Recent Belize News
11/11/2014 to 11/20/2014
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Today's Belize News

November 20, 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

Missing Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado and her sister are found dead
Honduran police have found the bodies 19-year-old Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado and her sister 23-year-old Sofia Trinidad who went missing on Thursday, November 13th. The women were reported missing by a family member on Saturday, November 15th after they could not be contacted. Police have since taken into custody two men believed to be involved in the murder: Plutarco Ruiz, Sofia’s boyfriend, and Aris Maldonado. Initial reports stated Alvarado and her sister were last seen leaving a birthday party in Santa Barbara, Honduras. On Sunday, November 16th police detained four persons in connection to the disappearance. “The missing women were last seen getting into a vehicle as they left the party. Four people are under arrest. They include the owner of the party venue and Sofia’s boyfriend. They are being investigated,” said Chief of Police Jose Coello during a press briefing.

Ambergris Today

Miss Honduras World Maria Jose Alvarado Found Dead
The Associated Press indicated that the head of criminal investigations in Honduras stated that they found the bodies of both women burried on the banks of the La Aguagua River in an abandoned lot. Due to the state of the decomposition of the bodies, it is assumed that they were murdered the day the two went missing, last week Thursday. During the arrest they also seized two cars and a gun. According to a UN report, Honduras has the world's highest homicide rate, with 90.4 people murdered per 100,000 of the population. Maria Jose Alvarado was set to represent Honduras at the Miss World Pageant 2014 to be held on December 14 in London, England.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Wheelchair donation Donated by Rotary Club of Belize wheel chair to Territo Allen student from La Inmaculada R.C School

Lots and lots of water backing up..


NRH Affected By Torrential Rains
The torrential rains from last night and early this morning caused some back yard and street flooding in the Orange Walk District, especially in the area of Trial Farm. These pictures show yards and houses covered by water forcing residents out of their homes. But the bad weather also spelt trouble for the Northern Regional Hospital. This morning our news room flooded with calls of concerned citizens who indicated that doctors and nurses at the NRH were not attending to patients since the hospital was flooded. We were informed that persons seeking medical attention were sent back home unless it was a serious case.

Hundreds Flock To Belmopan In Support Of Government
And while members from the House of Representatives filed in at the National Assembly building this morning, outside there was an energetic crowd awaiting the arrival of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. It was a huge wave of red that blanketed the footsteps at the assembly building. It was heavily policed and a rope was drawn to keep the order. The aim of the crowd was to show their support for GOB and the Petrocaribe loan while the aim of the United Democratic Party was to flex their muscle and show that they could assemble the largest crowd of supporters in Belmopan as the $228 million loan motion for financing under the PetroCaribe initiative with Venezuela, introduced last month, was submitted for second reading. Our news team was on hand to catch all the highlights, Maria Novelo has that story.

Vehicle Catches fire On Belize/Corozal Road
Traffic was disrupted for a while around 4:00pm this evening after a vehicle caught fire. On our way back from Belmopan, at the entrance of Orange Walk Town in front of Landy’s and Sons Hardware our news team came upon a vehicle that had recently been extinguished. From what we have been able to gather, the driver after making his purchase at the store, started his vehicle and immediately started to hear a crackling noise, shortly after the vehicle experienced a small explosion.

NTUCB Aligns with BSCFA
The recent move by BSI/ASR to sign a seven year contract with individual cane famers or reaping groups has been attracting quite an amount of negative criticism especially from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association who says the contract is the worst they have ever seen in the history of the sugar industry. And there are those who describe BSI/ASR’s move as a form of dictatorship as the contract clearly states that company is only willing to pay cane farmers 51 cents per ton of bagasse and that they must be named the owners of the cane. One organization that has been keeping a close eye at the current impasse between both stakeholders is the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Yesterday, via a press release the organization stated that they “unequivocally denounce the current stand, being taken by American Sugar Refinery (ASR), to seek out individual cane farmers to negotiate with; for purchase of sugar cane.”

Petro Caribe Loan Motion Debated Inside Parliament
In a special session of the House of Representatives today the Prime Minister of Belize tabled the Petrocaribe loan motion for a second reading. What the government is seeking is to gain approval from the national assembly for loans to the tune of about two hundred and forty million dollars from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The motion however has met the rebuff of the Opposition People’s United Party. Already, the PUP has filed a lawsuit against the government saying the loan motion is illegal and unconstitutional. That lawsuit was filed by PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat who also doubles as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. Today, in the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister Dean Barrow first proceeded to explain what the entire Petrocaribe agreement is. It was first signed in 2005 at Jamaica by representatives of the then PUP administered government. The agreement allows for Belize to buy fuel from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on favorable terms, said the PM.

PUP Rejects Petro Caribe Loan Motion
The People’s United Party has rejected the loan motion as mentioned before because they sate it is not only unconstitutional but also illegal. The latter stems from government, says the PUP, failing to adhere to the requirements of the finance and audit act that was only recently amended by the very UDP government. That act mandates parliamentary approval for any government borrowing upwards of ten million dollars. Honorable Said Musa – Fort George Area Representative “The Prime Minister and his then paid Association of Concerned Belizeans accused me of not getting approval of the house for 20 million dollars of grant money and now he stand and you all on that side stand accused of not bringing to the 228 million dollars. PUP 20 million grant money in other words free money and we don’t have to pay back, you 228 million dollars that every man, women and child of Belize will have to pay back, that is right Mr. Speaker so it is not only illegal, in fact, this is the second irony that has happened, it is not only illegal and immoral what they are doing but it is criminal and you know why it is criminal because they made it so, that is right it is the UDP government in 2010 when they first start to get the Petro Caribe money amended the finance and audit act to make it a criminal offence for any violation of any of the regulations of the finance and audit act of 2005 so Mr. Speaker they have created a law to jail every single one of them.”

Opposition Says Petro Caribe Funds Used Inefficiently
Today the Opposition put up a fight at the House of Representatives as Government tabled the Petrocaribe loan motion for a second reading. The Opposition is saying that government has not only followed proper procedures in regards to the Petrocaribe funds but that they have spent money from the Petrocaribe fund inefficiently. Honorable Francis Fonseca – PUP Party Leader “We can’t support a loan motion where there so much waste and corruption, there is only a small circle of conies, hustlers feeding on this Petro Caribe funds, Mr. Speaker blotted contracts, poor quality work, and no value for money, it is a circle of family and friends, even UDP’s are angry. So no equity, Mr. Speaker, nothing for the PUP constituencies and yet you want to come and support this motion.” Honorable John Briceno – Orange Walk Central Area Representative “They just doing a cheap and hurry job and there is no accountability, now the Prime Minister will tell you he is no engineer and I would agree with him but he has a minister of works whose people supposed to be out there checking the work Mr. Speaker, whose people supposed to be out there certifying the work, so what is happening either he is not doing his job or somebody is doing something wrong Mr. Speaker because this is not good quality work this is not 5 million dollars’ worth of work Mr. Speaker, something wrong man the Prime Minister needs to fire the minister of works because he is the one that certifies all this work and if the Prime Minister doesn’t fire the minister of works the people of Cayo Central will fire the minister of works.”


UDP bus in supporters for PetroCaribe fund debate
A sea of red flooded the capital as thousands of people bearing UDP flags and wearing UDP shirts gathered at the foot of the Assembly building in Belmopan in support of the Prime Minister and the Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited Loan Motion, 2014. The loan motion authorizes US $114, 307, 356 which was loaned to GOB from the fiscal years of 2012, 2013 and 2014. The loan motion came under fire by the opposition after it was first introduced in the house on October 2nd of this year. The backwards loan motion, as some members in the opposition described it, has since been taken to the courts. So the Government, in response, rounded its troops today which resulted in the rally on Tuesday. The Prime Minister and the UDP representatives rolled into the house to the applause of the crowd, as the PM danced to the days theme song that went something like “Roll it Petro-Caribe Roll it!” Inside the house, as has become customary, fingers pointed at each other as the Belizean-Venezuelan Petro Caribe loan motion went under heated debate- a debate that took on the form of a Hugo Chavez love triangle.

The Reporter

Garifuna Settlement Day celebrated
The Garifuna community on Wednesday celebrated the arrival of their fore-fathers to Belizean shores. Throughout the country, Garinagu started their day with the symbolic re-enactment of their arrival, bearing coconut, plantains and other ground foods. Following the ‘Yurumei’ Garinagu assembled at various Catholic churches in their respective communities for their traditional Garifuna mass. After that, Garinagu gathered to celehrate the day with song, dance and their cultural foods.

Ms Honduras found murdered
Police in Honduras have arrested two men over the killing of beauty queen, Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister who vanished on a night out last week. The bodies of Ms Alvarado and her sister Sofia Trinidad, 23, were found buried beside a river near the northern city of Santa Barbara. Ms Trinidad’s boyfriend confessed in custody to shooting and burying them, police say. Police believe he shot her first in a fit of jealousy. Ms Alvarado, who was crowned Miss Honduras in April, was preparing to leave for London for the Miss World contest in December at the time of their disappearance last Thursday. The organisers of the contest joined in tributes to the dead women as the impoverished Central American state’s record of violent crime again came under scrutiny.

Patrick JonesPJ

Belize ~ PetroCaribe – Out of Chaos Must Come Order
Belize finds itself mired in political, social and economic chaos…most of the people have scarred themselves, growing a tough skin of cynicism and skepticism, to protect themselves against their loss of hope….while some have become blatantly violent, expressing their frustration outwardly with slanderous tongues….and the sword. The principal challenge for the people of Belize is their willingness and ability to identify and elect leaders with vision….who offer specific solution options to our challenges….and who have the political will to implement the chosen options that are in the best interest of all the people. Since Independence, our various governments have chosen instead to respond to a narrow range of special interests…resulting in a widening gap between the special interests who have… and those marginalized or victimized, who don’t….even though the economy has grown significantly since then.

TV Ramos bust unveiled in Dangriga town
The bust of Garifuna hero Thomas Vincent Ramos was officially unveiled this morning in Dangriga Town. During the Mass of Thanksgiving as part of Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations, the bust was unveiled and it was blessed by Father Larry Nicacio at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. grey TV Ramos bust unveiled in Dangriga town Sculpted by artist Steven Okeke, the bust was a source of much controversy earlier this year; but after a formal agreement, including a discounted price offered by the sculptor, the bust has now found a permanent home in Dangriga town.

Garifuna Settlement Day celebrated in Dangriga
This morning under overcast skies, hundreds of Belizeans gathered at the riverside in Dangriga town to officially welcome the reenactment of the first arrival of the Garinagu to Belize in 1802 on a day that has come to be known as Garifuna Settlement Day. Following the docking of the three boats on the North Stann Creek River, the Garinagu and Belizeans of other ethnicity proudly paraded to the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church for the official Mass of Thanksgiving which was celebrated in Garifuna.

Garifuna Settlement Day celebration starts early
At dawn today, Belizeans began gathering at the riverside in Dangriga Town to await the arrival of the Yurumein reenactment. This yearly event officially kicks off this Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations in the culture capital on November 19. The sound of drumming was heard all night long with entertainment at various night spots across this town.


Garifuna Settlement Day, A Very Special National Holiday, In San Pedro, Belize
November 19th is a National Holiday in Belize – one that celebrates a beautiful culture that is unique in so many ways. Garifuna Settlement Day. The celebrated day when the Garifuna people traveled to the shores of Belize and Honduras (celebrated April 12) and Guatemala (November 26th) with provisional plants like cassava and plantain. And made this area their home. The Garifuna people have not only the best music in Belize but their own language, food and culture. Watch this amazing video for a really great description of their history and their language.

Affordable Caribbean Belize: A Land Of Leisure And Opportunity
I’ve never seen such blue water as the Caribbean in Belize. I couldn’t keep my eyes off it, whether I was cruising around by boat, watching tiny islets fade into the distance… swinging in a hammock strung between two palms on the beach…or beating that tropical heat with a cold Belikin beer in the shade of a palm frond-roofed beach bar. Belize has a lot to offer those seeking a new life abroad. The low cost of living means a couple can live well on $2,000 to $3,000 or less a month.

Escaping the Snow on a Tiny Island in Belize
Born in snowy but beautiful New Hampshire, as a child I spent many cold and unpleasant winters in northern New England. Like most other kids from the area, I spent a lot of time stuck indoors, watching TV during those long winters… Hardly surprising that, by the age of 18, the palm trees of Hollywood started looking good to me. But in reality, it wasn’t the place for me; the Pacific Ocean in Southern California and neighboring Baja was still a tad too cool for my tastes. Eventually the tropics beckoned me further south. After exploring the magnificent mountains of Colombia, and both coasts, I was hooked on Central and South America. So, as a young 1960s hippie, I started to split my time between summers up north and spending long winters anywhere south of Mexico. One year, while preparing for my annual migration down the Pan-American highway on the Pacific coast, a friend called me in distress from a place called Belize. Where again? “Used to be British Honduras,” he told me. “Now they call it Belize.” A storm had passed through and he had left his sailboat tied to a tiny island. It had been torn loose by the wind and run aground in the shallow sand behind the world’s second largest reef.

How to Make Churros Fried or Baked
Churros are a sweet treat that is very easy to make. These churros can be fried or baked with no change in the recipe. They can be served alone or with a touch of melted chocolate with coffee.

International Sourcesizz

A Doctor Explains Why Cruise Ships Should Be Banned
More than 150 passengers on a California cruise ship came down with norovirus, continuing a trend that happens every year. From a medical standpoint, it’s time to call it quits on cruises. As an infectious-disease specialist, I still surprise friends and family with my unworried attitude regarding my risk of catching most infectious diseases. I have cared for patients with highly resistant TB without a pause; I have weathered anthrax and flu and Ebola-is-going-to-kill-us-all-within-the-hour panics with a bored shrug. As infants, my kids ate food right off the floor without washing or boiling. I don’t carry Purell and can’t imagine why any sane person would consider it. But there is one thing that scares me to death, a single place so threatening, so teeming with contagious organisms that I can’t believe that it is a $36 billion worldwide industry—a place people pay to spend time. Cruise ships. So it is with a degree of embarrassed schadenfreude that I read of this year’s first outbreak of the viral infection norovirus on a cruise ship. Norovirus, aka winter vomiting disease, aka 24-hour stomach flu, aka it makes you so sick you will wish you were dead, has a penchant for causing misery starting around this time of year and extending until spring approaches.

Miss Honduras, Sister Found Shot to Death Near Honduran Spa
Honduran police reportedly found the bodies of the reigning Miss Honduras and her sister on Wednesday, six days after the two women disappeared from a spa in Santa Barbara. Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister, Sofia, 23, were both shot to death. The Associated Press reports that women's bodies were discovered buried in a river near the spa, where they had been celebrating the birthday of Sofia's boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz. Ruiz and his friend, Aris Maldonado, were arrested after allegedly leading police to the bodies. "I can confirm that the Alvarado sisters were found," Leandro Osorio, the head of the criminal investigation unit, said, according to Sky News. "We also have the murder weapon and the vehicle in which they were transported to the site where they were buried." Maria Jose was crowned Miss Honduras in April and was scheduled to travel to London on Sunday to compete in next month's Miss World Pageant.

These Maps Show Which Countries Are the Happiest
Belize is number three, according to the Happy Planet Index... If you’re looking for a change of scenery and considering moving to a new country, you may want to consider Costa Rica. According to the Happy Planet Index (HPI), it’s the happiest country on Earth, followed by Vietnam, Colombia and Belize. These maps, created by MoveHub, show the happiness level of each country across the globe. The HPI is calculated using “global data on life expectancy, experienced well-being and Ecological Footprint.” It’s an “efficiency measure,” ranking countries on “how many long and happy lives they produce per unit of environmental input.” Check it out:

IMF monitoring impact of PetroCaribe on regional economies
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is monitoring the potential impact any changes to PetroCaribe, Venezuela’s oil alliance with several Caribbean islands will have on regional economies. Analysts say the initiative, which allows countries to pay for part of their oil import from Caracas over a 20-year period at low interest rates, will have to be modified or discontinued amidst a worsening economic situation in the South American country. Several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Guyana, and Suriname are members of PetroCaribe. St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that Caracas has invited PetroCaribe member countries to a meeting on Thursday about “reaffirmation” of the commitment to the initiative, the brainchild of the former Venezuelan President, the late Hugo Chavez.


Video: Garifuna Language, 6.5min.
a little something on the uniqueness of the garifuna language.

Video: ReefCI Trip Overview, Southern Belize, 4min.
Punta Gorda and Tom Owen's Caye, Belize. November 2014.

Video: Blowy in Belize, 1min.
Rainy morning at Sittee Point on Garifuna Settlement Day.

Video: Belize Rain When It Feels Like, 1min.
We were going to visit my relatives that passed away ,then it rained. That didnt stop us though!

Video: Little song about Belizean Potholes.. love it!, 2.5min.

Video: Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge featured on American Airlines flight to 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: Luxurious El Secreto Belize, 2min.
Idyllically located on Belize’s majestic Ambergris Caye, El Secreto is a stunning collection of 13 thatched-roof villas nestled by the stunning shores of the western Caribbean Sea. With an emphasis on barefoot luxury, the resort combines tropical island flair with the comforts of modern living, providing guests with an unforgettable experience. Designed to encourage relaxation and gracious outdoor living, all accommodations are tastefully furnished in Belizean exotic woods and appointed with elegant marble bathrooms, state-of-the art technology, patios and alfresco Jacuzzis.

Video: Belize 2014, 5min.
San Pedro, Turneffe, Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, Goff Caye, Caye Caulker. Lagoon 380

Video: BELIZE FINAL, 6min.
Vídeo breve sobre Belize apenas para uma apresentação na disciplina Destinos Internacionais. O Vídeo quase não tem edição e foi só uma prévia do que pode-se fazer neste paraíso na América Central.

Video: 2014 October Belize Part 1: Getting there, 2min.

Video: 2014 October Belize Part 2: Roberts Grove Resort, 5min.

Video: eerste duik in Belize, 1.5min.
De eerste dag in Belize begint goed met twee mooie duiken. Verpleegsterhaaien zijn hier erg nieuwsgierig. Leuk om mee te duiken.

Video: Macarena Rose talks with Belize Expats Jackie and Mark- Part I, 16min.
Today on Belize Talk Radio, the Host Macarena Rose sits with Jackie and Mark who have moved to Belize ! They share how Belize became a reality for them and Why Belize for them !

Video: Expats in Belize speak with Macarena Part II, 27min.
Belize Talk Radio host Macarena Rose speaks with Jackie and Mark in this part 2 interview. This adventurous couple has retired to Belize- find out Why Belize for them and nights on what to look for if you are thinking of moving to Belize !

November 19, 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

Dia de los Muertos: Scaring up Some Fun in Merida!
The beauty of Belize does not end at her borders, and on occasion we find ourselves venturing beyond our mother land to explore our remarkable neighbors. For those who prefer to spend their time at their destination, rather than half of it traveling by land, Tropic Air has made getting there much easier. Dia de los Muertos is observed throughout Mexico where the day is a public holiday. In Mexico the tradition is a mixture of Catholic beliefs with the religions of indigenous Mexican people and focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer.

Kenisha Avila wins Garifuna Translation Contest
Young Kenisha Avila emerged as the winner of the Garifuna Translation contest hosted by the San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council and the Ministry of Education. The event was one of the many events that were planned leading up to the Garifuna Settlement Day Celebration, and took place on the night of Monday November 17th at the San Pedro Central Park. Avila, a student of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School was amongst three other students who competed in several rounds to finally emerge as winner. In addition she entered into the competition at the eleventh hour along with two other students after the representatives of two schools failed to show up. Notwithstanding, she took up the vacant spot and following several rounds of competition, managed to top the other students.

Ambergris Today

Cultural Day Extravaganza at San Pedro High School
San Pedro High School hosted its annual Cultural Day at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium today, Novermber 18, 2014, with colorful and festive booths. Students showcased different ethnic groups from Belize including their delicious food and impressive cultural performances. This year they featured international countries such as Spain, Italy, Hawaii and much more. Kudos to the student body for another successful Cultural Day.

25 Years Ago: The Procession of Las Animas on the Streets of San Pedro
Where does the soul of a dead person go? Some believe that it goes to Heaven. Others argue that it goes straight to Hell if the person led a pernicious life while alive. Still others argue that the soul goes to a place called Purgatory where it remains until it is time that it qualifies to step up to Heaven. It is these souls that are in Purgatory that re-join the dead bodies buried in the cemetery that come out every Midnight during the entire month of November. They are called Las Animas. Each ghostly body represents a deceased resident of San Pedro. Here is the full story behind Las Animas. “Dios te salve Maria, llena eres de gracia, el Señor es contigo, bendita tu eres entre todas las mujere…” The words of the prayer Hail Mary echo and fade away as Las Animas are in procession around the two main streets of San Pedro. They are dressed full white, each carrying a lit candle and instead of walking, they are floating about two feet in the air. The two main streets of San Pedro are desolate and dark giving the Animas the somber silence and peace that they need to come out in prayer.

San Pedro Red Cross Revs Up Activity on Island
The San Pedro Red Cross spearheaded a successful blood drive this past weekend on Ambergris Caye and with various activities on hand and planned for the future, the organization is showing signs of momentum in their objectives. This week the San Pedro Red Cross highlights the fact that many island businesses and individuals have stepped up to purchase their First Aid Kits and making Ambergris Caye just a little safer. Businesses taking the initiative include: Caribbean Villas, Aimee Fearneyhough Sunrise Realty, Caye Coffee, San Pedro Sailing Club, Ambergris Seaside Real Estate, Xanadu Resort, Josh Beuttner, Licks Beachside Cafe, El Divino and Banana Beach Resort. The Red Cross will have some deluxe first aid kits available for sale to any interested party.

Galen University Introduces New Online Programs for Spring 2015 Semester
Galen University has introduced two new online/hybrid undergraduate programs and one graduate program to its list of online programs for the upcoming Spring 2015 Semester. The new undergraduate programs are Accounting and Sustainable Tourism Management and the new graduate program is Public Administration. A Master of Education in Leadership and Administration is also being offered in Spring 2015 by Galen University through its partner institution, The University of Nicosia. Galen University’s existing hybrid/online programs offered in ten centers countrywide include: * Undergraduate -- Business Administration, Banking and Finance, Criminal Justice, and Primary Education. * Graduate - Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, and Secondary Education. Interested students who apply by November 30, 2014, will be eligible for a tuition grant of up to 20%. This 20% tuition grant is a part of the University’s contribution towards increasing the availability of tertiary level education for all Belizeans.

San Pedro Police Food & Clothing Drive
The San Pedro Police Department is inviting the island community to participate in its end-of-the-year Holiday Food and Clothing Drive which will benefit selected families in need on Ambergris Caye. Non-perishable food items and clothing can be dropped of at the San Pedro Police Station up until December 9, 2014. The following day, members of the Police Department will visiting selected families and individuals, sharing with them some of the generously donated items from the community. For More information you may call 206-2022.

Belize Bodybuilder Cricel Castillo Wins Big in Miami
Belizean bodybuilder Cricel Castillo made her mark over the weekend and placed Belize in the spotlight when she went on to win her first Pro Card at the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Competition that was held at the Hyatt in Miami, Florida on November 15 and 16, 2014. Cricel went on to win her first Pro Card in the Diva and Fitness Model Short Category, including the Best Costume category which was designed by local Belizean designer Gabriel Garcia. The competition is a major event for amateur fitness models and bikini divas. Cricel proved to have what it takes and outshine her competitors.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Petrocaribe Rally (A Musical Review
Today is the second reading the Petrocaribe motion in which House approval is being sought for loans amounting to two hundred and forty million dollars from Venezuela, of which sixty million dollars has already been spent. The Opposition People's United Party (PUP) accuse the Government of not seeking approval of the National Assembly to get the loan from the Alba Petrocaribe or to spend the funds. The PUP intends to take the UDP to court because they say this did not happen and there is no accountability. When the PUP was in power, the UDP accused the PUP of not seeking approval from the House and for lacking in accountability as well. So both parties accuse each other of the same thing while they were acting as the Government of Belize. Nonetheless, as far as the international observers are concerned, these are actions of the Government of Belize, not political parties.

Letter: '...Just follow the money' to Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize
Garifuna in Belize founded the town of Dangriga, Hopkins Village, Seine Bight and Georgetown villages, all in the Stann Creek District. Additionally, Garinagu also settled some areas of Belize City. Are there Garifuna restaurants in Stann Creek and Hopkins and Seine Bight that benefit? Practically nonexistent and this is the same situation after more than twenty years. NGC minimum support by beverage companies and Garifuna people gain zero. Work done by Garifuna to bring crowds to Dangriga. Gain by Garifuna? Nothing! Newspapers and radio blast ads in Belize, wishing everyone a happy Garifuna Settlement Day from many different companies offering a variety of products! The ads are many and the ads are not free. How much do they contribute to any of the activities during this time? How much do they support Garinagu throughout the year? Probably negligible to none. Garifuna do the work and they gain nothing here!

Outside the National Assembly Building Today - 18.11.14 (5 photos)

Channel 7

UDP Shows Mass Party Muscle, Mobilization and Multitudes in Belmopan
Greek mythology tells us that Helen of Troy had the face that launched a thousand ships...,well our question to the Prime Minister at the end of August about Petrocaribe spending may be the question that sent a few thousand protestors to Belmopan today. At that time, we asked why hadn't the Petrocaribe indebtedness gone to the House as is required by the Finance and Audit act? And, since then, so much has happened as a result of that single question….and it culminated today in a massive show of support for Government's Petrocaribe spending programme in Belmopan. The event was timed by the ruling party to coincide with the debate and passage of the loan motion in the House of Representatives. But, a strange thing happened: the UDP rally became the first every mass protest against the opposition in the House: the PUP opposes the motion, and are at the Supreme Court trying to freeze the Petrocaribe funds.

Opp. Leader To PM: "Roll The Election!"
So, it's an enormous outlay of party funds and organizational resources for what would have to be considered the political pre-season; municipals are, after all, months away - and any momentum gathered here will have long faded by the time those roll around. But, as we said at the top of the story, for the UDP, the crowd which stood, and sang, and danced and honked horns were unleashed as a strategic maneuver: to bolster the Barrow Administration in its embrace of the Petrocaribe money as an article of faith, and to intimidate the PUP leadership - which has proven unable to roll out that kind of a crowd since 2010. But in the House Chamber - the roar of the crowd was only a faraway din - and on the House floor, the PUP went shoulder to shoulder with their UDP colleagues - even employing the UDP slogan of "roll It" - here's the exchange on that:..

PM Says PUP "Bad-Minded"
And while the "roll-it" thing certainly caught on - the debate went deeper than that - the Prime Minister accused the PUP of being bad minded - by trying to stop a programme which has been working for the common good - here's how the back and forth on that went:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "That indeed they would want to stop the Petrocaribe financing because that Petrocaribe financing is as those people outside are making clear welcome by the vast majority of Belizeans. That is what they are about with respect to this issue; grandstanding, bad mind and trying to deprive the nation of the UDPs hard one infrastructural and quality of life programs. They also pour scorn and burn fire on this PUP Opposition. Denounce them for their screw face and bitterness and bile for the jealousy, spite and envy and downright stupidity of a party that has adopted a scorch-earth policy against the country. A party that would stop Petrocaribe and thereby fundamentality damage the national interest and kill off the unprecedented advance of the people of Belize."

Some Good Ole' PUDP Finger Pointing
The debate went a little deeper on the history of Petrocaribe. Both parties have operated the program while in government and it is the PUP, which first signed unto it in 2005. The other thing they have in common is that - until now - none of them had taken it to the House as is required by law for all public borrowing over ten million dollars. And so that made for a lot of that most common of political practices: finger pointing across the floor. Here's some of it:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "They gave that fuel and the importation of that fuel to a company headed by one Antonio "Tony" Zabaneh, a PUP who special relationship with the then Prime Minister is well known by all of this country. That company never would, never could gain the kind of traction needed, never would be able to import the volume of the fuel necessary to take advantage of Petrocaribe because at the same time Esso continue to be the principal importer, sourcing the fuel from elsewhere. So in order to privilege their crony and arrange no doubt for party and ministerial kickbacks they shafted the Belizean people. So Mr. Speaker after a while of course Petro Fuel as the Zabaneh was named folded, but not before their administration collected. The finance portion of the Petrocaribe proceeds amounted to 10.63 million US dollars. The trigger under the Finance and Audit Act is 10 million Belize dollars. Why you never bring Petrocaribe to the National Assembly if you are so concern about transparency and doing the right thing?"

Shyne Put In Work For UDP
One face that almost got lost in the crowd is Shyne Barrow. Minus the "Payot" he was there front and center, handing out noisemakers and t-shirts to the supporters, and generally joining in the show of support for his father. And one more small note - we saw the contractors working on Petrocaribe projects also rolled out their own buses filled with their workers in support of the spending.

Coast Guard Officer Charged Again
2 and a half months ago, we told you about 49 year-old Coast Guard Officer Whaine Williams, who was charged for the death of Benjamin Gentle in one of the worst boating accidents in memory. Well tonight, he's facing additional charges after being taken back to court today. Police say that they have enough evidence against him for injuries to Anthea Garbutt, Gabriel Cruz, and Jair Tillet, 3 of the other accident victims. He was charged with 2 counts of grievous harm, and 1 count of wounding, and he was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith.

Cruise Ship Visitor Pleads Guilty to Weed
Last night we told you about a retired American who was busted for 5 ounces of weed, and tonight the news is about an American cruise ship visitor who was also caught for weed. 35 year-old Jon Johnson tried to buy weed - of all places - in front of the police prosecution branch. He was busted by an on-duty officer - one of the many who populate that office. The arresting officer says that he was looking through a window from the Prosecution Branch office when he saw Johnson trying to buy weed from a local man. He detained Johnson and found him with 0.2 grams of cannabis - less than 1% of an ounce. Johnson was subsequently charged with possession of a controlled drug, and he was arraigned before the Chief Magistrate.

Alleged Weed Pusher At School Gets Bail
And in other marijuana news. 28 year-old Nigel Williams is facing a drug trafficking charge after he was reportedly caught on the Gwen Lizarraga High School compound trying to sell weed to high school students. Acting on intelligence, Police visited the compound yesterday, and detained Williams. He reportedly had 4.8 grams - or 0.1 ounces - of marijuana on him. That should have been a drug possession charge because it's much less than the 60 gram quantity for it to qualify for drug trafficking. But The arresting officer charged him with drug trafficking instead of drug possession. That's because their information says that he was there to sell it to high school children.

Justin To Jail For Revolver
27 year-old Justin Richards who was busted with a gun 7 months ago based on intelligence from a 922-tips user, is in jail tonight serving a 5-year sentence. That's after he was convicted today in the court-room of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Corporal Samuel Bonilla testified that on April 4, just before 5 p.m., he received information of a construction worker on Antelope Street who reportedly had a weapon in his possession. He said that he responded, and spotted Richards who had a knapsack on his back. Bonilla confiscated the bag and searched it; inside, he discovered a .38 revolver which was loaded with 5 live rounds of ammunition. Richards was then charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Supal Street Man Stabbed In Belmopan
With all the thousands in Belmopan for the UDP rally - and so many gang affiliated persons employed in Petrocaribe projects - it would have been a miracle if something didn't jump off today. One man from Supal Street was stabbed - reportedly by a woman. Police say It happened on the road to the Western Regional Hospital when Lincoln Robinson Junior was stabbed. He refused to cooperate with police so no report was made. He has reportedly been treated and released from the hospital.

Igniting The Entrepreneurial Spirit
The bold innovators of the world are being highlighted during Global Entrepreneurship week. Activities began yesterday with an Entrepreneurship Symposium at the UB Jaguar Auditorium. Today activities continued with a National breakfast for Entrepreneurs. Enterprising Belizean business-persons got a chance to discuss the plans for the future of their businesses and to receive advice on how to accomplish those goals. The Founder of The Institute of Sustainable Livelihood Leadership and Exchange, UnaMay Gordon shared the importance of this observance to the success of entrepreneurs. UnaMay Gordon, Founder, ISLEx "It is just putting a focus on entrepreneurship in development and the development of the countries all over the world. The ecosystem is alive and well here in Belize. As I said one of the great things about Belize is at the enabling framework is being put in place at the same time that the development of the entrepreneurship culture is taking place. Excellent because they are marching hand in and hand and that's a great way to start."

Money For Garifuna Communities In Central America
Tomorrow is Garifuna Settlement day and today the Central American Integration system, known as SICA held a timely meeting in Belize to discuss a food security project to be implemented among Garifuna communities in Central America namely Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It's called the "revitalization of the form of production and promotion of local agro-industry for food security of the Garifuna people of Central America." President of the National Garifuna Council in Belmopan, Sandra Miranda told us how this project will promote the richness of the culture as well as contribute to poverty alleviation among these communities.

Burglar Gets Eight Years For Stealing Children's Game
34 year-old Roger Bradley is spending the first night of an 8-year sentence after being convicted of burglary by the Chief Magistrate. The incident occurred around 10 a.m. on March 25, 2014, at the residence of Luana Sosa, located at 67 Freetown Road. Marva Williams, a babysitter employed by Sosa, testified that she took the children to school and when she returned to the house she saw a shadow. She said that she heard a noise and when she investigated she saw Bradley standing in the living room. Bradley ran, she chased him and when she caught up with him a struggle ensued. They fought over a knapsack that Bradley had on him, and that's when she realized that he stole 2 leap frog games from the house. She said Bradley managed to get away but he was apprehended by several persons at Cinderella Plaza and the knapsack was wrested away from him. Bradley testified and denied that he committed the offence. He said he was on Freetown Road when he saw a woman running towards him with a bag in her hand. He said the woman began to accuse him of taking the bag, then two men with machetes attacked him and about 14 men held him down on the ground and beat him.

Petrocaribe Funds: "A Strange Creature"
And so the Petrocaribe Loan Motion has now passed the House of Representatives. It still faces a challenge in the Supreme Court, but for now, the House has approved 114 million US dollars loaned to Belize from Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited between 2012 and 2014. But, that figure is going up every month - and it varies depending on the world price of fuel and the rate of local consumption. That makes it unusual - because it increases monthly - but Government can't ask for House approval in advance, because no one knows what the figure will be on a month to month basis. The Prime Minister discussed this today:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Now I earlier indicated that I had brought this motion to the House after I asked a public question by Channel 7's Jules Vasquez and it was a question that fairly arose as to why I hadn't done so before. Well the requirements of our Finance and Audit Act mandate parliamentary approval for any GOB borrowing that's upwards of 10 million dollars. But this Petrocaribe arrangement is and must have become clear from my description a strange creature, almost what the lawyers called sui generis, peculiar unto itself.

Fundraising For Cleyon
7 weeks ago, we introduced you to 10 year-old Cleyon Marage, whose family is under intense pressure to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars for his medical bills. He's been diagnosed with acute myloid leukemia, a blood cancer which develops in the bone marrow, This cancer is deadly, and it affects his immune system. Since we aired the story, different members of the public have been trying to assist him, and now, 2 students from the University of Belize are trying to conduct a fundraising event to help his parents. It's a variety show called "Kick Off Your Talent" Benefit show, and the UB students organizing it dropped by to tell us why you should support it: Tickets are on sale for $5, and the winners will get cash prizes.

Settlement Day For All Cultures
Tomorrow is Garifuna Settlement day - first observed only in Stann Creek as Carib Disembarkation Day in 1941. But it became a national public and bank holiday in the 70's and that has transformed it over time from a localized ethnic observance to a unifying national celebration. Now, all the excitement happens tomorrow, but the students at the Unity Presbyterian School in Belize City got a taste of that excitement today right in their classrooms. The teachers organized a Garifuna cultural Day for the students with the full works from food to music. Standard 3 teacher Natalie Flowers told us why this event is crucial to keep the Garifuna culture recognized among youth from different ethnic groups.

Channel 5

Thousands Converge on the Garden City for Petrocaribe Rally
The main business of the day was inside the House, where representatives from both sides debated the Petrocaribe Loan Motion of two hundred and twenty-eight million which has grown, at [...]

Do You Believe G.O.B. Has Acted Illegally With the Petrocaribe Funds?
And our question for tonight is: Do you believe G.O.B. has acted illegally with the Petrocaribe funds? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post [...]

House Passes Petrocaribe Loan Motion after Marathon Debate
As we said earlier, the Special House meeting, called on the eve of Garifuna Settlement Day, centred around the Petrocaribe monies. The opposition is taking the government to court on [...]

Faber Says Accountability of Petrocaribe Funds Can Be Seen on the Streets
Minister of Education and Collet Area Representative, Patrick Faber has gone on record to defend the use of the Petrocaribe monies saying accountability of the funds can be seen on [...]

John Briceño Comes Out Swinging Against G.O.B.
The Opposition has waged war on the Petrocaribe issue, condemning the government for accessing the funds without going to the House for approval. So it was open season today, and [...]

John Saldivar lashes out at the P.U.P.
Minister of National Security John Saldivar toed the party line today, claiming that because of the Petrocaribe monies, Belmopan has benefitted tremendously.   John Saldivar, Area Rep., Belmopan “What you [...]

Julius Espat Lambasts G.O.B. For Spending Petrocaribe Monies Without Approval
The firebrand from Cayo South closed off the debate on Petrocaribe today, lambasting G.O.B. for its accessing and spending of the Petrocaribe monies without approval. Espat, as Chairman of the [...]

A Market Expo Showcases Ingenuity and Creativity of UB Students
More than twenty booths were set up inside the Ramada Belize City Princess today where marketing students of the University of Belize showcased products and services they developed as part [...]

Dangriga Nurse Claims She Was Raped By a Knife-Yielding Predator
There is a disturbing report of rape made by a nurse in Dangriga. The nurse was fast asleep when she was awoken by a man who was on top of [...]

Roger Bradley Guilty of Burglary
Thirty-four year old Roger Bradley picked up his third conviction for crimes of dishonesty when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today.  He was sentenced to eight years [...]

26 year old Woman Arraigned for Stabbing Another
In April of this year, nineteen-year-old Silvia Waight, a resident of Sandhill, was stabbed once to the stomach during an altercation outside of a bar which resulted in another person [...]

SICA Seeks to Promote Food Security for the Garinagu
Across the country, Garifuna Settlement Day is commemorated on November nineteenth.  Today, on the eve of national celebrations, Garifuna communities in Central America are launching a regional project which aims [...]

Sarteneja Villagers Get Potable Water
In many remote areas and villages, potable water is still unavailable due to the lack of infrastructure or water systems. For years, residents of the village of Sarteneja in the [...]

Immigration Officers Receive Training on CSME
The CARICOM Single Market and Economy was adopted by the CARICOM Heads of State to allow the free movement of goods and services, labour, as well as a common trade [...]


House Of Representatives Debate On Alba PetroCaribe
The main highlight of today’s sitting of the House of Representatives was the debate of the Alba PetroCaribe Belize Energy Limited Loan Motion. Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the beginning, debate responded to questions that arose as to whether the motion should have been taken to the House prior to spending. DEAN BARROW “Well the requirements of our finance and audit act mandate parliamentary approval for any GOB borrowing that is upwards of $10 million dollars. But this PetroCaribe arrangement is as must have become clear from my Hon. Dean Barrowdescription a strange creature, almost what the lawyers call sui-generis, peculiar onto itself. It is no straight forward loan from a bank or other financial institution with a known principal amount borrowed for a fixed period at a determined rate of interest. As I have set out, this purchase of fuel principally on credit is kind of a movable feast. The amount of the finance portion the sum being borrowed since we are now putting it in those terms can never be known beforehand. It clearly depends on the volumes of fuel shipments we receive in any given period and the volumes fluctuate from month to month.

Minister of National Security Update On Operating Base At Hunting Caye
The Government of Belize has opted to finish building the Forward Operating Base at Hunting Caye. At a recent Cabinet meeting, it was decided that GOB will finance the completion of the base and hire Belizeans to do so. Originally the base was being funded by the US Corp of Engineers and built by BINARQ- a Guatemalan company. This latest moves comes as a result of much public outcry. Today we got the update from CEO in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell. GEORGE LOVELL “There was a compromise proposal that was made by the US Corp of Engineers and BINARQ. Cabinet at its sitting a week ago had a look at that proposal and I can report that they have reaffirmed their initial decision of Government of Belize taking on the cost of completion of that forward operating base.” MARISOL “That being the case in terms of timeline for completion, putting into effect the practice the works and so, how is that coming along?”

Flooding In Northern Regional Hospital Disrupted Services
Reports were made to Love News this morning that as a result of rain last night in Orange Walk, a section of the Northern Regional Hospital flooded and disrupted services. Love News spoke with acting manager of the NRH, Guadalupe Longsworth who clarified the information. GUADALUPE LONGSWORTH “We had some other water issues concerning an addition that we are putting to the land and we had some water issues coming in from the rain.” ARTURO CANTUN “How major would you describe the condition was this morning?” GUADALUPE LONGSWORTH “It’s nothing major Mr. Cantun. It’s mostly the OPD area that the water is in and we have already dealt with it and it’s already taken care of.” ARTURO CANTUN “Was anything damaged or destroyed because of the water?” GUADALUPE LONGSWORTH “No we don’t have any destruction so far”

Cansino Speaks On Audit Update
Last week we told about the Auditor General report on the Karl Heusnor Memorial Hospital. As we reported, two very large sum payments for x-ray equipment have raised eyebrows of the Board of Governors. A letter to the Ministry of Finance was sent to the KHMH requesting for an audit to be conducted and specifically look into the purchase of two x-ray machines; both totaling more than half a million dollars. The man in the middle of that controversy was the Former Financial Director, Carlos Perrera, who had promised to give us a comment but change his mind for reasons we do not know. As we said last week, the audit has been completed and handed over to the Board of Governors. Chairman, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, told us that she has read the report and copies were sent to the members of the board. So we asked Nisbet-Cansino if there were financial malpractices being conducted at the KHMH. Here is her response.

American National Plead Guilty For Possession of Cannabis
Thirty-five year old American national Jon Johnson, who was a passenger on a cruise ship that arrived in Belize City today, was fined $200 today by the chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he plead guilty to possession of 0.2 grams of cannabis. Johnson paid the fine forthwith and he was released. Johnson was busted this afternoon when a police officer saw another man hand him the cannabis in front of a restaurant on North Front Street. The officer was watching through a window upstairs of Police Prosecution Branch, located on the second floor of the Center Point Building on North Front Street.

Man Convicted For Three Previous Theft; Bradley Sentenced To Eight Years
Thirty-four year old Roger Bradley was sentenced to 8 years today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after she found him guilty of burglary. Before she passed sentence, Chief Magistrate Smith noted that Bradley had three previous convictions for theft and one for burglary. She told Bradley that he was nothing but a career criminal steals from people. The incident occurred around 10 a.m. on March 25, 2014, at the residence of Luana Sosa, located at 67 Freetown Road. Marva Williams a babysitter employed by Sosa, testified that she took the children to school and when she returned to the house she saw a shadow and she heard a noise and when she investigated she saw Bradley standing in the living room. She said Bradley ran and she pursued Bradley and when she caught up with him a struggle ensued between them for a knapsack with 2 leap frog games that were in a knapsack that Bradley had stolen from the house.

Employee of ReadyCall Center Charged With Drug Trafficking
Twenty-one year old Nigel Williams, an employee of Ready Call Center, was charged with drug trafficking for 4.8 grams of cannabis when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Williams plead not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $5,000 and his case was adjourned until January 21, 2015. The charge was drug trafficking although the quantity was much less than 60 grams. That was because Williams was busted in the yard of Gwen Lizarraga High School. Police reported that acting on information they received they went to the school and when they searched Williams they found the cannabis in the pocket of his pants.

Construction Worker Found Guilty For Kept Firearm And Ammunition
Twenty-seven year old Justin Richards, a construction worker of 11 Flamboyant Street, was sentenced to 10 years today by the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after she found him guilty of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Richards was sentenced to five years for each offence but he will only serve five years because the sentences are to run concurrently. Richards was busted with a ,38 revolver and 5 rounds of ammunition around 4:45 p.m. on April 4, 2014, while he was working at the corner of Central American Boulevard and antelope street. Acting on information received, Corporal Samuel Bonilla, who was on mobile patrol on Central American Boulevard, approached Richards and asked him to hand over a knapsack he had on his back. Richards handed over the bag and when Bonilla searched it he found the firearm and ammunition. Richards testified and denied that he had the bag with the firearm and ammunition. He claimed that it was Bonilla who told him to get the bag from across the street and when he refused Bonilla went and got the bag himself and pulled the firearm out of it.

Charged With Manslaughter; Whaine Williams Receives Three More Charges
Forty-nine year old Coast Guard Whaine Williams, who was charged with manslaughter by negligence and causing death by careless conduct for the death of Benjamin Gentle who was killed in a boat accident, was given three more charges when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The new charges were 2 counts of grievous harm and 1 count of wounding. The charges of grievous harm were for Anthea Garbutt and Gabriel Cruz and the charge of wounding was for Jair Tillett. For the new charges, Williams was released on a bail of $5,000, $500 cash and $4,500 surety. His case was adjourned until January 21.

Lions Club International Vice President Visits Belize
The Vice President of the Lions Club International is in Belize on a working and familiarization visit. Bob Corlew arrived in the country this past weekend and has concluded his visit to Belize. Love News spoke to him prior to his departure. BOB CORLEW “I have been here in Belize to look at some of the work the Lions clubs have been doing. We have four very important Lions clubs, one here in Belize, one in San Pedro, one in San Estevan and one in Belmopan so we have four clubs that have been working really hard and of course lions are trying to serve the people, to try to make the world a better place to live. I’ve been looking particularly at some of the work that the Lions clubs have been doing and one of the things that has been of particular interest to me has been the work that the Lions have done with the vision clinic here, the BCVI here in Belize and Lions has a foundation and our foundation has actually provided about $800,000 Belize to projects here for the expansion of BCVIA and that the work of that facility. I am so impressed the Lions here are so dedicated, they are so sincere and so friendly. It has been just a pleasure for me to see the work that the Lions Club has been doing. Over at BCVIA we have a new piece of equipment which is there to assist those who have diabetic retinopathy, which of course is an eye problem that people suffer from having diabetes that was purchased from a grant from Lions club international and I was so glad to see that and to see that working and operation and to see that we are providing service to people who need that diagnosis and hopefully get them the treatment that they need.”

NTUCB CongratulatesThe Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a statement this evening congratulating the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association for its stalwart representation for its membership to date and for staying the course, over time. In the release the NTUCB, unequivocally denounces the current stand, being taken by American Sugar Refinery (ASR), to seek out individual cane farmers to negotiate with; for purchase of sugar cane. In fact, the NTUCB says quote, “ it views this move as downright undermining of the bedrock of collective representation/bargaining that the foundation of labor and laborers’ rights is built on,” end of quote. The NTUCB says that it will not allow this. The release further stated that the quote, “ it is a blatant disrespect by ASR to the duly established agent (BSCFA), of the cane farmers of Belize; ASR must not be allowed any room; to gain “even a little” traction…”end of quote. The NTUCB finishes by declaring its support for the BSCFA and commits to ensuring that the proper representation/negotiations be restored.


Stabbing incident in Belmopan
There was a stabbing this morning in Belmopan just in front of Friendly Pharmacy near to the Bus Terminal. As Belmopan swarmed with activity due to the UDP rally, police could be seen patrolling the areas by the bus terminal and markets. Plusnews was informed of near riotous behavior by the bus term...

Woman raped in her home
A woman was awakened by an intruder who raped her. Sometime around 2:00 this morning, Tuesday November 18,  a woman who resides in the  New Site area in Dangriga was asleep in her room and awoke to find a man on top of her. That man placed a knife on her and demanded sex...

Men dressed as soldiers try to rob truck on Hummingbird Highway
There was an attempted robbery of a cargo truck belonging to a Belmopan business. The incident happened at the junction heading to Placencia on the Hummingbird Highway. According to reports to Plusnews,  two men dressed as soldiers flashed and blinked the lights of their trucks as police officers wo...

Burglar beaten by neighbours and sentenced to 8 years
Roger Bradley, a 34 year old driver, picked up his third conviction for crimes of dishonesty and a second burglary conviction. Today he was sentenced to eight years imprisonment by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Roger Bradley was found guilty of burglarizing the home on Freetown Road, Belize Ci...

Woman charged for stabbing 19 year old
A woman was today arraigned for a stabbing incident which took place in April of this year. 26 year old Lorna Jones was read a single charge of one count of use of deadly means of harm upon Sylvia Waight. This stems from an incident which happened  outside a bar back in April of this year in the vil...

City streets flood after overnight rain
The approaching cold front crossing Belize at present dumped rain on the Old Capital last night and this morning, causing several recently repaired concrete streets to flood...

Knowing Jesus Christ
Our verse this week is found in Philippians 3:8 “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ”.

Fatal traffic accident claims life of elderly woman
There were three traffic accidents on the George Price Highway over the weekend, two of which proved fatal. The first traffic accident occurred on Friday at around 9:00 pm in the Roaring Creek area, where 63 year old Maria Wright, a resident of Roaring Creek Village, was hit by an oncoming vehicle.

Fatal Traffic Accident on George Price Highway
On Saturday another fatal traffic accident occurred on the George Price Highway, somewhere between miles 41 and 42, and caused the death of one individual. Police suspect that the driver of the vehicle, Selvyn Reyes, was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Seargent Denroy Bar...


“Wheel and come again” Cañeros tell BSI/ASR!
The agreement that BSI/ASR has put forward has come to an end today!” That was the sentiment among the members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) after an emergency general meeting that was held with over 1,000 local cañeros this past Saturday, November 15, at the Escuela Secundaria High School Auditorium in San Roman, Corozal. Our readers would know that the agreement being referred to is in the form of an unprecedented side-stepping move on the part of the factory owner, Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), and its parent company, American Sugar Refineries (ASR), a full-fledged multinational, to emasculate the 55-year-old cañeros association by attempting to get small reaping groups and individual farmers to sign contracts with them in hopes of heading off a late sugar crop season in the absence of a new commercial agreement between the cultivators and the millers.

Smart and BTL battle over “10,000” customers
Since the cyber-attacks against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) made the headlines four months ago, in July 2014, things have been relatively quiet on the telecommunications front, but customers in southern Belize, primarily those connected to SpeedNet/Smart, have been grappling with major connectivity issues, particularly over the span of the last two weeks, following a decision by the dominant provider – BTL, to slash the capacity provided to the company by 75%. Ironically, Smart had entered into the agreement with BTL in July after it had problems with a former provider which had not built in redundancies in the system to ensure uninterrupted service to customers. It is against this backdrop that Smart said it decided to buy interim services from BTL until it could set up its own infrastructure in the south – an initiative it hopes to conclude by February 2015. According to BTL, it had given Smart the requisite 30-day notice of its intention to terminate two 16-megabit links provided to SpeedNet, Smart’s parent company.

Apologise or face lawsuit! – Gapi to Monchi
Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar “Gapi’ Vega, has instructed his attorney, Rodwell Williams, S.C., Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s law partner, to write his political opponent, Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) standard-bearer for Orange Walk North, Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes, Jr., demanding that he either offer a retraction and an apology, or face a libel claim for statements that were broadcasted on LOVE FM in a recorded conversation purportedly between Vilma Cervantes and Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo on Wednesday, November 5, during a memorial ceremony for Ramon Cervantes, Sr., who was kidnapped and murdered in July. Vilma is the wife of the late Ramon Cervantes, Sr. In Williams’ letter, dated Sunday, November 9, 2014, he states that he had been “instructed by the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources & Agriculture and the area representative for the Orange Walk North” to send the subsequent statements in the missive.

A UDP show of strength for Tuesday!
The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) apparently intends to flex its multi-million-dollar muscle tomorrow, Tuesday, in mobilizing what it says could be the biggest throng of demonstrators ever on Independence Hill in what it anticipates will be an unprecedented turnout for or against any national issue. “If you need to amass 10,000 people and spend $2.2 mil on ads [attacking the PUP], just because we are asking the Government to be accountable, transparent and give good governance, that shows you that something is wrong,” said Julius Espat, Cayo South area representative for the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), who recently filed a Supreme Court motion challenging the Government on the PetroCaribe agreement and spending. Last month the UDP introduced a $228 million loan motion for financing under the PetroCaribe initiative with Venezuela – the largest such motion since the refinancing of the Super-bond in 2013.

Bullets fly in afternoon shootings on North Front Street
A number of persons were walking on North Front Street around 2:15 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, when a lone gunman began firing at another man from point blank range, hitting his target once in the head, before being chased and shot in the leg by police. A woman who works on North Front Street and spoke to Amandala on condition of anonymity told us that she was never so terrified in her life. “This was a very traumatic experience for me,” said the woman. And a man who was visiting Belize City from one of the districts described hearing a popping sound, and when he turned around, he saw a man with a gun blasting away at another man who was running towards the Swing Bridge, holding his ears.

Cooler heads prevail in NICH/FECTAB flare-up
There is some good news coming out of the cruise tourism industry today after the Institute of Archeology, a subsidiary of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), issued an official notice which advised all tour operators, tour guides and the general public that an amnesty has been granted for the 48-inch height requirement for children to enter caves for cave-tubing, until December 31, 2014. The announcement was made after tour operators, primarily from the Federation for Cruise Tourism in Belize (FECTAB), lashed out at NICH and its director, Diane Haylock, over rules that, according to FECTAB, were not only detrimental to their business, but were also being implemented without the benefit of consultation. The rules were laid out in a new policy handbook that NICH put out, known as the Health and Safety Policy Manual for Archaeological Sites — dated July 2014 — which detailed proposed requirements for cave-tubing safety, one of which stipulated that all children who go cave-tubing must be at least four feet tall, or 48 inches in height.

Another missing person
Zakir Escalante, 20, of Corozal Town, a student at Corozal Community College, has been reported missing. Escalante was reported missing on Friday after he failed to return from Santa Clara, where he had gone to visit. At about 1:30 Friday afternoon, Rosa Escalante, 42, a domestic of Finca Solana, Corozal Town, went to the police and reported that her son, Zakir Escalante, told his sister that he was going to Santa Clara and left. Since then, he has not returned home. According to the family, Zakir was last seen by the park in Santa Elena, near the northern border. He is described as being of Mestizo descent, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and slimly built, with brown complexion, black hair, brown eyes, a pointed nose, moles on his back, skull tattoos on his left calf and a star tattoo with the word “Tribal” on the left side of the chest. He was last seen wearing an orange shirt, a pair of ¾ white pants, and a pair of black, grey and white tennis shoes.

Make your choice – a home field, or your top striker; FC Belize got neither
FC Belize will most likely not make the playoffs in this PLB Opening Season, but it is not because the team has not played good football. In fact, in all 4 games they have lost so far, FC Belize was 1 goal away from a draw. Present front runners in the standings, Texmar Assassins, BDF and Verdes all won by a single goal over FC Belize, as did Paradise/Freedom Fighters yesterday, who came from behind in the last 15 minutes to clinch a 2-1 win on their home field in Toledo. With transportation difficulties, the team arrived in P.G. with little time to loosen up after the long journey. Sponsorship has been a problem for FC Belize this season, due to a prolonged, and only recently resolved, ownership squabble following the death of former owner Lionel Welch earlier this year; and their situation was made much worse by the Sports Council’s closure of the MCC, their home field, for renovations on June 1.

Dangriga sports stats – T.V. Ramos Classic a big success; 18th night friendly – Wagiya vs Verdes
T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic The T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic yesterday in Dangriga was a big success. In an exciting sprint to the finish in the Open race, which went from the Wadani Shed to Placencia and back, the T.V. Ramos Classic Champion was Brandon Cattouse (Team C-Ray), who defeated Byron Pope (Benny’s Megabytes) by a bicycle wheel. 2nd place went to Byron Pope; 3rd was Joel Borland; and 4th Tarique Cano (Western Spirit). There were 5 teams that took part in the race – Benny’s Megabytes, C-Rays, Team Smart, C-4 Police Cycling Team, and Western Spirit, along with individual Cross Country riders. In the Junior results: 1st was Wilson Aciencio (Belmopan Cycling Club); 2nd Kaydine Pinelo (Belize City); 3rd Joel Vanegas (Belmopan); 4th Patrick Williams (Team Smart); and 5th Darien Anderson (Team Smart)

FFB Women President’s Cup Championship down to final game this Saturday
Game 1 in the best-of-2 games championship series in the FFB Women President’s Cup Tournament 2014 ended in a 1-1 draw on Saturday, November 15, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, home field of defending champion Triple B’s, who are the #2 seed in this Finals series. Yamili Herrera gave Triple B’s the early lead at the 5th minute, but Cynthia Salazar equalized for #1 seed DFC Gentle Touch at the 17th minute, and that’s the way it ended. The decisive Game 2 for the championship is this Saturday at the home field of DFC Gentle Touch. Championship Final Game 2: Saturday, November 22 3:30 p.m. – #1 seed DFC Gentle Touch vs #2 seed Triple B’s – Norman Broaster Stadium

Texmar Assassins and Police United only undefeated teams at Week 5 of PLB Opening Season
It’s getting near to “crunch time” in the Premier League of Belize Opening Season 2014-2015 race to the playoffs, and at the end of Week 5, two teams are still undefeated – Placencia’s Texmar Assassins and pre-season favorite Police United FC. The Assassins, who are yet to concede a single goal after 4 games played, are at the top of the standings; while Police have drawn 3 times and are presently in sixth place. In the only Saturday night game this past weekend, back-to-back champion Belmopan Bandits FC defended their home turf at Isidoro Beaton Stadium with a 3-2 win over previously undefeated Verdes FC. Bandits’ goals came from Elroy Kuylen (3’), goalkeeper Woodrow West (54’ PK) and Highking Roberts (79’); while Verdes got a goal from league leading “goleador” Jarret Davis (52’) along with the benefit of an own goal by Bandits defender Dalton Eiley (84’ OG).

Editorial: 2004 and 2014
Frankly, we have not been paying a lot of attention to the technicalities of the issues being raised by the Opposition PUP with respect to the Petrocaribe money being spent by the ruling UDP. As we understand it, the Petrocaribe money is really loan money, and should therefore have been processed through the National Assembly according to the requirements of the Finance and Audit Act 2005. It appears that the Opposition is right, and so the UDP administration, in response, may be about to “post-date the Petrocaribe checks” through resolutions in the House this Tuesday, November 18, 2014. More than that, the UDP is spending big bucks to have a party show of support and force in front of the National Assembly before and during the Tuesday House meeting. In other words, the UDP may be using this opportunity to fire the first shots of the campaign for the national municipal elections which are scheduled for March 4, 2015.

Letters: True freedom is taken, not given …
A country is not truly free until it takes its freedom. This is something basic all Belizeans must come to understand. I borrow this gem of wisdom, insight and foresight, from the late Frantz Fanon, born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, trained as a psychiatrist in France, and who worked in French colonized Algeria where, in the 1950’s, he joined the Algerians in their efforts to evict the French. When I, as a young 20- something year old, first entered business school, I was shocked to the core to hear in one of my first class sessions that “a business (is an entity that) exists to make a profit.” Business’ sole purpose for existing is to make a profit! Now, even the untrained understands profit. But my instincts resisted that definition. My instincts detected something that went against all that is just and good, something totally unnatural.

Letters: The power of one
Community activist Yaya Marin Coleman proves to one and all that if you see a wrong, you cannot be silent; you must make your position heard, loud and clear, even if you are the only one. She has chosen to take to the streets with signs declaring that things must change. In October, Yaya protested the hiring of a Guatemalan company to build a military outpost on Hunting Caye. First in front of the U.S. Embassy because it was the US Army Corps of Engineers responsible for the construction, and then in front of the Prime Minister’s office. She declared she would be there, even if she were by herself, which for the majority of the time, she was.

Douglas Jones Street project reopened
Today, the crew of 40 street workers at Douglas Jones Street was literally knee-deep into their work, removing sludge from the canal which runs beneath the street. Up until yesterday, however, the operations being carried out in the area as part of a municipal drainage scheme known as the Flood Mitigation Project had been at a standstill after the Ministry of Works sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company in charge of the trenching, Medina’s Construction Ltd., on the morning of Tuesday, November 11, ordering the contractor, David Medina, to shut down the project until certain health and safety measures were reinforced. Those measures included providing personal protective equipment to workers along with a cleaning works methodology, in addition to the proper monitoring of the workmen, since the letter stated that businesses had also been complaining about loitering.

14 Benqueños dragged to court for “rioting”
Earlier this week, twenty residents of San Jose Succotz and Benque Viejo were summoned to court following a show of civil disobedience that unfolded on August 19, 2014 when a mob of villagers blocked the junction of the San Jose Succotz and Benque Viejo road for over 7 hours with burnt tires and, at the height of the protest, threw missiles at police who were trying to dismantle the standoff and open the road. They were all supposed to be arraigned in the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court today; however, only 14 of them answered to the charges before Magistrate Herbert Panton after two had their charges withdrawn and four others did not show up because we understand that they were not properly served with the summons by police. The 14 persons were arraigned for “rioting” and “unlawful assembly” for their involvement in a memorable all-day unrest (which erupted after a car collision involving Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura that resulted in the death of a woman and the injury of a taxi driver), which effectively closed down the George Price Highway between Miles 72 and 73 three months ago.

Convicted cop gets bail after serving 6 weeks of 18-month sentence for attempting to corrupt a public officer
A police corporal who was convicted of attempting to corrupt a public officer and who was sentenced to 18 months in prison was released on bail today after his attorney secured a stay of execution and obtained bail from the Supreme Court. Darius Martinez, the interdicted police officer, has served only six weeks of his prison sentence because his attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, successfully argued that the likelihood was great that Martinez would serve the 18-month sentence before his appeal is heard. After more than one hour of arguments, Supreme Court Justice Herbert Lord granted the stay of execution and offered bail to Martinez in the sum of $6,000 plus one surety of the same amount or two sureties of $3,000 each. The condition that Justice Lord imposed on Martinez is that he is to surrender all travel documents and he is to report to the Dangriga police station twice per week, on Mondays and Fridays.

New Caribbean Regional Framework for HIV/AIDS adopted
Caribbean leaders have committed to a new agenda for battling HIV/AIDS in the post-2015 era. Dr. Marvin Manzanero, head of the Epidemiology Unit in the Belize Ministry of Health, said that regional officials have committed to the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF) 2014-2018, which has been formulated to address the HIV situation beyond 2015. The framework, he said, is a regional policy document and a planning tool, and it emphasizes equality in access to healthcare in the Caribbean. Manzanero was among leaders and key decision-makers who recently met to strategize and to identify the actions needed to achieve the goals set out by the recently adopted framework, formulated under the auspices of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP).

Remains of unknown person found between Maskall and Santa Martha
The skeletal remains of a male person were found at about 1:30 Friday afternoon near the side of the Old Northern Highway in an area between Maskall and Santa Martha in the Belize District. The skeleton was discovered by people working in the area. Police have recovered the bones. Douglas Hyde, media coordinator for Eastern Division police, told the media that the remains were found 100 feet off the road, near a garbage dump, and the body was partially burnt.

House to debate PetroCaribe motion tomorrow
The Opposition People’s United Party and the ruling United Democratic Party have been at loggerheads over $228 million in unapproved borrowing by the Barrow administration from funds which the Government has obtained under the Alba PetroCaribe initiative with Venezuela, and a fierce debate is expected to unfold inside the National Assembly tomorrow, Tuesday, when the loan motion presented in October is submitted for second and third reading. The Opposition contends that the Government has acted illegally in securing financing which exceeds the $10 million limit beyond which parliamentary approval is required. The Opposition has, therefore, gone to the Supreme Court seeking declarations from the court that the spending was a violation of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act. Tomorrow, the ruling United Democratic Party is also expected to table two supplementary appropriation bills, seeking parliamentary approval for spending since 2013, including $5 million to be spent under Capital II and $25 million to be spent under Capital III by the end of March 2015.

Patrick JonesPJ

University of Belize students host marketing expo
The future of Belizean business was on display at the Ramada Princess Hotel, as students of the University of Belize displayed the fruits of a semester’s worth of work in marketing and business development techniques. The annual Marketing Expo features two divergent initiatives, with the marketing class designing businesses from the ground up and trying their best to convince visitors to buy their product or service, while small business students displayed their efforts to develop and reposition an existing business in a fierce competitive market. Sylvia Trapp is a small business development student whose brother owns an electrical supply company, Supplies Plus Distributors on Central American Boulevard.

UB students hold Expo in Punta Gorda town
The Toledo campus of the University of Belize today hosted an exposition in Punta Gorda town. The venue for the UB Expo was the Fr. Francis Ring Parish Hall and organizers say the purpose of the day’s event was to foster an exchange of ideas and experiences. According to UB Lecturer Dorla Bowman the Expo was designed to give students an opportunity for practical experiences of the theory in their business studies from the classroom. During the course of the Expo, students displayed products and items they have created as group assignments.

Preschool children parade in Punta Gorda for Garifuna Settlement Day
The students of the St. Peter Claver Preschool paraded in Punta Gorda town this morning. The parade which went from the school to the PG Central Park was part of Culture Day activities on the ever of Garifuna Settlement Day. Parents accompanied the kindergarten children on this morning’s parade. Other schools in town are also holding cultural activities today as the country prepares to celebrate Garifuna Settlement day on November 19.

Police investigate rape in Dangriga town
Police in Dangriga town are looking for a man who raped a nurse early on Monday morning. The woman, a resident of the New Site area in Dangriga town, told police that she awoke around 2 am on Monday to find a man in her bedroom. She says that the man proceeded to place a knife on her and demanded sex.

UDP supporters gather in Belmopan for House Meeting
A large crowd of supporters of the United Democratic Party (UDP) has traveled to Belmopan for today’s Special Sitting of the House of Representatives. The crowd is supportive of a Loan Motion on Petrocaribe funds which is being debated in the House today.


The Last Few Days – Bringing a Dog Home, Fishing at El Pescador, Some RubiMoon & Lunch at Ramon’s Village
I traveled back from Hopkins Village to San Pedro with One Incredible Dog Perhaps the sweetest most deserving tender loving humble dog I’ve ever met. Her name, as she is a cow-dog, is Elsie. And, after one month of love and rehab in Hopkins, she valiantly travelled by car from Hopkins to Belize City and by boat to Ambergris Caye and then another boat to her new home at Rojo Beach Bar and Azul Resort. Where she will live out her days in comfort and safety. I had lunch at Pineapple’s Restaurant At Ramon’s Village For some strange reason, I had never eaten at the popular restaurant at Ramon’s. Late last week, I stopped in to try it out and have lunch with Einer, the resort manager. The place is beautiful, as always and I took a quick look around… A Bit Of Shopping at RubiMoon Boutique This fantastic shop on Front Street has tons of unique and beautiful items. Here. I’ll show you a few. Love these new bags. Fun Fly-Fishing Casting Tournament and Just a Lovely Day at El Pescador Resort Okay, this isn’t exactly my niche but with an invite from the lovely Ali at El Pescador and a fly fishing aficionado friend (F.F.A.F) in tow, we drove up to the resort.

Pay Attention, Belize! Travel trends for 2015
I don’t spend as much time researching travel behaviours as I once did when I was completely involved in the Belize tourism industry but I have not stopped being conscious of how travel is changing and where things are heading. I’ve been able to single out a few trends that will be king in 2015 and from all these trends, below I will be sharing six that I believe Belize tourism stakeholders can easily take advantage of. 1. Small guys will beat big guys 2. Will travel for food 3. Fancy restaurants will be empty 4. Vacation rentals vs hotels 5. Internet is a must 6. Local travel is on the rise

International Sourcesizz

Back from Belize - teen's life-changing gap year
A NORTH-East student says she learned invaluable life lessons during a year volunteering overseas. Catriona Duffy, a Durham University student from Stokesley, North Yorkshire, spent a year teaching music and helping with youth work in Belize City. The 19-year-old travelled with the Journey With Us programme run by the international Christian charity Us. She said: “Everyone I met, especially my host family, showed me so much grace and kindness. “They truly showed me how to live out a Christian faith day by day.

Using science to open way to 'blue economy'
Today, scientists at the Natural Capital Project share new science and open source software that can calculate risk to coastal and marine ecosystems. These novel tools, described in the journal Environmental Research Letters, were used to design the first integrated coastal zone management plan for the Caribbean country of Belize. Conducted with the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute in Belize and the World Wildlife Fund, the study offers a comprehensive explanation of the process used to calculate risk of habitat degradation in marine spatial planning. With historic expansion of coastal and ocean development, ecosystems like coral reefs and mangrove forests are put at unprecedented risk. Yet, planners often lack good information about how human activities will impact shoreline and ocean habitats now and in the future. This study developed the information the Belizean government sought to make informed management decisions. The resulting science and software, which are free and accessible to anyone with a connection to the Internet, are useful to coastal planners anywhere.

Drier rainy season puts Cayman under a drought warning
In spite of the showers on Tuesday, Grand Cayman has experienced a much drier rainy season this year than average and the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. This week, the Caribbean Drought & Precipitation Monitoring Network issued its November bulletin expressing concern over an evolving drought in the western Caribbean in the vicinity of Belize and the Cayman Islands. The network’s drought outlook map through the end of January 2015 puts the Cayman Islands under a drought warning and suggests an action level of “be prepared, conserve water, protect.”


Video: Museum of Belize: Social Studies, 8min.
A virtual tour of the Museum of Belize. We mainly focused on the Jades of Belize, which was a section found in the museum itself.

Video: Belize I 2014, 9min.
by Eric Koppen

Video: Belize Goff's Caye, 1.5min.
1.2 acre island.

Video: Children's Voices - What I love about Belize, 2min.
Children filmed in different parts of Belize, sharing what they love about the country. :)

Video: Children's Voices - What I don't like about Belize, 2min.
Children filmed in different parts of Belize, sharing what they don't like about their reality in the country.

Video: Children's Voices - What I want for the future, 2min.
Children filmed in different parts of Belize, sharing what they want for their future. c UNICEF Belize November 2014.

Video: Sowing Seeds of Joy You Betta Belize It, 19min.

Video: Belize birding at duPlooy's jungle lodge San Ignacio, 10min.

Video: Diving Belize Preview, 1min.
A preview of the diving video collection by Bob Shaefer taken in Belize in 2011.

Video: Preserving the Rich Gra Gra Lagoon National Park, 2min.
Covering almost 1,200 hectares, the Gra Gra Lagoon National Park includes a lagoon and a mangrove system. The national park hopes to develop tourism, one way is with guided canoe tours. Gra Gra Lagoon National Park is located near the coast just below the seaside town of Dangriga, the capital of the Stann Creek District. In Belize, national parks are areas designed for the protection and preservation of natural and aesthetic features of national significance for the people. Therefore, these are areas of recreation and tourism, as well as environmental protection. They are administered by the Forest Department and managed through partnership agreements with community-based non-governmental organizations.

Video: Diving in Belize 2014, 9min.

Video: Goff Cay - Belize Nov 2014, 7min.
Video shot in Belize at Goff Cay Reef, not many tropical fish in the area I was dropped at, current was strong making for a shaky video

Video: GIS Day University of Belize, Belmopan City 2014, 12min.
Video Clips taken from ESRI Ireland & Plus TV. Photos taken by Devon Saldano, Pio Saqui, Antonio Cano, Zana Kristen Wade, Dr Hawthorne.

Video: Snorkling in Caye Caulker, Belize on Caveman's boat, 3.5min.
Crystal blue water, sharks, sting rays, and feeding ocean carp fish.

Video: Belize Cultural Celebrations Series Vol. 1: Garifuna Settlement Day (Yurumein), 14min.
The Belize Cultural Celebrations Series comprises of educational posters and short videos produced by the National Institute of Culture and History through the Institute for Social and Cultural Research. Yurumein is the first in the series, featuring images, video footage and interviews that were collected by a team of cultural activists. The materials were gathered from the communities of Libertad, Belize City, Hopkins, Dangriga and Punta Gorda on November 19th, 2013.

Video: Livin' in America!, 2min.
family members in the caribbean always think you live some fancy life once you come america

Video: Driving from Sarteneja to Corozal, Belize, 10min.
This drive through Belize is not for the faint of heart. Most people take a boat to and from this northernmost village of Sarteneja. During rainy season, road is typically impassible.

Video: Garifuna Settlement 2014 - Junkanoo, 3min.
Garifuna Settlement Day is a public holiday in Belize, celebrated each year on November 19. The holiday was created by Belizean civil rights activist, Thomas Vincent Ramos, in 1941. It was recognized as a public holiday in the southern districts of Belize in 1943, and declared a national holiday in 1977. The holiday celebrates the settlement of the Garifuna people in Belize after being exiled from the Grenadines by the British army. The major festivities for the holiday occur in the town of Dangriga, including parades, street music, and traditional dancing. The dance you will find on Garifuna Settlement Day is called Junkanoo where you can see dance and costumes in many towns across The Caribbean such as the Bahamas every 26 of December, New Year's Day and, more recently, in the summer on the island of Grand Bahama. The largest Junkanoo parade happens in Nassau, the capital. There are also Junkanoo parades in Miami in June and Key West in October, where the local black American populations have their roots in the Bahamas. In addition to being a culture dance for the Garifuna people, November 19 is Garifuna Settlement Day, a day to be sure to hear drums and see Junkanoo dancing. Also, Junkanoo dancing is performed in Jamaica on Independence day and other historical holidays. Dances are choreographed to the beat of goatskin drums and cowbells.

November 18, 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

I come to you this evening to ask your support for LIBERTY CHILDREN'S HOME in Ladyville, Belize. Please in kindness can you help lend voice and support through newspaper article for my Annual Christmas Campaign for the Beloved Children at Liberty Children's Home. Amidst the sounds of Howler Monkeys and the tranquil beauty of Mayan ruins therein lies in the Central American jungle a small orphanage in Ladyville where 37 abused and neglected children reside. With a pittance of external money to operate, house, clothe and educate the beautiful children, Miss Agatha Valentine the Director of this tiny community works tirelessly night and day to bring each child a sense of HOPE, LOVE and PEACE. It is again my desire this year to bring the spirit of Christmas to each of the children who call this place home, so that they may enjoy and experience a day filled with love, laughter and gifts of their own.

Decorating tips for the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
• Santa’s Gifts- Start collecting refrigerator, washer, dryer, stove boxes or any large ones. Paint them in different colors, bright colors will show best at night. Outline boxes with Christmas lights. Shape wire into bows and cover with cheap netting, you can also run lights inside of the net to highlight the bow. Boat passengers can be dressed in pajamas and nightgowns to give the feeling of a Christmas Eve night. • Christmas Angel- Use PVC pipes and heavy wire to make an open shape of an angel. Run a tall PVC pipe up and put a star on top. Do in it all white. Guests dress in white for the purity religious theme. • Party boat- Talk to Bowen & Bowen Limited to see if they have a blowup Lighthouse Beer of Belikin Beer bottle. Illuminate with green light and use a spotlight to highlight it. If not, build one out of 1/4" plywood, paint it and illuminate it with Christmas Lights. Have a good time on board or charge persons to join your party boat! • Christmas Octopus- Get in contact with Will Alamilla who created the octopus themed float of this year’s September Celebration parade. Use the octopus diorama. Have each tentacle hold a wrapped present or star fish. Outline with strands of Christmas lights. You could even use blue rope lights in a wavy pattern on the side of the boat to look like water. • Net Christmas Tree- Raise a tall PVC pipe or pole and Shape the net over it like a Christmas tree. Decorate with lights and Christmas ornaments. Remember the star on top.

Smile Clinic celebrates 10 Anniversary with free dental clinic
On November 12, the Smile Clinic located at Holy Cross Anglican School in San Pedro Town celebrated their 10th anniversary since their foundation. To mark the occasion, the patron of the Clinic Dr Mark Johnson hosted a second group of hygienists and dentists at the clinic. The volunteer group is part of a wider program for the clinic which will see several volunteers from the United States of America offering free dental care to students on the island in the coming months. The second group was on the island from the 10th to the 12th of November, and over the three days, over 60 students were treated. The three US volunteers that were on the island are Dr. Hal Solomon, along with hygienists Julie Feeley and Donna Duallo, all from New Jersey USA. Also helping were Dr. Mark Johnson, Hygienist Bonnie Musbach, Jen Wochner, Elizabeth Hudson and Norma Chin. According to Dr Johnson, each visiting group costs about $25,000 which includes the value of the treatments, leave of absence from their official work, food, accommodations and airfare. Clinic treatments are free and are open to all Belizean students. Once treated at the Smile Clinic, each student’s record is entered into a computer database for reference.

Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado goes missing
Honduran police are searching for 19-year-old Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado who went missing on Thursday, November 13th along with her sister Sofia. The women were reported missing by a family member on Saturday, November 15th after they could not be contacted. Alvarado is no stranger to the island, as she represented her country in this year’s Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant held pm Ambergris Caye. According to initial reports, Alvarado and her sister were last seen leaving a birthday party in Santa Barbara, Honduras. Police have since arrested four persons in connection to the disappearance. “The missing women were last seen getting into a vehicle as they left the party. Four people are under arrest. They include the owner of the party venue and Sofia’s boyfriend. They are being investigated,” said Chief of Police Jose Coello during a press briefing. Mother of both women, Teresa de Jesus released a statement imploring for her daughters safe return. “Open your hearts and understand my pain. There is an all-powerful God that sees everything and I hope you set them free,” said Teresa de Jesus.

Editorial: Keeping the Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Afloat
This year The San Pedro Sun has opted to give our Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest a hiatus, and as disappointing as this may be, we’ve decided the lack of the annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade last year was far more disappointing. We are instead committing all of our holiday energy into helping the San Pedro Business Association make sure this beautiful, signature island event continues. This gorgeous flotilla of sparkling boats is not only enjoyed by the entire community but has become a destination event for many tourists abroad. Despite the financial benefits the island may see from attracting tourists to this event, to me it is ultimately about kicking off the holiday season island style and as a community sharing an evening of holiday spirit and camaraderie. People have been decorating their homes for the holiday’s decades before there was any sort of contest to applaud their efforts, and we should embrace that same holiday spirit when it comes to participating in the boat parade. It is all in the spirit of the holiday that we adorn our homes (and boats)…not about the prize. For those who do not have a boat why not organize your friends and find someone who does? Why not make is a neighborhood project, a church project, a special interest project or just a group of good friends? If you need funding to help with purchasing lights why not approach one of your favorite businesses to sponsor you, and if you want to offset expenses why not ask for a $20 donation from those who want to join you on the boat? There are many decorating ideas that don’t have to cost a fortune and we outline some of those ideas in this week’s issue (see Page 20).

Caye Caulker’s famous Lazy Lizard at the Split closed down
The iconic Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill at the Split on Caye Caulker is closed and its ownership is in dispute. The issue escalated last week when the lease-holder was forcefully and apparently illegally evicted along with all his belongings off the premises. The establishment, operated by Immer Perez, sits on an area that is internationally known, a naturally made split on the island caused by Hurricane Hattie in 1961. The business has been closed for almost two weeks since the Lazy Lizard owner has been in a battle with the actual landowner, American, Dan Nichols. The area is known as The Split or Lazy Lizard, but it’s under the name of Emerald Point at the Lands Department. “I recently got a contract of 5 years; last year June 1st. So it’s valid up until May 31, 2018. Three days before Lobster Fest this year 2014, he (the owner) told me and gave me the news saying that he sold the Split – 99% of the place,” explained Perez, who said that since then everything has been downhill. He told the media during an interview that the problem started in August when he got a 90-day notice that he must leave the premises on Emerald Point because it was sold. Perez explained that after doing his research, he realized that the land could not have been sold. “I got to know that the place is not sold. Emerald Point has a caution on it, so that caution means they cannot transfer-they cannot sell the property due to someone else that he had a previous deal with for obtaining the property. My contract that I have states carefully that the property must be sold for me to get 90 days’ notice,” he explained

Ambergris Today

Miss Honduras World (Costa Maya) Reported Missing
The Costa Maya Festival Committee and Ambergris Caye community are today in shock to learn about the disappearance of Miss World Honduras, Maria Jose Alvarado and her sister Sofia Trinidad Alvarado in their country of Honduras last week. Island residents met Maria Jose this past August during the Costa Maya Festival where she was a contestant representing Honduras at the Miss Costa Maya Pageant. San Pedro residents express their concerns and pray that both women are found safe and unharmed. La Prensa newspaper in Honduras reports that authorities from the country have confirmed that Maria Jose and her sister went missing since last week Thursday, November 13, 2014, when both women visited Santa Barbara, Honduras to spend a few days their parents before Maria Jose traveled to London to participate in the Miss World pageant. Eduardo Zablah, director of Miss Honduras pageant, confirmed that on Thursday night Maria Jose, her sister and a group of friends went out to celebrate a birthday. When both sisters left the party that was held at a resort in Santa Barbara, both were seen getting into a vehicle but since then, their whereabouts are still unknown.

Belize Director of Marketing Industry Relations Resigns
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hereby announces that after more than two years of service, the Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, has resigned from the BTB, effective December 12th, 2014. Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans, says, “Alyssa’s contributions and dedication to the BTB and, by extension, the tourism industry, haven’t gone unnoticed. Working with her for the past seven months has been an absolute pleasure. While we are sad to see her go, we understand and respect her desire to move on to pursue her own endeavors. We are grateful for the achievements under her leadership of the Marketing & Industry Relations Department, and we wish her the very best.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Front Street Pups, ready for their homes
a big lovable huggable boy, the only male we had. Now available for adoption. BHSAS will provide deworming, vaccinations and sterilization once he gets a bit older. Please contact Linda Searle, if you wish to adopt him. S Renee Wentz (paperwork on all three... Rastaman, Rosie and Buttercup, most probably needed. please contact Linda to organize all that. thanx). Belize Humane Society & Animal Shelter

Belize Fishing report Nov 16 2014
El Pescador celebrated our 40th Anniversary this week! A great big thank you to all of our guests who helped us to honor this great event. Jim Klug celebrated the release of his book, “Fly Fishing Belize.” It’s a beautiful book and signed copies are available in our fly shop! Jim Klug is considered family here, so we are thrilled to his book release along with our 40th celebration. To our return guests – you make it all happen. John and Danny from Hatch reels, thank you. All of our demo reels are Hatch and now we will feature their new fly lines as well! Phil Monahan from Orvis and American Angler, Kirk Deeter from Field & Stream, Scott Morrison, and Adam Marton – we look forward to seeing you on your next return. Thank you for all you do for El Pescador. Mike, thank you for bringing Jenny – she is a treasure. And we are so happy you are back to your health and better yet, standing on the bow looking for your beloved tarpon. We are humbled and appreciate all that our guests add to your El Pescador experience. Keep sharing your ideas – we learn from you. Photos from this week will be coming in, and for this, we thank you. Cheers!

Consejo Village Youth Group (CVYG)
This newly formed group has come together to help all the children of our village learn to live and work in harmony together. Our first project is to give our children a Christmas party on Dec 24. In order to reach that goal, we are hosting a Tea Party for all that are interested in participating with us in raising funds and gifts. Tea Party Date: November 30,2014 Time: 8-11:30 a.m. Place: Consejo Village Library (Red brick building in front of Customs) Presents and donations are very welcome. To help you in your gift giving, we have 16 children from the ages of 2 to 8 and 14 older kids from the ages of 9-14. Any money donations we receive will be used to purchase needed presents, food, gift wrap, sodas, piñata, table and chairs, etc. A bulletin will be sent out after our event to show how the money donations were used. If you would like to donate and cannot attend our Tea Party, please feel free to call and we will pick up your donation, Ronnie Arana 620-0519. Every gift or donation gets a big smile of gratitude from a child in return!

Extended Power Interruption in Belmopan caused by Difficulties Experienced during Upgrades to Power Distribution System
Customers of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) in the City of Belmopan and surrounding areas experienced an extended power interruption on Sunday, November 16 due to extended delays experienced during planned works in the area. A power interruption was originally scheduled for 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon to facilitate works to upgrade the power distribution system in Belmopan City and surrounding communities. These works included replacement of utility poles and equipment, adjusting of high voltage lines, installation of lightning arresters and maintenance works at the Belmopan Substation. During the process of works, BEL crews faced several difficulties, which impeded completion of the scheduled upgrade works. In particular, additional deteriorated equipment was identified, apart from those scheduled for replacement. As a result, the duration of the works extended past the slated six hour period.

Channel 7

Lino - Alleged Andrew Tate Gunman - Limps Into Court
Tonight, 22 year old Carl Lino, the alleged gunman who reportedly targeted Andrew Tate in a broad daylight shooting, is at the Belize Central Prison. As we told you, that shooting happened right in front of Eden Site Alley, which adjoins Majestic Alley, just after 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon. That's just a few hundred feet from the center of the city, and shooting Victim Andrew Tate told police that he was riding his bicycle on North Front Street, when a gunman opened fire on him. The man fired 3 shots at him, one of which struck him in the back of the head. As soon as he went down, the shooter ran in the direction of Pinks Alley, but an off duty officer joined up with two others on foot patrol to run him down.

BSCFA Says It Stands Strong - "99% Support From Farmers"
Tonight the impasse in the sugar industry stands - there's been no deal between the factory and the caneros, except there is one significant change. After an emergency meeting on Saturday, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association says the farmers stand with them - and that no one has or will sign any independent contract with BSI or ASR. Jules Vasquez found out more when he went to the meeting on Saturday:... Jules Vasquez reporting About 500 farmers came out to the open air auditorium at Escuela Secondaria Technica Mexico in San Roman Village. Jules Vasquez "How do you respond to the criticism that only a few hundred farmers attended? He counted 700, I counted 500, but its only 10% of the full amount." Alfred Ortega, Bagasse Negotiating Team "Well Jules, you see me here standing up, I am representing 8 farmers. Mr. Keme is representing 10 farmers and there are many of us in this meeting that we work as family and we represent family members. So if you see 800 members here and you times them by 5, you don't have to go to 8 - by 5 and you will see the amount of farmers that are here. So the voice of these people that are here today is a strong voice."

Today the National Trade Union Congress expressed its support for the Cane Farmers Association. A release says quote, "the Congress unequivocally denounces the current stand being taken by American Sugar Refinery… as downright undermining of the bedrock of collective representation/bargaining that the foundation of labour and labourers' rights is built on." End quote. They warns that quote, "If given life, it will entirely change the landscape of private sector; interfacing with public sector." And while so much is being said about it - at this time, ASR/BSI isn't saying anything. The company says tomorrow is the deadline for consultation and by Friday 21st. November, it will issue a final agreement.

FECTAB: One Shot Of Happy, Two Shots Of Sad
Last week Wednesday, the President of NICH wrote to FECTAB telling the group that the enforcement of the much-derided 48-inch rule at the Nohoc Che'en cave would be suspended until the end of the year. So, when we heard FECTAB was having a press conference today - we thought it would be to say thanks. But, while there was a little of that - there was much more of what FECTAB has become famous for: lamenting the increasingly difficult commercial landscape in the cruise sector. Here's more:... Tom Greenwood, President - FECTAB "And this represent a victory not for FECTAB okay, not for this one and that one; it represents a victory for the movement of Belizean humanity." David Almendarez, FANTASEA Belize "I'd like to remind the Belizean public that this is not a pardon, this is just a stay of execution. The stay of execution will end December 31st. We are calling on NICH and the powers that be that we meet immediately or as soon as possible, so come January 1st, we are not running around with our heads off."

Policeman Stands Accused of Carnal Knowledge In South
San Ignacio Police are waiting patiently for their southern counterparts to process a 28 year old Police Constable who is wanted for having sexual relations with an under aged minor. The female visited the station with a social worker and reported to police that on Sunday, she had intercourse with that Constable in his home village of Seine Bight. An examination was conducted on the female and it was certified that she was carnally known. San Ignacio Police told us today that he has to first be arraigned on those similar charges, and then, he will be transferred over to them to be investigated on other charges.

BWSL Asks For 5% Increase To Fund Major Investment Drive
BWSL wants an increase in water rates - not a big one, just 5%. The company says it wants to invest 108 million dollars - and it needs the increase in revenue to help cover its costs. The utility has put in to the Public Utilities Commission for a Full Tariff Review Proceeding covering the years April 2015 to March 31, 2020. It says the 5% is the initial increase, but there could be possible adjustments in future years. If you don't like it - or if you just want to know more, you can attend a meeting that the PUC will hold on Thursday 27th November at the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino at 7:00 pm. You can also submit written comments on the proposals by 17th December 2014. The PUC will deliver its Initial Decision by January second, 2015 followed by a Final Decision on January 17th.

Traffic Accidents Have Killed 46 In Belize In First 10 Months Of 2014
Road Traffic accidents kill nearly 1.3 million people every year around the world. It is an alarming figure and in this region, Belize's number of fatalities per hundred thousand is the highest. So far, up to the start of November 2014, 46 persons have lost their lives, compared to 56 total in 2013. To reflect on all these tragedies, World Day of Remembrance is held every year on November 16th. This event serves to remember lost loved ones and to highlight the devastation caused by traffic accidents. This year World Day of Remembrance was observed on Sunday at St. Martin de Porres and Belmopan Methodist with mass.

Two More Fatalities
And there were two more fatalities this weekend. First, there was a traffic accident in the west which claimed the life of 52 year old Roaring Creek resident Maria Wright. 41 year old Jorge Luis Romero, the man who knocked her down, told police that on Friday night he was traveling from San Ignacio Town to his home in Belmopan. He says that sometime after 8:30 p.m., he was passing by Westar Gas Station when he saw Wright bolt across the highway. He says that he couldn't avoid the accident, and his van ended up hitting her. She was flung a short distance away from the front of that van, and she suffered massive injuries to the head and face. Wright died on the scene, and after police gathered whatever evidence they could, they issued a notice of intended prosecution against Romero.

Expat Caught With Cannabis In Consejo
Consejo Shores in the Corozal District is a community made up mostly of expatriates who have moved to Belize after retiring in their home country, and tonight one of those "expats" stands charged with drug trafficking. Corozal police visited the home of 60 year old American retiree Jannette Elaine McKean on Saturday evening art around 6. The officers informed her that they were there to conduct a search of her house for illegal items. It was at that time that McKean willfully handed over a black plastic bag to the officers. Inside they found 161.3 grams - or 5.69 ounces - of cannabis, and two pipes, and so police charged her with the offenses of drug trafficking and possession of pipes. She was given police bail due to her age, and it is expected that she will be arraigned in the Corozal Magistrates Court at the earliest convenience. As per police protocol when an American is arrested, the US embassy was informed shortly after the decision was made to charge McKean.

Citco Says Weekend Funerals Fine, Just Ignore the Letter
Just about three weeks ago on October 29th, the Belize City Council's Sanitation Manager Percival Murillo sent out a letter to undertakers telling them that there would be no more funerals on weekends. Murrillo didn't really offer an explanation, only saying vaguely that this would enhance the Council's service to undertakers. But what he meant was - "you'll save us from having to manage the weekend overtime for the city's cemetery workers." The letter was met with consternation from undertakers who mostly have their own workers to dig graves and cement vaults. Someone else who views it with alarm is Councilor with responsibility for the cemetery Dion Leslie. He told us today that Murillo acted unilaterally and without consultation with the council and that is not the policy of the council. He says the letter should be completely disregarded.

Immigration Officers Meet Caricom Citizens
There were rumors this morning that discontented immigration officers were supposed to stage a sick out at the Belize City and Belmopan officers in protest of the Director - but, it never happened. Director Maria Marin was instead facilitating a workshop for senior officers on the Caricom Single Market and Economy. This gives Caricom Nationals the freedom to move and work within the region - where immigration officers are their first point of contact:

Monchie's Attorney Says His Client Did Not Intend To Disparage DPM Vega
Last week, we showed you how Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes said publicly that he had no intentions of retracting the allegations made against Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Well, his attorneys have put it formally in writing now. A letter sent on last week Friday from the law office of Musa and Balderamos, says quote, "Our client denies making or publishing any statement calculated to disparage the Deputy Prime Minister… Gaspar Vega… Our client's …. sole concern was to assist the authorities in their investigation into this heinous crime.." End quote. The lawyer letter continues, "The recorded telephone conversation between Manuel Castillo… and the widow of the deceased was a matter of grave concern and public interest. At no time was our client or any member of his family actuated by malice against the Hon. Gaspar Vega or anyone else. Our client felt duty-bout to act as he did…"

Cricel Comes Out On Top
Professional bodybuilder, Cricel Castillo, is in Miami right now celebrating her first ever win at the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Competition, which was held on Saturday night at the Hyatt Miami Convention Center. It's a major rebound for Cricel who made the news 3 weeks ago when it was made public that she had been suspended by the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation for an internal fight, which spilled into the public domain. Her two-year suspension meant that she couldn't represent Belize at any tournaments held by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness. Refusing to allow the suspension affect her career, Castillo became a member of WBFF, the open federation which had extended an invitation to her. She made her debut at the Miami Show, competing against a number of other amateurs hoping to win and be recognized as professionals by the federation. Castillo won in the Diva Fitness Model Short category.

TV Ramos Bust Goes Home To Dangriga
The last time we reported on the TV Ramos bust sculpted by Stephen Okeke was 5 months ago. That's when he couldn't find a buyer and smashed the bust. Well, tonight, all has been restored: the bust is in Dangriga, after Okeke personally delivered it today. And, No, he didn't get paid for it. He told us that the sculpture is on credit to the town, and when he gets paid for it - if he ever does - it will be at a 30% discount. What we do know is that Okeke decided to deliver it to Dangriga in time for Garifuna Settlement Day. Okeke stressed to us that he is contented with finally getting the bust to Dangriga, which is where it was supposed to have gone when it was first finished.

A New Intake Of Youth Apprentices
Another intake of youths will get the opportunity to positively transform their lives through the Youth Apprenticeship Program. Today the general meeting for the 7th intake was held at the ITVET. There were 400 applicants but only about 200 showed up for the meeting - which is just fine because the program can only cater to 150 youths at time. Beyond the educational and job benefits of this program, there is a life skills component that teaches discipline and encourages productive attitudes in youths. Two of the participants shared with us their plans for the future at the meeting today. A two week orientation session will be held in January.

Agua Para Sarteneja
And while the Youth Apprenticeship Program will transform lives in the city, there is another major project that will improve the standard of living for residents of Sarteneja Village in Corozal. It is the Sarteneja Reverse Osmosis Rehabilitation Water System Project and it will provide clean potable water to residents. An official ceremony was held this weekend and some of the residents expressed their content with the timeliness of the project. Over 4,000 residents will benefit from this project. The cost is $789,077 dollars.

Channel 5

Cane-farmers United – Deliver Ultimatum to GOB
Cane-farmers from the Orange Walk and Corozal districts have given the Sugar Industry Control Board one week to break the impasse between BSI/ASR and the BSCFA. If that does not [...]

SICB to Hold Meeting With Parties
Faced with an ultimatum from the farmers, SICB Chairman Gabriel Martinez promised to ‘try his best’ to call a meeting before November twenty-fifth to facilitate a way forward. It’s a [...]

BSCFA Awaits PM’s Decision
It’ll be an interesting week ahead. The farmers have stood strong, called out SICB and by extension GOB. The Prime Minister went on record first to offer to pay for [...]

No Apology or Money for Gaspar Vega
Last week Wednesday, through his attorneys Barrow and Williams, Deputy Gaspar Vega threatened to sue CTV-three in Orange Walk, Love FM and Ramon Cervantes Junior. That threat arose from very [...]

BTB Concedes…FECTAB Speaks
A press conference was held this morning during which FECTAB officially announced that the forty eight inch regulation which prohibits persons less than four feet in height from enjoying caving [...]

COLA Sounds the Alarm on Cruise Industry Threat
At today’s press conference, COLA president Geovannie Brackett raised alarms on what he calls an issue that has the potential to shut down the existing cruise tourism industry. Fort Street [...]

COLA Calls on PM to Play Saviour
The firebrand activist signaled an intention for his organization to address this issue at length as COLA recognizes the importance that cruise tourism has for many families who survive off [...]

Castro Visa Case Still in Pre-trial
The case of Edmond Castro versus the visa scandal whistleblower got underway in February of 2014. In 2013, Castro was accused of facilitating visas for Chinese nationals by Alvarine Burgess. [...]

Attorney Condemns Inhumane Detention Conditions
Pending the passage of amendments in the House, the Firearms Act continues to create controversy among attorneys and those they represent who have fall afoul of the very wide shadow [...]

Two Die in Separate RTAs
Over the weekend, two persons were killed on the highways. On Friday night, a woman lost her life in a traffic accident between miles fifty and fifty one on the [...]

Cop Remanded for Carnal Knowledge
A police officer from the village of in Seine Bight in Southern Belize is in trouble with the law tonight. A minor is accusing him of having sexual intercourse with [...]

Cricel wins Big in Miami – Earns Pro Status
There has been enough bad news in this newscast but there is something positive to report on tonight. The World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Competition was held at the Hyatt [...]

COLA Accuses FSTV of Holding Industry Hostage
Earlier in the newscast, COLA president Geovannie Brackett spoke on the need for a new cruise port for Belize District.  He accuses the Fort Street Tourism Village of acting to [...]

Lino Arraigned for Attempted Murder
After five days under police guard at the K.H.M.H, twenty-two year old Carl Lino of Belize City, was taken to court in handcuffs this morning for arraignment on five criminal [...]

UNICEF commemorates 25th Anniversary of Convention
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted on November twentieth by the United Nations. The CRC, as it is known, establishes measures to ensure the protection, survival, [...]

Weekend Sports With James Adderley
Good evening I’m, James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The action remains fast and furious inside the PLB completion and we’ve got proof. So let’s head to the Peoples [...]


Mrs. Luisa Bardalez Celebrates 101st Birthday
Today, sodality brothers and sisters, Helpage volunteers and honorary family members gathered at the home of Luisa Bardalez for a celebration of her 101st birthday. It’s a milestone for any centenarian to say the least and today her living room was filled with love and caring from many well-wishers. Reporter Maria Novelo has that story. Maria Novelo – Reporting Born November 17th, 1913, Luisa Bardalez or ‘Gran’, as she is fondly known, was in jovial spirits today as she celebrated with friends one more year to her century mark. The centenarian has declared that a life close to God is the secret to an extended period of living. Maria Novelo - Reporter “Mrs. Luisa, you are celebrating 101 years old, how are you feeling? Luisa Bardalez – 101 Years Old “I feel pretty good and happy.”

UDP Supporter Rally In Support Of DPM
On November 9th, Attorney Rodwell Williams of Barrow & Williams wrote to Ramon Cervantes Jr., threatening to sue on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega for offensive statements made against Vega on November 5th. In the letter Attorney Williams is demanding a retraction and public apology from Cervantes Junior and payment for damages for defamation. Cervantes Junior was given until today November 17th to offer a retraction and apology or face a file suit for libel without any further notice. In an interview with Cervantes Junior he made it clear that he has nothing to apologize for and for the law to take its course. And it seems that is exactly what will happen since we are told that up to news time the DPM has not received an apology from Cervantes. How this will all play out at the end is anybody’s guess but what we can tell you is that due to the damming allegations made against him by allegedly Manuel Castillo, the man police believe was the author in the death of Cervantes Sr. in July of this year, Vega has stated that the allegation of him being involved in Cervantes’ Senior demise has endangered him and his family. At the same time the DMP has emphatically denied having any involvement whatsoever with Cervantes’ death.

Orange Walk Hosted Its Education Roadshow
The Ministry of Education concluded its Education Roadshow in Orange Walk on Friday night. The Education Roadshow, which is a countrywide initiative, aims to get all stakeholders including parents, students, teachers and school leaders to dialogue and think differently about learning and schooling. Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Education, David Leacock, says they are focusing on helping to raise the quality and development in the teaching sector. David Leacock – CEO, Ministry of Education “One of the main goals of that project is to improve the quality of education in our schools by attracting quality teachers in to teaching, by training half of our primary schools teachers that are already in the classrooms more effective ways in teaching English, Math and Science and also by working with our Teacher Education Institutions to improve the training that goes on those institutions, they will also include leadership training as you know we’ve done leadership training already here in the north and also add to training we have already done across the country and also we are going to be working on how to engage parents more into the education of their children.” The roadshow forms part of the Education Quality Improvement Program (EQIP) which focuses on recruiting people into the teaching profession. National Council for Education, Jamoula Vasquez, told the congregate that the training will provide teachers with the tools necessary to perform better.

Guinea Grass Residents Caught In Traffic Accident
One man is dead and another is recovering from injuries sustained in a road traffic accident on Friday evening. According to police, they received information of a road traffic mishap four miles in the Guinea Grass Village Road. Preliminary investigations revealed that 26 year old Erick Pook who was accompanied by 19 year old Wilbert Garcia, both of said village, were heading home on Pook’s black and blue Meilun Motor cycle when tragedy struck. It is alleged that the men were speeding and collided into the back of a moving trailer that was attached to a tractor heading to Guinea Grass Village. The tractor with the trailer did not stop and render aid. The injured persons were taken to Northern Regional Hospital with severe body injuries. Driver, Erick POOK later succumbed to his injuries and pronounced dead at 7:05 pm at Northern Regional Hospital that same night. His companion, Wilbert Garcia we are informed is still recovering from his injuries. Police were in Shipyard today to summons the driver of the tractor but we haven’t been able to confirm if a notice of intended prosecution was given. We’ll have more on this in our subsequent newscast.

BSCFA General Assembly Passed Two Motions
The Sugar Industry continues to make headlines tonight as it currently finds itself navigating in turbulent waters due to the current impasse in the bagasse negotiations between BSI/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. If you follow the developments of the Sugar Industry you might be well acquainted with the story by now. A few days ago BSI dropped the bomb on the BSCFA when they announced that they were willing to sign contracts with individual farmers or small reaping groups in order to commence the 2014/2015 crop in time. Since then BSI/ASR has met with cane farmers presenting the seven year agreement and its conditions. The agreement, says BSCFA, is the worst they have seen in the history of the industry, meaning that it is not beneficial for cane farmers. And while BSI/ASR has done everything in its power to convince cane farmers to sign on to the contract, BSCFA is fighting hard on the other side of the ring trying to persuade cane farmers to do otherwise. An according to representatives of the association they have won round one, or at least that is the perception they got after meeting its members on Saturday.

BSCFA Are Ready To Deliver Cane But With Interim Agreement
As mentioned in the story the BSCFA will send a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Monday informing him of the resolutions made by cane farmers. This includes the ultimatum given to the Sugar Industry Control Board, SICB, to have BSI/ASR sign an interim agreement for the crop to commence and the intervention on of an independent expert when it comes to the bagasse negotiations. Both requests have already been denied by BSI and when it comes to the Prime Minister, he has clearly stated that the law does not permit him to take a position since it is a commercial arrangement and both the miller and the producer have to meet halfway. Bottom line is GOB cannot force BSI/ASR to sign an interim agreement. Based on this fact BSCFA is of the sentiment that the P.M has already taken sides. Oscar Alonso- CEO, BSCFA “In a way he has taken a position and that position seems to be in support of BSI/ASR, the thing is that he should weight the issues and the consequences in terms of the point relating to the cane farmers, we are saying that we are prepared to start the crop and that we will be happy with an interim agreement to begin the crop but ASR/BSI is saying no they don’t want they want a full agreement and I don’t think even the Prime Minister would be happy for us to proceed with a negotiation process that would conclude a hasty agreement that would be harmful to the cane farmers, I think have the cane farmers interest at heart and this is why we try to let them be aware of our decision was today and we hope that he supports the process, we can still have a crop, there is still be an agreement, we can still sort out our differences during the course of the crop because we cannot just sing for sign just to suit multi nationals desire for certain conditions fort their investments to succeed in Belize.”

Cricel Castillo Victorious In The 2014 WBFF
Despite the adversities she faced being banned from the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation a few weeks ago, Belize’s fitness guru, Cricel Castillo has earned her Pro Fitness status in the international arena. Over the weekend, Castillo participated in the 2014 WBFF Miami Fitness and Fashion Spectacular. The show saw fitness, beauty, fashion, and modern muscle on center stage but Belize's Cricel Castillo out-shined and out-muscled the competition with style and grace from the onset. She dominated and placed first in the competition. We take the time to join the rest of Belize in congratulating Cricel on her Pro Diva status, she also won awards for Best Costume which was designed by Gabriel’s Magix of Orange Walk Town and won in the Best Diva category. Cricel who is a Pro Division member of the WBFF, will be a part of an elite team in the US who will work to promote her through contacts with some of top fitness magazines in the fitness and bodybuilding industry.


FECTAB And COLA Dissappointed With Tourism Industry Management
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations in Belize once again summoned the media to a conference inside the VIP Room at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City to express their continued disappointment at how things are being run in the tourism industry and how concerned they are regarding the deteriorating of the country’s

Cricel Castillo Wins International Body Building And Fitness Competition
Belize’s very own, Cricel Castillo, won an international body building and fitness competition in the United States of America. Castillo won the category of Diva Fitness Model Short and was awarded her pro-card. Castillo competed in the World Beauty, Fitness and Fashion Incorporated. The WBFF strives for international recognition as an industry leader by providing

Castro Faces Allegations In Court Case
The case brought against whistle blower Alvarine Burgess by Minister of State Edmund Castro continued today in the court room of Justice Courtney Abel. As you may recall, Burgess is accusing Castro of taking bribes and facilitating visas for Chinese nationals. Burgess made the allegations on Channel Five. Soon after, Castro issued a statement refuting

Bautista Speaks About Challenges For Libertad Villagers
While the Village of Sarteneja now has portable water, villagers of Libertad and Concepcion have been experiencing challenges in their water system for a month. According to the Chairman of Libertad Village, Oder Bautista, the water that has to be shared between both large communities is not enough. He says that the tank gets empty

Audreyanne Thomas Speaks About Recycling Workshop Held In Belize
Representatives from Guyana Total Recyclers Co-operative Society were in Belize on November 12 and met with more than 25 recyclers at the Belize City Transfer Station to hold a workshop. The workshop was facilitated by the Solid Waste Management Authority and funded by the International Development Back. Audreyanne Thomas of the Guyana Total Recyclers Co-operative

Mother Seeking Answers From Department Of Human Services
The Department of Human Services in Belize is there to provide a temporary, safe and caring environment for children who seek refuge during difficult stages in their lives. The ultimate goal is to look out for the best interest of the child. One mother is seeking answers however after she claimed her child was taken

PUP Area Representative Steps Down; Michel Chebat Steps Up For Cayo North
The PUP area representative for Cayo North, Joseph Mahmud, is stepping down and attorney Michel Chebat, has been on the ground meeting with voters in the hope of becoming the PUP candidate for Cayo North. We caught up with Chebat this morning and he told us he has what it takes to be the Area

Matura Defends Woman That Was Detained And Denied Of Her Constitutional Rights
A 41 year old woman who was detained on Friday says that her constitutional rights were infringed. She along with her two sons was detained on firearms offenses after a gun was found in her open yard. She was taken to the Queen Street Police Station and the woman is saying that her rights were

Mother And Sons Charged With Kept Firearm and Ammunition
A mother and two of her sons were charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. They are 41 year old Indira Skeete and her sons, 23 year old Linsford Lord and 20 year old Hansel Ciego. They plead not guilty to

Rhys Charged With Profess To Be Member Of Criminal Gang
Twenty-three year old Nicholi Rhys, a resident of George Street, was charged with profess to be a member of a criminal gang when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Rhys plead not guilty to the charge. He was remanded into custody until January 22. The police reported that on Friday, November [...]

Karl Lino Charged With Attempted Murder
Twenty-one year old Karl Lino, who was shot in his left foot by the police, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Lino was also charged with dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. He was remanded into custody until January 15.

Man Charged With Kept Firearm And Ammunition
Thirty-five year old Bryon Vialdorez, an unemployed civilian of Maskall Street, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Vialdorez plead not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until January 16, 2015. The incident occurred around 7:50 p.m. on Saturday, November 15.

Letter From Musa And Balderamos Regarding Allegations On Deputy Prime Minister
A letter dated Friday, November 14, was sent to Attorney Rodwell Williams, who is representing the Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega regarding the allegations fired off during what was believed, would have been a Memorial Mass for the late Ramon Cervantes Sr. in Orange Walk Town.


Motorcyle Accident on George Price Highway
Reports reaching our desk are that there was another traffic accident on the George Price Highway. According to reports, sometime before 8 on Friday night, a blue motorcycle was travelling in the direction of Roaring Creek to an unknown destination, where upon reaching in front of the Community Cent...

Fatal Traffic Accident in Guinea Grass
On Saturday there was another fatal traffic accident; this time in Guinea Grass Orange Walk District. According to police reports, at around 6:30p.m...

NTUCB says, How dare ASR!?
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a press release tilted “How dare ASR?” The release says that the National Trade Union Congress of Belize has been observing with keen interest, the various stages of undertakings of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA), as it negot...

28 year old cop seduces 15 year old runaway
On Friday we told you about the 15 year old child from the Cayo District, who was reported missing by her father, and then found in the company of an interdicted police officer in Dangriga. According to Police, the minor, accompanied by a Social Worker reported that while she was with the police off...

Cayo Police searching for alleged pedophile
A female minor of Benque Viejo, accompanied by her mother and a social worker, reported that on the 26th of October, 2014, at around 1:00pm, she left home and met a man  whom she has known for a year...

15 year old raped by two men
On Sunday November 16, a 15 year old female minor of Santa Cruz area accompanied by her mother visited the San Ignacio Police Station, and reported that she and her sister were walking on George Price Avenue, Santa Elena Town about 2.00a.m., when a red 4 door car pulled up beside them...

Human remains found in Orange Walk District
On Friday, 14th November, 2014 about 7:20am, based on information received from Orange Walk Police of the remains of bones to be from a human being; Police visited an area about 2miles from Maskall Village, going to Santa Martha Village on the Old Northern Highway, where checks were made in some bus...

Edmond Castro / Alvarine Burgess case continues in court
Minister of State Edmond Castro has taken Alvarene Burgess, the whistleblower who accused him of involvement in corrupt transactions over visa recommendations, and Great Belize Television (Channel 5), who aired those allegations, to Supreme Court for suit of defamation of character. The case retu...

Accused North Front Street shooter charged
21 year old Karl Lino has been formally charged with last Wednesday’s shooting of 28 year old Andrew Tate at Eden Site and North Front Street, Belize City. He is accused of attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and keeping firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Karl Li...

Former murder suspect jailed for gang membership
Professed member of the George Street Gang and former murder suspect 23 year old Nicholi Rhys, a resident of George Street, Belize City, was remanded to prison on Monday until November 22. Rhys is alleged to have admitted membership in a criminal gang, specifically in George Street, to officers at a...

The Reporter

Road traffic accident victims remembered
People who have lost loved ones to road traffic accidents held activities on Sunday to observe World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims. The day is a United Nations adopted event celebrated every third Sunday in November, landing this year on November 16, under the theme “Speed kills. Design out speeding.” In Belize the Ministry of Transport and Departments of Transport countrywide and the newly formed Belize Road Traffic Safety & Injury Association raised awareness by liaising with media houses around the country. The association, founded by traffic accident survivor, Isabel Bennett, is dedicated to helping road traffic accident survivors deal with recovery as well as being a support for those who have lost their loved ones to RTAs.

Trio get 20 plus years for killing and using women’s flesh for food
A judge in north-eastern Brazil has sentenced three people to 20-23 years in jail after they were convicted of killing a woman and eating her. Jorge Beltrao Negromonte da Silveira received 23 years while his wife, Isabel Cristina Pires, and his mistress, Bruna Cristina Oliveira da Silva, were sentenced to 20 years. The trio allegedly sold pastries made from the woman’s flesh to neighbours. They also confessed to killing two more women and will be sentenced later. The defendants’ lawyers said they would appeal against Friday’s sentences.

Patrick JonesPJ

Edmond Castro versus Alvarine Burgess continues in court
Minister of State Edmond Castro has taken Alvarene Burgess, the whistleblower who accused him of involvement in corrupt transactions over visa recommendations, and Great Belize Television (Channel 5), who aired those allegations, to Supreme Court for suit of defamation of character. The case returned to court today for […]

Michel Chebat wants to be PUP Cayo North standard bearer
A son of San Ignacio, Michel Chebat, is planning to run for the People’s United Party (PUP) in the Cayo North division. A convention is due to be held shortly to choose a candidate who will replace incumbent area representative Joseph Mahmud who has announced that he will […]

FECTAB satisfied with amnesty plan; welcomes dialogue
The National Institute for Culture and History (NICH) has agreed with the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) on a short amnesty period for proper consultation on the implementation of the Health and Safety Manual for Access to Archaeological Sites. Implementation is now slated to go […]

Firearm charges in separate incidents
Three persons were charged separately with keeping firearm and ammunition without a gun license when they appeared in court today. The first was 35 year old Byron Vialdorez of Maskall Street. Police recovered a .22 pistol with five rounds of ammunition in the magazine which they say they […]

Accused North Front Street shooter charged
21 year old Karl Lino of Gabourel Lane has been formally charged with last Wednesday’s shooting of 28 year old Andrew Tate at Eden Site and North Front Street. He is accused of attempted murder, dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and keeping firearm and ammunition […]

Former murder suspect jailed for gang membership
Professed member of the George Street Gang and former murder suspect 23 year old Nicholi Rhys, a resident of George Street, was remanded to prison today until November 22. Rhys is alleged to have admitted membership in a criminal gang, specifically in George Street, to officers at a […]

House gutted by fire in Corozal
A house was destroyed by fire this morning in Corozal, leaving a family of seven homeless. The house on College Road, which belonged to the Gibson family caught on fire around 11 am today. Fire-fighters responded to the call for help and within 15 minutes had brought the […]

Cold Front approaches Belize
Moist and unstable conditions are starting to set is as a Cold Front approaches the country. This Cold Front is expected to cross the country on Tuesday, so changes in the weather are on the way. The general forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for […]

The Fire Hearth: still a part of the Maya culture
For generations in the Mayan homes, the Fire Hearth has played a prominent role in the preparation of delicious meals for the dinner table. Here in Toledo, it is no different; but as for Ms.Cristina nothing beats the Fire Hearth for cooking. For this proud Maya woman, the […]


You MUST Overnight at the Belize Zoo – But Only If You Like Giving Jaguars Treats
I absolutely love the Belize Zoo – the staff, the carefully hand-painted signs that are a mixture of funny, informative and stop-and-think beautiful… and of course the animals. In small but lush enclosures filled with local flora and AMAZING local animals. Where else can you see a pile of slumbering jaguars? or ocelot kitten, Rhaburn, playing with his toys? We spent half of the morning and some of the afternoon at the harpy eagle’s birthday party, we ate lunch (affordable and filling at the zoo’s cafeteria) and it was time to see our zoo housing for the night. We had the Belize Zoo Night Tour in our future and we were staying across the street at the TEC – The Tropical Education Center. No offense Belize Zoo, my love, but that name does nothing to describe how beautiful this place is…and this area. I promise you…and your kids will LOVE it.

Belize Garifuna Settlement Day Celebration 2014!
Garifuna Settlement Day, a national holiday celebrated on the 19th of November each year, is one of the most important days in Belize, and rightfully so. Commemorating the arrival of the Garifuna, or Garinagu, people on the shores of Belize on that date in 1802, Garifuna Settlement Day reminds us of the struggles, successes, and invaluable contributions of this resilient people and their vibrant culture. To say that Belize wouldn’t be the same without the Garifuna is an understatement of epic proportions. In education, government, the arts and many other areas, the Garifuna have had a profound impact on the shaping of modern day Belize. And this year, with the recent passing away of master Garifuna singer/songwriter and national icon Paul Nabor, the celebrations will take on an added poignancy.

“So Long It’s Been Good to Know Yuh” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Saturday had started much the same as every day starts for me. I woke up, made a mug of coffee and … well regular readers know what follows. After enjoying my ‘me time’ I set off for ‘Town to pick up Nick. Nick, you might recall from previous editions, is a member of the BATSUB team and his tour of duty in Belize finishes in just over a week and he was here on Ambergris Caye for his farewell party. And the party was going to be held at our house. With the purchases made it was time to get in front of a TV to watch England play Slovenia in a European Championship but it was perilously close to 11.00 hours (kick-off time) and we were ‘forced’ to pull in to Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill. Bad luck or immaculate planning? I’ll leave you to judge. Four or five beers later (I wasn’t really counting) and a three to one win for England under the belt it was time to get the purchases chilling

How to Celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize
The place to be is definitely Hopkins and Dangriga Town. Hopkins is a Garifuna Village where you will be encompassed by the rhythmic beats of the Garifuna drums blaring as native Garinagu gather round to partake in the punta or “Jankunu”. You can even learn to drum too at the Lebeha Drumming Center. Dangriga Town hosts a huge 18th Night concert at Y-Not Island featuring a host of Punta artists, and this year an international Dancehall artist will be partaking in the event. Following the concert, the crowd then gathers at the beachfront awaiting the arrival of the Garifuna coming toward the shores as they re-enact the Yurumei. Yurumei is the name given to the arrival of the first Garifuna to the shores of Belize which originally took place on November 19, 1802. The party doesn’t stop after the Yurumei, as a festive parade through the streets begin which is filled with drumming, dancing and singing.

Celebrating El Pescador’s 40th Birthday
Since late last week, I’ve been at El Pescador in Belize to help owner Ali Gentry and her staff celebrate the lodge’s 40th anniversary, which is a pretty big deal. We got in three great days of fishing, although not always catching, and enjoyed a little tropical paradise while The Big Chill set in back home.

Belize, Day 1: Oh, the Things You Learn on the Flats!
If you hang out with a renowned marine biologist for a whole day on the water, you can learn a lot of stuff. Today, I learned that permit are jerks. They will hang out in schools, just out of comfortable casting range, and then refuse everything you throw at them—even when you’ve done everything right. I watched Dr. Aaron Adams make some beautiful casts to pods of very happy permit, which proceeded to flip him the fin and move on. They didn’t even seem to care that he is the head scientist for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust! We are down in Belize at El Pescador Resort, on Ambergris Caye, to help owner Ali Gentry, her family, and her crew celebrate the lodge’s 40th anniversary. It’s a pretty remarkable achievement to last so long, through changing angling tastes, economic downturns, and a terrorist attack that virtually shut down international travel for a time. I caught my first bonefish here some fifteen years ago, and in the intervening years, El Pescador has become an even more impressive operation.

Belize, Day 2: A Slammin’ Day on the Flats
On our second day of fishing at El Pescador, I got paired with the great Kirk Deeter—editor of Trout and Angling Trade Magazines, as well as one of the minds behind Field & Stream’s Fly Talk blog (along with Tim Romano). Kirk and I have known each other for years, but we’d never fished together. Our guide for the day was young Alex Gomez, another third generation fly-fishing guide, and he’d brought along his apprentice, 15-year-old Alan. Kirk and I had both taken a beating on permit the previous day, so we told Alex we’d like to catch a few bones and then just play it by ear. We were both interested in a low-pressure day of gorgeous water and good company. And things started out that way: we both caught a decent bonefish within a half hour, once we figured out that the fish were looking for something smaller than what we’d started with.

Belize, Day 3: The Needlefish and the Damage Done
For our final day of fishing out of El Pescador Resort, I was back in guide Alex’s boat, but this time partnered with Steve Seinberg of Southern Culture on the Fly. (He’s also an accomplished artist.) Since Alex had put Kirk Deeter on a Grand Slam our last time out, I had pretty high hopes. The weather looked a little sketchy, though, so we made sure to pack raingear. Alex motored us all the way across the bay on the backside of Ambergris Caye to the mainland, as a way to get out of the weather skirting the barrier reef. We poled around there for an hour or so and got a single shot at some bonefish and a couple at big snook, but none of them showed much interest in our flies. Steve did manage to hook a trophy needlefish, which got its teeth tangled in the craft fur of his streamer. (Just like gar fishing!) As we fished, we watched the skies darken until they looked downright apocalyptic. That’s when Alex decided that we should head back toward Mosquito Caye.

International Sourcesizz

Why a looming world chocolate shortage might be a good thing
On the heels of reports that the Ebola epidemic might threaten the world's supply of chocolate, the world's largest chocolate manufacturer has now put out the warning that it can't keep up with the soaring demand for its confectionary. The Switzerland-based Barry Callebaut Group affirmed what others in the industry have been worried about: a 1 million-ton cocoa shortage by the year 2020. The company revealed demand has already doubled chocolate prices in the last eight years. And yet, sales continue to rise, with the company reporting a year-on-year sales increase of more than 11.8 percent. Rising concern about the shortfall has helped drive cocoa prices up 25 percent this year, according to The Independent. The Swiss mega chocolate producer's report matches what Mars Inc claimed in 2012: that increasing economic and environmental pressures on cocoa farms were not sustainable.

CARICOM to study sustainable development during Energy Week
The Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, on Monday begins celebrating "Energy Week," an annual event in which the 15 member states will study measures to strengthen the regional economy through sustainable development. The planned events, which end on Nov. 22, are expected to "increase awareness" of climate and economic resilience in the region, CARICOM said in a statement posted on its Web site. Energy Week is aimed at increasing awareness, creating a platform for useful dialogue and influencing actions at all levels toward the desired transformation in relation to the community's energy future," CARICOM said. The prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, will officially launch the week-long series of events on Monday.

Past and Present U.S. Ambassadors' Statement on LGBT Policy in Belize
On November 16th, the U.S. Embassy observed the 19th International Day for Tolerance. This day reminds us of the security and human rights implications of intolerance (which often takes the form of stigma and discrimination); this day also provides an opportunity for us to highlight the importance of tolerance and acceptance of those groups living on the margins of many societies. We, the past and present Ambassadors of the United States to Belize, write to you as friends and citizens of a nation that believes upholding universal human rights is one of the defining challenges of our age. We are proud of our ongoing partnership with Belize and affirm that our countries have achieved more together than either could have on its own.

Best Dive Locations in Belize
Belize has many amazing dive locations. Take a diving tour to explore the soaring diversity of diving sites, from ship wrecks to whale sharks.

Bringing to Light Mysterious Maya Cave Rituals
Why did the ancient Maya take their sacrificial rites underground? Inside Actun Tunichil Muknal, a giant limestone cave in the jungle of western Belize, it has been raining for thousands of years. Water falls lightly from the tips of stalactites into the river flowing through the cave. Beneath this light shower, I wade up the river with University of California, Merced, archaeologist Holley Moyes. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall, and the water reaches up to her chin, leaving a ripple in her wake as she moves deeper into the chamber. In the vast and echoing hall, ou...


Video: Belize birding Mayflower Bocawina NP, 14min.
Stayed at Mama Noots ecolodge in the park for three days. Very convenient for early birding .

Video: Scuba Diving Highlights from Tom Owen's Caye, Belize, 1.5min.
Tom Owen's Caye, Belize. With ReefCI. November 2014. GoPro Hero 4 Silver with dive housing and orange filter.

Video: Belize birding new river and Lamanai, 11min.
Boat trip and birding on the New river and visit to Lamanai.

Video: Reef Shark in Belize, 1min.
Encountering a reef shark while scuba diving in Belize, Chain Wall site at Lighthouse Reef circa 45 feet; November 13, 2014. GoPro3 HD with red filter.

Video: Diving in Belize, 5min.

Video: Stingray near South Water Caye, Belize, 1min.

Video: Top Reasons to Visit or Move to Ambergris Caye, 2min.
Ambergris Caye, a beautiful island in Belize, offers incredible scenery, gorgeous beaches and warm climate. There are so many reasons to visit or even live in this Belizean island. There is no denying that Ambergris Caye, a beautiful island located just north of the Belize mainland, is a stunning destination. With incredible scenery, gorgeous beaches and a warm climate, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind. For many people, one or two weeks in paradise is not enough. If you are interested in visiting or even moving to Ambergris Caye, here are seven reasons to do so and make one of the best decisions of your life.

Video: Cave Diving in Belize, 2min.
Belize is a little known cave diving gem holding some of the most immaculate and under explored submerged structures in the Western Hemisphere. Scuba divers visiting Belize experience the thrill of floating through the massive rooms of Giant Cave and cutting through the shimmering sand coated stalactites of Winter Wonderland.

Video: Belikin - HAPPY GARIFUNA SETTLEMENT DAY 60sec, 1min.
Buidula Hafeduhani Haweyuri Garinagu! Belikin wishes all of Belize a Happy Garifuna Settlement Day!

Video: Belize birding Crystal paradise lodge, 9min.
Great place for easy birding and to visit archeological sites such as Caracol.

Video: Guatemala Belize, 18min.
Road Trip Guatemala Belize 2014

November 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

Letter to the Editor
This PLEA is to Mayor Danny and the Town Council and is from ALL San Pedranos who use the Dr Rodriguez Poly Clinic – This clinic is the ONLY community service facility here on the island and used by OVER 100 patients A DAY. The street to get to the clinic is and has been for a disaster for quite a while. The excuses for not fixing it was stated it will be done when the road to the RESORTS up north are done OR when Tropic gets done with their building. This road needs to be graded and filled with stone NOW. What IF one of our family members had to be evacuated because of a medical emergency to the clinic and the vehicle taking them to the clinic had to get their ASAP, but had to keep the patient stable and be very gentile getting there, how could this be done on that road? PLEASE Mayor have some respect for this facility and get this road taken care of ASAP with grading and stone – you never know when you may need to go down that road in an emergency!

Wolfe’s Woofer: Priceless Antique
“Hey, Charlie,” I said. “I have to go to Belize City this week. You want to come along for the ride?” “Sure. Let’s go.” It only took me an hour to take care of business at my lawyers and return to the taxi. I said, “Charlie, we have plenty of time. Is there anything you want to do while we’re here?” “I’ve heard a lot about the Tourist Market,” he said. “I think I’d like to go there.” “Is that the one for the cruise ship tourists?” I asked Steve, our taxi driver.

Police Report
*54-year-old Honduran national Eduardo Aguilar reported to the San Pedro Police that between the hours of 1AM and 6AM on Thursday, November 6th a red and black Briggs 8 Stratton .55 generator valued at $6000BZ was stolen from a building located on Angel Coral Street. He stated that the building was recently bought by his family and when they purchased the building they also bought the generator that was in the building. They were currently working on it doing repairs and a wall off the building was brought down. It is suspected that the culprit/s who took the generator went in and came out with it through the missing wall. Police have detained three men pending investigations.

Doctor Love
Dear Doctor Love, My sister lives near me and comes over to visit four or five times a week. Like me, she has a six year-old boy. My son seems to me to be a very typical, well-disciplined child while hers is starting to look like a future monster. I have other friends who have children of about the same age. My son gets along with them and they play well together with an occasional squabble over a toy or something that is easily straightened out. With my sister’s son it is a different story. From the time they arrive until they leave it is a constant struggle to keep peace between our children. The struggle is all on my part because my sister and her husband laugh at them and say they are just kids. Her boy is bigger than mine. He is very aggressive and will fight over anything like a toy my son is playing with. He also steals toys every chance he gets. I have gone over to my sister’s house and there is one of my son’s missing toys. My sister says boys will be boys.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Youths, Cadets and the officers they respect and love
Cadets from Burrell Boom and Ladyville Villages in the Belize District convene at the entrance to Vista Del Mar at mile 8 on the Northern/Philip Goldson Highway. The officers and the youths in their command, request donations to keep their program and the torch alive.


Human Remains Found In Maskall
Around 1:30pm today, police in Ladyville received information of human skeleton remains found on the side of a road, half mile near the popular Maruba Resort on the Old Northern Highway. So far, the post mortem has been classified as inconclusive but according to authorities they are seeking the help from families who have reported a loved one missing. We spoke to Public Relations Officer at the Belize City Police Department who told us more. “The remains were found 100 feet off the road where garbage is thrown and the body seems to be partially burnt, Dr. Estrabadan has done a post mortem on the human bones but results are inconclusive, the results have indicated that the bones have been there a little over just about a year. What have happened so far is that the police based on the investigation have called the families of those recent persons who have been reported missing to come an identify the bones more or less the findings that have been there with the human bones and so far the recent missing persons have not been the persons identify with these remains that were there." Maria Novelo – Reporter “The pathologist; was he able to determine if there was any foul play or indication of foul play?”

Customs Officer Involved In Traffic Mishap
A custom officer attached to the Northern Border is lucky to be alive tonight after a vehicular mishap on the Philip Goldson Highway. Reports are still sketchy but CTV3 News was made to understand that sometime after 4:00pm today Glenore Barrow was travelling from the direction of the Santa Elena Border to Corozal Town in this white car when he ran into one of BEL’s high tension posts breaking it into three portions. Reporter Victor Castillo spoke with an eye witness who at the time of the accident was just a couple feet away. Eye Witness “I was coming like four log post at the back and when I reached the tree there was a grey vehicle coming and the white vehicle was travelling in the same direction going to Corozal. The gray vehicle actually slowdown in front of the car and when the driver of the white car tried to swerve away on the next hand side the grey vehicle swerve too an made the white vehicle hit the post and the driver did not even stop to render aid he just kept driving towards Corozal. In the white car there was someone who was actually badly injured and we took out the man stopped a vehicle and asked the driver to take the man to the hospital. For me the driver of the white car has no fault it is the driver of the gray car who as in front of him I don’t know who he is because we were unable to see the license plate. The driver of the white vehicle driving slow.

BSI/ASR Says There Will Be No Interim Agreement To Commence Crop
The tug of war continues between BSI and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association as both parties have yet to reach a mutual agreement over several issues that were being negotiated, the principal ones being cane ownership and payment for bagasse. In a new contract BSI is proposing directly to cane farmers and or group of farmers includes these points but under the company’s own terms. The Association argues that these terms will be detrimental to the farmers in the long and even short term. BSI has said that they are taking this step because they cannot afford another impasse on the next crop, stressing that this is a crucial time to prepare for the upcoming challenges for the industry, while the association has said that there was never an intention to do so by farmers. In response to the company’s move, BSCFA is asking BSI to sign another interim agreement. BSI has issued a release stating that they have received that letter but reiterate that another interim agreement will quote, “prolong the current climate of uncertainty and have long-term costly consequences for all (including cane farmers)”. ASR Public Relations Representative Mac McLachlan elaborates in an over the phone interview as he is currently out of the country. “We did that last year and fi you recall it got us nowhere as there is still a fundamental impasse on the issue of bagasse payment and I don’t think that pushing this issue back for another year is good for the industry.

Officials Seek To Eliminate Loop Holes In The Cattle Industry
Yesterday we told you about the 3rd phase of the Cattle Sweep Project in Belize and its major strides to enhance the industry. While that is benefitting close to 3,000 cattle farmers around the country and boosting the country’s economic activity, there are still loop holes in the industry that officials are looking into eliminating. One such challenge is the illegal transporting of animals through porous boundaries in the North and Western points. Veterinary Coordinator of the Cattle Sweep Project, Homero Novelo, says while a CORRAL has been set at the Northern Border, smugglers are “going through the back” in an effort to elude taxes and levies. But this practice says Novelo, will soon end. Homero Novelo – Veterinary Coordinator, BNSCPP “What happens is that it is an informal trade that we have there but then they are getting away with this, what happens that Mexico have a tax entering the correct way to their country, by going through the back they are eluding this tax, so it is lucrative for them however, this eventually have to stop and animals will have to go through the right way northern border coral. All trucks have to pass through the Association even through the check points we have; which is the one we have at Sand Hill, the one that we have at Bullet Tree, and we are hoping to put one in Pueblo Viejo in Punta Gorda, now these check points also verify that every load of animal have a movement control permit now this way the Association is trying to find out how many animals are moving, where they are moving for traceability purpose and also to get the data that are getting exported.”

Rotary Holds First Annual Health And Fitness Fair In Corozal
Today’s Health Fair though, was not only based on the prevention of diabetes. It surrounded basically everything that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle including massages, manicures, martial arts and even heavy weight lifting. The fair, as previously mentioned was organized by the Corozal Rotary Club and as Corozalenos learnt more about the booths we spoke to Bill Hund, President of the Corozal Rotary Club who told us more about the health fair. Bill Hund – President of Rotary Club “This is our first annual Rotary Health and Fitness fair it was conceive by one of our members, and we have asked the members of the whole community to come out and support our effort, we have some fitness activities over here; Karate and weight lifting, we have a number of health organizations here, we have a local laboratory couple blood test, we have a bakery here selling whole wheat baking products.” Victor Castillo – Reporter “Mr. Bill, what is the main objective of this, why is it that you guys decided to carry out this event?” Bill Hund – President of Rotary Club “The main objective of this event is health awareness, so many people in Belize know that they are not healthy but they don’t know why and they even sometime afraid to seek any kind of assistance so we trying to get the word out to them that health is there an available to them but they need to initiate that, the need to come and ask.”

Government Condemns Delay Of Progresso to San Estevan Road
Yesterday the European Union and the Government officially opened three newly rehabilitated roads in the Corozal District and broke ground for a fourth in Orange Walk under the Rural Road Rehabilitation Project funded by the E.U. But while the roads in Corozal are now open to the public and work will soon commence on the 21.4km road from August Pine Ridge to Blue Creek, work is yet to commence on the San Estevan Progresso Road. In a press conference held at the end of July, Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated that the Ministry of Works and Ministry of Economic Development personnel met with the contractors that week to address the matter. The PM said that while he was not personally at the meeting, he was told that the purpose of the meeting was to cancel the sub contract with the contractors, who were listed as the Bella Vista Development Co Ltd and Lopez Equipment Co Ltd due to continuous delays even after monies had been allocated. Here is what he told the media at that conference.

BSI Extends Consultation Period For Contract With Cane Farmers
BSI made the unprecedented presentation of their final position surrounding the negotiations with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association by going directly to cane farmers with a new contract. That was on Monday and following their announcement, the company officials have met with farmers from Orange Walk and Corozal. One of the biggest concerns however has been whether the contract is final and if the company will consider and address questions surrounding the contract. In a release issued by the company, it announces that they will extend the consultation period to November 18th to allow for this. ASR Public Relations Representative Mac McLachlan explains. “Clearly cane farmers need time to have a look at that agreement and to comment we responded to that request by saying that we will be prepared to have a consultation period on that agreement. Now, clearly there are a number of things in that agreement which for us is very important and for the future of the industry and we are prepared to be flexible where we can and prepared to listen to cane farmers but there will be issues on which we are very clear that will need to be concluded in order to move the industry forward. However, we have given the consultation until the 18th of November to receive cane farmers views and we have made very clear in the media how cane farmers can express those views and send us all their comments and then we will issue a new agreement and then again we will seek cane farmers agreement to that new agreement and this should take us up until the 28th of November to access whether or not we have enough farmers interested and enough cane to begin the crop.”

Recently Paved Belize/Corozal Road Already Experiencing Damages
On June 11th 2014 a ground breaking ceremony took place in Orange Walk for the refurbishing of 4.5 miles of the Philip Goldson Highway which passes right through the centre of Orange Walk. It was a major political event where it was revealed that the contractor hired to carry out the works was no other than Imer Hernandez. And so the work commenced and to date a grand portion of the Belize-Corozal Road has seen major rehabilitation works. The thing is though, that two weeks after the hot mix was laid down and the road was open to vehicular traffic, signs of road damage are already being seen. Yesterday when the media interviewed Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega he was questioned about the issue and here is his response. “I don’t really know the situation to be sincere I am not an engineer, all we know is that we are going to check our work or what is being delivered at the end of the contract.”


Excelsior Highschool Awarness Against Domestic Violence
The month of November has been set aside to bring awareness to domestic violence and the damage it causes to families. One school that has been conducting activities to highlight this social ill is Excelsior High School during its teen violence Campaign. Love News stopped by and spoke to the School Counselor and Life Skills Teacher, Greta Jenkins, who told us more about their campaign. GRETA JENKINS “November is Domestic Violence Awareness month and so it was a part of our life skills lessons and so we are doing a campaign for teen violence because a lot of young people are in abusive relationships so we just wanted to raise awareness on this issue in the school.” LEIGH-ANDRA GENTLE “What are the steps that you guys are taking in raising awareness in teen violence?” 8GRETA JENKINS “What we had the students do is have organizations come into the schools and explain to them what domestic violence is. We also had them do activities like designing a t-shirt, they did posters and banners and also it is being taught in their life skills classes.”

Human Remains Found Along Maskall Road
Earlier we reported to you that the remains of a human being was found yesterday evening and reported to the authorities at Ladyville Police Station. According to reports reaching Love News, the discovery occurred through the Maskall Road about six miles coming in from Santa Martha Village. Investigators along with Dr. Mario Estradabran went to the scene this morning to assess the remains but an outcome is still pending. Reliable sources indicate that the remains appear charred as though the body was burnt and evidence at the scene suggests that the victim’s hands were tied and while we have gotten these accounts, when we contacted a member of the Belize Polcie Department, we were told that bones were indeed found but it is yet to be ascertained as that of a human being. Love News has made several attempts to get in touch with the Officer in Charge of Ladyville Police Station, Inspector Frederick Gordon but to no avail.

Coye Speaks About What He Plans To Change As CEO
While Carlos Pererra was let go as the KHMH’s Financial Director, Dr. Gary Longsworth’s contract as the Chief Executive Officer, was not renewed. In fact his post has been taken up by Dr. Adrian Coye. Longsworth tenure as CEO concluded at the end of September after a little more than six years. With the recent deaths of the new born babies and the looming KHMH Audit Report, Dr. Coye spoke about what he hopes to change as the new CEO: DR. ADRIAN COYE “I applied for the position with the belief that I can help chart the hospital in a direction of safety and to prepare it for the future for Belizeans. We really need to have and deserve as Belizeans an excellent health care facility and Karl Heusner has a very import role as a national institution. So I would like that it is an era of great professionalism that we get the value for money and accountability for everything that we do because in the end the majority of our funding is public purse related so we want to really go head on into the future with a very strong team and also to make the best for our people.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Would you say that the KHMH has surpassed the shadow of doubt that was laid upon it when the 12 babies died?” DR. ADRIAN COYE “I don’t know why you would call it a shadow of doubt. We had a very unfortunate and very sad experience. Lessons were learnt from that. Changes were made and we have come out of it in a very strong way. A lot of the things that we have been doing in the last year or so that you see the reformatted ICU that has been done, the adult ICU and different areas within the hospital, different ways in which have been working is a reflection then of our very serious approach to making sure that an event like that never happens again but that is just one aspect of healthcare and as I say, my role is to help with the right team to overcome all the other areas that we have gaps in and that is a big challenge.

Coye Spoke About Audit Into The Hospital Financial Status
The Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital was the subject of a very controversial financial debacle earlier in the year. It was so controversial that the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow, ordered that an audit be conducted into the hospital’s financial status. The man at the middle of the scandal was Carlos Perrera, who was let go as the KHMH’s Financial Director. Love News has been informed that the audit has been completed and it is now in the hands of the board members. We asked the KHMH’s new CEO, Dr. Adrian Coye, about it today. DR. ADRIAN COYE “All I can say is that the auditor general’s report which was commissioned by the Prime Minister has been done and that it will be received by the board and from there we can make comments related to that but that is something in the hands of the board.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Have you read it?” DR. ADRIAN COYE “I can’t say either because it’s in the hands of the board and it’s for their purpose for that discussion.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “When was it completed and when was it handed over to the KHMH.”

Belize City Celebrates Diabetes Day
Today Belize joined the international community in celebrating Diabetes Day under the theme, “Healthy Choices for Healthy Living” in an effort to increase awareness about diabetes. It was celebrated in over one hundred and sixty countries and Belize did so at Battle Field Park in Belize City. We stopped back and we spoke to the CEO of the Karl Heusnor Memorial Hospital Dr. Adrian Coye and the President of the Belize Diabetes Association, Anthony Martinez… HIPOLITO NOVELO “Are there any statistics as to how many people die from diabetes every year in Belize?” DR. ADRIAN COYE5 “We have some figures but they are not very pure. We know that it contributes very highly to heart disease and heart disease is one of the biggest killers in Belize so worldwide in 2012 1.5million people would have died from diabetes but the message isn’t necessarily about how many people die it’s the people who live with it and have complications related to it and that’s many times more. So we estimate 50,000 people who live in Belize live with diabetes and that is a significant part of the population.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “So what would be the overall message for today?” DR. ADRIAN COYE “Today has a theme ‘Healthy Lifestyle and diabetes’ So the healthy lifestyle is really part of the choices that we make in terms of what we eat especially what we eat, our levels of activity we have to be exercising every day or every other day at least 30 minutes. A bit of a run so your heart rate goes up but that is really the true message because you want to prevent and we think 7 out of 10 patients who develop diabetes could have been prevented in terms of the type of diabetes they have.”

Boissonault Speaks On Different Benefits In Literacy Programs
In the early part of this year, we told you about of a playground that was built at the Saint Martin de Porres School in Belize City as part of a project being done by Literacy without Borders. Back then, we had spoken to the Founder and Director of Literacy without Borders, Randy Boissonault, who had assured us that there are much more projects coming on stream that will benefit the Belizean children. Well, Boissonault is back in Belize and he comes bearing good news on the expansion of several programs that seek to promote literacy in various schools. RANDY BOISSONAULT “It’s collaboration between the Rotary Club of Belize and the Rotary Club of Edmonton. It’s a three year program that will start in 2015 and its focused entirely on Southside Belize City so its community to community and what we will be doing is working on literacy development projects as well as playgrounds that will be located at various schools in the area so we will be doing classroom libraries, we’ll be upgrading school libraries and we will also have computer assisted literacy programs, new sites as well as rhymes that bind so lots of activity taking place over the next three years.

Harpy Eagle Celebrates Eleventh Birthday
Today the Belize Zoo is celebrating Panama’s birthday. Panama is a harpy eagle and he celebrated his eleventh “hatch-day” today. We stopped by the zoo and Founding Director of the Zoo, Sharon Matola, spoke to Love News. SHARON MATOLA “Today is a very exciting and important day at the Belize zoo its Panama the Harpy Eagle’s 11th birthday and its important, it is going to add to the knowledge of people who realize that Harpy eagles are great parts of Belizean natural heritage but I think having an event like this accents the profound importance of this magnificent raptor.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Tell us about Panama, how is it that he became part of the Belize zoo family.” SHARON MATOLA “Panama was part of a captive breeding program and unfortunately when he hatched his eye was damage so we could not release him into the wild as we did the 15 other eagles. As a result he became and education Harpy and became and ambassador for his specie and he does a glowingly wonderful job. He likes people because he’s been hand raised. I can still get in there and hand feed him and so he is a charmer and that is part of the zoo philosophy, we create bonds between our animals and our visitors so that they appreciate the wonders of the wild life of Belize.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Now I see students here, tell us the different facts that can be shared about Panama to the students.” SHARON MATOLA “Well the students are absolutely vital to our education programs because they take away with them an important lesson. Some of these kids haven’t met Panama so they are going to walk away from the zoo today with an entirely different perspective of raptors and we’re not just talking Harpy Eagles but all raptors so the students are the carriers of the message and what we do is provide the link between these cool animals and their own personal knowledge.”

UNESCO Donates Check To Belize Cancer Society
`The Belize Cancer Society is an organization first established in 1996 by the late Juliet Soberanis, who passed away after battling with cancer. Today, the society continues the work of Soberanis by bringing awareness to the public on the various types of cancer, their prevention methods and treatments. But with everything else, financial resources are needed to continue the awareness campaign and because the importance of such has been duly noted, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) handed over a check for just under fifty thousand dollars Belize to the Cancer Society. Love News was there for the handing over where the Society’s president, Laura Tucker-Longsworth, explained the reasons behind the grant. We are excited to be receiving this cheque from UNESCO. Last year we began a project entitled ‘End Cervical Cancer Now’ which came out of the Caribbean region out of an organization of which we are a member. I serve as a director on that board and it’s called the Healthy Caribbean Coalition and through that organization we got some funding for a project to address cervical cancer in terms of training and getting to the community level, doing pap smears, creating pamphlets and so on country wide. That project was absolutely successful we got some excellent results by partnering with the Ministry of Health on this regard because it’s also a national priority for the Ministry of Health in terms of sexual reproductive health.

The Reporter

Trio get 20 plus years for killing and using women’s flesh for food
A judge in north-eastern Brazil has sentenced three people to 20-23 years in jail after they were convicted of killing a woman and eating her. Jorge Beltrao Negromonte da Silveira received 23 years while his wife, Isabel Cristina Pires, and his mistress, Bruna Cristina Oliveira da Silva, were sentenced to 20 years. The trio allegedly sold pastries made from the woman’s flesh to neighbours. They also confessed to killing two more women and will be sentenced later. The defendants’ lawyers said they would appeal against Friday’s sentences. The three, arrested in the city of Garanhuns in April 2012, were convicted of murder, desecration and concealment of a body. Local media named the victim as Jessica Camila da Silva, who was homeless and was no relation to Bruna Cristina Oliveira da Silva.

Road traffic accident victims remembered
People who have lost loved ones to road traffic accidents held activities on Sunday to observe World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims. The day is a United Nations adopted event celebrated every third Sunday in November, landing this year on November 16, under the theme “Speed kills. Design out speeding.” In Belize the Ministry of Transport and Departments of Transport countrywide and the newly formed Belize Road Traffic Safety & Injury Association raised awareness by liaising with media houses around the country. The association, founded by traffic accident survivor, Isabel Bennett, is dedicated to helping road traffic accident survivors deal with recovery as well as being a support for those who have lost their loved ones to RTAs. “If we pool together and share our experiences we can make the journey to healing for the loved ones left behind an easier one,” Bennett said. The association, though in its start-up stage, contacted several local media houses this week sharing the importance of the day and giving encouraging words. Bennett said this week that once the association is fully operational it will concentrate its efforts on collecting essential data.

Patrick JonesPJ

Battle of the Drums title goes to Dangriga
The Sport Auditorium in Punta Gorda town was pulsating with the sound of Garifuna drumming as the annual Battle of the Drums competition was staged on Saturday night. Eight groups went head to head in the competition and hundreds of excited spectators watched as the cultural extravaganza unfolded. The Sport Auditorium in Punta Gorda town was pulsating with the sound of Garifuna drumming as the annual Battle of the Drums competition was staged on Saturday night. Eight groups went head to head in the competition and hundreds of excited spectators watched as the cultural extravaganza unfolded. And when the last drumbeat echoed through the Sport Auditorium, Ecumenical High School group stood tall, claiming this year’s title of Battle of the Drums champion.

Doña Tana reunited with her family
San Ignacio town resident Sebastiana Rebolosio Maroquin, 79, has been reunited with her family. Doña Tana as she is affectionately known was reported missing this weekend by her family after she left home on Thursday enroute to the store and did not return home. The good news this morning is that Doña Tana has been found, following two days of frantic searches by her family, the police and friends of the family. According to a relative of Doña Tana, she was spotted coming out of some bushes in the Boiton Area of San Ignacio around 6:30 am today. The family was immediately notified and Doña Tana was reunited with her family, who first took her to the hospital for a medical checkup.


International Sourcesizz

Belize "Discover How To Be"
Belize, der auf der Halbinsel Yucatan gelegene zentralamerikanische Staat, hat in den vergangenen zwei Jahren eine bemerkenswerte Transformation erlebt. Nicht das Land selbst hat sich stark gewandelt, sondern dessen Erscheinungsbild. Dass Länder nicht groß sein müssen, um über einen überzeugenden Tourismus-Markenauftritt zu verfügen, beweist das vergleichsweise kleine Belize, das in etwa der Größe Mecklenburg-Vorpommerns entspricht. Noch Ende 2012 war die Außendarstellung des Küstenstaates unscheinbar und das Bewusstsein um einen einheitlichen Markenauftritt wenig ausgeprägt. 25 Jahre lang war Belize „Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret“, bis die dortige Tourismusbehörde (Belize Tourism Board, BTB) Anfang 2013 ihre neue Marketing-Strategie für das Land vorstellte. BTB beauftragte die Agentur Olson, das Erscheinungsbild des Tourismus-Markenauftritts zu überarbeiten. In den darauf folgenden Monaten schufen die Kreativen in Kooperation mit Studio MPLS, beide in Minneapolis (USA) ansässig, nicht nur einen neuen Markenauftritt samt Launch-Kampagne, sondern auch gleich den neuen Unternehmensauftritt der Behörde.


Video: Summer 2014 Yosemite & Belize!!!, 36min.

Video: arrived Belize cap 1, 7min.
Registrando as viajens com uma gopro, muitas aventuras

Video: Army Ants on the Move at Casa Winjama, Corozal Belize, Central America, 2min.
Ant war between army ants and a smaller, more numerous species of ant. Two-and-a-half days and the army ants won.

Video: Pozo temachs 2 en belize, 4min.

Video: Tarantula Hunting in Belize, 2min.
This is what happens after a successful night of Tarantula Hunting in Belize. We found Charlotte the Tarantula and I got a new toupee!!

Video: Belize birding Crooked Tree, 13min.
We stayed at Crooked Tree lodge for three nights. It is a marvelous place with very friendly hosts and excellent food. Birding is fantastic!

November 16, 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

Rene Reyes Jr. makes his mark at The Pantheon Games
Over the weekend of November 1st and 2nd Rene Reyes Jr. participated in the 2014 Pantheon Games held in Miami, Florida, USA. The Pantheon Games is a Crossfit competition that tests the skill and endurance levels of Crossfit athletes from all over the USA and internationally. It has only been a year and few months since he’s been involved in the Crossfit lifestyle in San Pedro Town, but even then, the 22-year-old managed to place in the top 20 out of 40 total competitors. Renesito, as he’s known at our “box” (gym) and around town, has been training at the San Pedro Crossfit, first as a student, then moving on and becoming a certified coach. He’s actually my coach, and I’ve seen how passionate he is, pushing harder each and every day. Personal experience has taught me that he genuinely believes that we ALL have champions within, and when he sees interest from others, he is happy to train and offer assistance. But he’s always looking ahead, seeking more, seeking better, for the box, for his students, and most importantly, for himself.

Ambergris Today

Rain Restaurant & Lounge celebrating their grand opening
At Rain Restaurant & Lounge celebrating their grand opening. Met up with Paul and Marci from Caye Coffee who are celebrating their 1 year anniversary of coffee excellence. Congratulations to both establishments.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Sabastiana is missing in the Cayo District. She suffers from Alzheimer's and may be disoriented. If you see her please contact her daughter Cristina Waight at 6053467. The family is obviously, very worried.So if you're in the district be on the lookout for her.


Possible human remains found in Ladyville
PlusNews has been informed of possible human remains found on a road in Ladyville. According to accounts, the bones were discovered on Friday and authorities were called in to access the remains. We understand that police and Dr...

BSI Gives Farmers a Deadline
BSI ASR made a move to bypass the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association in negotiations...

Good News for Tourism Sector
There is good news coming out of the Tourism Sector as the country hit the one million visitor mark over the last few weeks. To have hit this mark in October signals a record breaking year for the industry as it was expected that Belize would hit the one million mark at the end of the year...

Louis Wade says Guardian articles “Liad”
Saturday November 15th is Rise and Shine’s Fundraising Telethon. Rise and Shine is one of Belize’s most watched morning talk shows and has garnered much attention in its short four years of existence. It has certainly caught the attention of certain political media who are rant and rave about Ri...

Missing 15 year old found in company of interdicted cop
A father from the Cayo district had reported his 15 year old daughter missing. The father who resides in Esperanza Village, Cayo District reported that at 7:15am on Wednesday November 12,   his daughter, a 4th form Student of Seventh Day Adventist High School in Santa Elena, left home en route to ...

Life after an accident
Life for Yanie Cu, his wife Roselia Cu, and their two small children took an unfortunate turn for the worst on August 19th., in a fatal traffic accident involving Deputy Compol Miguel Segura that left Yanie bedridden. After spending nearly 2 months in Guatemala where he underwent multiple surgeries,...

BTL says SMART was given sufficient notice to terminate links
On Wednesday, SpeedNet sent out a press release saying that it hadfiled an application for an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) in the Supreme Court of Belize...

Police Meet and Greet Residents of Belmopan
Belmopan Police dedicated four hours of their busy schedules last week Saturday November 8th to visit residents of Maya Mopan, Las Flores, San Martin, Picini and Roaring Creek in a meet and greet session where approximately a 100 homes were visited...

Builders Celebrates 20th Anniversary Garifuna Style
On Friday Builders Hardware in Belmopan celebrated 20 long years of service to the residents of Belmopan. Plus News stopped by to talk to the general manager Shelly Usher, who told us more about the Costumer Appreciation Day and why they celebrated it in Garifuna style. Shelly Usher – General Mana...

The Reporter

Caneros give ultimatum
The General Assembly of the Belize sugarcane Farmers resolved on Saturday that they will take industrial action in five days counting from Monday if Central Government and the Sugar Industry Control Board do not intervene to end the ongoing impasse with the American Sugar Refineries owned Belize Sugar Industries. Over 800 cañeros gathered at the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in Corozal, expressing their solidarity with the BSCFA on the ongoing impasse with BSI. Vice Chairman of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega explained that the association is calling on central government to intervene and resolve the deadlock in negotiations in light of the fast approaching deadline to start the 2014-2015 sugarcane crop.

Happening now…
Hundreds of cane farmers gathered at Escuela Mexico in Corozal to discuss a way forward after Belize Sugar Industries’ latest offer to deal directly with cane farmers and circumvent the Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association. More as the meeting develops.

Mexican official says Mexico faces crisis since disappearance of 43 students
Mexico is facing a “big political crisis,” following the disappearance of 43 students, according to the country’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora. “It is a big political crisis for Mexico. We are all outraged by these brutal events and the only feeling that we can have is to share this sorrow and pain from the parents”, he said. In what was the first interview a Mexican government official has given to the international media since the students’ disappearance on September 26, Medina Mora maintained that the government is facing this crisis “with every single tool at our reach in order to impede this to happen again.”

Patrick JonesPJ

Pretty Days on Ambergris Caye!
Our days have been stunning lately – warm sunshine, cool breeze and calm waters perfect for snorkeling and sailing.

Mooring Buoys installed to protect northern reef
Spearheading the project is owner of White Sands Dive Shop, Elbert Greer. According to Greer, while the northern reef systems are more pristine, steps need to be taken to ensure that they remain this way for years to come. “Divers like to go to less visited sites. Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley are over-visited sites, but the more north you go the more untouched the waters, marine life and the coral formations are. We are installing the buoys so that visiting boats to the area can be aware not to drop anchor as it can be very damaging to the coral formations,” said Greer. This project was a community effort: The buoys utilized were donated by Carla Velasquez, who collected them from the beach as wash-ups. SPTGA donated the rope, while Juan Carlos Montejo installed them at no cost. The sites were identified by Gilberto “Gil” Nuñez. The five sites where the buoys will be placed are Mexico Rocks, Blue Reef, Legacy, Canary Sponge and Sapphire Beach. Tour operators are reminded to be careful when operating near the reef, as the systems can be easily damaged.

Red Cross and Cancer Society join efforts for Island Blood Drive
On Saturday November 8th, the San Pedro Red Cross in coalition with the San Pedro Cancer Society and Belize Blood Donor Services teamed up to build Belize’s Blood Bank through an island blood drive. The drive took place at the San Carlos Medical Center on Pescador Drive, where committee volunteers invited by passers to kindly give monetary contributions or blood. Donors were provided with refreshments and a chance to win raffle prizes contributed to the drive by Digicell. The blood collected through Saturday’s drive totalled 37 units, which is stored by the Belize Blood Bank for San Pedro Town’s blood pool, and is available to residents in times of need. The more blood donated via island blood drives increases the units of blood directly available to island residents.

Two PUP parliamentarians will not seek reelection
Two elected parliamentarians of the People’s United Party (PUP) have thrown in the towel and will not seek re-election in 2018. PUP’s Area Representative Hon. Joseph Mahmud of the Cayo North division was the first to make that decision earlier in October. On November 11th the second PUP Representative to make a similar announcement was Area Representative for Orange Walk East, Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez. Joseph Mahmud When news broke out of Mahmud’s decision, it was seen as a surprise by the PUP supporters, especially since the PUP had won a stronghold seat from the UDP’s Salvador Fernandez. PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca said Mahmud’s decision was personal and the party had decided to respect his decision. “I did receive a letter from Mr. Mahmud indicating that for personal reasons he was no longer going to seek re-election. I have accepted that letter and we have put in place a committee of the western caucus that will lead an effort to find a new candidate, a new standard bearer for Cayo North…

Cane farmers meet to discuss BSI/ASR agreement
Over a thousand cane farmers are meeting at this hour at the Auditorium of the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in Corozal. The meeting was called to get consensus from the general membership of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association on the way forward. This follows moves by BSI/ASR to bypass the BSCFA and talk directly with farmers about a new contract/agreement.


What Do You Get a Harpy Eagle for His Birthday? A Party at the Belize Zoo
My friend and I took the bus out to the zoo (and what a GORGEOUS day) for the 10am party. Two schools were there and you could feel the excitement – one school from Hattieville and one from Cotton Tree, Belize. There were games set up… And a bouncy house… Here is one of the very best parts of the party. Animal parties at the Belize Zoo OBVIOUSLY need a song. And this one, for Panama, is written to the tune of Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog”. The media was there interviewing a true Belize star – Sharon Matola, the founder of the Belize Zoo.

International Sourcesizz

Russia to restart air patrols over the Caribbean
Russia said on Wednesday that its air force will recommence regular air patrols over the Caribbean, after winding down such long-range missions at the end of the Cold War, the BBC reported. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said, "Under the prevailing circumstances we need to ensure a military presence in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans, the waters of the Caribbean basin and the Gulf of Mexico." He also said he had approved "an action plan to improve the condition of our long-range aviation technology, which provides for its repair and servicing at industrial facilities". Earlier this year, Shoigu said Russia was planning military bases in a number of foreign countries, including Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Reverse Osmosis Rehabilitated Rudimentary System
Our team travelled to the northern village of Sarteneja, where a Reverse Osmosis Rehabilitated Rudimentary System was inaugurated this morning. Pictured here, a few children from the village along with Minister of Rural Development, Hon. Senator Godwin Hulse as he turns on the faucet.

Grand Re-Opening of Moondancer in San Pedro
Visit the new store now and get the latest in fashion (located on middle street)

CARICOM governments to increase quality information on CSM to nationals
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals in six member states are to benefit from a greater flow of tailored information on the CARICOM Single Market (CSM). This is under a new project that aims to connect nationals with the information they need to work, travel and do business in participating CARICOM countries. Over the next five months, the groundwork for greater information flows and channels on the CSM is being established through technical assistance to governments and training key stakeholders. In partnership with focal point ministries for the Single Market in Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, Dominica, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines, the project will build governments’ and stakeholders’ capacity to develop and sustain well packaged information on the single market to their nationals. This is expected to take place during and beyond the life of the project.

The Caribbean’s case on the impact of climate change is among the most pressing in the world
In a few weeks’ time in Lima, Peru, the twentieth session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place. The meeting from December 1-12, will bring together governments and other interested parties to try to agree the draft text of a new and legally binding agreement that it is hoped will be signed by government leaders in Paris in December 2015. From the overwhelming body of scientific evidence now available, the Caribbean has every reason to be deeply engaged and unified in its approach to these meetings. As recent dramatic climate events have demonstrated – from the unseasonal storms that struck the Eastern Caribbean last Christmas causing damage and the loss of life, through the drought conditions that prevailed this summer in Jamaica affecting 20,000 small farmers, to the bleaching of the region’s coral reefs – climate change is real. The Caribbean’s case is amongst the most pressing in the world. Although the region is a minute contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, it is amongst those that will be most severely impacted. In common with other small island states in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, virtually every Caribbean nation is at risk from rising sea levels as a consequence of global warming. This is because virtually all of the Caribbean’s major infrastructure, its utilities, and the industries that contribute the most to employment and GDP, are located on low lying coastal plains within five miles of the sea or, in some cases, are below sea level.

CARICOM Governments to increase quality information on the Single Market to CARICOM nationals
CARICOM nationals in six Members States are to benefit from a greater flow of tailored information on the CARICOM Single Market (CSM). This is under a new project that aims to connect nationals with the information they need to work, travel and do business in participating CARICOM countries. Over the next five months, the groundwork for greater information flows and channels on the CSM is being established through technical assistance to governments and training key stakeholders. In partnership with focal point ministries for the Single Market in Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, Dominica, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines, the project will build governments’ and stakeholders’ capacity to develop and sustain well packaged information on the single market to their nationals. This is expected to take place during and beyond the life of the project. The project, which took effect in October, falls under Component 300 of the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project (CTCP). Funded by the Government of Canada, the project’s objective is to widen the scope of participation by stakeholders and beneficiaries in the process of decision-making, implementation and operation of the CSM.

2014 CAC Opening Ceremony Held In Mexico
The Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico took place last night [Nov 14], and it was spectacular affair highlighted by the live performance of Latin American star Ricky Martin. Martin performed his new single “Adios” among other songs from his multi-award winning greatest hits. The Central American and Caribbean Games have become one of the most recognized sports events in Latin American and is used as a window for young, upcoming athletes to showcase their abilities in anticipation of the Pan American and the Olympic Games. Swimmer Julian Fletcher carried the Bermuda flag, leading the team of over 40 athletes set to represent the island. Bermuda athletes will be in action in the first day of competition roday, with the Bermuda women’s hockey team taking on Trinidad & Tobago, while swimmers Roy Allan Burch and Lisa Blackburn hit the pool in Veracruz, while Virginia McKey will compete in dressage in Xalapa.


Video: BELIZE FLY FISHING Title 1, 5min.

Birding at Mayflower Bocawina National Park Belize, 15min.
Mayflower Bocawina national park is a superb destination for those interested in nature and birds in particular. We stayed at the local guest house for three days in April 2013. Watch out for ticks in the forest!

Video: "What Child Is This-Angels We Have Heard On High" Belize Mission Project, 4.5min.
Nov. 1-6, 2014 I was blessed to play a small part in the Belize Mission Project, along with dozens of dentists and volunteers from around the country. What an inspiring, humbling, blessed journey it was.

Video: Belize Zip Line, 13min.

November 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

BTL responds to SMART
On November 12th, 2014 Speednet Communications Limited (“Speednet”) issued a press release in which Speednet made a number of unfounded and misleading statements regarding the termination of DTN links provided to Speednet by Belize Telemedia Limited (“BTL”). On July 27th, 2014 BTL began providing DTN links to Speednet between Belize City and Punta Gorda as a normal retail service. At no time during the negotiations or subsequent to the provision of the service did Speednet inform BTL that it had terminated its service with its previous providers. The relevant portion of BTL’s network between Independence and Punta Gorda has been experiencing continuous deterioration of the fiber infrastructure causing limited capacity. BTL recently doubled-up the Internet bandwidth to our broadband customers which caused a spike in current bandwidth usage. Due to increased demands on its network, BTL can no longer provide the DTN Lines to Speednet while adequately satisfying its own demands and requirements in providing quality telecommunications services.

National Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch releases calendar of events
The San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council has released their calendar of events leading up to national Garifuna Settlement Day celebrated on November 19th. The events are being organized in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council through the San Pedro Cultural Committee. The national celebration is being conducted under the theme “Mibe La Yanu. Awanse La Wadagimanu. BungiuWaba, WagiaLarigi – Let’s not just talk. Let the work progress. God before us and we behind.” The events include drumming through the streets and at business places on Ambergris Caye from the 11th to the 14th of November. On the 13th of November there will be Garifuna Literacy Night, which includes a translation contest for primary school students, as well as storytelling for adults. Both events both take place at the Central Park. There will also be radio and television appearances by organizers of this year’s celebration on November 13th. On November 14th Belizeans are asked to participate in the National Garifuna Awareness Day by wearing yellow, black and white outfits – the Garifuna colors.

The season is looking delicious with Casa Picasso!
In their fourth year of operation as owners of Casa Picasso restaurant, Jackie and Adam Feldman have continued to up the ante when it comes to their food, ambiance and great service. On their opening night, nearly 200 people mingled and helped kick off the season in grand fashion. New and repeat patrons enjoyed delicious appetizers – oh those sweet pork buns and tart-fresh octopus spring rolls! Those were just a hint at the wonderful flavors to come for the new season. It was so busy and the conversations so intriguing that I missed quite a few of the yummy apps passing around (but I know where there’s more)! Drinks were icy and refreshing – holy spicy margarita! And as always, the hugs from Jackie and Adam were warm and welcoming.

SPRCS holds annual All Saints Fair
On Friday November 7th, the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) held their annual All Saints Day Fair. A day set aside to honour the saints and those who have passed on, All Saints Day is a festive holiday observed by The Roman Catholic Church. The fair was introduced to the SPRCS some nine years ago to take the place of the school’s Halloween fair. Open to the students and the public, the fair is one of the largest annual fundraising events for the school. Gates opened at 5PM for the crowd that couldn’t wait to show up to the highly anticipated event. With plenty of food, desserts and drinks on sale, there was something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. And for those that came out for the games and prizes, every classroom had a game station with lots of prizes to go around. In the spirit of the day, students also dressed in finely crafted costumes depicting biblical saints and angels. Throughout the evening, poems, songs and short skirts were recited as the audience applauded the little performers.

San Pedro Cadets receive donation from All Things ATM Belize
John and Dawn Kennedy of All Things ATM Belize have taken much interest in San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps and made substantial donations to the group. Since its inception on February 2014, the corps has grown substantially and now has over 20 members. The cadet corps was formed by the collaboration of the San Pedro Neighborhood Watch Committee and the San Pedro Police Department, to promote youth involvement in the community and as a preventative for youth crime. On Saturday, October 11th Dawn Kennedy presented Cadet Instructor, Police Constable (PC) Juan Chuc with a check for $500. The donation will be used to acquire uniforms for the new recruits as well for other expenses that the cadets incur. According to Deputy in Charge of Police, Inspector Henry Jemmott, the assistance received for the Kennedy’s is essential to the continued growth of the group. “Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy have taken great interest in the San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps. We need support like this from the community. The cadet program can be so beneficial to the island community for keeping children out of trouble and away from criminal activity, but it needs the support of the community in order for the program to keep going,” said Inspector Jemmott. The cadet program had been dormant in San Pedro for nearly five years before it was re-started.

Raquel Badillo to represent Belize at Miss World 2014
On Saturday November 8th, Raquel Badillo was officially crowned Miss World Belize 2014. The crowning ceremony took place at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar where Badillo, her sponsors, family and friends gathered for the evening ceremony. Set to be Belize’s delegate at the 64th edition of The Miss World Pageant in London England, Badillo expressed her enthusiasm to be representing her country at the historical arena. The pageant will take place on December 14th at the ExCeL ICC Auditorium, where Miss Belize will join over 120 contestants from around the world. “As you all may know, I have been given the glorious opportunity of representing Belize as a country and as a community. I appreciate the opportunity that this beautiful place I am lucky enough to call home, and its citizens whom I see as a family, has given me to show the world what Belize truly has to offer,” said a grateful Badillo.

Ambergris Today

Belize Hits 1 Million Mark in Tourist Arrivals!
As of October 2014, Belize has seen one million visitors into the country, through overnight and cruise arrivals, two months earlier than forecasted. In October, tourist arrivals increased by 6.7%, exceeding the initial projection which estimated that October would have seen a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals. For cruise arrivals, 56,144 visitors were scheduled for October, but there was a total of 1,769 more cruise visitors over that forecasted number. According to the Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB) projections set forth earlier this year, it was expected that Belize would hit the one million mark at the end of the year; however, we’ve surpassed this figure earlier than was expected.

Caye Caulker Ocean Academy Wins Awards for Aquatic Tourism
Caye Caulker Ocean Academy High School's Aquatic Tourism Program has won the prestigious Beyond Sports 2014 Award in the category Sport for Education (sponsored by UNICEF). The Beyond Sport Awards celebrate and reward the best projects from around the world that use sport to bring about positive social change. Ocean Academy's project was selected from 350 entries spanning 70 countries. School founders Joni Miller and Heidi Curry were invited to Johannesburg, South Africa October 28-30 for the Awards ceremony and they represented Belize on an international panel addressing the theme of how sports can inspire youth to become leaders in their communities.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Home Depot Opens branch in Chetumal
The Corozal Daily had the pleasure of witnessing the historic inaugural ceremonies by the Governor of Quintana Roo - Roberto Borge Angulo, accompanied by The Home Depot’s General Director, Ricardo Saldívar Escajadillo, which is the third Home Depot branch to open in the State of Quintana Roo and the 110th in the country of Mexico. The opening of the branch cost approximately two hundred and ten million pesos (210 million pesos equivalent to over $34,400,000.00BZ) and will provide employment for approximately 230 Chetumaleños. The Governor thanked the executives of the commercial chain for their confidence and asked them to continue to invest in Quintana Roo, providing jobs and expanding the range of the locals’ buying opportunities and choices. The Chief Executive reiterated that Quintana Roo has provided a safe and fertile environment for investment opportunities and that the State’s local government State guarantees that the process and procedures are carried out in a timely manner. This is partly due to continuous improvement in our local regulations.

Hasta La Media Noche 2014
As part of La Festival De La Hispanidad Y Mestisaje, COLCHA held its Hasta La Media Noche Musical Concert on November 8th 2014. The concert featured our local favorite Caribbean Roots Band and Grupo Bernakoolo from Q.Roo. COLCHA would like to thank all the hundreds of supporters that came out for this event all the sponsors who made it possible. COLCHA is constantly motivated by the overwhelming public support that keeps us striving higher and higher each year!!

"Island City" coming soon
... the sign says. Interesting to see that Island Supermarket transforms to next.

Financial Stability Board to propose stricter capital rules for global banks
The Financial Stability Board, a panel made up of central bankers, finance officials and top regulators from the world’s largest economies, plans to announce proposals Monday that would double the amount of money that large banks would be required to have on hand to absorb losses, reports New York Times. The purpose of the new rules, which would not take effect until 2019 at the earliest, is to curtail risk-taking and protect taxpayers from having to bail out large banks in times of crisis, as happened on a grand scale during the financial crisis in 2008. The new proposals, which have been hinted at for several weeks, aim to shift the burden of bank failures so that it falls more squarely on bank investors and the banks themselves. But the proposals are certain to face stiff opposition from the banking industry, which is likely to argue that the rules would force banks to curb lending, hurting economic growth. Banks and other interested groups have until Feb. 2 to submit comments on the rules.

Belmopan area Power Interruption Sunday
Power Interruption 6:00am to 12:00 noon, Sunday November 16: entire City of Belmopan, La Democracia, Franks Eddy, Saint Matthews, Cotton Tree, Valley of Peace, Roaring Creek, Camalote, Teakettle, Arizona, Ontario, Buena Vista, Blackman Eddy, Unitedville, Armenia. BEL to replace utility poles and equipment, adjust high voltage lines, install lightning arresters and conduct maintenance works at Belmopan Substation.

Cayo’s Missing Teen
15 year old Vanessa Wagner is 5 feet two inches in height, has black shoulder length hair, a mole on the right cheek near her nose and weighs about 82 pounds. She was wearing her school uniform, a white button down blouse, a brown checkered skirt and a pair of black shoes. Wagner was last seen with a male companion at 3:35 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12th, walking on the George Price Highway heading towards San Ignacio Town. If anyone knows her location please contact her father, Michael Wagner of Esperanza Village or the nearest Police Station.

Teachers in Corozal get CYCAS motivational Training
We are thankful to the fantastic team work of Corozal CYCAS and the enthusiastic collaboration of principals, managers, sponsors; SIRDI, Saint Francis Credit Union, BNTU Rural, St. Viator High School, CTV3 and of course, the great expertise of Pastor David Green and Veronica Ochoa.

Belize Optimist National Championship
A female emerges as National Optimist Champion for the first time ever in Belize, Placencia. With light winds on her side and revealing that she is a skilful tactician to contend with, 14 yr old Blanca Velasquez of San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), emerged as the new National Optimist Champion in Belize. After two days of 6 races November 8th and 9th and coping with 3-6 knot winds, the field of 15 racers that qualified to compete for the nationals tried every trick in the book to get underway. Blanca consistently took either 1st or 2nd place, slipping to third once in the last race of the regatta. This was enough for her to cruise into 1st place overall. Two competing sailors closely pursued Blanca during the regatta, but 15 yr. old Chritian Trejo of SPJSC settled for 2nd Place, and 2013 National Champ, 13 yr. old Trent Hardwick of Belize Sea Scouts, took the 3rd place and now relinquishes the Deny Bradley perpetual Trophy to Blanca. The other Top 10 finishers were: Faith Noel and Jerdon Anderson both of SPJSC finished 4th and 5th place, respectively. Antonio Ricardez and Nashira Ricardez of the Belize City Sailing Club took 6th and 7th place, respectively; Christopher Young of Corozal Bay Sailing Club finished 8th and Tyler Garbutt and Patrick Rhamdas of Placencia Sailing Club took 9th and 10th place, respectively.

Channel 7

Human Remains Found In Maskall - Police Asking Families of Missing Persons For Help
Tonight, Ladyville Police are doing their best to come up with an identity for the person whose remains were found burnt and disposed of in a remote location outside of Maskall Village. An on-site autopsy was completed by Dr. Mario Estradabran this afternoon, but nothing conclusive was found. This evening, we spoke with the Police Public Relations Coordinator Douglas Hyde about what information they have at this time and how you can help. Douglas Hyde - Police Press Officer "Police received information at 1:30 today, some human bones were found half miles from Maruba Resort about 100 feet off the road where garbage is thrown and the body seems to be partially burned. Dr. Estradabran has done a post mortem on the human bones and the results were inconclusive. The results have also indicated that the bones have been there about a little a year or less than a year." Daniel Ortiz "Have you guys been able to follow any leads as to who this individual might be?" Douglas Hyde - Police Press Officer "Based on the information received from Dr. Estradabran, we have also called in the recent missing persons, their families to come and identify more or less the body or the bones along with the remains that were there to see if it is the persons that were missing and so far the recent missing persons have not been the persons identify with these remains that were there."

Sentenced to 18 Months In Jail, Cops Gets Bail 6 Weeks Into Sentence
A police corporal who was convicted and sent to jail for 18 months is out tonight after only 6 weeks because the Supreme Court granted him a stay of execution and bail. His attorney, Anthony Sylvester who is appealing his 18 month conviction argued before the Supreme Court today that it is likely that by the time his appeal comes up for hearing, Cpl. Martinez will have served his 18 month sentence. With that, Justice Herbert Lord heard the bail application and set bail at $6,000 dollars for the convicted cop. Cpl. Martinez was convicted on September 30, 2014 by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. She found him guilty of the offense of attempting to corrupt WPC Stacey Smith, a member of the GSU.

ASR/BSI Tells Cane Farmers It Will Have A New Deal By Nov 21
Tomorrow, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will have a general membership meeting in San Juan village in the Corozal District. And while it is pushing for everyone to come out - ASR/BSI is pushing back. Today the company sent out an announcement to cane farmers in which it makes it clear it is willing to make adjustments to the 18 page contract it circulated at meetings earlier this week. So the new deal from ASR/BSI is that the consultation period extended until Tuesday, November 18th. After that, the company will factor in input from the farmers, and will issue a final agreement by Friday 21 November. This is a change because at first they said the contract they put out this week was not subject to change. But two things that won't change are the ownership of the cane and the proposed payment for bagasse. ASR's Vice President of International Relations told us as much by phone from the UK this evening: Mac McLachlan - International Relations Advisor, ASR "If the question Jules is about ownership then we are very clear, every industry in the world have to own its sugar otherwise it can't contract to sell it. And the second thing bagasse; we have come to a natural impasse on bagasse. We are not going to get any further and we are wasting time preparing for the future of the industry. And that why we are not prepare to countenance what we tried last year and it fail, so there is no point in trying again this year. We are responding to cane farmers and that we believe it's their constitutional right to do that. We don't believe in intimidation and threats and that's why we are offering a choice." The announcement to farmers notes that quote, "Where BSI has not been able to accommodate suggested changes, a full explanation will be provided."

Teenaged Girl From Esperanza Found In Dangriga With Constable
Last night we told you the distressing story of Vanessa Wagner, the 15 year old high schooler who had left school in the company of an adult policeman - and over 24 hours later, had still not returned home. Neither did her parents know where to find her - and based on messages she sent to friends - she also claimed to not know where she was. Well after we put her picture on the news last night, the family got a call saying she had been seen at a home in Ladyville. They called police who zoomed to that location, but found that she and the police constable had already left. This morning, the family got another call saying she was seen at a home in Dangriga - it turns out he was lured there by a friend who tipped off the cops. Police from that formation went to the residence where they recovered Vanessa and detained the policeman she was with. Her family went down to Dangriga to pick her up - and she is with them tonight. Her father tells us she is safe and unharmed and they are taking her home now.

Tourism: a Game Of Inches?
In sports, it is often said that it's a game of inches - and just so in the caving business where last week, the 48 inch requirement for entering a tour of the Nohoch Che'en caves became a national headline. Local tour operators said the rule was taking away their only competitive advantage: which is the ability to take on full family tours. Well FECTAB reports that NICH has - so to speak - caved in to their demands. NICH has reportedly sent a letter to FECTAB President Tom Greenwood saying that there will be an amnesty on the implementation of the 48 inch rule until the end of December, 2014. In the interim, both sides will work to reach a mutually agreeable accommodation. FECTAB is expected to have a press conference next week to discuss their options.

Man Charged For Traffic Fatality Three Years Later
It took police almost 3 years, but they say that they finally have enough evidence against Ervan Augustine, the driver in the traffic accident which killed 45 year-old Wayne Williams on the evening of in December 6, 2011. Viewers may remember that terrible accident. The water truck that Augustine was driving had been parked in the West-bound lane of the highway after one of its back wheels broke off. Reports were that the truck was left in the lane until darkness fell. Williams was driving his Toyota Tacoma toward Belmopan, and when he arrived at mile 28, the truck suddenly came into his field of vision on a dark section of the road. He swerved into the lane of the incoming traffic and slammed into the driver's side of loaded Westline Bus heading to Belize City.

Call Center Workers Say They Will Be Paid Off In Two Weeks
Last night we told you about the ACCETEL workers who are rallying to get their pay and social security. Well, Owner Emroy Castillo met with the workers today and they signed a contract stipulating that Castillo will pay the workers in two weeks' time, on November 28th. According to the one of the workers we spoke with today, social security payments have still not been finalized - though Castillo told us otherwise yesterday. Whatever the case, the employee said that after they are paid off, they will request letters of termination and move on.

Panama, The Harpy Eagle At 11
Panama turned 11 today. Now if you are not quite sure 'who' Panama is, he is the most famous Harpy Eagle in Belize. To mark this occasion, the Belize Zoo threw him a party; not with confetti, cake or ice cream but with the warm presence of his human friends. Courtney Weatherberne reporting These students are here to celebrate Panama's 11th birthday at the Belize Zoo. Although there were recreational activities for the kids, it wasn't your usual birthday party celebration, but a celebration nonetheless of this majestic creature. Sharon Matola, Founding Director, Belize Zoo "Well I raised Panama, so he is a special boy to me and its very satisfying to see kids share a love, a likeness, a bond of compassion for a bird that looks like he could pick you up and drop you on the floor right - he wouldn't do that. He is a terrific symbol and a wonderful ambassador for Harpy eagles everywhere." At first sight, Panama may seem intimidating with his 5 inch talons, sharp curved beak, 6 foot wing span and piercing eyes. But according to his caretakers, these attributes don't define his character.

Police Impound Vehicle With 3lbs Weed
This morning police moved on a Toyota RAV 4, which was parked on Nurse Findley Crescent in the Port Loyola Area of Belize City. It wasn't for bad parking - but because the RAV 4 had a major weed stash inside - over one kilo. Police say they were waiting for the owner who lives in the area to turn up - but they believe he was deliberately eluding apprehension. Late this morning, they impounded the vehicle and found over three pounds of marijuana inside. Police say they know who the owner is and are seeking him for questioning.

Police Constable Failed To Stop, Knocked Down Man
34 year-old Police Constable Wilbert Chan is out on bail tonight after being taken to court for allegedly knocking a man down. He appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on charges including driving without due care and attention, negligent harm and failed to conform to a traffic sign. Chan pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of $3,000 and his case was adjourned until January 12, 2015. The incident occurred on October 24. According to the allegation, Chan was driving a police vehicle on Cleghorn Street when he failed to halt at a stop sign and knocked down Daniel Grey.

Dr. Adrian Coye At the Helm Of Belize's Premier Public Healthcare Institution
5 weeks ago, we told you how Dr. Adrian Coye, the former Director of Medical Services at the KHMH, had been appointed as the hospital's CEO. Since he took up office, we've been trying to get an interview with him about how his management will move the hospital into the future. Today, we finally got a chance, when we caught him at another event. Here's what he told us: Dr. (Mr.) Adrian Coye - CEO, KHMH "I applied for the position with the belief that I can help chart the hospital into a direction of safety and to prepare for the future for Belizeans. We really need to have and deserve as Belizeans an excellent healthcare facility and Karl Heusner has a very important role as a national institution. So I would like that it is an era of great professionalism and that we get value for money and accountability for everything that we` do because in the end the majority of our funding is public purse related, so we want to really go head on into the future with a very strong team and also to make the best for our people. My role is to help with the right team to overcome all the other areas that we have and that is a big challenge.

Dr. Adrian Evasive On Audit
And while we had the opportunity, we asked the new CEO about the recent KHMH audit conducted by the Auditor General. The audit was to look into the acquisition of an X-Ray machine and other supplies at the KHMH for what are reported to be exorbitant prices. Today, Dr. Coye confirmed that the audit has been completed, and that it is in the hands of the KHMH Board. We tried our best to ask about its contents, but Dr. Coye told us that he cannot release any details before the Board has properly reviewed and decided on a course of action to address it. Here's how that conversation went: Daniel Ortiz "What can you tell us about it at this time?" Dr. (Mr.) Adrian Coye - CEO, KHMH "Well all I can say is that the Auditor General's reports which was commissioned I believe by the Prime Minister has been done and that it will be reviewed by the board and from there we can make comments related to that. But that is something in the hands of the board."

UNESCO Assists Local Cervical Cancer Program
Just hearing the words cervical cancer, cause many women to shudder. But the cancer society says no woman has to die from cervical cancer if they get information and early diagnosis. In order to promote this positive approach they are organizing a cervical cancer campaign and UNESCO is providing funding for the initiative. President of the Belize Cancer Society, Laura Tucker Longsworth discussed the impact UNESCO's cheque of $49,600 will have on the cervical cancer campaign. Laura Tucker Longsworth, President, Belize Cancer Society "Literally we are hoping the years to come to really reduced significantly the incidents of cervical cancer simply because it is well known scientifically that cervical cancer is most of the cancers are caused by Human papilloma virus and if we understand how its transmitted and if we understand that we can eliminate it early and cure that cancer, then we will take action to do so and through a simple pap smear test or other procedures that can wipe out that cervical cancer."

Accident Victim Yanie Cu, The Pain Continues
Last night, we briefly showed you the hard time that Yanie Cu and his family have been going through since his accident with Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura. He's been trying to return to full health, but the process has been slow, and his wife and 2 sons, have also been negatively affected. We visited with his Cu and his wife yesterday, and tonight, we show you what life has been like for them since the morning of Saturday, August 16. Daniel Ortiz reporting 28 year-old Yanie Cu has been bedridden for 3 months since his accident with Miguel Segura. He has to endure constant, excruciating pain. Metal Pins hold the bones of his hand and his leg in place while they heal, but it's it has been a very slow process of recovery, with no estimation of therapy time in sight. This family's financial health remains uncertain. He is the breadwinner for his family of two children and a wife, which he has to support. But right now, he's unable to do so .His wife must now take on all that responsibility.

Xaibe: Roads Run Through It
The European Union's Accompanying Measures for Sugar recently funded 4.1 million dollars in works for the San Roque-Xaibe, Patchakan-Xaibe and Calcutta-Xaibe Roads. These 5.5 miles of paved roads will be used for the sugar industry and for the communities. Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Belize, Ambassador Paola Amadei, discussed the contribution at the official opening yesterday while the area representative explained why the opening is two years late: The rehabilitation included construction, installation, and completion of site clearance, culvert and drain construction, and improved surfacing.

BTL and SMART Battle
Belize's two telecom providers, SMART and BTL are in court - preparing for trial on December eighth. SMART, also known as SPEEDNET relies on BTL's infrastructure for voice and data services in the south - but recently BTL gave them a 30 days notice of termination for that contract. That would cripple SMART - and the company says - leave almost seven thousand Smart customers in the Toledo District without access to its voice and data services. So it went to the Supreme Court asking for an injunction - but BTL's attorney gave an undertaking to maintain the service until December eighth when the two go back to court. BTL today issued a release saying that due to increased demands on its network brought on by the double up in internet bandwidth, it can no longer provide the Lines to Speednet while adequately satisfying its own customers' demands and requirements.

Fighting Illness Through Awareness
The Belize Diabetes Association has been conducting awareness activities for the past 2 weeks. With 15.9% of the Belizean population confirmed living with Diabetes - and so many more un-diagnosed, the Association is urgent in its mission to get the message out. They held an open day today in downtown Belize City, on World Diabetes Day 2014, and we stopped by: This year's theme for World Diabetes Day is Healthy Living and Diabetes. It has been celebrated for 7 years now.

Channel 5

Loggers Discover Human Remains in Maskall
There is what appears to be a murder to report in the community of Maskall on the old Northern Highway, but there is precious little information at this time. What [...]

Why No Charges for Sonia Abac’s Murder?
On July ninth, the body of seventy-one year old Ramon Cervantes Sr. was recovered from a shallow grave on a farm on the Honey Camp Road, an area called Indian [...]

Patrick Faber Says Petrocaribe Ballyhoo Is All About PUP Hypocrisy
The Petrocaribe money is all the rage these days, hundreds of millions of dollars in GOB’s hands to be used specifically for poverty alleviation, human and social development projects. But [...]

Accountability for Petrocaribe Funds Can be Seen on the Streets
Attorneys for the Opposition who are dealing with a suit filed against the Prime Minister, say that the loan motion was not taken to the house as required by the [...]

Still No Suspects in Yhony Rosado Home Invasion
The home of tour operator Yhony Rosado of was taken by storm on Wednesday morning when a duo of armed men raided the property while he was out attending [...]

BSI/BSCFA Back and Forth Continues
The 2014-2015 sugar cane crop season is threatened by an impasse between the factory and the farmers. Latest developments this week are that BSI has sought to bypass the BSCFA, [...]

Work on Douglas Jones Canal Resumes
Work on the cleaning of Douglas Jones Canal was abruptly suspended on Tuesday due to several health and safety concerns raised by the Ministry of Works, through the Flood Mitigation [...]

Andrew Tate and Carl Lino Remain Hospitalized, Charges Pending
Twenty-eight-year-old Andrew Tate remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being shot in the back of the head while riding a bicycle on North Front Street on Wednesday [...]

Faber on Teachers Missing School for UDP Rally
Earlier in our newscast, Minister of Education Patrick Faber spoke about the Petrocaribe funds, defending his government’s use of those monies. But he’s had to be defending himself in another [...]

Police Corporal Darius Martinez Out on Bail
Forty-four year old Corporal, Darius Martinez has so far spent six weeks of an eighteen month conviction in jail for Attempting to Corrupt a Public Officer, but today he got [...]

Convention on the Rights of the Child: Twenty-Five Years Later
Belize, along with the rest of the world, is commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  In 1989, a [...]

Belize Making Strides in Honoring CRC Responsibilities
Despite significant progress in achieving the objectives set out under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Belize falls nominally short of a hundred percent birth registration.  Likewise, great [...]

CRC and Child-friendly Municipalities
Among various initiatives undertaken at the national level is a move by local governments to have their municipalities recognized as child-friendly.  In Belize City, there was a recent ceremony to [...]

Cancer Society Receives Financial Aid from UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization works in various areas in the country including HIV/AIDS, Climate Change and the Barrier Reef System. The organization collaborates with different ministries [...]

Rotary Club Distributes Wheelchairs in Belize City
A generous shipment of wheelchairs has arrived in the country for distribution countrywide. The first batch is being delivered in Belize City where the need is the highest throughout the [...]


Belize Hits The One Million Tourist Arrivals
Over the past few years Belize has received nothing but good news when it comes to the Tourism Industry. And the good news just keeps pouring in. According to the Belize Tourism Board, as of October 2014, Belize has seen one million visitors into the country, through overnight and cruise arrivals and this is two months earlier than forecasted. Figures show that In October, tourist arrivals increased by 6.7%, that’s more than the initial projection which estimated that October would have seen a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals.

Alyssa Carnegie Resigns From BTB
She joined the Belize Tourism Board in 2012 as Director of Marketing & Industry Relations and after more than two years of service, Alyssa Carnegie, has resigned from the BTB, effective December 12th, 2014. Carnegie was tasked with building and managing a Marketing team and implementing key marketing strategies to promote Belize in new and innovative ways. In a release issued today by BTB announcing Carnegie’s resignation, Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans is quoted as saying “Alyssa’s contributions and dedication to the BTB and, by extension, the tourism industry, haven’t gone unnoticed. Working with her for the past seven months has been an absolute pleasure. While we are sad to see her go, we understand and respect her desire to move on to pursue her own endeavors. We are grateful for the achievements under her leadership of the Marketing & Industry Relations Department, and we wish her the very best.”


Speednet Communications Limited Injunction Against Belize Telemedia Limited
The two competing telecommunications companies in Belize were in court today before Justice Shona Griffith after Speednet Communications Limited (SMART) filed an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited. It is a matter that dates back to July this year when BTL had agreed to accommodate SMART’s data load on their system…..but five weeks after the agreement

Sarteneja Village Enjoys Clean Portable Water
Over four thousand residents of Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District now enjoy clean portable water. This is the result of the Sarteneja Reverse Osmosis Rehabilitated Rudimentary Water System funded by the Government of Belize. Spearheading the project was the Social Investment Fund. William Lamb Junior is the Executive Director at SIF. WILLIAM LAMB JUNIOR

Faber Speaks On His Opposition For Collet Division
Recently we told you that the main Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca told the media that former City Councilor, Yasmin Shoman would be throwing in her hat in the Collet Division to run against the current Area Representative, Patrick Faber. Today, we met up with Faber who weighed in on the fact that Micah Gooding, who

Faber Speaks Of The Importance Of The Education Workshops
Following workshops held yesterday at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City involving several partners in tertiary level education quality assurance, the official 2-day conference got underway this morning with an opening ceremony. The conference, spearheaded by the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance of Tertiary Education, is looking at quality assurance as a regional

Police Constable Charge With Traffic Offenses
Thirty-four year old police constable Wilbert Chan was charged with several traffic offenses when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The charges included driving without due care and attention, negligent harm and failed to conform to a traffic sign. Chan plead not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of three

Ervan Augustine Charged With Manslaughter By Negligence
Forty-one year old Ervan Augustine, a truck driver of Maxboro, Sandhill, was charged with manslaughter by negligence when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Augustine was also charged with causing death by careless conduct. He was released on a bail of five thousand dollars. His case was adjourned until January 20, 2015. The

Eighteen Year Old Charged With Attempted Murder
Eighteen year old Deshay Williams, an employee of Cisco Construction who resides on Banak Street, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Williams was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. He was remanded into custody until January 23, 2015. The incident occurred [...]


Succotz Protestors Arraigned in Court
It has been months now since the protest in the Village of Succotz, following the fatal traffic accident involving Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura. That accident claimed the life of Yolanda Valencia and left Yanie Cu bedridden. Police had six months, according to the laws of Belize, to press charges against the group of protestors for the illegal gathering on August 19th; and on Thursday, four months after, they did. Attorney for the defendants Michel Shebat gave details of the persecution. “There was a total of 17 persons arraigned on the charges of rioting and unlawful assembly. The prosecution withdrew 2 against 2 of those persons, so there are only 14 persons who are now facing charges. There are 5 persons who were not served. So, the situation is that 14 persons have been charged with rioting and unlawful assembly today. Actually they’re misdemeanours. So they’re really petty offences. They’re not serious offences at all.

Wife of Traffic accident victim supports Succotz road blockers
Emotions ran high at the August 19th Succotz demonstration and road block after the accident that left one dead and another clinging to life. Yolanda Valencia is believed to have died instantaneously during the fatal traffic accident involving Deputy Compol Miguel Segura, while Yanie Cu, a taxi driver of Succotz, had to be taken to Guatemala for treatment. On Thursday Ruselia Cu, the wife of Yannie Cu, through her tears, told reporters why she stands in solidarity with the people who took part in the protest and those who were summoned to court on Thursday to answer to charges of rioting and illegal assembly. [Translated] “ There is a group of people that were taken to court today, because of something that they reacted to, because of all the hurt. It is enough that they suffered the loss of a loved one and then to know that there was also someone that was hospitalized in a critical condition. Everyone that came to visit him saw the pain he was in. And so that is why they were summoned today for seeking justice. They reacted because of all the pain.

Minister of Agriculture speaks on current sugar industry conflict
The tensions between BSI-ASR continue as negotiations have taken a strained turn, when BSI decided to bypass the Belize Cane Farmers Association and negotiate directly with individual farmers. BSI ASR says it maintains its position when it comes to the terms of the commercial agreement, while BSCFA says they would not accept some of those terms. The BSCFA had written to the Government body, Sugar Industry Control Board, to assist in the negotiations. SICB has answered and says they will see what steps can be taken to help negotiations go smoothly. On Thursday, Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega, spoke with the media and said that he is hopeful that both parties would be able to compromise . “The Government will continue to facilitate. We have always done that, ready to ensure that both parties, BSI -ASR and the Cane Farmers, sit around the table. I know that the negotiation is still going on. All we can do is continue to facilitate, continue to encourage them, to come around the table and ensure that both parties compromise as much as possible, for us to be able to start a crop with, at the best, the lease challenges possible.”

Ramon Cervantes says he will not retract statement
As we told you on Wednesday, Ramon Cervantes Jr. received a notice of intention to sue from Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. The Deputy Prime Minister was named in a recorded telephone conversation which was broadcast live on the radio. The Minister responded with a video release of his own, refuting any allegations of his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr. On Wednesday, the son of the deceased, Ramon Cervantes Jr. received the letter from Barrow and Williams law firm, demanding a retraction and an apology to Hon. Gaspar Vega. On Thursday, Ramon Cervantes Jr. told the media that he has nothing to apologize for. “I have nothing to apologize for, and there is nothing for me to retract and so I won’t apologize.

Accutel BPO company shuts down
As one of Belize’s fastest growing industries, business process outsourcing, has handed thousands of Belizeans jobs responding to customer concerns for many businesses, chiefly from the United States. But as with any business there are growing pains and on Thursday about 30 employees of a relatively new BPO start-up, Accutel BPO, are without jobs. The company began in May and hired its first workers in September, to act as agents to respond to campaign contracts obtained from U.S. companies. But the main owner of the company, Emory Castillo from Belmopan, has shut down the outfit, and his employees say he has not met their final payments. We spoke to one of them off-camera. Female Accutel Worker “The issue is that our boss, Mister Emory Castillo, made an arrangement with us. He opened a business, we were hired on the fifth of September, and on the twenty-seventh of October, he told us that we were not supposed to come in at work. So we were on standby basically. We waited, time passed, and he told us no work until further notice.

PNP say they support FECTAB, outraged at NICH
The People’s National Party (PNP) issued a press release expressing its “complete outrage at the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) decision to lease our caves to Dark Knight Cave Tubing Adventure Ltd, a foreign entity. Were they leased for 3 years or 75 years? PNP calls for transparency asking for the details of the contract regarding the leasing of our caves to be made available for public viewing.” The release says that PNP fully supports, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, (FECTAB) members demand to be treated equally, fairly and respectfully. The release further says, “These small business tour operators are Belizeans, working to earn a living in their country, yet they are continuously being held down while the larger foreign tour operators prosper. PNP further believe provisions should be in place to ensure that Belizeans tour operators are guaranteed a percentage of the larger foreign tour companies tours.”


Youth, 18, charged with attempted murder for the 3rd time!
A teenager who was charged with two counts of attempted murder for offenses he allegedly committed while he was still a minor and for which he had been released on bail pending his trial in the Supreme Court, has been accused of another attempted murder and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison this afternoon following his arraignment at the Magistrate’s Court. Deshay “Shady” Williams, 18, a resident of Banak Street, was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm against Stanley Alexander Flowers, Jr., 18. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, before remanding Williams, a construction worker, to prison, explained to him that her court could not offer him bail at the present time, but he could apply to the Supreme Court for bail.

Scout leader charged with sex offences against 3 scouts
A Scout leader of Forest Home in the Toledo District, Martin Palma, 37, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until December 17 on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of an indecent nature upon three male minors. Martin Palma was taken to the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where he was arraigned on the charges. No bail was offered to him. The allegations against Palma are that he sexually assaulted three boy scouts while they were camping in the Santa Cruz Community Center on Friday, October 31, along with other scout troops from the surrounding villages. The first incident occurred at about 4:30 that Friday evening. A scout, 17, told police that he went to Santa Cruz to see Palma. When he met the scout leader, he smelled the odor of alcohol, the young man told police. The scout reported that he walked out of the office and decided to return to his village and walked through a shortcut linking Santa Cruz to San Jose.

Treaty Energy Corporation has ceased Belize operations
Treaty Energy Corporation, the joint venture partner of Princess Petroleum Limited, the local company which has a contract with the Government of Belize to explore for oil both onshore and offshore Belize, issued a letter this week to shareholders, announcing that they have launched an investigation after company officials ceased Belize operations and tied up company assets in a loan with a real estate firm. As we understand it, Princess has severed its relationship with Treaty Energy Corporation – which is a US company that admitted to shareholders that its Belize operations had gone awry, and that had acquired a bit of notoriety after making false declarations that the company had struck oil in Stann Creek, Belize, when in fact, no commercial find had been discovered. Earlier this week, the company issued a letter of progress to shareholders, providing reports on its Belize and Colorado operations.

Apologise or face lawsuit! – Gapi to Monchi
Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar “Gapi’ Vega, has instructed his attorney, Rodwell Williams, S.C., Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s law partner, to write his political opponent, Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) standard-bearer for Orange Walk North, Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes, Jr., demanding that he either offer a retraction and an apology, or face a libel claim for statements that were broadcasted on LOVE FM in a recorded conversation purportedly between Vilma Cervantes and Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo on Wednesday, November 5, during a memorial ceremony for Ramon Cervantes, Sr., who was kidnapped and murdered in July. Vilma is the wife of the late Ramon Cervantes, Sr. In Williams’ letter, dated Sunday, November 9, 2014, he states that he had been “instructed by the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources & Agriculture and the area representative for the Orange Walk North” to send the subsequent statements in the missive.

Bullets fly in afternoon shootings on North Front Street
A number of persons were walking on North Front Street around 2:15 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, when a lone gunman began firing at another man from point blank range, hitting his target once in the head, before being chased and shot in the leg by police. A woman who works on North Front Street and spoke to Amandala on condition of anonymity told us that she was never so terrified in her life. “This was a very traumatic experience for me,” said the woman. And a man who was visiting Belize City from one of the districts described hearing a popping sound, and when he turned around, he saw a man with a gun blasting away at another man who was running towards the Swing Bridge, holding his ears.

Cooler heads prevail in NICH/FECTAB flare-up
There is some good news coming out of the cruise tourism industry today after the Institute of Archeology, a subsidiary of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), issued an official notice which advised all tour operators, tour guides and the general public that an amnesty has been granted for the 48-inch height requirement for children to enter caves for cave-tubing, until December 31, 2014. The announcement was made after tour operators, primarily from the Federation for Cruise Tourism in Belize (FECTAB), lashed out at NICH and its director, Diane Haylock, over rules that, according to FECTAB, were not only detrimental to their business, but were also being implemented without the benefit of consultation. The rules were laid out in a new policy handbook that NICH put out, known as the Health and Safety Policy Manual for Archaeological Sites — dated July 2014 — which detailed proposed requirements for cave-tubing safety, one of which stipulated that all children who go cave-tubing must be at least four feet tall, or 48 inches in height.

Tennis News – Juniors
This past Saturday, November 8, several junior tennis players, ranging from ages 5 to15 years, participated in a tennis tournament hosted by the Belize Tennis Association at the Belize Pickwick Club tennis courts. There were three different categories: Green/Advanced, Orange/Intermediate, and Red/Beginners. In the Green/Advanced category, Stefan Sosa took 1st place. Stefan Sosa edged Samron Pott, 3-1, in the semifinals. Harnadar Tut won 2nd place. He defeated Adrian Marshalleck in the second semifinals, 3-0. In the Finals, Stefan Sosa defeated Harnadar Tut, 4-0. Adrian Marshalleck was top scorer in the round robin, but did not manage to close out in the Semis. In the Orange/Intermediate category, which was double-elimination format, Alex Musa took 1st place and Devesh Hukmani took the 2nd place. Alex Musa did not lose a match. In the Red/Beginners category, Blake Lee’s consistency proved sufficient, as he came out on top, with Daniel Musa taking the runner-up position.

Bulldogs wins back-to-back championship
The Belize Bank Bulldogs 17 & Under and 13 & Under basketball teams travelled to Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico from Thursday to Sunday, October 30 – November 2, to play in the Copa Bacalar 2014. Both teams represented well. The 13 & Under played 5 games, winning 4 and losing 1. They finished the tournament placing 2nd. The 17 & Under came in the tournament as the defending champs from last year. They also played a total of 5 games, and won all 5 games by a margin of 12+ points. They lost no games, as they defended their title and became back-to-back champions. Thanks to the sponsor, the Belize Bank, and the coaching staff and, most of all, the student athletes who worked hard and had fun playing the game of basketball. Hard work pays off, and our success molds young, intelligent, minds into champions in the classroom and on the basketball court!

National Track & Field Championship, December 6-7
The Belize Athletics Association (BAA) invites all athletes and track enthusiasts to be a part of the 2014 National Track and Field Championship, which will be hosted at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7. All athletes 16 years (born 1998) and older can participate in the events. Registration forms can be obtained from and returned to the BAA via email [email protected]) or from our Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association). Registration forms can also be obtained from and returned to the National Sports Council’s offices throughout the country. Please be advised that registration forms should be submitted no later than Wednesday, December 3. No late registrations will be accepted. Cost of registration is $5.00 per athlete. Events will include: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, 4x100m, 4x400m, Road Race (6.5 miles), Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Javelin, Shot Put, and Discus.

Editorial: White supremacy – modern and sophisticated
It may be said that the multinational corporation is the highest expression of capitalism. What such a corporation is, is a huge body of investment capital, led by high-powered executives, technocrats, lawyers and accountants, which roams planet earth seeking opportunities for ever increasing profits. Multinational corporations are totally predatory and rapacious. But, they benefit in their relations with the various populations of the world from the fact that multinational corporations are faceless. Perhaps it may be more accurate to say, rather than that they are faceless, that multinational corporations can take on many faces, indeed any face which will help to accomplish whatever are that corporation’s specific objectives. And those objectives are, to speak overall, penetration, control, and exploitation. Great multinational corporations are to be marveled at and given maximum, maximum respect. We are not economic historians, but it is for sure that these companies display the ability of the European enslavers, colonizers and imperialists to pool their money and resources, to cooperate and be patient, and thereby to generate profits. Remember now, there was this specific point in world history, during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when the explorers and adventurers of European nation-states came out from Europe to enter Asia, Africa, and America in search of various forms of wealth – silks, spices, tea, slaves, gold, silver, precious jewels, and so on and so forth. As we understand it, It was in order to equip these violent expeditions that the original, relatively primitive form of corporate organization began taking place in Europe.

From the Publisher
It is not just coincidence, or mere happenstance, that Belize’s two most important stories in politics and economics are presently unfolding in Orange Walk Town. These stories have to do with the confrontation between the Vega and Cervantes families in politics, and, in economics, the bold and cynical attempt by BSI/ASR to smash the power of the cane farmers as organized in their association of cañeros. The headlines belong to Orange Walk because Orange Walk is big time. Economic power has been moving to the North ever since the building of the Tower Hill sugar factory in Orange Walk and accompanying investments in the sugar cane industry by Tate & Lyle, a multinational corporation of British origin. These significant developments were taking place around 1963, 1964. The People’s United Party (PUP) had won all 18 seats in the March 1961 general election, the first held under a modern Ministerial constitution. The relationship between the British and the George Price-led PUP had begun to change in 1959, 1960. The two sides had been very antagonistic in 1957, when the British sent Mr. Price home from London “in disgrace,” and in 1958, when the British colonial government charged Mr. Price with sedition and tried him in the Supreme Court of British Honduras. Defended by the late W. H. Courtenay, the patriarch of Belize’s oldest and most successful law firm, Mr. Price was acquitted by a “jury of his peers.”

Letters: Our country’s name is Belize, please!
Harnessing a country’s collective identity can contribute to domestic and international prestige. This can instill patriotism and nationalistic sentiments. Belize, with its original inhabitants and immigrant population, needs to forge common ground to ensure its survival in the new global environment. Writing on “Social Conflicts and Collective Identities”, authors, Patrick G. Coy and Lynne M. Woehrle, state: “How important it is for groups in a social conflict to maintain a strong collective identity throughout the conflict process”. This is especially important in territorial disputes and international conflicts. By allowing the translating of the name “Belize,” the country has been supporting a dual identity, one legal and the other illegal, when it should be supporting one single identity.

Wamule Basketball Finals, T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic 2014
The Wamule U-24 Basketball Tournament playoffs continued with Week 9 playoff games on Friday, November 7, and Saturday, November 8. In game 1 on Friday, Hopkins Assassins won, 53-47, over Harlem Shockers. Top performers for Hopkins were Macario Augustine 10 pts 10 rebs 1 blk, and Lenon Cho 9 pts 1 reb 2 assts; while for the Shockers, Quinton Bowen had 23 pts 6 rebs 1 blk 3 stls in a losing effort. Game 2 saw Foreshore Pelicans eking out a 1 point victory, 47-46, over Benguche Flames. Leading Pelicans were Brandon Flowers 16 pts 5 rebs 1 stl 2 blks, and Dayton Valencio 11 pts 1 reb 3 assts; while high man for the Flames was Omar Tesecum 16 pts 5 rebs 1 blk 1 asst. On Saturday, in game 1, it was Ghans Starz, 71-57, over Southside Knights. Leading Ghans Starz were Trevaughn Usher 30 pts 6 rebs 2 assts 2 stls, and Daniel Nolberto 25 pts 3 rebs 5 assts 2 stls; while Southside was led by Deon Castillo 18 pts 8 rebs 1 blk. And in game 2, Hopkins Assassins squeezed out a 62-60 win over Foreshore Pelicans. For the Assassins, Hayden Casimiro had 12 pts 6 rebs 2 assts, and Macario Augustine 8 pts 11 rebs 2 blks; while Foreshore had Lesley Williams with 12 pts 6 rebs 3 assts 1 blk.

Belize at 2014 CAC Games in Veracruz, Mexico
Belize will be participating in the Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games in Veracruz, Mexico, from November 14 – 30. The contingent consists of 10 athletes and 6 coaches/delegates from five disciplines as follows: Athletics (Heptathlon) – Katy Sealy. Athletics (Triple & Long Jump) – Brandon Jones. Athletics (400m Hurdles) – Kenneth Medwood. Cycling (Road & Time Trial) – Patricia Chavarria, Giovanni Lovell, Henry Moreira. Fencing (epée) – Kenroy Lopez. Table Tennis (Singles & Doubles) – Tyrone Tun, Jai Le Cui. Triathlon – Erick Donis. The delegation will be led by Chief of Mission, Arturo “Tux” Vasquez. Fencing, Table Tennis and Triathlon departed earlier today, while Cycling is set to depart tomorrow, and Athletics will leave on November 20. Cyclist Patricia Chavarria will be the flag bearer at the opening ceremonies on Friday, November 14.

Letters: Medicine instructions in Spanish
I recently bought some worming tablets for my dog and when I reached home and opened the box to read the instructions on the insert it was in Spanish, with no English translation. This made me think the same thing happened when I went to buy poison for the ants and flu medication for a child. This country’s official language is English, so why do I need a translator to use products bought in Belize? How many, young and old, have been given wrong dosages of medication because there was no English instructions? How much poison has been used incorrectly or disposed of improperly due to consumers’ inability to read the instructions?

Letter: Death, the leveller
Letters: DEATH, THE LEVELLER by J. Shirley The glories of our blood and state Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against fate; Death lays his icy hand on kings: Scepter and crown Must tumble down, And in the dust be equal made With the poor crooked scythe and spade Some men with swords may reap the field, And plant fresh laurels where they kill; But their strong nerves at last must yield; They tame but one another still: Early or late, They stoop to fate, And must give up their murmuring breath When they, pale captives, creep to death.

Letter to the Editor
Please afford me some space in your most respected newspaper to register a serious concern regarding the current Customs checkpoints that are being set up on the Philip Goldson Highway during the dawn hours of the week. Today as I was coming to school in the 4:30 a.m. bus from Orange Walk to Belize City, I was awakened from my sleep by the sound of loud tire screeches and brakes from the bus that I was coming in. As I checked if perhaps some domestic animal has inadvertently crossed the highway, I noticed that yet another bus was haphazardly stopped on the left-hand side of the highway with Custom Officers swarming that bus. This took place outside Biscayne Village, where no lampposts with lights were evident. I observed that a Customs pickup truck was also parked on a narrow lane by the highway without any visible lights on to warn incoming traffic of their presence. Furthermore, there were only 3 fluorescent cones on the middle of the highway about ten feet apart, without any lights of any kind to further signal to drivers that a checkpoint had been set and thus recognize that they should slow down.

Controversial PetroCaribe motion back to House
The US$114 million PetroCaribe Loan Motion tabled last month, amid claims from the Opposition People’s United Party that the Barrow administration had illegally engaged in a loan agreement with Venezuela under the PetroCaribe Initiative, will likely be approved by Parliament after it is presented for debate, as well as the second and third reading next week. That is because the ruling United Democratic Party can pass the legislation with its simple majority, but Cayo South area representative for the Opposition People’s United Party, Julius Espat, said that they will maintain their request to the Supreme Court to issue declarations and injunctions which they contend are necessary for compliance with the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act. Two weeks ago, we reported that Espat had filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court, asking the court to declare that the revised loan agreement (signed by the Barrow administration) between the Government of Belize and Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Ltd., made back in September 2012 and providing for the making and repayment of certain loans by the Government, is unenforceable, because Parliament has not authorized it.

Cruise arrivals surpass year-end target of 1 million
Karen Bevans, Director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), told Amandala today that cruise arrivals surpassed the year-end target of a million tourists at the end of October 2014. With spending by each cruise tourist estimated at US$75, this could translate to roughly US$75 million in receipts by the sector. Bevans said that the Central Bank of Belize is the agency that published the final estimates of how much is earned from the sector. In February, the BTB had reported that 677,350 traveled to Belize, which represents growth of 5.7%, following the attrition which the sector suffered in 2011 and 2012. The October 2014 figure represents a 48% increase over last year’s cruise arrivals.

Ranch foreman shot on Hummingbird Highway
Jose Abrego, 47, a foreman of Blue Mountain Ranch situated at Mile 36 on the Hummingbird Highway, a resident of Saint Margaret, Cayo District, is fighting for his life at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan after he was shot twice in his abdomen and once in the leg by an unknown gunman at about 7:00 Friday night on the Humming Bird Highway. Abrego told police that he was going home after work and was travelling on his motorcycle. On coming out of the ranch road and turning into the Hummingbird Highway, a man who was standing across the road fired at him, hitting him three times, he said. The shooter then escaped from the area.

Belize hosts Central American tourism ministers
Belize is currently holding the pro tempore presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA (Spanish acronym)) and the country is this week hosting a meeting of Central American tourism ministers, under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism. Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia will chair two days of meetings being held on San Pedro on Thursday and Friday of this week. Karen Bevans, director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), who also heads a SICA committee on marketing, told Amandala that the event, being attended by 25 guests from Central America, is being held at Grand Caribe, in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Bevans said that the delegations from the 7 countries of the region will be discussing tourism security and health, among other issues.

To no one’s surprise, case against 4 San Ignacio cops thrown out
The prospect of justice looks bleak for a Unitedville teenager who probably would have died if he had not been rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital’s Emergency Ward by a Good Samaritan after he was allegedly blasted in the back by a police officer in late May 2014, for no apparent reason. The four cops who were allegedly involved in the shooting were later made to face criminal charges in mid-June; however, Amandala understands that the officers, all attached to the San Ignacio Police Formation, were freed of all charges at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, October 30. Police have refused to provide information in respect of a report that the officers’ criminal case could not proceed because the original investigation file was not presented in court at the time it was required. Facing lawsuit, cops finally charge P. C. Jesus Marroquin with murderAccording to information received by Amandala, the prosecutor could not convince the magistrate that the file would be delivered in time for the next court date, and so the case was thrown out for want of prosecution.

Bullets fly in afternoon shootings on North Front Street
A number of persons were walking on North Front Street around 2:15 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, when a lone gunman began firing at another man from point blank range, hitting his target once in the head, before being chased and shot in the leg by police. A woman who works on North Front Street and spoke to Amandala on condition of anonymity told us that she was never so terrified in her life. “This was a very traumatic experience for me,” said the woman. And a man who was visiting Belize City from one of the districts described hearing a popping sound, and when he turned around, he saw a man with a gun blasting away at another man who was running towards the Swing Bridge, holding his ears.

The Reporter

Police charge teacher/scout leader with sexual assault
Police have arrested and charged Martin Palma, 34, a teacher of Forest Home Village, Toledo with one count of sexual assault following a report by a 16 year-old farmer of San Jose Village, Toledo. The youth told police that at sometime in October he went to the community center in the village where he was to meet Palma, who was his scout leader. The youth alleges that Palma gave him alcohol to drink after which he fell asleep. He said that five hours later he woke up to Palma touching his chest and private parts. The youth further alleges that Palma offered him $1,000 to keep quiet.

Belize celebrates World Diabetes Day
Belize joined other nations on Friday in observing World Diabetes Day. The day, observed annually on Friday November 14, was celebrated under the theme “Healthy Living.” The Diabetes Association of Belize held a health fair at the Battlefield Park to raise awareness about the day and about the health risks associated with diabetes. Several other health sector stakeholders, including the Belize Cancer Society, Pharmacy Association of Belize and the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired were also represented at the event. The fair featured free blood sugar checks, eye examinations and information about diabetes and several other conditions. President of the DAB, Anthony Castillo, explained that the fair was full of useful information for both those living with diabetes and those who want to expand their knowledge on the disease.

Brazilian police arrest 18 in Petrobras corruption raids
Brazilian police have carried out a series of raids and arrested 18 people as part of a corruption investigation into the state-run oil firm Petrobras. More than 300 police and 50 tax officials were involved in the operation across five states, as well as in the capital Brasilia. Police said 11 searches took place in major Brazilian companies, including some leading construction firms. Petrobras is also being investigated by US authorities. The company, which is majority-owned by the Brazilian government, is one of the largest oil businesses in the world. Its reach extends far beyond South America; Petrobras has interests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In the past few months, Petrobras has been rocked by corruption allegations made by a former executive Paulo Roberto Costa, who is giving evidence to police as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

Caribbean islands anxious over climate change
Rich countries which are not prepared to make a concerted effort to change practices which have an impact on climate change run the risk of meeting by themselves at the next international conference on climate change set for December in Peru. That is because […]

Supreme Court orders full restitution to four offshore companies accused of laundering
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Government of Belize to unfreeze all the assets of four offshore companies which it seized during a police sweep on September ninth. On that day Police invaded the fourth floor of the […]

Highway accidents claim two
Two persons died in separate traffic accidents over the weekend in the Orange Walk District. Around 10 last Friday night, 24 year-old Alonzo Vasquez lost control of the vehicle he was driving after he suffered a blowout as he headed home on the Trinidad/August […]

Assembly man Tulio Mendez to bow out due to failing health
Dr Marco Tulio Mendez, the PUP’s area representative for Orange Walk East on Tuesday confirmed with The Reporter Newspaper that he is leaving politics for good due to ill-health. The neurologist by profession disclosed that following his doctors’ advice, he met with his committee […]

S & P upgrades Belize credit ratings
Belize’s credit rating was upgraded from stable to positive in a new report from Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services, citing new investments in the sugar and non-traditional agricultural products. S & P acknowledged that Belize’s economic growth prospects have improved. According to S&P, […]

Belize hosts key conference on Caribbean tertiary education
This week Belize’s Ministry of Education hosted, for the first time, a conference of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE). The conference, now on its 11th session, was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel from November 12 to the […]

Autopsy shows victim was beaten and stabbed and left to drown
Roaring Creek residents, Michael Broaster and Colin Richards are on remand at the Hattieville Prison until February 10, 2015 on a joint charge of murder, following the Wednesday morning discovery of the body of Corwin Mendoza. Mendoza reportedly went missing on Sunday evening. His uncle, […]

Man shot and killed
Ernel Welcome Jr., also known as Ernel Young, a 40 year-old man who walked with a cane, was found shot to death around 8 a.m. on Saturday at # 4 Casaurina Street where he stayed alone. Welcome was shot once in the forehead with […]

Man tied up and killed in home
A 56-year-old man was killed inside his home on Pine Street and found with his hands tied behind his back, a rag tied around his face and a mattress on top of his body. According to police, William Garbutt was found on Monday night, […]

Belize ranks well in Prosperity Index
Belize has ranked 58th out of 142 countries on the Prosperity Index prepared by British Institute Legatum, which considers a country’s wealth and well-being. Belize was also individually ranked in factors including economy at 60th, entrepreneurship and opportunity at 81st, governance, 71st, education, 72nd, health at […]

Belize ranks 100th on Gender Gap report
Belize has ranked 100th out of 142 countries in the Gender Gap Index report, which measures the gender equality gap in health, education, economy and politics, prepared by the World Economic Forum. Belize scored a 0.6701 out of a possible 1 point maximum equality […]

Vega threatens to sue Cervantes! ComPol says police will review taped allegations
Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, attorney for Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, has written to Ramon “Munchie” Cervantes this week, informing him of his intention to sue for libel if he does not publicly apologize and retract statements made last Thursday. Cervantes and his family […]

The family of the late Ramon Cervantes disclosed for the first time last Wednesday explosive allegations that a senior Minister of Government and a senior police officer in Orange Walk were involved in a plot to kill 71 year old Ramon Cervantes Sr. Ramon Cervantes Sr. was killed on the […]

Cane farmers dissed! BSI to bypass association
At a heated press conference on Wednesday, officers of the Belize Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) denounced the management of the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) for side-stepping the association and deciding instead to deal directly with cane farmers. BSI decided on this route after months of […]

BTL rethinks move to pull plug on Speednet!
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) has agreed not to discontinue the service they provide to Speednet Communications Limited, which Speednet says would have affected about 7,000 of its customers in Toledo. BTL and Speednet arrived at the agreement in the Supreme Court on Thursday, during […]

ComPol says he instructed action on Caracol memo
Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, this week revealed that he gave instructions to another officer to deal with the memo he received in January from Assistant Superintendent, Dianne Hall about the urgent needs of. the Caracol Archaeological site. In a recorded interview on Krem News, Commissioner Whylie said that he […]

BPO sacks 30 workers Owes employees a month’s pay and failed to pay Social Security
Thirty employees laid off by Accutel BPO, a redi-call company doing business on Calle al Mar in Belize City, have made claims against owner, Emroy Castillo that they have not been paid for several weeks and that no Social Security payments have been made […]

The Belize Times

Barrow’s “Sprat fi Whale” – UDP to spend $2.2m on political rally
When a man’s back is against the wall and he knows that he has acted illegally, perhaps even criminally, he will do whatever it takes to give his ego the right amount of stroking to feel secure in his skin. On November 18th, 2014, Dean Barrow will employ his usual distraction mechanism in order to divert attention away from the fact that he has been unlawfully spending loan funds from Venezuela over the last 2 years. In the streets, it is a tactic more commonly known as “sprat fi whale”. Essentially, for one day and one day only, Dean Barrow will blow out over $2 million dollars of public monies on a grand bonanza for the people (sprat) who will then in turn blindly support his illegal borrowing and spending of over $225 million dollars (whale). The UDP will spend on buses, shirts, banners, and food and drinks plus the stipend to buy out supporters on November 18th.

No Apology!!! – ‘Monchi’ says he won’t say “I’m sorry”
PUP Orange Walk North Standard Bearer Ramon “Monchi” Cervantes Jr. told the BELIZE TIMES in a telephone interview late this evening that he will not be apologizing to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. On Wednesday November 12th, Cervantes received a letter dated Sunday, November 9th 2014 and written by Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, of Barrow and Williams Law Firm, demanding a full retraction and apology for allegations made in a recording played at a memorial service held last week, Wednesday November 5th, for the late Ramon Cervantes Sr. who had been kidnapped and murdered in Orange Walk in July of this year. The recording was of a telephone conversation between wanted fugitive Manuel Castillo, who is the alleged mastermind of the murder, and Cervantes Jr.’s mother, Mrs. Vilma. In the conversation, Castillo alleged that he is being wrongfully blamed for the murder, and that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is the real mastermind.

ASR/BSI Cane Field Up In Smoke – Sugar Industry Faces Crisis; GOB Missing In Action
A field located in an area known as Slip Dock in Libertad Village, Corozal District, belonging to American Sugar Refining/Belize Sugar Industries and containing about 400 hundred tons of cane was mysteriously set ablaze on Wednesday morning, as tension between the factory owners and cane farmers intensifies. The field measuring about fifteen hectares contained a cane tonnage value of about $25,000. It was lit on fire all around and left to burn completely. The field was used by BSI as part of their ‘Research program’ in which they conduct cane plant testing. The Sugar Industry is facing total crisis as relations between ASR/BSI and the historically largest cane farmers’ association, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, is at its worst state, with ASR/BSI threatening to take steps that would divide and eventually disband the association.

UDP wants to jail Succotz heroes
The UDP Government has attacked the residents of Succotz Village and Benque Viejo del Carmen who stood up to defend the victims of the fatal accident involving a reportedly drunk former Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura on August 16th. The UDP is punishing 20 persons who they identified as participants after reviewing video recordings of events that took place on August 19th. On Tuesday November 11th, the Police Department under instructions of their political bosses issued 20 summonses which informed them that criminal charges were being laid against them. These summonses demanded that the persons appear at the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday November 13th morning at 9:00am.

2 shot on North Front St. in Broad Daylight
Tourists walking on North Front Street witnessed the ugly reality of the old capital, as they were caught in the middle of a broad daylight shooting between gang rivals. Eyewitness reports to the BELIZE TIMES are that 27 year old Andrew Tate was riding a bicycle from the tourist village area towards the Swing Bridge when shots rang out. He was shot on the neck and fell from his bicycle. Police were in the area and they set chase towards Pink’s Alley where they saw a young man run. There, they detained Karl Lino who was shot on the left leg by the authorities. Lino’s family claims that the Police planted a gun on him.

Belize Police murder cover up!!! – No request for Mexican authorities to assist in search and capture of murder suspect Manuel Castillo
Belize Police officials have been exposed as not doing sufficient to investigate and capture all the culprits involved in the murders of Orange Walk resident and businessman, 71 year Ramon Cervantes Sr and 46 year old Sonia Maribel Abac. According to reports in the Mexican press this week, there has been NO COMMUNICATION between the Belize Police Department or Ministry of National Security and Mexico’s Federal Police or any of its justice departments regarding the search and capture of the supposed mastermind and wanted fugitive. This is very disturbing news which Belize’s Police officials have not denied or refused to explain. Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo has been accused by the Belize Police Department of being the serial mastermind in the kidnappings and murders. He is believed to be hiding somewhere in the Southern parts of Mexico, in one of the communities near the border with northern Belize. Castillo has been sighted in numerous communities, including Chetumal, Alvaro Obregon and along the Rio Hondo Ribera. He has family and a house in Bacalar, and his Nissan pickup truck was spotted in the “Barrio Bravo” neighbourhood of Chetumal.

Police increase security for Vega family
At the request of the Government, the Orange Walk Police Department are now providing additional security to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and members of his family. This has resulted in more Police personnel assigned to Vega and his family and to his home throughout the day and night. Vega’s Clarke Street mansion, which already had a private security guard, has more security than the streets of Orange Walk Town or any businesses downtown. It’s a strange thing that Gapi feels the need for more security. In his video defense, he said the accusations by Manuel Castillo have endangered him and his family? How is this possible, when he has always enjoyed the protection of the Orange Walk Police officials?

The Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) dated October 5, 1989 between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Belize Sugar Industries Limited states that both parties “agree that the sharing of revenue arising from the sale of any by-product not covered in their present agreement will be subject to future discussions and the sharing of revenues will be based on the results of those discussions.” Some 25 years later this clause in the MOU threatens to shut down the entire Sugar Industry in Belize. Bagasse, long considered a waste component of the cane, now serves as the raw material for the production of electricity which is then sold by BSI to BELCOGEN and in turn sold to BEL. The BSCFA representing some 5000 farmers is demanding that any new commercial agreement with BSI provide for a value to be placed on Bagasse just as currently a value is attached to sugar and molasses. They argue that Bagasse comprises 30% of the sugar cane and whether or not it had any value in the past, it now has value for energy generation purposes and the farmers should be compensated accordingly.

The news this week that the new owner of the Belize Sugar Industries, American Sugar Refining Inc., has decided to bypass the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (B.C.F.A.) and negotiate directly with individual cane farmers represent a sad day for Belize. Cane Farmers have always been represented by the B.S.C.F.A. which is a democratic organization and which holds open public meetings for cane farmers to voice their likes and dislikes and vote on all important issues. The B.S.C.F.A., made up of just under 6,000 cane farmers, has been locked in negotiations with the new owners of B.S.I. which has been under the control of the new foreign company. Negotiations between legitimate partners are an integral and necessary function in a democracy. It is a time-honored practice. Where owners/employers undermine employees/workers’ representatives this leads to friction and bad-blood. That bad-blood leads to workers versus employers situations. In the world of unionism, where union members cannot be divided, employers resort to hiring outsiders or scab labourers. Where this occurs, there is violence between union members and scab-labourers employed to break the workers unity. During negotiations between the Belize government and public officers and teachers last year, the Minister of National Security announced he would bypass the Unions and speak directly with teachers and public officers. It was an incredible act of disrespect to the unions and its members. It was roundly condemned.

Think About It
Having just completed reading the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act of 2005 it is clear to any lay person that the Prime Minister and his Ministers in government have breached all the relevant sections of the law. This is an important national issue, more important because the Prime Minister was elected on a promise and a pledge to the people that he would ensure accountability and transparency in running our government. The large amount involved – 38 million in 2012, 152 million in 2013 and 40 million dollars in 2014 is scandalous. The issue is not complicated to explain to the public. The Prime Minister cannot borrow any amount over 10 million dollars without first getting approval from the National Assembly; meaning the House of Representative and the Senate. This he has not done. The second issue is that the law requires the Prime Minister to submit to the National Assembly the estimate of expenditures for the monies. This the Prime Minister has not done.

PUP defends survival of sugar industry
The People’s United Party is alarmed at the new trend taking place in Belize’s Sugar Industry. Yesterday’s press conference by BSI/ASR in which they announced unilateral actions in the industry is unprecedented and augurs ill for the viability of this vital industry. Of increasing concern is the seeming total absence of Government of Belize participation in the actions of BSI/ASR. The new agreement proposed by BSI/ASR would accomplish two objectives in one stroke: first, it would decide ownership of the cane once and for all. Second, it would strip the cane farmer of negotiating rights. This new unilateral action would set a precedent for the future of the industry in which the cane farmers would be relegated to the status of mere cane cutters. The PUP has historically respected the tripartite approach in this industry—Government, BSCFA, and BSI (now BSI/ASR) in making decisions to move the industry forward. We therefore call on the Government to ensure that this continues.

Crucial Reality
An allegation that surfaced at a memorial service that was carried live to the nation by Love FM last week from Orange Walk has sent a jolt of reality through the consciousness of Belizeans. Are we really to this point? The allegation came dramatically via a conversation recorded from a telephone call made to the widow of murdered businessman and retired politician Ramon Cervantes Sr. Cervantes, a well-loved and respected icon of the Orange Walk community had been found buried in a shallow grave in early October after evidently being brutally murdered. The 71 year old former footballer, politician, teacher and credit unionist had gone missing from his cane field on Tuesday July 1st 2014 and after a frantic search by family members, was found dead the following Saturday evening. Cervantes Sr. served as a senator in the upper House of Representatives from 1984 to 1989, was Mayor of Orange Walk Town from 1989 to 1991 and was a teacher for over 35 years. He was a Senior Justice of the Peace and long time cane farmer and store owner. He is also the father of the current PUP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North, Ramon Cervantes Jr. In his conversation with Mrs. Cervantes, which lasted a little over sixteen minutes, Manuel Castillo, who had been fingered by the Police as the mastermind behind the sensational plot to murder Mr. Cervantes, confessed to the victim’s widow that he had indeed been contracted to kill her husband. Castillo claims however, that he had refused to carry out the hit and as a consequence, he himself had been shot. Castillo went on to name a couple of very big players, both in the government as well as in the Police Department. We can only pray that he is lying!

Jada’s win 2014 Orange Walk women’s softball championship
The Jada’s women hammered Carmelita’s Caribbean Queen 10-4 to win the 2014 Orange Walk women’s softball championship at the San Jose Palmar field on Sunday afternoon. The Jada’s hitters collected 10 hits off Caribbean Queen’s pitcher Yvette Flowers to score 10 runs, while Jada’s winning pitcher Marina Gongora allowed only 4 runs to clinch the championship win.

TCC boys win NSSSA volleyball champs
Toledo Community College is the 2014 secondary school volleyball champions. TCC battled against the San Pedro High School boys in the championship finals on Saturday afternoon. TCC won the first 2 sets: 26-24 and 25-15. San Pedro hammered kills and Josue Marin tricked the ball over the net to win the 3rd set: 26-24. The island boys led 17-11 in the 4th set, as they sought to tie the ball game 2-2, but TCC tied the score 26-26 and went on to win the set 28-26 for the championship.

Gentle Touch & Triple B’s clash in FFB President’s Cup finals
DFC Gentle Touch and the Triple B’s will face off in the FFB President’s Cup national female football championship finals. Game 1 will be played at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday, November 15. DFC Gentle Touch qualified to the finals by a 7-2 aggregate score in both matches of the semi-finals against the Toledo Strikers. After winning Game 1 by a 5-2 score, Gentle Touch blanked the Toledo girls 2-0 at the Norman Broaster Stadium on Sunday. Cynthia Salazar struck the 1st goal in the 50th minute, and added a 2nd goal in the 68th minute to seal the 2-0 win.

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – A Full Time Mayor, Please
These UDP’s, the People in Power, never cease to amaze me with their ‘faceyness.’ They seem to believe that they can do and get away with anything, good governance be damned. They have managed to think up and to execute so many ways to take advantage of the system and to just plain hustle, from peddling influence and favors, to selling telephone cards, to putting a liquor bar in a park – by the way – complete with contraband alcohol possibly. I could of course go on and on. This week Woman in the House once again puts Mayor Darrel Bradley in the cross hairs. An earlier entry of this column spoke about Darrel’s Folly in cementing so many Belize City streets in a sub-standard manner without making proper provision for so badly needed drainage. Now Douglas Jones Street is being dug up yet again apparently to provide for drainage, destroying thousands and thousands of dollars worth of cement, steel and labor, and once more costing city taxpayers more and more, when they are already facing the prospect of a hugely prohibitive debt which is not going to just go away.

Patrick JonesPJ

Feeder road rehabilitation project inaugurated in Corozal
A European Union-funded road rehabilitation project was officially inaugurated on Thursday in the Corozal district. Five point five miles of feeder roads were repaired and upgraded to paved standards at an estimated price tag of $4.5 million. The upgraded feeder roads lead from Patchakan to Vaibe, from Calcutta to Xaibe and San Roque to Xaibe. Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Corozal branch Ramon Aban says that the upgraded road will bring a lot of benefits to the sugar industry and the agriculture sector on a whole.

A New Queen Wears the Crown for Miss Garifuna Primary Belmopan
Five Primary school students represented with all they had on Thursday afternoon, November 13, to wear the crown of Miss Garifuna Belmopan. The pageant was held at the Belmopan Civic Center but only one got it after almost two hours of presentation. Katia Reyes, Miss Our Lady of Guadalupe Garifuna walked away with the crown, which was held by Garden City Primary School under the care of Neveah Ramos. Second place went to Triesha Arzu of United Evergreen Primary, third was Marilyn Flores from St. Martin’s Government School, and consolation Prizes went to Maria Flores of Garden City and Sole Meighan from St. Ann’s Anglican.

United Evergreen Primary School wins Garifuna Social Studies Quiz
Ivan Morris from United Evergreen Primary School won first place in the Garifuna Social Studies Quiz which was held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at Belmopan Civic Center in the presence of an engaging audience of his peers. He has taken the title from St. Martin’s Government School who won last year. Second place was won by Christopher Broaster from Garden City Primary School and third was Dhenly Cabañas from El Shaddai, SDA. Other participants were Kieran Brannon from Our Lady of Guadalupe, R.C. , Miriam Cuc from Kuxlin Ha Government School, Swani Guzman from St. Michael, R.C. and Kelsey Vansen from St. Ann’s Anglican.

Galen University announces new online programs
Galen University today announced that come 2015, it will be expanding its online programs by offering two new online/hybrid undergraduate programs and one graduate program. A statement from Galen University says that the new undergraduate programs are Accounting and Sustainable Tourism Management, while Public Administration is the new graduate program. According to the official statement, Galen University will also be offering a Master of Education in Leadership and Administration next year. This program will be offered through Galen’s partner institution, the University of Nicosia.


Volunteering with my sister....Lindsay
Hi, my name is Lindsay. I am 25 years old, from Pittsburgh, PA, and am currently unemployed. I have had an obsession with manatees since I was 5, when my aunt and uncle adopted one in my name for my birthday. Since I had the free time and the passion for animals, when the opportunity to volunteer at Wildtracks arose it couldn't have seemed more perfect! I have always wanted to get into working with animals and Wildtracks has provided me with some amazing experience. When my mom found the Wildtracks website she immediately thought of me. It sounded amazing but I had serious anxiety about going alone. So when my sister offered to come along the plans all fell into place! My sister, Nikki, is 23 years old and recently graduated from college with an outdoor adventure degree. When we first decided to volunteer at Wildtracks together, our mom told us that spending that much time together would either make our bond stronger or force us to take some time off from each other. Luckily it worked out positively. While at Wildtracks, I was lucky to work with Nikki, the Capuchin monkey. It was a little ironic since that's my sisters name too. They were actually quite similar. Both very stubborn and sweet, but only when they wanted to be. And they both made my time there the best I could imagine. After Nikki and I were first introduced, we became best friends, and would spend time grooming each other.

International Sourcesizz

Unplugged on the island paradise of Ambergris Caye
I had no intention of writing a travel story about our multi-generational family holiday that celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of my in-laws. Don’t get me wrong. Travel writing is a great gig, and one that has allowed myself, and sometimes my family, to experience pretty amazing adventures. A helicopter ride over Maui; a submarine trip over a coral reef; zip-lining in the snow over a frozen river. Great memories for us all. But for this Belize trip, the plan was for all of us to really and truly unplug, to spend a week on an island paradise with no itineraries, no lunches with resort general managers and no arranged adventures of any kind. Leading up to the trip, my wife caught me a few times surfing “things to do on Ambergris Caye” — the island off the coast of Belize where my in-laws had rented a couple of beachside houses with a big pool to play host to their three grown children and partners, and their six grandchildren. I’d bashfully closed my laptop. Old habits are hard to break.

Belize's 2014 Tourism Boom Breaking Records
Belize is continuing what is shaping up as the country’s most successful year ever in terms of tourist arrivals. The destination has tallied one million combined land and cruise-ship travelers through October 2014. Belize has hosted 1,018,705 visitors through October, according to BTB data issued Thursday. The total includes 266,107 land-based, overnight arrivals and 752,598 cruise-ship visitors. Belize’s arrival at the one million visitor mark comes two months earlier than BTB officials had earlier forecast. In a statement, BTB officials said they had predicted arrivals would reach the one million mark in 2014, but only by the end of the year.

Rock fan: I don’t wanna fade away
A consummate musician, this Valley resident freely admits that he’s “stuck” in the era of classic rock. He’s skilled in both the drums and piano, and doesn’t think he could ever get rid of those. “I couldn’t possibly live without those. It’s too much of a connection to my soul,” he said. “If I didn’t have those, I think I’d fade away.” His favorite place is San Pedro, on the southern tip of the Central American country Belize. It’s “the most beautiful country you’d ever want to visit,” he said, with “the most beautiful water and the best scuba diving you could ever do.” He hopes to retire there one day, but not before seeing Europe, including Greece, France, Italy and Great Britain.

Supporting Caribbean Entrepreneurs, Sustaining the Regional Economy
Small and medium sized companies are the backbone of Latin America’s economy. They represent more than 90 percent of all enterprises in the region, generating over half of all jobs and a quarter of the region’s gross domestic product. They are essential to economic growth, yet their success is often blocked by one key obstacle: lack of credit. Nearly a third of companies in the region identified lack of credit as a major constraint, according to recent surveys. Impressive gains are being made in countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico has implemented an electronic movable collateral registry and 97 percent of its registrations are for loans granted to small and medium enterprises. A new secured transactions law came into effect in Costa Rica this May and the country expects an electronic moveable collateral registry to be online within a year. IFC is working in the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and St. Lucia on similar initiatives.

International Archaeology Day in Kosovo and Belize
In the Western Hemisphere in Belize, International Archaeology Day activities focused on outreach to children. The Belize Institute of Archaeology hosted an Archaeology Fair with several interactive activities that focused on teaching the importance of archaeology and highlighting the work done to manage Belize's archaeological reserves. The Institute of Archaeology’s sister institution, the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR), also had a small display on traditional activities still being practiced by the present day Maya communities in Belize. 350 people, including many school children, attended the fair.

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


Video: Underwater sightings in Belize, 1.5min.
Diving in Belize is unlike nothing else. Imagine gaining your PADI certificate in scuba diving from this beautiful part of the world?

Video: Group Study in Belize 2013 - Primatology Program!, 2min.
Submitted for the 2013 International Video Contest by Erin Qozney. Tropical Education Center, Community Baboon Sanctuary

Video: Wagner College PA Program Medical Mission Trip: Belize, 3.5min.
The Wagner College PA Program has the unique opportunity for their PA Students to go to Belize on a week long medical mission trip. Some things we do while in Belize are physical exams, acute treatments and care, present at a Health Fair, and donate many medical supplies to the multiple villages that we provide our care to. It's an absolutely amazing experience for PA students to travel to a different country and make a difference, while practicing our medical skills on people who truly need it.

Video: Belize It!, 9min.

Video: Belize Student Teaching Packing List, min.
What I packed in one carry-on for a month student teaching in Belize.

Video: Medicine Man Belize, 6min.
Searching for cure for my cluster headaches, I was, luckily, able to find this very knowledgable medicine man that I had been told about in seeking help. The bark of this tree made my burning cluster headache go away for days. It works. Problem is, this tree wont grow in California.

Video: Our Zipline Adventure in Belize, 5.5min.
We hopped off the cruise ship for a fun day of adventure in a beautiful country. The folks at took great care of us and we had a blast.

Video: Belize 2014, 30min.
by Missouri Southern State University

Video: Belize November 2014,3.5 min.
Lizzie and Joe's fall trip to Belize! Such adventure, very trip.

Video: Belize Garifuna Dance, 1min.
Belize Garifuna Dance in front of James Brodie store, Regent St Belize City...Nov 14, 2014.

November 14, 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

Islanders join in celebration of centenarian Cecilia Guerrero Lara’s birthday
Close family members and friends of Ambergris Caye’s longest living resident joined her in the celebration of her 100th birthday. Centenarian Cecilia Guerrero Lara turned 100 years on Sunday November 9th, making her the oldest San Pedrana. Cecilia is the aunt of current San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero. The management and staff of The San Pedro Sun, joins the rest of the island residents in wishing Cecilia Guerrero Lara a happy birthday.

Belize has hit the 1 Million mark!
As of October 2014, Belize has seen one million visitors into the country, through overnight and cruise arrivals, two months earlier than forecast. In October, tourist arrivals increased by 6.7%, exceeding the initial projection which estimated that October would have seen a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals. For cruise arrivals, 56,144 visitors were scheduled for October, but there was a total of 1,769 more cruise visitors over that forecast number. According to the Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB) projections set forth earlier this year, it was expected that Belize would hit the one million mark at the end of the year; however, we’ve surpassed this figure earlier than was expected. In the past nine years, Belize hit the one million mark twice, in 2005 and 2010, with 1,036,904 and 1,006,547, respectively. Belize is well on its way to having the most visitors ever in its history. The arrival of 1,018,705 visitors last month has already surpassed the 2010 arrivals.

Island players to compete in UNCAF Beach Soccer Cup
Twelve island residents left on Tuesday, November 11th en-route to El Salvador to participate in the 2014 Central American Football Union (UNCAF) Beach Soccer Cup. The tournament is being hosted in collaboration with the Salvadoran Football Federation and will be held at the Estadio Nacional “Centro Recreativo Costa del Sol” from Friday, November 14th to Sunday, November 16th. Four out of the seven UNCAF member countries will be participating, namely El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica and Guatemala. This is the first time that Belize is participating in this tournament.Belize National Beach Soccer The Belize delegation is composed of team members Kent “Bob” Gabourel, Hazael “Chief” Requeña, Rony Abel Mejia, Jesse “Pinchi” Smith, Julius Brandon Gonzalez, Jordi Craft, Reggeri “Jerry” Trejo, Sean Alexander Mas, Jason “Tyga” Sutherland, Thomas “Sony” Baptist, Mario “Mayito” Chimal and Louis “Luisito” Valdez along with coaches Alex Noralez and Hector “Tito” Alamilla Jr. The team has been practicing for the tournament for the past weeks leading to their departure. All members are well acquainted with beach soccer as it is one of the primary forms of football played on the island: barefoot and on the beach!

Dorados Football Club takes the lead in the Mayor’s Cup
The Mayor’s Cup five-a-side Football Tournament is already in its second week of games, and one team has quickly risen to the top: Dorado’s FC. The second week saw ten matches being played over three days of football fun. Each game day, loyal fans came out to the Honorable Louis Sylvester Arena to support their favorite team. The first match on Thursday, November 6th saw Island Pure FC facing off against Airstrip Taxi Strikers FC. Both teams brought a good game, and Island Pure is not one to accept defeat easily! An unexpected late goal by Island Pure gave them the win with a 3-2 score. Next up was Eagles FC against Pro Divers FC. With no wins yet, Pro Divers FC desperately needed a victory and luckily they managed to defeat Eagles FC in a 2-0 point game.

Blanca Velasquez wins the 2014 Optimist National Championship Regatta
On the weekend of November 8th and 9th, the Belize Sailing Association and Tipsy Tuna Bar and Grill hosted the combined Optimist National Championship Regatta (BIZ14) and the Tipsy Tuna Sailing Regatta. The regatta was held in Placencia and saw the advanced sailors competing in the BIZ14, while novice sailors participated in the Tipsy Tuna Regatta. At the end of the regatta, top prizes went to members of the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), with Blanca Velasquez taking first place in BIZ14, Jerdon Anderson taking the sailor of the year award and Faith Noel taking the female sailor of the year award.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Sailing Club Takes Belize National Championship
Sunshine, blue skies, crystal clear water, bright white Optimist boats and enthusiastic sailors. What is missing from this perfect picture of paradise? WIND!! On November 8 and 9, 2014, the Placencia Sailing Club hosted 15 sailors from clubs all over the country as they competed in the final regatta of the season, the Nationals! Competing sailors qualified for the Nationals by participating in all six qualifying regattas held earlier this year. The sailor making it all the way to the end of the final two days of racing is named the National Champion. This is a lot of pressure on sailors who got little to no support from the wind this past weekend. After a several hour delay on Saturday, the sailors took to the water to sail their best with little more than a light breeze. In these unusual conditions for sailing, four races were completed. At the end of day one, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place were held by San Pedro Sailing Club members.

Belize Participates in Chetumal Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission 2014
More than 50 Belizean companies/entrepreneurs participated in the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce Trade Mission to Belize, at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. During the event, organized by the aforementioned Chamber and the Mexican Embassy, 19 Mexican companies from Chetumal, Mexico, had the chance to meet with their Belizean counterparts to identify trade and investment opportunities. Among the products and services being sought/offered during the Trade Mission were food and beverages; construction materials; hardware; auto parts; office supplies; sports equipment; cell phones and its accessories; security devices; education opportunities. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry also participated in the event, presenting the business and investment opportunities in Belize to the Mexican entrepreneurs. One of the main goals of the Trade Mission is to foster the networking activity among entrepreneurs from Belize and Mexico, in this case Chetumal.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize FISHING REPORT: Week of November 1st – November 8th, 2014
Thank you to our wonderful returning guests! Stanley and Phyllis, Leo, Richard and Monalisa, Frank, Bob and Carolyn – you make it special for us when we see your smiles returning to the dock. A big shout out to Jason from Break Water – we really enjoyed your group and look forward to seeing you next year. It was a mixed up week, and the change of season is noted. Crisp mornings as a mild cold front moved through, and then some days opened up with weather “like you read about. “ Flat calm. Fish were rolling, jumping and hiding. Sometimes flat calm days can be really tough – it makes the angler up their game to make that beautiful presentation to the fish. Mornings around here start off with the shrill from our grackles – a long call, followed by some high pitched punctuation. The sun comes up about six am and with it, beautiful red, pink and orange sun rises. Quiet time quickly turns to anglers and guides moving about making sure all is ready for the day. We are looking forward to celebrating El Pescador’s 40th anniversary next week. So stay tuned!

3 minors accuse teacher and scout leader of sexual assault.
A 16 year old Farmer of San Jose Village in the Toledo District reported that at 5:50pm on October 31st he went to Santa Cruz Community Center where he was to meet Martin Palma, his scout leader. The boy said that Palma gave him alcohol to drink and at 10:00 p.m., he was awaken by Palma touching his chest and privates. Palma allegedly told him that he will give him $1,000.00 for his silence. Another 16 year old scout reported that at 8:00 p.m., less than two hours after the first incident, he was awaken by Palma, who was touching him on the chest and loosening his belt buckle. Palma also allegedly offered $1000 for his silence.

Bel Elec job vancancies
Vacancies exist at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Apprentice Lineman I in the Transmission & Distribution Department.

Channel 7

Monchie Cervantes Won't Retract, Apologize or Back Down From Claims Against DPM
Last night we told you about the letter from Attorney Rodwell Williams to Ramon Monchie Cervantes. Williams wrote on behalf of his client, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega demanding a reaction, an apology, an undertaking not to repeat the libel, and the payment of damages. That's a request not to be taken lightly: Williams recently won the largest libel award in Belize's history when attorney Arthur Saldivar disparaged the Prime Minister's conduct and integrity. Now Cervantes has accused the Deputy Prime Minister of far worse…so what did Monchie have to say about it today? We went to his office at San Isidro Hardware in Orange Walk Town to ask if he'll apologize - and let's just say, we weren't too surprised at the answer:... Jules Vasquez "It demands that you make an unequivocal and full retraction. Will you do so today?" Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes Jr. "He also ask for an apology. No. I have nothing to apologize for and there is nothing for me to retract and so I won't apologize."

Hon. Vega Says, "Talk To My Lawyer"
And while Cervantes continues to play it cagey on that issue, today the man who is suing him didn't want to play any games about the pending libel suit. We caught up with Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega at an event outside Orange Walk and he said the matter is in the hands of his attorney:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister "Rodwell Williams already sent the letter, so there is very little that I can say. It's in his hands and I have said what I had to say and I would like we just leave it there." Reporter "Do you think it was irresponsible for Mr. Cervantes to do this along with the media houses that broadcasted the event?" Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister "Like I've said, I had said what I had to say. The rest the attorney will take care of it." Reporter "Do you think this has affected you politically?"

Vega: Government Can Only Do So Much For Sugar
But one burning public issue that Vega has to comment on is the impasse in the sugar industry. He's the Deputy PM, the Minister of Agriculture and the UDP's political boss in the north. The sugar standoff is so huge it touches all three of those spheres of influence. But, right now, the sugar industry is also a sort of political third rail, too highly charged for any elected official to come down squarely on either side of the issue. So today, Vega was perhaps deliberately vague on what the government will do:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture "All we can do is continue to encourage them to come around the table and ensure that both parties compromise as much as possible for us to be able to start a crop with at the best, the least challenges possible. I think that we cannot start dictating or demanding. We have to negotiate, we have to come around the table. Like I always say gone are the days when you can pull a stick and pull a machete or whatever the case may be. We have to learn to negotiate with each other. I still believe that there is room for that and we shouldn't give up on it."

They Rioted; They Got Charged
In August, they rioted in Succotz, and today - like a hangover after a spree - 15 persons went to court to answer for it. Tonight, 15 of the 20 people who police initially charged for the August 19 illegal protest in Succotz village are out on bail of $300 dollars. That's after they answered to a court summons for charges of rioting and unlawful assembly this morning at the Benque Viejo Magistrate's Court. You'll remember that villagers erupted into protest in support of the late 54 year-old Yolanda Consuelo Valencia, and her taxi driver 28 year Yannie Evan Cu - victims of an accident allegedly caused by Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura. A just cause for the community - but intolerable lawlessness for police. And now, the cops say they can prove that 18 of these people actively participated in that protest. 7News was at their arraignment this morning, and Daniel Ortiz has that story:

Teenaged Girl Missing, Family Says Cop Abducted Her
Tonight a 15-year-old female high school student is missing and her parents believe she is with a police constable. Michael Wagner, the father of fourth former Vanessa Wagner became concerned when the student of Esperanza Village did not return home from school yesterday evening. This morning the family made an official missing person report at the San Ignacio Police Station. Police then escorted them to the teenager's high school to press her friends for information about her whereabouts. That's when information emerged that Wagner had been having a Facebook relationship with a police constable. We note that this suspect is attached to the San Ignacio Police station and is on interdiction after he was charged with indecent assault of a 14 year old Cayo girl. Now, he is believed to be with this 15 year old in parts unknown - the subject of profound concern for her father whom we spoke with today:.. Michael Wagner, father of missing teenage girl "We kind of hang out until roughly midnight last night and then this morning about 4am I got up and went out and check again and then about 7am we went to the police because if we had gone to the police before we would have gotten anything done because it have to be like 24 hours before the police do anything right, as far as I know is the law in this country and so that's what happened and the police got involve, we went to high school and we met with the principal, the teacher and the student and when the police was questioning them that's when we got the information of who she went with."

BTB's Director Of Marketing Resigns
The Belize Tourism Board's Director of Marketing Alyssa Carnegie has resigned. As far as we could determine, there's no controversy surrounding her departure, she's just moving on after two years - likely to her own tourism venture. Marketing is the core function of the BTB and Carnegie oversaw a major rebranding, where Belize's marketing mantra went from the very direct "Mother Nature's Best Kept Secret," to the abstract, "Discover How To Be. " By all outward indications, it's paid off in spades as the Tourism Board today announced that this year, Belize has reached the one million visitor mark - through overnight and cruise arrivals - two months earlier than forecasted.? That is on the strength of a 6.7% increase in arrivals in October - which is impressive considering that a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals was forecast.

Calling Out The Call Center
Today call center workers at ACCETEL BPO called out the media to air their grievances. The workers claim that their boss, Emroy Castillo, has failed to pay them for about 4 weeks and that, additionally, he has not been paying their Social Security. Now, they are out of work because operations at the call center have ceased. These workers - who chose not to disclose their identity- discussed their issues with us today. Voice of: BPO worker "The issue is that our boss Mr. Emroy Castillo made an arrangement with us. He opened a business, we were hired on the 5th September and on the 27th October he told us that we were not supposed to come into work, so we were on standby basically. We waited, time passed and he told us no work until further notice and then on 31st we were supposed to be paid but he made a promise telling us that he couldn't pay us until the 3rd the latest. So we told him okay no problem. On the 4th, he came to us telling us that we had to wait until Friday, that he didn't have the money, he had to sell his house and lot. When he finally paid us we got out two weeks' pay and then he told us that the business was closed down. We didn't get any letter stating that we were terminated. He owes us 4 weeks' pay at this point and we want to know how we can get our money from him. We've tried contacting him and wed don't get any information."

Monchie's Mom And Murder Mastermind Manuel Had Land Dealings in 2014
At the top of our newscast tonight, you saw Ramon Monchie Cervantes talk about why he will not apologize for or retract his very serious allegations against Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Cervantes says he can't do that because he must do justice to the memory of his father - who was murdered - in what he says was a botched political assassination - which meant to take him out - so that he would not be a political threat to his UDP opponent in Orange Walk North, Gaspar Vega. But, there are other theories out there - and one of them is that Manuel Castillo - the alleged murder mastermind - could have had a grievance with Ramon Cervantes Sr, or his family. We know that they did have a land transaction earlier this year - but today Monchie Cervantes told us that it was concluded amicably. He discussed the transaction in detail today:.. Jules Vasquez "Was there a land transaction ongoing, pending, yet unresolved between Mr. Manuel Castillo and Ramon Cervantes Sr.?" Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes Jr.

Will Murder Conspiracy Narrative Factor In OW North Campaign?
And while the land deal is concluded the battle between Cervantes and Gaspar Vega is only in its initial stages. Eventually, it will play out at the general election polls in Orange Walk North where Vega is considered the prohibitive favorite. But will Cervantes, in his effort to topple a powerful incumbent, use his murder conspiracy narrative against Vega? We asked him today, first about whether - with all that has happened - if he will still run at all:.. Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes Jr. "It's been something hard. I've given it a lot of thought and I've spoken to my family about it and my family is in full support of me going ahead as a candidate of Orange Walk North. As a matter of fact that is what my dad would have wanted. My dad was a very brave and courageous man and I know if he could come directly to speak to me he would say don't worry about me, I am in a good place and you go ahead with your election." Jules Vasquez "Do you think it will help you in your campaign having put out a narrative which implicates your opponent? Is it something you will say 'you can't trust that guy because he is involve in X.Y.Z?'"

Faber Magnanimous With Micah, Snide With Shoman
Another political race in which the dynamics just changed is in the Collet division. PUP newcomer Micah Goodin was made to step aside for former city councilor Yasmin Shoman - in her first run as a general election candidate. She hopes to unseat Faber who is a three term incumbent - one that beat his last opponent by over 1500 votes. That makes him also the prohibitive favourite heading into any head to head political contest in Collet - which is probably why Faber was charitable with Goodin, and dismissive of Shoman:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "I said I would never would have said anything unkind about Micah, in fact he is somebody who I observed and I looked at as an up and coming potential star in whatever he does. As to the new opponent, I won't be so kind in that she is no new comer to politics. She of course was a city councilor for 6 years in this country, in the city.

Teenager Accused Of Shooting Teenager
18 year-old Deshay Williams, a construction worker residing on Banak Street, is on remand tonight after being taken to court for shooting another teenager last night. 18 year-old Stanley Flowers Jr., a BDF Volunteer, told police that he was riding his bike on Gibnut Street at just before 7 last night. He says that when he arrived at the Fullers Lane intersection, he was approached by Williams, who he also knows at "Shady". He says that Williams pulled out a weapon and fired two shots, one of which injured him in the right hand. Police picked up Williams today, and charged him with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until January 23 of next year.

Third Cattle Sweep Sees Prices Rising, Industry Developing
In August of 2012, we told you about the first ever Cattle Sweep in Belize. It was the start of an 11 million dollar project partially funded by the European Union to bring Belize's cattle industry up to international export standards. That meant extensive testing for two diseases: brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis. And now, two years later, only one case of tuberculosis has been detected after tens of thousands of cattle were tested in two sweeps. The sweep and the disease free status has paid a real dividend for cattle farmers and we found out more when we went to the launch of the third sweep today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting These cattle on Doni Urbina's farm outside Orange Walk Town were the first to have samples taken in the third cattle sweep. That means squeezing a as much as a thousand pounds of bull, heifer or calf into a stall and taking a blood sample from the tail vein then fixing an electronic tag on the ear - a sort of passport for this cow - and all hundred thousand or so in Belize.

Accident Victim Yanie Cu's Family Appreciates The Support
Earlier in our newscast, we showed you how those accused rioters from Succotz were taken to court for that illegal protest staged to agitate for fellow villagers Yolando Valencia and Yanie Cu. Police are now prosecuting 18 Succotz residents for it, but the relatives of the victims are cheering them; they were glad for the solidarity. Today, we got a chance to catch up with the family of the driver, Yanie Cu, and discuss his health in the aftermath of the accident. His wife told us that if it were not for those villagers and their strong community spirit, she and her family would have been destroyed after their breadwinner ended up bedridden: Roselia Cu - Wife of Accident Victim "And then, that's when they reach to seek justice, and they reacted with the pain that they felt. And, I can't criticize them, because of them, I have travelled to go and see insurance. From them, I have food for my family, from the people, that have helped me, to make my children go to school. And persons who were there with my children when I left them, until today, they have helped me with food. Right here in Succotz, it's people for unity, and they feel the pain of the people."

Eddie Vega Shorted In Land Deal; DPM Says He Didn't Give Land
And while we had the Deputy Prime Minister before us today we did ask him about two issues that are outside of his ministerial portfolios. The first is the matter of his brother Eddie Vega - the mega-merchant from Benque Viejo. Eddie Vega has filed a police report requesting court action against Chinese Businessman Tommy Tang. Vega says Tang arranged to buy a plot of land from him near the Loma Luz Hospital for 350,000 thousand dollars - but when he went to cash post-dated cheques for the final 75,000 thousand dollars in April 2014, the account had been closed. And Tang, the owner of Three Flags could not be found. Now, these things do happen in the course of business, but because his name is Vega and he is the Deputy Prime Minister's brother -talk immediately started that Vega, could have been coming up, speculating on a piece of land gifted to him by his brother, the lands minister. We asked Minister Vega about it today:..

DPM Says Nephew Not Off The Hook For Rough Spots On Road
And one other relative we wanted to ask the Deputy about was his nephew Imer Hernandez. He got the contract to pave the Belize - Corozal road through Orange Walk - and the first few miles have been finished. But, there are a few rough spots already showing up on this brand new road, and the media asked the Deputy about it today:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister "I don't really know what the situation is. To be sincere I am not an engineer. All we know is that we are going to check our work or what is being deliver at the end of the contract." As you saw in the video, a number of areas on the road were being worked on today.

Talking Tertiary, Day 2
As we reported last night, the CANQATE conference, focusing on improving educational services at the tertiary level, is ongoing. The Minister of Education addressed the conference today and he discussed the importance improving this sector - especially in Belize where the number of persons with a first degree is among the lowest in the region:.. There are about 100 quality assurance professionals participating in this year's conference.

Hon. Faber: Roadshow's Recruiting Vital
And on the topic of improving education, Minister Faber also commented on the education roadshow "If you love Belize, Teach" and the benefits it will have on teacher recruitment and training. The Roadshow continues tonight at this hour in San Ignacio and goes to Orange Walk tomorrow.

Rotary Makes Wheelchair Access Real
Disabled persons from Belize City and Orange Walk will benefit from a wheelchair donation by the Rotary Club. Today they held a ceremony at CISCO construction where wheelchairs were handed over to some of the recipients. We found out how the gift will improve their quality of life: 110 wheelchairs valued at $50,000 dollars were donated.

UNICEF Looking At Child Rights
UNICEF held a meeting today at the Radisson to review its country program on health. Their discussions focused on HIV/AIDS education and Child Rights. We spoke to Social Policy Specialist Ilija Talev about the objectives of the meeting.

Channel 5

Yhony Rosado’s Home Targeted by Armed Robbers in Daring Home Invasion
Yhony Rosado is a very outspoken tour operator; he has big stakes in the tourism industry as the proprietor of As recent as last Friday, Rosado made bold and [...]

Fourteen Benqueños Charged With Rioting and Unlawful Assembly
This morning there was heightened Police presence at the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court and special units on standby at the Police Station around the corner. Based on evidence gathered at [...]

Ramon Cervantes Jr. Says He Won’t Apologize to Gapi Vega
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega stands accused of orchestrating a hit on Ramon Cervantes Junior.  That very serious allegation was contained in a purported recording of wanted fugitive Manuel ‘El [...]

Gapi Vega’s Political Career Unfazed by Defamatory Statements
Cervantes will not apologize nor back down, and neither will Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. He told the media today that the matter is in the hands of his attorney [...]

Smart and BTL Head to Court
Attorneys for telecom providers Speednet and B.T.L. were in court this morning. Speednet Communications Limited filed an application for an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited on Wednesday to prevent the [...]

Data and Voice Services Extended to December Eighth
Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, representing B.T.L., laid out the fundamental principle behind B.T.L.’s move to terminate the agreement.  He says that Speednet purchased the service for private use then turned [...]

Yani Cu: The Long Road to Recovery
Earlier in our newscast we showed you the protesters who were charged in the Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court. The act for which they were charged was a cry for justice, [...]

Alyssa Carnegie Steps Down as BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations
Another resignation was announced today at the B.T.B. where a number of senior officers have demitted office in recent times. Today, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, joined [...]

NICH’s Forty-Eight Inch Regulation Suspended Temporarily
The B.T.B. announced today that it had reached its one million mark in tourist arrivals in the country. According to the release, one million eighteen thousand seven hundred and five [...]

Martin Palma Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teenage Boys
A scout leader, who is also a teacher of Forest Home, Toledo, is in big trouble tonight. He is Martin Palma, who went on a rampage sexually assaulting three teenagers [...]

Police Officer Charged After Knocking Down Pedestrian
A police officer was served with a notice of intended prosecution after he knocked down a man while driving a Government vehicle within city limits. Thirty-four year old police constable [...]

U-16 Basketball Team Doing Well at COCABA Championships
There is good news coming out of Panama where Belize’s national U-sixteen male basketball team has won its first game. On Wednesday night, the team faced off against Costa Rica [...]

Accutel BPO Shuts Down Abruptly, Employees Unpaid
Business process outsourcing is one of Belize’s fastest growing industries. Thousands of Belizeans have gained jobs from the outsourcing of customer service and other chores of business, primarily from the [...]

Landlord Says Emory Castillo Skipped Rent for Accutel Tenancy
The employees say this turn of events has hurt not only their financial standing, but also their job prospects. And as a check with the Companies Registry reveals, their employment [...]

CANQATE Hosts Annual Tertiary Education Conference in Belize
For three days, educators will be discussing the institutional development of tertiary education in the region with emphasis on quality assurance.  The occasion is the annual conference of CANQATE, a [...]

Healthy Living shows you the face of diabetes
This Friday, November fourteenth, will be commemorated as World Diabetes Day. The day is spent advocating and building awareness about this very prevalent condition. It is estimated that up to [...]


BSCFA Corozal Branch Chairman Condemns Burning Of BSI/ASR Fields
Yesterday around midday approximately 15 hectares of BSI/ASR’s cane field located in an area known as Slip Dock in the Libertad Village was set on fire. With the cane field set ablaze, 400 hundred tons of cane valued at approximately $27,000 went up in smoke. In order to avoid any more losses, BSI/ASR has heighted security in the areas where their cane fields are located. And while the company did not comment on the issue yesterday Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Corozal Branch, Ramon Aban, condemned the act. Ramon Aban– Chairman BSCFA Corozal Branch “Nosotros les estamos pidiendo a todos los caneros que por favor, no podía yo acusar si son caneros o no pero a las persona que lo hayan hecho que por favor suspendan esas clases de quemazones a las plantas porque no vamos a resolver nada en estar quemando planteles, las negociaciones se hacer o si tenemos un problema vamos a resolverlo en una meza lo vamos a resolver juntamente el gobierno de Belice, La Asociación, El Sugar Board y los cuerpos indicados para poder seguir ayudándolos adelante con esta industria solo así lo podemos hacer.”

Vega Speaks Vaguely On Possible Lawsuit Against Monchie
Vega was also drilled on other matters including that of the law suit to be filed against his political opponent, Ramon Cervantes Jr. for libel for implicating that he was involved in the murder of his father. And while the DPM has categorically denied that allegation, he spoke very few words on the matter.Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister “You said it, Rodwell Williams already send the letter so there is very little that I can say it is in his hands and I said what I had to say and I just will leave it there.” Reporter “Do you think it is irresponsible for Mr Cervantes to do this along with the media houses that broadcasted the event?” Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister “Like I said I have said what I had to say and the rest the Attorney will take care of it.”

DPM Demands Retraction And Apology, Cervantes Says No Way
Yesterday we told you about Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s intent to sue Ramon Cervantes Jr. after his family aired a telephone recording between Vilma Cervantes, wife of the late Ramon Cervantes Senior and a man alleging to be Manuel Castillo, the person police believe was the author in the death of Cervantes Sr. in July of this year. As we have been reporting, the recording revealed damning allegations made against the Minister implicating him in Cervantes’ demise. In a recorded statement, the DPM indicated that the allegation made against him has endangered him and his family at the same time he denied having any involvement whatsoever with Cervantes’ death. Now, Minister Vega is demanding a retraction from Cervantes Junior and payment for damages for defamation. The DPM’s lawyer, Rodwell Williams, wrote a formal letter to Cervantes Junior claiming that and we quote, “words were baseless, untrue and amounted to a very serious libel on our client and have caused him considerable distress and embarrassment and have put him and his family in fear for his own safety and well-being,” end quote. So, will Cervantes Junior heed to the DPM’s demands? From the looks of things, Cervantes won’t give in that easy as he emphatically told us today there will be no apology on his part.

Third Cattle Sweep Launched In The North
This morning, the third leg in the cattle sweep project taking place in rural Belize was launched. The aim of the project is to detect two diseases that affect livestock and can be harmful to humans if consumed. The process is in three phases prior to the exportation of the livestock to Mexico and Guatemala. So far, sweeps have taken place in northern Belize and today Reporter Maria Novelo had a first-hand look at the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project that has a seemingly lucrative outlook for the Belize cattle industry and its stakeholders. Maria Novelo – Reporting Before local Belize beef can tap into the international markets and dinner tables, livestock farmers have to ensure that each head of cattle is disease free. Belize Agriculture Health Authority, (BAHA), which is the chief implementing organization, launched a cattle sweep project in the north two years ago. Today, cattle farmers and livestock cattle producers are reaping the benefits of that project.

DPM Comments On Current Sugar Impass
While the media was on hand to highlight the great strides made in the Cattle Industry, we had the opportunity to ask Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega about his view in the on-going BSI/ASR/BSCFA saga. The association has gone on record to state that the presence of Central Government has been lacking in the negotiations, Vega says the Government can only act as facilitator, and not in the position to do or tell any of the entities what to do. Vega however, encouraged both entities to come to the table to find a compromise since farmers with huge obligations will be affected. Here’s how that exchange went. Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister “The government will continue to facilitate, we have always done that ready to ensure that both parties BSI/ASR and the Cane farmers sit around the table, I know that the negotiations still going on and all we can do is to continue to facilitate, continue to encourage them to come around the table and ensure that both parties compromise as much as possible for us to be able to start a crop with the best and the least challenges possible.”

Belize Celebrates World Diabetes Day
Did you know that in Belize, Diabetes is among the leading cause of death in the country, with approximately 14 percent or about 49,000 Belizeans living with the disease? That is why, this year’s World Diabetes Day is being held under the theme “healthy Eating and Diabetes: Healthy Eating begins with breakfast”. It highlights the importance of eating healthy to prevent Type II Diabetes and effective management to avoid complications. The initiative promotes the benefits of starting the day with a healthy breakfast, which can help individuals manage their weight and for diabetes, keep blood glucose levels stable.

BNLS Hold Reading Competition In Corozal
Reading is a complex cognitive process of interpreting symbols in order to construct or derive meaning in reading comprehension. In other words reading is very important to survive in this modern world and that is one of the primary reasons why the Belize National Library Service has organized a nationwide reading competition at the district level. Today 8 primary schools in Corozal Town, gathered under the Andres Campos Civic Center to see who will represent Corozal District in the grand finale in Belize City at the Belize National Library service Reading competition. Jahmor Lopez – M.O.E “This morning we had the competition or categories one and two and we are wrapping up with category three the upper division students, we have the participation of our two central zones the town schools, for our purpose we have central zone one and two we have the participation of Paraiso, Mary Hill, Corozal Nazarene, Church of Christ, Our lady of Guadalupe so we have eight schools participating and we extended an invitation to all those schools within the town zones but those eight field it students for three categories.”

Corozal Cane Farmers Meet With BSI/ASR
Yesterday, over 300 cañeros in the Corozal District gathered at the Andres Campos Civic Center for a presentation by ASR Group with the objective to highlight the agreements brought to them for the purchase of sugar cane. As you can imagine after the presentation by members of ASR/BSI, cane farmers were given the opportunity to express their sentiment in respect to the agreement presented to them. Here is how that went. Cane Farmer- Corozal Branch “Señores nosotros tenemos que ver que es que vamos a firmar si es que queremos firmar, señores pongan mucha atención y lean bien porque estos señores hablan bonita aquí pero cuando están en la meza de negociaciones son otras personas si con nosotros que somos 18 directores contrabajo nos hacen caso que tal será con 300 grupos dijo el como iba ser con un grupo iba hablar para que todos queden de acuerdo, señores pongan ojo en estos papeles y consultemos que es lo bueno para nosotros.”

Muffles High School Celebrates Champions Week
This week is being celebrated as the second annual Champion’s Week at the Muffles High School. For the faculty and student population it means a heap of activities and events that encourages moral values, life skills and positive attitudes in and out of school. Today, the students were engaged in motivational talks, our newsteam were on hand to speak to the organizers. Yvette Hernandez – School Counselor “Champions week ad it is to motivate our students and to be the best they can be, you know usually you hear that adults are reminding student or what they do that is not acceptable, things that they do wrongly but then on the other hand who is motivating them to be better persons.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “But then what are the activities that they are engaged in?” Yvette Hernandez – School Counselor “Ok on Monday we started with an assembly we had guest speakers and on Tuesday we had a poem and a song competition and yesterday we had posters competition and today we are having religious day and we are having guest speakers also talking them and on Friday we will close off with a champions run around the town and we are going to continue with a sports day all day.”

DPM Demands Apology and Retraction From Cervantes Or Else
After damning allegations from the Cervantes family last week alleging that a sitting Government Minister was implicated with the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr, today the recording played was used against the family with a file claim to sue. On November 9th, Attorney Rodwell Williams of Barrow & Williams wrote to Ramon Cervantes Jr., threatening to sue on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. The letter spoke on the recording aired on several news stations and we quote, “in their natural and ordinary meaning, the words mean and were understood to mean that Minister Gaspar Vega: was 1. Connected to the Mexican mafia 2. Paid money for the killing of Ramon Cervantes Sr, 3. Sent someone to kill Ramon Cervantes Sr, 4. Is corrupting the police and 5. Is engaged in criminal activity,” end quote.


Scout Leader Charged With Sexual Assault
A Scouts leader in southern Belize has been charged with three counts of sexual assault. A 16yr. old Farmer of San Jose Village, Toledo District reported that at 5:50pm on 31.10.14, he went to Santa Cruz Community Center where he was to meet Martin Palma, his scout leader. Complainant stated that Palma gave him alcohol to drink and at 10:00pm on said date, he was awaken by Palma touching his chest and penis. Complainant stated that Palma told him that he will give him $1,000.00 for him to keep quiet. Police have since arrested and charged Martin Palma, 34yrs, Belizean Teacher of Forest Home Village with one count of Sexual Assault.

Ministry of Education Appeal To Secondary School Students
While the conference of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education is underway in Belize City, our Ministry of Education is making an appeal to parents and students of secondary schools who will need assistance in paying for their CSEC Examinations. According to the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, it is an initiative that was introduced but that very few parents are capitalizing on. PATRICK FABER “You will recall that the Prime Minister did say that we are going to be helping needy students with the CSEC exams. We intend to do this and we started from back in May and June where we along with the Ministry of Human Development asked parents to have their children from standard six at the time up to third form participate in a mean survey. Now the purpose of that mean survey was for people who wanted the help or people who needed the help to help the government to identify the needs. Now I will tell you that after these surveys were completed only about 40% of the students who were enrolled at the different levels, we are talking now only for the fourth form level those who were in third form last year at the time when they took the survey, so there were many who did not take advantage of the opportunity and those in the media know we made great strides to get the information out.

Petra Gill-Nunez; Missing For Approximately Eight Months
47-year-old Petra Gill Nunez has been reported missing. The family is concerned after they have been unable to get in touch with her for the past eight months. Her sister Yvonne Moore spoke with Love News. YVONNE MOORE “My sister has been missing for eight months now and her name is Petra Gill, that is the last name I know her by but through marriage and sometimes she uses Nunez but what concerns us about this disappearance is that she leaves sometimes but she has never gone for this long without communicating with a family member especially her son. She has one son that is close to her and even she is concerned that she is not communicating with her. The last time he talked to her his mom told him that she would go to Mexico but somebody told me they saw here after that time and she still did no communicate with anyone so that is surprising too. So because of that we are concerned about her. We would want if anybody saw her that the communicate with the family or police.” LEIGH-ANDRA GENTLE “Has she ever told you guys about anyone harassing her or complaining of any sort of thing that someone is stalking her?”

BSCFA Reacts To The Ceasing Of Negotiations Issued By BSI And ASR
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has reacted to a letter issued by BSI on Monday where the ASR backed sugar factory tells the association that it is ceasing negotiations and now seeks to sign individual commercial agreements with farmers. Chairman of the BSCFA Ezequiel Cansino read an excerpt of the letter they sent to BSI. EZEQUIEL CANSINO “We propose that we can still commence the crop on the basis of one year inter-agreement while we finalize the negotiations of the new agreement. Your intentions to proceed with other options to secure agreement for the supply of sugar cane to BSI effective the 2014-2015 crop is a blatant disrespect of our association.” But the issue here is that BSI is saying they have moved pass that position and the only thing it is willing to sign is a seven year contract, a commercial agreement BSCFA is not willing to consider. Chemist at BSCFA Javier Queme spoke on the issue. JAIER QUEME “We don’t have plan B. Our plan A is to start crop on time. That is our Plan A, we are ready to start the crop with the interim agreement we worked last year. It worked perfectly good, we have offered that option, we are ready to renew that interim agreement meantime these issues are being settled in the future. So we don’t want a seven year agreement, being tied up one time and them a negative impact come between the agreement that will be renewed by BSI and Tate & Lyle come next year. So we are prepared to sign an interim agreement, the past interim agreement last year it worked perfectly good and we are ready to sign again and renew it and we are ready to start the crop again once BSI is ready.”

Clothes Vendor of Cleghorn Street Charged With Theft
Thirty-three year old Tiffany Lamb, a clothes vendor of Cleghorn Street, who allegedly dishonestly appropriated five thousand three hundred and twenty dollars, was charged with twenty one counts of theft when she appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Lamb plead not guilty to the charges. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offenses are of a serious nature, the virtual complainant is a senior citizen and if granted bail it is believed that the defendant will interfere with prosecution witnesses. When asked to give a good reason why she should be granted bail, Lamb said the complainant is like an aunt to her and she has business to take care of. Senior Magistrate Fraser upheld the objection and she remanded Lamb into custody until January 21, 2015. The complainant, 73 year old Joyce Goff, reported to the police that between October 24 and November 3, five thousand three hundred and twenty dollars was withdrawn from her bank account by the use of her ATM card and it was without her permission. Goff said she and Lamb were friends and on several occasions she gave Lamb her ATM card and asked her to withdraw money for her.

Patrol In Western Belize; Police And BDF Soldiers Recovered Shotgun
Police officers and BDF Soldiers were on foot patrol about 600 meters from Tree Tops observation post in Western Belize when they came across two male persons walking on a track. Belizean authorities reportedly shouted at them to stop but one of the men persons dropped what appeared to be a shotgun and the two men escaped into the bushes at Santa Cruz Village, Guatemala. The Soldiers made checks and found a home-made 16 gauge shotgun with brown handle and brown stalk without brand or serial number; it was deposited as found property.

Two Houses Destroyed In Fire; Approximately Fifteen Homeless.
More than fifteen persons were left homeless today as a far destroyed two houses in Belize City. Fire fighters were called to number four Maskall Street where they saw two houses engulfed in flames. Hipolito Novelo has the story. LINTON MASKALL “I’m still feeling the trembling right now. I was surprised that it went down this fast and destroyed so many things.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “That is 40 year old Linton Maskall and he is speaking of the fire that destroyed his house and his mother’s house early this morning. The fire started just after mid night and Maskall says he was out buying fried chicken when he saw smoke coming from his house.” LINTON MASKALL “I dropped the chicken and everything and I ran home because I remembered that my sister was here with all her kids and I tried to run home and help here with all of the kids. So everybody made it out alive but we lost everything. My uncle said that he opened the door to come outside and when he opened the door, there was this big blaze of fire coming at him and he said the only way he could have gotten out was by stomping his way out through the window.”

Man Looses House To Early Morning Fire
There was a house fire early this morning in Belize City. According to reports, about 12:15 this morning, fire fighters were called to number four Maskall Street, where they saw two houses engulfed in flames. The flames subsequently spread to the two other houses in the yard. Initial investigation reveals that one of the home owners left his house sometime around midnight and upon returning a few minutes later, he met his house engulfed in flames, which was extinguished by Fire Department personnel. None of the houses or their contents were insured and no one was injured in the incident. Police are investigating.

Riot In Succotz Village; 20 Individuals Are Summond To Court
Back in August, residents of Succotz Village took to the streets, burnt tires and blocked the road after one of their own was killed and another seriously injured in a traffic accident. The accident involved the now suspended Assistant Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, who was 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. Killed in the accident was 54-year-old Yolanda Valencia and injured was taxi driver, 28 year-old Yanie Cu. Believing that the legal process was not proceeding as it should be by getting Segura before the courts, residents staged a protest. That was over two months ago and now; those involved in the riot have been summoned to court to be charged. Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, told Love News that those involved committed a crime. COMPOL WHYLIE “Well they had no permits and their actions were illegal. We cannot allow people to break the law and get away with it. That is the purpose why we exercised restraint and we continue to investigate and we are satisfied and we will take those persons to the court.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Given the public sentiment, is the police department ready to receive the backlash that this might get because many of the Belizeans are saying that they vented their feelings because a police officer was involved in this accident, they believe they acted in their rights. Are you ready to receive that backlash?”

Man Shot In The Leg On North Front Street
There was a scare on North Front Street this afternoon as bullets rang out while tourists were making their way through the streets. When our news team arrived on the scene just after 2 o’clock, we were informed that two person had been shot. One of them is 22 year old Carl Lino and he is recuperating from a gunshot wound to the leg. Lino’s sister, 24 year old Diane Lino, told us off camera what she saw. DIANE LINO “When I heard the gun shot, the popping in my house, I ran outside and when I ran I saw everyone running out but I reached before everyone. I heard the guy say ‘Di tall black bwai we done shat ah, we done shat ah. Ih deh pan di ground inna di caana’.” MIKE RUDON “Who said that?” DIANE LINO “One of the police and now the police went around to where the house was because you can’t see. I ran and when I reached, I got to find out it was my brother. The police took out a gun from his side and put it on the ground and picked it up and said ‘See the fire arm here, he had this’.”

Belize Police Department Recieves Recording From Cervantes Family
Last week a scandalous accusation was made against a senior member of Government and several police officers. The Cervantas family in Orange Walk released a damning telephone recording between a man claiming to be Manuel Castillo- the man wanted for the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr., and widow of Ramon Cervantes Sr., Vilma Cervantes. The family has handed over the recording to the Belize Police Department. We caught up with Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie this morning and we asked him about it. HIPOLITO NOVELO “What sort of investigation is being followed in terms of ascertaining that it is Mr. Castillo?” COMPOL WHYLIE “Well that is one of the first things we have to establish. I know part of the investigation includes the investigators going and speaking not only with the Cervantes family, but with the Castillo family to see if they recognize his voice. Of course, the key is to locate Castillo and bring him in and then we continue from there.”

Police Walk; More Than Two Hundred Police Officers Participated
Early this morning more than two hundred police officers attached to all four precincts, participated in the first ever health Walk organized by the Belize Police Department. Love News spoke to Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie: ALLEN WHYLIE “As police officers, with all the work that we do sometimes, we don’t do enough time for physical exercise; so I hope that today is a catalyst for many of us including myself. I want to congratulate OC and her team who put this walk together and who invited me and I am glad to be a participant.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “What would be the overall message to the Belizean people about health walks?” ALLEN WHYLIE “I think it is important to know it doesn’t matter how busy we are that our health is important and we don’t realize what we are doing to our bodies until when we have some kind of medical illness or ailment and sometimes it’s too late; so I think prevention is better than cure and if it’s even a five or ten minute walk daily I think it’s very healthy.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Are you satisfied with the turn out?” ALLEN WHYLIE “Yes I am. It’s the first time it’s been organized. I spoke to the OC , the deputy and they said we need to try to do this more regularly. Perhaps after the New Year’s, we will invite our other security agencies to participate in a similar walk.”

Allen Explains Pre-Conference For Education Workshop Sessions
Yesterday we told you of the dozens of persons in the education sector who are in Belize from various Caribbean countries for an annual conference spearheaded by the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE – can-quate). Today marks the first of three days for the event which Belize’s Ministry of Education and the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions in Belize is hosting this year at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. Love News spoke to Doctor Ruby Allen, the President of CANQATE (can-quate) who explained to us that today’s session is the pre-conference and involves two workshop sessions. DR. RUBY ALLEN “We set aside a day before the conference which we call the day for the pre-conference workshops. Ideally over the years we’ve had one workshop but Belize is the country where we are piloting two workshops, one geared towards tertiary institutions and one geared towards the accreditation bodies. So the workshop for the institutions will be led by Dr. Susan Murphy, she comes out of the United States of America. She has a long history in accreditation and she is going to be dealing with assessing and improving student learning outcomes.

Cultural Day At UB Gears Towards Bringing Awareness To The Garifuna Culture
Students at the University of Belize are taking part in a cultural day, geared at bringing awareness to the Garifuna culture. With the story, we join Felix Mai. FELIX MAI “The student government of Belize Belmopan campus is having a cultural day today.” STUDENT GOVERNMENT “Today officially is the cultural diversity day here at the University of Belize and with the passing of the late King of Paranda Paul Nabor. we have decided to commemorate in a Garifuna mass, the first ever Garifuna mass to be held at the University of Belize and basically we have all the campuses throughout the campus of UB taking the mass. We have honorary guests, the administration of the University of Belize will be here attending the mass and like I said it is basically just to honor and pay respect and tribute to the late passing of Paul Nabor and also to the great king in Garifuna music Andy Palacio.

Whylie Motives To Put Active Measures At Caracol Archaeological Reserve
Several measures have been put in place at the Caracol Archaeological Reserve after the coldblooded murder of 19 year old Special Constable, Daniel “Danny” Connorquie. But those measures should have been placed before the unfortunate incident and many believe that if they were, Conorquie killings could have been prevented. A letter from Assistant Superintendent Diana Hall, Officer in Charge of the Tourism Police Unit, was sent to the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, warning Compol Whylie, of the dangers of the Guatemalans carrying out illegal activities close to the site. After hall’s excessive warnings, nothing was done and when we spoke to Whylie a few weeks back, he told us that he was looking into it. So today we asked him what he has found out so far. COMPOL WHYLIE “I am aware of the situation. Yes I can recall seeing that letter at some time prior and I know that I had passed some directives to one of the desk officers. I am still trying to confirm what action was done by the desk officer with that letter, but I do know that I had seen it.”

Dr. Ruby Allen Speaks of The Absence of National Accreditation in Education
When it comes to education in Belize, they are many aspects where improvement can be had both on the classroom level and on the national level and while this has been admitted by the minister, himself, Belize is still yet to establish a national accreditation body whose primary responsibility would be to monitor and evaluate the quality and the outputs from the various institutions. The absence of this national body in Belize, formed part of our discussion with the President of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Level Institutions (CANQATE), Dr. Ruby Aline. DR. RUBY ALLEN “Belize actually positioned itself very nicely in 2004 when you passed the legislation to establish your accreditation body. That was one of the early pieces of legislation in the region. Actually 2004 was the earliest year we had the new legislation coming in place, Caricom secretariat had given us a draft act and many countries had adapted that act. Since then though Belize hasn’t actually established the body so while you have quality assurance mechanisms in place in your institutions there is no national body with that responsibility of quality assurance yet in accordance with the act that you have. So I know that those persons in the ministry have been looking at when you establish that body.”

Ortega’s Demand’s Intervention From Prime Minister
During today’s press conference, two term chairperson of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega, lashed out at the government in not looking at the best interest of the farmers. Ortega is demanding intervention of the Prime Minister in order to save the industry. ALFREDO ORTEGA “It is very important to see the arrogant behavior of these people from BSI. They are now coming like wolves trying to eat up the cane farmers and how they are looking after this. They are coming with the cane farmers now as if they are angels in heaven trying to protect the farmers without coming to the association by passing the association which represents the farmers in the North, in the country and abroad but what they are looking for is their own interest and I would like to call the attention of our Prime Minister and the Government of Belize, this association from since we have been fair trade certified we have spent millions of dollars on our sugar roads which is the government of Belize that should take care of the sugar roads for the farmers because all of us as farmers we pay our taxes to the government of Belize, we pay our taxes to the nation of Belize versus BSI/ASR who are not paying anything to the country, not even the environmental tax.


3 teens accuse scout leader of sexual assault
A Toledo Scout leader and teacher is being accused by at least three teenage boys that the scouts leader sexually molested them while they were on a scouts camp in Santa Cruz village. All three incidents reportedly happened on October 31. The first incident happened at 4:30 pm that Friday. A 17yr. old Belizean Student of San Jose Village, Toledo District reported that he arrived at Santa Cruz Village along with 34 year old Martin Palma, his scout leader. The 17 year old stated that he smelt the strong aroma of alcohol on Palma’s breath, and decided to go walk through a short cut from Santa Cruz Village to San Jose Village, but Palma followed him. The minor further stated that Palma walked up to him and put his hands around his neck and began touching his lips and cheeks at which time Palma told the minor that he was a rich man and he will give the minor $1,000.00 to keep quiet. The second incident happened at 8 pm that night. This time, the victim was a 16 year old Belizean Scout of San Jose Village, Toledo District. He told police that at 8:00pm, while camping at the community center in Santa Cruz Village, he was awakened by Martin Palma, the scout leader, touching him on the chest and loosening his belt buckle. The 16 year old said that Palma told him that he would give him $1,000.00 to keep quiet.

Police guard Carl Lino at KHMH
On Wednesday we reported on a shooting incident in Belize City, but details were sketchy at the time of the report. On Thursday, police released information on the latest shooting incident. At about 2:15 pm on Wednesday 12th November, shots were fired on North Front Street. 28 year old Andrew Tate of Belize City was shot to the back of his head, and was transported to KHMH. Carl Lino was also shot to the leg. Police say that Andrew Tate Was riding a bicycle on North Front Street towards the direction of Swing Bridge, when he was pursued by a lone gun man, who fired three shots at him, hitting him to the back of the head. The gunman then ran in the direction of Pinks Alley, where he was pursued by police foot patrol in the area and police shot Lino to the leg. Carl Lino was taken to the KHMH by the police. 22 year old Carl Lino remains under guard at KHMH. A point 38 special revolver that allegedly fell from Lino’s hand was retrieved by the police. Andrew Tate is listed in a stable condition also at KHMH.

Teen charged for shooting BDF volunteer
18 year old Deshay Williams, aka “Shady”, is spending Christmas in prison after being charged with attempted murder. The Banak Street resident and Cisco Construction worker is accused of attempting to murder and causing dangerous harm and using deadly means of harm against Stanley Alexander Flowers, Jr. on Wednesday evening around 6:45, a few hours after the double shooting on North Front Street, Belize City. According to Stanley Flowers, he was standing at the corner of Gibnut Street and Fuller’s Lane, having ridden his bicycle on Gibnut Street from the direction of Dolphin Street heading towards Curassow Street, when 3 men approached him and one of them, identified as Deshay Williams, fired several shots at him. Stanley Flowers was shot twice in his right hand. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer remanded Williams into custody until January 23, 2015, his next court date.

Truck driver charged for 2011 accident
Nearly four years ago, Wayne Williams was killed after crashing into a parked water truck on the George Price Highway. Police have now formally laid charges against the driver, 41 year old Ervan Augustine of the Maxboro area of Sandhill, Belize District. Ervan Augustine is charged with manslaughter by negligence and causing death by careless conduct. On December 6, 2011, Mr Augustine parked the vehicle on the right side of the highway between miles 28 and 29, but did not leave on any lights to indicate that it was there. Wayne Williams died after crashing into the parked vehicle. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer set bail at $5,000. Augustine returns to court on January 20, 2015.

Corwin Mendoza’s body retrieved from Belize River
His family was hoping against all hope that 24 year old Corwin Mendoza, who was reported missing since Sunday evening, would turn up alive despite all evidence suggesting otherwise. But on Wednesday, some minutes before 10:00 am, his decomposing body was found floating in the Belize River about a mile from the Guanacaste Park Area. There was an air of mixed emotions as family members and close friends of the now deceased Corwin Mendoza gathered to witness the body retrieved from the waters. Plus News went along with first responders to bring you on sight footage, however we ran into some mishap as we were given the old run around by authorities of the law. We finally caught up with the family at the edge of the Banana Bank Resort where the body was to be processed. There we spoke with Eduardo Baptist, uncle of Corwin Mendoza. He joined the search party on Tuesday and was the first to spot the body about a mile from the Guanacaste Park Area.

Afternoon shooting leaves one dead
On Wednesday afternoon there was a shooting incident in Belize City on North Front Street at its junction with an alley known as Eden Site. One person was apparently shot dead and another injured, reportedly by police, around 2:15. Details are sketchy at this point, but we understand that a young man was apparently shot in the alley and police chased his alleged attacker and shot him in the leg. Since police have released no official details, we will refrain from calling the name of the alleged attacker, but we have obtained an interview with a sister who denies that he had anything to do with what happened. She explains her version of events, including a major accusation against police.

PUP supports Cane Farmers Association
On Wednesday afternoon we spoke with Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, on the ongoing power struggle in the sugar industry between Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA). Mr Fonseca says a third partner in the industry, the Government in the guise of the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) and Ministry of Agriculture, is noticeably silent, and he wants to know why. Francis Fonseca – Leader of the People’s United Party “I think the problem today is that the Government of Belize, who is an integral part of that partnership, is missing in action. The farmers themselves have been calling for the Sugar Industry Control Board to get engaged in this process. They have been missing in action. The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Vega, has been missing in action. His deputy Hugo Patt, whom I believe sits on the Sugar Industry Control Board, has also been missing in action.

Four houses in one yard catch fire
More than ten persons are homeless after a fire erupted early Wednesday morning in a family yard on Maskall Street in the Port Loyola area of Belize City. According to police, around 12:15 a.m. on Wednesday they responded to the fire, which had engulfed two of four houses in the yard: a wooden house with zinc roofing, belonging to Linton Maskall, 40 year old security guard with the Education Department; and a green-painted wooden house with zinc roofing, belonging to Carol Maskall, 37 years, domestic worker; both of which were engulfed and completely destroyed. Linton Maskall had gone out to buy food and describes what he saw on his return. Linton Maskall Sr. – Victim of House Fire “I went to get me some food, and on my way back I saw a blaze. I put my food down and I ran to see where the fire came from. I saw it was burning my house. I couldn’t do nothing to it at that moment, because it was already through the whole house. It didn’t take too long to hit my mom’s house. [My children] had come out of the house at that time, because when they felt the heat the big one jumped up and he started to wake the next little one there. They reached up to my mom’s house, and called for my little sister. She started to wake up all the kids and they went through the back door. Bu the time the last kid get out, the flames reached my mother’s house.”

Patrick JonesPJ

Belmopan residents pay tribute to TV Ramos
Residents of Belmopan joined their voices and energies tonight (November 13th, 2014) as they paid tribute to Thomas Vincent Ramos the founder of Garifuna Settlement Day. Other local heroes like Mr. Francis Arana, Sr., Mrs. Thomas Nunez, Mr. Bernard Palacio among others were also honoured for their […]

Policeman accused of careless driving
Constable Wilbert Chan faces several charges for a traffic mishap two weeks ago that left a man injured. The 34 year old pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to driving without due care and attention, negligent harm and failure to conform to a traffic sign. On October […]

Police update on North Front shooting
Police have formally named both the suspect and victim in a shooting on Wednesday afternoon in Belize City. 28 year old Andrew Tate, a laborer of Far West Street, was shot and wounded in the back of his leg while riding a bicycle on North Front Street toward […]

Workers of shut-down BPO company to meet over labour issues
A meeting has been planned for the end of this week between 30 former employees of a relatively new BPO start-up, Accutel BPO and its main owner, Emory Castillo of Belmopan. The company began in May and hired its first workers in September to act as agents to respond […]

Truck driver charged for 2011 accident
Nearly four years ago, Wayne Williams was killed after crashing into a parked water truck on the George Price Highway. Police have now formally laid charges against the driver, 41 year old Ervan Augustine of the Maxboro area of Sandhill, Belize District. Augustine is charged with manslaughter by […]

Teen charged for shooting BDF volunteer
18 year old Deshay Williams, aka “Shady”, is spending Christmas in prison after being charged with attempted murder. The Banak Street resident and Cisco Construction worker is accused of attempting to murder and causing dangerous harm and using deadly means of harm against Stanley Alexander Flowers, Jr. on […]

Another phase of the national cattle sweep commences
A third cattle sweep for the country is currently being undertaken. Today, that third phase was launched at Doni Urbina’s Farm on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project is a European Union-backed initiative of the Government of Belize designed to promote Belize’s […]

Teacher accused of sexually assaulting teenage boys
A teacher from Forest Home village, Toledo has been arrested and charged following reports that he sexually assaulted three teenage boys. The incidents all happened on October 31 and the two 16 year old and the 17 year old told police that the teacher, who is also […]

Stage is set for Battle of the Drums in Punta Gorda
Plans are being finalized for the staging of the annual Battle of the Drums extravaganza this weekend in Punta Gorda town. The Sport Auditorium in Punta Gorda town will be pulsating with the beating of the Garifuna drums on Saturday night as groups from Belize, Honduras and Guatemala […]

PUP responds to national issues
This afternoon, we spoke with Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca in Belize City on several current national issues. We begin with the ongoing power struggle in the sugar industry between Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), with the sugar producers taking their case directly to […]

Afternoon shooting leaves two injured
Police have confirmed that a shooting incident in Belize City yesterday afternoon left two men injured, one critically. The shooting on North Front Street at its junction with an alley known as Eden Site happened around 2:15. One person was shot in the head and another injured in […]

Woman accused of theft from senior citizen
A woman accused of stealing from a woman more than twice her age was remanded without bail on theft charges. 33 year old Tiffany Lamb was charged with 21 counts of theft to which she pleaded not guilty. According to 73 year old Joyce Goff, she routinely asked […]

Pre-dawn fire on Maskall Street leaves families homeless
More than ten persons are homeless after a fire erupted early this morning in a family yard on Maskall Street in the Port Loyola area. According to police, around 12:15 a.m. today they responded to the fire, which had engulfed two of four houses in the yard: a […]

GIS Expo targets future users
Today is Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day, and to build awareness with future users of the technology, the leading firm in GIS application and technology in Belize, Total Business Solutions Limited, hosted a GIS Information Expo for upper primary and secondary school institutions at the Ramada Princess Hotel. […]


7 Amazing Photos of Belize a site that features astonishing photos and videos of popular attractions around the world featured Belize and captured the fascinating beauty of the country in 7 images. Belize is a country on the eastern coast of Central America. It is the only country in Central America whose official language is English, though Belizean Creole (Kriol) and Spanish are also commonly spoken. Here are the images by author Pete Morison published on November 7th:

“Shine a Light” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
We think that there’s likely to be around ten of us but it’s not going to be too much work for us (I mean Rose of course. I’m just using the royal ‘we’). Why? Well, Nanda, another of the BATSUB team is going to do the cooking. Nanda is a Gurka and obviously as such originates from Nepal,and is going ,as much as he is able to with the ingredients available, cook a traditional Nepalese meal. Now I don’t know about you but I’ve never tried Nepalese cuisine so I’m really looking forward to it. I understand its a fusion of Indian, Chinese and Tibetan cuisine. My mouth is starting to salivate already. Obviously there’ll be some photos (be warned though that they’ll likely be taken very quickly – I need to make sure I get some on my plate!). With the chores for the day taken care of Rose and I got ourselves ready and headed to ‘Town to meet friends at The Blue Water Grill.

One Beautiful Day in Hopkins Village, Belize and A Fantastic Spot to Stay
Monday morning, I woke EARLY to catch the very first bus out of Placencia. I’d spent three fantastic nights at the VERY comfortable Casa Placencia in a studio apartment…all in one of my favorite colors AND a screened in porch/lounge… and REALLY enjoyed the village. Time to head out but I had one stop before making my way back to San Pedro…an IMPORTANT stop. In the village of Hopkins, Belize. The bus is going to Dangriga and you ask to be dropped off at the Hopkins Junction – along the highway. It doesn’t get you to Hopkins, that’s an additional 5 miles down an almost paved road. Here, you have options. You can call a taxi – the number is posted on the bus stop. They will charge you $20bzd. Or…you can wait with the others that are at the stop for a ride. People making the turn down to Hopkins generally slow down so people can jump in the car…or in the back of the pick-up truck. Many resorts in Hopkins are located at the very far end of Hopkins, actually an area called Sittee Point – a lovely area but a 10 minute bike ride to “downtown” Hopkins. Coconut Row is perfect…and so convenient to the tiny village.

Scuba Diving in Ambergris Caye Belize
If you have ever been to Belize, a great spot to begin is in Ambergris Caye Belize. It offers interesting topside attractions and great diving opportunities that will keep you busy during those surface intervals. Ambergris Caye is the most popular spot in the country for scuba diving, offering various diving like blue holes, reefs, walls and more. If you have never been to Belize before, start in Ambergris Caye. Divers and nature lovers alike would love to explore this beautiful vacation destination. Ambergris Caye is the biggest island of San Pedro Belize, measuring about 25 miles long and 1 mile wide. Still, it is a relatively small island to easily explore. The town of Ambergris Caye is San Pedro, and is lies near the southern tip. San Pedro Belize has three main roads running parallel to the beach and the reef. They have more tourist oriented names now, but many locals still call them by their old names. The 3 main street streets are Front Street (Barrier Reef Drive), Middle Street (Pescador Drive), and Back Street (Angel Coral). The barrier reef lies just offshore from Ambergris. It is about a half mile easy from the shore so boat rides to most dive site are short.

Updated pictures of our renovation! (If you haven't booked may when you see them!) :)
While we are still waiting on an actual professional to get some pictures of our place, I did my amateur best in the meantime :) We have been having a ball with our first guests, and everyone seems to be having a great time. We had Kris and Rick, honeymooning from Cleveland, and they did Cockscomb and ATM--loved both tours and highly recommend them. We also have Elaine and Martin from B.C., and they have been wonderful guests. They are here until Saturday, and they have done Cockscomb, Belize Ocean Club, we had a beach cookout last night, and they have kayaked and swam every day. The weather has been AMAZING! The beach has been perfect, so we are thrilled with the first couple weeks. Our guests may be going on a sunset cruise with Robert's Grove later today, and perhaps Monkey River. I am very proud of living in Placencia and showing it off! We are booked pretty solidly through April at this point and hating to turn down guests whose dates are already filled. Maybe time to look at some extra cabanas next season!

International Sourcesizz

Saving the World, One Park at a Time
Five thousand people have gathered in Sydney, Australia, to save the world. Not in some metaphorical or whimsical way but in the real sense. The secret weapon being discussed at the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress: protected areas. Currently, there are about 200,000 terrestrial and marine protected areas. These parks cover 15 percent of the land on earth and 3 percent of the world's oceans; they harbor approximately 80 percent of all threatened bird, mammal, and amphibian species. To the conservation world, these designated areas are the last great hope for biodiversity - where elephants, tigers, gorillas, and sharks can roam free without the threat of their habitats being destroyed or being poached by criminals. When parks are sufficiently funded and staffed, the results can provide conservationists with important models for how to protect natural resources. Successful examples of well-managed protected areas include: Glover's Reef Seascape lies at the heart of the largest coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere, just 28 miles off the coast of Belize. An astounding 800 patch coral reefs dot its waters, which encompass 12,500 acres. Glover's Reef is a critical nursery and feeding ground for sea turtles, sharks and rays, and numerous fish species that gather in huge numbers. Hundreds of licensed fishermen rely on these waters to support their livelihoods. The seascape is also a centerpiece of ecotourism within the greater Belize Barrier Reef - a must-see visitor destination.


Video: Snorkeling at Caye Caulker in Belize, 1.5min.

Video: Cave Tubing entrance to St. Herman's Cave in Belize, 1/4min.
Heading down to cave tube in St. Herman's cave.

Video: Oceana - Garifuna Settlement Day, 1min.

Video: Belize di run outta Fish...., 7.5min.
A Belizean once said "There are many Fish in the sea" Not any more, and certainly not in Belize's Coastal waters... The Mexicans in the North are rippin us off,the Guats. in the south are rippin us off by the hundreds of tons... Even Honduras is rippin us off,every day... And our Coast Guard are acting impotent...

Video: Belize 2014, 5min.
from Adam Mickley

Video: Belize 2014 - Justin and Sabrina's Wedding Trip, 10min.
A fantastic trip to Belize to celebrate Justin and Sabrina's wedding.

Video: Belize 2014, Part II Lighthouse Reef Atoll & the Great Blue Hole, 4min.
Diving & Snorkeling Lighthouse Reef Atoll & the Great Blue Hole

November 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

The Sounds of Drums
With Garifuna Settlement Day right around the corner, the cultural drums have already began to roll around San Pedro Town.

Smart Files Injunction Against BTL
Today Speednet Communications Ltd. filed an application for an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) in the Supreme Court of Belize. The application for an injunction became necessary after BTL served Speednet with a notice of termination of service via certain links effective November 14, 2014 which will leave almost 7,000 Smart customers in the Toledo District without access to voice and data services. Over the past five years, Speednet has worked diligently and invested millions of dollars to build out its own network which would allow the company to become fully independent. This major investment project has been successful throughout the rest of Belize and is underway in Toledo. Speednet expects to complete the Toledo project in the next few months.

Ocean Academy receives two prestigious awards
Caye Caulker’s Ocean Academy Aquatic Tourism Program is receiving recognition both at home and abroad. Not only did the program win the International Sport for Education award at the 2014 Beyond Sports Awards, but it also won the National Youth Award from the Belize Department of Youth Service. The Aquatic Tourism Program is sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and helps students develop entrepreneurship skills and gain experience in the tourism industry. Selected from 350 entries, Ocean Academy’s Aquatic Tourism Program was acknowledged as the best project from around the WORLD that uses sport to bring about a positive social change. School founders Joni Miller and Heidi Curry traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa to participate in the Beyond Sport Global Summit and Awards held from Tuesday, October 28th to Thursday, October 30th, and were on hand to receive the award. “When the winners were announced we were so thrilled. The Sports for Education award is a testimony to all our students who have worked throughout the year. We couldn’t be happier,” said Miller.

Caribbean Villas Hotel is open for the season
After renovations and the addition of a new building, Caribbean Villas Hotel is now open and ready to offer new services and amenities to guests. The grand opening ceremony was held on Friday, November 7th, where invited guests were welcomed to view the new rooms that the resort will offer. Complimentary cocktails and appetizers were served throughout the evening. Caribbean Villas now offers four types of rooms to fit any vacationer’s budget. The loft suites offer spacious accommodations for up to five guests with a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living area, and a balcony overlooking the pristine Caribbean Sea. Those opting for a quieter couples retreat can also enjoy a loft suite by choosing the one bedroom option.

Katherine Salinas wins 2014 Lions Peace Poster Contest
On Friday, November 7th, the San Pedro Lions Club hosted the judging of their annual Peace Poster Contest promoting peace, love and understanding. This year the competition saw the participation of four schools with 30 entries. After the judging, the top prize went to 13-year-old Katherine Salinas of The Island Academy. Her poster will represent the club at the 2014 Lions International Peace Poster Contest. According to Jan Brown, San Pedro Lion member in charge of the Peace Poster Contest, the event encourages children to express themselves in a creative manner. “The students were basically given a guideline as to the size of the poster, and the message it should bring about. The actual content of the poster was left to their creativity. We have such a small art program here… there is basically none. These contests give the children a chance to express themselves. Whether they are artists or not, everyone is creative and you would be surprised at some of the work coming from these 11 to 13 year olds,” said Brown.

Ambergris Today

Raquel Badillo Officially Crowned Miss World Belize
On Saturday, November 8, 2014, local businesses of San Pedro Town, family and friends gathered to show their support to Raquel Badillo who was officially crowned as Miss World Belize. The fundraising event took place at Fido’s Courtyard. Miss Badillo hosted a private party with special invited guests, where she expressed her enthusiasm and honor in representing Belize at this year’s Miss World Pageant in London, England. She stated that this has been a dream since she was a little girl and wanted to follow the footsteps of her aunt and “role model” Martha Badillo – the first Sanpedrana to represent Belize in the Miss World pageant in Taipei, Taiwan in 1989. Raquel Badillo was introduced to the community by emcees Gerry Badillo and Julianne Furgeson and crowned by Miss San Pedro 2014, Michelle Nuñez.

Oceana in Belize Continues to Inspire Belizean Activists Wavemakers
The challenges confronting Belize’s marine environments include illegal, destructive and over-fishing, the threat of offshore oil, and climate change. But with the support and hard work of dedicated Belizean activists, known as Wavemakers, Oceana in Belize continues to empower and inspire others to do their part to help protect our country’s precious marine resources. On Saturday, November 8th, Belizean Wavemakers gathered at Oceana in Belize’s country office in the City of Belmopan to participate in the membership’s 2014 annual general meeting. Oceana in Belize Vice President Janelle Chanona reported on the latest developments in our ongoing campaigns to ban offshore oil, increase protection for juvenile fish and remove gillnets from the list of legal fishing gear. Additionally, National Grassroots Coordinator Amelita Knowles provided Wavemakers with a list of upcoming activities and events, including the Ride for Belize, Ride with Oceana bicycle ride from Corozal to Punta Gorda scheduled for November 27th to November 30th.

The Celebration of Dia De Los Muertos in San Pedro
At midday the family would gather to offer prayers for the repose of the souls of the dead. After the prayers, the food would be shared and even sent to those family members who could not make it to the prayers. How can I forget the “Finados” dinner prepared by my fraternal grandmother Regina Nuñez. She had nine children, all with families and her Finados dinner was like half a drum of relleno. By late afternoon family members would visit the cemetery to light candles, refresh the tomb with flowers and offer some more prayers. Customarily there would be several dozens of families at the cemetery which would be bustling with activity, children running about admiring the tombs, men doing some cleaning and the women placing flowers on the tombs. It was a family solemn party at the cemetery which would be as busy as the town’s square for that day.

Sanpedrana Cecilia Lara Celebrates 100 Years
Dona Cecilia’s family deserves our respect and admiration. Below is her family tree that stands proudly in this community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Children Mana, Gach, Sylvia, Arturo, Elsa Grandchildren Naive, Melita, Mar, Luz, Cookie, Eni, Corina, Len, Liz, Stel, Mario, Edita, Tony, Freddy, Mita Maria, Armando, Victor, Cecilia, Tully, Tony, Julio, Chucky, Letty, Elsita, Angel, Selina Great Grandchildren Daniel, Ann Marie, Delva, Lucito, Lucita, Africa, Kenny, Eileen, Raul, Eni, Kahlen, Amira, Alyssa, Adah, Patrick, Leia, Gliselle, Mariselle, Gabriel, Maya, Karim, Freddy, Jose, Jose Luis, Shinyei, Jean-Luc, Dito, Alex, Arturo, Nayelli, Tony 11, Chloe, Great-Great Grandchildren Loui, Lexi, Luna, Gigi, Sylvanie, Benjamin, Gaven

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Consejo Village Library Hosts Coffee Cafe
The Conejo Village Library will host monthly Morning Coffee Cafe events beginning on Sunday 16 November 2014 from 8am to 11:30am. The Consejo Village Library will begin monthly Morning Coffee Cafe events on Sunday, 16 November 2014 from 8am to 11:30am. The Library is on Lot #492, Consejo Village, the red "brick style" building across from Casablanca, diagonally from the Customs compound and pier. Bottomless cup of brewed coffee or tea with your choice of a slice of many different pies and cakes, for only $5 (Belize). All proceeds to benefit the Consejo Village Library. For information call Connie Bailey at 623-6355 or email [email protected]

PADF Youth-Focused Entrepreneurship Program Launches First Group of Micro-Businesses in Belize City
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) announces the official launch of two micro-businesses under the second phase of the Youth Engagement Services Project (YES!), a program that targets youth who have limited opportunities in order to support youth-initiated micro and small businesses that increase access to jobs and encourage entrepreneurship in Belize City. The program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Belize, is building on other services to complement ongoing activities by providing youth from marginal areas the essential elements of technical training and business advisory services so they can succeed in the labor market. During Phase I, participants completed a 12-week tailored training program in entrepreneurship through SBDCBelize, under the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE). Youth participants received training on start-up and improved business tactics and business plan development in order to be prepared to start their own business or improve an existing one. Under Phase II participants submitted business plans for review by a Business Launch Group comprised of private sector panelists. Following this process, four of the 10 business plans submitted received seed funding.

Succotz Villagers face the court
Succotz Villagers protested after two of their own were caught in an accident involving Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura. One person was killed and one survived. The villagers feared that there would be no justice and took to the highway where tires were burnt. They are being charged this Thursday for an illegal gathering.

Amberjack photo
If you are suffering from the relentless bitter cold and snow of the Arctic Blast up north, then get your sandals and tickets together because Belize Invites...Come on down to Belize. We have the perfect weather in the tropics. Aboard the UPRISING on Ambergris Caye, a female angler hooked up a great amberjack at about 250 ft. We thank our friend Eric for sharing the photo.

SUPPORT a great cause on Friday in Corozal
On November 14th St. Paul’s Anglican Church by the Sea is having a turkey dinner for only $8 a plate. The menu will be turkey, ham slice, rice and beans, gravy and cranberry sauce. The time is 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for pick up at St. Paul’s Church. For further information regarding tickets please contact Louise Bailey at 633-1261. Funds raised will go towards some necessary repairs to church and school.

Love FM's San Pedro Christmas Parade
Love FM San Pedro Christmas Parade is set for Dec. 14th 2014 at 5:30pm. After, there will be a Central Park Block Party featuring Top Notch Boutique!

Cane Farmers Association says negotiation YES bully NO
The Executive of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association held a press conference this morning to denounce the actions of BSI/ASR in reaching out to farmers and bypassing the Association. The BSCFA claims it is a blatant disrespect and disregard of a 'sacred institution' by a predator. The Association says it is still willing to negotiate but will not be forced or bullied into an agreement which will benefit the company but hurt the farmers.

Corozal G.L.B Poolside Restaurant
Serving Breakfast - Lunch and early Dinner - Closes at 6:00 P.M. Located on Ferry Road behind the Almond Tree Development.

Flavours of the Garifuna
Celebrate our unique Belizean cultures - The Corozal House of Culture invites everyone on Wednesday November 19th to join in celebration of our Garifuna Settlement Day with our Flavours of the Garifuna Event. The event includes a variety of activities beginning at 5 p.m. Come out for a taste of the Garifuna culture and flavours -

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Cultural Heritage Center, is accepting project proposals for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2015 Competition. U.S. Ambassadors in eligible countries may submit proposals to Washington for projects they endorse to preserve cultural heritage in the host country. Belize is an eligible country. The deadline for submitting proposals to the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section is Tuesday, December 30, 2014.

Sugar cane crop belonging to BSI/ASR goes ablaze in Libertad, Corozal!
400 hundred tons of cane belonging to BSR/ASR under the CGP Program was completely burnt down around 12:30 today. The field was lit all around. It measures about 15 hectares. It is located in the area of Slip Dock in the area of Libertad if calculated by tonnage it is a loss of about 27 thousand.

48 inch high requirement in caves
The Institute of Archaeology, NICH hereby advises all tour operators, tour guides and the general public that an AMNESTY is GRANTED for the 48 inch high requirement for children to enter caves for cave tubing, until December 31, 2014. The Institute of Archaeology, advises that all of the rules and regulations for visits to these archaeological sites remain in place.

Channel 7

Police Shooting Alleged Gunman After He Attacked
This afternoon just after at 2:00, shots rang out on North Front Street in the area of Majestic Alley – just a few hundred feet away from the swing bridge which is the centre of Belize City. This time the scene of the shooting was Eden Site Alley – which adjoins Majestic Alley. 28 year old Andrew Tate, known as Froggy had been shot three times, once in the head. Tate fell to the ground, and his shooter fled, but an off duty policeman who was passing the alley saw what happened – and he set chase. He said the gunman then pointed the gun at him – and that’s when he shot him in the leg. That gunman has been identified as Carl Lino – whose relatives live in Majestic Alley. Police found a nine millimeter pistol on him – and he is in the hospital pending charged, while Tate is reported in critical condition. And while that is the account from police who say they were lucky to have an officer in the right place at the right time, Lino’s family has a different story which his sister shared with us today at the scene:… Diane Lino, Sister of shooting victim "When I hear the gunshot, I ran. When I ran out I reached before everybody. I heard the gunshot and I ran and a person said they done shot him, they done shot him, he's on the ground in the corner."

Corwin's Body Found; He Was Murdered
Tonight, the family of 24 year-old Corwin Mendoza continues to make preparations for his burial after 2 days of searching for his body. All through that time, the Mendoza Family has been dreading the worst possible outcome, that Corwin had died, and they were simply looking for closure by finding his body Today, those fears were confirmed when the family's search team found his body floating in the water behind the Guanacaste Park, just outside of Belmopan City. As we've told you, police believe that he was a victim of a stabbing, and a beating on Sunday night, after which, the assailants disposed of his body by dumping it in the creek which runs through Roaring Creek Village. His family's grief is unimaginable, but now, they know for certain that he was killed. Today, our colleague at Plus TV spoke with his uncle who spotted the body first at around 10 a.m. this morning. Here's what he said:

BSCFA Condems ASR/BSI Bypass Attempt
For the past few days the sugar industry has been dominating the headlines. As we’ve told you, ASR-BSI is trying a first: they are appealing to farmers and reaping associations to enter into a commercial arrangement directly with the factory owners, and in so doing, cutting the Cane Farmers Association our of the equation. Now, the association has represented the farmers since 1959 – and it’s not going anywhere – not quietly at least. They made that clear at a press conference in Orange Walk today. 7News was there:… Jules Vasquez Reporting…. Today the top brass of the Belize Sugar Cane Famers Association took the head table, with the Branch Leaders in the wings. At their headquarters to make ASR BSI know they are going to put up a fight: Oscar Alonzo, CEO - BSCFA "This proposed agreement is the worse agreement ever in the history of the sugar cane industry. BSI now AHS has become a predator who is using the agreement to try to obtain maximum benefits from it's investments."

BSI-BSCFA Industrial Action
And while they called on Government today, Ortega suggested that there may come a time when events may overtake them and they can no longer call for calm:… Alfredo Ortega, Spokesperson – BSCFA, Bagasse Negotiating Team "The time is coming, that they attitude they are demonstrating is really cornering the farmers to do things that will be harmful. Because they are not looking forward in negotiating in good faith for the farmers to get a just benefit and payment for their material. So we need them to understand, that as leaders, we have been working with our farmers in maintaining the peace; But there might be a time that our voices might not be heard by our farmers and other things can happen.”

Opposition Leader: ASR Move Worrisome
Very strong words, and while the government hasn’t made any comment on the state of affairs in the sugar industry, the opposition was quick to weigh in – with a position very sympathetic to the Cane Farmers Association. They say the BSI-ASR proposal would reduce farmers to cane cutters. They add that a future PUP Government would enforce the principle that quote, “sugar cane is unequivocally owned by the cane farmer.” Today in a press briefing at his private office, party leader Francis Fonseca elaborated on this:… Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "We certainly do not believe that the position that has been taken by BSI - ASR in their latest public pronouncements at their press conference, serves the best interest of the industry. We certainly do not support any effort to undermine or by pass the roll of the BSCFA. That does not serve the interest of the industry at all. We've had a long and successful tradition and history in the sugar industry of a tripartite relationship. Government, BSI, now BSI - ASR and the BSCFA representing the cane farmers.

DPM Vega Demands Retraction From Monchie
It made major news last week when Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes and his family released a phone call from a man claiming to be wanted murder mastermind Manuel Castillo. That caller made the explosive allegation that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega organized a political assassination which ended up with Ramon Cervantes Sr being brutally murdered. DPM Vega has categorically denied that allegation, and now, he is demanding that Monchie Cervantes retracts and pays him damages for defamation, or else, he will sue. In a letter dated Sunday, November 9, Rodwell Williams, acting on behalf of Vega, wrote a letter to Cervantes saying quote, "You, Mr. Ramon Cervantes, Jr, the poltical opponent of the Honourable Gaspar Vega, played a voice recording in the Spanish Language of a conversation which you claimed was made between... Manuel "El Pelon" Castillo... and your mother, Mrs. Vilma Cervantes... The same was published by carrying and broadcasting live on Love FM and Fiesta FM Radio Stations to the General Public in Belize."

Hon. Fonseca Discusses Dr. Mendez Stepping Down
Yesterday, the PUP area representative for Orange Walk East, Marco Tulio Mendez made official what had been rumored a week earlier: he was stepping down as standard bearer because of a herniated disc in his neck. That creates an immediate and urgent vacancy in Orange Walk East for the PUP where a new standard bearer has to be identified and installed. That new candidate would only have a maximum of two and a half years to go before the next general election. And it’s an election where, again, the conventional wisdom would suggest that the PUP is going from a position of advantage – having the area representative - to one of disadvantage – having to find a new candidate. Today, the party leader discussed the party’s prospects going forward:… Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "I'm obviously disappointed that Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez had to step down. It's not something he wanted to do but he was advised to do by many doctors he saw over the few months. So that is my first concern, his health is my first concern; And i'm concerned about him as a friend and a colleague and that supersedes any of our political interests. Moving forward we have already put in place a team in the northern cacaos who will lead an effort to find the best possible replacement for Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez.

Is The PUP Haemorrhaging Publicly?
And while the PUP will move on in Orange Walk East – Marco Tulio Mendez’s departure has to be examined in its wider political context. Mendez, like Cayo North Representative Joseph Mahmud who sent the PUP his letter announcing his resignation as standard bearer a few weeks ago, will stay on, as what’s known in political jargon, as a “lame duck” area representative. It’s not an encouraging picture for the PUP: because the departure of these tow elected representatives brings to three the total number of PUP standard bearers who’ve been removed or resigned since September. Today we asked the Leader of the Opposition about the importance of appearances when it comes to losing viable candidates: Daniel Ortiz "Is this a reflection on your party's current stability? Can it be taken as a reflection of your leadership, that there is something inherently wrong with it?" Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "No, not at all. If you examine the cases of Dr. Mendez, Joseph Mahmud, those were personal reason sited. I have very good relation with both men, they have supported my leadership throughout my tenure. I have absolutely no reason to second guess their decision. I support their decision, I respect their decision and I feel very comfortable and confident as the leader of the PUP.

Bze. City Council Candidates Soon Come
And so, while he assures us that his party isn't hemorrhaging publicly, the party has yet to announce the rest of the candidates who will be running along with Yolanda Schakron for the Belize City Council Elections. Fonseca promised that the Eastern Caucus would make that announcement by the end of last week, but it still hasn't come as yet. Our information says that the party has been having difficulties with candidates who signed up and changed their minds at the last minute. Today, Fonseca was asked about the announcement of those other candidates, and he said that the Eastern Caucus Chairman simply hasn't found the right event to make that announcement: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "That's been available from last week but I think the eastern cacaos, Dr. Smith, the chairman of the eastern cacaos who's leading that effort along with the chairman of the party and the municipal team. They want to plan a proper event to unveil their team and I can't argue with them for that. That's been settled from last week, so we have the names, that's available. I'm sure if you acquire it before, they will make it available to you, but I think obviously it's best to have the people present so you can match names to faces and have an opportunity to talk to people. We will do when they make the final arrangements.”

Hon. Fonseca Met With Lord Aschroft?
We also had to ask the Leader of Opposition about reports reaching our news room that he had a meeting with Lord Michael Aschroft. We understand that they dined in the Radisson Fort George Hotel's Dining Room, and that they had a lengthy conversation. Today, Fonseca didn't exactly say that he did have that meeting, and he didn't categorically deny it either. He did say that he reserves the right to meet with Ashcroft, with the understanding that if his party should take over Government, BTL will remain in the hands of the public: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "I have no difficulty at all speaking to Mr. Ashcroft, he's an investor in Belize; But he has not, certainly since I became party leader of the PUP has not offered any financial support to the PUP and has not expressed any interest in offering any financial support to the party. Let me make it clear and I repeat this position that when it comes to the public utilities, BTL in particular. Under a PUP government, under my leadership, BTL will remain a public entity, majority owned by the state and people of Belize. There is absolutely no compromise in that position.”

City Fire Leaves 17 Homeless
A fire in the Collet area early this morning completely destroyed a house and scorched two adjacent structures. For the family of 17 it is a devastating event because they lost everything – including their shelter. They told us how the fire sprung up when they were sleeping: Courtney Weatherberne Reporting… This bit of charred rubble used to be a house which was sheltering 4 people. Beside it, is another family home which used to shelter 13 more people, including young children all the way down to a 2 month-old baby.But, a fire late last night destroyed them both, and almost spread to the two other houses in the yard. Linton Maskall Sr. - Fire Victim "It took place probably after 11 and I leaved to go buy some food and on my way back I saw the blaze and I ran, dropped the food and came to see what I could do to assists. I knew that my sister lived upstairs by my mother's house and she has 9 kids and I have a nice who has a 3 month kid too. All of them get affected by this you know."

Otis Claims Police Harassment
Tonight a 21 year old young man says he is wanted by police for a crime he did not commit. According to Otis Gladden, two police officers on motorcycle went to his home around one this morning looking for him. He was not there but the two officers proceeded to search the premises and then told his mother that he is wanted for driving a motor vehicle without license and insurance and assaulting a police officer at a police checkpoint. Gladden says he is innocent and is unaware of any of the incidents. He told 7news he is being targeted by one specific officer. Otis Gladden – Claims police harassment "I just came out of jail and then last night and two policeman came to the house and said I'm wanted for driving a vehicle without motor insurance and threatening and assaulting a police officer. Two of them came and searched my house and this is the second time i've gone to jail." Monica Bodden "The vehicle that they're talking about you were driving actually belongs to a neighbour?" Otis Gladden "Yes ma’am." Monica Bodden "And you have no dealings with that?" Otis Gladden "I don't deal with that vehicle, that is their family vehicle. I'm here hanging out, police man passes every minute, search me this morning and nobody told me anything. Just one specific officer is threatening." Monica Bodden

Douglas Jones Workers Get Their Jobs Back
Yesterday we reported on the workers of the Douglas Jones Canal Project who were outraged that they were losing their jobs because the project was the subject of a stop order. Today, however, it was a completely different atmosphere at the site where the workers and contractor met. It was quite a genial gathering; fitting given that the project was being re-instated. One of the Supervisors at the site gave us an update after the meeting. Quincy Gentle, Supervisor "Mr. Medina personally told me that they have tried to implement everything. I work with Mr. Medina personally on Wilson street and I know Mr. Medina is a man of his word and I can give 100 percent he will get everything done. We've come to agreement that we'll go back to work, our pay raised from yesterday and we're working on the gears and trying to take the mud off the streets as early as possible. So the neighbours and stores and business areas can't complain.” These 40 men get a raise of $15 to the existing $30 a day. Before we left the contractor was getting sizes from the workers for the protective gear. Works continue early tomorrow morning.

If You Love Belize, Teach
“If you love Belize.. Teach.” That is the theme for the countrywide Education road show. The main objective is to recruit teachers and educate the public about the importance of teaching to national development. Two of the coordinators discussed the scope of the initiative: The roadshow continued tonight at 6 at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall in Belize City. On Thursday they move on to San Ignacio at the Center for Employment training and Friday in OW at the Multipurpose sporting complex.

CANQATE Teaching Conference
And while that Education roadshow is mainly about teachers, CANQATE held it's 11th Annual conference to discuss ways to improve the quality of education services and the performance of students at the tertiary level. CANQATE, Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education holds several sessions every year and today specific topics centered on learning outcomes and improving standards. The coordinators discussed the details of the conference with me today. The conference ends on Friday.

An Exhibit From A Mexican Wood Carving Artist
We have seen and experienced art in various forms- from paintings to dances. But there is a unique style of art on showcase at the Institute of Mexico: wood carvings from well-known Mexican artist Orlando Canto Montalvo. His works depict the beauty and fierceness of nature. Marcelino Miranda of the Institute of Mexico came to our studios today to tell us more about Montalvo’s work. The Exhibit opens tonight at 6:30 and will remain open until December 5th.

ASR Will Continue To Dialog Directly With Farmers
We’ve told you all about the blowback from ASR – BSI’s unprecedented move to approach farmers directly. But what does ASR have to say? IT held meetings in Corozal and Orange Walk yesterday and today form Miami Mac Maclachlan told us the company is moving apace:.. Mac McLachlan - International Relations Advisor, ASR "We have offered to the harvest group leaders and to the cane farmers who were present a period of time now to let us know what we think about it. As you know, we are trying to supply an element of choice to the cane farmers. That initial deadline for comments will be the 18th of November." Jules Vasquez "So then, should we take an interpretation that the agreement which had been put forward, 18 page agreement, is after consultation and after receiving feedback, that it is subject to change?" Mac McLachlan "We going to listen very carefully to what cane farmers say to us. We can't make any promises on what that impact will be in the end, we are going to listen very carefully and where we can we will making changes were farmers wish."

Channel 5

Body of Missing Roaring Creek Resident Corwin Mendoza Found
Police moved swiftly against two suspects from Roaring Creek and have charged them with the murder of Corwin Mendoza. Mendoza went missing on Sunday after an altercation with his girlfriend.  [...]

Mid-afternoon Shooting on North Front Street, Andrew Tate and Carl Lino Injured
There have been four murders in the past five murders, including that of Corwin Mendoza. This afternoon the violence continued with a brazen shooting on a busy street in the [...]

Another B.S.C.F.A. Conference; Is there a Sugar Solution Looming?
Much as it did last year, a sense of unease and hostility pervades the sugar-cane industry and the 2014-2015 crop season, scheduled to start within a month. On Monday, ASR-owned [...]

Caneros Threaten Industrial Action in the North
It is not far-fetched to speculate that the mandate from the farmers may include agitation of some form, leading up to industrial action. The industry is volatile, the labour intensive, [...]

9 Acres of B.S.I. Cane Field Incinerated in Libertad
Even as we left Orange Walk following that press conference at the B.S.C.F.A., News Five received word that unknown persons had torched cane-fields in Libertad owned by B.S.I. We were [...]

Francis Fonseca on B.S.I./B.S.C.F.A. Sugar Crisis
While industrial action is contemplated in the north, the People’s United Party is tonight castigating the Barrow administration for dragging its feet on one of the major industries and the [...]

Speednet files application for an injunction against B.T.L.
Speednet Communications Ltd., the parent company for Smart, filed an application for an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited in the Supreme Court of Belize earlier today. The application for a [...]

Overnight Fire Leaves Maskall Family Homeless
No one was injured in a fire that erupted before midnight in the Old Capital, but several families were left homeless. The blaze spread quickly completely destroying the contents of [...]

Petrocaribe Loan Motion up for Second Reading
The House of Representatives is meeting next Tuesday in a special session where it is expected that the ruling United Democratic Party will be tabling the Petrocaribe loan motion for [...]

P.U.P. Party Leader on Resignation of Marci Tulio Mendez
On Tuesday, we reported that Orange Walk East Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez had formally announced his resignation from electoral politics.  Mendez will not be contesting his seat in the [...]

Did Lord Ashcroft Meet with Francis Fonseca about Campaign Financing?
At the press conference today, the P.U.P. leader was also quizzed about campaign financing and if any was forth coming from Lord Michael Ashcroft. According to Fonseca, there is none [...]

Gapi Vega to Sue Ramon Cervantes Jr. for Defamation of Character
On July fifth, 2014, the battered body of Ramon Cervantes Sr. was found buried in a shallow grave on a farm outside of Orange Walk Town. He had been kidnapped [...]

Tiffany Lamb Denied Bail for Theft from Elderly Woman
This afternoon, bail was denied to a thirty-three year old woman of Belize City who is being accused of stealing from an elderly woman she befriended.  Tiffany Lamb appeared in [...]

Father and Son to Stand Trial for Attempted Murder
A father along with his teenage son and two other Belize City men will stand trial at the January 2015 session of the Supreme Court for Attempted Murder and Dangerous [...]

P.U.P. Prepared for Petrocaribe Rally
A massive rally is being organized by the United Democratic Party to coincide with Tuesday’s house meeting.  The demonstration to be held at the foot of the Assembly Building is [...]

B.S.C.F.A. Says Sugar Cane Delivered to Tower Hill is Not Owned by B.S.I.
Earlier in our newscast, the B.S.C.F.A. spoke about an agreement which B.S.I. is trying to sell to farmers. There are five critical points in that agreement which has raised the [...]

Is Bagasse Payment Formula Equitable
The second point of contention in the new agreement is of course one that has dominated the sugar industry scene for the past year – payment for bagasse. In B.S.I.’s [...]

Supt. Howell Gillett Leads Belmopan Police in Outreach Initiative
Earlier we told you about the arraignment of two Roaring Creek residents for the murder of twenty-four year old Corwin Mendoza. Mendoza had been missing since Sunday following an altercation [...]

Mexican Sculptor Orlando Montalvo Exhibits Works In Belize
The Mexican Embassy through the Institute of Mexico in Belize City has an annual cultural exchange program that showcases the cultural heritage as well as the creative art of Belizean [...]


Another Hit And Run For The Corozal District
Tonight Corozal Police is investigating a hit and run incident where one of their own was the victim. 28 year old Police Constable Mario Villamil from the village of Xaibe reported to police that around 4:30 pm on Monday November 10th whilst doing his daily exercise; running from Xaibe Village to Canlum, he was knocked down by an unidentified vehicle. As a result Villamil sustained injuries to his shoulder, hands and back. He was unable to see what type of vehicle hit him. Villamil was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where his injuries were certified as Harm. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Corozal Police Station.

BSI/ASR Cane field Goes Up In Flames
Shortly after midday today, word spread like wild fire that a portion of the BSI/ASR cane field which is located in an area known as Slip Dock in the Libertad Village was set ablaze. Reliable sources to our newsroom say that 400 hundred tons of cane under BSI’s ‘Research program’ was completely burnt down around 12:30 today. The field which measures about 15 hectares was lit all around cause much damage to the crops. If calculated by tonnage lost, BSI reports that about 27 thousand dollars were lost in crop. As a result, heighten security were placed at the fields and anyone caught in act would be prosecuted. Our calls for comment to the representatives of BSI/ASR were unsuccessful.

Speednet Seeks Injunction Against BTL
There seems to be a spar brewing between the two major telecommunications companies in Belize. Today Speednet Communications Ltd. filed an application for an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) in the Supreme Court of Belize. A release from SPEEDNET claims that an application for an injunction became necessary after BTL served Speednet with a notice of termination of service via certain links effective November 14, 2014 which will leave almost 7,000 Smart customers in the Toledo District without access to voice and data services. The release says and we quote, “Over the past five years, Speednet has worked diligently and invested millions of dollars to build out its own network which would allow the company to become fully independent. Speednet switched its communications link in Toledo to BTL and service has been in place since July 27, 2014. Once this service went live Speednet terminated its service with its previous service provider.

BSCFA Comes Out Swinging At BSI
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association makes its positions clear on the recent developments in the industry. As is expected, the Association unapologetically rejects and denounces the Belize Sugar Industry’s move to go directly to the cane farmers with an agreement for which negotiations between both parties have yet to be finalized. The situation is has undoubtedly become compounded as the start of the next sugar crop is only weeks away. The Association officials outlined their position of the company’s move and the contract itself in a press conference held today. Dalila Ical Reports. Dalila ical – Reporting Oscar Alonzo – CEO, BSCFA “As I mention to you, in our opinion and base on our analysis this proposed agreement is the worst agreement ever in the history of the sugar cane industry.”

Another Sudden Death In Corozal
Yesterday we reported on the sudden death of 60 year old Ramseh Vaswani who died on Saturday night while at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone from Bronco Aspiration. Tonight there is another sudden death to report also from the Corozal District. Yesterday at about 7:00am, Corozal Police visited the second floor of the Gabriel Hoare Market and in an open area discovered the motionless body of 52 year old Errol Reyes. Reyes, who is listed as homeless, was seen lying face up apparently dead. He was dressed in a blue sweater, blue jeans pants and his hands were placed on his chest. The body was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where it was pronounced dead at 7:30am. No signs of injury or violence were observed on the body.

Standard and Poor Upgrades Belize’s Economy
Due to the ‘rising economic growth by way of investment in sugar and non-traditional agricultural products”, Belize’s growth has been upgraded from a stable outlook to a positive one, by the Standard & Poor’s Rating Service. The release issued by the company states that the positive outlook reflects S&P’s view that new foreign direct investment in Belize’s export sector is raising the country’s economic growth prospects and that this growth will support Belize’s external liquidity over 2014-2017. Additionally says the release, the government is actively strategizing the payment of external obligations related to the nationalization of two utilities by using government deposits financed by the Petrocaribe initiative and reopening its 2038 bond (up to US$75 Million).

Fruta Bomba Still In Business
This morning rumors indicating that Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers located in the Village of San Joaquin, Corozal District would close its doors, spread like fire. Information was that the managers of the company met last night and decided to close down for good after experiencing huge financial losses. In sight that if the rumors proved true hundreds would be left jobless, we went looking for answers. But when we visited the offices of the company, our reporter was informed that there was no truth to the information. In fact, according to the company’s Human Resources Officer, Carla Constanza, currently the company is in the process of planting for the next harvest. Currently both Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers have over 400 employees.

P.U.P O/W East Executive Signs Petition For Endorsement Of Josue Carballo
As mentioned by Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez there are several persons interested in representing the Peoples United Party and the people of Orange Walk East as Standard Bearer. One of those persons is Councilor Josue Carballo who is also seeking reelection for the upcoming Municipal Elections. Carballo has been the Chairman of the Orange Walk East PUP Executive Committee for the past four eyars and as such has worked closely with Mendez and the people of Orange Walk East. And from all indications he has the support of the executive to be endorsed as the next Standard Bearer for the P.U.P. In a meeting held last night members of the executive signed a petition recommending Carballo’s endorsement. If Carballo will have the blessings of the hierarchy of the party is not yet know but what we can tell you is that he is ready to take over the helms of the P.U.P in Orange Walk East.

Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez Steps Down As Standard Bearer For PUP O/Walk East
Today PUP Orange Walk East Area Representative Marco “Tulio” Mendez confirmed what has been rumored for quite some time; he is stepping down as Standard Bearer for that constituency for the upcoming general elections. The doctor made the announcement at midday today in a press conference with the media, citing health problems. “After so much time looking into it I made up my mind that yes I will be stepping down as the Standard Bearer for the Orange Walk East constituency because of the recommendations that have been given to me and of course being a doctor considering the risk factors that are involve with this with the activity that I have been doing I have definitely made up my mind and of course it has not been an easy decision, I have been to Guatemala and also doctors here and I went to Merida but I must consider that it is the most prudent and it is the best decision that I am doing. What the doctors recommended me is that he wants me to slow down on my activities because of the location where the dis-carnation is and the prognosis supposed to improve but if I persist in this high activity there are consequences that would come along and that is the reason of course I would say a personal decision that I have made and definitely anyone would want to have a better lets say as life transpires increasing the risk of what will come afterwards.”

DPM' Brother Claims He Is Victim Of Land Scam
A document leaked to the media is making headlines across the nation tonight and we have been able to obtain a copy of the release. In the body of the text shared, it portrays that Eduardo Vega, brother of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, is claiming to be a victim of a land scam. That is after he had entered in an agreement to sell a parcel of land to a Chinese businessman, Tammy Tang, who is the owner of Three Flags Supermarket in Santa Elena Town. According to the document, Vega and Tang allegedly entered in agreement on December 1st, 2013, for the sale of a parcel of land, the property of Vega, located on the George Price Highway at the entrance of La Loma Luz Hospital. The document reveals that according to Vega, Tang agreed to pay $350 Thousand for the parcel of land in increments. The text quotes Vega stating that “By the end of March, he had received $275 thousand which was part of the agreement and the balance of $75 Thousand was guaranteed with post-dated checks.”


Drainage Project Postponed; Dozen Men At Loss
Dozens of men were at a loss this morning because when they arrived at their workplace on Douglas Jones Street in Belize City, they were told that the drainage project they are working on is being put on hold. With just a few weeks away from the Christmas season and with a new way of life being lived by many of these men working at the site, the future now seemed uncertain as they have very little information on what’s really going on between the contractor, Medina’s Construction and the Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project that falls under the Ministry of Works. Love News went to the work site, where the men were more than willing to show us the works that they have been doing and how reluctant they are to go back to the life of crime they used to live. Quincy Gentle is one of the supervisors at the site. He mentioned to us that the businesses in the area are complaining that we are loitering, about the smell and the conditions that we are working under which we don’t have a problem with because we are not loitering because we work here. We don’t work in a building or an office, we work on the street. This morning we didn’t have a job. They said they will shut down the job site until further notice, that is the only information he gave to me and I have to send home people because we don’t have jobs.

Farmers Receive Bonuses For Close Of Crop Season
On Monday sugar cane farmers received their third and final payment for the close of last crop season. A couple of the farmers shared with us their thoughts on the payment. GONZALO TAMI JR. We did expect a little more for the late crop during the rainy season farmers put in bad cane because of rain a lot of trash and mud and that payment of the cane came lower for that reason that is how we cane farmers received this payment a little bit low. LEIGH-ANDRA GENTLE “So for this year what do you think it will be for you?” GONZALO TAMI JR. “Well I don’t know what to expect. I don’t what what we are going to experience when the season starts.” LEIGH-ANDRA GENTLE “How will this bonus aid you in the coming of the new cane season?


Gapi demands retraction, apology, and compensation from Cervantes
Ramon Cervantes Jr. received a notice of intention to sue from Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. The Deputy Prime Minister was named in a recorded telephone conversation which was broadcast live on the radio. The Minister responded with a video release of his own, refuting any allegations of his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of the patriarch of the Cervantes family, Ramon Cervantes Sr. On Wednesday, the son of the deceased, Ramon Cervantes Jr. received the letter from Barrow and Williams law firm demanding a retraction and an apology to Hon. Gaspar Vega. Ramon Cervante is also informed that he needs to make a proposal for monetary compensation to Gaspar Vega. If Ramon Cervantes does not respond by 17th November, Hon. Gaspar Vega says he will sue.

BSCFA say they have support of farmers
On Wednesday, representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association met with farmers to discuss BSI-ASR’s new strategy to bypass the association and negotiate with farmer’s individually to get the new sugar season started. BSCFA held a press conference on Wednesday morning, where they stated that they have the support of the majority of the farmers, and will continue to negotiate with BSI as an association. That association represents roughly 5,300 farmers who have been in negotiation with BSI-ASR over issues within the commercial agreement. Those issues include ownership of the sugarcane and the formula for the payment of bagasse. BSI-ASR and BSCFA have not been able to reach an agreement.

BSI cane field set ablaze
On Wednesday afternoon, someone set fire to over 9 acres of sugarcane belonging to BSI. The cane field is near Estrella, Corozal. There has been no word as to who set the field on fire, but it comes at a time when relations between BSI and the cane farmers association are strained and negotiations have not been going well. BSI’s new strategy is to bypass the association and get individual farmers to sign the commercial agreement for the start of the crop season by the end of November.

Highway blockers summoned to court
On Tuesday night we told you about the defendant summons that were handed out to some 20 persons in connection to the August highway block that took place in Succotz Village in the Cayo district. On Wednesday we got a copy of the summons for those accused of rioting to appear in court on Thursday November 13. Many villagers had blocked the highway demanding that Deputy Commissioner Miguel Segura be charged, after he killed a woman and injured a man in a traffic accident while driving with alcohol levels above the prescribed limit. Miguel Segura was charged, but his day in court has not arrived as yet.

Speednet seeks injunction against BTL
On Wednesday Speednet Communications Ltd. filed an application for an injunction against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) in the Supreme Court of Belize. The application for an injunction became necessary after BTL served Speednet with a notice of termination of service via certain links effective Friday, November 14, 2014. According to Speednet, owners of SMART, this move could leave almost 7,000 Smart customers in the Toledo District without access to voice and data services. Speednet says it terminated its service with its previous provider and switched its communications link in Toledo to BTL on July 27. They claim that only five weeks later, Telemedia sent them a notice of service termination effective November 14, 2014. Speednet expects to complete its own network in Toledo in the next few months but claims that they have written to the Public Utilities Commission which has said that it is not in a position to intervene.

Patrick JonesPJ

Workers dropped from Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project
On Tuesday morning workers on the project to clean the canal under Douglas Jones Street and connect it through Cinderella Plaza and Baymen Avenue out to the sea were told that for now, they no longer have jobs. The decision came after the Ministry of Works sent a notice demanding that contractors Medina’s Construction stop work until they met certain conditions. The memo from the Ministry sets out a detailed list of violations, including lack of proper personal protective equipment for the workmen, excessive loitering complaints by businesses in the area, and the extent of cleaning, only to arms’ reach from the existing manholes.

Tour guide charged for sex assault on teenager
A tour guide from Crooked Tree Village in the Belize District is spending eighteen months in prison and may face more jail time on separate charges of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and carnal knowledge. Fifty-one year old Michael Davis Buylding was handed a prison sentence by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after she found him guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature on a girl who was 18 years old at the time. The incident occurred around 5:30 a.m. on November 13, 2012, in Crooked Tree. The girl testified that she was sleeping and she was covered with a sheet from head to toe when she was awakened by the feel of someone caressing her body. She said she thought at first that it was her mother.

Man charged in the case of the missing louvre windows
A Belize City woman spent $2,000 to buy glass louver windows for her home – but she has neither and blames businessman Marlon Longsworth, 40. The complainant Sharet Baptist, reported to the police that between July 2, 2013 and November 25, 2013, she gave Longsworth $2,000 to supply her with 12 glass louvre windows and she has not gotten any. Longsworth was charged with obtaining property by deception when he appeared on Monday before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. No plea was taken because the matter will be tried on indictment.

Shooting incident in Belize City
There has been a shooting incident in Belize City. Information is still coming in, but reports are that it happened at the corner of Majestic Alley and North Front Street. One person is reported to have been injured. More on this story will be posted as they become available.


Belize’s Chaa Creek Nominated For A Travvy Award
One of the things the management and staff of Chaa Creek take pride in is a high level of customer satisfaction. We see this in the smiles and gracious thank you’s of our guests, and in the overwhelmingly positive comments on sites such as Trip Advisor. It’s great when you love your job, and even better when you see that your efforts are appreciated. And while our guests are our number one priority, recognition from with the travel industry is also important. It shows that other professionals appreciate what we do, and how we do it. Chaa Creek has also been fortunate in this area, having over the years been acknowledged with awards or accolades from travel industry players such as the Belize Tourism Board, Conde Nast Traveller, National Geographic, Fox News, CNN Travel, Fodors Travel, Forbes Traveller, Travel+Leisure, Gayots Guide, Huffpost Travel, Zagat Survey, Green Globe and others. So we were very happy to be nominated for a Travvy Award, presented by travAlliancemedia, the travel industry media company and publishers of the industry’s major magazines and websites, to “recognise the highest standards of excellence in the industry today and honour travel companies, travel products, travel agencies and destinations for their outstanding achievement,” according to their media release.

What’s New In Placencia, Belize and Fantastic Meals at Maya Beach Bistro
Saturday I went on a bit of a whirlwind tour of the Placencia Peninsula to check out a few new things. Unlike Ambergris Caye, there is quite a bit of undeveloped land on this 19 miles stretch. Some places, like Placencia Village, have a quaint, pastel seaside village feel… and some, like the beginning of the peninsula, are being built up at a crazy speed – HUGE McMansions and promises of 18 hole golf courses (see Panther Golf Club & Estates) and casinos. A little something for everyone! As “the season” gears up…some changes are taking place in Placencia…some openings, some closings, some renovations…you know how it goes. Earlier this week, I took a bit of a whirlwind tour of some of the newest changes AND ate two amazing meals at one of (if not my) favorite restaurant in Belize – Maya Beach Bistro. Here. Let me show you…

Belize Birding: Ridiculous Yard Birds
I’ve been in Belize for nearly two weeks now and my Belize list is already at 171 species, with 78 lifers- inching me ever closer to the 700 club! I think its fairly impressive considering I’ve seen most of these birds within a mile of my house, and many right in my yard. For example, while we are busting our butts in the United States to see a handful of Elegant Trogans in southeast Arizona, here in Belize trogans are just sitting around like they own the place. The female Black-headed Trogon shown below was sitting over a puddle watching a group of Clay-colored Thrush foraging below. Normal morning in Belize.

10 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job and Move to Belize
Those looking for a fresh start in Central America often consider Belize as a top option. The country is perfectly situated with a tropical climate, and it features endless natural attractions that add to its beauty. Many visitors are unfamiliar with the country, and they fail to realize just how comfortable a move to Belize can be. 1. Historical Significance Visitors that love history will enjoy the surplus of ruins from the ancient Mayan empire. Caracol is considered as one of the largest and most important Mayan sites in the country. At its peak it had more than twice the population of today’s Belize City. Actun Tunichil Muknal, or ATM, is one of various cave systems. Actun Tunichil Muknal was a sacred system for ancient civilizations as it was considered as a passage to the grace of the gods.

International Sourcesizz

Brooklyn baptists conduct missions in Belize
Ten pastors and ministers of the New Beginnings International Ministries (NBIM) embarked on a week-long Christian mission from Brooklyn, New York to the village of Camalote, Belize on Tuesday Oct. 28, 2014. The group provided bags of food that was sufficient to feed more than 50 homes in the village of Camalote for over a month, conducted evangelism and spiritual leadership workshops which were done in Camalote Baptist Church and went into Camalote Primary School where they evangelized and engaged the young students in arts and crafts. NBIM hosted a barbecue at the Blue Thumbs Missions compound where the entire village was welcomed. Inspirational messages were preached by the ministers to bring hope and encouragement to people who at times have very little to hope for.

Cedar Falls Dentist Provides Free Care to Hundreds on Dental Mission Trip to Belize
Thomas Strub, DDS, a Cedar Falls dentist, recently returned from a dental mission trip to Dangriga, Belize, organized and sponsored by Peace Lutheran Church. The purpose of the mission was to help poverty-stricken communities have access to dental care. Dr. Strub and his team arrived in Belize City on July 17th, quickly making the trek to Dangriga to do their part in providing necessary treatment for those who needed it. A blog post published on his practice's website titled, "Dr. Thomas Strub Recounts Belize Dental Mission Trip," shares additional details about the volunteer efforts. Once the team arrived in Dangriga, Dr. Strub says the volunteers created a temporary dental clinic in a Methodist school. They organized stations for taking in patients and triaging them into different categories. A separate area was sectioned off for anesthesia, oral surgery, and dental restoration procedures. Volunteers also taught patients about oral hygiene and gave out free toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss.

Running out of fish
By the year 2048, most fish species in the planet’s oceans may well be dead, driven to extinction by us humans. Such collapse will be largely due to super-efficient fishing technologies which are overwhelming fish species’ capacity to bounce back. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we establish protected marine sanctuaries, and regulate fishing sustainably, we can share the planet with fish for a long time to come. These ideas were explored by experts in the recently screened 2009 UK film The End of the Line, shown at UWI as part of the Green Screen environmental film series organised by Sustain T&T. Belize’s Hol Cahn Marine Reserve, formed in 1987, is another success story, the film said. This reserve covers approximately 18 sq km (4,448 acres) of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forest, and has succeeded in replenishing fish stocks in the reserve areas, growing larger fish, and generating jobs for many local small businesses which benefit from the great diving, the rich marine life and the tourism spinoffs. The Belize Government consulted extensively with all local stakeholders in planning the reserve.


Video: Coatimundi at the Witzoo wildlife sanctuary, Belize, 3min.

Video: Angela Gegg Belize Talk Radio with Macarena Interview, 12min.
Meet the ONE and ONLY full throttled, fully engaged, powerhouse of a Woman- ANGELA GEGG ( a.k.a. Proshka) ! I love what the THE BELIZE TIMES says:" ...Angela Gegg, Art Impresario, Publishing Magnate and Juggernaut Extraordinaire is a first for Belize. As a sociological-cultural phenomena Ms. Gegg is a force to reckon with. In Art Historical terms Ms. Gegg is the Reincarnation of Andy Warhol..." You will be blown away by the art forms that embody this Magnificent Woman, as to her visual art, spoken word, poetry, books, impressive entertainment talent and in fact, the way she lives her life, is ART in itself ! Do not miss this provocative show today and you to will say Oh MISS GEGG !!

Video: The Story of the Squid Pop, 4.5min.
Dr. Emmett Duffy, Director of the Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network

November 12, 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

National News: Phone conversation believed to be the murderer of Ramon Cervantes Sr surface
Family members of the late former Senator and Mayor of Orange Walk Town Ramon Cervantes Sr. were back at the police station to give another police report on the request of the Belize Police Department. That request was as a result of the revelation of a recorded telephone conversation between Vilma Cervantes and Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, the person believed to have executed the murder of the well respected Orangewalkeño. Following the release of the recording, Belize Police Department said that the only person wanted for the murder so far is El Pelon-Castillo who is a fugitive and is being sought with the assistance of Interpol. The phone conversation was released to the press during a memorial service in honor of Mr. Cervantes on Wednesday November 5th. The call was allegedly made to the Cervantes family home one month prior to its release, and was made by someone who identified himself as Castillo and whose voice sounds much like that of the wanted person. The caller made serious allegations, indicating that a senior elected Belizean Parliamentarian and Cabinet minister as well as a senior member of the Belize Police Department stationed in Oragne Walk Town was the mastermind behind the torture and execution of Cervantes Sr.

TCC beats SPHS to claim National Volleyball Championship
The Toledo Community College (TCC) male volleyball team beat the San Pedro High School (SPHS) team to claim the National Secondary School Volleyball Championship. Female Champions are the St Catherine Academy (SCA) girls of Belize City. The two-day event took place at Orange Walk Town’s Multi-Complex Auditorium on November 7th and 8th. Four male and female volleyball teams converged in Orange Walk Town to try and lay claim tothe top title. Representing the Northern Region were Muffles College High School (Female) and SPHS (Male). The Western Region was Belmopan Comprehensive High School (Male and Female), while Central Region SCA (Female) and St John’s College (Male). The Southern Region representatives were Stann Creek Ecumenical High School (Female) and TCC (Male).

Ambergris Today

BTB Provides Multisectoral Customer Service Excellence Training
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced that on Thursday, November 6, 2014, that the organization held a Leadership for Service Excellence session for stakeholders of the public sector and Government agencies at the Belize Institute of Management. This session was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Service and tied into their strategic management plan for Customer Service. Agencies that were in attendance included: Immigration & Customs, Post Office, Belize Police Department and Tourism Police, NEMO, NICH, BELTRAIDE, Coastal Zone Mgmt., Income Tax and Traffic Dept. Special Guests included three members from the National Initiative of Service Excellence (NISE) in Barbados that worked along with these agencies which are directly or indirectly involved in the front line in the Tourism Industry.

Increase in Economic Growth Expected for Belize, Status Upgraded to Positive
In a report released by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) on Friday, November 7, 2014, Belize’s ‘B-/B’ sovereign credit rating was affirmed and its outlook upgraded to positive from stable. The company attributed this change to the new $140 million investment in “sugar and nontraditional agricultural products” stating that the country’s economic growth prospects are increasing and “will likely improve Belize’s external liquidity.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Blessed Rememberance Day to those who served
Remembrance Day, 11/11/2014 at 11:11 hrs this morning (4 photos) Remembrance Day observed at Price Barracks, Ladyville this morning. FSM doing his Muster.

On November 10th, 2014 about 7:00 a.m, Corozal Police visited the second floor of Gabriel Hoare Market (our fruit vendor's market), Corozal Town on an open area and discovered the motionless body of 52 year old Errol Reyes, a homeless Belizean seen lying face up apparently dead. The person was dressed with a blue sweater, beside was a blue jeans pants and his hands were on his chest. The body was then transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where it was pronounced dead at 7:30 a.m. The body was viewed and no sign of injury or violence was observed. Police investigations continue.

You are invited to our monthly ART IN THE PARK this weekend. Bring out the entire family for a night of fun and entertainment. Bring your wallets out to support our local artists and artisans.

Congratulations to our unsung heroes!
Corozal Town's living legends- World War ll veterans - Mr. Vera and Mr. Correa at yesterday's remembrance service honouring our fallen servicemen.


Mixed Martial Arts Caged Fight
In the first heavy weight title belt in Belize, Mexican National Juan Rojas will try to pound his muscle on Belize's Adran Ramirez. The 8 fights between Mexico and Belize takes place inside the Belize Elementary Auditorium on Saturday November 29th from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Health and safety risks put stop to Canal works
The cleaning of the Douglas Jones Canal has been stopped by the Ministry of Works because of Health and safety concerns. The Ministry wants a: cleaning works methodology b: de-watering staging area for sludge c: Proper PPE for workmen d: less loitering of workmen in area e: workmen to work beyond arms reach

Paving the Way for Private Sector Growth
The role of the private sector is particularly vital today amid strong signals by some Caribbean economies of returning to positive growth in 2015. This view has been shared by Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) Pamela Coke-Hamilton, on the eve of a two-day international colloquium designed to facilitate dialogue between regional and international private sector leaders, politicians and academics. Coke-Hamilton said the role of the private sector was even more critical today than previously given its importance in driving economic growth. “So to the extent to which the private sector continues to make the necessary investment and diversify their base of operations and engage in innovation, then the economies will continue to improve and increase growth,” the Executive Director continued.

PADF Youth-Focused Entrepreneurship Program Launches First Group of Micro-Businesses in Belize City
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) announces the official launch of two micro-businesses under the second phase of the Youth Engagement Services Project (YES!), a program that targets youth who have limited opportunities in order to support youth-initiated micro and small businesses that increase access to jobs and encourage entrepreneurship in Belize City. The program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Belize, is building on other services to complement ongoing activities by providing youth from marginal areas the essential elements of technical training and business advisory services so they can succeed in the labor market. During Phase I, participants completed a 12-week tailored training program in entrepreneurship through SBDCBelize, under the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE). Youth participants received training on start-up and improved business tactics and business plan development in order to be prepared to start their own business or improve an existing one.

Channel 7

BSR-ASI Drives Ahead To Capture Cane Farmers
Last night we told you how the sugar mill, BSI-ASR had made a bold and unheard of move - urging the 5,500 cane farmers in the north to bypass their association - and sign contracts directly with the mill. It's a daring maneuver and one heck of a gamble -which, if successful, would radically re-arrange the commercial landscape of the industry. Today was day one of the experiment when ASR-BSI called farmers from Corozal and Orange Walk to conferences learn more about the contract. The meeting started at 8:30 in Orange Walk Town and 7News was there:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This morning over 200 cane farmers filled the hall at Gala Lounge in Orange Walk Town for what was dubbed a "pre-harvest conference." Mac McLachlan, V.P. Int'l Relations - ASR "We are aiming to try to have informative sessions with all harvest group leaders and that's about 370 in total in both Orange Walk and Corozal; about 170 in Orange Walk and I think we got pretty close to that number here."

Cane Farmers Assoc. Holds Its Ground, But Can It Hold Members?
And that is just fine by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. The "wait and see" approach gives them some latitude to negotiate in a very pressurized situation, and also it offers them the opportunity at plausible deniability; meaning that, until some big farmer actually signs a contract, BSCFA executives can still say that the farmers have not defected from the association, they are just hearing for themselves what BSI has to offer. The Association held a meeting with its 18 directors this morning at its headquarters in Orange Walk Town - and after that they had a press briefing - as a prelude to a full press conference tomorrow. CEO Oscar Alonzo told us that they reject the BSI-ASR maneuver:.. Oscar Alonzo, CEO - BSCFA "We view this matter with great concern okay. This new approach that BSI has embarked upon in order to try to settle a negotiation process and this is the thing that we will examine tomorrow and denounce the ruthless, manner in which ASR/BSI, an American transnational cooperation in now trying to introduce a new mode of economic activity that has serious implications for the future and the welfare of the cane farmers."

Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, "No Mas"
And while the cane industry is at a crossroads unlike any it's seen before - so too is the PUP of Orange Walk East. That's because today Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez formally announced that he will not seek re-election and is stepping down as standard bearer for his party. Much like the PUP's Joseph Mahmud in Cayo North - though he's stepping aside, Mendez will stay on as Area Representative and serve out his term. He held a quite somber press conference at his divisional office in Orange Walk East today to explain that he is doing it based on the advice of doctors:.. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Rep. - OW East "I've made up my mind that yes I will be stepping down as the Standard Bearer for the Orange Walk East constituency because of the recommendations that have been given to me. And of course being a doctor considering the risks factors that are involve with this, with the activity that I have been doing, I have definitely made up my mind. I am deeply honored I would say to have been supported by the people of the Orange Walk East constituency. I have been honored to be serving them this period, but for the best interest of my people because of the activities that will be coming; the campaigning and of course being out there constantly for them I think that there is a another person that supposed to be having that role and there are people that definitely will be moving this area in the best way for the party."

But his former UDP opponent in the East says he should step down. We found UDP Standard Bearer Elodio Aragon at his office just around the corner from Dr. Mendez's, and he said he sympathizes, but he also wants an active representative:.. Elodio Aragon, Jr. - Standard Bearer OW East "And I understand why he is doing this. I think people all understand of the health issues that he say he has and our hearts go out to him, but we must also be mindful that we are representing and we who make the commitment to serve the people of Orange Walk East and this country, we have a responsibility to them and it would be good if he could go one step further and relinquish his post so that a bi-election could be held and at the end of the day the people could select a representative that they want and that would be there to represent them and to be there to assist them with their concerns and needs, a simple thing, the community vote; the community votes goes to the representative. That community vote could do a lot for the people or Orange Walk East. But it is all up to him. At the end of the day he is the duly elected representative and he will have to make that decision. But on my part I wish him well, I wish him the best of health. I hope he recovers and live a fruitful and successful life."

Corwin Mendoza Body Still Not Found
Tonight in Roaring Creek, the family of 24 year-old Corwin Mendoza continues to search for him, and as we told you last night, they fear they won't find him alive. He was last seen in the village on Sunday night, when he was attacked by 2 men who stabbed and beat him to death. The reason that his family has been searching the river is because police believe that his body was disposed of in the creek, which empties into the Belize River. It's an ordeal that no family wants to find itself in, and today, 7News travelled to Roaring Creek to speak with them. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting For the second day in a row, Coast Guard, civilians and relatives of Corwin Mendoza have been searching for his body in the river. The teams don't believe that they will find him alive, and for his immediate family that conviction without proof has been taxing. Jessie Mendoza - Brother of Missing Man "At the moment we still haven't been able to locate his body and yesterday the Coast Guard they were diving and doing search within the Roaring Creek and it was unfruitful, so we call it off at about 6pm yesterday evening. And today they are searching more downstream within the river in hopes of finding the body and really that's where we are at the moment. He does not reside here at my parents' home, but he is always in contact with them and if he had not come by for breakfast or probably just come by to say hello or drop off his daughter then we know that something definitely is wrong because he would have made contact already."

Man Found Dead With Hands Tied, Mouth Bound
And while Belmopan police have suspects in their first murder for 2014, Belize City police don't have much to go on in a murder that happened sometime over the weekend. 56 year old William Garbutt's body was found last night - but Monica Bodden found out that he had likely been killed from sometime over the weekend. Here's her story:... Voice Of: Cousin of the Deceased "As far as I know it's my aunt who found out about it. One of the neighbors called her and told her the situation. Then this morning my cousin text me about after 6am to tell that they found Bill dead in the house." Monica Bodden reporting 58 year old William Garbutt - known to many as Bill was found dead inside his home. Police visited his Pine Street address around 10 last night after neighbors reported of a foul scent coming from inside the bungalow house.

"Rioters" To Be Charged
August's spirited protest on the Benque Road by Succotz Villagers made for one of the most visually memorable news events of the year. The villagers got riled up because there was the perception that Deputy Commissioner Miguel Segura was being protected from prosecution for his involvement in that accident which killed Yolanda Consuelo Valencia and seriously injured his taximan Yanie Evan Cu. Turns out he wasn't being protected from prosecution, but now, neither are those rioters! 7News has confirmed that some of the participants have been charged with rioting. As we had shown you, on August 19, a large group of residents blocked the Benque Road for over 7 hours with burnt tires. At the height of the protest, it devolved from civil disobedience into a riot when persons in the crowd threw rocks and pint bottles at law enforcement officers who where trying to put out the fire and open the road.

Wilfredo Magana More Than A Historical Footnote
At the top of the newscast, we told you all about the moves and counter-moves between ASR-BSI on one side and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association on the other. Both are jostling for control of the cane farmers as the opening of the crop is only a month away. Right now it's too early to tell how it will go - but one man who's observing with bemusement is Wilfredo Magana. You probably don't know his name; he isn't a big time politician or some high rolling shot caller; he's a small cane farmer who - along with other farmers had a radical idea in 2007: they challenged the supremacy of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. At the time, the law said that all cane farmers had to be members of the BSCFA and had to pay what's known as a "cess" back to that organization. But, Magana and a few fellow farmers said it wasn't fair because it denied them the freedom of association guaranteed to them by the constitution. In 2009 the Supreme Court pronounced that they were right - and that landmark decision is what has enabled BSI-ASR to go around the BSCFA and appeal directly to the farmers to sign independent contracts absent the association.

Man Gets 2 Years For Breaking Into Car
42 year-old Jason Wade, a resident of St. Matthew's Village, is spending the first night of a 2 and a half year sentence after pleading guilty to theft in Magistrate's Court. He was caught in the act and detained by the owner. The police reported that they received a report yesterday of a burglary in progress at a residence on Faber's Road Extension. When they arrived at the scene they saw Daniel Chavarria in his yard with the culprit, Wade, in his custody. Chavarria reported that Wade had broken into his vehicle that was parked in his yard and had stolen several items that amounted to $1,260 dollars in value.

Ex Cop Eligio Cites Long History of Police Abuse
Former police officer Fredrick Eligio is in the news again claiming police harassment. Eligio has been living on Caye Caulker for 17 years, left for one year and has now returned. But he claims that police have been constantly harassing him and detaining him for several crimes on the island that he says he has no connection to. He came to our studios today to express his frustration. Fredrick Eligio "Ten years ago until now, the policeman they labeled me as a criminal; somebody that likes to thief, a robber. I have two sons that lives in Caye Caulker also, big men, they have their own job and thing. I get enough of it because every time they catch me and release me. Anytime anything happens on the caye; a robbery, a theft or whatever, they hold me. This is what I want the commissioner to know that I get enough of it. Just about 3 weeks ago when all this weather was coming down, the rains and thing, somebody went to report of some kind of burglary - I just went back on the caye 3 weeks ago after that year that I spent in Belize and right after that the person went to report that they broke into his place and straight at me they come."

Street Workers Complain About Layoff
In October we told you about the commencement of the municipal drainage project. Work has started with heavy trenching on Douglas Jones Street and off Calle Al Mar by the Princess Casino. But this morning work on Douglas Jones stopped after the Ministry of Works sent a cease and desist letter to contractor Medina's Construction Ltd. The release instructs David Medina to shut down the project until certain health and safety measures are reinforced. These include providing personal protective equipment to workers and providing a cleaning works methodology. Apart from that workers must be monitored because the letter says that businesses have been complaining about loitering. Now, these manual labourers are mostly street guys who are getting a rare opportunity at a straight job - so this morning when they got the news that their component of the project was being halted - they were fuming. 7News was there:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting These are the tools that the employees working on the Douglas Jones Canal Project at Cinderella Plaza put down this morning after the Ministry of Works sent this letter ordering that all drainage works in the area cease immediately. Now these 30 plus disgruntled workers, who have no other source of regular income, are making a public outcry to get the contract reinstated. They say it's the complaints of businesses in the area that caused this stoppage.

Cops Keep Healthy
The Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department has coordinated a health walk for tomorrow morning. Police officers from all 4 precincts will be participating in the walk and are inviting the public to join. Today Police Press Officer, Douglas Hyde told us why the walk will be beneficial in more ways than one: The walk leaves from in front of the Yabra Community Policing Center at 5:15.

Shoplifters Hot Rock Bottom At Bottom Dollar
Employees of Bottom Dollar Store say that a couple shoplifted twice from the business place. Getting away with it once, they tried again yesterday, but this time, the security guard was ready for them. So tonight, 29 year-old Bernard Seawell and 29 year-old Shelly Saragosa must pay fines for theft. Fifty-two year old Francisco Camara, the chief of security of Santiago Castillo Group of Companies, reported to police that two persons were seen on camera stealing items from Bottom Dollar, on North Front Street. The items included 1 Enfamil premium baby milk and 2 Febreze car fresheners having a combined value of $42. That happened on October 27, and the couple got away before a security guard could apprehend them. But they returned yesterday to Bottom Dollar Store and stole one magnum tonic wine, valued at $4.50. This time they were apprehended and handed over to the police.

FECTAB On Why They Can't Compromise
Last night we told you about the meeting between FECTAB and the BTB which went into the night. Both sides are trying to find a way ahead that will allow BTB and NICH to hold to its standards for cave safety while allowing FECTAB members to earn a living. The main issue is the 48 inch rule which prevents anyone under four feet tall form entering the caves. That's a disadvantage to the local tour operators who specialize in family tours. They say that yesterday's meeting brought them no close to a resolution:.. David Almendarez, Fantasea Belize "On the 17th October they implemented a 48 inches rule which basically says that any kids that we take under 48 inches, we can not longer take. We've been dialoguing with the BTB and NICH since then. Today we were supposed to have a meeting where we can address these issues and they can formally hear our concerns. We believe that they've heard our concerns for the past 3 weeks already, so basically we gathered here again to reiterate our concerns and they are going to sit down and digest it and get back to us before the end of the week - that's what we've been told." Reporter "I understand that you guys walked out of the meeting. Give us an update as to what transpired?"

Vanessa Champgne Latest From Court
Vanessa Champagne Paris, the transgender individual known legally as Porfilio Rodriguez, has been facing a charge of aggravated assault for threatening Caleb Orozco's sister, but tonight, he's closer to being acquitted if the complainant does not show up on the next adjournment. His accuser is Golda Orozco and she says that he pulled a knife on her. The problem is that for the past 2 days, police have been trying to get Golda Orozco in court to testify against him. She and Paris didn't show up yesterday, and today, she didn't show up today either.

Channel 5

B.S.I. Commences Information Session with Caneros Sans B.S.C.F.A.
There is a crisis of significant proportions brewing in the sugar-cane industry, lifeblood of the north and one of the country’s largest export-earners. A.S.R.-owned B.S.I. on Monday announced that following [...]

B.S.C.F.A. Holds Emergency Meetings in Response to BSI Sidestepping
Even as B.S.I. was trying to convince farmers to jump the B.S.C.F.A. ship, that body was holding emergency meetings with the eighteen directors of the different branches. Today’s round of [...]

P.U.P. Issues Statement on State of Sugar Industry Deliberations
The People’s United Party has issued a statement in respect of the developments in the sugar industry. The party says the B.S.I./A.S.R. decision to bypass the B.S.C.F.A. is unprecedented and [...]

Do you think A.S.R. should bypass B.S.C.F.A. and deal directly with cane farmers?
Tonight’s question is: Do you think A.S.R./B.S.I. should bypass B.S.C.F.A. and deal directly with cane farmers? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your [...]

Ministry of Works Pulls Plug on Douglas Jones Canal Project
Work on Douglas Jones Street in Belize City came to an abrupt stop this morning. A letter from the Ministry of Works to the Flood Mitigation Project which in turn [...]

Benqueño to be Arrested and Charged For August Protest
Tonight, News Five has been able to confirm that at least twenty persons from Benque Viejo del Carmen and Succotz have been summoned to appear in court on Thursday, November [...]

98-Year-Old Woman Raped in Belize City
There is an utterly disturbing report tonight concerning the alleged rape of a ninety-eight-year-old Belize City woman.  The incident occurred on Friday night while the elderly woman was asleep at [...]

Repeat Offender Jason Wade Sentenced to Prison for Burglary
A repeat theft and burglary offender was today sentenced to two and a half years in prison for a similar crime. Forty-two year old Jason Wade, who also goes by [...]

Champagne Paris Back in Court, Case Adjourned Yet Again
The trial of twenty-six year old Perfilio Rodriguez, aka “Vanessa Paris Champagne,” was set to commence on Monday for the offense of Aggravated Assault with a knife upon Golda Orozco, [...]

Search Continues for Roaring Creek Man Believed to be Murdered
Police suspect that Corwin Mendoza, who has been missing since Sunday, was murdered and his body disposed of in the river at Roaring Creek. Mendoza’s family says he left his [...]

William Garbutt Killed Inside His Pine Street Home
On Monday night at about ten o’clock, a decaying body was found at a house on Pine Street, Belize City after neighbors alerted the police that something was awry in [...]

P.U.P.’s Marco Tulio Mendez Steps Down as Orange Walk East Area Rep
Reports circulated last week but tonight there is confirmation – popular P.U.P. Area representative for Orange Walk East, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, has decided to step down. He made the [...]

U.D.P. Organizes Rally in Support of Petrocaribe Loan Motion
In other political news…A special sitting of the House of Representative is slated for next week Tuesday in the Capital. In an ad aired in this newscast, the U.D.P. called [...]

NICH and B.T.B. Mum on Cave-tubing Fiasco
On Monday, we reported that a late-afternoon meeting between the National Institute of Culture and History, the Belize Tourism Board and representatives of FECTAB ended into the night in a [...]

Joeth ‘Chyna’ Pratt Still Missing One Week Later
The mysterious disappearance of Joeth Pratt, an employee of Cisco Construction Ltd., conjures up recent memories of the loss of Hattieville Chairman Kevin Carcamo, who also went missing a few [...]

Preparations for MMA Mashup Underway
There is a serious daily beat down that is occurring right here on Coney Drive and it hasn’t and won’t make it into any police report. Eight Mexicans and eight [...]

U-16 Ballers off to Panama for COCABA Basketball Championship
The under-sixteen national basketball team left the country on Monday en route to Panama for the 2014 COCABA U-sixteen Basketball Championship Tournament slated to start on Wednesday. The delegation consisting [...]


Representatives From World Bank Evaluates Infrastructure Works In The North
A World Bank team headed by Yoonhee Kim were in Belize last week to visit and meet with officials of the Social Investment Fund on progress made in the different Belize Municipal Development Projects around Belize. According to a release, projects visited included the newly refurbished and expanded Dangriga Central Market, the on-going works in Orange Walk on the Central Park, Santa Familia Street as well as proposed works on North/South Park Street and Lovers Lane. During the official tour to the north, the officials also visited the proposed rehabilitation of the existing market, on 1st street, 6th avenue and the rehabilitation of the multipurpose sport complex in Corozal. Head of the mission, YoonShee Kim, described the meetings with SIF as a “successful mission”. The team departed the country last Friday.

Foul Play Ruled Out In Death Of East Indian Woman
Corozal police are ruling out foul play in the death of a 60 year old East Indian man that occurred on Saturday in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. According to the report made by Police constable Nelson Phillips, while conducting his duties at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone at the main entrance, his attention was drawn to an East Indian male person walking towards the bus stop who suddenly dropped to the ground on his knees. At that time P.C Philips rushed to assist the individual and noticed that he was having trouble breathing. With the assistance of some good samaritans, the person was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where doctors tried to save him but unfortunately Vaswani died around 7:30pm.

Cane Farmers Dissatisfied With Third Payment
While the Sugar Industry currently finds itself in turbulent waters today it pumped millions of dollars in the Belizean economy as cane farmers received their third payment for the 2013/2014 crop. It was lower than last year and the reactions we got from Corozal cane farmers proved that they are not satisfied with the third and final payment. Victor Castillo reports. Cane farmers from all corners of Corozal Town came out today to receive their third payment for the 2013/2014 crop season. The final estimate total for the crop season amounted to $67.52. Compare that to last year when cane farmers received $74.20 per ton of cane, you get a reaction of total dissatisfaction.

Man Arrested For Possession Of Weed
Officers attached to the Corozal Police Department were on patrol in the village San Antonio in the Corozal District when their attention was drawn to male person, who upon seeing the police mobile hurriedly walked inside a yard. As a result officials followed the individual later identified as Kenrick Ivan Pelayo and when they caught up with him conducted a search on his person which resulted in the discovery of a small amount of green leafy vegetable substance suspected to be cannabis. The suspected drug was found inside a brown leather wallet. The 32 year old Belizean Driver of San Antonio Village was arrested and charged for the offence of possession of controlled drug.

Two Men Lose Their Life In Separate Traffic Accidents
Over the weekend, two persons lost their lives in separate road traffic accidents recorded in the North. The first was recorded on Saturday night when Orange Walk police responded to a call for help around 9:50pm. Upon arrival near a bridge located between Trinidad and August Pine Ridge Villages, police observed a black single-cab Mazda Pickup truck on the right side of the road with extensive damages. Preliminary information indicates that 24 year old Alonzo Vasquez, resident and farmer of Trinidad Village, was driving the vehicle from August Pine Ridge towards Trinidad and upon reaching the bridge area he lost control of the vehicle. It is reported that the pick-up truck flipped several times and as a result Vasquez was flung out of the vehicle. Vasquez is said to have sustained massive head and body injuries. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Northern Regional Hospital. The second fatal road traffic accident was recorded last night around 6:30pm and it left yet another family in mourning for their loved one. The incident occurred between miles 51 and 52 in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk District. According to Jaime Sansenio, he was travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk in his 1992 Dodge Dakota when a cyclist travelling in the same direction was clipped and knocked off his bike.


Marco Mendez Resigns As Standard Bearer For Orange Walk East
Orange Walk East area representative, Marco Tulio Mendez, has officially announced his resignation as standard bearer for the People’s United Party. Last week Party leader Francis Fonseca told the media Mendez would be stepping down because of health reasons. Two persons have expressed interest in the area, present town councilor Josue Carballo and three time area representative Dave Burgos. Mendez said he will not endorse any of the candidates but will leave the PUP East committee to decide. We understand that the East Committee supports Carballo but the decision will be made at an upcoming convention.

Missing Man Body Retrieved From Mopan River
Over the weekend, the body of Oteniel Contreras was retrieved from the Mopan River in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Contreras had gone missing on November 3, and many believe that he had drowned. That belief turned into a fact, after his body was found on Saturday morning. However, Contreras’ family expressed dissatisfaction because the Belize’s Coast Guard was not part of the search. Today Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis of the Belize Coast Guard was asked why and here is what he responded. “When we received the call it was approximately three days after the incident had happened and we explained to the family at the time that is usually the time when a body resurfaces so we recommended that rather than a subsurface search be conducted that a surface search be conducted because we have never had a case or an incident where the body surfaces before or after three days, normally two and a half days and the body normally surfaces. We look at the time when they estimated that he went under to the time when we got the call, it was then that we looked at all that and said it is best that a surface search be conducted.

Bernard Seawell And Shelly Saragosa Charged With Theft
A couple who went to the same store twice were charged with two counts of theft when they appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. They are 29 year old, Bernard Seawell and 29 year old, Shelly Saragosa. Seawell plead guilty to the charges. He was fined three hundred dollars for the first count and two hundred dollars for the second count. He was given until January 31, 2015, to pay both fines. If he defaults on payment, he will serve six months for each count. The sentences are to run concurrently. The charges were withdrawn from Saragosa. The first theft occurred on October 27. Fifty-two year old Francisco Camara, the chief of security of Santiago Castillo Group of Companies, reported to police that two persons were seen on camera stealing items from Bottom Dollar Store, located on North Front Street. The items included one can baby milk and two car fresheners having a combined value of forty two dollars. The couple got away before a security guard could apprehend them. But they returned yesterday to Bottom Dollar Store and stole one magnum tonic wine, valued at four dollars and fifty cents. This time they were apprehended and handed over to the police.

Jason Wade Plead Guilty To Theft
Forty-two year old Jason Wade, a resident of St. Matthew’s Village, was sentenced to two and a half years today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he plead guilty to theft. Wade had two previous convictions for theft and one for burglary. The theft occurred 12:30 yesterday morning. The police reported that they received a report of a burglary in progress at a residence on Faber’s Road Extension and when they arrived at the scene, they saw Daniel Chavarria in his yard with the culprit, Wade, in his custody. Chavarria told police that Wade had broken into his vehicle that was parked in his yard and had stolen several items that amounted to one thousand two hundred and sixty dollars in value. The items included a measuring tape, one Samsung cellular phone, a hammer drill a headlight and a number of clothing. Wade took the police and Chavarria to an adjacent yard where they recovered the stolen items. Before he was sentenced, Wade asked Senor Magistrate Fraser for leniency. He told her he has a drug problem and he asked her for help. She told him that the sentence she is going to give him will allow him enough time to get into the Ashcroft Rehabilitation Center at Belize.

Search Continues For Missing Roaring Creek Man
The search is ongoing for the body of 24 year old Kerwin Mendoza. Mendoza is believed to have been stabbed to death over the weekend and his body dump in the Roaring Creek. The coast guard along with other authorities and Mendoza’s family has not ceased the search with the hopes that Mendoza’s body would be found. Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis of the Belize Coast Guard gave us an update. “The Belize Coast Guard is currently supporting the Police operation in Belmopan in the search for one Mr. Mendoza, who is at this time reported as missing. Yesterday, we provided divers as police believe he may have been disposed of in the creek that flows through Roaring Creek. Currently the search is ongoing; we are assisting providing people who are conducting a surface search on the river from Roaring Creek all the way to Banana Bank. We have also suggested that a secondary sweep be conducted of the creek as well. I know the police is also conducting a land base search so it’s a massive search effort trying to locate the missing individual and to bring closure to the family as well.”

Minister of Education Introduces Belize Education Road
The first public meeting of the Belize education road show was held last night in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “The event held at the Father Ring Parish hall had the attendance of some 400 participants including a cross section of parents, students, teachers, school administrators and senior officials of the Ministry of Education and Inter-American Development Bank. Opening remarks were given by IDB country representative in Belize, Anita Jessen.” ANITA JESSEN “This education project is part of a whole program of projects that the IDB is supporting in Belize. We have full priority areas which the IDB is working in Belize which are education, tourism, transport and trade policy. In the education area, this program is our flagship program and it’s the one where we work with the Ministry of education. They are the implementers of the program, they are the executors of the program and it is IDB finance but also with the counterpart funding from the government.

BSI And ASR Representatives Says BSI Seek Individual Commercial Agreements
After two years of negotiations with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association and still no headway for the signing of a new commercial agreement, today BSI announced it’s moving ahead with sugar cane producers that want to work for the best of the industry. The announcement was made this afternoon via a press conference, but a letter had already been sent to the BSCFA informing the association that represents some 5 thousand cane farmers about the transnational company’s intentions. In short, BSI / ASR is telling cane farmers that after two years of negotiations for a new agreement and still no possibility of signing a new one the milling company has taken the decision to skip the association and deal directly with the farmers for the sake and purchase of sugar cane. Chief Financial officer for BSI, Belisario Carballo opened the session by informing about BSI’s position. “A timely commencement of the crop is clearly for the benefit of farmers not only at the beginning, but in the ultimate results of the crop. We do not foresee any prospect in the near future of being able to secure and agreement with the BSCFA on behalf of all sugar cane farmers.

“Train The Trainer” Workshop At The Coastal Zone Management
A “Train the Trainer” five day workshop started today in the conference room at the Coastal Zone Management. It’s a Leadership for Service Excellence workshop and participating are officials from the Belize Tourism Board, Immigration & Customs, Post Office, Belize Police Department and Tourism Police, NEMO, NICH, BELTRAIDE, Coastal Zone Management Income Tax and Traffic Department. Selected members of the participating organizations have been chosen to receive the full training, which will provide them with the knowledge, information and material needed to become trainers in Customer Service Excellence for their agencies. We stopped by at the training this afternoon and here is what we found out. Armeid Thompson : “So what you see being covered is not just the element of the Discover How To Be brand and what that really means to all of us as Belizeans, but it is specifically geared towards facilitation skills; how do you engage your audience, how do you motivate the people within your sector also looking at the internal customer as well as the external customer; because all the research tells us that the only way we can give the best kind of service is if our internal strategy and our systems are in order. We have thirty representatives from the different sectors, we also have customs, we have immigration, we have labor, we have the post office, we have general sales tax, we have elections and boundaries, we have the police unit, we also have the institute of creative arts and some BTB staff also participating in it.”

Four Individuals Charged For Firearm Offenses; Two Pleaded Guilty
Two persons pleaded guilty to firearm offenses in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU “Four persons and a female minor were arraigned today in the Dangriga magistrates court for fire arm offenses. They are, 41 year old Linda Usher, 18 year old Israel Usher, 18 year old Nanigi Lewis and 19 year old Troye Augustus. At the trial, Israel Usher and Troye Augustus pleaded guilty for the offenses and were both sentenced to ten years in prison. The incident stems from a search that was conducted at a house on Saturday November 8th at about 2:56pm by the quick response team personnel. At the house, which is located on #2469 New Site Area of Dangriga, police discovered 1 .32 caliber auto pistol with a serial number P103422 loaded with a magazine containing a single .32 live round of ammunition hidden inside a knapsack in the bed room of Linda Usher. At the time of the search were the mentioned persons who were arrested and charged for keeping a fire arm and ammunition without a license but charges were later dropped against three of the other persons since Usher and Augustus pleaded guilty.”

Attorney Godfrey Smith Won Case For Titan Associates
Back in September, news broke that six corporate executives with business operations in Belize were being accused of a half a billion money laundering scheme. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, the individual accused are believed to quote, “devised not only a fraudulent scheme but an elaborate corporate structure based on lies and deceit designed to enable U.S. citizens to evade and circumvent our securities and tax laws. They set up sham companies with figureheads at the helm in an attempt to deceive U.S. law enforcement and regulators and bragged about their scheme to their clients”, end of quote. Companies accused included Titan International Securities, Inc., Legacy Global Markets S.A.; and Unicorn International Securities and the heads of the companies 70 year old Robert Bandfield, a U.S. citizen; 51 year old Andrew Godfrey, a citizen of Belize; 34 year old Kelvin Leach, a citizen of the Bahamas; 29 year old Rohn Knowles, a citizen of the Bahamas; 45 year old Brian De Wit, a citizen of Canada; and 44 year old Cem “Jim” Can, a citizen of Canada are being sought by authorities in the United States of America. Currently Leach and Knowles are fighting an extradition request from the US. While that is still before the courts, today the “Titan Associates” won a major victory. On September 24th, a freezing order was granted and the assets of those accused were temporarily place on lock down. However, just before 12 noon today, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin removed the restraint order as explained by Knowles’ Attorney, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith.

Leadership For Service Excellence Session Held Through Partnership Belize Tourism Board And Ministry of Public Service
Several members from the public sector and Government agencies converged inside the training rooms of the Belize Institute of Management last Thursday, November 6 for a session, dubbed, Leadership for Service Excellence. The training was held through the partnership of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Ministry of Public Service, in line with their management plan for Customer Service. Following last week’s training, several persons were selected to continue with the second phase of the sessions which is a Train the Trainer aspect, geared at imparting more knowledge via several sessions with the objective of having them sufficiently knowledgeable to pass on the information to others.

Opening of Remembrance Week By Govenor General
The Govenor General of Belize officially opened Remembrance Week yesterday via a speech aired on Love FM. Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in member states of the Commonwealth since the end of the First World War in recognition of members of their armed forces who died in the line of duty and was a day specifically designated by King George the seventh on November 7, 1919. Here is an excerpt of the Governor General’s address. Sir Colville Young “On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918 the first world war came to an end with the signing of the Armistice. On the Sunday nearest to the 11th of November each year we hold a solemn service in memory of the brave men and women who risked their lives and in many cases gave their lives for the safety of their families and loved ones in the first and second world wars. Assist service which is attended by ex-service men and women, uniformed services, boy scouts and girl guides as well as the general public. There is a two minute silence followed by the laying of the traditional poppy wreathes.

Bernard Adolphus Speaks Of The Importance Of Remeberance Day
The Governor General of Belize officially opened Remembrance Week yesterday via a speech aired on Love FM. Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in member states of the Commonwealth since the end of the First World War in recognition of members of their armed forces who died in the line of duty and was a day specifically designated by King George the seventh on November 7, 1919. President of the Belize Ex-servicemen League, Bernard Adolphus spoke to Love News on the reason behind Remembrance Day. BERNARD ADOLPHUS “Our men did a lot for the war effort and that is in a nutshell and I can go on because so many men in Punta Gorda, Mr. Petillo they contributed a lot and so with that in mind like everyone else, like each Common Wealth country, we fight and take this time to reflect on those people who contributed to the war effort which makes it as a result of their contribution some way or the other peace and tranquility came to the region at that time. Those veterans who we are responsible for, we have a record of 11 veterans from WWII who are still alive.”

Fire In Popular Business Establishment Leaves A Man Homeless
A fire Saturday evening completely destroyed a popular business establishment, Burger Hut, in Orange Walk Town. The incident occurred around 5pm on Saturday when the proprietor, Rodrigo Gonzalez, was not home. Dalia Can is a neighbor, who told Love News that she had observed a small fire from the window. “Near this kitchen window, I saw like there was a lite candle but I did not expect that it was a fire, I thought it was a worker in the house. Suddenly I looked near the window again and I saw the flames going up more and more. So when I saw this fire going up more and more that is when I called and that is when she came running.” Can told us that she quickly alerted the next door neighbor who is the mother of Rodrigo Gonzalez and they all tried to salvage the structure. DALIA CAN “We ran and moved the butane tank because the first thing I thought was that my house was going down too. So I called my husband and then had him call the fire station because we didn’t know the number so he called them but they did not get here in time. So by the time they got here the house was already on fire. The fire station truck ran out of water so they went and looked for water so by the time they came back the house was engulfed already.”


Search for Corwin Mendoza continues in Roaring Creek
An anonymous phone call yesterday alerted the Belmopan police that 24 year old Resident of Roaring Creek Village Corwin Mendoza, believed to have been missing since Sunday evening, was murdered and his body disposed of in the nearby creek. Belmopan Police, along with assistance from the Belize Coast...

Dave Taylor In Court For Child Pornography
Two years ago, Placencia police were investigating a case of sexual abuse of young boys, allegedly at the hands of a volunteer tutor Dave Taylor. Child pornography was allegedly found on the accused man’s laptop and he was eventually charged. Tomorrow, Wednesday November 12, his case goes to court...

Shoplifting couple caught and charged
The old Creole proverb “Every day bucket go da well, one day the bottom drop out,” may apply to a pair charged for theft for shoplifting twice from the same store. 29 year old Bernard Seawell and 29 year old Shelly Saragosawere read charges of two counts of theft, and Seawell pleaded guilty befo...

Red-handed thief blames drug addiction
Accused thief and admitted drug addict 42 year old Jason Wade of St. Matthew’s, Cayo District, will be given the next two and a half years to clean up his act...

Cane Farmers ask Sugar Industries Board to intervene
The Belize cane Farmers Association is made up of 5,444 farmers, through 370 reaping groups and 18 branch associations...

House Fire in Cayo
There was a house fire in San Ignacio yesterday. According to 57 year old Cesar Martinez, at about 1:45 a.m. he was awakened by his daughter, who told him that her brother Walter Martinez’s house was on fire. Cesar Martinez made checks and saw the 15×15 wooden structure building with zinc roofing ...

Brian Hyde Challenges Charge of Assaulting Police Officer
18 year old Brian Hyde, a resident of Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District, is facing a charge after allegedly assaulting a police officer. But Kaila Morales, the aunt of Brian Hyde, believes the charge sheet is questionable and now seeks to challenge it at court. The entire scenario reportedly bega...


Execution-style murder in Lake I
A disabled man was found murdered gangland-style shortly after daybreak on Saturday, November 8, at his home in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. Police said that the victim, Ernel Kenroy Young, 40, also known as Ernel Welcome, who reportedly had a colorful criminal past, was discovered sometime after 9:00 this morning lying motionless on his bed at #3 Casuarina Street. Amandala understands that Young, who had been crippled in an accident a few years ago – and had suffered speech and mobility problems – had asked his uncle, with whom he lives, to buy him a bottle of milk at the nearby store.

Joeth Chyna Pratt’s strange disappearance
Joeth Chyna Pratt, 38, a resident of Lords Bank, Ladyville, employed by Cisco Construction Company as a truck driver, has been reported missing since Tuesday, November 4. Presently, a search party consisting of the police, elements of the Belize Defence Force, workers of CISCO Construction Company, and rangers of TIDE, is searching in the Medina Bank area of the Toledo District to find her. However, the search has so far been fruitless. The chief security officer of CISCO Construction told the media that at about 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, Joeth Pratt drove away in a truck from the compound in Belize City, and did not return. That day, the company began a search for her in the Lords Bank area in Ladyville, and also in the city, but to no avail. A report was then made to the police.

98-year-old woman raped
A 98-year-old woman, who had been at home alone on Friday night on the Southside of Belize City, sleeping in her bed, was raped in the early hours of Saturday morning by an intruder who apparently forced open the door, and after raping her, reportedly threatened to kill her if she reported the matter to the police. The rapist then ran out of the house. The incident happened at about 1:30 in the morning. Amandala was informed by a family member that the elderly woman’s relatives, with whom she resided, had gone out, leaving her alone in the house.

BSI/ASR plays hard ball!
Just last week, we reported on the plight of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and its long, drawn out efforts at negotiation with factory owners Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/American Sugar Refineries (ASR) in the hopes of reaching a mutually approved commercial agreement for the upcoming sugar crop season, which is slated for the end of this month. The only point on which both sides agree so far, is the necessity to strike a deal before the beginning of the new season, but BSI/ASR has jumped the gun, so to speak, by working around the BSCFA and extending an olive branch to “any and all” cañeros who wish to do business with them. It is an astonishing tactic that comes straight out of left field, and today, during a press briefing, the principals of BSI/ASR told the media about the rationale behind their decision.

Appeals Court slashes Christine Perriott’s wrongful termination award over 50%
Today was the day for the delivery of judgments as the present Court of Appeal session came to an end. One of the judgments that the court handed down this morning was a decision on an appeal brought by the former Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) employee and trade unionist, Christine Perriott, who had appealed the amount of damages awarded to her by a lower court for wrongful termination from BTL. In 2007, Perriott won a wrongful termination case against BTL in the Supreme Court and Justice John Muria awarded her around $350,000 in damages. Perriott, however, was dissatisfied with the award and she appealed the case to the Court of Appeal, where she represented herself. The judges at the Court of Appeal felt, however, that the award to Perriott was too high, so they reduced the amount by over 50 percent.

Health fair at Matron Roberts Polyclinic
A moderate-sized crowd gathered on the compound of the Matron Roberts Polyclinic, on Magazine Road, in the Pound Yard area of the city, to participate in a health fair which took place from 9:00 in the morning to 3:00 p.m. today, Friday, November 7. The theme of the health fair was, “Good to go from head to toe”. Many organizations took part in the fair, including the Diabetes Association of Belize, the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Unit, the Kidney Association of Belize and The National AIDS/HIV Commission, among others. At the diabetes booth, attendees were checked for blood sugar levels to ascertain whether their blood sugar was high, which would make them prone for certain diseases. Diabetes that is not detected and treated leads to amputation of limbs, blindness and damage to internal organs, and ultimately, death.

Belize National Dance Company celebrates 24 years with Souls in Motion
The Belize National Dance Company held two concerts at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts over the weekend in celebration of its 24-year history. On Saturday night, Souls in Motion was performed on the stage by the dance company’s senior dancers, and then on Sunday evening, once more, the Bliss stage came alive with the same creatively conceived routine of Saturday’s show, but this time the dances were mostly performed by the dance company’s junior members in a matinee. Souls in Motion is a high-performance, expertly choreographed presentation of 16 dance pieces embracing traditional ballet, ethnic cultural dances and modern contemporary dances. The children exploded on the stage in their colorful costumes, exciting the audience which was made up of many of their parents and relatives as well as dance aficionados.

Reflecting on TV Ramos’ musical legacy with Aunty Lily
On Thursday, November 13, the Garifuna community and friends at home and abroad will pay tribute to the late Thomas Vincent Ramos, the Garifuna hero who passed away on the same date in 1955 at the age of 68. Ramos was a visionary Garifuna leader. He founded Garifuna Settlement Day (then Carib Disembarkation Day), which continues to be observed as an annual national holiday in Belize, as a means of gaining recognition for the plight and accomplishments of his people. Ramos was also a talented songwriter, and his songs are always featured on his annual memorial. On Friday, November 7, I got a chance to interview Ignacia Garcia, affectionately known as Aunty Lily, a Garifuna elder who learned the songs from Ramos when she was a teenager. Today, Garcia, 78, of Lakeland, is perhaps the most vocal advocate for the preservation of Ramos’ musical legacy.

CONCACAF hosts seminar in San Pedro
Representatives from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) are in Belize for a four-day training seminar on beach soccer for coaches and players that was held in San Pedro Town today. The seminar was aimed at preparing Belize to participate for the first time in upcoming Central American Football Union (UNCAF) Beach Soccer Tournament to be held in El Salvador from Wednesday, November 12, to Monday, November 17. The Beach Soccer Seminar, which included theory and practical training, incorporated the participation of several football players, coaches and sports coordinators, including the President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Ruperto Vicente.

“Listen, government leaders, listen!!!”
The Nation of Islam leader, Hon. Louis Farrakhan made the above plea during an address at Bird’s Isle back in the mid-1980’s, and we borrowed his words for this piece as they seem most appropriate. Our government, red or blue, MUST change their thinking and make some serious budgetary allocations for sports. It is inexcusable that in 2014 the population center, and still the commercial and media capital of our country, Belize City, does not have a decent football stadium or basketball auditorium. Our Premier League of Belize representative, FC Belize has to play its “home games” in Orange Walk; while our basketball national coach, Matthew Smiling, announced recently that training of the national youth team is taking place in San Ignacio. And the present Minister of Sports and Junior Minister of Sports are both area representatives from Belize City.

Playoff race already hot at Week 4
The abbreviated Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2014-2015 is already half-way through its regular season for most teams, and already the fight to reach the playoffs is intense, with two teams, Paradise/Freedom Fighters and San Ignacio United, seemingly out of playoff contention, and one other, FC Belize, hanging on to a thread of hope. (See standings below.) There are always shifting allegiances in professional sports, and the Premier League of Belize is no different, with a number of big names changing jerseys during the off-season. While some well sponsored teams have “strengthened up” as a result, the negative impact has been felt most glaringly in the cases of Paradise/Freedom Fighters and FC Belize. The Toledo squad lost their former captain/sweeper Frank Lopez, midfield star Jordy Polanco, and most recent PLB Best Forward Franz Vernon; while the FC Belize roster no longer includes top striker Jarret Davis, former Best Goalkeeper Glenford Chimilio, and stalwart midfielder/defender Ryan Gill, all of whom are now with Verdes FC.

Epileptic found 5 days after falling into River
The body of Otto Contreras, 32, an epileptic of Calla Creek, Cayo District, was found between Calla Creek and Clarissa Falls at about 8:00 Saturday morning by villagers who were out looking for him. The body was in an advanced state of decomposition, and it was buried in the area after a post-mortem was carried out which certified that the cause of his death was drowning. Police said that about 10:00 last Monday morning, Contreras went to the Mopan River to wash sacks for feed when he fell into the water and failed to resurface.

From the Publisher
Very serious business is going on in Orange Walk Town. Perhaps the most serious aspect of this situation, from a constitutional standpoint, is the public indictment of the police leadership in the town. Theoretically and ideally, the police are supposed to be the first line of defence for the general citizenry, in the police’s role as the street arm of the judiciary. It is true that the present indictment of the Orange Walk police originates from interested political sources. But, you and I know that today’s business is more serious than the usual horse dead and cow fat. The national leadership of the Police Department was already rendered lame duck, we submit, by events having to do with the Elvin Penner passport scandal from September 2013. It appears to the majority of the Belizean people that the Commissioner of Police decided, even after he was ordered to do so by the Chief Justice, that he could not or would not pursue an aggressive investigation of the Penner case. Under the circumstances, the Commissioner should have resigned. It is to be presumed that the executive arm of the Government of Belize, which had appointed him to the Commissioner’s post in the first place, preferred for him to stay put.

Dayjah Casimiro is Miss Garifuna 2014-2015
Dayjah Casimiro captured the highly coveted title of Miss Garifuna 2014-2015 at the annual pageant held at the Fr. Marin Parish Hall in her hometown, Dangriga, on Saturday night, November 8, as part of the Garifuna Settlement Day month of activities. Seven beautiful and vivacious Garifuna ladies competed. Ms. Belmopan, Taruni Gonzalez, was the first runner-up, while Ms. Hopkins, Cleandra Casimiro, was the second runner-up. The other contestants were Ms. Belize City, Daphne Graham; Ms. Jacklyn Diego, Punta Gorda; Ms. Yvette Mariano, Seine Bight; and Ms. Georgetown, Daphne Fernandez.

Letters: Human warfare
Human warfare continues to be a problem in the world today. Several factors may contribute to this, such as high level of hormones and the environment. Gang violence in Belize City has drastically increased each year, and the populace is stunned by this predicament. Belize, a beautiful country in Central America, with a population of 350,000 people, one would assume that the murder rate would not be high. Biology may contribute to human warfare, but the environment should also be taken into consideration. Warfare is defined as a conflict between two mass enemies. “Human warfare is a perennial problem, and since human beings are living organisms, it seems logical to suppose that at least some of the bases of warfare lie in the biological organization.”

Belize’s economic outlook upgraded from stable to positive
The international ratings agency, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) announced on Friday, November 7, 2014 that it had revised Belize’s economic outlook from stable to positive. “The positive outlook reflects our view that new foreign direct investment in Belize’s export sector is raising the country’s economic growth prospects and that this growth will support Belize’s external liquidity over 2014-2017,” S&P said, citing “the new $140 million sugar investment as demonstration of an improving political climate for investment.” It said that new investments in sugar and nontraditional agricultural products have raised Belize’s economic growth prospects in the export sector, and could furthermore improve Belize’s external liquidity.

Editorial: The chatter and the climate
At this newspaper we had been anticipating an increase in political campaign violence down the road because of how much the political directorate had become involved with the various gang leaderships in Belize City. Violence is one of the bases of gang credibility, and it is an area of relative expertise for them. The political parties are supposed to specialize in rhetoric and argument in their campaigns to convince voters to support their candidates on election day. Political parties and gangs are, quite needless to say, supposed to be distinct and separate from each other. The old saying goes, that “east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet”. Nevertheless, we know that in Jamaica, which has historically been like a big brother to Belize in many ways, serious gang violence entered electoral politics almost four decades ago, and the situation there has been very bad ever since. The extreme violence which occurred in Orange Walk Town with the kidnapping and murder of Ramon Cervantes, Sr. some months ago, was linked to electoral politics in certain circles from the very beginning. The release of a recorded telephone conversation last Wednesday morning by the Cervantes family has made the accusation that party politics is involved with the Cervantes, Sr. kidnapping/murder, headline news in Belize’s print and electronic media, and indeed in the media across the border in the Yucatán.

No evidence to freeze offshore banking: CJ
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has been hearing arguments in chambers in a case brought by several offshore banking companies and their executives, who were indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury and whose accounts and assets the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) had secured a court order to freeze. Chief Justice Benjamin ruled this afternoon to remove the freeze order because the FIU could not produce sufficient evidence to justify the continued freezing of the accounts. In September, the U.S. indicted six offshore companies operating in Belize along with six individuals connected to the companies. They were indicted on multiple charges of money laundering and securities fraud, for allegedly scamming the U.S. tax system out of $500 million dollars.

BSCFA employs remedial measures to tackle child labor violations
This past July, FLO-CERT, the inspection and certification body that oversees compliance with Fair-Trade standards in more than 70 countries, placed the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) on a 6-month probation based on a spot check audit that revealed several non-compliances within the association, and yesterday, when Amandala spoke to the Chief Executive Officer of the BSCFA, Oscar Alonzo, he told us that the association is taking steps to remedy the situation in time for the next audit at the start of next month. He conceded that the BSCFA’s re-admission into FLO-CERT’s good books is critical to the unimpeded progress of the sugar industry. “We are in the process of implementing remedial measures. At the moment, we have a representative assisting us with this issue. The main issue has to do with child labor, and child labor not only happens in the sugar industry, but in all industries and I think it’s an issue that we have to deal with collectively, so we are seeing how we can embark on a proactive approach in relation to this, bearing in mind that we need to take a rights-based approach in regards to the protection of children and their welfare, but it’s a point where we need to keep that certain criteria because it involves issues of development and quality that are critical if the industry is going to progress and prosper”, Alonzo said.

Feuding tour operators quash old beef
“Bad blood” was put aside today when rival tour operators Yhony Rosado, of, and Vitalino Reyes, Sr., of, reconciled their differences and embraced each other in a show of harmony during a press conference held by the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. The competitors were drawn together for a common cause – a unified opposition on the part of the operators to a new policy handbook by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), which stipulates that all children who go cave-tubing must be at least four feet tall, which, the tour operators said, is threatening the survival of their business by taking that market away from them. The issue is apparently so serious that the men were forced to bury the proverbial hatchet and speak out in unison against the rulebook, which, according to the tour operators, was developed without consultation and published in July 2014 under the initiative “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites”.
Corwin Mendoza, 24, of Roaring Creek, is missing and foul play is suspected. He was reported missing from the village at about 11:30 Saturday night after he became involved in an altercation with two men, also of Roaring Creek. Superintendent Howell Gillett, the Commander of Belmopan police, said that their investigation has led to two men who, he said, can assist them in finding Mendoza. Gillett said that their investigation led them to an area in Roaring Creek called Drink Area, where blood was found, and searches have been concentrated in the area, but so far, Mendoza has not been found. Corwin Mendoza is believed to be dead, but since his body has not yet been found, he is reported as being missing. Gillett said that the altercation was not an ongoing problem between the men, and it is not suspected to be gang-related.

Cervantes family gives telephone recording to police as “evidence”
The Cervantes family of Orange Walk Town, who have been on an emotional rollercoaster since the death of their patriarch, Ramon “Don Ramon” Cervantes, Sr., in early July, today went to the Orange Walk Police Station to turn in what they consider information that is critical to solving the puzzle about the events that led to Cervantes, Sr.’s brutal death. Inside a manila envelope which was clutched in the palms of Marissa Cervantes, the victim’s daughter, was a sensational telephone recording, which contained allegations that a powerful sitting politician and a senior police officer, and other police officers, were involved in Cervantes’ murder. The recording, which was played at a memorial for Cervantes and which featured a 15-minute conversation between the accused ringleader of the group which murdered Cervantes, Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, and Cervantes’ widow, Vilma Cervantes, gives a chilling account of the murder conspiracy, in which a Mexican criminal gang was mentioned as being in cahoots with the accused politician and local police officers.

Patrick JonesPJ

BSI makes direct appeals to farmers over agreement
Citing stalled negotiations with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) over the new commercial agreement, producers Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and the American partners, American Sugar Refining, ASR, say they want to directly appeal to farmers to agree to start the crop without the […]

PUP Orange Walk East area rep. steps down for health reasons
Not more than halfway through his current term of office, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, the sitting area representative for Orange Walk East, today confirmed it will likely be his only term in office. Dr. Mendez suffered a herniated disc in a vulnerable section of his […]

Police to walk for health in Belize City
The Police Department is taking a more active interest in community development as part of its mandate to make the streets safe for all citizens. In Eastern Division based in Belize City, many residents can be seen walking the streets and occasionally running early in the morning or […]

William Garbutt, Jr., found dead at home
Police are on the trail of the killer or killers of 56 year old William Garbutt of Pine Street, Belize City, after a noxious smell brought residents out of their homes late on Monday night. “Bill,” as he was known to all, was found dead in his shack, […]

Red-handed thief blames drug addiction
Accused thief and admitted drug addict 42 year old Jason Wade of St. Matthew’s, Cayo District, will be given the next two and a half years to clean up his act. That is how long he will spend in jail after pleading guilty to theft before Senior Magistrate […]

Shoplifting couple caught and charged
The old Creole proverb “Every day bucket go da well, one day the bottom drop out,” may apply to a pair charged for theft for shoplifting twice from the same store. 29 year old Bernard Seawell and 29 year old Shelly Saragosa were read charges of two counts […]

The Miss Garifuna Belize Crown Stays in Dangriga
Beautiful Dangriga can boast of a back to back crown for the Miss Garifuna Belize Title. Seven energetic, talented, creative, and ambitious young Garifuna ladies showcased their Garifuna pride during the Annual Miss Garifuna Cultural Pageant on Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at the Fr. Marin Parish Hall in beautiful Dangriga. They had to demonstrate their ability to dance Hungu Hungu, Chumba, Combination, Punta, and Gunjai. They also had to do an introduction, main item, and answer question in Garifuna.

Decomposed body found in Belize City house
Police in Belize City are investigating the death of a man. The Decomposed body of 56 year old William Garbutt was found inside a house on Pine Street late on Monday night. Preliminary police reports say that neighbors smelled a stench coming from Garbutt’s house and alerted the police. When authorities arrived, they say they found Garbutt with his hands tied behind his back and his faced tied with a cloth. There was an apparent wound to the forehead. Police say that Garbutt was last seen alive on Friday, November 7, 2014 as he headed home around 11:30 pm.


“Live Your Life” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
On Sunday I was up a little bit later than the norm but still out on the veranda (for first time readers it was the western, lagoon facing one) with my mug of instant black, unsweetened, coffee and the trusty iPad by 05.45 hours. Still in good enough time to make my acquaintance again after a week’s break with the Sunday Times online. I read my chosen sections (Sport, Business, News if you’re interested) for around an hour disturbed only by Ziggy wanting feeding and the sound of the grader going past our front gate. I then showered, shaved, brushed my teeth and dressed (yep, in that order) and then set off for breakfast at Estel’s Dine By the Sea. The timing was all important because the Swansea v Arsenal game was being broadcast on TV at 10.00 hours. Didn’t want to miss that. Or so I thought at the time! The first thing I noticed on leaving home was how smooth the road was

Pretty, Friendly, and Affordable: Corozal, Belize
In the middle of Corozal, Belize, you’ll find a lively square where people meet to eat and talk in the shade of coconut palms and almond trees, or on benches under the clock tower. I like to spend time there and Sundays is when Corozal is most alive with people. Many have the day off and the park is full of a diverse mix of people—a multitude of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds live in harmony. The people are friendly and outgoing. Most wave or say hello to you as you walk by. I’ve lived here for a year now—leaving behind the cold in Minnesota for the tropical warmth and beauty of this stretch of northern Belize. For me, the low cost of living was the biggest draw—it’s very reasonable. I don’t have a large income but I live very comfortably.

International Sourcesizz

Around Pleasanton: Teen headed to Belize to help orphanage
Next month, Pleasanton's Britney Cooper will travel to Belize to spend her holidays volunteering in an orphanage. "I love helping others, and I plan to make it my life's work," said Cooper, 18, who graduated from Foothill High School and is attending her first year at Las Positas College. Working with children is nothing new for Cooper. In addition to baby-sitting for five families, last summer she volunteered at a camp for children hosted by Valley Humane Society, and she worked as a camp counselor for the City of Pleasanton's Ridge Runners camp. In fact, working as a counselor, Cooper encountered a child she will never forget. "There was a boy about 8 years old who was going through a tough time," Cooper said. "He was very shy and small for his age." Some of the other kids would ask him how he could be 8 since he looked so small. "This made him visibly upset," Cooper said. So she decided to befriend the boy, spending time with him during hikes.

Student Kesha Pilot Proves Disabilities Don't Limit
Few things can stop Kesha Pilot. Two years ago a car accident tried when it cost her the use of her legs, but this summer Pilot proved not even that could get in her way. She went to Belize on a school marine biology trip, making her the first paraplegic to do so. “Going abroad is going to be an experience for anyone,” Pilot said. “But for me it was an even bigger deal.” Belize, a small country about 1,200 miles away from Henderson on the coast of Central America, is home to the second largest coral reef in the world. The trip is one of two that James Engman, professor of biology and department chair, leads abroad each summer. Engman has been organizing these study abroad trips since 1999, but this was his first time making accommodations like the ones Kesha needed. Fortunately, they had time to prepare.

TREATY Energy Corporation Updates Shareholders on Developments
Chris D. Tesarski, Executive Chairman and CEO, Issues "Letter of Progress to Shareholders" on the Belize Project, the Colorado Acquisition, and MoreREATY Energy Corporation (OTCQB: TECO), a growth-oriented energy company in the oil and gas industry, today reported that Chris D. Tesarski, its Executive Chairman and CEO, is pleased to distribute via this release a "Letter of Progress to Shareholders" regarding the company's Belize project and the previously announced "Colorado Acquisition" and other pertinent developments.

Mad Dogs: Based on the British series of the same name, this dramedy follows a group of 40-something friends who reunite at the Belize home of a successful friend whose success extremely eclipses those of his pals. Rounding out the cast are Steve Zahn, Billy Zane, Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli, and Ben Chaplin.

Island Paradises of the Ultra High Net Worth
No man is an island, the saying goes, but for the ultra high net worth individual, a private island can be the ultimate getaway as well as the ultimate status symbol. Blackadore Caye, Belize: Leonardo DiCaprio purchased this 104-acre island near the Barrier Reed in 2005 for a reported $1.75 million. The name alone is worth it.

Leonardo DiCaprio Net Worth: A Peek On One Of Hollywood’s Sought-After Leading Men’s Fortune As He Turns 40
Leonardo DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer with an estimated net worth of $220 million. He achieved international fame in James Cameron's "Titanic" in 1997. His role in "Titanic," which became the highest grossing movie at the time, earned him multiple awards and secured his place as one of Hollywood's sought-after leading men. An evidence that Leonardo DiCaprio owns a massive net worth is through the actor's list of owned properties. He owns a home in Los Angeles and an apartment in Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan. In 2009, he bought an island off mainland Belize on which he is planning to create an eco-friendly resort. And this year, he purchased the original Dinah Shore residence designed by mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler in Palm Springs.

Honduras Garifuna Community Resists Govt and Investor Attacks
“The government isn´t helping us because they say that we are not originally from here, we came from Saint Vincent Island more than 300 years ago, we fought for the independence from Spain, we fought side by side with Francisco Morazan, and every time they want to show Honduras to the world they show our dance and traditions, and now …. they insult us saying we are intruders,” explained David, a spokesperson of the Garifuna community. The Garifuna are a people who have lived in the Honduran Atlantic coast for more than 300 years, but this year the Honduran government declared them intruders on lands that authorities sold to private investors for the construction of a multimillionaire tourist complex called Induras, ironically the Garfifuna word for Honduras. Initially the government had promised that the tourist project would be made with the participation of the communities and they would receive 7 percent of all profits. That was how they won over the people of the community of Tornabe. Following that example, the community of Barra Vieja didn´t agreed to be part of the project and that was when things became violent. On August 6 military forces threatened to forcefully expel the people of the community. They said they had an order from the National Port Industry that said those lands where theirs, though the Garifuna said they had lived there long before there was a National Port Company. They came to Honduras in 1797, even before Honduras as a nation existed.


Video: BELIZE MISSION PROJECT 2014, 12min.
A video collage of the Belize Mission Project 2014, Dentists, MD's, Audiologists, Hygienists, Assistants and volunteers make up a group that serves the people of Belize. In addition a Christian music group Evidence of Journey shares the Gospel of Jesus through their music throughout the country.

Video: 6 Cool and Mostly Free! Things to Do in San Pedro, Belize, 3min.
Many visitors go to Ambergris Caye to marvel at the sea life in its natural habitat, but San Pedro Belize also offers numerous other opportunities to experience local flora and fauna without venturing into the deep blue seas. Below are 6 things to do that happen daily or on an ad hoc basis, so you can catch them anytime during your San Pedro vacation. They are also mostly free, and are an affordable supplement to expensive diving or snorkeling excursions.

Video: Bird Watching Hotspots in Belize, 3min.
The diverse landscape of Belize offers a wide variety in bird watching locations, ranging from broadleaf forests to wetlands, mangroves to pine forests, and savannahs to rainforest. Home to 16 endangered bird species, Belize protects these ecosystems in its many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. What is good for the bird is good for the bird watcher. Here is a list at some of Belize’s protected areas to brief you on what to look for at the best bird watching spots in the country.

Video: Belize, 30min.
by Missouri Southern State University

Video: Belize Sailfish Release, 5.5min.
Sailfish release aboard the 'Jolly Mon'. Angler TJ Bowman. Captain Brandon Bowen. Mate Brett Bowen.

November 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

Letter to the Editor: Julian Smith
I would like to share my response to Chriss Roggema’s Letter to the Editor dated October 23rd. Dear Chriss, Please forgive me I have no right to be involved in another country’s business. I and my wife are American and have only had the extreme pleasure of three brief visits of three weeks per trip. So I write really as an encouragement to your recent Letter to the Editor. I picked up on your frustrations in that letter. So from a brother at heart if not by nations I can only agree with your intentions. I would only like to offer this and pray that it is published. “IN THE ABSENCE OF GOOD MEN, EVIL PREVAILS”

Victor Tush awarded officer of the month for October
On Wednesday, November 5th a small ceremony was held at the San Pedro Police Station to present Police Constable (PC) 679 Victor Tush with the Officer of the Month award for October. Officer in Charge of Police Joachim Sabal and Deputy of Police Henry Jemmott presented PC Tush with several gifts and a plaque displaying his photo as part of his recognition for his hard work. Originally from San Roman Village, Stann Creek, PC Tush has been part of the San Pedro Police Department since March 2014, and is currently in charge of the Quick Response Team (QRT). According to Jemmott, Tush is a dedicated and hardworking police officer. “Since my arrival, I have noticed that PC Tush is a strong leader. He has always been in the running for the officer of the month award, but this month he surpassed all the other officers and proved that he was truly worthy of this award. Not only did he conduct the highest number of arrests but he also had the highest level of drug interdiction,” said Jemmott.

Dr. Irma Zuniga joins Polyclinic Staff
On Tuesday November 4th, Dr. Irma Zuniga joined the staff at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II. Originally from Corozal Town, Dr. Zuniga is the new dental surgeon stationed at the island clinic. Zuniga studied dentistry at Universidad de Valladolid in neighbouring Yucatan Mexico, and has since volunteered as a dental surgeon in various clinics in Mexico, and also at the Northern Health Region in Corozal Town. Her assignment to the Polyclinic will be her first assignment as a full time surgeon. Dr. Zuniga looks forward to serving the community of San Pedro Town and encourages patients to come in for regular check-ups. Dr. Zuniga will assume duties on Monday, November 10th. The dental clinic is located on the second floor of the polyclinic and will be open from 8AM to 12PM, and 1PM to 5PM Mondays through Fridays. They will be serving children, pregnant women and adults. In addition to seeing patients at the clinic, Dr. Zuniga will also be making school visits, to be organized through the Ministry of Health and local school administrators.

Shop-crazed at Tiki Turtle Trading Company
Personally one of my favorite parts of vacationing is shopping for souvenirs to take back home. But sometimes gift shops are overwhelming with all their amazing stock and you end up with a few extras. That’s not a bad thing at all- in my humble opinion anyway! Oh well! I call it the shop-crazed syndrome, and that is what you will experience when stepping in at Tiki Turtle Trading Company. Located inside Ramon’s Village Resort, this gift shop has it all from typical souvenirs, like shot glasses and key chains, to tropical apparel like sun hats and bikinis.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Corozal Youth take proactive measure
The National Youth Awards is an annual initiative by the Department of Youth Services. DYS Corozal sends out nomination forms to different schools, high schools, organizations and stakeholders so that they can nominate outstanding youth. Unfortunately, this year we had very little response from schools but even so, we still managed to send in nine nominations of which three resulted as awardees , ranking Top 3 in the entire country. Vianca Neidy Bautista took 1st Place in Youth in Academic Excellence Award, The CJC Eagles environmental group took 3rd Place in the Environmental group award and Adrian Anderson received 3rd place in Youth Ministers Award Both Vianca & Adrian are now volunteers at the Department of Youth Services Corozal. Congratulations Vianca, Adrian and the CJC Eagles. You have made Corozal proud. Photos by Neidi L. Rosado. Congrats again!

Corozal youth takes little strides to make a significant difference in the community we live in. Our objective has always been to promote environmental awareness in the hope that others will become conscientious of the need to be more environmentally friendly and we may enjoy a nicer, cleaner, more beautiful Belize! Congratulations to the Corozal Junior College EAGLES Environmental Club for the recognition awarded for outstanding performance at the Youth Gala Award!

Corozal Bay Sailing Club participates at the Belize Optimist National Championship
Belize Optimist National Championship and Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar Sailing Regatta. Placencia, Belize. November 8th, 2014.

3rd and final payment for sugar cane farmers
Today is the 3rd and final payment for sugar cane farmers here in Corozal. Upon delivery of their sugar cane to the factory, farmers receive up to 65% of their monies up front and a 2nd payment is due anytime within 6 weeks after the crop comes to an end and their 3rd and final payment is due around this time. Cane farmers will buy their apples, grapes, hams and their little gifts for Christmas and of course some of that money will be re-invested in harvesting their sugar cane farms again. We wish the greatest luck and best wishes to our sugar cane farmers who at one time accounted for Belize's No. 1 foreign exchange earners. May you and your families continue to be blessed with health and prosperity.

The aim of the training is to teach people how to use their numeracy skills in keeping books and how to improve their businesses by using simple business management techniques. The ultimate goal is to allow for the business to keep financial records of their activities so they will be able to use that information to make better decisions / increase profit for the business. Who should attend: Open to General Public and those interested in learning the Basics in Bookkeeping for your Small Business. Kindly register before November 12th, 2014 COST: $FREE Limited space available. Location: University of Belize Faculty of Management and Social Sciences Campus, West Landivar Workshop Date: November 13th, 2014 9am to 12pm

The Numbers are Up; Belize Has Positive Tourism Numbers Again!
From Ambergris Caye, off of the splendid Belize Barrier Reef, to the popular interior Cayo District of jungle accommodations and adventures, tourism is enjoying a resurgence in Belize. The BTB reports: “2013 started off with exceptional overnight arrivals. January, February, and March of this year saw 17.2%, 14.3%, and 13.0% increases, respectively, when compared to last year’s overnight arrivals. Arrivals for July and August did not disappoint. There was an estimated increase of 8% for both months. Overall, the period of January – August 2013 saw roughly 17,228 more visitors than 2012. Arrivals this year, thus far, have surpassed 2012 for every month, except April. Overall, overnight visitors have increased by 8.7%. With these numbers, we are well on our way to making the 300,000 overnight visitors mark.”

Increase in Economic Growth Expected for Belize; S&P Rating Upgraded from Stable to Positive
In a report released by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) on Friday, November 7, 2014, Belize’s ‘B-/B’ sovereign credit rating was affirmed and its outlook upgraded to positive from stable. The company attributed this change to the new $140 million investment in “sugar and nontraditional agricultural products” stating that the country’s economic growth prospects are increasing and “will likely improve Belize’s external liquidity.” To view and download the official release from Standard & Poor, click the link.

Channel 7

BSI-ASR Makes Bold Bid To Bypass BSCFA
For over a year now - ASR - BSI and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association have been negotiating to agree on a price for bagasse. But today, BSI effectively leapfrogged that drawn out process and did something thoroughly unprecedented: it bypassed the BSCFA completely and made an appeal directly to the farmers to sign independent 7 year contracts with BSI. That daring maneuver tonight has set the sugar industry reeling - because on the one side BSI is urging them to abandon their association and deal directly with the factory so that the season can start promptly - and on the other side, the association is urging them to hold firm - and wait for the negotiation process to end - so that they can get an optimal compensation for bagasse.

Ernel Wellcome Executed in Home
On Saturday morning at around 8:45 - Ernel Kenroy Young, commonly known as Ernel Wellcome was found dead in his home on Causarina Street - which is just off Mahogany Street in Belize City. Police have concluded that a gunman walked in and simply shot him in the head. He was found lying face up on a bed inside a bedroom with an apparent gunshot wound to the center of the forehead. It's a puzzling murder for police because no one in the busy neighborhood heard anything and it happened sometime after 8:00 am. That's highly unusual since the houses are quite close together, so there is speculation - even within police circles that a silencer may have been used.

Kerwin Killed, Police Look For Body
And tonight - Belmopan police are looking into their first murder for this year. The only part if they haven't found the body. So far they know that 24 year old Kerwin Mendoza was stabbed, BEATEN WITH A BLUNT OBJECT and thrown in the Roaring Creek. That was the consequence of a fight in the village on Sunday night. Apparently, a man was beating up a female and Mendoza jumped in to help her but he ended up getting stabbed, and police believe it was fatal. But right now they can't prove it because his body has not been found - although local divers were looking for it in the Roaring Creek today. The search continues tomorrow - but Capital police have already detained two of the prime suspects.

Police Lose File In Prosecution Of One Of Their Own
7News has confirmed that the police officers who were criminally charged for shooting Elston Arnold in the back in May, have been temporarily cleared of all charges. As we told you, Arnold, the 19 year-old resident of Unitedville Village, was returning home from a wake in the early morning hours of Monday May 26. He was with 3 of his cousins, and had just gotten off a church bus about a mile from Arnold's home. That's around the time when a police mobile from San Ignacio pulled up, and the officers searched them. One of Arnold's cousins had words with the officers, who allegedly started to beat him. Arnold then said some words to one of the officers, who cranked a weapon and told him to go home. He says that while he was leaving, one of the officers took aim at him and shot him in the back. He claims that the attack was unprovoked, and that the officer had no reason to use deadly force against him.

DPP Will Review File for Hon. Elrington's Driver
31 year old single mother Elisa Hunter died last week Wednesday evening, and while her family has moved on to bury her in her home country of Nicaragua - police are still weighing charges against Amir Garcia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs driver who knocked her down. Police say the file on Garcia was being completed today and will be sent to the office of the DPP for advice and recommendation on further charges.

Titan's Money Thawed
For 2 months now, the 6 Belizean offshore companies and 6 persons named in the indictment from the Federal Court in New York for securities fraud have had their money in Belizean Banks frozen. As we've told you, those 6 individuals include Belizean Andrew Godfrey, Bahamians, Kelvin Leach and Rohn Knowles, Canadians Brian De Wit and Cem "Jim" Can, and American Robert Bandfield. Among the accused corporate defendants are IPC Management Services, LLC; IPC Corporate Services Inc.; IPC Corporate Services LLC; Titan International Securities, Inc; Legacy Global Markets S.A; and Unicorn International Securities LLC (Unicorn).

Man Dragged To Court for Window Failing
Forty year old businessman Marlon Longsworth, who allegedly got $2,000 dollars from a woman under false pretense, was charged with obtaining property by deception when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The complainant Sharet Baptist, reported to the police that between July 2, 2013 and November 25, 2013, she gave Longsworth $2,000 dollars to supply her with 12 glass louvered window and one year later, she still hasn't gotten any. Longsworth was released on a bail of $3,000 and his case was adjourned until January 14, 2015.

Man Jailed For Fondling Female In Home
A man accused of breaking into an 18 year old female's home and fondling her will spend a year and a half in jail for it. Fifty-one year old Michael Davis Buylding, a tour guide of Crooked Tree Village, allegedly got into the house in Crooked Tree village around 5:30 a.m. on November 13, 2012. The female testified that she was sleeping and she was covered with a sheet from head to toe when she was awakened by the feel of someone caressing her. She thought at first that it was her mother. But when the person's hand moved to her private parts she lifted the sheet and saw Buylding standing in front of her bed. She said he ran when he saw her looking at him . Buylding gave a statement from the dock in which he denied everything and claimed that the report against him was falsified.

All the way up to news time, the members of FECTAB, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, were meeting with members of BTB and NICH to discuss their latest grievances about the about the regulations at the Nohoch Che'en Archaeological Site. As we've told you, the federation is upset with NICH and their brand new Health and Safety Policy Manual for Archaeological Sites, dated July 2014. The main grievance they have is about the new height regulation of 48 inches for visitors to the Nohoch Che'en cave system. In the periphery is the allegation that NICH has entered an agreement with a new company called Darknight Cave Tubing Adventures, which supposedly enjoys competitive advantages over the other local companies.

Cops Got A Gun In Griga
On Saturday afternoon around 3:00 pm, the Dangriga Quick Response Team arrested and charged 5 persons in that southern town with keeping firearm and ammunition without a license. Police searched a residence in 2nd New Site Area in Dangriga and found one - .32 caliber pistol loaded with a magazine with a single .32 live round hidden in a knapsack in the bedroom. 41 year old Linda Usher, 18 year old Israel Usher, 19 year old Troy Augustus, 18 year old Nanigie Lewis along with a female minor were all charged with the offence. Today, they were arraigned in Dangriga Magistrate Court where Israel Usher and Troy Augustus pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Caught For A Gram, Jailed For 10K
1.1 grams is not even a tenth of an ounce, but today a man ended up serving a year in jail because of it. Now, it's not that he was convicted for the single gram, but when they took him27 year old Ronald Lopez to court for that - they found that he had an outstanding fine for another weed offence dating back to 2007. That's when Lopez was convicted of drug trafficking and fined ten thousand dollars - which he only paid 150 dollars towards. But he will have to pay for the rest now because today, 7 years later, he will spend one year in jail for the outstanding balance. Lopez told the court that he had just come out of jail after serving some years for another offence.

A Ride For Health
Last week was Diabetes awareness week - and on Saturday a ride was held to make note of the occasion. 7 news was there: Lovette Griffith - PR Officer, Belize Diabetes Assoc. "The purpose of the ride is to create awareness. 6 years ago we pitched the idea to Mr. Ordonez, he was more than enthused, he got the different cycling clubs to be interested, but what we found too is that persons living with the condition whom rode just for exercise wanted to become a part of it, so we put it together and we worked with the different clubs and what we have 6 years later is an annual event - one of our biggest event." Tichele Solis - First Time Rider "I and my sister decided to come out because we have our aunt Barbara that passed away 2 years ago and she had diabetes and we also have someone very dear to us, Nurse Kelly, she also have diabetes. We just wanted to come out and show our support to them. We always said that we wanted to do more and this just seem like an awesome experience."

Who Excelled In High School Volleyball
The National Secondary Schools Association volleyball championship was held over the weekend in Orange Walk Town. For the females Muffles College represented the north and had the home town advantage, while 6 time national champ SCA represented the Central Zone and Belmopan Comprehensive represented the west and Stann Creek Ecumenical represented the south. For the males, San Pedro high represented the north, Saint John's College represented central, Belmopan Comprehensive represented the west and T0oledo Community College represented the south. A total of eight games were played over Friday and Saturday and emerging as the Female National Champions was St. Catherine Academy for the 7th year in a row, and the Male national Champion was the Toledo Community College.

Channel 5

Breaking News: Mutilated Body of a Woman Found in Dangriga
Breaking news: there is a report tonight from Dangriga that the body of a woman was found in the Havana Beach area. It is believed that she was beaten to [...]

FIU Loses In Court, Chief Justice Orders Titan Assets Unfrozen
The Supreme Court handed down a major decision today on a story that has been in the local and international headlines for months. On September twenty-fourth, the Financial Intelligence Unit [...]

B.S.I. Skirts B.S.C.F.A. to Deal with Farmers on Delivery and Milling of Cane
The hostilities between Belize Sugar Industry and the Belize Sugar Cane farmers Association will no doubt be ratcheted up a significant notch today after an unexpected announcement by the factory. [...]

B.S.C.F.A. Scrambles to Formulate Position
While B.S.I. was dropping their bombshell this afternoon, the directors of the sugar-cane branches of the B.S.C.F.A. were holding their own emergency meeting. They received the letter from B.S.I. today [...]

Belize City Man Murdered Inside His Home
Turning to crime…There was a murder in the Old Capital on Saturday. The lifeless body of a well-known street figure was found in his house on Casaurina Street. Ernel Welcome [...]

Police Suspect Foul Play in Disappearance of Roaring Creek Man
While the body of Welcome Junior was discovered inside his house, in Roaring Creek, Belmopan Police, Coast Guard personnel and residents of the village are currently searching the river for [...]

FECTAB Walks Out of Meeting with NICH and B.T.B.
Executives of the National Institute of Culture and History, the Belize Tourism Board and the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize met well into this evening at the offices [...]

Motorist Perishes in Road Traffic Accident in Orange Walk District
There were two traffic accidents over the weekend, both of them in the Orange Walk district, and both of them resulting in fatalities. The first occurred on Friday at around [...]

53 Year-Old-Man Knocked Down Near Orange Walk Toll Booth
The second accident occurred on the Phillip Goldson Highway near the Orange Walk toll booth. Fifty-three year old mechanic Bernabe Roberts was riding his bicycle on the road when he [...]

Fire Eviscerates Home of Popular Orange Walk Vendor
While two men lost their lives in tragic accidents, one popular burger vendor in Orange Walk lost all his possessions and home to a fire. It happened on Saturday afternoon [...]

Jose Abrego Injured in Weekend Shooting
Earlier in the newscast, we told you about the search of the body of a Roaring Creek resident, who is presumed dead. While investigations continue by the Belmopan Police Formation, [...]

Crooked Tree Deacon to Stand Trial for Carnal Knowledge
A fifty-three year old deacon from Crooked Tree has been committed to stand trial in the January session of the Supreme Court for four counts of carnal knowledge of a [...]

2 Dangriga teenagers get 10 years each for firearm offences
In Dangriga, there is one gun less in circulation. On Saturday afternoon, police searched a house in the New Site area where they found a pistol with a magazine loaded [...]

Football, Volleyball, Billiards and Cycling in Sporting Activities
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday   The crucial matchup between Police United and the Belize Defence Force took center force inside the People Stadium yesterday [...]


Burglars Hit Corozal Town Again
There are two cases of burglary to report on from the Corozal District and one of them resulted in the loss of $28,000 in items. About 6:00pm on Friday November 7th, 30 year old Roberto Lopez, Belizean teacher and care taker of Corozal Bay Inn situated in South End, Corozal Town arrived at the establishment to conduct his daily checks. That is when he noticed that the restaurant area of the inn had been burglarized and a number of items were missing. These include three 42 inch flat screen T.V’s valued at $7000.00, two 32 inch T.V’s valued at $1200.00, two industrial pool pumps valued at $20,000.00 and one small refrigerator valued at $500.00. The value of the items stolen amounted to a whopping $28,700.00. And while that report is still under investigation and an arrest is yet to be made Corozal Police are also looking into a report made by 59 year old Belizean Security Theodoro Rivero from Consejo Road in Corozal.

BSI/ASR Says Move Was Made To Prepare For 2017
Among the many changes slated for the near future in the sugar industry is the cut in sugar purchase by Tate and Lyle and that is followed closely by the reduction in preferential prices in the EU market. BSI representatives say that should this upcoming crop be delayed or remain closed; all stake holders in the industry stand to lose considerably. Furthermore, as mentioned before, this year’s crop provides a much needed opportunity to prepare for these changes. International Relations Vice President of ASR Mac McLachlan explains how this works. “Under the terms of that contract Tate & Lyle sugars will be paying under a hundred Euros roughly more per ton of sugar than Belize could attract at the moment in the if it would be selling sugar directly to the EU market because that is the way contracts work out so the actual value lost to the farmers would be absolutely enormous in that sense now the reason that is important is because as many of you would be aware the traditional recipient of Belize sugars in the EU the market regulations are changing, the prices are going down we haven’t got a minute to waste to utilize the amount of time left for preferential prices to prepare this industry for the future and I think for that reason alone it would be a complete travesty if there was an interruption to the crop if there was delay to the crop it could well have an impact to the amount of sugar produced because we would miss the optimal climatic window for manufacturing sugar the minute it starts raining the sucrose content reduces and we are very keen that this should be the best crop ever with what we want to try to do that is why taken this decision.”

Is BSI/ASR Trying To Dismantle BSCFA?
The announcement by BSI today is undoubtedly unexpected. Given the circumstances of the situation, the media posed the obvious question about whether this was a strategy of breaking the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Here is what International Relations Vice President Mac McLachlan and BSI attorney responded. Mac McLachlan - International Relations Vice President, ASR “That’s completely incorrect we have and continue to have a dialogue with BSCFA we want to continue to have that dialogue to BSCFA leadership but you have to remember that all thee cane farmers are effectively members of the BSCFA and they will have a voice and I think all what we are doing offering independently to cane farmers is just giving them that voice it is our perception that we are dealing with a lot of talking with a lot of different cane farmers in the field as we have been and many of them want to have that choice and I think that is exactly what we decided to give them we are not precluding to this we continue to talk with the BSCFA and we hope that at the end that every cane farmer will be out to deliver their cane that is what we would like to see.”

The Popular Burger Hut Goes Into Flames
A weekend fire destroyed a home and business in Orange Walk Town. Fire Officials were called out to The Burger Hut, a popular fast food business located along San Antonio Road. The caller indicated that the house was on fire but despite efforts, the house and all belongings in it were totaled. Dalila Ical has more on the incident. Dalila Ical – Reporting The charred wooden interior and damaged concrete walls of the small house belonging to Rodrigo Gonzalez are all that is left of his home. The building that also doubled as Rodriguez’s business became engulfed in flames sometime around five Saturday afternoon. Dalia Can witnessed the blaze grow and commented on the incident off camera.

The negotiations into the payment for bagasse to cane farmers have not seen too much progress over the last few months. In fact, ever since BSI proposed its formula and a proposal of fifty-one cents payment, there has not been any further development in the matter. That is, until today when BSI held a press conference at the factory and shared their decision to taking on an entirely new approach at the pending situation. Truth is, the revelation revealed today by factory officials ’may very well change the way this matter is resolved since they now are literally placing the decision on a way ahead in the hands of the farmers, every – single – farmer. In a statement presented by Financial Director, Belizario Carballo, officials at the factory say that the current stand still in the negotiations is holding back progress on the critical future planning for all industry stake holders and threatens to delay the next crop once again, which would quote, “have devastating consequences for the industry, including cane farmers,” end of quote. In that light, BSI/ASR has decided to take another approach in ensuring that the differences are resolved but through the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association.

Cervantes Responds To DPM's Statement
Following the revelation by the Cervantes family, a senior minister, whose name was mentioned in the recording, issued a release that same afternoon condemning the information and threatening the media with a lawsuit if the information was further publicized. Last night, he released a statement refuting all allegations and claimed that the move is merely a political ploy. Cervantes responded to the statement. “It’s definitely not political, what seems to be political are the events that have been unfolding over time and the facts that have been coming to light. They seem to be pointing in the direction that my fathers’ murder was political. As for him saying that the revelation of the tape is political, Manuel Castillo called and from the start of the investigation I have told all the media that as events unfold we will be keeping the public informed about those events, and this is one such occasion.”

Primary School Students Take Part In Reading Program
Reading is encouraged at very early age for children and the Education center in Orange Walk is encouraging this in schools. Today, as part of that effort, the Belize National Library Service and Information System along with the Education Center here kicked off a reading competition among primary schools within town under the theme, Growing with Reading”. Senior Library Assistant at the Sandy Hunter Library in Town says the purposes are many. Elena Carballo – Senior Library Assistant, Sandy Hunter Library “Today we are doing it on Orange Walk only on the town level and we are not including Belize school because of financial constrains but the objective of our reading is to promote reading, to promote literature especially Belizean Literature to boost confidence, to foster the development process of healthy competition and to upgrade the awareness of the connectivity education libraries and literacy, as you know the libraries mandate is to provide literacy to all so this is one of the ways we are trying to get the children encompass into the system so that they know ok the libraries there we have books, we can read, time for study reading competition basically prepared if they are in the libraries all along.”

Volleyball Action In Orange Walk
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association has launched the sports season for the year 20014/2015 today with the Volleyball Nationals. The event is being held in Orange Walk at the Multipurpose complex and begun today. Dyon Sutherland is the President of the NSSSA and told us more about the event. Dyon Sutherland – President, NSSSA “Where all the top team from all different regions converges to see who is the best male and female team in the secondary schools in the country.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “When is this tournament started?” Dyon Sutherland – President, NSSSA “The tournament for some is different but it starts from September for most so they would their school competition then they have the zone competition then they had the regional competition and those winner comes to the national competition so the champion of each region. These are smaller then you have the region and the you have the national which are from the north; Corozal and Orange Walk, west which is Cayo area, central which is Belize and south which is Stann Creek and Toledo. For the north region Muffles college males San Pedro, for the West is Belmopan Comprehensive male and female, central SCA females and SJC males and from the south is females from Ecumenical and males from TCC. It is a single run robin total of eight games four today and four tomorrow. This is the 28th year of entry since we exist 28 years ago and we have seen steady improvement especially with our involvement with our central American scholars games we have seen whereby our skills and our playing level has risen.”

Another Burglary In Corozal
Yesterday we told about the two men from Corozal who were charged at the magistrate’s court for burglary. But while police have been able to solve that crime, tonight they have another to add to the already long list. Forty year old Armando Apolonio, Belizean postal clerk of Santa Rita Road, Corozal Town, told authorities that between 8:00am on Friday 31st October 2014 and 6:45pm on Thursday 6th November 2014, his house was broken into and stolen therefrom were a number of items. These include one laptop valued at $800.00, two DVD players valued at $400.00, a pair of gold earring valued at $300.00, an assortment of DVD's and Cd's valued at $150.00 and two cellular phones all to a total value of $2,266.00. No one has been arrested for this latest burglary.

Burglary Cases Investigated In San Pedro
A string on burglary cases have been reported in San Pedro Town over the week. In the first incident that took place on Thursday, 54 year old Eduardo Aguilar, mason of San Pedro Town reported that between 1am and 6am, a red and black Generator valued at $6000 was stolen from a building located on Angel Coral Street. Aguilar stated that the building was recently bought by his family and when they purchased the building they also bought the generator that was in the building. He also stated that after buying the building they were working on it doing repairs and a wall off the building was brought down. It is suspected that the culprit/s who took the generator went in and came out with it through the missing wall. Since it was reported, island cops have detained three men pending investigations. The second burglary recorded in that municipality took place on Wednesday night. 24-year-old Abel Riverol reported that he had left his work place namely Almond Deli located on Tarpon Street, sometime around 8:00p.m on Thursday, properly secured by locking the main door with a padlock. The following day around 5am whilst at home he received a phone call from one of his employees who informed him that the Deli had been burglarized. Upon checking he discovered his 28 inch Toshiba flat screen television valued at $900.00 was stolen. Police investigations continue.

Where Is Manuel Castillo?
Among several questions floating around is that of Manuel Castillo’s whereabouts and now his safety following his bold move to call the family. The media in Mexico has even picked up on the recent developments surrounding the case and allege that they have received information that Castillo has been sighted in the southern part of the country. Cervantes says since they received the call, they have not been in contact with Castillo or know about his location. Ramon "Monchie" Cervantes - Son of Deceased “We have heard that Manuel is spotted here even in Belize whether it is true I can’t speak to that, I can’t say for sure then, I can’t tell if he has been spotted or not.” Then there are the rumors that the family is hiding more than what they are sharing with the public, specifically additional proof into homicide. When asked, this is what Cervantes answered.

Cervantes Junior Says He Wont Take The Easy Way Out
The things revealed in the recording presented to the nation by the Cervantes family paints an ugly picture on the politics in Belize and it’s apparent path onto violence. We asked Cervante whether this dissuades him in any way from proceeding with his political career since he is the PUP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North and is slated to contest the elections against current Area Representative Gaspar Vega. This is what he responded. “You know the easiest way out is to step down frankly but this is not about me or us it is about the nation we have a nation ahead and its future and or generations to come and we have to leave this world and this nation a better place than how we found it and I will work towards that I just hope that God continues to give me the strength and I will do my part to continue forward and shed light in order for us to get out of this shroud of darkness that has been looming over us with all types of scandals and allegations and cover ups and protection of people in high places and let’s get the truth out that is what we need here.”

Police Close Cervantes' Case His Family Ask For It To Be Reopened
As you may recall, yesterday Police issued information surrounding the Ramon Cervantes Senior homicide saying that police investigation has proven so far that no other party apart from wanted person Manuel Castillo and his accomplices are responsible for his murder and that of Sonia Abac. This wasn’t the only information shared, as police stated that the case has been closed, adding that one of their own had been placed on disciplinary charges. He is P.C. 743 Javier Alvarez who, according to the report, apparently sold a police service handcuff to wanted fugitive Manuel Castillo and as a result has been placed on disciplinary charges for two counts for Prejudice to Good Order and Discipline and has been interdicted from duty since 26th September, 2014. The case, said the family, cannot be closed since there is still much that needs to be investigated. The move, said Ramon Cervantes Junior has only served to further mar the image of the Police. “We need to start cleansing our souls as a nation and start to come clean and clear with the people and you know when they said they would close the case we were very dismayed. I think the Police either were forced into it or they didn’t realize that it has done them more damage, more damage to their credibility and that it why it is sad…because they have damaged their own credibility. What are the reasons to close the case so soon after a press conference and a revealing tape?”

Cervantes Family Hands Over Recording To Police
Speculations surrounding the recent revelation made by the Cervantes family surrounding the death of Ramon Cervantes Senior continue to escalate and that’s because the allegations alone are very disturbing. Two days following this revelation to the nation, the Cervantes family decided to take the recording to the police and did so this morning at the Orange Walk Police Formation. Dalila Ical reports. Dalila Ical- Reporting The family of the late Ramon Cervantes Senior arrived to hand in the recording of the conversation between Vilma Cervantes and allegedly Manuel Castillo this morning at the Orange Walk Police Formation, at around 10:00pm. The family was met with the support of several Orange Walk residents. After a moment of salutations, the family walked into the police station where they remained for some time. All three, Ramon Cervantes Junior, Vilma Cervantes and his sister Marresa Martin gave statements to the police. This says Cervantes was their first contact with the police since the recording was made.


Man Found Guilty Of Aggravated Assult
Fifty-one year old Michael Davis Buylding, a tour guide of Crooked Tree Village, was sentenced to 18 months today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after she found him guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature on a girl who was 18 years old at the time. The incident occurred around five thirty

Businessman Charged With Obtaining Property By Deception
Forty year old businessman, Marlon Longsworth, who allegedly got two thousand dollars from a woman under false pretense, was charged with obtaining property by deception when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. No plea was taken because the matter will be tried on indictment. Longsworth was released on a bail of three thousand dollars

Laborer Found Dead In Mopan River
A laborer of Benque Viejo del Carmen Town, Cayo District, was found floating in the Mopan River on Saturday morning. The man worked at a meat shop in the small western town and had gone missing on Monday, November 3. The last accounts of his whereabouts was by the river where he had gone to

Roaring Creek Resident Missing
The search is underway for Kerwin Mendoza, a resident of Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District. Mendoza was last seen last night and his family is concerned after reports that he was involved in a fight sometime around nine o’clock last night. Search parties, including law enforcement officials, and family members, are looking for

Belize U-20 Football Team Lost CONCACAF Championship
Belize’s under-20 football male team did not qualify to compete in next year’s CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, in Costa Rica. They lost to El Saldavor late last week with a score of 7-nil. This means that El Salvador will progress to the Confederation finals with just a draw Saturday in the last Triangular I game against

Well Known Figure Found Executed in Bedroom
Police are looking for answers surrounding the apparent murder of 40-year-old, Ernel Kenroy Young, also known as Ernel Welcome. Just after nine o’clock on Saturday morning, investigators were alerted of a body inside a house at #3 Casuarina Street in Belize City. Upon arrival at the house, police found the unemployed Young lying on a

Standard and Poor Says Belize Has A Positive Outlook
Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) has upgraded Belize’s stable outlook to a positive outlook. A release from S&P on Friday, noted that its rationale behind its positive rating outlook is in connection to rising economic growth by way of new investments in sugar and nontraditional agricultural products. This coupled with the government’s steps to

Villagers Complain of Bar’s Location Near School and Church
In our newscast this morning, we told you of a copy of a letter that we had obtained regarding concerns from residents in Los Tambos Village, Cayo District. The letter was from the Chairman of the village, Sebastian Villalta regarding the recent issuance of a liquor license to one of its residents. The points of

NICH Says There is No 75-Year Contract
Last Friday, we told you of the tour operators under the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) who called a press conference to express their concerns and frustrations with the National Institute of Culture and History and an agreement reportedly made with a foreign investor that gives the investor exclusive access and privileges

Accident Claims Life of Villager in Northern Belize
A family from Trinidad Village in the Orange Walk District is mourning the loss of a young member of the family who died in a road traffic accident. The incident happened on Friday night on the road between Trinidad and August Pine Ridge Villages. 24 year old Alonzo Vazquez had taken one of the family [...]

Intense Search Continues for Missing Woman
The search continues for an employee of Cisco Construction, who was last seen in southern Belize. Paul Mahung has the story. “The search continues for a missing woman in the Toledo district. The woman is an employee of Cisco Construction Company limited. The company’s Chief of security, Kevin Alvarez from Belize City who is IN Toledo as part of the search crew spoke to Love News.”


Ernel Welcome killed in Belize City
After a break of a few weeks, there is a murder to report in Belize City, which took place over the weekend. The victim is 40 year old Ernel Kenroy Young, residing on Casuarina Street. According to police Ernel Young was seen motion less lying face up, on a bed inside a bedroom at the residence, the...

Man shot on the Hummingbird Highway
On the evening of Friday November 7th , Jose Abego, a 47 year old Belizean Foreman for Blue Mountain Ranch, situated at Mile 36 of Hummingbird Highway, and a resident of Saint Margret Village, Cayo District, was shot three times.  He was shot twice to the abdomen and once to the leg. Initial invest...

Belmopan Man Stabbed at the Hospital
A man from Belmopan was apparently stabbed while receiving treatment at the Emergency ward. According to police reports, at around 10:30 pm on Friday November 7th, police visited the Western Regional Hospital...

Search on for missing Roaring Creek man
A man from the village of Roaring Creek, Cayo District, was reported missing over the weekend, and police are now searching for his body in the nearby river. According to police reports, 24 year old Kerwin Mendoza, of Roaring Creek Village, went missing sometime on Sunday. On Monday an anonymous cal...

Man perishes in traffic accident
There was a fatal traffic accident on Saturday night in the Orange Walk District. The victim is 24 year old Alonzo Vasquez. Mr  Vasquez, a resident of  Trinidad village, was driving a pickup truck from August Pine Ridge to Trinidad village, when he lost control near a bridge on approaching the villa...

NICH Responds to FECTAB Allegations
The National Institute of Culture and History issued a statement in response to FECTAB’s press conference which was held last week. The release says that NICH is  “appalled by the blatantly defamatory accusations made against our Institution last Friday by members of FECTAB at a press conference...

Fisheries officer accused of Illegal activity
A fisheries officer attached to the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, in San Pedro, is being accused for involvement in illicit activity concerning drugs. A letter dated the 16th of October outlining the security risks of the officer’s apparent rouge-like behaviour was forwarded to high ranking official...

Benque store robbed at gunpoint
A Chinese business was robbed in Benque on Friday morning. Xue Bing Chen, a business owner of #68 Supermarket, situated in the Hills of Promise Area, Benque Viejo Town, told police that at 11:40am, she was selling at her shop when two Hispanic men entered. One of them took out a revolver from his pa...

Rise and Shine Telethon needs your support
Please remember that this Saturday, November 15th  is Rise and Shine’s Fundraising telethon. We thank all our viewers and supporters and look forward to hearing from you on or before the date. That is Saturday November 15th.

Patrick JonesPJ

Maya Calendar predicts interesting days ahead
The next three days are most interesting days, if you consider them according to the Maya Calendar. As you read this story, bear in mind that we are currently following the Gregorian Calendar. November 11 (Tuesday) is referred to as Kan in the Maya Calendar. Kan, according to interpreters, is represented by the symbol of the snake and signifies balance. Its origin can be traced back to the Plumed Serpent Gucumatz. According to the Maya Calendar, November 11 or Kan is a day of strict and impartial justice and a day to offer respect and thanks to the corn.

Ernel Welcome killed in Belize City
After a break of a few weeks, there was a murder in Belize City which took place over the weekend. The victim is 40 year old Ernel Kenroy Young, residing on Casuarina Street. According to police Young was seen motion less lying face up on a bed inside a bedroom at the residence this past Saturday, the body displaying an apparent gunshot wound to the center of the forehead. We are told that area residents did not hear any noise or commotion, and believe the killer or killers may have used a silencer or muffler to mask the gunshot. Young was found by a family member who had gone out on an errand for him in the morning.

FIU made to unfreeze Titan accounts
This morning Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin issued a stinging judgment against the Financial Intelligence Unit. The ruling said that the FIU had fallen “woefully” short of the evidence needed to continue freezing orders issued against the six defendants in the U.S.’s billion-dollar fraud case centered around Titan International Securities which was raided in September. The millions and millions of dollars involved were allegedly the proceeds of securities fraud perpetuated by several companies but, for now at least, they are off the hook as the freezing orders are immediately discharged and the former accused have access to their funds.

Traffic accident in Orange Walk leaves one man dead
A man from Trinidad village, Orange Walk is dead following a road traffic accident on Saturday night. The victim has been identified as 24 year old Alonzo Vasquez. grey Traffic accident in Orange Walk leaves one man dead Trinidad village, Orange Walk Reports are that Vasquez was driving a single cab Mazda pickup truck from August Pine Ridge to Trinidad village when it overturned on the approach to a bridge near Trinidad. According to reports, Vasquez was flung from the vehicle and suffered head and body injuries. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Northern Regional Hospital.

San Ignacio Area Needs A More Diversified Economy
San Ignacio once had a thriving agro-forestry-based economy up to mid-1980s….supplying the country’s need for corn, beans, timber, vegetables and fruits. The town bustled EVERY weekend, with trading at the markets during the day….stores used to remain open until 9pm….and several popular entertainment spots filled to capacity with spending customers until 3am….sometimes with two live bands playing in the same place on the same night! Violent crimes were few and far between….no business or home had security guards….during the summer months, most people slept with their windows wide open to allow cool air into their homes. My mom operated one of the more popular restaurants Tony’s Inn, and I used to sweep the floor….so I know…..I used to pick up lots of coins off the floor that people would drop and not bother to pick up…enough to treat my friends at school. Today you cannot pick up a red cent off the floor….things are relatively much tighter.


The All New Tipsy Tuna in Placencia Hosts The Belize Optimist Sailing Championship
Just recently (within the past 5 years), groups/clubs around Belize have started to work to bring back the sport. And how to race competitively. And some of this fresh crop of sailors even have their eyes set on the 2020 Olympics. This resurrgence is pretty cool. And there have been regattas this year all over the country – from Honey Camp in Orange Walk to Caye Caulker and Belize City. Yesterday was the end of the National Championship at The Tipsy Tuna Bar, Restaurant and Beach Club in Placencia. Two beautiful days of sailing…and hanging out at the newly refurbished spot. I took a few pictures. And here they are. Saturday was THE MOST GORGEOUS DAY. But one with very little wind – when I dropped by at around 11pm, sailing was supposed to be in full swing but the kids were waiting for just a little breeze.

COMMUNIQUE: Government of Belize Press Office
Special Sitting of the House of Representatives - Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Reconciliation Section and Pensions/Gratuities Section to be relocated
The Accountant General hereby notifies the General Public that effective today, 10th November, 2014 the Reconciliation Section and Pensions/Gratuities Section will be relocated from the Central Bank Building, Gabourel Lane, Belize City to the Heritage Center Building, Second Floor, 43 Barack Road, Belize City.

NANS Sports Grill presents FOOTLOOSE on Saturday, November 15th...enjoy musical selections from the 80's & 90's. Musical vibes by Mad Rocka and Mr. Frisco. Gates open at 9pm. Advance tickets on sale now!

Slow Down, Simplify, Stay Healthy in Belize
I sit on our deck and gaze out toward the Belize Barrier Reef, not 300 yards away, in the Caribbean Sea. The postcard-perfect, white sand and the green palm trees quickly give way to shimmering strips of blue and green—colors of the sea determined by a brilliant sun, azure sky, and sea grass and sand on the ocean floor. There is one other color that catches my eye: the dry gray mud that spackles my legs and feet. “Here I am, at 64 years old,” I think, “and every day I get to pedal my bicycle through mud puddles.” I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me feel.

9th Annual Battle of the Drums
See you in Punta Gorda!

Calling all Writers...



International Sourcesizz

Lonely Planet guide documents a changing Central America
A couple of weeks ago, I was riding in the back of a van through rural Guatemala, and I noticed the German guy next to me flipping through a heavy guidebook, “Zentralamerika für Wenig Geld.” I had the exact same book, albeit in English: Lonely Planet’s “Central America on a Shoestring.” “What do you think of it?” I asked. His face soured, as if he had swallowed a tree frog. “I don’t like it,” he huffed. “You see this? Für wenig Geld. For less money. But it has listings for $300 hotel rooms. It has luxury resorts. How is this for less money? And I am sure it is wonderful to take a $1,000 tour, with horseback rides and whitewater rafting and perhaps a helicopter, but this is not for backpackers.” The last edition of “Central America on a Shoestring” was published in 2010, and the edition before that was 2007. When this latest edition hit bookshelves in 2013, I was rabidly awaiting my copy, but I waited until recently to shell out 14,000 ($28) at Juan Santamaría Airport. The cover is beautiful, depicting a waterfall in the rain forest. The book is hefty, at 768 pages, but it still slips comfortably into a duffel’s pocket. Besides, this volume needs all that space: It covers eight different countries, including regions often ignored by Spanish-speaking Central America, like southern Mexico and Belize. Whether you dock in Cancún or ride a chicken bus into Antigua, this book should anticipate your every need.

LatAm, Caribbean tourism agencies look to strengthen ties
Officials from Latin American and Caribbean tourism agencies are meeting Monday in Trinidad and Tobago to discuss closer collaboration. The Association of Caribbean States, or ACS, is hosting the conference on the theme "Sustainable Tourism: Building Bridges for Co-operation and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean." "To this end, discussions will focus on identifying areas for collaboration and developing strategies geared towards the diversification of the regional tourism industry," ACS said in a statement.


Video: Akwaaba Dance Project, 17min.
Follow teacher and researcher Olubayo Jackson throughout her travels to study African Cultural Retentions In Caribbean, Latin and American dance forms. Olubayo Jackson is a dance teacher at P.S. 87 in Manhattan currently on a research sabbatical documenting, learning and creating curriculum as she travels for one year to Ghana, Gambia, Dominica, Belize, New Orleans... This video focuses on Ghanian traditional dance and highlights Kplango and Gazo and the fire eating acrobatic dances of Nana Yaw. Filmed at One Africa in Elmina, Ghana.

Video: Shark Feeding in Belize, 10min.
Nurse shark feeding and playing with dive master.

Video: Eagle Rays at South Water Caye, Belize, 1min.

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