protest at the Church Street office of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). Employees of the state-run telephone company are negotiating with management for a 5% raise of pay. Following negotiations last week, the Belize Communications Workers’ Union (BCWU) met with its members to present a counter offer of 3.5%. With a transition in executives taking place this week, the employees seized the opportunity to make their concerns known. At 10 this morning and again at 3 this afternoon, employees observed a one-minute protest in which they knocked their knuckles on their counter-tops, causing a short delay in tending to customers.

Air Force major deploys to support Belizean, US medical training
A U.S. Air Force major is taking advantage of an opportunity to interact with the Belizean people and learn about their culture as she's deployed in support of New Horizons 2014 in Belize, Central America. Maj. S. Kellie Williams, an international health specialist, is the New Horizons Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron deputy commander, a role that puts her at the heart of U.S. medical coordination with Belizean medical officials. New Horizons is an annual event coordinated amongst U.S. Department of Defense service members, the U.S. Embassy and the host nation government to conduct civil engineer and medical training. The training benefits U.S. forces as they are offered an opportunity to practice deployment and joint training procedures. As the deputy commander, she is responsible for relaying the EMDOS commander's intent to all U.S. medical operations at each of the New Horizon's medical readiness training exercise sites throughout the country of Belize.

Western Ballaz Hit Century Mark
The Western Ballaz proved they are the best team in the league last night! They hit the century mark, and won against the Orange Walk Running Rebels 100 - 50. Awesome job, Western Ballaz! "The Western Ballaz hosted the Orange Walk Running Rebels tonight, and they hit 100 points, winning the game 100 - 50. The Cayo over 35 team won the first game against the Belmopan over 35 team, 74 - 66. Western Ballaz are number 1!"

AKT Weekends
AKT - Art for Kids and Teens - is starting up their Saturday art weekends, starting today, April 5th. It all happens at Barn and Grill. Today is dance. "It's about to happen! Opening April 5th here at Barn and Grill"

Belize's Premier Modeling Agency, Nouveau Model Management, is holding their last casting for the year for Male and Female Models on Saturday, April 26th

Supreme Court Declares Belize’s Obligation to Protect the Maya People under UNDRIP.
The Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association would like to express our gratitude to the Supreme Court for its careful consideration of the issues that were before them in the SATIIM vs. Attorney General Claim no. 394 of 2013. We are pleased that the court has reaffirmed our people's right to the land that we use every day and depend on to survive, and that our Free Prior and Informed Consent must be given for activities on these lands. We are encouraged by the words of Justice Arana where she declared: [the] Defendants [Government of Belize and US Capital Energy] would comply with their obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to respect the rights of the Indigenous Maya Peoples to their lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired [when issuing permits and concessions]. (Claim no. 394 0f 2013 decision pages 55 and 56)

Southern Tour - Ministry of Natural Resources & Agriculture
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture - Honorable Gaspar Vega, Minister of State - Honorable Hugo Patt, Chief Executive Officers of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and senior officers of the Lands and Agriculture Departments and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) toured the southern districts on April 1 and 2, 2014.

Video: Beautiful Belize Chillout and Lounge Mix Del Mar 2014
1hr18min. Mellow music and views of Belize by Chillout King Ibiza. LOTS from Ambergris Caye. "this week's episode of my Chillout Holidays series takes us to beautiful Belize - did you know it was the Belizeans who actually invented chewing gum? Anyway, enjoy this Lounge trip and tell a friend!"

Video: Sacred Heart Flashmob
Sacred Heart School in San Ignacio in Cayo, Belize performed 'Gotta Keep Reading' to raise awareness for literacy in Belize. This was done in cooperation with the 'Literacy Alive' project which was supported by Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Red Deer, Ab, Canada as well as the Rotary Club of San Ignacio.

Video: Cave Kayaking in Belize
Kayaking 9 caves south-east of Belmopan, Belize. We toured with Maya Guide Adventures ( and had an amazing day!!

Video: Snorkeling with Sharks and Turtles in Belize: Ambergris Caye Gopro HD
Filmed with GoPro Hero 3 White edition. Here are a few clips from our snorkeling adventure in Ambergris Caye Belize, staying in El Pescador Lodge. This is primarily a fly fishing destination, but we were able to go out for an afternoon of snorkeling. Nurse sharks were everywhere, as well as rays and big mutton snapper.

Video: Belize
A brief look at the Belize 2013 trip

Video: Swimming with Reef Sharks in Belize
Two Grey Reef Sharks show-up while we are snorkeling on Ambergris Kaye - Belize. Sharks became very agitated when food ran out ... we quickly climbed back on board the fishing boat.

Video: Belize In America in Hopkins Village, Belize

Video: Shark and Ray Alley - Belize Caye Caulker
Brown nurse sharks and Atlantic Stingrays

Channel 7

High School Class Trip Turns Terrible: Two 4th Formers Drown
Two teenaged high school students, a male and a female drowned today on a class trip to the Cayo District. It happened at around 4:00 pm in the Macal River near the low lying bridge in Santa Elena. The students - who are from Escuela Technica Mexico in San Roman, Corozal - had gone on a class trip to the Che-Chem Ha caves in Cayo. On the way back, the entire contingent travelling on bus stopped for a swim in the river. This, we are told, was not on the planned agenda. During the swim two students went under - reportedly pulled by the currents - and they did not re-surface. The body of the male student was retrieved shortly after, and about an hour ago, the body of the female, was found. We have their names, but will not release them until we are certain all family members have been informed of their death. We can say that they were both fourth form students he from Patchakan and she from San Joaquin.. Both bodies have been transported to the morgue. She was wearing long jeans pants when her body was found.

Alleged Contract Killer Says He Made It Up; UDP's Pawpa Mena Still Uneasy
Earlier this week we told you about the disturbing report of a death threat against UDP Standard Bearer for Dangriga, Frank "Pawpa" Mena. A Dangriga resident named Jermaine Miranda told police that no less than the clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster had contracted him to kill Mena. The charge was outlandish in the extreme since both men are prominent UDP's in the town. Well, today we learned that Miranda has withdrawn the allegation. He tells the police he made it all up. But, that doesn't make it all just go away, because there's still a great sense of disquiet since the story is not the kind that just gets pulled out of the air. Today all sides: Mena, Webster, the accuser Miranda and the Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte met with the officer commanding for the Southern formation Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano to try and clear the air. That meeting happened at 11:00 and 7News was in Dangriga when it was finished an hour and fifteen minutes later. We spoke to Peyrefitte and Mena:.. Hon. Mike Peyrefitte, House Speaker/Attorney "We cannot get away from the fact that Mr. Webster is the clerk of the National Assembly and when I heard the matter on the news and clearly it was troubling to him understandably and it was affecting his work, so I decided I had to get involve and try in some way to accompany him to visit the police station. I made a call as well to Mr. Pawpa Mena and Superintendent Mariano and we agreed we will meet here to discuss this matter along with the person who allegedly made the report against Mr. Webster. We met and the young man was present in the meeting and he stated categorically that the entire matter was mischievous, that he was trying to create some problems and when we ask him to what benefit he refused to answer."

Mayor Dragged Back To Court
On Tuesday, we told you about the latest development in the dispute between the Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control. Again, they're battling in court over arrears for garbage collection. On Tuesday, Waste Control wanted to press the case because the council owed 6 weeks in arrears. Well today, 3 days later, Mayor Darrell Bradley told the media that City Hall has paid for 4 weeks, and only owes 2 more. He told the media, after the adjournment before the Chief Justice, that he's hoping the company drops the case this time: Mayor Darrell Bradley "I was able to inform the court that we were only two weeks outside of what we owe them and they are still pursuing litigation. I had impress upon the court to consider the fact that by the terms of the contract we can be 4 weeks in areas and I want to make that very clear. It doesn't mean that we don't owe the two weeks, but there is a difference between owing a sum of money and being in breach of contract giving rise to a suit and giving the claimants in this case Waste Control the right to sue you for the arrears. This is something common in when people pay their rent - you pay your rent by the end of the month but they tell you, you can pay up until the 7th of the following month. Within that period which is a grace period you are not to be sued. What we are saying is that as long as we are within this 4 week period and at the present moment we are two weeks, we are not to be sued and the case is to be discontinued. The judge gave time for Waste Control to file a statement of facts and issues because the judge wants to be satisfied in respect to what remaining tri-able issues there are and we are to return to court on the 15th April for the judge to consider that and to consider whether or not the matter has been settled or whether or not the matter is to proceed forward."

The Burdens Of High Office Weigh Heavily On Bradley
So, as you've seen many times, Bradley has consistently told the media that the current sanitation charges are an unsustainable and unmanageable burden on the council. With many other no-win situations like that one in the sphere of municipal affairs, we wondered if the cumulative load of woe played into Bradley's decision not to enter his name as a mayoral candidate for the next election. While we had the opportunity, we asked Bradley about it, and here's how he responded: Mayor Darrell Bradley "People always ask that question and I maintain this view that I can see myself going forward in the City. Of course these things do not make it easy. The job of being mayor is very difficult, we are in litigation a lot, there is a lot of problems that I have inherited. I do think that think that we have made in-roads in terms of the parks and the infrastructure, quality of life and in terms of reduction in crime - all of those things putting the financial house of the City Council in order and I have maintained to the media and to the public that the thing that I am chiefly concerned about is being able to deliver on our manifesto promises and services. From the very beginning, because you want me to go a certain way, which I haven't given a lot of thought to. I have maintained that we are about service, we are about cleaning house at City Council, and we are about delivering on core promises. Right now we are at 107 concreted streets. The city has 8 streets going on including Buttonwood Bay's Independence Drive, Seashore Drive, the extension of Vernon Street, the extension of Dean Street, West Canal, Castle Street - we have a lot of infrastructures going on, those things are causing headaches because we are coordinating with people in terms of traffic and business and all of those things. Those are the things which keep me up at night, those are the things that I am worried about - I am not worried about an election. I am worried about performance and being able to stand in front of every member of the city and tell them that I have done right by them and I have discharge my obligations to the fullest extent possible."

Teenager Was Shot At Work, Died This Morning
Last night, we told you about the shooting at the eastern end of Central American Boulevard where 26 year-old Troy Hyde and 18 year-old Anfernee Romero both suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Well, tonight, we report that Anfernee Romero, who was shot in the head, died at around 4:20 this morning, 12 hours after he was shot. Police say that Hyde and Romero were doing their work at Locksmith Service on Central American Boulevard, where they are both employed, when 2 gunmen rode past and opened fire at both of them. Death found Romero at his workplace, which is especially tragic for his family since he had worked very hard to become gainfully employed. He graduated last year as part of the 4th intake of the Youth Apprenticeship Program, a Belize City based second-chance program for young adults. Coordinator Diane Finnegan spoke with us this afternoon, and told us that when she had learned that one of her promising past students had been shot, she took it as if Romero had been her own son. Here's how she explained it:

Squatters Beg For Some Solution
Last night, you saw the squatters who were getting in the way of the construction of Lake I Boulevard which will connect the Western Highway with Belama's Chetumal Street. The reports we were getting on the ground were that 20 houses and 100 people needed to move. Tonight, we've confirmed with the contractor that based on their official survey, only 6 of those houses will have to be moved from where they're currently located. But since yesterday, the group of people who believed that they were being forcibly removed for the development, have been trying convince the Government to basically leave them be. Things got confrontational this morning when the loads of clay ended up right at the door step of one those houses in the way, and we went back to find out what would be their fate. Daniel Ortiz reports:

BTL Workers, Desk Bangers
If you were in BTL offices this morning at 10:00 am or this afternoon at 3:00 pm, you probably witnessed a strange thing: employees spontaneously banging on their desks for one solid minute - and one minute only. It caused quite a stir at the usually very business-like offices, and President of the Communication Workers Union Emily Turner says it's simply a show of solidarity for the union as it negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement with management. Turner says the negotiations have been proceeding in good faith, and today's action was only intended to show the union's unity. Turner says the negotiations started last year, and she hopes they can be concluded by the end of this month or next month. Reports say the Union is asking for a 5% increase and management has offered 3.5%.

Police Puzzle Over Inconsistencies In Canadian's Rape/Robbery Report
On Wednesday's Newscast, we told you about the report coming from the Placencia Peninsula that a Canadian Couple was robbed, and that the woman was raped by the assailants. Well ambiguities in the report are surfacing and police are looking more closely at it. As we told you, the Canadian couple told police that 2 men held them up, raped the woman and robbed them of cash and electronics. Well, police say there are some details that they've given that aren't adding up. Other sources from Placencia tell 7News that the couple left without participating in a medical checkup as a routine part of the investigation into a case like this one.

Haylock's Bus Banned (For A Week)
Yesterday we showed you the outrageous traffic maneuver pulled off by a driver for Haylock Bus. He drove the bus diagonally across the Northern Highway at mile 1, going from Captain Eiley Street across the lane of northbound traffic, and then forced himself into the southbound lane. We called it so lawless, it seemed even laughable. But it's no laughing matter for the City's Traffic Department. Reports to 7News say the Department has recommended that Haylock's Bus Line be suspended for the period of one week from their Belama Run within the city. Haylock's also runs from Ladyville - and because the city has no authority over that run, it remains intact. It would be the second high profile suspension for Haylock's bus - which was forced to do the same in late 2012 when a young student fell out of the back of a moving bus when the door sprang open.

Belize Famous For Contraband Smokes
Jalisco, it's one of the most economically active and culturally prominent states in Mexico, but a watchdog group in that country says that it's also a hotbed of contraband cigarettes, most of which they say comes from Belize. According to the El Universal website, authorities estimate that 46% of Jalisco's cigarettes are contraband made in Vietnam, China, Paraguay and the United states, smuggled into Mexico through the Belize border. In March authorities seized 103,000 illegal cigarettes in the state - and those were said to be from Belize.

Both Drivers Served With NIP In Tourist Accident
Last night we showed you the aftermath of a scary head on collision between two vehicles, one of them with tourists as passengers. Tonight police say it was a white westbound Toyota Previa crashing into an eastbound Mazda Protégé four door car - both of them with private plates. The Previa was driven by 30 year old EDMOND CARTER from Western Paradise while the Protégé was driven by 48 year old Orlando Arnold from Maskall Village. Four persons were injured and notices of intended prosecution were issued to both drivers.

PRE Panicked Parents Buying Up Preparatory Software
Last year we told you about Game Prep, digital entrepreneur Tanya Simpson's PSE preparatory software. The game's popularity has taken off with software and an app for mobile platforms. And, with paper one of the PSE exam on Monday, sales this week have stepped up sharply. It may be a purchases driven by panicked parents coming just a little too late, but Simpson tells us she's used to the last minute spike:..

Father Fundraises for Son's Surgery
Today, a father from St, Margaret's Village took out his bar-b-que put and got staffers from his son's school to come out and help him fundraise. His son, 9 year old Kriss Salam has hydrocephalus commonly known as water in the brain, where spinal fluid accumulates in the cavities of the brain. It can be treated with the installation of a shunt to drain the fluid and the procedure can be performed locally. But it's going to cost and this father told us he's fundraising in advance: Those wanting to help can call Longino at 660-3866.

Channel 5

2 students from the Escuela Mexico drown in the Macal River
A field trip ended tragically this afternoon; two students from Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in the Corozal District have drowned in the Macal River. The body of Edgar Pook was [...]

Anfernee Romero, 18, killed in Central American Boulevard shooting
­ In 2013, the number of murders fell significantly below the hundred mark but since the beginning of the year, crime figures are creeping up. According to our count, there [...]

Mytheon Solutions under scrutiny; millions in revenues?
Tonight there is much scrutiny of a company called Mytheon Solutions, registered in Belmopan in 2009. The family operated business deals in phone credit. In this case, at least, the [...]

Squatters removal imminent
On Thursday, News Five visited the plight of squatters on Holy Emmanuel Street, many of whom have been there for years. Squatters, Belizeans and immigrants, find a piece of unused [...]

Mark King promises squatters land titles
Residents of the area, all squatters, have told News Five that Area Representative Mark King conducted a survey late last year. They say that they were even given house numbers, [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley and Belize Waste Control negotiate outstanding debt
Mayor Darrell Bradley, in his dual capacity as attorney for the Belize City Council, was back in court this morning where he appeared before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in ongoing [...]

Will Darrell Bradley run for mayor again?
The deadline for entry into the upcoming U.D.P. mayoral convention expired last Friday. While it is expected that Mayor Darrell Bradley would seek another term in office, his candidacy is [...]

Environmental community supports Supreme Court decision in SATIIM/GOB lawsuit
On Thursday, Justice Michelle Arana handed down a judgment in favor of the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. Justice Arana declared that the decision of the Government of Belize to [...]

2 San Pedranos rescued after skiff capsized off the coast of Ambergris Caye
Three residents of San Pedro were successfully rescued from the sea earlier today when their small Mexican skiff capsized off the coast of Ambergris Caye. The men were in the [...]

Belize Communications Workers stage minute-long protests at B.T.L.
We’ve been reporting in the past few days on the changes in the top management of Belize Telemedia Limited. As you know by now, Anwar Barrow, the son of the [...]

Mexican Reports: Contraband cigarettes entering country through Belize
Reports that the contraband of cigarettes is big business at the Commercial Free Zone and the Western Free Zone are nothing new. But a Mexican newspaper is bringing it closer [...]

A first ever Forestry and Fisheries Expo
The annual Expo Marketplace organized by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is five months away. But on Saturday, in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable [...]

Valley of Peace farmers seek legal counsel for loss of damages to crop
On Thursday, Green Tropics’ Country Representative Beverly Burke, along with Chief Agricultural Officer Roberto Harrison and a team from the media, flew over the acreage of produce near Valley of [...]

Highlights of the 2014 Preschool Festival of Arts
The 2014 season of the annual Festival of Arts got underway last Monday, as preschoolers from districts across the Jewel performed in dance, music and drama. For the Belize District, [...]


How To Keep Your Baby Cool During The Hot Weather
Whether you spend it inside or in the great outdoors, when it’s hot, like this time of the year, it takes some tricks to keep an infant safe and comfortable. Overdress a baby and he or she could develop an angry heat rash; expose his or her fragile body to hot conditions could lead to a painful, damaging sunburn or heatstroke, a serious affliction characterized by a high fever and rapid breathing. It is important to note that overheating has also been linked to sudden infant death syndrome, a fatal sleeping disorder. To make sure your little one stays cool and protected during the long, hot days here is some advice. If you're going to be indoors, dress your infant in loose-fitting, lightweight garments, preferably made from a natural fiber like cotton, which absorbs perspiration better than synthetic fabrics.

Standard Six Students Prepare For PSE Exams
For standard six students, the Primary School Examinations or as we call it the ‘PSE’ can be frightening to some and a welcomed challenged for others. And on Monday, students across the country will be sitting part one of the examination, those are the Science and English papers. And while many schools have been preparing their students from the very onset of the school year, we felt it imperative to highlight their academic preparations for the big day. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video journalist Jesus Melgar followed the story and filed this extensive report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Thousands of standard six students across the country will be sitting part one of the primary school examinations on Monday. The examinations serve as a grading scheme and reflect the effectiveness of the National Curriculum, and for the teachers it is an important assessment of what students have learned in 8 years. Today, we visited with several schools and got insight on the preparation process.

Couple From Progresso Village Claim Police Brutality
There have been countless reports on police brutality and abuse of power and there will be many more ahead of us and tonight we have another incident of alleged abuse of authority by police. This time around however, a couple alleges that they have been unable to find help even from the higher ups. Twenty six year old Maricruz Heredia, a resident of Progresso Village, says that their ordeal began on the morning of April first. She says the officer attached to the Progresso Police substation entered her house around five in the morning armed and furious. Maricruz Heredia “Yo estoy durmiendo cuando oí que están golpeando la puerta y se abrió y cuando yo me levante ya estaba abierto mi puerta y el entro y yo Salí con solo calzón y bracea y yo le pregunte qué, que hace acá y él me dice que adonde esta mi marido y le dije que mi marido no está porque él no queda acá y después de haya él dice que él tiene que rebuscar mi casa y le dije que él no puede registrar mi casa si el no trae un search warrant y él me dice que él no necesita un search warrant.”


School Trip Turns Tragic in Western Belize
A day that started out with much excitement and anticipation of their school trip to Chen Chen Ha Caves, ended in tragedy for a group of students from La Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico in San Roman Village, Corozal District when two of their classmates drowned earlier this evening in the Macal River near the low lying bridge in San Ignacio Town. Reports are that after their visit to the caves, the students went near the low lying bridge when the incident occurred. Tonight, we can confirm to you that both bodies, a young man and a young girl have been retrieved from the waters by the authorities in that municipality. The bodies were taken to the San Ignacio morgue where a post mortem will be scheduled. Love News will continue following this story and will bring further reports to you as they are made available.


U.S. State Department Donates to National Library
The Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS) yesterday received a donation from the U.S. State Department for the establishment of the Education USA Reference Center, to be housed at the Service’s headquarters at the Leo Bradley Library on Princess Margaret Drive. The books include reference guides on...

School Trip Disaster: 2 Students Drown
Fourth form students from Escuela Mexico in Corozal were on a school trip to San Ignacio today and with the heat on, some of the students went for a swim in the Macal River by the wooden bridge connecting the twin towns. However, something went wrong and two of...

Teenager Shot to the Head; Other Man Multiple Times
Last night we told you about a shooting that happened just before our news time in the Port Loyola area of Belize City. Police have released information on the incident and it was not only one man who was shot. There was a second victim as well. Police say...

Man Admits Lying About Clerk of the National Assembly Hiring him as a Hit man
On April 1 we reported a strange story coming out of Dangriga. It highlighted two prominent men from the community, both Political personalities in the UDP. They are the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster. and Dangriga’s UDP Standard Bearer, Frank “Pawpa” Mena. According to a known criminal,...

Chinese Businesses Targeted Back to Back in Corozal
A Chinese store in Corozal was robbed at gun point on Wednesday night. The incident happened at Ban’s store on Santa Rita Road in Corozal Town. According to the proprietor, at about 9:00 p.m. while opening the shutter s of his store in order for his brother in law...

BTL Employees Protest Pay Negotiations
This afternoon in Belize City, PLUS News was witness to an unusual protest. Employees of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) are negotiating with their management for a 5% raise of pay. The state-run company has counter-offered at 3.5%. Still, with a newly reshuffled executive taking control this week, employees at...

Belize CitCo Working to Clear Waste Control Payments
Earlier this week, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was on the receiving end of scathing criticism from attorney for Belize Waste Control (BWC) Eamon Courtenay, who suggested he was “living in another world” for being unable to grasp the importance of consistent payments of the sanitation bill...

American Diplomat Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to Belize
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Francisco Palmieri is on a two-day visit to Belize to meet with his local counterparts in various sectors ranging from Government to civil society. He describes his visit thus far. H.E. Francisco Palmieri- Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the USA “I just had a...

Butane Fueled Vehicles: Are They Safe?
Taxi driver Douglas Paguada is up in arms over the confiscation of his taxi by transport department. He says that around 8:30 this morning, he was parked inside the taxi parking lot adjacent to the Belmopan bus terminal, then he was confronted by the traffic authorities who told him...

Mayor Bradley Missed Deadline to Run Again
Earlier this week Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley asked for time to formulate a response as to whether he would run for a second term. The simple fact of the matter is that, by his own admission as he told us today, he missed the Monday, March 31 deadline...


“No to oil drilling until our rights to land, resources, culture, identity and equality are recognized…” This was the message boldly printed on the back of white T-shirts which members of the Maya community wore when they listened to the announcement this morning by Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana that she had ruled in their favor in a claim filed last year to stop drilling inside the Sarstoon-Temash National Park (STNP). Eamon Courtenay, SC, attorney for the Maya, said that the company, US Capital, can only proceed with drilling until April 30, 2014, but every day that they drill or that they prepare to drill without free prior and informed consent, they are in violation of the rights of the claimants. “The courts have said, repeatedly said, and Arana has said yet again, that the indigenous people should not be forced to go to court to have those rights respected. It is the obligation and duty of the Government…,” he said. “The Government is duty-bound to pass enabling legislation, and Arana says that it is the duty of the Government to enter negotiations so that they can be compensated, as of right, despite the neo-colonialist garbage coming from the mouth of Mr. Peyrefitte,” Courtenay added.

Lately it seems that there is hardly any infrastructural development project in Belize that isn’t faced with opposition or resentment from concerned or affected citizens who take it upon themselves to sound the alarm regarding some type of perceived injustice or the other, and today, another saga unfolded as some frantic residents of Lake Independence railed about proposed infrastructural works which, according to the residents, threaten to drive them from their residences, or as some said, “bury them alive.” Their concerns stem from the Chetumal Street Bridge Project, which is currently taking place in the extended areas of Belize City’s Lake Independence constituency where a road is being constructed to bridge the north and south sides of the city in addition to infrastructure works to create a proposed bus terminal, a full-fledged police station and a multi-purpose sports facility in that vicinity. Scores of persons reside on properties which are apparently in the way of the Chetumal Street Boulevard project. The residents are now up in arms because they are claiming that they were previously promised that their homes and properties would not be affected.

In addition to facing legal challenges from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community to the country’s sodomy laws in the Supreme Court and its immigration laws before the Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize is now facing a human rights challenge before the Inter-American Commission on Humans Rights (IACHR) – a challenge led by United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), the same NGO which had petitioned the Supreme Court to have the law criminalizing sodomy struck off the country’s law books. The State of Belize was summoned to appear in Washington, DC, USA, before the IACHR—an instrument of the Organization of American States (OAS)—on the morning of Friday, March 28, 2014, after UNIBAM petitioned for a human rights hearing in which the NGO is demanding that the Government of Belize implement measures to protect the rights of the LGBTI community in Belize. UNIBAM is also demanding legislation to sanction persons for what it calls “hate crimes” and “hate speech” against LGBTI persons. It claims violation and discrimination in health, education and employment, and major security concerns for LGBTI persons – citing the recent January 2013 murder of Joseph Sanchez, a transgender individual who police said was killed in the process of an aggravated robbery by two men, although UNIBAM had wrongly called it a hate crime.

Gunshots rang out near the southern end of Central American Boulevard shortly after 5:00 this evening, and when the shooting was over, two men had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Ward for treatment. Reports are sketchy at this time, but Amandala has learned that the two shooting victims are Alfernie Romero, 18, and Troy Hyde, 26. The two friends were socializing in a yard when two gunmen rode up on bicycles and opened fire, hitting both men multiple times. Romero was hit in his back, leg and hand. The bullet in his back is said to be lodged in an area of his spine. Hyde, street sources say, was shot twice in the head.

Isabel lights fire of activism on rough road to recovery
Even as she lies confined to a hospital bed, her neck and hip braced because of excruciating injuries she sustained in a road traffic accident a week ago, Isabel G. Bennett, a well-known lecturer in the Department of Nursing at the University of Belize and an activist in her field, has pledged to start a movement for victims of road traffic accidents and their families, who are often left out in the cold to grapple in the aftermath. She has suffered a fractured hip and three hairline fractures in her cervical spine – c3, c4 and c5. She wears a neck brace to avoid further injury—which should be avoided at all cost to avert the risk of paralysis. Bennett, a resident of Ladyville, Belize District, was returning home from Belmopan last Tuesday night when the non-stop James Bus in which she was riding was involved in a collision with a towhead truck which was transporting a tractor. Bennett said that it was after 7:00 in the night and the road was “very dark” – what she believes was one of the contributing factors to the accident.

Karen Bevans joins BTB on April 9
Karen Bevans, who recently resigned her post as Chief Operations Officer at Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) after 25 years of service—is due to assume her new post as Director of Tourism at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) next Wednesday, April 9. Bevans was hoping to take on local and overseas consultancies after demitting office at BTL; however, the new job will mean that she will have her plate full. The new Director of Tourism told Amandala today that her focus has to be on bringing the team together and fostering an environment of teamwork. She said that although her background is telecommunications and not tourism, she is optimistic that she can bring the kind of leadership to the organization that will build camaraderie among staff, which would then pay dividends in boosting productivity within the organization. She expressed confidence that the management staff has the technical tourism expertise the organization needs to oversee the sector.

PUP and Anwar Barrow clash over BTL appointment
The Opposition People’s United Party has issued a statement calling on the board of directors of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)—headed by Net Vasquez—to rescind the appointment of Anwar Barrow, son of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, as head of the company’s executive committee. “While Anwar Barrow has served on the board of directors and executive committee of management, this latest appointment places him in full and direct control of the day-to-day management of BTL,” said the Opposition. It noted that the phone company is state-owned and government-controlled, and they view Anwar Barrow’s appointment as a blatant act of nepotism, and added that this is not in the best interest of BTL or the people of Belize. The Opposition said that, “If the BTL board fails to act, we call on Prime Minister Barrow to do the right thing and to ask his son, Anwar Barrow, to resign.”

Belmopan City Council Mundialito Kids
The Belmopan Football Association (BFA) held Week 4 games at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium over the weekend in the Belmopan City Council Mundialito Kids & Female Cup 2014. On Saturday, March 29, in game 1 at 1:00 p.m., (Kids) Salvapan1-Brazil clipped San Martin-Mexico2 by a 1-nil score with a goal from Rolando Galdamez (42’). In game 2, (Female) San Martin-Mexico won, 3-0, over Piccini-France, with a goal apiece from Clarisa Salgado (19’), Shian Wade (32’) and Ashly Rodriguez (53’). And in game 3, (Kids) Mountain View-Italy got the 3-1 win over Las Flores-Spain, with a goal each from Tahj Reid (37’), Jodie Reyes (40’) and Jamal Brooks (52’); while Justin Menendez (59’) got the only goal for Las Flores.

Cricket competition
The following games were played over the weekend in the Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2014. At Sandhill, Brave 11 scored 90 runs (S. Flowers had 29 runs, and A. Fermin took 2 wickets); but Bright Star reached 95 runs for the win with 4 spare wkts (Marlon Rhaburn had 36 runs, and Gilly Segura took 4 wkts). At Rancho Dolores, it was Excellence with 144 runs (Vernon Stevenson scored 38, and Marlon “Camala” Nicholas took 7 wkts) over Western Eagles, who managed only 71 (Jonathan Benjamin scored 27, and Emilio “Peng” Perez took 5 wkts). At Isabella, Isabella was all out for 106 runs (Terry Budd batted for 39, and Norman Pook took 4 wkts), but Berlan tallied 107 with 5 spare wkts for the win (Jeovany Baiza had 49, and Jerry Casasola took 3 wkts). At Carmelita, Brilliant racked up an unbeatable total of 298 runs (Brandon Lewis scored 58, and Andrew Banner took 4 wkts), as home standing Suga Boys could only manage 142 (Orvin Wade had 36 runs, and Jaime Wade took 4 wkts). At Boom, Brave Union was all out for only 41 runs (Zaghi took 2 wkts), as Sunrise easily passed that mark with their 46 runs with 7 wkts to spare (Martin Joseph had 12 runs, and Edison Parks took 5 wkts for 5 runs). At Lords Bank, it was Wicked Eleven over Cashu Medicos; and at Belmopan, Easy Does It defeated Police. (No details were received for these games.)

House of Shotokan Karate students win 15 trophies in Chet’
Seven students from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy journeyed to Chetumal, Mexico on Saturday, March 22, to compete in the National Blackbelt League (NBL) Karate Championships along with participants from Puerto Morales, Cancun, Acapulco and other Mexican states. At the end of the competition, Andre Cervantes (Yellow Belt) won 1st place in the Fighting Division and 1st place in the Kata Division; Norman Usher (White Belt) won 2nd place in the Fighting Division; Anthony Usher (White Belt) – in his first karate tournament – won 2nd place in the Fighting Division and 3rd place in the Kata Division; Jorge Aguilar (White Belt) won 2nd place in the Fighting Division and 2nd place in the Kata Division; Samara Vasquez (Purple Belt) won 2nd place in the Fighting Division, 1st place in the Kata Division and 1st place in the Weapons Division; Elias Myers (Brown Belt) won 2nd place in the Fighting Division and 2nd place in the Kata Division; and Landon Cocom (Tigo Shodan Black Belt) won 3rd place in the Fighting Division, 2nd place in the Kata Division and 2nd place in the Weaponry Division.

No Limit Soldiers win
The first half of the National Elite Basketball League regular season is officially in the books, and the sedond half got underway this past Friday night, March 28, when the Belize City (Smart) No Limit Soldiers clashed with the Orange Walk Running Rebels inside the Orange Walk Multipurpose Complex. This match-up was intense and exciting from start to finish, as neither team was able to accumulate a double digit lead at any point in the game. The largest advantage for the Running Rebels was 6 points, while the biggest lead for the Soldiers was 7. It was a close game throughout the entire 40 minutes, with 14 lead changes and 18 ties. The game was tight until the very end, and with the score knotted at 74 apiece with 30 seconds on the clock in the 4th and final quarter, the No Limit Soldiers made a mental error, committing a defensive foul to send a Running Rebel to the charity stripe to shoot 2. As he stepped to the line, the silence was deafening, as every Running Rebel fan was on the edge of their seats praying that he could hit at least one to give the home side the lead with mere seconds remaining in the game. The first shot went up, it looked good as it approached the rim, but it rimmed out. And with the score still tied at 74, he released the 2nd free throw. It was all net, and as the ball exited the bottom the crowd erupted, as the Rebels were now in front 75 to 74.

Hon. John Saldivar 8-Ball
The Hon. John Saldivar 8-Ball Tournament in Belmopan continued on Sunday, March 30, at Mike’s Cue Club in Belmopan, as Round 1 ended, and Round 2 got underway. Let’s look at the individual results and standings. Match 1: Las Flores downed Shattaz, 2-1. Las Flores’ Salvador Orellana hurt Jason Tsu, 3-1; and Julio Hernandez dropped Juan Gusman, 3-1. For Shattaz, it was Erwin Paredes over Victor Orellana, 3-0, by default due to work. Match 2: Twin Stars defeated Cotton Tree, 2-1. Twin Stars’ Sam Yam beat Mario Lopez, 3-1; and Moises Aguirre won Danilo Rivero, 3-1. For Cotton Tree, it was Robert Sanabria over Jose Palma, 3-2. Match 3: Special Effects blanked Barrio Fino, 3-0. Special Effects’ Edmund Guy got over Brian Mira, 3-2; Juan Maiestro got past Stanley Mira, 3-2; and Erwin Woodye won Santos Palma, 3- 1.

Police sits pretty on top
With the FFB taking over the management of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Belikin Cup Closing Season tournament, there have been a few glitches in the communication flow. There was an error in our Week 4 report last week, where the Police United goal in their 1-0 win over Verdes at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday, March 22, was by Harrison “Cafu” Roches, not by Harrison Tasher as erroneously reported. Tasher plays for BDF. Catching up with Week 5 mid-week games on Wednesday, March 26. At the Marshalleck Stadium, FC Belize dropped home standing Verdes by the same 2-1 score as on that controversial semifinal night in January. FC Belize goals were by Leon “Chow” Cadle (30’ PK) and Francisco Briceno (52’); while Verdes’ sole tally was by Marlon “El Matador” Meza (52’ PK). Down in Punta Gorda, a late goal by Clifton West (88’) gave visiting Police United the 1-0 win over Paradise/Freedom Fighters. And in Dangriga, BDF got a goal in each half by Frederick Flores (21’) and Shane Flores (83’), respectively, to beat visiting San Ignacio United, 2-0.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s decision to promote his younger son, Anwar, to the top of the management of the nationalized telecommunications company is an act of defiance on his part. The original move to appoint Anwar to the BTL board was insolent enough, it being the case that there were more qualified, more experienced candidates for the lucrative board post, but this week’s elevation of the young Barrow to the BTL leadership essentially confirms what we have been trying to emphasize at this newspaper for some years now. That is, that the system of government which we have in Belize, exaggerates the power of the Prime Minister to such an extent as to make a mockery sometimes of participatory democracy. On election night two years ago, it appeared that the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) was about to blow a general election they had been expected to win easily. The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) had swept the South and done serious damage in the West earlier that day. In fact, but for sixty or seventy votes, the PUP would have won four of the six seats in the West and would have formed the 2012-2017 Government of Belize. This PUP, however, had changed Leaders twice in the four months before the March 2012 general election, and had ended up with a Leader appointed by an anonymous party cabal instead of elected in a leadership convention. This was the PUP that had the UDP shaking in its boots at 11 p.m. on general election night.

From The Publisher
“On 30 May 1969, Curacao’s capital, Willemstad, was in flames. A labor conflict that erupted into a revolt ended with the deployment of Dutch marines to restore order. Once the smoke had cleared, part of the historical city lay in ruins. The long-term consequences of this revolt were to be far-reaching.” “A few individuals, like the progressive priest Amado Romer, had warned of a possible outburst. Yet despite such warnings and recurrent demonstrations organized by the Vitó group, the revolt of 30 May came as a complete surprise to almost everyone on the island. The local government seemed to believe that a gradual improvement of the economic situation would resolve the discord, and hence tended to downplay its significance. In the Netherlands, only a few were concerned with the Caribbean parts of the kingdom at all and even those had no idea what was brewing. Even the Antillean and Dutch security forces were taken completely off their guard by the revolt.” “Thee Amigo identified the cause of the outburst as ‘the festering feeling of uncertainty (…) of the ordinary man, the – misplaced or otherwise – realization that he is no more than a ball being tossed around by the lucrative arbitrariness of impersonal powers, which keep on growing as he becomes disproportionately smaller.’”

Phillip Gallaty, 56, charged with driving motor vehicle without due care and attention
Phillip Gallaty, 56, a resident of 876 Bella Vista and the manager of Victor L. Bryant and Company Limited, pleaded not guilty to driving without due care and attention when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Thursday afternoon. But before Frazer read the charge to him, Gallaty told the court that he had not been aware that he had been involved in a traffic accident. The alleged accident reportedly occurred on Saturday, March 22, 2014 around Mile 2 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway, and it involved a vehicle driven by Belize City Traffic Magistrate Stephanie Gillett, 39. Gallaty said that he first became aware that he had been involved in a traffic accident when police showed up at his office with a warrant for his arrest.

Family house destroyed in Belmopan; 9 homeless
The house of a single mother, Narcissa Dionicio, 52, of Salvapan, the mother of twelve children, was completely destroyed by fire at about 7:30 Sunday evening. Her belongings and household furnishings were destroyed. Dionicio and her children are now homeless, and she is asking the public to help her to acquire materials to rebuild a house, clothing, food, books and uniforms, and also monetary donations to buy needed items for survival. A family member told Amandala that on Sunday night, Dionicio was at home doing some work when suddenly one of her grandchildren came running to her and told her that the baby had put a lighted candle on the mattress where the grandchild sleeps, and it had caught fire. Dionicio immediately ran into the room to see what was happening and that was when she saw that the mattress was burning. She quickly tried to get water to throw on the burning mattress, but there was insufficient water.

Fires destroy properties in Ladyville and Corozal
A house and a warehouse, in Biscayne and Corozal respectively, were completely destroyed by fire on Sunday. The Corozal Fire Service reported that they responded to a call at about 5:00 a.m. Sunday reporting a fire at Johnny’s Construction, Mile 85 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway. When they arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in fierce flames. Fire officials believed that the fire started in the office of the company. Firemen put out the fire, but the building, made of concrete, was destroyed. Reports are that in the warehouse at the time were four vehicles in good condition, a boat and other machinery worth thousands of dollars, and they were all destroyed. After investigating, fire officials concluded that the fire started in the office, which was located in the storeroom of the building.

What we’re eating and feeding our children
I came across an article by Dr. Mercola ( titled, “Environmental toxins linked to rise in autism,” and thought it relevant to the recent discussion about the potential dangerous effects caused by the spraying of our crops with the chemical called “glyphosate” that wreaked havoc on our farmers in Valley of Peace. Their problem is financial; the rest of us consumers have to think about our health, especially considering that there may be poor monitoring of what the Mennonite farmers are doing on their farms, whose products come to our market and then to our dinner tables. Below is an excerpt from Mercola’s article dated April 2, 2014. Fluoride and Glyphosate—Two Toxins That Need to Be Urgently Addressed When you consider how pervasive those 12 toxins are (not to mention the thousands of others, which we still know little about), it’s no wonder so many children are born with severe health problems and disabilities. Fluoride alone, which is still being added to many public water supplies around the US, can contribute to a seven-point drop in a child’s IQ score, on average!

6 survive ordeal at sea for 11 hours
Five men and a boy, 13, are alive and well after a harrowing ordeal, floating at sea for 11 hours after their boat capsized about nine miles off the shore of Dangriga Town, in the Coco Plum Caye area. The group had been travelling with Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano, Commander of the Police Southern Division, who is an avid sailor and fisherman. Mariano and the group travelled to the Coco Plum Caye area for a day of fishing on Sunday, but shortly after they weighed anchor and were travelling back home, their boat capsized after a big wave slammed it at an angle. The men held on to the overturned boat, while the 13-year-old was put on top of the boat. One of the men daringly swam back to Coco Plum Caye, a distance of about 4 miles, and alerted the resort owner of the accident, and he immediately initiated a search for the other men.

Laura Baptist Middleton recovering at the KHMH
Laura Baptist Middleton, the principal of Sadie Vernon High School, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after she was found lying on the floor of her office at the Sadie Vernon High School at about 2:30 this afternoon. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she is being treated and monitored. Her condition has been declared stable. Reports to Amandala by students are that the vice principal went into the principal’s office and found her lying on the floor. An ambulance was called, which came quickly. Soldiers who were on the compound went into the office and assisted the ambulance technicians, and put Middleton on a stretcher and put her into the ambulance. She was then rushed away.

Alcoholic stupor led to death of villager
The family of Guinea Grass villager, Asael Levi Gomez, 30, is mourning his death which post-mortem results have so far indicated to have been a consequence of an alcoholic stupor. On Monday, we reported that Gomez’s partially decomposed corpse was discovered by an Infant 2 student of Guinea Grass Roman Catholic School in Orange Walk when she went to use the bathroom after 9:00 that morning. Today, police reported that when they visited the school’s compound yesterday, Gomez – a construction worker – was seen slumped over a latrine at the school, and upon a close inspection of the body, a wound was observed on the right side of his temple. Further investigations revealed that Gomez’s wife, Doricile Cruz, had been trying to persuade him to go home at about 8:00 on the morning of Saturday, March 29, because he was intoxicated at the time, but he reportedly refused to go, and that was the last time she saw him alive.

Esteemed WPS Tucker succumbs to stroke attack
A host of friends, relatives and coworkers from the Belize Police Department are at this time mourning the loss of a well-known and well-liked female police sergeant, WPS Kimari Tucker, who suffered a massive stroke while going to attend a concert in Belize City last Saturday, March 29. This past Tuesday, April 1, Sergeant Kimari Tucker unfortunately passed away at around 10:30 a.m. at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she had been admitted since Sunday, March 30. While her family grapples with the circumstances of her unexpected death, the Belize Police Department is also grieving the loss of the exemplary officer who had earned numerous awards during her extensive tenure and had a quite positive rapport with the public at large. Today, Amandala spoke with her close friend and former coworker, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, who heads the Police Department’s Eastern Division Communication Center, and he told us that he had known WPS Tucker for almost 30 years, and although she had been diagnosed with a hypertensive condition, the career officer was one of the best and most passionate individuals that has ever served the department.

Fishermen fined for off-season Nassau groupers
This afternoon, two fishermen, one from Santa Elena and one from Progresso, were ordered to pay $1,290 each after they pleaded guilty to two fisheries offences in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer Dionicio Edwards, 35, of Santa Elena, Cayo District, and Julius Chi, 29, of Progresso, Corozal District, were charged with one count each of being in possession of two Nassau groupers out of season, and one count of being in possession of 26 fish fillets without the required two inch by one inch skin patch. Three other fishermen were summoned to appear to answer the same two charges, but up to the time of the arraignment of Edwards and Chi, had not showed up at court. The incident occurred last Sunday, March 29, northwest of Crawl Caye on the Turneffe atoll, where Fisheries officers found the men with two fillet Nassau groupers and 26 fillet fish, which did not have the skin patch, which is required for identification purposes.

PM Barrow’s son, Anwar, heads executive committee of BTL
Anwar Barrow, son of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dean Barrow, has confirmed to Amandala that he has assumed the position of chairman of the executive committee of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), effective April 1, 2014. Anwar Barrow succeeds Net Vasquez, who will continue serving as chairman of BTL’s board of directors. Barrow told us today that the executive committee is a subcommittee of the board of directors, which now has 8 members since the departure of Sir Manuel Esquivel. Meanwhile, Barrow indicated that Rafael Marin, Chief Information Systems Officer, is acting in the post recently vacated by Karen Bevans – who may shortly be assuming the post of director of the Belize Tourism Board.

Chamber says current form of OSH bill “detrimental”
Although the private sector, the trade unions and the Government all agree that there is a pressing need for the country to adopt legislation to tackle occupational safety problems which exist across the country, the private sector has joined the Government of Belize in expressing concerns that the changes required under the current draft of the Occupation Safety and Health (OSH) Bill would be too onerous on the private sector. Kay Menzies, president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce of Industry (BCCI), told Amandala this morning that while the Chamber and its members absolutely support the move to enact safety legislation, the OSH Bill is detrimental in its current form and it “absolutely will not work,” because it will raise the cost of doing business. The Public Service, Labour, Trade and Industry Committee of the House, led by Albert area representative Herman Longsworth, met with the private sector at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel last night, and heard the concerns of the private sector.

Contract for Dangriga market project in new hands
The town of Dangriga, also known as the Culture Capital of Belize, has been without an official town market in excess of one year since the already delayed project for the renovation of the market was abruptly brought to a standstill last September. But now things seem to be shaping up for Dangriga residents since a new contract for the long-awaited completion of the market has been undertaken by a construction company from the Cayo District. However, the awarding of that contract has caused tension with one of the project’s former subcontractors, who told Amandala today that he intends to file court action to recover over $100,000 that he invested to complete that same project. According to a release issued yesterday by the Social Investment Fund (SIF), which is the executing agency for the project, SIF’s newly appointed executive director, William Lamb, Jr., is expected to hand over the project site to representatives of CB Construction of San Ignacio for the completion of the refurbishment and expansion of the municipal market in Dangriga today. The new contract – valued at exactly $1,228,310.95 – was signed last Monday, March 24, after SIF got the “green light” from the World Bank and the Contractor General.

Legality, illegality and loyalty (how Guatemalans violate our laws)
There is so much going on in the country it seems we are running from one crisis to another and one scandal to another which consume the mass citizenry into a frenzy. Sadly few take time to analyze in a very critical manner what is actually taking place. Because the conversation gets into partisan politics too often the discourse does not go beyond the personal attacks and the “shoot the messenger” mentality takes over, thus the issue is left as is. Illegal activity overshadowed Over the weekend there was a major shooting that impacted the entire national security of Belize and I personally was irate to know that the Guatemalan press has been “spinning” the shooting of a Guatemalan drug man into the illegal killing of an innocent farmer. Sadly the Belizean press has not even put a spin, much less told the truth of what happened… some are now getting there. Sadly our government, BDF and FCD Rangers are not talking…. They know what happened and it is a far cry from what Prensa Libre and the Guatemalan press are saying.

LETTERS: David Swatsigga writes the people
I chose to write to your newspaper because I have always noticed that your newspaper continuously publishes articles that are unbiased. Allow me to express the words of wisdom of Aristotle: “Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.” Certainly Aristotle was right to the very foundation of his assertion. It’s fundamental that for democracy to flourish the power of the electorate must prevail without any hindrance. In Belize we have a modified democratic system run by political parties who are rooted on the principle of ignorance, arrogance, self-praise, unethical, immoral, treason, just to name a few qualities. The quality of governance in our country is also muffled by the fact that our representatives are elected and put in power by the will of cash flow in our elections. The capital that puts a government in place is by the will of the wealthy and not the middle or lower class of society. Government as we call it in Belize is just a theoretical reality of the real democracy. Our system of government always clashes with the interest of the poor of this nation. Since pre and post-Independence we have been spectators of scandal on top of scandal in this nation: passports being sold, public funds being diverted, lands being sold for mediocre prices and then resold for millions, companies opening and closing in the blink of an eye, money laundering by representatives of the people, tax-cuts to special investors, containers of products being imported and levied of import duties and taxes, drug trafficking by members in government and so much more. I beg the question: Is society handcuffed from making a change?

LETTERS: Major Jones censures Lt. Col. Lovell
On March 26, 2014, the CEO of the Ministry of National Security, retired Lieutenant Colonel George Lovell, in response to questions posed by the media, did two things. Firstly he made a buffoon of himself and secondly, he reinforced public perception that there is a cover-up in relation to the Penner passport scandal. A leaked confidential memo, penned by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), indicated that ASP Valdez (the officer in charge of the Penner investigation) was stymied in the discharge of his duties “due to instructions”. When questioned about this revelation, unbelievably, George Lovell had this to say: “There was a letter that was sent back to the DPP, where ASP Valdez clarified what precisely happened. I don’t know who made it available to the press with the first correspondence, and I would like to ask whosoever did that to take that second correspondence that ASP Valdez had sent to the DPP, and for them to have the press informed and enlightened on it. I will not be that person to say that to you, but I know that it was clarified.”

LETTERS: From Cristo Rey, a call to check the mercury!
In the February 14, 2014 edition of this newspaper, there was a letter from Mrs. Candy Gonzales on the levels of mercury in fish from the Macal River. I must express my great disappointment and concern at the lack of response from GOB and BECOL to the issues raised by Mrs. Gonzales. It seems that the Government of Belize (DoE) has once again abandoned the wellbeing and livelihood of the Cayo people in favour of the monstrous multinational company –BECOL. Before the dams, the citizens of the Cayo District enjoyed healthy fish and clean water from the Macal River system. All this and more was sacrificed in the name of cheaper electricity and a huge profit for BECOL. The people of Cayo were then appeased with the mitigating measure contained in the ECP signed with BECOL, which ensured that contamination of the Macal would be monitored and the communities kept informed when it was safe to eat fish and use the water from the river until parameters returned to normal.

Man, 19, stabbed in Ladyville
A man has been released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was stabbed twice in the right side of the back by one of three men during an altercation at about 2:00 Friday morning in Ladyville at Mile 9 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Samir Sutherland, 19, of Gabourel Lane, Belize City, was rushed to the Belize Defence Force Hospital in Price Barracks, and then to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and after further treatment, he was declared to be in a stable condition. Police reported that their initial investigation revealed that Sutherland had attacked a person with a weapon, but failed in the attack. He returned to the area, however, and became involved in an altercation with a group of men, one of whom stabbed him twice in his back.

Police charge Steven Buckley for weed “roach”
Steven Buckley, his wife and son, and three of their friends were arraigned on a charge of being in possession of a pipe adapted to smoke a controlled drug when they appeared this afternoon before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart, who released them on a $700 bail and adjourned their case to May 29. Buckley, however, was charged with possession of 0.4 grams of cannabis. He pleaded guilty and Stewart fined him $60, which he has to pay by May 2. If he defaults on payment, he will spend two weeks in prison. According to the police’s statement which was read in court, they (the police) visited Buckley’s George Street home around 10:00 a.m. in search of guns and ammunition, but came upon the cannabis when they searched inside Buckley’s room. Before the police’s facts of the charge were read, Buckley, who is partially paralyzed from the blast of a police shotgun he suffered in 2010, in a case of mistaken identity, demonstrated to the Magistrate the size of the cannabis which was found, by holding his thumb against his index finger, saying, “it was just wan lee roach.”

Kenroy Vanzie, 32, beat firearm and ammunition rap
Kenroy Vanzie, who was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, walked out of Magistrate Dale Cayetano’s court free of the charges after the Magistrate upheld a no-case-to-answer submission from Vanzie’s attorney, Bryan Neal, on Wednesday. The prosecution’s case began to unravel when the firearm, a .9mm, was not admitted into evidence because of a discrepancy with the serial number on the weapon. In his submission, Neal told the court that there was no connection between his client and the firearm that police found on January 1, 2013. When police found the gun, which was loaded with 6 rounds, Vanzie was in police custody, Neal submitted. He was being investigated for a robbery, and was not released from police custody until the following day, January 2. The prosecution was also unable to prove that Vanzie had actually resided at the address where the gun was found, Neal argued. The police did not present any evidence such as a utility bill or some other document to prove that Vanzie actually lived in the yard in which the gun was found.

Man threatened victim, after jacking his fried chicken and chow mein!
A Belize City man was arraigned in the #1 Court of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on one count of theft and one count of use of threatening words and was released on a $1,000 bail plus one surety of the same amount. Sherman Rodney, 22, a construction worker employed with Cisco Construction, pleaded not guilty to the two charges. The incident occurred on Tuesday, March 25, according to a report filed by Rupert Lopez, the virtual complainant. Lopez told police that he had gone to buy fried chicken and chow mein at a Chinese fast food shop on Fabers Road. While making his way on Fabers Road with the food he had just bought, two men approached him. The men were riding bicycles and Lopez told police that he recognized Sherman Rodney, whom he has known for some time now.

Stoeger pistol found by police in Corozal
A 9mm Stoeger pistol loaded with 10 live rounds has been found and confiscated by police. Corozal police said that at about 5:20 Saturday evening, they were on an anti-drug patrol in the Santa Rita area in Corozal when they went to an open lot where they conducted random searches to find drugs, guns or ammunition. This led to the discovery of the Stoeger Couger 800F pistol with the serial number T6429-08. The pistol had an extended magazine containing 10 live rounds.

High speed police chase leads to arrest of Maroquin Drury, 22
A man who was allegedly involved in a shooting incident that was followed by a high speed police chase through some streets of Lake Independence on Friday afternoon was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on two charges before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on Monday. Maroquin Antwon Drury, 22, a tour guide and resident of 11 Santa Barbara Street, pleaded not guilty to grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm against Joshua Lewis. But the Monday morning arraignment had to be adjourned to the court’s afternoon session, to determine if Drury could be granted bail for the two indictable offenses. His attorney, Bryan Neal, attempted to secure bail for his client, since no plea was taken from him and he was not charged with attempted murder, for which remand to prison is automatic.

Retrial date set for Viola Pook
Viola Pook appeared before Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas this morning and he has set May 20 as the date for the commencement of her retrial for the murder of her common-law husband Orlando Vasquez. At the Court of Appeal session last month, the Appeal Justices ruled that the murder conviction of Viola Pook, 56, was unfair and they overturned that conviction, quashed her life sentence and ordered a new Supreme Court trial. On December 31, 2008, Vasquez, 48, Pook’s common-law husband of 23 years, was set on fire in their Rancho Dolores, Belize District home. He died a few days later from the over 70 percent burns to his body. Pook was arrested, indicted and convicted for his murder and sentenced to life in prison in July 2011. But today she told court reporters that she is happy that she is going to get a new trial.

Doctor beaten and robbed on Teachers Street
Dr. Jose Espat, of Teachers’ Street, reported to police that he was beaten and robbed at gunpoint when he pulled into his yard on a motorcycle from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The incident occurred at about 9:30 Tuesday evening. Thieves, after attacking Dr. Espat, stole his chain, valued at about $10,000, and ran through Teachers College Compound and escaped. The attack left the doctor bleeding from a wound on his head, and he had a swelling on the left side of his forehead. He was taken to the KHMH, where his fellow doctors treated him.

Judge’s driver and driver’s nephew charged for out-of-season hickatees
A policeman and a farmer pleaded not guilty to four fisheries offences when they were arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Goldburn Seguro, 53, a Special Constable who is the driver of Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel, and Hilberto Seguro, 30, a farmer and resident of Biscayne, allegedly were found in possession of hickatee and hickatee nets. Golburn was arraigned on the charges on Monday and today, Tuesday, his nephew, who was summoned to court, was arraigned on the same four charges. And like his uncle, Hilberto also pleaded not guilty to the charges. The charges include one count each of being in possession of hickatee nets; one count each of being in possession of more than three hickatees, one count each of being in possession of a female hickatee greater than 43 centimeters or 17.2 inches in length, and one count each of being in possession of female hickatees less than 38 centimeters long.

Belize City man, 55, accused of theft, released on bail
A 55-year-old Belize City man who has been accused of theft was before the court today to answer to the theft charge, for which he pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Percival Usher, a resident of #3676 Central American Boulevard, was offered bail of $500, but he was told that he would not be able to access his bail until all of his outstanding court fines are paid in full. Usher, according to court records, has some outstanding court fines dating back to 1999. Usher told the court that he has never been to prison to serve time for any of the outstanding fines, which suggested that the fines are indeed outstanding. But by afternoon, when Usher’s family went to pay the fines, it was discovered that there was a clerical error. And it was not the accused man, Percival Usher, who had owed the court fines, but his son, who has the same name.

Piece of prisoner’s ear bitten off during fight on prison bus
Perhaps the social interaction at the Belize Central Prison is more complex than the outside world of warring gangs in Belize City, from which a number of prison inmates originate. But just as there are gang turfs in the outside world, so also there are various turfs behind the walls of the prison. The dangerous difference, however, is space. Because at times, old beefs are settled when opportunity presents itself and prisoners find themselves in close proximity with rivals. What happened this Wednesday morning has happened many times before—war among prisoners within the tight space of the prison bus or in the holding cell at the Magistrate’s Court, or at the prison itself. But this morning’s war onboard a Belize City-bound prison bus escalated to a dangerous level that could have been worse, when a prisoner bit off a piece of another prisoner’s left ear.

Corwin Bennett, 23, back to court, this time on robbery charges
Less than two weeks after Corwin Bennett, 23, accused of murdering Raymond “Killa” Gentle, the reputed leader of the Kraal Road Gang, was acquitted of the murder charge and was released by the Belize City Supreme Court on March 7, he was taken back to court on robbery charges. Bennett, of Belize City, has been released on a bail of $5,000 and a surety of the same amount and was ordered to return to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on May 27. He was also ordered to report to the Queen Street Police Station three times per week until he is returned to court. Police contend that Bennett was the mastermind behind the robbery of a couple that occurred on March 17 in Corozal Town. His alleged accomplices, Samir Vivas, Josmer Monima and Keith Bennett, all of Corozal, were taken to court, along with Bennett, on Friday, and the three men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 24.

Drama on Mahogany Street: high speed chase and shootout with police
Police say that they returned fire at persons in a maroon van that they were chasing at high speed at about 1:30 Friday afternoon in the Mahogany Street area of Lake Independence, after a reported shooting on East Collet Canal. Joshua Lewis, a taxi driver of Amara Avenue, told police that about 1:15 p.m., when he was driving on East Collet Canal, the van drove up beside his vehicle and someone fired at him: the bullet hit him in his arm, and went into his ribcage. The van then drove away at high speed. Lewis was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where doctors treated him. Police who were in the area responded to the shooting and tried to stop the van from escaping, but it sped off at high speed. Police set up a road block on Mahogany Street, but the van evaded the road block and drove in the direction of the Charles B. Hyde Administration Building, colloquially known as Complex Building, where police who were on the lookout for it fired at it in an attempt to make it stop, but the van was travelling too fast.

Burglary and stealing in Belmopan and San Pedro
A theft and a burglary have been reported in San Pedro and Ladyville, respectively. At about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, Robert Spica, an American retiree of Las Brisas, Mile 4 1/2 South Ambergris Caye, told police that his handyman had been stealing from his money bag which he had hidden. Spica had informed police that he had sold a boat and had put the money he received in a bag and had hidden the bag, but it was found by his handyman, and between March 31 and April 1, the handyman took money, amounting to $3,000, from the bag without his permission. The handyman was detained and when questioned, he told police that he had indeed taken $3,000 from Spica’s money bag. He has since been taken into custody, pending charges of theft. Then yesterday, a resident of Santa Elena, Cayo, Carlos Chan, who is a former employee of Medina Construction Company, was taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on charges of theft and possession of stolen goods.

Police have been looking for a man who allegedly burglarized the home of his parents in Libertad, Corozal District, and stole some items from them. The incident occurred about 2:00 Friday afternoon. Israel Torres, 58, told police that he was at work and his wife and his daughter were at church at about 2:00 p.m. on Friday when his daughter-in-law, who was at home, reported that his son went into the house through the back door. Torres called his wife and instructed her to go and see what was happening at the house, but as she and her daughter were approaching the house, their son, 26, escaped out of the back door and ran.

Burglaries and break-ins in Belize City, San Pedro and Sandhill
At about 6:30 Friday evening, veteran educator and retired principal of Grace Primary School on Amara Avenue, Gloria Edwards, 78, was held up and robbed in her house in Sandhill. Edwards reported that she returned home and as she opened her door to enter the house, a man who was wearing a rag on his face and was armed with a butcher knife came up to her, held her up and grabbed her bag, which she had slung on her shoulder. Gloria Edwards told police that she struggled with him, but he cut the straps of the bag, pulled the bag away and fled. Police are investigating the shameless robbery of an elderly citizen. Then, between 1:00 and 5:00 a.m. Saturday, a thief or thieves burglarized the Olympics Gaming Center on Angel Coral Street, San Pedro Town, and got away with assorted liquors valued at $288, and a computer valued at $1,500. The thieves also stole an undetermined amount of cash.

American national Dennis Waltz, 77, was found slaughtered in his garage located just outside Sarteneja Village in Corozal last Friday, March 28, and when Amandala sought to get an update into the investigations today, Corozal police told us that they are still trying to unravel the circumstances surrounding the mysterious murder of Waltz, as well as the disappearance of one of Waltz’s neighbors, whose sailing boat was reportedly found capsized in the area of Consejo Shores, also in Corozal. We understand that a team of investigators has been dispatched to the village and are currently gathering further evidence from the scene of the crime, on the outskirts of the coastal community. At present, the solving of Waltz’s murder is at an impasse, given that police do not currently have any suspects in custody, no known motive has yet been established, the murder weapon has not been found and they have not been able to locate his missing neighbor, who has also been tabbed as a person of interest in relation to the murder.

The Reporter

Guardian Bombers win National Men’s Softball Championships
The Guardian Bombers hammered the Oceana Strikers 9-4 to win the National Men’s Championships held at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City on Saturday and Sunday, March 29-30. The Bombers collected six hits off Striker pitcher Jerome Carr, who also walked nine batters. Bombers […]

Keion Robateau wins Junior Cross Country
Keion Robateau of BECOL Uprising cycling team won the 15th annual Junior Cross Country cycling classic organized by the Cycling Federation of Belize on the George Price Highway from San Jose Succotz to the finish line at Leslie’s Imports in Belize City on Sunday, March […]

PM faces criticism on Integrity Commission failure
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is facing criticism from the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) for not appointing an Integrity Commission even as the visit from OAS Commission evaluating anti-corruption compliance nears. VIP’s Public Relations Officer, Robert Lopez told The Reporter it is regrettable […]

Magistrate can apply for residency, court rules
Jamaican magistrate Narda Morgan is eligible to submit and apply to the Immigration Department for Belizean permanent residency, ruled Justice Courtney Abel in the Supreme Court on Friday. Morgan, who works in San Ignacio and first came to Belize in […] PUP file papers to challenge EBC decision on recall

PUP file papers to challenge EBC decision on recall
The fight to unseat embattled Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner took on another dimension this week as People’s United Party (PUP) aspirant Orlando “Landy” Habet and four other applicants filed a formal challenge to January’s disallowance of the recall […]

SJC promotes reading through Book Fair
Saint John’s College used last Friday to hold classes in a different format from the norm with a book fair. The event was to promote the usefulness of reading and to underscore the importance of the practice because of the sharp decline in reading […]

Man killed for lottery tickets
A 56-year-old taxi man , the father of three was shot and killed last Sunday night, apparently for his lottery winnings. According to Superintendent Alden Dawson of O.C. Precinct One, around 7:30 p.m. Hector Dean Lyons was hanging out at Mike’s Club when a […]

An investor’s guide to low carbon projects in Belize
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development held a two-day workshop this week to validate the content to be included in an investor’s guide book for low-carbon projects in Belize. Members of both the public and private sector attended the European-Union-funded workshop to review […]

Belize offshore investments in trouble?
Offshore investment in Belize is suffering as a result of the “gun to our head” financial and banking laws that GOB was recently obliged to pass, Senator Mark Lizarraga said. At last week’s Senate meeting, Lizarraga, quoting from a recently published government Gazette, explained […]

CitCo still in arrears with BWC
The court battle between Belize Waste Control and the Belize City Council over arrears owed to BWC continued Tuesday, when representatives for both parties appeared before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. CitCo is six weeks behind in payments to the company, but Mayor Darrell Bradley has […]

Man found dead in school bathroom
Classes were suspended for the students at the Guinea Grass RC School in Guinea Grass Village, Orange Walk District, around 9 a.m. Monday, after a six-year-old girl discovered the body of a male person in the bathroom. Authorities were informed and soon after the body was identified as 30-year-old Asael […]

Smoking bans cut asthma and premature births by 10%, study says
Laws banning smoking in public places have had a positive impact on child health, an international study in the magazineLancet suggests. Researchers found a 10% reduction in premature births and severe childhood asthma attacks within a year of smoke-free laws being introduced. A research team analysed 11 previous studies from […]

Nose can detect one trillion odours
The human nose can detect one trillion different odours, far more than we previously thought, say US scientists. Until now, the long-held belief was that we can sniff out about 10,000 smells. New estimates published in Science suggest the human nose outperforms the eye and the ear in terms of […]

A joint Police-Forest Guard and BDP patrol doing duty deep in the Chiquibul Forest may have broken up a drug operation on Belizean soil some 2 1/2 miles east of the Guatemalan border. In the clash following the discovery, Tomas Desdicho Ramirez of the village of San Marcos, Guatemala, was […] Show some respect! Supreme Court tells GOB and USCE!

Show some respect! Supreme Court tells GOB and USCE!
Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana, in a judgment issued Thursday morning, has ordered the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy to enter “good faith negotiations” with the Maya communities of southern Toledo before continuing to prepare to drill for petroleum in the Sarstoon Temash National […]

Business Community: OSH Bill harmful to economy
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has opined that the proposed Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill, as it is currently drafted, will hurt rather than help the economy. The BCCI met with the Public Service, Labour, Industry and Trade Committee on Tuesday […]

UNIBAM complains to OAS!
The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, has described Belize’s attitude towards members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite community at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington, D.C. The group made the presentation at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission’s first thematic […]

BTIA threatens legal action over NEAC NCL approval
The Belize Tourism Industry Association has threatened to file a judicial review of National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC)’s approval of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) if a public hearing is not conducted. The BTIA wrote to Martin Alegria, chief environmental officer of […]

The Belize Times

Barrow Telecoms Limited
Prime Minister Dean Barrow seems to have accomplished what has turned out to be the real objective of the 2009 takeover of Belize Telecommunications Limited. On Tuesday April 1st, 2014 his son Anwar Barrow was appointed as the Chairman of the company’s Executive Committee. This position puts Barrow as the sole person in charge of the company’s entire daily operations. The UDP Government’s controversial and costly takeover of BTL in 2009, which the Prime Minister called nationalization, has turned out to be a covert family takeover, as the PM has found ways of injecting his family into the company like a terminal virus. First Anwar was appointed to the Board of Directors, along with his mother, Barrow’s ex-wife Lois Young-Barrow. Then in August 2013, Anwar huffed all senior Board members to enjoy a special two-seat Executive Committee appointment. This male dominated Committee made up of Nestor Vasquez and Anwar had more say than the Board.

PUP calls on Anwar Barrow’s resignation
The People’s United Party calls on the Board of Directors of Belize Telemedia Ltd. (BTL) to immediately rescind the appointment of Mr. Anwar Barrow as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Management of BTL. While Anwar Barrow has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Management, ...

BWS Dirty Water!
“That’s what you get when you put a play play newspaper boy to do an Engineers job” was one of the many angry reactions on Facebook after PUP Cayo North East Standard Bearer Orlando Habet ...

PUP Fights to keep Penner’s Recall Alive – Supreme Court considers Judicial Review on Thursday, April 10th
On Thursday April 10th, Supreme Court Judge Courtenay Abel will decide if an application for judicial review, sought by the Opposition People’s United Party, on the Election Department’s controversial and much ...

BELIZE’S YOUNGEST MILLIONAIRE Let us start here. Two weeks ago Manuel Esquivel and his illustrious wife Kathy Esquivel both resigned all their positions in the UDP government. They did so days after their daughter was “dumped” from her high perch as head of the Tourism board. Her dumping took place ...

By G. Michael Reid The United Democratic Party has introduced a new equation into the political formula for Belize. This concept of “caretaker” is ridiculous, disrespectful and harmful to the democracy of our nation. The term “Caretaker government” is not new and is used in some Westminster systems as a temporary holdover ...

Editorial: Pennergate Reloaded
John Saldivar, Candelaria Saldivar, George Lovell, Julio Valdez, Godwin Hulse, Maria Marin, Ady Pacheco, Gordon Wade, Wilfred Elrington, Nigel Hawke, Allen Whylie, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, Edmund Castro, Darrell Bradley, Eric Chang, Elvin Penner and Dean Oliver Barrow. These are the names that have surfaced so far in relation to the biggest immigration ...

St. Joseph boys win table tennis championships
The St. Joseph’s RC primary schoolboys swept the top 4 spots at the 2014 3rd Annual DUTCH LADY primary schools table tennis tournament held at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Mercy lane this past Friday. St. ...

Females win UB Relathon
The University of Belize girls, 48 of them, won the 34th annual UB Relathon from the Market Square Belmopan to Belize City for the 3rd consecutive year on Sunday, March 30 over the boys, who started ...

SMART No Limits brakes Running Rebels 76-75
The Smart No Limits stopped Orange Walk Running Rebels 76-75 in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament, which continued at the Orange Walk multi-purpose complex on Friday ...

The Fools at El Guardian
In an article published in the Guardian Newspaper dated Sunday March 30, 2014 entitled: Prime Minister Barrow to hand over $1 billion to Hon. Oscar Requena, the UDP rag sheet attempted to make fun of the debate presentation put forward by Hon. Requena. But ...

Will any of the 20,000 Strong Stand Up?
It took just days after an expensive Government-sponsored fanfare was held to “commemorate” the women of Belize for the Barrow Administration to show how it really fights for women’s rights in our country. The UDP Government refused to call any of the 20,000 Strong who had been ...

UDP All Fool’s Day!
April 1st was a busy day in the UDP…Dean Barrow woke up and feeling the heavy strain on his back, decided to set the date for the next elections so the people of Belize could be freed from the bondage. …….. The Commissioner of Police came out from under his rock and ...

AMAZING GRACE – Justifiable Abortion
A couple weeks ago I saw a clip of a guy called a hero because he rescued some young children from the mom who was trying to drown them by driving her minivan into a river with her three kids inside! Abortion is a constant occurrence in the life of all ...

Budget Debate Presentation by Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative of Cayo South
Mr. Speaker, An overview of the entire budget estimates as presented to this Honourable House by the Prime Minister raises more questions than answers. In reality Mr. Speaker the Prime Minister has put himself in a position that has finally allowed the Belizean people and the International community to lose all ...

Workaholism Is Not the Cure to Happiness
By Dr. Angela Banner-Joseph ‘I'm a bit of a workaholic. When I feel like I'm not doing something, it drives me insane’ - Ashley Greene Are you addicted to work? How many of you are workaholics? How many of you live at your job and don't know when to call it quits ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Culture & Economic Development
By Richard Harrison culture (meaning) 1. the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, which constitute the shared bases of social action. 2. the total range of activities and ideas of a group of people with shared traditions, which are transmitted and reinforced by members of the group. Below are generalizations of ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – Exploiting the Disabled!
By anthony sylvestre In any country which is serious about development, a Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation would be regarded as critical. As the name suggests, such a ministry would have as its key objective, the development of the country’s human capital. Or put another way, such ...

Western Paradise Councillor Resigns
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia In a letter addressed to Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Mr. Amelio Cal, Hon. Patrick Faber, Mr. Michael Hutchinson and Mr. Andrew Baird, a councillor who was elected last year on the UDP ticket has tendered her resignation from the Western Paradise Village Council. Merlene Carr has resigned in ...

Killer Food Prices – Cabbage, sweet pepper, tomato, Black Beans and Red Kidney Beans prices increase by 20%
A day after Prime Minister Dean Barrow was beating his chest about his lackluster budget and talking about “a train bound for glory”, the fact checkers at the Statistical Institute of Belize released new data pointing out that there was nothing glorious about the road which ...

UDP – Unscrupulous & Deadly Party!!! – Police questions Clerk of National Assembly about hit on Pawpa Mena
Ever since the unpopular UDP fixed the Dangriga constituency standard bearer convention so Frank “Pawpa” Mena becomes the UDP Standard Bearer, there has been a lot of drama inside the UDP. ...

Dangriga Market Project Resumes
September 6th, 2013 was a dark day for the residents of Dangriga Town. That was the day when the Social Investment Fund (SIF) pulled the plug on the ill-fated Dangriga Market Project after scandal and allegations ...

Caribbean Activists slam UDP for disrespecting women
The UDP may be good at organizing pretentious “ra ra” rallies to prop up their political interest, but when it comes to substance their ugly record of disrespect and abuse is known to all, locally and ...

By Francis W. Fonseca Anwar Barrow’s appointment as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Management at BTL is the latest in a series of appointments of family members to positions of influence made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow since taking office in March of 2008. Let us quickly remind ourselves of some ...

UDP Kills Rice Industry
For the first time in recent history, Belize is going from a once self-sufficient rice producer to a major rice importer! The rice industry which supplied sufficient for domestic consumption and export demands has been killed by the UDP Government. The Government will now buy rice ...

Cotton Tree Village leaders challenge GOB over land distribution!
The Cotton Tree Village Council led by Chairman Oscar Otero is preparing to take the Barrow Administration to Court over the Ministry of Natural Resources’ failure to follow the law in the distribution ...

Victory with Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez Victory with Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” – Abraham Lincoln On Saturday, March 22nd, 2014, gears were officially shifted in Chan Pine Ridge Village as a very productive meeting was held to form the Chan Pine Ridge P.U.P Local Committee. The meeting was well-attended with over 75 persons who besides nominating their trusted committee member, also expressed their utmost dissatisfaction with the current inept U.D.P government that day to day continue to cast our livelihood to unprecedented levels of misery and hopelessness.

Georgie Porgie, Penner and Lies
Dear Editor, On March 26th, 2014, the CEO of the Ministry of National Security retired Lieutenant Colonel George Lovell, in response to questions posed by the media, did two things. Firstly he made a buffoon of himself and secondly, he reinforced public perception that there is a cover-up in ...


Hopkins, Belize: A Village Tour & Travelling There
Hopkins is a small village (Pop. less than 2000) stretched between two rivers on the Caribbean Sea. South of Dangriga and north of Placencia, as with many villages in southern Belize, it has a feel all its own. Here’s a map (that I snagged from a hotel down there) so you can get some sense of the locale… Until relatively recently (the last 15-20 years), many of these areas in the Coastal South were pretty isolated. Travel between the villages was done by boat either by river or sea since roads were either non-existent or just horrible. And now that the roads have improved (ALOT), you can travel just a few miles and be in very different feeling spots. Like Hopkins is a predominantly Garifuna community.

You gotta Love April in Belize and here is why…
It’s April in Belize, and really, what more needs to be said? Perfect any time of year, there’s something just so…. April about this month that you just want to get up and actually embrace it, like a long lost relative or lover who has been away too long. The birds are on the move again now that the north is thawing out, and the local avian Belizeans, such as the keel billed toucan, the smaller but no less spectacular toucanets, the various parrots, myriad hummingbirds, our family’s’ personal favourites, the Blue Crowned Mot Mot with that amazing pendulum tail and all the other feathered friends seem happy to get their turf back from the migratory stopovers, although in nature’s bounty, there always seems to be plenty enough to go around in Belize. By the way – did you know that the mot mot’s tail doesn’t come that way naturally? They’re one of nature’s few creatures that actually change their natural appearance so dramatically to attract mates. They actually pluck it with great care and accuracy to achieve the effect. And when you see that tail doing its pendulum thing you sort of understand why…

“Love Is in the Air” away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In yesterday’s edition I got no further than the first meal (evening meal/dinner, depending upon which part of the world you come from) in Mérida during the five night holiday that Rose and I had there. So I only barely scratched the surface. First off I’ve got to (well I don’t have to but I want to and it’s my blog so I can, so there) ‘say’ what a fabulous place Mérida is. A really cosmopolitan feel about it. Great buildings to look at and admire. Clean streets, some of them cobbled (I just love the sound of vehicles driving over cobbled roads). Friendly people. A really safe environment (we’d been told that it is safe but you always have doubts. Well we do anyway). A plethora of restaurants serving virtually every imaginable type of cuisine. And at very reasonable prices! Good shopping – Sam’s Club, Walmart, Chedraui, Radio Shack, Apple. And then you’ve got the multitude of smaller retailer groups such as Parisina (Rose just loves wandering around their stores ) , what appears to be thousands upon thousands of small, independent retailers littered around the streets and arcades. Then there are the street vendors selling fruit, vegetables, shoes, ‘T’ shirts, trinkets, etc – you name it and you’ll probably find it on one of the stalls. And if you don’t feel like shopping? Well the ‘shop’ comes to you!

“Alive, alive, oh” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In Thursday’s edition I ran the exclusive that the bar and restaurant at the Hotel in Tres Cocos was re opening. Well yesterday Rose and I popped in to the bar – Molly Malone’s (Irish Bar) for it. It is after all just around three hundred feet south of where we live in Tres Cocos and it would be rude not to ‘support’ our neighbours! Before the photographs though a bit of background information. The bar, which is situated on the ground floor (road level) of the Hotel first opened on 17 March 2012 but regrettably closed around six weeks later with the rooms of the Hotel never having a paying guest. And it had remained that way until yesterday. The Mary Celeste of hotels/bars you might say. That is until Bruno Nobrega and his partner Diana rented the bar and the Hotel. Bruno and Diana came to Belize from Namibia (Bruno being born in Lisbon,Portugal) and lived on the mainland before finding their perfect business opportunity – the Hotel. The re-opening of the bar, Molly Malone’s, being phase one of the project.

My last post about Belize hit a nerve with some folks! I shared my opinions about a place, stated the reasons for those opinions and shared the good and the bad of my time there. People came out of the woodwork knocking me for sharing my thoughts. This is my first experience with people really being upset, so I am not sure exactly how to handle it. The last thing I want to do is make people angry, but I have opinions and I am going to share them and obviously not everyone will agree with me (nor do I want them to). I am not going to take the post down nor do I take back anything that I said. I will however clarify some of the things that I mentioned for the people who gave me some constructive criticism and for those who kindly asked for some clarification. Compared to the other 5 countries in Central America that I have traveled to over the past 2 months, Belize has been my least favorite. I saw and did things in other countries that I just liked more than the things I did in Belize. That is not to say that Belize doesn’t have tons of amazing things to offer. There are Mayan Ruins, jungles, rivers, water activities and abundant wildlife-all things that make Belize so popular a place to visit. However, I didn’t do most of those things! I only did one thing-lay on the beach-and I wish that I didn’t do just that. I visited 3 places in Belize: Ambergris Caye, Placencia and Punta Gorda. Yes-The majority of my time was spent in Ambergris Caye. It is a vacation destination where people come to relax and enjoy the gorgeous weather and beautiful ocean. Because of that, most things are catered to tourists, and I felt like I didn’t experience the true culture of Belize. I like experiencing the real people and communities of different countries, and so I wish that I traveled to other parts of the country to see that side.

International Sources

Medical mission trip to Belize in 15th year
For the 15th year, Heart and Hand Ministries of St. Joseph's Hospital in Buckhannon is traveling to Belize on a medical mission trip. To bless the hands of the 26 members who will leave Saturday on the trip, Sister Francesca Lowis hosted The Blessing of the Hands Friday in the chapel of St. Joseph's Hospital. The mission group started 15 years ago, and has traveled to Belize each year to perform medical tasks such as surgeries, clinic operations, dentistry and more. Although it is the 15th mission trip to Belize, the group has gone on 17 total mission trips, with the other two trips - to Guatemala - pre-dating the official organization's start. The Heart and Hand Ministries has a connection to Belize because Lowis and her fellow Pallottine sisters also share sisters in Belize. "Belize is close to our hearts because our sisters are there," Lowis said. Dr. Susan Long of St. Joseph's Hospital will be traveling with the group as a surgeon. She has been a member of the group since its beginning. She said the local doctors refer patients to the mission group while they are in Belize and that patrons will travel from all corners of the country for treatment. Long estimated that in the last 15 years, the mission group has served more than 20,000 people.

Biochar is 'carbon gold' for Belize's cacao farmers
A 'harmonic convergence' in the Mayan calendar set off something big for Craig Sams and his Belizean partners. First, Green & Blacks chocolate - and now an even more ambitious project to restore the world's soils using biochar and organic farming systems. In 1987 The Mayan Factor, a book by Jose Arguelles, inspired people to gather on August 17th at various 'power points' around the world to celebrate the Harmonic Convergence. This was the planetary alignment that anticipated the December 21st 2012 event that marked the end of a 5125 year b'ak'tun of the Maya Long Count calendar on the date That day, I resolved to do something with chocolate Rather than gather at Glastonbury, Machu Picchu or Chaco Canyon, I went with Anthony Conforti and cameraman Malcolm Electric Warrior to southern Belize to record the Deer Dance, a 4-day dance that illustrates the past, present and future of the Maya.

Students enjoy positive experience on trip to Central America
Just getting to Belize in Central America was an adventure for seven students from Munro Academy in Sydney Mines. Because of poor weather, the group was stuck in Halifax for two days. “Getting there was pretty cool,” said 15 year old Sarah Davis of Sydney. Their destination was the Cayo Deaf Institute in Belize that has 20 students ranging in age from five to 17. The students are from Belize and neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala. “We got there on a Sunday and had a pretty relaxing day, sight-seeing and getting to know the kids,” said Gemma Whyte, 16, from Boularderie. "We really connected with the kids, with every age group,” said Angela Bartlett, 16, of Glace Bay. “We learned some signs before we left, but the kids weren’t shy at all about helping us. They were so patient, we all learned more because there were times when we were immersed in sign, there was no talking.” Whyte added that they were impressed with the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout in Belize. "They had computer businesses, large hardware stores, some of their companies supplied a lot of the chicken for Belize, there’s dairy, vegetable and cattle operations, all in the last 50 years.”

7 World Heritage Sites in Central America
Central American countries have a lot to be proud about. The beauty in those countries can be summed up by the World Heritage Sites that grace the continent. UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as of special cultural or physical significance. A total of 981 sites around the world have been listed since 2013. Italy is home to the greatest numbers of World Heritage Sites with 49 sites. Each of the seven countries in Central America has landed a prestigious spot in the list, some countries even having more than one World Heritage Site. Here are the top Central American gems worth visiting! Top 7 Central American gems 1. Belize – Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System

Photo of the Day: Ambergris Caye, Belize
I signed up for the 2014 A to Z blog challenge starting today and what better way to kick off the month but with a picture of my favorite spot in the world — Ambergris Caye. This island is where I am fortunate enough to call home for most of the year. I keep an apartment year round on Ambergris Caye with the original intention of only spending about four to six months max a year. Last year, I managed to be here about eight months and still travel to 32 other countries! I think I’ll be slowing down a bit this year as I try to catch my breath and catch up on work; however, I still have some new projects I’m hoping to launch later this year. Ironically, I am taking off later this month for a pretty big 22 night Mediterranean cruise, but I will be coming back to Belize for the summer to relax some.

April 4, 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

DFC hosts business detailing its many financial offers
The Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has been operating in Belize since 1963. With 50 years as a financial institution, and once owned by the private sector, DFC is now a government of Belize entity. Over the years DFC has been helping Belizeans toachieve personal milestones and develop businesses through their financial aid services.On Thursday March 27th, DFC held a business mixer at Hidden Treasure Restaurant in San Pedro Town. The mixer was the first of its kind for Ambergris Caye and saw a sufficient turn out from members of the small business community who came to be informed on the different finance plans and loan options DFC offers. Fredrick McGlore of DFC was the presenter for the night and gave a concise presentation on all that DFC offers, primarily focusing on plans that can benefit the island’s business owners. For the productive sector, the DFC aims to invest in the following: construction of buildings, the purchase of furnishings and fixtures, purchasing of machinery, equipment and vehicles, the upgrade of existing facilities, alternative and renewable energy plans (solar/wind), working capital (as part of a wider plan), refinancing (as part of a wider plan), feasibility/ market studies, and Retool (Retrain workforce).

Tigersharks on a winning rampage
In their second face-off on Saturday March 28th, the Corozal Heats succumbed to the basketball powerhouse the San Pedro Tigersharks. Week eight of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) saw action at the Andres Campus Civic Center in Corozal Town before a packed venue. However, the home team suffered a disappointed loss of 68 -86. The uninterrupted win by the San Pedro Tigersharks places the island’s team ahead, taking the overall lead in the NEBL. Opening the scoreboard was Tigershark’s Tyron Edwards with a beautiful three-pointer that set precedents for the game. A foul on Jason Grant awarded the Heats two free throws, but Grant was only able to capture one of the shots. Darwin Leslie of the visitors had the same fate as Grant when he was fouled a few seconds after. The Heats took a lead five minutes into the game when Marcel Richard’s combined three and two-point shots found their target. Teammate Alton Herrera also made a spectacular three pointer, and the Tighersharks were shaken out of their comfort zone as they trailed by six points. A determined Edwards responded by capturing another three-pointer narrowing the gap. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 19 to 17, in favor of the Heats.

8,887 square miles of Belize adventure awaits!
Right around the time the heat sets in, and the March winds start coming in full force, that itch starts back up. The need to pack a bag or two, jump on a boat or plane, then a bus or private vehicle and leave the structure of home and office – all to venture into the unknown for a little exploration. It’s like the breeze calls our name, insisting that we leave our worries and cares where they are; “Run away, even if just for a little bit” it seems to say, and like hummingbirds to nectar, we are drawn. No doubt there are many like me who are scattered in offices like mine, longing for that holiday to escape the confines of the jungle or the concrete of the city, ready to head out to sun, sand and sea. Wherever we are, the grass or sea is certainly greener/bluer from where we stand. But guess what? If you’re in Belize, it’s ALL better no matter where you look! Adventure is available in abundance, whatever your definition of fun is! As part of the My Beautiful Belize family, I’ve had the good fortune of traveling to many great places in my country. As I write this story however, I’m in the least glamorous setting: the office. To get in the zone, I’ve been browsing through our extensive photo library, pulling up the great shots of the places I’ve been, and clicking online to places I want to go. I could spend a lifetime chasing after each little corner and slice of this haven, yet I’ll probably not make it everywhere. But that’s okay; the fun is in trying and taking on the challenge and #adventure of exploring this country.

Front page news on the Coconut Wireless, December 21, 1987: Mystery Plane, "A dangerous and highly suspicious incident occurred on the evening of December 4th at the San Pedro Airstrip, resulting in two Americans being arrested and jailed in Belize City." Other news - Airport Improvements and Cat Burglar Catnaps, "found sleeping in the room of a female guest at Ambergris Lodge in San Pedro with property belonging to the woman on his person."

Ambergris Today

Karen Bevans Appointed New Belize Director of Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the appointment of the new Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans. Mrs. Bevans joins the BTB after 25 years of service with the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). She began her career at BTL as an Administrative Officer, then, was promoted to Manager of Administration, Human Resources, and Public Relations, followed by General Manager of Marketing and Administrative Services, which later changed to include further responsibilities of Business Development, Marketing and Sales, and then named the Head of Business Development, Marketing and Public Relations. After a reorganization of the company, she was appointed the General Manager of Business Development and Marketing, and then became the acting Chief Operations Officer, before her latest position as the Chief Operations Officer.

Saga Humane Society Has a Handful of Work on Ambergris Caye
When issues are raised about the problematic stray dog population on the island, many are quick to point fingers to the Saga Humane Society of San Pedro for not doing a proper job at controlling the situation. But did you know that the organization conducted 639 Spay/Neuter procedures, vaccinated 503 animals, treated 335 animals free of charge and facilitated the adoption of 108 pets to new homes? These staggering numbers can give you a pretty good idea on how much pets are on the island and how out of hand the stray pet/animal population is. The Humane Society clearly has its hands full. And this is an organization that runs from voluntary donations, grants, and from services by its veterinary employee and sales from drugs and medications for domestic animals. They are doing a great job with the resources and volunteers that they have.

Make it a date & visit The Hotel's Restaurant & Bar for their Grand Opening

What's Up Today, Gerry? Guide to Easter Holiday Weekend in San Pedro (Belize)
Whenever I hear people say “Easter is coming”, immediately my mind takes me to the beach. It is one of the busiest and popular times of the year in Belize. Easter is the weekend that locals and tourists head out to the Cayes for some well deserved down time and fun under the sun. Not everybody is fortunate or wants to travel to the Cayes. No worries, Belize has many other places for you to unwind. For example: going on a fun tour in the mainland or Family BBQ alongside the riverside. That is lovely too, but I’m a young, energetic and outgoing islander. Let me inform and guide you on how to spend the Easter Holidays on Ambergris Caye.

Misc Belizean Sources

Temperature Graphs for Belmopan, Belize 2003 -2014
Some find it easier to see and compare in visual form. I have put together all the Annual Temperature Graphs I have for 2003 to 20014. .. . You can see how different many of them are : This is the Average Temperatures and the Extremes Red, Monthly Average Max. each Day, over 10 years, Blue, Monthly Av. Min. Green, the 24 hour Medians. Orange, Month Max. Light Blue, Month Min. - The normal annual extremes are shown here as Dotted extremes - Rain Triangles..are the Monthly Rain Averages. . . .On this graph, they are the typical or average figures. . . Unfortunately I was not recording Rain for the earlier years, but Rain, is even more variable, than the Temperatures.

Ámuñegü; In Times To Come
This video vividly encapsulates the tensions between development and conservation in coastal mangrove habitat in Belize. Highly recommended. Ámuñegü, is a story told through the eyes of two communities, Placencia and Seine Bight, trying to defend a balance they have maintained for generations. The Placencia Lagoon is home to many species and is the nursery for local fish stocks, manatees, rays and dolphins, and is also the livelihood of several regional communities including people of Garifuna, Creole and Mayan desent. In recent years, a rise in unregulated development has damaged much of the Lagoon. Our documentary will follow community leaders and fishermen who are trying to protect what makes Placencia unique, culturally rich and self-sustainable. We will share their story at film festivals internationally because we believe that their struggle is echoed in other communities around the world. The villages of Placencia and Seine Bight, Belize, are not alone in defending sustainability and community autonomy, but they are unique. With such a diverse cultural background spanning from Garifuna, Creole, Mayan, and ex-patriots from around the world, the communities of Placencia and Seine Bight are an inspiration, and recently stopped efforts by a large cruise ship company to set up a cruise village within Placencia Village. With that momentum, both communities are now looking to make the Placencia Lagoon a protected area. This Lagoon has been a part of the culture, economic livelihood and environmental equilibrium for countless generations and recent unregulated development in the Lagoon is threatening all of that. My goal for this documentary is to share the story of these villages with a wide audience to inspire other communities around the world.

US Capital Energy says it plans to proceed with drilling in Toledo
Preliminary response from US Capital Energy to the decision handed down this morning by Justice Michelle Arana has been that the company will proceed with drilling at its site in Toledo. This is, according to attorney Michael Peyrifitte, is because the judge did not give “injunctive relief” which in layman’s terms means that Justice Arana did not explicitly order a stoppage of works at the drill site. Peyrifitte and US Capital Energy’s country representative Alistair King say they will review the judge’s decision but at first glance see no reason to discontinue drilling activities. Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, (SATIIM) Greg Choc, says that he has not abandoned the application for an injunction to stop US Capital Energy from commencing drilling.

Judge rules in favor of SATIIM
Supreme Court judge, Justice Michelle Arana had ruled in favor of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM in a case challenging the government of Belize to affirm customary land rights held by the indigenous communities. The judge’s decision was handed down a short while ago in Belize City. SATIIM has bussed in a group of supporters for today’s court ruling and plans a public briefing at the Radisson Hotel. We will have more on this story shortly.

Belize Forms Education Excellence Society
“A founding committee has been formed to set up the Belize Education Excellence Society”. This initiative has two general objectives: 1. To provide a PULL-UP on general performance in education, by providing motivational, networking and material incentives, facilities and rewards for high performers, such that all others in our education system will want to perform higher as our wider society start to place higher value on high performance and performers in education. 2. To provide incentives and facilitation for socialization of the best minds in Belize…starting at the high school and sixth form level…so that high performers get to meet frequently and know each other better, to build their networks with each other and the wider professional community, and with continuous professional team-building exercises, develop a culture of cooperation, collaboration, coordination and cohesion. The group hopes to pool efforts and resources at home and abroad to meet its objectives.

Bandits Host Warriors
Tonight, the #1 Western Ballaz will host the Orange Walk Running Rebels. "Come out and Support our boys. Spread the the word. We want a full house. See you there!!!!"

Mount Carmel Painting Project
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio had a painting project at Mount Carmel primary school. Cornerstone donated the paint. Thanks, Rotaract and Cornerstone! In related news, Rotaract is having a Grand Easter Raffle to raise money for a cancer patient's medical expenses. They have some nice prizes. "The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio embarked on a painting project at Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo Town on Saturday, March 15, 2014 in commemoration of World Rotaract Week 2014 celebrated March 10-16, 2014. The club painted concrete benches in the Infant Division around the children's playground and other areas that they utilize. The Cornerstone Foundation donated the paint towards this project in August 2013 but due to inclement weather late last year we had been unable to complete the project. Kudos to finally completing this project!"

Senior Counsel says Justice Arana’s ruling is “enlightened”
The attorney for the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indegenous Management, SATIIM, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay describes this morning’s judgment by Justice Michelle Arana as “enlightened.” According to the Senior Counsel what will happen now is that before applying for a renewal of their permit which expires on April 30, 2014, US Capital Energy must now get the informed consent from Maya people. Senior Counsel Courtenay further makes clear that SATIIM did not go after injunctive relief because in his opinion, Justice Arana’s decision makes clear that the Maya people should not have to go to court to enforce their right; but that it is the duty of the state, the government, to provide a framework for how the issue is to be approached.

Total eclipse of the moon coming later this month
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 15, not because it is a payday; but because that is when there will be a total eclipse of the moon. Incidentally that is also the full moon. The eclipse will be visible in Belize starting at from just after midnight, with the total eclipse starting at about 1 o’clock in the morning and lasting for a short time. The last eclipse of the moon was on October 18, 2013. An eclipse of the moon occurs when the earth shadow blocks the light of the sun from reflecting off the moon.

Maya communities win judgment in court
This morning the Maya of southern Toledo descended on the Supreme Court to hear the latest decision in their ongoing fight to gain respect from the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy, whom they say have invaded their communities without their consent while seeking petroleum in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. And it was another victory for them, as Justice Michelle Arana handed down her decision in their favour. Madam Justice Arana ordered the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy to enter “good faith negotiations” with the Maya communities of southern Toledo before continuing to prepare to drill for petroleum in the Sarstoon Temash National Park.

Lake I Boulevard squatters fight to survive
It made national headlines in June of 2011 – a group of Belizean citizens squatting, or occupying, land in the area then known as Chetumal Street South. They were evicted by Police who were clearing the way for the Lake Independence Boulevard to be constructed through the area and joined to Chetumal Street in Belama on the Northside along with a bridge. It is now nearly three years later and the Boulevard is under construction. The problem is getting much closer to their homes, and the squatters face a fight to survive. Residents such as Alirio Zavala, Karen Henriquez, and Jorge Velasquez say they have nowhere else to go and have not been told officially that they have to move, nor promised land elsewhere because they are squatters.

Two injured in late evening shooting in Belize City
A shooting incident in Belize City this evening has resulted in the injury of two men. It happened around 5 o’clock on Central American Boulevard. Those injured have been identified as 18 year old Anfernee Romero and 26 year old Troy Hyde. The shooting happened at a locksmith’s workshop.

Urban Budget
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Trick or treat money or sweet I got a headache listening to Shakespearian budget speech This clearly has no teeth! With a billion dollars being proposed to be spent Was there due consideration for the country’s development? Clearly it’s all about the UDP government Still trying to win the people’s confidence Mesmerizing Belizeans with so called infrastructural development Belizeans don’t need to be economists to see it This budget is just to ensure that UDP supporters continue to eat “Better cannot be done!” Remember! These were the words of the prime minister He forgot to say, “Then let worst continue!” Since this is the best that he and his technocrats can do Poor people’s punishment will surely continue

Mr. and Ms. SHC 2014
Congratulations to Emil Waight and Keisha Chavarria, for winning the Mr. and Ms. Sacred Heart College pageant!

Black Jaguars Head to JUDUCA V
The UB Black Jaguars are heading to Nicaragua to represent Belize in the 5th JUDUCA, which is a small olympiad for Central American universities that consists of many different sports and games. Good luck, UB! "On Friday, April 4, 2014 a contingent of more than 80 persons—including athletes and coaches—will represent the University of Belize (UB) and the jewel in the V Juegos Deportivos Universitarios Centroamericanos (JUDUCA V)—translated in English (The Sport Games of Central American Universities 5). 'Brotherhood, Solidarity and Integration' is the theme for this fifth edition of JUDUCA scheduled from April 07 – April 12, 2014 in Managua, Nicaragua. The delegation from UB will join counterparts from 21 other Central American universities to compete in the disciplines of chess, soccer/football, basketball, track and field, futsal, table tennis, swimming, karate, and volleyball. "

CACHE Lecture Series Starts
CACHE, along with the Benque HoC, is starting its lecture series tomorrow night at Benque's Centennial Park. The lecture will be given by Mr. Giovanni Pinelo, and it'll start at 8:00pm. "Come join us on Friday night at the CACHE cafe at the Centennial Park for the first of a series of lectures and discussions about our Community! First up is our local historian, Mr. Giovanni Pinelo presenting: 'Escaramusa al oeste de Belize a principios del siglo XX' ('A Skirmish in West Belize in the Early 20th Century')"

Cayo District BNYC Consultations
The Department of Youth Services is having their Cayo BNYC consultation next Thursday, April 10th, at CET, starting at 9:00am. They have a video out that explains more, and where to catch the buses to the event. "Please be informed that the Department of Youth Services (DYS) is presently working towards the establishment of the National Youth Council of Belize; a representative youth body that will serve as a platform for youth voices to be heard and will append to the development of Belize through the execution of youth lead programs... Transportation is being provide for the youth coming from Belmopan and Benque Viejo and surrounding areas who wish to participate and give their input at the consultation."

Earth Day Art Contest
Earth Day is on the 22nd, and the U.S. Embassy is having an art competition to celebrate. This year's theme is 'green cities.' You can submit any artwork to the U.S. Embassy, and the deadline is April 15th. "Calling all Environmentalists and Artists! Earth Day is on April 22nd, and this month's theme is Green Cities. In what simple ways can you make your home, town, or city a better, safer, healthier and more environmentally sound place to live? We ask that you identify an environmental challenge in your community and suggest a solution. We will turn the winning submissions into posters for Belize Earth Day 2014. Send us your ideas in a beautiful work of art. The deadline is April 15. "

Top 9 Reasons to bank offshore
Over the years Offshore banking has been sensationalized and represented as being illegal and immoral. It has been publicized by the media and others as banking for those who are trying to evade taxes. All this negative publicity surrounding offshore banking has discouraged many from taking advantage of the offshore banking benefits that are being offered. Before going into the offshore banking benefits, we would like to answer the question “What is Offshore?” Offshore is simply any jurisdiction being country, state, crown dependency or island, other than the one in which you are living in. Offshore banking provides flexibility, security of funds and assets. It gives you the opportunity to benefit from better interest rates. It also gives you access to diverse products that may generate better yields. It’s simply an international approach to managing your funds. Offshore Banking is about having an account in a jurisdiction, such as Belize, which is politically and economically secure. A jurisdiction where the Belize Government has placed an emphasis on the Offshore Financial Sector by introducing progressive legislation to attract international business and investments. Thus below are the top nine reasons to take advantage of the offshore banking benefits.

12 Surprising Things You Might Not Know About Tikal Maya Ruins
Tikal is just two hours away from the Belizean border and remains one of the most popular attractions in Guatemala. Almost any traveler who visits the western part of Belize (San Ignacio Town) travels to Guatemala for the day to visit this majestic Maya site. Located in the Peten Region of Guatemala, Tikal is an early classic to late classic Maya City. Here are 12 surprising things about Tikal: 1.) Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya Civilization. 2.) The name Tikal may be derived from ti ak’al in the Yucatec Maya language; and it is said to be a relatively modern name meaning “at the waterhole”. 3.) The Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes passed within a few kilometers of the ruins of Tikal in 1525, however he didn’t mention them in his letters.

Online Marketing by SBDC Belize & BELTRAIDE (Getting started with Constant Contact)
Date: April 10th, 2014 Location: University of Belize, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences - Time: 9am to 12pm Whether you're just getting started, or fine- tuning the basics, you'll learn to create branded professional looking emails from start to finish. We will help you design an email to increase engagement, grow and target your contact lists and capitalize on reports. This workshop is limited to 7 attendees Computer is necessary Cost of workshop: $20.00bze For more information contact: Ms Helen Frampton, Small Business Development Center, Tel: 223-3195 or email: [email protected]

Lionfish statistics Year to Date 2014
2,340 invasive lionfish removed from our waters!! 200 of which have been dissected, analysed and data recorded. The battle continues… Come join us!!

Support Belize Delegate Miss Yadira Argueta for MISS PJD2 CARIBBEAN QUEEN PAGEANT by liking the YouTube video
Please make sure to click on the link for the video and like the video on YouTube. These likes are being counted for a popular vote and it will count towards her final score. Let's go Belize!

Video: 7 Year Old's First Belize Snorkeling Trip
30sec. After practicing snorkeling in the pool in the previous video, here is a short clip of our seven year old son's first time snorkeling trip to the Barrier Reef in Belize. It was a beautiful day on the reef. The water was so crystal clear..This is over a sand patch as you can see and there were few fish . As we moved to a bit deeper water (another video), we snorkeled over a coral and rock bottom with a nice abundance of fish. The kids were excited.

Video: 7 Year Old Boy Snorkeling Saltwater Caye Belize Barrier Reef
30sec. After practicing his snorkeling in a pool and rivers in the states, our 7 year old boy is excited to do some snorkeling and diving on some corals at Saltwater Caye which is on the Barrier Reef in Belize. The waters of the Caribbean are nicely warm and protected from the open sea. For those that may not know, a "caye" is a low-lying, sandy island on the surface of coral reef. As the coral grows older the sand begins to cover the corals from the wave action and a small island is formed. Belize has hundreds of cayes.

Video: Towntrip, Ambergris Caye
4min. outta breath after 3 rd block , cool vid

Video: Shark and Ray Alley - Caye Caulker Belize
4min. Brown nurse sharks and Atlantic sting rays on Belize's barrier reefs

Video: Testing An Old Kawasaki Jet Ski In Belize
2min. Our neighbor had an old Kawasaki Jetski that did not run. He asked if I thought I could make it run. So I messed around with it for a while and actually got it to run. I took our son our for a quick test run. Boy, that old style of Jet Ski is sort of hard to handle. Perhaps I should mention (although it is probably pretty obvious) that I had never run a Jet Ski before... But we had fun, the owner was excited and a lot of the village kids had a lot of fun riding the jet ski up and down the bight. This is in Belize which is on the Caribbean.

Video: TIDE Tours & Ridge To Reef Expeditions
Ridge To Reef Expeditions partners with TIDE Tours to show you Belize and involve you in conservation while working for a great cause!

Video: Ray & Sea Turtle - Silk Cayes, Belize
Footage from the ray we saw briefly and a cool sea turtle that we saw while snorkeling on our honeymoon.

Video: Ridge To Reef Expeditions - Belize
Ridge to Reef Expeditions - Belize offers unique opportunities to reconnect with nature and play a genuine role in the future of one of the most pristine parts of the Mesoamerican Biodiversity Hotspot.

Channel 7

Mayans Claim Victory In Court, US Capital Clings To Status Quo On The Ground
In September of last year, SATIIM took the entire media to the Toledo District on a tour of a small section of the Sarstoon Temash National Park to see first-hand the oil exploration that US Capital Energy was building inside the park. As we showed you, the oil company built a road 10 meters into the park, where they a drilling platform was mounted for exploration. The organization along with the Buffer communities of the South argued that the company violated environmental laws set in place to protect the national park, and that there was also a violation of their customary land rights, affirmed by the courts in previous cases. That case began before Justice Michelle Arana in October, and today, almost 6 months later, the decision was handed down. 7News was present when the decision was handed down, and also when the Mayan Communities held a 2-hour press conference to discuss it. Daniel Ortiz spoke to both sides and has this report:

City Shooting Late In The Evening
At 5:00 this evening there was a shooting at the Eastern end of Central American Boulevard heading to the Port of Belize. At least two men were shot - one of them reportedly to the head. They were both rushed to the hospital and are reported to be alive - further details on their condition are not known. We have learned that they are 26 year old Troy Hyde from nearby Curl Thompson Street and 18 year old Anfernee Romero from Central American Boulevard. They both suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Tourists Survive Head On Collision
Two cruise tourists and their driver were involved in a serious collision within Belize City limits this afternoon. This picture provided to us by a viewer shows the tourists slumped over on the side of the road in front of the mashed up and overturned tour van they were in. The collision happened at around 2:30 at mile three and a half on the Western Highway - right at the spot where a new speed bump was installed just last week. The circumstances of the accident are unknown but it seems two mini-vans collided at the speedbump and the impact sent the gold van spinning across the highway, causing it to violently flip. The tourists were taken to a private hospital for treatment, while the condition of the driver is not known.

So Lawless, It's Laughable
Presently in Belize City traffic congestion is especially bad at rush hour because Central American Boulevard is under construction, so there's no free flow of traffic. And it seems one Haylock's bus just didn't want to have to deal with it during the morning rush. This video provided to us by a viewer shows how he cut straight across from Captain Eiley Street, across the flow of northbound traffic on the northern highway, gently mounted the median and then nicely cut into the backed up lane of southbound traffic. It's so lawless, it's laughable. The driver could have easily driven half a mile more to get to the roundabout and make his u turn into the southbound lane there, but that would have gotten him stuck in traffic - and who wants to deal with that, right?

The Bridge Cometh, The Squatters Goeth
In June of 2011, we told you about the mass removal of the squatters off the area which was called Chetumal Street South. It was to make way for the building of a road which would join the Western Highway with Belama's Chetumal Street. Since then, it has now become known as the Lake I Boulevard, and as we showed you the Government turned it into a pro-poor initiative where the contractors used 200+ Belize City men to spread the loads of sand by hand to provide employment while building the road. The project is fast approaching the area of the road where a new bridge will be built, but there's just one problem. There have been squatters living in the area, and now, they are being told that they need to move to make way for the development.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary Visits
The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Caribbean and Central America Francisco Palmieri arrived in Belize this afternoon for a two-day visit. His first meeting was with the commanders of the BDF and the Coast Guard General Jones and Admiral Borland. After that he was whisked across to the Leo Bradley Library to inaugurate a Education USA Resource Center - which is an information resource to help Belizeans who are interested in studying in the US. Today we asked him what the visit and the center is about:... Francisco Palmieri, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State "It is very important to me to come to Belize because is really a key country is that it's the bridge between both regions; the Caribbean and Central America. I want to come here first hand. I knew that it would be a great opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of how Belize is developing its role in the region and to see how we can do things like this; donate some books to the library and help people start thinking about what they might want to do if they would like to study in the United States. Belize is a strategic partner in the effort to combat all kinds of trafficking - not just drug trafficking and because there such an important partner along the transit route of drugs leaving South America. We are looking at how we can continue to cooperate with them and expand our program of assistance."

CPBL Board Votes For Singh As Chairman
The newly reconstituted board of the Citrus Products of Belize met yesterday at the company's headquarters on the Stann Creek Valley Road in Stann Creek. It was the first meeting held under the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding hammered out by government with the stakeholders to move the company out of an impasse. The new board is comprised of Social Security Representative Douglas Singh, two Directors from Banks Holdings, Richard Cozier and Henry Canton, two representatives from the Citrus Growers Association, Henry Anderson and Denzil Jenkins, representative of Heritage Bank, Karen Bevans, and Representative of the Ministry of agriculture Jose Novelo. Canton was represented by an alternate Allan King. The first business of the new board was to elect a chairman and Banks Holding nominated Doug Singh, which was seconded by the Citrus Growers Association - probably one of the few things the often feuding parties have ever agreed on at the board level. Singh's nomination was unanimously supported, so he is the new Chairman of CPBL.

The Ghost Of Novelo's Past Still Haunts SSB
It's hard to tally how much the Novelo's debacle cost the public purse in total - but when the company buckled under 48 million dollars in debt in 2004, it left a long trail of debt, and the ghosts are still haunting the Social Security Board. Apparently, the Novelo's group of companies had some social security arrears which totaled ninety three thousand eight hundred and twenty eight dollars ($93,828) spread across three companies, Novelo's, Belize Transit and Northern Transport. SSB Chairman Doug Singh told us it was written off because the money was an uncollectible bad debt that was either statute barred or the companies did not have any securities from which to recover the arrears. He says judgments exist to enforce collection of the debt, but there was nothing there to get from the bankrupt companies. He said the decision was taken to write off these and debts of other companies but not to forgive those debts.

Insurance Man Summoned By Magistrate
He sells insurance, but Phillip Gallaty needed more than that after he crashed into a judge's car! The 56 year old insurance executive was arraigned today after he crashed his pickup into a Magistrate's Vehicle. According to police, the incident happened on Saturday March 22 at Mile 2 and a half on the Northern Highway. Magistrate Stephanie Gillett says that Gallaty backed his white Toyota Hilux into her vehicle which was parked on the side of the road. Because of the report, he was charged with charged with drove motor vehicle without due care and attention, and he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he pleaded not guilty.

Dredging Dispute In Marine Reserve
The South Water Caye Marine Reserve is one of the biggest in the country. 15 miles southeast of Dangriga Town, it is also a spawning ground and habitat for many of the marine life that make Dangriga's waters some of the most abundant in the country. And that's why the Stann Creek Fisherman Association is publicly complaining about a dredging operation that's happening within the Tobacco Caye Range. It's a private residential project spearheaded by locals but the president of the association told us it is contaminating their sea:.. Mark McKenzie, Chairman - Stann Creek Fisherman Association "When you dredge in that area, the currents in that area - right now there is not even any supervision as we took out the reporter yesterday. Imagine somebody sitting on the street side in your neighborhood where dust blowing in your face every - that's what the dredge is pretty much doing to all marine creatures in that area; the manatees, the habit areas as far as marine life. Imagine dust and mud coming on your head top, either you will die or you will move right. Yes we can say that after a certain time everything will settle down, but you will kill what's already there. The SI was signed by government since 1996; nobody can't say that they didn't know this is a marine reserve.

A Teacher Who Truly Tries
Tonight's profile is about Alberta August who is the principal and Std 6 teacher at Buena Vista Government School. Now, anyone with a child in school knows that all the pressure is on standard six teachers to make sure their students get high grades on PSE. Well, her school has moved from an average grade of F on PSE to a B. More than that, she has increased the number of students enrolling in high school from two to 25. And she did all that in just five years. Here's more in tonight's profile:..

Channel 5

A late evening shooting; 1 dead and another in critical condition
A shooting late this evening in the city has left one man dead and another in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Twenty-six year old Troy Hyde of [...]

Major court ruling in favor of SATIIM, but oil company says it will continue drilling
Representatives of Maya communities poured into the courtroom of Justice Michele Arana this morning where the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, was awaiting a decision in its latest [...]

SATIIM’s Attorney calls on U.S. Capital to denounce disparaging remarks made by its attorney
A week ago, while awaiting judgment in the suit brought against government and U.S. Capital by SATIIM, attorney Michael Peyrefitte candidly told the media that the argument between the parties [...]

Attorney Michael Peyrefitte maintains that SATIIM wants money
Despite being censured, Peyrefitte firmly stands his ground.  According to the lawyer, what was said a week ago is the truth of the matter, a position to which he remains [...]

Squatters at Holy Emmanuel threatened by massive infrastructural works
Progress brings problems, and in a city which is undergoing massive infrastructural works, those problems are cropping up frequently. Today, it was Holy Emmanuel Street, the site of a significant [...]

Green Tropics says they are not to blame for damage of crops in Valley of Peace
The verdict is in on the crops damaged near Valley of Peace in the Cayo District. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that Green Tropics’ verdict is in. The huge [...]

San Ignacio residents concerned about murky running water in their homes
Residents in San Ignacio are concerned about a recurring problem in the western municipality. It has to do with the supply of running water inside homes. On Wednesday for about [...]

Man freed of firearm offenses
A Belize City man who police had charged for Keeping an Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition was set free today in the court room of Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Police claimed that [...]

Dangriga Market Project – what of the 2 investors who stepped in when project was faltering?
The Social Investment Fund has turned a new page in respect of the Dangriga market. On Tuesday, it penned a new agreement with a new contractor to resume work on [...]

15 year old student hospitalized after jumping off a moving truck
This morning, a student of the Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute near Lord’s Bank on the Phillip Goldson Highway was involved in a traffic mishap. The incident, however, was caused [...]

LGBT groups address Inter-American Commission for Human Rights
The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, and Belize Youth Empowerment for Change both made joint presentations before the Organization of American States earlier this week citing a list of violations [...]

Belize’s Ambassador to the O.A.S. speaks on behalf of G.O.B. on LGBT issue
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Belize was Belize’s Ambassador to the O.A.S., Nestor Mendez.  In making his presentation, Ambassador Mendez quoted from P.M. Barrow’s 2013 Independence Speech in [...]

Healthy Living has the tips on how to treat an embarrassing health condition for women
There are some bodily functions that – as adults – we are just expected to always be in control of. In fact, once you are passed the toddler stage, it [...]


Rivero Found Not Guilty of Two Charges
After three days of trial, today Corozal resident, Javier Rivero, was found not guilty of assaulting and wounding former UDP Chairman Carlos Arana and Jorge Luis Que, both from the village of Consejo. The verdict was handed down after Rivero’s attorney, Marcel Cardona, filed for a case of no submission to the court. Marcel Cardona – Attorney “A no case submission was duly made to the court and it was duly accepted by the court that from the evidence presented so far by the Prosecution, the evidence was so inconsistent and the evidence was so tenuous in fact, against the defendant Mr. Jorge luis Rivero that is made absolutely so sense to proceed with the matter at this point in time so the court exercise its inherent right to strike out the matter and to declare Mr. Jorge Luis Rivero not guilty of both charges against him and that was the charge of wounding upon Mr. Carlos Arana and the separate case of common assault against Mr. Jorge Luis Que.”

Police Investigate Another Case Of Carnal Knowledge
The rising statistic of unlawful carnal knowledge cases around Belize is astounding. Every week we hear of such cases and this week there is another to report. Authorities in Corozal report that a 32 year old resident of Altamira Corozal, accompanied her 15 year old daughter to the Corozal Police Station to report that she had been molested. The incident dates back to October 2013 when the minor reportedly had sexual intercourse with a 21 year old Belizean construction worker. A medical examination conducted on the minor revealed that she is carnally known. Police have since detained the man pending an investigation.

Counsellor Assists Traumatized Students At Guinea Grass R.C School
Following the discovery of a deceased male person in the girl’s latrine on Monday, on Tuesday, classes resumed as per normal for faculty and students of the Guinea Grass RC School. And while the event is still fresh in the minds of students and teachers, today we caught up with principal of the school for an update. According to Principal Cano, since the incident, they have rendered the services of the catholic primary school counselor who has been in sessions with the traumatized students and the teachers. This evening when we visited the school, a counseling session was in progress amongst the faculty. We understand that management is still deciding whether they want to abolish the restroom facility or seal it off from students. In the meantime, students are utilizing the bathroom facilities at the Preschool, which also sits at the school’s campus.

How To Avoid Heat Stroke
The days when one could sleep without air-condition are over, well, at least for those who can afford to pay a high electricity bill. Those who can’t, have to rely on the breeze provided by the fan to cool their days and nights. Without a doubt, during this time of the year, the heat is unbearable and while most of us look forward to the days at the beach and fun in the sun, the heat also brings along negative experiences, including heat-related illness. During a heat wave, it's important to know and be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of these illnesses. There are different types of heat-related illnesses, ranging from those that cause temporary discomfort to the generally fatal condition known as heat stroke which we take a look at tonight. Carmelita Perez-Reporting Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, an abnormally elevated body temperature with accompanying physical symptoms including changes in the nervous system function. Unlike heat cramps and heat exhaustion, two other forms of hyperthermia that are less severe, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that is often fatal if not properly and promptly treated.

Sugar Industry On The Right Track
March 30th 2014 marked the end of week 10 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 10 the factory milled fifty eight thousand four hundred and eighty one tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of five hundred and four thousand one hundred and forty one tons of cane. This is one hundred and twelve thousand seven hundred tons cane more than what was milled last year during the same period. Taking a look at sugar production, six thousand nine hundred and twenty nine tons of the sweetener was produced for week ten. An overall of fifty two thousand eight hundred and sixty five tons of the product has been produced so far. Last year the factory produced thirty eight thousand five hundred and seventy seven tons of sugar. This week the factory worked at a grinding rate of eight thousand three hundred fifty tons cane per day. Overall, for the ten weeks of crop, the grinding rate per day stands at eight thousand three hundred and fifty four tons cane. Last crop it was at seven thousand six hundred and thirty eight tons cane per day.

Former Golden Princess To Reopen Under New Management
In the Month of February, over fifty seven employees were terminated from the Golden Princess Casino located adjacent to the Corozal Commercial Free Zone and ninety six were relocated to the mother Princess Casino, also located near the free zone. Employees were terminated and management decided to close shop due to financial difficulties. The high cost of rent and moreover, the decrease of clientele from across the border, also contributed to the decision. Tonight news reaching our newsroom indicates that the casino may be reopening soon under new management. Early this year, Grand Belize Entertainment Group announced its plans of building a world class casino resort and spa. Reports are that the group has been granted a gaming license and has secured the location of the former Golden Princess Casino. Grand Belize Casino Hotel has said that it plans to operate approximately five hundred slot machines, twenty table games, a brand new fifty-room hotel, over twenty thousand square feet of event space, and multiple first class food and beverage offerings.

Belize's Female Team To Compete In Central American Cup
Competition for the first time in Female football history, women's football will finally have its own tournament in the adult level in the Central American Cup, which is scheduled to kick off from May 30th to June 6th in Guatemala City. Group A comprises of teams such as Honduras, Panama and Belize. Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica will fight for the two spots in the semifinals in group B. The calendar of games being played is yet to be issued to the media but is expected to be announced during this week. Will follow this story and bring more on the dates that team Belize would play.

BEL Seeks Reduction In Electricity Rates
Today the Belize Electricity Limited announced its submission for the 2014-2015 Annual Tariff Review Proceeding Application to the Public Utilities Commission for the period July 1st, 2014 to June 30th 2015. A release issued by BEL states the application requests a reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate from 44.65 cents to 43 cents per kilowatt hour. BEL’s proposed reduction takes into consideration the most recent forecast of cost of power and the opportunity to pass on savings to customers, by continuously seeking ways to lower the cost of electricity in Belize in the short term and long term. It is also in line with the Company’s Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.”

Queen Victoria Avenue Upgraded
If you managed to drive through town today you may have noticed that work is currently being carried out on Queen Victoria Avenue. The much anticipated work is being conducted by Central Government through the Ministry of Works who is in charge of elevating, scraping and grading the road. But while that takes care of the pot holes, the complete paving of the main road from the Bowen and Bowen Roundabout to the Establo roundabout won’t commence until after Easter, we were told.

Corozal Police Continue To Investigate Dennis Waltz Murder
Tonight, the murder of 77 year old American National Dennis Waltz continues to be investigated by Corozal Police. CTV3 News was made to understand that a team of investigators have been dispatch to the village to further gather evidence from the crime scene. As for Waltz neighbor who went missing on the day Waltz’s body was found, his vessel was found abandoned in the area of Consejo Shores. Police conducted further checks today on the vessel which led them to the discovery of (22) .44 live round of ammunition which are now in police custody.

Standard Six Students Preparing For PSE Exams
For standard six students, the Primary School Examinations or as we call it the ‘PSE’ can be frightening to some and a welcomed challenged for others. And on Monday, students across the country will be sitting part one of the examination, those are the Science and English papers. And while many schools have been preparing their students from the very onset of the school year, we felt it imperative to highlight their academic preparations for the big day. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video journalist Jesus Melgar followed the story and filed this extensive report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Thousands of standard six students across the country will be sitting part one of the primary school examinations on Monday. The examinations serve as a grading scheme and reflect the effectiveness of the National Curriculum, and for the teachers it is an important assessment of what students have learned in 8 years. Today, we visited with several schools and got insight on the preparation process.

OWTC To Launch Civic Pride Campiagn
The Orange Walk Town Council in collaboration with the Belize Municipal Development Project is embarking on a civic pride campaign in the town. The first part of the campaign is an educational one where the public will be encouraged to be more conscious of where and how they dispose of their garbage. Counselor Ian Cal who is in charge of the Civic Pride portfolio told us more about the initiative. Ian Cal - Deputy Mayor Orange Walk Town “The amount of garbage that we see that it is disposed on the streets and in public areas so as a council we feel that it is necessary for us to launch a campaign, a civic pride campaign, we did not wanted to do it alone as a council initiative and so we decided to invite different groups. On Tuesday we had a meeting and we invited BTIA, JICA a representative from Japan, we had Ministry of Education and those were some of the members that were present at that meeting and together we will be moving forward on a plan of action to start the civic pride campaign mainly to educate the public on what to do and what not to do when it comes to disposing of your garbage.”

Chapel's School Celebrates Family Fun Day Flying Kites With Students
Today, the BSI field was the venue for the Chapel School’s family day. Children along with their parents and class teachers enjoyed a nice outing where they flew kites in a competition hosted by the school. Our news team’s attention was captured by the many colorful kites that adorned the blue sky. It was a great turnout said Principal Julian Chi. Agreeing with him was one of the many students who took part in the event. JULIAN CHI – Principal, Chapels School “We have the infant, the middle division and the upper division, and the purpose of it is that this is fun day and we will have local made of homemade kites which we are inculcating in our students to use our resources and get their parents involve because this is a family day. They can get a family member, a friend and neighbor or anybody and as a matter of fact we recommend that the teacher would take an art class and do some kites. We are giving away some prizes and some very good prizes like speakers for laptops and computers, we have food at the restaurant and we have different things and other articles that were donated and this is chapels’ School family day and this is part of what we do and we have ten prices; in the infants we will have three prizes which includes the most beautiful, the largest and the one that flies the highest, in the middle division likewise and in the upper division and finally for those ready made one we have a prize also and the one who flies the highest on that ready-made one.”

Another Case Of Police Brutality Claims Resident Of Progresso Village
There have been countless reports on police brutality and abuse of power and there will be many more ahead of us and tonight we have another incident of alleged abuse of authority by police. This time around however, a couple alleges that they have been unable to find help even from the higher ups. Twenty six year old Maricruz Heredia, a resident of Progresso Village, says that their ordeal began on the morning of April first. She says the officer attached to the Progresso Police substation entered her house around five in the morning armed and furious. Maricruz Heredia “Yo estoy durmiendo cuando oí que están golpeando la puerta y se abrió y cuando yo me levante ya estaba abierto mi puerta y el entro y yo Salí con solo calzón y bracea y yo le pregunte qué, que hace acá y él me dice que adonde esta mi marido y le dije que mi marido no está porque él no queda acá y después de haya él dice que él tiene que rebuscar mi casa y le dije que él no puede registrar mi casa si el no trae un search warrant y él me dice que él no necesita un search warrant.”


Maya Leaders Claim Victory Against Government and US Capital Energy
Justice Michelle Arana handed down a verdict in favor of SATIIM in a suit brought against the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy Belize Limited. Executive Director of SATIIM, Greg Choc, says that Justice Arana’s ruling is a reaffirmation of their right to work the land of their ancestors and a rebuke to a government that has not shown any sort of respect to the Maya Community. GREGORY CHOC “The Government consistently disrespect our communities, disrespect us and we must now know that we have rights and we continue to challenge those violations before the court and consistently the court has affirmed those rights.” Justice’s Arana judgment speaks of two crucial issues; one, was the permission granted by GOB to US Capital to conduct road construction and commercial oil drilling within the Sarstoon Temash National Park ultra vires the National Parks System Act and the Petroleum Act? And is the decision of GOB to permit US Capital to conduct commercial oil drilling in the park unlawful? Senior Counsel Eamon Courtney represented SATIIM. EAMON COURTENAY “Two declarations: the first is that the decision to give the permission to do the road construction and the commercial oil drilling was irrational and unreasonable and it follows that it was unlawful. The second declaration is that the decision to allow the road building and commercial oil drilling was in breach of the legitimate expectations of the claimants based on their rights under the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People and the International Law and the cases that have already been decided in Belize – that is their right to free, prior and informed consent to this type of activity; it consequently means that the decision is unlawful. Then the judge ordered that the Government engage the claimants, the Mayas in this case, in consultations and negotiations in respect to any license, permit or permission in the Sarstoon Temash Park.”

Teenager Hitches Ride on Beer Truck and Gets Injured
A 15 year old student of Tubal Technical and Vocational Training School fell off a Bowen and Bowen delivery truck this morning and is at the KHMH recuperating from a broken leg and serious head injuries. The student, Alexander Willoughby decided to catch a ride by jumping behind the truck and jumping off while the truck was passing by Tubal. Willoughby miscalculated and the jump nearly proved fatal. Director of Tubal, Lyndon Bailey told us what happened. LYNDON BAILEY “This morning on his way coming to school, apparently, he hopped on a Belikin truck at the speed bump and when the truck was reaching Tubal he tried to jump off but apparently, the truck was going too fast and he fell and hit his head and broke his feet. Apparently, when the truck slowed down to cross the bump, he hopped on the back of the truck and I believe that the driver didn’t know that he was behind the truck and by the time the truck moved from the bump to where Tubal is he tried to jump off but I believe the truck was going too fast and he received a lot of injuries.”

Two Tourists Caught Up in Traffic Incident
A traffic incident occurred just before three o’clock this evening in the vicinity of mile four and a half on the George Price Highway in the Belize City jurisdiction. It involved a white Toyota Previa van that was traveling west heading towards Sunset Park at mile eight while the gold sedan was heading to Belize City. Renee Trujillo and cameraman, Brian Castillo were at the scene just minutes after it occurred and they managed to speak to both drivers of the vehicles involved in the incident. Edmond Carter was the driver of the white Toyota van. EDMOND CARTER “I was traveling going home to eight miles and the vehicle was coming from Belmopan and it ran into me by the speed bump. Another vehicle was in front of it and it cut out so it could overtake.” The gold sedan which was being driven by Orlando Arnold of a Maskall Village address in the Belize District was carrying two tourists. They were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Boulevard Shooting Leaves Two Critical
Two young men were taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital just after five o’clock this evening as their bodies were riddled with gun shots at a locksmith’s workshop on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. As we arrived on the scene, Police had just begun cordoning off the scene but the two victims had already been transported to the KHMH. The authorities on the scene were tight lipped about the incident but Love News has learnt that the two victims are 18-year-old, Anfernee Romero of a Central American Boulevard address and 26-year-old, Troy Hyde of a Curl Thompson Street address, both in Belize City. We have been reliably informed that both men are listed as critical up to news time tonight.

Magistrate Takes Businessman to Court for Fender Bender
Fifty-six year old Phillip Gallaty, the manager of Victor Bryant and Company who allegedly caused damage to a vehicle owned by Magistrate Stephanie Gillett, was charged with driving without due care and attention when he appeared today before Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser. Gallaty pled not guilty to the charge. He was allowed to leave without bail because he was summoned to court. He is to return to court on June 26. The incident occurred on Saturday, March 22. According to the allegation, Gallaty reversed his white Toyota Hylux pick-up truck into Gillett’s vehicle while it was parked at mile 2 and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Gallaty admitted that he was at the scene but he said that he was not aware that an accident had occurred. Gillett’s vehicle received minor damages.

Businessman Says He Can’t Make Social Security Payments Due to Bankruptcy
Forty-five year old Jose Gomez, the owner of Belize Logistics Services Limited, was fined 500 dollars today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to failure to make contributions to Social Security Board from August 2013 to February 2014. Gomez was given until May 31 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve five months. Senior Magistrate Fraser told Gomez that he has to clear arrears in payment to Social Security board because he was brought to court before for failing to make payment to Social Security Board. Gomez said he has four employees and he has arrears because his business has gone down to the point of bankruptcy.


Late Evening Shooting in Belize City; Man Shot to Head
A man was shot to the head this evening in Belize City. Information is sketchy at this time but reports are that the incident happened at the Port Loyola area. Police have been processing the scene. We will have more information on this latest Belize City murder as it...

Belize LGBT Push for Hate Speech and Hate Crime Legislation
The Caleb Orozco Vs. Government of Belize over the constitutionality of section 53 case has still not received a ruling as yet. It is almost a year since arguments were wrapped up and the Chief Justice decision was expected. While that judgement is still in the air, Orozco and...

Where in Belmopan is Saldivar’s Mytheon Solutions?
Mytheon Solutions; the existence of this company was brought up by the Former Prime Minister, Hon. Said Musa, at the budget debate last week in reference to comments by Area Representative for Belmopan Hon. John Saldivar’s as he announced his favoured candidate for Mayor of Belmopan, Khalid Belisle. While...

Lake I Boulevard Squatters; Time to Move Drawing Nearer
It made national headlines in June of 2011 – a group of Belizean citizens squatting, or occupying, land in the area then known as Chetumal Street South. They were evicted by Police who were clearing the way for the Lake Independence Boulevard to be constructed through the area and...

Businessman and Magistrate in Fender-bender
Victor L. Bryant and Company Limited manager Philip Gallaty, Jr., 56, was in the Magistrate’s Court today answering to a charge of driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention. Normally, such matters would be handled by the Civil and Traffic Court Magistrate Stephanie Gillett across town at...

Employer Can’t Pay Social Security
Social Security contributions are typically paid jointly by employers and employees to ensure maximum coverage. But business is reportedly so terrible for one Albert Street businessman that he could not pay what was owed for four employees from August of 2013 to January of 2014 – and it is...

The Guardian

Two Mega Sporting Facilities for Cayo
The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) has signed contracts for the design and construction of two first class sporting facilities for the Cayo District. On March 31st contracts were signed with International Environments Limited and LAR Architects and Associates. International Environments Limited is a Belize City based firm that will be responsible to execute the Falcon Field Recreation Rehabilitation Project in San Ignacio Town. The contract includes consulting services, architectural designs and infrastructure construction at the facility. Lead architect Daniel Arguelles signed the contract on behalf of International Environments Limited. LAR Architects and Associates is a Benque Viejo Town based firm that will be responsible for the execution of the rehabilitation of the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities. The firm will provide consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure. The scope of works includes a feasibility study inclusive of public and one-on-one consultations with residents of the area, socio/environmental studies as it relates to environmental management, approved design plans, bidding documents inclusive of cost estimates and operational recommendations for the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities. Consulting architect Luis Ruiz signed on behalf of LAR Architects and Associates.

Guardian Bombers are National Male Softball champions
The Guardian Bombers are the National Male Softball Champions of Belize. The 2013 National Male Softball Championship was played on Saturday March 29 and Sunday March 30, 2014 respectively, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball. The championship featured the champions Guardian Bombers and sub-champions Oceana Strikers from the Belize City Association and the Belmopan Bombers from the Cayo Association. The Esperanza Wolverines also from the Cayo Association were also scheduled to have played in the championship, but for unknown reason the team was a no-show to the championship. On Sunday March 30, 2014, in the championship game, the Guardian Bombers playing in the national championship for the first time, scored first and never looked back from the bottom of the 1st inning, when it established its supremacy as the best male team in the country by defeating the Oceana Strikers quite handily by the score of 9-4. The budding champions, the Guardian Bombers, batting in the bottom of the 1st inning scored 4 runs on 4 hits when it sent a total of 8 batters to the plate for an early 4-0 lead. The lead was extended when in the bottom of the 2nd inning it scored 4 more runs for a commanding 8-0 lead. The 4 runs in the inning were keyed by pitcher Milton Flores’ 2 run homer and short stop Nelberth Flowers’ solo blast over the centre field fence. The Guardian Bombers in two innings sent a total of 16 batters to the plate where it bombed the pitching of rookie Jerome Carr for an assortment of hits including 2 home runs and 2 runs producing doubles.

Quick Response after November Floods
Calbert Thompson and Delio Requena could hardly contain their happiness when they were handed the keys to their brand new homes in the Hillview area of San Ignacio on Wednesday April 2. The houses were handed over after the two families lost everything they owned during the floods that affected the Cayo district in November of last year. Immediately after the unfortunate incident, Area Representative for Cayo Central, Hon. Rene Montero made an appeal to the Prime Minister for assistance and it was quickly granted through the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). On hand to do the presentation were Minister Rene Montero; Minister of NEMO, Hon. Godwin Hulse; Mayor of Santa Elena/San Ignacio John August and other officials. Minister Hulse noted that the assistance was one that was urgently needed by the families and had to be executed without delay. The houses came at a cost of $17,500 each and are a part of the government's response to assist those who were affected by the floods late last year. While the buildings were being constructed for the two families, NEMO took up the responsibility of paying for accommodations for the families.

Equipment for St. Luke’s Marching Band
Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez along with his deputy, Hon. Mark King, handed over just over 14 thousand dollars worth of band equipment to St. Luke's Methodist school for them to be able to participate in this year's Band Fest. The equipment includes 4 metal cowbells, 5 cymbals, 4 guiros, 6 bass drums with carriers and 5 snare drums with carriers. According to Hon. Mark King, the donation is part of an initiative by the IDB called Community Action for Public Safety project (CAPS). Minister Martinez added that the project focuses on helping young people including schools to get involved in positive activities. Hon. Martinez adds that under the 10 million dollar CAPS project which will be spread over 4 years, construction of new building at Gwen Lizarraga High School as well as the Youth Hostel are underway.

New Contractor for Dangriga Town Market
On Wednesday April 2, the Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund (SIF), William Lamb Jr. handed over the Dangriga Town Market project site to CB Construction. The handing over took place after the company was selected as the contractor to complete the works which had been commenced but came to a halt after the former contractor alleged improprieties by some executives at the SIF. Since the allegations, the project had come to a standstill but has now been reanimated after CB Construction won the bid for completion having had no objections from the World Bank and the Contractor General. The completion of the project is valued at BZ 1,228,310.95 the contract for which was signed on March 24. The refurbished market is scheduled to be completed within six months. It will enable vendors to operate in a more pleasant and safe working environment, foster and enhance their livelihoods, offer better service to consumers, and provide a modern facility for residents to interact. Construction works will entail the rehabilitation of the existing ferro-concrete market building including the fish section, extension of approximately 2,000 square feet for additional stall space for some vendors who are occupying the market’s parking-lot. In addition, this refurbished market will provide over 40 stalls.

Accountability Seminar held in Belmopan
Both the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture IICA and the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute CARDI held an accountability seminar on Wednesday of this week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. It was an opportunity for both partners in development to review their programs of activities since 2013 and meet with a large list of stakeholders, seeking to guarantee food security for Belize. Representing IICA Belize and doing so since October 2012, was Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim. While CARDI, was represented by Dr. Anil K. Sinha, an agronomist who has been working in Belize since January of 1983. IICA operates in 34 Countries around the World providing assistance in such areas as technical cooperation for agriculture and food safety. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim told the attendants today that the accountability seminar was being held in partnership with CARDI to show the “…challenges, opportunities and partnerships; to provide farmers with solutions to be more productive.” Such examples of partnerships are like the one IICA Belize has had with the Ya’ axhe Conservation Trust to improve crop yields in the Toledo District. Bartolo Teul from Ya’axhe described the cropping technique now in use by his group in which legumes are planted on slopes to add Nitrogen to the soil and at the same time decrease the incidences of landslides. Other areas of cooperation that IICA now has in Belize is the assistance given to farmers to increase their corn production. Yvette Alonzo, Agriculture Economist and Policy Analyst at IICA described how farmers in Jalacte and San Vicente in the Toledo District now use post harvest technologies. She added that farmers in those two villages are now using ‘shellers’ capable of producing some 440 pounds of corn per hour.

BEL seeks rate reduction
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) submitted an application on April 1, 2014, to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. BEL’s application requests a reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate from 44.65 cents to 43 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). BEL’s proposed reduction takes into consideration the most recent forecast of cost of power and the opportunity to pass on savings to customers, by continuously seeking ways to lower the cost of electricity in Belize in the short term and long term. It is also in line with the Company’s Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.” In December 2013, BEL applied for a reduction in electricity rates after revisiting its Value Added of Delivery in consideration of an increase in hydroelectricity production in Belize and Mexico and subsequent reduction in the cost of power. A 4 cents per kWh decrease in the Mean Electricity Rate was approved by the PUC for the period January to June 2014.

Brackett Coming out the Closet
The Plus TV crew seems to be peeking out of the closet more and more each passing day. After a few years of hiding in the dark with his PUP flag, Patrick Andrews was the first to fall out. Louis Wade is leading the smear campaign against Julius Espat’s opponent and it now appears that Geovanni Brackett also cannot hide who he is anymore. He now attaches himself to the hip of Said Musa’s son (the Musa one) on every public appearance. It is also known that Brackett now relies on the arrogant young Musa for lunch money. It is not surprising that the leader of COLA, who is known for his love of the spotlight, has easily taken a backseat to Kareem Musa in the Penner witch hunt. After all, Musa fed him well in Belmopan that day. And after Brackett is thirsty and his throat is hoarse from shouting empty threats into the video camera, he frequents Hour Bar where his looty PUP friends buys anything he wants. Brackett has been seen at Hour Bar on occasions with Winston Smiling. He has been seen socializing at the establishment with Troy Gabb. And, he has been knocking back drinks with the $30 million man himself, Tony Novelo.

Closing days of the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Corozal
The Embassy of Mexico informs that the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Corozal will close temporarily from 7 to 23 April 2014. During that period of time and in case of emergency, Mexican nationals can request consular assistance at the following telephone number or directly at the office of the Embassy in Belmopan or at the Consular Section in Belize City: + (501) 602-8677 In order to request any other information, Mexicans and the general public can address the Embassy of Mexico’s consular section in Belize City at the telephone number 223-0193 or 223-0194, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm or write to [email protected] or visit the consular section office at the Institute of Mexico, located at the corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street, Belize City, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (noon) and from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.

Evan Cowo is Corozal South East’s Standard Bearer
The final UDP convention to select standard bearers for constituencies that do not currently have sitting area representatives was held on Sunday March 30 in the Corozal South East Constituency. Being the last convention of the season, it was not in the least bit disappointing to have 2,463 voters come out to cast their ballots. In the end it was Evan Cowo who emerged victorious with 1,338 votes while Alexander Ortega received 665 votes. Daisy Maroquin received 316 votes and Alexander Cruz received 119; there were 25 spoilt ballots. The election took place at the Calcutta Community Center and residents from across the entire constituency came out to select their standard bearer. The final convention was the largest recorded by the United Democratic Party as there was a constant flow of voters from the start of the polling at ten. The voting continued well past the deadline of 5 p.m. being the longest one to be completed as well as the longest one to be counted.

New Director of Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the appointment of our new Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans. Mrs. Bevans joins the BTB after 25 years of service with the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). She began her career at BTL as an Administrative Officer, then, was promoted to Manager of Administration, Human Resources, and Public Relations, followed by General Manager of Marketing and Administrative Services, which later changed to include further responsibilities of Business Development, Marketing and Sales, and then named the Head of Business Development, Marketing and Public Relations. After a reorganization of the company, she was appointed the General Manager of Business Development and Marketing, and then became the acting Chief Operations Officer, before her latest position as the Chief Operations Officer. She, therefore, brings with her a wealth of knowledge in administration, marketing, public relations, sales, and management, having held the various positions in her ascension to Chief Operations Officer. She holds a MSc degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a BSc degree in Management and Psychology from the University of Ozarks in Arkansas. Her past position allowed her to attend several international training sessions in Executive Management, Leadership, Public Relations, Business Development, and Marketing, which gave her vast exposure and allowed her to network with international firms.

Belize - European Union Political Dialogue
The first ever Belize – European Union Political Dialogue, as provided for under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement was held in Belize. The objective of the dialogue was to engage in discussions on issues of mutual interest and share information on the actions and initiatives that both Belize and the European Union are undertaking in the economic, social and political areas. Ambassador Paola Amadei, accompanied by the resident British High Commissioner, led the EU delegation; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Wilfred Elrington, led the Belize delegation. High on the agenda for the dialogue were issues relating to Economic and Political Developments; Border Issues, International, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing; Visa arrangements for EU and Belizean Nationals; Promotion and Protection of Human Rights; Crime and Security; Regional Integration and Cooperation; and Climate Change and Natural Disasters.

Another incursion, another Guatemalan killed in Chiquibul
The Belize/Guatemala relations is once again being tested following the death of another Guatemalan man who was killed by Belizean Law enforcement personnel on Saturday, March 29. It happened inside the Chiquibul National Forest Reserve on the Belizean side of the border, and according to the BDF officers, the man fired at them first. At around 4 on Saturday afternoon, the BDF and police officers were on patrol along with FCD rangers. They were about 4 miles north of Rio Blanco, and 2 miles within Belizean territory when they found a clearing. As they moved in to investigate they found 2 huts along with food as well as some 50 marijuana plants and seeds. The lawmen quickly assumed that they had come up on an illegal operation and took precautionary measures while they investigated the find. They would soon come up on two armed men who were ordered to put down their weapons. Instead of complying the men opened fire on the officers forcing them to return fire. In the aftermath of the gunfight 26 year-old Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, a resident of the village of San Marcos in Peten, Guatemala was fatally injured. When that happened, the other man ran off, and shortly after, the Belizean law enforcement team recovered a 12-gauge pump action shotgun from the deceased. In the near vicinity, they found a live 12 gauge cartridge and 5 expended 12 gage shotgun cartridges.

Outstanding Women of 2013
The Women’s Department of Belize recognized 22 women on Thursday, March 27th, at its 9th Annual Outstanding Women’s Awards Ceremony. In each of the last nine years the Department has honoured women from all districts who have made significant contribution to their communities and stand as role models to younger girls. The 22 women honoured this year is another impressive group. The Women’s Department honoured two women from each district, an older and a younger woman. In the Belize District the Department recognized Tanya Thompson and 20-year-old Hydea Golanche. Thompson is the President of the Rotaract Club of Belize. She has volunteered in numerous community agencies; including YWCA, National AIDS Commission, Help Age and the KHMH Pediatric Ward among others. Golanche is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in English Education at the University of Belize. She also serves as a youth ambassador for Belize and member of the Youth Advocacy Movement of the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA). She volunteers at the Belize Theatre Company and as a facilitator at the Caribbean Shores Resource Center.

New Playground for St Martin De Porres Primary
The infant students of St. Martin De Porres Primary School are enjoying a fancy new playground that was donated and assembled by the Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Glenora and Edmonton Downtown from Canada. On Wednesday, April 2nd, Rotarians from Canada and Belize gathered at the school to witness for themselves the joy on the faces of the kids who will enjoy the many attractions of the playground. The structure includes several differently designed slides, monkey bars, ring tossers, a track rider and a talking tube. The last three may be unfamiliar to most Belizeans. The ring tossers are pairs of metal rings that the users grip, use to swing and release to fly through the air. The track ride is a handle extended down from a pipe that the users grip and rides from one side of the bar to the other. The talking tube is a fun piece of equipment. It is basically a megaphone, a device consisting of a pipe stretching from one side of the playground to another. An individual can say something into the megaphone at St. Martin on one end and the other person hears it clearly at the other end. The children are not yet familiar with the three new attractions of the playground; therefore, the various slides are currently the most popular attractions of the playground.

PUP Stuck on Penner
The PUP is back on the prowl to try to recall Elvin Penner from his seat as Area Representative in the Cayo Northeast Division. On Monday, March 31, a mere 4 days after Penner’s arraignment in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court, Lisa Shoman, acting as attorney for Orlando Habet and 4 other residents of Cayo Northeast, filed an application in the Supreme Court. They are trying to get the court to grant a judicial review of the decision of the Chief Election Officer, Josephine Tamai, to reject 337 signatures when their recall effort was formally presented. Tamai explained the different issues which presented themselves when they were vetting the signatures to see if the threshold has been met, and in her opinion those signatures were irregular that's why they were disqualified. In January, almost immediately after the recall petition failed, the PUP claimed that they intended to take this matter to court, but it took them some 2 months to finally work up to it. It’s a rather interesting coincidence that in the short time following Penner’s highly publicized criminal charging, that this maneuver is put into motion.

Another successful Fair in San Jose Succotz
A three day fair to celebrate the cultural life of San Jose Succotz Village in the Cayo District was successfully held. The San Jose Succotz Fair began with much fanfare last Friday at about 8:00 p.m with the visit by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and his team. It was a night where outgoing queen Rochelle Patt gave up her crown to the entrant queen Julie Valdez. This was followed by music from the Gilharry 7 Band and ‘Sonido Majico’, only to be stopped by a brief blackout at 12:30 p.m. The fun filled activities continued on Saturday with tube races in the rushing Mopan River that cuts through San Jose Succotz. Then on Sunday, there were pig head dances, greasy pole and musical entertainments from cultural groups. Chairman of San Jose Succotz, Emigdio Manzanero, says that funds from the Succotz Fair will be used to acquire weed eaters to keep his village as clean as possible. San Jose Succotz is near Benque Viejo del Carmen and the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve. Manzanero says that much garbage is generated from visitors going to Xunantunich and he is currently seeking more assistance to address the garbage issue.

Bad Card, robbed and killed
Hector Dean Lyons, a well-known Belize City resident, was murdered in an execution-style slaying on Sunday evening, March 30, at around 7 p.m. His shooting death happened a few hours before his 57th birthday, and a few hours after he had won big cash from the Boledo Lottery Draw. He was sitting on the steps of a house on West Canal Street, a short distance away from his favourite hangout spot, Mike’s Club, and he was talking to a friend when a gunman ambushed the pair. The man rode up on bike, held Lyons up at gunpoint, and robbed him of his wallet. With no regard for the elder man’s life, the gunman then mercilessly executed him with a single shot to the right side of his head, which sent Lyons’ friend running across the street for cover. Lyons died almost instantly, and the gunman rode off and escaped.

Prisoner gets ear bitten off on prison bus
Convicted prisoner Cruz Allen had to be rushed to the KHMH on Wednesday April 2 after he got into an altercation on a prison bus and had a portion of his ear bitten off. The fight took place onboard the prison bus sometime between 8a.m. and 9a.m. when prisoners were being brought to court from the Belize Central Prison. By the time the bus came to a halt at the Court Parking Lot area at around 8:50 a.m., Cruz had already been badly injured. We understand that there was a misunderstanding onboard the bus just before they arrived at the parking lot where someone bit off a piece of his ear. Only Cruz knows who bit off a piece of his ear but he is not saying much to authorities. After receiving medical attention Allen was escorted back to court sometime around 11:50a.m but his case was put on hold because of his injury.

Marquin Antwon Drury Charged for Shooting in High Speed Chase
A police mobile unit chased a group of men in a maroon Astro van at high speed within the city on Friday afternoon, March 28th, following a shooting on Mahogany Street. The sequence of events have led to the arrest and charge of 22-year-old Marquin Drury. According to police report, at around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, officers of the Gang Suppression Unit intercepted a maroon van which was heading from the Complex area on Mahogany Street where someone had just shot at Joshua Lewis. The officers fired shots at the vehicle and when it came to a stop one man had already jumped out and another was seen fleeing the vehicle. Inside the vehicle was the driver, identified as Drury. By the time officers caught up with the van, Drury had already called for his attorney, Bryan Neal. Neal was at the alleged scene where police searched the vehicle and nothing incriminating was found. Drury was detained by police.

Man in Cayo charged for Murder
Gabino Garnett Junior was arraigned on Thursday of last week before magistrate Nardia Morgan in San Ignacio Town, where he was charged for murder. He was wanted in connection with the murder of 20 year old Stann Creek resident Earl Baizer, which had occurred on March 14, 2014. At about 12:30 am on that Friday, San Ignacio Police had received a report of a male person that had allegedly been stabbed and as a result had been taken to the San Ignacio Hospital on Bullet Tree Road. On arrival at the Hospital, Police noted that the dark complexion male person had received stab wounds to the left side of his chest and a cut wound to the left hand, left under arm and right thigh. The male person was later identified to be Earl Baizer, who succumbed to his injuries at about 12:50 am that same morning while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Gregory Goodfellow Charged for Ladyville Shooting
No arrest has been made for last weekend’s shooting incidents that took place in Ladyville Village; however, police believe they have solved a shooting incident that occurred on the night of February 16th. According to police report, Alfred Smith and Gregory Goodfellow were on the Ladyville basketball court when they had an argument which led to a fistfight. Goodfellow then left the area but returned with a shotgun. According to Smith, he had just moved his head when he heard a loud bang. He then realized that he was shot at but was missed. Smith escaped unharmed. Police arrested Goodfellow over the weekend. On Monday he was escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court where he was read a single charge of aggravated assault with a firearm upon Alfred Smith. In court, Goodfellow pleaded not guilty to the charge. No bail was granted since the offense was committed with a firearm. He will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on May 20th.

Elvin Penner goes to court
Former Minister of State Elvin Penner, and a sitting member of the House of Representatives, was arraigned on Thursday, March 28, on 2 criminal charges for his role in the passport scandal involving South Korean fugitive Won Hong Kim. At this time, he is out on bail, awaiting his next court date. It has widely been reported in all sections of the media that in September 2013, South Korean Won Hong Kim tried to use a bogus Belizean passport to avoid being extradited from Taiwan back to his country where he was wanted in connection with embezzlement in one of the country’s biggest enterprise, the SK Shipping Company. It caused the Taiwanese authorities to investigate how he managed to travel to Belize to even get the passport because he was in jail the entire time. So, they made diplomatic requests of the Belizean Government, to offer an explanation, and when Godwin Hulse, the Minister of Immigration, did his digging, he found that Penner, who was the Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration, was somehow connected with it. He informed Prime Minister Dean Barrow of the situation, who took swift action asking Penner to resign from Cabinet because he didn’t discharge his duties in a manner above board. PM Barrow even made the matter public.

Eugene “Portion” Reneau Charged for Rape
Police have arrested and charged 51-year-old Eugene Reneau for the crime of rape. According to a police report, they acted on information received and visited an area at Mile 10 ½ on the Phillip Goldson Highway at around 2 a.m. on Friday, March 28th. About ten feet from the side of the road, in a swampy over grown area, police saw a man and woman of creole descent. According to police, it seemed as if the man was covering the woman’s mouth and holding her against her will as she struggled to escape. Police ordered them to come out of the swamp and the woman ran to police and told them that she had been raped. The 26-year-old woman told them that the man held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her if she did not have sex with him. Fearing for her life, she complied with her attacker. The alleged rapist was detained and the woman was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she was examined by a medical doctor.

100 Hours Community Service for Weed Charge
At around 11:55 on Friday morning, March 28th, Jason Reyes of the Jane Usher Boulevard area was busted by police with 3.5 grams of weed. Police officers were on mobile patrol on Holy Emmanuel Street in the Port Loyola area when they saw Reyes and stopped him to conduct a search. During the search, PC Leal found some weed in one of his pocket and a second amount in another pocket. The weed in the first pocket amounted to 1.5 grams and the amount found in the other pocket weighed 2 grams. Reyes appeared in the Magistrates Court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense of possession of a controlled drug. Instead of a fine or confinement, Chief Magistrate Smith ordered Reyes to complete 100 hours of community service. Reyes was employed working on the city streets infrastructure project. However, he did not inform the court at the time of sentencing. If he fails to complete the community service, Reyes will have to serve three months in prison.

Stole a chow mein and fried chicken
On Wednesday April 2, Sherman Rodney, appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges of theft and threatening words. He appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he pleaded not guilty to both charges and bail was offered to him in the sum of 1 thousand dollars and one surety of the same amount. Rodney was arraigned after allegations were made that on March 24, 2014, at around 11:40a.m. on Farber's Road he stole from Rupert Lopez, a bag containing a $3.00 fried chicken and a $5.00 chow mein. Allegations are that after he jacked Lopez of his bag of food, he also threaten to kill him when he allegedly uttered the following words, “If yuh go to the police ah wah kill yuh.”.

Joshua Smith Charged for Burglary of Biscayne Primary School
Sometime between March 17th and 18th, the Biscayne Government Primary School was broken into and numerous electronic devices were stolen. According to a police report, the take from the burglary included three Dell laptops valued at $1,000 each, another laptop valued at $1,400, a Sony projector valued at $500 and a Panasonic stereo set valued at $340. Police investigations led to the arrest of 18-year-old Biscayne Village resident Joshua Smith who was allegedly found in possession of items stolen from the school. Joshua Smith was escorted by police to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, March 28th, where he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith to answer to two criminal offenses. He was charged with one count of burglary and one count of handling stolen goods. He pleaded not guilty to the offense and the prosecutor in the case, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, objected to bail on the grounds that the police investigation into the burglary is ongoing and some of the stolen items have still not been recovered. Chief Magistrate Smith upheld the objection and Smith was ordered to be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on April 11th.

Viola Pook to get a murder retrial
Viola Pook, 56, appeared in Supreme Court on Wednesday April 2, where she was informed that a trial date has been set for May 20, 2014. Pook had been convicted of setting her common-law-husband, 48-year-old Orlando Vasquez, whom she lived with for 23 years on fire, killing him. Pook appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas who gave her the trial date. The Court of Appeal a few weeks ago had ordered that Pook should undergo a new trial. After being given the news, Pook told us briefly that she was very happy with having a date set for her retrial. The only thing she lamented was that no relative was with her on this day. She however said that she is confident that on a second trial she will go home free of all charges. Vasquez was set on fire with second degree burns to 70% of his body killing him after he was rushed to the hospital back on December 31, 2008 from the village of Rancho Dolores.

Muslim Community girls and Crooked Tree Government boys are Belize District primary schools softball champions
The 2013-2014 Belize District Primary Schools softball championship came to an end at Rogers Stadium on Tuesday April 1, 2014. In the girls’ championship game, Muslim Community School edged St. John Vianney School by the score of 7-6 to capture the Belize District Title. The winning pitcher was Essenie Ciego and the losing pitcher was Camryn Hinds. In the first game in the girls’ competition, Muslim Community defeated Holy Cross Anglican School by the score of 20-1.The winning pitcher was Essenie Ciego and the losing pitcher was Sayuri Novelo. In game two, St. John Vianney defeated Pancontto Primary School by the score of 4-3. The winning pitcher was Camryn Hinds and the losing pitcher was Shanna Bood.

Keion Robateau is Junior Cross Country Champion
The Cycling Federation of Belize held its 15th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic on Sunday March 30, 2014. The event started from the Succotz Ferry in San Jose Succotz Village to Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway. Some 20 junior cyclists started the race and at the end of 3:41:27, it was Keion Robateau of BELCOL Uprising cycling Team that captured 1st place. Robateau was then followed by his team-mate Delon Gentle, who completed the race in a time of 3:46:00. The third rider to cross the finish line was former champion Zamir Guerra of Cayo High Road, and he was followed by Philip Mencias of Mando’s Cycling Team, and then followed by Tarique Flowers of Benny’s Megabytes Jr. to round off the top five finishers in the race. The other finishers in the race included, Delawn Abraham of Benny’s Megabytes, Zahir Figueroa of BELCOL Uprising, and he was followed by Devin Azueta of Cayo High Road and he completed the course in a time of 4:03:41, followed by Darien Anderson, who is unattached and he finished in a time of 4:06:32, and then followed by Dennis Arnold unattached in a time of 4:07:33 to round off the top ten finishers in this year’s Junior Cross Country Classic.

Police United are the sole leaders in the Belikin Cup Tournament
The Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Closing Season Tournament continued over the weekend with three games across the country. On Saturday March 29 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the Police United defeated the Belize Defence Force by the score of 4-1 to take sole first place position in the tournament. The host team Police United were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Amin August scored the 1st goal of the game in the 60th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Danny Jimenez scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 67th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. The lead was once again extended when Clifton West scored his first of two goals in the 69th minute of play for a 3-0 lead. The Police United’s final goal of the game was scored by Clifton West in the 84th minute of play for a 4-0 lead.

San Pedro Tigersharks maintain lead in Elite Basketball League
The National Elite Basketball League Competition continued over the last week with a number of games across the country. On Thursday March 28, at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town, the Belize City based Smart “No Limit” edged the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 76-75. The top scorers for the Belize City Smart “No Limit” were Akeem Trapp with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, Gregory Rudon with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, and Andrew Ortiz and Brandon Rogers with 8 points each. For the Orange Walk Running Rebels the top scorers were Randy Usher with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists, Omar Tesecum also with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal, along with Ian Carcamo who contributed 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals, and Shemar white who also contributed 10 points, and 1 rebound.

Females Win 36th Annual UB Relathon
6 hours 29 minutes is the cumulative time that it took UB’s speedy females to reach the Engineering Department in Belize City, winning the 36th Annual UB Relathon on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The females started in Belmopan at the Market Square, while the males began in front of the Police Station in San Ignacio but both embarked on their journey at 8:30 a.m. The females ran with a singular goal in mind: 3-peat as champions. Their effort paid off when they crossed the finish line at 2:59 p.m. The males tried their best to win and closed the 20 mile handicap to only 3miles but fell short and finished 18 minutes later. While it might appear to merely be a race to underscore the battle of the sexes, and the females are given a sizeable head-start to compensate for any physical differences, the premise is actually based on a mathematical principle of vectors and the average speed and time that females and males utilize to cover a mile. So let’s talk the history: The year is 1977, and Belize Technical College (BTC) student Dudley Marshall—athlete and member of the student union—is working on a novel idea to use as a fundraiser. Being an astute student, he is constantly looking for practical ways to use new educational theories and prove that education is always relevant and real-world. He spends countless hours brainstorming, eager to maximize the impact of his latest initiative while garnering support from all corners of life at BTC.

Mexico daylight saving time starts on Sunday, April 6th 2014
The Embassy of Mexico informs that on Sunday, April 6th Mexico will begin Daylight Saving Time (Horario de Verano). On that day, clocks in Mexico will go forward one hour. That means that Mexico’s local time will run 1 hour ahead of Belize’s local time until October 26th, 2014. For example, 9:00 am in Belize local time will be in Mexico 10:00 am local time. For those traveling within Mexico, the Embassy reminds that the Mexico Daylight Saving Time applies to most of the Mexican territory, including Chetumal, Cancun, Merida, Campeche, Mexico City and Veracruz. If you are in transit through Mexico, please check your flight’s local time.

Police Sergeant dies unexpectedly
The Police Department continues to mourn the death of one of their own, 42 year-old Woman Sergeant Kimari Tucker, who died on the morning of Tuesday, April 1. On Saturday, March 28, she attended a reggae Concert at the ITVET Compound at which 2 Jamaican artists were scheduled to be the headline performers. While enjoying herself, she suffered a stroke and passed out amidst the other concert goers. She had to be rushed to the KHMH, where the doctors were able to resuscitate her, but by that time, the bleeding in her brain caused its higher functions to stop completely. Her family says that she was declared brain dead, and that she was being kept alive by ventilators and other machines. A few hours after the doctors recommended that it might be time to consider removing her from those machines and let nature take its course, Tucker’s organs started to fail. She passed away without having to force that difficult decision on them.

Ms African Queen 2014-2015
The sixth annual Ms African Queen 2014-2015 was held on Saturday, March 29th at The Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. Six beautiful, intelligent and elegant ladies competed for this title and after showcasing their Talent, Visual Poise and Platform Statements, Ms. Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy was crowned Ms African Queen 2014-2015. Although only one could walk away with the crown, they were all winners. First Runner up was Ms. Nicole Hamilton who also won Ms. Congeniality and Second Runner up was Ms. India Camiel. Other prizes awarded were: Best Talent & Miss PR (person who sold the most tickets) – Ms. Maryam Abdul- Qawiyy

Women in Arts fair held in San Ignacio Town
A “Women in Arts Fair” was held at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday of this past weekend as part of Women’s Month. Organized by the San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture in collaboration with the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Board, the fair was an opportunity for female artists to showcase their fine skills in pottery, jewelry, paintings and culinary products. There was much to be learnt about pottery, especially at the hands of Ruby Dirks and Byron Evans from Dragonfly Studios. The couple from Blackman Eddy Village told us that their electric kiln transforms clay into beautiful pieces under extremely high temperatures. Coming out to entertain the crowds was the Santa Elena Town based Indigenous Maya Marimba Band and the Cayo Flute group. Ms. Natalie Williams was also present to read some moving poetry.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Flyboard Day Again!!!
If you missed the first flyboard day no need to worry. Reef Watersports is at it again!!! Don’t get left out! Check out their facebook page at Reef Watersports for more pictures


My Tour Around the Sanctuary Belize (or Mega-Project: Part Two
Sunday, I travelled with the sales staff, a rep from Atlantic Bank, some builders and the potential investors to Sanctuary Caye. One of the more beautiful places on earth. I wrote all about that. And took one thousand pictures. Saturday was the main day. To show the visitors around Sanctuary – the mega-tour (and a bit adventure tour) of the HUGE project. Yesterday I wrote about the morning tour…of the marina and some of the land closer to the waterfront. We ended the morning at Sanctuary’s pool club on the common beachfront. There is not a huge amount of land on the Caribbean sea as part of this project but they’ve done pretty nicely with this area. The views and the green pool are gorgeous. Behind the pool club is a mangrove lagoon and a view of the Mayan mountains…

The Iguana Fest
Here is a little, not so happy, story about what happens to female iguanas to get their eggs... I have tracked my path to my nest site: the location good, the soil moist, the river clear and swift-flowing. My excavations are almost complete. The eggs weigh heavy; it is time. My tail is caught, I am hauled from my tunnel. There is strength; too strong for my writhing and flipping. My bite fails to connect, my thrashings ineffective.

“Fools Rush In” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Rose and I though do occasionally compile joint lists. And the one that we pulled together a short while ago included ‘arrange trip to Merida’. And not long after it was on the list Rose added ‘SOON’. With that kind of statement (instruction) what else could I do? Arrange it, that’s right! So last Wednesday I booked two return tickets (well we also intended to return to Ambergris Caye) from San Pedro to Mérida (via Philip Goldson International Airport) via withTropic Air on the Friday service (the service also operates on a Monday and Wednesday). We could have made the journey in a number of ways – water taxi to Belize City and then bus, water taxi to Corozal and then bus, fly to Corazal and then bus, water taxi to Chetumal and then bus (there may be other ways but quite honestly I’m bored now and it’s not as if this is a travel blog!) – but decided to take advantage of the discounted price (there’s still time to book because the offer runs until 15 April) offered for the expansion of routes by Tropic Air on 3 March.

General Assembly 15th Session – The Question of Belize
The General Assembly Having considered the question of Belize, Having examined the relevant chapters of the report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, Recalling its resolutions 3432 (XXX) of 8 December 1975, 31/50 of 1 December 1976, 32/32 of November 1977, 33/36 of 13 December 1978 and 34/38 of 21 November 1979, Having also heard the statement of the representative of Belize, Recalling that the Sixth Conference of Heads of States or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Havana from 3 to 9 September 1979, reiterated its unconditional support for the Belizean people’s inalienable right to self-determination, independence and territorial integrity and condemned all pressure or threats to prevent the full exercise of that right,

Recipe: Amish cinnamon breed
I’m nairy shure perzackly whut makes thishere Amish. My fambly is ackshly good fambly friens wit un Amish fambly n' Indiannie whar my moth'r is frum. I’ve ett nuff o'breed, cookies, pies an' uther treets made by t'Amish n' thems parts o't' kuntry. I’ve ett Amish haystack, a combinashun o'salad, meat, cheez, condimants an' chips. But I’ve nev'r bee offerd cinnamon breed. Here’s a'hopin thems fambly friens are’t holdin out un me! At leest noe, I a'ken make it un my own. Amish Cinnamon Breed frum Redflee Creetyuns

Asbestos in Drinking-water
One of the primary goals of WHO and its member states is that “all people, whatever their stage of development and their social and economic conditions, have the right to have access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water.” A major WHO function to achieve such goals is the responsibility “to propose regulations, and to make recommendations with respect to international health matters ….” The first WHO document dealing specifically with public drinking-water quality was published in 1958 as International Standards for Drinking-Water. It was subsequently revised in 1963 and in 1971 under the same title. In 1984–1985, the first edition of the WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality (GDWQ) was published in three volumes: Volume 1, Recommendations; Volume 2, Health criteria and other supporting information; and Volume 3, Surveillance and control of community supplies. Second editions of these volumes were published in 1993, 1996 and 1997, respectively. Addenda to Volumes 1 and 2 of the second edition were published in 1998, addressing selected chemicals. An addendum on microbiological aspects reviewing selected microorganisms was published in 2002.

Contraband Cigarettes Seized
This morning service agents in the sub station Custom Agua Caliente, town of Esquipulas , Chiquimula, along with representatives from the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT) and the Public Prosecutors Office, seized more than 3 million cigars entered contraband our country . The seizure was made, to inspect a Mercedes Benz truck, color White, C- 942BFG plates where 370 boxes of cigarettes, brand RGD , each box containing 10,000 cigarettes was found, for a total of 3 million 700 thousand cigarettes seized. According to the preliminary investigation, this vehicle has entered the Benque Viejo border, Peten, from Belize and was bound for San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

International Sources

John McAfee’s ring of danger in Belize
If you have kept up on the continuing John McAfee series here at SiliconANGLE, you may recognize that the elements surrounding McAfee in Belize were filled with not only dangerous situations, but also some very dangerous people. As his world in Belize started to close in around him, he decided to gain the upper hand. That’s when he launched his pre-loaded keylogging pirate network against those that had been behind the raid. McAfee sought to capture information ordering the acts against him, and with this capture of data and selected informants he was successful in doing just that.

Local resident seeks crutches, walkers, et al for Belize
Most Americans who travel to the Central American country of Belize do so for the lovely coastline and barrier reef ideal for all manner of water sports, and for rainforest adventures into ancient Mayan ruins. But Michelle Whitehead has had a different purpose in mind the two times she visited the tiny, third-world nation. Accompanying Michelle on her most recent trip March 15 to 23 were here husband Chuck, sons Trevor, 14, and Ryan, 12, and Michelle's mom Margaret McCoy. The family paid their own expenses, plus Michelle contributed a $300 “mission fee” to help pay for the electricity and materials she would need for building prosthetic legs at an orthopedic and orthotic clinic in Orange Walk Town.

Will this be a banner year for manatees?
After a record number of deaths last year, wildlife officials counted 4,831 of the aquatic mammals in Florida's waters, the third highest number since the statewide aerial survey began in 1991. Florida wildlife officials are pleasantly surprised by the findings of this year's manatee count. In January, a team of 20 people from wildlife and conservation organizations counted 4,831 of the marine creatures. "This year's manatee count is the third highest we have recorded since the first statewide aerial survey in 1991," Gil McRae, director of the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission’s research institute, told CBS Miami. "We are encouraged by the relatively high count, especially given the high number of manatee deaths documented recently." The high number surprised officials because a record number of manatee deaths were reported last year.

World Trade Talks Stall over Definition of Safety Standards
World Trade Organization (WTO) talks over an agricultural trade deal have hit another block as one of the negotiating committees could not reach an agreement over a definition for private standards for food safety and animal and plant health. When the committee met last week, it also deferred a decision of a mediation procedure designed to avoid legal disputes. This follows the failure of China and New Zealand — whose own positions were originally significantly different — to persuade members to accept the draft compromise they prepared from the contributions of a group of countries (an “e-working group”). Some members within the working group could not accept the draft. China urged members to be constructive and agree on a definition in order to avoid “disaster” for the committee. Belize agreed, and said its own papaya and citrus exporters are suffering from the high costs of meeting buyers’ requirements that are unjustified and can differ even when the buyers are from the same country. Sharing the concerns were El Salvador, India and Ecuador.

In 12 days (!!!), James and I will be heading to Ambergris Caye for our honeymoon! Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island, located mere minutes from the mainland. We chose this destination based on the three criteria we had set out for our honeymoon: we wanted to go to the beach, travel to a place that neither of us had ever been, and use our passports. Check, check, and check! The photos of Ambergris Caye are just so unbelievably beautiful - they’re making me antsy to get there. Here are a few from around the web that are absolutely making me swoon:

April 3, 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

Jamila Janmohamed receives award by The Royal British Legion Belize Branch
San Pedro resident, Jamila Janmohamed was honored by The Royal British Legion, Belize Branch, for her efforts at raising significant funds for the Poppy Appeal. Since 1991, The Royal British Legion has been promoting the Poppy Appeal to help support the past and present British Armed Forces and their families. As a previous colony of Great Britain, Belize has also adopted this culture and during the month of November, leading to Remembrance Day, residents proudly wear a poppy flower to honor the many Belizean and Commonwealth veterans who have given their life to protect others. In 2004, Janmohamed took over the running of the collection for the Poppy Appeal. Since then, she has substantially increased revenue for the Poppy Appeal. Previous earnings for the Poppy Appeal in Ambergris Caye were little over $200. In only on her first month as the head of the Poppy Appeal for Ambergris Caye, Janmohamed raised over a $1,000. Then, in the year 2013, she handed over a grand total of $13,246.86 to the Poppy Appeal, far surpassing every other amount raised previously!

Belize Infrastructure Limited to tackle two projects
Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize (GOB), is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. Investment project was initiated on March 31st, 2014 with contract signature for consulting services, architectural designs and construction for infrastructure at the Falcon Field Recreation Center and Facilities. BIL, along with technical support from MOW, is working closely with the Local Government Representative for the area. The investments to be financed as a prerequisite to any commencement of the civil works, and relevant to this contract, include the design and construction as related to any environmental management, approved design plans and construction for the Falcon Field Recreation Rehabilitation Project. The winning contract was awarded to Belize City based firm, International Environments Ltd headed by lead architect Mr. Daniel Arguelles.

BTB appoints new Director Of Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce the appointment of our new Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans. Mrs. Bevans joins the BTB after 25 years of service with the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). She began her career at BTL as an Administrative Officer, then, was promoted to Manager of Administration, Human Resources, and Public Relations, followed by General Manager of Marketing and Administrative Services, which later changed to include further responsibilities of Business Development, Marketing and Sales, and then named the Head of Business Development, Marketing and Public Relations. After a reorganization of the company, she was appointed the General Manager of Business Development and Marketing, and then became the acting Chief Operations Officer, before her latest position as the Chief Operations Officer. She, therefore, brings with her a wealth of knowledge in administration, marketing, public relations, sales, and management, having held the various positions in her ascension to Chief Operations Officer.

Ambergris Today

BTL’s 2014 Directory Cover Highlights Belize’s Adventure
Of the hundreds of submissions received, the picture submitted by Mr. Daren Lamb ranked first with a total of 1,396 likes. Gracing this year’s cover is his uniquely spectacular and uncommon wilderness experience that encapsulates the combined beauty of the Caribbean Sea and a determined Tern. In addition to capturing the bragging rights to have his picture grace the cover of this year’s Telephone Directory, Mr. Daren Lamb was also rewarded with an Apple iPad 4 and 1 year free Digicell service. The 2014 Telephone Directory’s “All about Belize” section highlights some of the more popular Belizean adventures which both our visitors and locals can experience. Belize, known as the ‘melting pot’ of Central America beams with an array of adventures yet to be explored. With so much of our natural environment still healthy and intact, travelers and locals are able to explore and create unique adventures of their own. You can get your copy of the 2014 Telephone Directory as of Today, Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by visiting the nearest BTL Customer Service Center and present your most recent BTL bill receipt.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro handyman accused of theft
Police in San Pedro town have detained a man pending charges of theft. The detention of the handyman is on the strength of a report by American retiree Robert Spica who went to police to report that since the first of March the detainee has been stealing money from him. According to police reports, Spica sold a boat at the beginning of March and allegedly hid the money in a bag.

Armed robbers target Belize City doctor
A Belize City doctor was the victim of an armed robbery last night. Dr. Jose Espat arrived at his home on Teachers’ Street around 9:30 pm and was accosted by two masked men. Dr. Espat says that one of his attackers carried a handgun and the other hit him on the head with a piece of cement block, leaving him bleeding from a gash to the left side of his forehead.

September Celebrations Theme Competition
Do you have any good ideas for a theme for the September Celebrations? You could win $1000 if your idea wins. The National Celebrations Commission is asking for entries for this year's theme. Send your ideas to [email protected] by Friday, May 16th. Good luck! "Do you love Belize? Do you have a creative mind? Could you use an extra $1000.00? Then this is for you!"

15th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic
The 15th annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic was Sunday. More pictures from the event have been posted. There's a pre-cross country warm up race this Sunday. Overall winners: 1st. Keion Robateau - BECOL Uprising 2nd. Delon Gentle - BECOL Uprising 3rd. Zamir Guerra - Cayo High Road 4th. Philip Mencias - Mando's Cycling 5th. Tarique Flowers - Benny's Megabytes 6th. Delawn Abraham - Benny's Megabytes 7th. Zahir Figueroa - BECOL Uprising 8th. Devin Azueta - Cayo High Road 9th. Darien Anderson - Smart 10th. Dennis Arnold - Unattached 11th. Michael Grajalez - Mando's Cycling 12th. Patrick Williams - Unattached 13th. Stephen Cabral - Unattached 14th. Kyle Saunders - Unattached Youth Category: 1st. Devin Azueta - Cayo High Road 2nd. Darien Anderson - Smart 3rd. Dennis Arnold - unattached 4th. Michael Grajalez - Mando's Cycling 5th. Patrick Wiliams - Unattached

Rotary youth build park at St. Martin de Porres
St. Martin de Porres Primary School has a brand new playground courtesy of visiting volunteers from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The teenagers of the Terwillegar Interact Club of Lillian Osborne High School – the youth arm of the Rotary Club – worked with Belizean counterparts Sunrise Rotary and RESTORE Belize to build the park on Vernon and Partridge Street behind the school compound. It was opened today and project coordinator Margo Ross-Graham said it was an opportunity for the youths to see the world beyond their hometown in the Canadian West.

Steven Buckley and family in court over drugs
42 year old Steven Buckley and his family appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this afternoon over, in his words to Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart, a “lee roach.” This morning around 10:00, police searched Buckley’s residence at 13 A George Street for firearms and drugs and in his room, which he told police only he has access to, officers found 0.4 grams of suspected cannabis. Elsewhere in the house they recovered a pipe of the kind used for taking crack cocaine. Buckley chose to plead guilty to the charge of possession of a controlled drug and was fined $50, due by May 2. If he defaults he will serve 2 weeks in prison. But Buckley, his common-law wife Juanita Juarez, 46; their stepsons 21 year old Emmanuel Villanueva and a 17 year old minor; and two visiting friends, brothers Isaiah and Charles Middleton, both in their late teens, are trying to arrange bail of $700 this evening on the charge of possession of a utensil adapted for using controlled drugs.

Prisoner bites another inmate’s ear
A prisoner serving time on a burglary charge was slated to appear in court on a separate case this morning, but instead he spent his day at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital being treated for a bite to his left ear. Cruz Allen was seen holding his left ear as he exited the bus and was immediately sent for medical attention. Allen and another, unnamed inmate got into a fight on the prison bus while coming down from Hattieville to Belize City wherein he sustained the injury.

Consultations begin on Occupational Health and Safety Bill
The Occupational Health and Safety Bill was tabled in January at the first session of the House of Representatives for 2014. It seeks to regulate and improve working conditions for workers at all businesses countrywide and has the unrelenting and vocal support of the trade unions. But the business community straddles a fine line between trying not to deny workers their rights and dealing with the economic bottom line. On Wednesday night, the first in a series of nationwide consultations took place in Belize City hosted by the Public Service, Trade, Industry and Labour Committee of the House of Representatives, which has charge of the bill. They met with financial members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, including executives of Belize’s leading businesses. We spoke to Daniel Gutierrez, a councilor on the Board of the Chamber who said that while businesses understand and respect workers’ rights, the bill as currently presented hurts local business and may lead to loss of jobs.

Belize Waste Control takes CitCo to court again
The Belize City Council and sanitation company Belize Waste Control will be back in court again this week, unable to settle their long-running dispute over late payments on the City’s sanitation contract. From as much as 15 weeks’ late payment in December, the Council has trimmed the figure to six weeks behind and according to Mayor Darrell Bradley, will pay double this week to reach the contractually acceptable four weeks’ lag in payments. City Hall has constantly contended with regard to sanitation that at 45% of all expenditure the Council cannot afford to keep up with payments, especially in the slow season, and Bradley says that things will look up once the contract with Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) expires next year.

SATIIM leader dismisses planned protest
On the eve of a planned peaceful demonstration in Punta Gorda targeting SATIIM, the leader of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management has dismissed the protest. Gregory Choc today said that explained that the demonstration being organized by the Toledo Association for Belizean Rights will not affect SATIIM in anyway, so he will have no further comment on the matter. Choc did say, however, that “everybody has the right to express their opinions,” noting that SATIIM is mobilizing members of the communities adjacent to the proposed drill site to head to Belize City on Thursday morning. Justice Michelle Arana is expected to hand down her decision in the case brought last October by SATIIM trying to get the government of Belize to affirm customary land rights held by the indigenous communities. But while the decision is being handed down in Belize City, Joseph Estephan and his Toledo Association for Belizean Rights plans to be demonstrating at the PG Central Park against what has been described as an unfair claim to any prospective oil revenue by SATIIM on behalf of the indigenous communities.

BIL Upgrading Cayo Sports Facilities
Belize Infrastructure Limited is looking to upgrade Falcon Field and Marshalleck Stadium. BIL signed International Environments Ltd to do initial surveys on Falcon Field, and LAR Architects and Associates for Marshalleck Stadium. Thanks, BIL! "PRESS RELEASE - ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING ELEMENTS, COSTINGS AND CONSTRUCTION FOR THE FALCON FIELD RECREATION CENTER AND FACILITIES"

Agric Getting Upgraded
The National Agriculture and Trade Show is only a month away, and they've been upgrading the facilities in preparation for the event. Agric starts on May 2nd, and finishes on May 4th. "We are pleased to inform that at least five new buildings will be constructed before this year's show. Two food courts, two display pavilions and a new entertainment stage. Follow us as we build these for your use and enjoyment!"

BEL Submits 2014-2015 Annual Tariff Review Proceeding Application to the Public Utilities Commission
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) submitted an application on April 1, 2014, to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. BEL’s application requests a reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate from 44.65 cents to 43 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). BEL’s proposed reduction takes into consideration the most recent forecast of cost of power and the opportunity to pass on savings to customers, by continuously seeking ways to lower the cost of electricity in Belize in the short term and long term. It is also in line with the Company’s Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.”

Mr. Calbert Thompson and Mr. Vigilio Requena Sr. and their families were recipients of homes built by Plett’s Home Builders.

Kung Fu Dunk screening
Apr 3 - The Corozal Organization Leading Cultural Heritage and Art(COLCHA) in association with the government of China Taiwan will be having a free screening of the Taiwanese film 'Kung Fu Dunk' (action) at the Corozal Town Central Park Saturday April 5, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Video: Red Creek Biological Reserve Stann Creek, Belize
4min. Red Creek Biological Reserve Jaguar Corridor in Stann Creek District, Belize. Established in 1995, to protect the Tropical Moist Forrest, Pine Forest, and the watershed of Red Creek in Southern Belize. Red Creek is a 754 acre private reserve that connects Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary with the coast of southern Belize. Red Creek joins Cabbage Haul Creek and provides the fresh water to the Sapodilla Lagoon near the Sittee River. This reserve provides habitat for Jaguar, Puma, Tapir, Ocelot, Jaguarundi, Yellowhead Amazons, Tinamu, Great Currasow, and many other species of wildlife. Red Creek is 4 miles from the Caribbean, on the west side of the Southern Highway on the way to Placencia. It is 12 miles from the village of Hopkins. It is 65 ft. above sea level on the highway frontage and reaches more than 300 ft. elevation on the western border 1.4 miles west of the highway. The high forest at Red Creek has a canopy of 65 ft. with emergent trees, such as Ceiba over 100 ft. tall. Tapir Creek enters Red Creek from the south. Founded by RW Ehrig in April, 1995.

Video: Spanish 3 PAP Cooking Project- Fry Jacks de Belize

Video: Turtles, Rays, and Nurse Sharks The Cayes of Belize
Hightlights from diving and snorkeling in Belize. Sites include: Hol Chan Shark/Ray Alley Esmeralda Reef

Video: Nurkowanie Belize
9min. Scuba diving, creatures of the reef. Film z organizowanej przez wyprawy na Belize w marcu 2014 roku. W trakcie wyprawy nurkowalimy na Blue hole, Ambergis caye i Turnafe. Przyzwyczajone do nurków rekiny wsate (Nurse shark) s bardzo przyjacielskie w tej okolicy i daj si gaska, prawie jak zwierzaki domowe :) Mielimy te szczcie spotka orlenie i rekiny karaibskie. Bawilimy si te z zaprzyjanion muren :)

Video: Belize Diving&Snorkeling

Video: Drums Not Guns Punta Gorda Belize March 2, 2014
Maroon Creole Drum School sponsors a drum circle in the park for a progressive youth movement

Video: AP Espanol Belize

Video: Project Smile - Belize
One of a series of short videos about Project Smile, which has given free dental care to 12,300 patients in Belize since 1992. In this video, Dentist Jay McCaslin and Hygenist Vera Peterson discuss what project Smile does and what it has meant to each of them to take part in the short-term dental mission trips.

Video: Brian Ernst :: Acoustic Sessions :: Belize
New song. "Ubuntu" written in Africa. Support independent music.

Video: Chef Bourque Is On The Route To Belize!
2min. Join Chef Bourque as he shows off some of his menu items he will be putting together for the Central America Overland Expedition team from Georgia, that will be stopping in visiting while in route to Belize.

Channel 7

Guatemalan Civilians Crossed The Line
On Monday, we told you about the armed encounter on the border where Belizean Armed Forces killed a Guatemalan civilian. They said that he shot at them first, and that there were signs that these civilians were engaging in illegal activities in Belizean territory. Well tonight, we'll show you photographic evidence which supports their story. We've also been able to gather a bit more details as to how the incident unfolded. Approximately at around 4 o'clock Saturday afternoon, a joint team of officers from BDF and Police were on operation with FCD rangers. They were 4 miles from Rio Blanco and 2 miles within Belizean Territory, patrolling the area, when they discovered this clearing in the Chiquibul National Park. It's a forest reserve so naturally, the patrol investigated why the trees were cut down. That's when they found 2 huts, which suggested that human activity taking place in the area. They also found discarded food, and further investigation of the area led them to find 40-50 marijuana plants, and a garbage bag containing unplanted marijuana seeds. These discoveries led the Belizean lawmen to believe that the area was cleared for marijuana cultivation, and that the huts and the food belonging the farmers who were trying to harvest these drugs.

Confirmed: KB New Boss At BTB
Exactly one week ago, we showed you former BTL senior executive Karen Bevans going into the headquarters of the Belize Tourism Board to talk to Minister of Tourism Manuel "Juniour" Heredia about taking on the post of Director of Tourism. Bevans had been hand-picked for the job by Cabinet, but last week she hadn't said "yes" yet. Well, she has now. A BTB release issued an hour and a half ago confirms that she is the new Director of Tourism and that she takes up the job next week Wednesday, April 9th. Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia is quoted in a release as saying "Her impeccable reputation precedes her and we certainly expect to see great things from her. " Of course, we are told Heredia had little say in the matter, this was, as we said, a Cabinet call – since Heredia and his board's last two hirings for the Director post - resulted in abrupt and tumultuous resignations.

Terrible Tourist Rape and Robbery on Placencia
Placencia police have confirmed that they are investigating a robbery and rape involving a Canadian Couple that happened on peninsula last week. According to police, the couple were on the beach in Placencia on Thursday night when 2 men ambushed them and held them up at gunpoint. The assailants then raped the Canadian man's wife in his presence after they had a short discussion. The Canadian man was ordered to go back to his room to retrieve electronic devices to hand over to them. Fearing for his life, and the life of his spouse, the tourist complied and went back to his room, where he got some items and handed them over. The men got more brazen and then sent him to an ATM to withdraw money to hand over to them, which he did. When he returned, he handed over what he had gotten, and that's when the robbers released the couple and escaped. Both tourists reported the incident to police and they took the next flight out of the country the following day. Today, 7News spoke with the Commanding officer of Placencia Police, who told us that they are closely investigating this crime but have no suspects at this time.

SIF: Starting All Over Again At Griga Market
By now, even the casual news watcher will know all about the fiasco at the Dangriga Town Market. The project is 9 months behind schedule and about halfway to completion. It's been stalled for the last 7 months – and has become an eyesore in the town. And that's where the Social Investment Fund comes in. The corruption allegations over the last project saw the forced resignation of their executive director and three senior staffers. But, still SIF has got to carry the project forward – it's a major part of a much larger municipal development project all across the country. So today, it was back to Dangriga where a new contractor has been named, and a new budget assigned. But is this new deal going to see the job through? 7News was there to ask the tough questions: Jules Vasquez Reporting In Dangriga, the word SIF is like a curse word, the reputation of the institution perhaps indelibly linked to corruption and for evidence of that its critics need only point to the market - it should have been opened 9 months ago - and here it is still an unoccupied half completed shell. But now, SIF is hoping to put this embarrassment behind it with the appointment of a new contractor CB Construction, as in Cesar Bedran construction who arrived at the market today and gave a commitment to finish it in 6 months.

Buckley Busted
Steven Buckley… 7 months ago he got his partial payment of $50,000 from the Government after he was disabled by a police shooting. Well tonight, Buckley makes the news because he pleaded guilty to drug possession in Magistrate's Court. Police searched his George Street house today at around 10, and the 42 year-old Buckley was present at the time, along with his wife; 46 year old Juanita Juarez, her two sons, 21 year old Emmanuel Villanueva and 17 year old boy; and two brothers, 19 year old Isaiah Middleton; and 18 year old Charles Middleton. A search of the house led to the discovery of 0.4 grams of cannabis and a pipe adapted for smoking drugs. The officers then charged everyone present with drug and pipe possession.

BEL Wants To Lower Your Light Bill, Again
BEL wants to lower your light bill – and they are asking the PUC to make it so. The utility's Annual Tariff Review was submitted to the PUC yesterday and it asks for a reduction in the average Electricity Rate from 44.65 cents to 43 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. BEL says the request for a reduction takes into consideration high rainfall projections. The company most recently reduced rates in December 2013 by four cents per kilowatt hour.

PUP Attacks Anwar B.
At to top of our newscast, we told you about Karen Bevans's hiring as the Director of the Belize Tourism Board. Well, BTL, the company that Bevans left behind officially, yesterday is being criticized by the opposition PUP tonight because of Board member Anwar Barrow's elevation to the most senior executive management post. As we told you in last night's newscast, Nestor Vasquez, demitted office as Chairman of the Executive Committee. He will stay on as Chairman of the Board and member of the Executive Committee, but Board Director Anwar Barrow takes Vasquez's place as Chair of the Executive Committee. That's prompted the PUP to state that his appointment is the product of nepotism. The PUP released a statement today which says, quote, "Anwar Barrow is the son of Prime Minister…Dean Barrow. We view Anwar Barrow's appointment as a blatant act of Nepotism and do not believe it to be in the best interest of BTL or the people of Belize."

The Dangriga Beach: Call It A Comeback
In early 2013 we reported on the worrying rate of erosion on the Dangriga town shore-line. Photos taken just months apart showed a dramatic reduction in sea frontage. But, since then, the situation has changed dramatically: when we visited the town today we saw that the beach was back! We wanted to know what was up with that – the mayor had a few answers: Jules Vasquez Reporting In February of 2013, we told you about the alarming rate of erosion on the coastline of Dangriga Town. These pictures taken just five months apart, showed a substantial deterioration between late 2012 and early 2013 - where the picnic bench toppled into the sea Resident "Where we're standing right now, this was actually in the sea." But today it was dry, gorgeous beach. A thing of wonder, virtually a miracle. In just three or four months, the beach is back - thick, high and wide - the combination we gather of Mother Nature and some cleverness by the town council:

NEAC Approved NCL? BTIA Wants Decision Recalled
The last time we reported on the Norwegian Cruise Lines Project for southern Belize, it was to update you that the company had handed over an addendum to their failed EIA, which their opponents suggested was a negative step. Well, tonight, there are reports that the NEAC has since met on the project, and that they gave the environmental green light 5 weeks ago. That has prompted the Belize Tourism Industry Association to voice its concern. Last week Friday, their attorney, Godfrey Smith, wrote a letter to Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria, who is also Chairman of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee. The letter demands that NEAC reverse the approval of NCL's project and to put it to a public hearing. The 3 page letter outlines a laundry lists of faults and fouls of the environmental laws, and calls NEAC's approval irresponsible. BTIA says quote, "the great haste and secrecy with which this matter was approved suggests an intention of the part of NEAC and DOE to pay lip service to the environmental laws and regulations of Belize"

Ebony Street Bathed In Dust
Progress brings problems – that old cliché still rings true in Belize City where there has been lots of progress but also some problems along the way. Residents of Ebony Street know all about that. While Vernon Street as one of the busiest streets in the city is being paved, the unpaved Ebony is being used as a detour. Monica Bodden found out how all the traffic is leaving residents choking up on dust:

Cayo Residents Lose Homes In Flood, Get Help From NEMO
Two Cayo families aren't complaining after they got new houses today. You may recall that in the epic rains of 2013, we told you about 2 houses that were washed away in Santa Elena Town. Well today NEMO donated two houses to the family who lost everything in the floods. The gesture was well received and here is the story.

A Park With A Purpose
Today, the newly renovated Park at the Saint Martin De Porres Primary School was officially inaugurated and opened for use thanks to the efforts of the 2 Canadian Rotary Clubs. It's a 2-year initiative from Rotary Clubs of Edmonton Glenora and Edmonton Downtown, together with Sunrise Rotary Club, Literacy without Borders, RESTORE Belize and the Rotary Club of Belize City. Here's what one of the organizers told us about it: The completed park will cater to 900 children.

Channel 5

Opposition says appointment of Anwar Barrow as Chairman of Executive Committee at B.T.L is nepotism

On Tuesday, we reported on a series of major management changes at the top of the government controlled Belize Telemedia Limited on the heels of the departure of Karen Bevans [...]

Karen Bevans replaces Laura Esquivel-Frampton at the B.T.B.

But back to Karen Bevans….The former Chief Operations Officer of B.T.L. resigned from the telephone company on February seventh. Last Thursday was her last day at B.T.L., and this coming [...]

B.T.I.A. threatens court action for faulty EIA done for NCL Project

The Norwegian Cruise Lines tourism project ran into stiff opposition from the get go from stakeholders in the south who support pocket tourism as opposed to mass tourism. The controversial [...]

CitCo owes Belize Maintenance Limited approximately $3.5 Million

Mayor Darrell Bradley – it’s probably a good thing he’s an attorney and can represent himself in court because he’s there a lot. As News Five told you on Tuesday, [...]

Mytheon – big business and big money – is it owned by Minister John Saldivar

It is not unheard of for ministers of government to be involved in personal businesses which benefit from their offices and positions. It is certainly not unusual. It is unethical, [...]

Ebony Street residents complain of dust on street

Belize City is currently in the midst of unprecedented, major infrastructure works. It’s enough to make any city resident smile…or at least it will be when the street and drainage [...]

Viola Pook to be retried in May for the murder of her common-law husband.

On March fourteenth, 2014, the Court of Appeal set aside a conviction on fifty-six year old Viola Pook for the murder of her common-law-husband, forty-eight year old Orlando Vasquez, and [...]

Steven Buckley is hauled back to court; this time for drug offenses

Remember Stephen Buckley? He was awarded a sizeable settlement after he was shot multiple times to the head by an inspector of police which left him unable to work. Well [...]

Dangriga Market Project to resume, but at a higher cost

The Dangriga Market Project, after months of delay, is finally set to resume, but at a higher cost. The market which was originally contracted to Kenard Smart at a cost [...]

KTV Latino finalist robbed with gun and cement block

Thieves have become more brazen over the years and on Tuesday night; two robbers set their eyes on Doctor Jose Espat. Doctor Espat is the well-known finalist in Channel Five’s [...]

Fire in Biscayne village

There was a fire on Tuesday afternoon in the village of Biscayne. An elevated wooden and concrete structure at mile twenty-seven and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway, was [...]

Rotary project to rejuvenate South Side Belize City with playgrounds and libraries

The mayor is building streets all over the city, but a project between Rotary Club of Belize and Restore Belize is intended to rejuvenate the south side with playgrounds and [...]



Accused Burglar Gets Ear Bitten Off by Prison Inmate
Twenty-nine year old Cruz Allen, a prisoner who is serving 15 years for burglary and other convictions, came off the prison bus this morning holding his left ear. According to reports, a piece of Allen’s left ear was bitten off by another inmate in an altercation that occurred while they were being transported from the prison to the magistrate court in Belize City. Allen was taken to Karl Heusner Memorial hospital where he was treated and released then taken back to prison. So far, no one has been charged in connection with the incident. Allen was to appear in Court for trial on a charge of burglary.

Police News: Robbery, Theft and Carnal Knowledge
Police are investigating a robbery that occurred on Tuesday night. Doctor Jose Espat reported to Police that on arrival at his home, he was approached by two dark complexion men. He said the men wore mask and one was armed with a handgun. The other man reportedly hit Espat with a piece of cement block to the head leaving him with a wound to the left side of the forehead. One of the men then grabbed off Espat’s gold chain valued at ten thousand dollars from around his neck. Both men then escaped. San Pedro police have detained a man pending a charge of theft. An American retiree who lives on the island told Police he sold a boat on March 1 and hid the money in a bag. He said sometime between that time and the end of the month his handyman stole three thousand dollars. The handyman has owned up to stealing the money. He was detained pending charges.

BEL Applies For Reduction of Rates
Belize Electricity Limited has applied for a reduction in the mean electricity rate. BEL made its submission to the Public Utilities Commission under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. The reduction is from forty four point six five cents to forty three cents per kilowatt hour. According to the company the proposed reduction takes into consideration the most recent forecast of cost of power. Copies of BEL’s submission are available at its corporate headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway and its branch offices countrywide or at PUC’s office on Gabourel Lane.

Barrow Says PUP Is Playing Petty Party Politics
Late this evening, Anwar Barrow responded to the release sent out by the People’s United Party, saying that the party, for many years, has been attacking his credibility, making baseless. He added that as far back as 1997, the opposition party has had to settle several libel suits through financial compensation to him and have been compelled to make several public apologies the last of which was made in 2010. Barrow, pretty much concluded that he will not give attention to the petty party politics but rather he will remain focused while working with the board and committee members to move BTL forward under the stewardship of the Board Chairman, Nestor Vasquez.

Opposition Party Objects to BTL Chairman
As we mentioned earlier, a shift in the powers that be have occurred at the Belize Telemedia Limited via the appointments of a new Acting Chief Executive Officer and a new Chairman of the Executive Committee of Management. Well, in view of the change on the company’s Executive Committee, the People’s United Party made clear their objection to the choice in the new Chairman, when they fired out a release today calling on the company’s Board of Directors to take back their decision of appointing Anwar Barrow as the new chairman, noting that the company is state-owned and government controlled and citing that Barrow is the son of the Prime Minister/Minister of Finance. The release added that the move is a clear act of nepotism and the opposition party does not believe that the move is in the best interest of the company or the people of Belize. The release went on to say, (quote) “There already, in our respectful view, exists a perception that BTL is being used to advance the political interests of the UDP and this appointment only serves to strengthen this perception. Further, there are serious and credible allegations which we are presently investigating, that Anwar Barrow may in fact be a “silent partner” in business interests which either have contracts with BTL or are indirectly engaged in business with BTL. If the BTL Board fails to act, we call on Prime Minister Barrow to do the right thing and to ask his son, Anwar Barrow to resign.” Love News attempted to get an interview with the Opposition Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca today but we were told that he has been in meetings all day. We will continue following this story, bringing you the details as they unfold.


PUP Wants Anwar Barrow Out; Anwar Responds
Yesterday, news broke that Anwar Barrow, the second son of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance Hon. Dean Barrow, was appointed to the post of Chairman of the Executive Committee of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). Big changes occurred in 2009 when the government nationalized BTL. Since then...

BTIA Says They Want Another Hearing
The Belize Tourism Industry Associaion, BTIA, has retained the services of Senior Attorney Godfrey Smith as it relates to the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Nature Park Project on Harvest caye. In a three page letter made public today written to Cheif Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria, Attorney Godfrey Smith laid out...

Consultations begin on Occupational Health and Safety Bill
The Occupational Health and Safety Bill was tabled in January at the first session of the House of Representatives for 2014. It seeks to regulate and improve working conditions for workers at all businesses countrywide and has the unrelenting and vocal support of the trade unions. But the business...

Prisoner Treated for Bitten Ear During Fight
A prisoner serving time on a burglary charge was slated to appear in court on a separate case this morning, but instead he spent his day at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital being treated for a bite to his left ear. Cruz Allen was seen holding his left ear...

BTB Appoints New Director of Tourism
The Belize Tourism Board, which was recently rocked by scandal after the forced resignation of its Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel Frampton, announced today the Appointment of a New Director of Tourism. She is Mrs. Karen Bevans. If the name sounds familiar, that is because she was the former...

Doctor Gets Robbed
A doctor in Belize City was robbed of a ten thousand dollar gold chain. Last night, at around 9:30 pm, Doctor Jose Espat arrived at his Belize City home. He was on his motorcycle and when he pulled into his yard on Teacher’s Street, he was approached by two...

Businessman Failed to Pay GST
70 year old businessman Arthur Seawell has been charged for failure to file returns on General Sales Tax for the last three months of 2013 and the first of 2014. Seawell appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart and pleaded not guilty to the charge. The owner of Seawell Seed...

Steven Buckley and Family in Court for Drugs
Belize City Police dragged 42 year old Steven Buckley and his family to the Magistrate’s Court this afternoon over, in his words to Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart, a “lee roach.” For the ‘not so street savy person’, that is a joint of weed. This morning around 10:00, Buckley’s residence...

GMO’s or No GMO’s; Where Does GOB Stand?
And while we were on the topic of Belize’s competitiveness of Agriculture in the Food Sector, We asked Director of Extension Belarmino Esquivel, to comment on the very controversial issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) and whether or not Belize should exploit this technology. The Government has so far...

Man Acquitted of Keeping Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition
Kenroy Vanzie of Arlington Drive was freed today after Police conceded they could not tie him to a rusty 9mm pistol allegedly found at his Arlington Drive residence on New Years’ Day of 2013. Vanzie had been in police custody from December 30, 2012 in connection with a robbery...

Concerned Citizen Hands Over Suspicious Bag to the Police
A concerned citizen of Santa Elena spotted a suspicious bag under the steps of a library and handed it over to police. Yesterday afternoon, the police visited Carmen Street, Santa Elena Town by the library where the concerned citizen handed over a black plastic bag containing green leafy vegetable...


See some spectacular sights with Tropic Air tours
Want a unique and different way to see the Country of Belize and some spectacular sights? Tropic Air tours could be just what you are looking for. All prices below include GST and are in USD. Lamanai (1/2 Day Only) One of the most common things said about Laminai aside from “stunning” is that the tour is a long day. Not with Tropic Air and you still get to enjoy a scenic boat ride down the new river. , ATM Cave Tour Tropic Air and with Pacz tours come together to bring you an adventure of a lifetime Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave. Black Hole Drop & Botanical Tour Hike the foothills of the Maya Mountains in anticipation of rappelling 300 feet down through the rainforest canopy into the magnificent Actun Loch Tunich and the river that shares same name. On this tour you will learn about cave history preservation and safety.

Belize is more than just a pretty face!
We always like to say that Belize is more than just a pretty face, what with the lively music and arts scene and the national contribution to things such as global responsible travel and sustainable tourism. But that’s not to say there aren’t many pretty faces around Belize, backed by charm, quick wit, intelligence and all the other things needed to be recognised as a modem Miss International. Yes, gone are the days when it was all swimsuit competitions and prancing around. Modern competitions look for knowledge and sophistication. So it is with some national pride that we announce that Belizean up-and-comer Jacinta Gomez won the annual University of South Florida Miss International Pageant this week. The event, which 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,” Is an annual event that showcases the most promising women from the area.

How to make Peanut Brittle in the Microwave
No candy thermometer needed. Only 7 1/2 minutes of cooking time and in no time at all you will have gorgeous, delicious peanut brittle

The Beer of Belize

International Sources

Caribbean winds site
An animated map of Caribbean wind and weather. Click for a green circle or position, showing the exact location longitude and latitude, temp and wind speed.

Eating Tilapia is Worse Than Eating Bacon
We all have the notion that eating fish would be the better option over bacon when it comes to health. And the truth is, it really is! Fish is a low fat, high protein food that has a range of health benefits. However, given what we know of fish and its sources today, we may have to re-examine this statement. Fish can either be one of the best foods for you or detrimental to your health depending on where it is sourced. There is a world of difference between fish that is caught in the wild, farm-bred or farm-raised fish. The most common farm-raised fish are: salmon, tilapia, sea bass, catfish, and cod. So why would farm raised fish be toxic to our health? What are the dangers of eating farm-raised fish? We’ll answer all of those queries below! Why Farm-Raised Fish is So Bad for You: Recent Studies have found that farm-raised Tilapia may cause more inflammation – Farm-raised tilapia has always been a popular source for fish, not only because it is widely available in the US, but it is also very inexpensive. However, before you stock up on Tilapia, you may want to know about its correlation to inflammation. Recent studies have concluded that eating Tilapia may worsen inflammation that can lead to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and a world of other serious health problems. People who resort to eating more fish as a way to get their dose of omega-3-fatty-acids and lessen their risk of heart attacks may want to hold off on the tilapia. In fact, scientists have found that the inflammatory potential of tilapia is far greater than that of a hamburger or pork bacon!

Latin Based Hot Sauces & Salsas from Costa Rica, Belize Brought the 'Zest and Flavor' to the NYC Hot Sauce Expo 2014
When you savor hot sauce or a salsa do you know where the ingredients really come from? Chances are, you can find that most hot sauces or salsas have a Latin origin and a flavorful island spin. This past weekend I attended the Second Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo 2014 and found that while I was 'en fuego' like some other newbie "chileheads," I also was pleasantly surprised to find that there was an array of tasty and tolerable sauces that packed a flavorful punch, rather than just set my taste buds on fire. While I was initially leery of turning up the heat, I was thrilled to meet someone who celebrates the Latin origin of hot sauces and salsas that were present at the expo, despite the low number of Latinos in attendance.

The Last Coral Reefs
A new survey is documenting the rain forests of the ocean—before they’re gone. There’s only one way to lower a $20,000 custom-made camera from a swaying fishing boat into the open sea: very carefully. And that’s exactly how Manuel Gonzalez-Rivero’s colleagues handled the SVII camera as they nudged it overboard, into the bathtub-warm waters off the coast of Belize. Once submerged, the beach-ball-size camera snapped a photograph of the protected Glover’s Reef every three seconds. Later, computers would analyze the pictures, providing a close-up look at one of the most valuable marine ecosystems in the Caribbean. And we have to see it today, because coral reefs may not be here tomorrow. It’s a cliché to call coral reefs the rain forests of the ocean, but if anything, that understates their ecological value. They occupy less than 0.1% of the sea area, yet “between one-fourth and one-third of everything that lives in the ocean lives in a coral reef,” says Nancy Knowlton, who holds the Smithsonian Institution’s Sant Chair in Marine Science. Fish are not the only beneficiaries. The net economic value of coral reefs globally is almost $30 billion a year, and some 500 million people around the world depend on coral reefs for food, coastal protection and tourism.

Teens dig Mayan culture
Davidson Day School students help dig up pieces of history that wind up in museums globally. Soon, experts will make the annual trek to Davidson to discuss other breakthroughs. Teens participate in excavations each summer, where they have joined archeologists in unearthing Mayan ceramics, obsidian and jade as well as temple walls. To prepare for this summer’s trip to Belize for more Mayan digs, students will meet with international experts during the fourth annual Maya at the Lago conference, held April 10-13 at Davidson Day School. “It’s a meeting of the minds for scholars collaborating and networking,” said Davidson Day School archeology department leader Mat Saunders. “Professors give fresh information about new discoveries, but I tell them it has to be to where a freshman in college can understand it.” People who buy conference tickets include students, professionals in the field and other enthusiasts. This year’s conference includes lectures on reading glyphs, discussion on Pre-Colombian attire, ways Mayans interacted and recent archeological advancements. “The conferences are cool because you can hear leading experts come and lecture,” said senior Sebastian Soria, of Huntersville. He especially enjoys learning about glyphs.

Royal Caribbean announces Southern Caribbean itineraries for 2015-2016
Royal Caribbean today announced its 2015-16 Southern Caribbean itineraries, with ships departing Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, Miami and San Juan. Adventure of the Seas will offer seven-night Southern Caribbean cruises out of San Juan, Puerto Rico from May through October 2015. This will be Adventure of the Seas' first summer program from San Juan since 2009, and shifts from Sunday to regular Saturday departures. Adventure of the Seas will offer three itineraries, one calling at St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados, while the second replaces St. Kitts with St. Croix. A third itinerary calls at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba and Curacao. A one-time, six-night itinerary sailing on May 3 will call at Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Maarten. Adventure of the Seas will then alternate two Southern Caribbean itineraries from Nov. 2015 through Apr. 2016. One seven-night, roundtrip sailing will call at St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Dominica, and Barbados, while the second include calls at St. Thomas, St. Croix, Antigua, St. Lucia and Grenada.

Machete Attack Only Built Resolve of Nurse-to-Be
Rather than anger over a lost ear and injured neck, shoulder and hand, Peace Corps volunteer and Johns Hopkins student chose forgiveness. A machete attack at his Belize hut nearly ended all prospects of a nursing career before it could begin for Owen Smith, a master's student at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. The wounds the Peace Corps volunteer suffered — a lost ear, damaged shoulder, severed finger, injured neck, and facial deformities — were terrifying, he admits. But the blade never touched his spirit.Smith chose Trio Village as a Peace Corps destination in 2011 because he felt he could make a difference there, and the State College, PA, native had quickly become part of the local community, teaching music to young kids in the Trio school, helping to build structures and working to address issues including sanitation and malaria control. "I never really felt any danger the entire time I was there, until I was injured," Smith recalls. "I had already been in the village for 19 months and I felt ... at home."

Renewable energy in the Caribbean
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it has signed an amendment with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to a 2011 Memorandum of Understanding and a 2012 Framework Agreement to support renewable energy and energy efficiency for the mitigation of climate change in Central America and the Caribbean. Under this amendment, the target amount of JICA’s co-financing for this program, known as “Co-financing for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” (CORE), will be increased to US$1 billion from a previous amount of US$300 million, “as well as the eligible beneficiaries will be expanded in Central America and the Caribbean,” said the IDB on March 29. It said the amendment was signed between IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and JICA’s Senior Special Advisor Kunio Okamura during the IDB’s 2014 annual meeting in Costa do Sauípe, Brazil. The IDB also said the signing took place in the presence of Yasuhiro Hanashi, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Japan.

TOP PICKS: Life’s a beach
There’s more to do at seaside locations than laze around, writes Khairul Ashraf Kammed IF you are a beach bum who just want to soak in the sun and do nothing, then you’re missing out on all the fun. Here is a list of top 10 beach activities at various locations by 9. Catch-and-release fishing at Glover’s Reef Atoll, Belize Glover’s Reef Atoll is considered to be the prototypic atoll in the Caribbean and is also the best developed biologically. It contains the greatest range of reef type and is home to a variety of sea life including three species of sea turtles, eight species of sharks and rays, more than 20 species of reef fish and numerous species of coral. Fishing can be enjoyed year round, but because the area is now a marine reserve, it is catch-and-release only. Fishes you may encounter are bonefish, jack, mutton snapper, yellowtail, bonito, cubera snapper, barracuda, king mackerel, wahoo and groupers.

Royal Caribbean Unveils 2015-2016 Bahamas, and Southern and Short Caribbean Vacations
It’s always an exciting time of year when we find out what new ports cruise ships will be hitting in the coming cruise season. Royal Caribbean International just released their cruise schedules for its Bahamas, and Southern, and short Caribbean program for 2015-2016. Cruise ships Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, and Majesty of the Seas will be sailing on an exciting variety of itineraries our of Port Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Adventure of the Seas will travel to the Southern Caribbean on 7 night itineraries from May to October 2015 out of San Juan. The itineraries on this summer program will shift from Sunday to Saturday departure dates. Cruisers will be able to choose any one of 7 night itineraries. One will have ports of call in St Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. Another itinerary will visit all the same ports except it will replace St. Kitts with St. Croix. And the third will call on St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, and Curacao.

Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental to Offer Discount in Latin America and Caribbean
Brands to Offer 25 Percent Savings Through June 30th. Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental will launch a 25 percent discount off daily rates for all car rentals at participating locations in Latin America and the Caribbean. The National and Alamo brands recently expanded into Belize, Peru and Turks & Caicos, and today operate in more than 25 countries and territories throughout these regions. "We want more people to experience the unparalleled customer service, quality and convenience these brands are known for, no matter where our customers travel," said Lee Broughton, assistant vice president of global marketing and communications for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates the National and Alamo brands. "We want to encourage North American customers to plan more international travel during their summer months, as it's an excellent time to vacation in these countries." This promotion will be valid on rentals picked up after April 21st and returned by June 30 and is available for all rental vehicle types, excluding those through Brazil and Jamaica locations.

From reef to plate - Belize combats the lionfish
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 The red lionfish is an eye-catching species. But it’s also dangerous and predatory. Its long spikes are venomous and can cause painful stings. As a result, it’s no longer hunted by fishermen in the Caribbean. The invasive species has a huge appetite, eating its way through the marine reef life. It now poses one of the greatest threats to the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second-largest coral reef system after the Australian Great Barrier Reef.

April 2, 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

Belize – European Union Political Dialogue
The first ever Belize – European Union Political Dialogue, as provided for under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement was held today in Belize. The objective of the dialogue was to engage in discussions on issues of mutual interest and share information on the actions and initiatives that both Belize and the European Union are undertaking in the economic, social and political areas. Ambassador Paola Amadei, accompanied by the resident British High Commissioner, led the EU delegation; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Wilfred Elrington, led the Belize delegation. High on the agenda for the dialogue were issues relating to Economic and Political Developments; Border Issues, International, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU); Fishing, Visa arrangements for EU and Belizean Nationals; Promotion and Protection of Human Rights; Crime and Security; Regional Integration and Cooperation; and Climate Change and Natural Disasters.

Quarter Finals of the SPSC Football Tournament Heat UP
The end of the San Pedro Sports Committee Football tournament is fast approaching, and eight teams remaining matches are only getting tougher and tougher. Now in the quarter finals, all teams are struggling to score as many goals as possible to earn their team points and escalate in ranking. The first round of the quarter finals was played on Saturday, March 29th and Sunday, March 30th, and teams only had one thing in mind, winning! At 7PM Saturday, four teams faced off. First to take the field were Joker FC and Dorados. It was a tight game till the end, but Joker FC out edged their competition and took the win with a 2-1 point match. The second game was between Southwind and Island Pure. It was a devastating game for Island Pure as Southwind delivered them a crushing defeat. The game ended in a 6-1 point win for Southwind. In order for Island Pure to make it to the next round, they must win a perfect 7-0 point game in their next match.

Winnie Estelle drops anchor at her final home
On Monday April 1st, The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in Maryland, USA received its newest edition to its fleet of historic vessels. The Winnie Estelle, a Chesapeake Bay buyboat, made her homecoming to the town where she first started some 94 years ago. On April 1st, the 65- foot vessel made its way to The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum , which will be her final home. According to a release from the official Facebook page of the museum “Winnie Estelle will be used by CBMM for drop-in public cruises, student ecology tours, a floating classroom, private charters, weddings, and more. Beginning in May, scenic Miles River cruises on the Winnie Estelle will be offered Fridays through Mondays. Four, thirty-minute cruises will be offered daily at $15 for non-members, $10 for CBMM members and $5 for children under six. Same-day tickets will be issued at the museum’s store or welcome center.”

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Belize is for Lovers
Saw this saying on a T-shirt once and it came to my mind when I photographed this picture during a beautiful sunrise last week at the Xtan Ha Resort located in North Ambergris Caye, Belize. I have gotten accustomed to getting up very early to witness the beautiful sunrises that we are blessed with here in Belize. This couple had one of the best views of this sunrise, or might I say that they had the PERFECT viewing spot to enoy the sunrise. Two lovers holding hands and experiencing one of the best pleasures while vacationing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye; it cannot get better than this!

Guat. and Bze Governments Respond to Killing of Guatemalan in Chiquibul Reserve
The Governments of Belize and Guatemala deeply regret the death of Guatemalan national Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, 26 years old, resident of the village of San Marcos, Municipality of Dolores, Department of Peten, Guatemala, in the afternoon of Saturday, March 29, 2014, that occurred in the Chiquibul Reserve, Belize, in an incident involving the Belize Defence Force. According to police, on Saturday, March 29, 2014, around 4:20 p.m., the BDF were leading a joint patrol along with Forestry officers and police. They were some (7) kilometers north of Rio Blanco and some (3.4) kilometers east of the borderline when they encountered some armed male individuals within Belizean territory. The police ordered them to stop, but they report that the men opened fire at the law enforcement personnel who in turn returned fire and fatally injured 26 year old Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, a resident of the Guatemalan village of San Marcos, in Peten.

Televisa Mexico TV Host Personality Films in Belize
Lights! Camera! Action! Belize was the background setting for Ritmoson Latino last week as a film crew from Televisa Networks Mexico arrived in the country to film their next episode of the Spanish-American music video channel. Host of the show Fer Sagreeb was in Hopkins Village and Ambergris Caye, amongst various other locations shooting Ritmoson Latino programming. The Embassy of Belize in Mexico, in conjunction with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), helped facilitate the trip for the Ritmoson Latino Film crew that arrived to film from March 22 to the 28, 2014. In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye the crew was spotted at Elvi’s Kitchen and filming along with the crew of Belize Pro Dive Center.

El Fogon Café Is Perking Up San Pedro
Authentic Belizean Cuisine is what comes to mind when one hears – El Fogon! This restaurant is known for serving up rich local food that is packed with flavors typical of homemade Belizean food. The Ambergris Today staff has been invited to indulge in the deliciousness of all the good food they serve for both lunch and dinner. Owners Luis and Olive Dominguez made sure that El Fogon Café’s server Leonel Lopez hooked us up with only the best in coffee and tea. Angel Perlita is a tea lover and she was ecstatic when she saw the wide assortment of teas. Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, Orange Tea, Peppermint Tea, Raspberry Tea, Chamomile Tea, Lemon Tea and Ginger Tea. These are only a few of the many flavors offered either hot or cold.

Misc Belizean Sources

Mexican art exhibition opens today in Belize City
A new art exhibition called “Graphic Coincidences” opens tonight at the Institute of Mexico on Newtown Barracks in Belize City. According to a press release from the Mexican Embassy “the exhibition includes a series of drawings by Mexican artists Mireya Gomez, Mariana Montes and Victor Manuel Garcia, during the period 2012-2013 under the direction of visual artist Ahmida Gomez at the School of Fine and Visual Arts of Quintana Roo, Mexico.” The release further states that three artists’ work depicts their creative experiences with various techniques. “This exhibition reveals the concerns of students who “coincided” in time, place, perceptions, interpretations, representations, perspectives and ideologies to reach a goal,” says the official release. Entrance to the exhibit is free of cost and the display will be open to the public until April 10th.

Toledo group plans demostration in PG
A group called Toledo Association for Belizean Rights is planning a peaceful protest in Punta Gorda town on Thursday. And the full fury of their discontent is aimed squarely at another organization, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM. The Association is not happy that SATIIM, according to them, is seeking to secure a portion of prospective oil revenues in the name of the indigenous Maya, even before the first well is dug and with no regard for other groups in Toledo. Founding member of Toledo Association for Belizean Rights Joseph Estephan says the protest is not about discriminating any race or ethnic group, but to show that “we are all Belizeans under one law.”

European Union Political Dialogue (5 photos)
Government of Belize Press Office

Rotaract Clubs Celebrate Earth Hour
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio visited the Rotaract Club of Orange Walk to celebrate Earth Hour Saturday. They observed the hour without power, instead having a bonfire, and then they camped out. "On Saturday, March 29th, the Rotaract Club of Orange Walk invited clubs across the country to a campout. Clubs spent 60 minutes, EARTH HOUR, together in total darkness. The challenge was not to use any electronics or have any lights on at that moment. The Orange Walk club had some team building games prepared, and in no time the hour went by. This album is a compilation of the different moments captured before, during and after Earth Hour Campout. :)"

SI United vs Police FC
The SI United will host the Police FC tomorrow, April 2nd, at 8:00pm at the Broaster Stadium. Go, United! "San Ignacio United host Police FC this Wednesday night at the Norman Broaster Stadium!!"

UB Earth Day Competitions
The University of Belize is having their annual Earth Day celebration on Wednesday, April 30th. Like always, they are having some competitions to celebrate the event. All secondary and tertiary students can enter the video competition. Videos must have the theme of environmentally friendly waste management practices. UB students can enter the essay competition. There will also be a bike race on the day of the event.

Women in Arts Fair
The Women in Arts Fair had a plethora of wonderful arts on display and for sale. Soaps, pottery, shirts, souvenirs, paintings, and even food could be found at the Cayo Welcome Center. There was music throughout the day too, including Mr. Pitts. The SISE House of Culture really did a great job this year. Pictures on G+. "The San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) had their annual Women in Arts Fair this Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center."

Western Ballaz Host Running Rebels
The Western Ballaz are hosting the Orange Walk Running Rebels this Friday. The first game will be Cayo against Belmopan, and it's the seniors. Lots of prizes will be given out, and as always, there will be lots of food and drinks. The after bash will be at Meluchi's. "Game this Friday at SHC. Come out to support our WB boys and our Over 35 Cayo Selection. Western Ballaz is tied for 1st place with a 7 -1 record. YEY!! Let's go Ballaz, let's go!!!"

Government of Belize Press Office

Government of Belize Press Office

Traffic Jam on the Progresso Heights Road yesterday
The graceful Wood Stork (mycteria americana) is a large American wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It was formerly called the "Wood Ibis", though it is not really an ibis. As of August 28, 2013 it is classified as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, although there have been proposals to down list it to threatened. This is a subtropical and tropical species which breeds in much of South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The Wood Stork is the only stork that presently breeds in North America. In the United States there is a small and endangered breeding population in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, along with a recently discovered rookery in southeastern North Carolina. On the other hand, in Santa Catarina state (Brazil), its decline seems to have been reversed: after an absence between the late 1960s and the mid-1990s, the species is now again regularly encountered there, in particular in the Tubarão River region.

Video: Hicatee Release
Members of the Hicatee Research and Education Group (funded by The Conservation Leadership Programme) briefly discuss their radio tracking work with the critically endangered Hicatee turtle (Dermatemys).

Video: View from Estels in San Pedro
15 sec.

Video: Blue Hole Belize 2014
2 1/2 min, Scuba diving

Video: Pool @ Portofino San Pedro Belize
16 sec.

Video: Room #1 at Portofino in Belize
25sec. Here's the view from the front porch of my cabana at the Portofino Resort in San Pedro Belize

Video: Continental Breakfast at Portofino Belize
10 sec. Toast on homemade bread, pineapple,cantaloupe,watermelon,papaya,o­range marmalade,and cheese and don't forget the coffee

Video: Teaching in Belize: A Cultural Journey
4min. A group of MVNU education majors traveled to Belize to experience teaching in another culture.

Video: Expeditions with Patrick McMillan - Belize
27min. This episode focuses on how SHI's work in Belize is preserving the winter habitat of migratory birds. Patrick McMillan hosts the 30-minute Clemson University nature series, Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, which is produced at Clemson University and airs on PBS across the United States. McMillan won the Emmy award in 2013 for excellence as on-camera talent.

Video: Drunk Belize Rum Punch Recipe!!! Unedited

Video: Andidre LIVE March 29th BELIZE CITY

Video: Belize Backpack- 13 DAY
11min. This video is about Belize

Video: Belize
5min. Spring Break 2014 in San Pedro, Belize

Video: Approach into Belize City in Cessna Caravan

Video: Spanish Belize Food Project
9min. Spanish project on how to make powder buns.

Video: Belize Pics

Channel 7

Supreme Court Interview Face Off: Mayor Bradley Vs. SC Courtenay
The heated, adversarial relationship between Belize Waste Control and the Belize City Council continues. As we've reported many times, every few months, City Hall falls behind in its payments to the Sanitation Company. The arrears pile up and it got to the point in December of last year, that the City owed the Waste Control almost 4 months in arrears. And so, Waste Control took the City to Court. In February, Mayor Bradley told the media that the case was being withdrawn by Waste Control. But today it went back before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, who heard it in his chambers. The media waited outside of court, and we spoke with both sides. Interestingly enough, Mayor Bradley and Waste Control's attorney, Eamon Courtenay, entertained the press standing side by side. Courtenay listened intently - almost impassively - to the answers that the mayor was giving, and then stepped in and mauled him. Here's how that conversation went:

Woman Sergeant Suffers Stroke At Concert, Died Today
Today, the Police Department mourned the passing of one of their own, 42 year-old Sergeant Kimari Tucker, who had been a police officer for 26 years. On Saturday, She attended a reggae concert at the ITVET Compound, but while enjoying herself, she passed out after suffering a stroke, and had to be rushed to the KHMH, where she was clinging to life until this morning. She was being kept alive by machines, and the doctors had recommended that her family consider taking her off of life support because she was brain dead. Unfortunately, her organs began to fail, and she died this morning, taking the difficult choice out of her family's hands. Today, 7News spoke with her family about the few hours before she attended that concert. Here's what they told us: Neisan Gillett, sister of deceased "Kamari was in high spirit, she was really excited to go to the concert and I remember her like really happy that day and she got dressed, went out and as soon as she got to the concert she said she felt dizzy and she had a little bit of a headache and she collapsed. My niece and the police officers took her immediately top the Karl Heusner Hospital and when they were there she was unresponsive from the beginning. They did everything that they could and they were able to get a small heartbeat and they help her with her breathing and unfortunately she passed away earlier today."

Race For UDP Mayor: Leila Pulls Out, Will Bradley Stay In?
Last night we told you that Mayor Darrell Bradley did not submit his name as a candidate for the UDP's mayoral convention. The three persons who did submit are current Deputy Mayor BQ Pitts, former Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie and former councilor Leila Peyrefitte. Well, tonight, there's more news: multiple reliable sources tell us that Peyrefitte has withdrawn her name and will reportedly throw her support behind Leslie. Peyrefitte did not respond to our requests for comment. And while this happens in the foreground, we are reliably informed that in the background Bradley loyalists including staffers and councilors are pressuring him to run. Even though the deadline has passed it is widely felt that Bradley can ask Party Leader Dean Barrow for a "bly", so to speak. Today in the margins of an interview, our colleague Giovanni Brackett from Plus TV asked him about it, and here's how he responded:

April First Was a Big Day At BTL
April first marks a time of change at Belize's biggest phone company, BTL: Chief Operations Officer Karen Bevans has demitted office, and so has executive Chairman Nestor Vasquez. Vasquez was installed when the Barrow Administration nationalized Telemedia in August of 2009 - and Bevans was appointed to Chief Operations Officer a month later. Vasquez stays on as Chairman of the Board and member of the Executive Committee - while Board Director Anwar Barrow takes Vasquez's place as Chair of the Executive Committee. Senior Executive, Rafael Marin -is currently the acting Chief Operations Officer.

Fisheries Catches Out Of Season Lobster
Ishmael Vernon Jr, a Belize City Student, was busted with 78 undersized lobster tails on Friday by the GSU. The lobster tails were discovered in the back of a Prado in a bath pan packed in several black plastic bags. The Lobster season is closed from February 15th to June 4th and so Vernon was detained by the officers and charged with the unlawful possession of the lobsters. We found out more from Fisheries enforcement today….

Hicatee Hunter To Court
Last night, 7News told you about Special Constable Goldurne Seguro, a driver of a Supreme Court judge, who was charged with fisheries offences because he was caught fishing for hicatee turtles with a gill net and in excess. Well, his nephew, 30-year-old Hilberto Seguro, was also arraigned on the very same charges today. Seguro was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart for 4 fisheries charges, and he pleaded not guilty. Like his uncle, must return to court on May 15. As we told you, Fisheries busted the men just after midnight on last week Thursday. They had 8 Hicatee turtles which they caught using nets in an area of Sand Hill called Black Creek. They had the turtles in 2 separate sacks. If convicted they face fines for the charges, the nets, and each turtle.

Getting It Right At The Dangriga Market
The Dangriga Market, it's one of the most famous and flagrant misadventures in public spending that we've ever reported on - and now the long delayed market project is getting a second start. A new contract was signed on March 24th, and the good news for Dangriga resident tonight is that the contractor CB Construction from Cayo has pledged to complete it within 6 months. The contract is for 1.22 million Belize dollars and it was signed after SIF got the green light from the World Bank and the Contractor General. As has been widely reported, the previous contractor Kennard Smart said he could not complete the project because he was being squeezed by SIF employees. That led to a major shake-up and mass firings from the institution - and a stalling in the half completed project.

Climate Change and Carbon Credits
Whenever the topic of climate change comes up, most people think about its negative effects, such as a rise in sea levels, the increase in average global temperatures, and changing weather patterns. But the Climate Change experts want to attract investment where entrepreneurs act responsibly in relation to their carbon footprint.

GSU Busts PIV Stash Spot
Yesterday afternoon, the GSU swooped down on a stash spot for the PIV Bloods and came out with a significant trove of unlicensed ammunition. They searched an open lot on Berries Street in Lake Independence - which is the heart of the PIV Bloods Gang Territory. Inside a plastic container tucked against a fence, they found eighty nine rounds of 9mm Luger brand ammunition, three 45mm Winchester brand ammunition, one .32mm round and one Sig Sauer metal Pistol Magazine. A black plastic bag with 7 ounces of marijuana was also found.

BIL Building In The West
Belize Infrastructure Limited - that's the public funded company that's investing all those millions in sporting facilities across the country. And they yesterday signed initial agreements for two western facilities: the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities and the Falcon Field in San Ignacio. In Benque Viejo, LAR Architects and Associates headed by consulting architect Mr. Luis Ruiz will design the revamped infrastructure at the Benque Football Complex and Facilities. The consultation phase will include public consultations, cost estimates, and operational recommendations for the Benque Football Complex. This is commonly known as Marshalleck Stadium where that disastrous BPFL semifinal match was played in deplorable field conditions. In Cayo, the Falcon Field on Joe Andrews Boulevard will also get an upgrade. International Environments Ltd - which did the re-design of the BTL park - received the contract to design and consult for that facility.

Chamber Warns OHS Bill Will Cause Loss Of Jobs
The labour unions pushed government to table the Occupational Health and Safety Bill in the House of Representatives in December, and they did in January. But, government did so with a great deal of reservation, because of the sweeping and costly reforms it would impose on businesses.

Merchants Complain About Sixth Street
Sixth Street is one of the busiest streets in the Kings Park area of Belize City. Now that it’s been paved, it’s been getting a lot more traffic by drivers who want to access the budget supermarkets such as K-Park Williams and Twins. But the City Council has other plans – it has turned sixth street into a one way thoroughfare. That’s frustrating business owners who say they are losing money because of the reduction in traffic flow. Today we spoke with one of the representatives of K-Park about it:..

Drawing From Mexico
The Institute of Mexico is hosting its first art exhibit for 2014. It is called Graphic Coincidences- a series of drawings by 3 Mexican artists from the School of Fine and Visual Arts in Quintana Roo.

A Belizean is the Next Contestant On The Price Is Right
Today, Belizean Sandra Mazariegos walked away with a new car from the popular American game show, the Price is Right. Mazariegos managed to win the pricing games, where she picked up a new car. She later moved on to the 3rd round spinning the Big Wheel and got the highest score of 95. She made it all the way to the Showcase showdown, but overbid on her showcase, which caused her competitor to win today's show. Here's how those final moments looked in the showcase showdown:

Channel 5

Attorney for Belize Waste Control says Mayor Darrell Bradley is “mal pago”
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was back in court today representing himself and once again he seems to be heading down the rocky road leading to his possible incarceration. The [...]

City Hall remains in arrears to sanitation company
As we told you, last year the Mayor narrowly dodged contempt proceedings which might have landed him behind bars. He and Belize Waste Control were able to reach a settlement [...]

A female cop passes away unexpectedly
The police department has lost one of its brightest. Sergeant Kimari Tucker passed away this morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she had been admitted since last Sunday. [...]

Is the killing of an armed Guatemalan in the Chiquibul justified?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think the killing of an armed Guatemalan in the Chiquibul is justified? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

The dismal conviction rate for murders
Three months into 2014, six persons have been tried in court for three sensational and heinous murders. In fact there are about one hundred and ninety persons behind bars and [...]

Former Minister of State driver acquitted of traffic offense
There is another acquittal though for a lesser offence to report tonight. Back in May 2010, the wife of the then Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development [...]

Cooler heads prevail at the Saint Ignatius High School
On Friday, an internal discord among teachers and management of St. Ignatius High School in Santa Elena Town came to a head when representatives of the Belize National Teachers Union [...]

Investigations continue into murder of American Expat and disappearance of 2 Sarteneja men
The murder of seventy-six year old American national Dennis Walt has gone below the radar.  The incident has not made it to the police blotter, despite the discovery of his [...]

Guinea Grass man died of alcoholic stupor
Thirty-year old Azael Gomez, a resident of Guinea Grass, was found dead inside a latrine at a primary school in the village on Monday morning.  His decomposing corpse was stumbled [...]

Driver of judge charged for fisheries offense
Two men have been charged for fisheries offences after they were found with eight hicatees at a fishing camp in Sand Hill. Fifty-three year old Goldburn Seguro, who is the [...]

55 year old man charged with theft
A fifty-five year old man was before the court today to answer to the charge of Theft. He is accused of stealing nine hundred and fifty dollars worth of items [...]

GSU finds ammo and drugs in Lake I
The Gang Suppression Unit is reporting that it found ammo and drugs in the Lake Independence area. The GSU says that at midday on Monday, it carried out a search [...]

B.T.L. changes…who is in and who is out
When we contacted former Chief Operations Officer of Telemedia, Karen Bevans, today, she told us that she was awaiting word from the Belize Tourism Board on the offer to take [...]

Dangriga marketplace project to resume
After months of delay, work on the Dangriga Town Market is set to resume.  A new agreement for the completion of the project was signed on March twenty-fourth, between newly [...]

Mexican Embassy offers scholarships
The Mexican Embassy on a yearly basis provides scholarships to Belizeans students to obtain graduate and post graduate degrees at universities and education facilities within that country. And as of [...]

Golden Princess Casino to reopen under a new brand
On February twenty-first, the Golden Princess Casino at the northern border closed its doors. Fifty-seven employees were terminated while ninety-six persons were relocated to the other Princess Casino at the [...]

Belizean wins South Florida University’s Miss International Pageant
There is some positive news to report tonight and that is that Belizean Jacinta Gomez won the annual University of South Florida Miss International Pageant this past Sunday. It is [...]

3 Chetumal artists featured in exhibit at Mexican Institute
The Mexican Embassy is not only offering scholarships, today it launched a new artistic exhibit. The exhibition includes various drawings made by three young artists – Mireya Gomez, Mariana Montes [...]


Shortage Of Lime Affects Consumers And Vendors
Tonight, there are hard times in Margaritaville: skyrocketing lime prices slam restaurants and bars; crop damage and tree disease have driven costs of the green citrus to an all-time high. Reporter Maria Novelo and videojournalist Jesus Melgar take to the streets to find out if its scarcity is affecting businesses. Maria Novelo – Reporting It’s no pulp fiction, there’s a genuine shortage of lime. A mainstay of the margarita and an essential ingredient, ceviche lovers say, for their dish. You can find them, but be prepared to pay. A bad harvest year in Belize is causing a run on limes in the country, suddenly making the fruit a precious resource for owners of restaurants and other lime-loving businesses.

Money Exchanger To Money Collector
We are sure that you have heard about people who have a passion for collecting currency from other countries. In Corozal Town we found one such individual. Doctor George Sajia began collecting foreign currency when he first started to work as a money exchanger at the Northern Border. It was a part time job, one that grew his interest in collecting money from over 55 countries around the world. And that’s how he became a numismatist. Dr. George Sajia – Currency Collector “The first person that gave me a bill was Switzerland and the bill was so colorful and so interested that when I saw it that is when I really started to collect them and then I took it as a habit and asking the tourist about the bills of their country and that is how the collection started back in 1995.” Victor Castillo – Reproter “From since 1995 to present day, how many of these currencies have you collected?” Dr. George Sajia – Currency Collector “I’ve lost track but approximately I have around 55 countries in paper money and I also have coins.”

Validation Workshop Held In Belize
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development is hosting a two day validation workshop in order to support the development of the Investor’s Guide for Mitigation and Carbon Markets and a Mitigation Project Portfolio. The workshop began today and will culminate tomorrow at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. The event is being hosted in collaboration with the European Union and the UNEP Risoe Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development (URC) as part of a programme for capacity building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP). The workshop is being held with the full realization that Belize is considered to be one of the countries that are most susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change and climate variability. This is particularly significant since many of the effects are already being experienced on the coast and interior areas of Belize and have threatened vital services, production, food security and even the quality of life of Belizeans.

Embassy Of Mexico Holds Art Exhibition
The Embassy of Mexico is presenting an art exhibition being opened as we speak at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The title of the exhibition is Graphic Coincidences. The exhibition, says Press Officer Marcelino Miranda, features the work of three young artists. Marcelino Miranda “The exhibition includes different works and all of them are Mexican artist from the Quintana Roo State in Mexico. Those two female artist and one male artist and two of them are going to be present at the opening tonight and this is a very good opportunity for those who are interested in art to come to Mexico and especially for young artist and young children. The Mexican embassy wants to promote young artist to get inspired and also to look at the works that are being developed by young artist in Mexico, I would like to underline that this is a part of the 2014 control program of the embassy of Mexico in Belize and that overall what the embassy of Mexico is trying to promote is a cultural and an article dialogue between Mexico and Belize.”

Guinea Grass Resident Dies As A Result Of Alcohol Stupor
Yesterday we told you about the unfortunate fall that led to the demise of 30 year old Asael Gomez, a resident of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District, whose badly decomposed body was found by a student at the Guinea Grass RC School’s latrine, shortly after classes begun. While there were many rumors surrounding Gomez’s death, police pathologist Dr. Hugh Sanchez conducted an autopsy yesterday to confirm the cause of death. Sanchez certified that Gomez died as a result of “bronchoaspiration as a consequence of alcoholic stupor.”

Nachos' Bus Company Demands Answers From Ministry Of Transport
In 1988 the Perez family, who resides in Corozal Town, launched their business, Nacho’s Bus Service. Since then the family have been mobilizing passengers, including students, within town limits. In 2011 the company’s road permit expired and owner of company, Ignacio Perez decided to reapply for his runs at the Corozal National Transport Department. That is two years ago and to date Perez is yet to receive a response from the department. Today, with nowhere else to turn to, Ignacio Perez visited our news center in Corozal and related his story to reporter Victor Castillo. Victor Castillo – Reporting Ignacio “Nacho” Perez – Proprietor Bus Company “I applied for two years, I send my renewals, I went to Belmopan, Mr Jefferies due an application for me he signed and I signed it and up to now no answer, the only answer that we got is that they have called any meeting, whenever the meeting we will get answer, answer, and we haven’t received any answer. Apart from that I am running a vehicle with a private plate; I have the registration and I have the license plate and the number is 1847 and I still cannot change the plate why because we do not get any answer from Belmopan and what I am looking for is for them to give me the authority or for them to send a letter or the road service permit for me to license but without Belmopan sending the letter I cannot license because Mrs. Riverol says that she has to get a letter from Belmopan to license.”


Former Minister Driver Acquitted Following Death of Minister’s Wife
Justice Denis Hanomansingh today directed the jury in the southern court session, to deliver a verdict of not guilty against 30-year-old, Venancio Salam. Salam’s plight began in May 2010 when he was driving a burgundy Nissan Navarro, property of the Government of Belize and assigned to the then Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Development, Juan Coy. Salam was driving in the area of Indian Creek Village in the Toledo District when the vehicle, carrying former Minister Coy and his wife, Brigida, suffered a tire blowout on the driver’s side, causing the vehicle to overturn. Coy’s wife died at the scene of the accident while both Coy and Salam were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital via a BATSUB helicopter. Initial investigations led authorities to render the charge of manslaughter against Salam but over the years as the legal proceedings took place; the charge was altered to causing death by careless conduct, of which he was today declared not guilty. Salam was represented in court by Leo Bradley Jr., while the prosecution was represented by Lindberg Willis.

Dangriga Market Refurbishment Undertaken by Cayo Company
On Wednesday Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund William Lamb will hand-over the project site to representatives of CB Construction of San Ignacio, Cayo District for the completion of the refurbishment and expansion of the municipal market in Dangriga. The new contract was signed last week. The final contract price is one million two hundred and twenty eight thousand three hundred and ten dollars and ninety five cents. The refurbished market is scheduled to be completed within six months. Construction works will entail the rehabilitation of existing Ferro-concrete of the market building including the fish section, extension of approximately 2,000 square feet for additional stall space for some vendors who are occupying the market’s parking-lot. In addition, this refurbished market will provide over 40 stalls. The Dangriga Market Project, is considered one of the largest infrastructure projects under the Government’s 30 million dollars Belize Municipal Development Project, and is being implemented by the Project Implementation Unit of BMDP under the umbrella of the Social Investment Fund. Its financing includes counterpart funding from the Dangriga Town Council and a World Bank loan.

Contracts Awarded For Capital Projects in Belize
The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize (GOB), is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. The investment project was initiated yesterday with a contract signing for consulting services and architectural designs for infrastructure at the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Football Complex and Facilities. The contract was awarded to Benque Viejo based firm, LAR Architects and Associates headed by consulting architect Luis Ruiz. A second contract was signed and it was for the Falcon Field Recreation Center and Facilities. The winning contract was awarded to Belize City based firm, International Environments Ltd headed by lead architect Daniel Arguelles. BIL, along with technical support from the Ministry of Works, is working closely with the Local Government Representative for the area. The investments to be financed as a prerequisite to any commencement of the civil works, and relevant to this contract, include the design and construction as related to any environmental management, approved design plans and construction for both projects.


Belize Waste Control Takes CitCo to Court Again
The never-ending saga of Belize City’s sanitation woes wound up once again before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning, as Belize Waste Control, one of the City’s two sanitation partners, once again pressed for action to be taken against Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley. The Council is once again...

Person Found Dead in Guinea Grass Village Died of Alcoholic Stupor
Last night we told you about the dead body that was discovered by an Infant two student of Guinea Grass Village, Orange Walk, when she went to use the bathroom. Today, police issued an official report. Investigations have revealed that on Saturday, March 29th, at around 8:00 am...

The Belmopan Market Vendors Are Moved Again
The Belmopan Market is on the move again. On May of 2013, the Tuesday and Friday Market vendors were relocated from the old Civic Center to the Agriculture and Show Grounds with plans to move them back to the Civic, when renovations are completed. The plan to move them...

Planned Protest Against Greg Choc
Executive Director of SATIIM Greg Choc has been very vocal in the NGO’s stance. However, one organization is discontented with their motives and is tabling their concerns through a scheduled protest on Thursday, in Punta Gorda, Toledo. Joseph Estephan, founding member of Toledo Association for Belizean Rights says he...

Has National Assembly Clerk Hired Someone to Kill Pawpa Mena?
Dangriga police are investigating a serious allegation made against the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster. According to a known criminal, Jermaine Mouse Miranda, he was hired by Eddie Webster to kill UDP standard bearer for Dangriga, Pawpa Mena. Miranda told Dangriga police that in early march, he...

Preliminary Inquiry Awaits Santos Carvajal
On Monday we reported the story of 51 year old Santos Carvajal, who faces dismissal from his special constable post with the Police Department. He is also criminally charged with carnal knowledge of a female minor. That case went to court today and he was told that the matter...

Will Darrell Run for Mayor Again?
Monday was the deadline for candidates for the United Democratic Party (UDP) to contest the Mayoralty of Belize City to submit their names. The list thus far looks like this: current Deputy Mayor and councilor Bernard Q. Pitts, Jr.; former deputy Mayor Dion Leslie, and former councilor Leila Peyrefitte....

Construction Company Burglarized of $45,000 Worth of Equipment
Belmopan police have one man detained pending investigation of a burglary that left one business owner over $45,000 in the hole. according to police reports, David Medina, the owner of Medina’s Construction, reported that he was hired by Santanter Farm in the Banana Bank area to build a sugar...

SIF Moving Forward with Dangriga Market
The refurbishment and expansion of the Dangriga municipal market is back on track as SIF handed over the project site today to representatives of CB Construction of San Ignacio. A new contract with respect to the Dangriga market was signed by SIF’s new Executive Director, William Lamb and representatives...

The Guardian

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Easter Sailing Regatta
April 19th and 20th, Caye Caulker


A female police officer, who is a mother of three, is currently on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) following what was reportedly a hypertensive condition that caused her to faint while going to a public event which was held at the ITVET compound on Freetown Road in Belize City this past Saturday, March 29. Amandala understands that Sergeant Kimari Tucker, 43 – attached to the Precinct 4 Belama Substation –was accompanied by friends and family, who were all on the grounds of ITVET, where the concert was being held, when she suddenly collapsed even before reaching the concert itself. Yesterday, her family told KREM News that she was in a serious condition at the Intensive Care Unit of the KHMH, where she had been declared brain-dead, but was still breathing on her own at the time. Today, however, we were informed that her condition has “deteriorated significantly,” as she is currently on life support, and her blood pressure has escalated, which has resulted in complications which appear to be life-threatening.

A Belize City man who is employed at Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) as a field worker was arraigned on a single count of rape when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. The accused man, Eugene “Portion” Reneau, 51, did not have to enter a plea, because his case will be heard on indictment after a preliminary inquiry is held to determine if there is a prima facie case against him. Reneau, a resident of 59 North Front Street, was released on a $1,000 bail, plus one surety in the same amount, and his case was adjourned to May 29. The allegation against Reneau is that on Friday, March 28, at about 2:30 a.m., he raped a 26-year-old Ladyville woman, who told police that he put a knife to her throat. According to a police report, Ladyville police, acting on information they received, visited an area around Mile 10½ on the Philip Goldson Highway in Ladyville, where they saw a man, and a woman of Creole descent, about ten feet from the roadside, in the swamp, standing in a pool of water.

The problem of unchecked incursions inside Belize’s prized Chiquibul Forest, particularly inside the Chiquibul National Park, and the clear and present danger these incursions pose—not just for Belize security forces but also for Guatemalan campesinos who exploit the area for illegal farming and other illegal activities—came into sharp focus again over the weekend with the killing of Tomás Desdicho Ramírez, 29, of San Marcos, Petén, Guatemala. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Guatemala president Otto Pérez Molina, who issued a joint statement today, agree on one thing – that the incident happened inside Belize, but the question now is whether the Belizean military officer who shot Ramírez was “culpable” for the death—or whether he was justified in shooting Ramírez. Belize police said that Ramírez, who was allegedly found armed with a Maverick Mossberg Model 88 12-gauge pump action shotgun, was shot in the upper right side of his body, his abdomen and right leg. Belize police have told Amandala that Ramirez’s body arrived in San Ignacio at around 8:00 a.m. yesterday, Sunday, and it was positively identified by officials from the Embassy of Guatemala in Belize. A post-mortem was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

One day before his 57th birthday, and a little over 9 hours after winning a “substantial sum” of money through his selection of the single number 75 in the Sunday lottery, Dean Lyons, 56, was shot to death yesterday evening while sitting on the steps of a house on West Canal, a short distance from Mike’s Club. His family is devastated over his sudden death. According to a police report, police visited West Canal between Water Lane and Orange Street, where they saw the body of Hector Dean Lyons, a self-employed man of Cemetery Road, Belize City, on the steps in a sitting position, with his head hanging down, with a gunshot wound in the left side of the head and an exit wound in the right side of the head. Police said that their initial investigation reveals that at about 7:25 last night, Lyons, a taxi driver with other sources of income, was sitting on the steps of a house next to the sidewalk on West Canal when a dark-complexioned man wearing a black shirt rode up to him and asked for some money.

A Jamaican-born former pioneer and businessman turned evangelist who made Belize his home in the early 1970’s is presently in Belize, and decided to share the interesting story of his life’s journey and encourage individuals to follow in his footsteps. Today, Amandala spoke to Pastor and Evangelist Ludlow Walker, 77, who travelled the world as a “Sea Pharoah” in his younger years, but came to Belize in the early 70’s and eventually built a hotel called the Mopan Travel Lodge at Mile 15 on what was then the Western Highway which was called Tropical Park. According to Walker, it was the first efficiency apartment hotel that was built in Belize and there were a lot of business people and political officials who used to visit the location, mentioning that it is also the place where he met esteemed gentlemen such as former UBAD president Evan X Hyde and the late former PUP politician Ray Lightburn. “On March 8, 1981, I turned my life over to Jesus Christ. I was divorced from my wife at the time and out of love for my family, I asked God to give me back my wife and 2 children with a pledge to serve him until my last day on earth.

Last Saturday, the 6th edition of the Miss African Queen Pageant took place at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City, and Krem TV’s news anchor Maryam Abdul-Quawiyy emerged as the winner of the contest in which five other participants also vied for the title. During the pageant – which was organized by the advocacy group “Concerned Belizean Women” – the six delegates displayed their passion and knowledge of African Heritage through historical and cultural presentations while showcasing a measure of poise and elegance which had to be proven worthy enough to take home the crown for this year’s competition. In the end though, there could only be one winner, and Ms. Abdul-Quawiyy walked away with the crown. Today, she told Amandala that it was important for her to take part in the pageant because young black Belizean women need to see more examples of people like themselves doing something positive and gaining respect.

EDITORIAL: Déjà vu, one more tractor blade!
DÉJÀ VU, ONE MORE TRACTOR BLADE! Editorial — 01 April 2014 A football and basketball trip to Peten had suffered the worst accident in Belize’s sports history. Four young men had been pinned under the Peten truck after the truck’s left side had been raked asunder by a protruding, unlit tractor blade. As they screamed in pain, in the darkness, someone lit a match to see better. But the truck had overturned, and fumes from its gasoline tank had filled the air. There was an explosion and fire. Gilroy Buller, Errol Clarke, Kyrle “Old Man” Turton and Charles “Buki” Leslie were burned to a crisp. Jaime Zaldivar was badly burned, and ended up losing a leg to the surgeon’s knife. The thing about the tragedy near Mile 8 on the Western Road was that no one paid the price for it, except the ill-fated athletes, and their friends who walked around in a daze for weeks. For high quality Belizean athletes to be traveling in a truck, not a bus, across the border with a driver no one had ever seen before, was not considered unusual in those days. For their deaths to go just like that, no one really to blame legally, was not considered shocking. Insurance companies almost never paid claims in 1971. The owners of the lowboy and tractor which had caused the accident were Belize Sugar Industries, the subsidiary of the superrich British transnational, Tate and Lyle, which could have afforded to pay some damages. But this was a story which ended up lost in the dark confusion and ignorance which is the “history” of sports in Belize.

At Spanish Caye during the school summer holidays in the early 1960s, it would be the basic Charles Hyde and Telford Vernon families on the northern side of the caye, while on the southern side, which was owned by the Belisle family, two of my grandaunts, Maggie and Edwina Belisle, would usually be in effect. In those days civil servants here worked until 12:30 on Saturday afternoons, so that my dad, Mr. Telford, and other working-age adults would come out to the caye on Saturday afternoons. They would bring ice blocks packed in sawdust in crocus sacks, chicken and meat for Sunday dinner, fruits and vegetables from the market, and various grocery commodities. They would return to Belize City on Sunday evenings to report to work Monday mornings. During the week until they returned the following Saturday, I would be in charge of keeping the caye supplied with fish and conch. I was the oldest of the Hyde children. Mr. Telford’s stepson, Bunce Longsworth, was a bit older than myself, but he was not as trained in the sea life. Besides, my maternal uncle, Roy Belisle, had made me captain of his sailing sloop, Kitty, the only sailing boat on the caye during the week. So, Bunce deferred to me.

Prevention of Corruption Act deadline for disclosure
The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) reminds all persons elected to town and city councils, House of Representatives, Senate and the Speaker of the House that today, March 31, is the stipulated deadline date for submission of annual financial disclosures. VIP also calls on the Prime Minister to fulfill his legal obligation without further delay and appoint members to the Integrity Commission.

Redmond writes on Belize citrus
It is time for citrus growers to demand world market prices for their fruit. For years, Belizean citrus growers have been paid prices which are much lower than the world market price for citrus juices. The citrus processors in Belize have traditionally produced citrus concentrates, which sell for much lower prices on the world market than the ready-to-drink juices produced in consumer-ready packs, such as the “Tetra Pak”. These types of packs have the advantage that they can be distributed and stored without the need for refrigeration. Over 85% of the world trade in citrus juices is in these single-strength juices and not in concentrate form. Yet, we in Belize continue to produce concentrated juices. The citrus processing plant in Stann Creek has all the equipment necessary, including the packaging machines and extra storage capacity, to produce single-strength orange juice.

Clear the fog
For too long certain clerics and Catholic Religious women have been making public statements and taking postures which have been causing confusion in the minds of sincere Christian people. I think it is time to clear away the fog and dispel the black smoke. As far as I know, Almighty God has never abrogated any of His commands to suit man. Certainly, He has not changed His Sixth and Ninth Commandments, which enjoin all men, gay and straight, to live pure and chaste lives; to the married, this means fidelity; to the unmarried, chastity and abstinence. Before the Anglican Lambeth Conference of 1930 all Christian churches subscribed to the belief that the use of artificial methods of preventing pregnancy is immoral. This decision taken by vote opened a Pandora’s Box; and since then, the whole world has gone sex crazy.

Big up, Tingy
The late Michael Tingling waged a memorable boxing battle with Leroy Hardiman at the Crystal Palace in Orange Walk Town back in the days. He was in the employ of my late uncle, Ernesto Cuello, who had sponsored one of the best in Belize, David Dakers. This was before these guys. “Tingy,” as he was known, put up a good fight, but as Fitzroy Guisseppi (hope the spelling is correct) commented, “Tingy can’t tek knock in a ih head.” He went down after being caught twice in the head. The first one stunned him and the second one put him down. Can’t remember which round. He was very good, but Hardiman was better. If he was younger, that racist in Chicago could never have hurt him. A few weeks later, Hardiman and Shorty Clarke fought their “Smoking Joe vs Muhammad Ali” type war at the Crystal Palace in Orange Walk Town.

The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) today has resumed its fight to unseat the disgraced United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative for the Cayo North East constituency, Elvin Penner, with an application for a judicial review of the Chief Elections Officer’s decision to reject over three hundred signatures that it had collected in its election petition to trigger a recall referendum for Penner. The judicial review application was filed on behalf of Orlando “Landy” Habet, the PUP standard-bearer for the Cayo North East constituency, along with four other registered voters from the constituency. PUP senator and attorney Lisa Shoman told reporters outside of the Supreme Court Registry, just before the papers were filed, that the Party is filing the judicial review application for the referendum petition to have the court make a decision on the 337 signatures that the Chief Elections Officer rejected in the party’s election petition drive.

Belize immigration officers nab Cuban trio believed to be heading to the U.S.
An anonymous tip to Belize immigration officers led to the arrest of three Cuban nationals who had entered Belize illegally and were found at a hotel in Belize City. They were charged with entering Belize illegally and were fined $1,000 plus $5 cost of court when they were arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. They pleaded guilty before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, who imposed the fines and signed an immigration removal order for them to be deported back to Cuba. The three are Roberto Raul Ronaina Hernandez, 32, a professor; Ernesto Rodriguez Tanquero, 23, an engineering student; and Dayani Perez Hernandez, an economist. When immigration officers visited Bay View Guest House, located at #58 Baymen Avenue, they found the Cubans inside room #8. According to court records, when immigration officers asked for identification papers, the trio were able to produce their Cuban passports.

More road traffic accidents – one man dead
A life was lost and two persons suffered massive injuries in three separate traffic collisions that occurred in Belmopan, Blue Creek in Orange Walk, and on the George Price Highway respectively. The three collisions occurred on Tuesday, March 25. Jacob Niekoleis, Jr., 18, died after he slammed into a fence when he lost control of his motorcycle. Police said that about 3:00 Tuesday afternoon, Niekoleis, Jr., suffered massive head injuries and an injury to his ribs as a result of the accident. He was rushed to the Blue Creek Village Clinic, after which he was taken by air ambulance to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment. However, at about 8:15 that same Tuesday night, he died due to the injuries. In another incident, Alexander Shepherd, 49, was injured in the leg and hand after he was knocked down by a truck in a hit-and-run-collision while riding his bicycle on the George Price Highway.

Body found in bathroom by young students in OW
Some unsuspecting infant students from the Guinea Grass Roman Catholic Primary School in the Orange Walk district made a dreadful discovery this morning when they came upon the lifeless body of a Hispanic man inside one of the female bathrooms at their school. Although details have so far been sketchy, Amandala understands that the discovery was reportedly made sometime after 9:00 this morning when two female students went to use the bathroom. When they opened the door, they reportedly saw the body of a man with his head hanging inside one of the toilets. The man has since been identified as Azael Gomez, a 30-year-old resident of Guinea Grass.

Husband held up wife at gunpoint, then stole her vehicle keys
Gladys Dominguez, 47, a businesswoman of Sapodilla Street, Corozal Town, told police that she was held up at gunpoint by her estranged husband, who assaulted her, and stole her vehicle keys and escaped in the vehicle. The incident occurred about 2:30 Friday at a beauty salon on 3rd Street North, Corozal Town. Dominguez was at a beauty salon when her husband, from whom she had separated, entered the salon and pointed a gun at her head and told her, “I will shoot you if you do not give me the key for the vehicle!” According to police reports, Dominguez tried to escape by walking away from her husband, but he followed her, and that was when he allegedly pushed her, then slammed her several times against the wall, and then punched her on the left and right sides of her head. Fearing for her life, and concerned about the welfare of everyone who was in the salon at the time, she handed over the keys to her beige SUV, valued at $6,000, to her husband, who then drove away in it.

Young Adrian Lopez drowns
Corporals Matthew and Lynnette Lopez of the Dangriga Police Station are mourning the death of their son, Adrian Lopez, 8, a standard 1 student of Sacred Heart RC School in Dangriga, who drowned in the Dangriga River (North Stann Creek River), in the New Site area while in the water with a group of friends at about 3:00 Saturday afternoon. Adrian was floating on a piece of foam when he slipped off, went under and did not resurface. His mother, Corporal Lynnette Lopez, said that they were unaware that Adrian had gone swimming with friends. They were at home on Saturday, and became alarmed around 6:00 that evening when he had still not come home, and went looking for him. The boys who were with him did not say anything to them initially about what had occurred, but at about 7:00 that night, they went to the parents and began to relate pieces of what had happened.

After Week 8 games in the inaugural National Elite Basketball League tournament, involving 8 teams from across the country, the San Pedro Tigersharks and the Cayo Western Ballaz are tied with 22 points at the top of the standings. Belize City (Smart) No Limit and Dangriga Warriors each have a back match pending, and Toledo Diplomats have 2 back matches remaining. In weekend games, on Friday night, Belize City (Smart) No Limit travelled north to Orange Walk and came away 1 point winners, 76-75, over home standing Orange Walk Running Rebels; all other games were on Saturday, and the scores were all lopsided. In Corozal Town on Saturday, visiting San Pedro Tigersharks won, 86-68, over Corozal Heats; in Dangriga, the visitors were again successful, as Cayo Western Ballaz were 61-48 winners over Dangriga Warriors; and in Punta Gorda, it was the visiting Belmopan Bandits blowing out the Toledo Diplomats by an 86-41 score.

Keion Robateau new Junior Cross Country Champion 2014
There were a few prominent names to watch among the field of 20 Junior cyclists that started out from the Succotz Ferry yesterday morning at 9:00 in the 15th Annual Junior Cross Country Classic; but Keion Robateau was not one of those names. Some of the recent big names among Juniors had already moved on to the U-23 category, namely Giovanni Lovell, Joel Borland, Austin Armstrong, Jr., Deezan Spence, and Oscar Quiroz, Jr. (Youth riders are 14 -16 yrs, and Juniors are 16-18 yrs; after their 18th birthday, they move up to U-23.) So that, among recent champions of major Junior cycling events were defending Junior Cross Country Champion Zamir Guerra; top Junior finisher in the recent Belmopan Cycling Classic, Tarique Flowers, who also won this year’s Krem Classic for the Juniors; and Delon Gentle, who has been a consistent contender, being the 4th Junior in the last Krem Classic, the Junior champion in the Valentine Classic, and the 2nd Junior in the Belmopan Classic. But, from the records we have been able to peruse, Keion Robateau had, up until yesterday, still not broken into the top-3 group of Junior finishers in any of the major races. His best finish was 5th Junior in this year’s Belmopan Classic.

Late Friday afternoon, an American national who lives in the community of Sarteneja in the Corozal District was found dead in his warehouse, reportedly with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. Police reports are that the decomposed body of Dennis Frank Waltz, 77, was discovered by villagers on Friday, March 28, after he went missing the day before and his motorcycle was subsequently found on the outskirts of the village sometime earlier in the day. According to Corozal police, at about 4:46 p.m. last Friday, they visited the property of Waltz, a retired American. When they checked a concrete warehouse with zinc roofing, they found a man dressed in a pair of blue jean shorts, white socks and brown tennis shoes, lying motionless in a sitting position in a corner of the building, He had apparent gunshot wounds to the mouth, the right upper side of his chest and the top of his head. Teofilo Rodriguez, 44, who is also a resident of Sarteneja, told police that he checked Waltz’s property after his motorcycle was found outside the village Friday morning. Villagers, however, sensed that something was wrong from the day before, on Thursday, March 27, when the victim could not be found at his residence.

Alleged burglar of Biscayne Government Primary School remanded
The Biscayne Government Primary School was burglarized between March 17 and 18, and according to reports made to police, a number of electronic devices were stolen, some of which have not been recovered. Police investigations, however, have led to the arrest of an 18-year-old village resident, who was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. Joshua Smith appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned him on the two criminal charges. But when Smith asked the court prosecutor, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, if there was any objection to his being granted bail, the prosecutor said he was objecting to bail on the grounds that the police are still conducting an investigation into the burglary, and that some of the items have still not been recovered. Rodriguez told the court that if granted bail, the accused man might interfere with the police’s investigation. The Chief Magistrate upheld Rodriguez’s submission and denied bail to Smith, remanding him into custody until his next court appearance on April 11.

Tourists report rape and jacking in Placencia; police say couple “concocted” story
Placencia police are investigating an allegation that a tourist couple was held up by two men and the woman raped while they were walking on the beach in Placencia, at about 11:30 Friday night. Initial reports were that a Canadian couple who were visiting Placencia were strolling on the seaside when two men approached and held them up at gunpoint. The man was allegedly beaten and held captive at gunpoint, while the men took turns to rape the woman, who each put a knife at her throat. The male victim told police that at gunpoint, he was taken to the bank to withdraw money from the ATM by one of the thieves, while his wife was held hostage at knifepoint by the other bandit. The man reported that after obtaining money from the bank, he was forced to take the thieves to their room, where the thieves stole their belongings, and then they escaped.

The Reporter

The Belize Times


Benque Free Zone update
This update was sent in by an eye witness. Western Border update: 31-3-14 @1:30PM Game of cat and mouse, while Guatemalan security forces went for lunch, time to work fast! :) Despite the gun fire and confiscation of goods by security forces earlier, see pics inside SAT office, the trafficking of contraband of illicit goods continue flowing from the Benque Viejo Free Zone, using under aged youths to carry in the goods through the contraband trails into Guatemala. The logic they run faster and the Guatemalan authorities will not arrest minors; See attached pictures of youths going up the trail, and youths coming back FOR MORE! Note: This is done in front of the OAS office, what IMAGE WILL THIS SEND WHEN IT’S TIME TO GO TO ICJ?

Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve
Dive operators off the coast of Placencia and Hopkins in Southern Belize have access to one of the most amazing experiences in the world. For 10 days after the full moon during the months of March, April, May and June, every year Snappers spawn around Gladden Spit and attract numerous Whale Sharks to dine on clouds of Caviar. Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve has been drawing divers for years, with not a guarantee, but merely a possibility that they might have a chance to dive alongside the largest cartilaginous fish in the world. Like many giants, their massive form is accompanied by a gentle nature.

My Tour Around the Sanctuary Belize Mega-Project in Southern Belize
And before I start, as with any development, particularly one of this unprecedented size in this area, there is lots of information and some controversy out there. I am in absolutely no position to judge any of it on my website. This visit, as a guest of Sanctuary, was my very first. I asked them if I could see the area (via email) and they incredibly graciously invited me for two days. To mix with their potential investors, to meet their sales people, to stay at their resort, Kanantik, all with no ground rules or discussion beforehand. Just an invite. They SO didn’t need to do that. They could have told me that it was for potential investors only – and I would have been fine with that. It’s private land after all… Our group had been prepped with a really impressive presentation about the vision behind Sanctuary, the Belizean owner/investor Johnny Usher and some of the many features of the project. The part that clearly grabbed the most participants was what Sanctuary calls the “5 Ecosystems” on the land. From river to tropical savannah to jungle to Caribbean marine to coral reef all on one property. And how the developers plan to make sure that all of those all kept intact and healthy.

Belize elected to top level UN Security Council
In a surprise move, Belize has been elected to the UN Security Council, and will be sharing an office with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, who requested the move “in order to work in close proximity with the Belizean advisors,” he said. US Secretary of State, John Kerry said that It was a surprise move, but necessary given recent events in the world. “We need a country that is laid back and recognises the value of preserving nature and having a good time. “We were also looking for a nation to provide some killer dance beats to our meetings, and Belize fit the bill. “When the nation offered to provide their great barbeque to all General Assembly meetings, it cinched the deal,” he said. Happy April Fools Day!

This Lion no King
It’s stunningly beautiful, and when you see it majestically move though the water encircled by a massive mane of feathery fins, you understand how the Red Lionfish got its name. It even gives off that “I’m cool and I know it. No one messes with me,” vibe. People come from around the world to see it its natural habitat since it’s that spectacular. We’ve seen it in Belize and across the Pacific Isles, and it never fails to captivate. However…. Like its namesake, it’s very dangerous and predatory. Just ask anyone unlucky enough to have been stung by one of those beautiful, feathery fins. So fishermen and divers stay away from it – with good reason. It also has a huge appetite, and is eating its way unopposed though the Belize Great Barrier Reef system, causing considerable damage as an invasive species. Now, what’s interesting is that the meat from the Lionfish is considered a delicacy and is indeed delicious – if you’re game to catch it. Enter the marine conservation organization “Blue Ventures” which is trying to create a market for the fish as a way to combat its negative effects on the reef. The conservation group is working on teaching fishermen how to catch and clean the species without getting stung with the right handling and processing techniques.

International Sources

16 Alarming Airline Secrets That Will Change How You Fly
Previously, we've had minor freak-outs upon learning that people habitually steal airplane lifejackets and the flight crew will refill your water bottle if you ask. But have you ever wondered if pilots stay awake the whole flight, or if anyone's touched your complimentary pillow before? [Spoiler alert: LOTS of people have.] A curious Reddit user asked airline professionals for facts about flying we might not already know. The answers (from flight attendants, pilots, engineers and frequent fliers) revealed a series of secrets you're going to wish you never knew... either because they're so useful, or because they're so utterly revolting. We've added a few of our own world-rocking facts to the list, and we've gotta tip our hat to Viral Quake for posting some of the Reddit thread's most startling secrets. We should also mention the validity of individual Reddit comments can't be completely confirmed. That being said, we're already thinking about flying from a whole new perspective.

The World’s Best “Starter” Offshore Haven?
The small country of Belize nestled on the Caribbean coast of Mesoamerica doesn’t really fit in. Belizeans speak English, so they aren’t part of the Central American region culturally, and, as the country itself is tucked below Mexico on the Yucatan peninsula, Belize is not really part of Central America geographically either. European settlement in Yucatan was initiated by the Spanish, but the area around Belize became a buccaneer’s haven as English pirates realized that Belize’s coastline served as a good base for their attacks. Eventually, they also started logging logwoods for textile dyes. While Spain and England disputed control of the area for more than a century, the English settlers were mostly left to their own means. Finally, at the end of the 18th century, the Spanish lost a naval battle off the coast, and Spain stopped trying to expel the English from the region. Still the settlers were mostly left on their own, and the large landowners established their own local government. This buccaneer background and the long-ignored status of the settlers set the stage for the Belizean culture that exists today. Today, Belize continues to follow its own independent path. Belizeans (there are about 350,000 of them in the country) keep to themselves, and the government interferes little with day-to-day life. That mentality helps to explain why Belize has developed into the offshore jurisdiction it has. When it gained independence from Great Britain in 1981, Belize had no real economy. The financial services industry that the British had initiated (including writing banking privacy into the constitution for the new country), therefore, took hold and became an important part of the scene.

Belize, European Union Review Bilateral Relations
Delegations of Belize and the European Union (EU) met here to review their relationship and discuss issues of common interest, according to statement by the Belizean government. According to the statement, Foreign Minister of Belize Wilfred Elrington, who was heading the delegation, exchanged information on the actions and initiatives being undertaken by Belmopan and the EU in the economic, social and political areas. The meeting was held under the Cotonou Agreement, which provides the framework for ties between the EU and developing countries. The issues addressed included economic and political development, border issues, visa procedures, crime and security, human rights, climate change and others.

Caribbean Export hosts the 3rd Caribbean Conference of the International Financial Services
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in partnership with the Government of The Bahamas today commenced a three day high profile summmit: The 3rd Caribbean Conference on the International Financial Services Sector in the Caribbean Region under the theme "The Caribbean Engaging the World in Financial Services" at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, Nassau The Bahamas. The financial services sector continues to be a vital sector for the development of Caribbean economies, to the extent that the financial services are the second largest contributors to gross domestic product (GDP) in the Caribbean region. The leading Caribbean Forum countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) involved in international financial services are The Bahamas and Barbados, along with Antigua and St. Lucia who also register the largest contribution of financial services to GDP of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries.

Belize is paradise. Water so clear it is nearly transparent. White sand beaches. Hammocks hanging under palm trees. Everything you want when you escape your regular life for a few days. This is why so many people are drawn to Belize. It is a fantastic place to take a break from the doldrums of winter and the routines of everyday life. I was super excited to finally hit the beaches of Belize after 3 1/2 weeks of traveling through Guatemala. Here is the thing. I didn’t love Belize. *Gasp* I didn’t hate it either, I just didn’t love it. I know, I know how could I not love a place that graces the covers of travel magazines? A place people flock to for ultimate relaxation. I can hear the grumbles of my friends wanting to shake me and remind me that its 0 degrees at home. I think there are a few factors as to why I didn’t love Belize: 1. We did the same thing for 12 days straight- swim, lay, drink, nap, repeat-and I got bored. 2. It is an expensive place and tough to stick to a budget. 3. Everywhere we went was built and maintained for tourists, so we didn’t get to experience the “real Belize” It is also important for me to say that there were two totally different parts to our time in Belize which I think plays a high factor in my feelings toward my experience. The first week was spent on Ambergris Caye. In a gorgeous, waterfront villa where, according to the workers, “We could have and do ANYTHING we wanted.” My parents, sister, and her boyfriend joined us for this leg of our trip, so it was a family vacation. We relaxed, we drank, we had fun together, and best of all, I rarely opened my wallet. This meant that the second part of our Belize trip was overshadowed by the previous week and was also a time where we needed to snap back to reality (or our strange concept of reality, which isn’t actually reality) aka budget hotels and cheap meals.

Your Flight’s Been Cancelled – Now What?! – Ten Tips For Trouble Free Trave
You hope it won’t happen to you. But what if it does? Do you know what to do if your next flight is cancelled? If you don’t, you should! In today’s oft over-crowded flights, it’s those who act fast that score the precious few available seats on that next flight out. Not sure what do if your flight is cancelled? No sweat! I’m here to help. Here’s ten tips to help get you back in the air after your flight has been cancelled. Prepare Before You Fly An ounce of preparation before flight day can minimize day-of airport aggravation and frustration in the event of a flight cancellation. It might also get you back in the air more quickly. Here’s four tips you can do now to better prepare yourself for the potential of a flight cancellation. 1. book flights directly with the airline Booking directly with the airlines will give you better leverage in the event of a flight cancellation. Third party bookings may save some cash upfront, but can be more problematic when rebooking a cancelled flight. Airlines typically first rebook those who booked directly with them.

April 1, 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

Joint Press Release from the Governments of Belize and Guatemala
1. The Governments of Belize and Guatemala deeply regret the death of Guatemalan national Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, 26 years old, resident of the village of San Marcos, Municipality of Dolores, Department of Peten, Guatemala, in the afternoon of Saturday 29 March 2014, that occurred in the Chiquibul Reserve, Belize, in an incident involving the Belize Defence Force. 2. Both Governments express their condolences to the family of the deceased Guatemalan citizen Tomas Desdicho Ramirez. 3. The Prime Minister of Belize and the President of Guatemala have been in telephone contact on the regrettable incident. The Prime Minister assured the President that his government will investigate the facts relating to the incident, and should it be found that there is culpability by persons involved they will be brought to justice in accordance with the law. The Government of Belize is committed to full transparency in this process and offered to share the reports with the Government of Guatemala.

The Senate debates and approves $1 billion budget
After two days of vigorous debate over the General Revenue Appropriation 2014/2015 Bill (The Budget) at the sitting of the House of Representatives, it was sent to the Senate on Thursday March 27th for debate and ratification. First on the agenda was the swearing in of the two newly appointed People’s United Party (PUP) Senators Attorney Anthony Sylvestre and Patrick Andrews. After the short ceremony, the Senate Budget Debate got underway in which members of the lower house of parliament put out contributions that discussed the state of the country. Senator Lizarraga also detailed that the constant borrowing under the Barrow Administration has increased the national debt left by the PUP. “In 2008 Mr. President, we owed externally $1.9 billion. Today, we owe $2.16 billion, added to the $404 million we owe locally…It converts to approximately $7,300 per every man, woman, and child in Belize…calculated differently Mr. President, this trend has led to every registered person that is an employer or employee in Belize today, owing $25,000.”

Belize fails to attend the Twelfth Session of the Rio Hondo Basin Commission
Mexican authorities are seeking international assistance to address the run off of dangerous chemicals and pesticide from agricultural farms into the Rio Hondo located along the borderline of Northern Belize and Mexico. This decision was taken after Belize failed to send a delegation to the Twelfth Session of the Basin Commission for the Rio Hondo (Commission de Cuenca del Rio Hondo) and according to the Mexican counterparts, has been absent in several instances. The consultation, which had members of both the Mexican and Guatemalan Environmentalist Agencies in attendance, addressed the mass of chemicals and pesticides that are being deposited into the river. These chemicals, which are used for farming and agriculture purposes, are altering the pH Balance of the Rio Hondo, resulting in the possible poisoning of river dolphins and manatees. In the past few months three dolphins and two manatees have been found dead on the shores of Chetumal Bay in the state of, Quintana Roo. According to news repots from Mexico, the death of these creatures is being attributed to chemical poisoning.

Ambergris Today

Possible Relocation of the New San Pedro Cemetery
It was opened in late 2013 as the new location of the San Pedro Cemetery due to congestion at the old cemetery located in the heart of downtown San Pedro, but now that new cemetery might just be moved to a new site. The little bit of uneasiness from the community is that there are already six bodies that would have to be exhumed and relocated to the new cemetery, if this happens. According to San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero the Government acquired land for the cemetery has not been paid for and in the meantime the owners of the land, Holiday Lands, do not want the cemetery there anymore because of a big development project to spring up in that area. Therefore, Holiday Lands has offered a free piece of land in exchange for the present new site in which the six bodies have already been put to rest. News of this second new cemetery leaked out when a caller to the Reef TV Morning Show posed the question to Mayor Danny, who was caught by surprise. Mayor Guerrero explained that indeed the offer/proposal has been made and that government, in consultation with The San Pedro Town Council, is considering the exchange because government does not have the money to pay for the acquired land made some years ago. The Mayor’s reasoning for accepting the deal would be that tax dollars will be saved with the acceptance of the exchange deal and that the cemetery would be closer to town.

From Dream to Reality: The Inspiration Center Launches
Years of planning and hard work became a reality on Thursday, March 27, 2014, as The Inspiration Center was launched at a ceremony on its grounds. Special Envoy for Women and Children and Chairperson of The Inspiration Center Board of Directors, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, delivered an emotional speech recounting the journey leading up to today’s event and thanking all those who contributed to its success. “I am eternally grateful that there have been so many supporters who recognize the significance of providing optimal health care, recreational outlets and other opportunities for development for this vulnerable population,” said Mrs. Simplis-Barrow.

Caramba Restaurant Keeps Things Fresh and New
Every year around August, Caramba Restaurant closes for about two weeks during the slow season and takes advantage of the time off. But the time off could hardly be considered “time off” because when the restaurant reopens there is always something new about the place, be it the food, the bar or the dining area; Caramba is always evolving. That ‘something new’ I am talking about can be as subtle as a new paint color or as big as the addition of a new stylish bar. However, what always remains constant from Caramba is the food. It is fitting that their slogan says, “Where the food always speaks for itself…”. This year the restaurant kicked it up a notch by introducing a new menu filled with amazing new dishes and revamped old favorites. The menu has been simplified a bit, but it is still heavy on the seafood options that are a big draw for the restaurant. New options like Crab Stuffed Jalapeños, Crab Cakes, Stuffed Flank Steak, Fish or Shrimp Tacos, Savory Soups (Sopa de Lima), Hearty Subs like the Pibil (Pulled Pork) Sub and Sandwiches have been mixed in with the old favorites like the classic Fried Chicken, Fish Fingers, Quesadillas, Fajitas and Burgers.

Flashbacks: Discovering the Village of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
This is a picture of the beach of San Pedro in the late 1960’s when tourists were beginning to discover the village of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. It was not yet known as Isla Bonita but the very few hotels advertised as “Welcome To Paradise…No Shirt, No Shoes, Problem”. This was the mood set by The Ambergris Lodge of George Stefanco upfront, followed by Lily’s Coral Beach Hotel, Conch Shell Coral Beach Hotel and Paradise Hotel in the background. At this time the cemetery was just on the outskirts of the village just before Paradise Hotel. These were among the first to set the pace for what was to become La Isla Bonita, The Number One Island in the World!

Message for US Citizens on Absentee Voting
Your vote counts! Did you know that many recent U.S. elections have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by military and overseas voters? All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline. Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2014 U.S. elections: Registering to Vote: Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). -Even if you have voted by absentee ballot in the past, you must complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to vote in the 2014 elections. The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories. It allows you to register to vote and to request absentee ballots for all regular, primary, run-off, and special elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) during the course of the year it is submitted in.

Misc Belizean Sources

FISHING REPORT: Week of March 22-30, 2014
The weather brought in big tides and incredible fishing. Like I said, we had a lot of wonderful stories go on this week. Stories and memories that will last lifetimes. Rob asked me, “What makes this work? What makes El Pescador work?” There are a lot of things that could be said to answer that question. But the one thing we do know is that witnessing dreams come true is a good thing to be around. We give out pins to honor the angler’s achievements, but this pin represents so much more. It was great to see several of our fishing friends this week. Greg was able to come up from Roatan and fish with Biill. They were chasing tarpon between telling tales with a few Belikins thrown in. Bill you’re family at EP. As I head out to chase fish in cold waters, my job share partner Ed is starting his week with a few tarpon under his belt. Everyone is thrilled to see you back Ed. Have a great six weeks sharing your passion for fly fishing with the staff and guests of El Pescador. And Happy Birthday!!!

Body found at Orange Walk primary school
Classes were abruptly dismissed today for children attending the Guardian Angel Roman Catholic School in Guinea Grass village, Orange Walk. That is because the body of a man was found this morning in one of the bathrooms at the school. The name of the man is being withheld at this time, pending the proper notification of his family. Reports from the village say that a female teacher went to open the bathroom and that was when the body of the man, a resident of the same village, was found.

Belize and Guatemala issue join statement on Chiquibul incident
The governments of Belize and Guatemala have issued a joint statement on the death Guatemalan national Tomas Ramirez, 26, inside the Chiquibul Reserve in western Belize. The incident involved Belize Defence Force soldiers and happened on Saturday afternoon. In the joint statement, the governments of Belize and Guatemala expressed condolences to Ramirez’ family. Furthermore, the joint statement says that both Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President Otto Fernando Perez Molina “have been in telephone contact on the regrettable incident.” According to the statement, Prime Minister Barrow “assured the President that his government will investigate the facts relating to the incident, and should it be found that there is culpability by persons involved they will be brought to justice in accordance with the law.” A commitment was made by Belize to “full transparency in this process and offered to share the reports with the Government of Guatemala.”

Belize’s Culture & Economic Development
culture (meaning) 1. the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, which constitute the shared bases of social action 2. the total range of activities and ideas of a group of people with shared traditions, which are transmitted and reinforced by members of the group: the Mayan culture Below are generalizations of a sub-set of aspects of Belize culture that impact our rate and quality of economic development. I. LATER In Belize, most things are left for “later”. If it is not life threatening it can be done later. This attitude is very pervasive, and results in procrastination, latency, last-minute rush, and in creole “hurry-com-up”, which means something that is hastily, and normally incompletely or inadequately done. This manifests itself in many ways in daily life, not in the least of which is frequent late arrival for work, meetings or invitations known popularly as “Belize time”. This laid back attitude has its advantages and disadvantages relative to peaceful co-existence of so many mixed races, but in economic life, this lack of urgency hinders our pace of development in more ways than we care to accept.

Guinea Grass village man found dead in school bathroom
The discovery of the body of a man in the girls’ bathroom at the Guinea Grass Roman Catholic primary school in Orange Walk is not the way that students and teachers intended to start their Monday. Thirty year old Asael Gomez was found semi-nude just after 8 o’clock this morning by a girl who had gone to use the facility. Soon a crowd of nearly 200 people, including students, flocked to the area to watch in shock and disbelief. According to the aunt of the deceased, Gomez was last seen on Saturday morning and the family member says he had been drinking since Friday night.

Meeting held to discuss staff issues at St. Ignatius High
A meeting was held today at the St. Ignatius High School in Santa Elena town to try and resolve internal issues. The meeting involved Belize National Teachers Union president Luke Palacio, BNTU advisor George Frazer, Principal of the High School Vanessa Neal, Maria Zabaneh from the Catholic Schools […]

Charges for City man after wild shooting
Friday afternoon in Belize City felt for a bit like the wild, wild west as a group of young men engaged in back and forth shooting in a mile-and-a-half span of the Old Capital. Amazingly, when it was all said and done, only one person had been actually […]

Man accused of rape in Ladyville charged
This morning, Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith remanded 51 year old Eugene Reneau to the Central Prison after police charged him for rape. According to Police around 2:30 in the morning of Friday, March 28, they went to a swampy overgrown area ten feet from the roadside on the […]

UB girls hold off boys in relathon
The women of the University of Belize (UB) denied their male counterparts a win on Sunday in the annual battle of the sexes that takes place on the George Price Highway. The UB Relathon – a portmanteau of relay and marathon – features teams of men and women […]

Keion Robateau wins Junior Cross Country Cycling race
Sunday was a day of sports in the City, beginning with the finish of the 15th annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic. 20 young men from several cycling teams kicked off from the San Jose Succotz Ferry and rode for 70 miles to Leslie’s Imports. For the most […]

10th Day of Healing held in Taylor’s Alley
On Saturday the Day of Healing initiative came to Taylor’s Alley, a community whose very name has become a byword for violence. It was conceived around this time last year as a way for communities affected by violence to promote peace among rival gangs. It is one reason for […]

Hector Lyons robbed and killed
Cemetery Road resident Hector Dean Lyons failed to live to see his 57th birthday, today, after he was shot dead on West Canal Sunday night. Police found him seated on the same steps he was sitting on while talking to a friend around 7:25 p.m. A single gunman […]

Fire destroys building and vehicles in Corozal
An early morning fire on Sunday has destroyed a warehouse in Corozal and the estimated damage caused by the blaze has been put at over a million dollars. Around 5 o’clock on Sunday morning, personnel of the Corozal Fire Department responded to a call of a fire at […]

Police investigate murder in Sarteneja; two men are being questioned
Corozal police are looking for one person who they believe can assist them greatly in their investigation of the second murder of the year in the coastal village of Sarteneja. The body of retired American national, 77 year old Dennis Frank Waltz, was found inside of his warehouse […]

PUP seeks judicial review of Chief Elections Officer’s rejection of signatures
March 31, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: The People’s United Party (PUP) has gone to the Supreme Court seeking judicial review of the decision of the Chief Elections Officer to reject hundreds of signatures from a petition to recall Elvin Penner. Last year, the Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai rejected 337 signatures from thousands that were […]

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: Joint IDS/Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (2014-15)
The Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from DFID) and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom. Full details of the scheme can be found in the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme 2014 Prospectus. The University of Sussex is offering one award for candidates from any eligible: Commonwealth Country with an offer of a place on MSc in Climate Change and Development. A list of eligible Commonwealth countries can be found on page 28 of the CSSS 2014 Prospectus.

Belmopan Bandits vs Toledo Diplomats
The Belmopan Bandits traveled to Toledo to play the Diplomats on Saturday. The won 86 to 41. Congratulations, Bandits! In related news, the Bandits host the Dangriga Warriors this Thursday, April 3rd. The lost against the Western Ballaz last week. More pictures from that match here.

Paint Up a Storm Artist List
The Cayo Welcome Center will be the place to be this Saturday, as artists excelling in everything from dance to music to writing to performing arts come out for this year's Paint Up a Storm. It'll be fun for the entire family.

Statistical Institute of Belize Releases its Consumer Price Index, February 2014

February 2014 External Trade Indicators
In addition, SIB also released its February 2014 External Trade Indicators.

US, Belizean workers lay groundwork for New Horizons construction
U.S. and Belizean workers made final preparations at construction sites in Belize March 28-30 in preparation for new facilities at four schools and one medical clinic in the country. Construction professionals from both countries will work together at each site to build additions to the schools and hospital as part of the New Horizons Belize 2014 exercise. Preparing for this exercise has required extensive coordination from representatives of both countries. "We've been working on this particular exercise for over a year now," said Master Sgt. Craig Hunter, New Horizons construction superintendent, responsible for coordinating with Belizean construction workers and overseeing U.S. manpower at each of the construction sites. "We've done countless hours of planning back at the unit in order to make sure we have all the materials, the tools and the contracts set up well ahead of time to make sure that once we hit the ground here in Belize we can get started with our construction projects."

Belize, European Union Hold Talks
The government of Belize held talks on Monday with the European Union in Belmopan. The “European Union Political Dialogue” aimed to “engage in discussions on issues of mutual interest and share information on the actions and initiatives that both Belize and the European Union are undertaking in the economic, social and political areas,” according to a statement from the government of Belize. It was held under the Cotonou Agreement, which provides the framework for the European Union’s relations with scores of developing countries. High on the agenda were issues relating to economic and political developments, border issues, unreported and unregulated fishing, visa arrangements, crime and security, human rights, climate change and others, according to Belize’s government.

19-year Air Force IDMT provides care to service members in Belize
A Sulphur, La., native is leading a team of medical technicians as they provide care to U.S. service members deployed to Belize in support of New Horizons 2014. A 19-year independent duty medical technician and the lead medic in Belize, Master Sgt. Tara Harrison is charged with ensuring U.S. Air Force members receive the best medical care possible as they assist the Belizean government in building schools and hospitals throughout the country. In addition to providing Air Force members care, Harrison is also working with medics and corpsmen from other U.S. service branches to ensure all medical teams are working cohesively in the joint service environment. New Horizons is an annual event coordinated amongst U.S. Department of Defense service members, the U.S. Embassy and the host nation government to conduct civil engineer and medical training. The training benefits U.S. forces as they are offered an opportunity to practice deployment and joint training procedures.

Grand Belize Casino Hotel to open Santa Elena, Belize operation
The Grand Belize Entertainment Group said it 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 said it 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 and beverage offerings. The Casino Hotel will be co-branded with The Grand Belize Interactive division´s Online Casino. Guests will be able to redeem rewards and promotions at Grand Belize Casino Hotel and through Grand Belize´s Online Casino. The Grand Belize Entertainment Group is known for developing and executing strong, focused branding that differentiates the firm from the competition. For more information visit

Pappy show!
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Hickory dickory dock The mouse ran up the clock The clock struck one The mouse ran down Hickory dickory dock COLA standing up for social justice So their stance is supposed to be without malice Let me be candid COLA's initiative should be commended But this system is not to be trusted UDP acted in unity with the PM’s malady Knowing the mandamus would fail Ensuring that in the meanwhile they could cover their trail But it was already known that this would be the strategy UDP does not want to stain their hands politically They need to maintain they slim majority They’ve know full well like Zinaida They could have fired Penner However that’s not an option at this juncture It’s all a pappy show!

Females Win UB Relathon
Congratulations to the UB female relathon team! They defeated the male team, and this is the 3rd year in a row. "Females Win 36th Annual UB Relathon. 6 hours 29 minutes is the cumulative time that it took UB’s speedy females to reach the Engineering Department in Belize City, winning the 36th Annual UB Relathon on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The females started in Belmopan at the Market Square, while the males began in front of the Police Station in San Ignacio but both embarked on their journey at 8:30 a.m. The females ran with a singular goal in mind: 3-peat as champions. Their effort paid off when they crossed the finish line at 2:59 p.m. The males tried their best to win and closed the 20 mile handicap to only 3miles but fell short and finished 18 minutes later. "

Mayflower Bocawina National Park Documentary
The Mayflower Bocawina National Park had a documentary made about it. While it seems to jump around between the topics, it's still worth a watch, especially if you want to learn more about the place that holds the longest zipline in Central America. "Explore the wonders of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park in this documentary film! The Mayflower Bocawina National Park was filmed from May to August 2013 by Duarte Dellarole for his Ecotourism BSc. degree internship. The goal was to promote the most recent National Park in Belize and show how Ecotourism plays a fundamental role in the conservation of protected areas. The film you are about to watch shows the work that Mama Noots Bocawina has been developing in the area, the activities that they offer in the park and information on the wildlife and plants that can be found in this protected area."

Women's Fair Pictures
The Women in Arts Fair was Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center. Crystal Paradise got some good pictures of the event. "San Ignacio had a special event over the weekend, it was the “Women’s Fair”. Women from all over the country had the opportunity to share their work and at the same time we had the opportunity to buy some of their unique art pieces. The San Ignacio Welcome Center was a colorful place to be shopping for handmade jewelry, hand died clothes, clay pots, weaved baskets, handmade aromatic soups, and different sized and colors t-shirts. The event was organized by the San Ignacio House of Culture."

Voice of the West Elocution Competition
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio has been busy lately. Not only did they bring the flash mobs to Cayo, but they are having their annual Voice of the West Elocution Competition at 6:30pm this Thursday at Hode's. "We are getting ready for the Voice of the West competition for the high school students in Cayo, 42 students to be exact. I found out this event was a staple on Sept 10 back in the day, until the Independence Day celebrations became more about the politicians than the people. Join us at Hode's, 6:30 this Thursday night. Voice of the West rocks!"

UB at La Ruta Maya
One last set of La Ruta Maya pictures, courtesy of the University of Belize. The Black Jaguars and Lady Black Jaguars paddled, and had a great time in the process.

Faces of the friendliest people on earth: Belizeans
From the moment you arrive in Belize – whether you are an adventure traveler, part of a family trip or in the country for a relaxing beach vacation – Belizean people and culture make you feel as welcome and comfortable, like nowhere you’ve ever visited. You may or may not know that Belize is referred to as a “Melting Pot.” The definition of the term used in this context relates to the many cultures & people inhabiting the tiny Central American country, with a population of an estimated 351,115 citizens. With such a diverse population, it is inevitable to meet and greet some very unique faces in this little paradise that was once a British colony. The major ethnic groups that can be found in Belize are Maya, Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, East Indian, Chinese, Arab, and Mennonites. We are truly a melting pot of colorful personalities! There also are a number of expatriates in Belize from Canada, Europe and the United States – and many of them retire here. A blending of cultures has resulted in one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region and a widespread reputation as one of the world’s friendliest population. We are delighted to present you with the beautiful faces of Belize:

Belize - European Union Political Dialogue
Government of Belize Press Office

Another Pageant win for Belize at the 29th Annual Miss International Pageant at the University of South Florida.
Belizean Beauty Ambassador, Jacinta Gomez, has won the coveted title of Miss International 2014 at the University of South Florida (USF). The Miss International Pageant was launched in 1984 by The Caribbean Cultural Exchange at the University of South Florida to promote multicultural diversity. According to the Annual Miss International Facebook page, "The Pageant provides a superb opportunity for young women to share their unique cultures and educate the members of the USF community about their area of the world. It serves as a forum for the voices of female students to be heard as they address contemporary and important issues which are personally important to them, their communities, and to their countries at large. Through this experience, the goal of promoting multicultural diversity at USF is achieved.

Kite making workshop at Corozal House of Culture.
Sunday, April 13 1pm - 5pm

National Assembly Clerk, Eddie Webster Questioned on a Murder for Hire Report
There has been bad blood among Dangriga UDPs leading up to the convention to select a standard bearer for that constituency and it seems that bad blood has boiled over! NBZLive has confirmed that Clerk of National Assembly, Eddie Webster was in police custody for questioning regarding a murder for hire report which was lodged sometime on Friday. It is unknown whether Webster was picked up or if he volunteered to go in based upon police request. No one is talking as the UDP would much prefer that this stayed out of public domain however we’ve been reliably informed that the alleged hit man is Jermaine “Mouse” Miranda. Miranda who is no stranger to police allegedly reported that he was contacted by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster and offered BZD$5,000.00 to shoot and kill former Mayor of Dangriga and current UDP standard bearer, Frank “Papa” Mena.

Video: Belize 2014 Iguana Squad
4min. Mission Trip to Sarteneja, Belize with Conway's First Baptist Church and First Nazarene Church from Conway, Arkansas

Video: Belize C A 2014 Movie
6min. Short clips from our trip to Belize Central America, March 2014

Video: Belize - Dolphins

Video: You better zipline to Belize it!

Video: You better zipline to Belize it! part 2

Video: Belize - An Introduction to Neotropical Birds
A selection of pictures taken by our guide Yeray Seminario in the beautiful Central American country of Belize. Enjoy!

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

Video: Swimming with whale sharks

We decided to make a run out to Glovers’s Reef on a friend’s catamaran for a couple of days of SCUBA diving. There wasn’t a lot of planning involved. It was afternoon and the drinks were flowing in anticipation of one of those life-altering sunsets over the water. An idea started a conversation that quickly led to consensus: let’s do it. Gear was gathered; bathing suits and sunscreen were grabbed; an ice chest was filled; and we were off. Conversation on most dive trips centers on past underwater experiences and undersea adventures to come. We were under sail about an hour east of Royal Belize enjoying the sun and the conversation when this happened…

Video: Mooring in Belize at Hatchet Caye Resort
1min time lapse. Mooring in Belize with Hatchet Caye Belize. Our mooring balls and pier for docking make visiting our island a breeze! Come refuel, restock and relax for a few days as you enjoy all our resort amenities.

Video: Belize Scuba Diving - Shark feeding frenzy
4min. Scuba diving in and around the blue hole with Wilkes and Buckley - shark feeding frenzy - go 'dores

Channel 7

Bad Card's Street Style Execution
There are 3 KILLINGS to report tonight. 2 of them are being treated as murder, and the third is a fatality resulting from an armed encounter between Guatemalan civillians and the Belizean military. We start first with the murder of Hector "Bad Card" Lyons who was shot to death last night in Belize City. Lyons was just a few hours away from his 57th Birthday, but instead of planning a celebration, his family, is now preparing for his burial. Daniel Ortiz has been following the story, and here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting 57 year-old, Hector Dean Lyons, better known as "Bad Card", lay dead on the steps of this house at the on West Canal Street, the last place he was seen alive before still unknown man mercilessly gunned him down. We understand that he was talking with a friend on those steps, usual behavior, since he was known to be very sociable.

Guatemalan Killed Inside Chiquibul: Joint National Press Release Issued
Belize and Guatemala are moving ahead with a second round of confidence building measures, but a major wrench was thrown into the works this weekend when Belizean law enforcement killed a Guatemalan civilian. It happened on Saturday in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, a reported 3.4 kilometers or 2 miles within Belize. According to police, on Saturday afternoon, the BDF were leading a joint patrol along with Forestry officers and police. They were 4 miles north of Rio Blanco and some 2 miles within Belizean territory when they saw a group of armed Guatemalan civilians. The police ordered them to stop, but they report that the men opened fire at the law enforcement personnel who returned fire, fatally injuring 26 year old Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, a resident of the Guatemalan village of San Marcos, in Peten, Police say the other men ran off and the Belizean lawmen recovered a 12 gauge pump action shotgun from the deceased and 6 ounces of marijuana. They also recovered one live 12 gauge and 5 expended cartridges. Again, based on that physical evidence it would suggest outlaw behaviour and provocation of Belize's armed forces - which is consistent with recent history.

A Plot to Kill UDP's "Pawpa Mena"
Our next story is so crazy, that if we hadn't confirmed it, you might think we were joking. But we're not: Dangriga police are investigating a claim that the Clerk of the National Assembly Eddie Webster hired a man to kill UDP standard bearer for Dangriga Pawpa Mena. First off, let us just say that Webster, who is a prominent UDP from Dangriga has flatly denied the story. But he was asked to go into Dangriga police for questioning on Friday which he did. The claim is made by a man named Jermaine Mouse Miranda - who has a long rap sheet with 6 criminal convictions including harm and aggravated assault. But he told police that on March 5th or 6th, he was walking on Penn Road in Dangriga Town where Webster lives. He claims that Webster called him over to his verandah and made the proposition. Now, Webster told us that he doesn't even know Miranda and that the charge is completely baseless. Mena told us that it also makes no sense to him and that he doesn't think Webster would do such a thing. Mena says he would rather not make it an issue and has not taken any additional security measures.

Mayor Darrell Bradley Didn't Resubmit His Name
Friday was the deadline for UDP mayoral aspirants to put in their names - and the news tonight is that mayor Darrell Bradley has not put in his name - meaning he won't run for mayor, unless, of course, he changes his mind again - which he has been known to do. That happened in February when the mayor told the media at a prime ministerial press conference that he would run - and by the time the press conference was over, he told us he had mis-spoken. But not meeting the deadline is bigger than mis-speaking at a press conference, and it will be interesting to see if mayor Bradley changes up again. In the meantime we are told three other UDP councilors and past councilors have put in their names: Deputy Mayor BQ Pitts, Former Deputy Dion Leslie, and former Councilor Leila Peyrefitte.

American Expat Killed In Sarteneja
Corozal continue to investigate the murder of American Retiree 77 year-old Dennis Frank Waltz, who was found dead inside his warehouse in Sarteneja Village. At around 5 p.m. on last week Friday, his body was discovered by residents, who realized that he was missing for at least a day and a half. They found his motorcycle on the outskirts of the village, and when he didn't show up at his house, the villagers started to worry about him. They visited his warehouse, and they picked up on a foul smell ,which gave them the suspicion that someone was dead inside. They called police, when they responded, the warehouse entrance was pried open, Waltz's body was found on the ground. He had suffered gunshots to the chest, the mouth, and the top of his head.

Man Found Dead In Guinea Grass
This morning at around 8, Orange Walk Police had to retrieve a body from the latrine of the Guinea Grass RC School in the Orange Walk District. Because of the discovery, classes had to be cancelled so that Police could take over the compound to preserve their crime scene. The body was later identified as 30 year-old Orange Walk resident Asael Gomez, and the last time he was seen alive wason Saturday morning, where his relatives saw him drinking. Inside the bathroom, investigators found his knapsack, a cellular phone, and a machete. Seen in the footage here, the commotion of the discovery, drew a huge gathering of residents wanting to know what had happened. Police are having a bit of difficulty at this stage because there were no apparent signs of violence on the body, except for a gash on his head. At this time, the authorities suspect that Gomez was intoxicated, and wanting to use the bathroom, he somehow found his way onto the school's compound. That's where he may have tripped, hit his head, and died as a consequence. At this time, police are treating it as a sudden death, until the results of the post mortem are in.

Inside the Fort Street Tourism Village
Over the years, we've aired dozens of stories about the area outside the Fort Street Tourism Village. A good 90% of them have been negative. And how could it be otherwise, with dozens of tourism industry service providers outside the gates jostling for the same crumbs? And the reason they get the crumbs is because that's how it's set up - the Tourism Village is a full service stop that tries earnestly to be all things to its guests. Now, new management is trying to change the character of the village to make it more upscale. We got rare access to the facility last week Wednesday on Cruise Day to see how they manage thousands of guests. Jules Vasquez reports:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Every time you see ships in the harbor - that means thousands of visitors will have to pass through the tourism village, on a crowded day - like a Wednesday - more than 12 thousand may pass through - most of them, 70% going on pre-booked tours, some just choosing to walk the city or walk around the terminal.

Remanded For Wild Mahogany Street Police Chase
Last week, we told you all about that wild police chase that sent bystanders fleeing for cover on Mahogany Street. Well, tonight, one man, 22 year-old Marquin Drury, is at prison because police say that he was one of the men firing shots. Joshua Lewis reported to the police that during that chase, he was shot by Drury who pursued him in an Astro van. As we told you, Police pursued the van in a high speed chase on Mahogany Street, but the driver of the van managed to get away from the police mobiles, and he was not caught by police when he reached his home on Santa Barbara street. Well, police have since charged Drury with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. He was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, who remanded him to prison until May 29, his next court date.

Police Caught Him Raping A Woman?
51 year-old Eugene "Portion" Reneau is at prison tonight after he was taken to court today because he allegedly forced himself on a woman and raped her. Police say that they caught him in the act on last Friday morning at around 2:30 a.m. They received a tip about an assault happening at mile 10 and a half on the Northern Highway, and when they responded, they saw Reneau in swampy water. When the officers ordered them to get out, the woman reported to them that Reneau placed a knife to her throat and threatened that if she didn't have sex with him, he would kill her. Fearing for her life, she complied, and that when the officers saw them, he was forcing himself on her. Police arrested and charged Reneau for rape. He was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who denied him bail, and remanded him to prison on May 28, his next court date.

PUP Sues E&B For Rejecting Penner's Recall Petition
On Thursday, we showed you the arraignment of UDP Cayo Northeast Area representative Elvin Penner, who was criminally charged by Geovanni Brackett Nedal McLaren of COLA, who launched a private prosecution. Well, as we told you, the PUP made a failed attempt to recall Penner in January because they couldn't meet the referendum threshold by getting the required number of signatures belonging to voters of the Cayo Northeast Constituency. Well, that move to unseat Penner has emerged again because the PUP are challenging the decision of the Chief Elections Officer reject over 300 signatures. They filed the application for judicial proceedings today at the Supreme Court, and 7News spoke with them outside. Lisa Shoman, Attorney "I am filing the application on behalf of Orlando Habet and 4 other applicants for judicial review of the decision by the chief elections officer to reject 337 signatures and therefore report to the Governor General that there were not enough signatures for the referendum recall to be held. At this stage what we are asking for is application for leave for judicial review, so this is the leave stage. It's the first step towards getting judicial review."

Lime In Shortage
On hot days like we've been having recently, there's nothing more refreshing than a tall, cold glass of lime juice. But, good luck finding that nowadays because limes are scarce, and the ones you can afford are tiny and bitter. Monica Bodden went to the market today to find out why:.. Monica Bodden reporting The price of lime has climbed to an all-time high - we were told due to the damage of crops. Maria Cowo - Market Vendor "Right now because of the rains the lime got scarce, so when it comes in it comes expensive, so we have to sell it at least for 75 cents for one and we buy wholesale $55 per hundred. That why we have to sell it expensive because there is no lime."

Police Officer Charged By Fisheries
On last week Thursday, 7News told you about the bust the Fisheries Department made of the men who were fishing for hicatee turtles. Well, they have charged a police officer for those out-of-season fisheries products. That officer is 53 year-old Special Constabl Goldburn Seguro, a resident of Freetown Road, was charged with 4 fisheries offences of illegal possession of Hicatee Turtles. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Hettiee Mae Stewart where he pleaded not guilty and was granted bail. He must return to court on May 15, 2014

Those Top Table Tennis Players
On Friday's news we told you about the 3rd Annual DUTCH LADY Primary Schools Tournament. 64 students from 7 primary schools participated in 250 matches. At the end of it, Top seed junior player Latrell Solis from St. Joseph made it to the finals by defeating Desire Amagula, Jaylen Nicholson and Luis Bardalez. Solis won the FINALS by a score of 3-1 over Bardalez.. Amiri Hoare took 3rd place with Jaylen Nicholson taking home the 4th place trophy. All top 4 players are from St. Joseph

Missing Child Came Home
Last week we told you about 15 year old high schooler Noemi Polanco who went missing from home on St. Luke Street, in Belmopan. Well, tonight we're relived to report that the child turned up at home on Friday in good condition.

Channel 5

A Guatemalan is shot and killed in the Chiquibul
Tonight, there is a significant setback to what has been called a revisiting of confidence-building measures between Belize and Guatemala. News Five has been able to confirm that a high-level [...]

Belize City man robbed and shot to the head on the eve of his birthday
The past weekend turned violent for three families whose loved ones were killed. Early this morning a man was found dead in a latrine at a school in Guinea Grass, [...]

A man is found dead in a latrine at the Guinea Grass Primary School
Up north in the village of Guinea Grass, the family of Azael Gomez is grieving his untimely and mysterious death. Gomez was last seen alive on Saturday morning; a search [...]

U.S. expat, Dennis Walt, is murdered at his garage in Sarteneja
Corozal police are tonight trying to unravel the mysteries of a murder and a disappearance in Sarteneja Village at the start of the weekend.  On Friday evening, the lifeless body [...]

Police offer official report on Friday’s shooting spree
On Friday, we reported on a shooting in the Mahogany Street area which involved the Police, GSU and the occupants of a van. The violent event unfolded at about one-forty [...]

8 year old drowns in the south
The family of a young child in Dangriga Town is tonight mourning his death, following an unfortunate incident over the weekend in which he drowned.  Eight year old Adrian Lopez, [...]

P.U.P. revisits recall petition of Elvin Penner
Former U.D.P. Minister of State Elvin Penner was criminally charged in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court last week. Those charges were not brought by government nor by Police, but rather by a [...]

President-Elect of El Salvador visits Belize
President Elect of El Salvador, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, arrived in the country on Friday and reportedly left on Saturday afternoon after meeting with Salvadorans living in Belize. It wasn’t exactly [...]

U.S. Dep. Asst. Sec. for the Caribbean and Central America to visit Belize
And there is another official visit to report, though not as high profile. The United States Embassy is announcing the visit of a senior government official. He is the Deputy [...]

A BWSL employee is charged for the rape of a woman in Ladyville
A woman was raped in the wee hours of last Friday at mile ten and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway; her alleged attacker was detained at the scene [...]

Private Sector Senator concerned about unemployment numbers in Belize
The Budget debate is over, and so is the Senate discussion of the Budget. At the end of the day, the fact is that in our political system, the majority [...]

Belizean politicians make the Top 10 Sexist and Heterosexist Moments in Caribbean Politics
Belizean politicians have earned regional recognition in a Caribbean online blog entitled ‘Top Ten Sexist and Heterosexist Moments in Caribbean Politics.’ To be sure, it’s a dubious honour to be [...]

The 2014 Junior Cross Country Cycling Race
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. Let’s start with the action in the National Elite Basketball League which took a crucial ballgame to the Y Not [...]


Business Establishment Goes Up In Flames Close To One Million Dollars Is Recorded In Losses
Approximately $1 million worth in assets was burn down to ashes early Sunday morning in Corozal. The Corozal Fire Department responded to the call sometime around 5:00am at Johnny’s Construction located on Mile 85 and half on the Philip Goldson Highway. When they arrived at the scene the building was already consumed by fire. Chief Fire Fighter for the Corozal Fire Department, Carlos Arnold says, they suspect the fire started from the office. Carlos Arnold – Chief Fire Fighter “Sunday Morning about five o’clock we receive a call of a warehouse on fire at mile 85.5 at the Phillip Goldson Highway. We responded right after we receive the call and upon arrival at the scene we found the warehouse engulfed with flames and this warehouse of concrete walls and sink roof. Upon our arrival at the scene we found the front door half opened so we never needed to make any force entry and then we start fighting the fire, we don’t know how the door was opened but initial investigations was carried out by the fire department and we found a CPU behind the door and four vehicle batteries were also found.”

Gregorio Papas Garcia Wins PUP Convention In Corozal Bay
The People’s United Party machinery is in full swing as they continue to elect standard bearers for constituencies across the nation. Over the weekend, party supporters filed in at Corozal Town for the election of Standard Bearer for Corozal Bay. Here is a look at how the voting came along throughout the day. Dalila Ical – Reporting Polls opened at eight in the morning at the Saint Francis Xavier Primary School grounds and PUP supporters began filing in slowly. It was a race between Gregorio “papas” Garcia and David “dido” Vega for PUP Standard Bearer for Corozal Bay. Supporters in both camps rallied hard behind their candidate and the day was extremely busy for carriers and campaigners. As people kept filing in, both camps remained positive about the results.

Corozal Police Recover Stolen Items And Remove Another Firearm Off The Streets
Corozal police have managed to recover several items that were stolen from the Oasis Water Plant located on 10th Avenue Corozal Town on the 27th of March. Police visited an abandoned unfinished cement house where they found a black plastic bag containing: one black Black Berry cell phone valued at $400.00, one thick gold chain valued at $4,000.00, one gold bracelet valued at $1,500.00 and $1,766.00 cash in different denominations. All items retrieved where positively identified by Mr. Alvaro Sosa as those that were stolen from him during the robbery. As previously mentioned, on Thursday March 27thl at around 7:20 he and one of his employees were inside the establishment when they were held up at gunpoint by two men. The men demanded money and other valuable items including a cellphone, gold chain, bracelet and over four thousand in cash all to a total value of $11,400. The perpetrators then made good their escape through the main door. While police have detained one of the suspects, he is yet to be charged. Investigations continue.

Quality Poultry Chicken Gives Back To The Community
Meat is an important part of our diet and it has also become one of the more expensive parts of our diet. But one company is proving competitive prices to its public. Beyond that, on Saturday, Quality Poultry Products of Belize held a special event in which it offered its products at discounted prices and also offered several free gifts to its customers. The event was held at three George Street in Orange Walk town. Andre Salgado, Branch Manager told us more about the initiative. Andre Salgado – Branch Manager Orange Walk “We are having discounts on whole chicken and sixty five cents discount on the chicken as well we are giving away free food and free drinks all the daylong as well we have raffle every hour but today is just a day to give back to the community. We are one of the largest poultry supplier in the country, we provide clean, healthy, hormone and preservative free chicken which for those who are a bit health conscious it is a big plus for them because the way we process the chicken and the way the chicken is at the factory it is of top quality as well we do supply turkey and we do have turkey all year around we are one of the only poultry company that has turkey all year around which includes turkey parts and whole turkeys.”

Dead Body Found In Guinea Grass R.C School Latrine
The gruesome discovery of a dead male person inside the female bathroom at the Guinea Grass R.C School created havoc among students this morning. Unfortunately it was one of the students who found the badly decomposed body of 30 year old Asael Gomez, a resident of Guinea Grass Village. When police retrieved Gomez’s body from the latrine, it was found to be nude from the waist down. What led to Gomez’s death is anybody’s guess, but what we can tell you is that the discovery has left students and the entire community of Guinea Grass in shock. Our news team followed the story and filed the following report. Maria Novelo– Reporting Classes were disrupted for students enrolled at the Guinea Grass RC School shortly after 8:00 this morning when a female student discovered the motionless body of a male person in the school’s bathroom facility. Consuelo Eguizabal– School Teacher “She came over to ask me to go over to the bathroom and then I said yes you can go and then I continued with my lesson and about two minutes later she came back and then she said Miss there is a man in the bathroom and then I asked her is that real and then she said yes there is a man and I can see his foot and he has a shoe on and he is lying on the ground but sometimes children make up stories so I was a little hesitant but there was something on her expression that made me walk out of the classroom and then I saw the vice-principal walking and then I went and I informed him of what the child had informed me and so he said that he was going to go and see and then he was right back.”

Belizean National Living In Chetumal Charged For Drug Trafficking
A Belizean national living in Chetumal Quintana Roo has been charged by Corozal Police for drug trafficking. On Thursday March 27th police were on mobile patrol in the Village of Ranchito near the air strip area, when their attention was drawn to a white four door Ford Escort car bearing L/P BC C 47342 stationed in the Tropic Air parking area. In the vehicle at the time was 24 year old Edwin Narciso Maradiaga of 272A Avenida Zaragoza Chetumal Quintana Roo. A search was conducted on the car which led to the discovery of (3) parcels found under the dash board of the car. All three parcels were opened in the presence of Maradiaga. They contained 800 grams of suspected cannabis. As a result Maradiaga was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

American Retiree Shot To Death In Sarteneja
An American retiree, who resided in the Village of Sarteneja, became another statistic in the police log book of crimes as he was shot to death. On Friday evening the badly decomposed body of 77 year old Dennis Frank Waltz was discovered by villagers inside a warehouse where he spent most of his time. Waltz had been shot several times, three to be exact and tonight, while police have two persons of interest in custody and are seeking another, they are nowhere close to solving Corozal’s second murder case. Today reporter Victor Castillo and video journalist Jesus Melgar traveled further up North to the village of Sarteneja and filed the following. Screen_Shot_2014-03-31_at_8.06.49_PMVictor Castillo– Reporting This is the warehouse in which the badly decomposed body of 77 year old American retiree, Dennis Frank Waltz, was discovered by residents of Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District. Today when we visited the scene of the incident we were informed that residents became concerned after noticing Waltz’s absence.


GSU Invades PIV Bloods Territory
Just under one hundred rounds of ammunition were uncovered around midday today when the Gang Suppression Unit entered the Peace in the Village area in Belize city …. or PIV as it is widely known. Members of the GSU went on operation on Berries Street in the Lake Independence area where they searched an open lot and came across a yellow plastic container that held eighty nine 9mm GFL Luger brand ammunition, three 45mm Winchester brand ammunition, one .32mm FG Auto brand ammunition and one Sig Sauer brand metal Pistol Magazine. A black plastic bag containing 95 grams of cannabis was also found inside the yellow plastic container. According to the GSU, the items found are believed to be the property of the PIV Bloods Gang.

Basketball Game Leads to Fight and Shotgun Blast
Twenty-one year old Gregory Goodfellow, a resident of Ladyville, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm when he appeared today before the chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Goodfellow pled not guilty to the charge. He was remanded into custody until May 20. The incident occurred on February 16 at a basketball court in Ladyville. The complainant, 39 year old Alfred Smith, reported to the police that he got into a conflict with Goodfellow over a basketball game and a fight ensued between them. Smith said Goodfellow left and returned with a shotgun and he heard a loud sound as he moved his head.

Jail Time for Pointing Firearm at Teenager
Twenty-four year old Julio Ardon, who allegedly pointed a firearm at a 17 year old boy, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Ardon pled not guilty to the charge. He was remanded into custody until May 22. The incident occurred on Friday, March 28. Police reported that Ardon went to the boy’s home in a four door car and upon his arrival he pointed the firearm at the boy and told his mother that it was not her he wanted to shoot, it was her son. The mother, accompanied by her son, went to the police station and reported the incident. The police investigated and charged Ardon.

Police Rescues Woman From Rape in Ladyville
Fifty-one year old Eugene Reneau, a.k.a. “Portion’, who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a 26 year old woman, was charged with rape when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Reneau’s case was adjourned until May 29. The incident occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Friday, March 28. The police, acting on information they received, went to an area at mile 10 and a half on Phillip Goldson Highway and saw a man and a woman in a swampy area. The police reported that the man had the woman’s mouth covered with his hand and the woman was struggling in an attempt to escape. The woman told police that the man put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her if she did not have sex with him. She said she complied with his demand because she feared for her life.

Political Conventions Continue in Northern Belize
The political conventions continued over the weekend. The People’s United Party held convention for its Corozal Bay division. Gregorio Garcia was victorious over David Vega. Garcia received 964 votes while Vega received 952 votes. There were 23 spoilt ballots. Meanwhile the United Democratic Party held its convention for the Corozal South East. It was a four man race and Evan Cowo was victorious. Cowo received 1,338 votes. Alexander Ortega received 665, Daisy Marroquin received 316 and Alexander Cruz received 119. There were 25 spoilt ballots.

Belize City Man Arraigned Following High Speed Chase with Police
Twenty-two year old Marquin Drury, a resident of Santa Barbara Street who was involved in a high speed chase with the police last Friday, was charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Drury was remanded into custody until May 29. According to the allegation, Drury shot Joshua Lewis and Lewis’ injury was classified as grievous harm. Apparently, the shooting led to a chase by the police of an Astro van on Mahogany Street. The police fired shots at the van as it sped on Mahogany Street. Reports say three police vehicles were involved in the chase. Despite that the driver of the van managed to elude his pursuers and he was not caught by the police until he reached his home.

Belize and Guatemala Issues Joint Release on Shooting in Chiquibul
A 26-year-old, Guatemalan national lost his life on Belizean soil this past Saturday in the area of the Chiquibul Reserve in western Belize. According to a release issued by the Belize Press Office, the resident of San Marcos, Peten, Guatemala, Tomas Desdicho Ramirez was involved in an incident with the Belize Defense Force that led to the fatal shooting. Reports are that on Saturday afternoon, members of the Belize Defense Force as well as a patrol of forestry officers and a team of Belize Police Department were on patrol in an area, seven kilometres north of Rio Blanco and three point four kilometres east of the border line when they came across several armed men. The Belize authorities ordered the men to stop but instead the men opened fire at the patrol team. The Belize patrol unit returned fire and in the process Ramirez was injured. At the scene, investigators recovered a Maverick Mossberg Model 88 twelve gauge pump action shotgun along with a plastic bag containing 171.1 grams of cannabis seeds; one live 12-gauge and (5) 12-gauge expended shells. In response to the incident a release was issued today, stating that both Governments of Belize and Guatemala have expressed their condolences to Ramirez’ family with both agreeing that incidents such as these do not prove conducive to good bilateral relations. The Prime Minister of Belize has committed to ensure a thorough investigation into this incident and has assured the President of Guatemala that should there be any culpability by persons involved that justice will be carried out in accordance with the law. In addition, as a sign of good measure, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has extended an invitation to the Guatemalan authorities to participate in Ramirez’ medical autopsy. Both governments have requested the support of the Organization of the American States to assist in this process.


Why Remain Joyful in God’s Law Permanently?
Our verse for this week is taken from Joshua 1:8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make...

Armed Guatemalan in Belizean Territory Shot Dead by BDF
An armed Guatemalan illegally in Belizean territory was shot and killed by Belize Defense Force Patrol in the Chiquibul National Park. It happened on Saturday afternoon when a patrol of Forestry officers, police and Belize Defense Force personnel were some seven kilometers north of Rio Blanco and some three...

Blazing Fire Leaves Family with Nothing and In Desperate Need
A blazing fire in Belmopan, has left a family of 8 persons homeless and in desperate need of assistance. Our reporter Emanuel Pech visited the scene and has the story. A 54 year old single mother of 12 children is today homeless after a raging fire, consumed her house...

Man Assasined During a Drinking Spree in Belize City
A twenty-day respite from murders in Belize City ended violently on Sunday night. Hector Dean Lyons was to turn 57 years old today, and had reportedly struck good fortune, having won a thousand “pieces” of the winning ending number for the Sunday Lottery Draw. But after spending the day...

Dead Body Found in Primary School Toilet
The body of a dead man identified as that of 30 year old Azael Gomez, Belize Construction Worker, of Guinea Grass Village was discovered inside the bathroom of Guinea Grass Primary School. Consuelo Equizabal, a Teacher at Guinea Grass R. C. told Plus News that it was one of...

American National Man Found Shot to Death in Corozal
Another dead body was found, this time it was definitely murder in the Village of Sarteneja in the Corozal District. The body was identified to be that of 77 year old Dennis Frank Waltz, a Retired American and Naturalized Belizean, and he had been shot numerous times. According to...

Eight Year old Boy 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 river around 3 in the evening of Saturday. Lopez’s friends say...

Special Constable Fights to Keep Police Job
51 year old Santos Rodriguez, also known as Santos Carvajal, is a former BDF soldier and security expert who worked out of the Mesopotamia Police Station from 2009 and has been a licensed chess instructor from sometime before that. Carvajal was charged with the carnal knowledge with a 12...

Mr. Eugene Reneau Charged for Rape
This morning, Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith remanded 51 year old Eugene Reneau to the Central Prison after police charged him for rape. We told you about the incident on Friday when Police, around 2:30 in the morning , went to a swampy overgrown area ten feet from the roadside...

Female Officer Falls Brain Dead; Family in Shock
A woman Police Officer is hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial, reportedly brain dead, after she just suddenly collapsed at a concert on Saturday night. According to reports, Kimara Tucker had gone to the ITVET compound on Freetown road on Saturday night to attend a concert. However, she started...

Cotton Tree Villagers Want to Sue Government of Belize
Some two hundred Cotton Tree villagers gathered for a meeting at their Community Center on Sunday afternoon. The topic of discussion was the land issue that eventually made its way to the foot of the national assembly in the form of a scuffle and quarrel with Minister Anthony Boots...

Another Motorcycle Accident!
Numerous reports on accidents involving motorcycles have been made within recent weeks. There was another such report on Sunday night on the George Price highway. This time it happened in Georgeville village, in the Cayo District, just before 7 p.m. The motorcycle driver, who was headed to San Ignacio,...

10th Day of Healing Held in Taylor’s Alley of Belize City
The Day of Healing initiative was conceived around this time last year as a way for communities affected by violence to promote peace among rival gangs. On Saturday, the Taylor’s Alley community near downtown Belize City, received its long-awaited share of healing. Perry “Sticks” Smith, organizer, reflects on how...

March Out Youth Rally Successful
‘”March Out’ Youth Rally was held this past Saturday at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. The event is described as a positive community event geared specifically toward providing an outlet for local young people and talented Belizean young artists to bless the community through their God-given talents...


Sanctuary Caye: Sanctuary Belize’s Private Island Getaway is SPECTACULAR
Over the weekend, I visited Sanctuary Belize, the massive development – (I’ll call it the) town planning project just south of Hopkins, Belize and just north of Placencia. 14,000 acres. 1,800+ lots developed and being developed. The planned project is epic (and I don’t like that overused word one bit)…the plans and the possibilities are astounding. The land is amazing. There is so much work going on right now. Just the marina itself? Just try to imagine digging a 200 slip marina out of hard packed clay that will soon be able to harbor 150 ft yachts. Incredible. It’s already filled with water. We visited the island that Sanctuary owners will own. And it was beyond amazing. As soon as the boat pulled up to this island, my mouth was hanging open. Sanctuary Caye is perfection. I’m not even kidding when I say heaven on earth.

Equestrian Holidays may be Belize’s next big thing!
“Our 365 acre eco-resort has proven to be the country’s best breeding ground for some of the most beautiful horses in the country; quarter horses, appaloosas, buckskins, paints and an incredible variety of majestic animals that guests constantly comment on, especially those who know their horses. “What started as an interest by the owners has now grown into a herd of some 28 magnificent animals, with a state-of-the-art stables for those who take advantage of our horseback riding excursions, which of course are guided,” Mr Young said. According to “In the” who specialise in horse riding holidays, equestrian holidays are now a major worldwide industry, from in the Rocky Mountain States of the US, to beach and mountain rides in Europe, horseback safaris in Africa and riding expeditions to remote and exotic parts of the world. Long a staple of tourism in Australia and the United States horseback riding as a specific vacation is relatively new to Belize.

Mushla is a meal for hard times. No need to throw away over riped plantains. With just a few more ingredients, you can have a fantastic dessert that is sure to please.

The Divisive Political Environment: The Characters
My hiatus is over. For the past few months I decided to take on an observant and forum participatory role to remain engaged and involved. Belize is truly a vibrant and dynamic democracy with some of the most passionate advocates; however there are quite a few passionate advocates who are passionately ignorant and divisive. They inspire or rather rally up their base from a position of fear, discrimination and hatred. They have no intention of engaging the public with thought provoking dialogue and solution based discussions and yet they have attracted the attention of the most credible people…

International Sources

Should America take a page from the Russians and grab Cuba?
by Peter Binose. How about if the Americans wring the changes? How about if they take a page from Putins book? Just think about the US naval base. The Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, also called Gitmo or GTMO by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard personnel stationed there, is located on 45 square miles (120 km2) of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which the United States leased for use as a coaling and naval station in the Cuban American Treaty of 1903. The base is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay at the South-Eastern end of Cuba. It is the oldest overseas U.S. Naval Base, and the only U.S. military installation in a country with whom the United States has no diplomatic relations. How about if, like the Russians, the American military simply walked into Cuba, held a referendum and took over the whole country, lock, stock and barrel? There are thousands of English speaking Cuban people who would love to be part of the US, if they were offered the right deal. Should America simply grab Cuba and hold a referendum? Cancel all previous obligations and stretch their borders for the sake of the people of Cuba and then they can move a portion of Miami back to their home country? How perfect. Fishing is good, weather is nice, better stopping off point on the way to fish in Mexico.

Brazilian Women Share Topless Selfies to Combat Sexual Violence
Hot on the heels of an explosive new study revealing 61 percent of Brazilians believe that if dressed provocatively, women deserve to be attacked and raped, Brazilian journalist Nana Queiroz launched a powerful Facebook campaign urging Brasileñas to share topless photos of themselves, accompanied by the hashtag #NãoMereçoSerEstuprada, which translates to #IDon'tDeserveToBeRaped.

Marine biologist killed in crosswalk by suspected drunk driver
DEL MAR, Calif. — A 27-year-old woman killed Friday night in a hit-and-run crash was a Ph.D. student in marine biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Rachel Anne Morrison and a friend were walking in a crosswalk at the intersection of Camino Del Mar and Coast Boulevard about 10:15 p.m. Friday when Christopher Stockmeyer, 41, allegedly sped through a stop sign smashed into her, according to sheriff’s officials and the county Medical Examiner’s Office. Morrison graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in marine science from Boston University and later completed a Master of Science degree, according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography website. She was studying coral reef communities in Belize, Brazil, the Galapagos Islands and other tropical areas, according to her biography. Morrison’s family arrived from Boston Monday morning and visited her memorial on Camino Del Mar. “I can’t imagine what her family is going through, it’s a tragedy,” said Melanie Havey, a close friend of Morrison’s. ”It’s just devastating that someone’s poor judgment has caused such a huge devastation to so many people.”

“Indiana Jones of Wildlife Ecology” at Skidmore April 2
Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, CEO of Panthera, a felid conservation organization, will discuss “Saving the World’s Big Cats for the Future” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, in Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall, Skidmore College. The event is part of SkidGenuity, a month-long, campus-wise celebration of creativity, innovation, and achievement. In this lecture, sponsored by Skidmore’s Biology Department as part of its Senior Capstone series, the Speaker’s Bureau and Animal Alliance, Rabinowitz will discuss his career and explain why it’s essential to preserve wildlife and their habitats. A profound stutter left Rabinowitz virtually unable to communicate as a child, and to prefer animals to people. Now a conservationist of big cats and CEO of the global wildcat organization Panthera, Rabinowitz has extraordinary insight into both wildlife and the human condition. Dubbed the “Indiana Jones of Wildlife Ecology” by Time magazine, Rabinowitz has dedicated his life to surveying the world’s last wild places with the goal of preserving wild habitats and securing homes for some of the world’s most endangered mammals. His focus on cats is based on conserving top predators, which affect entire ecosystems. By saving cats, the impacts are far reaching and conserve vast landscapes upon which many species depend, including humans.

Annual migrations bring parade of bird-spotting opportunities
As refugees from the East Coast, we miss the spring spectacle as dozens of species of warblers and song birds wing their way north to the bug-rich forests of northern New England and Canada. But the West Coast has its own unique charms and wildlife specialties that we envied when we lived on the other coast. During our motor-rambling days we circled the country several times and found that every region has its own special treasures. When East Coast visitors come to Washington, they are awed and thrilled by sights we take for granted. It works both ways, so we feel especially blessed to have lived on both coasts and birded so many special places — from Maine to California, and Belize to the Arctic Circle.

Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services
Search Messages CIG Info

Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize