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1/11/2016 to 1/20/2016
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Today's Belize News

January 20, 2016


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

American TV producer murdered while vacationing in Belize
Violent crime has Belize under international scrutiny once again, as another foreigner has been murdered in the first days of 2016. 39-year-old American TV producer, Anne Swaney, was killed while vacationing in Western Belize. Swaney, executive producer of digital operations at ABC-Channel 7 in Chicago, Illinois USA was found strangled on Thursday, January 14th in the Mopan River near San Jose Succotz Village, Cayo District. Swaney’s death marks the 10th murder in Belize in the first 18 days of 2016, and she is the second foreigner to be killed, after Canadian film director, Matthiew Klinck’s murder on January 2nd. These crimes have raised questions about Belize’s safety to visitors, especially as international media has picked up the story on their fallen colleagues. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), however, assures everyone that Belize is still safe to travel to.

BA-1 Project participants beginning their business plans
While 34 women from Ambergris Caye continue to wait on their BA-1 Project grants to start or expand their businesses, some have begun working on their business plan. The women were part of a training seminar called ‘Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Project BA-1’ which was designed for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. The program indicated that it would assist the participants with the necessary tools, knowledge and a grant to expand their business ideas. That financial assistance promised in the training has not been forthcoming, but some participants have set their lessons and plans into action. Since the completion of the seminar back in May, there have been two meetings in which the women are given dates when they would receive the funds. While some continue to wait on the financial assistance, a few of the graduates revealed their business plans to be executed if and when they receive the grants. One of the graduates wants to expand her food business. To give it a start, she has been investing little by little in kitchen utensils, and she is trying to come up with a menu. Presently, she is selling at different locations on the island, especially during sporting events.

One dead and one injured during drunken fight
A drunken brawl on Saturday, January 16th has left one man dead and another seriously injured. 35-year-old Sergio Giovanni Uribio was fatally injured during a fight with 48-year-old Jose Alfredo Villed, which occurred inside an apartment room at the entrance of the San Pedrito Area at around 1PM. While Villeda managed to escape with his life, he did suffer substantial chopping wounds that have left him with amputated body parts. The incident happened while the two were socializing, so police are currently investigating as to what would cause two friends to brutally attack one another. According to initial reports by Deputy Coastal Executive Officer, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, reports of a chopping incident were issued to the San Pedro Police Station at about 1PM on Saturday, January 16th. Police personnel were immediately deployed to the area. Upon arrival, police were informed that Uribio had been transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II as he was suffering of a large stab wound to the left side of his neck and left arm. The wounds caused a substantial amount of blood loss, and Uribio was pronounced dead at 1:30PM.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Crisis and Conflict consultant Niall Gillett, in partnership with the University of the West Indies, will be providing a half-day introductory course on Crisis Management on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016, at the UWI Open Campus in Belize City. The course, which is being offered at no cost to middle and senior-level management participants, will demonstrate his tested “Truth of the Matter” best practices – how to identify and handle any crisis in its critical first hours. “These days, when even a local issue can quickly escalate to becoming a global one, it is critical that any impending crisis is quickly identified and addressed in a powerful manner,” Gillett says, “this short course will lay a strong foundation on how to take the correct action, defusing and diminishing the impact of a crisis!” The course will run from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. Interested persons can register online at, via email at [email protected], or by calling 610-5700. Spaces are extremely limited. Niall Gillett is an internationally acclaimed speaker, trainer and consultant, specializing in Crisis and Conflict management. He has a successful reputation of helping people to “Communicate for Influence!”

New San Pedro Local Arts Market
Check out the San Pedro Local Arts Market at their New Location at the Parking Lot of the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex.

Power interruption 8:00am to 2:00pm, Saturday, January 23, Orange Walk Town
Dunn St, Queen Victoria Ave from San Antonio Rd & Otro Benque Rd up to Lyle St and surrounding areas. BEL to reconfigure power distribution system in area.

Look out for Corozal House of Culture (NICH)'s Juan Carnaval 2016!

Defend Blackadore Caye
This is a map of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Please note the are around Blackadore Caye is zone V of the reserve making it a conservation zone. In his acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards Leonardo Dicaprio said to the indigenous people around the world..."It is time we recognize your history and protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people who are out to exploit them" Yet he is proposing building 35 buildings over the water in the conservation zone. Seems like quite a contradiction to me.... If Dicaprio is such a "champion" of the environment and indigenous people of Belize why didn't he help protest the destruction of Harvest Caye by the cruise ship industry or support protecting our World Heritage Sites? If he really wants to protect the environment and help the people why doesn't he put his money where is mouth and put water filtration systems and composting toilets in areas that are in desperate need. Instead he plans to build multi million dollar homes IN the waters of a conservation area.

Inauguration of the New Coca Cola Bottling Line
Bowen and Bowen had the inauguration of their new Coca Cola bottling line. They got some great pictures from the event. That's a massive building.

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge 2016
The 2016 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge is a month away.

A brief update on the rise of Belizean-American soccer legends, Tyler and Tylin Gill, finds the two youth soccer stars playing some incredible football in Arizona, California over the last few weeks. Belizean Legends will bring you some action photos of the two Belizean sport stars in action. Stay tuned! ( Photo shows Tyler and Tylin Gill, bottom center)

Channel 7

The Dark Night Double Standard?
Last week we told you about the case of Bradley Paumen who is being accused of hiring a hit on his neighbor Michael Modiri and three other persons. Investigations suggest that the alleged hit was motivated by a long-standing land dispute between the two. Modiri owns a piece of land that Paumen uses to access the Dark Night caves. But while the land dispute and the murder plot is one thing, the dispute in the tourism industry is quite another. That's because Dark Knight started the year without a valid tour operator's license, cease and desist orders were issued on January 8th and 15th, yet Dark Night just kept on operating. Today with cruise ships in harbor and hundreds of guests at Nohoch Che'en, Dark Night was fully operational, business as usual - but the local operators say it's never business as usual for Bradley Paumen - who consistently gets preferential treatment from NICH:..

Traffic Officer Charged For Causing Accident Which Killed His Wife
Last night, we told you that Ladyville Police intended to charge 35 year-old Belize City resident Calvin Cumberbatch for the accident which killed his wife, the well known southside moneylender, Pamela Bennett Cumberbatch, and 80 year-old Alfredo Navarrete from Burrell Boom Village. Well, Cumberbatch was charged today, and he was escorted to the Magistrate's Court this evening. Cumberbatch suffered serious injuries in that collision, and he has a broken arm. He's expected to undergo another surgery, and he's also mourning the loss of his wife, but police said that he had to face his criminal arraignment today. So, he did, and while making his way to the court, he appeared to be in pain from those injures. He was taken before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, where he was read 6 charges: 2 counts of manslaughter by negligence, 2 counts of causing death by careless conduct, 1 count of driving without due care and attention, and 1 count of failing to keep in the right lane while driving on the road.

Another Bou-Nahra Gun Gotten Back
Police have recovered one of the 6 weapons stolen from Sarkis Bou-Nahra's mansion in Burrell Boom. It took them almost two weeks to verify, but the cops have confirmed that this 9 millimeter browning pistol was stolen from Bou-Nahra. Police found the loaded gun in Belize City on January 7th.

Pirate Chadwick Terrorized Tourists
Right now, Belize's tourism image continues to take a pounding in the international press, and to add to that is a report that a group of armed thieves robbed a group of tourists on their yacht which was anchored near Middle Long Caye. It happened last week Wednesday, when 4 armed men between the ages of 20 and 30, used a launch to board the yacht while the tourists on board were asleep. The men held them up at gunpoint for about 45 minutes, time which they used to clean them out of all valuables onboard including cash, a camera, electronics, food, drinks, jewelry, and an outboard engine. Initial information is that a female guest was sexually assaulted, but when the police were asked about it yesterday, they were very tight with the information they released: Reporter: "Can you provide details as to what transpired and where you are in terms of the investigation so far?" Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "I am aware of the report indeed. I do know that the boat had been processed and I do know also that we've conducted some searches and we have one suspect in custody. Some items have been recovered and I won't get into those but we believe that that is a case that we'll be able to solve."

FBI In Belize for Anne Swaney Murder Investigation
The murder of American Journalist Anne Swaney, while she was vacationing in Belize, continues to make international headline news tonight. International Press reports say that agents from the FBI are in Belize, and they are working with Benque Police investigators. Reports are that police inspection of this deck, where Swaney was practicing yoga, has revealed evidence that she was indeed there. Her body was found 300 yards down the river. An autopsy has revealed that she was strangled and struck to the head and neck with a blunt object. The murder is generating the worst kind of headlines for Belize internationally and today the BTB sent out a release saying, quote, "part of the reason this has drawn such a large audience is because these sorts of things just don't happen here. We want people to know that crime in Belize is on the decline…" And while major crime did decline in 2015, we note that 2016 saw 18 murders in the first 16 days of the year - a murder rate at three times the pace of the 2015 total

Closing Time For FCIB
If you picked up the midweek issue of the Amandala Newspaper today, you might have noticed this advertisement in the paper. It's an announcement from First Caribbean International Bank notifying its customers that all operations are shutting down. All of the bank's branches, ATM's, and businesses such as credit and debit card transactions, and internet banking transactions, will come to a close on Friday, January 29. All merchants using FCIB Point of Sale machine will shut down on next week Monday, January 25. But, what about the more than 60 employees who will lose their jobs? Well, as we've been reporting ever since FCIB announced their shutdown of operations in Belize, their bargaining agent, the Christian Workers Union has been trying to sign a new collective bargaining agreement with the managers of bank.

GSU Got A Gun From a 14 Year Old Gang Member
The GSU is reporting another round of guns and weapons seizures. First off, on Sunday afternoon a 14 year old boy was caught with a .25 pistol. At around 2:00, the GSU responded to a report of a brawl at the MCC grounds - which is right around the corner from their headquarters. When the Unit arrived they saw a 14 year old running away from a man. They chased down the boy and found the weapon on him. The gun had 1 live round of .25 ammunition. He was charged for Kept Firearm without a license and Kept ammunition without a license. The GSU says he is a member of the Victoria Street Bloods Gang, and that the handgun belongs to his gang leader. And then, on Monday morning at around 9:30, the GSU found 109 grams of weed and an empty .45 caliber magazine in an open lot on Hunters Lane in Belize city - which is off Freetown Road. The GSU says this stash may be the property of Kelly street crisps which controls that area.

Cops Chased Car, Got A "9"
And while that's the GSU, another special police unit is reporting that they took a gun and weed off the street. Between last Friday and last night, the Police Strike Team South recovered a .38 millimeter revolver around Reggae Street, and found 50 live 9 millimeter rounds in the Lakeview area along with two magazines. They also found nearly two pounds of weed, 774 grams or 27 ounces of Cannabis on Curassow Street. But the best weapons seizure was made by the regular police on Holy Emmanuel Street in the Lake Independence area last night. Last night at around 8:45 p.m. a mobile police patrol responded to a report that there had been a gunshot fired from a small black car in Belama Phase 3. Police set chase and caught up with the car on Gibson Street - which is across the bridge. The occupants of the vehicle were two 19 year olds: Stradni Cassasola and Demrey Lewis, both of Fabers Road Extension. When police searched the vehicle they found a Jansport backpack with a 9 mm Taurus with a magazine containing four live rounds. Both were arrested and charged for "Kept Firearm without a Gun License and Kept Ammunition without Gun license".

FECTAB Fuming Over Ashcroft Alliance Port Proposal
Earlier in our newscast we told you about the plight of the small local tour operators brought into clearer focus by the rumblings with Dark Night tours. Well that is not the only rumble in this delicate industry. There's also the latest developments with Stake Bank - where developer Mike Feinstein says the mega project has been put off because the Barrow administration wants to partner with a private developer for a Cruise Port at the Port of Belize. The frontrunner for that public-private partnership is the Ashcroft Alliance, which already owns the Port. Today the president of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, known as FECTAB told us that the thought of Ashcroft as a potential partner in the Port of Belize project leaves a bitter taste in their mouths. Tom Greenwood - President, FECTAB: "Well we already are being hurt by a well-healed foreign tour operator in Belize, who lowered prices on us and causes us to go into a tailspin, because we then had to lowered prices among ourselves. So whenever big money shows up, we naturally fear of losing the little that we have achieved with a lot of hard work. Where Port of Belize is concern we are thinking it's a larger place. There is going to be a pier, that pier is going to be about a mile long and then when they come to the end of the pier, people who are there - how much longer to reach a gate and say the outside. So those of us who are right now on the outside of the Fort Street Tourism Village luckily were right on the outside of the door. But if and when the Port of Belize should kick in, what are the distances involved? What are going to be the fees for us to operate inside? Who is making arrangements, bearing in mind the local tourism population? How do we access? Do we get sympathy and get some help, whatever - we are fearful. The Port of Belize scares the living daylights out of us."

The FIFA Footprint OF Corruption: Everywhere But Belize?
The United States has charged 40 persons in connection with the global FIFA scandal and a good many of them have been from this region, which is known as CONCACAF, short for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. A second wave of indictments came down on December third for 16 Latin American football executives, and that's when we realized that at least one executive has been charged for corruption in every single Central American country except Belize. That's right, in Salvador, the former head of the Soccer Federation Reynaldo Vasquez allegedly accepted at least two six figure bribes from a Miami Based sports marketing company Media World. In Guatemala, Rafael Salguero was a senior FIFA executive, and he is accused of accepting $450,000 in bribes from a sports marketing group based in Argentina. The US says he worked with fellow Guatemalans Brayan Jimenez and Hector Trujillo, to also accept a six-figure bribe from the Miami-based sports marketing company Media World.

Preparing For School Inspection
Today management from all 7 Nazarene Schools in the country attended a training on "School Inspection." Usually training sessions for principals and board members would focus solely on how to be a strong and motivational leader. But today it went beyond that. This morning at the Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School in Belize City the Ministry of Education's Inspectorate Representative discussed what principals should look for in the classroom when monitoring and evaluating and what standards should be put in place for teacher/student performance. General Manager at Faith Nazarene School Raymond Shepard told us the main objective is to provide quality education to the kids. There will be a meeting in February to schedule the evaluation sessions at the Nazarene schools.

Local Operators Say NICH Chancing Them
At the top of our newscast we told you about what local operators see as the preferential treatment afforded to Bradley Paumen's Dark Night tours by NICH. And why not? We know that NICH still has a secret contract with Paumen, and that Government acquired not one but two pirvate pieces of land for his tour company to use. When we visited the Nohoch Che'en caves branch Archeological reserve today we met one tour operator who illustrated his disadvantage. He's been operating at the reserve for the past 5 years. Now with the recent lowering tour prices by the large foreign competitors, it is more difficult to break that profit margin. It is all the more difficult when most of his profits go towards renting equipment at the site. So he wants to bring his own equipment to cut costs while giving himself a competitive edge. But the authorities at NICH, he says, are not helping him out. David Andrews, Tour Operator: "I have problems with the equipment that I rent. They are either stink. My guest don't want to put on the vest because they are stink. The equipment lights are dull. So I wanted to bring in my own equipment and so I needed a stall. So far none of them wanted to assist me with that. So that's why I wanted to talk to the media a long time ago, so that the country could see that NICH have no intention of building up tourism. It's only their interest. It's not the interest of building the quality of tourism with equipment and standards for the tour operators that bring in business to this country."

The Ras Is Back!
"Man of My Words", "Only 1" and "My Remedy" those are a few of the songs on Ras Indio's new CD entitled "One of a Kind". His music usually reflects his personal struggles and the daily hardships of Belizean people. But with his new release he explores a more soulful reggae vibe. Ras Indio came to our studio today and he told us it's all about celebrating that special someone in his life. His CD can be bought at Teddy's on King Street in Belize City and other stores around the country.

Channel 5

Calvin Cumberbatch Arraigned for New Year’s Weekend Traffic Fatalities
Well-known Belize City money lender Pamela Bennett and Burrell Boom resident Alfredo Navarette perished in a horrible traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway on January second. Bennett and her [...]

Will Bradley Paumen’s Indictment Affect Dark Night’s Tourism Operation?
The sensational and very disturbing case of Dark Night owner Bradley Paumen continues to attract major scrutiny. Paumen, charged with four counts of Abetment to Murder, is out on fifty-thousand [...]

Search for Suspected Aircraft in Corozal District
At news time tonight, Police Officers from Corozal and a team from the Civil Aviation Department are scouring the cane fields behind Louisville in the Corozal District. Just before midday [...]

Albert Valentine and a Minor are Indicted for Separate Murders in Punta Gorda Town
A pair of young men is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being arraigned for separate murders in Punta Gorda Town.  Twenty-one-year-old Albert Valentine Junior, along with [...]

A Firearm Stolen During Home Invasion in Burrell Boom is Recovered
On December third, 2015, eight men stormed the Burrell Boom home of Lebanese Consul General Sarkis Abou-Nehra. He and his wife were not in the country, but the men stayed [...]

Sea Pirates Charged for Long Middle Caye Robbery
A trio has been charged in connection with a robbery on board a vessel anchored near Middle Caye last Thursday. On board was US retiree, John Picard who was awoken [...]

Erlin Butler and Shanice Smith Bury the Hatchet in Court
A pair settled out of court this morning and saved themselves jail time. He was facing the possibility of ten years for burglary while she was facing imprisonment for dangerous [...]

Do You Believe Bradley Paumen Will Skip Bail or Stand Trial?
And our question for tonight is: US national Bradley Paumen has been granted bail for allegedly ordering hits on four persons. Do you believe he will skip bail or stand [...]

Is Zika in Belize?
You likely would have heard about ZIKA, the disease that has been spreading to Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. While deaths are rare, there are birth defects [...]

Director of Health Services Talks Dengue
Dengue is another disease that has been affecting other countries in the region. The good news is that in Belize, there has not been high mortality relating to the epidemic [...]

Only Four Confirmed Cases of Chik-V in 2015
Doctor Manzanero also provided News Five with an update on the status of Chik-V in the country. Months after the tropical virus became prevalent in neighboring Central American countries, in [...]

PM Barrow Says No Comment on P.U.P. Leadership Squabble
The People’s United Party will elect its new leader on January thirty-first in Belmopan. The race is getting tighter as Francis Fonseca, John Briceño and Cordel Hyde zero in on [...]

Will There Be a Referendum in PM Barrow’s Final Term in Office?
To conclude our reporting on a lengthy interview with the Prime Minister, we asked him about an issue that is often a matter of national debate; that is, the referendum. [...]

Beleaguered Deputy ComPol Miguel Segura Remains on Interdiction
Embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, remains on interdiction and is receiving only half of his monthly salary, despite being sued by the family of Yolanda Valencia.  The woman [...]

A Guatemalan Woman is Missing in Belize
Tonight, there is a report of a Guatemalan woman that mysteriously disappeared in Belize. A report has been made to the Benque Police by her son, nineteen-year-old Alexander Enrique Garcia [...]

Foreign Minister Elrington at CARICOM Community Council Meeting
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington recently attended the thirty-seventh meeting of the Community Council of Ministers in Georgetown, Guyana.   Plans for the upcoming gathering of regional heads of state, to be [...]

Ras Indio Releases ‘One-of-a-Kind’
On a lighter note….after a mega performance at the Festival de Cultural Caribe in Tulum, Mexico, Belizean reggae artist Ras Indio is debuting his new E.P. album entitled “One of [...]


FBI Assist Belize Police In Investigating American National's Murder
The death of two foreign nationals as a result of two separate homicides that occurred only two weeks apart from each other, has given Belize a black eye by international media and has raised major concerns by the Belize Tourism Board as thirty nine year old Anne Elizabeth Swaney, American national and Executive producer of ABC7, was murdered while vacationing here in Belize. Yesterday in a press conference Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, indicated that police are still investigating the matter but apparently the United States is not just going to sit back and wait for an answer as they have already sent federal agents to assist in the investigation of Swaney’s murder. The owner of the resort was interviewed by the FBI and he then walked them through the scene and pathway of Swaney’s final morning.

US State Department Issues Travel Advisory To All American Citizens Travelling To Belize
While the FBI is now present in Belize to offer a helping hand to Belizean authorities in solving the murder of of Anne Elizabeth Swaney, things are not looking so positive for the Belize Tourism Sector as the United States Department issued a travel advisory to all citizens of America alerting them to be very cautious and vigilant when visiting Belize since they are aware that our country has one of the highest murder and crime rates around the world. The tourists are being advised to refrain from walking and visiting the South side area in Belize City as they are mindful that many gangs operate in that area in particular. The US department stated that, quote “We encourage U.S. citizens to exercise caution and good situational awareness in all their travel activities. Visitors should travel in groups and only during daylight hours. Avoid wearing jewelry or carrying valuable or expensive items”. End quote.

Cuban National Detained At Central Prison Claim That They Are Being Mistreated
Some months ago we told you about the more than 30 Cubans who were caught illegally in Belize and were suspected to be part of a human trafficking ring passing through Belize with their final destination being the US. Since August of last year the Cubans have been stranded at the Belize Central prison in a sort of limbo state since their own country doesn’t want them back and they cannot be set free here in Belize so at this time they are still in prison for no reason other than GOB doesn’t have anywhere else to put them. After over six months of outcry from the detained Cubans to be set free, today, via a report carried out by Cuban Newspaper ‘El Nuevo Herald’ Newspaper, one of the Cubans that are currently at the Belize Central prison spoke about how they ended up in Belize. The Cuban states Quote “Fuimos víctimas del tráfico humano. Solo nos dijeron que debíamos cruzar un río pero nos detuvieron. No pensábamos que nos iba a pasar esto porque en los demás países nos entregábamos y nos daban un salvo-conducto, pero este país es la excepción” end quote.

Zika Virus Surrounds Belize
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning on Friday informing pregnant women to avoid travelling to fourteen specific countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean due to the fact that the mosquito-borne virus Zika, can currently be found in all of these countries. Some of these areas include Belize’s neighboring countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, and Honduras.The Zika virus is believed to be the main cause of Microcephaly, a birth defect in which infants are born with a head and a brain that is smaller than usual; this can lead to intellectual disability. There were approximately 3,500 reported cases of microcephaly in Brazil between the months of October in 2015 and early January of this year. CDC is advising pregnant women to consult with their doctor or healthcare provider before they leave their country of origin and to follow the instructions that are given to them.

Belize Police Search For Female Guatemalan National
Thirty nine year old Lidia Janet Garcia Giron, a Guatemalan national and resident of Melchor de Mencos was reported missing yesterday by her nineteen year old son, Alexander. Giron was last seen on Friday January 8th as she had left her home at about 5:00 a.m. and was headed to Banana Farm located in the Stann Creek District in order to meet up with a male person known as “El Nica”. Alexander told authorities that the last time he spoke to his mother was on the same day of her departure, only half an hour after her arrival in San Ignacio. Giron was last seen wearing a black blouse along with long jeans pants sky blue in color, a pair of black sandals and a ‘Winnie the Pooh’ bag, blue and yellow in color. Giron also has a tattoo on her leg with the name Humberto.


US State Department Warns Its Citizens on Travel to Belize; BTB Issues Note to Stakeholders
The recent killing of American journalist, Anne Swaney has brought Belize once again into the spotlight in a negative way. In an effort to do some damage control, the Belize Tourism Board issued a note yesterday to stakeholders in the tourism sector. The statement, which seeks to reassure investors and business owners that much effort […]

Accused Murderers Arraigned in PG Court
Two persons were arraigned yesterday in Magistrate Court in Punta Gorda. We hear more in this report from correspondent Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG: The charges are in connection with a murder last month and one this month in Punta Gorda as explained by Officer in Command, Toledo Formation, Superintendent Simeon Alvarez. Superintendent Simeon Alvarez: ” In […]

Traffic Officer Slapped with Charges for Fatal Accident
On Sunday, January 3 a road traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway claimed the lives of Alfredo Navarette and Pamela Bennett Cumberbatch and left Calvin Cumberbatch seriously injured. Calvin, who works with the Traffic Department of the Belize City Council, was the driver of one of the vehicles. He has since been released from […]

Firearm Taken in Home Invasion Recovered
While Ladyville Police have made up to nineteen arrests in the home invasion at the house of the Honorary Consul General to Lebanon, Sarkis Abou-Nehra, they had been appealing to the public for the recovery of the firearms that went missing from the home during the robbery. Today, senior Superintendent Broaster reported that one of […]

Trio Goes to Court Surrounding High Seas Robbery at Middle Caye
In yesterday’s media brief with the Police Commissioner Allen Whylie, the incident surrounding the robbery of persons aboard a visiting vessel anchored in Belizean waters on January 13, was addressed. Tonight we can report that there has been a breakthrough in that case and three persons have been arraigned, including a parent, before Magistrate Carlon […]

Duo in Vehicle Pursued and Nabbed for Unlicensed Firearm and Ammo
Last night police were conducting mobile patrol on Holy Emmanuel Street when they noticed a vehicle speeding off upon their approach. Police pursued the vehicle and eventually caught up with it on Gibson Street. Inside the vehicle were nineteen year old Stradni Cassasola and 19 year old Demrey Lewis of Faber’s Road Extension. When police […]

Strike Team Strikes Gun, Ammo and Weed
Belize City Police Strike Team South conducted an operation on the South Side Belize City over the weekend and they manage to find a point thirty eight millimeter revolver in the vicinity of Reggae Street, 50 live rounds of nine millimeter rounds in the Lakeview area along with two magazines, 58 grams of weed on […]

GSU Operations Uncover Weed, Weapons and Ammunition
On Saturday the GSU was in Dangriga conducting anti-drug and firearm operations. GSU members searched an open lot and found five nine millimeter Aquila brand ammunition in a glass jar. No-one was in the immediate area at the time of the discovery therefore; the ammunition were labeled as Found Property. It is believed that the […]

Melchor Businesswoman Goes Missing in Belize
Authorities in the western town of Benque Viejo del Carmen have issued a missing persons notice for a 39-year-old woman. According to the police, 39-year-old Guatemalan national, Lidia Janet Garcia Giron had left her home in Melchor de Mencos to go to Banana Farm #16 in the Cow Pen area of the Stann Creek District. […]

Territorial Volunteers Questions Delay in FOB Construction
In December of last year, the media covered the ground breaking ceremony held on land at the mouth of the Sarstoon River. It was announced that the Ministry of National Security would be building a Forward Operating Base, a key infrastructural component needed for the BDF and coast guards to successfully carry out their duties […]


The Moores and Sister Virg chat with Amandala
Rev. Philip Moore, associate pastor of Mount Calvary Second Missionary Baptist Church of Canton, Ohio, USA, and his wife Remel Moore—who is the executive director of Coming Together Stark County, which promotes inclusion of all kinds of diversity—are here in Belize to help develop youth programs and to share Godly love with young people. “My calling is to help remind people regardless of who you are and what station of life you are, God has a purpose for your life,” said Rev. Moore. He added that they got connected to Belize through their friend, Sister Virginia Echols, a KREM radio personality, who also runs community programs in Belize. The Moores, who lived in Liberia from 1984 to 1990 with their two sons, had met Echols in Liberia about three decades ago, and Philip Moore, who at the time worked for the US Embassy’s Security Department in Liberia, was instrumental in assisting Echols, who was a Peace Corp volunteer then, to get out of Liberia during the war in 1990. They have kept in touch over the years.

2016’s terrible start – bloody, murderous weekend
The year 2016 has started badly, with a record 10 people being murdered so far – with four of these murders occurring just over the past weekend alone. The body of an American woman was found floating in the Mopan River in San Jose Succotz on Friday morning; then a chopping murder occurred on Saturday; another man was found chopped to death on Sunday, and early Monday morning, a man chopped his wife to death. The murder of Elizabeth Ann McComb Swaney, 39, a television news executive of ABC 7 News of Chicago, USA, who was on a 7-day vacation at the Nabitunich Stone Cottages Resort in San Jose Succotz, Cayo District, began the weekend’s mayhem. Her body was found floating in the Mopan River, about 6 feet from the river bank, at about 8:00 Friday morning, with strangulation marks around her neck, but it is believed she may have been murdered the previous evening, Thursday, January 14. Another incident of murder occurred in San Pedro. At about 1:11 on Saturday afternoon, Sergio Giovanni Uribio, 35, a laborer of San Pedrito, San Pedro, was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic with a large stab wound to the left side of his neck and the left arm. Doctors at the clinic tried to help him, but he was declared dead at about 1:30 p.m.

1,443 in prison: one in three awaiting outcome of trial
Although the prison population at the end of 2015 was about 100 less than the number of inmates recorded at the end of 2012, 2013, and 2014, nearly a third—or one in three—are persons who have not yet been convicted for any crime. There are 1,404 males and 39 females incarcerated, with 1,009 convicted of a range of crimes, including 124 for burglary, 110 for drugs trafficking, 113 for illegal entry, and 102 for possession of an illegal firearm/ammunition. The official numbers indicate that there are 118 inmates convicted of murder and manslaughter, while 231 persons are remanded for the same crimes, awaiting the outcome of their trial. Three persons are remanded for rape, 13 for robbery, 26 for burglary, 13 for theft, and 9 for carnal knowledge – the major categories of crime.

Barrow and Biden chat about Belize’s correspondent banking debacle
The “existential threat” to Belize’s banking sector, which could trigger dire consequences as early as next month if foreign financial institutions proceed to axe credit card settlement services for at least two of Belize’s commercial banks, remains on the front burner, and while there was a lot of social chatter at the inauguration of Guatemala’s new president, Jimmy Morales, Prime Minister Dean Barrow seized the opportunity to also address what many fear could be a looming crisis. At that event, Barrow was seated beside US Vice President Joe Biden, and the two seemed to talk quite a bit during the proceedings. “He promised he will do what he can [to address the banking issue] when he gets back to Washington,” said Barrow. The Prime Minister noted that ahead of his trip to Guatemala, he had already secured appointments, via Belize’s diplomatic mission in Washington, with the US Treasury and the Office of the Controller of Currency. Barrow said that Biden also indicated that while he is slated to be away when Barrow visits Washington, he should return towards the tail end of the mission, at which time he would be in touch to let him know what he would have been able to do on his part, but also to find out about how Barrow’s meetings would have progressed in Washington.

American TV executive, 39, murdered in Succotz
The body of Elizabeth Ann McComb Swaney, 39, a television executive of ABC 7 News of Chicago, USA, who was on a 7-day vacation at the Nabitunich Stone Cottages Resort in San Jose Succotz, Cayo District, was found floating in the Mopan River, about 6 feet from the bank, at about 8:00 this morning, with strangulation marks around her neck. She was reported missing at 4:30 Thursday evening, when she had still not returned after leaving her cottage at about 8:00 that Thursday morning to meditate near the Mopan River. Police said that when they retrieved Swaney’s body from the water, they saw physical injuries such as gashes on both sides of her forehead that were about 1 inch deep along with bruise marks on her neck, back and hands. Her body was taken to the San Ignacio Town Hospital morgue. Dr. Gabrielle Lovell declared Swaney dead at 10:08 this morning, and police concluded that she had been murdered.

New Guatemala regime also aiming for ICJ
The installation of a new political regime in Guatemala last Thursday—a new congress, president and cabinet—marks a new era in Belize-Guatemala relations, but it remains to be seen whether the 4-year term of newly installed president, Jimmy Morales, will see a definitive end to—or at least significant inroads in resolving—the age-old territorial differendum between the two neighboring countries. Sixteen years ago, Belize and Guatemala entered talks under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS), and just over seven years ago, the parties signed an agreement proposing to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final resolution, pending approval via referendum by voters in both countries. In the run-up to the 2015 presidential elections, Morales was asked what he considered the “most deplorable” event in Guatemala’s history. His answer: the loss of Belize. Morales said “…we are about to lose Belize,” and added that Guatemala should fight for that territory or at least a part of it. Belize Foreign Affairs officials have told our newspaper that in meeting and speaking with Belizean officials, Morales has since not pursued that same line.

CYDP Peace Cup semifinals a thriller at the MCC, finals this Sunday
The CYDP Peace Cup semifinals yesterday at the MCC Grounds, trench and all, saw a huge turnout of football fans, who enjoyed an evening of exciting and intense football action. The atmosphere was reminiscent of the old days when city fans were treated to football at the top level. While the quality of the game was not at PLB level, with elimination on the line, and a five thousand dollar prize for the finals winner, each semifinal had its moments of tension and thrills, with the fans often leaving their seats and bringing the Garden alive with their shouts of condemnation or celebration, depending on where the ball was, and whether their team was winning or losing. In the opener, Uprising Stars and Kelly Street were nil-nil at the half; but about 10 minutes after the intermission, young Naim Wilson’s cross field pass found captain Francisco Briceno on the right side with a path to goal, and his shot found the back of the net for the 1-nil lead. Twenty minutes later, Kelly Street got the equalizer from Stephen “Breds” Baizar, whose high lob caught Uprising goalkeerper Elden “Bleaky” Linares going backwards, and the ball hit under the crossbar and into the net; 1-1 ball game.

NEBL 2016 season tips off with three games
SAN IGNACIO TOWN, Sun. Jan. 17, 2016–Leslie brothers dominate in win versus Belmopan Bandits; Jacob sinks 8 three pointers. The NEBL 2016 season tipped off this weekend with three games on Saturday night. Opening ceremonies took place at the UB gymnasium, followed by the home team, Belmopan Bandits hosting Smart Belize Hurricanes. Bandits jumped out to an early 15-0 lead, but by intermission, the visiting team was up 37-30. The home team was able to take the lead, 58-57, going into the fourth quarter; and with the game tied at 71, Darwin “Puppy” Leslie sank two free throws to give the visitors the victory. Smart Belize Hurricanes was led by rookie Jacob Leslie, who sank 8 three pointers, while shooting 8 for 16 from behind the arc, finishing with a game high 29 points to go along with 4 steals in an impressive debut. Farron Louriano finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds, Darwin “Puppy” Leslie tallied 12 points and 4 assists, and Brian White had 12 points and 8 rebounds. Belmopan Bandits was led by Jarrel Velasquez with 24 points and 5 rebounds, while Kyle Pascascio and Geovanni Lennan scored 11 points each, and Kurt “Chengo” Burgess finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Smart Hurricanes out-rebounded Belmopan Bandits, 50-43. Bench points were hard to come by for both teams, tallying a total of 14 points combined.

Is Toledo Football Association a victim of corrupt individuals?
As a member of FIFA, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) has received millions of dollars through the Goal Project and the Financial Assistance Program for the development and promotion of football in Belize. As a member of FFB, the Toledo Football Association (TFA) has received funds to assist in the development and promotion of the sport in our district. Where are these funds, however? Will our thirty-four year old serving chairman, who has proven to be incompetent, answer the question? Why should teams be given such privilege to enjoy the benefits of FIFA’s monies when they are neither registered nor competing in games organized and/or endorsed by the association for more than a decade? To add insult to injury, under the present executive, there are no grassroots youth or male and female players of our district, and it is hoped that it is not the same for the associations in the other football districts.

Belize’s banking crisis
The vast majority of Belizeans know nothing about money, except that you work for it and then you spend it to buy things you need or want. After that, you go out and work for more, so that you can spend that on more things you need or want. It’s an unending cycle: work for it, spend it, work for it, spend it, ad infinitum. In many cultures and parts of the world, however, money is actually an industry, a commodity, a product. If you accumulate money and have it available to do business with, money can make money for you. Instead of your working for money, money works for you. Can you dig it? Traditionally, we non-scholars think of the Jews as having invented the money industry, or banking. Centuries and centuries ago, the Jews were scattered in persecuted communities all across the countries of Europe. They lived in confined, depressing sections of the European cities, slums which were referred to as “ghettos.” The Jews owned nothing except their own wits, discipline, and will. They became savers of money, accumulating it in such quantities that kings of Europe had to go to them to borrow money in order to wage war, war being an exercise that European peoples engaged in on a frequent basis throughout what is called the Middle Ages.

From the Publisher
Although I am the publisher of the leading newspaper in Belize, my views are not that important. Belize is a constitutional democracy, and various elections are regularly held to poll the views of the Belizean electorate on issues of consequence. The views of the politicians who win these elections from time to time are obviously and substantially more important than the views which I express in this newspaper. I understand this, and I accept it. I was fortunate to see most of the relevant portions of the Guatemalan President’s inauguration on Thursday, January 14, in Guatemala City. The inauguration was broadcast live on Channel 80 on the cable television service to which I subscribe, Channel 80 describing itself as a “Central American” station. I actually saw Belize’s Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, when he was introduced by the master of ceremonies, after which he walked to his seat. Shortly thereafter, if I remember correctly, the Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden, was introduced and sat next to Mr. Barrow.

Brigadier General David Jones reports on year 2015
At a press briefing yesterday, Brigadier General David Jones reviewed the BDF’s accomplishments in 2015 and outlined what could be expected in 2016. Jones made mention of the base being built at the Sarstoon, which he claims will be completed within three months. Also, a base is needed in Consejo in Corozal District, where there have been observations of illegal drug activities occurring between Belizeans and Mexicans in the maritime area, Jones said. Jones said he was happy to report that funding to build such a base is in the final stage of being approved. Rio Blanco was also a problem area due to a sizeable number of encroachments, which the BDF was able to bring under control with the assistance of their Guatemalan counterparts, Jones said. Jones said that in 2015, the Belize Defence Force (BDF) was able to destroy over $76 million worth of marijuana.

Belize chairs CARICOM Council of Ministers meeting in Guyana
Belize Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, chaired the 37th Meeting of the CARICOM’s Council of Ministers held in Guyana on Friday, January 15. A key part of Friday’s deliberations was shaping the agenda for the upcoming Twenty-Seventh Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government to be held in Belize in February, a news release from the CARICOM Secretariat said. Among the items that will be on that agenda are development finance, climate change, and foreign policy as well as correspondent banking relations. The Heads of Government meeting will be preceded by a meeting of finance ministers of the region.

Violent crime affected Belizeans and businesses “big time” in 2015
We are only half-way through the first month of 2016, and police have already recorded ten murders that were committed – an unwelcomed statistic, since Belize recorded seven for the whole month of January 2015. The tally for January 2014 was also ten, but the month of January 2016 is far from finished. With ten murders already, we have surpassed the tally for January 2015. Many mothers have lost their sons to the senseless gun violence, mainly in the city. It reminds us of the scripture at Matthew 2:18: “Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are no more.” Amandala spoke with a few of the mothers to find out just how they are coping with life after losing their sons. Angella Wiltshire, whose son, Glenford Vernon, 25, died on September 3, 2015, when he was gunned down while getting a tattoo of her name at a tattoo shop, told Amandala that even though she is a crime scene technician and works very closely with the police in that capacity, she does not feel that the police are doing all they can to solve her son’s murder.

GOB and Maya must cooperate: E. Anthony Ross, QC
The Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, which was set up by the Government of Belize this week, was formally introduced to the media at a press conference convened at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on Friday morning. The Commission says that it will begin the process of adopting the affirmation measures set out in an order of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on April 22, 2015, but added that they cannot presume to set timelines and guidelines, because they will first have to consult with the Toledo Maya before deciding how the work will proceed. The Government has engaged the services of E. Anthony Ross, QC, a Caribbean lawman based in Canada, as an expert in indigenous law. Ross told the media that he hopes that an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect, rather than confrontation, would prevail as the parties work towards putting the CCJ order into effect. “The adversarial process is over. There was a lawsuit. There were claims. And there is now a court order,” Ross emphasized.

Costa Rica says Belize can still help Cuban migrants
Over the weekend, the first group of Cubans—a handful 180 out of 10,000 US-bound Cubans stranded in Central America—arrived in Florida, through a program recently arranged by three Central American countries and Mexico, as some fear that the window of opportunity for them to take advantage of a US migration policy preferential to Cubans may be reaching its end. Costa Rica president Luis Guillermo Sólis told Amandala in a recent interview that by formalizing the migration of Cubans to the US—a migration process which has been ongoing in a clandestine fashion for several years, using cayotes—“we destroyed a network of traffickers in the country and a whole chain of events unraveled afterwards.” Things changed, though, when Nicaragua decided to close its borders in mid-November, and Costa Rica decided to stop issuing transit visas to the Cubans in December, after they began experiencing problems passing through other countries.

$90,000 claim against car dealer for stolen vehicle dismissed
An American couple whose high-end SUV which they bought in Belize was confiscated while on a visit to Chetumal, Mexico, filed a civil suit against a Belizean car dealer for $90,000, claiming that he sold them a stolen vehicle, but they had their claim dismissed today by Supreme Court Justice, Madam Shona Griffith. The case was heard on December 8, 2015 and on December 18, written submissions were made. In the conclusion of her 10-page judgment today, Justice Griffith writes: “The evidence in support of the claim has not been adequately established to the Court and the claim is dismissed.” In claim number 138 of 2013, Charles and Marina Rublee, the claimants, were seeking to recover $90,000 that they had paid to Angel Riverol, the defendant, for a Toyota Sequoia that was taken away by Mexican authorities, who claimed that it was stolen from the United States. Riverol, however, in resisting the claim, maintained that he imported the vehicle legally into Belize and had traveled to Chetumal in it and had no difficulties with Mexican authorities.

American businessman accused of abetment to murder released on $50,000 bail
Despite passionate objection from the Director of Public Prosecution that American businessman Bradley Paumen, whom police charged with four counts of abetment to murder, is a flight risk, today Supreme Court Justice, Madam Antoinette Moore, released him on a $50,000 bail and one surety in the same amount. Paumen has been charged with the offense of abetment to murder against four men, including American-Iranian Faroud Michael Modiri. Paumen’s attorney, Ellis Arnold, SC, successfully argued that the legislators intended for persons charged with abetment to murder, be granted bail; otherwise they would have changed the law to reflect that bail should not be granted to persons charged with that offense. Nonetheless, both sides agreed that the offense is a very serious one, and Paumen’s bail was granted with strict conditions: Paumen was ordered to surrender all of his travel documents, to the court.

Belize may get rice from Guyana, but not through Jack Charles
On Friday, January 15, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and his Chief Executive Officer, Jose Alpuche, in the Ministry of Agriculture, returned from Guyana, where they held meetings with Guyana’s Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as the CEO and the chairman of the Guyana Rice Development Board to ensure food security for Belize, where rice is concerned, in case a shortfall in rice production were to occur. Alpuche told Amandala that there wasn’t any agreement signed, but that they renewed the two countries’ longstanding understanding that in case of a shortfall in Belize’s rice supply, we would import from Guyana. Such a scenario occurred in 2014, when there was a shortfall because of the severe rains, and at that time Belize turned to its sister CARICOM country, Guyana, in order to import enough rice to offset its rice shortage. Even though there are other countries from which Belize could import rice that are located closer to Belize, such as Mexico, Guyana was selected as a rice supplier because Belize would be exempted from paying duties, since both countries are a part of CARICOM, Alpuche said.

The Reporter

Civil case against deputy ComPol called
The civil case against Deputy Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, 49, regarding a fatal traffic accident, saw its first call to order last Friday, and Police Commissioner Allen Whylie, this week, described the situation as “unfortunate”. The family of Succotz market vendor, Yolanda Valencia, 54, is suing Segura, the Belize Police Department and the Government of Belize for damages for the accident that claimed her life, which occurred around 5:00 a.m. on August 16th, 2014. The family contends, based on statements, a video recording of Segura made at the scene soon after the incident, and witnesses who arrived shortly thereafter, that Segura was negligent when he drove the government-issued Nissan Pathfinder into the blue taxi car which Valencia occupied, causing her death. In the impact, the taxi driver and owner of the car, Yanie Cu, 29, suffered serious head and body injuries, which has left him incapacitated, confined to bed, and unable to work.

Two more charged in connection with Paumen murder plot
Two more men have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison in relation to the police investigation of Bradley Paumen and an alleged plot to murder four people. Ian Skeen, Paumen’s accountant at Dark Night, and Lisburn Anderson, Paumen’s former employee and mechanic, were arraigned at the Belmopan Magistrates Court on Monday morning in front of Magistrate Ladona John on two counts of ‘abetment to commit murder’ each, for allegedly making a $3,000 payment as partial payment for the murder of Michael Modiri, Paumen’s rival who he’s had a bitter legal battle with over land, and Domingo Cal, also a former employee of Paumen. Skeen was arrested on Saturday afternoon and Anderson was picked up on Sunday morning. No plea was taken and bail was denied until Friday when attorneys will make an application for bail in the Supreme Court.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Roger Anthony in trouble again
Former Ghost Town Crips leader Roger Anthony, facing a murder charge, was charged with 7 offences when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Anthony was charged with 2 counts of assaulting a police officer, using threatening words, 2 counts of using indecent words, aggravated assault, […]

Calvin Cumberbatch on bail after traffic charges
Tonight, Calvin Cumberbatch, the husband of Pamela Bennett, a money lender who tragically lost her life two days into the New Year in a traffic accident between Miles 5 and 6 on the Philip Goldson Highway was arraigned on manslaughter by negligence charges for the deaths of his […]

Teenagers charged over gun
Two students of Wesley Junior College, 19 year old Stradi Cassasola and 19 year old Demrey Lewis, were charged with kept firearm without a gun license when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. They pleaded not guilty to the charge. They were […]

Ladyville Police find gun stolen in Abou-Nehra case
Ladyville Police have made 19 arrests in the case of the home invasion of Lebanese Honorary Consul Sarkis Abou Nehra which occurred at his Burrell Boom Home on the night of December 3rd, 2015. Despite their big success, police had not recoverered any of the six […]

PUP FAMILY Feud: Bernard targets Andrews
After and since the People’s United Party’s National Party Council meeting ten days ago in Belize City, where the party committed to curbing personal attacks on Facebook which had been proliferate in the days leading up to the meeting, all three candidates for party leader […]

Prison population still high due to remandees
Some 1,443 persons are in Belize’s only prison, the Kolbe Foundation Central Prison at Hattieville, as of the end of 2015. Of these, nearly 400 are on remand awaiting trial for their alleged offences, with 231 of these facing trial for murder and manslaughter. Of […]

Two charged for Belize City burglary
One of the three persons charged on Monday with handling stolen goods in the Middle Long Caye case has been implicated along with another person in a burglary in Belize City. Raymond Garcia, 40, a bank Officer and resident of Belama Phase 3 area reported to police […]

As BTB issues statement on Anne Swaney murder US State Department warns about visiting Belize
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) issued a statement yesterday regarding the death of murdered tourist Anne Swaney, offering condolences and trying to do damage control, however, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory in the wake of the incident. “Following the murder of a […]

One of three pleads guilty in handling stolen goods from sea pirating case
We reported yesterday of the attack on a group of visitors to Belize who were staying aboard a vessel anchored at Middle Long Caye. The group were robbed of their valuables at gunpoint, some of which have since been recovered. Late on Monday, police arrested and […]

Two Belize City teens arrested for illegal gun
Two teenagers were arrested and charged for keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license last night after fleeing from police. The teens were eventually caught. 19-year-old Stradni Cassasola and 19-year-old Demrey Lewis, both of Fabers Road extension, Belize City, sped off in […]

Weekend operations net Belize City police significant finds of guns, ammo and drugs
During operations over the course of January 15 to 18, Belize City Police’s Strike Team South found a .38 mm revolver, 50 live rounds of 9 millimeter ammunition, two gun magazines and more than two pounds of cannabis. The revolver was found in the […]

Son reports mom missing, desperate to find her
Guatemalan National of Melchor De Mencos, 39-year-old Lidia Janet Garcia Giron, was reported missing yesterday by her 19-year-old son Alexander, who last saw her on January 8th when she left for Banana Farm, Stann Creek District, to meet a man known only as “El […]

Belmopan man arrested for assault with pellet gun
23-year-old Arlin David Padilla of Venezuela Street in Belmopan City, has been arrested and charged for the offenses of “attempted murder”, “grievous harm” and “use of deadly means of harm” for beating, then shooting a man with a pellet gun on January 15th. Byron […]

Increase in moisture is expected
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting variably cloudy and cool weather this morning, becoming mostly cloudy this afternoon and tonight. A few light showers or periods of rain will occur mainly over the sea this morning, along the coast this afternoon and […]

Indian Church man butchered by sweetheart’s common-law husband; man on the run
Juan Carlos Gutierrez, a Salvadoran national, is wanted by police for the murder of 51-year-old Francisco Arevalo but is on the run. Authorities say Arevalo was lured to his death by a woman he was involved with. The woman, who is in police custody pending […]

Harvest Caye: not all it’s cut out to be
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) recently won an important decision against the Department of the Environment (DOE) and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC). GOB was fined $50,000 in that Supreme Court decision

The January 20, 2016 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

    The occasion was the inauguration ceremony for the new President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales. And while it is major news in its own right that Belize’s Prime Minister was an invited guest for such a grand occasion in a neighboring country with which we still have an unresolved border dispute, perhaps the bigger news for Belizeans was that our Prime Minister got the opportunity to rub shoulders with the second most powerful political leader of the great United States of America, Vice President Joe Biden. That made for a good photo occasion, but it also afforded Prime Minister Barrow the opportunity raise a substantive and critical issue, that of the problem being faced with correspondent banking, a matter that is centrally linked to United Sates relations with our region and our country. Mr. Barrow reported to the nation, via a government press release, that he in fact availed himself of the opportunity to raise the matter with the Vice President.
  • Observing the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr:
    As we go to press this Monday evening, the United States of America is marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. with a public and bank holiday. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and social activist who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950’s until his death by assassination in 1968. He was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honours.
  • Major New Private Sector Investment:
    new multi-million, state of the art soft drink bottling facility has been inaugurated by Bowen & Bowen Ltd as part of the company’s efforts to increase its competitive edge to secure its fair share of the local market, which in recent years has been flooded by an expanding number of imported brands. The beverage market in Belize is becoming more competitive with products now being imported from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. To maintain its market share, Bowen and Bowen Ltd decided to upgrade its soft drink manufacturing and beer fermentation and bottling capacity at its facilities in Ladyville. This investment is mainly in the form of new bottling equipment in line with the requirements that the international holders (Coca Cola, Fanta and Guinness) are demanding. The project will cost approximately Bz 79 million and will be implemented in three main phases over a period of five years.
  • New Director Named For the financial intellegnce unit (FIU):
    The Financial Intelligence Unit has a new Director. She is Joy Grant, one of Belize’s most outstanding women and a person of impeccable character and integrity. Miss Grant is a former Senator and Cabinet member who served from 2012 until the general elections of November 4,205 as Minister of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities. She was also appointed as Chair of the recently established National Bank. She was previously ambassador of Belize to the European Union (EU), a position she held from 2008 until 2012 under the first term of the Dean Barrow Administration, when she was named Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belize to Brussels, Belgium, accredited to the European Community.
  • EDITORIAL, The Delicate Path of Diplomacy:
    Events and developments at home and abroad over the past week underscore and remind us how delicate—some would say, how dangerous—the path of diplomacy can be. In the United States, President Barack Obama and his political advisors are celebrating the implementation of a historic Nuclear Deal with Iran, coinciding—some would say, coordinated—with the reciprocal release of prisoners/hostages by the two nations in question. Mr. Obama’s harshest critics, however, are accusing him of being misguided and naïve in trusting the Iranian leaders who they say are taking Mr. Obama and the United States for a dangerous ride down a path which can only lead to the much dreaded outcome of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Here at home, Belizeans viewed with similar mixed emotions our Prime Minister’s attendance of the grand inauguration of the new President of Guatemala, our neighbors to the West and South who still constitutionally maintain a territorial claim over our country.
  • Belize Foreign Minister Addresses CARICOM:
    With Belize’s Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow now chairing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), our Foreign Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrignton, is now Chairman of the Community Council of Ministers. In this capacity he addressed the Community of Ministers on Friday, January 15, 2016 at the start of the 37th Meeting of the Council in Georgetown Guyana. Honourable Wilfred Elrington stated, “Our collective actions and our accomplishments to date are proof positive that our integration process is strong and inexorably deepening. Our presence here is a commitment to that integration movement which is itself impelled by our resolve to deliver increasing benefits to the people of our community. We continue to work assiduously to improve the standard of living of our peoples, and to provide for them a safe and secure environment in which to grow, to learn, work, invest, recreate and indeed to attain their full potential. While we are encouraged by our accomplishments, we fully appreciate that we need to build on our success, and to move forward without ever losing sight of why we were elected and the mandates that our people entrusted to us to carry out.
  • 26 New & Young Ambassadors, Defending the Convention on Rights of the Child:
    Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Honourable Patrick Faber was the main speaker at a ceremony for newly appointed ambassadors for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) held on January 12, 2016. In his address, Hon. Faber remarked, “Back in the days, children were to be seen and not heard; in fact, children were considered in some instances to be subhuman and they were mistreated in many regards. And with the convention that was readily embraced—more so readily that by Belize than others—but many countries have embraced the convention and in fact, the status of the treatment of children as a result has improved tremendously; and for that we are grateful to the entire world, because this is a worldwide effort.” The new ambassadors, 26 of them, are being deployed around the country to monitor compliance with the commitments made under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • President Barack Obama on US-Iran Deal:
    “This is A Good Day” Continued on Page 7 This is a good day, because, once again, we’re seeing what’s possible with strong American diplomacy. As I said in my State of the Union address, ensuring the security of the United States and the safety of our people demands a smart, patient and disciplined approach to the world. That includes our diplomacy with the Islamic Republic of Iran. For decades, our differences with Iran meant that our governments almost never spoke to each other. Ultimately, that did not advance America’s interests. Over the years, Iran moved closer and closer to having the ability to build a nuclear weapon. But from Presidents Franklin Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, the United States has never been afraid to pursue diplomacy with our adversaries. And as President, I decided that a strong, confident America could advance our national security by engaging directly with the Iranian government.
    On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, Minister of National Security Honourable John Saldivar and BDF Commander, Brigadier General David Jones spent quality time with the local media, briefing them on the state of affairs of the Belizean Military and sharing valuable details on the achievements, strategic review and plans to be implemented. The formulation of a well-crafted plan of action to guide the Belize Defence Force into the future has been a work in progress for Commander David Jones. Since taking over command of the BDF three years ago in 2012, a Strategic Defence Review has been one of the top priorities for Brigadier General Jones. That proposal will, among other things, look at expanding the size of the military. It will also deal with defining the objectives of the B.D.F. over the next five years. And its implementation, according to Minister of National Security Honourable John Saldivar, will be complemented by funds from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) to improve physical infrastructure being used by the armed forces.
  • THE POLICE & THE CRIME SITUATION, 2015 Finishes Good - 2016 Starts Bad:
    On Wednesday January 6, 2016, Minister of National Security Honourable John Saldivar and Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie met with other members of the Police High Command to review the statistics from the year just ended, 2015; and they invited the local media to share the details and analysis of those statistics. Those statistics showed that while the major crime figures for the first half of 2015 were high, the last six months of year saw a marked reduction. Commissioner Whylie informed, “The Southern Regional Command area had a total of 296 major crimes recorded compared to 328 recorded in 2014. This reflects a decrease of 32 major crimes recorded, or 9.8% decrease in 2015 on the Southern Regional Command area. The Northern Regional Command area had a total of 200 major crimes recorded in 2015, compared to 327 in 2014. This shows a decrease of 127 major crimes or 38.8% in 2015.
  • Bright Prospects In Tourism:
    In his 2016 New Year’s Message, the Prime Minister stated: “It is in tourism that our prospects continue to shine brightest. In September, October and November of 2015, overnight arrivals exceeded the 2014 numbers for the same three months by 19.2%, 22.1% and 33% respectively. With the new Southwest and Copa airline services from the US and South America to Belize already launched; and with the scheduled commencement of direct flights from Canada in 2016, we expect to maintain and better the record breaking, year-over-year increases in stay-over tourism.” Turning to cruise tourism, the Prime Minister reported, “On the Cruise side, there was a 9.2% passenger jump this November, the last full month of 2015 for which we already have the statistics, over November of 2014. And on that front the headline news for 2016 is twofold: NCL’s Harvest Caye project becomes fully operational by April and brings with it two thousand jobs for Southern Belize; and the Supreme Court ruling on Belize City Port exclusivity, or lack thereof, clears the way for us to green-light a new, Old Capital alongside docking facility.
  • Transformation Apace - Jobs Aplenty:
    One of the primary benefits of the massive physical infrastructuure transformation that has been unfolding under this UDP Administration is the major employment it has generated. If there is any notion anywhere out there that this is about to slow down dramatically or stop completely in 2016, someone must have grossly misinterpreted the Prime Minister’s New Year’s Message. In the PM’s own words, “Our trademark infrastructure drive will also continue, though now there will be a mix of funding sources.” And he outlined a number of specific projects, some already in progress, others about to commence, for which funding has already been secured. In addition to the countrywide BIL (Belize Infrastructure Limited) sporting projects funded with PETRO-Caribe monies already set aside, there are the tourism road-network improvements (which had commenced in the last quarter of 2015) such as the upgrade and paving of the road to Lamanai; the North Ambergris Road to the new Efrain Guerrero international Airport; and the Road to Caracol funded by the United Kingdom.
  • A Promising Year for Productive Sector:
    Government’s ability to press forward with its transformation drive while meeting its debt obligation amidst the financial challenges, is premised not only on the government’s good stewardship but also on the performance of the private and productive sector, and in this regard, as the Prime Minister indicated in his New Year’s Message, the outlook for 2016 is just as promising. Quoting the PM himself, “In agriculture, the grain farmers have taken full advantage of Government's tax and duty moratorium on all irrigation equipment to reinvest in the sector with a view to expanded, post-drought production. The poultry industry has recovered from the avian flu, and shrimp harvesting is expected by mid-year to rebound completely from disease to take full advantage of continuing high export prices. In citrus, factory consolidation should increase efficiencies, and external demand and payment for our by-products remain firm.”
  • Massive Investment in Sports Infrastructure:
    In his 2016 New Year’s Message, Prime Minister Dean Barrow assured that Government’s trademark infrastructure drive will continue through a mix of funding sources. With respect to sports infrastructure, he stated, “There is enough that we have set aside from the PetroCaribe days of plenty to complete the countrywide BIL sporting projects (such as the Belize City Center).” This particular project will see the construction of an innovative, well equipped state-of-the-art Arena and Cultural Complex at the location of the old Civic Center on Central American Boulevard, which will serve not just the residents of Belize City but the entire country. The contract was awarded to the local JVCA of Medina’s Construction Ltd. / International Environments Ltd. and on October 8th, 2015 contract signature occurred for contract price of Z$32,940,261.34.
  • BELIZE’s new Ambassador to CARICOM:
    As the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors met in Georgetown, Guyana, Wednesday, January 13, 2016 to engage on the Community Reform Process, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque accepted the Letters of Credence from H.E. Daniel Gutierez, new Ambassador of Belize. In a short accreditation ceremony held in his office, Ambassador LaRocque told the newest member of the Committee that he will have the opportunity to help shape the future direction of the integration movement by advancing the implementation of decisions of Organs of the Community at the national level. He noted that during his recent engagement with the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize and Chairman of the Caribbean Community for the next six months, it was evident that the Prime Minister was keen on making an even stronger link between national and regional agendas.
  • The Best Years of CARICOM Lie Ahead:
    Newly accredited Ambassador of Belize to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), H.E. Daniel Gutierrez has said the best years of the integration movement lie ahead for what he calls the “tremendous untapped potential” that lies within the Region. Speaking at a ceremony to present his letters of credence to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters on Wednesday, Mr. Gutierrez referenced his Prime Minister’s New Year Address in which he heralded 2016 as a landmark year for the integration movement. Against this backdrop, Mr. Gutierrez said: “I am not the first and will not be the last to speak of the untold wealth, underdeveloped talent and the unshakable hope that characterize the brotherhood of nations that call themselves CARICOM. But as leaders and servants we are obligated to diagnose, understand and engineer solutions that will guide our people to resilience in the troubling waters ahead. The skies ahead darken with climate change, economic uncertainty, a haunting gap in education and technology with our global competitors and any number of parallel global challenges. Undaunted we shall remain.”
    Belize is one of the quirkiest countries in the world. Geographically, Belize is in Central America, yet its strongest ties are to the English-speaking Caribbean. Belize is Caribbean, Central American... and, thanks to its history as a former colony, British. Belize City’s roadways are built around a system of roundabouts, but shops alongside them sell rice, beans and tortillas still ground by hand. Everyone you meet speaks English (it’s the country’s official language), but this belies the stories of their origins. The 350,000 people populating Belize today are descendants of migrants from Britain, yes, but also, more so, the surrounding Central American countries. You’ve got Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans mixed with current-day generations of the Maya who originally inhabited this land, the pirates who came later, the Mennonite farmers who began arriving on the scene in the 16th century, the British who ruled until 1981, and each other. Belize is a nation of independent thinkers and doers, a country where you make your own way and where, while you’re doing it, no one, including the Belize government, is making any attempt to thwart your efforts. This is a poor country.
  • Belizean Drafted To US Major League Soccer:
    The Montreal Impact selected UC Riverside’s Michael Salazar with the fourth pick in the second round (24th overall) of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft Thursday afternoon. The Highlanders have had players drafted by MLS teams in each of the last five years . “Michael Salazar has the speed and quickness to help an MLS squad looking to add depth to the striker position,” said prior to the draft. “With Didier Drogba’s imminent departure, the [Montreal] Impact needs to find more attacking punch up front even though Cameron Porter and Anthony Jackson-Hamel are already in the lineup and quite young. In a counter-attacking system, Salazar could help Ignacio Piatti and co. while having a physical presence in the box and able to support the midfielders when playing lower on the pitch to hold the ball.“Though, there is a big chance the Impact either trades up in the draft to get a better striker in the draft or plainly combine that pick with allocation money to get a MLS-ready striker that might be made available by other MLS clubs.”


Travel trends for 2016
Every year I write about travel trends that I think will impact tourism in Belize. I am fairly satisfied with the predictions I wrote for 2015 and unless I feel it’s necessary, I don’t intend to reiterate the same predictions for 2016. Some of these ideas I come up with by myself – through recent travel experience, or I may have stumbled upon an idea while researching, other times, I have seen the predictions on articles, and when that’s the case, I will reference the original author. For Belize, authentic experiences come easy since the country is very small and mostly undeveloped (read: not manipulated). I advise that people stay updated on trends and see how they can create a fusion of things. For example, craft-cocktails are really ‘in’ right now, a local establishment can benefit from experimenting with drinks using local flavors and keep rotating/ innovating the recipes.

Why Moving to Belize Isn't as Hard as You'd Think
Sometimes, the hardest part of relocating is making the decision. Once that’s done, a happy mix of inertia and excitement will propel you from “thinking about moving” to “we’d better start packing.” Moving to Belize is a particularly sane move because it has more going for it than surrounding nations, so you get all of the benefits of the Caribbean and none of the high prices. Need convincing? Start with our list and feel free to add more. 1. There are no language barriers because Belize’s English language roots are deep: After the British occupied the region, they left the English language as a legacy, but expect a bonus if you move here: you’ll run into people from all over the world who love this place as much as you do. 2. The government will make you feel right at home. Long before the U.S. ratified its constitution and emulated the British legal model, Belize began using British Common law as its legal system, too, so you’ll be trading one democracy for another–if not a bit more formal thanks to British courtroom customs. 3. You’ll be welcomed with open arms. Come for a visit, renew your tourist visa monthly and audition Belize as your new homeland or announce your intention to take advantage of the Qualified Retired Persons Program (QRP), an initiative with so many tax perks and benefits, there’s nothing like it in the Caribbean.

Cinnamon Roundies
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Use any left over pie crust or use a 9" pie crust and shape it into a rectangle. Spread the rectangle with butter, not margarine, being generous with the butter Sprinkle with granulated sugar (about 2 tbsp. for a 9" crust Sprinkle with cinnamon, about 1 1/2 tablespoons With the longest side of the rectangle facing you, roll the crust up into a roll. Gently seal the edge where the crust stops. Slice the roll into 1/2" slices with a sharp knife. Place cut pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 12 roundies.

Place red peppers in a food processor and puree. Combine the pureed peppers, sugar and vinegar in a large stainless-steel pan. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Remove pot from heat and set for 10 minutes. This allows the peppers to cook slowly in the residual heat and prevents them from floating on the surface. Then, return pot to stove and bring again to the boil, Add lemon juice and pectin mixed with the caster sugar and simmer over medium heat for 3 -5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The pectin will help the jelly to set while cooling. Pour into sterilized jars. Store in cool dark area for 3 – 5 months. Keep in the fridge when open and use within a month.

4G Mi-Fi Internet Service in Belize – Hello My New Life!
So…with great fanfare (in my mind)…4G has come to the nation of Belize. 4th Generation INTERNET! (Whatever that means…) First introduced in Finland in 2010. Now here in Belize. But ACTUALLY, it means quite a bit. Because the speed is INSANELY better. And the battery power on the new device is FANTASTIC. Yes, I know it will wane as time goes on but right now it hold charge for up to 24 hours…and I can use it for 5 or 6 hours without re-charge. Here’s how it went down: I went in to the SMART office. I purchased the new unit for $175BZD. And the largest package available of 25GBs for $220bzd. (This generally lasts me about 2.5 to 3 months.) My 25GB package has increased from $150BZ for the 3G to $220BZ for the 4G. And up to 8 devices can connect to the 4G unit.

International Sourcesizz

The United States now has federal agents on the scene in Belize to assist in the murder investigation of our ABC7 colleague Anne Swaney, as Belizean authorities say they are stepping up their efforts to solve the case, the ABC7 I-Team reports. On the day Anne died, she walked down a path about a half a mile from the camp where she was staying. She came down to a wooden platform by the rushing river, where she put out her yoga mat. A police outline of the mat can still be seen on the deck, where police believe she was attacked. Her body was found in the water the next day, about 300 yards downriver. She had been strangled. Juan and his stable hands have all been questioned numerous times by local authorities. A man was among several ranch employees at the police station Tuesday for another round of questioning. Even though the FBI is offering assistance, the investigation is based out of the Benque Viejo branch of the Belize National Police.


  • ORANGE FARM, 1min.

  • Belize Gal by Mr. Coppa, 2.5min. Hit Single

  • Smart | 4G LTE: Step Your Game Up!, 1min. Smart's 4G LTE is here and we are giving you FANTASTIC DEALS to make it easy for you to UPGRADE to the Fastest Network in Belize. TRADE-IN that DigiCell phone that is struggling with signal connection, or bring in your 3G Smart phone and UPGRADE to a brand new 4G LTE phone.

  • Scuba diving and snorkeling in Belize, 4min.

  • The Garden Show - January 19, 31min. The second episode of the weekly program produced by Belize Botanic Gardens and hosted by Judy duPlooy.

  • I Love Belize, 4min. pat + babes, beers, belize

  • BELIZE Great Blue Hole; Half Moon Wall; The Aquarium - 12/11/15, 16.5min. The magnificent Great Blue Hole, a LOT of reef sharks, and even dolphins! The footage of the Great Blue Hole starts at 0:30.

  • Howler monkey at the Xunantunich Mayan ruins in Belize, 1min.

  • cave tubing, Belize, 5min. Cave tubing in the mayan jungles of belize.

    January 19, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

    The San Pedro Sun

    Glover’s Reef: A haven of tropical beauty in Southern Belize
    After my first visit to the Glover’s Reef Marine Research Station some years ago, I remember saying to myself “I need to come back!” This amazing, secluded piece of paradise had captured my heart, and even though I did not know when I’d make it back, I vowed to do so. That long awaited second visit finally took place, when an unexpected invitation came from the management of the station. I was beyond thrilled with my dream trip underway, excited to explore even further. The Glover’s Reef Atoll is one of three atolls (the other two are Lighthouse and Turneffe), and was so named because of its discoverers John and Rodger Glover in the 1750’s. It was established as a national protected area in 1993. One of the islands where the research station is located is owned by the Wildlife Conservation Society. It is equipped with sleeping quarters, a full kitchen, library, friendly staff, an observation tower, and even WiFi! The sixteen acre island runs on solar and wind energy, collects rain water, has Eco-restrooms and their boats even have Eco-engines. It is indeed a sustainable station!

    New regulations for taxi drivers to be implemented
    All members of the different taxi associations will be required to undergo training in order for them to meet the required standards. Such requirements will include proper attire, special identification, and clean police records. Mayor Daniel Guerrero also spoke about an initiative to reduce the size of the taxi vans, which at the same time will help alleviate the issue of traffic congestion on the island. He mentioned a particular size of vehicle which he would approve immediately. “There are some small taxicabs that can take around four persons. They don’t take much space and are very comfortable. If anyone would get some of these small taxicabs, I would issue the permits immediately,” said Guerrero. He also emphasized the idea of standardizing the new vehicles with a definite color and design. The SPTC hopes that when this program is implemented, it will bring the level of customer service to its highest on the island, with the taxi drivers playing an important role in it. Guerrero pointed out incidents in the past that have jeopardized taxi drivers’ reputation. “There have been past events on the island that have involved taxi drivers, and that is not good for the Tourism Industry, or for them. There is the case of one of their members accused of sexual assault. Again, it hurts the tourism industry, and even though the court has yet to decide whether that person is innocent or not, we have to work to fix those issues that can affect us all. So we will work together with the BTB, who will provide them with training. We want to have good caliber taxi drivers out here, meeting the people so we can always have that good impression when our tourists get to the island,” stated Guerrero.

    Alfonso Wiltshire expected to appear in court on February 9th
    After being charged with two counts of Aggravated Burglary and two counts of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse in October of 2015, taxi driver and landlord Alfonso Wiltshire was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. This incarceration did not last long, as he was soon out on bail. Since then, he has been out in the community and allegedly engaging in his previous job as a taxi driver on the island. The case is a continuous one, and many question the lack of justice as well as the safety of his alleged victim(s). Information from the San Pedro Police Formation indicates that nothing much has changed in the case. Wiltshire continues to have the said charges on him, pending sentence. He has been abiding by the law by reporting to the station on a weekly basis as a requirement of his bail. The sergeant on duty indicated that until proven guilty, Wiltshire will continue to be free like any other citizen. This process he stated is normal, and it applies to anyone who is out on bail. Once the Supreme Court has granted bail, it is outside the local police jurisdiction to apprehend that individual until he or she is sentenced in a court of law.

    Illegal dumping affecting San Pedro’s Waterways
    The trash situation on Ambergris Caye is an ongoing battle, extending beyond our streets and into the island’s waterways. One resident in particular reported the repeated dumping of garbage in the lagoon behind the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) plant in the San Juan area to the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). After noticing that nothing was being done, he took it upon himself to clear the waterway, taking out all the garbage that had accumulated. He then notified the SPTC about the garbage, and according to the SPTC, they quickly responded and picked up the reported pile of trash. Another initiative that the SPTC plans to do is begin at least four major cleaning campaigns of the waterways during the year. “This will give us more control of the situation and be able to find the source of the trash. We don’t want to be cleaning, and cleaning and then later there is more trash. We don’t want it to become a vicious cycle. Even though we don’t have the resources like a boat to clean the waterways, that does not mean we cannot be creative. We will start putting more attention into these areas since they were not part of the program and as things evolve, along with the overtime from our sanitation staff, we expect to properly address the situation,” said Greif. “Garbage is a serious issue, and much more when it gets in waterways, as that is another dangerous way how to spread diseases. “

    Ambergris Today

    The third annual Mrs. Reina del Carnaval has been set to take place on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the R. Angel Nunez Auditorium with four contestants vying for the title of Carnaval Queen of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The Carnaval Pageant has been hugely successful for the past two years, bringing slapstick entertainment that is characteristic of the spirit and celebrations of the traditional Carnaval of San Pedro. (Click Here for 2015 Pageant) The pageant is organized by Mrs. Flora Ancona’s Comparsa Group that year after year entertains during the three days of street dancing of Carnaval. The pageant contestants are older women (Mrs.) who prove that beauty comes in all ages. Segments of the pageant will include an opening dance, beachwear, talent and eveningwear. Organizers expect another fun-filled pageant scheduled to commence at 7:30p.m. Here are this year’s Mrs. Reina del Carnaval pageant contestants:

    ACES Ball Gowns & BBQ Charity Gala & Art Auction
    Ambergris Caye Elementary School proudly presents their Ball Gowns & BBQ Charity Gala & Art Auction! At this, our first Charity Gala & Art Auction, we hope to raise both awareness and much-needed operating and scholarship funds for ACES. Because it is a nonprofit organization, all donations to the school are tax deductible, and all proceeds will directly benefit ACES and its students. We also hope to bring attention to the incredible art of San Pedro, along with the talented local artists and artisans who generously donated pieces to this worthy cause. Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) is a non-denominational community-based private school on Ambergris Caye. Since its establishment in 2009, ACES has enthusiastically embraced the amazing cultural and ethnic diversity that makes up our wonderful island and promotes awareness and respect among our students.

    Pic of the Week - Epic Diving Encounter in Belize
    Belize’s Barrier Reef boasts abundant marine life. This sea turtle seen here making a new friend, is only one of the many sea creatures you will encounter. Submerge yourself in nature. Dive Belize.

    Two High Profile Murders Have Belize Authorities Mobilized
    It’s a high profile case that has the face of a US woman plastered all over the news, pressure on the Belize Police Department to capture a murderer and Belize being tagged with the image of being an unsafe country. Because of two recent but separate murder cases that involve a US television producer and a filmmaker from Canada, Belize is on the international spotlight receiving some very bad publicity – of being an unsafe country due to its high murder rate. Yahoo Travel even asks the question “Following Murder, Is Belize Safe for Tourists? But recent statistics from the Belize Police Department indicate that there has been a decrease in murder and crime at the end of 2015. Even more so, the highest rate of murders in the county take place within the Belize District (Belize City). Major crime levels remain low in more touristic areas and attractions, including the Maya ruins and resorts along the coastline and neighboring islands. There have always been advisories for visitors to avoid areas of the south side of Belize City where numerous gangs are known to operate and to exercise caution when traveling along remote areas of the Belizean border. Visitors are no more at risk in Belize than they would be in some neighboring countries or even some cities in USA. Tourism is a vital part of the Belizean economy, accounting for 14% of all jobs and 23% of GDP for the country; hundreds of thousands of visitors travel to the country each year, most without incident.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Tracie Young announces her candidacy for chairman of Caye Caulker Village Council
    If you know me, you know that I think outside the box, I don't follow the same pattern as others, I use the resources I have to make magic. I smile a lot and I try to lighten the mood, I love making people smile and I find unique ways of doing things, the world isn't flat so we don't treat everything the same way!!! With that said, this is my way of announcing my candidacy for Chairperson in the next Village Council Election 2016! Feel free to write to me and we can set a time to meet if you want to know more about my portfolio and plans for the island!

    Vacancy: Country Director for leading international volunteer organization “Projects Abroad”
    Based: San Pedro. Requirements: M.Sc. or B.Sc. or equivalent in Business Management or related fields. 5 yrs experience in management, development, HR management and working with culturally diverse populations. Ability to formulate and implement operational plans. Proficiency in Office tools, Internet. Send CV and cover letter to: [email protected]

    School Outreach Programme 2016
    This year's School Outreach Programme was held at both the George Price Centre, to honor the father of the nation, since his birthday was on the 15th of January, and at the Guanacaste National Park. .

    Book: A Walk Through Dangriga
    We are pleased to announce the upcoming book launch of A Walk Through Dangriga. A Walk Through Dangriga is the third in the series of publications which focus on the history and usage of historic and cultural spaces in Belize's cities and towns. Kindly be on the lookout.

    Channel 7

    One Weekend, Three Machete Murders
    There were 3 chopping murders this weekend, one in San Pedro, another in a remote Orange Walk village of Indian Church, and the last one in Bella Vista, Stann Creek. All three victims are Central American migrants to Belize. We start first with our story on San Pedro. That's where island cops found the body of 35 year-old Guatemalan Sergio Uribio inside an apartment in the San Pedrito Area. He was lying dead with a large gash to the left side of the neck and left arm. On the verandah, they found 48 year-old Honduran Jose Villeda, and he had extensive injuries: a large cut wound to the right side of his face, his left wrist partially chopped off, a cut wound to the left knee, one to the right leg, another to the lower left leg, and a portion of his left pinky finger had been chopped off. It appears at this time that the two men, who are reportedly friends, got into a drunken brawl on Saturday at around one, and it escalated to a machete and knife fight. Police say that the dead man, Uribio struck first.

    A Love Triangle Turns To Murder In Indian Church
    Police in Orange Walk recorded their first murder of the year this weekend when Guatemalan man from the village of Indian Church was viciously chopped to death. The village describes the victim as a respectable man, in fact he was to end his term this as the vice chairman of the village this year. So who would want him dead? Emanuel Pech found out that Francisco Arevalo was on the killing side of a love triangle. The relative peace of the Village of Indian Church was shattered when the naked, mutilated body of the Francisco Arrevalo was discovered on the side of this empty building on Sunday morning. It is a violent end for this 51 year old Guatemalan National, who moved to Belize several years ago and lived his last few years as the vice chairman of the community. Elser Aguilar - Nephew: "He was a man who never trouble anyone. He was a man who never go out of his house. He does not drink. We are like what happened to him. It's difficult for the family. He was vice chairman. He helped anyone who wanted help. He would do it and never say no. All the villages are really sad of his death." Emanuel Pech: "What do you know of the situation? What happened?"

    24-Year-Old Woman Killed, Husband The Suspect
    The third murder happened this morning, around 5:30, in a football field in Bella Vista Village in the Stann Creek . That's where they found 24 year-old Honduran Maria Suyapa Garcia, who had been chopped to death. Police believe that her husband did it as the result of a domestic dispute which took a murderous turn. Here's what information investigators have at this time: ACP Joseph Myvette, Head - NICB: "Police responded sometime around 5:35am in the area of the football field in Bella Vista Village where they saw the lifeless body of Maria Suyapa Garcia with large chop wound across the body and head. Further police investigations into this matter revealed that it seemingly arose out of a domestic dispute and as we currently speak, police are seeking her common-law husband who is believe to be the main suspect." Police are seeking her 21 year-old common-law husband for questioning.

    The Killing Of A Tourist: Police Have No Firm Answers Yet
    But, while those 3 murders have made local headlines, the killing which continues to make international headlines is that of 39 year-old American Tourist Anne Swaney. This news producer from ABC 7 in Chicago was vacationing in Belize, at the Nabitunich Resort just outside of Benque Viejo Town. She went missing last week Thursday morning and the next day, police found her body floating in the Mopan River. She was last seen doing yoga on the riverside, and she was supposed to go horse-back riding with her fellow guests, but she never made it. Police found her body some 20+ hours later, and they were convinced that she had been killed. Well, a post-mortem examination has confirmed that she was strangled to death, and had sustained blunt force trauma to the head and neck. Here's what the Commissioner of Police had to say about the case today:

    Anne Swaney's Dad Tells ABC7-Chicago The Pain Of His Loss
    But, while the authorities are investigating her killing, she has an entire host of family, friends, and co-workers back in Chicago who are mourning her loss. Our colleagues from ABC 7, the TV station she worked for, spoke with her father back in Illinois, and he lamented the loss of his daughter, the second child that he's had to bury. He fought back tears as he reminisced about his daughter: The main person of interest, the Guatemalan who police picked up in the immediate area last week has been arrested and charged with illegal entry, and he has been criminally arraigned. He's 24 year-old Victor Manuel Franco Menjivar, resident from Benque Viejo's sister town across the border, Melchor De Menchos, Guatemala. He's pleaded guilty to the immigration charge, and he has been fined a thousand dollars. He's since been handed back over to police for further interrogation as to why he was in the area when police were looking for Anne Swaney.

    2016 Very Deadly So Far
    So, including this weekend's 3 murders, there have been 10 killings in the first 18 days of 2016, a frightening spike which has not gone unnoticed by the Commissioner of Police. He held a press conference today to reassure the public that he and the Police Department are doing everything they can to stop the killings. Here's what he told us: Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "Despite our intervention efforts, our patrols countrywide as I said we've had a total of 10 incidents of murders committed across the country of Belize. One was committed in Belize City; one in rural Belize District, Hattieville to be precise; one in the Selena Village, Spanish Lookout Cayo District area; one in Punta Gorda; two occurred in Belmopan involving taxi men; one also occurred in Benque Viejo...

    Police Say Bejerano Was Hummingbird Highway Jacker
    And Belmopan police have reportedly made an arrest in a scary roadside car jacking. Two weeks ago, we told you about 38 year-old Melonie Popper Coc, who pulled over on the side of the Hummingbird Highway in Armenia village to make a phone call - and she was car jacked by two men who drove off in her Isuzu D-Max - leaving her along with her mother and four kids stranded on the roadside. Well, police have arrested and charged Lincoln Bejerano for theft of her vehicle. IF the name sounds familiar, it's because six days ago, Bejerano was charged for Kept ammunition without a gun license, kept firearm with a gun license, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery - in connection with the murder of 28 year old Belmopan Cab driver Isidro Suar.

    Teenager On Motorbike Killed
    A 19 year old was knocked down and killed on the Old Northern Highway. On Saturday afternoon at around 2 Maykon Divas was heading back to his Lucky Strike home on his motorcycle when he crashed head on into with a Toyota Landcruiser. It happened near mile 25 on the Old Northern. The driver of the Landcruiser, 47 year old Joan Crooks was carrying 4 passengers from Altun Ha when the collision occurred. Divas was flung form his motorbike and died on the spot. Today we traveled to Lucky Strike Village to find out more from the family. A lot of work is left to be done in this bedroom, the walls need to be plastered and the door and ceiling still need to be installed. Even after all the structural details are finished, it has to be cleaned, painted and transformed into a comfortable space.

    Highways Remain Dangerous
    There were 2 more accidents in the Belize district over the weekend - but these were not fatal. The first accident happened on Saturday morning around 11. 34 year old Robert Logan was heading to Belize City in his Ford Ranger pickup when one of his tires blew out at mile 13 - right in front of the Soft Toilet Paper Factory. He flipped several times and he was flung out of his truck. Shortly after, his vehicle caught on fire. Although Logan was seriously injured and had to be rushed to the KHMH he is lucky to be alive because he could have been burnt to death in the truck. Police gave us more information on this accident. "The first was on Saturday 16th at about 10:45am where a blue pickup truck driven by one Robert Logan, suffered a blowout and flipped 7 times at Mile 13 on the George Price Highway. He was taken to the hospital, has been treated and since released. Fortunately, he survived that serious accident. His vehicle burst into flames and was totally destroyed by fire." We understand Logan has been released from the KHMH. As for the other accident, that one happened on the Lords Bank Road early yesterday morning. 38 year old Enrique Minima was heading towards Edwin Parks Avenue in his mini-SUV, A Daihatsu Terios when his steering wheel locked causing him to flip once. Police told us more.

    The Challenge Of Keeping Roads Safe
    And the Rural Eastern Division is taking a proactive approach in trying to minimize these accidents and keep these roads safe. Broaster told us that a part from setting up signs speed traps officers will be trained as Emergency Medical Technicians. He discussed their plans with us today. Sr. Sup. Edward Broaster, O. C. Eastern Rural: "Given the nature of the numerous accidents that have been occurring on the George Price Highway and the Philip Goldson Highway, we have put a proposal together where we will be submitting to the Commissioner of Police for the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Health to consider where we train police officers to be paramedics and serve as dual functions and we have an ambulance based out of Sandhill and another based in Mahogany Heights. So that we can have much quicker and faster response by the medical team or the emergency team to render aid and service in the effort of protecting life. As well we are looking at setting up speed traps in various parts of the George Price Highway as well as the Philip Goldson Highway."

    Police: "Ms Pam's" Husband Will Be Charged
    Calvin Cumberbatch will be charged for the New Year's weekend double fatal accident on the Northern Highway. As you all may remember, On January 1, the well-known Southside money lender Pamela Bennett - Cumberbatch was traveling to Orange Walk with her husband Calvin when they collided into a Grey Dodge at mile 6. The driver of the dodge was 80 year old Alfredo Navarrete, he was heading to Belize City. Both Pamela Cumberbatch and Navarrete died on the scene. Police gave us an update on this case. Sr. Sup. Edward Broaster, O. C. Eastern Rural: "As it pertains to the fatal on New Year's Day we are expecting Mr. Cumberbatch to come in today to Ladyville Police Station where he will be charged for those fatalities." Reporter: "So he was found to be at fault in that incident?" Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster: "He will be charged based on the evidence and the investigation that we've carried out, yes."

    Police Say PG Pair Responsible For Two Killings
    On last week Wednesday's newscast, we told you how police had made a major break in their investigation into the murder of 19 year-old Jarrel Pop. He's the victim whose decomposing body was found at the bottom of a well on Sunday, January 10. Well, police have since arrested and charged 21 year-old Albert Valentine Jr. and a 15 year-old minor jointly for the charge of murder. As we had reported, he was picked up by San Pedro police, after he was trying to hide out from law enforcement. And, in a neat tie up, police say that they've been able to link him and this 15 year-old to the murder of 64 year-old Antonio "Sapote" Rodriguez. You will remember that taxi driver from Eldridgeville, Toledo was found killed just outside of Punta Gorda Town in mid-December. Again, both Valentine Jr and the 15 year-old minor have been jointly charged with the murder for this taximan.

    ZIKA Warning Goes Out For All Belize's Neighbors
    Last week we told you about the spread of the Zika Virus in Latin America and the Caribbean. Well, on Friday The US Centers for Disease Control issued a travel warning for 14 countries with Zika. The travel alert targets pregnant women and those who want to become pregnant following reports that thousands of babies in Brazil were born last year with a brain disorder linked to Zika. The alert includes every single one of Belize's neighbors to the north, south, and west, namely Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The alert recommends that women who are pregnant postpone travel to those countries.

    Rural Cops Get Gun Used In Robbery
    Ladyville police found guns and drugs over the weekend. Police found a .22 pistol with 1 empty magazine hidden in some bushes in Vista Del Mar. They are looking for 3 persons in connection with this seizure. They also found over 700 grams or about 2 pounds of weed in a bushy lot in Hattieville. Broaster told gave us more details on these busts. Sr. Sup. Edward Broaster, O. C. Eastern Rural: "On the 15th January the Rural Rapid Response Team recovered a twenty-two pistol and a magazine in a case. This was in the area of Vista del Mar. We have three suspects that we are looking at as it regards to that particular firearm. We also conducted raids in the Hattieville area where we recovered over seven hundred plus grams of cannabis and in another area where we recovered a hundred and forty-one grams of cannabis with the help of the canine." Daniel Ortiz: "Do you all have at this time the origin of that weapon and do you all suspect it may have been used in any crimes recently?"

    The Genesis of the Paumen/Modiri Land Dispute
    So last week we told you all about the mystifying murder plot allegedly hatched by Bradley Paumen - an American who's one of the biggest tour operators in Belize. The allegation is that he hired a hitman to take our his neighbor in Frank's Eddy, Michael Modiri - and three of Modiri's associates, including his bodyguard and his lawyer. It's all because of a land dispute - which went to court in May of 2015. That's when Michael Modiri sued the government because they had acquired his land - and awarded it to Paumen for his private use. Modiri told the court that it all started in March of 2013, when Paumen, who was his neighbor in Frank's Eddy, put up a gate, which blocked access to Modiri's landlocked property. But Paumen also needed to get on Modiri's land to get access to caves. They were supposed to reach an agreement, but in early 2013, someone went unto Modiri's property and cleared a three quarter mile road leading to the caves. When Modiri checked, Paumen was using the road as access to his caves. The government then acquired the property in February of 2015. Now property can only be acquired for a public purpose, but in her judgment Justice Sonya Young notes, quote, "the government through NICH had partnered with Dark Night Cave Tubing - which facilitated tourists visiting the archeological reserve." But they got to that reserve using Modiri's land - which is why government had to acquire it.

    Will Police Keep Alleged Targets Safe?
    So, while that's the backstory which ties both men to each other, police have accused Paumen of trying to to get Modiri killed. He's out on bail, and so the press questioned whether the police will be keeping a close eye on him to ensure the safety of the persons he allegedly tried to get killed. Here's our conversation with the Commissioner of Police on the topic: Reporter: "What kind of details you have on Bradley Paumen?" Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "We have none. He is I think he might be a Belizean-American I'm not too sure. But he was offered bail by the Courts. But once he is offered bail and he meets the condition of the bail then he is free to move around. I believe one of the conditions is that he is not to leave the country and he is also to report to the Police. We have to respect the conditions of the bail that was granted to him."

    A Disgraced Deputy, but Deputy Nontheless
    On last week Thursday, we told you about the lawsuit that the family members of the late Yolando Valencia, are bringing against the disgraced Deputy Police Commissioner, Miguel Segura. As you may remember, she died in that accident when Segura slammed head on into her taxi driver's car. So, what is Miguel Segura's status as police officer while he awaits criminal trial? Well, his boss, Commissioner Allen Whylie, told us that he is still the Deputy Commissioner of Police, but he is on interdiction with half pay: Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police: "Mr. Segura as you know was involved in a very unfortunate incident. He is still the substantive deputy commissioner of police. Since the incident has occurred he had initially been suspended and then later the status changed where he was interdicted from duty. So whilst he is still the substantive deputy commissioner of police, all his policing powers are held in abeyance and he is on basically half pay. Yes, the matter is before the court and when that matter concludes then we know how we move forward."

    Come, CARICOM!
    CARICOM Heads of Government will be meeting in Belize next month. But, in preparation for that the Council of Ministers has to meet to decide what will be on the agenda. That meeting was held on Friday at CARICOM headquarters in Georgetown Guyana. Because Belize is currently chairing CARICOM, the meeting was led by Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington with CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. They spoke with CARICOM cameras about the agenda for February's meeting:.. The meeting will be held in mid-February in Placencia.

    Biking It Better Than Hiking It
    2 patrol officers got brand new bicycles today. Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster surprised his 2 officers who were patrolling Tropical Park this morning. They usually go on foot from house to house everyday as part of their community policing program. But now, they will be able to visit more homes in a shorter amount of time. There will be more donations throughout the year. The 2 bikes cost $500. Placencia Police also had two brand new bicycles handed over to them for police patrols on the Peninsula. The donor, Dan Dunbar, a realtor at Caribbean Properties Consultants, gifted the bikes to the Commander of Placencia Police, Inspector Dennis Miles. This is his second donation to Peninsula Police as part of the ongoing Community Policing Efforts. Also present for the donation was Chairlady ILSA Villanueva.

    Channel 5

    Machete Mayhem Across Belize, ComPol Weighs In on Mounting Murders
    2016 is off to a murderous start.  Since the beginning of the New Year, there have been a total of ten homicides across the country. One of the most shocking [...]

    ABC7 Producer Ann Swaney Strangled Near Succotz
    Now to the murders … Ann Swaney, an executive producer at ABC Chicago who was vacationing in Belize was killed in the west; that murder is being reported by ABC [...]

    Indian Church Vice Chairman Hacked to Death in Weekend Chopping
    There have been three other murders due to chopping since Ann Swaney was strangled to death. In Indian Church in the Orange Walk District, a Guatemalan national was likely lured [...]

    Murder in San Pedrito: A Man is Mutilated and Another Clings to Life
    There was a gruesome, bloody murder in San Pedro in broad daylight Saturday afternoon. It happened at a home in the San Pedrito Area of the island and involved alcohol, [...]

    A Woman is Killed in Bella Vista, Common-Law Husband is on the Lam
    The most recent murder occurred this morning. In the Stann Creek District, a Honduran national was hacked to death shortly before six o’clock.  Independence Police visited Bella Vista Village where [...]

    2 More Arrested and Charged in Paumen Murder Conspiracy
    Bradley Paumen, the American resort and tour company owner who allegedly hired a hit man to kill four persons, one of them a local attorney, is currently free, out on [...]

    Will Police Provide Security for Would-be Targets?
    The prosecution in the Bradley Paumen case is convinced that they have more than enough to convict the wealthy American businessman on four charges of Abetment to Murder, each which [...]

    Paumen’s Firearm and Murder Plot May Not be Related – ComPol Whylie
    On January eleventh, Paumen had been on remand three days already, but strangely, police made no noise about the very significant, very high-level arrest. So when the GSU found a [...]

    Lincoln Bejerano Arraigned for Armenia Carjacking
    On January second, a family was traumatized when they were jacked at gunpoint in Armenia Village. According to Melanie Popper Coc, she was heading to Pomona with her mother and [...]

    PM Barrow Says Interim Convention for U.D.P. Set for March
    The People’s United Party will elect a new leader at the end of January. Close to three thousand delegates will vote at the Belmopan convention to determine where Francis Fonseca [...]

    PM Barrow Talks B.T.L. Settlement
    It is expected that in the first part of this year, an arbitration tribunal will determine the value of shares arising from the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited. Now, government [...]

    PIL Prepared to Invest in Cruise Port in Port Loyola
    While we discussed the issue of the arbitration award, we also inquired whether relations between Barrow and Lord Michael Ashcroft were on the mend. The PM recently said that he [...]

    Maykon Vivas Perishes in Head-on Collision with Land Cruiser on Old Northern Road
    A road traffic accident on Saturday proved fatal for a nineteen-year-old cyclist when he collided head-on into a vehicle whilst rounding a curve near Altun Ha, on the Old Northern [...]

    A Pickup Goes Up in Flames After Overturning on George Price Highway
    There were two other accidents, which were not fatal, but left victims traumatized. Robert Logan, a motorist traveling along the George Price Highway, is lucky to have escaped grave injuries [...]

    Belize City Man Survives Road Traffic Mishap in Lords Bank Village
    A third mishap, this one in Lords Bank Village, involved the manager of a local business in Belize City.  Enrique Minima is lucky to have escaped unhurt when he lost [...]

    Pirates Rob Tourists Near Middle Long Caye, Was Woman Sexually Assaulted?
    There’s still more crime…A vessel moored near Middle Long Caye came under attack last Wednesday by pirates operating in waters southeast of Belize City.  During the incident, passengers onboard the [...]

    Ladyville Police Recover Weapon Used in Armed Robbery
    Last Wednesday, Chinese businessman Zu Chu Wu reported to Ladyville police that whilst at his business in Vista del Mar, he was robbed by two men of East Indian descent.  [...]

    Calvin Cumberbatch to be Charged for Double Fatalities in RTA
    Well-known Belize City moneylender Pamela Bennett and Burrell Boom resident Alfredo Navarette perished in a road traffic accident along the Phillip Goldson Highway over the New Year’s weekend.  During the [...]

    Hattieville Police Receive Donations from Silent Santa
    While police have their hands full, they did take time today to receive a small but thoughtful contribution that will be used for elderly residents in the Hattieville community.  This [...]

    Sports Monday: NEBL Season Kick Off
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The NEBL basketball season got off to a roaring start over the weekend and we caught up with the Belmopan [...]


    Five Laptops Stolen From Corozal Customs Brokerage
    Corozal Police are looking for an individual or individuals responsible for breaking into the Insurance Corporation of Belize, (ICB) building located in the Santa Elena Border, Corozal District.The incident occurred between 5:00a.m and 6:00a.m on Friday, January 15th. It is believed that the criminal or criminals smashed the back glass windows to gain access to the building and once inside they entered the office of the Corozal Custom Brokerage and got their hands on 5 laptops. Alfredo Sanchez: “We received a phone call from the building manager last week Friday about six in the morning and they called us to inform us that there was a breaking into the building they were not certain what time it happened but when we arrived here we noticed that yes indeed the building was broken into.”

    Guatemalan Fisherman found In The Area Where American National Was Murdered Charged For Illegal Entry
    The body of thirty nine year old American National, Anne Elizabeth McComb Swaney was found floating in the Mopan River on Friday morning at around 8:00 a.m. after she was reported missing by the owner of Nabitunich Resort on Thursday evening at about 5:00 p.m. The owner of the resort told police that Swaney went in an area to do yoga practices but never returned. When police visited the area, a search was conducted, however, only her belongings were found along the river bank. It was not until the following day that her body was discovered floating in the river with what appeared to be blunt force wounds to both sides of the forehead as well as marks on her neck.

    SIF Engages Pre-School Teachers In Early Childhood Education Training
    On Friday the Social Investment Fund, SIF in coordination with the basic need trust fund and the Caribbean Development Bank Grants, held a workshop for 15 preschool teachers in the area of quality child friendly environment, early childhood development training. SIF Technical Officer for the Northern Region, Freddie Cab, says that the aim is to strengthen the country’s education sector. Freddie Cab Technical officer for Northern Region SIF: “The beginning of this training is in coordination with the basic need trust fund that the Caribbean Development Bank has given as grants through the support of the government of Belize and implemented by the Social Investment Fund, this is part of a soft project that initiated negotiations approximately a year and a little more with the different institutions around Corozal and Orange Walk, one of the initiatives of the government is to have quality child friendly environment and we are supporting that with providing training through the ministry of education such as this the Early childhood Development training...”

    Minister Of Agriculture Says Lack Of Communication On The part Of Farmers Is Causing Problems
    Last week we reported that the farmers of San Carlos Village lost over $50,000 worth in the production of carrots and that the blame was directed towards the Government for allegedly issuing license of importation of carrots only days before the farmers were ready to harvest their crop. Due to this problem, the farmers were unable to sell their vegetable at the market resulting in the rotting of the crop. During an interview with the media on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega, stated that he believes that lack of communication is affecting farmers in relation to their crops. Hon. Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister: I would like to mention to everyone, especially the farmers, that they have to be more cooperative. We’re here to assure the market, not only to the big guys but to the small guys and everyone, but we have to have this line of communication. You cannot have an attitude because there are some farmers who have an attitude when you ask them, “how much unu got planted?” [They respond] “dat da noh yo business.” And these are things that affect us in the ministry because rightly you would be the same one asking us why we noh have enough carrot on the market? So it’s a balancing act like you rightly said but it’s challenging

    Bilateral Agreements For Importation Of Rice To Belize From Guyana Is Being Discussed
    And sticking to the Agriculture sector, Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega, along with his CEO, Jose Alpuche visited Guyana with the intention of settling a bilateral agreement with Belize concerning the supply of rice. The objective of the said agreement is to allow the importation of Guyanese rice in Belize only if it is experiencing a shortage of local supply. Upon the D.P.M’s arrival at the Philip Goldson International airport on Friday, the media was able to speak to him based on the agreement that is currently in its initial stages and he emphasized on the importance of protecting our local production of rice. Hon. Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister: “Guyana’s government, previous and present, has been very supportive. We all agreed that Belize needs to ensure food security for its country and in this case, we needed to assure the viability of our rice industry. We discussed that in detail and we even discussed that we must look for a way forward in securing the food security and even taking it to CARICOM.

    Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez Wanted By Police
    Late this evening the Orange Walk Police formation issued a wanted poster for Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez who is believed to be the perpetrator of the gruesome murder of Indian Church resident, Francisco Arevalo. 58 year old Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez, better known as Chile, was living in San Felipe Village in Orange Walk but according to villagers he frequently visited Indian Church to purchase produce. When we spoke to some of the residents of Indian Church today they told us that they believe that Gutierrez is still in the area and some even said that they had seen him in the outskirts of the village.


    Maykon Divas Dies in Traffic Incident
    A recent graduate of King’s College was the victim of a road traffic accident in the Belize District over the weekend. Renee Trujillo has the story.


    American Tourist murdered in Cayo district
    American tourist 39-year-old Anne Elizabeth McComb Swaney from Rockwell Chicago Illinois U.S.A was reported missing on Thursday in the Cayo District and found dead on Friday morning. 40-year-old Santiago Juan of Nabitunich Farm, owner of Hanna’s Stable on the George Price Highway, near San Jose Suc...

    Bradley Paumen receives bail of $50,000
    58-year-old Bradley Paumen received bail today in the sum of $50,000.00. As we told you yesterday, the Frank’s Eddy businessman with some 8 million dollars worth of investments including in Dark Knights Tours, was arrested, charged, and arraigned on four counts of “abetment to murder”. He is accused...

    GOB appointed Mayan Commission speaks on its responsibilities
    This morning in Belize City, the government appointed Mayan commission met with the press to brief them on the scope of its works as the Mayan commission. The commission was appointed on Tuesday and has been meeting since then. Sitting on the commission are former government minister Lisel Alamill...

    Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Attends Inauguration Ceremony of President Jimmy Morales in Guatemala
    The Prime Minister, Honorable Dean Barrow will return to Belize on Sunday after attending the inauguration ceremony of the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, in Guatemala City. The Prime Minister joined several other Heads of State and Government from within and outside the regio...

    PUP Remembers Rt. Hon George Price on his birthday
    Today, Friday, January 15th, 2016 marks the 97th birthday of the late Father of the Nation and leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), the Rt. Hon. George Price. In memory of Mr. Price, today, PUP Party Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca and other members of the party held a wreath laying ceremony thi...

    Magistrates hold staff retreat in Belize City
    All Magistrate’s Courts across Belize were closed for today, Friday, by permit of the Chief Justice. The reason? All 17 Magistrates and their staff started a two-day retreat at the Biltmore Plaza hotel in Belize City. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith told us that the theme of the event is making the...

    Sea Cucumber Fishing Season remains closed
    If you see vendors selling sea cucumbers, Fisheries department is asking that you call authorities and report it. That’s because the Fisheries Administrator has issued an advisory to fishers and the public that the Sea Cucumber fishing season will remain closed until further notice and that no pers...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura’s fate “in hands of courts”
    Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura is in limbo, interdicted, stripped of his police powers and facing criminal charges and at least one civil lawsuit in relation to his collision on the George Price Highway in August of 2014 with the taxi vehicle of Yanie Ku, […]

    Titan Securities win judgment for excesses by police in 2014 raid
    Bahamian businessmen Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach are among six persons indicted by the U.S. Treasury Department for securities fraud in the hundreds of millions of dollars. They were threatened with extradition to the United States and judgment on that is pending. However, the two […]

    Police: Bradley Paumen not a threat
    American businessman Bradley Paumen, 58, was let out on bail, as is his right, following charges of conspiracy and abetment to commit murder – specifically against Iranian-American retired businessman Michael Modiri and three other persons, including a prominent attorney from Belize City. The conspiracy is linked […]

    “Belize Protectors” to be named for Baker to Vegas race
    This past Saturday, members of Belize’s uniformed services took to the George Price Highway, running from Mile 30 to 38 in a time trial to join the “Belize Protectors” team, which has been invited to participate in the annual Baker (California) to Las Vegas […]

    Food vendor charged with robbery
    18 year old Jayear Flores, a food vendor of Curassow Street, Belize City has been charged and remanded for armed robbery and aggravated assault of a businessman and his client at Small Entrepreneur Business Institute in Belize City. The teenager appeared before Senior Magistrate […]

    Belize’s tourism industry under serious pressure
    Belize’s tourism industry, which accounts for almost 25 percent of the country’s GDP, is under significant threat as news of the latest foreign national to be murdered in the country blazes like a wildfire across the international community. The latest victim was a well-respected […]

    More people locked up in connection with Paumen investigation
    Two people were remanded to the Hattieville prison this morning after being implicated in the investigation of Dark Night owner Bradley Paumen and an alleged plot to kill four people. Ian Skeen, an employee of Paumen’s, and Linzburn Anderson, Paumen’s former employee and mechanic, […]

    Guatemalan national found near murder scene arrested for illegal entry
    Twenty-four-year-old Victor Manuel Franco Menjivar, a Guatemalan national from Melchor de Mencos, was formally arrested and charged this morning for illegal entry into Belize. He was fined $1005 to be paid up front in default of six months imprisonment. Menjivar was handed over […]

    Friends chop each other to pieces in San Pedro; one dead, one badly wounded
    Two friends were socializing in a San Pedro apartment on Saturday afternoon when an argument ensued and things spiraled out of control quickly, resulting in both men inflicting chop and stab wounds to each other, leaving one hospitalized and the other awaiting a post […]

    Police find ammunition in Banak street area
    Five rounds of ammunition was found00 when officers searched an alley connecting Banak and Vernon Streets. On top of a post at the entrance of the alley, inside a black plastic bag, three rounds of […]

    Dangriga man charged for .38 ammunition
    A Dangriga man has been arrested and charged for the offense of ‘kept ammunition without a gun license’ after he was busted with .38 caliber ammunition last week Friday. 25-year-old Albert Williams was searched at around 5:15 p.m. by police, who found the ammunition […]

    Police investigate latest Orange Walk murder
    An investigation into the murder of 51-year-old Guatemalan national, Francisco Arrevalo, whose body was found nude with chop wounds yesterday morning around 10:30, revealed that he was last seen at his home in Indian Church village, Orange Walk District, on Saturday evening around 7:30. […]

    Two men charged for Toledo murders
    A small group of family and friends gathered in front of the Punta Gorda (PG) Magistrate’s Court this morning as they awaited the fate of Albert Valentine Jr. and a 15 year old minor. Both residents of PG are being charged for the murders […]


    What’s New on Ambergris Caye These Days?
    For a small island, there’s always quite a bit going on around San Pedro and this weekend kicked off one of the famous influxes of visitors. The Jerry Jeff Walkers and Camp Belize. The famous songwriter and performer (here is one performance in 2015 and one I attended in 2014) is a sold out event. His first official show is tomorrow night at Fido’s Bar. And you’ll hear banjos and guitars all over town as some of his performer fans do pickin’ parties at various bars. For two weeks, San Pedro goes country. And then goes even a bit more Texas when Kelly McGuire arrives in town for his annual birthday trip. The only announced show that I’ve seen is at the new Dive Bar (about 1/2 mile north – the former Jolly Rogers) at 2pm Sunday, January 31st. He’s got lots of friends and fans on this island.

    4 hard-to-reach destinations in Belize that are worth the trek!
    To travel is to live; Some corners of the world defy human interference. The following remote locations aren’t easy to reach, but they are well worth the extra effort. To get to some of the locations mentioned below, you have to take an all-terrain vehicle, a helicopter, a long hike, or a horse. These are sights that will stay with you the longest, and after the journey you’ll have a greater appreciation for smooth rides. 1. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary 2. Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve 3. Actun Loch Tunich Sink Hole 4. La Capitana Pontoon on the Vaca Lake.

    Sister Bettie Cooks With Me/Succotash With Brown Rice Spaghetti (Daniel Fast)
    My first guest of the new year Sister Bettie joins me to teach me how to make Succotash with Brown Rice Spaghetti. This dish is a part of the Daniel Fast.

    Red Pepper Jelly
    Bring the red pepper and sugar to a boil. Continue to cook for one minute. Add the vinegar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook for about another 3 to 4 minutes. Strain. Add Certo. Boil 2 – 3 more minutes. Pour into sterile jars and seal.

    Education in Belize: A Legacy of Inaction
    We are now living in the first month of 2016 and further into the 21st Century. I thank readers who follow my and Guidance Counselor columns, especially for their comments on each article. Thank you readers from Belize and from developed and undeveloped countries around the world. Your comments, positive or negative, regarding education systems in Belize reflect a genuine concern over whether or not schools educate students effectively today. They are, after all, the present and future of Belize, not the past. I emphasize, as I did in previous articles, that a majority of us remain indifferent to the types education that our schools provide, or don't provide, students today. Keeping schools the way they always were, i.e. "like when I was there", is easy because it requires no additional effort from policy makers, parents, or educators. However, clinging to pre Independence (1981) colonial systems of education does not make time stand still in Belize, in a rapidly evolving world. Updating our education systems, strategies, and practices is no longer simply an ambitious suggestion; it is now vital to improving student outcomes that will ensure that our jewel of a country survive and thrive. A legacy of inaction and indifference to today and tomorrow is costing us dearly. What are our visions for 21st Century Education in Belize? We are not keeping up with requirements for a global education in this new age. Why? Government's increased funding of education, or promises, and the creation of a university do not automatically improve education systems or make them more productive.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize voted as most wished place to visit on Airbnb
    Airbnb, the world’s leading hospitality site, recently released its latest Wish List, voted on by hundreds of travelers, and Belize was voted as the place people most wanted to visit. Forget skiing, when people want to get away nothing is better than sun, sun, and more sun. Airbnb discovered that the destinations with the highest percent of listings on Wish Lists are almost exclusively known for their warm weather and Belize is at the top. Known for its white sandy beaches, luxurious island resorts, world class scuba diving at the Great Blue Hole and snorkeling tours, Belize is the ideal tropical destination. Nothing compares. And if that isn’t enough, Belize’s beaches and marine attractions are just miles away from the lush Central American jungles and pristine cave systems; it’s the best of both worlds.

    University students spend part of winter break volunteering in Belize
    Students from Oklahoma City University constructed part of a high school in Belize during winter break. The Rev. Charles Neff, vice president for church relations, led 11 students and three family members to Belmopan, Belize, on Jan. 2-9. “Our primary mission was to help construct the second floor of the Belmopan Methodist High School,” Neff said. Members of the team mixed and hauled concrete by hand, sifted sand, bent and tied rebar to make support columns and assisted with other jobs as needed. The team also purchased 100 pounds each of rice, beans and flour and repackaged them in two-pound bags for distribution to the villages surrounding Belmopan. Team members visited Marla's House of Hope, a girl's home, where they helped the girls with homework, played volleyball and exchanged stories about life in their respective countries.

    Belize delegation pleased with visit to Guyana
    Belize has held talks with Guyana regarding the importation of rice from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega, who led a two-member delegation to Georgetown, said that Guyana “has always been a country with whom we’ve had very good bilateral agreements”. The visit to Guyana last week came amidst problems relating to the importation of three containers of rice from Guyana by a Belize businessman. Earlier this month the Belize Supreme Court declined to grant leave to Jack Charles to file for judicial review of a decision by Belize Agricultural Health Authorities (BAHA) not to allow him to import the three containers rice. The Court had ruled that Charles had proceeded without obtaining an import permit in violation of the law. The Court said it was being asked to intervene on the side of a lawbreaker which it would not do and Charles was also been ordered by the Customs Department to send the rice back or risk it being destroyed.

    Anne Elizabeth died in Cayo, Belize, from a random act of violence. Like all victims, she deserved better. She deserved the chance to take more trips, ride more horses,bike more places - live more life. But it was not to be. Anne Elizabeth graduated from Platte County High School in 1994. She participated in many activities including drama and journalism. She was editor of her high school yearbook. She graduated from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, in 1998. At Northwestern, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi. Anne Elizabeth recently celebrated 16 years of working at ABC-7 in Chicago as the executive producer of online operations. She loved her job and was good at it; she loved her city, too. A traveler and explorer, Anne Elizabeth's love of adventure began when she was 11 years old and won a trip to Boston. She spent the rest of her life seeking new experiences, starting in college on a world tour with Semester at Sea. Among her excursions, she rode horses in Costa Rica, Scotland, Turkey and Greece, took part in a cattle drive through Utah's Brice Canyon, rode her bike in Iowa's RAGBRI, traveled to Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Austria.

    Supreme Court clarifies law on implied terms: 'business efficacy' test remains
    The Supreme Court(1) has clarified the law on implied terms: in order for a term to be implied, it must be necessary for business efficacy or alternatively be so obvious as to go without saying. In practice, it will be a rare case where one of these conditions is satisfied, but not the other. The court confirmed, in light of the widespread misinterpretation of Lord Hoffman's judgment in Attorney General of Belize v Belize Telecom Ltd, that this judgment has not diluted the traditional tests. Although the case related to a property transaction, the decision has wider implications across all commercial contracts. The appeal arose following the exercise of a break clause in a lease between Marks and Spencer (the tenant) and BNP Paribas (the landlord). The lease had been granted for a term expiring in February 2018 and the rent was payable in advance on the usual quarter days. The tenant exercised its right under the break clause to determine the lease in January 2012, after it had already paid the full quarter's rent in advance in December 2011.

    Stalagmite unlocks ancient secrets
    The decline of ancient Maya society has perplexed archaeologists for decades. A stalagmite containing the climate record of the past 2,000 years now points toward changing weather patterns as a culprit. During the first millennium of the Common Era, the Yucatan peninsula was home to the flourishing Maya civilization. But circa 900 AD, it largely faded into the landscape, leaving in its wake spellbinding architecture and many unanswered questions. Although the details of what led to the collapse of cities such as Tikal and Copan still remain sketchy, scientific findings suggests climate change was a key player. A team of scientists came to that conclusion by combining data obtained from an ancient stalagmite, with information gleaned from Mayan artifacts. It all began in 2006, when Douglas Kennett, an archeologist at Penn State University in the United States, led a team of researchers into the jungles of Belize to explore a cave known as Yok Bolum. Determined to better understand the circumstances behind the demise of a major civilization, he enlisted the help of experts from several fields. "This is a complicated problem, and we needed to bring climatologists together with paleoecologists and archeologists to solve it," Kennett said.

    Airbnb’s 10 most desired destinations and accommodations
    The two biggest things that travellers want, according to Airbnb, are a unique place to sleep and some sun. Destinations like Belize, Turks and Caicos and Australia dominate the list of the company’s most coveted destinations. Treehouses, meanwhile, top the list of most in demand properties. A cottage in B.C. made the list as well. “Small is the new big,” reads a release from Airbnb.

    Saving the Maya rainforest
    The Selva Maya is home to immense biodiversity - and the ancient Maya city of Tikal. Today, the forest is under threat but NGOs and locals are working together to save it, along with their livelihoods. Project aim: Conservation and sustainable use of the Selva Maya. Project partner: GIZ, Guatemalan authorities, and the International Climate Initiative (IKI). Project time frame - and size: 2010-2014 Biodiversity (BMZ: 11 million euros); 2014-2019 Climate (IKI: 5 million euros). The projects are linked, adding up to 16 million euros over nine years (BMU/BMZ). Project area: Selva Maya (Guatemala, Mexico, Belize): 40,000 square kilometers (comparable to the area of the Netherlands). Biodiversity: The Selva Maya is the largest tropical rainforest north of the Amazon. The forest has an extraordinary richness of biodiversity, with around 3,000 plant species and 750 animal species including jaguars, pumas, tapirs and toucans.


  • The Sacred Maya Deer Dance, 2min. The Deer Dance and the patron saint of San Luis Rey Catholic church in San Antonio Village, Toledo Belize took place in August 23rd to 25th 2015. This is an annual event organized by the San Luis Rey catholic Church committee. Join us annually to see this sacred dance.

  • Flyfishing for Bonefish, 15min. Honeymoon in Belize 2016

  • Starfish Island Belize 2016, 7min. On an Island in Belize. Just chillin havin fun and trying to hold my breath long enough to record some pretty fish! :)

  • Carnival Dream 2012 - Tour and Review - Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay, Costa Maya, 31min. We took a 7 day exotic western caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream. The ship left from Port Canaveral, Florida on March 17, 2012.

  • BELIZE ZIP, 2min. BELIZE Zip line and Cave tubing January 4, 2016.

  • Belize, snorkeling fun!, 6min.

  • Doing Your Research & Immersing In The Culture., 15min. My good friend Sheila Hensley video called one day to ask some questions, and to get some unbiased information about Belize as a retirement option for herself and her husband next year. These are some of the things I shared during our conversation that became my first expat interview. See the complete interview here. One of things that we found when we moved to Belize is that a lot of the information that you find online is what I call sugar coated, I mean it’s put out there by people who want to sell you property, or time in their resorts, or by the tourist industry that wants to show the great side of Belize and tell you what your piece of paradise should be like. We came here and found out that it’s a beautiful place, and although there are a few things that make us shake our heads from time to time, the benefits of moving to Belize were wonderful for us, but there are a lot of questions that we as North Americans don’t think to ask because we take things for granted because of where we come from.

  • Dinsmore’s to Belize, 7min.

  • 2015 Belize dive, 18min. Night dive in Belize part 1 2015.

  • Taste of Belize - Chef Keith Jones, 2min. Chef Keith Jones has your your back in cooking delicious and healthy meals!

    January 18, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

    The San Pedro Sun

    Letter to the Editor: Amanda Syme thanks the San Pedro High School
    Re: Donation towards Blanca Velasquez journey to Malaysia Dear Mr. Vasquez and San Pedro High School As a proud graduate of the San Pedro High School (Class of 1983) I take great pleasure in thanking you for the very much appreciated kind donation of five hundred dollars ($500) made in support of Blanca Velasquez’s participation in the International Sailing Federation’s Youth World Championship 2015. Blanca has been working for many years towards finally achieving her goal of attending this international event which was held in Langkawi, Malaysia over the Christmas and New Year’s break.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: How I was Born?
    When Melody called me, she asked, “Are you going to be home for a while?” “Sure. What do you need?” “Davin needs some help with his homework. I told him you could help him.” Davin rode up on his bike. He took out his notebook and pencil and sat on the porch with me. “Grandpa, I’m writing a paper for school and I need to ask you some questions.” “No problem,” I answered. “Ask me anything.” “Where did I come from?” Davin asked. “Hunh? Oh, you were born right here in San Pedro.” “No. I mean how was I born?”

    Police Report
    *On Thursday, January 7th, at 9AM, a team of San Pedro Police conducted a search at the residence of 52-year-old Tiburcio Ivan Staines in the Tres Cocos Area of San Pedro Town. The search led to the discovery of a red plastic coffee bottle containing a total of 118.2 grams of a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis.
    *San Pedro Police have assisted in the capture of alleged murderer Albert Valentine, also known as ‘None’. Valentine was being sought out by Punta Gorda Police in the investigations of the murder of 19-year-old Jarrel Pop. Police believe Valentine brutally chopped and stabbed Pop to death then threw his body inside a well.

    Doctor Love: Relationships
    Dear Doctor Love, I am twenty-six years old and my husband is twenty-five. We are married five years with two children. I love my husband but for the last two years I have not had any interest in sex. This has been going on for a while and I have put it down in the past as because I just had a baby or because I have gained weight and do not feel pretty like I used to. I enjoy it when it happens but I don’t think of it like I used to. My husband loves me but he says I am too young to lose interest like this. I am afraid that if I don’t change he will look for it someplace else. I just don’t know what to do. /s/ Too Young

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    “Blackadore Caye – A Restorative Island” Conducts Public Consultation on Drafted EIA
    Blackadore Caye is an ultra-luxury eco-resort to be developed on approximately 104 acres of land situated between Ambergris Caye and mainland Belize. The developers propose to develop 41.4% of the acreage on the island with 58.6% being left untouched as conservation zones. The development also proposes to construct facilities on the island that is divided into four (4) program zone components each characterised by a distinct set of structures and amenities including: (1) the Blackadore Village, (2) the Hotel Suites and Bungalows, (3) the Estate Homes and (4) the Clubhouse and Services / Pantry (Oasis Station). The estimated investment size of the project is approximately USD $250 million seeking to generate in excess of 170 jobs in Belize. On Thursday, January 15th, 2016, the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) visited Blackadore Caye, owned by American Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, in assessing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the multi-million dollar eco-resort investment in Belize. The EIA was also presented by the developers to the island community of San Pedro Town at the Lion’s Den as a part of the public consultation process. Further updates on the next steps of the project based on the EIA and public consultation will be communicated from NEAC via the Department of Environment (DOE) in the weeks to come.

    Music tonight on Caye Caulker
    TOMMY playing easy listening music tonight, Monday January the 18th at Il Baretto Wine Bar @ Oasi Apartments on Back Street from 7 to 9pm! Original songs, and classic country, new wave and acoustic rock covers!

    Belikin Stout Domino Tournament
    The Belikin Stout Domino Tournament is next month. The playoffs in Cayo are in Benque on the 6th, and Belmopan on the 7th.

    The true heroes behind our music are really those first Garifuna fighters who in the 18th. Century on the island of Yurume, St. Vincent, stood up against slavery, colonization, and cultural domination. (Andy Palacio) Those were the passionate words that a spiritually uplifted Andy Palacio uttered at the World Music Expo, WOMEX, in reception of the internationally acclaimed music prize in Spain in October 2007. He had finally culminated his cultural and musical crusade for the Garifuna people, and laid the seal to the mission to which he was called. The work of this incredible personality in Belizean history was a life that was lived and not preached. His was the life of a splendid character, whom if you had got to know him and the beliefs that embodied and drove his way of life, was the epitome of a humble cultural revolutionary. He was a man from the inception of his career who had a vision to change the present status quo of what today we call Belizean culture and music. He was the quiet warrior, sometimes quite unpredictable, who sacrificed most of his life for a cause that he truly believed in, the liberation of the Garinagu.

    The Reporter

    KHMH staff gets A&E training
    A medical team from the United States is in Belize to conduct professional development training with the staff of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The team, which came from Wisconsin, comprises four physicians, two nurses and a paramedic technician. Over the course of their stay they will conduct various presentations, as well as on-site sessions in the emergency rooms with the doctors, nurses and support staff of the KHMH. Christine Feierstein, a registered nurse and emergency room educator, explained that the training cooperation has been in place since 2014. She said that while this is their third visit to Belize, as a part of this arrangement, each visit has focused on a different area of healthcare. ‘Overall, the main focus is on trauma care and being able to strengthen the skills of the staff in that area,’ Feierstein said. ‘We’ve been trying to emphasize communication between the KHMH and the ambulance staff, because care actually begins before they reach the hospital.’

    American news producer strangled but not raped, police say
    The Belize Police Department has confirmed that 39-year-old Anne Swaney, an American news producer found dead in the Cayo district on Thursday, was not sexually assaulted before she was strangled to death. ‘A post mortem examination was performed and revealed her cause of death to be asphyxia due to compression of the neck area, throttling and blunt force traumatic injuries to the head and neck. There were no signs of sexual assault as part of this examination,’ the police said in a press release. The Department added that it is committed to bringing swift justice to whoever committed the murder. Anne Swaney, an executive producer for the media house ABC-7 in Chicago USA, had only been on vacation in Belize for a few days when she was murdered. She was staying at the Farm Resort in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo between miles 71 and 72 on the George Price Highway.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Cold front will support cool and relatively dry conditions
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly clear and cool weather tonight with little or no rainfall and similar conditions tomorrow. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northwest at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be moderate to rough. Operators of small craft are advised to exercise caution. High temperatures today are expected around 80 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast; 84 degrees Fahrenheit inland and a comfortable 72 degrees Fahrenheit up at the exposed areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and along the Maya Mountains in the south.

    Orange Walk police investigating murder
    Sometime around 10:30 this morning in the Orange Walk district, police were alerted of a body found. Police then visited an area near Indian Church Village on the San Carlos road, where a lifeless, nude and chopped up body was seen in an abandoned concrete structure. The body, which was not identified until a short while ago, is said to be that of Francisco Arrevalo, a resident of Indian Church Village, who was viciously chopped to the back of the head and left arm, almost severing it from his body.


    Belize’s First SERIOUS Deli: The Farm House Deli in Belmopan
    The Farm House Deli opening in December of 2015…and I’ve been dying to visit it. But it is 70 miles away, on the mainland, in Belize’s capital city of Belmopan. I stopped in a few weeks ago but they are currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. I carefully chose my passport pick-up time to eat some pastrami. I sat down at the table and was given a menu. The staff here is SOOO good. Each counter you approach, someone asks you if you have questions, do you want a taste some cheese or some smoked fish? You could spend a very long time in here. I decided, at Ian’s recommendation, to have it with the pastrami. And GOOD LORD WAS IT GOOD. Enough for two hungry people for sure. But I wasn’t taking half in a to-go container to get all mushy on the bus ride home.

    2016 Best Honeymoon Destinations - Top 10 Romantic Hotels and Resorts in Belize
    With a warm, tropical climate and pristine white beaches, Belize is the ultimate setting for a perfect honeymoon. With affordable luxuries and a wide variety of exciting opportunities to explore the rainforest, go snorkeling or scuba diving at the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, or simply soak in the sun while lounging on a hammock strung between palm trees, Belize is becoming a top destination for honeymooners. Below are the top 10 romantic resorts and hotels to enjoy a wonderful honeymoon in Belize:

    International Sourcesizz

    Following Murder, Is Belize Safe for Tourists?
    A Chicago woman was murdered last week while on vacation in Belize, according to local law enforcement. Anne Swaney, 39, an executive producer for ABC7 Chicago online, was found dead on Friday morning with injuries consistent with being strangled. She had been traveling in the Central American country alone and was staying at a horse farm close to the border with Guatemala when she was killed. Sadly, Swaney isn’t the only tourist in recent years to be murdered in the country. Lynn Nichiporowich, a 57-year-old Vancouver native, was stabbed to death in October 2013 in the remote village of Consejo. And earlier this month Canadian filmmaker Matthiew Klinck was found dead in the doorway to his home in Spanish Lookout, Belize. He had also been stabbed. After such horrific, repeated incidents, many travelers are left wondering: Is Belize safe? Belize is a small country on the eastern coast of Central America, with beautiful beaches and lush, dense jungle that is teeming with wildlife. But along with its overwhelming natural beauty, Belize has one of the highest murder rates on earth, with 44.7 murders per 100,000 of the population, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Only Honduras and Venezuela are worse.

    One Man In Custody For ABC Chicago Producer's Death; Police Still In Search For Killer After Autopsy Revealed
    An executive producer of ABC Chicago was killed while vacationing in Belize. Authorities are still looking for the murder despite having one man in custody, who has not been cooperative. The autopsy has also been released as per the producer's cause of death. In a report by ABC News, the official autopsy stated that the producer, identified as Anne Swaney, died from asphyxia due to compression on the neck area, throttling, and blunt force traumatic injuries to the head and neck region. The body of Swaney was found floating face down in the Mopan River on Friday morning. Meanwhile, a Guatamelan fisherman was in custody on Friday. He reportedly entered the country illegally. As per reports of NBC, he was in the area to fish but the only thing that police found on him was a knife. There have been no charges against the unidentified man, who police say has been uncooperative in the investigation. Rafael Martinez, a spokesman for the Belize Ministry of National Security, said in a statement, "He is a person of interest. He is a person who the police believe can assist in the investigation."

    Vessel visiting Belize reports armed robbery and sexual assault
    Last Wednesday, an unidentified launch came alongside a visiting vessel at anchor off Middle Long Cay, Belize, while everyone aboard was asleep. Four men in the 20-30 age range came aboard, each armed with a pistol. One female guest was sexually assaulted, and later treated at the local hospital, Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN) reported. Cash, camera, computers, food, drinks, jewelry and an outboard motor were stolen. The launch left at high speed in a southwesterly direction. The entire event lasted about 45 minutes, and was reported to the police, coast guard, port captain and marina. Middle Long Cay is one of the many coral reefs, cays and islands in the Caribbean Sea forming the Belize Barrier Reef, the longest in the western hemisphere extending approximately 200 miles and a popular destination for visiting yachts. The reef and its islands have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.

    Ten of the best long-haul adventure holidays
    Paddle from inn to inn, Belize: The island-rich coast of Belize is home to one of the first guided lodge-to-lodge stand-up paddleboarding trips in the world. Guests paddle through the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, exploring mangrove channels and reefs, watching out for stingrays, manatees and pelicans. Evenings are spent at small, family-run inns, where the day ends with snorkelling and watching the sun set from a hammock.


  • TALK AH DI TOWN (GRIT), 32min.

  • Learn how GOB uses the Skimming Pricing Strategy on fuel prices, 8min. What is Skimming Price Strategy you may ask, it happens a lot during holidays and natural disasters such as hurricanes here in Belize. Skimming Price Strategy: Setting a high price so that you are able to skim profit from those individuals that are willing to pay more for that product. People basically HAVE to pay whatever price for fuel, or the country simply shuts down. So the Government of Belize use this Pricing Strategy to SKIM all of us at every chance they get, why? Taxes on fuel is one of the main sources of income for the Government.

  • Belize 2016, 3min. Clips from the Eco-Adventure Yoga Retrea

  • Diving Belize Day 1, 2min. Caye Caulker diving - Mini Elbow and Black Coral Wall

  • Sailfish release...Ambergris caye Belize, 1.5min.

  • Tropic Air Belize, 3min. Departing from Ambergris Caye.

  • Belize - Green Turtle Hatchling 2016, 1min. Sapodilla Marine Reserve, Lime Caye

  • Belize, 4.5min. Vacation to San Pedro, Belize (Ambergris Caye - White Sands Cove)

  • Belize 2014, 2min. Compilation of SCUBA Diving footage filmed December 2014, on Ambergris Caye/San Pedro, Belize. Thanks Amigos Del Mar.

  • Dive Belize for conservation !, 7min.

  • LIONS OF THE SOUTH: LEONIDES SANCHEZ & THE SPECIAL TRUTH!, 10min. The documentary features the work of the southern Belizean community organizer, farmer, and activist, Leonides Sanchez, and his struggle for food security and agricultural awareness in his hometown of Punta Gorda in Belize's southern district of Toledo. Sanchez also an educator, has been advocating for black consciousness and self awareness among the Garinagu, and has developed farming cooperatives among the Belizean people of the South while working with civil society in Belize to bring about change in land reform and self-sufficiency.

    January 17, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

    The San Pedro Sun

    Sergio Uribio killed
    Police can confirm that Sergio Uribio was killed during a domestic altercation in the San Pedrito Area on Saturday, January 16th shortly before 1PM. Jose Alfredo Villeda was injured during the altercation. According to unofficial reports from police, Uribio and Villeda were socializing when the dispute begun. Both men were intoxicated. Villeda was transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II in a critical condition immediately after police arrived to the scene. The body of Uribio has since been transported by boat to Belize City to await a postmortem examination at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Arrangements have also been made to air lift Villeda to Belize City for further treatment. Police have recovered a machete and a 2.5 inch knife from the scene believe to be the weapons used in the altercation. Police are currently searching for a third person that was with Uribio and Villeda prior to the altercation, as he may be able to provide more information as to why the dispute started.

    CARICOM accredits new Ambassador from Belize
    Belize has a new Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). His Excellency Daniel Gutierez presented his credentials to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Wednesday, January 13th during the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors meeting in Georgetown, Guyana. “As a Member of the Committee, you [Gutierez] will be expected to assist in advancing implementation at the national level of decisions of the Organs of the Community,” said LaRocque during the short accreditation ceremony. At the meeting Gutierez remarked on how the best years of the integration movement lie ahead for what he calls the “tremendous untapped potential” that is within the Caribbean region.

    SPTC discusses street upgrades on the island
    The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has begun works on the renovation of streets, mainly focusing on the areas in southern Ambergris Caye. Some of the areas like DFC and San Pablo have seen an initial improvement of their streets and the SPTC ensures that is just a matter of time before a complete transformation comes to the most damaged streets on the island. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the Town Board is fully aware of the situation of the streets and is taking control of the situation. “The streets in DFC and San Pedrito are deteriorating, but not to the point where we can end up stuck. So we have already started to look into the issue, and we have barges full of hardcore material coming in for the most affected areas. This is temporary, as we are trying to buy time before the road is fixed and we can get material from the quarry in Northern Ambergris Caye. When this happens, the first areas of priority will be San Marcos, San Juan, San Pedrito, DFC and San Pablo,” said Guerrero. He expects that the quarry will be accessible in the next coming weeks. Guerrero also indicated that the material from the quarry will be cheaper and of better quality.

    Belize group participates in Nigeria’s Calabar Carnival
    Belizeans countrywide are big fans of traditional celebrations, especially if it entails colorful costumes and lots of music. Top on the list is the ever-popular Carnival. During the month December, 2015, a Belizean delegation traveled to Nigeria to participate in their 2015 ‘Calabar’. The Nigerian carnival lasts the entire month of December, and showcases the cultural mosaic of Nigerian people while providing great entertainment to millions of spectators within Nigeria and from abroad. Calabar Carnival is one of Nigeria’s premier international cultural events held annually in the municipality of Cross River State in southern Nigeria. The event is considered ‘Africa’s Biggest Street Party,’ and was created in 2004 as part of the vision of developing Cross River State in Nigeria. This area is the number one tourist destination for locals and visitors from all over the world.

    SPHS benefits from diabetes awareness campaign
    Thousands of Belizeans live with diabetes. Diabetes has become a major health concern across the world, with 9.3% of the human population living with the disease. While diabetes is not a fatal disease, if left unchecked, it can result in health complications and even death. Educational campaigns are one of the main forums that provide valuable information on how to cope with diabetes to live a normal and healthy life. The most recent educational campaign was held at San Pedro High School (SPHS) from Monday, January 11th to Friday, January 15th. The program saw students, teachers and the community in general, benefiting from counseling and testing from Kathy Johnson, Executive Director of Alternatives Inc. (a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to assisting individuals with special needs) and Judy Mitnick, Certified Nutritionist and Diabetes Educator at Bon Secours Hospital System in the USA.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Credit card handling by Belize banks
    from Hon.Barrows speech. Roughly quoted-we are not in an emergency yet. However Visa and Mastercharge have indicated they will not route US dollars after mid Feb. 1st tier banks are having heartburn in regards to continued off shore banking, pushed along by the IRS. Community bank is a 1st Tier bank as BankAmerica. US regulatory agencies brought Swiss accounts to the light of day, now they are going after Belize and others. Belize has thumbed its nose and now it is time to pay the piper. Visa and MC are part of the regulatory process. The globe speaks English, and for now the dollar is spoken financially.

    Caye Caulker Humane Society tanks and Ts
    Caye Caulker Humane Society tanks and Ts are now available at Cooper's art gallery on Front St. CCHS logo on the front. "Go Slow" on the back. 100% lightweight cotton sizes S - XXL (also XXXL in the T-shirt). BZ$50 donation to the humane society gets you one!

    Jan. 3rd – Jan. 9th 2016 Belize Fishing Report
    Aaron Adams from Bonefish Tarpon Trust cam down with 3 assistants to help with some tagging, and tag they did. Our guides found the fish and then helped the BTT fellows rounded them up. They tagged 748 bonefish and 14 permit in the 4 days they worked. We already caught one of the tagged permit! We really appreciate the work they are doing and hope you will support them by buying a membership. Call or join online Bonefish and Tarpon Trust or 321-674-7758


    Belize seeks urgent US intervention to avert banking crisis
    Belize’s banking sector has been grappling with the domino effects of the decision taken by Bank of America and Commerzebank, two leading banks, to sever correspondent banking relations with both offshore and domestic banks in Belize. Immediately, Belize banks had to find alternate arrangements to ensure that trade would not suddenly come to a screeching halt, but even those alternate arrangements now seem to be threatened, and latest information to the press is that credit card settlements could be in jeopardy, which would not just affect Belizeans conducting purchases at home and abroad, but also tourists trying to settle their transactions while in the country. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow told journalists this week that there is “…no doubt at all that we are absolutely facing what is an existential threat; and I am determined—as are the individual banks in this country—to ensure that we do everything that we possibly can and that we continue to go at this thing from every conceivable angle until we can find a lasting solution.”

    Belize City teenager remanded to prison for shooting pregnant woman and her mother
    Devon Tariq Lopez, 19, a laborer of Lakeview Street, Belize City, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison today, after he was arraigned on six indictable offences, including two counts of attempted murder for the shooting of woman and her pregnant daughter, 18. No plea was taken from Lopez when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until his next court appearance on February 26. In addition to being charged for attempted murder, Lopez was also charged with two counts of use of deadly means of harm and two counts of dangerous harm. If there is enough evidence when a preliminary inquiry is held at the Magistrate’s Court, Lopez’s case will be sent to the Supreme Court for trial.

    US businessman, 58, remanded for alleged hit
    Bradley Paumen, 58, an American businessman who has been living in Franks Eddy Village, Cayo, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison after police charged him in connection with a hit that was ordered against another businessman, Michael Modiri, a dual citizen of the US and Iran. Police said that the charges against Paumen arose out of a complaint made on Friday, December 11, 2015, that Paumen had “taken out a hit” (hired persons to carry out a murder) on Modiri, a businessman of Belmopan with whom he has had a land dispute, and three other persons. “An investigation was commenced and [it] led to the arrest of Paumen, who was arraigned at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 8 January 2016,” stated the police. Paumen said he was not guilty, and has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date – March 8, 2016.

    New Guat president sworn in Thursday evening
    As we go to press this evening, Guatemala has sworn in a new president, Jimmy Morales, 46, who formally took office for a 4-year term (2016-2020), in very elaborate ceremonies convened in Guatemala City. In very extensive remarks delivered late this evening, after his installation, Morales expressed the desire for a solution to the territorial, maritime and insular differendum with Belize, which he called “nuestro hermano y vecino” – Guatemala’s brother and neighbor, and spoke of plans to further bilateral relations with Belize. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who was among the hemisphere’s leaders attending the inauguration, greeted and congratulated Morales, as well as the newly installed vice president – Jafeth Cabrera. Other countries which sent representatives to the inauguration included El Salvador, Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela and the United States. Spain’s former king Juan Carlos I also attended.

    Heritage Bank takes over FirstCaribbean accounts and assets on Feb. 1
    CIBC FirstCaribbean recently confirmed that it will be closing down its offices in Belize at the end of January, after it received approval from the Belize Central Bank to sell its assets to Heritage Bank, a local bank. So, Friday, January 29, will be the last working day at the bank for nearly 60 employees, and some of them don’t know where their next paycheck will come from. President of the Christian Workers Union, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, told Amandala that while an agreement has been reached on the terms of severance from FirstCaribbean, the deal has not been signed and the terms won’t be disclosed until that happens. Meanwhile, Stephen Duncan, managing director of Heritage Bank, told Amandala that two-thirds of the staff of FirstCaribbean had applied for positions with Heritage Bank, and after they were interviewed, thirty of them were offered jobs with the bank. Duncan notes that the workers of FirstCaribbean are the ones with the institutional knowledge of its existing customers and accounts, which Heritage Bank will take over as of February 1.

    Danny Gutierrez appointed Belize’s first Ambassador to CARICOM
    Daniel Gutierrez, the man who has served as the marketing, logistics & communications manager for Belize Natural Energy Ltd. since 2006, was appointed today as Belize’s Ambassador to CARICOM, according to a statement released out of Guyana, where the CARICOM Secretariat is located. The appointment coincides with the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors meeting in Georgetown on Wednesday. Reminiscent of the pre-election slogan of Belize’s ruling party, the United Democratic Party, “the best is yet to come,” Gutierrez said, “The best years of CARICOM lie ahead…” “The hard work of our colleagues who diagnosed our hurdles and proposed a strategic plan must be matched by action. 2016 must be a year when words are made flesh; low hanging fruit must be addressed [with] haste and conviction…

    Splish Splash – Belizean Michael Salazar 24th pick in MLS Super Draft 2016
    In football news: We got some humongous news out of the MLS Super Draft in Baltimore, Maryland, as Belize’s own Michael Salazar was reportedly drafted with the 4th pick in the 2nd round by the Montreal Impact. So, big-ups and congratulations are in order for the 23-year-old Belizean, Michael Salazar. (Michael was a member of the Belize National “A” Team that participated in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the U.S. Out of 41 players selected in MLS Super Draft this year, Michael was the 24th to be drafted.) The MLS Super Draft was held at the Baltimore Convention Center, with the best players from collegiate soccer and a handful of other sources all set to join the USA’s top soccer competition. Salazar may see his first action with the Impact when the team travels to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps on Sunday, March 6. In cycling news: On the Weekend Warriors’ race calendar, coming up this Sunday, January 17, is Damien’s Birthday Race. Class A and B riders will take off from the Maskall Junction, then head over to Altun Ha, before racing to the finish line at M&M, for a total of 42 miles. Meanwhile, Class C riders will start at Altun Ha and finish at M&M, for a total of 30 miles.

    Lilly White plans U-15 Four-A-Side at Holy Redeemer playground on January 31
    Lilly White presents U-15 four-a-side small goal knockout football on Sunday, January 31, at Holy Redeemer playground in Belize City. Games start at 9:30 a.m. until. There will be lots of school supplies given away, so come out and support the U-15 Four-A-Side Small Goal Knockout. Lilly White is asking for a small donation to this event. Let’s show the children of Belize that we the people care very much about them; so let us all support this great event. Anything to do with school will be of great assistance to this event. Thank you for your kind support, Belizean people. So let us keep our heads up and keep activists like me, Lilly White, active.. Remember, it is you and me need to show and teach the young men and women of this Beautiful Jewel of ours to love and respect themselves and others.

    An exemplary Belizean star passes – Joseph Carr, R.I.P.
    The Amandala sports desk joins the athletics community in mourning the loss of an outstanding and dedicated Belizean athlete, who shared and passed on his love for the sport of athletics to his family, and had re-ignited his own running career in his veteran years, recently winning the Belize Athletic Association’s 5K run on New Year’s Day 2016, only to be suddenly snatched from us over the past weekend. It was not known to us that Joseph was a long time sufferer of epileptic seizures, and reports are that it was while on a training run this past weekend, that he suffered a seizure which led to his passing. From a very humble background, Joseph Carr stood out in athletic circles as a man who was completely dedicated to the sport, and fully supported his children, all of whom participated and made their mark in the events at school and in open competitions. The Carr family was closely knit, and his loss must be devastating to his wife and children. To them and the rest of his family and friends we extend our sincere condolences. Joseph was a quiet brother we all appreciated and will deeply miss.

    Fuel prices
    Ten weeks after a comfortable victory in general elections, the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) is scrambling to fix the figures for the 2016/2017 budget. Debate in the House of Representatives with respect to the new budget estimates should begin in early March. With oil prices falling through the floor all over the world, it was devastating to Belizean consumers and taxpayers when the Government of Belize raised already high fuel prices, and did so at the peak of the Christmas season, when our people are more distracted than at any other time of the year. The overall tax regime was already oppressive in Belize, and this UDP administration borrowed and spent a lot of money last year, mostly Petrocaribe loan funds, in order to feed the struggling Belizean economy with some financial steroids. Now, with the new budget around the corner, the chickens have come home to roost, as we would say. The fat cat politicians and their greedy cronies were never going to enter any austerity program: it is always we, the people, who pay the bills for the ruling politicians. It is for that reason that general elections are such a frenzied time in Belize: it is because the prize is control of our public funds, the power of taxation. The UDP returned to power in 2008 precisely because the PUP administrations between 1998 and 2008 had made public funds their private domain in a more reckless and arrogant manner than Belizeans had ever seen.

    From the publisher
    The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden may be relevant, or compared, to the crisis of native intellectuals in places like Belize, where there are populations which have experienced sufferings occasioned by racism, imperialism, slavery, and colonialism. Some people have referred to the tree from which Adam and Eve were not supposed to eat as the Tree of Knowledge. Theoretically, our “first parents” would have been happy forever and forever in the aforementioned garden had they not chosen, tempted by the snake, to eat the fruit of that tree which God had explicitly ordered them not to do. I have read theologians who say that in eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve exposed and expressed a desire to become like God Himself. Other theologians describe the eating of the forbidden fruit as the Original Sin. There was a specific moment in time when the rulers of Belize moved to educate the children in schools. This was 1814, I believe, when slavery still existed in Belize. The majority of the settlement was of African descent, but the minority European population were the rulers and slavemasters. A small group had emerged by 1814 which was of mixed European and African descent. They are often referred to as “free colored,” so I suppose there were also “slave colored,” in other words, people of mixed descent who were not free. Some people of mixed descent were also slavemasters.

    Cañero Lucilo Teck tries to raise $30,000 to settle legal bills
    This morning, on KREM’s WUB Morning Vibes show, a telethon was held to help pay the $30,000 legal bill of Lucilo Teck, the veteran cañero who went to court last year for a writ of mandamus to force the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) to start the sugar crop—delayed amid a standoff in negotiations between cañeros and the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). After today’s morning show, Teck told Amandala the good news: that they had raised $12,165 towards his legal expenses. Amandala readers will recall that Teck was ordered to pay $30,000 to Barrow & Williams law firm, which had provided legal services for the SICB, after he lost his case. Teck had taken legal action on behalf of the cañeros, asking the court to issue a writ of mandamus to the SICB, to set a date on which the factory would have to open so farmers could start delivering their cane. Teck argued that the stalemate should not have held back the opening of the factory.

    Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission appointed to implement CCJ order
    The Government of Belize has formally established a commission to implement the ruling handed by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the country’s final appellate court, last year, which mandates the Government to adopt affirmative measures to identify and protect the rights arising from Maya customary land tenure. Chairman of the newly appointed Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, Lisel Alamilla, told Amandala today that she and her team have been meeting since yesterday as they try to fulfill their mandate. Other members of the Commission appointed by Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs, Hon. Vanessa Retreage, who has responsibility for the Commission, are former National Emergency Management Coordinator, P. Noreen Fairweather, and Crown Counsel Randall Sheppard. “This Commission will establish a structured framework that will ensure collaborative consultation and participation of key stakeholders, mainly focusing on the twenty three villages, including Conejo and Santa Cruz, the Maya Leaders Alliance, and the Toledo Alcalde Association, consistent with the rulings of the Caribbean Court of Justice,” said a Government statement issued Tuesday.

    Transfer of presidential authority in Guatemala, 2016
    The hope of a people that corruption will not find a resting place in government lies with James Ernesto Morales Cabrera, better recognized as ex-comedian Jimmy Morales, 46, who today will become the 50th president of Guatemala. As is customary, every 4 years on January 14, the neighboring republic swears in a new president in a process termed “Transmisión del Mando Presidencial” (TMP) or the transfer of presidential authority. Morales, from the National Convergence Front party, won the second round of presidential elections with just under 70 percent of votes last October, comfortably beating out his opponent, Sandra Torres of the National Unity of Hope (Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza, UNE) party. The selection of the ex-comedian signaled the desire of the Guatemalan masses for a fresh start. It followed some very intense moments since the beginning of last year, and in particular since March, when the populace—tired of perceived corruption within the highest levels of Government—began holding sustained mass demonstrations in the capital.

    Government, Ashcroft and others discuss docking facility at Port of Belize
    The Government of Belize has issued a statement confirming that it has been in talks with at least two companies which are interested in partnering in a venture to establish a new cruise port on the Southside of Belize City, at Port of Belize. As we reported in the midweek edition of Amandala, rumors of the discussions between the Government of Belize and British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, whose Turks and Caicos bank, British Caribbean Bank, has the Port of Belize under receivership, had reached the ears of Michael Feinstein, who had proposed a US$100 million mega-tourism enterprise with a cruise port at Stake Bank, off the coast of Belize City. The release, which was issued Tuesday, said: “Cabinet noted that as an option, it is reviewing numerous studies that have been done over the past two decades which identifies the Port of Belize as a viable facility. The Government has recently received expressions of interest to develop the Port of Belize from two companies so far. One is the company that currently controls the receivership, Ports Investment Limited (PIL), and Hertzog International Incorporated.” Although Parliament has approved a bill to grant exemptions on the payment of taxes and duties to Feinstein’s Stake Bank project, the legislation has yet to be brought into force.

    Gunmen shoot pregnant teen and her mom
    A mother and her pregnant daughter are fortunate to be alive after a barrage of bullets was fired upon their home at approximately 8:40 p.m. on Monday, January 11. Shenell Rowland, 18, told Amandala that she lives at #9 Dolphin Street with her mom, Stephanie Smith, 41, her elder sister, 20, and her two younger brothers, 11 and 14. Rowland said that her elder brother, 24, who lives with his grandmother, was sitting on the step outside of their home with a friend and playing games on the friend’s cellphone when the incident unfolded. Rowland told us that she served her brother a plate of food. Shortly afterwards, her mom, Stephanie Smith, told her to send her brother home, since it was getting late. Before she could relay the message, though, shots were fired at them. Her brother and his friend ran into the house and headed to the back room, and Rowland and her mom proceeded to close the door to prevent the gunmen from entering and to protect the children, but while doing so, they were both shot.

    Busted contrabandistas pay a heavy price
    Two contrabandistas, Franciso Lopez and Eddy Meza, are in police custody for the possession of uncustomed goods, after they were allegedly busted with 7 sacks of carrots and other produce, including celery, onions, red bell peppers and avocados, which authorities said were imported illegally from Mexico. The men, who were detained at about 9:00 yesterday morning at the Michael Finnegan Market in Belize City, will be charged 3 times the value of the goods, based on the selling price in the market. Amandala has been informed that Customs officials have seized 700 pounds of carrots, which are sold at $1.50 per pound at the market. So, the men, Lopez and Meza, will be charged $4.50 per pound for the carrots, which in total will amount to $3,150. The seizure of the illegal carrots is good news for San Carlos farmers, who, as a result of being boxed out of the market by the contrabandistas, are suffering major losses because they are unable to sell about 10 acres of carrots.

    Honduras judge releases Tabony, but not his money
    August “Gus” Tabony, 65, a popular US national who lives in Belize, was released by Honduran authorities on Monday evening, after 4 hours of closed-door hearings in which he had to prove that the US$16,490 with which he had been nabbed at the airport was not dirty money but money that he had gotten from legitimate sources. Tabony’s ordeal began at about 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 5, when he was about to board a Tropic Air flight from Roatan to Belize with US$16,490 cash bundled inside his backpack and briefcase. Tabony told us that the money was seen when he walked through the body scanner, and that was when he was pulled aside, and then he was detained and taken to the police station, where he was kept for 6 days in detention. The businessman told us, though, that he was not placed in a cell but allowed to stay inside a room that was equipped with a bed and air conditioning. He said that the cops, with whom he became friends treated him well.

    Supreme Court rules that GOB breached environmental law for NCL’s Harvest Caye
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) won an important claim in court today, when Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel ruled that the Department of the Environment (DOE) did not follow the letter of the law when it approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Harvest Caye cruise port and docking facility in southern Belize. The legal battle, spawned by the BTIA’s application for judicial review of the manner in which the government hastily approved the NCL’s project, has been ongoing for two years. The project is scheduled to be launched this year. Justice Abel, in a two-hour long session in which he read his decision, said the DOE had failed to follow the procedure in the public EIA notices. The judge declared that the EIA rules had been breached and he expressed the hope that his judgment would deter any future violations. Justice Abel also noted that the government did not comply with the legal requirement to publish notices in the local media. He said that the ads published in the Amandala and The Reporter newspapers were not sufficiently repeated so that the public could be afforded adequate opportunity to submit comments, suggestions and criticisms.

    Audrey challenges PG cops on detention of minor in murder investigation
    Apart from the laws on the books governing how minors should be treated in the criminal justice system, there are the Judges’ Rules, which set out specific ways in which police should conduct investigations involving minors in their custody. However, quite the opposite has been happening on a regular basis at police stations across the country, where minors are being routinely held for more than the constitutionally approved 48 hours. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd has written a letter to Superintendent of Police, Simeon Alvarez, the officer in charge of the Punta Gorda police formation, challenging what she asserts is the unlawful detention of a minor, 15, whom her law firm, Matura & Co. Ltd., is representing. The letter is copied to Bart Jones, the police’s legal officer, and to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. We tried to reach both Jones and Whylie for their side of the story, but our attempts proved futile.

    The Reporter

    Police advance Paumen case
    Another person has been charged in the ongoing ‘abetment to murder’ case of Bradley Paumen. The Reporter has confirmed on Saturday that the Special Branch of the Belize Police Department arrested and charged one of Paumen’s employees for ‘abetment to murder’. He is expected to […]

    Driver escapes incineration in RTA
    A driver escaped being burned to death on Saturday in a mid-morning traffic accident on the George Price Highway. At around 10:30 a.m., Robert Logan was driving his blue Ford Ranger pickup truck by mile 13 when he lost control of the vehicle and sped […]

    Telemedia makes investments in schools and technology
    Belize Telemedia Limited is planning a leap forward in two areas: computer training for the next wave of professionals both inside and outside the company; and a revamped national network that will see the state-run company take the lead again in service to customers. On Tuesday afternoon, BTL signed a […]

    Bowen and Bowen invests $40 million in a new bottling plant
      This week, Bowen and Bowen made a $40 million investment in a brand new bottling plant to avoid a bottle shortage that have plagued the company in the past.  After noticing that soft drinks and Belikin bottles shortages was an issue for consumers, especially in […]

    Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission appointed
    Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Vanessa Retreage, on Monday, January 11th, appointed the members of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission.   The Commission, which will work out of the AG’s office in Belmopan, comprises former senator and Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla, who […]

    Supreme Court addresses plight of prisoners on remand
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin said this week, that the situation with prisoners on remand at the Belize Central Prison (BCP) is unacceptable. Speaking at the opening of the legal year on Monday, CJ Benjamin explained that the number of prisoners on remand, and the duration […]

    Traffic accident leaves man critical
    A man is currently being transported in a critical condition to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital following a road traffic accident about 45 minutes ago. The accident happened near mile 13 on the George Price Highway and involved a blue pick-up truck. The victim, a […]

    The Belize Times

    Pregnant woman & mother shot inside home
    Now even pregnant woman are being shot in Belize. 18 year old Shenelle Roland, who is 6 month’s pregnant, survived a frightening violent assault of her home on the night of Monday, January 11th. Her mother, Stephanie Smith, had to be rushed for emergency care at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, for a gunshot wound to her stomach. Roland said that she was at home on Dolphin Street with her mother and two children when gunmen entered the house and fired at them. The attack on two women and two children was a cowardly one. But the gunmen cared less. One of the bullets grazed Roland’s tummy. Luckily, it did not harm the baby or complicate the pregnancy in any way. She has to visit the hospital daily for dressing, to avoid any infection.

    Mayor Humphreys shuts down Dangriga vendors
    A group of vendors in Dangriga Town are up in arms and are strongly considering taking Mayor Francis Humphreys and the Dangriga Town Council to Court after the UDP-elected Council forced them out of a location where they have been carrying out business for over four years. According to the Town Council, the vendors can no longer operate small vending stalls in an area on North Stann Creek Riverside Street. The Town Council has declared the space as a “No Vending Zone”, and has even taken court action against three vendors who insisted on utilising the area. But the vendors say the Mayor and Council have abused their authority and acted wrongfully. The vendors point out that the land they are doing business on is privately owned. They have a business arrangement with the owner, who was granted a trade license by the Town Council. According to the Town Council, the vendors can no longer operate small vending stalls in an area on North Stann Creek Riverside Street.

    Boots, from Pool Table Dealer to Fuel Station Owner?
    While many Belizeans have been struggling to cope with the hard economic times and poverty, the UDP Ministers have been busy hustling to make themselves and their families richer. Belizeans have come to know of Castro the wealthy cane farmer and Boots the lucrative pool table dealer, but what about Boots the pool table dealer AND fuel station owner? Sounds strange? Well, it seems too good to be true for the Southside Port Loyola area representative and Minister of Social Transformation and Human Development. Over the 8 years he has been in office and in power, it seems the only transformation Boots has been interested in has been his own. Before the November 4th 2015 elections, a large tract of land containing green forestry was cleared away by bulldozers along mile 43 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The land, it was reported, would make way for a fuel station owned by a wealthy UDP politician.

    Remembering Rt. Hon George Price
    Friday, January 15th, 2016 marks the 97th birthday of the late Father of the Nation and great leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), the Rt. Hon. George Price. In memory, honor and appreciation of the distinguished legacy of Mr. Price, Party Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca and other members of the party will be laying a wreath at Mr. Price’s burial site in Lord Ridge Cemetery on Friday, January 15th, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. The occasion also presents an opportunity for us as a nation to reflect and to remember the many contributions and the selfless service and dedication to Belize which he embodied. These must continue to live on in each and every one of us if our country is to progress and advance. The PUP reiterates its commitment to the Social Justice Agenda which continues to demonstrate a blueprint of the Party’s plans for Change and Reform in many fundamental sectors of government.

    Think About It
    2015 is behind us and now, as a nation, we are faced with the prospect of probably the most challenging period in our existence. The current United Democratic Party (UDP) administration has had a remarkable run and in November of last year was elected to an unprecedented third term in office. The situation is that had all things been fair and equal, the UDP would have lost not only this previous General Election, but more so the one prior to that in 2012. Elections in Belize however, while usually peaceful, are anything but fair and in particular the way things are run under this administration. Another self-evident truth is that the UDP was not elected based on performance or even on promises but instead on government largesse. In 2012, shortly after the UDP scraped by with a slim majority of two seats, there began a free flow of Petro Caribe funds. Notwithstanding that it is a loan and that it will have to be repaid, but still it presented an excellent opportunity for our country to dig itself out of a hole and make preparations for a sustainable future. Borrowing by both political parties had saddled the country with severely high interest debt and while Petro Caribe is also a debt, it was at a reasonable and very attractive rate of interest.

    Facing the music
    A man posted on his Facebook page photos of him having sex with a female police officer. The five or six photos went viral in Belize City. It’s the most wicked, worthless thing a man could do to a woman. A few words posted with the photos says this is what you get when you f… with me. Presumably, the female broke up with him and this is his version of getting back at her. Police says the Facebook “account” is false so they can’t charge the person for any offense of which there would be several. The photos are explicit. Any man, who stoops so low as to publicize such photos of a female he once was in a relationship with, is not a man. He is a low-down dirty bastard.
    Last week a fire destroyed one of those infamous trailer houses the UDP had been selling in a previous government. Fifteen persons, mostly children, called it home. While sleeping, they were awakened to the screams of fire, fire. God be praised, no one lost their lives or were injured. Their home and most of their belongings went up in smoke. It is becoming a frequent assurance for the TV media to show families burnt out of their homes or houses falling to the ground with occupants. It represents the sad neglect by the Ministry of Housing in its on-going failure to assist the poor and desperate who are living in unacceptable conditions. Same neglect applies to the Ministry of Poverty (Social Transformation).
    Sometime in 1981 or so, foreign cable television entered Belize. The story of how Belize finally got cable is a soap-opera series in itself. And perhaps we will try to describe some of it someday. There are several studies which say that shortly after American television enters a country; it is followed by an increase in crime, violence, drugs, materialism, loose morals nakedness and other manifestations of the decadence of the “Hollywood” mentality. There were three major personalities who were sounding warnings of the damage of unregulated foreign TV: George Price, Bishop O.P. Martin and Said Musa.

    The Truth Shall Make Us Free
    “How to lie with Statistics”, this book by Darrell Huff would be a favorite of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He is versed in all the chapters that deal with dishonesty, distortions and half-truths using figures and percentages. Barrow’s speeches, whether on the occasion of New Year’s or Independence tainted with lies and abuse of information. His selective use of UDP-created data should be available to students to learn how the Prime Minister can twist the truth and distort the facts. Of the few examples given by Barrow, ALL show the UDP government as performing excellently. Put another way, all is well and the country is doing wonderfully. The truth is the society is unraveling, cost of living is high, crime is at crisis levels and the economy is grasping for oxygen. What will not come out of the Prime Minister’s mouth was a comparison of matters of pressing national concern. The examples are many. Let us list a few. Poverty. This word is a stranger to the Prime Minister’s thought process. It’s harsh and debilitating effects are of no concern to him. The reason? He has passed not one single piece of legislation on the issue. There is no policy that he can point to that tackles this problem.

    U-15 football playoffs heat up
    The battle for a place in the Belize District Football Association (BDFA); under-15 football playoffs has heated up as there is only one remaining spot; the Hattieville River Side boys became the 3rd team to qualify to the playoffs, by a nil-zip draw with Berger United at the MCC Garden on Sunday. Berger United has one remaining back match, taking on the No. 2 seed SMART Brown Bombers on Sunday, January 17. In Game 2, the Bombers made it harder for Face of Belize to make the cut to the playoffs, as the Bombers posted a 5-3 win over Face of Belize. Tyreek “Pippin” Muschamp scored 2 goals, and Eshaq King, Maynor Hernandez and Michael Deshield scored a goal apiece for Bombers. Face of Belize’s Ajani Vaughan scored 2 goals; and Sergio Andrade scored 1 goal.

    SJC bombs Maud Williams 4-1 in football opener
    The St. Johns College boys enjoyed their 1st win of 2016 high school football season with a 4-1 win over the Maud Williams High School boys at the MCC Garden on Tuesday, January 12. Lincoln Myvett scored first for Maud Williams, but Denroy “Bobo” Lopez soon equalized for SJC for a 1-1 draw at the half. Carlos Guerra scored SJC’s 2nd goal after the break, then Claishaun Lewis came off the bench to score a 3rd goal, and Lopez became the provider with a pass to Troy Guy who buried the ball in the back of the net for the 4-1 win.

    Belize Bank Bulldogs win Boom to Manatee Lookout canoe race
    The Belize Bank Bulldogs: Armin Lopez, Amado Lopez and Byron Cruz won Sunday’s Burrell Boom to Manatee Lookout canoe race organized by the Belize Canoe Association in preparation for the 18th annual Ruta Maya River Challenge in March. The Belize Canoe Assocaition will be holding other races to help the paddlers prepare for Ruta Maya; the next race will be upstream from Haulover Bridge to Burrell Boom on Sunday, January 24, and there will also be the annual Boom to Riverside Tavern race.

    Long distance running legend Joseph Carr dies
    Belize Times Sports joins the Belize Amateur Athletic Association and the entire sports community in extending their condolences to the family of a Belizean athletic legend, the late Joseph Carr died of an epileptic attack on Saturday, January 9. Joe was on his way home from his employment as a security guard when he fell into a drainage ditch just a stone’s throw his home off Antelope Street in Belize City. Joseph Carr’s most recent trophies were barely a week old as he had won the BAAA’s New Year’s 5K run on the Central American Boulevard, a race in which his daughter Ashonti also won 1st prize in the 15-19 Junior female category. Carr had represented Belize at many international and regional athletics tournaments over the past 2 decades; and he was in training for this year’s New York City marathon.

    The trip of a lifetime
    Our trip to ‘Africa’ was simply a dream that became reality. We were able to travel to a place many only knew by means of our history books and the television. As many of us know, history taught us that the African continent is Homeland or our Motherland. Therefore, being able to touch its soil is considered an opportunity of a lifetime. We were selected to go on such a wonderful trip so that we could partake in of one of Africa’s biggest yearly festivals held for over the past 11 years, known as the Carnival Calabar held at Cross River State in Nigeria. The invite was extended to us to represent our beautiful Jewel in its expression of arts and music, specifically, Carnival. Aside from all the initial excitement that filled us during the preparation for the trip, we were still faced with the reality that we were going to be leaving behind our family during the Christmas Holidays; nevertheless, we all managed to prepare ourselves and families just before our departure. We were also holding faith that the trip would still be possible, since on the day before departure, we experienced challenges in terms of hotel accommodations and other travel arrangements. Our prayers were answered however and we were ready to leave for our destination to represent our country abroad.

    Will GOB continue to support FCD’s efforts in Chiquibul Forest?
    The efforts to safeguard the Chiquibul National Park from exploitation and harm at the hands of illegal Guatemalan incursions are resulting in success according to the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD). After two years of sustained efforts to curb what seemed to be open season on illegal hunting and farming by Guatemalans, FCD is reporting a reduction in illegal activities inside the national park. FCD’s Executive Director, Raphael Manzanero, explained to the media that their strategy of increasing the presence of rangers and boosting properly thought-out patrols throughout the national park have made the difference. But FCD’s limited budget can only sustain the strategy for a few more months.

    The best of the worst is yet to come!
    This UDP Government really does not give a damn about the small farmers in this country. They talk about food security but I think as long as Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega’s fridges are stocked and Dean Barrow doesn’t have to scramble around for small change to buy basic groceries…all’s well in the world. I have had to sit and watch the poor cane-farmers of Orange Walk begging for help. Many hours of backbreaking work in the fields every single day and this government will not listen. See they don’t know what it is to get up at 4:00am, ride miles to reach your cane-field and then spend hours preparing, burning, chopping, harvesting. They have no idea. When Gaspar Vega had the chance to stand with the farmers when ASR/BSI was taking advantage of them, he stood instead with the rich boys of the giant company. That is the life he understands, never having to worry where money will come from to pay bills or send his children to school or even to feed them.

    3 years later…still no answers to eerie Southside massacres
    The gruesome discovery of four men tortured and killed inside an apartment at the corner of Dean and George Streets seems to have faded from the memories of Police and national security authorities, but for family and close friends of the victims every year that passes without any closure is depressing. On the morning of Tuesday January 8th 2013, the residents of Dean and Plues Streets in Mesopotamia and Queen Square constituencies in Belize City woke up to a nightmare. Any sense that the day would be normal was shattered by the discovery of four young men, who were well known in the neighbourhood and even the wider Belize City community, beaten, stabbed, and with their throats slit.

    MCC Garden messed up!
    The Belize District High School football tournament has been limited to one game per day as the MCC Garden still has no lights. Which begs the question: why was the existing lighting taken down before the new lights were ready to be installed?!? That’s not the end of the absurdity at Belize City’s premier football facility. Concrete foundations for the new lighting towers have been cast into the ground at the 4 corners of the field, but the work has stalled. No lights, lighting towers nor power cables are evident within the MCC compound, but mysteriously a long, deep ditch has been dug around the field, reportedly to receive the power cables for the lighting. Fans are bemused as to what purpose this ditch serves; as it has created a pitfall into which several players have fallen and been hurt. The most recent was Wesley College’s Deandre Pitters had to retire from the field on Thursday; after he overran the edge of the field following an errant ball and fell into this ditch, bruising his ribs.

    PUP National Party Council paves way for National Convention
    PUP held its first NPC for 2016 at the Independence Hall, the home of the Party. Delegates from 31 constituencies, Parliamentarians, Members of the National Executive and members of Boards attended and participated in the vibrant discussions and decisions. Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca thanked all for their support to the Party during his leadership. The 3 contestants for Party Leader signed a pledge of commitment as follows: unconditional support and allegiance to the candidate elected Party Leader by the delegates at the January 31st Special National Convention. 2. committed to work for the achievement of the aims and objects of the peaceful constructive revolution and the principles and programmes of the PUP 3. reaffirm their belief in the political creed of the party

    Supreme Court scolds DOE over approval of Harvest Caye Project
    On Wednesday, 13 January 2016, the Belize Supreme Court ruled on BTIA’s lawsuit against the Department of the Environment (DOE) and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) following the DOE’s decision to approve the construction by Belize Island Holdings (BIHL) of a cruise port at Harvest Caye, just three miles south of Placencia Village. The Hon. Justice Abel declared that there was a breach of Regulation 20 of the EIA Regulations concerning to the published notice in relation to the Addendum to the EIA. The court also ruled that the content of the published notice was deficient in various areas and, very significantly, that the decision of the NEAC to recommend the approval of the EIA was in breach of EIA Regulations, prior to considering the EIA for approval. In delivering the judgement, the Hon. Justice Abel also observed that the consultation process was somewhat short-circuited and that short cuts were taken, “which ought not to have happened, and one hopes this will not happen in a similar situation in the future”. The Court determined that BTIA was “largely and significantly” successful against the DOE, NEAC and BIHL, and ruled that the Defendants should pay the cost of the Court proceedings in the sum of $50,000. The Court judgment means that the DOE and the NEAC must now do a better job at discharging their legal responsibilities to safeguard Belize’s natural resources and administer Belize’s environmental regulations fairly and responsibly.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Post-mortem on American tourist finds she was strangled
    A post-mortem examination conducted on the body of 39-year-old American national, Anne Elizabeth McComb, determined that she died of asphyxia by compression of the neck (manual strangulation), as well as blunt force traumatic injuries to the head and neck region. McComb’s body was found […]

    Placencia 12th Sidewalk Art and Music Fest just around the corner
    The 12th annual Placencia Arts and Music Festival will be held on February 14th and 15th at the famous Placencia village beach sidewalk, and artists, locals, and tourists alike are all excited for the colorful and lively event. The Art and Music Festival boasts […]

    Tourism stakeholders alarmed over tourist’s murder, calls for more security in fear for industry
    Following the two recent murders of foreign nationals in the West, a Canadian and an American in the Cayo district within the span of two weeks, starting with 37-year-old film maker, Mathew Klinck, who was found dead at a home he was sitting, stakeholders […]

    National Garifuna Council blasts Honduras over Garifuna military attack
    Belize’s National Garifuna Council (NGC) demands that the Government of Honduras stop the massacre of Garifuna in Honduras and to stop the militarization that they are imposing on Garifuna communities. This follows a December 28 attack in the village of Iriona along the coast in which two […]


    San Pedro To Belmopan and Back…Picking Up My New US Passport
    As of January 1, 2016, The US Embassy in Belmopan, Belize no longer adds additional pages to your valid passport. When it’s full, it’s full. And it was time to get a new one. A trip to Kerala, India would require two full pages for my Indian visa. It was time to move fast. I made an appointment online (January 4th) with the US Embassy in Belmopan, arrived with my 2 x 2 photos and application. $110US paid, I was out of there pretty quickly. And on my way to a gorgeous lodge in the mountains. I would show you tons of pictures of the Embassy but it is as secure as Fort Knox – no photos, doors that are solid steel (even one that I needed assistance opening), a giant marble fortress. It’s as intimidating as buildings get in Belize. I am nervous (for no reason) just being there. Did I have an old traffic ticket that has turned warrant? Does the IRS want to audit me just because? Has Donald Trump decided that US Citizens can no longer live abroad? I dramatize. The people that work there are actually lovely. But this place is SECURE. I left with a receipt and my old passport and was told an email would come in 10 business days. I received an email Wednesday, January 13th, that my passport was ready for pick-up. Wowzer. QUICK. I decided to head to Belmopan and back to San Pedro in one day. Here’s how I did it. Easy but…a long exhausting day of travel.

    Fiesta de Carnaval Belize
    Every year during the week before Lent, the town of San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye explodes with ecstatic demonstrations of singing, dancing, parades, flour fighting, and even a painting contest. The period of Lent is a 40-day season of fasting and prayer, so Belizean locals let their freak flag fly during Carnaval, competing in special group dances known as “comparsas”, and hosting several lively parades in town throughout the week-long festivities. Visitors will get swept up in the fun, witnessing the beautiful rehearsed comparsas (group dances), riotous parades, plenty of live music, demonstrations of local culture, and engage in flour fights in the middle of the street. Face painting, as well as creating traditional paintings, is an important component of the festival. People from all over Belize, as well as around the globe, flock to San Pedro to partake in the celebration. Don’t wear your finest clothes, as you’re guaranteed to get covered in paint and flour during the wild week of Carnaval. Be prepared to relax and enjoy all the fun, dancing in the street to live music, or witnessing the comparsas (group dances) as local teams compete for the grand prize. With lots of local art on display, visitors too can try their hand at painting, with separate contests for adults and children. If you enjoy having fun, live music and dancing, as well as partying through the night, then you’ll definitely have the time of your life during the Fiesta de Carnaval.

    International Sourcesizz

    To Protect Against Zika Virus, Pregnant Women Are Warned About Latin American Trips
    Federal health officials on Friday advised pregnant women to postpone traveling to 13 Latin American or Caribbean countries and Puerto Rico where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in babies. Women considering becoming pregnant were advised to consult doctors before traveling to countries with Zika cases, and all travelers were urged to avoid mosquito bites, as were residents of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. “We believe this is a fairly serious problem,” said Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, chief of vector-borne diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This virus is spreading throughout the Americas. We didn’t feel we could wait.” The C.D.C. advisory applies to 14 Western Hemisphere countries and territories: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    Oklahoma City University students perform high school construction work in Belize
    Students from Oklahoma City University constructed part of a high school in Belize during the winter break. The Reverend Charles Neff, Vice President for church relations, lead a group of 11 students and three family members to Belmopan, Belize Jan. 2 – 9. The students, ranging from freshmen to graduate students, vary in their respective fields of study. “Our primary mission was to help construct the second floor of the Belmopan Methodist High School”, said Neff. The team mixed and hauled concrete by hand, sifted sand, bent and tied rebar to make support columns, and assisted with other jobs as needed. The team also purchased 100 pounds each of rice, beans and flour and repackaged them in two-pound bags for distribution to the villages surrounding Belmopan. The team also visited Marla’s House of Hope, a girl’s home, where team members helped the girls with homework, played volleyball and exchanged stories about life in their respective countries. In addition to the mission projects, the team also attended worship services at the Belmopan Methodist Church, visited the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich, attended classes at the Methodist High School, toured the Belize Zoo, visited Belize City and finished the week with a jungle zip line and cave tubing adventure.

    Brazil to fund development of vaccine for Zika virus
    The Brazilian government says it is directing funds to a biomedical research center to help develop a vaccine against a virus linked to brain damage in babies. Health Minister Marcelo Castro says the goal is to develop "in record time" a vaccine for Zika, which is spread through mosquito bites. Zika infection in pregnant women has been linked to a rare condition called microcephaly, in which the head is smaller than normal and the brain does not develop properly. Brazil's Health Ministry says 3,530 babies have been born with microcephaly in the country since October. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert Friday advising pregnant women to avoid traveling to Brazil and several other countries in the Americas where Zika outbreaks have occurred.


  • DRONE FILM BELIZE CITY FPS MEDIA, 1min. This film highlights the scenic coast of Belize City with breathtaking views from above.

  • Coral of the Caribbean, 5.5min. Footage from Roatan, Belize, Cozumel and St. Lucia. This was all shot with a Go Pro Hero 3, SRP red filter and sometimes a Fantasea or SeaDragon video light. All of this was shot in 2013-2014 when I had less than 50 dives under my belt, hence why it is so bumpy at times ;)

  • Catching sailfish off of Ambergris Caye Belize, 1min.

  • Mahi Mahi fishing Ambergris Caye Belize, 1min.

  • Turtles of Belize, 1.5min. My daughter's nickname is "Turtle." This video of turtles swimming in the waters of Belize is for you.

  • Power Boat Ride Belize, 5min. Power boat ride over the marsh land in Belize.

  • Power Boat Ride II Belize, 4min. In the video the Captain of the boat had fun with crazy turns and speeding up a little more.

    January 16, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

    The San Pedro Sun

    Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Attends Inauguration Ceremony of President Jimmy Morales in Guatemala
    The Prime Minister, Honorable Dean Barrow will return to Belize on Sunday after attending the inauguration ceremony of the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, in Guatemala City. The Prime Minister joined several other Heads of State and Government from within and outside the region to witness the peaceful transition of government in the neighboring country. He was happy to reciprocate the visit of President Morales who had come to personally deliver the invitation to attend the inauguration.

    Concerns raised over EIA plans for DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye, Belize
    At first glance the EIA seems to portray a proper balance between conservation and development, but concerns arose as the island sits within the newly expanded Hol Chan Marine Reserve. However, when speaking with the Manager at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Miguel Alamilla, he stated otherwise. “Blackadore Caye is a privately owned island, so it is automatically excluded from the marine reserve. Even if it was a protected area, it’s not that they can do what they want to do, but they need to go through the environmental impact assessment which would reveal if the project should be carried on or not,” said Alamilla who believes that the development could be environmentally feasible. “The project could be sustainable as long as main components are met, and we are talking about ecological balance and social equilibrium. And, as the project is proposed to be using green energy and other environmental aspects we can say is sustainable,” explained Alamilla.

    San Pedro Animal Hospital introduces new Vet
    The San Pedro Animal Hospital (SPAH) is proud to introduce their new Veterinarian Dr. Alicia Bruck. After weeks of efforts on the part of SPAH, the Veterinarians Surgeons Board of Belize has granted her a work permit to provide veterinary services at the San Pedro Animal Hospital. Dr. Bruck becomes the only licensed veterinarian on the island, with her temporary permit valid until January 11, 2017. Dr. Alicia Bruck obtained an undergraduate degree from Cornell University in New York City, New York USA and her veterinarian degree from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Then for almost three years, she worked in the UK before returning to the United States where she engaged in the veterinary field up until she moved to Belize. This is the first time she has been to Belize, and is already enjoying it. Dr. Bruck is excited to be on the island and finally able to start contributing to the community. She is thrilled with how nice the people on the island have been to her, and she looks forward to a time well spent on Ambergris Caye. Bruck also stated that her authentic love of animals is the main reason for working at the Animal Hospital, where she intends to benefit all customers with her nine years of experience in the veterinary field.

    Reset Retreat offers FREE flights to Belize
    Imagine yourself walking along the golden sands of the Hopkins beach, a warm breeze drifting in from the Caribbean to caress you. Laughter and bright smiles greet you from the villagers that welcome you to their beautiful community. The clock stops…because it’s okay to forget the time in Hopkins. Your alarm clock is the sunrise salutes to the morning sun; your noontime beckoning call, the sound of Garifuna drums. Evening is defined by adventure, as you explore the magnificent Maya Mountains. There’s no doubt about it, Belize vacations are the stuff dreams are made of. And the Reset Retreat Wellness Retreat is offering you the chance to make YOU a priority, with the offer of a free flight to this Belize getaway. In 2015, a group of women enjoyed a successful inaugural venture at the award winning travel destination of Ambergris Caye, the selected retreat destination. While there, the ladies indulged in a week-long roster of healing and maritime- adventures which included everything from therapeutic massage and daily life coaching to connecting with nature,exploring the island- town, partaking in local charitable events and visiting award winning marine parks. The beauty and warmth of Belize combined with the expertise of the professionals at Reset Retreat surely has the healing capacity needed to renew your sense of self.

    Teaching Across Cultures returns to San Pedro
    A group 22 volunteers from Christopher Newport University (CNU) in Newport News, Virginia, USA, were in San Pedro providing service to the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) and San Pedro High School (SPHS). Geared at allowing future teachers from the USA and teachers from Belize to share ideas and strategies, the Teaching Across Cultures projects has been taking place for the past 10 years. This year, the project begun on from Monday, January 4th, and saw the teachers practicing in San Pedro until Friday, January 15th. Consisting of 20 graduate students and two professors, the group included both secondary and primary education students. “The Masters of Arts in Teaching Program at CNU is a rigorous program that serves to educate future teachers. One of the courses that the University offers is a trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize, to engage in a multicultural teaching experience for two weeks. At these schools, they are to observe how class was conducted, as well as bring techniques and incorporate them into lessons,” explained Dr. Judy Pantelides, one of the coordinators for Teaching Across Cultures.

    Security Guard charged with Sexual Assault on tourist
    On Wednesday, January 6th, a 25-year-old American student visiting Ambergris Caye visited the San Pedro Police Station to report an incident of Sexual Assault. The student, who was staying at a resort 3.5 miles north of San Pedro Town, stated that in the morning of that same day, while she and two other female friends were socializing at the poolside of the resort, a male security guard told her she was beautiful. The student went on to indicate that she smiled and thanked him for the compliment and then returned to her room to get some bug spray. The student then reported that the security guard grabbed her and kissed her on her mouth and that as she tried to get away, he grabbed her from behind and rubbed her stomach, trying to touch her breasts. She struggled with the security guard until she managed to get away and went back to her friends. The student indicated that even after that, the security guard still followed her and hung around the pool side area until she and her friends decided to go back to their room, locking the door behind them.

    San Pedro Artisan Vendors commence relocation

    Ambergris Today

    Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye Does Not Sit Well with Fishermen in Belize
    No, Leonardo DiCaprio never made it to the meeting, but he did not need to attend the public consultation held in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, regarding the environmental impact assessment studies made on his private island Blackadore Caye, set to become a prime luxury eco resort in the country. Dicaprio’s architects, engineers, biologists and field men were on hand at the public consultation held by Belize’s Department of Environment to listen to the environmental impact studies that have been conducted on the island prior to the commencement of development. Large developers in the country must conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in which they must prove that their development is not breaking any environmental laws of Belize and constructing within the guidelines set to protect the natural environment and wildlife of the country. The public consultation in the community where the development is taking place is a mandatory part of the EIA procedure in which it gives residents an opportunity to hear all of the studies taken and measures to protect the environment. This meeting was held on Thursday, January 14, 2015, at the local Lions Den.

    Norwegian Cruise Line Delays Belize Port Opening, BTIA's Court Victory Won't Stop Project
    Earlier this week Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Harvest Caye, the cruise line's new resort-style port of call in southern Belize will now open in November 2016, originally scheduled to open February 16, 2016. Plans for the new development were announced back in August 2013, when Norwegian Cruise Line purchased approximately 75 acres in Southern Belize for the planned development of an eco-friendly cruise destination. The land, called Harvest Caye, is made up of two adjoining islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts that had previously been approved for a resort development with an air strip. In a statement released today by Norwegian, Vivian Ewart, vice president, passenger services, said that the grand opening will now take place in November 2016. Guests sailing on Western Caribbean cruises now through mid-November will instead call in Belize in Belize City. But the announcement of the development has not come without public objection and controversy over the proper undertaking of an environmental impact assessment. On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, the Belize Supreme Court ruled on the (BTIA) Belize Tourism Industry Association’s lawsuit against the Department of the Environment (DOE) and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) following the DOE's decision to approve the construction by Belize Island Holdings (BIHL) of a cruise port at Harvest Caye, just three miles south of Placencia Village.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow Attends Inauguration Ceremony of President Jimmy Morales in Guatemala
    The Prime Minister, Honorable Dean Barrow will return to Belize on Sunday after attending the inauguration ceremony of the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, in Guatemala City. The Prime Minister joined several other Heads of State and Government from within and outside the region to witness the peaceful transition of government in the neighbouring country. He was happy to reciprocate the visit of President Morales who had come to personally deliver the invitation to attend the inauguration. The Prime Minister was satisfied by his attendance which he considers important for maintaining good neighbourly relations with Guatemala. Apart from having received assurances in private of a commitment to friendship and cooperation between the two countries, the Prime Minister very much welcomed the remarks of President Morales made publicly in his inauguration speech when he said, “We want to advance in the resolution of the territorial, maritime and insular dispute with Belize, our brothers and neighbour with whom we wish to develop a bilateral agenda of neighbourliness and cooperation.” During his visit the Prime Minister had the opportunity to meet with several other dignitaries, including Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. He raised the subject of the correspondent banking issues facing Belize. Prime Minister Barrow recalled that this matter had been raised before with President Obama who undertook to look into it, but to date the problem persists.

    Ministry of Health and Midwifery Program at University of Belize
    The Ministry of Health is sponsoring an 18 month Midwifery Program for 15 candidates. Candidates for the program are registered nurses selected from the entire country who have gained experience, skills and competencies in general nursing. The program has an estimated cost of over half a million dollars and is slated to start on January 18th, 2016 at the University of Belize. The Ministry of Health has made serious efforts over the past decades to have effective interventions and training opportunities in order to improve pregnancy and childbirth outcomes in country. The provision of skilled care at every birth is an essential component of interventions to reduce maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Without the availability of health providers with specific midwifery skills and competencies, particularly lifesaving skills, international goals for maternal and newborn health cannot be reached. Belize joins the world in increasing women’s access to quality midwifery.

    Rebecca Stirm Website
    Rebecca Stirm, who ruled the Mission Catwalk show, has launched her website. It's simple, classy, and highlights her collection well. Looks great, Rebecca! Kudos to TAS Belize for the design. "Rebecca continued on to design and show a second collection before re-locating to Vancouver in June 2011 to study fashion design and marketing at the Art Institute of Vancouver. Shortly after her first semester at the Art Institutes, she applied and was accepted to compete in Mission Catwalk (Caribbean designer reality TV show) against 19 other Caribbean designers – for a chance to “Rule the Catwalk.” At only 18 years old, she won the most challenges (4 out of 12) and came out the end of the season as second runner up. Rebecca continues to design collections & custom bridal gowns for clients from her home studio in Cayo District, Belize."

    Interview Waiver Program
    Consular Tip: Have you heard about the Consular Section’s new Interview Waiver Program? If you have a Belizean passport and your last visa was issued in 2007 or later, you might be eligible to skip your visa interview entirely! Check the requirements on this page to know for sure! The interview process means that you have already been vetted at some point between 2007 and now.

    San Pedro Carnaval 2016
    Inviting all Comparsas to Sign up at the San Pedro Town Council office with Ms. Lorna Vasquez. *Please note that if you do not sign up, your Comparsa will not be considered for judging and will not be eligible for claiming of prizes.

    San Pedro Carnaval 2016
    Here are the Traffic Rules for Carnaval 2016. Please take note.

    La Ruta Maya 2016
    Everyone is getting ready for this year's La Ruta Maya. It starts on Thurday, March 3rd, under the Hawkesworth Bridge. Note that National Heroes and Benefactors Day doesn't coincide with the race this year, but falls on March 9th.

    Channel 7

    Bail For Paumen, Alleged Murder Plot Comes Into Focus
    He's one of the biggest tour operators in Belize, but tonight American Bradley Paumen is out on bail after 7 days on remand. Police say he hired a hitman to kill four people. The 58 year old was released on bail when he appeared before Chief Justice Antonette Moore at the Supreme Court this morning. Director of Public Prosecutions Chery-Lynn Vidal objected strongly to the granting of bail, stressing that Paumen is a flight risk and there is a danger of interfering with witnesses. But his attorney Ellis Arnold argued that remand should be a last resort and stressed that there was sufficient provision under the criminal code to grant bail to a person charged for Abetment of Murder with appropriate conditions. Justice Moore agreed and she released Paumen on $50 thousand dollars bail - which is quite small for a man with assets valued in the millions. He has to surrender all his travel documents, and specifically surrender his US passport to the court, the US Embassy has to be notified, and he must report to the Belmopan police station every Wednesday and Friday while the matter is pending. And one last thing: he is not to interfere with witnesses nor be in the presence of witnesses.

    Female Tourist Killed On The Mopan
    Tonight, Benque Viejo police are questioning one man after a 39 year old American Tourist, Anne Swaney was brutally murdered. Swaney was visiting Belize from Chicago and was last seen yesterday on the riverside near the Nabitunich Resort where she had been staying. That's a few miles outside of Benque Viejo Town, and this morning her body was found in the Mopan River. Daniel Ortiz just returned from the west, and he has the full story:.. Nabitunich Resort, it's a few miles outside out of Benque Viejo Town, and like most of the top get-away type destinations in the Cayo District, it's remote, and perfect for the outdoor experience. This resort is said to be excellent for horse-back riding, and the dream location for hiking with the beautiful Macal River to trail along. But, the dream became a nightmare for the owners of the resort this morning when one of its guests was found dead in that river. She's 39 year-old American Ann Elizabeth Swaney, an executive producer from ABC 7 in Chicago, Illinois.

    Gapi Goes To Guyana, Returns With Rice Truce
    Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and his CEO Jose Alpuche returned to the country today after a quick visit to Guyana. They didn't bring rice, and they didn't sign any bi-lateral agreement; in fact, it seems they were there to, sort of, "make nice" after Belize refused to accept three containers of Guyanese rice. Today the media met Vega at the airport and he told us that they felt a visit was in order to sort of iron things out:... Hon. Gaspar Vega - Dep. Prime Minister/Min of Agriculture: "We thought that due to present circumstances with the rice, it was just proper for us to go an visit with my colleague Minister of Agriculture Hon. Holder. We also had a meeting with Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Grinage. We also met the CEO and chairman of the Guyana rice development board with whom we discuss the present situation of the rice. They already knew of the breach or the breaking of the law by the importer. They knew about it." Jules Vasquez: "Were the Guyanese having any feeling that Belize has had put up an illegal barrier to trade by using the sanitary and phytosanitary standards as a technical barrier to trade when really the rights should have been allowed onto the market. Were they offended by that?"

    A Titanic And Costly Error By GOB
    Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach, are the two Bahamians and business partners who were tossed into the public eye when the Financial Intelligence Unit and police raided their business headquarters, Titan Securities in the Matalon Building in Coney Drive. The raid happened in September of 2014, and since then they have been in court challenging the nine hour raid, which cleaned out their office and forced the shutdown of their business. It all started with an indictment from the US Treasury Department - where the owners of this offshore operation are accused of a security fraud. But the Bahamian business partners are saying that Belizean authorities had no right to confiscate their assets. They sued the Government of Belize and today the judgement was handed down in court. It was a closed hearing so we weren't allowed in. But when it was done, Titan's Attorney Senior Council Godfrey Smith, said his clients were vindicated:

    The Carrots Concern
    Market vendors say the cancelled permits for imported vegetables is costing them. As you heard last night the vendors are now dealing with the scarce supply and high price of local vegetables and it looks like it's getting worse. Today one of the market vendors Maria Cowo told us it seems that permits will be cancelled for imported potatoes, broccoli and lettuce. It's a major blow for their business especially today which is market day. Cowo further explained how this veggie situation is affecting them. Maria Cowo - Market Vendor: "Today the situation is, well we got some carrots if I told you the price for the carrots we got today, it was 60 dollars for the sack, and local carrots more expensive than the Mexican one because the Mexican one is 45.50 dollars and that is the best carrots. the cabbage if you look, there is no cabbage in the market because the local one, yesterday they come at 135 dollars for the sack and it doesn't bring 100 pounds and if you look it has worms and its black so it's not so good. The lettuce, we got a little too. I don't understand why, if they cut the license, why the minister doesn't said someone to check the market and see what the problem is. If we have enough or if they cut some of the licenses. It doesn't have to be everything and right now some people are saying that there are people who don't have licenses to come in Monday. It looks like they are cutting the licenses for the broccoli, cauliflower and potato now. Now it's not an issue for the carrots, lettuce, celery and cabbage. Now it's potato, broccoli and cauliflower which is the issue now."

    Agric Min Says Farmers Have "Attitude"
    And today the Minister of Agriculture told us that the inconsistent supply is because the farmers don't tell the Ministry how much they are producing - so they can't plan properly on how to balance the permits for imports against the local produce:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega - Dep. Prime Minister/Min of Agriculture: "As much as the consumers would want only quality, we have encourage producers, but the same time we have to insist on producers that we have to do better. However, I would like to mention to everyone especially the farmers, that they have to be more cooperative. We are here to assure market not only to the big guys, to the small guys and to everyone but we have to have this line of communication. You cannot have an attitude because they are some farmers who have an attitude when you ask them how much have you planted? They say that's not your business. These are things that affect us in the ministry because rightly you would be the same one asking us, why don't we have enough carrots in our market? So it's a balancing act like you rightly said, but it's challenging and I want to say that it's not the first time. Almost every year at the beginning of production we have this situation and towards the end also because we don't know when the local production will be finished or when it will start - exact figures. It's difficult."

    Dark Days Ahead For Dark Night?
    So while the fate of 58 year old Bradley Paumen has yet to be decided in the courts, what will happen to the 140-odd workers employed by Dark Knight? We asked this because Daylight and Dark Night Cave Adventure Ltd is not in compliance with a valid license under the act of the Belize Tourism Board. However BTB says this has nothing to do with the owner and CEO of the company being charged for "Abetment to Murder." BTB says the voiding of their license is a result of them failing to renew their license for 2016. As of January 1st BTB says they sent a letter to the management of Dark Night telling them to cease and desist from their tour operations. BTB says that today they sent out another letter to them saying that effective Monday January 18th any tours that are going will be stopped. At this time, BTB says, the matter is before a committee which will review the status and discuss any possible disciplinary action. BTB however could not tell us if the charge currently facing the owner and CEO of the company will be something the committee will discuss and take into account when deciding the company's fate. Dark Night has contract with Carnival Cruise Line And Royal Caribbean. Bradley Paumen also owns Parrots Cave located in Hopkins. That business continues its operations. We note that in the Supreme Court case over the improperly acquired land, it was revealed that Paumen - not Modiri - has a contract with NICH.

    Francis On Why He Came Back
    It's 16 days to go before the PUP National Convention in Belmopan - and today we got to speak with Francis Fonseca, the current leader, who is now trying to win his first contested leader's convention. He lost to John Briceno in 2008, but this time Fonseca feels that he has a better chance. But, if all this talk about Fonseca as leader makes you wonder how the man who stepped down right after the election is now stepping back up to be leader again - we did too, and he addressed that today when we met him at the George Price wreath laying.:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader: "When your 4 deputy leaders come to you and ask you to reconsider your decision; When some 17 standard bearers come to you and ask you to reconsider your position; When 8 members of parliament come to you and ask you to reconsider your position. You as a leader have a duty and an obligation to listen to them, to hear them out and that is what I did out of respect for these people. I obviously had to consult with my own family. I had to consult with my Freetown family. And it was on the basis of those discussions that I made the decision to enter. I think I certainly owe that explanation to the Belizean people."

    Fonseca Says His Support At The Constituency Level Will Make The Difference
    And so, now that that is out of the way - how is the campaign going so far? Fonseca is contending against John Briceno and Cordel Hyde - but he says he is the only one who has a national team:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader: "I am the only candidate that has been able to put together a national team from north to south, east to west. So we believe we have a good strong team. But at the end of the day the delegates of the party will decide on January 31st. We have almost 3,000 delegates. They will make the right decision and all of us in the party will respect that decision. But I certainly feel good about where our campaign is. We have 16 days to go and so we have a lot of work remaining. But we feel very good and confident about where we are now." Jules Vasquez: "Sir, I remember in the last convention, if I recalled, you had the endorsement of what would have been called the old guard. In terms of you had the majority of the standard bearers, area representatives supporting you, but eventually Mr. Briceno managed to snipe enough support from the delegates to win." Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader: "Indeed." Jules Vasquez: "This time it is even easier because there are so many and it's impossible to control 2,800 people. Is it a concern for you that while you - say these parliamentarians, the deputy leaders, the standard bearers - all these people came to you? In fact at the delegate level you could lose it."

    The Strong Hand Of Fonseca?
    And while he expects to be a consensus leader, Fonseca suggested today that he will do so with a strong hand. He said there will be zero tolerance for disunity:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, PUP Leader: "That we will emerge out of that convention a more united party, a stronger party, a more focused party. I think whoever emerges as the leader of the party will have a mandate for unity, a clear demand from our party supporters and members for zero tolerance of any disunity in the party - not in any strong arm way, but a clear mandate from the delegates of the party, members of the party to say to anyone who is not prepared to join the conversation, to sit around the table and work with the party leader - not to agree on everything, but to work with the leadership of the party that we will no longer have tolerance for that kind of approach and attitude."

    Fonseca Frowns On Facebook Fighting
    But, disunity is precisely what has been on public display in the facebook wars between the supporters of the three candidates. In all this, Fonseca has faced the fewest insults - so we asked him about that:..

    PM Barrow Brushed Shoulders With Biden, Joked With Jimmy
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow returns to the country on Sunday after he attended the inauguration ceremony of President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales. Today the government sent a release in which the PM is quoted as saying his attendance was important for maintaining good neighborly relations with Guatemala. He was assured in private during the Morales's visit to Belize of a commitment to friendship and cooperation, and further welcomed the remarks made by President Morales in his speech during his public inauguration. Morales said in reference to Belize that and we quote, "We want to advance in the resolution of the territorial, maritime and insular dispute with Belize, our brothers and neighbor with whom we wish to develop a bilateral agenda of neighborliness and cooperation." The inauguration was attended by several heads of state and Government from within and outside the region and among them were vice president of the United States Joe Biden. During his visit to Guatemala the Prime Minister took the opportunity to speak with Biden about the correspondent banking issues facing Belize. The Prime Minister recalled that the matter had been raised with President Obama who assured that he would look into it, but the problem still persists. And that's why the Government of Belize is preparing for a high level visit to Washington DC later this month with a delegation headed by the Prime Minister. In what we can only take to be a generic response, Vice President Biden expressed his interest in doing what he can to assist and support the efforts at getting the situation resolved.

    A Meeting Of The Magistrates
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith and Justice Shona Griffith - all names we usually only hear about in court stories. But today, they didn't hear or try any case -that's because they were all at their annual Magistrates Retreat. Today all the Magistrates Courts countrywide were closed for this gathering. Now while "retreat" implies that it's all about relaxing and taking a break from their stressful and rigid work routine - that wasn't all that the court officials did. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith told us about some of the very important technical discussions they had on court procedures and on challenges affecting the court system. In terms of the setbacks in the court system, Smith also explained that they are moving toward a technological approach to dealing with these cases - one of those approaches is to record statements instead of having written notes which can be misplaced or aren't always decipherable. Smith explained how this method can speed up court proceedings and improve efficiency.

    The Commission For Mayan Reparations
    On Tuesday, we told you that the Government of Belize finally appointed the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission. This Commission will implement the Consent Order for Maya customary land tenure, which was handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice. But, that's after several months of anxious waiting from the Maya. They want their land rights on the law books to ensure that there will be no more fighting with the Government over the lands that the communities occupy. Well today, the Commission members introduced themselves publicly with their first press conference, and they told the press that as of right now, they will go to the Maya Communities with no expectation, and with a completely open ear. The Commissioner, Lisel Alamilla said that the commission has been active for 3 days now: Lisel Alamilla - Head, Toledo Maya Land Rights: "Since Tuesday we were appointed by the attorney general and we have been meeting since Tuesday up to yesterday evening. So far the government of Belize has been doing kind of behind the scenes work in getting organized. The government has so far allocated the 300 thousand it was ordered to set aside as really seed money to implement consent order. That has already been assigned to the attorney general's ministry and the budget has been prepared. We have already started procuring all the equipment that we needed to open a functional office."

    Hon. Aragon Has The MCC Solution
    When we last spoke with Minister of State responsible for Youth and Sports, Elodio Aragon, he had just become aware of a situation at the MCC grounds in Belize City. As we reported, someone dug a trench around the pitch in order to replace the piping. Whoever did so clearly did not have a proper plan because almost three months have passed and the ditch is still there. Today Aragon visited our newsroom to say he is confident that he can get it fixed within the next couple of weeks.: Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Youth and Sports "At this point in time we are working to ensure that we get the grounds fixed as soon as possible. So that football players across Belize City could use the facility. At this point in time we have gotten assistance to come out in terms of the man power and we have already source the funding in terms of finding the necessary piping for that, so I expect that within the next week, work should commence on the ground and hopefully by the end of the week we should have that field operational for the people of Belize."

    Francis And The Old Guard
    Before the break, you heard our interview with PUP Leader Francis Fonseca - who spoke about his campaign for leader - and his hope that the party can emerge form it united. But, history tells us that if Fonseca loses, that unity is in serious jeopardy. That's because when he lost in 2008 - so did the hopes of the old guard. That caused a fracture in the party which eventually forced John Briceno to walk away from the leadership in 2011. And, with Briceno again challenging Fonseca - who is still supported by the old guard - could the outcome be the same? We asked Fonseca about that:... Jules Vasquez: "In 2008 we saw this situation where you stayed back, you congratulated Mr. Briceno at the convention, you shook hands with him, you gave a concession speech, but then we saw Mr. Musa walked out. He was one of your key supporters and I don't think he ever made peace with Mr. Briceno's leadership and in fact there was a newspaper one recalls in which hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent to undermine we believe the leadership of Mr. Briceno. Might we see a replay of that where you have acted in a certain way - in a consolatory appeasing way, but then other functionaries of the old guard have this animosity against the man who is not their candidate."

    Remembering A Hero On His Birthday
    And while all that political disputation took the foreground in the news - today it was in the background as the PUP marked Goerge Price's birth date with a wreath laying. Price was born on January 15, 1919, almost one hundred years ago - but the leaders of the party he founded say his message still resonates:.. And for the man they call father, the PUP is proposing a national holiday:…

    Channel 5

    American Producer from ABC Murdered Near Benque Resort
    Two weeks ago a Canadian filmmaker, Matthiew Klinck was murdered at his house in Selena in the Cayo District. Tonight, there is another murder to report which gives Belize a [...]

    A Vacation Gone Terribly Wrong
    Swaney was the executive producer of online operations at ABC 7 in Chicago, Illinois.  The news of her demise spread quickly at ABC where her colleagues are still in shock. [...]

    Bradley Paumen Out on Bail
    But a U.S. businessman is facing some serious charges in Belize for allegedly ordering a hit on four persons.  Last week, Bradley Paumen, the owner of Dark Night tours, was [...]

    Police to Levy Additional Charges on Paumen
    Bradley Paumen’s legal troubles are bad enough, but he may soon be facing additional charges. Remember Michael Modiri, the man police believe was the target of a hit man hired [...]

    M.O.A. Officials Return to Belize after Rice Discussions in Guyana
    Government is proposing a bilateral arrangement with Guyana which it hopes will settle the controversy surrounding the importation of rice. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega, along [...]

    G.O.B. Takes Jack Charles’ Place as Potential Rice Importers
    According to Minister Vega, the effect of the meeting and the resultant agreement simply means that the sustainability of the local rice industry is of utmost priority, a roundabout way [...]

    What Do Discussions Mean for Local Rice Producers?
    Attorney Eamon Courtenay, who represents the Mennonite communities of Shipyard, Blue Creek and Spanish Lookout, has been following the situation closely.  He explains the effects the proposed agreement would have [...]

    Gaspar Vega Denies Political Interference in Carrot Importation
    From rice to carrots, the Ministry of Agriculture has had his hands full over the past few weeks.  Last Friday, we reported on farmers in San Carlos, Orange Walk who [...]

    PM Barrow Holds Discussions with Guatemalan Foreign Minister
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Guatemala City where he attended the inauguration of President Jimmy Morales on Thursday and returns to the country on Sunday.  In his thirty-four minute [...]

    Territorial Claim Remains a Matter of Priority
    The territorial claim to Belize is a matter of priority on the national agenda of successive governments. Last year a number of incidents occurred at the Sarstoon River in the [...]

    PM Speaks on Sarstoon Forward Operating Base
    On Wednesday, we heard from Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales in respect of the Forward Operating Base that is being constructed on the banks of the Sarstoon River and not [...]

    G.O.B. Takes Multi-million Dollar Hit in Supreme Court
    The Government of Belize was dealt a massive blow in the Supreme Court this morning, where Justice Courtney Abel ruled that the raid on the offices of Titan International Securities [...]

    Attorneys for Titan Says G.O.B. Needs To Return Documents
    Is government mandated to return the files taken from Titan International Securities?  That’s what we asked Courtenay today.  He says that government is yet to return a number of documents [...]

    Francis Fonseca Explains Why He Came Back
    Who will be the leader of the People’s United Party on February first? That’s the million dollar political question. The candidates are Francis Fonseca, John Briceño and Cordel Hyde, and [...]

    Fonseca Says P.U.P. Will Emerge Stronger from Convention
    Many political observers believe that this is the worst of times for the battered grand ole Party which hasn’t won an election since 2003. It’s been said that no matter [...]

    Fonseca Says Things have Changed Since 2008
    Fonseca says he has managed to mount the only national slate and is confident that he will be returned as Party Leader. Still, he is cognizant that the road ahead [...]

    Fonseca Says His Team is Running a Clean Campaign
    And to wrap up Fonseca’s extended interview today, he spoke about the increasingly nasty, personal attacks on social media. It’s been pointed out repeatedly that the attacks are coming from [...]

    Blackadore Caye Proposal Launches to Mixed Reviews
    Blackadore Caye is an unpopulated one hundred and four-acre untouched island west of San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Located twenty minutes away by boat, the caye is in proximity to the [...]

    Anthony Ross Joins Land Rights Commission
    The Toledo Land Rights Commission was formally introduced earlier today during a press conference at the Radisson.  The working group which is responsible for carrying out the consent order of [...]

    P.U.P. Faithful Celebrate Birthday of Rt. Hon George Price
    The Father of the Nation, Honourable George Price, would have been ninety-seven today. The political icon died in September, 2011, and each year the P.U.P.’s leaders and many of the [...]

    Magistrates and Support Staff on Two Day Retreat
    The lower courts across the country suspended session today to give way to magistrates and their support staff to meet in a two day retreat at the Best Western Belize [...]

    ….Discussions Center on Enhanced Provision of Justice
    Then there is the move to install a drug treatment court which deals with issues of addiction. Several CARICOM countries already have theirs in place. Though lagging behind, Belize is [...]


    Minister and CEO Discuss Rice and Bilateral Relations with Guyana
    Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega and his Chief Executive Officer, Jose Alpuche were in Georgetown, Guyana meeting with their counterparts and discussing the prospect of having Guyana be the go-to producer should Belize ever experience a short-fall in rice production. The duo returned today and we met up with them at the Philip Goldson International […]

    Agriculture Ministry Wants Better Cooperation from Carrot Farmers
    Another issue in the agricultural sector is the surplus of carrots in the country which has led farmers in San Carlos Village, Orange Walk District to lose revenue. An initial release from the Ministry of Agriculture had indicated that it is caused by the contraband of the vegetable into the country. According to Agriculture Minister, […]

    American Journalist of ABC 7 News Murdered in Western Belize
    An American journalist has turned up dead in Western Belize. Thirty nine year old Anne Elizabeth McComb Swaney who was an executive producer of online operations at ABC7 was reported missing yesterday by Santiago Juan of Nabitunich Farm Resort and Owner of Hanna’s Stable. Swaney was a lover of horses and was staying in a […]

    Duo Charged in Double Murder in Southern Belize
    Two persons have been charged with two recent murders in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “Police in Punta Gorda carried out investigations since the two murders were reported and have now placed murder charges as explained by officer in command of the Toledo Police Formation Simeon Alvarez.” Simeon Alvarez, Toledo PD: “A […]

    Dangerous Liaisons in Dark Knight
    Fifty-eight year old American businessman Bradley Paumen, who has an investments of about eight million dollars in Belize, among them being Dark Knight, was released today on a bail of fifty thousand dollars after he was remanded into custody on charges of abetment to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The Prosecution, represented by […]

    Prime Minister Meets with US VP in Guatemala
    On Thursday, Jimmy Morales was sworn in as the President of Guatemala. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was among heads of government from the region and beyond who witnessed the peaceful transition of government. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has expressed his satisfaction with his attendance which he considers important for maintaining good neighbourly relations with Guatemala. […]

    Goals of the Commission for Maya Land Rights
    On Tuesday, the Government of Belize announced the appointment of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission. The Commission is being Chaired by former Minister Lisel Alamilla and its members include Noreen Fairweather, an independent consultant with knowledge of strategic and land management, policy development, tenure clarification, land title and registration systems. Attorney Randall Sheppard is […]

    A National Hero Remembered on 97th Birthday
    Today, January 15 marks the 97th birthday of the Right Honorable George Cadle Price; Belize’s first Premier and the country’s first Prime Minister. The national hero can and will be remembered for many achievements of the nation and this morning during a wreath laying ceremony at the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City where he […]

    Fonseca Says No Under-minding of Briceno Took Place
    In our recent coverage of the upcoming Special National Convention we have been able to meet up with Cordel Hyde and John Briceno for interviews on the leadership race as Francis Fonscea had not been open to the media. Today, however as he attended the wreath laying ceremony for George Price, he entertained some questions […]

    Police Needs Help in Identifying Man’s Body
    Police are asking for your help in identifying a body that was found yesterday downtown Belize City at the Commercial Center. The body of a male was found near a bar situated in the back of the building. Police are trying to identify if he was a regular at the bar, but so far no […]

    The Reporter

    Alleged murder mastermind out on bail
    Bradley Paumen, 41, is out on bail, having been charged with plotting the murder of four persons. Justice Antoinette Moore granted Paumen bail on Friday, against the expressed objection of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lyn Vidal. Vidal objected to bail because Paumen, who owns […]

    American news producer murdered in Cayo
    Police are investigating the apparent murder of an American news producer in the Cayo district on Friday. San Ignacio police recovered the partially nude body of 39 year-old Anne Swaney from the Mopan River around 8:00 on Friday morning, with what appeared to be blunt […]

    Magistrates hold annual retreat
    Magistrates and support staff of the Magistrates’ Court gathered at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Friday for an annual retreat. The all-day event was focused on professional development for court staff, and also presented an opportunity for staff from all over the […]

    Honouring the Father of the Nation
    The People’s United Party (PUP), along with Belizeans in country and abroad took some time on Friday to honour the Father of the Nation, the Rt. Honourable George Cadle Price (deceased), in commemoration of his birthday. Members of the PUP gathered at Price’s graveside at […]

    MoH refutes daughter’s claim in case of missing mother
    The Ministry of Health (MoH) issued a press release this week, refuting a young woman’s claim that health officials were irresponsible in notifying her of her mother’s disappearance. The Ministry says it conducted an investigation to find out how Maritza Castillo, a patient at the […]

    Police engage communities in face of escalating violence
    With violent crime trending up in Belize, the Belize Police Department this week continued their “Meet and Greet” community policing initiatives on Belize city’s south side. Officers from police Precincts I and II, went out on Wednesday to meet with residents from the St. Jude, […]

    Loneliness is hazardous to health, study say
      A group of Scientists from the University of North Carolina (UNC) have found out that people who lack a circle of friends are at higher risks of heart disease, stroke and cancer.  Loneliness, the study says, “is as dangerous to health as a lack of […]

    Family of 9 receives home from Oasis Ministry
    A family, on the verge of being evicted, received a new home from Oasis Ministry, providing stability to the seven children in the family. Oasis Ministry built a house for the Flowers family after the oldest girl in the family, Chelsea, wrote a letter to […]

    Monitoring of rice quality and pricing not adequate, says BPP
    Several irregularities with the quality and pricing of locally produced rice has prompted the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) to call on the government for more regular and stringent monitoring of the product. The issue of Jack Charles’ failed attempt to import rice into Belize caused […]

    Prime Minister witnesses swearing-in of Guatemalan president; Saldivar holds over as PM
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left Belize on Wednesday for Guatemala, where he joined other world leaders in witnessing the swearing-in of his Guatemalan counterpart, Jimmy Morales, as president on Thursday. The government’s press office informed that Chief Executive Officer in the Office of the […]

    Second woman raped at mile six junction near Dangriga
    The mile six junction where the Southern highway meets the Stann Creek Valley road, was the scene of a second rape in less than a month. The two incidents were eerily similar, pointing to a serial rapist. A 48-year-old resident of San Ignacio town told […]

    Pregnant girl and her Mom shot by unknown gunmen
    Two women, a pregnant girl and her mother, were shot on Monday night awhengunmen unleashed a barrage of bullets, intended for another person, at their Dolphin Street house. The shooting happened at around 8:45 that night. According to Shenelle Rowland, 18, who is six months […]

    Belmopan police look for clues in murders of two taxi drivers
    Two taxi drivers who were good friends, from the same neighbourhood, and who earned their living working from the same taxi stand, were murdered within one day of each other, while on the night shift, in Belmopan. The homicides have left investigators wondering if […]

    First January hurricane since 1938 storms the Atlantic
    A hurricane formed in the Atlantic Ocean this week has made history as only the fourth storm to do so in 160 years. Hurricane Alex, the first named storm of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Wednesday, originating from a non-tropical low pressure system. […]

    Can the PUP survive…the PUP?
    On January 31st, 2793 delegates from 31 constituencies, plus special delegates appointed from each of the Party’s arms and committees, will assemble at the Belmopan Comprehensive School to select a new leader of the People’s United Party (PUP). One of three men – Francis Fonseca, John Briceno or Cordel Hyde […]

    US agency says manatees no longer endangered; Belize disagrees
    Authorities in the United States are proposing that the “endangered” status of the West Indian Manatee, be downgraded to “threatened”; however, Belizean conservationists strongly disagree. The United States’ Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed the downgrade last week, due to rebounding manatee populations in Florida […]

    Freak traffic accident leaves 15 year-old dead
    An accident on the Benque Road, this week, claimed the life of a 15-year-old boy while the operator of the vehicle he was traveling in has been served with a ‘Notice of Intended Prosecution’. At around 4:50 p.m. on Tuesday, San Ignacio police responded to […]

    Father and daughter face the court on different charges
    A father and his teenage daughter are out on bail after they both pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary and aggravated assault. Jerome Bowden, 44, and his teenaged daughter, 18-year-old Ashanti Bowden, appeared in court before Magistrate Deborah Rogers, where they were read […]

    New FIU director, same priorities for the department
    Joy Grant, former Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, confirmed to the Reporter this week, that she has been appointed the new Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) director. Grant assumes command of a Unit which has seen three directors in the last three years, but said she […]

    Supreme Court fines DoE $50,000
    The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, handed down a ruling in the Belize Tourism Industry Association’s (BTIA) case regarding the Harvest Caye cruise port, ordering the government to pay $50,000 for breach of procedure. At the ruling, Justice Courtney Abel read a two-hour judgment, in which he sided with the claimants, […]

    Guyanese rice has to go!
    Jack Charles, the businessman who imported 75 tons (150,000 pounds) of Guyanese Grade A white rice to retail for 69 cents per pound, must get the rice out of Belizean territory before January 26th, or lose his investment. That is at least until he can […]

    An official release from the Government Press Office this week states that the Government of Belize remains open to the idea of developing the Port of Belize as a cruiseship terminal, but sources close to the Feinstein Group say the Prime Minister has already given the green light to Ports […]

    GOB seeks urgent solution to bank crisis
    The possibility that Belize may be cut off from doing business with the outside world is a very real problem government officials have, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre have both expressed concern over the ‘de-risking’ dilemma. The loss of corresponding banking relationships poses a […]

    Suspected plot to murder four people uncovered Dark Night owner is on remand
    American investor and owner of Dark Night cave-tubing, Bradley Paumen, 41, has been arrested and charged for allegedly plotting to murder four people, including an Iranian-American, who he’s had a legal land dispute with in the past. Paumen was arrested along with another person, who has since been let go, […]

    UDP to select new Party leader
    The United Democratic Party (UDP) has set the date for its National Party Convention for Sunday, March 20th. At the convention, to be held at the Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College auditorium in Dangriga, candidates will contest for various party positions including: Party Leader, First […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Concerns arise over Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye project
    There is controversy in San Pedro over the proposed development on Blackadore Caye by Leonardo DiCaprio, who plans to construct a luxury eco-resort on his privately owned island, but has been met with an overwhelming amount of concerns and questions from local fishermen, as […]

    Prime Minister Barrow expected to return on Sunday after Morales inauguration
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to return home on Sunday after attending the inauguration ceremony of new Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales, where he witnessed the peaceful transition of government in that country, to which his invitation was personally delivered by Morales during a […]

    Belizean drafted to Major League Soccer pros
    San Ignacio native Michael Salazar is headed to Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact club after becoming the first Belizean drafted in the North American league’s Superdraft in Baltimore, Maryland, today. Salazar made four appearances for the Belize National Team, the first against Guatemala in […]

    American tourist found dead, confirmed as murdered
    Breaking reports from the Cayo District confirm that 39-year-old American National, Anne Elizabeth McComb, was murdered sometime between the hours of 8:00 yesterday morning and 8:00 this morning when her body was found floating in the Mopan River near a deck where her belongings […]

    San Pedro police recover stolen camera and accessories
    A black Cannon Digital Camera valued at $1,300, along with three Cannon lenses, valued at a total of $3,160, was recovered10. The camera and its accessories was stolen in a burglary on January 8th. © 2016, […]

    Police seek public assistance to identify ‘John Doe’
    The Belize City Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance to identify this deceased male person who is currently a ‘John Doe’ at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) morgue. © 2016, This article is the copyrighted property of Belize Media Group. […]

    Police investigate Belama burglary
    A burglary at a home in Belama phase three in Belize City on Monday morning, cost 46-year-old Raymond Garcia more than $2,000 in losses after his house was swept clean of valuables by the culprit(s). Police responded to reports of a burglary in that […]

    Police recover stolen boat, engine missing
    A tour business owner of Caye Caulker, Artemio Marin, reported on January 4th that his boat, “Baby Dax”, with outboard engine and other items had been stolen from the beachfront of that village, all to a total value of $49,930. Belize City Police on […]

    Police investigate suspected murder of American tourist
    Preliminary reports from Cayo police indicate that an American tourist from Rockwell, Chicago in the state of Illinois, was murdered sometime between yesterday and this morning. Santiago Juan, a 40-year-old resident of Nabitunich Farm on the George Price Highway, reported yesterday that American National, […]

    Jimmy Morales takes office as Guatemala’s new president
    After winning at the polls in a runoff on October 25th last year Jimmy Morales and his Vice President were yesterday evening sworn into office, after which he swore in a new Cabinet. A new Congress was also sworn in yesterday morning. Belize Prime […]

    Magistracy holds staff retreat on critical issues
    All Magistrate’s Courts across Belize are closed today, Friday, by permit of the Chief Justice. The reason is the start of a two-day retreat for Belize’s 17 Magistrates and their staff at the Biltmore Plaza hotel in Belize City. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith told […]


    Big Rock Waterfalls | Mountain Pine Ridge
    The best way to get to Big Rock is to book a tour with a guide who’s familiar with this area and let them get you into the forest in a proper 4WD vehicle to tackle the terrain. It’s a trek to reach the waterfall located within this deep and dense 300 square mile pine forest populated with Jurassic Age limestone and granite boulders, hills and valleys. If you love a challenge, feel free to drive from San Ignacio. A ranger station will greet you when you enter the park. Beyond the gate, signage can guide you the four miles to your destination. You’ll hear the falls before you see them, and when you do, you’ll be rewarded big time. Try the bracing water of the pool, which is lots deeper than it looks. Spend time gazing up at this unspoiled landmark, and don’t be surprised if your pulse is slower by the time you leave this heavenly spot.

    Adamant Concerns Voiced at Last Nights’ EIA Consultation Over Blackadore Caye Development
    Last night. 6:30pm sharp. The Lions’ Den in San Pedro. The legally necessary EIA Consultation over the development of Blackadore Caye (or “Leonardo DiCaprio’s Island”) took place with the public. Free food, beers (risky!) and sodas were served and then by about 7pm, the room was packed. The 430 plus page EIA document – required by Belize law to assess and outline all environmental, social and economic impacts (both negative and positive) – was being summarized for the public and then open to questioning. The press was there, many from the development team were there – including a biologist and a marine biologist, real estate agents and plenty of representation from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Green Reef, Ambergris Citizens for Sustainable Development, the San Pedro Tour Guide Association, our town Mayor, Assistant Mayor and the Honorable Manuel Heredia, members of the town council, the national BTIA and the citizens of San Pedro. Last night, Jason McLennan explained what the “healing of an island” means – and I was impressed. Call me a rube, but building back the island with 20,000 mangroves to start, bringing back the littoral forest (zone closest to the sea – coconuts, seagrapes, etc), having biologists on hand to count and monitor the biodiversity and helping the caye to protect itself from erosion, is a fantastic FANTASTIC idea.

    International Sourcesizz

    During 2015, the effects of the 2008 financial crisis continued to impact negatively on the economic and social welfare of the CARICOM Member States and their citizens. Unfortunately, another difficult year is ahead of us with many economic challenges anticipated both within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and extra-regionally. The global economy is projected to show modest growth when compared to 2015. However, at the regional level the situation remains uncertain with potential downside risks including falling global oil and commodity prices and bouts of financial volatility, which could result in lower than expected economic growth for Member States. The CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) is acutely aware that as economic improvement is slow in coming, and as domestic demand within the Member States remains weak, anti-competitive conduct such as collusive agreements and abuse of dominance are likely to abound in 2016. Additionally, unfair trade practices of large companies against small and medium-sized businesses may also harm the economies in the CSME, and ultimately reduce consumer welfare. The CCC is also mindful that in difficult economic times, Governments sometimes believe that they are protecting consumers by restricting competition in key sectors such as utilities, health, public procurement and energy. This is done by preventing the entry of new players into markets through licensing and regulatory restrictions; regulating prices through price or margin controls; and limiting certain contracts only to local firms e.g. office furniture, and stationery and office supplies, drugs, and road works.

    One of our ABC7 Chicago colleagues was found murdered Friday while traveling in Belize, according to police in the Central American nation and the U.S. State Department. Anne Swaney was executive producer of online operations at She was 39. Autopsy results determined that she was strangled. Anne was an avid world traveler and on a vacation in the Cayo District of western Belize, a popular destination for American adventure travelers and horse enthusiasts. She was staying at the Nabitunich Farm near a tiny town called San Jose Succotz. Hotel owner Santiago Juan tells the I-Team she was killed on "public land" near the hotel. Juan reported her missing Thursday afternoon. On Thursday morning, Anne was supposed to go on a group horseback trip through the woods, but there were more riders than horses, so she stayed back. She came down to a wooden deck on the river to do yoga and never returned. "A horse riding tour returned in the afternoon and found her personal effects on the deck. This looked suspicious so they went to her cabin and she wasn't there. They told the owner who called the police. The police came with their canine unit and the scent led them along the river but due to the darkness the search was called off for the night before finding her," Supt. Arzu told the I-Team.

    Belize investigates killing of American tourist
    Belizean authorities are investigating the suspicious death of an American tourist who was vacationing in the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen on the Belize-Guatemala border. Police say 39-year-old Anne Swaney was a guest at the Nabitunich resort in the Cayo district when she was reported missing Thursday. CBS affiliate WBBM reported Swaney worked as the executive producer of online operations for ABC 7 in Chicago. Police Superintendent Daniel Arzu says that members of a tour group that Swaney should have been part of returned to the resort and couldn't find her. Swaney's belongings were found on a deck by the riverside where she had gone to do yoga exercises. Her body was located Friday morning, though Arzu did not say where. Injuries to her head and bruises around the neck have authorities treating the death as a homicide. Police found Swaney's half-naked body face-down in the river, Arzu told WBBM. She had bruises on her neck, and lacerations on both sides of her head, indicating she might have been strangled.


  • Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Chairman of the Community Council of Ministers, 6.5min. Remarks by Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Chairman of the Community Council of Ministers of CARICOM, and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque made today at the start of the 37th Meeting of the Council, in Georgetown Guyana. A key part of the meeting involved shaping the agenda for the upcoming 27th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of CARICOM Heads of Government to take place next month in Belize.

  • Belize | Cancun Venture, 4min.

  • CELA Large Animal class Winter 15 16 Belize, 3min. These are photos from the Large Animal Veterinary Practices course we offer over the winter break and in the summer, May and June. The class activities can very from class to class so certain activities are not guaranteed. SHOW MORE

  • Southwest airline from houston hobby to Belize pgia, 13min. Beautiful flight from Houston (Hobby) to Pgia (Belize)

  • Shark and Sting Ray Alley Belize, 3min.

  • Eagle Ray, 1min. The largest species of stingray measure 6.5 feet in length and can weigh up to 790 pounds. Swimming alongside in Belize is a way of life for those who love the sea waters!

  • Western Caribbean Dive Trip, Belize, Cozumel,, 11min.

  • Belize Tarpon, 1.5min. Tourist tarpon hand fed at Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • U30X Belize 2016, 7min. Under30Experiences Explore Belize ~ January 3-7, 2016.

  • Belize, Shark Ray Alley 1-8-2016 GoPro 1080p, 4min. Snorkeling Shark Ray Alley, and some Diving Hol Chan Marine Reserve with Belize Diving Adventures.

  • Reach for the Stars - Belize Coca-Cola Promotional Video, 1/2min.

  • BELIZEAN RESISTANCE & GUATEMALA'S CLAIM!, 10min. Bob Marley wrote in his song, War, "we don't need no more troubles." So is the hope for many Belizeans at home and abroad as they observe the 'babylonian' style inauguration ceremonies of Guatemalan elect president, Jimmy Morales, in Guatemala City, Guatemala on Thursday, January 14, 2016, by radio and television, and high hopes that this new Guatemalan president will once and for all act to relinquish Guatemala's unfounded and illegal claim to the country of Belize. Many Belizeans are cautiously optimistic, but not naive, because Belizeans have come this way before, and nothing changed. Belizeans don't need no more troubles!

    January 15, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

    The San Pedro Sun

    Belize Sailing Association installs new Board of Directors

    Teams start making their mark in the 5-a-side Football Tournament
    The game week begun on Thursday, January 7th at 6PM and saw five senior male matches being played. In the first match, Empire FC lost against Boca Jrs. in a 7-3 point game. We Them Boys then defeated E&L Boys with a score of 7-2. The third match was a narrow game between Los Dorados FC and United FC, but United FC rose victorious with a score of 5-4. Haramouch FC suffered a devastating defeat in the fourth game of the day against Island Pure FC, in an 11-3 point game. In the last game of the night Pro Divers FC defeated Boca Bombers in a 4-1 point match. Games will continue on Saturday, January 16th starting at 7PM with eight teams facing off: We Them Boys versus Haramouch FC, Boca Bombers FC versus Caye Caulker Boys, Pro Divers FC versus Victoria’s House FC and Los Catrachos FC versus E&L Boys. Games continue on Sunday January 16th at 11AM: El Pescador Warriors versus Bayern Leverkusen, Bayern Munich A versus Bayern Munich B, Real FC Jrs. versus Manchester United, Island Boys versus SPHS FC, Spice Girls versus Ocean Sands Girls, Los Dorados FC versus Costa Blue FC, Scorpions FC versus Boca Jrs. FC and San Juan FC versus United FC.

    Supreme Court grants bail to two police sex offenders; PC Serano and PC Moreira
    26-year-old Police Constable attached to the San Pedro Police Department, Kyle Hubert Serano has been granted bail after being officially arrested, charged and remanded for the crime of “Sexual Assault” against a 13-year-old minor. Serano, who was charged by San Pedro Police on Wednesday, December 30th, was initially denied bail by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Thursday, December 31st and remanded to the Belize Central Prison. But, after petitioning once more, bail was granted to him by Justice Antoinette Moore at the Belize City Supreme Court on Friday, January 8th. During his bail hearing, Serano was represented by Attorney at Law, Dickie Bradley. After hearing his petition, Justice Moore granted bail on the conditions that he must report to a police station every Friday and stay away from all of the prosecution’s witnesses until Serano’s court proceedings are complete. His next court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, January 26th. Serano was charged after the minor reported to police that she had been sexually assaulted on three occasions by the officer.

    Failure to declare funds leaves August Tabony detained in Honduras for six days
    On Tuesday, January 5th, Honduran authorities apprehended Belizean businessman, August Tabony for failing to declare $16,490US upon entering the country. Six days later, on Monday, January 11th, Tabony was released and exonerated of all charges by Honduran authorities. Initially, Tabony had been arrested under suspicion of money laundering in connection to drug trafficking, but he managed to present his case before a Honduran court clearing his name. According to Tabony, the entire incident was just a misunderstanding, as he owns several businesses in Honduras. Tabony arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport from Roatan, Honduras on Monday, January 11th shortly after 8:30PM. After disembarking from the aircraft, Tabony directed his attention to the media who were present...” Tabony was arrested at upon arriving at the Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport in Roatan on Tuesday, January 5th.

    Ambergris Today

    Mariel Calderon Celebrates Her Quinceaños
    On Saturday, January 9, 2016, Mariel Calderon celebrated her Quinceaños (15th Birthday) along with her friends and family at the Lion's Den. She enetertained her guests with traditional and modern dances in a night full of laughter and joy. Mariel Calderon, daughter of Guadalupe Calderon and Norman Mai, was officially presented to society by her Godparents Emerita Badillo and Gerry Badillo. Congratulatons Mariel!

    A Hurricane in January? Atlantic Strom no Threat to Belize
    Just when you thought that the Atlantic Season Hurricane Season was over…Think Again. An out of season storm has formed in the Atlantic Ocean that has been classified as the first named storm of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Alex is only the fourth named Atlantic storm to form in January in over 160 years. The storm formed yesterday afternoon south southwest of the Azores, a group of islands located 800-900 miles west of Portugal. A small eye formed in the system during early Thursday and now packs winds of up to 85mph.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    "I am not a pet!
    This small howler monkey came in from the Belize Forest Department as a confiscation. He had not only been illegally wild-caught (all primate pets are illegally wild-caught in Belize), bought illegally on the black market (any buying or selling of monkey in Belize is illegal), but had also been illegally castrated, and was very stressed. He had the sweetest, most cheerful personality, but his injuries and the stress level they caused were too great, and he died in our arms, despite all our efforts to save him. Of the 88 primates that have come into the Rehabilitation Centre over the past five years, we have lost only five...but each cuts deep, and this one cuts the deepest. Some you never forget..

    Training on Karst Management
    Dr. Jason Polk, Dr. Leslie North and Robert Schaefer of the Western Kentucky University imparted a three day training on karst management to FCD’s Karst Management Unit staff. The Institute of Archaeology and other guides also took part in the training. Financial support provided by PACT.

    Bandits Host Hurricanes
    The NEBL kicks off this weekend, and the opening festivities will be in Belmopan, as the Bandits, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary, host the Hurricanes. It'll be at the UB gym, and starts at 8:00pm. Go Bandits!

    Bowen and Bowen inaugurates state of the art bottling line facility
    A new multi-million, state of the art soft drink bottling facility was inaugurated on Tuesday, 13th January by Bowen & Bowen Ltd as part of the company’s efforts to increase its competitive edge to secure its fair share of the local market, which in recent years has been flooded by an expanding number of imported brands. The beverage market in Belize is becoming more competitive with products now being imported from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. To maintain its market share, Bowen and Bowen Ltd decided to upgrade its soft drink manufacturing and beer fermentation and bottling capacity at its facilities in Ladyville. This investment is mainly in the form of new bottling equipment in line with the requirements that the international holders (Coca Cola, Fanta and Guinness) are demanding.

    On Wednesday, 13 January 2016, the Belize Supreme Court ruled on BTIA’s lawsuit against the Department of the Environment (DOE) and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) following the DOE’s decision to approve the construction by Belize Island Holdings (BIHL) of a cruise port at Harvest Caye, just three miles south of Placencia Village. The Hon. Justice Abel declared that there was a breach of Regulation 20 of the EIA Regulations concerning to the published notice in relation to the Addendum to the EIA. The court also ruled that the content of the published notice was deficient in various areas and, very significantly, that the decision of the NEAC to recommend the approval of the EIA was in breach of EIA Regulations, prior to considering the EIA for approval. In delivering the judgement, the Hon. Justice Abel also observed that the consultation process was somewhat short-circuited and that short cuts were taken, “which ought not to have happened, and one hopes this will not happen in a similar situation in the future”. The Court determined that BTIA was “largely and significantly” successful against the DOE, NEAC and BIHL, and ruled that the Defendants should pay the cost of the Court proceedings in the sum of $50,000. The Court judgment means that the DOE and the NEAC must now do a better job at discharging their legal responsibilities to safeguard Belize’s natural resources and administer Belize’s environmental regulations fairly and responsibly. Click here to view the full judgment.

    La Pachanga Launch Party,Caye Caulker
    It's official!!! See you guys Saturday! One price, drink free!

    Channel 7

    American Tour Operator Implicated in Murder Plot
    58 year old Bradley Paumen is probably one of the only Americans on remand at the Hattieville Prison. He's also the owner of Dark Knight - one of the biggest tour operators in Frank's Eddy. But the Minnesota native has been in jail for 8 days - ever since police were informed that he had hired a hitman to kill Belmopan businessman Michael Mudiri - and three other persons! Police believe that Paumen who owns extensive properties in Frank's Eddy Village was trying to get another piece adjacent to his one. That piece was owned by Michael Mudiri - and the police investigation suggests Paumen wanted him out of the way. But, he may have wanted it too badly because our information says he was caught in a sting. Police say that on December 11th., Paumen hired a hitman to kill Mudiri and three others - police aren't naming the other three. Now, we are told the sting was set up with the involvement of US Law Enforcement who sent an American posing as a hitman to Paumen - and Paumen was only too ready to hire him.

    GOB Going Guyana?
    Only two days ago, we told you how the Government of Belize gave importer Jack Charles two weeks to get his 3 containers of Guyanese Rice out of Belize, rather than having it destroyed by customs. So, then…that represents a big, official no to Guyanese rice, right? Well…that's what you might think, but tonight that "no", is looking more like a definite "maybe". That's because the Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega, and his CEO Jose Alpuche are in Guyana tonight, in talks with government officials for Guyana to supply rice to Belize. That's according to news reports out of Guyana where that country's Minister of Agriculture is quoted as saying "In the instance where there is a shortage, Belize will be importing rice from Guyana." End quote. On hearing the news, Jack Charles told the press, "(it's a) Sad day in Belize History" where 4 producers with approximately 70 direct employment are (the) favorite (over) 350,000 Belizeans…" He's referring to the industrial rice producers in Belize who have sold Guyanese rice before under the cover of their own brands without informing the public.

    Suing Segura
    When Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura was involved in a fatal traffic accident with his police issued Nissan Pathfinder in August of 2014, the images of him, drunkenly buttoning his trousers, cigarette dangling from his mouth…burnt a hole in the national conscious. As a consequence of that terrible accident, he was criminally charged with manslaughter and drunk driving, among other charges. He walked away unharmed, but the passenger in the car he hit, 54 year-old Succotz resident Yolanda Valencia, died shortly after the crash. The impact left her driver, Yanie Cu, with severe head and bodily injuries, and it took Cu over a year to recover. Even now, he's reportedly not regained 100% of his mobility and is deeply indebted. Segura has since been on interdiction from active duty, and he awaits a criminal trial in the Supreme Court. While that is yet to come, Segura, the Police Department, and by extension the Government of Belize, are all being sued by the Valencia family. They are seeking damages for the alleged negligence which caused the accident. Today, the parties showed up before Justice Shona Griffith for a pre-trial review, and our news team was outside to speak with one of the family's attorneys about the current status of the case. Here's what Kareem Musa told us right after the hearing:

    Outraged Mother Defends Son
    An outraged mother says police wrongly accused her son of being involved in Tuesday's shooting on Barrack Road. Yesterday police sent out a release saying that they had detained 21 year old George McKenzie Jr of Pink's Alley and an 18 year old in connection with this Tuesday morning shooing. This is after a gunman chased 29 year old Leon Garcia into a car wash at the corner of Barrack road, followed him into a tool room, and fired a string of shots at close range. But, even though police released his name, Mckenzie wasn't charged. His mother, Melissa Major came to our studios today and said police shouldn't have done that. She said her son should not have been detained in the first place: Melissa Major, Mother of George McKenzie Jr.: "My son, yes they say that police came for my son, I think on Tuesday morning. Police came for my son and say that they want to see my son for a shooting. My son went with the police. When I reach at the station, the police told me that my son is detained for a shooting on Barrack Road. So I ask them how my son will be detain for a shooting on Barrack, when they move him from North Front Street.

    Camry And Four Runner Collide Near Border
    At 6:25 last night, a head-on collision in the North between a green Toyota Camry and a black Toyota Four runner resulted in at least one person being transported to the Hospital. The incident occurred last night around 6:25 pm between 86 and 87 on the George Price Highway. Fortunately, according to police, no one was gravely injured. Investigations have revealed that the driver of the Toyota Four Runner, 22 year old Hipolito Cawich was heading to the Belize Northern Border when he collided head on into a green Toyota Camry driven at the time by Altamira Resident Luis Sosa. When authorities visited the scene they observed Sosa trapped between the steering wheel and the driver's seat. Police along with fire department personnel managed to cut him out of the vehicle. He was taken to the Corozal community hospital and later transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where he was kept for observation. As for Cawich he landed about 14 feet away from the crash in some bushes.

    Veggies: From Surplus to Shortage
    For the past 2 weeks, we've been telling you about the carrot farmers in San Carlos, Orange Walk. They've been complaining that they have close to 10 acres of carrots which were rotting in the fields because the market is saturated with imported Mexican carrots. Those farmers condemned the Government authorities for continuing to grant permits to importers to bring in Mexican carrots. They said if the Government canceled permits, they would be able to sell their carrots. The GOB agencies heard them, and promised to take action to mitigate the continued loss of investment. It appears that since then, BAHA authorities have been cancelling permits for imported vegetables, which has created a different problem. The vegetable vendors say that because imported vegetables are being stopped from entering the country, they have a shortage, are seeing higher prices, and have very little to sell to the consumers. Today at the Michael Finnegan one vendor from Belize City spoke with us about their difficulties off camera:

    ZIKA Surrounding Belize, But Not In It
    Zika: There are no confirmed cases in Belize but there are cases all around us in Central America. In a New York Times article it states that cases have been confirmed in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and that this virus can be linked to brain damage in unborn babies. That's very frightening and based on that link, the US Centers for Disase Control may warn pregnant women against travelling to countries where ZIKA has been detected. Today we spoke with Epidemiologist Dr. Marvin Manzanero via phone and he told us there is no cause for concern in Belize and they are working on measures to detect and test for this virus. Dr. Marvin Manzanero - Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health "We are aware that neighboring countries, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras has confirm cases although none of them have documented sustained transmission cases among their population. So they have been isolated cases and in most instances have been imported cases. So no country in the region we are aware of in our immediate vicinity having sustained transmission. It calls for concerned for us in 2 forms. 1) Is detecting that we have and it's just a question of when we detect the first case. It may already be here for all we know and the other cause and we are following that i9s the potential link to micro cephalic cases.

    The King Wants To Be UDP Chairman
    He suffered one of the most epic defeats in political history in the 2015 general election, but Mark King still wants back into the game. Today he posted on his facebook page, quote, "my plan to bid in the upcoming election for chairman of the United Democratic Party." King adds, quote, "I have worked my way to the top of this party. I will keep the public updated on this as I progress to launch." The UDP National Party Council met on Saturday and agreed to hold a national convention on Sunday March 20 in Dangriga at the Ecumenical Auditorium. The official position is that the positions of Party Leader, First Deputy, Second Deputy, Chairperson and Vice Chair can be contested - but the unofficial agreement was that no posts would be challenged at this time - since the party is just coming out of an election and facing radical changes in the next few years, when Dean Barrow steps down. But while that was the agreement, King's social media notice kind of throws that out of whack. But, he still has to formally apply formally - the deadline for which is January 29th.

    Deputy Kareem In Favour Of Francis
    On Monday's newscast we had an interview with the PUP's Julius Espat, who has already been confirmed as Deputy Leader for the west - without any votes being cast at the national convention. Same for Kareem Musa. The first term representative has been confirmed as Deputy for the East - by default because no one else challenged for the post. Now the constitution of the PUP says nothing about regional deputies, but that's how they've been working it for a few years, and it seems the convention trumps the constitution. So, Musa is already deputy and is surveying the landscape to see which leader he wants to work with. Today he told us he has thrown his support fully behind Francis Fonseca - but is willing to work with anyone:... "As you know I put myself up for the deputy leader for the easts. It seems that I am not going to be contested, so I have a bigger role to play in the party now and certainly I have to be able to work along with anyone of those 3 gentleman; Mr. Francis Fonseca, Hon. John Briceno or the Hon. Cordel Hyde. So as a deputy leader I have to ensure that I can work with anyone of them at any given time and I have the utmost respect for all of them. But in terms of your question as to who I support, I can only support one unfortunately, because I think they all have very good qualities and each of us, each of the delegates that go to vote on January 31st - we have different standards, different tests that we apply and as a young politician, to me what is important is loyalty to party, loyalty to your people. To me that is very important. Being a team player, very important to me and to me the individual that best embodies those qualities of a leader that can build a team is the Hon. Francis Fonseca."

    Phone Rates: BTL and SMART In Race To Bottom
    How low can you go? The two phone service providers BTL and Smart are deadlocked in a race to the bottom - and the benefits accrue to you the consumer. In December last year Smart announced that it was slashing its mobile phone rates for the New Year and today BTL called us to their office to announce the lowering of their mobile per minute rate, to make it 22% cheaper than their previous 60 cents per minute rate. Lisa Standford - Mobile Project Manager: "On January 1st, we permanently lowered our prepaid rates and that's a good news for all our customers. it is now 47 cents to call on-net, which is your calling a Digicell or a BTL so you could call a Digicell number, a home number, a business number for as low as 47 cents and when you are calling SMART, its 50 cents so that's a huge change that we have made. Its 22% lower than what we had before." Emanuel Pech: "SMART primarily are known for their cheap rates. What is the strategy here, to beat them at their own game?"

    Philloughby And Herman: The Big Payback
    In March of 2015, when elected representative Herman Longsworth and candidate in waiting Phillip Willoughby stepped aside so gracefully to make way for the UDP's Tracy Taegar in Albert, we knew something was afoot, that some deal had been cut - confirmed both by instinct and political intel. In fact, we even asked the Prime Minister at the time what was the trade off - here's what he said to our pointed questions:.. FILE: March 25, 2015. Jules Vasquez: "What appeasement or appointments or arrangements have been offered to Mr. Willoughby and Mr. Longsworth in exchange for their, really, giving up what each of them thinks was a sure thing?" Hon. Dean Barrow: "Moving right along here in the same vein. You know the famous movie, cheap novel line. I could you tell you but I'll have to kill you." Jules Vasquez: "I understand that you treat it humorously but at the same time if they are public chips being traded for party favours, then it becomes a matter for public scrutiny. So then the question has to be asked, will you trade public chips for them to do internal party favours?"

    President Jimmy Sworn In
    In October the people of Guatemala voted Jimmy Morales as the new president of the Guatemalan but he did not assume his position until his swearing in ceremony today. Around 5:30 Morales made his appearance at his official inauguration in Guatemala City. He was received by a hearty applause from those in attendance including the Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow who took his seat next to the Vice President of the US Joe Biden a few minutes before the start of the ceremony. After the Guatemalan national anthem was played, the former Comedian Morales was ceremonially donned with the presidential sash and officially sworn in as the new President. In his address, Morales vowed to fight corruption and bring stability to the nation. Of note is that his political support is weak, with his conservative party holding just 11 seats of the 158 seat congress. Morales will serve as the President of Guatemala for the next four years.

    The Art Of Architecture and Other Imaginings
    We're used to seeing elaborate paintings, and other cultural depictions ...even poetry performances at the Image Factory. But today, the architects, not the artists took center stage. It's called Urban Interventions, the product of a project by students from the Caribbean School of Architecture at UWI. We found out more today anout their vision for Belize:… 32 students from the Jamaica School of Architecture participated in the research. For those wanting to see the show, it opens tomorrow night at 7:00.

    Belizean Footballer Drafted In MLS
    National team player, Michael Salazar was drafted today by Impact Montreal in the MLS Super draft. In 2013, Salazar was a forward on the National Football Team that represented Belize in the Gold Cup. The 23 year old Salazar went unto play for the University of California, Riverside. And now today, he was the second pick of the Montreal Impact team in the MLS Super Draft. It's a major accomplishment for any Belizean player and today we spoke to him via video chat and here is what he had to say about the draft selection: Michael Salazar: "It's an unbelievable achievement. Growing up in Belize, I learned pretty much everything when I was there and I believe in my dream since I was a little kid and now I just keep pushing for exactly what I believed in from day one and now it got me to this point to the MLS. It time for me to go work and open doors from Belizean people, especially the players over there. Because all of them wants the same opportunity that I have, but it could be a little more difficult and with me being the first to get draft in the MLS, hopefully that can help all the youths in Belize."

    NEBL Ballaz Hope To Be Shot Callaz With Acquisition of "The Hammer"
    The National Elite Basketball League OR NEBL season opens tomorrow night and one team is boosting its roster with a high flying American. He is 22 year-old James Milton, from Detroit, Michigan, known in Belize as "The Hammer". Last year, He helped the San Pedro Tigersharks win the championship, and this time around he's back to play for the Cayo Western Ballaz. At 6 foot ,7 inches, he towers above most of the competition, but he dipped his head to walk into our studio today: Basketball fans can see him in action on Saturday night at the Sacred Heart Auditorium in San Ignacio Town. His new team Cayo Western Ballaz takes on the league's new franchise, the Independence Thunderbolts.

    19's A Crowd In a Court Room
    Today, the Magistrate's court was full to overflowing, and that's because the 19 persons charged for the home invasion and burglary at the Sarkis Bou-Nahra mansion were called to court. Today was the first time that all 19 defendants were before the court - all at once. Everyone showed up - except for one defendant, female, 18 year old Crystal Augustine. A bench warrant has been issued for her - and her bail could also be revoked. The group of 18 in court today included, Tyrone Meighan, of Banak Street along with Brandon Baptist, James Noralez along with brothers and cousins, John, Gerson and Sheldon and Lane Grinage, along with their uncle, Randolph Coleman Jr, a coast guard, as well as Ashanti Roaches, Kamisha Cacho, Malik Pitts, Monique Cadle Paul Jex Jr., his father, Paul Sabido Jex Sr., Paula Jex, Pauline Jex, and Jeffery James Buller Jr., and Anthony Smith. The group who are represented by a number of attorneys including Dickie Bradley, Arthur Saldivar and Alifah Elrighton and Bryan Neal got another disclosure in their case.

    Channel 5

    DPM Gaspar Vega in Guyana Discussing Rice
    Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega returns to Belize this Friday from Guyana where substantive discussions took place about rice and its importation into Belize. Belize is looking at a structured [...]

    Jack Charles on the Hot Seat for Breach of Procedures
    On Tuesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow chimed in on the rice situation, reiterating that the ongoing state of affairs is not an issue between Belize and Guyana.  He went on [...]

    B.P.P. Weighs in on Rice Debacle
    Today, the Belize Progressive Party weighed-in on the rice issue once again. In a previous release the party called for the government not to destroy the three containers of Guyanese [...]

    Police Say Dark Knight Owner Brad Paumen Placed a Hit on Four Persons
    Did American Bradley Paumen, owner of tour company Dark Knight put a hit on four persons? Apparently the Police believe that he did. On January sixth, Special Branch officers detained [...]

    Keyren Tzib in Court for Preliminary Inquiry
    Coastguard Keyren Tzib was granted bail in the lower court two days before last Christmas and today she walked into courtroom on her own free will. She is accused with [...]

    18 Persons Charged in Connection With Home Invasion Were in Court Today
    The courtroom of the Chief Magistrate was packed to capacity today. As many as eighteen defendants charged in connection with the home invasion at the house of businessman Sarkis Abou [...]

    CWU & FCIB Workers Negotiations Nearing Conclusion
    The Christian Workers Union and CIBC First Caribbean International Bank are concluding its negotiations on an exit package for some sixty of the bank’s employees. In late December last year, [...]

    San Pedro Police Detain One Man for PG Murder
    On January ninth, the badly decomposed body of PG resident nineteen year old Jarrell Edward Pop was found dumped in a well in the town. He had multiple stab wounds [...]

    PG Minor Also Detained for Questioning
    While Valentine is on the way to Punta Gorda, a PG youth is currently detained at the police station in that southern municipality in connection with Pop’s murder On Sunday [...]

    Sugar Industry Stakeholders Meet on Child Labour Issue
    Today stakeholders in the fight against child labour in sugar production met for its first ever concerted meeting. It included representatives from Fairtrade International, G.O.B. and CLAC, the Latin-American and [...]

    Regional Networking Organization CLAC Involved in Finding a Solution
    The Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small-holder Producers and Workers, CLAC, has two missions – one is the representation of those producers to the outside world, and the other [...]

    Jimmy Morales is Guatemala’s President
    At a ceremony this afternoon which was delayed by two hours, Jimmy Morales became the new president of Guatemala. Before president Morales took the oath, the outgoing president Alejandro Maldonado [...]

    Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Speaks on Cuban Migrant Situation
    In our coverage in Guatemala, we interviewed Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales on Wednesday. We asked him about the Cuban migration crisis which has caused a rift in the Central [...]

    FM Morales Echoes Position That There is a Need for Guarantees
    According to Foreign Minister Morales, specific guarantees should first be put in place before allowing the transit of Cuban migrants through Central America, en route to the United States.   [...]

    MLA Was Not Formally Notified of Appointment of Commission
    On Tuesday, government announced that members of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission have been named.  The official appointment of former minister Lisel Alamilla, Noreen Fairweather and Randall Sheppard as [...]

    B.D.F. Acquires 2 Military Helicopters
    As part of the B.D.F.’s 2016 schedule, plans are underway to establish air support for ongoing patrols near the Belize/Guatemala border.  On Monday, two UH-1H helicopters, commonly known as Hueys, [...]


    Police Continues To Investigate Tragic Accident That Claimed The Life Of Doyle A. Barrahona
    Last night we reported that twenty four year old Doyle Anthony Barahona came face to face with death as a result of a tragic accident that occurred on Tuesday at about 4:50 p.m. on the Benque Road near St. Gabriel Medical Center. At the time of the accident, Barahona was travelling along with forty seven year old David Dominguez and twenty year old Christopher Usher in a blue Freight liner truck bearing license plate CZL A-00153. The three were heading towards the Hawksworth Bridge when the driver of the truck, Dominguez, realized that his brakes were malfunctioning and asked Barahona to step out in order to offer a helping hand by putting a rock in front of the back wheel of the truck.

    Jimmy Morales Swear In As President Of Guatemala
    Jimmy Morales was sworn in today as the new president of Guatemala after winning the general elections that took place last year. The ceremony took place at the Cultural Center Miguel Angel Asturias in the presence of both national and foreign invited guests including Presidents from El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow. Also present were vice-presidents of the United States, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

    BDF In The Chiquibul Has Decrease Illegal Activities
    Commander General David Jones also told the media on his briefing that while many of flights of the new choppers will be to the Chiquibul, it will not be as many as before, since the strong BDF presence last year has pointedly reduced the presence of illegal activities in the protected area. The main concern for the BDF this year, according to Jones, will be to work on the situations along the borders of Mexico and Guatemala. “Our aim for 2016 is to arrest the situation even more along our border with our neighbouring countries, with Guatemala and Mexico. So air reconnaissance will increase. That also will be an increase in foot patrol and coverage of sum of the areas that we haven't been covering. So the other area of concern now is the area of Sebada which is inside the Chiquibul. This is the area we will be working with FCD to arrest that situation. There is an issue of the road being constructed to get the CP there because this is the most challenging area to reach, the area of Sebada. There is no road leading there, there is no helicopter site where we can just drop in get material there and construct. So we're looking at the feasibility of constructing a road to go to the area and have a conservation post placed there."

    BDF Teams Up With Armies From Across The World
    Last year the Belize Defense Force cooperated with the Guatemalan Armed forces and this year they hope to team up with armies from all over the world, reason being that the BDF have in their plans to build a Jungle Warfare School of Excellence. The BDF have been carrying out training since 1991, but they would like to make their training school better. Apart from a training school, Central American, Caribbean and American armed forces are looking to team up to stop the movement of drugs through Belizean territory. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: “We want to expand it at a larger level because for the most part it is only individual officers and soldiers from foreign armies to do training in Belize but some of the forces to include the US army, the German, the Dutch, Norwegians, when they come in they want to bring in at least at company strength; so in excess of 100 men, 200 men instead of just 5 or 6. It will be a larger footprint of people coming to use the training areas in Belize. So we want it to be a school of excellence that not just the European countries but also the members of the Caribbean come into Belize and do jungle training here in Belize."

    Accident On The Phillip Goldson Highway Leaves Two Injured
    An accident on the Philip Goldson Highway between miles 86 and 87 yesterday resulted in one person being transported to the Northern Regional Hospital. According to authorities though, injuries suffered by the victims were minor. The head on collision between a green Toyota Camry and a black Toyota Four Runner occurred around 6:25 last night. Investigations have revealed that the driver of the Toyota Four Runner, 22 year old Belizean Driver Hipolito Cawich, was heading toward the Belize Northern Border when upon reaching between miles 86 and 87, a green Toyota Camry driven at the time by Altamira Resident, Luis Sosa, coming on the opposite direction, swerved directly into his lane causing the head on collision.

    BDF To Receive Two Choppers To Assist In Incursion
    Yesterday we told you about the new post that the Belize Defense Force is looking to build in the area of Consejo Shores in Corozal to combat the trafficking of drugs between Belize and Mexico. The announcement was made yesterday in a press briefing in which the BDF’s plans for the year ahead was presented by Commander General David Jones. During the conference General David Jones also mentioned that two helicopters will be arriving on Monday. Jones also added that the helicopters will allow soldiers to respond quickly to situations located in places that are hard to reach along the western border with Guatemala, where intrusions are most common. Currently, when the BDF conducts operations or land clearings in secluded areas it takes days get there but with the arrival of these new choppers they will be able to make it there in less than an hour. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "Helicopter training will be a big thing for us this year because we expect to get in the other two UH-1H helicopters actually on Monday; coming Monday those two helicopters are expected to be in Belize. We will finalize between two contractors we are looking at now to decide which one of them will provide the helicopter training for our pilots. We already have the Bel, so this year 2016 we expect to have three helicopters up and running."


    Valencia’s Mother Seeks Compensation from Deputy Commissioner
    A pre trial review session was scheduled to take place inside the courtroom of Justice Shona Griffith in a civil suit brought against Deputy Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura. As you may recall, in August 2014, Segura was in an road traffic accident on the George Price Highway which resulted in the death of 55 […]

    Agriculture Minister and CEO In Guyana on Rice Business
    Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega and his Chief Executive Officer, Jose Alpuche are in Georgetown, Guyana meeting with their counterparts and discussing the prospect of having Guyana be the go-to producer should Belize ever experience a short-fall in rice production. Vega and Alpuche were in meetings since yesterday and those sessions continue today with Guyana’s […]

    Eliminating Child Labor in Sugar Production
    “Working together to eliminate child labor in Sugar Production” was the theme under which the first stakeholders meeting was held in relation to child labor in sugar cane production. According to its 2014-2015 report, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was audited by Flo-cert which found out that one of the major non-compliances was the […]

    5 Week Update: 30K Tonnes Sugar Produced
    And in related news, two hundred and four thousand eight hundred and thirty six tons of cane has been milled producing more than seventeen thousand tons of sugar. This is just five weeks into the crop season. This represents a decrease compared to last year. By week five of the last crop season, close to […]

    Market Vendors Protest in Culture Capital
    At least fourteen vendors are up in arms after they were removed by the Dangriga Town Council. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story. HARRY ARZU “The vegetable and clothing stalls that are along the North Stann Creek Riverside are still empty and the vendors who were once there are all over the place and are […]

    Kareem Supports Francis and Condemns Slander Campaigns
    In the last National Party Council meeting for the People’s United Party, a resolution was presented that states that the four Deputy Party Leaders will be regional leaders, meaning that each region of the country would be represented. Kareem Musa, who recently won the Caribbean Shores area in November 2015 had submitted his name for […]

    Will Owners of Belize Times, Vibes Radio and Independence Hall Resurface for Payment?
    There is a popular adage that says history tends to repeat itself and that saying has proven true time and time again. With the Honorable John Briceno seeking to take back the post of leadership in the People’s United Party there are some points of concerns that surround his leadership should he be successful on […]

    About 2016 Weight Loss Resolutions ….
    With 2016 just getting started some two weeks ago, many persons are still trying to fulfil a resolution for a healthy lifestyle as it pertains to the food and beverages they consume as well as the hours put into exercise. Love News met up with the Nutritionist at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, Giovanni Duran […]

    The Guardian

    UDP sets date for National Convention
    The United Democratic Party’s Central Executive met on Wednesday of last week at which a date for the National Convention was agreed to. Thereafter the National Party Council met on Saturday January 9 which ratified the decision to have the convention on Sunday March 20. The Convention will be held in Dangriga at the Ecumenical Auditorium where the positions of Party Leader, First Deputy Party Leader, Second Deputy Party Leader, National Chairperson and Vice Chairperson can be contested. Those persons who wish to challenge any of these positions can do so by submitting their applications to the UDP’s secretariat no later than 5p.m. on Friday January 29. If there are challenges to any of these positions, they will be settled by way of an election by the 560 delegates who are eligible to vote. That number is comprised of 15 delegates per constituency, along with 2 past leaders, 2 delegates each from the youth arm and the womens arm; 62 votes from elected mayors and councilors in the towns and cities as well as the 5 UDP senators. The rest of delegates who are eligible to vote are members of the Central Executive including the Secretary General. These are persons who form part of various committees within the party.

    Birdman tells KREM he wants his land
    For at least a year Ernest ‘Birdman’ Olivera has been calling Wave Radio’s Morning Show complaining that KREM Radio has a piece of land for him and they are refusing to give it to him. At the Guardian we decided to find out what Olivera’s gripe is about and found a very irate man who says he won a prize from KREM radio station for over a year now and they are yet to make good on their raffle. Olivera says that in November of 2014 he stopped by at the corner of West Canal and Regent Street West where there was some activity going on. When he inquired he was told that KREM Radio was having a raffle to celebrate their 25th anniversary and the prizes included 25 lots. Having no land in his name Olivera decided to put in his name and phone number in the hopes of being one of 25 winners to the raffle.

    Maya Land Rights Commission appointed
    The Caribbean Court of Justice has set April 30, 2016 as the date for Government and the Maya leaders to return before the Court and report on the implementation of a land tenure system that features customary rights in Maya Villages. This was after Government reached a settlement with the Mayas conceding their right to customary land. In order to comply with this order, the Government of Belize officially appointed the Members of Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission on January 11, 2016. The commission will be chaired by Lisel Alamilla and she will be joined by Noreen Fairweather and Crown Counsel Randall Sheppard as members. Anthony Ross, described by the Attorney General as “a highly regarded attorney with substantial experience in Indigenous Affairs”, has been assigned to the commission as an expert consultant.

    Bowen and Bowen improves its facilities
    Bowen and Bowen Limited, the only beverage company in Belize which produces and distributes Coca-Cola, as well as the Crystal Water, Crystal Juices, Belikin Beers and other flavors of beers, has invested 40 million dollars to construct a new bottling line. The new production plant was unveiled on Tuesday, January 13, at their factory in Ladyville. Prominent Ministers of Government, businessmen, politicians, and other VIP’s were present for the ceremony, which put on display just how powerful this new equipment is in the mass-production of beverages. The new line can produce 20 thousand bottles of beverages per hour, and the President and CEO of the company, Michael Bowen has commented to the press saying, “We can produce all of our capacity within one shift in one week.”

    Hostel fire report to be released soon
    A comprehensive report on the deadly fire at the Princess Royal Youth hostel on November 26 will be released to the public in the third week of January, says Hon. Anthony Martinez, Minister of Human Development. Elizabeth Mckoy, 14, Shadisha Arnold, 16, and Anna Carlos, 16, perished in a fire that started at the Youth Hostel after they were locked inside a building for misbehaviour. All three girls were locked inside the wooden building and the door was padlocked to prevent them from escaping. They were part of a group of four girls who escaped from the facility the day before but were captured by Hattieville Police and taken back. Initial investigations suggested that one of the girls managed to sneak a lighter past security check and she lit a pillow to force caretakers to open the door so they could escape again. Unfortunately, the fire quickly burst into an uncontrollable blaze. By the time the girls alerted those outside of the building, the fire was already burning a while. Then, for some still unexplained reason, the guard on duty could not get the locked door open. The three young girls were trapped inside a burning building, screaming in terror and pain as caretakers and other inmates tried desperately to get them out. The effort was not enough. The girls died, hopefully after passing out from smoke inhalation. The Ministry of Human Development reached out to Margaret Nicholas, Director of the National Committee for Families and Children and former Head of the Family Court to lead an independent investigation into the incident.

    Aguacate village in Toledo receives new water system
    The Government of Belize, steadfast in its continued commitment to address the basic needs of Belizeans, in the areas of water, sanitation and health; will expand and upgrade the Aguacate Rudimentary Water System for residents of Aguacate Village, Toledo District. In this regard, ground-breaking ceremonies to kick-off the water project were held in the village at 1:00 p.m. on 8 January 2016. The water project is financed by the Government of Belize at a cost of BZ$337,636.19 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank; so that residents of Aguacate are provided with a continuous supply of reliable potable water to meet their daily needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and cooking.

    Auditorium? Finally! A promise fulfilled!
    Perhaps you’ve heard the old adage, “Since king hatchet was a hammer.” Then again you probably haven’t. In many conversations here in Dangriga, that saying is synonymous to the many promises of having an auditorium being built for the citizens of this southern town. In the research for this story, it is alleged by some well-informed individuals that this building has been in the proverbial pipeline for close to 30 years and has often been used as a political gimmick by the PUP to garner votes. Former Dangriga UDP Representatives, the late Russell “Chiste” Garcia and Arthur “Turo” Roches both made conscious efforts to get this project off the ground, but due to budgetary constraints, were unsuccessful. As alluded to, repeated PUP administrations had this project listed in their manifestos almost every election season. No sooner than they were returned to Belmopan as ruling government, the sweet promises became yet another bitter pill for the Dangriga constituents to swallow – No Auditorium! 2015 was an unprecedented year as it relates to Belizean politics. There were two bi-elections, one in the Cayo North Constituency in January, and six months later in July, the other was here in Dangriga, followed by the general elections in November, all won by the ruling UDP government. The Dangriga bi-election as you may recall, was a result of former PUP Representative Ivan “Macka” Ramos resigning from the PUP and vacating his parliamentary seat at the House of Representatives. The Dangriga bi-election was an overwhelming victory for the Honorable Frank “Papa” Mena. He obtained his ticket to the House of Representatives and became the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security.

    Supreme Court says NEAC fast tracked Norwegian Cruise Line Harvest Caye facility
    Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel has ruled that the Department of Environment’s National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) took important shortcuts to have fast tracked Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) Harvest Caye Berthing facility in the south. The Committee, chaired by Chief Environmental Officer Martin Allegria, did not perform its full legal obligation to the public when it did not allow the general public enough time to digest NCL’s updated environmental impact assessment (EIA) on how it will responsibly develop Harvest Caye with minimal - if any - negative impacts to the environment which surrounds it. Readers will remember that 2 years ago in January 2014, the NCL representatives took quite a tongue lashing at the public meeting in Independence Village. That’s where members of the public got an opportunity to voice their concerns on the Environmental Impact Assessment document that the multinational’s environmental technicians prepared. For those readers who do not know what it is, an EIA is a study done by any developer in which extensive scientific measurements and observations are collected to prove to the Department of the Environment (DOE) that a project is feasible and should have minimal negative effects on the environment.

    Cabinet denies Stake Bank exclusive contract
    The Government of Belize has announced that it will not be giving the Stake Bank project any exclusivity. In a release it states that, “Cabinet at its meeting today, 12th January, 2016 considered a request from Michael Feinstein, principal of the proposed Stake Bank Development Project requesting consideration by the Government of Belize for a 25 year exclusive contract for the Stake Bank Project. Cabinet in its consideration recalled that in 2004, under the Musa administration, the Government of Belize had signed an agreement with the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV), giving the port exclusivity in the Belize District. Mr. Michael Feinstein was the main investor in FSTV at the time. Years later when Michael Feinstein sought to develop the Stake Bank Project which would be an additional port in Belize City, he ran into difficulties resulting from this 2004 agreement.

    Belize Bank’s Very Charitable Christmas
    The Christmas holidays are always a much anticipated time of year by everyone; the young, the old, the abled, the disabled, to name a few. It is also a time of year where people give back and grant wishes to families, loved ones and even strangers as they participate in sharing the spirit of the Christmas season. This year, the Belize Bank and its Belize Bank Santa’s Helpers were busy sharing in the Christmas spirit as it supported and participated in several social and community initiatives. Belize Bank provided a financial contribution totaling $30,000.00 in various initiatives with its partners; the Salvation Army, Hand-in-Hand Ministries, Stella Maris School and the Mercy Kitchen.

    Arsonist arrested in Punta Gorda
    Punta Gorda Police have arrested and charged a resident of the town for allegedly going on a sort of serial spate of arson. He allegedly set fire to property belonging to 4 different town residents. That accused arsonist is 22 year-old Kareem Chun, and he has been charged with 3 counts of arson. On January 10, at around 1:25 p.m., police responded to a report of a vehicle on fire on Cayetano Street. There they found fire fighters putting out a blaze engulfing the engine area of a 2005 Chevy Colorado pick-up truck. The owner, 39 year-old Merida Chan told police that she and her boyfriend made sure to check on their vehicle before going to bed, and some 3 hours later, they found it on fire. Just over an hour later, police had to respond to another fire at a house on Vernon Street. The home owner, 63 year-old Victor Caliz, told police that his family were awoken when they heard someone walking in their yard. A few minutes later, they found their bamboo chair, which was on the front verandah, engulfed in flames. Luckily, it was gotten under control before it could spread to the house and create a far worse situation.

    Facing jail time for stealing beers
    Businessman Ruhul Amin says that he was ambushed by a group of four men inside his shop on Saturday January 9, and one of the men stole six beers and one Smirnoff. That individual was caught on surveillance camera, according to police, and has been identified as Michael Anthony Usher, 25, of a Pinks Alley address. Usher is out on bail after he was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday, January 11, for a single charge of theft. Amin, owner of Amin Supermarket at #16 Barrack Road, reported to police that four male person entered his shop and two came to the counter and ordered several items to keep him distracted. That is when Michael Usher, who he knows well, went to the back of the counter, took a beer and paid for it. All four then left the shop. After the men left the shop, Amin checked the surveilance camera and noticed that Usher took six other beers and one Smirnoff which he did not pay for.

    Cultivation of Cannabis in Benque
    Benque Viejo Police visited a farm located off the Hydro Road on Thursday of last week, belonging to 56 year old Andres Valladarez. On arrival Police observed the Belizean farmer of Benque Viejo Town seated in a hammock under a thatch house. He was thereon informed that a search was going to be conducted for firearms, ammunition and illegal drugs. Benque Police found nothing illegal on him; however a search near the hammock area where he was lying lead to the discovery of a small transparent plastic bag which contained a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. It was shown to him and he was informed of the offence committed. A further search was conducted on the farm, which led to the discovery of three (3) plantation beds, each containing 3 cannabis plants, which were about 15 feet separated from each other. No one else was at the farm of Andres Valladarez at the time that the search was conducted by Benque police.

    Police bust Bird with 7.1 grams of crack cocaine
    Victoria Street fisherman, Rueben Herredia, 40, known on the streets as “Bird”, is out on bail after he was busted by police with 7.1 grams of crack cocaine on Monday, January 11. Police say they were on mobile patrol around 3 p.m. on Castle Street when PC Earl Hamilton saw Heredia walking in the opposite direction from them. Hamilton claims that he saw Herredia pick up something, pushed it into his pocket and began to act suspicious. The officers approached and informed him that a search would be conducted. Inside his pocket, police found a piece of toilet paper which contained a small transparent bag with four pieces of white substance suspected to be crack cocaine.

    Arrest made for murder of Belmopan taximan Isidro Suar
    Belmopan Police have made an arrest in connection to the murder of the first of 2 Capital City taxi drivers, 28 year-old Isidro Suar. On Friday, January 8, at around 11:15 p.m., Suar, a resident of Belmopan, was found lying on the side of a street in an area of the city known as Piccini. That’s in the vicinity of the Chon Saan Restaurant, and according to police, he had been shot several times to the head and body. Quick police thinking and mobilization allowed the cops to intercept a taxi in Ontario Village, shortly after Suar’s body was discovered. There were 3 occupants in the vehicle, but one of them escaped, and according to police they detained 2 Belmopan residents, 25 year-old Licoln Bejerano and a 17 year-old female. The officers searched both persons and the surrounding area, and they found a .22 pistol with 3 live rounds along with 12 live rounds of .38 ammunition. They were both arrested and charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition, keeping an unlicensed firearm, robbery, and conspiracy to commit robbery. The investigators think that they robbed Suar, of his valuables, killed him, dumped his body, and then tried to escape.

    Jack Charles will export Guayana rice out of Belize
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is also the Minister of Finance, is giving Belize City businessman Jack Charles an opportunity to possibly get his imported Guyanese rice out of Belize. The Prime Minister is not obliged to assist Charles in trying to recoup some of his investment, but Barrow is extending an olive branch to the importer who has - by pronouncement of the Supreme Court - unlawfully imported rice into Belize without the proper permits from the Customs Department, and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority. Readers will remember that on Tuesday, January 5, the Customs Department - by way of an ex-parte hearing - got an Order of Forfeiture granted by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. With the power of that order, Customs was legally authorized to take possession of Charles’ 3 containers of imported rice, all 75 tonnes of it, and destroy it. That was the intention, but Charles’ attorneys intervened just in time to get the Supreme Court to grant an interim injunction restraining customs from destroying the rice.

    Leon Gentle faces charge for tour operators’ feud
    Five of the six men accused of beating up the son of tour operator Vitalino Reyes Sr. have been cleared of all charges after Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser ruled that there is not sufficent evidence for them to face trial. The men were charged with dangerous harm upon Vitalino Reyes Jr. in June of 2014. Leon Gentle, Jimmy Cortez, John Frazer, Christopher Williams, Evan Williams and Keith Vairez were at Long Island Bar socializing with their boss Yhony Rosado, owner of, on Thursday, May 29, 2014 when they got into an altercation with Reyes Jr. whose father owns Reyes Jr. was socializing with his friend Yhony Vega. It is alleged that as Reyes and his friend were leaving, some of Rosado’s employees blocked the door and attacked Reyes and his friend. The beating on Reyes was so severe that he ended up in a coma. Yhony Rosado said that neither he nor his employees touched Reyes and his friend. He says there were other people in the bar and they may have been the ones who got into the fight.

    Belmopan taximan Yoni Maas killed for no apparent reason
    Yoni Maas, a 24 year-old Belmopan resident, was the second taxi driver from Belmopan to be found killed less than 3 days apart. Police continue to carry investigations into his murder, but at this time, no concrete leads have been discovered. On Sunday morning, January 10th, at around 10 o’clock, police were called out to the Mount Pleasant Road in the Cayo District. There, in an area about half a mile off a feeder road, which is close to a Belize Natural Energy oil well, they found Maas’ body in an advanced state of decomposition. He had been shot several times to the face and chest. Investigators have been trying to put together a timeline of events leading up to his death, but what they know for sure is that he was reported missing on Friday, January 9 by his common-law wife. They believe that he went to work as per normal on Thursday night at the Belmopan Bus Terminal, where clients can hire him. Police suspect that he may have spoken to his killer on the cellphone, after which, he was lured to his death.

    Two youths charged for the murder of Matthiew Klinck
    Two youths from Santa Elena Town in the Cayo District have been jointly charged for the crime of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Nineteen year old Brandon Anderson, a resident of La Loma Luz Boulevard in Santa Elena as well as a sixteen year old male appeared before magistrate Albert Hoare in San Ignacio Town on Friday of last week and were remanded to prison until April 12, 2016. The body of 37 year old Canadian Film Director Matthiew Klinck was found on the night of January 4th lying face up about 15 feet away from his residence in Selena Village, at the outskirts of Spanish Lookout in the Cayo District. Already in a decomposing state, a post mortem conducted on site had revealed that the Aylner born, Quebec native’s death has been as a result of hypovolemic shock due to multiple stab wounds. A further examination of the body by experts also showed that there were some 14 stab wounds to the upper part of his body. Friends who were visiting Klinck on that Monday discovered the door to the house ajar and ransacked, but his precious camera and other electronic equipment had been left untouched.

    Michael Arnold charged for robbery of Miss Pou
    Michael Arnold, 23, also known as “Teetie”, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly robbing 56-year-old Maria Pou of Pou’s Meat Pies on New Road. According to police reports, Maria Pou had just collected $500 rent from a tenant on Tuesday, January 5, when she was ambushed. The man tried to snatch the money away from her but she held on tight. He then threw her to the ground and dragged her as she refused to release the cash. Miss Pou could not keep up the fight long enough for help to arrive. The stronger male managed to take the cash away and ran away towards Pickstock Street where he was picked up by a vehicle. Miss Pou was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial where she was treated for a burst head and other minor injuries. She did not get a good look at the suspect but police were able to make an arrest based on eyewitness testimonies.

    Punta Gorda man killed and dumped in a well
    There was a fourth murder discovered during the weekend, this time in Punta Gorda Town, in the Toledo District. On Sunday, January 10, at around 8:30 p.m., PG police found a decomposing body at the bottom of a shallow water well in the New City area of the town. The body was later identified as 19 year-old Jarrel Edward Pop, and an on-site post-mortem certified that he was chopped and stabbed to death. Pop suffered multiple injuries to the neck, the abdomen area. Investigators are reluctant to release any further details at this time, but reports to the press are that 7 persons were detained shortly after Pop’s body was found.

    Young female commits suicide in Cayo
    On 12th January 2016 about 7:45 pm, information was received of a suspected suicide and as a result San Ignacio Police visited the Loma Luz Hospital, Santa Elena town, where the doctor showed the police the lifeless body a female on a bed motionless whose name was learnt to be Abigail Jeane Pott 15 years, Belizean student of San Ignacio Town. The guardian of Pott, Estella Pott 64-year-old Belizean of the same address, reported that on the 12th January 2015 about 6.00 pm she was at home preparing supper for her two granddaughters namely Abigail Pott and her sister Leila Pott. After preparing supper she sent Leila to inform Abigail that supper was ready; however Leila could not enter the room. A few minutes after Estella Pott’s older daughter Estella Pech knocked the room door as well, but again all her attempts were fruitless. Estella Pot then peeped through a window and saw Abigail Pott hanging from a white and blue rope tied to her neck, which was tied to a board that was placed in the attic. Immediately after the entire family forcefully got in the room and let the rope loose from Abigail Pott’s neck, but she was already motionless.

    Supreme Court opens: same problems plaguing our judicial system
    If justice delayed is truly justice denied then, based on the testimonies of the heads of both the Bench and Bar of Belize, there is no justice in this jurisdiction. As a country we must be extremely grateful that the Chief Justice’s courtroom is too small to fit the students who march out of their classrooms to see the Opening of the Supreme Court. If they were allowed to enter that chamber, they would leave as dull eyed, hopeless cynics. For those very fortunate individuals that make up the Bench and the Bar, it always seems like the justice system is a mansion built on top of stilts. The sky is always falling. What is worse about the addresses made at the Opening of the Supreme Court is that the problems facing the justice system of the country is always the other party’s fault. The Bench points out the problems caused by the Bar; the Bar points out the challenges caused by the Bench; the Bench and Bar express frustrations with Government and the Attorney General ends up scolding them both. Even at the opportune time for reflection on the state of the justice system, the individuals tasked with developing the system are too lawyerish to evaluate their own performance. The 2016 Opening of the Supreme Court was no different from those of recent years – a slightly different cast with the same roles, same punch lines and same cues.

    Telemedia partners with SJC for computer program
    The Belize Telemedia Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding with Saint John’s College for the development of the Jesuit institution’s information technology program. On Tuesday, January 12, the Chairman of BTL’s Executive committee, Anwar Barrow, signed an agreement with the President of SJC, Allis Peralta, for a continued partnership between the prestigious learning institution and the local communications giant. The BTL-SJC marriage kicked off with the launch of the BTL Technology Lab that was opened for students at the beginning of this semester. The lab is the home of a new program that has been developed as a result of the partnership, Associate’s Degree Program in Computer Networking. Anwar Barrow said, “The technology lab is really part and parcel of the academic program which SJC is going to launch and that program is important to BTL because we are always looking for new talent to recruit into the company with the adequate training as well as to train our people who are already members of the team.”

    Out in the world, there are many different types of people who believe in different ideas and who seem to appear vastly different compared to us. Currently many people fail to comprehend that though we appear to be different, we share so many characteristics with these people around the vastly incredible world. We all perform very similar routines to carry out our daily lives, and most importantly all of us share similar thoughts. All 7 billion of us love to smile, laugh, and have someone to love who also loves us. We all want to be someone and find happiness and we all are human beings who share the desire to become more in life and succeed. We as a world society must never lose sight of this idea. But sadly, it is deteriorating because people are choosing to ignore these principles that every person in the world possess. We start to lose sight that everyone is a human being who wants to find happiness in another's love. We start to judge people by their race and belief and only associate one type of personality to a set group. Because humans act more on ignorance than understanding, we create differences amongst us in society, and in return, we create boundaries between ourselves that make us believe that we are very different from the other.

    Year in Review 2015 Pt 2
    In the last edition of The Guardian, we reminded readers of the most important stories in the first part of the year. By that time, the United Democratic Party was coming off two very successful election cycles, and the party pushed full steam ahead with its national agenda. JULY In July, the Government had indicated that it would continue to tap into the resources afforded by the Petro-Caribe initiative to fund a number of infrastructure projects.

    WORDS OF LIFE2015 was not an easy year for me. Yes, there were highlights. I was privileged to assist in the training of new pastors. I was invited to preach on some occasions. But there were challenges also! The plans that I had made for the last four months of the year were shattered, and the invitations ceased. There were also financial challenges, as I am sponsoring my Godson to attend CET in San Ignacio. I'm sure that many readers of this newspaper have also faced challenges and discouragements during the year, and even now. But then I remembered God's word in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

    Belize to host CADICA Championship in February
    The Belize Athletics Association informs the general public that the Belize Athletics Association will be hosting the 10th Central American Cross Country Championship in Athletics. The championship is being sponsored by the Central American Track and Field Organisation (CADICA). The championship is scheduled for Saturday 20th February, 2016, at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District. It is anticipated that the championship will bring together some 125 cross country athletes and officials from all seven Central American countries.

    Canoe racing season opens in Burrell Boom
    It’s open season for river water lovers. The Belize Canoe Association kicked off its 2016 canoe racing season on Sunday, January 10th at the Old market Area in Burrell Boom Village. The race featured paddlers from eighteen teams who assembled to make the river journey from Burrell Boom Village to Manatee Lookout located at Mile 9 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. At the sound of the whistle at 10:00am sharp, the canoes took off like speed motorboats each with a view to capturing the Burrell Boom Bridge $50.00 station prize. Koop Sheet Metal Male Team would prove the fastest and captured the prize five minutes and fifteen seconds later. The race consisted of six categories – Male (8), Female (2), Mixed (3), Masters (3), Intramural (1) and Pleasure (1). At the finish line the first teams from the male category made quite an impression on the spectators with a sensational finish sprint with the Belize Bank Bulldogs securing first place in a time of 1hour 19minutes and 24seconds. Hot on their stern was Team NICH who came in a second too late. The third place winner was team Guydis in the Male category.

    Primary Schools National Competition Kick-off
    The Primary Schools National Basketball Competition got underway today countrywide. In Belize City 9 primary schools fielded two teams each – male and female. The Minister of State with responsibility of Sports, Honorable Elodio Aragon was at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City for the launch of the competition. “You are our hope for a better Belize and it is up to you to carry on the legacy of sports our forefathers left for us” said Honorable Aragon. He went on to encourage the young children saying, “Sports is a good way to stay out of trouble and an excellent way to stay healthy.” The excited children listened keenly while Honorable Aragon spoke to them and after he declared the competition open it was time to get down to business. The young players adeptly displayed their skills much to the enjoyment of all present.

    San Pedro Tigersharks to defend back to back national basketball title
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will commence this Friday night, January 15, as the two time defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, will travel to Orange Walk Town to take on the Orange Walk Running Rebels. This game will tip off the 2016 season, and it will start at 9 p.m. at the Orange Walk Multi Purpose Complex. This year’s championship will be opened by the Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State with responsibility for sports. The competition will then continue on Saturday night 16 January, with the other six teams taking to the court, as Cayo Western Ballaz will host the new franchise, Independence Thunderbolts, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium at 8 p.m. Dangriga Warriors will travel to the old capital to take on Belize City No Limit at Bird’s Isle, in Belize City, with tip-off time set for 8 p.m. The final game of the opening weekend will be the battle of two teams with much improved rosters, where Belmopan Bandits will host Belize Hurricanes at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan at 8 p.m.

    Football Federation of Belize names Electoral Committee
    The Football Federation of Belize in its preparation for District Association Elections and Executive elections at the national level has named its Electoral Committee. The Football Federation of Belize General Secretary and the Electoral Committee members held their first meeting on Tuesday 5th January, 2016, to discuss matters leading up to the District and Executive elections. The members that were elected to serve on the Electoral Committee are as follows Jay Chavarria, Brian Castillo, Wilmore Staine, Winston Martinez, Luis Braddick, Alberto Lanza, Adrian Cowo, Keith Lino, Burnz Martinez, Gilroy Middleton, Fred Bryant, Miguel Gongora and Rosalie Gentle.

    CYDP Peace Cup enters semi-final round
    The Conscious Youth Development Programme on-going Peace Cup Football competition will play its semi-final round on Sunday 17 January, 2016, at the MCC Grounds with two games. On Saturday 9 January, 2016, in the first game played in the Quarter-Final round, Uprising Strikers eliminated Survivor United by the score of 6-1. The goals for Uprising Strikers were scored by Harold Thompson (3), Darrel Myvette, Brandon Myers and Naim Wilson. For Survivor United, the only goal of the game was scored by Sanjay Pitts. In game two, Kelly Street FC eliminated West Lake United by the score of 4-1. The goals for Kelly Street FC were scored by Francis Andrews, Steven Baizar (2), and Tyrone Muschamp. For West Lake United, its only goal was scored by Shannon Flowers.

    Central Region high school’s football competition opens
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition opened on Thursday 7 January, 2016. This year’s competition will see four schools in the female division which includes Gwen Lizarraga High School, Ladyville Technical High School, St. Catherine Academy and Wesley College. While in the male division the schools are Anglican Cathedral College, Belize High School, Gwen Lizarraga High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Maud Williams High School, St. John’s College and Wesley College. In the opening game which was played in the male competition, Wesley College defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 4-0. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Devon Davis (2) and Shemar Thompson (2). On Friday 8 January, in the female competition, St. Catherine Academy defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Kelsey Rodriguez.

    Report domestic abuse on first instance
    A two day workshop on domestic violence under the guidance of the Child Development Foundation CDF was held at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan on both Thursday and Friday of last week. During the two days, domestic violence was a central focus given that it occurs at an alarming frequency and has deadly consequences. Participants came from many parts of Belize and involved social workers, nurses and other stakeholders. As explained by workshop facilitator Crystal Humes, from the CDF, domestic abuse is a pattern of abusive behavior that one partner uses to maintain power and control over their partner. For experts like Dr. Mercedes Ken, who was present at the workshop, women should report their first case of abuse whenever it occurs “…once it is one time, you have to report it, because in a relationship, once it happens one time, it can happen again.” However; explained Dr. Mercedes Ken, women are mostly unaware that it is domestic violence and mostly report bodily force and not emotional and psychological abuse.

    Our Lady of Guadalupe High School’s celebration of academic achievement awards
    On Tuesday, 12 January 2016, the Our Lady of Guadalupe High School (O.L.O.G) in Belmopan, celebrated the academic achievements of its students for the First Semester of the 2015-2016 school year. The celebration of academic achievements took place at O.L.O.G.’s basketball court. The program included the issuing of Certificates of Achievements to its 71 Honor Students. 71 students completed their First Semester with overall averages of 85% and above. Furthermore, in recognition of the dearth of Math Majors at the University of Belize, and of the need of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) majors and specialists to the Belizean Society and Economy, O.L.O.G. has created a Math Trophy, and issued Math medals as well.

    PUP’s Thin Line between Love and Hate
    In the 1960’s a well known group THE PRETENDERS did a song named “Thin line Between Love And Hate “ That song and the name of the group could now apply to the People’s United Party. There is only one change that needs to be made. The name of the song must be changed to “NO Line Between Love And Hate”. How could the members of that party have loved all it’s members so much just over two months ago, only to turn around to hate each other so much NOW? They must be the Pretenders indeed. This love / hate Facebook quarrel in the P.U.P is vicious and the Wassas and Bembes are not all women. It is mostly MEN playing the rolls as Wassa-women and Bembe-gyal. Sure there are a few women involved, but not too many. One woman whose name has been singled out for special attention is Kaila the puzzle lady. Apparently she supports Francis for leader and has taken to Facebook to campaign for him as is her right. Well that has not gone down well with some Johnny/Cordel supporters who are now calling her all sorts of names including CRAZY and PSYCHO.

    When pigs fight
    Pig fights by nature are very dirty. These fights usually take place in mud. That mud may not just be mud as we know mud to be. It may be a mixture of the natural soil; pig slop and pig excrement. Any which way we know it has a foul smell. That smell is left on the participants. When pigs fight the fights are never fair. These pigs use every dirty trick in the books and will stop at nothing to win. What we now are witnessing in the P. U. P is nothing short of s glorified pig-fight. The combatants appears to have thrown caution to the wind and have decided that anything goes. There are no rules in this fight. Old and young HOGS who may have been standing on the side have been dragged into the mud, even old and young SOWS have not been spared. This is a full range war and all members of the SUIDAE clan will be heard from. It is probably best that this fight is taking place after Christmas or we would not have any ham.

    CARICOM accredits new Belizean envoy as ambassadors meet
    As the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors met in Georgetown, Guyana, on Wednesday to engage on the Community Reform Process, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, accepted the Letters of Credence from H.E. Daniel Gutierrez, new Ambassador of Belize. In a short accreditation ceremony held in his office, Ambassador LaRocque told the newest member of the Committee that he will have the opportunity to help shape the future direction of the integration movement by advancing the implementation of decisions of Organs of the Community at the national level. He noted that during his recent engagement with the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize and Chairman of the Caribbean Community for the next six months, it was evident that the Prime Minister was keen on making an even stronger link between national and regional agendas.

    Vehicle commandeered near Armenia
    A mother and family had their vehicle commandeered near Armenia in Cayo. Thirty eight year old Melonie Popper Coc, a Belizean Manager of Ladyville, Belize District, reported that on Saturday, 2nd January 2016 about 7:15pm she was driving a blue-grey 2007 Isuzu D-Max, four door pickup, with license plate# BZ-C-43751 property of Puma Energy Limited. The businesswoman was travelling along with her mother and 4 other children from Belmopan to Pomona Village, Stann Creek District. Upon reaching the second bump in Armenia Village, she pulled over to the side of the highway to make a phone call where she exited the pickup and whilst on her phone she was approached by a male person of hispanic descent, slim built, about 5 feet 3 inches in height. The man had a low haircut and moustache, he was wearing a camouflage jacket and underneath the jacket was a plain white T- shirt, he also had on a dark cargo type short pants. After approaching Coc, he told her to give him her phone.

    American charged for accident on Phillip Goldson Highway
    American national Stephen Howe was fined by Magistrate Carlos Mendoza for causing a vehicle accident on the Phillip Goldon Highway on Thursday, January 7. According to police report, just after 7 a.m. on Thursday morning Turkish national Cuneyt Kumsal, 41, was driving his grey Chevy SUV on the Phillip Goldson Highway and upon reaching in front of Low’s Supermarket a Kia Sportage collided into his vehicle. The Kia Sportage was being driven by American Stephen Howe. Howe was driving from a street adjacent to the supermarket and was entering the highway when he drove into Kumsal’s vehicle. Kumsal sustained abrasions to his left hand and forearm and bruises to the face and both hands. Stephen Howe walked away without injury.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Keyren Tzib faces preliminary inquiry on manslaughter charge
    Coast Guard officer Keyren Tzib was back in the Magistrate’s Court today and has been told that she will face a preliminary inquiry in February for a manslaughter charge in the death of common-law husband Thytis Blancaneaux. Tzib, represented by Darrell Bradley, will return […]

    Abou-Nehra home invasion accused wanted for not going to court
    For the first time since the incident happened, 18 of the 19 persons charged in the sensational burglary and rape at the residence of Lebanon Honorary Consul to Belize Sarkis Abou-Nehra appeared at the Magistrate’s Court today. It had the feel of a high […]

    John Briceno wants another chance to be People’s United Party leader
    This week, Orange Walk Central area representative John Briceno has been speaking about his attempt to return to leadership of the People’s United Party (PUP), which he held from 2008 to 2011. Briceno had stepped down due to health issues, but back in fighting […]

    Belize Defense Force reports successes in 2015 and plans for 2016
    Brigadier General David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defense Force, flanked by Minister of National Security John Saldivar, spoke yesterday on the achievements of the local military in 2015 and how they plan to forge ahead in this New Year. According to General Jones, key successes for […]

    BTIA court victory will not stop Harvest Caye; guidelines handed down for future projects
    Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel on Wednesday handed down his decision on the case of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) versus the Department of the Environment (DOE) and National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC). BTIA’s suit, filed in 2014 and argued last year, accused […]

    Daniel Gutierrez new Belize Ambassador to CARICOM
    Belize has a new ambassador to the Caribbean Community or CARICOM. He is His Excellency Daniel Gutierrez, most recently communications officer for Belize Natural Energy. At his accreditation ceremony today, he said that the best years of the integration movement lie ahead for what […]

    Telemedia makes investments in 4G technology
    Executive Committee chairman of BTL, Anwar Barrow, says Tuesday’s announcement at SJCJC is the start of what is expected to be a productive year for the state-run telephone company; he projects an upturn in revenues after several years of decline, due to continuous upgrades to […]

    San Ignacio police find pound of weed
    Searches conducted30 a.m., officers searched the lot located on Peter August Street in Santa Elena Town, Cayo […]

    Owners of illegal 9mm evade police capture
    Two men escaped gun charges last week in Belize City after throwing away a nine-millimeter handgun on sight of police, then managed to use the cover of darkness to make their escape. At around 8:40 p.m. on Thursday, January 7th, officers conducting motorcycle patrol […]

    First January hurricane since 1930s on the move
    A low pressure system that was moving over the Eastern Atlantic has entered the history books by developing into a rare January hurricane, which has been given the first name on the 2016 list for the Atlantic Basin, ‘Alex’. Alex formed near the central […]


    Snapshots Around Belize From My Week and Others’ – Both Under & Over Water
    My week (or so) has been pretty fantastic. From a trip to Belmopan on Jan 4th to renew my US passport (her pages were full) to Sleeping Giant Resort in Cayo to Estel’s BBQ on Ambergris Caye to snorkeling with a family of squid off South Water Caye. I’m headed back to Belmopan to pick up the aforementioned passport in about an hour…there and back in a day. Boat to the taxi to the bus to the taxi…I find it strangely relaxing. Here’s some of the past 10 days for me (and others) in Belize. Liam Gallagher of the band Oasis landed on our shores…or at least that was what he was cryptically telling us on Twitter. Based on his tweet of the Conch Shell phone – the one used to reach the front desk at Francis Ford Coppola’s resort Turtle Inn in Placencia – I think I tracked him. I also found a piece of “fool’s Ambergris” on the beach. Promising looking for sure – but really just a hunk of wax. It’s like Beach Powerball slipping through my fingers.

    5 Best Things to Do in Beautiful Caye Caulker Belize
    In Caye Caulker Belize, things are slower, informal and laid back Ambergris Caye Belizeeven in Caye Caulker hotels. Belize’s barrier islands carries more of a Caribbean island feel to it, instead of a Central American nation. People here are quite happy and friendly and they all speak English. After all, Belize retains the classification of being the only Central American county that has English as its national language. Seafood is mostly plentiful and usually inexpensive and hotels in Caye Caulker Belize is plentiful. There are no cars here because they’re not needed on this small island. There are 3 dirt streets extending along the Front, Middle and Back that are used by bicyclists, waters and golf carts. The lack of cars ensures the slow pace of the island so it’s more pleasant. There is so much construction of Caye Caulker Belize lodging and other facilities going on, so this is one of those places you have to go to so you can enjoy its charm before it becomes more built-up. Here are the top five things to do in Caye Caulker.

    Introduction to Belize
    Belize is the smallest country of Central America’s seven nations. Roughly the size of New Jersey, USA or Wales, UK, Belize is located along the Caribbean Sea, wedged between Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. Balize’s collection of tiny Caribbean islands and extensive reef system are probably the country’s most famous and certainly most astounding claim to fame. That’s due to the 700-mile-long MesoAmerican Reef, the world’s second largest barrier reef, which lies just offshore parallel-ing Belize’s entire coast. This reef is smaller only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on the other side of the globe. In the America’s the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef rules. Originating much further north at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, the Reef runs south along the entire Belizean coast, extending even further south past Guatemala and into Honduras.

    From Mundane to Mayhem
    I know it’s been a long time between posts, but there just hasn’t been anything all that interesting to blog about. We’ve spent the last number of weeks doing routine home maintenance. You know, things like reorganizing cupboards and closets, rearranging furniture, and scraping, sealing, painting exterior walls. All activities that needed to get done, but are about as exciting as watching paint dry. But come the end of this month, a bit of mayhem will be introduced to our lives. The reason? Well, we decided to have a pool and pool house built! And for those of you thinking we already have a pool, well, we did but the liner needed to be replaced. The UV rays here took their toll and we developed a pesky leak that was beyond patching. We looked into having a replacement liner shipped down from the States, but it would cost almost the same price of buying a whole new above-ground pool here. With that information in hand, it was only a small leap to decide we would go with having a pool and small house built. Here's a look at our floor plan (click on the image for a larger view):

    International Sourcesizz

    UK revealed as the top traveller destination worldwide
    Belize is mentioned in here ... look for it! Hostelworld reveals top 20 traveller destinations. Movers and shakers reveal Myanmar, Belize and Albania in the top 10 of destinations to watch for millennial travel.

    CARICOM Accredits New Belizean Envoy
    Congratulations, Danny! He's the new Belizen ambassador to CARICOM. Great call on that one. "As the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors meets in Georgetown, Guyana, Wednesday to engage on the Community Reform Process, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque accepted the Letters of Credence from H.E. Daniel Gutierrez, new Ambassador of Belize."

    Book: Jamaal meets Marcus Garvey
    Jamaal meets Marcus Garvey introduces young readers to the famous Jamaican leader, Marcus Garvey. They will learn about his young life and his drive to establish the world’s largest black organization the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Using a combination of fiction and facts, readers, children and adults alike, will learn about Marcus Garvey, his early childhood, his teenage years and young adulthood as he traveled around the world and learned the plight of black people in the post slavery era. They will also learn how he was motivated to help all people of African descent and why it is important that we continue to use his philosophy in our daily lives.

    A Traveler's Dream - Staying In A Treehouse in Belize City
    Airbnb unveils top Wish Listed destinations and properties around the world. Airbnb, the world's leading community-driven hospitality company, today unveiled the most popular Wish-Listed locations and properties around the globe. Airbnb Wish Lists is a feature that lets travelers save and share their favorite Airbnb listings, whether a cabin in Cornwall or a villa in Bali. Each of the almost two million listings in 190 countries around the world on Airbnb is unique and staying in one offers a glimpse into a new neighborhood and lifestyle. Top 10 Highest Percentage of Homes Wish Listed in a Destinations Globally** 1) Belize City, Belize


  • Diving Placencia Belize, 10min. Visited Placencia in Belize over the New Year's Eve. Stayed at Laru Beya and went scuba diving and snorkeling at Silk and Pompion Caye with Splash Dive Center.

  • Costa Blu Resort, San Pedro, Belize, 1.5min.

  • Rick and Nora's World Trip - Beasty Belize, 3.5min. This is our 18th month of our world trip, entering our 22nd country Belize: A country of wilderness and jungles, beasts and bugs, fish and fun! It was like traveling back in time, when the world used to be ruled by nature, and men were respectful to all the beauty it gives. We danced our asses of on Caribbean rhythms together with the Garifuna people (descendants of Africa) and got in the shoes of Robinson Crusoe when we spent a week on a very remote and deserted island. Definitely worth visiting if you want to go back to basics and feel like beast!

  • Traveling Misfits In Belize 2015, 16min.

  • Scuba Diving Belize 2015, 11min.

  • Belize Season, 3min. Head down with us to Ambergris Caye off the caribbean coast of Central America. Experimental editing solutions for a weekend that ended too quickly. Sometimes when you look back and try hard to remember the past all you see are flickering moments, single second clips at a time

  • The Truth about Secret Beach Belize, 28min. Due to the tremendous response we've been getting from clients looking to invest in the Secret Beach area of Ambergris Caye I've put together this short slide show presentation complete with pictures, maps and property options that highlight some of the best investment opportunities while also exposing the truth on why some properties in this area might not be a good investment at this time.

    January 14, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

    The San Pedro Sun

    Prime Minister Dean Barrow assumes 6-month Chairmanship of CARICOM
    On Wednesday, January 6th, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was handed the reins of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as he was appointed the acting Chairman for the next six months. Overseeing the transition of chairmanship was CARICOM’s Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, who was on an official visit to Belize as of Tuesday, January 5th for the occasion. Barrow took over the position from the Prime Minister of Barbados, Honorable Freundel Stuart, who was the former acting Chairman of CARICOM from July 1 to December 31, 2015.

    Mayor and Minister’s Cup on a heated third round
    The first match began on Friday, January 8th at 7PM sharp between Belize Pro Team and Ambergris Divers. The crowded was treated to a tight game, as the players of both teams showed their skills on the field. Belize Pro Divers were in for a win, but Ambergris Divers trumped that dream, walking away with the 5-3 victory. In the second game, Jokers F.C won the match by default against Catrachos who did not show up. As a result Catrachos are officially out of the tournament. On Saturday, San Pedro Junior College faced San Mateo in the first match of the day. The college team came in with a strong offence, quickly scoring against the San Mateo boys. But the San Mateo Team gave them a fight, and managed to secure a 2-1 win. This match was followed by Searious Warriors Team versus faced PSG. The Searious Warrios faced defeat in a 2-1 game final.

    Bomb threat to Atlantic Bank declared a hoax
    Police have indicated that the bomb threat may have just been a prank call, but that in those situations all measures need to be taken to ensure public safety and avoid disaster. Police are attempting to trace the phone number that made the call in order to apprehend the culprit. Authorities would like to inform the community that bomb threats are not matters to be taken lightly. If any person or establishment receives a bomb threat, they are to immediately contact the San Pedro Police Department at 206-2022. Furthermore, anyone caught making a bomb threat will face criminal prosecution.

    Ambergris Today

    Flashbacks - The Historical Landmark Roman Catholic Primary School
    One of the landmarks of San Pedro is the Roman Catholic Elementary School. From the beach in front of Central Park to the temporary building of the Catholic Church to its present location, the primary school has always been the hub of activity for the children of San Pedro. In this laid-back flashback the children have the liberty of playing on the sandy street before marching into their classrooms. When the bell was rung, the children formed two lines on the street by the front steps. There was no fence to keep them locked in and for the same matter to keep them locked out. It was a picturesque corner of the village with the absence of vehicle, crazy cyclists, weird and treacherous individuals, as well as the absence of Sunbreeze Hotel, the San Pedro Public Library, BTB office, Wild Mangoes Restaurant and the Chocolate Boutique. WOW! This Flashback is a subtle reminder of village life, a quaint little village that offered the children the privilege and freedom of being children.

    25 Years Ago - The Good Old Days...When Children Listened to Their Parents
    Back in the GOOD OLD DAYS we came home from school and did our homework, no game playing. We took off our school clothes and did our homework. We did not go outside and pay in them. We did not sit down to listen to grownups talk. We left the room until the company had left. We ate what was cooked or got nothing. When we were told to do something we did so. We did not say that we would do it later. I am thankful for the GOOD OLD DAYS because it made me the person that I am. Homework had to be done as soon as we got home because we had to make the best of daylight. There was no 24-hour electricity so it was important to complete our homework by 6p.m. or before it got dark. Our homes were lit by kerosene lanterns or by candle light and of course that did not provide a good reading or studying environment. So what about games? What time did the children have to play and socialize? That happened after evening tea or supper as it is called today. We called it tea because tea was the traditional beverage. After tea we would go on the streets or beach and play games. No they were not computer games but rather physical games like tops, marbles, hide and seek, and a myriad of other fun games that included, thinking, strength or fitness and that included teams. Trust me, there was a lot of running, jumping, chasing, and celebrating of a sweet victory.

    Belize Delegation Participates in Nigeria’s Calabar Carnival
    A Belizean delegation which travelled to Nigeria to participate in the 2015 Calabar Carnival returned from the memorable event on January 1, 2016. The Calabar Carnival is one of Nigeria’s premier international cultural events, held annually in the municipality of Cross River State. The event is known as the "Africa's Biggest Street Party". The Belizean contingent arrived in the former capital city of Lagos, Nigeria on December 25th. This was the start of their wonderful experience as they witnessed and took part in one of the best organized and culturally-rich festivals. The Belize group included six members of the TITANS Carnival group, D.J. Richie Galvez and the Vice President of the University of Belize Student Government Melody Wagner.

    A Giant Exists in the Maya Mountains of Belize
    There is a giant that sleeps along the Maya Mountain chain of Belize, but you do not have to worry about it coming after you because it lays in eternal slumber. The Sleeping Giant of Belize is a landmark that can be spotted along the highways of the country, one that provides a great photo opportunity to highlight your adventures in the country. Once you get to around Mile 25 on the Western Highway, traveling west from Belize City to the Cayo District, there are pine trees, more pines, some small hills and then in the distance appears the Sleeping Giant that guards the foothills of Maya Mountains. It’s a limestone mountain that has taken the shape of a person lying down. You might have passed by it a dozen times without knowing it is there, but if you look closely you can easily distinguish a nose, chin, neck, stomach and even his feet. Your imagination takes charge of how you see the giant sleeping in the horizon, but its head is clear to spot. It is really cool!!

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Please support Samantha Nicole Dirk
    A Belizean American, who wants to represent Belize in the Central American games and he Olympics in Brazil. She is currently applying for all documentation to apply.

    Belize Prime Minister attends Inauguration of Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales
    The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow will depart the country today, Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 to attend the inauguration of the new President of Guatemala, Mr. Jimmy Morales. Morales, prior to being elected president, claimed Belize as a territory of Guatemala. Morales, a comedian by profession, infamously portrayed the racist character "blackface." The Prime Minister will be accompanied by his Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Audrey Wallace and by Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado.

    Monthly Weather Summary, December 2015, National Meteorological Service of Belize
    Climatology shows that the main features influencing weather across the country of Belize in December are cold fronts, upper level troughs and the development of moist northeasterly airflows in the area. There was no frontal passage in December of 2015. However, a couple fronts stalled over or just north of the country resulting in relatively moist conditions over the area. The upper levels were mostly dry during the month. On the first day of December a surface trough over the Gulf of Honduras supported a moist North to Northeasterly airflow over the country. This resulted in cloudy skies at times with a few showers and light rain across the country. The same feature continued on the 2nd but conditions were a bit drier that day with only isolated showers developing. On the 3rd the trough moved a little closer to the country and moisture increased once more. Skies were cloudy with a few showers and light rain mainly over the Sea and along the coast. Similar conditions continued the following day with a weak low developing along the surface trough. On the 5th, the National Hurricane Center analyzed a stationary front east of the country. However, all observations indicated that the front was further north over Yucatan and instead the feature analyzed as the front was actually the persistent surface trough. Showers increased that day and conditions were a bit moist until the 7th.

    Splashers Paint Party at Crazy Canucks
    Sorry for the late post! Helpful objects for this painting will be a ice tray & rag. Come join us to paint "Angel Fish" this Thursday at Crazy Canucks. Everything you need is provided step by step direction, paint, brushes, smocks, canvas and maybe even a stencilled canvas if you need it (shhhh). $25u.s for first time artists and visitors. $20u.s for our members. Bring a Rag if you can help save paper.

    CARICOM Accredits New Belizean Envoy as Ambassadors Meet
    As the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors meets in Georgetown, Guyana, Wednesday to engage on the Community Reform Process, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque accepted the Letters of Credence from H.E. Daniel Gutierrez, new Ambassador of Belize. In a short accreditation ceremony held in his office, Ambassador LaRocque told the newest member of the Committee that he will have the opportunity to help shape the future direction of the integration movement by advancing the implementation of decisions of Organs of the Community at the national level. He noted that during his recent engagement with the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize and Chairman of the Caribbean Community for the next six months, it was evident that the Prime Minister was keen on making an even stronger link between national and regional agendas.

    Power interruption 6:00am to 10:00am, Saturday, January 16: entire Corozal District
    BEL to replace broken transmission pole, caused by traffic accident in Corozal District.

    UNO Gas Station in Corozal announces our 24 hour service
    Commencing this Friday January 15th. Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Monday UNO will be open to serve our customers 24 hours. Please take advantage and avoid the long and tedious lines.

    Vivian's Grand Opening
    Vivian's Cafe had their grand opening, and it was a packed house. The new Vivian's is majestic inside. They also got some great pictures of the event. "Vivian's Cafè had their grand opening yesterday, and it was a hit! They're going to need a bigger counter on weekends. There was face painting by the master face painter, Abi, and plenty of balloons and giveaways too. Great ice cream and nachos were enjoyed by all."

    VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT: Technical Assistant Wildlife Conservation Society
    WCS seeks a Technical Assistant to support the scientific and technical aspects of their Belize country program. The primary purpose of WCS in Belize is to develop and implement science-based conservation and management programs that will conserve Belize’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the long term. Summary of Position The Technical Assistant, who will be based in the WCS office in Belize City, will be directly supervised by the Marine Conservation Scientist , and other staff as may be assigned, and will provide support for the management of the science and education programs conducted, including at the Glover’s Reef Marine Research Station (GRRS).

    A weekly radio drama in Belize seems to be aiding conservation. Punta Fuego, which focuses on the story of a young fisherman, Richie, elevates the importance of ordinary Belizean fishers and of sustainable fishing practices. It's a unique approach to spreading an important wildlife message and it appears to be working. A survey of a handful of towns and villages showed that roughly 34% of the population had tuned in to season 1. And that those who listened were more likely to possess correct knowledge regarding Belize's fisheries regulations, to recognize the benefits of marine protected areas, and to share their knowledge with other fishers. It's no surprise then that the show, which is sponsored in part by WCS, will be back for season 2 starting in June.

    Paradise Theater · San Pedro, Belize · Playing this weekend!!
    The Last Witch Hunter, Black Mass, The Revenant, Goosebumps.
    (Saturday night we have a Spanish comedian performing in Room 1 at 9pm Presented by Reef Radio. The tickets are only $25, the bar is stocked and it is sure to be a unique and exciting event! Movies will still be playing in screen 2 and in the big room at 7 before the comedy performance.

    Channel 7

    Supreme Court Says DOE Cut Corners For Norwegian
    Norwegian Cruise Line’s Harvest Caye Cruise Port and Docking Facility, which is one of the country’s biggest cruise tourism projects is more than 70% complete. It will open for business later this year, but the Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of the Environment cut corners to fast track the project. That’s the decision that Justice Courtney Abel handed down today after months of extensive litigation brought to the court by the Belize Tourism Industry Association. The BTIA sued the Department of Environment, or (DOE), and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee, called (NEAC), accusing them of breaching the laws governing the Environmental Impact Assessment, known as an EIA. Now, for viewers not familiar with an EIA, it’s a study done by all private developers to prove that a development won’t irreparably harm the environment.

    Freak Accident Leaves Man Trapped Behind Rolling Cement Truck
    A freak accident in San Ignacio yesterday evening resulted in the death of a 25 year old Derl Anthony Barahona, a resident of Corozal. He was crushed between the back wheel of a rolling Cement Truck and a hill. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez described the tragic scene. "Police visited the Benque Veijo Road right here in San Ignacio where they observed a trailer truck with cement and also pinned to the fence was a male person who was later identified as Derl Anthony Barahona, he's a 25 year old Belizean of Corozal. The initial investigation reveals that David Dominguez the driver of the truck in the company of Christopher Usher and Mr. Barahona was coming down from South to North. Mr. Dominguez was the driver, Mr. Usher was the middle and Mr. Barahona was on the right passenger side, when appeared that the truck was experience some sort try of brake problem. As a result Mr. Dominguez had indicated Mr. Barahona to try jump out of the truck in order to place a rock on the truck. Immediately on doing so and Mr. Barahona jumping out of the truck it appears that the break completely gave way and the drive a right turn into the fence not noticing that Mr. Barahona was out of the vehicle at the right rear end of the vehicle and as a result Mr. Barahona body was pinned and it took several minutes over an hour to have him basically removed from that position. Obviously he died on impact in relation to that happening. "

    PG Police Closing In On Killer
    On Monday, we told you about 19 year-old Punta Gorda resident, Jarrel Pop, whose body was found at the bottom of a shallow well. As we told you, Pop’s body was found on Sunday morning in an advanced state of decomposition. An on site post mortem found that he had been chopped and stabbed to death. Well, since then, PG investigators have been closely following up on all leads, and between last night and this morning, their main suspect was caught in San Pedro Town. He’s in transit back to the Punta Gorda Police Station tonight, where he will be questioned.

    Teenager For Shooting Pregnant Woman
    A teenager has been charged for shooting a woman and her pregnant daughter on Dolphin Street. As you saw in last night’s news, Stephanie Smith and her pregnant daughter Shenelle Rolland were at home on Monday night when 2 men crept up from behind the house, and the other 2 came around the front, and one of the men opened fire hitting both Smith and Roland in their stomachs. Luckily for Rolland the bullet only grazed her belly and her unborn child is okay, but her mother wasn’t that lucky – the bullet was lodged inside her stomach and she was hospitalized. Police say they are working hard to find all the men involved. So far they have charged 18 year old Devon Lopez. Today officer commanding Eastern Division South, senior Superintendent Chester Williams told us this shooting is related to Cleon “Tush” Smith’s murder in Hattieville. "The shooting on Dolphin Street, that shooting we are investigating it and we have arrested on person, one Devon Lopez who is from the Ghost town, the Ellis Meighan faction. He has been charged with 2 counts of attempted murder amongst other varying degree of crime. From what our investigation was telling us that is a direct retaliation in respect to the shooting death of Tush in Hattieville. So we are looking at that angle and see if there are other persons involved. We know for a fact that there is another young man who is involved, we know who the person is but we were not able to get any witness to put him on the spot so as a right of that we are able to press charges against the other person."

    Police Detain Two For Broad Daylight City Shooting
    Last night we told you about the broad daylight attempted murder on Barrack Road. Well, tonight, police say they have two persons detained. They are 21 year old George McKenzie Jr of Pink’s Alley and 18 year old Dane Gillett of Arlington Drive. Police believe that just before 10:00 yesterday morning, Mckenzie chased 29 year old Leon Garcia into a car wash at the corner of Barrack road, followed him into a tool room, and fired a string of shots at him at close range. None of them found their target and the shooter fled in a waiting car. Police believe it is the product of an ongoing rivalry between Victoria Street and Pink’s Alley.

    Atlantic Bank Still Corresponds
    Last night in our report about troubles in the banking sector, we reported that Scotiabank was the only local bank still holding unto a correspondent banking relationship. Well that wasn’t accurate – and today Atlantic Bank sent out a release saying that they still have correspondent banking relationships with: the Bank of New York Mellon, Commerzbank and US Century Bank. A press release adds quote, “we continue to facilitate international making transactions, including wire transfers via our entire branch network” end quote. That network still does include a branch in the Corozal Free Zone. So, we stand corrected. Atlantic Bank says it meets local and international regulatory standards – as it has for the past 45 years. Yesterday the Prime Minister told the press that he is trying to get an urgent meeting with the State Department and the US Treasury because even the smaller banks that have been handling credit card settlements for other banks are threatening to discontinue that service by the middle of next month.

    PM Goes To Guate To Greet Jimmy
    The Prime Minister left today for Guatemala City for the inauguration of President Jimmy Morales. The Prime Minister may have decided to make his visit after Morales made a low key visit to Belize at the end of November. That’s where both leaders had a brief, cordial meeting, a far cry from the harsh words they had exchanged about the Belize Guatemala territorial dispute during their respective campaigns. In Guatemala, the Prime Minister will be accompanied by his CEO, Audrey Wallace and Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado. He returns on Sunday and Security Minister John Saldivar will act as Prime Minister until Friday, when he hands over to Deputy PM Gaspar Vega.

    2016: The Year Of The Chopper
    The BDF will take to the skies a whole lot in 2016 – and they will do so in their own choppers. That’s right, we said “choppers” – as in more than one. Today in a press briefing about the plans for the year ahead, Commander General David Jones said two military type helicopters will be coming in on Monday:… "Helicopter training will be a big thing for us this year because we expect to get in the other two UH-1H helicopters actually on Monday; coming Monday those two helicopters are expected to be in Belize. We will finalize between two contractors we are looking at now to decide which one of them will provide the helicopter training for our pilots. We already have the Bel, so this year 2016 we expect to have three helicopters up and running." Jones said having the helicopters will enable soldiers to deploy quickly in hard to reach places, mainly along the western border with Guatemala, which is the site of many incursions. Presently, when the BDF sights an incursion or a milpa clearing – it takes days after that to actually get there – but with an arsenal of choppers, that should change:..

    The Change in Chiquibul
    And while many of those flights will be into the Chiquibul, it’s not as many as before and that’s because a stronger BDF presence has cooled things down significantly in that large protected area:… Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "For the last 2 years the big area of concern we had was in the area of Rio Blanco where we had many encroachment, too much encroachments and we were able to arrest that situation not just by the increase of patrols but also with the assistance of our Guatemalan counter parts. Where people have now been persuaded to come across into Belize and do illegal activities. Our aim for 2016 is to arrest the situation even more along our border with our neighbouring countries, with Guatemala and Mexico. So air reconnaissance will increase. That also will be an increase in foot patrol and coverage of sum of the areas that we haven't been covering. So the other area of concern now is the area of Sebada which is inside the Chiquibul. This is the area we will be working with FCD to arrest that situation. There is an issue of the road being constructed to get the CP there because this is the most challenging area to reach, the area of Sebada. There is no road leading there, there is no helicopter site where we can just drop in get material there and construct. So we're looking at the feasibility of constructing a road to go to the area and have a conservation post placed there."

    BDF & GAF Linked Up Over 200 Times In 2015
    But the greater enforcement of borderline is also facilitated by something you might not expect: the cooperation of the Guatemalan Army. That’s right, they do joint border patrols along the western border with the BDF – and in 2015, they did over 200 of them. Jones says this has made a difference "A total of 210 linkup patrols occurred along our border so that is from the area of Aguas Turbias down to Cadenas. These are patrols that we did jointly with the Guatemalan armed forces. Of those 210 patrols, 9 of them that were unsuccessful depicted on the graph there. Out of all those 210 patrols only 9, so 201 times we met along the border from Aguas Turbias all the way down to Cadenas and that is something we hope to emulate later on also along the Sarstoon where we plan to have joint patrols with them."

    BDF Plans A "Jungle Warfare School Of Excellence"
    And while they cooperated with Guatemalan Armed Forces in 2015, in 2016, the BDF hopes to team up with armies from all over the world. That’s because they want to build a Jungle Warfare School Of Excellence. Now the BDF has been doing training since 1991, but this project aspires to be on an entirely different level:… Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "But we want to expand it at a larger level because for the most part it is only individual officers and soldiers from foreign armies to do training in Belize but some of the forces to include the US army, the German, the Dutch, Norwegians, when they come in they want to bring in at least at company strength; so in excess of 100 men, 200 men instead of just 5 or 6. It will be a larger footprint of people coming to use the training areas in Belize. So we want it to be a school of excellence that not just the European countries but also the members of the Caribbean come into Belize and do jungle training here in Belize." And apart form training, Central American, Caribbean and American armed forces want to team up to stop the flow of drugs through Belizean waters and territory – a trade which Jones says is huge:..

    BDF's Broken Down Barracks
    But if the BDF wants to host cooperating armed forces from all over the world, it will have to repair its physical infrastructure. The camps which the army inherited form the British more than two decades ago are falling apart – and Jones acknowledged that they need work: Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "The buildings that we have in the BDF that we have at Price Barracks and the other bases are very old and they require refurbishment. Some of them actually require demolition and reconstruction so that is expected to occur and from the Cabei fund, a part of the vehicles, monies is also being put aside to do construction and refurbishment of the buildings for our soldiers to live more adequately and comfortably. Field equipment and resources is also going to be ongoing and we expect that every soldier by the end of 2016 is going to be fully equipped, fully resourced to meet the national goals of our country. So when a soldier gets deployed they won't be in need or want of the kit or equipment because we're going to be reaching our goal this year that we have all the kit and equipment that we need for our soldiers to adequately do their patrols, do their operations comfortably."

    BDF's Consejo Concern
    And the BDF will also be setting up a new building in the north – this one much like the forward operating base which is being built on the Sarstoon. This one will be built on the Hondo, at Consejo which the General says has emerged as a major hotspot for drug trafficking:.. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "The area of Consejo is a big area of concern; these are strategic location that the BDF want to have post established for the BDF to operate from. The area of Consejo has been witnesses of many illegal drug activities happening between Mexico and Belize in the maritime area. This was observed by our customs counterpart. We had a plan to put a conservation post in 4 mile lagoon in the Corozal area but this area of Consejo is more strategic in that anything that comes in the maritime goes in between Belize and Mexico we will have eyes on it in that area and we will be able to arrest it." The BDF is in the final stages of negotiation with the US Army for fund to construct the base there.

    Mucho Marijuana
    And the BDF also team up with the Americans to destroy marijuana fields. For the past few years, they have been using American helicopters to be inserted in remote areas where illegal marijuana plantations are planted. They destroyed 151 thousand plants in 2015, comparable to 187 thousand plants in 2014. Along with the compressed marijuana which was confiscated, the street value is staggering:.. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "A total of 300 compressed marijuana was destroyed. So street value of what we destroyed in 2015 is in excess of 76 million Belize dollars’ worth of marijuana we destroyed in Belize. The Cayo district is the district that most of the marijuana was destroyed followed by the Toledo district."

    Ambassador Danny: From Drilling Wells To Diplomacy
    Daniel Guttierez, is well known to us in the media as the Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager for BNE. But tonight, he is making news tonight but he is wearing a different hat. Guiterez, was recently appointed the new Ambassador of Belize to the Caribbean Community. He recently presented his credentials to the CARICOM Secretary- General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque while the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors met in Georgetown, Guyana. In a brief credentials ceremony the CARICOM Secretary General noted that Belize has been a very active participant in CARICOM, hosting two important arms of the community: the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, both of which play leading roles in the sustainable development of the community. Guiterez in his address made a call to the other members of the community that 2016 must be a year of action.

    Shirley Sings For Support
    Shirley Bowen Ferguson has been singing and performing for years, but tonight, she risks losing that voice because of a cyst growing on the side of her neck. She is having a street concert this weekend where she hopes to sing for your support. Emanuel Pech visited Miss Shirley yesterday during one of her daily rehearsals. Shirley Bowen Ferguson is a well-known Belizean musician, writer and poet. She loves her garden which is what inspired her latest song “Don’t Bring Me Roses.” She has high hopes for this piece and others she has written. She hopes to record them in a few years and publish a book of poems. But a large cyst that has latched to the side of her throat threatens to rob her of these dreams. Shirley Bowen Ferguson - Sings for Support: "This thing I'm very concerned about it because as you can see it's going down in the neck and it's coming out the face and it's very large. It's a big lump here.”

    Missing Man In Maskall
    Police in Maskall are trying to find this man. He is 53 year old Lynford Ramirez, who hasn’t been seen since December 27th. That’s when he was seen at 5:00 in the morning. Police say they took 17 days to report it because the last time he went missing up turned up in Belize City a at a friend’s house a week later. But this time, he’s been missing going on three weeks, and anyone knowing his whereabouts is asked to call Corporal Usher at Maskall police. His number is 601-4483.

    Southside Cops Investigating Tyrone's Complaint
    Last night, Tyrone Gentle told us the GSU beat him badly in front of his kids – because he wouldn’t give them the PIN number to unlock his phone. He said the officers kicked him in the stomach and stood on his neck. Now, while it’s the GSU that did it, they did it on the Southside where Commander Chester Williams has spoken so many times about community policing with consent, not confrontation. Today Williams told us they are looking into both sides of this case. Sr. Supt. Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division Southside: "We do a lot of work with GSU, often times when we need assistance to go out and do operations to go after those elements who are perpetrating criminal acts, we normally call on GSU, SPU, my team and the canine unit to go after different factions across Southside Belize City. Again that is a part of our tough approach. The matter with Tyrone Gentle, yes he came to Racoon Street and made a complaint. The professional standard bureau has taken this complaint and the matter will be investigated."

    Are GSU Rough Tactics Undermining Community Initiative?
    So as you heard Southside police do work along with GSU on several operations and Gentle’s case was one of those where the GSU had to be brought in. Now, whenever we speak with Commanding Officer Chester Williams he always re-iterates the importance of community policing and outreach, building trust between residents and police – well, he says that’s just one part of it. Today Williams told us about the duality of his policing strategy and its effectiveness. Sr. Supt. Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division Southside: "If you listen to the minister himself when he spoke at the award ceremony in Belmopan, he also said that what we are embarking on now is community policing. Yes we still need to have the big stick approach in the event that we have those who may wish not to do things the right way then we must that tough approach that we have to deal with them. Even as I embark on community policing, I still have my operation officers who are out there on a daily basis doing operational work, going after those who continue to perpetrate criminal acts and those who do not want to change their way of life. I believe in being reasonable and believe in giving a fair chance to people who want to change. But at the end of the day I will not allow myself to be ridden by anybody to think that, oh well Chester is soft now and I can do what I want because I can tell you, being soft is not in my nature. I try to change the method of policing that I do with a view to see how best we could work with people in giving them a fair opportunity but when they do not want that opportunity then we must take out the big stick. We cannot spare the rod and spoil the child."

    The Constant Cops
    So while Williams says he must use varied approaches in reducing crime, the one he will always uphold is that healthy community interaction. Today we caught up with Williams and his team on Mopan Street – they were conducting their 2nd meet and greet session for 2016. Williams told us this style of policing is all about consistency.

    Cops Want More Than Just Meet and Greet
    But it won’t just be the same meet and greet sessions every Wednesday. Williams also told us about other plans to enhance their community outreach program. Williams says someone has already expressed interest in helping the police transform the Jane Usher Basketball court for the kids in that area.

    Primary Schoolers At Play
    Today the National Primary School Basketball Tournament kicked off in Belize City and the Minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports was there to deliver a brief speech to the little athletes. We spoke to the Minister of State Hon. Elodio Aragon who told us about the importance of his presence at this short opening ceremony and about his efforts in finding the funds to enhance the sporting facilities in the country.

    Can He Fix MCC Misadventure?
    While on the topic of negligence in the area of sporting facilities we asked the Minister of State about an incident that occurred on the MCC grounds last week. At a high school game, a Wesley College Student was seriously injured when he fell in a ditch surrounding the field. It’s part of an effort to refurbish the field – an effort, which we are told has not left footballers too happy at all. Aragon told us he wasn’t aware of the ditch before last week but now that it has been brought to his attention he will work to try and remedy the situation. Hon. Elodio Aaragon - Minister of State, Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture: "I was out there on Monday at the MCC, I personally did a walk through with the CEO of the ministry of Youth Sports and Culture along with Mr. Allan Sharp, who is the chairman for the national sports council. We took a walk throughout there because I really wanted to get a first-hand view of what the situation was. And I will tell you this; I saw the ditches out there and my first question, how long have these ditches been there? So we are working on that and that is one of my first priority I need to do is to get that MCC grounds up and running for people to use and cover these ditches. We need to run the pipping I got to understand for the new lighting system that would have been placed there. We are working on that and I ask our young people who use the facility to just bare in mind this is not something that I just seen 6 months ago. It is something I've seen now and it's something we are going to make sure we fix the problem in terms of that."

    Cops Get Gun And Ganja
    Northside police got a major weed bust yesterday morning. They found a bucket stuffed with 13 plastic bags weighing 1.4 kilos, which is about three pounds. The bucket was in a abandoned structure on Handyside street in the Fort George area. And, southside police are reporting a gun seizure bust 6 days after it happened. At 8:40on January 7th., police on motorcycle patrol on Ordonez Street in the St Martin’s area, saw two men approaching. When they saw the cops, one of the men dressed in a white “hoodie” tossed an object in the nearby bushes and they both ran away. Police searched the area and found a 9 millimeter pistol and a magazine with 9 live rounds.

    Beverage Giant Expands
    Last night, we gave you a preview of the new 40 million dollar Bowen and Bowen Bottling Plant. The beverage company is hoping to grow the company’s product line in the future and Daniel Ortiz went back inside that new plant to find out how it will work. Here’s that story:

    Serious Collision Near Santa Elena
    There was an accident on the northern highway near the Santa Elena border late this evening. Details are sketchy but we know that no one was killed. There were however, serious injuries when an SUV crashed into a car between Belmont butane and the Slaughter House. The fire department had to remove one of the victims from the car – which is why it is completely opened up.

    Channel 5

    News Five Speaks to Guatemalan FM on Eve of Presidential Inauguration
    In less than twenty-four hours, Jimmy Morales will assume office as the new president of Guatemala. It’s an important event for Belize because of that country’s unfounded territorial claim to [...]

    B.T.I.A. Victorious vs. G.O.B. and Norwegian Cruise Lines
    In June 2014, the first arguments in the Belize Tourism Industry Association versus the Government of Belize/Norwegian Cruise Lines were heard in the Supreme Court. It is a little over [...]

    G.O.B. Must Pay Costs to B.T.I.A.
    As Salas pointed out, the B.T.I.A. at no point sought to stop the project, which is nearing completion. But it is a significant slap-down of government by the Supreme Court, [...]

    Police Charge Teenager for Shooting of Two Women
    Was the near-fatal Monday night assault of a pregnant teen and her mother reprisal for a weekend murder in Hattieville?  According to police, the shooting of eighteen-year-old Shenell Rolland and [...]

    No Arrests in Murder of ‘Tush’
    While Belize City police believe that the shooting of a woman and her pregnant daughter on Dolphin Street are linked to the murder of Cleon “Tush” Smith, the Hattieville police [...]

    George McKenzie Jr. Arrested for Shooting on Barrack Road
    As we reported on Tuesday, twenty-nine-year-old Leon Garcia came under gunfire from a pair of men who ran up on him while he was conversing with a friend in front [...]

    John Briceño Calls for a Clean Campaign
    On the political front…The battle for leader of the People’s United Party continues to heat up, in a most unpleasant way. It’s gotten so bad in social media that at [...]

    Briceño Says He and PM Are Friends Outside of Politics…So What?
    We also took the opportunity to quiz Briceño about some of the challenges he will certainly be facing if he is indeed elected leader of the P.U.P. on January thirty-first. [...]

    Former P.U.P. Campaign Manager Says He Isn’t Involved in Leadership Race
    One man who is certainly no stranger to the P.U.P. or to contentious conventions is Godfrey Smith. The last time there was a convention in which Briceño and Fonseca faced [...]

    B.D.F. Reports on Anti-Narcotics Campaign
    As much as seventy-six million dollars worth of marijuana went up in smoke last year as a result of anti-drug operations conducted by the Belize Defense Force working along with [...]

    Return of BATSUB Will Increase Revenue to the Country
    With the return of the British Army Training Support Unit in Belize, BATSUB, having been announced in October of last year, it is expected that the annual influx of British [...]

    Strategic Defence Review To Be Implemented
    The formulation of a well-crafted plan of action to guide the Belize Defense Force into the near future has been a work in progress for Commander David Jones.  Since taking [...]

    Daniel Gutierrez, Belize Ambassador to CARICOM
    The government announced today the appointment of Daniel Gutierrez of Belize Natural Energy as Ambassador to CARICOM. Gutierrez presented his letter of credence to Secretary General Irwin LaRocque in Georgetown, [...]

    Bowen Launches New Bottling Line
    On Tuesday, industry giant Bowen and Bowen launched its brand new, state-of-the-art bottling line. That line, located at the company’s Ladyville plant in the Belize District, will significantly increase production [...]

    Cane Farmer Lucilo Teck Seeks Assistance to Pay Legal Costs
    On February twenty-third of 2015, Justice Shona Griffith, struck out a writ of mandamus brought to the courts by Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd on behalf of cane farmer Lucilo Teck and [...]

    Police Continue Meet & Greet Initiative on North and South Sides
    Since mid 2015, the Eastern Division of the Police Department has embarked on meet and greet initiative to bring the community closer to the police as a strategy to curb [...]


    BDF Explores ‘Military Tourism’ via Jungle Training
    The Jungle Warfare Training that would have military men and women coming from various parts of the world has been talked about for some time now. It is an endeavour of Commander David Jones which will begin unfolding this year. Jones spoke on the countries that have been participating so far and what benefits can […]

    Commander Highlights Milestones of the BDF for 2015
    In 2015 millions of dollars’ worth of marijuana was destroyed through the efforts of the Belize Defense Force with the Cayo District seeing the highest rate of destruction followed by the Toledo District. This fact came out of this morning’s media brief led by the Commander of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones […]

    Commander Jones Reports on Improved Nat’l Security
    In December we brought you an interview with the Brigadier General of the Belize Defense Force speaking on the achievements of the local military in 2015 and how they plan to forge ahead in this New Year. Today, however, saw the official presentation of those achievements in the presence of the Minister for National Security, […]

    All Eyes on the Grand Ol’ Party (PUP)
    The leadership for the People’s United Party is the top story on the political scene in Belize as the main opposition party has seemingly been unable to gain enough momentum at the polls to form Government and has been experiencing some serious internal issues. It has been some time since we have been trying to […]

    A KHMH Success Story: 24 Ounces at Birth to Healthy Toddler
    Just over one year ago, Baby Dwayne Amari Mitchell was born weighing only twenty four ounces. Renee Trujillo takes a look at the progress of the baby’s health, care and challenges over the last year. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “

    PM Says Rice Issue is with Jack Charles and Not Guyana
    Xtra House importer Jack Charles has up to the last week of this month to re-export the 75 tons of Guayanese Rice he brought into the country. If he does not do so by then, BAHA will act on the forfeiture order and possibly destroy the rice if it is not deemed healthy for consumption. […]

    Devon Lopez Charged in Monday’s Double Shooting
    Police have arrested and charged eighteen year old Devon Tariq Lopez of Lakeview Street in Belize City with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of dangerous harm, and two counts of use of deadly means of harm for the double shooting that occurred on Dolphin Street where a mother and daughter were shot. Senior […]

    Belize Tourism Industry Association wins case against the Department of the Environment
    Justice Courtenay Abel handed down his judgment in the matter of Belize Tourism Industry Association, BTIA, versus the Department of Environment, the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC), and the developers of Norwegian Cruise Line. Back in 2014, BTIA had filed a claim asking the court for judicial review as it held the view that NEAC […]

    PC Humberto Ayala Dubbed Officer of the Month
    Police Constable Humberto Ayala, Orderly of Court #2, attached to the Prosecution Branch has received the award for Police Officer of the Month. A small ceremony was held to congratulate P.C. Ayala on his good works. Present was Officer Commanding Eastern Division North, A.C.P Deziree Phillips and Western Union ZITRO who handed P.C. Ayala his […]

    No Plans to Legalize the Ganja
    We have told you of the over one hundred and fifty one thousand marijuana plants that were destroyed in 2015 by the Belize Defense Force. In a conference this morning the media asked Minister of National Security, John Saldivar about the cooperation and joint operations held with the United States considering that there are some […]


    Mother and pregnant daughter shot in Belize City
    The neighborhood of Dolphin and Gibnut Streets is about a block from the hot house that is the Banak Street area. And tonight, a prominent figure from that area is suspected to be involved in a late night gun attack on a family home on Dolphin Street, leaving a mother and her pregnant daughter grave...

    Jack Charles to re-export Guyanese rice; will he try again?
    The hearing at the Supreme Court scheduled for today in the matter of Jack Charles versus the Customs and Excise Department was called off, as we are told an agreement is in place to re-export the three containers of Guyanese rice that he attempted to import in December. Our understanding is that th...

    Cabinet will not entertain exclusivity for Stake Bank Project
    Today, 12th January, 2016, Cabinet shed some light on the much talked about Docking facility for the Cruise Ship Industry. Last week when the Media spoke with Michael Feinstein, the main financer for the Stake Bank Cruise Terminal project, had just met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He suggested t...

    Police investigate vehicle theft in Belmopan
    Last week, Melanie Coc, an employee of Puma Energy, Belize reported to Police that while driving on the Hummingbird Highway in the vicinity of Armenia Village, gunmen approached her and took away her brand new Isuzu D Max. Then Last Week thursday there was an attempted vehicle theft in Belmopan itse...

    MOH says protocol followed at Palm Center over missing woman
    The Ministry of Health has issued a report of their findings regarding the missing Palm center patient and the fact that the woman’s daughter was not informed that her mother was missing. Palm Center patient Mary Castillo went missing on October 2nd 2014 and as we reported, in August of last year,...

    Heritage Bank gets ready to replace FCIB
    First Caribbean International Bank is two weeks away from closing operations in Belize after several decades dating back to its days as Barclays Bank. The Bank sold its assets to Heritage Bank subject to approval by the Central Bank, which it received on December 21, 2015 and said at the time that t...

    Maya Lands Right commission Appointed
    The Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs, Honorable Vanessa Retreage, with responsibility for the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, officially appointed the Members of the Commission on January 11, 2016. The Office of the Commission will be located at the Attorney General’s Ministry i...

    The Belize Times

    Kidnapped by drug lords?? – Luis Alcoser’s Kia Sportage found abandoned, bullet ridden; family fears the worst
    The family of 31 year old Luis Alcoser fears the worst after their loved one suddenly went missing between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning January 6th, leaving behind startling evidence that his life is in peril. Alcoser’s vehicle, a black-in-colour with gold colour trim Kia Sportage with license plate CZL C-16979, was found parked on the road side near the junction of Caledonia Village, a few miles from Buena Vista Village on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The vehicle had gunshot damages to its front windshield and the driver’s side door. Alcoser’s driver’s license was inside the car, but there was no sign of the father of two children. Alcoser’s father, 52 year old Erminio Alcoser, who resides in Caledonia Village, was alerted about the discovery of the vehicle by a concerned neighbour who saw the bullet riddled vehicle parked on the road side early Wednesday morning.

    Barrow the bearer of bad news – No more Petrocaribe money; GOB hikes fuel tax as world prices tumble
    2016 will be a tougher, harder year for Belizeans: that was the gist of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s New Year’s speech delivered on December 31st 2015. With droopy eyes, a beleaguered face and a croaky voice, PM Barrow played and looked the part well in his televised address as he informed the people of Belize not to expect the Government to do more in the new year. Things will get dread! Barrow said that his Government is extremely strapped for revenues and can no longer look to the Petrocaribe bubby for funds. The agreement with Venezuela is that when global oil prices fall, the windfall for borrowing countries is much less. Since 2012, the Government has been living off Petrocaribe loans for domestic spending. It has reportedly spent over $500 million, and all that money has run out. This spells serious trouble for the Barrow Administration as 2016 is a year its own spending will increase by the tens of millions to pay for debts and outstanding compensation for the takeover of Belize Telemedia Limited.

    Canadian film producer murdered in Cayo
    Canadian film producer Matthiew Klinck came to Belize with major plans. He foresaw a fledgling film industry and had taken on the giant task of helping to pioneering it. In 2012, he and a team of Belizeans completed the project “Curse of the Xtabai”, the first Belizean movie in full length Creole language. Two years later, Klinck and his crew were shooting “La Isla Bonita”, a 25-episodes Belizean soap opera based on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Klinck enjoyed working in Belize. He shared as much of his Belizean experience with friends and family abroad, posting comments and happy photos on his Facebook page. He had become fully immersed in the Belizean community. But over the weekend, Klinck’s plans and dreams for Belize were dashed as he was murdered at his home, located in Selena Village, on the fringes of the quiet Spanish Lookout Community. The 37 year old’s body was found outside his house, bleeding and motionless.

    No punishment for John Saldivar supporter who fired weapon in public
    Belize has become an animal farm under the Dean Barrow Administration. It is now a country where some are more equal than others. Some, with political connections, get real special treatment than those without. Point in case is a special supporter of National Security Minister John Saldivar who on the night of elections was caught on video shooting a gun into the air among a lively crowd. This occurred in front of senior Police officers and as expected they tried to do their job by detaining the man. But lo and behold, like the bossy Napoleon, John Saldivar the politician charged at the Police, grunting and ordering that they “back off”. All of this was recorded on video and played on various national television news channels. One would think that notwithstanding the political pressure, the Police would carry out their jobs and at least charge the individual for his reckless behaviour. Afraid of Minister Napoleon, the Police have cowered and allowed the individual to get away.

    Think About It
    Jamaica is getting a massive investment of U.S. $600 million dollars from China, who will be building a 4 lane 41-mile new road from the south to the north of the island. It is the biggest Chinese investment in the Caribbean, as an even bigger investment is about to commence. While visiting China, the Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson signed a U.S. 1.6 billion megga port investment in which two islands of Jamaica will be transformed into shipping hubs for the larger ships coming through the Panama Canal. It is sad to watch our sanitation workers as they carry away garbage or clean the drains. Whether they are employed by waste control or city council none of them are equipped with gloves, aprons or masks to protect their lungs from germs. They deserve better treatment. Belize Prison has no procedure to allow families’ conjugal visits. Conjugal is a quaint word. It relates to marriage. There is a next word-cohabit, it means living together as husband and wife. Persons sent to prison for long terms of imprisonment in Belize are not allowed to spend intimate moments with their partners. This is cruel and inhumane. A man and a woman are made by the almighty to procreate. Putting a human being in prison for several years is the punishment for whatever crime he has committed.

    The nation of Belize is broke and it is broken. This is the unfortunate state of affairs as we enter the news year of 2016. The brief period of wild, political spending by Government has come to a screeching halt. Money done and the country bruk. As the years go by and a brief history of the country is recounted, the period of 2008 to 2015 will stand out as an unheralded period in which public funds become the personal vehicle for the Prime Minister and his cowardly Cabinet. The period 2012 to 2015 will be highlighted for special mention. This was the period when millions of petro-dollars flowed into Belize from Venezuela. Like some weird obeah-man, the Prime Minister succeeded in squandering three hundred million dollars of Venezuela loan funds in order to realise his personal ambition to be a three time Prime Minister. In the process, he broke his back and behaved like a man possessed with demons. He broke the treasury, broke the country and blew away both the national budget of ONE BILLION DOLLARS and every last dollar of the three hundred million dollars loan from Petrocaribe.

    Police United win 2015 PLB football champs
    Police United FC won the 2015 Premier League of Belize football championship for the opening season by a 0-0 draw with the defending champs, Verdes FC in Game 2 of the finals at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Sunday, December 27. In Game 1, the Police had won 1-0 when Orlando “Leechy” Jimenez came off the bench to score in the 50th minute. Individual Awards Best Under-17 Player – Darien Myers (Police United) Best Goalie – Jamie Brooks (Police United) MVP playoffs – Trevor Lennan (Police United) Best Coach – Hilberto Muschamp (Police United)

    Alicia Thompson wins KREM New Year’s Female Cycling Classic
    Team Belize Bank Swoosh’s Alicia Thompson returned as champion of the 26th annual KREM New Year’s Female Cycling Classic, in a close sprint for finish line with Kaya Cattouse. Alicia also won another $1,050 as she won 11 of the 21 station prizes offered along the way. Other finishers 3rd Patricia Chavarria – Team C-Ray – 3:02:23 – $200 prize 4th Gabrielle Lovell – Team DigiCell – 3:10:23

    Joel Borland wins 2016 KREM New Year’s Cycling Classic
    Team DigiCell 4G dominated the 26th annual KREM New Year’s Elite Cycling Classic: 96 miles from the Corozal border along the Philip Goldson Highway to Belize City, winning the first 2 places, 1st Masters, with 4 riders in the top 13 Joel Borland won the Elite race, crossing the finish line in 3:53:42 to win the $2,500 prize. He also won over $4,000 as he took 21 of 30 station prizes along the way, sweeping the last 19 prizes from Maxboro to Belize City.

    Energy Workers Union: DO NOT DESTROY FOOD!
    As a stake holder, representative of many families, consumers of our Belizean Traditional staples, the BEWU finds it necessary to call on the Government of Belize not to proceed with the apparent decision to destroy the rice now under custody of B.A.H.A. which business man “Jack Charles” was trying to import into our country. We believe that no wise Government would destroy food which could be placed to a better use. We are also sure this would not sit well in the eyes of the International Community. However, we also believe that B.A.H.A. must ensure this rice is safe for consumption first, this should be easy for them since they are the authority in making a determination of whether food products being imported into our country are safe. Once this is done we recommend that instead of the rice being destroyed that it be distributed to organizations around the country which help feed the children, the elderly and poor.

    Elderly man viciously attacked in home invasion
    A city without pity! That’s the description the old capital is fast taking on with the many reports of senseless murders, robberies, sexual assaults, home invasions and other acts against the innocent and defenceless. Over the Christmas weekend, one of the most vulnerable members of our decaying society was ruthlessly attacked by three heartless burglars. 93 year old Patrick Grant has never felt so afraid and disappointed in his community, as he is today. Over the Christmas weekend, he was physically beaten by three men who entered his home to steal his belongings. Grant, who was at his residence on Fern Lane, said that because he is hearing impaired he didn’t hear the men come in. Once inside his home, however, the men pretended that they were sent by Grant’s daughter so that they can prepare him for a regular hospital appointment. Grant said he trusted the men as they walked him to his bed, but was struck with terror when he felt the hard blow on his face that followed.

    COLA Comments On Imported Rice Fiasco
    COLA respects the decision of the Supreme Court that Mr. Jack Charles went about things the wrong way in his effort to bring in imported rice from Guyana. However, that does not give the Customs Department the right to destroy Mr. Charles’ rice, not when there are many other uses for it. Mr. Charles should first of all be given an opportunity to re-export his rice at his own expense. Should he not comply, then COLA believes that the rice should be tested, and if it is found not to be contaminated, then it should not be destroyed, but instead distributed free of cost to school feeding programs, poor Belizeans and others who can best make use of it. However, we do not believe Mr. Charles should be compensated in this circumstance, as while his intentions were good, his methods were poor, and he should not receive different treatment from the average wrongdoer.

    Shane Bennett on the run
    Stann Creek Police Authorities have issued a bulletin, advising the public to be on the lookout for one 29-year-old Shane Bennett, Belizean of Independence Village, Stann Creek. Bennett allegedly escaped from the holding cell at the Intermediate Southern Formation Police Station sometime between 12:00 a.m. and 12:25 a.m. on January 6th 2016. Bennett was on remanded for the crime of Burglary, Theft and other crimes. The Police are alerting the public that the wanted man is armed and dangerous as he is known to carry firearms, and to be extremely careful if seen. The public is advised to contact the Police immediately if the whereabouts of Bennett is known.

    Cycling Technology: Will Power
    Despite the gallons of sweat and early morning dew, two years as a cyclist is relatively small in the sport. I am classified as an Elite rider but at 19 years old that rating is more about my age than it is about where I am in my experience and quality as a Belizean cyclist. This is the beginning and dawn of my cycling career. As a relative rookie to the sport and as a youth, I can say that my introduction into the sport has been by fire because when I began riding I only got the cover of being a Junior Rider for eight months. My development had to be quick and excuse free. I have learned a few things from my early morning rides. Those things I decided with some encouragement to share with Belize and hopefully some of my peers who are reading this article. My riding has made me realize that the sport is so much more than the expensive carbon fiber frames, the bragging, the sports accessories or the Cross Country success or failures. From what I gathered while putting in hours of hard training, a person gets nowhere without consistency, especially in cycling.

    Jack Charles loses rice battle – Consumers should fear GOB’s misuse of cheap, imported Guyanese rice
    The 75 tonnes of Guyanese rice imported by rich businessman Jitendra “Jack Charles” Chawla was done illegally, according to Belize’s Supreme Court. The Belize Customs officials attempt to confiscate the three containers of rice sitting at the Big Creek Port was blocked by a last minute move by Chawla to seek a temporary injunction from the Court. The controversial rice battle appears almost over, with Chawla on the losing end. He imported Guyanese rice without proper permission from the Belize Health and Agriculture Authority (BAHA) and attempted to impose it on the Belizean market, using the pretext that the rice would sell for a cheaper price.

    Belize’s best bet to adapt to climate change: protecting our coast and reef
    By Nadia Bood Reef Scientist, World Wildlife Fund, Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion After two weeks of hard negotiations, world leaders left Paris in December with a new climate agreement that they hope will set the base for a global transformation to a low carbon, clean energy future. The Paris Agreement makes it clear that, in order to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change, we must limit warming of the world’s atmosphere to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and ideally to 1.5°C. Likewise, the Paris Agreement suggests that the world now sees adaptation – and, crucially, the funding for it in the shape of access to clean technology – as a key priority. Yet however much was achieved in the city of light, and how warmly it has been welcomed by the politicians who agreed to it, the reality is that the hard work is still to be done. Countries now need to implement their commitments.

    Remember the Elderly and Homeless
    Homeless and elderly persons represent two segments of our population that have been totally ignored by society. We can see many walking around aimlessly or sleeping on the sidewalks, and we also see the scorns and rejections from some members of our society. It is estimated that about 2,000 persons are homeless in Belize. That number is growing at a rapid pace and comprises the old as well as the young. Some 5,000 elderly persons are also living in vulnerable conditions in our country. Despite this, the concerns and needs of elderly and the homeless are being discounted in the local and national public discourse. We must remember that most homeless people, for one reason of the other, and in some cases due mainly to fault of their own, end up in their state. The factors could have been alcohol abuse, drug abuse, gambling addiction and lack of care from family. A majority of homeless persons, if they were ever employed, failed to obtain a fair and steady income as well. It is no doubt then, that they could have played a major role in our society and could have just as much potential as every other Belizean.

    Petro Goma
    So help me to understand something. In his New Year’s speech the PM said the landscape is going to change in 2016 because Petrocaribe is pretty much done and after the Petro-party, you see, we have to experience the real serious Petro-goma. In other words, tighten your belts because the ride is going to be rough. But things were rough last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. You mean it’s going to get rougher? The Petrocaribe initiative is a good thing. Countries that benefitted from comrade Hugo’s largesse were told to use to money to help the poor. Those countries provided long-term subsidies to farmers to ensure food security in the future. Some of them implemented sustainable and long-term poverty-alleviation programs. Some of them built factories and stimulated industries to create long-term employment for the masses. Some of them built schools in impoverished areas to educate their people. Some implemented agriculture-based school feeding programs. Some built hospitals and clinics to provide subsidized, quality care to the poor. In almost every instance, countries used Petrocaribe with vision, looking to the future with the goal of developing their people, reducing poverty and stimulating sustainable growth.

    Book launch: “We are free”
    The Image Factory Art Foundation, in collaboration with the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery hosted the book launch of the second edition for the children’s book “We are free” written by Ibo and Ingrid Cayetano and designed by Mali Cayetano. Malí Cayetano, born in Dangriga, nurtured in the home of Pen Cayetano, Garifuna artist and musician, and Ingrid Cayetano from Germany, artist in her own right, was raised with the desire to promote and preserve the Garifuna culture.

    2016 Taiwan scholarships start for application
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that 2016 TaiwanICDF Scholarship and Taiwan (MOFA) Scholarship start for application from now, and the application deadline will be until March 18, 2016 and March 31, 2016 respectively. In 2016, there will be 20 schools of 8 Bachelor, 21 Master and 2 PhD programs open for application of Taiwan ICDF Scholarship. Both scholarships are full scholarships and will provide a round trip economy class air tickets, housing, tuition fees, credit fees, insurance, textbook costs, and a monthly allowance which varies for different study programs. There have been hundreds of Belizean students from different schools and fields come to apply for both scholarships in the past years till now. This Embassy encourages all the outstanding young Belizean students come to apply for pursuing their study and fulfill their dreams in Taiwan.

    BSI/ASR Crop Review – Week 4
    – Sugar in cane stills remains low and Reducing Sugars and Dextran levels are still high which have increased molasses production and decreased sugar recovery leading to an unfavorable TC/TS ratio. It is important to assure that mature cane is delivered so as to prevent unnecessary sugar losses – Mud in cane continues to exceed the required limit of 4.5. Factory throughput was affected by poor weather conditions which resulted in increased mud levels and mud filters working at high speed. – To reduce mud avoid using push-pilers by piling cane to suit grab size and lifting cane bundles instead of pushing bundles before loading.

    Mystery Surrounds Death of Belize City Man
    Several questions have developed and a mystery has evolved regarding the circumstances that led to the death of a Belize City man at his residence on Neal Penn Road. The body was discovered sometime on Sunday, January 2, 2016. Mark Brooks is dead – that much we can confirm even though police have yet to issue an official report. According our information, he may have died on December 27th, 2015. It is unclear whether his demise resulted from suicide or if he was indeed murdered as is widely speculated. Brooks’ estranged girlfriend allegedly paid him a visit last week at his job and threatened his life reportedly saying that she would have her son kill him. The two have been in a volatile relationship for some time, sources say. Coworkers at Fort Point Security have corroborated the report that the girlfriend did pay him a visit at his job last week and that allegedly, a threat was made.

    Thinking Out Loud
    Where is Santa Barrow today? Guess he packed up his reindeer and headed north on a lifestyles of the rich and pampered moment. We haven’t heard much from him lately – well, not since his big bag of Petrocaribe goodies ran dry. Back then we were living in a good country…millions and millions and millions in the coffers. Remember that? Remember the Petrocaribe magic potion…? Need a church? Sure, abracadabra presto change – here it is. Need some campaign money? Got that right here in this magic hat! Need to win a couple by-elections? No problem! Just wave this Petrocaribe wand. Need to win a general election? Well, yeah, we can do that. Mek ah sih yu sing and dance now! How dih song goh? Yu see mih fridge? Da Petro gih mi. Yu sih mi color TV…da Petro gih mi…But now the money done done done! Weh song yu wah sing now. I really don’t know what is wrong with my people. We keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Every election we get the same old promises, the same handouts, the same packages of food and the same grinning politicians. And after the election we get the same thing – NADA. NOTHING!

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize City police find three pounds of weed
    More than three pounds of weed was found45 when a search was conducted in an empty lot on Handyside street. The drugs were in a white bucket and amounted to a total weight of 1,490 grams […]

    “Junie Balls” Jr. detained in connection with brazen Barrack road shooting
    Two Belize City men have been detained by police and are pending investigations after a shooting incident at J/B Auto Wash on Barrack Road yesterday morning, when several shots were fired at an employee of the business. Police visited the auto wash and were […]

    Lucilio Teck has 15 days to pay $30,000 court costs
    Today Lucilio Teck was informed that he has 15 days, starting yesterday, to pay $30,000 court costs to attorney Rodwell Williams. The decision was handed down on December 18th 2015 but Teck says he does not have that kind of money. Teck told BMG […]

    Construction Worker accused of bank account theft
    21 year old Walter Garcia, a Construction Worker of the Ladyville area, is being accused of stealing $3,500 in cash from a woman’s Belize Bank account. Today he faces three criminal indictable offenses: forgery, claiming upon a forged document and uttering a false document. […]

    Devon Lopez arraigned for Monday night shooting
    19 year old Devon Tariq Lopez is accused of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm against 18 year old Shenell Rowland, expecting her first child in three months’ time, along with her mother, 41 year old Stephanie Smith, recovering […]

    Four arrested for weed in Las Flores
    While arriving at the residence of 24-year-old Edwin Antonio Ortega Santos in the Las Flores area of Belmopan City, to conduct a search for drugs, police saw three men of Hispanic descent jumping through a window in an attempt to escape. The men were […]

    Police seek missing 13-year-old San Pedro girl
    Nayeli Cifuentes, a 13-year-old resident of the DFC area in San Pedro Town, was reported missing by her older sister Nancy, who told police that on the night of January 9th, around 8:00 p.m., the teenager left home to buy at a nearby shop but never returned. Nancy said that efforts were made to find Cifuentes but all came up empty and she has turned to the police for assistance in locating her young sister. Last seen wearing a multi-color skirt with a black blouse, Cifuentes is short in height, slim built and has long, straight black hair. […]

    Truck driver to be charged for death of passenger in bizarre accident
    A truck driver of San Pablo Village in the Orange Walk District has been served with a notice of intended prosecution after police investigations revealed that his negligence caused the death of a male passenger he had on board a blue Freight Liner truck […]


    Achieving Sustainable Community Change in Belize
    A major issue of concern in sustainable community development (SCD) programs involves the fact that practitioners will not be working with the SCD target community forever – the project will end. And the community must rely upon whatever capacity it has developed for carrying on the activities and programs the community has committed to after the practitioner departs. The capacity the community must build upon, which the practitioner is central to the development of, relies both on the leadership skills that can be learned by the people in the community as well as the different collaborative partnerships that can be developed with others to add to the ability of community planning and action-taking skills that are built up within the community membership. There are seven essential ingredients that contribute to sustainable community change and will lead to the capacity a community needs to maintain its well-being into the future.

    Polar Vortex Officially Over On Ambergris Caye, Belize
    Picture this…you go out late at night to walk the dog. The winds are whistling from the north…sand swirling about you. You turn your collar up and hunker down…knowing this will be a very short walk for Elsie. The temperature has dropped to 72 degrees fahrenheit. An official cold front in San Pedro. Sunday night, the front blew in and by yesterday morning? The sun was already hot in the sky. Socks back in the drawer. Easy come…easy go. I took a walk to town yesterday to take some photos of the gorgeous HOT weather. The tide was low…the wind blowing from the west and the beach at Royal Palms looks perfect.

    Classic Mexican Chile Recipe
    Cut meat into small pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Brown in oil in Dutch oven or fry pan with a thick bottom over medium heat until the meat is dark brown. Transfer the meat to a separate bowl, to keep meat broth. In a frying pan add the onions and garlic. Brown over medium heat for 10 minutes heat until dark brown in color-intensive stirring. Then add tomato puree, broth and bring to a boil. Add meat and meat broth, bring to a boil again. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add chili, jalapeno pepper, chile powder, oregano and 1 tbsp cumin. Simmer gently about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Rio Frio Cave in the Mountain Pine Ridge
    Prepare yourself for a dramatic entrance as you follow stepping stones into the cave and get a first glimpse at the vast chamber that awaits. This uber-wide entrance is part of Rio Frio’s charm: it’s welcoming and so striking, you won’t be the first person to gasp at its grandeur. Spot 70-foot natural arches, colorful boulders and dramatic stalactites, some of which emulate primitive chandeliers suspended in time. As you explore this quarter-mile-long cave, you’ll spot a stream, pools and even cascading waters spilling from nooks and crannies. To reach the Rio Frio Caves, start in the Cayo District of western Belize; specifically Mountain Pine Ridge, where an evergreen forest also serves has home to the nation’s tallest waterfall. Take the Western Highway to Georgeville and follow signs to the cave—but if you visit during high season, just follow the crowd to this popular site! Take the Western Highway to the Georgeville turn off (mile 65) and continue five miles past the Douglas de Silva Forest Station. If you get lost, ask anyone you meet to point you in the direction of Augustine.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize establishes commission to protect indigenous land rights
    Belizean Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Vanessa Retreage has officially appointed members of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission to implement the Caribbean Court of Justice's consent order for protecting the land rights of indigenous peoples. Lisel Alamilla, Randall Sheppard and Noreen Fairweather were appointed to the commission, an Attorney General's Office representative told EFE via telephone on Wednesday. Alamilla will chair the commission, which will establish a structured framework to ensure collaborative consultation and participation of key stakeholders, mainly focusing on 23 villages in Toledo.

    CARICOM’s best years lie ahead, says new Belize envoy
    Newly accredited Belize Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Daniel Gutierez, says the best years of the integration movement lie ahead for what he calls the “tremendous untapped potential” that lies within the region. Speaking at a ceremony to present his letters of credence to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters yesterday, Gutierez referenced his Prime Minister’s New Year address in which he heralded 2016 as a landmark year for the integration movement. Against that backdrop, he said: “I am not the first and will not be the last to speak of the untold wealth, underdeveloped talent and the unshakable hope that characterize the brotherhood of nations that call themselves CARICOM.” “But as leaders and servants we are obligated to diagnose, understand and engineer solutions that will guide our people to resilience in the troubling waters ahead. The skies ahead darken with climate change, economic uncertainty, a haunting gap in education and technology with our global competitors and any number of parallel global challenges. Undaunted we shall remain.” The envoy said this year had to be one of action.

    The World's 12 Best Places To Live Or Retire In 2016
    The secret to taking control of your retirement in 2016 and making this phase of life a grand adventure, even if your retirement nest egg is modest, is expanding your horizons. Take your retirement global and you can maximize your quality-of-life return for every dollar spent. Where should you go? Here are your 12 best options for where to retire overseas this New Year. Belize is one of the quirkiest countries in the world. Geographically, Belize is in Central America, yet its strongest ties are to the English-speaking Caribbean. Belize is Caribbean, Central American... and, thanks to its history as a former colony, British. Belize City's roadways are built around a system of roundabouts, but shops alongside them sell rice, beans and tortillas still ground by hand. Everyone you meet speaks English (it's the country's official language), but this belies the stories of their origins. The 350,000 people populating Belize today are descendants of migrants from Britain, yes, but also, more so, the surrounding Central American countries. You've got Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans mixed with current-day generations of the Maya who originally inhabited this land, the pirates who came later, the Mennonite farmers who began arriving on the scene in the 16th century, the British who ruled until 1981, and each other. Belize is a nation of independent thinkers and doers, a country where you make your own way and where, while you're doing it, no one, including the Belize government, is making any attempt to thwart your efforts. This is a poor country. The government doesn't have enough money to get up to any real trouble.

    Norwegian’s Harvest Caye opening delayed
    Norwegian Cruise Line has missed the mark with opening of its private island, located off the southern coast of Belize. The opening of the $100-million port — Harvest Caye — was supposed to be next month and has been pushed back to November. A Belize Tourism Board official was ahead of the game on this one, recently warning the port development was behind schedule. The first ship scheduled to arrive at Harvest Caye was the Tampa-based Norwegian Star. The ship’s itinerary will now substitute Belize City, as will all other Norwegian ships scheduled to visit Harvest Caye. In a statement from Norwegian, it appears the environment figured in the decision: “We are dedicated to delivering the highest quality amenities and services to our guests in one of the richest ecosystems in the region with a diversity of flora and fauna that is core to the Harvest Caye experience.”

    How compliance regulations are hurting the Caribbean’s indigenous banks
    IMAGINE THIS. You, a partner or family member is working overseas. You have been sending money home to support an aging relative or to make a regular payment on a mortgage. You go to the Caribbean money transfer business that you have always used, only to be told your money can no longer accepted because there is no intermediary bank in Europe or the US willing to work with it despite its absolute reliability and positive track record. Although oversimplified, this scenario is not impossible as changing international regulations and risk aversion are having the effect of disconnecting Caribbean financial institutions from the international correspondent banking services that are necessary for them to clear or transfer money. In the last year the issue has become a significant problem that potentially threatens to touch significant numbers in the Diaspora who send money home, or small businesses that need to make international payments. It is also a development that has much broader significance for many economies in the region, as Central Banks and Governments for reasons of macro-economic and social stability have come to rely on the a constant flow of remittances.


  • Panamericana - Backpacking Central America, 5min. Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Tulum, Caye Caulker, Belize City, Flores, Tikal, Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Copan, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Utila, Tegucigalpa, Chinandega, Jiquilillo, León, San Juan del Sur, Monteverde, Jacó, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Bocas del Toro, Las Lajas, Panama City

  • Highlight Reel Belize 2015, 4.5min. Training of Facilitators, Youth for Road Safety

  • Belize 2015, EF Tour, Mrs. Ell's Travel Group, 19min.

  • Derisking Poses Huge Threat to Belize, Says PM, 1.5min.

  • Belize 2015, 5min. We went on a 10-day trip to Belize, leaving Boise on Thanksgiving morning! As usual, I wish we took more video. This is a compilation showing the highlights we were able to capture.

  • Chico Ramos - The Original Conch Soup, 7min.

  • The Garden Show with Belize Botanic Gardens, 23min. Episode 1 - The brief history of Belize Botanic Gardens and what it offers

  • BSI ASR CROP REVIEW 2016 WEEK 5, 3min.

  • Morning Matters with Indi, 58min.

  • Belize Missions Trip 2015 1080p, 3.5min. The Grove sent 37 members down to San Antonio, Belize to serve! Enjoy the pictures we have from our time down there!

  • Cacho Travel Orientation San Pedro Belize Express, 2min.

  • Howler Monkeys at Lamanai Ruins, Belize, Central America, 1.5min. We took an afternoon to explore while on a dental mission trip in Belize, Central America . We were rather surprised to hear the unfamiliar sounds of wild Howler Monkeys in the trees above us while we followed our tour guide! The don't have Howler Monkeys in East Berlin, PA! We thought we may have landed in Jurassic Park!

  • Belize Mission Trip, 10min. SIMS - Mission Trip Belize - Loma Linda University Students.

  • Traveling Misfits Introduce Belize 2015, 17min.

  • Belize Cave Tubing, 7min.

  • Scuba Diving - Caye Caulker, Belize - Dec 2015, 9min.

  • Belize Blue Hole Diving, 2min. Belize Caye Caulker Dive Sites: Blue Hole, Aquarium, and Halfmoon.

  • Belize Travel: Discover Belize, Maya Ruins, Top Scuba Spot, Tropical Rain Forests, Laid Back, 7min. Belize Travel: Discover tropical rain forests, exotic animals, Mayan ruins and some of the best snorkeling in the world in the world's 2nd largest reef.

    January 13, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

    The San Pedro Sun

    The wild wonder of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Reserve
    Have you ever wondered how Alice felt when she fell down the rabbit hole in the “Alice in Wonderland” fairytale? In the story, Alice is enchanted by the unknown, and such is the mesmerizing spell the jungle of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Reserve in the Stann Creek District casts upon those who venture into her canopied burrow. Enveloped by dense forest alive with bird song and the buzz of busy bugs, your imagination is sure to run as wild as your surroundings. Chances are you won’t spot the elusive jaguar while exploring the wilderness, but it’s not hard to imagine one softly padding through the jungle, nothing but a shimmer of dappled color within the dense undergrowth of the forest. ‘Perhaps a wild cat has steady eyes on me right now,’ my mind races…or maybe I will surprise one right around the next corner, my heart skipping a beat at the thought! You don’t have to be a seasoned survivalist to venture into this magical sanctuary, and options for exploring are endless, offering hiking and biking trails for all abilities and levels. Upon arriving at the main entrance of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary there is an inviting welcome area complete with a picnic area, open grounds, visitor center, a small museum and even bikes to rent. With detailed signage informing you of your hiking and biking options, you can easily determine what route is best for you.

    Two charged for Matthiew Klinck’s murder: Memorial Service and Candle Light Vigil held in his honor
    Residents of San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District, including friends from neighboring communities and other parts of Belize held a memorial service to celebrate the life of Klinck on Saturday, January 9th. The memorial service took place at the Fountain of Life Church in the farming community of Spanish Lookout. The service started at 2PM and saw several testimonials from different people whose life Klinck touched greatly. His parents and brother were present, sharing memories of their beloved to a mourning audience. Before the services wrapped up, a presentation featuring two of Klinck’s favorite songs, along with photographs of him from his childhood to his last days in Belize were featured. “It was an overwhelming event, full of many memories that will last a lifetime,” said The San Pedro Sun staff reporter and friend of Klinck, Dion Vansen who was in attendance. “There were no dry eyes in the room.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Western Ballaz Host Thunderbolts
    The NEBL starts back up on Saturday, and the Western Ballaz host the Independence Thunderbolts. There'll be loads of prizes, along with Mistah Geeh providing the sounds. The game starts at 8:00pm. Go Ballaz!

    Book: Insights Into Gang Culture in Belize: Essays on Youth, Crime, and Violence
    by Mr Nuri Muhammad. $15us. This book offers a comprehensive study of the culture of gangs in Belize. Drawing on over thirty years of working directly with this sector of the population, Muhammad provides an unprecedented look inside the fascinating and little understood world of gangs in Belize. He shows that the popular accepted notion that gangs are confined only to the static definition of Crips and Bloods represents only a small part of the big picture. In fact, many youth are drawn to the attraction of the gang culture while not being involved in any sort of criminal activity. Muhammad takes us through the socio-economic and psycho-spiritual factors that influence the development and spread of this phenomenon. He looks at the antecedents of the problem of youth, crime and violence in Belize and its evolving crisis and the various approaches taken by government and non-government agencies to combating it over the last twenty five years. Having been personally involved with all the major initiatives in Belize over the last twenty five years, Muhammad writes from a vantage point of reality and not theory. Accessibly written, filled with gripping first-hand testimony of one who was on the front line, this book will be the best available guide to the beliefs and culture of street organizations in Belize.

    The Belize Hotel Association , will be at the 12th Annual Chicago Travel and Adventure Show
    On January 23 and January 24, 2016. The event will take place at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. BHA members will be represented by directors, Ms. Julie Kee and Ms. Rebecca Rath at this event. The Travel and Adventure Show series is recognized as the premier Consumer Marketing platform in the travel industry. It is the ONLY travel show in the Chicago Area and it is the place where travelers flock annually to dream, plan and book their next vacation. Since 2004, the Travel & Adventure shows have helped over 1.1 million vacationers book their trips, by connecting quality clients with top tourism providers from around the world. Visitors get travel inspiration, expert information and fun cultural interaction by speaking directly to reputable travel experts in the industry. In addition attendees and exhibitors can receive expert travel advice and tips from the 2016 Keynote speakers: Rick Steves: Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves Europe and Travel with Rick Steves, Europe Through the Back Door Pauline Frommer: Editorial Director of Frommer Guides and Publisher of Peter Greenberg: Emmy Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and Producer and CBS News Travel Editor Colleen Kelly: Host, Co-Creator and Executive Producer, National Public Television Series Family Travel with Colleen Kelly

    BHA will be at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show
    in February 2016

    Missing dog
    Has anyone seen Benny in Caye Caulker? His owner is devasted! Please look for him! Staci Allison is offering a reward of $400 to anyone who find Benny, her dog.

    Attorney General’s Ministry
    The Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs, Honorable Vanessa Retreage, with responsibility for the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, officially appointed the Members of the Commission on January 11, 2016. The Office of the Commission will be located at the Attorney General’s Ministry in Belmopan City. The Commission is comprised of the following members: 1. Ms. Lisel Alamilla – Chairman 2. Mrs. P. Noreen Fairweather – Member 3. Mr. Randall Sheppard (Crown Counsel from within the Attorney General’s Ministry) - Member The Ministry has also engaged Mr. Anthony Ross, a highly regarded attorney with substantial experience in Indigenous Affairs, as expert Consultant to the Commission.

    GOB & the Fort Street Tourism Village
    Cabinet at its meeting today, 12th January, 2016 considered a request from Michael Feinstein, principal of the proposed State Bank Development Project requesting consideration by the Government of Belize for a 25 year exclusive contract for the Stake Bank Project. Cabinet in its consideration recalled that in 2004, under the Musa administration, the Government of Belize had signed an agreement with the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV), giving the port exclusivity in the Belize District. Mr. Michael Feinstein was the main investor in FSTV at the time. Years later when Michael Feinstein sought to develop the Stake Bank Project which would be an additional port in Belize City, he ran into difficulties resulting from this 2004 agreement. Mr. Feinstein took the matter to the Supreme Court and in October 2015, the Court ruled that those four provisions on exclusivity in the agreement were unlawful. In the face of the Court’s decision which found “the clause contained in the agreement between FSTV and GOB which prevented GOB from soliciting, endorsing, assisting, facilitating or permitting the construction or operation of any other tourism village and/or cruise ship terminal in the Belize District apart from FSTV’s operation by the Company was unlawful, unenforceable and incompatible with the proper discharge of GOB’s responsibilities; and are ultra vires the powers of the Executive to make,” Cabinet cannot entertain Mr. Feinstein’s request for exclusivity. Mr. Feinstein has stated that if he cannot be granted exclusivity, he may have to withdraw the project.

    JOB OPPORTUNITIES in the fastest growing tourist destination in Belize
    Do you have a skill...Sandy Point Resort is having a Job Fair on Friday, January 15th, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Southwind Properties Building on Barrier Reef Drive. — in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

    Corozal in-front of Caribbean Tires, beginning at 8:00 A.M. on Wednesday January 20th. Come and talk to our specialist about prices and terms! Big discounts will be offered to those who are our first customers during the ROAD SHOW!!! Don't miss out!

    BAY Lounge Grand Opening
    The Belmopan Active Youths are having the grand opening of the BAY Lounge on Thursday, January 14th, from noon to 10:00pm. Congratulations, BAY! "BAY invites you to the grand opening on January 14th 12pm-10pm to one of the first social enterprise in Belmopan, our BAY LOUNGE! This is a huge milestone for our organization and we very much hope that you will attend! We are grateful to all our partners and volunteers that have contributed in any way to make this possible! Special thanks to the US Embassy through their support under the BAY Job Creation and Entrepreneurship Development Project, the Belmopan City Council, YWCA for training in the culinary arts, our BAY Lounge Committee for their countless hours in planning and execution, the BAY Members/volunteers and our many other partners!"

    Belizean athlete and marathon runner, Joseph Carr who passed away a few days ago in Belize City.

    FCD: Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Update
    Although the scarlet macaw breeding season started late in 2015 compared to previous years, a total of 15 chicks were able to integrate themselves into the wild population. Seven of these chicks were raised by their parents in the wild, while 8 were raised by research field staff in an in-situ laboratory and finally soft released. For the first time in 5 years, no chick was poached from the nests being monitored, although there were 6 poaching attempts. Poaching was reduced to zero because of two reasons, namely due to an increase in law enforcement patrols and constant human presence to deter poachers, and due to the extraction of at risk chicks and raised in a field laboratory. Two months after the soft release, chicks have been constantly observed feeding on wild fruits and socializing with wild adult macaws. Since the start of the breeding season, illegal activities were consistent in the area but concentrated more so around xate extraction. During the month of May, all 6 poaching attempts were recorded. Poachers managed to climb three cavities but on two of these, the chicks had already been extracted by the FCD Research Team and taken to in-situ laboratory, while the other had eggs. During one poaching attempt, FCD Park Rangers were stationed close to a tree cavity in an attempt to apprehend the poachers but they managed to escape. For the two other poaching attempts, poachers only made machete marks on the tree trunks but did not climb the tree. Poachers also killed a Tapir and set the banks of the Raspaculo River on fire. A camp was also discovered that had an enclosed trap indicating that potentially a wild animal was kept there. Poachers did not poach any macaw chicks from the monitored nests due to the constant human presence and the increase of patrols conducted by FCD Park Rangers.

    Channel 7

    Pregnant Woman Is Shot In Stomach: Baby Survives
    A pregnant woman and her mother were shot last night at their home on Dolphin Street. At around nine, 18 year old Shenelle Roland was inside her home with her mom when 4 men came up to the house. One of the men opened fire hitting Roland and her mother. Today we found out just how lucky Rolland and her baby are to be alive. Shenelle Rolland is 6 months pregnant. She is expecting in April. She doesn't know what she is having and she wants it to be a surprise. Still, she has a few articles of clothes picked out for when the baby arrives. That dream was almost snatched from her last night when a bullet grazed her belly. She was making supper for her older brother when she heard the gunshots outside. Her brother and his friends were hanging out on these steps when the 2 gunmen came from the back of the house and opened fire. They quickly ran inside. Shenelle and her mother 42 year old Stephanie Smith then ran to the front door to shut it but that's when they faced one of the gunmen who was standing here - the gunman shot Shenelle and her mother before they could close the door.

    GOB To Jack Charles: "Haul Yu Rice!"
    The fight over the importation of Guyanese Rice is over, and it appears that business man Jack Charles has thrown in the towel, at least for the time being. The Government is giving him 2 weeks to make arrangements to export his 3 containers of rice out of Belize. As viewers will remember, a week ago Charles' attorneys had to scramble to the Supreme Court for an interim injunction - to stop customs from destroying the 75 tonnes of rice. That was done after customs got an order of forfeiture from the Magistrate's Court. Today, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin scheduled a hearing to review the lawfulness of the Forfeiture Order from the Magistrate's Court. All sides showed up to court ready to do legal battle, but, the case was never called up. About 2 hours after the parties had an audience before the Chief Justice - they agreed on a compromise: Government would allow Charles 14 days to make arrangements to get the rice out of Belize. We understand that Customs made this proposal to him late last week, but at that time, they were offering him only 7 days to remove the rice. Our information is that he responded saying he would need a month.

    GOB Says Feinstein Wanted Exclusivity For Stake Bank
    On Friday, we told you about the Stake Bank Project - that developer Mike Feinstein was giving up on - after it became clear in a meeting with the Prime Minister that government would not give him the kind of assurances that he needed to attract finance and move forward. Well, today government disclosed that what Feinstein wants is exclusivity - and it's not going to give that. A cabinet release which is about as common as a hurricane in January - was issued today sating plainly, quote, "Cabinet cannot entertain Mr. Feinstein's request for exclusivity. Mr. Feinstein has stated that if he cannot be granted exclusivity, he may have to withdraw the project." It adds, quote, "Cabinet…is reviewing numerous studies that have been done over the past two decades which identifies the Port of Belize as a viable facility. The government has recently received expressions of interest to develop the Port of Belize from two companies so far. One is the company that currently controls the receivership, Ports Investment Limited, and Hertzog International Incorporated." End quote. We note that Ports Investment Limited is the Ashcroft Alliance.

    PM Comments On Banking Sector Under Pressure
    Belize's banks continue to be under major pressure, and now it's affecting the business sector. The pressure is rising because presently there is only one bank with a correspondent banking relationship, and that's Scotiabank. So any business which needs to pay an international creditor, or receive payment by foreign currency cheque or wire transfer has to leave their regular bank and funnel it through Scotia. It's sure to cause a bottleneck, and Scotia has its own international standards and corporate culture, which isn't a match for every business - it does not, for example, have a good track record in the productive sector. And then there's the free zone, where all business has to be transacted in US dollars - but now, both the Belize Bank and the Atlantic Bank are being forced to shutter their operations in the zone - because they have lost their correspondent banking relationships. So with only one bank in the entire country which can freely do international transactions - it's a precarious position - and the entire economy is held in the balance. Today, we asked the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance about this near crisis situation:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I've met with the US Ambassador, our Ambassador in Washington is trying to secure me appointments with the state department, with the US Treasury, with the World Bank - with two regulators; the FDIC and the Office of the Controller of the Currency. One of our difficulties is that a part from the tier one banks, smaller banks, community banks, state banks. In the case of credit card settlements, it's a community bank that has agreed to do that for Belize Bank and for Heritage after the corresponding banking relationship was cut off by Bank of America."

    Murder Attempt In Broad Daylight
    Gang warfare flared up in the streets of Belize City today - and two men were almost killed when they were cornered inside a business establishment. It happened on Barrack Road at a few minutes to 10:00 when a group of men were hanging out on the corner in front of their home. A car affiliated with the Pink's Alley gang pulled up and a gunman got out and started chasing the three men. They ran for cover inside a car wash - and the gunman followed, firing at least five shots. They ran into a tool shed and he fired two shots at close range but missed. The gunman then jumped into the waiting car, which had stopped traffic and sped off. Police have detained a suspect - and believe it is a product of ongoing rivalry between the Victoria Street and Pink's Alley gangs. The business owner told us that the men just ran inside his property - and he and his workers had to take cover.

    Police Make Arrest For On Capital Cabbie Killing
    Police are still investigating the murders of 2 taxi drivers in Belmopan. As we told you, 28 year old Isidro Suar was shot and killed in the Piccini area of Belmopan. His body was found thrown in the bushes near Chon Saan Restaurant on Friday night. But police were able to catch the culprits with the weapons in Ontario shortly after. Police have charged Lincoln Bejerano and a 17 year old female minor for Kept ammunition without a gun license, kept firearm with a gun license, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Both Bejerano and the female minor have been remanded to prison until March 11th. Police told us they are both known to police - Lincoln has a record of gang related offenses as well as robbery. The taxi drivers we spoke to yesterday say they all know Bejerano as well.

    Police Still Searching In Maas Murder
    In the 2nd murder, police still have no one detained. 24 year old Yoni Maas went missing on Thursday night during his late shift at the terminal. His body was found on Sunday morning in Mount Pleasant. He was also shot to death. Police say they still haven't recovered Maas' taxi. The only link the police might have had with the killer was over the phone. Maas' sister told us yesterday that one of Maas' friends called his cell number and someone on the other end picked up but didn't say a word for about 15 minutes, then hung up. So police still have a lot of leads to follow up on and they still can't say for sure if these two murders are related.

    Who Killed Tush, Cops Wanna Know
    Police continue to investigate the case involving the deadly shooting of Cleon Tush Smith, a man who escaped death row in the 90's. He was murdered on Sunday night in the Hattieville village. Smith was sitting under a shed at one of his usual hang out spots when two gun men, gaining access through an empty lot, approached Tush from behind and shot him several times. 48 hours have passed since he was slain, and police say that 3 persons have been brought in for questioning but still they have yet to detain any suspects. Tush was known to be a member of the Ghost town Crips as a young man but it is believed he had given up that life style and settled in Hattieville. Police question whether he had given up the gang life completely as they continue to investigate his murder.

    Ministry Rebuffs Siera Hodgson
    There is still no closure for Siera Hodgson and her family. Siera's mom Mary Castillo was a patient at the Palm Center in Belmopan. But Castillo went missing on October 2nd 2014 and Siera - who is her only living relative - had no idea. She found out 17 days ago when she came to visit on Boxing Day. 20-year-old Siera told us she was shocked and angry because no one informed her or tried to get in touch with her. Well today the Ministry of Health sent out an official release saying they did try to contact Siera. It says "The then administration from Palm Center made several attempts to contact Ms. Castillo's daughter Ms. Siera Hodgson." It continues "the institution didn't and still doesn't have a telephone contact on our records for Ms. Siera. As a result, a message was sent via Facebook to both Siera Hodgson and Susan Hodgson on October 6th and October 22nd and there was no reply." It ends by saying quote, "the staff worked and sought the adequate avenues available to them in trying to pass the information in due fashion."

    Gus Gets Back Home After Detention In Honduras
    After six days of being held in Honduras under suspicion of Money Laundering, Belizean Business man August Tabony, better known as Gus, is home tonight, clear of all charges. News broke last week Tuesday that Tabony was held up at the airport in Roatan, Honduras because he was found with $16,490 US dollars - which he failed to declare. This morning Tabony arrived back in Belize, and our news team was at the airport to ask him about his ordeal. Emanuel Pech reports. His plane landed at the Phillip Goldson International airport about 8:30 this morning where an elated Gus Tabony disembarked the morning flight from Roatan Honduras. He was happy to be back in Belize and glad to be out of Honduras. We met him outside the airport where he recounted the incident. Yesterday he cleared his name in the Honduran court and today he hoped to do the same in Belize's court of public opinion. August Tabony - Cleared of Money Laundering: "The situation in Roatan was a disaster for me. I made a mistake. it could have been cleaned up in about 30 minutes but the prosecutor tried to make a much bigger thing about it and under the laws that they charged me, I had to prove that my money was not from drug trafficking or something like that and we had no problem proving it but then it took 6 days to have the hearing and as soon as we had the hearing, the judge released us. I have no reason to hang my head in shame. "

    BTL's Short Term Plan For LTE
    At the end of November, we told you about you about BTL's announcement that it intended to upgrade it's mobile data network to 4G LTE. The transition ahs been fast tracked to give some relief to customers who are bombarding the present 4g switch - which is overloaded. But in the race to roll out the service, SMART has beaten them to it. Just before Christmas, SMART announced that their 4G LTE service was here, while BTL customers are waiting for what's been derogatorily called "Slow G" to improve. BTL's Chairman of the Executive Committee Anwar Barrow, today implored those BTL 4G customers to wait just a little while longer while the company works to roll out 4G LTE as soon as possible. Here's that back and forth: Anwar Barrow - Exec. Chair., BTL Board: "I'm glad you asked that question because we put our some information on that. there have been areas where there have been challenges in terms of the experience and that has simply been because of the growth it's not that anything has been changed in the system or there is something wrong in the background, it's just because the traffic has grown so much over the last 10 months the traffic has grown by 800%.

    Bowen Brewery Invests 40 Million
    Back in September and December, Bowen & Bowen customers surely noticed that there was a shortage plastic bottle soft drinks and Belikin Beers. Those 2 months, especially December, that kind of thing is more than an inconvenience because the consumption of those products increases drastically. Well, today, Bowen and Bowen launched it's new Bottling Plant, a 40 million dollar investment to ensure that shortages like what happened last year will be a thing of the past. It was an event where major Government Representatives were present for it's unveiling. Today, we spoke with the President and CEO of Bowen and Bowen about the new plant: Michael Bowen - President/CEO, Bowen & Bowen LTD: "This represents 4 yrs. ago we made a plan, an integrated investment plan as I made reference to in my speech and this is coming to the end of our investment plan by the middle of this year. This represents a major monetary investment as well as time and capital as well as thinking and process for all of our consumers for making sure we always satisfy demand." Daniel Ortiz: "Sir, so what does this facility do for you all and what is the value of it? What does it cost you all to be at this point where it's now mass producing?" Michael Bowen - President/CEO, Bowen & Bowen LTD: "To me this represents more than just a capacity to bottle more beverages. It also adds the stability to order more portfolios to our products. the investment overall in this facility is we had a budget of 40 million dollars for this facility but its only part of our greater investment products or overall production for not only Coca Cola but for Crystal Water, Belikin Beer and for all of our products from Bowen & Bowen."

    Gentle Says GSU Were Harsh
    Last night we told you about the stash the GSU found on Lacroix street: a new gun, a pound of weed and a police radio. It was found in an open overgrown lot, but a press release from the GSU linked it to the Tyrone Gentle, who lives across form the open lot. But what the release didn't talk about is the beat-down they put on Gentle when they tried to get into his phone. He came by our newsroom this evening to tell us about it:... Tyrone Gentle, Beaten by GSU: "Just for the pin number from my phone they beat me up. Because one of the female officers that were there asked for the pin number." Jules Vasquez: "Your phone was locked?" Tyrone Gentle, Beaten by GSU: "Yes my phone was locked and they ask for the number and because I told them that I didn't remember the number, they start to beat me for the number. They beat me until they got it out of me. They handcuffed me on the ground and continue to beat me until they got it from me. I would have to give them it because one of them have their foot around my neck - like I was losing my breath, they kicked me in my stomach, in my back. They stand on my back, kick me on my ankle - they chanced me. They outright chance me."

    GSU Gets Gun and Weed
    The GSU continues undeterred. The unit says it picked up less than an ounce of Marijuana at the home of 25 year old Elvis ALDANA on Rivero Street, in Belize City yesterday. Four persons were present and all of them were arrested and charged for Possession of Controlled Drugs. One of the persons in the house is Joseph LOPEZ known as STUNNA who was charged in January 2014 for the crimes of Attempted murder, Dangerous harm, and Use of deadly means of harm as a result of a shooting incident and in October of 2014 he was charged for the Robbery at A&R on the Phillip Goldson Highway. And also last night at about 7:45pm, on Plues Street, the GSU searched an abandoned garage where they found a .380 pistol which was loaded with six (6) live .380 hollow point rounds. Police Firearm records revealed that the handgun is the property of Bradley PAUMEN of Belmopan - last licensed in 2011, but never reported stolen. PAUMEN is currently on remand for an Abetment to Murder charge.

    BTL Teams Up With SJC To Create Technology Culture
    A memorandum of understanding was signed today between the Chairman of BTL'S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, Anwar Barrow and the President of SJC Allis Peralta, to cement a partnership between the two institutions. They are teaming up for an enhanced Associate's Degree Program in Computer Networking with an emphasis in IP Technology. The signing was accompanied by the unveiling of the newly refurbished computer and diagnostics lab. The facility that will be used for practical instruction in the enhanced Associate's Degree Program. The Ceremony took place at the St. John's College West Landivar Campus in Belize City earlier today - and we were there. Allis Peralta - President, SJC: "It is in this spirit that we accept to submit a proposal addressed to BTL's needs for an academic program design to train its employees in the area of computer networking whilst at the same time obtaining the benefit of a fully equip computer lab for our students to be known as the BTL technology lab. We strongly believe that this program and the BTL technology lab will have a significant impact on the future of both employees of BTL and the students of St. Johns College. It is clear that technology is an essential component of the modern work place and it is thus imperative that as an educational institution we are able to train not only the current work force but also the future work force of this nation."

    Let's Take A Long Walk
    The Belize Law enforcement agency has been invited to participate in one of the largest law enforcement events in the world - the B2V. It is a relay foot race held every year in the US. The race covers 120 miles from Baker, California to Las Vegas, Nevada and it involves over 8 thousand participants. The organizers have invited 25 members - 20 men and 5 females- of the Belize law enforcement departments to participate this year. It is a strenuous race, one that mandates the body to be in top physical form. So, can our law enforcement personnel handle this rigorous challenge? Raymond Arnold, one of the organizers of the "Belize Protectors Team" seems to think so. He stopped by our studios today to talk about their qualifying race to be held this Saturday. The Law enforcement departments have joined forces with the Belize Olympic Association in this relay challenge. But of course getting invited is the easy part, getting there is quite another. The group organizing the team says their estimated costs for participating in the event is $100 thousand dollars. As a result they are now turning to the public for support.

    New Rides For Forestry
    We hear about vehicle donations to the BDF and the police department all the time, but today the Department of the Environment got 6 new vehicles to enhance their environmental health programs. Today a handing over ceremony was held in Belmopan and the Minister of State responsible for the environment and climate change, Omar Figueroa told the media today how the department will benefit from this donation. As you heard, there is also a grant of 6 million US dollars that will assist with other programs.

    A Government Commission For Maya Rights
    The court mandated it, and the government has set up a Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission - complete with a full time Chairman and an office. Former Minister, Lisel Alamilla will be the Chairman and the Office will be at the Attorney General's Ministry in Belmopan City. Alamilla is joined by members Noreen Fairweather and Randall Sheppard who is a Crown Counsel in the Attorney General's Ministry. Anthony Ross, an attorney with expertise in Indigenous Affairs, is also an expert Consultant to the Commission. A release says that The Commission's job is to to implement the Consent Order of the Caribbean Court of Justice, which requires Government to adopt affirmative measures to identify and protect the rights arising from Maya customary land tenure. This Commission will establish collaborative consultation and participation of key stakeholders, mainly focusing on the twenty three villages, including Conejo and Santa Cruz, the Maya Leaders Alliance, and the Toledo Alcalde Association.

    Water for Aguacate
    In other news from the south - the village of Agaucate will get a water system valued at 337 thousand dollars. It's CDB funding through the social investment fund - and Senator Macario Cal underscored the importance:..

    Channel 5

    2 Women Shot After Gunmen Unleash a Hail of Lead
    A barrage of gunshots was unleashed before nine o’clock on Dolphin Street, Belize City on Monday night. Gunmen fired as many as fifteen shots at two men sitting on the [...]

    Gunshots Ring Out on Barrack Road as Gang Tensions Escalate
    While a mother and child were injured in the Dolphin Street shooting, a pair of Belize City men is fortunate to have escaped unscathed from a mid-morning shooting near Newtown [...]

    Belmopan Taxi Operators Anxious After Two of Their Own Were Executed
    The communities of Salvapan and Maya Mopan are still reeling from the brutal murders of two young taxi-men from those communities. The body of Isidro Suar was discovered late Friday [...]

    Importer Jack Charles Given Two Weeks to Export Rice
    Now turning to the issue of the Guyanese rice….Businessman Jack Charles has until January twenty-seventh to re-export three containers of the rice from Belize.  That is the result of an [...]

    PM Barrow Says Jack Charles Did Not Follow Procedures
    This afternoon, we managed to speak to Prime Minister Dean Barrow for his take on the Guyana rice situation. He told us that where it’s at right now is that [...]

    Derisking Poses Huge Threat to Belize, Says PM
    The PM touched on a number of hot-buttoned issues this afternoon. The issue of the loss of U.S. correspondent banking relationships due to de-risking is poses as an existential threat [...]

    G.O.B. Taking All Steps to Find a Solution
    Barrow says that while we are not quite there yet, the potential impact on Belize is real and huge. That is what has forced G.O.B. to be galvanized into action [...]

    Barrow Says Feinstein Will Not Get Exclusivity
    Today, Cabinet sent out a release on an application by Stake Bank developer Mike Feinstein for exclusivity under a twenty-five year contract where that project is concerned. Last week, Feinstein [...]

    News 5 Travels to Guatemala for Presidential Inauguration
    This Thursday, a new president will be sworn into office in Guatemala and News Five will be there to bring you coverage of the event in both our newscasts as [...]

    GSU on City Anti-Drug Operations
    The Gang Suppression Unit was involved in four anti-drugs operations in various areas of the City on Monday. At noon the Unit searched the house of alleged drug peddler Elvis [...]

    John Briceño Speaks on Candidacy for P.U.P. Leader
    John Briceño…he’s a candidate for a position he held from 2008 to 2011, Party Leader of the People’s United Party. On January thirty-first, he will face immediate past Party Leader [...]

    Briceño Says That This Time Undermining Will Not Be Tolerated
    When Briceño stepped down in 2011, a major factor was allegedly the turmoil in the Party which could not be quelled. Briceño was unable to gain the support of those [...]

    Belizean Businessman Freed After 6 Days in Detention
    After spending six days in detention at a jail in Roatan, Honduras, Belizean businessman August Tabony is back home. The sixty-five year old businessman was detained at the Juan Manuel [...]

    August Tabony Says He is Reconsidering His Investments in Honduras
    Tabony is the proprietor of several gift stores in Belize and has also invested in Roatan for decades. He told the media today that the incident has left a bad [...]

    Mayan Land Rights Commission Named
    The Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission has been named.  Before we get to the names, the scope of work of the Commission is the implementation of the Consent Order of [...]

    B.T.L. Signs Memorandum of Understanding With SJCJC
    After sending out the call to several education institutions to make the bid, today, Belize Telemedia Limited signed a memorandum of understanding with Saint John’s College Junior College. The MOU [...]

    B.T.L. Chairman Anwar Barrow Claims That Revenues Will Increase
    The media also took the opportunity to ask Chairman Barrow about several issues including the drop in profits at the government-owned telecommunications company. Barrow says that while the financials have [...]

    Chairman Barrow Explains Hiccups in 4G Service
    But that is little or no consolation to Telemedia customers who for months now have been experiencing dropped calls, interruptions in data services despite the stabilization of the 4G service [...]

    Meet the New Children’s Rights Ambassadors
    In 1990, Belize signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Twenty-six years later, government through the National Committee for Families and Children has established a [...]

    Mark your calendars & be sure not to miss the debut of Channel 5's newest show: GREAT BELIZE COOKING! The Chef Sean Kuylen takes us on a culinary journey all over Belize to discover the tradition and production process of the our favorite cultural foods and ingredients. Great Belize Cooking premieres January 26, 2016 at 8:00pm on Channel 5!


    Principals Of The Corozal District Meets T Discuss Challenges In The Education Sector
    With the aim of discussing obstacles that are presently hampering the delivery of a proper primary school curriculum, primary school principals in the Corozal District hold monthly meetings at the Education Department. The first meeting for the New Year was held a few days ago and many issues were laid on the table including the PSE requisite correspondence and capacity building. Jahmore Lopez Education Centre Manager: “Today we are meeting with our School principals, it our monthly meeting, we usually bring in our principals for capacity building sessions as educators we have to remain current there are so many changes and since it is the start of the new year, its January and we invited them for a meeting to bring them up to speed with what is happening believe it or not 2016 is almost finish and the school year will be ending very shortly can’t believe it ash Wednesday is next month and then it is Easter and before your know it school is closed and school year ends and another one is about to begin so we trying to ensure that we have our eye dotted and our T’s cross and so we’ve invited them sharing pertinent information as you know we have the PSA exam that we normally do and that is coming up the first sitting is actually Monday March 14th roughly two months away and so we need to deal with final preparation in terms of ensuring that students are properly registered, that their names is spelled correctly etc. and we deal with the requisite correspondence, the second sitting is actually going to be on Tuesday because May 1st I think it is a Sunday and then the Monday will be the holiday which is May 2nd and so the second sitting of the PSE will be on the Tuesday May 3rd, so the first sitting is English and Science and the second sitting is math and Social Studies.”

    Jack Charles given Fourteen Days To Re-export Rice
    The hearing at the Supreme Court in the matter of Jack Charles against the customs department to determine whether or not the Order of Forfeiture granted to Customs by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer was lawful or not was called off after an agreement was reached to re-export the three containers of Guyanese rice that Charles attempted to import in December. GOB informed Charles on Friday that under section 133 of the importation laws of Belize he will have seven days to re-export the rice. Charles attempted to negotiate for a one month period but in the end, agreed to the 14 day time limit given to him by the Ministry of Finance and Prime Minister Dean Borrow.

    Ministry Of Health Weighs In On Case Of Mary Castillo
    Earlier this year the baffling story of Mary Castillo was brought to light by her daughter Sierra Hodgson. Mary Castillo was a patient at the Palm Center and had been an inpatient since August 2006 until October 2nd 2014 when she disappeared from the institution. Siera Hodgson - who lives in the UK - had no idea of the disappearance of her mother. Hodgson found out a couple weeks ago on Boxing Day when she came to Belize to visit her mom. When she got to the center is when she learned her mom was missing and could be dead. Information coming from the Palm center was that at the time of Castillo’s disappearance they exhausted all possible means to get in contact with Hodgson and were unable to do so but Siera kept that she did not receive any information from the center about her mother’s disappearance.


    PM Barrow Seeks Solution to Banking Sector Woes
    In May 2015 the Bank of America had severed ties with Belize Bank Limited thus creating a void and some serious inconveniences for importers, business persons and the public in general who conduct overseas transactions. It is a serious issue and as was mentioned by CARICOM’s Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque, Belize is not the only […]

    PM Says No Exclusivity for Mike Feinstein or Stake Bank
    In 2004, the Government of Belize had signed onto an agreement with the Fort Street Tourism Village, giving the port exclusivity in the Belize District. Some years later when Michael Feinstein sought to develop the Stake Bank Project which would be another port in Belize City, there were obstacles due to this agreement. The matter […]

    Regional Heads of CARICOM To Discuss Key Issues in Belize
    Interim Chair for the Caribbean Community is Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Last week CARICOM’s Secretary General Irwin LaRocque was in the country meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss his role as the Chair. In February the heads of the CARICOM member states will meet on the Placencia peninsula for a Heads of Government […]

    Customs Pursues Contrabandista in High Speed Chase
    Custom officers in Belize City were engaged in a high speed chase on the south side of the old capital just after nine o’clock this morning. Love News understands that a Custom officer had received a tip of a white van in the Queen’s Square Market area carrying uncustomed goods. A team of Customs officers […]

    John Briceno Ready for Another Run at PUP Leadership
    John Briceno has served as Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and is a former party leader for the People’s United Party. Briceno is now seeking the post of leadership again for the blue and white camp and today we asked him why. JOHN BRICENO “I am doing that because I love the PUP and I […]

    A Commission for Toledo Maya Land Rights
    Attorney General Vanessa Retreage has appointed the members of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission. The Chairman of the Commission is Lisel Alamilla while Noreen Fairweather and Randall Shepherd are the members. Attorney Anthony Ross, who has experience in Indigenous Affairs, has been retained as expert consultant to the Commission. The primary responsibility of the […]

    Jack Charles Gets Second Chance with Guyanese Rice
    The 75 tons of Guyanese rice that Extra House Importer Jack Charles brought into the country late last year is still being housed in three containers inside the Port of Big Creek in Independence. After Justice Sonya Young, rejected Charles’ application for judicial review, rumors of the Customs Department wanting to destroy the rice, prompted […]

    Mom and Pregnant Daughter Caught in Gunfire
    A mother and daughter were getting ready for bed last night just after eight o’clock when they were shot at the entrance of their home by two gunmen. 42-year-old, Stephanie Smith remains in the hospital after she received a gunshot wound to her stomach; while her pregnant 18-year-old daughter, Shennelle Rowland was released from the […]

    GSU Carries Out Operations on South Side of the City
    Yesterday, at around midday, the GSU searched the home of twenty five year old Elvis Aldana on Rivero Street in Belize City. With Aldana at the time were, Marco Zelaya, an eighteen year old computer technician of Reggae Street, twenty year old Joseph Lopez, an electrician of Mahogany Street and a 17 year old female […]

    BTL Partners with SJC for Computer Networking Program
    Today the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Belize Telemedia Limited, Anwar Barrow and President of SJCJC, Mirtha Peralta, signed a memorandum of understanding for an Associate Degree Program in Computer networking. The program will focus on Internet Protocol Technology. According to both, Peralta and Barrow, this joint venture represents a new and innovative method […]


    Belmopan Taxi man shot and killed on Friday night
    At around 10:30 to 11:00 p.m. on Friday night , January 8, residents living near the Picinni area in Belmopan say they heard at least 5 distinct gunshots in the distance coming from the George Price Boulevard. Police were called out to the area and immediately responded to find a person face down o...

    Decomposed Body of another taximan found
    That first murder occurred on Friday night but there is a second murder to report. The wife of 24 year old Yoni Maas reported to Police that her common-law husband had not returned to their home in Salvapan, as is usual after running taxi, and she feared that something was wrong. Friends and family ...

    Former street figure murdered in Hattieville
    Was Cleon “Tush” Smith targeted over drugs, old conflicts or something else? Police have no shortage of leads in the Sunday night murder, which took place as he sat behind a gated residence on Sylvester Boulevard in Hattieville Village. With the details here is Senior Superintendent of P...

    Stabbed up body found in PG well
    A decomposed body was found in Punta Gorda. At about 8:30 a.m. on Sunday the 10th of January, the decomposed body of 19 year old Jarrel Edward Pop was found. The body was found inside a well in the New City area of Punta Gorda. An onsite post mortem was conducted and the cause of death was certified...

    Several Fires set in Punta Gorda
    On the 10th of January, four fires were reported in Punta Gorda, all suspected to be linked to one another, and all suspected to be arson. At about 1:25 a.m., a vehicle was set on fire at Cayetano Street in Punta Gorda. The red 2005 Chevy Colorado, 4- door pick up truck was seen with fire coming fro...

    Woman raped at junction
    A 48-year-old woman has reported being raped. On Saturday the 9th of January, a 48 year old woman visited the Dangriga Police Station and reported that she had been sexually assaulted. She told police that she came off a bus at the 6 miles Hummingbird junction alone, and while she was at the junctio...

    Teenage girl missing
    15 year old Seily Jozeline Aguilar has been reported missing. On January the 6th at about 6:20a.m., 15-year-old Seily Aguilar left her home in her Belmopan Comprehensive High School uniform and has not returned home since. Seily is stands about 5ft in height, is slim built, weighs about 110lbs, has ...

    Caye Caulker Chronicles

    Messages From Inspector Dehanne Augustine
    Caye Caulker Sub–Formation would like to thank the community members for their participation in assisting the police in the recovery of items that were stolen during burglaries in the village. Over the past months our village has and is being plagued with burglaries. We are therefore asking our community members to refrain from purchasing these islands, as it is against the law to buy or handle stolen items. Remember! You are helping the criminals when you buy or handle these stolen items. Once again, thank you. Together, let's keep our island safe!!


    6 murdered in 10 days
    Ten days into the New Year, police are already recording six murders, four of which happened between last Thursday and this Sunday night in the Belize, Cayo and Toledo Districts. The sudden spike in homicides this weekend is statistically significant, since Belize recorded 7 murders for the month of January 2015, down from 10 in January 2014. The weekend bloodbath claimed the lives of Isidro Suar, 28, of Belmopan; Jarrel Edward Pop, 19, of Punta Gorda; Yoni Maas, 24, of Belmopan; and Cleon Smith, aka “Tush”, 41, of Hattieville. The murders follow the slaying of Canadian filmmaker, Matthiew Klinck, 37, last weekend, for which two teenagers of Santa Elena were charged last Friday. On New Year’s Day, Kieron Moss, 21, was gunned down in Belize City. Although there were reports that police had detained a suspect for questioning, as far as we are aware, no one has yet been charged for the Moss murder.

    New Guat regime takes office Thursday
    A team of new government officials will be sworn in this Thursday, January 14, in Guatemala as that country’s recently elected president, Jimmy Morales, takes office, along with new members of Congress and Cabinet. Chief Executive Officer in Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Sylvestre, told Amandala today that Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be attending the inauguration, and he will be supported by the Belize Embassy in Guatemala City, through which, he said, the Prime Minister will be well served. Sylvestre won’t attend, as he will be accompanying Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington to Georgetown, Guyana, for the Friday, January 15, 2016 meeting of the CARICOM Council of Ministers. Belize’s resident ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado, explained, in speaking with Amandala today, that there will be a series of ceremonies held in Guatemala City on Thursday. A new Congress will be sworn in on Thursday morning and in the afternoon, Morales and the new vice president of Guatemala will be sworn in.

    Two Belmopan taxi men gunned down
    Two taxi men from the nation’s capital, Belmopan, have been murdered, and police are investigating whether their murders are related. Shortly after 11:00 p.m., on Friday, January 8, police were called to the Piccini area of Belmopan, where they found the body of Isidro Suar, 28, a taxi driver of Peru Street, Salvapan, in Belmopan. Suar suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his head, the side of his body and his back. His body was transported to the Western Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 1:11 a.m. on Saturday, January 9. Stephanie Grinage, Inspector of Police, Deputy Commander, Belmopan Police, told Amandala today that police were able to detain two persons for the homicide: Lincoln Bejerano, 25, of Tijuana, Mexico, and a 17-year-old female, both living in Belmopan. As we report in a separate article appearing in this edition of Amandala, police had set up a checkpoint in the Ontario Village area, and the two were detained after the maroon Toyota Rav 4 they were in sped past the checkpoint.

    Arsonist goes wild in PG
    Punta Gorda police have detained an alleged serial arsonist who they say was responsible for causing a series of fires in Punta Gorda Town—setting ablaze two vehicles, a home and a restaurant between 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on Sunday. The first fire was reported at about 1:25 Sunday morning. According to police, a vehicle parked on Cayetano Street, Punta Gorda, was engulfed in flames. The Punta Gorda Fire Service quickly extinguished the blaze. However, the 2005 Chevy Colorado, 4-door pickup truck, belonging to Merida Chan, of # 5 Cayetano Street, was completely destroyed. Chan told police, that around 10:00 o’clock on Saturday night, she and her boyfriend made sure that the vehicle was securely locked before retiring for the night. They went to bed, but at about 1:20 a.m., she woke up and saw that the front of the vehicle was engulfed in flames. Then, about an hour later, at 2:34 a.m., someone tried to burn down Victor Caliz’s house, on Vernon Street, Punta Gorda. He found that a chair on his verandah was on fire, but he quickly put out the blaze—averting what could have been a major disaster.

    Chief Justice Benjamin highlights need for criminal justice reform
    The traditional opening of the Supreme Court began this morning with a church ceremony at the Holy Redeemer Cathedral. Following the service, the traditional march of members of the judiciary and the legal profession passed through the downtown area, ending in front of the main Supreme Court building, where Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin inspected a police guard of honor, before he addressed the bench and bar in his packed courtroom. The Chief Justice underscored the dire need for criminal justice reform, noting that the situation worsened in 2015. “As of December 31, 2015, there are 403 persons on remand at the Belize Central Prison. That is an increase over the remand population at the end of 2014. Of that number, 118 are awaiting trial at the Supreme Court, predominantly for the offense of murder,” Benjamin said, adding that 27 persons have been on remand for over 5 years. In the Civil Division of the Supreme Court, there were a total of 806 cases filed in 2015, while 334 divorce petitions were received for filing and 309 defended and undefended divorce decrees were granted.

    Contrabandistas blamed for carrot crisis
    Orange Walk carrot producers stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars because their locally grown produce is being boxed out of the market by imported carrots, which have flooded stalls and stores around the country, allegedly due to oversupply caused by contrabandistas. Roberto Harrison, Chief Agriculture Officer, who conceded that there could be an increase in contraband carrots on the Belize market, told our newspaper that the last permit for the importation of carrots was given in the latter part of December—but that was only for 3,000 pounds of carrots and so there should not be an oversupply of imported carrots on the market. Media reports indicate that $30,000 worth of carrots could be lost and two-thirds ($20,000 worth) is already rotting in the fields. CTV3 in Orange Walk reported last week that 15 farmers of San Carlos Village, Orange Walk District, have been unable to sell their carrots. According to 7News, 10 acres of carrots worth $20,000 dollars are wasting in the fields.

    Belize to host C.A. Cross Country Championship
    Belize will be hosting the 10th Central American Cross Country Championship in Athletics. This event is sponsored by CADICA, the Central American Track and Field Organization. The event is set to take place on Saturday, February 20, at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo. Runners from all countries in Central America will converge into Belize for this event. Approximately 125 persons will be hosted in Belize for the meet. Belize hosted this event some years ago, but this is the first under this new executive. We hope to make a good showing, with the participation and sponsorship of a number of business sponsors and the Ministry of Sports. The Belize Athletics Association (BAA) will be having a national competition on Saturday, January 30, to select athletes to represent at the event in February. Any and all interested persons should contact the BAA as early as possible to register. Contact can be made on our facebook account or email [email protected]

    BAA mourns the loss of outstanding athlete, Joseph Carr
    The executive and membership of the Belize Athletic Association (BAA) joins the Carr family in mourning the loss of a husband, father and outstanding athlete, Mr. Joseph Carr. Mr. Carr was a decorated long distance athlete for Belize and the Athletic Association. He recently ran and won the New Year’s Day 5K run organized by the Belize Athletic Association. The Executive and membership of the BAA express condolences to the Carr family, and pray God’s comfort and peace now and in the days ahead.

    Playoff spots will be decided this Sunday in BDFA U-15
    Another set of back matches was played yesterday in the BDFA Interim Committee U-15 football tournament at the MCC Grounds. In game 1, Smart Brown Bombers won, 5-3, over Face of Belize. Tyreek Mushcamp struck twice, and Eshaq King, Maynor Hernandez and Michael Deshield scored a goal apiece for the Bombers, while Ajani Vaughn got 2 goals and Sergio Andrade scored the other for Face of Belize. In game 2, Hattieville Riverside Boys and Berger United played to a nil-nil draw. Game 3 saw Ladyville Jaguars emerging 2-1 winners over Ladyville Rising Stars. Allen Anderson and D’Jon Canelo hit the target for the Jaguars, while Camryn Lozano scored for Rising Stars. In the scheduled game 4, Carlston Strikers won by default over Collet Strikers.

    Editorial: An important inauguration
    December 1975 was a busy month in a busy year for Henry Kissinger. Just about ten days after okaying Suharto’s assault on East Timor, Kissinger met with Iraq’s foreign minister, Sa’dun Hammadi. Hoping to turn Baghdad against Moscow, Kissinger promised Hammadi that in exchange for toning down Iraq’s Baathist radicalism and moving away from the Soviet Union, Ford (U.S. President, Gerald Ford) would bring Israel to heel and force it to give up its occupied territories. “Israel does us more harm than good in the Arab world,” Kissinger said to Iraq’s foreign minister. “We can’t negotiate about the existence of Israel, but we can reduce its size to historical proportions.” Notwithstanding what he had told Hammadi, Kissinger was not going to reduce Israel to “historical proportions.” But he did have a more expendable people he could offer up and keep his word: the Kurds. Just three years earlier, he had schemed with Iran to destabilize Baathist Iraq by supporting the Kurds, providing them with weapons (supplied by Israel so as not to alert the State Department) to wage an insurgent war for independence in northern Iraq. Kissinger didn’t expect the Kurds to triumph. He often complained about the unworkable size of the United Nations and the last thing he wanted was yet another member state (Bangladesh was bad enough). He just needed the Kurdish insurgency to provide enough pressure on Baghdad to give him leverage.

    From the Publisher
    More than a month ago, I wrote a column about a tragedy which had occurred in New York City in which the victim had been the young Belizean bride in a wedding I attended during the summer of 1966 in New York City. All I knew of Mrs. Junior Reneau was that her first name was Carlota, that she was light-skinned, and beautiful, and that her mother was dark-skinned. Well, the lady Gertrude Smith Flowers (the former Radio Belize star) filled in some blank spaces when she flew home from New York last month for her dad’s funeral in Rancho Dolores. Gertrude, who has been a loyal friend of mine for many, many years, made a visit to the newspaper to do some business after the funeral, and she tied up several loose ends after nearly fifty years of questions on my side. Gertrude told us in the newspaper office that Carlota Moss was in the class ahead of hers at Pallotti High School. She remembers that Carlota was beautiful, yes, that she had come to Belize from Honduras, and that she likely left Belize, British Honduras, in 1964, perhaps before graduating.

    Fisheries consultations look at realignment of protected areas zones
    The Belize Fisheries Department is planning a series of consultations to be held next week in southern Belize for commercial fishermen in the South, and particularly those who use the South Water Caye Marine Reserve and Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve. James Azueta, Ecosystems Management Unit Coordinator at the Belize Fisheries Department, said that they hope that through the upcoming consultations, they will get valuable feedback on possible realignments within the two protected fishing zones. According to an official release from the Department, the purpose of the consultations is “…to discuss the readjustment, the possible expansion and creation of zones within the two targeted protected areas.” The specific objectives of the consultations are to get feedback on the existing boundaries of the protected areas, and to realign those boundaries and create new zones if necessary to address the livelihoods of the stakeholders and at the same time protect the existing habitats and ecosystems. They also aim to gather data to develop spatial maps reflecting the outcome of the consultations.

    Sargassum: from bane to boon
    Across the Caribbean, the mysterious invasion of the Sargassum seaweed has for the past 4 years had disruptive impacts on both fisheries and tourism, but the phenomenon which was first seen as a bane because of its adverse impacts has, conversely, fueled a boon for enterprising persons who have found innovative ways to exploit the explosion of the weed. “The Sargassum situation is a challenge for all of us in the region. We first had a massive inundation of Sargassum seaweed in 2011. For 2012, 2013 we did not have much. 2014 we had a little more and last year it was a major problem throughout the Caribbean region—massive problem,” Milton Haughton, executive director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), told the media on Thursday. In explaining the origin of the seaweed which has inundated the Caribbean, Haughton said: “…based on the scientific information that we and our partners have been able to gather, we know that the Sargassum is coming from, not the Sargasso Sea as was initially thought, but an area in the Atlantic, just in the southern Atlantic.”

    Belize economy forecast to grow at 2.5% in 2016: World Bank
    A new World Bank report titled, Global Economic Prospects, January 2016: Spillovers amid Weak Growth, reports that the Belize economy grew at an estimated rate of 3% in 2015, down from a rate of 3.6% in 2014. It reports that Belize’s forecasted GDP growth for 2016 will be lower – at 2.5%, which would represent the third consecutive year of GDP decline for Belize. The world economic forecast was also positive, according to the report, which said that, “…global growth is poised to recover modestly, by 2.9 percent in 2016, after (once again) falling short of expectations at 2.4 percent in 2015, held back by weak capital flows to emerging and developing countries, weak trade and low commodity prices.” It raises expectations that “….China will steer its economy to a more consumption and services-led growth and the monetary policy tightening cycle in the United States will proceed without undue turbulence; as a consequence, global growth will see a modest upturn.”

    A new home for Shermaine Flowers and family
    Shermaine Flowers, 37, her husband and seven children, who live in Unitedville, are the recipients of a brand new pine lumber home with mahogany doors through the generosity of Pastor Ron Braaten of Oasis Ministry, located in Unitedville. Flowers said that she had gotten notice to evacuate the home she had been occupying, but just before Christmas, she received good news that she would receive a brand new four-bedroom home on January 2, 2016. Flowers told Amandala, overjoyed, that she would finally have a home of her own. Braaten said that Oasis has been working in Belize for 17 years, and for the past 10 years they have been offering housing assistance to families. Flowers’ home is the 94th they have awarded, and it is an “amazing journey to be a part of,” Braaten said.

    Cordel Hyde hits the ground running ahead of Jan. 31 PUP leadership convention
    The Opposition People’s United Party held a meeting of its National Party Council on Saturday morning to work out the operational ground rules for its January 31 national convention. All candidates aspiring to fill the party’s vacant executive posts, including the three men campaigning for the position of party leader, converged at their Independence Hall headquarters with an estimated 200 out of the 3,000 delegates who will cast their ballots at the upcoming convention. Francis Fonseca—the PUP leader who resigned and announced that he would not seek another term as area representative for the Freetown Division, but who was apparently coaxed into running for the leadership post—declined our request for comments, saying, “The chairman will speak.” John Briceño also declined to comment on how his bid to return to the leadership position is taking shape and bid us, “Happy New Year!” before he walked away. PUP chairman, Henry Charles Usher, said that the meeting was a very straightforward meeting.

    180 Cubans to begin pilot exodus via Central America on Tuesday
    Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 12, the International Office for Migration (IOM) will facilitate the exodus of 180 Cubans from Costa Rica, as a part of a pilot transfer of nearly 10,000 persons currently stranded in Central America, according to a statement issued last Wednesday by Costa Rica’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. The Cubans are flocking to the US to take advantage of that country’s wet-foot, dry-foot policy—which provides special privileges for Cubans to legitimize their status in the US, even if they arrive without papers, but which turns them back to Cuba if they are detained at sea. They are scrambling because they fear that the policy—which sister countries in the region say has been unfairly preferential to Cubans—will be rescinded now that the US has normalized relations with Cuba. The Government of Costa Rica announced last week that the pilot flight, capable of transporting 180 Cubans, is supported by various businesses. They are expected to depart from Costa Rica’s Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber, in Guanacaste, and transported to El Salvador. From there, they will travel by bus to Guatemala and then to Mexico.

    Two Santa Elena teens, 19 and 16, remanded for Klinck murder after confession: police
    Two teenagers of Santa Elena – Brandon Anderson, 19, and another young male, 16, have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on joint charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the vicious stabbing death of Canadian filmmaker, Matthiew Klinck, 37, who was found dead Sunday night, January 3, in Selena Village, Cayo, near Spanish Lookout. Anderson and the minor, who were known to Klinck, were arraigned in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court on Friday afternoon and remanded until their next court appearance on April 12, 2016. The arrest of the two accused killers came after five days of intense investigation into the murder of Klinck, whose decomposing body was found in his yard about 15 feet from his house, in Selena, at about 8:30 Sunday night. According to police, he had been stabbed about 14 times in his upper body, and his house and vehicle were open and had been ransacked. The lead investigator in the case, Inspector Reymundo Reyes, Deputy Commander of the San Ignacio Police, told reporters that robbery was the motive of the murder.

    Reports carried by Breaking News Belize are that reliable sources had said that Pop had been decapitated, and his head found at the bottom of the well, but police would not confirm or deny those reports.
    Allen Nunez, a man of the New City area of Punta Gorda Town, got a big surprise when he went to his well to get water on Sunday morning, but instead found the decomposing body of a man inside. He immediately alerted his neighbor, and police were called to the scene. Police investigations revealed that the body discovered at around 8:30 that morning was that of Jarrel Edward Pop, 19, a laborer of Queen Street, Punta Gorda. His body was retrieved from the well and an onsite post-mortem was conducted, at about 4:30 yesterday evening. The autopsy certified the cause of death as multiple sharp and blunt force injuries, consistent with chop and stab wounds to the neck, back, cervical region and lower abdomen, police said. Reports carried by Breaking News Belize are that reliable sources had said that Pop had been decapitated, and his head found at the bottom of the well, but police would not confirm or deny those reports.

    Feinstein throws in the towel on US$100 mil Stake Bank project
    The US$100 million mega-tourism enterprise which was supposed to include a cruise port and an expansive shopping zone offshore Belize City, could be abandoned after a short meeting between the developer, Michael Feinstein, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Friday. Amandala readers will recall that the Feinstein project had gotten rare bipartisan support when a bill to grant exemptions on the payment of taxes and duties was taken to Parliament early 2014. “All the Prime Minister was to do was to sign the statutory instrument and we would be set to go…” Feinstein told us today. “The only way I would revisit [the Stake Bank project], is if Government guarantees the loan,” he said. After the latest revelation that the Government has been entertaining other potential cruise port investors, Feinstein said that he has no guarantee that others won’t be brought in to the sector, which would make it hard for him to secure the returns he needs to have on the investment to make it viable. “The fact that Prime Minister could actually entertain that when I am about to start a project makes it impossible. It makes no business sense to go down that road,” the developer told us.

    Former death row inmate, Cleon “Tush” Smith, gunned down in Hattieville

    Family car jacked at Armenia speedbump
    Melonie Popper Coc, 38, of Ladyville, Belize District, and her family were robbed at gunpoint while travelling from Belmopan to Dangriga, Stann Creek, by two armed bandits, when she stopped briefly in Armenia Village to make a phone call. The unmasked bandits stole the vehicle Popper Coc was driving – a silver blue Isuzu D-Max belonging to Puma Energy – and made off with a range of items, together valued at almost $17,000. According to police, Popper Coc was travelling with her mother and 4 children when the incident occurred at about 7:15 Saturday night, between a vegetable stall and a bus stop near the second speed bump on the highway in Armenia. Popper Coc had pulled over to the side of the highway and exited the vehicle to make a phone call and within about two minutes, an armed Hispanic man came up to her and took away her phone and proceeded to remove her mother and children from the vehicle. Meanwhile, a second male quickly got into the driver’s seat and both men drove off towards Belmopan.

    Chief Justice Benjamin highlights need for criminal justice reform
    The traditional opening of the Supreme Court began this morning with a church ceremony at the Holy Redeemer Cathedral. Following the service, the traditional march of members of the judiciary and the legal profession passed through the downtown area, ending in front of the main Supreme Court building, where Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin inspected a police guard of honor, before he addressed the bench and bar in his packed courtroom. The Chief Justice underscored the dire need for criminal justice reform, noting that the situation worsened in 2015. “As of December 31, 2015, there are 403 persons on remand at the Belize Central Prison. That is an increase over the remand population at the end of 2014. Of that number, 118 are awaiting trial at the Supreme Court, predominantly for the offense of murder,” Benjamin said, adding that 27 persons have been on remand for over 5 years. In the Civil Division of the Supreme Court, there were a total of 806 cases filed in 2015, while 334 divorce petitions were received for filing and 309 defended and undefended divorce decrees were granted.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize Telemedia Limited to partner with Saint John’s College Junior College on computer program
    Belize Telemedia Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding with St. John’s College Junior College to introduce an Associate-level program in Computer Networking emphasizing IP Technology. The Catholic institution also received a newly refurbished computer and diagnostic lab funded by the state-run telephone company, […]

    Two arrested for Belmopan murder of Isidro Suar
    Twenty-five-year-old Lincoln Bejerano of Venezuela Street and a 17-year-old waitress of Guatemala Street, both in Belmopan City, have been jointly charged for the offenses of ‘robbery’ and ‘conspiracy to commit robbery’, in connection to the murder of Isidro Suar who was killed on January […]

    Two women shot as hail of bullets rain on their home
    Two Belize City females are today hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after they were shot last night00 p.m., where they […]

    Cases of H1N1 and Zika are being monitored in Barbados
    According to reports by Caribbean 360, health authorities in Barbados have sent samples of eight suspected cases of H1N1 and Zika for testing to the Caribbean Public Health Agency. Minister of Health John Boyce asked Barbadians not to panic and to take similar measures […]

    Court hearing called off after Jack Charles and government reach agreement
    The hearing at the Supreme Court in the matter of Jack Charles versus customs department was called off, as we are told an agreement is in place to re-export the three containers of Guyanese rice that he attempted to import in December. Our understanding […]

    Moist and cool conditions over next 24 to 36 hours
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting variably cloudy and cool weather with a few showers or periods of light rain mostly over the sea and some coastal areas today, then increasing over most areas tonight. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northeast […]


    Exploring Hopkins Village – Filled With Funky and Fascinating Spots and People
    After a morning snorkel out to South Water Caye and the gorgeous barrier reef off of Hopkins, Belize, it was time to explore the village. It’s a walk along the beach (about 15-20), a quicker bike ride and quickest of all? Now they rent golfcarts at some of the resorts. I grabbed a key from the front desk at Jaguar Reef Resort and…was off. From SIttee RIver Point, where most of the resorts are located, down the road to the village. Passing first a beautiful new gym… Apparently some people had rented even cooler vehicles! I passed a new Stand Up Paddle board spot. I passed Jungle Jeanie’s…one of the funkier lodges in Belize. I stopped into visit Barbara, who runs a business and lives in her super cool bus. (Check out this post for lots of picture.) A bit of the artwork for sale. I walked out with two bottles of magical oils…I LOVE the moisturizing one. They are both fantastic…and the green label helped me with the early morning sandflies.

    The Top 4 Countries in the World for Retiree Benefits in 2016
    Imagine a place where sunshine is ubiquitous, a high-quality lifestyle won’t cost the earth, and as a retiree, you’re treated like a VIP…you’ll get a red-carpet welcome and be rewarded for your age and experience. Places like this exist…and they have claimed the top spots in the “Benefits and Discounts” category in International Living’s 2016 Global Retirement Index. Belize's QRP program is certainly the more advantageous, flexible program for expat retirees. An immediate benefit is that once you submit the QRP paperwork the process is quick. Expats have reported obtaining their QRP residence within a few months of submittal. However, if you opt to become a resident you won’t even be able to start the application process until you’ve spent a full year in Belize (with one two-week vacation outside of Belize allowed). Once you obtain your QRP card you will be able to come and go at will across Belize’s borders. You only need to spend one month per year in Belize to maintain your QRP residence. You‘ll save big, up front, as a QRP since you’ll be able to import all of your personal effects into Belize during your first year in Belize, free of any import duties or taxes. You can also import a personal car, boat, and plane duty-free and tax-free during your first year in Belize. Anyone over 45 is eligible to apply to become a QRP resident. And, once you become a QRP you won’t be taxed on your international income, or capital gains. Unlike expat residents, you will be allowed to maintain an international bank account in Belize, and an international business corporation. The QRP program isn’t for everyone, though. It is a “retirement” program, after all. That means you won’t be able to work in Belize. But as a QRP you can own a business, as long as you don’t work or pay yourself a salary in that business. Note that QRPs are required to move $24,000 a year into a Belize bank account, to either live on, or invest with. This is a yearly requirement in order to maintain QRP status.

    Photo Journal: Adventure in Guatemala and Belize
    Here’s a photographic summary of my adventures in Guatemala and Belize. Eight days is just enough time to experience the jungle landscapes inland as well as the small islands off the coast. With the closest Mayan ruins spread across several hundred miles in Belize and the neighboring Guatemala, I could not decide which of the cultural sites I wanted to explore. When I landed in Belize City, on a whim, I walked up to the Tropic Air counter and booked a flight on a 14-seat propeller plane to Flores, Guatemala. That’s the closest airport to Tikal, the largest and most significant Mayan city in the region. After a few hours sleep at a rustic lodge in Tikal National Park, I woke for a 4am hiking tour through the jungle to watch the sun rise from the top of Temple IV.

    Cow Foot Soup
    1. Boil Cow Foot in water to soften, in a large pot. Just til it starts turning a grey color 2. Chop up all your vegetables Potoatoes, coco, okro, carrots, onion, sweet peppers, cabbage & tomatoes into bite sizes. 3. Chop up your cilantro fine. Put all your vegetables and cilantro into the pot with the cow foot and boil together. Add in your complete seasoning, bbq seasoning and salt and black pepper and your whole habanero. Let it boil high for about 30-45 minutes. After that pop the habanero pepper so the heat from the pepper goes into the soup and let bout for another 15 minutes. Do not remove the pepper. Done.

    International Sourcesizz

    Norwegian Cruise Line Delays Harvest Caye in Belize Opening to November
    Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that Harvest Caye, the cruise line's new resort-style port of call in Belize, will now open in November 2016. Plans for the new development were announced back in August 2013, when Norwegian Cruise Line purchased approximately 75 acres in Southern Belize for the planned development of an eco-friendly cruise destination. The land, called Harvest Caye, is made up of two adjoining islands in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts that had previously been approved for a resort development with an air strip. At the time of its announcement plans called for a cruise destination consisting of two locations: an island destination with docking/tendering facilities and a mainland connection point for inland tours. Major components of the project are anticipated to include a floating pier, island village with open-air structures on raised platforms, marina, transportation hub for tours to the mainland, a lagoon for a variety of water sports and a beach area.

    Juneau Audubon Society to host talk on 'Birds & Beasts of Belize'
    The Juneau Audubon Society will host a public meeting Jan. 14 at 7 pm at the UAS rec center room 116. Ann and Alan Doty will present “Birds and Beasts of Belize.” According to a description of the talk, Alan and Ann Doty have recorded 245 bird species during their three visits to area, which have included exploration of five Mayan Sites in Belize, a tiny Central American country about the size of Rhode Island. The talk is free and open to the public.

    U.N. to Help U.S. Screen Central American Migrants
    The Obama administration is turning to the United Nations to help screen migrants fleeing violence in Central America, senior administration officials said Tuesday, and to help set up processing centers in several Latin American countries in the hopes of stemming a flood of families crossing the southern border illegally. Designed to head off migrants from three violence-torn countries in the region before they start traveling to the United States, the new refugee resettlement program will be announced by Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday in Washington. Under the plan, the United Nations refugee agency will work with the United States to set up processing centers in several nearby countries, where migrants would be temporarily out of danger. As it does in other places, the United Nations will determine if the migrants could be eligible for refugee status. The administration officials said thousands — perhaps as many as 9,000 — migrants each year from the three countries, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, could eventually settle in the United States. But some refugees would also be sent to other countries in the hemisphere, officials said.


  • Snorkeling in Belize, 6.5min Short video of our snorkeling trip in the waters of Belize, specifically the Hol Chan marine reserve and the Belize Barrier Reef. The footage includes a creepy barracuda (briefly), a large bossy loggerhead turtle, a nurse shark and sting ray feeding frenzy, eagle rays in the distance, a little bit of the reef, and random little fish.

  • BWO Mission Trip to Belize, 11min. San Pedro, Belize 2015.

  • Scuba diving in the Great Blue Hole and around, Belize, 9min.

  • Supreme Court opening, Judiciary discusses progress and problems, 8.5min. As is now traditional, on the second Monday in January each year, practitioners of law in Belize meet at their headquarters, the Supreme Court of Belize on Treasury Lane, to review the past legal year’s work and make plans for the new one. Following a multi-denominational service at Holy Redeemer Cathedral on North Front Street there was the usual parade to the Court and guard of honor inspected by the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. In his main address, the Chief Justice spoke of many advances for the Judiciary in 2015, in everything from technology to court environment, despite the judiciary’s portion of the budget only going up slightly.

  • Belize Sunrise, 2.5min. First sunrise watched off of Calabash Caye.

  • Flying over The Blue Hole, Belize Barrier Reef, 2min. Buraco gigante no mar, em belize.

  • Belize Snorkeling, 3min. A montage of just a few of the snorkeling adventures while at the Calabash Caye Field Station in Belize.

  • Missionary to Belize Terry Castleberry, 45min.

    January 12, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

    The San Pedro Sun

    SP Community comes together and assists fire victims
    The residents of San Pedro have once again shown their unity and generosity, as they came together in support of 34-year-old Ricardo Valladarez and his family, who on Sunday, December 27th lost their home when it was gutted by a fire. Help has been coming in the form of fundraising events such as bar-b-q sales, clothing sale, dollar drives, and even restaurants hosting special events and donating a part of their proceeds to the cause. The Valladarez family resides in the Escalante/DFC Subdivision area and lived in a 24’ x 26’ plycem and wooden building which had a garage and storage room where Valladarez used to work as a mechanic. Despite the assistance by the Fire Department, the entire house and garage was completely destroyed in the blaze, while three vehicles that were in the shop for repairs were damaged as well. Following the tragic incident, friends and family members began helping with clothes, food and a place to stay. On Sunday, January 3rd, a bar-b-q sale was held at the Lions Den along with the sale of clothes and a dollar drive in an effort to raise much needed funds for the victims. According to organizers, the event was very successful.

    SPTC takes responsibility for Sunset Boardwalk
    It has been almost two years since the Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal Project was completed. The project was founded through a $6 million dollar loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) which was granted to the Government of Belize. Even though the terminal was intended to become the site for visitors arriving to the island via boat, the facilities are not fully operational as originally planned, and to add to the issue, the facility is already showing signs of deterioration. The question is, who is responsible for the state of the terminal? General Manager Christy Mastry, at Belize Infrastructure Limited, stated that when the project was handed over in 2013, the municipality (San Pedro) which received the project was provided with an operational manual and maintenance plan. The contractor met the requirements to execute the project and if the structures of the project are now showing signs of deterioration, the contractor’s responsibility for the construction has long expired. “There is a difference between a guarantee period for poor construction versus operational and maintenance. Well of course if there is a defect in the construction, the contractor will be responsible in addressing such problems. However, every general contractor gives a one year guarantee period, and in this case it is two years since it was handed over. So general maintenance of the project is the responsibility of the receiver, which in this case, will be the local municipality,” said Mastry.

    Biomedical waste being burned at Ambergris Caye dumpsite
    According to Owen Vellos, administrator at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II, they deal with two types of waste, the green which is regular trash generated from the offices and other areas of the clinic and red waste. The green waste is picked up by the SPTC, but the ‘red’ which comprises of syringes and other items containing fluids such as blood have to be disposed of by the clinic. Presently the only place where they can make proper disposal of the ‘red’ waste is at the local dump, which has been approved by the SPTC. The disposal, according to Vellos, is done at least once a week and only one person is allowed to be near the bags that carry the waste. A specific area of the dump is selected where it is burned in a hole in order to get rid of any hazardous substances or pathogens; finally the burned waste is buried. The method is considered to be safe since its incineration helps to kill any bacteria or virus and the designation area warns anyone to stay away from it. Vellos also indicated that every time they visit the dump to do the disposal, the Town Board is notified so they are aware of it.

    Ambergris Today

    BTB Assists “Together We Can Stop Hunger” Program in Belize City
    On Monday, January 11, 2016, members of the BTB’s Social Committee presented donations to co-founder of the program “Together We Can Stop Hunger”, Mrs. Geraldine Mai. The Belize Tourism Board applauds the BTB’s social committee for organizing a clothing and food drive for this organization. Over the holidays, staff members were asked to donate clothing, shoes, and food items to provide to families benefiting from the program. Together We Can Stop Hunger (TWCSH) is an organization that concentrates on feeding persons and families who otherwise cannot feed themselves. Currently it is led by a mother and son, Mrs. Geraldine Mai and Shaheed Mai, and they are currently feeding 13 families and about 50 homeless persons. TWCSH relies heavily on public donations for its pantry. Not only does it feed the homeless Monday to Saturday, it gives a weekly food hamper to 13 families. Their pantry consists mostly of rice, beans, milk, bread, and canned foods.

    It’s a Girl – Meet San Pedro’s First Baby of 2016
    She was born on January 3, 2016, at Ambergris Hopes Clinic under the care of Dr. Daniel Gonzalez. Meet Alice Daniela Cardenez born to Yaudi Cardona and Linton Cardenez. She is San Pedro’s New Year Baby, the first born on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. It did not take us much hunting around this year, as Dr. Daniel was quick to inform us of baby Alice who was born weighing in at 6.5lbs on the third day of the year. After giving some time for Alice to get settled at home, the staff of Ambergris Today visited mom and daughter at their home in the San Pedrito Area. Alice was wide awake and all smiles for our cameras, as we captured the happy moment.

    Shocked About Traffic in San Pedro
    Dear Editor, Opinions to the newspaper are a clear sign that many vacationers still do care very much about the future of this beautiful island. Local officials do not seem. Our pre-season and repeat vacation during Thanksgiving has clearly shown us the wrong path the island has turned into. While everywhere in the world Polaris vehicles are not permissible for the use on public roads, they are considered golf carts on Ambergris Caye. These are just a few signs that the island has lost any green and environmental responsibility. San Pedro has turned into a dangerous and extremely noisy race track and parking lot. There is no safety, no pedestrian zone, no tranquility. Due to the out of control traffic situation San Pedro has lost all its beauty, character and Central American charm necessary to indulge tourists.

    Two Arrested for Matthiew Klinck Death, Memorial Held in Cayo
    Information received from authorities is that two youths have been arrested and charged with the murder of Canadian filmmaker Matthiew Klinck who was killed outside his home in a Cayo Village. Brandon Anderson, 19-years-old and a 16-year-old high school student were arrested on Wednesday, January 6 and then charged with murder and conspiracy to murder on Friday, January 8, 2016. Police indicate that Brandon Anderson was an acquaintance of Matthiew and had known him for about two years. Police seized an amount of cash during the search of a house and believe that robbery was the motive for the killing. Both are expected to return to court on April 12, 2016. This past weekend, residents of San Ignacio Town and other neighboring communities in the Cayo District held a memorial service in remembrance of Matthiew at the Foundation of Live Church in Spanish Lookout on Saturday, January 8, 2016. As part of the memorial, a candle light vigil/walk was held at the San Ignacio Town Welcome Center. Friends of Matthiew lit candles to remember his life and to stand up against violence.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Habaneros on Caye Caulker closing 2 days this week
    Habaneros is closing this Wednesday and Thursday...January 13-14th. The kids and the restaurant need a lee break to rest up. We will be open again on Friday. Sorry for any inconvenience caused and we promise to be all smiles afterwards!!!

    Sights of the 9th Annual Boom to Manatee Lookout Canoe Race
    Congratulations goes out to Efrain, Rudy and Alex of Team NICH for the great finish at the Boom to Manatee Lookout race on Sunday 10 January 2016.

    New York Travel Show 2016
    Belize representatives

    Peace Corps has a job opening for a Programming and Training Specialist with the Health Education Project
    Position Summary: The Programming and Training Specialist (PTS) serves as a qualified professional responsible for providing programming and training support to the Rural Family Health Project (RFHP). The PTS has four main areas of responsibility: work with the RFHP Program Manager to design, execute, evaluate, and document the RFHP’s programming and training strategy; provide RFHP programming support to 30-50 Volunteers; serve as the lead technical trainer for the RFHP project; and, assist with the planning, logistics, and implementation of post’s 27 month Volunteer training continuum.

    The upcoming PUP leadership convention in Belize
    By Wellington C. Ramos. I was in my country of Belize for two weeks and I just returned to the United States. During my stay at home, I had conversations with many Belizean citizens about the upcoming PUP leadership convention between John Briceno, Cordel Hyde and Francis Fonseca. After listening to most of them, I came to the conclusion that the average PUP members do not want Francis Fonseca for their leader. However, the problem with the leadership convention is that these average members will not get to vote at the convention because they will be represented by about 3,000 delegates to the convention who will vote for them. There is an aggressive effort that is being made by the party bosses to send representatives all over the country to convince these delegates to vote for Francis Fonseca instead of John Briceno or Cordel Hyde on the election day. If these delegates are allowed to vote their conscience without any bribes or inducements, John Briceno will become the new leader for the People’s United Party. Based on the conversations I had, many of the people see the race between John Briceno and Francis Fonseca. They indicated that Cordel Hyde does not have the financial resources, the support nationwide to win the convention and that the PUP will not elect a black man to be their leader.

    Marlon ‘Chordz’ Barrow: Hip Hop’s New Whiz Kid!
    When Marlon Barrow was coming up alongside his dad Patrick Barrow’s musical explorations, no one from among his teenage peers would have known that he was cut out for the hard grind of the Hollywood music business. But he had what it took though, as a hard working kid who grew up in South Central Los Angeles that was hearing every genre of music possible which trained his sharp ear to have become the music producer he is today. ‘Chordz,’ as he is known in Hip Hop circles among some of America’s most popular musical talents that range from rappers to R&B artists, Barrow has found his niche sound that carved out his brand as a well develop musician and present day producer. He has worked closely with musical artists such as YG, Ty Dolla $ign, and now the recent Australian female Hip Hop artist, Iggy Azalea.

    Trades 4 Life Spring 2016 Semester
    Trades 4 Life is about to start their Spring semester. If you want to learn a trade in a hands on environment, you have a week left to register. "The 2016 Belize School of Training is just about here! Beginning January 18, 2016, you can receive 6 weeks of certified hands-on training in the areas of Auto Mechanics, Welding & Machining, Computer Technology, or Refrigeration & Air Conditioning. To register, or for more information, please visit

    Channel 7

    Two Capital Cabbies Killed
    Two taxi drivers were found dead in Belmopan over the weekend - and they may be related. Our first story is about 24-year-old Yoni Maas. He went missing on Thursday night and his family had been trying to locate him all weekend. That is until a farmer found Maas' body in a feeder road in Mount Pleasant yesterday. It was shocking discovery because his family couldn't have imagined finding his body thrown in bushes. Courtney Weatherburne found out more today: For these taxi drivers, this is the best part of their day: when they don't have any runs, they blast music and hang out at this spot, near the terminal. But the one usually in charge of playing their favorite Reggae-ton selections isn't here anymore and it's just not the same without him. The life of the party was 24 year old Yoni Maas. He went missing on Thursday night while on the night shift at the terminal. He told his family he was coming home after the last bus but he never showed up. Ingris Maas, Older Sister: "He went missing from Thursday." Courtney Weatherburne: "Around what time?" Ingris Maas, Older Sister: "More or less they see him at 8:30 in the night. He talked to one of the taxi man who was right there and he told him that at 8:30 he will wait for the last bus then he will go home. After that they haven't seen him again."

    He Escaped Death Row, But Was "Tush" Killed Because of A Weed-Turf Rivalry?
    But first to Hattieville, where Cleon "Tush" Smith was shot and killed sometime after 7 pm last night in Hattieville village. The 41 year old was passing the time inside the yard of one of his relatives when a gunman snuck up form behind the property and shot him multiple times. Now, Tush Smith is a well-known street figure with a history going back decades. As a young man, was known to associate himself with then Ghost Town Crips, and he was convicted of murder in the 90's, and sentenced to death in 1999 for the murder of Ainsworth "Pie" Wagner. But the Privy Council quashed that and since being released from prison a few years ago, Tush, had done some community work. So why would anyone want him dead? Emanuel Pech went looking for answers.

    Toledo Teen Was Viciously Slain And Then Dumped In a Well
    And now to Toledo, where about an hour and a half before Belmopan Police found Yoni Maas' body in Cayo on Sunday, Punta Gorda Police had to retrieve another body, which was found at the bottom of a well. The body has since been identified as 19 year-old Jarrel Edward Pop - and his death was no accident. In fact, it appears that Pop's killers were especially violent when they took his life. He had been chopped, and stabbed to death. He was in an advanced state of decomposition, and the medical examiner had to perform an on-site post mortem yesterday. Today, the commander of Punta Gorda Police spoke with us today via phone, and he discussed what his investigators know about the case so far: "On the 10th of January 2016, sometime around 8:30am Punta Gorda police received information of a decomposed body in the news city area of Punta Gorda Town inside a well. As a result of that police visited the area where they saw a male person of Spanish decent. The body have been identified to be one Jarrel Edward Pop, 19 yrs. old of a Punta Gorda Town address. The post mortem was conducted yesterday by the pathologist and its findings, stab wounds to the abdomen and to both side of the body and cause of death was due to chop wounds. According to one of the family members, he was last seen sometime around the 25th of December 2015. At this time the investigation is preliminary and we do have the motive behind all that, but I don't want to discuss it at this time."

    PG Police Have Suspect For Arson Spree
    And, just a few hours before that, PG Police had to respond to 4 separate fires which happened within 2 hours of each other. 2 vehicles, a chair, and the roof of a restaurant and a bar, all belonging to 4 different town residents were set on fire, and they believe that it was all done by one man. It appears that the arsonist went on some sort of spree where he chose random things to set on fire. The PG Commander told us that he will be charged for arson: Supt. Simeon Alvarez - OC, Punta Gorda Police: "That same morning on the 10th of January between the hours of 1:25 am and 3:40 am. We had 4 fire which involved 2 vehicles burnt, a thatch of a restaurant was burnt and a sofa chair on the veranda of the residence was also destroyed by fire and as a result of that we conducted an investigation where we detained one Kareem Chun, 22 yrs. old who admitted in committing 3 of the arsons. At this time he is in police custody and he will be charged and taken before the magistrate sometime tomorrow for 3 counts. He had mentioned to me he was at a night club and apparently he had a misunderstanding out there and as a result of that whilst he was under the influence of alcohol he got frustrated and he just decide to go random and destroying people's property. He was in our custody sometime after the new year's he was in custody for damage of a property where apparently after a party outing on the way home or somewhere he caused damages to about 2 vehicles within town by stoning their windshield and he was arrested and charged for that."

    Why Was Suar Slain?
    At the top of the news tonight, we told you about the murder of Belmopan taxi driver, Yoni Maas. He was found on Sunday, but another cab driver, 28 year old Isidro Suar was found on Friday night in the Piccini area in Belmopan - his body had been flung in some bushes near Chon Saan Restaurant. Today police told us how they found the body and also how they caught up with the culprits shortly after. We also spoke to Suar's brother and he told us his brother deserves justice. Insp. Stephanie Grinage - Deputy Commissioner, Belmopan Division: "On Friday 8th, January about 11:15pm. Belmopan police responded to a distress call of shots being fired in the George Price area Piccini site. On arrival at the area, police discovered a young man, apparently dead, a lifeless body, identified as Isidro Suar, 28 yrs., Belizean taxi driver of a Sanvapan area with 4 apparent gunshots wounds to his body. He was taken to the Western Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Shortly after the incident Belmopan police quick thinking and coordination of Belmopan Police, the Belmopan quick response team and special branch intercepted a taxi in Ontario Village, where 3 occupants were in. One managed to escape and the other 2 were detained. The person that was detained was searched and he was found with 12 live. 38 rounds and along with a female minor. A .22 pistol was also found along with 3 live rounds in the area. At this time we're looking at robbery and the investigators like I said are still doing their job but at this."

    Cops Say Cabbie Killings Related
    So, two Belmopan cab drivers killed in the same municipality within the same time span. Are they related? Belmopan police say yes:... Reporter "It seems unlikely that these murders would not be related. Both young Hispanic men both live in generally same area. Both taxi men, both work at the same stand. Are police looking at a connection between both of them?" Insp. Stephanie Grinage - Deputy Commissioner, Belmopan Division "We are definitely looking at the connection and like I said, that's the way we are looking to see of any connection with the 2 murders. That's the way investigators are going, but at this time they haven't confirm that as yet. But that's the angle they are looking at."

    PUP NPC For NC
    On Saturday, close to three-hundred PUP Delegates crowded into party headquarters at Independence Hall. They were there for a national party council meeting, the preparatory session to agree on the ground rules for the National Convention, which will be held at the end of this month. While they were there to talk party business- we were outside to talk politics - and we did with anyone we could grab while they were going in. We asked them what's going to happen in the upcoming convention. Jules Vasquez: "Do you all feel you all will be able to get enough to claim victory for both yourself and for Mr. Briceno?" Hon. Jose Mai, OW South candidate for Deputy: "Jules, from the campaign that we are doing, from the different constituencies the response is very reassuring and satisfactory. I am entirely convinced that we will win the convention on that day." Jules Vasquez: "You don't know half the people who are the delegates. You don't know them and Mr. Briceno doesn't know them. You literally don't. No fault of yours." Hon. Jose Mai, OW South candidate for Deputy: "Nobody knows them. None of us who are running knows them. But that's why we are trying to get to know them. We are meeting, we are going from constituency to constituency and it's difficult to meet on one to one basis. But I am certain that when we are finish spoken, they have a better understanding."

    For The PUP It's No Party On Facebook
    And that kind of plainspoken putdown would be considered mild in the PUP Facebook circles. A very bitter, very ugly war of words is being waged in the social media sphere where insults are bring hurled left and right in the run-up to the convention. On Saturday we heard calls for restraint:... Micah Goodin, Delegate, supporting Cordel Hyde: "It's just people becoming overly passionate about the candidate that they are supporting." Reporter: "But how do you comment on people calling John Briceno names and telling Cordel Hyde to go find the different mothers of his children and unite them before he come and unite the party. How do you comment to that?" Micah Goodin, Delegate, supporting Cordel Hyde: "That is uncalled for and I think that we should give no attention to that. I believe that that woman who wrote that, I think she needs psychological evaluation. Because come on man, if you want to criticize our leaders, criticize them based on their political successes - their political failures and the challenges that they might have. Anything other than that is pure mischief and I do not support it. I do not condone it and those persons should be reprimanded."

    PUP Settles Delegate Dispute In Belmopan
    And while the facebook wars was not on the agenda for Saturday's meeting - an issue in Belmopan was. Members of the Belmopan constituency executive complain that the divisional chairman purged them from the list by because they support John Briceno while the Chairman and the standard bearer support Francis Fonseca. We asked Standard bearer Jason Patrick Andrews about it on Saturday:.. Patrick Jason Andrews, Belmopan - supporting Francis "We met as an executive and to the best our knowledge we can't pick and make everybody happy. As I said, there is only 111 that we could have picked out of the 2800 people that voted for us in the last election. This is politics and there's three individuals running and everybody would want to dictate who goes on the list, but this is done by constituency and I am happy that I think we did as best as we could to try and facilitate people from all different aspects or points of view. People who might support Francis, people who support Johnny or Cordel; and I can guarantee there are people on our list that will vote for all three candidates on the thirty-first." Reporter: "Sir, the way you are handling this entire process in Belmopan…you are not telling these 111 people well you know what, vote for Francis because that is the person, you're not....." Patrick Jason Andrews, Belmopan - supporting Francis: "No, no, no. I am supporting Francis Fonseca and I have said it publicly and I am saying it to the media. And so I can't tell people how to vote, but I can encourage and ask them because I believe in honorable Francis Fonseca. I believe he is right to continue leading this party."

    Supreme Court, the Ceremony
    The second Monday in January is always reserved for the Ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court - and this year the tradition was brightened by a new Attorney General. Daniel Ortiz was in the front row and he has that story: This is the 4th ceremonial opening that Chief Justice Benjamin's has presided over.

    GSU Got Stuff
    A police radio, and a new gun - that's what police found along with just under a pound of weed in an open lot across from a known gang figure's residence. The GSU searched Tyrone GENTLE's home on Lacroix Boulevard in the Lake Independence area and found nothing. But when they searched an overgrown open lot across from his house they found a black plastic bag with hydro grade cannabis weighing a total of 15 ounces. They looked deeper in a pile of garbage and found the type of hand held radio donated to police in 2015. There was also a discarded microwave oven, and a look inside turned up a black Ruger pistol new in a box along with 3 magazines, 27 live rounds and other accessories. The GSU says, quote, "The firearm which is suspected to have been used by members of the PIV Gang is currently licensed to Curvert ESTAVA who was an ex financier of the gang." It adds, "The weapon was never reported stolen…ESTAVA is being sought by the Police." End quote.

    Endurance Runner Joseph Carr Dies Of Epileptic Seizure
    Dating back to the mid 90's, Joseph Carr had been one of the most dominant distance runners in Belize. But on Sunday morning at 10:00, the 46 year old was found dead in a drain on Pitter Street, a few hundred yards from his home. No foul play is suspected because Carr was an epileptic, and the only question is whether he died from a seizure, or if he drowned in the drain. It's a terrible end for one of Belize's most decorated runners. His wife told us that they always knew they would lose him, but what hurts them the most, she said, was the way in which they lost him. We visited the family today as they reminisced about him with joy and pain. "When I found out he already fell in the 3rd time but I was at home and he came home muddy. I asked him what happened. And he told me, he fell in the drain again. So I said how you fell in the drain again. I said this is the 3rd time baby. He said but I'm only muddy. He said so I get sick. He said, I put the bike on the side and it looked like I fall. So I told him, he has to be careful. I always try to discourage him from coming this side but side is the shorter way to our house. So, I guess that's the situation." And that is exactly what happened. Carr was riding his bicycle coming home from work sometime after 7 when he got one of his epilepsy attacks. He fell inside the drain again but this time he was not strong enough to fight his way out of it.

    The Carrot Controversy Continues
    Last week you heard all about the situation with the farmers of San Carlos, Orange Walk, and their carrots. Close to 10 acres of carrots are rotting in the fields because the market is saturated with imported Mexican carrots. The Ministry of Agriculture sent out a statement on Friday saying that they'll try to come up with a solution to a problem - which is affected by both import permits and the contraband trade. But on Saturday the area representative for the farmers told us that it's all double-talk: the solution is starting the ministry in the face; he says it's import permits given to well-connected political friends: Jules Vasquez: "So you are saying the solution is staring them in the face?" Hon. Jose Mai - OW South Representative: "It's right there they can do it with a stroke of a pen. Jules it's only how much thousand pounds of carrots, it's so little only 6 acres. It's only 15 thousand pounds per acre that's little carrots. All they can do is hold up the permits, but the permits in advance. They give it today but it expires in 15 days' time. if they know that the carrots is going to be harvested in 2 weeks times, then just cut down the amount of days that they give on the permit. It's just a matter of them doing it. The will that's all."

    Casa Pan Costs!
    And one other notable PUP we met at Saturday's National Party Council meeting - also has a big say in a major food industry. That's Andres Perez, the proprietor of Casa Pan Dulce, which operates bakeries in San Pedro, Belmopan and Santa Elena. Last week, he told us that the rising price of sugar well cost him thirty thousand dollars a year in increased costs - and he has to pass that unto consumers. Now, as we've reported, the increase in the price of sugar is to offset losses experienced by cane farmers because of lower international prices for sugar. Perez says he doesn't support it:.. Andres Perez - Casa Pan Dulce "Let me tell you something to increase 50% is ludicrous, ridiculous. I can expect an increase, but not a 50%. It's totally unjustified, uncalled for and it's actually abuse. You basically call it outright abuse and what hurts me is that nobody's saying anything." Perez says his shelf prices have increased, and he claims other pastry makers have done the same.

    Gus Gets Himself Free
    Belizean businessman, Gus Tabony is a free man. News broke last week that he had been detained in Honduras on suspicion of money laundering. Authorities there said they found him with $16,500 dollars when he flew into the international airport at Roatan, Honduras on Tuesday, January fifth. Apparently, Tabony failed to make the declaration that is required for travelers carrying over ten thousand US dollars. Well, we have been informed that after five days, Tabony has settled whatever difficulties he had with authorities there and is returning to Belize tomorrow morning. We hope to talk with him then.

    Concerns For Missing Compre Student
    A high school student left her Valley of Peace home on Wednesday the 6th and her mother hasn't heard from her since. 15 year old Belmopan Comprehensive School student Seily Jozeline left home as usual in her uniform on Wednesday morning at 6:20. For Jozeline's mother it was supposed to be just another day at school but when her daughter didn't return that day -she made the police report. Today police told us they have a lead on her whereabouts. Seily is in 3rd form. She is about 5ft in height, slim built, weighs about 110lbs, she has long brown hair and has dimples.

    Serial Rapist?
    Is there a serial rapist in the south? That's what is suggested by the second - almost identical rape report in a month. On Saturday January 9th. At 12:30 a 48-year-old woman got off the bus at the 6 miles junction. She was standing alone at the junction when a man with a brown T-Shirt tied on his head and carrying a machete approached her. He dragged her into a nearby orange orchard where she was beaten, raped and robbed of $372.00 and her cell phone. Police have one man detained. On December 11th, at the same 6 mile junction, a pregnant woman was raped, also during the daytime. In that case, her assailant had a grey shirt tied over his nose and mouth. He put a knife to her throat and raped her. No one was arrested for this crime.

    Sr. Supt Broaster On Weed
    Earlier in our newscast we told you about the investigation into the murder of Cleon "Tush" Smith. He was gunned down inside a yard in Hattieville Village yesterday evening. Now as you heard from our interview with the Commander of Eastern Rural Division, investigators are not one hundred percent certain what instigated his murder. However a drug feud between certain groups in Hattieville is one of the main suspected motives for the execution. While interviewing the commander on this matter, we digressed from the topic a bit and ventured into a discussion about the intricacies of the drug trade and the legalization of Marijuana where Broaster gave us his two cents on the marijuana debate. Jules Vasquez: "A lot of what we see ending up as violence originates from drugs, marijuana in particular, because there are a lot of marijuana consumed and obviously sold and trafficked in Belize. The case of orange walk shows that."

    Channel 5

    Taxi Man Gunned Down in Belmopan
    Eleven days into the New Year and the police department is recording its sixth murder. Over the weekend, as many as four persons were brutally killed. We start with the [...]

    Decomposed Body of Second Belmopan Taxi Man Found in Mount Pleasant
    Today, twenty-five year old Lincoln Bejerano was charged for Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery and Keeping Ammunition Without a License for the point thirty-eight calibre rounds in his pocket. He [...]

    Cleon “Tush” Smith Murdered in Hattieville
    In the Belize District, an execution style murder took the life of Cleon Smith, aka Tush. It is said that the street figure moved to Hattieville some years ago to [...]

    PG Teenager Murdered, Dumped in Well
    The fourth murder victim was found inside a well in Punta Gorda. The grisly discovery of the decaying corpse of Jarrel Edward Pop was made by Punta Gorda police on [...]

    Supreme Court Opens With Traditional Pomp and Ceremony
    The anticipated traditional and ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court took place this morning in a packed courtroom of the judiciary and other guests. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin presided over [...]

    P.U.P. Candidate for Leader Cordel Hyde Says Change is Imminent
    The National Party Council of the People’s United Party met at Saturday to pave the way to a national convention set for January thirty-first in Belmopan. Various positions are up [...]

    Contenders for P.U.P. Chairman Are Both Confident of Victory
    As we told you, all eyes will be on the race for leadership which has led to very heated and unpleasant debate on social media. The Chairman position is also [...]

    Patrick Andrews Says His Delegates Can Vote for Any Leader Candidate
    One constituency which is always volatile even at the best of times is Belmopan. These are not the best of times, and early on in the convention race there was [...]

    PG Arsonist Detained After Fiery Rampage
    A string of fires in a span of two hours deliberately set by an arsonist kept Punta Gorda police and firefighters busy on Sunday morning.  Around one-thirty a.m., local authorities [...]

    Dangriga Commuter Claims She Was Raped After Getting Off Bus
    There is one more allegation of rape to add to the growing list. It reportedly occurred in the south over the weekend.  A resident of San Ignacio, Cayo District, claims [...]

    Suspected Liquor Thief Arraigned in Court
    The judiciary was busy today with the opening of the Supreme Court throughout the morning. When the Magistrate’s Court resumed session this afternoon, a businessman alleged he was robbed by [...]

    “Boots” Martinez Speaks on Hostel Fire Investigation
    It is now six weeks since three minors perished during a fire at the Youth Hostel near mile twenty-one and a half on the George Price Highway and still there [...]

    Martinez Says Findings of Investigation Will Be Released Next Week
    According to Minister Martinez, contrary to what is being said, the ministry is not dragging its foot with the independent investigation into the matter. But will the ministry wait until [...]

    12 Year Old Student Missing in the City
    Twelve-year-old Shinique Perez, a student of Saint Martin’s Primary School, remains missing tonight after failing to return to her classroom on Friday afternoon.  The family was immediately notified by the [...]

    Valley of Peace Teen Still Missing…May Be in Placencia
    Another minor is missing. Fifteen year old Seily Jozeline Aguilar has been missing since January sixth. She left her home in Valley of Peace early, as usual, in her Belmopan [...]

    Clarification: Jintendra Chawla is Not the Proprietor of RC Imports
    Now on a point of clarification…first, attorneys for Jitendra Chawla aka Jack Charles, have written the media to say that Charles is not the proprietor of RC Imports, which has [...]

    Weekend Sporting Highlights with James Adderley
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We take you to Burrell Boom where the faithful who make the La Ruta Maya have congregated on the [...]


    Mai Calls On GOB To Stop Playing Games With Farmers Of The South
    Farmers of San Carlos Village located in Orange Walk South have lost approximately $50,000 worth in carrot production. The 15 farmers are putting the blame squarely on the Government who they say issued licenses to import carrots just days before they were ready to harvest. By the time farmers were ready to sell their produce on December 15th 2015, the market was still saturated with the imported product making it impossible for them to sell the vegetable. The result, pounds and pounds of carrots rotting in ten carrot fields..translating to thousands of dollars in losses. But while farmers are blaming GOB, the Ministry of Agriculture is not going down so easy. In a release issued on Friday, the Ministry stated that contraband -imports are affecting the local supply and the current problem being experienced by the carrot producers is being thoroughly examined to determine the cause, the impact and corrective measures necessary.

    Death Body Found Inside Well In PG
    On Sunday morning at about 8:30 a.m., Allen Nunez went out to fetch some water from a well in the New Site area in Punta Gorda for his common-law wife, when he discovered the lifeless body of an unidentified male person lying face down in the well. Nunez stated that the well has approximately thirty years of existence in that area; however, it was not used regularly by him or his family and in order to access the well, he had to cut through bushes and create a trail. While cutting through the bushes, Nunez saw what appeared to be a doll’s foot but as he got nearer, he realized that it was in fact human. Nunez immediately alerted one of his neighbours who then informed the police about the incident. Due to the state of decomposition, the body could not be removed from the location an on-site post-mortem examination was conducted at around 4:22 p.m.

    Who are PUP Area Representatives Backing For Party Leader?
    Currently all three candidates vying for the leadership of the People’s United Party John Briceno, Cordel Hyde and Francis Fonseca are pounding the pavement ensuring that they speak to the more than 2,900 delegates scheduled to vote at the National Convention set for January 31st in Belmopan and the Belmopan Comprehensive School. The aim of each candidate is to convince the delegates of all 31 constituencies that they have what it takes to the lead the old party and regain the confidence of Belizeans in order to form Government once more. While each of the 31 representatives of the party might have already selected their candidate, the delegates will have the last word. For the convention the delegates are selected based on the number of votes that the PUP received in each constituency during the General Elections. That is one delegate for every 25 votes received. As in every election every vote counts and bearing that in mind the Briceno camp is out in full swing garnering as much support as possible.

    Students Back In Class At San Pablo Government School
    Today things at the San Pablo Government School seemed to be back to normal as almost all children were back in class after parents conducted a week long protest to voice discontent in the return of the former principal to the school.Parents were pleading to officials from the Ministry of Education for help to resolve their problem and get a new principal and were determined to keep their children out of school until their terms were met. But after one week of keeping their children home to no avail the parents came to the conclusion that their cries would not be heard by the Ministry so decided that the best interest of their children would be to return to classes.

    PUP Says There Is Absolutely No Manipulation Of Delegates List
    Another issue currently affecting the PUP’s National Convention is the allegation of manipulation of delegates in the Belmopan Constituency. Reports that there were two delegates list, one was changed in favor of one of the candidates and that there were no committed supporters on the list sent in to the Secretariat surfaced a few weeks ago. And that is now a black cloud over the party and in the middle of it all is party’s representative in Belmopan Patrick Andrews who spoke to the media about the issue on Friday. “We had an opportunity to select 111 plus six delegates and we met as an executive and to the best of our knowledge we can’t pick and make everybody happy so this is politics and there are three individuals running and everybody would want to dictate who goes on the list but that list is done by constituency and I am happy because I think we did as best as we could to try and facilitate people from all different aspect or point of view and I could guarantee that there are people in our list that will vote for all three candidates for the 31st .”

    PUP Reps speak On Social Media Attacks
    The People’s United Party is just 21 days away from holding its National Convention where a Leader of the Party, Deputy Leaders, Chairman, national campaign manager, national communications director and Legal Adviser will be elected. On Saturday the PUP’s National Party Council met in Belize City to endorse the decisions of the National Executive made in December. We’ll get to that in few but first we’ll tell you what members of the party had to say about the mudslinging and personal attacks taking place in Social Media especially when it comes to John Briceno, Cordel Hyde and Francis Fonseca, the three candidates who are vying for the post of Party Leader. The attacks, coming from well know party supporters, have mostly been concentrated on Briceno and Cordel have become pretty personal. But while it does not spell disunity in the party, it must stop, according to members of the PUP.


    NCFC Holds Induction of Its Ambassadors
    On Saturday evening fourteen young men and women officially became Children Rights Ambassadors for the National Committee for Families and Children, NCFC. The induction ceremony was held at ITVET in Belize City where we spoke to Lindburgh Smith, Communication Coordinator for NCFC. Smith shared that participants like Melissa Hamilton and Darwin Westby, participated in a […]

    PUP Leaders Sign Oath; Convention Details Confirmed and Resolution Passed
    Members of the National Party Council of the People’s United Party gathered inside the Independence Hall on Saturday, January 9 where logistics pertaining to the upcoming Special National Convention were ironed out among other things. Chairman of the PUP, Henry Usher spoke to Love News on the venue of the convention. During the meeting, […]

    PUP Addresses Social Media Slandering Among Supporters
    On Friday we brought you the story of the social media hostility and disrespect taking place among some well-known PUP supporters. As we told you the comments and back and forth arguments are nothing short of obscenities and insolence and can be interpreted as a continued division in the blue and white camp. As the […]

    The Fairness of the Upcoming PUP Convention
    With the Special National Convention coming up on January 31 in Belmopan, Cayo District, there is the question of a free and fair convention particularly when you consider the factor that the current Party Leader who is seeking re-election as the head of the PUP had hand-picked the Secretary General Myrtle Palacio who incidentally, is […]

    Man Listened as His Neighbour was Slain
    This weekend saw three murders and the discovery of a body in an abandoned well. We start off with the latest murder to be reported, the first recorded in the Belize Rural Eastern Division. The incident occurred sometime around seven o’clock last night, less than a mile away from the Hattieville Police Station. When Police […]

    Police Investigates Death of Man Found in Punta Gorda
    Police have detained a number of persons in connection with a murder in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG: The lifeless body of a male person was found yesterday in Punta Gorda. Love News spoke to Senior Superintendent Simeon Alvarez. Simeon Alvarez: “On Sunday the 10th of January 2016 sometime around 8:30am upon information recieved […]

    Two Cab Drivers Murdered in One Weekend in Capital City
    Two taxi drivers from the Belmopan area were killed this past weekend. Earlier today correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with the second officer in command of the Belmopan formation. FEM CRUZ: This past weekend’s murder of 28 year old Isidro Swar and 24 year old Yoni Mas of Belmopan are under active investigation by police. Love News […]

    Minister to Discuss Compensation for Family of Fire Victims at Hostel
    In November of last year, three teenage girls perished in a fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel. While officials explained that one of the girls started the fire in order for the trio to escape, an investigation headed by Margaret Nicholas, Director of the National Committee for Families and Children was launched. It has […]

    Will Sugar Price Increase Translate to Increase Costs at Bakeries?
    Of all the locally manufactured products in Belize, sugar has been at the centre stage more than the others. It is a commodity that is used in all households and just eleven days ago the cost of the sweetener was upped by twenty five cents. While there hasn’t been much outcry from the public on […]

    Area Rep Mai Says Carrots Issue Turns Political
    The Agriculture ministry has had their hands full recently, first with the sugar industry and more recently with the carrot farmers. Carrot farmers in the northern districts have been experiencing losses due to what appears to be a surplus of carrots in the markets. With the local farmers putting theirs out on the market and […]


    Santa Elena teens charged with Klinck’s murder
    Police have officially arrested and charged two teenagers for the murder of Canadian filmmaker Matthiew Klinck. The partially decomposed body of Klinck was found, Monday January 4th, 2016, about 15 yards from his home which is located in the village of Selena near Spanish Lookout Klinck was stabbed ...

    Fire in Belize City wipes out family trailer
    A family of 14 – three sisters, their husbands and 8 children who lived off Boots Crescent in Belize City are fortunate to be alive after a fire engulfed and destroyed the contents of a container and board trailer house they occupied. It happened after 9 p.m. on Thursday. The fire started in the rea...

    Family robbed on Highway
    A family of six were victims of a highway robbery. 38-year-old Melonie Popper Coc of Ladyville, reported that on Saturday the 2nd of January at about 7:15 p.m. she was driving a grey 2007 Isuzu D-Max four door pickup, which was the property of Puma Energy Limited, along with her mother and 4 childre...

    Leon Gentle to Supreme Court in Vitalino Reyes Jr’s case; five others walk
    Tonight 5 of 6 men, all tour guides, accused of being involved with the bad beating of a tour guide’s son in May 2014, are free of the charge of harm. Thee sixth person accused, 32 year old Leon Gentle, is out on bail granted to him by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he saw his case committed ...

    Ministry of Agriculture responds to carrot Farmers’ complaints
    Today the Ministry of Agriculture released a press release concerning the famers of Orange Walk and their rotting carrots. Yesterday we told you about the farmers of San Carlos village in the Orange Walk District who find themselves with large quantities of rotting carrots due to the market selling...

    Unitedville resident charged with possession of controlled drugs
    38 year old Deford Gongora was arrested and charged for Possesion of controlled drugs and intent to supply. On Thursday the 7th of January at 11:30 a.m., Gongora got off a bus in Unitedville village with a knapsack. Police on mobile patrol however saw Gongora acting suspicious and attempted to sto...

    Robbery of Stann Creek Business woman
    A business woman of Stann Creek was held up and robbed. On Thursday the 7th of January at about 10:00 a.m., 31-year-old Elsi Raquel Canizales, a Salvadoran Businesswoman of Stann Creek reported that she left her home at around 8:30 a.m. on her scooter heading to Santa Cruz Village. On her way there ...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Punta Gorda police identify body, murder confirmed
    Around 8:00 yesterday morning, a Punta Gorda (PG) resident made the discovery of a decomposed male body in a shallow water well, located in the New Site area of town, as he chopped a path through bush to get water from the well for […]

    At Supreme Court opening, Judiciary discusses progress and problems
    In his main address at today’s ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court in Belize City, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin spoke of many advances for the Judiciary in 2015, in everything from technology to court environment, despite the judiciary’s portion of the budget only going […]

    Suspected rapist in police custody
    Police have one suspect in custody for a rape and robbery in the Stann Creek District over the weekend. The detained man is pending investigation after a 48-year-old woman of San Ignacio, Cayo District, reported that she was raped and robbed of $372 in cash, […]

    Cayo police looking for owner of illegal weapon
    Officers of the Police’s Quick Response Team retrieved a firearm that was dropped by a fleeing suspect, after the vehicle he was in refused to stop at a check point in Ontario village, Cayo District, and when it did stop, he got out the back passenger door […]

    Punta Gorda police detained 22-year-old for crazed arson rampage
    Punta Gorda (PG) police have confirmed that 22-year-old Kaleem Chun, a resident of that municipality, has been detained pending investigation in connection to the string of fires around town that caused mass damage in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Chun is suspected of starting the fire […]

    Missing Belmopan resident found dead, shot multiple times
    The lifeless body of 28-year-old Yoni Mass was discovered in an advanced state of decomposition sometime on Sunday morning, January 10th, on a feeder road in the Mount Pleasant area in the Cayo District. According to police reports, the body of a male person […]

    Supreme Court opens new legal year
    As it traditionally does on the second Monday in January each year, Belize’s Judiciary is meeting to review the work of the past legal year and look ahead to the coming one. This morning judges, attorneys and officials participated in a church service at Holy Redeemer Cathedral. […]

    Police investigating Hattieville murder
    Hattieville police are currently trying to put the pieces together and solve the latest murder in that community. Late Sunday evening, officers visited an enclosed yard on Sylvester Boulevard where they saw the lifeless body of a dark skin person lying motionless in a pool of […]


    Snorkeling The Reef & Beautiful Southwater Caye From Hopkins, Belize
    I’ve been living on Ambergris Caye for the past 8 years and a bit. And I see the reef every day. Depending on where you live on our 26 mile long island, the reef is either within walking distance (in the more remote north part of the island) or a few minute boat ride. But as you travel farther south in Belize, the barrier reef pushes out, swirling around the over 200 cayes that dot the shores of Belize. Just last week, I headed down to the village of Hopkins, Belize, just 10 miles south of Dangriga, stayed in a fabulous resort/penthouse and went on my first snorkel trip from the area. The reef is 14 miles out – about a 45 minute boat ride. And it is absolutely worth it. I woke up early to see the sunrise and it was POURING rain. As I put my clothes on to walk over to the Adventure Desk, things were already breaking. And the guys were raking the beach. A good sign… Confirmed. I returned to my suite, got ready and met everyone at the snorkel shed at 7:45am. It was already a beautiful day.

    The Beauty of San Ignacio Town
    The San Ignacio Resort Hotel has a nice article about some of the beauty of Cayo. The Hawkesworth is definitely on there, as is the artwork in front of the police station, AJAW chocolate, and the Saturday market. Great pictures, and worth a read. "When it comes to places to go for an adventure getaway, it’s easy to think of big cities in Central America. But our Jewel Belize is filled with places that are less heralded but no less magnificent—like our San Ignacio Town! Known for its beautiful natural surroundings, our hometown also offers travelers a homey, laid-back, and friendly environment. On the other side, San Ignacio is filled with loads of historical landmarks and fun places to visit during your Belize vacation such as…"

    Ticketing System
    By: Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Our traffic system has inherent problems Here are some suggestion to remedy them Belize needs and ticketing system The traffic lights needs investment to fix them Regular accidents at the Corner Vernon Street and CA Boulevard The traffic lights aren’t working it is so awkward Let’s prevent a day when bodies will have to be picked up off the boulevard We need to double our efforts on taxi drivers City bus racing to pick passengers Bicycle riders traveling on the bars Four people on motor bike with no head gears Restaurant delivery men move round town like harriers No helmet due to limited traffic enforcers An electronic ticketing system would be much better Not to mention the court system needs be more efficient This is the time of e- government What about system to pay ticket online won’t that be convenient? More speed bumps need to be put in place to avoid accidents

    Creamy Chipotle Tomato Soup
    Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Cook for 8-10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chipotle peppers and cook for 2 more minutes. You could skip this step but I prefer the flavor when the vegetables are sauteed first. Add to the slow cooker. Add the canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaf, oregano, coriander, and cumin. Cook on low for 4 hours. Then carefully blend using an immersion blender or by blending in batches. Return to slow cooker and add the cream cheese and milk. Cook for 30 more minutes and season with salt and pepper.

    International Sourcesizz

    Two teenagers charged with murder of Canadian filmmaker in Belize
    Two Belizean teenagers have been charged with the murder of a Canadian filmmaker who was found dead outside his home last Monday (January 4). Nineteen-year-old Brandon Anderson and a 16-year-old boy, whose name was not released, are charged with killing 37-year-old Matthiew Klinck. Klinck, who moved to the small Central American country five years ago, was found stabbed 14 times in an apparent robbery according to local news reports. The two teenagers, who were charged on Friday (January 8), were arrested last Wednesday (January 6), two days after the filmmaker’s body was discovered outside his home. Inspector Reymundo Reyes, of Cayo District Police in Belize, told Channel 5 Belize last Tuesday (January 5) that “a team of police officers including myself visited the said location. On arrival we saw the motionless body of a Caucasian male person lying in a face-up position about fifteen feet away from the residence.”

    Top 7 Travel Adventures for 2016
    A new year brings new possibilities, and with it, a world of opportunities. Or as we prefer at Culture+Travel – more opportunities to see the world. So if you’ve got that itch to really spend some time on the road… or in the sky… or on the water… then let us guide you to some of the more extensive travel options available this year for adventurers, all available as tours in some of the world’s most exotic locations. Here are our top 7 travel adventures choices for 2016. 2. Guatemala & Belize: Hidden Places of Francis Ford Coppola Seeking to connect with nature, director Francis Ford Coppola opened three retreats in Central America, located in Belize and Guatemala. Finding the Mayan Ruins inspiring, he created an exclusive accommodation collection of opulent exoticism, rated by Forbes as the most stylish in the region, and ranging from a remote lake retreat to mountain villas, and a designer beach resort. Kensington Tours “Hidden Places of Francis Ford Coppola” traces a route around them, promising cocktails atop a temple, horse riding, zip-lining, a visit to a jaguar sanctuary and 5-star cuisine. Priced at US$6,950 for ten days, the tour takes in Lake Peten Itza, Yaxha archaeological site, the Tikal ruins, Ixpanpajul Nature Park, ancient cities at Xuanantunich and Caracol, the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, diving at the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean at Placencia, and Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. But it’s the 4th century B.C. ruins that are sure to mesmerize, including the 140-foot high Caana pyramid capped by three temples.

    Caribbean Insights: Looking Ahead at 2016's Hot Spots
    The Caribbean is rightfully regarded as a pretty low-key place. The region’s sun-filled skies, beautiful blue waters and lush plant life create a relaxed atmosphere for visitors and residents alike, offering an ideal stress antidote. However tourism stakeholders in several top Caribbean travel destinations will face some tense moments in 2016 as they await the outcome of impasses that threaten to derail projects that – one way or another – will profoundly impact each nation’s tourism business. Issues surrounding these three regional destinations will bear watching throughout 2016: Norwegian Cruise Line’s $100 million Harvest Caye cruise port project was one of the most-watched in years among tourism stakeholders as it promised to accelerate the once-sleepy nation’s emergence as a mainstream Caribbean travel destination. Located on two adjoining islands off the small but increasingly popular coastal town of Placencia, plans for the 75-acre development include a floating pier, an island village with open-air structures, a marina, a water sports lagoon and a beach area. Norwegian will also offer passengers several Belize excursions from Harvest Caye. However a local tourism official has warned the port may not meet a planned Feb. 16 opening. Harvest Caye’s opening “will be delayed,” said Valdemar Andrade, director, destination planning and cruise at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in an interview on the website.

    FirstCaribbean recovers from loss in 2014
    Chairman of FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited David Ritch says 2015 was a year of recovery for the bank which achieved net income of US$98 million. He said this was “a significant improvement” over fiscal 2014 when the bank suffered net loss of US$148 million. In the bank’s annual report which has been posted to the T&T Stock Exchange, Ritch said FirstCaribbean’s restructuring programme, which was announced in October 2013 will end in the current fiscal year. He said the bank is starting to see the result of corrective measures put in place over the past two years, with continued emphasis on corporate governance, customer engagement, cost containment and sales and service excellence. He said: “The bank conducted a strategic assessment of our operations region-wide and concluded that some levels of adjustments were required in the way we currently conduct our business to ensure that FirstCaribbean maintains and builds on its strengths and opportunities in key markets.

    'Mad Dogs' and Amazon go into the Belize sun
    Amazon is going Mad. An adaptation of a British miniseries, Mad Dogs stars Billy Zane, Steve Zahn, Ben Chaplin, Michael Imperioli and Romany Malco as a group of friends vacationing in Belize who get caught up in a life-threatening situation. Debuting January 22, the series was adapted by The Shield’s Shawn Ryan and Chris Cole from Cole’s original. The adaptation included a lot of expansion. The original was four hours; the American one is 10. “We were able to go a lot deeper into the characters than we were able to do in the original four hours,” Cole told critics at the Television Critics Association Monday. “Once we get to episode five of the series, we’re in whole new virgin territory. It’s completely different than the British series,” Ryan says. And part of that difference stems from what Ryan says was a need to reshape the characters to reflect what he believes are the differences between American men and British men.

    Barbados reports suspected cases of Zika and H1N1 viruses
    Health authorities in Barbados have reported eight suspected cases of the H1N1 and Zika viruses. Minister of Health John Boyce said samples have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for confirmatory testing. And he has cautioned the population not to panic. The minister said that although he is aware that members of the public would be concerned whenever a new disease emerged, Barbadians should use simple measures to prevent mosquito breeding around their homes, business places and communities. “The fact that the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus, is the same mosquito that spreads dengue fever and chikungunya, we are all very familiar with the prevention and control measures which we need to undertake…Inspect your surroundings to search out and remove mosquito breeding places on your properties. The Ministry of Health recommends that this should be done once per week,” Boyce said.

    US army general concerned about potential ISIS attacks in Caribbean
    A top army general in the United States is worried that a few Islamic extremists in the Caribbean could carry out terrorist acts in the region. Commander of US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) General John Kelly said about 100 Islamic extremists left the Caribbean region to join Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters in the Middle East last year – some of whom were killed – and the number had risen to about 150 this year. However, his worry is less about the impact those Caribbean nationals have on the ISIS fight overseas and more about what they can do in their homelands. “I am more concerned particularly now it seems like the Islamic extremists and terrorists have shifted a lot of their message, and that is, ‘hey, rather than come to Syria, why don’t you stay at home and do San Bernardino, or do Boston, or do Fort Hood’,” he said, referring to incidents of terrorist attacks in the US.


  • VOICES OF THE MAYA: An Anthropological discovery of the past, 21min. Voices of the Maya: an anthropological discovery’ is a short film set in Belize, Central America. It focuses on the small community of Aguacate , their opinions about their Maya heritage and the archaeological sites the ancient Maya left behind. The film opens in a dark mysterious cave before moving into the tranquil rain-forests of Belize. Louis, the Alicante of Aguacate introduces the main concept of the film, which then goes on to look at daily life in the community. Four people with differing opinions are interviewed throughout and discuss their attitudes towards archaeology and the role of archaeologists.

  • The Palapa Bar, Belize 2016, 12min.

  • Belize - Ambergris Bay Secret Beach, 1.5min. This drone video shows where the main east / west connection road dead ends at Secret Beach, Ambergris Bay.

  • Micah and Evannah V perform scream BTL park Belize, 5min. Micah and Evannah V perform Scream at BTL park Belize to help stop the violence. S.A.V.E Belize foundation.

  • Morning Matters with Julia, 67min.

  • Kansas State student’s personal account of her time of service at Hillside, 6min. Tracie Thibault shared: "In developing countries like Belize, one never knows what one will see." Watch this 2 part video she created to learn more about her experiences in Belize and during her time of service at Hillside.

  • Trevor Wall and Steev Inglish play the blues at Windschief Bar in Hopkins, Belize 12-30-2015, 6min. On the evening of 30 December 2015 there was a special blues performance by Trevor Wall and Steev Inglish at Windschief Bar in Hopkins, Belize. Here is a sample of them playing "The Hoochie Coochie Man", a classic blues song written by Willie Dixon.

  • Belize, 4min. Our Christmas 2015 vacation to Belize -- slide show and video.

  • Black Howlers of Burrell Boom, Belize, 2min. A large male calls while his family eats fig leaves and fruit. His two sons, one and two years old, feel secure while he howls, knowing that their father is ready to protect them. The monkeys live in the Community Baboon Sanctuary, a grassroots collective of over 200 landowners on over 20 square miles who have voluntarily pledged to protect the Howlers and their habitat. (The misnomer 'baboon' is left over from British days.) Miss Geraldine, a local guide from the Sanctuary, keeps an eye on both the monkeys and the humans.

  • AFAR Belize Field School 2015, 7.5min. Highlights from the American Foreign Academic Research (AFAR) program's annual field school on Maya archaeology in Belize in 2015.

    January 11, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

    The San Pedro Sun

    Ambergris Caye Elementary School proudly presents their Ball Gowns & BBQ Charity Gala & Art Auction!
    At this, our first Charity Gala & Art Auction, we hope to raise both awareness and much-needed operating and scholarship funds for Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES). Because it is a nonprofit organization, all donations to the school are tax deductible, and all proceeds will directly benefit ACES and its students. We also hope to bring attention to the incredible art of San Pedro, along with the talented local artists and artisans who generously donated pieces to this worthy cause. Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) is a non-denominational community-based private school on Ambergris Caye. Since its establishment in 2009, ACES has enthusiastically embraced the amazing cultural and ethnic diversity that makes up our wonderful island and promotes awareness and respect among our students.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Goldfish Funeral
    “Hey, it’s late,” Sherry called. “Time to get up.” “What time is it?” I asked. “It’s almost 8:30.” “Leave me alone for now,” I said. “We’re playing music at Melt Café tonight and I don’t have to be anywhere until then. I’m sleeping in.” “Suit yourself.” Just then my phone rang and Sherry picked it up and said, “Hi, Melody. No; he’s asleep.” “I’ll take it,” I said. “What’s up sweetheart?” “Davin’s goldfish died and he wants you to come to the funeral.” “What time do I have to be there?” “Any time this morning.” When I got to his house Davin told me, “Goldy’s dead, Grandpa,” Sure enough, the little outside goldfish pond was empty. Davin was digging a hole next to it with a beach shovel.

    Letter to the Editor: Unacceptable Traffic Conditions
    Dear Editor, We are past time fan of the island, repeat vacation guests and online reader. Two ladies who have recently defended the island’s unacceptable traffic situation (“Tourists should accept a smile instead”) and also by pointing out that, on the positive side, road conditions have improved. Tourists should therefore be very happy. Yes, roads might have improved but also: “Please, my dear ladies, don’t be naive”. Roads on Ambergris Caye had improved in order to better accommodate local transportation, mainly to accommodate excessive heavy sand trucking. These heavy trucks are also the foremost reason that these roads (sand, cobble stone and concrete) are damaged in the first place. Tourists and their golf carts do not damage roads, neither do bicycles. Even light vehicles will do just little damages to roads. All studies show that one single heavy truck will do road damage equally to 10,000 light vehicles/cars. The damage caused by heavy trucks is exponentially greater.

    Doctor Love: Second Chance
    Dear Doctor Love, Four years ago I met the man of my dreams. Three years ago we got married. A year ago something in him changed and he became a different man. He started drinking heavily and then he became verbally abusive, then physically abusive and at one point I had to go to the doctor. At this time I split up with, him. He begged and pleaded with me to give him one more chance to prove that he is not that kind of man. According to him he has some serious problems that are causing him to drink and change his behavior. I asked him to tell me about the problems so we could solve them together but he refused, saying he could handle it. Three months ago he began drinking again and a few weeks ago he hit me. I filed a restraining order on him and had him removed from my house. Now he is begging and pleading again.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    South Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch January Meeting:
    See you there!

    On January 6th at about 6:20a.m., 15-year-old Seily Jozeline AGUILAR, left from her home in her Belmopan Comprehensive High School uniform and has not returned home. Seily is about 5ft in height, slim built, weighs about 110lbs, long brown hair and has dimples. Police are investigating.

    Help replace their stolen boat!
    Hi, my name is Joanna and I have started this campaign on behalf of Art and Kat, who are two of the kindest and hardest working people out there. They have recently had their boat stolen. A boat that was imperative for the survival of their Snorkel business. It was a sad day for everyone in our community when this happened, however, even sadder for Art who struggled for 16 years to get this boat, which also had great personal significance to him. Without this boat their business and the jobs of their workers will be hugely affected. Belize unfortunately does not have a reliable or affordable theft insurance policy so they need YOU to help them get back on their feet. A small donation could make a big difference in their lives and in the lives of their staff.

    UBAD Educational Foundation open mic poetry night fundraiser
    The UBAD Educational Foundation presents a dynamic evening of Belizean voices with its monthly open mic poetry night fundraiser on Thursday 14 January from 6pm to 9pm at Spoonaz on North Front Street to raise funds for the Library of African and Indian Studies. Come for an exciting evening of the voice in verse! Come to share your writing! Come to the UBAD Educational Foundation open mic poetry night fundraiser for an exciting evening of blazing words! See you there!

    New Year's Eve 2015
    Happy New Year one last time! The NYE celebrations downtown at the Cayo Welcome Center were phenomenal once again. Fire spinning and fireworks are a great way to welcome in a new year. Have a wonderful 2016. "The Cayo Welcome Center was the place to be on NYE! Miss Deb's food truck was there, and Bamboo Bar was jamming with some great live music. There was some amazing fire spinning between the 2."

    The Reporter

    Teenager detained for setting three fires in PG
    A teenager who burnt part of a restaurant and set two cars on fire in Punta Gorda has been arrested by Punta Gorda police pending charges. The young man, believed to be from Hopeville village, Toledo, set fire to ‘Gomiers’ Restaurant in Punta Gorda and […]

    New CARICOM Chair, PM Dean Barrow shares plan
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow took over the chairmanship of CARICOM this week, emphasizing on the major issues facing the Caribbean in the year to come. Barrow expressed optimistism over the prospects the Caribbean has, amidst the economic crisis most Caribbean countries face. He stated the […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    One gunned down in Hattieville
    Belize Media Group has received confirmed information that one person has been gunned down in Hattieville a short while ago. Hattieville police are currently at the scene. This is a developing story. More will be posted as the information is made available. […]

    Cold front approaching
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is forecasting a cold front that will support an increase of moisture across the country later today. The 24 hour forecast is for skies becoming increasingly cloudy this evening and later tonight with a few showers mainly inland […]

    Decomposed body found in Punta Gorda well
    The lifeless and badly decomposed body of an unidentified male person was found early this morning, face down in a water well in the New Site area of Punta Gorda (PG) town, near a house occupied by Allen Nunez who made the discovery. Nunez […]

    Punta Gorda arsonist goes on fiery rampage
    A string of arsons in Punta Gorda (PG) town early this morning has left one restaurant owner picking up the pieces after suffering thousands of dollars in losses and several other residents in distress, supposedly caused by one male person on a devious mission. […]

    Belmopan police seek two missing persons
    Two missing persons have been reported near Belmopan City since Wednesday, January 6th, when the first incident was reported by 33-year-old Sonia Reyes who resides in the Valley of Peace village and told police that her 15-year-old daughter, Seily Jozeline Aguilar left home on […]

    Taxi driver murdered in Belmopan
    The lifeless body of 28-year-old Belmopan City taxi driver, Isidro Suar, was found with gunshot wounds to the head, right side and back at around 11:00 on Friday night in the Piccini area of that municipality. Police arrived on the scene around 11:15 p.m. […]


    Gorgeous Villa Margarita in Hopkins, Belize and Beyond….
    Hopkins, Belize time. I had spent two nights at amazing Sleeping Giant Jungle Lodge – enjoying the view, the staff, the food and the amazing suite. But like many who stay in the jungle, I was doing a two-part trip to Belize. Half jungle and half beach. I was headed south, next, to unique and beautiful Hopkins, Belize. The resort (also a part of Viva Belize with Sleeping Giant) sent a van and 1 hour and a bit over the Maya Mountains, down into the valleys filled with citrus and over the bird filled savannah (spotted Jabiru storks!), we pulled into Hopkins Village. I have MANY pictures – and will show you those tomorrow.

    Mexican Tripe Soup - Menudo Soup
    Wash the calves’ feet well and place in a large pot or cast iron Dutch oven. Cover with water and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Wash tripe thoroughly and cut into 1 to 2-inch square pieces. Add these to the calves feet after the hour has passed; add onions and garlic. Place the oregano and coriander seeds in a cheesecloth bag and tie loosely; add the bag to the pot. Add the red chile powder. Simmer the mixture over a low to medium heat for approximately 6 to 7 hours, or until the tripe is tender. Add the hominy and cook for another hour; remove from heat. Ladle hot menudo into bowls. Garnish with diced onion, cilantro, lemon wedges, and/or green onions as garnish.

    Don a gown, dance disco, devour BBQ — there’s a San Pedro fundraiser soon to suit you
    The fund raiser is a way of life when you live on a tropical island that is marked by severe poverty and great wealth, and a government that has limited ability to help its own people. Here on Ambergris Caye it is a common sight to see locals in the street with money buckets, collecting coins and dollars for fire victims, cancer victims, accident victims. Last year a tour guide whose boat was torn up on the reef as he attempted to rescue some tourists was the beneficiary of a fund raiser to get him back on his feet. It is the island form of insurance, which otherwise does not exist or is out of the reach of ordinary residents. There are monthly fund raisers for our version of the Saga, our version of the Humane Society, as well as fundraisers for the local food bank, athletic teams and individual competitors, AIDS groups, self-improvement groups, and, most certainly, our schools.


  • George Waight police officer da Caye Caulker, 1/2min. Drunk and gaan home fu ih gun, put awn wa hoodie and gaan lay wait me and Kevin by CCRC school caz he seh he wa shoot we! Wat d hell up with dis lee rookie? We need fu get he outa police caz he wa kill somebody soon. I wa mek sure i report dis ya one caz dis d goh too far now!!

  • Yeartography 2015 - “The Year Underwater”, 13min. Every year, for the last 12 years, I take all the photos that I have shot for the year, and lay them into a video timeline. One picture = one frame of video = 24 pictures per second. The result is seeing my entire year in a relatively short time. This year I shot over 20,000 photos. Yes I take too many photos, I know, it's a problem. The good thing is as my brain dissolves from old age, I'll be able to use these Yeartography videos to look back and quickly remember the years. This year I've been on a quest to fix my bad ears. Most of my life I've avoided the ocean because of my ears, but recently discovered warm salt water seems to be one of the things that actually helps open up my inner ear and station tubes. I bought an underwater camera that as you will quickly see I have become obsessed with documenting my new quest.

  • Garifuna Settlement Day Parade 2015 (Dangriga, Belize), 7min. Hope you enjoy this video of the Garifuna Settlement Day Parade filmed in Dangriga, Belize 2015!

  • Belize Diving, 3min.

  • Belize Slideshow w/ Turneffe Island Resort (mostly UW) Nov 2015, 4min. This is a summary of most of the UW pics and video clips from a Nov 2015 dive trip. You will see a lot of the Best Diving in Belize w/ Turneffe Island Resort including The Great Blue Hole, The Elbow, Half Moon Caye, Long Caye Wall and Fabians Roost. Also included are some snorkeling and feeding of the local crocodiles. Enjoy & Happy Diving

  • Belize Trip, 16min.

  • A tour of Belize City 1, 3min. A quick tour of Belize City in late 2015.

  • Belize Aggressor March 2015, 15min. Our week aboard the Aggressor Belize.

  • Panoramic from 300 foot Mayan pyramid in Belize, 1/2min.

  • San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize 4K Drone Footage 2016 - Awesome, 6min. 2016 - See San Pedro Town, Belize in true 4k video. This low elevation drone footage will show you views of San Pedro that only the birds have enjoyed. Admire the beautiful, blue, Caribbean waters as you fly over white sandy beaches and into the streets of downtown.

  • Belize Vacation January 2016 GoPro, 13min. We stayed at Coco Plum Island Resort December/January 2015/2016.

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