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12/21/2014 to 12/31/2014
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December 31, 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

San Pedro Lions Christmas Caroling
The San Pedro Lions Club along with the San Pedro Leos Club have definitely been good this year, helping Santa Claus spread the Christmas cheer. On Tuesday, October 23rd the Lions and Leos took to the street in their annual Christmas Caroling. With the musical styling of Rompe Raja singing classic Christmas carols they made their way from Boca del Rio Park, across town and ended at Central Park. Along the route, the Lions and Leo shared candies and treats with the children. A couple families even decided to join along the merry parade and sing the night away. The San Pedro Lions next event is their annual spectacular New Year’s Eve Party. Everyone is invited the come out on Wednesday, December 31st to the Lions Den and usher in 2015 at the best party in town!

School Cooks receive food safety and handling training
School cooks from San Pedro and Caye Caulker participated in a two day workshop on food safety and handling. The workshop was a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education with funding from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve the quality of food being offered to school children. The workshop took place on Tuesday, December 16th and Wednesday, December 17th at the Sun Breeze Hotel Conference room and saw the participation of more than 90% of food handlers from schools in both cayes. On the first day of the workshop, participants learned basic concepts on foodborne illnesses, nutrition and meal planning for children, food safety regulations, personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitation, and potable water. Health Inspector Javier Alpuche stated that one of the leading causes of foodborne illnesses in schools is children not washing their hands before and after consuming food. He also stated that school food handlers should beware of cross contamination as this can result in a number of students getting sick. Nutritionist Robyn Daly explained the importance of school children having a balanced meal with little or no junk food. Daly stated that school food handlers should substitute chips, biscuits and candies with healthier options such as fruits, cereals and yogurt.

San Pedro Dance Academy hosts Christmas Concert
On Saturday December 20th, The San Pedro Dance Academy held their annual Christmas Dance Concert at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The venue saw a gathering of family and friends who all came out for a night of creative dance and entertainment. A beautifully decorated stage brought the Christmas time feeling to life. With everything draped in white from ceiling to floor, complimented by twinkling lights, it was easy to be taken away into a winter wonderland. Dancers graced the stage with several numbers that showcased the skills of the infants, infants advanced, juniors and senior dancers. With ballet numbers such as “My Pretty Little Dance,” “ Do you Wanna Build a Snowman,” and “Say Something,” followed by upbeat dances such as “Chocolate,” and “A Little Party,” to cultural Garifuna and Creole numbers, the night displayed the versatility of the group.

San Pedro Police Cadets and Foreva Fancy spread Holiday Cheer
On Monday December 22nd, The San Pedro Police Cadets along with owners and models of San Pedro’s Foreva Fancy Boutique took to the streets to spread a little holiday cheer. Led by Cadet Instructor PC Juan Choc and Deputy of San Pedro Police Inspector Henry Jemmott, the group loaded up the police mobile and several golf carts as they made their way around town. This year, the group efforts went towards the communities of San Pedrito and the DFC Area. Loaded with gift packages, the groups made their way through the communities where families and children awaited the well received gifts. The packages consisted of food items such as flour, rice and beans, clothing items and of course toys for the children. According to PC Choc, “One of the main purposes of the cadet corps is to not only instill discipline, but to learn a lot about life skills, and through this, we teach them to care and be a part of the community. It also shows the community that the police and people care.”

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Lions Club - A Club That Truly Roars
If the San Pedro Lions Club would not exist, things would be quite different in San Pedro today. The Club was chartered in 1975 and has been roaring with power and dignity ever since. This flashback represents some of the high officials during the very first Lions Convention in San Pedro, and posing in front of the Lions Clinic. It happened in 1978 and it coincided with the inauguration of the first Lions Community Clinic as it was named. This clinic was built entirely by the Lions who provided the finances, manpower and actual labor for two years and inaugurated under the presidency of Lion Betito Marin. Lions brought the first full time doctor to San Pedro and introduced uninterrupted medical services for the first time. Added to their long list of projects, The San Pedro Lions Club is responsible for the Mosquito Coast Park, The Lions Den, Robert Raszkowski Hall upstairs of the Lions Den, completion of San Pedro High School new building, and of course the construction of the Poly Clinic, now named after Lion Otto Rodriguez, who was the very first resident doctor to San Pedro under the umbrella of the Lions.

Ambergris Today's New Year's Baby
It's that time of year again! Who will be the next Ambergris Today's New Year's Baby in San Pedro? Check out the fabulous prizes from our sponsors. If interested in sponsoring a gift, please contact us.

It’s a Slice of Heaven in Paradise – Victoria House
It’s a slice of Heaven in Paradise – Victoria House, a long-standing island resort on Ambergris Caye that has come to establish itself as a prestigious resort on the island. To my excitement, Ambergris Today was invited to enjoy an overnight stay at the famous resort where I had always visited on lazy Sunday afternoons with my friends – sipping on Bailey’s Coladas at the Admiral Nelson Bar, strolling on their white sandy beaches and enjoying a dip in the sea off their dock. As an islander I had always enjoyed Victoria House’s exceptional service and hospitality at their Admiral Nelson Bar and Palmilla Restaurant. Now I was given the prestigious opportunity to be a guest in one of their luxury rooms and experience Victoria House like hundreds of visitors and tourists do. The name “Victoria House” always carries an air of prestige wherever they are represented or in any social conversation. It has not been long since the resort was upgraded from small Plantation rooms to a ten acre private retreat with forty-two accommodations. Now it boasts additional Casitas, Suites, Villas and even complete homes to accommodate large families.

Have a Pineapple Boat at Pineapples Restaurant
You could say that Pineapples is somewhat of a themed restaurant, but it’s not tacky, by far. It blends very well with the earthy feel at Ramon’s Village, the resort in which it is located. It can be very elegant, upscale and at the same time very casual as it caters to both the resort’s guests and anybody who desires to indulge in sweet decadence. I say sweet because a lot of the restaurant’s dishes are centered around one main ingredient; you guessed it – the pineapple. The restaurant has established itself as one of the leading restaurants on the island, yet I still don’t think the local residents are aware of the goodness they are missing out on not having dined at Pinapples Restaurant. Take for example the Pineapple Boat and Pineapple Explosion on the menu. They scream originality and sweet goodness. The Pineapple Boat is the restaurants signature dish - scrumptious oriental fried rice loaded with chunks of sweet and delicious fresh pineapple and succulent grilled shrimp served in an authentic pineapple boat, topped with crispy fried rice noodles.

On Eagles Wings Ministries Launch Event
On Eagles Wings Ministries invites you to the Give Her Hope Inaugural Event featuring Dinner, Awards Ceremony, Live Auction and Fun! OEWN provides Hope, Empowerment, and a Brighter Future to girls who have been sexually exploited and those at risk. This is the launch event for OEWN Belize. Please join us Saturday, January 17, 2015 from 6pm – 8pm at Ramon’s Village Resort. Tickets are $30 BZD per person. You can pay at the door. Ticket price includes heavy hors d’oeuvres. Please RSVP to Michelle Nuñez by January 7, 2015 at [email protected] or call +501-630-2560

US Hands Additional $4.1Mil to Belize to Increase Security and Lower Crime
The United States Embassy in Belmopan is pleased to announce the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)/Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) additional funding of US$4.1 million to Belize for 2014-15. The funds are to help with Improved Border Inspection, Policing and Equipment, Vetted Units, Drug Demand Reduction, Regional and Maritime and Land Interdiction, Capacity Enhancement, Prison Management, Community Policing. Since 2008, CARSI has provided approximately US$20 million in assistance, including the new funding. U.S. Chargé d’affaires Matthews handed over the official notice of the increase in assistance funds to the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, and CEO of the Ministry of National Security, H.E. George Lovell, in Belmopan at the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday, December 24.

Christmas Soup Kitchen Comes to Life in San Pedro
Through the generous heart and efforts of one island resident, the island’s first Christmas Soup Kitchen came to life this year. The event was very successful and it showed how residents of Ambergris Caye have a huge heart during one of the busiest times of the year. Inspiration came to Findley Halliday who took it upon himself to start gearing his friends and acquaintances to assist him in putting together a soup kitchen to feed as many people and families as possible who are in need or are much less fortunate to have a great meal during Christmas Day.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Government of Belize Supports Agreement Between BSCFA and ASR/BSI
Since helping to forge, on December 8th, the historic agreement between the BSCFA and ASR/BSI, Government has been actively trying to assist in resolving the difficulties that have so far prevented the signing of that agreement. Government hopes that the second BSCFA General Assembly vote scheduled for this Sunday will, like the first vote, ratify the agreement, mandate its signing, and allow now for the crop to start.

Rod Of Correction in support of Cane Farmers
Please find the attached press release in which the Rod of Correction (ROC) highlights the legal role of the Sugar Industry Control Board in establishing a date for the start of the grinding season. ROC asserts that the board need not and should not delay the start of the season until there is a signed agreement between ASR/BSI and BSCFA. ROC calls on the board to consult with ASR/BSI and BSCFA and to proceed to set the date for the start of grinding. ROC asserts that it will maintain its vigilance in ensuring that the sugar cane farmers of Belize do not become reduced to mere laborers working the sugar cane fields for foreign entities.

Corozal ART in the Park 2015 Calendar
Another exiting year of more Art in the Park projects and programs by COLCHA. Happy New Year and continued success to all the organizers. Big-up!

Channel 7

Sugar Saga Continues
The sugar saga - will it ever end? Well, not before Sunday. That's when the general membership of the Sugar Cane Farmers Association will hold a special meeting to review the entire agreement with BSI and vote on whether their chairman should sign it. But that's not how Chairman Ezequiel Cansino wanted it to go - he was hoping to sign the new agreement with BSI this morning before any injunction to restrain him could be activated. But, it was not to be.....his hopes were taken down by a technicality: 5 of the branch chairmen requested a special meeting - and the rules say, they have the power to do so. That decision was made this morning in Orange Walk Town and 7News was there:..

Farmers May Choose To Go It On Their Own
But regardless, Chairman Cansino believes that a majority of the chairmen want the crop to start and support singing the agreement "as is." In fact, some of them are getting so impatient that they are thinking about leaving the association behind and going ahead to sign independent agreements with BSI. Remember that's where this all started 7 weeks ago - with BSI's direct appeal to farmers - and that offer, we presume, is still out there. And it's looking attractive for some branches because as you heard Cansino say, it's a matter of economics - they stand to leave a large percentage of their crop out in the fields because there won't be enough time to grind the three plus tonnes of canes that's out there in the fields.

BSCFA Says Once Meeting Is Held Injunction Lifted
And while that is happening within the industry, the association's executive also has to keep its eyes on developments outside - principally at the Belize Supreme Court. That's where an injunction application has been filed to restrain the Chairman from signing any agreement with BSI. Cansino told the media today that with the concession to have the special meeting on Sunday, that injunction could go away:.. Ezequiel Cansino, Chairman - BSCFA "We are expecting that this application for this injunction be retract because we will be having the special general meeting because it is specifically clear that if we go to this special general meeting they will remove this application."

Matura Shepherd Says Her Client Must Instruct On Injunction
And this evening, Audrey Matura Shepherd held another of her press conferences- and she discussed where things stand with the first injunction:.. Audrey Matura-Shepherd "We got notice today from the court that the hearing for the injunction will be Friday. So it's a matter we have to discuss and see how things are going. We can actually get an injunction to stop any signing. We will discuss what we will do because the special general meeting is Sunday and we are also hoping that having sent in the application as an urgent application that we can also have the hearing for the permission for the mandamus Friday as well.

Matura Shepherd Going For New Injunction
You'll note that we said "first injunction" because - faster than you can say "tireless attention seeker", Matura Shepherd has filed another. This one seeks to compel the Sugar Industry Control Board - the SICB - to do what the law says it can: declare an open date for the crop season. She explained today:... Audrey Matura-Shepherd "Well today as Mr. Lucilo Teck had promised, he filed a mandamus at the supreme court and its a mandamus in which we are asking the court.... the application really is a leave to file a mandamus, because you have to get leave first. So, it's an application which we are asking the court to give us leave so that we can bring an order of mandamus against the sugar industry control board who really by law should have set the date for the crop a long time ago. So what we are saying is lets go to court, let's ask the court to give us permission to bring this matter before the court so that we can get the date set for crop once and for all, because lawfully, they should have done this a long time ago. We believe that with the mandamus a lot of things will be cleared up.

How Does The SICB Law Really Work?
And while that is what the law says, it contemplates declaring an open date for the season based on consultation with and consent of both the farmers and the factory. Both Ortega and Cansino discussed this today:.. Fred Ortega, Calling for Special General Meeting "We get together and we set a date and then it is the SICB that pronounce that date on the different media that crop will start in a certain day." Jules Vasquez "In practical terms who would that work for the individual property owner, whether the property is the cane or the factory?"

Will Matura Shepherd Be Allowed To Address Farmers
And so Matura-Shepherd has become a polarizing figure in this protracted sugar standoff. But will she be allowed to address the general membership on Sunday? That's usually reserved for members of the association and vested interests and so Cansino told the media: no, she won't" while Ortega was cagey on that point:.. Reporter "Will you allow the attorney Audrey Matura to address the farmers as mentioned?" Ezequiel Cansino, Chairman - BSCFA "That point was not discussed and I think that to my knowledge that will not be accepted." Mike Rudon, Ch5 "Are there any plans to bring attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd to the meeting on Sunday?" Fred Ortega "Yeah, we are looking forward to that." Mike Rudon, Ch5 "The chairman has said that it won't be accepted, that she won't be allowed to speak to the assembly."

PUP Says Politics Being Played in Run-Up To Election
The By-Election in Cayo North is only 6 days away, and since yesterday, the Opposition Party has been accusing the Ruling UDP Administration of using their Government authority to make political mischief in that constituency.??The accusation is that Jerrylyn Bruce, the Senior Registering Officer from the Cayo North Elections and Boundaries Branch, was transferred from her post on Tuesday. A letter was sent to her the day before, and it read, "Please be informed, that effective December 23, you are being re-assigned as Registering Officer for the Cayo West Electoral Division. As a result, you are being requested to officially report to the Benque Viejo Registration Office."? The one day notice is peculiar, but the PUP say that Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai, must answer why it was so urgent to transfer this public officer on such short notice.??In the meantime, they're linking it to reports that a senior UDP operative went into the Cayo North Elections and Boundaries office and demanded to get access to the Binders of the registered voters in that constituency. These binders are important for the verification process of persons who want to cast their vote in the upcoming by-election. This is the copy of information which the election officers will use to determine who is registered voter in Cayo North, and who is not.

Titanic Errors In titan Case?
Bahamians Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach have become infamous both locally and abroad for the allegation by the US Government that they participated with 4 others in a securities fraud scheme which defrauded the Federal Government of 1 billion Belize dollars. Well tonight, both men are closer to getting cleared of charges brought against them locally. Viewers may remember that they were detained by Belizean authorities initially on failing to declare funds over 20,000 Belize dollars when they tried to leave the country. That was believed to have been a holding charge, and the case against them for that offence continued today in the Magistrate's Court.

Manatee Man Goes For Appeal, Gets More Years in Jail
Tonight, 37 year old Edwin Bowen, a resident of Belize City who is originally of Gales Point manatee and known as "Manatee man " is starting to serve his 3 year prison term and figuring out how he will pay a $10,000 fine to the court after he lost his appeal today. A week ago, things were looking up for him when he was granted a stay of execution and offered bail which allowed him to be home free until his appeal is heard in the matter. That's because in February Bowen pleaded guilty to possession of 1.3 grams of crack cocaine. He was fined $10,000 and sentenced him to 3 years for the offense. At his appeal hearing, his attorney Anthony Sylvester tried to argue that it seemed harsh for far less than an ounce of crack for a first time offender. But Justice Shona Griffith disagreed and affirmed Bowen's sentence, ordering him to return to jail to start over his 3 year sentence and pay the $10,000 fine to the court effective today - in default serve another three years in jail.

New Year New House?
A brand new house will be raffled on New Year's Eve. It's a 2-bedroom house with a furnished bathroom and kitchen. The organizers of the raffle explained to us what you can do to walk away with the keys to this house on New Year's Day. DJ Dalla "It's Flavaz Entertainment New Year's countdown at the BTL Park and this time around Flavaz wanted to give back to the community, so we decided, we sat down and we said that we need to come up with some kind of promotion. So we decided we are going to give one lucky family a house this year. So we decide that at the BTL Park, its $10 to enter. With that $10, you get a ticket. You hold on to your ticket, we are going to put it in the barrel and then at 1am right after midnight when 1am strikes, you got to be out there, we are going to turn that barrel and we are going to pick out one ticket."

Remand For Man Accused of Stabbing
26 year-old Musa Smith, a resident of Kraal Road, is spending his second night in jail after being accused of stabbing a man. The incident happened on Sunday, December 21, and according to the victim, 28 year-old Tyron Scott, he left his home on Unity Street and went to his friend's house to drop of some school books. He says that while he was there, he encountered Smith who pulled a knife and stabbed him in the middle of his back and upper shoulder for no apparent reason. Police investigated and arrested and charged Smith with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. Due to the nature of the offences, he couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until February 16, 2015.

Man Alleges Gross Police Brutality
This morning, Francisco Garrido visited after reportedly being released from police custody. He wore a bloodied shirt, and had pronounced injuries to the face, head and arms. All of them, he claims, were inflicted by a police officer when he went to make a report against a man who he got into a fight with. Now, that raises immediate red flags that Garrido may be fabricating the entire story to discredit the police, and that he actually got these injuries from that fight he was in. But, he insists that a police officer did it, and that it all started when he visited the police station to report the man so that officers can intervene. He explained it to us today:

Juggling With Machetes?
Two Argentine street art performers that have been traveling around the world for 2 years are now in Belize. But this is no traditional art show, instead of being confined to the Image Factory or the Bliss center, these performers did their thing out on the street - near the Cinderella Plaza. Apart from the unorthodox setting, the nature of the performance is …just outlandish. Here is what we encountered in the city this evening. Courtney Weatherburne reporting In this neon green crocs and summer finish 29 year old Martin Bosseo stands in the middle of heavy traffic performing what he calls street art. Connecting with the wild and arrhythmic beat of the drum, he juggles 3 machetes. Many may experience piercing anxiety while watching but for Martin, this is an artistic contribution for people to enjoy.

Cycling Classic Hits "Shilling"
If part of your New Year's Day tradition is to make sure that you follow the KREM New Years' Day Cycling Classic, the promoters say that they have something special planned for the fans in the 2015 version of the race. It's the 25th running of the cycling classic, and the Kremandala Organization is calling it the Big Shilling, which should the biggest opportunity for the cyclists competing. They get a chance to ride for five different 1 thousand dollar station prizes, as well as other prize opportunities. Race promoter Kwame Scott told us today that the defending champions, including elite rider, Byron Pope, has his work cut out for him, since there are a lot of competitors who want to win the second biggest race on the cycling calendar: The elite riders take to the road on Thursday, and they must pedal approximately 92 miles from the Belize/Mexico Border to the Central American Boulevard. The juniors and the Female Elite ride only 50 miles since they start from Orange Walk Town.

Channel 5

B.S.C.F.A. Calls for AGM on Sunday
Sunday will be a pivotal day in the future of this year’s sugar-cane crop. This morning the B.S.C.F.A. met in heated session, and agreed to go back to cane-farmers on [...]

Farmer Seeks Order of Mandamus
And if you thought the situation in the sugar cane industry was complicated, an announcement late this evening makes that an understatement. At around five today Audrey Matura Shepherd, flanked [...]

Injunction Hearing Set for Friday
And while the application for the order of mandamus is one thing, there’s also the matter of the application for an interim injunction to prevent the B.S.C.F.A. from signing any [...]

Will Audrey Matura-Shepherd Be Allowed to Speak?
On Monday, firebrand attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd filed an injunction to stop the signing of an agreement between the two parties. But tonight, where does she fit into the equation? As [...]

Should farmers start sugar crop without an agreement with ASR/B.S.I.?
And our question for tonight is: Do you believe farmers should start sugar crop without an agreement with ASR/B.S.I.? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

P.U.P. Speaks on Transfer of Jerrylyn Bruce
The 2015 Cayo North bye-election is less than a week away and candidates for both major parties are hitting the pavement during the final days of a rather brief political [...]

P.U.P. Sec-Gen Condemns Transfer
P.U.P. Secretary General and former Chief Elections Officer, Myrtle Palacio, says Bruce’s untimely transfer is questionable since it precedes very closely the upcoming bye-election.  The move, she says, is contrary [...]

Is U.D.P. Chairman connected to Transfer?
A huge part of the argument is an allegation that U.D.P. Chairman Alberto August was reportedly seen inside the elections office in Cayo North over the weekend.  It is suspected [...]

Chairman August Refutes Allegations
The People’s United Party says it is still awaiting confirmation on the whereabouts of U.D.P. Chairman Alberto August who they claim was seen inside the elections office in Cayo North [...]

Trial of Bahamians Continues
The trial for two Bahamian men, Kelvin Errol Leach and Rohn Michael Knowles continued today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after a month-long adjournment.  Leach and Knowles are accused of [...]

Housekeeper Accused of Theft
A nineteen year old housekeeper cleaned out her boss’ jewelry box when she allegedly stole expensive pieces of jewelry from inside her Bella Vista home. Earlier today, Jessica Beeks was [...]

Caledonia Resident Wins Big With SMART
A resident from up north has reason to celebrate on the eve of the start of the New Year. Rogelio Alcoser went back to his home in Caledonia with ten [...]

Guatemalan Died from Asphyxiation
On Monday, we reported on the sudden death of a Guatemalan laborer at his Eve Street house. The decomposing body of thirty-nine year old Walter Humberto Melendez Ortiz was discovered [...]

Women Empowering Women
A group of women from Kentucky, U.S.A., has been in the Jewel since Monday…their mission – to empower women of all ages. The group, called Building the Sisterhood for Christ [...]

“Daughters of Virtue” Revival Planned for Friday
Although there are systems in place to empower women, for Wright, some disenfranchised women have slipped through the cracks. Friday’s women conference and revival entitled “Daughters of Virtue” will be [...]

A Century of Wisdom…
As the clock ticks away to welcome 2015, we caught up with a charming centenarian. Mary Tate has lived a century and will turn one hundred and one in February. [...]


American National Deported to US
Forty-seven year old American national William Turpin jr, who was picked up by the police on December 29, was handed over to immigration officers when he was unable to produce any travel document. Turpin was deemed a prohibited immigrant and he was brought before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser today for her to make an order for his deportation to the United States. Turpin said he lost his passport. He was ordered to leave Belize forthwith. He is the second American national in 2 weeks who has been deemed a prohibited immigrant.

Individual Charged For Drug Possession in OW
Four persons were charged for possession of controlled drugs in Orange Walk Town. According to police reports, yesterday, Special Patrol Unit visited a Rio Grande Street address in the Louisiana Area where they searched the premises for unlicensed firearms and or drugs. At the location were four adults seated under a shed. The search resulted in the discovery of a small plastic package and several packages that contained marijuana which was weighed and amounted to 57 grams. As a result police then arrested and charged 33-year-old Dwight Wade, 43-year-old Ellsworth Rudan, 23-year-old Indira Peters, 59-year-old Olga Tasher all of Orange Walk Town for the offence of Possession of Controlled Drugs.

Ladyville Maintenance Worker Charged For Deception
Forty year old Albert Wright, a maintenance worker of Ladyville who allegedly “beat” Kent Dyer out of $7,800, was charged with obtaining property by deception when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Wright pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $5,000 and his case was adjourned until February 3. Dyer reported to the police that between November 21 and December 8, 2014, he gave Wright the money in 3 instalments to purchase a vehicle for him. He said he gave Wright $3,800 first then he gave him $3,600 and finally he gave Wright $400. Dyer said he tried to reach Wright by phone he sent text messages but it was all to no avail.

Man Charged For Stealing a House
Twenty-nine year old Kevin Castillo, who allegedly stole a house, was charged with theft when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Castillo pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of two thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until February 16. The incident occurred between June and august 2014. The complainant, Pamela Sealy, reported to the police that she built a wooden bungalow house on a piece of land at Set Site in Lake Independence and she left it there vacant. She said one day when she went to the location she saw that her house was missing.

Resident of Esperanza Village Charged With Murder
A resident of Esperanza Village in the Cayo District, 24-year-old, Wendell Trapp is facing a murder charge following investigations carried out by San Ignacio police. The investigation was launched during Christmas week when 32-year-old, Germaine Francis Pagett was murdered on Second Street in that municipality. The incident happened on December 21 when a group of men, namely, 24-year-old, Trevor Lamb; 19-year-old, Carlos Juarez; 25-year-old, Irvin Tillett and Melvin Budna, were socializing at a house when Budna, who was on the veranda with Pagett, alerted the other men of a gunman at the house. The men sought cover by jumping through a window but Pagett remained on the veranda where he was shot in the abdomen with the bullet exiting through his upper back. According to police, they responded to a call at around ten o’clock when they came across the body of a Creole man lying face down and bearing an apparent gunshot wound to the upper left side of the back. Investigators recovered a 45mm slug and expended shell from the scene. A post mortem examination revealed that Pagett died from exsanguination due to the gunshot injury to the heart and left lung.

ROC Addresses Current Sugar Impasse
Since its formation we have not heard much from the Rod of Correction, ROC however today the Association sent out a press release. The release addresses the current sugar impasse. ROC says that quote, “it is definitively possible for the sugar cane delivery season to be declared open, even in the absence of a signed agreement,” end of quote. ROC is encouraging the cane farmers to take heed while reiterating the reasoning of the National Trade Congress of Belize, in which in its last release stated that the Sugar Industry Control Board, SICB, under the Sugar Industry Act , is legally able to set a date for the start of the crop season. In the release, the ROC calls on the SICB to obey the law and proceed to consult ASR /BSI and BSCFA and, thereafter, make its decision to set the date for the grinding season. ROC’s release ends by the group pledging their support for the cane farmers.

Sugar Crisis Arises Again in Northern Belize
Following the meeting and the intervention of the Prime Minister in the sugar crisis in northern Belize, talks of agreed amendments and a finalized commercial agreement were buzzing and many had breathed a sigh of relief at the idea of a solution, but the relief was short lived and the minority directors had ideas of their own. So much so, that come Sunday there will be another general assembly meeting of the cane farmers. In a release issued by the Government of Belize, it was expressed that they hope that in this second meeting, there will be a majority vote for the ratification of the agreement as well as a mandate for its signing and the green light for the crop season to begin. The Government said that since their assistance in forging an agreement between both parties, they have been actively trying to assist in resolving the difficulties that have, so far, prevented the signing of the agreement.

Teck Applied For Interm Injunction; Application File For Writ of Mandamus
Yesterday we told you about the application for an interim injunction that was filed by Lucilo Teck, a veteran in the Sugar Industry. Teck’s injunction seeks to stop the signing of any agreement between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI/ASR unless a Special General Meeting is held whereby the proposal is fully explained to the farmers and a resolution is passed. The meeting is scheduled to take place on January 4. But today, Teck took it to another level. He filed an application for leave for a writ of mandamus. This mandamus seeks to order the Sugar Industry Control Board to set a date for the crop season to begin. Teck’s Attorney, Audrey Matura Shepherd, explained: AUDREY MATURA-SHEPHERD “That our recent action for having an injunction it is simply to give them the last opportunity to understand fully the full content of the agreement which was not presented in the last AGM. So that is why I believe that there is a rumor that someone said that they will not allow Ms. Matura to address the membership I believe that it is premature that that decision will prevail because I will stand there as a cane farmer I have the full right to call the chairman and ask him to allow Ms. Matura to address the membership and to explain to the membership the complicated agreement as it stands that people have not yet been fully informed of the current context of the agreement and not only to the chairman I address him to allow Ms. Matura but I ask to the general floor and the floor is the supreme authority and I hope and I think that my request will prevail, she will be allowed to address the general membership on our behalf.”

PUP Reacts To PM’s Message And Promises
As is tradition, a new year’s message is delivered by the Prime Minister, revealing plans for the upcoming year and reflecting on all that has been achieved at the close of the year. Just over three months ago, Prime Minister Barrow had announced several incentives for the Belizean people during his Independence Day speech including the December payment on mortgage loans taken out for new homes. While that promise is in the process of being fulfilled via the necessary paperwork, Barrow has made additional commitments to Belizeans in this year’s New Year’s message which states that 2015 will be a year for technology. According to the Prime Minister’s message, plans for a Technology University are well underway and implementation of that idea should commence in 2015 with the assistance of the Koreans. Abiding with the theme of technology, the Prime Minister has also committed to give a tablet to every student enrolled in the tertiary level and to assist high schools countrywide in the upgrading of their computer labs.

Officials Host Meeting on Roaming Horses
A meeting on how to control horses roaming around Belmopan was held last night. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “An important meeting was held late yesterday evening at the Belmopan City Hall conference room. At that meeting were officials from the Belmopan City Council, The Police Department, and The Traffic Department, Representatives from the Cowboys and Cowgirls association. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways of how to stop stray horses from roaming around the city and to help young horse owners how to better manage their horses. Love News spoke to the city administrator Dr.Heraldo Flowers who shared with us the outcome of that meeting.” HERALDO FLOWERS “Well the main purpose of the meeting was to create from what is now a negative issue a positive opportunity, an opportunity for our young people who love horses to be able to learn how to better take care of their horses and by so doing create for themselves perhaps employment and other types of economic opportunities using their animals in a way that is secure, safe and friendly to the animals themselves.

Technical Difficulties in SMART Services
This weekend, several SMART Customers complained about not being able to send or receive text messages and adding credit to their account. Public relations officer, Linette Canto, Spoke to Love News and explained what transpired. LINETTE CANTO “We did experience some issues over the holiday weekend; we were having technical difficulties without Gimmie Dalla service. We are having intermittent interruptions in service which was causing failure of certain Gimmie Dalla transactions and in some cases while the transaction went through the customer did not get the confirmation text message. We were made aware there was a problem and since then we have been working diligently to get to the heart of the matter.

Team From Kentucky Held Gathering at Nazarene Church
Building the Sisterhood for Christ Mission Team from Kentucky, held a gathering where they help educate, inform, share, inspire and encourage the gospel to young women from the ages ten to seventeen about self –worth and God. Love News journalist Leigh-Andra Gentle, and cameraman, Myles Gillett, was on the scene and spoke to Louise Caldwell-Edmonds, Team Member of Sisterhood for Christ Mission, spoke to Love News more about the information they shared with the youths. Here’s what she had to say: LOUISE CALDWELL-EDMONDS “What we talked about today and what I tried to instill in them is that there were sisters in the bible that had purpose and I wanted them to know that they have purpose in their lives. Even though some people may tell you that you are nothing you don’t have to believe what they say. If there is something inside of you the lord brings it out and you walk in it. To have Jesus in your life is a wonderful thing and we just wanted to spread the good news.


Commercial agreement held up by interim injunction
The, Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) are closer to signing the Commercial Agreement and opening the crop season for 2014-2015 than they have ever been...

Christmas Day stabbing
A man was stabbed on Christmas Day. 28-year-old Fernando Madrill, a Belizean Fisherman of Belize City, was stabbed to the right side of the back. According to police reports, their initial investigations revealed that at 11:00a.m...

Student accused of stabbing friend
Police have laid charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm against 20 year old student Musa Smith of Kraal Road, Belize City. According to 28 year old Tyrone Scott, on December 21, around 4:15 p.m., he went to Musa Smith’s house to drop off some school books...

Two men sought in robbery
Police say they are looking for two men who robbed a 23 year old man. The victim told police that on Boxing Day he was walking alone on New Road, Belize City, just pass Rhaburn’s Alley, when he was approached by two men on bicycles, whom he immediately recognized as his previous Dean Street neighbor...

17 year old robbed and threatened with death
A 17 years old Belizean cane cutter of Patchakan Village reported that on Thursday December 25, 2014, about 9:10pm, he was going home when he was approached by two men whom he knows. One had a knife and they held him up and took away a silver chain valued at BZ$150 and BZ$100 cash from him. The two ...

13 year old reported missing
Santos Moralez, a Naturalized Belizean of San Roman Village, Corozal District, reported that on December 18 at about 8:30pm, her 13 year old daughter Alice Rodriquez, went to visit her older sister in San Narciso Village, Corozal District. The following day, the mother was informed by her older daug...

Road Traffic Accident on Burrell Boom Road
There was a road traffic accident on the Burrell Boom Road on Boxing Day. The incident happened after 8 p.m. when a red Saturn Vue overturned in some bushes on the left- hand side of the road and received extensive damages to its front portion. The vehicle was being driven by 19-year-old Adeline Ros...

Lovers’ quarrel leads to crack cocaine charge
Police were called to respond to a domestic dispute on New Road on Boxing Day, but ended up arresting the two disputants and a friend of theirs for a different offense. 21 year old Elmarose Cabral called police after a dispute with her boyfriend, 39 year old Kevin Pandy, at their address. Upon arriv...

Teenage maid accused of stealing from employer
While the victim says she does not want to pursue the matter further, police have charged a Belize City teenager with theft of over $11,000 in jewelry from her employer, discovered on Boxing Day. The accused is now in jail after being unable to meet bail, due to outstanding court fines. 19 year old ...

Visiting uncle detained for sexually molesting niece
A 27 year Belizean of Corozal Town reported that she was talking to her 7 year old daughter when she began to cry...

Orange Walk business burglarized on Christmas
42-year-old Liqun Quin, a Chinese businesswoman of San Andres Street, Orange Walk Town, reported that between the hours of 11:30p.m. on December 25  and 8:30a.m. on December 26, her business place.  Le Chen Restaurant, was burglarized. The culprits  stole two television sets and $4,000...

Visiting uncle detained for sexually molesting niece
A 27 year Belizean of Corozal Town reported that she was talking to her 7 year old daughter when she began to cry...

Orange Walk business burglarized on Christmas
42-year-old Liqun Quin, a Chinese businesswoman of San Andres Street, Orange Walk Town, reported that between the hours of 11:30p.m. on December 25  and 8:30a.m. on December 26, her business place.  Le Chen Restaurant, was burglarized. The culprits  stole two television sets and $4,000...

American took his own life
Police say that American National Timothy McNamara was not murdered but took his own life. According to police, the incident happened on Christmas Day at a farm in Boston Village on the Old Maskall Road. On the verandah of a house was the motionless body of 66-year-old American retiree Timothy Patri...

The Guardian

A Tablet for All - PM Barrow’s New Year’s message guarantees a tablet for all tertiary level students
My fellow Belizeans, 2014 was, by any measure, an extraordinarily successful year. Our economy grew in the first three quarters by 4.2%, which is more than double what was forecast by the IMF. This was impressive, and several sectors led the way. Chief among them was Tourism, which continued its multi-year run of annual growth with almost unbelievable numbers. Thus, overnight visitors for the first time in history surpassed the 300 thousand mark, and this represented a 10% spike over 2013. The jump in cruise calls to Belize was even more phenomenal, with 62 more ships bringing 45% more passengers. Together, then, overnight and cruise exceeded 1 million visitors from as early as October, and by November had combined for a 31.5% increase over 2013. It was, indeed, a star turn. Buoyed by the increase in revenue from the assumption of control of the IBC and Ships Registries, Government was able to give Teachers and Public Officers the first installment of what is expected to be three successive years of salary raises. And Government's overall people-empowerment programs scaled new heights. We paid for up to six CXC subjects for every High School student that applied; we rolled out NHI to the Corozal District; we increased the numbers of those being helped by the BOOST and Food Pantry Initiatives; we reimbursed, or committed to reimburse, December's mortgage payments for all homeowners with original loans of 100 thousand dollars or less; and Government's National Bank offered Christmas and New Year consumer loans at unbeatable rates. Indeed, there was a burst of good news in December, headlined by the Mexican investor purchase of Caye Chapel; by the Southwest Airlines announcement of its Belize destination; and by the agreement that Government helped to forge between the BSCFA and BSI.

Monkey Wrench
A Tablet for All - PM Barrow’s New Year’s message guarantees a tablet for all tertiary level students

CARSI-funds increased for combating drug trafficking in Belize
U.S. Chargé d’affaires Matthews handed over the official notice of the increase in assistance funds to the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, and CEO of the Ministry of National Security, Col. George Lovell, in Belmopan at the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday of last week. In a press release issued last week, The United States Embassy in Belmopan announced that the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)/Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) would give an additional funding of US $4.1 million for 2014-15. The funds are to help with Improved Border Inspection, Policing and Equipment, Vetted Units, Drug Demand Reduction, Regional and Maritime and Land Interdiction, Capacity Enhancement, Prison Management and Community Policing. Since 2008, CARSI has provided approximately US $20 million in assistance, including the new funding.

Year in Review 2014
The Year 2014 was one that saw significant achievements made for the Belizean people, driven primarily by the government’s focus on pro-people initiatives geared at improving quality and standard of living whilst fostering growth and development in all corners of the country. The first initiative made to ease the pockets of Belizeans country wide in 2014 came by way of a reduction in electricity rates. B.E.L in negotiating with Mexico’s Commision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) was successful in granting the country a 10% reduction on its energy consumption. Along with the CFE Mexico reduction, P.U.C took the increase in hydroelectric production as a result of heavy rainfall in latter 2013 into consideration and decided to grant customers a fair decrease of four cents per kilowatt hour. The reduction from 48.65 cents to 44.65 cents per kilowatt hour in terms of percentage was decreased 8.22% and was effective on January 1st.

How much is enough?
One of the components of The Southside Poverty Alleviation Project which was implemented in 2012 was the improvement on the East and West Collet Canal Streets. Everyone can remember the unsightly state of these streets and the canal which ran in the center. At the completion of the project there was no denying the practical and aesthetical improvement in these areas. It was like day and night, the difference was almost palpable. The section most transformed was the area that spans the length of the West Collet Canal from Cemetery Road to Dean Street. This section was used by taxi drivers in front of the Novelo's bus terminal and by produce vendors in front of the Michael Finnegan Market. The project allowed for taxi and private motor vehicle parking and in an innovative move the construction of business booths over the canal which has been lined with concrete.

PUP Secretary General endorses the use of WITCHCRAFT in Politics
Where politics is concerned in Belize, it’s an ever evolving process. In the recent years we’ve seen numerous political vehicles come to shape. As recent as mid 2014 we’ve seen the advent of a religious political group. Belizeans however, have always maintained that politics and religion should never be combined. Most fair minded persons figure that the mixing of politics and religion could never be a good mix, because politics would require compromising certain morals and sacred values. This is evident as is the case with the host of PLUS TV who try as he may, cannot help but compromise his values in an attempt to be anti-government. This gentleman has become very pro PUP which should be playing havoc with his conscience. His past co-host Patrick Andrews has chosen to run on a PUP ticket, and he is clearly supported by PLUS TV. In order to do this it stands to reason that both Wade and Andrews at some point had to endorse and support the core values of the PUP. There is no significant change in the leadership and membership from the PUP that ran Belize from 1998 to 2008, the same warped and corrupt players are still inherent. These gentlemen therefore will find it difficult to convince the public that while being PUP they are different from the normal PUP by virtue of their religious conviction.

Researcher Deported to the U.S.
American Researcher, Timonthy Joseph Eales, 32, will be deported to the United States after he failed to produce his nationality documents when requested by immigration officer, Roberto Gursney. Eales was picked up by police on Friday, December 19. When he could not provide any documents to show his nationality or permission to remain in Belize, Eales was handed over to the Belize Immigration Department. Eales was charged with failure to produce documents and was taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He told the court that he lost his passport and failed to report it to police. The Immigration Department did not request that Eales be fined for the offence but asked for a removal order which was granted by Fraser.

Murder during the Christmas weekend
Felix Castillo Carranza, a 72 year-old senior citizen who was well known for his hotdog business, was found on Saturday, December 27, dead inside his house with his throat slashed. His murder is puzzling Dangriga police investigators. He was found at his house in the Lakeland Area of Dangriga Town at around 5 p.m. on Saturday. That’s after he was last seen at his business place selling hotdogs well in into the evening of Boxing Day. He is not known to have any enemies. Described as a sweet and kind old man, his friends and family are shocked to find out that he died so violently.

Musa Smith Charged for Attempted Murder
Belize City student Musa Smith, 20, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand for allegedly attempting to kill Tyron Scott, 28, on Sunday, December 21. According to PC Wilbert Cob, he was on patrol in the Kraal Road area when he received information from Control Room of a stabbing incident in the area. Cob says he visited #26 Kraal Road and upon his arrival he saw Scott on the ground beneath the stairs of a wooden house. Scott was suffering from apparent stab wounds to the center of his back and left shoulder. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated for the injuries.

Honduran Guilty of Sexual Assault upon mother and daughter
Honduran national Carlos Peres Sanchez, 41, will spend the next three years at the Belize Central Prison after he was convicted of two counts of sexual assault. According to police reports made by two individuals, a 39-year-old woman and her 11-year-old daughter, on Monday, December 22, they were walking together on Orange Street heading towards Albert Street when upon reaching in front of a Panades Shop, Sanchez approached them, stretched out his left hand and slap both of them on the buttocks. They reported the matter to police and Sanchez was apprehended and charged.

Charged for gang tattoo and held for old fines
Deportee Kevin Faber, 25, was sent to jail after he appeared in court for displaying gang signs on his body. Police say they met Faber on Central American Boulevard on Sunday, December 21, and saw a “20’s” tattoo on his upper left arm, sign of the Bloods gang. He was arrested and charged with displaying gang insignia. Faber appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart and pleaded guilty to the offenses. He says he went to buy for his mother on Central American Boulevard when he was approached by police. He said the police first saw a tattoo on his neck then they lifted up his shirt and saw the tattooo on his upper arm.

Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo gives again
As part of their first Christmas project, the Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo del Carmen have embarked on its first ever Christmas Food Drive, from the 20th to the 23rd of December. The objective of this Christmas Project was to provide the basic food necessities to deserving families and to ensure that they had meals on their table during this Christmas Season. As stated in a press release from the Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo, on Saturday, December 20, 2014, five food baskets were provided to the elderly and single mothers in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town. The food baskets given out consisted of rice, flour, sugar, beans, salt, cooking oil, canned sausage, ramen, coffee, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Rotaractors were also able to include powdered milk, oats, choco kiwi and laundry detergent in some baskets as a result of donations received from the community and business persons in Benque Viejo.

Party held at Sam’s Community Park in Benque Viejo
As part of the Boxing Day cheer, some 350 adults and children from Benque Viejo del Carmen attended a party at Sam’s Bruce Community Park on Phillip Goldson Street this past Friday. Proprietor of the Park, Sam Bruce, who is also the Zone Captain for the Zone Four Neighborhood Watch Group, was present to organize games and give out gifts to the children. Also present at the party last Friday was Corporal Josh McKoy and his team of cadets. McKoy is attached to the Community Policing Program at the Benque Viejo Police Sub Station. “As Zone Captain; without the participation of my volunteers and sponsors, I could not accomplish these events alone over all these years”, explains Sam Bruce, who has been holding a party at his park since 2008.

Bloo-Konkas attorney
The fly we know as the Bloo-Konkas has as its scientific name - Calliphora vomitoria. Google states that the Bloo-Konkas or “The blue bottle fly is sometimes called the blue housefly. It earns its name as a result of its shiny, blue-green carapace. Blue houseflies are commonly referred to as bottle flies, blowflies or blue bottles. They are attracted to garbage, rotting animal carcasses, animal poop and open animal wounds. These flies can be found in barnyards, restaurant trash areas and garbage dumps. They may also be found within homes when small, dead animals such as mice or birds are present. These flies are more than a nuisance because they have been shown to transmit diseases. These flies tend to be slightly larger than common house flies and produce a loud, droning buzz. Adults can sometimes be seen gathering on window and door screens.” An old proverb states: “Bloo-konkas spail weh ih kyaahn eet.” (The Blue Fly spoils what it can’t eat.) What has just been described above sounds a lot like a certain female attorney, who flies around the country of Belize, with her loud droning buzz, looking for anything which in her demented mind needs her special “vomitoria” expertise. She trawls around Belize “fixing problems” and championing lost causes. In effect what this attention deprived lady is doing is just that – seeking attention. She jumps at every opportunity to create mischief and has the gall to call others mischief makers on national television.

Strange Laws of Belize
Belize and Belizeans are governed by a set of rules called laws. The original set of rules from which these were derived was known as Burnaby’s Codes. There are sections in these laws that due to the fact that they are seldom used we don’t even know they exist and as strange as some of them may sound, these are our Laws… CHAPTER 27 of the Laws of Belize is known as the NOTIFICATION OF ABSENCE ACT and it states: 1. This Act may be cited as the Notification of Absence Act. 2. In this Act, “officer” means any person appointed by the Governor General, Prime Minister or a Minister to be- (a) a member of any committee or board; (b) a commissioner of any kind; or (c) a visiting justice of any prison. 3. Every officer intending to go beyond the limits of Belize shall give written notice of such intention to the Governor-General, the Prime Minister or Minister, as the case may be.

Arbitration Tribunal Issues Telemedia Loan Decision
A three member panel of international arbitrators today, 19th December 2014, issued its decision in a dispute between the British Caribbean Bank Ltd (BCB) and the Government of Belize (GOB), declaring that GOB must pay to BCB the money that Belize Telemedia Ltd (Telemedia) had borrowed from BCB back in 2007, together with interest and costs. The total award in favour of BCB is US$41,773,096.04. When the present Government acquired the shares in Telemedia owned by various Lord Ashcroft related companies in 2009, BCB demanded payment of the loan and threatened to wind up Telemedia. In reaction, GOB compulsorily acquired the loan from BCB. This meant that GOB now owned the loan, preventing BCB from undermining the acquisition and winding up Telemedia. In turn, it meant that GOB now became liable to pay BCB, and that Telemedia now became liable to pay GOB.

Police claim he was caught raping a woman
Alexander Nunez, 24, of Maskall Street, Belize City is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly raping a 43-year-old woman. According to police, on the night of Friday, December 19, a police mobile unit passed a yard on Racoon Street and officers realized that a woman was being sexually assaulted. They stepped in to assist and the attacker was identified as Alexander Nunez. He was arrested and charged with rape.

Bones cannot be determined as those of Marvin Bul
Antonia Cal, the mother of 23 year-old Marvin Bul, continues to be distraught after being unable to get a death certificate issued for him. That’s because even though she is convinced that police found his remains in an unauthorized dumping area, the medical examiner has his doubts. On Thursday, December 18, a resident moving through the Dew Drops area of Ladyville, near miles 11 and a half on the Northern Highway discovered a skull, other bones and other clothing lying in an abandoned area. Scavengers had already picked most of the bones clean. To identify the body, the responding officers looked to the contents of the pants pocket, which revealed that Bul’s identification credentials were inside. That, including the clothes found on the scene, led Antonia Cal to determine the man whose bones were all that was left, were her son’s.

Busted smuggling weed into prison
Rufus Castillo, 24, went to visit his cousin at the Belize Central Prison on Tuesday, December 23, and was busted with 21 grams of marijuana hidden inside a deodorant container. According to police report, Castillo visited the prison and when he approached the searching area a prison officer searched a black plastic bag he had in his possession. The prison officer found a Gillett deodorant inside. He screwed off the bottom and found an amount of weed inside. As a result, Hattieville Police were called and Castillo was taken into custody along with the drug.

Byron Pope to defend his KREM New Year’s Day Title
The 25th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic is scheduled for Thursday 1 January, 2015. The Open Elite, U-23 and Masters’ (including the 4/5) race will start from the Belize-Mexico Border and will travel the full length of the Philip Goldson Highway, where it will conclude on the Central American Boulevard with its junction with Mahogany Street. The Elite race will start at 9:00 am. For the female, juniors and youth riders, they will start from in front of the Town Hall in Orange Walk Town and will also conclude the ride on the Central American Boulevard with its junction with Mahogany Street. The event will commence at 9:00 am and 9:30 am respectively.

Elodio Aragon Jr. Christmas Cup comes to an end
The Aragon Christmas Cup football competition came to an end with a bang on Sunday December 21 at the newly renovated Louisiana Football field. The competition which started on the first week of October saw 16 teams compete fiercely for the number one spot. For three months the competition saw the weaker teams eliminated one by one. In the end after hundreds of goals scored in its nets, the Louisiana field hosted the top four teams. These were San Felipe Diablos, San Felipe Warriors, Guinea Grass and Progresso. The first game played on this final day was between San Felipe Diablos and San Felipe Warriors in which the Warriors were sent home and Diablos took the third place prize of one thousand dollars plus trophies. This game went to extra time after they tied in regular time with a score of 3 - 3.

Police United maintains lead in Premier League Opening Season
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Playoff Round continued over the weekend with two games on the schedule. On Sunday 28 December, 2014, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the visiting Verdes FC blanked the league leading Police United by the score of 1-0. Gilbert Thurton scored the only goal of the game in the 48th minute of play to give his team the victory. On Saturday 27 December 2014, also at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending National Football Champions, the Belmopan Bandits won over the Belize Defence Force by the score of 1-0. Elroy Kuylen scored the only goal of the game in the 46th minute of play that gave the Belmopan Bandits the win.

Belize Softball Federation extends condolence to the family of ISF 2nd Vice President
The President of the Belize Softball Federation on Sunday 28 December, 2014, dispatch a note of condolence to the family of the late Jesus A. Suniaga, 2nd Vice President of the International Softball Federation, President of the Pan American Softball Confederation and also President of the Venezuelan Softball Federation. Suniaga passed away on Saturday 27 December, 2014, after a long struggle with cancer. Jesus Suniaga was elected in March of 2012 as the President of the Pan American Softball Confederation where he succeeded the 1st President of the Confederation Clovis Lodewijks of the Netherland Antilles.


Man, 20, victim of Southern Highway hit-and-run
The family of Juan Daniel Young Menjivar, 20, of Independence, is in mourning after Menjivar was found dead lying on the road in a pool of blood, with a large wound on his head, at the junction of Monkey River Road and the Southern Highway at around 2:40 on Tuesday morning, December 23. Menjivar was rushed to the Independence Polyclinic, where he was declared dead on arrival. A post-mortem exam conducted on his body certified that his death was caused by a severe head injury due to a massive skull fracture.

PUP and UDP battle for Cayo North
The battle for Cayo North will reach its climax in exactly 7 days, when roughly 6,000 voters are expected to go to the polls in Bullet Tree and San Ignacio to decide who will replace Joseph Mahmud, the Cayo North area representative of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) who resigned his seat in Parliament last month. The PUP has nominated Richard Harrison, a San Ignacio businessman, in their bid to keep control of the constituency, but the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) is confident that its man, Omar Figueroa, will reclaim the seat in what they deem to be a UDP stronghold. Albert August, UDP chairman, told Amandala today that things are looking “very good,” and they are working hard to win the elections on Monday, January 5, 2015.

KREM’s “Big Shilling” New Year’s Day Cycling Classic
Cycling fans across the country are presently anticipating the 25th running of the KREM “Big Shilling” New Year’s Day Cycling Classic, held annually on New Year’s Day, January 1, which is now only three days away. The race has gained significant prestige on the Belizean cycling calendar over the years, but still, the organizers have pledged that this year’s edition will the biggest ever, based on the bounty of station prizes that will be awarded to participants along the route of the race. The Elite, U-23 and Master’s groups of cyclists will start off from near the Belize/Mexico border at 9:00 a.m., while the female and junior riders will leave from the Orange Walk Town Hall, with the females taking off at 9:30 a.m., and the juniors at 9:35 a.m.

YaYa and Emerson elected to CABO’s new executive
The Central American Black Organization (CABO), which is Organización Negra Centroamericana (ONECA) in Spanish, held its 20th General Assembly in the Garifuna community of Triunfo de la Cruz, Tela, Honduras, on Sunday, December 14, at which two Belizeans were elected to serve in the 2014-2016 executive. YaYa Marin-Coleman of the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) will serve as CABO’s Secretary of Communications, while Emerson Guild of Emergent Corp will serve as CABO’s treasurer. Marin-Coleman said that as CABO’s new communications person, she will be proposing that there should be a correspondent in every CABO member country, so that there can be a consistent flow of community news which, she said, do not generally make it to the mainstream media.

Amandala chats with CEO Ret’d. Colonel George Lovell
Major crimes are up by 6% and murders up by over 20%, almost erasing the gains which Belize made in 2013 in reducing the murder rate below triple-digit figures. However, Ret’d. Colonel George Lovell, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, says that they are still hopeful that they could achieve their plan to reduce the murder rate to 8 per 100,000 which, he said, is the global average. Today, Belize’s murder rate is 34, and reducing that figure to 8 would mean reducing the murders to roughly 40 a year by 2020. According to Lovell, the upsurge in homicides is partly due to an increase in crimes of passion. He said that it does not matter how many police officers there are, since these crimes happen in private areas where friends sometimes are involved.

Police crime stats say rapes up a whopping 62%. Murders up 22%, but burglaries down 7.8%
Belize was reportedly the only country in Central America which experienced a decline in murders in 2013, but the preliminary statistical report released today by the Belize Police Department indicates that 2014 has seen a substantial increase in murders, with data up to December 19, 2014 showing a 22% increase in murders over 2013. This translates to a murder rate of 34 per 100,000, the third lowest rate since 2008. Our historical chart dating back to 1993 indicates that the lowest murder count of 32 was recorded in 2003, when the per capita rate was only 14 per 100,000. The Ministry of National Security says that it aims to reduce the figure to 8% by 2020. Whereas murder incidences were up 22%, the arrest rate was 24% lower than it was in 2013, with 34 arrests being made so far this year compared to 45 in 2013.

Then, and now
In early 1968, the American mediator, a New York attorney named Betheul Webster, formally released his Seventeen Proposals for the end of the Anglo-Guatemalan dispute over the territory of British Honduras. In 1966, the people of British Honduras had been given a preview of Webster’s Proposals when the National Independence Party (NIP) Leader, Hon. Philip Goldson, rushed home to reveal what he could remember of the proposals being put to a bipartisan delegation of Belizeans led by representatives of the ruling People’s United Party (PUP). Because he had been sworn to secrecy before the conference, Goldson was risking jail to expose what he remembered, and what became known as the Thirteen Proposals. Both the Thirteen Proposals and the Seventeen Proposals sparked rioting in the streets of Belize, then the capital city and population center of British Honduras, then a self-governing colony. The Government of British Honduras, led by Premier George Price, was forced to reject the Seventeen Proposals, under the terms of which Belize would have moved on to political independence.

From the Publisher
There were important differences between the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the National Independence Party (NIP), which the UDP absorbed at its founding in September of 1973. Perhaps the most important difference was, the UDP immediately declared that it would de-emphasize the Guatemalan claim to Belize, which had been the focus during the Goldson era of NIP propaganda attacks against the ruling People’s United Party (PUP), and announced that the UDP would concentrate on the economic development of Belize. The UDP quickly became more wealthy and more successful than the NIP had ever been, winning six seats in the October 1974 general election and coming within seventeen (17) votes of winning three more seats and throwing the House of Representatives into a 9-9 deadlock. (The NIP had never won more than two seats in a general election.)

PM says sugar dispute should be resolved “before the year is out”
The mills at the Tower Hill sugar factory remain dormant today since the disagreement between the local cane farmers’ association and the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/American Sugar Refineries (ASR) is yet to be resolved, but in an interview with reporters today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in continuing his role as mediator between the two parties, indicated that he believes that the long-running, sometimes acrimonious dispute might be quite close to a resolution. The sticking point surrounds the thorny language in the most recent version of the agreement in reference to the role of the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC), which is chaired by the Government and which can reject cane based on the quality. Tensions rose when the cañeros found out that BSI/ASR wanted to replace that body with a Harvesting, Delivery and Control Unit (HDCU), which, the farmers contend, would have limited government oversight, and which would presumably be controlled by the factory owners.

Barrow asserts that GOB will pay Janae’s $2 mil award
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow confirmed via the media today that the Government of Belize will make good on the payment of the $2 million award handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to Janae Matute and her mom, Georgia Matute. Last week, we told you that since the CCJ handed down its decision in April 2014, the family had not received any funds from Government, despite assurances from the Government that the family would be paid. Fred Lumor, SC, the family’s attorney, last wrote Financial Secretary Joseph Waight in October, but did not receive a reply.

Two children escape death in St. Matthews traffic accident
In an incident that took place on Sunday, December 21, Esmeralda Can, 10, of Roaring River Village on the Hummingbird Highway, was injured after she was knocked down by an oncoming vehicle as she was running across the highway after getting out of a bus. Just a few days later, on Boxing Day, December 26, two children, Diana Yacab, 10, and her brother Herbert Yacab, 7, both of St. Matthews Village on the George Price Highway, were similarly knocked down when they ran across the road after getting out of a bus. The children were hit by an SUV which was travelling to Belize City from Belmopan at about 3:30 p.m. Boxing Day evening in the village. As a result, Diana suffered a cut wound to the head and abrasions to her feet, while her brother suffered head and body injuries.

Belize and Japan sign million-dollar grant
The Governments of Belize and Japan signed an agreement by means of which Belize will receive one hundred million Japanese yen in grant funds from Japan as part of the Non-Project Grant Assistance for Industrial Products program, which is intended to assist with Belize’s economic and social development. The Japanese non-resident Ambassador to Belize, His Excellency Yasuo Takase, was in the country for the signing of the grant, which amounts to approximately BZ$1.65 million, and after the conclusion of the signing, Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed the media that the initiative is one of several ways in which the local economies of those areas affected during Japan’s last natural disaster are being stimulated.

Patrick JonesPJ

Cheated out of vehicle purchase
Kent Dyer accuses 40 year old maintenance worker of Ladyville, Belize District, Albert Wright, of deceptively obtaining money from him to buy a vehicle on his behalf which has not materialized. According to Dyer, between November 21 and December 8, he gave Wright $3,800, then $3,600 and finally […]

Man accused of stealing vacant house
How do you steal a house? That was the accusation leveled in Magistrate’s Court today at 29 year old Kevin Castillo, an employee of Radisson Fort George Hotel. He has been accused of, with another unnamed person, dismantling and removing a wooden bungalow house occupying a piece of […]

American without documents ordered to leave Belize
An American national unable to produce documents for his stay in Belize has been ordered to leave by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. 47 year old William Turpin, Jr., told police who picked him up that he lost his passport and has no other travel documents. He was handed […]

PUP raises concerns over transfer of Registering Officer
The People’s United Party has questioned the timing of the transfer of registering officer Jerrylyn Bruce a week before the Cayo north by-election. Bruce worked in the Cayo North and Northeast office in San Ignacio until December 22, when she was given a day’s notice to move to […]

Cane farmers stake out BCSFA office as branch chairmen meet
Sugar cane farmers will reportedly gather on Sunday for an emergency general meeting to discuss the draft final agreement with BSI/ASR. This morning, farmers staked out the offices of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association in Orange Walk town as 18 branch chairman met. The cane farmers’ […]


Ocean Academy has a secret
The Secret is a movie Ocean Academy students saw about the Law of Attraction that states that every person has the ability to attract things into their life with thoughts and intentions. Negative thinking and beliefs can attract negativity and thinking positive things all the time can attract positivity into one’s life. They challenged their students to create their own Vision Boards. You can see in the pictures below what positive things these young people hope to attract to their lives. Ocean Academy does a great job providing a unique and hands-on education for the children of Caye Caulker. The vision of the school is to create an environment where students are welcome to come and learn, regardless of their previous academic achievement or socioeconomic status. Classes include basic subjects like math, science and English, as well as interdisciplinary subjects tailored to the locale. Ocean Academy has received national and international recognition for their scuba diving, kayaking, fly-fishing, windsurfing and marine biology electives. These programs serve many purposes, including attracting and retaining non-traditional students, preparing students for high-paying local jobs, providing physical education (PE), and building student self esteem. The school also offers an apprenticeship program in photography, office skills, masonry and business.

New Year’s Eve In San Pedro, Belize – Options Galore to Celebrate 2014/2015
San Pedro is a bit of a party town, and this is one of the busiest times of the year, so it makes total sense that there is a TON going on here on New Year’s Eve. Basically anywhere you go in town – and many just party hop throughout the night – there will be something. Here are some taking place in the town center. Even the Town Council is setting up a pretty serious bash in Central Park. I don’t remember them doing this last year but then, this year IS an election year. And cheap beers and music do curry favor… And don’t forget the fireworks show at midnight. Should be a good one.

10 Photos And A Video You Won’t Belize!
Who knew that 2014 had surprises left…turns out that the highlight of my year was just last week on a last minute trip to Belize. Belize has always been on my list, but it ended up being more than I could have ever hoped for! The people, history, culture, music, wildlife, BEACHES…. How can you not be stoked when within two hours of being in a new country you are swimming with green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays and nurse sharks. Belize it! Enjoy these 10 photos and a video from my unBelizeable adventure…

International Sourcesizz

The Top Caribbean and Latin America Stories of 2014
It proved to be another challenging year for destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Aruba, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Grenada, Haiti, Montserrat and the Turks & Caicos all reported tourist arrivals growth exceeding 10 percent. Meanwhile more regional destinations added new air services and expanded established networks. Amber Cove, a new themed cruise port, opened in the Dominican Republic as new cruise port projects were launched in Belize and Haiti, and Jamaica successfully renovated its Ocho Rios cruise port.

Unplugged Tropical Retreats Where You Can REALLY Escape in 2015
If complete isolation is what you're after, you'll find it at Blancaneaux Lodge. Tucked away in Belize's lush Mountain Pine Ridge forest reserve, this fabulous hideaway features rustic-luxe, thatched-roof rooms with private decks and plunge pools. With no TVs and a barely-there internet connection, you'll have no contact with the outside world (and your in-laws won't be able to contact you) during your stay. Whether you choose to spend your days lounging by the pool or enjoying a riverside spa treatment, you won't find too many places more tranquil than Blancaneaux Lodge.

2014 year in review: Caribbean rocked by Chikungunya
Three general elections and continued socio-economic problems may have made the headlines in the Caribbean in 2014, but it was the Chikungunya virus, the mosquito borne disease that really caught the attention of the region over the past 12 months. In addition, while no cases had been recorded, Caribbean countries were putting in place various measures to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that have killed more than 7,000 people in West Africa and spread also by the same mosquito responsible for the Chikungunya virus. A crippling mosquito-borne virus with a tongue twisting name, Chikungunya first appeared in the Caribbean towards the end of 2013. But by the end of 2014, every Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country had recorded cases of the virus caused by the aedes aegypti mosquito that causes a dengue-like sickness.

Now as well as Then: Sugar and its future
I was born downwind from Mount Gay. Rum was in the air I breathed and sugar was virtually all around me in fields of sugar cane. I have therefore always been passionate about these two products. There are some who will say that sugar points naturally back to the slave plantation and slavery. It would almost be criminal to deny that slavery was brutal here in Barbados as well as other European dominated territories which grew the crop. What was essentially wrong was not sugar, but the plantation and the mentality that bred it and has continued to foster it. I remember Sir Anthony Murray once pointing out that with the thin soils of Barbados we needed a grass to retain what little soil we had. I used this argument once in negotiations with the European Commission, through a reluctant Minister. I indicated at a point where they were unwilling to budge that sugar cane was the most effective grass we could use to prevent erosion. They immediately changed their position as a result of this argument on the environment. I also remember once bringing some Italian investors here. They wanted to obtain some bagasse to convert it into animal feed. They were prepared to set up a small conversion plant for that purpose right here in Barbados. The planters, at a time when we produced some three to four hundred tonnes of bagasse, simply said that they had no bagasse. They were only interested in sugar and they were unprepared to rock the European boat from which we were receiving payments for sugar.


PM on 2014, 10min. The Prime Minister reminisces on the 2014 transformation and reveals what's ahead for 2015 in his New Year's Address.
Embassy of Mexico to Belize - Embajada de México en Belice, 3min. Escuela Secundaria Técnica México
Sam + Emille Highlight, 1min. Wedding at Butterfly Falls. Waterfall Wedding at Mountain Pine Ride, Belize
Steph + Jason Highlights, 1min. Mayan Ruin Wedding at Xunantunich in Cayo, Belize
Kelly + Ronnel Highlights, 2min. Butterfly Falls, Waterfall Wedding at Mountain Pine Ride, Belize
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM), Belize, America, 2min. Abandoned places on America Creepiest places upon Earth
Man vs Wild S05E06 Belize, 44min.
Belize Vacation Video, 7min.
Glovers Reef, Belize 2014, 3min. Dive Trip to Belize 2014 Music: Under the Sea by Alan Menken and Samuel E. Wright.
First Landing at the future Placencia, Belize International Airport, 1min. On December 14th. 2014 the first aircraft, a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter made the first landing at the future airport in Placencia
Scuba Diving in Belize, 2min. A compilation of GoPro footage in Belize.

December 30, 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

Tropic Air adds next generation Cessna Caravan to its fleet
Tropic Air announced today the arrival and addition into scheduled service of a brand new Cessna Grand Caravan 208B-EX turbo prop aircraft (registration number V3-HHV). This latest addition to the fleet arrived over the weekend after a delivery flight from the Cessna production facility in Wichita, Kansas. It represents a BZ$5.2 million investment for the company, and our confidence in the strength of the Belize tourism product.

United Airlines makes direct travel to Chicago possible
Direct non-stop flight from Belize to Chicago is now possible as United Airlines now offer flight services between Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) and Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. On Saturday, December 20th the inaugural flight #1150 touched down in PGIA and will now be a weekly flight. According to Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Tourism, Tracey Taegar Panton, the increase in flights to Belize is necessary for the continued growth of the tourism industry. “We are proud of the partnership we shared with United Airlines since its inaugural service to Belize in 1988. What a long way we have come. From a single flight out of its Houston hub to two, and sometimes four, daily flights from Houston, weekly service from Newark and now a weekly service from Chicago. This partnership has insured that the North American market continues to be the primary source market for the tourism sector, with Houston being our busiest hub,” said Panton.

Ambergris Today

Kaylee Kumul Celebrates Quinceaños
Congratulations to Kaylee Kumul as she celebrated her Quienceaños (15th Birthday) over the weekend. A celebratory mass was held at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church and a festive 'Winter Wonderland' themed party was held at the San Pedro Lions Den afterwards with close friends and family. Happy Birthday Kaylee.

Pic of the Week - A Pelican's Life in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
The Brown Pelican is the smallest of the species and a common sight along the shores of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. It spends its days diving for food, gliding inches above the surface of the water and perched on pier pilings soaking up the sun, just hanging around.

Celebrity Spotting - Mixed Martial Artist Anthony 'Showtime' Pettis in Belize
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye fans and followers of UFC got a special treat over the weekend as many got the opportunity to meet and have their pictures taken with mixed martial artist Anthony "Showtime" Pettis who is currently the UFC & WEC World Lightweight Champion. Pettis was spotted hanging out at popular island hotspots Palapa Bar and Fido's Restaurant & Bar during the holiday weekend. According to his personal posts on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, Anthony was staying at Belizean Coves Estates in North Ambergris Caye.

Belize Mayors Sign Historical Employment Policy for all Municipalities
Last week, San Pedro Mayor, Daniel Guerrero, was part the Belize Mayor’s Association’s historical signing of a municipal service regulation policy that applies to all nine municipalities that have undertaken to standardize policies that relate to employment. Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley, who designed the policy after eight months of consultation, spearheaded the signing; all nine mayors in the country signed the Municipal Service Regulation Policy. Its importance is the first step towards getting a standardized employment regime amongst all nine municipalities that seeks to change human resources practices in local government so that employees are protected from political manipulations and political interference during the hiring process does not occur.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Letter: Appeal to Belizeans in the Diaspora
Respected Belizeans in the Diaspora: It has been almost 15 years now since UB has started its Social Work program. To date, none of our tertiary institutions, which include Galen University, UWI and the University of Belize, has an accredited MSW program in Social Work. Our country has no shortage of MSC (Masters in Counseling); Belize being a growing nation more social workers is needed. In fact, the CEO in the ministry of human development, social transformation and poverty alleviation, Ms Judith Alpuche, will attest to the fact that Belize is in dire need of such a program. Social workers at the MSW level are needed at every government department in the country. They are needed to analyze data collected from our communities. They are needed to help with our gang situation by going into our communities. They are needed for advocacy and community mobilization. They are needed for policy creation and implementation and research.

The Issues of Transplanting Mangroves
I have been asked several times on my recommendations for transplanting mangroves but I don't think folks really like to hear the answer. If good methods exist to reforest mangroves and allow them to adapt in their natural habitat with very little human assistance, we want to avoid transplants as much as possible. There are many successful transplant initiatives in the region and any attempts of such should really consider the lessons learnt to avoid situations like this picture. Healthy young mangroves were chosen for this transplant exercise in an area north of Ambergris Caye. The mangroves were still very much alive for many months after the transplantation, as can be noted from the healthy green leaves. However, the mangroves may undergo a period of shock from which they may not recover, especially if the substrate and salinity conditions vary considerably from their initial environment. This would result in poor foliage and root structure and dwarfed trees. Such trees would not be able to provide the intended or desired functions; coastal resiliency, nursery habitat etc. In my opinion the greatest loss of examples such as these is the great effort invested in the approach.

No trash pickup in Belmopan, Jan 1
The Belmopan City Council would like to inform the General Public that garbage will not be picked up on Thursday, January 1, 2015 but will be collected on Friday, January 2, 2015.

In November of 1986, the legendary Belizean broadcaster, and popular Radio Belize DJ, David Buddan, hosted the first ever radio show in the Belizean community of Los Angeles, called the Belizean Music Hour, that was sponsored and produced by the legendary grassroots L.A. based Belizean organization, BREDAA (Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance). The moment of history is as clear as day today, as the one called the Rockadelic Rocker, uttered the first words that broke the airwaves for Belizeans in the diaspora: "This is David Buddan, and we are listening to the Belizean Music Hour on KPFK, Los Angeles." With those words, Belizeans in the diaspora came to be known as a force to be reckon with, showcasing their music, culture, and diverse peoples. Buddan's style was clean cut, soulful, and confident. He carved a broadcasting style that was unique in terms of its assimilation as a British-Caribbean trained broadcaster to have cut straight into the American lingua franca of popular pop radio, and introduced a radio swag with a Belizean flavor.

Channel 7

Don't Sign! Cane Farmer Takes Out Injunction Against BSCFA.
When we left you on Christmas Eve - both sides of the sugar dispute were "this close" to settling on a final agreement for the start of the crop season. Well, tonight, the bad news is that they've gotten no closer; in fact, they are probably further apart! Here's what happened. As we told you the cane farmers had one last change they wanted BSI to make to the draft final agreement. BSI agreed to that change and sent over what should be the final modified draft to the Cane Farmers Association this afternoon. But it hasn't been sent back. And about two hours ago we learned why. One of the BSCFA's branch directors Lucilo Teck filed an injunction in the Supreme Court against the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association's Committee of Management and Ezequiel Cano prohibiting them from signing a final agreement with BSI. It was filed today by attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd. The injunction says, quote, "Lucilo Teck applies to the court for…an interim injunction to restrain the 1st and 2nd Defendants… from proceeding to sign the agreement as the Committee of Management… without taking the matter to the General Assembly to accept by resolution the terms of such agreement..." End Quote.

Senior Citizen And Hot Dog Vendor's Throat Slit in Dangriga
A senior citizen who's also a hot dog vendor was murdered in Dangriga Town over the Christmas Holiday. 72-year-old Honduran Felix Castillo Carranza was found in his home on Saturday with his throat cut. There are several conflicting reports surrounding this murder but police are trying to untangle this web of allegations to solve the case of murder for a man who had no known enemies. Courtney Weatherburne traveled to Dangriga today to find out more. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This is where 72 year old Felix Carranza came every day to sell his famous hotdogs: Right in front of GrigaLizeans Store near this rusted bicycle rack. Now this space is left empty after Carranza was executed in his small wooden house on Saturday. It was a morbid scene behind this door and According to 36 year old Marsha Castillo, her 11 year old daughter found Carranza's body.

American Man Commits Apparent Suicide, Police Still Not Sure
Tiny Boston village on the old Northern Highway was the scene of an apparent suicide this weekend. On Christmas night, 66 year old American retiree Timothy Patrick Mcnamara was found dead on his verandah. He had been shot in the head with his 43 year old common law wife's gun - a licensed 9mm pistol. She is American Channon Nessi and she told police that they had been talking in the house about some money problems they were having, when he went on the verandah - and shortly after she heard a gunshot. A post mortem has been conducted and police told us why they think it's a suicide, but why they are not ruling out foul play just yet:... Insp. Frederick Gordon - Rural Executive Officer "On the 25th December, we received information that a person has gotten shot in Boston Village whereby we visited the area where an American national was seen with a gunshot behind on the top of the head."

Mother Angry Over Her Son's Remains
Ladyville Police are also responsible for the case involving the remains which were found Thursday, December 18, at Dew Drops Area at mile 11 and a half on the Northern Highway. They were said to be the remains of 23 year-old Marvin Rafael Bul, originally from Ladyville Village. His mother is convinced based on the discovery of the clothing and his identification card, which was found in the pants pocket on the scene. So, on public record the bones are identified as Marvin Bul's, but the medical examiner, we're told won't make such a bold statement until conclusive tests say that the remains are his. That's causing his mother considerable distress; she's convinced that the remains are her son's but, she cannot get a death certificate and rights to bury him. She told us today that she just wants closure:

New City Bridge Operational
The city's newest bridge- it spans the Haulover Creek from Chetumal Street in the Belama Phase one area right over to the new Lake Independence Boulevard in the Gungulung area. Work started in March and the contractors promised to finish it by the end this year. Well, 2014 is just about finished and so is the bridge. Motorists started using it this weekend - even thought it has not been officially opened. When we went out there today we saw on familiar face among those ager to give the new bridge a first go:... Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez "You could say its unofficially open right now, but its traverse a lot by lots of vehicles. It takes you about 3 minutes from the corner Faber's Road to the Philip Goldson Highway and also 3 minutes from Philip Goldson Highway to the corner Faber's Road. So, it eases lots of traffic early in the morning. It opens up both highway and its a good prospect for business and prosperity in the country."

Police Find Decomposed Body Of Man Left Tending Home
The body of a dead 37 year old was found in Belize City this afternoon. The discovery was made at around 1:00 in the afternoon on Eve Street where police found a lifeless body decomposing inside a two-storey wooden structure. Those in the area told the media that the family had gone to celebrate the Christmas holidays in Guatemala and returned this morning to find their family member, identified only as Walter Humberto, apparently dead. Walter Humberto was reportedly acting as caretaker for the house while the family was away.

Caye Caulker's Lazy Lizard Rises Again
The Caye Caulker Split's well-known bar, the Lazy Lizard has been closed for almost 2 months because the bar owner, Immer Perez, has been having a complicated dispute with his landlord. This landlord wants him evicted from the property because he says he has a buyer for the deal, a deal which Perez and his lawyer strongly dispute. So, the liquor license issued by the Town Council, which was in the landowner's name was revoked, forcing Perez to close down. Then, the landlord's agents went into the bar and removed Perez's liquor stock and placed it in a different area. Perez claims that they broke in and burglarized his place, and so, he's pressing criminal charges against the agents. All of that meant that the bar, which attracts lucrative economic activity for the island, has been closed down.

Extra Holiday For Schools In Cayo North
The by-election in Cayo North will be held on Monday January 5th. And while opponents Richard Harrison and Omar Figueroa and their retinue will be riled up and rolling out major political machinery, many students will be taking that opportunity to enjoy one more day on the Christmas holiday. That's because many primary, pre-primary and secondary schools in San Ignacio, Santa Elena and Bullet Tree Falls Village will be closed on by-election day. The primary and pre-primary schools include: Santa Elena R.C School, Eden SDA Primary, Santa Elena Baptist School, Faith Nazarene in San Ignacio, Bishop Martin R.C, St. Andrews Anglican, Sacred Heart Primary, Arms of Love pre and a primary school, Bullet Tree SDA Primary, Immaculate Conception R.C Primary, all pre-schools in Santa Elena, San Ignacio and Bullet Tree. The secondary schools include Sacred Heart College, St. Ignatius High School, Eden SDA High School and Cayo Center for Employment Training.

Sand Hill School Loses To Burglars
Over the long Christmas Holiday weekend, thieves broke into the Guadalupe RC Primary School in Sand Hill village and stole a gas tank, as well as copper wiring from the cafeteria. If you're thinking that they did not get away with much, the principal of the school will not agree with you. Today, when she spoke with us, and explained that the school feeds the children using that tank: Esther Requena, Principal - Guadalupe RC Primary School "I was on my way to Belize City and I stopped in to get a file. Actually, I was on my way down because I wanted to pay Bowen and Bowen some monies and when I drove in I saw this window over here and something didn't seem right with it. But we had a previous burglary and it was damaged, so I didn't pay it much attention. But on my out Ms. Vacarro over there showed me, she said look at the back and when I stop and I went to the back another window was pry open - a board window was open and I said oh boy. I came out the vehicle and I took a walk just to notice that the cafeteria was broken into also."

St. Martin's Needy Targetted
While that school was assessing the bad news, at St. Martin De Porres on Patridge Street in Belize City, needy families were getting clothing donations. It's an effort headed by members of the Pallotine Alumni of New York in which local agents have been working in Lake Independence to get the donation to those who need it the most. We stopped in and spoke with the organizers about it: Bernadette Ellis, assisting with donations "Today i am assisting Mrs. Daphne Mars out of New York. Actually the Pallotine Alumni Association Chapter of New York along with Mrs. Margarita Menzies is contributing to the St. Martin's De Porres Parish through St. Vincent de Paul in honour of Santos Diaz."

The Collapse Explained
"The ancient Mayan civilization collapsed due to a century-long drought," - that's what new research suggests. According to a study by archaeologists at Rice University, sediments found in the Belize Blue Hole near the center of Lighthouse Reef show that extreme drought may be the leading cause of the civilization's collapse. The director of the Institute of Archaeology, Dr. John Morris told us via phone that this development complements the research he and his team are conducting in the Caves here in Belize and that this theory is only one of many. Dr. John Morris "There are many theories that explain the collapse of the ancient Maya civilization and one of them is that of environmental degradation or in some sense severe dry period of drought that affected the Maya quite considerably. It's one of several theories and one that has been examined quite recently in detail. The evidence that we are acquiring comes from core deposits that we retrieve from lagoons and lakes and also from tests done on stalagmites in caves and primarily because what those show is that running through test on the stalagmites, it shows that a severe dry period took place sometime around that same period between 700 and 900 AD and the evidence is remarkable because those caves for example the one in the blue hole and also when you look at the coring done at Lake Peten in Tikal, it shows also too that there was significant dry periods."

Channel 5

Elderly Man Slashed in Dangriga
The constant story for this year remained about murder, which according to the statistics, continued on a constant upward trend in 2014. Tonight, there is one more to add and [...]

Body Found in Belize City
In Belize City, just after midday today, police visited a house on Eve Street in the vicinity of the Ice Cream Shoppe. In the upper flat of the concrete and [...]

S.C.F.A. Chairman Accused of Embezzlement
Tonight, the outspoken chairman of the Stann Creek Fishermen Association, Mark McKenzie, stands accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from an associate in what is being described as an unsuccessful [...]

B.S.C.F.A. Chairman Says All Set for Signing
The New Year may yet turn out to be a good one for cane-farmers in the north, as there is word tonight that the signing of the agreement is likely, [...]

Cane-Farmer Applies for Interim Injunction
Like we said, the industry and players are volatile. That interview with Chairman Cansino was done this afternoon, and about an hour after, we got word that parties had filed [...]

…Says Farmers Conceded Too Much
Four of the eighteen directors under the B.S.C.F.A. signed a petition last week to go back to the general assembly. They were outvoted by the majority. So now those directors, [...]

Farmers Call on S.I.C.B. to Decide Crop Start Date
That brings us to the industry bottom-line, which is that for all stake-holders from factory to field, the crop season needs to get underway. And it can, according to those [...]

2 Children Knocked Down
A pair of siblings, seven year Herber and ten year old Diana Yacab were the victims of a traffic accident on Boxing Day. The duo was hit by an SUV [...]

P.U.P. Questions Transfer of Cayo North Registering Officer
The by-election in Cayo North is scheduled for January fifth, 2014. On December twenty-second, 2014, three days before Christmas, the Registering Officer for that division, Jerrylyn Bruce, received a letter [...]

P.U.P. Chairman Says Cayo North Election Will be Close
Traditionally, by mid-December every year all attention is focused on things Christmas-related…and that lasts up to the day after New Year’s. That’s been pretty much the case this year, even [...]

Did Bones Found Belong to Marvin Bul?
On December eighteenth, Antonia Cal got the news that no mother wants to get. Police came to her workplace in Ladyville to ask her to identify the bones and clothing [...]

Student Charged for Attempted Murder
A twenty year old Belize City student has been charged for the December twenty-first attempted murder of twenty-eight year old Tyron Scott of Unity Street, who was stabbed twice to [...]

Trio Charged for Drug Trafficking
A Belize City businessman, Kevin Pandy, his girlfriend, Elmarose Cabral, and his cousin, Jomo Avila, were all jointly charged with one count each of drug trafficking for three point two [...]

Belize City Woman Raped at Knifepoint
There is also a report of an alleged rape which is under investigation by the cops. A twenty-two year Belize City woman claims she was raped around midnight on December [...]

The 2014 Premier League of Belize Playoffs
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The PLB season continued into Week 4 with a monster showdown at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium as the Belize [...]


Honduran National Found Dead
72-year-old Felix Castillo Carranza, a Honduran National was found with his throat slit in his home in the Lake Land Area in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu has been following this latest murder and today he spoke to Carranza’s step daughter, Bertha Membreno. HARRY ARZU “A food vendor was brutally murder in his house on Subal Street over the weekend. The victim has been identified as 72 year old Honduran National Felix Caranza Castillo. Police here say that when they arrived on the scene just before 5 o’clock on Saturday evening they observed the lifeless body of Castillo lying face down in a pool of blood in his bedroom with a large cut wound to his throat. They also reported that he was found with his hands tied. But reports indicate that just before police arrived on the scene it was a minor who also lived in the same yard who reportedly discovered Castillo’s body at about 4PM that same day who alerted family members.”

Police Recovered Lifeless Body
Belize City Police Officers were called to a residence on Eve Street just before 1:00 pm this afternoon where they recovered the lifeless decomposed human body of thirty-seven-year-old, Walter Humberto. An anonymous individual on the scene who is familiar with the area told Love News that the residents of the two-story wooden structure house had departed out of Belize in Guatemala to Celebrate the Christmas Holidays and upon arrival this morning, found the Humberto, apparently dead. According to sources, Humberto was tending the home while the family was away. Police stood guard on the scene for more than two hours, because assistance was being sought from the Guatemalan Embassy for further procedures.

RTA Leaves Woman Hospitalize
On the 24 December, a road traffic accident that occurred on the Placencia road left, Jenny Martinez, hospitalize and undergoing three surgeries. Love News spoke to the Common-Law husband of the victim, Carlos Castellanos, who told us furthermore what transpired. CARLOS CASTELLANOS “We had a little incident on the 24th afternoon where she went on two surgeries and we are looking for persons to donate O+ blood. So far I have a few of my friends and family but I cannot exactly give you the correct figure and how many persons because today is Monday and they could not do it on the weekend .We had a tire blowout and then after the few seconds I struggled with the steering wheel and we just flipped.”

Sugar Agreement to Be Signed; Injunction Stops Signing
Two more days before the year ends and our news room got word this morning that a sugar agreement was to be signed tomorrow. We say “was” because there is now a high possibility that no sugar agreement will be signed before the year ends. That’s because Lucilo Teck, a former Director of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and now a cane farmer attached to the branch in Corozal has filed an application for an interim injunction. That injunction is to stop the BSCFA and BSI/ASR from signing an agreement. A notice was sent to the BSCFA and Chairman Ezekiel Cansino in which it states that quote, “if you proceed despite being place on notice you will be acting in bad faith and our client instructs to them bring further legal claim against all directors or officials who so act in contravention of the Act, and the by-laws that govern the BSCFA”, end of quote. But why would Teck want to stop the signing of an agreement which both parties have been clamoring for a very long time. Teck spoke to the media this evening sharing that is all has to do with the Cane Farmers being the true owners of the cane produced.

Man Held Custody For Death of Menjivar
On Tuesday, a postmortem examination was conducted on the body of 26-year-old Juan Daniel Young Menjivar of Water Side Area, Independence Village. The cause of death was certified as ‘Severe head injury as a consequence of skull fracture and massive force injury to the skull’. A 26-year-old man is held custody pending investigation.

Burglary in Business Woman Restaurant
In Orange Walk, police there, are investigating a case of burglary. Police say that forty two year old Liqun Quin, Chinese businesswoman of San Andres Street, reported that between Tuesday night and Friday morning, her store, LE CHEN Restaurant was burglarized. Stolen were one 32” TLC TV valued at $1,000.00, one 42inch TCL TV valued at $1,599 and $4,000 out of a safe box in the Kitchen and $200 in coins from the music box. All to a total value $6,799. The culprits gained access into the building by prying open the burglar bar of the back door. Police are investigating.

Missing Minor
Victoria Moralez Santos, a mother of San Roman Village in the Corozal District is asking the public for assistance in locating her 13 year old daughter, Alice Giselle Rodriguez. According to Santos, her daughter went to visit her older sister in San Narciso Village and on December 19, she was informed by her older daughter that Alice had left. Days later, on the 23, Santos received a call from Alice but since then she has not heard from nor seen Alice. Alice is about 5feet tall, slim built, long black hair, and of clear complexion. She has a scar below her right eye and was last seen wearing a long blue jeans pants and an orange blouse.

Musa Arrested For Stabbing
Belize City police have arrested 20 year old Musa Smith for the near fatal stabbing of 28 year old Tyron Scoot. Smith, student of Kraal Road, has been charged for the crimes of Attempted Murder, Dangerous Harm, and Use of Deadly Means of Harm. Scott was stabbed to the back and shoulder while he was waiting for a friend on Kraal Road.

Woman Raped on Boxing Day
A 22 year old woman was a victim of rape on Boxing Day. According to police reports, at around noon on the December 26, the woman was walking on Antelope Street on her way home when she felt someone grabbed her from her hair. When he turned around, he saw a man of dark complexion, about 5 feet 5 inches in height, slim built wearing a black warm cap, a black shirt and a black ¾ pants; riding a silver and purple female beach Cruiser bicycle. The man took out a knife and threatened her to have sex with him or he will murder her. The 22 year old woman tried to fight him off but she was cut to her right ring finger. The man then forcibly took her to a house on Baracat Street where he raped her. Police are looking for this suspect as investigations continue.

Christmas Holiday Assault; Man in Custody
There is a disturbing report coming out from Corozal. Police say that a 27 year old Belizean mother reported that while she was talking to her 7 year old daughter who suddenly began to cry. The little girl then reportedly told her mother that her uncle who had been staying with them for the Christmas Holiday had been touching her on her private part. A medical examination is to be conducted on the child. The uncle is presently in custody pending investigation of sexual assault.

Stabbing on Christmas; Fisherman in Stable Condition
A stabbing incident on Christmas Day sent 28-year-old Fernando Madrill to the hospital. According to police reports, Madrill, a Belizean Fisherman of Belize City, was stabbed to the right side of the back. Initial investigations revealed that at 11:00a.m., Madrill was standing in front of #1091 Tibruce Street when he got into a fight with another man who took out a sharp object and inflicted the injury to Madrill. Madrill was transported to the K.H.M.H. where he underwent surgery and is listed in a stable condition. Police are seeking this man as investigations continue.


Elderly man’s throat slit in his home
There was a murder in Dangriga and a 72 year old man was the victim; his throat slashed in his home. Harry Arzu reports. . Harry Arzu - Dangriga Correspondent “Just when Christmas cheers were being exchanged here over the holidays, with police presence visible in this municipality, residents of Lake Land and Rivas Estate areas here were shocked when they learned of a brutal murder in their neighbourhood. Police here say that they arrived on a murder scene in the Lake Land area on Saturday, December 27th., just before five o’clock in the evening, where they observed the lifeless body of a food vendor, with a large cut wound to his neck, laying in his own blood, in his bedroom. The victim has been identified as 72 years old Honduran national Felix Carranza Castillo.

Woman raped at knife point
A woman was reportedly raped on Boxing Day in Belize City. The 22-year-old woman of Belize City reported that on December 26, at about 12:00 a.m., she was walking on Antelope Street Extension heading home, when she felt someone grab her hair. She says it was a man of dark complexion about 5 feet 5 inches in height, slim built, wearing a black warm cap, and riding a silver and purple female beach Cruiser bicycle. The man then took out a knife from his pants pocket and demanded sexual intercourse or he would kill her. A struggle ensued between them which caused her to cut her right finger.

Man dies in Belize City as family vacations in Guatemala
On Monday afternoon, just before 1:00 p.m., Belize City police were called to a residence on Eve Street, where they recovered a lifeless human body, which appeared to be decomposed. A person on the scene familiar with the area told us anonymously that the residents of the two-storey wooden structure had gone out of town to celebrate the Christmas holidays in Guatemala, and returned Monday morning to find the person, given name Walter Humberto, apparently dead. Walter Humberto was reportedly tending the house while the family was away.

Patrick JonesPJ

Lovers’ quarrel leads to crack cocaine charge
Police say they were called to respond to a domestic dispute on New Road on Boxing Day, but ended up arresting the two disputants and a friend of theirs for a different offense. 21 year old Elmarose Cabral called police after a dispute with her boyfriend, 39 year […]

Teenage maid accused of stealing from employer
While the victim says she does not want to pursue the matter further, police have charged a Belize City teenager with theft of over $11,000 in jewelry from her employer, discovered on Boxing Day. The accused is now in jail after being unable to meet bail due to […]

A student is accused of stabbing his friend
Police have laid charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm against 20 year old student Musa Smith of Kraal Road. According to 28 year old Tyrone Scott, on December 21, around 4:15 p.m., he went to Smith’s house to drop off some […]

Man dies in Belize City as family vacations in Guatemala
This afternoon just before 1:00 p.m., Belize City police were called to a residence on Eve Street where they recovered the decomposed body of a man. A person on the scene familiar with the area told us anonymously that the residents of the two-storey wooden structure had gone […]

Houn Gürigia Camp wins Senior Habinahan Wanaragua Competition
Seven entertaining camps participated in the Senior Habinahan Wanaragua 5th Competition at the Stann Creek Ecumenical Auditorium on Sunday, December 28th. The audience was not bored with the hype vibes from the camp, the creativity demonstrated by each dancer, and the powerful voices of the Gayusa (Choir). […]

Policeman knocked down in Corozal
A policeman was knocked down this afternoon in Corozal town. PC Elton Palacio was on motorcycle patrol when the incident happened. PC Palacio was transported to the Corozal Community hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.

Cane farmers file for interim injunction to stop Commercial Agreement
Aggrieved members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) have raised the stakes in their attempt to get the Association to reconsider signing the Commercial Agreement with Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI). Reports from the North said that BSI and the BSCFA were closer to signing the […]

Good weather heading into 2015
Generally fair conditions are prevailing over our area this final week of the year. The general forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for sunny skies this afternoon and in the morning on Tuesday. Tonight will be partly cloudy with isolated showers expected. Winds over the […]

Decomposed body of a woman found in Belize City
The decomposed body of a woman was found at a yard on Eve Street in Belize City. Police are currently investigating and have cordoned off the area. Photographs of the area show residents of a nearby building watching from their veranda as the police carry out their investigation.


“Secret Beach” on Ambergris Caye? I Think The Jig is Up
Grand Belizean Estates and a few other “developments” are large tracts of land on the basically undeveloped, unelectrified West Side of Ambergris Caye. A side that very few tourists (and not all residents) visit. Head about 5 miles north of the mostly paved road up to Indigo Beach Homes and Resort (and a large BTL cell phone tower) and take a left. 4.5 miles later, across a road – much of it elevated through beautiful shallow water, birds and mangroves – you are at the “Secret Beach”. We knew Sundays were pretty popular up there…but yesterday? On a weekend sandwiched between holidays? It was PACKED.

Working with the howler babies - Charmaine's thoughts on the Wildtracks nursery trio
My name is Charmaine and many years ago, through a simple twist of fate, I entered the fascinating world of primates which has now taken me on the path to Wildtracks. I have been volunteering for the past 15 years at the Toronto Zoo education department, with opportunities to assist with husbandry of the orang-utans and gorillas there, which peaked my interest in primates. I am now involved with a local primate sanctuary as well as volunteering yearly at a rehabilitation center for orphaned and displaced orang-utans in Borneo. I have also been very fortunate to be part of Dr. Jane Goodall’s team during her last few lectures in Toronto. Over the years, I have taken care of many different types of primates, but have been fascinated by the howler monkey, which seemed somewhat elusive to me. I saw the beautiful and informative Widtracks website and was so impressed with their work, I knew I was ready to be part of something amazing. My time here so far has been beyond my expectations and every day is an adventure.

Soul Train Christmas in Belize
For many people, somewhere along the way, the Holiday Season became more about the stuff and work than it did the enjoyment. Aside from sun and sand, Christmas in Belize is not just about shopping and colorful lights, it’s also a time to recognize a simpler way of life. While Caye Supplies does start putting out Christmas before Halloween and the island is more commercial than when I turned up almost 9 years ago, there is still a noncommercial side of life here. This year one of the DFC boys we know asked Barb if she would get him a Christmas present. When she asked what he wanted, he replied “grapes and apples.” How many kids do you know would ask for fresh fruit for Christmas? Barb and I decided to make candy bags for kids and gave them out in DFC with our fruit delivery and in San Pedrito on our way to Arn and Christians party. The kids were super excited and no one questioned their taking a snack pack candy from strangers. We were out of candy fast and managed to save one back for Darcy who we were about to see at the party.

International Sourcesizz

MCC students take trip to Belize
For a week in December, Kerri Sossong of McHenry could wake up and look outside to see a mountain range in the shape of a giant sleeping man. She was part of a 10-person group — eight students and two directors — that spent six days during mid-December in Belize in Central America. They stayed at the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, as part of the first international studies course offered by McHenry County College...

A Bug Phobia Controlled My Life, and In The End, Only One Remedy Worked
I married my best friend on a windy, Memorial Day weekend and we honeymooned in Belize. Though there were bugs everywhere, especially in the tree house we stayed in for three nights in the jungle, (the owner bragging about the poisonous spiders on display in jars in the common area), I did not think of them. I drank coco-locos from coconuts, I snorkeled in the second largest barrier reef in the world, and I hiked through a cave used for ancient ceremonious rituals. While standing barefoot surrounded by thousand-year-old clay pots, a young tour guide told us the ancient Maya believed in the spirituality of their tools. In order to respect the role the pot served them, they’d carve a small opening, allowing its soul to escape.


Don Souza | Belize | Filming The Blue Hole | AMAZING | #blueholecameraman, 3min. AMX Expedition Week 3 – The Great Blue Hole - Belize Original Air Date: May 9th, 2009
Have a Taste of Belize in Elvi's Kitchen in San Pedro, 1.5min. The most popular restaurant in all of San Pedro, Elvi’s Kitchen offers delicious seafood dishes with flavors that are definitely world class. Mrs. Elvia Staines, more popularly known as Dona Elvia, is the proud owner of Elvi’s Kitchen which has become one of the most distinguished and popular restaurants in Ambergris Caye. With their excellent seafood menu, wonderful ambience and great service, this establishment has become a favorite go-to restaurant among both tourists and locals.
1 Month in Central America in 15mins!,15 min.
Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Launch Belize - Part 4, 19min.
Christmas with Frontier Belize, 4min. An unBELIZEable christmas with Quygn, Anne, Tom, Olivia and Clio.
Liberty of the Seas Christmas Cruise 2014 -Darknight Hiking/Tubing -Belize, 4min.
Mom driving on the streets of Belize, 10min.
Belize Caye Fest 1990,"THROW-BACK", 1min. MC David Buddan
Elihue Flowers interview, part1 on Belize Caye Connection 1989, 8min. Elihue Flowers PART 1 of 2 interview on 'Belize Caye Connection' in 1989 " TV show, hosted by David Buddan and produced by: Patrick Barrow in Los Angeles.

December 29, 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 Lions bring Christmas Cheer to citizens of all ages
Belize Bank has been assisting with the Seniors Christmas Party since its inception and is always happy to give back to the community. “It is our pleasure to be a part of this event and share some cheer with those who have served the community for so long. These seniors have all contributed to the growth and development of the island so it’s only right for us to give back to them. We would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Years,” said Belize Bank San Pedro Branch Manager, Maria Cervantes. At the end of the night, each guest received a gift bag as a token of appreciation. The San Pedro Lions Club would like to thank everyone that made these two events possible. Big thanks also goes out to everyone that supports Lions’ fundraising activities throughout the year. Look out for their big New Year’s Eve party. It is certainly their biggest event of the year, and always draws a crowd!


Will NTUCB Influence BSCFA Decision?
As the BSCFA continues to iron out the terms of the agreement with BSI, at this juncture, it’s all deja vu as once again as the crop will not see a start until in the New Year. This time around, however, the association and farmers have a new ally, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Member Audrey Matura Sheppard has not been in the least bit reticent about their position in the matter and in their opinion of BSI and the government even. But how much influence can or will the NTUCB have on the BSCFA as they move forward on matter? We asked Cansino and this is what he responded. Ezekiel Cansino- Chairman, BSCFA, COM“Sinceramente, no podría yo decir exactamente cuanta influencia podrían tener pero hemos tenido contacto de varios caneros y es variable el sentimiento que ellos están teniendo en estos momentos unos dicen pues es bueno tener el apoyo de estas organizaciones y otros están diciendo que en realidad es un movimiento político y hay diferentes sentimiento del canero ahorita y no podría yo decir cómo estamos en realidad con todo esto.”

How To Keep Your Home Safe From Burglars For The Holidays
The Christmas holiday is the most anticipated holiday of the year. It’s the time of the year to share and care for others, but it’s also a time known for resilient criminals and opportunistic thieves. But the police in Corozal, like most of the formations across Belize, have increased their presence on the streets in order to keep unwanted visitors away from homes, businesses and the town and villages. Andrew Ramirez – OC Corozal “I just want to emphasize that the police has stepped up all his operations capabilities, we have expanded our motorcycle patrols, a number of foot patrols out, we have our mobiles patrols out as a matter of fact we have a team now that will be going out in the villages to ensure citizens security, however, we implore in the community to do their part, if they see any persons suspicious, any vehicles please call the police.”

SFXCU Spreads The Joy Of Christmas
The month of December brings along the joy of Christmas, that time of the year when the entire world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.It is all about giving, expecting nothing in return, or at least that’s the way it should be. And for Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union in Corozal, giving back to their membership at this time of the year is at the top of their to do list.Today the financial institution paid tribute to their membership by hosting their second annual membership Christmas program with over a thousand children in attendance. Rafael Dominguez, General Manager of the credit union, shared with us the joy of today’s event.

Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours
And before we end off our Christmas Eve edition of the News, here is a Christmas greeting to the people of Orange Walk Town from Mayor Kevin Bernard who expressed yesterday his sincere well wishes to all families and hope that the community will celebrate Christmas with cheer, and welcome the New Year with courage and hope for prosperity. “To all my Orange Walkenos and all Belizeans on a whole lets enjoy peacefully, lets enjoy like brothers and sisters, if you are going to drink, drink responsively remember if you are driving don’t drink, and if you want to drink make sure you have a responsible driver, somebody that will take care of the family we must remember this is a time that everybody strive to overdo things sometimes and we want to ask that we take all the precautions necessary, if you are leaving your home make sure you have somebody taking care of your home, these are thing that we must always remember Christmas comes and go but we have a home that we must protect and our children that we must protect, and our lives that we must secure and those are the things that I ask let us make sure that next year bring us greater things, better things, a better community one that will work together, one that will see development, one that will continue to see progress in our town.”

BSCFA Board Of Directors Divided When It Comes To Sighing Agreement With BSI
As we have been reporting, the negotiations between the BSCFA and BSI/ASR are stalled – again. It has become clear that within the association there is a division. Past members of the negotiating team that had headed the discussions with BSI/ASR were put in the back seat as Ezekiel Cansino and the branch directors took over the negotiations. These members however have not only been observing the progress of the negotiations but a few have been very vocal about their disapproval of the terms the directors have agreed to. Today, it’s another waiting period for BSI’s response after the association has made amendments to the latest draft. The company’s position according to the past members of the negotiating team is one that is all too familiar. Ex member and Chairman of the Finance Committee Lucario Javier Queme voiced his opinion on the matter.

P.M Signs Agreement With Japan
Yesterday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Japanese Ambassador Yasuo Takase signed Exchange of Notes to provide 1 million dollars in grant funds for the Government. The money will be used to buy a range of products that are manufactured in areas of Japan that suffered from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on the island nation's pacific coast. Prime Minister Dean Barrow says it’s a way for the Japanese Government to help to stimulate the economy in those areas to help them to get back on the right foot while at the same time allowing developing countries like Belize to benefit from the Japanese Grant.

CEO Lovell Weighs In On 2014 Crime Figures
The Belize Police Department released the latest Comparative Crime Statistics yesterday and figures show that 2014 (up to today) saw 121 murders with 34 arrests made. Last year’s murder rate was at a low 99 but this year that figure surge quite a bit, making it one of the most murderous years in history. CEO in the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell shared with the media what the figures are revealing. “The figures that we currently see, while it’s at one hundred and twenty-one or one hundred and twenty-two, is one of the lower figures in the last five years – the second lowest to last year’s figure. And when we do our analysis – my analyst shows me that when you do projections – because we were looking at how things would be going all the way to 2020 and how we can bring – because our plans at the Ministry of National Security is to bring our homicides rate per capita to about eight per hundred thousand. And we believe we can do so, and we have a plan to do so. But what that graph shows us is that in doing so we would have seen a rise in 2014, and then there would be a gradual dip going down to 2020. There has been quite a great deal of investment that we have put into our law enforcement entities which sincerely I believe that the investment that we put in has planted the seeds that will be sown later on. These aren’t things that we will see happening immediately.”

Elderly man murdered in Dangriga
Dangriga police are investigating the murder on Saturday of 72-year-old Felix Castillo Carranza, a Honduran food vender of Lakeland area, Dangriga Town. The elderly man was discovered at about 4:53 p.m. lying face down in a pool of blood. He had a large cut wound to the throat. Police say there was no sign of forced entry to his house and that Carranza was last seen alive at around 8 p.m. on Friday.

Search resumes for missing AirAsia airbus
The search has resumed for AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501, a day after it went missing with 162 people on board. A commander at Surabaya air force base in Indonesia said that visibility in the search area was good. The Airbus A320-200 disappeared over the Java Sea early on Sunday en route to Singapore from Surabaya. The pilots had requested a course change due to bad weather but did not send any distress call before the plane disappeared from radar screens. “God willing, we can find it soon,” said First Admiral Sigit Setiayana at the Surabaya air force base. Sunday’s search was largely suspended as night fell.

Man stabbed on Christmas day
A man lies critically wounded as a result of a stabbing on Christmas day in Belize City. Police say that sometime around 11 a.m. on Christmas day, Fernando Madrill, 28, a fisherman, suffered a stab wound to the right side of the back while involved in a fight with a man in front of a residence on Tibruce Street. Police are now seeking Randy O’Niel pending investigations.

Kidnapped Mexican priest found dead
A priest who was kidnapped in Mexico’s south-western state of Guerrero on Monday has been found shot dead. The body of Father Gregorio Lopez was discovered near the city of Ciudad Altamirano. A group of priests later rallied in the city to condemn the murder. Father Lopez was seized by gunmen from Ciudad Altamirano’s seminary, where he taught. The motive for the killing remains unclear. A friend of the priest told local media that Father Lopez was kidnapped after he accused drug gang Guerreros Unidos of the abduction and alleged murder of 43 students in September. He is the third priest to be killed this year in Guerrero state, which has been at the centre of drug-related violence in Mexico.

Patrick JonesPJ

Burglary reported in Orange Walk town
Not even burglar bars could keep thieves out of a business establishment in Orange Walk over the Christmas holidays. The proprietor of Le Chen restaurant reported to police that sometime between 11:30 pm on Christmas Day and 8:30 am on Boxing Day, someone broke into the building by prying open the burglar bar on the back door. The thief or thieves helped themselves to two television sets with a combined value of $2.599 and $4,000 from a safe in the kitchen.

Murder in Dangriga
Police in Dangriga town are investigating the weekend murder of a 72 year old man. The murder victim has been identified as Felix Castillo Carranza. The official police report says that Carranza, a Honduran national, was found dead inside of a house in the Lakeland area of Dangriga town. His body had a large cut wound to the throat.

Vehicle suffers structural failure on the George Price Highway
No one was hurt early this morning when a vehicle had a structural failure on the George Price Highway. An alert motorist capture these pictures of the vehicle parked at the side of the road in Central Farm around 6:30 am today. The van, according to reports received, was heading towards Belmopan when the incident happened.


Belize Background: Environment
Sustainability Now for a country like Belize most importantly means an end to the socio-economic activities that threaten environments and species of plants and animals in this topical paradise. Situated within the Mesoamerican hotspot, Belize has a very high level of terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity. Belize hosts more than 150 spp. of mammals, 540 spp. of birds, 151 spp. of amphibians and reptiles, nearly 600 spp. of freshwater and marine fishes and 3,408 spp. of vascular plants. The country is unique, not only in the total number of species present, but also in the many different ecotypes and their species richness. The country contains a vast array of ecosystems, many of which are critical habitats for threatened and endangered species. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS), stretching the full length of Belize’s coastline, is the second largest unbroken coral reef complex in the world. The diversity of corals and related reef dwellers as well as its sheer size, has qualified this reef to be declared a World Heritage Site, in recognition of its rich biodiversity and consequent global importance.

Belize Background: Economy
Belize has a small, essentially private enterprise economy that is based primarily on agriculture, tourism, and services. A number of Government and international development agencies are involved in assisting the Government of Belize in its development through economic cooperation programs. The economy of Belize was traditionally based on forestry, mainly the export of logwood, mahogany and chicle. The country’s economy is now based on agricultural development. But in recent years there has been resurgence in forestry. The cultivation of newly discovered crude oil in the town of Spanish Lookout has presented new prospects and problems for this developing nation. Besides petroleum, Belize’s other primary exports are citrus, sugar, bananas, fish products (mainly lobster), timber and garments. Dairy farming is growing in importance and the livestock industry continues to grow.

Belize Background: Country Overview
Belize is a small country with a population of fewer than 350,000 people, most all of whom speak English. Belize, only 8,867 square miles in size, is situated on the northeast coast of Central America. The country’s greatest length from north to south is 173 miles and its greatest width is 67 miles. The Caribbean Sea lies to the east and from the air its turquoise waters are clear, allowing the multicolored coral formation of the Great Barrier Reef to be easily observed. Coral islands called cayes, covered with stands of mangrove trees, dot the coast. Lying in aquamarine and jade-colored bays, these cayes protect the jungled coastline from the ravages of the sea. Part Caribbean, part Central American, the country is mostly wide-open spaces fringed by white sand and swaying palms. Inshore from the beaches are lush jungles and small mountains all of which seemed to be populated by beautiful waterfalls.

Belize Socio-Cultural Aspects
The original inhabitants of Belize were Preceramic hunters and gatherers. The Maya Indians populated the area from 2000 B.C. until the Spanish Conquest in the 1500s. However, many Maya groups had left the once heavily populated area in the 10th century A.D., and immigrated to the Yucatan. It was not until after the British occupied Belize that they returned. Today, there are three distinct Mayan groups, each speaking their own dialect of the Mayan language. As a British colony, Belize was made up of pirates, lumbermen and their slaves. There was assimilation with the neighboring Spanish, Mexican and Indian populations. Today’s population balance is approximately:

The December 21, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Nomination Day for Cayo North:
    Today was nomination day for the upcoming by-election in Cayo North that is to be held on Monday, 5 January, 2015. This morning a crowd of about 200 PUP supporters gathered in the Columbus Park in downtown San Ignacio. We saw many PUP representatives, elected officials and political candidates from all over the country, each of them brought their own supporters. And while the national figures were out in force, we didn’t see a great deal of Cayo North voters. PUP candidate, Richard Harrison, who was nominated in the San Ignacio courtroom by 6 constituents, says his supporters and voters had to work. The turnout left much to be desired. While it was a weekday, political credibility has a threshold and it certainly wasn’t met on this occasion.
  • Police Jailed for Indecent Assault:
    Police Constable Randolph Scott began his 60 days in jail after he was convicted on Monday, 15 December, 2014 by Chief Magistrate, Ann-Marie Smith, of aggravated assault of an indecent nature on a fellow female police officer. The incident happen on October 26, 2013, at the Belama Precinct 4 police station, according to the female officer, Scott touched her legs, pulled up and pushed his hand inside her skirt. He also squeezed her breast, pulled her hand to touch his private area and then exposed his genitals to her. The key eyewitness was on-duty officer Manuel Mai, who claimed that Scott offered him to do the same as he did when he was finished.
  • Black Fruit Cake:
    The fruits will need to be soaked in rum and sugar at least 7 days before making cake. Put aside a little flour to flour the fruits before adding to batter. This keeps fruits from settling at the bottom of the cake. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating constantly. Add flour, baking powder and spices into the butter, sugar and eggs mix with a spoon. Then add stout and colouring to the mixture. Beat for about 4 minutes at high speed. In a separate dish pour the rum off the fruits. (The rum should be kept to add to the finished cake after cooling) Flour fruits and add to the batter.
  • Belizean Rum Popo Recipe:
    Belizean Liquor that’s similar to Egg Nog but can be potent. Soak cinnamon stick and raisins in rum for 2 days. Beat eggs well (15-20 minutes Removing beater and rinsing in clean water several times to remove strings (eye of egg) Add Evaporated milk & beat again. Add condensed milk and check for desired sweetness. Add grated nutmeg & rum (that was used for soakingstrain before using) Mix again and store in clean dry bottles.
  • Belize Forges New Environment Gains for Central American Countries:
    Belize has forged major gains on climate change, the environment and sustainable development for the Central American region, it was revealed, on Tuesday, December 16, 2014. Belize's six months presidency of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) which ends this month, has been marked by new levels of co-operation and integration between countries. Belize's Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, and Protemp President of CCAD for the last six months, the Hon. Lisel Alamilla highlighted her main achievements at a CCAD Ministerial at the meeting in Placencia.
  • Communion And Transformation:
    Moses, as he returned from the mountain of vision, where he had beheld as much of God’s glory as seems possible to man, caught some gleam of the Light which he beheld. There was a strange radiance on his face, unknown to himself, but visible to all. He remained long enough in the presence of God to become saturated with the light and glory of the Lord. What wonder that he sparkled with it and was compelled to cover his face with a veil!
  • A Merry Heart for a Merry Christmas:
    During this Christmas season, I'm talking about how to have a merry heart for a truly merry Christmas. We noted that putting a smile on our faces is one simple way to help others be merry. A second way to have a merry heart is to choose words that are cheerful. Proverbs 16:24 says "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Did you ever realize that pleasant words from you can really bring healing to other people-even physical healing to their bones? It's so easy for us to get caught up in the negative, complaining atmosphere that is usually prevalent in our working worlds. If you want to have a merry heart, start concentrating on having pleasant words.
  • Yellow Fever:
    Yellow fever, known historically as yellow jack or yellow plague, is an acute viral disease. In most cases, symptoms include fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains particularly in the back, and headaches. Symptoms typically improve within five days. In some people within a day of improving, the fever comes back, abdominal pain occurs, and liver damage begins causing yellow skin. If this occurs, the risk of bleeding and kidney problems will also increased. The disease is caused by the yellow fever virus and is spread by the bite of the female mosquito. It only infects humans, other primates, and several species of mosquitoes. In cities, it is primarily spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species. The virus is an RNA virus of the genus Flavivirus. The disease may be difficult to tell apart from other illnesses, especially in the early stages. To confirm a suspected case, blood sample testing with polymerase chain reaction is required.
  • Cuba's Raul Castro Urges US To Lift Trade Embargo:
    Cuban President Raul Castro has urged the US to end its trade embargo after the two countries opened formal talks on restoring diplomatic relations. He said the five-decade embargo "caused enormous human and economic damage". But only the US Congress has the power to lift the embargo, and correspondents say many Republicans are still deeply opposed to this. On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama and Mr Castro agreed a number of measures to improve ties. They included the release by Cuba of US contractor Alan Gross and three Cubans held in the US.
  • Fishers and Vessels Licensing:
    The Belize Fisheries Department hereby advices fishers and the general public that due to unforeseen technical issues, the licensing of fishers and vessels that was to be carried out in various coastal communities starting Monday December 15, 2014 has been postponed until early January 2015. The new dates for licensing being conducted in these communities will be circulated on a later date, via press release and radio announcements. However, the renewal of fisher and vessel licenses in Belize City will be done as per normal at the Licensing Office of the Belize Fisheries Department starting Monday December 15, 2014.
  • STAR Humor
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International Sourcesizz

Belize: "Blue Hole" offenbart weiteres Puzzle-Teil zum Untergang der Maya
Wissenschaftler rund um André Droxlervon der Rice University haben ein weiteres Puzzle-Teil zum Untergang der klassischen Maya-Kultur gefunden. Schon seit Jahren gilt eine extreme Dürre als Grund für den Kollaps der Hochkultur, doch eindeutige Beweise fehlten bislang. Doch nun haben die Wissenschaftler bei Analysen von Sedimenten des berühmten "Blue Hole" in Belize festgestellt, dass wohl eine Jahrhundertelange Dürre eine der Gründe des Untergangs war. Zwischen 700 und 900 nach Christus begann der Untergang der Hochkultur.

Lifestyle Travel Club Recommends Belize
Lifestyle Travel Club is recommending Belize as a good place to vacation and retire. Belize is a democratic, English and Spanish speaking nation, once known as British Honduras. The weather is mild, the beaches are spectacular, the history is rich, and yes, it is a land of swaying palm trees and colorful sunsets. The country has been selected by international publications such as U.S. News and World Report, AARP and the Boston Herald as a top retirement location. This is an absolutely fascinating country located in Central America, the only English and Spanish speaking nation immediately south of Mexico with which it shares a land border. While some of the articles on Belize appearing in foreign publications can be looked at as advertorials, with careful planning and foresight, this little country can be a good place to vacation and retire to.


Belize 2014, 3.5min. Great week of diving in Belize, here is everything we managed to catch on camera.
CookieCatsProposal!, 1.5min. Marriage Proposal in Belize!
Ambergris Caye, Belize 2014, 5min.
BELIZE 2014, 9min. The Green Parrot and Monkey River.
Belize - Snorkeling "Mexico Rocks", 9min. Snorkeling "Mexico Rocks" off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize with Searious Adventures. One of the best snorkeling adventures we have experienced. So much life in a free swim environment. Sea life seen: stingrays, nurse sharks, moray eel, caribbean lobster, lots and lots of fish/coral and one big puffer fish.
Scuba Diving wiht Blacktip Reef Shark - Belize - Blue hole trip, 1min. what an amazing dive last week. We love sharks and love when we can dive with them ... I'm absolutely not afraid, just so happy to share the water with this gorgeous Blacktip Reef Sharks, and to had the time to turn on my gopro
Diving in Belize 2014, 20min. Some highlights from a few of our dives captured by one of the crew members. Blue Hole and one of the night dives as well as snippets from a few others. Personal favorites are the fighting eels, octopus, and sharks.
Belize 2014, 2min. Unbelizeable memories from CSU Belize study abroad 2014
Getting ready for cave canoeing, Belize, 1min.
Spanish Lookout (Belize) History Part1, 35min. A video documentary of life in Spanish Lookout, Belize, from 1958 to 2008. NOTE: I did nothing to make this video; Spanish Lookout is my home country and I grew up there, and so that's why I thought I'd post this.
Spanish Lookout (Belize) History Part2, 35min.
The Rum Factory in Belize with Ron Robey, .5min. Take a tour with the best tour guide in Belize, Justin Snap.

December 28, 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

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Looking for a great week of permit fishing and casting instruction at one of the top permit fishing lodge in the world? Join host Rick Whorwood for a 7 night / 6 fishing day package at Garbutt’s Lodge in Punta Gorda, Belize for the week of February 16-23, 2015. The lodge is basically sold out from now through mid-June, so if you’re hoping to fish with the Garbutt’s, then this is the very best opportunity available.

WE CELEBRATE HIS LIFE IN SPIRIT FOR ALL THE MOMENTS OF ENTERTAINMENT ON RADIO BELIZE AND LATER HERE IN THE LOS ANGELES BELIZEAN COMMUNITY. YOU WERE THE BADDEST OF THEM ALL DAVE! Then there was these two: The 1980's Rocker David Buddan, and the Soulful and Funky Kenny Morgan who were also broadcast DJ's on Radio Belize in the 1980's, and open up a whole new style of Belizean broadcast DJ's on Radio Belize.

The Reporter

Murders up from last year say 2014 crime stats
The tentative number of murders for 2014 already exceeds that of last year, according to the crime comparative statistics released by the Belize Police Department this week. While there are still some days left in 2014, the number of recorded murders stands at 121, which is up from last years’ 99. The Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Retired Colonel George Lovell, told the media this week that the figures represent the second lowest murders have been in the last five years. Lovell also said that while the police’s efforts have lowered incidents of violent crime in Belize City, the Cayo District is showing signs of an upward trend in murders.

Belize gets economic help from Japan
Belize will benefit from grant assistance from Japan following exchange of notes between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Japanese Ambassador to Belize, Yasuo Takase. The $1.65 million assistance will be in the areas of economic and social development and is expected to roll out early in 2015.

Kidnapped Mexican priest found dead
A priest who was kidnapped in Mexico’s south-western state of Guerrero on Monday has been found shot dead. The body of Father Gregorio Lopez was discovered near the city of Ciudad Altamirano. A group of priests later rallied in the city to condemn the murder. Father Lopez was seized by gunmen from Ciudad Altamirano’s seminary, where he taught. The motive for the killing remains unclear. A friend of the priest told local media that Father Lopez was kidnapped after he accused drug gang Guerreros Unidos of the abduction and alleged murder of 43 students in September.

Man stabbed on Christmas day
A man lies critically wounded as a result of a stabbing on Christmas day in Belize City. Police say that sometime around 11 a.m. on Christmas day, Fernando Madrill, 28, a fisherman, suffered a stab wound to the right side of the back while involved in a fight with a man in front of a residence on Tibruce Street. Police are now seeking Randy O’Niel pending investigations.

Patrick JonesPJ

Children knocked down on the George Price Highway
Two children were knocked down on Friday afternoon on the George Price Highway in St. Matthews village, Cayo. The victims have been identified as 10 year old Diana Yacab and 7 year old Herber Yacab, both residents of St. Matthews village. According to information received, the two children ran from behind a bus that had stopped by the bus shelter in the village, and into the path of an oncoming SUV that was east-bound. The driver of the SUV, a resident of Duck Run 1, Cayo, says that he attempted to avoid hitting the children but could not.

American retiree dead; police say its suicide
Police in Ladyville village, Belize district, have concluded that an American retiree took his own life on Christmas day. The body of 66 year old Timothy Patrick McNamara was found by police on Thursday night on the veranda of a house in Boston village. McNamara had a gunshot wound to the head. The official police report says that a 43 year old woman told authorities that she and McNamara were in the kitchen of the same house talking about financial difficulties there were having.


So...that was Christmas?
I've struggled mightily with where to go with this post - it was Christmas and all; but do I just talk about my experience, do I lament a Colorado Christmas, do I get all emotional? Well I'm going to try and do a combo here...cause it was all of those, so I suppose I owe it to you to attempt a recreate of that. However I will do so in clearly defined sections (FYI - I failed); whereas the reality was much more of a mish-mash kinda thing going on (yeah, that is how this posted ended up...for the most part). The night of the 24th, that's Christmas eve of course, is usually a time of family, a time of calm. As a kid I'd've been at church, singing carols. In my adult life I'd spent many Christmas Eves doing just the same. The saddest part of the 2014 model for Christmas was the snow...or more accurately stark lack there of. This one did have rum, and Jager, and more rum.

International Sourcesizz

Church volunteers install water systems in other countries
Kelly Goad of Bowling Green traveled to third-world countries during his military service, but he never experienced anything like his recent mission trips installing clean water systems in rural Central America. Goad and several other volunteers from the church recently got back from the village of Armenia in western Belize, where they surveyed a potential new site for a water system. “We test the water to see what they’re drinking and we always find that it’s just not acceptable at all,” Goad said. “Contaminated water is the No. 1 killer of children around the world.” The villagers usually don’t know their water source is polluted, so residents get sick without realizing the cause, said Tom Moody, who coordinates the Living Waters projects at the Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green. “The whole health of the community can be vastly improved with the water purification system,” he said. Goad and the other volunteers will return to Belize in 2015 to install the purification system of pumps and filters.

Export Head Wants One Export, Distribution Point
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is challenging private-sector companies within the region to invest in unified warehousing, marketing, and distribution networks which she said can exponentially increase exports by making access easier for buyers from such countries as China. Coke-Hamilton, who visited Jamaica for post-colloquium discussions, identified agribusiness as one area in which exports can grow through centralised warehousing and distribution arrangements, which guarantees both resort buyers within the region and external buyers a more reliable supply of produce.


Trilogy The best proposal, surprise wedding and honeymoon set, 10min. This is a video of my proposal, surprise wedding and honeymoon which took place 10000 km away from my home in Latvia - in Central America and Caribbean. My girlfriend thought we are going only for two and half weeks long trip to Guatemala, Honduras and Belize, but trip was extended to 7 weeks. In Belize she got proposed at secluded Caribbean island, than 4 weeks latter, she was taken to uninhabited island and one of the most beautiful and inaccessible beaches in the Pacific – Playa de Amor. None knew about wedding plans, even our parents and herself, and everything was organized behind hers back. She thought it was the last hours of the trip, but straight after wedding there was another surprise to come – honeymoon for one month in Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands.
Artsy Grouper, 2min. Artsy Grouper at Inspiration Belize, Central America
Mexico/Belize, 3min. 2 weeks, 1 island, 1 legend, ~8 bottles of coconut rum and the gringo trail...
River Tubing in Belize-2014, 8min. A visual and musical trip down a lazy Belizean river into and through pitch black caves and back out in the sunshine. This was one of our excursions ( from our recent cruise on the Celebrity Equinox in December 2014.
Belize 2014 from Scott Allan, 4min.
Przepis na ostry sos z papryczek habanero (Belize), 14min.
Jankunu Dance - Belmopan, Belize, 6.5min. Boxing Day Tradition.
Scuba Diving with Belize Ocean Divers Scuba Steve in Belize, 52min.
Belize's 'Blue Hole' REVEALS Clues about Mayan Demise!, 3min. The ancient Mayan civilization collapsed due to a century-long drought, new research suggests.
Glovers Reef, Belize 2014, 4.5min.
San Pedro, Belize 12/11/14 San Pedro Canyons & Sandy Point Canyons1, 9min. Excellent green moray footage on 1st dive shot by divemaster Turiano a/k/a Big Sexy. Nice stingray on 1st dive. Big Sexy's bubble o-rings at end of 2d dive. With Chuck & Robbie's.
San Pedro, Belize 12/12/14 Paradise Canyons & Mermaid's Lair, 5.5min. Lots of nurse sharks on 1st dive. Susan on board. Fairly unremarkable dives. With Giovanni (divemaster) of Chuck & Robbie's.
San Pedro, Belize 12/13/14 Cypress Gardens & Esmerelda, 13min. Numerous nurse sharks and beautiful canyons on both dives. Green morays. With divemaster Danny of Chuck & Robbie's.
San Pedro, Belize 12/14/14 Boca Ciega & Tuffy Canyons, 13min. Beautiful canyons and nice long hawksbill turtle video on 1st dive. Thought a nurse shark was going to eat the camera on 2d dive! With divemaster Giovanni of Chuck & Robbie's.
San Pedro, Belize 12/15/14 Tackle Box Canyon & Cypress Gardens, 18min. Two wonderful dives to end the trip. Nurse sharks everywhere, a reef shark, and nice French angel on 1st dive. Nurse shark again nudged the camera. Large pillar coral, larger grouper, and fabulous swim-through at end of 2d dive. Nice long hawksbill turtle video on both dives. With divemaster Giovanni of Chuck & Robbie's.

December 27, 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

Under the Sun – Island Residents receive Master’s Degree from Galen University
Four island residents were amongst the 2014 graduating class of Galen Univesity on Sunday December 14th in Belize City. Career employee of the Belize Social Security Board (SSB) Miriam Lizet Cervantes Requeña graduated with a Master’s Degree from Galen University along with Officer in Charge of Development Finance Corporation (DFC) San Pedro Branch Nalleli Gilharry, San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) instructor Froylan Gilharry and Neima Gomez, all who graduated with a Master’s Degree. Cervantes-Requeña has served in various capacities at the Belize Social Security Board in the Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize Districts. Originally from Orange Walk Town, Cervantes-Requeña has grown along with the Belize SSB having served for over 23 years. In August of 2013, she was promoted and transferred to Ambergris Caye as the Branch Manager of the SSB. Cervantes-Requeña graduated with honors.

Belize officially taken off the Red List by the EU
Oceana Belize commits to supporting GoB’s efforts to support EU goal Sustainability. Accountability. Progress. Those are the themes being emphasized by the world’s biggest fish importer, the European Union, as it continues to drive towards a global goal of the sustainable use of the oceans and collaboration in address the major threats confronting marine environments. And today, as Belize is officially taken off the Red List, (the list of countries deemed non-cooperative in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing) the importance of each country’s role in ocean governance and sustainable fisheries is highlighted.

Ambergris Caye is Trip Advisor’s #1 Emerging Destination in 2014
Trip Advisor has released their 2014 Travel Roundup & Trends Forecast for 2015. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to share that, as per the 2014 Outbound Travel Report, Ambergris Caye was the #1 Emerging Destination for 2014. “We are very proud of this acknowledgement of our destination. I am sure we can all agree that Ambergris Caye, and by extension, Belize, is deserving of this recognition. The work and investment put in by our private and public sector partners show the commitment to our Tourism Industry. With Trip Advisor being the world’s largest travel site which offers trusted reviews from real travelers and a variety of travel choices with planning features, I am sure that there will be even more interest in Belize which will translate into increased overnight arrivals for the destination as we move forward in 2015,” says BTB’s outgoing Director of Marketing & Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie.

Patrick JonesPJ

Traffic accident in Stann Creek leaves man hospitalized
While most Belizeans celebrated Christmas, a family from Maya Mopan village in the Stann Creek district was distraught after a loved one was involved in a road traffic accident. Eulogio Tush was driving his motorcycle and heading home around 12:30 pm on Christmas Day when he crashed in Santa Cruz village. A family member says that at the time of the crash, Tush was under the influence of alcohol.


The Fin K Christmas Lunch Spreads Community Love, Gifts & Food in San Pedro
When caught within the holiday whirlwind – food preparation, gift buying and wrapping, parties and family – it’s all too easy to forget about those who have less than you do. This year, my friend Fin decided to try to make a change, a big change – and spread a bit of the Christmas abundance that many in our community enjoy. He organized an AMAZING event, in large part with his friends and many, many supporters but also with the assistance of the relatively new “Raise Me Up” foundation in San Pedro. And TONS of his own hard work. The goal? Feed people and families in need a Christmas lunch that could be proudly presented on any table in the country – including the Prime Ministers – and just have a fun celebration for those who would truly enjoy it. Money, food, time, gifts were all donated by the community – I’ll list some of the participants at the end of my post. But take a look at the amazing event one San Pedrano was able to put together by having a simple but big idea – a Christmas “Soup Kitchen” – and by working super hard.

15 Things About Barton Creek Cave
Barton Creek Cave is one of the most beautiful underground Cathedrals that the ancient Maya used as a place of reverence to their incorporeal gods. The cave was carved into the art piece that it is by water cutting though the limestone mountain by gushes but for the most part, by ripples and drips. It was those ripples and drips that Italian renaissance and Romanesque sculptors would tip their hat, but the Gothic Sculptors would definitely go down on their knees. Here are 15 things you should know about this beautiful natural wonder: 1. The first archaeological investigation of Barton Creek Cave was conducted in the 1970’s by Barbara MacLeod and Carol J. Rushin-Bell. MacLeod and Rushin-Bell were Peace Corps volunteers 2. Barton Creek Cave is a large subterranean riverine system which could be as long as 10 kilometres

Women’s Retreat Fills Niche Market in Belize
A group of women entrepreneurs has established Reset Retreat, the first women’s wellness and adventure retreat in Belize focused on personal growth, and will launch their initial retreat February 18, 2015. Reset Retreat, an American company, offers daily private and group life coaching sessions during retreats. Their program has been developed to include a personality assessment to expose a persons’ natural tendencies and patterns to help break personal boundaries, conquer obstacles and maximize potential to reset perspective. “Our retreat gives you time and space to heal, reset and grow,” says co ­founder Cierra Savatgy-King. “Our prevailing intention is your growth and we ask that guests commit to making themselves the priority.”

International Sourcesizz

Belize's 'Blue Hole' May Hold Secret to Mayan Demise
Everything from overhunting and a peasant uprising to deforestation and an alien invasion has been proposed to explain why the Mayan civilization collapsed, Smithsonian notes. But one theory has been gaining ground in recent years: extreme drought. Now more evidence has surfaced to support the drought postulation—and the proof may just lie in Belize's most famous underwater cave. Rice University professor Andre Droxler's team analyzed sediment found in the "Great Blue Hole," a 410-foot-deep sinkhole in the middle of Lighthouse Reef, LiveScience reports. Not only did the chemical composition of the silt indicate periods of sparse rainfall during the Mayan decline (likely between AD800 and AD1000): It also showed that a second huge drought probably occurred between AD1000 and AD1100—right around the time the Mayans' relocation site of Chichen Itza was said to have fallen.

7 of the Oddest Travel Problems the Ombudsman Was Ever Asked to Resolve
Bats in the villa: On vacation in Belize, a family of four encountered sick and dead bats in its resort villa. The parents found one in their bed the first night they climbed into it. On another night, they came across a bat staggering across the floor, which the husband captured with an overturned bucket. A security guard had beaten another one to death with a stick for all to see. Apparently, the roof had recently been re-thatched, and bats were trapped in the layers. Prophylactic rabies vaccinations and tears followed. As a general rule, if you find a bat in your bed (or anything else that’s not supposed to be there), notify the front desk immediately and ask for other accommodations. In this case, there was some “he said, she said” between the resort and the family about who knew what, and when. Since there was no evidence of any bites, the resort said it was not obligated to reimburse the guests.

IMF study: Caribbean tourism share declining
A study examining what is driving the tourism flows in the Caribbean has found that the region’s share of the global tourism market is declining. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Working Paper titled “Revisiting Tourism Flows to the Caribbean: What is Driving Arrivals,” finds that tourism arrivals and expenditure are sensitive to both price and income factors in source markets; price and income elasticities of tourism have declined since 2008 and that price elasticity is statistically insignificant for “high-end” destinations. In addition, the study prepared by Nicole Laframboise, Nkunde Mwase, Joonkyu Park, and Yingke Zhou, also found that the nominal cost of an average one week beach holiday in the Caribbean is higher than in other beach destinations around the world. “These results point to the need for structural reforms to raise product quality, cost reduction or containment in “low-end” destinations, including possibly via exchange rates, and an adjustment in aggregate consumption to adapt to the implications of a lower contribution to GDP (gross domestic product) from tourism,” the study indicated.

PADI Calls Belize A World Class Scuba Diving Destination
As the saying goes, big things sometimes come in small packages. With Belize – the second smallest and least populated nation in Central America – this couldn’t be any truer as it packs a hemisphere’s worth of adventure within its borders. Located between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is the perfect destination for exploration, relaxation and romance. With more than 400 islands, white sandy beaches, the longest unbroken barrier reef in the western hemisphere and 298 kilometers/185 miles of coastline, Belize is a world-class scuba diving destination. When you’re not diving with nurse sharks, you can explore ancient Mayan ruins, visit rainforests, hike or go cave tubing. Explore Belize and you’ll experience something truly amazing. Great Dives Ambergris Caye – Just offshore from the quaint village of San Pedro is Hol Chan Marine Reserve, one of the coolest dives in Belize. It’s a strictly enforced marine park situated at a deep cut in Belize’s barrier reef. Abundant marine life, healthy corals and throngs of grouper, snapper, barracuda and jacks will surround you here. At nearby Shark Ray Alley, you’ll leave dive gear behind and snorkel with – you guessed it – nurse sharks and stingrays.


GOPR0043 Ziplining through the Belize jungle..., 8min. No matter how long it took, I wasn`t ready to stop! Carnival Magic`s "Exclusive Crystal Cave Tubing & Zipline" excursion.

Belize Butterflies, 4min. Our trip to the Green Hills Butterfly Farm, Belize.

gopro BELIZE trip 2014, 5.5min. Traveled to Belize mid December 2014 Stayed at Caye Caulker and Hopkins, snorkeling with Caveman Tours Traveled to Belmopan and San Ignacio

Christmas Eve Tradition San Pedro Ambergris Caye Belize 2014, 13min. Our good friends Krista and Eric started this tradition several years ago here in San Pedro. Krista and several of her friends collect toys and candy to hand out to the children here on the island. Each Christmas Eve good friends gather with decorated golf carts and ride through the streets of San Pedro handing out toys, candy and Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas island style!!!

Belize Hummingbirds, 2.5min. Hummingbirds at the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, Belize.

Glover's Reef & Utila, 7min. So long Vimeo, you've taken copyright too far when it comes to using music. Perhaps you should police music venues and ticket musicians for covering songs. They're generating a revenue stream as opposed to the rest of us.

Blue Hole Belize 2013, 4min. scuba diving the Blue Hole in Belize.

Belize Dive, 4min.

Garifuna- Wanaragua Dance Performance, 66min.

December 26, 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

Island Academy presents “December around the World”
The students of Island Academy ushered in the 2014 holiday season with their highly anticipated annual Christmas program. On Wednesday, December 17th, the students celebrated the cultural diversity within the academy and on the island with a dynamic presentation entitled “December around the World.” The acts showcased the various traditions apart from Christmas during the Holiday Season. The night opened with a warm address from principal Lady Dixie Bowen as she welcomed families and friends that had arrived to cheer on the night’s performers. The first presentation of the night saw the Infant classes, lighting up the stage with two song numbers. With antlers and bright red noses, the little ones serenaded the audience with their very own rendition of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, followed by a mash-up of two popular hits from Frozen “Do you Wanna Build A Snowman,” and “Let It Go.”

Raquel Badillo’s participation at Miss World culminates
The 2014 Miss World Pageant opened with the Dances of the World Segment with LMFAO’s Sky Blu performing his new single “We Love Girls”. Following the program, the contestants were officially presented in their formal gowns, after which the contestants were narrowed down to the top 25. British boy band The Vamps delivered an amazing mid-pageant performance while judges deliberated. But in the end it was Miss South Africa Rolene Strauss who charmed the judges and took the Miss World crown. Rolene was crowned by 2013 Miss World Megan Young. Miss Hungary Edina Kulcsar took the runner-up spot, while the Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit was third. Individual awards included: People’s Choice Winner- Miss Thailand Nonthawan Thongleng, Talent- Miss Malaysia Dewi Liana Seriestha, Multimedia- Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit, Top Model- Miss Bosnia and Herzegovina Isidora Borovanin, Beach- Miss Sweden Olivia Asplund, Sports- Miss Finland Krista Haapalainen, Beauty With a Purpose- Miss Brazil Julia Gama, Miss Guyana Rafieya Husain, Miss India Koyal Rana, Miss Indonesia Maria Sastrayu, and Miss Kenya Idah Nguma.

Staff Christmas Greetings
amara- Who can say they work, live and play on the #1 island in the world? I CAN! Yes, for the last ten years that is exactly what I have had the privilege of doing! Through tough times and good, I have remained grateful to be a part of this island community I call home. It’s hard to believe the changes our beloved Isla Bonita has seen over the last decade, and each year seems to have its own share of problems and challenges.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Slice the tops off of the jalapenos. Slice them in half and dig the seeds and membrane out. Wear plastic gloves for this and keep your hands away from your face! Mix cream cheese, ranch dressing and shredded cheese. Stuff into each jalapeno. Slice bacon both length and width-wise. I like to use my kitchen scissors for this. Much easier than a knife. Wrap each bacon strip around a stuffed jalapeno and secure with a toothpick.

Combine all ingredients well. Refrigerate for an hour or two until firm. Take rounded teaspoons of the mixture. Form into balls and roll in coconut flakes. SEASONS GREETINGS AND ENJOY!

It's been some fours years ago, and around this same time that this photo was taken at Belize's most outstanding and accomplished musical producer, Michael Hyde's studio in Los Angeles, California, in 2010. And today again, we are right here to enjoy the company of this rarely seen Belizean musical icon who has just completed another intensive international and U.S. tour with the legendary Ziggy Marley, and is now at home relaxing after playing so much music in front of thousands of people around the world and in the U.S.


NTUCB calls on GOB to set date for sugar cane crop opening
The NTUCB issued a press release urging the government to declare a starting date for the crop season, despite the impasse between BSCFA and ASR/BSI. The release says that “the NTUCB offers its support and solidarity to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA), in its plight to garner a so...

Belize City Council releases independent audit
The Belize City Council has released the recently completed 2013-14 audit for the financial year ending March 31, 2014...

Unknowingly smuggled cannabis into prison
We report regularly on those Belizeans who dare to defy the perfect record of prison officers in sniffing out attempts to smuggle marijuana into the Central Prison at Hattieville...

Police say “Sudden Death” but has suspect detained?
The body of  20 year old Juan Young, was found around 2:40 am on Tuesday near the Monkey River road junction with the Southern Highway. He was found in an unconscious state laying in a pool of blood and was transported to the Independence Poly Clinic but died before reaching. According to police re...

Honduran jailed for sexual assault of mother and daughter
41 year old Carlos Perez Sanchez, a Honduran laborer from the Belama Phase IV area, is spending these Christmas holidays and the next three years in jail, after a lapse in judgment two nights ago. Though he claims not to remember what happened because he was intoxicated, police accuse him of approac...

American deemed prohibited immigrant
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. resident, 32 year old Timothy Eels, ran afoul of Belizean law, after failing to report his passport stolen to local police...

Former soldier charged for assaulting ex-common law
Thirty-one year old ex-BDF soldier Rennick Baizer, a resident of Park Avenue, Lake Independence, was charged with grievous harm when he appeared  before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Rennick Baizer pled not guilty to the charge...

Convicted robber spared jail time
Twenty-one year old Lorenzo Ogaldez, who was remanded last week after he had pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and wounding, was spared custodial sentences when he appeared Monday before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser for sentencing. Lorenzo Ogaldez was fined $3,000 for robbery and $1,000 for wo...

Accused rapist is remanded
Police say they caught 24 year old Alexander Nunez, an employee of Cisco Construction, red-handed forcing himself on a woman nearly twice his age on Racoon Street, Belize City,  on Friday night. On Tuesday he was remanded into custody, after arraignment before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who ...

More displays of gang membership
Police continue to catch alleged gang members in the act of displaying their affiliations. 25 year old Kevin Faber, an unemployed man of Gibnut Street, Belize City, pleaded not guilty to displaying gang membership before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart...

Drugs charge for Belize Rural man
Police found crack cocaine and cannabis at the North Creek Road, Belize City, home of businessman Winston Bevans, originally from Lucky Strike Village in the Belize District. He pleaded not guilty to charges of drug trafficking and possession of controlled drugs, before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart,...

Roy Bennett jailed for drugs
Former murder accused, 27 year old Roy Bennett, is headed back to jail Monday after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance, to wit 0.9 grams of cannabis. He received a nine-month jail term despite his pleas to Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for leniency and not to be sent to prison...

Days of Healing scheduled for Boxing Day
Christmas Day is usually spent with family, but Boxing Day, celebrated on December 26, does not carry as much tradition. The Days of Healing Committee, led by Perry “Sticks” Smith, wants to bring residents of the Jane Usher Boulevard, Belize City,  together for a community celebration...

Patrick JonesPJ

Queen Elizabeth II speaks of reconciliation in her Christmas message
Reconciliation is the theme of the 2014 Christmas Message by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The 7-minute message, which was broadcast worldwide on the BBC highlighted instances when opposing sides in battle chose to cease hostilities in the best interest of peace and goodwill. Such was the case on December 25, 1914 when German and British soldiers laid down their weapons, the Queen said. In the words of the Queen: “sometimes it seems reconciliation stannds little chance, but the Christmas truce reminds us peace and goodwill have lasting power.”

Tropic Air puts new aircraft into service
The San Pedro-based Tropic Air has landed a new Cessna Grand Caravan. The turbo prop aircraft comes with a price tag of BZ$5.2 million according to a press release from Tropic Air. The plane has already been pressed into service, bringing the airline’s fleet to 15 aircraft, ten of which are Caravans. Tropic Air says that the new plane was purchased from Cessna’s production facility in Wichita, Kansas, USA. Tropic Air explains that on this new airplane, passenger comfort is top of the line and that the new Caravan EX comes fully loaded with “a more powerful engine, faster cruise speed, air conditioning, new LED lighting and the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit advanced avionics suite with radar.”


Christmas in Cayo
When it comes to Christmas in Belize, we certainly do it big! It’s a time that Belizeans do home improvement; this can be making an addition to their homes, painting the house or fence, wash and clean the windows, even power wash pathways, all to get it ready for the season. Many of us decide to purchase a new sofa set or dinning set, electronics, kitchen appliances or even washers and dryers. Economists say that during the second week in December, Belizeans spend the most money. I could compare this time to the American Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas all in one. In the past, nativity scenes were what people did, some being very detailed; but as time progressed, likely because of media, Christmas trees became more popular and so did that jolly happy man known as Santa. As a child, my parents arranged and decorated real pine trees. The scent of pine in the house was amazing. They would also decorate the house with lights. As time went by, more and more Belizeans caught on to this activity. Later came the introduction of artificial or plastic pine trees now widely used, likely because it’s more economic, convenient and, why not, it saves a lot of our pine trees!

A Day in Hectic Belize City and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Yesterday, Christmas eve, I had an errand to run in Belize City. For some reason it did not occur to me that the city would be PACKED with last minute shoppers. Hardly a taxi to be found, four cruise ships in port, apple & pear stands EVERYWHERE (they are a Belize tradition for the holidays), Christmas music blasting from most store fronts and just people out and about, traveling, everywhere. A few pictures from San Pedro last night and then it’s off to help Finn with his “soup kitchen” here in town. With the help of many, a few hundred people will received toys, gift baskets, turkey, ham, stuffing and more…

International Sourcesizz

Colombia, Belize Agree on Visa Exemption
Belize and Colombia governments agreed the reciprocal exemption of visas for their citizens, emphasized today the national morning news. The deal was reached at a proposal made by the Central American country conveyed to Bogota in the last few days through diplomatic channels. The Colombian Foreign Ministry announced that the Belizean proposal was made to Bogota after the adoption of such an agreement by the Council of Ministers of Belize, a former British colony bordering Mexico and Guatemala. The Foreign Ministry added that with Belize there are now 34 nations for which Colombian citizens don't need an entry visa, including 22 from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Drought may have led to collapse of Mayan civilisation
The ancient Mayan civilisation may have collapsed due to a century-long drought, a new research suggests. Researchers analysed minerals taken from Belize's famous underwater cave, known as the Blue Hole, as well as lagoons nearby, and found that an extreme drought occurred between AD 800 and AD 900, right when the Mayan civilisation disintegrated. Although the findings are not the first to link a drought to the Mayan culture's demise, the new results strengthen the case that dry periods were indeed the culprit. From AD 300 to AD 700, the Mayan civilisation flourished in the Yucatan peninsula. In the centuries after AD 700, the civilisation's building activities slowed and the culture descended into warfare and anarchy, 'Live Science' reported.

James “Bubba” Busceme: Alexis Arguello, Boxing Skills and Not Just Your Ordinary Bubba
In 2005, Busceme was involved in an accident while crossing over an 8ft seawall near his home in South America. Ever the keep fit fanatic, he would swim for hours at a time and run 6 miles a day. He fell from the wall as he returned home and crashed onto the limestone rocks below. It would be many months later before the effects of the fall would become evident. He began to have a tingling sensation in his fingers and his legs would go week. Initially he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease but an MRI later showed fractured vertebrae and damage to around the spinal cord. He would require potentially debilitating surgery. “On the day of the operation, my neurosurgeon asked if I’d like her to get me a walker “Busceme recalled “and I told her ‘Hell no’. I said I was going to beat this thing as I’m walking out of her office holding onto walls and furniture”. It took Bubba 2 grueling years to recover but recover he did. Today, James Bubba Busceme can be found each morning walking the beach in San Pedro located on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. He may have undervalued the gift that was given to him in the ring but, when it came to his fight for recovery, Bubba Busceme is a true champion.


Flips | Ambergris Caye, 3min. Hanging out with friends, doing some flips in the Sea.

Queen Christmas , 1min. Queen Elizabeth II Christmas message. Video is courtesy of the BBC.

X'tan Ha Resort, 4min. SkyCam

Belize Cave Tubing, 2min.

Fun At The Pool - Coco Beach, Belize, 2.5min.

Snorkeling - Belize, 2.5min.

Christmas 2014, Placencia, Belize, 2.5min. by Mary Toy. Mary, Lukey Luke and Baby enjoy Christmas. Bernie just wants to sleep in, and Whistles is hunting elves.

Belize City Ramada Hotel and Resort in December, 12min. Last weekend before Christmas. From the Ramada Princess resort in Belize City Belize.

You Better Belize It!, 11min. Belize Trip 2014 - Ian Anderson's Caves Branch - Ambergris Caye.

Miami, Belize and Tulum, 4min. Our trip to Miami, Caye Caulker (Belize) and Tulum (Mexico).

12-19-14 Belize: Spotted Eagle Ray, 1min. Swimming with Spotted Eagle Ray

Rainy day bike ride in Belize, 1min. Riding around exploring the town of San Pedro in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

December 25, 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

ABC Preschool Christmas Show a huge success
It was a night of pure child entertainment on Saturday, December 13th as ABC Preschool hosted its annual extravaganza at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. This year’s event was Christmas themed and saw artists from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico imitating some of the most beloved animated characters. The children enjoyed performances by the cast of Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club House, Frozen, and event Santa Claus, Rudolph and Frosty the Snow Man! The ABC Preschool would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone that made the ABC Christmas Presentation a huge success. Big thanks to all our grand sponsors: Moncho’s Rentals, TMM Bareboat Vacations, Portofino Resort, Xanadu Island Resort, Coco Cabana Pool Bar, Mata Chica Resort, Unbelizable Golfcart Rentals, Captain Morgan’s Retreat San Pedro Town Council. Special thanks to the media: The San Pedro Sun, Reef Radio, Ambergris Today, Coral Cable Vision and to the various friends of ABC Preschool: Fido’s, Holiday Hotel, El Fogon, Wild Mangoes, Annie’s Pastries, Lily’s Treasure Chest, Victoria House, Elvis Kitchen, Blue Water Grill, Caramba Restaurant, Neri’s Tacos, Pirate’s Pizza.

Amigos del Mar Responds to Allegations
Anyone familiar with diving in Belize knows the name Amigos del Mar, fondly known as simply ‘Amigos’. For over twenty five years Amigos have operated one of the premiere diving companies in Belize and as such have played an essential role in building the reputation of Ambergris Caye and Belize as a top dive destination. Amigos is well known for having the highest standards for safety and divers return year after year to dive with them. This has been good for resorts and for tourism. There is a saying ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and now it’s Amigos’ turn to get going. In May of this year there was an allegation of sexual assault made against Gerson Cordon, who was studying to be a Dive Master under the tutelage of independent Diving Instructor Marciano Mendez.

44th SICA Summit comes to a close
Belize has passed on the Pro-Tempore Presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA) to Guatemala, as the 44th SICA Summit came to its conclusion on Wednesday, December 17th. Held in Placencia, Stann Creek District, the final meeting of the SICA Summit saw heads of state from six of the eight participating countries attending. Presidents/Prime Ministers from Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Dominican Republic converged to discuss on the social and economic development of the region. Present at the meeting was President of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina, President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina, President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez, President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela and President of El Salvador Salvador Sanchez Ceren.

Ambergris Today

Congratulation to all Christmas Raffle Winners!
Caribeña Fuels Winners: 1st Rojel Sanchez - 1 40 inch LCD Flat Screen TV. 2nd Killianie Azueta - 1 Home Theater System 3rd Mike Coleman - Cellular Phone 4th Tony Nuñez - 1 Ham and Turkey 5th Severo Guerrero - 3 Month Gallons of Gas Coral Cable Vision Winners: 1st Felipe Anocona - 1 40 inch LCD Flat Screen TV. 2nd Michael Hancock - 1 Home Theater System 3rd Lisa Forman - 1 Ham and Turkey 4th Vernica Trejo - 3 Months Free Cable

Liberty Children's Home Hosts Successful Fundraiser in San Pedro
Liberty Children’s Home hosted their first annual Holiday Pig Roast and Bake Sale Fundraiser this past Sunday, with a joint-venture between both newly-acquired businesses Kama Lounge and Coco Loco’s Beach Bar in the Tres Cocos area. AMBERGRIS CAYE - December 21, 2014 - With the support and help of organizers Monica Davis, Luis Velasquez (Owner, Kama Lounge), Carmen Arenal (Owner, Coco Loco’s Beach Bar), Joe Chung, and Grant Ice, the first annual Holiday Pig Roast and Bake Sale for Liberty Children’s Home was a great success. Liberty Children’s Home is a sanctuary for children in need, providing in a natural environment, love, nurturing, and a high standard of education. Situated in Ladyville, on the outskirts of Belize City, Liberty Children’s Home is unique in its commitment to child-centered care and education.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Stew all fruit with 1 lb brown sugar and rum; cook until liquid becomes a thick syrup. Let fruits cool overnight. In large mixing bowl, cream butter with 2 lbs brown sugar, and add eggs one at a time. Add flour, baking powder and spice alternately with stout and coloring. Finally, fold the stewed fruit into the mixture. Line cake pans with brown paper.Fill about 3/4 baking pan. Bake in very slow oven(270° F) for about 3 hours. ENJOY!!

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. 2. Place bread cubes in large bowl. Add celery mixture and broth; toss gently until well mixed. Spoon into lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish. 3. Bake 35 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned.

Government of Belize Press Office
From Our Press Office Family to Yours ... MERRY CHRISTMAS! Wishing you a safe and blessed one!

Channel 7

Farmers Inch Toward A Sugar Crop
Tonight, both sides in the sugar industry standoff have inched closer to a compromise – but they have not agreed. The eighteen directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association met this morning in Orange Walk to consider the updated proposal from BSI. The proposal was crafted with the words of the farmers – after BSI caved in and omitted all references to the Harvest and Delivery Control Unit. So, did the Directors accept it? Well, the short version of that story is that they didn’t – but it seems that they are inclined to pending a small change. They have sent back the document to their attorney for one small amendment on that same clause 2.3. It seems the most recent draft still seems to suggest that the Sugar Cane Production Committee, known as the SCPC would not have the final say on what cane gets accepted by the factory. The farmers want that to be unequivocally fair in the final agreement and so have sent it back again.

Nat'l Security Ministry Want To Keep Murder Rate Under Control For Holidays
Last night we told you that, so far for 2014, the number of murders has increased by 22% - going up from 99 total last year, to 121 as of Monday of this week. That’s a sharp increase, but also 24 less than the all time high, which was realised in 2012. That puts Belize’s murder rate at 33.6 – which is expected to place us in the global top ten, again. But it’s still not final – the long holiday could increase the number of homicides - we surely hope not, but with so much alcohol being consumed it’s a distinct possibility. Today in Belmopan, CEO in the ministry of national security Lovell discussed the murder rate so far, and their best hopes for it:… Rt. Col George Lovell - CEO, Ministry of National Security "The figures that we currently see, while it's at a 121 or 122 is one of the lower figures in the last 5 years. It is the 2nd lowest to last year's figure and when we did our analysis, my analysis showed me that when you do projections because we were looking at this how it will be up to 2020. Our plans at the ministry of national security is to bring the homicide rate per capita to about 8 per 100 thousand."

Man Found Dead In The South; Is It Murder?
And that number of 121 murders may already be increasing. That’s after a man was found dead on the Southern Highway this morning. On Tuesday morning, 20-year-old Juan Daniel Young Menjivar from Independence village was found between miles 42 and 43 on the Southern Highway near the Monkey River Junction in a pool of blood. Police say he had a head injury – but they can’t say that it’s foul play because around 1:00a.m. he was seen walking on the Southern Highway in Bella vista Village with another man and both appeared to be drunk. A postmortem examination certified the cause of death to be “Severe Head Injury due to Massive Skull Fracture”. Today CEO Lovell said it could be murder number 122:… Rt. Col George Lovell - CEO, Ministry of National Security "With that recent body that was found on the southern highway between Bella Vista and Independence. Because, while from the looks of it appeared to be a hit and run or a vehicular road accident. According to the doctors, they have been signs that are consistent with chop wombs, so we need to look at that to see precisely where that is.”

Arabian Millionaire In Belizean Waters
For most of today, Belize Coast Guard vessels were escorting a VIP from the Kingdom of Qatar in the Middle East. The sheikh arrived in his multimillion dollar luxury yacht, noted on the internet as being one of the largest in the world. His name is Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad Al Thani, and he is the former Prime Minister and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar. Internet reports say that he’s one of the richest men in his country. His 436 foot mega yacht, Al Mirqab was built in 2008, and is valued between 200 and 300 million US dollars. It has a crew of 60 and can accommodate up to 60 guests.

Man Knocked Down By Vehicle With Guatemalan Diplomatic Plates
Around 12 this afternoon, a 26 year old man was knocked down on Princess Margaret Drive. Messenger David Gonzalez was traveling on his motorcycle on Princess Margret Drive when a Toyota Hilux with diplomatic license plates belonging to the Guatemala Embassy- came out of A Street unto Princess Margret drive and knocked Gonzalez off his bike. He received abrasions to multiple parts of his body and also a broken leg. Tonight he is hospitalized at the KHMH and will need a surgery for his leg. This afternoon 7 news caught up with his wife at the hospital. Blanca Jimenez – Common-law-wife of David Gonzalez "Well I received a call round 12 o'clock this afternoon. His boss called me and she said she has bad news for me. Then I asked her what is it, she told me that David got knocked down, she said the nearly died and I so frightened. He said he was coming from work towards his boss' house then he said when he bend the lane, he just see a car coming in speed and knocked him down and they took him in the ambulance. He was in a lot of pain because his knee broke and right now its swollen, his belly is scratched, foot and everything. His boss said he was under the vehicle."

US Embassy Increases Donation To GOB
Earlier we told you about Belize’s murder rate of 33.6. IT will likely be in the top ten of the world, closer to ten than one. But, likely to be at the very top of the list is Honduras, close to that we should see El Salvador, and right in the middle we’re likely to see Guatemala. It’s called the central American Triangle, the most murderous zone on earth – and many of those murders are a consequence of the drug trade – where cocaine heads from south America to North America. And to try and compensate for that, the US set up the Central American Regional Security Initiative, CARSI. It was introduced in Belize in 2008. Since then the Americans have allotted about 16 million dollars for various security programs in Belize. That ahs been used to train 305 persons, acquire 38 vehicles, retain specialized security advisors and establish of the Mobile Interdiction Team. Well, today the American delivered four million more. CEO Lovell read from the Diplomatic note what is included:…

US Funds Can't Be Used For Hunting Caye FOB
And while the US money will go to making some less imperious decals, the money can’t be used to complete the Caost Guard’s forward operating base on Hunting Caye. As we told you, the American dropped that multi million dollar project when the Government of Belize objected to the Guatemalan contractor. At that point the Americans basically said, “fine, but you’ll have to build it yourself.” It’s still two million Belize dollars away from completion but this 8.2 million Belize dollars in CARSAI funding can’t be used to fill that shortfall. Rt. Col George Lovell - CEO, Ministry of National Security "Go have that discussion with our friends in the US embassy.” Bruce Matthews - U.S. Chargé d’affaires "We use the words, non commingling of funds. Each fund is air marked for a reason or each programme and there's very strict rules about avoiding commingling of funds. We have to make sure they go to CARSI programme to opposed military assisting programmes."

Lovell On Pisshouse...¦
And Lovell says the funds can but won’t be used to fix up the police department’s substandard, often sub-human detention cells. The issue has been the center of grassroots activist Yaya Marin Coleman’s ongoing protest and while she has focused on the city, Lovell said he went to the Belmopan cell, and it was nothing nice:… Rt. Col George Lovell - CEO, Ministry of National Security "I had an opportunity to visit the one in Belmopan and when I went there the stench, the odour you have in there. Then you have our police officers working in there and I had to go and ask if there is anything we can do in the interim because we have to try and fix what we have right now before we can the purposely designed cells that are well ventilated and away from where we have our constant day to day movements of people and those who administrate the police station. So certainly we need to look at those areas and we will be looking at them but I cannot make any promises it will happen any time soon even though yes the monies can be used for that. I think it's the government of Belize and my ministry's responsibility to ensure that we provide using our own resources if we can. I don't mind having them contributing to it but if if we can, we need to address these things.”

Is Bze Still Fighting An Imaginary War Against Marijuana
And while the CARSI funding is one thing, outside of that funding regime, the US also assists Belize with marijuana eradication efforts. At least four times since 2013, the US has lent helicopter support to the BDF and police to go on major drug destruction campaigns in the remote areas of Belize. The exercises produced record numbers of fields destroyed, but, many ask, to what end? That’s because three states in the US and the seat of the federal government, Washington DC have voted to legalize recreational marijuana. So where does that put Belize, which is still fighting a sort of make believe drug war against weed? We asked the senior US official that question pointedly today and he said it is an evolving issue:… Bruce Matthews - U.S. Chargé d’affaires "It’s an issue that’s evolving for us. You have to keep in mind that those states might have legalised use of marijuana, it's still a federal crime. So from a federal stand point, it's still an illegal drug, so it's different for us in that regard, it brings up issue sand problems were going to have to work through and how to make it all work. In terms of our foreign policy, from a federal standpoint it's still an illegal drug. Going to the front of your question and asking if it's the right thing to do, is it productive? It's not something we're going to exclude at this point but I think we do recognise that's not the sole thing we should be doing, it's not the sole avenue for solving this problem, it's a long term problem and there is going to be a long term solution."

Is Lovell Being Replaced As Nat'l Security Ministry CEO
And in one more security issue tonight – we asked CEO Lovell if it is true that Commissioner Allen WHYLIE is on the move – possibly to his office. Lovell was cagey on that one:… Rt. Col George Lovell - CEO, Ministry of National Security "I've been hearing all sot of rumours and I wouldn't even want to repeat them because I don't want people to go off with ideas." Reporter "So it's not to your knowledge?" Rt. Col George Lovell "Not to my knowledge.” Whylie was formerly the CEO of Immigration and National about 5 years ago.

Bradley to Schakron: Tell Me How You'll Improve Bze City
Mayor Darrell Bradley – last Friday you heard him speak about his decision to seek another term as Mayor. Well, we also asked him about his opponent Yolanda Schakron – and he said he hopes that she challenges him:… Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "What I want from Ms. Shakron is that she brings to the table a critical debate and discussion in relation to a vision and direction and an action plan as to how it related to how she will move Belize city forward. I have that and one of the things I don't appreciate from our political campaigns is the level of it and the depth of it is, vote for me because that one theif. That's all we talk about, so what I want for this municipal election and the general elections we talk really about issues. I have no problem is people don't like me, I have no problem is people don't vote for me. But I will tell you squarely what Darrell Bradley is about, what values we stand for in terms of our council, our emphasis on areas of moving Belize City forward and I am very confident we are about principle and we have a clear vision.”

Smuggling Wah Lee Christmas Weed?
Prison Officers say that 24 year-old Rufus Castillo tried to smuggle Christmas weed into the Belize Central Prison for his inmate cousin, and tonight, he’s facing a fine which he must pay or else, he will be jailed. The incident happened yesterday when Castillo took a plastic bag to the entrance of the prison. An officer searched the bag and realized that 21 grams – or 0.74 ounces – of marijuana was craftily hidden under the bottom of a deodorant cover. He called police who arrested and charged Castillo with possession of controlled drugs. He was arraigned today before the Senior Magistrate, where he pleaded guilty and explained that his cousin’s girlfriend did not explain that drugs were inside the deodorant. Senior Magistrate Frazer sentenced him to pay a fine of $500, by February 28, 2015.

Convicted of Sexual Assault, Man Tells The Court He Was Drunk
41 year-old Honduran Carlos Perez Sanchez is spending the first night of a 3 year sentence because touched a mother and daughter inappropriately. The incident happened on Monday, and according to a 39 year-old Mother, she and her 11 year-old daughter were walking on Cemetery Road. They were heading toward Albert Street, when they encountered Sanchez. The mother told police that Sanchez came up close and slapped them both on the buttocks. Sanchez was immediately picked up and charged with two counts of sexual assault. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, and he pleaded guilty to both charges. He explained that he was just released from police custody and that he was drunk.

Those Diligent Christmas Workers
Our first story is about all those who are working tomorrow. Think of the police, the security guards, the doctors and nurses, the media workers and, of course, those in the tourism sector. That’s right, Christmas is prime time for tourism, and today about 14,000 cruise visitors arrived in the city on cruise ships. That might not mean much to you all but for the tour operators at terminal 1, that means more work and more money. And it continues tomorrow. So while you all will be enjoying the family gatherings and the Christmas dinner, these tour operators will be busy at work. Seems quite depressing right? Well it surely isn't for these tour operators. They say the sacrifice is all worth it in the end.

How Is The X-Mas Sales?
And, like the tour operators, storeowners also don't mind the extra flow of people passing through. Now they won’t be open tomorrow, but tonight, most stores will be keep the lights on until the shelves are bare! And why not? After all who wants to buy a gift next week? According to downtown businesses like Mikado's and Hofius, that flow of Christmas shoppers starts to pour in from early and mid October right up to Christmas eve. So has this been a successful year on the business end? The managers of these long established stores were very upbeat when we asked them today. Neena told us that over 400 people shopped at Mikado's daily during this season.

How Di Christmas Di Cohn?
And our Christmas Eve newscast would not be complete without the word from the street. It’s a tradition here at 7News to go out unto Albert street and sample public opinion on that deathless question: “how di Christmas di cohn?” As usual, it’s a mixed bag, but most folks we spoke to seemed to be doing ok with their shopping, while also keeping it real about what Christmas is really about. Courtney Weatherburne did the questioning:…

Channel 5

B.S.C.F.A. Directors Call Emergency Meeting, Agreement Remains Unsigned
The final proposal for a purchasing agreement between the B.S.C.F.A. and B.S.I. remains to be endorsed, despite an amendment to a controversial term in a previous draft.  Earlier this week, [...]

B.S.I. Addresses N.T.U.C.B.’s Involvement in Negotiations
As we mentioned earlier, the N.T.U.C.B.’s role in the current process has been met with questions from B.S.I. concerning its agenda.  While he did not speak openly, Carballo alluded to [...]

G.O.B. to Receive an Additional Four Million in CARSI Funding
CARSI, the Central American Regional Security Initiative, is a program particularly designed to help create a more responsive police force, enhance public police cooperation, improve the judicial sector, modernize correctional [...]

Crime Stats 2014, Are the Numbers Up This Year?
The crime statistics for 2014 are out – well, not exactly because 2014 isn’t done yet and all those figures are subject to change. But at the request of the [...]

Homicides On the Rise in Cayo District
At least by our unofficial stats, murders in Belize City have gone way down, which is good news. But murders in the districts have gone up, which is bad news. [...]

Traffic Accident Leaves Home Protector Employee Badly Injured
There was a traffic accident just before eleven this morning on Princess Margaret Drive near its intersection with A Street in the King’s Park Area. Twenty-five year old David Gonzalez, [...]

Was Juan Menjivar a Victim of Foul Play?
On Tuesday morning, shortly before three o’clock, the body of twenty-year-old Juan Menjivar was discovered by police in an area between miles forty-two and forty-three on the Southern Highway, in [...]

Belize City Fisherman Loses Boat and Fishing Equipment to Thieves
Belize City fisherman Giovanni Murrillo is tonight without a boat, following a theft on Tuesday during which his fishing vessel and equipment were stolen.  Sometime during the evening, Twista, which [...]

Will Conditions at Queen Street Precinct ‘Piss’ House Ever Improve?
We’ve all heard the derogatory but very accurate description of the holding cells at the Queen Street Police Station, and truth be told, the others across the country aren’t in [...]

Housing Situation for Cops on Caye Caulker Ignored
And while the Ministry is looking at the holding cells, it has also looked at the living conditions of Police Officers stationed in Caye Caulker. A few months ago News [...]

American Researcher Booted from Belize for Immigration Offense
A removal ordered requested by the Belize Immigration Department was granted for the expulsion of thirty-two-year-old Timothy Joseph Eales from Belize.  On Friday, December nineteenth, Eales was picked up by [...]

Carlos Sanchez Gets Eighteen Months in Jail For Sexual Assault
A Honduran national is convicted of two counts of sexual assault upon a mother and her eleven year old daughter. Carlos Perez Sanchez, who is originally from Dangriga but was [...]

U.S. Embassy Comments on American Flag on Belize Police Cars
Earlier in the newscast, we showed you the presentation of a diplomatic note through the CARSI initiative, to the tune of four point one million dollars U.S. This program has [...]

What Belizeans Want This Christmas
Downtown Belize City is bustling with residents doing last-minute shopping for one of the most exciting seasons of the year. Although Christmas is all about the traditional trimmings of turkey, [...]

Greetings From Belizeans Near and Far
In the spirit of sharing the love for Christmas, residents also sent heartfelt greetings to friends and family here in Belize and the Diaspora.   {Christmas Greeting from residents…}


Fuel Prices Goes Down For Second Time
Motorists who utilize Premium gasoline as their choice of fuel will see another dip in prices per gallon the next time you visit your fuel service provider. The price per gallon of premium gasoline will go from $9.70 to $8.85, dipping 85 cents. Regular Gasoline remains at $8.45, Diesel fuel is still under the eight dollar mark and selling at $7.95. The price of world oil is plunging to its lowest level in years and this is translating to lower prices at the pump, bringing much relief to motorists and vehicle owners. The new premium price will become effective at midnight tonight.

BSI/ASR In Hot Water With BWU
American Sugar Refinery and the Belize Sugar Cane Industry are in hot water again as they are in a rather similar situation with the Belize Workers Union as they are with the sugar cane farmers. The BWU has been working towards signing a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the company but that has proved to be a work in progress. According to the union representatives through a press release issued by the umbrella organization, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, since May 12 2012, BSI/ASR had written to the then president of the BWU, Ian Leiva, that it had no intentions of changing the existent agreement between both parties, especially as it relates to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the company and BWU. According to the now president of the BWU, Audrey Matura Sheppard, such an agreement should be respected as required by the laws of Belize.

National Rate Of Inflation Decreases
The National inflation rate went down from 0.7% in October to 0.2 percent in November and according to the latest statistics published by the Statistical Institute of Belize this is contributed by the fall of food and fuel prices. The All-Items consumer price index stood at 103.8 in November 2014, up only 0.2 percent from in the same month last year. Lower prices in the Transport category and food items were the main factors holding inflation low this month, offsetting increases in rent, insurance and medical services. Inflation for the first eleven months of 2014 was 1.2 percent.

Onion Farmers Meet To Plan 2014/2015 Crop
Onion Farmers from across the Northern region today gathered at the ITVET conference room in Corozal Town for an important meeting with members of the Ministry of Agriculture. In an interview with District Coordinator of the Ministry, Barry Palacio, one of the main aspects discussed was the planning of the 2014-2015 onion crop season. MBarry Palacio - Coordinator MOA “The main objective of this meeting is to plan the 2014/2015 Onion crop in that all stakeholders, Farmers and Agriculture Department along with Belize Marketing and Development Corporation we join hands on what will be the 2014/2015 Onion crop especially when it will begin so that it gives BMDC time to plan as to when will be the cut off time for the importation of Onions by doing so imported Onions will not compete with locally produce Onions, farmers will have the opportunity to market their produce without competition from imported Onions.”

Orange Walk Town Council Celebrated Children Christmas Party
Approximately 2000 children and youngsters from Orange Walk Town and surrounding villages were treated with goodies from the Orange Walk Town Council Today. The Fort Cairns was jam packed and buzzing with activity to keep the attendees entertained. Lots of giveaways and treats were given and according to Mayor Kevin Bernard, while their funds were limited they incorporate Christmas cheer as a yearly tradition. Kevin Bernard – Mayor of Orange Walk Town Council “The Council cannot let the Christmas time pass without us giving back to the little kids, we put together our yearly Christmas program, we are giving out our goodies bag and in those goodies bag some kids will benefit with some toys...

Corozal Bay Area Rep. Celebrates Christmas
Residents from the Corozal Bay Constituency in the north were enlightened yesterday with a visit from their PUP Standard bearer Gregorio Papas Garcia. But Garcia’s visit was no ordinary one; he stopped by into homes with a Christmas Hamper in hand. The Christmas initiative is one organized by team papas for several years now and when we spoke to him yesterday, Garcia told us more on his gesture to give back to his constituency. Gregorio Papas Garcia – PUP Std. Bearer Corozal Bay “Well it’s a Team Papas Christmas Cheer as you see we are not in a position to collect Petro Caribe funds but we try our best to keep everyone happy and we look for our supporters, we look for people that are needy and we try to give them something for the Christmas and this is what we have been doing for the four to five years at this time so.”

Prime Minister Weighs On the Matter ASR/BSI/BSCFA
The start of the Sugar Cane Crop season is still pending since a compromise has not been met, but today the Prime Minister who returned from his personal leave yesterday, met with reporters from the City to give his sentiments on the sugar impasse. As it stands currently, having removed the offending or controversial sentence in clause 2.3 determining cane quality, BSI is waiting to hear an approval from the American Sugar Refinery. And while there is more wait for all stakeholders, the PM suggested that after speaking with officials at BSI, they are closer to coming to a resolution. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize "Need to go back for a second vote on precisely the draft... on precisely the points that would now have been resolved in favor of the farmers in accordance with the position taken by the farmers.


Lovell Speaks on Funding From USA Government
Today, CEO George Lovell made it categorically clear that the additional four million US dollars provided by the Government of the U.S.A under the CARSI initiative will not be use to completed the forward operating base on Hunting Caye. GEORGE LOVELL “No it is two different sorts of funding and we cannot because there are strict rules and guidelines as to how the CARCI funds can be used and certainly we cannot just go and use them having said that I do know that we do give monies for regional maritime interdiction and so there are CARCI funds being used for that. If you look at the current 4.1 million dollars, on that document it speaks to regional maritime and land interdiction but to go and complete a project I don’t think it is something we would want to go and have those discussions with our friends in the US embassy. We use the term ‘none comingling of funds’ each fund is ear marked for certain reasons or each program and there is very strict rules about avoiding co-mingling of those funds.

Dorms In Deporable State; Budget Drafted For Refurbishing
The Caye Caulker police dorms are in a deplorable state. The dorm houses several officers attached to the Caye Caulker Police Station for free of cost. It is believed that the facility is owned by the Caye Caulker Village Council, and CEO George Lovell says that he has instructed Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, to draft up a budget so that the Ministry can pay for the refurbishing of the facility. GEORGE LOVELL “I personally with the commissioner of police visited the Caye Caulker dorms facilities in September I think it was of this year and when I went there like yourself I was appalled by the conditions under which the facilities are in and right away I have instructed the commissioner for us to get the estimates and we will get the work done and I had hoped that by now I would have been able to say that the works had commenced because this has been now for over a month since I have last been there.

Latest Crime Statistics Released; Lovell Speaks on 2014 Record
Yesterday the Belize Police Department released its latest crime statistics for the year 2014. Overall there was an increase in crimes throughout the country. However, there was a decrease in murder as 2014, up to tonight, has recorded 121 murders; an increase of 22 so far. But the year has not ended and today, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Retired Lieutenant Colonel, and George Lovell spoke to the media. GEORGE LOVELL “We had 145 or so in terms of 2012, 99 as you mentioned in 2013, we are now at a 121 possible 122 with that recent body that was found on the Southern Highway because while from the looks of it it appeared to be a hit and run vehicular road accident according to the doctors there have been signs consistent with chop wounds so we need to look at that to see precisely where that is but that in itself with bring us to 122.

Matthews Speaks on USA Preventions on Drugs
In the past year, some of the murders have been linked to drugs- not the local trading of drugs, but the regional transshipment of drugs mostly cocaine. As you may already know, international drug traffickers, use Belize as a transit point to transport the drugs from Central and South America to the United States of America. And with the deadly trade comes deaths, many of them, especially if a deal goes terribly wrong. While the US Embassy Chargé d’affaires, Bruce Matthews, was on hand for today’s signing, he was asked about the US responsibility in curbing and preventing such underworld practices. BRUCE MATTHEWS “I’d say it is a shared responsibility, a shared issue and concern the end users many if not most are in the United States but cartels don’t necessarily play by the rules of fair commerce, they drive their products they want their products sold so a distributer isn’t likely to say ‘well I guess this year is not the right market year’ they are going to keep pushing the drugs as well as the users once they are hooked they are going to keep using the drugs so we are dealing with entities that defy your normal economic standards of transparency and sales and marketing so its a much harsher environment so in that regard it’s a shared problem you have the suppliers that are pushing the product and you have the user wanting the product.”

US Embassy And GOB Signs Agreement
The Government of Belize and the United States Embassy in Belmopan are further strengthening their relations via an agreement that was signed this morning the headquarters of the Ministry of National Security. The agreement is geared at assisting Belize in creating a more responsive police force; improve the judicial sector while modernizing the correctional facility while working with at-risk youths. The agreement comes under the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the initiative, Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) which seeks to help countries in the region in combating the root causes of crimes and improve security. The amount being funded by the United States is US $4.1 million dollars for 2014-15. Signing on behalf the U.S. Embassy was Chargé d’ Affaires, Bruce Matthews while George Lovell signed on behalf of the Government of Belize.

Messenger Charged For Smuggling Cannabis
Twenty-four year old Rufus Castillo, a messenger who attempted to smuggle 21 grams of cannabis in the bottom of a Gillette deodorant into Belize Central Prison, was fined five hundred dollars today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled drug. Castillo was given until February 28, 2015, to pay the fine. If he defaults on payment he will serve five months. Castillo said that he did not know that cannabis was in the package his cousin’s girlfriend gave him to take to his cousin who is an inmate at Belize Central Prison. Senior Magistrate Fraser explained to him that he should have searched the package to know exactly what he was taking to prison and the law deems that he is responsible for what was in the package. The incident occurred yesterday. A prison officer reported to the police that when he searched a package in a plastic bag that Castillo brought with him, he found the cannabis at the bottom of the deodorant.

Honduran National Charged For Sexual Assault
Forty-one year old Honduran national Carlos Perez Sanchez, charged with committing sexual assault on a woman and her daughter, was sentenced to 18 months for each offense when he was arraigned yesterday by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Fraser stipulated that the sentences are to run consecutively, so Sanchez will serve three years. Sanchez said he was just released from prison and he was drunk and he cannot remember anything. The incident occurred on December 22.


Belize receives grant assistance from Japan
On Tuesday, the Ambassador of Japan to Belize, His Excellency Yasuo Takase, signed off on a hundred million Japanese yen worth of assistance to the Government of Belize, as part of the Non-Project Grant Assistance for Industrial Products program, intended to assist with Belize’s economic and social development. That is approximately BZ$1.65 million, and while it may not seem much, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, the latter of whom negotiated the deal while visiting Japan earlier this year for a summit, are nonetheless grateful. Ambassador Takase spoke to us about how the project will work.

Why GOB is challenging Telemedia arbitration
Last week we told you of the Government of Belize’s intent to challenge a decision handed down on Friday by a panel of international arbitrators, based in Costa Rica, which ordered GOB to repay the British Caribbean Bank Limited US$41,773,096.04, the amount loaned plus interest to Belize Telemedia Limited in 2007 to buy back its own shares. The Government maintains that the loan was contracted for an illegal purpose, and BTL, since nationalized by the Government, now says it should not repay. Prime Minister Dean Barrow amplified the issue in speaking with reporters on Tuesday.

PM says Bilateral Agreements with Guatemala not unusual
Belize signed 13 special bilateral agreements with the Republic of Guatemala last week on the sidelines of the SICA Summit in Placencia, Stann Creek District. Such agreements, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow pointed out to reporters on Tuesday, happen all the time in international diplomacy. But this is Guatemala, and they are “not a normal country,” in the words of one reporter questioning why the Prime Minister believes the agreements were not worthy of wide dissemination before they were signed. Here is how he responded. Prime Minister Dean Barrow “ I will not quarrel with that. Those agreements were in fact agreements that were being worked on by our team. At some point, they had the oversight of the Referendum Commission.

2011 robbery accused convicted
On Tuesday, man and a minor, accused of the April 2011 robbery of a conductor for James Bus Service of Punta Gorda, were found guilty of the charge by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. 25 year old Samuel Bevans was given a jail term of seven years, and his 15-year-old minor accomplice was sentenced to 5 years in absentia, despite having no previous convictions, because he was not showing up at court.

BDF soldier shot in Guyana
A Belize Defense Force soldier was shot during an armed robbery in Georgetown, Guyana. According to international reports, the shooting happened on Monday night at around 8:15. Belizean BDF soldier Emil Mendez and his girlfriend had gone out, and after he dropped her off, he was walking back to the military base, when an armed robber accosted him. Reports are that a struggle ensued, and in the process Mr Mendez was shot four times in the abdomen and thigh. The gunman escaped and Emil Mendez was taken to the hospital for treatment, where he remains hospitalized.

Patrick JonesPJ

Days of Healing scheduled for Boxing Day
Christmas Day is usually spent with family, but Boxing Day, celebrated on December 26, does not carry as much tradition. The Days of Healing Committee led by Perry “Sticks” Smith wants to bring residents of the Jane Usher Boulevard together for a community celebration. There will be the […]

Messenger convicted of attempting to smuggle weed into prison
Twenty-four year old Rufus Castillo, a messenger who attempted to smuggle 21 grams of cannabis into Belize Central Prison, was fined $500 today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Castillo pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled drug. Castillo was given until February 28, 2015, to […]

Honduran jailed for sexual assault of mother and daughter
41 year old Carlos Perez Sanchez, a Honduran laborer from the Belama Phase IV area, is spending these Christmas holidays and the next three years in jail after a lapse in judgment two nights ago. Though he claims not to remember what happened because he was intoxicated, police […]

Police detain one man in the investigation of Juan Young’s death
Police have classified the death of 20 year old Juan Young, which we first reported on Tuesday, as a “sudden death.” Authorities, however, have detained a 26 year old man pending investigation. Police today confirmed that the Independence village resident, whose full name is Juan Daniel Young Menjivar, was found in an unconscious state around 2:40 am on Tuesday near the Monkey River road junction with the Southern Highway.

Traffic accident reported on the Southern Highway
There are reports of an early morning road traffic accident on the Southern Highway. According to reports received, three people were taken to the Southern Regional hospital. The extent of their injuries is not yet known. Information received say that the incident happened sometime after 5 am today and involved a Ford Ranger pickup truck which was seen overturned in front of the George Town Technical High School compound.


A Very Merry Belizean Christmas to you all!
With holiday love from Bob Hawkins and Rose Alcantara in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Long ago, Bob took off from San Diego in “Lucky Lady,” a Cessna 182, and began flying around the world. And now 10 years later — after three trips around the globe, numerous adventures, mishaps, a massive collection of new friends and profound acts of luck and good fortune — Bob was ready to come home. In a stroke of good luck on my part, I was assigned to hunt him down and interview him before he reached his home airport in El Cajon, a dusty city east of San Diego, now flying in his “Lucky Lady Too.”

Dulce De Leche Caramel Candy
Merry Christmas 2014! Dulce De Leche Salted Caramel is an easy sweet treat you can make for Christmas Day.

Mamita’s Black Caramel Rum Fruit Cake Recipe
Please allow us to introduce you to the grandmother of the Chief Cultural Evangelist of Nine. Her name is Sophia Simon Moreno, she is 87 years old and her children and grand children have been very lucky to have her as a mother and grandmother and the absolute best cook our family has ever had. She was also a baker and today we want to share a seasonal awesome idea in the Black Caramel Rum Fruit Cake with the world. This delicacy is presently in the many kitchens and dining rooms around the country of Belize. We are absolutely certain that they are all amazing and rich with rum!

Happy Holidays from Chaa Creek in Belize!
Even though we’re located in an idyllic tropical setting surrounded by pristine rainforest, Christmas is every bit as important in Belize as it is in the colder climes. And it’s celebrated just as enthusiastically, with much the same singing of carols, decorating of trees, exchanging of gifts and taking the time out to be together with family and friends that has marked this special day since that first Christmas so many years ago. Christmas in Belize is always a unique combination of the familiar and the exotic, with all the traditional yuletide treats our guests are familiar with, yet enjoyed with a multicultural tropical twist. Even though there’s no snow, the weather is wonderful and the colourful decorations hung throughout Belize compliment the birds, flowers and the many vibrant colours of our stunning natural world. It’s a wonderful time of year to be with those you care about.

Tropic Air adds Cessna Caravan
Tropic Air announced today the arrival and addition into scheduled service of a brand new Cessna Grand Caravan 208B-EX turbo prop aircraft (registration number V3-HHV). This latest addition to the fleet arrived over the weekend after a delivery flight from the Cessna production facility in Wichita, Kansas. It represents a BZ$5.2 million investment for the company, and our confidence in the strength of the Belize tourism product. Tropic Air is the first and only airline to fly this aircraft commercially in Belize. The Caravan EX features a more powerful engine, faster cruise speed, air conditioning, new LED lighting and the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit advanced avionics suite with radar. It also represents the latest in passenger comfort for our customers.

International Sourcesizz

Belize's Famous 'Blue Hole' Reveals Clues to the Maya's Demise
The ancient Mayan civilization collapsed due to a century-long drought, new research suggests. Minerals taken from Belize's famous underwater cave, known as the Blue Hole, as well as lagoons nearby, show that an extreme drought occurred between A.D. 800 and A.D. 900, right when the Mayan civilization disintegrated. After the rains returned, the Mayans moved north — but they disappeared again a few centuries later, and that disappearance occurred at the same time as another dry spell, the sediments reveal. [In Photos: Stunning Sinkholes] Although the findings aren't the first to tie a drought to the Mayan culture's demise, the new results strengthen the case that dry periods were indeed the culprit. That's because the data come from several spots in a region central to the Mayan heartland, said study co-author André Droxler, an Earth scientist at Rice University.

Improving lives in Central America
Brantford’s Wil and Karen Kamphuis have been all over the world doing missionary work. Now they are taking the lead in running their own outreach program to help an impoverished area in Central America. “We’ve seen enough of the Third World to know Armenia, Belize is a place of intense beauty and strong community where family members are treated with honour and respect,” Wil said. “On the other hand, we’ve seen systemic poverty not only financially but also in spirit.” The Kamphuises started In His Footprints Ministries following a couple of missionary trips to the area with high school students. Wil and Karen both have a teaching background and first visited the village of Armenia in 2006 with a group of students. The students were earning high school credits while volunteering at a local orphanage, high school and seniors’ home.


Good Maaning Miss Lady, 2min. Belizean Christmas Carol Dec 25th 2010 Familia Cruz

Blue Hole Belize, 2min.

Houston Cruise 2014, 9min. Cozumel, Belize and Trujillo (Honduras)

Belize avec Cuvos Mars 14, 3min.

Belize Wedding | Chels + Rob Highlights, 9min. Island Wedding at Ambergris Caye, Belize

Man vs Wild S05E06 Belize, 44min. Man vs Wild [01x02] Utah Le désert Moab.

Belize City the hidden side of Belize, 2min. The real Belize

Belize skydive, 4min. Gotta give the people what they want. And the people want video of skydiving in Belize!

Diving with Sharks near Blue Hole Belize, 9min.

Emerald Princess Day 5, Belize Dec 11 2014, 18min. Day 5 of 7 on a Western Caribbean Cruise. Another great day in paradise. Belize it or not.

Arriving in Belize, Central America, 4min. Belize became an independent country from the UK the United Kingdom on September 21st 1981

December 24, 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

Underground pipe breaks on Coconut Drive
On Wednesday, December 17th a pipe broke on the Coconut Drive in the corner of Tropic Air and San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School. The breakage caused flooding in the immediate area and even water loss for the north half of the island. Fortunately Belize Water Service Limited (BWSL) quickly responded and had the pipe repaired and water supply restored on the same day. According to acting Operations Supervisor of BWSL San Pedro Branch, Jermaine Jones the pipe supplied water to a nearby fire hydrant. The rupture in the pipe was a result of aging, as the pipe is estimated to be more than 20 years old. “The connection that supplied water to the fire hydrant located next to the billboard on Coconut Drive broke at around 1:30PM. We were quickly alerted and responded. In order to conduct the necessary repair we had to shut down water supply to about half of the island. The break in the pipe was spilling tons of water. Once we were able to start repairs it took us about three hours to fully replace the broken pipe line with a new one and restore water supply to the area,” said Jones. Repairs to the pipe were completed at about 6PM on the same day.

Police Report
Police-NewsAggravated Robbery- Caye Caulker On 14.12.14 at about 5:50 a.m., police responded to a robbery in Caye Caulker on Avenida Hicaco where they met 22-year-old Armina Brendalee Choc who reported that upon opening her coffee shop she was held up at knife point by a male of dark complexion. Burglary *On Friday, December 12th at about 8:20PM 53-year-old Karen Young, Canadian resident of Alta Mar Area, reported that at around 4:20PM she left her home leaving all her doors and windows locked and secured. She stated that when she returned at about 6:30PM she noticed that the glass window on the southern side of her home was broken and discovered electronic items, assorted shoes and other items missing valued at $8,605. Police have since recovered two silver Apple MacBook Air valued at $2,600.00 and are seeking one man for questioning.

Wings donates to the San Pedro Traffic Department
On Tuesday, December 9th the San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD) received a generous donation from Wings Store. Mr. Prakash and Mr. Kamal presented the SPTD and Mayor Daniel Guerrero with six traffic cones, four lighted pole signals, three triangle reflectors, 11 orange reflecting vests and 11 yellow reflecting vests. The items were gratefully received as they are much needed in the task of enforcing traffic regulations. The addition of these items to the SPTC arsenal of traffic control equipment will enable the traffic wardens to better enforce regulation during these busy holiday times. Most of these items will be used during traffic checkpoints. SPTD would like to take the opportunity to remind all motorists to drive with care, and not to drive under the influence of alcohol. Speeding can lead to accidents, it is best to follow road safety rules during these days of heavy traffic.

Mangrove Reforestation Initiative starts to show success
While mangroves act as a natural sea wall protecting beaches from erosion, developers often remove them in the effort to create a white sandy beach. However, the deforestation of mangroves only leads to increased coastal erosion, and developers are often obliged to construct temporary concrete cement walls. With the issue of coastal erosion, the best solution seems to be simply reforesting the area with mangroves, but that is no easy feat. According to Rosado, mangrove reforestation is a difficult task that takes time and has a low success rate. “It’s easy to remove the mangroves but replanting them and having them successfully established is a hard task. Many have tried to simply plant mangrove propagules on the beach and hope they grow, but there are several factors that reduce the chance of the seedling actually maturing. The propagules are often washed away, or are unhealthy and do not germinate. The Riley methodology was developed for the purpose of establishing mangroves along high-energy shorelines where natural recruitment no longer occurs and where conventional planting methods are ineffective. While the Riley method increases the security of the propagules in the area, there are still many other factors that can diminish the chances of it growing,” said Rosado.

Ambergris Today

Tropic Air Adds Next Generation Cessna Caravan to its Fleet
In a press release, Tropic Air announced today, Tuesday, December 23, 2014, the arrival and addition into scheduled service of a brand new Cessna Grand Caravan 208B-EX turbo prop aircraft (registration number V3-HHV). “This latest addition to the fleet arrived over the weekend after a delivery flight from the Cessna production facility in Wichita, Kansas,” stated the press release. “It represents a BZ$5.2 million investment for the company, and our confidence in the strength of the Belize tourism product.” Tropic Air is the first and only airline to fly this aircraft commercially in Belize. The Caravan EX features a more powerful engine, faster cruise speed, air conditioning, new LED lighting and the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit advanced avionics suite with radar. Tropic Air also adds that it also represents the latest in passenger comfort for its customers.

United Airlines Inaugurates Belize to Chicago Direct Flight
It was on June 16, 2014, that United Airlines announced its new non-stop Saturday service between Chicago, Illinois and Belize City, Belize, and on Saturday, December, 20, the inaugural flight arrived at Belize’s Phillip Goldson International Airport. Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and tapping into this new market is a big step for both United Airlines and Belize; it will definitely mean greater numbers for overnight tourism arrivals which have seen a 9.2% growth recently. Belize’s US based carriers are responsible for bringing 70% of all overnight visitors to the country.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero's Holiday Message

As of January 1, 2015, Property Owners in the City of Belmopan are eligible to participate in the following discount package: • 15% Discount for full payment of 2015/2016 Property fees made ON or BEFORE January 31, 2015. • 10% Discount for full payment of 2015/2016 Property Fees between February 1st and February 28th 2015. • 5% Discount for full payment of 2015/2016 Property Fees between March 1st and March 31st 2015. N.B. Senior Citizens (65 yrs. or older) are eligible for an additional 5% discount on properties on which they reside.

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow and his family take the time to wish all Belizeans at home and abroad a very Merry Christmas!

49 arrests for 2,772 crimes for 2012 (convictions not reported) 769 arrests for 2,395 crimes for 2013 (convictions not reported) 651 arrests for 2,548 crimes for 2014 (convictions not reported)Though arrests are given for carnal knowledge, stats only appear in half of the report giving an incomplete account of reported crime. The amount of murders have fluctuated. In 2012, 145 persons were murdered. That went town dramatically to 99 in 2013. The figures have shot up back to 121 so far for 2014, but still 44 less than in 2012. The amount of reported rapes have increased substantially. It was 28 reported in 2012, two less and 26 in 2013 and it went up to 42 for 2014.

NY Eve Countdown at Central Park, San Pedro
All the way from Miami, USA...we bring to you to dance the night away... DJ JAX! We will also have entertainment by the San Pedro Dance Academy and Rompe Raja! Don't miss out on the SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS DISPLAY! Follow him on Facebook & Soundcloud and listen to his mixes to start preparing for New Year's Eve! Here's the link: SEE YOU THERE!

Channel 7

PM Says Both Sides In Sugar Dispute Inching Towards Resolution
There's still no movement either way in the sugar industry standoff tonight. The Prime Minister today told the media that he's gotten involved as a good faith broker between the two sides and feels they are closer to a resolution:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "To me to be the single remaining point of contention is one that I feel can be resolved and in terms of the conversation I had with Mr. Montalvo last night and again this morni9ng just before 10 o' clock. I say in very cautious fashion that I believe we are closer to a resolution certainly than we were yesterday and over the weekend. I gave him the form of words that it appears will satisfy the farmers.

Compromise Opponents Call For General Assembly Of Cane Farmers
But, while that is what he's pulling for, there are forces in the industry working against that. Four of the 18 branch directors have written to the BSCFA Committee of Management saying that they want to go back to a General Assembly on Sunday December 28th to have the membership decide on the way ahead. From what we understand of the Association by-laws - three directors can ask for a meeting - so they appear to have the numbers. But the Prime Minister said that while he doesn't know the bye-laws, his position is that once the objectionable language about the Harvesting and Delivery Control Unit has been removed, there's nothing new that can come out of another general membership meeting: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Need to go back for a second vote on precisely the draft... on precisely the points that would now have been resolved in favor of the farmers in accordance with the position taken by the farmers.

PM Maintains Stance On BSI's Ill Will
And while the NTUCB continues to whip up anti-compromise, anti-BSI sentiments - to hear the PM tell it, the culprit in this week's muddle is none other than BSI. A government release last week accused the company of bad faith. Yesterday BSI's financial controller Belizario Carballo told us the company was "Aggrieved" by that statement - and went on to explain how wrong he felt it was. But, today the Prime Minister didn't veer far from that position; he said BSI has the fault for the current delay and for giving fuel to naysayers:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "That same press release which was spoke what we considered certainly their effort to pull a fast one, I am sure they thought that they were really looking after their interest, but that's the way we say it. Then must have known that as a practical thing there were operational rules that did not coincide with or not consistent with what it is they sought to introduce. So, I really think that they clearly have the fault for introducing that element which has now given the naysayers in the BSCFA a chance to try to unravel the whole deal."

PM Says GOB Should Pay Janae
Janae Matute - last night on the news the whole nation heard the 14 year old's plea for court0awarded compensation to be paid. As we told you, the Caribbean Court of Justice awarded Janae and her mother almost three million dollars in compensation for medical malpractice that left her with Cerebral Palsy as a consequence of a premature birth. But, it's been 9 months since the decision was handed down by the CCJ and Government has not come up with the compensation. Today the Prime Minister told the media that Government must live up to its obligation:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "There was a whole argument as to whether the doctor was really a servant of the government of Belize, but the court has so decided we need to pay them. It does go hard against us, but it goes even harder against the poor child and the family, so we need to pay them and so I will now try to find out why it is that there has been no movement with respect with the negotiations of the install payments. I see that Mr. Lumor says he is perfectly incline and although he said that it would also have to approve by the Supreme Court. Well whatever needs to be done, let's get it done so these people can start being compensated as they should be."

Crime Stats Show Murder Up By 20% in 2014
Last year the number of murders countrywide dropped to a four year low of 99 from the record of 145 set in 2012. Well, 2014 isn't finished yet, but so far the figures show that it's been much more murderous than 2013. Official statistics compiled up to yesterday show that there have been 120 murders so far for 2014. That is compared to 99 in 2013. That puts Belize's murder rate per hundred thousand at 33.6 - which will still likely put this country in the global top ten for murder rates - except this time closer to ten than one.

Honduran Charged For Guatemalan's Cayo Murder
Last night, we told you about the murder of 22 year-old Guatemalan Juan Alberto Guerra Ramirez who was found dead on the More Tomorrow Road on Saturday morning at around 8. Well, the man who police believe is his killer is at the Belize Central Prison tonight. He's 27 year-old Honduran caretaker, Marvin Jeovanny Duarte Chinchilla, of More Tomorrow Village Road. He was formally arrested and charged last night with the crime of murder, and he was arraigned today in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court. Due to the nature of the offence, he no plea was taken and he was remanded into custody until February 4, 2015.

Woman Pleas To Be Saved From Eviction
A woman and her 5 kids were evicted from their home on Antelope Street today. 42 year old Shermaine Smith has been renting the house for 3 months and according to the landlord, she has faltered on her payments from October. The landlord says she gave Smith up until the 15th of this month to move out and when she didn't, she gave her an extra week. And when Smith still refused to move out after that week, that's when the landlord called the authorities to eject her out this morning. Here is how that went. Courtney Weatherburne reporting At first glance, it might seem like this family is doing last minute Christmas cleaning. But that's not what's happening here. Instead they are being forcibly ejected from this house by their landlord, Kim. Jia Wei Yao "Kim" - Land Lord "This house is rented by the Martinez family. She has rented my house from August, but only paid me $400. They owe me $750. Last month she and I went to court. The magistrate told her that December 15th they have to move out of the house. The judge told me that on the 15th they have move out, the 16th I go to court to have them move out for nonpayment. I gave them time because she is a single mother with lots of children and I have a good heart, so after 8 days she didn't come and tell me anything and she didn't pay me anything. And so this morning I went to court and they came with me."

Man and Minor Jailed For Bus Robbery
25 year-old Samuel Bevans and a 15 year-old boy are serving the first night of a 10 year sentence after they were convicted today in the Magistrates Court for robbery. It made big news on April 15, 2011 when Bevans, who was only 22 at the time, was caught by quick responding officers from the Gang Suppression Unit. Ernest Mangar, the conductor of James Bus Service, reported that the driver of the bus pulled off Cemetery Road near to the Rogers Stadium to let passengers off. That's when Bevans and a minor reportedly ambushed him at gunpoint and robbed him $1,000 in cash, belonging to the bus company. GSU Officers were on patrol, and they got the information of a robbery in progress. They moved quickly and apprehended both males, retrieving the weapon, a .22 revolver, loaded with 5 live rounds of ammunition and the stolen money.

The 13 Explained
Last week, the government signed 13 bilateral agreements with Guatemala at the SICA Summit. The 13 had been in the works since the start of the year - with input from the opposition, but when they were signed last week the Opposition spoke out and said the public should have been consulted first. The agreements seek to find common ground between both countries in 13 essential areas. On the topic of border management, Belize and Guatemala have agreed to maintain 24-hour, customs, immigrations operations at all legal terrestrial entry points - which is pretty much what happens now. Next, both governments agree that all efforts will be made prohibit sale of stolen archaeological, historical and cultural artifacts which belong to the other's country. They will take all legal measures to prohibit the entry of such illegal items into the respective countries, and all efforts will be made to recover and return any known, stolen artifact which belongs to the other country. Both countries will also recognize and accept driver's licenses duly issued by the authorities in the other's state.

Who Got The Best of The BSI Cane Compromise?
At the top of our newscast, we showed you our interview with Prime Minister Barrow in which he discussed the continued delay of the sugar crop season despite his government's best efforts to break the stalemate between the factory owners and cane farmers. Part of the reason that the 18 directors don't want to sign the compromise agreement is that they have misgivings about certain language in the draft agreement. Fuelled by agitation of the NTUCB and Naysayers within their own ranks, these directors are trying to convince their follow branch chairmen to back out and return to square one of the negotiations for a commercial agreement. So, amidst the tough criticism of the compromise hammered out by himself and Deputy Gaspar Vega, does Prime Minister Barrow still think the compromise agreement is beneficial to both sides? He gave us hiw views today:

Belizean Soldier Shot In Guyana
Tonight, Emil Mendez, a BDF Soldier on duty in Guyana is at a hospital in that country after he was shot by an armed robber. News reports out of Guyana say that it happened last night in Georgetown. Mendez was out with his girlfriend and just after he placed in a vehicle, the robber attacked. The gunman ordered him to hand over his valuables, but Mendez refused and tried to fight him off. During a scuffle, Mendez was shot 3 times in the abdomen and thigh. We spoke to Commander of the BDF, Brigadier General David Jones, who told us that the soldier was taking a course in medicine, specifically the Ministry of Health's Orthopaedic technician program. He is stationed at the Guyana Defense Force Base Ayangana in Georgetown.

Jankunu Dancers Rule The Streets At Christmas
It's Christmas - and one of the oldest traditions is jankunu dancing. And just in time, the 7news team got an impromptu performance from a rough and ready jankunu troupe today. The group of eight were in the downtown area going from house to house to perform today. They have been together for 8 years and for the members of this group, it is a celebration and showcase of their culture. Courtney Weatherburne found. out more:.. They have been to St. Martins, Kings park, Jane Usher Boulevard and the Tourism Village. They will also be going around for New Years. A National Jankunu Competition will also be held on Sunday in Dangriga.

Police Call On Kids
The concept of community policing got a shot in the arm today when the Eastern Police Division hosted a party for 110 deserving kids. Coordinator Hortence Hernandez told us why this party at the Raccoon Street Station is special:.. This is part of the Community Policing Unit's Christmas initiative.

Romain Virgo, Home For Christmas
And while police threw a Christmas party today - reggae artist Romain Virgo will throw a reggae party on Christmas eve in Dangriga Town. He arrived in Belize City late this evening and 7news was one of his first stops. The artist who is riding the success of his cover of Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me' told us it's his first Christmas away from home - but this is his 6th visit, so Belize is now like a second home:.. The show is tomorrow night at the Y-Not Island.

Japan Gives Belize 1M USD Grant
The Japanese non-resident Ambassador to Belize was in country today to sign an agreement for one million dollars in grant funds. But it's not just free money; it comes with strings: Japan is using the programme to kickstart production in areas of the country that were damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on the island nation's pacific coast. At a signing today in his Belize city office, the Prime Minister explained how it will work:… The grant is for one million US dollars and Belize has to spend it by the end of 2015. The products available under the grant arrangement include loaders, computers, weather instruments and many other items.

GOB Will Fight Decision of Arbitration Panel
Last week, the government of Belize took something like a body blow to the kidneys when it lost a 41 million US dollar international arbitration case to the Ashcroft Alliance in Costa Rica. The panel of three international arbitrators found that the Government must pay Ashcroft's British Caribbean Bank a debt that BTL borrowed from the bank back in 2007. Government and BTL have disputed the validity of the debt since it took over in 2009, saying that the loan was contracted for an illegal purpose and should not be repaid by BTL. But…the arbitrators didn't agree. So, now will government be forced to pay? Prime Minister Dean Barrow today told the media that they plan to energetically resist the judgment..

Channel 5

P.M. Barrow says B.S.I. and B.S.C.F.A. are Closer to Reaching a Resolution
Tonight, the dispute between the B.S.C.F.A. and ASR/B.S.I. remains unresolved. The breakdown in negotiations comes after a long and hard fought agreement in principle by both parties, and from all [...]

Was B.S.C.F.A. Justified in Raising Alarm on Contentious Clause?
PM Barrow says that in the face of what was happening on the ground, backed up by the Memorandum of Understanding, the new wording introduced by B.S.I. completely bypassed what [...]

B.S.C.F.A. Directors Request Emergency General Meeting; Still No Signature
We can conclude however, that perhaps the PM was being a wee bit too optimistic in his hope that the directors would sign off on the agreement today. That’s not [...]

Is There Really a Need for Another B.S.C.F.A. General Meeting?
The by-laws of the B.S.C.F.A. allows for directors to call together an emergency session of the general assembly, and it will be done though a date has not been decided. [...]

Despite Arbitration Ruling in Favor of B.C.B., PM Says G.O.B. Will Continue Its Fight
Late last week, the government of Belize received terrible news from an arbitration panel of three in Costa Rica. That panel declared that G.O.B. must pay British Caribbean Bank forty-one [...]

Will Janae Matute Receive Settlement from G.O.B.? P.M. Comments
And while the government is quite willing to assume the role of ‘malpago’ where the Ashcroft Group is concerned, it’s taking a lot of heat where a long delayed payment [...]

Roy Bennett Off to Prison for Weed Possession
  Twenty-seven-year-old Roy Bennett has been convicted of possession of a controlled drug after pleading guilty to possession of point nine grams of marijuana.   With less than two days away [...]

Robbers Convicted for 2011 James Bus Stickup
  Twenty-eight-year-old Samuel Bevans Junior, a resident of Belize City and a sixteen-year-old minor were both found guilty of robbery this morning when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser.  [...]

P.M. discusses details of bilateral agreements with Guatemala
The SICA Heads of State Summit was held in Belize last week, and while that’s big news, the nation’s attention has been focused on thirteen agreements signed at that summit. [...]

G.O.B. signs million dollar grant with Japan
Earlier today, the governments of Belize and Japan signed a grant which will see the purchase of equipment, including weather instruments and heavy equipment from areas of the island nation [...]

United Airlines – Chi-town to Belize Non-stop!
Tourists and Belizean Americans wanting to visit the Jewel from Chicago, Illinois can say goodbye to connecting flights when traveling to Belize. That’s because once a week, at least for [...]

Tropic Air Introduces New Cessna Caravan to its Fleet
Earlier this month, Tropic Air lost an aircraft during a crash landing at the Municipal Airstrip.  The single engine Cessna caravan, according to company president John Greif the Third, slid [...]

SIB Says Inflation Rate Was Lower in November
The month of November has seen a significant decrease in food and fuel prices, lowering inflation to point two percent.  The fall, according to the latest figures from the Statistical [...]

Belize Bank Gives Back this Christmas
Mercy Kitchen is a non-profit organization in the Ministry of Sisters of Mercy. The organization, which is located adjacent to Channel Five on Mercy Lane, provides breakfast and lunch as [...]

Eastern Division Hosts Children’s Christmas Party
The Eastern Police Division Headquarters today hosted its first ever Christmas Cheers for one hundred children from around Belize City. The children, between the ages of two and eight, were [...]

Belmopan Police Extends Christmas Message
As we near the end of the year, the Belize Police Department will be busy formulating statistics on crime, violent and otherwise. We’ll have a more comprehensive look at that [...]


Case Won Against Dr. Raju; Mother Receives No Cash
Janae Matute, a child born on December 20, 2000, was born with Cerebral Palsy, a medical condition marked by impaired muscle coordination. Janae was delivered one month earlier by Dr. Raju Meenavalli through C-Section. According to Janae’s mother, Georgia Matute, the doctor delivered her baby prematurely at 36 weeks. Matute took the case to court and later to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) with her lawyer, Fred Lumor; they both won the case against Dr. Raju Meenavalli and his lawyer, Godfrey Smith. Today Matute and Lumor told the media that the CCJ by an order dated April 10, 2014 dismissed Dr. Raju appeal and he was ordered to pay the costs of the appeal; however they have not received a dollar or a cent as yet. FRED LUMOR “At first the case went before Justice Awich and he delivered judgment against Dr. Raju and awarded damages. Justice Awich however ruled against Janae by letting the Government of Belize off the hook. So on behalf of the mother Georgia Matute we appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of Justice Awich letting off the Government of Belize.

USA And Cuba Restore Diplomatic Ties; Panton Speaks on Its Effect on Belize
The restoration of diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba is a move that will undoubtedly see a trickling effect on other countries. As it pertains to Belize, we asked the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Tracy Panton, what the effects would be, if any. TRACY PANTON “We’re excited actually, that the US is looking favorably at Cuba. We have always maintained relations with Cuba on many programs, Tourism being one of them. We think that the impact on Belize could be positive, we have two different types of products and we have different markets. Cuba is a mass tourism market, Belize is a niche tourism market so we don’t think at all that the opening of Cuba will adversely affect the type of traveler that comes to Belize. They might be looking at new itineraries but Belize is special and I will tell you why. A cruise ship is in Belize for eight hours or in any destination. Belize has a very diverse tour option and it’s very close to get there so you can do many tours within that eight hour period. That is really Belize’s unique and very competitive advantage over any other destination, Cuba included. I don’t see foresee at all that Cuba opening up and being a cruise port will affect what Belize has. What Belize has is very special in terms of product but also in terms of time to travel to and from a particular site.”

Cane Farmers Collects Share of Fair-Trade Funds
A number of cane farmers gathered this morning at the BSCFA headquarters in Orange Walk to one; collect their share of the $2.5 million of the Fair-trade funds that was approved to be distributed among farmers to assist them because of the delayed crop and two; two protest the signing of the commercial agreement with BSI. For the past two weeks word in the sugar industry has been that two newly formed cane farmer associations have been holding talks with BSI/ASR to sign separate commercial agreements and get the crop started. Despite the credible information coming to our news center, no singing has materialized nor has the crop gotten underway. We asked Carballo if BSI is indeed planning to sign with Corozal Cane Producers and United Cane Farmers to which he said “not to his knowledge but they are free to do so.” BELIZARIO CARBALLO “I don’t know of that, what I do know is that associations and in fact farmers individually have a right to sign agreements with BSI. There is a process for them to be recognized from the SICB. You may be aware that there was a court case that ended in 2010 that established that right. It was something that the citrus industry went through and the sugar industry had a similar case in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court essentially upheld that right, constitutional right of association and so other associations have that right to sign with BSI.”

Carballo Speaks On Purpose Of Clause In Commercial Agreement
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association directors are reviewing a revised commercial agreement draft sent to them by BSI/ASR. Its hoped that with the amendment made there can finally be a signing of an agreement. Arturo Cantun reports. Following Friday’s standoff by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association to not sign a commercial agreement with BSI/ASR, over the weekend BSI/ASR reviewed the document and has made amendments to appease the cane farmers. Chief Financial Officer of BSI, Belizario Carballo, explained to us today why BSI wanted that clause in the agreement. BELIZARIO CARBALLO “We felt on Friday that we had to retain in the agreement, explicit provision for BSI to have the right to reject cane because we consider it a fundamental basic right that any buyer would have in the case of buying any product. It is a principle that is recognized in sales of goods act, it is a basic commercial right of any buyer to reject any product before he purchases and so we were seeking to provide for that in the agreement.”


Arrest in More Tomorrow murder
On Monday we told you about the murder that occurred in More Tomorrow Village just outside of Belmopan. Now police say they have made an arrest, as they believe that 27-year-old Marin Duarte Chinchilla is the murderer. The body of Juan Alberto Ramirez was discovered by a farmer heading to work on Saturday morning, whenthe body was found in a drain at the side of the road. The body had multiple stab wounds to his chest and neck; as much as twenty stab wounds. Marin Duarte Chinchilla is a Honduran caretaker of More Tomorrow Road ,and police say they have sufficient evidence pointing to Marin Chinchilla as the killer.

Government will honor Janae Matute award
On Monday the family of 14 year old Janae Matute, the Roaring Creek high school student stricken with cerebral palsy at birth, after being delivered a month early which caused her lungs not to develop properly, came forward to ask Government to begin paying the more than $2.5 million owed since 2012, when it did not appeal the Court of Appeal’s judgment against them. The case concluded before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in April, when the court dismissed the appeal of Dr. Raju Meenavalli, the physician in Government’s employ at the Western Regional Hospital, who was found primarily responsible for the error.

Major crimes up; arrests down
There are many lists that rate countries around the world and compare them based on a number of factors such as best Tourism Destinations, best and worse cruise Ports, and Economic and Investor confidence indices. There is even a list of the world’s happiest countries that ranks Belize in the Top 5. There is a list that rates Corruption; it was issued earlier this December. Belize is one of only four countries of the world that failed to appear on that Corruption list. And then there is the list that rates dangerous countries; these list rate countries according to the homicide rates published by various statistics keepers including the USA and UN. And it appears that Belize keeps performing poorer each year in the area of crime, listing Belize one of the most dangerous places on planet earth to live. Last year’s 2013 report from the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security OSAC, stated, ” Due to the extremely high murder rate per capita, Belize is the sixth most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, with an average of over 40 homicides per 100,000 residents. In 2012, Belize recorded 145 murders, setting a new record for homicides in the country. The murder rate was nearly 15 percent higher than 2011.”

P.M. says sugar impasse can be resolved
It is another day of waiting in the sugar industry. Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI), the sugar producer, having cured the offending sentence in clause 2.3 of the agreement, restoring the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC) as arbiter of procedures for determining cane quality, is, pending approval from international partners American Sugar Refining (ASR), to send back the revised draft to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) for their approval on Tuesday. As of newstime there had been nothing on that front, but Prime Minister Dean Barrow in updating reporters said that after another long night being broker between the two parties, he is cautiously optimistic about an agreement signing and cane crop starting before the end of the year.

FFB says no sanctions taken against accused Gilharry, yet
Last week we reported on 34 year old Cristobal Gilharry, a Verdes FC and National Football Team player, who has been accused of intercourse with a 15 year old female minor. The minor alleged that she and Cristobal Gilharry performed sexual intercourse on November 21, 2014, at which times she was 15 years and 3 months old. Gilharry was remanded last week after an appearance at the Belmopan Magistrates Court, where he was read his charges, but on Friday, Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore, granted Mr Gilharry bail at $6,000 with conditions. On Monday, the Football Federation of Belize weighed in on the issue with a Press Release. The FFB states that ” …while in no way the Football Federation of Belize condones his action or the allegation made against him, the Executive of the Football Federation of Belize will meet to address the allegation and make any decision it deems necessary until the matter is finalized before the court.”

BTB PR Manager resigns in Clive Myers investigation
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Ministry of Tourism and Culture continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the sudden fall of Acting Director of Marketing Clive Myers, who resigned last week, only a few days after taking over the post from the departed Alyssa Carnegie. A package was delivered to certain media houses containing information stating that Myers’ educational credentials were falsified. On Saturday Director of Tourism Tracey Taegar-Panton stated that as far as they were aware, there was no reason to think that anything in Clive Myers’ personnel file was falsified, but she acknowledged that more work needs to be done moving forward in improving the backgrounds checks done by the Board. She also added that Mr Myers’ performance while with the Ministry, before moving to the BTB, was exceptional and could not be faulted.

Three car pile- up on highway
A three car pile-up occurred near mile 30 on the Phillip Goldson Highway Sunday evening at around 6pm, which sent several people to the hospital. According to officer Commanding the Ladyville Police Station, Inspector Fredrick Gordon, the incident involved a grey car, a Mitsubishi, and a red Geo Tracker. One eyewitness told the media that the red Geo Tracker and another vehicle were heading towards Belize City, when one of the cars tried to overtake the other, and that is when the collision occurred.

Stabbing incident on Kraal Road
That wasn’t the only action on Kraal Road that Sunday. According to police reports, at about 4:45 a.m., police visited No. 26 Kraal Road, where they saw a man, who identified himself as 28-year-old Tyron Scott . Mr Scott was found lying on the ground suffering from apparent stab wounds to his back and shoulder. Initial investigation reveals that at about 4:35a.m., Tyron Scott visited a friend at No.26 Kraal Road and while waiting for his friend to come downstairs, he was approached from behind by an unknown person, who inflicted the injuries on him.

Trade unions support farmers not signing commercial agreement with BSI
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) has intervened into the dispute between Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), which were on the verge of signing a commercial agreement last week, until the inclusion of a clause advocating establishment of a separate committee to resolve disputes apart from the Sugar Control Board managed by the Government of Belize. While BSI has insisted that it did not mean to put the clause in, the NTUCB has seized on BSI’s action as characteristic of an organization unwilling to treat the farmers fairly. On Monday spokesperson for the NTUCB, attorney and President of the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU), Audrey Matura-Shepherd, conveyed the Congress’ willingness to work with the farmers.

Fatal Road Traffic Accident in Orange Walk
A traffic accident in the Orange Walk District has claimed the life of an elderly farmer of Douglas Village. The accident occurred on Saturday night, somewhere between Douglas Village and San Juan Village. Initial police investigations revealed that driver of a red ford ranger pickup, driven by 18-year-old Eleodoro Osorio, was en route o the Orange Walk Hospital, when he saw a Man riding a bicycle swerving on the middle of the road and in front of the pickup. As a result, the driver hit the man, who was later identified as 62-year-old Fermin Gonzalez.

Matute family to sue Government over unpaid court judgment
Two million, five hundred and fifty-two thousand, four hundred and sixty four dollars and seventy-five cents. This was the amount outstanding, as of 31 October 2014, against the Government of Belize after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) dismissed the appeal of Dr. Raju Meenavalli. The ruling established that there was malpractice on the dcotor’s part at the Belmopan Western Regional Hospital, when he delivered Janae Matute a month ahead of schedule, due to personal error. This is what is believed to have caused now 14 year old Janae to have contracted cerebral palsy. Eight months after that ruling, the Government has yet to honor the award. Meanwhile, single mother Georgia Matute and her family struggle to meet costs for the second-former of Belmopan Comprehensive High School. She was surprised last week, on a visit to the Financial Secretary Joseph Waight’s Belmopan office seeking an audience, with some not-so-good news.


“A crying shame!” – run Janae’s money: Lumor
When the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) upheld the lower court rulings this April in favor of Janae Matute, 14, who had sued the Government of Belize and Dr. Raju Meenavalli through her next of kin, her mother, for miscalculating the expected date of her delivery, thereby causing her to develop cerebral palsy, there was jubilant celebration in the family. However, 8 months later, no payment has been made to the child, and the distressed family, who has been battling in the courts for more than a decade, has now decided to come public with an impassioned appeal to the Government to spread the season’s cheer. “This case went on through the courts for 12 years; not one cent has been paid to Janae,” her attorney, Fred Lumor, SC, said at a press conference held at his office this morning. Lumor lamented that the way that Janae has been treated by the Government is “a crying shame!”

3 injured in 3-car pile-up near Boom cutoff
Alcohol is suspected to have played a major role in a hair-raising road traffic accident involving three vehicles and a number of passengers that occurred late yesterday evening at Mile 13 on the Philip Goldson Highway near the Burrell Boom cutoff. Today, Police Rural Executive Officer, Inspector Frederick Gordon, told the media that yesterday, Sunday, at about 6:20 p.m., Ladyville police received information of a road traffic accident near Mile 13 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Upon arrival, police saw that there was a 3-car pile-up, including a gray late model Cadillac CTS car, a green Mitsubishi L200 pickup, and a red Geo Tracker.

Police caught alleged rapist in the act
A Belize City construction worker and resident of Maskall Street was remanded to prison after he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on a single count of rape late this afternoon. No plea was taken from Alexander Nunez, 24, when the charge of rape was read to him. Magistrate Frazer told him that rape is an indictable matter. The court prosecutor, Corporal Christopher Smith, objected to the granting of bail to him on three grounds – on the ground that the safety of the witnesses in the matter is of concern to the prosecution; on the basis of the strength of the prosecution’s case, and finally, on the ground of concern for the safety of the accused.

BCB wins US$48 mil arbitration award against GOB
The Barrow administration appropriated a US$22.5 million loan to Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) held by an Ashcroft bank in the Turks & Caicos when it nationalized the phone company—a move which sparked both litigation in Belize’s domestic courts and a legal challenge under the UK-Belize Bilateral Investment Treaty. Today, the Government announced that it had lost at arbitration and it is now on the hook for up to US$48 million—an award that the Government says it intends to challenge. An official Government statement said that on Friday, December 19, 2014, a 3-member panel of international arbitrators issued its decision in a dispute between the British Caribbean Bank Ltd. (BCB) and the Government of Belize (GOB) over the Government’s decision back in 2009 to appropriate the bank’s loan to Belize Telemedia Limited as part of the nationalization of the phone company.

BSI/ASR trying to put “bull****” over the cañeros – Audrey Matura-Shepherd!
Up until late last week, today had been the date set as the latest date for the signing of a revised commercial agreement between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and the factory owners, Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/ American Sugar Refineries (ASR); however, the ill-fated 2014/2015 sugar cane crop season remains stalled, at this point, because of a controversial clause which was reportedly inserted into the agreement recently by BSI/ASR. Therefore, instead of placing their signatures on the dotted line today, as was scheduled, the 18 directors of the association were called to a meeting at the BSCFA’s headquarters in Orange Walk this morning because of a major gripe, which basically involves replacing a body called the Sugar Cane Production Committee (SCPC), a governmental oversight entity that manages cane quality and acceptance, with a new entity called the Harvest and Delivery Control Unit (HDCU), controlled by BSI.

What’s in those 13 agreements Belize signed with Guatemala?
On Friday, the Government of Belize released signed electronic copies of the 13 bilateral agreements penned in Placencia by Belize and Guatemala on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, on the occasion of a high-level meeting of Central American leaders in Belize. Those agreements, according to the documents, were formulated within the context of a set of confidence-building measures Belize and Guatemala signed back in September 2005, and a Road Map which the parties signed in January 2014 – both under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS). The 13 agreements were signed by the Foreign Ministers of both countries, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington in the case of Belize, and Carlos Raul Morales Moscoso for Guatemala, and the signing was witnessed by Secretary-General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza. The agreements were signed amid a renewal of calls for the parties to allow the International Court of Justice to adjudicate the matter of Guatemala’s unfounded claim over Belizean territory.

Famous footballer, 34, charged with carnal knowledge of girl, 15
A well-known football star was granted bail today at the Belmopan Supreme Court after being on remand since Tuesday of this week due to an allegation of having unlawful sexual intercourse. Cristobal Gilharry, 34, a defensive player for Belize’s Men’s National “A” football team, was arrested and charged this past Monday, December 15, based on a report of unlawful carnal knowledge which was filed by a 15-year-old female minor who lives in Belmopan. The following day, Tuesday, he appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford at the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, where he was read the charge; however, no plea was taken from him, since it is an indictable offense.

Kraal Road violence: 1 man stabbed, 1 man shot, in separate incidents
Two men are being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after one was shot multiple times and the other seriously stabbed. The first incident occurred at about 4:45 yesterday morning. Dean Murrillo, 39, of St. Matthews, Cayo District, was walking on Kraal Road towards Fabers Road, when he reached the junction of Kraal Road and Waight Street, a white SUV passed him and shortly after, two armed men approached him and fired several shots at him, hitting him in the lower back, the right arm and the left side. The two men then got back into the vehicle and escaped from the area. Murrillo was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was admitted in a critical but stable condition.

Honduran caretaker, 27, charged for murder of Harmonyville farmer
A 27-year-old Honduran farm caretaker of a More Tomorrow Village Road address was charged by police late this evening for the murder of a young Guatemalan farmer from the Harmonyville community, located at Mile 41 on the George Price Highway, who was killed and callously dumped in a drain at the side of the road leading to More Tomorrow, a village located along the Belize River in the Cayo District, early last Saturday, December 20. Amandala understands that Juan Alberto Ramirez, 22, was socializing with a group of men at a bar in More Tomorrow last Friday night when he got into an altercation with the suspect, which is what is believed to have led to his death. Police believe that the victim was stalked and stabbed to death as he made his way back out of the village.

Police on top at Week 1 of PLB playoffs
The Premier League of Belize (PLB) kicked off its 2014-2015 Opening Season playoffs this past weekend with the top 4 teams entering a double round-robin that will see each team playing every other team twice. Each team will play 6 playoff games by January 7, so that games will be on weekends and on Wednesdays. (See schedule at bottom.) The top 4 teams – Police United, Verdes, Belmopan Bandits and BDF are all very well matched, and after the first weekend of playoffs, it is still anybody’s guess as to which two will make it to the championship finals.

Henry Moreira wins Leslie’s Imports Pre-Christmas race
Unofficial reports we received say that the Leslie’s Imports Pre-Christmas Race yesterday from Cayo to Belize City on the George Price (Western) Highway had about 45 cyclists participating. And at the finish line it was Henry Moreira taking the 1st place honors. Like the Smart Test Race last Sunday, December 14, which travelled to Carmelita Village on the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway and back to Belize City, yesterday’s Leslie’s Imports Christmas Race served as a good tune-up and test for cyclists to prepare themselves for the big upcoming KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic.

FFB position on situation of player Cristobal Gilharry
It has come to the attention of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) of the serious charges placed against Mr. Cristobal Gilharry. While in no way the Football Federation of Belize condones his action or the allegation made against him, the Executive of the Football Federation of Belize will meet to address the allegation and make any decision it deems necessary until the matter is finalized before the court.

Struggle and dignity
At this newspaper we have spent the last four and a half decades trying to discuss and define who we are as a Belizean people and how we came to be where we are. It was necessary for us to do this because our schools were run by religious who were more focused on our eternal souls than on the daily life struggles we faced. For us as a Belizean people, the power realities were such that we felt the need to fight for an improved standard of living and for our individual and national dignity. When this newspaper began in 1969, British Honduras was a self-governing British colony. We had a government run by Belizeans, but the British, our colonial masters, were in charge of our defense, foreign affairs, and immigration. As a Belizean people, we had experienced and suffered from imperialism, slavery, and colonialism, and we were fighting for what all the world’s colonized peoples were fighting for after World War II: we were fighting for independence and self-rule.

Hugh Saul on Major Lloyd Jones’ December 14 letter
Dear Editor, I note with interest Major Lloyd Jones’ (R) letter, “The problem with the Barrow administration’s development program is one of sustainability,” which appeared in your Amandala (Belize) newspaper dated December 14, 2014. Major Jones has raised a number of points which need to be expanded in the interest of public information and clarity. The development objectives of the programs he alluded to (as far as I am aware) are not fully known, as they have not been articulated, documented and presented in a form to invite public scrutiny. One can therefore only guess or interpret the intention or objective of this government program based on what is known. One good aspect of the national infrastructure activities is that they have been “projectised”, and as such, the overall cost, inputs and expected outputs can be identified, measured and subjected to review and evaluation against a known or perceived vision, and related cost.

Chetumal Street Bridge partially opened to the public
In mid-March of this year, contracts were signed for the construction of the Chetumal Street Bridge, which is intended to link the Belama and Fabers Road areas in Belize City, and this week, the new bridge, which we understand is 95% complete, has been partially opened to vehicular traffic. Yesterday, Errol Robateau, the project manager, told the media that the finishing touches are currently being put on the bridge — which is scheduled to be officially opened in January 2015 – and its approaches. He said, “We have already completed about 95% of the bridge, and right now, we are working on the painting and design of the bridge, as well as the electrical lighting.

Inflation drops with price ease at the pumps
A plunge in pump prices due to falling world market prices for crude, as well as an ease in food costs, have led to only marginal inflation of 0.2% for November 2014, according to data just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). These declines helped to offset rising prices for rent, insurance and medical services. This means that up to November 2014, overall inflation, tallying data for the first 11 months of the year (January to November) now registers at 1.2%. “The effects of falling global oil prices were evident in the category of transport, with the average price per gallon of diesel dropping by over 12 percent from $10.65 last November to $9.37 this month,” the SIB noted, adding that international airfares also fell considerably, by 17%.

“Disappointing” oddities uncovered in KHMH Special Audit
A Special Audit Report of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), Belize’s premier public health facility, for the period July 2013 to July 2014, which was recently commissioned by Financial Secretary Joseph Waight and conducted by the Auditor General’s Office, has been sent to the Office of the Solicitor General for further assessment to determine whether there is a basis for possible criminal proceedings against those involved in questionable activity, a senior KHMH official said today. The audit has revealed a list of financial irregularities in procedure, primarily surrounding the acquisition of two X-Ray units which were procured from Spring HK Holdings Ltd, which turned out to be a mystery Hong-Kong based company, by the then senior management of the hospital, reportedly without the knowledge of the Board of Governors. Today, Amandala was able to speak with the chair of the KHMH Board of Governors, Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, who told us that the KHMH board, which met to discuss the matter on December 11, is “disappointed” in the findings of the report.

The Reporter

Mother wants GOB to “roll” monies for damages following court ruling
Senior Counsel, Fred Lumor and Georgia Matute on Monday of this week used the media to call on the Government of Belize, specifically Prime Minister, Dean Barrow to cause the relevant departments in his government to honour a court ruling and pay Matute damages amounting to $2.5 million for a doctor’s malpractice while employed by the government. The court had ruled in April of this year that Georgia’s daughter, Janae Matute, now 14, suffered a debilitating but preventable lifelong birth defect at the hands of Dr. Meenavalli Raju, who was employed by the government of Belize. It ruled that Raju failed to act in accordance with professional standards, causing Janae to suffer from Cerebral Palsy. The child’s lungs were underdeveloped, restricting oxygen from adequately reaching her brain. Lumor told reporters at a press conference on Monday that it has been a frustrating process for mother and child, as well as himself. He said the only alternative now is another round of litigation to ask the court to force the government to pay up.

Patrick JonesPJ

4-H Shows Appreciation to the Learners for the Christmas Season
The 4-H Youth Development Centre Staff and Leader honoured the learners with a luncheon and entertainment at the George Price Centre in Belmopan. The trainees received gifts and were served by the staff. The trainees provided the entertainment and some of them also received grants for school. […]

Man convicted ot 2011 robbery of bus conductor
A man and a minor accused of the April 2011 robbery of a conductor for James Bus Service of Punta Gorda were today found guilty of the charge by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. 25 year old Samuel Bevans was given a jail term of seven years and his […]

PM Barrow says nothing is wrong with Guatemala bilateral agreements
Belize signed 13 special bilateral agreements with the Republic of Guatemala last week on the sidelines of the SICA Summit in Placencia, Stann Creek District. Such agreements, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow pointed out to reporters today, happen all the time in international diplomacy. But this is Guatemala, […]

Business establishments unite to give Christmas cheer to children
Hundreds of children in St. Matthews village and in Franks Eddy were the recipients of Christmas toys, thanks to the collaborative effort of J.D.B. Limited and Cayo Pharmaceutical. The Santa’s Little Helpers initiative ensured that the excited children who gathered at the campus of the St. Matthews […]

Charges filed and sentences handed down in Magistrate’s Court
American deemed prohibited immigrant Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. resident 32 year old Timothy Eels ran afoul of Belizean law after failing to report his passport stolen to local police. As a result, the research assistant has been deemed a prohibited immigrant and the Immigration Department here requested a court order for deportation back to the United […]

Police release ‘comparative’ crime statistics
The Belize Police Department today released the “comparative statistics” for 2014 which shows that there have been 121 murders this year. In 2013 there were 99 murders. 145 murders were committed in 2012. The police statistics show that March and April of this year had the most […]

From the classroom to the kitchen, students feed themselves
The students of the Tumul’kin Center of Learning in Blue Creek village, Toledo are on Christmas break. Their hard work during the first semester of the current academic year has been successful. One student, Otto Moh from Jalacte village undertook an entrepreneurial project that […]

Belize and Japan sign multi-million dollar agreement
Belize and Japan have signed a multi-million dollars agreement for the purchase of products from Japan. Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington signed on behalf of Belize, while Japan’s ambassador to Belize Yasuo Takase signed on behalf of his country. Under the agreement, Belize […]

Body found in Bella Vista village
Family and friends of 21 year old Juan Young are grieving his death. According to reports received, the body of the young man was found early this morning in Bella Vista village in south Stann Creek. The circumstances surrounding the death have still not been confirmed by the […]

The 10 Coolest Places To Visit in Belize in 2015
Are you in need of a little Central American paradise? Check out this curated list of the best spots in Belize: San Ignacio Town Wander the mossy Maya ruins of Cahal Pech, where visitors can enjoy a tranquil […]

BDF soldier shot during armed robbery in Guyana
Belize Defence Force soldier Emil Mendez was the victim of a shooting incident last night in Georgetown, Guyana. Mendez, according to the Stabroek Newspaper, is part of Ministry of Health Orthopedic Technician program. According to various press reports out of Guyana, Mendez was shot four times during […]


Houses & Businesses Light up for Christmas in San Pedro, Belize
Last night, my friend and I (both in shorts and flip-flops) took a quick golf cart cruise around town to check out some of the holiday lights. The Front Street is draped with decorations, the big holiday tree in Central Park is all lit up beautifully… here are some of the businesses and private houses we saw last night. Town is bustling, many restaurants were full, people lined up waiting for pupusas…ahhhh…Christmas.

The Ultimate Belize Romantic Getaway!
What is it about chocolate? With a taste that’s impossible to describe, and beneficial effects that continue to interest doctors and scientists the world over, chocolate had been on the global palate ever since the Conquistador Cortez brought samples of the Aztec’s sacred xocolatl back to Spain in the1500s. And the world never looked back Chocolate began as a beverage and was turned into the delicious milk chocolate we enjoy so much today by Lindt, Nestle and Hershey in the late 1800s. Today, as scientists identify more and more beneficial characteristics about it, chocolate is being used in a variety of health applications and luxurious Spa treatments. Cacao has been grown in Belize for thousands of years and was revered as the “Food of the Gods” by our ancient Maya inhabitants. It seems only fitting that The Hilltop Spa at Chaa Creek, located in the Heartland of the Maya, is today using that age-old ingredient in several cutting edge treatments and as the foundation of the incredibly rich and rewarding Chocolatissimo Belize Vacation Package.

Five Interesting Mammals Found In Belize
The world is filed with beautiful things, let us all agree. Travel makes one so much more aware of many of the things available for us in the world that a thousand dollar trip is truly worth 5 to 10 times that when you travel and are with the right people in the place and places you travel to. In Belize, its not only culture, history, and places. There are forests and rivers and ancient Maya cities and people everywhere with rich diversity. Then there are the mammals. Please enjoy these interesting animals we handpicked for you in this piece.

BIL- Pre-Qualification of Bidders Notice
INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLICATIONS Belize Civic Center Project Belize Infrastructure Ltd. [BIL] Government of Belize Date: December 22, 2014 1. SCOPE OF BID 1.1 Belize Infrastructure Ltd. [BIL] (hereinafter referred to as “the Employer”), has secured funds to be used for the construction of a new sporting complex facility, the Belize Civic Center Sports Complex (BCCSC) to be located on Central American Boulevard, in Belize City.

Rent In Belize From $300 A Month
Ten years ago it was mainly scuba divers, anglers and adventure travelers who knew of Belize’s natural treasures. At that time few tourists could point to Belize on a map. But there’s been a growing buzz about Belize for the last few years. The constant press coverage about predictions of what would happen at the end of the Maya calendar (December 21, 2012) catapulted Belize into the international spotlight. Ever since, tourism numbers have been on the rise. And a growing number of Baby Boomers are retiring there. This little democratic country has one foot planted in the Caribbean and the other in Central America. In addition to an abundance of Belize’s natural beauty, it offers one of the best expat retiree programs available. Another major advantage is that English is the primary language.

International Sourcesizz

TripAdvisor Fined $600,000 For 'False Reviews'
Italy's antitrust authority has fined travel planning website TripAdvisor 500,000 euros ($600,000) following complaints of improper business practices lodged by a national hoteliers' association and a consumer protection agency. The antitrust authority said in a statement Monday that TripAdvisor had failed to adopt controls to prevent false reviews, while at the same time promoting the site's content as "authentic and genuine." It has given TripAdvisor 90 days to present a remedy. The Federalberghi federation of hoteliers welcomed the decision, citing the numerous examples of "defamatory" reviews that have appeared on the site. TripAdvisor said in a statement that it would appeal the findings, saying it believed its processes, which include a team to detect fraudsters as well as automated tools and algorithms, were "extremely effective in protecting consumers from the small minority of people who try to cheat our system." A U.K. regulator has previously said that TripAdvisor must stop claiming that all the reviews on its British site were written by independent travelers, and therefore reliable.

How do you start rugby from scratch in a country where it has no roots?
Strangely for a former British colony, rugby has never taken root in the Central American nation of Belize. The tiny nation of 350,000 people has tended to gravitate towards soccer, basketball and cycling - with little global impact. However, that could be about to change as the oval ball arrives in the country. Dublin-based Tony Gillings has founded Rugby Belize, a new rugby board which aims to grow the sport there. He has been joined by Rugby Belize ambassador and the country's only rugby professional Jonathan Woodward who grew up in London but is of Belizean heritage. I spoke to both of them about why they are trying to grow the game in a country with little prior connection to the sport as well as how they are going about building rugby's roots literally from scratch.


Copy of Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Launch Belize - Part 1, 19min. Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Launch Belize September 26, 2014.

Belize Christmas Parade & Park Fest 2014(, 103min.

Belize Birthday Adventure GoPro Hero 4 2014, 11min. An Un-Belize-Able adventure.

Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley, Belize, 1min. This video was shot with a GoPro while snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley, Belize. Music: Galuma (Calm) by The Garifuna Collective.

Rum Popo - Cooking with Flavors of Belize & Chef Sean Kuylen, 5.5min.

Belize sunrise, 10min. Watching the sun comes up in Belize City.

Kelly + Ronnel Highlights - Belize Wedding, 2min. Waterfall Wedding at Mountain Pine Ride, Belize.

Maya House San Pedro, Belize 2014 Christmas, min. Maya House San Pedro, Belize 2014 Christmas Decorations.

Belize Fishing Trip, 20min. Fly fishing trip to Belize with my dad.

Scuba diving Belize with Huracan Diving, Shark Dive off half Moon Caye, 10min. This video was shot on a single dive off of Half Moon Caye, Light House Reef Atoll Belize with Huracan Diving. The sharks joined us for close to 30 minutes. No feeding or baiting of the sharks was involved.

Belize Howler Monkeys, 1/2min. Monkey River Belize Howler Monkeys.

Podziemne miasta - Belize Podziemie Majów [Lektor PL][Film Dokumentalny], 60min.

Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Launch Belize - Part 3, 18min. Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Launch Belize September 26, 2014.

December 23, 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

Nonfunctional navigational lights a threat to boaters
Several boaters from Ambergris Caye have expressed concerns about nonfunctional navigational lights along the route between Ambergris Caye and Belize City. Because some of the lights, especially those along the channels are not properly working, boaters believe that it can mislead boat captains thus causing them to run aground. The upkeep of the navigational lights is the responsibility of the Belize Port Authority. According to boat captains, the lights help to guide boaters through very narrow channels near shallow areas. These highly trafficable areas include the San Pedro Marina Channel around Ambergris Caye, Porto Stock between Belize City and Caye Caulker, and the channels along Swallow Caye. These areas, which are used by vessels on a daily basis, including the public water ferries, require experience and knowledge of the waters. The lights are of great help, especially for those who are not well-versed with the area and during times when visibility is low. According to the Belize Port Commissioner Merlene Bailey-Martinez, the Belize Port Authority has indeed been made aware of situation. Bailey-Martinez explained that they have been making major upgrades to navigational aids, but it is being done in turns starting with the areas of most importance. “The Belize Port Authority has been working to upgrade aids to navigation over the past year, and in fact, we have been reinstalling lights along various channels. Between March and July we spend over $110,000 replacing buoys and lights, especially along English Caye Channel. It was fairly urgent that we dealt with that before moving to other areas,” said Martinez.

Smart’s transmission line to Toledo to be completed by February 2015
Over the past five years, Speednet has worked diligently and invested millions of dollars to build out its own network which would allow the company to become fully independent. This major investment project has been successful throughout the rest of Belize and is now underway in Toledo. To this end, Smart would like to inform its customers in Punta Gorda and surrounding villages that the construction of Speednet’s transmission line is due to be completed by the end of February 2015. Smart would therefore like to reassure the public that the transmission line will not only improve the quality of the services being provided but will also allow for the expansion of Smart coverage in the Toledo District. We would like to thank our customers for their patience, loyalty and continued patronage and reiterate our commitment to the people of the Toledo District.

Less turtle nests but better hatch rate on Ambergris Caye
Less turtles nested along the beaches on Ambergris Caye in 2014, but the hatching success has been one of the best over the past three years. That is the result of the 2014 Turtle Report compiled by the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Monitoring Program at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The turtle nesting season ran from April – when authorities reported the first turtle that crawled up to nest – up until the last week of November when the last clutch hatched. Two types of turtles are known to nest on Ambergris Caye: the Loggerhead turtles (Caretta Caretta) and the Green turtles (Chleonia Mydas). Very rarely would authorities report Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) nesting on the island. According to Hol Chan Marine Reserve Manager, Marine Biologist Miguel Alamilla, during the course of the 2014 Turtle Nesting Season, 77 turtle nests were recorded. 49 of the nests were found on the Robles Point Beach, 21 nests at Rocky Point Beach and six at Basil Jones Beach. In addition, one turtle nest was also found on South Ambergris Caye near Wataview Resort. Compared to the 2013 figures in which 96 turtle nests were found, 2014 saw 19 nests less.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus Take on San Pedro on Golf Cart
Santa Claus has been spotted in this side of the hemisphere lately; and Ambergris Today caught him no where else but in La Isla Bonita! And it looks like he has given up his sleigh for a cool golf cart. We just hope to see him and Mrs. Claus with their swim trunks and bikini next! Don't you think so?

Taiwan Donates Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles to The Inspiration Center
Visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs for Taiwan, H.E. David Lin, handed over two wheelchair accessible vehicles to Chairperson of The Inspiration Center Board of Directors, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow. The vehicles comprise a 2014 El Dorado Aerotech 240, Ford E-450 bus and a 2014 Ford E-250 van. The bus has capacity for 6 wheelchairs and 9 stationary and fold-away seats; while the van accommodates 3 wheelchairs and 3 stationary seats. According to Executive Director of The Inspiration Center, Kendra Griffith, the vehicles are being used to transport some 30 children with disabilities to and from the Center for therapy. Mrs. Simplis Barrow thanked Minister Lin and the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for their continued support of the Center, noting that with this donation the Center is able to offer affordable and accessible transportation to complement its already affordable speech and physical therapy.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize FISHING REPORT: Week of December 13th – 20th, 2014
Our December fishing has been remarkable in spite of some weather days. We always warn people to have fun with the bonefishing before burning up deck time chasing tarpon…but we also know how addictive chasing tarpon can be. That was the case this week. Robert and John – you are due! Our tradewinds are back and the sea is settling. We had a great time meeting new friends this week and look forward to your return. Our fly fishing community is a close nit one, and that’s a good thing. We get to know some really fun and interesting people here and for this, we thank you. Thanks for sharing your stories and extending your cast here at El Pescador. We hope this holiday time is special for all of our angling friends. Keep tying flies, casting your lines and living your dreams. From all the staff here at EP – we look forward to seeing you on the dock!


A Christmas message from the Editor of the Corozal Daily
For most of us, Christmas is a time of giving and rejoicing with our family, friends and loved ones. Perhaps we give and we receive gifts and cheers. While we celebrate, let us not forget the purpose of Christmas and let us be mindful of those families in our villages and communities in Corozal that may not be able to treat themselves with the gifts and cheers of Christmas. Let us be considerate and pray for these families and their children. We have always been aware of the magnificent community spirit here in Corozal and that was reinforced last night at the spectacular Christmas parade that was greatly supported by our community. As Corozal welcomes our snowbirds from the USA and Canada, let us all bear in mind that they come here to enjoy our warm weather and people and let us all continue to contribute to their happy stay, joyful and safe experience.

Channel 7

BSI Compromises, Cane Farmers Say They Don't See It
Tonight the standoff in the sugar industry continues - and it's clear there will be no crop before Christmas. There were rumors today that there would be a movement to protest against the cane farmers chairman Ezequiel Cansino - but when we passed the cane farmers association office - everyone was just waiting on their fair trade cheque. More on that later, but The news tonight though is that BSI has budged, and removed what the offending clause 2.3 in the draft of the final agreement. That's the one that deals with a new creature proposed by the BSI called the Harvesting and Delivery Control Unit. The farmers say that BSI is proposing it to take the place of the Sugar Cane Production Committee - which is an independent government-appointed body. This is the body that determines which cane will be accepted and which rejected. Well, over the weekend BSI says in the spirit of compromise, it removed the reference to the Harvesting and Delivery Control Unit in clause 2.3. Financial Director, Belizario Carballo explained:

Fair Trade Funds Divvied Up Amongst Farmers, They Claim Hardship
But today, most of the attention wasn't on finger pointing; it was on that Fair Trade money. As we told you, at the general membership meeting eight days ago - the farmers passed a controversial resolution to draw down on 2.5 million dollars of fair trade funds, and use it as a sort of cane country Christmas cheer. Many in the industry frowned on it - because that's not what fair trade funds are for, but today as the over five thousand cheques were cut for each and every farmer we didn't hear much objections. It works out to about 471 dollars each - not quite a king's ransom - but some much needed Christmas funds for the down and out farmers. Today Chairman Cansino told us the fact that they are down and out might qualify as fair usage:.. Ezequiel Cansino - Chair, Com of Mgmt, BSCFA "Well I can't oppose on that. It's justified that this help for all the cane farmers be given to them because we are not in a season as yet."

San Ignacio Shooting Murder May Be Drug Turf Related
There was a shooting murder in San Ignacio Town last night, which has left a family grieving before the holidays, and a police officer looking for the gunman. It happened on 2nd Street, which the residents in the area say, has become very active with drug activity recently. Police have stepped up their patrols on this street, and they passed by the house 10 minutes before the gunman attacked. Still, this shooter managed to ambush his targets, kill a man and get away, all before the police arrived. Our news team went to San Ignacio to find out more, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting 32 years old Jermaine Pagett took his last breath here at the bottom of the stairs of this house on 2nd Street in San Ignacio Town. He was in the company of 4 other men, 2 of whom lives at the house when a masked gunman ran up the steps and shot him in the chest. Everyone else ran off trying to escape being shot, but the injury to his chest claimed his life within minutes.

Another Cayo Killing
In our last segment, we told you about Jermaine Pagett, who was killed in San Ignacio last night. This weekend saw another murder, but this time on the More Tomorrow Road. Early on Saturday morning, Belmopan police found the body of 22 year-old Juan Alberto Guerra Ramirez, a Guatemalan seasonal worker who lives in Harmonyville. At this time, police are not saying much because the case is still under investigation, but the belief is that they have the killer in custody, and it is only a matter of time before he is criminally charged This evening, the Belmopan Commanding Officer spoke with us about what they've found out so far: Supt. Howell Gillett - OC, Belmopan Police "Unfortunately, sometime after 9am on Saturday morning, we received information of a body that was found about a mile into the More Tomorrow Road. We immediately responded. Upon arrival we confirmed that there was a body who we later identified as Juan Alberto Guerra Ramirez.

Was Clive's Demise BTB's Doing?
Last week, the scandal of Clive Myers, the Director of Marketing BTB was all the news. He resigned 2 days after being formally appointed, after credible allegations emerged illustrating that he allegedly faked his academic credentials. A still unknown whistle-blower collated and circulated documents which show that Myers does not have bachelor's and master's degrees, as he claims. Myers has not yet given any public explanation and neither has he come straight out to deny the allegations made against him. And while he has the right to say nothing, not so with the BTB - they're a public body - and are obliged to explain how they failed in their due diligence. This weekend, we got a chance to speak with Tracey Taegar-Panton, the CEO in the Ministry of Tourism, and a member of the Board of BTB, and we asked about it:

Grandfather Knocked Down
Instead of opening gifts and celebrating this Christmas, a family in Douglas village will instead be preparing for the burial of a loved one. At around 6:00 on Saturday evening, 62 year old Douglas resident Fermin Gonzalez, was riding to the nearby San Juan village in the Orange Walk District. That's when 18 year old Eleodoro Osorio who was heading in the same direction knocked him down. Osorio says the older man swerved into his path. Today, the family of the deceased told us that is very unlikely because Fermin Gonzalez had been riding the road for decades and was very familiar with it:.. Alma Pech, Niece of deceased "He use to travel this road in the morning, midday and in the night. This road, he knew like the palm of his hands. This is not the first, second or the third time. He travels this road very often thousands of time. It's something shocking. It's something that hurts a lot because we have lost not only a father, but an uncle and a friend.

Three Way Accident In Ladyville
Closer to Belize City, there was a traffic accident over the weekend. It happened on Sunday evening at around 6:20 -between miles 12 and 13 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The three way collision involved a small car, a pickup truck and a tracker. So far police are investigating - and they do believe the accident was caused by one driver who may have been intoxicated.

Medical Malpractice Victim Jane Still Not Paid
In April of this year, the biggest medical malpractice award in Belize's history was granted by the Caribbean Court of Justice to 13 year old Janae Matute and her mother Georgia Matute. The panel of judges found that 2.3 million dollars must be paid to Janae Matute, and a little over half a million dollars must be paid to her mother, Georgia. 13 year-old Janae, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy was born premature, and due to post-natal complications, she was left with the disorder, which makes her life a constant struggle. The doctor, RajiMeenvalli, who the family sued for malpractice in the Supreme Court, challenged it in the Court of Appeal - and when he failed there, took his case to the highest court in the land, the Caribbean Court of Justice. That was heard in February of this year, where he lost. The liable party in this case would be the government - because he worked as a government doctor at the Belmopan hospital. But, it's been 9 months since the decision was handed down by the CCJ but still Janae nor her mother has been compensated. 7news attended a press conference this morning.

Caught In the Act, Alleged Rapist Remanded
Police say that they caught 24 year-old Alexander Nunez in the act of raping a 43 year-old woman, and so, tonight, he's at the Belize Central Prison. The incident happened on last week Friday on Raccoon Street. Officers say that they were on mobile patrol when their attention was drawn to the sounds of a woman who appeared to be in distress. When they responded, they reportedly caught Nunez raping a woman. He was immediately arrested and later charged with rape. Nunez was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where no plea was taken from him. She upheld the bail objections from the police prosecutor on the strength of the grounds that the victim's life is at risk, and that police had a strong case against him. Nunez was remanded until January 27, 2015.

Bennett Back To Jail - This Time For Weed
27 year-old Roy Bennett, one of 4 persons who was charged with possession of less than 1 gram of marijuana, is spending the first night of a 9-month prison sentence. Police say that at around 9:30 a.m. yesterday, they went to a house at #6 Gill Street to conduct a search. Roy Bennett was present along with Alva Moody, Emory Felix, and Ryan Bennett when the officers found 0.9 grams of marijuana in one of the 4 rooms of the house. They were all charged with possession of a controlled drug, and they were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. Bennett accepted guilt for the drugs and begged for leniency. He asked to be sentenced to a fine, but the Senior Magistrate gave him the bad news that she could not do that. He has 5 previous convictions for drug related offences, and so he was sentenced to 9 months in jail.

Fire Guts Home, Landlord Points Fingers
Tonight a family is homeless and their landlord is pointing fingers -after his 3 bedroom concrete bungalow house was destroyed by fire. It happened on Saturday evening in the Michel Estate area on Heron Street. Carlos Diaz, who is the home owner received the call from his tenant at around 4 Saturday evening informing him that his house was on fire. And while that is bad enough news, Diaz believes that it was arson :... Carlos Diaz, Home Owner "I came here Sunday morning and this is what I met. Now, I look at what is here and I can only conclude that my house was deliberately set on fire. This is a case of arson and I can say that because all the windows are metal windows and all the windows are burnt out, but there is a plywood window that suffered no burns. There are lots of papers around the place, but the windows are burnt out. So I can only conclude that these things were deliberately set on fire as far as I am concern. But so far I haven't gone to the police because you cannot get to the police and make an accusation against somebody without the proper information and I don't want to end up myself being in problem or being sued for saying the wrong thing. I can say that I believe it was burnt down, but until the fire chief say this is arson, I can't say so."

Man Says He Was Beat Up For Being PUP
A man came to our studios tonight claiming that he was assaulted because of his political affiliation. 34 year old David Phillips told us that as he was walking home from PUP Standard Bearer Gilroy Usher's Christmas party yesterday after 5, he was attacked by 8 men on the boulevard in front of 88 store. He claims they beat him up and stole the case of lemonade he got from Usher's Christmas party along with $50 dollars. Phillips described this unfortunate encounter. David Phillips "They assault me and took away my lemonade and my money. They took my slippers also and they told that once I continue work they will deal with. About 8 of them jumped me. I don't know their names. They punch me, lash me with a bat in my ribs. They didn't have to do me that, just because of politics." Gilroy Usher, PUP Port Loyola - Standard Bearer "That very Christmas program, I called for an end to victimization in Port Loyola and I even held up a Bristol board marked victimization and burnt it there as an indication that the struggle begins to end victimization in Port Loyola."

New United Flight Blows In From Windy City
There are tens of thousands of Belizeans living in the US - and most of them are concentrated in three major population centers: New York on the East Coast, Chicago in the Midwest and Los Angeles on the West Coast. Well now all those Belizeans trying to escape the Windy City's wicked winters will have a direct flight, straight from O'hare to the PGIA. United Airlines opened the route officially this Saturday which is when the first passengers flying directly from Chicago to Belize landed at the airport, and 7News there. Daniel Ortiz has that story: Daniel Ortiz reporting United Airline Flight #1150 landed on Saturday, the first direct flight from Chicago to Belize, an opportunity in tourism for both the airline and Belize.

Can United & Southwest Co-exist in Houston?
But, while United Airlines is breaking ground, a competitor is muscling into one of their two major hubs - the city of Houston, Texas. As we told you Southwest Airlines, another major US air carrier, announced that it will begin non-stop service from Houston's Hobby airport to Belize starting October 2015. That's important because Southwest Airlines is a discount carrier, and industry observers say that it will drive down the prices of air fare. Here's what it means for United and its long established relationship with Houston:.. Indira Craig - Country Manager, United Airlines "I think just by virtue of hearing that there is another airline coming into your market and that's going to be cater to your demographic, I think initially it put some scare in people or to at least have it seem as if though it's going to be a bad thing. I think that for them, its stimulation of the market and so I dint necessarily see it as a bad thing. We have a 10% rate of overlapping.

Stats Say Inflation Stable
The Statistical Institute of Belize reports that in November there was a steep increase in imports - from $143.5 million to $183.3 million. That's a 27% increase compared to November 2013. What bumped up that import figure is the increase in purchase of motor vehicles. Exports reported a decline of 30% - from $45.5 million to $31.7 million for the month. Sale of Marine products such as shrimp and conch declined by $6 million, sale of orange concentrate suffered a major decrease of $3.7 million - from $5.7 million last November to $1.9 million this month. However, there is some hope in the sale of bananas and sugar - sale of these products rose by $1.1 million and .7 (point-7) million respectively. And while imports were up, inflation was stable. The consumer price index stood at 103.8 in November 2014, up only 0.2 percent from in the same month last year. Lower prices for Transport and food items were the main factors holding inflation down, offsetting increases in rent, insurance and medical services. The lower price of fuel drove airfares down by 17 percent compared to twelve months ago. Food prices were down by 1.2 percent on average.

Channel 5

Jermaine Padgett Shot and Killed in San Ignacio
There are two murders to report tonight, both of them in western Belize. The first happened, it is believed, sometime early Saturday morning, on the More Tomorrow road outside of [...]

Body of Guatemalan Laborer Discovered on More Tomorrow Road
The second murder was a particularly bloody one, as a Guatemalan labourer was stabbed to death on the remote More Tomorrow Road. It happened sometime in the early hours of [...]

B.S.I. Amends Purchasing Agreement, Sans Contentious Clause
On Friday, we reported that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association had refused to endorse a purchasing agreement with Belize Sugar Industries Limited under the premise that B.S.I. had introduced [...]

When Will B.S.C.F.A. Sign Revised Agreement?
Now that the contentious item has been cleared from the contract Carballo says a response, as well as a signature from B.S.C.F.A. is imminent.  The next step, he says, would [...]

Too Early to Determine Effect of Delayed Sugar Crop
While B.S.I. remains optimistic that a response from B.S.C.F.A. is forthcoming, up to news time tonight the agreement had not been endorsed.  The effect of the delay of the sugar [...]

Fire Guts Ladyville Residence Leaving Family Homeless
A Ladyville family lost all their belongings and the place they called home to a fire on Saturday evening. While it was initially believed to be a case of arson, [...]

Weekend Accidents Claim One Life and Lands Several Others in Hospital
Separate road traffic accidents on the Phillip Goldson Highway have left one person dead and several others injured. A fatal accident on Saturday between Douglas and San Juan villages in [...]

The Saga of Clive Myers Continues, Tourism C.E.O. Breaks Silence
Did Clive Myers falsify his certifications? An investigation is currently ongoing at the Belize Tourism Board where for the past four years, Myers had been working –initially in the marketing [...]

Will B.T.B. Bring Charges of Forgery Against Myers for Faking Degrees?
But if in fact, Myers documents were falsified, would that warrant criminal charges against the former Acting Marketing Director?   Reporter “We understand that there were rumors circulating when Mister [...]

Tracy Taegar-Panton on the Effect of Cuba and U.S. Relations on Tourism
Last week we told you about the historic renewal of diplomatic affairs between the governments of Cuba and the United States. The news was followed by the announcement of the [...]

CCJ Upholds Judgment for Janae Matute, Government is Hard Pay
Fourteen-year-old Janae Matute was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, a lifelong condition that has been attributed to a medical error committed when Doctor Raju Meenavalli miscalculated her mother’s pregnancy.  [...]

Alexander Nunez Caught in the Act of Raping a Woman
A young man from Belize City is on remand at the Belize Central Prison tonight after he was charged with rape. Police say that on Friday, twenty-three year old construction [...]

Highlights in Sports with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The PLB playoffs was a bang this weekend as the 4 teams making the scene brought out even the [...]


Another Residence Burglarized In Corozal
Thieves in Corozal Town are on the prowl again as another residence was ransacked for its costly electronics. According to 24 year old Ruben Pasos, Belizean supervisor of Santa Maria street Halls layout area of Corozal Town, his house was burglarized on Friday night. Stolen from within was a black 32inch Sony TV value $1300bcy, (1) playstation3 game valuing $1200, (6) playstation3 CDs valuing $50bcy each, (1) wireless play station remote controller valuing $120bcy, (1) play station remote with wire valuing $100bcy (1) gold chain with cross medal valuing $1000bcy and about $50bcy in small change all totalling $4070bcy were missing. Police report that no forced entry was observed and their investigations continue.

Cane Farmers Receive Fair Trade Funds
In the last general meeting held with sugar cane farmers, the floor passed a motion to distribute 2.5 million Belize dollars evenly among farmers. From the onset, leaders expressed grave concern over the consequences of the motion but added that despite their best interests, the farmers’ collective voice must be adhered. Well, today farmers in at least tem branches received their cheques. Ezekiel Cansino- Chairman BSCFA, COM “Desde la semana pasada tenemos al Finance Committee que ha estado trabajando y hasta hoy ya habían diez branches que habían terminado sus cheques y ya estaban firmados y es lo que se está distribuyendo ahorita cada director respectivo branch y se los está entregando a su gente.” Again we asked Cansino about Fairtrade and its regulations and he said that the BSCFA attempted to get their input in the entire process.

Quick Stop Shares The Joy Of Giving
With Christmas just a few days away, Belizeans are out in full force doing their last minute preparations before Christmas Eve boosting up the sales at the different groceries stores, boutiques and even pawn shops. One such business is newcomer, Quick Stop Finance Center who gave back to the underprivileged kids in our community. This year, their Christmas initiative benefitted over fifty primary school students. Gloria Lambey is the Assistant Operations Manager at QuickStop and elaborated on the event. Gloria Lambey – Asst. Operations Manager “We are issuing some gift to needy children from two schools, we have St. Peters and Trial Farm school and we use this method because a lot of times when organizations just issue gifts a lot of times it is not catered to specifically the kids that are in need so we use the help of the Principals and teachers for them to select some of the needier kids from their schools.”

BSI Hopes For The Best But Prepares For The Worst
As we told you at the top of the newscast there is no telling when the 2014/2015 crop season will commence. BSCFA will meet tomorrow with its directors who will decide if the agreement will be signed or not. It all depends on how they interpret the revision of clause 2.3 made by BSI to the draft agreement. And with tensions rising and falling as the negotiations continue there is not telling what will come next. But this time all indications are that BSI will not be taken by surprise. On Friday they sent home their employees as a form of precaution as rumours were that a riot was to take place. Also, if you have been by the factory, you will notice that barriers have gone up and they were still in place today. According to Carballo it is a decision management took as a form of safety.

BSI Amends Draft Agreement, Will BSCFA Sign?
On Friday when we left you tensions were rising between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. This is after BSI was accused of acting in bad faith and undermining the Sugar Cane Production Committee after they allegedly sought to introduce a new provision on the draft agreement sent to the association. The BSCFA claimed that the intention of BSI was to replace the SCPC whose role is to coordinate the cane harvest, delivery procedures and cane rejection procedures, with the Harvesting and Delivery Control Unit, something which they are not in agreement with and rejected the first instance it was proposed by BSI during the negotiations. Late Friday evening BSI’S Financial Director, Belizario Carballo Jr., refuted the allegation by stating that when it comes to the HDSU that proposal was removed from the draft agreement back in October 9th 2014 after it was presented and rejected by BSCFA.

Belizeans Living Abroad Bring Christmas To Needy Children From The North
Christmas is a time of giving, a time of exchanging gifts and spending time with family and friends. The special time of the year is celebrated in various ways but traditional with gifts, lots of food and in the company of loved ones. But not everyone has the privilege of celebrating Christmas in grand style and when it comes to gifts not every child will receive one. With that in mind a group of Belizeans living in the US that under the name of “United Belizeans of Northern Illinois”, have come together for the third consecutive year to share the joy of the season. This year the Corozal District was targeted.

Elderly Man Knocked Down, Family Demands Justice
A resident of Douglas Village succumbed to injuries sustained in a road traffic incident recorded over the weekend. On Saturday, December 14th, police were called to a traffic accident that occurred between Douglas Village and San Juan Village in the Orange Walk District. Upon arrival police saw the lifeless body of a Hispanic male person lying in the middle of the road apparently dead, with a large open wound at the back of his head. Approximately 50 feet from the body was a red ford ranger pickup truck with its number off and a grey male beach cruiser with both wheels broken off. After inspections were made, it was revealed that the vehicle had expired insurance and the driver’s license had expired in July of 2014. The driver was later identified as 18 year old Eleotoro Osorio, Belizean farmer of Douglas Village. Best information from the driver in the initial stages of the investigation reveals that driver of the pickup was driving his father’s pickup truck as he was hired by one Carlos Mendez to take him to the Orange Walk Hospital.

Mark Vega's Case Resumes At The Supreme Court
Today at the Northern session of the Supreme Court, the murder trial against Mark Vega continued. His trial has been on-going for the past two months and today the prosecution was still open, which means that more witnesses are testifying. Vega has attained the services of attorney Brian Neal. The sitting judge in this case is Justice Herbert Lord. Reliable sources to our newsroom revealed that the jury is pushing to come up with a verdict by the end of the year. For context, Vega is one of two accused of the murder of Mennonite Susanna Petkan and the attempted murder of husband Enrique Petkan in June of 2002. The case was adjourned and scheduled to continue with witness testimonies tomorrow.

BSI Lashes Out At NTUCB, GOB And Audrey Matura Sheppard
When word spread on Friday that BSI tried to slip a new provision in the draft agreement sent to BSCFA, which would see the replacement of the Sugar Cane Production Committee with the Harvesting Delivery and Control Unit, something which BSI has denied, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize came out lashing at BSI. In their release the NTUCB accused BSI of being oppressive and unfair. But that’s not all, the organization also called on all 18 Directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, to not sign any agreement with BSI. Instead they urge the BSCFA to keep the window of negotiation open. Basically go back to the negotiating table and start the 2014/2015 crop with interim agreement as a signed agreement at this time; will only close off all potentials for the farmers to keep what they had on the table. Today BSI responded to the NTUCB and they held back no punches as they called the organization irresponsible and unprofessional.

Well Known Orange Walk Businessman Robbed At Gunpoint
A well-known businessman was targeted by armed robbers on Friday night shortly after closing hours. According to authorities, 49 year old Raju Punjabi, businessman of Belize Corozal Road, reported that on the night of Friday December 19th, at 8:30, after closing his business place namely SP Warehouse situated on Progress Street, he went to drop off his worker in his Prado vehicle. On arrival in front of his worker’s house situated on Bishop Martin Street, he decided to walk his worker inside her house, where they spoke for about 20 minutes, leaving his vehicle parked on the said street side. At the point where he walked back to his vehicle and reaching two feet away from where it was parked, he saw two male persons who had on white mask covering their face, with long sleeve shirt and cap, came running up to him.


Murder in More Tomorrow Village
It’s the week before Christmas; a time of peace and love, but on this Monday there are several murders and shootings to report on. Two murders occurred in the Cayo District; the first in More Tomorrow Village just outside of Belmopan, and the other in San Ignacio. Belmopan police were called to the scene of the crime on the More Tomorrow Road, after a farmer heading to work on Saturday morning found a body in a drain at the side of the road.

Fatal Road Traffic Accident in Orange Walk
A traffic accident in the Orange Walk District has claimed the life of an elderly farmer of Douglas Village. The accident occurred on Saturday night, somewhere between Douglas Village and San Juan Village. Initial police investigations revealed that driver of a red ford ranger pickup, driven by 18-year-old Eleodoro Osorio, was en route to the Orange Walk Hospital, when he saw a Man riding a bicycle swerving on the middle of the road and in front of the pickup. As a result, the driver hit the man, who was later identified as 62-year-old Fermin Gonzalez.

St Matthew’s Villager shot in San Ignacio
There were more shootings over the weekend. On Sunday morning, San Ignacio Police received information of a person lying on the side of the street by the old hospital in San Ignacio. There they found 33-year-old Oscar Romero of St. Matthews Village Belmopan City, lying face up with what appeared to be a single gunshot to the right side of his chest and a cut wound behind his head. Oscar Romero was transported to the San Ignacio Hospital for treatment, and was later transported to the Western Regional Hospital for further treatment.

St. Matthew’s Villager shot in Belize City
There was a shooting in Belize City as well, also on Sunday. Shots were fired on Kraal Road, and another St. Matthew’s villager was shot. 39-year-old Dean Murillo, of St. Matthews Village, was shot to the lower back, the right arm and the left side. Initial police investigations revealed that about 4:39a.m., Dean Murillo was walking on Kraal Road heading towards Fabers Road, and upon reaching the junction of Kraal Road and Waight Street, a white SUV passed him. Shortly after that, two armed men approached him and fired several shots at him, causing his injury.

Patrick JonesPJ

Toys for Corozal children
The children of selected villages in the Corozal district are the recipients of Christmas toys, thanks to the efforts of a group of Belizeans living in the United States. The toys were distributed to excited children today in Libertad, Estrellita and San Narciso. The Christmas Toys distribution initiative […]

Rape, gang affiliation & drug possession charges in Magistrate’s Court
Police say they caught 24 year old Alexander Nunez, employee of Cisco Construction, red-handed forcing himself on a woman nearly twice his age on Racoon Street on Friday night. Today he was remanded into custody after arraignment before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who upheld the prosecution’s objection to […]

BTB PR manager resigns as board investigates Clive Myers fiasco
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Ministry of Tourism and Culture continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the sudden fall of Acting Director of Marketing Clive Myers. Myers abruptly resigned last week, only a few days after taking over the post from the Alyssa Carnegie. A package was […]

United Airlines opens direct service between Belize and Chicago
This time last year, Delta Airlines opened the first direct flight service between Los Angeles, California, the second largest U.S. city, and the Philip Goldson International Airport. This year it is Chicago’s turn. The Windy City, the third largest U.S. city, is home to a population of Belizeans […]

Trade unions support farmers not signing commercial agreement with BSI
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) has intervened in the dispute between Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA). The two sides were on the verge of signing a commercial agreement last week until the inclusion of a clause advocating […]

Malpractice award still outstanding by GOB
Eight months after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled against Dr. Raju Meenavalli, finding him and the government of Belize for medical malpractice, the Government of Belize has so far refused to honor the award. Former government secretary Georgia Matute had sought legal recourse and the courts […]

Thirty one year old man murdered in San Ignacio town
Police in San Ignacio town are investigating the murder of 31 year old Jermaine Pagett. Pagett was shot and killed as he socialized at a house on 2nd. Street in San Ignacio town around 10 pm on Sunday. Police say that when the visited the scene of the murder last night, they found Pagett’s body with an apparent gunshot wound to the abdomen which exited the upper left side of his back. The official police report says that a group of men were socializing when one of them yelled “gunman” and they all dashed for cover as a gunshot rang out.

Young journalist wins film festival prize
Belize Media Group correspondent Juan Caal based in Punta Gorda town is all smiles today, and rightly so as he won first place prize in film festival sponsored by a not-for-profit organization called Project Accessible Hollywood. The winning video featured a 3-minute long testimonial of a woman who turned a tragic event in her life into a positive. The organization encourages amateur film makers to create short films, post them on the organization’s website and then they are judged by the general public.


International Flights Land at North Placencia International Airport. But Don’t Get too Excited Yet
Rumors abound when it comes to information about the private airport near Placencia, Belize – “North Placencia International Airport”. The large, very interested parties – developments like The Placencia or Canyon Acquisitions – suggest this airport will be up and running soon. And just this past week, there were some positive signs… I posted an “airline discussion” a few months ago – chatting with Anthony Hunt, Chairman of the Aviation Development Committee for the BTB and Director of Marketing at Tropic Air, about a few topics. From ticket prices to Cruise Ship tourism to the likelihood of Placencia International opening as a fully functional airport. It’s hard enough to make a profit…but if they are currently flying from Houston to Belize City. And 25 of the people are going to Placencia and 75 to Ambergris Caye (to simplify), why would they want to split it in two? Send up two flights at $35,000 an hour to lose money?

Belize Celebrates Another Maya Winter Solstice
It’s hard to believe that two years have already passed since the big 2012 Winter Solstice celebrations held at Chaa Creek and around the world. Remember? Due to some rather fast, loose and totally inaccurate readings of the Maya Long Count Calendar, the media was filled with dire predictions that the world would be coming to an end on December 21, 2012. There was even that infamous blockbuster film “2012”, that did much to further the frenzy and raise the fear level around the world. Chaa Creek, whose owners have sponsored legitimate Maya research for decades, posted articles throughout the year debunking the doomsday theories and marked the 2012 event with an impressive, booked-out celebration that introduced guests to the significance of the real Maya Winter Solstice observations and explained why that particular date was – and is – so important to the Maya.

10 Business Process Outsourcing Trends for 2015
We’ve taken a look into the future of BPO, and here are the top trends we see driving the industry in 2015. Read on, and check out our infographic below! Innovation becomes the status quo Buyers pushed for innovation from BPO providers for years, and now they are seeing it ingrained into the industry at last. A survey of 100 firms found that two-thirds have innovation incentives built into outsourcing arrangements, and nearly half meet regularly with providers to discuss innovation. Eighty percent said outsourcing partners “actively encourage innovation and ideas.”

Seven Birds That Can Light Up A Tree
There are over 500 species of birds found in Belize. Many come to visit us in the winter from the North and for a short while, make their home here. What this does is, it makes Belize a destination for bird watchers and on a steady pace is becoming a place where the novice birder and the hard core birder come to fill out their life lists. This my friends is serious stuff! The following is a short collection of birds that definitely can make a tree blaze with colour. Heads up, because you never know when you may see all 7 of these species in one cluster or maybe on the same tree! This beauty is found from the USA through South America. In Central America, it can be seen in El Salvador, Guatemala and certainly, Belize. They love humid forests, pine-oak woods, borders, gardens and orchards and when you start searching for them there, look toward the middle to upper branches of the trees.

NTUCB on BSI ASR BSCFA – Press Release
ASR/BSI CANNOT BE TRUSTED AS THEY KEEP MOVING THE GOAL POST! The National Trade Union Congress of Belize denounces the conduct of ASR/BSI in their seeking to change the terms of the previously settled agreement without going back to the cane-farmers; having already conceded to the oppressive and unfair terms pushed by ASR/BSI with the intervention of no less than the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. The latest blatant attempt by ASR/BSI to undermine the cane farmers comes in the form of them now not wanting the legally established Sugar industry Control Board to be removed as the regulating entity. They want by the agreement to slip in their own entity created and named the Harvesting Delivery and Control Unit effectively being an arm of ASR/BSI; and in contravention of the law. In the absence of negotiations with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA); this provision was included in the draft agreement.

International Sourcesizz

Belize and Guatemala sign landmark agreements
The chameleon adjusts his colours to opportunities ODECO-CABO goes into a conference and another organization comes out: Alliance of Afro-descendants, Garifuna-Creoles (AAGACRIC). It's incredible to see how Mr Celeo Alvarez Casildo is showing his despair at the approaching of funds for the Afro-descendant Decennial declared by the United Nations (UN), and I say this because in his statement on the results of his assembly ODECO-CABO makes no mention of CABO's resolutions from the meeting in La Ceiba from 4 to 6 December 2014 and this is because CABO and its members representatives had their General Assembly meeting in Triunfo De La Cruz, the 14th of December. Apparently, CABO had a quorum and have shown a total disregard to the manipulations which have been objects ODECO since its founding.

Belize and Guatemala sign landmark agreements
Thirteen bilateral agreements were signed on Wednesday between Belize and Guatemala, covering the protection of cultural goods, migratory issues, electric energy, student exchanges, protection of the environment, sustainable tourism, and processing of visas, among others. The signing of the agreements took place in the framework of the XLV Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in Placencia, Belize. The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, witnessed the signing, and highlighted afterwards that, “for the first time since independence, the governments of Belize and Guatemala have taken concrete steps to forge a common destiny filled with promise and hope in direct benefit of both countries.”

Coral Reefs Could Soon Fall Silent As Ocean Acidification Ravages Ecosystems
Doug E. Fresh may have some competition in the beatboxing arena from unlikely source. It’s not from some underground phenom but rather an underwater rising star, or well, fish. Take a listen to this beat laid down by a croaker fish off the coast of Indonesia. A rhythmic thumping provides the beat for an otherwise ambient ocean noise track. “This one has just stuck with me,” said Julius Piercy, a PhD candidate studying underwater acoustics at the University of Essex, who discovered this particular virtuoso. Piercy has been recording the sounds of fish and crustaceans at tropical coral reefs around the world. The thumps, whistles, grunts and snaps of those reef inhabitants are more than just fodder for multi-platinum recordings. They give Piercy and other marine scientists a snapshot of reef health and biodiversity that can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional reef monitoring. Piercy’s recent research shows that the future ocean may be a lot quieter than our current if overfishing and ocean acidification continue to take a toll on the reefs that support the symphony of life. The research looked at, well listened to, a dozen tropical reefs across the Pacific and Indian Oceans with varying degrees of health. Healthier reefs were louder and sound propagated further from them into the open ocean.

International student feels a bit cheated this Christmas
Margarette Leandre was willing to put aside the bitter cold, the wet and even the bouts of sickness for the opportunity to brag about celebrating a white Christmas. The international student, who came from Belize, had never seen snow in person, let alone experienced all the emotions and feelings that go along with it. There is the obvious feel of cold and wet that leaves one shivering, but Leandre had also felt the joy of the flakes of ice crystals falling around her and accumulating at her feet. Born in Guana and raised in Jamaica, the daughter of Salvation Army leaders knew about the winters that awaited her in Corner Brook. Or did she? During her late-August plane ride to the western world, she said she was warned about the Newfoundland winters. She began to wonder what she had gotten herself into.

After protecting habitat for jaguars, expert believes the species can adapt and survive
Growing up in New York, Alan Rabinowitz spent hours gazing at the tigers, lions, jaguars and leopards at the Bronx Zoo. His father thought the visits would help his stuttering condition, with the Lion House a safe place to let him express himself to the animals that so entranced him. It did that, but the visits also led him to a lifelong passion for big cats. After earning a PhD in wildlife ecology, Rabinowitz has become one of the world’s experts on the animals. In the 1990s, he helped establish a jaguar preserve in Belize — the spotted cat lives in Central and South America — and today Rabinowitz, 60, is chief executive of Panthera, a nonprofit conservation group that he helped found. His book, “An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar,” looks at the animal’s evolution and recent history, its cultural influence on the Aztec and Maya civilizations and the establishment of the Jaguar Corridor from Mexico to Argentina. The Post spoke with Rabinowitz recently. I gather you’re not opposed to hunting to fund conservation? Do I think there could be a place for sustainable hunting, and the benefits go back to conservation? Yes, I do. Tigers are on the edge. I spent 30 years trying to save tigers. If hunting can be done in a manner that doesn’t affect reproduction — you are not taking reproductive females, and you’re taking older animals — if there can be a valid means of showing that taking trophies in the hunt truly benefits the survival of the species or the ecosystem as a whole, then I could see my way to that. That’s the reality of the world.

Lord Ashcroft becomes independent opinion pollster
Lord Ashcroft, once notorious for his “non-dom” tax status, has become an independent opinion pollster in one of the most intriguing iden

Kendis Gibson Joining ABC News
I’m thrilled to announce that Kendis Gibson has joined ABC News as a correspondent. A talented journalist with wide-ranging experience, Kendis is a very welcome addition to our ABC News family. He comes to us from our powerhouse affiliate WJLA in Washington DC, where he was a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter. Since joining WJLA in 2011, he has covered some of the biggest stories to hit the nation’s capital, including anchoring hours of live coverage during Hurricane Sandy, the Capitol Hill police pursuit and shooting, and reporting on the Navy Yard massacre in 2013. Prior to joining WJLA, Kendis worked as a correspondent with CBS Newspath, where he covered the shooting spree in Tucson and many other major news events. He also worked as an anchor at KSWB in San Diego, and has hosted shows for HGTV and covered red carpet events across the world as an entertainment reporter and anchor with CNN. A native of Belize, where he grew up without a television, Kendis moved to the U.S. when he was 11-years-old. The youngest of seven boys, his family has also taught him a thing or two about how to work as a team.

The complete guide to flying with kids
Every traveling parent has been there: pacing the aisle of an airplane, grasping a wailing baby or wiggling toddler, trying to avoid the accusing glares of fellow passengers. In anticipation of this crisis point, some considerate parents give their seat neighbors gift cards or apologetic goody bags to buy some goodwill in advance. And with good reason—it’s no surprise that the “rear seat kicker” and the “inattentive parent” topped a recent survey identifying the most annoying types of passengers to be seated near. But does travel with small children have to be hellish nightmare every time? With the holidays—and high-volume family travel season—upon us, Quartz talked to some veteran parent travelers on their tips to ease the process. Before you go Book your travel with your cargo in mind. Try to pick flights that seem likely to work best with your kids’ schedules. Align shorter flights with nap time. Avoid red-eyes that are too short to allow for a full night’s sleep. And while it may be pricier (or on some routes, impossible), avoid layovers when direct routes are available.

Interdisciplinary initiatives earn Regan Prize for Warden, Vanegas
Robert Warden, professor of architecture and fellow Regan Prize winner has assembled interdisciplinary teams of collaborators to document historic sites around the world, including Europe, Alcatraz Island and a Central American jungle. “His efforts enable undergraduate and graduate students to work alongside architects, archaeologists and museum conservators,” said Julie Rogers, senior lecturer of architecture and associate CHC director, in a Regan Prize nomination letter. Warden and students from various disciplines have also been part of a multiyear effort to create models of an ancient Maya site in Belize, where archaeologists have been conducting excavations since 1992.

Caribbean share of global tourism market declining -- Study
A study examining what is driving the tourism flows in the Caribbean has found that the region’s share of the global tourism market is declining. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Working Paper titled “Revisiting Tourism Flows to the Caribbean: What is Driving Arrivals,” finds that tourism arrivals and expenditure are sensitive to both price and income factors in source markets; price and income elasticities of tourism have declined since 2008 and that price elasticity is statistically insignificant for “high-end” destinations. In addition, the study prepared by Nicole Laframboise, Nkunde Mwase, Joonkyu Park, and Yingke Zhou, also found that the nominal cost of an average one week beach holiday in the Caribbean is higher than in other beach destinations around the world. “These results point to the need for structural reforms to raise product quality, cost reduction or containment in “low-end” destinations, including possibly via exchange rates, and an adjustment in aggregate consumption to adapt to the implications of a lower contribution to GDP (gross domestic product) from tourism,” the study indicated.

Worst 'coral bleaching' in nearly 20 years may be underway, scientists warn
In 1998, one of the most powerful El Niño events on record sent Pacific Ocean temperatures soaring to such heights that almost 20% of the world’s coral reefs experienced significant bleaching. Some of the reefs have never fully recovered from that episode. Now, more than 16 years later, global warming appears to be doing what it used to require a super El Niño to do — push ocean temperatures so high across the Pacific Ocean that it sets off a major coral bleaching event, scientists warned Monday. Coral reefs, vital marine ecosystems which are home to 25% of the world’s marine life and help provide food and livelihoods for millions of people, may be heading into one of the largest coral bleaching events on record, due to record warm ocean temperatures. This year is virtually guaranteed to set the record for the warmest year since instrumental records began in 1880, largely due to record high global ocean temperatures. Corals are invertebrates that often grow in colonies in symbiosis with algae, known as zooxanthellae, which live in their tissues. It is these algae that give the corals their vibrant colors, and healthy coral reef ecosystems in turn provide food and shelter for a plethora of marine species.


Thank you 2014, from Wildtracks, 1.5min. Another year has gone by, and once again we have been absolutely blown away by how much support everyone has shown. Thank you to everyone who helped make all of our goals, big and small, possible!

SCUBA Diving Belize - Dive 1, 53min. Crickozeen Cut - Turneffe Atoll - Belize.

SCUBA Diving Belize - Dive 2, 44min. Pine Ridge - Turneffe Atoll - Belize.

Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Launch Belize - Part 1, 19min. Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Launch Belize September 26, 2014.

Flavors of Belize: The Perfect Gift, 1min. The Flavors of Belize Cookbook makes for the perfect gift not only during this holiday season, but as a birthday gift, mother's day present, or a gift just because.

Vacation Video 2014, 16min. Assembled footage and photos from cruise vacation to Cozumel, Belize City, and Trujillo.

Bamboo Beach Resort - Copper Bank, Belize, Central America, 2min. Aerial video and some stills of the Bamboo Beach Resort in Copper Bank, Belize, Central America.

Belize 2014, 6min. Belize trip Nov 2014. San Ignacio, Hopkins, San Pedro Camera: GoPro 4 Silver Song: Blackmill - Journeys end.

Belize, 7min. Fishing with Ted in Belize.

December 22, 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: Act Like A Man
“I’m going to Belize City on Wednesday to do some Christmas shopping.” I told Melody. “Do you want to come along?” “Sure. I’ll leave baby Grayson with the baby sitter and we’ll take Davin with us.” On the plane Davin said, “Grandpa, I want to sit next to the window. Why can’t I sit next […]

Christmas Anti-Drug Campaign
On Thursday, December 11th between 6AM and 2:30PM, a team of San Pedro Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) and Special Branch personnel conducted a joint anti-drugs operation within San Pedro Town. The operation is aimed at reducing the presence of drugs in the island, especially during the Christmas season. The following persons were detained and charged for “Possession of Controlled Drugs”. • 22-year-old Silverio Cal was found in possession of a black plastic bag containing 24.8 grams of suspected Cannabis.

Doctor Love
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, I am an island girl, born and raised in San Pedro. My fiancé is from Belize City. We have been engaged for two […]

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

2014 Ambergris Caye Turtle Nesting
The 2014 Turtle nesting season has ended. A total of 77 nests were recorded on Ambergris Caye this year. Emergent Success of 61% and average clutch size is 107 eggs per nest.

The legendary black Belizean woman, Myrna Manzanares has transcended Belizean social work, poetry and struggle from the Los Angeles Belizean diaspora community to her repatriation to Belize in the mid 80's to continue her never ending work of giving to people and country with all her being and sincerity. Her dynamic work in the Belizean community in Los Angeles has compiled volumes in terms of her contribution to Belizean organizing in the diaspora, and her relentless 'open packie' and outspoken way of telling it like it is. Myrna was a force to be reckon with as an organizer in the Belizean diaspora, and transfer her knowledge as an expatriate Belizean to Belize to further her quest for black identity, and to become an instrumental figure in the Belize Creole Council in Belize.

The call for reparations for the indigenous peoples of Belize has been led by two of Belize's most outstanding professors of the University of Belize, Mr. Marvin Mora and Mr. Caesar Ross. They are also part of the organizing team of the National Convention of the People of Belize, and has assisted in laying out an excellent framework on how Belize will join the international struggle for reparations that is an global movement initiated by University of the West Indies professor, Dr. Hillary Beckles, to demand justice and other forms of reparations from the global European colonizers, in particular, Britain, to acknowledge and compensate all indigenous peoples of the world through justifiable means that may bring closure and atonement to the descendants of these peoples who continued to be exploited, marginalized and disenfranchised by today's neoliberal capitalism and slavery. We here at Belizean Legends champions and honor the constructive work embarked on by these two legendary Belizeans. Respect brothers. We feel you!

The Reporter

Tourism CEO says investigation into BTB scandal underway
The Ministry of Tourism has launched an investigation into the alleged fraudulent credentials presented by former BTB Marketing Director Clive Meyers. This is according to Chief Executive Officer in Tracy Taegar Panton, the Ministry’s Chief Executive Officer. Panton said the incident was very unfortunate and the Ministry is conducting an investigation into the matter as there is information circulating, which suggests that there may have been other BTB staff members who were involved in the scandal. Several others have been placed on suspension in the wake of the investigation including Public Relations Manager Andrea Polanco. Reports reaching this media house indicate that Polanco has even tendered her resignation as of Friday.

COPS spread Christmas cheer
The Police Department’s Eastern Division held their second annual Commissioner of Police Offering Peace to Society (COPS) Christmas program at the BTL Park Friday night. Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, deputy OC Easter Division said that the event is a way for the Police Department to reach out the community during the Christmas season and shed its image of being of being aggressive. Broaster said the participants in the event, which featured dances and drama, were all police officers who volunteered. Broaster said most of them were members of the Police Department’s Drama Club, which has been in existence since 1996. The feature drama of the night was a piece detailing the struggles of a police officer during the Christmas season who must sacrifice is time with his family and his safety for his duties.

Look out for the next edition of The Reporter Tuesday!
Readers and advertisers of The Reporter Newspaper are hereby advised that our next issue will be available on Tuesday, December 23, 2014. We urge everyone to kindly take note.

Troops dispatched to vigilante state in Mexico
More than 400 federal police officers and soldiers have been sent to a town in Mexico’s western Michoacan state. The deployment follows a shoot-out between two vigilante groups on Tuesday in which 11 people were killed. Ballistic tests showed all of those killed had fired their weapons in the two-hour gun battle in La Ruana. The two groups of vigilantes were set up to fight the local drug cartel, but have since become bitter rivals and have started fighting each other. Five members of a group led by Hipolito Mora and six followers of his rival, Luis Antonio Torres, were killed.

Belize advancing climate change policies in the region
Belize, under its role as pro-tem president of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD), has made major strides in climate change, the environment and sustainable development over the last six months. Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, and Protem President of CCAD for the last six months, Lisel Alamilla highlighted her main achievements at a CCAD ministerial meeting at the Central American Integration System (SICA) meeting in Placencia last week. “We brought together the climate change negotiators of Central America to forge a SICA Climate Change identity. This is a historic achievement for the SICA region and it led all the SICA coordination sessions at the recent global climate change conference, COP20, in Lima, Peru,” Alamilla said.

Patrick JonesPJ

Man shot and killed in San Ignacio town
A Sunday night shooting incident in San Ignacio town has left one man dead and police on the hunt for the killer. The name of the victim has not yet been confirmed, but reports are that the shooting happened around 10:30 pm at a house on 2nd Street in San Ignacio. When police arrived at the scene, they found the victim’s body on the ground.

Toledo West gets Christmas Cheer from area representative
Toledo West area representative Oscar Requena has been making the rounds in his constituency spreading the Christmas Cheer. Requena has donated bags of rice and beans to churches in his area for onward distribution to residents particularly the elderly in the form of Christmas meals. Each of the communities and villages in his constituency will receive assistance this Christmas, according to Requena, proving that even with a little “we could make great things happen if we come together as brothers and sisters.”


Commotion On The Caribbean
We left our work week behind us and boarded Infinity for a sunset cruise. The sky was a bit lackluster Friday night but we all knew the right people had made it to the party and no matter what happened, we would have a fabulous time. Of course it was a memorable experience for everyone on board. Personally, it turned a not so good day into a happy ending and a reminder that it is easy to switch gears to a perfect day in paradise, by connecting with nature and good people. I got two great surprises on the boat that night. The first was a delicious fresh blended virgin piña colada and the second was the sky opening up and mother nature giving us a magical sunset. As for the Commotion On The Caribbean, the non virgin rum punch, coladas and some good music had people grooving on the back deck and after the sunset, on the bow :)

12 Things About The Place Belizeans Get Their Christmas Trees
Belize is a small country rich with many ecosystems. These ecosystems are allies in providing the country with many opportunities for more resources. Among them are savanna’s. These grasslands are found scattered near the coast from Northern to Southern Belize. There are also a few strands found decorating the middle part of the country (mile 25 – 30 on the Western highway). These are called the lowland savanna as opposed to another savanna type found as high as 300 feet above sea level. This type is called highland savanna. The following are facts (things) about savanna systems in Belize. 1. Savanna’s have sandy, acidic soils of poor fertility (sorry jack, your tomatoes won’t grow here!) 2. This ecosystem has no forest canopy just small clumps of trees such as palmetto, craboo, and caribbean pine trees (pinus caribea), to name a few.

Fifteen questions about living in Belize — with answers!
This list of questions was submitted to me by a website called which is positioning itself as a go-to site for information on services and products that every would-be ex-pat needs to make the big move. The information is tailored to the specifics for scores of countries on topics like banking, health, shipping, real estate, education, and jobs. They may or may not use these answers. Which is fine. Their idea of compensation is a promise to maybe promote the link to my blog. I didn’t have the heart to tell the woman that I don’t make a living from my blog and so promoting it means little. Nor did I tell her that if you want good writers, pay them good money. Doing stuff for free for money-making internet enterprises is so 2009. But that’s OK. I enjoyed the challenge and coming up with honest answers was helpful for me too! Win-win. And if you like it, triple win!

On Ambergris Caye, life begins at the end of the pier
Here’s the thing: You don’t even have to do anything. Sure you could read a book or slather on some sunbathing oil or drop a fishing line over the edge — but those are all just distractions to me. Every dock that I encounter beckons me to take a walk to its very end and sit for a while. Some offer chairs. Some have built in benches and some simply offer the wooden deck. Each has its own appeal. The main thing is what you find at the end, and that is yourself. If you are willing to sit long enough.

Chicken Drop epiphany: So, this is what it is like to raise a daughter . . . . .
Take a cab home. I forgot to tell Caira to take a cab home. Oh, god, I hope she knows enough not to try to walk home from downtown San Pedro in the middle of the night. I’m on the couch. It is Thursday night — no, crap — it is after midnight, Friday morning already. Where could she be? Much earlier in the evening, Rose, Caira and I drove into town to do the one thing I have avoided successfully for 10 months: The World Famous Chicken Drop at the Wahoo Lounge. Avoided, yes, but just the same, it gnawed at my curiosity.

Snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef
While known as the Belize Barrier Reef in Belize, it’s actually part of the Mesoamerican Reef System (the second largest in the world).  I’ve snorkeled this area many times over the last four years and this year I snorkeled it three times within two weeks.  I just can’t get enough and each time is completely different.  This year, I got up close and personal with both Green Sea Turtles and Loggerhead Turtles…to say that turtles are my favorite is an understatement…it was so hard to pick my best photos.

International Sourcesizz

Dear Santa, please don’t deliver exotic pets for Christmas!
What’s the worst Christmas gift you could give someone? It would have to be a non-human primate or a big cat. Images of people cuddling cute baby chimpanzees, slow lorises or tigers can lead to false perceptions that these animals make great pets. But buying these pets encourages the illegal pet trade. Chimpanzees in particular make terrible pets - they destroy everything and are often much stronger than humans. They belong in forests or other wilderness areas, with members of their own species. Yet, a dilemma faces scientists and science communicators who work with animals and conservation. In order to widely publicise issues related to conservation of wildlife, media editors or producers typically request images of the scientist (including me) or communicator interacting with animals. Without explanatory text, these images may lead to people wanting exotic pets because they give the false impression that they are “cute”. Without these images, an editor or producer may not run with the story, or a sponsor may lose interest in funding a project.


The Hidden Treasures of Belize, Welcome to the Cayo District, 4min.

Belize, 3.5min.

Belize, 5min.

Central America Belize and Guatemala, 9min.

Miss Belize Makes Semifinals at Miss Universe 1979, 15min. Highlights of Belize's participation at Miss Universe 1979 held in Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Miss Belize Sarita Diana Acosta made Belize's first (and so far only) placement at Miss Universe when she placed in the Top 12.

Belize,7 min. Quick fishing trip to Belize with Ted. What a fun!

Blue Moon Cabana and Baby Blue Cabana, Hopkins, Belize, 5min. The Cabanas are centrally located in one of the most popular areas of Hopkins Village and are within walking distance of grocery stores, restaurants/bars, shops, and other popular establishments.

Zip-line tour over Belizean jungle near Caves Branch River, 7min. The zipline portion from the Chukka Belize Cave Tubing & Zipline combo. Located on the banks of the Cave’s Branch River, Jaguar Paw is an awe-inspiring property located on 200 acres of rain forest!

Flying in Belize (Caye Caulker), 5min. Flights to and from Caye Caulker, Belize.

Belize Long Cut, 7min.

December 21, 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

What’s new? The Coffee Bar!
Everyone loves coffee and there is no better place to go get it than at The Coffee Bar! One of San Pedro’s newest establishments, The Coffee Bar has been fueling this bustling island for the past month. Located in the heart of San Pedro, Barrier Reef Drive to be exact, this place offers a variety of coffee drinks, teas, pastries and even yummy sandwiches and waffles. I strongly recommend the latte to those that require a five alarm wake up. Of course the frappuccino was one of Dennis’ favorites, he loves frozen coffee drinks! With an extreme coffee high, I needed something to mellow me out! Oscar fixed me up with a refreshing and light iced Moroccan mint green tea.

Saga Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Top Chef Cook-off
On Tuesday December 16th The Saga Humane Society celebrated their 15th year anniversary at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar. The night was celebrated with Saga’s final cook-off for the year 2014, and it was an exciting Top Chef Invitational. Saga 2014 Cook-off winners, along with a host of the island’s best chefs were invited to prepare a meal of their choice for guest judging, all for charity and a shot at being named 2014’s Saga Top Chef. At the end of the night, it was a three-way tie for first place between Rosa La Rosa, Nancy Nida and Letty Hernandez! Yes, the food was that good! For a small fee, guests received food tickets to enjoy the different meals available. Amongst the night’s competitors were return cook-off winners and invited chef representatives from various businesses in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village. Participants included Rosa La Rosa, Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar, El Fogon, Nancy Nida, Fido’s, Letty Hernandez, Joanne Fry, Maylene Schmitt from The Split, Heather Smith, and Wet Willy’s. The chefs presented their meals with much enthusiasm, each plate different from the other. Samples up for the tasting included: bacon- wrapped shrimp with cranberry bourbon glaze over hot-damn dills, bacon-chicken wraps, conch fritters, Vegetable Chili, Meatball Parmigiana, Split Pea Soup, Sushi, Puerco en la Playa with Cilantro Cream, Shrimp Grits, and Millionaire’s Short Bread.

San Pedro High School Boys are NSSSA Basketball Sub-Champs
After claiming the victory at the National Secondary School Sports Association (NSSSA) Basketball Northern Regionals, the San Pedro High School (SPHS) male basketball team traveled to Belize City to participate in the national tournament. The NSSSA Basketball Nationals was held at the Bird’s Isle Court in Belize City on Friday, December 12th and Saturday, December 13th. Four male and four female teams from the respective regional tournament converged in hopes of taking the championship: North, Central, West and South. In the end it was the Saint Catherine’s Academy’s girls and Saint John’s College boys who claimed the top prize. But, the SPHS boys still managed to make an impressive mark, claiming the second place spot for the male championship. Representing the North was Muffles College female basketball team and SPHS male basketball team. Central was represented by the girls of Saint Catherine’s Academy (SCA) and the boys of Saint John’s College (SJC). The West was represented by both the female and male basketball teams of Sacred Heart College (SHC), while the South was represented the female basketball team of Delille Academy and the male team from Julian Cho Technical. All teams had high hopes on taking the big win.

Three San Pedro Red Cross volunteers receive awards
San Pedro Red Cross captured three awards at the second annual Belize Red Cross Volunteer Encounter and Awards Ceremonies held on Saturday, December 13th and Sunday, December 14th in Belmopan. The event is held to bring together Red Cross members from across the country and honor exemplary members. The San Pedro delegation included 17 youth members and eight adults. The first day of events saw participants partaking in various activities including several skill training workshops. The youth members engaged in fun game activities aimed at skill and team building. Seminars were also offered by special guests Khrista Jones from the Center for Community Resource Development, Dr. Javier Novelo and Nurse Patricia Norrise for the Kolbe Foundation Belize Central Prison. Members of Youth as Agents of Behavioral Change provided valuable information on building safe and strong neighborhoods by empowering, promoting awareness, building capacities and teaching skills in youth.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

2015 edition of the Belize Hotel Association Hotel Guide

Aziatic 100 songs on Itunes...Punta Music Blowout Sale
For a limited time only download 100 tracks of Body Moving Drum Music for $9.99. Aziatic is from the beautiful Garifuna Village of Hopkins in the Country of Belize. His love for music was evident at an early age as he started singing along with songs on the radio. Not long after he formed his first band with instruments made of cans and wood from around the neighborhood. Punta as poetic folk art, is the genre through which social commentary is most frequently expressed. It is a dance song genre that is a symbolic reenactment of the &%@-and-hen mating dance.

Patrick JonesPJ

Harmonyville resident found dead on More Tomorrow road
Police have not released any information as yet; but a man from the Harmonyville community was murdered sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. The body of 22 year old Juan Alberto Ramirez was found on Saturday morning with multiple stab wounds to the upper part of the body. A farmer on the way to his farm on Saturday morning found Ramirez’ body in a drain at the side of the road leading to More Tomorrow village.

Police hosts Christmas party for youth in Bella Vista village
Over 100 youth cadets were given a Christmas treat today at the Bella Vista village police station. The event was coordinated by Alejandro Sho and was made possible with inputs from the local business community as part of their investment in the well being of the children of the village. The youth cadet program in Bella Vista village helps to instill discipline in the children and helps them to be engaged in positive activities to their own personal benefit as well as the development of their community.


Update On Caye Caulker’s Lazy Lizard at the Split – Land Dispute Continues
But one of the busiest bars in the country – the Lazy Lizard at the Split on Caye Caulker is crippled by the ongoing dispute over the land and the lease… The land is owned by Dan Nichols and he has been trying to sell “The Split” for quite a while. Here is the $2.7 USD million listing. In August 2014, Immer Perez, who has been leasing the bar for a few years, received a 90 day notice to vacate – that the land had been sold. But the land was NOT sold. The owner had entered into a new partnership. Apparently the owner refused to compensate Mr Perez for the remaining years on his lease and…Mr Perez refused to leave.

Seven Things That Cost No Money To Do In San Ignacio, Cayo
In December through May, San Ignacio is a buzz of activity with tourism. San Ignacio is the Capital of the Mecca of inland tourism and there is always something happening. Most things have a price attached but here are a few that don’t. Here are a few that will bring you some joy! 1. Come rock out at the Soul Project. Its a place weber cultures come together and celebrate the written, the oral and the musical arts. You can come and feel the vibes and actually play the vibes. Its a place of peace and friends who you never met until now! 2. Grab your binoculars and camera and prepare for a short 20 minute walk North of San Ignacio to “Branch Mouth” where both the Mopan and the Macal rivers meet. Nice scenes, wildlife and birds galore on the riverine 3 miles to the branch mouth. Its great exercise and if you have the time a refreshing swim wouldn’t hurt at all. Please take a picture of yourself on the hammock bridge for proof of your visit!

How to Make Moist Belizean Black Fruit Cake
Belizean Black Fruit Cake made with burnt sugar is the best. My Aunt Grace's Black Fruit Cake is moist and delicious. I did this one with a twist this time... I added in brandy. This recipe is simple and simply exquisite.

International Sourcesizz

Up a creek in so many ways in Belize
To be fair, I had been warned: It would be difficult to paddle to the Lodge at Chaa Creek because I would need to row upstream for six miles from the gritty town center of San Ignacio. Lloyd Alvarez, a reservations specialist, had advised it would be wiser to take a taxi to the luxury resort and then breeze down the river. Or, I could just stay at Chaa Creek, a stunning 365-acre property set along the banks of the Macal River and self-described as “wildly civilized.” I resented that Mr. Alvarez had instantly branded me a lazy American like the complainers on TripAdvisor who whine they have to walk up two flights of stairs at a resort. Their perfect world would be devoid of ascents and inclines. Screw Chaa Creek and its unspoiled rain forest and butterfly farm.

Caribbean Action Plan for UNESCO World Heritage confirmed at Regional Meeting
The way forward for the Caribbean in terms of its World Heritage offerings was formalized at a recently held meeting between regional stakeholders. The meeting was jointly organized by the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO Offices in Havana and Kingston, and in cooperation with the UNESCO Office in Port au Prince, Haiti, with the financial support of the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust at the World Heritage Centre. Facets of the Caribbean Action Plan and its Capacity Building Programme 2014 – 2024 (CCBP), were discussed at length bringing to the fore, issues surrounding the significance of the Caribbean in World Heritage matters and the responsibility of stakeholders to organize and mobilize activities in this regard.


Laurie and Craig's Trip to Guatemala and Belize, 3min.

History of Miss Belize at Miss World, 14min. A look at all the Miss Belize World delegates that have ever represented Belize at the Miss World pageant over the years.

Mirasol Placencia Belize, 3min.

Casa Del Sol Placencia Belize, 3min.

Belize Singing Mister Martin on bus, 8min.

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