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12/1/2014 to 12/10/2014
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Today's Belize News

December 10, 2014


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

The San Pedro Sun

Ministers of Agriculture of Central America and Dominican Republic meet to discuss regional agriculture issues
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) in its capacity as President Pro-Temp of the Central American Agriculture Council (CAC) hosted the OIRSA-CIRSA Meeting on the 4th December and the final meeting of the Agriculture Council of Ministers on the 5th of December, 2014 in Placencia, Belize. Panama currently holds the Presidency of CIRSA but agreed to the Belize initiative to combine meetings in an effort to save cost, improve coordination and increase effective participation. On the 4th December 2014, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture welcomed the delegates and officially opened the LVII Extraordinary Meeting of the International Regional Organization for Health in Agriculture (CIRSA). During this meeting, main points discussed included the approval of the OIRSA strategic plan for the period 2015 to 2025, and the modification of the work plan for 2014 and 2015 to cater to the changes required by the member countries. One major achievement of this meeting was the presentation and approval of regulations to govern the management of the organization in an effort to make it more efficient and transparent.

Opening of the Xunantunich Education Centre
The Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project has achieved yet another important milestone, with the completion of The Xunantunich Education Centre, as well as infrastructure improvements and installation of signs at this site. The completion of works at this site marks the first of a total of nine sites which are being enhanced under the MTBCAAS Project. The project is funded under the Belize Rural Development Programme II (BRDPII), supported by the European Union and the Government of Belize. For the first time, the spectacular archaeological site of Xunantunich has a dedicated space to provide training to students and archaeologists alike. The 950 square feet facility will allow the Institute of Archaeology to provide on-site training in a proper facility boasting an audiovisual room and a dedicated classroom that can accommodate up to 40 persons in two different spaces at any one time. Visitors to Xunantunich can also now enjoy additional improvements at the site, as other infrastructure improvements were carried out under the MTBCAAS Project. The improvements feature new walkways made from gravel and concrete surfaces, the installation of directional, interpretative, warning and notice signs, and benches in designated rest areas.

The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage holds 2 day Art Exhibit from Primary School Competition
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage today, Wednesday, December 3, 2014 launched a two day Art Exhibit featuring 43 pieces of art work from primary school students under the theme: “Belize with a Properly Planned Oil Industry vs. an Improperly Planned Oil Industry” at the Belisle Art Gallery at the Bliss Institute of Performing Arts. The Art Exhibit represents the entries into an art competition for primary school students and this morning the first place winner was named as Amber McKoy of Grace Primary School. Amber’s art work depicts economic, environmental and cultural benefits and gains of a properly planned oil industry contrasted against loss caused by an improperly planned oil industry. For her first place win, Amber was given a trip for her class to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, gift certificate worth Bz$125 for art supply and promotional items from the Coalition.

Special Olympic Belize Torch comes to San Pedro for the first time
Camp Starfish was the proud host of the Special Olympics Belize torch as it landed on San Pedro on Wednesday, December 3rd as part of the third annual Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). This is the first year that the torch has come to San Pedro, and it arrived on the island shortly after 7PM and it remained here until 10AM on Thursday, December 4th when it departed en route to Hattieville Village, Belize. LETR is part of a series of events held by Special Olympics International (SOI) across the world to promote awareness for persons living with disabilities. The torch run will conclude in Belmopan City, where the Special Olympics Belize National Games will be held. To celebrate the presence of the torch, Camp Starfish set up a booth in front of the town clock to share information on persons living with disabilities. Visitors to the booth took the opportunity to take a picture with the torch for a small donation. This helped raise much needed funds for Special Olympics Belize, while raising awareness of the cause.

Ambergris Today

It's CRAZY DAY at Isla Bonita Elementary School
The students were free to express their Creative and Crazy side.

Belize to Train First Responders in Oil Spill Incident
The overall goal of this training is to ensure that Belize has trained and experience personnel that are able to effectively respond in a coordinated, timely and organized manner in the event of a significant oil spill within the coastal and marine environment of Belize. The specific objectives of this three (3) day oil spill training are to 1) provide basic response techniques for recovering spilled oil and cleaning polluted shorelines to First Responders; and 2) training in basic response strategies and tactics as well as the organizational planning skills required of operational supervisory staff such as On-scene Commanders to deal with major oil spill incidents on-site.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belizean forced to check with Guatemala military to visit Belize side of river
Natural light photographer Tony Rath was on an excursion on the Sarstoon, an area frequented by Guatemalans and has no presence by Belize. Rath said "While working along the Sarstoon River, we were "forced" to check into the Guatemalan military base seen here at the mouth of the river; first time I've been required to register with the Guatemala military to visit Belize . And the river bank on the Belize side has been wildlife, frequent cut trails, seine nets (lots), what appears to be homesteading and of course logging. Sad."

After careful and thorough review of each document in the files provided to us by anonymous sources, COLA has decided to release for public consumption through the press files of correspondence between the Belize Police Association and Belize Police Department, specifically Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and other senior officials, as well as officials of the Ministries of National Security and the Public Service among others. These documents, dating back to 2011, detail an increasing frustration with the Police High Command’s inability and unwillingness to meet with the Police Association over its grievances concerning the constables, corporals and sergeants it represents. It is clear that the Department has not only not made itself available to discuss and remedy these concerns; it prefers to cover up its inefficiency by not allowing the Association to seek help from other quarters on the basis of going against regulations.

More Youth involvement needed to curb poverty UNFPA report says
A recent fact sheet released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) states that there are more than 2.9 billion youths living in the world; nearly half of the entire human population is under the age of 25. Of that number, 1.8 billion live in developing countries, such as Belize. It was with this number in mind, that technocrats came to the conclusion that more youth inclusion in the decision making process could stem the tide of poverty and transform the future. According to the UNFPA's latest report, titled: "The Power of 1.8 Billion Adolescents, Youths and Transformation of Future, launched in mid November 2014, 54% of youths who receive a tertiary level education make it out of abject poverty. Yet, in 2011 some 57 million children were not enrolled in a school setting. The report shows that Belize is among the countries that display a slow rate of transition in adequately addressing the factors to improve the standard of living for youths.

A manatee for the morning
Khaleesi is in the large pool, with the wood-fired stove burning day and night to keep the water temperature up (the large pool is too large to heat using the butane heaters). She is doing well, as you can see from this photo, taken this week by Eran (thank you Eran!). Khaleesi was the manatee calf rescued in front of Corozal about 18 months ago - she's doing very well, and should be released back into Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in 2017

More exiting Basketball competition continues this weekend at the Andres Campos Civic Center.

Summit a testimony to solidarity, fraternal relationship – CARICOM Secretary-General
The Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit was testimony to the solidarity and fraternal relationship that existed among Caribbean people, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said on Monday. Addressing the Summit in Havana, Cuba, the Secretary-General retraced the history of the relationship between CARICOM Member States and Cuba, and outlined the myriad ways in which they had cooperated. “Cuba has demonstrated its commitment to the sustainable development of our Region, by providing generous assistance in areas such as health, education, agriculture and sports. This has been a significant boost to the Caribbean Community, in particular to our efforts at strengthening our human resource capacity.

Private Island Luxury Tourism Development
The Government of Belize, through BELTRAIDE, is pleased to announce the completion of the sale of the island of Caye Chapel, on Monday 8 December, 2014. Caye Chapel, an island in the Belize District, consisting of 265 acres, was purchased by a leading Mexican luxury hotel development group. The group, who are owners and operators of luxury tourism developments in Mexico City, Cancun, and Acapulco, are currently working on a detailed development plan for the island for presentation to Government. It is expected that this plan will include the announcement of a partnership with a renown global luxury hotel brand, to be announced in the near future, as well as the development of high-end residencies and other amenities.

Summit a testimony to solidarity, fraternal relationship – CARICOM Secretary-General
The Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit was testimony to the solidarity and fraternal relationship that existed among Caribbean people, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said on Monday. Addressing the Summit in Havana, Cuba, the Secretary-General retraced the history of the relationship between CARICOM Member States and Cuba, and outlined the myriad ways in which they had cooperated. “Cuba has demonstrated its commitment to the sustainable development of our Region, by providing generous assistance in areas such as health, education, agriculture and sports. This has been a significant boost to the Caribbean Community, in particular to our efforts at strengthening our human resource capacity.

National Forum: “Belize’s Commitment to Eradicate Violence against Women, Femicide and Human Trafficking
to be held tomorrow, December 10th at the Best Western, Biltmore Hotel in Belize City, Belize

Summit a testimony to solidarity, fraternal relationship – CARICOM Secretary-General
The Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit was testimony to the solidarity and fraternal relationship that existed among Caribbean people, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said on Monday. Addressing the Summit in Havana, Cuba, the Secretary-General retraced the history of the relationship between CARICOM Member States and Cuba, and outlined the myriad ways in which they had cooperated. “Cuba has demonstrated its commitment to the sustainable development of our Region, by providing generous assistance in areas such as health, education, agriculture and sports. This has been a significant boost to the Caribbean Community, in particular to our efforts at strengthening our human resource capacity.

Corozal Art in the Park
The Corozal Organization Leading Cultural Heritage and Art (COLCHA) is inviting all to our Christmas Edition of Art in the Park this Saturday December 13th. The event begins at 5:00 p.m. and at 7:00 p.m. we will be presenting a musical group from Chetumal; Cuerteto Juul K'iin; they along with their dancers will present traditional romantic spanish music. Come out and enjoy!

BEL Submits Request to PUC for Amendment to Electricity Rates
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) made a submission to the Public Utilities Commission on Monday, December 8, 2014 in which the Company requested an amendment to electricity rates to reflect the savings it has realized in the cost of power it purchases from Independent Power Producers (IPP). This proposed amendment is aimed at passing on these savings to customers. If approved by the PUC, the amendment is expected to result in a 3.4% reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) from 43.47 cents per KWh to 42 cents per kWh for the period January 2015 to June 2015.

Belize and the Immigration Hustle
In either late 2007 or early, just before the election, I wrote an article for the Amandala titled: "What Kind of State". The article explored what kind of country Belize had become and addressed issues such as corruption and immigration. This is a section of the article that dealt with immigration, and I am now wondering how much things have changed since then. We must look at the role of migration in helping to shape the kind of state Belize has become. This is in consideration of the fact that the country has experienced significant emigration and immigration, which have help to define Belize in the last five decades. Greater consideration is given to immigration as Belize continue to attract people to its shores. This immigration has brought up questions of national identity and regional integration. Besides the “immigration hustling” that took place, significant immigration has also highlighted the government 's lack of a coherent immigration policy, although minister Fonseca acknowledge the immigration situation in Belize. There is a political aspect of this immigration, in relation to issues of sovereignty, citizenship, and voting.

Belizean Legends is honored to feature these collection of poems from the voices of Belize City's black youth, that reaffirms the fact that not much has changed in the lives today of Belize's black youth population who continue to be marginalized, disenfranchised and killed at incredible proportions today. This small token of appreciation for this work in poetry form, echoing the cries of Belize City's Southside black youth, and the young brave high school poets who wrote them, is a reminder for all Belizeans at home and abroad; that Belize's black people are a people in crisis. The work was produced by the Belize Islamic Educator, of the Muslim Community of Belize, Sister Zakina Muhammad, for the Communication Skills Programme of Belize's Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports in April of 2002.

Register to Vote for Municipal Elections
Municipal Elections will be held on Wednesday, 4 Mar 2015. Voters must register on or before 10 Jan 2015 to vote in these Municipal Elections. Persons who qualify to register should visit their municipality's Elections and Boundaries office. The Elections and Boundaries Office (Corozal North, Corozal Bay, Corozal Southeast, and Corozal Southwest) is on First St N (across from the Police Station, upstairs) Registration is open to persons at least 18 years old, and a citizen of Belize or any Commonwealth Country who has resided in Belize for at least 12 months, or any Commonwealth Country who is domiciled in Belize Resident in the Electoral Division at least 2 months. For information call 422-2156.

Channel 7

Alleged Queenpin Cleared? Immigration Case Collapses
The Accused Immigration Queenpin, Marleny Castellanos, and her husband Alfredo Orlando Gonzalez Marcos, have been cleared of all criminal charges. They were accused of being the chief arranger of illegal Belizean nationality documents for immigrants. It made big news when an investigation conducted by joint law enforcement agencies alleged that she and her husband stole the identity of dead Belizeans and reportedly got through the backdoors of the system to get all their documents to live in the country. Another narrative developed that a number of illegal immigrants accused the couple of a lucrative hustle in which they arranged for illegal passports and nationality certificates to be created so that these people could live in Belize unlawfully. These persons alleged that they misrepresented themselves as legitimate immigration agents to get this done, and that the victims were all ignorant to the laws they were breaking.

Caye Chapel Finally Sold to Mexican Luxury Hotel Group
Caye Chapel, it's been on the selling block for years…first we heard the Four Seasons Group of luxury hotels would buy it, and then it was the Sheridan group with a Canadian connect, then the Yumi group out of the British Virgin Islands, and then the Qatari's, and in between a few other rich names popped up. But none of those sales materialized, until now. BELTRAIDE sent out a release this evening saying that the sale of the 265 acre island has been completed, and the new owner is an un-named Mexican luxury hotel development group. According to BELTRAIDE, the group owns and operates luxury developments in Mexico City, Cancun and Acapulco and they expect to partner with a, quote, "renowned global luxury hotel brand." These preliminary renderings were released today - and the release says work on the new tourism project should commence in early 2015.

Best Hope: Cane Season In Time For Christmas
The meeting between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and executives from ASR/BSI is set for Thursday - which is when the ASR executives will arrive in country. This is considered a last ditch effort to get the sugar crop season started hopefully in time for Christmas. Experts tell us that is the best that can be hoped for right now because even if an agreement is reached on Thursday, it would still need revision to make it legally sound, and then both sides would sign off. The farmers claim they could start deliver three days after that, but sugar roads still have to be repaired after the recent rains over the last 3 weeks.

Opposition Leader Says ASR Has To Back Down From Big Stick Approach
The meeting between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and executives from ASR/BSI is set for Thursday - which is when the ASR executives will arrive in country. This is considered a last ditch effort to get the sugar crop season started hopefully in time for Christmas. Experts tell us that is the best that can be hoped for right now because even if an agreement is reached on Thursday, it would still need revision to make it legally sound, and then both sides would sign off. The farmers claim they could start deliver three days after that, but sugar roads still have to be repaired after the recent rains over the last 3 weeks.

BEL's New Year's Resolution: Lower Your Light Bill
And something positive is just what BEL has in mind as a sort of Christmas gift for consumers. The company announced today that it wants to cut electricity rates by 3.4%, taking the average rate down from 43.47 cents per kilowatt hour to a flat 42 cents. The power company made the request to the Public Utilities Commission yesterday based on savings it has realized in the cost of power, principally from Mexico's CFE. Indications are that CFE's cost of power to BEL may continue to go down which would again redound to the benefit of Belizean consumers. Last year BEL sourced 42% of its power from Mexico. This is the fourth consecutive application by BEL to the PUC to lower electricity rates since 2013.

Police Reverse Position On Gun Found At Valley Of Peace Murder Scene
Last night we told you about 54 year-old Donatilo Canales, the Valley of Peace Villager who was found in his yard on Saturday with multiple gunshot wounds. Well, Belmopan police investigators believe he was murdered. That conclusion is based on a completed post-mortem, and the evidence found on the scene. The problem is that there was no witness to the moment when he was killed and so they don't know who the assailant is. He got up just after midnight on Friday when he heard his dogs barking. When he exited the back door and entered the yard, a few minutes passed, and then, someone shot him 4 times in the leg, chest, neck and head.

Execution For Man OF Salvadorian Descent
While continue to look into that homicide, they are also trying to figure out what is the motive and who is behind the very violent murder of 43 year old Jose Miguel Abrego. The caretaker of a Citrus farm was shot multiple times and then chopped to death in what police say is a ruthless execution. The attack happened at around 11 on Sunday Night in his yard. He was sitting down with a male companion, when the gunman arrived and opened fire on them. His companion ran inside the house seeking cover, but the gunman was determined that there would be no witnesses. He fired on the house about 4 more times, and then left. When Abrego's wife and companion came out, they realized that he had been shot in the neck and chopped another 5 times, as though the assailant was ensuring that he was killed.

VIP Calls Christmas Cheer State Sponsored Patronage
Since 2003, the member countries of the United Nations have celebrated International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9 - the anniversary on the day that the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention Against Corruption. But, Belize has yet to sign on and comply with the anti-corruption convention, and since last year the Independent Political Party, Vision Inspired by the People, has been pressuring the ruling United Democratic Party, and the Opposition to take action on it. Today, the VIP staged a seven-man protest in front of the National Assembly Building. The picket was staged to coincide with Cabinet TUESDay. And though only 7 were there, they were complaining about millions in public funds wasted on what they call political patronage programs, namely government's Residential Mortgage Payment Program and the Christmas Cheer program.

It All Comes Down To This Trinidad, CCJ, GOB vs AA
For years we've been reporting on the multitude of lawsuits that the Ashcroft Alliance has brought against the Government of Belize for its 2009 acquisition of BTL. There have been wins and losses on both sides, but government has managed to retain possession of the utility. But tomorrow in the Caribbean Court of Justice, all the lawsuits are dramatically converging in a raft of lawsuits which will have the highest court of appeal tied up for three days of dense legal arguments - arguments which will determine authoritatively if government was right to have acquired BTL. A virtual battalion of attorneys, Senior Counsels and Queen's Counsels from Belize and the UK are in Trinidad tonight awaiting the commencement of legal hostilities which begins tomorrow at 10am Trinidad. An advance release today from the Caribbean Court of Justice calls it a quote, "ground-breaking case for the Caribbean,"

Newlywed Finds Husband's Other Birth Certificate
Police have charged a man from Roaring Creek for the crime of Bigamy because he is legally married to two women. 27 year-old Merkita Castillo Chimilio reported to police that she has been married to her husband, John Chimillio, since August of this year. While she was looking for her marriage certificate, she came across another marriage certificate which showed that her husband was married to another woman. Police have since verified at the Vital Statistics Unit that indeed, 36 year-old John Chimilio, a construction worker from Roaring Creek, is legally married to two women. He has since been charged, and he will be arraigned at the earliest convenience.

KHMH Audit: X-Ray Acquisition Was Less Than Transparent
All of last week, we told you about the special audit of the KHMH looking, principally, into the acquisition of a pair of X-Ray units. There were a number of procedural irregularities in the acquisition - including purchasing it from an offshore shell company in Hong Kong. But, as the audit illustrates, the irregularities extended beyond procedure to the units themselves. Here's more:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The X-Ray machine arrived at the KHMH without basic information such as a bill of lading or the customs entry. The auditors had to source this from the Customs Department. The auditor concludes that they were unable to determine conclusively that the hospital had received what it ordered. There was no warranty for the machines.

Belize Takes A Cruise Bruise With Yahoo List
Yahoo Travel today published a list of "The Worst Caribbean Ports of Call for Cruises" and Belize City was right there, third on the list behind the Nassau Bahamas and Montego Bay and Ocho Rios Jamaica. It is described as dreary and having no beach. Proponents of the Stake Bank project point to this as one more reason to put governmental impetus behind that project. Of course, it's not that simple. The situation is fraught with legal implications, suits, counter suits and cross suits. And right in the middle of it is a pair of agreements signed by the Musa Administration making certain assurances to the Fort Street Tourism Village - assurances where government would compensate them for passenger shortfalls. The Barrow administration doesn't want to be left holding that bag - and thus the reason things are at standstill. On Sunday, we asked the Leader of the Opposition for his position on it:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "So, it's a complex issue, but it's certainly an issue that needs to be address very urgently in the interest of the tourism sector."

Training For A Spill
A National Oil Spill Training workshop started today and facilitators say that there is hope beyond the 'spill'. The training focuses on strategies to prevent oil spills, to recover oil in the event of a spill and to ensure the safety of people and the environment. Belize has not had a catastrophic oil spill but there have been several incidents that posed serious threats to the environment. One of those incidents happened in January of 2007. An oil tanker was punctured in Orange Walk draining hundreds of gallons of oil unto the street. Elliott Taylor, representative for the International Maritime Organization on the Oil Spill response training, told us how this training can minimize these incidents.

Water And Oil Don't Mix
On the topic of oil spills, The Tropic Air Cessna Caravan that plunged into the sea on Thursday also fits into this discussion. About 90 gallons of aviation fuel drained into the sea as a result of the accident. We asked Environmental Officer Maxine Monsanto what was done to contain that spill. Maxine Monsanto, Acting Senior Environmental Officer "The incident for Tropic, I believe, I would have to further investigate, but yesterday the Department of the Environment did send someone out to investigate and take a look at the site and everything. I cannot tell you the status at this time, but I can tell you that they have done an investigation and they are in the process at looking at it as well as sitting down and discussing with Tropic how best to respond in the future, so that they can be better prepared as to what they need to do."

BTL Will Keep Speednet's Southern Link Going Till End February
Earlier we told you about the legal showdown in the Caribbean Court of Justice tomorrow. While that fight ensues, a legal dispute with BTL's competitor, SMART!, came to a temporary resolution yesterday. As we told you last month, SMART's parent company, Speednet, filed an injunction against BTL to stop them from terminating a contract in which SMART contracts BTL's infrastructure to provide voice and data to SMART's customer base of almost 7,000 customers in the Toledo District. So, if BTL discontinued, it would have cut off all of those SMART cell phone users from getting service. BTL's attorney gave an undertaking to the court that the company would not terminate the service pending the outcome of yesterday's hearing.

PM Says You Can Wait To Get Reimbursed For December Mortgage
Earlier we told you about the VIP Party's protest against what it calls state sponsored political patronage: namely the Christmas Cheer and the Residential Mortgage Payment programme. But the government calls Christmas Cheer pro-poor, and the mortgage payment program, it calls that middle class relief. The rules to qualify for that are that the original value of the residential mortgage must be no more than one hundred thousand dollars. Mortgages taken out solely for the purpose of refinancing prior mortgages for the ?construction of new residences will also qualify for the program. And the mortgages must be legally registered. Those who qualify just have to fill out a two page form and make their monthly payment then government will re-imburse them. Seems simple enough, but the PM says, he has still heard reports of complaints:..

First Caribbean Gives
4 city schools received stoves and cooking supplies for their feeding programs today. A short ceremony was held at CIBC First Caribbean Bank on Albert Street this afternoon to hand over the donations. According to the recipients it takes a lot of resources to ensure that all students are properly fed but these donations will make a considerable difference in the lives of the children. Shaeleen Castillo, Manager - Retail Banking and Operations "CIBC First Caribbean, we have a commitment to give back to the communities in which we operate and throughout the year we participate in various initiatives that we identify as well as which our staff identify and so one of the things that we know is very important is the development of our children and what we have done is to reach out to certain schools and to find out what happens with their feeding program and they presented to us what is basically their wish list and so based on the schools that responded to us, the management of their feeding programs and the ones that we consider to be most needy - we narrowed down to 4 schools and we were able to meet what had presented to us on their wish list."

Hype's Christmas Party
You may know the DJ, Alfrain "Mr. Hype" Supal as a radio personality and dancehall impresario, but on this coming Saturday, he is taking a bigger stage at the BTL Park. He's putting together his first Annual Christmas ParkFest, a fun-filled family event where giveaways, games and entertainment will converge. He has a star-studded line-up of local musicians, and he's inviting you to come out to the event. He told us more today: Alfrain "Mr. Hype" Supal "The event is called Belize Christmas Park Fest and it's going to be held at the BTL Park. A lot of giveaways for families; ham, turkey, Marley, and of course we are going to have toys for the kids. Santa will be there. You can't have any Christmas event without Santa and like I said it's a family oriented event and we will have entertainment as well. Trying to bring back a Belize style Christmas to Belizeans on a whole. As well just added is the brukdown segment. Mr. Peter's brukdown; a tribute to Mr. Peter's. Of course we will have the guys who sung on the newly release album Christmas Brukdown.

Five Buff Medals
Last night, we told you about the Belizean bodybuilders, Rigo Vellos, Clayton Greenidge and Oyinkro Akpobodor competed at the 2014 Central American Bodybuilding Championships. It's a significant achievement for these athletes to have brought home 5 medals and they told us us about the experience: Stanley Moody, President - BBBFF "This tournament was the Central American Championships. It entailed all the countries of Central America; Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador (who was the host country), Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica and unfortunately Panama was the only country that didn't show up this year. But it was a championship which entailed all the different categories of bodybuilding. This year unfortunately we didn't take any females to the championship. We felt that we were going there to try and win medals and we don't think that the females were prepared to go and compete on that level at this time. But next year they should be ready."

Swiping At Cricel
As you may have noticed, there were no female athletes in the Belize delegation, something which the President of the Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation explained by saying that there were no athletes who are at the level of competition required. So, what about Cricel Castillo, Belize's first professional in the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Federation? She entered for the first competition in Miami 3 weeks ago, and won in the Fitness Diva Category. As far as we are aware, it is a significant achievement since she now has a pro card, qualified to compete against world-class athletes. But, if you ask the Belizean Federation's President, it's not that big a deal. Our Colleague Geovannie Brackett asked him about his opinion if Castillo would have measured up against the female competition at the Central American Championships. He dismissed her and appeared unimpressed:

Channel 5

Authorities Investigate Death of Infant
There is a disturbing report tonight on the death of a three month infant. Police have ruled out foul play and are calling it a case of sudden death; the [...]

Marleny Castellanos walks from immigration offences
The case of Marleny Castellanos, who was named as the mastermind in an immigrations scam, came up today in the magistrate court. But what seemed to be an iron-tight case [...]

PM to Meet With ASR/B.S.I. on Wednesday
Tonight, the only news in the ongoing sugar cane crisis is that there is no news. Late this evening News Five spoke to an official of the BSCFA who told [...]

P.U.P. Bashes Mortgage Cheer Program
The Christmas Cheer monies have been disbursed, we hear, thanks to Petrocaribe. News Five understands that U.D.P. Area Representatives have gotten one hundred and ten thousand dollars…P.U.P. Area representatives have [...]

P.U.P. Deputy Says Petrocaribe Priorities Are Skewed
P.U.P. Deputy Leader Julius Espat also weighed in on the mortgage giveaway which he says is pure nonsense. Apart from the shameless politicking, Espat claims that there is much better [...]

CCJ Prepares to hear Groundbreaking Nationalization Case
At the Caribbean Court of Justice headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago, arguments begin on Wednesday in what is described as a ground breaking case for the Caribbean in which the [...]

Is A Policeman Involved in Valley of Peace Murder?
In the very early hours of Saturday morning, Valley of Peace resident Donatilo Canales was shot dead in his yard in the village. His wife heard multiple gunshots minutes after [...]

Caye Chapel Sold to Mexican Company
There is major news tonight on the economic front. Government issued a release late this evening to announce the sale of the exclusive island of Caye Chapel. The high end [...]

Belize Named One of Five Worst Ports of Call
Firebrand activist organization COLA has managed to find its way into many different causes which affect the quality of life of roots Belizeans all over the country. And they’re back [...]

B.T.B. Says Belize City Has Gotten Major Upgrade
You’ll note that Brackett disagrees with the article’s critical tone where Belize City is concerned. And there, indeed, he is joined by the B.T.B.’s Director of the Cruise and Regional [...]

2 Belize City men busted with 70 pounds of weed
Two Belize City men from the PIV controlled area of the Southside of Belize City are  facing charges for the Possession of a Control Drug with Intent to Supply to [...]

Honduran national still in country despite removal order
A Honduran national, Marvin Leonel Lara Melara, was before the Supreme Court for illegal entry today.  His case is significant because the ruling is the first ever interpretation of the [...]

Roaring Creek man charged for Bigamy
A Roaring Creek man is tonight in big trouble with the law and his two wives. Thirty-six year old John Chimilio has said “I Do” twice in four years. This [...]

International Anti-Corruption Day is celebrated
On October thirty-first, 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Convention against Corruption.  The Assembly also designated December ninth as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption [...]

VIP lashes out a G.O.B. over use of Petrocaribe funds
Since announcing its Christmas loan program a few weeks ago, hundreds of Belizeans from across the country have stood in snaking queues at the National Bank waiting to apply for [...]

Feeding program gets boost from FirstCaribbean
The Petrocaribe money is rolling happily all over the country, and politicians are busy exchanging witty, sarcastic repartee over Christmas Cheer and the merry mortgage payment scheme. But while that [...]

Channel 5 celebrates its 23rd anniversary
Great Belize Productions/Channel Five has reached another milestone. Today we celebrate twenty-three years of broadcasting. The company was established in 1982 as a production unit, and in 1991 it obtained [...]


Start Of 2014/2015 Crop Season Still In Limbo
There is still no clear path forward in the negotiations between BSI/ASR and the BSCFA and the new crop is still on hold. Stakeholders had identified today, December 8th as the ideal time to start but following long hours of discussions, there is still no clear indication when the crop will start. Furthermore, even though the BSCFA has proven to be flexible on their demands, the BSI keeps firm. Today, when the Prime Minister Dean Barrow should have been in Havana Cuba for the CARICOM Summit, he was in Belize City meeting with the BSCFA representatives trying to find a way forward as time is now of utmost importance as delays in starting the new crop spells economic loss for all. After less than two hours of meeting, it seems there is still not much achieved as the BSCFA still has to wait for the PM to go to the BSI/ASR group for a response to their latest terms. Dalila Ical- Reporting Ezekiel Cansino, Chairman, Committee of Management, B.S.C.F.A. “We believe that it’s more flexible and that’s why we as cane-farmers believe that we are going too far being flexible. We are trying our best to get to an agreement. We hope that at this time we get through the impasse and if not, we will be seeking other options.”

Man Charged For Possession Of Article With A Blade
A teen from August Pine Ridge has been arrested and charged for having in his possession a machete. According to authorities in Orange Walk, whilst on mobile patrol on Friday night in the village of August Pine Ridge, police saw a man with a machete on his bicycle and when asked why he had the machete in his possession, he could not give a reason. Police then placed him under arrest and escorted him to the Orange Walk Police Station where the machete was measured to be 27inches in length. Police then arrested and charged 19-year-old Oviser Contreras of August Pine Ridge Village for the offence of Possession of Article with blade.

MAMAS Sees Another Successful Year
For almost 10 years, MAMAS Group in Orange Walk has been a haven for single mothers, young ladies and children to learn a skill. Over the years, Mujeres Ayudando A Mujeres a Superarse, MAMAS, has without a doubt left a mark here in the community. This past Saturday a group of women who took part in several courses offered graduated with honors. Founder Ofelia Novelo spoke on yet another accomplishment. Ofelia Novelo- Founder, M.A.M.A.S Group “We are here today after one year of training and hard work but first I would like to thank the almighty father for giving us life and for providing us with the strength and drive so succeed and I would like to thank my guest speaker Mrs. Mirna Manzanares for taking time out for being with us here today, for my teachers for the dedication on the students graduating here today and to all the sixteen women graduating here thank you, you found the needed equipment for yourself and the skill and knowledge to be your own boss. The courses that they took are cosmetology, pastries and barbering and that is the ones that are graduating here today.”

La Inmaculada R.C School Named National Champs In Reading Competition
A few weeks ago we told you about the Belize National Library Service’s countrywide reading competition that saw primary school students take on the best readers in the country. On November 28th the National Championship competition took centre stage in Belize City and emerging as the top winner was Deianeira Roshelle Flores from La Inmaculada RC Primary School. Today, we found out that the school took first and third places in the competition. It’s a huge accomplishment for the school and for the participants. We spoke with the National Champions and their coach today after a short recognition ceremony at the La Inmaculada Church.

Traffic Mishap Leaves One Person Injured
Following a traffic mishap over the weekend, a man is lucky to be alive but remains hospitalized tonight. On Saturday December 6th, Corozal police responded to a road accident between miles 73 and 74 on the Philip Goldson Highway in the vicinity of Louisville Village in the Corozal District. At the scene, police observed a black Montero SUV vehicle bearing license plate CZL C 02826, driven at the time by Norberto Ical, approximately 150 feet off the highway. Initial investigations reveal that Ical was traveling towards Corozal Town when he lost control of the vehicle causing him to run off the road into the cane field.

P.M Discusses Residential Mortgage Program
Recently we told you about Central Government’s newest program to reimburse Belizeans for their December 2014 interest and principal payments on all residential mortgages with an original value of up to BZE$ 100,000. Through the Residential Mortgage Payment Program, borrowers from the National Bank, Commercial Banks, Credit Unions, the Development Finance Corporation and the Belize Social Security Board can apply for assistance. So how is that playing out? Prime Minister Dean Barrow says despite some complaints about the process, once you apply there is a good chance to benefit from the program and while the deadline to hand in applications had been indicated as this year December, it seems government is extending that. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister “I will make the point though that this is not because they compared it with the CXC’s there you had to submitted the application and be approved by a certain time because fees had to be paid but with the mortgage program no man if they want to; remember we said to them you pay the institution we simply give you back the money so if they don’t get in the application in December and they want to get in January or February we will simply once it is authenticated that is so much you paid for your monthly repayment in December we will give you back the money.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow Cuts International Trip Short
The Prime Minister Dean Barrow was scheduled to attend the CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Havana, Cuba. According to the international press, Caribbean Community leaders would discuss ways of strengthening relations. Given the circumstances in the sugar industry however the Prime Minster found himself back in the country in an effort to settle the longstanding impasse in the Sugar Industry. How will this impact his previous commitments? The press asked him and this was what he responded.

Burglars Hit Another Chinese Store In Corozal
Three individuals are tonight under police custody pending the investigation of a reported Robbery. 40 year old Juan Qing Wu Chinese naturalized Belizean from the village of Calcutta reported to officials that around 7:25 pm on Friday December 5th, three male persons of brown complexion wearing black clothing with bandanas, entered the store namely Community Supermarket. One of the male persons, who was armed with what appeared to be a Chrome color pistol demanded money and proceeded to search the cash drawer. According to Wu the male person who had the pistol, pistol whipped her to the back of her head causing pain. In the process the men made off with $1,000.00 Belize dollars in different denominations and a Samsung Galaxy Cellular Phone, its value unknown.

Evangelical Church Targeted By Burglars
It’s not the first time we’ve reported on incidents involving thefts at a place of worship. Over the weekend, heartless thieves struck early morning on Saturday at the “Iglesia de Dios Evangelio” on Plum Street in Trial Farm. And while authorities have responded to the call, tonight the items stolen remain on the streets. Tito Garcia who owns and looks after the church’s sound system stopped by our studios pleading to the public to not purchase any stolen items and gave us an account of the incident. Tito Garcia– Complainant ”They open a three louvers from the left side of the church from the alter and he or whosoever came in just went away with part of our sound system from the church.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “Specifically what did they take?” Tito Garcia– Complainant “They went with our amplifier and with our cross over, the amplifier is a 4000 watts brand new with an estimated price of $2000.00 and a cross over $400.00 brand new so that is a $2400.00 value that they went with.”

BSCFA Meets With DPM
What was supposed to be the start of the new Sugar Cane Crop season is being prolonged since there is still a stalemate in the negotiations between both major key players. And with things coming ‘down to the wire’ the Prime Minister who was scheduled to be in Cuba for a CARICOM summit had to cut his visit short and flew back to address the pressing issue in the Sugar Industry. We’ll get into that shortly, but first after getting a “not so favourable” response from BSI/ASR on Friday, an emergency with Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega was held with the branch managers of the BSCFA. The two hour long discussion centered mostly on getting the crop season to start says Acting PM Gaspar Vega. “We are insisting that everybody comes back to the table.” Maria Novelo– Reporter “Well, they did already again on Tuesday.” Honorable Gaspar Vega– Acting Prime Minister “Well they come back again and that is what they discussing that were the main focus of the discussion, details I cannot because it is negotiation, details that I don’t think it should be made public until the two parties, both BSI and BSCFA have an opportunity to meet again.”


BEL Requests Ammendment To Electricity Rates
Belize Electricity Limited has made a submission to the Public Utilities Commission requesting an amendment to electricity rates to reflect the savings it has realized in the cost of power it purchases from Independent Power Producers. If approved by the PUC, the amendment is expected to result in a three point four percent reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate from 43.47 cents per Kilo watt hour to 42 cents per kilowatt hour for the period January 2015 to June 2015. This submission is the fourth consecutive application by BEL to the PUC to lower electricity rates since 2013. According to the company the savings are primarily due to lower than expected cost of power from Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). BEL says in addition to passing on cost of power savings to customers and in line with its Business Plan, the company will continue to invest in the expansion of its power distribution network to allow more communities across the country to connect to the national electricity grid.

Man Found Dead In Bungalow House
San Ignacio police are currently investigating the death of a man believe to be from El Salvador. Police only known him as Alexander, believe to be in his early 20’s and believed to have died from injuries sustained between Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Now, how he received those injuries is the focus of the investigation. Alexander was found inside a small wooden bungalow house on Coyoc Street in San Ignacio Town by his housemate, 22 year old Dennis Guzman. Alexander had a large wound to the head and bruises on the abdominal area. Police found out that Alexander was drinking with some friends in town before his death. Inspector Reymundo Reyes filled us in on the details.

Women’s Department 16 Days of Activism; Free Legal Advice And Consultations
Free legal advice and consultations will be made available on Thursday through the Women’s Department as part of their 16 days of activism to end gender based violence against women. The Legal Clinic, as it is being called, is not the first event of its kind as similar activity was held previously in the Toledo and Cayo districts with the most recent one being this past Saturday in the Mahogany Heights area. Love News spoke to Tricia Collins of the Women’s Department who explains how the event will be carried out. TRICIA COLLINS “The free legal clinic is a part of our 16 days of activism to end gender based violence against women and so we have decided one of our activities is to do a legal clinic whereby the general public can access attorneys. The legal clinic is going to be held tomorrow at ITVET from 9am until 4pm. We will be having several different attorneys that will be giving their time. We will be looking at issues like those pertaining to gender based violence and family issues.

Belize Municipal Development Road Project; Phase 2 Undergoing Construction
Plans are in the making for the implementation of additional needed infrastructure projects in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “Punta Gorda Mayor Anthony Fuentes commented on phase 1 of the Municipal Development Project in town and spoke of plans for the implementation of phase 2.” MAYOR ANTHONY FUENTES “Punta Gorda Town is part of the Belize Municipal Development Road Project and of phase 1 of the project, we renovated the Administrative building and of course pavement of Papana Street. Now under phase 2, the project that will be completed includes the pavement of Lucille Melendrez Boulevard, Robert K. Pennel Boulevard, Hopeville, the Wild Cane Street, Morning Glory street and Mangrove Street in Hopeville. Now the Punta Gorda Town Council has paid 3 percent of tax payers’ money towards the pavement of these streets and boulevard. Our three percent amounted to 52.000. The additional seven thousand dollars, because drain works were not done on the Papanou , the Town Council had a credit of seven thousand dollars which was added to that phase two project. So that made it a three percent contribution made by the tax payers of this municipality of fifty nine thousand dollars towards the street. The total cost of monies that were allocated to the Punta Gorda Town Council under the Belize Municipal Development Project is 1.6 million dollars.”

VIP Rebuttal To UDP And PUP; Belize Not Participating In Anti-Corruption Convention
Today the international community is recognizing International Anti-Corruption Day 2014. Belize is not officially participating because Government has not signed onto the anti corruption convention. However the Vision Inspired by the People, VIP, supported by other third parties has come out swinging against the UDP and PUP for not signing the convention. Today, the VIP picketed in the capital city of Belmopan and Public Relations Officer, Robert Bobby Lopez told us more. ROBERT BOBBY LOPEZ “We have to stop corruption. It is one of the worst scourges affecting the development. The theme says Zero Corruption, 100 percent Development. All that money that is stolen, that is wastefully spent needs to be put in proper place and this is our money. It has to be paid back whether it’s Petro Caribe or our tax dollar. And another thing I want to tell you for twenty years, the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life Act was enacted in 1994. For twenty years, every elected person, senator, speaker of the house is to declare. We are tired of telling them to declare and they don’t want to declare so we are telling them now, don’t bother to declare; pay the fine.

Honduran National Charged For Illegal Entry; Deported To Honduras
Honduran national, Melvin Melara, who paid a fine of $1000 for illegal entry on November 17 but was not allowed to leave Belize, will now be able to do so because of a court order that was made today by Justice Shona Griffith. Based on an application made by attorney Kevin Arthurs, Justice Griffith ordered that Melara can leave Belize as soon as he is able to provide the cost of his transportation to Honduras. Melara indicated that he intends to leave on a flight to Honduras and Justice Griffith ordered that he be escorted to the airport. According to the immigration law, no illegal immigrant who has been convicted of an immigration offense should be held in Belize after 7 days as long as they can pay for their transportation back to their country of origin. The Attorney General’s Ministry was represented by Crown counsel Leonora Duncan.

Auto Mechanic Charged With Robbery
Twenty-five year old Jose Ayala, an auto mechanic of Freedom Street, one of two persons who allegedly stole one gold and one silver chain, was charged with robbery when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Ayala plead not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $3,000 and his case was adjourned until January 8, 2015. The incident occurred around 11 a.m. on December 8. Fifty-eight year old Sandy Hinks, a security guard at Triple A security, reported to the police that he was riding his bicycle on Iguana Street and when he reached the intersection with Curassow Street a man of dark complexion rode up beside him. He said a second man, one of Hispanic descent then rode up behind him. He told police that the man beside him pushed him off his bicycle then grabbed at his chains while he was on the ground.

Guatemalan Nationals Freed of Immigration Charges
Guatemalan nationals forty-six year old Marleny Castellanos and her common-law husband, 42-year-old Alfredo Marcos, who were freed of some of their immigration charges on October 28, were all smiles today when they walked out of the court of Magistrate Dale Cayetano with not having to answer to any of the remaining charges. Today Magistrate Cayetano dismissed 17 charges against the couple after the Immigration Department indicated that it wanted the charges withdrawn. When they were first arraigned in May, Castellanos was charged with four offenses while Marcos was charged with six offenses. The allegation was that they had used the documents of dead Belizeans to provide immigrants with Belizean birth certificates and social security cards. The immigration Department was unable to provide the evidence to prove the allegations. The couple was represented by attorney Kevin Arthurs.

Vacant Lot; Police Discover Sacks of Cannabis
On Monday night San Ignacio Police conducted a search in a bushy lot in the Shaw Ville area of San Ignacio. The search led to the discovery of four sacks containing a total of eight four thousand grams of suspected cannabis. No one was in the area at the time and the drugs were deposited as found property.

Man Detained For Cannabis
Orange Walk Police have detained a 35-year-old man pending charges. Police say they were on operation on the Philip Goldson Highway in San Jose Village when they intercepted a passenger bus traveling from Corozal to Orange Walk. Police conducted a search in a knapsack belonging to the man which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing a parcel wrapped in transparent plastic containing a total of six hundred and eighty point four grams of suspected cannabis. As a result he was detained.

Construction Worker Charged With Bigamy
A construction worker from Roaring Creek Village has been charged with bigamy. According to Police a woman reported that she got married to John Chimilio in August. She said last week she was looking for her marriage certificate when she came across another marriage certificate in the name of her husband and another woman dated March 20, 2010. Checks made at vital statistics confirmed that John Chimilio is married twice. The 36-year-old was arrested and charged for bigamy.

2-Month-Old-Baby-Death; Family Distressed
A family in the Belize District is preparing to put to rest their almost 2-month old baby who passed away last Friday, December 5 whilst in the care of a children’s home. The baby was born to a 16-year-old girl, who is currently residing at the child care facility. It is a situation that has created much grief for the family as in the last months there were limitations when it came to visitations to the home. Love News spoke to the mother of the minor, who relayed to us what her daughter said, happened the last night she saw the baby alive. MOTHER OF MINOR “My daughter told me yesterday that before the baby died, Human Services carried her to court on Thursday and she said when she came home she was tired so I asked her why she was tired and she said they took her by the court where she would sign a document for them to keep the baby. I asked her if she signed the paper, she said No she never answered them about it.


COLA releases files on Police
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) today released a series of files detailing correspondence between the Police Association and the Police Department high command dating back to 2011. The files, it says, “detail an increasing frustration with the Police High Command’s inability and unwillingness to meet with the Police Association over its grievances concerning the constables, corporals and sergeants it represents. It is clear that the Department has not only not made itself available to discuss and remedy these concerns; it prefers to cover up its inefficiency by not allowing the Association to seek help from other quarters on the basis of going against regulations.” The Association complains of treatment of officers working on the vehicular checkpoint patrols on the George Price and Philip Goldson Highway, saying they have been left on their own without food, water, bathroom facilities and vehicles, and are stiffed on pay and working hours, as they are forced to work 12 hours at a time.

Last charges for immigration couple dropped
The Immigration Department has withdrawn prosecution of Guatemalan nationals, forty-six year old Marleny Castellanos and her common-law husband 42 year old Alfredo Marcos, allowing them to walk free from allegations that they had used the documents of dead Belizeans to provide immigrants with Belizean birth certificates and social security cards. As many as 20 persons on the island of Caye Caulker benefited from the alleged scheme, but the Department indicated that it was unable to provide the evidence to prove the allegations. Magistrate Dale Cayetano officially dismissed the 17 remaining charges against the couple, and they left the court with attorney Kevin Arthurs all smiles.

Court allows illegal entrant to leave Belize
Justice Shona Griffith ordered Honduran national Melvin Melara, who was held since November 17 by authorities despite paying his fine of $1,000 for illegal entry, to leave Belize as soon as he is able to provide the cost of his transportation to Honduras. Melvin Melara’s attorney, Kevin Arthurs, applied under writ of habeas corpus, charging that immigration authorities flouted the law, which states that no illegal immigrant who has been convicted of an immigration offence should be held in Belize after 7 days, as long as they can pay for their transportation back to their country of origin. Melvin Melara satisfied the court that he can pay his own way via flight, and authorities were made to escort him straight to the Philip Goldson international airport.

Accused gang members released
What seemed to be a slam-dunk conviction for the Police Department went by the wayside on Monday morning. Police have recently begun targeting alleged members of criminal gangs in Belize City, under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, on charges such as professing to belong to a criminal gang. Five such persons were charged in October: Edwin “Drive” Flowers, 34 year old Michael Coleman, 23 year old Emmerson Skyers, 24 year old Albert Clother and a 17 year old boy. The group is alleged to have told police officers under caution that they were members of the gang known as Peace in the Valley or PIV.

Roaring Creek Man arrested for Bigamy
27-year-old Merkitia Castillo Chimilio of Belmopan City visited the Belmopan Police Station on December 8, and reported that she has been married to her husband John Chimilio since August 15 of this year; just under four months ago. According to the young bride, earlier this week, she was looking for her marriage certificate when she came across another marriage certificate in the name of her husband and another woman, dated 20 March of 2010. Checks were made at the Vital Statistic Unit and it wass confirmed that John Chimilio is married twice. 36-year-old John Chimilio, a construction worker of Roaring Creek Villag,e was arrested and charged for the crime of Bigamy.

BEL Submits Request to PUC to Lower Electricity Rates
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) made a submission to the Public Utilities Commission on Monday, December 8, to lower its rates and pass on a 3.4% savings to its customers. According to a press release “..the Company requested an amendment to electricity rates to reflect the savings it has realized in the cost of power it purchases from Independent Power Producers (IPP). ….If approved by the PUC, the amendment is expected to result in a 3.4% reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) from 43.47 cents per KWh to 42 cents per kWh for the period January 2015 to June 2015.” The savings are primarily due to lower than expected cost of power from Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) during the current tariff period.

Mechanic charged with jewelry robbery
Jewelry valued at $450 was allegedly stolen from 58 year old Sandy Hinks, a security guard at AAA Security. On Tuesday, one of the alleged robbers, 25 year old Jose Ayala, an auto mechanic, pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbery before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Around 11:00 a.m. on December 8, Sandy Hinks was riding his bicycle on Iguana Street, Belize City, and at the intersection with Curassow Street a dark-skinned man rode up beside him, and then a second man of Hispanic descent appeared behind him. The man beside him pushed him off his bicycle, he told police, and then grabbed at his chains while he was on the ground. While he kicked at this first man to prevent him from taking the jewelry, the other man rode his bicycle on top of and over him, pinning him to the ground. Defenseless, the first man took a silver chain valued at $150 and a gold chain valued at $300 from his neck and both men escaped.

Murder in Valley of Peace
Two murders happened over the weekend in the vicinity of Belmopan. We start first with the shooting in the community of Valley of Peace, where a man was shot and killed on the night of Friday December 5th. According to reports, 54 year old Donatilo Canales and his wife were inside their house awake, when at around 11:00 pm they heard their dog barking. Donatilo Canales then got up, grabbed his lamp, and went outside to check his yard. We located Margarita Canales, wife of Donatilo, in Belmopan where she is staying with her family. Still rearing from the ordeal, she shared with us what happened.

Agreement keeps SMART service in South online
In November, Belize’s leading telecom providers Speednet Communications, parent company of SMART, and Belize Telemedia Limited went to court after BTL attempted to terminate its service to SMART in the South of Belize, following an agreement in July. BTL claims that SMART was to use the service for its private needs; instead, it illegally offered it to its customers. SMART meanwhile says that to cut the service would leave over 7,000 customers in the lurch, and that BTL was not keeping to the terms of the July agreement. On Monday the two parties came to an agreement, preventing an interim injunction, which was signed off on by Supreme Court Madam Justice Shona Griffith. The agreement states that the services will be continued, but not indefinitely.

Why PUP accepts Christmas Cheer
Late last week the United Democratic Party took the opportunity to crow about their rivals across the political aisle, who, they contend, have had to swallow their words and accept the “Christmas Cheer” program, despite their aired concerns over issues of accountability and transparency. On Sunday, while speaking with reporters, Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca stated that this program is better administered in terms of handling and so that is why the PUP is supporting it. “We run the risks of looking hypocritical, but we believe that of all the programs funed under the PetroCaribe program, this one in every respect perhaps the most transparent, the most accountable. We receive no monies. We submit an invoice and all the monies are then given directly through the Ministry of Human Development to the supplier of those goods. Those are the things we were concerned about. We were concerned about waste. we were concerned about corruption. We were concerned about the lack of accountability. And those we feel are minimized as it relates to the Christmas Cheer Program.”

Christmas cheer di come!
The Petrocaribe Loan Program has become a major part of the national consciousness in recent weeks, with the Government seeking to justify its spending and the Opposition slamming what it calls fiscal irresponsibility. But the Opposition representatives have had to dial back some of that rhetoric with the announcement that the PUP will accept the significantly smaller sums – through line Ministries – offered to them. The Prime Minister took the opportunity to do a little gloating. Reporter “Does this, in your opinion, weaken their case strategically or in any substantial way legally?” Prime Minister Dean Barrow “Well I think so. I am not quite sure what the applications are for before the court, but this thing in law that if you come to equity, you must come with clean hands. Mr. Espat, who seems to be the chief applicant, I don’t know how he will say to the court that he is coming with clean hands, if he ends up taking the money from PetroCaribe, so I suspect they will have their difficulties.


PetroCaribe pain visits Belize
Two weeks ago, there were chants of praise and celebration on Independence Hill over the $228 million in cut-rate financing which Belize has received from Venezuela since 2012 under the PetroCaribe accord, but today, prospects for the continuity of that program seem to be fading amid fears that economic turmoil in Venezuela could force that country to abort the concessionary deal, which is supposed to finance new helicopters for the Belize Defence Force as well as external exam fees for high school graduates and the payment of mortgages this month for thousands of homeowners in Belize. Under the terms of the PetroCaribe accord, Venezuela only needs to give Belize 30 days’ notice of its intent to change the program or cancel it altogether. Today, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow confirmed to journalists in Belize that Venezuela will soon cut its exports of premium fuel to Belize, and as a result, Government vehicles will use regular gasoline instead. That realization has changed the mantra of “PetroCaribe, roll it!” to “we will roll with the punches…”

Waste Control “crowfoots” City Hall pickups
A Belize City Council official today confirmed that following the granting of a writ of execution which was recently filed by attorneys of the Belize Waste Control (BWC), the sanitation company that had sued the Belize City Council (CitCo) for outstanding arrears earlier this year, a Court Marshall visited City Hall today to crowfoot two pickup trucks belonging to the Council and used for its staff, in an attempt to recover the balance of the court judgment, which was handed down about six weeks ago. On October 17, the Supreme Court entered a default judgment against CitCo that is a product of an age-old dispute that City Hall has had with BWC over the arrears into which CitCo has periodically fallen in its payment for garbage collection services rendered by BWC. Since Mayor Darrell Bradley and his council didn’t offer any defense at the hearing, the court ordered them to pay the company $525,000 in default.

Wife hangs self; husband tries, but fails
The village of Bella Vista in the Stann Creek District was the scene of great tragedy after the wife of Jenaro Caal, Maria Rosaria Caal, 19, hanged herself in their home following an argument with her husband, and Jenaro, after he saw that she had died, tried to hang himself. Jenaro, 22, is now recovering at the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga, while Maria Rosaria’s body lies at the morgue, awaiting a post-mortem to certify the cause of her death. The tragedy occurred at about 9:00 Friday night at the Caal family’s home in Bella Vista. Reports to Amandala are that the couple was at home Friday night when Caal received a text on his cellphone, reportedly from a woman, which his wife read. She became angry, and there was an altercation between them, because she felt that he did not love her anymore.

Murder in Valley of Peace
Donatilo Canales, 56, a farmer of the Valley of Peace Village, died after he was shot multiple times in his head and body by an unknown gunman in his yard at about 1:00 Saturday morning. Reports to Amandala are that Canales was sleeping in his house along with his wife and family when the dogs began barking. He got out of his bed and went outside to see what was happening, and shortly after, his wife heard about four gunshots, after which there was silence. Police responded to the shooting and rushed him to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, where he was declared dead on arrival.

BTL and Smart agree on service in the south
In mid-November, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Speednet Communications, the parent company of Smart, went to court after Smart filed for an interim injunction at the Supreme Court in an effort to prevent BTL from discontinuing its data service to approximately 7,000 Smart customers in the Toledo District. The case was adjourned to today, Monday, December 8, but when the attorneys for the parties met in the Supreme Court of Justice Shona Griffith, it was to formally ask the court to put aside the application for the interim injunction because the two telecommunication companies had reached an agreement on the matter of BTL continuing to provide the service to Smart’s southernmost customers. This latest round of legal wrangling between Belize’s two telecommunications providers stems from Smart’s reliance on BTL’s infrastructure to provide voice and data services to its Toledo customers.

60,000 pounds of onions, mostly from Holland, imported weekly
Due to climatic conditions and the lack of proper storage facilities, Belizean producers supply the local market with onions for only part of the year, usually from January to about August. Currently, Belize imports 60,000 pounds of onions a week, mostly from Holland, said Silvero Marin, interim administrator of the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC). BMDC imports onions for retail sale. Producers who need onions for processing, such as making sauces, import separately. Most shoppers like the yellow-skinned onions, and they are purchased at an average size of 50 millimeters by 70 millimeters (roughly 2 to 3 inches) from Holland, where Marin said yellow onions of better quality are available at a good price.

Former gang member tells court he is a born-again Christian
A Belize City former gang member, who was arrested for displaying gang insignia tattoos in public, told Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning that he has given up the gang-life for more than ten years and that he reads his Bible and prays every day. Ian Westby, 33, attempted to “plead guilty with an explanation” after the Senior Magistrate read to him the single charge of “displaying gang insignia” on Thursday, December 4, on Casuarina Street. Westby, who is unemployed and is a resident of Casuarina Street, told the court that he has given up being in gangs since 2003, when he became a church member. “From the time they killed my home boy, I gave up the gang life.” Westby told the court.

Shock and awe at Norman Broaster
What a difference a weekend makes! With 6 teams fighting for 4 playoff spots, Saturday night saw Police United FC become the first team to definitely secure a playoff spot with their 3-0 default win over no-show FC Belize at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk. Meanwhile, defending champions Belmopan Bandits had strengthened their position with an 8-1 thrashing of short-staffed Paradise/Freedom Fighters at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Shaking the net for the Bandits were Elroy “Bibs” Kuylen (12’ & 20’), Jordy Polanco (34’), Jerome “Jarro” James (45+’), Highking Roberts (52’ & 54’) and John King (83’). The Bandits also benefited from an early own goal by Freedom Fighters defender Adrian Gonzalez (4’ O.G.). The only goal for the visitors was by veteran Wilmer Garcia (47’), whose direct kick from 25 yards out curved over the wall and found the right pigeon hole past a diving Woodrow West in goal for the Bandits. Wilmer’s laser left foot almost found the mark again from another free kick, but this one passed a couple inches over the crossbar in the left corner.

National Men’s Volleyball Team at Central American Championship in Honduras
Belize’s Men’s Volleyball National Team is in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to compete at the 18th Central American Championship. All seven Central American countries are attending, with the host, Honduras, being the favourite. The technical level has risen in the region, and Belize will show it is also improving and there to win against the best teams. The team members are: Elton Anderson (captain), Shane Gentle, Francis Usher, Keith Castillo, Radin Santos, Raheem Flowers, Edgar Martinez, Karym Coleman, Ean Galvez, Alex Evans, Daril Avila, Bryton Codd, Wallace Tillett (Asst. Coach), Albert Humbes (Coach), Khalid Encalada (Int’l. Referee).

SCA girls, SJC boys are Central Zone champions
On Friday evening last, the girls of St. Catherine Academy (SCA) and the boys of St. John’s College (SJC) won the respective championships of the Central Zone high school basketball tournament, and with it the right to represent the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) in the upcoming National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) basketball championships this coming weekend in Belize City. SCA girls had defeated Gwen Liz girls, 34-22, on Wednesday, December 3, in game 1 of their Central Zone championship series. Tricia Jefferies led SCA with 11 pts, while Kayla Bowden had 15 pts in a losing effort for Gwen Liz. However, contrary to the report released by the CSSSA, the boys finals game 1 was not completed on that Wednesday night, as the game had to be stopped due to rain. Therefore, game 1 of the boys’ zone championship series between SJC and Sadie Vernon Tech was replayed in its entirety on Thursday evening, December 4, at Bird’s Isle, with SJC blowing out Sadie Vernon, 80-55. Sadie Vernon’s Glency Lopez led all scorers with 33 pts in the loss; while SJC’s Dudley Erskine had 22 pts.

Chiquibul and Tower Hill
At this newspaper, we are watching two different scenarios – one in the West and one in the North. We are watching how calm Chiquibul, Caracol, and Pilar appear to have become in the last few weeks after the violent turbulence of late September and October. That’s out West, in the Cayo. And, we are watching the epic struggle between American Sugar Refining (ASR) and the cane farmers of Belize’s Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. That is, of course, in the North. Let’s start with the North, where the critical 2014/2015 sugar cane crop was supposed to start on Monday, December 8, with the farmers commencing delivery of their cane to the Tower Hill factory for grinding and processing into sugar and molasses. Reports on Sunday, December 7, were that the crop would be delayed because ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) have not settled their differences. The most important of those differences involves the matter of bagasse, a by-product when the cane is ground which has become substantially more valuable in the last few years. Bagasse is now used to generate electricity, and ASR is saying that it is the company which made the investment in the equipment which generates electricity from bagasse. The cane farmers are saying that it is their sugar cane from which the bagasse is derived, and they are entitled, on principle, to a reasonable share of the bagasse money.

From the Publisher
Every now and then, I have a hard time producing a column. One of the reasons for this is that I am not a machine. A second reason is that there are times I have to swallow things I’d really want to say. I saw a story some days ago where a nursing mother with a two-month-old baby got remanded to prison because the police found a bullet in her home. The whole family was taken away to jail. I really thought we had found a way to take the fangs out of our stupid gun laws, but the vicious predator, made in the U.S.A., is still with us. In these modern, urbanized societies, we live in large groups of human beings. We have laws and regulations which guide and govern our individual conduct, and these laws and regulations exist so as to reduce the amount of friction among us; laws and regulations are supposed to facilitate us in our daily interactions with each other.

“Déjà vu” in sugar industry
Instead of overseeing the delivery of freshly harvested stalks of sugar cane to the Tower Hill milling factory in Orange Walk Town today, which was designated as the optimal date for the start of the 2014/2015 sugar crop season, the executives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) headed to Belize City for another round of talks with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and other government officials in hopes of bringing an end to a continual gridlock which has effectively stifled the sugar industry for the second consecutive year. After months of negotiations, which resulted in several proposals, counterproposals and exchanging of letters affirming such, the local cane farmers’ association and the sugar processors are back at square one and thus, the BSCFA, in its efforts to get the season started and avoid the degree of losses that were experienced last season, sat down once again today with PM Barrow, Deputy PM and Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega, and representatives of the relevant government entities, including the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB), at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel to finalize a solution to the crisis.

Cuba, CARICOM aim to widen trade amid calls on US to end Cuba embargo
At the 5th CARICOM-Cuba Summit which opened in Havana, Cuba, this morning, leaders of the region reaffirmed their commitment to trade collaboration with their sister Caribbean country, Cuba, amid renewed calls for the United States to end its 50-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. Cuban president, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, while acknowledging his country’s economic difficulties, asserted, “we will honor our pledge to cooperate and share our modest achievements with our sister nations in the Caribbean.” Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said that a practical machinery had to be established to expand trade and investment between CARICOM and Cuba. Central to such machinery is effective and affordable transportation for the movement of goods and people between our countries, he added.

Patrick JonesPJ

Multiple fatalities in Corozal
There are reports of a violent attack tonight in Corozal town which has left three people dead. Reports are that a man viciously chopped another during an attack which happened on College Road. According to reports received, a second man who came to the aid of the […]

Conch Shell Bay residents complain of abusive GSU raids
Residents of the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City have raised loud complaints over alleged abuse at the hands of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), which has recently been conducting raids in the area. The raids occurred on Saturday and today, Tuesday, and they have one thing […]

COLA releases police files
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) today released a series of files detailing correspondence between the Police Association and the Police Department high command dating back to 2011. The files, it says, “detail an increasing frustration with the Police High Command’s inability and unwillingness to meet with […]

Radio station launches fundraising effort in Toledo
The Toledo Christian Radio has embarked on its yearly fundraising effort to support its ongoing programs. According to President of Board of Directors Maria Tut, the radio station stays on the air through funds or offering collected from listeners around the Toledo district. Every year the station organizes […]

Man accused of sexually assaulting eight year old girl
Twenty year old Lionel Quiroz, a resident of Lord’s Bank who is the father of 2 children, was charged with sexual assault on a 9 year old girl when he appeared on Monday before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Quiroz pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to […]

Student allegedly swipes money from cable company
Twenty-one year old Carlos Echeverria, a student of the University of Belize, was charged with theft when he appeared today before magistrate Dale Cayetano. Echeverria pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on a bail of $1,000 and his case was adjourned until February 6, 2015. […]

Standard 6 student from Orange Walk wins national reading competition
Meet Roshelle Flores. She is a Standard 6 student at the La Inmaculada Roman Catholic Primary School in Orange Walk town. She was recently crowned as the best reader in all of Belize when she captured the national reading competition at the end of last month, which […]

Ladies graduate from MAMAS program
The latest group of women to benefit from home economics and craft training under the Mujeres Asuperando a Mujeres a Superarse (MAMAS) graduated over the weekend in Orange Walk town. Sixteen young ladies received certification after completing the training program in pastry making, cosmetology and barbering. The […]

Man charged for bigamy
A man from Roaring Creek village, Cayo has been arrested and charged for the crime of bigamy. 36 year old John Chimilio is accused of being married to two women at the same time. According to police a 27 year old woman reported on Monday that she found another marriage certificate indicating that the man she is currently married to, is still married to another woman, dating back to March, 2010. Police say that checks made at the Vital Statistics department confirmed that John Chimilio is married twice.


Monkeys or manatees? Sometimes a hard choice!...Louise makes her decision!
My name is Louise, I’m a 21 year old marine biology graduate from the UK. My love of manatees began when I first saw them on a family holiday to Florida. It was this love that drew me to Wildtracks. Despite being fond of all animals, I had no particular interest in monkeys, hence I was surprised when a few days after my arrival Paul asked how I felt about looking after three baby howler monkeys. Despite being very flattered at being considered for this huge responsibility, I doubted my suitability considering my lack of experience and knowledge of monkeys. My emotions were bitter sweet at this point when I considered how this position would limit my time with the manatees, and (I assumed) prevent my dream of bottle feeding a calf coming true. I was thus ecstatic when it was announced I was to take care of the baby monkeys alongside the two manatee calves Mitch and Lucky. Although my schedule was rather full on, all babies requiring five feeds a day, and the monkeys needing almost constant attention, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Laidback Belize: Live Well in the Caribbean for Less Than $2,000 a Month
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. Established expat communities make for a ready supply of new friends, and it’s English-speaking, even if it’s the second or even third language for many locals. (I spoke only English during my time there and had no issues.) Plus, it’s easy to get to from North America, thanks to daily flights. And it’s no problem to get around the roughly Massachusetts-sized country itself: The main highways are in good shape, regional airlines provide service all over, and frequent and on-time water taxis serve the island communities.

My Year in San Pedro, All of Belize and Reasons to Visit in 2015, Part 2
Just a few weeks ago- over Thanksgiving weekend – I was reminiscing about all the amazing things I’ve been able to do over the past year. From attending a Harley-Davidson Rally in Belize City to floating on a glowing lagoon in Hopkins. I stopped in June and since I am in NJ now…for another 6 days…weathering “Winter Storm Damon” (I’m sure this has been asked 1 billion times, but when did winter storms get names? And what about a bunch of rain makes this a named storm that must be talked about CONTINUOUSLY on TV? Sigh…#NJProblems)…I thought I’d continue. Here are the things, people, food, tours, animals…the stuff I am SO thankful for doing this year.

International Sourcesizz

Major Hotel Project Coming to Belize
A major new resort project is coming to Belize’s island of Caye Chapel. The country’s government announced Tuesday evening that a leading Mexican luxury hotel development group had purchased the 265-acre island. While the government did not reveal the name of the group, it said it consisted of the owners and operators of luxury tourism developments in Mexico City, Cancun and Acapulco. The group is now “working on a detailed development plan for the island for presentation to Government,” Belize’s BELTRAIDE agency said in a statement. The plan is expected to include a partnership with a “renowned global luxury hotel brand,” which will be announced in the near future. The government said it anticipates the project to begin development in early 2015. “The government of Belize is pleased to welcome this significant investment into Belize’s growing tourism sector,” it said.

All-Star Filmmaking Team to Steer ‘The 3D Distribution Project’
An Important Regional project that NICH has partnered on and is represented within the steering committee in the person of our Belize International Film Festival Director, Suzette Zayden. CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, (CTWD) this week announced the impressive international team of top film and cultural industry talent that will implement the “3D Distribution Project” an innovative project financed by the ACP Cultures+ Programme of the European Union. The aim of the 3D Project – which stands for Digital, Domestic, and Diaspora Distribution -- is to expand markets for indigenous film, and contribute to the Caribbean film industry’s global competitiveness. The team consists of long-time CTWD associates as well as outstanding professionals new to the CaribbeanTales family. Together they bring a wide range of skills, and combined years of experience to ensure the successful implementation of the project’s objectives.

Caribbean Court of Justice to hear Belize nationalization case
The Caribbean Court of Justice will take up on Wednesday the nationalization case pitting the government of Belize against British Caribbean Bank and businessman Dean Boyce. The court will spend three days listening to arguments in six consolidated appeals lodged against Belize by Dean Boyce & Trustees of the BTL Employees Trust, British Caribbean Bank Ltd and Fortis Energy International (Belize) Inc. In 2009, the government of Belize enacted a number of statutes citing a public purpose for the compulsory acquisition of utility companies BTL and BEL properties, belonging to Boyce and British Caribbean Bank Ltd. Boyce and BCB successfully challenged the constitutionality of the government's actions in the Court of Appeal.

The Worst Caribbean Ports of Call for Cruises
It’s dreary outside and you find yourself dreaming of an escape to the Caribbean. You long for turquoise water and sugar-sand beaches, with plenty of activities to take your mind off work. Cruises offer the perfect smorgasbord of beaches, shopping, scenery, and fun things that you can’t do at home, all served up with a fruity, umbrella-topped beverage. But not every port lives up to the image in your dreams. To help you choose your next cruise itinerary — or rather, figure out which places to avoid — Yahoo Travel did some digging around and found the Caribbean ports with the worst reputations. Another industrial city, with very little to do in the port itself, Belize City does have adventure waiting beyond the city itself. Ships do not actually dock here; they anchor off and use tenders to carry passengers to town, or sometimes directly to activities on nearby tiny islands. There are things to do in Belize City, but you have to plan ahead. One Cruise Critic reviewer said, “Don’t even think about walking around the town and looking for trinkets. We sought out a beach but couldn’t find one. We asked a cabby where one was and he replied that Belize City HAS NO BEACH!”

Daughter’s legacy continues with Abby’s House
A Columbus woman’s legacy continues to touch medical students from around the world nearly a decade after her death. Fourth-year medical students who spend a month at Hillside Health Care International in southern Belize stay in Abby’s House, a dorm that houses up to 16 students and is located next to the free clinic. The 6,000-square-foot dorm is named after Abigail Brinkman, a Columbus native who died in a 2005 diving accident while serving at the clinic.

Cuba and CARICOM Close Summit with Promise to Strengthen Integration
Cuba and the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) have concluded their fifth summit in Havana with a commitment to strengthen economic and commercial relations as well as cooperation in areas of health, education, climate change and intensifying their integration. “This day has been intense and fruitful because it has served to further strengthen our unity and reinforce our commitment to continue working together tirelessly, for the development and prosperity of the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Cuban President Raul Castro at the close of the summit Monday. Caribbean and Cuban leaders, in their final declaration, pledged to work towards developing their countries, especially in the economic and environmental fields, as well as improving productivity, infrastructure and air and sea transport connections.

Sweet Deal: How One Company Found a New Way to Support Cacao Farmers
Improving the productivity and livelihoods of the more than 2.5 billion farmers around the world should be one of the biggest impact investment opportunities around. Yet, small-scale agriculture businesses, with their seasonal revenues and volatile prices, have generally been seen as too risky and troublesome for equity impact investors. Maya Mountain Cacao launched in Belize in 2010 with an investment from Alex Whitmore, owner of Taza Chocolate in Boston, who was looking to source high-quality cacao from Belize’s Toledo district. At the time, most of the area’s top cacao farmers sold their harvests to a single dominant buyer: the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association, which supplied exclusively to Cadbury. Whitmore saw the potential for competition. Whitmore teamed up with Emily Stone, an energetic social and environmental activist. Stone saw the impact potential of creating another cacao buyer in a region with 70 percent poverty.

Condor und Tropic Air kooperieren
Der Ferienflieger Condor zählt ab sofort die belizische Fluggesellschaft Tropic Air zu seinen Partnern. Die Flüge von Tropic Air können als Erweiterung des Condor Flugnetzes über das bereits bestehende Ziel Cancún (CUN) gebucht werden, teilte Condor nun mit. Condor fliegt im aktuellen Winterflugplan 2014/15 immer dienstags, mittwochs, donnerstags, samstags und sonntags ab Frankfurt (FRA) und immer montags und freitags ab München (MUC) nach Cancún (CUN), Mexiko. Weiterflüge nach Belize (BZE) mit Tropic Air werden einmal wöchentlich, immer samstags, angeboten. Ein Rückflug von Belize kann flexibel gewählt werden, die Anbindung besteht täglich über Cancún nach Frankfurt oder München und weiter nach ganz Europa. Durch die Kooperation mit Tropic Air ist Belize künftig für Reisende ab Europa schneller und bequemer zu erreichen. Durch die neue Verbindung via Cancún kann der Komfort für Condor Gäste erheblich verbessert werden. So verkürzt sich beispielsweise die Reisezeit von Frankfurt nach Belize auf rund 16 Stunden.


Video: Belize City dump transformed, 1.5min. It's #transformationtuesday and just take a look at how the Belize City dump has been transformed into an eco-friendly transfer station in just a few years. The late Keith Swift produced an award-winning news item on the squalor and filth that some residents had to endure which is no longer the case.

Video: Project PAC Belize 2014: Day 1, 3.5min. Members of the Wagner College Physician Assistant Class of 2016 went on a medical trip to Belize to aid locals with medical problems facing them. Along the way we also visited Mayan Ruins, the jungle, and a private island. A video has been created for each day and over the next 5 days you will be able to see the trip unfold. Enjoy and please share with family and friends!

Video: Project PAC Belize 2014: Day 2, 3.5min. Our first touring day was filled with the Mayan Ruins of Lamanai!

Video: Leaf Cutter Ants in Belize, 1min.

Video: BELIZE // 2014, 6.5min.

Video: Belize snorkeling, 6min. Ambergris Caye Hol Chan Marine Reserve Shark Ray Alley.

Video: Alexi's Restaurant in Dangriga, Belize, 3min. Cyril Uruwei, Publisher at Belize In America, interviews Chester and Noelia Ritchie at Alexi's Restaurant in Dangriga, Belize.

Video: MISS AMERICA BELIZE IN DANGRIGA 10 / 12/ 2014, 9min.

Video: Silk Caye Belize Tangs, 1min. Shot at Silk/Queen Caye, Belize in August 2014

Video: Selfie videos from day 3 of diving Belize., 9min.

December 9, 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

Where do you Read? Bob reads in Cuenca Ecuador
On his most recent trip to Cuenca, Ecuador, Bob was sure to keep The San Pedro Sun Newspaper in mind! While attending the Confederación Americana de Triatlón (CAMTRI) Triathlon training camp, Gabourel snapped pics of The Sun in destinations all around Cuenca. Such places included the Velladome Stadium where he took pictures with fellow cyclists, Basilica de la Santisima Trinidad, Cuenca Community Park, and the Nueva Catedral. We are excited to hear all about Bob’s experiences and training.

Captain Morgan’s: You don’t have to stay there…to PLAY there!
For those who want the full beach-side resort experience, without having to stay there, Captain Morgan’s is happy to allow you pool and beach access while enjoying their water toys (kayaks, paddle boards etc.) as long as you are a bar and/or restaurant patron. That sounds easy enough! Let’s play! Located just 3.5 miles north of San Pedro Town, Captain Morgan’s is an easy golf cart drive (especially now that the road north of the Boca del Rio Bridge is being paved) or a short water taxi ride. If you have a party of six or more you can even arrange for a Captain Morgan’s boat to come and pick you up! How’s that for accommodating?

Miss San Pedro Michelle Nuñez establishes SHINE Girls Club
Since winning the Miss San Pedro Pageant on August 30, 2014, Michelle Nuñez has taken the role of representing the island with pride, and aiding in the growth and development of her home town. With aims of making La Isla Bonita a better place, Nuñez has created SHINE Girls Club, a youth enrichment program for young girls. SHINE stands for Shaping Healthy Identities through Nurturing and Empowerment and will officially launch the club on January 24, 2015. According to Michelle, her sister Savanna inspired her to create a group that assists young girls on the island. “It all started with a conversation with my sister, Savanna. She motivates me in every single way. I knew as her sibling, I wanted her to become a better person; to give her that extra push and let her know that she too is a princess and beautiful. One day, she saw me getting ready for the Miss San Pedro event, and she also wanted to shine! She would watch me put on my makeup and I just thought about this crazy idea to help motivate a group of girls who really need guidance, self-esteem and those that need help making healthy decisions. My sister said ‘do it’, and she got me all excited! I told her this will be a great opportunity to make friends and also help me make a difference by setting an example.” said Nuñez.

Belizean Marine Scientist Dr. Isani Chan joins Oceana
Dr Isani Chan, Belizean Marine Scientist has relocated from Taiwan to join the staff of Oceana in Belize. The well established and qualified scientist will complement the efforts of the organization in ocean conservation in Belize. Originally from Punta Gorda in southern Belize, Dr Chan is no stranger to Ambergris Caye, as he served as Bacalar Chico Marine Biologist before leaving to pursue higher education. According to Oceana in Belize, Dr. Chan’s experience will bolster the organization in an effort to protect the country’s precious marine resources, which have been facing many challenges. “It is my honor to return to Belize after eight years of being overseas to continue my personal commitment to protecting the world’s oceans,” says Dr. Chan. He added that, “Being a part of a dynamic team that is dedicated to both protecting and restoring the world’s oceans has always been one of my utmost goals. Our marine environment continues to be negatively impacted by an increase in anthropogenic activities including overfishing and carbon dioxide emission. In my new role as Oceana in Belize’s marine scientist, I will work to enhance the policies governing Belize’s unique and economically important marine ecosystems.”

Environment around Ambergris Caye is contaminated
“We are hitting the tipping point and if we don’t all take action soon in the community, Isla Bonita is not going to last much longer.” Those were the words of Dr. Marisa Tellez, a Scientific Researcher conducting research on various parts of Belize, including Ambergris Caye. Her strong statements come while sharing initial findings on her research of parasite samples collected on the island back in September. Tellez has been contracted by United States Government through the National Science Foundation, to collect data and study American Salt Water Crocodilians in an effort to look at ways humans and environmental impact are affecting disease and the health of the animals in crocodilian habitat. The samples were collected by flushing crocodiles’ stomachs, as well as dissecting small crabs and fish, known to be the crocs’ basic diet. Tellez and her team collected parasites, which are a good indicator of the health of an animal and the environment. They also studied the spleen of the dissected animals to look at the animal’s health. According to Tellez, fish and crabs from around the populated parts of San Pedro Town actually showed signs of illness. “With the fish, their spleens were white and covered with cysts … their spleens need to be very pink or red and very plump. A spleen can tell you right away the health of an animal. Upon our initial observation, we could have said right away there is something going on in the environment.”

Ambergris Today

Foreva Fancy Christmas Fashion Show
Saturday December 6, 2014 was a night of fashion as many gathered at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium for Foreva Fancy’s “once upon a time forever frozen” fashion show. Models strut down the runway showcasing the latest trends for this holiday season. Highlight of the night was the Victoria Secret Angels inspired intro to the show which spread the Christmas joy.

Technology in Every Corner of the World
As her young sister helps her mother fold clothing to sell at their stall on the beach, this girl hides underneath the table and keeps busy with her electronic device. Technology has a way of making it to every corner of the world, rich or poor, young and old and sometimes to even the most indigenous of cultures. It's definitely a sign of the times.

San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Shines Bright
Santa Claus riding a GIANT Shark floating across the moonlit sea caught the eyes of everyone who went out to watch the eight annual San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade that took place on Saturday, December 6, 2014. That, plus a handful of boat entries, lit up the dark horizon and delighted spectators of all ages on a magical evening. After a hiatus last year, the Lighted Boat Parade was organized once again this year, and solidified its ranking as a top tourist (and local) event in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The event attracted hundreds to gather at various viewing hot spots, with local restaurants and bars offering special menus and cocktails to their customers.

Belize Tourism Industry Association Elects New President & Sets Goals for 2015
The Belize Tourism Industry Association held its 29th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on December 5, 2014, at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina. The event was well attended by BTIA members, dignitaries, industry partners and invited guests. The AGM provided the audience with the Association's annual report on activities, issues undertaken in 2014 and the elections of new board members. Mr. Herbert Haylock completed a successful two year term, which culminated at the AGM and now assumes the post of the Immediate Past President of the Association.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz


Official Police Reports affirm on December 5 at about 9:00 p.m, Maria Rosaria Caal of Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek reportedly hung herself after a misunderstanding with her husband 22-year-old Jenaro Caal also of Bella Vista. Police were also alerted this morning that Jenaro attempted to take his own life. He was transported to the Southern Regional where he is listed in a stable condition. At about 9:25 p.m. also this morning, Lydia Pop a 13-year-old student of Red Bank hung herself after a misunderstanding with her mother.

On Saturday at about 11:30p.m., police visited the San Ignacio Hospital where they saw a Hispanic male person suffering from a stab wound to the left side of his chest. He was identified as 50-year-old Joseph August Sr of Esperanza Village, who was in a semi-conscious state. Investigations revealed that Joseph August and his family, including his 20-year-old son Joshua August of Esperanza Village, Cayo were socializing and consuming alcohol when they both got into an argument. The son reportedly left but returned a short while later with a knife and reportedly inflicted a stab wound to his father's chest. Joseph was transported to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was later transported to the Western Regional Hospital in a stable condition. His son Joshua was detained pending investigations.

Are you interested in studying in the US, but not sure how to pay for it?
On December 9 at 8:00 am join Dorothy Mora from the Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau at State Department and Evelyn Levinson, International Admissions Director at American University as they discuss how students can finance their studies. What kind of costs should you expect? What are the different kinds of loans, scholarships, and fellowships available for international students? What are some creative ways students can fund their studies and save money? The US Embassy will cover these topics and more, while answering your live questions! So come prepared with questions and learn how to finance your studies in the United States!

JOB VACANCY for Field Foreman – SIRDI
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the European Union (EU) has entered into an agreement to implement a three year project for the provision of Institutional Support to Strengthen the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI). The project seeks to promote and support sustainable livelihoods, particularly in the rural communities of the "sugar belt", thus contributing to the reduction of poverty in Belize. IICA will require the services of an individual with a background in field supervision of sugarcane management practices to serve as a Field Foreman at SIRDI. The Field Foreman will be based at the SIRDI facility in Buena Vista, Corozal and will report to the Coordinator of Research.

29-year-old Martha Lopez of Duck Run 3 Village, visited the station on the 07.12.14 and reported that on the 06.12.14 at about 6:00p.m. her daughter 13-year-old Hilda Lopez, Belizean student of Billy White Village, left her house without her permission and up the time of making this report she has not yet been seen nor heard from. She was last seen wearing a blue skirt and a black blouse. She is 5 feet in height, weighs 100 pounds, has black long hair with curls, of Hispanic descent, fair complexion, oval face, has a scar below her left knee, she was wearing a blue slippers and is believed to be in the company of a male person. If seen kindly inform the nearest police station.

Basketball News - Results for the 2014 Corozal Basketball League
Kings 58 - H & A 63 Jah Soliders 74 - Libertad 56 Belize Bulldogs 72 - Predators 69 Here are some pictures of your home team Predators who battled Belize Bulldogs with 7 players unfortunately lost by 3 points.

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Returned to the Country Today
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow returned to the country today December 7th, 2014 to address pressing ongoing issues in the sugar cane industry.

Condor & Tropic Air Announce New Partnership
The leisure airline Condor now includes the Belize airline Tropic Air as one of its partners with immediate effect. Flights from Tropic Air can be booked via the existing destination Cancun (CUN) as an enhancement to the network of flights offered by Condor. As set out in its current 2014/15 winter flights schedule, Condor regularly flies to Cancun (CUN), Mexico from Frankfurt (FRA) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and from Munich (MUC) on Mondays and Fridays. Onward flights to Belize (BZE) with Tropic Air are available on a weekly basis on Saturdays. A return flight from Belize can be selected on a flexible basis as the connection via Cancun to Frankfurt or Munich and on to destinations throughout Europe is available daily.

Encouraging Creativity: Colour Me Belize- Book Launch
BELTRAIDE, in partnership with the Centre for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises (CENPROYMPE) and the Embassy of Taiwan (China), has completed the project, “Integral Development of Entrepreneurship for Central America and Dominican Republic” in Belize. Round II of EMPRENDE Belize was held from April – August, 2014 and saw the training of over thirty entrepreneurs. Culture Connection was a successful recipient of seed capital under this project. Culture Connection prides itself in being the first authentic Belizean, educational coloring book created to impart knowledge of our rich ancestral heritage to the new generation. After much research, hard work, and finally receiving the endorsement from key stakeholders Colour Me Belize was created and printed. Colour Me Belize has received endorsement from Ministry of Education, Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History. Additionally, the foreword has been written by Mrs.Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, Spouse of the Prime Minister of Belize.

Municipal Elections 2015
The General Public is informed that Municipal Elections will be held on Wednesday, 4th March 2015.

Cayo North By-election
A By-election for the Cayo North Electoral Division will take place on Monday, 5th January 2015. Polls will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m. Nominations for persons wishing to contest the election will be received on Monday, 15th December, 2014 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Administration Building in San Ignacio Town.

National Oil Spill Training
Belize's marine environment and the Belize Barrier Reef is one of the country's most precious natural heritage, which many families rely on as a source of income. The Department of the Environment (DOE) believes that with the risk of oil spills imposed from the importation and exportation of petroleum products, it is of utmost importance for Belize to have First Responders and On-Scene Commanders who are properly trained to respond to national oil spill incidents. As a result, a National IMO Level II Oil Spill Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC) Training is being held from 9th December 2014 to 11th December 2014 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City, and is geared towards building capacity of First Responders and OnScene Commanders in the event of an oil spill.

Channel 7

Deadlines For Start Of Season Passes: No Crop Still
December eighth - that's the date that had been set for the starts of the 2014 - 2015 sugar crop season. But that day came and went and nothing happened: the industry remains at a standstill and with 1.4 million tonnes of sugarcane in the field - the losses now begin to mount. It's a dire situation, and the Prime Minister cancelled a trip to a Caricom-Cuba summit to return home yesterday for crisis meetings today. The first was held with the executive and branch chairmen of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. That took place at 10:00 am at the Biltmore - and by 11:30 - it was over. We spoke to both sides:.. Ezequiel Cansino - Chair, Com of Mgmt, BSCFA "The issue was on the bagasse that they didn't agree on the proposal. So we present to the Prime Minister the proposal that we had presented to them."

Petrocaribe Pulls Back
As Minister of Finance, The PM is also closely monitoring the Petrocaribe situation. International financial news reports say that Venezuela is being forced to securitize the 3.5 billion dollar a year Petrocaribe debt. This basically means that they would sell the debt to Wall Street investment banks - and those countries that owe Venezuela would then have their debt transferred to various international investment banks like Goldman Sachs. It is a dramatic realignment of the pro-poor programme, but Venezuela is being forced into it because plummeting world oil prices have cut sharply into Venezuela's domestic earnings. So, it basically has to sell the debt - at deep discounts - to raise money. Initial reports are that the debts to be securitized are the ones owing by Jamaica and the Dominican Republic - which are in the billions of dollars, compared to Belize's far smaller debt which so far is at a few hundred million dollars.

PM Still Pulling For Mayor Bradley
And while Petrocaribe is cutting back on fuel, is the mayor cutting back on his time at City Hall - and cutting off his commitment to run a second term for the UDP? Last week he told us that he was not resigning - but didn't quite say that he would run for mayor. Reliable reports tell us that indeed he has cleared out and locked up his office at city hall, packed it all into a box and said a sort of sayonara. If true, it's outrageous behavior for an elected and salaried official - but today the Prime Minister said that he didn't know about it - and expects that nothing has changed on planet Darrell:.. Jules Vasquez "Sir, are you able to say anything about the vicissitudes your mayor Mr. Bradley? We don't know if he is coming or going. He told us he is staying around, but then I heard he has since left the building with boxes and that he may not run for mayor." Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I haven't heard that and I would think that he is going to run." Jules Vasquez "He will run for the UDP as the mayoral candidate?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I am pretty sure, yes."

Strange And Sudden Death In The Valley Of Peace: Is It Murder?
Tonight, the village of Valley of Peace in the Cayo District continues to monitor closely how the police are handling the case of 54 year-old Donatilo Canales who was shot to death early Saturday morning. Canales, who was shot by police last year, was found dead in his back yard with multiple gunshot injuries. The Police Press Office is calling it a shooting incident, but his family believes that he was murdered. It's a complex situation because a gun and 4 expended shells were found on the scene, so police aren't labelling it directly as a homicide. That leaves it open to the interpretation that the injuries could have been self-inflicted. On the other hand, the family suspects a police officer of being involved in Canales' death.

Tourists Injured In Accident On Northern
There was a non-fatal traffic accident over the weekend between mile 6 and 7 on the Northern Highway. On Saturday evening at around 5:30 a Jeep Cherokee was traveling from Ladyville to Belize City when it collided with a Ford Escalade. Apparently, as a result of the rain, the driver of the Jeep transporting two tourists lost control of the vehicle and hit the Ford Escalade. There were no fatalities just minor injuries. One of the tourists complained of pain to the neck while the other complained of pain to the chest.

Man Killed When Van Flips
There was another road traffic accident but this one was fatal. It claimed the life of 25 year old Belizean Bus Driver Jexcel Redondo. On Sunday evening at about 3:00, Redondo was driving a van from Bella Vista to Punta Gorda when it overturned near miles 48 and 49 on the Southern Highway. As a result Redondo died while his passenger 20-year-old Lester Enriquez Urthia suffered head and body injuries and was transported to the Southern Regional hospital.

PUP Accepting Christmas Cheer - Political Hypocrisy?
Christmas cheer - it's straight up political handouts - just in time for Christmas - a policy manifestation at the state level of the political patronage system invented by George Price - and still alive and well in Dean Barrow. Here's how it works, courtesy of Petrocaribe funds, each UDP Representative gets one hundred and ten thousand dollars, and each PUP gets thirty five thousand dollars, courtesy of Petrocaribe to spend on their constituents. UDP standard bearers also get an allotment. Now, no one gets cash money; they get an allotment from the government treasury, which they then distribute amongst their constituents as they see fit. It's ticklish for the PUP this year because they're in court challenging the spending of Petrocaribe money; in fact they asked the court to stop the government for spending the petr-bucks. And now, they're feeding from that same public trough.

No Cash For Christmas Cheer
And while the Leader of the Opposition did his best to gloss over a programme that, bottom line, uses taxpayer dollars to sponsor political patronage - the Prime Minister couldn't contain himself when we asked him about the PUP's political acrobatics:.. Jules Vasquez "Sir and then the PUP has accepted Christmas Cheer. The Leader of the Opposition accepted that in deed it may indicate hypocrisy on their part, but he was willing to take that because he says he is convinced that the program has a sufficient level of transparency." Prime Minister Dean Barrow "Well, Amen." Jules Vasquez "But at the same time does this in your opinion weaken your case strategically or in any substantial way legally?"

PUP's Political Newcomer In Albert Is Familiar Face
In the Albert division that means Area Rep Herman Longsworth will be distributing it. He took over in 2012 when Mark Espat decided not to run for the PUP again. It was the first time in 14 years that the UDP had control of a seat that it had dominated for the better part of three decades under Phillip Goldson in the 70's, 80's and 90's. And now the PUP are hoping that they can re-take the seat - with a new candidate who the party endorsed yesterday. As we found out this newcomer is not so new to the division - and the PUP is banking on this familiarity - even if it means invoking the name of a former friend turned enemy:.. Jules Vasquez reporting An all-star cast of city based and national PUP personalities were on the stage for the Thompson convention. And while the political brass was there, at about 200, the crowd wasn't what you'd call buff. And while the up and coming PUP's took the front seats, Albert voters shadowed the edges.

No Clues On ID of Maskall Bones
A month ago we reported on the human remains that were found outside of Maskall Village. A post mortem was done on the site but it was inconclusive. Today the police are no closer to finding whose remains they are. Inspector Frederick Gordon, Rural Executive Officer, Police Department "We have no further update at this time. At this time we know that the bones are at the lab and the doctor is doing his checkup. As soon as he is finish I guess he will pass on the report to us, then we fo further from there."

Getting Serious About Agriculture In Jalacte
Jalacte is at the southwestern tip of Belize bordering Guatemala - and it is a robust trading post for informal, unregulated trade with their neighboring village Santa Cruz, Guatemala. But as we reported in 2011 the condition of the Southern Highway from the Dump at the PG junction to Jalacte presented a challenge for traders. Now, with the 47 million dollar road project almost completed, residents and traders will be able to access the road freely. Apart from the road project, efforts are also being made to enhance the agricultural sector in southern communities like Jalacte and San Vicente. The initial stages of an agricultural outreach program started in these areas with the erection of outposts where- when the road project is completed- will implement regular agricultural health and safety checks. Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega told us more about the impact this initiative will have on these communities.

Mystery Man Murdered in San Ignacio Savagery
A man was found desperately holding on to life in his home in San Ignacio over the weekend. Initial investigations revealed that on Saturday night between 9:30. and 11:30, a Salvadoran man identified only as Alexander was socializing with friends on Awe Street. After the gathering, he left and was not seen until 4 on Sunday morning at his home. 22-year-old Dennis Guzman who lives with Alexander on Coyoc Street found him lying face up and bleeding profusely from a large cut wound to the right side of his head. He also had abrasions to the left foot and a bruised right eye. Alexander was taken to the San Ignacio Community Hospital for treatment but died at about 8:00 Sunday morning while being transported to the K.H.M.H.

"Drive" Walks
25 year-old Edwin "Drive" Flowers, 34 year-old Michael Coleman, 23 year-old Emmerson Skyers, 24 year-old Albert Clother, and a 17 year-old minor, all believed to members of the PIV Gang, were among the first men to be arrested and remanded for the gang crackdown after those multiple gang-related shootings which left 4 men dead and 4 injured in September. Well, tonight all 5 men are at home after being freed of the charge today. All 4 were picked up by police 2 months ago at Clother's home on Jasmine Street in Belize City. The officers searched for illegal substances, but found nothing. The officers claim that while under caution, all 5 men confessed to being members of the PIV gang.

A Woman For Home Invasion
Often in our newscast, we tell you about men who have either been accused or convicted of home invasions. But tonight, we report the rare occurrence of a woman, 21 year-old Kenisha Humes, who is being accused of the crime. According to police, at around 8 on last week Wednesday, she broke into Corrine Copius's house on Partridge Street while armed with a Machete. Police believe that she was there to try to hurt Coleen Lewis, but she retreated when Lewis reportedly threw acid at her. Humes was unharmed, but police quickly arrested and charged her with aggravated burglary. She was arraigned today before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, and on the strength of the objections from the police prosecutor, she was remanded until February 12.

Son Stabs Father, Dad Says No To Charges
An argument between father and son turned into a stabbing in Esperanza. 20 year old Joshua August stabbed his father to the chest on Saturday night. He, his father 50 year old Joseph August Sr. and other family members were hanging out when Joseph and Joshua got into an argument. The son reportedly left but returned a short while later with a knife and stabbed his father in the chest. Joseph August Sr. was transported to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was later transported to the Western Regional Hospital in a stable condition. His son Joshua was detained pending investigations. Joseph August has given a statement to police saying that he doesn't court action against his son, Joshua, and so police will not continue with the case.

The Importance OF Being Diligent
A young man who calls himself the voice of the youth is here in Belize again. This morning 12 year old motivational speaker Anthony Gill spoke to students from the Hummingbird Elementary School. His message centered on the importance of education and believing in oneself to achieve greatness. And yes, he is only 12 years old but he has traveled all over America to inspire others his age. Courtney Weatherburne has the story. Courtney Weatherburne reporting At first glance, this student gathering might seem like a talent competition or even a class presentation. But it was more than a presentation. 12 year old motivational speaker Anthony Gill was delivering his empowering message. Anthony Gill, Motivational Speaker "I wanted to leave with them that first of all education is the most important thing when it comes to them and they have to hold on to their morals and values of what is right and what is wrong. I was trying to get out to the adults also to start believing is us as children so that we can one day be the positive force in charge."

Colouring With A Cause
'Color me Belize' is the name of the coloring book that was launched today under Beltraide's EMPRENDE seed capital program. According to entrepreneur Sapna Budhrani, her coloring book is unique in that it is educational and entertaining for children but also therapeutic for adults. Color me Belize is available at Angelus Press.

Caught On Camera
21 year-old Carlos Echeverria, a university student from Pickstock Street, is out on bail for theft because he was allegedly caught on camera while stealing from a business place. It happened on last week Wednesday, when he showed up at the Central Cable Vision office. A sales rep reported that he and another young man asked to an internet account. She told him it would cost $192 dollars. He paid with two hundred dollar notes, and she elft her work station to get him change. At the end of the day, she was balancing her books, and realized that she was $192 dollars short. Surveillance footage was reviewed, and according to police the camera caught the moment when Echeverria shoved his hand into the cash pan and stole the money.

PUP Hoping Mayor Bradley "Bavs"
As you saw earlier in the newscast - UDP Party Leader Dean Barrow is still saying publicly that he expects Mayor Darrell Bradley to seek re-election as the head of a UDP City Council slate. The mayor has avoided pronouncing on it but sources within the council tell us that he won't do it. It's a subject of intense interest for the opposition. With Bradley's unmatched track record, the party would have to be considered a decided underdog in the upcoming Belize City Council elections. Their mayoral candidate Yolanda Schakron continues to avoid us - and their councilor candidates have still not been introduced to the media. Politically, it's a series of weak moves, but right now the PUP's attention is focused on Darrell Bradley - the opposition leader told us why:..

Muscle On The Move
3 Belizean bodybuilders went to San Salvador, El Salvador this weekend to compete in the 2014 Central American bodybuilding Championships. Its a competition where all the top body builders from Central America take each other on, and at this event Belize returned with 5 medals. Newcomer, Oyinkro Akpobodor, who prefers to be referred to as "The African" won first place in the U-23 category. He also competed in the highest weight category of the competition, known as the 80-85 KG Class, and he also placed second.This is only his second entrance into the competition as a bodybuilder, and his achievements have the veterans referring to him as the future of bodybuilding in Belize. The better known Mr. Belize, Rigo Vellos, competed in the second highest weight-class of the competition, known as the 80-85 KG category, and he placed 2nd.

Channel 5

Fate of Sugar Crop Season Hangs In the Balance
On Friday, A.S.R./B.S.I. rejected the B.S.C.F.A.’s proposals on the three points which sit on the negotiating table like ten thousand pound gorillas. One is the timeframe of the agreement which [...]

No More Premium Fuel from Venezuela
The Petrocaribe program was started in 2005 under President Hugo Chavez, and since then has provided countries in the region with invaluable social assistance. But that donor nation is now [...]

P.M. on Christmas Cheer
So when that good thing comes to an end, G.O.B. will deal with it. But for now, the coffers are chock full of the green stuff…overflowing even. And some of [...]

P.U.P. Says It Will Participate in Christmas Cheer Program
The People’s United Party will participate in Government’s Christmas Cheer program, funded with Petrocaribe monies. That announcement by the Party’s Secretariat has been met with raised eyebrows in some quarters, [...]

Midnight Murder in Valley of Peace: Donatilo Canales Fatally Shot
A well known resident was murdered in the Valley of Peace area, Cayo, just after midnight on Saturday. The wife of Donatilo Canales and a neighbor found him dead in [...]

Caretaker Shot and Killed on Farm Near St. Margaret’s Village
Forty-three-year-old Jose Miguel Abrego, a caretaker on a citrus farm near St. Margaret’s Village was shot and killed sometime after eleven o’clock on Sunday night.  According to his wife, Abrego [...]

Rodwell Williams Says Smart is On It’s Own after December Twenty-Eight
The case of Speednet Communications Limited and Belize Telemedia Limited returned to the courtroom of Justice Shona Griffith this morning. Speednet, parent company of SMART, had sought an interim injunction [...]

Passengers Escape Near Fatal Collision on Phillip Goldson Highway
Four persons, including two tourists are lucky to be alive following an accident on Saturday evening between miles six and seven on the Phillip Goldson Highway. A Jeep Cherokee taxi [...]

Richard Harrison Launches Campaign for Cayo North Bye-election
Less than a month from today, two untried and untested politicians will go up against each other in Cayo North. The seat up for grabs is Cayo North, which was [...]

P.M. Barrow Says G.O.B. is Clear on Employment of B.M.L. Workers
What’s going on with Mayor Darrell Bradley? There’ve been reports that he’s been threatening resignation and all sorts of calamitous political stuff. Then there’ve been reports of him packing up [...]

Tyrell Hyde Agrees to Settle Out of Court with Cops Who Robbed Him
Last September, twenty-two year old Tyrell Hyde was robbed by cops; it was all caught on tape by surveillance camera at a bank’s ATM machine. Hyde took his case to [...]

Lionel Quiroz Charged After Minor Alleges Sexual Assault
A nine year old child has made a report of sexual assault allegedly committed by a man she knows well.  The incident occurred in the Lord’s Bank area, Ladyville, when [...]

Belize Bank Hosts Sixth Annual Xmas Party for Stella Maris School
Over at the Radisson today, a group of special kids were treated to Christmas goodies courtesy of the Belize Bank. It’s the sixth party the bank has been hosting for [...]

Belize Wins Big in Regional Bodybuilding Competition
Belizean bodybuilders made their mark in the Central American Championships held in El Salvador over the weekend.  Mister Belize, Rigo Vellos, Veteran Bodybuilder, Clayton Greenidge and promising Novice Bodybuilder, Oyinkro [...]

Gimme Five’s 2014 Grand Prize Winner
Throughout last week, Channel Five celebrated its twenty-second anniversary with the annual Gimme Five Giveaway Show. Thousands of Belizeans from across the country participated and many walked away with fabulous [...]

Highlight of Weekend Sporting Activities with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday   The struggle for the lead in the PBL football season intensified in week 8 as 5 ball clubs went [...]


New Call Center Built In Belize City
A newly built call center was officially declared open today in Belize City. Renee Trujillo has the story. RENEE TRUJILLO “We have Sai Info Tech set just now. Sai Info tech is mainly a training and consulting business in which we do the corporate trainings and we do consultancies and as we see the call centers are emerging now a days in Belize and the government of Belize is promoting the call centers and it can create more employment in the country and with our technical background they decided that we should go ahead with this business as it is prospering now in Belize and also with the proximity of having this country is close to the US so the minimum time difference and that is the advantage Belize has over the other countries and it’s an English speaking country. Looking at all the different advantages and of course to generate more employment in the country and so that is what we decided to go ahead with having a call center which is Sai Info.

Man Brutalized By Police Officers; Gordon Addresses Issue
In November, we told you about Lional Bregal, the man accused of stealing more than three hundred thousand dollars worth of jewelry from a family home in Ladyville. He was detained and taken to Ladyville Police Station; however, Brigal claimed that two officers attached to the Ladyville Police Formation brutalized him on Wednesday November 26. We asked the Officer Commanding Ladyville, Inspector Fredrick Gordon about it. FREDRICK GORDON “What happens is that I have assigned an investigator to deal with that matter . The matter is under investigation.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “An investigator from where?” FREDRICK GORDON “Right from this precinct we have somebody investigating the matter . I have assigned a senior NCO to deal with the investigation.”

Indian Merchants Donations To Love Fm Christmas Treats
The group of Indian merchants in northern Belize presented a check to the Love Foundation today towards Christmas treats for the children. Here is Renee Trujillo with the story. KENNY VANJANI “Belize Indian Merchant Association.” RENEE TRUJILLO “and they are donating how much?” KENNY VANJANI “$700 to the Love Foundation. We are all merchants and all business people.” RENEE TRUJILLO “So they contribute to this fund?” KENNY VANJANI “That is what we are going to contribute to the Love Foundation for whatever they do and whatever program with that amount of money.”

CISCO Commence Dismantling Of Toledo Sports Complex
Work began this morning on the dismantling of the old Toledo Sports Complex. We get the details from correspondent Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG “The commencement of the dismantling of the old Toledo sports complex was confirmed by CISCO construction company CFO and contract manager Arsenio Burgos.” ARSENIO BURGOS “We are dismantling and we are then going to be able to reuse what is available. The government has planned as to what it will do with the good components. This is one of the Prime Minister’s initiatives, as you’ve seen they have done one or two streets in Punta Gorda and they will continue to do so in small segments. This is a continuation of that program where preparing the grounds my understanding for a new sports complex/ civic center that will be done in Punta Gorda. I am not clear on the details on that, contract we have now is to dismantle so we use.”

UB Student Charged With Theft
Twenty-one year old Carlos Echeverria, a student of the University of Belize who resides at 34 Pickstock Street, was charged with theft when he appeared today before magistrate Dale Cayetano. Echeverria plead not guilty to the charge. He was released on a bail of $1,000 and his case was adjourned until February 6, 2015. The incident occurred on December 3. Thirty year old Claudia Gallego, a sales representative for Central Cable Vision, reported to the police that while she was at her office two Hispanic males went there and one of them requested to open an internet account.

Father Of Two Charged With Sexual Assault
Twenty year old Lionel Quiroz, a resident of Lord’s bank who is the father of 2 children, was charged with sexual assault on a 9 year old girl when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Quiroz plead not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offense has become prevalent and the complainant is a minor. In response, Quiroz said that he is the father and mother of his children whose ages are 4 and 6 years old. Magistrate Panton told him that he is offering bail because of his children. Panton offered Quiroz a bail of$1,500 on the condition that he don’t go within 100 yards of the complainant. Quiroz next court date is February 5, 2015.

Fisherman Charged With Drug Trafficking
Twenty-seven year old Kareem Gillett, a fisherman of 111 Vernon Street, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Gillett pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $5,000 and his case was adjourned until February 18. The incident occurred around7 p.m. on December 6. The police reported that they were on mobile patrol on Vernon street when they saw Gillett walking and when they approached him he threw a black plastic bag in the drain. The police said that when they retrieved the bag and searched it they found that it contained 100.7 grams of cannabis.

Cisco Construction Employee Charged With Aggravated Burglary
Twenty-one year old Kenisha Humes, an employee of Cisco Construction who resides at 4542 Vernon Street, was charged with aggravated burglary when she appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Humes plead not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offense is of a serious nature. But Humes’ attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, submitted that she is the mother of a young baby who has to be breast fed and Senior Mag8istrate Fraser offered her bail in the sum of $6,000 plus to sureties and adjourned her case until February 12. The police reported that at around 8 p.m. on December 3, Humes entered as a trespasser the residence of Corrine Copius, located at 1011 partridge Street, whilst armed with a machete with intention to cause grievous harm to Coleen Lewis. According to reports, Humes retreated when Lewis threw acid at her. Humes was unharmed.

PIV Members Charged For Want Of Prosecution
A charge of professed to be a member of a criminal gang against 5 persons was stuck out today by senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser for want of prosecution. The case was set for trial and the case file was not available and the arresting officer was not present. The five are Edwin “Drive” Flowers, 34 year old Michael Coleman, 23 year old Emmerson Skyers, 24 year old Albert Clother and a 17 year old boy. They were charged with the offense on October 8. According to the allegation, they were members of PIV, Peace in the Village. The police had reported that when they went to Clother’s residence on Jasmine Street, they met the five and whilst under caution the five professed to be members of PIV.

Deptartment of Civil Aviation Celebrates World Intentional Civil Aviation Day
On December 7, the world will celebrate Intentional Civil Aviation Day but because it falls on Sunday, the Department of Civil Aviation here in Belize, decided to celebrate the day today at its head quarters. It was established in 1994 by the International Civil Aviation Organization. We spoke to Lindsay Garbutt, Director of the Department about why is it important to take a day every ear to celebrate the Department’s accomplishments. LINDSAY GARBUTT “We did an audit in February and the previous audit we got a score of 64, in this last audit we got a score of 83 which makes us the number one in CARICOM second only to Nicaragua in Central America and among the top 5 in Latin America. So I think that speaks to the level that we are maintaining as a country.”

Police And BDF Joint Operations; Guatemalan Nationals Arrested
Joint operations between the Belize Police Department and the Belize Defense Force resulted in Guatemalan nationals being arrested. Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG “Two Guatemalans were charged and imprisoned due to weapon offenses in the Toledo district. A joint police and Belize Defense Force operation in Toledo resulted in the weapon and ammunition charges as explained by deputy commander of the Toledo Police Formation, Inspector Ernel Dominguez.” ERNEL DOMINGUEZ “BDF personnel along with police personnel from the special patrol unit were conducting routine patrols in the Michiquel Ha area where they came across two male persons who were later identified to be Guatemalan namely Orasmo Vasquez Ramirez, 34 years and Emilio Chub, 35 years both Guatemalan farmers from Clarisal Village Guatemala.

Body Builders Departs For Central America Body Building Championship
The Belize Body Building Federation is the largest body building and fitness organization in Belize whose champions are constantly featured in regional competitions in neighboring countries in Central America.Today three Belizean body builders boarded the 5pm Avianca flight at the Philip Goldson International Airport en-route to El Salvador where they will be taking part in the upcoming Central America Body Building Championship 2014. The four men traveling include the President of the Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation, Stanley Moody, who spoke with Love News some minutes prior to their departure. STANLEY MOODY “We are going to compete in a Central American championship in El Salvador which will be commencing tomorrow night, the championship starts at 6PM but tonight we have to be there for the weigh in.

BTB Elects New Marketing Director
Love News confirmed today that Clive Myers, the Planning Destination and Coordinator for the Belize Tourism Board, will be taking up Alyssa Carnegie’s post. As we reported, in November the BTB sent out a release, stating that Carnegie has decided to resign as the Director of Marketing. Her last day is on Friday, December 5 and we understand that is when BTB will official announce the reporting of Myers. Myers has been working at the BTB since April 2011 and in February 2012 he promoted as the Planning and Development Coordinator.

Carter Speaks On Plane Incident
FRANK VERNON “I was there when the plane came down from the airstrip and I noticed it hit in the middle then it came down the machine was not working because the propeller had stopped and when he go there he started to make a turn in order to brake and therefore the plan hit. As you notice one of the wheels were bent. No passengers were injured so..” Frank Vernon was at the Belize Municipal Airport when he saw Tropic Air flight #281 plunged into the sea, a few feet away from the runway. The plane was attempting to land, coming in from San Pedro to Belize. It happened about 2:20 in the afternoon and inside the plane were 4 passengers and the pilot. No one was seriously injured. It was minutes before six o’clock that the Cessna plane, with the help of a crane and the maneuvering of staff, was pulled out of the waters unto a trailer. The plane’s right wing and wheel were extensively damage. Manuel Heredia Jr., the Minister of Civil Aviation, arrived on the scene. He declined comment because he did not know much about the incident. An investigation has been launched and today we spoke to the Chief Operations officer in the department, Nigel Carter, more about it.

BTIA Annual General Meeting; New President Elected
Love News confirmed today that Clive Myers, the Planning Destination and Coordinator for the Belize Tourism Board, will be taking up Alyssa Carnegie’s post. As we reported, in November the BTB sent out a release, stating that Carnegie has decided to resign as the Director of Marketing. Her last day is on Friday, December 5 and we understand that is when BTB will official announce the reporting of Myers. Myers has been working at the BTB since April 2011 and in February 2012 he promoted as the Planning and Development Coordinator.

HelpAge Annual General Meeting
HelpAge Belize is a Facility that facilitates the elderly in Belize by which ever means possible through providing a home/shelter for them or by providing a meal for the day. They held their 30th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 29 November, 2014 in the Village of Hopkins in the Stann Creek District. The theme for this year’s AGM is “Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for all.” Love News spoke to the Executive Director, Ivorine Bulwer, who told us that this theme was fitted for the 2013-2014 time period because it marked the transformation and renewed commitment from the HelpAge Board Members and Staff to promote National awareness of the needs of the elderly persons in Belize. Here’s what she has to say: IVORINE BULWER “The annual general meeting session was a very encouraging one because members were able to report on the activities that occurred in their branches and the outcome from the session, you recognize that these volunteers from our eleven branches, nine of those branches are managed by volunteers with a very small stipend that we receive from the Government of Belize but these volunteers displayed their level of dedication and commitment to serve those older persons in their respective communities for that year and they renewed that level of dedication.


PetroCaribe roll back on oil?
Last week we reported on the decision of OPEC to keep production levels of petroleum constant despite falling market prices, which reportedly hurts the generous program of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with Caribbean and Central American countries, including Belize. On the heels of reports of securitization of ALBA/Petrocaribe debts, there is news hitting closer to home. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Venezuela has said it will no longer sell premium oil to Belize as of the end of the month. He discussed the news with reporters today. Prime Minister Dean Barrow “What I am concerned about is that, I don’t know if you’d been told, but Poderosa has indicated that they will not any longer be able to supply us with premium, I think starting either now [or] certainly at the end of the year. So in effect that is a cut back of the program. I believe that the amount of premium is only like 15% of the total volumes that we get. But it clearly represents a roll back, and I have indicated on the last occasion, I utterly and completely understand. What we will do, to try and make up some of that 13% or 15% loss, whatever it is, is to have, certainly, government vehicles only use regular. People who know say to me that that’s marketing, premium being better that regular.”

Government and cane farmers hold out hope for sugar crop
On Monday morning, a key meeting between executives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and Prime Minister Dean Barrow was held in Belize City. Farmers are anxiously awaiting this latest attempt at mediation by the Government of Belize, after producers Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/ASR appeared unwilling to budge to satisfy the BSCFA’s attempts at conciliation. BSCFA Chairman Ezequiel Cansino stated that the farmers have been as accomodating as they can, but if they need to go to the streets, they will. Ezequiel Cansino – Chairman BSCFA “We believe that it’s more flexible and that’s where we as cane-farmers we are feeling that indeed we are going too far being flexible. We are trying our best to get to an agreement. We hope that at this time we get through this impasse, and if not we will be seeking other options.” Reporter “Have you communicated to the Prime Minister that it is reaching that point where farmers are becoming increasingly incline to protest?”

One dead and one injured in Road Traffic Accident
On Saturday December 7th at about 3:00 p.m., there was a fatal road traffic accident on the Southern highway. The accident happened in the vicinity of miles 48 and 49 when a van travelling from Bella Vista to Punta Gorda overturned. 25-year-old Belizean bus driver Jexcel Redondo died on the spot, while 20-year-old Lester Enriquez Urrthia was transported to the Southern Regional hospital, suffering from head and body injuries. Police investigations continue.

Son stabs father to the chest
Alcohol consumption is believed to be the cause of the attempted murder of a father by his own son. On the night of Saturday December 6th, 50 year old Joseph August was rushed to the hospital as he had been stabbed to the left side of his chest. Joseph August and his family, including his 20-year-old son of Esperanza Village, Cayo, were socializing and consuming alcohol when they both got into an argument. The son reportedly left but returned a short while later with a knife and reportedly inflicted a stab wound to his father’s chest. Joseph August was transported to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was later transported to the Western Regional Hospital in a stable condition.

Patrick JonesPJ

“Pisshouse Protest” in front of Queen Street continues
Six Mondays ago, activist and talk show host YaYa Marin Coleman began a one-woman protest against the filthy conditions of the holding cell at Queen Street Police Station, known as “Pisshouse,” and similar places of detention nationwide. While the Police Department has yet to respond, Marin-Coleman continues to build community support. She was at it again this morning along with a newcomer, Anthony Reid, son of G. Michael Reid and Audrey Matura-Shepherd. She told us that she is working with the Human Rights Commission of Belize to make a strong stand for work to be done in the cell.

Christmas cheer di come!
The Petrocaribe Loan Program has become a major part of the national consciousness in recent weeks, with the Government seeking to justify its spending and the Opposition slamming what it calls fiscal irresponsibility. But the Opposition representatives have had to dial back some of that rhetoric with the announcement that the PUP will accept the significantly smaller sums – through line Ministries – offered to them. With a rare smile on his face, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to do a little gloating today, remarking that the PUP will face internal problems because their acceptance of the money leaves them open to accusations of hypocrisy and threatens the viability of their suit in the Supreme Court.

Government and cane farmers still hopeful for sugar crop
Executives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and Prime Minister Dean Barrow met at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in the latest attempt at indirect mediation by the Government of Belize after producers Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/ASR appeared unwilling to budge to satisfy the BSCFA’s attempts at conciliation. BSCFA Chairman Ezequiel Cansino stated that the farmers have been as accommodating as they can, but if they need to go to the streets, they will. They are determined to get the matter settled as quickly as possible.

Another suicide reported in Stann Creek
Another incident of suicide as well as an attempted suicide have been reported in the Stann Creek district. As we had reported previously 13 year old Lydia Pop took her life on Saturday night in Red Bank village. Her body was found hanging by the girl’s mother. Police say the suicide followed a misunderstanding between the girl and her mother. The other suicide happened on Friday night in Bella Vista village, Stann Creek. Police say 20 year old Maria Rosaria Caal hung herself after a

Fatal road traffic accident on the Southern Highway
Monday, December 8, 2014. PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: Police in Independence village have identified the victim of Sunday afternoon’s road traffic accident as 25 year old Jexcel Redondo. Redondo, a resident of Bella Vista village was reportedly on the return leg of a charter trip in a minivan when the vehicle overturned near the junction of Trio village and the Southern Highway between miles 48 and 49.


New partnership between Condor and Tropic Air
Extension of Condor route network to include Belize via Cancun The leisure airline Condor now includes the Belize airline Tropic Air as one of its partners with immediate effect. Flights from Tropic Air can be booked via the existing destination Cancun (CUN) as an enhancement to the network of flights offered by Condor. As set out in its current 2014/15 winter flights schedule, Condor regularly flies to Cancun (CUN), Mexico from Frankfurt (FRA) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and from Munich (MUC) on Mondays and Fridays. Onward flights to Belize (BZE) with Tropic Air are available on a weekly basis on Saturdays. A return flight from Belize can be selected on a flexible basis as the connection via Cancun to Frankfurt or Munich and on to destinations throughout Europe is available daily.

Belize With Kids
If you’re considering a family vacation in Belize, hear me out. I have a niece and nephew and the first thing I realized when traveling with kids is that picking the right destination is key. You need to take them somewhere that has the wow factor, somewhere that will keep them entertained and you sane. Of course, part of making a family trip a success is making sure that adults also have a great time, and Belize has plenty to keep kids and parents happy (and in my case, the uncle, happy). Best family friendly activities 1. Horseback riding 2. Visit Butterfly farms 3. Spot a Jaguar 4. Beach time 5. Snorkelling 6. Go boating 7. Learn about the Maya 8. Hiking trips 9. Take in the culture 10. Zip-lining and Cave-tubing. Best time to go to Belize with kids? If you live in North America, you’re lucky to have four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Belize only has two seasons, the dry season (December – May), which is also known as the high tourism season and the rainy season (June – November), which is also known as the low season. I personally prefer the dry season, since its always sunny and skies are blue but the off season has its advantages of cheaper prices and contrary to what is expected, plenty of times the weather is great. How safe is Belize for kids? Safety shouldn’t be a concern but some common sense should always be used.

Belizean Curried Fish
Joe shows us how to make Curried Fish. He used Snapper and some awesome Yellow Ginger sent all the way from Belize for me. This dish is spicy and very satisfying for a nice cold day.

The Reasons to Make Belize Your Home
Have you ever dreamed of living in a country where you can languish in the warm waters of the Caribbean? Visit ancient wonders, view wildlife in their natural habitat at your own pace, and enjoy unique cuisine throughout the day? If the answer is yes, it is time for you to make a trip to the beautiful, lush country of Belize. Belize is located on the western coast of Central America. The land of Belize offers you a range of landscapes to enjoy. From the pristine beaches and warm waters of the Caribbean, to the hills of the Maya Mountains, to the dense and lush rain forest reserves. The average temperature of Belize ranges from a comfortable 84 degrees along the coast to a cooler 69 degrees in the hill regions. Do you love scuba diving? Imagine doing what you love every day of the week. Belize is a scuba divers paradise. Divers can swim with the various marine-life among the 185-mile long barrier reef, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Do you enjoy reflecting on history or visiting ancient sites?

International Sourcesizz

Condor und Tropic Air unterzeichnen Partnerschaft
Der Ferienflieger Condor zählt ab sofort die belizische Fluggesellschaft Tropic Air zu seinen Partnern. Die Flüge von Tropic Air können als Erweiterung des Condor Flugnetzes über das bereits bestehende Ziel Cancún (CUN) gebucht werden. Condor fliegt im aktuellen Winterflugplan 2014/15 immer dienstags, mittwochs, donnerstags, samstags und sonntags ab Frankfurt (FRA) und immer montags und freitags ab München (MUC) nach Cancún (CUN), Mexiko. Weiterflüge nach Belize (BZE) mit Tropic Air werden einmal wöchentlich, immer samstags, angeboten. Ein Rückflug von Belize kann flexibel gewählt werden, die Anbindung besteht täglich über Cancún nach Frankfurt oder München und weiter nach ganz Europa.

Faith in Action: Heritage Baptist Church has a mission to serve
With the holidays here, people often feel the urge to donate time or money to the less fortunate. However, there are organizations that center their time around giving - well beyond the holidays. One of those is Heritage Baptist Church in Hiltons, Va. Heritage Baptist Church also helps globally, as they have taken an annual mission trip since 2006 to Belize to conduct Vacation Bible School, participate in construction projects, help to provide medical assistance and help with food and other crusades. There are also holiday-driven projects during Christmas in which they help five to 10 families with food boxes to have the warm meals they need through the holidays. Another Christmas mission is to provide Christmas shoeboxes for children in Belize and through Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse shoebox program.

By analysing almost 500 jaguar and puma scats, we found that jaguars commonly eat armadillos and white-lipped peccaries (waris); while pumas commonly eat pacas (gibnut) and red brocket deer (antelope).


Video: Belize (November 2014), 8min. Belize City - Ziplining - Cave Tubing - Spelunking - Crystal Cave Adventure - New River Safari - Lamani Ruins - San Pedro - Ambergris Caye - Snorkeling - Hol Chan Marine Reserve - Shark Ray Alley - Palapa Bar & Grill

Video: Julfest Belize, 7.5min. ja vad händer egentligen här hos oss…. här får du se!!

Video: San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, 3min. Santa Claus riding a GIANT Shark floating across the moonlit sea caught the eyes of everyone who went out to watch the eight annual San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade that took place on Saturday, December 6, 2014. That, plus a handful of boat entries, lit up the dark horizon and delighted spectators of all ages on a magical evening.

Video: Scuba Belize Full part 1 and 2 HD, 22min. Scuba Diving with Huracan Diving Long Caye, Belize

Video: Mayan Ruins and Chocolate Factory Tour, 2min. This tour is all about Maya culture. Take a trip to two different Mayan sites, "Nim Li Punit" (translates to "Big Hat") and "Lubaantun" ("Place of the Fallen Stones") where the crystal skull was unearthed! Take a break for lunch at a local restaurant and enjoy a chocolatey dessert at the Mayan Chocolate Factory, Ixcacao where you get to make your own chocolate the way that the Mayas did!

December 8, 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

Wolfe’s Woofer: Elephant
Hello, sweetheart,” I said, answering my phone. “What’s up?” “Can you pick up Davin from school today for me?” Melody asked. I said, “Sure. That’s what grandfathers are for.” Since I arrived before class was over I sat on the porch and waited. “All right, class,” I heard the teacher say. “I am thinking of an animal whose name begins with the letter E. What is it?” There was an excited murmur in the classroom. Then I recognized Davin’s voice exclaiming, “I know! I know, teacher! It’s a elephant!”

Police Report
Found Property (Drugs) On Thursday, November 27th at 8:00PM, acting on information, San Pedro Police Quick Response Team conducted a search in an abandoned lot located on Glitter Street, San Pedro Town next to a well-known drug peddler. The search led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 84.79 grams of suspected cannabis. No one was found in the area and the drugs were labeled as Found Property. Theft On Sunday, November 30th, 23-year-old Jasar Price reported that on the same date at 12:30AM he parked a golf cart with aluminum bumper on Barrier Reef Drive. The golf cart was rented from a golf cart agency. About two minutes later when he returned he noticed that the golf cart was missing. As a result, San Pedro Police carried out an investigation whereby the golf cart was found abandoned in the San Pedrito Area with the light switch and windshield broken. The cart was processed and handed over to the owner. The matter remains under investigation.

TMM Yacht Charters donates computer to highlight Humane Education at the SPRC
The Saga Humane Society Education program, led by Sandie Betz-Eisenberg, and Cindy Kyles and her service dog Sheila, has been successfully educating the children of Ambergris Caye with a revitalized learning program since September of this year. The Humane Education Team has presented to Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Island Academy and ABC Pre-School in the last few months, spreading the word about the Basics of Pet Care – students learn about their pet’s basic needs, as well as the importance of safety around animals, Respecting animals – students learn the importance of the human-animal bond and why proper animal treatment is very important, and Pet Overpopulation – students learn about the issue of pet overpopulation, its root cause and the Saga Spay/Neuter Initiative Program (SNIP): “It’s Hip To Snip!”.

Doctor Love
Dear Doctor Love, I love my mom and dad but sometimes it seems like they want to control everything in my life. I am graduating high school in six months and I feel like I should be able to make some decisions on my own. This is about a friend of mine who got a tattoo that I think is really cool. I don’t have any tattoos myself but I told him how much I like it. Now, he and some more of my friends have been trying to talk me into a getting a tattoo. I finally agreed. When I went to my mom and told her, she called my dad in and they sat me down and lectured me on why I should not get a tattoo. I kind of agree with what they are saying but I have already told my friends I would get one, too. How am I getting out of this?


Getting To Zero WITH Outreach Programs
On December first, Belize joined the world in observing World Aids Day. The event has been observed worldwide since 1988 to celebrate those who have lost their lives to the virus, celebrate the work achieved and to recommit to ending the epidemic. Here in Orange Walk Town, this year the HIV/AIDS Committee organized an entire week of activities for these very purposes. Today, representatives were at the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training Center conducting outreach. Nurse Veronica Ortega, who works at the VCT center at the Northern Regional Hospital, was heading the team there. Veronica Ortega – Nurse, VCT, NRH “Since the HIV Prevalence is higher in the male population so we think that coming to ITVET is a good means of trying to get this young male to get tested.”

Osmany Salas Elected As President Of BTIA
At its 29th Annual General Meeting, the Belize Tourism Board today announced that Herbert Haylock completed a successful two year term and now assumes the post of the Immediate Past President of the Association. This was followed by the announcement of his successor and that Orange Walks Osmany Salas has been elected as President for a full two year term. Salas is current Chairperson of the Orange Walk BTIA Chapter and General Manager of Nahil Mayab Restaurant & Patio in Orange Walk Town. In his speech, Salas listed several targets he wishes to accomplish by the end of his term including: Recruit an Executive Director by February 2015; Significantly increase the BTIA membership; Support the formation of new Destination Chapters for Belmopan and the Belize District; Develop further the financial viability of BTIA, among other goals.

Managed Access Program Comes To An End
Sustainable managed fisheries are essential for the people of Belize and for the health of the magnificent Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The commercial capture fishing industry for lobster and conch is an important export and a source of employment for approximately 15,000 Belizeans – nearly five percent of the population. Belize’s recreational fisheries draw visitors from around the world and are a foundation of its tourism industry. Abundant biodiversity of fisheries is a crucial factor in maintaining the reef ecosystems. Yet, Belize’s fisheries are threatened by overfishing and decline. The potential decline of Belize’s fisheries due to overfishing and the deteriorating health of the Mesoamerican Reef is a threat to the environment, economy, food security, and livelihoods in Belize. To address these challenges, fishermen, the government, academia, and NGOs in Belize are working together to implement a system for fishing called Managed Access, which combines territorial user-rights for fishing and no-take replenishment zones. These collaborators envision that reefs will be healthier and more resilient to climate change due to recovered fish stocks from Managed Access combined with well-protected and larger no-take zones.

Investigation On Stabbing Of Student Continues
The last time we reported on the unfortunate incident that landed one student of Corozal Junior College at the Northern Regional Hospital was on October 29th of this year. Well today reporter Victor Castillo caught up acting OC of the Corozal Police formation Inspector Peter Serrano, who in an off camera interview informed CTV3 that presently his department is conducting the last leg of investigations, which is the identification parade of the culprit. Charges that the culprit could face in this case are grievous harm, use of deadly means of harm and attempted murder.

Fuel Prices Reduce At The Pumps
Belizean consumers and motorists got some badly-needed relief this week when the price of world oil plunged to its lowest level in years. This is translating to lower prices at the pump and today we were made aware that the gasoline prices have declined to under ten dollars, the lowest it has been in several years. Effective last night at midnight, Premium Gasoline went down 44 cents and now sells for $9.65 per gallon, Regular gasoline went down by 43 cents and now sells for $9.29 and Kerosene went down by $1.13 and now sells for $7.74. And while we know Gasoline is the bloodline that keeps Belize moving, tracking gas prices can feel like a roller coaster ride. They're down a little one month, up the next, and then they shoot up more than 40 percent in a year. Whether these prices will stay, well we just have to wait and see.

BSI Responds To BSCFA Start Of Crop Season Still In Limbo
When we left you on Wednesday we told you about the negotiations that were resumed by both the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and ASR/BSI as it pertains to the current impasse in the industry. And while we they left the negotiating table with positive expectations and awaited a reply from BSI by today, tonight BSI/ASR held to its word and replied to the Associations points and proposals but let’s just say things are not looking up. Our sources at the Association say that the response from BSI/ASR was not in favorable terms and was mostly inclined to benefit BSI/ASR. At the end we will you be the judge as we managed to obtain that letter.

The Reporter

href="">BCCI holds Christmas Expo
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a two-day expo this weekend under the theme “All about Christmas.” The expo, geared at promoting that Belizeans shop in country for the Christmas season, was held at the Ramada Belize City Princess. The event showcased various products such as cakes, chocolate, paint, craft jewellery and even multi-purpose cleaners. Chief Executive Officer of the chamber, Kim Aikman, explained that the event was in line with the chamber’s private sector development mission. ‘We are about creating that environment conducive to good business,” Aikman said. “For some businesses, this is an opportunity to showcase what they have to offer when people are in a buying mode.”

Mexico confirms missing student identity
Mexican Attorney General, Jesus Murillo Karam has confirmed that forensic experts have identified the remains of one of 43 missing students. Karam said that tests in Austria matched a piece of bone retrieved from a rubbish dump in Guerrero state to the DNA of missing student Alexander Mora. Mora’s relatives had vowed to carry on fighting for justice. The students’ disappearance in September has led to protests across Mexico against corruption and violence. Karam told journalists in Mexico City corrupt officials handed over the students to a criminal gang called Guerreros Unidos (United Warriors), after taking part in a protest in the town if Iguala on September 26. They were taken to a waste disposal site near the town of Cocula and killed. The criminals burned their bodies before scattering their ashes in a river, Karam said. He added that the tests were carried out by top experts at the University of Innsbruck.

IDB meets with media over coffee and projects
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) shared breakfast with representatives of the media on Wednesday to shed light on its work and the projects it funds. IDB’s Country Representative in Belize, Anneke Jessen, said that while the bank provides loans mainly to governments at low interest rates, it also funds projects by civil society organizations because it feels those projects are also important. The Belize Audubon Society’s birding project is one of those initiatives. Meanwhile, one of the government projects that it has invested in is the Education Quality Improvement (EQIP) program, which focuses on improving the quality of education in Belize by offer teacher-training using different teaching methods. Jessen said that the bank will also help the government implement an information system to track how the schools are spending the monies that the government is giving them.

Patrick JonesPJ

PUP endorses Paul Thompson in Albert Division
The People’s United Party (PUP) today held an endorsement convention in the Albert Division in Belize City. Paul Thompson was officially installed as the PUP’s standard bearer for the division and will challenge the incumbent, Herman Longsworth of the United Democratic Party (UDP) in the next General Elections, constitutionally due in 2017. The PUP Albert Division endorsement was held at the basketball court at the Anglican Cathedral College in Belize City.

Traffic accident claims the life of one man
One man has lost his life in a road traffic accident this evening in the southern part of the country. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending proper notification of his family, but we understand that the man is from Bella Vista village. Information received says that the man was chartered to go to Trio village and that upon his return after dropping off his fare, his minivan overturned on the Trip road. Investigations continue.

Belizean athletes win at regional bodybuilding championship
This the four-man contingent of athletes from the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation and president Stanley Moody returned from El Salvador. There the athletes had a successful participation in the Central American Bodybuilding Championship. Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos placed 2nd in the Light Heavyweight (80 to 85 kg) category ahead of Clayton Greenidge who also came second in the Masters. Oyinkro Akpobodor, also known as the African, won the Juvenile U-23 category and placed second in the Heavyweight (over 85 kg) category in only his second overall competition.


San Pedro’s Christmas Lighted Boat Parade Is Back And GORGEOUS. Tickets MUST Be Booked For Next Year!
Last night was one of my favorite events of the year…a DO-NOT-MISS-EVENT. The San Pedro Christmas Lighted Boat Parade. An annual event…we hope. The last one was in 2012 and it was fantastic. Beyond great. 2013 was cancelled due to lack of participation. But this year, it was back! With so many people congregating in San Pedro’s Central Park. Hear? Yes. I MISSED IT. Sadly. I was on an all day trek from San Pedro to NJ…here was my view as I loaded on to my American Airlines flight to Miami at the Belize International AIrport. Not quite as festive. Neither is getting to Ridgewood, NJ (my hometown) at 12.45am in FREEZING cold rain. So let’s get to the parade. My tech-partner Chris took some great shots. And a few friends are sending them this morning. So here is the San Pedro Lighted Boat Parade. LOVE IT…even from chilly CHILLY NJ.

International Sourcesizz

Sofia Coppola's Guide to Belize
Even the most inveterate traveler needs to find a place to do absolutely nothing. For Sofia Coppola, that place is a tiny seaside village in Belize, where the most exciting adventure she’ll have all day is a bike ride to the gelato stand and back (and that’s just perfect). Hugh Garvey talks to the filmmaker about escaping it all. Sofia Coppola understands the transformative power of a hotel better than most. The filmmaker and style icon grew up as a sort of real-life Eloise, traveling the world with her father, director cum hotelier Francis Ford Coppola, who over the years has built a small empire of luxury retreats. She set two of her movies in hotels, mining the serene dislocation of the Park Hyatt Tokyo in Lost in Translation and the languorous debauchery of Chateau Marmont in Somewhere. And when Coppola wants to fully check out, it’s at her family’s Turtle Inn resort in Placencia, Belize, that she checks in. With a permanent population of just 800, the tiny fishing village of Placencia sits on a slim spit of land on the far western edge of the Caribbean, where the water is that textbook turquoise blue but dense rain forest is just a mile inland. It’s remote, serene, and slow-paced, which is just the way Coppola likes it. Coppola, who splits her time between New York and Paris with her children and husband, Thomas Mars, of the French pop band Phoenix, says, “In Paris you have to be more put together, or at least try to be. You get real privacy in Placencia. It’s nice to be able to be a bit of a slob and feel fully relaxed in a place so removed from busy, modern life.”

How Canada/Mexico became part of US policing regime
During this summer’s child migrant crisis and the accompanying frenzy around “security” along the U.S.-Mexico boundary, a spotlight was shone on Mexico’s role in protecting the U.S. “homeland.” It helped illuminate what Washington considers the United States’ territorial boundaries: those of the countries associated with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In other words, the territories of Canada and Mexico are part of the U.S. policing regime, under a regional security framework we might call “NAFTA-land Security.” Evidence of this emerged in July when a Congressional hearing featured a discussion on, as Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) put it, “what Mexico is actually doing to help us” regarding the unauthorized movement of Central American children. Some lawmakers and officials hinted that insufficient efforts by Mexican authorities made possible the unwanted migrants’ northward movement through Mexico. The current focus on Mexico’s border with Guatemala and Belize is at once a long-developing story and part of a much larger policy agenda. Partly in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, partly the result of security compunctions deepened through the advancement of economic interests by way of North American economic integration, the United States has sought to improve the Mexican state’s policing capacities. In doing so, Washington aims to shape those capacities toward U.S. concerns in order to ensure Mexico’s political economic stability, to better protect the U.S. homeland through “layered defense,” and, in turn, to insulate the highly integrated and strategically crucial North American economic space from internal and external threats.

Venezuela cuts PetroCaribe oil shipments
Shipments of cut-rate oil from Venezuela to Caribbean and Central American countries under the PetroCaribe programme were cut by about 20% through October compared with the same period last year, ClipperData, a New York data tracker, has reported. And, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), last year Venezuela’s preferential oil exports to the 13 PetroCaribe countries declined 15% from 2012, says. Although Venezuela has pledged to continue the program, several participants in the programme are preparing for further declines, which would affect domestic spending and potentially tip some economies into recession. In Grenada, the discounted Venezuelan oil funds 40% of social programmes, from textbooks and free lunches for children to paying for roads and buses. Haiti named an airport after Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chávez , who founded PetroCaribe in 2005, and uses the oil money for food distribution programs and for monthly allowances for the poor. The Dominican Republic has used the program to plug a fiscal hole.

Caribbean heads arrive in Havana for CARICOM-Cuba summit
Heads of state and government of the member nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), together with officials from regional organizations, began arriving on Saturday in Havana to participate in Monday’s fifth CARICOM-Cuba summit. According to the program released to the press by the Cuban foreign ministry, starting at noon the presidents or prime ministers of Suriname, Grenada, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda were due to arrive on separate flights at José Martí International Airport in Havana. The arrival on Saturday of the heads of delegations from Barbados, Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines was also expected, along with the heads of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), CARICOM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).


Video: How to have fun in Belize, 1min. How to have a great time in Belize the a cave tubing trip. We have over five amazing adventures to take you on. See the amazing caves while floating down a river on an inner tube. Zipline across the tropical forest. Visit the Mayan ruins and explore ancient history.

Video: Belize 3 OK, 9min.

Video: Creation Care Study Program Belize Part II, 5.5min. Footage from our campus in Santa Elena Belize as well as our travel week to Guatemala, marine ecology course at Glovers Atoll and other parts of Belize.

Video: Belize, half moon caye wall, 15min. scuba diving in belize

Video: Norwegian Cruise, 12min. Bobbye and I were joined by Leigh Anne and Laura for a cruise to Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras. Great time!!

Video: Blue Ventures Bird & Manatee Conservation, 77min. Blue Ventures Bird & Manatee Conservation Blue Ventures are an award winning marine conservation organisation running expeditions in Belize and Madagascar. Blue Ventures new volunteer project works to help monitor and conserve coastal areas and the Barrier Reef around Corozal Bay and Bacalar Chico National Park .

Video: Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary || DTOURZ Placencia, Belize, 2.5min. Here's just a fraction of the excitement from the DTOURZ Cockscomb tour! You can also take the Cockscomb tour at night!

Video: Cockscomb Basin Nightlife Tour || DTOURZ Placencia, Belize, 1.5 min. Here's a little bit of the fun from the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary tour when the nocturnal animals are out! You can also take the Cockscomb tour in the daytime for some fun in the water!

December 7, 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

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade 2014 (11 photos)
Wow, what a beautiful night! Full moon peeping out from whispy clouds and the Caribbean horizon aglow with sparkling boats. A perfect evening to kick off the holidays on La Isla Bonita!

San Pedro Police launch Christmas Anti-crime Campaign
With the Christmas Season already here, the San Pedro Police Department are taking extra measures to ensure the safety of the island during these festive times. As such, the annual Christmas Anti-crime campaign was launched on Monday, December 1st and will see increased patrol and police presence during the upcoming months. In addition, police are sharing precautionary tips with residents to avoid criminal incidents as best as possible. According to Deputy of San Pedro Police, Inspector Henry Jemmott, the month of December in particular sees a rise in arrivals to the island as it is the start of the high tourism season, resulting in an increase of criminal activities.

Pioneros of Cancun thrash San Pedro Tiger Sharks
From the onset, it was obvious that the host team was by far the dominant team, pulling an early lead in the match. They won every quarter of the game, but the big gap came in the third and fourth quarters where the score difference ballooned to over 20 points. By the end of the game, San Pedro Tiger Sharks lost by 46 points in a game that concluded in 124 to 78 points in favor of the Pioneros. “The Belize Basketball Federation anticipates that this strong relationship will continue to strengthen the sport of basketball in both Quintana Roo and Belize,” said a release from the Belize Basketball Federation ((BBF). Both teams were given special recognitions for their participation in the friendly game. Notables present at the event were high ranking officials from the local government of Quintana Roo as well as Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico, His Excellency Oliver del Cid.

Pedro Baki arrested and charged for Carnal Knowledge
San Pedro Police have arrested and charged a man who had been wanted for multiple carnal knowledge incidents on a minor since 2013. The culprit has been identified as Pedro Baki and has since been remanded to the Belize Central Prison for him crimes. The victim had sought the assistance of Human Development Officer Adan Kay on April 10, 2014. An investigation and search for Baki began, but was fruitless.

Chocolate Heredia’s Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary faces management problems
According to Vega, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has refused to assist FOSC since there is no legal co-management agreement between the two parties. When asked why there was no co-management agreement signed, Vega explained that after the last agreement expired in 2012, they have refused to sign a new one. “We put in a lot of energy, time and work on a proposed draft that was mutually accepted. That draft was taken to Cabinet but when it came back to us for signage, it was totally different than what we agreed on in the draft… it was simply not the best agreement for the country or for the management of the sanctuary,” commented Vega. She went on to explain that the agreement in its final stage favored the GOB. “The agreement should give equal status to management authority and it is not reflecting that in the final agreement and as such we have declined to accept.”Tours-belize-manatees

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Battle Field Park in Downtown Belize City comes alive with KREM KRISMUS from Monday, Dec. 15 - Sunday, Dec. 21 from 8pm - 10pm. Don't miss it.

The Reporter

Mexico City’s police chief resigns
Mexico City’s police chief, Jesus Rodriguez Almeida, has resigned after strong criticism of his handling of protests in the city. A largely peaceful march on 20 November over the disappearances of 43 students in Guerrero state ended with riot police dispersing the crowd. Rodriquez gave no reason for his departure and the city mayor said he had stepped down immediately. Earlier this week President Pena Nieto announced new justice and police plans. After the 20 November protest, Mr Rodriquez Almeida said he had “congratulated his personnel for their work,” in particular for “restoring public order, no matter whether others like it or not”. Lawyers for 11 people who were arrested on the day called for his resignation.

BTIA elects new president
The Belize Tourism Industry Association has elected Osmany Salas of the BTIA’s Orange Walk Chapter as its new national president. At the association’s 29th Annual General Meeting held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, Salas emphasized that increasing the association’s membership is a top priority. “We have lost some members over the years; we need to do what we have to do to regain those members and expand the association,” Salas said. “Key to that is to establish chapters where we currently do not have any, for example in Belmopan and the Belize District”, he continued. Salas explained that great potential exists for expanding the association’s membership, and pointed to the fact that of the total restaurants in the country only four percent are members of the BTIA.

Civil Aviation Day celebrated in Belize
The Belize Department of Civil Aviation observed International Day of Civil Aviation on Friday with a list of events, including a wreath-laying ceremony to honour pilots all over the world who lost their lives in the course of their duties, and a larger ceremony on the Phillip Goldson International Airport compound. Durong that event, the department honoured one of its employees for having 51 years of service in the field. Nigel Carter, chief operations officer at the department, explained that the day was all about raising awareness about the importance of civil aviation and safety-related issues. “By the end of 2014 we will have had 290,000 flight operations,” Carter said. “We have different classifications, depending on damage and number of injuries to define an accident and for this year our only accident happened yesterday December 4.”

Patrick JonesPJ

Girl commits suicide in Stann Creek
A family from the village of Red Bank in the Stann Creek district is mourning the death of a teenage girl. She has been identified as 14 year old Lydia Pop. According to reports received, the girl who attends the Red Bank Christian School was found hanging inside her home just after 9 o’clock tonight. Sources say that the girl’s mother was visiting with other family members in the same village and when she returned home, the sight of her daughter’s body hanging from a rope around the neck was what greeted her.

Belizean athletes attend Central American Body Building championship
Belize is being represented at the Central America Bodybuilding Championship which is underway in San Salvador, El Salvador. Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos, Master’s Champion Clayton Greenidge and Novice Champion Oyinkro Akpobodor , along the the president of the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation traveled to El Salvador on Friday for the event which ends on Sunday. The event is being held in Santa Tecla La Libertad in the Salvadoran capital.

PG politician complains about the state of municipal’s streets
The bad condition of streets in Punta Gorda town has caught to attention of the People’s National Party, headed by community activist Wil Maheia. The PG Town Council has been carrying out some street works around the municipality; however complaints from citizens are that priority is not given to some streets that are really in bad conditions as it shown in the pictures accompanying this story. The PNP’s Wil Maheia says that the residents of Punta Gorda must realize that there needs to be more of a proper investment in roads that are child-friendly for the town. It must be noted here that aside from being the leader of the PNP, Maheia is the party’s Mayoral candidate that will contest the Municipal Elections next March.

OpEd: The Information Revolution is here!
The history of the world has been marked by great revolutions. Revolutions inevitable change the entire system of how countries and the world operates. Much like the Industrial Revolution this century will be marked by the Information Revolution. The information revolution is marked by the shift to where information is recognized as the most power asset of any country. Similarly, to how the industrial evolution and those that came out better off from it was determined by access and knowledge of use of machines and tools, so too will the information revolution be marked by those that had access and knowledge of use to ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies). In fact, most of the world has recognized that poverty cannot be effectively eradicated in the world unless there is a closure in the global digital divide. “The digital divide is the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the imbalances in physical access to technology as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen. In other words, it is the unequal access by some members of society to information and communication technology, and the unequal acquisition of related skills.”

International Sourcesizz

The Ecosystem That Is Disappearing Faster Than Any Other on Earth
Mangroves--the uniquely salt-adapted trees and shrubs that line our tropical and subtropical coasts, the critical membrane between land and sea--are disappearing at faster rates than virtually any other ecosystem on Earth. Mangroves are some of the most productive, complex, and beneficial natural wonders of our planet. They act as filters for our water supply, reduce erosion, serve as nurseries for commercial fisheries, provide opportunities for recreation, nurture vital marine biodiversity, and can act as "carbon sinks," which reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The destruction and degradation of these natural systems--because of factors such as climate change, development, tourism, wood extraction, and non-sustainable farming--bring about tremendous ecological, social, and economic losses, the extent of which we are only now just realizing.

Support A Study Trip to Belize
Greg Whitt is a two-time recipient of the Untied Arts Council Regional Artist Project Grant. In 2011 his project took him to study folkloric music and traditions in Cuba. In 2015, he's headed to study with the Garifuna at the Lebeha Youth Center in Hopkins Village, Belize. His interest is in music of the African diaspora, but also in how we can apply ancient wisdom traditions to benefit modern society. Greg has been sharing this kind of applied philosophy in hands-on rhythm experiences for more than a dozen years. Greg believes life is richer when we communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with one another and with the world around us. Because he believes this, he facilitates programs to help people live, work, and play well together. He works with people in corporations, congregations, communities, and classrooms who want to shake things up a bit for the sake of creating more-meaningful connections.


Video: Fitballing, 5min. Fitballing In San Pedro with couple of friends down in Belize.

Video: Christmas Spectacular 2014, 2hr, 53min. from Channel 5

Video: May 2014 Belize Highlights, 7.5min. Finally got around to putting together a highlight reel from the Belize trip. We dove the reefs off Ambergris Caye, Lighthouse Reef, and Turneffe. The Great Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye Wall were among the highlights. We saw nurse sharks, colorful fish, reef sharks, and turtles all while swimming over and through world-class reef.

Video: Belize RGS expedition, 17min. Reigate Grammar School 2012 expedition to Belize

December 6, 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

Shopping: stock up for Christmas in Belize!
Ahhh, Christmas shopping…that wonderful time of year when your to-do list magically grows as long as Santa’s. Suddenly, you’re scrambling for ideas on what to get Great Aunt Maria and Beto, the cousin twice-removed from your stepmom’s side. Have no fear, we’ve been secretly window shopping around town, keeping track of the awesomeness that abounds on La Isla Bonita and would be PERFECT for stuffing stockings and placing under the tree. For your beloved wife: How about some shiny baubles from Belizean Arts? We bet some rings or dangly earrings or bracelets would fit nicely in that heart-shaped jewelry box from Graniel’s Dreamland!

Those fleeting rays of sunshine!
It’s been very rainy, in case you hadn’t heard. It seems that we’re bound to grow gills soon if the rain doesn’t stop. As soon as we get desperate however, there’s a few rays of sunshine that peek out as if to say, “I’m still here…have some patience!” We all know when the rains stop, we’ll be begging for respite from the heat! But in the meantime, how fun is it to have these images captured by those willing to wait for a little spot of sunshine?!

Good Samaritan survives gun shot wound and plane crash within hours
An armed robbery that occurred on Pescador Drive on Thursday, December 4th at approximately 1:15PM left 24-year-old Good Samaritan Carlos Najera injured with a single gunshot wound to the left leg. According to San Pedro Police, a distress call was received of robbery in progress at A-Z Store, and Najera was shot while attempting to stop the robber from escaping. Najera was then immediately taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, where he received primary care before being transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City. At 2:20PM, Najera was transported to the city via Tropic Air flight #281. Upon arriving to the municipal airstrip, the flight experienced engine problems and was unable to decelerate. Several attempts were made by the pilot to shut down the engine. However, the momentum caused the plane to overrun the airstrip and landed it in the sea.

SPHS Boys are Northern Regional Basketball Champs
Young athletes from the country’s Northern Division descended upon Ambergris Caye over the weekend of November 28th-29th for the National Secondary School Association (NSSA) Northern Regional Basketball Championship. The games took place at the Angel Nunez Auditorium and saw eight high school teams competing for the top prize and opportunity to represent the Northern Division at the NSSA Basketball Championship. But in the end it was San Pedro High School (SPHS) male team and Muffles College High School (MCHS) female team that took the top prizes. Schools represented were MCHS by the males and females, Corozal Community College (CCC) males and females, Belize Rural High School (BRHS) males, New Hope High School (NHHS) females and SPHS female and male teams. A total of eight games were played during the two day tournament: four female matches and four male matches. The auditorium overflowed with fans who showed up to support their favourite team and this support definitely motivated the young players.

SICA ministers converge on Ambergris Caye to speak on regional health issues
The 41st ordinary meeting of the Commission of the Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA) was in Belize held under the auspices of the Belize’s Pro Tempore Presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA). The event was spearheaded by Belize’s Minister of Health Pablo Marin. During the two-day forum, the health representatives of the region discussed many health issues and initiative in the SICA-member states. Minister Marin commented, “Enormous strides have been made in Belize and the region and we look forward to further progress in the next year.” He added that every six months COMISCA holds their Ministerial meeting and this time around Belize has been chairing the Pro Tempore President of regional health organization. According to Marin, during Belize’s Presidency, new challenges including Ebola and Chikungunya had been addressed. Renewed attention was focused on chronic diseases including HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Family and Community health.

Blue Water Grill makes donation to the San Pedro Cancer Society
San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS) was the recipient of a check of $1,717BZ from Blue Water Grill (BWG). The donation was presented on Wednesday, December 3rd and was part of a social media incentive to raise awareness for SPCS. The well-known island restaurant posted on their popular Facebook media page that they would donate $1BZ for every ‘like’ that their image of Giving Tuesday received during a set time. At the end of the allotted time (midnight), the image had received an astounding 1,717 likes.

Petrocaribe money to fund 24-hour medical service on Ambergris Caye
When asked what the delay in the decision was, since the monies were allocated months ago and he had promised that the service was to start in by September, Marin said, “The funds are now in place for us to employ the workers for the 24-hours service. It was not about disbursing the monies that was the delay, but the actual hiring of doctors and nurses who are willing to come to the island. In the past, when we sent doctors to the island, after being here, they realized it is expensive to live there and so they would move off the island. We had to work around that to get doctors to come,” explained Marin. In addition to the current staff, the Ministry will now hire additional staff to allow uninterrupted medical services on the island. The auxiliary staff will be hired from the island, but the professional workers such as doctors and nurses will be hired from mainland Belize. In the longer term, the Ministry of Health is hoping that the students from Ambergris Caye that were given scholarships to study nursing and medicine will be brought to the island to contribute to the health sector. The need for a 24-hour medical facility has been one of the major areas of concern that has been brought up on many forums by the thousands of islanders and tourism stakeholders. In the past, many families have seen sick and injured loved ones suffer and wait for hours until proper medical help could be accessed. Some have even witnessed the untimely death of a loved one while waiting for help. So the news of the opening of the medical facility for 24 hours is seen as a welcome “Christmas gift” to the residents of Ambergris Caye.

Spotlight on: Diamante Beachfront Suites
Since its discovery as a haven for visitors from far and wide, Ambergris Caye has attracted visitors who travel year after year to her shores. And warmly welcoming them from the very beginning was Celi McCorkle. Known as the godmother of tourism for the island, McCorkle has been running the historic Holiday Hotel in the center of town. It seems that the desire to make a mark and add to the rich tourism fabric didn’t go far, as following her footsteps is daughter Lisa McCorkle Guerrero. At the helm of the fabulous Diamante Beach Home development, Lisa has been bringing to life a project that started as most do: a dream. Sitting on land owned by the family for over 35 years, Diamante can be called a true Sanpedrano development. Envisioned by Lisa’s late husband, and being fulfilled by Lisa, Diamante is a unique project that will see sound structural engineering, attention to every detail down to the finishes with fine Belizean artistry throughout. From the beginning, Lisa has aimed for quality, sound structure and impeccable finishes that will inspire confidence in buyers. On-site engineer Jorge Barrios has been a major part of the design team, working to ensure that the buildings are built to fit every safety standard from the required to the unforeseen (earthquakes, et al). The historic works of Graniel’s Dreamland/Construction will be in charge of the gorgeous wood finishes throughout.

Ambergris Today

Shooting & plane crash victim Carlos Najera is in stable condition in the Belize City Hospital, after a very bad day (yesterday) for him. The bullet hit his tendon which will require surgery and therapy in order for him to walk normal again.

San Pedro High School Celebrates Founder's Day/Angel Nunez Birthday
Once again the faculty, staff and students of San Pedro High School pulled off yet another great celebration for Founder’s Day, dedicated to Mr. Angel Nuñez who is now a retired principal of the school. San Pedro High has designated his birthday celebrations as Founder’s Day and have included Mrs. Martha Guerrero and Mrs. Celi McCorkel co-founders of San Pedro High School. The students and teachers showcased their talent by singing, dancing and performing for the founders. Happy Birthday Mr. Angel Nuñez and congratulations to the founders of San Pedro High.

Air Quality Monitoring Program to Start For Belize City
Air quality monitoring in Belize has been nonexistent to some extent, and as such, on December 4, 2014, the Department of the Environment (DOE) is starting an air quality monitoring program in Belize City. The Belize City Air Quality Monitoring Program will test the air quality of Belize City, in particular as it relates to Nitrogen Oxide (NO2), Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and Ozone (O3). It will assist the DOE in establishing a baseline for understanding the environmental and human health effects of air pollution from industrial, vehicular and other domestic emissions.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

he Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) in its capacity as President Pro-Temp of the Central American Agriculture Council (CAC) hosted the OIRSA-CIRSA Meeting on the 4th December and the final meeting of the Agriculture Council of Ministers on the 5th of December, 2014 in Placencia, Belize. Panama currently holds the Presidency of CIRSA but agreed to the Belize initiative to combine meetings in an effort to save cost, improve coordination and increase effective participation. (4 photos)

The Reasons to Make Belize Your Home
I couldn’t keep my eyes off the Caribbean Sea in Belize—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. Established expat communities make for a ready supply of new friends, and it’s English-speaking, even if it’s the second or even third language for many locals. (I spoke only English during my time there and had no issues.) Plus, it’s easy to get to from North America, thanks to daily flights. And it’s no problem to get around the roughly Massachusetts-sized country itself: The main highways are in good shape, regional airlines provide service all over, and frequent and on-time water taxis serve the island communities.

On Wednesday, December 3, the San Pedro Town Council hosted its annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony to kickstart the Christmas Season in San Pedro. Mayor Daniel Guerrero welcomed everyone to the event where he expressed his gratitude for everyone's assistance. The event included a wonderful performance of Christmas Carols by San Pedro's very own Heaven's Voice Youth Choir which is lead by Miss Natalie Arceo. The San Pedro Town Council would like to thank Ms. Dixie Bowen & Mr. Guillermo Rodriguez for helping us out yearly with the setting up of the Christmas tree. We would also like to thank Miss Natalie Arceo and the Heaven's Youth Choir for spreading the Christmas spirit with their carols. And lastly, we would like to thank everyone who came out to this event which keeps on growing. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2015!

Mrs. Ofelia Caliz passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Caliz family on the passing of Mrs. Ofelia Caliz. May her soul rest in peace.

It's Official! Reggae superstar Demian Marley to perform in Belize!

DYS CZL Youth Group learning about the different types of Mangroves and their importance.

Corozal Town Council's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Corozalenos' are invited to the Corozal Town Council's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Presentation tomorrow Dec. 6th beginning at 7pm at Central Park. Come on out and enjoy the Christmas spirit!

Channel 7

Tropic Air, Should They Have Been Warned?
Yesterday it made headlines everywhere when a Tropic Air Cessna Caravan plunged off the runway at the Municipal airstrip and took a dive into the Caribbean. No one was hurt - but it does raise valid concerns. First among them is that Tropic had only just bought the aircraft last month for 4 million dollars. So what went wrong? Tropic Air is saying its was an engine failure, but the Civil Aviation Department which is leading the investigation is being very guarded in its remarks... Nigel Carter, COO - Civil Aviation Department "Tropic Air Flight 281, Cessna 208 Caravan inbound from San Pedro to Belize Municipal Airport was involve in an accident. The aircraft had 1 pilot and 5 passengers. Upon attempting to land at the municipal airport the aircraft was not able to come to a full stop in the existing length of the runway and ended up departing the runway and coming to rest beyond the end of the runway in the water."

Waste Control Going To Crowfoot City Hall?
For the past 2 nights, we've been showing you our interview with Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley about the recent challenges he has been facing. Well, one of his headaches returned today...but like a migraine! A Supreme Court Marshall went to City Hall to crowfoot the council's items to recover an outstanding debt! Now that kind of action is reserved for the hardest pay malpago's - but now it has befallen city hall. It's a product of that well-known dispute that City Hall has with Belize Waste Control where it falls behind on arrears for garbage collection. About 6 weeks ago, the Supreme Court entered a default judgment against the Council when Waste Control sued them. Bradley and the council didn't offer any defence, and so, the court ordered them to pay the company $525 thousand dollars.

Sugar Negotiations, Still No Breakthrough
Well, it's coming right down to the wire for the 2014 - 2015 sugar crop. The season is scheduled to open on Monday and still tonight there is no agreement between BSI and the Cane Farmers. At this point BSI has responded to the cane farmers proposals with a letter dated today - it ends with the hope that an agreement can be signed shortly. The cane farmers continue to seek political intervention and are scheduled to meet with the Deputy Prime Minister tomorrow. We'll keep following the story.

House Falls In City, Devastates Family
Tonight a Belize City man needs your assistance after he lost everything inside his home. Sometime this afternoon Miguel Vansen - a resident of Roches Street in the Lake Independence Area - received the news from his neighbors that his upstairs wooden house had collapsed. Luckily no one was inside the house - but all his belongings were destroyed. Monica Bodden spoke to a very emotional Vansen a few hours ago:.. Miguel Vansen - Home Owner "I was working on a street right over there when my neighbor came and told me that my house fell. I never believe it, but when I came I saw it like that." Reporter "Sir, was your house shaking before?" Miguel Vansen - Home Owner "Yes it was shaking because when the hard breeze come I would feel it the shake. It never really had good board and thing. Most of it was already leaning." Reporter "You lived there alone?"

Gallaty Pleas With Court To Get Back Driver's License
It made news back in April when 57 year-old Insurance executive Phillip Gallaty was charged for reversing his Toyota Hilux into the vehicle belonging to Traffic Magistrate Stephanie Gillett. Well, he was suspended from driving, but today, Gallaty went to court pleaded with the Senior Magistrate to lift that sanction. He was found guilty before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith for the charge of driving without due care and attention on September 4. Chief Magistrate Smith suspended his license for 6 months as punishment, but today, he went back to court to ask Senior Magistrate Frazer to allow him to drive. Gallaty explained that due to nature of his business, the suspended driving license has caused him a great deal of inconvenience, and an inability to earn his living.

Man Charged For Gang Insignia Says He Turned To God
33 year-old Ian Westby, an unemployed resident of Casuarina Street, is on remand tonight after being taken to court for displaying gang related tattoos. Police officers encountered him in his neighborhood yesterday, and when the officers observed closely, they saw that he had "30" tattooed on his left arm, and "WS" on his right hand. Police associate these tattoos with the Crips Gang, and they charged him with the offence of displaying gang insignias. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on the charge, and he attempted to plea guilty to the offence. He says that he got the tattoos when he was in primary school, but that he has been a member of the Central Assembly of God Church for the past 6 years now.

Bailed On Tuesday, Back to Court Friday
39 year-old Lance Welch, a Rivero Street resident, who was only just released from prison on bail yesterday, is back before the court for a drug trafficking allegation against him made by Gang Suppression Unit. The GSU found him in a yard on Kraal Road, and when they searched the area, they found 90.1 grams - or 3.1 ounces - of cannabis. No one else was the area, and so they charged Welch for drug trafficking. In court today, he told Senior Magistrate Frazer that after he was released on bail, he went home until late in the evening. He said that he then went to visit some friends at a yard on Kraal Road, and when his companions saw the officers, everybody ran away. Welch says that he stayed behind because he was not guilty of any offense, and that's when the officers found the drugs and are trying to tie him to it.

Meighan, The Younger Freed
18 year-old Shaquille Meighan, the younger brother of the well-known Tyron and Ellis Meighan, is home free tonight after the Senior Magistrate threw an aggravated assault charge against him out of court. The complainant, Maurice Middleton, accused him back on June 10 of firing a weapon at him. Middleton reported to police that he was on Victoria Street when Shaquille Meighan shot at him, but missed. The prosecution was asked to produce Middleton as the main witness against Meighan today. The police prosecutor didn't, and informed Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer that police couldn't locate Middleton for the case.

BTIA Elects New President, Tries To Grow Membership
The Belize Tourism Industry Association held its 29th Annual General Meeting today at the Radisson. For outgoing President Herbert Haylock, it was the end of a two year term - and he told us that as an advocacy organization, BTIA has to continue the earn the confidence of its stakeholders - which can be a challenge:.. Herbert Haylock, President, BTIA "There are a number of things as you rightly say impacting the industry today. We continue to be voicing concerns about those issues and that we take a stand, for example to ensure that development, in terms of the context on development that we want to see for this country continues and the way we would like it to continue." Jules Vasquez "Do you lament the fact that BTIA really is not in a great place. I don't think you all have an ED. I don't know that you do and also membership of the BTIA is opportunistic. At best you have a lot of people who aren't engaged."

Big Weed Bust In Griga
Tonight, Dangriga police are processing what looks to be a lucrative drug trafficking operation in which 3 people have been arrested and charged. Acting on intelligence from Special Branch, a team of police officers launched an early morning raid today in the Baka Town Area of the community. They visited the residence of 38 year-old Delvorine Ramos, which is located on St. Vincent Street. Delvorine Ramos was present at the time along with 19 year-old Chelsey Ramos and 46 year-old Felix Alvarez. A thorough search of the premises led to the discovery of a barrel in the house corridor. Inside that barrel, the officers found a crocus sack which contained 9 plastic bags - each a separate marijuana parcel for at least 10 ounces all the way up to just under a pound. The total weight of all the drug parcels was 3.72 kilos, and due to the discovery, all 3 persons were arrested and charged with drug trafficking. It is expect that they will be arraigned at the earliest convenience.

Making Olympics Special
In October we reported on the Community Policing Unit's $6,000 dollar donation to the Special Olympic Committee. This donation was used to help fund the 2014 Special Olympics Games that was held today in Belmopan. Over 270 children registered to be a part of the event where they participated in football and Bachi matches as well as running races. But beyond the sporting activities and community support, this event highlights the importance of engaging children with diverse abilities to reach their highest potential. I found out more when I visited:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This golden torch planted in the grounds of the Governor General Field in Belmopan, sheds a light of hope and perseverance for participants in the Special Olympics Games. This morning, about 150 police officers accompanied by special Olympics youth made their way from Hattieville to Belmopan for the opening ceremony.

Man Called "Peter Tosh" To Court For Maim
Police say that 61 year-old Tony Anthony, also known as "Peter Tosh", chopped a man's finger off, and so tonight, he's at the prison, because police want to charge him with maim. He was arraigned on the charge of grievous harm when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Based on the facts of the case, the prosecutor objected to bail for Anthony. The prosecutor told Chief Magistrate Smith that the charge should have been maim because the middle finger of the complainant was severed. At that point, Anthony broke down in tears, and He told Chief Magistrate Smith that it was the complainant Wayne Anthony who went to his yard at Lemonal on December 2. He says that Anthony threw stones at him while he was patrolling his yard with his machete.

Profile Of A Teacher
Tonight's profile is about Gaywin Bowen. She's the food and nutrition teacher at Maude Williams High. Tonight, she tells the profile how her life lessons inform and shape her work as a teacher:..

Civil Aviation Remembers
The Department of Civil Aviation held a ceremony today remember pilots who died while doing their jobs. It's an important part of International Civil Aviation Day which started with the laying of wreaths for those deceased pilots, and a ceremony up at the PGIA. 7News stopped by and spoke with a representative of from the Department, who told us more today: Francis Lizama, Flight Operation Inspector, Department of Civil Aviation "The civil international aviation is commemorated every year in Belize. This year its promoting global friendship and understanding and we also remember our fallen pilots for year to year." Daniel Ortiz "How many pilots have you loss in accidents that have killed them?"

Re-visiting The Battle On The Boulevard
Call it the sidewalk skirmish, the battle on the Boulevard, or whatever you wish…but Wednesday's showdown between Gilroy Usher and Anthony Boots Martinez was a first. In an era when lively political debate is much in demand, but scarce in supply - we'll have to take this shouting match as our version of debate. It might not have been informing but it sure was entertaining - and tonight we have a slightly satirical re-take on it:.. It went on like that for 15 minutes. Next time we promise we'll have full punch stat and compubox figures.

BSI - The Breakdown
At the top of the newscast we told you that BSI has counter-proposed to the cane farmers association in a letter dated today. Well, the contents of that letter are known at this time. Here's what BSI and the cane farmers say: they are willing to negotiate the term of the agreement. The cane farmers have accepted the 7 year proposal, but they want a right to cancel it within a year if they don't agree on a strategic development plan which BSI is coming up with. Today, BSI called that unrealistic. Second, on the ownership of the cane. The cane farmers are willing to cede their notion of ownership on the condition that they can renegotiate for a percentage for any future bye products which may come from the cane. BSI is willing to accept this but with heavy conditions, principally that they would have to first recover their investment from such bye product before any discussion of a revenue cut.

Channel 5

BWC Attorneys Crowfoot City Hall Trucks
Belize City’s Mayor Darrell Bradley has been having his share of financial woes of late, since he is faced with the commitment of taking on one hundred and seventy new [...]

Civil Aviation Investigates Tropic Air Crash
At around two thirty Thursday afternoon a Tropic Air Cessna Grand Caravan, inbound from San Pedro, crash landed at the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City and then ran off the [...]

BSI Rejects BSCFA Proposals
The sugar-cane crop season 2014-2015 will not start on December eighth. And when, or if it will start, is anybody’s guess. On Wednesday the BSCFA presented proposals to the BSI [...]

The annual general meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association took place this morning at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City. While the tourism industry has faced its own share [...]

Osmany Salas is New President of BTIA
The B.T.I.A. also welcomed a new president during today’s AGM.  Osmany Salas has been chosen to succeed Herbert Haylock as head of the private sector tourism organization.  The incoming president [...]

Guatemalans Serve Five Year Sentence
A pair of Guatemalan men found hunting in Belizean territory illegally is spending the first night of a five-year sentence at the Belize Central Prison.  Thirty-five-year-old Emilio Chub and twenty-five-year-old [...]

Young Mother Behind Bars for a Bullet
A young mother remains behind bars tonight along with her two siblings, but sadly her two month old baby boy is at home being deprived of breast milk. The case [...]

Cop Out on Bail
Two men, including a cop, who are facing criminal offenses, are out on bail tonight.  First, there is PC Rupert Thomas, who is attached to the Independence Police Formation in [...]

Robbers pretending to be passengers robs James Bus en route to PG
A James Bus en route to Punta Gorda Town on Thursday night was held up by a trio of armed gunmen who boarded the vehicle near San Isidro Village as [...]

Civil Aviation Lays Wreaths in Honour of Fallen Pilots
The Department of Civil Aviation held an event today to coincide with International Civil Aviation Day. The activities began with a wreath laying ceremony to honor pilots who perished in [...]

Special Olympics National Games Held in Belmopan
Today the 2014 Special Olympics National Games were held in Belmopan. It was a culmination of local and regional games in which athletes from across the country had the opportunity [...]

BCCI to Host Christmas Expo in the City
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is hosting a Christmas expo this weekend in Belize City. The expo has become a popular event because it offers consumers great deals [...]


Financial Irregularities at KHMH, again
The Ministry of Finance requested another Special Audit for the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital over two x -ray machines purchased...

Venezuela selling PetroCaribe loans?
The price of oil on the World Market continues to fall and while that is a good thing for those countries whose Governments pass on the savings at the pump, it is also cause for concern for some on the global scale...

National Special Olympics Games in Belmopan
“Let me win, but if I cannot, let me be brave in the attempt...

Highway robbery of James Bus
A James Bus was robbed on the Southern Highway. Sometime around 6:30 pm on December 3, a James Bus travelling from Belize City to Punta Gorda was stopped by three men in San Isidro Village...

New PreSchool in Kontiki
A new preschool, Arms of Love Preschool, was built in the Kontiki area of the Twin Towns in the Cayo District.  The new preschool was built by the Government of Belize at a total cost of $265,775.00 with funds financed through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank.

BSI and BSCFA still negotiating
After many back and forths and some apparent hostilities between ASR/BSI and the BSCFA, on Wednesday both parties went back to the negotiating table, where they met for a much anticipated meeting at the BSI staff club in Orange Walk Town. Present at the meeting were ASR/BSI, BSCFA and their attorneys and representatives of the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB). The meeting was rather cordial as both parties attempted to mend fences in order to begin the crop season as soon as possible. However, up until Thursday, there is not much that can be said as both parties are not revealing much about the discussions at this time. Both do concede, however that the discussions were good. BSI’s Belizario Carballo spoke the media on Wednesday.

Street Fixing Challenges in Belmopan
Residents of Salvapan area that live in the Calle De Las Americas Street Extension are under dire need of street repairs. The street is trafficked regularly as it is the main point of entry for residents on the Northernmost part of Salvapan. The street extension has always been left in a bad state however the recent rains have since worsened the conditions of the road leading into that area. Cirilio Choco is a resident of that community. “I’m complaning on behalf of all of us, the residents of the Salvapan area, because our road looks like it’s a road where you haul logs. The reason is that it’s a pig road, lots of mud, lots of holes, lots of water, especially for mosquitoes, and [it's] very dangerous for kids going to school. That’s why I am talking on behalf of the Salapan people, towards the media, to let you guys know that we need help, and we need to call our ministers and our Area Representative to please help us in this area. We have more that fifty kids who come to school every day, mothers, children, men who go to work every day, and then we have to pass through all of this mud.”

Dark Knight’s Cave Contract Clarified
FECTAB held a press conference on November 17 to discuss what they said was an exclusive 75 year contract to Dark Night to conduct tours at a cave behind Jaguar Paw on the George Price Highway. FECTAB was irate that a foreign company would be allowed exclusivity of a Mayan archaeological site. However, after meeting with NICH and seeing the contract for themselves, FECTAB says that the contract is for a period of three years, and they are satisfied that the company does not have exclusivity. Tom Greenwood – President of FECTAB “It came out at us from nowhere, and there was some misinformation about it. This will happen, when it is obvious that an archiological site is suddenly available to one person or one company, and not anybody else, we fear the worst. Now we know that the Dark Night contract is a three year contract. NICH has invited anyone to come there and read up on the contract, and you’ll see two things that are stark about the contract. We’re happy that these are true, that there is nowhere in that contract that gives permission to build a zipline through the caves, and the Dark Night people have no exclusivity to that cave. It’s a matter of absolutely getting to the cave, and the entire area is owned by various people. A lot of it is owned by the people who run Dark Night, and so that is a little hurdle, but there are other areas.”


No apology from “Monchi,” and no lawsuit from “Gapi”
Last month, it made national headlines when the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Orange Walk North standard-bearer Ramon “Monchi” Cervantes, Jr., was threatened with a lawsuit by his political opponent, the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP)’s Hon. Gaspar “Gapi” Vega, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and the Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture, if he did not apologize and pay damages for defamation of character, for causing a conversation in Spanish which implicated him, Vega, in the murder of Ramon Cervantes, Sr., to be broadcasted on LOVE FM. However, Cervantes, Jr., told Amandala tonight, Thursday, that he has not been served with any court papers from Hon. Vega’s attorney.

Gungulung man, 27, executed on “Jump Street”
On Wednesday, December 3, police responded to a shooting on Wagner’s Lane, more popularly known as “Jump Street.” The Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) ambulance that screamed its way down Albert Street moments after a police mobile unit, with siren blaring, had passed, drove back quietly on Regent Street as it made its way back to its base, an ominous sign of another fatality in the city — ambulances do not transport dead people. None of the residents of Jump Street who were standing behind the yellow police crime scene marker knew who the man was, who lay dead near the entrance to one of the network of alleyways that connect to Jump Street. The suspense about the identity of the victim was soon broken, as word began to spread that the man on the ground, who was shot once in the head, was Robert Tracy, a man from Gungulung who had strayed into Jump Street.

Johnny denies 7 million dollar Guardian story!
The Guardian’s headline story of Sunday, December 7, 2014, “Johnny Briceño’s driver died leaving behind 7 million dollars?” has been described by current PUP Orange Walk Central area representative, Hon. John Briceño, as “completely absurd and ridiculous” in an interview with Amandala today. The Guardian, the mouthpiece of the ruling UDP, claimed that an Orange Walk man who had been employed as Briceño’s driver died leaving behind assets worth “somewhere in the region of $7 million.” Earlier this week we were informed that the body of Anthony “Tutch” Gillett, Briceño’s former driver, was recently exhumed from the Orange Walk cemetery where he had been laid to rest. The exhumation followed an internal family dispute over assets, including his house, that he had owned before his death.

Woman, 45, faces $10,000 and 3 years for 1 weed tree
A woman who was on trial for marijuana cultivation and pipe possession was found guilty this morning when she and her two children appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. Frazer found Tyron King, 18, and Sherin King, 20, not guilty of the two charges, but their mother, Olympia King, 45, was not so fortunate. She was found guilty of both charges against her. Another person who was accused along with the Kings was Harrison Smith, who has been murdered since the trial began. Frazer, in a gesture of goodwill, allowed King to go home to spend the Christmas holidays with her family, but warned her that the penalty for marijuana cultivation is the same as that for drug trafficking, a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 3 years.

Deadline December 15 for KREM Classic
The Cycling Federation of Belize announced today that it would be conducting its 2015 Membership Registration drive this Saturday, December 6, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., at the UWI Open Campus in Belize City on Princess Margaret Drive. According to the Federation, “All persons (athletes, support personnel, officials, teams etc), can bring in their completed registration forms with the relevant supporting documents (copy of either your Social Security Card or Passport) to indicate proof of your date of birth.” The release also noted that “the deadline for membership registration for athletes participating in the 25th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic is MONDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2014.” It added that, “Deadline to submit names for vetting of Foreign Riders, who will be riding on a team for this event, is Friday, December 12.”

Belmopan Football Association 1st Division Tournament
There were 4 games scheduled for Sunday, November 30, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the Belmopan Football Association (BFA) 1st Division Tournament, but only 1 of the games was actually played. In the first game, scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m., San Martin FC won by default (3-0) over Las Flores United. In game 2, UB Black Jaguars dropped Maya Mopan Ranger, 3-1, with goals from Reynaldo Lisbey (53’ & 62’) and Angel Briceno (74); while Maya Mopan’s lone tally was by Juan Pop (28’). The other 2 scheduled games, Armenia FC vs Cotton Tree FC, and Duck Run II vs Club Atletico, were not played because the referees were called to officiate at PLB (Premier League of Belize) games.

Serving the people …
Seen from a certain perspective, electoral politics is an investment of time and money in order to achieve power. Power is the reward for that investment, and when one achieves power in the form of government formation in Belmopan, one then proceeds to recoup one’s investment. Most of our politicians recoup more than their campaign investment when they are elected to office, and if they personally do not wish to grab in excess because of personal reasons or because they want to protect a political image of cleanliness, then their relatives and cronies will gladly do it for them. The people of Belize now know that politics in Belize is a “grab tub” business. The people of Belize are not fooled any more by this “I want to serve” foolishness.” Politicians and those around them want access to the public funds of Belize. That is what the game is all about. The real estate of Belize is also a great prize. That real estate includes pristine land and jungle, and wonderful coral isles. Tiny Belize, must we say it one more time, owns the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Then there are the petroleum realities and possibilities. How about collecting protection money for the movement of narcotics from South America to the United States? Yes, you can get rich when you are in political power in Belize.

From the Publisher
I’ve heard a few Belizeans in the Diaspora give me credit for having remained in Belize, but, to be truthful, some of the background explanation for my remaining in Belize has to do with my airplane phobia. If I could have flown back and forth, I might have moved to America in early 1979, say, when the UDP were giving me a really hard time and appeared about to take national political power. I have been saying to you Belizeans that we must always keep the Seventeen Proposals in mind. These remain the template the Americans are using insofar as their foreign policy for Belize is concerned. I have also been saying that we must pay keen attention to the Maya of Belize, because their perspective is important for the rest of us. One problem is that both the American foreign officials and Maya leaders are more sophisticated than Belizeans can conceive.

Residents of Ivor Street held fundraising flea market to repair their street
Ivor Street lies deep in the north of the Lake Independence area, almost by the riverside, but when it rains, navigating the street is a nightmare for its residents, because the short street has no drainage and the potholes keep getting bigger. Residents of the street have traditionally taken matters into their own hands and have done some of the work to improve the street on their own. In another two weeks, they will launch their street cleanup campaign. Before the start of the cleanup, however, on Saturday, November 29, the residents of Ivor Street held a flea market inside Battlefield Park to raise funds to buy filling to repair their street. Two of the residents of the street, Shasa Eiley and Jacqueline Meighan, told Amandala about their plans to tackle the street filling.

GoBelize youth program graduates 10, celebrates 10th anniversary
GoBelize is a non-governmental organization which is focused on advocating for the rights and development of youths in both rural and urban areas. Today, the administrators and alumni celebrated the program’s 10th anniversary while incorporating the graduation ceremony for ten additional cohorts who joined the organization this year. After starting out under a regional initiative known as “GoJoven” in 2004, the program evolved and later localized in Belize through the efforts of past graduates who came together to contribute to the leadership and development needs of Belizean youths. Executive Director, Eva Burgos, who was one of the first to undergo the internationally funded, youth-led program, told Amandala about her role in the program and its future initiatives.

High schoolers enter regional science project competition
A group of teenagers from Canaan S.D.A. High School in Belize City have put together an innovative energy-generating contraption which is designed not only to improve ventilation in some of their classrooms, but also to propel them to success in an upcoming regional competition known as The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge 2014. Through the yearly event, students between the ages of 11 and 18 years from high schools all over the Caribbean are stimulated to solve problems of sustainability in their schools and communities through STEM, which stands for a combination of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Since some of their classrooms are made of metal, which is known to conduct heat, the students have decided to create an electromagnetic generator ventilation system made up mainly of a bicycle, an alternator, an inverter and a car battery, which will be used to power wall fans inside the classrooms to reduce the heat and make the classrooms cooler.

Possession of 118 grams of cannabis results in $1,500 fine for amputee
An amputee who shredded the prosecution’s drug trafficking charge against him (by proving through a cross-examination of witnesses against him that he did not sell cannabis, but merely used it) was sentenced to a fine of $1,500, yesterday morning, Tuesday, when he appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton, who had found him not guilty of drug trafficking, but guilty of possession of a controlled drug — 118 grams of cannabis that police found at his home. On September 3, 2013, the police’s Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), while on an anti-drug operation in the Conch Shell Bay area, searched the home of Alton White, 50, and his common-law wife, Idolly Frazer, 36, and found 118 grams of cannabis in two separate locations.

Drilling beyond 7,000 feet in Sarstoon-Temash
Alistair King, the country representative for US Capital in Belize, confirmed to our newspaper today that the company continues exploratory drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park, and although no commercial find has been discovered even at 7,000 feet below ground level, they remain hopeful that the search will yield positive results. Whereas the Government of Belize has granted permission for the oil company to drill for oil inside the protected area, two NGOs – the Sarstoon Temash National Park and the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) – contend that no such drilling should be allowed in the park where extractive use has been strictly regulated. Members of the surrounding Maya communities have taken issue with the Government’s decision to grant the permit to US Capital to enter the national park for oil exploration activities, and four of the surrounding communities have filed a suit against the Government of Belize, challenging its decision.

Supreme Court judge tells BGYEA to try mediation once more
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) and the Government of Belize remain locked in a legal dispute over the rights to use the Harmonyville “buffer zone,” an area that BGYEA members who reside in the surrounding territory wanted to use to plant corn, but for which Government has taken them to court, claiming that the area is a road reserve. After the government’s side had failed to abide by two court orders for mediation, the parties were ordered back to the mediation table yesterday, Monday, by Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel, who expressed disappointment that the court-ordered mediation was not used to try to resolve the dispute. Following the court hearing this morning, some members of BGYEA and residents of the Harmonyville community explained what is happening on the ground.

Belize missing again from corruption index
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2014, captioned “Clean growth at risk,” was released today by Transparency International and again Belize has been excluded from the rankings (the government chose not to participate), so there is no telling how Belize measures up to its regional counterparts which have been ranked on the international scale. According to the CPI report, “More than two thirds of the 175 countries in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index score below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).” Generally speaking, countries in the Americas scored poorly, and the report said that 68% of countries scored lower than 50%, versus 66% last year, 2013. The average score for the Americas, although being only 45%, is still higher than the average global score, which is 43%.

Prime Minister attends Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit
Cuba-CARICOM Day, observed annually on December 8, was instituted back in 2002, to solidify relations which Cuba began to cultivate with the region decades earlier, starting with the establishment of diplomatic relations with Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago back in 1972. On Monday, December 8, 2014, Cuba will host delegations from CARICOM member countries, including Belize, as talks focus on matters of economic importance, in the context of the 5-year strategic plan (2014-2019) for the region, formalized at the last regional summit. Prime Minister Barrow left Belize on Tuesday, December 2, to first travel to Atlanta, Georgia, USA, after which he plans to travel to Cuba for the regional summit.

OW cop internally charged for handcuffs on Ramon Cervantes, Sr.
Information reaching Amandala suggests that disciplinary proceedings were carried out today against Police Constable #743 Javier Alvarez, who is attached to the Orange Walk Police Formation, after it had been alleged that his handcuffs were used to bind the hands of Ramon “Don Ramon” Cervantes, Sr., the well-known Orange Walk businessman and former mayor who was abducted and murdered earlier this year. According to information we received from sources within the Belize Police Department, Alvarez was reportedly found guilty of two counts of Prejudice to Good Order and Discipline, and was consequently fined $200 and “severely reprimanded” by a disciplinary body today.

The Reporter

Civil Aviation Day celebrated in Belize
The Belize Department of Civil Aviation observed International Day of Civil Aviation on Friday with a list of events, including a wreath-laying ceremony to honour pilots all over the world who lost their lives in the course of their duties, and a larger ceremony on the Phillip Goldson International Airport compound. Durong that event, the department honoured one of its employees for having 51 years of service in the field. Nigel Carter, chief operations officer at the department, explained that the day was all about raising awareness about the importance of civil aviation and safety-related issues. “By the end of 2014 we will have had 290,000 flight operations,” Carter said. “We have different classifications, depending on damage and number of injuries to define an accident and for this year our only accident happened yesterday December 4.”

Two murders, 15 hours apart! Are they connected? Police want to know
City Police are looking to see if the murders of Emerson Arnold, 35, and Kenroy Parham, 25, who were killed 15 hours apart over last weekend, are connected in any way. Hattieville police have several persons detained for the Parham murder and are looking […]

Hold-up in Cotton Tree Village marks start of Christmas season
Three Bowen & Bowen employees, along with a Chinese grocer and his wife were relieved of their money and cellular phones during an armed hold-up at around 2:30 Monday afternoon in the village of Cotton Tree in the Cayo District. Two men wielding handguns […]

Court extends mediation date in dispute over buffer zone
The Supreme Court this week gave another extension for the Government of Belize and the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) to hold mediation talks to settle the dispute over the buffer zone surrounding the Harmonyville Community at mile 41 on the George Price Highway. […]

U.K. lawyer finds prison system in need of overhaul
A report published by a London-based NGO entitled “Behind the Prison Gates” identifies many of the problems the Belize prison system faces, including proper care for mental and juvenile inmates. Joseph Middleton, a human rights lawyer in the UK, was commissioned to undertake the […]

BTL system failure
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) experienced an interruption in their system this week that caused BTL customers nationwide to lose calls, text messages, 4G and DSL services. BTL Public Relations Officer, Lorena Martinez confirmed that BTL experienced some issues with their system early Wednesday morning, […]

Boots on the ground! FCD will triple its patrols in the Chiquibul
Friends of Conservation and Development, the non-governmental organization which co-manages the Chiquibul Forest, is preparing to beef up its monitoring of the area by tripling the number of forest rangers. Director Rafael Manzanero, explained that after the successful Chiquibul telethon in October, the NGO acquired […]

Still no date for crop-open day and no breakthrough in sight!
Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. has until Friday midday to respond to proposals by the Belize Cane Farmers Association, which came from a meeting held on Wednesday, December 3rd. If the response is favourable, the crop could start as early as next week. But if BSI does not budge on its […]

Wednesday morning murder
A 28-year-old man is out on bail for attempted murder after he was shot in the back of the head and killed around 10 Wednesday morning on Wagner’s lane as he sat on a stool in a yard. Robert Tracy, a resident of Holy […]

They remember Andy!
The Garifuna community turned out in the hundreds on Tuesday night at Saint Martin de Porres Church in Belize City to celebrate the life of Andy Palacio, Belize’s former cultural ambassador, and artist for peace, as declared by UNESCO, on what would have been his […]

Belize/Mexico discuss tourism possibilities
Hotel representatives, travel agencies, car insurance agencies, restauranteurs and tour operators from Chetumal, Mahahual and Bacalar met in Belize on Wednesday at a tourism trade show to discuss possibilities for trade in that industry. The objective was to encourage Belizean service providers to consider […]

Venezuela stands by PetroCaribe in spite of falling oil prices
Venezuela has pledged to continue her PertoCaribe program, despite a worsening economic situation in that country. The Government of Venezuela has insisted that the program is sustainable. According to John Mencias, Deputy Chairman of Alba PetroCaribe Belize Energy Limited (APBEL) Venezuela’s program is indeed sustainable because the PetroCaribe program is […]

Belize has been black-listed as the third most violence-prone country in the world. Fourteen years ago, at the turn of the century, the murder rate for Belize was 18.8 homicides per 100,000 persons. By 2012 the murder rate had doubled to 39.0 homicides per 100,000 persons, and last year’s reports […]

Plane slides off runway! Passengers escape unharmed
Directors of Tropic Air are blaming the slick runway at the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City for a near disaster involving a Cessna Caravan, Flight 281, on Thursday afternoon. The plane, coming in from San Pedro, landed successfully and then slid into the cold waters at the Eastern end of […]

Trickle-down effect of cheaper oil slow in reaching Belizean drivers
Pump prices for gasoline and diesel in Belize have dropped, but only slightly when compared to the global price of petroleum in other countries, which have enjoyed significantly cheaper prices over the past few months. Belizeans are hopeful that they may enjoy lower prices […]

BML may yet get a piece of the action
Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and the Belize City Council (CitCo) have begun discussions about the transition of 170 employees when BML’s contract ends in January, even while CitCo has been making good on its financial commitments to pay off arrears. . According to BML […]

Financial irregularities found at KHMH again
Two X-ray machines purchased by the KHMH are the subject of a Special Audit, which focused on the nation’s largest referral hospital for the period July 2013 – July 2014. The audit was commissioned through the Ministry of Finance and requested by the Board of Governors of the KHMH. In […]

The Belize Times

PUP Ready in Cayo North!! – PUP Cayo North Standard Bearer Richard Harrison to unveil 5-year Development Plan
People’s United Party Standard Bearer for Cayo North Richard Harrison has hit the ground running. He continues his ground campaign, meeting with residents of the division and gathering tremendous support as he shares his ideas for development. On Wednesday, Harrison held a successful meeting with key supporters in Bullet Tree Village who have committed to supporting him and working to bring about victory for the People’s United Party in the bye-elections to be held on January 5th 2015. Bullet Tree is a key community in Cayo North. Similarly, groups of young people, students of voting age, businessmen, religious leaders, teachers and community activists in Belize and abroad have commended Harrison for stepping into the political fray and committing to supporting him. This is the positive reaction which the People’s United Party’s decision to have Belizean entrepreneur and businessman Richard Harrison as their candidate in the January 5th bye-election in Cayo North has had in the division.

Mass resignation at Santa Familia Village Council
“It’s my way or the highway” – that’s the message the arrogant UDP Chairman Alberto August and spineless Cayo North East Standard Bearer John August imposed on the members of the Santa Familia Village Council, forcing a mass resignation of community leaders several weeks ago. Five members of the Village Council: Rafael Humes Jr., Yuri Rivera Obando, Juanito Carillo, David Carillo and Irbin Tun abandoned the UDP ship and left Chairman Gobin Carrias on his own, after they got fed up of the disrespectful treatment by UDP Chairman Alberto August and John August.

Darrel Bradley – the Christmas Grinch – BML workers denied Xmas loans because of job instability
Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) employees have received notification letters that as of January 18th they will no longer have jobs at the sanitation company, as a result of the Belize City Council’s crude decision not to renew their service contract. This has made life for BML workers miserable as the situation has impacted their ability to get the only kind of Christmas cheer available in these cold and hard Barrow times. The workers have been denied access to loans by every financial institution on the basis that they don’t have job stability. BML workers are looking for something to be cheerful about this Christmas, and have attempted to access a little extra cash from loans at their credit union and banks, but the Belize City Mayor’s indications that they might not be keeping an earlier commitment that every employee would be hired has made things iffy for the employees.

Another youth gunned down – 28 year old Robert “Bolo” Tracey executed on Jump Street
Gun shots rang out in Southside Belize City shortly after 10:00am on Wednesday morning, as 28 year old Robert Tracey was executed on Wagner’s Lane, also known as “Jump Street”. Tracey was shot in the head multiple times by an unknown gunman, and left dead on the sidewalk. Residents who had heard the gunshots looked out and saw a man lying on the ground. Horrified at the site, they called the Police. At the scene, the Police recovered several expended shells and a blue-in-color beach cruiser bicycle. It is believed that the gunman sneaked up on Tracey who was sitting in front of a private residence and shot him at close range. The gunman then ran through an alley and escaped. The Police found clothing which they believed belongs to the gunman.

The news on Channel 5 television that the Police have decided to no longer consult the Director of Public Prosecutions before charging any citizen for criminal offenses is most disturbing. The internal memorandum to all Police formations and district stations was signed by Mr. Russel Blackett, the former Assistant Commissioner of Police and Head of National Crimes Unit. The memo was not signed by the Commissioner of Police, nor was it signed on his behalf, which may or may not have some meaning. A decision of this importance should have come from the Commissioner. Perhaps he saw controversy in this decision and felt he was already skating on thin ice in the court of public opinion. Mr. Blackett is a retired Police Officer. He reached his retirement age and has been rehired at the behest of the Prime Minister. Such a decision itself raises concern. The law governing public officers, of which all senior police officers above the rank of Inspector are legally public officers; is that they must retire on reaching the age of fifty-five years.

Verdes FC bombs Placencia Assassins 2-1
Verdes FC of Benque Viejo moved up to the No. 2 spot in the Premier League of Belize after the green machine blasted Placencia Assassins 2-1 at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio on Sunday to shadow the top gun with 13 points. A header from Assassins’ Luis “Barker” Torres forced Verdes’ goalie Benito Moreira to make an acrobatic save, while Verdes’ Jarret Davis and Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton brought the pressure on Assassins’ goalie Jesus Urbina, with “Orlando “Leechy” Jimenez, Nahjib Guerra, Richard “Cheety” Jimenez and Everald Trapp all trying shots at goal.

SJC & Sadie Vernon boys clash in basketball finals
The Sadie Vernon Technical High School boys will take on the St. John’s College boys in the high school basketball finals at Bird’s Isle on Wednesday night, December 3. On Monday night, SJC overpowered Gwen Liz 55-47 in Game 3 of the playoffs. Dudley Erskine led with 24 points. The Sadie Vernon boys eliminated the defending Belize District high school champs, ACC boys 66-64 in overtime, after regulation ended with the score tied at 64-64. Clency Lopez finished with 25 points as he scored the winning basket unopposed, as ACC’s coach Matthew Smiling had refused to allow his players back on the court, forfeiting their chance at the championship. Belize Bank Bulldogs’ star Darwin “Puppy” Leslie is coaching the Sadie Vernon Technical High School.

The Base at Hunting Caye
Just a couple of months ago Belize’s security had been compromised leading to a brutal fatality of a Tourism Police at the Caracol Archaeological site involving some Guatemalans. Now, it has come to the attention of the Public that a privately-owned Guatemalan Contractor Company “BINARQ” was contracted to construct the Belize Coast Guard’s Base at Hunting Caye, which is a military facility located down south. This has caused some consternations and legitimate concerns by the Belizean Public as they would like to know “Why in the world would the Government allow Guatemalans to be in charge of our military base especially since there has been an ongoing dispute between the two countries? It is understandable that as a democratic and peaceful country the Government would want to try and settle the dispute with Guatemala in a civilized and peaceful manner; therefore, contracting a Guatemalan company would seem to be a start in moving forward and working harmoniously. However, I personally believe that the only acceptable way that a Guatemalan company could be operating in Belize is to have the company hire Belizean citizens only since it is in our country.

GST accountability
Slowly throughout the years we have been forced to change our lifestyles to suit the changes in the economy. In many homes in Belize today, both parents are working in order to make ends meet. Household incomes are going down, the cost of living is going up and debts are accumulating. A majority of our paychecks are stagnant while the cost of living just continues to soar. We are finding it harder and harder to be able to afford the things that were once easier to afford, like a mortgage or higher education. In order to help the economy and ourselves, we need to evaluate the issues that are affecting us. We know that the Government of Belize (GOB) has an obligation to its country and is responsible for sustaining a vast majority of expenses like fixing streets and roads, maintenance of the different ministries, schools, hospitals, national security etc. We all agree that it is necessary to pay taxes in order to sustain our country and one of the largest contributing revenue bases for GOB is the General Sales Tax (GST). It would not be necessary for GOB to implement so many other taxes or may even be able reduce some of the taxes already in place if everyone did their part in paying their due share of GST and ensuring that those authorized to collect GST on behalf of government do account for all GST collected and due.

Guerrero Street Swimming Pool
Dear Area Representative Boots Martinez, This is Guerrero St. in your constituency of Port Loyola. It has been neglected for over a decade. It has no drain on either side with potholes that turn into swimming pools. It is both a safety and health risk because it holds stagnant water for days after rainfall occurs. PLEASE HELP! Sincerely,

Michel Chebat letter to Cayo North
Dear Residents of Cayo North, Over the past few weeks, I have along with members of my committee visited with you, and listened to your concerns and ideas with the goal of formulating solutions that would bring meaningful change to Cayo North and by extension our beloved country Belize. After consultation with the leadership of the party, it was determined that in light of the current circumstances and time constraints and to foster unity and harmony within the party, I would step aside and allow my fellow aspirant to go, uncontested, into the bi-elections to be held on the 5th of January 2015.

Time to Get Serious about Sports!
Dear Editor, In countries where Sports is handled properly, it is a profitable venture for the Government as well as other partners who support the industry. Years ago when our population and the economy were much smaller, there was often only standing room for basketball games at Civic Center, football matches at MCC grounds, boxing bouts at Bird’s Isle , and softball games at Roger’s Stadium. Apart from the profit making aspects, sports is also a discipline that teaches life skills such as self-reliance, good decision making, patience, hard work, ambition, peaceful resolution of dispute, and the need for a good education among many other things. Early support for Sports also enhances the chance for amateur athletes to reap the many benefits of playing on the world stage at the professional level.

City Administrator’s pickup crashed
The expensive vehicle bought with City Council funds for daily use by the City Administrator Candace Burke was crashed earlier this week. Following the crash, the vehicle was hidden from the public and clandestinely driven to an auto body works located on the Western Highway for repair. While the Mayor and Council stomp their feet and bawl that the City Council is broke when the sanitation companies knock on their doors to collect outstanding debts, the Council will surely find a way to pay the cost of repairs for Burke’s nearly brand-new Toyota Hilux to avoid any public scandal.

Tropic Air crashes off airstrip runway
A Tropic Air Cessna plane crashed into the sea after it ran off the runway at the Belize City airstrip on Thursday afternoon. The 5 passengers and pilot were not injured in the mishap, according to Tropic Air’s Public Relations Director Dennis Sunderman. A company press release indicated that “approximately 2:20 PM flight #281 was going from San Pedro to Belize City Municipal Airport and upon landing went off the end of the runway into the water.”

At the sitting of the House of Representatives on November 18th last, I rose on a Point of Order, indicating assertively to the Speaker my objection to the interruptions and catcalls from the government side as Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca rose to debate the Petrocaribe Loan Motion. Members of our side had sat quietly as the Prime Minister, as ringmaster of his red circus, delivered his now infamous “Roll It” pseudo-defence of the Petrocaribe illegality. But, true to form, the peanut gallery of Barrow’s side of the House just couldn’t shut up and behave themselves when it was the Opposition’s turn to expose the hypocrisy of the Barrow administration. I did not myself speak to debate the Motion. The day was long, and the speeches of the government side were the usual empty drivel. Those from our side were cogent and hard hitting. I had paid keen attention as the Prime Minister tried in vain to explain away his unlawful actions in not seeking House approval before borrowing and spending the countless Petrocaribe millions. He called the Petrocaribe funds a ‘peculiar creature,’ saying that it was impossible to know ahead of time the exact sums to be borrowed, so therefore (following his twisted logic) it was alright to commit a blatantly illegal act. What hogwash, and what a spurious, silly argument! Simple arithmetic could have told him when he was arriving at Ten Million Dollars and more in funds and the need, therefore, to seek House approval as required by law prior to borrowing and spending.

Bitter Sweet Sugar Cane
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) has been engaged in a longstanding negotiation with the new factory owners of Belize Sugar Industries, American Sugar Refining Inc. (ASR) regarding the upcoming sugar cane season expected to begin on December 8, 2014. Both parties have agreed that it is in the best interest of this valuable industry that the new sugar cane season begins on time. However, the sticking point is that BSCFA does not want to relinquish ownership of the sugar cane after sale to the factory because of the residual value of the bagasse when the sugar cane is grounded.

Dah we like suh
My grandmother had a saying that whenever I would complain to her about someone doing me wrong, she would say, “Dah you like suh!” In other words, if you didn’t like it, you would do something about it. There are usually two courses of action available to any person who believes that they are being wronged. The first is to remove themselves from the environment and the second is to do what is necessary to put a stop to the offensive action. Belizeans have long been complaining about being wronged by politicians. Abuse of authority, corruption, wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money, nepotism, cronyism, interference in Police work and the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, in this case before us (the current government is not only accused but practically found guilty of all of the above, and then some), most Belizeans do not have both options available to them. Belize is our only home and we do not have the luxury of removing ourselves from this environment. There are those who do have green cards and the opportunity to travel but they choose instead to stay and make a life in Belize. That is their right for this is our home! We therefore are left with one choice and one choice only; we must do what is necessary to put a stop to this miscreance.

Belize “Titanic” is Petrocaribe
I’m not a big movie fan but boy when I fall in love with a movie I watch it often. One such movie is “Titanic”. Mein, I loved that movie! It’s a bit long but who cares it holds my attention for the 3 ½ hours and it’s worth it. The other good thing about it is that it’s a true story. It all started on April 10, 1912 when this large ship, the largest in the world at the time, left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City. No expense was spared – every luxury available to man was onboard. Her passengers were a mixture of the world’s wealthiest, basking in the elegance of first class accommodations. She was classified as the safest ship ever built, so safe she couldn’t sink. She carried only 20 lifeboats for her 2,200 passengers and crew. The party started immediately with dancing and drinking all day into the morning. The best liquor was onboard. This was life at its best for the rich and famous. Who can forget the love story of the society girl “Rose” and the penniless artist “Jack” as they fell in love on the high seas? What a party. Life could not be better. Then four days into her journey at 11:40pm on the night of April 14, she struck an iceberg but what’s to worry? This ship cannot sink we were told, so the party continued. Soon it became obvious the ship would go down. Each passenger was issued a life jacket but life expectancy would be short. The water was four degrees below freezing and very few if any could survive this cold water.

Think About It
For some ten years public sector workers have not benefited for a salaries increase. Despite rising cost of living in Belize. In 2004 and 2005 the trade unions played an important role in paving the way for the then opposition UDP to gain electoral victory. In 2008 the UDP became the government on a promise of accountability, transparency and all the rest of broken electoral pledges. They held out an open window and door that they would be a workers government. Another broken promise. From 2008 to 2013 the Unions played along with “their” government. No raise came. When they could no longer hold back the frustration of their members, and in particular the teachers, negotiation started. Based on facts and figures the Unions placed their cards on the negotiating table. Oh, no, said the Prime Minister, we just don’t have money for a raise. The Unions said they wouldn’t budge. They were asking for ten percent.

Secret Police Files on Gangs Leaked!!
Highly sensitive police intelligence on the gang networks in Belize has been leaked out of the Police Department, and is at risk of falling into the wrong hands and undermining organised-crime probes and potentially endangering the lives of Police Officials and citizens. The BELIZE TIMES has learnt that the intelligence data was mismanaged by a Police Officer who lost the device, a flash drive, which contained a back-up copy of the information. That flash-drive, with all the sensitive content, was recklessly handled and has now fallen in the hands of a private citizen, who we understand is resisting returning it to the Police. The intelligence data, some of which the BELIZE TIMES has obtained through reliable sources, contains information on gang networks and how they operate with certain resources. It lists names and contains detailed information of the key players involved. The data represent months of work by the Police’s special branch department. If gangs get the information it could weaken the Police’s anti-gang efforts tremendously, and even give gangs the advantage as they can pre-empt police action.

Patrick JonesPJ

Weed charge for GSU target
Thirty-nine year old Lance Welch, a resident of Rivero Street who was released on bail from prison yesterday, was back before the court today on a charge of drug trafficking. Welch was arraigned on the charge by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, the same magistrate who offered him bail […]

Philip Gallaty’s gets his driver’s license reinstated
Fifty-seven year old Phillip Gallaty, the manager of Victor Bryant and company limited, is permitted to drive again. Gallaty’s driver’s license was suspended for 6 months after he was found guilty of driving without due care and attention. After 3 months had passed since the suspension, Gallaty appeared […]

Gang charge for unemployed man
Thirty-three year old Ian Westby, an unemployed of Casaurina Street, was charged displaying gang insignia when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Westby wanted to plead guilty to the charge. He explained that he has had the tattoos on his left arm and right hand from […]

Teen beats charge after complainant no-shows
Eighteen year old Shaquille Meighan, charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, was freed of the charge when it was stuck out today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. The charge was struck out for want of prosecution because the virtual complainant, Maurice Middleton, could not be located. The […]

“Peter Tosh” hit with grievous harm charge
Sixty-one year old Tony Anthony, aka “Peter Tosh”, a former police officer, was charged with grievous harm when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. But based on the facts of the case, the prosecutor objected to bail for Anthony. The prosecutor told Chief Magistrate […]

Caye Caulker residents pleads to drug trafficking
Apologizing for wasting the court’s time, 31 year old Nolberto Choc of Caye Caulker accepted a plea of guilty of drug trafficking. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith handed down a fine of $10,000, half of which was to be paid immediately and the rest by December 31, 2015. Choc […]

Guatemalans jailed on unlicensed firearms charges
Two Guatemalan mean have been charged for the crime of possession of firearm and ammunition without a license. They are 34 year old Erasmo Vasquez Emilio. The duo was intercepted by Belizean authorities last week during a patrol near Machakilha village. Police say when the men were intercepted […]

First Caribbean International Bank donates to Belize Cancer Society
On Thursday First Caribbean International Bank made a donation of $8,000 to the Belize Cancer Society, proceeds of its various activities highlighting cancer awareness. The society’s vice-president Diane Finnegan said it comes in handy to provide services to persons afflicted with various forms of cancer, many of whom […]

Civil Aviation Department defends record after plane crash
The Department of Civil Aviation today observed International Civil Aviation Day in honor of the 70th anniversary of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s founding. It comes on the heels of yesterday’s crash of Tropic Air Flight 281 off the coast of Belize City as it prepared to land. […]

New BTIA president aims to strengthen organization
With just 16% of hotels, 4% of restaurants and 11% of other key sectors as active members of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the spokespeople for the tourism industry are aiming to get their own house in order by improving membership and financial position. That is the […]


Working with the manatee calves...from Dani, Lead Manatee Carer and Aussie extraordinaire
For someone to ask you to write a blog about your time and role at Wildtracks seems like a ridiculous feat. No amount of words could ever explain the pure joy and satisfaction you feel here on a daily basis, however, I will do my best. My name is Dani and I volunteer here at Wildtracks, mostly caring for the two male West Indian Manatee calves; Mitch and Lucky. Those who have met me will know that it is almost impossible for me not to cry when i see videos of dugongs and manatees in the wild, so, to be blessed with the opportunity to care for these two boys is one of the greatest endeavours of my life. Getting up at 5.30am is something normally unheard of for me, but knowing that I'm waking up to two hungry little manatees makes all the difference. I wake up each morning happy and excited to see them. It has been an absolute dream to bottle feed these beautiful animals five times a day, and it is worth the late nights, early mornings and zillions of mosquitos. Some days can be very testing and upsetting when the boys are uncomfortable, cold or gassy which can affect their feeding pattern. When Lucky came in he looked like a rumpled brown plastic bag; beached, emaciated and 95% dead. Mitch was also found stranded and underweight. Both manatees were left without a caring mother whom they would have fed from for up to two years before becoming independent. But acting as a mother, caring for, socializing, and comforting Mitch and Lucky is such a humbling experience for me. Mitch is now a very healthy, happy, handsome manatee and Lucky is looking better every day.

Throwback Travel Friday – Belize!
The second country I visited in Central America, Belize clings to the eastern coast sandwiched between Mexico and Guatemala. The terrain varies from dense jungles and Mayan ruins to Caribbean coast, blue waters and islands. Known famously by scuba divers as the location of Jacque Cousteau’s legendary Blue Hole, the coast is a great place for diving and other watersports. This is also the first place I ever ruined a camera by snorkeling with it in my pocket for a couple of hours getting a much deserved I told you so by my then girlfriend and beginning my streak of camera murder. The trip started with a flight into Belize City followed by a shuttle ride piloted by an insane Dutchman who stopped for beers halfway through the trip and deposited us in San Ignacio, a town near the border with Guatemala.

Make the Most of Your Belize Vacations
How will you make the most of your Belize vacations? With just a little research, you should find the answers that you need. Identify your priorities early on in your trip and stick to them. From here, start to meld your priorities with the 10 Belize travel tips below, in no particular order, and you will be sure to take advantage of every opportunity to experience the beautiful country of Belize to the fullest.

Testing Astrum Helicopters New Ride Over Ambergris Caye, Belize Or HOLY CRAP! I Can’t Believe I’m Doing This!
Yesterday I received an invitation from my friend and correspondent Finn Kardashian to TAKE A RIDE ON A HELICOPTER over the reef and Ambergris Caye with Astrum Helicopters. The very same company whisks people from the Belize International airport to super luxe resorts, allows them to flyover the Blue Hole in a matter of minutes (from basically anywhere in the country) and to see Belize’s amazing sights in probably the most spectacular way possible. Hidden waterfalls…jungle clearings…Maya sites…I can only imagine. Hovering just a few hundred feet above them…amazing.

International Sourcesizz

Caribbean integration and the big issues- Part one
Even with the premature death of the West Indian Federation in 1962, there was some optimism that the countries of the English speaking Caribbean would engage in other forms of integration short of a political union. And in many ways they have. After the ill-fated federation, there was the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA), established December 15, 1965 by Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago, and later joined by other countries. It sought to increase, diversify and liberalize trade while ensuring fair competition among these countries. The Caribbean Court of Justice, intended to replace the English Privy Council, is the highest court in a few Caribbean countries. As of 2011, Barbados, Belize and Guyana replaced the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council’s appellate jurisdiction, with that of the CCJ. This means that the CCJ considers and determines appeals in both civil and criminal matters from common law courts within these countries. In addition, in July of 2014, Dominica’s parliament approved a bill to make the CCJ the final court of appeal.

OAS Launches Workshop on Drug Treatment Courts in the Caribbean
The Organization of American States (OAS) today inaugurated the third and final two-day regional training workshop on the Monitoring and Evaluation of Drug Treatment Courts (DTCs) in Bridgetown, Barbados. Participants in the workshop organized by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the OAS, included judicial, health and drug treatment officials from Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Canada, including the Chief Justices of Belize and Barbados. Adriel Brathwaite, Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs of Barbados, opened the workshop highlighting his country’s investment in the drug treatment court program, “to save our young people.” The Attorney General expressed his gratitude for the support from the Government of Canada and the United States to the OAS Drug Treatment Court program, while also expressing the view that the countries, including Barbados, should take responsibility for the initiative within their countries.


Video: Jason Hartman & Tim - All Things Belize, 25min.

Video: Ambergris Caye, Belize - Market Introduction, 6min.

Video: Half Moon Caye Wall Shark Fun!, 1min. Megan O'Meara and a Shark!

Video: Belize dive with SeaSports Belize Nov12, 2014, 4.5min. Carnival Pride excursion: 2 Tank dive at the South Gallow's point reef. Divers: Adrian & Nancy, Tom & Donna, Dwayne & Danita.

Video: Training Ride Belize, Dec 1st 2014, 5min. Cyclists from Belmopan joining the Oceana ride across Belize on Saturday December 1st, 2014.

December 5, 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

Town Christmas Tree lights up for the Holidays!
While enjoying the glow of the tree, those in attendance also got to listen to classic Christmas carols as harmoniously sung by Heaven’s Voices Youth Choir and by Natalie Arceo. In the spirit of giving, excited children were offered cupcakes and refreshment. Everyone was also invited to snap a picture with Santa and Miss San Pedro Michelle Nuñez. The San Pedro Town Council would like to thank Lady Dixie Bowen and her family on the kind donation of the Christmas tree. May all island residents and visitors have a happy Christmas season!

Two Belizeans to receive training in clinical management of Ebola
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) will be offering workshop training to doctors and nurses from across the Caribbean and Latin America in the clinical management of Ebola. More than 30 countries, including Belize, will be benefiting from this free training to be held in Antigua and Barbuda and Chile. Representing Belize at the workshop will be Doctor Pedro Arriaga and Nurse Madona Vicente, who upon their return, will train other medical professionals in the country. The workshops are part of a series of PAHO/WHO actions intended to help countries strengthen their preparedness for potential cases of Ebola. The workshops are scheduled to take place from December 1st to 3rd in Antigua and Barbuda for Caribbean participants including Belize, and on December 3rd to 5th and 9th to 11th in Chile, for participants from Latin America. Dr. Marcos Espinal, Director of PAHO/WHO’s Department of Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis, participants in any of the three workshops are expected to train other health professionals in their home countries upon their return, with the support of their regional PAHO/WHO agency. “The goal of the workshops is to strengthen the clinical response capacity of doctors and nurses who have been assigned to treat Ebola patients. After this training, we’ll have health staff who are better prepared to rapidly detect cases, isolate and treat them, and prevent the virus’s spread,” said Espinal.

San Pedro Town Observes World AIDS Day
On Sunday November 30th, The San Pedro AIDS Commission and National AIDS Commission/ Island Committee (NAC Island Committee) collaborated in hosting a World AIDS Day Fundraising Fair at the Central Park. International AIDS Day is observed on December 1st and the groups promoted activities such as free HIV rapid testing, information and counselling, condom distribution, and of course some pastry and food sales. With two HIV/AIDS Awareness groups on the island, activities got underway at 10AM, and saw a host of visitors stopping by the various booths. Among the visitors were Miss San Pedro Michelle Nuñez, who, like many others, decided to “Know Your Status” and get tested. Despite the rainy weather conditions, Rompe Raja struck up the live band and kept the entertainment coming steadily throughout the day. The San Pedro AIDS Commission sold delicious pastries, rice and beans, and cold drinks, while the NAC Island Committee offered free testing, education and counselling.

San Pedro athletes take on CrossFit Chetumal Challenge 2014
Over the weekend of November 29th-30th, a delegation of athletes from Ambergris Caye travelled to Chetumal, Mexico where they competed in the CrossFit Chetumal Challenge 2014. CrossFit Chetumal hosted the competitive event, and saw a total of 40 competitors, which included five athletes from Sun and Sand CrossFit and two from San Pedro CrossFitCFS on Ambergris Caye. Competitors from Sun and Sand CrossFit included James Sanchez, Ernie Longsworth, Alex Garcia, Jennifer Maher and Chandel Rodriguez. CrossFitCFS competitors were Freddy Gonzalez and Gian Rivero. The two-day event included three workout events per day, and saw both males and females competing in intermediate and advanced divisions. While none of the San Pedro athletes competed in the advanced category, each worked hard in gaining a place in the intermediate finals.

Daniel Gregorio graduates from the Belize Coast Guard Academy
On Friday, November 28th the Belize National Coast Guard held commencement ceremonies for intake number five. Held at the Williamson Complex in Ladyville Village, Belize, the ceremony saw 44 recruits officially joining the Coast Guard. Among the recruits was 21-year-old island resident Daniel Gregorio who not only completed the course but received the Champion Physical Training Award. Family, friends and members of the diplomatic corps gathered at the complex to honor the young recruits. Operations Officer, Lieutenant Greg Soberanis welcomed those in attendance and congratulated new members of the Coast Guard. “Today, I am standing in front of these thirty-nine males and five females who, through intestinal fortitude, blood, sweat and tears decided to endure hardship through mental toughness,” said Soberanis. The recruits had to endure a 13 week course of both high level physical training and theory lessons.

Ambergris Today

Man Wounded Attempting to Capture Store Robber
An employee of Coral Cable Vision (CCV) was wounded this afternoon, Thursday, December 04, 2014, in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, as he attempted to detain a robber who had just stolen items from World Class Fashion Store on Pescador Drive (middle street). According to eye witness reports, four persons were sitting across the store when one of them entered the store around 1:30p.m. and stole some items. As the robber attempted to leave the area, an employee of Coral Cable Vision, located two doors down from the store, was made aware of the robbery attempt and was able to detain the robber. It was during the struggle that the robber was able to retrieve his gun and shoot the CCV employed on the leg, just above the knee.

Tropic Air Plane Runs off Belize City Runway into Water
A press release from Tropic Air has issued information this afternoon that one of its aircrafts ran off the runway in Belize City Municipal Airport and landed a few feet away in shallow waters. On Thursday December 4, at approximately 2:20 PM Tropic Air flight #281 was going from San Pedro to Belize City Municipal and upon landing went off the runway and into the water. There were five passengers and a pilot on board; no injuries incurred. Ambergris Today received information that one of the passengers onboard the plane was Carlos Najera, who was just injured in a shooting incident in San Pedro, an hour before. Najera was being transported to Belize City after he was shot on the leg while he attempted to apprehend a robber coming out of a local store in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

With a very short ceremony headed by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, a giant Christmas Tree was lit at Central Park last night, Tuesday, December 3, 2014, to help bring in the holiday season to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Together with Santa Claus taking pictures with the children and the Roman Catholic Church Choir showcasing Christmas Carols, Mayor Daniel Guerrero hit the switch that brought the Christmas Tree to life in downtown San Pedro, Central Park. Everybody took out their cameras to take pictures by the tree and the San Pedro Town Council distributed cupcakes and soft drinks to all the children present. The Christmas Tree is a gift to San Pedro Town by Lady Dixie Bowen and Family.

Belize Special Olympics Torch Comes to San Pedro
The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run that travels the world every year made it to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, on Wednesday, December 3, 2014. This torch is paraded around the country by the police and other law enforcement officers in an effort to garner special attention to children with disabilities and the Belize Special Olympics, raising funds for the same organization. The torch arrived into Belize via the Santa Elena Border and in its route throughout Belize, arrived on Ambergris Caye. The historic torch was set up at Central Park by founding members of Camp Starfish and the San Pedro Police Department for public viewing and photographs. The public was invited to make their donations towards Special Olympics.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

2014 Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
The traditional lighted boat parade will be held this saturday night, December 6th! Starting at 6pm the parade will leave Wayo's in Boca Del Rio and begin its voyage south to Caribbean Villas. The parade will then turn around and assemble in front of Central Park. There will be a block party at Central Park starting at 6pm also. Food and drink sales, photos with Santa, a Christmas Carols competition and more will be there for your entertainment pleasure. Bring your family and friends out to enjoy the fun. We look forward to seeing you there. San Pedro Business Association

Sugar cane farmers of the north continue to be anxious and overshadowed by a bitter sweet deadlock crisis in the sugar cane negotiations between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA which represents over 5,000 plus cane farmers of the North) and the multinational company ASR/BSI. Uncertain whether the Sugar Cane Crop Season will begin December 8th, cane farmers have been diligently seeking to negotiate and come to terms with ASR/BSI on a least the date for this crop (taking into account conditions of the rainy weather and proper access to their cane farms). Though a breakthrough in coming together to the table occurred yesterday, no substantial agreement relating to the 3 points of contention has conceded. According to BSI's Belizario Carballo yesterday, both sides are clearer on the three major areas they have not been able to agree on. It can take as little as 3 days from the signing of an agreement to commence delivery of crop. BSI has asked for time to consult BSFA's recent proposal.

A Season's Feast is All Natural In Belize
This small country in the Caribbean features big natural attractions and plenty of locally farmed food, considered outstanding as organic diets gain favor to extend health and increase vitality. While tourists must eventually bid goodbye to 100% fresh pina colada ingredients and sushi made from fish caught along the world-renowned Belize Barrier Reef, international homeowners enjoy a delicious and dynamic daily diet. Tropical colorful foods considered ‘exotic’ in most northern supermarkets are available every day in Belize. A current world-wide health-drink favorite is a green coconut brimming with healthful water, containing simple sugars, electrolytes and minerals such as potassium, decanted with a straw! Local coconut tree climbers harvest coconuts and serve with a whack of the machete wherever beachcombers may be in need of rehydration. Coconut trees line the beaches of Ambergris Caye, the most popular destination for Belize beachfront property available.

Residential Mortgage Payment Program: Frequently Asked Questions
Government of Belize Press Office

THE GIANT HAS AWOKEN! by Bilal Morris As the National Convention of The People of Belize head towards Belize City, (Ibo Town) to hold its next meeting in advancing the cause for justice and reparations of Belize's indigenous peoples after an outstanding and breathtaking performance at the University of Belize, on October 10, 2014, and later in Punta Gorda in November, 2014, the movement of a people that finally begins to look like a people's movement in Belize, stands tall for the rights of the marginalized peoples of Belize in conjunction with the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM). In this noble endeavor, it is hopeful that this will be a wake up call, and catalyst for something bigger that is to come.

Channel 7

Engine Failure: Tropic Air Takes A Plunge
A Tropic Air Cessna Caravan plunged into the waters adjoining the municipal airstrip in Belize City today. It happened at 2:20 pm when the turbo prop launched off the runway - reportedly after its engine inexplicably cut off. Five passengers and a pilot were on board - but none of them were hurt. The plane was flying from san Pedro to Belize City when - unofficial reports say - the engine died - and it could not apply the reverse thrust that is necessary for deceleration when landing. With that, it barreled off the runway into the sea. And while details of the incident are still sketchy, 7news spoke with one eyewitness who said it all happened in the blink of an eye.

Gunshot Victim Was On Plane
One of the passengers on that flight was a man who had been shot a few minutes earlier in san Pedro. Carlos Najeras, was shot when he tried to stop a robbery in progress. Police believe the robbers were from Belize City and that they used a 38 revolver which may have been used in other recent robberies on the island. Najeras was passing by when he saw a storekeeper bring robbed. He tried to stop the crime and was shot in the foot. His injury is not considered life threatening.

The Long Delayed Murder Arraignment Of Echeverria
Last night, we told you how the Director of Public Prosecutions signed off on a murder charge for 19 year-old Wilser Echeverria. Tonight, he's at the Belize Central Prison after being taken back to court today before the Belmopan Magistrate's Court. He was arraigned today on the charge of murder, and due to the nature of the offence, no plea was taken. He was remanded by Magistrate Aretha Ford until January 27, 2015, when he will be brought back for an adjournment.

The Mayor: Words And Meaning
Last night, we showed you our interview with Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley in which we asked him directly if recent differences inside his council had him considering resignation 3 months before municipal elections. As we told you, he's been waging a public and private battle resisting the Government commitment to hire those 170 BML workers next year at the end of the contract with the sanitation company. Bradley says that taking on of these employees will excessively burden the council's finances. Then, there is the outcome of the City Administrator's contract which was renewed against his wishes when he was outvoted by his council members - which we are told is a first, though he says otherwise. Also, there is difficulty he has been having with getting Central Government support to renovate the Commercial Center in Downtown Belize City.

What Was Behind BTL's System Wide Collapse?
At least 144,000 thousand customers on BTL's network experienced interruption of cellular and internet services yesterday from about 2 a.m. until 7:00 a.m. or later in some areas. BTL says it was a critical system failure from within their network. Technicians explain that it was caused by scheduled maintenance and upgrades designed to improve the 4G wireless. The problem is that this maintenance had unintended consequences and it caused major inconveniences to those customers who depend on BTL, not to mention the loss of business which happened during that countrywide interruption. Today, the General Manager of the company's Customer Services Department sat down with the media and discussed what happened:

KHMH Supplier Spring (HK) Holdings, Just A Shell Company
For the past two nights we've been looking at the Auditor General's special audit of the KHMH. It is just a snapshot really - one designed to examine three transactions: the first to acquire X-Ray units, the second to purchase Medical Supplies, and the third to buy pharmaceutical products. We're spending days taking apart the report, because there were a lot of irregularities - not least of which was the sourcing of an X-Ray machine from a mystery company in Hong Kong. Very unusual because typically medical equipment is bought refurbished from clinics or other legitimate suppliers right here in the Americas. So why did they go to the far east? That's what we have been trying to find out:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Spring HK Holdings Ltd - that company name comes up many times in the audit. The HK stands for Hong Kong, and their address says they are headquartered in this towering building, the Trend Center.

Things Still Sour In Sugar, Sweetening In Citrus
Last night, we told you how the Sugar Industry's immediate future remains uncertain. While that situation in the north remains fluid, in the South, things are taking a positive turn for embattled citrus industry. Yesterday, the Citrus Products of Belize Limited, the company which buys citrus products from the farms, released a statement congratulating the major shareholders in reaching an out-of-court settlement. As viewers may know, the ownership of CPBL is made up of the shareholders, Banks Holdings Limited, the Barbadian Beverage Giant; and the well-established Citrus Growers Association - which represents 90% of the citrus farmers. The release does not go into detail as to what the out-of-court resolution looks like, but it congratulates both sides for quote, "the understanding by both parties of the need for their collaboration in the best interest of… the overall industry."

The Many Trials of "Brother B"
You've often seen Prime Minister Dean Barrow's younger brother, Denys, on the evening news as the Government attorney discussing the nature of the court cases that the Barrow Administration is involved in. The lesser-known fact is that he continues to sue the Government of Saint Lucia for pension he is claiming after serving as a judge of Court of Appeal in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court for 3 and 8 months. The Judicial and Legal Services Commission of Saint Lucia's position is that Barrow did not meet the minimum requirements to qualify for pension, but Barrow disputes that position. He has litigated it in High Court, which has ruled against him, and in April of this year, he went to their Court of Appeal.

Found Live Rounds
Officers operating a Christmas anti-crime patrol found ammunition in the city on Tuesday night. At around 7:10 the team found 5 silver .38 special live rounds in an abandoned yard on Dolphin Drive in Buttonwood Bay. No one was in the area so the items were labeled as found property.

The Powerhouse Combo Coalesces
Small Business Development - it has been one of BELTRAIDE's flagship projects - and now they are partnering with the La Immaculada Credit Union to carry the programme further. These small scale businesses are one of the major drivers of economic development and the new pairing of strategy from BETRAIDE and finance from La Immaculda is described as a powerhouse:.. Melanie Gideon, BELTRAIDE "There is a reason we ae partnering with the credit union, you are good at what you do - lending. We are good at what we do - capacitating, put two of us together, we are a powerhouse."

Fine Finger Spellers
Today the 19th Annual Finger Spelling Bee was held at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. It takes countless hours of studying and recitation to prepare for a spelling bee competition but these participants pulled it off with sign language and video aids. Courtney Weatherburne has more. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Sign language: to the uninitiated, it might seem bizarre and confusing given the swift and fluid hand gestures, but for these young finger spellers, it's pretty easy. And while they form words with ease, it is challenging for the teachers and facilitators who are tasked with preparing the students for the competition. Earlett Thomas, Manager, NaRCIE "It's a long process. We usually have to select the words, make sure that we find a sign for the word. We do a video and then we distribute it to the districts and then in the districts they have their elimination and their best candidate to participate in the spelling B. It is extremely challenging because you know you can listen by sound and you can learn to pronounce a word, but if you don't get the sound or if you sign it wrongly, a little twitch in the hand can make a difference and then the child won't know which word you are signing and it's also difficult because our children, we don't have parents who can sign, so the only time they get to practice is at school."

Convicted For Firearm, Spared Jail Time
25 year-old Julio Ardon is lucky to be out tonight after being convicted of a firearm offence but being spared jail time. The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. on March 28, 2014. The complainant, Inmas Espinal, testified that Ardon went to his house and threatened him with a firearm to his head. In his defence, Ardon testified and denied that he committed the offence. Ardon said he went to his uncle's house and he saw Espinal and his girlfriend in the yard. Ardon said it was Espinal who threatened to shoot him and he challenged him to a fist fight.

Toys For Tots At 13
The Toys for Tots programme today hosted a hundred underprivileged primary school children at its annual Christmas party. The kiddies' party was held at the Memorial Park this afternoon - where these six and seven year olds were entertained by the clowns Burger and Fries and even got a special visit from Santa Claus. It's the organization's 13th annual Christmas party and 7news was there. Indira Craig, Country Manager - United "This year with partnered with SBK International and we find that whenever it is that we work with other sponsors it gives us an opportunity to do an even bigger production in terms of what we get to provide and what we have for the kids. We've been raising funds through United's sponsorship of a ticket throughout the year, one that will be raffling tomorrow and in addition to that like I said we have a couple sponsors that has come onboard to help us with the party this year. The initiative started as an employee initiative and it started with Continental Airlines 15 years ago.

Channel 5

Crash Landing at the Municipal Airstrip
A single engine Tropic Air plane left San Pedro this afternoon and crash landed on arrival at the Belize Municipal Airport. While the pilot was able to land the plane, [...]

Good Samaritan Shot During Robbery in San Pedro
As we said, Carlos Najera is the Good Samaritan who almost became a dead Samaritan after he was shot by a robber in San Pedro. At around one-twenty this afternoon [...]

Echevarria Finally Arraigned for Murder
Following the directive of Director of Public Prosecutions on Wednesday, this afternoon Belmopan Police charged eighteen year old Wilser Echevarria for the crime of murder. Echevarria was on remand at [...]

Physical Altercation in Coast Guard Goes to Court
A pair of coastguard officers who reportedly have had a history of enmity with each other is heading to court to resolve a criminal matter resulting from a physical assault [...]

A Closer Look at the KHMH Audit
As we promised you, tonight we take an in-depth look at a special audit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, requested by the Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. [...]

No Suspects or Leads in Latest Homicide
On Wednesday morning, twenty-eight-year-old Robert Tracy, a resident of Holy Emmanuel Street, was gunned down as he sat on a stool inside a yard on Wagner’s Lane.  A single shot [...]

Two Year Old Marijuana Case Concluded
The trial for a family of four, Olympia King, her son, Tyron King, daughter, Sherin King and family friend, Harrison Smith, who is now deceased, concluded today before the Senior [...]

Cayo Deaf Institute Tops Spelling Bee
Students from the Cayo Deaf Institute are among the brightest spellers. Elizabeth Shub and Brenda Coc won in the junior and senior categories, respectively, of the Spelling Bee for the [...]

Duane Moody Live at Public’s Supermarket
Get into the groove because Duane Moody will be live at the Public’s Supermarket for tonight’s episode of our extremely popular Gimme Five show. Spectacular prizes will be won by [...]

Toys For Tots is bigger and Better
It’s that time again…the annual Toys for Tots Christmas Party hosted by United Airlines. This year, the event was held at the Memorial Park in Belize City and like in [...]

Former OW Mayor Passes Away
Orange Walk’s first and only female Mayor to date, Agripina Espejo, passed away in Belize City on Wednesday afternoon. Espejo had served as the United Democratic Party’s Mayor from 1994 [...]

Healthy Living takes a look at the Hearing Impaired
Various activities are taking place around the country to mark Disability Week. It is estimated that there are about three thousand five hundred persons countrywide living with disabilities. Healthy Living [...]


CCCCC Says Increase In Acidic Oceans Reduce Marine Populations
Ocean acidity is affecting the Belize Barrier Reef according to news reports from Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, CCCCC. Again, the big malefactor here is the ever progressing climate change that according to an international report, is weighing heavily on the fishing and tourism industries in the country. The CCCCC says that increasingly acidic oceans reduce marine populations causing adverse effects on exports and foreign exchange earnings. The situation, it adds, is compounded by illegal overfishing and premature harvesting of conch and lobster during the country’s enforced closed seasons. In the article, ocean acidification is explained as, quote, “when greenhouse gases, GHGs, in the atmosphere are trapped and stored in the ocean as carbonic acid.

Our Lady Of Guadalupe R.C. School Celebrate 25th Anniversary
While Astrid Clavel from Our Lady of Guadalupe Primary School in Corozal Town puts her school on the spotlight, preparations for the 25th anniversary of that educational institute is in full swing. Today on our visit at the school we caught up with one of the organizers who gave us a sneak peak on the event. Yarely Pol – Teacher / Organizer. “This year is our 25th Anniversary and we are starting celebrations today with the Novenas, nine days of Novenas which starts today the 4th of December at 4:00 and then on the 12th the last Novenas we are going to have the two days activities for our school this year and the last Novena will be at 5:00 and then at 6:30 the mass where we will also be having some children that will be baptized on that day then on the 13th the Saturday we will have the whole day fair where we will have the business Expo where we want to not only work towards the school but also invite the business community and let them also be a part since they have been helping the school as well and so they will be having there discounts and so on and their different promotions here in school.”

Bishop Martin High School Wins SAGICOR Visionaries Challenge
After yielding much success through a pilot competition last year, Belize had once again signed up to participate in the region’s most exciting science competition – the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and Sagicor Life Inc teamed up in 2012 to launch the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge Competition, which engages secondary school students in the Caribbean to develop problem-solving skills. This year at national level, 32 projects from 28 highschools was entered in the second annual challenge and there is much to be excited about since Orange Walk’s Bishop Martin High School has once again won bragging rights and bested high schools from all across the country. Our newsteam caught up with the defending champions this morning to find out more on their winning entry, Maria Novelo reports……

Our Lady Of Guadalupe R.C. School Wins BNLS Reading Competition
Over 100 students from across the country gathered in Belize City on November 28th for the Belize National Library Service Reading competition. The good news tonight is that the north has proven to have some of the best readers in all of Belize and we met with one today. Meet Astrid Clavel, student of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Corozal district who excelled at the end of the competition. “It makes me feel proud of myself because I know I am capable of very good things and at the same time happy because I know that my level of reading is very good and that it will help me a lot in college.” Victor Castillo – Reporter “You sat among some of the best reader’s country wide and you came up on top, now how that makes you feel, was it challenging?” Astrid Clavel – Student. “Yes because there was a little girl from Belize and she came out second and I thought that she was going to win it but I was so confident about myself.”

Memorial Service Held For Panamanian Dipomat
A memorial service was held this morning for José Rodrigo De la Rosa, Career Diplomat and Consular, and who served as Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of Panama in Belize. The service was held at 10:30 am at the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Mary, located on Avenida Samuel Lewis in Panama City. De la Rosa’s remains arrived at his home country on November 28th. The Panamanian government is reported to have sent a delegation consisting of a representative of the Foreign Ministry and two deputy commissioners of the Judicial Investigation branch of the National Police to conduct the corresponding diplomatic process and coordinate investigations with Belize police. De la Rosa was found dead on November 23rd in the La Choza Area in Belmopan and his body displayed cut wounds to the neck and head. Since his murder, police have arrested eighteen year old Wilser Echevaria and later charged for murder. The vehicle Del la Rosa was using was found in a separate area in Belmopan. Some of his personal belongings were also missing and according to reports, the eighteen year old Echevarria was also charged of theft for De la Rosa’s cellular phone.

Tropic Air Plane Plunges Into The Sea
No injuries are reported after one of Tropic Air’s planes ended up in the sea as it tried to land at the Belize City Municipal airstrip. The incident happened at two twenty this afternoon. According to a short statement posted by Tropic Air on its Facebook page almost two hours after, and we quote, “Tropic Air flight #281 was en route from San Pedro to Belize City Municipal. Upon landing on the rain soaked runway, the aircraft slid off into the shallow water at the eastern end. There were 5 passengers including a medevac patient and pilot on board. While we continue to investigate the incident, our primary concern is for the safety of our crew and passengers. No injuries were reported,” end of quote. Minister of Civil Aviation Manuel Heredia has declined giving any interviews since he says he knew little details about the incident. Not much detail has been released into the matter but as far as we understand, the aircraft was taken out of the water sometime around six using a crane.


BES Held Annual Crystal Spelling Bee at Gymnasium
The 19th annual Crystal Finger Spelling Bee was held today at the Belize Elementary Gymnasium and Cayo Deaf Institute won first place in both the Junior and Senior Category in the persons of Brenda Coc and Elizabeth Chub, respectively. We spoke to the Manager of the National Resource Center for Inclusive Education, NARCIE, Erlett Thompson ERLETT THOMPSON “First we had the junior competition; those are students from five to nine years old and for those children we selected words that are a bit smaller to practice since they learn through practice by memorizing it and for the seniors, we have six participants for seniors. They’re from Orange Walk, St. Peter’s, Stella Maris School and Cayo Deaf Institute. It is similar but it is different and it is different because of the skills you need to practice to learn the sign language. You know that when you are doing a regular spelling bee, you can just listen and put phonetics together and you can get your words. When you are doing sign language you have to memorize, you have to visualize and you have to connect it to something that you know so you remember it, so it’s different.” Crystal Water has been sponsoring the event for the past 19 years and Brand Coordinator, Jason Soliz, told us why Crystal always makes the competition possible.

Craig Speaks On United Airlines Direct Flight
With a large base of Belizeans living in Chicago, Illinois, USA, United Airlines Company is preparing to introduce its direct flight from the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize to the Chicago O’Hare Airport. Love News spoke with United’s Country Manager, Indira Craig, who says that the direct flights between both locations will be available on Saturdays beginning December 20, 2014. INDIRA CRAIG “We have our direct to Chicago starting on the 20 of December; we are very excited to be able to offer that service. United flies to Houston, ten years ago we started flying directly to NEWARK, New Jersey and so this for us in monumental, being able to service the Chicago Diaspora and doing direct flights to that area in the US.” As of this month, Belize now boasts non-stop services from Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, California, Dallas, Charlotte, Newark, Chicago and San Salvador.

Belize Municipal Airport; Plane Crash Landed
The Belize Municipal Airport was shut down this afternoon after a Tropic Air plane crash landed. It happened at about twenty minutes passed two o’clock and we understand that the four persons that were in the plane did not suffer any serious injuries. Still, they were rushed to the hospital to be sure that they don’t have any internal injuries. We are not sure what went wrong and but there were several reports coming from eyewitness. We spoke to one who told us that the engine suddenly stopped functioning. EYEWITNESS “I was there when the plane came down from the airstrip and I noticed it hit in the middle and then it came down. The machine was not working because the propeller had stopped and when he notice that, he started to make a turn in order to brake and therefore the plane hit. As you notice one of the wheels were bent. No passengers were injured so..” HIPOLITO NOVELO “How many passengers came out of the plane?”

Environmental Organization Representatives Completes Three Day Training
Representatives of a number of environmental organizations yesterday completed a three day creative collaboration training program in Punta Gorda. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG “One of the facilitators was Art Corp Training and Curriculum Officer, Arie Shell.” ARIE SHELL “Art Corp is an organization that believes that creativity is an essential and important resource that is inherent in everyone and every organization and so we work with social and environmental organizations to equip them with more creative and innovative tools and strategies to strengthen the work that they do. We have been partnering with the leading conservation organization here in Belize and the Gulf of Honduras to provide training for their staff, to learn new creative methodologies and tools that they can use to strengthen their work internally and the work they do in communities.”

Bowen & Bowen; Belize City Man Complains of Foul Odor
Bowen and Bowen is an establishment well-known country and worldwide for its mouthwatering soft drinks and beers. With several branches station country wide to meet the expectations and needs of the Belizean population and those of neighboring countries abroad, the company manages to live up to their standards with positive remarks. A business man spoke to Love News and told us quite different and his experiences with the company. According to Miguel Zyden, he purchased a bottle of beer which gave off a foul odor at his employer store, Quan Sing Super Market. Here’s what he said: MIGUEL ZYDEN “The problem is that I had a beer that I purchased right here at the establishment, I also work here and it came with some substance in here that made me sick. It wasn’t beer, it smelled renk. I didn’t know because I just opened it, I took a drink of it and it made me ill after that. I have been to the company to claim about it, I have been to BAHA to find out what it is and I have been run around by the company. I would like them to attend to whatever they need to attend to and get to me if not I will seek legal help; whatever it takes, I don’t mind if it takes me a year or two years, I will find a way for me to get compensated anyway possible.”

Toys For Tots; United Airlines Christmas Initiative
For over a decade, we have been hearing of the Christmas initiative, dubbed Toys for Tots. It is a program that caught on in Belize, so much so, that even when other offices of Continental discontinued the program, Belize held on to it and continued gathering toys for tots each Christmas. Today, the staff of United entertained some sixty children from ten different primary schools via a program coordinated especially for them. Love News was out at the Memorial Park in Belize City to catch some of the entertainment for the children. We also spoke with Country Manager for United, Indira Craig. INDIRA CRAIG “ Toys for Tots originally started originally started off as an employee initiative, about fifteen years now and we’ve continued the program even though it has been discontinued in a lot of the stations. It started off as a Continental initiative. In Belize we’ve continued doing it because it is just such a fun program. We enjoy coming out here during the holidays with the kids, sending them off and just enjoying the whole feel of Christmas and giving back. We kind of go with the Southside kids, we try to look for kids who we know would be living under the margin and try to have the school focus on giving them the opportunity to come out and so we ensure that they have a gift for Christmas and they have a good time just going off into the holiday season.

Miranda Speaks on The Fluctuation of BTL’s Services
If you are a subscriber of Belize Telemedia Limited, you might have been frustrated on Wednesday when you realize that services such as 4G. 2G, Internet and text messaging services were either down or not functioning properly. At one point subscriber from across the country were affected simultaneously. Yesterday BTL’s Marketing Director, Dr. Dionne Miranda, told the media what went wrong and what is being done. DR. DIONNE MIRANDA “At approximately 1:45 am yesterday morning we received our first set of calls into our call centres, I am sure that you know we run a twenty four hours a day call center, where we received different messages saying that customers were unable to browse DSL, they were unable to dial out on their 2 G and 4 G devices, send text and at the same time receive their mobile data.; At that point we called out our standby technicians and they started to look into the matter. What had occurred the night before, we had a scheduled maintenance window and that maintenance window was based on the fact that we’re upgrading our systems. I am sure that you can recall that we have been having some congestion within the country with reference to our 4 G services and so we’ve been having a massive campaign in order to maximize services and improve the level of coverage and the ability for customers to be able to browse and speak freely on the service.

CIBC Donations To Cancer Society
Last week we brought to you the story of Fort Point Security making a donation of a security system to the Belize Cancer Society following several burglaries that occurred. The most recent being in November when thieves took the Christmas presents for children living with cancer. It was a tough break for the Belize Cancer Society but the blow was cushioned when generous business houses and individuals began coming forward to donate to the cause. Today, Love News was on hand to witness a donation from the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank on Albert Street in Belize City. Dianne Finnegan, the Society’s Vice President was on hand to receive the donation from the bank’s country manager, Glen Smith. GLEN SMITH “I must say with every disappointment comes great reward because just last week we spoke about the contribution we got from the Feinstein family who gave us the full security system because of the recent break in and now to receive over eight thousand dollars as another donation for the efforts of the Cancer Society, I think it’s awesome, it’s a blessing.

Diplomats Death; Victim’s Brother Speak in His Behalf
19 year old Wilser Echevarria has been charged for the murder of 64 year old Panamanian Diplomat, Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa. Echevarria was charged with murder and theft- one count in regards to the motor vehicle and one count in regards to a cell phone. Two weeks ago, Echevarria family and friends were out in front of the Belmopan Police Station displaying their support for what they believe is an injustice. Love News spoke to the brother of the accused victim, Allen Echevarria, told us more. Correspondent Fem Cruz tells us more. FEM CRUZ “Allan Echeverria brother accused in the case of the diplomat, share with us the concern of the family on new information gathered.” ALLAN ECHEVERRIA “Wilson Echeverria an 18 year old teenager who had previously known the diplomat at a recent job institution. He got in touch with the diplomat at Central Belmopan. The man offered him a drink, got Wilson under the influence of alcohol. Wilson socialized with the diplomat like he would any other friend but unexpectedly the diplomat wanted to take advantage of him. Wilson got nervous and was in a state of shock.

Construction Worker Receives Chop Wounds
Police are investigating a chopping incident in Lemonal Village. According to Police reports, they were called to the village where they saw 38-year-old Wayne Anthony, Construction worker of Lemonal Village in a yard with multiple chop wounds. He had been chopped to the finger and knee. He was transported to K.H.M.H where he remains in a stable condition. Police has since detained 55-year-old man of the same village pending Charges.

Shot Gun Stolen From Watchman
A 16 gauge H&R brand single action shot gun was stolen from a store room inside the Belize Adventist College in the Corozal District. The watchman for the school, 51 year old Noel Mazanero Senior told police that the crime happened between the hours of 5:30am on Tuesday and 9:30 on Wednesday morning. Police are investigating.

IDB Commence on Initiatives With MOE
The Inter American Development Bank has been providing loans and grants to Belize for a number of years. The funds have been concentrated in the areas of education, tourism, transport and trade and tax. IDB Country representative, Anneke Jessen spoke of one of the new initiatives they have undertaken with the Ministry of Education. ANNEKE JESSEN “You know that the government spends a lot of money on education about 6 or 7 GDP which is very high compared to what other countries spend; they’re not really getting enough bang for their buck, the quality of learning or the learning outcomes in schools is not what we would want to have in Belize and so this program; the EQUIP (EKeep) program focuses very much on education quality to improve the quality of education, to improve what you get for your investment in the education sector.


Echeverria arraigned for murder
Wilser Echeverria, accused murderer of 64 year old Panamanian diplomat Jose Rodriguez De La Rosa, was arraigned in court On Thursday. On November 26th Belmopan police took 18 year old Echeverria, of Salvapan area, Belmopan, to have him arraigned on charges of murder...

Plane Crashes in Caribbean Sea
The skies over Belize City were unfriendly for Tropic Air Flight 281 on Thursday afternoon, as it attempted to land at the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. Authorities are yet to confirm, but reliable information to us is that Flight 281 was coming in around 2:20, and appeared to have overshot the ru...

Chopping in Lemonal
There was a chopping incident in Lemonal Village. 38-year-old Wayne Anthony, a Construction worker of Lemonal Village, was  in a yard when he was chopped multiple times. Police say Mr Anthony’s  middle finger was severed, and he had a huge chop to the left knee. Wayne Anthony was transported to K...

Worker spared fine for assault
Twenty-five year old Julio Ardon, a construction worker charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, was spared a custodial sentence on Thursday by the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, when she found him guilty of the charge...

Cannabis bust nets charge
Leonard Mejia, a resident of Belize City, who the police reported they busted with 60.4 grams of cannabis, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared on Thursday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Leonard Mejia was also charged with possession of .4 grams of cannabis...

Teenager may face burglary charge over stolen computer
Nineteen year old Jiovanni Augustine, a resident of Biscayne Village, was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods when he appeared on Thursday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Jiovanni Augustine wanted to plead guilty to handling stolen goods, but Chief magistrate Smith remande...

Police probing shooting death of Robert Tracey
On Wednesday morning there was a broad daylight shooting on Wagner’s Lane near the center of Belize City. The victim has been identified as 28 year old Robert Tracey, a resident of Holy Emmanuel Street, far across town to the west. No one saw the assailant and the police have no description of him. And that is just the start of the puzzling questions surrounding the death of a man who was no stranger to police, but a stranger to residents of the area. Superintendent Hilberto Romero took questions from the press as to what investigators believe, know, and are trying to find out in the as-yet still young investigation. “The information we’ve gathered is that he frequents different areas of the city. Again, he is from the area of Holy Emmanuel Street, and for some reason he was sitting on a stool at Wagner’s Lane inside that yard. We are working on canvassing the area to see what he was doing in that particular area but like I mentioned he frequents different areas of the city and not one particular area. The murder happened aroud ten, and we’re working to establish any sort of motive at this time. Our detectives are at the scene and they are working on trying to gather information and see if we can solve this case.”

Housing demonstration in Port Loyola
The demonstration was sponsored by the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) and its standard bearer, Gilroy Usher, Sr., who hit rival Anthony “Boots” Martinez for creating different standards for himself and his constituents. Gilroy Usher Sr. – PUP Standard Bearer, Port Loyola “Today we are being forced to live in slum housing, not because our country does not have money to address our concerns. We’re being forced to live in slum housing, because of massive corruption in government and its unconcern about the welfare of the Belizean people. Despite millions of dollars for home restoration after Hurricane Mitch, the majority of those persons affected by the storm in Port Loyola have not received any assistance. Belizeans, if tax payers’ money is good enough to build over a dozen large yellow concrete houses for Boots over Belize City, tax payers’ money is also good to build proper low income houses for the people of Port Loyola.”

Stephen Okeke still not paid for TV Ramos Bust
When last we heard of Stephen Okeke and his T.V. Ramos sculpture, it was because he had finally, after countless efforts, found a buyer for the bust, which was unveiled at the September 19th celebrations in Dangriga. The bust was given to the Dangriga Town Council on a credit basis, and now sits at the temporary Dangriga Town Hall. The arrangement was that Mr Okeke would be paid a down payment for the bust by mid November, or the end of November at the very latest. November has come and gone and, according to Stephen Okeke, he has still not been paid, even though he gave it to them at a discounted price. Stephen Okeke – Sculptor “So far there has not been any progress. we had an understanding that some payment wouuld be made in the process of the celebration, and of course the nineteenth would have been used as a vehicle to facilitate payment. Then worst case senario, by the end of November that a substantial amount of money would ave been paid, but so far no payment has been made, and no communication so far. That’s where it stands right now. No payment has been recieved, and there was no down payment anyway.

Disability Week focuses on technology
It would be erroneous to think of persons with disabilities – some call them “diverse abilities” – as being somehow less than deserving of opportunities and a proper life. That is because, especially in recent years, persons who have lost one of their senses or functions can make up for it with other enhanced senses or functions. Modern technology is an important tool for disabled persons to keep up with the able-bodied population, and it forms part of the theme for Disabilities Awareness Week which kicked off on Sunday. At a rally in Belize City on Wednesday, manager of the National Resource Center for Inclusive Education (NARCIE), Earlett Thomas, spoke to us about the ways technology helps make disabled persons more able.

SAGICOR Visionaries Challenge seeks best and brightest
32 projects were on display from 28 of Belize’s high schools, in the second edition of a highly competitive challenge established by Caribbean regional insurance company SAGICOR, in conjunction with the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), to find the students best able to implement principles of the STEM disciplines – sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. These students are not only competing against each other but with rivals from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Hillsborough County – Tampa, Florida, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, where SAGICOR has its offices. We spoke to contest organizer and SAGICOR Belize Sales and Marketing Executive, Abel Simpson, about where the challenge will take students.

The Guardian

Johnny Briceno’s driver died leaving behind 7 Million Dollars?
For a working man who punches the clock 8-5, it does not matter how much money you save, even if it is all your money you save, it is virtually impossible to amass 7 million dollars. But that is an approximation to the quantum of money that Anthony Gillett, the former driver of Johnny Briceno, had accumulated in various bank accounts before he died. The story of how he got the money is really unknown but what is known is that for years now there has been legal wrangling to determine who will control his estate. The situation started a few years ago, when the former driver of Briceno passed away. At the time of his death, Gillett’s mother became the administrator. She would later die and an invisible hand began to move in the background to get to administer the estate. From the information that is floating out there, that estate is well endowed as Gillett is reported to have had a number of accounts with significant amounts of money in them. All told it is somewhere in the region of 7 million dollars.

PUP will take half million in Petro Caribe money for Christmas Cheer program
After being so sanctimonious about the spending of Petro Caribe funds and even going so far as to taking the matter to court to stop the Government of Belize from spending the money in social and development projects, the PUP say they will be taking the money which will come to them by way of the Christmas Cheer Program. The Secretary General of the PUP, Myrtle Palacio, has written to the Government to say that the 13 area representatives of her party will be taking the $35,000 dollars which will be given to them to be used in assisting residents in the constituencies they represent. It must be quite a bitter pill for them to now be swallowing especially because of their staunch opposition to the use of the money. Julius Espat and even Francis Fonseca have publicly stated that they have taken and used the money in the past. They then took some form of hypocritical high ground saying that while they had taken the money it was wrong to be spending it without it going to the House of Representatives for approval.

Chetumal Street Bridge almost complete
The Chetumal Street bridge is now a reality. In September, it was announced that a new bridge would be constructed over the Haulover Creek which would connect Belama and Fabers Road. This was deemed necessary to alleviate the traffic which flows through the city. At the time naysayers and doomsday peddlers seeped out of the woodwork and tried to condemn the idea. “Criminals will have easy access from the ghetto to the north-side” – crap. Every possible negative criticism under the sun was thrown at the project. Those dark days for hundreds of Belizeans entering and leaving Belize City are now being illuminated by the very real prospect of a new bridge. A state of the art, locally constructed ferro-concrete bridge now spans the Haulover Creek.

Harrison Holding Over for Louis Wade?
After slamming his party on Facebook for their undemocratic practices, Richard Harrison was appointed the PUP Standard Bearer for Cayo North. He was forced to quickly swallow his own vomit and tried to deflect the proverbial “puppet master” bullet he launched at his party. Unfortunately for Harrison, he is too slow to realize that he is being spread on top of the political altar. The PUP knows they have no chance to win the January 5 bye-election; therefore, they have chosen their least favourite and most expendable candidate in the pool. Their most desired candidate continues to be the Big Mouth of Plus TV and if Wade answers the call then Harrison will simply be a seat holder until shortly after January 5. As we’ve reported previously, senior PUP officials in the Western Caucus want Plus TV’s Big Mouth to take over as PUP Standard Bearer for Cayo North. They believe his television station’s popularity in the Cayo area can benefit the entire PUP Western Caucus. However, they do not want him for January 5 as they have already conceded to Omar Figueroa. Immediately after January 5 the Western Caucus will resume courtship of the self proclaimed pastor who raised over $50,000 in one campaign fundraiser and refuses to publicize who were the biggest donors and how much tax he paid, if any.

Kenroy Parham killed near to his house
Kenroy Parham, a 25 year-old resident of the Mahogany Heights housing community, was found dead early on Saturday, November 29. He had been shot to death a stone’s throw away from his family’s residence. Police don’t know much at this time, but what they found was that Parham had been left for dead after being shot 3 times to the back and head. Neighbours told the press that they heard gunshots sometime after 9 p.m. the night before, but absolutely no one went outside to investigate what had happened.

Man Appeals “Harsh” Sentence for 1.3 Grams of Crack Cocaine
In February of this year, Edwin “Malantee Man” Bowen was convicted of drug trafficking for 1.3 grams of crack cocaine. He was fined $10,000 and sentenced to prison for a term of three years. However, Bowen’s attorney, Ellis Arnold, applied for a stay of execution in March and applied for bail as he waits for the appeal. On Friday, November 28, the stay of execution was granted by Justice Shona Griffith. Anthony Sylvester substituted for Arnold and presented the submission for bail. The defense is not arguing guilt or innocence but that the sentence handed down by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith is “too harsh”.

Belizeans Charged for Smuggling Cubans
Belizean mechanic of Mahogany Street, Noellwyn Lester Ramclam, 50, and Cuban permanent resident, Alberto Quintana, 49, are facing charges for aiding two Cubans to remain in Belize illegally. According to reports, on Friday, November 28, Yoelkis Garcia, 29, and Jaema Manuela Iglesia Aldana, 27, entered Belize illegally through the Mopan River in the Cayo District. There they were allegedly met by Ramclam and Quintana who used a grey Toyota Corolla with taxi license plate to transport them to Belize City. Garcia and Aldana were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday, December 1. They were read a single charge of entering Belize illegally. They pleaded guilty to the offense after first disputing the meaning of being illegal. Both took offense to being linked with the word “illegal” but when explained that they were being charged for entering illegally from the Mopan River they conceded. Both were fined $1,000 for the offense and ordered to pay immediately or serve six months in prison. An order for their removal was requested and granted; therefore, after they pay the fine or serve the time they will be deported back to Cuba.

Guatemalan Women Busted after Entering Belize Illegally
Two Guatemalan waitresses are in prison after they pleaded guilty to entering Belize illegally on Monday, December 1. Silvia Liliana Cayax Arias, 33, and Rosa Delmy Sanchez Velasquez, 25, were on a bus heading from Cayo to Belize City when police boarded at a checkpoint on the George Price Highway. The women looked suspicious to police and when they were approached they could not speak English. An officer then spoke to the women in Spanish and asked that they present travel documents. The women were unable to do so; therefore, police took them off the bus and handed them over to Immigration Department.

Ensfield Reyes gets 18 months for pulling gun at wife
Ensfield Reyes, 31, will spend the next 18 months in prison after he was convicted for pulling a gun at his wife, Bernadette Reyes, 29. According to reports, Reyes got into an argument with his wife at their King Street residence on Sunday night, April 13th. The argument got heated and as his wife was trying to leave the house Reyes pulled out his licensed firearm and fired a single shot. Fortunately for the wife, the shot missed but the incident left her traumatized and forced her to apply for a restraining order immediately after. At the time of the incident, the couple was at home with their two-year-old daughter. Police responded to the incident and arrested Reyes.

Belize observes World AIDS Day with goal of getting to Zero
Belize joins the rest of the world on December 1 to celebrate World AIDS Day with a single goal of “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS- related deaths.” To raise awareness on World AIDS Day the National HIV Programme of the Ministry of Health partnered with the National AIDS Commission (NAC), Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO Belize) and other partner agencies to host art and health fairs in eight locations countrywide. In Belize City the fair was held at the center of town, the Battlefield Park.

Is Belize a better place for children today?
It was some 25 years ago that countries all over the world made a promise to children to do everything in their power to protect and promote the rights of children to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential. Over the last two and a half decades, 192 countries have signed on the to the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) and it has been recognized as the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. As Belize and countries all over the globe celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention, it is most appropriate to reflect and analyze where Belize has come from and where the country is going in relation to children’s rights. Belize is definitely a better place for children today than 25 years ago but while there is much to celebrate, there is still much more to do.

New Coast Guard officers graduate
The Belize Coast Guard officially welcomed 44 new officers to their ranks on Friday, November 28 at the Williamson Complex in Ladyville. They were applicants who signed up and endured 13 weeks of training as part of recruit intake number 5. These 44 recruits were put through the intense basic training in which they spent most of their days being put through the punishing physical tasks designed to improve their levels of fitness. Aside from the physical training, the recruits had to take classes where they were taught matters of theory which they will have to employ as full officers. Also, the Belize Coast Guard is a military organization, and so, the Intake 5 recruits were also put through training designed for tactics, strategy and combat. After the 3 months of training, 5 officers distinguished themselves from the rest of their recruit peers, and they were each awarded for it at the graduation ceremony. Those individuals were recruits, Loani Ruiz, Best Female Officer; Kliuvert Cal, the Best Swimmer; Mario Chan, the Champion Shot Winner; Daniel Gregorio, Best Physical Training; and Filberto Pop, the Champion Recruit. Each of these 5 officers managed to distinguish themselves in these 5 categories, and so, they were chosen to receive awards on graduation day.

Belize Officially Hands Over Pro-Tempore Presidency of COMISCA to Guatemala
Following two days of regional discussions at the XLI Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA), Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, today officially transferred the Pro-tempore Presidency of COMISCA to the Minister of Health of Guatemala Luis Enrique Monterroso, who will now serve for the next six months. Minster of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, expressed his appreciation for the cooperation received during his time as Pro-tempore President. Minister Marin commented, “Enormous strides have been made in Belize and the region and we look forward to further progress in the next year.”

Mark Lizarraga is really a PUP Senator
The matter of the use of Petro Caribe Funds by Government of Belize was taken before the Senate last week Wednesday. It was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday the 18th November. When it reached the senate for ratification, all senators were asked to vote individually. Everyone voted for it except the Opposition Senators and surprisingly or maybe not so surprisingly the Senator representing the business sector – Hon. Mark Lizarraga. The question on any reasonable person’s mind would be: Is this gentleman out of his mind? He voted against the very thing that makes business happen. He represents the business community in the Senate. Senator Mark you need to snap out of it. The business community put you there to look after their BEST interests. What are you doing? Everybody knows you are a PUP but in the Senate you must represent your people not the interests of the opposition.

Mortgage payment program rolls in
Through the Residential Mortgage Payment Program, the Government of Belize will assist qualifying Belizeans by reimbursing December 2014 interest and principal payments on all residential mortgages with an original value of up to BZ$100,000.00. Borrowers from the National Bank, Commercial Banks, Credit Unions, the Development Finance Corporation and the Belize Social Security Board can apply for assistance; however borrowers must meet the following criteria approved by Cabinet: 1. Must be residential mortgages of original value of no more than BZ$100,000.00; 2. Must be residential mortgages for new home construction. Mortgages for home improvement will not qualify; 3. Mortgages taken out solely for the purpose of refinancing prior mortgages for the construction of new residences will also qualify for the program. 4. Must be legally registered mortgages and not merely the deposit of title deeds called “Equitable Mortgages.”

Orange Orchard Park opened in Santa Elena Town, Cayo
A place of leisure and tranquility for the people of the Orange Orchard and Bradley’s Bank Area in Santa Elena Town was opened on Sunday of last weekend. Residents from these areas came out for a short ceremony to show their happiness, for their children will now be able to play at the newly opened Orange Orchard Park, a community project built together with funds from both the Government of Belize and the Private Sector. To mark the occasion, both Alberto August, Chairman from the Belize Natural Energy (BNE) Trust, and the Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Works and Transport and representative for the Cayo Central Division, did the ribbon cutting. Also present for the ceremonies was the team of councilors from the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council and Victor Alegria the General Manger of BNE. The newly opened Orange Orchard Park had an estimated total cost of $75,000.00, with the BNE Trust Fund coming up with $50,000.00 The Government of Belize’s contribution towards the park is $25,000.00, and came in the form of labor.

PUP stalwart scolds Francis Fonseca
It is indeed a sad time for the P.U.P. Party. Mr. George Price would be sickened to see the mockery that is being made of a once great party. Party Leader, Francis Fonseca and his crony Julius Espat are screaming Sabotage!! Incredible!! It does not take a rocket scientist nor an Einstein to see why not only fanatical supporters, but also members of the Executive and of the House of Representatives are discontented enough to do an about turn. The resignation of Joseph Mahmud should not have come as a shock. Mr. Francis Fonseca should have paid closer attention to the Hon. G. Price and also his father Mr. Fonseca Sr. He would have learned the most important lesson a politician could learn. That lesson is PR Young Mr. Fonseca believes that by ignoring and ostracizing the older and wiser members of his party and listening to the select few that are his bosom buddies is more important than reaching out and listening to the voice of the people.

Roger Anthony and Kendis Flowers Granted Bail
After spending 31 days on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly shooting at the Meighan’s Banak Street home, reputed boss of the Ghost Town Crips, Roger Anthony, 37, is out on bail through the assistance of his attorney Kareem Musa. Sheldon Meighan, mother of Tyrone and Ellis Meighan Jr., reported to police that on Saturday, October 26, she was inside her house on Banak Street when she saw Anthony wearing a camouflage outfit and a warm cap. They allegedly exchanged harsh words and immediately after Anthony allegedly opened fire on the Meighan’s residence; breaking four window louvers, piercing a bedroom door and the cement walls with the spray of bullets.

Tony Rowland, 57, Caught Shoplifting at Uno Gas Station
Water Lane resident Tony Rowland, 57, is facing a charge of theft after he was allegedly caught shop lifting at the Youth for the Future Drive Uno Gas Station on Monday, December 1. A female cashier at the gas station reported to police that at about 10:55 a.m. a man walked into the convenience store and went to the back. She saw the man take four bottles from the shelf and placed them into a bag that he had. The man then started walking towards the door at which time she ordered him to stop. According to the cashier, the man refused to stop; therefore, she locked the door and trapped him inside the store. She then called the police for assistance. A police mobile unit came shortly after and detained the man, who was identified as Tony Rowland.

Jason Sanchez Arraigned for Murder of Emerson Arnold
Police have arrested and charged Jason Sanchez, 19, for the murder of Emerson Arnold, 35, who was gunned down on Gibnut Street on Friday, November 28. Arnold was riding his bicycle to work, the Belize Water Services Limited, when a gunman wearing a hoodie rode up to him and fired numerous shots from behind. Seven bullets reportedly hit the back part of Arnold’s body and he fell to the ground clinging to life. A few minutes later police transported him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police detained Jason Sanchez, also known as Jungle Rat, shortly after the shooting. He was held over the weekend and on Monday, December 1, police escorted him to the Belize City Magistrates Court to be arraigned for murder. Sanchez was unrepresented when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He was read a single charge of murder. Due to the fact that the matter is indictable no plea was taken.Police have arrested and charged Jason Sanchez, 19, for the murder of Emerson Arnold, 35, who was gunned down on Gibnut Street on Friday, November 28. Arnold was riding his bicycle to work, the Belize Water Services Limited, when a gunman wearing a hoodie rode up to him and fired numerous shots from behind. Seven bullets reportedly hit the back part of Arnold’s body and he fell to the ground clinging to life. A few minutes later police transported him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police detained Jason Sanchez, also known as Jungle Rat, shortly after the shooting. He was held over the weekend and on Monday, December 1, police escorted him to the Belize City Magistrates Court to be arraigned for murder. Sanchez was unrepresented when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He was read a single charge of murder. Due to the fact that the matter is indictable no plea was taken. However, before the Chief Magistrate could finish reading the charge, Sanchez shouted out “not guilty”. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith told him that she will not take a plea from him but all she wants to know is that he understands the charge being read to him. Due to the nature of the offense, bail was denied and Sanchez was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 2, 2015.

The Twin Towns have never looked better, the choice is clear!
Residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena will very shortly be choosing one of the two political parties to represent them. It is of the greatest importance that when the time comes each voter takes the time to think about the decision he or she is about to make. Let us consider these truths. The Twin Towns have never looked better! Strolling downtown reminds one of Europe. Little bistros and cafes are everywhere. The Welcome Center has added so much to the town. Not only does it provide needed information to visitors, it is the home of much needed entertainment. The young and old enjoy concerts, cultural events or just hanging out in and around the area. The youth can now enjoy their new basketball court that was so needed. The Joseph Andrews Drive is now looking like a real boulevard.

Xunantunich Education Centre opened in the Cayo District
The Xunantunich Education Centre was opened on Thursday of last week within the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve near San Jose Succotz Village in the Cayo District. The 950 square feet facility is a product of the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites MTBCAAS Project, which had targeted nine other archaeological sites in Belize. Funds for the education center came from the Belize Rural Development Program Two (BRDP11), with support from the European Union EU and the Government of Belize. In his address, the Minister of Tourism and Culture the Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr. stated that Xunantunich has been the focus of many strategic undertakings by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Civil Aviation in recent years, including the replacement of the access site as well as the establishment of a new visitor center. “Today’s event reflects the critical importance of Xunantunich as it relates to the preservation, promotion and conservation of the Mayan Civilization in Belize,” he said.

Belize City Primary Schools Basketball competition opens
The 2014-2015 Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition commenced on Tuesday, 2 December, 2014, at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. They are 15 boys’ teams and 6 girls’ teams in the competition. The schools that are participating in the boys’ competition are Wesley Upper School, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School, St. Mary’s Anglican School, St. Luke Methodist School, Queen Square Anglican School, St. Ignatius School, James Garbutt SDA School, St. Martin De Porres School, Belize Elementary School, Ephesus SDA School, St. John Vianney School, Trinity Methodist School, St. Joseph RC School and Holy Redeemer School. Meanwhile, the schools in the girls’ competition are St. Luke Methodist School, Belize Elementary School, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School, Holy Redeemer School, Ephesus SDA School, and St. John’s Primary School.

East Sports Committee to sponsor Aragon’s Basketball Tournament
The Orange Walk East Sports Committee is sponsoring the Aragon’s Basketball Tournament at the East Sports Centre that is scheduled to commence on Friday 12th December, 2014. Teams that are interested in participating in the tournament must have 10 players, 2 coaches and a manager. According to the organisers, teams must wear uniforms. The championship team will receive $1,000.00 cash, individual medals and a team trophy the 2nd place team will receive $500.00 cash, individual medals and a team trophy. Also there will be the individual awards which include MVP and Most Discipline Team.

Belize Athletics Association to host 2014 National Track and Field Championship
The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. This event will be held at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on the 6th and 7th December, 2014. 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.

Norwegian Brings Christmas Cheer to Belize City children
Santa Claus was late to the party this year because of an emergency drill on one of Norwegian’s cruise ships but his tardiness did not weigh down the excitement of over 200 Belize City children eager to start the Christmas season with some much needed cheer. On Tuesday, December 2, over two hundred children from Belize City received Christmas gifts from Norwegian Cruise Line at the Belize Tourism Board’s 11th Annual Children Christmas Party on the grounds of the House of Culture. Alro Cansino, Destination Planning and Development Assistant of the BTB, says many of the children are from the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center and Wesley Primary School. Organizers invite children from Dorothy Menzies and a different primary school each year. This year a number of invitations were also given to community organizations in Lake Independence, Queen Square, Port Loyola and Collet constituencies. Cansino says the organizing committee was granted a waiver by the Ministry of Finance to bring in the gifts from Norwegian free of duty.

Hon Rene Montero Christmas 8 ball tournament in Santa Elena, Cayo
Hon. Rene Montero Christmas 8 ball tournament being organized by Link-Up Bar in collaboration with the Cayo Billiards Association continued on Sunday, Nov 30 at Link-Up Bar in Santa Elena, Cayo. We are happy to share the following updates with you. Match 1: Rookies came out with their “A” game and hurt tournament leader Link-Up, 2-1. For Rookies , Erwin Fernandez shot without fear as he dropped top shooter Jimmy Rudon who was the player with most wins and was undefeated until this game. Then, Wallace Chu kept it going as he bested Juan Villanueva also by 3-2. Erwin Woodye, Jr of Link-Up got the win for his team by defeating Hector Ortiz at 3-1. It must be noted that this was the first loss for Link-up, so, much respect goes to Rookies especially Erwin Fernandez and Wallace Chu who surely didn’t play like any rookies. Match 2: Shooters came out with blood in their eyes and zipped Team Ranza 3-0. For Shooters, David Fernandez won Frederick Jones 3-1, Gilbert Luna won Armin Lopez 3-2, and Luis Usher won Hon. Elvin Penner 3-0. This was Mr. Penner’s first match played in a tournament, so we say respect to him as he was welcomed by Cayo’s top shatta.

Old School prevails in penalty shoot out
The Vega Cup Tournament entered its semi-final round on Sunday, 30 November, 2014 at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town with 2 games on the schedule. In the first game played Jaguars United blanked San Antonio FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Orlando Castillo in the 44th minute of play. In the second semi-final game played, the competition’s favourite Old School FC eliminated Awe V. United by the score of 4 -2 in penalty shoot out to advance to the championship game. The goals for Old School were scored by Alfred Jesse, Marlon Miranda, Eleazar Itza and Oilver Hendricks.

Belize Defence Force still a top of the Premier League standings
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament continued on Saturday, 29 November, with two games on the schedule. In the game played out at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, the league leading Belize Defence Force blanked the defending national football champions by the score of 1-0 to maintain its lead in the on-going competition. The only goal of the game was scored by Carlton Thomas in the 10th minute of play. Meanwhile, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the host team Police United won over Wagiya by the score of 6-4. The Police United was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Harrison Roches scored his 1st goal of the game in the 27th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The Police United team took that lead well into the closing minutes of the first half of the game and it was not until the 46+minutes of the half that Abraham Chavez scored the equalising goal for his team. The visiting Wagiya then took the lead when Abraham Chavez scored his 2nd goal in the 48th minute of play for the 2-1 lead. The Police United team was back unto the scoreboard when Harrison Roches scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 51st minute of play when he tied the score at 2-2. Roches then untied the score for good when he scored his 3rd goal of the game in the 53rd minute of play to give the Police United a 3-2 lead.

SICA’s 20th Meeting of Ministers and General Directors of Culture held in Belize
The 20th Meeting of the Council of Ministers & General Directors of Culture of the CECC/SICA (Central American Education & Culture Coordination/Central American Integration System) was held at the Grand Caribe Resort on San Pedro, Ambergis Caye, on 20th November 2014. The meeting was hosted and chaired by Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation – Pro Tempore President for Culture during the period that Belize holds the Presidency of SICA (July – December 2014). Minister Heredia was joined by other Ministers, Vice Ministers and Directors of Culture of these countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

Sugar Crop Now Looks Possible
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) and Belize Sugar Industries Ltd (BSI) met for 5 straight hours on Wednesday 3 December to continue discussions on a new commercial agreement, as facilitated by the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow. Of the five issues of contention, two were disposed of quickly, but three core areas of disagreement were discussed at length. These three areas are: the length of the new agreement, the payment for bagasse, and the ownership of the sugar cane. At the end of the discussions, the BSCFA presented proposals to settle these three contentious issues, and a response to these proposals from ASR/BSI should be given by Friday, 5 December. This response will be taken by the BSCFA to its membership this weekend, where, if there is consensus, an agreement could be signed by Monday 8 December. The 2015 crop could then start within three days of the signing.

Patrick JonesPJ

Man spared jail sentence, gets fined for assault
Twenty-five year old Julio Ardon, a construction worker charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, was spared a custodial sentence today. Ardon was found guilty by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The Chief Magistrate told Ardon to count himself lucky that he is not going to Kolbe Foundation. On conviction for the offence of aggravated assault with a firearm, a person is liable to a sentence of 2 years.

Cannabis bust results in charges
Leonard Mejia, a resident of 16 Pickstock Apartment who the police reported they busted with 60.4 grams of cannabis, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Mejia was also charged with possession of .4 grams of cannabis. He pled not guilty to the charges. He said that the police put the cannabis on a scale 3 times. The first and second times the cannabis weighed 59.6 grams and the third time when they put the cannabis on a different scale it weighed 60.4 grams.

Teenager may face burglary charge over stolen computer
Nineteen year old Jiovanni Augustine, a resident of Biscayne Village, was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods when he appeared yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Augustine wanted to plead guilty to handling stolen goods but Chief Magistrate Smith remanded him into custody until Thursday, December 11 in order for the prosecutor to decide whether the prosecution will accept handling stolen goods or go for a burglary conviction. According to the allegation, on December 2, Augustine broke into the home of John Oliver, located in West Landivar, and stole one laptop computer, which has a value of $400.

Plane ends up in the Caribbean Sea in Belize City
A plane belonging to Tropic Air appears to have overshot the runway at the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City this afternoon and landed in the Caribbean Sea. Details are slowly starting to emerge, but confirmed reports are that the incident happened around 2:30 pm when Flight 281 […]

Bishop Martin High School repeats as Visionaries Challenge winner
For the second year in a row, the Bishop Martin High School from Orange Walk has come out victorious as the National winners in Sagicor’s Visionaries Challenge. The event was held on Wednesday at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City. […]

Belizean to take part in Miss Global International
Belize will have participation in the Miss Global International pageant this weekend in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Audralee Enriquez traveled to Jamaica on Monday and has been taking part in pre-pageant activities, with the main event scheduled for Saturday, December 6. The pageant was first held in 2004 […]

Galen University to hold Open Day
Galen University has announced it will be holding an Open Day at all of its campuses on Saturday. Stating at 8:30 am and continuing through to 4 pm, the Open Day will give potential students a chance to learn about all of the University’s programs being offered. In addition to learning about available programs, prospective students will get a chance to apply and register for any of the programs commencing in January, 2015. According to a press release from Galen University “successful applicants for the that day will qualify for a tuition grant of up to 20% and will receive a 50% discount on their application fee.”


Pictures of Riot Control Training in Belize
It’s not that the U.S. military trains for this, which is necessary and recommendable. It’s not that they seem to enjoy it so much, which is stupidly understandable. It’s that they are often being trained to detain and dispel rioters that are engaging in legally protected activities. Some of the situations include environmental protesters holding signs that say “Save the Halibut” and “Stop the Violence”, as well as antiwar protesters holding signs with peace symbols and “No more war” written on them. The following set of pictures from a training exercise for the military of Belize shows protesters holding signs that read “Freedom 2 Worship”, WE DEMAND MORE MONEY and “No More Taxes”.

What an incredible recognition to digest that the ancient Maya, the people who built those overgrown cities in the jungles of Mesoamerica and abandoned them at the end of the classic period (900AD), were still living in and around the great city of Tikal in Peten, in the 18th century! Guatemalan archives have this information. What we know historically contemporary is that a group made an expedition to find this site in 1848 and they introduced to the world their findings in 1853. The Governor and the commissioner of El Peten, Francisco Tut and Modesto Mendez were the ones who brought the attention to the site of Tikal. After the information came out on the city, everyone wanted to touch the walls of what we now recognize as “the place of voices”; one of the most magical ancient Maya Cities in the Maya world that rivalled cities such as Copan in Honduras, Palenque in Mexico and Caracol in Belize. If you have never been there, allow us to introduce this City to you by offering 5 things you should know of what is the “downtown” of the “place of voices”.

The Necropolis of Tikal
Many who visit ancient sites want to know how the people lived in the particular cities and they also want to know what truly made the people who lived within them great. While people will find a multitude of great stories of how the people of the ancient cities lived, they may probably ask where those people who built those cities go. At Tikal, the truth is, while the ancient Maya descendants are still alive and scattered all over Mesoamerica, the people who collaborated to make the ancient city what it was are still there – not only in spirit but interred in some of the most beautiful tombs ever designed for kings anywhere. The entire North Acropolis in “downtown” Tikal is evidence of this. The North Acropolis earliest date goes back to c. 350BC. This was located on a platform that hosted a few temple buildings early but it eventually became the resting place of many kings in the classic period (250AD-900AD). Archaeologists have uncovered that this particular area was redecorated with beautiful tall pyramids around 400AD. Building after building, one over the other have been uncovered suggesting that the ancient Maya used a process of superimposition as a way to use the tight spaces within particular plazas and the North Acropolis at Tikal is a shining example of that.

Four Great Kings and a Queen of Tikal
The state is a reflection of the leader of every company or institution. To make a city unbelievable great, like Tikal, whose history started as far back as 900BC it had to have great leadership. There was failure certainly, but for the most part, the city was embellished with much success over the years. It defeated Calakmul, a super power and contemporary of Tikal. This defeat alone gave it abundance in the world of bragging rights. These leaders were called kings; living gods who managed the middle of the tripartite world of ancient Maya cosmology. Epigraphers, archaeologists who literally know to read the writing on the walls of the ancient Maya, have made great strides in the interpretation of royalty and their activities throughout the Maya area. They have also been able to read the names of great men and women and the dates of their accession to their thrones and death. Some of the names, when translated to the English language, are quite unusual and at least, interestingly funny!

Belize, Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

SBDCBelize BELTRAIDE and La Inmaculada Moving Forward
On the 3rd December, 2014 the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), through its Small Business Development Center, SBDC Belize signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to benefit local Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the areas of credit facilitation and credit management with La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited. This collaboration is expected to better connect our clients to much needed start-up or expansion capital and better prepare them to actively participate in a competitive environment. In addition to assisting new clients, the collaboration will also benefit existing clients of the La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited, who may want to enhance their business management practices.

Belize weather: the best on the planet!
Blink and you might miss it was a pretty good description of this year’s calm hurricane season, which officially ended at the beginning of December. Yes, it’s a great feeling when the season comes and goes without anyone really noticing it, and this year’s had that mellow quality we all love. As visitors to Belize quickly learn, we are blessed with some of the best weather conditions on the planet, with average yearly temperatures of 84° F (29°C) and not much of a difference between seasons. Just one more factor in Belize’s growing reputation as a true tropical paradise. However, all tropical paradises the world over have one thing in common – the warm weather and surrounding seas are perfect breeding grounds for tropical depressions which can grow into full fledged hurricanes. Belize, like most countries that are affected by these cyclonic storms, has developed sophisticated systems for predicting, recording and dealing with severe weather, so over the years the effects have been mitigated to an impressive degree.

Waking Up To Rain But…YESTERDAY? It was GORGEOUS in Belize
The rainy season in Belize is not what you might picture – non-stop drowning monsoons of rain keeping the sky dark and road impassable for weeks at a time. Whoops…I did see this picture. Stuck on a back street last week, in a golf cart, in a giant puddle…someone’s got to get out and push? Right? Ok sure, we will have one three or four day period of rain (and I think we may have gotten that out of the way already- see photo above!) and it will take a while to dry out. The back roads (like the one above) in particular. But what I am TRYING to say is that we usually get a pretty mixed bag when the rainy season comes in earnest. A morning of rain, an afternoon of brilliant sun.

International Sourcesizz

Wareham High students heading to Belize, Caribbean
The School Committee Wednesday approved a trip for Wareham High students to Belize in February 2016, and authorized the Class of 2016 to sponsor a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean in April 2016. Science teachers Joy Higgins and Craig Berriault proposed an eight-day scientific excursion to Belize for students in all four high school grades through International Zoological Expeditions, including excursions to rain forest and coral reefs and various cultural experiences. The estimated cost of the trip is as high as $2,500 per person, which they said will be subsidized primarily through fundraising. The committee unanimously approved the trip. “Any time our kids can get an experience like this one is worth it,” Chairman Clifford Sylvia said.

Fort Collins cacao importer launches first product
Fort Collins-based importer and wholesaler of premium chocolate products Madre Cacao has begun distributing its first product, Cacao Body Butter made of 100 percent cocoa butter. The bulk butter produce is processed from cacao beans in Ecuador, and is then shipped to Colorado for packaging. In 2006, owner Eric Foote worked in the oil and gas industry with four weeks on and two weeks off. During his time off he would travel south of the border. During a backpacking trip through Belize he met a family that made chocolate from cacao beans, an event that led to a quest to find world-class chocolate, he said.

Norwegian cruise ship to feature Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant
Norwegian Cruise Line’s next ship, which will be based in Miami, will have Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar on board, the company announced Thursday. Margaritaville will be a complimentary restaurant on the Norwegian Escape, which will debut in Europe next October and begin week-long Caribbean cruises out of Miami starting Nov. 14. The 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar will be an outdoor bar on the ship’s Waterfront zone and will feature live music nightly. Norwegian’s port at Harvest Caye, Belize, will have a Margaritaville when it opens next fall, and a 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar will open next year on Norwegian’s Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. Margaritaville eventually will be expanded to the rest of the fleet, but details haven’t been set yet, said Vanessa Lane Picariello, Norwegian’s director of public relations.

Professor David Stoddart: Geographer who championed the conservation of ocean reefs and stopped military bases wreaking ecological havoc
It is now conventional wisdom that reefs are of huge importance in the ecology of the oceans. It was not always so. If any one scientist can be said to have alerted the world to the significance of oceanic reefs it was David Stoddart. Stoddart left his Faculty in Cambridge University, part of the brain drain, for much, much more money – in order to fund his various projects, rather than for any personal recompense – and became a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. As Sir James Wordie, the Arctic and Antarctic explorer, and Stoddart's Master during his time at St John's College, put it to me sadly: "The Americans poached him. The money available for David's expensive field work and diving in San Francisco was simply not available in Cambridge." After graduation, Stoddart began his studies of coral reefs and islands in 1959 in the western Caribbean; he pioneered much of the work on the Belize reef, then the responsibility of British Honduras. He returned there to do more work on corals and plants, working for Louisiana State University before and after a major hurricane, tracking its effects on atolls and reefs. He gained a PhD from Cambridge for this work in 1964.

Scotiabank Reports Fourth Quarter and 2014 Results
Scotiabank's 2014 audited annual consolidated financial statements and accompanying Management's Discussion & Analysis (MD&A) will be available today at, along with the supplementary financial information and regulatory capital disclosure reports, which includes fourth quarter financial information. All amounts are in Canadian dollars and are based on our audited annual consolidated financial statements and accompanying MD&A for the year ended October 31, 2014 and related notes prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), unless otherwise noted. Reported Basis: Fiscal 2014 Highlights -- Net income of $7,298 million, up 10% from last year -- Earnings per share (diluted) of $5.66 versus $5.11, up 11% -- Annual dividends per share of $2.56, compared to $2.39, an increase of 7%


Video: Belize Melting Pot of Cultures, 2.5min. The people of Belize have an array of traditions and customs that represent more than 10 diverse cultures. This is truly a melting pot of colorful personalities, making the 314,000 residents of Belize the countrys greatest resource on the tourism front. The Belizean people are comprised of a harmonious combination of Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab and Chinese, as well as a number of European, American and other expatriates, a combination which has resulted in one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region and a widespread reputation as one of the friendliest tourist destinations in the world!
Video: Belize and the Sea, 3.5min. The longest Barrier reef in the hemisphere, the most extensive cave system, the greatest percent of land mass in the region under protected area status, all in one tiny country? How fortunate can one destination be? In the protection of our marine and terrestrial resources coupled with active environmental awareness programs, Belizes vibrant tourism industry was unwittingly born.
Video: Belize Jungle's and Wildlife, 3min. Private waterfalls, jungle canopies teeming with birds and exotic flora, hiking trails following the footprints of the elusive jaguar, iguanas splashing into crisp clear rivers these are only a few of the options visitors have to Be One with the beauty of Belizes rainforest.
Video: A Glimpse of Belize HD, 4min. Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, offers a unique combination of richly, rewarding experiences that make it unlike any destination on the planet. Swim with the exotic sea life along the Western Hemisphere's largets barrier reef. Explore the fascinating mysteries of the largest concentration of Maya sites in the region.
Video: Belize and the Maya History, 3min. Although Belize's Maya occupation began as early as 1500 BC, it was during the Classic period of 250 AD to 900 AD that the population is thought to have exceeded one million people. Archaeological remains of the ancient Maya include pottery, skeletons, stelae, and tall palaces, temples, and ceremonial centers.
Video: Sean Paul in Belize, 3min.
Video: Plenty Belize NGO, 7min.
Video: Del Mar, 6min. This is a video documentary on Belize Flyfishing, for a film class, hence the explination of simple fly fishing concepts. -Went down for three days of fishing and got dished some not so optimal weather for the better part of the trip, wish there were more fish shots, but theres always the next trip.

December 4, 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

Seven island students receive CSEC Awards of Excellence
On Wednesday, November 26th the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) National Committee of Belize held their annual national award ceremony for the 2014 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examination (CAPE). The ceremony was held at the Multipurpose Complex Building in Orange Walk Town and saw hundreds of secondary and tertiary students being awarded. Among the awardees were seven graduates from San Pedro High School (SPHS) who received CSEC Awards of Excellence. The awardees were: Alisha Cadle, Geovanna Carillo, Kelsey Luna, Vivian Noralez, Mahe Perreira, Jasmine Ritchie, Gian Rivero, Marlon Santos and Doris Soriano. CSEC and CAPE are proficiency exams offered to students graduating from secondary and tertiary institutions, respectively, across the Caribbean Region in May and June of each year. According to the Ministry of Education this year’s results saw an increase in passes and higher grades. “We are here to celebrate our students both at the CSEC and the CAPE level because they are the excellent; they are the shining stars of the Belize education system and we ought very much to be proud of them and to give them all the praise, the props, everything that they have worked so hard for. This year, Belize performed exceptionally in both exams, and we expect to continue in this growth in the years to come,” said Minister of Education, Patrick Faber at the ceremony.

PC Hector Blanco takes the November Officer of the Month Award
November’s Officer of the Month Award went to Police Constable (PC) 1443 Hector Blanco who was honored during a short ceremony on Tuesday, December 2nd. PC Blanco works as the administrative assistant at the San Pedro Police Department and was thrilled to be the recipient of the Officer of the Month award. At the ceremony, Deputy in Charge of San Pedro Police, Inspector Henry Jemmott and General Manager of Fido’s Courtyard, Brian Cook presented PC Blanco with several tokens of recognition for his hard work. PC Blanco has been serving in San Pedro for the past two years. According to Inspector Jemmott, although PC Blanco is one of the officers that is not often seen by the community, his role plays a crucial part in the smooth running of the station. “PC Blanco works as one of our administrative staff. He plays several roles in the station and has several tasks to do on a daily basis. PC Blanco is our computer specialist, technician, clerk, and even secretary. He ensures that everything is ready for police officers to charge criminals and that cases are well prepared. Overall, his assistance to the police is essential,” said Jemmott.

San Pedro Cadets and Police hold Christmas Drive
Christmas is a time of giving and the San Pedro Cadet Corps have taken on the task to give back to their community. Your help is needed to help the Cadets meet their goal of giving back to the less fortunate residents of Ambergris Caye. This year, the Cadets in collaboration with the San Pedro Police Department, are conducting a Christmas Drive to collect items that will be distribute to underprivileged families just in time for the Christmas Holidays. According to Deputy in Charge of the San Pedro Police, Inspector Henry Jemmott, the aim of the drive is to give back to the community and spread Christmas cheer. Police are asking the community to donate anything from non-perishable food items, to clothes and toys. “We are asking the community to give what they can. These items will be sorted and packaged to be given to families. Not everyone living on the island is privileged to receive gifts for Christmas.

Mayor’s Cup heads to the finals
The final round of games for the regular season was played on Saturday, November 29th at 6PM and saw five matches. The night also saw four teams fighting for the three remaining spots in the semi-finals. In the first match, Warriors FC took on Green House FC. As one of the teams competing to qualify for the semi-finals, Green House FC had to win their match in order to advance. The match was a struggle for both teams, but in the end Green House FC managed to take advantage of Warriors FC and took the victory in a 1-0 point game. There was much anticipation on the field as FC Aluminum Fabricators took on Pro Divers FC in the second match of the night. The teams only have one more game to prove themselves and it’s going to be more than exciting after the first games’ result! The second leg of the semi-finals will take place on Saturday, December 6th starting at 3PM. Green House FC will once again face off against FC Aluminum Fabricators, while Dorados FC will take on Pro Divers FC. At the end of the two games organizers will announce the two teams heading to the finals that will be played on Sunday, December 7th starting at 3PM. Presentation of trophies, prizes and individual awards will be issued immediately after on Sunday. You don’t want to miss out on this football action! For more information on the tournament contact, organizers Jesus Lozano at 607-1543 or Kenny Witzil at 664-7566.

Ambergris Today

Blue Water Grill and Social Media Raise $1,717 for Cancer Society
“Feels So Good To Know We Are Not Alone In The Battle Against Cancer!” commented Miguel Perez, of the San Pedro Cancer Society as he and the group members humbly accepted a check of $1,717.00 from Blue Water Grill on Wednesday, December 3, 2014. December 2 was ‘Happy Giving Tuesday’ and the management of Blue Water Grill was feeling very giving so the decision was made to donate $1 for every “LIKE” they received on a special Facebook post. “We need your help,” stated the post on the restaurant’s Facebook Page. “Help us make a difference in the lives of those battling cancer.” And so the followers, fans and clients of Blue Water Grill started liking; by the end of the day at midnight the post had received 1717 likes as people shared, commented and showed their support. True to their word, Blue Water Grill presented a check of the same amount of likes to the San Pedro Cancer Society that was very grateful.

Ride For Belize. Ride With Oceana 2014 for a Cause
Between Thursday, November 27 and Sunday, November 30, 2014, cyclists from across Belize took to the country’s major highways to promote the need for increased public participation in the protection and sustainable development of Belize’s precious marine resources. The participants rode from the shores of Corozal Bay in the North to the coastal town of Punta Gorda in the South via the commercial capital Belize City in the East, the geographic capital of Belmopan and the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena in the west, a distance of approximately 350 miles. According to event organizer Oceana’s National Grassroots Coordinator Amelita Knowles, in total more than 100 riders participated in the various stages of the four day event. “The metaphors between cycling and conservation are clear: when we all come together and do our part, we achieve great things. Everyone has a role to play in maintaining environmental consciousness. Present and future generations of Belizeans will benefit from our efforts today. We need to create a Belize where the environment doesn’t need protection; protecting what we love should be as natural as being proud of being a Belizean.”

Belize Public and Bank Holidays 2015
The Government of Belize Press Office has sent out a press release informing about the Public and Bank holidays for 2015. It is notified for general information that public and bank holidays specified in the First and the Second Schedules to the Holidays Act, Chapter 289 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003, will be observed on the following days during the year 2015 in accordance with section 3 of the said Act:-

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize FISHING REPORT: November 22nd – 29th, 2014
It was a bustling Thanksgiving week here at El Pescador. Turkey dinner for 85 – and it was amazing. Thank you to Bella our head chef and the talented kitchen crew for pulling it off under the direction and wise guidance of Miss Chris. We are thankful for our return “family” that make El Pescador their home in Belize. Cary and Kristen have been diving with Alonzo for ten years – and because they are teachers, we see them on Thanksgiving vacation. Aki, Chris and Mak – we always love to see you here and it was especially wonderful to share Thanksgiving with you. Jack and Ann – thank you for telling your family you had to change things up this year and go fishing. It’s a good reason! Sally, I know this is going to be a wonderful year for you! With all the generations of family and friends that showed up to wish you the most special 50th birthday – it has to be great! And to our El Pescador family, thank you. We are a team of 45 and everyone’s job here is very important. We are thankful to Ali, Chris and Steve for running a tight ship and at the same time “being there” for your employees when needed. And Max our EP dog is thankful that Jacob is back working as one of our night guards. Jake was out for a month due to a bike accident, and Max was in a deep dark depression. Now his tail is wagging. So we leave you this week with wagging tails and gratitude. May the wind stay at your back and offer you good tides!

28 year old murdered today
Robert Tracey was shot and killed in the Jump Street Area of Belize City this Wednesday December 3rd, 2014. In 2012 Tracey, then 25 years old was once charged with attempted Murder and Grievous Harm for the stabbing of a former security guard of the Magistrate's Court. In January 2011, Tracey then 24 was remanded for being one of three men who allegedly robbed a man at gunpoint on December 31st, 2010. In 2009, Tracey, then 22 was charged along with a minor the robbery of Brads Store on West Collet Canal at gunpoint. He allegedly was going to turn his life around.

Belmopan RingRoad Project Approved
More good news for our beautiful Belmopan. The Caribbean Development Bank has approved the Belmopan RingRoad Project. This will include walking, running and cycling path; roundabouts at hospital/ringroad junction, Western Highway/Hummingbird Highway junction, Forest Drive/Hummingbird Highway junction. And Belmopan's first set of traffic lights at the Police Training Academy junction.

Boxes of Joy Fashion Show
Adorable kids strutting the run way for a great cause. You too, can help to bring Christmas to underprivileged children by purchasing a ticket. Tickets available @ The San Pedro Sun Office General $5, Reserved $10, Front Row $20.

What’s the connection between Cayo North and the Forestry Department?
Equipment from the Forestry Department was designated to fix the terrible road conditions in the Mountain Pine Ridge Area of Cayo. However, though the roads are deplorable the equipment for the past few months have been taken to Cayo North. A bulldozer that is property of the department is currently in the El Pilar area. Does the Forestry Department know that it’s equipment is being used elsewhere? Residents are claiming it is a political issue why the equipment has been removed from the Pine Ridge. If you live in Cayo South or the Mountain Pine Ridge area, please contact the Forest Department or if you know the identity of the Returning Officer for Cayo North, please contact that person as well about the situation.

Seasons for game meat in Belize
If stewed Gibnut is favorite meal for you, make the most of it this month in December because come Jan 1st the season to hunt and eat it is closed until June 1st when season reopens. Be responsible and only buy your game meat from licensed hunters or licensed game meat dealers, these people PAY Forestry for a license to legally hunt, don't undermine their responsible hunting practices by buying meat from unlicensed hunters or out of season. Below is the seasons for game meat in Belize and requirements for hunting or dealing/selling game meat license.

More basketball competition this weekend in Corozal at the Andres Campos Civic Center.

Dance X BZ 2014 (56 photos) - Friday Night

Channel 7

Amidst Speculation, Mayor Says He Isn't Going Anywhere
Has Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley resigned? Well, that’s the strong report we got this afternoon. As we told you on Monday, he’s very frustrated with Central Government and his own council for a number of reasons. But is it enough to make him do the unthinkable and resign three months before a municipal election? Well, reports to our newsroom on Monday said that he packed up his office. But what really has the Mayor done? We caught him just a few minutes ago at a tree-lighting in downtown Belize City. Santa Claus hat and all that’s what Daniel Ortiz asked him. Because of time constraints, we air the interview uncut: Daniel Ortiz "We have received persistent reports that you have tendered your resignation and that is has not been accepted, have you done such thing?"

Usher And Hon. Boots Square Off On Sidewalk
Gilroy Usher Senior has been making a name for himself in the media recently. We wouldn’t say he’s a nationally known figure – but with the egg throwing stunt he pulled in early October, he certainly earned some recognition – after all nobody had thrown egg at the Guatemalan Embassy before. And today, he turned his focus from national issues to the division where he is running. That’s Port Loyola – where he is challenging incumbent Anthony Boots Martinez for a second time. Today’s protest was designed to challenge Martinez as the Minister of Poverty Alleviation – but it ended up in a sidewalk face that will make you need laughter alleviation. And while it ended in comic relief it started on a confrontational note:…. This morning at 9:30. a few dozen supporters gathered under the bus shed on Central American Boulevard.

BSI and BSCFA Back To Negotiating Table
Tonight, the cane farmers and the factory owners still have not signed a commercial agreement for the start of the crop season, but they are closer than they have been in almost a year. In a Government facilitated meeting held today, BSI, BSCFA and the Sugar Industry Control Board met for 6 hours at the BSI Staff Club in Orange Walk where both sides tried their very best to arrive at a compromise on 3 major points of contention which is preventing a signed commercial agreement for the crop season. As we’ve told you the farmers have directed their negotiators that to inform BSI that they will not deliver their cane unless an agreement, either long term or interim, has been signed. The points they can’t agree on are the term of the agreement, the formula for bagasse and the ownership of the cane.

DPP Says Teenager Will Be Charged For Diplomat's Murder
Last week Thursday, we told you how the 18 year-old Belmopan Resident, Wilser Echeverria, was arraigned and remanded for a charge related to the death of the Panamanian Diplomat, Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa Stanford. Well tonight, the news is that he will now be charged directly for De La Rosa’s murder. After 6 days of reviewing the case file for herself, the Director of Public Prosecutions signed off, and indicated to the investigator that her office now supports the laying of the charge. In communication with us today, DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal told us quote, “My request to the police for additional evidence in the Echeverria matter was finally complied with in its entirety this morning and I later gave them the authority to lay the charge of murder. This is obviously a case in which there is no eyewitness evidence and in order to rebut the allegation of the suspect, and prove that the killing was unlawful, the circumstantial and forensic evidence is critical. I could not have properly made a decision until I had certain evidence before me and so no directive was given until today.”

City Murder Devastates Family
There was a murder in Belize City this morning. It happened two blocks across from our Albert Street studio on Wagner’s Lane, known as Jump Street. Robert Tracey who’d had run-in’s with the law before was out of his neighborhood – he’s from behind Gungulung but found himself in foreign turf this morning. Is that why he was shot and killed? That’s what Monica Bodden tried to find out from his family today:… Rafael Martinez – Police Press Officer "Regarding the shooting incident that occurred on Wagner's lane at about 10 o'clock this morning. We have confirmed the identity of the person who was shot he is 27 year old Robert Austin Tracy, Emmanual street address in the Gungulung area as it is locally known." It was in front of this two story concrete building on Wagner’s Lane – where 27 year old Robert Tracy was gunned down just before 10 this morning. He was allegedly sitting on a stool – when his attacker pulled up from behind him and fired a single shot- That shot caught Tracy to the head- and killed him almost instantly. His family received the news just minutes after he was killed.

Curious Relationship: KH and HK
We told you about the KHMH special audit last night. At 77 pages long it details a good many of eyebrow raising procedural irregularities in just a few product acquisitions. And in the audit we found that the KHMH made a surprising number of those acquisitions from a company all the way in Hong Kong. We tried to find out more about Spring Holdings:… Jules Vasquez Reporting….. Spring HK Holdings Ltd – that company name comes up many times in the audit. The HK stands for Hong Kong, and their address says they are headquartered in this towering building, the Trend Center. It says they are in Room 2015 – but we found multiple businesses all over the internet using that same address – including this one, Astra Defence a Swiss arms company.

"Rebel" for Robbery
Twenty-two year old Elvis Olivera, aka “Rebel”, charged with robbery, is spending the first night of a 2 year prison sentence, handed to him today by the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Kerwin Humes testified that at about 8:30 p.m. on March 20, 2014, he was riding home from a friend’s house when Olivera pulled up beside him on Regent Street near to the House of Culture and threw him off his bicycle. Humes said Olivera, who used to play with him on the same basketball team, got over him and began to punch him on his face. Humes said Olivera then took his Samsung Galaxy cellular phone from his shirt pocket and rode away contrary to the flow of traffic. Humes positively identified Olivera as the person who robbed him, and a police constable who was at the House of culture, went to the scene when he heard Humes crying out for help. The officer testified that when he arrived he saw Olivera riding off. A police sergeant testified that he retrieved the cell phone from Olivera 3 days later.

Visionaries In Innovation Nation
Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics were on display today at the Princess Hotel and young bright minds were behind those innovations. High School students from across the country were tasked to devise practical solutions to problems affecting their schools and communities for the SAGICOR VISIONARIES CHALLENGE. On Monday we gave you a glimpse of what to expect with Canaan's electromagnetic generator ventilation system but today the innovation nation was in full force. Courtney Weatherburne found out more:… The Kings Room at the Princess Hotel was packed with young visionaries this morning. The participants in the SAGICOR Visionaries Challenge had ingenious innovations on display that explored solutions to various health and environmental issues. Jon Moreno - Muffles College "What I am basically doing is using lemon grass tea, mostly known as fever grass. You boil the leaves to make this tea that will make you reduce high blood pressure. The reason i'm doing this is because due to many of our parents and adults working, they have less time to take care of themselves. They have less time to cook their own meals and they rely on fast foods and canned foods."

Lost Police Flash Drive Has Super Sensitive Information
More is known tonight about the flash drive, which was lost by a police officer attached to Special Branch. As we told you, the drive with thousands of files has found its way into civilian hands. The problem is that many of those files are sensitive – and tonight we know that as many of a hundred of them are what we would have to call “super-sensitive.” We have learned that the drive contains what are known as “source sheets” – these are documents that the Special Branch keeps to compile details of confidential informants. Former special branch officers tell us that there are strict rules against having these on any portable memory device – and that they should only be hand delivered in hard copy to the head of special branch.

Talking Tourism to Mexico
A month ago we reported on the visit from the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce to establish a strong and more balanced business relationship with Belizean business owners. Well today another trade show was held that echoed that objective. It was called the Tourist fair and tour operators, travel agencies and hotel representatives from Chetumal, Mahahual and Bacalar met at the Institute of Mexico. The hope is to encourage Belizean service providers to consider doing business in Mexico. The Mexican ambassador told us more:…. Mario Velazquez- Ambassador of Mexico "It is just wonderful to have this kind of occasion when we can exchange Mexican entrepreneurs and Belizean entrepreneurs. When they meet together in that moment, they start to find that perhaps you have the ideas, the knowledge, the products that I need. The Canaco is a Mexican organisation of entrepreneurs. They are inviting Belizeans to come, to their premises in Mexico for making business in Mexico, selling Belizean products and services.”

Five Remanded For Firearm Offences
Five people are in jail tonight after they were taken to Magistrate’s Court for firearm offences relating to 2 separate cases. In the first, a family of three adults, and a 16 year old boy were charged for a single round of unlicensed ammunition when they appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The adults are 29 year old Shantel Usher, 19 year old Donovan Usher and 23 year old Danika Usher. They all pled not guilty to the charge, and during the arraignment, Chief Magistrate Smith told the prosecutor that if he doesn’t come back with the facts of this case on Friday, December 5, to prove the case against the defendants, she will dismiss the matter. Her hands were tied in relation to the law, and so, she remanded the four defendants into custody until December 5. The incident occurred on December 2. The police reported that when they searched a house on Cardinez Alley they found one single bronze 9 millimeter bullet on a shelf beside a pink bag in one of the rooms.

Cop Charged For Handcuffs Found On Cervantez Sr.
Police have charged one of their own with disciplinary charges because his handcuffs were found with the body of Ramon Cervantes Sr., the well known businessman and former politician who was abducted and murdered. It’s of note because the man claiming to be Manuel Castillo, who allegedly spoke to the Cervantez family, said in the phone call that there was police involvement in the murder. As we’ve told you, investigators found police handcuffs with Ramon Sr’s body in the shallow grave where he was inhumanely dumped. They have determined that it belongs to Police Constable Javier Alvarez. Sources tell us that he was fined $200 by disciplinary body today, and he will face serious reprimand by the department.

Standards For Laboratories
Englebert Emmanuel - Director of Licensing and Accreditation Unit, MOH "It is to come up with a standard policy that will actually address the whole concept around quality and standards, that then prepare laboratories for the accreditation system." Courtney Weatherburne "What are some of the topics you are discussing here, some of the key topics that surround the broader issue of that laboratory policy?" Englebert Emmanuel "We are looking at regulation, we're looking at lab support systems, we're looking at quality system and we're looking at data management and public health response. So those are the 5 main areas we are focusing on in term of insuring a standardisation across the country."

Mixing Water, Oil and Oil Paint
Water and oil can’t mix – and the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage held a poster competition to encourage primary schoolers to come up with artwork depicting Belize with a Properly Planned Oil Industry versus an Improperly Planned Oil Industry.” Now, we all know, and the kids kind of do too, that for the coalition “properly planned” means no offshore oil exploration. So you could call it a slightly leading proposition, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. 43 of them from across the country entered and they were put up for display today at the Bliss Center:… As you saw, 1st Place went to Amber McKoy from Grace Primary School, 2nd Place went to St. Mary’s Art Club and 3rd Place: Tanya Chi from Belize Elementary School.

Disability and Diversity
It’s disability awareness week – and this year it’s being celebrated under the theme, “Sustainable Development – the promise of technology.” The week started with a mass and the highlite event is the finger spelling Bee which will be held tomorrow. But today, they took to the streets to communicate the message about people with diverse abilities:…

The City's Tree ...
And while they were in the city streets today – tonight – all roads led to the downtown area where the Bowen and Bowen Christmas Tree was lit. It was the 4th Annual Ceremony and the mayor told us why it’s significant:

PUP Says Cheers to Christmas Cheer
And in one more news item tonight – the UDP has posted on Alfonso Noble’s facebook page that the Secretary General of the PUP has written to the financial secretary informing that the PUP will participate in the Chrstmas Cheer programme.

Channel 5

Tracy Gunned Down in Belize City
Blood spilled again this morning in Belize City. So far there have been three execution style murders in six days; the most recent occurred at ten this morning on Wagner’s [...]

BSI and BSCFA at the Negotiating Table
After a long period of hostilities from afar, A.S.R./B.S.I. and the B.S.C.F.A. are back at the negotiating table. Along with representatives of the Sugar Industry Control Board, both parties met [...]

Echeverria To Be Charged for Murder
The life of a Panamanian diplomat was snuffed out on Sunday, November twenty-third; his body was found by a church goer in an area called La Choza in the capital. [...]

KHMH Audit Lists Serious Irregularities
Former Director of Financial Services at the K.H.M.H., Carlos Perera, was let go from the K.H.M.H. amid reports of irregularities; the Board of Governors decided not to renew his contract [...]

Gilroy Usher Protests in Port Loyola
A peaceful protest by residents of Port Loyola, avid supporters of P.U.P. Standard Bearer Gilroy Usher Senior, ended in a brief squabble with area representative Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez this morning.  [...]

Christmas Cheer Mortgage Program Explained
On Tuesday, government announced that it was going ahead with a Residential Mortgage Payment Program it had first announced in September to pay interest and principal payments for mortgages for [...]

Family Remanded for a Bullet
At noon today a family, including a sixteen year old minor, was dragged to court on a single charge of possession of a round of a nine-millimeter ammunition, but the Chief Magistrate [...]

Winners of Visionaries Challenge Named
The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge took place today in Belize City. More than thirty entries were submitted by schools across the country on projects that focus on science, technology, engineering and [...]

Citrus Industry Dispute Settled Out of Court
Since the restructuring of Citrus Products of Belize Limited in April, news from Pomona Valley has been rather far and few.  That’s not to say however, that there isn’t much [...]

Audits of CPBL Underway
As far as progress concerning the state of affairs of CPBL, audits of the company, which had been stalled indefinitely, are being completed for 2013 and 2014.  The delay subsequently [...]

Mexico Hosts Tourism Fair
Three weeks ago, a bilateral meeting was held between the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its counterparts in Mexico. As a follow-up to that meeting, today at the [...]

Disability Week Launched
The first week of December every year is celebrated annually as Disability Week…including December third that is designated as International Day for People with Disabilities. The week of activities promotes [...]

Nunez Speaks on Theme of Disability Week
As a person living with a disability, Nunez spoke on the theme for this year’s celebration…that is, “Sustainable Development; the Promise of Technology.” He says that disabled persons have equal rights. [...]

MoH Holds Workshop in Belize City
A workshop to develop a national laboratory policy of medical labs—both private and public institutions—was held today in Belize City. The event brought together stakeholders and partners to create a [...]


Another Murder Recorded In Belize City
Tonight there is another homicide to report and it also comes from the old capital. This morning 27 year old Robert Austin Tracey was shot once to the head around 10:00 while on Wagner’s Lane. Police are yet to ascertain what Tracey was doing on Wagner’s Lane at the time of his demise. What they can say though is that prior to his death he was seen hanging out in the area.

Orange Walk First Female Mayor Passes
Tonight we are saddened to report that Orange Walk’s first female Mayor has passed away. Seventy year old Agripina Espejo who served as Mayor of Orange Walk Town from 1994 to 1995 and a portion of 1997 died in Belize City this afternoon at 2:00pm at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital of a heart attack. Mrs. Espejo was a dialysis patient for the past five years. In February of 2013 Mrs. Espejo and 12 past Mayors of Orange Walk Town were honored by the present Orange Walk Town Council as their names were encrypted on a mural. Here is an interview we did with Mrs. Espejo on the day the mural was inaugurated and she received her award. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Espejo family.

BSI/ASR And BSCFA Meet But Still No Date Set For Commencement Of Crop
Today, representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and ASR/BSI met at the head table at the BSI Staff Club to resume negotiations. The Association went in with the hope that the meeting would yield positive results and allow for the cane farmers and factory owners to prepare for the start of the crop season. Meanwhile, BSI went in with the hope to finalize an agreement. Our news team met with the leaders on both sides and what we can tell you is that at the end of the nearly five hours meeting, there seems to be a light at the end of the sugar-cane crop tunnel. Maria Novelo reports. Maria Novelo – Reporting Belizario Carballo – Financial Director, BSI/ASR “We would like to feel that there is an opportunity to conclude the agreement but let see what we can work out in the next few days.”

Has PC. Alvarez Been Charged For Cervantes Case?
P.C 743 Javier Alvarez has allegedly been found guilty of two counts for Prejudice to Good Order and Discipline and was fined $200 and severely reprimanded. That is the report coming out of the Belize Police Department tonight which is yet to be confirmed. What exactly severely reprimanded, we are yet to find out. On September 26th 2014 P.C 743 Javier Alvarez was placed on interdiction for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior. According to police Alvarez was placed on disciplinary charges for two counts for Prejudice to Good Order and Discipline for apparently selling a police service handcuff to wanted fugitive Manuel Castillo who police say is the mastermind behind Cervantes’ killing.

Upgrading Of 4th And 6th Street Well Under Way
On November 4th, we reported that several intersections in Corozal Town connected to the Philip Goldson Highway and a large portion of the highway itself was opened for vehicular use after they were upgraded. Under the major Highway project, the Government of Belize also requested that two other roads within Corozal Town be identified for refurbishing. Under that particular part of the project 4th and 6th are currently being cemented.

GOB Clarifies Criterias To Qualify for Resident Mortgage Payment Program
December is usually the month for giving and for the Government of Belize that seems to be the path they have taken. When we left you last night we told you about the criteria’s that must be met to qualify for GOB’s Residential Mortgage Payment Program. Today Government clarified those criteria’s. In order for Belizeans to qualify for the reimbursement of their December 2014 interest and principal payments on all residential mortgages with an original value of up to BZE$ 100,000, the must be borrowers from the National Bank, Commercial Banks, Credit Unions, the Development Finance Corporation and the Belize Social Security Board.

CANACO Have Join With Belizean To Organize Tourism Fair
The Embassy of Mexico in Belize and the National Chamber of Commerce “Canaco” which stands for La Cámara Nacional de Comercio, Servicios y Turismo in Mexico have joined hands to organize a Tourism Fair here in Belize. The event promises to see the participation of approximately 17 hotel companies and travel agencies from Othon P. Blanco and from Bacalar. According to the Mexican press Novedades Quintana Roo, the group left for Belize this morning with the objective to present and exchange package deals of the various tourism sites in both countries, since the peak of the tourism season in Belize and Quintana Roo coincide.

Bishop Martin High School Wins SAGICOR Competition
The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge (SVC) is a design competition in which students in schools work in teams and use Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to solve a problem in their school or community. The SVC is a collaborative programme between Sagicor, the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). Today the second annual highly competitive national SVC came to an end in Belize City where judges had the hard task of picking the winning projects amongst 32 projects that were on display from 28 high schools across the county including Muffles High School, Bishop Martin High School and Technical High School from Orange Walk.

Today the La Inmaculada Credit Union signed a Memorandum of Agreement that will serve to strengthen its services to its membership and potential members. That MOU was signed with the Small Business Development Center at BELTRAIDE this morning. Dalila Ical has more on the story. Dalila Ical – Reporting Ligia Gideon “They’re a power house this side of the country and SB Belize is making a name in Belize City as well and the whole function is to be able to make the business community more viable in order not only to access credit but to be able to repay their loans as well.”

Disability Week Observed In Corozal
This week is observed as Disability Week in the country of Belize and while in other districts the week was officially launched yesterday, in Corozal Town the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports officially launched the week this morning with a parade through the principal streets of that municipality. Within the Corozal District there are three special needs centers of which all three came out today to take part in this year’s event. Jahmor Lopez – Manager MOE “We had the participation of centers, the students and teachers and also other groups who were invited to participate, the whole idea behind disability awareness week is to sensitize the general public about students and people within the community who have special needs and referred to them as differently able and for us to promote the whole concept of inclusion, so it is about education, awareness, empowerment and inclusion because the statistics is that worldwide here are about a billion individuals who are term disable, it is a very large population and not much is being done to assist these individuals so that they can be a part of their society in terms of contributing economically, socially and so it is to bring awareness to the general public.”

Marine Scientist Joins OCEANA Belize
Today, Oceana-Belize announced that a highly qualified Marine Scientist has joined its staff. Dr. Isani Chan, originally from Punta Gorda town, returns to Belize for the job after spending eight years overseas during which he was engaged in extensive work in the field of marine conservation and research. Dr. Isani Chan holds doctoral degrees in both Marine Biology and Philosophy from the National Taiwan Ocean University in Taiwan as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Belize. For the past eight years, he has been working in Taiwan in the field of natural resource management and conservation.

The Fight Against Aids Continues In Corozal
Yesterday the entire populace celebrated World Aids Day under the theme “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.” Worldwide the primary focus was to break the stigma barrier and here in Belize activities took place country wide to reach that aim. One of those activities was carried out by the National Aids Commission Country Commitment Mechanism in Corozal and it came in the form of a student’s forum. At the end of the forum the organization hosted a lantern lifting ceremony at Miami Beach. According to Clemente Novelo, Chairman of NAC, the activity was organized in remembrance of those who have fallen to the deadly HIV virus and as a symbol of solidarity for those battling the disease and face discrimination.

Belize Hands Over Presidency Of COMISCA To Guatemala
Guatemala now holds the pro-tempore presidency of COMISCA. The handing over was done following two days of regional discussions at the XLI Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA). Minister of Health of Guatemala Luis Enrique Monterroso accepted on behalf of his government which will now serve for the next six months. In the last six months that Belize held the position, renewed attention was focused on chronic diseases including HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Family & Community health. In his statement, Minister Monterroso expressed that his position as Minister of Health is vital as he must serve the public and alleviate the suffering of the poor. He added that quote, “We as COMISCA must have that same vision that united we can do much more to alleviate the suffering of the poor. We as a region can do it and must always keepthat in mind.”

P.M Leaves For CARICOM Summit
Prime Minister Dean Barrow travelled out today. The Prime Minister will be in Atlanta Georgia on personal leave, according to his office. On December 8th he will be attending the CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Havana, Cuba. According to the international press, Caribbean Community leaders will use the December Cuba-CARICOM Summit to discuss ways of strengthening relations. As Cuba developed its new economic model, the forthcoming Cuba-CARICOM Summit is viewed as presenting an opportunity to discuss ways to strengthen economic relations. In a previous meeting, Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriquez underlined Havana’s “unfailing solidarity and partnership” with CARICOM and expressed his country’s “appreciation for the solidarity…in reaction to the many hostile acts harmful to its economic development such as the US embargo and the extraterritorial application of US laws as well as the CFATF (Caribbean Financial Action Task Force) grey listing of the country. According to reports, the regional leaders had expressed their appreciation for the technical assistance and cooperation provided by Cuba in a variety of areas including capacity building, education and health.

Special Olympics Torch Run Starts In Corozal
Each year, law enforcement agencies in the Country form part of the week by taking part in the annual torch run which sees the carrying of the Special Olympics Torch across the country. It is an opportunity to raise funds to assist children with special needs as the torch run makes several stops. This year the torch run left the Corozal Free Zone at around 7:00 this morning with members of the Corozal Police Department, Corozal Commercial Free Zone, Belize Defense Force and students taking part in the event. Marleni Montejo – Sgt. Community Policing “We have the BDF from here, we have the schools, high schools , sixth forms, the Cadets of course and the police officers all run for the same cause showing the community that we are together for a very good cause and we started at seven.”


PG Police Launch Holiday Season Anit-Crime Campaign
Police in Punta Gorda have launched their anti-crime campaign for the holiday season. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG “The operation is implemented by police in Punta Gorda as explained by Deputy Commander of the Toledo Police formation, Inspector Ernell Dominguez.” ERNELL DOMINGUEZ “PG police has started the Anti-Crime campaign which is an operation throughout the entire country as it relates to policing. So far the success from this operation seems fruitful. The police will engage in search operations as well as targeted drunken driving check points and other police operations so as to minimize the incidence of crime within the Toledo district. I must say that so far from the success of the operation shot down which started on the 15th of October and concluded on the 30th of November the public was pretty much helpful to us, we appreciate that and we expect more of this in the future of the Anti-Crime operation and we believe in the future it will rid this community of crime.”

CMLF Conducts Two Days Workshop
The Caribbean Med Lab Foundation (CMLF) supported by the Global Fund Project in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Belize Bureau of Standards is conducting a workshop to develop a National Laboratory Policy and Regulatory Framework for Belize. The objectives of the workshop is to identify and agree on challenges in the medical and public health laboratory services in Belize; to review the draft laboratory regulatory and policy framework for the Caribbean; and to initiate the development of a National Laboratory Policy for the operation and regulation of public and private sector laboratory services in Belize. Director of the Belize Bureau of Standard, Jose Trejo, spoke to Love News. JOSE TRUJO “Today’s discussion is basically to look at how we can develop a national policy for medical labs that will help them to move towards becoming accredited. It’s a long road to become accredited but the policy will help to set the stage in establishing minimum requirements for medical labs as a start and then allowing the policy to help them move from one step to the next so that labs eventually can become accredited testing laboratories in the medical field, that is the ultimate goal for this policy.”


DPP withdraws charge after complainant declines action
Two men charged with a shooting incident in May of this year are free of those charges, after the complainant told the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions he did not wish to pursue further court action. 25 year old Frank Vernon Gentle and 21 year old Kendis Faber were charged with use of deadly means of harm against Radman Welch, but according to his attorney Alifa Elrington-Hyde, he had already indicated at the time of the arraignment in the May that he retracted his statement to the police in writing to the DPP.

Ammunition case has no facts
Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith has threatened to dismiss a case against three adults and a 16 year old boy charged with keeping ammunition without a gun license, after the court prosecutors was unable to present the facts of the case to her on Wednesday. 29 year old Shantel Usher, 19 year old Donovan Usher, 23 year old Danika Usher and the minor pleaded not guilty to the charges and were given a short remand date to Friday, December 5. On Tuesday police searched a house on Cardinez Alley, Belize City, and found a bronze 9mm bullet on a shelf beside a pink bag in one of the rooms.

Mahogany Heights Logging Concerns Clarified
On Monday we told you about the logging situation at Mahogany Heights community, located at mile 31 on the George Price Highway. The concerns were that the owner of the property, on which a large part of Mahogany Heights sits on, received permission from the Forestry Department to cut for pine trees near the community. The residents expressed concern that the owner may decide to cut down the trees inside their assigned lots, since they themselves don’t have the legal documents for the land that their houses sit on. However according to the Chief Forest Officer Lizandro Quiroz, the permit that was granted to Abdul Hamze, the owner of the property, is to allow Frederick Banner to log in the area adjacent to the community and not inside the village community. The permit to log was granted on November 21st, two weeks ago and we were told that Abdul Hamze is in the process of acquiring his license to log in the said area. The logging season extends from the month of October to the month of June.

Convicted robber given 2 years in jail
Elvis “Rebel” Olivera was handed a two-year jail sentence on Wednesday by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, who found him guilty of the robbery of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) employee Kerwin Humes on March 20, 2014. According to Mr Humes, an assistant installer, he was headed home on bicycle that night around 8:30 from a friend’s home, when a man he identified as Elvis Olivera, a former basketball teammate, rode up beside him on Regent Street, Belize City, next to the House of Culture, grabbed him from behind and threw him off his bicycle and then began to punch him in the face as he lay on the ground. Kerwin Humes said Elvis Olivera then took his Samsung Galaxy cellular phone from the top pocket of his shirt, and rode away contrary to traffic. Mr Humes positively identified Elvis Olivera as the person who robbed him.

Domestic dispute in Lord’s Bank leads to charges
A couple’s domestic problems landed the husband in the court of Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith on Wednesday. 67 years old Adolphus Barrett, a cabinet maker from Lord’s Bank, Belize District, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault with a firearm on his wife, Hadie Barrett, who claims he pointed his licenced 9mm pistol at her, following a misunderstanding at home on Tuesday. Despite the pleas of attorney Kevin Arthurs that his client was recopvering from cancer sergery and has an ongoing prostate problem, the Chief Magistrate remanded him into the custody of Ladyville Police Station, presumably to keep him away from the complainant, until his next court date on February 24.

Patrick JonesPJ

The National Garifuna Council receives donation from Venezuela
The National Garifuna Council received needed chairs on Friday, November 28th, from His Excellence Yoel Perez Marcano , Ambassador to Belize from the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela. The 23 chairs, valued at $1,610.00, were handed over to the President of the Council, Asst. Commissioner of Police Robert […]

Port Loyola residents protest for better housing
About 100 residents of the Port Loyola division and surrounding divisions on the Southside today took to the streets, complaining against the lack of low-income housing for residents, which they believe to be fueled by an uncaring, vindictive Government of Belize. The demonstration was sponsored by the Opposition […]

Still no resolution of the impasse in the sugar industry
Negotiations have been resumed as it pertains to the current impasse between Belize Sugar Industries/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Today, all 18 branch chairmen and directors from BSI converged at the Staff Club where 3 points were laid on the table. Both parties hashed […]

Convicted robber given 2 years in jail
Elvis “Rebel” Olivera was handed a two-year jail sentence today by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith who found him guilty of the robbery of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) employee Kerwin Humes on March 20, 2014. According to Humes, an assistant installer, he was headed home on bicycle around 8:30 […]

Ammunition case has no facts
Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith has threatened to dismiss a case against three adults and a 16 year old boy charged with keeping ammunition without a gun license. This is after the court prosecutor was unable to present the facts of the case to her today. 29 year old […]

DPP withdraws charge after complainant declines action
Two men charged with a shooting incident in May of this year are free of those charges. This is after the complainant told the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions he did not wish to pursue further court action. 25 year old Frank Vernon Gentle and 21 […]

Domestic dispute in Lords’ Bank leads to charges
A couple’s domestic problems landed the husband in the court of Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith today. 67 year old Adolphus Barrett, cabinet maker from Lord’s Bank, Belize District, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault with a firearm on his wife, Hadie Barrett, who claims he pointed […]

Belize City lights up the municipal Christmas Tree
Tonight Belize City residents were out in numbers welcoming the arrival of the Christmas season with the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree. The event took place in Mule Park in Market Square in the center of the commercial area of the old capital. The Christmas Tree is […]

Robert Tracey shot dead on Wagner’s Lane
Belize City police have identified the victim of this morning’s homicide as 27 year old Robert Austin Tracey. As we had previously reports, Tracey was shot once to the head around 10 o’clock this morning on Wagner’s Lane. At a just-concluded briefing by the police, lead investigator Superintendent […]

How technology can help disabled persons
There are more than 3,000 persons with disabilities – some call them “diverse abilities” – according to the conservative estimate by the Belize Association for Persons with Diverse A

High School Visionaries challenge gets 20 projects
The second annual Sagicor Visionaries challenge reached its climax today with the judging of more than 20 projects submitted by high schools around the country. According to contest organizer and Sagicor Belize executive Abel Simpson, the program is aimed at promoting the development of the STEM disciplines-sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics – in schools.

Galen Eagles team wins third straight ATLIB basketball championship
The Galen Eagles basketball team has won the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) Basketball Championship for the third straight year. During the annual ATLIB championship held at the end of November in Belize City, the Galen Eagles bested the St. John’s College Junior College in the championship game to take the 2014-2-15 title. According to head basketball coach Adam Carswell, the host team and runner up, SJCJC must be commended for the high level of competition on the court and also for an outstanding job of ensuring that everything ran smoothly for the championship on a whole.


TMM Belize Yacht Charters donates HP Pavilion
The Saga Humane Education program, lead by Sandie Betz-Eisenberg, and Cindy Kyles and her service dog Sheila, has been successfully educating the children of Ambergris Caye with a revitalized learning program since September of this year. The Humane Education Team has presented to Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Island Academy and ABC Pre-School in the last few months, spreading the word about the Basics of Pet Care – students learn about their pet’s basic needs, as well as the importance of safety around animals, Respecting animals – students learn the importance of the human-animal bond and why proper animal treatment is very important, and Pet Overpopulation – students learn about the issue of pet overpopulation, its root cause and the Saga Spay/Neuter Initiative

Boogie’s Belly and a Beauty Expo in San Pedro, Belize
And while in town, I stopped by Boogie’s Belly (I am waiting for the t-shirts!) for lunch. Their facebook page and their morning post lured me in… Mmmm…sere. Coconutty fish broth. Such the perfect day for it. But when I stopped in at 1pm, the special had changed. No fresh fish. Fair enough. No problem. Taco Tuesday it is. Pork tacos that were very tasty. It’s all about the pickled slaw. They also have a new sign up…meat pie protocol. Apparently the DELICIOUS meat pies are getting so popular in the morning, that there are now rules.

Update on The Split and Lazy Lizard Bar on Caye Caulker: All Is Not Perfect in Paradise
Allegedly, the owner of the land has a new partner who wants to upgrade and take over management. He gave the current leasee, Immer, a few months and a date to leave. November 1st. But Immer was only 3 years in to a 5 year lease. And expected compensation for giving up this PRIME location early. So the doors were locked as of November 1st, the liquor license (in the name of the land owner) was revoked and the Lazy Lizard was closed. Here is what I hear: today the owners had the electrical lines and meter removed from the Lazy Lizard. And allegedly, the Caye Caulker Village Council has denied a new liquor license without a written letter from the land owner. But isn’t that what the original five year lease was about? The saga continues! Let’s HOPE this is resolved amicably (is that even possible now?) by Christmas and New Years! So that our beloved Lazy Lizard can re-open serving Belikins…just like it should be.

A Day Trip to Blue Creek Cave
If you plan on spending any time in Southern Belize, be sure to save a day for the Blue Creek Cave. Known in Maya as Hokeb Ha Cave (“Where the Water Enters the Earth”), the cave system starts in Santa Cruz and runs for about five miles before exiting near the Mayan village of Blue Creek. The water’s roaring exit through the cave’s mouth is an absolutely gorgeous sight and is definitely one of the top sightseeing opportunities in the Toledo District. In the rainy season, the water rushes and roars through a tight ravine, cascading through small waterfalls, pools, and rapids. You can swim at the large pool at the cave’s mouth, but the current is too strong to adventure much further in. However, the rainy season hike to cave is worth it if just to experience the pristine beauty of the forest ecosystem. The trail is lined with beautiful trees and flowering plants and the rainforest is home to wildlife including otters, iguanas, birds, fish, and bats.

Beachy images and tropical fun to look at, from Placencia, Belize!
For those living in winter climates, sometimes just looking at beachy homes can improve your mood. Admittedly....the weather down here this week has been a bit overcast and drizzly, and we experienced on Thanksgiving, the coldest day the locals had seen for a long time :). So to improve all our outlooks, I am doing a post with some cute beach home images, and some of the fun to be had here in paradise :) Of course, I am excluding Caribbean Beach Cabanas, as that would be unfair. :) One of the things that drew me to Placencia was feeling so overwhelmed by the perfect beach homes here. Right when you see some of them, you immediately picture yourself on the veranda, sipping are just a couple of my favorites.... Casa Del don't do it justice! It looks like a Roman bath and a Spanish mansion had a baby.

The November 30, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Who Bex Bex!!! Mahmud Resigns From The House:
    “Who Bex Bex”!!! Joseph Mahmud, Peoples United Party (PUP) Area Representative for Cayo North, has abruptly resigned. About a month ago Mahamud had indicated that he would not be seeking re-election in 2017 but would serve out his term. Today however, all that changed when he resigned as a member of Parliament. This immediately puts his Cayo North seat up for grabs as a bi-election must be held within the next 90 days. The UDP is rearing to go with its standard bearer Omar Figueroa, who was elected as Standard Bearer earlier this year in February. The PUP on the other hand has not found a new standard bearer since Mahmud indicated he would not run again. Attorney Michel Chebat and businessman Richard Harrison have both declared an interest in the division. The PUP must now move quickly to hold a convention to either elect or endorse someone. It must be said that the opposition seems to have been caught with their pants down, because up until mid October Mahmud said that he would serve out his term and not seek re-election, he mentioned nothing about resigning. However, something happened between then and this morning at 11:00 am, when he resigned with immediate effect.
  • Bahadur And Molina Remanded To Hattieville:
    Two young men from Santa Elena have been remanded to the Central Prison in Hattieville for the rape and forcible abduction of a 14 year old minor. On Sunday, November 16, a female minor accompanied by her mother visited the San Ignacio police station and reported that whilst walking on George Price Avenue in the company of her sister, a red heavily tinted four door car, pulled up beside them when an occupant of the vehicle alighted wearing a white cloth covering most of his face, revealing only his eyes, forced her sister into the waiting car. She reported that upon witnessing this, she ran away.
  • Editorial: Still I Rise:
    By: Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014 You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise...
  • Mexican President Pena Nieto To Overhaul Police:
    Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers a speech during a national broadcasting message from National Palace in Mexico City, México, 27 November 2014. Protesters have criticised Mexico's leader over the disappearance of 43 students. Mexico gang 'admits student deaths' and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has announced plans to overhaul the country's police forces, in the wake of the disappearance of 43 students. Mr Nieto said he would unify all local police units into one national force. The students, all trainee teachers, went missing in September after joining a protest in Iguala, Guerrero state.
  • World AIDS Day 2014:
    December 1st is World AIDS Day. The National AIDS Commission (NAC), the National HIV Programme of the Ministry of Health and their partner agencies invite you to become an interactive part of World AIDS Day 2014 activities. This year’s theme is: Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths. HIV is now considered to be a concentrated epidemic in Belize. The recently completed Modes of Transmission Study suggests that around 70% of new infections in 2014 will occur in men and thus the shift of the response has now turned towards testing more men.
  • Influenza (Flu Virus):
    There are two main types of influenza (flu) virus: Types A and B. The influenza A and B viruses that routinely spread in people (human influenza viruses) are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. Influenza A viruses can be broken down into sub-types depending on the genes that make up the surface proteins. Over the course of a flu season, different types (A & B) and subtypes (influenza A) of influenza circulate and cause illness. Flu Symptoms & Severity Influenza Symptoms Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
  • Body Of Canadian Man Found In Mopan River:
    The lifeless body of a man, was retrieved from the Mopan River on Sunday, November 23, the person was wearing only a black jacket. Nicole Warner, 54, naturalized Canadian accountant, residing in Bullet Tree Falls village reported to police that on Saturday, November 21, at about 4:00 p.m. she picked up her husband, James Garfield Searles, 59, Canadian national, from the Philip Goldson International Airport and headed back to San Ignacio. She informs that whilst enroute to San Ignacio, they stopped at Amigos Restaurant and Bar, had food and a few drinks. Upon arriving in San Ignacio, they stopped at ABC Supermarket on the Bullet Tree Road to purchase a bottle of Travellers Gold and two cokes. Shortly after, at around 6:30 p.m. they arrived home in Bullet Tree Falls, where they continued drinking.
  • San Ignacio Resort Hotel’s restaurant, Running W Steakhouse, Introduces Fresh New Menu Items:
    Running W Steakhouse will launch its latest menu that features new, innovative items made fresh daily by our Chefs. The restaurant, known for its local and international cuisine, welcoming atmosphere and premium meats from their own family ranch, will introduce the new menu on December 1st which includes eight new appetizers, four new sandwiches & salads, nine new entrées, six new desserts and several new cocktails. During the process of revamping the Running W Steakhouse menu, the restaurant tested many of the new dishes on the weekly specials menu. “We had so many great ideas for new dishes that it became extremely difficult choosing what should be featured permanently,” said Kristin Utsman, Assistant Manager.”We have enough new dishes to feature 3 different menus that will be introduced seasonally”
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

International Sourcesizz

Caribbean Food: 5 Things to Eat in Belize
Caribbean food is a very diverse cuisine and borrows influences from many countries and regions around the world, like African, European, Arabic, East Indian, Amerindian, and Chinese, among many others. Many Caribbean food recipes often call for ingredients including rice, plantains, beans, cassava, coconuts, potatoes, and meat including beef, pork, poultry, and fish. If you are look to discover Caribbean food, Belize has some great Caribbean dishes and Caribbean food recipes. Belize is a country rich with Mayan, Creole, and African cultural influences, among many others. Caribbean food also plays an important role in the country’s culinary scene. Fry jacks, which are like deep-fried tortillas that can be eaten with different cheeses or refried beans, are one of the most popular breakfast foods in Belize. Rice and beans is definitely a dish to try when visiting Belize. Rice and beans, typically cooked in coconut milk, is a very commonplace accompaniment many main dishes in Belize. Stew chicken is widely eaten around Belize, as are stew beef and stew fish, which are often in dark stews made with many spices and achiote paste, a popular blend of spices that helps give the stew its darker color.


Video: Study Abroad 2, 4min. Anna and Ella Snyder discuss their experiences in China and Belize.
Video: Street Segments: Iron Hand Challenge (Belize City), 3min. So imagine that you're minding your own business at a local bar, and then the Mek Mi Rich street team shows up and offers YOU money to finish a Guiness Beer, and then arm wrestle someone? Because that is the challenge we offered Adrian and Andrew from Belize City. Who won? Watch and find out! SHOW MORE
Video: Belize Road Safety Project is coming to Belmopan, 3min. The Belize Road Safety Project, which is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, is hitting the capital in the coming months. Minister John Saldivar, the Area Representative for Belmopan, made the announcement on his face book page on Tuesday.
Video: Belize Ocean Fun, 1min.
Video: Belize Vacation, 2.5min. Here is a video filmed vacationing in Belize, which includes the Cayo Espanto Resort and snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley.
Video: San Pedro Airport, Belize, .5min. Tropic Airways Cessna 208 Caravan into San Pedro Airport.
Video: Scuba School Belize, 8min. A little of Belize.

December 3, 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

San Pedro Town Council issues awards as part of Township Day
On Thursday, November 27th San Pedro celebrated its 30th Anniversary of Township. To commemorate the day, the San Pedro Town Council, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Miss San Pedro Michelle Nuñez conducted surprise visits to present awards of appreciation to several island residents that have contributed to the growth and development of the island of the years. According to Guerrero, the award is a way to show appreciation to community members, as without their support, growth in San Pedro would be stagnant. “On each Township Day, we try our best to show the community that we are grateful for all they do towards San Pedro each and every day. It is the hard work of each and every resident in this island that has contributed to the town that we know today. We hope that we continue to receive the collaboration of island residents in the years to come so that out beautiful island can continue to grow and blossom into one of the top destinations in Belize,” said Guerrero. Each certificate was hand delivered to the home or place of work of the recipients.

Legends Road House- Eat, Drink, Jam on!
Known for their Tuesday Jam Nights, Legends Road House has been serving up delicious food and great music on the island for quite some time. At just a short drive North of San Pedro Town across the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, Legend’s is the perfect Tuesday night getaway to blow off the weekday blues. Enjoy Reggae to Rock and everything in between from the live band, or better yet step to the microphone and join in on the “jam.” Liking how this all sounds? Well, there’s more! New owner Trish has brought her Southern charm to the old Road House, and her Southern hospitality and delicious family recipes surely have transcended into her new menu. Enjoy the best of smoked meats from tender beef, pork ribs and chicken to juicy burgers loaded with premium patties, and much, much more. Gather with a group of friends and enjoy the rockin’ atmosphere over cold Belikins and don’t forget to try their signature “moonshine” shots in flavors like coconut and apple pie.

Where the Heck is Bob?
Travelling is always a great adventure, especially when it means experiencing the things and places that you love. For 34 year old island athlete Kent Bob Gabourel, travelling is an opportunity he is most thankful for and as of recently he’s been racking up the air miles! And for what better reason than doing what he loves most- sports! Quite some travelling right?! Just when we thought we had our Bob home for a while, we now find him in South America! Bob is currently in Cuenca Ecuador, where he is participating in a training seminar for triathlon coaches and junior triathlon training camp. “I’m learning from other coaches, techniques and training methods, and I’m teaching younger athletes what I already know and what I’ve learned,” said Gabourel. Apart from the seminar, as always Bob is taking the opportunity to immerse himself fully in the new travel experience, visiting local trails and sites and enjoying local cuisine. We follow his posts on Facebook, many of which are hilarious and can only admire his enthusiasm for every experience he gets into. He truly is an exemplary sports ambassador for Belize!

Ambergris Today

Rain Restaurant & Rooftop Terrace Holds Opening Dinner
With an exotic menu featuring Mediterranean, Basque and Argentinean cuisine, Rain Restaurant & Rooftop Terrace is not only featuring amazing new flavors, but also providing a great new ambience in which to experience a delightful meal. Located on the third floor of a newly constructed building at Grand Caribe Resort two miles north of San Pedro Town, over the bridge, Rain officially opened its doors on November 15, 2014 and invited the public to a special menu put together for the special occasion. The restaurant offer a semi-formal dining experience on the third floor, but if you are up for a more casual atmosphere, you can dine on the rooftop terrace that also stays open after 10p.m. where you can enjoy a few cocktails while enjoying the 360 degree views with glass walls for unobstructed views of the reef and lagoon.

Gas prices
Gas prices are starting to go down on Ambergris Caye. Regular is down to $10.92 per gallon!!!Merry Christmas.

Pic of the Week: A Bike Ride Along Beaches of Ambergris Caye
The weather has been 'not-so-great' the past few weeks on Ambergris Caye, Belize. Well, it's been chilly (not cold in the eyes of many northerners who are in sub-zero climate) and it has been raining a lot lately. Cold fronts are coming down from North America and gloomy clouds hover above. But that is not to say that tourists will not find something to do and entertain themselves. Heck! They are in paradise and they are on vacation. Making the most of a gloomy day, this young girl and her parents (with a friendly tag-along pet) rented out bicycles to do some exploring on the beach. Taking a ride along the beaches of Ambergris Caye is a great idea to get a feeling of the island and discover hidden hotspots that are not necessarily visible on the main road.

TMM Charters Donates Computer to Kick Off Saga Humane Education Program
TMM Yacht Charters of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, has donated a HP Pavilion Entertainment Notebook PC to be used at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School computer classes to highlight Humane Education for over 800 students. The Saga Humane Education program, lead by Sandie Betz-Eisenberg, Cindy Kyles and her service dog Sheila, has been successfully educating the children of Ambergris Caye with a revitalized learning program since September of this year. The Humane Education Team has presented to Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Island Academy and ABC Pre-School in the last few months, spreading the word about the Basics of Pet Care - students learn about their pet's basic needs, as well as the importance of safety around animals and respecting animals. The students learn the importance of the human-animal bond and why proper animal treatment is very important, and Pet Overpopulation – such as the issue of pet overpopulation, its root cause and the Saga Spay/Neuter Initiative Program (SNIP): “It’s Hip To Snip!”.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Ministry of Health with Supporting Partners to Conduct Workshop for a National Laboratory Policy
The Caribbean Med Lab Foundation (CMLF) supported by the Global Fund Project in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Belize Bureau of Standards will be conducting a workshop to develop a National Laboratory Policy and Regulatory Framework for Belize on the 3rd and 4th December 2014 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. An official ceremony to open the workshop will commence at 8:30am on the 3rd December, 2014.

Belize & Grenada start ‘AccessCSME
Belize and Jamaica this week started a series of workplace public education series on the CARICOM Single Market targeting employees on the frontline of CSME action and response, and select private sector groups. Dubbed AccessCSME – The Workplace Edition, the series is led by the CSME focal point in each country. Today, December 1, the first of several Grenada ‘AccessCSME’ Workpace sessions was hosted by the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), Grenada’s Investment Promotion and Business Development Agency. Some 15 officers of GIDC participated. The Resource panel comprised:Inspector Leroy Joseph – Immigration expert; Mr. Che Phillip – Senior Foreign Service Officer/ Head of the CARICOM Desk,Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mrs. Dunnaliz Commodore – Foreign Service Officer, responsible for CSME

What you can do to help the Scarlet Macaw population in Belize!
Season’s Greetings. For the past five years FCD has been conducting bio-monitoring of scarlet macaws with the aim of protecting the limited population of scarlet macaws left in Belize against the pet trade. With the Forest Department approval, FCD with multiple other partners will aim to add in a new component to the conservation of macaws, namely a lab rearing of at risk chicks with the purpose of increasing the probabilities of having more birds fly wild and free and restock the macaw population. To do this FCD is launching a strategy to obtain the funds to have local lab technicians trained, a laboratory, equipment and a flight cage in operation by March 2015. The facility will be constructed at Las Cuevas Research Station which is located in the heart of the Chiquibul Forest. To learn more of this program and how you can support contact: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Belize Officially Hands Over Pro-Tempore Presidency of COMISCA to Guatemala
Following two days of regional discussions at the XLI Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA), Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin today officially transferred the Pro-tempore Presidency of COMISCA to the Minister of Health of Guatemala Luis Enrique Monterroso, who will now serve for the next six months.

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Departs the Country Today
Government of Belize Press Office

Lighting of the Christmas Tree!
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff invites everyone to the Central Park, today, Wednesday, December 3rd at the Central Park at 7:30 p.m. for the lighting of the Christmas Tree! Bring the whole family! Take your pictures in front of the tree! There will be refreshments and music! Heaven's Voice Youth Choir will also be joining us with some Christmas Carols! See you there!

Corozal Rotary will be holding an Art Auction
Support a worthy cause on Friday December 12th as Corozal Rotary will be holding an Art Auction with proceeds going to the Rotary Scholarship Fund.

Channel 7

Major Police Security Breach Via Lost Special Branch Flash Drive
By now the whole world knows about the Edward Snowden files -the former NSA employee who revealed the inner workings of the entire United States surveillance apparatus. And he did it with the use of flash drives, those handy data storage devices that so many of us use to store work and personal data. And tonight, one of these flash drives has caused an enormous security breach right here in Belize. 7News has learned that a flash drive belonging to a police officer in the Belize City Special Branch Office has made its way unto the streets. No one can say for sure whether the officer misplaced it or if it was stolen - but the loss is causing alarm in security circles.

KHMH Special Audit Reveals Odd Acquisition of X-Ray
Since mid-year, we've been reporting on the questionable circumstances surrounding the acquisition of two X-Ray units at the KHMH. The Board of Directors called in the Office of the Auditor General to perform a special audit. This was finalized in late October and tonight, 7News has obtained a copy of the 77page document. It's quite comprehensive and covers a number of irregularities - so tonight we will be covering just the first part of it - dealing with the X-Ray units. Jules Vasquez has been reviewing the audit:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The special audit report covers the year from July 2013 to July 2014. 49 of the 77 pages deal with the acquisition of a Siemens Luminos RF Classic X Ray Machine. We got this picture from the internet - because - as the time of the audit - the one at KHMH is still in eight boxes. And why is that? Well, the audit found that even though it was acquired in May - the boxes were simply unloaded into a room and left there.

Police Arrest Minor For Shots Fired In City
Shots were fired in Belize City this afternoon. It happened at the corner of Sarstoon and Nargusta Streets in the Lake Independence area where a string of shots were fired around 12:30 pm. Fortunately no one was hurt - and by all indications, it was just a random shooting by a trigger happy individual. But, in this case, that trigger-happy person turns out to be a teenager. Police detained a 15 year old minor after the shooting - and he is being held pending charges.

How To Get Government To Pay Your December Mortgage
In his Independence Day speech back in September -Prime Minister Dean Barrow promised middle class relief by making mortgage payments for December. Well, December is here, and today the details of the programme were announced. First of all, not everyone qualifies. First off, the original value of your mortgage has to be no more than one hundred thousand dollars. Secondly, your loan can be from any of the commercial banks, the national bank, the credit unions, the DFC or Social Security.

PM To Cuba
And while that program rolls out form his ministry, the Prime Minister left the country today to attend the CARICOM- Cuba Summit in Havana, Cuba. Discussions at this summit will focus on economic and other developmental issues plaguing member states. But first, the Prime Minister will travel to Atlanta, Georgia on personal leave. He returns on Tuesday, December 9th. In his absence Deputy Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Bregal Family Disputes Police Account
Last night we reported about Lionel Bregal -the man Ladyville police are accusing of participating in the jewelry heist in which 390 thousand dollars' worth of jewelry was stolen from the Roe's residence in Ladyville. Bregal is out on bail after being arraigned yesterday. Police reported that a Rolex watch case was found at Bregal's residence in Belize City - which is the source of the charge. But today in an interview with Bregal's mother, she said that police did not find a Rolex watch case at her son's residence. In fact, she showed us his charge sheet which stated that Bregal was charged with handling stolen good for a bag which values only 20 Belize dollars.

Convicted Man Gets Bail
54 year-old Jamaican Delroy Chambers was sentenced to 5 years in jail for a drug trafficking and firearm offences in October, but tonight, he's at home after only 72 days behind bars because he has started the process of appealing his case. As we told you, Chambers was convicted of being in possession of drugs and a loaded weapon. Officers from Special Branch testified in his criminal trial a few months ago. They told the court that they searched his house on October 12, 2013 and they ended up finding 1.5 kilos - or 3.3 pounds of weed, a 9 millimeter pistol, and 9 live rounds of ammunition. As a result, police arrested and charged him with drug trafficking, keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and drug trafficking.

After Bumpy Start, Cruise Season Cruising Along
And it's back on track for Cruise Line operators. Last week we reported on the two day cancellation of cruise ships due to unfavorable weather. Well today Director of the Cruise and Regional Initiative for BTB, Valdemar Andrade expressed his relief about the restoration of normalcy in cruise operations and his expectations for the rest of the year. Valdemar Andrade, Director Cruise & Regional Initiative, BTB "In terms of an update, you can say that the weather is much better this week. Today we have two ships in port, tomorrow we are schedule to now have 4 and 3 ships days. I have to report that this week we had ships on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and we will have ships on Saturday as well. So we are making up for those numbers very quickly and so we now are in the full swing of high season, again, pending the weather. I don't foresee that we should have any of those major issues in the near future and of course we continue to look at what the options are for the future. I have to report that even in overnight our numbers are looking very good. This year we should hit the 300 thousand passenger mark in overnight tourism, by the end of December we should be there, we are a little bit ways off and that would be very historic for us here in Belize." One million Cruise visitors are expected this year.

JL's Wants SSB Data For Credit Database
JL's Quick Loan - it's been established for decades and is well known. But less known is a subsidiary company in the JL's group called Credit Master systems. In that enterprise, JL's co-founder Maurice Underwood, has come up with a credit rating system for Belize. You may know about the American version of credit history. It's a centralized system where the banks and lending institutions have a database used to gauge credit history and determine the risks of lending money to a potential customer. Well, Underwood has developed a system for JL's which he says has been used by other business. It keeps track of all customers and their commitment to pay back loans and pay for items they've purchased on credit. It is basically used to determine who "malpago" customers or the hard pay starts are. But now, he says that he's a snag because the system's database is growing at a rate which his employees can't keep up with.

BSCFA and BSI Back to The Negotiating Table
Tomorrow, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will meet with ASR/BSI in Orange Walk Town to resume negotiations. The association is hopeful that tomorrow's meeting will yield results and finally allow for the cane farmers and factory owners to prepare for the start of the crop season, planned for next week Monday. The 18 Branch Directors for the BSCFA met with the negotiating team in Corozal Town today so that they can plan for tomorrow's meeting. Even though the time is short, the association still believes that there is enough time to ensure that the crop starts on time next week.

Shoplifter Remanded After Petty Theft
He is accused of stealing 42 dollars' worth of items from a gas station, but tonight, 47 year-old Tony Rowland is behind bars. The theft happened at the UNO Gas Station on Youth for the Future Drive yesterday. Rowland was reportedly caught by police officers as he tried to swipe 4 injector cleaners and stow them way. Officers charged him with theft, and he was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith. He pleaded not guilty and was given a bail of $500. The problem is however that he couldn't meet bail, and so, he had to be taken up to jail this evening. He will remain there until he is able to make arrangements for it.

Santa Came On A Cruise
The Santa Claus story tells us that his reindeer fly him from house to house on his sleigh to plant gifts under Christmas trees. Well today in Belize City that narrative changed somewhat as Santa arrived in Belize on the Norwegian Jewels Cruise Ship. Over 100 Belizean children were present at the Belize Tourism Boards Annual Christmas Party held at the House of Culture. It was a bright start for these children and they expressed their gratitude for this pre-Christmas bash. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Christmas came early for these children today when Santa Claus arrived and distributed gifts. This treat is the Norwegian Jewel's way of making the Christmas season a bit more special for these kids. Sandra Franklin, Human Resources Director, Norwegian Jewel "Today we are partnering with an organization, the cruise industry and we do this every year to bring cheer to some of the communities that we work with and last year we were in Roatan and we are very happy to be doing Belize this year. We know that it's just a small token, but we hope that it will bring cheer to the children."

Hon. Briceno's Driver Exhumed
Who's the baby's father? It's an ageless question for which there are many paternal disputes. Ordinarily they end up in in a lab where DNA tests are done. But, the case of the late Anthony Gillett went to his grave site 3 weeks ago when his family applied to the Supreme Court to have his body exhumed. It's a very rare occurrence for a loved one's body to dug up from the grave, but this became necessary because the family is trying to determine whether or not Gillett is the father of a baby which he claimed as his own before his death. We understand that it is an internal family dispute over his estate, specifically, his house. And so they needed a posthumous DNA sample. Gillett was the driver of PUP Orange Walk Central Area Representative John Briceno.

SICA Health Ministers Met
Today the 41st Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministries of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic conclude din San PEdro. Key areas of concern in health such as Chronic Renal Diseases, Chikungunya and Ebola were discussed as well as the strategic plan of COMISCA. Apart from discussions, Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health officially transferred the Pro-tempore Presidency to Guatemalan Minster of Health Luis Enrique Monterroso. He will serve for the next 6 months.

At OCEANA, The Doctor Is In
Marine Scientist from Toledo Dr. Isani Chan has joined Oceana. The Punta Gorda native has an impressive educational background: he holds doctoral degrees in both Marine Biology and Philosophy from the National Taiwan Ocean University as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Belize. For the past 8 years, he has been working in Taiwan in the field of natural resource management and conservation. Chan has also worked as a Marine Biologist for the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and as a Fisheries Officer and Marine Biologist at the Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve for the Belize Fisheries Department. His most recent projects include studies on the impact of polluted environments on coral as well as the population and growth of the Queen Conch.

What Watina Meant
Today, Andy Vivian Palacio would have been 54. He was at the height of his fame as Garifuna musician and performer when he died 6 years ago from a stroke. But, his legend endures and continues to grow. The centerpiece of that is his master album Watina - the crystallization of the finest aspects of his music. In 2008, we looked at all he accomplished with that:.. Posted (January 18, 2008) Jules Vasquez Reporting, The Watina album was recorded in Hopkins, where Andy Palacio teamed up with Garifuna musicians to create a sound that was at once soulful and authentic, while making it polished and sufficiently sonically sophisticated to catch the ear of the world music audience. With the Watina album he rocketed to international stardom - and took Belize with him. The album won a WOMEX Award and Watina was acclaimed as the best world music album of 2007. But more than commercial and critical success - Andy's crowning achievement in 2007 was his designation as an UNESCO Artist for Peace - a global distinction afforded to few So 11 months after its release, the accomplishment of Watina stands alone, singular, unparalleled, unprecedented - and it may be so for many years

Police Running For Peace
A Law Enforcement Torch Run commenced in THE Corozal District. The run STARTED at the Corozal Free Zone with (15) police Officers, (10) BDF Soldiers (2) high Schools and (1) primary school. The torch run will BE STAGED from Corozal to Belize City and conclude at the Special Olympic ceremonies in Belmopan City.

Channel 5

Still no resolution in dispute between BSCFA and ASR/BSI
The 2014 sugar crop is programmed to begin next week Monday, that’s six days away but there is still no resolution to the dispute between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers [...]

Cansino says all efforts will be made to avoid taking the matter to the streets
While there is optimism and a willingness by B.S.C.F.A. to compromise, there is also a real possibility that things won’t end favorably, as has been the case in the past [...]

No one charged in connection with the execution of twenty-five year old Kenroy Parham
No one has been charged in connection with the execution of twenty-five year old Kenroy Parham. That’s the latest coming out of police today as investigations continue into the murder [...]

Do you support a demonstration by cane farmers who have been unable to resolve their dispute with ASR/B.S.I.?
And our question for tonight is: Do you support a demonstration by cane farmers who have been unable to resolve their dispute with ASR/B.S.I.? Send your comments and responses using [...]

Prime Minister leaves country to take part in CARICOM-Cuba Summit
The Office of the Prime Minister announced today that the PM will be away from the country until December ninth.  PM Barrow departed today for Atlanta, Georgia on personal time. [...]

Four police officer in the south are under intense scrutiny for allegedly stealing lumber
News Five understands that at least four police officers in the south are under intense scrutiny because it is believed they are part of a ring of lumber thieves. According [...]

Ensfield Reyes sentenced to eighteen months in prison
A Belize City businessman, who back in April 2013 assaulted his wife with his licensed firearm, was found guilty of one count of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm upon Bernadette [...]

Bowen & Bowen employees held at gun point
With Christmas just three weeks away, robberies and burglaries are likely to peak. On Monday around mid afternoon, a thirty-six year-old driver for Bowen and Bowen and two of his [...]

BTB says things are back on track in the Cruise ship industry
After a shaky start last week, the tourism high season is picking up. Last week, bad weather conditions caused the cancellation of a number of cruise ships triggering huge financial [...]

BTB looks at long term options for Cruise ship docking facilities
Last week’s cancellations caused by weather conditions, highlighted the desperate need for a docking facility.  The Director of Cruise and Regional Operations for B.T.B. says they are looking at the [...]

UDP chairman Alberto August & standard bearer John August allegedly asks councilors to step down
While the abrupt resignation of Joseph Mahmud from the House of Representatives has forced a bye-election in Cayo North, internal squabbling within the Santa Familia village council has resulted in [...]

Application forms for residential mortgage payment program now available
With government rolling in millions of dollars, at least two hundred and fifty million, in Petrocaribe funds, the Barrow Administration is making on a promise made on Independence Day to [...]

Anthony “Tutch” Gillett body is exhumed to perform DNA test
Anthony “Tutch” Gillett is the former driver of Orange Walk area representative, John Briceño. He died years ago, but two weeks ago, his body was exhumed from the Orange Walk [...]

“Legends of Belize” features Belizean Mythical Creatures
Have you heard about the Tata Duende, la Llorona and the Xtabai? These are all mythical renowned creatures that have been part of the intangible traditional culture of northern Belize, [...]

Documentary to be made on Tata Duende
Since Saturday, the couple has been in Belize to promote the series, but surprisingly, they were also contacted by an investigative reporter from out of Canada. The production company wanted [...]

Costa Rican Ambassador says he believes in actions and not only words
On Monday, Costa Rica celebrated its sixty-sixth anniversary of the abolition of its military. We spoke to the Costa Rican ambassador, Edgar Garcia Miranda about that milestone that has allowed [...]

Florida Cruise Lines Association hosts Annual Christmas Party for the less fortunate children in Belize
At the House of Culture, Christmas came early for hundreds of children. We found them having fun enjoying goodies, food and games. The annual Christmas party, which has now become [...]

Belizean Musician remembered on his birthday
It has been six years since the untimely passing of iconic Belizean musician and UNESCO Artist for Peace Andy Palacio.  While the Garifuna community at home and abroad is still [...]


Rehabiliation Of Belize/Corozal Road Not Meeting Its Standards
The Petro Caribe funded rehabilitation of the Belize Corozal Road continues to be the topic of discussion for many here in Orange Walk Town. And while it has been a welcomed movement to drive on the freshly paved roads, the project has seen its fair share of depreciation over the course of weeks since the end of the first phase. One particular area of concern is this stretch of road which from what you could see, the paved road has caved in leaving a rather large pothole, but intact. And while we have drilled the Deputy Prime Minister on his nephew’s contract works, he has gone to state that he (Hernandez) is one of the best contractors in the country. Whether that sentiment is true, we have yet to see since in this case his “works speak louder than words”.

Criteria Set For Mortgage Payment Plan Offered By Government Of Belize
In his 2014 Independence Day speech the Prime Minister of Belize announced that Government will meet the interest payment for the month of December 2014 on all home mortgages in the country with an original value of up to 100 thousand dollars. News tonight is that Cabinet has approved criteria for qualifying under the GOB’s newest program. In its five point criteria, the Cabinet approved that the assistance will apply to all barrowers from the National Bank, commercial banks, credit unions, Development Finance Cooperation, and the Social Security Board. Secondly the mortgages must be residential no more than one hundred thousand dollars. Thirdly, on mortgages for new home construction will qualify; fourth, mortgages for home improvements will not qualify. And lastly, all mortgages must be legally registered and not merely the deposits of title deeds which are called “Equitable Mortgages”.

BSI/ASR Says They Are Ready To Commence Operations For Crop 2014/2015
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI representatives are scheduled to meet tomorrow as all stakeholders in the sugar industry wait anxiously for the impasse to be lifted. Whether BSI is going back to the negotiating table is not clear, but they have committed to meet tomorrow at the BSI Staff club at nine thirty with the negotiating committee, branch directors and the BSCFA’s Committee of Management. This follows a string of meetings that begun over a year ago and have not given much results. The fact is that stakeholders in the industry find themselves in pretty much the same situation as one year ago when the negotiations hit a deadlock. In a very similar fashion, the Prime Minister and even the Deputy Prime Minister have come back into the picture to help mediate the situation into a positive resolution.

How Long Will Petrocaribe Last With Oil Prices Going Down?
While the Petrocaribe money seems to be all the rage these days in the media, hundreds of millions of dollars are being pumped into the Governments public purse to be used for poverty alleviation, human and social development. And while the Government is boasting and banking on several infrastructural works and facilities to benefit Belizeans, much is being said about the uncertainty about the future of the energy accord in light of a deteriorating political, economic and oil sector situation in Venezuela, which creates a great risk for countries dependent on the subsidized oil. Will Petrocaribe disappear any time soon? How much support does the alliance have in Venezuela today? What countries would be most affected by a weakening or end to the program, and what should member countries be doing to prepare themselves for a potential end to the energy alliance? These are all legitimate questions that shroud the Petrocaribe Alliance and international media are reporting the disappointing outcome of the 166th meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held in Vienna, Austria, on November 27, 2014.


Canaan Students Compete In Sagicor Visionaries Challenge
Tomorrow high schools from across the country will compete in the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge- a competition that seeks to test the student’s innovative minds. The students of Canaan SDS High School are ready for tomorrow and today we dropped by to learn about their electromagnetic generator ventilation system. With a bicycle frame, some electrical wires, a car battery, a car alternator, a house fan and an inverter the students of Canaan SDS High School made an electromagnetic generator ventilation system. STUDENT “Simply the student just needs to ride the bike like a normal bike, pedals it and then when the student pedals the bike the mechanical energy that the student creates goes down to the alternator which then the alternator rotate making the alternator functionable which means making electricity. Then that electricity flows down to the12 volts battery and then that battery is used by the alternator and from there it goes down to the inverter and the inverter inverts the 12 volts into a 110 volts that any household appliances use and in this case we pick to use the fan. The battery lasts up to 120 minutes which is two class periods approximately.”

Man Charged For Shop-Lifting
57-year-old Tony Rowland, who allegedly shop-lifted four injector cleaners from Uno Gas Station, located on Youth For The Future Drive, was charged with theft when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Rowland plead not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of five hundred dollars and his case was adjourned until February 17, 2015. But Rowland was unable to meet bail so he was remanded to prison. The incident occurred yesterday. Police reported that Rowland was seen putting the injector cleaners in a bag. He was detained and was handed over to the police when they arrived. The cleaners have a value of forty two dollars.

Education Conference Highlights Detrimental Factors in Belize
Caribbean Union of Teachers (C-U-T)/ Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU)/ Education International (EI) are hosting a three day Education Conference at the Best Western Biltmore Hotel hosted by The Belize National Teachers’ Union with their theme “Embracing Opportunities in Education and Defending Trade Unionism. The Program is geared towards finding the similar problems that Belize and the other Caribbean Countries are facing the education system. Love News spoke to Caribbean Union of Teachers (C-U-T) President, Marvin Andall, who told us more on the Education Conference and the problems that the Caribbean Nations are looking on together to surmount. MARVIN ANDALL “We have here the sixth education conference of the Caribbean Union of Teachers held here in Belize, hosted by the Belize National Teachers Union. It is a coming together of teachers unions especially the leadership of those unions from across the Caribbean to discuss pertinent issues in education as it affects teachers and the improvement of the education system in the various territories including Belize.

Guatemalan Waitresses Charged With Illegal Entry
33-year-old, Sylvia Arias, and 25-year-old, Rosa Velasquez, two Guatemalan waitresses from Puerto Barrios, were each fined one thousand dollars today when they appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart and plead guilty to charges of illegal entry. They were ordered to pay the fines forthwith. If they default on payment they will serve six months. Magistrate Stuart explained to them that an order has been made for their removal which will be done either after they have served the time or paid the fine. Arias and Velasquez were busted on December 1 when police stopped a passenger bus they were in at a police check point at mile four on the George Price Highway. Arias and Velasquez were unable to produce any travel document so they were handed over to immigration officers. They were interviewed by the officers and the interview revealed that they entered Belize via the banks of the Mopan River and they were on their way to Bella Vista.

Belizean Marine Scientist Joins Oceana
Oceana announced today that Belizean Marine Scientist, Dr. Isani Chan, will be joining their team. Dr. Chan officially becomes part of Oceana tomorrow. He is originally from Punta Gorda and his expertise is expected to bolster Oceana’s efforts to protect Belize’s precious marine resources. Chan holds doctoral degrees in both Marine Biology and Philosophy from the National Taiwan Ocean University in Taiwan as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Belize. Before moving back to Belize, he was in Taiwan in the field of natural resource management and conservation. He once worked as a Marine Biologist for the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and as a Fisheries Officer and Marine Biologist at the Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve for the Belize Fisheries Department.

Belize Hands Guatemala Pro-Tempore Presidency
Belize has officially handed over the Pro-Tempore Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA), to Guatemala. This occurred after a two day regional discussion at the 41st Ordinary Meeting. Belize’s Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, was held the post before passing it on to Guatemala’s Health Minister, Luis Enrique Monterroso, who will now serve for the next six months. Under his term, Marin faced several challenges including Ebola and Chikungunya- both which were addressed. The ordinary meeting took place yesterday and today at the Banyan Bay Resort in San Pedro Town.

GOB Easing Mortgages In December
Independence Day 2014 saw the announcement from the Prime Minister that the Government would be easing mortgage owners by paying the mortgage interest for the month of December. Well, December is upon us and as promised by the Prime Minister Barrow, that mortgage program is now being offered. Ofcourse, there are some conditions to adhere to in order to qualify and then there is the application form that needs to be filled out, if you are interested in capitalizing on this offer. According to a release from the Ministry of Finance, the following criteria have been approved by Cabinet. First of all, the assistance applies to borrowers at the National Bank, the commercial banks, credit unions, the Development Finance Corporation and the Belize Social Security Board. Mortgage owners original loan amount has to be for one hundred thousand dollars or less and the mortgage loan has to be for new home construction; in other words, if you went back into the bank to do home improvements, thereby adjusting the principal in any way, you would not qualify. Application forms are also available at the website for the ministry of finance at .

Andrade Speaks on Need For Berthering Facility
Last week Belize lost more than a million dollars after four cruise ships turned around with its passengers after the rough waters made it impossible to tender the tourists to land. Recent events have brought into sharp perspective as to why there is a need of a berthing facility. According to the Director Cruise & Regional Initiative of the Belize Tourism Board, Valdemar Andrade, Belize is months away from having such a facility in place: VALDEMAR ANDRADE “The perspective of the BTB is very straight forward. We have always recommended that there is a need for the docking facility because of the great growth of the cruise tourism industry and that is a testament to the job that the BTB has done in terms of marketing the destination, partnering with the Florida and Caribbean Cruise Association and all the relevant stakeholders both with the Forts Street tourism village and also with the independent stakeholders we have to work in the cruise industry to create a better destination and so as we go doing that we will have more and more cruise lines that will be visiting Belize.

BSI And BSCFA Negotiates Sugar Can Crop Season 2015
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Belize Sugar Industries, BSI, are set to meet tomorrow morning in Orange Walk to resume negotiations and thus give way to the start of the 2014/2015 sugar cane crop season. A meeting was held in Corozal Town today where the BSCFA met to prepare for the negotiations. Arturo Cantún was there and has the details. ARTURO CANTUN F”ollowing last week’s meeting between BSI, BSCFA and the government of Belize, today BSI informed it is ready to go back to the negotiating table. The 18 directors and the negotiating team of the BSCFA met in Corozal Town today to plan for tomorrow’s meeting.Chairman of the BSCFA, Ezekiel Cansino did not give details about what was discussed in the meeting but told us that the BSCFA’s position remains strong and determined.” EZEKIEL CANSINO “I don’t want to discuss or talk about the decision or the strategies that we will be giving to BSI.” ARTURO CANTUN “Basically your position remains the same ?” EZEKIEL CANSINO “Just like we said we are trying to be flexible and we are getting a proposal to present to BSI and we are hoping that BSI can be flexible also and go through this impasse.”

Launch For Violence Against Women: Preparations in Progress
Officials of the Women’s Department are meeting today at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Hotel. Ava Pennill, Director of Women’s Department, told us that they are in the preparation process for the launching of the BA1: Prevention of Violence against Women in Central America Program focusing on how to deal with violence against women. AVA PENNILL “We are doing some preparatory work for the BA 1 project which is a prevention of violence against women in central America. It is a project which is done through SICA. The project aims to address violence against women, femicide and trafficking of women as well. The project will look at supporting systems so that they can look at women who experience this type of violence and also to provide safe spaces or protection for victims of this type of violence. We’re looking at several areas, we are looking at strengthening systems that already exist, looking at how different players work together like how the social workers, the police, the education, the community people; how do they work together, how do they communicate, how do we strengthen that so that women do not fall between the cracks.

Prime Minister Leaves Belize To Attend CARICOM Summit
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today to attend the CARICOM Cuba summit that will take place in Havana, Cuba. The Prime Minister will stop off in Atlanta, Georgia USA for personal leave before heading on to Cuba. He is expected to return to the country next Tuesday. During his absence Deputy Prime, Minister Gaspar Vega, will act as Prime Minister.


Santa Elena Home shot at, no one injured
There was a shooting in Santa Elena on Monday afternoon, December 1. 31-year-old Calix Cruz, a Belizean Laborer of  Santa Elena Town, Cayo District, reported that while at home sleeping, he heard what sounded like a gunshot in front of his house...

Four Charged for Immigration Offences
2 Belizean residents were arraigned in court for allegedly hiding 2 Cuban Nationals who entered Belize illegally. The two Cubans are 29 year-old Jolkies Guerra and 27 year-old Jaima Aldana. Police intercepted the Cubans in a car and, after questioning, they admitted to police that they entered Beliz...

More illegal entrants to be deported
A pair of Guatemalan waitresses were caught in the country after illegally entering through the Mopan River, en route to the suburban neighborhood of Bella Vista in Belize City. Thirty-three year old Sylvia Arias and 25 year old Rosa Velasquez, both from Puerto Barrios, were each fined $1,000 on Tue...

Drug Trafficking charges
On Monday December 1, police were conducting mobile patrol on Kraal Road, Belize City when they saw a man of dark complexion with a Black Jacket over his shoulder. When the man saw the cops, he allegedly dropped the Jacket and ran off...

Sentenced to 5 year jail term but on bail after two months
54 year old Jamaican national, Delroy Chambers, was convicted two months ago for firearm, ammunition and drug trafficking and was sentenced to two to five years in prison...

Accused shoplifter in Court
Fifty-seven year old Tony Rowland, who allegedly shop-lifted 4 injector cleaners from the convenience store at Uno Gas Station on Youth For The Future Drive, Belize City, pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft, when he appeared on Tuesday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Tony Rowland ...

Ammunition Believed To Be Gang Property Discovered
Ammunition believed to be the property of the PIV gang were found in an abandoned lot in Belize City. According to reports, GSU were tipped off and searched the lot situated at the corner of Flamboyant Street and Croton Lane . In a plastic bag , they discovered 60 rounds of 5...

Fine for amputee accused over cannabis
Last Friday Alton White, aged 50, a taxi driver and food vendor, was successfully able to reduce a charge of drug trafficking against himself and common-law wife Idolly Fraser to drug possession. He says that the 119 grams of cannabis found by members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) at his home i...

Andy P would have been 54 on Tuesday
The legendary Andy Palacio died in 2008 of  a stroke. His music lives on and the man himself has not been forgotten. Tuesday would have marked Palacio’s 54th birthday, and commemorative masses were held in various locations. Those who have not forgotten the musical icon and wanted to pay their re...


Roger and Kendis of Ghost Town get Supreme Court bail
Two men who are alleged members of the Ghost Town Crips gang who were remanded to prison on charges of attempted murder and illegal firearm and ammunition possession were released on Supreme Court bail this morning after their bail application was heard before Justice Denis Hanomansingh. Roger Anthony, 37, the reputed leader of the gang, who had renounced his gang leadership in October in a media ceremony at which he appeared in the company of the head of the Gang Suppression Unit, and Kendis Flowers, 23, who is said to be Anthony’s right-hand lieutenant, were both released on a $5,000 bail plus one surety in the same amount. Justice Hanomansingh stipulated that the men are to report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday, beginning on Friday, December 5, until their case is dealt with.

2 executions in 1 day!
A man is in police custody in connection with the murder of Kenroy Parham, 25, a former Belize City resident, which is believed to have occurred during the early hours of last Saturday, November 29, in the Mahogany Heights Community at Mile 31 on the George Price Highway. So far, the details concerning the incident have been sketchy, and police have only reported that Parham was found in the area of Mahogany Heights, a settlement of just over 1,000 residents, with multiple gunshot wounds in the back and head. Authorities also said that an individual has been detained and another is being sought for questioning as their investigations continue. Parham, who previously resided at 16 Curassow Street in Belize City before he relocated to Mahogany Heights, was remanded to prison on February 28, 2012, after he was busted with a loaded firearm during a raid by the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU).

Infighting forces Santa Familia by-election
The Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, NEMO and Immigration and Nationality has submitted a request to the Elections and Boundaries Department for a by-election for the village of Santa Familia, Cayo District, after four of seven village council members formally tendered their resignation last month. An official source told our newspaper that two Government officers were separately dispatched to the village to attempt to help the village council reps to reconcile their differences, triggered by infighting between rival political camps, but the village council members have decided to maintain their stance. Reports to our newspaper are that there was a UDP standard-bearer convention for Cayo Northeast and the schism stemmed from the fact that the village councilors were split in their support for the contenders.

Mahogany Heights man, 19, charged for the murder of Emerson Arnold, 35
A Mahogany Heights teenager appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court this morning, where Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith arraigned him on one count of murder for causing the unlawful death of Emerson Arnold, 35, on Friday, November 28. When Smith asked Jason Sanchez, 19, if he understood the charge that she had just read to him, Sanchez replied, “not guilty.” Smith told him that she was not asking him about his plea at that point: “Do you understand that charge that I just read,” she repeated. Finally, Sanchez replied, “Yes, I understand.” Smith remanded him into custody until his next court date on February 2, 2015.

5.1 million persons died from diabetes in 2013
Diabetes is a chronic disease which occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that allows glucose from food to enter the body’s cells, where it is converted into energy needed by muscles and tissues to function. A person with diabetes does not absorb glucose properly, and glucose remains circulating in the blood (a condition known as hyperglycaemia) damaging body tissues over time. This damage can lead to disabling and life-threatening health complications. People are said to have developed diabetes if their fasting blood sugar is found to be over 126 mg/dl.

This thief “facey bad!”
Police have detained a “facey” thief who burglarized the storeroom of a businessman and stole a number of electrical conduits, then went back to the business place of the owner and tried to sell him his own goods – twice. Alvin Gillett, the owner of Supply Plus Distributor, in Belama, observed that the conduits the man was trying to sell him were similar to those that are sold by his business. He went to his storeroom in Buttonwood Bay, where he found that it had been burglarized and found that 14 rolls of his electrical conduits, valued at $50.00 per roll and totaling $700, had been stolen. The businessman immediately alerted police, who began an immediate investigation which led to the detention of four men. Police said that the 14 rolls of conduits were found with them.

Opposition PUP to nominate Richard Harrison for Cayo North by-election
After an executive meeting held in Belize City today, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) confirmed that Richard Harrison, a businessman of San Ignacio, Cayo, will be nominated to contest the January 5, 2015 by-election for Cayo North – triggered two years before its due date after the surprise resignation of Joseph Mahmud, the PUP’s Cayo North area representative, on Monday. The ruling United Democratic Party had picked its candidate in February 2014 and Mahmud was the man who the Opposition had thought would contest the 2017 general elections for them in Cayo North. However, Mahmud tendered his resignation in October as the PUP’s standard bearer for that division, although he assured his party that he would stay in the seat until 2017. The PUP was therefore taken by surprise when Mahmud resigned from Parliament without warning them, forcing them into crisis mode – which meant that the PUP had to abort its plans to hold a divisional convention in Cayo North.

Down the home stretch in PLB race to playoffs
We’re still waiting for the official report from the league secretariat, but we are confident of the final scores for the past weekend’s clashes in this very tight race to see which four teams will make the playoffs in the Premier League of Belize Opening Season 2014-2015. BDF 1-0 Belmopan Bandits There were two monster Saturday night encounters. Up north at the People’s Stadium, Belize Defence Force FC got a goal from sensational young striker Ambrose “Fubu” Thomas, and they made it stand up for the 1-nil win over defending champions Belmopan Bandits. Police United 6-4 Wagiya Meanwhile, out west at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, it was real “football fireworks,” as home standing Police United prevailed in a high scoring 6-4 affair over visiting Wagiya from Dangriga. The damp, slippery field perhaps contributed to the many goals, but both teams also played attacking football, with nobody backing down or electing to go into “lock down” defensive mode, despite a number of lead changes.

SCA and Gwen in female finals
Central Zone high school basketball games were rained out last Thursday and Friday, so the female semifinals were concluded on Saturday, while the male semifinals began on Saturday and will be completed this evening at Bird’s Isle. In game 1 of the female semifinals last Wednesday, SCA had edged Wesley, 17-16; and Gwen Lizarraga High defeated Maude Williams High, 39-22. Game 2 of the female semifinals on Saturday, November 29, saw SCA completing the sweep of Wesley with a 14-6 victory. Brianne Jex led SCA with 8 pts. And Gwen Liz also made it two in a row against Maude Williams with a 22-14 win. Kayla Bowen led Gwen Liz with 14 pts, while Latifa Ferguson had 8 pts for Maude Williams.

Editorial: Harrison choice, Shoman installation
Sometime last Friday the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) decided on businessman Richard Harrison as the party’s candidate for the Cayo North by-election scheduled for January 5, 2015, and introduced him to the press. The PUP, caught off guard by Joseph Mahmud’s sudden resignation from the seat last Monday, November 24, had been looking at a candidate convention to decide between Harrison and attorney Michel Chebat after Mahmud’s October decision not to run for re-election in the next general elections, scheduled for 2017. Mahmud’s unexpected resignation, followed by the Governor-General’s writ for the by-election to be held on January 5, with nominations for December 15, did not give the PUP enough time for a candidate convention. The decision between Chebat and Harrison had to be an executive one. There were two party organizations which had an early say. These were the PUP’s Western Caucus, which includes Cayo South’s Julius Espat as chairman, Orlando Habet of Cayo Northeast, Dr. Lesbia Guerra of Cayo West, Patrick Jason Andrews of Belmopan, and Dan Silva of Cayo Central. Then there was the Cayo North constituency committee. Their recommendations were to go to the national executive of the party for a final ratification. It appears that the Western Caucus leaned towards Chebat, but the constituency committee’s choice was Harrison.

From the Publisher
For the vast majority of human beings, the most scary thing about our existence is the reality of our mortality. In other words, at some point we are all going to die. And, no one has yet returned from beyond the grave to tell us what is on the other side. This is where religious belief entered the picture. Human beings overall began to believe that death was not the end, that there was some kind of life after death. The concept of heaven, which is a life of happiness after death, and the concept of hell, a life of suffering after death, became fundamental parts of the major religions. The largest religions on planet earth are Christianity and Islam, and they both feature a belief in life after death. In the societies where Christianity and Islam are powerful, children are taught in schools that if they behave righteously, they will inherit the kingdom of heaven, and if they live lives of sin, then they will be punished in the afterlife. Christianity and Islam both have holy books, the Bible and the Qu’ran, respectively, which provide guidelines with respect to what is righteous and what is sinful. In Christian and Muslim nations, then, children attend schools where they are instructed by teachers who are acceptable to their parents insofar as their beliefs, as contained in the school curriculum, are concerned.

Letters: Education Ministry treats Pat Cacho “with crass indifference”
KUDOS—Given the fragility of the country’s public health infrastructure, the refusal to allow the transfer of an ebola virus suspect from ship to aircraft for onward transport to the USA, made sense at whatever cost. KICKS—My recent offer to partner with the Ministry of Education by contributing up to Bze$400,000 to help improve/develop science laboratories in a few needy secondary schools, has been treated by the Ministry with crass indifference, to say the least. I recall the offer of partnership which eventually resulted in the establishment of the Ignacia Cacho public library in Dangriga. The offer of land and money laid on the table for some ten years, until my friend Charles “Charlie” Hyde assumed the chairmanship of the National Library Board and resolved to move the project forward… I had actually given up and demanded the return of my land and money.

Belize spared, 2014 hurricane season closes
Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez reported today, following the close of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, that Belize had a rather uneventful rainy season, but an extended 6-to-7-week dry spell in the heart of the rainy season (which coincides with the Atlantic Hurricane season spanning June 1 to November 30) which he said could be attributed to changing weather patterns associated with climate change. Gonguez said that normally in August, Belize experiences a dry period for about 9 to 10 days, but this year’s dry spell started earlier and lasted longer than usual. The rainy season started off on cue, with rains descending on June 1, but June and July were mostly dry. It was not until August that the rains stated to normalize, Gonguez recounted. The rainy season ended this weekend with persistent frontal rains, resulting from a moist northeasterly air flow. Gonguez said that the rains are expected to persist for a few days, clearing up on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

18 months in jail for aggravated assault with a firearm upon his wife
Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found a businessman guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm and sentenced him to 18 months in prison. In April 2013, Enfield Reyes, 34, was charged with the aggravated assault after his wife reported to police that he pulled his licensed firearm at her during a domestic dispute at their King Street home. Bernadette Reyes, 30, in her testimony at the trial, told the court that on the day of the incident, she had made several attempts to leave the house, but her husband prevented her from doing so by blocking the doorway.

Sugar industry deadlock inching towards resolution
As we have extensively reported for some time now, the future of the sugar industry has been threatened by an ongoing stalemate between the local cane farmers’ association and the owners of the sugar mill, but today, Friday, after a meeting between representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB), the Ministry of Agriculture, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the volatile situation has seemingly inched one step closer to being a thing of the past. The meeting took place at 10:00 this morning at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City, and at the end of that session, an hour and a half later, the lingering press was invited into the room to hear optimistic news for the critical national industry. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who had taken on a temporary role as mediator in the deadlock prior to the last sugar crop season, informed us that the BSCFA has a new modified position which, he feels, presents the best chance for both parties to reach middle ground, although neither Barrow nor the principals of the BSCFA would divulge any of the details of the new proposal.

Patrick JonesPJ

Accused shoplifter in court
Fifty-seven year old Tony Rowland, who allegedly shop-lifted 4 injector cleaners from the convenience store at Uno Gas Station on Youth For The Future Drive, pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft. Roland appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Rowland was offered a bail […]

More illegal entrants to be deported
A pair of Guatemalan waitresses were caught in the country after illegally entering through the Mopan River en route to the suburban neighborhood of Bella Vista in Belize City. Thirty-three year old Sylvia Arias and 25 year old Rosa Velasquez, both from Puerto Barrios, were each fined $1,000 […]

Armed robbers target delivery truck in Cotton Tree
Belmopan police are investigating a terrifying armed robbery which happened in broad daylight on Monday in Cotton Tree village. According to police, two men described as being of dark complexion, held up a Bowen and Bowen delivery truck around 2:35 pm on Monday at a Chinese store […]

Law enforcement torch run underway
The annual torch run undertaken by law enforcement officers started this morning in Corozal. Since 2012 the men and women of law enforcement organize and participate in the torch run as a part of their support for the Special Olympics Belize’s National games. This year, officers partnered […]

Prime Minister Barrow to attend CARICOM-Cuba Summit
Caribbean Community leaders, including Prime Minister Dean Barrow will gather in Havana, Cuba on Monday of next week for the fifth Cuba-CARICOM summit. During the summit, regional leaders will look to deepen Cuba’s economic and trade relations with the countries of CARIFORUM and furthering cooperation several areas […]

Marine biologist joins Oceana-Belize staff
Oceana-Belize today announced that a highly qualified Marine Scientist has joined its staff. Dr. Isani Chan, originally from Punta Gorda town, returns to Belize for the job after spending eight years overseas during which he was engaged in extensive work in the field of marine conservation and […]

Edmond Castro defamation suit goes to trial in May
Late on Monday evening Justice Courtney Abel set a date for the trial of the case brought against Alvarene Burgess by Minister of State and Belize Rural North area representative Edmond Castro. Burgess accused Castro of involvement in facilitating visa applications for a fee. Castro denies the charges, which were made by Burgess in a series of television interviews aired on Great Belize Television (Channel 5) which is also a party to the case. After the in-chambers session, the attorney representing Burgess, Anthony Sylvestre, Jr., told reporters that the late trial date of May 13 and 14 is due to a packed court calendar.

Jason Sanchez charged with Emerson Arnold murder
Belize City resident Jason Sanchez was arraigned on Monday for the crime of murder. Sanchez is accused of Friday’s killing of 35 year old Emmerson Arnold also known as Emmo. Arnold, a father of four and worker at Belize Water Services Limited, was on his way to work when his assailant accosted him on Gibnut Street and shot him as many as seven times in the back. Sanchez was remanded by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith until February 27, 2015.

City man pulls gun on wife
A domestic dispute nearly turned deadly for Bernadette Reyes of Belize City, who accuses her own husband, businessman Enfield Reyes of King Street, of pointing a gun at and then firing at her when she tried to leave him in April of this year. Reyes was given 18 months in prison on Monday after Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith convicted him of aggravated assault with a firearm, dismissing his defense as “a fairy tale.” According to Mrs. Reyes, she had already gone through their front gate on April 13 when the accused pulled out his licensed 9mm pistol on her and fired a shot into the drain.

Early Christmas Party for some Belize City children
This morning more than 100 Belize City children were treated to an early taste of Christmas courtesy of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association. The FCCA hosted its annual party at the House of Culture. The youngsters were entertained by song, dance and games from a visiting clown and face painting, with a visit from Santa Claus thrown in the mix. The Belize Tourism Board’s assistant director of destination planning Arlo Cansino says it is one of the ways the organization gives back to its partners in the industry.


The Rainy Season is Upon Us and HOPEFULLY Wrapping up Soon
After an almost unreally beautifully start to November, it closed with…a bit of a squish. Wet, rainy, grey with a chilly northern breeze. The temperature almost dipped into the high 60s one night! Saturday was a beautiful break in the rain… but Sunday and Monday? Pretty much rain outs. A few pictures that I took around town over the past week. Rainy days aren’t THAT bad. Black cloud looming over the Sandy Point Resorts dock in the middle of town.

International Sourcesizz

OPEC’s Venezuela Rejection Seen Spurring Devaluation
OPEC’s refusal to cut oil production is increasing the chances Venezuela will have to devalue its currency and sell its U.S.-based oil unit to avoid a default, according to EMSO Partners Ltd. and EM Quest Capital. The country’s benchmark notes due 2027 sank to a five-year low of 51.6 cents on the dollar yesterday as the decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Nov. 27 to maintain output deepened a collapse in the price of oil, which accounts for 95 percent Venezuela’s export revenue. Yesterday’s decline in Venezuelan bonds was the steepest since October 2008, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. President Nicolas Maduro will have little choice but to adopt measures, including devaluing the bolivar and selling Citgo Petroleum Corp., to shore up finances after the country’s foreign-currency reserves reached an 11-year low last month, said Patrick Esteruelas, who helps manage $2 billion of emerging-market debt at EMSO Partners. Venezuela, which pushed for an output cut, needs oil at about $85 a barrel, even after trimming payments to allies, to cover its dollar liabilities, according to Jefferies Group LLC.

Man 'Eaten Alive' by anaconda explains why he did it — and how it felt
Being consumed alive by a giant snake sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but for conservationist, filmmaker and "Eaten Alive" star Paul Rosolie, it was a personal goal — one that he's now fulfilled. The question is: Why? Viewers will get a chance to see how Rosolie and the snake fared for themselves soon enough, but the naturalist offered up a taste of the action Tuesday. "The last thing I remember is seeing the snake's mouth open straight at my face," he said. "Everything went black. It was like being caught it a wave. It was just wrapped up; you feel that crush. … For over an hour I was being constricted."


Video: Dive Medicine Belize 2014, 4min. This video is about the Expedition and Wilderness Medicine course to Belize covering Marine and Diving Expedition Medicine run in 2014. There were a few mishaps en route, everyone got wet, but a great experience and wonderful week. Heres to a great team.
Video: Belize Solid Waste Management Authority II, 2min.
Video: Belize Adventures at Hopkins Bay, 4min. Nik & Dusty take their niece on a family adventure in Belize! Laid back living, beautiful beaches, and friendly faces greet them in the town of Hopkins. Join them as they kayak, snorkel, fish, dine on local cuisine, & fly on zip lines through Belize.
Video: Ka'ana Resort Gives a Warm Welcome, 5min. Ka'ana gives Nik, Dusty, and Monica a taste of LUXURY in the middle of the Belizean jungle. Visit the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, go cave tubing, try local cuisine, and overcome fears of the infamous Black Hole Drop along with these fun adventurers! At the end of each day, return to comforts and pampering at Ka'ana Resort.
Video: The Ballam Escape- Belize, 2.5min.
Video: Belize Vacations November 2014, 5min. My diving vacations.
Video: Flies for Ascension Bay and Belize, 3.5min. Here is a great fly assortment that we sell that will get you prepared to fish for Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon, Snook, and Barracuda in Ascension Bay Mexico or Belize.
Video: Belize Trip Explanation Day 01, 14min.
Video: Belize Trip Explanation Day 02, 10min.
Video: Belize Trip Explanation Day 03, 8min.
Video: Belize Trip Explanation Day 04, 7min.
Video: Belize Trip Explanation Day 05, 15min.
Video: Belize Trip Explanation Day 06, 11min.
Video: San Pedro Belize trip 2014, 5min.

December 2, 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

Work on Phase Two of police barracks to resume in 2015
While Nuñez has indicated that the $50,000 that was given by the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday, August 13th was used for the purchase of construction material, funds are still needed for the electrification and plumbing. “As I had said, we have all the material needed to construct the building, but we will need assistance with the plumbing, electric wiring and other minor finishes such as paint and tiles. We are estimating that it would cost around $8,000 to $10,000 to fully complete the barracks and have it up to standards as the first one,” said Nuñez. Once construction resumes, Nuñez is estimating that the building will be completed in less than two months. Anyone wanting to make additional donations, either monetary or in materials, can contact Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nunez at 605-0976 or Inspector Henry Jemmott at 600-6523.

Boxes of Joy- Santa’s lil Fashionistas are ready to bring the Magic of Christmas
Christmas time is right around the corner and for several residents on Ambergris Caye that means bringing the Christmas spirit into the homes of the less fortunate. For the third consecutive year, preparations have begun for Boxes of Joy, a toy drive initiative started by 21-year old islander, Shantelle Pascasio. Boxes of Joy started in 2012, when Shantelle channeled her love of volunteering and giving back to the community into a Christmas event. Since its inception, Boxes of Joy has slowly gained the support of the community, bringing over 500 toys to the underprivileged children of San Pedro. Because this is only the third year, the initiative is still in its preliminary stages and still requires much support. Last year, a huge part of the drive was Fashion Kids, a fundraiser fashion show. All proceeds from the show also went towards purchasing presents for the children.

Subdivision moves to high ground
The subdivision was originally planned on a portion of wetland that was proposed as part of the expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Over 350 submerged lots were already subdivided and were about to be distributed, but after heavy criticism and outrage by conservationists and local residents, the project was halted. After the matter caught national attention, Cabinet asked that another portion of land be identified. Cabinet later approved the use of a portion of the BELTRAIDE land for the new subdivision. According to Heredia, all those who had originally paid for the subdivision that was halted, will be the first to receive lease land certificates for the new subdivision. Currently the first 100 acres of land is being surveyed and subdivided, and once that process is completed, the house lots will be distributed to the applicants.

Ambergris Today

ABC Pre School Christmas Presentation
With Star Show from Merida, Yucatan, join the celebration on December 13, 2014, starting at 7:30p.m. at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The show promises to have lots of surprises all night long. It’s the school’s first ever Christmas presentation with characters from Frozen, Disney in Christmas, Santa, Rudolph, Frosty the Snow Man and Much more.

San Pedro Athletes Shine in Chetumal Crossfit Competition
Eight San Pedro athletes proved to be strong soldiers over the weekend as they participated and represented San Pedro, Belize in their first Crossfit competition that took place in the neighboring city of Chetumal, Mexico. Chetumal Crossfit hosted its second annual Crossfit Challenge on November 29 and 30, 2014, this year sending out a special invitation to San Pedro Crossfit athletes to join the member’s only challenge of Chetumal. Five Crossfit members of the Sun and Sand Box (Chandel Rodriguez, Jennifer Maher, Alex Garcia, Ernie Longsworth & James Sanchez) and two members of the San Pedro Crossfit CFS Box (Gian Rivero & Freddie Gonzalez) were honored to represent their own box and country at the competition that would be their first experience in the Crossfit competition arena. The eighth athlete was Humberto ‘Chumbie’ Torres, from San Pedro who competed as a member of Chetumal Crossfit, while he attends school in that city.

SP Mayor Surprises Awardees on 30th Township Anniversary
To commemorate the 30TH Anniversary celebrations of Township for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, the Mayor of San Pedro presented certificates of appreciation once again to island residents who have shown significant contribution to the island’s development in various areas. To make things a bit more special, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, did not make any special invitations to an award’s ceremony this year, but instead, he opted to pay a surprise visit to all the awardees at their home or place of work. Along with a camera crew, his Councilors and Miss San Pedro, Michelle Nunez, he personally delivered the Town Council’s certificates of appreciation to each of this year’s awardees.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The Call for Elections in Belize 2015
Elections in Belize are the duly held elections held at various levels of government in the nation of Belize. Dissolving elected bodies is broken down in the following order:- The Legislature: Dissolving the National Assembly of Belize is the prerogative of the Governor General of Belize, currently Sir Colville Young. Under sections 84 and 85 of the Constitution, the Governor General can at any time dissolve or prorogue the Assembly under the advice of the Prime Minister of Belize, with the caveat that a general election must be called within three months of such dissolution, unless the Governor General sees no reason to do so.

Magical Christmas Fashion Show
Sunday, December 14, 2014 at Central Park in San Pedro at 8pm. Free to the public!

Citizens and others speak their minds in Belize
After three ships had to pass on Belize because (a) no dock and (b) crummy weather, various coalitions are ramping up their interest in a dock. A coalition of citizens and the tourism office are going to lobbying Prime Minister Barrow to take action. Currently, cruise ships tender into Belize, which is a paradise for snorkellers and divers. I was once on a ship that took two passes at Grand Turk because of storms, and the passengers booed the captain. Shame. Here’s the guy you trust with your life and you boo him? Not only did we miss the port, but he found an even better one in one hour. Did they cheer? No. It’s like sports: boo then cheer when your team scores a touchdown. Obviously, my fellow passengers didn’t spend enough time in etiquette school, learning when to cheer and when to boo.

Cops under investigation in relation to Lumber theft
On Wednesday November 26, 2014 at 3:45 p.m., Alejandro Pedro Chiac 44yrs D.O.B 11.1.70 Belizean farmer of Red Bank Village Stann Creek District visited I.S.F police station and reported that between 20.11.14 and 22.11.14, he processed (118) pieces of Emery lumber valued at $919.35 in the Ginger Creek Area behind Roseville Community Stann Creek District. He transported a portion on 22.11.14 to Roseville and secured it. On Monday 24th November 2014 he revisited the location and discovered that (27) pieces of his lumber were missing. The remaining amount was branded with MM at the end. He revisited Ginger Creek to finish extracting his lumber about 5:00pm on 24.11.14 and while at the river with some lumber along with some of his workers, he met up with a white pickup truck Dodge 4 door 4x4 L/P TOL C- 4675. He recognize P.C Ferguson from Independence Police Station, a Caucasian man known as Charlie Sellars, two other dark complexion men dressed in police uniform and a fifth, small framed man dressed in camouflage long pants.

Bath time for Buttercup.
Please share with your friends. She is up for adoption, please private message me or Gillian Kirkwood. Thanks.

Belize Shuttle Service (BZ Shuttle)
You have come to the right place if your are looking for a private or shared shuttle to and from San Ignacio Town, Cayo Belize. Belize Shuttle services can provides transfers to and from destination such as Belize International Airport, Water Taxi Terminal, Hopkins or Placencia Village. Upon request we also take you to other destination in Belize. We are located downtown San Ignacio, and can do pick-up and drop-off to Hotels and Resorts from just about anywhere in Belize. If your flying into the Belize International Airport your driver will be there upon your arrival and take you to your destination safely. Traveling to or from San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) or Caye Caulker via Caye Caulker Water Taxi or San Pedro Belize Express, reserving a Shuttle is easy! Lets us know your name and time when you will be arriving or departing, and we will get you there comfortably.

Ms. Araceli Hunter PASSES AWAY
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Hunter and Paz family on the passing of Ms. Araceli Hunter. Mrs. Hunter was the mother of Mrs. Catherine Paz, wife of councilor Guillermo "Mito" Paz. May her soul rest in peace.

Captain Morgan’s Casino located in San Pedro Ambergris Caye is looking for suitably qualified individuals to fill the post of Manager. Qualified candidates need to meet the following criteria: - Be Ready to re-locate to San Pedro (for out district candidates) - Be Mature individual preferably 30 yrs or older - Prove managerial experience and track record through work and character references - Have minimum of Associate’s degree in related field - Flexible hours to suit Casino needs - Any other related qualification may be an asset Post will be available January 2015. Salary is commensurate to qualifications and experience. Candidates may send resume and cover letter to Captain Morgan’s Retreat, Attention: Karen Riley P.O. Box 38, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize

Please inbox us or send us an e-mail to [email protected] to find out more. Additionally, you can call 834-4010 and ask for Mrs. Bryony Bradley.

Homemade cakes by Stephanie Quan Rosado
Here is a great day to start your Christmas. You can inbox her for orders and deliveries!!! Christmas time is here folks...make it complete with a delicious cake or two from Steph's Gourmet Cakes. Taking orders NOW! FREE delivery within Corozal Town limits!! (15 photos)

Channel 7

Friday's Second Murder - Was It Related To The First?
The body of 25 year old Kenroy Parham was found dead on Saturday morning in Mahogany Heights. He was discovered on the side of the road by his aunt- just across from his family residence. The father of 3 was shot had been shot three times to the back and head. Neighbors say they heard the shots just after 9 on Friday night but no one went outside to see what was happening. So far police have one suspect detained and many believe that Parham's death was retaliation for the death of Emmerson Arnold - the BWS worker who was gunned down 14 hours earlier while on his way to work. Today 7news spoke with his family to find out what they know. Lauren Williams - Cousin of Deceased "We received the news Saturday morning. We found him dead across our street from where we live in the drain lying down. We heard the gunshot, but we didn't know it was him."

Police Make Arrest For Friday Morning Murder
And to close out the panorama of death,we go back to Friday morning, when 35 year-old Emmerson Arnold, relative to reputed George Street affiliate Carlos "Zimbab" Abraham, was killed on Gibnut Street in Belize city. After 2 days of investigation, police are accusing 19 year-old Jason Sanchez of pulling off the murder. Tonight, he's at the Belize Central Prison. As we told you in our last newscast, the execution happened at around 6:45 a.m. while Arnold was heading to work at Belize Water Services. He was riding his bike when he was shot 7 times in the back by a man on bicycle wearing a hoodie.

Fri-Sat Takes 5 Lives
All told it was a deadly 20 hours - in the time between Friday morning's murder and Saturday morning at 1:00 am, 5 men between the ages of 20 and 35 lost their lives: two to murder, three to fatal accidents. On Friday we told you about the fatal accident at mile 47 on the George Price Highway which killed two men, 20-year-old Orlando Pascascio and 35-year-old Ismael Hoare. They were crushed as their Ford Thunderbird which was headed towards Belmopan collided with a cargo truck at 2:00 pm. The driver of the Madisco truck, Leto Serrano was trapped behind the driver's seat - and had to be cut out. Serrano sustained serious injuries to his lower body and is reported in a serious but stable condition at the K.H.M.H.

Cane Farmers Tell Leader To Stand Strong
Next week Monday, December 8th. is the agreed upon start date for the sugar crop. But, with only days to go, there is still uncertainty if the cane deliveries will start on that day because the cane farmers and BSI/ASR have still has not arrived at an agreement. As we showed you last week, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Chairman of the Sugar Industries Control Board, and the 18 Branch Chairmen of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association all met last week Friday. At a press briefing held afterwards, the Prime Minister said that the Cane Farmers Association had moved and there was quote, "a compelling basis to move forward."

Mayor Embarks On Christmas Cleaning In Office As Frustrations Mount
What's going on at City Hall? That's what we wanted to know today when we got news that the mayor Darrell Bradley had packed up his office - the kind of thing someone would do on their last day of work. We are reliably informed from multiple sources that he took down all pictures, plaques, and even the clock, stuffed them all in a box - as if prepping them to leave. Now, if this doesn't sound like anything that a mayor who's about to embark on a campaign for a second term should be doing - we thought the same - and we tried to reach him to find out what's up, but he didn't respond to our requests for a comment. One of the mayor's supporters in the council did text us to say that he's just renovating his office. Indeed, we had a news team posted outside City Hall and up to late this evening, nothing had left the office. Still, though, seems slightly odd to renovate an office with just three months to go before the election..,after all elections are never sure things…so let's just call it Christmas cleaning.

Smuggling Cubanos
Tonight, 2 Belizean residents are out on bail after being taken to court for trying to hide 2 Cuban Nationals who had entered the country illegally. According to the Immigration Department, they detained 29 year-old Jolkies Guerra and 27 year-old Jaima Aldana who were in a Toyota Corolla car. Under questioning, the Cubans confessed to the officers that they entered Belize illegally through the banks of the Mopan River out west. They then got into the vehicle arranged for them by 2 facilitators. After conducting their investigation, the Immigration Officers accused 50 year-old Belizean mechanic Lewellyn Ramclam and 49 year-old Cuban national Alberto Quintana, who has permanent resident status here.

GSU Finds M-16 Rounds
60 rounds of 5.56 caliber and two M-16 magazines were found on the city streets this weekend. On Saturday night at 9:00, the GSU got information and searched a bushy lot at the corner of Flamboyant Street and Croton Lane where they found the two magazines and the 5 dozen rounds in a black plastic bag. No one was in the area so it was labeled as found property. The ammunition is believed to belong to members of the PIV gang. Police note that the magazines and ammunition - which are used in military style assault rifles were clean and in good condition, and appeared to be ready for use.

Amputee Fined Heavily For Weed
Last week, we told you about amputee Alton White, the taxi driver who was found guilty of drug possession after he was busted by the Gang Suppression Unit with an amount of drugs normally considered to be drug trafficking. Well, tonight, he must come up with quite an amount of money to pay a hefty fine, much larger than the ordinary amount for other drug possession convictions. As we told you, the GSU visited his house in the Conch Shell Bay on September 3, 2013, and it was then that they found the drugs at his premises. The officers ended up finding 119 grams - or 4 ounces - of cannabis at the house and so they charged him with drug trafficking.

GSU Finds More Weed In Conch Shell
And while that drug seizure resulted in a conviction, the Gang Suppression Unit has been continuing to focus on the same Conch Shell Bay area. At around 5 on last week Wednesday evening, the GSU searched an abandoned plywood house there and found 2 black plastic bags, each containing cannabis. The officers then found out that the bags had a combined weight of 1.86 kilos - or 4.1 pounds. No one was in the area at the time, and so the drugs were deposited as found property. The GSU do believe that it belonged to a known drug peddler who operates in that area.

BGYEA Back To Court
On Friday we told you that about the latest standoff between the BGYEA, and the Government. BGYEA says that they were trying to abide by court-ordered mediation while the Government representatives were flouting the court's order. Both sides went back to the court this morning where Justice Abel told both sides to try mediation once again. It's supposed to be a cost-effective and efficient way of dealing with legal disputes, but BGYEA says that it is not working as intended. Their attorney explained outside of court what happened in Today's hearing before Justice Abel:

Bregal Finally Arraigned
Lionel Bregal, the man Ladyville police is accusing of participating in the burglary in which 390 thousand dollars' worth of jewelry was stolen, is out on bail tonight after being arraigned today. As we told you, police suspect his involvement in a jewelry heist at the Roe family house off the Airport Road in Ladyville. But today, Bregal was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on the charge of handling stolen goods. As we told you, police suspected him of being involved because officers found a Rolex watch case at his Belize City house - and it was traced back to the Roe family house.

The End Of An Unusually Calm Hurricane Season
Yesterday marked the end of the 2014 Hurricane season. Now many of you might not have even noticed and that's fine…given the relatively calm season we had this year with only one slight scare: which, in itself, was just the last breath of Tropical Depression Hanna. We asked with Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez about this year's unremarkable hurricane season. Dennis Gonguez, Chief Met Officer "This season was just about average or a little bit below average as was predicts at the beginning of the season that it would be just an average season. We had 8 name systems and typically we would have about 12 name systems. Of those 8 name systems, 6 of them became hurricanes and again the average is about 6 hurricanes per season. Of those 6 that became hurricanes we had two major hurricanes.

Man Sent To Jail For Pulling Gun On Wife
Tonight, King Street resident, Enfield Reyes is spending his first night of an 18 month sentence after he was convicted in Magistrate's Court of pulling a gun on his wife. The incident occurred on April 13, 2014. Bernadette Reyes testified that on that day, he pulled his licensed 9mm pistol on her. She says that she was walking out the front gate when she heard the gun go off. When she looked back, she saw that her husband had the weapon pointed at her. In his defence, Reyes testified and denied that he ever did any such thing.

Coming To Terms With AIDS
An Art and Health fair was held today at the Battlefield Park to commemorate World AIDS Day. The objective is to further educate the public about the virus and to encourage people to get tested. It is a mammoth task to accomplish through one fair but health officials say it will take more than fairs and conferences: It will take a cultural shift in the way the virus viewed and treated. Margaret Bradley, VCT Coordinator, Ministry of Health "What we do, we try to integrate the services more, like we don't only test at the clinic, but we also test at each health center if possible and then we also go into work place, like Grace Kennedy, Scotia Bank and other places would encourage us to go in and we go in and we test, so most and all staff would get tested. The symptoms for HIV/AIDS is almost like any other illness; it's like a cold, sometime you have oral thrust in your mouth and then it doesn't only stays on your tongue, but all inside and it goes to the back and that causes us not to eat properly, so you find that our nutritional needs is not met. Again, you have, as a protocol, people who are diagnose with tuberculosis should be tested for HIV and likewise HIV should be tested for tuberculosis."

High Schoolers Seek "Visionary" Title
On Wednesday, the insurance company SAGICOR will launch what it calls "The Visionaries Challenge." It's the national component of a regional campaign to increase innovation in the region. And the students at Canaan SDS High School think they have the right stuff. Monica Bodden found out about their very cool invention today:.. Monica Bodden reporting What you're looking at is an electromagnetic generator ventilation system- created by eight students of Canaan High School. Edwardo Garcia 4th Form Science "Okay basically what you see here is an electromagnetic generator ventilation system. How this works is simply by a bike frame that's there, an alternator, a vehicle battery, an inverter and a fan - that's the ventilation system right there. What's working the fan is the battery itself. The battery is going the currant for the fan to be able to spin, but once the battery runs out of currant, we have the alternator attached to the bike and when you spin the bike, the alternator rotates and creates electricity which charge up the battery and then the battery goes to the inverter and then the inverter inverts electricity to a 110 volts, then the fan pretty much just uses the electricity. You can pretty much plug anything you want into the inverter because it has a normal outlet."

Remembering Andy P
The legendary Andy Palacio died of a stroke in 2008. But if he were alive, he would have turned 54 tomorrow, December second. A trio of commemorative masses will be held tomorrow in remembrance of the great musician. Tomorrow, morning Masses will be held in Belmopan at Our Lady Of Guadalupe R.C Church at 6:30, while in his birthplace of Barranco, mass will be held at St. Joseph R.C at 9:00 in the morning. And then at 6:30 in the evening tomorrow in Belize City at St. Martin's De Porres Church.

Channel 5

Kenroy Parham Gunned Down in Mahogany Heights
There was an execution style murder sometime on Friday night on the heels of the murder of Emerson Arnold that occurred earlier that morning. But it is not known if [...]

Mahogany Heights Resident Arraigned for Murder
But back to Friday morning’s murder of thirty-five year old Emerson Arnold, the cousin of Carlos “Zimbab” Abraham, a George Street boss. Moments after Arnold’s life was taken, police detained [...]

Still no Resolution in Sugar Industry Crisis
Up north… Approximately one thousand cane-farmers from Orange Walk and Corozal attended the Annual General Meeting of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, held on Sunday in San Roman, Corozal. [...]

Is G.O.B. Dividing Farmers to Force a Resolution?
While BGYEA has been ordered to go back to the negotiating table, BSCFA in the north is also awaiting word to start negotiations. But up to news time, there’s been [...]

Harmonyville Parties Ordered Back into Mediation
Supporters and members of BGYEA assembled this morning at the Supreme Court for the umpteenth time for the case of Harmonyville against the Government of Belize. Harmonyville representatives have been [...]

Trial Date Set in Castro Visa Case
Minister of State Edmond ‘Clear the Land’ Castro walked away from charges of improper conduct as area representative for Belize Rural North over a year ago.  Those claims were brought [...]

Cubans Charged for Illegal Entry
Tonight two Cubans are in Immigration Department custody pending payment of fines for immigration offenses. Thereafter, they are expected to be expelled but it is not certain where they will [...]

GSU Takes Guns and Drugs off City Streets
Two firearms and live rounds were found in gang territory over the weekend by the Gang Suppression Unit. The GSU moved in on Flamboyant Street, Belize City, where in a [...]

Education Conference Underway in Belize City
The Caribbean Union of Teachers, hosted by the B.N.T.U., is presently meeting in Belize City.  It is the first time a congress of this nature, where as many as eighteen [...]

Session Fosters Enhanced Education Quality
The objective of the seminar, says Fitz, is to foster an understanding of specific academic needs through the various unions representing teachers.   Thecla Fitz, Laureate Education Inc. “The primary [...]

Costa Rica Celebrates 66 years With No Military
Here’s a significant fact many people might not know. Costa Rica is one of only twenty-two countries in the world that doesn’t have a military. The decision to abolish the [...]

Have You Been Tested? World AIDS Day is celebrated
December first is celebrated annually as World AIDS Day; the global event focuses on breaking the stigma and locally this year, the Ministry of Health held activities to sensitize Belizeans [...]

Belize vs. Mexico in Mixed Martial Arts
There was a major uproar in Belize City on Saturday night. Soldiers of the Belize Defense Force were out in numbers as foreigners and locals got involved in some serious [...]

Football and Basketball stats with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   It proved to be a most entertaining ballgame as Verdes FC hosted Placencia Texmar Assassins yesterday inside the Norman [...]


Hurricane Season Comes To An End With Little Activity
The quiet, mellow 2014 Atlantic hurricane season ended on Sunday November 30th, marking another year without major hurricanes threatening Belize. The activity for the season was a little below average according to Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez, but what caused the relatively quiet season? We asked the experts to weigh in on this…. Dennis Gonsuez – Chief Meteorologist “Eight named systems and six of those became hurricanes and out of those six we had two that became major hurricanes at category two, three, four or five. In a typical year we would have about twelve named systems with six hurricanes and two to three major hurricanes so in terms of the hurricanes and major hurricanes we just about average for the number of systems for this year.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “What are some of the contributing factors that resulted in a relatively quiet Atlantic Basins?” Dennis Gonguez – Chief Meteorologist “Well, the conditions will remain just about average over the Caribbean and other conditions will remain neutral and we weren’t scared and threatened by any except by Tropical depression nine which develops around the Yucatan Peninsula and then it became Tropical storm Hannah offshore Honduras and eventually over the mountains of Honduras that was the closest.”

Is There Division In The BSCFA?
During the BSCFA’s Annual General Meeting, the farmers expressed their determination to remain true to their fight. Amid all the discussions so far, there is a noticeable separation occurring within the BSCFA. We say this because Chair of the Committee of Management, Ezekiel Cansino and branch directors has held coupe meetings with government officials without inviting the negotiating team. We asked Cansino if he could confirm whether or not there is any friction within the BSCFA. This is what he responded. “I don’t know but as you said as committee of management I with the eighteen directors we had a meeting with them and they said that well the cane farmers have voiced that they need to start the crop and they need the intervention of the government so on that issue we accept the invitation of the DPM to be there with him with the eighteen directors and just like I said I didn’t went to negotiate nothing with the DPM I simply went and affirm him that the cane farmers are willing to start the crop and we need a date to start the crop.”

Cane Farmers Meet For Annual AGM, No Solution For Industry
The impasse in the sugar industry continues and there are only seven days to the suggested date for crop to start. Last week, following the meetings with the representatives of the Sugar Industry Control Board, and the Prime Minister on Friday there seemed to be a possibility for a way forward but up until yesterday’s Annual General Meeting of the BSCFA, there seems to be uncertainty. While the event’s agenda included financial reports, discussions surrounding Fairtrade premiums and accountability, farmers were pressed on dealing with the issue of the negotiations with BSI ASR. On Friday the Prime Minister stated that the BSCFA has modified its position somewhat in an effort to have matters resolved but neither he nor the BSCFA members would elaborate on what these modifications are. However, while they speak of certain flexibilities, farmers reiterated their stance at yesterday’s AGM. Dalila Ical reports.

Breaking The Barrier Of Discrimination And Stigmatization Murial
And while most municipalities held its annual HIV health fair other activities were also geared towards the fight against the stigma and discrimination of the disease. For a handful of artistic students of the Orange Walk Technical High School partnering with the Orange Walk National Aids Commission to paint a mural was one of the activities they were engaged in. German Novelo who is a member of the Orange Walk National AIDS Commission elaborated on the murals’ depiction. German Novelo – Member, NATIONAL AIDS COMMISSION, OW “Orange Walk is partnered with the Orange Walk Technical High School to make a mural here in school and they really observe World Aids Day and they do different activities leading up to this day so this is also part of the activity and so this is what we are doing her today.”

World Aids Day Observed In Orange Walk
Today men and women joined forces to keep the fight against HIV/AIDS going as they observed World Aids Day. Here in Orange Walk, the HIV Committee organized an event to educate the public and also offer free testing services. Dalila Ical reports. Dalila Ical – Reporting Getting to Zero, Zero new infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDs related Death. This is the theme for this year’s World Aids day and the united effort across the globe is the same. Roger Duran – Member of HIV Committee “We are sensitizing people in the different aspects related to HIV which mostly focuses in getting tested to know their status if you are negative or positive and at the same time we are urging our community, brothers and sister to come and get tested trying to break down the incidence of HIV and AID to Zero and for this year theme is getting to zero.”

Disability Week Observed In Belize
This week is being observed in Belize as Disability Week and several activities and events are being centered on breaking barriers and supporting full inclusion in classrooms. And while, education is a basic necessity for all people, it is recognized as a primary means for gaining independence, citizenship rights, appropriate employment, economic power and self-empowerment. The United Nation’s (UN) position is that all people, regardless of origin, gender, age, disability and creed, have the right to a meaningful education. The UN and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) advocate education as a human right for all people. And like all children, Deaf children must have access to equal and quality education. In light of Disability Week, every day we will feature an individual or groups of individuals who despite being classified as “Disabled” are very much “able” to be included as forming part of human diversity. Reporter Maria Novelo and Videographer Jesus Melgar bring you part 1 of this week long initiative to showcase the talents and abilities of our special needs children.


FINA; Belize is Officially A Member
Belize is now officially a member of the International Swimming Federation (FINA). The embracing of Belize as a part of the federation along with two other countries came during a Bureau Meeting held in Doha, Qatar located in the Persian Gulf. FINA, recognized by the International Olympic Committee, is only one of several federations that oversee a particular sport or discipline for the International Olympic Committee and is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. With very few competitive swimming events held in Belize, one international publication did write, “While Belize is fairly underdeveloped in its competitive swimming; there is a very strong triathlon culture in the nation, which has given rise to many open water races in the nation. This summer, they hosted three open water races organized by one Denise Diaz. 15-year old Kian Ancona has been the dominant face in those races. The swims caught significant national attention and could be a leaping-off point for the nation’s swim program.”

Fifty Year Old Amputee Found Guilty of Possession of Cannabis
Fifty-year-old amputee, Alton White, a taxi driver and food vendor who was found guilty of possession of cannabis instead of drug trafficking last Friday, was fined $1,500 today by Magistrate Herbert Panton. White was given until June 30, 2015 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve 3 years, the same sentence if he had defaulted on a payment of $10,000, which is the fine for drug trafficking. On September 3, 2013, the police, members of the GSU, executed a search at White’s residence in the Conch shell bay area and found 119 grams of cannabis. White had maintained that he was guilty of possession and not drug trafficking from the onset. He said that he uses the cannabis to alleviate the pain he suffers in his amputated right leg on which he walks with the aid of a prosthetic leg. At the trial last Friday, he managed to convince Magistrate Panton that he did not have the cannabis to sell and as a result he was found not guilty of drug trafficking. White’s common-law wife was charged jointly with him, but the charge was withdrawn from her.

Business Man Found Guilty of Aggravated Assault
Enfield Reyes, a businessman of 58 King Street, was sentenced to 18 months today by the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after she found him guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm against his wife, Bernadette Reyes. The incident occurred on April 13, 2014. Mrs. Reyes testified that her husband pulled his licensed 9 millimeter pistol on her when she attempted to leave him. She said she was already through the front gate when he fired a shot into the drain. She said she heard a loud bang and when she turned around she saw him on the veranda with the gun pointed at her. Reyes testified and denied that he pointed the gun at his wife. He said he heard a commotion at the back of the house and he went and got his gun. He said that when he went to the front of the house he saw a person dart through the front gate and he fired a shot into the drain. Chief Magistrate Smith told him she did not believe his story and the prosecution has proved its case. She told him that his story was a fairy tale and she found him guilty.

Four Men Charged With Immigration Offenses
Four persons were charged with immigration offenses when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. They are 50 year old Belizean auto mechanic, Lewellyn Ramclam, 49 year old Cuban national, Alberto Quintana, who has permanent resident status in Belize, 29 year old Cuban national, Jolkies Guerra and 27 year old Cuban national, Jaema Aldana. Ramclam and Quintana were each charged with 2 counts of aiding a person to remain in Belize. The allegation was that on December 1, they aided Guerra and Aldana to remain in Belize by procuring a silver Toyota Corolla car for them to travel in. They plead not guilty to the charges. They were each offered a bail of $1,000 and their case was adjourned until January 27, 2015. Guerra and Aldana were charged with illegal entry. According to the allegation, on November 28 they enter Belize illegally via the banks of the Mopan River. They both plead guilty to the charges. They were each fined $1,000 and they were ordered to pay the fines forthwith. They were told by Senior magistrate Fraser that if they default on payment they will serve 6 months and that they will be sent back to Cuba either after they have paid the fine or served the time.

Sanchez Charged With Murder
Jason Sanchez was charged with the murder of 35 year old Emmerson Arnold aka “Emmo”, when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Sanchez was remanded into custody until February 27. Arnold , an employee of BWS who resided on lake view Street, was gunned down shortly before 7 a.m. on Friday, November 28, while he was on Gibnut street. Arnold received multiple gunshots to his body. He was transported to KHMH where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Christmas Season; Marketing Director speaks on 12 Days of Christmas
One of the highlights in December for the Christmas Season is Love FM’s annual twelve Days of Christmas. Love News spoke to the Marketing Director, Carmen Barrow, for some details: CARMEN BARROW “Our twelve days of Christmas Celebrations really starts off on Saturday December 13th with the one and only Love Fm Christmas parade and it promises to be as big as enjoyable and fun as it has always been. We will do the toy tree like we do every year where we select a particular primary school from Belize city and the Children of one of those classrooms at that particular school are going to be the ones who will be the recipients of the gifts on our toy tree this year. We have a band and we have different performers from the music community in Belize. Our 12 Days is going to feature the music of Denise Requena who is the person who won our Raise Your Flag and win with love song competition that we launched this year for the first time.

December 1st Marks Belize’s Late Musical Icon Birthday
Tomorrow marks the birthday of one of Belize’s musical icon, the late Andy Palacio who died on January 19, 2008. To mark his birthday; a committee led by Cynthia Cayetano will be holding an event to help keep his memory alive. CYNTHIA CAYETANO “Tomorrow he would have been 54 if he were alive, so in celebration of his birthday, we are having a memorial mass, a slight tribute at St. Martins Depores church tomorrow at 6:30PM here in Belize City. Also there is the service at 6:30AM tomorrow in Belmopan and in Baranco it’s a 9AM. Dangriga at Gulisi school they are having theirs on Friday the 5th at 2PM. Here in Belize City we are having the church service, we will have performances by the Garifuna Collective which we are looking forward and it will be a nice memorial service for him. We are inviting people to come out and share with us a short reception following thereafter. Andy Palacio represented a lot for Belize.

November 30; Close of 2014 Hurricane Season
Sunday, November 30 saw the close of the hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin and the close of what could be considered an uneventful season for Belize. The season was for six months, beginning on June 1 annually. We took a trip to the Belize Weather Bureau today to find out from the Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez, how he would describe this year’s season for Belize and overall. DENNIS GONGUEZ “This season was just about average or a little bit below average as was predicted at the beginning of the season that it would be just about an average season. We had eight named system and typically we would have about eight names systems. Of those eight names systems six of them became hurricanes and again the average is about six hurricanes per season and of those six that became hurricanes we had two major hurricanes. Again the average is just about two major hurricanes a year. Major hurricanes are category 3,4 and 5. So in terms of hurricanes and intense hurricanes we had just about average and a little bit below average in the number of named systems. We had eight as compared to what we typically would get which would be 12.

School in Ladyville Flood From Incessant Rain
One our way back from Lord’s Bank Village, we stopped at Our Lady of the Way Roman Catholic Primary School in Ladyville. Classes had been cancelled because almost the entire compound had been flooded by the hours of down pour last night and this morning. It’s something that has been happening often and teacher Kimberly Pineda, hopes that a permanent solution be found as soon as possible. KIMBERLY PINEDA “When it rains a lot this is what happens. It was a bit higher this morning if you had been here earlier you would have seen the water a bit higher but now it’s going off a bit and if it rains again tonight the problem will remain.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “How many days will it take for it to go down completely?” KIMBERLY PINEDA “It depend on the downfall of the rain but for now probably it will be the same. If it rains again tonight the same thing.”

World Aids Day; MOH And NAC Conducts Full Day Testing And Awareness
December 1st is observed as World AIDS Days yearly and in observance of that, the Ministry of Health partnered with the National AIDS committee and is conducting a full day testing and awareness. The event includes free HIV/AIDS tests and preventative measures on how to prevent acquiring the disease as well as what other diseases are linked to it. A disease that is closely linked to AIDS, according to Margaret Bradley, Nurse and the Ministry of Health Coordinator in the Voluntary Counseling and Testing Unit, is Tuberculosis. MARGARET BRADLEY “The 1st of December is world AIDS day and this is the time that we take out to try to educate and do HIV testing because you know it is very important for one to know their status and if you know your status and you are positive there is always treatment and follow up care for you. This year we are focusing on the males because last year’s statistics showed that males were more reactive than females in the count.

Couple Home And Land Inundated in Water
53-year-old Joseph Baldares and his 54-year-old wife, Irma, live at number 24 Aposote Street in Lord’s Bank Village. When they got up this morning, they found their house and yard inundated with more than 5 inches of water. JOSEPH BALDARES “Its really bad, in there is like six or seven inches.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Do you know what caused this ? Is it the first time.” JOSEPH BALDARES “This is the third time for this year and it is definitely the drainage problem. The drain has bushes that is almost taller than I am.” The rains the pour down last night and this morning is now causing the couple to walk in water for the entire day. Baldares and his diabetic wife have been going through this for the past three years.

GSU At Work; Ammunitions And Marijuana Found
More than sixty live rounds of ammunition were taken off the streets over the weekend. Yesterday the Gang Suppression Unit conducted an operation on Flamboyant Street in Belize City, where they search an abandoned lot. There they found two metal magazines for M-16 rifles each containing 30 rounds of 5.56 ammunition. The magazines were concealed in a black plastic bag and wrapped with a red shirt. No one was around at the time of the find, so police has labeled the magazines and ammunitions as Found Property. It is believed that the ammunition belongs to members of the PIV gang. The GSU also conducted a search in an abandoned plywood house in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City last week Wednesday. There they found two black plastic bags containing a little over four pounds of marijuana. Since no one was in the area at the time of the search, the drug was label as found property. The authorities believe that the drug belonged to a known neighborhood drug peddler.

Man Found Dead With Several Gunshot Wounds
Police are investigating a murder that occurred in Mahogany Heights in the Belize District. The body of 25-year-old Kenroy Parham was found with gunshot wounds to the back and head. Police have detained one person and are looking for another as their investigations continue.

Belize City Man Lost His Life in RTA
An early Saturday morning accident on the George Price Highway claimed the life of a Belize City man. According to Police, 35-year-old Joseph Eiley of Dunn Street was driving a blue Isuzu Rodeo from Hattieville to Belize City when upon reaching between miles nine and ten he apparently lost control of the vehicle. Eiley was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he died a short time later.


Murder in Mahogany Heights
Mahogany Heights, a village located between Belize City and Belmopan, is a quiet community. However, the relative tranquility has been disturbed by the shooting death of 25 year old Kenroy Parham. Reports are that sometime between the evening of Friday November 28th and Saturday Morning, resident’s ...

Logging in Mahogany Heights causes concern
We’ve told you about the crime situation and the water issue that has recently affected the community of Mahogany Heights which sits at mile 31 on the George Price Highway. Now we will tell you about another issue with the Pine Trees that have become a landmark feature of the community. Authorized l...

Jason Sanchez charged with Emerson Arnold murder
On Friday we told you of the murder of 35 year old Emmerson Arnold also known as Emmo. The father of four and worker at Belize Water Services Limited was on his way to work when his assailant accosted him on Gibnut Street, Belize City, and shot him as many as seven times in the back. On Monday poli...

Patrick JonesPJ

Belizeans tried to assist Cubans to stay illegally
A group of four are accused of evading immigration laws. Two of them, 29 year old Cuban national Jolkies Guerra and 27 year old Cuban national Jaema Aldana, are accused of illegally entering Belize by crossing the Mopan River from Guatemala on November 28. Each were fined $1,000 […]

Fine for amputee guilty of marijuana possession
Last Friday Alton White, 50, a taxi driver and food vendor, was successfully able to reduce a charge of drug trafficking against himself and common-law wife Idolly Fraser to drug possession. He says that the 119 grams of cannabis found by members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) […]

BGYEA and GOB ordered to continue mediation
On Friday, members of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) were upset with the Government of Belize for not reporting to scheduled court-ordered mediation over their dispute about the road reserve next to the Harmonyville Agricultural Subdivision at Mile 41 on the George Price Highway. During a pre-trial […]

Men targeted to reduce HIV in Belize to zero
The human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) has claimed hundreds of lives in Belize and is set to snuff out even more if current trends continue. On this World AIDS Day, while all Belizeans were encouraged to know their status, the Ministry of Health, National AIDS Commission and other health […]

Julius Espat’s challenge to Petrocaribe spending pushed to mid-2015
The lawsuit by deputy leader of the People’s United Party (PUP) Julius Espat against Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow received a brief first hearing this morning before Justice Courtney Abel in the Supreme Court. Espat, the member for Cayo South, is challenging the Prime Minister’s […]

Students paint anti-stigma and discrimination mural in Orange Walk
The inclement weather may have affected the full participation of the general public in World AIDS Day activities in Orange Walk town; but it did not dampen the artistic efforts of a group of students from the Orange Walk Technical High School. As part of their contribution […]

Disabled … but able students excel in Orange Walk
These 5 deaf/mute children are real life testimonies that being disabled does not mean you are not able. The St. Peter Anglican Primary School in Orange Walk town is one of the few institutions across Belize which accommodates special needs children. Among the 32 special needs students that are enrolled at the schools special education unit, 5 of the deaf students have now been incorporated into the regular classrooms. While these 5 children use a translator in class, they are grasping the material covered very well and are teachers say they are excelling in their classes.

World AIDS Day observed in Punta Gorda town
Belize today joins the rest of the International Community in observing World AIDS Day. Here in the Toledo district, the local branch of the National AIDS Committee is partnering with the Punta Gorda community hospital to provide free HIV testing. The event is being held at the Central Park in Punta Gorda town. Chair of the Toledo chapter of the National AIDS Committee Joan Palma says that today’s observance and public event at the PG Central Park are designed to raise public awareness of the importance of educating ourselves and debunking myths and taboos in combating this global epidemic.

Rainy weather for the first half of the week
These 5 deaf/mute children are real life testimonies that being disabled does not mean you are not able. The St. Peter Anglican Primary School in Orange Walk town is one of the few institutions across Belize which accommodates special needs children. Among the 32 special needs students that are enrolled at the schools special education unit, 5 of the deaf students have now been incorporated into the regular classrooms. While these 5 children use a translator in class, they are grasping the material covered very well and are teachers say they are excelling in their classes.


Perhaps Belize’s Biggest Concert Yet – SEAN PAUL HAS BELIZE CITY GOING CRAZY
My last week (month? life?!) has been leading up to this…SEAN PAUL, the HUGE dancehall, reggae, pop star, was coming to Belize. For one show. Probably the biggest name to EVER perform in Belize in concert. To say that I was giddy, still am giddy, is an understatement. Sean Paul – a Jamaican performer with huge number of hits – his first international one was “Gimme The Light” in 2002, who has worked with artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias, who brought Dancehall music international… it’s all just too much. IN BELIZE CITY. Note: He did perform here in 1998…but that was WAY before he was SEAN PAUL. He was working a slightly different look back then. And so Saturday afternoon, I took the water taxi over early to check out the set-up at Belize City’s BTL Park and to pick up my ALL ACCESS PASS!!!!!!

Trainee Engineer
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Trainee Engineer in the System Planning & Engineering Department.

International Sourcesizz

Commentary: Venezuela in financial difficulty, will PetroCaribe survive?
The government of Venezuela is undoubtedly disappointed with the outcome of the 166th meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held in Vienna, Austria, on 27 November 2014. Despite intense lobbying by Venezuela, the OPEC decided not to cut oil production even in the face of declining oil prices globally. The official communiqué of the meeting declared that “the Conference decided to maintain the production level of 30.0 mb/d, as was agreed in December 2011”. This was bad news for Venezuela, which needs to sell oil at US$120 per barrel to meet repayments of its loan commitments; finance its domestic social welfare programme; provide the requisite goods and services for its people, including security; and to fund its PetroCaribe arrangements with neighbouring countries in Central America and the Caribbean.

Soursop Fruit 1000 Stronger At Killing Cancer Than Chemotherapy
The Soursop is a flowering, evergreen tree native to tropical regions of the world. It also contains a long, prickly green fruit which happens to kill cancer up to 10,000 times more effectively than strong chemotherapy drugs, all without the horrible side effects. Graviola contains cytotoxic compounds that destroy cancer cells with ‘lethal precision’ while leaving healthy cells unharmed.The source of this information is just as stunning: It comes from one of America’s largest drug manufacturers, the fruit of over 20 laboratory tests conducted since the 1970’s. What those tests revealed was nothing short of mind numbing…Extracts from the tree were shown to: * Effectively target and kill malignant cells in 12 types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreatic cancer.


Video: Belize Mix Martial Art Adran Ramirez Corozal, 13min.
November 29th 2014 Adran Ramirez for belt

Video: Scuba Diving - Belize, 4min.
Diving in Belize with a bit of sailing mixed in. Boat is a Hobie Wave, camera is a GoPro. The fish were sparse but you can see a few nurse sharks. SHOW MORE

Video: Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World: Belize, 60min.

Video: Crew Only Lifeboat Drill * Carnival Valor * Anchored at Belize, 7min.
We’ve come across this video which is a perfect example of what a “Crew Only” boat drill is all about. If you’ve ever been in port and wondered why all those people have their life jackets on and the life boats are being lowered into the water then you now know! The featured video shows a crew boat drill on the Carnival Valor while it’s making a port of call at Belize in Central America. Cruise ships don’t dock at Belize and only anchor miles away from the coast. This make a perfect opportunity to lower all the ships lifeboats and test the crews readiness in case of an emergency. A life raft is also activated ready for deployment but in most cases it doesn’t get lowered on to the water. All the crew are in full emergency gear including life jackets. You can hear the cruise director on the ships PA system calling a group of life rafts at a time to their embarkation station which is where they would board the life rafts. Boat drills are essential for safety and on Carnival ships a drill is held in a port of call at least once a month. Extra drills are also done for technical personal which includes lowering the life rafts and life boats.

Video: Belize: 10 Top Tourist Attractions - Video Travel Guide, 3min.
Picture a country with tropical beaches, coral reefs, cave formations, exotic wildlife and a laid back Caribbean atmosphere. Along its coast lies the second largest barrier reef in the world while ancient temple ruins are scattered around its jungles. If you think such country doesn’t exist you’d be wrong. This is Belize, one of the top destinations in Central America.

Video: On top of Xunantunich, 1/2min.
Xunantunich ruins in Belize. Filmed with GoPro 3+ Black

Video: World's Best Diving & Resorts: Victoria House, 3min.
With an abundance of marine life and remarkable coral formations to explore, Belize is an ideal destination for both exceptional relaxation and dive exploration. The island of Ambergris Caye, the largest in Belize, is home to one of the islands most luxurious and awarded resorts, Victoria House. The rich and vibrant aquatic life in Belize makes it an ideal destination for divers globally. Swaying palms and white sand beaches adorn the coast, while directly one mile off of the resorts private pier and out into the Caribbean, the world’s second largest barrier reef is waiting to be revealed.

Video: Belize Diving with Chuck and Robbies Diving, 5min.

Video: Drive through downtown Belize City on Columbus Day, 2014, 5min.
Recently, I released my book "When British Honduras Became Belize" through a Belize Country book tour. I'm compiling my photos and videos to make a small documentary, but in the mean time he's a little something

Video: That time I got stuck on a zip line in Belize and didn't want to let go, 1min.

Video: Rojas Vs Ramírez (Belize City), 24min.
All my respect for Ramirez who proved to be a very strong man and given to the fight. However, the referee did not know much about fighting cage as a fight can never be stopped when there is action in the fight. That only made in fights about Ring to prevent competitors from falling over the edge. There are still many things to improve in terms of the rules of MMA in Belize . No choice but to continue working on it. Honestly Juan " MEXICAN " Rojas.

December 1, 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

Wolfe’s Woofer: Taxidermy
“Becky and I will be coming back in February,” my friend Bruce Anderson said, as we talked on the phone. “I want you to do me a favor if you can.” “Sure.” “When I was in Belize in June I caught a barracuda that was the biggest fish I ever caught in my life. I wanted to get him stuffed and mounted so I could hang him on my wall at home but I didn’t think there was a taxidermist in San Pedro so the fish spoiled.” “I saw a sign for a taxidermist yesterday,” I told him. “I’ll go check it out.” The sign on the little shop on the back street said, “FISHING BLUES IN BELIZE.” A smaller sign said, “GREY’S TAXIDERMY.” “Do you do taxidermy for fish?” I asked the man behind the counter.”

Saga Humane Society to celebrate 15th anniversary year with invitation only top-chef-challenge
Celebrate the Saga Humane Society 15th anniversary with Saga Humane Society on Tuesday December 16, 2014, cook-off style. In closing out the year, Fido’s Restaurant and Bar will host the Saga Humane Society December cook off where the 2014 Saga Top Chef will be crowned. Ambergris Caye’s best chefs and 2014 Cook Off winners will be invited to participate in the cook off. The theme for this last cook off will be “chef’s choice” and is expected to draw a record crowd. Seating is limited to 75 total and VIP seats will be extended to the first 15 reservations. Fido’s Restaurant and Bar will be donating $1 directly to Saga for each draft and local rum drink sold during the event and will be serving their full menu.

Police Report
Drug Trafficking *On Saturday, November 22nd at about 1:05AM, while San Pedro Police were conducting a mobile patrol on Sea Grape Drive, their attention was drawn to 38-year-old Sergio Bardalez. Bardalez was seen dropping a small white plastic bag on the ground. Possession of Controlled Drugs *On Tuesday, November 25th at around 8:25PM, a team of San Pedro Police, Criminal Investigation Branch and Special Branch personnel conducted a search inside an apartment room located in the DFC Area based on special information. Burglary *29-year-old Selwyn Griffith reported to the San Pedro Police that on Friday, November 21st his office located in North Ambergris Caye was burglarized. He stated that he left his office at 5PM properly secured. Upon returning on Sunday, November 23rd at 7AM he found the door open. Theft *46-year-old Miriam Fabro reported to the San Pedro Police that on Tuesday, November 25th her golf cart was stolen. She stated that around 5:25PM she parked her Yamaha golf cart with license plate number SP-CO552 in the airstrip area. Fabro stated that when she returned at around 7PM her golf cart was not there.

Doctor Love
Dear Doctor Love, I am in my early fifties and my husband is sixty-five years old. When we got married five years ago he promised to take care of me. Instead, I find myself taking care of him all of the time. I do all of the cooking and cleaning, washing clothes and even taking care of most of the yard work. He suffers from depression that he claims is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by his military service. It might be true but as far as I know he never served in any war and he definitely does not get a disability pension for PTSD. He has his Social Security income from the U.S. and a small retirement fund from his former career that supports him. I actually make more money than he does with my business. Now, he wants to move back to the U.S. so he can be near his grandkids. I like it here in Belize. I like the people and the weather. I have friends here. I do not want to sell my business and move just to please him. If he moves I do not intend to follow him. Is this so wrong of me?

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season In Review
As far as tropical storm and hurricane impacts, the United States and Caribbean were virtually untouched this season, however, as I already mentioned, we cannot say the same for Bermuda. Hurricane Arthur in late June and early July made landfall over eastern North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane bringing hurricane conditions to the outer banks and extreme eastern North Carolina during the July 4th holiday weekend. After tracking over eastern North Carolina, Arthur went on to bring heavy rainfall, flash flooding and strong winds with power outages to eastern New England and much of Atlantic Canada. In fact, Arthur’s impact was worse in eastern New England and Atlantic Canada than it was over eastern North Carolina. In excess of 300,000 people lost power across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine and in some areas the power was out for more than 10 days.

Corozal: Inauguration of the Orange Orchard Park
It's a rainy Sunday in Santa Elena but that did not stop residents from coming out for the inauguration of the Orange Orchard Park. The newest addition to the town was made possible with funding from the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust. Pictured here are the Minister of Transport and Works and Area Representative for Cayo Central, Hon. Rene Montero, and Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, His Worship John August, speaking to the children about taking care of their new park.

San Pedro: lighting of the Christmas Tree!
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff invites everyone to the Central Park, tomorrow, Monday, December 1st at the Central Park at 7:30 p.m. for the lighting of the Christmas Tree! Bring the whole family! Take your pictures in front of the tree! There will be refreshments and music! Heaven's Voice Youth Choir will also be joining us with some Christmas Carols! See you there!

Would you like a job in the IT industry - TBSL in Belize City is now hiring! We are looking to fill the position of a Technical Marketing Analyst. Download vacancy ad here: Qualified applicants please send cover letter, resume and two (2) recent references to [email protected] Deadline to submit application is Thursday, December 4th, 2014.-

Progresso Village Dance and Dancers


P.U.P Selects Richard Harrison For Cayo North
Richard Harrison will contest the bi-election on January fifth in Cayo North. The announcement was made by the PUP this morning following a meeting with the PUP’s national executive and parliamentary caucus also held this morning. Immediately after Joseph Mahmud tendered his resignation, Michel Chebat and Richard Harrison submitted their interest to represent the party in the area but up until yesterday Deputy Party leader and Party Leader Francis Fonseca determined that Richard Harrison be endorsed and thus the party will not be holding a convention. This was tabled at this morning’s meeting. Party Leader Francis Fonseca says they believe Harrison is their strongest candidate. Honorable Francis Fonseca- P.U.P Leader “We want to of course thank Mister Michel Chebat; he essentially withdrew his candidacy. He felt that it was in the best interest of the party to do so. We need to have a unified strong aggressive intensive campaign over the next five weeks in Cayo North. As a party, all of us felt that it was not in our interest to hold a convention at this time. And so that was the basis on which the decision was made and we strongly feel that Mister Richard Harrison represents the best opportunity for the party to win the bye-election in Cayo North on January fifth, 2015.”

P.M Confident Cayo North Will Vote U.D.P
As we have mentioned, the PUP has appointed Richard Harrison to contest the bi-election for Cayo North and will go up against Omar Figueroa. Today, in speaking with the media, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says his party is not fazed and is confident about Figueroa’s support in that constituency. “I don’t think we were too much concerned as to which of the two aspirants would ultimately be chosen. We honestly feel that Omar Figueroa is an excellent candidate. He has the advantage of having been working the area prior to his February Convention win and thereafter. We feel that in all the circumstances the momentum clearly is with him and with the U.D.P., so we are altogether confident of victory.” Again, the bi-election is to be held on the 5th of January 2015.

Could Shift In Oil Prices Mean The End Of Petro Caribe Agreement?
On Wednesday, the controversial Petro Caribe loan motion was debated by the Senate but despite the fiery exchange the Petrocaribe Loan motion was passed. But while the loan motion has been approved by Senate, the debate on the Petrocaribe agreement rages outside the walls of parliament as government’s moment of glory may soon end as there are shifts in oil prices that could mean an end to the fuel agreement with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The Prime Minister however says he is not really worried. “I think that’s quite possible. I just want to put on record how grateful we have been for Petrocaribe and for the absolute enlightenment of Chavez and his vision and the continuation of that vision by his successor. If in the circumstances the Venezuelans have to moderate or even terminate the agreement until in fact there is some sort of return to the circumstances in which they pioneered it, we will have to understand. We will be grateful but we will completely understand. You know within a year or so oil prices are going to go right back up. But am we, I can’t say are prepared for the eventuality of a termination of the program, but we are clearly very mindful of the circumstances you have just described and we anticipate that there is very much that possibility. We of course have laid aside….

San Andres Village Council Holds Fair To Raise Funds
Each year the San Andres Village Council in the Corozal District hosts their annual fair in efforts of raising funds to carry out works within the village and this year is no exception. Glenford Marvin, Chairman of the village dropped by our Corozal Studios and gave us a round down of this year’s event. “We are planning the San Andres Fiesta that is coming again this month, starting tomorrow Saturday night with an under 17 friendly match football with San Andres versus Patchakan village the under 17 and at 7:30 we will be having a presentation by me as the Chairman and the Area Rep. and then we will have a big dance with Techno Band.” According to Marvin, this year the event will even feature cultural presentations and with the support of villagers the event is expected to be a huge success.

New Release Pays Tribute To Suga City Tacos
With just a few days since its release on the local music scene, Roxana Alcoser’s “El Baile del Taco” is rapidly becoming a hit on the streets with its catchy tune. The singer who forms part of the Super Furia Band hailing from Orange Walk Town came to our studios and brought her new video song. Alcoser says the song is dedicated to all Orange Walkenos. “The inspiration is a daily basis you know going in the morning having breakfast and it is tacos because the title of the song is El Baile Del Taco so I got inspired by seeing everyone eating tacos and even myself because I am guilty of eating tacos at least three to five times a week.” Maria Novelo- Reporter “How has the reception been so far?” Roxana Alcoser– Singer “I have been getting positive remarks I have gotten over 900 views in just one day and I feel so excited about it and I just want evceryone to enjoy it and have fun with it. It is a little merengue so everyone can dance to it and like I said if you eat tacos the dance will make you burn the calories. Right now you can view the song on You Tube or you can visit me at number 2 Santa Familia Street to get your copy.”

Will BSI/ASR Come To The Negotiating Table
So what is BSI ASR’s position? According to the Prime Minister, he has spoken with representatives of the company however; they were not ready to commit to any compromise at that time. In his meeting with representatives of that party on Monday this week, the PM says his objective was to get them to go back to the negotiating table. BSI as we know has remained steadfast on their position and this seems to remain the case. In fact, the PM said that by the time he met with them, he had already received word of the BSCFA’s new approach in the way forward. “I had already as indicated had from the Deputy Prime Minister an indication of the flexibility that the BSCFA was prepared to show and so In asking ASR/BSI to agree to come back to the table I was able to tell them that there is flexibility that the BSCFA is prepared to show and that it was my feeling that that flexibility was such that it ought to produce an agreement.

P.M Meets With BSCFA, Could There Be A Breakthrough In Current Sugar Impasse
Here in the north there has been much talk about the current impasse between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI/ASR. It is a topic that has been widely reported and followed by our media. But today the good news is that a solution to break the impasse might have been found as Prime Minister Dean Barrow says there are good chances that BSI and the Belize Cane Farmers Association can reach an agreement that could lead to the commencement of crop. He made the statement after meeting with members of the Association including the branch chairs and members of the BSCFA negotiating team. But while the statement was made, there is very little detail being shared with the press about how both parties intend to settle into an amicable agreement. But, by the looks of things and from the generalized statements made by both the PM and Chair of the Committee of Management of the BSCFA, the association may very well be the first to be folding. Why do we say this? Well, in his statement the PM says that while the BSCFA maintains its position, it has made certain modifications in an effort to settle the matters at hand with BSI.

The Reporter

Police look for suspect in Mahogany Heights murder
Police have detained one man abd are looking for another in connection with a murder in Mahogany Heights. Police found the bullet-riddled body of Kenroy Parham, 25, on Saturday. Parham had been shot to the head and back.

PM meets with BSCFA; farmers assure flexibility
Prime Minister Dean Barrow met on Friday with representatives from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and the farmers have agreed to be flexible with their position moving forward in order to bring BSI/ASR back to negotiations. Barrow commended the BSCFA on their new position and said it provides the basis on which new negotiations can take place with BSI. Barrow explained that the BSCFA’s core position still stands as it relates to the ownership of the cane and the payment formula for bagasse, but said the Association has made modifications to their position. Barrow said the flexibility in position demonstrated extremely mature leadership on the part of the BSCFA. He added that he would be getting in touch with BSI/ASR to inform them of the BSCFA’s willingness to negotiate and set a date for negotiations to resume so that the industry can progress and start its crop.

Colombian General Alzate freed by Farc rebels
Farc rebels in Colombia have released a general and two others who were abducted two weeks ago. Gen. Ruben Dario Alzate and the other captives were handed over to a humanitarian mission led by the International Red Cross. They were taken to a military base near the city of Medellin before travelling to be reunited with their families. Gen. Alzate’s abduction on 16 November prompted the president to suspend peace talks with the rebels in Cuba. President Juan Manuel Santos said that the general’s release “helps to create a favourable atmosphere for the continuation of the talks”. But Farc negotiators said they were not happy with the way the government had dealt with the incident. “We can’t be in the hands of the government, which decides when to suspend and when to reopen the negotiations,” Farc delegate Jesus Santrich told Venezuelan channel Telesur.”There is no set date as yet for the talks to be resumed,” he added.

Patrick JonesPJ

Government pushes sugar partners back to table
As crunch time for the sugar crop draws ever nearer, the Government of Belize faces greater pressure to ensure that it starts on time with a valid commercial agreement including payment for bagasse. And last week they have, in a manner of sorts. While there is no formal agreement on the table, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) says it has come through with a revision of its proposals that it feels will meet agreement with the sugar producers Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and American Sugar Refinery (ASR). Chairman of the BSCFA’s Committee of Management, Ezequiel Cansino, was not prepared to share details but said they had reviewed the situation and were confident that their revised proposals would meet favor with the sugar producers.

CCJ ready to hear nationalization cases
The true ownership of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) will finally be decided from December 10-12 at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Six consolidated appeals from Belize’s Court of Appeal are being heard, which will establish a final resolution to the nationalizations of both companies in 2009 and 2011 which are being challenged by their former owners, the BTL Employees Trust and related companies and Fortis Energy International. Following a closed-door case management conference held by video link between Port of Spain, London and Belize City, attorney representing the Government entities, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, told reporters that the Government is appealing the verdict of the Court of Appeal that the acquisitions did not take retrospective effect.

Thanksgiving Sunday observed in San Marcos village
The San Marcos village Nazarene Church today celebrated thanksgiving Sunday. It featured the bearers of first crop making their way to the altar and presenting it to God. It is their way of declaring thanks for the richness and blessings that God has poured out for them. Today’s Church service highlighted the importance of knowing how to say thanks to the Almighty who giveth and who taketh away. The celebration concluded with the traditional Caldo and Poch to celebrate another year of life and to say thanks.


Belize: A Romantic Destination to say “I Do” this Winter
The Travel Channel, one of the most respected organizations on travel has highly recommended Belize as a destination to have a wedding this winter in an article entitled “Winter Destination Weddings“. “Are you a nature-loving couple? A wedding in Belize will compliment your adventurous personality. This outdoor playground is filled with rainforests, Mayan ruins and some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. And while it’s picking up in popularity, Belize is definitely cheaper than many Caribbean hot spots,” writes Kathleen Reellihan, the author of the article. Hawaii, Finland, Arizona, Vermont, Quebec, Costa Rica, Colorado, Florida Keys, Lake Tahoe, and Sweden were the other destinations that made it on the list.

International Sourcesizz

'Booze Traveler' host explores how world drinks
Jack Maxwell drinks for a living. From moss schnapps in Iceland to gut-busting raki in Turkey and homebrew in the Himalayas, he's learned the hard way that tippler's truism: "It's always 5 o'clock somewhere." Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host "Booze Traveler," which debuts this month on the Travel Channel. In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Los Angeles-based actor said his early years in the neighborhood known as Southie — where convicted gangster James "Whitey" Bulger once reigned — showed him what cocktails can teach about a culture. "That's where I learned about alcohol's magic socializing effect," said Maxwell, who has appeared in "24," ''Lost" and "Beverly Hills 90210." ''People would regale me with tales. Everyone was so social and nice to each other." Part travelogue, part drinking diary, "Booze Traveler" takes viewers with Maxwell as he travels to Louisiana, Tennessee and 13 foreign countries, including Armenia, Belize, Lithuania, Mongolia and Nepal. Each hour-long episode is a quest to distill the essence of a place through its beers, wines and spirits — a lighthearted look at the world through the lens of a glass.

New World Oil To Receive Escrow Funds After Breaking Ties With Niel (ALLISS)
New World Oil and Gas PLC Monday said it has decided to terminate numerous agreements with Niel Petroleum SA after Niel breached a contract with New World, signalling the end of the relationship between the two companies. New World has entered into a deed of termination, waiver and release with Niel Petroleum which will see a subscription agreement, relationship agreement, debt-facility commitment letter, and escrow agreement terminated, said the company in a statement. As a consequence of the deed, Niel has agreed that New World will receive the funds held in the escrow account as a final settlement of all liabilities that Niel owes to New World for breaching the contract between the two parties, New World said.


Video: Belize Day 3- Zip Line, 3min.

Video: Belizean Sabbatical 2014, 6.5min.
Our trip to Belize, Central America in August 2014. Includes 1 week on Ambergris Caye and 1 week in San Ignacio. Activities include snorkeling and Island living followed by jungle treks to see ruins in Tikal, Guatemala as well as Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. Also ATM cave and cave tubing and Belize Zoo.

Video: Ambergris Caye, Belize HD 1080p, 9min.
My first visit to Ambergis Caye and Caye Caulker, Corozal District, Belize. A mix of sun, beach, snorkelling, Maya trekking and great food.

Video: Belize - Cave Tubing, 11min.
Cave Tubing at Nohoch Che'en Caves Branch Reserve, Belize. A special thanks to our guide Patrick with Belize Nature Travel for a wonderful experience.

Video: All Belize, 31min.
To paraphrase Mark Twain: "Sorry for such a long video; I didn't have time to edit a shorter version."

Video: Aerial view of Belize City, 1.5min.
Flying into Belize City Municipal Airport, November 2014.

Video: Walk to BTL Park, Belize City, 2min.
November 2014 walk from the Renaissance to BTL Park in Belize City.

Video: Sean Paul Live in Belize, 20min.
Sean Paul live in Belize November 29th 2014 brought to you by Zabaranks & KingsPromotion.Video by Ashton Coleman(Dj Bug).

Video: Snorkeling in Belize with a turtle!, 1.5min.

Video: Belize: 10 Top Tourist Attractions - Video Travel Guide, 3min.

Video: Belize, 1.5min.

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