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4/21/2014 to 4/30/2014
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April 30, 2014


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Prime Minister departs country on Personal Leave
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country today, 28th April, 2014, to Houston, Texas on personal leave to accompany his wife, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, for a medical checkup. Prime Minister Barrow will return to the country on Sunday, 4th May, 2014.

PUC Announces Final Decision in BWS Annual Review Proceeding 2014
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today issued the 2014 Annual Review Proceeding Final Decision for Belize Water Services Limited, BWSL. The Commission approved a revised Business Plan and Regulated Values [including some $14.326 million in capital investments for the next Annual Tariff Period (ATP)] that resulted in an average increase in Tariffs of some 6.9%, save and except for the Caye Caulker Branch, for which Tariffs remain the same.

Ambergris Today

Gabriela Nunez Represents Belize at Miss Costa Del Caribe Fitness Competition
A proud Sanpedrana, Gabriela Nuñez, took center stage at the Miss Costa Del Caribe fitness competition that took place in Cancun, Mexico over the weekend and garnered her first experience as a fitness competitor/model. She came short of a win, but the experience has been a catalyst for her to continue competing and perfecting her body in the bodybuilding arena. A rising Belizean fitness athlete, Gabriela competed in her first fitness event in the Bikini Fitness category at the Mr. and Miss Costa del Caribe 2014, Saturday, April 26. She classified for the second round but although she did not come out in first place in her category, Gabriela feels like a winner gaining much needed experience for future competitions.

Million Dollar Wheel of Fortune Winner Visits Belize
While enjoying the accommodations at Black Orchid Resort, in Burrell Boom Village, Belize District, the staff of Ambergris Today had the pleasure of meeting a ‘Million Dollar Celebrity”. Autumn Erhard became a millionaire after beating the crazy odds at the popular Wheel of Fortune TV game show. She and her fiancé Joey Penna visited Belize this past March as part of a travel package she also won at the show. Autumn won the Belize adventure package “Best of Both Worlds” provided by Black Orchid Resort when she became the second million dollar winner in the history of Wheel of Fortune. For her to win she had to land on the $1Mil spot during the first rounds of the game, solve a “Best of both Worlds” puzzle, beat her contestants, make it to the bonus round without landing on ‘Bankrupt’, spin the wheel again and land on the $1Mil card (again) and then solve the final puzzle.

Misc Belizean Sources

Join us for Serenadas para Mama!
A night of entertainment with Caribbean Roots Band 7:00 p.m. May 10th in- front of the Corozal House of Culture.

Fire season in Belize
Fire season in Belize is observed every year from February 15 to June 15. The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development issues an advisory to the public during the season.

DEATH ANNOUNCEMENT - Ambassador Adalbert Alexander Tucker
The Government of Belize announces the passing of His Excellency Adalbert Alexander Tucker, Former Ambassador of Foreign Trade. Ambassador Tucker passed away in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday, 10th April 2014.

BBIA Book Fair
Happy Book Week! The BBIA is having their annual Book Fair to celebrate, and it'll be at the Cayo Welcome Center Friday and Saturday. The fun starts at 9:00am. They'll have informational booths set up, the San Ignacio Public Library and the SISE House of Culture will be there, there will be face painting for the kids by the SHJC face painting crew, and lots of great books. They are planning cultural night activities too. "Belize Book Insudtry Association Book Fair at Cayo Welcome Center. Friday, May 2nd, and Saturday, May 3rd, starting at 9:00am."

FCD Chiquibul Vistor Center
The Friends for Conservation and Development inaugurated the new Chiquibul Visitor Center last week. It looks like a very welcoming and informational visitor center, and PACT was there to get some pictures of it. Be sure and visit it when you are in MPR. "Funded through the GEF/UNDP funded SNC.PAs project being implemented by the National Protected Areas Secretariat (NPAS). It is also complementary to PACT’s ongoing investments in the Chiquibul National Park. Acknowledging NPAS for the beautiful pictures"

Micro Enterprise Utility Start-up Package
This initiative is the outcome of continuing dialogue between the private and public sectors. more specifically between BTL, BWSL, and BEL to alleviate the startup cost of establishing a new business.

Belize Electricity Limited Project Manager
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Project Manager, Systems Expansion in the System Planning & Engineering Department, Belize City.

Belize City Gang Ceasefire is Temporary Reprieve
Authorities in Belize have reported a ceasefire between gangs in the south of the country's largest city following a surge in homicides, though the country's prime minister is pessimistic it will lead to a wider initiative. Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow told 7 News Belize that National Police Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster led the peace talks between the gangs, which had agreed on a ceasefire. The discussion was called by the police in the wake of seven gang-related killings in the space of 10 days in the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City. According to News 5, the ceasefire would be complimented by added police capacity in the zone. "Even as the Police are stepping up their enforcement actions in the area, an effort is being made to talk through the situation with the gang leaders, with the principals to see if some kind of ceasefire, if you will, might be mediated," Barrow told News 5.

Un Viaje de Ida y Vuelta Concert
The Cayo Welcome Center was the place to be Friday night when the Mexican Embassy sponsored a concert. They brought down a great pianist, guitarist, and soprano singer. Another great night at the CWC.

UB Earth Day Fair
The University of Belize is having their annual Earth Day fair tomorrow, starting at 9:00am. They'll have entertainment, prizes, food, drinks, and lots of information booths. The guest speaker will be Hon. Liselle Alamilla, Minister of the Environment. In related news, the UB Orchid Garden Society celebrated Earth Month with a trip to Caves Branch. "The University of Belize, Orchid Garden Society has been working very hard to bring about their mission of promoting conservation and preservation of these magnificent plants."

2014 National Song Competition
The National Song Competition sets the tone for the celebration atmosphere each year for the annual September festivities. This year for the first time, the competition will be branching out to the districts offering both workshops and stage performances to the artists and song writers residing in the districts. The winners of these district competitions will be invited on the National stage on August 9th, 2014. To launch this exciting new venture, the National Celebrations Commission is pleased to announce the launch of the National Song Competition 2014 to be held tomorrow August 30th, 2014 at the House of Culture Ball Room starting at 1:30 p.m. You are cordially invited to attend...

Response to Public Service Union Release
The Ministry of Health notes with great concern a release from the Public Service Union (PSU) seen today 29th April but dated 25th April concerning an alleged complaint made by Mrs. Sharon Anderson, Senior Pharmacist at the Ministry of Health. The Ministry would like to clarify certain points as the release contains several misrepresentations.

Ras Bolo presents for the first time in Corozal: King of Kings Lion of Judah
Ras Bolo presents for the first time in Corozal: King of Kings Lion of Judah, a historical and educational event - Sunday May 4, 2014 at the Corozal Town Central Park 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Screening of the 'Three Kings of Belize' Documentary, Creole musical instrument display, video clips of Pastor Billy Graham presenting H.I M. Haile Selassie I. Presentation by Ras Bolo and much more!

Mexican President, Enrique Pena-Nieto and Belize's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington
At the Mexico-CARICOM Summit in Merida, Mexico, 29th April 2014.

Channel 7

Raul Magana Jr, Lost His Wife And Son, Explains Accident
Tonight, Raul Magana Jr is recovering from the worst day of his life - the day he lost his son and wife to an accident where he was behind the wheel. Magana was in the drivers seat - and survived without serious injury, while his son and common law wife, who were sitting beside him in the passenger seat both died. It's an unimaginably difficult situation, but today Magana Jr had the courage to talk to 7News about it. Here's how he explained the accident and his immense loss:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting 28 year-old Lissa Li and her 3 year-old son Raul Lee Magana, passed away in a terrible accident yesterday at Mile 27 on the Northern Highway. It's a tragic situation for anyone to process, but more so for the driver of the vehicle, Raul Magana Jr. He told us that he hasn't really processed the enormity of his loss of not only his common-law wife, but his son as well:

Prisoner Van In Accident
That accident happened at mile 27, and this morning at around 9:00 - just 17 hours later - another accident happened on that same stretch of road in Biscayne Village, this one at mile 26. Fortunately, there were no fatalities when a police van slammed into the back of a Mariner SUV a few yards away from the Biscayne Government School. Inside the SUV was a family of 5, while the van was transporting 7 prisoners and 4 police escorts heading for Supreme Court in the north. The driver of the SUV slowed down on the road and the driver of the police van rear-ended him, causing extensive damages. After police processed the scene this morning, we got a chance to speak with the driver of the SUV, and he gave us his perspective of how the accident unfolded:

PSU Accuses CEO Ministry of Health
The situation between the pharmacists and the Ministry of Health remains tense - and today the Public Service Union lent an angry voice to the dispute. In a lengthy release, the Union accused Health CEO Dr Peter Allen of defaming Chief Pharmacist, Sharon Anderson - and undermining her authority. As Chief Pharmacist, Anderson is the only one authorized to sign customs entries to release pharmaceutical drugs. But she was on sick from April 7 to 17th., and on April 11th., the Procurement Manager at the Central Medical Stores office sent out an email alleging that she was on strike and quote, "refusing to sign supply orders, which could endanger the health of patients." The PSU claims that CEO Allen wrote back in support of that statement, saying Anderson was quote "holding the system to ransom." To end that state of affairs, the Ministry recommended four other persons to sign customs entries including the controversial Director Of The Drug Inspectorate, Danini Contreras. They say the CEO did this without going through the proper channels. But the PSU says it's all a witch hunt, because they claim Anderson was having the entries brought to her home so that she could deal with them. The Union says, quote, "she saw the email as a continuing attack on her personally and on her position as chief Pharmacist by Dr Allen." The PSU is demanding an apology and retraction of the email.

Mayor Bradley's Love-Hate Relationship with His Job
Last night on the news, you heard Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley speak plainly about why he's in no hurry to make up his mind about whether or not he'll run for Mayor. But the truth is - despite all his internal bickering - Bradley loves the job - he just can't stand being hauled to court by the sanitation companies. He explained that love-hate duality yesterday:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "I love being mayor. I think that anyone would love a job that they see that they are making a difference and the significant benefit is that people now have a sense of hope and optimism and pride about living in Belize City and it would be my greatest joy to see that increase and grow to something that blossoms into a fire that ignites passions in individual people." Jules Vasquez "You are doing a job that has a redeeming personal value. Why don't you just recommit and say man I'll stick around as mayor?" Mayor Darrell Bradley "I have never..

Voices Speak Out From Closed Community Of Shipyard
For all of its history in Belize, the Mennonite Community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk District has remained closed to outsiders. But what happens when members of the community are suddenly not welcomed? Well, according to a group of Mennonites who were excommunicated, those persons become silent victims of sustained marginalization and discrimination, which sometimes escalated to violence. They say that the cases go unreported because there is a degree of public shame associate with excommunication, and those victims would rather suffer in silence. Well, that tactic didn't happen on last week Thursday when a family became the targets of the mischievous mob from Shipyard - their former brethren. According to the allegation, the mob assaulted them with machetes, which caused a member of the family to pull his licensed weapon to scare them off. The men allegedly chopped one from the family in the head, but instead of that assailant receiving criminal charges, the man who used his shotgun to scare the mob off was charged with aggravated assault. That caused a group from the community to become outraged, and they did an unprecedented thing; they took their complaint to the media. Tonight, we'll show you a startling look into the culture at Shipyard, starting with the man who was chopped by a member of the mob. Here's how he explained it:

The Citrus Growers Association held an extraordinary meeting on Saturday. The business was bittersweet: to transfer 10% of the CGA's shareholdings in Citrus Products of Belize Limited, about 8 million shares. That relegates CGA from the majority shareholder to one of three minority shareholders - but it also sees them getting rid of a multi million dollar loan in exchange. That 10% shareholding now goes to the Social Security Board - which had loaned CGA the money. The resolution was passed by both the CGA and its investment company - and on Saturday in Pomona Valley Henry Anderson told Patrick Jones what makes it meaningful: Henry Anderson, Chief Executive Officer - CGA "What happened today however is symbolic in the sense that the growers of the CGA no longer own the majority - nobody does; the bank has 46%, we have 43%, Social Security has 10% and there is some sprinkle out there. So there is no majority shareholder. Coming down from the 51%, as a grower said is not an easy thing. What this does it takes our head out of alligator mouth; we show our honor and pride as CGA that we pay our bills. We still have a lot of other bills to pay, but this is a big step and we are making the investments and working with the partners and we have the vision to drive the industry for another 100 years."

It's Final: Water Rates Will Go Up
The Public Utilities Commission has made its final decision on what's going to happen with your water bill. After an inconclusive review by an independent expert the PUC yesterday announced that there will be an average 6.9% increase in Tariffs except for Caye Caulker Branch, where Tariffs remain the same. That is up somewhat from the PUC's initial decision, which was for a 6% average increase. Still it is way less than the 16% that BWSL was asking for.

Female Farming: Virtues and Value
As we draw near to the National Agriculture And Trade Show 2014, many times we get lost in all the hype and hoopla of the fair and forget that it's really about farmers, those early risers who fill the Belizean breadbasket with food. Indeed the virtues of farming are often forgotten in the instant everything electronic age, and that's why we take time out to look at the farmers of the year. The female farmer who got the distinction is from the Toledo district - and she also got the nod in 1997. 15 years later, Angelica Dubon is still going strong. Monica Bodden found out why:.. Angelica Dubon, Farmer of the Year "My whole life I have been a farmer." Monica Bodden reporting Angelica Dubon's mother died when she was just one year old, and she has been farming since she was 6 - and now at 66, she is farmer of the year for the second time. Angelica Dubon, Farmer of the Year "I feel so great and so privilege that my hard work paid off."

Senior Farmers Loves Onions
She is joined by the senior and junior farmers of the year, who hail from Corozal and Cayo, respectively. Senior farmer Felix Esquivel explained that farming is hard but very rewarding work because you get to be your own boss:…

Third Time Was A Curse For Fire Damaged Family
Tonight, a family living on Arlington Drive in the Faber's Road area is homeless after their house caught fire 3 separate times between yesterday and this morning. It's the kind of thing that seems surreal, and after intervention from the Fire Department, you would figure that the fire would be completely controlled. Well, not so, and after 3 successive blazes, the house was completely destroyed. Today, the McKoy family explained their continued misfortune to the media: Gilbert McKoy - Fire Victim "I was alerted by my niece daughter when she came running across telling me that the house was on fire. I was shocked, I never believe it because I was sitting down in the hall watching TV, but I smell something burning, but my neighbor beside me is always burning things so I really didn't pay it any mind, so I continue watching the game until my niece daughter ran cross and tell me uncle you house is on fire. It was then that I jump up and I ran back in the kitchen, but then I remember that I didn't have on anything in the kitchen, so it was then I ran into the dining room and then I saw smoke coming out of the room from under the door and at that time my wife had already come across because she was across at my sister's house. I grab a bucket of water from in the kitchen and ran and open the room door but the whole room was already on fire."

Channel 5

Raul Magaña Jr. recounts the harrowing ordeal of losing his wife and son
The frightening ordeal of surviving a fatal road traffic accident and witnessing the horrific deaths of a wife and son are vivid memories which, sadly, thirty-five-year-old Raul Magana Junior will [...]

Police van, carrying prisoners, crashes on the Phillip Goldson Highway
Around nine a.m. this morning, less than a mile away from where the tragic accident involving the Magaña family occurred, there was yet another traffic mishap. Emerson Michael says that [...]

US Capital permit expires on Wednesday, but attorney says deadline has been waived
On Friday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that government would not enforce the deadline for U.S. Capital’s existing permit to conduct exploratory work within the Sarstoon-Temash National Park.  [...]

Former Alcalde removed based on Maya customary law
Executive Director Greg Ch’oc has offered comment on Makin’s abrupt removal.  The former Alcalde reportedly signed a document stating that the village of Conejo, one of five buffer communities surrounding [...]

Religious persecution in Mennonite community sparks violence
The community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk district is home to thirty-five hundred Mennonites. They’re generally considered a peaceful, hardworking, quiet people. Their homes, farmlands and industrial sites are [...]

Shipyard residents speak out on violence in community
Like Vegas, what happens in Mennonite communities generally stay in Mennonite communities. But one altercation last week has prompted members of Shipyard to come forward and speak out. It’s almost [...]

Attorney says appointment of minister’s daughter unconstitutional
The Pharmacists’ Association of Belize and the Ministry of Health have been at odds for some time now. The discord came on the heels of the appointment of Danini Contreras, [...]

PSU to file essential services dispute over appoint of Drug Inspectorate
And where pharmacy-related matters are concerned, things in the Ministry of Health just got even more interesting. The Public Service Union has gotten involved, and made its presence known today [...]

‘Tux’ Vasquez, the new president of Chamber of Commerce
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in an annual general meeting held recently, has appointed a new president.  Businessman Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez succeeds immediate past President Kay Menzies, who [...]

BCCI to focus on OSH Bill and 13th Senator
While the issue of a thirteenth senator has remained all but moot, Vasquez says that the matter will be put before the executive and membership of the chamber and, depending [...]

Couple homeless after late evening fire in the city
A Belize City couple is homeless after a fire on Monday destroyed their home on Arlington Drive in the Fabers Road area. Fire Department personnel were called to the area [...]

Public Utilities Commission approves increase in water rates
The Public Utilities Commission has approved a rate increase requested by Belize Water Services Ltd.  While it is not the sixteen and a quarter percent initially sought by the company, [...]

Man charged for attacking his wife and daughter with hammer
Thirty-five-year-old William Rubio appeared this morning in the court room of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was slapped with charges for four criminal offenses. Two counts of aggravated [...]

Burrell Boom Man convicted for drug trafficking
Twenty-seven-year-old Andy Alford, a resident of Burrell Boom, was convicted of drug trafficking at the conclusion of his trial before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith.  Alford, who was unrepresented, was [...]

Hopkins fisherman found floating in sea
Dangriga police are investigating the death of a Hopkins fisherman. The body of fifty-seven-year-old Audrick Palacio was found floating in the sea in the southern village sometime around eleven on [...]

Did water surges at the Vaca Dam contribute to multiple drowning?
In early April, two students from Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico drowned near the low-lying bridge in San Ignacio. Their deaths sparked speculation that a surge of water released from the [...]


Several Churches Joins The March To Send Message That Jesus Is Coming Soon
Several churches of Orange Walk Town and Corozal joined together over the weekend and took to the streets to share one message. The march was organized by the northern youth federation which comprises of about 30 members. Elia Torres, who is the planning director for the region, told us more on the activity. ELIA TORRES – Planning Director “We had some of Corozal joining us and we also had their Adventure, Pathfinder and Mastermind club joining us for the march and we were all proclaiming one message, that Jesus is coming soon and we need to read more the bible in our homes so we were giving out magazines and tracks proclaiming the same message and we hoping that people wouldn’t have thrown it out in the garbage but they would have taken out time to read it.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “Now what do you think about the turn out?” ELIA TORRES – Planning Director “The turn out, it could have been better I could not lie, it could have been better but the ones who came out the they work the ground and we all did the best and when we got their at the park we had some Christian music and nice fancy drilling from our young people showing that our people are our future and that we can invest in them.”

Group Of Mennonites Attacked by Members Of Their Community For Listening To Music
Throughout the years, in fact decade after decade there has been little known disturbances reported from within Mennonite Communities across Belize except for the occasional work or traffic related fatalities. Today, however, a group of people turned to the media to shed light on a side of the community and the religion that paints a disturbing picture. The move comes following an altercation between two groups of men at camp ten in Shipyard last Tuesday, April 22nd. We start our rather extensive coverage of the situation here, with that incident. The incident occurred on the property of Franz Petca, where his son George was along with other young men listening to music. Note that exposure to music is strongly prohibited at the community but Franz Petca has been excommunicated from the church and his family no longer follows the teachings. However, reports are that the young men are targeted by followers of the church. The group of young men was listening to music when they were allegedly attacked by another group. Henry Reimer says he saw the incident unfold and ended up being beaten as well. Reimer says he was stoned while George Petca was assaulted with a machete that was reportedly placed to his throat. His mother, who allegedly came out in an effort to break the fight, was chased away with machetes by the band of men. It was at this point when Franz Petca came out from his home armed with a shotgun. A concerned Pete Penner, who lives outside the community, said he understands the family was minding their own business when the young men were attacked.

BSCFA Boycotts SugarFest
As mentioned in the story, while the participation of the Belize Sugar Cane farmers Association was dismal in this weekend’s Sugarfest, it wasn’t because they did not receive an invitation on behalf of BSI/ASR. So why the boycott? Well, while representatives of the BSCFA refused to comment on camera, we understand that the move forms part of the association’s plan of action to show their discontent with the way the negotiations of payment for Bagasse are going. A bulletin we received indicated to farmers to desist from attending the Sugarfest. BSCFA stated that a celebration could not take place when BSI/ASR proposes to pay cane farmers only .51 cents per ton of cane for the Bagasse and is unwilling to negotiate a just payment. In the release BSCFA accuses BSI/ASR of using Bagasse money to finance the Sugarfest. At the end of the release the BSCFA asks its members to remain strong and united.

What Does It Mean To Be Excommunicated In The Community Of Shipyard?
Yesterday we presented the story of members of the Shipyard community who have been expelled from the corner church for breaking stringent rules set in place by the community’s leaders. The leaders, we understand, follow the Old Colony beliefs, a more conservative group that suppressed individualism in dress, lifestyle and land use to maintain harmony in the community. The understanding is that followers of the faith are defensive, fearful of change and highly suspicious of outsiders. While we have only heard the stories of a few people who say they have been facing religious oppression for years, it certainly has shed light to a new side of the community that for the most part has been viewed as peaceful, respectful, and by all means hardworking by most Belizeans. Today, we take a look at another side of the situation - the challenges faced by those who are excommunicated yet live within the same community.

Belize Business Man Suffers Fatal Traffic Accidents And Loses Family
A tire blow out was the cause of a major traffic mishap that occurred yesterday afternoon which cost the life of a mother and her child. The tragic incident unfolded between mile 26 and 27 on the Philip Goldson Highway. According to the authorities, 35 year old Raul Magana, businessman and resident of Ladyville, was travelling in his Toyota Land Cruiser along with his girlfriend Lissa Ying Li and their 3 year old son Raul Li Magana Jr. when the vehicle suffered a blow out. Eye witnesses commented that Magana lost control of the vehicle, overturned and flipped violently several times before landing on the side of the road. Magana’s wife and son sustained severe head injuries and both of them died on the spot. According to police reports, Magana and his family were heading towards Belize City when the accident happened. Presently, Magana remains at the KHMH receiving treatment for a cut wound to his head and right arm.

Mennonite Resident Charged For Several Offences In Community Of Shipyard
In last night’s newscast we presented the story on the fight that broke out at Shipyard on Tuesday April 22nd and which resulted in the arrest of Franz Petkau, a resident of the community. Petkau has been slapped with five charges. Today CTV-3 News spoke with Second in Command at the Orange Walk Police Formation Selvyn Tillett who gave us the report on police records. Selvyn Tillett “There was one Henry Petka and Abram riding their carriage and arriving in front of the Petka family one George Petka started insulting them and thereafter it is understood that he went to his yard and took a machete and assault these people and subdued and machete taken away from him and when he called for his dad he came driving with his pickup with his shotgun and fired a shot. Henry Petka receive a braced to the right cheek, he was dealt with and after investigation police arrested and charged Mr Franz Petka for discharging a fire arm in public, repeated assault with a firearm, having a firearm whilst under the influence, drove motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol and he was taken to the court on Friday and he was remanded until the 21st of May.”

Police Intervention Into The Matter Alledges Bribery By The Elders In shipyard
The confrontations emerging from the Shipyard community is a complicated matter that is centered on religious belief and practices. There are also allegations that the police have been bribed by several elders within the community to ensure they run their community as they see fit. Second in Command at the Orange Walk Police Formation Selvyn Tillett rejects these accusations adding that Shipyard is well within authorities’ reach and control. Selvyn Tillett “Shipyard is part of Orange Walk, is part of Belize so we have jurisdiction over that.” Dalila ical - Reporter “There are allegations from certain sections of the community that police is being bribed by the elders and those who leads the church and have these strict rules in order to have things run their way in the community, what is your comment on that?” Selvyn Tillett “You said allegations and allegations will be made and that is way to be proof.” Dalila ical - Reporter “Do you have any occasion or anytime when there are any reports or any officer receiving money to be one sided?” Selvyn Tillett “This is news to me and this is the first time I heard this allegation, first time.”


PUC Approves Increase for Water
The Public Utilities Commission has issued the 2014 Annual Review Proceeding Final Decision for Belize Water Services Limited. The PUC approved a revised Business Plan and Regulated Values including some fourteen point thirty two million in capital investments for the next Annual Tariff Period that resulted in an average increase in Tariffs of some six point nine percent except for the Caye Caulker Branch, for which rates remain the same. The PUC says it has approved no adjustment to any other previously approved Fees and Charges contained in the company’s 2009 full tariff proceeding final decision. The PUC will host a press conference later today to discuss the decision.

David Faces Murder Charge After Stabbing Stepfather
24-year-old David Branson Ortiz has been charged with murder. Ortiz is charged with the murder of his stepfather 69-year-old Norman Benguche Senior. Benguche was stabbed three times to the back on Sunday morning while at his home. According to Police Benguche was having his breakfast on the verandah of his home when Ortiz took possession of a knife that was on the table and stabbed him.

Ministry of Health vs Public Service Union
Contention continues to build within the Ministry of Health with a recent burning issue stemming from a move to authorize four other individuals including Danini Contreras, the daughter of Honorable Erwin Contreras, as signatories on custom entries. The move was brought to the media’s attention through a press release that was issued by the Public Service Union last Friday, April 25 which explains the series of events that led to the demand for an apology and retraction of a document. From what we gather, this latest saga started on April 11, when an email was sent by the Procurement Manager of the Central Medical Stores to six individuals of the Tenders Committee within the Ministry of Health, recommending that four additional persons be authorized to sign custom entry forms for the importation of pharmaceutical drugs.

Fire Season Is On
In a related note, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Forest Department reminds the public the Fire Season is on. A release from the ministry says that in Belize the Fire Season is observed from February 15 to June 15 on an annual basis. Currently we are at the mid of the season. The Ministry is asking the public, especially agricultural farmers, to take all the necessary precautions when using fire for their daily necessities such as the burning of their garbage and preparing land for cultivation. Most forest fires originate from negligent use. In most instances agricultural fires tend to get out of control due to the time of the day when the fire is lit and the failure to open fire lines around the entire perimeter of the land clearing. The ministry is encouraging farmers NOT to burn during the hottest part of the day which are between the hours of 10am and 2pm and ensure that at least a 3 meter wide fire line is cleaned around the area to be burnt. Finally, the Ministry calls on all Belizeans to help protect forests, property and safeguard Belizeans health.

Andy Gets Fined 10K for Drug Trafficking
Thirty-four year old Andy Alford, a resident of 74 Fresh Pond Village, was fined $10,000 today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of drug trafficking. Alford was ordered to pay forthwith, in default five years imprisonment. Alford was unable to pay so he was taken to prison. The incident occurred on February 26. The police, armed with a search warrant, went to Alford’s residence and executed a search of his house. Nothing incriminating was found in the house. But when police searched a red van belonging to Alford that was parked in the yard they found a black plastic bag under the steering wheel that contained 132 grams of cannabis. As a result, Alford was taken into custody and charged. Alford gave a statement from the dock in which he claimed that the drug was planted by the police.

Mother and Daughter Beaten with Hammer
Thirty-five year old William Rubio who allegedly beat a 30 year old woman and her 15 year old daughter with a hammer, was charged with two counts of dangerous harm and two counts of aggravated assault when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. No plea was taken because the charges of dangerous harm are indictable. Rubio was offered a bail of one thousand dollars.His case was adjourned until June 17. The incident occurred around 12 p.m. on April 27. According to reports, Rubio had a misunderstanding with the woman and he beat her with the hammer. When the woman’s daughter intervened she was also beaten with the hammer. The woman and her daughter were taken to KHMH where they were issued with medico-legal forms.

Jehovah Witness Charged For Forged Visa
Fifty-three year old Nigerian national Patrick Albaengbee, a member of Jehovah Witnesses who had a counterfeit Belizean visa in his passport, was fined one thousand dollars today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he pled guilty to using a permit not issued by lawful authority. Albaengbee was ordered to pay forthwith, in default six months imprisonment. A removal order has been made for him to be deported to Nigeria after he has either paid the fine or served the time. Albaengbee, a computer technician, arrived in Belize on April 10 at Phillip Goldson International Airport, via an Avianca flight from El Salvador. When immigration officers checked the Belizean visa in his passport they detected that it was not genuine.

Memorial Service Planned for Bert Tucker
An official memorial service to celebrate the life of Ambassador Adalbert Tucker will take place on Saturday at ten a.m. at St. John’s Cathedral. Ambassador Tucker, the former Ambassador of Foreign Trade died on April 10 in Jamaica where he had gone to seek medical attention. Following the service, interment will follow at Homeland Memorial Park on the George Price Highway.


Bus Carrying Prisoners Crashes Into Family Vehicle
There was an accident on Belize’s roads this morning involving a Police Department vehicle transporting 13 prisoners to Hattieville and another vehicle. The two vehicles collided at Mile 26 on the Philip Goldson Highway in the vicinity of Biscayne Village, just one mile from the scene of Monday’s accident....

Raul Magana Mourns Loss of Family After Traffic Accident
As we reported yesterday, there was a fatal traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Around 3:30 Monday afternoon, Ladyville businessman Raul Magana II was driving down from the Northern Border toward Belize City along with common-law partner Lissa Ying Li and their son Raul III when their Toyota...

Director of Drug Inspectorate Post Causes More Problems with PSU and MOH
On the 4th of March 2014, Plus TV broke the news of a new and controversial post at the Ministry of Health. We dug into the story and were able to confirm that not only was the post newly created without proper procedures but it was also already filled;...

PUC Breaks Down Water Rate Increases
Belizeans will pay about fifty-five cents more for water on average, as decided by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Belize Water Services (BWS) had asked for a 16% increase in water rates and initially got 6.4%, but they objected on the basis of a certain portion of the revenue...

Marijuana Decriminalization Moving Forward
From the time when he was Minister of Police and Public Safety, Douglas Singh has led the charge to a consideration of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. He said today that the effort is moving forward, but it will have to do so without him as...

‘Fishers of Men’ Founder Dies
Fishers of Men is a U.S. ministry operating in Belize for the past ten years. It’s founder, Buddy Hardy ,became ill while in Belize and had to be flown out to the U.S. Reports are that he was improving but then things turned for the worse and he passed...

Patrick Jones

Conejo village Alcalde removed for supporting US Capital
Tuesday, April 29, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: The division in the Maya communities of southern Toledo has grown increasingly bitter and it has now claimed the head of one of the communities which is said to oppose U.S. Capital Energy’s exploring for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park without the informed consent of the community. First Alcalde of Conejo Village, Valentin Makin, was removed on April 24, from his position per the wishes of his community and replaced by Eufemio Makin – it is not clear if they are related. This came after a community meeting on April 22 in which Valentin Makin is said to have admitted signing a document at the behest of Justice of the Peace Alejandro Vernon on April 6 which “purportedly stated that Conejo had granted its unequivocal free, prior and informed consent for US Capital Energy Belize Ltd to continue its work and drilling on our Maya Customary Lands.”

Mother and son perish in road traffic accident
There was a fatal road traffic accident on Monday afternoon on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The victims have been identified as 3 year old Raul Li Magana and 28 year old Lissa Ying Li. The mother and son who died were traveling in a Toyota Land Cruiser driver by 35 year old Raul Magana, Senior when the vehicle suffered left rear tire blow out. That blow out is believed to have caused the driver to loose control of the vehicle and it overturned, flipping several times. Magana’s wife and son sustained severe head injuries and both of them died on the spot.

PSU comes out in support of Chief Pharmacist
The Public Service Union (PSU) has rallied to the defence of one of its senior members, Chief Pharmacist Sharon Sanchez-Anderson, who accuses her bosses at the Ministry of Health of personally libeling her and her character and attempting to circumvent her on the important matter of who signs for the importation of drugs into the country. According to the PSU, while Ms. Anderson was on sick leave earlier this month, an email dated April 11, 2014 sent by the procurement manager for the Central Medical Stores to members of the Tenders Committee accused her of going “on strike and refusing to sign [for] supplies”, adding that she was “seriously endangering the health of our patients.” This email asked for other individuals to be allowed to sign for Customs entries with regard to drug importation. Four persons were approved to sign for importation of pharmaceuticals into the country including the controversial Danini Contreras, Director of the Drug Inspectorate.

Van carrying prisoners crashes into family vehicle
This morning there was an accident involving a Police Department Ford van transporting 13 prisoners to Hattieville and a Mercury Mariner. The two vehicles collided at Mile 26 on the Philip Goldson Highway in the vicinity of Biscayne Village, just one mile from the scene of Monday’s accident. There were several persons injured in both vehicles but no fatalities reported and the prisoners were taken to Orange Walk for treatment. Biscayne resident Emerson Michael was driving the Mariner with his mother and three children on the road. He says he was driving slowly on the right side of the road, getting ready to turn into the entrance of Biscayne Government School but not fully turning as yet, causing the van to blow its horn as if he wanted him to pull off the road.

Raul Magana mourns loss of family after traffic accident
Around 3:30 Monday afternoon, Ladyville businessman Raul Magana II was driving down from the Northern Border toward Belize City. Accompanying him were his common-law wife Lissa Ying Li and their son Raul III when their Toyota Land Cruiser suffered a blowout on the left rear wheel near Mile 27, causing the vehicle to flip over several times. While Magana ultimately escaped with cut wounds to the head and right arm, neither his partner, aged 28, nor their son, only three years of age, survived their serious head injuries. We caught up with him today and he said he noticed “something funny” with the vehicle moments before it began to flip out of control. Magana says he could only watch in agony as his son died before his eyes while his wife passed on before he could rescue her.

PUC breaks down water rate increase
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has decided that Belizeans will pay about fifty-five cents more for water on average – but it could have been more. Belize Water Services (BWS) had asked for a 16% increase in water rates and initially got 6.4%, but following their objections an independent expert, the auditing firm of Baker Tilly Hulse, was appointed and their report was recently submitted. The PUC has now decided to grant an increase of 6.9% for all consumers except in Caye Caulker. PUC Director for Water and Waste Water Rudolph Williams says Belize City residents using 1,000 gallons or less pay $8.55 a gallon, up from $8 even. Rates for usage of water and sewerage countrywide ranged from $10 to $17 while rates for Caye Caulker stay even at $23.

Asian Citrus Psyllid causes lime shortage in Belize
There has been a scarcity of lime at markets across the country. And the reason for that scarcity is a tiny insect called a citrus psyllid. The invasive pest has a voracious appetite for citrus plants, particularly lime, and is responsible for the huanglongbing disease which was known previously as citrus greening. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Citrus Growers Association Henry Anderson, the shortage of lime is directly attributed to the psyllid.

Citrus Growers approve sale of CPBL shares to Social Security Board
Citrus growers voted overwhelmingly this past weekend to give up shares in CPLB in exchange for a debt liquidation agreement with the Belize Social Security Board. Ten percent of CPBL shares were approved for offering to SSB. The vote came during a special general meeting which was held at the compound of the Citrus Growers Association on the Stann Creek Valley Road on Saturday, April 26. Following the special general meeting of the Citrus Growers Association, we spoke with the organization’s Chief Executive Officer Henry Anderson about the significance of the vote and what it means going ahead.


North Ambergris Caye Birthday Joyride
These pictures of our Birthday joyride are for my brother Rob who just had his birthday and Cowboy Doug whose is coming up this week. You would have enjoyed our drive Rob, not only did we have good entertainment with Cowboy Doug rockin out to Elvis and Van Harlen, we have a fantastic view on our island style country drive. This post also goes go out to Emily and Barry because they have traveled the roads in north Ambergris Caye many times on bikes with camera in hand. It has taken time to even pare down the pictures enough from our Sunday drive to get close to uploading. I decided to spit them in two batches and discovered some new math while doing so, 15 pictures does not equal 4oo yards. That is what Cowboy was claiming for distance from Coco Beach swim up pool bar to Mata Grande Grocery store. It is a good thing the 3 of us cowboy wranglers did not send him wandering off alone to the store or we would not have seen him for a good while as you will see from the pictures below :)

An Afternoon At Grand Caribe And Palapa Bar by Day And By Night
Yesterday, I headed up north on Ambergris Caye to lounge about with some visiting friends. These guys are planning to retire and move to the island next year but this was just a family vacation and I always jump at the chance to poke around resorts. Particularly those I haven’t spent much time visiting. This time it was the HUGE resort of Grand Caribe about 1.5 miles north of the bridge and San Pedro. You can easily take a golf cart and I hear that the roads are the best they’ve been in ages. There is even talk of the road getting paved. I took the Coastal Express water taxi. Takes less than 10 minutes to get up there and I always love a boat ride. There is no more scenic bar on the island. Both the view inside and out. Next stop? Grand Caribe. They really have the most gorgeous dock.

6 Delicious Food choices in Belize to eat like a local!
Belizean cuisine reflects the country’s multiethnic population and rich history. When you blend all the diverse ingredients starting from the early Maya settlement through to the pirate past, the British settlers, the vibrant African influences, the attempted Spanish conquest, the Mennonite farming communities and the more recent influx of many other cultures, you have a recipe for something very, very special! Foods that originated thousands of years ago are still served every day in Belize. Tamal is a perfect example, having its origin in the earliest Maya cuisine, as does the finger-licking-good Cochinita Pibil style of cooking pork meat. This cochinita pibil is a skinned pig, marinated with strong acidic citrus juice, colored and flavored with annatto seed, wrapped in plantain leaves and buried underground overnight for a slow-roast. Barbecue got its start with Buccaneers, whose name comes from buccan, an Arawak word for smoking meat, an occupation pirates busied themselves with while on shore or traded to keep a supply of meat aboard their vessels. So it is said then, that our Belizean barbecues are a throwback to the days of pirates standing around the cooking meat drinking ale or rum and swapping stories. Cool like the Caribbean breeze!

The 7 Most Beautiful Birds of Belize
Belize offers amazing opportunities for bird watching thanks to the 570 species of birds that live in the country. According to the Belize Audubon Society, approximately 20% percent of the 570 species are migrants from North America and every year new species are being documented. In 2007 for example, 8 new records were accepted which included the Crested Caracara, Canada Goose, and Spot-breasted Oriole. In this blog post, we are delighted to share with you the 7 most beautiful birds of Belize. And of course, there are so much more colorful and attractive birds in Belize.

Muffins remane a good way ta use overripe bananas
Gods’ blessins ta all. Air fambly doesn’t like overripe bananas. Here is a good way ta use 'um! Nanner MUFFINS 3 large bananas 1 large egg 1 teespoon bakyun' powd'r 1 1 /2 cups flour 3 /4 cup sugar 1 teespoon bakyun' sody 1 /2 teespoon salt 1 /3 cup meltid butt'r er margarine

10 Tips for Living in Belize
“For those who enjoy live music, there are a variety of places where people hang out and listen to local bands, all for free. Beach bars include Crazy Canucks, BCs, and Fidos, all near town. On the north side, Legends often has good music. We love to dance to a live band on the beach, cooled by a sea breeze! Sunday afternoon lunch is a time when everyone goes out for beach BBQ and to socialize. Popular places include Caribbean Villas (they have plenty of water toys), Crazy Canucks, BCs, and the Palapa Bar (up north). We go to Wine de Vine on Friday nights. This is a “smoke free” environment where many expats, business owners and tourists drop in for a nice glass of wine, and a cheese platter. There are more volunteer organizations than I can mention. Many expats join both to contribute, and to meet people. The most popular are the Saga Society (which is the local Humane Society), the churches, Lion’s Club, and various school organizations,” reported one expat living in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

International Sources

A Caribbean obsession: The United States’ endless campaign to destabilize Cuba
The recent revelations about the USAID’s farfetched scheme to foster a popular anti-government protest movement by infiltrating Cuba’s mobile phone network perhaps bring full circle America’s 55-year campaign to destroy the Cuban Revolution. Fortunately for the people of Cuba, none of these bewildering, hairbrained and often violent schemes – which have included countless attacks on Cuban soil – have succeeded. The most notable, of course, being the disastrous CIA sponsored 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. Still, these failed attempts have resulted in the loss of thousands of Cuban lives. This obsession with destabilizing Cuba or wanting to assassinate Fidel Castro has been constant, and every failure has begotten another compulsive craving to topple a government that successive American administrations have misguidedly perceived to be an enemy. The long list of CIA futile attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro has now become a running joke, not just in Cuba but in the world in general.

23rd Working Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group
The 23rd Working Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group will be held from May 26-30, 2014 at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA. The meeting will be preceded by a CSG steering Committee meeting on May 25, 2014. The hosts, organizers and CSG invite members, crocodilian biologists and all interested individuals to take part in the meeting. CSG Working Meetings provide the principal forum for the presentation and discussion of issues surrounding crocodilian research, management and conservation. This meeting will feature several special sessions, including: Zoological contributions to crocodilian conservation Human-crocodile conflict Crocodilian behavior How many crocodilian species are there? Crocodilian reproduction Selected presentations concerning crocodilian reproduction will be selected to be published in an issue of the South American Journal of Herpetology. Details of this special issue can be viewed by selecting the link under the Announcements to the right.


Video: Jungle in Belize, 14min.
Our trip to Belize in January 2014, checking out some of the jungle.

Video: Howler Monkeys and Hummingbirds in Belize, 1min.
First day house sitting, listening to the ROAR of Howlers while the Hummingbirds feed...

Video: Tarpon on Caye Caulker Belize, 1min.
Nice tarpon gathering.

Video: Rocky II Spoof Video Filmed In Ambergris Caye Belize, 3min.
We decided to have just a little more fun while vacationing in Belize with out friends and family... We had to suspend live shooting because both myself and Joe suffered injuries from running full speed without stretching... I injured my hamstring and Joe injured his quadriceps. LMAO... Yep age caught up to us...

Video: Placencia, Belize 4 26 4 27 2014, 3min.
Placencia is a very kick back quiet town. Beautiful beaches and really good food. Friendly people. Not to pricey.

Video: Another Shade of Blue - Belize, with Ty Sawyer, 23min.
World famous adventure writer and photographer, Ty Sawyer, is on assignment in Another Shade of Blue. Join Ty as he travels to the planet’s most remote, raw, and real destinations, in search of jungles, oceans, rivers, villages, and the people that bring these locations to life. With only one week to find the essence of a destination and capture it in words and images to meet his magazine’s deadline, Ty immerses himself in the beauty and wonder of each destination to bring amazing stories and breathtaking photography right onto your screen. He seeks to find stories and photographs that are out of the ordinary, so he often finds himself facing challenging terrain, weather obstacles, uncooperative subjects and the element of time. Ty is determined to get the stories and stunning photos that sell the magazine and land his work on the cover.

Video: Turneffe Flats in Belize 1999, 28min.
Turneffe Flats in Belize July,1999

Video: Belize scuba diving blue hole 2014, 11min.

Video: Belize Zipline, 1min.
Gopro3+ Black helmet mount

Video: Paddling off Half Moon Caye in Lighthouse Reef Belize, 1min.

Video: Summer 2013/14, 11min.
Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama

Video: WEST CARIBBEAN CRUISE 2014, 38min.
Complete video chronicle of our escapades in the West Caribbean on the Norwegian Jewel Cruise ship. March 23-30, 2014. Visited the ports of Cozumel, Belize and Roatan, Honduras. Stop at Costa Maya, Mexico was aborted due to strong winds and waves at the port area.

Video: Almond Beach Resort Belize- Chica Travelista, 3min.
The Chica Travelista visits Almond Beach Resort and Spa in Sunny Belize!

Video: Checkoway's 40th Birthday in Belize, 4min.

April 29, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Wick-Ed Candles bring exotic scents to life
One young man’s school project has given him the opportunity to start a business of his own. When 18-year-old Hector Trejo was tasked with developing a product to be presented at the 2014 Corozal Junior College Business Expo, he decided to create something unique to his San Pedro community that would also be in high demand in the business market. Just what is that makes Wick-Ed Candles so unique? Well the candles are made of 100% soybean wax and are environmentally friendly. Each candle is hand crafted and takes about half an hour to prepare. To add that island touch, the candles come in a coconut shell, with a sea shell for a pedestal. They come in a variety of ‘Wick-Ed’ scents including Brazilian Sweet Orange, Clean Cotton, Butter Run, Cinnamon Bun, Coconut Cream, Midnight Jasmine, and Vanilla Cream. All are utterly heavenly!

Hol Chan gears up for the 9th annual Reef Week from May 10th to 17th
On Tuesday May 13th, Hol Chan Marine Reserve officials will release Ellen, the stranded sea turtle that was brought from Placencia in March, into its natural habitat. This will be witnessed by a contingency of media personalities, aimed to create awareness of the importance of protecting the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle in Belize. On Wednesday May 14th, primary school students from Caye Caulker and San Pedro Town will participate in the annual Reef Week Trivia Competition. Schools from both islands have been invited to submit the names of two students for the competition. The competition will test the participants’ knowledge about the reef. Activities will then continue on Thursday May 15th with the annual Marine Fair starting at 9:30 AM at the San Pedro Central Park. The main highlight of the Marine Fair is the “Art from Trash” and Nature Photograph competitions with the participation of students from San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village. In addition, several organizations have been invited to set up educational booths to target the local populace about the work they do to help protect the reef and the environment.

Dennis “Chinky” Palacio murdered on Seaweed Street
On Saturday, April 26th at about 11:30PM, police visited the residence of 84-year-old Belizean Businessman of Seaweed Street in the San Juan Area where they saw the body of a dark complexion male person dressed in a white T-Shirt and Khaki 3/4 short pants identified as 43-year-old Dennis “Chinky” Palacio, Belizean Laborer of San Juan Area, San Pedro Town lying face down with four gunshot wounds: one wound to the left side of the lower back, two wound to the right upper back near the shoulder and one wound to the right finger.

Tropic Air announces addition of King Air Aircraft to its fleet
King Air Tropic 3The King Air is a pressurised, air-conditioned, high-speed, twin-engine, jet prop aircraft. Its pressurised cabin is designed for high altitude and high-speed (250 mph) flights. “Its two abreast seating in a 12 passenger configuration will also allow for the higher level of executive seating that our passengers are asking for” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “We were pleased to introduce the modern glass cockpit Cessna Caravan to Belize, and now we are pleased to once again raise the bar of air comfort for our passengers with the King Air”

Ambergris Caye registers second murder for 2014
43-year-old Dennis “Chingy” Palacio, a laborer of San Juan Area of San Pedro Town is the second murder for the year 2014 on Ambergris Caye. The incident occurred on Saturday April 26th, sometime around 11:20PM on Seaweed Street, not too far away from Palacio’s apartment room and a short distance away from the San Pedro Police Station. While neighbors said they believe that Palacio’s death is drug related, Berry said the victim was no stranger to local police. “Palacio was known to police since he always had run-ins with the law. However at this time we do not have any information to suggest that his death is drug related.” Palacio’s shooting death is just one of three shooting incidents in a span of three days on the island. “We are very much concerned about these shooting. We hear gunshots everyday in the San Juan Area and it is something that worries us. While I cannot go into details at this time, we are working with the Police in looking at ways to address these issues,” said the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero.

Ambergris Today

North Ambergris Caye to Have Paved Road Soon!
The San Pedro Town Council is working diligently at repairing roads for the entire island and is currently being assisted by the Ministry of Works in upgrading the roads on Northern Ambergris Caye. Belize’s Ministry of Works provided the Town Council with a grader and truck to work on improving the streets on the island. A total of 80 linear yards of white mal (dust from crushed rock – clay like texture) is being placed from Grand Caribe to Indigo Resort. Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez confirmed to Ambergris Today that the Town Council is in the process of signing agreements for the road of North Ambergris Caye to be paved; paperwork should be finalized in the next couple of weeks.

Belize Tourism Board Announces New Board of Directors 2014 - 2016
Belize Tourism Board’s Board of Directors 2014-2016: *Einer Gomez, Acting Chairman * Herbert Haylock, Belize Tourism Industry Association Representative * Doug Thompson, Belize Hotel Association Representative * Gaspar Guerrero, Local Airline Sector Representative * Neil Bradley, Cayes & Outer Islands Representative * Glen Eiley, Southern Region Representative * Rosendo Urbina Sr., Northern Region Representative * Gamayel Babb, Legal Expertise * Christy Mastry, Project Management and Planning * Tracy Panton, CEO, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation

Italian Fashion Designer Roberto Cavalli Visits Belize
You know when word of Belize has gotten around in the elite social circle of celebrities when Roberto Cavalli arrives in Belize! Yes, the mega Italian fashion designer from Florence, who is known for exotic prints and for creating the sand-blasted look for jeans arrived in Belize over the weekend and is vacationing somewhere in the country. Only a select few know of his whereabouts. Of course his post on Instagram created quite a stir amongst his followers in Belize and fans of his designs/products. Many are very excited to learn that the picked Belize as a vacation destination.

Mother Beats Daughter over Naughty Facebook Posts – My Reaction
- by Ryan Acona - A disciplinary method that is loved by some people but despised by many is spanking. It is sort of an old fashioned method but still used a lot in certain countries. It is becoming less popular here in Belize, but there are still some parents who practice it. The reason parents spank their children is because they believe it will teach them discipline and will put their child on the right track. Although, in my opinion, it is a quick fix for a problem that should be dealt with differently. In a recent response to a video about a mother who beat her daughter for posting a ‘dirty’ photo onto her Facebook wall I talked about how the video made me sick because the mother beat her daughter over 70 times with a belt. Now, there were many people in the comments of the original video and my video commentary who agreed with the actions of the mother. In my opinion, I don’t believe we should beat other humans unless it is self-defence and definitely we shouldn’t beat a child to scare them into doing as you say.

Pic of the Week: Everything is Better Under a Palapa in San Pedro
Featured in this week’s Pic of the Week is the palapa at Rojo Beach Bar, in North Ambergris Caye. There is always something going on at Rojo Beach Bar as it has garnered the popularity of being a very social spot both day and night. Their cocktails are amazing, food is superb and the staff is one-of-a-kind!

Flashbacks: Where is the end of San Pedro Town?
If you are wondering where the end of the town is you would have to go all the way up north to Boca Del Rio Bridge, cross it and then continue up north to as far as Tranquility Bay Resort. This is how expanded San Pedro Town is. However, many years ago this Flashback pic indicates the end of the village of San Pedro. A post was planted right in the middle of Barrier Reef Street in front of Milo’s Hotel and the San Pedro Cemetery. This was and still is a cul de sac and beyond that was Paradise Hotel. The post indicated to the few drivers in San Pedro that they could not drive beyond this point. Notice how respectful and cooperative the people of San Pedro were- one single pole in the middle of the street and that was enough to stop traffic. Take note that there is space for a large vehicle to pass through, but they didn’t. This is only part of the story. Take note of the grass on the street, the snow white sand, the absence of the majestic Belize Bank, the almost total absence of vehicles and people walking on the middle of the street. This “was” San Pedro- unsophisticated, romantic and inviting.

25 Years Ago: Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye Part 2
My next guest is a man who challenged the sea for as long as he lived and truly left a mark in the annals of San Pedro. He was born and raised near the sea and by choice he made the sea his living. As a young man, Alan Forman was a fisherman like most of the young men in San Pedro. Alan learned the art of hand line fishing, trolling, and casting the nets and even the seine. Being a neighbor to my dad, Alan was an avid companion on our short trips outside the reef to do sport fishing. This was particularly so during the month of May and June during the summer vacations. It was on these trips that I learned to bait a hook and troll for barracuda. There are two ways to catch a loggerhead turtle or green turtle and even the hawksbill turtle. The first way is to strike it with a harpoon as I saw Alan do many times. The next and more thrilling was is to dive for it. Alan waited on the bow of our boat as my dad followed the turtle. He waited for the turtle to surface for air and as it was going down, he dove head on and captured it and maneuvered it to the surface. Once close to the boat my father fastened a rope to the front fin and then tied the second one. Both men then pulled the turtle inside the boat.

Misc Belizean Sources

FISHING REPORT: Week of April 20th– April 26th, 2014
Wow, the fishing was good, with tarpon eating often and permit available and biting daily. Pretty good weather all week helped the cause, as did a contingent of talented anglers here at the lodge. We had great fun with the Rio Fly Line and Smith Optics folks who were down testing gear and shooting some promotion photos and video.

About Ecology Project International (EPI) EPI is an international non-profit organization dedicated to addressing critical conservation issues through field-based partnerships between local experts and high school students. We engage adolescent youth from local communities and visiting youth from other regions in applied conservation as they learn about and help protect threatened species and habitats. Through EPI’s programs in the U.S. and Latin America, teens are inspired and empowered to engage in conservation efforts at home and worldwide. About this position The Belize program manager is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of EPI’s Belizean educational programming and operations. The Belize program manager ensures the successful delivery of a field-based, academically rigorous, environmental education program for Belizean and visiting international teenage students. The program manager will also develop in-country programs to allow for continued engagement with Belizean alumni. S/he will provide program leadership and strategic vision (both programmatic and development), and will work in conjunction with EPI’s program operations director and other senior staff to ensure a fiscally and legally sound program.

Corozal is NOT your garbage dump
We took this photo of an illegal dump site located about 1/8 of a mile from the northern border along the Philip Goldson Highway in Santa Elena and about 300 yards from the Corozal Free Zone fence. As far as we know, this particular area has been used as a dump site for some time now. We are sure those in authority have driven past it, as it is very obvious and unsightly. It is riddled with trash, especially Mexican beer bottles and the rest of it labeled with Mexican trash. It is a shame that the first and last impressions you get leaving our beautiful town is this eye-sore at the border. We ask the health department and the proper authorities to please take care of this unhealthy and unsightly garbage situation now.

Prime Minister Departs Country
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that the Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow will depart the country today, April 28th, 2014 to accompany his wife, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow for her medical checkup.

Cayo International Film Festival
The Cayo Film Festival was this weekend, and it was another impressive cultural event at the Cayo Welcome Center. They screened the documentaries from the Belize Documentary Film Field Course, along with Kurse a di Ixtabi, it's documentary, Creative Kaos, and many more. "Check this out! First ever CAYO FILM Festival. Great job Daniel Velazquez! Short films from Richard and Carol Farneti Foster and Ilana Lapid's NMSU's Creative Media students are being shown - as well as other films like Charles Britt and Roni Martinez' Scarlet Six project, Isabelle Paquet-Durand's wildlife medicine clinic, and Matt's feature-length "Curse of the Ixtabi". "

Western Ballaz vs Tiger Sharks
Cayo came out in force for the Western Ballaz on Saturday night. The SHC auditorium was packed with fans wanting to see another great game. They got what they wanted. The Ballaz came on strong, having a 10 point lead for some of the first half. The Tiger Sharks slowly came back during the second half, and in the last few minutes they took the lead. The Western Ballaz lost, 75 - 70, but the fans really made it the best game of the league so far. Thanks to Adma Photography for the great pictures. More pictures are on the way.

National Tapir Day at the Zoo!
Friday May 2nd at 10:30am

Belize's refugee children
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Lord hear my prayer for Belize’s children They are refugees of several wars For which few can prepare or defend them Hailing from predatory environs trying to consume them Violence, incest, drugs, pedophiles and people trying to rape them Born to unskilled parents to fend for them Who scarcely have time to play with them Some don’t have the know how to read to them Lord, hear my prayer for Belize’s children! Young female teachers trying to teach at risk young men and women The underserved and poverty stricken The ministry has to equip teachers with new techniques to engage them To get past the trauma and trust issue affecting them The dons and cartels are recruiting them Courting, enticing and vying to get loyalty from them No wonder our country is such peril and mayhem Lord, hear my prayer for Belize’s children

National Training Program for Protected Areas Management
UB's Environmental Research Institute has teamed up with the Protected Areas Conservation Trust to have another National Training Program for Protected Areas Management. The first class, Research and Monitoring 1, starts tomorrow. Thanks, PACT! In related news, PACT is doing a call for concepts for large grants right now.

FCD Chiquibul Telethon
Friends of Conservation and Development, which helps preserve the Chiquibul National Forest, is having a telethon to raise funds to help with their efforts at keeping it pristine. It'll be on Saturday, May 17th. Check out the dark video they put together for it. They need more patrols and better equipment to protect it from the motley crew of poachers, xateros, loggers, miners, and oreros.

Power interruption
8:00am to 12:00noon on Tuesday, April 29: Mile 8 to Mile 35 Philip Goldson Hwy and all villages along Old Northern Hwy including Ladyville, Lord’s Bank, Harry Flowers Estate, Los Lagos, Maxboro, Sandhill, Double Run, Salt Creek, Crooked Tree, Grace Bank, Gardenia, Biscayne, Santa Ana, Saint Anne, Corozalito, and Maskall. BEL to install lightning arrestors on distribution system along Philip Goldson Highway.

Are you swimming in debt and don’t know how you’re ever going to pay it off?
Well, you’re not alone. If you’re looking for some easy ways to cut down your debt then you probably need to follow on some of these advices: 1. Create a Budget: The first step to solving your debt problem is to establish a budget. You can use personal finance tools or make your own simple Excel spreadsheet that includes your monthly income and expenses. Then scrutinize those budget categories to see where you can cut costs. If you don't scale back your spending, you'll dig yourself into a deeper hole. 2. Pay the most expensive debt first: If you have credit card debt, sort it out from highest to lowest, then tackle the card with the highest rate first. By paying off the balance with the highest interest first, you increase your payment on the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate while continuing to make the minimum payment on the rest of your credit cards. Limit your credit card debts to a minimum. I have seen many of my friends here in Belize fall victims to credit card overspending.

resident’s message says Belize Chamber of Commerce (BCCI) was founded in 1920 and that it represents, directly or indirectly, over 900 businesses. Membership report shows a bar chart that indicates total membership in 2013 at around 280. The President was Ms. Kay Menzies, past president Mr. Emil Mena, V.P. Industry Mr. Alen Reimer, V.P Commerce Mr. Alberto Young and V.P. Services Mr. Rishi Mungal. Secretary Ms. Ashanti Marin, Treasurer Mrs Claudette El Ters, and councillors Mr. Daniel Gutierrez, Mr. Nikita Usher, Mr. Carlo Habet, Mr. Israel Marin, and Mr. Douglas Bowen. CEO was Mrs. Kim Aikman with a staff of 14 persons. Guest speaker was Mr. Alvin Henderson, who is managing director and shareholder of Royal Mayan shrimp farms. His speech was tagged "Defining Belize's Competitive Space in a Global Marketplace".

Leading Belize eco resort Green Globe certified
“We are honored to be re-certified and recognized by Green Globe as a leading Belize Eco-Resort,” said Cathy Alchin, General Manager at Xanadu Island Resort, situated on the beach in San Pedro, Ambergris, Belize. “Our efforts to preserve and uplift Ambergris Caye and the community of San Pedro are at the core of what makes Xanadu Island Resort a favorite among eco-conscious travelers.” For years, Xanadu Island Resort has demonstrated a firm commitment to sustainable operations and environmental awareness. Construction of this eco-resort began in the summer of 1998. These days, owners Judy and Ivan Sheinbaum are highly excited about the achievement of their paradise. “Though our many initiatives and upgrades we have reduced our impact on the environment to Green Globe`s highest standards,” commented Judy Sheinbaum. “We signed on to Green Globe to ensure that we are utilizing best practices globally, and setting benchmarks for continual environmental improvements year after year.”

Channel 7

Raul Jr. Crashes; Girlfriend And Son Dies
A mother and child are dead tonight - victims of a terrible traffic accident this evening on the Northern Highway. It happened at around 4:30 when Raul Magana Jr was driving a Toyota Landcruiser at mile 27 in Biscayne. He was headed to Belize City and had a blowout, which caused him to lost control of the vehicle. It flipped violently - landing in a ditch on the side of the road. His girlfriend Elisa and his 4 year old son Raul Jr were killed by the impact on the spot. Magana survived and was conscious on the scene. He was taken to the KHMH where he is receiving treatment at this time. An eyewitness told us off camera what she saw:.. Voice: of eyewitness "We heard that the vehicle tire burst and the vehicle lost control, it spin around about 3 times and after that he lost control and vehicle flipped. When the vehicle flipped, the lady and the baby fell out."

Man Who Lived In Attic Killed On San Pedro
And while those are the late breaking details of that double fatality on the Western Highway, we have two murders to report tonight. The first one happened at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night, where 43 year-old Dennis Palacio was killed in a street-style execution on San Pedro. Police have no leads at this time, and are hoping that members of the public come forward to assist them in their investigation. But while that is the aftermath of Palacio's murder, our news team went out to the island to find out what may have motivated it in the first place. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting At about half hour before Midnight on Saturday, 43 year-old Dennis Palacio, aka "Chingy", was killed on Seaweed Street in the San Juan area.

Family Dispute In PG Ends In Murder
And the weekend's second murder happened in Punta Gorda town. It was the result of a family dispute. 69 year old Norman Benguche Jr was stabbed three times in his back, allegedly by his step son 24 year old David Branson. It happened on Sunday morning at around 9:30 while Benguche was having breakfast on the verandah of his house. Branson picked up a knife that was on the table and stabbed the man - nearly three times his age - three times in the back. Branson was rushed to the PG Hospital in critical condition. He died at 10:30 am. Branson is being held pending charges for murder.

Vill Coup? US Capital Sympathizer Removed As Alcalde
For months, we've been reporting on the controversy surrounding the activities of US Capital Energy - which wants to drill for oil inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. You might have thought that there was universal opposition to the company, but it's not so clear cut and right now there is a mighty struggle for control of the political landscape of the southern villages. Tonight we'll show you 2 Alcaldes and a chairman from the buffer communities who are in support of the oil company. We'll get to that shortly, but first, opponents of the oil company have been on a take no prisoners campaign for the past week to eject those village leaders who got too chummy with US Capital. The first leader who became a target of that agenda was Valentin Makin, the first Alcalde of Conejo Village. According to a release from the village sent by SATIIM, The charge against him is that he "betrayed his community" when he signed a letter on behalf of the entire village saying that they granted "unequivocal free, prior and informed consent for US Capital Energy Belize Ltd to continue its work and drilling on Maya Customary Lands." We're told that the community invoked Maya Communal Law and forcibly removed him because he wasn't representing the best interest of the village. In his place, they elected Eufemio Makin, to replace him as the new First Alcalde and the new leader. Today 7News got an opportunity to speak with Valentin Makin, and he told us that the only letter he signed was for the company to upgrade their main road, which he didn't see as anything he wasn't supposed to do. He told us that he is in the process of seeking legal advice because he believes his removal from office was unlawful.

2 Alcaldes + 1 Chairman Says SATIIM Is Not Their Lead Speaker
That opportunity to speak with Valentin Makin and the other Alcalde came after they had a sit-down meeting with the Prime Minister today at Old Belize. Those who attended reported to us that the meeting with the Prime Minister went well, and they had a productive discussion on many issues facing the communities of the south. Another topic that they wished to earnestly discuss was that Greg Ch'oc has reportedly been misleading the public when he suggested that he represented Mayan Communities and their best interests. Here's how they explained why: Joaquin Cucul - Resident, Conejo "Since Satiim was organized about 19 years ago nothing has been done in the village of Conejo. The village of Conejo is separated right now, so will he stand up and say that he is fighting for the Maya people. He is not fighting for us the Maya people; he is fighting for his own self."

Village Leaders Well-Oiled?
And in our last piece of news from the Mayan Communities in the South, the Alcaldes who spoke with us today say that they are in support of US Capital Energy because the company has been helping their villages improve their standards of living. They explained that the drilling in the South will also help to improve their lives with the access to jobs: Daniel Ortiz "Do you have any kind of ties to US Capital which would suggest that your opinion is not objective?" Joaquin Cucul - Resident, Conejo "I just want to clear - this is the situation: we are seeing development of this company started, so we are appreciating it, but since Satiim is there for such a long time and there are no developments, only separating the people. We don't like that anymore, so we need development and we need jobs. If Satiim would give us jobs for 19 years I don't think this would be a bigger problem. Mr. Ch'oc is delaying the Maya people of getting jobs."

Former Government Minister Passes
Former PUP Minister and commissioner of police, Maxwell Samuels passed away today. It happened this afternoon around 3:20 pm at the Belize Healthcare Partners where Samuels had been hospitalized over the weekend for a pulmonary embolism. According to family member he had a blood clot from his leg had travelled up to his brain causing a coma. He died of that embolism this evening. After a long term as Commissioner of police form 1981 - 1986, Samuels had a successful career as a politician where he represented Belize Rural North - and was an undefeated three term representative - the only person to do so in that division. He served variously as Minister of Immigration, Communications, Transport and Public Utilities. He was also deputy leader of the PUP for 10 years starting in the mid 90's.

Mayor Still Undecided On Political Future, And So What If He Is
On Friday night's newscast - you heard the Prime Minister say that the door had officially been closed on any possibility of Darrell Bradley running for mayor. That's because the deadline to submit names to that had long passed - and Bradley still hadn't made up his mind. So what's Bradley's reaction to that? Well, like the man himself, it's complicated. But today, he had a surprisingly candid interview with 7News where he said, basically, his mind still isn't made up - and so what if it isn't?.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "Whether or not I am going to run for mayor again, the jury is still out - I don't know. That is the reality and that's the honest response: I don't know. If you are telling me now that there was a statement made in relation to the door is close, then the door is close. That is the leader of this party and he makes those decisions, I don't. You ask me if I want to run for mayor, yes I want to run for mayor, but there are certain problems in relation to the structure of a municipality which I have elucidated which causes me a division and I told Jules this earlier. When you are dealing at City Hall, one of the things that kind of frustrate me substantially is that you are trying to push behind all of the problems that came before you and you are trying to pull the city forward in terms of a clear vision. That's a very frustrating job.

BTL And Belize Communication Worker's Union: 1st New CBA In 15 Years
For the first time in 15 years, BTL's management and its union, the Belize Communication Workers have signed a new collective bargaining agreement. And it was a negotiation that went very smoothly, and with a minimum of agitation. At the end of it, the union even heaped praise the controversial new chairman of the executive committee Anwar Barrow. All that tells you that it was a win, win, win for the BTL workers - who, it is generally agreed, have some of the best benefits in Belize. And, they just got more. At a press conference today to sign and celebrate - Barrow outlined what was agreed to in the new deal:.. Anwar Barrow, Chairman - Executive Committee "Including in the benefits to be received under the terms of this new CBA is a 4% increase in salary each year for the next 3 years and increase in certain subsistence and lodging allowances and increase in the burial grant allowance, a new paternity grant, but most importantly an increase in the company's contribution to the employees' pension scheme and the provision of 4G service to all staff members."

PM And Wife Head To Texas For Medical Check-up
And while his son Anwar is holding things down at BTL -Prime Minister DEAN BARROW has departed for Houston on personal leave. An official release says that he is going on personal leave to accompany his wife, Kim for a medical checkup. He returns on Sunday, May 4th., and during his absence, John Saldivar, will act as Prime Minister from 28th April to 2nd May, which is when Deputy Gaspar Vega returns and he will act as Prime Minister until May 4th.

Security Guard Remanded For Weapon
He may be a security guard, but 34 year-old Mauricio Perez is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly having an illegal firearm in his possession. According to police, on last Tuesday, they went to his work place. He's a security guard, but according to police, he didn't have licenses to carry a 9mm pistol with 7 live rounds of ammunition. That's what they reported caught him with, while he was on duty. Perez was charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned before the Chief Magistrate where he pleaded not guilty, but was remanded to prison. He'll he be taken back to court on June 17.

Man Sentence To 2 Years For Touching 8 Year-old
38 year-old Edelmiro Oliva is at prison tonight after he was convicted of indecent assault in the Magistrate's Court. His 8 year-old female victim testified that on July 18, 2013, her baby sitter went out, and Oliva took the opportunity when they were alone to touch her inappropriately. Oliva, who was represented by attorney Simeon Sampson, took the stand and denied the crime after reviewing all the evidence against him, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found him guilty and sentenced him to serve 2 years in prison.

Lucas Magnus Gets Voters Minimus Support
Luke Espat, he's one of the most colourful characters in Belizean business and politics. But when he threw his hat into the ring as a a political candidate in Cayo Central, even his own cousin Julius Espat told him, "stand down, primo." But the man called Lucas Magnus didn't listen; he felt this was his time - and that the door had been opened in Cayo central where he expected to have an endorsement as the PUP standard Bearer. He declared his candidacy early, in August for a convention that was months away. Things were going well until former three term Cayo Central Rep, and the PUP Sherriff of Cayo Dan Silva declared his candidacy. Smart money says Luke should have pulled out right there. But, ever the fighter, he hung in - going against conventional political wisdom - all the way to a showdown yesterday in Cayo. It was the convention for Cayo Central and 7News was there for all the hype:.. Jules Vasquez reporting After 5:00 pm -t he line still going strong In terms of signage, shirts and slogans, Luke Espat had out Dan Silva by far. But like the slogan says Dan is still the man, and as unimaginative as that may have seemed it had appeal to the voters who gathered outside Santa Elena RC School.

Mayor Wants You Labor on Labor Day
Thursday is Labour Day - a holiday for all you hard workers. But - for the third year running Mayor Darrell Bradley wants you to work! It's called "Labour for Belize" one of the flagship programmes of his council where scores of people, firms and companies sign up to do community work on that holiday. He explained today that it's about giving back:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "We are trying to do service projects on this day, but we are also trying to raise awareness about ownership of our city. The city will work, but it will only work if every single person really takes ownership of their responsibility to make the city work and to clean up their space. We work in Belize City, we live in Belize City, but this is our home and we need to come together as a community at times like these to really partner to show that we are invested in the space and to show that we want to uplift the space, so part of it is public awareness. Its not nice spending a holiday when you could be in your bed picking up trash, but its showing that because you love the city."

Channel 5

Horrible highway accident claims the life of mother and child
A mother and her baby perished this afternoon just after four o’clock in a horrible traffic accident at mile twenty-seven on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Our crew is just back [...]

San Pedro alleged drug dealer killed on the island
Crime and violence are disrupting the once peaceful island of San Pedro. Just before midnight on Saturday night, a Bomba resident was murdered as he stood outside a house on [...]

Man murdered by stepson in PG
Another life was taken over the weekend but in southern Belize. Sixty-nine year old Norman Benguche Senior, who is employed by the Belize Water and Sewerage Authority, was stabbed three [...]

Dan Silva trashes Luke Espat in Cayo Central Convention
In political news, the People’s United Party held a convention in Cayo Central on Sunday where conventional wisdom proved accurate in favor of veteran politician Dan Silva. The campaign was [...]

P.U.P. mourns the passing of Max Samuels
The People’s United Party is tonight mourning the passing of one of its longstanding and loyal member.  Former People’s United Party Minister Maxwell Samuels passed away this afternoon while undergoing [...]

Dr. Louis Zabaneh’s abrupt departure from Galen
On Thursday, we reported on Dr. Louis Zabaneh’s abrupt departure as president of Galen University.  His demission from office followed a surreptitious decision taken by majority shareholders to move the [...]

Belize City man guilty of Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature
The Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today sentenced a Belize City man to three years in prison for the indecent assault of young girl. Thirty-eight Edelmiro Oliva was found guilty [...]

Foreign Ministry investigating murder of Belizean in Melchor
Twenty-two year old Benque Viejo resident Edwin Chan was murdered in Melchor on Good Friday. Chan was found in a remote locate on the outskirts of Melchor with one gunshot [...]

Conejo Alcalde removed after he secretly supported US Capital
There is another development in respect of oil drilling in Maya communities which is causing tensions between SATIIM, Government and US Capital Energy.  It has to do with the signing [...]

PUC approves increase in water rates
More details will become available on Tuesday at a press conference, but we can confirm tonight that the Public Utilities Commission has approved an increase in water rates by the [...]

14 year old drowns in San Ignacio
A teenager drowned while swimming in the Macal River on Saturday.  Fourteen-year-old Johnatan Requena, a resident of San Ignacio Town, was swimming along with a friend in an area between [...]

Prisoner attempting to escape is shot
A prisoner is tonight hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital recovering from a gunshot wound. According to the Kolbe Foundation, Trial Farm resident and inmate Marcos Gomez was attempting [...]

A fire dangerously close to a gas station
A fire dangerously close to a Belize City gas station caused a scare over the weekend. The blaze left one man homeless and caused damages to a house nearby. The [...]

Rural Belize Police Department engaging the youths
The Police Department is fighting crime by targeting those believed to be most vulnerable, the youths. Through its cadet corps, Rural Belize District police officers are making a positive impact [...]

Sporting Highlights with James Adderley
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. Week 11 in NEBL Basketball brought a battle royal to San Ignacio where 2 teams with identical records of 9 [...]


The Dark Side In The Community Of Shipyard
The problem in Shipyard is more complex than it appears however, since the structure of the community; the larger part of it, is fixed on the strict rules of the religion. That religion reflects those of other denominations but there are several exceptions and differences. While it is founded on the belief in the mission and ministry of Jesus, parts of the religion is viewed as radical. They follow the teachings of Menno Simons, who lived from 1496 to 1561. The Mennonite communities are generally viewed and accepted as a peaceful people due to their commitment to pacifism. This is how they have basically been viewed within Belize, but where there are rules, these rules are inevitably broken and this is where tensions begin to run high. Following the altercation between the two groups of men last week, a group of men who have been excommunicated from the church for breaking the rules have turned to the media to talk about what they say is the hidden side of the community, a side that paints a rather disturbing picture. Dalila Ical reports. Dalila Ical – Reporting Pete Penner – Concerned Citizen “These people call themselves a follower of him but, if that guy would comeback today and look at this religion he wouldn’t have not part of it. That guy was a follower of Jesus but like in any religion after an amount of years it is going to fade away and become a manmade religion.”

BSI Holds SugarFest As A Form To Bring The Industry Together
Midway into the 2013/2014 Sugar Crop Season, milling and production have been exceeding the expectations of stakeholders in the Sugar Industry and in honor of the achievement a first ever Sugarfest was held at BSI Field in Orange Walk over the weekend. Our news team was there and filed the following report. Dalila Ical – Reporting As the economic bloodline in the North, the Sugar Industry is one of Belize’s most essential driving economic forces. On Saturday, one of the industry’s biggest stake holders proved that apart from sugar and molasses, there are other financial avenues to explore in the industry as a throng of nortenos took their families to savor the first ever Sugarfest. It was a family affair that sweetened the weekend of many as there was plenty to do, see, eat and drink at the BSI Field. The event was organized by BSI/ASR and there is no doubt that organizers were more than pleased with the outcome, according to the company’s Financial Director, Belizario Carballo Jr.

Dan Silva Elected As Standard Bearer For Cayo Central
And turning to the political scene, yesterday the people’s United Party held its convention to elect a Standard Bearer for the Cayo Central constituency at the Santa Elena RC School. Two well-known businessmen contested yesterday’s convention, Dan Silva and Luke Espat. While much controversy surrounded the convention, at the end of voting a total of 1,933 votes were cast, 1,426 in favor of San Ignacio resident Daniel Silva who emerged victorious since his opponent Luke Espat obtained 487 votes. There were 19 spoilt ballots. We understand that after the convention Luke Espat appealed for unity in the party and pledged his support to the newly elected Standard Bearer of the PUP. Silva will face Rene Montero in the next General Elections.


Chamber Has New Executive
A new board and council have emerged from the 94th annual general meeting of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry that was held last Thursday, April 24 at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. In the presence of one hundred members of the BCCI, of the ten nominees put forward, five councillors were elected, namely, Daniel Gutierrez, Nikita Usher, Linda Thornton, Karen Lewis and Sue Courtenay. While the councillors were elected, Chief Executive Officer for the BCCI, Kim Aikman explained how the board members were installed. KIM AIKMAN “We had over one hundred members who came out to participate in the electoral process. Our board runs every two years – that is at the Councillor level but at the Officer level there is a continuity succession plan which is embedded in our constitution, so, you churn up towards being the president; so, the officers were not elected but the councillors were. Once you come in at the councillor level and you churn up to be either the president or the three vice presidents that we have of industry, commerce and services and then we have a treasurer and a secretary. We go very closely with our constitution, Chapter 308 of the Laws of Belize, we have what we call a nominating committee and members are drawn from the general membership and suggested to the nominating committee. That committee normally puts together a slate that is circulated to the general membership for them to vote. The entire voting process is reconciled by PKF Belize, our auditor – they reconcile the financial membership list and their ballot papers.”

Murder on La Isla Bonita
Two men are in custody at the San Pedro Police Station following a murder that occurred on the island on Saturday, April 26, 2014. It was just after eleven o’clock when 34-year-old, Dennis Palacio, a laborer of the San Juan Area was standing alone in front of the Arceo residence, leaning on their fence, when he was approached by a gunman dressed in a black t-shirt and red pants. Preliminary investigations have revealed that four of the five shots that the assailant fired caught Palacio, causing him to die on the spot. Palacio received gunshot wounds to the lower and upper back, near the left shoulder and on his right hand. According to police, Palacio was known to hang out regularly where he was shot but the motive of the shooting is uncertain. Police are continuing their investigations.

Prison Inmate Shot While Attempting to Escape
He was serving time for theft inside the Belize Central Prison but currently, he is inside the confines of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, under police guard, after being shot on the compound of the prison. Marcus Gomez, who was serving time for the crime of theft, reportedly attempted to escape from the facility this morning. Love News spoke to the Chief Executive Officer at the Kolbe Foundation, Earl Jones, who updated us on their preliminary investigations. EARL JONES “At about 10:15am, an inmate, Marcus Gomez of the Orange Walk District attempted to escape from the Belize Central Prison. Prison officers immediately responded and were able to apprehend Gomez within the compound. However, received a gunshot wound to his buttocks and was transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The inmate was serving a 12-month sentence for theft. I’m still trying to get together the reports of the incident. I haven’t really received the reports of the officers to confirm what led them to the belief that the inmate was trying to escape. The police have been called in as by right they should be informed; they have been called in to do what they have to do with their forensics people.”

Oceana Office Relocates to Capital City
Oceana has had its Belize headquarters in the old capital since its establishment in the country in 2009. However, via a press release from the Oceana office, we have been informed that the main office has been relocated to the City of Belmopan on Hibiscus Street, in the vicinity of the US Embassy. The release states that the move came following considerations on the proximity and access they would have to government officials as well as it being a centralized location for maintaining and cultivating national public support for its campaigns. The office of Oceana Belize can now be reached via telephone at 822-2797. Belize’s Vice President for Oceana is Janelle Chanona, who took over the reins of the organization from Audrey Matura Sheppard in early 2014.

Security Guard Goes To Prison on Ammunition Charges
Thirty-four year old Mauricio Perez, a security guard employed by K and B Security firm, was charged with kept ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Perez pled not guilty to the charge. He was remanded into custody until June 17. The incident occurred on April 22. The police reported that when they searched Perez at his workplace they found a black magazine that contained seven live rounds of nine millimeter caliber ammunition in it. Perez was unable to produce a license for the ammunition so he was arrested and charged. Perez attorney, Nazira Myles, said in court that her client’s constitutional right was violated because he was held in custody from April 22 without being charged.

Barry Gets Remanded After Discharging Firearm in Public
Twenty-one year old Barry Johnson, a construction worker of Welch Street, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and discharging a firearm in public when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Johnson pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until June 17. The incident occurred on April 24. Mark Anthony Jones, the caretaker for Roger’s Stadium, reported to the police that while he was at his workplace at the corner of Hicattee Street and Dolphin Street, Johnson took out a firearm and fired several shots at him.

Stevedore Gets Two Years for Touching Minor’s Rear
Thirty-eight year old Edelmiro Oliva, a stevedore charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature on an eight year old girl, was sentenced to two years today by Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of the charge. The incident occurred on July 18, 2013. The child testified in camera that when her babysitter went out, Oliva sucked her nose and caressed her buttocks. Oliva testified and denied that he committed the offence. Oliva was represented by attorney, Simeon Sampson.

Former PUP Minister Dies
Love News has been reliably informed of the passing of a stalwart of the main opposition, the Peoples’ United Party. 74-year-old, Maxwell Ewing Samuels passed away around four o’clock this evening at the Belize Healthcare Partners in Belize City. Samuels had been grounded in the Belize Rural North constituency throughout his political career and had served in various capacities particularly law enforcement where he served as Commissioner of Police from 1981 to 1986. He also served as Minister of Communications, Transport and Public Utilities. Up until the time of his death, he continued serving the party as an advisory body for the Belize Rural North constituency.

Father Survives; Mother and Son Succumb in Traffic Accident
Police are investigating a fatal traffic accident that occurred at mile 27 on the Philip Goldson Highway in Biscayne Village, Belize District just after four o’clock this afternoon. Reports are still sketchy at this time but Love News understands that a family of three was traveling in their Toyota Landcruiser at the time when they suffered a blow out on the highway. The driver, Raul Magana Jr., owner of Don Raul’s Quick Cash was still alive upon the arrival of the paramedics and was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital while his girlfriend, Lissa and their 4-year-old son succumbed at the scene. We will have more on this incident in Tuesday’s newscast.


Serve the Son, for He is the Refuge
Our verse for the week is taken from – Psalm 2:12: “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all those who take refuge in Him.”

San Pedro Man Shot and Killed
A man in San Pedro was shot and killed on Saturday night. 43 year old Dennis Palacio, a Belizean Laborer of San Juan Area, San Pedro town was reportedly leaning on a fence of a residence facing Seaweed Street when a male person approached him and fired five shots...

Mother and Child Die in Traffic Accident
There was a fatal traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway this evening. The accident happened at mile 27 shortly after 4 0’clock this afternoon. Reports are that a mother and her young child perished in the vehicle while the driver of the vehicle is in critical condition. Raul...

American Fugitive Captured in Roaring Creek
An American fugitive wanted for several criminal offences including felony and attempting escaping a police officer on a motor vehicle was apprehended in Roaring Creek Village, Belmopan. According to reports, on Thursday April 24th, at about 6:00 pm, police received information about a suspicious man in the area of...

Jose Batres’ Death; Natural Causes or Foul Play?
33 year old Belizean tour guide Jesus Manuel Batres, resident of Valley of Peace, Belmopan passed away sometime after 9:00 pm on Sunday, April 27th. Police say when they visited the village of Valley of Peace, they found Batres’ body lying face up at the entrance of a board...

Stepson Stabs Stepfather in PG
A stepson allegedly stabbed his stepfather while at the dining table. On Sunday, April 27th, at about 10:25 a.m. 69 year old Norman Benguche Jr, a resident of Punta Gorda, passed away at the Punta Gorda Hospital after suffering from three stab wounds to the upper left side of...

14 Year Old Drowns
A fourteen year old boy drowned over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, San Ignacio Police visited the Macal River area between the Hawksworth Bridge and the board bridge where the body of 14-year-old Johnahan Requena was seen lying face up on the side of the river. Police say that...

Prime Minister Reassures Community after Spike in Murders
Seven murders in ten days made the news last week. It’s enough to strike fear in any community, but the beleaguered Belize City Southside has seen more than its fair share. Earlier last week, we told you about the Police’s establishment of a semi-permanent command post in the Jane...

BTL Concludes Negotiations with BCWU on Collective Bargaining Agreement
Earlier this month, Belize’s state-run telecommunications company, Belize Telemedia Limited, concluded negotiations with the Belize Communication Workers Union (BCWU) on a collective bargaining agreement which we are told was 15 years in the making. Today the two sides put pen to paper in Belize City and Chairman of BTL’s...

Security Guard Charged for Unlicensed Gun Magazine
The nature of the job of a security guard often involves – hopefully without injury or fatality – the use of a firearm. However, a Belize City security guard was read charges in court today for unlawfully possessing a gun magazine that was surplus to his job requirements. 34...

Two Years for Stevedore Charged with Indecent Assault
Thirty-eight year old Edelmiro Oliva, a stevedore charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature on an 8 year old girl, was sentenced to 2 years in prison today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of the charge. The incident occurred on July...

Lifeless Body of Man Pulled from River
The lifeless body of a man was pulled from the mouth of a River in the south. Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu has the story. Harry Arzu- Correspondent for Plus News from Dangriga “At about 11:00 this morning, Audric Felix Palacio was retrieved from the mouth of the Fresh Water...

Clarification Sought on Writ of Mandamus
News that the Government and specifically Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie intended to file an appeal of the writ of mandamus granted by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in March outraged supporters of the effort to oust and shame ex-Minister of State Elvin Penner. On Friday, the Prime Minister clarified...

Dan Silva Beats Luke Espat at the Polls
San Ignacio businessman Daniel Silva won the Cayo Central convention on Saturday. Over one thousand nine hundred voters turned out for the PUP convention where Silva and Luke Espat were contenders. At the end of the ballot counting, Silva won by a huge margin with 1,426 votes. Daniel Silva-...

Consequences to Face after UNIBAM’s Tainting of Belize in the OAS?
Recently, executive director of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), Caleb Orozco, and a compatriot visited the Organization of American States (OAS) to complain about Belize as a country that violates human rights against homosexuals. Reactions at home have been one of shock, but the Prime Minister said that this...

Prisoner Shot in Attempted Escape
An inmate of the Belize Central Prison, Marcus Gomez, was shot today during an escape attempt. Gomez had to be hospitalized after he was shot in the buttocks. According to reports, the incident happened around midday today when Gomez, who was serving a 12-month prison sentence, was attempting to...

Maxwell Samuels Dies Following Induced Coma
Maxwell Samuels died today at the age of 74. Samuels was a former commissioner of Police, the first Compol after Belize’s independence and he was a former member of the House of Representatives under the PUP for Belize Rural Central. He was Minister of Transport, Public Utilities and Communications....

The Reporter

Belize seeks technical advice from Trinidad over oil find
The Government of Belize has issued a formal request to the Trinidadian prime minister for assistance in extracting the hard-to-reach oil discovered a month ago in northern Belize, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said Friday. Barrow told reporters that he has reached out to prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to ask her to authorize a team from Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Petrotrin), the 21-year-old state-owned oil company that operates that country’s single petroleum refinery, to travel to Belize and advise Maranco Limited of the optimal extraction methods to employ. “I thought that perhaps their experts would be able to advise us; give us a better handle on what exactly it would take to get at the oil….[that is] lodged in rock formations that are not very porous,” he said. Although Bissessar is yet to respond, Barrow said he expects a favorable response from Belize’s “sister Caricom country”, and he went as far to say that he suspects that Bissessar’s government may even choose to “finance the mounting of the mission to Belize” themselves.

Patrick Jones

Family dispute ends in murder in Punta Gorda town
A family dispute in Punta Gorda town has left one man dead and his step-son accused or murder. The victim has been identified as 69 year old Norman Benguche Senior, a resident of New Road in PG. Police say that on Sunday morning, they visited the Punta Gorda hospital where they saw Benguche suffering from three stab wounds to the upper left side of his back and in a critical condition. Benguche died around 10:25 am on Sunday while undergoing treatment. Preliminary investigation by police reveals that Benguche and his step son, a 24 year old man, were involved in a family dispute.

Citrus growers approve SSB buy-in to CPBL
This weekend in the Stann Creek Valley there was a meeting of the Citrus Growers Association. The growers discussed the recent agreement forged by the Government with the CGA’s Investment Company Limited and Banks Holdings Limited of Barbados, in conjunction with lenders Heritage Bank and the Social Security Board, to quiet concerns of cash flow into Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL), which has been hamstrung by almost constant quarrels between the two leading shareholders. CPBL chairman and SSB representative Doug Singh updated us on the results of the meeting, confirming that the growers approved of the deal as required in ICL’s articles of association, leaving only SSB to do the same on its Board and Investment Committee. And what of the fate of Dr. Henry Canton, the controversial Chief Executive Officer of CPBL? Well, growers were told that officially, he is to be let go, but the details of his departure are not yet finalized.

New president for Galen University
Last week, president of Galen University Dr. Louis Zabaneh resigned. Douglas Singh, a man who wears many hats among which is chairman of Galen’s Board of Trustees, was reported to be his successor. But while he confirmed today that he is assisting in the transition process, he said that he is not the man to succeed Dr. Zabaneh. Singh told reporters that that person is former president and founder of the university, Cypriot Andreas Charalambous. With the confirmation of University of Belize president Dr. Cary Fraser’s departure, both major universities have lost their respective president in one fell swoop.

Marijuana decriminalization moving forward
From the time when he was Minister of Police and Public Safety, Douglas Singh has led the charge to a consideration of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. He said today that the effort is moving forward, but it will have to do so without him as he is now quite busy. According to Singh the committee is gathering information from interested parties including the trade unions. Singh says Belize hopes to beat Jamaica to the punch on the decriminalization issue by the end of the year.

BTL signs collective bargaining agreement with BCWU
Following on from the conclusion earlier this month of negotiations between Belize’s state-run telecommunications company, Belize Telemedia Limited, and the Belize Communication Workers Union (BCWU) on a collective bargaining agreement which we are told was 15 years in the making, today the two sides put pen to paper in Belize City. Chairman of BTL’s Executive Committee, Anwar Barrow, said the agreement represents a positive step forward for union-management relations, which he admits have not always been the best. Moreover, he said, it is a commitment to the future of the company which is represented in its employees. They can now work harder, he said, knowing that they are working for the best company in Belize.

Belizeans to pay more for water
Belizeans will pay about seven cents more for water, as the decision of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Belize Water Services had asked for 16% and initially got 6.4%, but objected on a basis of a certain section of the revenue being wrongly calculated. An independent expert has been appointed and his report was recently submitted. The PUC has now decided to up its rate of increase to 6.9% for all consumers except in Caye Caulker. the Public Utilities Commission has planeed a press briefing for Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm in Belize City.

Former MP passes away
Former government Minister and member of parliament for Belize Rural North Maxwell Samuels, 74, has died. Samuels, who served as Commissioner of Police from Independence to 1986, died late this afternoon in Belize City. Samuels was elected to the House of Representatives on a People’s United Party ticket in 1998 and served as a minister in the Cabinet in various portfolios, including Immigration, Transport and Public Utilities. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Prison inmate shot, allegedly while trying to escape
An inmate of the Belize Central Prison, situated in Hattieville village, Belize District had to be hospitalized today following a mid-morning shooting incident. The inmate has been identified as Marcus Gomez who was serving a 12-month prison sentence. According to prison officials, Gomez was attempting to escape, but prison officers intervened and apprehended him on the compound. It is not certain what exactly transpired, but during the apprehension, Gomez was shot in the buttocks. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment, under police guard.


All you can eat breakfast Buffet at Coco Beach Resort
Coco Beach Resort is 3.5 miles north of town and about a mile north of us at Grand Caribe. The roads were in great shape and it did not take us long to get there. I had been onsite before but never to their restaurant which was really nicely designed inside. The breakfast buffet at Cocoblanca restaurant is served from 7:00am – 11:00am, we caught the tail end of it but there was still a good selection to choose from and we all enjoyed fresh made fully loaded omelets from the omelet bar. After breakfast we decided to head out to the pool bar for another drink and enjoy the view. They have such a fantastic pool there and I love their out door seating.

Barbecued Pork Two Ways or How To Ship A Pig’s Head in Belize
Pork, I think, is Belize’s most delicious meat. When I first had a thick cut pork chop in San Pedro, it was a bit of a revelation. One, because I had been a vegan for the previous year while living in the states. (I found my diet WAY too restrictive when I moved to Belize and my relapse to cheese and then a bit of seafood and then…soon became full blown. It’s not easy when there is not a sushi joint and a Whole Foods supermarket on your block. Also not easy when you order vegetarian at a local restaurant and you get chicken.) My friend invited me to Carlos & Ernie’s Runway Bar just south of the Tropic Air terminal. A great view of the planes landing and taking off, a very cool bar with some great bartenders and one serious BBQ operation. My friend from Belize City, who is a bit of a nut in the very best way, jokingly suggested that he send me the pig head. On a plane. To San Pedro. A PIG’S HEAD.

Sandwich Bread
In this video, I show you a quick and easy recipe for homemade sandwich breads. You'll never want to buy sandwich bread or buns at the store again after you taste how great these one are.

The best thing about Belize
It took me a while to figure out what it was that people liked the most about visiting Belize. Some of you may think it’s the beautiful Cayes, where the Caribbean waters wash ashore to sandy beaches and the cool shade of palm trees. That suggestion sounds likely, after all, Ambergris Caye, Belize’s most popular destination has consecutively been named the best island of the world but thousands of TripAdvisor users. Or how about the interesting culture of the Maya, with their amazing food, bizarre religious practices and fascinating ancient ruins. Others may say the beauty of Belize lies in the great adventures: diving the Blue Hole, swimming with whale sharks, exploring caves that hold sacred Mayan relics and sacrificial remains, jungle expeditions, spelunking or discovering unique wildlife creatures. Again, these suggestions are all serious contenders but of course the answer is never quite that simple. The best thing about Belize is its people and the way of life. It’s the manner of how everyone finds ways to connect with each other. A day doesn’t go by without someone telling you “Gud Ma’ning” or “Tek Care”. You may think that’s not a big deal but it is proven that something as little as a smile from a stranger can set off a chain of positive feelings. As humans we yearn kindness and when we receive it, we are more likely to reciprocate it and in the end, feel better about ourselves.

Way Pass Time to Flush Out Erwin Conteras
Several serious reports have surfaced alleging that Erwin Contreras, Minister of Trade, Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection and Representative for the Cayo West constituency has been involved a number in illicit activities. Research shows that Contreras has amassed considerable wealth since becoming a minister of government in 2008. Contreras’ estate now includes a radio station and large tracts of land in the Cayo area and reportedly several heads of cattle. Recently his involvement with a Lord Neil Benjamin Gibson, purportedly a philanthropist and a major businessman has been cause for major scrutiny. Turns out Benjamin is a major whackadoo who has conjured all he says he is in his head. Best information shows that Gibson purchased his title as “Lord”.

International Sources

Whole Pig Heads Are Now a Thing
Just when you thought "nose to tail" couldn't get any nose-to-tailier, just when you thought "whole animal" couldn't get any wholer, just when you thought offal couldn't get any more offalian, just when you thought paleo couldn't get any more paleotic and just when you thought chefs had run out of ways to offend vegans -- whole pigs' heads are staring up snoutily from platters at trendy restaurants nationwide. For instance, Craigie on Main in Cambridge, MA serves a confit-and-roasted milk-fed pig's head with Peking pancakes, spicy pumpkin sambal, and boudin noir-hoisin sauce: That's right, my multicultural friends: Sambal (the pride of Yogyakarta) and boudin (bonjour, bayou!) -- and the flesh is cut from that hulking skull to stuff crepes à la mu shu pork. Eating entire porcine heads is not itself exactly new. For many centuries a roasted whole boar's head, tusks and all, was a classic English Yuletide dish. (The Hog's Head Inn in the Harry Potter series references that.) The menu for a christening feast held in a Norfolk house on January 2, 1682 included as its main course: "A whole hog's head souc'd with carrots in the mouth, and pendants in the ears, with guilded oranges."


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. A design, architectural and touristic journey of a lifetime hosted by the First Lady of Belize Kim Simplis-Barrow: from Creole and Victorian Colonial architecture seafront hotels to picturesque thatched Balinese inspired beach Cabanas to uber luxurious private boutique resorts, Belize has it all in terms of luxury, comfort and amenities. With 175 miles of unbroken barrier reef, Belize is rustic, breathtaking, full of Caribbean flavor and adventure but also sophisticated, exclusive and surprisingly glamorous. HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS captured the essence and magic of Belize for it's annual TRAVEL ISSUE on stands May 2014.

Video: Belize Rendezvous Caye, 5min.

Video: Belize 2014 - Tikal/Zoo/Xunantunich/Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley/Blue Hole - GoPro, 10min.
San Ignacio, Guatemala, Tikal, The Belize Zoo, Xunantunich, Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye, Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley, The Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, The Aquarium - GoPro 3+

Video: Buceo en Belice, Ambergris Caye, 4min.
Scuba diving

Video: Brandi Paige - Baby, You Got Me (Music Video), min.
this is my new music video to one of my brand new songs called "Baby, You Got Me". It has a very laid back, Caribbean, jazzy, acoustic feel to it. Song was written by Brandi Paige and produced by Allan Von. It was filmed in St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Belize. . . and it has a mermaid surprise at the end! Thanks to Marty O'Farrell for the underwater film work! Check it out!

Video: Relaxing Views & Sounds of Placencia, Belize, 4min.
I hope you will enjoy this postcard of a few first-person perspectives in Placencia, Belize during my trip in early 2014. My family and I enjoyed our stay at the Tradewinds Cabanas. The sounds of the crashing waves and singing birds right outside our windows was truly mesmerizing. I can't wait to go back to the

Video: Belize Blacktip Reef Sharks, 11min.
I was lucky to go on the Belize Blue Hole 3-tank dive trip with the AMIGOS DEL MAR Dive Center in San Pedro on Ambergris Cay in Belize. I recommend that you call these guys to take you on any of their trips. A delicious hot lunch was served on a park island sanctuary for the Red Footed Booby between dives. They are great people providing a fun-filled and safe adventure for all of their guests.

Video: Belize Study Abroad, 14min.
A documentary I filmed in Punta Gorda, Belize. Focusing on the effects of study abroad both negative and positive, and the impact it has on the communities with which we visit.


April 28, 2014


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Couple’s Fight
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, My boyfriend had been living with me for a year and a half when he broke up with me. He is 26 and […]

Wolfe’s Woofer: The Beautiful Widow
“Ah, Mr. Dennis. It is good to see you señor.” “Reuben, it is good to see you, too,” I said. “Thanks for letting me stay in your little house.” “The little house is for my son,” Reuben said. “He’s working in Mexico right now but I know he wouldn’t mind you staying for a week.” […]

Police Report
On Wednesday, April 16th, Nadir Nuñez, 55-year-old San Pedro Traffic Warden, reported to the San Pedro Police that while out patrolling town core on Pescador Drive, he heard a person insulting him with vulgar words. Nuñez approached the person, identified as Justo Francisco Mar, and confronted him. Mar responded by punching Nuñez on the left cheek. Mar continued to attack Nuñez, who fought back to defend himself. Nuñez immediately called for backup, but Mar fled the area. Nuñez has requested court action. Police have since formally arrested and charged Justo Francisco Mar, 38, for wounding.

Misc Belizean Sources

Murder in San Pedro town
A shooting incident in San Pedro town on Saturday night claimed the life of one man. The victim has been identified as Dennis Palacio, also known as Chingy. Reports from San Pedro say the shooting happened around 11:30 pm on Saturday in the San Juan Area. Palacio, according to reports, sustained four gunshot wounds. Police investigations continue.

Daniel Silva wins PUP convention in Cayo Central
San Ignacio businessman Daniel Silva today won the Cayo Central convention and is the new standard bearer for the People’s United Party (PUP) in that division. A total of 1,933 persons voted in today’s convention. Daniel Silva garnered 1,426 votes, while Luke Espat obtained 487 votes. There were 19 spoiled ballots. The hotly contested convention was held at the Santa Elena Roman Catholic primary school in Santa Elena town. Some observers note that when the polls closed at 5 pm and when the counting started just after 6 pm, Silva jumped out in front and never looked back, easily winning the convention. The atmosphere around the convention venue was like that of a general election. When he spoke with reporters just before the announcement of the official figures, Espat said that it was a hard-fought convention.

Belize Sweet Potato vs Irish Potato Production Industries
“Potato (Solanum tuberosum) originated some 8,000 years ago in high-altitude tropical areas of Peru, where a staggering 5,500 cultivated varieties have been developed by generations of farmers. Taken by the Spanish to Europe in the 16th century, the tuber quickly adapted to northern growing conditions and soon became a staple food at a time of rapid population growth. From Europe it spread further across the globe: today potatoes are grown on an estimated 180,000 sq km of farmland, ranging from China’s Yunnan plateau and the subtropical lowlands of India, to Java’s equatorial highlands and the steppes of the Ukraine. Potatoes are also crucial to the food security of hundreds of millions of people in the developing world, where annual consumption has risen from 9 kg/capita in 1961-63 to around 21kg today. While potato output has declined in Europe, growth is so strong in developing countries – notably China and India – that global production has nearly doubled over the last 20 years. Since the early 1960s, FAO says, the increase in the production area dedicated to potatoes in the developing world has outstripped that of all other food commodities, and by 2020 demand for potato is expected to be double that of 1993.

Belize can save over a billion dollars by becoming more energy efficient
Switching to energy efficient equipment can save the Government millions of dollars in electricity, says the Ministry of Energy Science and Technology and Public Utilities. Referencing preliminary findings from a study conducted last year by consultants, Project Manager for renewable energy projects in the Ministry of Energy, Jorge Aldana said the preliminary findings have targeted key areas where substitutions can be made to decrease energy intensity. From 2012 to 2033, Belize can save an estimated $1.6254 billion, in electricity, just by becoming more energy efficient, Aldana explained.

Corozal Police Report
DRUG TRAFFICKING: At around 3:00 a.m. Sunday April 27th Corozal Police were on mobile patrol in the south end area, Corozal Town, where their attention was drawn to a male person of dark complexion dressed in black t-shirt and green short pants acting suspicious after seeing the Police. As a result, the mobile patrol stopped and a searched was conducted on the said male person for illegal drugs and firearm. A search on the left front pants pocket and left upper arm pit, lead to the discovery of two transparent parcels containing green leafy vegetable substance suspected to be cannabis. The male person was informed of the offence committed, cautioned and placed under arrest. The Suspected drugs along with the accused were then taken to the Corozal Police Station. The male person identified himself as 43 year old Dalkeith Leslie, Laborer of Dangriga Town, Stann Creek District. The suspected drug was then weighed in his presence which amounted to 453.5 grams of cannabis. He was subsequently arrested and charged for the offence of drug trafficking.

Earth Day Clean Up Campaign
Earth Day Clean Up Campaign under scorching conditions but a huge success. Earth Day was commemorated, yesterday April 26th”. Friends of Corozal United for Sustainability (FOCUS) heads the “Adopt the Corozal Green Mile” trash clean-up campaign. Women, children and residents from all sectors of Corozal, including the Corozal Police Cadets, Corozal Junior College, Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM) started Earth Day’s trash clean-up campaign from the northern border Santa Elena in Corozal to the southern boundary in Buena Vista Village on the Phillip Goldson Highway (formerly Northern Highway). After the clean-up activity was completed around 11:30 a.m., participants met at in Mangrove Park, Finca Solana area where there were invited speakers, food, prizes and an educational tour to finalize the day’s activities to express appreciation to the participating working groups.

Passion of the Christ
Some powerful pictures from the Passion of the Christ re-enactment procession which went through Benque last week. "Benque Viejo Passion Play images. Not much to say, images speak for themselves. Beautifully created, well directed, passionately acted.... gets better every year. Please feel free to share and tag someone you know. Photography courtesy Subrata Basu."

BBG Professional Gardeners' Programme
The Belize Botanic Garden is gearing up to offer another Profession Gardeners' Programme. It starts on May 26th, the classes are free, and they are looking for 12 students. Contact Natalie at [email protected] for more information. There is also a webpage with more information. The current class finishes on May 23rd. They recently installed a garden at the little bus stop along the George Price Highway at the Chial Road turnoff.

Belmopan Football Awards
The Belmopan City Council had an awards night for the Belmopan Football Association Executive and the coaches of the Kids Cup. The 33 coaches were also given awards for their hard work and dedication to the youth. Congratulations! Album 1, 2, 3.

San Ignacio businessman Daniel Silva today won the Cayo Central convention and is the new standard bearer for the People’s United Party (PUP) in that division. A total of 1,933 persons voted in today’s convention. Daniel Silva garnered 1,426 votes, while Luke Espat obtained 487 votes. There were 19 spoiled ballots.

The Reporter

Cadets take part in sports day
Police Cadets from rural Belize are today taking part in a day of sporting events. The event is taking place at the Elton Gillett Park in Burrell Boom Village and has the participation of 125 youths from Hattieville, Ladyville, Bermudian Landing and Burrell Boom. Winning teams will receive trophies at the end of the day’s event, which culminates at 6 p.m.

Belize looks to Trinidad for technical advice with oil find
The Government of Belize has issued a formal request to the Trinidadian prime minister for assistance in extracting the hard-to-reach oil discovered a month ago in northern Belize, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said Friday. Barrow told reporters that he has reached out to prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to ask her to authorize a team from Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Petrotrin), the 21-year-old state-owned oil company that operates that country’s single petroleum refinery, to travel to Belize and advise Maranco Limited of the optimal extraction methods to employ. “I thought that perhaps their experts would be able to advise us; give us a better handle on what exactly it would take to get at the oil….[that is] lodged in rock formations that are not very porous,” he said. Although Bissessar is yet to respond, Barrow said he expects a favorable response from Belize’s “sister Caricom country”, and he went as far to say that he suspects that Bissessar’s government may even choose to “finance the mounting of the mission to Belize” themselves.

Chikungunya virus confirmed in Antigua
Antigua has reported its first case of Chikungunya, an Aedes aegypti mosquito-borne disease that causes a dengue-like sickness. On Friday Antigua and Barbuda health officials revealed that the first patient is a man in his mid 60’s. Dr. Orita Zachariah, the Antiguan Medical Officer of Health, said that the case was detected on April 22 and the patient works in the capital, St. John’s. The health authorities say they are also awaiting test results from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) of four other suspected cases. The report came less than 24 hours after Saint Vincent and the Grenadines confirmed that they have an outbreak of the virus.

Popes John Paul II and John XXIII declared saints
Popes John Paul II and John XXIII are now saints. Pope Francis declared the deceased pontiffs saints today at Saint Peter’s Square in Rome in front of hundreds of thousands watching worldwide. He praised his two predecessors as “men of courage” during the historic canonisation. This is the first time that two popes have been declared saints in one day. Pope Emeritus Benedict, who resigned in that capacity one year ago was present to witness the event, as were roughly 100 foreign delegations. The Vatican estimated some 800,000 pilgrims to be present to see the two-hour ceremony first-hand. Huge screens were installed at strategic points in the city to accommodate those who couldn’t make it into Saint Peter’s Square.

Youth drowns in Macal River
A 14 year-old boy reportedly drowned in the Macal River on Saturday. The Reporter understands that 14 year old Jonathan Requena went swimming along with another youth around two p.m. and that while swimming, he began experiencing problems. Requena’s friend has reported that he and other youths nearby retrieved him and attempted to perform CPR but their efforts were futile. Police are investigating. Requena’s drowning brings to four the number of drownings that have occurred in the Macal in April alone.

Post mortem certifies woman died of natural causes; community not convinced
The post mortem examination on Myra Miller, 68, certifies that she died of brain damage due to natural cause, much to the surprise of fellow residents of Boston Village, Old Northern Highway. The villagers point to several “unexplained scenarios” at Miller’s home where she was discovered on Good Friday evening for their reaction to the autopsy results. They question the wounds/injuries on her head and over her body, the window that was “pried” open, her missing dvd player, and when they found the deceased widow, she kept saying it was “the man” who had caused her harm. The police, meantime, are still continuing with their investigations into the death of the Jamaican retiree, and some of her neighbours have vowed to carry out their own investigations. Chairman of Boston Village, Victor Cortez, who was also Miller’s neighbour, was one of the first persons by her side following her discovery. He is not one bit convinced by the findings. Cortez responded to a comment on his Facebook page following the autopsy results, “you bet i will not let this one go off so easy”.

Police cadets shine during weekend disciplines
A number of youths who make up the rural Police Cadet units in the Belize District won awards for excelling in sporting events on Saturday. They received medals and trophies in each of the disciplines. In football, the Ladyville Cadets won first place while the Hattieville Cadets claimed second prize. Michael Flowers of the Ladyville Cadets earned an award for scoring the most goals and Joseph Seguro of the Burrell Boom Cadets snagged the Most Valued Player title. Shawn Flores of the Ladyville Cadets too home a prize as the Best Gold Keeper. After several innings in the sport of softball, River Valley Cadets captured first, while Hattieville Cadets placed second. Winford Broaster of River Valley won the MVP title. In basketball, the Ladyville Cadets conquered the Hattiville Cadetsto place first. Allen Anderson from the Ladyville team took home the prize as the MVP, and his teammates, Michael Flowers and Allen Anderson earned the awards for Best Defensive and Best Offensive Players respectively.

San Ignacio Market to receive upgrade
After only a few years since its construction, the San Ignacio Town market is about to receive an aesthetical upgrade. San Ignacio Mayor John August told The Reporter that his municipality is in the process of receiving the gift of US $65,000, which will be invested in a food court, awnings to protect shoppers from the elements, and technical training for vendors on hygiene and packaging. An added feature will be the development of a farmers’ manual to guide them on how to conduct their day-to-day business.


Honeymoon For One Please: A Blissful 24 Hours at Portofino Beach Resort, Ambergris Caye
One night in the honeymoon suite at the gorgeous Portofino Resort - as you can imagine, I was pretty excited. Portofino is located 6 miles north on Ambergris Caye along a pretty gorgeous stretch of beach and even more gorgeous reef and snorkelling area called Mexico Rocks. I was greeted at the dock with ice cold eucalyptus wash clothes and cocktails. Love. Portofino is what I love in a resort in Belize. You KNOW that you are in Belize. Beautiful Belizean hard woods, palapas, fabrics and arts. This spot is so tastefully done. So many pictures…so much gushing…I know! But I am absolutely in love with Portofino. So charming, so personalized, so beautiful. AND, another way to my heart, the best internet service I’ve experience at any hotel or resort in Belize.

“It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Let’s go back a bit. I got up this morning at the place I’m staying at for four weeks to greet John (he’s the less attractive one out of the two people I’m staying with) when he came out if his bedroom. I gave him the old tail wagging routine to make him feel like I missed him, let him stroke me, wagged my tail some more and then we headed downstairs. He then went into the room that they call the kitchen (I’m not allowed in there) where he put some brown stuff in a mug, poured boiling water over it (strange,very strange), grabbed his (they have ‘him’ and ‘hers’) iPad and went out onto the veranda with me following him. And that’s when it all started. I heard him muttering something about it being Sunday – a day of rest – and how he felt like taking a break from, as he put it, “knocking out an edition for the blog”. He also mentioned something about watching the Liverpool v Chelsea game before turning to me and saying “It’s about time you did something for your keep. You can churn out today’s edition”. So there you are, for today’s offering you have the pleasure – and I mean PLEASURE (I’m a modern blogger so I like the use of caps) – of me.

International Sources

Sugar Production Gains Traction as Jamaica, Guyana Lead the Way
The chairman of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean, Karl James, says that after a slow start to the 2013/2014 sugar crop, the production of sugar in the Caribbean is gaining momentum. According to the SAC, Jamaica led the way in regional sugar production in March with 37,990 metric tons, followed closely by Guyana with 37,794 metric tons. Belize recorded production of 23,767 metric tons and Barbados totaled 1,788 metric tons. The SAC says for the current crop, the region has supplied 151,527 metric tons of sugar to the European Union; 5,570 metric tons to the Caribbean market and 2,552 metric tons to other markets.

The Ancient Maya and Virtual Worlds: Different Perspectives on Material Meanings
A UC researcher explores the Maya perspective on the material world and begins to uncover parallels with today’s online culture. If Facebook was around 1,400 years ago, the ancient Maya might have been big fans of the virtual self. The Maya believed that part of your identity could inhabit material objects, like a courtier’s mirror or sculptor’s carving tool. Maya might even name these objects, talk to them or take them to special events. They considered these items to be alive. The practice of sharing your identity with material possessions might seem unusual in a modern context. But is it that different from today’s selfie-snapping, candy-crushing online culture, where social media profiles can be as important to a person’s identity as his or her real-world interactions? Even money is virtual now, as digital currency such as Bitcoin gains popularity.


Video: Reefs In The Balance, 20min.
Shot and edited in only 2 weeks, the Marine Conservation Expeditions (MCE) team delivered this short film to the people of Belize. 'Reefs In The Balance' was showcased at two local outreach events and shown on national television. Appealing to truly adventurous and influential people wanting more from their precious travel time, MCE´s filmmaking expeditions give individuals the unique chance to work with a dream team of international filmmaking talent on documentaries that leave potent environmental and social legacies. Our primary objective is to create films and outreach events that inspire local participation in marine conservation. With world class talent, we contribute professional media that directly supports local outreach efforts.

Video: Belize - BV Expedition 2-14 (PART 4), 5min.
My expedition together with the amazing Blue Ventures Team and volunteers in Belize, 14 feb - 27 mar 2014. More videos soon, stay tubed. Like, subscribe and expect every part of nature. "Based in Sarteneja and Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve our Belize expedition involves volunteers in marine conservation research and community projects as you immerse yourself in the culture and marine environment of Belize. "

Video: Sarteneja Baptist High School on EPI course, March 2014, Calabash Caye, Belize, 12min.

Video: Go Pro Belize Scuba Diving, 19min.

Video: Ambergris Caye, Belize scuba diving, 8min.

Video: Xunantunich, Barton Creek. Belize, April 2014, 10min.
Mayan site of Xunantunich, the Stone Maiden. Kayaking trip to underground caverns of Barton Creek Cave.

Video: Belize Bridge and Waters from 1920s -1970s, 3min.
Belize old pictures of the bridge and waters

Video: Belize Beaches, 3min.

Video: San Ignacio, Cahal Pech. Belize, April 2014, 7min.
San Ignacio, Belize. Mayan ruins of Cahal Pech.

Video: Skydive belize, 5min.

Video: Belize Zoo, April 9, 2014, 7min.
Visit Belize Zoo to see wild animals of the Belize jungles up close.

Video: Best of Belize February 2014, 14min.
Blount Small Ship Adventure

Video: More Belize diving with Paul and Lisa, 13min.

Video: Belize: Study Abroad, 14min.

April 27, 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

When will the Water Taxi Terminal be operational?
On March 14th, The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Manuel Heredia Jr. inaugurated the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal in grand style. But over one month after the glamorous inauguration, the Water Taxi Terminal, along with the kiosks are still not operational. The San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk Project was the last project to be completed and delivered to the Government of Belize under the Sustainable Tourism Project (STP). The SPT has exhausted its funds and closed down. According to Christy Mastry who was the Director of STP, the final legal procedures are being put in place to hand over the facility to the Belize Border Management Agency who will be overseeing and managing body. Mastry explained that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is being drafted, with the input of the Ministry of Tourism and the San Pedro Town Council, and once that has been completed and accepted, the terminal will be opened. “The legal parameters are being taken care of before we open the terminal to international boats only,” said Mastry. When questioned if other local water taxi companies will be using the facility, Mastry explained, “that is the future plan.” According to Mastry, the relevant authorities will have to ensure that all vessels used by the local water taxi companies can access the terminal without any problems. She said that all the vessels used by the water taxi companies, with the exception of two inboard engine vessels can navigate through the lagoon and access the water terminal without major problems. “Before the management authority requests that the two companies relocate to the lagoon area, we have to ensure that all of their vessels can be accommodated,” explained Mastry.

Kent “Bob” Gabourel to be featured on BBC World News
Belize’s first ever triathlete to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Kent “Bob” Gabourel will be featured on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World News on Wednesday April 30th. The islander was interviewed by a BBC television crew who was in Belize as part of the Queen’s Baton Tour, which made a stop in the country ahead of the 20th Commonwealth Games. Belize is amongst 71 Commonwealth countries and British territories that will participate in the competitions which will run from July 23rd to August 3rd in Glasgow, Scotland. One of the Belizean athletes participating in the 2014 Commonwealth Games is Gabourel, who will be competing in the Olympics Distance One-Man Triathlon. According to BBC Sports reporter and television presenter Mark Beaumont, BBC has been featuring an athlete in each of the Commonwealth countries and British Territories where the Queen’s Baton makes a stop. “Besides filming the Queen’s Baton Relay, we are featuring athlete stories. There are 17 sports competed at the Commonwealth games and so we have a different focus and different athlete in each country we go to. The interesting part about filming Bob is not only that he is the first Belizean going to compete in triathlon, but the fact that he is doing a lot for the community, working with youngsters, getting them off the streets and into various sports.

San Pedro Lions Club to host 36th Annual National Convention
The convention will kick off with an opening ceremony on Friday May 2nd at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium with the attendance of several dignitaries and Lions members from Belize and Chetumal, Mexico. Following the opening ceremony, Lion members and guests will have the opportunity to visit the various hospitality booths prepared by the different clubs. On the second day of the event, Lions will be involved in several housekeeping matters. The members will also participate in a Lions Cabinet Meeting in which each club’s president will report on activities undertaken by their respective clubs. The highlight for the day will be the Queen pageant, held that evening when the Zone 59 Queen will be crowned. On the final day, Lion members will attend a solidarity mass at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church at 8AM, which will be followed by a parade through the principal streets of San Pedro Town. During the course of the convention, the Lions will have the opportunity to do other fun events including enjoying a trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Congratulations Tigersharks!!
The San Pedro Tigersharks have officially clinched the top spot in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) after winning tonight's game against Cayo Western Ballaz 75-70. Although the Ballaz led by as much as 9 pts in the first 3 quarters, Tigersharks came from behind and took the win in the 4th. Congratulations Tigersharks!!

Misc Belizean Sources

Engineer deploys to Belize for humanitarian mission
Each day is 12 to 14 hours long. It’s hot. It’s humid. And, there is little relief from the elements. He spends most days doing things like moving cement blocks, cutting through concrete and spreading mortar adhesive carefully between each layer of blocks until he and his team reach 15-courses high. Airman 1st Class Sterling Depew, a 820th REDHORSE Squadron pavements and heavy equipment operator, deployed from the Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is currently in Belize as part of the annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise. He’s on his first deployment and is excited to be able to come to a new country to work in a joint environment alongside partner nation militaries. His mission is to assist Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Belize Defence Force engineers in building four school additions and one hospital clinic. “I love working in a joint environment and communication has been great with the Belizean Defence Force engineers … they are hard-workers and bring knowledge from their experience and ways of doing things in their country,” the Airman said.

Marine puts his construction company on hold, deploys for USSOUTHCOM exercise
A U.S. Marine Reservist has closed his construction company for two weeks to deploy to Belize in support of the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise. Marine Sgt. Kyle Dugas, Marine Wing Support Squadron, Det. 472, Bravo, out of Chicopee, Mass., is working here as a technical engineering craftsman at the Edward P. Yorke school addition construction site project in Belize City, Belize. During the exercise, civil engineers from both the U.S. and Belize are working together to construct a hospital clinic in Belmopan, three school additions in Belize City, and one school addition in Hattieville. The schools will support furthering the education of children in the country. Dugas, from Plainfield, Conn., is very familiar with exercise objectives. Having been part of New Horizons’ exercises in Belize ‘13, Peru and the Dominican Republic, this is his fourth exercise with USSOUTHCOM.

Un Viaje de Ida y Vuelta Gala Concert
The Un Viaje de Ida y Vuelta Gala Concert at the Cayo Welcome Center FRIDAY night was great. That soprano voice was piercing! The Institute for Social and Cultural Research got some good pictures. It's great to see music every week at the Cayo Welcome Center, the new cultural center of Cayo.

Tabu Grand Opening
Tabu, Cayo’s newest club, is having their grand opening LAST NIGHT. It’s located in the Manzanero Mall downtown, and it’s a huge club with multiple floors. DJ Russian and DJ Orsy will be there mixing tonight, so check them out after the Western Ballaz game. See all the great events going on this weekend on the Cayo Event Calendar.

ATLIB Football Tournament
The ATLIB Football Tournament is Saturday starting at 3:00pm, and Sunday, starting at 9:00am. "The ATLIB finals will be held April 26, and 27, 2014 and will be hosted by SHJC and will take place in San Ignacio at the Norman Broaster Stadium on April 26 and 27, 2014. The game schedule for the first day is as follows: On Sunday, the first game begins at 9:00 a.m for third place Male followed by third place female match."

Cross Country Cycling Classic in Cayo
The Institute for Social and Cultural Research has some great pictures of the race going by Columbus park. "Photos of this year's race at the halfway point in San Ignacio!"

BAY Basketball Playoffs
Last night was the start of the BAY basketball tournament playoffs. They really have some great team names. Next weekend is the finals. "The Belmopan Active Youths start their basketball playoffs tonight. They continue tomorrow night, and conclude next weekend."

History of Slavery and Emancipation in Belize
Join us Tuesday April 29th for the official launch of the exhibition, "History of Slavery and Emancipation in Belize", produced by the Institute for Social & Cultural Research . It chronicles the trials and tribulations of a repressed people and will remain on display until late June 2014.


“Money (Thats What I Want)” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With the bonding session finished it takes no more of me than to open the front door (yes, THAT front door) and let him out to take care of his ‘needs’ (he chosen three locations in the garden and our challenge is to reduce this to one. With this taken care of its straight in to ‘me time’. Make the mug of black coffee, grab the iPad and onto the veranda. Ziggy joins me when he’s done ‘what a dog needs to do’ but is quite content to just sit by my chair. As long as I give him the occasional stroke that is. This ‘me time’ sets me up for the day. Don’t know why because I don’t feel that I do a lot. Yes I might send the occasional email. I read The Times online. I read some blogs. Touch base with Facebook. But nothing life changing. Yet it puts me in a great frame of mind. My variation of transcendental meditation? I don’t emit a sound and I definitely do not have a mantra (well not yet anyway) but after a bit of ‘me time’ I feel totally relaxed and if I was suffering from any stresses they’ve gone by the end of my session. Maharishi John? Why not? I mean I do like Indian cuisine! In my transcendental state I showered, shaved and got dressed (well at least I think I did!) and then headed in to town to pay the cable and property tax bills stopping off afterwards at Estel’s Dine By the Sea for breakfast (it would have been rude not to was my way of thinking!).

International Sources

This Swimmer Noticed A Shark Was Following Him; The Dolphins Noticed, Too
A group of dolphins apparently came to the aid of a British long-distance swimmer just in the nick of time. Adam Walker was on a 16-mile swim in the choppy waters of New Zealand's Cook Strait on April 22 when he spotted a great white shark beneath him, Yahoo! News reports. A pod of 10 dolphins quickly surrounded him and stayed by his side until the shark swam off. Walker posted images of his guardian dolphins on Facebook a day after the rigorous swim. "I'd like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home!!!" he wrote of his brief time with the dolphins.

McDonald's Calls Report on Foreign Workers 'Bullshit'
After the CBC reported that McDonald's Canada has been abusing the country's Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program — designed to allow employers to legally import employees from other countries to fill jobs Canadians do not want — Employment Minister Jason Kenney temporarily suspended the program while his department investigates the allegations. On a call with franchisees, McDonald's Canada CEO John Betts lost his cool while acknowledging the situation, and called the attack from the CBC "bullshit." A recording of the call was leaked to the press. The CBC's original report told the story of a group of foreign workers who were recruited from Belize. Jaime Montero and four others were flown into to Edmonton and forced to live in an apartment together. Half of their wages were garnished to pay for the apartment, leaving them with less than $800 per month to live on. When Montero complained, he was fired and evicted; he has since been sleeping in homeless shelters.

Two multinational meetings will be held in Mérida, with the presence of 23 Presidents
According to information issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores), two multinational meetings will be held on the Yucatan capital, where 23 presidents and Foreign Ministers of several countries from South, Central America and the Caribbean will be present. The “Association of Caribbean States” and the “Mexico-Caricom Summit III” are scheduled for 28 and 29 of April in the city of Mérida, Yucatán. 23 Presidents, along with some Ambassadors, Foreign Ministers and other diplomats, will be attending these two Summits in the city of Mérida, which represents the largest international meeting of heads of state and probably the most important diplomatic and political meeting in the history of our city since the visit of US President George W. Bush in 2007. Since Thursday April 24, 2014, officers of the Mexican Army and Presidential Guard are camping near the Polifunctional Municipal Gym (Gimnasio Polifuncional), that will be used as a Command Center during the Summit.


Video: Rebecca Stirm Earth Day Shoot, min.
Rebecca Stirm has a behind the scenes video out for Earth Day, and she has a dress made with organic materials, like fungus. She has the talented Vanessa Awe doing makeup. It was shot around Roaring Creek, near Guanacaste National Park. Well done. Monica Gallardo posted some pictures, and here are the fashion shots, on her blog from the shoot.

Video: The Manatee in Belize, Sailing 2014 MBT, 2min.

Video: Snorkelling in Belize, 5min.
Meet the nurse shark, sea turtle and lots of other beautiful coral life at the Belize Coral Reef

Video: Belize City Municipal (TZA) to San Pedro on Tropic Air, 9min.
Aircraft Cessna GrandCaravan C208B Registration: V3-HHC (G1000 equipped) Tropic Air Belize

Video: Diving April 2014 Ambergris Caye, Belize (British Honduras), 13min.
Ramon's Villiage and diving right outside of the barrier reef that runs along the coast of Ambergris Caye; Caves, Mountains , Valleys, and of course sharks.

Video: How Belize was named - As told by Prince Charles Perez, 12min.
A local man on the street in Belize tells us how Belize was named.

Video: Belize Sun Dancer April 19-26, 2014, 17min.
A week aboard the Belize Sun Dancer II as 'The Video Guy'. My first production using my new Canon G16 Camera and underwater housing, MacBook Pro with Final Cut Video Editor program.

Video: Belize Diving with Paul and Lisa, 13min.
Turtle, angel fish, nurse sharks, lots of little fish, lobster, tang, raccoon fish, grouper.

Video: Belize Design, 2min.
The story of how the new Belize Identity/logo was created.

April 26, 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

PUP Councilor Wally Nuñez submits Declaration of Financial Affairs to Integrity Commission
The only elected People’s United Party (PUP) San Pedro Town Councilor, Gualberto “Wally” Nuñez has submitted his declaration of financial affairs to the Office of the Integrity Commission. The annual declaration is a requirement for anyone in public life, including politicians, under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Under the act, anyone who becomes “a person in public life” is required to submit a sworn declaration of their assets, income and liabilities for the year prior to being elected, every year for the entire period they are elected and a final declaration for the year after serving as person of public life. According to Nuñez, it is his hopes that other members of the council and other people in public life follow through with the requirements as mandated by the law in Belize. “By me coming to the media, I am hoping to create some level of awareness about what people in public life are required to do to ensure that we do not foster corruption. I am also hoping that I am not the only one doing it. I also want to challenge every person in public life, even if it is from my same party, to do what is required by law. We need to be clear with the community we serve, open and transparent with our lives,” said Nuñez.

Shooting in San Juan Area leaves more questions than answers
Shortly after 9PM on Thursday April 24th, San Juan residents ran for cover as gunshots rang through the neighborhood. The sound of gunfire is sadly not uncommon for the area, and residents are understandably upset. A few witnesses who asked to rename anonymous for safety reasons told The San Pedro Sun that sometime around 9PM, six gunmen, dressed in full black and wearing bandanas [on their faces]came from a mangrove area along the lagoon side. One witness stated that the men pulled out several guns and aimed them towards a group of men sitting on two separate golf carts in front of the Campos residence situated on Caniste Street. The barrage of bullets (some residents claim hearing as many as 16 shots) sent the group of men running for cover, while scared neighbors, including children, ran inside their homes. The gunmen then jumped inside a waiting vessel and fled the area.

Overcrowding causes a pier to collapse into the sea on Caye Caulker
A large crowd of visitors to Caye Caulker got the scare of their lives when a portion of a docking facility on the island plunged into the sea. The incident occurred around 4:45PM on Saturday April 19th at the San Pedro Belize Express (SPBE) water taxi pier. Luckily no one was seriously hurt. However, many people who fell into the water, damaged and lost their personal items, including electronics. “SPBE water taxi takes this opportunity to express our sincerest apologies. SPBE truly values its passengers and is making every effort to fortify its ports and implement additional safety features to ensure this incident is not repeated,” ended the release. The visitors who landed in the water, including a large number of children, were pulled out of the water with the assistance of people in the general area as well as other law enforcement agencies. The Commissioner of Ports, Merlene Bailey Martinez is quoted as indicating that the Belize Port Authority is reviewing the incident, but at this time has no sanctions planned against the company. This is not the first time that a portion of a dock has collapsed due to overcrowding. Last year, a similar incident occurred when a portion of a bar establishment collapsed over open waters in San Pedro Town.

Belizean beaten, then shot and killed in a hotel in Melchor, Guatemala
A young Belizean from western Belize was shot and killed in Guatemala over the Easter weekend. He is 22-year-old Edwin Javier Chan, a resident of Benque Viejo del Carmen Town in the Cayo District. According to multiple media reports from Guatemala, the employee of Tropic Air was killed sometime between Friday April 18th and Saturday April 19th in the bordering municipality of Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. Melchor de Mencos is known to be very dangerous, and gun violence is common. It is not the first time that a Belizean has been killed in the bordering municipality. In October of 2012, 23-year-old Miguel Gonzalez, also a resident of Benque Viejo del Carmen Town, was killed in Melchor. No one was ever arrested for his death.

Ambergris Today

Easter Monday Cycling Race held in San Pedro
The San Pedro Cycling Club is a very active group made up of very young and enthusiastic members who are always practicing and ready for any race. The Club held its 3rd Annual Easter Monday Cycling Race on Monday, April 21, 2014, which consisted of two races. The two divisions included Juvenile Category (cyclist 13 years and under) and Junior/Senior Category. All top three winners received trophies while other participants received medals for their participation and great efforts. Thanks go out to all cyclists and everyone who came out to support the island’s cyclists. Congratulations to all the winners and participants.

Tropic Air Announces Addition Of King Air Aircraft To Its Fleet
Tropic Air announced on Thursday, April 24, 2014 the arrival of its Beechcraft King Air A100 aircraft to Belize. The King Air is a pressurized, air-conditioned, high-speed, twin-engine, jet prop aircraft. Its pressurized cabin is designed for high altitude and high-speed (250 mph) flights. "Its two abreast seating in a 12 passenger configuration will also allow for the higher level of executive seating that our passengers are asking for" said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. "We were pleased to introduce the modern glass cockpit Cessna Caravan to Belize, and now we are pleased to once again raise the bar of air comfort for our passengers with the King Air" After a period of crew and support service familiarization, the King Air will be used on routes to Roatan, Merida and daily flights to Cancun. It will also appear on other international routes, such as San Pedro Sula and Flores, Peten from time to time.

Misc Belizean Sources

Cayo Film Festival Weekend
The Cayo Film Festival is today and Sunday at the Cayo Welcome Center. They've been uploading stills from the interviews that took place last Summer from the Belize Documentary Field Film Course, where most of the documentaries came from. Albums include: Mr. Canto Maya Shaman, San Antonio Women's Coop, Maria Garcia.

Mom's Holy Saturday 9 Ball Tournament
Mom's Backyard had another 9 ball tournament. It was on Holy Saturday, and to celebrate, they had their delicious wings for only $1.

SAGA and Watson College of Education- International Studies Program
( 6 photos) Saga Humane Society was thrilled to have interns from UNC Wilmington helping out at Saga Humane Society this week. These wonderful volunteers are here on the island for 5 weeks student teaching in our local schools. While schools are on Easter Break, they have been walking dogs and painting fences at the clinic and kennels at Fort Dog. This program has been bringing students to Ambergris for the past six years . We are honored to be on their itinerary and hope to work with them in the future on humane education during their visits. Thank you interns, Dr. Catapono and Dr. Kabasko for helping in our community. Bark Bark Meow for the UNC Wilmington Seahawks!

George Price Hwy between Mile 12 and 13 repair
The Ministry of Works and Transport hereby informs the General Public that the George Price Highway between Mile 12 and 13 will be undergoing urgent culvert replacement from Tuesday April 29 to Saturday May 3, 2014. Traffic will be limited to one lane at a time and therefore motorists are advised to exercise extreme caution when approaching the work area. The Ministry of Works and Transport apologizes for any inconvenience caused.

Businessman charged for the crime of rape
Police in San Ignacio town say they have charged a Belize City busnessman in connection with a rape report. 31 year old Garth Longsworth who works as a sales and marketing manager from Belize City, had been formally arrested and charged for the crime of rape. The charge follows a report from a 16 year old girl that she was raped early last month.

Terrorists allegedly target Orange Walk family
The owners of a business establishment in Orange Walk town have allegedly been the target of an extortion scheme. According to reports, two weeks ago, the Cabanas family which owns one of the largest wholesale and retail outlets in Orange Walk, was send a video threat demanding a million dollars. The threat of death if the money is not handed over, was taken seriously by the family and they have turned the matter over to the police department. The police department is tight-lipped about the investigation or the contents of the video threat. But sources say that masked men are shown in the video directly addressing the Cabanas family in Spanish and making the million dollar demand or in default, members of the family would be killed.

Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley can’t run again
He has single-handedly restored Belize City residents’ confidence in municipal affairs and been a credit to his party, the UDP. But because of one missed deadline, the door has slammed shut on Mayor Darrell Bradley opportunity to run for a second term – at least, not under the UDP. Today, his party’s leader and Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, ended all speculation, saying that the race would not be reopened except in the very unlikely scenario that the current candidates dropped out. How much of a loss is this for the UDP, going into an election cycle which is considered tough for the ruling party?

Prime Minister reassures community after spike in murders
Seven killings in ten days is enough to strike fear in any community, but the beleaguered Belize City Southside has seen more than its fair share. Earlier this week Police established a semi-permanent command post in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, nexus of the last three murders in the City. Today, the Prime Minister announced a purchase of more weapons for Police. But in addition to those, there is dialogue. The Prime Minister says principals of the area met this afternoon with authorities to find a way out of the violence.

Constable jailed for unlicensed gun and ammo
Former Special Constable Jose Haylock, 36, charged with three counts of firearm offenses: keeping an unlicensed firearm (one count) and keeping unlicensed ammunition (two counts), was sentenced this evening to five years on each count by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith after changing his plea from not guilty, to guilty. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently, so Haylock will only be jailed for five years. Haylock changed his plea after seeing videotapes of the search at his house, which were introduced at the trial. The search occurred on February 11, 2012 at Haylock’s residence on Louise Bevans Street and was carried out by members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU).

Transportation Master Plan looks at key issues
The Government of Belize has engaged technical experts from the Republic of Korea to investigate Belize’s transportation issues in air and on land and sea and prepare a plan to establish key priorities for the nation as it looks ahead to coming developments. Senator Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities, under whose Ministry the plan is being developed, notes that a lot of factors go into the decision-making on plans to possibly upgrade the road to the Altun Ha Maya ruin; re-activate the Commerce Bight port, and pave the Coastal Road. She cites development of tourism and a need for more options for business and tourist interests to access the South as examples.

New Petrocaribe office opens
The Petrocaribe agreement is the cornerstone of diplomatic relations of Belize and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Since the program was restarted in 2012, some $190 million in sold petroleum at concessionary terms has been loaned to Belize, of which about 40% is paid back upfront. The remainder is treated as a long-term loan payable at 1% interest over 25 years, and must be used for projects that target poverty alleviation and human and social development. The office of Alba Petrocaribe Energy Belize Limited, which is overseeing the working relations of the agreement, was opened in Belize City today, and executive of PDV Caribe, one of the partners in the agreement, Ricardo Garcia, says Venezuela is pleased to continue to program with the Caribbean and Central American states.

New directors appointed to the Board of BTB
A new Board of Directors for the Belize Tourism Board has been named. A statement from the Ministry of Tourism announced today that the new board, whose mandate is effective Wednesday, April 23 and ending in 2016, is headed by Acting Chairman Einer Gomez, who is the General Manager of Ramon’s Village Resort. The substantive Chairman designate is Dr. Carla Barnett; but her appointment, according to the official announcement “will not take effect until later this year when she has completed her current assignment at the Caribbean Development Bank.” The other members of the new BTB board are: Herbert Haylock, Belize Tourism Industry Association Representative; Doug Thompson, Belize Hotel Association Representative; Gaspar Guerrero, Local Airline Sector Representative; Neil Bradley, Cayes & Outer Islands Representative; Glen Eiley, Southern Region Representative; Rosendo Urbina Sr., Northern Region Representative; Gamayel Babb, Legal Expertise; Christy Mastry, Project Management and Planning and Tracy Panton, CEO, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation.

Rhode Island native learns new trades in Belize
A U.S. Air Force pavements and construction equipment operator from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is learning new construction trades while deployed in support of New Horizons Belize 2014. Less than three years ago, Gonzalez realized he needed to find a good path to follow, he said, and that's what led him to the Air Force and the RED HORSE unit. "I grew up poor and didn't feel like I could afford college. I joined the military, and now I can get my degree with tuition assistance and travel around the world," said Senior Airman Justin Gonzalez. "I'm working on my (Community College of the Air Force) degree in Construction Technology, and Belize has been my first opportunity to travel." Gonzalez is stationed at Nellis AFB with his wife, Stephanie, both natives of Rhode Island. He is looking for overseas opportunities, he said, and his wife is very supportive.

Jaguar Paw the Perfect Retreat for Local Youth
Chukka played host to a group of 28 deserving youths from the Youth Cadet Service Corp and their staff at their Jaguar Paw Location. The group had a blast flying down a series of Ziplines that range up to 500 feet long, and exploring the caves of Belize on our unique Cave Tubing adventure. The Corp is funded by the Ministry of Education, Department of Youth Services and caters to boys in need of a place to guide them on the right path, underprivileged or seeking behaviour modification.

BAY Basketball Playoffs
Las night was the start of the BAY basketball tournament playoffs. They really have some great team names. Next weekend is the finals. "The Belmopan Active Youths started their basketball playoffs last. They continue tonight, and conclude next weekend."

The Queen's Baton Relay Ceremony (30 photos)
The Queen's Baton Relay made its stop in Belize this week. Here a few photos from the Belmopan ceremony held on Wednesday, April 23rd.

Men at Work
Sections of streets in Corozal Town that had been prepared for months now and awaiting paving, have commenced today to the relief of the Corozal residents.

Caye Caulker Water Taxi Daily Schedule

Channel 7

First Citizen Swearing-In Since April 2013
Today, the Immigration Department swore in new citizens and officially granted them Belizean nationalities. The last swearing in happened on April 26, 2013, making the gap between the two ceremonies one day short of an entire year. That's unusually long, but the delay was caused by the Citizen Kim passport scandal. But the department is now trying to put that episode behind them, and proceed in an orderly fashion with their regular duties. But Daniel Ortiz found that ghosts of Penner were still around:... Daniel Ortiz reporting 103 new Belizeans were sworn in by the Immigration Department this afternoon. It's the first swearing in since April of last year - a year in which the Elvin Penner Immigration Scandal emerged. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "As you know when we pass the law which came into effect on January 6th this year, the new immigration law - we had to build in a clause people who had been in the process before, so many of the people who were sworn in today were people who had their certificates signed by previous ministers but they were never sworn in. So we had to do that and also basically today was dealing with a lot of the back log of people whose files had been there for a long time and they were saying when will we swear.

Ministry of Local Gov't Gets Ready To Take Over PG Town Council Money Affairs
While we had the opportunity, we spoke with Hulse in his capacity as the Minister of Local Government about the situation at the Punta Gorda Town Council. We've been informed that the Town Council is having a cash flow crisis, so much so that the Ministry of Local Government is making an intervention. Here's how Hulse explained it: Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Local Government "All governing town councils give the minister of local government the responsibility to oversee these town councils as well as village councils - and gives the authority to appoint a financial controller if there is anything that is not in accordance with what the regulations called for. We have been doing some checks on all the councils and PG has some difficulties. I cannot comment because the process is not yet complete and so we have not reach that point yet where we've decided what we are going to do. We are working with them, the administrator, the mayor and members of the council to see how we can help. Appointing an administrator is a kind of final step, but we are not fully there yet."

Lawman Sent To Prison
In February of 2012, it made major news when Special Constable Jose Haylock became the second lawman busted by the Gang Suppression Unit with an illegal firearm. Unlike Corporal Gino Peck who famously managed to beat his case in court, Haylock is spending his first night of a 5 year sentence after he was convicted before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. As we reported, on February 11, 2012, members of the GSU raided his house at # 3716 Louise Bevans Street in Belize City with the strength of a search warrant. The officers found a .22 LARGO Brand revolver loaded with 10 live rounds of .22 ammunition, and 11 live rounds 9mm ammunition in 2 separate sections of the house. As a result, Haylock and Martinez were arrested and charged jointly with one count of keeping an unlicensed firearm, and 2 counts of keeping unlicensed ammunition.

GOB Waives Expiration On US Capital Exploration License
Hostilities remain high in the Toledo District between SATIIM and US Capital Energy. That's because government has informed SATIIM that it will waive the expiration date on the oil company's exploration permit. That was supposed to expire on April 30th, but now it has been rolled over with no fixed date of expiry. SATIIM says that's in defiance of the judgment of the Supreme Court - but government is sticking by its interpretation, that the judgment only affects future permits, not the existing one issued to US Capital. The Prime Minister explained today:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "The Attorney General's advice that Madam Justice Arana's refusal to actually strike down the permits means that the activities can continue. So that is the stance of the government. Now I understand that a new application has been filed, is it Satiim, is it Maya Leader Alliance - with the claimants to try and get an injunction to stop the continuation of the activities. Unless that application succeeds, those activities will continue."

Ceasefire Agreed Between Warring Gangs
And while the Prime Minister is monitoring that situation in southern Belize, he's also watching the situation on the city's southside - where violence has spiked in the last month - mainly in the area of Jane Usher Boulevard. That's where rival groups are jostling for control - and it has resulted in the death of three young men in three weeks. But, today police called in all rival crews to a meeting. The Prime Minister explained:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "There is a meeting place this afternoon between some of the principals from the Jane Usher Boulevard area and from other areas so that the carrot and stick approach or the effort to go at this thing from several different directions might be employed as a way of dealing with the situation. So even as the police are stepping up their enforcement actions in the area an effort is being made to talk through the situation with the gang leaders/the principals to see if some kind of cease fire might be mediated." That meeting was held at Old Belize and according to reports, it finished around 4:30. It included the main players from Supal Street, George Street, PIV, Jane Usher, Louise Bevans Crips and Victoria Street. It was led by the senior Superintendent Edward Broaster formerly of the CYDP, now deputy commander of Eastern division. He tells us that the groups who attended agreed on a ceasefire.

New President At Galen U
Galen University has a new president. It's not Doug Singh as has been erroneously reported on some media; instead, it is the school's co-founder and former president, Andreas Charalambous. A release from Galen University says that President since 2009, Dr. Louis Zabaneh, is stepping down so that Charalambous can quote, "plan the development of a school of veterinary medicine." End quote. But, our information says, it's not quite that simple. It's a decision by the board of directors - where Zabaneh formerly held a seat as a 6% shareholder but defaulted on his loan two years ago, and in July 2012 the majority owner and co-founder Kostas Karanikis took control of the Board of Directors. The board kept on Zabaneh as President, until this transition. Doug Singh is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees - and is managing Zabaneh's departure.

In the Shadow of Chavez, Barrow: "Que Viva Venezuela"
The Petrocaribe fund, it's the ultimate political war chest, paying for everything from your paved street, to the seed capital at the National Bank, to new sports facilities….and someday, it may even be used to buy back some of the Superbond debt. With all that, the Barrow Administration is eternally indebted to the Venezuelans. Hugo Chavez himself first put the agreement on the table in 2005 - but it was never fully operationalized. But since September of 2012, it has been maximized under a new arrangement worked out by the Barrow administration. So that every drop of premium, diesel, or regular fuel that comes into the country is from Venezuela, and every time you buy gas, whether you know it or not, you contribute to the fund. For sure, Petrocaribe is big, over 150 million in the consolidated revenue fund attests to that - and today Government celebrated its dip0lomatic history with the Venezuelans by opening a local office. 7News was there:...

Who Paid For Mrs. Barrow's Harper's Spread?
And while we had the Prime Minister today, we had to ask him about the magazine spread his wife, Kim Barrow did for the May/June issue of Harpers Bazaar Interiors. We are told it will be a 15 page spread which promotes Belize tourism destination, with Mrs. Barrow as the cultural totem. Previews of the lavish photo shoot were splashed over youtube a month ago - and today we asked the Prime Minister who's paying:.. Jules Vasquez "We keep hearing repeatedly that it was a matter for the BTB and there was some confusion at the BTB over whether the BTB could pay because the expenses have to be defrayed. The BTB was unable to pay and it fell to then director Laura Esquivel and perhaps her being unable or them being in the financial crisis made the BTB unable to defray the expenses. Are you aware of it and did the Office of the Prime Minister have to get involved?"

Burglar Knocked Unconscious Says He Was Chasing 'Guana
43 year-old Reuben Cox, a resident of Biscayne Village, is spending his second night of a 7 year prison sentence after he was convicted in Magistrate Court of burglarizing the compound at Croc Land at mile 25 on the Northern Highway. The burglary happened on April 3, 2013, and the prosecution's witnesses say that he climbed up on a beam and was attempting steal electric wires to harvest the copper. He had a stroke of misfortune and was caught in the act because he fell from the beam and became unconscious. He was found by personnel at Croc Land, and he was rushed to the KHMH, where police found him and charged him for entering the compound as a trespasser.

Consulting With Koreans For Transportation Plan
Today, the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities hosted the launch of a National Transportation Master Plan. It's a multi-million dollar initiative in the planning stage that the different ministries are working with the Korean Government start to roll out. Representatives from all the different ministries were present and 7News attended to find out what it is. Here's how Minister Joy Grant explained it: Hon. Joy Grant - Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, Public Utilities "If you say you are going to upgrade a road then we need to know what will be the demand. Will people move there? Will there be additional production? All those things come into place. That's why a plan is so very important."

Barrow: buh-bye Bradley
Darrell Bradley has turned indecision into an art with his flip flopping on whether he'll run for mayor again. But, the deadline has long passed - 4 weeks ago, actually, and though Bradley would be considered a prohibitive favourite to be re-elected as mayor, the PM said today, that ship has sailed: Jules Vasquez "Has the ship sailed as regards Mayor Bradley running again for mayor? Has the party now moved on?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "In my view absolutely. The deadline has passed and there will be no reopening of the deadline…that's out of the question. The only possibility that I can see in which that Mayor could run again is if those that put in their names within the deadline for some reason decided to withdraw their names and then that would throw the thing wide open."

Belize Bank Takes Arbitration Case To DC
Today, a news outlet from Cayman posted news saying that the Belize Bank has filed a petition at federal court in Washington, D.C. to enforce an arbitration award totaling approximately US$18 million against the Government of Belize. That's the Universal Health Services debt which the Musa Administration secretly guaranteed in December, 2004. It was awarded to the Belize Bank by the London Court of International Arbitration in January 2013. The Bank is seeking enforcement locally and now internationally. Prime Minister Barrow discussed it today:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I am not sure how that will play out in terms whether they are allowed to engage in these or this multiplicity of proceedings, the lawyers will have to advise us."

Turning To Trini For Help With Difficult Oil
And finally with the PM tonight, the media asked him today about theta oil find in the Gallon Jug area of northern Belize. It's proving difficult to extract because it is trapped under rock formations and the oil is very thick. PM Barrow says he has turned to his counterpart in Trinidad for assistance:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I've asked the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago if she would send a mission from PetroTrin. I think they do a lot of the heavy oil extraction and I thought that perhaps their experts might be able to advise us, give us a better handle on what exactly it would take to get at the oil which as I said is extra thick crude and lodged in rock formations that are not very porous or are impermeable. I spoke to her on the phone, I sent her an email. I have not yet had a response but hopefully that mission can materialize and that would help. That's where we are." Trinidad's first oil find was over 150 years ago.

Earth Day 2014 Is Coloured Mahogany
The Belize Audubon Society celebrated Earth Day 2014 earlier this week. This year the emphasis was on planting trees, specifically Mahogany Trees. Dirk Francisco told us more:.. You can get you mahogany tree at the Audubon office at 16 North Park Street, Belize City.

Aziatic Still Hype
Punta Rock performer AZIATIC is touring Belize. He's been on the road since Easter with Little June promoting his rollicking dance tune "Till It Turns Over." Aziatic, who's been release albums for almost two decades told us why he's jumping behind his next release:.. The album will be released in late May or June.

Channel 5

Mayor Darrell Bradley no longer eligible for municipal elections
Mayor Darrell Bradley will be leaving municipal office in March 2015. We didn’t exactly hear it from the horse’s mouth, but we heard it from his political boss, Prime Minister [...]

SATIIM versus G.O.B. and US Capital; P.M. says extension to drill will be waived
Despite a ruling handed down by Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana on April third, US Capital Energy’s pre-drilling activities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park will continue unabated. That’s because [...]

Meeting held with gang members to address spiking criminal activities
In 2012, Belize was considered one of the top ten most dangerous countries in the world, with murders at an unprecedented high. In 2013, that turned around somewhat, with murders [...]

Police Officer gets 15-year sentence for firearm conviction
Special Constable Jose Haylock, who was charged jointly with his girlfriend, Corrine Diane Martinez, was convicted late this evening before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith for firearm and ammunition offences.  [...]

New Board of Directors appointed for B.T.B.
Vice President of the Caribbean Development Bank Dr. Carla Barnett has been selected as the Chair Designate of the Belize Tourism Board.  The announcement follows the appointment of a new [...]

A National Transportation Master Plan is unveiled
A collaborative effort between the Government of Belize and South Korea has resulted in the unveiling of a National Transportation Master Plan.  Through a Knowledge Sharing Program established by both [...]

Ministry of Local Government to address financial issues in PG Town Council
In recent weeks, there have been persistent reports of financial problems at the Punta Gorda Town Council. Now financial difficulties in municipal administrations are legion – revenues are notoriously scarce [...]

G.O.B. seeking CARICOM assistance in Maranco oil find
In March 2014, Maranco Energy Belize Limited announced a significant oil find at its South Canal Bank number three – a preliminary reserve estimate of fifty-million barrels. But it was [...]

PM Barrow gives update on appeal in case of Penner
Seven months and counting – that’s how much time has passed since former Minister of State Elvin Penner was fingered in a serious immigration fraud. The public has remained committed [...]

Shooting in San Pedro
San Pedro Police are at a standstill, following a shooting incident on Thursday night. Reports are that sometime around nine p.m. six gunmen fired several shots at the Campos family [...]

Honduran national found illegally living in Belize
On Tuesday, twenty-two-year-old Melvin Antonio Avilez Cruz, a Honduran national was found living in Belize illegally.  Cruz, who was unrepresented, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser where he was read [...]

PetroCaribe doing big things in Belize
The Petrocaribe initiative took its first baby steps in Belize in 2005, but fizzled out in 2009. It was reloaded in Belize in 2012, and to say that the Jewel [...]

Crucifixion of Jesus Christ re-enacted in Benque Viejo Del Carmen
The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ has been retold countlessly through biblical literature.  During Holy Week, movies reenacting his death on Calvary are aired across the local and international media.  On [...]

San Pedro Tiger Sharks versus Cayo Western Ballaz in NEBL Tournament
The National Elite Basketball League is heading into its eleventh week of regular season play and this weekend the number one seed San Pedro Tiger Sharks is set to take [...]


Barrow Speaks on SATIIM
At the beginning of the month, Justice Michelle Arana, ruled in favor of SATIIM in a case brought against US Capital Energy Limited. While a declaration was handed down, US Capital’s permit was not squashed and so they have until the month’s end to continue carrying out works in the area. The Maya Leaders want to be consulted in the event that the permit in renewed or extended. On April 14th the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, and the indigenous communities’ legal team filed an application for a Post-Judgment Injunction to restrain the Government of Belize from renewing, extending and/or issuing an extension of US Capital Energy’s Permit. Executive Director of SATIIM, says that the decision to file for an application was made after they were told that on April 8th, Cabinet decided to issue an ‘extension’ to US Capital’s Energy Belize Ltd Permit, which expires on April 30th of this year. Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed to the media today that US Capital’s permit will be waving the expiration date of the permit.

Carrot and Stick Approach Employed for Cease Fire in Old Capital
The Belize Police Department has reinforced police presence in the Jane Usher Boulevard Area after a spike in crime, specifically murders and shooting incidents. Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that he too is concern about the increase of crime and a meeting was held this afternoon with the elements contributing to the increase of crime in that area. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “There is, in fact, something being done; there is a mobile unit that is being posted there, sort of semi-permanently so that change overs can occur with some ease. There is an increase in the policing strength in the area. We have just bought additional equipment for the police, additional weapons and additional radios as part of the extra effort to try to tamp down that situation. There is a meeting taking place this afternoon between some of the principals from the Jane Usher Boulevard areas and from other areas so that the carrot and stick approach or the effort to go at this thing from several different directions might be employed as a way of dealing with the situation.

The UDP Has Moved on From Elvin Penner
Back in March Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin granted a Writ of Mandamus against Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, brought by the People’s United Party in regards to the Passport Scandal. The PUP was concern that the investigation into the scandal did not include the man in the middle of the controversy, Former Minister of State and Cayo North East Area Representative Elvin Penner. CJ Benjamin says that it was unreasonable for the ComPol not to investigate Penner and so he was ordered to do so. However, it was earlier learnt that Compol Whylie intended to appeal the order. On the other, COLA managed to get Penner criminally charges for two offences. Prime Minister Dean Barrow today addressed the matter of the Writ of Mandamus.

Barrow on Bradley: PM Says He Will Yield to No Man
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has been a hundred percent clear that he intends to run for office once again. But what is clear is that Bradley missed the deadline and did not submit his name. Party Leader, Dean Barrow, says that as far as he is concern, the party has moved on while acknowledging that Bradley was an excellent Mayor. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “The deadline has passed. There will be no re-opening of the deadline; that is out of the question. The only possibility that I can see in which that Mayor could run again is if those that put in their names within the deadline, for some reason, decide to withdraw their names and that would throw the whole thing wide open. My sense is that neither of the two candidates that put in their names is prepared to withdraw; if that continues to be the position, that’s the end of it.”

Ashcroft Resurfaces with Requests for Enforcement
Michael Aschroft’s the Belize Bank Limited has filed a petition at federal court in Washington, D.C. to enforce an arbitration award totaling approximately US$18 million against the Government of Belize. In the petition, which was brought on April 18, 2014, Belize Bank claims that the Belize Government “did not respond” to a demand that it satisfy a “final award” issued by arbitrators sitting at the London Court of International Arbitration, on January 15, 2013. The award comprised BZ$36.9 million, plus annual compounded interest of 17% from September 8, 2012 until the date of the payment, regarding unpaid loans and over five hundred thousand pounds in arbitration and legal costs. When asked about it, this is what Prime Minister Dean Barrow had to say:

Dr. Zab Steps Down From Galen
Over the last five years, Dr. Louis Zabaneh has been playing a pivotal role in the education sector, not only as the Chairman and then the President of Galen University but also a passionate advocate for sustainable development. But tonight, we have confirmed that Dr. Zabaneh’s term on the board of Galen University has come to an abrupt end after the majority shareholders got together at a meeting in Cyprus and decided to shift the focus of the university from national development to veterinary medicine. It has indeed come as a surprise to many including the faculty and students at the institution as Dr. Zabaneh is well respected for having made great strides in the education sector particularly at that institution. Love News spoke to Dr. Zabaneh earlier today to get the gist of what has occurred.


Is There Hustling Happening in the GST Department?
Is there hustling happening in the GST department? Credible sources tell Plusnews that there is an internal investigation at the GST after reports were made that GST field officers, a minister’s son included, tried to extort thousands of dollars from a Belize City business, Crystal Auto Rentals. Senior Income...

Lawyer Says CITCO Acted Outside Authority to Remove Wooden Structure
Yesterday we introduced you to the Valladarez family from Belmopan who have worked for almost a year on putting together their small business, a boutique at the corner of MountainView Boulevard and Hummingbird Avenue. According to Proprietor Abner Valladares, it was months of frustrating negotiations with Belmopan City Council...

Escaped Belizean Convict Recaptured in Guatemala
On Tuesday we reported to you that Joseph Budna, a Belizean National and former free lance journalist, escaped from the watch of two police officers while he was being treated in a local hospital at Peten, Guatemala. As we had reported, Budna, was serving a lengthy time of 25...

New Petrocaribe Office Opens
The Petrocaribe agreement has been the paramount arrangement in the diplomatic relations of Belize and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Since the program was restarted in 2012, some $190 million in sold petroleum at concessionary terms has been loaned to Belize, of which about 40% is paid back upfront....

16 Year Old Raped, San Ignacio Man Charged
31 year old Garth Longsworth was arrested and charged by San Ignacio police for rape. A 16 year old female of San Ignacio Town reported that on March 7th of this year, at 10:00pm, she was walking on Bullet Tree Road heading home from Maxim’s Restaurant. When reached the...

Hail of Bullets on San Pedro Residence
A home in San Pedro came under a hail of bullets after six gunmen opened fire on the residence. Sometime around nine o’clock last night, is the San Juan Area of the island, 6 gunmen fired several shots at the Campos’s residence. The the shooting subsided, there was a...

First Set of New Belizeans to be Published in Government Gazzette
More than a hundred people were lined up at the foot of the Immigration Department in Belmopan from as early as 7 o’ clock this morning. That’s because more than a hundred immigrants, who have been living in Belize for a period of time, went in to get their...

BDF Norman Rodriquez Declared Medically Unfit
BDF soldier Norman Rodriguez has been in a fight for his life and now says he is also in a fight for his job and pay. Rodriguez broke protocol and reported to the media that the BDF which he has served for many years, has refused to help him...

Organization Confronting Hot Button Issues
United Christian Women’s Alliance, known as WALL Belize, is a Belizean organization which claims that it stands in solidarity with the church as it pertains to Godly family values . We spoke to one of WALL Belize’s executive member, Shalwa Leslie, who gave us more details of the organization....


Five die over Easter 2014
Easter 2014 did not bring peace and joy to five separate families from different parts of the Jewel, who are instead mourning the death of their loved ones. On Good Friday morning, Myra Evadney Miller, 68, of Boston Village, was found beaten in the head and lying on the floor in her bedroom. She was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she died on Easter Sunday. Villagers who went into her house said that her house had been ransacked and her belongings had been scattered in her room. They believe that a thief or thieves went into her house and attacked her, beating her in the head with a stick, and then left her to die. The neighbors said that they became concerned after not seeing Miller on Holy Thursday, and on Friday went to her house to find out what was happening; that was when they found that her house had been broken into through a window at the rear of the house. Reports are that Miller, a diabetic, was found badly hurt and barely conscious. She was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where doctors worked to help her, but on Easter Sunday, she died due to the injuries.

On crutches, Patrick Bevans, 22, executed
Today, the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) party organ, The Guardian newspaper, boldly headlined an article which suggested that the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL), Dr. Henry Canton, has been fired from his position. Amandala, however, was told by the new Chairman of CPBL’s Board of Directors, Doug Singh, that no such thing happened, and that, as a matter of fact, Canton is still CPBL’s CEO until further notice, because no decision has yet been taken in regards to Dr. Canton’s 12-year tenure. Singh made it clear that while the fate of the CEO is being contemplated, he has not been fired and indicated that the public will be notified via a press release if there is any change in Canton’s status. “Mr. Canton has not been terminated from his position because he is still presently the CEO of CPBL,” Singh told us.

Deon McCaulay in 2014 FIFA World Cup video game
Belizean footballer superstar, striker Deon McCaulay, has been making waves on the international scene since being hired to play for a US soccer team known as the Atlanta Silverbacks, and his latest engagement involves being featured on a new FIFA World Cup video game titled “2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.” McCaulay, 26, who is the all-time leading scorer for the Belize National Team, went to the U.S. to play in the North American Soccer League in March 2014, after being one of only three players in the entire world to score 11 goals during the qualifying rounds for the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament. According to the Atlanta Silverbacks’ social media page, forward Deon McCaulay from Belize and goalkeeper Derby Carrillo from El Salvador are among the players that can be utilized in the new 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil video game. The football simulation game – which was developed by EA (Canada) and published by Electronics Arts – was released on April 15, 2014, in North America, in Europe and Australia on April 17, and will be released today, April 24, in Brazil and Japan.

Guardian says Dr. Henry Canton sacked; CPBL’s chair, Doug Singh, says no
A recent spike in gun violence and suspected gang activity in the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City has led to the death of another youth – this time it was a 22-year-old resident of Louise Bevans Street who was reportedly only able to walk properly by means of crutches, but who was nevertheless executed in cold blood near the basketball court in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. Shortly after daybreak, at about 7:00 a.m., Patrick “Pata” Bevans was reportedly returning from taking a trip to a nearby shop on MS Street when his assailant/s pounced on the handicapped Louise Bevans Street resident and riddled his body with a barrage of shots which shattered the early morning silence and ultimately took the life of the young street figure. Bevans had been shot in the leg by a member of the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG) earlier this year when he was allegedly trying to evade police. Bevans was found Wednesday morning lying face-down with multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body.

Chikungunya will come, says DHS
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne, viral disease new to the Caribbean but which has infected millions of people in Africa and Asia since it was first recorded in 1952, and although health officials who began their first sensitization session with medical professionals here today say that the disease rarely ends in death, they stress that its morbidity is high, as it can cause a painful and debilitating illness for as many as 6 months. The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the “symptoms can be severe and disabling.” While there is no reported case of Chikungunya yet in Belize, Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts said at today’s session that, “We don’t think we can prevent the disease from coming here, but we can mitigate the impact.” Pitts said that there is no cure, no vaccine – but a person can only get it once. There are also fears that the spread of the disease—carried mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same insect which transmits dengue—could have severe adverse impacts on tourism-dependent economies such as Belize. Pitts said that they have looked at the tourist trade and ports of call for ships which come to Belize in planning their response strategy.

Collapsed pier leads to ruckus in Caye Caulker
A melee involving civilians and police officers erupted in Caye Caulker this past Saturday in the wake of an incident in which a group of passengers who were returning home from the island took an unexpected dip in the Caribbean Sea after a crowded pier on which they were standing collapsed and the vacationers and their luggage found themselves in water, over which, just a few seconds before, they had stood. Scores of travelers – which included tourists and Belizeans visiting from the Diaspora – were waiting to board the last scheduled San Pedro Belize Express water taxi around 5:00 p.m. when disaster struck. Fortunately, the water beneath the pier was shallow, and there were no reports of any major injuries in the aftermath of the unforeseen incident which, according to the pier’s owners, San Pedro Belize Express (SPBE) Water Taxi, was caused by “overwhelming crowding.”

EDITORIAL: Guilt by birth
If one decided to be brutally frank, one could describe these editorials we write as constituting self-stimulation. These editorials do not affect the status quo in Belize, because the landlords in South Stann Creek, the oligarchs in the Pomona Valley enclave, the industrialists and agro-industrialists in Spanish Lookout and Blue Creek, and the wealthy immigrant merchants in Belize City and the Corozal Free Zone continue on their merry way with hardly a blink or a stutter. It is that Belizean status quo which last week moved to incarcerate George McKenzie, Jr. indefinitely on a murder charge without proper investigation. Yes, it is the Police Department which gets the blame here. It is something they have been doing over and over again, for as long as a quarter century. To begin with, there are young men who are treated as congenitally and permanently “guilty,” because of the poverty-stricken Belize City neighborhoods into which they are born. The Police Department is overwhelmed by the epidemic of crime and violence in the old capital. These police officers are under pressure from the ruling politicians to “solve” crimes: the most they can do in most cases is pick one or two of those who are guilty by birth and charge them. The unfortunate youth who are charged can spend years in jail on remand before they are cleared in court.

From The Publisher
As we look around Belize City, especially on the Southside, it is difficult not to come to the conclusion that we have a great human problem with respect to our large number of untrained, unskilled young Belizean people. In Marxist–Leninist terminology, the unemployed, unemployable section of a population is referred to as the lumpenproletariat. The Belize City lumpenproletariat no doubt constituted the core of UBAD’s support during the years from 1969 to 1973. Belize’s working classes, or proletariat, as organized in trade unions, generally supported the ruling People’s United Party (PUP), while a specialized section of the work force, the civil servants, by and large supported the Opposition National Independence Party (NIP), which was absorbed into the new United Democratic Party (UDP) in 1973. In her recent book on black power in the Caribbean, Kate Quinn quotes something I wrote back in 1970, that at its formation in 1969, UBAD had one executive but three different directions. Because of the diversity in personnel and thinking at UBAD’s leadership level, the presidency of UBAD always presented something of a balancing act. In retrospect, I realize more than ever how politically disinterested and immature I was, and I must confess that I spent too much time congratulating myself on holding the group together.

Toddler, 2, knocked down by unlicensed 14-year-old driver
A toddler, 2, was seriously hurt when she was knocked down and run over by an F-150 Ford pickup truck that was being driven by a boy, 14, at about 12:30 Holy Thursday afternoon at the corner of Sapodilla and East Guadalupe Streets in Trial Farm, Orange Walk District. The toddler, who miraculously survived, is presently in intensive care at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and her condition has been declared as critical but stable. She suffered internal injuries and her damaged spleen was removed during surgery at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to police, the toddler, Rachel Chan, was crossing the road when she was knocked down and run over by the pickup. She suffered a large cut wound on the forehead, in the temple area, among other injuries, said police.

Caribbean leaders meet in Mérida next week
Belize Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington is due to lead a delegation of country officials which will attend a series of meetings being convened by the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in Mexico next week. Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto will open the VI Summit of Heads of State and/or Governments of the Association of Caribbean States, slated for Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at the Convention Centre in Mérida. Alexis Rosado, Chief Executive Officer in the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Amandala that the event will be attended by representatives from Caribbean and Central American countries, as well as representatives from Columbia and Venezuela. The summit will feature a presentation of the new initiatives for the benefit of the Caribbean, offered by the Government of Mexico. There will also be a dialogue on the said initiatives.

Chief Magistrate orders complainant out of her courtroom
“You are one foolish woman. Get out of my courtroom!” Belize Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, told a woman whose complaint to the Police Domestic Violence Unit resulted in her boyfriend being charged for committing common assault upon her. Smith made the remark after sentencing Arthur Flowers, a car washer, to pay $150 plus $5 cost of court forthwith, after he pleaded guilty yesterday, Tuesday, to one count of common assault upon his girlfriend, Nicole Avilez. After he had pleaded guilty to the common assault when Smith asked him if he had anything to say before she passed sentence upon him, Flowers explained that he did not really hit his girlfriend, as the police report had alleged. Holding out both his hands, he demonstrated to the court how he hit Avilez with his open hands that he clasped together on her face.

US forensic expert to aid in investigation into death of Guat national
When Guatemalan national Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, 26, was shot and killed at the hands of Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldiers inside Belizean territory on March 29, it prompted an intensive investigation by both Belizean officials and their Guatemalan counterparts, and this past Monday, Guatemalan online newspaper Prensa Libre announced that the US-based Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) had been called in to assist in the investigation into the killing of Ramirez. Amandala understands that actually, it is not the FBI, but a senior official of the International Forensics Laboratory and Training Center, which works with the American government, who is being asked to participate in the investigation into Ramirez’s death, which occurred during a shootout with members of a joint BDF and Police Patrol 3.4 kilometers deep, within Belizean territory in the Chiquibul near an area called Cebada Camp. According to Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, the United States government has identified Dr. James Edward Hamby, Ph.D., a firearms expert who is also the Director of the US International Forensic Science Laboratory and Training Center, as the individual who will work with the Belize government during the investigation.

BTIA to challenge NCL’s EIA in court
Since exhausting a number of other avenues, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) – which has vigorously opposed the construction of the proposed Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) cruise tourism port at Harvest Caye – is scheduled to file an application for judicial review. The scheduled application follows an unsatisfactory response from the Attorney General’s Ministry to a letter that was written by the association to Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria, detailing BTIA’s concerns regarding the project and warning of court action if the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) did not rescind their approval of the Harvest Caye Cruise Port. At the end of last month, BTIA’s attorney, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, addressed the NEAC, requesting that they address a number of concerns pertaining to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) granted to Norwegian Cruise Line for the Harvest Caye tourism development project, and asserting that NEAC had failed to follow procedure in approving the EIA.

Ideas and Opinions – What is your life worth?
You have to consider this question from different points of view. First, the citizens of a nation which affirms the supremacy of God think that we are made in the image and likeness of the Most High. Your life is His gift brought into existence by the miracle of procreation. Therefore, your life is priceless. Secondly, let us be specific. A man who was head of an establishment that offered electrical services was murdered in his 35th year of life. He would have had a reasonable expectation of at least 35 more years of earnings. Let’s say he earned $70 thousand a year. In thirty five more years he would have earned about 2 ½ million dollars. So this amount represents what would have been his loss of earnings for himself and his family. But that would not be the sum total of the value of his life. Let us consider the question from a different angle. Your life may be worth the price another may assign to it. You are a resident of Belize City, one of the top 3 murder capitals of the world. Is not the answer to the question of your worth what someone is willing to pay for you to be killed?

The poor versus Penner
I pray many had a blessed Easter weekend and that in the midst of fun and relaxation that people kept in mind the reason for the season. It’s amazing for me how things have changed and that one of the most holy and reverent celebrations has been turned into a bramming and jamming session. Ironically many no longer want to keep the faith and believe that Jesus was born, crucified and rose again, yet they enjoy the holiday provided by law by said belief. I say if we are going to become pagan, then remove the holiday and let it be a regular work week … After all, Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday is not about Easter bunnies and eggs. Interestingly, while our Christian nation seems to be transgressing into depravity, Cuba, for the first time, has declared Good Friday, an official public and bank holiday, thus allowing the religious freedom which had been curtailed after Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959. Imagine it was not until during Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba in 1998, that then president Fidel Castro was persuaded to reinstate Christmas as a holiday… things we in Belize take for granted. Ironically, we have so much freedom, but forget our responsibilities… Then we want to defend all our choices under the pretense of freedom and rights… Forgetting our responsibility to others and the society we live in. We have gotten so depraved that our everyday bedroom business has become national talk… no respect for decency and privacy… There is a time and place for things of this nature. We bombard our children with our sexual immorality and lewdness and call for it to be under the banner of “freedom”!

Joseph Budna escapes Guat custody – two prison guards arrested
As we go to press today, Joseph Budna, the Belizean who has been serving a 25-year prison sentence in Guatemala following a conviction for kidnapping and extortion, remains at large. Our checks on Interpol indicated that Budna is not on the list of wanted persons, and Belize’s Ambassador in Guatemala, H.E. Alfredo Martinez, said that they have so far only received a formal notification of Budna’s escape, but no request for assistance in locating him. Guatemalan authorities on Monday morning reported that Budna, 33, had escaped custody. They told Belize’s Embassy in Guatemala that Budna had escaped around 5:30 that morning, and the two prison guards who had escorted him to the Zacapa Regional Hospital were arrested as part of a probe into possible negligence or collusion. In their quest to recapture Budna, officers of Policía Nacional Civil searched buses along the Atlantic Highway. Emisoras Unidas in Guatemala had said that Budna, 33, was recaptured aboard an autobus; however, the Embassy told us that the person who Guatemalan authorities had apprehended was not Budna. The police had the wrong man.

LETTERS: British citizen argues against decriminalizing homosexuality
Since coming to Belize six weeks ago, I have learned about the campaign against Sec. 53 of the Belize Criminal Code and about the Gender Policy. The latter contains much that I, a woman who graduated (1972) in a man’s world, medicine, can agree with. However, I urge the government and people of Belize to reject the decriminalization of homosexual acts. The UK, where I am from, decriminalized homosexual acts “between consenting adults in private” in 1969. Since then, an increasingly aggressive and vociferous homosexual rights lobby has pushed their cause. There are regular lewd “Gay Pride” festivals and now legal equality (The Civil Partnerships Act 2004.)

LETTERS: Respect, Hurricane Carter, rest in peace
On Easter Sunday morning, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, one of the best and most feared middleweight prize fighters of the 1960’s, died of prostate cancer; he was 76. He was on the threshold of fighting for the title when wrongfully convicted of murder and imprisoned for 19 years before his conviction was finally overturned in the 1980’s, when the high courts determined that racism and the crooked police of that era in New Jersey were responsible for stealing away this innocent man’s life. He didn’t pray his way out of prison: he fought his way out; educating himself in the law and in many other intellectual disciplines, filing writ after writ, frequently having to “take a knee” as his importuning went nowhere, until finally—after all those years—the judge’s decision awarded him what he had always been entitled to…FREEDOM !

PLB Closing Season racing to playoffs next week
With consecutive mid-week fixtures and games played through the Easter weekend, the regular season is fast drawing to a close in the 2014 Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2013-2014. The top 4 regular season finishers go on to the semifinal playoffs. Here are the updates on Week 10 and Week 11 games played on Wednesday, April 16, and Saturday, April 19, respectively; and Week 12 games played last night, April 23. One Week 12 game, FC Belize hosting Verdes FC, takes place tonight at the MCC, and it is a must-win for FC Belize, if they are to keep their very slim playoff hopes alive. Week 10: All games were on Wednesday night, April 16. At the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, Police United dropped Belmopan Bandits, 2-1, with goals from Clifton West (35’) and Harrison “Cafu” Roches (83’); while Denmark Casey, Jr. (55’) scored for the Bandits.

Belmopan City Council
Mundialito Kids & Female Cup The Belmopan Football Association (BFA) held Week 5 games in the Belmopan City Council Mundialito Kids & Female Cup 2014 on Saturday and Sunday, April 12 & 13, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Mundialito Youth Cup The Belmopan Football Association resumes the Belmopan City Council Mundialito 2014 Tournament with Mundialito Youth Cup games at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium.

Sunrise is red hot
Sunrise Cricket Team is based in Lords Bank off the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway around Mile nine or ten. The team years ago was named Pine Crest, and was managed by the Parks family. The team then used to play games somewhere in the vicinity of Ladyville off the old Northern Highway. Over the years, Lords Bank started to develop. The Parks family, along with other villagers of the same Lords Bank, continued to play cricket, and have won many trophies and awards on the new cricket field. At this moment, Sunrise team is made up of players from around the rural area. There is only one player on the team that is named Parks. That person is Edison Parks. I knew him as a person who plays a vital role on his team.

BBSF congratulates champs
The Belize Billiards Sports Federation (BBSF) President, Mr. Isaias Lima, and its executive congratulate the top four teams that participated in the 2nd annual Ben Bounahra 9-Ball Tournament, held in Belmopan last week, namely: Elements team of Belize City (champs), Toledo United (sub-champs), Route 88 of Orange Walk (3rd place), and Special Effects of Belmopan (4th place), and recognize the MVP, Mr. Larry Lisbey of Elements. Additionally, sincerest thanks extended to the main sponsor of the tournament, Mirab and Company. The federation is also grateful to Bowen and Bowen for assisting with the prizes, and to Mike’s Cue Club for hosting the tournament. Much thanks also to all teams that participated from all districts except Stann Creek. We look forward to another spectacular tournament, as we will keep everyone posted.

Foreigners reign in Cross Country
After two consecutive years of Belizeans, Geovanni Choto in 2012 and Darnell Barrow in 2013, winning the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic; and with reports of over twenty foreign riders descending on the Jewel for the 86th running of our Cross Country; cycling fans were more or less quietly acclimating ourselves to the reality that, after all, a Belizean three-peat was not likely in 2014. But, hope springs eternal, and for a while there on Holy Saturday morning, Belizean cycling fans thought we were in the race. A 5-man early breakaway group included 3 Belizeans – Geovanni Choto and Rafael Choto of C-Ray Road Addikz, and David Henderson of Benny’s Megabytes; they were accompanied by two Mexicans riding for Belizean teams – Juan Pablo Magallanes of Benny’s Megabytes and Florencio Ramos Torres of Predators.

Gracie Rock man went on credit card swiping spree
A resident of Gracie Rock pleaded not guilty to eight counts of theft when he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Thursday. Sherman Hemmans, 27, who is being represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre, was released on $6,000 bail plus one surety in the same amount after he pleaded not guilty to the charges. His case has been adjourned to June 3. Allegations are that between March 20 and April 1, 2014, he purchased grocery items totaling over $5,000 in value from Everyday Supermarket, located in Hattieville, using a credit card that is the property of Joseph Fusy. Police investigators later linked the card and the purchases to him.

Accused drug trafficking prison officer busted with cannabis in his buttocks
An apparently desperate prison officer was caught last Thursday evening trying to smuggle marijuana into his workplace, by wedging it between his buttocks, highlighting the extent to which individuals would go to smuggle drugs into the prison. Ryan Rowland, 27, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on Tuesday, and pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply to another for the purpose of drug trafficking. He was released on bail of $1,000 plus one surety in the same amount, and is scheduled to return to court on June 26. The allegations are that on April 17, 2014, last Thursday, the prison officer was busted at work trying to smuggle 55 grams of cannabis into the Kolbe-managed Belize Central Prison.

Ladyville resident stabbed 16 times
Sometime before daybreak today, a young man from Ladyville was stabbed multiple times, and although the complete details of what occurred are not available at this time, Amandala understands that the victim is currently in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Police say they do not have much information about the incident at this time, and although they are currently in the midst of their investigations, so far we have ascertained that Parish Copious, 19, was allegedly attacked and stabbed a total of sixteen times near his home sometime between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. last night. This morning, Amandala visited Copious’ home in Ladyville, but it was deserted; however, we found out from neighbors that police had been there processing the scene earlier today.

2 thieves arrested for separate robberies in Corozal and Orange Walk
Police on special operations in Corozal captured one of two robbers who held up the Bargain Center Store, located on Main Street, in Orange Walk Town, on Wednesday, April 16. The thieves had gotten away with over $7,000 in cash and merchandise. Police said that about 10:00 Wednesday morning, two men went into the Bargain Center Store in Orange Walk and held up the cashier. While she was held hostage by one of the robbers, the other thief stole about 17 cell phones, ranging in prices from $199 to $1,000, amounting to a total value of $7,000, and $250 in cash from the cash drawer, and they then ran out of the store. The owner of the store, Hugh O’Brien, told reporters that the total loss to the store was $7,250.

Belizean pilot mysteriously killed in Melchor
A Belizean pilot and resident of Benque Viejo Del Carmen was killed for unknown reasons in neighboring Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala, sometime either late last Friday night or early Holy Saturday morning. Edwin Chan – who worked with Tropic Air at their San Ignacio branch – was reportedly found by Guatemalan police who were alerted by residents Saturday morning around 8:00 a.m. after he had been found badly beaten, lying face-down in what was described as a remote area near the Auto Hotel in the Barrio Campito area of Melchor with apparent gunshot wounds to the left side of his head. Since they cannot enter that jurisdiction to investigate, Benque police have been forced to rely on their Guatemalan counterparts for relevant information, but so far, they do not believe the intent behind the murder was robbery, because at the time Chan’s body was discovered, his personal belongings – with the exception of his cellular phone – were all intact.

Easter Sunday shooting in Cayo leaves 1 hospitalized
A 23-year old man was seriously injured after he was shot twice in San Ignacio, Cayo, in the wee hours of Easter Sunday while heading home with a female friend. San Ignacio police reported that on Sunday, April 20, they visited 2nd Street in San Ignacio Town at 3:10 a.m., where they saw a man known to them as Trevor Lamb, 23, suffering from two apparent gunshot wounds to the left side of his body – one in the rib cage area and one in the left upper arm. An initial investigation into the matter revealed that on Sunday at 3:00 a.m., Lamb was walking along with a female friend when they were approached by a man who fired at him and then ran away.

Two guns found, 5 arrested
Police on an anti-drug operation in the city, on Easter Monday and yesterday, seized two pistols and detained five persons. At about 5:00 p.m. Easter Monday evening, the police went to Majestic Alley, where they conducted searches on a residence in an effort to confiscate drugs, guns or ammunition. Present at the time of the search was a man, 20, who witnessed the search in the house. The search led to the discovery of a pistol loaded with 5 live rounds, and the man was immediately taken into custody as a result. He will be charged with kept unlicensed firearm and ammunition at the conclusion of the investigation.

Robbery reported at Chinese Store in Corozal
The Easter holidays were not happy and holy for the owner of Chinese Shop located on 6th Avenue in Corozal Town after he was held up at gunpoint by one of three thieves who robbed his cash drawer of about $400 and escaped. The incident occurred Holy Thursday night on 6th Avenue in Corozal Town. Chinese businessman Wei Shi Lui, 51, the owner of Chinese Shop, told police that at about 9:00 p.m. Holy Thursday night, he and his sister were at his store and he was about to close his business when three armed men suddenly entered the store, and one of them, who had a shotgun, ordered him and his sister to lie on the floor. The other two men were armed with machetes. Fearing for their lives, the businessman and his sister complied.

Man shot in Dangriga; 14 shots fired
Hansel Garcia of the Wagierale area of Dangriga is being treated at the Dangriga Hospital for multiple gunshot wounds to the body, which were reportedly inflicted on him by a lone gunman. Police reports are that Hansel Garcia, also known as “Mission,” was walking on Castillo Alley towards Ecumenical Drive in Dangriga at about 8:10 last night when a man approached and fired at him. The gunman then escaped. Neighbors quickly called police, who found Garcia lying on the road. He was rushed to the Dangriga Hospital, where doctors worked to save his life.

Mechanic gets bail for abetment to carrying a firearm
Following a fatal shooting in the Jane Usher Boulevard this morning, police were on patrol in the area and chased a young man who they are alleging, handed a firearm to a mechanic. Police arrested and charged both men; in the process, they learned that the mechanic was the licensed owner of the gun in question. Edward Westby, 53, a mechanic of 49 Fabers Road, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith with his attorney, Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson, to answer to a charge of “abetment to carry a firearm.” Police are alleging that Westby facilitated Malik Stuart in carrying his licensed firearm. Stuart, 19, a resident of Antelope Street, was unrepresented and appeared along with Westby to be arraigned on separate charges.

The Reporter

Belize braces for CHIKV virus
Representatives from all over the Ministry of Health met this week for a sensitization session on Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne disease that is on the rise in the Caribbean and the Americas. The session, which brought together medical professionals such as clinicians, laboratory technicians and vector control personnel, was held at the Belize Institute of Management Training Room in Belize City. The ministry reviewed the “Preparedness and Response Plan for Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) Introduction in the Caribbean sub-region,” a document compiled by some 22 experts from throughout the Caribbean. The report discussed four major ways CHIKV’s arrival to Belize would be managed: clinical management, epidemiological surveillance, laboratory surveillance, and vector control. Director of Health Services Doctor Michael Pitts explained that the disease does not have a high fatality rate, but sensitization is still important because of the inevitability of CHIKV reaching Belize.

BCCI wants public sector audit Auditor General says it is possible!
The business community has requested a Human Resource audit of the government to ensure greater public service efficiency, and the Auditor General has indicated her willingness to conduct such an audit. President of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Kay Menzies told The Reporter that the BCCI supports a complete HR audit of the public sector and would like to see results following the reports of such an audit. Menzies said that the BCCI does not wish to encourage lay-offs or retrenchment, but she explained that it is imperative that the Belizean public gets the best value for their dollar. The Auditor General Dorothy Bradley said that she would be more than willing to undertake such an audit.

OAS Commission meets with civil society Prevalent Corruption and absence of Integrity Commission Discussed
The OAS Mechanism for Follow-up on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (MESICIC) visited Belize this week and met with the private sector. Kay Menzies, president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), confirmed to The Reporter that members from Belizean civil society, including Menzies herself, met with the commission at the Radisson on Wednesday morning. According to Menzies the overall sentiment that civil shared with the MESICIC commission was that corruption in Belize is prevalent and it needs to be addressed because it is hindering economic development and growth. The OAS commission, during its visit, is also scheduled to meet with Belizean oversight bodies and civil society during a visit coordinated by the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Fired or not? Decision made but not yet delivered
The prolonged battle between Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL)’s major shareholders over whether or not to keep Dr. Henry Canton as the company’s chief executive officer may soon end. CPBL’s new board has reportedly decided to replace him. Chairman of the board, Doug Singh, said that while the board was “in the process of working on it [the reported termination], Canton remains in office. Singh was reserved in his comments, saying that he will remain responsible until everything is finalized. The details of Canton’s retirement package have not been released, but The Reporter has learned from a well-positioned source within the industry that Canton’s post will likely be advertised before the month of April is over. Canton was named by Banks Holdings Limited, one of the company’s two major shareholders in the CPBL, as a Director on the new Board.

Who would have thought that military events occurring half-way around the world would have a profound impact on the future territorial security of Belize! It seems far-fetched, but Russia’s seizure of the Crimea, and her threatening moves against the Ukraine have unified world condemnation of armed aggression and produced such […]

Study shows how junk food diets prompt laziness
Though most of us have experienced that lazy feeling after eating a large meal, researchers from California say their new study indicates that consistently eating processed foods and being overweight makes people tired and inactive, contrary to some beliefs maintaining laziness leads to obesity. The researchers, from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), will publish their results in the journal Physiology and Behavior. They conducted their study in rats, whose physiological systems are very similar to those of humans. Placing them in two groups, the team then fed the 32 female rats one of two diets for a period of 6 months. The first group ate a normal rat’s diet of unprocessed foods – such as ground corn and fish meal – whereas the second group was fed a lower-quality, processed diet with much more sugar. This diet served as a proxy for a junk food diet, the team says.

Attracting investments and growing the economy
“Even though the Statistical Institute of Belize issued a press release in February correctly cautioning that GDP growth has no direct correlation with unemployment rate, we still need to ask where new jobs will come from when the economy is growing very little or not at all. “Keeping in mind that the September Labour Force Survey gave an official unemployment figure of 14.2% or approximately 21,000 people, how can an economy growing at only 0.7% create jobs for that many unemployed? “Bear in mind that the Government of Belize already hires almost 15,000 people at a total annual wage bill -footed by taxpayers- of just over $332 million, so it cannot create 21,000 more jobs within its own ranks. This leaves the private sector to do the needful, but how best to do it? One quick way to create sustainable jobs is to encourage foreign investors to bring new money and business activity into the economy.”— (Kay Menzies, president of Belize Chamber of Commerce).

Fabio Carballo wins Don Omario Cup U-19 table tennis championship
Fabio Carballo of St. John’s College successfully defended his title as National Table Tennis Champion for players under 19 last week, when the Belize Table Tennis Association held the second annual Don Omario Cup Table Tennis U-19 Championship. Carballo, one of the top table tennis players in the country, triumphed 3-1 over second-place winner Joshua Gegg of Corozal Community College in the championship finals. Gian Lisbey of St. Johns College ranked third after Gegg eliminated him in the semifinals, and John DelCid of St. Joseph Primary School took fourth place. Carballo entered the tournament as the third-ranked seed, but he won through to the finals by victories over Maurice Alvarez, Mario Galindo, Amiri Hoare, Joshua Gegg and Gian Lisbey.

Police United & Bandits win in Belikin football
The Police United football club continues to lead the 2014 Belikin Cup tournament organized by the Premier League of Belize with 22 pts from seven wins and a draw, while the Belmopan Bandits moved into second place with 16pts from four wins and four draws. Bandits enjoyed their fourth win in a 4-0 rout of FC Belize at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday, April 19. Denmark Casey opened scoreboard for the Bandits with the first goal and Elroy Kuylen soon added a second to lead 2-0 at intermission. Kuylen scored a third goal after the break, and Jerome “Jaro” James came off the bench to score a fourth goal to seal the victory.

Creating Jobs and Growth
GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, is the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year. In other words, GDP is a measurement of the economy’s growth. Last year, Belize had GDP growth of 0.7%. The accompanying analysis spoke to the factors of performance that led to this low growth: increased shrimp exports, increased overnight tourism, increased construction, decreases in citrus, sugar, bananas and oil production, and so on. When we look at the GDP report however, we should ask a few more questions regarding what that growth means and how it can improve. For example, even though the Statistical Institute of Belize issued a press release in February correctly cautioning that GDP growth has no direct correlation with unemployment rate, we still need to ask where new jobs will come from when the economy is growing very little or not at all.

Opposition leader says economy needs reform
People’s United Party (PUP) leader Francis Fonseca said that Belize’s economy is stagnant and economic reform in necessary for Belize to move forward. Fonseca told The Reporter that the basis of his economic reform is about transforming the Belizean economy by fuelling private sector growth. “It’s very important for us to understand that if we’re going to grow the economy in Belize it has to be led by the private sector,” said Fonseca. “The government can’t replace the private sector and you can’t try to do that because it’s unsustainable,” Fonseca said. He advised that government should partner with the private sector by creating an environment of investment in an effort to revive the economy and encourage Belize’s exports.

PUC reviews expert report on water rate increase
The Public Utilities Commission is currently reviewing the independent expert’s report on Belize Water Service Limited’s proposed water rate increase. According to Rudolf Williams, director of water and waste water at the PUC, the final report was submitted on April 17. Williams explained that the determination on what percentage the rates would increase by was scheduled to be made this week, but was delayed because of issues with the expert’s report. “I will not comment on whether or not the rates will increase, “ Williams said, “that is still under the consideration of the commission.” The report, prepared by consultants of the firm Baker Tilly Hulse, was designed to review the methodology used by BWSL and the PUC in calculating what percentage the rates should increase by.

Benqueños re-enact passion and death of Jesus in vivid detail
For the last 22 years the people of Benque Viejo have been re-enacting the Good Friday passion and death of Jesus, bringing to life the envy and malice which spurred Jewish leaders to insist on the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. “Crucify him!” they roared at the Roman Governor, until Pilate relented, and gave in to their demand. The trial, at 10 o’clock in the morning, began at the Governor’s House, a stately building facing the Benque Viejo Boulevard, where a large crowd had assembled. On the verandah, facing the street, stood Pilate, the Roman Governor, and Jesus, his hands shackled, beside him. The trial was held to determine the fate of Jesus. Pilate defended Jesus because he could see that malice was the cause of all the resentment. But when the High Priest and elders stood up to him, it was Pilate who backed down.

Bevans, 23, gunned down, police set up command centre
The Belize Police Department has installed a command centre in Jane Usher Boulevard following the slaying of Patrick Bevans, 23, a known gang affiliate who lives on Louise Bevans Street in the same area. The police explained that the initiative is to deter any form of retaliation to Bevan’s murder. Corporal Jorge Lemus, of the Administrative Section at Precinct Two Police Unit, told reporters that the command centre’s operations over the next few weeks will involve strategic foot, bicycle and mobile patrols. The unit will also set up a checkpoint to deter major crimes in the surrounding areas. Beyond its preventative function in respect to any gang-related response to the Bevan’s killing, Lemus explained that the initiative is also designed to dismantle any criminal effort to “claim” the Jane Usher Boulevard area.

Convicted Belizean on the lam in Guatemala
Convicted kidnapper, Joseph Ryan Budna, 33, a Belizean man who was serving a 25-year prison sentence in Guatemala, is reportedly on the run after he escaped from law enforcement authorities on Monday. Budna, who was accused last year for leading a regional kidnapping ring and later found guilty of kidnapping an American boy, was under guard at the Regional Hospital of Zacapa, a town on the eastern part of Guatemala. It is not certain how Budna managed to escape two police guards, but the Prensa Libre of Guatemala is reporting that those officers are now under investigation.

Body found in Corozal still unidentified
The body of a woman found in Corozal still remains unidentified and police say they have very little leads to go on. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, O.C. Corozal Police told The Reporter on Thursday that no-one has come forward to claim the victim as family and that no-one in the Corozal district has been reported as missing. Ramirez explained that there are cases of missing persons in other disctrics and police from those jurisdictions are working to determine is the body could be one of the missing persons. On Tuesday a resident of the area discovered the body of a dark complexion woman nude and partially decomposed. Police visited the area about a mile out of Chan Chen village heading towards Patchakan around 2:35 p.m. on Tuesday. According to Ramirez, the woman was found with no hair and several wounds to the hair and face.

Minor and adult to be charged for hit and run
A 14-year-old boy, responsible for knocking down a toddler in Orange Walk, and the adult who provided him with the key to the truck he was driving will both be charged next week. According to Roger Briceno, O.C. Orange Walk Police, the minor as well as the owner of the Ford F-150, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s driver, Christopher Hendricks will be arraigned in court next Tuesday. Briceno said that they have both been summoned already and the minor was charged with driving without due care and attention, negligent grievous harm, driving a motor vehicle without a driver’s license and failing to report an accident.

Tourism sector comments on canadian travel advisory
The government of Canada’s high caution advisory to Canadians traveling to Belize is still in effect; however the Belize Tourism Board maintains that isolated incidents of crime should not mar the image of the country. The Reporter spoke this week with Alyssa Carnegie, marketing director of the Belize Tourism Board, who explained that while the advisory carries some negative comments, tourists are not being told to avoid Belize. “The advisory is more or less a caution to travelers, not discouraging them from coming to Belize, not saying that its an unsafe place to be, but to exercise some degree of caution and we feel that’s practical advice for anyone going anywhere.” Carnegie also explained the advisory is not expected to have a largely negative impact on the tourist arrivals for this year, however because visitors general plan their trips three to six months in advance the effects will not be determined until later this year.

No leads into murder of Tropic Air employee in Guatemala
Benque Viejo police have no leads in the Good Friday shooting murder of Belizean, Edwin Javier Chan, 22, a resident of Succotz Village, Cayo, and an employee of Tropic Air who was murdered in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala over the Easter Holidays and laid to rest on Easter Monday in his home village. Chan, The Reporter has been able to confirm, left Belize to go socializing in Melchor de Mencos on Good Friday afternoon. They were at a riverside party in a remote area of Melchor and his friends reported to police that they left him around 9 p.m. and returned to Benque. The Reporter has been able to establish that when Melchor police discovered Chan around 8 a.m on Saturday, he was near a bar and a hotel in the same general location. He was beaten, apparently with a “blunt object” about the face and shot in the left side of the head, but interestingly, his wallet, jewelry and passport were all on him. So far Guatemalan police have no leads into this murder.

Child killed in motorcycle accident
Five year-old Akeela Wade, an infant one student of Holy Redeemer Primary School, lost her life on Holy Saturday when a motorcycle on which she was riding crashed into the back wheel of a moving bus. The incident happened around 5 p.m. at the Douglas Jones/North Front Street intersection near the Belchina Bridge in Belize City. The driver of the passenger bus, Eyeon Bermudez, 44, told police that he was driving the shuttle bus on North Front Street from the direction of Mapp Street towards Victoria Street and that when he passed the intersection with Douglas Jones Street, a red Honda scooter came out of Douglas Jones Street into North Front Street and slammed into the left rear wheel of the bus.

Sales manager charged with rape of minor
Police have arrested a Belize City Sales Marketing Manager and charged him with the rape of a minor. The accused is Garth Longsworth, 31, a resident of Cran Street. The charge against Longsworth is in connection with a police report that a 16 year-old girl of San Ignacio Town gave to police in March.

The Belize Times

Lowering the Bar at UB
The Prime Minister and Minister of Education seem to have thumbed their noses at the academic professionals at the University of Belize and Belizean intellectuals at home and abroad with the appointment of an academically-challenged individual to the post of interim President. Allan Slusher has been appointed interim UB President according to the President of the UB Board of Trustees Harrison Pilgrim. Slusher, who has been an old and loyal UDP scout, has been tapped on the shoulder to replace Dr. Cary Fraser who is currently on administrative leave as instructed by the Board, pending a final settlement on his departure. But all is not well with Slusher’s appointment. There is major controversy brewing within the University Faculty because Slusher is the holder of a Bachelor’s degree. The University of Belize requires its lecturers to have a Master’s degree. All previous Presidents, and Acting President, have held Doctorate degrees – from Dr. Angel Cal, Dr. Corinth-Morter Lewis and Dr. Santos Mahung. The announcement has been seen by many as a mockery to the institution which seeks to impart higher learning on Belizeans. How can Slusher lead the University when there are about 20 other members of the faculty who hold a Doctorate and are more academically qualified than him?

14 yr. old knocks down 2 yr. old in Orange Walk – Vehicle belongs to DPM’s driver
A vehicle belonging to the driver of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, but recklessly driven at the time by a 14 year old minor, almost killed a two year old child in Orange Walk Town on Holy Thursday. The toddler, Rachel Chan, was standing on Sapodilla Street in Trial Farm when she was hit by the pickup which was driven by the 14 year old. Baby Rachel was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital and then transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital because of her severe condition. Hospital authorities report that Baby Rachel suffered a large wound on her forehead and three broken ribs. She had to undergo a major surgery which resulted in the removal of her spleen which had been damaged.

Canada, US issue travel advisories against Belize
The international reactions to the high levels of crime and violence that currently exist in Belize and the Barrow Administration’s failure to properly safeguard citizens and even visitors have come hard and strong, with travel advisories issued against Belize by the powerful United States and Canada. The Government of Canada issued a travel warning a week ago, on April 17th 2014, to Canadians who may be interested in visiting Belize, cautioning about the levels of violence in our country. According to the Canadian government’s warning, “criminal activity, including armed robbery, mugging and sexual assault, is a significant problem throughout Belize. Robberies and assaults have been reported in resort areas. There has been a noted increase in violent crime targeting tourists since the end of 2013.” The latest travel advisory indicates that Canadians “should exercise a high degree of caution due to a high rate of violent crime throughout the country”. This advisory has been in effect up to today, April 24, 2014.

US forensics probes shooting of illegal Guatemalan in Chiquibul
In a show of utmost disrespect to Belize’s law enforcement officers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has acceded to Guatemala’s demands for a third party to investigate the fatal shooting of an Guatemalan who illegally inside Belize’s border. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sedi Elrington has conceded that the Barrow Administration caved into the demands, and a U.S. forensics official identified as Dr. James Hamdi was brought into Belize by Guatemala to carry out a parallel investigation. This is after the Belize Defense Force submitted a detailed report. Also, after the Belize Police Department carried out its investigation which corroborated the BDF’s account of the March 28th incident. There is, after multiple investigations, no doubt that Guatemalan 26 year old Tomas Ramirez was well within Belize when he was shot, in self-defense, by Belize’s BDF soldiers.

Editorial: How Commercials Stop Violent Murders
In Belize there is a direct connection between the health of the Belizean economy and the safety and security of our citizens. There is an undeniable connection between jobs and crime. There is a direct negative correlation between the capitalist business community and the jackals of gangland. No matter how mischief-makers and media leeches spin it, a healthy and vibrant economy is the best home remedy to the crime virus. The greater observation is that to the BELIZE TIMES, there is a choking hypocrisy and a flamboyant insult to claim that major crime is “down” by 32%. There are a few things that need to be said about the expensive, seemingly Jules Vasquez-endorsed commercial saying that crime is down. The first point is that this ad proves that there is a daily Channel 7 marketing campaign for the UDP. We are reminded of the casual assessment of Jules Vasquez, which says “Jules is the most independent news personality until it counts”. This always holds true to form.

Mexican Juan Pablo Magallanes wins Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic
Team Benny’s Megabytes’ Mexican import Juan Pablo Magallanes won the 86th Holy Saturday Cross Country cycling Classic, clocking 5:45:03 on his 140-mile ride from the BTL Park in Belize City to the Columbus Park in San Ignacio and back on Saturday, April 19. Magallanes had to take 2nd place to Darnell barrow last year, but this time he took the $6,000 1st prize, the winner’s garland of roses presented by and 3-time Cross Country champ Kenrick Halliday, plus 8 trophies, as well as a $400 shopping spree at Mirage, a return ticket to the USA from United Airlines, a return ticket from Maya Island Air, a bull from Cuello’s Distillery, a 2-night stay at Barrier Reef Lodge in San Pedro and a weekend’s stay for two at Captain Morgan’s Retreat in San Pedro, $250 from LC Distributors and an MP4 player from Go Wireless. He had also cleaned up over $6,850 in station prizes when he and Mexican rider Florencio Ramos of the Predators team broke away from the lead breakaway of 5 riders in Camalote, running all the way to San Ignacio, where Magallanes won the halfway prizes, and back to the city until they were caught by Hector Jugo Rangel at mile 36.

Police United defeats Verdes with 8-man squad
Police United FC toppled Verdes FC 1-0 to cement their lead in the 2014 Belikin Cup closing season football competition. Danny Jimenez struck the winning goal in the 37th minute against Verdes at “La Cancha” Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo last Saturday night. The plays were fast and furious with the referee having to send off Verdes’ defender Everald Trapp and 3 Police players, the visitors were down to 8 men by the end of the game, but held off Verdes’ attacks to secure the 1-0 win.

Mo Cal & Rigo Vellos win Placencia Easter Fest
Placencia drew a large crowd to the annual Tipsy Tuna’s 14th Annual Easter Fest which featured the Clean & Classy Swimsuit Competition and male Fitness Contest as one of its highlights on Sunday, April 20, 2013. This year’s competition saw the entrance of new fitness athletes. It also saw Mr. Belize, Rigo Vellos, defending the title for another year. Vellos, has had a three-year winning streak in Placencia, and he did not disappoint his fans after putting off a show that convinced the judges that he was still #1. Second place in male Fitness went to Placencia’s very own Edgar Rogers while Belize City’s Edward Burns won 3rd.

Fabio Carballo is U-19 Table Tennis Champ
SJC’s defending under-19 table tennis champ Fabio Carballo won the 2nd annual Don Omario Cup table tennis U-19 tournament to become the back-to-back champ in a tournament organized by the Belize Table Tennis Association at the “home of table tennis” the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Saturday, April 12. The final rankings were: 2nd- Joshua Gegg – Corozal Community College, 3rd – Gian Lisbey – St. Johns College and 4th – John Delcid – St. Joseph Primary School. The top 32 best Under-19 junior players started out in a double elimination format event with the top seed, and Carballo remained undefeated. He ranked No.3 entering this tournament, and he defeated Maurice Alvarez, Mario Galindo, Amiri Hoare, Joshua Gegg and Gian Lisbey to make it to the finals.

Race for the Garland
The 86th running of the annual Cross Country Classic is history and after two years of home town dominance, the garland has once again gone abroad. As per usual, there is the sentiment of what almost borders xenophobia as the organizers and sponsors again face criticism for bringing in foreigner riders. Since 1971 when Mexican Pablo Calderon became the first foreign rider to win the classic, the fear is always that some foreign rider might come in and leave us heartbroken. Since being allowed to participate, foreign riders have done so 18 out of the 28 times they have participated. This year there was the usual influx of foreign riders and once again, much to the chagrin of many locals, top honors went to one of the invaders. Mexican Juan Pablo Magallanes, riding for the Benny’s Megabytes Team, crossed the line first and sent Belizeans to finish the rest of the Easter holidays disappointed. But really, should we be? Isn’t it high time that Belizeans started viewing this race in the same light that the French view the Tour de France? That we stop clamoring for a local rider to win and start looking at this race instead, from the perspective of quality and economic benefits. The Tour de France is the world’s most prominent and popular cycling race and has lengthened its reach to extend around the globe. Riders from as many as 33 countries compete and the last Frenchman to win the tour was Bernard Hinault way back in 1985. Yet, one would not hear the French expressing the type of indignation that Belizeans do and it might be because of the realization that the Tour pumps millions into the France’s economy each year.

Gilroy Usher, Sr. writes “Boots” Martinez, lobbies for streetlights in Port Loyola
The residents of Port Loyola behind the Jane Usher basketball court, on Pen Road extension, and to the west of Arlington Drive would like to know when will you take the necessary steps to address their cries for streetlights in the division? This is a concern that was brought to your attention more than eleven years ago when you were first elected as their Area Representative. The service is justifiable and long overdue as an average of fifty to seventy-five homes are within close proximity in each of the affected areas; the poles of Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) on which the streetlights can be fixed have been in place for over a decade, and by paying their electricity bill dutifully every month, the residents contribute to the millions of dollars in yearly profit for the company. With absolutely no streetlights in place the three areas mentioned are jet-black from 6:30 p.m. and very conducive to all types of criminal activities which make them very dangerous to travel at night. Due to the lack of streetlights in these sections of the division robberies, burglaries, and murders are only some of the crimes the residents of these areas have had to endure.

Stewart Krohn’s tough questions for NCL’s Colin Murphy
I viewed with interest the hosting of a press tour by Norwegian Cruise Line and the explanation by NCL executive Colin Murphy of why the establishment of a cruise port at Harvest Caye would be such a wonderful blessing for Belize. What particularly prompts me to write is his astonishingly candid – and frightening – statement that “Really, what we are doing is locking ourselves into Belize”. Remember that word, “locked”. Although no longer a member of the Belizean media I could not help but think of a few questions for Mr. Murphy had I been present. Specifically could he explain: –why Belizean taxpayers should pay NCL over a hundred million Belize dollars in direct cash subsidy over the course of its exclusive concession, thus allowing NCL to recoup its entire capital investment at Harvest Caye? –why Belizeans should be thrilled with the creation of 200 low paying part-time seasonal jobs? –why NCL needs to reserve 25% of the jobs on Harvest Caye (no doubt the best paying jobs) for foreigners?

The UN Report and Why Are We Ignoring Structural Violence?
Before I get to my main point I take this opportunity to denote how our psychological wiring and thought process often times have us inaccurately prioritizing issues that affect our lives: The Availability Heuristic says that we will react to what is most available to us and easy for us to mentally process/digest. In this case, I am speaking about the fact that Belize has been branded by the United Nations as the third most ‘dangerous’ country in the world due to our murder rate per 100,000 people, and how we reacted to it. We must also take into consideration our Arbitrary Coherence, which says that once we get something established in our minds, that ’something’ will shape how we react and mentally process it today and in the future. Buzz words such as murder, dangerous, violence make the UN report, Coherent, it sends us in a frenzy, we get emotional, we get mad, we feel ashamed of the accolade…and the media feeds this frenzy, since often times the media naturally gravitate towards stories due to their Availability Heuristics.

GOB increases fuel prices on eve of Holy Week
Just when thousands of Belizeans prepared to go on their Easter travelling plans, the mean Dean Barrow Administration sneaked in higher fuel prices. On April 16th, just a day before Holy Thursday, the cost of Diesel and Regular fuel increased by 30 cents cumulatively. Diesel fuel increased by two cents from $10.39 to $10.41 per gallon, while Regular fuel went from $11.28 to $11.56 per gallon, an increase of twenty eight cents. Fortunately, Premium fuel was not affected by the price increase and continued at $11.67 per gallon. Higher in other districts The new prices mentioned above are for Belize City only. In other parts of the country, the prices are much higher. For example, in Orange Walk the price of Regular fuel per gallon is $11.64, Diesel is $10.49, and Premium is $11.75.

OW Police seek identity of armed robbers
Orange Walk Police have not been able to determine the identity of two men who robbed a thrift store on one of Orange Walk town’s busiest shopping areas, despite having captured the entire robbery on surveillance security camera. The men, one of dark complexion and the other of Hispanic descent, entered the Orange Walk Bargain Center located on Main Street around 9:45 in the morning and held up the cashier on duty. They stole money and cell phones valuing a total of $7,250.

Hope is a renewable option
What is hope? Hope is something that we all feel at some point in our lives. Today’s hurried lifestyle may leave us weary or burned out. At times, we search for hope through life’s adversities as we look for a sense of purpose and understanding to engage in all our challenges. In moments of despair, we question the meaning of living. Daily living provides us with multiple dilemmas, but how we embrace life’s changes, whether good or bad, is what inspires us when we feel like every step forward takes us two steps back. Journeying through moments of despondency teaches us to look within ourselves to find the strength to search for guidance from a higher power when we feel like there is no way to go on. Have you ever wondered why some people are born into wealth and others into poverty? Do you question why some on this planet suffer or experience disappointment after disappointment? Do you ever question why a healthy person suddenly becomes ill? Do you know how to pull yourself together during life’s emergencies? Life offers many strategies for daily living, and yet many of us do not believe strongly enough in ourselves to persevere when we encounter difficult situations. Think of moments of uncertainty as a welcome gift, for they may encourage us do things for ourselves or others when a lack of action would cause later regret.

HOME ECONOMICS – The Dynamics of Domestic Easter Tourism
Domestic Easter tourism expenditures is the biggest for Belizeans of all levels of income. This year Belizeans spent an estimated $60 million on domestic and foreign travel…to vacation spots, to visit families/friends in a different part of the country, to meet new people in a new place, or for parties with family and friends at home. Most of the foreign travel is to Mexico’s Riviera Maya beaches…where Belizeans who can afford it perceive better value for money…wider variety of entertainment choices, newness, difference…more safety….better and more reliable services. Domestic travel is mainly to the islands, principally San Pedro and Caye Caulker, with Placencia and Hopkins catching up fast. San Ignacio, a scenic inland town, has traditionally attracted large numbers as well, but it seems to be in decline. The sun, sea and sand gives natural advantage to the coastal areas during these summer days, with the very pleasant weather resulting from the north-easterly winds and Easter full-moon effects…so the inland destinations wanting to grow their share of this pie have to work much harder to make their offers more attractive for vacation planners.

Cold UDP Government – Will Belize demand investigation of Belizean killed in Melchor?
The case of another Belizean brutally murdered in the neighboring Guatemalan village of Melchor de Mencos might just turn into another unsolved homicide, as the Belize Government has refused to apply any pressure on Guatemalan authorities to provide conclusive answers to the killing of 22 year old Edwin Javier Chan over the Easter holidays. On Saturday morning, Chan was found dead inside Auto Hotel in the Barrio Campito area of Melchor. He had a gunshot wound to the left side of his head. Chan had travelled to Melchor on Friday April 18th afternoon with several friends. They returned to the Belize side, while Chan remained.

A few weeks ago a BBC Correspondent named Serena Field emailed me to ask if she could interview me by telephone or Skype. She was, she said, doing a series of interviews with persons from the Commonwealth about the music they liked, asking them to send a piece of music that represented their respective countries. This is in connection with the upcoming Twentieth Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow, Scotland this year in July and August. Immediately I thought that I would like to share, and to talk about in the interview, the music of the Lord Rhaburn Combo, particularly two selections from the early 1960’s Lord Rhaburn album “Tropico y Ritmo,” which on the CD release is titled “Tropical Rhythm.” Serena had asked me to choose one piece, but when I listened again to the album, I felt that the songs are so short that perhaps she would let me choose two. I picked “Bud Bank Wedding” and “Suddenly It Happens.”


Something Different & Sooo Delicious Plus A Proper Coffee: San Pedro’s Mesa Cafe
The Mesa Cafe has been in San Pedro, open for breakfast and lunch, for quite a few years. Always HIGHLY ranked on Tripadvisor – the site that strikes dread and fear into the hearts of many a business owner, I just never went there much. And I can’t really explain why… SO…I was very pleased when I found out the new owners of Mesa Cafe, two LOVELY young energetic fun Australians, were my neighbors. Meet Jo and Sheldon… Mesa has both serious coffee menus and a food menu. Lots of vegetarian options. They’ve also got beautiful Air conditioning. Perfect on those really hot days. And with this menu? Kind of perfect anytime. My eye went straight to breakfast. Why eat burgers and tacos when you can eat real food masquerading as dessert? Look at these choices…

“Outside” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Early evening we took him with us when we went to Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill where he very quickly became a source of attention. He’s a good looking ‘boy’ and very well behaved and it wasn’t long before people were coming over to pet and stoke him. He lapped it up and, if I’m honest, so did we. Two of the people that came over to make a fuss of him we had never seen before but within seconds it was obvious that they came from London, our part of the world. They were Jill and Jim a retired couple originally living only miles from where we used to reside that now live in Spain. In fact Jim was a senior officer at our local police station. Pleased though that I never had the ‘pleasure’ of meeting him when he was in this line of work! Jill and Jim have been away from their home since the beginning of the year on an extended holiday that before reaching Ambergris Caye has seen them visit Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore. They plane on travelling extensively through Central America but don’t know when they will start this because Jill immediately fell in love with Ambergris Caye. We know the feeling Jill.

My most expensive Belize cocktails and Zen Goats
Recently I had 4 of the most expensive Belize cocktails ever, at $157.22 a piece for a grand total of 628.89. I wish I could say I enjoyed them more but it was the solution I needed to get my abdominal CT scan done. Radiologist Julio Diaz was really nice as were all the staff Belize health Care Partners. I can honestly say I feel pretty good about the medical care I have gotten in Belize to help me get sorted out and back to normal what ever that is ha ha. Since a few people have been asking about my health, I figured it was time for an update. I am doing much better about 65% back to normal. Still watching what I eat and starting to fall off the wagon more food wise because I am rarely experiencing pain. I can tell though if I go too far the wrong way I will regret it, caramelized onions today were a reminder of that.

International Sources

The Maya Perspective On The Material World Has Parallels With Today’s Online Culture
We take it for granted that our lives, and our beliefs, are intrinsically different from cultures of the past. They built pyramids and temples, we play on Facebook and build virtual lives. A new study from the University of Cincinnati, however, shows that the ancient Maya might just have been big fans of Facebook. They believed that material objects, like a courtier’s mirror or a sculptor’s carving tool, could be imbued with part of the owner’s identity. They considered such objects to be alive, naming them, talking to them, and taking them to special events. UC’s assistant professor Sarah Jackson claims that such behavior isn’t much different than today’s selfie-snapping culture where a Facebook profile can become as important to a person’s identity as his or her real-world interactions. Jackson presented her findings on the interesting parallels between ancient Maya and modern-day views on materiality at the Society for American Archaeology’s (SAA) annual meeting on Friday.

A look at the claws, teeth, and venom of Mother Nature
‘The jungle can kill you in a thousand ways,” hissed Jon Voight in Anaconda. Dan Riskin is keeping count (and the count includes anacondas). The personable Discovery Channel host and accomplished evolutionary biologist – the PhD after his name comes straight out of Cornell – has devoted an entire book to inventorying the various lethal weapons – including claws, teeth, venom and straight-up viciousness – being packed by all creatures great and small. If the end results aren’t comprehensive, it’s not for lack of trying: you’d have to go back to the adventures of Hannibal Lecter to find a book with so many entertainingly gory anecdotes (even if most of the victims in this case reside further down the food chain). Lest this seem like an overly heavy concept for a book that’s clearly been written for a mainstream readership, Riskin leavens the proceedings and his own academic background with plenty of gently self-deprecating humor – the first section, which describes his battle with a botfly that burrowed into the back of his head somewhere in Belize, is disarmingly and charmingly gross – and also a rich dollop of sentimentality. “I thought getting a maggot lodged in my head was life-changing, but it turns out that’s nothing compared to having a baby,” Riskin observes in his introduction, slyly setting up a dynamic that carries through the rest of the book: the author’s slavish, unshakeable love for his baby son Sam balanced against his scholarly suspicions that it’s all just biological hard wiring. “I know that when Sam kisses me and smiles at me, it’s because his DNA is ensuring its own survival,” he writes. “We’re just a pair of meat robots.”

Foreign worker program abuse won't be tolerated, Jason Kenney warns
The government's decision to impose a moratorium on the fast-food industry's access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will send employers "a very clear message" that abuse will not be tolerated, says Employment Minister Jason Kenney. Kenney's comments came during a news conference in Vancouver on Friday, a day after CBC released an audio recording of the CEO of McDonald's Canada speaking to franchise owners during a private conference call earlier in the week. "This has been an attack on our brand. This has been an attack on our system. This is an attack on our people. It’s bullshit OK! I used those words when I described my conversation with the minister last week. He gets it," McDonald's Canada CEO John Betts is heard saying.

The Ancient Maya and virtual worlds: Different perspectives on material meanings
If Facebook were around 1,400 years ago, the ancient Maya might have been big fans of the virtual self. The Maya believed that part of your identity could inhabit material objects, like a courtier's mirror or sculptor's carving tool. Maya might even name these objects, talk to them or take them to special events. They considered these items to be alive. The practice of sharing your identity with material possessions might seem unusual in a modern context. But is it that different from today's selfie-snapping, candy-crushing online culture, where social media profiles can be as important to a person's identity as his or her real-world interactions? Even money is virtual now, as digital currency such as Bitcoin gains popularity.

Tropical fruits see strong demand
Tropical fruit is gaining in popularity, shippers report. “Retailers are seeing increased consumer interest in carrying these items because they’re being asked for them,” said Eddie Caram, general manager of the Princeton, Fla.-based New Limeco LLC. The Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals LLC harvests Belize papaya. Abnormally high rainfall cut production during the second half of 2013, said Bill Brindle, Brooks’ vice president of sales management. “Overall demand is strong and consistent,” he said. “Retailers are realizing ripe and ready-to-eat is very important. They’re also realizing they need to put a reasonable amount of product on the shelves. Two or three papaya and starfruit won’t get you any sales. They have to have decent-sized displays to attract customers.”

"Ritmos" es una sesión en directo de Belize. "En el invierno de 2013 pedimos a Santi G.Barros y a varios amigos que nos acompañaran al invernadero de Montreal Studios, en Subiza". Así explica el trío español, oriundo de Pamplona, este material que esta presentando, este nuevo clip que ya podes ver en

Tiny Dude, Giant Wave
Some of the world’s scariest waves explode off the coast of Portugal, and North Shore gunslinger Garrett McNamara won’t stop until he’s tamed an elusive wave he calls Big Mama. At five in the morning, there’s water in the streets of Nazaré. Dark and swirled with sand, it comes racing across the wide beach and into the town square, wetting the shoes of late-night revelers and lapping against the monument to the mulhers, the long-suffering women of this ancient Portuguese fishing village. You can’t see the waves yet, but the surf roars like a 747, echoing off the cliffs to the north. Big Mama is here.


Video: Acuario en Long Caye, Belize, 9min.
Asi comienza el tercero y ultimo buceo del dia en el trip del Blue Hole!!

Video: Bols Museum Cave, Cayo Belize, 20min.
Bol's Museum Cave is amazing, artifacts litter the cave like chamber, not the easiest place to find your way to, bus so worth it. Mr Bol guides you to this treasure trove of Mayan artifacts. You can't do this on a whim, a lot of planning went into this .. I have put links to a couple of people below that can at least see if its possible for you to visit as we did. The meeting the man himself that discovered it, and hearing some of the stories surrounding this incredible find.. this is not like anything we have

Video: The view from the summit of Victoria Peak, Belize, 4min.
Guide Benedicto Choc explains what you can see from the top of Victoria Peak, the second highest point in Belize.

Video: Spring Break in Belize 2014 Theiss, 12min.
Ambergris Caye and Lamanai

Video: Kate Upton | Beach Bunny Swimwear Shoot | Sanctuary Belize, 2min.
Sanctuary Belize was proud to host the shooting of Beach Bunny Swimwear's 2012 Bikini Line. Kate Upton was featured modeling on Sanctuary Caye, our very own .

Video: Ramona & Wayne, Diving in Belize!, 4min.
Congratulations to Ramona and Wayne who recently completed their Open Water Certification with us here at Belize Pro Dive Center. Enjoy!

Video: Belize 2014, 11min.
Andy and Lisa in Belize

Video: Zoo Documentary (Belize), 10min.
Today....the zoo had 3 fun visitors ;D

Video: Calm Day at Half Moon Caye Lighthouse Reef Belize, 2min.

Video: BELIZE DIVE TRIP, VIDEO 3, MARCH 2014, 6min.
Dives 3-6-14, 3-7-14, Snorkeling 3-9-14

Video: Belize Cave Tubing April 2014, 4min.
We went on a Western Caribbean cuise on the Carnival Conquest. There was a cave tubing excursion that could be booked on the ship. We talked to some people in the port and ended up going with a company that was licensed with the Belize tourism board. We got it for a lot less and spent more time on the river. Our driver was Rupert that stopped so we could buy beers on the way. Our guide was "King David"... awesome guy. The excursion took about 4 hours. Enjoy!

Video: Summer 2013/14, 11min.
Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama

Video: FSADB Speech by Brian Patnett, 13min.
from FSADB Belize

April 25, 2014


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

All set for 10th annual Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge
The 10th annual Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge has been set for Saturday, May 10th and Sunday, May 11th, and as the days wind down, anticipation is growing for the kayakers who will undertake the 42-mile journey across the waters of Ambergris Caye. The Eco-Challenge was created to raise awareness on the importance of conserving Ambergris Caye marine ecosystem. The challenge takes kayakers in a two day race through the mangrove studded lagoons west of the island, up to Basil Jones in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. Kayakers will then camp out for the night at the reserve returning along the eastern coast of Ambergris Caye on the second day.

3rd Annual Easter Monday Cycling Race
San Pedro can always count on a group of cyclists pioneering the way for the sports with various activities throughout the year. On Monday April 21st, the San Pedro Cycling Club organized its 3rd annual Easter Monday Cycling Race. There were two sets of races, one in the juvenile division that consisted of cyclists 13 years and under, and the other, a combined race for the junior and senior cyclists. The 12 riders sprinted along the allotted path to the roundabout and at the end of the third lap, it was Andrew Vasquez who would claim victory at Calvio’s finish line for the senior division, while Keian Ancona took the win for the juniors. Placing second in the senior division was Keith Moralez, and third was Perry Staine.

Ambergris Today

Gang Suppression Unit Back on Ambergris Caye Over Easter Break
During a meeting with the heads of Neighborhood Watches on the island, Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department, Luis Castellanos, indicated that the southern end of Ambergris Caye is the safest area on the island with Town Core, San Juan Area and Boca del Rio Area having the highest incidents of crime. Last month’s crime report indicated an increase in criminal activity on the island, particularly in these three areas. Although the crimes taking place in downtown San Pedro (concentrated on Barrier Reef Drive/Front Street) were mostly theft of gasoline from golf carts, OIC Castellanos is concerned that the crimes could escalate to more serious one. The reports indicate that they are occurring mostly during the weekend and that there are no neighborhood watch groups in the three most crime prone areas in town to assist the Police. Castellanos indicated that he has increased patrols in these areas.

Letters To The Editor: Again Wally Nunez Sets The Good Example
I will appreciate it very much if you could publish with proof the fact that I have made my required submission of my Declaration Form to the Integrity Commission of Belize. I have enclosed my bank statements as well as my income tax receipts, proof of my financial status and the payment of my income tax. I wish to categorically state that my purpose is twofold: First of all to prove that I will be transparent during my term of office as councilor as well as now that I am, once again, a candidate for municipal elections. Secondly I wish to invite all my colleagues in the San Pedro Town Council to show the good example of their honesty and integrity. Thank you, Mr. Editor, for providing space and time in this important procedure in my political life.

Misc Belizean Sources

Ministry of Labour Open Day
The Ministry of Labour will be hosting it's annual Labour Day Open Day on April 30th 2014 at all of our 10 Labour Offices Country-wide. We are hereby inviting the general public, schools, Public Officers and the different Media Houses to come out and come join us in gaining further knowledge about our different Labour laws and other important information that we have to offer. See you there.

Ya’axché Conservation Trust promotes fire safety
The Ya’axche Conservation Trust this past weekend held their annual Ride Against Fire in Silver Creek village, Toledo. The objective of the event, according to the Executive Director of Ya’axché Conservation Trust, Christina Garcia, was to raise awareness of the destructive force of fire and to provide residents of communities at the foot of the Maya Mountains with key information needed to help them use and control forest fires especially during the dry season. Oganizers of the event used the opportunity through displays and short presentations, to dialogue with farmers on how they can go about using fire without causing destruction.

Teen injured in Dangriga shooting incident
A shooting incident on Wednesday night in Dangriga town has left a teenager injured. Hansel Garcia, 17, was hit multiple times when a lone gunman opened fire on him around 8:15 pm on Wednesday. According to police, the shooting happened on Castillo Alley in Dangriga. Garcia, police say, was walking in the direction of Ecumenical Drive when a gunman opened fire on him.

University of Belize main campus evacuated due to bomb threat
Classes were interrupted this morning at the main campus of the University of Belize in Belmopan, reportedly due to a bomb threat. The University of Belize management is being tight-lipped about the incident; but the entire campus was evacuated after the alleged bomb threat was received just after 9 am. By 9:30 am, the “bomb squad” arrived and a complete sweep of the campus was carried out, revealing no explosive device.

Placencia police nab Dangriga man with unlicensed firearm
Quick response by police in Placencia village early this morning averted a possible armed robbery or even worse. Around 12:25 this morning, police responded to reports of an armed man near a business establishment in Seine Bight village. As the police officers were arriving in the area, the gunman reportedly ran away. Police, investigating went to a swampy area west of Seine Bight village where on top of a building, they found a man hiding. He was subsequently apprehended and a search of the top of the building uncovered a .22 brand pistol with serial number 1335597 and a magazine with 4-live rounds of ammunition.

BNTU National Convention held in Belize City
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) met this week at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall in Belize City. President Luke Palacio says the Union has been reviewing its activities, particularly with regard to maintaining the fight against perceived government corruption and quality of life issues for teachers and public servants. He cites the status of non-teaching staff at certain schools and instructors at the ITVET as examples. After reports from executive members of the union on Wednesday during the business session, the union turned to its members for input on internal management and how the BNTU can be more effective and responsive for its members in addressing their grievances and concerns to time.

OSH Bill consultations continue
The Occupational Safety and Health Bill has caused disquiet for employers who believe its measures are too punitive and do harm to all businesses and employees. But consultations as part of the process to make it law continue, and today members of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) listened to a presentation from a member of the committee that drafted the bill, engineer Philip Waight. Waight told us that the bill contains important commitments for both employers and employees. He says employers have a responsibility to ensure that working conditions for their employees are safe and healthy, where it is needed those employees should take a hand in addressing issues themselves or bringing them to the attention of management.

BDF Commander stands by soldiers
Brigadier General David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defence Force, says he supports his men and women on the ground near the Belize-Guatemala border following two recent incidents in Belizean territory. Guatemalan farmer Tomas Ramirez was shot and killed by BDF soldiers on March 29, the fourth such casualty in two years. This time, the two countries agreed to bring in an independent investigator, American national James Hamdi, for an enquiry in the interest of full transparency. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, General Jones said he welcomed the enquiry as he believes it will show that our soldiers acted in self-defense. Jones added that local police have already concluded their own investigation, and based on the testimony of a local officer that accompanied the patrol, it was established that the incident took place at least a mile into Belizean territory, as all the others have.

Cop must pay reporter for cell phone
On Tuesday, Special Constable Joslyn Gill pleaded guilty to damaging the property of Channel 7 reporter Daniel Ortiz last December as he was trying to avoid having his picture taken. Gill is one of three police officials accused of participating in theft and robbery of Belmopan resident Thyrell Hyde in September of 2013. Hyde says he was robbed of thousands of dollars in cash and other property by the officers, including money he was forced to withdraw from his ATM account at a local bank. Gill was being brought to court for arraignment last December when he brazenly slapped Ortiz’s Samsung Galaxy S4 cell phone, valued at $2,000, out of his hands to the concrete floor, causing it to break its screen.

Ministry of Health warns of fast-spreading mosquito-borne disease
The disease known as chikungunya has been spreading rapidly in the Eastern Caribbean, with cases confirmed just today in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in addition to cases seen in ten other Caribbean nations from the Dominican Republic to French Guiana. It is spread by the bite of mosquitoes like Aedes aegypti which also spreads dengue fever. More than 23,000 cases have been reported since the end of 2013, but only 6 have been fatal. On Wednesday, Belize’s Ministry of Health hosted the press at a briefing to discuss the disease and what steps are being taken to retard its spread here. Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts notes that it is just a matter of time before “Chik-V,” as its name is shortened to, arrives in Belize as conditions are similar to those in the Caribbean – high numbers of mosquitoes and levels of human interaction like person-to-person contact.

Tropic Air announced today the arrival of its Beechcraft King Air A100 aircraft to Belize.
On a press relesase, Tropic Air announced today the arrival of its Beechcraft King Air A100 aircraft to Belize. The King Air is a pressurised, air-conditioned, high-speed, twin-engine, jet prop aircraft. Its pressurised cabin is designed for high altitude and high-speed (250 mph) flights. “Its two abreast seating in a 12 passenger configuration will also allow for the higher level of executive seating that our passengers are asking for” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “We were pleased to introduce the modern glass cockpit Cessna Caravan to Belize, and now we are pleased to once again raise the bar of air comfort for our passengers with the King Air”. After a period of crew and support service familiarization, the King Air will be used on routes to Roatan, Merida and daily flights to Cancun. It will also appear on other international routes, such as San Pedro Sula and Flores, Peten from time to time.

Medic, part-time construction worker, student: Deployed Airman does it all
She stands on top of scaffolding at a school addition construction site in Belize, profusely sweating from spending more than 12 hours per day out in the sun, fatigued from laying block after cement block and covered from head to toe in dust and debris. You might think that she has spent every day of her adult life doing construction work because she just fits in, but you’d be wrong. Senior Airman Alyssa Reno, a Lewiston, Idaho, native, is no engineer. In fact, until about 23 days ago she had never spent a day in her life working on a construction site. So, what is this 5-foot-tall young Airman doing in Belize? She’s a medic from the 366th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, assigned to the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise in Belize. She spends her days rotating amongst four different school construction site projects, providing medical treatment to injured engineers and making sure the military members stay properly hydrated to avoid heat-related injuries.

Cayo Classifieds 22-Apr
The new issue of Buy and Sell Weekly is out. They have an article about the Belize Botanic Gardens, and their Professional Gardeners' Programme. They next class starts on May 26th, and goes for 10 weeks. It is free to the 12 students that get accepted. Email [email protected] for more information.

Flor de la Feria Pageant Call
The 47th annual Seniorita Flor de la Feria Pageant is in July, and they are calling for participants. If you are interested, go to the Benque town hall.

Cornerstone Health Fair
The Cornerstone Foundation is having a health fair tomorrow, Friday, April 25th, starting at 9:00am, at the Cayo Welcome Center. They'll be taking blood pressure, doing weight calculations, and will have a lot of information about all their community service projects. They'll also have activities throughout the day, including dancing and singing.

Earth Day Centennial Park Beautification
The Benque HoC teamed up with the Benque Marimba Academy on Earth Day to clean and paint Centennial Park. Great way to spend Earth Day. "Cleaning and beautifying the Centennial Park, as an act of our green initiative in celebration of Earth day in Benque Viejo Del Carmen by the Benque House of Culture (NICH) and the Benque Marimba Academy. "

Channel 7

Guatemalan Soldier Sent Home
Yesterday, we told you about the Guatemalan Armed Forces Soldier who was caught in Belizean territory in the Chiquibul National Park. Well, we've confirmed with Belizean authorities, that he has since been handed over to his commander by the BDF, with an understanding that he will face disciplinary charges for it. As we told you, the soldier, 20 year-old Oscar Caal Coc was found armed on Belizean soil. On Monday, Coc was discovered in the Rio Blanco area along with 2 minors and an elderly man by a joint enforcement team of BDF Soldiers, police officers, and Rangers from the Friends for Conservation and Development which. The Belizean authorities found him with a .22 rifle which was loaded with 11 rounds of live .22 ammunition. The decision was taken that he should be detained because though he may have the proper permits in his country, in Belize the weapon and ammunition as unlicensed. The other 3 Guatemalan nationals were released, and Belizean authorities believe that when they returned to their side of the border, they immediately complained that the Belizean armed forces took the soldier into custody unlawfully because he was in Guatemala.

Budna Back In Jail
The Prensa Libre Newspaper in Guatemala is reporting that fugitive and convicted kidnapper Joseph Budna has been recaptured by the Guatemalan Civil Police. The 38 year-old Budna, who escaped from the Jocotes Town Hospital, was detained by Guatemalan authorities yesterday near to the Guatemala/Honduras border in the Las Flores Jocotán village. It is believed the he stopped there to receive help from his contacts, who would have assisted him to flee into Honduras. It is expected that he will now face charges of escaping from lawful authority when he managed to evade the prison officers who were placed at the hospital to guard him. The Prensa Libre reports that the officers were asleep at the time of his escape from the hospital.

14 Shots Aimed At Hansel, But He Survived!
The last time 17 year-old Hansel Garcia made our newscast, his mother was worried sick that he hadn't contacted her for 3 weeks. Well, tonight his family is once again hoping that he's ok, after he survived an apparent execution attempt last night. It happened at around 8:00 in Dangriga. Garcia, also known as "Mission", was walking on Castillo Alley when a lone gunman approached him, fired a barrage of gunshots and ran off. Garcia suffered injuries to the left forearm, the right leg, and the lower left side of his back, and he was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital, where he continues to receive treatment. The police officers found 14 expended 9mm shells at the scene, and they are seeking one person for questioning.

Bevans Murder Still Unsolved
No one is detained for Wednesday morning's murder of 22 year old Belize City resident Patrick Bevans. Police say they are still interviewing people from the area. Bevans was the third murder in the area in three weeks – and residents say it is because of escalating tensions initiated by affiliates of a notorious city gang which is trying to make inroads into Jane Usher. To try and curtail further violence, police have installed a mobile command center in the heart of the area.

No Clues In Corozal Murder Mystery
Tonight, Corozal Police are no closer to identifying the body of a woman which was found off the road which connects the Chan Chen and Patchakan Villages. Investigators believe that she was killed sometime over the Easter Holiday. They also suspect that the assailants disposed of her body in the area because it is secluded, and because it is also known to be crocodile-infested. It was discovered on Tuesday afternoon at around 2:35 p.m., where it had been dumped off the main road in the swamp area known as the Savannah. The woman's body was completely nude, and her head was missing its hair. It was in advanced state of decomposition, and it showed signs that wild animals had been feeding on it. An on-sight post-mortem by Dr. Mario Estradabran certified that she had been chopped to death. He also believes that the woman is in her early 20's, with brown skin. Other notable characteristics about the woman is that she had silver caps on her front teeth, and her toenails were painted orange.

Post Mortem Concluded on 68 Year Old, But No Answers Yet
Ladyville police are having a bit more success with the case of 68 year-old Myra Evadney Miller who was found barely alive inside her house in Boston Village on Good Friday, and who ended up dying on Easter Sunday. Dr. Mario Estradabran, who had to travel to Corozal to deal with the body of the unidentified woman, has finally managed to complete the autopsy on Miller's body. Police have not released that information, and as soon as they do, we'll tell you if Miller died of natural causes, or if she was killed.

Accident Victim Rachel Chan Returning Home
On Tuesday we told you about Rachel Chan, the two year old who was knocked down on Holy Thursday in Trial Farm Village. She was hit by a large pickup truck and received significant head and body injuries. But the doctors at KHMH fixed her up well, and today she left the hospital in the arms of her mother. She was in good spirits, and didn't appear too camera shy. As we have reported, a 14 year old was driving the pickup that knocked her down. He has been charged and Orange Walk police say the truck's owner, Chris Hendricks will also receive a summons. Hendricks, who is the driver for the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, allegedly permitted the underage driver to take some firewood to the boy's home.

Special Constable Arraigned For Alleged Bad Deeds
Last night we told you about Special Constable Eldo Itza who was finally charged for assaulting a Chinese business man last week Thursday in San Jose Village. Well tonight, he's out on bail after he was arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court today. Itza was charged with burglary, wounding, and harm, and he pleaded not guilty to all charges, he was released on bail of $500 dollars. He must return to court on July 1. We can't show you his photograph tonight. That's because, as with the usual cop culture of shielding a fellow officer who is criminally charged, Itza was afforded assistance to avoid the media. As we told you, he also enjoyed his Easter vacation at home after he was arrested on the scene for assaulting Ben Wong, a store owner in San Jose Village. The arresting officers released him afterwards and allowed him to come in at his convenience to get his charges.

37 years Later, Gift Of Life Keeps Giving
The Gift of Life Programme has provided live saving medical procedures for hundreds of Belizean children over the past 36 years. That's right, Gift of Live has been active in Belize since 1977! And there are many twenty something, thirty something and forty something adults who can tell you that it works, because without the programme, they might not be here. Today, the founder of Gift of Life International Robbie Donno arrived in Belize on a drive to continue the good work and hopefully grow the programme. He told us about his mission: Robbie Donno - Founder, Gift of Life "The reason that we're down here, in part, is to try and make connections with the business community, in particular, the tourist industry, where we can develop new sources of revenue for the Belize Rotary Gift of Life, so that they can operate on more children. They started, when this program started here in Belize, they were doing 2 or 3 children a year, and now this year, they've done over 17 children already, and in their history, have done about almost 300 since they started, children here in Belize. So, their pus - and our push in coordination with them, is to try and help develop better ways of raising the funds that are going to reach the children that are still waiting for their second chance at life."

Henry Holding On At The Board Level
He may be going, but he's not gone yet. Henry Canton is still CEO of Citrus Products of Belize Limited, and while the new Board of Directors tries to negotiate an exit strategy for the long entrenched and embattled CEO, the news tonight is that Canton may be leaving the CEO's office, but not CPBL. Banks Holdings will keep Canton as one of its two Directors on the Board, ensuring that he continues to wield influence at the highest level of corporate governance. For the Citrus Growers Association – which also sits on the board; that means he'll continue to be a stone in their shoe, or more likely a thorn in their side.

Nurse Faces Weed and Ammo Charges, But She "Stay Sick"
On Monday, April 14, 7News told you about the search at #10 Far West Street where the police found bullets and a small quantity of weed. Well tonight, the suspicion is that one of the accused persons is working the system to try to avoid being remanded for those illegal items. As we told you on Sunday, April 13, police searched the house and found 2 bullets and 1.2 grams of weed. Present at the time were 23 year old Nicoli Rhys, 27 year old Shane McKoy, 18 year old Rheonna Rivero, 18 year old Godwin Neal Jr. a 17 year old male student of Wesley High School and Bernadette Samuels, a nurse at KHMH. All 6 persons were charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition and drug possession, but only 5 of them could be arraigned and remanded. At the time of the arraignment, Nurse Samuels collapsed from high blood pressure, and she had to be hospitalized at the KHMH, where she works.

High Powered Ammunition Found
Police from Precinct 2 in Belize City are under pressure – with three murders in as many weeks. But on Tuesday, acting on intelligence, their Quick Response Team came up with 31 live rounds of ammunition. At around 8 that night, the team searched an abandoned house on Croton Lane in the Lake Independence Area, and found a black plastic bag inside an old refrigerator. 15 live rounds .223 SD brand ammunition, 3 blank 5.56 Libai rounds, 2 live round of 5.56 ammo, 10 live 7.62 rounds, and 1 M16 rifle magazine were inside the bag. Most of this ammunition is used in high-powered assault rifles. No one was in the area, so the items were deposited as found property.

Cave Tubers Go to Court And Magistrate Is Not Impressed
In February, we told you about the most recent criminal charge that Yhony Rosado was fighting in court against his competitor, Vitalino Reyes Sr. Reyes claims that Rosado assaulted him, but yesterday, the Chief Magistrate didn't believe the story and threw the case out. The trial began yesterday before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where the prosecution called one witness against Rosado. A police officer, who was on duty at the Fort Street Tourism Village, said that on December 26, he witnessed a fist fight between Rosado and Reyes. He said that he had to part the fight, where he pulled Reyes off Rosado. Rosado took the stand gave his version of the story under oath that he argued with Reyes. He said that at the height of the confrontation, all he did was fire a punch at Reyes to fake him, and afterwards, he walked away without actually touching him. Reyes also gave his version to the court, explaining the same story he told us, that the two of them got into an argument over tourists who had already booked his tour company. Rosado allegedly tried to poach Reyes' guests and, that's when they got into a quarrel. That's supposedly when Rosado shoved a clipboard at him, punched him in the face, kicked him the leg, and walked away.

BTB's New Chairman is Former Fin. Sec.
The Belize Tourism Board, has a new high profile chairman. She is Dr Carla Barnett who's returning from a post as Vice President of the Caribbean Development Bank. She will lead an almost fully re-constituted board which had an introductory meeting yesterday. The board includes new members Rosendo Chendo Urbina, representing the north, Glenn Eiley representing the south, Doug Thompson who represents the Hotel Association, Herbert Haylock form the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Christy Mastry who directed the sustainable tourism project, Jamael Babb who has a law degree, CEO Tracy Taegar Panton, and long time members from Belize Rural South, Gach Guerrero who represents the airline sector, Neil Bradley who represents the Cayes and outer islands, and Acting Chairman Einer Gomez who will remain as Vice Chairman.

BDF to GAF: How Things Change In 14 Years
For the past two nights, we've been telling you about the Guatemalan Armed Forces soldier, 20 year-old Oscar Caal Coc who was captured in Belizean territory on Monday. He's back at home in Guatemala now, supposedly facing internal disciplinary charges for crossing the line he shouldn't have. But, he got off easy: he had a weapon and was illegally in Belize – which meant – based on those objective facts alone – that he should have faced criminal charges. But, these are the days of confidence building and joint patrols, so he was released into the custody of his commander, after being held by the BDF for three days. Perhaps it is in the best interest of peace keeping and neighbourly relations that it ended that way, but it brings to mind the incident which happened in February of 2000 when a 25 man G-A-F patrol captured a 4 man BDF and Police patrol and accused them of crossing into Guatemala. Second Lieutenant Romaldo Herrera, Lance Corporal Lucio Arana, Private Luciano Tzub and Police Constable Macedonio Sanchez were captured on February 24th, and put in a Guatemalan holding facility. As a study in how far military to military relations have come in the 14 years since, tonight, for contrast, we look back at the seismic event:

UDP Brother VS PUP Brother In OW Land Dispute
We have an unusual story to report on tonight involving a family dispute over land, which according to one of 2 brothers, crosses the political party divide. Jose Novelo, a resident of Orange Walk Town says that he had a prime piece of farm land in Indian Church Village. He says that from 2000 to 2008, he was paying all the fees for land, but suddenly, the Lands Department stopped accepting payment for the land. Novelo kept pressing, and he finally found out that his younger brother, Evaristo Novelo, got the Lands Department to accept his payment for the land from 2008 until this year. A few months ago, Jose Novelo found out that the Land's Department granted the lease to his brother, and so, now his lease is voided. He tried to fight against his brother's claim to the land, and with nowhere else to turn, he came to the media with his issue. Here's how he explained the political angle:

A Classic Concert
Tonight, there are 3 classically trained Mexican musicians in Belize here to stage a world class performance. They've perfected the performance of an impressive repertoire of music from celebrated classical composers, and they gave us a preview today: The first concert takes place at the San Ignacio Welcome Center tomorrow at 6 p.m., and the second takes place at the Mexican Institute at the same time on Saturday. Admission is free, and everyone is welcomed.

Siarsha Recovering
And as we close tonight, we have an update on Siarsha Alvarez – the 3 year old with that rare skin disorder. Well, her father confirms that the surgery at Clinica Merida went well and she is back with her family at the hotel. She will take ten days to heal, but the problem with her eyelash has been repaired and it is no longer irritating her cornea.

Channel 5

Franks Eddy resident missing; he was last seen in police custody
A resident of Franks Eddy Village remains missing tonight and friends and family are concerned about his whereabouts since he was last seen in police custody four days ago. It [...]

Galen University President, Louis Zabaneh, steps down
Tonight, News Five has confirmed that Dr. Louis Zabaneh, President of Galen University, has demitted office effective immediately.  Zabaneh’s abrupt departure comes on the heels of a recent decision taken [...]

GST officers shakedown business owners in an extortion scam
Tonight, there is credible information surfacing which indicates an emerging scandal in another government department. News Five has been able to confirm that there are multiple allegations of corruption being [...]

Cabanas family threatened with their lives for million-dollar ransom
There is another case of extortion to report on in Orange Walk, and this one is really frightening. News Five understands that the Cabanas family, which owns a large thrift [...]

Land grab in Orange Walk Town has an uncle and nephew at odds
Imagine working on a piece of land for almost forty years – backbreaking labour to clear and keep clean. You plant every fruit and vegetable you can get your hands [...]

Shooting on Freedom Street in Belize City
Today, police presence has been boosted significantly in the area of Jane Usher Boulevard, following a shooting incident just before noon. It happened on Freedom Street which runs parallel to [...]

17 year old shot in Dangriga
There was another shooting in Dangriga which has left one youth recovering from three gunshot wounds. Just after eight pm on Wednesday night gunshots were heard in the vicinity of [...]

Investments soon to be made in Harmonyville
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) is in its fourth year of existence and has been fighting for months to get titles and even leases to parcels of land [...]

Grassroots organization remains at odds with government
There is also valuable lumber in Harmonyville that Petillo says is being pillaged by villagers living along the George Price Highway. He says that a businessman is offering to build [...]

Belize City man charged for San Ignacio rape
On March eighth at about one p.m. a sixteen-year-old female of San Ignacio Town visited the San Ignacio Town Police Station in the company of a guardian and reported that [...]

Drug busts at checkpoints on the George Price Highway
Drug seizures are often the result of intelligence-led operations conducted by personnel from the police department or, in some cases, a collaborative interagency effort utilizing such information.  Whether police at [...]

Man sentenced to 7 years in prison for burglary conviction
Forty-three year old Rueben Cox, a resident of Biscayne Village, has been sentenced to seven years in prison effective today, after being found guilty of burglarizing a building at Croc [...]

Shakeem Humes acquitted of attempted murder
Meanwhile a Belize City youth was spared jail time when his attempted murder case was thrown out of court. Forty-eight year old Marco Obdulio Valle was shot once in the [...]

Post mortem result says Boston village woman was not murder
On Tuesday, we reported on the tragic death of a sixty-eight-year-old woman in the village of Boston.  It is believed that someone broke into her home during the Easter weekend [...]

Investigation continues into the drowning of Escuela students
On April fourth, two students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico—Anahi Zepeda and Edgar Puck—drowned on a school trip. They were part of a group which had visited the Che Chem [...]

Mexican Institute to host classical concert
“Un viaje de Ida y Vuelta” a gala concert featuring Mexican piano, guitar and solo talents will be held on Saturday at the Mexican Institute.  It will showcase the talents [...]


14 Year Old Who Knocked Down Toddler Will Be Charged, So Will Owner Of The Vehicle
Yesterday we reported on the road traffic accident that left two year old Rachel Chan suffering from several injuries. The two year old girl was knocked down on Holy Thursday around midday as she was crossing Sapodilla Street in Trial Farm Village, by a Ford pickup truck belonging to Christopher Hendricks, the driver of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Driving the vehicle at the time was a 14 year old minor. And while the toddler received serious injuries and had to be rushed first to the Northern Regional Hospital and then to the KHMH for emergency surgery, she has shown steady progress and is now in a stable condition and eating. Today, investigating officer and Police Constable Roger Briceno of the traffic unit gave us an official report on the incident which revealed that both the minor driving the truck and the vehicle owner will be summons to court.

Figures For Week 13 Of 2013/2014 Crop Season
April 20th 2014 marked the end of week 13 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 13 the factory milled forty thousand eight hundred and sixty tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of six hundred and fifty five thousand two hundred and forty five tons of cane. This is one hundred and thirty four thousand seven hundred and sixty four tons cane more than what was milled last year during the same 13 week period. Taking a look at sugar production, four thousand five hundred and ninety nine tons of the sweetener was produced for week 13. An overall of seventy thousand five hundred and twenty seven tons of the product has been produced so far. Last year the factory produced fifty two thousand three hundred and fifteen tons of sugar during the 13 weeks of crop. This week the factory worked at a grinding rate of six thousand eight hundred and three tons cane per day. Overall, for the 13 weeks of crop, the grinding rate per day stands at seven thousand five hundred and thirty two tons cane. Last crop it was at five thousand nine hundred and eighty three tons cane per day.

O/W Implements Benque's Tradition For Good Friday
It may not be a common scene in Belize for Holy week but the art of sawdust carpets is slowly making its presence in the country. It first started in Benque Veijo Del Carmen in the Cayo District and for the first time this year, on Good Friday, the tradition was adopted in Orange Walk Town. Sawdust carpets are layers of colored sawdust and or other materials laid on the ground, usually the street, that is traditionally done to meet a religious procession. It is most common during the Holy week and practices mostly in Central and South America and in some parts of the United States of America. In Benque Viejo Del Carmen, the tradition has been to decorate major streets with the carpets on Holy Thursday. Assistant Coordinator at the Banquitas House of Culture is Cindy Rivero and she tells us more about their decision to adopt the tradition here in celebration of the “Santo Entiero” or holy burial. Cindy Rivero– Assistant Coordinator “We decided her at the house of culture that we want to do something similar in honour of that celebration so we brought the lady over to show us how to colour the sawdust and also how to make the carpets for that day, we did it here at Church Street at the La Inmaculada for the procession of the stations of the cross so coming out of the church we created carpets that had images related to the stations of the cross for example we had the different crosses, we had the face of Jesus and we also included others like the Virgin and all images relates or gives a story about Jesus Christ so we did it here so that when they do the stations cross then that procession will walk over the carpets so it was our first year so we decided to do only in front of the church but then next year we want to do it to include with different organizations and make it bigger.”


From Pinks Alley to Central Prison
Twenty year old Michael Whylie, an unemployed of Pinks Alley, became an inmate of Belize Central prison today when he appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith and was arraigned on charges of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Whylie pled not guilty to the charges. Because of the Firearm Act the court could not offer him bail. He was remanded into custody until June 3.The incident occurred around 5:10 p.m. on April 21. The police, acting on information received, went to Whylie’s residence. They searched Whylie but they did not find anything incriminating. They searched his house and they did not find anything illegal. But when they searched the yard they reported that they found one black nine millimeter pistol with five rounds of ammunition in its magazine. Whylie did not have a license for the firearm so he was taken into custody and charged. The firearm and ammunition were labeled as exhibit.

Belize Joins the Americas for Vaccination and Immunization Weeks
Vaccination Week in the Americas is observed annually by health sectors around the globe. This year, the Ministry of Health is observing the 12th year starting on Saturday, April 26 and ending on May 3. In addition to the observance of Vaccination Week, Belize is also marking the 3rd observance of World Immunization Week starting today and ending at the end of the month. The two events are celebrated with international partners with a focus on creating awareness on the importance of immunization and vaccination. According to a release from the Government of Belize, immunization is widely recognized as one of the most successful and cost effective health interventions with the World Health Organization estimating that it prevents anywhere between two to three million deaths worldwide each year.

Easter Heist Leaves Store Almost 12K Short
More than eleven thousand dollars was stolen from A&R Belize City Branch over the Easter Holidays. According to reports, the Manager of the store reported to police that she was informed that the money balance for Wednesday and Thursday of last week along with money for Money Gram services which was secured inside a metal safe in the main office of the store was missing .Upon making checkse she observed that the metal safe was open and monies amounting to eleven thousand seven hundred and six dollars was missing. Police are investigating.

Minor Detained For Wednesday’s Murder
Belize City police have detained a 15 year old in connection to the murder of 22 year old Patrick Bevans. Bevans was shot multiple times to the head and body on Tuesday morning as he was making his way home after buying from a nearby store in the Jane Usher Boulevard Area. Police at Precinct two say they have noticed a spike in crime in that area and have boosted up both foot and mobile patrol. A police peace caravan has also been station in the area with an effort to control and reduce crime in the area.

Marketing Manager Accuses of Rape in Western Belize
A 31-year-old, Belize City resident of a Cran Street address who is employed as a Marketing Manager, was arrested and charged for rape. The arrest of Garth Longsworth came as the result of an investigation conducted by the authorities following the report of a 16-year-old young woman. According to the minor, she was walking on Bullet Tree Road in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District on Friday, March 7 at around ten o’clock in the night and upon reaching the corner with Joseph Andrews Drive, near a pharmacy, she was approached from behind and dragged to the rear of the pharmacy building where a red-skinned man had sexual intercourse with her against her will. The young woman, who was heading home from Maxim’s Restaurant, reported the incident to the San Ignacio Police the following day which led to the arrest of Longsworth.

Orange Walk Family Reports Case of Extortion
Police is closely and carefully investigating a case of extortion of a well-known family in Orange Walk. LOVE NEWS understands that for the past three weeks, police has been reviewing a ten minute tape where a masked man, speaking in Spanish, requests that the Cabanas Family of Asuncion Street Orange Walk, hand over one million dollars or else members of the Cabanas family will be executed. We understand that the video was delivered to the family via mail in an envelope without a return address. Police has not reported anything on the matter but LOVE NEWS understands that a formal report has been made by Sara Cabanas, who received the video. The video is ten minutes long and shows a masked man speaking on camera. It also shows a woman and a man being decapitated, video which is believed was downloaded from the internet and edited in the video.

Buses Searched: Marijuana Uncovered
A check point on the George Price Highway led Cayo police to discover more than three thousand grams of marijuana in separate incidents. At about 10:30 yesterday morning Cayo Police pulled over a green BBOC bus in order to conduct a search. The search led police to discover a black sling purse on the seat inside the bus containing 1,800 grams of suspected cannabis. The drug was labelled and deposited as Found Property. A few minutes later, a Shaw Bus was stopped and a search was conducted. Police found a pink and black school bag under a seat inside the bus which contained 2,025 grams of suspected cannabis. The Drug was labelled and deposited as found property.


Galen University President and Chair Removed
Only last week, Galen University band released its new album of gospel music titled, “I am the Alpha and the Omega”, but is there a move to shift the focus of Galen in a completely different direction? This morning, Plus News was called to the Galen University Belmopan campus...

15 year old Believed to Patrick Bevan’s Murderer
Police say they have detained a 15 year old for the shooting death of Patrick Bevans. 22 year old Patrick Bevans was gunned down on Wednesday morning in Belize City on a side street not far from his home on Louise Bevans Street. Bevans was the third murder in...

Teacher’s Union Annual Meeting Discusses OSH Bill
The Occupational Safety and Health Bill has caused disquiet for employers who believe its measures are too punitive and do harm to all businesses and employees. But consultations as part of the process to make it law continue, and today members of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) listened...

New Squatters in Harmonyville Causing Disharmony
Yesterday we told you that BGYEA is moving forward with the development of Harmonyville even without assistance from the Government. However, lack of funding is the least of their problems. In last night’s newscast, president of BGYEA Nigel Petillo spoke of investment in the Buffer zone of the community....

UB Bomb Threat; Exams are Near
The University of Belize is less than three weeks before final examinations and for some student’s the stakes are high. Around this time of the school year, police always get reports of bomb threats that would momentarily freeze the entire school system. This year was no different. Some minutes...

Firearm Charges after Motorcycle Chase
Belize City police on motor cycle patrol yesterday morning set chase after a male person on a motorcycle who sped off and drove into Faber’s Road into a yard. Police say they saw the man hand over an object that appeared to be a handgun to a man in...

A&R Robbed of Thousands of Dollars
Over $11,000 was stolen from A & R store in Belize City. The Manager of the store told police that the day after the Easter weekend, she arrived at work and was informed by one of her store supervisors that the money balance for Wednesday and Thursday along with...

Fire in Belmopan
There was afire in Belmopan today. No structures were damaged but the fire service was called to put out the blaze that was apparently lit after a plot of land in a residential area was cleared. The lot is right between the Love Fm building in Belmopan and a...

Weed on the Bus; Lots of It
Thousands of grams of weed were discovered on different busses searched at police check points. Yesterday, police conducted a vehicle check point on the George Price Highway and searched a BBOC bus. They found a black sling purse on the seat inside the bus containing 1,800 grams of suspected...

The Guardian

New Vector Borne Virus Threatening Belize
There is a new vector borne Virus posing a threat to Belize. It is called Chikunguya and according Dr. Michael Pitts, the Director of Health Services, “It is not a question of if it will reach Belize but when”. Chikunguya was first discovered after an outbreak in 1952 on the Makonde Plateau which is located along the border between Mozambique and Tanganyika (the mainland part of modern day Tanzania). The name is derived from a description in the Makonde language meaning "that which bends up" and according to Dr. Pitts, “the name says it all”. The disease shares similarity with Dengue. Symptoms include a fever up to 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The fever typically last for two days and ends abruptly. However, the duration of the signature symptom, arthritis like joint pain, varies by patient. The severe joint pain may last 5 to 15 days, a few months or, in some cases, a few years. There is no cure for the virus. Dr. Pitts says, “What we do is treat the symptoms.” Fortunately for those who may be infected, the fatality rate for Chikunguya is extremely low.

Joseph Budna escapes Guatemalan Prison
Convicted Kidnapper, Joseph Budna, who was serving a 25 year sentence in a Guatemalan Prison, remains on the run after he escaped from the authorities on Monday, April 21. According to Guatemalan press reports, Budna was admitted to a hospital in Zacapa Guatemala since April 11 for an illness which causes bleeding all over the body. He seized an opportunity on Monday and managed to get away from 3 prison guards who were posted to monitor him. Budna had been serving a prison sentence in los Jocotes Prison since October 26, 2012 after he was convicted in Guatemala’s High Court of kidnapping. Guatemalan authorities said that he was the mastermind in a transnational kidnapping ring which targeted the children of wealthy persons. He also told the media that he was working on appealing his conviction.

Canton Canned from CPBL
Henry Canton has been officially fired as the General Manager of the Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL). In the past few months, Canton had emerged as perhaps the most divisive figure in the Belizean citrus industry as he represented Banks Holdings limited and was in fact the moving hand behind decisions which were taken by Banks holdings. Those decisions led the industry into near brink of extinction with farmers delivering citrus products but not being paid. The impasse hinged on Banks Holdings executing their veto powers, through CEO Henry Canton, refusing to hire a new auditor to look into the accounts of the company. Without audited financials, First Caribbean Bank, which financed the operations of the industry refused to forward any financing to CPBL to pay farmers forcing the industry into uncertainty.

Old toys from the lord
If ever you were to read the writings by Godfrey Smith you would have thought that his days as a politician were over. He has freely maligned through his writings just about everyone in the upper echelons of the People's United Party. Everyone has gotten the bitter taste of his ink on paper. No one could have ever suspected that Smith would have been reformatted and reborn once again back into the PUP as its National Campaign Manager. That however is exactly what took place a couple of weeks ago when the PUP's executive met and decided to bring back the old viper into the folds of the grand old party. And we can refer to Smith as a viper as we do know his history within the PUP, he was known as a social climber who was willing to do just about anything to rise to the top; biting heels and necks on his way up. We can remember the infamous G-7 movement within the PUP which he was an integral part of and which he was also the first to abandon at the mere shaking of the carrot ministry of tourism that gave him that much more within the 2003-2008 Musa administration.

BELTRAIDE Partners with University of Belize
On Thursday, April 17th, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Belize as part of its efforts to promote entrepreneurship in the minds of young Belizeans. Mike Singh, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, signed on behalf of BELTRAIDE. During a short briefing with the press, Singh spoke of many ideas he has for the partnership with the University. He told Dr. Vincent Palacio, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, that he sees the department as a very important one for the development of Belize. Singh says with the help of BELTRAIDE the University of Belize will be seen as a business center – the place to train for anyone with business aspirations. There is a long term plan for business development in the partnership between BELTRAIDE and UB but the immediate focus is solely on entrepreneurship. Singh says, “If I get one young entrepreneur to develop a small business and he hires 10 people; 5 might be other graduates so the good thing about it is it's really an exponential increase in being able to not only give them an opportunity but to expand the employment opportunities throughout.”

Mayor Darrell Bradley welcomes Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to Belize
The Mayor of Los Angeles was on vacation in Belize over the Easter weekend. Mayor Garcetti arrived in Belize City on Holy Thursday and was greeted at the airport by his local counterpart Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley. Mayor Bradley hosted a dinner reception in honor of Mayor Garcetti in Belize City. Mayor Bradley said that Belize and Los Angeles share many common ties, and Los Angeles is an important partner to Belize, especially since the majority of Belizeans in the Diaspora live in the greater Los Angeles Area. Mayor Garcetti left Belize on Easter Monday. The Queen’s Baton arrives in Belize City The Queen’s Baton arrived in Belize yesterday 21 April, 2014. The Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition started in 1958, where the Queen’s Baton carrying a message from Queen Elizabeth II, travels around the world to usher in the start of the then Empire Games in Cardiff, Wales. The games have evolved into the Commonwealth Games, now the second largest multi-sports event in the world aside from the Olympic Games.

A new church building for the BDF
Bishop of the Anglican Church, Philip Wright, Reverend Roosevelt Papauloute, the Salvation Army's Major Errol Robateau and other religious denomination representatives were present on Wednesday April 23, as the Belize Defence Force dedicated and consecrated the St. George's church at Price Barracks in Ladyville. According to CEO in the Ministry of National Security, (Ret.) Colonel George Lovell, there was once a St. George's Church on the BDF compound but it had become termite infested and there was long a need for a new one. He said that the BDF recognized that there was a need for the soldiers to have a place to worship no matter what denomination they were from and the BDF had to accommodate that need. He added that the new retrofitted building which was once a store room now makes life easier for the soldiers since they now have a place to praise within the compound.

Easter in Orange Walk Central
On April 16, 2014, Denny Grijalva and the Orange Walk UDP Central committee held an Easter Egg Hunt for all kids up to the age of 12yrs at the Peoples Stadium. Even though we experienced inclement weather (showers of Blessings) the function went on, and the egg hunt was a great success. About 400 kids were treated to lots of Easter eggs & sweets; they played games and then were served snacks. The event was planned and executed by the Orange Walk UDP Central Committee and Mr. Denny Grijalva, with the support of the Orange Walk business community, who contributed very generously. We would like to say a big “Thank You “ to Denny and his committee, all supporters who helped and the Orange Walk Business Community, who made this function the great success that it was. Thanks also to all parents and kids who assisted and are very happy to know that Denny Cares.

Special Envoy Shedding Light on Trailblazing Women of Belize
Since Tuesday, April 8, the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children has featured a special lady on its Facebook page each week. The initiative is being called “Trailblazer Tuesday” and according to the Special Envoy it is an extension of the Women's Empowerment Campaign started by the office with the 20,000 Strong Rally on March 6. The Facebook page is Special Envoy Belize and three women have been featured since the launch of Trailblazer Tuesdays. Those women are Mrs. Marie Sharp, Mrs. Sandra Bedran and Mrs. Rossana Briceño. They are featured on the page along with their photo and information about the accomplishments that make them worthy of recognition as trailblazers. A new trailblazer will be featured every Tuesday and the general public is encouraged to nominate female trailblazers from their community. Nominations can be made by emailing the Office of the Special Envoy at [email protected] or messaging the Facebook page at Special Envoy Belize. A trailblazer according to the Office of the Special Envoy is a woman who has “defied great odds to excel in her professional career or in politics; given selflessly as community activists; overcome the hardships of parenthood to provide the best for their children or led the way in non-traditional roles and set great examples for our girls”.

Yhony Rosado Ordered to Keep the Peace
On Wednesday, April 23, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith ordered Yhony Rosado, owner of a popular cave tubing operation, to stay out of trouble or he will be imprisoned. Rosado appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court to face a charge for fighting in the Fort Street Tourism Zone. Vitalino Reyes Sr. reported to police that he was attacked by Rosado on Boxing Day, December 26th, 2013 while on Fort Street in Belize City. In court, Rosado told Chief Magistrate Smith that he and Reyes did argue that day. Rosado claims he faked Reyes and then walked away. In Reyes’ testimony he said Yhony Rosado beat him up that day. Reyes told the court that Rosado placed a clip board in his face and told him that the price he had was cheaper. Rosado then kicked him in the left leg and punched him in the face causing him to fall to the ground. Reyes said it was then that Rosado walked away. Reyes said, “I never touched, punched or kicked Yhony. I just step back.”

Two baby girls knocked down, one died
There were two separate accidents involving two little girls which happened over the Easter weekend, and unfortunately, one of them lost her life. The first one happened on Holy Thursday in Trial Farm Village. 2-year-old Rachel Chan was walking across a street to meet her father when a Ford F-150, being driven by a 14 year-old minor, knocked her down. The toddler had to be rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital, and then to the KHMH to receive medical treatment. She received serious injuries, and had to get emergency medical surgery to save her life. The 14 year-old minor will be charged with driving without due care and attention, negligent grievous harm, driving without a driver’s license and failing to report an accident. Police also intend to serve the owner of the vehicle with a summons for allowing the minor to unlawfully drive his vehicle.

Burglary turns to murder in Boston Village
Myra Evadney Miller, a 68 year-old resident of Boston Village on the Maskall Road, died at the KHMH on Easter Sunday, April 20, after she was found inside her house, which showed signs of forced entry. On Friday, April 18, in the evening, the Village Council Chairman and his family got concerned that they had not seen Miller for at least 1 day and half, and so they went investigating. They found one of the side windows on her house which looked like it was forced open. They used that to get inside and opened the front door. Inside one of the rooms they found the elderly woman on the ground with abrasions on her face and head, and a gash on her shoulder. They immediately called in police who realized that she was still alive, and so she was rushed to the KHMH, where she fought for survival until Sunday.

Belizean killed in Melchor
Benque Viejo Resident, Edwin Javier Chan, was violently killed in Melchor de Menchos, Guatemala, on Friday night, April 18, or early Saturday morning. His body was discovered near the Auto Hotel in the Barrio Campito area of Melchor at around 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 19. He had suffered a gunshot to the left side of the head, from a weapon believed to be a handgun. He also had wounds which suggested that he was beaten up before he was killed. Robbery was probably not the motive because his jewellery and passport were found on him; only his phone was missing. His body was returned to Belize on Saturday night, and he was buried on Monday, April 21.

Four men busted with Firearm
Police report that at around 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday April 22, police intercepted 4 men inside a 4-Runner SUV on Prince Street in Belize City. Officers conducted a search of the vehicle where they found 21-year-old Kashief Gallego, 20-year-old Akeem Garcia, and 22-year-old Paris Williams, all of the Maxboro Area. Also in the vehicle was George Street associate, 19-year-old Ijaman Young, of Belize City. At the time of the search Parris Williams was the driver. While nothing incriminating was found on the men, a further search was conducted inside the vehicle where police found a 9 mm pistol and 14 live rounds.

Guatemalan Soldier Captured in Belize
Officers of the Belize Defence Force detained a Guatemalan soldier in Belize on Monday, though he entered into the country illegally, he will not be charged for it. Instead, he will be escorted to the Belize/Guatemala border, where he will be allowed to leave freely because of a cooperation agreement between the BDF and the Guatemalan Armed Forces. A BDF patrol in operation in the Rio Blanco area at the Belize Guatemala Border caught the soldier and 3 other civilians about 250 meters, or about 1 tenth of a mile, in Belizean territory. The 3 civilians were released and allowed to leave, but the soldier was escorted out of the Rio Blanco area, where he was in detention at Camp Belizario in the Cayo District.

Man shot in Cayo
At about 3:00 am on Sunday of this past weekend, a man known very well to the law was shot on Second Street in San Ignacio Town. Trevor Lamb was on his way home in the accompany of a female when a male person emerged from the darkness and fired a shot at him. Trevor Lamb received an injury to the left arm. As a result Lamb was transported to the San Ignacio Hospital where he received treatment before being taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. After the incident, Trevor Lamb was listed in critical but stable condition. As of this hour, Police have been unable to speak to the him about the threat to his life in an effort to further pursue this case.

Police withdraw murder charges
On Thursday April 10 police charged George Mckenzie Jr. for the killing of 57 year old Rhaburn’s alley resident Alfonso Cruz who was shot and later died as he was seated on an old refrigerator inside his yard. The shooting had occurred on Saturday April 12th. Police would shortly thereafter arrest Mckenzie for the crime but on Tuesday April 22 based on a directive from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions the charges had to be withdrawn. The directive explained that McKenzie was caught on camera elsewhere, at the time of the shooting so he could not have committed the offense. Mckenzie was in fact at the Chon Sing restaurant at the time of the shooting and there was video evidence to support this.

Nude decomposing body of woman found in Corozal
Investigators from the Corozal Police need the help of members of the public in identifying the body of a woman which was found off the road which connects the Chan Chen and Patchakan Villages. Police believe that she was killed sometime over the Easter Holidays either Sunday, April 20, or Monday, April 21. The body was discovered on Tuesday at around 2:35 p.m., where it had been dumped off the main road in the swamp area known as the Savannahs. The woman’s body was completely nude, and her head was missing its hair. It was in advanced state of decomposition, and it showed signs that wild animals had been feeding on it. An on-sight post-mortem by Dr. Mario Estradabran certified that she had been chopped to death, and because of the secluded location, and the absence of clues, it is believed that she was killed in another area, and her assailant or assailants disposed of her body in the swamp knowing that it is a deserted location with very limited traffic.

Cop pleads guilty to damaging reporter’s Cellphone
A cop who back in December 2013 slapped a phone out of a reporter’s hands must now pay the court $100 and compensation to the owner in the sum of $2,000. Police Constable, Joslyn Gill, 31, who is one of 3 cops who were allegedly involved in the shakedown of Belmopan resident, Thyrel Hyde in December 2013 was charged with damage to property on Tuesday April 22. On the day he was arraigned on a charge of theft, Gill slapped a Galaxy S4 phone out of the hands of reporter, Daniel Ortiz of Channel 7 causing it to fall to the ground and break its screen. Gill reappeared in court on Tuesday where he was charged with a single count of damage to property for the Samsung Galaxy S4 cellphone valued at $2,000, property of Daniel Ortiz of Channel 7.

Prison officer caught smuggling weed into prison
Prison officer, 27-year-old, Ryan Rowland, appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday April 22 where he was charged with a single count of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply another person or persons for drug trafficking. Allegations are that on April 17, 2014, the prison officer was busted whilst trying to smuggle 55 grams of weed into the Kolbe Foundation. In court Rowland appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith where he pleaded not guilty to the charge. There was no objection to bail which was offered to him in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same. His next court date is set for June 26, 2014.

Michael Shawn Whylie Busted with 9 mm Pistol
Majestic Alley resident, 20-year-old Michael Shawn Whylie, was busted with a 9 mm pistol on Easter Monday, April 21. Police say that at about 5:10 p.m. that evening they acted upon information received and conducted a search upon Whylie through Majestic Alley but nothing incriminating was found on him. Police then accompanied Whylie to his home in the alley where he opened the door and a search was conducted inside the house. Nothing was found inside the house. Police then took their search into his yard and that’s was when they found a black 9 mm handgun hidden under the house behind a piece of zinc. The gun was loaded with five live rounds of ammunition. Whylie was detained after he could not produce a license for the gun and ammunition.

Juan Pablo Magallanes 86th Cross Country Champion
The 86th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is now history and the final outcome has also been recorded into the annals of our sport pages. The Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic took place on April 19, 2014, where some 109 riders participated in this historic event. The race was dominated by the foreign riders and in the end the first Belizean rider to cross the finish line was in 8th place. The event lasted some 5:45:03 and at the end it was Mexican Juan Pablo Magallanes of Benny’s Megabytes that captured the coveted title. The second rider to cross the finish line was Alejandro Miranda of Team Smart in a time of 5:45:06; third place went to Florencio Ramos Torres of Predators, fourth place went to Hector Hugo Rangel of Benny’s Megabytes, and fifth place went to David Santos of BelCal Cycling Team to round off the top five finishers in the event.

Queen’s Baton in Belize
The Queen’s Baton Relay, which is the singular event leading up to the opening of the XX Commonwealth Games scheduled for July 23-August 4, 2014, in Glasgow, Scotland, arrived in Belize on Monday April 21, 2014. The Queen’s Baton Relay arrived into the country on the day Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated he 88th birthday. The Queen’s Baton Relay was received at the Philip Goldson International Airport by Mr. Hilly Martinez President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, Mr. Sonny Meighan Vice President and Public Relations Officer of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, His Excellency Mr. Peter Hughes British High Commissioner to Belize, Patrick Henry Chef-De-Mission to the XX Commonwealth Games, other members of the Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, the Hon. Dolores Garcia Area Representative for Belize Rural Central and Mr. Peter Magadlano Chairman of Ladyville Village Council and the media. The Queen’s Baton was then relayed into Belize City by cyclists of the Cycle Federation of Belize to the Memorial Park where a tree planting ceremony took place in honour of the Queen’s Baton Relay to Belize.

San Pedro Tigersharks and Cayo Ballaz maintain lead in Elite Basketball League competition
The Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last week with four games on the schedule. On Friday April 11, at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Orange Walk Town, the visiting Belmopan Point Bandits defeated the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 95-77. The top scorers for the Belmopan Point Bandits were Adam Carswell with 20 points, and 10 rebounds, Dorian Jones with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals, and Christian Rodriguez with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Orange Walk Running Rebels were Ian Carcamo with 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 steals, and Randy Usher with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. The competition then continued on Saturday April 12 with three more games on the schedule. At the Punta Gorda Sports Complex, the Dangriga Warriors defeated the Toledo Diplomats by the score of 81-53.

Belizean athletes to XX Commonwealth Games
It was announced on Monday April 21, 2014, during the Official Ceremony for the Queen’s Baton Relay, by Mr. Hilly Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association that Belize will participate in the XX Commonwealth Games scheduled for Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23 – August 4, 2014. Belizean athletes will participate in Athletics (Track&Field), Cycling, Shooting, Table Tennis and Triathlon. The XX Commonwealth Games will be declared open by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on July 23, 2014, when she will read her message that is stored in the Queen’s Baton to the athletes at the games and youths of the Commonwealth.

Police United opens lead in Belikin Cup Closing Season Tourney
The Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Closing Tournament continued over the last weekend with a number of games played across the country. On Saturday April 19, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the home team the Belmopan Bandits blanked the visiting FC Belize by the score of 4-0. The goals for the Belmopan Bandits were scored by Denmark Casey Jr. in the 44th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Elroy Kuylen scored his team 2nd goal of the game in the 47th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. Jerome James then scored his team 3rd goal of the game in the 49th minute of play while the last goal of the game was scored by Jerome James in the 82nd minute of play for the big 4-0 victory. At the Marhsalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, the league’s leading Police United shut out the host team Verdes FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the games was scored by Danny Jimenez in the 37th minute of play for the victory and a commanding lead in the Belikin Cup Closing Season.

Good Friday popularly observed in Benque Viejo del Carmen
Observations of Good Friday in Benque Viejo del Carmen is normally a family event but this last Friday it took a special fervor with the solemn recollection of what happened to Jesus some 2000 years ago. Benque Viejo del Carmen gives at every turn of its streets and bye-ways expression that it is a tightly knit Town where the Roman Catholic Church traditions are popularly upheld. The early morning of last Friday started in earnest with numerous volunteers from the community and members of the ‘Via Real Sangre de Cristo’ Group spraying water on the main asphalt tributaries in Benque in preparation of a form of art that requires dedication and patience. With numerous sacks of sawdust and a variety of paints at the ready, the groups gather to form complex designs of colored sawdust on the main ways; with no sign of vehicular traffic for miles around.

Horseracing returns to Cayo
After horse racing had gone to basically non-existent in the Cayo district, the Easter weekend proved that the efforts by Hon. Rene Montero to refurbish and retrofit the Santa Elena Peter August Memorial Horse Stadium is paying off dividends. Since it was re-opened a few months ago, the stadium is slowly returning to its former glory and the Easter weekend saw one of the most successful horserace events held. There were 5 heats featured: the 2 furlong event was won by the horse Nightshift with its jockey Stephan out of the John Carr Stable. The 3 furlong event was taken by Westar and its jockey Manuel Rodriguez out of the Backa Ranch Stable. The 4 furlong was taken by Sangre and its jockey Chicken out of the Georgeville stable. In the race for the best cattle horse it was Thunder and its jockey Chicken out of the Georgeville Stable who took the prize. In the Main Event of a 5 1/2 furlong race it was Eclipse with its Jockey Manuel Rodriguez out of the Rodriguez Stable who captured the first place prize.


A Walk Into San Pedro Town – New Crossfit Gym, Lunch & Chocolate
Up in the Boca Del Rio area (north of town), my Crossfit gym is building a new box. (Box = gym in CrossTalk.) Right on the beach…larger open space. This is going to be good. The cement slab has been poured and set and yesterday, the walls started going up. Later, around lunchtime, I took the beach back into town for errands galore (including dreaded trips to not just one BUT two local banks). Not a bad day for a stroll. And then on to lunch…but I need to report back on that later since I’m also heading here for breakfast in a few hours. Already deciding whether to have Coconut French Toast or Choco-Churro hot cakes.

Letter to the Editor: Norwegian Cruise Line
I viewed with interest the hosting of a press tour by Norwegian Cruise Line and the explanation by NCL executive Colin Murphy of why the establishment of a cruise port at Harvest Caye would be such a wonderful blessing for Belize. What particularly prompts me to write is his astonishingly candid – and frightening – statement that “Really, what we are doing is locking ourselves into Belize”. Remember that word, “locked”. Although no longer a member of the Belizean media I could not help but think of a few questions for Mr. Murphy had I been present. Specifically could he explain: why Belizean taxpayers should pay NCL over a hundred million Belize dollars in direct cash subsidy over the course of its exclusive concession, thus allowing NCL to recoup its entire capital investment at Harvest Caye? why Belizeans should be thrilled with the creation of 200 low paying part-time seasonal jobs? why NCL needs to reserve 25% of the jobs on Harvest Caye (no doubt the best paying jobs) for foreigners?

Tropic Air Announces addition of King Arcraft to it’s Fleet
After a period of crew and support service familiarization, the King Air will be used on routes to Roatan, Merida and daily flights to Cancun. It will also appear on other international routes, such as San Pedro Sula and Flores, Peten from time to time. Tropic Air operates a fleet of 12 aircraft to 16 destinations in Belize, Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala. With over 270 employees, Tropic Air launched flights to Merida, Mexico in March of this year.

The sign says it all. Belize’s Caye Caulker is quite possibly one of the most laid-back places I have been to. A 45 minute ferry ride away from Belize City (or 2.5 hours from Chetumal, Mexico), this tiny island is a place to truly go slow. In fact, it’s their motto. There are no cars; you can get everywhere you need to go to by foot, golf cart or bike. Things to do on Caye Caulker: 1. Turn off all electronic devices and hide them in the bottom of your suitcase. 2. Eat lobster (especially if you are there near the end of June for the annual Lobster Festival) 3. Find a place that makes banana coladas. Think piña colada but with bananas instead of pineapple. They just might be the best drink IN THE WORLD. (The Tropical Paradise Restaurant has them).

By speaking with various locals, I’ve learned that there are many rumours that go around during this season. For instance, it is bad luck to travel during Lent, and you shouldn’t swim on Good Friday for fear of becoming a mermaid. Of course, some of these are not followed by travellers or even locals. Just in case, I won’t be found in the water today as I HAVE travelled during Lent. Also on Good Friday, as is the case at home, meat shouldn’t be eaten. Unsurprisingly, the special in most restaurants in the village today is rice and beans with fish (rather than the usual stewed chicken or beef). One thing I was surprised by was that no restaurants or shops are allowed to sell alcohol until 6pm today.

Tripping Back into Belize
Though I had been just once before last month, Belize had always held a very, very special place in my heart. Why, you ask? Well, it happens to be the place where I bought the engagement ring for Colleen. She was there to pick it out herself, actually. This was on our second cruise. We sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas with a bunch of friends to celebrate the 30th birthday of one of our cruisemates. It seems like so long ago. It has been nine years or more, as I recall. The memories of our stop came rushing back a few weeks ago when I cruised to the Central American nation again – this time on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas. This time, it was for a freelance writing assignment. And this time, my brother Bart joined. This marks our first cruise together. This time, I cave tubed again. But this time, the vehicle didn’t blow a tire and risk flipping over in a ditch.

Lionfish Jewellery update!
Lionfish jewellery!!!! Fancy wearing a pair of these beauties? Not only will you look stunning but you will also be part of a very important conservation movement. Helping to eradicate the invasive lionfish from our waters whilst raising awareness!! ReefCI need your help!! We are taking our lionfish jewellery, and lovely local jewellers, to the next level and need a catchy slogan to accompany the product! Send through your thoughts and the winner will receive a pair of specially commissioned lionfish earrings!

Bad Men Visit Penner and Offer Him Big Money to Roll Out
Former Immigration minister Elvin Penner is reportedly facing a different heat other than the contempt of Belizeans who have been outraged by his egregious act of issuing Belizean citizenship and passport to South Korean, Won Hong Kim who was jailed in Taiwan. NBZLIVE has credible information that Penner might be facing consequences for unfinished business due to his sudden dismissal from office last September. A source has confirmed to NBZLive that Penner was recently visited by persons of Asian descent who offered him BZD $1Million in order to get him to resign the UDP and leave the country. Penner, we were told refused the offer for fear of his life. There have been rumors that Penner has been receiving threats since the scandal broke on September 19, 2013 – the day he was kicked out of cabinet by Prime Minister Barrow. Those rumors have so far proven baseless since Penner has been able to freely exit and re-enter the country since the scandal broke. Even after he was criminally charged a few weeks ago, he was not ordered to surrender his travel documents.

International Sources

Facebook Knows Everything About You, And If You Don't Believe Us Here's Proof
A marketing stunt for the upcoming Ubisoft game "Watch Dogs" is inadvertently allowing users to check how well they've set up their Facebook privacy settings. The campaign called "Digital Shadow", which currently is available only in the US, requests permission to access a user's account and then pulls information to build a comprehensive dossier of the user as if he or she were an assassin's target. And we do mean comprehensive. Digital Shadow first shows users the photos they've tagged as public, then it moves on to examine their friends. It shows users which of their Facebook friends they interact with most, which interact with them the most, which they don't interact with at all, and (gulp) which friends they've been stalking that haven't been stalking them back. (Those who've been keeping tabs on their exes should avoid this section at all costs.) Head over to the Digital Shadow tool to see your own horrifyingly detailed breakdown, then update your privacy settings ASAP. This campaign is available for those in the US only.

Jamaica Strong Investor In Agricultural R&D
Belize is at the bottom of the list. It spends nothing on R&D. However, Jamaica trails Dominican Republic, whose spend is equivalent to 60 per cent of GDP. Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia and Honduras are also ahead of Jamaica. "In the LAC region, for every US$100 in goods produced by the agricultural sector, there is only US$1.10 invested in agricultural research, which historically pays an enormous return on such investments over the medium and longer terms," said the IDB report. "In more developed economies, this investment tends to be more than three times that amount." The greatest proportion of Jamaica's spend, about a third, is invested in infrastructure. A quarter is funnelled to agricultural schools, a tenth on inspection service, and a sliver of about two per cent goes toward marketing and promotion.

Students Impacted After Powerful Baylor Mission Trip Experiences
Baylor Missions was busy living out its purpose over spring break 2014. At the beginning of what most students utilize as a much-needed week off, 90 dedicated Baylor faculty, students, and staff boarded planes to take helping hands to five global destinations: El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, the Dominican Republic and Eagle Pass, Texas. Staying true to the Baylor Missions principle of focusing on discipline-specific missions, each group concentrated on how the students could use their academic strengths and passions in service of Christ and the world. Holly Widick, assistant director of missions for Baylor Spiritual Life, headed to Esperanza, Dominican Republic, with a men’s leadership team of Baylor business students.

Studying the delicate balance of coral reefs
For the past two years Elizabeth McKenna has been keenly aware — and concerned — that many of the world's coral reefs are in trouble. So when it came time to choose a senior thesis project, the Princeton University ecology and evolutionary biology major decided she was going to help play a role in figuring out solutions to this pressing problem. "Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, and maintaining those ecosystems is extremely important," McKenna said. "Not only is their biodiversity critical to aquatic ecosystems, but they're also important in terms of what they provide for humans, which includes everything from tourism and recreation to shoreline wave protection, fishing and even the discovery of new medicines."

Dan Riskin explores wonders, weirdness of Mother Nature
The Edmonton-raised biologist, and current co-host of Discovery Canada’s TV show Daily Planet, opens his first book with the story of the time a botfly egg hatched inside the top of his head, where it quickly grew into a maggot. This happened in Belize, where Riskin was doing research on bats. He didn’t even realize the egg was there until he got home and starting feeling, every once in a while, “like someone was pressing the edge of a spoon” into his head from the inside. Usually, the maggot will spend the next month and a half or so eating its way out of its host’s body, until it emerges from the host’s skin, moults into an adult fly, and takes off. But Riskin couldn’t wait that long. Mostly because he found it annoying. He convinced a doctor in the ER to take a scalpel to his head, where eventually, Riskin writes, the doctor actually gasped when he saw the maggot that was hiding inside. So begins Mother Nature Is Trying to Kill You (Touchstone), a chatty and frequently infectious riff on the ways in which the natural world behaves very badly indeed — at least according to our human moral code.

The Ancient Maya and Virtual Worlds: Different Perspectives on Material Meanings
A UC researcher explores the Maya perspective on the material world and begins to uncover parallels with today's online culture. If Facebook were around 1,400 years ago, the ancient Maya might have been big fans of the virtual self. The Maya believed that part of your identity could inhabit material objects, like a courtier's mirror or sculptor's carving tool. Maya might even name these objects, talk to them or take them to special events. They considered these items to be alive. The practice of sharing your identity with material possessions might seem unusual in a modern context. But is it that different from today's selfie-snapping, candy-crushing online culture, where social media profiles can be as important to a person's identity as his or her real-world interactions? Even money is virtual now, as digital currency such as Bitcoin gains popularity.

Lobster And Shellfish Fishing Under Threat In Caribbean
The future of the Caribbean's conch (shellfish) and lobster fisheries remains under threat despite regional efforts to protect it. This issue is at the top of the agenda of the 12th meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the main technical and scientific decision-making body of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) being held here. The Belize-based agency coordinates the management of fisheries in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Acting Permanent Secretary in Dominica's fisheries ministry, Harold Guiste, speaking a the the three day meeting, highlighted efforts by the United States to declare conch an endangered species. "It appears some countries are bent on wanting to exercise control over all the resources in the world," despite regional systems in place to monitor the harvesting of the delicacies," Guiste told delegates.

Increase of Sugar Production in the Caribbean
After a slow start to the 2013/2014 sugar crop due to heavy rains, the production of sugar in the region is gaining momentum, said Karl James Chairman of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC). According to the SAC, Jamaica led the way in regional sugar production in March with 37,990 tonnes, followed closely by Guyana with 37,794 tonnes, Caribbean News Agency reported today. Belize recorded production of 23,767 tonnes and Barbados totaled 1,788 tonnes. The SAC says for the current crop, the region has supplied 151,527 tonnes of sugar to the European Union; 5,570 tonnes to the Caribbean market and 2,552 tonnes to other markets. However, he also warned that evidence suggest this will be a difficult year for sugar producers in the Caribbean.

37 Incredible Wreck Dives That Will Give You Goosebumps
You’ll either be mesmerized or haunted — or both — by these 37 images of shipwrecks and aircraft wrecks found in the depths of the sea. These wrecks create an otherworldly atmosphere under the sea for curious divers, but they are also home to different kinds of marine life. Scroll down and dive in!


Video: The Untold Story Of The World's Most Famous Photo, 7min.
The incredible story of the world's most FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPH... EARTHRISE and how it was captured by chance. A re-creation, with the astronaut's voices. the first part is explanatory, the last half is photographers under pressure... with a killer shot disappearing if they don't get their stuff together ... fast....

In December of 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first people to leave our home planet and travel to another body in space. But as crew members Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders all later recalled, the most important thing they discovered was Earth.

Using photo mosaics and elevation data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), this video commemorates the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8's historic flight by recreating the moment when the crew first saw and photographed the Earth rising from behind the Moon. Narrator Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon, sets the scene for a three-minute visualization of the view from both inside and outside the spacecraft accompanied by the onboard audio of the astronauts.

Downloadable images and video (public domain) from the above Earthrise Video
You can also download the video itself.

In December of 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first people to leave our home planet and travel to another body in space. But as crew members Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders all later recalled, the most important thing they discovered was Earth.

Using photo mosaics and elevation data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), this video commemorates the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8's historic flight by recreating the moment when the crew first saw and photographed the Earth rising from behind the Moon. Narrator Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon, sets the scene for a three-minute visualization of the view from both inside and outside the spacecraft accompanied by the onboard audio of the astronauts.

The visualization draws on numerous historical sources, including the actual cloud pattern on Earth from the ESSA-7 satellite and dozens of photographs taken by Apollo 8, and it reveals new, historically significant information about the Earthrise photographs. It has not been widely known, for example, that the spacecraft was rolling when the photos were taken, and that it was this roll that brought the Earth into view. The visualization establishes the precise timing of the roll and, for the first time ever, identifies which window each photograph was taken from.

More video and images from the Earthrise video

The famous color photograph known as Earthrise, as well as a black-and-white image taken a minute earlier, document the moment when Earth was seen for the first time by human eyes from behind the Moon. They were taken on December 24, 1968 by the crew of Apollo 8, the first humans to leave low Earth orbit.

The sight of a small, intensely blue Earth rising above the barren, gray horizon of the Moon was one of the few things that NASA and the crew of Apollo 8 had not thoroughly planned and rehearsed beforehand. As historian Robert Poole noted, this lack of preparation meant that the sight of Earth came with the force of a revelation, not just for the astronauts but for everyone on the ground. We came all this way to explore the Moon, Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders said, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.

Using the latest elevation data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, this visualization attempts to recreate what the astronauts saw. The virtual camera of the rendering software is put in the position of the Apollo 8 spacecraft at the time of the photographs, as the spacecraft emerged from its fourth pass behind the Moon. It shows a two-minute interval centered on 16:39:06 UT (10:39 a.m. Houston time) on December 24, 1968. This is around the time of AOS (acquisition of signal), the moment when radio contact is re-established after being lost on the far side of the Moon.

Video: Easter Fair from Ferris Wheel, min.
The Cayo Easter Fair was a huge event, yet again. They had lots of great stalls, with everything from food to drinks to information. Here are some shots from the ferris wheel...and of the ferris wheel.

Video: CWS Belize Trip 2014, 34min.
Belize Missions Trip 2014, Machaca Outreach Center near the city of Punta Gorda, Belize. April 10-23, 2014

Video: Belize - (24 Dec 2013 to 11 Jan 2014), min.
Belize!! Caye Caulker, San Pedro, Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, Raggamuffin tours, Rendezvous Caye, Tobacco Caye, Placencia, Hopkins, San Ignacio, Tikal Guatamala, RTB

Video: Sailing in Belize 2014 MBT, 3min.

Video: Go Pro Belize Trip 2014 - Mers4, 4min.
cool trip to belize

Video: 4/24/14 Wildlife Tracking in Belize: A UVM CDE Program on Across The Fence, 16min.
Across the Fence is the longest-running locally-produced program in the US. We have been on-air on WCAX-TV since 1955! Across the Fence is produced by the University of Vermont Extension.

Video: Belize and Guatemala Multisport video, 5min.
This is a video of the Belize Guatemala Multisport program featuring hiking, cave exploration, rappelling and snorkeling.

Video: Tourism Eco Camp | Cayo Tour Guide Association | Teaser, 1min.
The Cayo Tour Guide Association present Tourism Eco Camp

Video: Zeilen in Belize 2014, 5min.

Video: Belize, 8min.
Charlie's project on Belize

Video: Belize Spring Break 2014 - by Ben, age 11, 8min.
Open Water Scuba Certification dives, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Belize Vacation, 6min.
Vacation in Belize

Video: Scuba 003 : Blue Hole Belize, 14min.
Plongée sous-marine à Blue Hole au Belize Scuba diving at the Blue Hole in Belize

Video: Nurse shark (tiburón gato) -Belize, 2min.

Video: Sandbar BBQ Easter Saturday 2014, 5min.
A group of neighbors from South San Pedro took a little trip to St. Georges Caye, Belize, South of us and East of Belize City. On this little sandbar we had a great time BBQing, swimming and enjoying the Spotted Eagle Rays and the Southern Stingrays that we checking us out. On the way back we stopped at Caye Caulker and enjoyed the gorgeous sunset.

Video: PARANDA : Identité du peuple Garifunas. TRACKS ARTE, 8min.
Au Belize, l'ancien Honduras Britannique, les Garifunas sont un peuple en voie d'extinction, pour beaucoup leur musique, la Paranda, reste leur seule planche de salut.

April 24, 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

Easter Egg-Hunting at Caribbean Villas
Caribbean Villas was the place for families to enjoy sailing, live music, barbeque and good family fun. A highlight of the weekend included an Easter Egg-Hunting to yield scores of delicious candies for the sweet-toothed children of La Isla Bonita. Easter egg hunts entail employing clever camouflages to bury, cover and hide-in-plain-sight colorful candies for eagle-eyed children to find and enjoy. Island egg-hunting can be a little more challenging, what with the ants/bugs and bigger critters eager to find easy snacks. And let’s not forget the sand getting in the candy wrappers! So, the Easter Bunny got smart at Caribbean Villas, and with the help of his bunny army, hid colorful sticks every which way that little Easter hunters could find and cash in for loads of candy.

Stabbing in Caye Caulker leaves one injured
On Tuesday, April 15th, at about 10:40PM Caye Caulker Police responded to reports of a stabbing incident that had left one man injured and in need of urgent medical attention. 24-year-old Aquiles Canche was found at the Caye Caulker Health Center suffering from multiple stab wounds. Initial investigations revealed that earlier, Canche was socializing with his girlfriend Kathy Balam, 26, on the beach by the cemetery area. According to reports Canche was approached by James Crawford, 31 years old, who stabbed him on the back. Canche defended himself and hit Crawford with a pint bottle, but Crawford continued to stab him before fleeing the area.

SP Lions Easter Pancake Brunch A Hopping Success!
The pancake breakfast included sausage, orange slices and juice, with the ever popular topping table. Kids of all ages enjoyed loading their pancakes with butter, syrup, sprinkles, jelly, chocolate syrup, shredded cheese, marshmallows, sliced bananas and even jellybeans! The dining tables were supplied with crayons and coloring sheets with some parents even trying their artistic skills! Games included ‘Pin the Tail on the Bunny’, dunking for Easter Eggs, Go Fish, Egg and Spoon races and puzzle races. Three large Easter baskets were raffled off and at the craft tables children made Bunny Ear Headbands and Easter Egg Wreaths to carry home. Parents enjoyed photographing their children with the guest of honor, the one and only Easter Bunny, while some children were not so sure about the oversized hare!

The Amazing Flamingo Tongue Snail
Scientifically known as Cyphoma gibbosum, this small but brightly colored sea snail (mollusk) is common in many Caribbean and Atlantic coral reefs. Flamingo Tongues are typically found on soft corals, such as sea whips, sea fans, sea rods and sea plums. When it is alive, the snail appears bright orange-yellow in color with black markings. However, these colors are not on the shell, but are only due to live mantle tissue which usually covers the shell. The mantle flaps can be retracted, exposing the shell, but this usually happens only when the animal is attacked. On an average the shell is about an inch long and the shape is usually elongated and the upper side shows a thick ridge. The surface is smooth and shiny and may be white or orange, with no markings at all except for a white or cream-colored band. Flamingo Tongues specialize in consuming the toxic flesh of soft corals by utilizing their unique feeding appendage, the radula. This belt sander-like tongue structure is exclusive to the mollusk and it is used to scrape away the coral tissue so nutrients can be absorbed. Due to their indifferent feeding strategy, only segments of a bare-naked coral skeleton is left behind; however, the silver lining here is that the coral will slowly start to undergo regeneration to replace the affected areas. Flamingo Tongues are smart enough to know not to graze their host coral to death; instead, they transfer hosts periodically by crossing over to the next coral.

Ambergris Today

Huge Crowds Flood Ambergris Caye for Easter Weekend
An overwhelming influx of vacationers from mainland flooded the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker over the weekend during the long Easter break. The two Belizean hotspots are a big draw for both local and international visitors during one of the biggest holidays in the country. It’s one of the biggest holidays in the country where hundreds of locals from the mainland flock to the beaches to enjoy some down time during the extended 4-day weekend. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, is one of the major hot spots in the country during Easter as it offers endless options of beach parties, water sports and beaches in which to relax on.

Overloaded Water Taxi Pier Collapses in Caye Caulker, Belize
There were no serious injuries reported on Saturday, April 19, 2014, when a section of a pier in the island of Caye Caulker, Belize, broke and launched some people into the sea while they waited for a water taxi off the island during the end of their Easter break. A portion of the San Pedro Belize Express (SPBE) Caye Caulker pier collapsed due to overwhelming overcrowding as passengers rushed to catch the next available boat off the island. The SPBE team, police, port authority and coast guard that were present during the busy weekend for the water taxi service made every effort to enforce safety and crowd control procedures to ensure passengers were boarded safely and appropriately on the vessels.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Announces Reef Week Activities
The reef is a very important ecosystem for our beautiful island and country. In order to create awareness and help preserve it, every year Reef Week is celebrated in honor of our natural heritage. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve has a week full of activities which will take place from May 10 – 17, 2014 under the theme "Our Reef Needs Our Protection for Future Generations". Below is the schedule of activities for this year’s Reef Week.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize City man shot and killed
A shoting incident this morning in Belize City has claimed the life of a 23 year old man. Police have confirmed that the 7 am shooting incident near the basketball court on Jane Usher Boulevard, resulted in the death of Patrick Bevans. According to reports, gunshots rang out at around 7 am and police who went to investigate, found Bevan’s face don, apparently dead with multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body.

Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez and Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation were interviewed by BBC World
from the UK. in regards to Mr. Kent Gabourel's participation in the Queen's Baton Relay which will take place on July 23 of this year in Glasgow, Scotland. (4 photos) You can find out more about the Queen's Baton Relay by clicking this link.

Belize Observes 12th Annual Vaccination Week in the Americas
The Ministry of Health is observing the 12th Annual Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) event. The week commences on April 26th and ends on May 3rd. This year will also mark the 3rd World Immunization Week observed from April 23rd to April 30th, 2014. Both events are celebrated with our international health partners to focus on creating awareness on immunization and vaccination. Immunization is widely recognized as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions ever introduced. The World Health Organization estimates that it prevents between two and three million deaths worldwide every year. In Belize, for the last ten years, we have seen a success rate of 96% vaccination coverage for children under the age of one. Despite this success, we make every effort to reach children under one and those infants having incomplete vaccination schedules.

Keli Engleson at Ironman
USA resident/yoga instructor and event planner in Belize, Keli Engleson runs/completes Ironman Los Cabos 2014 under USA and Belize Flags.

Cayo Film Festival Weekend
The Cayo Film Festival will be this Saturday and Sunday, April 26th and 27th, at the Cayo Welcome Center. Many films will be screened, including over a dozen documentaries filmed in and around Cayo.

New Business? Here Are 5 Tips on How to Craft a Great Brand. (Ask the Expert)
Q: How’d you know marketing was for you and what advice do you have for first timers crafting a brand? Huong Nguyen A: This is a fun one because I honestly didn’t think when I was young that I would end up in marketing. I did however love asking questions and was particularly interested in why people did what they did. I remember my mom once said to me “when you grow up you’re going to study why people behave the way they do.” and I think that is really at the heart of what “marketing” is all about. My undergrad degree is in journalism and digital media and my masterss Degree is in online media and persuasion. So at the heart of telling good stories in digital ecosystems, I found myself obsessed with digital marketing. I wouldn’t say I went looking for marketing but I am so darn happy that I stumbled into it, and it feels like a perfect match for what I really love to do — have a beautiful impact through building brands and creating amazing stories.

Patrick Bevans killed in Belize City
Police continue to investigate the death of 22 year old Patrick Bevans of Belize City. According to police around 7:00 a.m. Wednesday there were gunshots heard in the vicinity of Jane Usher Boulevard. Investigating officers found Bevans’s body face down, apparently already dead with multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body, on a side street not far from his home on Louise Bevans Street. Bevans died on the scene and was transferred to the KHMH morgue. Police recovered some seven 9mm expended shells. Police say they are questioning “persons of interest” at this time.

BDF rededicates military church
The St. George’s Military Church is the center of faith for the men and women of the Belize Defence Force, and today the national army opened its doors for rededication at a multi-denominational church service. Bishop of the Anglican Diocese Philip Wright; The Reverend Christopher Glancy of the Roman Catholic Church; Reverend Roosevelt Papouloute of the Methodist Church, Pastor Eugene Crawford of the Evangelical Association and other church leaders blessed the sanctuary and led the congregation in praise and worship.

Suspect in attempted murder charged
21 year old construction worker Lincoln Robinson is accused of attempting to shoot Anthony Young dead last month. He was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared in the #1 Magistrate’s Court. According to Young he was with friends in a yard on Dolphin Street on March 23 when an assailant wearing a red cap rode up on him from behind, stared him down for 15 seconds, then pointed a firearm at him and shot once. Young dodged the bullet and ran toward the canal which he tried to jump across. He slipped and fell in and as he tried to get out he heard four more shots and then realized that he had been shot.

Four youths charged for stolen firearm
Four young men, three from the Maxboro community outside Sandhill, are accused of possessing a firearm that police alleged was recently stolen. 18 year old Ijahman Young of Belize City; 21-year-old Kashief Gallego, 20-year-old Akeem Garcia and 22-year-old Parris Williams are charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and handling stolen goods. Early on Tuesday morning, around 1:45 a.m., police on mobile patrol on Fairweather Street spotted a grey Toyota 4-Runner SUV with Corozal license plates driving at high speed. They set chase and caught the vehicle on Prince Street, where they conducted a search of the vehicle and its occupants.

Prison officer found with weed, gets charged
27 year old prison officer Ryan Rowland of Hattieville finds himself on the other side of the law tonight after he was charged with drug trafficking. Police say he was found with 55 grams of cannabis hidden in a plastic bag and concealed in the crack of his buttocks, and allegedly intended to bring it into the Prison for supply. He had reported to work on April 17 and the contraband was found during a search by fellow prison officers. Rowland appeared in the #1 Magistrate’s Court and was released on bail of $1,000.

George McKenzie Junior released from murder charge
On Monday, George McKenzie Junior, accused of murder, was released after a court appearance. On Holy Thursday morning, George McKenzie, Jr., was brought to court for arraignment after being arrested and charged for the murder of 57 year old Alfonso Cruz, a resident of Rhaburn’s Alley, who was shot and killed around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. Cruz was sitting on an old refrigerator that was in the alley when his assailant shot him once in the head from close range. Cruz died while being transported to the hospital. However, McKenzie was not arraigned because Police were awaiting word from Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, and word came later in the day that more work needed to be done despite a ID statement and parade identification.

Chiquibul National Park Visitor Center
Congratulations to the Friends for Conservation and Development on the opening of the Chiquibul National Park visitor center! And thanks to Pine Lumber, for working with them to make it a reality. The park comprises around 8% of Belize. "Some pictures taken Chiquibul National Park:Chiquibul Trip April 2014 - Tapir Camp Inaug.. Bull Ridge built the house using hardwoods from the Chiquibul & Mountain Pine Ridge; in collaboration with Pine Lumber Co. Ltd. Thank you FCD! Welcome one, welcome all to the Chiquibul National Park Visitor Center!!! Come bring your family & friends to explore what our Jewel - Belize has to offer!"

Tomorrow Universe EDM Battle
Club Onyx is the location for the next Tomorrow Universe promo, and this one is an EDM Battle. It'll be Saturday, April 26th, and will go from 9:00pm until 3:00am. Blue Line Sounds, Platinum Sounds, and Tomorrow Universe will be there to make the night unforgettable. There will be giveaways through the night, including Tomorrow Universe tickets, wine, and phone cards.

Channel 7

Guatemalan Soldier Caught in Belize
The BDF caught a Guatemalan Armed Forces soldier in Belizean territory on Monday – and he remains detained tonight. But 7News has learned that arrangements are being made for the soldier to be released so that he can return to his country. He was found 250 meters – or a tenth of a mile inside of Belize. A BDF Patrol came upon the soldier and 3 others were in the Rio Blanco area on Monday. And though it is illegal entry, he is going to be set free. Today, we spoke with the Commander of BDF, and asked why the decision is being made where he won't be charged with immigration offences like any other Guatemalan caught illegally in the country. General David Jones told us that it's a protocol established between the BDF and Guat Armed Forces, in an improved relationship: General David Jones - Commander, BDF "We had a patrol out in the Rio Blanco area. Actually it was the day before, encountered 4 persons, an elderly man, 2 minors, and 1 Guatemalan soldier. The patrol in their made the decision to release the elderly guy, and the 2 minors because they didn't want them to sleep out in the jungle with them in the night, but they took the Guatemalan soldier with them into custody. They started to walk yesterday; it took them all day yesterday. They didn't reach in yesterday, and they arrived today. We have the soldier in custody, and between myself and the commanding General of the Guatemalan army, we decided the protocol between us, what we're going to do with him."

General Jones Stands By His Soldiers
But, as you heard the General say, the Guatemalan soldier being detained in Belizean territory doesn't hurt the relationship between both sides because of this new agreement. What does hurt the relationship are the fatal shootings of Guatemalan civilians by the BDF – four since 2012. The most recent case is Tomas Desdicho Ramirez is still under investigation. Today we asked Jones about the present status between the armed forces of both countries, and he said that tensions are high: General David Jones - Commander, BDF "I had a meeting with the Guatemalan General just about 3 weeks ago, in Guatemala, just about 2 days after the actual shooting of Mr. Tomas. He had expressed to me that yes, shooting incidents have occurred, however, it's only Guatemalans who have been killed. I expressed to him that yes, it is indeed that our soldiers were involved in the shootings. Guatemalans have been killed, but the OAS have always verified where the incidents occurred, what actually transpired, and vindicated the soldiers that it was always in self-defence. We're trying to move forward now from the tensions because in late 2012 there were tension, 2013 the tensions continue, and it is reaching a point where we don't want serious escalation between the military of Guatemala and the Belize Defence Force."

Morning Murder In City
The long Easter weekend was relatively peaceful in Belize City, but that brief respite ended with a violent murder this morning. It happened in the Port Loyola Area – which had witnessed two previous murders in the past three weeks. Today, the family of the latest victim told the media that all three killings could be related to an increase in gang activity in the area. 7news was on the scene: Jules Vasquez Reporting That is the scene that played out on Curl Thompson Extension this morning when Patrick Bevans's girlfriend rushed to the scene, followed by many of his ten sisters. 22 year old Bevans lay dead just 150 feet from his home. He was face down, amidst an array of bullet markers - we saw 9. Walking on these crutches, he was killed returning from the store. His sister asked to appear off camera:

No Identification Yet For Woman Found Murdered In Corozal
Last night, we told you about the nude body of the still unidentified woman which was discovered yesterday in the Savannah area off the road between Chan Chen and Patchakan Villages. The Autopsy showed that she was killed at another location by her assailant or assailants who chopped her to death. But who is she? Well, police want your help to identify her. Today, we went north to find out more: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The discovery of the nude female body in the Savannah, off the road to Chan Chen Village has investigators perplexed. First of all, even after extensive efforts, they are no closer to determining her identity. Supt. Andrew Ramirez - OC, Corozal Police "Yesterday, at around 2:35 p.m., upon information received, Corozal Police visited an area about a mile out of Chan Chen heading towards Patchakan on the left hand side, referred to as the savannah area, where they saw the nude body of a female, partially decomposed, with no hair and with several wounds to the head and face. The person also had the right hand severed off. We still have not identified that individual. We are asking the public for their input in relation to that."

Is Canton Finally Going to Get The Axe At CPBL?
CEO of Citrus Products of Belize Limited Henry Canton is on the hot seat, as rumours are swirling that he could be sent home soon. Sure, we've heard that before, but the vibe we get tonight is that the new CPBL board of directors is getting ready to give Canton the axe. Chairman of the Board Doug Singh didn't want to comment this evening, but told us that Canton remains in his seat as CEO tonight. Singh would only say there has been no final decision and they are still in negotiations. He suggested that a final decision could be made by the end of the week, but would not say what that decision might be – saying that as Chairman, he had to, quote, "handle things responsibly." If Canton is indeed on the way out, it would be seen as a major victory for the former majority shareholder, Citrus Growers Association, which has been trying to eject him from that seat for years.

Ministry of Health Says Get Ready For Chikungunya
You probably aren't familiar with the disease called Chikungunya – and it's not surprising since it is foreign to Belize – and until November of last year – it hadn't even appeared on this side of the world. But now it has: Chikungunya, or Chik-V as it is called, appeared on the Caribbean island of St Martin at the end of last year, and it has been steadily spreading since then; it is now in 10 Caribbean countries, with 2,300 confirmed cases and about 17,000 suspected cases. Thankfully, there have only been 6 deaths reported. The viral disease is carried by mosquitoes, just like dengue or malaria and it spreads either by the travel of infected persons, or in shipping containers. The good news is that it hasn't come to Belize yet, or, for that matter, anywhere on the American mainland, but the bad news is that Belizean health authorities say it will come. They had a sensitization session with health workers this morning and a press conference this afternoon. The Director of Health Services says that conditions are ripe for Chik-V in Belize:… Dr. Michael Pitts - Director of Health Services "So, Belize has no case, but I must say that we have all the environmental conditions. We're tropical just like the Caribbean. The mosquitoes are there; the environmental conditions are there, and the level of interaction is happening where I think that it is really safe to say that it's not if, but when it will come here."

COMPOL In Crooked Tree Dust-Up
A police constable has been transferred and could be facing charges after a dust-up with the Commissioner of Police on Saturday night in Crooked Tree Village. 7news has confirmed that PC Ogaldez is the one who was arrested by Commissioner Allen Whylie at the end of a day of horse races on Saturday. Best reports tell us that there were a number of drunken brawls erupting simultaneously and there were only two police officers on duty. Ogaldez was one of them and he fired three warning shots to disperse the crowd. Apparently, Commissioner Whylie disapproved of his actions, and sent the more senior officer to take away the constable's weapon. That led to hard talk between the Compol and the Constable. The constable then retired to the bar, but that's when the commissioner's brother in law allegedly broke a pint over the constable's head. At that point the constable threw curse words at the Compol, who responded by telling Ogladez he would be charged for a breach of discipline and firing 3 unnecessary shots. He was detained, put into a police truck and escorted to the Police Station in Ladyville. The constable had injuries from the pint though, and those were classified as harm. He has made a complaint against the Commissioner's brother in law. He has been transferred from Crooked Tree to Ladyville and remains on active duty with no charges at this time.

Special Constable Eldo Gets Special Treatment?
And in a follow up to a story we ran last night, Police Special Constable Eldo Itza is detained at the Orange Walk Police Station where he will spend the night, before being taken to court tomorrow on arraignment for Aggravated Assault and Harm. But, he could also be charged for trespassing and aggravated burglary – after all, he is accused of jumping the fence of a Chinese Store in San Jose Village, and going in to beat the proprietor and his nephew – all because they didn't want to sell him beer. This happened last Thursday and police arrested Itza on the scene, but let him go free over the weekend so that he could come onto the station this week at his convenience to get his charges. All this courtesy after he left a civilian and property owner with ten stitches in his head. We'll follow up on his arraignment tomorrow.

Coro Cops Caught Fugitives
There are several cases that Corozal police believe they've wrapped up: 3 armed robberies and a rape which were open cases for some time. Wanted fugitives Julian Dyer and Robert Locke who have been on the run for some time now were caught last week Thursday due to quick police work by Corozal police. Today, the Officer Commanding Corozal Police briefed the media on the operations which led to their detention: Superintendent Andrew Ramirez - OC, Corozal Police "Two things I want the public to know about are the arrests of Robert Locke and Julian Dyer. These were two people I would refer to as fugitives, transient criminals but these individuals were very dangerous in a society in a time such as this. Robert Locke was wanted for rape back in 2013, in October. He has been on the run, moving from district to district. We have tried all means and methods to try and apprehend Robert Locke. While on the run he committed burglary, aggravated burglary. He entered in a house and chopped up two individuals, two females, so he was very dangerous for us. He was apprehended Thursday, just before the stroke of midnight. And I want to applaud the officers involved, especially Corporal Isaac Pascual who led a team and PC Marvin Salam, and others. I particularly want to single out these individuals because they showed true leadership in relation to these tactical types of operations. They were not in fear of the consequences because they knew we needed to get these individuals off the street. Also we want to announce that we apprehended Julian Dyer. Julian Dyer also is a very dangerous person some people might call him public enemy. But he is no good news in Corozal. He has since been charged for three counts of robbery; that would be the Band Store, the Jing Jing store and also a customer inside the Jing Jing Store. He has been remanded July 4. We have Robert Locke being remanded until May 29. Again, we still continue to look for one Alex Reid, also known as "Cat", and we continue to ask the community to note that Alex Reid is still wanted by this formation for armed robbery."

Man Jailed For Easter Monday Weapon
20 year-old Michael Whylie, a resident of Pinks Alley, is in jail tonight after he was taken to court for gun police say they found on his property. According to police, they searched his house on Easter Monday at around 5:00 pm. They received intelligence that he had illegal items in his possession, and they discovered a 9mm pistol with 5 live rounds of ammunition in its magazine, which was hidden under a piece of zinc in his yard. He was charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, where he was remanded to prison until June 3.

Teachers Trickle In For National Convention
Today the Belize National Teachers Union held it's 44th National Convention at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall in Belize City. The theme this year is Building Solidarity and Defending Unionism – but today at the Parish Hall, the defence didn't look so staunch, since only a few hundred teachers attended the national convention. For the union, which is thousands strong, solidarity is key – and Belize District President Kathleen Flowers said that teachers have to show more visible support for their union: Teachers will get their raise at the end of July 2014, retroactive to the first of this month.

A Church for Soldiers
This afternoon, the Belize Defence Force opened its first on-site Church at its Price Barracks Compound. It might not seem that significant to you because there are many churches around, but for the BDF, it's an important milestone. General David Jones told us why: The church was built using funds from the BDF's recurrent budget.

Siarsha In Merida For Another Surgery
Three year old Siarsha Alavarez – the 3 year old with the rare skin disorder is back in Merida tonight. She has to take a highly specialized surgery to fix her eyelid, which has folded over and has her eyelashes growing on the inside which irritates her cornea. It's another symptom of the Stevens-Johnson syndrome which is an acute skin disorder. Her surgery takes place tomorrow at 9:00 am – and we'll tell you how it went in next newscast.

Channel 5

Murder in Chan Chen: woman is hacked to death and dumped in savannah
Corozal Police have been unable to identify the body of a young woman found on Tuesday afternoon. The partially decomposed body was discovered by a resident of Chan Chen, lying [...]

Patrick “Pata” Bevans executed near his home
Twenty-two year old Patrick Bevans a resident of Port Loyola was shot and killed this morning by an unknown assailant. The latest Belize City homicide is believed to be the [...]

Was George McKenzie Jr. targeted by police because of his father’s past?
Do you believe that George McKenzie Junior was purposely targeted by police because of his father’s past? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post [...]

14 year old knocks down toddler in Orange Walk Town
There was a road traffic accident in the village of Trial Farm in the Orange Walk District last Thursday. RTAs are very common, but the circumstances surrounding this one are [...]

Ministry of Health on alert; CHIKV detected in Latin America and the Caribbean
CHIKV, a mosquito-borne virus which causes an illness similar in transmission to dengue fever, has become an emerging threat within Latin America and the Caribbean.  Infection causes an acute fever [...]

Guatemalan soldier, detained in Belize, but to be set free
Armed confrontations along the Belize/Guatemalan border, involving the Belizean military and Guatemalans conducting illegal activities within our country, have been a perennial issue which some may say remain unresolved. And [...]

B.D.F. Commander welcomes enquiry led by U.S. Investigator
On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington told News Five that American Investigator and Director of the International Forensics Science Laboratory and Training Center in the United States, Dr. [...]

Tour operators bound over the peace for 3 years
Tour operators Yhony Rosado and Vitalino Reyes both share a history of rivalry with each other.  In December 2013, Rosado and Reyes became embroiled in a physical altercation and were [...]

Adult and teenager charged for firearm offenses
Shortly after Patrick Bevans was gunned down in the Jane Usher Boulevard area early this morning; police set chased after a teenager who they caught up with and who was [...]

An update on crime in Corozal
The brutal murder of the unidentified woman has shattered what has been a very peaceful month in the Corozal District. The traditional Easter weekend was uneventful save for a few [...]

B.D.F. launches new St. George’s Chapel at Price Barracks
The B.D.F. today officially launched the opening of the new location for its Saint George’s Church located at the Price Barracks compound in Ladyville. The newly retrofitted chapel is to [...]

B.N.T.U. hosts 44th National Convention
The Belize National Teachers Union, the single, largest unified body of workers in the country, is hosting its forty-fourth annual national convention in Belize City.  Educators from across the districts, [...]

Issues affecting teachers are discussed at B.N.T.U. convention
According to Palacio, despite the unexceptional turnout the business of the annual gathering continues and issues, including the Occupational Safety and Health Bill will be discussed on Thursday.   Luke [...]


Corozaleno Charged For Drug Trafficking
Corozal Police pledged to increase its patrols during the Easter Holidays in order to reduce the crime rate in that municipality and that’s exactly what they did. In the case of drug activity the hike in security proved fruitful. On Holy Thursday, at about 7:10 in the morning, officers conducted a search at the residence of Earl Rancharan located in the Village of Calcutta, Corozal which led them to one small plastic bag containing suspected cannabis along with forty two small foil papers containing suspected cannabis and a small bunch of suspected cannabis found on top of a wooden table.

Corozal Recorded Its Third Murder
It has been confirmed, Corozal has recorded its third murder and the female victim remains unidentified tonight. What Corozal Police does know is that she suffered a heinous death but as far as her identity and the reason behind her cruel death, police are nowhere close to answering those questions. The nude body of the victim was discovered after one yesterday afternoon by a villager of Patchakan who was travelling on the Chan Chen Road heading home. The badly decomposed body of the victim was seen floating in an area known as the Quintal Lagoon located in the outskirts of Chan Chen. When we left you last night we told you that an onsite post mortem was scheduled for this morning. Reporter Victor Castillo continued following the story today and filed the following report. “This morning, the Forensic Team visited the area where an onsite autopsy was conducted and where on his expertise the doctor is basically saying it is of a young person, a female on her twenties about five feet five inches in height, dark complexion the body shows signs of clearness but because of the sun but the doctor has confirmed that it is of that of a dark individual. What I can say in relation of having visited the autopsy myself at the scene is that the person has sever chop wounds to the head area but to the body but to be more precise most of the injuries were sustained in the head which more than likely would have been one of the causes of her death and the doctor also indicated that the severing of the right body because there were also sever marks on the right leg indicating of animal prone, being a savannah I can assume it is alligator.


Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles Spends Easter Weekend in Belize
The Mayor of Belize City met with his Los Angeles counterpart over the Easter holiday. Mayor Bradley welcomed Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, to Belize when he arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport on Thursday. Mayor Bradley hosted a dinner reception in honor of Mayor Garcetti and said that Belize and Los Angeles share many common ties, and Los Angeles is an important partner to Belize, especially since the majority of Belizeans in the Diaspora live in the greater Los Angeles Area. Upon leaving Belize on Easter Monday, Mayor Garcetti was given a wooden plaque symbolizing both municipalities continued partnership.


Harmonyville Strikes Agreement with Various Investors
Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, known as BGYEA, is well recognized for their move to acquire several hundreds of acres of land and distribute it to first time land owners. The targeted area, located along the George Price Highway from Beavers Dam Bridge all the way to the edge...

Senator Has no Comment about Facebook Postings
Porfilio Rodriguez, who calls himself Vanessa Paris Champaign, was murdered, that is what the good attorney and senator Lisa Shoman posted on her facebook news feed on Friday of last week. According to Senator Shoman’s post “she was stabbed multiple times; allegedly by the same set of guys who...

Patrick Bevans Shot and Killed
Police have confirmed the death of 22 year old Patrick Bevans of Belize City. According to police around 7:00 a.m. Wednesday there were gunshots heard in the vicinity of Jane Usher Boulevard. Investigating officers found Bevans’s body face down, apparently already dead with multiple gunshot wounds to the head...

Sherman Rodney Charged for Attempted Murder
Sherman Rodney, 22 year old resident of Belize City who was recently accused of escaping from police custody, is tonight on remand at the Belize Central prison for the attempted murder of Lloyd Augustus. Augustus was injured during an alleged fight at the home of Rodney. Rodney appeared...

Judge Orders Yhony Rosado and Vitalino Reyes to Keep the Peace
Yhony Rosado and Vitalino Reyes’ trial started and concluded today. The duo have been long time rivals as both men are in the tour industry but their rivalry goes beyond normal business competition; there’s have gone to actual physical blows. In court this afternoon, both men chose to give...

Michael Whylie Remanded for Unlicensed Firearm
20 year old Pinks Alley resident Michael Whylie was found with an unlicensed 9mm pistol at his residence over the Easter weekend. Today he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith where he was remanded without bail until June 3, 2014. Police went to the residence around 5:10 p.m. on...

Deputy Prime Minister Driver’s Truck Hits a 2 Year Old Girl
A two-year-old girl is recovering from injuries she received when she was knocked down on Holy Thursday. The vehicle which hit 2 year old Rachel Chan is owned by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s driver but driving the vehicle at the time of the incident was a 14 year...

Police Say Why Throat Slitting Man Still not Arrested
Yesterday we reported on the stabbing of a Camalote resident on Friday Night . 20 year old Shane Parham went to a nearby Chinese Store in Camalote to purchase several items when he was approached by a named individual, also of Camalote. During a short altercation, it is alleged that...

BDF Church Rededicated
The St. George’s Military Church is the center of faith for the men and women of the Belize Defence Force, and today, the national army opened its doors for re-dedication at a multi-denominational church service. Bishop of the Anglican Diocese Philip Wright; The Reverend...

The Reporter

Murder on Jane Usher Boulevard
A shooting murder reportedly took place a few minutes ago on Jane Usher Boulevard in Belize City. Police are on the scene and are looking for one suspect.


24 Hours in the Belize’s Most Western Town of Benque Viejo
Twenty four hours is not enough time to experience any town properly. Especially not the town of Benque on the Western Belize/Guatemalan border. Though it’s small in population, only about 8000 people, Benque is pretty spread out. And my allotted 24 hours happened to be on Good Friday…one of the town’s busiest and certainly most colorful days of the year. Benque is making a push to grow the local tourism industry. It makes sense. There is a ton of stuff to visit around the area. The gorgeous Mayan site of Xunantunich is just a few miles away… the Mopan River runs right through the town and is perfect for tubing and canoeing… and some less explored caves like Actun Chapat and Actun Halal are close by. But Benque’s traditional celebrations are what drew me to the town. Semana Santa, or the Easter Holy Week, is observed by the whole community. Processions from Palm Sunday to Good Friday and the part I was excited to see? The sawdust tapestries.

“Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The trial period with Ziggy is not going as smoothly as we had hoped. There’s little doubt that he is a well trained, loving and loveable dog. He is relatively young at eighteen months and still has a bit of boisterousness about him but when a command is issued he comes to heel (generally) very quickly. He’s also shown during the short time that we have had him that he’s a quick learner. So what’s the problem? Sounds like the perfect dog. And we think he could be apart from one thing. He wants to be with us all of the time. That’s good you’re probably thinking. What’s wrong with that? Well, we want Ziggy to sleep outside of the house (don’t worry there’s lot of cover and he has his bed out there)and he -very obviously- wants to sleep inside the house with us. Why obviously? The scratch marks on our front door, that’s why!

Beating the lunch hour slowdown and and what Dale Wallace jr can do for you
Yesterday Smart, BTL and Coral Cable were our first stops. Since Smart had a long line we bumped them down a few stops and got the other two done first as they close down for lunch hour. While there we got our new 2014 phone books, the popular mini size ones were out of stock so we have to wait a couple of weeks to get one. I posted the pic below on facebook page and had a few funny comments about still using an old school phone book. While I do tend to use the web based Belize phone book on most of the time, phone books are still handy here due to erratic internet and power outs. Next stop was to see Delito aka Dale Wallace jr, Many of you know him as the fantastic drummer in Fido’s house band but he is also owner of Grease and Shine Golf Cart Maintenance & Service Shop. Angie wanted to see if he had had time to fix the light in her cart. While he was assessing what was wrong with the current switch, we got to watch Dale pass on his knowledge by teaching his nephews about golf cart mechanics.

Bad Men Visit Penner and Offer Him Big Money to Roll Out
Firmer Immigration minister Elvin Penner is reportedly facing a different heat other than the contempt of Belizeans who have been outraged by his egregious act of issuing Belizean citizenship and passport to South Korean, Won Hong Kim who was jailed in Taiwan. NBZLIVE has credible information that Penner might be facing consequences of unfinished business due to his sudden dismissal from office last September. A source has confirmed to NBZLive that Penner was recently visited by persons of Asian descent who offered him BZD $1Million in order to get him to resign the UDP and leave the country. Penner, we were told refused the offer for fear of his life. There have been rumors that Penner has been receiving threats since the scandal broke on September 19, 2013 – the day he was kicked out of cabinet by Prime Minister Barrow. Those rumors have so far proven baseless since Penner has been able to freely exit and re-enter the country since the scandal broke. Even after he was criminally charged a few weeks ago, he was not ordered to surrender his travel documents.

International Sources

Region's conch, lobster trade under threat, say officials
The future of the Caribbean's conch and lobster fisheries remains under threat despite regional efforts to protect it, regional fisheries officials said here yesterday. The issue is at the top of the agenda of the 12th meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, the main technical and scientific decision-making body of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The Belize-based agency coordinates the management of fisheries in the Caribbean Community (Caricom). Acting Permanent Secretary in Dominica's fisheries ministry, Harold Guiste, speaking at the start of the three-day meeting, highlighted efforts by the United States to declare conch an endangered species.

Common Caribbean currency unlikely
A Common Caribbean Currency is no longer practical for this region. That’s the word from Dr. Delisle Worrell, Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados. Speaking at a function at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in Washington D.C., Dr. Worrell said that while the common currency would have been ideal for transaction purposes, achieving this now seems very unlikely. Dr. Worrell spoke on the topic, “Macroeconomic Options for Very Small Open Economies”. After the presentation the Governor fielded questions from the audience which included a number of international economists. The common currency has been promoted as one of the components of monetary integration in the Caribbean, especially with the move towards a Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

High Airfares Impede the Consolidation of Tourism in Central America
Central America, an isthmus rich in nature and cultural heritage from Guatemala to Panama, not yet consolidated as a single tourist destination because of limits such as the high cost of its domestic air transport. This region offers, in just over half a million square kilometers, a varied world ranging from volcanoes, tropical islands, colonial architecture, parks, lakes or archaeological up to food, music and dancing. The efforts of each country to attract more tourists have beared fruits, as it shows that between 2002 and 2012 foreign exchange from tourism tripled, according to the Central American Tourism Integration Secretariat (SITCA). The image of Central America as a single destination has succeeded placing itself in a sector of the international tourism market, but when it come to providing plans to travel there the difficulties arise, admit authorities of the region.

Nouveau guide de l'expatrié au Belize
Le guide de l'expatrié au Belize st désormais en ligne. Nous venons, en effet, de publier plusieurs articles pour vous aider à mieux préparer votre expatriation et pour vous installer dans le pays. Vous pouvez lire ces articles en cliquant sur les titres suivants:

The Next Global Breadbasket: How Latin America Can Feed The World
Latin America and the Caribbean contribute 11% of the value of world food production and represent 24% of the world’s arable land. Addressing humanity’s great challenge — finding sustainable ways to feed rapidly increasing numbers of people around the world — is Latin America’s great opportunity. Across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), a more productive and environmentally sustainable agriculture system holds great promise for achieving food security around the world — as well as for the region’s development, for poverty alleviation and for social progress. Read more in a new report from the Global Harvest Initiative and Inter-American Development Bank.

How Expat Life Expanded Our Social Horizons
While living in the San Francisco Bay Area my husband and I both worked long days, and too many weekends. We rarely bumped into our neighbors, had little free time for socializing, and even less energy. We hoped that would change when we moved to Ambergris Caye, Belize—though we worried that by basing ourselves on a small island we might be in for a limited social circle.


Video: Reportage choc: Cœur des Gangs: Belize en Amérique centrale 2014 Entier, 47min.
Belize a été le premier endroit où un membre de gang ma donné une grenade de guerre dans les mains explique Ross Kemp. Alimentée par le chômage et un trafic . Belize a été le premier endroit où un membre de gang ma donné une grenade de guerre dans les mains explique Ross Kemp. Alimentée par le chômage et un trafic . Cayenne, en Guyane, est la plaque tournante du trafic de cocaïne, venue des pays voisins, producteurs de drogue. Dans cette guerre contre les narcotrafiquant.

Video: Tobacco Caye Belize, 2min.

Video: Belize Half Moon Wall Octopus, 15sec.

Video: 50 Days in Central America, 8min.
Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatamala, Belize, Mexico... then in the end NYC and Iceland :)

Video: DJ ZOG at Holiday Hotel Easter Bash San Pedro, Belize, 1min.
Miami Power 96 DJ and Entertainer DJ ZOG hyped up Easter Break in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize at the Holiday Hotel Easter Bash 2014. An overwhelming influx of vacationers from mainland flooded the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker over the weekend during the long Easter break. The two Belizean hotspots are a big draw for both local and international visitors during one of the biggest holidays in the country.

Video: Go Pro Belize Trip 2014, 4min.
cool trip to belize

Video: Belize 1 EPI Belize 2014, 4min.
Looks like FUN! I guess you didn't help any missionaries because I didn't see any helping just relaxing. HAHAHAHAHA! Hope to see you soon!

Video: Belize 2, 7min.
stranger parts of the trip

April 23, 2014


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Island Invasion Easter Bash rocks Fido’s Courtyard
King of the Island Promotions’ Island Invasion did it again, bringing the party atmosphere to Fido’s Courtyard for the 3rd installment of their Easter Bash. With a crowd of close to 300, Island Invasion kicked off the party on Friday, April 18th. But the party really “tun ove” on Saturday, April 19th, with over 800 patrons enjoying the rhythms and tunes of some of Belize’s premier DJs. Spinning the best of club, house, dancehall, reggae and pop music was Fyah Statah Sounds (Selecta Ras and DJ Jaro), Tagg International Sounds (DJ Kris and DJ Jago), Air Invasion Sounds (DJ Trilla Man and DJ Biggz), Blue Wave Sounds (DJ Julian), and Evolution Sounds (DJ K-Mix and DJ Pinky). With a general admission of $10 before midnight and $15 after, the crowd flooded the gates from early; of course many opted for the exclusive VIP admission on the second flood for $30. Fido’s transformed into a club for the event, as party goers reveled until the wee hours of the next morning. It wouldn’t be an Easter Bash without a few cocktail and beers. Thankfully the bartenders at Fido’s were well stocked and prepared to satisfy the crowd. It was definitely the place to be for the weekend.

Letter to the Editor: Norwegian Cruise Line
I viewed with interest the hosting of a press tour by Norwegian Cruise Line and the explanation by NCL executive Colin Murphy of why the establishment of a cruise port at Harvest Caye would be such a wonderful blessing for Belize. What particularly prompts me to write is his astonishingly candid – and frightening – statement that “Really, what we are doing is locking ourselves into Belize”. Remember that word, “locked”. Although no longer a member of the Belizean media I could not help but think of a few questions for Mr. Murphy had I been present. Specifically could he explain: –why Belizean taxpayers should pay NCL over a hundred million Belize dollars in direct cash subsidy over the course of its exclusive concession, thus allowing NCL to recoup its entire capital investment at Harvest Caye?

The Party Doesn’t Stop with Tackle Box and Tuff E Nuff
The island certainly lived up to its name as being one the country’s most sought after destinations for Easter in Belize, as revelers flocked ashore this past weekend. Whether you decided to party on the beach, on a boat or under a palapa, there was one thing certain of this Easter weekend in San Pedro-there was absolutely no shortage to the party supply! Tackle Box hosted a weekend of fun under the theme: We Gwein da Blue Baby! Party goers danced the weekend away to the finest tunes being juggled by Dj Debbie, DJ Smallz, Federation 501, DJ Karizma , Tuff E Nuff Sounds, and Sweet Pain Band. Bartenders kept the Heineken coming and for those that wanted to take the party on the blue- Tuff E Nuff Tours took the party to the sea with their first ever Easter Booze Cruise. All who attended the were sure to have a memorable Easter 2014!

2014's San Pedro Sun Easter Egg
We have a winner!! 2014's San Pedro Sun Easter Egg hunt winner is Arlene Torres!! Congratulations!!!

Ambergris Today

Actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner on Easter Break in San Pedro
Not a stranger to Belize, this time Malcom-Jamal was in Ambergris Caye enjoying the sun, sand and sea and accommodations of Portofino Resort and X’tan Ha north of town, our sources tell us. He was reportedly on a tour of the country and visiting various locations. Malcolm had visited the country for the first time back in 2007 with his friend Daryl (Chill) Mitchell. Warner is best known for his role as Bill Cosby’s only son, “Theo Huxtable,” on the NBC sitcom, The Cosby Show, but he also starred in “Jeremiah”, was the voice of the producer character on “The Magic School Bus” and co-starred for four years on the UPN sitcom “Malcolm & Eddie.”

Belizean US Army Sergeant Returns Home
While Army Sgt. Karen Burbank was growing up in Belize City, Belize, her mother always emphasized that if she stuck with her education, she would succeed. She heeded that advice, and with five years of training and experience as a medic, Burbank recently deployed to Belize from the 349th Combat Support Hospital in Los Angeles. From April 7-17, Burbank helped people from her home nation receive proper medical care while working in the triage section of the New Horizons Belize 2014 medical readiness training exercise. Burbank was responsible for obtaining blood pressure and pulse readings and for determining patients' main reasons for visiting the temporary clinic.

Letters To The Editor: United Christian Women’s Alliance Belize (WALLBelize)
We are a Belizean organization of Christian women and girls desiring to nurture, promote and defend our faith, families and the welfare of each person. We are called to defend the life of the unborn, the rightful position of females within society, and to confront systems of oppression, injustice and exploitation through our message, service and by our influence on legislation. WALLBelize also joins the Roman Catholic Church in celebrating the dignity of all women and in condemning all forms of violence, aggression and disrespect of women. We also support their stand for the families and children of Belize. We are aware that our government is determined to implement the Revised Gender Policy 2013, including the sections that encourage violence and disrespect against both males and females in promoting abortion and same sex relationships, and in its earliest revision, also promoting prostitution. These concepts violate God’s plan for a male and female to unite in marriage and to produce offspring of both sexes and deny the rights of the female to develop in her role as a nurturing mother, sister, daughter and helpmate to her male husband.

Pic of the Week: Recovering from Easter Break in San Pedro, Belize
At first glance we thought it was a giant starfish at the edge of the shoreline, then we thought it was a drowning victim; but after a closer look we realized that this man was just one of the many who were recuperating from a long (but amazing) Easter holiday weekend break in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. He is one of the few who still stayed on the island and surely found a great way to just relax and get his energies back. Sadly for many, they had to go back to work with tired bodies and all hung over. But there is nothing to complain about once you had an amazing time in PARADISE!!! Hoping everybody had an amazing Easter holiday weekend. See you all back next year. - photo coutesy of Desi Rosado

Misc Belizean Sources

Army veterinarian serves animals, country
For someone to go through basic officer training at 57 years old, he must have a fairly compelling reason to join the U.S. armed forces. That reason for U.S. Army Capt. Brian Joseph, now a veterinarian in uniform, was one former military work dog named Ringo. From meeting Ringo to wearing a uniform Seven years ago, Joseph attended a Continuing Education Veterinary meeting in San Diego, Calif. While perusing the exhibitors' hall on break during the meeting, he came across a U.S. Army Veterinary Corps booth. There, he met Ringo, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Belgian Malinois. "If Ringo wasn't there, I might not have stopped; but I stopped to talk to Ringo, and I heard about his experiences," Joseph recalled. "Ringo had done four tours in Iraq with the Marines, and he had retired and lived with an Army veterinarian."

BDF private stands guard during New Horizons exercise
Sitting quietly, acutely aware of his surroundings, a young Belize Defence Force guard stands watch over a construction site and the partially built walls of a new preschool. Having joined the volunteer BDF three years earlier at 16-years-old, Pvt. Guzman considers himself to be a seasoned guard. “It’s pretty quiet during the day, I get to enjoy the friendly environment,” he says about the worksite, “I enjoy coming to work.” Looking out through the opening of his tent, he points at the preschool in progress and says, “… this will help a lot of children, it will let them be at school and learn a trade doing something good for their life,” he smiles and says “I’m happy to be a part of it.” Pvt. Guzman, who volunteered to work security during the New Horizons exercise, says that he wanted “to observe how the U.S. military operates,” and he hopes that this joint exercise will integrate him more into the Regular BDF (which he someday hopes to possibly join in a few years) as they demonstrate the capabilities of the BDF in a joint environment.

CTGA Tourism Eco Conservation Camp Raffle
The Cayo Tour Guide Association is having their first Tourism Eco Conservation Camp this July, and they are having a raffle to raise funds for the event. Get your raffle tickets, and you could win 2 nights at both Blancaneaux Lodge and Turtle Inn for 4 people. Transportation to Mountain Pine Ridge and Placencia is included. Tickets are only $10, and you can get them from any CTGA member.

Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies” – an on-line opportunity !
The U.S. Embassy is partnering with the University of Belize to facilitate a 6 week FREE online course offered through Case Western University titled, “Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies.” The course starts on April Th so sign up today! While the course work will be offered online and completed at your convenience, we will host scheduled review meetings with an Embassy facilitator to help participants better understand and discuss course materials. At the end of the course, the participants who successfully complete the course materials, and attend the review meetings will be given a certificate of completion to add to their professional resumes. If you decide to sign up for the course and want to attend the review sessions. Please email us at [email protected] so that we can send you the meeting schedule and location in Belmopan.

Job Vacancy: Chief Executive Officer for the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality, Barbados
Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons to fill the following position: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) Assigned duty station will be Barbados Reporting to the CROSQ Council, the Chief Executive Officer shall have responsibility for: spearheading the development and implementation of the CARICOM Regional Quality Infrastructure (standardisation, metrology and conformity assessment), including securing the support of donor agencies and key stakeholders; providing advice on the formulation of policies of CROSQ and the effective management and leadership of the CROSQ Secretariat

Water Taxi company issues statement on dock collapse
The San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi today issued a statement regarding the partial collapse of its dock in Caye Caulker village over the Easter holiday weekend. The company, in its statement, apologizes to its customers who were thrown into the Caribbean Sea when a portion of the dock collapsed and that it “is making every effort to fortify its ports and implement additional safety features to ensure this incident is not repeated.” According to the official statement, officials of the Water Taxi and “relevant authorities” who included the police, Belize National Coast Guard and Belize Port Authorities personnel, “requested that passengers wait on the beach to improve accessibility and ease the stress on the bridge.”

Teen driver knocks down 2 year old girl in Orange Walk
A two year old girl had to get 25 stitches and suffered three broken ribs after she was knocked down on Holy Thursday in Orange Walk. The child, identified as 2 year old Rachel Chan was knocked down by a pickup truck around midday on Thursday in Trial Farm village. Chan sustained a large cut wound to the forehead which required a lot of stitches. She was rushed by neighbors to the Northern Regional Hospital. The little girl was later transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial in Belize City for further treatment. The police department has not released any information on the incident so far, but sources say that the driver of the Ford pickup truck that knocked down the little girl, was a 14 year old boy.

Decomposed body found in a lagoon in Corozal
The decomposed body of a woman was recovered from the Quintal Lagoon in the Corozal district this afternoon. The name of the woman has not yet been determined. Reports say that a motorist who was on his way to Patchakan village detected a foul odor and when he looked out of the window of his vehicle, saw the body in the lagoon which is about a mile from the village of Chan Chen. Preliminary reports are that the body was nude when it was discovered and the right hand was missing. A large abrasion was also visible on the back of the head. There are no reports of any missing person in the Corozal area where the body was found.

This notice is in regards to an urgent activation of a Jasmine Alert. Twelve Year Old Beverly Martinez went missing yesterday and was last seen at 5pm in the evening. Please air this Alert AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and as many times for the following days. May we bring this child back home safely. Please find more details attached.

Un Viaje de Ida y Vuelta Concert
The Embassy of Mexico is having a free concert at the Cayo Welcome Center on Friday, April 25th, at 7:00pm. It's entitled 'Un Viaje de Ida y Vuelta' and will have 3 musicians from Mexico performing. "During this concert,the pianist Melanie Lopez, the guitarist and composer Victor Celis and the soprano Cristina Woodward will take the listeners to a musical journey through Europe, to countries such as France, Spain and Germany, ending the trip in Mexico, particularly in Yucatan. The concert will include sound combinations of piano-soprano, guitar-soprano, piano-guitar andending with the combination of the three instruments."

Zoo Pathway Pounces Forward
The Belize Zoo, which was just written up in the Detroit News(The Belize Zoo is a Hoot at Night), has gotten a lot of help with building the pathways which will make it fully accessible, and while the pathway isn't 100% completed, it is ready for the last phase. Thanks to everyone that's helped on its journey. "In its second year of development, the beautiful accessible pathway which winds its way throughout The Best Little Zoo in the world, STILL is not fully complete... The month of March has proven to be a magical month for Belize Zoo pathway progress. First off, a request for funding help which was submitted to the British High Commission, received a thumbs up! These good folks see the imperative need to have the zoo be accessible for all. They share our vision that the beauty of the zoo and its great character will have an everlasting place in Belizean society as a caring and forward-thinking institution. Wheelchairs, walkers, canes and strollers can easily travel the rose-coloured zoo pathway. Presently, the zoo is the only nature destination in Belize which is accessible, and we hope that this is a trend which will grow to other destinations in our country."

Rotaract Easter Fair Fundraiser
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio had a booth at the Easter Fair, and they had a fun time raising funds for their community service projects, including the Disease Prevention Project. If you bought a raffle ticket, the winners have been posted. Thanks, Rotaractors, for all you do! "We want to give a huge thank you to Scotiabank Belize, JDB Pharmaceuticals, and Cash Genie Pawn Shop for donating towards making this fundraiser a success. Thank you for all the monetary, gas, and support given throughout the 2 days. The Rotaract Club San Ignacio is very grateful for your contributions to make the upcoming community services a reachable goal. Total funds collected excluding expenses was a little over $1000.00. These funds will go towards the Constitution Talk for the community and the Disease Prevention Project. Thank you all who came by to support the Lollipop and Tombola games; and thank you to all of those who bought our delicious bbq :) "

Holy Week in Benque Viejo
The Institute for Social and Cultural Research got 100's of great pictures of Holy Week in Benque. Another amazing week of culture in Benque. "As part of our pilot project to document Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), our team was present in Benque for the various activities of Holy Week. A very special thank you to the Mr. David Ruiz, the organizing committee and the community for allowing us this privilege."

Channel 7

Eight Year Old Girl Crushed in Holy Saturday Accident
The Easter Weekend was relatively peaceful, especially in Belize City, but 3 persons did lose their lives due to accidents, there are two possible homicides, and 1 Belizean was killed in Melchor. We start tonight's newscast with the death of 5 year-old Akeelah Wade, which happened on Holy Saturday at around 4:00 pm. She was on the front of a scooter which slammed into a Belize City Shuttle Bus at the intersection of Douglas Jones and North Front Streets. Little Akeelah was one of the 3 persons who were on the scooter, and they were all rushed to the KHMH after the accident. She died 2 hours later while undergoing treatment, turning the holiday into a time of mourning for her family. Today, 7News spoke with her parents, and they told us what they know of the accident which killed her: Cynthia Morgan - Meighan - Adapted Mother of Deceased "They were coming from Princess pool on their way home and my daughter Vishana Carcamo with Akeelah in front of her and my other daughter Kelsey Peyrefitte was at the back and on their way approaching corner Douglas Jones and North Front Streets that was where the accident happened. A brown metro was coming from North Front Street straight across and my daughter-in-law was coming from Douglas Jones Street heading to BelChina. More or less you can put together what happen from there."

Two-Year-Old OW Child Knocked Down, Truck Owned By DPM Driver
Much the same fate could have faced a two-year-old girl who was knocked down in Orange Walk on Thursday. She got hit by a pickup owned by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega's driver. Rachel Chan was walking across a street in Trial Farm village to meet her father when a Ford F-150 pickup truck being driven by a 14 year old knocked her down. The toddler received serious injuries and had to be rushed first to the Northern Regional Hospital, and then to the KHMH for emergency surgery. She had injuries to her spleen, intestine and head and was listed in a critical condition. But, after surgery, she has shown steady progress and is now in a stable condition and walking.

Boston Villager Found Dead, But Was It Murder?
When residents of Boston Village found 68 year-old Myra Miller inside her house on Friday evening, she was clinging to life. Her house showed signs of being searched, and based on what they found, the villagers believe that she was attacked while inside her home by an intruder who was trying to steal from her. She died on Sunday while at the KHMH, and though police continue to investigate the burglary angle, those who found her are convinced that the case needs to be treated as a murder. Yesterday, Daniel Ortiz went to the village, and spoke with residents: Inside the house of 68 year-old Myra Miller looked like someone had been looking for something - what is still unknown, but her personal belongings and clothes had been strewn everywhere. Daniel Ortiz reporting Investigators will have to determine whether or not the condition of her home is somehow connected to her death, but the villagers who found her believe that it was either ransacked or caused by a struggle.

Nude, Maimed Female Body Found In Chan Chen
And, so, while Belize Rural police cannot say definitively if foul play is involved in that death - Corozal police are leaning clearly to homicide after the grisly discovery of a nude female body in a pond near Chan Chen village. The body appears to have a large chop wound to the back of the head and her right hand seems as if it was severed. But her identity is a mystery since no one has been reported missing in either Chan Chen or Pachakan which are the two nearest villages. Due to the advanced state of decomposition, a post mortem will have to be done on-site tomorrow. Chan Chen is the northern most village in Belize and the body was found about a mile from there.

McKenzie Free of Murder After Surveillance Camera Shows Him At Restaurant
Last week, we told you about 19 year-old George McKenzie Jr., the son of slain street figure, George "Junie Balls", who was suddenly charged and then not charged for murder. As we reported, investigators took him to the Magistrate's Court to be arraigned for the murder of 57 year-old Alfonso Cruz, who was killed on April 12 in Rhaburn's Alley. They had a signed witness statement and a positive identification from a man who reportedly had the gun pointed at him moments before Cruz was murdered. Now, murder is a capital offense for which there is no bail, and so when his mother realized what was about to happen, she sought the intercession of senior police officers. Those officers were eventually able to get their hands on a copy of surveillance camera footage which showed that McKenzie was in a Chinese restaurant at the time of the murder.

Cross Country Hopes Dashed, Sober Lessons For Local Cyclists
The 86th. Cross Country, would a Belizean win it? Would the cycling gods be so kind? Well, looking at it statistically, probably not, considering that Belizean riders won in 2012 and 2013. But, in the heart and mind of even the casual cycling fan - if he or she is a patriot - a Belizean just had to win it! Except this year they didn't. Defending Champion Darnell Barrow had high hopes on his shoulders, as did National Road Champion Byron Pope. But hope can only go so far on the highway when 22 top foreign cyclists are trying to snipe at the crown jewel of Belizean sport. Here's how it played out on the road:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This year sign-in and bike check for the 109 riders in the 86TH Holy Saturday Cycling Classic started from 4:00 am, in front of the BTL Park. his year, the cyclists wore a black bow in memory of Ernest Dangalang Thurton and by extension all fallen members of the cycling family. Defending champion Darnell Barrow and National Road Champion of Belize Byron Pope took their positions at the front of the lineup.

Belizean's Mysterious Death In Melchor
A Belizean was killed in Melchor over the Easter. 22 year old Benque Viejo Resident, Edwin Javier Chan was fatally shot either late on Friday night or early Saturday morning, reportedly at Auto Hotel in the Barrio Campito area of Melchor. 7News has confirmed that Chan had a gunshot wound to the left side of his head, most likely from a handgun. Interestingly, he had not been robbed of his jewelry or passport, only his phone was missing. Police confirm that he seemed to have been beaten up before he was killed. His body was returned to Belize on Saturday night and he was buried yesterday. So, what led to his death? We do know that he left for Melchor at 4:30 pm on Friday night and was reportedly with friends. They say they left him there and returned to Benque Viejo. Interestingly, his passport has an exit stamp from Melchor dated Friday April 18th - the same day he entered at 4:30 pm. That suggests that on Friday night, he reached the Guatemalan side of the border - but did not make it to Belize. We know that because his passport had no re-entry stamp to Belize -suggesting that he was likely called back over to that side before he crossed back into Belize.

Budna On The Run!!
In other news out of Guatemala, the notorious Joseph Budna is a fugitive after he escaped from this hospital in Zacapa, Guatemala. Budna had been serving a 25 year sentence for kidnapping but was admitted to the hospital on April 11th . According to the Prensa Libre, Budna had an illness that causes bleeding all over the body. But, it seems Budna, who likes to pose as a healer, got well enough to escape the three prison guards who were put there to keep an eye on him. Budna had been serving time at the Los Jocotes prison in Zacapa until he was taken to the hospital in the same area. He is still at large, but police in Peten have put out an all points bulletin for him. Budna - who is a colourful character if ever there was one - also served time in Belize. After his release he was involved in many odd occurrences and then fashioned himself as a cross border fixer in Melchor. That led him to a kidnapping ring, where, it is alleged, he would mastermind the kidnapping of the children of wealthy persons.

Compol Vs. Constable?
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie was involved in an ugly exchange with a drunken police officer in Crooked Tree on Saturday. It happened at the end of a day of horse racing, and the full details are tough to come by because there are so many different reports, many of them from persons who had been drinking. But best information suggests that Whylie publicly lectured a police constable who was drunk and disorderly, so much so that the constable fired his weapon while another policeman was trying to part a fight. Whylie reportedly lectured the constable - who then, reportedly, also disrespected the Compol. We tried to reach both the constable and the commissioner by cell phone for comment but none of them responded to our requests. We know also that the Commissioner's brother in law was involved in the confrontation, but, again, there are widely varying reports.

Special Constable Behaved Especially Badly
A police special constable is facing criminal charges after he allegedly beat up two Chinese men in San Jose Village in the Orange Walk District on Thursday night. The men, an uncle and a nephew operate a grocery store and it seems the special constable, Eldo Itza wanted to buy beer - but the store was closed. But he saw them cleaning up at the back door, and so he jumped the fence and started to beat owner's uncle. The owner, Ben Wong rushed to the store, and says that Itza hit him in the head with a beer pint. Wong had to get over 10 stitches for the massive wound on his head. He made a report against Itza, but it seems the fraternal order of police are taking their own sweet time about charging him. Any regular civilian would have spent the weekend in lockdown, but today, Orange Walk police told us they were waiting for Itza to come and get his charges. We were told that they don't want to embarrass him by going to pick him up - and will only do so if they have to. He will be charged with aggravated assault and harm.

A Pair of Weekend Drowning
2 persons drowned over the Easter Weekend, one in Cayo, and one Stann Creek. The first one happened on Friday at around midday where 37 year-old Arsenio Landero and his wife were traveling by canoe from Esperanza Village to Santa Familia. The canoe was unstable, and it overturned, dumping them both into the river. Landero didn't resurface, and an hour later, his body was retrieved by police. The other one happened at around 2 p.m. on Saturday. 34 year-old Santos Del Cid Amaya, a resident of Bella Vista Village, was swimming in the Swasey River. He went under and didn't resurface. 2 hours later, police officers found his body in a section of the river, about 1 and a half miles behind Red Bank Village. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police Bust Gun, Charge Men
This morning, Police busted 4 men with a gun believed to be stolen, and tonight, they are all on remand after being taken to court for it today. According to Police they were mobile patrol at around 1:45 a.m., when they saw a grey SUV travelling on Caesar Ridge Road at high speed. They pursued the vehicle and caught it on Prince Street. Inside at the time were 21 year-old Kashief Gallego, 20 year-old Akeem Garcia, 18 year-old Ijaman Young, and 22 year-old Paris Williams. On the backseat of the vehicle, the officers found a black 9 millimeter pistol with 14 rounds of ammunition in the magazine.

Man Jumped In Canal to Escape Gunshots
21 year-old Lincoln Robinson Jr., a resident of Tigris Street, is at prison tonight because he allegedly tried to kill 21 year-old Anthony Young. The incident happened on March 23; Young told police that he was socializing with some friends in a yard at #44 Dolphin Street when his assailant ambushed them from behind. According to Young, the man, who was wearing a red cap, looked at him for about 15 seconds, pulled out a firearm, and pointed it at him. He heard the gun go off, and that's when he tried to jump over the canal but fell into it. When he was climbing out, he heard 4 more shots, and felt his right ankle and left wrist burning, where he had been shot.

San Pedro Belize Express Pier Collapses
Thousands of Belizeans rushed to the cayes over the Easter weekend and most of them went on water taxi's. But, coming back nearly proved disastrous in Caye Caulker on Sunday evening at around 5:00, when hundreds of passengers queued up on the San Pedro Belize Express Pier to get on the boat back to the city. But the rickety wooden pier couldn't take the load and at about the half-way point, an entire of it collapsed - causing the waiting passengers to fall into the sea. Fortunately it was only a short distance down, and the water was shallow. No one was seriously hurt, passenger report receiving a few scratches and losing cellular phones. San Pedro Belize express sent out a release today saying that their staffers, Port Authority and Coast Guard were present and asked passengers wait on the beach to ease the stress on the bridge. But the release says, quote, "this request was met with rebuttals as the crowds continued to move onto the bridge against the directives of the authorities resulting in a portion of the bridge buckling under the pressure." The release adds that the company is quote, "making every effort to fortify its ports and implement additional safety features to ensure this incident is not repeated."

No Arrest In Case Of Man Stabbed Three Times In Throat
A young man from Camalote named Shane Parham almost died after he was stabbed three times in the neck this weekend. His family's concern tonight is for his health, but also because police appear to be in no rush to pick up the man who did it. It happened on Friday night and Parham was rushed to the hospital in time to save his life from a near fatal injury. His family reports that he is recovering and is in stable condition at the western Regional Hospital. Police told us tonight that they have been unable to track down the accused, but did detain his younger brother today. Parham's family and friends however say that the perpetrator is walking around freely - and they claim he's doing that because of political connections. Police deny that account and say they have gone to his home several times to pick him up. They are confident that he will be arrested.

Police Say Transgender Vanessa Champagne Was Not Assaulted
Over the Easter Holiday, rumours were raging on the social media that Transgender Vanessa Champagne Paris was assaulted, some even said killed, in Placencia. But police say they have nothing on record to reflect that alleged assault or any violent event involving her. We spoke with Inspector Mark Flowers, the Officer Commanding of Placencia Police, who said that he received multiple phone calls that Paris had been stabbed and killed, and so he and his officers made exhaustive efforts to look into those reports. But, it turns out that they were was only just rumours. So, we spoke to the Executive Director of UNIBAM, Caleb Orozco to find out if this incident did indeed occur. Orozco told us that he will have to go down to Placencia tomorrow to find eyewitnesses to present to police to prove that Paris was indeed assaulted. He said that Paris reported to them that 3 of the same men who assaulted the her on Vernon Street 2 weeks ago, were in Placencia and they attacked Paris once again.

Queen's Baton In Belize
The Queen's Baton is in Belize tonight for the 3rd time in its history of use as official symbol for the Commonwealth Games. It arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport at around 1:10 p.m. yesterday, and 7News was there. Daniel Ortiz has that story: Daniel Ortiz reporting The Queen's's on its 3rd trip, which will last for 288 days, where it will visit 70 Commonwealth nations, spanning over some 190,000 KM - or 118,000 miles. Alistair Camron - Travel Manager, Queen's Baton "The handle: elm wood from a tree that fell in the gardens of a place that's called Garrison House in old fortress on the isle of Cumbrae and the top is made out of titanium, it's all one piece, and it's made through a methodology called a laser sintering which is effectively 3D printing. In the top is a little piece of granite from Ailsa Craig just off the Scottish coast and we will gift that to the country when we leave. It's a little of Scotland that remains behind and it's the first time it's ever been done."

How The Race Was Won (And Lost)
In our last segment we showed you how it all went down in the 86th. Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic. But, as we close tonight, we'll have a little more for all you race junkies. The well-spoken second place finisher explained how he saw the race and the sprint shaping up between the dominant Mexican cyclists Magallanes and Rangel:.. Perry Gibson, Manager - Team Megabytes "In the end the foreigners really rode tactically; one attacking, one waiting and it were good that we had two where we were able to play our cards better." Alejandro Padilla (Miranda), 2nd Place - Team SMART (Guat) "These guys Florencio and Magallanes on the front earlier on - the thing is with them - I know them, I race with them quite a bit and they are really strong riders. They have a lot of experience in the races around the world and I know they have the legs to go the whole way. I knew Mexicans work together, even if they are riding for different teams and them racing different teams back home as well. But it's the same, imagine you as Belizeans, you go to another country and everyone else is a stranger, but between you guys, you race together, you'll help each other and that's what they did. At the end the problem we had was 3 Mexicans an American and myself and one time I got on Magallanes' wheel, when he saw the American wanting to work with the others and they didn't want to go, Magallanes saw that and he just went real hard. I thought for a while I could actually take it but coming into the end with all those guys (Mexicans) here, he jump from behind, I didn't have the legs to respond. I just waited as close as possible to finish second."

Channel 5

Nude body of a female found in lagoon near Chan Chen, Corozal
There is breaking news. At around two pm this afternoon the body of a woman was found in a lagoon on the Chan Chen Road in the Corozal district. She [...]

An elderly woman dies following what appears to be a home invasion
The past Easter weekend had its share of traffic mishaps, robberies and murders. We start our newscast with a report on a sixty-eight year old Jamaican woman who died on [...]

Belizean is murdered in Melchor de Mencos
The second murder of the weekend happened in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. The body of young Benque Viejo resident Edwin Chan was found in a remote area early Saturday morning [...]

5 year old Holy Redeemer student dies in traffic accident
There was another tragic loss of life two days into the Easter weekend and it involved yet another school-aged child. Sometime after five p.m., five year old Akeela Wade met [...]

Channel 5 blocked from covering 2014 Cross Country Cycling Classic
And now to an unfortunate issue close to home; Channel Five has covered the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic for twenty-three years, but disappointingly, the tradition was broken this year. [...]

U.S. expert to investigate the killing of a Guatemalan national in Chiquibul
On March twenty-ninth, Guatemalan Tomas Ramirez was shot and killed inside Belizean territory. Reports are that a joint B.D.F. and Police Patrol came under fire by a group of men. [...]

Foreign Affairs Minister says Guatemalan incursions must be dealt with sans lethal force
It’s not the first time B.D.F. patrols have come under fire while patrolling our border…and Tomas Ramirez is not the first Guatemalan casualty of such an altercation. High level diplomatic [...]

George McKenzie Junior; wrongfully charged, now freed of murder
George McKenzie Junior was hauled before the courts on Thursday morning accused for the murder of fifty-seven year old Alfonso Cruz. Cruz was killed on the night of April twelfth [...]

McKenzie Junior’s family says he is being harassed because of his name
Attorney Matura-Shepherd as well as McKenzie Junior’s family maintained from the onset that he was wrongfully accused for Cruz’s murder. While the attorney questions the actions of the arresting officer, [...]

The latest on transgender woman, Vanessa Champagne Paris
Over the weekend, a transgendered woman who came into the public spotlight two weeks ago was the subject of a heated, emotional debate on Facebook. A post reported that Vanessa [...]

Was Vanessa Champagne Paris also assaulted in Placencia?
While Vanessa was not killed or seriously injured, Orozco says that the increased attention drawn to the LGBT community has to some extent resulted in them being targeted. He, however, [...]

2 men drown over the weekend
Thousands of Belizeans traditionally head to the beaches over the Easter holidays. But unfortunately, two persons lost their lives due to drowning. On Friday, just after noon, Santa Familia resident, [...]

2 men injured in motorcycle accident on George Price Highway
Earlier we told you about a motorbike accident in Belize City which claimed the life of a five year old. There was another incident on the George Price Highway on [...]

Joseph Budna escapes Guatemalan prison
Joseph Budna, a former freelance reporter, who gained notoriety for kidnappings in Guatemala is on the lam tonight. According to Prensa Libre, Budna had an illness and had to be [...]

The viral video of a visitor restrained by police in Caye Caulker
There is a video that has gone viral on social media. It involves a confrontation between police and a civilian, on Sunday afternoon. A visitor to Caye Caulker was physically [...]

Baton of Queen Elizabeth II arrives in the Jewel
Amid the bad news, there was a bright spot over the Easter weekend for those following the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Scotland.  The Queen’s baton relay reached [...]

Sports Monday highlights the 2014 Cross Country Cycling Classic
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and here’s the sporting news.   The 86th running of the Annual Cross Country resigned supreme on Holy Saturday as expected from the biggest one-day [...]


Badly Decomposed Body Found In The Corozal District
Has Corozal recorded its third murder? All indications are that it has. This is after the badly decomposed nude body of a female was discovered a little after one this afternoon in an area known as the Quintal Lagoon located one mile off the village of Chan Chen in the Corozal District. Shamir Rancheran, from the village of Patchakan, was traveling on the road in his vehicle when upon reaching the area, the strong stench of putrefaction made him look outside his window. That’s when he made the gruesome discovery. Shamir Rancheran – Villager “Cuando mire de ese lado a ver pues mire el cuerpo y para asegurarme pues baje y pues lo bidé y me fui más adelante a buscar más gente para que vengan a asegurarlo y llame a la policía.” Víctor Castillo - Repórter “Bueno, cuando tu encontraste el cuerpo y bajaste a bajo a ver, descríbenos como vistes el cuerpo?”

Two Year Old Knocked Down, Fourteen Years Old Behind The Wheel
A two year old child from Orange Walk is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City after she was knocked down on Holy Thursday. Off the bat, we will tell you that police seem relatively tight lipped about the situation, so much so, that the accident did not even make it on the police sitrep today. But this is what we have been able to find out. We understand the incident occurred around midday on Thursday on Sapodilla Street and East of Guadalupe Street in Village of Trial Farm. Reports are that two year old Rachel Chan was crossing the street when she was knocked down by a Ford pickup truck belonging to Christopher Hendricks, the driver of Deputy Prime Minister Honorable Gaspar Vega. But Hendricks was not the one behind the wheel. The vehicle was being driven by a fourteen year old minor who ran over the child. Reports are that the 14 year old is a family member of Hendricks, who allegedly gave him the vehicle to drive. Chan suffered a large cut wound to the forehead and 3 broken ribs.

Another Chinese Victim Of Robbery In Corozal Town
Over the past few weeks the District of Corozal has played witness to a number of robberies. Statistics from the Corozal Police Department show that to date, there have been approximately 10 reported cases of robberies including those committed with firearms. The most recent case added to the list occurred on Holy Thursday a little before 9:00pm. This time, 51 year old Chinese Nationalized Belizean, Wei Shi Lui, was the victim. Around 8:55pm Lui and his sister were inside Chinese Shop located on 6th Avenue, Corozal Town, when three persons entered the store as Lui was closing for business. The three men, including one armed with a shotgun and another with a machete, ordered Lui and his sister to lie on the floor.

Civic Pride Campaign Launched By OWTC
How to properly dispose of household garbage is a problem faced around the world. If you thought that the biggest problems are faced by first and second world countries, you might want to think again. Statistics show that one person produces up to 4.3 pounds of garbage a day. Multiply that by our population in Belize – a little of three hundred thousand people. But there is no need to go that far because we can do the math for our population in Orange Walk Town alone. And this is also where the Orange Walk Town Council is getting their campaign on civic pride in an effort to clean up the town and keep it that way. Today, the Town Council along with several other groups launched the civic pride campaign at Town Hall. It’s an effort to encourage more cleanliness and love for this beloved town. Dalila Ical reports.

SPBE Water Dock Collapses While Passengers Board Vessel
On Saturday in Caye Caulker, passengers waiting to board the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi around 4:45 in the evening, en-route to Belize City, got more than they bargained for when the water taxi’s dock appeared to have buckled under the weight of the people. No one was seriously hurt but we understand that some of the passenger’s belongings and digital devices were water damaged. Today the San Pedro Belize Express management sent out a press release stating that the collapse was due to overwhelming overcrowding. The release further states that the mishap could have been avoided if the passengers had listened to the relevant authorities stating “The SPBE team and relevant authorities requested that passengers wait on the beach to improve accessibility and ease the stress on the bridge; however, this request was met with rebuttals as the crowd continued to move onto the bridge against the directives of the authorities resulting in a portion of the bridge buckling under the pressure. SPBE’s fleet consisted of fifteen (15) vessels and two (2) contracted catamarans to guarantee all passengers would be accommodated for during the Easter Festivities,” End quote.

Two Charged For Armed Robbery Of Bargain's Centre In Orange Walk Town
Last week Tuesday we reported that thieves targeted the Orange Walk Bargain’s Center and made off with over $7,000 dollars in cell phones and around $200.00 in cash. The entire ordeal, which lasted approximately two minutes, was captured on the stores surveillance camera which gave the authorities a look at the perpetrators. Since the incident, police have arrested 33 year old Leroy Rabatteau, security guard of Princess Diana Street in Orange Walk Town and a 17 year old minor who was captured by Corozal Police on Holy Thursday in the Village of Libertad in the Corozal District. Both men appeared in court today and were remanded until 21st of May.

Dyer charged For Armed Robberies
Locke was not the only wanted man that was captured by Corozal Police on Holy Thursday. The second individual that spent the Easter Holidays behind bars is Julian Dyer who was wanted by police for a number of armed robberies committed in that municipality and in Belize City for other crimes. Dyer was charged for three counts of robbery with a firearm. Dyer was charged for the April 7th armed robbery of Jing Jing Store, located at the corner of the Philip Goldson Highway and the Paraiso Junction. He is also being accused of robbing one of the customers who was inside the store at the time. As previously reported, three male individuals entered the business. One of the men pointed a gun at the owner of the store while another robbed him of three to four hundred dollars in cash. The third person attacked a customer and took one hundred and fifty dollars from his wallet. The men escaped on bicycles.

Robert Locke Recaptured
Remember Robert Locke? If you don’t, then let us refresh your memory. He is the man who managed to make it on Corozal Police’s wanted list after being accused of rape and most recently for injuring his ex-common law wife and ex mother-in-law. But Locke somehow managed to escape from police. His luck though, ran out on Holy Thursday when he was captured in the vicinity of Altamira Corozal around midnight. Locke was arrested and charged for Rape, two counts of aggravated burglary, one count of harm and one count of wounding. He was taken to court this afternoon to answer to the charges and was remanded until May 29th when he is scheduled to reappear in court. The charges of harm and wounding are as a result of a confrontation Locke had with his ex-common-law-wife and her mother. As previously mentioned, in the wee hours of April 16th 2014, Gloria Martinez was awakened by Locke who entered her house without her permission.


Construction Worker Faces Attempted Murder Charge
Twenty-one year old Lincoln Robinson, a construction worker of Tigris Street, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Robinson was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. He was remanded into custody until June 21. The incident occurred on March 23. The complainant, 21 year old Anthony Young, reported to the police that he was in a yard on 44 Dolphin Street, socializing with some friends when his assailant came from behind. He said the person looked at him for about 15 seconds that the person took out a firearm and pointed it at him. Young said he heard a loud blast then he ran. He said he tried to jump over a canal but he slipped and fell in to the canal. He said that when he got out of the canal he heard four more gunshots then he felt a burning sensation and he realized that he was shot. Young was shot in his right ankle and left wrist.

Pier Collapses with Passengers
Over the weekend, thousands of Belizeans journeyed to the cayes for the Easter Holiday with many flocking to Caye Caulker, but as several were getting ready to come back to the mainland, a portion of the docking pier for San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi collapsed due an overwhelming pressure on the pier’s beams and the deteriotated conditions of the structure. While no one suffered any major injury, a release from the water taxi company says that along with employees, Caye Caulker Police, Port Authority and Coast Guard that were present made every effort to enforce safety and crowd control procedures to ensure passengers were boarded safely onto the vessel. The release says that passengers were advised to wait on the beach to improve accessibility and ease the stress on the bridge; however, this request was ignored and the massive crowd gathered on the bridge. While the portion of the pier was being fixed passengers of the Belize San Pedro Water Taxi were directed to the dock belonging to Caye Caulker Water Taxi.


The Holy Spirit Can Dwell in You and Make You Live Again
Our verse for the week is taken from the epistle to the Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in me, He who raised Messiah from the dead will also give life to my mortal body through His Spirit who dwells in...

Senator Spreads False Facebook Rumors of Murder of Transvestite Vanessa
Facebook is known as a rumor mill, but what about when that rumor is traced back to the Facebook account of an accomplished lawyer and senator in the National Assembly? On Good friday, April 18, as Christians prepared to celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus, a most ghastly and totally...

Five Year old Dies in Easter Weekend Traffic Accident
There was one loss of life in Belize City over the Easter weekend after yet another traffic accident, this time in the busy Northside intersection of Douglas Jones and North Front Street. Police say driver for Progressive Shuttle Eyeon Bermudez was driving the bus on North Front Street toward...

Cayo Man Shot on Easter Sunday
A man was shot in San Ignacio on Easter Sunday. 23 year old Trevor Lamb was heading home with a female friend around three o’clock that morning. When they were on 2nd street they were approached by a male person who fired at Lamb. Lamb was hit to the...

19 year old Stabbed Multiple Times in Belize City
A 19 year old was stabbed multiple times on Wednesday in Belize City. 19-year-old Parish Corpius of Ladyville reported that on Wednesday night at about 11 pm, he was at his cousin’s house located at the corner of Pigeon and Parakeet Streets socializing when he was approached by...

Camalote Man Barely Survives Stab Wound to the Throat
The peaceful village of Camalote was disrupted on Holy Saturday Night with the reports of a stabbing incident. Police were called out to the Western regional Hospital in Belmopan following the report of a stabbing of 20 year old Shane Parham. Reports to Plus News are that around 8 pm that night, Parham...

Joseph Budna Escapes from Guatemalan Hospital While in Custody
Guatemalan newspaper, La Prensa Libre, is reporting that Joseph Budna, Belizean National, who was serving time at the Guatemalan prison escaped while he was being treated at a local medical hospital. Joseph Budna is no stranger to the media as, while living in Belize, he built up quite a...

Belizean Pilot Murdered in Guatemala
In other related news, a Belizean pilot identified as 22 year old resident of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Cayo Edwin Javier Chan was killed in Guatemala sometime on Friday, April 18th. According to reports, the body of Chan, who worked with Tropic Air, was discovered laying face down near...

Elderly Woman Murdered During Robbery of DVD player
On Good Friday, a thief turned murderer and the life of an elderly woman came to an end. 68 year old Myra Miller, who lived in a house located at mile 21 on the Old Northern Highway near the entrance of Boston Village, was discovered lying face down on...

Several Easter Drownings Reported
A man reportedly lost his life on Saturday, April 19th in the river of Red Bank Village. According to reports, Independence Police visited an area on the Swasey River Approximately 1 1/2 miles behind the Red Bank Village, Stann Creek District, where the body of a Hispanic man was...

The Reporter

Belizean convict, Joseph Budna, escapes Guatemalan authorities
Joseph Budna, 33, a Belizean who was convicted in Guatemala in 2013 of kidnapping and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, is a fugitive on the run. According to the Prensa Libre newspaper of Guatemala, Budna was being hospitalised when he escaped from custody under the watch of two guards. Budna, who currently faces more trials for at least two more kidnappings, turned to Guatemalan police prior to his conviction in 2013 after he was targeted by two men who threatened and tried to blackmail him. Guatemalan police shot and killed one of the men in the process of protecting Budna.


Vacation at Victoria House & A Contender for San Pedro’s Best Burger
So yesterday, Easter Monday – a proper holiday in Belize, I took a vacation afternoon just down the beach from my condo. At one of (if not THE) prettiest properties on Ambergris Caye, the lovely Victoria House. I walked down to Victoria House’s beautiful beach. Since they have been on the island for over 20 years, the property has amazing mature palm trees and plants. The maintenance is impeccable. And they boast nicest lawn FOR SURE on the caye. It all just feels so civilized. And a resort where I am dying to spend the night. Even though it is a 5 minute walk from my condo.

International Sources

How Citizen Security is Changing in Latin America and the Caribbean
Faced with epidemic rates of violence, Latin American and Caribbean countries are expanding their investment in security and development cooperation. Many are doing so under the rubric of “citizen security”. Citizen security implies a commitment to responsible statehood and proactive citizenship in achieving public safety. It differs markedly from national security and law and order paradigms of the past. Governments from across the political spectrum are urgently exploring new ways to promote safer and more secure societies. Since the late 1990s, there has been explosion of innovation with more than 1,300 distinct citizen security interventions launched across Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the preliminary results of a mapping exercise. So what kinds of trends are emerging in the twenty first century? Although the United States still plays a dominant role in shaping the direction and character of security priorities, there are nevertheless new patterns of cooperation that privilege regional and local priorities over international ones. Three overall trends stand out. This post is also available in Spanish

Cruising in Belize
For years, Marian and I have watched the television show, Wheel of Fortune. Many times the prize given to the show's winner is a free trip to Belize and a stay at a five-star resort. The show's host raves about the beaches. Over the years, I've occasionally said to Marian, 'we should visit Belize to see for ourselves just what Belize offers'. So, a couple of weeks ago, as we were planning a trip to Houston, TX to visit relatives, I noticed a cruise going out of Houston to the Caribbean, with Belize one of the three destinations. I said to Marian, "Let's go on the cruise," so we did. I can honestly say, Belize City, and the nearby beaches is a worthwhile trip. It is beautiful. The beaches are magnificent. And, while neither Marian nor I are into snorkeling, we were told by several of our cruise buddies that the snorkeling and scuba diving is terrific. Belize has its own barrier reef. The barrier reef stretches 185 miles, and it has been identified as the largest reef in the Western part of the world, but smaller than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The reef is home to as many as 500 species of fish. The reef was popular for diving.

St. Mary’s County church team travels to Belize
In January, 10 members of St. John Francis Regis Church in Hollywood, along with the director of Camp Maria in Leonardtown, traveled to Belize City, in Central America, with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The sisters taught at St. John’s School for 65 years, and the parish took up a special collection to build a “St. John’s Hollywood House” in their honor. Soon after receiving the donation, Sister Luke Boiarski, director of the lay mission volunteer program, called to ask if St. John’s would like to put together a team to actually go to Belize and physically build the house. This is known as an “immersion trip” and allows volunteers to experience firsthand the work of the sisters in their ministries throughout the world.

ONGs de Belize conhecem de perto o trabalho do Tamar
Um grupo de 13 representantes de ONGs e do governo de Belize, e da OAK Foundation, que trabalham com conservação marinha, envolvimento comunitário e áreas protegidas, fizeram visita de dois dias ao Tamar para ver como é realizado o trabalho de proteção às tartarugas marinhas. Conheceram um pouco da experiência em autossustentação, as operações no Centro de Visitantes da Praia do Forte/BA, a principal área de desova de tartarugas na região, a creche Finn Larsen e as atividades socioambientais. A delegação voltou para a terra natal inspirada na riqueza cultural valorizada e na capacidade de transformação de mentalidades e hábitos tradicionais para a conservação das tartarugas marinhas no Brasil. O Tamar aprendeu em todos esses anos de pesquisa e manejo a trabalhar em zonas de desenvolvimento costeiro, respeitando as necessidades dos animais e das comunidades, conta a coordenadora de pesquisa e conservação, Neca Marcovaldi. O objetivo da visita foi prover de informações e mostrar exemplos para que, dentro de suas realidades, os pesquisadores possam encontrar mecanismos que os ajudem a consolidar e implementar alguns programas e atividades de conservação em sua localidade.

How to Fix a Coral Reef
Scientists find a simple solution can give new life to some of the oceans’ most important ecosystems. Six feet below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, Lisa Carne holds a small ceramic disk with a chunk of elkhorn coral, its curled leafy shape resembling rust-colored kale, cemented onto it. She threads a plastic cable tie through holes in the disk, then fastens the other end of the tie to a lattice-like metal frame, one of a dozen or more anchored to the sandy floor. Carne deftly maneuvers her fins and scuba gear, careful to not disturb the surrounding coral, and repeats the process, attaching the ceramic cookies with their exotic flora onto the metallic grates, which sway rhythmically in the gentle current.

Equipped to Dive, Students Make Aquarium Their Classroom
“We run a diving program that’s basically shut down in the open water from around mid-November to mid-April,” said Joseph Gessert, the school’s diving safety officer. “So getting the kids in the water over the winter has filled a big hole. It helps keep their skills fresh.” For some of the students, it was their first experience in the crystal-clear waters of the tropics, albeit in miniature. Glover’s Reef mimics the underwater world of Belize. Fatima Moataz, a 17-year-old senior from Downtown Brooklyn, has logged plenty of hours in the city’s waters. She has surveyed for eel grass and scallops in Jamaica Bay for the National Park Service and helped restore oysters to New York Harbor through the Billion Oyster Project, an initiative led by the New York Harbor Foundation.

7 Unique Honeymoon Destinations You Haven't Thought of Yet
7. Belize: A wilder Mexico, on the cheap! If you love Mexico but want something a little more novel for the 'moon, try Belize. With the worlds largest sinkhole (it looks amazing!), gorgeous beaches and tropical jungles to explore, you'll love the many aspects of paradise that Belize offers! Plus it's a shorter flight than most of these other destinations... so that's a perk, right? So who's buying a bunch of awesome plane tickets to these amazing places right now? Well, I wish I was. Hopefully you'll be inspired and look up some of these unique honeymoon destinations for your own getaway. Which is your favorite?

Earth Day 2014: Find Out What Environmental Problems 20 Latin American Countries Face
Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has destroyed the natural environment and is responsible for climate change. While not everyone blames mankind’s actions, a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded with 95 percent certainty that people are to blame for at least half the climate change in the last half-century. "Climate change is a present and growing threat to economic development, and the goals of reduction of extreme poverty and the promotion of shared prosperity," said Erick Fernandes, the adviser for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Latin American and Caribbean region for World Bank, to Latin Times. "Unless the world takes bold action now, a warming planet threatens to put prosperity out of reach of millions, roll back decades of development gains and making it impossible to end extreme poverty by 2030." In Latin America, global warming has already made its mark with corals being bleached by warm temperatures, glaciers melting, cities becoming vulnerable to rising sea levels, and more. And it’s not just global warming that is threatening nature in Latin America: other forms of destruction (e.g. logging in the Amazon) is proving to be detrimental to biodiversity. In fact, according to The World Bank, Latin America is responsible for a small portion of global carbon emissions -- 12.5 percent, to be exact--but the region is the most affected by the temperature spike.


Video: Snorkle Belize, 3min.
Combo of the cut and shark ray alley

Video: How to Gather Cashew Fruit and Nuts in Belize, Central America , 4min.
Join us in a short video showing the kids gathering the fruit and nuts of the Cashew tree. They explain what they are doing and why. The fruit of the Cashew tree is called simply "Cashew" or "Cashew Apple" (it is not related to apples in any way). The Cashew is unique in that the single seed grows externally to the fruit. Please note: The Cashew tree contains an oil closely related to Urushiol - the irritating oil in Poison Oak and Poison Ivy.

Video: Swimming in the Belize River, 3min.
After a scorching hot day, I went with some friends to cool off and have some fun in the Belize River.

Video: Tropical Sunset in Belize - Timelapse, 1min.
Timelapse taken from the tower at Plett's Electronics.

Video: Pioneer Cherry Picking in Belize, 4min.
One weekend in our search for adventure we decided to go look for some May cherries. We found lots of them. After eating our fill we went for a ride through the newly cleared jungle

Video: Estreno RS: ‘Ritmos’, nuevo vídeo de Belize, 6min.
El soplo de aire fresco que llega a la escena pop nacional desde Navarra es, sin embargo, muy cálido: hablamos de Belize, trío Pamplonés de aires tropicales que prepara su primer trabajo y del que ya hemos podido escuchar tres temas: Egos, Babas y el estrenado hace unas semanas Ritmos, del que ROLLING STONE te trae ahora, en exclusiva, su videoclip. El trabajo, que puedes ver arriba, fue filmado por Santi G. Barros –hombre tras los últimos audiovisuales de Joe La Reina– en una sesión de directo de la banda, realizada en un lugar tan cálido y floral como la propia canción: el invernadero de Montreal Studios, en Subiza, Navarra.

Video: Flyfishing for permit in Belize, 10min.
Flyfishing at Tarpon Caye with an amazing guide

Video: Channel 5 blocked from covering 2014 Cross Country Cycling Classic, 3min.

Video: Baton of the Queen Elizabeth II arrives in the jewel, 2min.

Video: Belize Sunset in Paradise, 5min.

Video: GoPro Adventures, 4min.
Exploring Belize, Honduras, Mexico and Key West.

April 22, 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

Every picture tells a story- “The Drought is Over”
On March 28th The San Pedro Sun was invited to attend the St John’s College School (SJCS ) in Belize City’s annual reading fair. 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. The drastic drought that threatened the lives of many is finally over. The country was shaken as the drought that started on September 1st has finally come to an end. Our country had to endure six weeks without rain. This resulted in millions of dollars lost due to animal and crop casualties. On October 14th the rain finally returned and everyone met it happily. The downpour begun at exactly 11:15 a.m. and lasted a solid 120 minutes.

San Pedro Police statistics register slight increase in Crime
The San Pedro Police Department has released the crime statistics for the month of March 2014. The report demonstrates a slight increase in major crimes, especially burglaries and theft. In addition, police report that the possession of controlled drugs is increasing with severity on the island. While crime is on the rise in San Pedro Town, police have reported a 50% decrease in crime for Caye Caulker Village. For the month of March 2014, Caye Caulker police only reported one incident of burglary, one incident of theft, one incident involving wounding, one incident of attempted murder, one incident involving harm and two incidents of damage to property. No major crimes were reported for the month of March in Caye Caulker.

Letter to the Editor: The Dons of the Done Deal
Dear Editor, I have attached a copy of my latest fable and would be tremendously grateful if you would find the contents worthy of publication in your esteemed newspaper. In the meantime, I wish you a fabulous day. Lucius Blackstone. The Dons of the Done Deal The last time we visited the happy land of Felize things were going wonderfully. The industrious people of that fair land, through hard work and cooperative effort had made their home the envy of their neighbours. They had stopped cutting down their trees and instead invited people to come sit in the shade and enjoy the many beautiful vistas to be found in the pristine peaceful forests. For combined with the beautiful white beaches protected by their famous reef, with crystal clear waters lapping gently upon the sand, Felize was indeed a magical land to visit. In fact, once word got around, people from all over the world were coming to see this beautiful place and the Felizeans prospered. Some opened hotels or tranquil retreats, others restaurants, or fed their families by showing visitors the many sights to be found in this wonderful land. More and more people came to stay, went home and told their friends abut it, so that each year Felize counted a greater number of guests, many of whom would spend more and more time and gold in this tranquil country. But fame can be a fickle mistress. While she attracts pleasant visitors who only want to enjoy the serene beauty of a place, she can also sing a siren’s song to the greedy, the sort of people who see dollar signs instead of nature’s bounty, and wish to plunder it for their own ends. And so it was that one day a cold north wind brought the people from the Land of the Midnight Sun. The captains of this fleet of hardy folk were experienced in the ways of making gold, and they knew a good thing when they saw it. “Well send our own Big Boats full of people who will pay to see this magic land. And we’ll make sure they pay us, and only us to experience the magic of Felize! We’ll make a fortune!”

Misc Belizean Sources

Belizean convicted in Guatemala escapes from prison
The Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre is reporting that Belizean Joseph Budna who is serving a lengthy jail sentence in Guatemala has escaped from prison. According to the Prensa Libre report, Budna was taken from the prison to a hospital for a medical checkup when he gave the two guards escorting him the slip. Budna is serving a 25 year prison sentence after he was convicted of the crimes of kidnapping and extortion last year. The prison guards under whose watch Budna escaped have been taken into custody.

Queen’s Baton arrives for Commonwealth Games relay
The Queen’s Baton, which heralds the launch of the twentieth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland this summer, arrived this afternoon in Belize via the Philip Goldson International Airport. The baton contains a message from the head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II, inviting athletes to join the Games. She will formally read it to open the ceremony on July 23. The baton is made of elm wood from the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland, with a top of sculpted titanium and a granite gemstone which will be gifted to Belize on the baton’s departure. On hand to meet it were dignitaries of the National Sports Council (NSC) and Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (BOCGA), whose President, Hilly Martinez, reported that Belize is sending its largest delegation to Scotland this year with four, possibly five, disciplines represented: athletics, cycling, table tennis, triathlon and shooting.

Queen Elizabeth II gets new portrait for her birthday
Today, Monday, April 21, is the 88th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was born in 1926 to King George VI and his wife Elizabeth, in London. While Queen Elizabeth II spent her birthday privately at home, in her honor gun salutes were fired in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and a new portrait of her was released, a black and white photograph by celebrated photographer David Bailey. The mother of four princes and princesses, she ascended the throne in May of 1952 and has seen generations of change across the world. She is the fifth-oldest head of state, being Queen of the United Kingdom and fifteen other countries including Belize. Click here to see additional reporting on the new Queen Elizabeth II portrait, including a pictorial of her reign.

The Reporter

Skin cancer on the rise
Cancer Research UK statistics show more than 13,000 people develop malignant melanoma each year, compared with around 1,800 in the mid-1970s. It says the rise is partly due to rising popularity of package holidays to Europe from the late 1960s. Sunbed use has also fuelled the increase, the charity has said. Malignant melanoma is now the fifth most common cancer, with more than 2,000 dying from it each year. Around 17 people in every 100,000 are diagnosed with the disease in Great Britain every year – compared with three per 100,000 in the mid 1970s.

More violence in Venezuela
Fresh violence has erupted in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, between police and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro. Masked protesters burned effigies of the president after a rally called “Resurrection of Democracy”. Police responded to petrol bombs in the Chacao district with tear gas and water cannon. More than 40 people have died in violent protests since February and hundreds of people have been arrested. The demonstrations started with students demanding action to tackle Venezuela’s high crime rate, its growing inflation and shortages of certain food staples. They have since grown into a wider opposition movement and many of the protesters say they will not stop until the government of President Maduro resigns.

Elderly woman beaten to death
Police are following leads into a ruthless beating of an elderly woman that claimed her life. The incident happened in Boston Village, Belize District sometime on Good Friday. Relatives and neighbours grew concerned when they did not see Marva Miller, 68, and after knocking on her door and calling out for her, they discoverd her lying face down and unconscious on her floor, bleeding from her head on Good Friday evening. Initial investigations reveal that someone broke into a window at the back of her house. A piece of board lay near her and there were sawdust visible on the back of her head where she had suffered a wound. Miller died on Easter Sunday after she reportedly suffered a stroke.


“Walking on Sunshine” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After around forty minutes frolicking around (Ziggy that is, not me) we headed back home so that we could sit down and watch Arsenal stroll to a three goal win against Hull City. Ziggy was absolutely amazed by the skill and finesse shown by the Arsenal players. Three Arsenal fans in the house now. The fan base just went up by fifty percent! Feeling quite happy with ourselves it was time for breakfast. Bacon sandwiches for Rose and I and chicken (well. It was Sunday) and biscuits for Ziggy. With breakfast out of the way Rose and I then headed off to catch the 11.30 hours water taxi to Caye Caulker to meet up with most of the BATSUB guys for Ian’s farewell bash.

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

Shark Diving in Belize
OK that’s sounds way scarier than it was… These sharks are blind and I am not even sure if they have teeth like the predators you see on “Shark Week”. The type of sharks we swam with were “Nurse” sharks (the name alone should strike fear into you). They kill their prey by “sucking” them to death according to Wikipedia. So they may not kill you but they could probably give you one hell of hickey! Either way it was still pretty cool to be within a few feet of a shark larger than me. The sharks were not our only draw for the trip off of Caye Caulker, Belize. We went with Ragamuffin tours for the half day snorkeling tour which included a trip to “Shark-Ray Alley”. The alley was just as described full of Sting Rays and Sharks. Also seen on our trip were Stingrays, manta-rays, and a giant grouper. The tour companies seem to frequent the area and “chum”, so the smart fish head to the easy food. The grouper we saw look nearly domesticated as it swam with our tour leader. The grouper easily weighed several hundred pounds and dwarfed our guide. One of the most graceful things I have seen under water was the manta ray that glided past with just a flap of its massive rubbery wings.

Snorkeling at Silk Cayes – Placencia, Belize
The water is so clear that there are at least 5 shades of blue at the different depths. Then the island is completely surrounded by coral reef, and variety pack of colorful fish. The reef is a good depth to enjoy with just snorkel gear. Everything around the island is either just below eye level, or free dive-able. It’s hard to choose if the view way better from above or below the surface. The snorkeling was top 3 that I have ever done, but just look views from the sand! From shore we saw a lemon shark just as we were gearing up, and then he can back around lunch time as our cooks through some scraps in the water.

Belize Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and Wife in All Out Brawl
Late breaking reaching NBZLive is that embattled Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie and his wife were involved in an ugly and disgraceful melee on Saturday in Crooked Tree Village. The incident occurred during a racing event in the village. Sources from within the Belize Police Department who have pretty much had it with Commissioner Whylie told NBZLive that it’s time he submits that letter of resignation or he should be removed! According to eyewitnesses, a fight broke out among villagers from Lemonal, MayPen and Carmelita, all villages of the Belize Rural North constituency. A brave prison officer intervened to stop the fight but was soon overcome but the melee. Corporal Donald Gillett then got involved and soon got things under control. An allegedly intoxicated officer, identified to us a PC Ogaldez who is stationed in Crooked Tree took out his service revolver and fired shots in the air. That is when Compol Whylie instructed Corporal Gillett to take away the officer’s weapon.

International Sources

Belizean native returns home in US uniform
Born and raised in Belize City, Belize, Karen Burbank had it drilled into her mind by her mother that if she sticks with her education, she will succeed. Now a U.S. Army sergeant, Burbank has had five years of training and experience as a medic and recently deployed to Belize from the 349th Combat Support Hospital in Los Angeles. From April 7-17, Burbank ensured proper care was provided to people from her home nation. Working in the triage section of the New Horizons Belize 2014 medical readiness training exercise, or MEDRETE, Burbank was responsible for obtaining blood pressure and pulse readings, as well as determining a patients' main reason for visiting the temporary clinic.

Local Chocolatier Raises Funds to Visit Cacao Farm in Belize
In March 2011, Puja Satiani checked her phone for a brief moment between an afternoon workout and a meeting with colleagues at her law firm, when she got devastating news. Her paternal grandfather, one of the most meaningful presences in her life, had passed away. Her grandfather's death led to Satiani revisiting her life and priorities. "Around this time, I discovered premium chocolate, and there began my obsession with chocolate and its mother, the cacao bean. I became so obsessed with cacao and chocolate that I trained in France and traveled around France and Brussels. Upon my return, I started a small business handcrafting confections with premium chocolate and ingredients - all without preservatives," she said. "Since I started working with chocolate in 2011, I've dreamt about experiencing first-hand how cacao is grown and harvested and how the cacao bean is transformed into chocolate." Now Satiani has started a fundraising campaign to make that dream a reality. Via Indie GoGo, she aims to raise funds for a trip to Belize, where she hopes to follow cacao's journey all the way from the farm.


Video: After San Pedro Belize Express bridge collapse, 4min.
Hundreds of people on the dock causing it to break.

Video: Dive Belize - Part 1, 17min.
Creekozeen, Belize - April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 2, 17min.
Creekozeen, Belize - April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 3, 17min.
Creekozeen, Belize - April 2014

Video: Video: Dive Belize - Part 4, 3min.
Creekozeen, Belize - April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 5, 17min.
April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 6, 17min.
April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 7, 17min.
April 2014

Video: Dive Belize - Part 8, 6min.
April 2014

Video: Guatemala, Belize, Mexico (Yucatan), 8min.
My journey through Guatemala, Belize and Yucatan (Mexico). March and April 2014 (3.5 weeks). Highlights: Vulcano Acatenango (3900m, Guatemala, near Antigua), Sailing trip in Belize and Diving in Cenotes (Tulum, Mexico), Semuc Champey (Guatemala)

Video: An Aerial Video of Ambergris Caye, Belize by J. Massey, 4.5min.
A really cool video done by J Massey using a DIJ Phantom Quad Copter to capture the beauty and specialness of La Isle Bonita. Once again this year Ambergris Caye has been voted The Best Island in The Caribbean.

Video: Dave Zook Belize Presentation, 2hrs1min.
For more information about getting involved with the project contact Dave Zook at [email protected] or (717) 278-2456

Video: Police Brutality In Belize, 2min.
Yet another case of Police Brutality in Belize. Even though we at Belizean Comedy love to post funny stuff, we are also about exposing the real Belize, the side that people try to hide.

Video: airboat - Belize, 9min.

Video: Blue Ventures Exp. 2-14 (PART 3), 6min.
My adventure together with the amazing Blue Ventures Team and volunteers in Belize, 14 feb - 27 mar 2014. More videos soon, stay tubed. Like, subscribe and expect every part of nature.

Video: Dance of the Green Moray, 3min.
Green Moray Eels dancing during a dive at Esmeralda Canyon, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Interesting creatures. Beautiful in their own way.

Video: Belize Diving, 4min.
A film featuring some of the buetiful dive locations of Belize Created with MAGIX Video deluxe 2014

April 21, 2014


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Dental hygiene
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 married to a woman with two grown children by another marriage. Her boy is my adopted son, which makes me the […]

Wolfe’s Woofer: Alcohol
“Stop at this store, Konrad,” I said. “Let me get some potato chips before they close. Do you guys want anything?” Konrad and Sherry both said, “No,” so I went on in to get my chips. One of our local drunks was at the counter with a bottle of rubbing alcohol. “I’m sorry but I […]

In Loving Memory of Stephen Alexander “Papi Box” Manuel
Stephen Alexander Manuel was born on October 10, 1956 in Belize City to parents Charles Manuel and Fidelia Rodriguez. As a child, he was very jovial and loved to play, often getting into mischief. He grew up lovingly among four sisters who to the very end, he cared for and protected. He ran away to San Pedro at the age of 11, fending for himself since then. On the island he became another member of the Dawson family, living with Mrs. Clementina and Dan Dawson. Carrying his full weight, at that age he became one of the island’s electric plant operators. He worked alongside men such as Mr. Gualberto “Wally” Nunez and Omar Arceo turning the electricity on and off for the island day in and day out.

Misc Belizean Sources

Girl dies in motorcycle crash
A 5 year old child perished on Holy Saturday when a motorcycle she was riding on with two other persons crashed into the back of a passenger bus in Belize City. The incident happened sometime after 4 pm yesterday on North Front Street near the BelChina Bridge. The child has been identified as 5 year old Akeela Wade. After the crash, the child was rushed to the KHMH where she succumbed to her injuries. The two other persons riding on the motorcycle received non-life-threatening injuries.

Cayo man drowns on Good Friday
A man from Santa Familia village, Cayo died on Good Friday, reportedly from drowning. 37 year old Arsenio Landero and his wife were traveling by canoe on the Belize River sometime before midday on Good Friday when the tragedy occurred. According to reports, Landero is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol and somehow during the course of the journey from Esperanza village to Santa Familia, the canoe became unstable and eventually overturned. While his wife was able to swim to shore and seek help, Landero went under the water and did not resurface. His body was retrieved from the Belize River about a half an hour later.

Partial collapse of a dock reported in Caye Caulker village
No one was seriously hurt this afternoon when a portion of a dock in Caye Caulker village broke, throwing some people into the Caribbean Sea. The dock belonging to one of the water taxi operators, appears to have buckled under the weight of the many people who were standing up waiting to board their boat for a trip back to Belize City around 4:45 pm.

The Reporter

Boat dock collapses on Caye Caulker
A crowded boating dock in Caye Caulker reportedly collapsed today. We are not certain if anyone was injured but some of the passengers who were waiting to board a commercial vessel fell into the sea. The incident occurred during one of the busiest times of year for boat travel in Belize, the Easter holidays.

Man drowns in Cayo District
A man drowned in the Cayo District on Holy Saturday. Reports are that Arsenio Landero, 37, and his wife were returning home in a canoe on the Macal River after spending the day socializing with friend. Reports are that the canoe capsized and Landero went under. His body was later recovered.

Traffic accidents claim two lives
A little girl lost her life in a traffic accident on Holy Saturday in Belize City. Keela Wade, 5, was reportedly traveling on North Front Street along with Kelsey Peyrefitte and Sonia Carcamo on a motorcycle when they ran into the back of a bus. The incident happened sometime before 5 p.Wade died about an hour later while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner while Peyrefitte suffered an injured knee and eye. Police are investigating. Meanwhile, an elderly man was knocked down and killed on the Stann Creek Valley Road on Holy Saturday evening. Lloyd Savery Sr., 91, was reportedly heading home around 6 p.m. when somewhere near mile five a blue Kia traveling in the same direction knocked him down. Savery suffered head and body injuries and died an hour later at the Southern Regional Hospital. Police have served the driver of the vehicle with notice of intended prosecution.


From Benque to Belize City to San Pedro: It’s A Very Varied Easter Basket in Belize
I hopped on a 1pm bus from Benque to Belize City – most people do not travel on Good Friday and there were few buses. But mine was blissfully pretty empty and we got to Belize City in 2.5 hours. (The previous day, in a VERY full bus that stopped at what felt like everyone’s house, the trip took almost 4 hours.) Belize City, on Good Friday and then again on Easter Saturday, was pretty much a ghost town. I woke up at 530am to a heavy shower pounded on the tin roof and then quickly cleared. A beautiful breezy Belize City morning. The big event was the Saturday morning 86th Annual Cross Country Bicycle Race. The riders, many Belizean, some foreign, start from Belize City at 6am, cycle all the way out to San Ignacio and then back to Belize City sometime around noon. We headed to the finish line at the newly refinished BTL Park. With kiosks, a boardwark over the sea and actual grass, this park looks lovely. (Another word not often associated with Belize City.)

“Rose in Paradise” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Things like “who is going to take him for his walks” (me most probably), “who is going to feed him ” (Rose I’d say definitely), “who is going to bathe him” (think I got that one), and “who gets to pet and stroke him” (think Rose has unofficially claimed this one). Oh, and “who gets the poop scooping duty” (an uncontested me on that one. Not that I got to vote!). It’s not all been about preparing for Ziggy though. I did take up the cudgel (OK, the paintbrush) with the exterior side of the fence again. It didn’t last that long though because ants started to bite my feet (I really don’t have a clue what type they are but they are vicious. And there are so many of them). I manfully endured the pain until I ran out of the preservative I am using and then I very quickly scuttled indoors to lick my wounds (not literally of course). I also arranged for the water test for the boat that we are considering buying. Its set for 10.00 hours next Thursday. I’ll obviously let you know if the engine is ‘up to it’. If not, then it’s ‘back to the drawing board’. Hopefully not though.

International Sources

See the Global Shipping Revolution In These Beautiful Ocean Maps
The global shipping industry has completely transformed our world: Today, 90 percent of everything in your life arrives via cargo ship. These two maps prove just how dramatically international trade has increased, by comparing the oceans of the 19th century with those of the late 20th. Ben Schmidt, an assistant history professor at Northeastern University, culled decades of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set to create a series of maps that show shipping lanes in black against a simple white backdrop. The visualizations lay bare the sheer volume of stuff that's trekked across our oceans these days. Two maps pointed out by QZ, in particular, illustrate the revolution in shipping. One shows routes in the 19th century: And the other shows routes from 1980 to 1997—when our contemporary global economy had already emerged: The contrast is wild. It's not just a boom in volume, but also in precision. The 19th century map is hazy and vague, with ships curling in and out of traditional routes, while the contemporary map is a study in precision mapping. The two maps also depict a more shadowy shift, as Schmidt points out. In the 1800s, this was how America (and other nations) gleaned intelligence about the world around it:

Overview of the CenRut project
What is CenRut? CenRut is a community-based project to create and freely distribute GPS maps of Central America. The project covers El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and Panama. How do I load the maps onto my Garmin GPS? The simple method (recommended): If you have a Garmin GPS, right-click on this link: to save the GMAPSUPP.IMG file onto your computer. Then connect your GPS to your computer and save the file in the /Garmin/ folder on your GPS ( for newer models create the /Map/ folder on your GPS and load the file there). Then disconnect your GPS from your computer and turn on your GPS. That's all! The complete method: please refer to the complete Windows or the complete Mac method below, as appropriate. How do I know if the Cenrut maps are correctly loaded onto my GPS? Start your GPS and go to Tools>Settings>Map>Info. You should see the following:

The Drug Cartels Long March on El Salvador
More than two decades after the civil war in El Salvador ended, the nation remains fractured—a situation being worsened by increasing drug cartel presence and influence. In its recent presidential election, Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the governing left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) barely defeated Norman Quijano of the right-wing National Republican Alliance (Arena). With more than three million votes cast, the margin of Ceren’s victory was only 6,364 votes, or 51.1 to 49.9 percent. Despite fraud allegations and a subsequent legal challenge by Quijano, an electoral court upheld the narrow victory for Ceren and the UN monitors certified the election results as valid. There are concerns that El Salvador could become another Venezuela, with American support for Arena over the past decade potentially leading to fresh political instability in light of their close loss in the latest election. The memories of paramilitary groups and death squads are ever-present.

Drug Cartels & Their Recent Control of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is under attack. Despite recent claims that “no terrorist groups or drug cartels lurk in the nation’s mountains and rain forests,” the evidence is quite the contrary. Even back in 2011, journalists were warning of the cartel influence creeping into Costa Rica. Since 2004, homicide rates – while still well below those of its neighbors such as Honduras and El Salvador – increased more than sixfold, and crime rates have doubled since the late 1990s. The nation was becoming popular (and still is) as a “warehouse” for cocaine being shipped from Colombia up to the USA. Some sharp lessons in realpolitik are coming to light for Costa Rica. Back in 1948, the country abolished its military and began grossly underfunding its police services in order to allow greater spending on health, education, other social benefits, and environmental protection. Now it has few institutional resources equipped to handle the growing cartel threat. The police and judicial systems are also exhibiting evidence of corruption. Polling data indicates that “nearly half of Costa Ricans consider citizen security the worst problem facing the country.”

Central American Criminal and Terrorism Nexuses are Maturing
As Central America's northern cone nations set records for willful deaths, Honduras leads the world with a murder rate of 90.4 per 100,000. El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize’s homicide rates are averaging, collectively, 42 percent per 100,000, as people literally fight for their lives. These seemingly unabated rates of murder, plus the kidnappings and assassinations of public figures, police, members of the armed forces and journalists, are the continuing and expanding product -- and chosen role -- of transnational organized criminals (TOC). And much of their achieved movement would not have been possible without facilitation and nurturing by rogue leftist political regimes, and paramilitary and guerilla-like forces, within this hemisphere. Each of the countries in the northern cone of Central America, as well as Mexico and the United States, have shared borders within the regions of hostile operational activities that witness fluid and seemingly unstoppable encroachment by the criminal insurgent-like actors. These TOCs, for the most part, use advanced military-type weaponry, superior firepower and more advantageous military tactics, including seen before elements of intelligence tradecraft employed by world terrorist organizations.


Video: Belize Honeymoon - Viaventure Central America, 5min.
An adventurous, young couple go on a fun, romantic, unique honeymoon in Belize where they climb temples in the jungle, swim in lakes and snorkel the reef with rays and turtles, make tortillas with the Maya community, kayak through ancient maya ritual caves, enjoy candlelit dinners beside firepits, luxuriate in hammocks and having massages, staying in wonderful luxury boutique hotels such as Ka'ana, Victoria House, Portofino, Nitun (Guatemala), El Convento (Guatemala)....... Email us for an example Honeymoon design and quotation [email protected]

Video: Belize 2014, 7min.
Diving with Whale sharks

Video: Jet ski belize, 5min.

Video: Belize Esmeralda, 6min.
Diving the Belize barrier reef following nurse sharks, grouper and moray eels around.

Video: Belize - 24 Dec 2013 to 11 Jan 2014, 4min.
Belize!! Caye Caulker, San Pedro, Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, Raggamuffin tours, Rendezvous Caye, Tobacco Caye, Placencia, Hopkins, San Ignacio, Tikal Guatamala, RTB!

Video: Chukka Ziplining in Belize, 15min.
Our ziplining adventure at Chukka in Belize. Awesome people and a great adventure!

Video: Fishing in Belize & Belize Fly Fishing, 3min.
Tucked away in the luscious green hills in atop the Caribbean Coast of the south part of Belize; this beautiful lodge is a place to get away from the world. The meaning of agritourism-chic is Jungle Lodge and a nature reserve that spans across 12,000 beautiful acres. This Belizean lodge has so much to offer while on your Belize fishing vacation, including amazing adventures, wildlife watching, delicious local cuisine, saltwater fly-fishing and some of the best hospitality in the world.

Video: Belize 2014, 9min.
Belize and Guatemala Spring Break 2014

Video: Pharrell Williams - HAPPY (We Are ISIS Belize), 4min.
We love Pharrell's Happy tune because here in Belize we are very happy. Study abroad with I.S.I.S and you won't believe how Happy an adventure in education will make you. See you soon

Video: Under water in Belize, 6min.

Video: Hol Chan, Belize, 17min.
SCUBA diving in Belize at Hol Chan marine reserve. This was with my father and mother. Also there is some great footage in here where a guy in our group decided to use these hilariously tiny fins, even though he was told there would be a current and to get real fins. He didn't have enough weight to crawl apparently so he ended up using up his air and having to have the dive master save him (and share his air).

Video: Field Crew Survey Team in Belize, 10min.

Video: Feeding a jaguar in Belize!, 2min.
We got to feed chicken to a jaguar in Belize name Junior. He also licked Brock's forehead. Such an amazing experience to be so close to such a powerful creature!

Video: SCUBA Belize. Eagles Ray, Sea Turtle, Dolphins, 10min.
On this dive we saw quite a variety of creatures. Eagle rays, dolphins, and sea turtles!

Video: Belize, Snorkling at Shark Ray Alley, 8min.
Lots of Nurse Sharks here. There were also some kite surfers nearby.

Video: Earth from Space: Great Blue Hole [HD], 3min.
Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios. In the sixty-third edition, we look at an underwater sinkhole in the Belize Barrier Reef. The Lighthouse Atoll in the Belize Barrier Reef is featured in this image acquired by Japan's ALOS satellite. In the upper-central part of the image, an underwater sinkhole known as the Great Blue Hole appears as a dark blue circle. Surrounded by the shallow waters of the coral reef, the Great Blue Hole measures over 300 m in diameter and about 123 m deep. Formed when the sea level was much lower, rain and chemical weathering eroded the exposed terrain. Water later filled the hole and covered the area when the sea level rose at the end of the ice age. Also visible in the image are two coral islands -- green with vegetation -- called cayes. The larger to the west is Long Caye, and the smaller Half Moon Caye is to the east. As part of the Belize National Parks, the Half Moon Caye Natural Monument was the country's first protected area. The almost 40 sq km island is an important breeding area for the seabird, the Red-footed Booby. The greater Belize Barrier Reef has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, but in 2009 it was put on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The reef provides a significant habitat for threatened species, including marine turtles, manatees and the American marine crocodile.

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