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10/11/2014 to 10/19/2014
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October 19, 2014


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Traveller’s Liquor presents The Belizean Rum
On September 3, 2014, Traveller’s Liquors unveiled The Belizean Rum, their newest gold rum. Inspired by the beauty of its country of production, The Belizean Rum celebrates the natural wonders of this magnificent land with labels depicting the Great Blue Hole, Xunantunich Maya Archaeological Site, the Paslow Building and the beautiful Jaguar. It is a premium rum, blended from the most mature and finest aged barrels available at Traveller’s Liquors. But even better is its claim to be tasteless, a perfect pairing to any mix you desire. Thanks to the generosity of Traveller’s Liquors San Pedro branch manager, Miguel Perez we were able to get some “samples” of the product. I’m talking six 200 ml “pencils” or, as Miguel calls them, “mosquito foot”. I think Miguel was trying to kick off our weekend early. Oh well, let the party begin!

San Pedro Red Cross receives donation from Hell Fighters
On Tuesday, October 14th, the San Pedro Red Cross (SPRC) were recipients of a generous donation made by the Hell Fighters Footsoldiers. The donation was made in the form of a check of $1,500BZ, which was handed over in a small ceremony at Ramon’s Village Resort.Hellfighters Donate to Red Cross-2 The Hell Fighters consist of Maricela Badillo, Patricia Sabido, Nori Martinez, Betty Badillo, Leonor Marroquin, Ruth Orellana, Ismael Badillo, Roberto Sabido, Francisco Gongora, Bernabe Badillo, Isaias Magana, Victor Peralta, Avimael Chuc, Dennis Sabido, Mariano Contreras, Rigoberto Chuc, and Jose Camal. Upon a recommendation from the Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guererro, they decided to raise funds for SPRC. To raise the money, the Hell Fighters manned a food booth during the Costa Maya International Festival.

Murder victim identified as Samuel Dawson
San Pedro police are currently investigating the murder of 44-year-old Samuel Dawson who was stabbed inside his apartment located in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro Town. Dawson, a Hispanic construction worker, was found dead by police on Saturday, October 18th at around 7:45AM after receiving a distress call from a co-worker. Dawson was apparently stabbed twice in the throat which caused him to bleed to death.

Minor raped in San Pedro: Culprit not yet found
San Pedro Police are investigating yet another rape incident in San Pedro that occurred on Thursday, October 9th. According to a police report, a 14-year-old female minor accompanied by her mother, who is not being named to protect the child’s identity, visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that she had been raped. Initial investigations revealed that the teenager was walking to the Escalante area at around 10:30PM when a grey van being driven by a Hispanic male pulled over and offered her a ride. The teenager further stated that the man drove to a store on Coconut Drive and purchased a bottle of rum, coke, ice and plastic cups. The man then took the teenager to an area by located on Coconut Drive and had sexual intercourse with her against her will. The victim did not mention to the police whether she was intoxicated at the time of the incident, or what happened afterwards.

Male individual found murdered in San Pedrito area.
San Pedro Town police have confirmed that a male individual was found murdered this morning at approximately 7:30AM today, Saturday October 18th. The victim, a Hispanic construction worker, was apparently stabbed to death in an apartment located in the San Pedrito area. Police continue their investigation and The San Pedro Sun will report more as information becomes available.

Traffic congestion still a major problem on the island- resident proposes solution to the SPTC
Wind said that with the amount of movement within the pedestrian zone, San Pedro will be in need of up to 30 bicycle taxis especially during high season from Christmas to Easter. In addition it is a new way to create a tourist related, quality income employment on the island. Wind shared his suggestion with the Mayor and invited him onboard just such a tricycle to experience what it would feel like around town. According to Mayor Guerrero, Wind’s idea is “workable” one that could be incorporated with other suggestions. “We have put his idea on the table for discussion. It is something that is positive and it is in line with some of the initiatives we have planned for this municipality that will alleviate the traffic problems,” said Guerrero who admitted that traffic-related issues remains one of the major challenges for the municipality. “We initially agreed in favor of certain decision that would have alleviated the traffic problems, but we have to do it by phases. When we first announced those plans, people felt we were coming down hard on them, and so we have taken a decision to do things by phases instead of all at once. The proposal that Mr. Wind has put forward is a positive one and is something we will study carefully to see how we can try to make it work along with the plans that the municipality has in place. We see that it can also be a source of employment, and so all that will be taken into consideration,” explained the Mayor.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Telethon for Chiquibul
We have 7 rangers...on a daily basis, we have to make the decision to check on the gold panning, or the poaching of scarlet macaws, or checking on the milpa incursions along the Western border...' To donate to ensure more rangers can be put in place: ONLINE: Donate online at CALL: BTL: 08007264377 (Intl: 501-227-4323). SMART: 6516565, 6516724, 6516587 DEPOSIT: Atlantic Bank Acct: #100249795

Support the Sarteneja Homestay Group
Sarteneja homestay group is much more than a collection of guest houses. They offer warm and friendly accommodation combined with a true experience of Belizean village life. Why stay in a hotel when you can eat, laugh and live with real Belizean people?

Belize Cancer Society Corozal Branch
The Belize Cancer Society Invites you to a mass to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month that will be held today 19 th October at Luz de Evangelio Church in Halls Layout Area. Mass will begin at 930 am! Please join us and pray for those in need!

On October 16th and 17th, the Coroal Town Council in partnership with C.A.A.T.S, a non profit organization facilitated the spaying and neutering of 171 cats and dogs in Corozal Town for it's residents for free. This new biannual evet will significantly reduce the number of strays; therein, reducing the number of dogs to be put to rest by lethal chemicals. The Corozal Town Council feels as though the humane treatment of animals is paramount in the social development of our society. (41 photos)

A section of the new concreted 7th Avenue
(Philip Goldson Highway) in Corozal Town from the foot of the Social Security building to the junction of 6th Street South is now OPEN to vehicular traffic. The section from the junction of 6th Street South to the junction of 5th Street South remains closed as work continues to be carried out in that area. Keep an eye for other streets that remain closed to vehicular traffic. Also look out for the DETOUR signs around town, that will lead you in or out to the main highway. Note that we have done our own investigation as no official word has been forthcoming from the Ministry of Works or the Corozal Town Council. We have called and left several messages to both authorities.


Ebola Scare Prompts Press Conference
Belize had its first Ebola related scare when Plus TV broke the news on social media on Thursday night. Cruise ship, Carnival Magic, had as one of its passengers a woman who handled some of the samples taken from the Dallas Ebola patient who died. The US Center for Disease control (CDC) had told hea...

Government reveals measures to deal with Ebola threat
Earlier in our news cast we told you about the big Ebola scare and the two days of uncertainty that we must monitor, before we can consider ourselves out of the woods...

BDF hosts press conference on National Security concerns
The BDF held a press conference on Friday, the first of its kind since Danny Conorquie was murdered at the Caracol site on September 25th. National Security issues have come into the public domain since that day, hard and furious...

Coast Guard responds to fisherman’s distress call
On Friday at approximately 2:30 pm, Coast Guard responded to a distress call by Fishermen operating in the Turneffe area. Information received was that a fisherman was suffering from chest pain, not breathing properly and his neck was inflamed...

Murder trial scrapped after main witness not located
32 year old Karim Barona is free despite being accused of murder. His trial for the murder of 41 year old Elvis Rhamdas began on Thursday before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Supreme Court...

Fisherman charged with rape
Police have charged the man they say forcibly raped a woman on October 12. Twenty-seven year old Jaime Andrews, a fisherman of Lavender Street, Belize City, was charged with rape when he appeared on Friday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith...

Accused drug trafficker receives bail
On August 20, Orange Walk Police recovered some 54.7 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine  or “crystal meth” from a suspicious black vehicle traveling in town. 30 separate packs located in a red cooler and a carton box were recovered...

Another protest concerning San Martin Primary School
There was another rally or protest at San Martin School on Friday led by BelizeCan President Patrick Menzies. Mr Menzies called for a shutdown of the school on Friday, because of what he calls aseries of “Anomalies” in the case of the sodomy of a five year old. If you recall, medical examination...

18th Days of Healing goes to Victoria Street
This weekend the Community Days of Healing initiative returns with an activity on Victoria Street, one of the many places in Belize City which has seen unprecedented human warfare. We spoke to organizer Perry “Sticks” Smith on Friday. Perry Smith – Organizer, Days of Healing [Paraphrased] Th...

Pick up your cross; literally
Take up your cross and follow me. Those were Jesus’s words to his disciples, and while it is a figurative statement, we saw the literal manifestation of that in the Capital City over the past few days. Belmopan residents may have seen different people pulling a cross on the streets of the Capital ...

The Reporter

PM hasn’t seen letter from social partners
Prime Minister, Dean Barrow said that he has not seen the letter addressed to him and sent on Wednesday which, was signed by the three senators representing the social partners concerning the delay in appointing the 13th senator. Barrow said he was certain that the letter warranted a response and said he would do so but he hasn’t been in his office in Belmopan all week long and had not had a chance to see the letter as yet. According to the letter, signed by Senator Mark Lizarraga who represents the private sector, Senator Ray Davis who represents the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) and Father Noel Leslie who represents the Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association. The National Assembly has already debated, considered and passed the law but the implementation is pending, awaiting only the order from the Prime Minister.

Heavy rain in Nicaragua
Twenty-two people have died in Nicaragua during several days of heavy rains. Nine of them were killed in the capital Managua when a wall collapsed during a torrential downpour. In other areas of the city, emergency crews evacuated families from areas at risk from mudslides. A government spokeswoman said they would join thousands of people housed in temporary shelters because of downpours since September. The spokeswoman said the authorities had decided to evacuate all families who were considered to be living in critical areas of the city vulnerable to flooding and mudslides. Rescuers workers search for bodies in Managua after a wall that separates the neighbourhood from another collapsed.

BDF and Guatemalan officials partner in Conorquie murder case
The Belize Defense Force (BDF) has been communicating and sharing information with their Guatemalan counterparts and a suspect has been identified in the murder of Danny Conorquie, Brigadier General David Jones, BDF commander said on Friday. Jones indicated that through collaboration among the BDF, Belize Police Department and relevant Guatemalan authorities they are getting closer to identifying Conorquie’s killer. Jones said they have singled out a particular village and have been able to narrow down suspects. According to Jones, as part of the joint Belize-Guatemala Commission last weekend, Guatemalan officials pledged to assist in the investigation of Conorquie’s murder. Jones added though, that he did not believe that Guatemala has been doing enough to deter their civilians from making incursions into Belizean territory. Jones also indicated that Guatemala has agreed to strengthen their efforts in this regard.

Patrick JonesPJ

Murder in San Pedro town
Police in San Pedro town, on Ambergris Caye, have identified the latest murder victim in the municipality as 44 year old Samuel Dawson. The body of the construction worker was found this morning inside his apartment in the San Pedrito area. He had been stabbed multiple times to the throat. According to reports received, Dawson’s body was discovered by one of his co-workers who summoned police to the area.

Belizeans pledge financial support for protection of Chiquibul Reserve
Today in Belize City there was a unprecedented level of cooperation between the business sector, the environmental community and ordinary Belizeans to help raise funds for the expansion of the Friends for Conservation and Development park ranger program in the Chiquibul National Park and Forest Reserve. The Chiquibul Protection Telethon has raised some $202,347 in pledges from Belizean citizens. This was augmented by a $120,000 donation from the government of Belize to support five rangers. The estimated cost of recruiting, equipping and otherwise supporting a ranger is $24,000 annually.

Don’t miss the chance to help protect the Chiquibul
The Chiquibul Protection Telethon for the Friends of Conservation and Development is currently in progress at the Memorial Park in Belize City. The purpose of the telethon is to raise the complement of park rangers to 24. At an estimated cost of $24,000 for salaries, equipment, training and insurance for one of the toughest jobs in Belize, the NGO needs nearly $600,000 for the program. You can make a difference by going to to make a donation. Why the Chiquibul Telethon: The Chiquibul Forest comprises the Caracol Mayan Site, the Chiquibul National Park and the Chiquibul Forest Reserve

Ex-Peace Corps volunteer writes book on Belize
The Peace Corps has been active in Belize since its founding under President John F. Kennedy. At a critical time in this nation’s history, when it stood on the threshold of independence, a young volunteer originally from Eugene, Oregon, came to Belize from Sierra Leone to train track and field coaches and build a national athletics program. 40 years later, Ted W. Cox, now retired and owner of a restaurant in Corvallis, Oregon, is back, and this week presented a book he wrote about his experiences in the then-British Honduras between 1971 and 1973. Called “When British Honduras Became Belize: A Peace Corps Memoir,” the book takes readers back to a time when Belize had no modern synthetic track, hardly any resources, but still produced sporting legends.


Helping the Hopkins Belize Humane Society: An Almost Super Human Bunch
Earlier this week, I traveled down to Hopkins, Belize to help out with the local Humane Society. I’d been following some of their efforts on Facebook, and I’d helped at a free vet clinic in Sarteneja, Belize that was organized by Hopkins Humane Society (HBHS). A tough but amazing experience. These guys are a small group – care but not a shelter – and under the leadership of Clara Lee (a super human Mississippi lady who comes to Hopkins multiple times a year), this organization is doing AMAZING, life-changing things. This is Clara Lee. Do not let the pretty face and Southern Belle accent fool you. She takes care of business. In a way I’ve never seen down here before. Like in 2014, they sponsored free spaying and neutering for over 1100 dogs and cats. That is about the same as the human population of Hopkins Village. ALL medical care they give is free. ALL. I volunteered to help at a clinic this past week. Visiting vets from outside of Belize, coming here and donating their time and expertise. Pairing up with Belizean veterinarians – this time Dr. Mia Canton – we planned to hit Dangriga and Hopkins and then they were continuing on to San Ignacio to provide free medical care there.

International Sourcesizz

Find paradise at Belize's top beaches
Belize is unlike many other Caribbean destinations, where it's easy to isolate the best beaches of a particular island. The mainland coast of Belize is a tangle of mangroves, which is about as far as a person can get from ideal beach conditions. Not to worry, Belize has literally hundreds of cayes (pronounced keys, as in Key West). These offshore cayes, or islands, are where beaches of all sizes can be found, although almost all have to be accessed by boat. While the country has a handful of mainland beaches, these cayes are where beach lovers should be concentrating their search for the ultimate Belizean beach holiday Ambergris Caye lies off the northern waters of Belize and is the largest of hundreds of islands in the area. Ambergris Caye is Belize's tourism superstar, combining the laidback with the sophisticated for a chic-barefoot elegance vibe. The largest town on the caye is San Pedro, where some locals and tourists take a plunge into the sea right off the dock. The best beaches are to the south and north of the island. As beautiful as these stretches of the sand are, most beachgoers find the sand upstaged by the vivid turquoise blue of the sea. Many of the waters directly off the best beaches are choked with sea grass and while sea grass is ecologically vital, it creates less than optimum conditions for swimming. Select resorts have been permitted to remove the sea grass and some of the best beaches lie directly in front of the swankier resorts. All beaches on Belize are public, so travelers shouldn't feel intimidated about staking their spot on the sand. Some of the best beaches on Ambergris Caye are the beach at Ramon's Village and the beach at The Villas at Banyan Bay. There are also plenty of operators on the beaches offering tours and providing gear for snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing.

Johnny Depp's Bahamas hideaway, Leo DiCaprio's Belize bolt-hole and Mel Gibson's Fijian escape: These are the private islands of the rich and famous
Leave the luxury five-star resorts to mere mortals. To holiday like the truly rich and famous, it simply has to be a private island. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made headlines earlier this week for shelling out more than $100 million (£62 million) for 700 acres on Kauai's North Shore and that whopping price didn't even buy him the entire island. But there are a number of wealthy names who have purchased their own private paradise - and most for well below what Zuckerberg paid. Leonardo DiCaprio: Blackadore Cay, Belize The Wolf of Wall Street star paid $1.75 million for this island off the coast of Belize back in 2005. It is located close to the barrier reef and famous Great Blue Hole, a popular diving spot. DiCaprio is said to have plans to develop the island into an eco-resort.

Ebola: Belize authorities put hundreds of American Carnival Cruise passengers in danger
A Carnival cruise ship had two tourists and passengers on board that were considered Ebola risks. Initial reports said they were awaiting permission to enter Belize to transfer to the Phillip Goldson International Airport where an air ambulance was waiting to take them back to the United States. Prime Minister Audrey Wallace was the first line of contact with the US state Department on the super sensitive issue, and she explained the status of the two passengers at a press conference today: Audrey Wallace, CEO of the Belize Prime Ministers Office told the media. "We are not dealing with an Ebola patient. The passenger in question is a healthcare provider who works at the Presbyterian Hospital which treated an Ebola patient. The passenger had no signs or symptoms of illness. Now the passenger in question had voluntarily entered quarantine on the ship and has not been allowed to step foot in Belize."

'We're a floating petri dish': Panic onboard the 'Ebola cruise'
When a woman who had worked in an Ebola laboratory was found to be travelling on a Caribbean cruise ship, panic ensued, writes Nick Allen and Rob Crill. It was supposed to be an escape to the Caribbean sunshine for a week of partying, relaxation, and sipping champagne while watching gorgeous sunsets from the decks of a luxury cruise ship. But four days after the Carnival Magic set sail from Galveston, Texas rumours began swirling that all was not well on board. The ship, complete with a swimming pool, an array of water slides, and a giant cinema screen, inexplicably stopped off the coast of Belize and the whispers began. "The rumours were going round - we were stuck in the mud. Someone's been kidnapped," said one passenger. As the theories got wilder over the clink of cocktail glasses at the bar, no-one imagined they were actually about to be at the centre of an international Ebola scare.

Native reconnects with her Florida
It was Kelly’s first bow hunt in two years after taking target practice the day before. Once a successful light-tackle fishing guide and bow hunter in Fort Myers, the native Floridian relocated to the island of San Pedro, Belize in 2012 to run a fly-fishing shop with partner Wil Flack. While her skills with the long rod on the Belizean flats improved enough to catch and release four permit, Kelly spends most of her time tying flies and helping customers select tackle. “I miss guiding,” Kelly said. “I led a lot of people to their first and biggest fish. When you have a 5-year-old girl squealing, ‘That’s my first fish!’ that touches your heart and I miss it.” Kelly also missed hunting and was thrilled when Drummond invited her to his ranch in the Big Bend region during her recent vacation to the United States. “I shot my first deer when I was 11 years old,” she said. “From there it was an evolution. What don’t I know how to do? It took me a while before I shot my first deer with a bow, but I was by myself. I wasn’t guided.”

Snapshot: Actual Internet Download Speeds From Across The Caribbean, September 2014
Just over four months ago, May 2014, we launched a new Snapshot that presented actual (real life) upload and download speeds from across the Caribbean. In that exercise, data for 28 countries was highlighted, which also established a baseline for future comparison. In light of the dynamic nature of the Internet globally, and even in the Caribbean, where Internet Service Providers are continually fine-tuning their networks and services, and consumer behaviour among Caribbean Internet users is also changing as the market base grows, this exercise might need more frequent updating. Unlike the previous article, where both upload and download speed data was presented, in this instance, we will focus on download speed, and compare the new results with those recorded in May.


Video: Underwater Belize, 13min.
A compilation of some of the best moments during my dive trip to Glover's Atoll, Belize in May 2014. Some of the most epic bucket list moments for me. Enjoy

Video: belize ruins, 5min.
Visiting ruins in Belize. Shore excursion from our Royal Caribbean cruise "Navigator of the Seas" August 2014.

Video: Following a turtle in Belize, 3min.
Diving with a curious and peaceful turtle in Caye Caulker, Belize.

Video: Diving the Great Blue Hole, Belize, 5min.
depth of the hole: 124 m; max. diving depth: 41.2 m.

Video: Mexikó Guatemala Belize 2012, 34min.

Video: Harlem Shake - University of Belize, 3min.
University of Belize Harlem Shake Turneffe Reef Style 2013 Belize.yess..GoPro film. Students from the Natural Resource Management program doing a Harlem Shake on the shores of Calabash Caye in the Turneffe Atoll. CHANGE QUALITY TO 720 dpi --. Join our diving in Light House Reef Atoll and Turneffe Reef Atoll and see in the beginning few minutes about birds in the Light House reef and then down to t.

Video: Belize World Class Diving, Turneffe Atoll, 13min.
Belize World Class Diving, Turneffe Atoll Turneffe Atoll is the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in Caribbean; and, in spite of its economic and conservation value, Turneffe is the o. Turneffe Atoll is the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hempisphere. The marine life at Turneffe Island makes the scuba diving. The Turneffe Atoll - Island at Risk focuses on the improper development, overfishing, and lack of protection that threaten the future of Turneffe Atoll. Turn. Video by Rupert Murray Sound by Jana Winderen The BLUE Marine Foundation has commissioned documentary filmmaker Rupert Murray to make a film exploring the or.

Video: HEIDI KLUM AT 26 IN BELIZE, 4min.
WILD ON. 1999

October 18, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Homemade cookies make rainy island days awesome!
One thing that is for sure, we love food around here! From the delicious rice and beans to seasonal fruit snacks and elaborate spreads. We just love anything that tickles our taste buds and make our tummies happy. What made me happy was walking into one of the longest established stores on the island, San Pedrano’s, and seeing these jars full of COOKIES! Homemade cookies by Regina: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip. When I saw on them at the counter, they were still warm, having recently been stacked in their jars ready to tease and tempt shoppers. At 50 cents a cookie, it was REALLY easy to drop $5 and get enough to share with my coworkers.

Government of Belize Explains Decision on Cruise Ship Passenger and Imposes Travel Restrictions for West Africa
he Government of Belize took a decision on Thursday, October 16, 2014 not to facilitate a request from the US State Department to evacuate two passengers from a Carnival Cruise ship that docked in Belize that same morning. The main passenger of concern is an employee of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who was listed as low risk for Ebola by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States. It was explained to the Belize Government that the CDC had updated its requirements from self-monitoring for these low risk persons to active monitoring and; out of an overabundance of caution, the United States wanted to transport that passenger along with her travelling companion in a private plane back to the United States. The US State Department reported that the passenger had been checking her temperature and checking for any other symptoms of the disease. There were no signs or symptoms reported. The doctors on the cruise ship confirmed this to be the case after conducting their own examination .Both the passenger and her travelling companion volunteered to self-quarantine on the ship.

Repeat Champions! San Pedro wins the 20th National Darts Tournament
The San Pedro Darts Team has claimed the championship title at the 20th Annual National Darts Tournament for the second year in a row. Held from Friday, October 10th to Sunday, October 12th at Hode’s Place in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, the tournament was organized by the Belize National Darts Federation. Teams from across the country participated in the tournament, and in the end, the San Pedro Darts Team took home the grand prize. The tournament was divided into seven categories: team, men’s single, ladies’ single, men’s double, ladies’ double, mixed double and mixed field. Each category consisted of participating members shooting a series of darts towards a dart board from a seven-foot distance. The dart board has an outer ring called a double ring, a triple ring, an outer bull and an inner bull. Points are awarded depending on where the dart lands on the board; the aim is to land as close to the inner bull as possible.

Belize slow at tapping into potential 1/2-billion dollar tourism market
Belize has been slow to tap into a potential half-a-billion dollar tourism market, something that other Caribbean countries have been enjoying. With over 150,000 small family-sized private aircrafts in the United States of America (USA), over 40,000 of these planes fly annually to Caribbean destinations such as the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and even Puerto Rico. It is a ½ billion dollar market that other destinations such as the Bahamas have embraced, implementing special mechanisms to facilitate its full potential. But just as the Boogie in Belize sky diving activities conducted by Tsunami Skydivers were some years ago, authorities in Belize have not been as receptive to the idea as other neighboring countries. Earlier this year, Parker told The San Pedro Sun that with minimum efforts and an insignificant budget, Belize can begin to attract thousands of private, family owned aircraft that are currently flying to the Bahamas. He explained that all that is required is an ongoing campaign to invite private aircraft owners to come to Belize and a coordinated effort between the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and the Airport Concession Company. This would allow for a better streamlining of arrival and departure procedures at the airport, which would attract a new form of tourism.

‘Barbells for Boobs’ – San Pedro CrossfitCFS observes cancer awareness month
October is cancer awareness month, and locally, there have been many fundraisers and ongoing efforts to bring awareness and help to those battling cancer on the island. San Pedro San Pedro CrossfitCFS did its part this past Monday, October 13th by hosting a special holiday workout with its members. Those who participated were asked to wear pink for breast cancer awareness. San Pedro CrossfitCFS Cancer WOD-3After much running, squats and some heavy barbell lifting, the sweating, tired members still dug deep for loose change and notes. A total of $180.90 was handed over to Coach Liliana, who indicated that the funds would be given to the San Pedro Cancer Society. San Pedro CrossfitCFS encourages members to participate in wholesome activities and fundraisers whenever they can, for as a community we grow better and stronger too!

Cruise Ship Passenger Quarantined after Ebola symptoms
The Government of Belize was contacted today by officers of the US Government and made aware of a cruise ship passenger considered of very low risk for Ebola. The passenger had voluntarily entered quarantine on board the ship and remains free of any fever or other symptoms of illness. The Ebola virus may only be spread by patients who are experiencing fever and symptoms of illness and so the US Government had emphasized the very low risk category in this case. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, the Government of Belize decided not to facilitate a US request for assistance in evacuating the passenger through the Phillip Goldson International Airport. The GOB reassures the public that the passenger never set foot in Belize and while we remain in close contact with US officials we have maintained the position that when even the smallest doubt remains, we will ensure the health and safety of the Belizean people. The Prime Minister has called a press conference tomorrow morning to further address any concerns that may arise from this event.

Police still seeking robbery suspect
Police are still looking for the main suspect in the robbery that occurred on Tuesday, October 7th. The incident took place around 1:20PM and left Milo’s Center security guard, 28-year-old Cleofosio Robert Assi suffering from a single stab wound to the right shoulder. He was attacked on Barrier Reef Drive by a male person and robbed of a manila envelope containing cash and checks. Initial reports reveal that Assi was on his way to make a bank deposit when he was attacked. A struggle ensued between both men, but the attacker managed to get away with a back-pack containing the envelope. The attacker ran towards the beach and headed in a southerly direction towards Central Park. Civilians at the park tried to subdue the attacker, during which time the bag fell and the envelope burst. The civilians rushed for the scattered money, allowing the attacker to escape.

Ambergris Today

National Telethon to Protect Belize Chiquibul Forest National Reserve
Belize’s non-profit organization Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) is stepping up to the plate and heading a national Telethon aimed at raising funds in support of the Park Rangers’ Program of the Chiquibul National Park. The Chiquibul Protection Telethon takes place this weekend, Saturday, October 18, at Memorial Park in Belize City. For some time now Rafael Manzanero of Friends for Conservation and Development has been asking for much needed assistance for the co-management of the Chiquibul National Park. He has been trying to push much needed awareness about the encroachment of Guatemalans in the park who are helping themselves of the area’s natural resources.

Memorial Service Held for Eric 'Bird' Garcia
Ocean Tide Beach Resort and the Garcia Family extend thanks to all who have helped during their difficult time, including Mr. Patojo & his divers, The Belize Coast Guard for being there all the time during searches, Ramon’s Village Dive Shop, Elito Arceo and his Seaduced team, Billy Phillip Leslie and TUFF-E-NUFF Boys, Sandy Leslie and Searious Adventures crew, Jackie Gonzalez and her family and all the family and friends for their support. Rest in Peace Eric; Fly Free "BIRD".

National Telethon to Protect Belize Chiquibul Forest National Reserve

Cruise Ship Isolated Ebola Health Worker While on Belize Port
Belizeans got a bit of a scare last night after word got out that a passenger on board the Carnival Magic cruise ship docked outside of Belize City on Thursday, October 16, 2014, was showing symptoms similar to that of the Ebola virus. The Government of Belize was quick to send out a press release indicating that the US government made them aware of the situation a hand but that the passenger was considered of very low risk for Ebola. The passenger had voluntarily entered quarantine on board the ship and remains free of any fever or other symptoms of illness. It was later learned that the passenger in quarantine on board the cruise ship was a Dallas health care worker who handled specimens from an Ebola-infected patient, but had not had direct contact with the patient Thomas Eric Duncan who was the first to die from Ebola in the United States.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Government of Belize Explains Decision on Cruise Ship Passenger and Imposes Travel Restrictions for West Africa

Ambassador of Argentina to Belize in San Pedro
Ambassador of Argentina to Belize, His Excellency Mr. Omar Nuske and his wife Mrs. Beatriz Ramirez Nuske visited the San Pedro Town Council and presented Mayor Daniel Guerrero with an Argentinian flag. Thank You Ambassador Nuske, the San Pedro Town Council greatly appreciates this gift.

Perspectives from the Past
Our final lecture last night was a fascinating one. Mr. Owsald Staine's memoirs of Corozal Town in the 1940's captured all in attendance. This gentleman gave the name of the first taxi driver who ran customers up and down to Consejo Village when it was the only departure point to Mexico, he recalled the name of the first Ferry Operator at the Rio Hondo international crossing ...!! We are so grateful to Mr. Oswald and all of our lecturers who participate in the series. A special thank you to our collaborator; the National Library Service and Information System for filming all of the lectures.

Channel 7

Belize Refused Carnival Passengers With Ebola Concerns
When we left you last night - there was anxiety all across Belize - because a Carnival cruise ship had two passengers on board that were considered Ebola risks. Initial reports said they were on a tender awaiting permission to enter the tourism village for a connection to the Phillip Goldson International where an air ambulance was waiting. Well a whole lot has happened since then - and much more is known. But, to cut immediately to the chase: they were not on a tender, did not leave the ship, and did not have Ebola. CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister Audrey Wallace was the first line of contact with the US state Department on the super sensitive issue, and she explained the status of the two passengers at a press conference today:

PM Barrow Turned Down Secretary of State Kerry's Ebola Request
So, they never set foot in Belize - but the US State Department tried mightily to get them to pass through here - meaning that the Prime Minister had to hold firm - as the requests kept coming from higher and higher offices in the state department - culminating in US Secretary of State John Kerry. A timeline we've put together shows that the first request came at 9:40 am - after 3762 cruise tourists had already disembarked and gone about their tourism business all across Belize. From there the requests continued right through until 8:30 pm - a full eleven hours of back and forth proposals and counter proposals - culminating in a final, firm "no" to the request. We caught unto the story at about 7:15pm - and Jules Vasquez picked up the action there at the old Customs Wharf - near the tourism village:

Passport Handlers Were Cautious
So, to make it clear again: the passengers of interest - a 59 year old female lab supervisor from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospitaland her male partner a 60 year old, did not disembark in Belize, and they did not leave the quarantine area in the ship, and they are not presently showing any signs of having Ebola - but this will not be known for sure until the next four days or so - when the 21 day incubation period ends. She is on her 19th day since she was exposed and she is showing no symptoms. But then, there's public concern that maybe the nearly 3,800 cruise visitors from the Carnival Magic who did come unto land could have been infected on the ship and could be carrying the virus, and could have spread it to those Belizeans they came in contact with. Again, not a possibility. All the information on Ebola shows it is not contagious during the incubation period. It is only contagious when the symptoms are present. Second, it is not an airborne virus like the flu; it had to be transmitted by bodily fluids.

Immigration Ban Enacted
From what we have been able to find out - when the passports were handed back over to the Coast Guard, only the shipping agent employee - and not the police or immigration handled them. The Coast Guard officers were reportedly wearing gloves. Again, all precautionary, because no one on the Cruise Ship was presenting symptoms of Ebola infection. A release from Carnival Cruise Line says the female is deemed by CDC to be very low risk. She and her partner remain in isolation on board the ship and is quote, "not deemed to be a risk to any guests or crew." The release adds, quote, "at this time it has been determined that the appropriate course of action is to simply keep the guest in isolation on board. Still, we note press reports that today that the ship did not get clearance to dock in Cozumel, Mexico - so it is heading back to Galveston, Texas - where it is scheduled to arrive on Sunday.

Ebola Quarantine Structures and Areas To Be Identified
And a quarantine area will also be set up at the Phillip Goldson International - particularly for any visitor arrive from Dallas Forth Worth, which has direct flights to Belize. The Prime Minister also announced the establishment of a quarantine area in Belie City:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "We are looking at the possibility of the Cleopatra White; two rooms there being converted. We don't want to simply stand down the services there, but in the meantime two rooms are being prepared and if we had to use it then of course all those services would be cut off there. Looking at in the context of the BDF Price Barracks area at some place where we could put another of the Mennonite houses in case we had to move somebody from the airport presenting the symptoms to that spot. But at the airport itself, one of the Mennonite houses will be in fact put on site so that there is an immediate quarantine area for any further screening that might be necessary - if somebody looks a little bit suspicious."

Alleged Weed Dealer Silent In Court
25 year old Calbert Hubert Young, is in jail tonight after police busted him inside his home with over 45 pounds of weed in two sacks and two plastic bags. He was today fined and confined when he was convicted of a single count of possession of a controlled drugs with intent to supply to another person. He was sentenced to 5 years for that and also hit with a fine of $10,000 dollars in default three more years in jail. On September 15 of last year, the GSU raided his Belize City home and when he was asked if he had anything to declare, he told police, "I have a sack of weed inside my room."

General Jones Says Bze "€“ Guatemala Military Relations Improving
On our Tuesday and Wednesday newscasts, we told you about the high level meeting between Belize and Guatemala at the state and law enforcement level. That meeting was to discuss the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie, an armed incursion at the Valentine Conservation Outpost, in which the 40+ armed Guatemalan civilians from La Rejoya Village were trying to lure BDF Soldiers into an ambush after threatening to burn down the facility under construction. Brigadier General David Jones was a part of the Belize Delegation who met with his counterpart from the Guatemalan Armed Forces. During their meeting, they discussed how both countries could cooperate to prevent future conflicts such as the Valentin Incident, and how to decrease illegal activities. Jones told the media in a press conference today that the decision made was that both militaries will do joint patrols at the border, separate from the Link-up operations they currently employ:

BDF Trying to Hold Down 51 Miles Of Border
But in the meantime, the Belize Defence Force has to defend against civilian incursions along the 133 miles of border the country shares with Guatemala. Statistically, the problem areas are focused along 51 miles of that 133. That is the hotspot where mass illegal incursions and activities continue to happen. Among that 51-mile slice includes the border areas of the famous Chiquibul National Park, the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and the Bladden Nature Reserve. Of that 51 mile hotspot, 19 miles of the border demarcation belongs to the Chiquibul, which remains under constant pressure. The BDF Commander discussed how the fight at the Belize Guatemala frontier has been going from a military stand-point: Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defence Force "Apart from the areas in the Chiquibul, the entire north and south of the country - there is a lot of contraband activities happening cross border between Belize/Guatmala, also between Belize and Mexico and there is a lot of drug trafficking activity that occurs in these areas. What I want to just point out briefly looking at the map behind us, this area from the north up there is the border with Mexico where the Rio Hondo starts.

BDF Success With Incisive Gallop
One of the chief operations that the BDF has been employing to deter illegal activities is the Incisive Gallop operation. As we've told you, the idea behind it is that the BDF employ reconnaissance teams to gather intelligence about the illegal activities along the hotspots, and then Incisive Gallop is launched with mass deployment to destroy illegal farms and detain cross border interlopers. More than 90 soldiers and law enforcement officers are deployed for a week, where they move along and conduct surgical strikes. There have been 3 Gallops so far, and today he discussed the second one which happened in May: Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defence Force "The second operation that went in May, this occurred in the area of Valentin Camp, Cohune Ridge Sebada, Ceibo Chico and all the way up north - Arenal. 21 plantations of various crops such as corn, cassava, beans, and pumpkins were destroyed. Whatever has been planted in that area, the soldiers and the other supporting agencies who went in with us conducted the destruction of these operations. A total of approximately 118 acres of illegal plantations we destroyed on that second operation. it's quite a number of acres to be cutting down in a short period of time and with the distance that the soldiers need to cover is a long area they need to cover."

BDF and US Blaze Up Weed Plantations
As we you on Wednesday, the BDF collaborated with the US Military's Joint-Task Force Bravo over a 5-day campaign to destroy all marijuana plantations. They managed to burn and destroy $54 million dollars worth of drugs, and today the Commander explained that this operation was happening simultaneously with the third Incisive Gallop. Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defence Force "Way down in the middle here, these were all in the Chiquibul over ten thousand marijuana plans were destroyed in the Chiquibul and the remaining 38,841 plants were in the Toledo District. There were a lot more plantations along the borderline, but it is very challenging to go there. We only had the helicopters for a short period of time, so we weren't able to go to the others, but there is still a number of marijuana plantations along the AZ be it inside the Chiquibul or along the other portion of the western border."

BDF Doesn't Want Pictures Posted
And finally from the General for tonight, he had a bone to pick with the press and others who had been posting pictures on the social media about the areas under tension, such as the Valentin Outpost.

Toledo Floods Unexpected
Due to an intense thunderstorm on Wednesday night in the Toledo District, the villages of San Miguel and San Pedro Colombia experienced serious flooding, the likes of which they haven't seen in a generation. The water hasn't receded completely, and the villagers are still waiting for the situation to improve. Two families had to be evacuated because their homes became inundated. Of important note is that the Rio Grande is in close proximity to both villages, and it has contributed to the flooding. The residents tell our colleagues from PGTV that such a flooding has not happened in 2 decades.

CITCO Hit With Huge Judgment
You must pay Belize Waste Control half a million dollars. That's what the Supreme Court told Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley today in a default judgment order after the sanitation company sued City Council for arrears. Viewers may remember that in April, BWC took the Mayor to court for arrears and they retained Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay as the attorney. The last we heard was that both sides had arrived at an out-of-court resolution. Well, it seems that things didn't work out as planned, and as you've heard the Mayor lament many times on the news, there is nothing to be done to stop the council from falling way behind on their weekly arrears with the company to clean up the city. This more than likely was once such instance, and this time the sanitation company pursued its rights in court.

Why Were Immigration Lines Long
Monday October 13th was a holiday, the end of a long weekend – and as usual many people spent the day going across the border to Chetumal for recreation and shopping. But when they came back, they met some extraordinarily long lines – all because only one officer was on duty – at the end of a long weekend that’s never enough. Today we asked the Director of Immigration what went wrong:..

BHS Befriends St. Martin's
Belize High School is the only private high school in the city - and one of only a handful in the country. And while the school is considered elite, today, for their school service day they tried to show that they aren't elitist. The entire school body spent a day with the students and teachers of St. Martin's De Porres Primary School on Partridge Street in Belize City. I stopped in to see how the interesting social interaction was going:… BHS has been doing the service day at St. Martin's since 2010.

What Are Streets Saying On Ebola
At the top of the news tonight we told you all about last night's Ebola scare - but what are Belizeans saying about it ? Are they properly informed ? Well the general facts vary but when I hit the streets today I found one common sentiment among the public and that's doubt in our health system's readiness and responsiveness: For clarity the disease is not air borne like the flu virus. It is transmitted through contact with blood and bodily fluids of the infected persons who are showing symptoms.

A Mexican Opera in Belize
When you hear the word "Opera" for most, images of women in flamboyant dresses and top hats and men in overalls with white wigs are evoked. Well our next story is about a visiting Mexican Opera where the performers wont necessarily be draped in elaborate or outlandish costumes, but they will be bringing the drama and passion that defines this form of art to the Bliss stage. I found out more today:.. "Voices from Mexico and Venezuela" will be playing tomorrow night at the Bliss Center at 7.

Bring Boxing Back
For the past few months, we've been telling you about a few of the major boxing events that local boxers have been participating in, such as the recent bout between Belize and Mexico in Orange Walk 6 weeks ago. There are local personalities who wish to bring back boxing to it's former glory, but for those who don't know the finer details to the sports or how, the Boxing Federation of Belize is organizing a seminar. They hope that all coaches, referees, and persons interested in the sport to show up to learn or refresh themselves on the rules and statutes of how the sport is governed. It's president stopped by to say that all in the community is welcomed to attend. The conference takes place at the ITVET Compound on October 25 - which is a week from Saturday - at 10 a.m.

Health CEO: Chik V Is Coming, But Not Here Yet
Tonight, all the news has been about Ebola, but Chikungunya is a much more real and present health danger. IT’s swept across the Caribbean and caused a national emergency in Jamaica. And now privately conducted tests in Belize are coming up positive for it – but officially these are not being reported as Chikungunya because the tests – according to health CEO Peter Allen – are inaccurate:...

Chiquibul Needs Your Help
The Chiquibul protection telethon will be held tomorrow at the Memorial Park from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The NGO which co-manages the Chiquibul - is asking the public to help it fund 20 rangers to protect the embattled forest at a cost of twenty four thousand dollars per ranger. FCD Volunteer and the driving force behind the telethon Valerie Woods told us how you can help:.. Join Indira Craig and I tomorrow as we co-host the telethon along with our colleagues from all Belize's other media houses. It starts airing live on Channel 7 and all other TV and radio stations at 10am.

Channel 5

Ebola Scare Off the Coast of Belize City!
The possibility of a threat from the deadly Ebola virus placed the nation on edge on Thursday night, but tonight there is a sigh of relief. The scare started when [...]

Carnival Magic Passenger is Quarantined Onboard Cruise Ship
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was also at this morning’s press conference to quell fears. He reiterated that if there had been any way at all that he could have assisted [...]

P.M. Barrow Says No to Medevac from P.G.I.A.
Barrow says that he thought that was the end of the matter, until he was informed later in the day that the plane was in the air. But despite the [...]

West African Visitors Banned from Landing in Belize
A regional response to the threat of Ebola in the Caribbean earlier this week, prompted several island nations, including the government of St. Lucia and Jamaica to restrict the influx [...]

Ministry of Health Outlines Comprehensive Response to Ebola Threat
The immediate implementation of those new immigration policies is one prong of G.O.B.’s preparation for the threat of Ebola. The Ministry of Health, in the face of Thursday’s wake up [...]

Quarantine Area to be Set Up at P.G.I.A.
The order for seven hundred and fifty hazmat kits has already been placed through the Pan American Health Organization. The order will be some time in coming, since those kits [...]

Will There Be Any Repercussions for Belize’s Rejection of Cruise Ship Passengers?
Will there be repercussions for rejecting a U.S. request to allow the quarantined passenger to be brought on shore? The government was being assured that the lab technician was low [...]

US State Department Disappointed in Belize’s Decision to Decline Request
While P.M. Barrow doesn’t expect repercussions, the U.S. State Department has expressed disappointment in that decision not to have the cruise ship passengers disembarked and flown out from the P.G.I.A.  [...]

Ministry of Tourism Kicks Ebola Mitigation Plan Into High Gear
While the scare of Ebola washing up on the shores of Belize is very real, its impact on the tourism industry can be potentially devastating.  The multi-agency approach notwithstanding, the [...]

Passengers on Carnival Magic Disembark in Belize City Despite Ebola Threat Onboard
Social media went ballistic Thursday night following reports, factual and exaggerated, that there was a potential threat to Belize from a passenger on board the Carnival Magic. The wide-scale panic [...]

U.S. Air Ambulance Lands at P.G.I.A. Despite P.M.’s Persistence
But we go back to the issue of the air ambulance. While P.M. Barrow remained steadfast in his decision not to have the quarantined cruise passengers medically evacuated from the [...]

3 More Conservation Posts for Chiquibul National Park
While the eyes of the nation are fixated on a departing cruise ship and a perceived threat, on Saturday the organizers of a telethon are hoping that you’ll keep the [...]

B.D.F. Launches Operation Gallop
At least four times for the year, the Belize Defence Force carries out a large-scale operation called incisive gallop. Approximately one hundred soldiers, acting on intelligence, focus on one area [...]

B.D.F. Commander on Joint Belize-Guatemala Commission Meeting
A delegation from Belize, including government and opposition representatives as well as B.D.F. and Police commanders, travelled to Guatemala this past weekend to meet with their counterparts. At the end [...]

The Pulse of the People on Ebola Threat
Tonight, Carnival Magic is heading towards Galveston, Texas. But there were hours of high anxiety when news spread like wildfire that there was a possible threat of Ebola. We took [...]

Women In Politics, An Initiative by WIN-Belize
Even though there have been small steps, the odds are against women who want to become involved in the front lines of politics. One organization that wants to reverse these [...]


Belize Celebrates World Food Day
Today is observed as World Food Day. In Belize it is being commemorated under the theme, “Family Farming: feeding the world, caring for the earth, creating affordable, accessible, sustainable, healthy and nutritious food in Belize”. The day has been observed since 1981 and this year, the global objective of the theme is to end hunger. The day was celebrated with an event held at the ITVET compound in Belize City where the aim was to highlight the importance of family farming, smallholder farming and urban agriculture by focusing attention on efforts to reduce hunger and poverty, provide food security and nutrition, improve livelihoods, manage natural resources, protect the environment and achieve sustainable development in the country.

Belizean Faces Death Penalty In US
This week a Belizean accused of murder and wounding appeared in court in the US to answer to charges but a judge postponed his arraignment. He is twenty-seven year old Carim J. Cruz who is accused of shooting one woman to death and wounding a second person on August 16th in a parking lot outside the Geisha House Sushi and steak restaurant in Las Vegas USA.

LICU Celebrates International Credit Union Day
October 16th is observed as International Credit Union Day and this year it is being celebrated under the theme “Local Service, Global Good.” And if we take into consideration this year’s theme, La Inmaculada Credit Union fits it perfectly as they are highly recognized locally and internationally for their service and work. Over the years LICU has grown to be one of the number one banking institutions countrywide extending their services all the way to Belmopan. And that is where the institution celebrated International Credit Union Day today as they also commemorated their first anniversary. Yolanda Gomes – GM LICU “The theme Local Services Global Goods is very, very relevant because we taking all of our local services, we bringing it to the homes of our entrepreneurs to the citizens of our communities and we are also reading out to the rural areas and we are also commemorating and highlighting the Belmopan Branch that we are celebrating our one year anniversary this month and we deiced to create the big bang and the focus in Belmopan rather than at our main offices, so we are having our market day, our open day whereby we have invited quite a number of our entrepreneurs and also some NGO’s who share our vision of being social responsible.”

Works On Central Park Gets Underway
For months now we have been hearing about the soon to commence renovation of the Orange Walk Central Park and that time is finally here. If you have been around town recently then we are sure that you are well aware of the heavy machinery seen around the park. That’s evidence that work on the project has initiated. Today we caught up with Mayor Kevin Bernard who shared his sentiments on the initiation of the much anticipated project. Kevin Bernard– Mayor O/W “It’s something that we have been waiting for quite some time as you know there was a lot of delays that at first the park should have started in June of this year but there were some delays due to the fact that the world bank has to go through some tight process and so I understand they had to resubmit bids for contractors again evaluation and so forth and so the final approval was made by the world bank and so the work has now been commenced, this will take ninety days to complete and I must inform residence that there will be some inconvenience, we know that there is work going on the highway and work is going on in central park and we are doing work also in some other areas in terms of street work and so I would like to ask the residence to bear some patience, it is an inconvenience but it is for the development for our municipality, in terms of the central park there is two phases, right now is the interior of the park itself and I understand that the design works are being prepared for the street around of the park.”

Another Teen Goes Missing
Tonight, we have another missing person to report. Authorities and family members of 16 year old Liliana Teck of Libertad Village are asking for the public’s help in locating their loved one. Judith Tesecum of Libertad Village, Corozal District, reported that on Saturday October 11th, around 8:30a.m, her 16 year old daughter Lillian went missing. Liliana is of Hispanic descent, has light brown skin, long black hair, brown eyes, is about 5 feet one inch in height and weighs about 130 pounds. She was last seen wearing a gold coloured dress and a pair of black shoes. The mother suspects that her daughter is in the company of a male from Carmelita Village.

Garcia Still Missing After Three Days
Three days after Eric ‘Bird’ Garcia was reported missing at sea, today the searches by islanders tour operators, coast guard and other authorities have yielded no positive results. As we reported, Garcia was among the trio that set out to sea for a fishing expedition in the Tres Cocos area of Ambergris Caye on Monday afternoon. It is being reported that the rough sea conditions caused the kayak to capsize and the men drifted apart. Since the incident, two of the men, 25 year old Jamal Martinez and 28 year old Joseph Hernandez have been rescued as they held on to a buoy and unto the kayak. Yesterday when we spoke with David Ayala, Patrol Commander of the Northern Operation Base in Ambergris Caye, he stated that while they are remaining optimistic that they will find Garcia, only his green trousers has surfaced with no trace of his body. Despite the inclement weather putting a damper on the rescue efforts, the search for Garcia continues.

Incessant Rains Cause Flooding In Toledo
The incessant rains in the Toledo District are wreaking havoc in that municipality as flooding has been reported. The hardest hit area so far is Golden Stream Village where as many as one third of the families residing in the community was flooded out of their homes as a result of torrential rains on Tuesday night and on Wednesday. Other parts affected by the flooding are villages along the Southern Highway. Toledo district coordinator for the National Emergency Management Organization, Kenton Parham, says 17 persons were evacuated and were being given emergency shelter in Big Falls Village. Teams from NEMO-Toledo have been out doing assessments in flooded areas and are reporting that flood waters are also affecting Blue Creek and Aguacate Villages. Commuters and motorists should note that bridges in both communities are now closed to vehicular traffic with as much as 3 feet of water covering the bridge.

Concern Grows As Ebola Virus Spreads
The Ebola virus continues to be at the top of health priorities in many countries. Belize is at risk and concern grows since the Ministry of Health is not adequately prepared to handle any eventuality of the virus being found here. In the US, the virus was detected in Texas and an emergency alert was sounded yesterday in the event of any outbreak seeing that more cases are being diagnosed there. Late yesterday evening, the US media reported that a second nurse who has been diagnosed with Ebola told the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention she had a slightly elevated temperature prior to flying to Dallas from Cleveland, Ohio, but wasn't "told she couldn't fly" since she didn't meet the threshold for a fever.


Belize Defense Force Operations in The Chiquibul Forest
The Belize Defense Force called a press conference this afternoon to update the media about their recent operations they carried out in the Chiquibul Forest and near the Belize-Guatemala border. The Incisive Gallop Operation was carried out over a span of nine days from September 26 to October 4. Commandant of the BDF, Brigadier General, David Jones, shared what the operation yielded. But before we get to that- we share an update on the killing of Special Constable, Daniel Conorquie which occurred on September 24 at the Caracol Archeological Site. Conorquie was shot to death by Hispanic men believed to be Guatemalans, who escaped the scene by following a trail leading to a village in Guatemala. Since the Belize-Guatemalan Joint, Commission Jones says that they know where the killers are and are working with their Guatemalan’s counterpart to detain the men.

Belize Remains Free From Mosquito born disease Chikungunya
Ministry of Health says Belize remains free of the mosquito borne disease Chikungunya. CEO, Dr. Peter Allen, told Love News that while that is the status now, it is only a matter of time before the first case is reported in Belize. He said in the meantime the Ministry continues its work to keep the country free of the disease and emphasized that residents also have a part to play. “Voice 1 “Jamaica has been having a significant problem with Chikungunya and so has Suriname and actually had to declare emergencies in both of those sovereign nations. I am happy to confirm that in Belize we do not have any confirmed cases yet and there are none confirmed in Benque. We are aware that there are some reports of cases and we do have a concern about a test that some in the private sector are using, a rapid test for Chikungunya, because it is not very sensitive and it is not very specific for the Chikungunya pathogen.

c-1 Fourth Form Class of GLHS Giving to The Less Fortunate
Eighteen Students of C-1 fourth form class of Gwen Lizarraga High School were at Battle Field Park in Belize City dishing out chicken soup for the less fortunate. It’s part of their Service Learning Session. They would normally carry out community services projects like cleaning a park, but this time they decided that they feed the hungry. We stopped by this afternoon and here is why the group decided to do what they did. “Voice 1 “Our students usually do community service. We are trying to move away from that and so that they can have an appreciation of just giving back and as a class they decided that the best thing that they would do is to help feed the poor or homeless.” “Reporter Hipolito Novelo” “What lesson should the students learn you would say at the end of the day?” “Voice 1 “They would learn the lesson of giving back, giving back selflessly to those who need because some of us understand what it is to have little, but we do not understand what it is to not have so that would be a good lesson that they would learn from today.”

Ministry of Health Proactive Measures Towards Ebola
During this morning’s press conference, much attention was put on arrivals at the Phillip Goldson International Airport and cruise passengers. When we spoke with Immigration, Minister Godwin Hulse, we asked about other port of entries especially the northern and western borders. “Minister Godwin Hulse” “Because persons are coming from Europe and various places and as they pass through the US or wherever they are coming from Panama and so they are basically in transit and may not be screened properly this is why we have set the 30 limit. Persons on the northern and western border however, if the foreigners would be subject to the same screening, but Mexicans and Guatemalans really we can only look at what Ministry of Health has said in terms of symptoms, that is why we have converted the cells to hold people and get in touch with Ministry of Health. Now the only thing we can do there is be vigilant and to ensure that our front line people are not directly exposed; but you will recognize it is more of a difficult challenge because we do not know whether the Mexican or Guatemalans has come in contact with anybody. Those countries are monitoring as well and so they provide for us a sort of intermediate defense for persons coming into their country who would then come into Belize, but where their own citizens are concerned if there is an outbreak in Guatemala or Mexico we will have to really seriously ratchet up or be more vigilant at those borders and the efforts that we are going to implement are in the cases of those two borders.”

Jaime Andrews Charged With Rape
Twenty-seven year old Jaime Andrews, a fisherman of Lavender Street, was charged with rape when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. No plea was taken because the offense is indictable. Andrews was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until October 21. The incident occurred on October 12, when a woman reported to the police that Andrews had sex with her without her consent.

Aspiring Female Political Leaders Complete Training
The Old Belize Pavilion in Belize City was the venue for what was referred to as a convocation ceremony, featuring women who are desirous of holding political office in Belize. The ceremony saw the presentations of several speakers including the former Mayor of Belize City, Zenaida Moya, as well as the current Mayor, Darrell Bradley. Bradley admitted that there are many challenges and trials that will be encountered, but what will be even more challenging is the fact that women will have to work even harder to become on par with men in politics. “DARRELL BRADLEY” “It is very important that we also recognize in our society that we have many challenges. I will not want to paint a brush on the political landscape. As Ms. Moya said, it is very difficult. So the last thing I will say to you this morning is to navigate that political landscape and to be successful you need to bring the tenacity of a woman to that political office.

50K Bail for 54 Kilos of Meth
Ruperto Reyes a resident of Orange Walk, who was remanded to prison on a charge of drug trafficking for over 54 kilograms of crystal meth, was offered a bail of fifty thousand dollars today by Justice Herbert Lord. The bail was offered on the condition that Reyes surrender all of his travel documents and that he reports to Orange Walk Police Station three times each week until the case is concluded. So far Reyes has not met bail. Reyes was represented by attorney Phillip Palacio. Crown Counsel Portia Staine represented the Crown.

Main Witness Foils Murder Case; Accused Walks Free
Thirty-two year old Karim Barona, charged with the murder of 41 year old Elvis Rhamdas, was freed of the charge today when a nolle prosequi was entered by Crown Counsel Kileru Awich in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. The nolle prosequi was entered because the main witness could not be located. Rhamdas was stabbed multiple times in his body between 8:30 and 9 p.m. on April 29, 2011, while he was at the corner of New Road and Victoria Street. Yesterday when the trial started, three formal witnesses had testified for the prosecution. Barona was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre.

Coast Guard Rescues Fisherman at Sea
The Belize Coast responded to a distress call this afternoon at around 2:30 pm. Reports are that a fisherman, 37 year old Abigail Tun, of Chunox Village in the Corozal District, was operating in the Turneffe Area. A press statement from the Belize Coast Guard points out that Tun was suffering from chest pain- he was not breathing properly and his neck was inflamed. Officers patrolling Calabash Caye were deployed to where the vessel was. Tun was brought to the Coast Guard Headquarters, where he was met by medics from B.E.R.T. before being transported by ambulance for further medical assistance.

PM Speaks on Possible Ebola Virus Threat to Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow flanked by his CEO, Audrey Wallace, Immigration Minister, Godwin Hulse, and CEO in the Ministry of Heath, Dr. Peter Allen, addressed the nation to set the record straight regarding reports that Belizeans might have been exposed to an Ebola patient. CEO Wallace wasted no time in assuring the Belizean public that the case did not involve an Ebola patient. Wallace went through the time line from the time the Prime Minister’s Office was notified at nine forty on Thursday morning until sometime after seven o’clock last night when the Prime Minister spoke with United States Secretary of State, John Kerry. AUDREY WALLACE “The US was asking for the two passengers to be disembarked and held in quarantine in Belize terrestrial soil until Friday morning when the plane would medi-vac them to the US. When informed, the Prime Minister immediately said no to that request being of the view that it would assuredly expose Belizean healthcare workers and security personnel to some risk. He further decided that any possible window of opportunity had then passed and the US embassy was advised that Belize would now in no wise facilitate the requested evacuation. Shortly after 4PM the US embassy called again that notwithstanding the Prime Minister’s decisions an evacuation flight had been arranged and the plane would be leaving the US for Belize.


Homes in the south affected by flooding
Heavy rains experienced in the South on Tuesday night resulted in overnight flooding in the Toledo District, where at least 20 homes were affected by the rising waters. Several communities were affected, however the most affected community was the Golden Stream Community, located about 28 miles south of Punta Gorda on the Southern Highway. The community is an area prone to flooding; the last flood at Golden Stream was about 3 years ago. The flood waters continued to affect certain areas on Tuesday . On Wednesday, NEMO District Coordinator for Toledo, Kenton Parham, spoke to PlusNews about the flood situation, and explained the efforts made to ensure the affected people get the necessary assistance from the National Emergency Management Organization.

Ladyville man found murdered on Burrell Boom Road
22 year old Gregory Richard Goodfellow of Perez Road, Ladyville, Belize District, was killed sometime around 8:30 Wednesday night in the vicinity of the Burrell Boom-Hattieville Road. According to Police, they responded to a report of shots being fired in the area, and found Gregory Goodfellow lying dead on the right side of the road toward Hattieville, half a mile from the Burrell Boom Bridge, of multiple gunshot wounds to the body, the hand and the head. Five 9mm expended shells were recovered from the scene. On Thursday morning, Inspector Frederick Gordon, Officer in Command at the Ladyville Police Station, briefed reporters on the still-young investigation. In short, police have not made much progress.

Coast Guard responds to fisherman’s distress call
On Friday at approximately 2:30 pm, Coast Guard responded to a distress call by Fishermen operating in the Turneffe area. Information received was that a fisherman was suffering from chest pain, not breathing properly and his neck was inflamed. Coast Guard assistance was requested, and so the Calabash Patrol was deployed. The patrol located the fishing vessel and took the individual to Coast Guard Headquarters, where he was met by medics from B.E.R.T. The ailing fisherman was transported by ambulance for further medical assistance.

Murder trial scrapped after main witness not located
32 year old Karim Barona is free despite being accused of murder. His trial for the murder of 41 year old Elvis Rhamdas began on Thursday before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Supreme Court. Three formal witnesses testified for the prosecution and the main witness was scheduled to take the stand today. However, he could not be located and so the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, represented by Crown Counsel Kileru Awich, entered a motion of nolle prosequi, indicating that Karim Barona was free to go unless and until the witness could be located and brought to trial. Elvis Rhamdas was stabbed multiple times in his body between 8:30 and 9 p.m. on April 29, 2011, while he was at the corner of New Road and Victoria Street, Belize City.

Fisherman charged with rape
Police have charged the man they say forcibly raped a woman on October 12. Twenty-seven year old Jaime Andrews, a fisherman of Lavender Street, Belize City, was charged with rape when he appeared on Friday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Jamie Andrews was denied bail, and he was remanded into custody until October 21. The incident occurred on October 12, when the woman reported to the police that a man she identified as Andrews had sex with her without her consent.

Accused drug trafficker receives bail
On August 20, Orange Walk Police recovered some 54.7 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine or “crystal meth” from a suspicious black vehicle traveling in town. 30 separate packs located in a red cooler and a carton box were recovered. The men in the vehicle tried to outrun police in the direction of Liberty Avenue, but the driver lost control and then they tried to leave on foot, but the Police caught them. That driver is 49 year old Orange Walk Town resident Ruperto Reyes, and he had been remanded to prison on drug trafficking charges. But he was offered bail on Friday of $50,000 by Justice Herbert Lord. The bail was offered on the condition that Ruperto Reyes surrender all of his travel documents, and that he reports to Orange Walk Police Station 3 times each week until the case is concluded.


Iconic businessman Karl H. Menzies dead at 86
Iconic businessman Karl H. Menzies, 86, owner and founder of Karl H. Menzies Company Limited and group of companies, died at his home with his family on Saturday due to natural causes after battling a long bout of illness. A church service to honor “Karlie” (he was cremated earlier) will be held today, Thursday, at the St. Joseph Church on St. Joseph Street at 2:00 p.m. His daughter Kay said that her dad was a humorous person – a quality for which he was well-known, but when the occasion required it, he was of the utmost seriousness. He started from humble beginnings in the Mesopotamia area, where he lived with his parents and 18 brothers and sisters. Karlie worked himself up to the point where he founded and operated his own businesses, and his is a true success story.

Belize not ready for Ebola
The outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that has been ravaging multiple countries in West Africa, where over 4,000 persons have died, is projected to become worse. On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that by December, the number of persons contracting the disease will rise to between 5,000 to 10,000 new cases per week, as compared to about 1,000 per week during the last four weeks – a figure which reportedly includes suspected, confirmed and probable cases. In Belize, officials at the Ministry of Health have begun a late scramble to put in place the necessary contingency plans to cope with the eventuality of Ebola on Belize’s shores. Although Belize is considered to be at a low risk for a spread of the virus, the Ministry of Health has nonetheless indicated that the threat that Ebola poses is real.

Ladyville resident executed on the Boom-Hattieville Road
Richard Gregory Goodfellow, 22, a resident of Perez Road in Ladyville, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the body and head. His body was found at about 8:30 last night on the side of the Hattieville-Boom Road about one hundred yards away from the Boom Bridge when travelling from the junction of the Philip Goldson Highway and the Burrell Boom Road, towards Hattieville. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival at about 12:40 this morning. Sometime after 8:00 last night, residents of the Hattieville Boom Road alerted police that shots were being fired in the area. Police responded to the reports and went into the area, and that was when they found the lifeless body of a male person lying on the roadside. He was dressed in a red t-shirt, a pair of long blue jeans pants with a “Phat Farm” logo, and a pair of grey and black tennis shoes.

Ebola scare in Belize City Harbor!
The Government of Belize, at about 10:43 tonight, issued a press release confirming information received by Amandala earlier this evening that a female passenger aboard a cruise ship, Carnival Magic, may have had contact with the Ebola virus, and the American government had sent an air bus to transport her out of Belize and back to the US. The woman, a lab technician, reportedly was one of about 70 workers who came in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who traveled from Liberia to the United States infected with the Ebola virus, and died at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday at 7:51 a.m. after he was treated with an experimental drug. Amandala was told that the woman was accompanied on the cruise ship by her husband. Reports to us are that the woman and her husband were put in quarantine aboard the ship, which was anchored in the Belize City Harbour. It is not known how the woman was allowed to leave the US, in light of the possibility that she may have been exhibiting symptoms of the Ebola virus.

Belizeans honoured by the Queen
Five distinguished Belizeans were honoured for their dedicated and outstanding services to their community. The presentations took place today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The insignias were presented by the Governor General of Belize, H.E. Sir Colville Young, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Receiving the insignia for Commander of the British Empire Award was Dr. Ellsworth Grant, for his contribution to Medicine. Mr. Patrick Andrews and Mr. Stephen Duncan received the insignia as Members of the British Empire for their contribution to Community and Banking

Talking football – Part 4
We continue to highlight excerpts from a “1962 Souvenir Programme” provided to us by Mr. Phillip S. Hall, who was then Secretary of the Belize Football Association. Although the visiting Jamaican football team was listed as St. George’s College Old Boys, the biographical notes on some of the players appearing on pages 76 and 78 of the booklet indicate that many of the players were Jamaican national team players at that time. For example, Kenneth East, the captain of the team at 32 years of age; Lascelles Williams, the team’s 23-year-old vice-captain; Johnnie Fraser, 23 years; Donald Miller; Cecil Choe, 31 years; Denzil Lue; Daniel Simpson, 22 years; Winthorpe Bell, 18 years; and Peter Chavannes, 20 years, were all members of the Jamaican national team.

Weekend Warrior race results at TIDE Fish Fest in P.G.
Here are the results from the 2 Weekend Warrior (WW) Cycling Club races held down in Punta Gorda over the weekend in conjunction with the TIDE Annual Fish Fest: SATURDAY RESULTS In the A/B class, they rode from TIDE Compound to Mafredi Village and return, for 32 miles. Top “A/B” finishers were: 1st place – Santino Castillo (Santino’s, 1:46:24); 2nd Shelton Graham (Santino’s, st); 3rd Jim Scott (Santino’s); 4th Daniel Cano (Digicell-4G); 5th Warren Coye (Santino’s); 6th Ryan Willoughby (Stationery House/Medina’s Jwlry); 7th Salvador Alvarado (FT Williams); 8th Nelson Zayden (Stationery House/Medina’s Jwlry); 9th Ernest Olivera (FT Williams); and 10th Clarence Tesecum (FT Williams).

Phillip Willoughby Cup 5-A-Side in full swing at Yabra Field
By request of the players, the 5-A-Side Phillip Willoughby Cup tournament games are being played 30-30 (30 minute halves) instead of 25-25 as previously planned. Starting at 11:00 a.m., all 10 registered teams saw action yesterday, Monday, October 13, with a number of fans turning out at the Yabra Football Field. The goals are 4-foot squares; the playing field is marked out at 60 yards long by 40 yards wide; and there is a 10-yard arc in front of each goal, restricting attackers from shooting inside the arc, and defenders from “posting up.” A number of teams still feature “semipro” players, who will have to be replaced on their team’s 8-man roster whenever they have signed up to participate in the upcoming Premier League of Belize Opening Season competition, which is said to commence this coming weekend.

Editorial: Belize’s real
From 1944 to 1954, there was a democratic revolution of sorts in Guatemala. When that revolution entered the phase of land reform under President Jacobo Arbenz, the United States government and its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) decided to overthrow the Arbenz government, which they did. Arbenz gave up power and left Guatemala without offering military resistance to the invading forces of Carlos Castillo Armas, the Americans’ choice as his replacement. So it was that the gains of the 1944-1954 Guatemalan revolution were reversed, and the Guatemalan peasants became landless once again. The Argentine physician, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, happened to be in Guatemala when Arbenz was overthrown, and he felt that the critical mistake Arbenz made was that he had not armed the Guatemalan people to protect their revolution. Guevara afterwards travelled to Mexico, where he met and joined Fidel Castro, who was preparing a group of Cubans to invade Cuba to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista. Batista fled Cuba on New Year’s Day of 1959, and Castro took over. He soon declared himself a Marxist-Leninist and began a land reform (amongst other things) similar to what Arbenz had initiated in Guatemala. The United States government and its CIA decided to overthrow Fidel, as they had done Arbenz, but Castro armed the Cuban people and they successfully resisted the American-financed and sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion in April of 1961.

Sugar industry partners still in disagreement
A daunting stalemate continues to overshadow the future of the sugar industry of Belize since the two main stakeholders, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), and the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), alongside its parent company, American Sugar Refineries (ASR), have locked horns and stuck to their respective positions as they each seek to get their preferred terms embedded in a new sugar cane purchase agreement between producer and miller. The parties sat at the negotiating table for another round of discussions yesterday, Thursday, October 9, and during that meeting, members of both entities met to review the BSCFA’s draft counterproposal to BSI/ASR’s newly-proposed commercial agreement, which was presented to the executives of the cane farmers’ association a little over a month ago, on September 8 — the date the two entities last met. BSI/ASR is maintaining its position that the company is intent on hammering out the details of the new agreement by the time the next crop season begins in the next six weeks, since, according to BSI’s Financial Controller, Belizario Carballo Jr., they (BSI/ASR) prefer to conclude negotiations once and for all, rather than to enter into an interim agreement, such as the one that was signed prior to the commencement of the last sugar cane crop season.

From the Publisher
Two of my sons are public figures in Belize. My eldest son, Mose, makes public statements most weekday mornings as host of a talk show on KREM Radio/TV. He is also frequently invited to address schools and organizations. My second son, Cordel, was recently endorsed as the Lake Independence standard bearer for the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), after a hiatus of a couple years. (He had represented Lake I in the House from 1998 to 2012.) He addresses PUP conventions and rallies, in addition to being a weekly panelist on the KREM Radio Sunday morning sports show. Of late, I get to talk with Cordel more frequently than I do with Mose. I would say that these two talk much more frequently with each other than they do with me. (Only a couple years separate them in age.) For the purposes of this column, it is important to note that: that they are more in contact with each other than they are with me.

Letters: Romel Cuello’s ideas for the border
Methinks that if we plan to defend our borders, we must build population centers along the area. The intruders are people who live there. We must send people to live, not just visit. I know some of our strong youth are badly in need of a purpose in life, and what is better than land to work on and call their own? If we only try to mind it, and not live and love it, we will lose it. Government must start encouraging communities along our border with Guatemala if we intend to have them respect us.

Letters: Help Hopkins!!
As the clock ticks and the sand erodes the beach at the north end, we lost another 4 coconut trees from the last ebbed high tide here in Hopkins. That is 5 rows of coconut trees all down from erosion when I planted each one of them 15 years ago! HELP Hopkins – we need a retaining wall. I at Kismet have lost 200 feet of beach. I have no beach, now losing the yard, I am 15 feet from the tide flowing in to my front steps to Kismet, where I used to be 200 feet! I beg for help. I will come up with the sand bags if you can donate several truckloads of sand and river rock. Silicone fence material would be ideal for containing rocks for the retaining wall that is a must NOW!!

Letters: Of truck mufflers and “jake brakes”
Everyone who has listened to the news lately has heard the term “Quality of Life” used by the officials as an excuse to regulate bicycle bells and lights. As reported, the Transport officers and police regulatory action have included delays, tickets and some monetary fines for the owners. It is simple; you must have a bell and light on your bike, as the law requires. Everyone who lives in Belize within about a quarter mile of any road a semi-truck operates on, knows the true meaning of “disturbing the peace”. The loud exhaust noises from these trucks truly diminish the “Quality of Life” for us. Once isolated to a few, they have now become a plague upon the peace and quiet in Belize. I have asked at the Transport Office and the Police Station what the fee is to register a motor vehicle without a muffler. All have told me there is no such fee, as mufflers are required on all motor vehicles. Further, if a vehicle has no muffler, it would not be issued a license plate. Then how are these trucks operating on our roads, intentionally disturbing our peace and quality of life with, it appears, complete immunity?

Daniel Conorquie left to the slaughter
Despite the many revelations that have surfaced after the execution of Police Special Constable Danny Conorquie, there is still a grave level of incompetence being displayed by the Government and they just don’t seem to get the gravity of the present. This is rather alarming for me, since I grew up hearing that George Price and the PUP wanted to sell us out to the Guatemalans and that it was Philip Goldson and the UDP that were our only line of defense against that sell-out. So it is ironic that the PUP has taken the lead and taken the proverbial “bull by the horns.” Francis Fonseca on the ground While the sitting members of the party in government, including the Prime Minister, keep down-playing the issue and making excuses for not seeing the optic nor the threat of Guatemala to Belize, the Leader of the Opposition has trumped them and not only made public calls for unity, but has gone on “ground zero” in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve to get a firsthand understanding of the plight and fight in this area and along our borders.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow signs $67.5 million agreement with European Union
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow, has signed a 27 million Euro/BZ$67.5 million National Indicative Programme (NIP) for the period 2014 to 2020 with the European Commission, designed to advance the activities of the Government of Belize in alleviating rural poverty in Belize. Signing on behalf of the European Commission was the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. The Prime Minister indicated at the signing held in Washington, D.C on Friday, October 10, that this agreement, funded under the European Development Fund (EDF 11), is a signal of confidence by the European Union in the Government of Belize with respect to its development agenda.

The Reporter

PM handles Ebola scare
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, faced with a possible Ebola threat in Belize on Thursday, decided not to allow an American citizen passage through Belizean soil, despite a request from the United States. Barrow’s office was first informed around 9:30 a.m. on Thursday that there was a passenger on board a Carnival cruise ship off the coast of Belize at ‘low risk’ for Ebola infection. The US State Department explained that the passenger may have handled Ebola samples at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital. The US State Department made several appeals to the office of the Prime Minister to allow the passenger and her partner to be transported to the Phillip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Barrow, after consulting with the Ministry of Health, remained adamant that he was not willing to take the risk of allowing Belizean health officials to be exposed to any such threat. Late Thursday evening US Secretary of State, John Kerry contacted the Prime Minister making a final appeal and proposing alternative options to facilitate the passenger’s transportation. When Barrow wasn’t satisfied that all threats would be avoided, he refused the US appeal and the Carnival ship was escorted out of Belizean waters.

Hurricanes threaten in Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Hurricanes are barreling through the ocean on both sides of the continental United States. Hurricane Gonzalo on Friday slammed the British territory of Bermuda in the North Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane Ana is heading for the Hawaiian Islands and could cause trouble over the weekend. Hurricane warnings were posted on Bermuda as Gonzalo raged through the region. The powerful Category 3 storm battered the island with wind gusts that topped 115 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, as it moved in a northeasterly direction at 16 miles per hour. The eye of the storm was forecast to pass over Bermuda late Friday, the agency said. Gonzalo could cause widespread power outages, property damage, dangerous storm surge and major flooding.

Gang boss says he gives up gang-banging! “ It’s not right to be killing each other ! ”, Roger Anthony tells media.
Former gang leader Roger Anthony, admitted Tuesday that he could face reprisals because of his decision to change his lifestyle and leave the gang, but he wants to change course and be a better person. Anthony said in an interview with reporters that he will not work for the police and that he is not being protected by the police for his decision. In answering questions from the media Anthony said that he is going to continue working as a labourer in the street infrastructure project to feed his family, and he prays that no one harms him as a result of his choice. Walking away from life in the gang is what’s best for him at this point in his life, he said. The former gang leader told reporters that his reason for reform is because he thinks it is time that gang leaders make a change.

Search for missing canoer continues, even as hopes fade
The Belize Coast Guard has deployed additional divers in an effort to recover the body of a missing San Pedro canoer. Coast Guard Operations Officer, Gregory Soberanis, told The Reporter on Wednesday that the search continues for Eric Garcia, who disappeared off the coast of Ambergris Caye when his canoe capsized around midday on Monday. . “Additional divers, local men from San Pedro, have been deployed in the area, and so far we have found the pants that he was wearing,” Sobernis said. Garcia was one of three canoers who capsized in the grand Caribe Area; the usually calm lagoon west of San Pedro Town.

Salvadoran man shot dead one block from Police Station
Jose Umana, a 33 year old Salvadoran labourer of Cards Alley, Belize City, was gunned down a few minutes before 9 last Saturday night on New Road, just one block away from the Queen Street Police Station. Police say the prime suspect is a teenaged boy from the same neighbourhood. Umana, according to information reaching The Reporter , had gone to buy at a nearby grocery shop, and someone approached and shot him in the middle of his forehead. He died about an hour later while doctors treated him at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. A resident of the area told the Reporter that she was watching television when she heard four gunshots. When she looked outside she saw a critically wounded man on the street struggling to breathe.

Belize achieves record tourism growth
Third-quarter tourism statistics indicate that Belize has seen a considerable increase in tourism arrivals in both airport and cruise ship categories. Statistics from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) provided by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) recorded 45,862 arrivals between July and September. This represents a four percent increase over the same period last year when the total number of arrivals was 44,133. Visitor arrivals at Belize’s Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport were higher in every month of the third quarter than in 2013. This increase has led to a corresponding increase of overnight stays. During the first nine months of 2014 Belize has seen a nine percent increase in airport arrivals, an 11 percent increase in overnight stays and a 45 percent increase in cruise ship arrivals. . CTO statistics show Belize hosted 238,400 visitors between January and August 2014, a 10.9 percent increase over 2013. Belize recorded 527,037 cruise ship visitors between January and June, a robust 36.9 percent increase over 2013.

Conservation Trust gives 1.1 million to 5 conservation projects in Belize
Belize’s Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) will be awarding $1,195,356.35 in project grants to five conservation groups later this month. The largest grant of $599,708 will go to Friends for Conservation and Development for a project in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve for sustainable development and improved management effectiveness. This project seeks to develop and implement a comprehensive financial sustainability strategy for Maya Golden Landscape, increase income generating mechanisms, and maintain protection, monitoring and enforcement of Mayan Golden Landscape. The other large grant of $326,202.25 will go to Ya’Axche Conservation Trust in the Bladen Reserve, Toledo, for “a holistic approach to protected areas management of the Maya Golden Landscape”.

GSU chief denies hitting suspect. But suspect’s statement to Police may sink him!
Inspector Mark Flowers, head of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) says that the latest allegation of police abuse made against him holds no validity because the victim did not incriminate him in his complaint to the Ombudsman. Flowers, who has come under heavy scrutiny and criticism since taking over the unit in August, was referring to an allegation made against him by mechanic, Allan McCoy. McCoy claims that members of the GSU, Flowers included, physically abused him while he headed home from a club two weeks ago. McCoy charged in a television interview that GSU cops detained and tortured him. One of the members, he claimed – a woman – poked his chest with a metal rod. Inspector Flowers, McCoy further alleged, arrived at the scene and struck him in the back of the head. McCoy, who was on his way home after spending some time at MJ’s night club, was driving a dark pick-up truck matching the one that knocked a GSU officer off his motorcycle on North Front Street.

New KHMH CEO plans on changing bad traditions and providing better care
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), plagued by allegations of malpractice over its 20-year life, criticism of mediocre service , and a general staff attitude of nonchalance, is about to undergo an about-turn under the stewardship of its new CEO, Dr. Adrian Coye. Coye, who officially takes over the reigns from outgoing CEO, Dr. Francis Gary Longsworth at the end of October, told The Reporter this week that his ambition is to replace that negative perception with one where the hospital’s acronym will better suit a concept such as “kindness heals many hearts.” Coye explained how he intends to transform Belize’s only referral public hospital into an institution where patient-care will be paramount and the the usual run-of-the-mill way of doing things will not be tolerated. The change, he said, will come through a series of intense, focused training sessions aimed at changing the culture among professionals and civilian staffers across the board.

Social partners write to PM concerning 13th Senator
Senators representing the social partners wrote to Prime Minister Dean Barrow this week questioning his delay in appointing the 13th senator. According to the letter, signed by Senator Mark Lizarraga who represents the private sector, Senator Ray Davis who represents the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) and Father Noel Leslie who represents the Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association.Tthe National Assembly has already debated, considered and passed the law but the implementation is pending, awaiting only the order from the Prime Minister. The letter reminded Mr. Barrow of his United Democratic Party’s (UDP) 2008 manifesto pledge to implement an immediate reform agenda which, included and empowered the Senate by ensuring that those senators nominated by the opposition and non-government organizations together would constitute the majority.

Epileptic man will sue police
A bicycle offender, Leonard Joel Palacio Lewis, spent three memorable nights and four days detained at the Queen Street Police Station for riding his bike contrary to traffic on a one-way street without a bike light. The former BDF soldier, a father of four children, endured what he described as “inhumane treatment” at the hands of police officers who denied him access to his epilepsy medication, forced him to remain in a wet cell and did nothing as he endured a beating from fellow cell-mates who thought he was gay. His ordeal came to an end when Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood interviewed Lewis on Monday October 13th and granted him police bail in the sum of $100. Lewis appeared in court on October 16th, to answer to two bicycle offenses.

Strengthen security in Chiquibul and make it a united effort, urges PUP
The opposition People’s United Party has brought recommendations to the Government of Belize on how to manage the continuing incursions of Guatemalan nationals into the Chiquibul Forest. PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, accompanied by the Deputy Party Leader, Julius Espat presented a nine-point recommendation at a press conference held at Independence Hall on Wednesday. Fonseca addressed issues such as the lack of manpower to police the area, the lack of funding for Friends of Conservation and Development, the co-managing authority of the Chiquibul National Park, and the need for equipment so that security forces can properly do their job. Fonseca’s proposals call for a fixed budgetary allocation of $750,000 each year to Friends for Conservation and Development to strengthen their effectiveness and to allow them to increase the number of rangers from 6 to 24.”

European Union gives Belize $67 million to relieve poverty
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has signed a $67.5 million agreement with the European Union to advance poverty alleviation measures in rural Belize. The money is an aid package to Belize from the European Union for the period 2014 to 2020. Mr. Barrow signed the agreement in Washington D.C. last Friday. He explained that the agreement is being funded under the European Development Fund. It is a signal of confidence by the EU in the Government of Belize with respect to its development agenda, he said. Belizeans will benefit from the grant money in areas that include energy and health. The energy program aims at providing electrical power and supporting services to five rural areas.

Patrick JonesPJ

Fisherman charged with rape
Police have charged the man they say raped a woman on October 12. Twenty-seven year old Jaime Andrews, a fisherman of lavender Street, was charged with rape when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Andrews […]

Days of Healing initiative goes to Victoria Street
This weekend the Community Days of Healing initiative returns with an activity on Victoria Street, one of the many places in Belize City which has seen unprecedented human warfare. We spoke to organizer Perry “Sticks” Smith today who said the event will have the usual games and fun activities as well as […]

Minister Louis Farrakhan to speak in Jamaica
Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan is back in the Caribbean on the 19th anniversary of the Million Man March, speaking to a large audience in the National Arena in Kingston, Jamaica, this coming Sunday. His parents are Caribbean natives and the 80 year old toured several Caribbean countries early […]

Government: “Abundance of caution” led to Ebola evacuation refusal
CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister Audrey Wallace and her boss Dean Barrow have said that the request of the United States Government to have Belize help evacuate an unnamed lab specialist from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital to the United States via the Philip Goldson International […]

Man accused of drug trafficking receives bail
On August 20, Orange Walk police recovered some 54.7 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine or “crystal meth” from a suspicious black vehicle traveling in town. 30 separate packs located in a red cooler and a carton box were recovered. The men in the vehicle tried to outrun police in […]

Murder trial scrapped after main witness not located
32 year old Karim Barona is free tonight despite being accused of murder. His trial for the murder of 41 year old Elvis Rhamdas began on Thursday before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Supreme Court. Three formal witnesses testified for the prosecution and the main witness was scheduled […]

Belize announces measures to deal with Ebola
Belize today announced an immediate cessation of issuing visas to persons from West African countries currently grappling with Ebola. Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse made the announcement of the visa ban this morning, during a press conference in Belize City which was called […]

Carnival Cruise Lines issues statement on quarantined passenger
Carnival Cruise Lines today issued a statement regarding a passenger on one of its ships who is being monitored for Ebola. The unnamed passenger, who is a laboratory supervisor at Texal Health Presbyterian Hospital, is sailing on board the “Carnival Magic” and sparked grave concerns in Belize […]

Belize imposes visa ban for travelers from West Africa
Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse this morning announced that Beize has stopped issuing visas to persons West African countries where the Ebola virus is currently a health problem. These include Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Citizens from these countries, under the new Immigration protocol which is effective immediately, are prohibited from travelling to Belize.


Road Trip with Chef Sean Kuylen: Buying Belize
I am a giant fan of Chef Sean Kuylen. Born and raised in Dangriga, Belize, trained informally, first by his family and then formally, at cooking school in the states, he returned to Belize to work at beautiful resorts like Hamanasi in Hopkins and Ka’ana in Cayo. He has BOUNDLESS enthusiasm for Belize and local food. Just this summer, Sean opened his own place at The Curve Bar at the Sittee River Marina. Just a few minutes from Hopkins Village, the spot is casual-gorgeous, the food is Belizean but elevated and the view of the sunset over the river may be the best in the country. (Here is my visit in August – “Chef Sean Kuylen Makes Old Belizean Favorites Fresh, New & Sophisticated…) For the last few days, I’ve been down South helping the super-human workers and volunteers at the Hopkins Belize Humane Society while staying in a gorgeous suite at Hamanasi and eating great food.

Belize documentary series part 1
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rose Robin. Born 26/03/79 in England. I spent most of my childhood in France. My father taught me photography when I was 12. We had an improvised dark room in the bathroom, where I would spend hours of the day, enlarging and printing black and white photos. I have always enjoyed observing people. I was born empathetic and found beauty in the differences of people. I think that is why today I am a free lance journalist and documentary film maker. I have been traveling for 8 years, none stop, in countries around the world. My aim is to understand from local people what it is to live in their country, culture, and tradition. I interview them about their past, present, and the future they wish to see. I have traveled through a few 3rd world countries. I like to stay for minimum 6 months and some times years. I always try to learn the official language. I have seen a great need for education, and freedom to express emotion. That is why today I teach in all the communities I visit. I have devised a workshop which I call ‘Free expression’. I teach, drawing, painting, mural art, film making, and stop animation. Today I would like to tell you about my travels through the Jewel of the Caribbean, Belize.

International Sourcesizz

What really happened in the London Beer Flood 200 years ago?
Two hundred years to this day, a broken vat at the Horse Shoe Brewery on Tottenham Court Road flooded the local area with porter, a dark beer native to the capital, killing eight people and demolishing a pair of homes. George Crick, the clerk on duty, told a newspaper what happened: “I was on a platform about 30 feet from the vat when it burst. I heard the crash as it went off, and ran immediately to the storehouse, where the vat was situated. It caused dreadful devastation on the premises - it knocked four butts over, and staved several, as the pressure was so excessive. Between 8 and 9,000 barrels of porter [were] lost.” The beer inundated the nearby slum of St Giles Rookery – an area of poverty and vice which inspired Hogarth’s ‘Gin Lane’ – flooding the cellars where whole families lived. Some of the inhabitants survived by clambering onto pieces of furniture. Others were not so lucky. Hannah Banfield, a little girl, was taking tea with her mother, Mary, at their house in New Street when the deluge hit. Both were swept away in the current, and perished.

Mexico fails to grant access to cruise ship carrying Texas health worker
The cruise ship carrying a Texas health-care worker who “may have” handled lab specimens from Dallas Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan is headed back to the United States after Mexican authorities failed to grant permission for the ship to dock off the coast of Cozumel, according to a Carnival spokeswoman. The Carnival Magic had been waiting off the Mexican coast since Friday morning for its scheduled port visit. Mexican authorities still hadn’t given clearance by noon, so the ship continued to its home port of Galveston, Tex., where it was due back on Sunday, according to Carnival. The health worker, a lab supervisor who has not been named, has shown no symptoms of the disease but remains on board and in voluntary isolation, according to Carnival. “We greatly regret that this situation, which was completely beyond our control, precluded the ship from making its scheduled visit to Cozumel and the resulting disappointment it has caused our guests,” read a statement from Carnival.

Chickness making a difference in Belize
Darryl Chickness won a scholarship to study science at Dalhousie University but he soon figured out he was in the wrong place. “It just wasn’t for me. I wanted to learn things I could apply quickly and my mind kept drifting back to when I was a swimming instructor and a lifeguard,” he said. He went to Holland College to become a paramedic and had no inkling he was embarking on a career that would take him to Belize and motivate him to set up an international charity, Bandage International. The work of that charity will be featured in Bandage, an Eastlink Television documentary to air Sunday at 9 p.m.


Video: Belize Lamanai Trip Video, 35min.
Navigator of the Seas, Galveston-Honduras-Belize-Cozumel 2014.

Video: PCC GLOBAL: Serve Belize 2014, 13min.
Krista Dabrishus documented her experience in Belize as a part of the PCC GLOBAL: Serve education abroad program.

Video: Whale Shark Diving in Belize, 3min.

October 17, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

This Thursday: A great new comedy you’ve never heard of
This Thursday (Oct. 16), the Paradise Theater will be showing another movie in their series “THE BEST NEW MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF.” This month’s installment is an R-rated comedy called “Obvious Child,” about a young New York comedian dealing with an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy (it’s funny, we promise).

Tropical’s Coffee Baristas offer tasty brews at Ramon’s!
After sufficiently butchering all that is good and holy about Dr. Seuss, I can just hope that you grasp the seriousness of our love of coffee. And why we’re so excited to tell you that Ramon’s has three newly certified baristas. Oh yes. Tropical’s has stepped it up, hiring barista training Alexa Baehr from Seattle Barista Academy to train Alexis, Kareem and Ron in the fine art of pouring that perfect espresso, steaming that milk just so, and making the foamiest of foams to top your latte or cappuccino. We got a cup to go thanks to the wonderful Einer, and well, let’s just say we were MORE than thrilled to savor some caffeinated goodness. The verdict? My caramel flavored, double cappuccino, wet (that is, with steamed milk) – was glorious. It was the perfect ‘wake-me-up before I go-go’ on Seaduced’s Caye Caulker sail.

Superstar Josh Nunez to headline saga humane society Halloween Spooktacular
Telenovela star and San Pedro native Josh Nunez will headline the 11th annual SAGA Humane Society Halloween Spooktacular Party on Sunday October 26, 2014 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. at Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill. The Telenovela star, and animal lover will join San Pedro Police Chief Jemmott and Miss San Pedro Michelle Estrella Nunez as a contest celebrity judge at this year’s event. All proceeds from the event will directly benefit the shelter. Silent auction items, including resort packages, massage and dining certificates, and more will be available for bidding on line beginning Wednesday October 15th and will remain open until Monday October 27th.

BTB reports an increase in tourist arrivals
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has announced an increase in tourist arrivals for the third quarter of 2014. In a press release dated Friday, October 10th, BTB stated that both overnight and cruise ship arrivals have increased, and even exceeded, the forecasted numbers. The third quarter refers to the months of July, August and September, and is generally considered the slow season in the tourism industry, usually registering a low influx of tourist arrivals. When compared to 2013, airport arrivals for the third quarter of 2014 saw a 3.9% increase. According to BTB, each month of the slow season registered an increase in arrivals through the Philip Goldson International Airport. The highest increase in airport arrivals for this year was in the month of July which saw a 6% increase as compared to July 2013. Overall airport arrivals went up 9.2% in the first nine months of 2014.

Ambergris Today

Ebola Scare in Belize On Board Carnival Magic Cruise Ship
News 5 Live in Belize City has posted on its Facebook Page (at about 9p.m. local Belize time) that it has confirmed with representatives of Belize’s Ministry of Health that they have indeed received a report that there is at least one passenger on board the cruise ship, Carnival Magic, showing symptoms similar to that of the Ebola virus. The post on News 5 Live continues to read as follows: “According to the report made to MOH, the person exhibiting the symptoms did not come ashore today. The ship is reportedly carrying 3652 passengers and a total population of 4633 persons. The Carnival Magic departed from Galveston Texas on Sunday, October 12 arrived in Mahogany Bay, Honduras on Wednesday October 15 and arrived in Belize this morning, Thursday October 16. The ship was scheduled to leave Belize en route to Cozumel this evening at 5pm. However, it is still anchored in Belizean waters near State Bank Caye. We have also have confirmed that the Coast Guard has been deployed to prevent anyone from leaving the ship; including the Belizean pilot on board.”

Belize Signs $67.5 million Agreement to Alleviate Rural Poverty
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow has signed a 27 million Euro/BZ $67.5 million National Indicative Program (NIP) for the period 2014 to 2020 with the European Commission designed to advance the activities of the Government of Belize in alleviating rural poverty in Belize. Signing on behalf of the European Commission was the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. The Prime Minister indicated at the signing held in Washington, D.C on Friday October 10th that this agreement funded under the European Development Fund (EDF 11) is a signal of confidence by the European Union in the Government of Belize with respect to its development agenda. Belizeans will benefit from the EDF 11 National Indicative Program in the sectors of Energy and Health.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Thunderbolt water taxi off for two weeks
The management and staff of the Thunderbolt water taxi ANNOUNCES that their daily services to Sarteneja and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye will be suspended effective Wednesday October 15th for 2 weeks. This is due to their yearly maintenance. Services will resume at a later date to be announced. The management and staff apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Usually, we post something more orchids or bromeliads related
But part of our job is to plant around the pool and to maintain the beautiful environment for the enjoyment of fantastic groups like this one!! BTW, the little noise on the background is actually coming from the waterfall between the bougainvilleas. Please watch the video and enjoy!

The following Archaeological Reserves are CLOSED:
The IA would like to inform all Tour Guides, Tour Operators and the General Public that as of 6:00am Friday 17 October 2014, the following Archaeological Reserves are CLOSED: NOHOCH CHE'EN XUNANTUNICH ACTUN TUNICHIL MUKNAL (ATM) and BARTON CREEK are OPEN. Caracol remains CLOSED. ALL OTHER ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESERVES ARE OPEN.

Channel 7

Ladyville Man Killed On a Dark Stretch of Boom Road
Last night, a Ladyville resident was murdered, the second villager to be killed in 4 days. This time, the victim was 22 year-old Gregory Richard Goodfellow, a resident of Perez Road. Goodfellow has has a number of police encounters in the past, but the circumstances surround his death would suggest that he was lured, and then executed on a dark stretch of the Hattieville/Boom Road at mile 13 on the Northern Highway. It happened at around 8 last night, where Goodfellow was reportedly picked up, and then dropped off to the area, where his killer or killers shot him as many as 8 times to different areas of the body. Daniel Ortiz has been following that story, and here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting Seen here as the man in the maroon coloured t-shirt, surveillance footage captured at the at the Vin Li Shopping Center in Ladyville puts Gregory Goodfellow there at around 7:30 to about 7:50.

Two Ladyville Men Killed In Less Than A Week, Connected
As we told you, Goodfellow's murder happened less than a week after 21 year-old Brandon Lyndon Flowers was stabbed and killed. There has been some speculation that the two murders may be connected, but according to police there are no concrete leads. For the residents from Ladyville, Flowers' murder is particularly abnormal because he was known as young man who kept away from the street life. There has been much discussion amongst villagers that he simply became the target of a group of young men terrorizing the village, and who are starting to behave like an emergent gang. Today, Inspector Gordon spoke about Flowers' murder and the connection that some have made to the group of troubled youths:

Woman Shot Up In Mango Creek, Abusive Boyfriend Detained
A brutal murder on Sunday in Independence has left 5 children without a mother. On Tuesday at 9:00 in the morning police found the body of 33 year old Ilda Aldana near the Texmar Shrimp Farm Road. Aldana had been shot 8 times - including twice to the stomach, once to the chest, and 4 times to the left side of the temple. A brutal and excessive end - but her friends say it is the culmination of a violent, possessive and abusive relationship she had with an ex cop who'd already served time for manslaughter. Courtney Weatherburne spoke to them in Mango Creek today:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting 33 year old Ilda Lizette Aldana was shot to death on this abandoned feeder road near the Texmar Shrimp Farm in Independence. The alleged culprit is her boyfriend and father of She lived with her 5 children and common law husband, upstairs of this house. Apparently, Aldana was having a stormy relationship with the suspect in her murder and some of her close friends say that her demise was foretold.

Soldier Says Cops "Chanced" Him
The quality of life crimes, those offences, which included bicycle crimes, such as not having a bell, a light, or riding up-stop, hasn't made our newscast for at least 2 months. But, it's back in the news tonight because former BDF soldier Leonard Lewis says that police officers used the offense to abuse and unlawfully detain him. His ordeal unfolded over the long weekend and started on Friday when he rode his bike against the flow of traffic. He broke the law, but told us today that while he acknowledges this, the officer who arrested him unfairly locked him down for an inordinate amount of time. Lewis says that when he protested, the officers on duty gave him a hearty dose of beatdown while he was behind the bars of the cell, where no one could see.

Man Cops To Weed Charge, To Let Wife Go Free
Belize City resident Jose Castillo has to come up with $10,000 to pay the Magistrate's Court by March of next year because he was caught with a large quantity of weed at his house. The bust happened today at his Buttonwood Bay house where officers search and found 361.2 grams - or 12.7 ounces - of cannabis was found in their possession. Castillo and his wife were jointly charged with drug trafficking, and when they were arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Castillo accepted guilt, explaining that his wife knew nothing of the drugs. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith sentenced him to pay a fine of $10,000, half of which he had to pay upfront. He must finish paying the entire fine by March 2015, or he will serve 2 years in prison if he defaults. Because he couldn't pay the first half of the fine, he has to serve 2 years in jail.

Senior Citizen Gets 2 Months for Tenth Of An Ounce
62 year-old Cecil Tillett, who had a substantially smaller amount of weed that Jose Castillo, will also have to spend 2 months in jail for it. He was also busted by a police officer who was on mobile patrol today. The officer says that he spotted Tillett, and when he searched him, he found 3.2 grams - or 0.1 ounces. He charged Tillett with drug possession, and he was also arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate. He was sentenced to pay a fine of 200 dollars, but because he couldn't pay immediately, and so, he defaulted.

Greenhouse Gases Pose Biggest threat For Climate Change
Tonight we continue our look at Monday's launch of the climate change report in Bridgetown, Barbados. We've told you about the major threats posed to the region by climate change, but mostly, we've stayed away from the heavy stuff, the science. And that's really the basis of the report: that "the scientists consulted have 95% certainty that human activity, by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century." And as the speakers discussed at the launching of the report, the real challenge to combatting climate change is reducing those greenhouse gas emissions which come from large countries like the USA, China and India:..

Caught With Conch
51 year-old Pablo Castillo was fishing undersized conch, and last week Tuesday, the Fisheries Department caught him with a batch of the illegal fisheries product. It happened at around 7:30 a.m., when Castillo reported to the Northern Fishermen Cooperative. Fisheries Officers found him with 41 undersized conch, and so, they charged him with fisheries offences. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, where he pleaded guilty and was fined a total of $1,730, which he must pay by January 31, 2015.

Karl H., The Legend Lives On...
The mass in celebration of the life of Karl H. Menzies was held today in Belize City. The 86 year old passed away on Saturday. His story is that of a self made businessman - that came from a hardscrabble upbringing in the Mesopotamia area of Belize City. We first aired his profile in March of 2012 - and tonight in remembrance of Mr. Karlie, we repeat it:.. And while he made his name in business, Menzies was probably best known as a great raconteur and one of the wittiest persons whom you could ever meet - and that is what his friends will most miss him for.

BREAKING: Carnival Cruise Passengers Flagged For Ebola
There is a major developing story in the Belize harbor this evening - and it is that two cruise ship passengers who have been flagged as possible Ebola cases - are on a boat tender trying to come into Belize City tonight for movement to the PGIA where an air ambulance is reportedly waiting. But, our information says Belizean authorities are currently refusing them entry to Belize so that they can get to the airport. Those authorities are asking that they be sent back to the cruise ship. That's where it is at this hour - and there is no official information - though we have been trying to reach multiple senior persons in the ministry of health. The tender reportedly remains in the harbor - between the cruise ship and Belize City - with US authorities seeking assistance of Belizean authorities to grant them passage. It is reportedly a couple. Again, no confirmation at this hour but more than one credible report. We'll keep following this and have more tomorrow... UPDATE: US STATE - LEVEL REQUESTS FOR DISEMBARKATION AND TRANSFER TO AIR AMBULANCE WERE DENIED AND THE CRUISE SHIP HAS LEFT BELIZE'S WATERS. THE SHIP TURNED AT 9:00PM, AND AIR AMBULANCE LEFT PGIA AIRPORT.

Channel 5

Gregory Goodfellow Executed On Boom/Hattieville Road Overnight
Just before nine Wednesday night, the body of twenty-two year old Gregory Goodfellow was discovered on the side of the Boom/Hattieville Road. The Ladyville youth was lying in a pool [...]

Are the Murders of Brandon Flowers and Gregory Goodfellow Related?
Twenty-one year old Brandon Flowers was stabbed Sunday morning in Ladyville, which means that this is the second murder in that community in four days. But is there a connection [...]

Julius Says G.O.B. is Spending Millions on Political Gimmicks While Border is Infiltrated
The Chiquibul has been in the news since Danny Conorquie was executed at the Caracol Archaeological Site.  On Wednesday night, we showed you the concerns and recommendations coming out of [...]

B.D.F. Chief of Staff Speaks on Caracol Closure and Camp Valentin
As we said, the Chiquibul has been on centre stage – or perhaps we could more accurately say that all territorial and border issues have become the ten thousand pound [...]

Sedi Urges for Peace and Harmony Amid Anti-Guatemalan Sentiments
Since the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie, and the ensuing hostilities between B.D.F. personnel and residents from the border community of San Valentin, there have been strong public sentiments [...]

Joint Belize-Guatemala Commission Discusses Security and Environmental Protection
As we reported earlier this week, a high-level delegation led by former C.E.O. Alexis Rosado, including representatives of the Opposition, the Belize Defense Force and the Police Department, left for [...]

Guatemala Willing to Assist in Agricultural Initiatives for Border Residents
According to Elrington, despite the fact that Guatemalan authorities were unable to prevent the despoliation of natural resources on their side of the border, they are prepared to work with [...]

O.A.S. Office in Adjacency Zone in Need of Financing
While former C.E.O. Alexis Rosado is just getting his feet wet as Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala, he attended a diplomatic meeting this past Wednesday where he sat with Guatemalan Foreign [...]

Ladyville Man Beats Attempted Burglary Charge, Guilty of Trespassing
  A Ladyville resident who was on trial this morning before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith beat an attempted burglary charge but was found guilty of trespassing his neighbor’s yard [...]

Elderly Fisherman Busted With Undersized Conch
  An elderly Honduran fisherman was shocked when he was fined thirty dollars for each undersized conch he was caught with by Fisheries officials while he was in the area [...]

Quality of Life Offences Catch Up with Ex-BDF Soldier
Thirty year old ex-B.D.F. soldier and father of four, Leonard Joel Palacio, spent four nights in lockdown for riding a bicycle contrary to traffic. Palacio, who is an epileptic, is [...]

World Food Day Observed in Belize
Around the world today, World Food Day was celebrated. In Belize at the ITVET, activities took place to highlight the importance of family farming which is a main component of [...]

BELIPO Holds Seminar on Intellectual Property
You may have heard about patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyrights…they’re terms used by companies and businesses to brand their products in the local and international markets. A two-day sub-regional [...]

Inga Woods Launches Art Exhibition at Image Factory
Belizean artist Inga Woods is launching an art exhibit at the Image Factory on Friday.  Her collection of various pieces showcases the beauty of the female form but, most importantly, [...]

Boxing Seminar for Fans, Coaches and Fighters
Fans of boxing, coaches, referees as well as the pugilists themselves are being invited to attend an upcoming seminar to gain a better understanding of the sport and expectations that [...]

Healthy Livings looks at the importance of washing your hands
The seventh Global Hand Washing Day was commemorated on Wednesday, October fifteenth. The focus on this basic good hygiene practice may seem immaterial to some but, in reality it is [...]


Progress Brings Problems As Rehabilitation Works On Phillip Goldson Highway Continues
It’s no secret, maneuvering through blocked roads and detours is causing much frustration to all commuters, motorists and pedestrians due to the on-going rehabilitation works on the Philip Goldson Highway. And while they say ‘progress brings problems’, just before midday today, traffic on Progress Street was temporary interrupted. That is because this beige Geo Prism bearing licence plate D00354 ran into this red pickup truck bearing licence plate C05677 that was moving off from in front of Triple A Agrochemicals. Fortunately no one was injured. Orange walk Police immediately assisted both drivers to sort out the mishap. Motorists are advised to drive with extreme care.

European Commission Has Lifted Sanction Over Illegal Fishing Practices
Viewers may recall in March of this year we reported on the European Commission’s ban on Belize for its illegal fishing practices, and a little over six months later, the sanction according to the EC has been lifted over non-cooperation in fighting illegal, unregulated and unrestricted fishing. According to the commission, quote “Belize has demonstrated its commitment to reforming its legal framework and adopting a new set of rules for inspection, control and monitoring of vessels (Unquote). Of note and may be a contributor to lifting of the ban was after government passed a new High Seas Fishing Act this year as a measure to become compliant.

Another Outstanding Local Artisan
Last week we spoke with an artist with an unconventional combo of talents and tonight we continue with our chats with persons within our community who have outstanding aptitudes. Tonight we feature the work and passion of a creative artisan who works solely with materials gathered from nature itself. His name is Susano Blanco and resides in August Pine Ridge Village in Southern Orange Walk District. Here is his story. Susano Blanco – Artisan “Uso caracol, semillas, cascaras. Bamboo. Corozo y puras cosas naturales.” This is what separates Susano Blanco’s work from many – his use of materials obtained from trees and animals. His creations have evolved into some of the finest locally made jewelry in Northern Belize in the twenty-two years he’s been working with these materials.

Corozal Police In Search For Two San Roman Villagers
Corozal Police are tonight looking for Ezekiel and Rony Pech both from the village of San Roman Village in the Corozal District. According to authorities, on Saturday October 11th, around 8:30 pm police visited the emergency ward at the Corozal Community Hospital where they saw 48 year old Juan Carlos Ramirez Belizean Cane Farmer suffering from a large cut wound to his forehead and complain of pain on his body. Initial investigations revealed that on the same date Ramirez was socializing in front of Palacio’s Bar located within the Village where he had a misunderstanding with Ezekiel Pech, known as “Robot” and a struggled ensued. Ramirez overpowered Ezekiel by having him on ground and there is when Rony Pech approached Ramirez, hitting him on his head with an object believe to be a steel knuckle causing said injuries to Ramirez’s head. Despite his injuries, Ramirez was treated and released yesterday. Anyone with information leading to the detention of Ezekiel and Rony Pech are asked to contact the nearest police station.

PM Signs Agreement With EU For Rural Poverty Alleviation
Government announced today that Prime Minister Dean Barrow signed a $67.5 million dollar Agreement with the European Union. A release from GOB states that the monies is being allocated for the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for the period 2014 to 2020 with the European Commission designed to advance the activities of the Government of Belize in alleviating rural poverty in Belize. The release states that Belizeans will benefit from the EDF 11 National Indicative Programme in the sectors of Energy and Health. The Energy programme is aimed at the provision of energy and supporting services in rural areas. The Health programme is designed for improving the organization and management of the health services and the development of disaster resilient health infrastructure.

Founder Of Wal-Mart Stores Offers Scholarships For Belizean Students
For over 28 years, Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart stores in the US has been providing Belizean students with full scholarships to pursue studies at three main universities in the U.S. and this year is no different. With over a hundred Belizeans receiving a life time opportunity to further there Bachelor’s Degree since 1985, today the Sam Walton Foundation has launched its application for newly interested Belizeans between the ages of 17 and 24 who are interested in achieving their Bachelor’s Degree in their field of choice. All that is needed is to follow the procedures. Must be single and without dependents. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or better from the last educational institute. Must be able to provide genuine economic need and must possess a high school diploma.

O/W Police Working Hard To Gain Back Public Confidence
Every law enforcement station faces the possibility that one or more of its officers could engage in police actions that are found to be improper or incorrect in the public eye. Some have resulted in complaints alleging misuse or abuse of powers by officers and since we have been getting a number of reports from residents of police mistreatment to abuse of powers on the general public, today we sat down with Deputy in Command at the Orange Walk formation, Assistant Superintendent of Police Selvin Tillett who explained to us the protocol used when visiting a detainee or inmate. ASP SELVIN TILLETT – Deputy Commanding OW Police “There is a time frame, you must bring an ID and must be in plastic and no metal and no bottles allowed, no minors allowed and we won’t accept more than one food person per meal. At times when someone is under investigation we won’t allow them to see no one because it can hinder the ongoing investigation so once you are under investigation we might not allow to see him or talk to him/her.”

Five Distinguished Belizeans Honored
Today, five distinguished Belizeans were honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for their contributions towards community service. Receiving the insignia for Commander of the British Empire Award was Dr. Ellsworth Grant for his contribution to Medicine. Patrick Andrews and Stephen Duncan received insignias for their contributions to community and Banking. Crystal Vernon received insignia as Member of the British Empire for her contributions to community service and Francis Woods received insignia as Member of the British Empire for his contributions to community and business. These awards were presented by Governor General of Belize, His Excellency Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.

Another Firearm Removed From Streets
San Pedro police came up unto an unlicensed firearm and have removed it from the streets of Ambergris Caye. According to the island cops, On Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. an unlicensed black 9mm Luger (Model C9) pistol with its serial number not visible containing an empty magazine was found in the San Pablo Area, San Pedro Town. The firearm was labelled as found property


Hon. John Saldivar blames PUP for Guatemala contracts
In the last House of Representatives meeting, the Opposition brought up the issue of the Hunting Caye Coast Guard Facility being built by Guatemalans. Hon. John Saldivar, the Minister of National Security had stood up and said that the facility is a gift from the US, and the Guatemalan company building the structure was stipulated by the US. The Minister further said that it is a matter of looking a gift horse in the mouth. That hasn’t set well with most Belizeans, including the Prime Minister who said in the house that some gifts may need to be rejected in the future with those types of strings attached. On Thursday, Hon. Saldivar further commented on the matter , posting on Facebook that “I was briefed on these projects when I became the Minister of National Security and of course it was of concern to me when I learnt that a Guatemalan company had been awarded the contracts. However, there were at least two things I had to consider.

Senators want to know from PM; Where’s the 13th Senator?
The Senators for the social partners wrote a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, seeking clarity as to why the promised 13th Senator has not been delivered. In a letter dated October 2, 2014, and signed by Business Senator Hon. Mark Lizarraga,  Church Senator Hon...

Belize recommended to be removed from EU Council black list
The European Commission has announced that it has proposed to the EU Council of Ministers that Belize be removed from the list of ‘non-cooperating third countries’ in the international fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Belize was identified as a ‘non-cooperating third co...

Double jeopardy for Social Security contributions saves businessman
Magistrate Dale Cayetano spared 46 year old Walid El Sayed, the owner of American Closeout store on Freetown Road, Belize City, from penalties over a charge of failure to pay Social Security contributions no later than 14 days after the end of each calendar month. Mr El Sayed is accused of not payin...

Fisherman fined for undersized conch
Fifty-nine year old Honduran fisherman Pablo Castillo must pay a total of $1,730 in fines handed down by Magistrate Dale Cayetano, after he pleaded guilty to possession of 41 undersized conch. Mr Castillo was given until January 31, 2015 to pay...

Hope Dwindles in Finding missing man at sea
A man missing at sea since Monday October 13th  is believed to have  perished . 22 year old Erick Garcia of Boca Del Rio Area, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, went fishing along Joseph Hernandez and Jamal Martinez...

Motorcycle accident in Belmopan
There was a minor traffic accident on North Ring Road in Belmopan where road meets Floriana Avenue. The accident occurred at around 9:30 on Thursday morning, where Albert Oh, a 27 year old resident of St...

PUP recommends greater attention for Chiquibul
On Wednesday evening the People’s United Party (PUP) held a press conference at Independence Hall, to report on party leader Francis Fonseca’s Sunday tour of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and Caracol Archaeological Reserve. According to PUP leader Francis Fonseca, the tour has underscored both the grave dangers faced by Belize’s frontline personnel in the NGO community and national security leadership, as well as the importance of a united front on the issue. Mr Fonseca and Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat saw firsthand the effects of illegal logging, agriculture, looting of cultural and historical pieces and other activities in the area. They presented a list of recommendations, chief among them the establishment of a budgetary allocation for Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) to boost the ranger program for which only limited funds are currently available.

Third Party slate for Belmopan Municipal Elections
In Belmopan, we already know who the PUP and UDP candidates for Municipal elections are, but one party which usually contests the municipal election in Belmopan is Vision Inspired by the People. We haven’t heard much from them lately, but on Wednesday morning on Rise and Shine, VIP announced that they will be contesting the 2015 elections in the capital city. Paul Morgan, Secretary General of VIP, says they are putting together a very good slate of candidates. 3Paul Morgan – VIP Secretary General “I want to assure Belmopan that the VIP have been working, we continue to work, and we intend to keep working. We will offer persons in the City Council, and persons of integrity. We’re building a strong team, and very soon you will hear from us as to who we are offering to you for representation on the City Council.

Belmopan Citco planning for next 15 years
The Belmopan City Council will be presenting the final draft of the Municipal Development Plan, projected for the next 16 years. The presentation takes place on Thursday October 16th, at the Belmopan Civic Center at 7:00 pm, and all residents of Belmopan are invited. Simeon Lopez – Mayor of Belmopan “Belmopan means Las Flores, San Martin, Maya Mopan, Salvapan, Belmopan itself. Everyone is invited, because everybody’s lives will be affected over the next sixteen years. It’s a draft. It’s being presented, and people will have an opportunity to make their comments, and make their suggestions, electronically if possible, so that we can finalize this draft and get implementation. The Development Plan includes a number of things that will occur in Belmopan. For example; Infrastructure Works, mainly streets and drains; Population Growth; zoning, as Belmopan grows; the Economy of Belmopan; Tourism; and other things that might come up; the aging population; the youth population; how they all will be affected by this growth plan.”

No date for Belmopan Market move
The Tuesday / Friday Market Vendors continue to have their stay extended at the Cardinal buffer zone in Belmopan. We asked Mayor Simeon Lopez if there was any new update as to when the Market Vendors will be relocated to the Civic Center, but he told us there is still no definitive date. Simeon Lopez – Mayor of Belmopan “I can’t really tell you a definite date. I just spoke with an official, this morning, from the Ministry of Economic Development, and they are working on the unofficial handing over, first of the building, and then we get the Parking Lot, because this building is still not handed over to us. The contractor still has a security in place here.

Homes in the south affected by flooding
Heavy rains experienced in the South Tuesday night resulted in overnight flooding in the Toledo District, where at least 20 homes were affected by the rising waters. Several communities were affected, however the most affected community was the Golden Stream Community, located about 28 miles south of Punta Gorda on the Southern Highway. The community is an area prone to flooding; the last flood at Golden Stream was about 3 years ago. NEMO District Coordinator for Toledo Kenton Parham gave us more details of last night’s flooding. Kenton Parham – NEMO District Coordinator for Toledo “There was a flash flood in Golden Stream area, where we had some homes that were affected. We activated the NEMO response team, and we went out there early this morning. We discovered that there were twenty homes that were affected. As a result of that, we have activated the Relief Supplies Management Committee and the Housing and Shelter Committee, and NEMO sub-committees, to respond to that incident.

Daylight armed robbery in Griga
An armed robbery in broad daylight, at a poultry store in Dangriga – namely Fiesta Chicken Hi-Line Poultry Ltd, located in the North River Side area – has cost the business establishment over $2,000. According to reports, sometime after 11:00 am on Tuesday, a man of dark complexion entered the store, posing as a customer, took out a .38 revolver firearm and held up the cashier, while his accomplice waited outside. Fortunately no one was injured during the incident. Edgar Alvarado is an employee at the store, he recounted what he saw.

Police investigating shooting death of Independence woman
The village of Independence is in a state of shock, after the dead body of a woman was discovered somewhere on the Texmar Shrimp Farm Road, on Wednesday morning. Reports from Independence are that the female body, identified as 33 year old Ilda Lizette Aldana, a resident of Independence, was discovered with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds all over her body. Plus News has received information that the woman was believed to be pregnant.

Palacio’s Bar fight
A fight between three men in front of Palacio’s Bar located in San Roman village, Corozal, on Saturday October 11th., has landed one man in the hospital and left two others on the run. Police investigations revealed that around 7:30 pm, 48 year old Juan Carlos Ramirez, a Belizean Cane Farmer of San Roman village, was socializing in front of the bar, where he had a misunderstanding with Ezekiel Pech also known as “Robot”. A struggle ensued between both men where Ramirez was overpowered by Ezekiel.

Gun found
On Tuesday October 14th, at around 2:30 pm, San Pedro Police found an unlicensed black 9mm Luger (model C9) pistol containing an empty magazine. Police made the discovery in the San Pablo Area, San Pedro Town. No one was around the area at the time and so the firearm was labelled as found property.

Gang member renounces criminal lifestyle
Roger Anthony, a 20 year old Belizean laborer of Mayflower Street, Belize City, lives in the neighborhood of one of the most feared gangs in Belize- the Ghost Town Crips. Anthony has for a long time, been identified, by numerous individuals, as the leader of that particular gang. In the past few days however, he has been seen in the open and even made a few media appearances as the leader of the Mayflower group of workmen, and on Tuesday, to the surprise of many, renounced his former life as a gang member on National TV.

The Guardian

PUP Signed Agreement Allowing Guatemalan Company to Build Military Base
The Guatemalan company and Guatemalan workers building our Coast Guard facility. Man, there must be some national security risk in that taking place. Somebody has to be awake man, we can’t all be sleeping over there in the Government. Who is looking after these matters?” – Francis Fonseca, Leader of the People’s United Party. Since it was discovered that a Guatemalan company, BINARQ, had built the Belize Coast Guard’s San Pedro Operating Base and is building the Hunting Caye Operating Base, a lot of criticism has been directed towards Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security, and the UDP Government. “Why would they allow this?” “They are selling out Belize?” The usual suspects, members of ROC, have expressed their disbelief and disappointment and those in COLA have even charged this administration with treason. What difference a day makes! Admiral John Borland, Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, held a briefing with the press on Tuesday, October 14, to give an update on the Hunting Caye project. Borland confirmed that a stop order had been issued to BINARQ from the US Southern Command Army Corp of Engineers which will remain in effect until a way forward is agreed upon.

PM Barrow secures $67.5 million dollars for Health and Infrastructure from European Union
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was out of the country last week attending the 2014 Annual Assembly of the International Munitary Fund and the World bank Group. As part of his visit to Washington PM Barrow signed on to an agreement with the European Union securing $67.5 million dollars in aid for Belize over the next 6 years. Prime Minister Barrow signed a 27 million Euro/BZ$67.5 million National Indicative Programme (NIP) for the period 2014 to 2020 with the European Commission designed to advance the activities of the Government of Belize in alleviating rural poverty in Belize. Signing on behalf of the European Commission was the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. The Prime Minister indicated at the signing held in Washington, D.C on Friday October 10th that this agreement funded under the European Development Fund (EDF 11) is a signal of confidence by the European Union in the Government of Belize with respect to its development agenda. Belizeans will benefit from the EDF 11 National Indicative Programme in the sectors of Energy and Health.

Telethon to Protect the Chiquibul
The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) need to increase the number of Rangers in the Chiquibul National Park in order to protect the forest’s wealth of resources from Guatemalan encroachers and local exploiters. In order to do this, FCD will be having a telethon on Saturday, October 18, to raise funds for its Ranger force. The Chiquibul Forest has an area of almost five hundred thousand acres of land. FCD has seven Rangers total and four on the ground at any one time. Raphael Manzanero, Executive Director of FCD, sums it up appropriately when he says, “We are looking at 7.7 percent of Belize, so in practice we can claim that each one of my rangers have 1 percent of Belize that they can represent in the jungle.” The Rangers depend heavily on soldiers of the Belize Defense Force for support and protection. Manzanero says the Rangers have been extremely effective “because of the Belize Defense Force, because of the police, because of the customs department, because of immigration, customs and many other people.”

Miguel Choco charged for murder of Agripina Coc
A 24 year-old man from the village of San Pedro Colombia has been charged with the grisly rape and murder of one of his fellow villagers, 61 year-old Agripina Coc. Readers may remember how her family and friends found her body in the late evening hours of August 30. The senior citizen left to go visit a relative, and to buy groceries at a nearby shop. Normally, she should not have taken so long to return, and so, they became worried about her well-being. They found her about 3 or 4 hours later; she had been raped and then chopped in the middle of the head. Residents of San Pedro Colombia were incensed by the cruelty Agripina Coc was made to suffer, and so, they immediately formed up into search parties armed with sticks and machetes. These search parties were looking for Miguel Choco, the man who they believed to have been her killer. Different members spotted him around the village, and there had been allegations that he was watching the elderly women of the village as they did their chores down the riverside.

Kevin Bodden sentenced to 3 years for shooting cop
On Friday October 10, 21-year-old Kevin Bodden was sentenced to 3 years in prison after he was found guilty at the Supreme Court by a jury of 9 persons. The jury had gone in to deliberation at 11:57a.m. and by 2:27p.m. they came out with their verdict. Bodden’s trial took place before Justice Troadio Gonzalez where he was facing a charge of grievous harm upon police constable Abel Martinez on September 7 of 2012. Bodden, along with Lloyd Elijio were jointly charged back in 2012 for attempted murder upon PC Mendez who was shot on his left shoulder with the bullet exiting the back of his neck whilst he was at the corner of Partridge and Morning Glory streets in the Saint Martin de Pores area in Belize City. Both men were committed to stand trial but the charge was later withdrawn from Elijio due to insufficient evidence. On indictment, Bodden was read a single charge of grievous harm and not attempted murder.

Ladyville argument leaves Brandon Flowers dead
The third homicide victim for the long weekend was 21 year-old Brandon Lyndon Flowers, who was attacked and stabbed in what looks to be a street-side brawl. The attack on Flowers happened sometime before 4 p.m. on Stork Street. Police believe that he was socializing at a party in the village, but his family has since said that he never did attend. Whatever the circumstances are, police were informed of a fight happening, and when they responded a short while later, found Flowers in the drain with multiple stab wounds in the chest. It is believed that he died on the spot.

MJ’s business manager pleads guilty to employing Honduran without worker’s permits
The Business Manager for MJ’s Bar, Ray Herrera, appeared in court on Friday October 10 to answer to two counts of employing a person not in possession of an employment permit. He appeared before Magistrate, Herbert Panton in Court #3 and wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the two counts. Since it was his first offence of this nature he was imposed a fine of $2,000 for each of the offenses. There was the possibility of him having been fined up to $5,000 or a jail term of 2 years. According to the Immigration Department, Herrera employed two Honduran nationals, identified as Keira Sirey Pineda Martinez, 24, and 30-year-old Irma Isabel Arita Portillo. The women are living in Belize legally, but they did not have a temporary employment permit to allow them to work in Belize legally.

Stay of execution granted to ACP’s son
On Wednesday, September 17, 2014 the case of the Noel Leal Jr. was to commence before Justice Troadio Gonzalez but it did not do so after Gonzalez recused himself from hearing the matter. Leal was then sent back to jail. The matter was then brought up again before Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin, who heard submissions regarding an application for a stay of execution and bail on behalf of Leal Jr. In the end CJ Benjamin granted him the stay and bail was offered in the sum of $20,000 plus two sureties of $10,000 each. On July 31, 2014, Leal was convicted in the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith for the offense of drug trafficking. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment and fined $10,000.

“Robbery” granted 10 thousand dollar bail
George Street associate, 27-year-old Kareem Lopez, the gang member who police claimed caused public terror on September 13 when he allegedly discharged a firearm in a public place whilst on Douglas Jones Street was granted Supreme Court bail. Bail was granted in a written ruling on Wednesday September 8 but it was not until Friday that attorney, Kathleen Lewis was given the ruling. Lopez was granted bail in the sum of $8,000 plus one surety of the same or two sureties of $4,000 each. His bail was granted with conditions in which he was ordered to report to the Queen Street Police Station, twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. In court, there was heavy objection to Lopez being granted bail by the DPP’s office, which was represented by Crown Counsel, Porshia Staine. She submitted that the prosecution’s case against Lopez is very strong and that a prima facie case has been established against him in the matter. However, the Counsel for Lopez, attorney, Kathleen Lewis submitted that the prosecution’s main witness statement, was indicating that the shooter in the incident was not Lopez rather it was someone else.

Vildo Spain Fined $500 for a “30’s” Tattoo
Belize City resident Vildo Spain, 25, must pay a fine of $500 by December 15 or spend six months at the Belize Central Prison for a tattoo on his left upper arm. Police was on mobile patrol in the area of Complex Avenue at around 6:10 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14, when an officer claims he saw Spain acting suspiciously. Spain was ordered to stop and the officer conducted a search on him. No illeggal substance was found but police saw a tatto on his left upper arm, “30’s”. He was informed that this was an offense for displaying gang membership and arrested by the officer.

Teenager charged for murder
A 16 year-old minor from Belize City has been charged with the murder of 33 year-old Jose Luis Umana which happened on Saturday, October 11, just before 9 p.m. Umana, who is a Salvadoran national living in Cards Alley, was at the corner of New Road and Hydes Lane. Police have difficulty establishing how the murder happened, but the shooter fired shots at Umana, who took a bullet in the center of his head. He died at the KHMH after 55 minutes of treatment from the doctors.

Belize Bank Bulldogs National Softball Champions of Belize
The XXIV National Women’s Softball championship, which was played from October 3-5, 2014 at Rogers Stadium, is now history. A total of twelve games were played over two and a half days of competition. On Sunday October 5, 2014, in the twelfth and final game, which was the championship, the Belize Bank Bulldogs defeated Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy who was playing from the losers’ bracket by the score of 7-3 to capture its first national title. Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy batting in the top of the 2nd inning scored the 1st run of the game when shortstop Shadalee Ho opened the inning with an infield single to shortstop Sharette Vernon, Ho later scored to give her team a 1-0 lead. The Belize Bank Bulldogs batting in the bottom of the 2nd inning scored when the Designated Player, Nicole Arnold reached on the second baseman fielding error and later scored when right fielder Kiri Lizama reached on the third baseman error. The pitching of Ashley Lucas held the bats of the Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy until the top of the 7th inning when it scored 2 more runs. The inning opened when shortstop Shadalee Ho reached on a fielding error by the second baseman, and scored on consecutive singles by Karlee Bradley and Lisandra Guy.

Sueing against Belize’s gun law
Belize City resident Allyson Major has started a private lawsuit against the Government of Belize and the police department claiming wrongful imprisonment in April of 2012. Readers may remember Major’s case, he was one of 7 people who were charged when police found unlicensed weapons in a house on Peter Seco Street. Days before, Armead Logan-Thurton reported to police that someone had broken into her Baker’s Ranch warehouse and stole a double-barrel shotgun and a lawn mower. This led police to act on intelligence that illegal items were at the Peter Seco Street house, and that’s why they searched the house. Present at the time were Kent Lynch, Errol Lynch, Woodrow Reyes Jr., Leroy Gomez, and Virginie Alvarez. After a thorough search, police ended up finding the stolen shotgun, the stolen lawn mower, another unlicensed 16-gauge shotgun, and 2 cartridges.

Fight in Unitedville leads to murder
Brian Belle, 25, and 32 year Tyrone Gongora Rushford were arrested and charged with murder for the stabbing death of 21 year-old Kevin Andrew Taylor Jr., who was stabbed and killed in Unitedville, Cayo, during the long weekend. It happened at around 9:30 p.m. when Taylor was involved in a fight at a shop in the village. During that confrontation, he received 2 stabs, one to the chest, and another to the back. Persons on the scene rushed him to the Western Regional Hospital, but the injuries were too severe. He died while undergoing treatment. The investigators detained persons following the stabbing, and after their investigation, Belle and Gongora were formally charged on Monday. Police believe that they have enough evidence to prosecute this case whenever it is called up.

Belizeans Honoured by the Queen
ive distinguished Belizeans were honoured for their dedicated and outstanding services to their community. The presentations took place today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The insignias were presented by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Receiving the insignia for Commander of the British Empire Award was Dr. Ellsworth Grant, for his contribution to Medicine. Mr. Patrick Andrews and Mr. Stephen Duncan received the insignia as Members of the British Empire for their contribution to Community and Banking. Mrs. Crystal Vernon received the insignia as Member of the British Empire for her contributions to Community Service; and Mr. Francisco Woods received the insignia as Member of the British Empire for his contributions to Community and Business.

Final elected convention for UDP held in Benque
The United Democratic Party held its final elected convention to have candidates represent the party in the upcoming municipal elections. That election took place on Sunday October 12 at the Marshalleck Field in Benque Viejo. The process began at 10 in the morning and by 6 in the evening 1072 persons had cast their ballots. There were 16 candidates contesting the 6 positions as councilor candidates and when all ballots were counted Alvaro Gongora came out topping the polls with 696 votes. Manuel Contreras received 507 votes; Miguel Gonzalez, 497; Errol Coleman, 456; Elmer Guerra, 451; Marcos Koch 420. The convention was held to select only councilor candidates as the mayoral candidate, Heraldo Ramcharan was endorsed. Current mayor Miguel Velasquez will not be contesting the next election. At the swearing in of the candidates he gave the people of Benque thanks for having elected him and pledged to continue to work with the UDP to make Benque Viejo del Carmen a better community. Also speaking at the end was Ramcharan who thanked the people of Benque for coming out to the convention and assured them that the UDP will win the upcoming municipal election. For his part Area Representative of Cayo West, Hon. Erwin Contreras committed to continue to work in the division and especially in Benque to make improvements in infrastructure as well as to promote activities for employment creation.

Retraction & Apology
The Article “Two faced Lisa Shoman speaks against Lisa Shoman and condones domestic violence” published on page Insert 'E' of the Guardian Newspaper dated 21st September 2014 was based on allegations made to the Editor of the Newspaper which the Editor considered credible. The allegation was that Ms. Shoman and Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia both visited complainant Magdalena and persuaded her to drop her complaint of domestic violence against Gilroy Usher, PUP caretaker for the port Loyola Division. Both Ms. Shoman and Mrs Balderaos- Garcia, through her respective attorneys, have categorically denied those allegations and after consultation with our own attorneys, the Guardian Newspaper hereby withdraws both the allegations and criticism contained in the said Article and apologizes to Senator Shoman and Honourable Dolores Balderamos Garica for the publication of the said allegations and criticism.

Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission Met to Discuss Framework for Negotiations and Confidence-Building Measures
The Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission, with the participation of the General Secretariat of the OAS, met to comply with Articles 17 and 20, paragraph l, of Section D of the Agreement on a Framework for Negotiations and Confidence-Building Measures between Belize and Guatemala dated September 7, 2005, as well as with the Roadmap signed on January 24, 2014, which provides for the expansion and strengthening of cooperation mechanisms, including coordinated operations among security agencies to combat illegal activities and transnational crime. Agreed as follows: 1. Improve existing patrols and include joint coordinated military patrols. 2. Establish intelligence sharing mechanisms among the various security agencies. 3. Hold joint and periodic cross-sectorial meeting to address security issues. 4. In view of the success of the development projects in Monte de los Olivos, foster and promote similar projects in other communities. 5. Conduct joint visits to neighboring communities in Belize and Guatemala to convey the commitment of both parties to improve the quality of life and community safety and to strengthen the friendly relations between neighboring towns as well as to protect the environment. ...

Government to cover cost of 6 CXCs
There have never been litmus tests associated with this Government’s social programs to determine political affiliations and once again the initiative by the Ministry of Education to cover the cost of sitting the CSEC/CXC examinations will benefit all needy Belizeans. As the Ministry rolls out another stage of the Secondary School Finance Reform, initiatives such as the capping and standardization of secondary school fees and subsidizing of CSEC/CXC examinations are now on the table. The Secondary School Finance Reform is being phased in over a seven year period to level the playing field for secondary education institutions in the country by allocating government funds to schools based on student enrollment rather than number of teachers. Schools will receive a set amount of money per student. They will receive more if they enroll students with less financial resources and those who need more academic assistance. The Government of Belize is also expected to spend almost $2 million to cover the cost of sitting six CSEC/CXC examinations for Belizean students. Minister Patrick Faber says the reason for covering six examinations is to encourage enrollment in tertiary level institutions because when a student passes six CSEC/CXC exams they automatically qualify for a university tuition scholarship.

Dumb and Dumber’s expedition to Caracol
Francis Fonseca and his nemesis, Julius Espat took a trip to the Caracol archaeological site and they are somehow claiming to be heroes because of this. We are not sure if Francis was leading and Julius following or the other way around but either way, both seemed to have rather enjoyed their outing over the weekend. They are now claiming some kind of victory for having visited Caracol, well they along with thousands of tourists and thousands of Belizean children can now tell us what Caracol looks like. What they cannot tell us is what the solution to the problem of Guatemalan incursions into Belizean territory should be. You see, Francis Fonseca is as clueless today as he was when he was part of the PUP government as it relates to the Guatemalan issue and Julius tagged along on the journey perhaps thinking that somehow on the road there Fonseca would have handed him the leadership of the PUP.

New Era at Karl Heusner Memorial
The Belizean who gave up the opportunity to make a fortune as a heart surgeon in developed countries in order to improve the health system of his own country, Dr. Adrian Alexander Coye, will be the next Chief Executive Officer of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Dr. Coye was selected by the Board of Directors of the nation’s flagship hospital on October 9. Dr. Adrian is Belize’s first cardiothoracic surgeon and on Monday, July 16, 2012 he performed the first open heart surgery in Belize. It was a dream come true for the impressive young doctor who said after the surgery, “This has always been what I wanted to do. My life’s ambition has been to come home and do these types of surgeries for my Belizean people.” Since he became Director of Medical Services of KHMH, the hospital has seen its first open heart surgery and first scoliosis (spine) surgery. Under his watch the KHMH introduced the use of a Laparoscopic equipment to deal with one of the most common ailments in Belize, cholecystectomy (the removal of the gall bladder).

Improving service delivery at lands department
Last week the Ministry of Natural Resources conducted what they call an inspection sweep in the Belize District. This is in an effort to clear up backlogs that have accumulated at the lands department over some time. The Inspection Sweep last week saw officials from the Lands and Survey Department make field visits and inspections for 331 lots and properties for residents in the targeted area. Areas where these inspections took place were Belize City, Lord’s Bank, Burrell Boom, Scotland Halfmoon, St. Paul’s Bank Area, Rancho Dolores, Willows Bank, Gales Point Manatee, Coastal Road, the 8 Mile Area, Hattieville, Maskall, Santana, Sand Hill, Biscayne, St. Ann’s Village, Rhaburn Ridge, and Bomba. Land inspections are a prerequisite for the lands department to process applications for leases and titles and are one of the primary reasons for bottlenecks at the department.

New Board for People’s Coalition of Cayo
A new Board of Directors has been voted in for the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC; bringing into focus another organization reinvigorated to fight crime. The elections were held on Wednesday night of last week at the San Ignacio Police Station. Eduardo ‘Dito’ Juan was elected to serve as Chairperson, for which he brings much management skills to the table. Also elected as Vice Chair was Sherry Gibbs from Galen University, who has given much time to the PCC in previous years. The new treasurer for the PCC is Mary Loan from Cristo Rey Village. “I would like to thank everyone here for the confidence, this will not be a one man show; we must work as a team,” said Dito Juan on being elected. The PCC has been designed as a forum for the police, citizens and members from a variety of social partners to come together to identify, discuss and solve local problems and concerns affecting the Cayo communities. This organization has worked in the past to develop better police and community relations and make Belize a much safer place.

PACT approves over $1.19 million in project grants
As part of PACT’s regular grant cycle for 2014, the following five grant applications totaling $1,195,356.35Bze will be awarded later this month: Small Grants Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association (STACA) - $36,355.10 for the project entitled ‘Management Plan and Water Quality Monitoring program development in the Billy Barquedier National Park’. The project seeks to develop a water monitoring program, establish water quality baseline data, and develop a management plan. Rio Blanco Mayan Association (RBMA) –$59,866 for the project entitled ‘Increasing visitation to Rio Blanco National Park’. The project seeks to market and promote the National Park, upgrade infrastructure and improve security. Medium Grant Southern Environmental Association (SEA) –$183,225 for the project entitled ‘Cultivating sustainability of two protected areas in southern Belize’. The project seeks to increase sustainability efforts and improve facilities and infrastructure at the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve and Laughing Bird Caye National Park. Large Grants Ya’axche conservation trust (Ya’axche) –$316,202.25 for the project entitled ‘A holistic Approach to Protected Area Management in the Maya Golden Landscape’. The project seeks to develop and implement a comprehensive financial sustainability strategy, increase income generating mechanisms, and maintain the protection, monitoring and enforcement of the MGL.

Improved access to Vocational Education for 200 students from 11 remote Rural Communities in Toledo
Over 200 students from 11 remote villages in the Toledo District will now have easier access, and enhanced quality Secondary Vocational Education thanks to the construction of Corazon Creek Technical High School Extension built by the Government of Belize at a cost of $595,895.00 with funds financed through a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Basic Needs Trust Fund Sixth Programme (BNTF 6). Students from the 11 remote villages - Corazon Creek, Graham Creek, Mabilha, Dolores, Crique Sarco, San Benito Poite, San Lucas, Santa Teresa, Conejo Creek, Otoxha, and Sunday Wood will now have the opportunity to obtain a quality secondary education in Business, Academics/Sciences of Vocational Training in their new three-classroom single storey ferro-concrete school extension which provides a unique teaching and learning environment.

SIF Expanding Access to Primary Education in Rural Communities across Belize
Over 110 school children of Aguacate Primary School in the village of Aguacate, in the southern district of Toledo will no longer have to attend classes in churches, community centre, and health outpost thanks to the construction of the new School Extension and Rehabilitation built by the Government of Belize at a total cost of $555,611.00 with a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Basic Needs Trust Fund Sixth Programme. The new school project underscores Belize’s commitment to excellence in primary education and is aligned with United Nations Millennium Development Goal 2, to “Achieve Universal Primary Education,” and Target 5 i.e. Ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling up to Standard 6. In this context, Belize is on the travel path to embrace such achievement. Executive Director of SIF, Mr. William Lamb Jr. says the expanded school building will offer a better teaching and learning environment for both students and teachers, alleviate over-crowding, and provide adequate classroom spaces to meet the increasing demand of enrollment for students in the rural village.

Strange Laws of Belize
Belize and Belizeans are governed by a set of rules called laws. The original set of rules from which these were derived was known as Barnaby’s Codes. There are sections in these laws that due to the fact that they are seldom used we don’t even know they exist and as strange as some of them may sound, these are our Laws… Criminal Damage to Property 132.-(1) A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of a crime. (2) A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property, whether belonging to himself or another- (a) intending to destroy or damage any property or being reckless as to whether any property Would be destroyed or damaged; and (b) intending by the destruction or damage to endanger the life of another or being reckless As to whether the life of another would be thereby endangered, shall be guilty of a crime. Punishment A person who is guilty of any other crime under this Title shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year. So you may want to think twice before you walk into your home and destroy your television set even if you have a receipt in your name for it.

Tourism arrivals keep rising
Tourist Arrivals for 2014 are up in the 3rd quarter of the year, when compared to last year, a very welcomed turn of events especially since statistically the 3rd quarter falls in the industry’s low season. The Belize Tourism Board’s counts that Airport Arrivals for the last 3 months up to September 2014 totaled at 7,692; that’s 76 more than last year. For the total 9 months, there have been 45,862 tourists who have arrived at the PGIA, 1,729 more than last year, or an increase of 3.9%. Overnight arrivals for September were 11,943, which was more than September 2013 by as much as 1,289. Overall, for the first 9 months of this year, 64,598 tourists arrived overnight; that’s 5,248 more than last year, or an increase of 8.8%.

Belize Elementary girls and boys are leaders in primary schools volleyball competition
The Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition continued on Wednesday 15 October, 2014 with three games on the schedule. In the girls’ competition played, Belize Elementary School defeated Queen Street Baptist School in two sets by the score of 25-1 and 25-5. In the first of two games played in the boys’ competition, St. Ignatius School won over Queen Street Baptist by the score of 25-23 and 25-16. And in the final game of the day, St. John Vianney School defeated Ephesus SDA in three sets by the score of 25-23, 28-30 and 17-15. On Tuesday 14th October, 2014, in the first of two girls’ competition games played, Holy Redeemer School defeated Queen Street Baptist School in two sets by the score of 25-11 and 25-6. In game two, it was Belize Elementary School, the current leaders in this year’s competition winning over St. John’s Primary School by the score of 25-13 and 25-9.

Old School keeps pressure on opponents
The 2014 Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday 12 October, at two different venues in the Orange Walk North Constituency. At the Trial Farm Football Field there were four games on the schedule. In game one, San Antonio FC edged out Rising Stars by the score of 3-1. The goals for San Antonio FC were scored by Wilber Teyul in the 42nd minute of play, and Alexis Cowo in the 57th and 67th minute of play. Meanwhile, the goal for Rising Star was scored by Jose Casanova in the 80th minute of play. In the second game of the day, Old School continued its dominance of its opponent when it blasted A.C, Aliari by the score of 7-1. The goals for Old School were scored by Eliazar Itza in the 2nd and 37th minute of play, Christopher Hendricks in the 35th, 42nd and 81st minute of play, and Oliver Hendricks in the 49th and 54th minute of play.

St. Catherine’s Academy and Belize High School boys maintain lead in high school volleyball competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Competition continued on Tuesday October 14, 2014, at Bird’s Isle in Belize City with two more games. In the female competition, Maud Williams High School defeated Sadie Vernon Technical High School in two straight sets by the score of 25-15 and 25-9. In the male game, Sadie Vernon Technical defeated Maud Williams High School in two straight sets by the score of 25-10 and 25-20. On Saturday October 11, 2014, in the female competition, Belize High School defeated Sadie Vernon Technical High School by the score of 25-9 and 25-1. In the male game, Anglican Cathedral College defeated Maud Williams High School by the score of 25-23 and 25-18.

Belize Softball Federation to host VII Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tourney
The Belize Softball Federation is pleased to announce that the VII Annual Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tourney is scheduled for Sunday 26 October, 2014, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. The tourney will include the Belize Bank Bulldogs the newly crowned National Softball Champions of Belize, Beacon from Belize City along with Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Camalote from the Cayo Softball Association, and Sunrise of Lord’s Bank, the Belize Rural champions The Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will utilise the Double Elimination Format and will commence at 9:00 am. At the end of the tourney, one of Mr. Charles Solis’ sons will present the championship cup and the individual medals to the teams that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Premier League of Belize Opening Season is set to commence this coming weekend
The 2014-2015 Premier League of Belize Opening Season is scheduled to commence on Saturday 18 October, 2014, with one game on the schedule. The competition will then continue on Sunday 19 October, 2014, with three games on the schedule. The teams that are participating in this year’s Opening Season are the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits, national sub-champions Police United, the Belize Defence Force, Paradise Freedom Fighters, Wagiya, Verdes Football Club, San Ignacio United, Football Club Belize and the Placencia Assasins.

Sugar City Girls and Toledo Girls leads in Women’s Football Cup
The Football Federation of Belize Women President’s Cup Tournament continued on Sunday October 12, 2014, with two games on the schedule. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, DFC Gentle Touch blasted Smart Millennium by the score of 6-0. The goals for DFC Gentle Touch were scored by Shanel Gentle in the 18th and 40th minute of play, Ethlen Gentle in the 24th minute of play, Kimberly Perez in the 30th minute of play, Abbe Halliday in the 53rd minute of play and Cynthia Salazar in the 89th minute of play. Meanwhile, out at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda Town, the home team Toledo Strikers clipped Triple B’s by the score of 3-1.

Health Hookup
Acne: The Basics What is acne? Well besides being an annoyance that most of us had to endure during our younger years, it is also a dermatological condition. The condition is a result of the inflammation of the pilosebaceous (oil producing unit of the skin) unit of certain body areas. Oil exits the skin via a tiny opening called a pore. A combination of oil and dead skin creates a clog that plugs up the pore leading to it being red and inflamed. It often affects girls between the ages of 10-17 years old and boys between 14-19 years old. Causes of acne include endocrine factors, emotional stress, oral contraceptives, and pressure on the skin i.e. leaning face on hands or on a phone. It is important to note that food is NOT a cause of acne. During the teenage years hormones are a big factor that promotes acne formation. As the levels of hormones rise in teenagers, the amount of oil being released also increases. This allows for a greater interaction between oil and dead skin cells increasing the number of acne formed. Pus that results is from the interaction of the oil and a bacterium that resides on the skin (Proprionibacterium acnes). Some of the more common locations for acne formation are face, neck, upper arm, buttocks, back and chest. Acne lesions can be classified as:

Community Vote
The other day one of my work colleagues was telling me that his mom was receiving urgent medical attention for a sudden condition and his family was having him bear all the expenses related to her treatment. I muttered the usual sympathetic remarks, but truly, and I don’t want to sound mean here, based on the angle this conversation was going I knew that there was going to be an earnest solicitation sooner than later. Without delay, and in my best reassuring voice, I suggested that he do some fundraisers at his house, and I even promised to purchase tickets from him. He did the usual BBQ sale that weekend, but later told me he was still short by about $500 to complete his mom’s treatment. Again to the rescue, I suggested he seek assistance from his area representative, who was of the same shade of dark blue that my acquaintance was. I later heard him cursing that the PUP House Member gave him all of $25 to help his mom. My final advice to him was, warm up back the BBQ grill, brethren!

Is it an illusion?
The mind or inner consciousness is a mystery to everyone in this world. It is like an inner voice that speaks to you. Everyone has this voice within them. We just do not know whether it is real or an illusion. Some of us might even think that we are insane when we hear voices in our head, and we take a visit to the psychologist. Other times we do not even know if it is another “being” residing within us or probably our inner self that is trying to communicate with us. Nevertheless, everyone has their own interpretation of their inner consciousness. This interpretation might come from their religious perspective, experiences, and their cultural background such as the beliefs that individuals were raised with or the level of knowledge that they possess about their inner consciousness. In the religious perspective, Christians believe that the inner consciousness is real. It dictates to us what is right or wrong. Somewhere in the bible, we can infer that God gave us freewill and judgment, yet he created this inner being to reside within us and guide us in our paths of life. This spiritual being is connected with our minds and it tells us what is morally right or wrong. The bible also states that it is our physical bodies that prevent us from doing what the inner being wants us to do; there is a constant battle between our inner beings and physical bodies occurring every day. For example in cartoons or animated movies, there is always a good angel and a bad demon.

Three Rescued at Sea Search for Eric Garcia Continues
The Belize Coast Guard was called as three individuals were in distress out at sea in the San Pedro area around 1 p.m. on Monday. This was around the same time that the rescue operation was ongoing for Roland. The Coast Guard was informed that three men were canoeing near Grand Caribe when the canoe capsized and they began to drift. One of the three, identified by Soberanis as Mr. Martinez, was rescued by a local who was passing by in his vessel. The other two canoers were caught in the main channel east of Boca del Rio and drifted further out to sea. The second of the three, identified as Mr. Hernandez, was rescued by the Coast Guard at approximately 2 p.m. He was found holding on to a mooring buoy. The search for the third individual, Eric Garcia, continues. Lt. Soberanis updated the media on the search for Garcia sometime around noon on Tuesday, October 14. The search team was now diving in a location labeled as “Area 2” as the mission was about to change from one of rescue to that of recovery. Up to print time, Garcia has still not been found. As the operation to find Eric Garcia continues, Soberanis wishes to advise kayakers and canoers “not to venture out to sea in adverse weather conditions as this can result in serious bodily injury or loss of life”.

Dawn Phillips’ house fell down...
During the strong storm which hit Maskall and caused major damage (see story on page 21), the rains affected different areas all around the country. In Belize City, Port Loyola resident, Dawn Phillips, was quite unfortunate to have her house fall down after several years of living on McKenzie Lane. Belize City also experienced that heavy wind and rain from the weather system which passed over the country on Wednesday, October 8. Phillips, who claims that she rebuilt her home two years ago, was sleeping, and in the early hours of Thursday, the strong wind and rain sent caused her house to collapse. Fortunately for Phillips, she had woken up a few minutes before it happened, and she and her daughter avoided serious injury.

Six year old falls into pit and dies in Cayo
A six year old boy has died as a result of falling into a pit on Monday of this week in Spanish Lookout. Elam Penner was along with three other close relatives, and his father Walter Penner, when he fell into a pit and died. Walter Penner had left home driving a trailer to deliver corn at the Central Grain dryers in Spanish Lookout. Upon arrival at the grain dryer, he was shown by the owner of the establishment where to unload the corn. He then parked the trailer on top of a pit and went outside to open the holes that the trailer has underneath. At the time when he was opening the seventh hole of the trailer, the 35 year old naturalized Belizean farmer heard a cry and noticed that his son had fallen into the pit. Walter Penner shouted for help and that was when others came to his assistance and he was able to retrieve his son from the pit, who was still breathing. Elam Penner was rushed by ambulance to the Belmopan Regional Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Author on Whirl Wind Tour of Belize
Author Ted W. Cox continues his tour of Belize this week after having arrived in Belize last week Wednesday, thanks to the Institute for Social and Cultural Research ISCR and the Belize National Library Service and Information System BNLSIS. In keeping with the BNLSIS momentum, Ted Cox gave a lecture at the San Ignacio Public Library last Friday. It was also an opportunity for the U. S author to promote his book entitled ‘British Honduras became Belize 1971 to 1773’ and with secondary title ‘A Peace Corp Memoir’. The book by Ted Cox is now available at popular stores around Belize and is a summary of the work he did as a track and field coach. Chapters in the book are dedicated to what other Peace Corp Volunteers were doing as well as documenting the National Movements towards Belize’s Independence. In his presentation Friday, Ted Cox revealed that he had been assigned to early British Honduras to establish a track and field program. During his time here, he trained counterpart coaches to ensure the continuation of the program as well as organized competitions on the inter-school basis and organized sports clubs at both the primary and high school levels. While on these tasks, Ted Cox told his audience in San Ignacio that he was able to enjoy the many cultures and the natural beauty of Belize.

Desperation Squared
I make it a point to steer clear from commenting on the different practices and traditions of the several religious denominations that exist in Belize today. This is because many scholars hold firm the opinion that religious intolerance between differing faiths has sparked the most appalling conflicts in our world’s civilized history; several of these deadly conflicts continue without abate even to this day. That said, and I say this tongue in cheek, I will risk one comment here on a ritual which I thought was pretty uncommon and bizarre, especially coming from a nationally recognized organization who participated in this ceremony. Last week Wednesday January 15 the leadership of the People’s United Party went to sing “happy birthday” songs at the tombstone of the late Rt. Hon. George C. Price, and then later went on to sponsor a press conference at Independence Hall, evoking the former PUP leader’s name several times during the in-house political rally.

Failing Grade
Imagine teachers in Belize entering their classrooms one morning to find them half empty. The Ministry of Education does not have any information to explain the empty classrooms but enquiries reveal that a letter had been sent to the various Managements informing them that students would be attending rallies on designated Fridays to learn more about their rights. The rallies are being organised by a group of concerned parents who have read reports showing that high repetition and drop-out rates can be largely attributed to poor teaching and school administration. The Management Authorities appear ineffective in weeding out poor teachers, the Teachers’ Union mandate is to protect teachers and so the full brunt of this institutional failure falls on parents and students. Some parents therefore decided to take matters into their own hands and hold sessions in every district to teach the students and their parents how to monitor the quality of the education they are receiving, rate their teachers and school administrations as well as report instances of inappropriate or inequitable behaviour and poor educational practices.

Living with Schizophrenia
World Mental Health Day (WMHD) is celebrated every year on October 10 and the theme for this year was “Living with Schizophrenia”. Schizophrenia is one of the most devastating mental illnesses and afflicts approximately 1 in 100 persons worldwide. A caregiver shared these thoughts at the WMHD ceremony in Belize. Schizophrenia is a soul stealer – it takes over the personality of someone we love and care for, sometimes leaving behind someone we scarcely recognise. The child or sibling that we knew from childhood takes on a new and often frightening persona as they enter young adulthood. The signs are often missed at first or if noticed assumed to be part of the normal turbulence of adolescence. It is often difficult for family members and friends to come to terms with the diagnosis when it is finally sought. There are those who want to know what “caused” the illness. Was it the hurricane when he or she was a child? Was there some fault in the parenting skills of the mother or father? Is it due to a family weakness? Is there a curse? Did the person bring it on him or herself through drug and alcohol use? Who or what is to blame? Families react in many different ways. Because of stigma, some families hide their relative, making them virtual prisoners in the home. Others, unable to deal with frightening acute episodes, abandon their responsibility and evict the person from their home and their lives. But most families try their best to offer as much support as they can.

Patrick JonesPJ

Police find pistol under Belize City bridge
Police have removed another weapon from the streets of Belize City. A .380 pistol was found under a bridge in the Belama Phase 4 area of Belize City late on Wednesday night and is now in police custody. According to a report sent out today, the pistol, […]

Cahal Pech Village Resort is Now Offering the Pontoon Nature Tour
Cahal Pech Village Resort, one of the largest resorts in western Belize has just launched a spectacular adventure tour called “The Pontoon Nature Tour”. According to CEO Peter Tonti, the new tour is an addition to the list of tours and activities that the resort offers […]

Flooding closes Iguana Creek Bridge and Baking Pot Ferry
Vehicular traffic was interrupted on the Iguana Creek Bridge and the Baking Pot Ferry this morning following heavy rains in western Belize overnight. Early this morning, the Iguana Creek Bridge leading to Spanish Lookout was impassable as the water level had risen above the deck of the bridge. […]

Ladyville man murdered
Police in Ladyville village, Belize district are investigating and apparent murder late Wednesday night. The body of 22 years old Gregory Richard Goodfellow was found around 8:36 pm on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville road after gunshots were heard in area. A police report issued this morning said that “at […]


Wildtracks, as defined by Kate - escapee primary teacher, UK
Something different!! At the end of my month volunteering at Wildtracks, Zoe has asked me to write the next blog....has anyone done an acrostic before?! Here are some of my memories: W is for warm manatee breath as Mitch or Lucky come up for air and you are up close with their beautiful whiskery faces. Having never met a manatee before, I fell in love at first sight with these gentle, affectionate animals and my swims with Khaleesi, Rhameses and the babies were the highlight of my time here. A unique experience I will never forget. I is for interesting monkey behaviour, (Charlie's kisses, Matty's hugs through the cage with her tail, grateful chirruping from Panchita when I brought her food, Duma's meaningful looks through the cage). I enjoyed getting to know the spider monkeys on my daily feeding rounds and watching their impressive acrobatics. L is for laughing with the other volunteers, meeting like-minded people and making new friends. Although we are from all corners of the globe I hope to meet up with at least some of you again somewhere!

Belize is no longer Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret and here’s why!
New reports from the Belize Tourism Board show that tourist arrivals for 2014 continue to increase, with this year’s third quarter numbers showing a significant rise compared to last year. And when you consider that the third quarter contains the traditionally slow months for tourism, the figures seem to indicate that Belize is maintaining its upward trajectory as one of the world’s most desirable locations. Seven News Belize reports that airport, overnight and cruise ship arrivals for the three months up to September 2014 are all higher compared to last year, giving the first three quarters of this year a healthy increase of 3.9%, according to BTB figures. The figures also indicate that overnight arrivals are up by 5,248, or an increase of 8.8%, while cruise passenger arrivals increased by 73,409, or 77%. Calling the figures “… a tremendous indication to us how well the country is doing, how interested people are.” BTBMarketing Director Alyssa Carnegie said she believed the Board recorded a 12.1% increase in arrivals this September compared to September 2013, with an over 90% for cruise arrivals for the same period.

“Move Closer” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Out on the veranda this morning at around 05.40 hours ((obviously I had my mug of black coffee (sugar-free) and iPad (Air if you must know) with me)) the sky suddenly started to turn red. This as the darkness started to disappear as the sun came up. But this morning it just felt different. I don’t know if it was because it had been raining heavily. I doubt it because it’s rained before just as the sun was rising. Whatever caused it though created a sky with a rich red hue. I should have stirred myself (not the coffee obviously – no milk, no sugar!), got up and grabbed the camera. I didn’t though – I was enjoying it too much. You’ll just have to believe me (or not if that is your inclination) that it was a sight to behold. If it happens again though I will take a shot – I’m now going to take the camera out on to the veranda first thing in the morning! Anyway enough of today for the moment, I want to take you back in time. To yesterday! After spending my ‘me time’ on the veranda I showered, shaved, dressed and headed off to take the golf cart to Giovanni’s (its in Sea Grape Drive if you’re interested) for a service and oil bath. I also wanted him to take a look (stupid thing to say actually) at a squeak that’s been coming from the rear off-side wheel.

18 Solid Reasons why Belize should not go to the ICJ
By: Joaquin Magaña Sr. The ICJ does NOT guarantee that Belize will remain with all its territory intact as it is since Belize became a crown colony in 1862 and after it became Independent in 1981. Going to ICJ is like buying lottery (Boledo). We may win but we may LOSE. We have proof of many court cases where injustice prevails; the innocent are found guilty and the guilty walk away free. We stand a good chance of winning, however, IF WE LOSE, WE WILL LOSE OUR LAND. Our country is too much to lose. We simply cannot, and will not take that chance. Belize is a sovereign nation member of United Nations. Even Guatemala accepted this fact although reluctantly. Guatemala cannot be trusted because they always change their position in their claim with time. The determination of the Belizean people WAS, IS, AND WILL always be: To be a Sovereign and Independent Nation with ALL ITS TERRITORY INTACT. Neither Guatemala nor Spain ever occupied nor settled in Belize, NEVER. Guatemala has NEVER EVER had legal rights over the territory, nation of Belize. Whenever Spain attacked to expel the British from this land, all 5 attacks (including the last, which was called The Battle of ST. George’s Caye in 1798) came from The Captaincy of Yucatan, Mexico; NEVER from Guatemala. If they didn’t bother to defend this land is because it DID NOT BELONG TO THEM. Belize is not a piece of barren land. Belize is a country of people. These people, BELIZEANS, have always owned this land. Belizeans DO NOT WANT TO BE A PART OF GUATEMALA. Probabilities are so high that Belize has a large reserve of petroleum, for that reason Guatemala started with their nonsensical, unfounded claim once more.

Attention Government and People of Belize
What Everyone, Especially Mr. Elrington And GOB Should Know: That History Discards The Unfounded And Void Guatemalan Claim Over Belize!!! In 1838 – 1839 the United Provinces of Central America broke up giving rise to the new countries of Central America. Guatemala Claimed that Belize was administered by Spain as part of the Captaincy of Guatemala and that they had inherited this sovereignty, as a result of the breakup of the federation. They say Belize was passed to Guatemala, since Belize had been considered part of Peten or Verapaz region of Guatemala. The fact is that there is by far more convincing historical evidence, however, to strongly suggest that Belize was considered by Spain as part of Yucatan (Mexico) NOT of Guatemala; but in any case, Spain NEVER EVER occupied Belize. During the 18th century the Spanish attacked the settlement of British Honduras (now Belize) many times, in 1717, 1730, 1754, and 1779 forced the settlers to leave; some were taken as prisoners to Yucatan. However, the Spanish NEVER settled in Belize, and the British returned and expanded their settlement and trade. On September 10th, 1798 was the last time that the Spanish attacked. The British side won what became known as the Battle of St. George’s Caye. The Spanish retreated and NEVER again tried to control the settlement of British Honduras (now Belize). The truth of the fact is that all attacks on the settlement came from the Captaincy of YUCATAN (MEXICO) NOT from Guatemala.

International Sourcesizz

Pick the 2014 Rubber Dodo Award Winner -- Vote by Midnight, Oct. 30
It's time to pick the most outrageous eco-villain of 2014 -- fill out the form at the bottom of the page to cast your vote. The Center for Biological Diversity established the Rubber Dodo award in 2007 as a way to spotlight those who do their very best -- that is, their worst -- to destroy wild places and drive species to extinction. The award, named after one of the most famous extinct species on Earth, is given out every year. Previous recipients of this prestigious faux-accolade include the infamous Koch Brothers (2013), climate denier Sen. James Inhofe (2012), BP CEO Tony Hayward (2010), polar bear foe Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (2008) and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne (2007), who set a record low in the number of plants and animals he placed on the endangered species list.

Ebola scare on Caribbean cruise ship: Woman quarantined in her cabin after coming into contact with infected specimen from ‘patient zero’ at Texas hospital
A healthcare worker is in quarantine aboard a Caribbean cruise ship after it was revealed she handled a lab specimen from America's Ebola 'patient zero'. The woman, who is an employee of the Texas Presbyterian Hospital, has agree to remain isolated while on the vessel and is is being monitored for any signs of infection. Although she did not come into direct contact with Thomas Eric Duncan - the Ebola-infected man who died of the disease - she may have had contact with clinical specimens collected from him.

Health Worker Who May Have Had Contact With Ebola Is on a Cruise Ship
Adding a new and troubling dimension to the search for Americans possibly exposed to the Ebola virus, the State Department said Friday that an employee of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who may have had contact with specimens of the disease had left the United States aboard a cruise ship. The employee and a traveling partner, who were not identified by name, had agreed to remain isolated in a cabin aboard the vessel, the State Department said, and “out of an abundance of caution” efforts were underway to repatriate them. A physician aboard the cruise ship had said the employee was in good health. News reports quoting an official statement from the government of Belize said the ship was still in that country’s waters, but the authorities there refused to allow American officials to evacuate the passengers through their territory. While United States officials “had emphasized the very low risk category in this case,” the statement said, “the government of Belize decided not to facilitate a U.S. request for assistance in evacuating the passenger through” an airport.

Belize's Chocolate Revolution
We have a chocolate problem. And it’s not just about the impact it will have on our waists this Halloween. It’s even bigger than that. Here are the top three most important things chocolate lovers need to know: Smallholder cocoa farmers are underpaid and impoverished: Ninety percent of the world’s cocoa is produced by five million small-producer farmers in West Africa, Latin America, and Asia. These farmers are getting minimal pay, with the majority of cocoa farmers globally living on less than $2 per day. Farmer poverty is widespread, while big manufacturers are capturing the vast majority of profits from the nearly $100 billion global chocolate industry. Demand for cocoa is growing, but farmer income isn’t improving: An estimated 4.4 million tons of cocoa (or cacao) are produced every year. That demand is expected to grow over 30 percent in the next five years as countries like China, India, and Brazil start eating more chocolate. The majority of farmers are unlikely to see the benefit of this growing market. In fact, many farmers have given up on cocoa and switched to other more lucrative, often environmentally destructive crops like palm oil. The average age of a cocoa farmer in West Africa, which produces about 70 percent of the world’s cocoa, is 51—which means farmers’ kids are abandoning the crop. So unless you’re paying more for your chocolate bar and know where your chocolate maker is sourcing their cocoa, unfortunately you’re probably just feeding (and eating) the problem.

Honeymoon Adventures in Belize – Part 2
In Pam’s second email it was clear that survival had taken a back seat to enjoying less traumatic honeymoon happenings. Finally, the “kids” got to relax – and eat the wildlife. Just want to tell you all some of the cool things we’ve been doing here. The first day we rode around town on our bikes and met the very off-beat lady who runs the Kismet Inn Cafe. Bought food, went home and cooked, and had a quiet evening. Had to throw out the rice we just bought because it was full of bugs. Yesterday morning at 9 a dude and his son came to pick us up in front of our house to go snorkeling. A note on race/ethnicity: these guys were black, as are many people in town, and are Garifuna. Garifuna are descendants of West African, Carib and Arawak peoples. Others are Creoles, descendants of African slaves and European settlers, and they have different faces and lighter skin. Then there are the Maya, who have three different groups, each with a different language. And the Mestizo, who are descendants of the Maya and Spanish settlers. We have met people of all of these groups here. There are also tall, white Mennonites, who are descended from German settlers – saw them, too.

Dishy celebs who escape to their own islands
The social media mogu and other big stars love their private getaways in exotic locations. Here, we look at the very best that luxury island living has to offer... Who: The eco-friendly actor Leonardo DiCaprio (39). Where: The colourfully named Blackadore Caye off the coast of unspoilt Belize in South America. How much: Purchased in 2005, reportedly for €1.4m. Luxury: A combination of white sandy beaches, coconut trees and tropical vegetation, the island totals 104 acres. At 3.5km long and up to 200m wide, it is one of Belize's larger islands. Manatees are abundant in its surrounding waters. Privacy: Accessible only by boat, it takes 20 minute to reach. It's also just 25 minutes from the Belize Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Site. Guests: Leonardo's many supermodel girlfriends. He's now single again having split from 22-year-old Toni Garrn, so another lucky lady may soon enjoy a vacation there.

Texas health worker isolated on cruise ship over possible Ebola contact
A Texas health worker who may have had contact with specimens from the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States has been isolated on a cruise ship despite showing no symptoms of the disease, the Department of State said on Friday. The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital worker, who did not have direct contact with now deceased Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan but could have processed his bodily fluids 19 days ago, left on a cruise from Galveston on Sunday, department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. U.S. concerns have intensified after two nurses from the Dallas hospital who cared for Duncan contracted the virus, which has killed nearly 4,500 people, mostly in West Africa. President Barack Obama's administration is facing sharp criticism from lawmakers over its efforts to contain the disease at home.

UCF archaeological duo in international competition
A husband and wife team of archaeologists from UCF needs help to win an international competition for the work that they've done at a site in Belize called Caracol. Arlen and Diane Chase are both professors at UCF's Department of Anthropology and have been working on the site for the last two decades. The Caracol is competing in a month-long tournament called ArchaeoMadness, where sites from all over the world go head-to-head to compete for a grand prize in celebration of International Archaeology Day on Oct. 18. The UCF-assisted site will be going up against a formidable competitor called Angkor Wat in the championship round on Friday. The Angkor Wat site, found in Cambodia, has been excavated and worked on by universities from Australia, Europe and the U.S. Its international standing means it will have a wide range of voter support from all over the world.


Video: Belize Shark Dive, 3min.
In 2013 diving in front of Ambergris Caye we encountered a huge amount of nurse sharks and turtles. The dive master carried with him a small tube of chum and the sharks came in for the entire duration of both dives sucking the chum out of the holes.

Video: Central America - Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, 6min.
We had 5 weeks to explore Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. We started in Cancun, heading south to Playa del Carmen, Tulum and then into Belize City from there out to Caye Caulker. We sailed 3 days down the Belize barrier reef, stopping in Placencia and then boating across to Guatemala where we did Rio Dulce, Flores (Tikal), Semuc champey, Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichitenago. We then headed back up North to Mexico arriving into San Cristobal de las casas. From here we headed back up to the Yucatan via Palenque, stopping in Merida. Our final destination was Isla Mujeres.

Video: Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in Belize!, 4min.
Welcome to an authentic Belize Jungle Lodge where you will experience the adventures of a lifetime in lush rain-forest surroundings. Rappel waterfalls, explore Mayan sacrificial caves, go cave tubing and much, much more.

Video: TIDE YCC - University of Belize, 12.5min.
Elvira Coleman talent presentation representing University of Belize in TIDE's 2014 Youth Conservation Competition

Video: Belize, 29min.
Another day in paradise under the ocean having fun with the fish and enjoying the serenity.

Video: Belize - Snorkeling Shark Ray Alley, 2.5min.
Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Stop #3. (Shark Ray Alley)

Video: Belize - Shark Ray Alley Boat, 3min.

Video: , min.
Back on the boat after snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Belize - Snorkeling Conch Graveyard, 4min.
Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Stop #2. (Conch Graveyard)

Video: Belize - Snorkeling Hol Chan, 6min.
Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Stop #1.

October 16, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Belizeans Honoured by the Queen
Five distinguished Belizeans were honoured for their dedicated and outstanding services to their community. The presentations took place today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The insignias were presented by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Receiving the insignia for Commander of the British Empire Award was Dr. Ellsworth Grant, for his contribution to Medicine. Mr. Patrick Andrews and Mr. Stephen Duncan received the insignia as Members of the British Empire for their contribution to Community and Banking. Mrs. Crystal Vernon received the insignia as Member of the British Empire for her contributions to Community Service; and Mr. Francisco Woods received the insignia as Member of the British Empire for his contributions to Community and Business.

Ted W. Cox talks about his new book: When British Honduras Became Belize
Ex Peace Corps Volunteer, 67-year-old Ted W. Cox has written a book on his experiences while serving in Belize. The book, titled “When British Honduras Became Belize: A Peace Corps Memoir 1971-1973”, explains the inception and development of Track and Field in Belize. Cox is officially presenting the book through a countrywide tour hosted by the Belize National Library and the Institute for Social and Cultural Research. As part of the tour, Cox visited San Pedro on Tuesday, October 14th.

Ambergris Today

Eric Garcia Still Missing at Sea
Sadly, the rescue mission for missing person 21-year-old Eric Garcia has been changed to a recovery mission and divers are searching today for his body in the general area that his canoe capsized and he went missing. Yesterday, divers found his pants and a rag by the reef channel; volunteer divers are being called out to assist in the search.

Belize and Guatemala Strengthen Cooperation in Combating Illegal Activities & Crime
Each security agency had an opportunity to meet directly with their Guatemalan counterparts and agreed on a way forward for direct collaboration in respect of all security concerns, including coordinated operations among security agencies to combat illegal activities and transnational crime. In this respect, Guatemala reaffirmed its willingness to cooperate and assist in the investigation of the most recent incidents. The conclusions reached at the meeting of the Joint Commission were endorsed by CEO Alexis Rosado; H.E. Carlos Raul Morales, Foreign Minister of Guatemala; and witnessed by H.E. Raul Lago, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States.

$27 Million Worth of Marijuana Destroyed by U.S. Army and Belize Defense Force
From September 29 to October 3, 2014, U.S. Army aircraft from the Joint Task Force Bravo based in Soto Cano, Honduras provided airlift support to the Belize Defense Forces, Belize Coast Guard, Anti-Drug Unit and Mobile Interdiction Team as they conducted marijuana field eradication operations throughout Belize. With the help of two UH-60 Blackhawks and one CH-47 Chinook helicopter members of the Belize military and police forces were able to destroy over 52,800 marijuana plants, 10 pounds of seeds and 1000 pounds of processed marijuana with a total estimated U.S. street value over $27 million.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize Draft Code of Practice for Recreational Scuba Diving Service.

Belizeans Honoured by the Queen
Five distinguished Belizeans were honoured for their dedicated and outstanding services to their community. The presentations took place today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The insignias were presented by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. (7 photos)

Prime Minister Dean Barrow Signs $67.5 million Agreement with European Union
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow has signed a 27 million Euro/BZ$67.5 million National Indicative Programme (NIP) for the period 2014 to 2020 with the European Commission designed to advance the activities of the Government of Belize in alleviating rural poverty in Belize.

Chiquibul Protection Telethon on Saturday October 18th
The mighty Chiquibul has been under threat for countless years. Flooding from hydro electric dams, illegal logging, farming, wildlife poaching, and gold mining have all ravaged this precious forest. More than 40% of Belize's fresh water source comes from the Chiquibul. The local Scarlet Macaws struggle to survive in this last stronghold for their population. YOU can help save the Chiquibul by supporting Friends for Conservation and Development - FCD Belize's Chiquibul Protection Telethon on Saturday October 18th. It will be happening live at Memorial Park in Belize City from 10AM-6PM, and the option to donate online will be made available on All proceeds will support FCD's Park Rangers Program to ensure more boots are on the ground in the Chiquibul Forest to protect it from invaders. This is our natural heritage, our vital resources. The Chiquibul is for Belize!

Channel 7

PUP Goes To Chiquibul, Lays Out 9 Point Plan
Ever since the shooting death of Danny Conorquie on September 26th., the Caracol site has been closed to visitors – but special provision was made for the Leader of the Opposition and his Deputy Leader to go there on Sunday. They were escorted principally by the Friends For Conservation and Development plus a security cordon. They came back with a 9 point list of security suggestions which was presented to the media at a press conference today: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "It is not a political issue, the PUP have come to the Belizean people with this issue, not only because we have a duty and obligation to do so. But also because regrettably, the UDP government has consistently expressed and displayed a reluctance to work with the opposition or anyone else on any issue of national importance Government must convene and urgent meeting of all relevant stakeholders, inclusive of government, opposition, friends for conservation and development, tour guides association, BTB, NICH, forestry, the ministry of natural resources and our security forces, the BDF and Belize police department." That urgent security meeting was only one of 9 which were presented today. But, we had to ask, does the Opposition have a deep enough understanding of the many issues to make those proposals. Here’s how that exchange went:…

Bze & Guat Security Chiefs Meet, Discuss Conorquie
And while the opposition leadership was in Chiquibul, Senator Lisa Shoman was the opposition representative on the Belize Guatemala Joint Commission when they met on Friday in Guatemala City. The commission meets regularly in Belize and Guatemala on a rotation basis. The last time they met, the meeting had to be aborted because a Guatemalan civilian had been killed by a BDF soldier. This time, the meeting came right after what is believed to be a Guatemalan civilian killed a Belizean special constable. Shoman told us about the tone of the meeting: Lisa Shoman, Senator "On friday there was a very hard hitting, hard charging, important meeting between the security forces in Belize. The persons who were there were head of the BDF, general Jones. The acting commissioner of police Russell Blackett and Mr. Marco Vidal, assistant commissioner who is in charge of intelligence and special branch and they met with their counterparts in Guatemala.

Hon. Shoman Questions GSU Commander
Senator Shoman was also able to comment on a subject of public interest. She spoke about the claim made by Inspector Mark Flowers, commander of the GSU – who said that the Ombudsman’s report has a different account of Allan McCoy’s run in with the GSU – different from the one he gave to the media. Well, Senator Shoman had something to say about that since she accompanied Mccoy to the Ombudsman;s office. She told us what she knows of that report and what Mccoy told the Ombudsman about Flowers:… Lisa Shoman, Senator "My emphatic recollection is that McCoy gave a full accounting of what had transpired between himself and the GSU boss, inspector Mark Flowers. It isn't only as Mr. Flowers is saying, claiming that they report to the ombudsman only mentioned his presences. In fact my recollection is that mr. McCoy gave a full statement with regard to what he alleged had been done to him by inspector Mark Flowers." Jules Vasquez "So then, where is the evocation or the lack of decision or the inaccuracy enter the equation?"

Quick Arrest For Cayo Murder
On last night's newscast, we told you about the murder in Unitedville, Cayo of 21 year-old Kevin Taylor Jr. Well, police have made quick arrests in that case, and the men who now stand accused of that crime are Cayo Residents 25 year-old Brian Belle and 32 year-old Tyrone Gongora Rushford. These men were among those who were detained shortly after Taylor was stabbed and killed, and after gathering their evidence, police say that Belle and Gongora-Rushford are the men who attacked him. They will be arraigned and remanded at the earliest convenience. As we told you, on last Friday night, at around 9:30 p.m., Taylor was involved in a fight with 2 men in front of a shop within the village. During that altercation, the men stabbed Taylor in the back and the chest, and after he was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital, he died shortly after.

Minors Charged For Damaging Compol's Vehicle
A fight which broke out on Pelican Street has left Police Commissioner Allen Whylie's vehicle damaged, and it has landed 4 young men before the court. The fight happened on last week Friday, not too far from the Commissioner's home broke out which 22 year-old Kenroy Willoughby two 15 year-old minors and a 14 year-old minor began stoning each other. The problem is that while they were having their brawl, a few of the stones ended up hitting the Commissioner's Government Issue Toyota Hilux Vehicle. He assessed the damages, and it was estimated that it would cost $1,408 to fix it. Police have since arrested and charged all 4 men with damage to property, and today, they were all arraigned in Magistrate's Court. That's excluding Kenroy Willoughby, who sent doctor papers to the court to prove that he was ill.

Climate Change And Its Effects On Tourism
As we told you last night, The Belmopan based Caribbean Community Climate Change Center took center stage in Bridgetown Barbados on Monday night – when it led the presentation of the fifth intergovernmental panel in climate change. The report looks primarily at what are called small island developing states – and how rising sea levels and changes in rainfall patterns will affect them. Barbados was a fitting location because, at only a few hundred square feet, it is one of those small island states – one that depends heavily on its gorgeous beaches for foreign exchange earnings through tourism. How can climate change affect them? We asked their minister of Environment and drainage:..

Ebola Not in Guatemala
There is a report circulating on the internet – a report which we do not consider to be from a credible news outlet – which says that Ebola has been detected in Guatemala. Again, we stress we do not consider it to be a credible report – but it is out there. The Ministry of Health in Belmopan has heard it and officials there have checked with PAHO, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health in Guatemala – who all know of no such infection. The Leader of the opposition has also heard of the report, and he today issued what he called a word of caution for Belize’s state of readiness:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "I was advised that the Guatemalan government is investigating and preparing for the potential presence of ebola in Guatemala. The Guatemalan government has sent peace keepers to West Africa who has recently returned to Guatemala and we understand that their are some potential risk.

Will Yolanda Run For PUP Mayor
Who will be the pup’s candidate for Mayor? We’ve been asking for months and now there are pretty solid reports that it will be former Lake I aspirant Yolanda Schakron. Today we asked the Leader of the Opposition – and it seemed to be still inconclusive… Reporter "If the PUP formalise a slate for the next municipal election, we understood the Yolanda Schakron cemented her name of the PUP mayoral candidate. Can you confirm?” Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "As I said at the last question and answer session we had, that we would do that by the end of the end of October and that's the deadline we're sticking to. So we'll announce that the last week of October. Miss Schakron has applied, she has applied as a mayoral candidate."

PUP Frowns On Power Contract For Gaute Firm
And today the leader of the opposition also expressed concerns about a power contract that a Guatemalan company is applying for. As we have reported the PUC put out a request for power – for which there were a number of proposals – apparently one from a Guatemalan company. And while it’s not like we can just shut down all contact with our neighbors to the west the Leader of the opposition said this one has to be looked at:… Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "The government of Belize and the public utilities commission is very close to awarding a contract to a Guatemalan company for the production of electrical energy to supply to Belize Electricity Limited. We are sounded the warning that we believe that this contract has to be fully disclosed before it is finalised, so that the Belizean people know exactly who is involved and what if any national security risk arise in the award of such a contract.”

Another A & R Robber
19 year-old Joseph Lopez a computer technician from Lavender Street, has been identified another of the men who committed the brazen armed robbery of A&R Store at mile 1 on the Western Highway. Lopez was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on a single charge of robbery, to which he pleaded not guilty. Because the offence was committed with a firearm, he couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to prison until November 26. He joins Kevin Bodden and security guard Leroy Ciego who were charged before him. Ciego, who was posted at A&R as the security guard on duty, is the man believed to have given the robbers inside information on how to execute the robbery successfully.

PM Inks Rural Development Deal
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned to the country yesterday after a trip to Washington DC to meet with the IDB. The Business of his visit was to sign a major rural poverty alleviation initiative. It’s called the National Indicative Program, signed with the European Commission, for the period of 2014 to 2020. The NIP is valued at 27 million Euro - or 67.5 million Belize dollars, and it is designed to assist the government in alleviating rural poverty in Belize. The NIP will be beneficial to citizens in the Energy and Health Sector.

US And BDf Destroy Marijuana Crops
The Belizean Law Enforcement and US Military have collaborated once more to destroy $54 Million dollars in marijuana plantations throughout Belize. The US Military, through Joint Task Force Bravo, which is based in Soto Cano, Honduras, provided airlift support to a joint Belizean team comprising officers from the BDF, Coast Guard, the Anti-Drug Unit, and the Mobile Interdiction Team. The authorities have not released any details as to where these marijuana plantations are located, but the operation took place between September 29 to October 3 - a 5 day operation, 3 weeks ago.

US Sponsoring "Interoperability" Comm System For Security Forces
In operations such as that one, highly reliable communication is a key, and one of the challenges that the Belizean law enforcement agencies have is that they do not have a single interconnected system. The US Government is helping to sponsor such a system, in which the elite teams from the police, coast guard, and the BDF will all be able to coordinate amongst themselves to allow for precision and sharpened logistics. Yesterday, we asked the Commandant of the Coast Guard about it, and he told us that system's integration is already being set up. Admiral John Borland - Commandant, Belize Coast Guard "It is as you say an attempt to deal with all the issues we had with communications, where each branch of the military, meaning the BDF and the coast guard and the police and other agencies that work with us are utilising different communication systems; So there is hardly any compatibility there. The idea is bring us on one mainstream communication system, that is going to enable us to talk to each other in common talk groups. To be able to talk on a needs basis among the security forces and not share information that is not to be shared. Communication security is built in to these features. It's a project under Carsi and therefore it not only extends to the military, but other elements of law enforcements as well as other agencies that support us in what we do."

FCD: Why They Need Your Help
6 days ago, the Friends For Conservation and Development launched their telethon drive to generate revenue for their expansion of their rangers program. As we've told you, the Chiquibul National Park, which the FCD co-manages, is 4 times the size of Barbados, and there is a need for more boots on the ground. There will be 3 new conservation posts - one of which was completed about 3 days ago. That facility, Valentin, has already made the news because earlier in the construction there was an armed incursion of Guatemalan civilians who have threatened to burn it down. That has placed the challenges that FCD faces in perspective, and with the need for more boots on the ground, the NGO is trying to harness public concern to raise funds. The Protected Areas Conservation Trust is doing its part: it has earmarked a 600 thousand dollar grant for FCD.

EU Lifts Fisheries Ban
After years of back and forth on the issue – culminating in an international ban and a black eye for Belize, the European Fisheries Commission has decided to lift the fisheries ban on Belize, which will allow high seas vessels with the Belizean flag to export fisheries products to Europe. As we told you, the EU Commission took the hardline just under a year ago, when they listed Belize as one of the countries not in compliance with the regulations to stop high seas vessels flying the Belizean flag and conducting illegal fishing activities. This weekend's reversal was well-received by the local NGO community, and also by the Government.

New Books About Belize
Another book on Belizean History has been added to the vast collection of existing works that celebrate and narrate Belize’s social, cultural and economic shifts since the days of Colonialism. But American writer Ted Cox takes a turn from the traditional topics discussed in Belizean History by highlighting the history of sports in Belize. His book is entitled “When British Honduras Became Belize: A Peace Corps Memoir: 1971 -1973” and Cox is on a countrywide tour to market his book. Now, history, let alone Belizean History, is a problematic topic and even more so when a non-Belizean is involved. But Cox says he simply wanted to contribute to Belize’s History by documenting his experiences as a peace corps volunteer in Belize. Ted Cox, Writer "Years ago when I was in Belize, I just liked taking pictures, I had a darkroom. So I had taken hundreds of pictures and they were pretty much just put in a scrapped book. Also at the time I kept a work log and letters home to my mom, saved all those letters, so I got them back. So all of this stuff is just sitting and I knew about 4 years ago.

The Queen's Honours
Today five Belizeans received the Queen’s honours. The Governor General awarded CBE, or commander of the British Empire honours to the Cancer Center’s Dr. Ellsworth Grant for his contribution to Medicine. Bankers Patrick Andrews and Stephen Duncan received MBE honours or members of the British Empire for their contribution to Community and Banking. There were MBE’s also Crystal Vernon for her contributions to Community Service and Cisco, or Francisco Woods for his contribution to Community and Business.

Channel 5

Is Belize Really Prepared for an Ebola Outbreak?
On major international news agencies, the news today was about Ebola and how countries are preparing to deal with any eventuality. The virus has been detected close to the Jewel [...]

Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca Urges Preparation for Ebola
Ebola has captured the attention of the world, but what has caused real dread is the realization that a first world nation like the U.S. has been caught unprepared. And [...]

P.U.P. Goes Into the Chiquibul; Concerns of Plundering Come to Light
The People’s United Party over the weekend headed into the Chiquibul National Park, with a stop at the Caracol Archaeological Site. They were accompanied by members of the Belize Defence [...]

Recommendations Put Forward by Opposition on Chiquibul Crisis
With input from the rangers and front line personnel who took them out there, the P.U.P. also prepared a list of recommendations which Fonseca presented today.   Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. [...]

3 Days Later, No Sight of Eric ‘Bird’ Garcia
Friends and family of twenty-one-year-old Eric Garcia continued recovery efforts today off the coast of San Pedro in an attempt to retrieve his body from the Caribbean Sea.  Bird, as [...]

Do Guatemalans constructing at Hunting Caye pose no security threat to Belize?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe that Guatemalans constructing at Hunting Caye pose no security threat to Belize? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

Belize National Coast Guard Unveils Development Strategy
The Belize Coast Guard held a press conference on Tuesday with a dual purpose – firstly to speak on the forward operating base in Hunting Caye, and secondly to provide [...]

Coast Guard Joins ‘Not In My City’ Campaign
The Coast Guard’s duties can be broken down into its military, law enforcement, and humanitarian functions. In fulfilling the law enforcement mandate, the unit has been deployed to assist the [...]

Massive Law Enforcement Effort Destroys Fifty-four Million Dollars in Marijuana
On Tuesday, the US Embassy, through its Office of Public Affairs, issued a press release in which it announced the discovery and destruction of marijuana with a street value of [...]

Minors and Adult Charged for Damaging ComPol’s Vehicle
Last Friday, a fight broke out on Pelican Street which is not too far from the home of the ComPol. In the scuffle, the ComPol’s vehicle that was parked in [...]

Robert’s Grove Rift Goes to Supreme Court
Two shareholders of Robert’s Groove of Placencia have been at war over the running of the company.  Today, the matter was heard in trial by Supreme Court Judge, Sonja Young. [...]

Former Peace Corps Volunteer Launches Memoir About British Honduras
Ted Cox is a former volunteer of the U.S. Peace Corp. He lived in Belize back in the seventies, but maintained contact with Belize over the years. Cox has now [...]

PM signs $67.5Million agreement with E.U. for poverty alleviation
A multimillion dollar agreement has been signed between the Government of Belize and the European Union for poverty alleviation in rural Belize.  On Friday in Washington, Prime Minister Dean Barrow [...]

PACT Awards Grant Funding, FCD Receives Lions Share
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust announced today that it is disbursing one point one million dollars in grants to various N.G.O.s.  The biggest beneficiary is Friends for Conservation which is [...]

Much Needed Assistance for Phillips Family
Six days ago, a house on McKenzie Lane in south side Belize City collapsed with a mother and her ten year old daughter inside. It is an unfortunate incident, but [...]

How to Design Mobile Apps in Belize
An interactive mobile application workshop will commence this weekend in Belize City. The workshop is the second of its kind being held by Belizean entrepreneur, Tiffany Simpson, who recently returned [...]


Corozal North Standard Bearer Celebrates 64th Anniversary Of PUP
On Saturday, the People’s United Party celebrated their 64th anniversary in the village of Patchakan in the Corozal District. Esteemed guests as far as down south were on hand to show their support not only to the PUP but also for standard bearer David Castillo. Reporter Victor Castillo and video journalist Jesus Melgar traveled north and filed the following report. Shortly after 3pm, the blue machines were in high gear as they passed the main streets of Patchakan village making their way to the central park for the official ceremony of the Peoples United Party’s 64th Anniversary. Standard bearer for the Corozal North constituency, David Castillo told us more about the party’s milestone.

US And GOB To Disrupt Illegal Activities
The combined capabilities of the Belize Defense Force and the United States Army proved key to the success of a marijuana eradication operation between September 29 and October 3rd. A release from the US embassy states that a U.S. Army aircraft from the Joint Task Force Bravo based in Soto Cano, Honduras provided airlift support to the Belize Defense Force, Belize Coast Guard, Anti-Drug Unit and Mobile Interdiction Team as they conducted marijuana field eradication operations throughout Belize. With the help of two UH-60 Blackhawks and one CH-47 Chinook helicopter members of the Belize military and police forces were able to destroy over 52,800 marijuana plants, 10 pounds of seeds and 1000 pounds of processed marijuana with a total estimated U.S. street value over $27 million. This operation was part of a continuing partnership between the United States and Government of Belize to disrupt illegal activities and discourage criminal organizations from operating in Belize.

Roger Anthony Renounces As Alleged Gang Leader
While drugs and crime seemingly take over the airwaves, this morning in Belize City, Reputed Gang Member and alleged boss of the Ghost Town Crips, Roger Anthony has apparently had an epiphany and made a huge announcement this morning among police and media personnel. Anthony spoke to the Belize City media this morning at the Racoon Street Police Station where he renounced his throne as “boss” of one of the most feared gangs in the City. With the help from our colleagues at the 7News, Anthony announced that he is leaving his past behind and focusing on positive change. Roger Anthony – former alleged Gang Leader “I think it is time for us you know, we as leaders to make a change and to stand up and say to help the police especially the gang suppression unit to stay and stand strong and to work with each leaders of the community so that we can make a change...

Orange Walk Technical High School Bans Styrofoam Plates
Environmentally conscious schools are picking up the trend and banning Styrofoam from their premises. Joining the efforts this year is the Orange Walk Technical High School where the administration has not only banned Styrofoam but placed some new rules for lunch break. Our news team visited the school this afternoon to take a look at what their new lunch hour is now like. Julian Polanco – Principal “They have their lunch but at the same time they would leave their picnic table it will eventually fly off the table, we have seven hundred and odd students and then it becomes a mes so the care taker would have to do it and throw it in the dump. Dogs were all over and then this is not healthy for the students.”

More Drugs Off The Streets
More drugs were taken off the streets of Orange Walk after a vehicle checkpoint this past weekend proved successful for custom officials. A report from the police confirm that on Thursday October 9th around 7:30pm, while at a check point at the Douglas Junction on the Philip Goldson Highway they intercepted a black with red stripe Nissan Exterra SUV. Seemingly enroute to Orange Walk from the direction of Corozal, officials saw occupants of the vehicle throw a bag out of the vehicle. Police then went to pick up the item which was a brown and grey Jansport bag. The occupants were informed to pull over but instead sped off, heading in the direction of Orange Walk. The jansport bag was opened and observed inside was a block of green vegetable like substance, wrapped in transparent plastic suspected to be cannabis. Attempts made to located said vehicle and occupants but fruitless.


European Union and Belize Sign Development Cooperation
Belize is one of four countries that the European Union has signed onto development cooperation. According to a release, the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs signed the national indicative programs this past Friday that seeks to partner with Belize to assist in the policies and strategies in the areas of energy, health and public financial management. The national Indicative Programmes is a critical component when it comes to aid from the European Union. Back in 2013, it was agreed that development cooperation would be channelled to seventy eight African, Caribbean and Pacific countries through the eleventh European Development fund during the period, 2014 – 2020 which carries a sum of 30.5 billion Euros. Belize had prepared a document that defined the strategy and priorities for aid from the European Union which the National Indicative Programme seeks to address.

Security Guard Arraigned for Displaying Gang Membership
Twenty-five year old Vildo Spain, a security guard at Princess Hotel and Casino, was fined five hundred dollars today by Magistrate Herbert Panton after he pled guilty to displaying gang membership. Spain was given until December 15 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve six months. The incident occurred around 6:10 p.m. yesterday. The police were on mobile patrol on Complex Avenue when they saw Spain who they said appeared suspicious. They informed Spain that a search would be conducted on his person and when they executed the search they did not find anything incriminating. However, one of the officers saw a tattoo on his left arm which had “30’s”, a symbol that he was a member of the Crips gang. As a result, Spain was arrested and charged.

John Baptist Spared of Minimum Sentence for Attempted Burglary
Twenty-eight year old John Baptist, who was found guilty of attempted burglary today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, was spared the minimum sentence of 7 years. Because it was his first conviction, Chief Magistrate Smith invoked a proviso and sentenced Baptist to six months. She told Baptist that it was his lucky day. She also found Baptist guilty of going equipped and she fined him five hundred dollars. If he defaults on payment he will serve six months. She dismissed a third charge of damage to property because there was not enough evidence to prove it.

Town Council Looks at Dog Sterilization
For years the conventional way of controlling the population of stray dogs and cats has been eradicating them through poisoning. Though this procedure has been defended by authorities and vets that it’s not as cruel as it seems recently a number of local animal rights defenders have come to these innocent creatures’ aid requesting for alternatives measures to be explored in order to address the socio-health problem. It is with this objective that the Orange Walk Town Council has partnered with CAATS to carry out a first of its kind public and free of cost dog spaying and neutering. Deputy Mayor of Orange Walk Ian Cal says the activity is one that aims at helping pet owners and at the same time controlling the stray dog and cat population. IAN CAL “We have a lot of people that are against dog eradication including myself. It is something we do not like to condone but it is an avenue that the council used to take for many years and I think it is about time that we start to look at other avenues.

Ted Cox Launches His Memoirs of a Younger Belize
The book entitled, “When British Honduras Became Belize, 1971-1973, A Peace Corps Memoir” was officially launched today during a ceremony at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City. With the support of the National Institute of Culture and History and the Belize National Library Service and Information System, author, Ted Cox, shared that the book looks at both Belizean History during the 1970s and sports at that time. TED COXTed Cox book “Years ago when I was in Belize I just liked taking pictures, I had a dark room, so I had taken hundreds of pictures and they were pretty much just put in a scrap book. Also at the time I kept logs of my work and letters home; my mom saved those letters; so, I got them back and all of this stuff was just sitting and I knew about four years ago if I didn’t do something with it in another 10 to 15 years I would be too old to really deal with it and it would be lost.

British Empire Awards Bestowed on Five Belizeans
Five Belizeans were honoured today for their dedicated and outstanding services to their community. Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young presented the fiver honorees with insignias. Receiving the insignia for Commander of the British Empire Award was Dr. Ellsworth Grant, for his contribution to Medicine. Patrick Andrews and Stephen Duncan received the insignia as Members of the British Empire for their contribution to Community and Banking. Crystal Vernon received the insignia as Member of the British Empire for her contributions to Community Service; and Francisco Woods received the insignia as Member of the British Empire for his contributions to Community and Business. The presentation took place at the Belize House in Belmopan.


Ebola Update
Speaking of Ebola, the reports coming out of the United States are causing panic in that country and understandably, concern in Belize. The Ebola patient who died in a Dallas hospital had infected two health workers, and reports are that the latest patient was on an airline with over 100 persons just the day before she tested positive for the deadly disease. Ebola is a highly infectious disease that is transmitted through contact with infected persons. The Ebola virus causes high fever and bleeding inside and outside the body. As the virus spreads through the body, it damages the immune system and organs. Ultimately, it causes levels of blood-clotting cells to drop which leads to severe, uncontrollable bleeding. The disease, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Ebola virus, kills up to 90% of people who are infected.

First-time offender spared over burglary charge
He could have faced as much as seven years in prison at minimum for attempted burglary, but on Wednesday Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith handed down a comparatively lighter sentence to 28 year old John Baptist, after convicting him of attempted burglary and going equipped for crime, his first offences. John Baptist will serve six months imprisonment on the burglary charge, and a further six months if he defaults on payment of a $500 fine on the going equipped charge. A charge of damage to property was dismissed for lack of proof. John Baptist is accused of breaking into the home of Ladyville high school teacher Esther McCord, around 7:15 in the morning of February 26, 2014, at Mile 11 on the Old Northern Road.

Security guard pleaded guilty to gang membership
A security guard for the largest hotel in Belize is in hot water, after pleading guilty to displaying signs of membership in a gang. 25 year old Vildo Spain, who works for Ramada Princess Belize City Hotel, was found acting suspiciously by police on mobile patrol on Complex Avenue around 6:10 p.m. Tuesday evening. Mr Spain was stopped and searched, and while there was nothing incriminating found on him, one of the officers noticed a tattoo on his left arm reading “30s”, symbol for the Crips gang. Vildo Spain was arrested and charged, but instead of sending him directly to jail, Magistrate Herbert Panton issued a fine of $500, which must be paid by December 15, in default six months in prison.

Admiral Borland says new system will secure inter-agency communications
The issue of National Security has been brought into sharper focus of late, and the United States is donating communication mechanisms to the Ministry of National Security, to enable a more efficient means of communication between the different arms of the Ministry. It is a widely debated and controversial topic of whether the United States of America is indeed eavesdropping on their allies, including Belize. On Tuesday we raised the matter to Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, who told us the main focus of this project is to make communication between the different security agencies of Belize safer from unwanted eavesdroppers, and not the other way around. Admiral John Borland – BCG Commandant “Each branch of the military, meaning the BDF and the Coast Guard, and the law enforcement, meaning the police, and other agencies that work with us, are utilising different communication systems. So there is hardly any compatibility. The idea here is to bring us on one mainstream communications system, that will enable us to talk to each other, in common talk groups, to be able to talk on a needs basis among the security forces, and not share information that is not needed to be shared.

18 year old raped by two men in Ladyville
An 18-year-old student of Belize City reported that on Saturday October 11th, at about 11:00p.m., she was invited by two men to a party in Ladyville, to which she agreed. They arrived at the house of one of the men, which is located in Ladyville, where they started drinking alcoholic beverages. She stated she got intoxicated and the man took her into his bedroom to lie down, and she passed out. A few minutes later she woke up and realized that the man was having sex with her against her will. Then the other man reportedly also had sex with her against her will.

6 year old dies in Spanish Lookout accident
A 6 year old drowned in Spanish Lookout on Monday October 13. 35-year-old Walter Penner of Spanish Lookout reported that around 4:00 p.m., he and his four sons including 6-year-old Elam Penner, left his home driving a toe-head to deliver corn in Spanish Lookout. He stated that he parked the trailer on top of the pit and went outside to open the holes that the trailer has underneath. He further stated that he went and unloaded the corn, and when he had already opened seven holes and went to open another hole, he heard a cry and noticed his 6-year-old son had fallen into the pit. He shouted for help, where a man came and assisted him and took out his son from inside the pit, and took him to the Belmopan Hospital.

Unitedville family loses everything in House Fire
A family in Unitedville has lost their entire home and all its content to a fire. The incident occurred after midnight on Friday October 10. Suzan and Michael Flowers are the home owners, and they lived at the home with their four children . Suzanne says the family was asleep in the two bedroom home when at about 11:30 that night, she got up and made checks on the home. All was well and she went back to bed but about half hour later, she woke up abruptly. Susan Flowers – Fire Victim “I got up. I walked around in the kitchen. I went to drink some water, played with my phone, send some credits to my husband phone and to my mam and my brother and my dad. I went in my room. I took my phone with me and I was listening to some music on the headphone. This was like probably 11:30. I fell asleep about a quarter to twelve. I checked on the boys. I do that. Every time I wake up, I will go and check in their room.

Police charge minor for Belize City murder
Belize City Police say they have charged a 16 year old male minor of Victoria Street, Belize City, for the weekend murder of 33 year old Salvadoran national, Jose Luis Umana, of a Cards Alley address. On Saturday night, October 11, according to Police, Jose Umana was found with a gunshot wound to the center of the forehead at the corner of New Road and Hydes Lane, after they received reports of shots fired in the area around 8:58 p.m. Jose Umana died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital while in treatment just under an hour later. On Tuesday, Press Officer Raphael Martinez told reporters that investigations continue into the possible motive for the incident.

Read Admiral John Borland presents plan for Forward Operating Bases
14 projects for the Belize Coast Guard, including 9 Forward Operating Bases, are slated for completion before the year 2019. Two of those, the Calabash Caye FOB and the San Pedro FOB have since been completed. It must be noted that the Calabash Caye base was built by a Belizean contractor in 2009; on the other hand, in 2013 BINARQ, the same Guatemalan company contracted to build the base at Hunting Caye, built the base in San Pedro. But unlike the San Pedro Forward Operating Base where Belizean labourers were being employed, the one at Hunting Caye was being built exclusively by Guatemalans. This has become sore point for Belizeans, especially after the death of Special Constable Danny Conorquie at the hands of Gautemalan Citizens.

GSU Commander responds to brutality allegations
While briefing the press on Tuesday morning, the GSU Commander, Inspector Mark Flowers, spoke out for the first time about several allegations of police brutality in which his name has been called. While they are being investigated by initially the Professional Standards Branch of the Department and eventually the Security Services Commission if approved, Inspector Flowers was intent on clearing his good name and going after his accusers. He specifically accuses Channel 7 of running a campaign to defame his character, a charge the television station denies. According to Inspector Flowers, Allan McKoy, who has alleged a brutal assault at the hands of the GSU after being accused of knocking down officer Dejohn Cayetano, has told the Ombudsman’s office that he was not menaced by Inspector Flowers as he originally claimed in press interviews. He offered as proof a statement Allan McKoy gave to that office.

Guatemala and Belize address security concerns
The Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission met on Friday 10 October in Guatemala City, to discuss security concerns, including the recent incidents in the Caracol Archeological Reserve. According to a press release from GOB, the commission reached 12 conclusions aimed at improving their effectiveness at combating illegal activities and transnational crime. Each Belizean security agency had an opportunity to meet directly with their Guatemalan counterparts, and agreed on a way forward for direct collaboration in respect of all security concerns, including coordinated operations among security agencies to combat the illegal activities in Belize’s territory.

Lynden flowers stabbed to death in Ladyville
21 year old Brandon Lynden Flowers of Ladyville, Belize District, was stabbed to death early Sunday morning following an apparent fight gone bad. Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez explains. Raphael Martinez – Police Press Officer “Police responded to a call regarding a fight in progress, and when they arrived at Stork Street just minutes to four in the morning, on Sunday the twelfth October, they saw twenty-one year old Lynden Flowers lying in the drain, suffering from apparent stab wounds to the chest. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and he later succumbed to his injuries while there, at about six-thirty in the morning. Again, police I have personally visited the Officer Commanding Ladyville, and they have detained quite a few persons in connection to this stabbing incident, but the update so far, I have not been updated at this moment.”

Woman found shot to death in Independence
A woman was found shot to death in Independence Village. According to police reports, the body of 33-year-old Lizette Aldana was found at about nine o’clock Tuesday morning on the Tex Mar Shrimp Farm Road in Independence. Lizette Aldana’s body had multiple gunshot wounds. The body has been transported to the Southern Regional Hospital where it awaits a postmortem examination. Police are investigating.

Two men arrested for murder of Kevin Taylor
There was a murder in Unitedville on Friday October 10th. Kevin Andrew Taylor Jr was stabbed twice; once to the heart and once to the back. According to eye witnesses, Andrew Taylor and two other men were socializing outside a shop owned by Thomas Mendoza, when the three of them had a brief exchange of words. One of those men left and went to another group of guys in the neighboring yard. They called for Kevin to come over and witnesses said he went over running and soon after that he came back walking slowly saying he got stabbed in his heart. He fell between the two yards and people from the shop went over and took him to the hospital. Inspector Reymundo Reyes told us about the police investigation into the matter.

Patrick JonesPJ

PUP recommends greater attention for the Chiquibul National Park
Late this evening, the People’s United Party (PUP) held a press conference at Independence Hall to report on party leader Francis Fonseca’s Sunday tour of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and Caracol Archaeological Reserve. According to PUP leader Francis Fonseca, the tour has underscored both the grave dangers faced […]

Security guard pleaded guilty to gang membership
A security guard for the largest hotel in Belize is in hot water tonight after pleading guilty to displaying signs of membership in a gang. 25 year old Vildo Spain who works for Ramada Princess Belize City Hotel, was found acting suspiciously by police on mobile patrol on […]

First-time offender gets light prison sentence on burglary charge
He could have faced as much as seven years in prison at minimum for attempted burglary. But Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith today handed down a comparatively lighter sentence to 28 year old John Baptist after convicting him of attempted burglary and going equipped for crime, his first offences. […]

PUP leader visits Chiquibul National Park
The leader of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Francis Fonseca, went on a visit to the Chiquibul National Park this past weekend. In the wake of that visit on Sunday, Fonseca today hosted a media briefing this afternoon at Independence Hall where he addressed several issues. Among […]

Potholes cause frustration for Orange Walk drivers
Motorists in Orange Walk town are facing huge potholes on their daily commute through the municipality. Work is currently being carried out to rehabilitate the portion of the Phillip Goldson Highway that passes through Orange Walk town; but still drivers are having to manoeuvre their vehicles through […]

Belize: National Holidays That Need Re-engineering
Belize celebrates Pan American Day on October 12 and Labor Day on May 1 each year….as national public and bank holidays. These holidays seem to have lost their purpose in the psyche of the Belizean people….with the holiday having become just another day off from work….serving no social, cultural or economic purpose of value to the nation. Holidays should bring our people closer together for a national constructive purpose….to promote unity. In keeping with the Pan American theme….we should construct a day that celebrates our diversity…in a healthy, competitive context….open opportunity for getting to know new people and different places….invite participation from bordering communities in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.


Make Some Noise San Pedro
I caught Angel Nunez on Reef Radio and TV (ch 20 in San Pedro) talking about potential negative events going on around our island during low season. He was urging people to raise their voices and make some noise if they see something not right, be it a robbery, an abusive situation or someone that needs help. I was very inspired by what he said and pleased with the fact that we did just that in the San Pablo area. Recently, one of the bikes from our yard was found by Robert, the house caretaker, in the vacant lot on the other side of our fence. Barb, my downstairs neighbor, saw some people across the canal looking in our direction. As she looked out her window, she did not feel the guys were casing us, it seemed more like they were looking at something and we feel they might have been watching someone on the other side of our fence. We also think our friend Christian going back and forth between both our apartments likely startled the person trying to steal the bike. They were home free with the bike over the fence and in the vacant lot but, for some reason, took off fast. Our version of making some noise was to tell our neighbors and double check who the guys across the water were with Amy who lives at that house. Nothing ever got solved here, but at least the people around us are aware to be extra observant right now.

Finn Kardashian Does Central America, Episode 4: Nicaragua!
It’s about Nicaragua and how for now, I must show it to you through the eyes of our intrepid traveler, Finn. The backpacking Kardashian. Here is Episode 4 of his journey. We last left him surrounded by lithe blond surfers in El Tunco, El Salvador. Here’s Finn. We left El Tunco, El Salvador at 3am on a shuttle. Now there is 1 Austrian, 1 Belgian, 2 Germans, 1 American and 1 Kardashian and 1 Belizean on this shuttle. Straight from the night club, I learnt my lesson the hard way. But what a better way to shuttle it up with a Jager buzz?

The Good News Keeps Coming For Belize
Enhanced air service, increased tourism arrivals, better infrastructure and continual improvement add up sunny days and a rosy future. A recent Travel Pulse feature article agrees with our earlier post this week that Belize is on an upward trajectory. The article. “Belize is Booming And Has The Numbers To Prove It” (October 14, 2014 ) cites the same BTB tourist arrival figures we quoted, as well as Caribbean Tourism Organization statistics to highlight their view that, yes, Belize is booming. Who would have thought, just over 30 years ago when Belize achieved independence and had an economy dependent on agriculture that the little country would become one of the world’s premier travel destinations while remaining so strongly committed towards environmental sustainability and responsible travel?

International Sourcesizz

Activists use GPS to track illegal loggers in Brazil's Amazon rainforest
Hi-tech undercover operation used GPS tracking on timber trucks for the first time, as well as satellite and aerial images to reveal extent of illegal logging in Brazilian Amazon. Covert GPS surveillance of timber trucks by Amazon campaigners has revealed how loggers are defeating attempts to halt deforestation in the world’s greatest rainforest. Raids by law enforcement officers are expected early on Wednesday morning, acting on the evidence handed to them by Greenpeace Brazil. The activists went undercover in the remote and dangerous state of Pará to secretly place GPS tracking devices on trucks suspected of illegal logging, the first time the tactic has been used. It revealed 200-mile-long journeys deep into protected regions of rainforest to collect logs and return journeys under the cover of night to sawmills in the Amazon port of Santarém, from where timber is exported to Europe, the US, China, and Japan. Satellite and aerial images were also collected and analysed during the hi-tech operation.

Our Mayan Heritage
Belize was known to be occupied by the ancient Mayas as evidenced by the Mayan temples across the country and the RBCMA is no exception. Over 60 substantial Mayan sites have been located within the Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area (RCBMA) The La Milpa site, located in western Rio Bravo, is the third largest site in Belize and its ceremonial center was expanded to its full extent as one of the major sites of the Maya Lowlands. This site gained international attention when it was featured in the National Geographic magazine – the burial of a King (a Royal Tomb) was discovered in front of the main temple, a unique discovery in Mayan archaeology excavation. The University of Texas does archaeological surveys on all sites on the RBCMA. Through such work we expect to learn much more about ancient Mayan civilization. Come take a walk through ancient Mayan Civilization by visiting the unexcavated ruins of La Milpa.

Corozal Sailing News
Please support this cause: - Sounds like and evening of fun for a special cause. You are cordially invited to join: COROZAL BAY SAILING CLUB For our Oktoberfest 2014 FUND RAISER Saturday October 25, 2014 Noon to 5:00 PM At The lovely home of Gerard and Kyler Cordts MENU Bratwursts (with onions or sauerkraut) None traditional Chicken Bratwursts too! Potato salads (German or American style) German Chocolate Cake **Cost $20 per person** Beer, sodas, wine, rums available Sailing demos, sail boat rides Chicken Drop ($2 a square)

Journese adds 5 Belize properties to portfolio
On Wednesday, Pleasant Holidays and sister company Journese opened up bookings for their newest destination in Central America, Belize. Journese opened bookings for Belizean Cove Estates, El Secreto, Grand Caribe Belize, Las Terrazas Resort & Residences and Victoria House. For new bookings made between Oct. 15 and Nov. 15, travel advisers will earn 500 TRIP points (Travel Reward Incentive Program), Journese's travel agent loyalty program. In addition, the agent with the most room nights booked will earn a four-night stay at Las Terrazas Resort & Residences in 2015. Pleasant Holidays’ Belize portfolio features a dozen three- and four-star beachfront resorts on Ambergris Caye and in Belize City, including condo and villa accommodations. Some of the properties Pleasant has added to its Belize lineup include: Coco Beach Resort, Grand Colony Villas, Matachica Resort & Spa and Las Terrazas Resort in Ambergris Caye; and Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City.

Illegal Fisheries: Green Cards for Five Countries, Red Card for Sri Lanka
In its fight against illegal fishing activities worldwide, the European Commission has proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. The move comes after four years of intense dialogue with the country after which it could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In contrast, the Commission confirmed that Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu, which had received warnings at the same time as Sri Lanka, have successfully taken measures to tackle illegal fishing. Consequently, the Commission proposes to lift the trade measures imposed in March this year against Belize. European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: "Our policy of resolute cooperation is yielding results. Five countries receive today our appreciation for getting serious on illegal fishing. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Sri Lanka. I hope that the message we are sending today will be a wake-up call for this country."

Where to see big cats in the wild
There is no creature more thrilling to see in the wild than a big cat. Richard Madden speaks to five leading wildlife experts to find out what makes the lion, tiger, cheetah, leopard and jaguar so compelling to watch – and where best to see them. Jaguars By Alan Rabinowitz, head of Panthera, which campaigns for endangered big cats. He set up a jaguar sanctuary in Belize. The jaguar is the ‘Tiger of the Americas’ and the third-largest of the big cats. Even though it’s a fearsome killing machine, I call the jaguar the ‘reluctant warrior’ of the cat family because it’s the least aggressive. Lions, tigers and leopards have been responsible for thousands of human deaths, but jaguars never attack humans. In some communities in South America people live alongside 500lb jaguars; no one is frightened of them. They can survive in numerous different habitats from the Sonoran Desert in Mexico to the pampas of northern Argentina, but they thrive best in wet jungle and rainforest and have an affinity for water. The Pantanal in Brazil during the latter half of the dry season (August to October) is the one place where you are almost guaranteed a sighting. The fishermen on the Cuiabá River don’t hunt them and when you are watching them from a boat, they don’t run away. Then, at night, you can follow them with a spotlight and even see them hunting. And that’s an incredible sight. Where to stay: Pousada do Rio Mutum, an eco-lodge, or the simpler Porto Jofre, where guests almost always see jaguar.

Common Fisheries Policy for Caribbean approved as final policy
The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), comprised of Ministers responsible for Agriculture from across the Caribbean Community, has confirmed the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy as a final policy document for the Community. The Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP) is aimed at fostering greater harmonisation across the Caribbean in the sustainable management and development of the region’s fisheries and aquaculture resources, with special emphasis on promoting the most efficient use of shared resources while aiming to improve food security and reduce poverty in the region. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has said that CARICOM policies, once authorized by COTED, are binding on the countries. At its meeting held in Suriname last Friday, 10 October 2014, COTED gave its stamp of approval to the CCCFP and said that the newly authorized policy should be applied by Member States as far as possible. The formal signing of the CCCFP by member countries is expected to commence in the months ahead.


Video: Belize's Tony Wright: Let's Tek Back We Septemba!, 38min.
Belizean artist turned activist, Tony Wright has been resisting the musical and cultural invasion of Belizean music and culture since the early 1990's as a musical artist and talk show host on the popular KREM Radio in Belize City. Since the late 1980's, Belize began seeing a musical and cultural invasion from foreign artists both from the Caribbean and United States where its traditional musical art forms like Bruckdon and Punta Rock were beginning to be displaced by Caribbean musical art forms like reggae and Soca. With these art forms becoming prominent and accepted by the Belizean status quo first and then by the general Belizean population, Belizean traditional culture began also to be displaced by other Caribbean cultures like Carnival and Jamaican Gangster Rap. The infusion has taken a toll on Belizean social life in a negative way, robbing Belizean musical and cultural artists of income that they would have necessarily be able to acquire from national festivities and from the country's tourism. Since then, Wright has been the only artist that has been consistent in resisting musical and cultural assimilation and protecting the rights of the Belizean artist in Belize for equal rights and justice in Belize's musical and cultural market. In this exclusive behind the scene Part 1 of Belizean Legends feature, Wright discusses the issue in-depth with host Bilal Morris in September of 2012.

Video: Snorkeling Belize 2, 5min.

Video: Snorkeling Belize 3, 7min.

Video: National Convention Of The People of Belize Pt 1, 29min.
Held on October 10th, 2014 at the Jaguar Auditorium.

Video: Blackbeard Scuba Belize Trip 2014, 11min.

Video: Belize Vacation 2014, 15min.
Footage from Caye Caulker, Turneffe, cave tubing,fishing, Glovers Atoll and the whale sharks at Gladden Spit.

Video: Belize 2015, 11min.


October 15, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Fido’s and Blue Water Grill face off in a five-a-side match
Even though it was a cloudy day, the heat was on. But the breeze was cool as two teams prepared to face off in one the island’s favorite sports five-a-side football. While similar to normal football, the not yet recognized ‘official sport of San Pedro’ five-a-side has three major differences. It is played in a smaller field with five player to a team, and the play time is much shorter. Poor Fido’s! They were taking a whooping, and only a miracle could save them! Well, the miracle came in the last 10 minutes of the second half, when Fido’s managed to score four much needed goals, tying the game six to six. What are the odds of that?! Impressive, right?! After 35 minutes of adrenaline, lots of sweat and several tumbles, someone kicked the ball out of bounds and it got lost in the municipal jungle of San Pedro Town. No ball means no game, so it had to be called off.

Illegal fisheries: green cards for five countries, but red card for Sri Lanka
In its fight against illegal fishing activities worldwide, the European Commission has today proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. The move comes after four years of intense dialogue with the country after which it could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In contrast, the Commission today confirmed that Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu, which had received warnings at the same time as Sri Lanka, have successfully taken measures to tackle illegal fishing. Consequently, the Commission proposes to lift the trade measures imposed in March this year against Belize. European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said: “Our policy of resolute cooperation is yielding results. Five countries receive today our appreciation for getting serious on illegal fishing. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Sri Lanka. I hope that the message we are sending today will be a wake-up call for this country.” Progress confirmed for Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu.

Fishing expedition off Ambergris Caye turns tragic; 1 man still missing
The family of 21 year old Eric “Bird” Garcia is devastated after a fishing expedition turned tragic over the holiday weekend. Garcia was along with two others on board a canoe when it flipped at sea sometime around midday on Monday October 13th in the Tres Cocos Channel off Ambergris Caye. Two of three were rescued alive, but Garcia is still missing and presumed drowned. Since then a search and rescue operation has been in place, and includes the Belize Coast Guard and local divers from San Pedro Town.

Ambergris Today

Applications Open for Miss World Belize 2014
Miss World Belize Ltd hereby invites Contestants interested to compete for the title Miss World Belize 2014. Contestants must be females between 17 to 24 years old and has a valid Belizean passport. For more information please send a letter of request by e-mail to: [email protected] and request an application form to be filled out, signed and returned by e-mail on or before the deadline date of October 21, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Cell phone: 600-8932. All Delegates during their stay in London, will visit historic venues, attend an array of festive events, compete in a variety of sub-contests in the lead up to the Grand Final with the current Miss World, Megan Young of the Philippines, who will crown her successor at the end of the event. Miss World 2014 will be the 64th edition of the Miss World pageant to be held on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. at the ExCeL’s ICC Auditorium in London, England, which is the largest flexible auditorium in the United Kingdom. Miss World will embrace the Christmas Spirit in London, famed for its seasonal celebrations.

Canoer Presumed Dead after Coast Guard Rescues Two at Sea
The two men who were rescued are 25-year-old Jamal Martinez and 28-year-old Joseph Hernandez, both local residents and laborers of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Both were examined and treated and released in good health condition. The search for the third missing person, identified only as Erik ‘Bird’ has been ongoing since yesterday afternoon and today, Tuesday, October 14, 2014. The Belize Coast Guard is still searching for him with the assistance of five other vessels that have volunteered in the search. The Belize Coast Guard confirms that the men on the canoe were not wearing life jackets and that there was a small craft advisory sent out yesterday by the Belize Meteorological Department due to choppy sea conditions.

Belize Boasts Impressive Numbers in Third Quarter Tourist Arrivals
The Belize Tourism Board just released tourism arrival statistics for Belize which shows that the third quarter of 2014 has registered increases in tourist arrivals across the board. The outstanding growth in arrivals for both overnight and cruise have exceeded forecasted numbers for this quarter. Overall for the first nine months of this year, overnight arrivals are up by 11%; airport arrivals are up by 9.2% and cruise arrivals are up by almost 45%. Historically, the third quarter is the slowest period for visitor traffic into the international airport of Belize. However, this year, there were arrival increases in every month of the third quarter through the PGIA. Airport arrivals for the third (3rd) quarter of 2014 has seen an increase of 3.9% compared to last year. July registered an increase of 6.0%, the highest increase for this quarter when compared to July 2013.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Perspectives of our Past
Join us as we present our final lecture of the series this Thursday at 7 pm!!

Chiquibul Protection Telethon
Sat, October 18

Belize and Guatemala Hold Successful Meeting of the Joint Commission in Guatemala

Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission Met to Discuss Framework for Negotiations and Confidence-Building Measures

Hon. Francis Fonseca at Caracol
Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca and PUP Leader was at the Caracol Archaeological Site on Sunday October 12, 2014. He visited the Visitors Shed, the spot at which our fallen Brother Danny Conorquie was murdered by unfriendly Forces from across our western border.

What is the cost of a holiday? - Thousands of Belizeans flocked across to the shores of Mexico's Riviera Maya over this weekend's Pan American Holiday looking for white sugar beaches, turquoise warm Caribbean waters, gourmet dining, eco-cultural water parks and truly the Mexico experience. The Riviera Maya is a stretch of 80 miles from Tulum to Cancun. Being at the tail end of the slow tourist season, many resorts are offering all inclusive packages for a fraction of the normal cost. We anticipate that hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars were spent at these all-inclusive Mexican resorts by vacationing Belizeans over this holiday weekend. On their return late yesterday evening, many travelers were stuck at our Santa Elena Corozal border check-in booth with only one immigration officer attending to the flock of already tired souls. Early this morning many calls were made to the Belize talk shows to denounce the delay experienced in the processing of their passports at the immigration last night. People complained having to wait for a least one hour to get stamped in.

Channel 7

Belize and Guatemala Discuss Caracol Security Breach
For the past month, issues of national security has been dominating the national discourse. That's following the recent armed incursion which happened at the Valentin Conservation Post, 14 days ago. 40 or so armed Guatemalans from the village of La Rejoya came into Belizean territory in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, and they threatened to burn down the Conservation Post that was under construction. Then, there was the murder Special Constable Danny Conorquie at the Caracol Site, presumed - but not proven - to be Guatemalan cross border bandits. Well, Diplomatic Representatives of the Government of Belize met with Guatemala during the long weekend. A press release says that the Belize-Guatemala Join Commission met on Friday and discussed different issues including murder and the incursion inside the Caracol Reserve. The Belize Delegation was led by the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs H.E. Alexis Rosado, and included Sen. Lisa Shoman, Representative for the Leader of the Opposition; Gen. David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defense Force; ACP Russell Blackett as Acting Commissioner of Police and Superintendent Marco Vidal, Head of Special Branch. They were received by the New Guatemalan Foreign Minister, H.E. Carlos Raul Morales, and it was witnessed by H.E. Raul Lago, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States.

Coast Guard Commandant: There Was No Security Issue At Hunting Caye
But, as we told you, it caused quite a public uproar in the discussion of national security when it was discovered that the Guatemalan company, BINARQ, was building the Forward Operating Base for the Coast Guard on Hunting Caye, one of the southernmost islands in the Sapodilla Range. Last week Thursday, the United States Army Corp of Engineers sent the company a letter to stop construction, which was almost 75% complete. The public critics say, however, that the company shouldn't have gotten that far before it became public knowledge. So, today, in an effort to allay fears that the security of the nation has been breached by the Guatemalan employees who worked on the building, the Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard held a press conference in which he explained the vetting procedure. Admiral John Borland told the press today that the The Hunting Caye Project came about at an opportune time for the Coast Guard, when they realized that facilities built years ago was rundown. The upgrade was first requested by Coast Guard in 2005, but it was notnot approved until late 2010.

Valentin Conservation Outpost Completed
And speaking about the Valentin Conservation Post, it is now completed. Today, the Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development was in Belize City making the media rounds. He spoke with us saying that, given that Guatemalans have already threatened to burn it down, the Law enforcement agencies which will be posted there, must remain on high alert at all times to protect it: Rafael Manzanero - Executive Director, FCD "The Valentin Conservation Post, it actually was finish just less than 48 hours ago. The soldiers had already been there on location as a result of the last incident, so as far as I know there were about 20 soldiers that had been there for quite some days now and so we can estimate that some 8 of them will be able to comprise the patrol unit or the unit that would be left in Valentin. We are still in discussion with NICH because technically Valentin is inside the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and our impression is that they also should be able to put in one or two park wardens from NICH. The CP as how it stands, it is pretty much just basic, it's nothing really to be accommodating people because that is not the idea of a CP. The idea is really to be a sort of a hub where we can launch operations like for patrols or for enforcement and monitoring."

Jose Umana Shot In The Head; Dies An Hour Later.
Over the long 3-day weekend, there were three murders 2 stabbing deaths in Cayo and Ladyville on Friday Night and Sunday Morning respectively, and fatal shooting on Saturday night. Tonight, we report first on the shooting of 33 year-old Salvadoran Jose Luis Umana. It happened on Saturday night just before 9. Umana was at the corner of New Road and Hydes Lane when his attacker ambushed him and shot him in the center of the forehead. Police responded shortly after, and Umana was rushed to the KHMH. Doctors worked on him for just under an hour, but the injury to his brain was too severe, and he died while undergoing treatment. 7News has been following the story, and here's what his family had to say:

21 Year-old Stabbed To Death In Ladyville
The weekend tragedies continued with the murder of 21 year-old Brandon Lynden Flowers, a fisherman from Ladyville. It happened in the early morning hours of Sunday. Flowers had gone out a few hours earlier to socialize, and his family received the terrible news at around 4 o'clock that he had been stabbed twice. He died on the spot, and at this time, the family is unsure as to why his attackers killed him, especially because, according to them, he kept out of trouble. They spoke with us today about it. Courtney Weathernburne has that story: Courtney Weathernburne reporting In the midday heat, this area in Ladyville might look like a cool and inviting spot to relax, away from sun, but in the early Sunday morning hours, it became a crime scene.

Another 21 Year-old Killed In Stabbing Incident
And that brings us to the third homicide this weekend of 21 year-old Kevin Taylor Jr. from Cayo. The family of this Unitedville Village resident continues to make preparations for his burial after he was attacked and stabbed on Friday night at around 10:15 p.m. Police haven't released the information as yet, but reports are this young man was socializing in the village, and there was a fight which broke out. During that confrontation, Taylor was stabbed multiple times in the left side of the chest. He was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital, but unfortunately, he passed away while the doctors were treating his wounds.

Ghost Town Boss Walks Away From Gang Life
For over 20 years, Roger Anthony, who has been living inside Mayflower Street, has been identified by numerous persons as the leader of the Ghost Town Crips, one of the most feared gangs in Belize City. But recently he's been going mainstream - well, sort of. You've seen him on this newscast making appearances on the news as the leader of the Mayflower group of workmen who have been taking part in the construction of the Chetumal Boulevard. But today, he took it one step further: he made a bold move, and announced on national television that he's walked away from the gang life. Here's how he explained it: Roger Anthony - No Longer With Mayflower "I am here today to say that the gang life that I've been in for the past 26 years, that isn't a life and I think it's time for us, we as leaders to make a change and to stand up and help the police especially the Gang Suppression Unit to stand strong and work with each leaders of the community so that we can make a change.

GSU Commander Mauls Channel 7
Anthony's past interactions with the Gang Suppression Unit and other elements of the police department undoubtedly played a role in this drastic change, and the Commander, Mark Flowers made the introduction to his bold statement. This also gave us the much needed opportunity to question Flowers about the allegations which have been made against him. We've gone the great lengths to get his side of the story before our reports went to air on our newscast. He's since stopped taking our calls and answering our text message requests for comment, but we have our records to show that out of respect for his professional reputation and the very serious allegations made, we made attempts. Still, he's gone on the offensive, threatening to sue Channel 7, and he's also made aspersions against this media house.

Coast Guard Rescues 3; Looks For 1
Tonight, we showed you the comments from the Commandant of the Coast Guard as he explained that thorny Hunting Caye Issue. But, apart from being under scrutiny, Coast Guard has also been making commendable efforts. Those included two well-executed rescues this weekend. Fleet Commander for the Belize Coast Guard, Lt. Soberanis discussed the details of these operations. Lt. Soberanis, Fleet Commander, Belize Coast Guard "The search and rescue case was one with a gentleman Kareem Roland, he was kayaking in the lagoon just whisk of San Pedro Town. He reported to the authorities that he was in distress. We were able to make contact with Mr. Roland via phone who stated that due to the wind and weather conditions at the time, he was unable to make it back to the island. Our station in San Pedro patrol a vessel with a search unit who coordinated with a local fisherman who was in that area at the time and Mr. Roland was found and transported back to the island. We are currently on a case where there were 3 individuals who were canoeing in the area of Grand Caribe.

The Regional Perspective On Climate Change
Last night in Bridgetown Barbados, the Belmopan based Caribbean Community Climate Change Center took center stage at the launch of the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. The first report was delivered in 1990, and 24 years later, the fifth report finds all climate change indicators in the red zone. Jules Vasquez was in Bridgetown Barbados to find out what needs to be done to arrest climate change and its effect on the small states in the Caribbean: Jules Vasquez reporting The Frank Collymore Center in downtown Bridgetown Barbados - in the shadow of the country's towering Central Bank building was the venue for the presentation of the fifth report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - or IPCC as it is known. The event was chaired by Director of the Caribbean Climate Change Center, Belize's Dr. Kenrick Leslie and it carried a tone of urgency:

Celebrating the Need For Standards
World Standards Day was celebrated today under the theme "Standards Level the Playing Field". Why should you celebrate world standards day Well as abstract as it may seem, standards govern activities and decisions in every aspect of a society, from the quality of food you eat, to the type of butane you buy to cook your food. It also fosters a competitive atmosphere especially in the economy. Rudolpho Gutierrez, Consumer Protection Liaison Officer from the Belize Bureau of Standards explained the benefits of implementing standards in trade and investment in Belize. Rudolpho Gutierrez, Consumer Protection Liaison Officer "It's a day set aside to pay tribute to all these men and women from the world who work in indepthly in standards to promote and better the communities and societies of the world. For the exporting companies, in our mind I think the exporters are more cognizant of the need to have standards within their policies because at the end of the day there is a lot of requirements that needs to be met on the international market. We are a bit slow more in local with our importers of products. The local producers, but for the domestic markets, they need to embrace standards at a quicker pace."

Channel 5

Tragedy at Sea: Kayak Capsizes off the Coast of San Pedro
There was a dramatic rescue on the high seas by the Belize Coastguard of one of three persons who set out to fish on Monday. A second person was rescued [...]

Hunting Caye F.O.B. Construction Poses No Threat to National Security
Construction of a Coast Guard forward operating base on Hunting Caye was brought to an abrupt close last week after a stop order issued by the US Southern Command. That [...]

Coast Guard Commander on Employment Status of Guatemalan Workers
That, relatively speaking, takes care of the substantive matter of the forward operating base, but there are other serious issues – like the immigration and work status of those Guatemalan [...]

Are Unwelcome Visitors Reconnoitering Conservation Post in Chiquibul?
Another issue that has remained in the headlines is the execution-style murder of Danny Conorquie at the Caracol Archaeological Site, inside the Chiquibul National Park. The BDF says that groups [...]

Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission Meets in Guatemala City to Discuss Security Issues
The government also announced today that a Belizean delegation led by CEO Alexis Rosado traveled to Guatemala City last Friday where the Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission convened a meeting to discuss [...]

Was GSU Boss Involved in Human Smuggling Attempt?
Early this morning the GSU called the media to a press briefing at Raccoon Street, hosted by no other than Inspector Mark Flowers. As usual, he had quite a lot [...]

Ghost Town Overlord Roger Anthony Renounces Thug Life
He hasn’t been in charge of the Gang Suppression Unit for long, but he’s racked up quite a record. A lot of people would say that’s not a good thing [...]

Former Gang Leader Finds God and Family
o what has brought about this remarkable change in a man who has been linked to many acts of violence crime and even murder? Well as clichéd as it may [...]

Jose Luis Umana Executed in Belize City
There were two murders in the Belize District this weekend, one out west and one down south. We start with a murder on Saturday night at the corner of New [...]

Stabbing Incident in Ladyville Claims the Life of Brandon Flowers
The second murder happened in Ladyville at around three am Sunday morning. There are reports that twenty-one year old Brandon Flowers was partying at a club in the community when [...]

Teakettle Duo Charged for Unitedville Murder
In the west another man was killed when he was stabbed to death. Tonight a pair of Teakettle men is on remand at the Belize Central Prison, following the Friday [...]

Bullet-riddled Body of Independence Woman Discovered
The weekend’s fourth murder occurred in the South where Independence police are investigating an apparent case of homicide, following the discovery of the lifeless body of a woman in that [...]

Six-year-old Perishes in Spanish Lookout Mishap
A six year old boy from Spanish Lookout also tragically lost his life over the weekend. Elam Penner was along with his father and siblings when he perished at about [...]

Third Person Charged for A&R Heist
Belize City police have arrested and charged another suspect for the armed robbery of A and R store which occurred back on twentieth August.  During the heist, robbers made off [...]

GSU Mark Flowers Addresses Allegations of Police Brutality
Two weeks ago, mechanic Allan McCoy claimed that members of the Gang Suppression Unit, including Inspector Mark Flowers, worked him over as he headed home from a club. Just minutes [...]

Will Allan McCoy Be Charged After Allegedly Being Beaten Up By GSU?
Flowers today made much of the Ombudsman’s report, but made no mention of the Police report. That report, made by McCoy to the Professional Standards Bureau, does make very specific [...]

Another Hilux Stolen in Belmopan
Vehicles belonging to the Mayor of Belmopan and the Ministry of Health are among six vehicles to be stolen and not recovered from the Belmopan area. Over the weekend, another [...]

Mark Flowers Goes In on the Media Once Again
And we end our coverage of GSU Head Mark Flowers tonight with a quite remarkable rant. We’re not sure what to make of it, to be honest. He attacks certain [...]

EU to Lift Fisheries Ban on Belize
There is some good news coming out the European Commission. In March this year, the EC imposed restrictions on Belize and other countries for not doing enough to combat illegal [...]

Well-Known Belizean Businessman Karl H. Menzies Passes Away
And this news well known businessman Karl H. Menzies whose reputable business on Barrack Road carries his name passed away on Saturday October eleventh. A mass in celebration of his [...]

Weekend Sporting Events with James Adderley
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The Cayo first division football competition is heating up so we took on Saturday’s big time matchup inside the Norman [...]


Admiral Says US Was Given Green Light to Choose Contractors Under the Musa Administration
According to Admiral John Borland the matter of having the United States authorized to select the contractor for the US funded projects is one that stems from an agreement signed under the Said Musa administration back in 2007. The document, dubbed the Status of Forces agreement is a diplomatic note that gave the United States the authority to select contractors for specific projects. ADMIRAL JOHN BORLAND “There were 14 other projects, none of them built by Guatemalans. It is the process by which the contracts are awarded and I said we agreed to that when we signed that agreement in 2007 for the United States government to have the authority to hire any company based on their processes and normally it goes to lowest bidder. When the contracts were awarded to the Belizean contractors we thought that was great but we did not have a hand into who the other contracts would be awarded to. It was something we as a nation state agreed to in 2007.”

Toddler Dies In Trailer Tractor
A six year old child from the Spanish Lookout community is dead. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story. FEM CRUZ “San Ignacio police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 6-year-old of Spanish Lookout. The father of the child, 35-year-old, Walter Penner, farmer and resident of Spanish Lookout told Love News that on Monday evening, October 13 sometime after 5pm he was with his 6-year-old son, Elam Penner who was sitting on top of the corn inside of the trailer tractor. Penner says he stopped the tractor to check if it was plowing well and upon making further checks saw that the 6-year-old had disappeared along with the corn inside the bin. He quickly opened the bin and saw his son inside in an unconscious state. Six year old Elam Penner was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital by BERT ambulance but sadly passed away. Police investigation continues.”

Admiral Borland: Hunting Caye Construction Contract Did Not Constitute a National Threat
Less than two weeks ago, the fact that a Guatemalan company was contracted to construct the Forward Operating Base for the Belize Coast Guard on Hunting Caye, was brought to light bringing with it a lot of discontent and outrage from the Belizean public. It has been an issue that has reached as far as the House of Representatives and that has been kept alive via social media and the various talk shows, with some citing a risk to our national security, a betrayal to the Belizean people among other perceptions. Today, during a conference in the conference room of the Belize Coast Guard base in Belize City, Admiral John Borland, the Commandant of the Coast Guard told the media that his administration has very little input or influence when it comes to the employing of contractors. ADMIRAL JOHN BORLAND “I do not know if the contracts included any requirement for Belizeans to be working on the Hunting Caye project specifically. I know there is a requirement for Belizeans to work on the San Pedro Project and there were Belizeans doing that project. All we do is facilitate the process when it comes to us. The request would normally come from the contracting party to the MLO’s office, the US MLO’s office and they in turn would request that we endorse the issuance of those work permits or authority to reside temporarily in the country during the phase of construction of the project. “

Two Men Arraigned for Weekend Murder in Unitedville
A third man was killed this weekend; this time in the Cayo District. Two men have been charged with the Friday night murder of 21-year-old Kevin Taylor Junior in Unitedville in the Cayo District. 27-year-old Brian Bell and 32-year-old Tyrone Rushford also known as Tyrone Gongora appeared in San Ignacio Magistrate Court this morning where they were read the murder charge. They are to reappear in court on December 30. According to police reports, sometime around nine thirty on Friday night three men were involved in a fight near a shop in the village. As a result Taylor received stab wounds to the left side of the chest, left side of the neck and a cut wound to the lower back. He was transported to the Western Regional Hospital where he died a short while later.

From Village Party to City Morgue
The second murder occurred on Sunday morning when police responded to a fight in progress in Ladyville. This time, the victim was 21 year old Lyndon Flowers who was stabbed multiple times. Martinez filled us in… RAPHAEL MARTINEZ “Police responded to a call of a fight in progress and when they arrived at Stork Street at minutes to four in the morning on Sunday, October 12 they saw 22-year-old, Lindon Flowers lying in the drain, suffering from apparent stab wounds to the chest. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and he later succumbed to his injuries while there at about six thirty in the morning. I have personally visited the Officer Commanding Ladyville and they have detained quite a few persons in connection to this latest stabbing incident but I have not been updated at this moment. Initial investigations are saying that there was a party, these young people got involved in an altercation which resulted in the stabbing death of young Linden Flowers. As I mentioned earlier, several people are being questioned at this time by Ladyville Police and hopefully we can get some closure to this.”

Minor Charged for Murder of Salvadoran National
Two men were murdered in Belize City over the long weekend. The first occurred on Saturday night when 33 year old Salvadoran national Jose Luis Umana was gunned down while he was on New Road. Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez shared more details. RAPHAEL MARTINEZ “Police responded to a shooting incident at the corner of Hydes Lane and New Road. When they arrived there they saw 33-year-old Salvadoran national Jose Luis Umana of a Cards Alley address suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the forehead. He was quickly transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but unfortunately he succumbed to his injuries at about 9:55 later that evening. So far police are investigating this shooting incident and no one has been detained as yet.”

Belize Sends Big Guns to Guatemala
Since the shooting murder of Special Constable, Daniel Conorquie, at the Caracol Archaeological Reserve on September 25, sparked concerns to be voiced out across the country. The Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, out lined several measures that the Belize Government would be putting in place. However, with the murderers of Conorquie believed to be Guatemalans and the recorded history of Guatemalans incursion into the Chiquibul Forest, whatever measures the Government of Belize puts in place may not be one hundred percent effective, especially if Guatemalan Authorities are kept outside of the loop. The news tonight is that Belize-Guatemalan Joint Commission met on Friday in Guatemala City to discuss security concerns, including the murder of Conorquie. The Belize delegation was headed by CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado, and included Senator Lisa Shoman, who representative the Leader of the Opposition, Commandant of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones, Assistant Commissioners of Police, Russell Blackett, who is the acting Commissioner of Police and Superintendent Marco Vidal, Head of Special Branch. A release from the Government Press Office, states that each security agency had an opportunity to meet directly with their Guatemalan counterparts and agreed on a way forward for direct collaboration in respect of all security concerns, including coordinated operations among security agencies to combat illegal activities and transnational crime.

Belizean Faces Possibility of Death Penalty in Las Vegas
A Belizean man is imprisoned in Las Vegas, USA following the shooting death of a woman and the wounding of another in a parking lot of a restaurant in the said state. Arraignment for the 27-year-old, Carim J. Cruz was postponed by the judge. Cruz is facing the possibility of the death penalty. Meanwhile, a defense attorney, John Momot is quoted as saying that Cruz’ case is complicated and he will need more time to determine if he’ll represent Cruz on murder, attempted murder and other charges. The shooting took place on August 16 outside the Geisha House sushi and steak restaurant. The new arraignment date has been set for October 23. According to Las Vegas police, Cruz was involved in an argument with the boyfriend of 33-year-ld, Deanna Serrano prior to the shooting that killed Serrano. Prosecutor Brad Turner commented that the case will be considered by the district attorney’s death penalty panel.

Patrick JonesPJ

GSU Commander responds to brutality allegations
This morning, the GSU Commander Inspector Mark Flowers spoke out for the first time about several allegations of police brutality in which his name has been called. While these are being investigated by initially the Professional Standards Branch of the Department and eventually the Security Services Commission if […]

Belize City gang leader renounces lifestyle
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) has been firm in its stated aim is to reduce and ultimately end activities of criminal gangs in Belize City. But while that has often meant face to face confrontations on the streets, some involving violence, it has also been working behind the scenes, […]

Three rescued, one still missing at sea after boats capsize
Two separate incidents at sea near Ambergris Caye on Monday afternoon led to four men from San Pedro Town spending uncomfortable time in the water. Three have been rescued, but 22 year old Eric Garcia remains missing. Coast Guard Field Commander Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis reported that Kareem Rowland […]

Coast Guard boss says Guatemalan contract at Hunting Caye not a threat
Belize’s national security was at no time under threat from the Guatemalan company BINARC or its workers who were building the Belize National Coast Guard’s forward operating base (FOB) at Hunting Caye in the Toledo District. That is according to Commandant of the Belize National Coast Guard Rear […]

Woman’s body found in Independence village
Police in Stann Creek are investigating a homicide in Independence village. Around 9 o’clock this morning, authorities found the body of 33 year old Lizette Aldana on the Tex Mar Shrimp Farm road in Independence village. A statement from the police press officer says that Aldana’s body […]

Teenager charged for weekend murder in Belize City
A 16 year old Belize City boy has been charged for the crime of murder. Due to his age, the name of the teenager cannot be revealed; but police today announced that the charge of murder has been brought against the boy for the shooting death of […]


From San Pedro to Hopkins, Belize To Help: It’s NEVER Been Hipper to Snip
Yesterday, for most of the day, I made my way south for a volunteer veterinary clinic held by the AMAZING Hopkins Humane Society. A relatively recent operation – founded in 2008 – that is…well…kicking ass in the village of Hopkins (population around 1000) and around Belize. Spaying and neutering dogs (over 1100 last year alone!), providing emergency care and taking care of the basics in this area, like mange, fleas, tick fever, botflies, worms…all can be life threatening here in Belize. This week, a volunteer vet has flown in from the states and with the local veterinarian and a team of volunteers, we are hitting Dangriga – a much bigger town to the north of Hopkins. A town with basically no veterinary care.

Can Belize Kaggle?
Are you a tech savy programmer or data scientist in Belize looking for a new challenge? Do you feel that you have the skills to compete globally? If yes, then you should definitely visit Through Kaggle, you can participate in real life competitions with significant payouts and a chance to compete globally for the big win! Kaggle is the leading platform for predictive modeling competitions which focus on analytics and data science. In order to join and compete on Kaggle, simply follow the three (3) steps indicated below:

ReefCI launching Belize Lionfish jewellery
ReefCI have expanded their Lionfish program to include a new initiative where we remove the fins and tails of the Lionfish and employ and empower local women to make Lionfish earrings! Come see us at TIDE fish festival in Punta Gorda this Sunday. Earrings will be selling at reduced show prices. Belize Lionfish earrings will soon be available at major outlets in Belize. The invasive Lionfish is a voracious predator, upsetting the fragile balance of our marine eco-system, potentially disastrous for the health of the coral reefs and marine species that we love!

International Sourcesizz

Plea delayed for Belize native in Las Vegas deadly shooting
A judge postponed arraignment for a 27-year-old native of Belize who a prosecutor says could face the death penalty following his indictment in the shooting death of one woman and the wounding of another in a parking lot outside a Las Vegas restaurant. Defense attorney John Momot said Tuesday the case involving Carim J. Cruz is complicated, and he needs time to determine if he'll represent Cruz on murder, attempted murder and other charges in the Aug. 16 shooting outside the Geisha House sushi and steak restaurant. A judge reset Cruz's arraignment for Oct. 23. Prosecutor Brad Turner said outside court that the case will be considered by the district attorney's death penalty panel.

Belize is Booming And Has The Numbers To Prove It
Belize’s third quarter visitor arrival statistics reflect a destination in the midst of a surging travel boom. The country recorded 45,862 arrivals between July, an increase of nearly four percent from 44,133 in 2013. The increase comes in what is traditionally Belize’s slowest travel period. Visitor arrivals at Belize’s Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport were in fact up higher in every month of the third quarter of 2014, said Belize Tourism Board (BTB) officials in a statement. While increased airport arrivals are driving a corresponding growth in overnight stays, Belize is also expanding its cruise ship arrivals. Airport arrivals are up nine percent for the first nine months of 2014, while overnight stays are up by 11 percent and cruise ship arrivals are up by 45 percent.

247exchange CEO Alexey Maximenko: ‘Belize is an Attractive Place for Investments, Bitcoin Startups’
Alexey Maximenko is a Russian native entrepreneur, former IT-specialist and system administrator, who co-founded the first and only digital currency exchanger incorporated in Belize, 247exchange. In his interview with CoinTelegraph, Maximenko shares his ambitions for his business, and discusses the future of digital currencies in Belize. CoinTelegraph: 247exchange is currently the only digital currency exchanger in Belize and the community hasn’t heard much about your service. Could you give us a little background historic, and tells us how the idea of a digital currency exchange platform came up? Alexey Maximenko: One of our founders had a digital currency exchange business (but not a Bitcoin one) in Russia in the past. So, we’re not novices in this industry. After some time the idea of making a global service appeared. We had analyzed the current situation on the market and saw that the future was up to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and noticed the space we could fill in. We noticed that on the market, there was a lack of easy-to-understand services and, also, that some useful features were missing.

Willats promotes summer Belize trip for all
Science teacher Andrew Willats is promoting a trip to Belize over the summer through a program called Ecology Project International. The cost of the nine day trip is about $3,000. It will be from June 15, the Sunday after graduation, to June 23. “We need around 14 people to sign up for the trip,” Willats said. “But if we don’t reach that number, sometimes students’ siblings or people from other schools sign up.” Willats said that he tries to do a trip through this program about every other year. “We’ve gone to the Galapagos Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica,” Willats said. The trip is for anyone from any school, regardless of experience in environmental science or ecology.

Developer's Belize project raking in awards
Real estate venture Eco-Futures Development, spearheaded by Huntington Beach resident Luke Chadwick, has received 17 international awards for Sanctuary Belize, a master-planned community in Belize, a country on the northeastern coast of Central America. The 14,000-acre retirement and vacation community has won the International Property Award for Best Mixed-Use Development for three consecutive years, along with various other honors. About 70 percent of the property is permanent open space in correlation with the development's 10,000-acre private wildlife reserve.

Joblessness among region's youth chronic
THE most valuable asset for the future economic and social development of the Caribbean is its young people. Regrettably, that asset is going to waste by inadequate education, migration and unemployment. Youth unemployment, in particular, has reached crisis proportions because of the adverse impact of the global economic recession since 2008 and ineffective domestic macroeconomic policy. In recent years, Caribbean economies have averaged 0-1 per cent growth, with Trinidad and Guyana being the exceptions. The economic crisis, accompanied by high indebtedness and fiscal deficits, has severely constrained the capacity of our governments to stimulate economic growth and employment. The World Bank reports that between 2007 and 2013 unemployment increased in The Bahamas by 73 per cent; in Barbados by 57 per cent; in Belize by 53 per cent and in St Lucia by 47 per cent. Jamaica, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda experienced slower growth in joblessness. In Jamaica unemployment rose from 9.4 per cent in 2007 to 12.7 per cent in 2011.

Top 10 millionaires' paradise islands: where the rich and famous go to get away from it all
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook Chief Executive, this week upped his status even further by joining the millionaire paradise club. The 30-year old bought a 700-acre piece of land on Kauai, the fourth largest of the Hawaiian islands, for a cool $100 million (£63 million). With its pristine beaches, old sugar plantation buildings and land on which there are plans for an organic farm, Zuckerberg and his family will be able to enjoy private vacations on one of the most beautiful places on earth. It has long been customary for the super-wealthy to spend some of their riches on a private island, a tradition which Zuckerberg is clearly embracing to the full. Here are some more of the world’s most fabulous millionaire playgrounds: 2. Blackadore Caye, Belize, Leonardo DiCaprio Bought by the Wolf of Wall Street and Titanic star in 2005 for $1.75 million (£1.1 million), DiCaprio, a keen environmentalist, is planning to build an eco-friendly resort on the 104 acre island near the famous barrier reef off the coast of Belize. He has said the resort will be open to the public as an example of sustainable tourism, complete with eco-tours of the island.

CRFM hopes US reject petition to ban import of Caribbean conch
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) says its hopes data it supplied to the United States would convince authorities there not to list the queen conch as an endangered species, as a non-governmental organisation from Colorado has requested. The CRFM has requested on behalf of the Caribbean Community that the United States-CARICOM Council on Trade and Investment reject the petition of WildEarth Guardians, calling on U.S. authorities to list the queen conch as a “threatened” or “endangered” species under the USA Endangered Species Act. The United States is expected to give a ruling in early November, and if the species is listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA, conch exports from the CARICOM States to the United States market would be prohibited. Executive Director of CRFM, Milton Haughton, told a press conference at Caribbean Week of Agriculture on Friday that the CRFM opposes WildEarth Guardians’ petition on the basis that its data is “outdated” and “in many cases just wrong”.

Caribbean Nations: UN, Specialized Agencies Must Prevent Ebola Spread
Act now and avert a global public health emergency. That, in essence, was the urgent demand of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Guyana, Barbados and their Caribbean neighbors and the plea was made at the United Nations in New York at a time when the U.S. was seeking to tame rising domestic worries about the potential spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic to America’s shores. Essentially, what the island-nations and coastal states that belong to Caricom are asking is that the UN’s specialized agencies and rich states ramp up their aid to the African states which are now bearing the full brunt of the deadly Ebola virus disease. The Caribbean also fears that the outbreak of the highly contagious disease would jump from Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone and spread to the rest of Africa and to developing nations in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Pacific and the Middle East. Thousands of victims have already died from Ebola in four African states.


Video: Belize Vacation Day1, 10min.
Day 1 of our vacation in Belize.

Video: BELIZE all your dreams can come true, 3min.
Belize is our favorite spot to vacation, the people are great, the food cant be beat, the scenery is to die for .. we have made many friends there and look forward to our return trips each year.. Ruins ..Caracol, Lamanai ATM caves(when you could take pictures) Snorkeling at Hol Chan and Shark Ray alley .. Resorts shown were Belizean Shores Resort, Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro .. Caye Caulker Ambergris Caye ..Cameo of Wildlife Photographer Wayne Hall

Video: Snorkeling Belize, 4.5min.

October 14, 2014


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

Hot Mama’s Belize Ltd. continues to garner International Recognition
Hot Mama’s Belize Ltd, Belize’s premier producer of the world renowned Manganero Sauce, continues to rack up points on the international foods scene, when the Company recently took First Place honors in this year’s World Hot Sauce, BBQ and Extreme Foods competition in Louisiana. The Company gained the premier recognition in the category for Best Fruit Based Hot Sauce, with the same Manganero Sauce, which had won 1st Place in the Scovie Awards of 2008. The World Hot Sauce, BBQ and Extreme Foods competition is designed to award the very best in Hot Sauces, BBQ Sauces, Wing Sauces, Bloody Mary Mixes and other Extreme Foods like salsas, jams, jellies and pickles from around the world, and this year Hot Mama’s won top honors from amongst over 400 products from more than 11 different countries which competed.

NEMO island committee train members
Of all recorded hurricanes that have impacted Belize, 40% have done so in the month of October. For that reason, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) remains on high alert with their Emergency Operation Committee (EOC) and subcommittee members and volunteers. As such, the Belize Rural South NEMO office conducted an EOC training on October 8th at the NEMO office in San Pedro Town. Historically the month of October for is one of the worst for Belize when it comes to hurricane threats and impacts: Hattie – 31st October 1931; Mitch – 25th October 1998; Keith – 24th October 2000; Iris – 22nd October 2001; Richard – 24th October 2010. Most of the storms have been known to develop not too far away from the warning areas for the country of Belize. During the training, participants discuss what is a main event log, what is a status/state board, how to draw and use a status/state board, the importance of a status/state board for the EOC and use the standard operational procedure to activate an Emergency Operation Committee.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Oct 5 - Oct 11 2014 Fishing Report
A decent week despite rather average to poor weather. Permit, tarpon and bonefish were available each and every day.


BSI/ASR Wants In On Cane Farmers Meeting
And since the BSCFA will meet with cane farmers to further discuss the bagasse issue, BSI/ASR wants to form part of the meeting in order to address cane farmers. While that was made public today, there is no telling whether the BSCFA will even consider the request which has already been denied once.Mac McLachlan – Vice President of International Relations“We have been asking the BSCFA leadership for a long period of time for the opportunity to talk to the membership and to explain our position and to explain the formula and really explain all clearly what it is and that request has always been denied and I understand now that BSCFA will be going back to the membership for a new agreement on this issue and I am openly asking here for an invitation to attend that meeting so that BSI can attend that meeting to explain our position in the proposal on bagasse and any other issues within the agreement.

Celebrating World Mental Health Day By Bringing Awareness
This week was observed as Mental Health Week by medical professionals at the Northern Regional Hospital and its partners. To close off the week, a special ceremony was held with a few of their patients today October tenth, which is observed as Mental Health Day to reemphasize the importance of obtaining proper medical care for mental health. The week has been observed under the theme, “Living with schizophrenia”. Dalila Ical reports.

Belize's Tourism Sector Looking Good
There is good news to report on tonight when it comes to the Tourism sector of the country. The Belize Tourism Board is reporting that with increases of over forty percent for each month this quarter, it marks one of the best years for cruise visitor arrivals in Belize's tourism history. The third quarter of 2014 has registered increases in tourist arrivals across the board. The outstanding growth in arrivals for both overnight and cruise have exceeded forecasted numbers for this quarter. Overall for the first nine months of this year, overnight arrivals are up by 11 %; airport arrivals are up by 9.2% and cruise arrivals are up by almost 45%. Historically, the third quarter is the slowest period for visitor traffic into the international airport of Belize. Mental health problems affect the way you think, feel and behave. Professional medical practitioners insist that these are problems that can be diagnosed by a doctor, and should not be viewed as personal weaknesses.In this week they focus on Schizophrenia, a severe form of mental illness. This does not however, spell doom for anyone, says Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner at the Northern Regional Hosptial, Becky Tillett.

BMHS Carries Out Service Learning Project
Students of Bishop Martin High School have embarked on a project to give back to the community they say have contributed much to them as students and to the Institution they attend. A group of students stopped in at Louisiana Government School this afternoon to hold an afternoon of fun activities with the students as part of their initiative. Student Kevin Trejo told us more about the event.Kevin Trejo – Student“This is a service learning project we are just giving back to the community a little of what they have given to us.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “When you give back, what exactly, what are your guys bringing to these school children?”

Making The Road Safe For Students
There is a newly constructed pedestrian ramp and bus stop along the Phillip Goldson Highway in Trial Farm Village near the junction with the road that leads to the Trial Farm Government School. The project was carried by the Belize Red Cross under the Resilience in the Americas program. Frederick Hunter, Project Field Coordinator with the Belize Red Cross, says that they normally do risk assessments in communities but since they began collaboration with the American Red Cross, they have expanded to integrate participatory assessments with the communities to measure not only the risks within these communities, but develop the resilience of the communities as well.Frederick Hunter – Project Field Coordinator“So we go into the community but we just don’t look at what is flood risk, hurricane risk, fire risk, accident risk, we also look at other things that also help the community to develop and become stronger so that they can be more resilient that they survive hazards or the impact or shocks and to bounce back on their own as much as possible.”

Corozal Youths Take Part In Informative Forum
Yesterday afternoon, students from the Corozal Methodist, St. Francis Javier, and Our lady of Guadalupe schools gathered at the Civic Center in Corozal Town to participate in a forum organized by Youth for the Future Corozal Branch. We attended the event and spoke with a few of the representatives to find out more. Nekisha Lima – youth Ambassador for Youth for the Future“Today’s event we are doing a Youth Forum for young people, for students mostly from primary school mostly standard V and standard VI students that the Youth Forum is to enhance their minds and to have them gain more knowledge on topic of teenage pregnancy, alcohol and marijuana usage and HIV and aids.”

BSI/ASR Says Cane Farmers Are Being Misinformed
The opening of the 2014/2015 crop season is only weeks away and all indications are that the crop will commence without a commercial agreement between the miller and the producer. The negotiation on the new agreement has been taking place for more than a year now. But while BSI/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association seem to agree on most of the elements proposed on the new agreement presented by BSI on September 8th, they just can’t seem to settle on the revenue sharing for bagasse. To date, the situation is no different from what it was more than a year ago because while BSI’s newly proposed agreement holds some new elements, the company is not budging when it comes to the payment of bagasse to cane farmers which is 51 cents per ton. A proposed payment that BSCFA is saying no to. Yesterday both entities met to resume negotiations but at the end, the ink ran dry and there was no agreement. And while the BSCFA came out swinging at BSI/ASR last night, Mac McLachlan, the company’s Vice President of International Relations, says they are disappointed with the outcome of yesterday’s meeting.

Teen Goes Missing
Orange Walk Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a San Lazaro Village teen that is believed to have runaway. According to authorities, 43 year old Rosita Novelo reported to police that on Tuesday October 7th, at around 4:30pm, when checks were made inside the house for 15 year old Martha Novelo, she could not be located. On the day of her disappearance, sometime after midnight, her mother received a text message from Martha informing her that she was okay and in Cayo. Martha Novelo is about 5ft tall, weighs about 120 pounds, has long black straight hair, is of dark complexion and of mestizo descent, has light brown eyes, thin lips and a round face. Martha was last seen wearing a black sleeveless blouse, short blue jeans pants and black sandals. Anyone knowing of her whereabouts is asked to call the nearest police station.

The Reporter

Brazilian presidential candidate backs out
Brazilian environmentalist Marina Silva, who came third in last Sunday’s presidential election, has backed opposition centrist candidate Aecio Neves in the second round. Neves won 33.5 percent of the votes in the first round to 41.5 percent for President Dilma Rousseff, who is running for a second four-year term. Silva failed to qualify for the 26 October run-off, with 21 percent. She cited Neves’s “commitments” as the reason for supporting him. On Saturday, Neves announced in an open letter to the nation that he would incorporate into his manifesto issues such as land reform, the demarcation of indigenous lands and environmental concerns.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales claims third victory
Bolivian President, Evo Morales has claimed victory and a third term in office after presidential elections held on Sunday. Exit polls show him on 60 percent, well ahead of his closest rival’s 25 percent of the vote. To avoid a run-off, he must win 50 percent of valid votes, or 40 percent if that includes a 10-point lead over his nearest rival. President Morales told cheering supporters at the presidential palace in La Paz that “this win is a triumph for anti-imperialists and anti-colonialists”. He dedicated “this triumph” to the Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s late president, Hugo Chavez.

Hot Mama’s wins first place in World’s Hot Sauce awards
Hot Mama’s peppersauce, a fruit-based company that specialises in pepper sauces and located at mile 60 on the George Price Highway, won first place in the World’s Hot Sauce awards held in Louisiana, USA. The annual awards competition distributes awards in various categories such as: salsas, jams, jellies, barbeque sauces and other condiments in the best, most extreme and most intense categories. This is the second time that Hot Mama’s has captured first place in the show, with several mentions in other years. In 2008 it won the same award with the same product – its manganero hot sauce – a carefully balanced blend of mango and habanero pepper. Hot Mama’s co-owners, Howard and Wilana Oldham, are investors from Texas, where Wilana’ hot sauce recipes originates.

Police identify shooting victim
Police have identified Saturday night’s shooting victim who was killed on New Road. He is Luis Umana, 33, a Salvadoran. Umana was shot in the centre of the forehead shortly before 9 p.m. on Saturday at the corner of New Road and Hyde’s Lane. He died about an hour later at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Man stabbed to death in Ladyville
A fight in Ladyville early Sunday morning ended in the fatal stabbing of a resident of Falcon Street in that village. Police say that sometime after 3 a.m. they responded to a report of the fight on Stork Street where they discovered Lyndon Flowers, 21, of Falcon Street lying in the drain. Flowers, who had been stabbed in the chest, died about three hours later at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

PNP presents full slate for next municipal elections
The People’s National Party (PNP) of Toledo has announced a full slate of seven candidates for the next town council elections. Punta Gorda activist, Wil Maheia is the mayoral candidate with councilor candidates being Deborah Borland, Anthony Westby, Aaron Ciego Valerio, Linston McKenzie, Placida Leonora Requena and Belizario Coc. Maheia has already promised to include more women on his team and in the decision-making process. The party introduced the slate during a public meeting in Punta Gorda on Friday night.

Murder victims found in mass grave in Mexico not all missing students
Some bodies found in shallow graves near the Mexican town of Iguala are not those of students missing after clashes with police. The 43 students were last seen being pushed into police vans after a protest in Guerrero state on September 26. Prosecutors believe police turned over the students to a drug gang linked to the family of Iguala’s Mayor, Jose Luis Abarca Velazquez. He, his wife and his head of security went on leave after the clashes and have not reappeared. A formal search has been launched for them. The clandestine graves were located in the outskirts of Iguala following an anonymous tip off. Twenty-eight burnt bodies were retrieved from the pits. Forensic experts are still working to identify all of them. The students all attended a local teacher training college with a history of left-wing activism.

7.3 magnitude quake strikes off coast of El Salvador
El Salvador felt a magnitude 7.3 earthquake late on Monday off its coast with Nicaragua. The temblor was felt across Central America, killing at least one person, but there were no immediate reports of major damage. El Salvador’s emergency services said a dozen homes in the department of Usulutan had been slightly damaged but that coastal areas appeared calm and the country’s international airport was unaffected. The only known victim, a Salvadoran man was killed when an electricity post fell on him. The quake struck 42 miles west-southwest of Jiquilillo in Nicaragua at a depth of about 25 miles.

Patrick JonesPJ

PUP chooses municipal candidates in San Ignacio/Santa Elena
The People’s United Party (PUP) has chosen its slate of candidates to contest the Municipal Elections on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. A convention was held on Sunday, October 12 at the Octavia Waight Convention Center in San Ignacio town. After the votes were counted, Ramon Quiroz emerged […]

San Pedro teen raped
Police have launched a search for a man known as “Miguel” after a 14 year old girl from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, accompanied by her mother reported to police that she was held and forced into sexual intercourse by a man known to her by that name. Police […]

Youth stabbed to death in Ladyville
21 year old Brandon Lynden Flowers of Heron Street, Ladyville, Belize District, was stabbed to death early Sunday morning. His father, football coach Michael “Wataplat” Flowers, has told our colleagues at KREM News that his son had gone out socializing and he learned of his son’s death from […]

The October 12, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Two On A Handling Stolen Goods Charge:
    As we go to press this Thursday night, a Santa Elena youth, on a handling stolen goods charge, is in police custody awaiting appearance in court on Friday morning being the second of two persons charged for the same crime. The accused is Rasheed Hyde, 24, Belizean laborer residing on Higher Street in Santa Elena Town. Hyde is facing a joint handling stolen goods charge with Luis Castellanos, 37, of a Bradley’s Bank address who was previously arrested and similarly charged. The charge against Castellanos and Hyde stems from a report made by Castellanos’ Bradley’s Bank neighbor, Nataniel Arriola, who told the police that sometime during the nighttime hours on Monday, September 29 and the early morning hours on Tuesday, September 30, someone entered his yard as a trespasser and stole his 2007 blue Meilun brand motorcycle valued at $3,000 which was parked in front of his house.
  • Three Years For Unitedville Drug Trafficker:
    A man from the village of Unitedville was convicted on a drug trafficking charge and sentenced to three years behind bars. Armed with a warrant to conduct a search for drugs, almost ten months ago, on December 15, 2013, police visited the Unitedville residence of 35 year old, Belizean laborer, Luis Loague. It did not take much searching when, immediately upon entering the house, the police spotted what appeared to be marijuana spread out on the floor near a small bed. Loague, who was home alone at the time was instantly and, with the suspected marijuana, transported to the police station in San Ignacio. The suspected weed was recorded at exactly 900 grams.
  • Editorial: Policing The Police:
    It is indeed refreshing to note that the police high command is taking affirmative action to swiftly deal with cases of alleged police brutality as nothing can erode citizens’ confidence in law enforcement faster than brutality committed by those who are sworn and paid to serve and protect. Police abuse however comes in several other forms some less subtle than inflicting pain and bodily harm upon an individual. Police abuse also comes in the form of the policeman who unlawfully detains a citizen in the absence of evidence resulting in depriving citizens of their constitutional right to freedom solely for the purpose of getting back at a citizen. Much for example like the recent case of the father who, when the police, in detaining his son, slapped the son repeatedly in the face and when the father made a report against the offending policeman, the father is detained on the threat of being held for forty eight hours all because the police can hold him for forty eight hours without charge.
  • Columbus Day:
    October 12th is the day in which the Americas observe Columbus Day, otherwise known as the Day of the Americas or Pan American Day. Belize celebrates this day with a national and bank holiday. This holiday commemorates the voyage taken by the Italian, Christopher Columbus about 500 years ago on behalf of Spain. Columbus made four voyages to the “New World”- in 1492 to San Salvador Island, Cuba and Haiti; in 1493-96 to Guadaloupe, Montserrat, Antigua, Puerto Rico and Jamaica; in 1498 to Trinidad and the mainland of South America and in 1502-04 to Honduras and Nicaragua. The discovery of the “New World” allowed European countries like Portugal, Spain, France and Britain to have empires around the world. These nations expanded their political control, their economic systems and their cultural influences in Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas and eventually worldleading countries such as Mexico, Canada and the United States.
  • US Embassy Clarifies:
    The goal of the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) is to support the Belizean military and people so that the United States and Belize can continue to work closely together in strengthening maritime security interests that affect both countries. In consideration of our strong U.S.- Belize partnership, USSOUTHCOM and the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan are currently examining the contracting procedures and construction efforts underway to address Government of Belize concerns.
  • GOB Response:
    The Ministry of National Security hereby announces that the United States Army Corp of Engineers, the US agency responsible for the construction of the Hunting Caye Forward Operating Base, has issued a letter to the Guatemalan company BINARQ which has had the effect of causing all construction at the Base to cease. This action came about after consultations between the Ministry of National Security, the Belize Coast Guard and the United States agencies in Belize. The Ministry of National Security is insisting that this remains in effect until a satisfactory policy decision can be arrived at among all parties that takes into consideration the sensitivities expressed by sections of the Belizean population.
  • Mexico Missing Students: New Mass Graves Found in Iguala:
    Four more mass graves have been found near the southern Mexican town of Iguala, where 43 students went missing last month, officials say. There is no word on the number of the bodies discovered in pits on Thursday. The discovery came during a huge operation to find the students, who disappeared after clashing with police. They were last seen being bundled into vehicles. Last week 28 burnt bodies were found in six shallow graves, but have yet not been identified. Forensic tests are expected to take weeks. Federal Attorney General Jesus Murillo Kara said the new graves also contained burnt bodies and are in the same area as the first set of graves.
  • It's Not My Job:
    As I was reading John 7 recently, I saw again how God is not impressed with the same things that impress us. In this chapter, the Pharisees were trying to get rid of Jesus. So, they sent the temple guards to arrest him. But instead of arresting Jesus, the guards started listening to him. They'd never heard anyone like Jesus before, and they were captivated. Later when they went back to the chief priests and Pharisees without Jesus, they were confronted. "Why didn't you bring him in?" asked the Pharisees. They answered, "No one ever spoke the way this man does." "You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. "Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law-there is a curse on them."
  • Success Fundraiser in London:
    The Special Envoy for Women and Children and wife of the Prime Minister of Belize, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, held the 2nd annual Fundraising Gala Dinner in aid of the Belize Children’s Trust on Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at Old Down Manor in Bristol, United Kingdom, raising approximately BZD $300,000. Mrs. Simplis Barrow formed the Trust in 2013 to facilitate international fundraising efforts in support of a dedicated Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in Belize. Funds raised from the first Gala Dinner in June 2013 in London went toward the first phase of construction of the PICU at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
  • International Credit Union Day:
    members around the world will celebrate International Credit Union Day®, an annual event to commemorate the credit union movement’s impact and achievements. In honor of this special day, Saint Martin’s Credit Union invites its members and the entire community to an Open Day on Thursday 16 October from 8:00am to 3:00pm at our offices on corner Eve and Church Streets, San Ignacio Town.
  • Ebola Virus:
    Ebola virus disease, (EVD), Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), or simply Ebola is a disease of humans and other primates caused by an ebolavirus. Symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. Typically, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash follow, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. Around this time, affected people may begin to bleed both within the body and externally. The virus may be acquired upon contact with blood or other bodily fluids of an infected human or other animal. Spreading through the air has not been documented in the natural environment. Fruit bats are believed to be a carrier and may spread the virus without being affected. Once human infection occurs, the disease may spread between people, as well. Male survivors may be able to transmit the disease via semen for nearly two months. To diagnose EVD, other diseases with similar symptoms such as malaria, cholera and other viral hemorrhagic fevers are first excluded. Blood samples are tested for viral antibodies, viral RNA, or the virus itself to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Two Bullet Tree Men Jailed For Two Months:
    A Bullet Tree man and youth are cooling their heels in prison after being sentenced to two months jail time on a joint wounding charge. The case against the convicts, Melvin Quischan, 21, who told the court that he is employed as a security guard, and Sergio Cocom, 34, laborer, both Belizeans residing in Bullet Tree falls village, stems from a report made against them at around 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 4, by fellow villager, Omar Cruz, 40, Belizean farmer.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


Belize: Are We in a State of Insecurity or are We an Insecure State?
Following a series of recent, unfortunate occurrences in our beloved nation, I am compelled to put for the above-listed query. Where do I begin? As in all things, I guess it is best to lay the foundation and then build from there. To those who have kept tabs on what appears that only a few seem to recognise as Belize’s greatest existential threat, the nation of Guatemala’s unfounded claim to our sovereign territory, the first portion of my contribution will come as no surprise. In essence, successive administrations have taken a submissive and minimalist approach to dealing with our misguided and calculating neighbour to the west. This has been manifest in a policy (or lack thereof), which can only be characterised as being indicative of: acquiescence, accommodation, adherence and appeasement. I say this, categorically, because on 21st September 1981 Belize was recognised as a sovereign nation (by all who mattered), with its territory intact. For those who may not be abreast of what is attributed to the term, “with its territory intact” means, in layman’s terms, it connotes that our nation’s border was both identified and acknowledged.

International Sourcesizz

How bad is the lionfish invasion? We're now trying to train sharks to eat them
Back in 1985, a lone lionfish was first spotted off the Florida coast, possibly dumped into the ocean by a dissatisfied aquarium owner. At the time, it seemed harmless enough: a bright, colorful fish native to Indonesia that had somehow made its way over here. No one could have imagined the disaster that would follow. Thirty years later, the venomous lionfish has conquered the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico wreaking havoc on ecosystems up and down the coast. Unlike in its native Pacific habitats, there are few natural predators here to keep this invasive species in check. So the lionfish has expanded voraciously, gobbling up other reef fish and mollusks and attacking commercially important species like grouper and snapper. By 2014, lionfish were everywhere, from North Carolina and even Rhode Island down to the coasts of Panama and Venezuela:

EU zufrieden mit Aktion gegen illegale Fischerei in Belize
Die Europäische Union sieht infolge ihres Drucks Fortschritte im Kampf gegen illegale Fischerei in Belize und vier weiteren Staaten. Außer Belize seien auch Fidschi, Panama, Togo und Vanuatu mit "konkreten Maßnahmen" gegen illegale Fischerei in ihren Gewässern und durch ihre Flotten vorgegangen, sagte EU-Fischereikommissarin Maria Damanaki am Dienstag in Brüssel. Im Fall von Belize will die EU daher ein Exportverbot gegen den zentralamerikanischen Staat aufheben.

Mérida, Mexico to see intercontinental flights again next year
Blue Panorama Airlines (BV, Rome Fiumicino) is set to offer a weekly Milan Malpensa to Mérida, Mexico, flight with effect from April next year. The route will mark the Yucatan airport's first international long haul flight though this is not the first time the airport has seen seasonal flights from Italy. At present, Mérida sees services to destinations throughout Mexico, the United States, Cuba, Belize and Brazil.

Gonzalo Lashes Caribbean Islands
Tropical Storm Gonzalo hit Antigua with 65 mph winds and was expected to strengthen into a hurricane late Monday or Tuesday as it threatened Anguilla, St. Martin, Puerto Rico and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. The storm damaged resorts as the Antigua government ordered schools and businesses to close. In addition, several cruise ships altered itineraries to avoid the storm. The Weather Channel reported that visitors at the Hermitage Bay resort on Antigua’s southwest coast were not expecting such a severe storm. “The walls blew off. A tree landed on our room. We were shaking hiding in our closet,” Alexis Sherry of New York City, told The Weather Channel. “I thought we were going to die.”

CARICOM Begins 2nd Conference on Slavery Reparations from Europe
The Caribbean Community’s second round of internal discussions on seeking reparations from European countries for slavery got under way on Monday in Antigua and Barbuda. The CARICOM Reparations Commission will debate the 10-point plan proposed in September 2013 at its first conference, held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The plan outlines a structure on reparations that includes asking former colonial powers for an official apology and debt forgiveness, among other demands. “The CARICOM 10-point program for reparative justice is an excellent document, well-written and thoroughly thought out. It provides a framework for anticipated negotiations with the former European slave-trading countries,” Don Rojas, communications director of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, told Efe.

A Look at the History and Lifestyle of the Mennonites of Belize
As well as the traditionalist Mennonites who speak a guttural form of German within their community there are around 2,000 Belizeans of Mestizo and Creole origins that have converted to this faith. The Belizean Mennonites are the most conservative and traditional of all the Mennonites to be found across Central America. The religious values and traditions of this dedicated group of people have had to avoid several forms of persecution throughout history as they sought peaceful methods to continue with the beliefs and values they have maintained throughout their existence. The Mennonites began in 16th century in what is now the Netherlands, they moved on to Prussia to avoid having to pay taxes they deemed unnecessary as they worked hard to maintain a religious and self supporting lifestyle while taking nothing from which the taxes would provide them with.


Video: Anna Löfgren catches amberjack off Reef's End Lodge, Belize, 7min.

Video: Upper Room Belize Mission 2014, 15min.
A special thanks to everyone who help make mission possible, be it through prayers, donations, or service!! Thank you!

Video: Guatemelize, 7min.
Following Mike in Guatemala and Belize.

Video: Belize Fly Fishing, 2.5min.
Epic Fly Fishing for Bone Fish, Tarpon, and Massive Barracuda. Enjoy in HD.

Video: Belize Land Rover 2014, 4.5min.

Video: Belize Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Park Snorkel Excursion by Air -- shot with GoPro Hero 3+, 10min.
Video shot on GoPro Hero3+. Edited with IMovie. New to both so please be kind with your comments. Enjoy.

October 13, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Always a thrill diving the deep blue!
Our friend David Wade rallied up a few friends and headed out to one of the most sought after destinations in Belize. Can you guess what place I’m talking about? It’s a site that attracts thousands of divers per year to Belize and Ambergris Caye, and may be the very reason that Ambergris has been named Trip advisor’s Number One Island in the World- TWO YEARS IN A ROW! Any idea yet? That’s right- The Blue Hole! David and the gang went out with Amigos del Mar. The first time I was at the Blue Hole was with Amigos as well. It was an amazing trip; however I’m more of a snorkeler. For people that have dived the site, the sights at 130 feet are worlds apart from what we see from the water’s surface!

Wolfe’s Woofer: Communication
“I figured I would run into you here.” I turned around and it was Rick, a guy who comes down here from Houston twice a year. I was sitting on the deck of the Holiday enjoying a cup of coffee and watching the waves break on the reef. Rick took a seat and I asked,

Biography of Ms Anika N. Jackson
Ms. Anika Nkechi Jackson is a national of Jamaica and Barbados. She received her legal training from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados and the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. Ms. Jackson returned to Barbados where she practised privately in the areas of both criminal and civil law. She

Doctor Love: Career Choice
Dear Doctor Love, I am a guy in my mid-twenties. Even before I was in high school my parents were talking to me about how important it is to go to university. When I got there I did not know what I wanted to study. They convinced me to study business because the island is […]

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Letter: Belize: Are we in a state of insecurity or are we an insecure state?
By Paco Smith. Following a series of recent, unfortunate occurrences in our beloved nation, I am compelled to put for the above-listed query. Where do I begin? As in all things, I guess it is best to lay the foundation and then build from there. To those who have kept tabs on what appears that only a few seem to recognise as Belize’s greatest existential threat, the nation of Guatemala’s unfounded claim to our sovereign territory, the first portion of my contribution will come as no surprise. In essence, successive administrations have taken a submissive and minimalist approach to dealing with our misguided and calculating neighbour to the west. This has been manifest in a policy (or lack thereof), which can only be characterised as being indicative of: acquiescence, accommodation, adherence and appeasement. I say this, categorically, because on 21st September 1981 Belize was recognised as a sovereign nation (by all who mattered), with its territory intact. For those who may not be abreast of what is attributed to the term, “with its territory intact” means, in layman’s terms, it connotes that our nation’s border was both identified and acknowledged.

Commentary: Why Guatemalans continue to cross the Belize border at will and how we can stop them
Guatemalans have been coming across Belize’s border and Belizeans have been going across their borders for centuries as well. The difference is that Guatemalans and Belizean people’s attitude and feeling towards their bordering country and people are different. The country of Guatemala has been educating their people to believe that Belize belongs to them, while the government of Belize has not been educating their citizens to believe that Belize belongs to us. After centuries of this education, most Guatemalans look at Belizeans with disdain and suspicion for occupying their country. I have been living in the United States for many years now and many Guatemalans that I have met continue to bring this foolishness to my attention. However, since I have studied history I waste no time in engaging them in a conversation. Once the conversation starts, they discontinue their false beliefs about the Guatemalan claim towards my country. The reason is because many Guatemalans are not educated and for those who are, they have been mis-educated for so many years now that they believe what they were told by their repressive government.

The Belize Times

Tyrants and Traitors!! – Barrow allows affront to Belize’s sovereignty
A Guatemalan construction company has been awarded a contract by an American government agency to build a Forward Operating Base (FOB) on Hunting Caye, one of Belize’s southern-most islands in the Sapodilla Range of islands. These islands are claimed by Guatemala as it continues to assert its claim to Belize. The Base is well under construction. The Government of Belize made no public pronouncement of this unacceptable arrangement. The Prime Minister was recently caught flat-footed in parliament when the Leader of the Opposition challenged this wrong-headed move by the government describing it as a “national security risk”. In his reply the Prime Minister said that he did know of this asserting “that in the normal course this is not something that would be communicated to me.” The Prime Minister either lied or he simply did not want to know. His government has also been lackadaisical in dealing with national security and the increasing number of incursions deep inside the western border region until it happened - a Belizean security officer was slaughtered by a Guatemalan bandit.

UDP Master Plan FAILURE!!
School children and daily shoppers were forced to wade through murky and unsanitary waters on Wednesday afternoon as Belize City became inundated following rain shower. The UDP Belize City Council’s 20 million dollars infrastructure project, guided by Mayor Darrel Bradley’s Master Plan, has been a total failure. Mayor Bradley admitted that the millions he borrowed in the city name to pour cement on some streets made no arrangements for drains or a proper drainage system. This has resulted in the city becoming even more vulnerable to flood.

“We are not a beggar nation” – Opposition Leader would have said “NO” to U.S. gift
Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca has stated boldly that he would have opposed and rejected any offer by the United States Government for the construction of a military base to be done by a Guatemalan company. While appearing on the Open Your Eyes morning show on Monday, October 6th, Hon. Francis said that unlike the Barrow Administration, he would not have compromised Belize’s national security for a “gift” from the United States. “There must be some nationality security risk in having a Guatemalan company building a military facility. It’s badly needed, but I can say categorically that if the American government had said to me as the leader of this country – ‘listen we’re gifting you these monies to build this base on Hunting Caye, but the contract has to be given to a Guatemalan company’, I would have said ‘thanks, but no thanks’. We can do it ourselves, and find some way to do it ourselves”, said the People’s United Party leader.

GUATEMALA AND BELIZE A little history might help. In 1975 the Leaders of the Belize government embarked on taking the claim of Guatemala to the country, direct to the United Nations. This was part of a program of internationalizing the claim of Guatemala to our country. The U.S.A. did not vote for or against the U.N. Resolution supporting Belize. In 1981 with Jimmy Carter as President, the U.S.A. supported our independence. In March 1981, the British Government proposed a document for themselves, Guatemala and Belize as the basis for finalizing the claim and for Belize to be accepted as an independent nation. That document was called the Heads of Agreement and carried sixteen “Heads” as basis for further negotiations. Led by the Public Services Union, large numbers of Belizeans rejected the document. There were riots and acts of civil disobedience and Belize abandoned the document and went on to achieve its independence in September, 1981.

Legalize or Decriminalization!
In June 2004, then Assistant Commissioner of Police Maureen Leslie sent what was supposed to have been an internal memo to her commanders. The memo reminded commanders of a change in policy which recommended more discretion when charging, in particular young people, who are found in possession of 2 grams or less of marijuana. The policy made perfect sense but was for the most part being ignored. Marijuana busts are safe and easy to make and it gives Police Officers a chance to come off the streets, hang around the office and do paperwork until their shift ends. Somebody within the department leaked the memo to the press and what ensued was later described as “a storm of controversy”. At the time, everything was being leaked to the press even matters discussed in Cabinet and everything was turned political. Objection to the directive was fierce, in particular from the then Opposition, and it seemed that those objections were sustained. Things went on per normal and the ridiculous prosecution of persons for even tiny quantities of marijuana, a few seeds even at times, seemed to intensify instead of letting up. It might be time for us to take a second look at these ridiculous laws which cause much harm and does little good in the improvement of our quality of life.

Editorial: Guatemalan Incursion
The incompetence of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his Ministerial cronies has reached such a level that the very security of the nation has been put in jeopardy. Events of the past week, coming as they did in the wake of the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie, all told, are just too much for Belizeans to bear. The response of the Prime Minister and his Minister of Security has not only added insult to the injuries but has brought Belizeans to a new state of anger against the government. It was gross incompetence and negligence that caused a serious security failure when the BDF did not provide escort protection to Special Constable Conorquie and a group of foreign tourists visiting Caracol. That negligence is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cancelled tourist visits but more so, has cost Danny Conorquie his promising and precious life. To make matters worse the government refused to undertake a sweep of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve through which bandits and illegal loggers are unlawfully operating, primarily from across the Guatemalan border.

Sugar City Girls bomb Millennium 3-1
The Sugar City Girls drilled SMART Millennium of Belize City 3-1 in the Football Federation of Belize President’s Cup national women’s football tournament held at the Ladyville field on Saturday afternoon. Vanessa Mai scored Sugar City’s 1st goal in the 17th minute and with the help of Cianni Castaneda and Yanira Chan, team captain Karen Garcia added a 2nd goal in the 20th minute. The visitors looked for more in the 2nd half and Vanessa Mai responded with a 3rd goal in the 65th minute, much to the embarrassment of the SMART goalie Ermine Ferguson.

BECOL Uprising’s Angel Tzib wins national team test race
Team BECOL Uprising’s Angel Tzib outraced the entire national squad whom the Cycling Federation of Belize has selected to represent Belize at the upcoming Caribbean Elite Cycling Championships in Puerto Rico from October 10 to 11. This was the 3rd test race of a series to groom the national team. Elite category (48 miles-35 laps) 1st Angel Tzib – BECOL Uprising – 2:06:42 2nd Darnell Barrow – Team SMART 3rd Henry Moreira – Team SMART 4th Byron Pope – Benny’s Megabytes 5th Joel Borland – Belize Telemedia

Brothers Habet team table tennis continues
The Hurricanes won in the first division; Sugar City, Phoenix, Racqueteers and Crushers won in the second division, while Thunder posted consecutive victories in third division of the Brothers Habet team table tennis competition organized by the Belize Table Tennis Association at the Belize Elementary School auditorium in Belize City on Saturday, October 5. Hurricanes mauled the Racqueteers 5-3 with Carlos Cui taking out Moses Babb and Ernesto Rivero each 3-0, and spanking Arturo “Tux” Vasquez 3-1, while Sen Sen whopped both Babb and Rivero 3-2. Vasquez clipped Sen Sen 3-1, and blanked Hector Lopez 3-0. Rivero edged out Hector Lopez 3-1.

Corozal Town, October 6, 2014 In the Corozal Bay Constituency, the PUP’s Gregorio “Papas” Garcia has been flooded with complaints from residents of Corozal about the on-going road works to the Pan American Highway, which passes through the heart of beautiful ...

Louis Bevans and Gill Streets in need of proper maintenance
By Gilroy Usher, Sr. Most of the streets on Southside of the Belize City are in a terrible condition. Louis Bevans and Gill Streets however share the dubious distinction of being two of the streets in the most deplorable and shameful state despite a National Budget of $1 Billion. ...

Security Guard stabbed during armed robbery in San Pedro
San Pedro, October 7th, 2014 Security guard 28 year old Cleofosio Assi was attacked in broad daylight by a duo of knife-wielding men as he delivered a large sum of money to the local branch of the Belize Bank. On Tuesday October ...

Woman in the House – BIG UP YASSER!!
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia I consider Yasser Musa a great friend and mentor. He has never failed to offer his advice and his assistance in various political as well as non-political endeavors. His artistic and political instincts, I find, are invariably spot on, and he has emerged not only as a ...

By Francis W. Fonseca I did not know young Special Constable Danny Conorquie but his death has touched me greatly. I join with the Belizean people in expressing, on my own behalf and on behalf of the People’s United Party, our profound sadness at this tragic loss of life and extend ...

Preparing for the worst
Dear Editor, Since this Chikungunya virus surfaced in the Caribbean, our Ministry of Health seems to be mute. It's only a matter of time before it reaches Belize. We have students studying in the Caribbean and not to mention the traffic between meetings which government officials usually attend. Our closest and best ...

In support of political reform in Belize
October 4, 2014 The Belize Times #3 Queen Street Belize City Belize Dear Editor: I wish to provide a minor perspective on the amount of command that should be granted to any government in power, or to be more specific the prime minister. Based on our constitution, the party which gets the majority of seats in ...

UDP cannot be trusted with Guatemalan issue
Dear Editor, Prime Minister Dean Barrow is presiding over the dangerous subversion of Belize’s sovereignty, with his Government’s glaring display of impotence and vacillation in defense of Belize’s interests against neighboring Guatemala. In the face of two most recent threats to our integrity as a nation, that of the killing of Special ...

Patrick JonesPJ

Murder in Belize City
A man was shot and killed on Saturday night in Belize City. Police have identified the victim as 33 year old Salvadoran national Jose Luis Umana. According to police reports, Unama of a Card’s Alley address, was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the center of […]

TIDE Fish Festival well attended
Hundreds of people from all over Belize and even tourists visiting, have travelled to Punta Gorda town for the annual Fish Festival. The weekend-long event is organized by the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment, TIDE. It is the seventh year running for the event which has […]

UDP holds municipal convention in Benque Viejo del Carmen
The United Democratic Party (UDP) is today holding a convention in Benque Viejo de Carmen to choose its slate of candidates for the municipal elections in March, 2015. Mayoral candidates are Gerardo Rancharan, Jr. and Alfredo Kuylen. There are 16 persons vying for a place on the […]


A Gorgeous Morning for Dog Walking – The Sun Is Back
I have nothing of great interest to tell you this morning. But I’ve got this- after a few days of clouds and general greyness, the sun is out, the water is sparkling and it’s a beautiful day. I am also weekend-sitting my friend’s dog Maxie. A perfect morning to take a walk south. One of the prettiest resorts on the island, Victoria House, is closed for maintenance and renovations and we stopped to take a few pictures. (And so Max could run amok on the beach.) It’s a beautiful spot opened or closed. Here you go. Just south of me, the town has put some cement posts in the water to slow down beach erosion.

“Birthday Cake” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Very pleased to ‘say’ that another day started for me. I enjoyed my early (it was 04.35 hours when I got out on the veranda) morning ‘me time’. And yes regular readers it is the western, lagoon facing one. And you will, I am sure, be pleased to know that I had my mug of black coffee -instant, with no sugar if you are at all interested- and my iPad with me. Well without the iPad there’d be no blog! I sat out there reading The Sunday Times (well it is Sunday) online until around 06.45 hours when I showered, shaved and dressed and then headed off to Estel’s Dine By the Sea for a breakfast before the Estonia v England European Championship Qualification game. The recent rainy spells have made a real mess of the road to ‘Town with stretches of deep water, the first of which is immediately outside our front gate.

Chicken Drop: The Weirdest Weekly Event in San Pedro Belize
The Palace is the new casino on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, and it is open six days a week. It is closed on Wednesdays and this might be because the country’s most famous gambling opportunity takes place that day on the San Pedro beach in front of the Pier Lounge bar at the Spindrift Hotel in the village of San Pedro Belize. Since 1988, supposedly, this popular watering hole has been the host to one of the strangest events Caribbean tourists might ever get the chance to participate in. It is called the Chicken San Pedro BelizeDrop, and if things go well, you can turn on dollar into a hundred in just a few minutes. It is probably not a coincidence that the event takes place right after the popular 4 to 6 Happy Hour at the bar. After all, many things that sounds stupid before your first drink sound like a damn fine idea after two hours of discounted booze. And the San Pedro Chicken Drop is definitely one of those things. Here is how it works: During the Happy Hour, bar patrons and other passers-by buy a number between 1 and 100, corresponding to a square on a 10 by 10 grid inside a net out on the beach. After all the squares are spoken for, the staffs bring out a basket with a couple chickens inside. A lucky gambler has the honors of tossing one of the chickens onto the board, but not before they are encouraged to shake it three times and they blow in its ass. The blowing party is supposed to be like blowing on dice to make them lucky, but it may actually help speed up the proceedings.

Top 13 Things to do in Belize for an Unforgettable Vacation
Lush rainforests? Check. Stunning, crystal clear water? Check. Adventure at every turn? Check. Belize truly has it all covered for an unforgettable vacation. When people think of tropical vacations, they probably think of the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, or possibly even Mexico. Perhaps you should look a little further south to the small country of Belize. Lush, tropical rainforests, beautiful, crystal clear waters, and a variety of adventures await travelers looking for something a little different than all-inclusive hotels and nightclubs that rock until the break of dawn. If you’re looking to experience nature at its finest, or maybe check out some ancient Mayan ruins, then look no further than Belize. Here are some of the top things to do in Belize:

A More Exclusive Belize: 6 of the Best Boutique Hotels in the Country
A combination of Caribbean beauty and rich Central American culture, Belize is home to lush jungles, Mayan Pyramids and the second largest barrier reef in the world. Known for its fascinating underwater playground of more than 500 species of fish and 100 different kinds of coral, the country is a scuba diver’s dream. But above ground, Belize is just as beautiful; and with its laid-back Caribbean attitude, vast network of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries and friendly Spanish-speaking natives, there’s not much not to love about the destination. When it comes to accommodations, the country has no shortage of notable options. And tucked away in exclusive locations and on its sandy beaches are some of the most alluring boutique hotels in Belize. If privacy, natural beauty and high-end amenities are high on your list of requirements for your stay, these six hotels will be sure to meet your needs.

International Sourcesizz

European Commission signs development programme for Belize
European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, on Friday signed the national indicative programmes (NIP) for development cooperation with Belize, Lesotho, Togo and Zambia in the 2014-2020 period, which amount to €869 million. The signing ceremony with representatives of those countries took place in the margins of the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington. Piebalgs said: “The programmes that we will sign are the fruit of close cooperation with the four partner countries and reflect their own policies, strategies, and needs as they have defined them. I am particularly pleased to see that energy and governance are key priorities for these countries, as clear drivers for sustainable development and growth. Our support will target EU resources where they are most needed and most effective and once we have signed, preparations of concrete projects and programmes for the next seven years can start.”

Deconstructing Banners Broker scheme one brick at a time
Thousands were duped by a pyramid scheme, writes Stephen Rogers THE Royal Canadian Mounted Police have dug deep into the Banners Broker to find just how it managed to get so many people to buy into what they thought was a genuine advertising investment website, making them one more small layer in a huge pyramid scheme. In August last year, Banners Broker pulled out of Ireland, leaving thousands of people battling to recoup their money from an address in Belize in Central America. It terminated its contract with its Irish agent and put tight restrictions on who could withdraw money from its accounts and how often they could do it. In February liquidators were appointed following a hearing in the Isle of Man where the court heard the company had $6m (€4.4m) in assets.


Video: Amberjack fishing @ Reef's End Lodge, Belize, 6min.

Video: Belize 2014, 37min.
Scuba diving trip.... Glover's Reef, nice labeling on fish and features...

Video: Amberjack fishing @ Reef's End Lodge, Belize, 6min.
On the first couple of drops we caught som greeneyes. When I was winding up my fifth, I got a massive bite in midwater. With my 80lb line I completely locked the drag and put my thumb on the spool on my Shimano Talica 8II. The fish began running and took over 200m of line before I accendentely pushed it to hard and the line broke. Eric, the guide, had a similar bite just after but unfortunately his line broke too. So this was my second attempt, using a small, live sardine. MUCH smaller fish, but what a fight!

Video: Releasing tiger shark from the dock @ Reef's End Lodge, Belize, .5min.
We accidentally caught this tiger shark outside the reef when fishing for snappers. We weren't able to release it from the boat so we had to tow it to the dock and release it there

Video: BELIZE 2008, 49min.

Video: Flyboarding in Belize, 3/4min.

October 12, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Disciplinary action in Secondary Schools – who is in charge?
While the number of students being expelled or suspended from school is falling dramatically, the number of incidents involving students engaging in defiant behavior, violence and even criminal activities seems to be on the rise. The list of unpublished articles of (but not limited to) high school students involved in street fights, drug trafficking and even manslaughter grows longer and longer. Even more alarming is the fact that relevant authorities refuse to publicize these incidents, claiming internal dealings and discipline. As a community newspaper, our guidelines are clear: no naming of underage perpetrators, no publishing of unsubstantial ‘reports’ (no police report to back up). We hear a story and cannot report on it, even though it is common knowledge. But when does that stop? Where do we draw the line? At what point should a student be reprimanded, suspended or expelled?

Editorial: Take the money and run
This week we report on a robbery where an unarmed security guard, while walking to the bank to make a large deposit, was ambushed, stabbed and released of the deposit bag in his possession. While one of the assailants was apprehended by a citizen, the other made good his escape, somehow losing the deposit bag at Central Park in his haste. Then, individuals at the park descended onto the bag of money like hungry vultures, ripping it open and spewing money everywhere in a cash free-for-all. I wasn’t there…but I can only imagine the sight of people battling for money now twice stolen. There are so many things just plain wrong with this scenario you have to wonder, WTF? (What the heck gosh darn oh my goodness I can’t believe it what were they thinking!) Let’s start from the beginning. Why on Earth would an unarmed security guard be tasked with the responsibility of transporting a large amount of cash to the bank, alone, on foot and without proper protection? Obviously the assailants (who have not been named by the police yet but WE know who they are, and they are NOT nice guys) took their time to stake out their prey. It wouldn’t take long to figure out this security guard would be easy pickings. I’m not sure they needed to stab the poor guy, but I’m thinking he must have put up a proper fight, doing the best he could to do the job he was entrusted with.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Composted soil for potted plants and gardens derived from dried coconut husk.
Very rich! Call 662-4577 or 601-1136. We also deliver. Call 662-4577 or inbox me your orders here. $15 per bag with free delivery in San Ignacio town limits plus an extra to anywhere else in the country. Compost potted soil from dried coconut husk.

Monkey River mangrove planting
Good luck, Monkey River mangrove propagules. It's going to be a rough haul on that sandy open beach, but it didn't cost much to try. Keep an eye on those and learn what we can from what happens next. Southern Environmental Association activity under the project "Enhancing Belize's Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change". Planting mangrove propagules (seeds), locally known as "sea pens" in Monkey River with students from Monkey River and Punta Negra. Training was conducted with approximately 25 students on 29th September and planting took place the next day,

The Reporter

Taiwan celebrates 103rd anniversary
Taiwan on Thursday celebrated the 103rd anniversary of its establishment, after Dr. Sun Yat-sen, its national father, overthrew the Manchu Dynasty on its tenth attempt. In his speech at a reception on Thursday night in celebration of Taiwan’s accomplishment, that country’s Ambassador to Belize, Benjamin Ho recounted the important events that helped to mold his country’s existence. He said that “warlords were engaged in partition of the territory for their sphere of influence in the 1920’s, followed by Japanese invasion and massacre of millions of innocent Chinese people, which triggered the breakout of Second World War in the 30’s.” Ambassador Ho shared that a civil war between the Communist Party and Nationalist Party that resulted in the retreat of the Nationalist Party to Taiwan in 1949 led to six decades of heightened military confrontation between the mainland China and the Republic of China.

Man shot on New Road
Reports have reached The Weekend Reporter Online that a man was shot just before 10 p.m. on Saturday in Belize City. While information is sketchy at this time, we understand that the incident occurred on New Road near an alley. We’re awaiting an official report about the incident from the police.

KHMH has new CEO
Doctor Adrian Coye will replace Dr Francis Gary Longsworth as the new CEO of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital at the end of October. Coye, who has been the hospital’s Medical Chief of Staff since 2011, was one of a few persons who applied for the position after it became evident that Longsworth was not going to be given an extension that he had requested Longsworth had come under heavy criticism following the deaths of 7 neonates from Enterobacter Cloakae in May of 2013. This year the hospital also experienced a cash-flow crisis, and had come under more scrutiny after purchases of two x-ray machines were acquired under questionable circumstances, all prior to the departure of the institution’s former Director of Finance, Carlos Perrera.

Another government Hilux stolen!
Another government vehicle has reportedly been stolen, this time from its parked location at the OIRSA compound at mile one on the Hummingbird Highway. According to an Accountant Administrator for OIRSA, sometime between 6 p.m. on Thursday and 7:15 a.m. on Friday someone gained access to the interior of the white, four-door 2014 Toyota Hilux bearing Diplomatic license plates G5-CD09 and stole the vehicle, worth $47,000. Police have no leads, but information has been rife that Hiluxes stolen from Belize are big business in Guatemala, where they are in high demand. So far, this is the fourth government vehicle to be stolen in perhaps as many months.

Stabbing claims man’s life
A stabbing in Unitedville, Cayo, on Friday night has claimed the life of a young man. The Reporter has confirmed that Kevin Taylor, 21, died Saturday morning from stab wounds he suffered around 10 p.m. on Friday. Taylor was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital where doctors tried but couldn’t save his life.

Brazil reports first suspected case of Ebola
Brazil’s first suspected Ebola case arrived in the country on Thursday. The patient from Guinea presented himself after coming down with a fever at a public health centre in the southern state of Parana. He has been flown to Rio de Janeiro to the National Institute of Infectology. Doctors say he no longer has a fever and blood test results are expected shortly. Brazil’s Health Minister, Arthur Chioro said the situation was under control and “all health protocols and procedures were applied efficiently and with great success”. Guinea is one of the three West African countries most affected by Ebola. The patient arrived in Brazil as a refugee and was granted leave to remain until 2015 by immigration police. Sixty-four persons who came into contact with him, mostly in the health centre in Parana, are also being monitored for symptoms of Ebola, although the Health Ministry says they are considered low risk.

Patrick JonesPJ

Murder in Unitedville, Cayo
A man was murdered on Friday night in Unitedville village, Cayo. The victim has been identified as 21 year old Kevin Taylor, Jr. According to reports, Taylor was involved in a fight around 10:15 pm in the village when he was stabbed multiple times, including to the […]

World Mental Health Day focuses on schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is an illness that is largely misunderstood and can lead to ostracization from the community and even family. Feelings of paranoia, isolation, repeated mannerisms and actions, depressive and occasionally suicidal thoughts are among the symptoms. But it is treatable and you can get help. On this World Mental Health Day […]

Alleged robber charged; nightclub owner pleads guilty
Police have quickly apprehended the man they suspect robbed 29 year old Kimana Thompson on Cemetery Road on Thursday afternoon. 29 year old Kevin Lewis, laborer of Aloe Vera Street in Belize City, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted robbery before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. According to […]

Special Olympics receives donation from Community Policing
Ahead of December’s National Special Olympics Games in Belmopan, the organization dedicated to raising awareness of persons with intellectual disabilities through sports accepted a donation from a group of law enforcement organizations which worked together to raise funds through the annual torch run preceding the Games. The Police […]

International Sourcesizz

Columbus Day Facts 2014: 5 Things You Didn’t Know, Probably
Columbus Day is one of the most misunderstood holidays in America. Sure, many people get a day off from school or work, but why? It has been a U.S. federal holiday since 1937 marking Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World in 1492, but, beyond this simple point, there are many facts that are not well known about it. It’s widely believed Columbus was practically the only person who theorized the world was round and thought his ship would not fall off the end of the world if he tried to sail across the Atlantic Ocean, wrote. However, most scholars in his day already knew the world was round. What people didn’t know at the time was that the Pacific Ocean (and the Americas) existed. As a result, Columbus thought the only thing in his way while sailing to the riches of the East Indies was the Atlantic, which gave rise to the disputed story that this is reason why he falsely labeled Native Americans Indians.

CARIBBEAN DEBT: Lingering debt spectres highlight need for change in the Caribbean
Belize, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Grenada have also all defaulted since 2010 and Marla Dukharan, group economist at RBC Caribbean in Trinidad, admits “debt defaults and restructures can seem like a recurring decimal in some part of the Caribbean”. “Recent precedents like Antigua show that there is progress while the IMF is involved but when they leave old patterns and problems can reappear,” says Dukharan. “In Jamaica, however, the economic restructure is quite deep under the present IMF programme.” Jamaica may therefore play a part in helping the Caribbean lose its reputation as a serial defaulter and Dukharan agrees Jamaica’s programme may make it an “outlier”. Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), says the progress achieved in the first year “is, arguably, unprecedented in Jamaica’s history”.


Video: Exploring Mysterious Bottom of Belize Blue Hole by Ramon Llaneza, 2.5min.

Video: Belize, 4min.
I visited Belize for two weeks in July 2013 with my girlfriend Shanna, who's a native of a village called Placencia. Unfortunately, I didn't take as many videos footage as I did photographs. Most of what I recorded and what makes up this short film was underwater and taken with my GoPro2.

Video: Playmates at Play in Belize, 3min.

Video: Belize so beautiful it is almost irrisitible .. my .. shout out to Belize, 12min.
Belize has a very interesting History .... I shall tell you more I other videos ... by poetry , music and visual images this video is simply focusing on the freedom of a country we can pray to God in our schools for the national prayer has everything to do with God ... it is a third world country but we are rich in spiritual freedom

Video: BFW14 CUBE, 1min.
San Pedro Dresses in Glamour and Belize Fashion Week 2014 rocks the runway on November 20-23 2014 in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize with Belizean Designers and Invited International Designers.

October 11, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Work commences on second police barrack complex
$50,000 that was given by the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday, August 13th for the repairs of the two building is being used to cover initial expenses for the foundation and frame of the structure. Even though an estimate has not been given for the complete construction of the building, Nuñez has explained that the project will require more funds. “Right now we are not sure how much it will cost to complete this building. We already have a couple persons helping us out with donations,” said Nuñez. The foundation of the building is scheduled to be laid on Friday, October 10th. The San Pedro Police Department would like to take the opportunity to thank Castillo’s Hardware, San Pedro Town Council, Daniel Guerrero and family, Honorable Manuel Heredia, Gaby’s Construction, Government of Belize and the Ministry of National Security for their generous donations towards this project. Anyone wanting to make additional donations can contact Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nunez at 605-0976 or Inspector Henry Jemmott at 600-6523.

Pandemonium – All Ova the World
30-year-old Belizean songstress, Melonie Gillett has released her latest single titled “Pandemonium- All Ova the World”. Since its release on September 12, 2014, the single has quickly gained popularity and is ranked sixth on KREM Radio’s top ten videos. Its upbeat rhythm makes for a perfect party song to dance along to. With dynamic visuals, this is a must watch video!

Students earn high scores on Saga Humane Education test
Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) students were all ears on Monday as they learned what it means to be humane during a fun filled presentation from the Saga Humane Society Humane Education team lead by Sandie Betz-Eisenberg and Cynthia Kyles. When asked what does every cat and dog need every day, student’s hands shot to the sky, and different answers were shouted in excitement. Miss Viani’s class decided it was “food, water, medicine and a good home” that all animals need every day. And some shouted the perfect answer – love. The students learned about the importance of being a good dog and cat owner, what Saga Humane Society does, and what to do if they see an animal that is sick or being abused. “Call Saga”, they yelled. “It is heartwarming to know that so many of the students already know what Saga is and where we are located”, said Kathy Marin, Saga Director of Animal Well-Being. “Humane education and learning to be kind is the key to being a good pet owner and a great neighbor. It is our mission to promote kindness and prevent cruelty, and sharing our program with the kids is the first step toward making that happen”.

Superintendent Joachim Sabal takes over the Coastal Executive Unit
As of Thursday October 2nd, the Coastal Executive Unit (CEU) has a new Officer in Charge (OC). Superintendent Joachim Sabal has assumed the responsibilities of the previous OC Luis Castellanos, who is on training leave. Formerly the Commander of the administrative department of the Belize Police Headquarters in Belmopan, OC Sabal comes to San Pedro offering 32 years of experience. He is no stranger to San Pedro, as he was previously in charge of this formation in 2005. Originally from the Toledo District, OC Sabal joined the police department in 1982. He is a veteran police officer, having held positions in almost all police branches, and in 2009 was promoted to Superintendent. The opportunities to work in several of the police branches has given OC Sabal vast knowledge on policing and maintaining law and order. “I have worked as the officer in charge of both the Internal Affairs Unit and Special Unit. I have also been the commanding officer of the prosecution branch. I hope that in my time in office here, I can use my skills to improve the San Pedro Police Department as well, and even pass down these skills to upcoming officers,” said Sabal. He has also worked at the Criminal Investigation Branch in Belmopan.

Channel 7

Victim of Gun Law Sues State Over Wrongful Imprisonment
For the past 2 days, we've told you all about the new gun laws as they were being debated by the Senate. The Opposition has criticized the law saying it doesn't lessen the harsh pre trial penalties for accused persons. One case that amply illustrates the arbitrary and punitive nature of the gun law in its former incarnation dates back to April of 2012, and it's back in the news now because one man who was sent to jail is suing the Government of Belize for wrongful arrest. Viewers may remember the case of Kent Lynch; his mother, Yvette Lynch; his brother, Errol Lynch, and their friends, Woodrow Reyes Jr., the well-known Leroy Gomez, and Virginie Alvarez. They were arraigned on April 18, 2012 on 2 counts of keeping unlicensed firearm, 1 count of keeping unlicensed ammunition, 2 counts of handling stolen goods.

Opposition Challenges Petrocaribe Spending
An important loan motion was crowded out of the news at the last house meeting two weeks ago. It's a motion for the Alba Petrocaribe Energy Loan Motion 2014 - for 114 million US dollars. This no regular loan, though, it's the Petrocaribe money - funds which are advanced to Belize every time the Government of Venezuela sells Belize fuel on a concessionary credit basis. And it's important to us AT 7NEWS because we're the ones who first challenged Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, saying that it should be taken to the House because it is a loan. That was on August 29th and here's how THE exchange went: Jules Vasquez "At what point do you take it to the national assembly as it required I believe because it's a loan right and the finance act requires that you take loans to the national assembly?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "That's how you see it and that's how you would treat it."

Relief For Maskall
And while those 8 families from Maskall received help from NEMO, Dawn Phillips, the Port Loyola resident whose house fell to pieces on Thursday morning, is still down and out, hoping that you can help her. As we told you, the heavy thunderstorm on Wednesday night beat down on her house, and when she woke up it completely crumbled. This evening, she told us that she's been going around trying to get assistance to get back on her feet, but it has been a very tedious process: Dawn Philips, Port Loyola resident "Nothing change as yet, I am still waiting for help. I need help from the minister and whosoever. I haven't seen Boots since, but then I saw Mr. Usher pass through this morning and told me that he will come and see me this evening.

Dawn Philips Struggling Still
And while those 8 families from Maskall received help from NEMO, Dawn Phillips, the Port Loyola resident whose house fell to pieces on Thursday morning, is still down and out, hoping that you can help her. As we told you, the heavy thunderstorm on Wednesday night beat down on her house, and when she woke up it completely crumbled. This evening, she told us that she's been going around trying to get assistance to get back on her feet, but it has been a very tedious process: Dawn Philips, Port Loyola resident "Nothing change as yet, I am still waiting for help. I need help from the minister and whosoever. I haven't seen Boots since, but then I saw Mr. Usher pass through this morning and told me that he will come and see me this evening. This morning I went at the Red Cross and the lady told me that Monday is a holiday, so she will assist me on Tuesday and she will give me some clothes because only clothes she can give me and then she recommended me to the Human Department and so I went over there and they told me that they will give me a call either Wednesday or Thursday."

Supreme Court Bail For Robbery
Kareem "Robbery" Lopez was one of the first persons to be sent to jail under the newly enforced gang laws - but tonight, against the strenuous objections of the DPP's office, he's out on bail. The 27-year-old George Street associate was accused of causing public terror on Carnival day during the j'ouvert when he allegedly fired a gun on Douglas Jones Street. He was remanded for it on September 22nd. But 18 days later, Lopez lawyered up and secured bail of eight thousand dollars. His attorney Kathleen Lewis argued that the main witness saw Lopez in the front seat of the car, but said that shots were fired through the rear window - suggesting that the shooter was not Lopez. Crown Counsel Portia Staine representing the DPP's office argued to the contrary that the case against Lopez is very strong and that a prima facie case has been established against him.

Police Catch Thief Right After Robbery
And while Robbery is out on bail, a 29 year-old Kevin Lewis is at prison tonight after was caught by police immediately after robbing a woman. The complainant, 29 year-old Kimana Thompson, reported to police that at around 3:30 yesterday evening, she was on Cemetery Road when she was approached by a man who pointed a gun in her face and demanded that she hand over all her belongings. She did, and as soon has he fled the scene, a police mobile passed by and set chase. Lewis was detained, and Thompson identified him as the man who robbed her; police then charged him with attempted robbery. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he pleaded not guilty. Due to the nature of the offence, he was remanded into custody until November 7.

Agripina's Killer Charged
Tonight, a family from Cristo Rey, Corozal is preparing to bury their loved one, 63 year-old Anita Che, after finding her decomposing body in a cane field just off the Cristo Rey/Yo Chen Road. The senior citizen had not been seen 10 days after she told her family on last week Tuesday that she was going to the Corozal Community Hospital and then to Belmopan. Police from Corozal began searching for her, and based on information, they went to a cane field located near to the Intelco Tower, some 200 yards off the main road. Her body was in an advanced state of decomposition, and a post-mortem found that she died from heart problems. At this time, police don't suspect foul-play and there were no physical signs of violence. In Toledo however, the case of 61 year-old Agripina Coc, who was the victim of a savage rape and murder in San Pedro Colombia, has progressed finally. The main suspect, 24 year-old Miguel Choco, has finally been formally arrested and charged with murder.

Tourism Figures Improving
The Belize Tourism Board has managed to compile the number of tourist arrivals for this year's third quarter, and according to the BTB, the numbers are up, when compared to last year. Airport Arrivals for the last 3 months up to September 2014 totaled at 7,692, 76 more than last year. For the total 9 months, there have been 45,862 tourists who have arrived at the PGIA, 1,729 more than last year, or an increase of 3.9%. Overnight arrives are also up by 5,248, or an increase of 8.8%, so are cruise passenger arrivals, which increased by 73,409, or 77%. Today, BTB's Market Director told the media that it is a welcomed boost especially since the third quarter is part of the low season in Tourism:

Sibun Site Visit By GOB Officials Suggestive, But Inconclusive
On Monday we told you about the disturbing discoloration of the Sibun River where it passes through Gracie Rock. Those villagers depend on the river for their livelihoods so its sickly state was a matter of much concern. Well, our story triggered a site visit from the Department of the Environment, the Forest Department and the Mining Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. They went there on Wednesday October 9th - one week after our first visit - but, the bad news is they didn't find much. The report, which was sent to us by the CEO in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development - shows that by the time the team reached the river had cleared up. The report includes pictures, which show that they visited five different locations along the Sibun River from Frank's Eddie Area up to Freetown Sibun area. Nowhere along the river did they find any visible signs of sedimentation.

Settling The Silk Grass Situation
On September 5th there was a House meeting where the Firearms Amendment Bill and the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Bill were introduced. But while formal discussion and debate was taking place inside the House on those bills, a more "on the ground" land issue was being voiced on the steps of the National Assembly. You may remember the Silk Grass and Santa Cruz residents who claimed that they are being swindled out of their land. Well, their concerns were finally when a team from the Lands and Survey department visited Trio and Silk Grass Villages in Stann Creek earlier this week. 137 new lease applications were issued for first time land owners in Trio Village while 57 were processed for first timers in Silk Grass Village. However, at the house meeting two weeks ago, Gaspar Vega said that Silk Grass residents were well aware that they could not have gotten leases due to the disruption or break down in the leasing system under the PUP government.

Speaking of Schizophrenia
Burdened by decades of stigma, mental illness has become a kind of taboo subject- discussed only in whispers. But, mental health advocates are trying to get it into the mainstream - after all, though we might not know it, we are surrounded daily by the pathology of mental illness - from the inexplicably violent acts and brutal behavior we always report on - right down to the irrational behavior of public officials. And the local organizer's of World Mental Health Day want to broaden the discussion about mental health - and they started that today at a ceremony. Courtney Weatherburne found out more:.. Dr. Wesley Quimbo, Psychiatrist, Mental Health Program "The Schizophrenia is a disorder that is characterized by hallucination, disorganized behavior, delusions and one the patient have this hallucination they hear voices and sometimes you see them mumbling to themselves because they react into the hallucination." Courtney Weatherburne reporting Schizophrenia is the focus of this year's world mental health day - observed today at the Welcome Resource Center. And while Schizophrenia is not a word we hear often when we talk about mental illness in Belize, it is does affect a small percentage of the population and it.

Caracol Re-opening
Earlier on, we told you about the increase in tourist arrivals. But, what about the coming high season and the after effect of the Caracol killing of Special Constable Danny Conorquie? Tour guides have told us that there have been mass cancelations of tours. Today, when we asked the BTB Marketing Director about it, she told us that they're taking tracking it closely: Alyssa Carnegie, Marketing Director - BTB "There is a lot of bookings that have already happened, so obviously we are trying to make sure that those tourists or visitors are reassured. I think we can all agree that what did happen at Caracol was unprecedented, it's not the normal and the news circulating is while it's still local, yes there is some traction that it's building internationally. But for the most part and at least from the feedback we received from the tourists who were actually there, they understand that it's an isolated event, that is does speak to something that's a lot larger than what could be kind of controlled within the tourism ambit.

Community Cops Care
For the past couple weeks we have been reporting on myriad complaints of police brutality. But this news item sheds a different light on the police department. The Community Policing Unit has made a 6,000 dollar donation to the Special Olympic Committee to assist with upcoming events to be held abroad. Member of the Board of Directors, Alan Auil comments on the impact this donation will have on the sporting activities of the committee. Sgt. Elroy Carcamo, Head of Community Policing - E.D. "If you notice over the past two years the police department along with other law enforcement agencies have been teaming up to assist our special needs youths who are participating in sports and are expected to participate in the Special Olympics nationals in Los Angeles, California in 2015. What we are trying to is that we are trying to fundraise in order to get these youths to that location. We know that it is costly, but we also work closely with special Olympic Belize to ensure that we can sell the program and work to see that we get the funding for them. This also marks the beginning of fundraising events for this year, so that we are expecting to start fundraising again until December where we will have the national games for Belize in Belmopan where the torch will be taken. I know that from Belize to Belmopan is a short work, so our team will come up with a route, maybe we take the torch down to Corozal or start from Corozal and bring it down to Belmopan this year."

Profile of An Artist and Teacher
If you've ever been to the festival of the arts or watched the carnival road march - then you should know Leroy Green, that stalwart of the Mother Nature's Creation Band. And he's also a poet. Indeed, Green is a man of the arts - and a true teacher. But he was also a sort of child prodigy but one that grew up without validation from his parents - and turned to poetry to express his emotions. He turned that - and a few early heartbreaks and foiled seductions into a passion for teaching art. He tells the profile more:..

Doctor Adrian is New KHMH Boss
Doctor Adrian Coye will be the new CEO of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. 7News confirmed just a short while ago that he was selected in a very close vote at a meeting of the KHMH board yesterday. Coye was going up against Dr. Lisa Johnson, who had also applied for the post. The two surgeons had applied and been shortlisted - and we are told both had passionate support from the board members. But in the end Coye won out and Johnson has been offered the post as Director of Medical Services - Coye's old job - she hasn't yet indicated if she will accept. Coye is expected to take up the post shortly. He started working as Director of Medical Services in 2012.

Channel 5

Guatemalans send Protest Note to Belize in respect of demonstration held at Guatemalan Embassy
A delegation headed by Foreign Ministry C.E.O. Alexis Rosado is currently in Guatemala meeting with Guatemalan authorities. Rosado is accompanied by Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman and representatives from the Belize [...]

Caracol Archaeological Site Remains Closed
The Caracol Archaeological Site remains closed indefinitely in the wake of the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie two weeks ago.  While efforts are currently being taken by the Ministry [...]

Sugar Cane Impasse Stands
On Thursday the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association met with representative of Belize Sugar Industry/American Sugar Refinery to finalize the new sugar-cane purchase agreement. That agreement has been delayed because [...]

Farmers Will Not Delay Start of Crop
B.S.I. has stated that because the farmers are fixated on bagasse, an agreement seems unlikely. The 2014-2015 sugar cane crop season is set to start in the next six to [...]

Major Challenges Firearm Act in Court
In April 2012, a family of seven, including Allison Major, was charged for firearm offences, following the discovery of a pair of shotguns at their residence on Peter Seco Street.  [...]

BTB Says Tourism Arrivals Up
Many Belizeans are heading across the border this extended holiday weekend, but the number of visitors to the jewel is on an upward trend. The Belize Tourism Board called a [...]

Chamber Wants Belizeans Out of the Zone during the Christmas Season
While tourism numbers are high the private sector is calling on the government to reduce local visitors to the Commercial Free-zone. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has written [...]

George Street Figure Granted Bail for Discharging Firearm
George Street associate, Kareem Lopez, who allegedly discharged a firearm Causing Public Terror on Douglas Jones Street following the Jouvert was granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of eight [...]

Muslim Woman Has Her Day In Court
On Tuesday News Five aired an interview with a Muslim woman who related a disturbing story to us. She is a victim of domestic abuse, and had applied to the [...]

Bar Manager Fined for Illegal ‘Waitresses’
The Business Manager for MJ’s Bar, a well known and local spot in the city, located on West Collet Canal, was today before the court to answer to two counts [...]

Football Star Messi Accused of Tax Fraud…with Belizean Connections
We have been reporting on a Belize billion dollar tax fraud scheme which was busted in September at the office of Titans Securities LLC here on Coney Drive. Five persons [...]

Segura Appears in Court on Thursday
Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, on interdiction for the manslaughter of Yolanda Valencia, was arraigned on a string of traffic-related offences, including driving with alcohol concentration above prescribed limit, [...]

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Up This Year
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is on the rise in Belize in 2014.  Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health held a press conference during which Chief Operations Officer of the Vector [...]

World Mental Health Day Celebrated in Belize
World Mental Health Day is being celebrated under the theme – Living with Schizophrenia. Today health stakeholders from all over the country gathered in their respective areas to speak on [...]

Was Felicia Chen Schizophrenic?
So with all that said, are you still having doubts about the reality, and real trauma of schizophrenia? Well, this might bring it home to you. Do you remember the [...]

Law Enforcement Officers Donate to Special Olympics
The Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have for years participated in fund-raising to assist children with intellectual disabilities through the Special Olympics. Those fund-raising initiatives culminate in a [...]

Olympians Gearing Up for World Games 2015
There are two hundred and thirty-seven registered athletes who participate in events under the aegis of the Special Olympics, and the committee is always looking to increase that number. That [...]


GOB To Pay CXC For Students
Government will pay for students’ CXC examinations under the Secondary School Finance Reform program. The reform is being rolled out in different phases and in their latest program, the Ministry of Education has partnered with the Ministry of Human Development in conducting the selection process. Research and Planner at the Ministry of Education, Bernaldino Pech explains. Bernaldino Pech – Research/Planner “We’re using a data base and a registry system which they are responsible for which seeks to identify and categorize people based on the level of economic assistance that they may need. Now over the course of March and May of this year we visited high schools and attempted to interview students who were in forms one to three along with standard six students across the country and the purpose of that was to target students who potentially will be in high school now. So there are different levels of assistance the ministry wants to facilitate parents with and the first one is assistance with payment of the CXC’s. An announcement was made earlier this week that the Ministry of Education will assist all students who fall within the required categories with sitting six CXC subjects which monetary wise is between $270 to $350 more or less depending on which subject they opt to sit.”

School Managers Meet To Discuss Education
Managers from the six district Education Centers in the country convened in Orange Walk for a meeting. The event is held on a quarterly basis. Senior members of the staff were also at the meeting in which they seek to discuss a number of issues that affect the education system in the country. Education Center Manager for the Orange Walk District, Carla Alvarez elaborated on their focus for this meeting. Carla Alvarez – District Education Manager “We have with us today the person in charge of the inspectorate who goes around doing the full supervision in certain schools; we also have the person in charge of the teaching service commission Mrs. Sosa and she will be giving us a presentation and discussion segment. This is to give us update on new developments and it also gives us managers and opportunity to discuss some of the issues that we have because in some cases some issues might be the same but in other cases it might just be particular to a certain district.

Students Affected By Belize/Guatemala Territorial Dispute
The tension brought about by the border situation with Guatemala is growing and fast. There has been death experienced in both countries but the latest incident has sent shock waves across Belize. While many organizations and the public at large clamor for government to take the lead in resolving this situation, it appears that even children are being dragged into the matter. According to the Belize National Teachers’ Union branch in Benque Viejo del Carmen in Cayo, there is a growing problem between Belizean children and Guatemalan children who attend the school there. Apparently, children who live in communities near the border, travel into Belize to attend the school but are now being rejected by Belizean children in the same institution.

Trust Committee To Conduct Consultations Country Wide
In July we reported that increments for public officers that were frozen in 1995 were released to the trustees of the Public Sector Workers’ Trust which was established to hold funds in trust for all public officers and teachers whose annual increments were frozen from the 1st of April 1995 to the 31st of March 1997. The Accountant General transferred the balance of $3.06 million held in a Government Savings Account to the Trust. In addition to this, $2 million unions received as BTL dividends since 2008 were transferred to the Trust. It was good news but it appears that there are some things that remain unclear for many of those who were affected in 1995 to 1997. In an effort to clear all confusion and doubts, the Trust Committee is conducting a consultation across the country. President of the Orange Walk BNTU Branch, Otilio Munoz, tells us more.

GOB To Pay CXC For Students
Government will pay for students’ CXC examinations under the Secondary School Finance Reform program. The reform is being rolled out in different phases and in their latest program, the Ministry of Education has partnered with the Ministry of Human Development in conducting the selection process. Research and Planner at the Ministry of Education, Bernaldino Pech explains. “We’re using a data base and a registry system which they are responsible for which seeks to identify and categorize people based on the level of economic assistance that they may need. Now over the course of March and May of this year we visited high schools and attempted to interview students who were in forms one to three along with standard six students across the country and the purpose of that was to target students who potentially will be in high school now. So there are different levels of assistance the ministry wants to facilitate parents with and the first one is assistance with payment of the CXC’s. An announcement was made earlier this week that the Ministry of Education will assist all students who fall within the required categories with sitting six CXC subjects which monetary wise is between $270 to $350 more or less depending on which subject they opt to sit.”

BNTU Demands GOB Take Action In Belize/Guatemala Dispute
The concern on how the shooting death of a tourism officer in the Caracol Archaeological site will eventually end; continues to linger across the country, at the same time it has also caused tensions to grow at the Belize/Guatemala Border. Many groups have voiced their stand on the matter and now Belize’s teachers are asking the government to act swiftly and accordingly. The Belize Teachers’ Union is asking its membership to wear a green t-shirt every Friday in October as a form of protest to the border situation and in efforts of sending a message to Government. “We are sending a message to the Government of Belize, to our ministers that they need to take action with what is happening with this confrontation with Guatemala. First we had the death of the constable from there we were not satisfied as to how things were handled by the Government and then things escalated because we had another incident on Friday.

Alex Tillett Charged With Robbery And Handling Stolen Goods
Yesterday after being on the run for 20 days, 27 year old Alex Tillett, known as “lexus” turned himself to authorities at the Orange Walk Police Station. And one day after Tillett, we understand, has been arrested and charged for three counts of robbery and one count of handling stolen goods. It is expected that Tillett will appear at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court tomorrow where those charges will be read to him by a magistrate. As previously mentioned, Tillett is believed to be one of two men who robbed Darvis Store at gunpoint on September 11th. He is also being connected to the September 19th broad daylight robbery of Hung Yun Store located on the Phillip Goldson Highway. That robbery proved fatal for Tillett’s alleged accomplice Leslie Logan Jr. who was shot by the proprietor of the store. Tillett was also wanted for two other counts of robbery.

Woman Found Dead In Middle Of Cane Field Died Of Heart Attack
Corozal Police have determined that the woman who was found dead yesterday in the middle of cane field located in the Village of Cristo Rey, was not murdered instead she died of a heart attack. The badly decomposed body of 63 year old Anita Che, was discovered yesterday around 3:00m by villagers who went searching for her. Reporter Victor Castillo has more details to the story. The last time 63 year old Anita Che spoke with her son Manual Hernandez was last week Tuesday when she told him that she was going to the doctor and there after travel to Belmopan to visit family members. Up until yesterday Hernandez thought his mother was in Belmopan but all that changed when he received a telephone call from his relatives in that municipality.

Construction At Hunting Caye Is Halted
Following the announcement in the House of Representatives of a Forwarding Operating Base being constructed in Hunting Caye, the topic has raised much concern and scrutiny from the public at large since it was revealed that the construction is one being carried out by a Guatemalan company, BINARQ. And while the topic is one making the headlines after the wake of the death of Special Constable, Danny Conorquie, it is prompting many organizations, activists and advocates defending their turf, in the on-going Belize-Guatemala dispute. Today, several Belizeans held a protest in front of the US Embassy in Belmopan to voice concerns of border safety and security among other issues. That action prompted the US Embassy to reply but they did so via press release on the FOB at Hunting Caye issue. The release states ‘The US SOUTHERN COMMAND is funding the Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Hunting Caye and other projects for the Belize Coast Guard through its Counterdrug Program in direct support of the Belize Coast Guard's 2020 strategy. The bidding process for these infrastructure projects is transparent and open to a pool of international contractors under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Central America “Multiple Award Task Order Contracts” (MATOCS). The Army Corps of Engineers grants the contract to the company assessed to provide the best product at the most reasonable cost as is the custom with contract bidding. As such, source selection is based on ‘best value’ which includes analysis of cost, record of performance, and technical qualifications,” end quote.


Tourists’ Interest In Belize Heightens, Says Stastistics
The Belize Tourism Board is reporting an increase in tourist arrivals for the third quarter of 2014. Statistics released by the BTB today points out that airport arrival for the third quarter increased by three point nine percent compared to last year. The month of July saw the most tourist arrival via the PGIA when compared to July 2013. Overnight arrivals for the third quarter have seen an increase of eight point eight percent over 2013. As it relates to cruise arrivals statistics show that from July through to September, a seventy seven point nine percent increase was recorded. Director of Marketing & Industry Relations for BTB, Alyssa Carnegie, says that with increases over forty percent for each month this quarter, it marks one of the best years for cruise visitor arrivals in Belize’s tourism history. ALYSSA CARNEGIE “We’re really excited to announce that arrivals for both overnight and cruise are doing really well; not only for this month but for this quarter, we’ve been up, I believe it is 12.1 percent this September over last September and I think we’ve done for Cruise 90.1 percent increase this September over last September. So, that’s a tremendous indication to us of how well the country is doing, how interested people are. For Cruise it’s really great because we normally, see we have a schedule of calls that are made every year so while the calls haven’t increased what we are seeing is that more and more people are getting off the ship; that’s a really good sign that they’re interested to experience Belize and that they’re engaging and interacting and liking that experience.

World Mental Health Day Recognized in Belize
October 10 each year, countries around the globe, including Belize, recognize the day as World Mental Health Day. A ceremony was held today to bring together stakeholders with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The event was held under the theme, ‘Living with Schizophrenia’. Love News spoke with Nurse Eleanor Bennett, the Nursing Administrator for the National Mental Health Program. NURSE ELEANOR BENNETT “For Belize and many other countries all over the world, it signifies a day where we should stop and think about our mental health and about mental illness but more importantly about our mental health. We go on everyday not realizing how important having good mental health is and we hope to get from days like this for people to at least stop for a minute and think, ‘Is my mental health okay?’

High School Attendance in Southern Belize Dismal
School officials in the Stann Creek District have raised concerns about the low enrolment at some of the educational institutions in the District. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story. HARRY ARZU “There are six secondary learning institutions in the Stann Creek District and there are reports that a large number of young people who’ve graduated from the various primary schools recently is not attending any of these institutions and are not participating in any other constructive alternative program that can advance their personal development…..but what are some of the reasons for this state of affairs in this municipality and by extension, the district? Furthermore there are a number of high school dropouts, while some of these high schools have a very low student population, for example, the Agriculture Natural Research Institute has a student population of less than 100 and the authorities there say that they are in dire need of more students. Likewise ITVET Stann Creek has a small population of less than 100 students while Delille Academy has a decrease in their student population hence the reason for their urgent campaign to attract more students to their school since they have a little over 300. Dina Villafranco is the principal of Delille Academy.”

Honduran Waitresses Employed Illegally; Employer Charged
Thirty-five year old Ray Herrera, a Belizean who is the manager of MJ’s Bar, located on West Collet Canal Street, was fined four thousand dollars today by Magistrate Herbert Panton after he pled guilty to two counts of employing a person not in possession of a valid temporary employment permit. Herrera was fined two thousand dollars for each count. He paid half of the money forthwith. Yesterday two immigration officers, who were on routine patrol, went to MJ’s and upon their arrival they saw two women working there as waitresses. When they asked the women for identification the women gave them their Honduran passports but were not in possession of valid work permits. As a result, the officers detained Herrera and charged him.

Quick Police Response Nabs Armed Robber
A 29-year-old man who allegedly held up a 29 year old woman with a gun and tried to steal her belongings, was charged with attempted robbery when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He is Kevin Lewis, a laborer of an Aloe Vera Street address. Lewis pled not guilty to the charge. He was told by Senior Magistrate Fraser that it was an offence for which she cannot offer him bail. He was remanded into custody until November 7. The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. yesterday. The complainant reported to the police that she was at an address on Cemetery Road when she was approached by a man who pointed a gun at her and demanded that she give him all her belongings; luckily for her, before she could accede to the demand, the police, who were in the area, arrived and apprehended the culprit.

Relief Supplies Delivered to Maskall Following Freak Storm
This past week brought some heavy showers and strong winds to the country as a tropical wave passed through on Wednesday night. While some of the natural elements were bearable for most parts of the country, the villagers in Maskall in the Belize District were taken aback following extremely strong winds and torrential rains. The winds were so strong that several homes received extensive damages as roofs were ripped off their structures and household furniture and appliances were damaged with the rains. On Thursday morning, the Area Representative for the Belize Rural North, Edmond Castro along with official from the National Emergency Management Organization was in the rural area doing an assessment of the seven homes that fell prey to the winds and rain. Love News was there and we had managed to get first-hand account from the residents of what transpired on Wednesday night.

Prime Minister Travels for Meeting With IADB
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country on Thursday. The Prime Minister will be meeting with representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington. He is expected to return home next Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is acting as Prime Minister during his absence.


Construction of Coast Guard Facility at Hunting Caye has ceased
The killing of Special Constable Danny Conorquie has sparked outrage especially since he died at the hands of Guatemalan Nationals...

BDF Uniforms Made In Guatemala!
The image you are seeing now is a picture of a typical BDF camouflage uniform. It portrays a digital pixelated design first introduced by the Canadian forces in the late 1990’s. Since then a number of countries and Special Forces have adopted the same design concept and made many variations to it...

World Mental Health Day is observed
Schizophrenia is an illness that is largely misunderstood and can lead to ostracization from the community and even family. Feelings of paranoia, isolation, repeated mannerisms and actions, depressive and occasionally suicidal thoughts are among the symptoms...

Kevin Lewis Charged With Robbery
Police have quickly apprehended the man they suspect robbed 29 year old Kimana Thompson on Cemetery Road, Belize City, on Thursday afternoon. 29 year old Kevin Lewis, a labourer of Aloe Vera Street in Belize City, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted robbery before Senior Magistrate Sharon F...

Night Club Owner Convicted Of Immigration Charges
Manager of MJ’s Night Club, 35 year old Ray Herrera, must pay fines of $4,000, after pleading guilty to two counts of employing persons not in possession of a temporary employment permit. Immigration officers on routine patrol in the area of West Collet Canal Street, Belize City, where the club is l...

Outstanding Growth Reported In Tourism
The third quarter of 2014 has registered increases in tourist arrivals across the board. According to reports from the BTB, there has been outstanding growth in arrivals for both overnight and cruise ship tourism. Overall for the first nine months of this year, overnight arrivals are up by 11 %; air...

National Convention on Initiative For Justice And Reparations held in Belmopan
On Friday the Belize Commission: Initiative for Justice and Reparation held a National Convention, at the UB Campus, in Belmopan, to engage the four major groups that were affected, in different ways, by the colonial rule of the United kingdom...

Law Enforcement Agencies Join Forces To Support Special Olympics
Ahead of December’s National Special Olympics Games in Belmopan, the organization dedicated to raising awareness of persons with intellectual disabilities through sports accepted a donation from a group of law enforcement organizations ,which worked together to raise funds through the annual torch r...

Prime Minister and Inter-American Development Bank representatives meet in Washington
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country on Thursday. He left to meet with Representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, USA, and is expected to be back on Tuesday next week. In the wake of his absence the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is the acting Prime Minister.


US halts Guat construction at Hunting Caye
In a press release which was sent from the office of the Ministry of National Security late this evening, the Government of Belize (GOB) has announced that “the United States Army Corp of Engineers, the US agency responsible for the construction of the Hunting Caye Forward Operating Base, has issued a letter to the Guatemalan company BINARQ, which has had the effect of causing all construction at the Base to cease,” an action that came about, it said, “after consultations between the Ministry of National Security, the Belize Coast Guard and the United States agencies in Belize”, and which will remain in effect “until a satisfactory policy decision can be arrived at among all parties that takes into consideration the sensitivities expressed by sections of the Belizean population.” In the statement, the Ministry claimed that BINARQ, the Guatemalan company in question, was contracted to build the Hunting Caye base in 2011, months before the current Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, assumed the portfolio, and that “Saldivar was briefed on the ongoing Hunting Caye and San Pedro projects shortly after being appointed as the Minister of National Security in the second term of the United Democratic Party government”, which means, the statement said, that “there was no obligation or requirement on the part of the new Minister to report the details of these contracts to Cabinet,” given that the projects were approved prior to the current administration’s second term in office.

Ebola death in the US; Belize rushes to get ready
The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States has ended in the death of a Liberian, Thomas Eric Duncan, who reportedly contracted the virus in his home country before traveling back to the United States. When Duncan first sought medical attention in the US, he was sent home with antibiotics, but he was later admitted for treatment and quarantined in Dallas, Texas, after his situation worsened. There is no indication yet if Duncan had passed on the virus to others with whom he had made contact while he was manifesting symptoms of Ebola Viral Disease (EVD). The US Center for Disease Control says that there are 8,033 Ebola cases, mostly in Africa: 4,461 laboratory-confirmed cases and 3,865 deaths, with 2,210 of those deaths reported out of Liberia. So far, 20 cases and 8 deaths have been reported out of Nigeria, where localized transmission has occurred.

Editorial: The colossus and the compromised
A week has passed since Mose Hyde broke the news on his KREM Radio/TV WUB morning show that the United States had hired Guatemalan contractors using exclusively Guatemalan workers to construct a base for the Belize Coast Guard at Hunting Caye. For you Americans, listen here, the outrageous arrogance in the choice of contractors has to do with the fact that Belize is a sovereign nation-state which is embroiled in a territorial dispute with the Guatemalan republic which is home for the Hunting Caye contractors/workers. (This dispute is inherited by Belize from our former colonial masters, Great Britain, who granted Belize independence in 1981.) So far, the United States, the colossus of the Western Hemisphere, and indeed of the world, has gotten away with ignoring the righteous indignation of the Belizean people, an indignation which has been confined to Belizeans in Belize. Construction has proceeded on Hunting Caye, and there has been no indication by the United States Embassy in Belmopan that they have heard the Belizean voices of protest.

Professor Beckles addresses the Congressional Black Caucus
My host, the extraordinary, John Conyers, Congressman without comparison, other distinguished members of the Congress of the United States of America, members of government, both State and Federal, Excellences of the diplomatic corps, Dr. Julius Garvey, ladies and gentlemen. I am privileged to be here this afternoon standing in solidarity with this most important organisation, the Congressional Black Caucus of the United States of America. I am honoured to be able to pay respect to all its members in recognition of your historic achievements, contemporary advocacy, and evolving agenda in respect of reparatory justice for all. It is humbling to be in the company of Congressman Conyers, who for the last 40 years has championed the reparatory justice movement in the Congress of this country, and in the world beyond.

Philip Willoughby Cup Five-A-Side commences at Yabra
The Yabra Football Field was the scene of football action on Sunday, October 5, as the first 4 games were played in the Philip Willoughby Cup Five-A-Side Football Tournament. There are reportedly 10 teams (8 players per team roster) in the competition – Survivors, Rangers, Heights, Tulish, Silent Assassin, Livity Lane, Eiley FC, Honduras, Kulture and Caribbean Shipping. Tournament coordinators Jerome “Peeloff” Meheia and Gazden Ferguson said yesterday that the tournament, which is for non-semipro players, will emphasize strict discipline, and they have compiled a list of rules and regulations that participating teams, officials and players “shall automatically undertake to.” Penalties include fines, suspension from games, or expulsion from the tournament.

Talking football – Part 3
A 1962 Souvenir Programme for the visit to Belize of cricket and football teams representing St. George’s College Old Boys of Kingston, Jamaica, chronicles the list of football champions in Belize going back to the first competition on record, held in 1919-20. The souvenir booklet was “issued by the Belize Cricket Association” and, judging from the names of Belizean players listed, one would have to assume that the selection to represent Belize was taken from players active in Belize City, the population, administrative and commercial center of the country at that time. Nevertheless, the sporting exchange was obviously considered an international contest by the Belize Association, as the souvenir booklet featured messages by a number of the colony’s dignitaries, starting with then Governor, Sir Peter Stallard; and including First Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. George Cadle Price; Belize Cricket Association President and Minister of Public Works, Power and Communications, Hon. A. E. Cattouse; Minister of Local Government, Social Welfare and Cooperatives, Hon. Louis Sylvestre; Minister of Natural Resources, Commerce and Industry, Hon. A. A. Hunter; Minister of Education, Health, Housing, Information and Broadcasting, Hon. J. W. Macmillan; Minister of Labour, Prisons and Cinemas, Hon. C. L. B. Rogers; the representative of The West Indies Extra-Mural Department British Honduras, Mr. Vernon Leslie; Chairman Secondary Schools Competition, Rev. C. W. Cousins; Secretary, Belize Cricket Association, D. R. Gill; President of The Rural Cricket Association, Fred O. Moody; President The British Honduras Football Association, Russel S. Grant; and Secretary The British Honduras Football Association, P. S. Hall.

KREM Radio rolls out novel initiative for its 25th anniversary
KREM Radio, which has earned the bragging rights as Belize’s first privately owned radio station, has engaged in a wide range of community-based initiatives since its inception in 1989, and this year, for its 25th anniversary, the proprietors are planning an unprecedented initiative which will enable 25 first-time landowners to claim a fraction of the Jewel for themselves. The popular roots radio station will celebrate a milestone achievement on November 17 of this year, which will mark 25 years of its existence on the airwaves across the length and breadth of the country, and as a show of gratitude to its faithful listeners and fans, the station has an ongoing promotion known as “KREM’s Big Shilling Giveaways,” in which listeners are allowed to call in to the station at intervals during the morning and afternoon programs, and get a chance to win hundreds of dollars in gifts and prizes every week. Today however, KREM Radio’s Evan “Mose” Hyde informed us that the administrators have made the effort to take the initiative a step further through a second phase of their anniversary promotion, which will be effective tomorrow, Friday, October 3.

Bill which Opposition says will dismantle the Bar sparks fiery House debate
Ne bated Firearms legislation at Thursday’s House Sitting, and triggered a spirited debate on the changes which the Opposition People’s United Party contends have been engineered to “break up” the Bar Association of Belize, the organization to which all lawyers must currently pay subscription fees before they can practice law in Belize. “Speaking for myself, I do not want to belong to your Bar Association. How can that be democratic? You are coercing me. You can’t force me, man, I don’t want to be forced,” said Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in Parliament Thursday, maintaining his stance on the bill. Barrow said that by means of the amendment, the requirement for lawyers to join the Bar and pay fees to it, will be removed, as it is not only unconstitutional but morally wrong to mandate lawyers to pay fees to the Bar Association.

Caught in the act, burglar jumps off roof and breaks legs
A Caye Caulker man arrived at the Magistrate’s Court this afternoon in a police mobile unit and created quite a spectacle, because he was unable to walk and had to drag himself on his knees into the building. Keith Burgess, 53, a fisherman of Caye Caulker, pleaded not guilty to one count of burglary when he was arraigned on the charge in the courtroom of Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Cayetano offered him bail of $1,000 plus one surety in the same amount, and adjourned his case to December 4, 2014.

Churches and GOB break impasse over Revised Gender Policy
Officials of the church community in Belize met Friday, October 3, with a delegation led by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in Belize City in an attempt to resolve their differences over the Revised Gender Policy (2013), which sparked national street protests by religious groups opposed to provisions in the policy which they contended were clearly engineered to pave the way for a foreign-backed agenda to establish mainstream rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) community here in Belize. During Friday’s meeting, the parties struck an accord on how gender would be defined. In the 2013 policy, gender is fluidly defined as: “The social constructed roles allocated respectively to women and men in particular societies and in particular historical and cultural contexts. Such roles, and the differences between them, are conditioned by a variety of political, economic, ideological and cultural factors and are characterized in most societies by unequal power relations.”

Nearly 700 cases of dengue nationally
Roughly 700 cases of dengue have been documented in Belize since the year began, and while this figure is substantially lower than the amount of cases documented in the 2010 outbreak in Belize, the data include an unusually high percentage of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) cases, according to the Ministry of Health. As we reported to you last week, 77 cases of DHF had been documented in the City between January and September 2014, and 82% of dengue cases reported for the district had actually been reported out of Belize City and primarily out of three hot spots on the Southside.

Test of DCP Segura’s blood confirms high level of alcohol
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Miguel Segura, who has been charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, driving with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit, negligent grievous harm and failing to alter direction to give way, was brought back to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today, where his trial was adjourned until November 10, when he is to be returned to court. Segura was released on bail of $6,000. Police have stated that a blood alcohol level test confirmed that Deputy Commissioner Segura had more than the legal limit of alcohol in him at the time he was involved in a road traffic accident in which a Succotz woman was killed on the spot and her driver seriously injured. The test was conducted at the National Forensic Services in Ladyville on blood samples taken from DCP Segura on Saturday, August 16, and confirmed that the alcohol content in his blood was above the legal limit, which is 70/100.

Christmas comes early for some San Pedranos!
A security officer from the DFC area of San Pedro Town was stabbed during a daring afternoon jacking by a pair of robbers while en route to making a bank deposit at around 1:30 p.m. yesterday in downtown San Pedro. The robbery occurred at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Caribeña Street when Cleofosio Robert Assi, 28, a security officer who is employed at Milo’s Center in San Pedro, was reportedly accosted by two armed culprits, one of whom stabbed him in the right shoulder, while the other wrested a deposit bag with what police have now confirmed to be more than BZ$39,000, after which they both fled toward the beach on foot. Assi told police that he had been transporting the deposit bag with the money – which were the proceeds of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) payments from a Western Union office located inside Milo’s Center, which also operates as a collection agency for BEL and other companies – inside a backpack, but upon reaching in front of a store near the bank, he suddenly felt someone grab the backpack, after which a struggle ensued between him and two thieves, one of whom stabbed him.

COLA’s private prosecutor files grounds of appeal against Penner’s acquittal
On Thursday, July 24, the Hon. Elvin Penner, area representative for Cayo North East, walked out of the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, having been freed of the two criminal charges that Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) had filed against him. Penner hugged his wife and walked to his vehicle and disappeared from the public’s radar. It has been almost 70 days since Penner last snubbed reporters by maintaining the stony silence he has had in the face of public probing into his involvement in the granting of a Belizean passport to the imprisoned South Korean convict Won Hong Kim, in violation of policies and procedures which should govern the granting of citizenship. And even now, a year after the scandal broke, there has not been a word from government sources about Kim’s passport that was supposed to have been returned to the country. According to the Commissioner of Police, the police are still investigating the scandal.

Letters: Remembering Recommendation #29 of 2000
I draw your attention to Recommendation # 29 of the Political Reform Commission Report 2000. For the record, I hereby associate myself unequivocally and unconditionally with the bold editorials of the Amandala of October 3rd and 7th 2014, captioned “Respect Our Army; Equip our Army” and “Belize’s Survival Option” respectively, both pointing to the need for Belize to become militarized, and for us to truly take charge of our own destiny and survival. 14 years ago, and as a member of the Political Reform Commission in 1999-2000, I recommended that there be a constitutional amendment to provide for mandatory military service for every Belizean. The records will show this was rejected as Recommendation # 29 of the Report.

Letters: Neri O. Briceño writes President of Guatemala
General Otto Fernando Perez Molina President of the Republic of Guatemala Office of the President Guatemala City Guatemala SUBJECT: The Belizean Resolve Dear Mr. President: I write to you as we all were born before humankind bestowed upon us medals, honors, positions and titles; just an ordinary man. Belize for us is as Guatemala is to you, our home, our land, our country and our nation. The idea of dividing our nation in any form is as repelling as the 36 years civil war which threatened to destabilize your nation just a few years ago. As a military man you took up the ultimate challenge to put your own life at risk to preserve what you felt was right and just; for that I give you respect. Similarly for those of us on the opposite side of the Sarstoon all we can simply promise to do is just the same. As a former military man I am certain that you more than anyone else understands the notion of love of country.

The Reporter

$86,000 disappears in free-for-all frenzy Manhunt on for daylight robbers
Money was plentiful last Monday afternoon on Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye – 5’s and 10’s, 20’s and 50’s, but only for a few minutes as people scooped up the bills and hurried off. Some $38,000 in cash disappeared in a flash following a brazen armed robbery and citizens’ arrest turned free-for-all frenzy. It all began around one on Monday afternoon when two brazen robbers attacked security guard Cleofosio Assi as he made his way towards Barclays Bank on Barrier Reef Drive. Assi intended to make a deposit on behalf of his employer, Milo Paz of the Paz Collection Agency. One of the robbers stabbed Assi in the right upper shoulder while his accomplice grabbed the knapsack with the money Assi was carrying and fled.

Special Envoy Mrs. Kim Barrow raises $300,000 for Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
Belize’s indefatigable Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, through her fundraising efforts, has raised some $300,000 for the Belize Children’s Trust. The Special Envoy raised the funds through the 2nd Annual Fundraising Gala Dinner in aid of the Belize Children’s Trust, held at the Old Town Manor in Bristol, United Kingdom. The money raised from the event will go towards completing the specialized Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. A release issued by her office this week reaffirms the commitment of the Special Envoy to completion of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit to ease the mental, physical and financial burdens families in Belize bear in having to take their children abroad for special intensive care treatment.

Belize and Mexico sign agreements to improve bilateral relations
Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington and his Mexican counterpart, Jose Antonio Meade last Friday led the 8th Meeting of the Belize-Mexico Bi-National Commission during which the Foreign Ministers reviewed the Bilater signed three new bilateral agreements. The first was a Memorandum of Understanding in tourism […]

City Council and Chamber will partner for equitable tax solutions
The Belize City Council and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry have reached an understanding to introduce a new format for calculating annual trade license fees, which are more rational and less arbitrary. The Belize City Council has also agreed to a moratorium […]

Guests gather for an exhibition of Student art, sponsored by Taiwan
Belize and Taiwan have been working on a cultural programme where Belizean students participate in a summer school to develop and hone their art skills in a project called Primary Schools Art Skills Training Pilot Project. . Last week there was an exhibition at […]

Underground canal network will drain northside area including Cinderella Plaza
A new underground canal, like the one on Princess Margaret Drive, is to be dug to drain low-lying areas of Cinderella Plaza and Baymen Avenue. Ground-breaking work began this week on a Flood Mitigation Programme under the supervision of the Ministry of Works. Rolando […]

Former teacher stabs estranged wife then hangs himself
A former teacher of Seine Bight Village has committed suicide by hanging himself after stabbing Nicole Swazo, 34, his estranged common-law wife and leaving her for dead. Officials arriving at the scene pronounced Byron Castillo, 33, dead shortly after noon on Saturday, October 4. They […]

Food Vendor from Barrack Road Shot dead during black-out
Belize City food vendor, 27 year old Gerald Palmer of # 20 Barrack Road was shot and killed at the corner of Card’s Alleys near his home last Thursday night. The shooting occurred during a blackout and no one seems to know who did […]

Macheteman attack in Teakettle! Victim loses his left wrist.
A village man who used a machete to chop off the left wrist of Aldo Moro, 24, in Teakettle Village is now in the Hattieville jail, charged with attempted murder. Moro was heading for his car after making a few purchases at the J […]

Ebola Watch
Ebola, the highly contageous epidemic sweeping through West Africa, has produced its first casualty in the United States. Its presence also in Spain has caused consternation because a nurse’s assistant in Madrid who has been taking all the sterilization precautions, has come down with the disease. Thomas Eric Duncan, the […]

Belizeans, normally docile and easy-going, became enraged this week on learning that a Guatemalan company BINARQ has been given the contract to build a forward naval base at Hunting Caye in southern Belize. The news came on the heels of the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorque at the hands […]

Cease Operations! Hunting Caye construction stopped due to public outcry
The United States government has told the Guatemalan company building the military outpost on Hunting Caye to cease all operations. On Thursday the Ministry of National Security announced that Army Corp. of Engineers, the US agency responsible for the construction of the Hunting Caye operation […]

Deadlock continues at BSI
The impasse between the Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association, and the American Sugar Refineries (ASR)-owned Belize Sugar Industries, continues this week as the parties failed to finalize a commercial purchasing agreement. Vice Chairman of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega, said that he is “disappointed”at the result of […]

KHMH audit complete Another more in-depth report warranted for Central Health Region
The audit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has been completed and the results of that audit will be submitted to the Chairman of the KHMH Board of Directors on Friday, Auditor General Dorothy Bradley disclosed this week. Bradley said it wasn’t a comprehensive […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Belizeans: Chiquibul Needs Your Help
On Saturday October 18th, the NGO Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) will be holding a telethon from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at the Memorial Park in Belize City. The purpose of the telethon is to raise the complement of park rangers to 24. At an estimated cost of $24,000 for salaries, equipment, training and insurance for one of the toughest jobs in Belize, the NGO needs nearly $600,000 for the program.


New Hostel Opening Soon – Name Needed! I’m Thinking Doughnut Inn and Here’s Why…
Since I first arrived on Ambergris Caye about 8 years ago, there has been a bit of a building boom. The main streets have been paved and resorts, particularly on the north end of the caye, have sprung up like sunset mosquitos in September. Much of the building has been aimed towards the higher-end customers. And…get this. San Pedro, the largest tourist destination in Belize, has only one hostel. ONE HOSTEL! With cheaper rooms, some dormitory style, for backpackers, students and budget travelers. Caye Caulker has been the spot for these guys – for the most part, they never set foot on Ambergris Caye. But in just the past few months, TWO hostels (both with prime locations) have been slated to open on AC. Hopefully we will attract a whole new type of traveler. Because based on what I’ve seen, what I’ve read and what I have blogged about (please refer to my Finn Kardashian episodes below), these globetrotters travel on a budget but they secretly have wads of cash.

“Another One Bites the Dust” in San Pedro,Ambergris Caye,Belize.
It’s been a while since the last edition. I just didn’t know what to write about. I mean it shouldn’t be too difficult should it? It’s not like I compose (allow me this rather grandiose description – I know it’s not the case but egos need massaging occasionally. Yes, even mine!) literary works of art. I’d like to describe myself more as a raconteur. I’d like to but … Now I know I could have taken a walk along the beach or around the ‘Town and taken a few snaps, wrapped some words either side of them and voilà. Job done. Edition produced. For sure I like to include photos of the beautiful sights around Ambergris Caye. And no matter how often I see them they still remain beautiful. I also like to let you know about changes that take place on the island. You know, what new bars and restaurants are opening or have just opened. What’s the condition of the roads. What the weather is like (especially if it’s raining and my water tank is filling up!).

International Sourcesizz

Teacher- and parent-led trip heads to Belize
Situated on the northeastern coast of Central America and bordered by Guatemala and Mexico, Belize is the destination for a teacher/parent-led student expedition slated for spring break in 2016. #It is the only country in Central America that has English as its official language. Pioneer Middle School Explorer teacher Dan Calzaretta and parent volunteer Kathryn Southwick Hess are planning the trip.

UT Tyler hosting Mayan culture trip
The University of Texas at Tyler, in collaboration with the Maya Research Program, will offer a public Friends of UT Tyler tour that explores the ancient and modern Mayan culture, Dr. Teresa Kennedy, UT Tyler Office of International Programs executive director, announced. Led by Dr. Thomas Guderjan, UT Tyler associate professor of anthropology, the “Maya Highlands New Year’s Eve Tour” will feature certain parts of Mexico and Guatemala. Cost is $3,600 per person and includes ground transportation, room and board and most meals. There is a $500 non-refundable deposit. “During this 13-day journey, we will explore ancient Mayan sites in the spectacular highlands of Mexico and Guatemala,” said Guderjan, who also serves as the Maya Research Program president and oversees the Blue Creek Archaeological Project in Belize. “We will also visit the World Heritage site of Palenque and remote Tonina, explore the colonial cities of San Cristobal and Antigua and meet traditional Maya people who live our contemporary world.”

Choco-lypse And The Looming Chocolate Revolution
Enjoy that chocolate this Halloween because in the next five years, we could be facing a major shortage. Cocoa farmers, who grow all of the cocoa beans for the world's chocolate, aren't paid fairly and are ditching the crop. Global cocoa production has actually declined since 2011. Here are the three most important things chocolate lovers need to know about why their favorite sweet is in peril: Smallholder cocoa farmers are underpaid and impoverished: Ninety percent of the world's cocoa is produced by five million smallholder farmers in West Africa, Latin America, and Asia. These farmers are getting minimal pay, with the majority of cocoa farmers globally living on less than $2 per day. Farmer poverty is widespread, while big manufacturers are capturing the vast majority of profits from the nearly $100 billion global chocolate industry.

Not All Coral Are 'Losers' With Climate Change
A team of researchers are now saying that despite the dangers of climate change across the globe, not every species of coral is doomed. A new study details how some coral species are actually moving into new territory as their vulnerable cousins continue to decline with rising ocean temperatures. The study was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE and details how a team of 20 scientists from universities in California, Hawaii, and New Hampshire set out to asses who would be the "winners and losers" among coral populations as climate change and human stressors press in. To determined this, the researchers analyzed contemporary and fossil coral reef ecosystem data sets from two Caribbean locations in the US Virgin Islands and Belize, and from five Indo-Pacific locations in Moorea, Taiwan, Hawaii, Australia's Great Barrier Reef and Kenya.

Caribbean nations: UN and specialized agencies must prevent Ebola spread
Act now and avert a global public health emergency. That, in essence, was the urgent demand of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Guyana, Barbados and their Caribbean neighbors and the plea was made at the United Nations in New York at a time when the U.S. was seeking to tame rising domestic worries about the potential spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic to America's shores. Essentially, what the island-nations and coastal states that belong to Caricom are asking is that the UN's specialized agencies and rich states ramp up their aid to the African states which are now bearing the full brunt of the deadly Ebola virus disease. The Caribbean also fears that the outbreak of the highly contagious disease would jump from Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone and spread to the rest of Africa and to developing nations in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Pacific and the Middle East. Thousands of victims have already died from Ebola in four African states. "The specter of the deadly Ebola disease and the scourge of HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases have the potential to significantly impact our people and threaten the gains made so far by Small Island developing states," warned Senator Arnold Nicholson, Jamaica's Foreign Minister in an address to the General Assembly.

Fears over Venezuela’s Petrocaribe grow in Caribbean and Central America
Highly indebted countries in the Caribbean and Central America could be facing a potentially devastating setback to their already vulnerable economies if Venezuela decides to end its supply of subsidised oil to the region. Venezuela’s government has claimed that its PetroCaribe programme will stay in place, but doubts have been increasing recently over the credibility of that claim. PetroCaribe was designed to allow members to take advantage of a deferred payment system, technically paying full price for oil but receiving credit for up to 50% of the market prices. The deferred amount is payable up to 25 years with an interest rate of 1%-2%. The programme includes 17 countries, with El Salvador joining in June. Of the participating nations, 13 are receiving oil shipments. Two of the three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with the highest debt to GDP ratios, Belize and Jamaica, participate in PetroCaribe. El Salvador has the fifth highest debt to GDP ratio in the region, according to the World Bank.


Video: Shock Top - Discover Unfiltered Belize, 1.5min.
Last weekend COED was invited by Shock Top to an epic weekend in Belize which included an ATV tour of the jungle, zip-lining through the rainforest and Cave Tubing through a mile-long cave. To top it off the Discover Unfiltered main event was held in a Mayan ruin.

Video: ChiquibulTelethonFinal, 1min.

Video: Missions Today TV: "Belize", 27min.
Watch an incredible team effort to build a classroom, dozens of eager kids at our children's outreach and people accepting Jesus as their Savior.

Video: Belize, 6min.
This video is about Belize.

Video: Chaleanor Hotel in Dangriga Town, Belize, 2min.
Chad and Eleanor Usher combined their first two names to create the name Chaleanor. They started as a guest house for visiting students, but eventually it transformed into a hotel in 1994 and since expanded to 18 rooms. Chad is a visionary person and is always improving the property in whatever way he can, to give the guests a more comfortable stay. His cooperative spirit of happiness easily radiates to those around him.

Video: GoPro: Belize - Guatemala 2014, 4min.

Video: Belize Fashion Week 2014, 1min.
Belize Fashion Week 2014 November 20-23 2014 San Pedro - Belize

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