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3/11/2016 to 3/20/2016
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March 20, 2016


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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

Martz Farm Treehouses and Cabanas
I’m undoubtedly dating myself when I refer to the Laura Ingalls Wilder children’s novels (later TV series) Little House on the Prairie. The series is a recollection of childhood memories regarding a pioneer family in the 1870’s making a home in the untamed American Midwest. During our two-night stay at Martz Farm Treehouses and Cabanas located in the mountainous terrain near Benque Viejo del Carmen in the Cayo District, I couldn’t resist noticing the charming similarities. Upon our arrival we are greeted like family by owners Miriam and Jose Martinez, along with their lovely daughter and two younger brothers. This is obviously a working farm where these jungle settlers have been pioneering their rustic home for well over a decade. Miriam, who is originally from Germany, is quick to get us settled in to our rooms and we enjoy a view of the property from our second floor veranda. As I gaze around the compound I think, here we have Ma, Pa, the three kids, busy chickens in the yard, lazy dogs under the shade of massive trees and beautiful horses grazing nearby. But this picturesque setting is hardly on a prairie, especially not when there are monkeys and toucans in the trees!

Smile Dental Clinic Volunteer Program coming to an end
Only one opportunity remains for island children and adults to benefit from free dental check-ups at the San Pedro Smile Dental Center at Holy Cross Anglican School. With hopes at bettering the dental health of children, the Smile Dental Clinic sponsors a number of volunteers each year each. Since January 2016, the volunteer program has had a host of American dentists and volunteers providing this essential service to the community. The final free clinic as part of the program will be held from May 4th to the 6th, with service being provided by Dr. Hal Soloman and other volunteers. The San Pedro Smile Dental Clinic would like to extend a big thanks to the latest volunteers: Susan Kloosterboer, Dr. Adina Ness, Heidi Peterson and students from Madison College School of Health Education who were here on March 14th and 15th and Dr. Staci Blaha, Dr. Joanne Brown, Dr. John Brockman, Janet Brockman and Cizaig Sandlin who were here from March 16th – 17th.

Sailing Club fundraises for a good cause!
The San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC) hosted a mega-win fundraising event at Amber Beach Bar & Grill, Caribbean Villas on Sunday, March 13tgh. Amanda Syme, coordinator and organizer for the fundraiser says that the event exceeded expectations, as many volunteers and generous donors supported the sailing club. The day was more than appropriate to have this community event, especially with warm temperatures, cool breeze and awesome tunes from DJ Debbie. The SPSC organized various fun ways to raise much needed funds. Raffle tickets were sold, as were $10 sailing trips to the reef. Parents of the youth sailors supplied items for their bake sale, there were $1 novelty disposable razors and even a coin drive. Tickets were raffled at $1 a piece which attracted many individuals to buy bulks of tickets for a chance win any of the jaw dropping prizes up for raffle!

SPHS Team Papaya Power excels at Sagicor Visionaries Challenge
Ambergris Caye was once again well represented at the annual Sagicor Visionaries Challenge where secondary students from across the country presented their scientific ideas for judging. San Pedro High School (SPHS) was one of the five schools participating, and they did an impressive job, claiming one of the top prizes in the educational event. The biennial event focuses on innovative scientific and business ideas encompassing the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The competition was held on Wednesday, March 16th at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City. Two teams represented SPHS. Team Papaya Power comprised of Jenessa Sierra, Kleyni Ramirez, Kimberly Lima, Daniel Figueroa, and Johann Marin. The team produced a Papaya Leaf Tea, which according to the team could replace coffee, and has numerous health benefits. The Papaya Leaf is believed to boosts the immune system, containing enzymes that help with digestion. Furthermore, the team believes that the tea contains substances that aid in the prevention of cancer.

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou’s sayonara visit
Two-term President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan’s nationalist party, the Kou Ming Tang (KMT) first visited Belize on May 28, 2009 ; and he returned for a second visit on Wednesday and Thursday, March 16-17; before he demits office in May to his successor, Taiwan’s first woman President, Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party. President Ma arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport aboard a chartered China Airlines 747, and Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington was on hand to welcome Ma to the full red carpet treatment. Ma extended the warm greetings and appreciation on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan), noting that “Belize is one of the staunchest allies of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Over the years, our two countries have collaborated closely in perfect harmony in a wide array of fields, and stride forward hand in hand in international community. Belize has rendered strong support to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its continuing campaigns for participation in international organizations.

‘The end starts with men’ – Domestic Violence Workshop held in SP
A workshop was held at the San Pedro Town Council’s Conference Room on Tuesday, March 15th in an effort to educate community leaders about masculinity, domestic violence, human trafficking and femicide from both a global and local perspective. Funded by the United Nations Populations Fund and International Migration Organization, coordinators Mrs. Louise Willis and Mr. Rudolph Orio, both retired Superintendents, organized this conference to raise awareness and offer solutions that can end crimes against women. The workshop observed the concept of masculinity and how it is portrayed in society. The idea of having “male sex roles” in cultures adds to the ‘masculine’ patterns set by society of how males should function. Many modern day stereotypes compel men to conform to a box of traits that reflect them as having to be strong, independent, bold, tough, etc. The connection between masculinity and violence is believed to be contributing to the amount of domestic violence cases reported annually. Willis described a common term relatable to males as “macho”, a shorter form of “machismo”, macho men tend to show aggressiveness and domination over women. These destructive and domineering traits may contribute to a direct source of violence. Some factors that connect to violence are dispossession, poverty, greed, nationalism and racism and often lead to domestic disputes.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Battle of Band 2016 Winners
Drumline Category: 1st Place: Mahogany Heights Dream Marching Band 2nd Place : Stella Maris Futuristic Marching Band Drum Corps Category: 1st Place: Holy Redeemer Marching Band 2nd Place: Mahogany Heights Dream Marching Band 3rd Place: Stella Maris Futuristic Marching Band Wind Instrument Category: 1st Place: Corozal Community College 2nd Place: Gwen Lizarraga High School Marching Band

AT ORCHID BAY. We will be there...will you? Live music FROM MIDAY TO SUNSET with the mighty band of the land, the Gilharry 7. FREE ADMISSION - BEACH VOLLEYBALL - PADDLE BOARDING - BBQ SPECIALS - BUCKETS OF BEER. No coolers or outside beverages permitted. Come out and Enjoy a fantastic weather.

Channel 7

Guatemalans Say Belize Will Change Referendum Law; Elrington Hedges
Last night, we gave you a few excerpts of that late evening press conference held by Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, Ambassador Assad Shoman, and Belize Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado. They were there to make a joint statement on the 3 meetings held in Washington DC on Tuesday to address the confrontation between the Guatemalan Military and the BDF on the Sarstoon. But what they didn't talk much about is Belize's referendum law: it requires a 60% threshold to be valid. In other words, 60% of the voter population has to come out and participate. It's a factor because back in March of 2013, Guatemala pressed the panic button and aborted the joint ICJ Referendum, which was supposed to have been held in both countries on October 6, 2013. They were concerned that threshold in Belize would cause them to go through a tedious and expensive procedure in their country, while Belize's referendum may turn out to be invalid. That led to Belize signing the Amended Compromis in May of last year which allows for both countries to hold the Refendum on a date of their choosing, and without the requirement of it being done simultaneously in both countries.

Shoman and Elrington Differ, Publicly
In yesterday's press conference, Elrington toed the Government line when the media kept pressing him on the cause of the hostility from the Sarstoon. The Barrow Administration has consistently pointed fingers at Wil Maheia and the territorial volunteers as the cause of the increase in tensions at between both Militaries. Elrington was adamant in his rejection of any suggestion that the rules of engagement in the Sarstoon have changed, or that Guatemala's conduct has changed. Assad Shoman, the Opposition Leader's Representative in the Tuesday Bilateral Talks contradicted him only a few minutes later, right at the head table when the press asked for his input in the discussion. He made the point once again, the Sarstoon situation is different from what it was when he was Foreign Minister: Dr. Assad Shoman - Opposition Leader's Representative, Bilateral Talks: "With respect to the Sarstoon, we have no doubt that the line agreed by the British and the Guatemalans runs under the isle of the Sarstoon and along the mid channel and we have never wavered from that position. Guatemala's position that the river belongs to them; that to me is new, that is relatively new. I have looked at negotiations that were taking place long before I even began to be part of them and yes, they've always discussed the Sarstoon and what does mid channel mean because in Spanish they say something else.

Diplomatic Doublespeak Versus A History of Provocation
So, while you have to make up your minds on who you choose to believe about tensions in the Sarstoon River, you also have to decide which narrative to accept on the true picture of Belize/Guatemala relations at the borders. The current Government is pushing a message that the two countries are co-existing as friends which respect each other, but the BDF records from the soldiers stationed at the Cadenas Observation Post say otherwise. So, is that a contradiction? That's what our Daniel Ortiz examined today. Here's his report: Rowland Parks - Amandala Press: "Prior to the exursions or trips to the Sarstoon by the BTV, there was not knowledge that Guatemala had revised its claim and decided to claim the entire Sarstoon. When exactly was the Government of Belize appraised of this new development."

Two More Teenagers For Murder
Today two boys were taken to magistrate’s court and charged for the murder of 21 year old Godfrey Hemsley. They are both 15 years old, and police believe they were acting on behalf of the SSG gang to kill Hemsely who is from Rocky Road. Today, the officer commanding southside told us more: Cue Cuec…

Cop Curfew: Figuring It Out As They Go Along
And that’s why the southside curfew is coming into effect. Today, Williams held meetings with the social services agencies to figure out where they are going to put children who have been picked up after hours. He told us more this afternoon when we found him at a community rehabilitation project:… Cue Cuec…

Man stabbed Himself; Cops Not Sure of Suicide
A man allegedly stabbed himself in the throat last night in Lords Bank, Ladyville. 41 year old Oscar Ulises Castillo Gomez was hanging out at his friend’s house on Cahal Pech Street. Everything was perfectly normal throughout the day until after 6 when Gomez just picked up a knife and jammed it in his throat. It’s quite a bizarre incident and I went to Lord’s Bank to get more answers. Cue in Cue out Gomez was a Salvadoran national. He had a wife and 4 kids living in El Salvador. He had only been living in Belize for a year. As for the friend Gomez was with, the family does not believe that he had anything to do with Gomez’s death.

Cops Say Driver May Have Been "Distracted"
Accident victim Aldo Chavarria was flown out of the country today after receiving massive injuries yesterday. His wife Marie Nicole remain in a critical but stable condition at the Belize Medical Associates. As we showed you last night, the couple was ejected from their Jeep SUV when they collided into a guardrail along a western highway canal between miles 11 and 12. It happened at2:00 in the afternoon when Chavarria clipped an oncoming dumptruck and lost control of his vehicle. Both he and his wife were flung out of the top of the Jeep. Fortunately an ambulance was also in the three car crash, and the EMT who was driving used his stretcher to carry them off the shoulder of the road where they lay badly injured. Today, the officer in charge of Hattieville told the media he feels Chavarria was distracted while driving:.. Cue]cuec… We spoke to the family who told us that they don’t believe that it was Aldo’s fault. He has a fractured elbow, a broken nose, a fractured jaw, a broken ankle and two broken legs – as well as an injury to the chest.

"Winchy" Yields
On Sunday the UDP will have its national convention in Dangriga. It’s expected to go smoothly since it’s an endorsement convention, meaning no one is challenging for any of the executive posts. But the image of cohesiveness will have a huge gaping hole because there’s no First Deputy Leader! Gaspar Vega resigned from that post a week ago and we are told he might not even attend Sunday’s convention. So, that election for the all important #2 seat in the party will be held later in the year – and all expectations are that it will be hotly contested. But, not as hotly as previously expected – and that’s because second deputy Erwin Contreras will not challenge for it after all. Over the weekend his camp said that he would go for first Deputy. They may have expected a nod of support from the Prime Minister since Contreras’s ascension would be the least divisive choice, but it seems none was forthcoming. And, not wanting to enter a three-way race against Patrick Faber and John Saldivar, Contreras has stepped back. He will be endorsed as second Deputy on Sunday and continue his long service in that, the third highest post in the party executive.

Appellant Gets Attempted Murder Quashed By Court
Inmate Leonard Godoy, who is serving 18 years for attempted murder and 10 years for Robbery, received some good news today when the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and sentence for that charge of attempted murder. That means he’ll only have to spend the 10 years for robbery. The incident he’s accused of happened on March 5, 2007 in Placencia. Godoy and 2 other men were convicted robbing 2 persons of $350 cash and 2 cellular phones. 1 of the victims were stabbed 3 times. In his appeal, he was represented by Senior Counsel Michael Young who argued that the attempted murder charge was wrong. The Court agreed, and quashed the conviction and sentence for attempted murder. ENDS…

Cruz Reyes Strikes Out At Appeals Court
In a third decision that the Court of Appeal handed down today, the conviction and sentence of attempted murder against Marvin Cruz Reyes was affirmed. He was convicted of the attempted murder of Kareem Wright and 2 women in 2007. Wright was struck in the neck, and that injury left him paralyzed. After hearing Reyes’ attorney, Bryan Neal, outline the grounds for his appeal, and the response from the DPP, the Panel of judges dismissed his case. His conviction and sentence of 15 years in prison was affirmed.

FIFA Shuts Down FFB Mutineers
We’ve reported extensively on the failed attempt by three members of the FFB executive to suspend President Ruperto Vicente. That was on February 18th, and after a visit by FIFA and CONCACAF officials last week, the official judgment came down on March 17th. In a letter sent from FIFA Headquarters in Switzerland, acting Secretary General Marcus Kattner writes that the FIFA Associations Committee discussed the attempted suspension and ruled it “invalid.” They added quote, “…the allegations with regard to the electoral process could not be substantiated,” end quote. As we told you, Vice President Sergio Chuc and Executive Members Marlon Kuylen and Cruz Gamez alleged that Vicente was “railroading” the election process to elect district committees that supported him. So, they were shot down on both counts, and can claim only the minor victory of forcing the elections to be pushed back two weeks, form April 16th to 30th. FIFA stressed that those elections need to take place as scheduled.

B. Pope Cautions Cyclists
Last night you heard elite cyclist Byron Pope talk about his test for a banned substance. Right now, he’s one of Belize’s most dominant cyclists, but he could be facing an extended suspension – and by extended, we mean as much as two years. It’s too early to know for sure right now, since Pope has not gone before a tribunal – but after the news broke last night, he’s already facing another kind of tribunal, and that’s the court of public opinion. We asked Pope how he will handle the disappointment so many feel after learning that he tested positive for a banned substance: Cue]cuec… Pope faces his tribunal next week Wednesday. And while Pope has come forward with his explanation – 7News has confirmed that there’s another cyclist who also tested positive for a banned substance right in that same New Year’s Classic Race.

Guat's Chiquibul Agro-Invasion Continues
Two Guatemalan men were caught farming illegally inside the Chiquibul Forest earlier this week. One was detained but the other escaped. FCD rangers were on patrol near an area known as Cohune Ridge in the Chiquibul on Wednesday when they found a couple of men pulling two horses saddled with loads of corn. Upon seeing the park rangers the two men made a run towards the Guatemalan side, however only one managed to escape. 57-year-old Asuncion Garcia, a Guatemalan resident of San Jose, Peten. Garcia was detained and then handed over to police in San Ignacio. Garcia and his accomplice were spotted approximately 310 meters from the Belize/Guatemala border.

Arlie’s Home!
The science students at University of Belize got a visit from a prominent Belizean American Physicist, Dr. Arlie Petters. He’s a professor at the prestigious Duke University in North Carolina, and today, he was greeted by UB President Alan Slusher. He then attended a discussion with the University’s academics on how to increase UB’s contributions to the national decision-making processes. They sought his advice and experience on the significance of targeted research in the fields of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics known as STEM. After that, he had an opportunity to meet with a portion of the student body to emphasize the importance of pursuing studies and careers in STEM.

Broaster's Easter Is About Safety
The long Easter weekend is coming up and some of you are already calling friends, looking up hotels to stay in Placencia, and Caye Caulker while for others it’s off to Chetumal and dealing with the host of things that goes into planning a family trip. But today Ladyville police told us that one crucial part of that vacationing should be safety. Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster told us about the police patrols that will be set up on the highways and what you can do to keep safe. Cue in Cue out There will be police patrols on the George Price Highway and the Phillip Goldson Highway.

The Coast Guard’s Wonder Women
You may recall the Best Warrior Competition held last year November. The event has been organized by the Belize Coast Guard for the past three years to test the endurance of Belize’s military men. But not only men stand on the frontlines as military personnel. So, this year, the Coast Guard women decided to put their might to the test. They underwent two days of back breaking challenges in what’s called the “Wonder Woman” competition. We were there today as they event wound down and the “Wonder Woman”, was chosen from among the 19 female coast guard officers who participated.

Cops Contribute To Court And Community Safety
Earlier we spoke with Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams about his curfew which is still taking shape. But, he’s not only cracking down on kids – with the help of some generous sponsors, he’s also offering them alternatives. We found Williams today on the Jane Usher basketball court where he enlisted youths form the neighborhood to refurbish the court and a five-a-side football field. Here’s how he explained the effort:… Cue Cuec.. The Berges brothers and Habet hardware are sponsoring the effort.

City Council Meets Child Friendly Benchmark
Today the Belize City council is one step closer to creating a child friendly Municipality. At a ceremony today at Battlefield Park, UNICEF acknowledged the Belize City council for its achievements: Cue in Cue out The ceremony was attended by members of UNICEF, the Belize Mayor’s Association, and the UNDP.

March is For Kids
March is early childhood development month and it is packed with activities across the country. One of those many events was held on Wednesday at the BTL Park. It was the Early Childhood Education Expo and the coordinator told us what that’s all about. Cue in Cue out Expo’s were held countrywide.


Sedi Blames The Media For Aggression On Sarstoon
Also discussed at the press briefing that was held yesterday in Belize City was the issue of the increasing tension at the Sarstoon between Guatemalan Armed forces and the Belize Defense force with the most recent being this past Saturday when according to a release issued by GOB Guatemalan armed forces acted in a hostile and aggressive manner towards the BDF and the tensions between both militaries are at an all-time high. The issue was discussed during the meeting held in Washington between the Belize and Guatemala delegation after much insistence on behalf of Belize. Yesterday during the briefing Elrington was asked if the rhetoric from the politician’s and the military commanders in both countries is that they believe in peace, why is there aggression on the part of the Guatemalans? Here is the Minister’s condescending answer and reiteration of the Government’s position that the Belize Territorial Volunteers are causing the tension to rise.

Former Foreign Minister Gives His Stake On Aggressions At Sarstoon
Former PUP Foreign Minister, Assad Shoman was assigned by the Opposition to be a part of the team that attended the meeting in Washington to discuss matters related to the Belize-Guatemala Territorial dispute. Therefore, Shoman accompanied Minister Elrington at the head table during the press briefing that was held yesterday to discuss the outcome of the meeting. However, he disagrees that the Belize Territorial Volunteers are the cause of tension at the Sarstoon. First though, we hear Minister Elrington reading from a communication sent by the Guatemalan government blaming the BTV for their behavior. Honorable Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs: This is Guatemalan position it is worthy to note that if the positions maintained by both governments are different the good level of understanding reached by both military authorities have prevented incidents from the areas from occurring, the inconveniences that have recently taking places due to the irresponsible stand taking by Belizeans civilians who purport to resolve the territorial and maritime referendum through provocation and let me expand on that because as soon as I landed in Washington I like to read the China Times or the China newspaper and they were talking in relation to the problems they have in the South China Sea and the whole issue of provocation...”


Chamber president does not support Guatemala boycott
Some Belizean citizens have publicly called on other Belizeans to boycott trade with Guatemala in the wake of a recent report by the Government of Belize that tensions between Belize’s and Guatemala’s military on the Sarstoon are at an all-time high and in the face of assertions by Guatemala that it will exercise sovereignty over the entire Sarstoon River—although its boundary with Belize runs along the river’s mid-channel. However, Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), does not support such a boycott. “I don’t think that we are at that point as yet. I don’t think it would be feasible for us to do that,” he told Amandala in an interview today.

Chester’s curfew!
The Southside section of the Police Department will be enforcing a new strategy tonight to help curb crime. Chester Williams, Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commanding Officer of Eastern Division, Southside Belize City, said that starting tonight, Thursday, March 17, children under 18 who are found in the streets after 9:00 p.m. without the supervision of a parent or guardian will be detained by police. Williams is not calling it a curfew. He told Amandala that he is just enforcing the law, although he could not point to a specific law, except to quote the Family & Children’s Act, of the Substantive Laws of Belize. According to Williams, these children will be detained and, referring to children who are taken into police custody tonight, he said, “their parents can pick them up tomorrow morning from the police.”

Basketballer gunned down on Yarborough court
The Hemsley family of the Yarborough area is mourning the death of Godfrey Hemsley, Jr., 39, which occurred at about 9:00 last night at the Yarborough basketball court. Hemsley, who loved basketball, had just played a game of basketball and was resting on the bleachers when his killer approached from behind and shot him. According to witnesses, Hemsley’s killer is a boy between fourteen and fifteen years of age and was so tiny in stature that he appeared to be “about 3 feet tall.” Police on patrol in the area rushed Hemsley to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but he was declared dead on arrival. Hemsley’s bereaved family said that the boy who shot Hemsley, the father of a 9-year-old daughter, was like a family-member – he was so well-known to them.

Murdered man’s body found floating in the Dykes
A mother’s worst nightmare became reality yesterday morning at about 10:30 when her son, Mario “Mariouana Grams” Trotman, 18, of Louise Bevans Street, who had been missing, was found dead, floating in the canal off the Dykes, located between Fabers Road and Jane Usher Boulevard on the city’s southside. He had been shot in the head and eye, and dumped into the canal. (The canal in the sewerage reserve is known as the Dykes, and is owned by Belize Water and Services Ltd. (BWSL).) A post-mortem conducted on the body certified that Trotman’s death was caused by a gunshot wound to the head. After the autopsy, Trotman’s body was taken last night to the Eternal Garden Cemetery at Mile 13 on the George Price Highway, where he was buried by his family and friends.

3-vehicle collision on the George Price Highway
Three vehicles were involved in a road collision at about 1:30 this afternoon at Mile 11 on the George Price Highway, Belize District. A Toyota Prado slammed into the left front portion of a dump truck and an ambulance that was travelling behind the dump truck slammed into the rear of the truck. The Prado was severely damaged. Two persons who were travelling in the Prado were thrown out and landed in the water in a creek near the road. They were seriously injured, and were assisted by rescuers and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by a BERT ambulance.

It’s the Sibun, stupid!
The Belizean people at all levels of society, at home and abroad, must face facts and dedicate themselves to organizing and mobilizing bodies and resources of all kinds, all they have, to save Belize. Enough of this waiting for Government to do something different in its dealings with Guatemala or for the diplomatic course to play out. Belizeans must be proactive instead of reactive. The ideal is for the Government and the people to be one, to join forces in this struggle for national existence. It’s beyond stupid and shortsighted for the Government of Belize to think they can do this alone, that they alone are capable, or that it is their duty alone to keep the country with all its borders intact. The Prime Minister just this week called for the people to leave the Guatemala situation to the professionals. How can that be trusted in light of the PM himself, explaining Belize dropping the ball in the extradition of wanted fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer to Mexico, having admitted to being no expert (as then Foreign Minister) at the time Belize entered into the extradition treaty with Mexico? The Guatemalan claim and the attitudes and behavior coming out of that claim are the nation’s problem. The nation is the people. Every last citizen can and must take action if they want to write their own destiny.

Marques “QUES” Warrick of Lexington, Kentucky – Grandson of KREM Radio’s Tony Wright
Good evening Sports Editor: I am Therese Wright, mother of Marques “Ques” Warrick of Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Ques is the grandson of Tony “Lovable Mr. T” Wright. I am writing to see if you would feature Ques in the Sports section of the Amandala as a way of encouraging the youth in Belize that they can achieve in the classroom and on the court! Ques is 14 years old, 6-feet tall, basketball player at EJ Hayes Middle School. He was a team captain of the Panthers basketball team and helped lead the team to the District Championship. Ques is an Honor Roll Student, a W.E.B. Leader (WHERE EVERYBODY BELONGS mentoring program), a peer tutor and a member of Omega Harvest Ministries. Ques’ desire is to be a part of the basketball community in Belize and also would love to conduct camps for kids.

All Star Night, March 19
All Star Night: The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will be hosting its second annual All-Star Night on Saturday, March 19, at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan. The activities will commence at 7:00 p.m. with the Wings Stop Skills Challenge, followed by its first ever VIP Wireless Celebrity Game. At 8:30 p.m., the Aguada Hotel Three-Point Shootout will get underway, as a new champion will be crowned this year, given that Richard Troyer will not be defending his title. In the All Star game, the South will be defending its crown; and the nightcap will witness the Slam Dunk Contest, as home town baller, Jarrel “Bird” Velasquez will be defending his title on his home turf.. The night promises to be packed with great excitement and entertainment. The biggest feature of the night is the first ever live camera in a sporting arena in Belize, with replay of the best plays and shots, as they are transpiring. The NEBL will be hosting its first ever Celebrity Game, with debut from Indira Craig, Chester Williams, Jules Vasquez, Maestro, Mad Bull, Tarun Butcher, Wil Maheia, Allison “Harrier” Laing, Paul Thompson, TR Shine, Clinton “Pulu” Lightburn, Evan “Duck” Garnett, Nigel Miguel, “Yellow” Gaynair, Tarike “Soup” Campbell, Kaya Cattouse, Alfred Ayuso, Anthony Mahler, Karim Berges and other big names. You surely will not want to miss out on this great game, as the stars will be out in full force at the UB gymnasium on Saturday night.

The Miguel brothers – the greatest cycling siblings in Belize
The Cross Country Cycling Classic can trace its roots back to 1928, and since then, the race has changed in many ways. In those early days, it was a three-day event, but today, it is the greatest one-day sporting spectacle in Belize. One thing has not changed and is unlikely to change anytime soon. The performance of the Miguel brothers in Cross Country races has not been repeated by any other family, and will likely never be repeated. They are four brothers, and each of them has won the Cross Country race. The Miguel brothers dominated cycling during the late 1950’s and the 1960’s. In those days, the Cross Country race was more intensive than it is today, since the road was more rugged and difficult to traverse on bicycles. Mount Hope was much higher, and the extra climb to its peak was gruesome. The Miguel brothers won ten Cross Country races between 1956 and 1970. Johnito won the most titles with four, followed by Edward with three, Rudy with two and Arthur with one. They finished together in first and second places in two Cross Country races. In 1956, the oldest brother, Edward Miguel, won his first Cross Country race. Edward won again in 1958, and by the following year, the Miguel brothers had completely dominated the race. In 1959, Edward successfully defended his title and his brother, Arthur, was second.

Cricket Corner – A gentleman’s game; let’s keep it that way.
With the kind sponsorships of Smart and Belikin, the Harrison Parks 2016 Cricket Competition, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, continued over the weekend with some very good games, while others did not end so satisfyingly. I will not at this time reveal their names or what they did. I will emphasize a warning to all concerned over the weekend – PLEASE STOP THE WAY YOU ALL BEHAVE TOWARDS UMPIRES. Attacking an official in any way, that contravenes the rules and regulations, puts yourself and your team in a position to be suspended for a few games or indefinitely. Always remember that an official might have a friend or relative who may not take these actions or behavior lightly. STOP CALLING THESE UMPIRES DUNCE OR STUPID. If they were dunces, many times your actions would escalate into violence. I have been telling you all the time, respect and manners is to be given to your fellow men. Cricket is played to bring us closer together. Don’t let us lose the essence of the spirit of the game. Some of these umpires can be your parents or grandparents. PLEASE SHOW RESPECT TO THEM.

C-Ray Saturday Race Series 2016, Week 6 results
On Saturday, March 5, race number 6 of the C-Ray Saturday Races concluded the series. Initially, there were to be 10 races, but due to other races in between, we were only able to have 6 races. Although the weather wasn’t bright and sunny on Saturday morning on the Boom Road, 20 cyclists showed up (mainly those who were in contention for points) and lined up for the race. At the sound of the whistle, the race started off rather slower than usually. The pack remained intact up until the first station prize at the Fresh Pond Village, which was a gift certificate from Da Bizz BBQ, won by junior cyclist from Cabral/Marin Cycling, Anthony Marin, who out-sprinted everyone else to the line. Several breaks were formed, but none successful. At the second station prize at the prison, where a gift certificate for a bike cleaning from Ordonez Bike Shop was up for grabs, Brandon Cattouse decided that his bike needed that clean, and jumped out and claimed the prize. At this point, a four man break-away was formed, consisting of Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes, Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray, and both Mark Staine and Henry “Henno” Moreira of Smart.

Editorial: Belize and Guatemala: two different realities
A trap has been sprung on Belize. The Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs essentially told Belizeans this week that Guatemala has taken control of the Sarstoon River/Island, and that the only way Belize can regain our rights at the Sarstoon is if the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gives it to us. Ergo, go to the ICJ, or else. Fifteen years or more ago, the Guatemalans pulled a stunt on our western border which was similar in concept, except that it took place on land. The Guatemalans built a village called Santa Rosa inside Belizean territory, Belizean territory as demarcated by the 1859 Treaty between Great Britain and Guatemala, and Belizean territory as confirmed by the United Nations when Belize gained independence on September 21, 1981. Although it took many years, Belize managed to get Santa Rosa dismantled without a war breaking out. The Guatemalan peasant farmers were returned to their country of origin. Incursions of various kinds continued to take place, of course, but there was nothing of the organized scope and intent of Santa Rosa.

An angry letter to P.M. from a Mayan Belizean
Government of Belize Attn: Prime Minister Dean O Barrow: Dear Sir: Kindly note: this is not a diplomatic note. It is out of rage and as a true Belizean that I write this letter to you and for the world to know. I am a Mayan Belizean and have been living in Toledo since I was born. Obviously, you already know that my letter is an angry one. As a Belizean who has visited most of the cornerstones of this beautiful country, the same corner stones you have never visited in your life, I have all rights to say to you, Sir, that you need to step down. At this point, it is safe to say to you that you continue to lead my country, Belize, in the wrong direction. You continue to fail in protecting this nation and me. What is even more damning is that you fail and drown in your own lies. You do not live in Toledo, so you wouldn’t know. You do not visit Toledo or any of its villages so you wouldn’t know. You don’t care about Toledo so you wouldn’t know. My voice is one out of many but I can assure I can be heard. Maybe others are afraid to let you know how disappointed they are, but I am not. Keep on distracting Belizeans by giving them junk to fill their stomach and cosmetic to paint their true colors and how they feel. I am not happy and I am sure many others are not happy about your way of handling this “territorial dispute.” You continue to take the people of Toledo for granted; it has been clearly shown that you have given us up in front of our very eyes.

From Sally and Leonardo in Esperanza
Dear Editor, On Friday 11th March, we set out from Esperanza to see Stogie Kenyatta as Paul Robeson at the UB auditorium in Belmopan. When we got to the outskirts of Roaring Creek, we came upon a First World style traffic jam. Nothing was moving. We began to think there may have been an accident at the new roundabout. Patience, nothing we could do. Finally we reached Roaring Creek: it was a Police checkpoint! We proceeded on to the UB campus; by now we were rather late; maybe the place is full, when we reached the car park, very few vehicles were to be seen. When we got inside, very few people were to be seen. The show had not started and so we made our way to seats right near the front, surrounded by empty seats. We were then treated to an excellent show that deserved a far larger audience than the few. It was a show that appealed to all ages and certainly enjoyed by our four-year-old until he was excluded along with other small children. Mr Kenyatta had not seemed disturbed by his young audience. He probably appreciated that these young people are the theatre audience of tomorrow if they are encouraged now.

Expo showcases early childhood education
School vacation starts next week, and so preschools around the country are this week wrapping up activities in observance of the annually held Child Stimulation Month. The highlight of this week’s agenda was an Early Childhood Education Expo, held at the BTL Park in Belize City. Several Belize City preschools participated in the event, which began with a short ceremony which afforded students and preschool teachers a chance to showcase their talents, giving a snapshot of the kind of talent displayed on stage at the concurrent preschool festival of arts. The month kicked off on March 1 with a grand parade from Memorial Park to Constitution Park in Belize City. Various preschools have hosted cultural days and sports days. Community police, dentists and traffic safety officers have also visited students to share information with them. Fun storytelling sessions, sports events and a hug day were also integrated into the program, aimed at providing stimulation which is critical for early childhood development.

Guatemala has increased militarization at the Sarstoon
On February 27, an excursion organized by the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), formed to affirm Belize’s sovereignty in the troubled waters of the Sarstoon, was stopped by 5 Guatemalan military vessels with armed soldiers and immigration officials. Whereas February’s excursion by the BTV marked a year since a boatful of Belizeans were detained by Guatemalan military and taken over to Guatemala, on allegations that they had drifted over into Guatemala, it also marks 16 years since a BDF patrol of three persons—Second Lieutenant Romaldo Herrera, Lance Corporal Lucio Arana, Private Luciano Tzub and Police Constable Macedonio Sanchez—was surrounded by 25 Guatemalan soldiers who detained them near Jalacte, Toledo, on allegations that they had illegally made their way onto Guatemalan terrain. It was after this incident, roughly 16 years ago, that the Organization of American States (OAS) was formally engaged to help resolve the territorial differendum between Belize and Guatemala. In March of 2000, the Government of Belize and the Government of Guatemala agreed to the OAS process. Since then, three agreements for confidence-building measures were signed between the parties, but the agreement only covers Belize’s western border with Guatemala and not the Sarstoon boundary. In the wake of heightened tensions, similar measures have recently been suggested for the Sarstoon.

Captured man escapes from kidnappers
An Orange Walk businessman is now with his family after he escaped from two armed kidnappers who held him up and ordered him to drive to an area in Douglas, a village on the Philip Goldson Highway, shortly after 12:15 Monday morning. While the businessman was being taken away in his pickup, he managed to kick open the driver’s door while the vehicle was moving and he jumped out of the vehicle and ran into a cane field, where the kidnappers couldn’t see him. The kidnappers, nevertheless, fired into the area, but the businessman was not hit. The businessman had his cellphone on him, and called his family, telling them what had happened, and that he was hiding in an unknown area from the kidnappers. The family then called police. Police went to the area and found the pickup, which the bandits had abandoned, and the man was found about 600 yards from the location of the vehicle.

6th form student accused of $6,000 theft from his employer
A Belize City sixth form student pleaded not guilty to one count of theft at his arraignment this morning before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Magistrate Mendoza released Ricardo Borja on a bail of $8,000 plus two sureties of $4,000 and adjourned his case to April 26. The allegation against Borja, a 19-year-old resident of New Road, is that on January 27, 2016, he dishonestly appropriated $6,000 from Ricky Perrera, who had employed him to collect house rent from his tenants. In court, Borja appeared without an attorney and told Magistrate Mendoza that his attorney is aware of the charge against him. Following the arraignment, Perrera told court reporters that he had employed Borja, but between December 17, 2015 and February 17, 2016, he terminated Borja because he suspected, that he had been stealing money from him.

Belizean journalists “dissed” on President Ma state visit
If you’ve noticed a wide disparity in the coverage by the Belizean media versus the Taiwanese media on the visit of Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou, the highest-ranking official outside CARICOM to have paid a visit to Belize in the recent past, that is because the Belizean media was persistently denied proper access to cover the event. If we wish to be precise, we would have to say that the Belizean media was heavily disrespected, but it was not clear who exactly was handing down the directives. One media colleague said he was told that protocols were being passed down from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Government Press Office officials escorting the Belizean press seemed just as surprised about the restrictions and a reporter from the Guardian, the ruling UDP’s newspaper, boycotted the evening photo shoot in protest when he heard that a photo was all that he would be allowed to take at the Radisson.

5,000 participate in BLACK police anti-crime march
The Police Department and other organizations, including primary school students, conducted an anti-crime march through the principal streets of the city this morning. The demonstration, called BLACK (Be Loving and Cease Killing), which aims to send a strong message from the police against crime and violence, began at about 8:00 this morning and concluded at about 1:00 in the afternoon, and had the participation of an estimated 5,000 people. The march began at the Cinderella Plaza and proceeded down Freetown Road, onto Douglas Jones Street, into North Front Street, down Albert Street into Regent Street, and over the Swing Bridge into Queen Street. It then ended at the Princess BTL Park on Newtown Barracks, where a massive anti-crime rally was held. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood said that the march was a means to build relationships with the community, and to foster a partnership in the effort to find ways of reducing crime and violence.

Prosthetic clinic planned for on Sunday
There will be a prosthetic clinic at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, at Helpage Belize’s gym on the grounds of the Sister Cecilia Home. The clinic is being organized through Belize Assembly for People with Diverse Abilities (BAPDA) and Dr. Rob Kistenberg and his team from Prosthetic Hope International. They will be fitting persons for prosthetics, giving amputees a new lease on life and a renewed prospect of living a normal life. Eva Middleton of BAPDA told Amandala that the organization has been in existence since 2009. She said that they hold regular meetings with their members and link these persons to services that will assist them to live a “life of dignity.” Middleton went on to say that one of the challenges that disabled persons face in Belize is that business places are not built in such a way as to accommodate them. As a result, it is difficult for disabled persons to do simple transactions like taking out a birth certificate or utilizing the services of the bank.

Dennis Gabourel loses in Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal this morning dismissed the appeal of Dennis Gabourel who was convicted in the Supreme Court on an indictment of grievous harm and was sentenced to pay a fine of $10,000 by trial judge Justice John Gonzalez. Gabourel’s attorney, Simeon Sampson, SC, had appealed the fine on the grounds that the grievous harm sustained by the victim came about as a result of an accident. Instead, the Court of Appeal affirmed the previous ruling of the Supreme Court. In his argument, Sampson argued that his client acted in self-defense, stating that Gabourel took a defensive position and the complainant fell and caused injury to herself. Sampson went on to say, “If this version was put to the jury, the jury would have been in a better position to evaluate the merits of the case.”

Waterloo and Carnival assessing feasibility of proposed Belize City cruise port
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced this week that Norwegian Cruise Lines intends to make its first call at its new cruise port at Harvest Caye in Southern Belize on November 15. This will become the second cruise port to be established in Belize—although champagne bottles had been broken back in April 2004, for the construction of a second port in Belize City, through a partnership between Carnival Cruise Lines and Port of Belize Limited. Today, there is still only one cruise port operating in the country. That port, located at the Fort Street Tourism Village, has been in operation for just over 15 years. Former partner in the FSTV, Michael Feinstein, was planning to build a new port at Stake Bank, off the Belize City coast, but he recently announced that he would not pursue the investment after finding out that the Government had been talking with British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, the businessman/banker who now has possession of the Port through Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited, about resurrecting the idea of a cruise facility, at Port of Belize.

The Reporter

Oceana and WWF to host “Earth Hour”
Oceana Belize, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and Sea to Shore Alliance, is hosting a special event from 8:30- 9:30 p.m. today, Saturday entitled “Earth Hour.” The event is geared towards sharing information about climate change, its importance to Belize, as well as the rest of the world, and to highlight local and international initiatives which are focused on fighting climate changes negative effects. The organizations will host the event at the Caribbean Shores Park, also known as “Rock Park” on Princess Margaret Drive. The event will also feature a candle light vigil live entertainment and personal testimonies on initiates being done locally to join the fight against climate change.

Ladyville records first murder for 2016
Rene Chavarria, a Belizean fisherman of Ladyville village is the first person from that area to be murdered in 2016. The Rural Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department reported that they found Chavarria lying face down in a swamp with an apparent gunshot wound to the back on the head after 9:00 p.m. on Friday night. Reports are that Chavarria was riding his bicycle heading towards his home in the Milpa Area when two gunmen approached him from behind and opened fire. Inspector Juanito Cocom of the Ladyville Police, informed that Chavarria then ran towards the Caribbean Shrimp Farm and managed to jump over a drain to the right hand side of Marage Road and fell in the bushes. The two male persons then escaped.

The Belize Times

Guatemala Takes Portion of Toledo!
Guatemala, whose unfounded claim over Belize has existed for 160 years, has ratcheted up its claim and has effectively seized a large portion of the Toledo District using military force to take control of the entire Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island, located at the southern-most tip of Belize’s border. BDF soldiers reported to the Government that on Saturday March 12th they were stopped by Guatemala Armed Forces (GAF) “in the area of Belize’s Forward Operating Base”. Guatemala’s forces, said a Government release, “behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon”. This report coincides with the behaviour of the Guatemalan military every time the Belize Territorial Volunteers have attempted to visit the Sarstoon Island over the past two years to assert Belize’s territorial integrity. In one instance, in March 2015, the BTV members were kidnapped by Guatemala’s military and taken by force to Livingston where they were held for an overnight and released following diplomatic negotiations. Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the leader of the Belize Defence Force, Brigadier General David Jones, have claimed that they have had “cordial” relations with Guatemala’s military in the area

Why Gapi Quit!
There has been no official explanation to the sudden resignation of the UDP’s northern political don Gaspar Vega from his post of Deputy Prime Minister and First Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party. Vega’s resignation will take effect this Sunday, March 20th, when the UDP holds an endorsement convention to fill up posts in their National Executive. Conventions normally means elections, but the UDP under Dean Barrow is in a firm grip and what he says absolutely goes. The UDP, for example, has not had a leadership convention since Barrow took up the reins following former UDP leader Manuel Esquivel’s resignation in 1998. Leading up to Sunday’s convention, several persons wished to offer themselves for the positions. Mark King nominated himself on Facebook for Chairman in an attempt to kick out Alberto August. Faber, it was reported, was looking to become one of the two Deputy Leaders. There were even questions whether a new leader would take over. But Barrow indicated there shall be no challenges to any of the posts and much less to his even though he has declared that he is serving his last term in electoral politics.

Barrow’s Bogus Budget
Did you check out Barrow’s ‘Buckle-Up’ Budget in the House of Representatives last week? I swear the man is a magician trying to pull that disfigured rabbit out of the UDP hat. Silly Barrow, tricks are for kids. There’s a reason why Barrow has long been known as the Glitter Man, or as Hubert Elrington once said, all glitter and absolutely no substance. The Budget is bad, people. Just like we’ve been saying all along, Belize is in serious trouble. It’s even worse than we could have believed. Check this out. The budget is basically simple – it’s what you spend versus what you earn in revenue. A balanced budget means you’re bringing in what you spend, and that’s good. An exceptional budget would be bringing in more than you spend. But what Mr. Barrow is telling us is that in the past 2015/2016 he spent more than the country brought in…MUCH MORE – like $182M more. Can you imagine that? The deficit is a whopping 5.1% of GDP.

Couple claims negligence at Corozal Community hospital
A couple from Corozal Town has accused the medical staff of the Corozal Community Hospital of negligence with the administration of care to their 4 year old daughter. Zoila Botes and her common-law husband Josue Perez say that their child, Alexie, was taken to the hospital on Sunday March 6th after she was not feeling well, but after receiving poor care and treatment with an injection and arriving home, their child’s condition only got worse. Two hours after the child received treatment at the hospital she began suffering seizures. Her parents returned her to the hospital, only to find out that no one knew which medication was given to the child through injection. This, said the child’s step-father, is unacceptable.

Think About It
A frightened Prime Minister was at a loss for what to do as a nightmare scenario was conveyed to him through the B.D.F. Guatemala had struck again. Saturday evening 12 March 2016 Guatemalan naval and military personnel turned up in their gunboat in front of the “Mennonite” board house which the government says is our Forward Operating Base. Here is the official version from a government press release which was rushed out on Sunday. Remember the government has been caught lying in their previous press releases concerning Guatemala:- “The Guatemalan Armed Force approached the Forward Operating Base, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that out troops should not be at the Sarstoon. The Belize Forces stood their ground and after some time the Guatemalan Armed Forces withdrew. In the intervening period the BDF commander General Jones had spoken to an opposite member in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales”. “Despite the ultimately peaceful end to the standoff it is clear that tension with Guatemala over the Sarstoon and Belize’s insistence on its sovereignty rights…. Is at an all time high”.

A House Divided
If we are to believe what we are being told, the sleeping dog that is the Guatemalan claim, has awakened and is growling and showing its teeth. The question is though, who is kicking this dog and for what reason. A government press release, which was sent out on Sunday of all days, informed Belizeans that on Saturday last, Guatemalan troops “behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner” toward our Belize Defence Force soldiers. According to the release, “a strongly worded note of protest” was sent to the Guatemalans by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Of course, we have seen what their idea of “strongly worded” is, and to be honest, it’s usually not too impressive. More like the kind of note that a teacher might send to a parent if a child is late a time or two. The press release went on to inform that the “Prime Minister has convened a special meeting of the National Security Council for Monday March 14th, to further deal with this matter.” Ahah!!! Now this is really starting to sound like serious business. Of course, what the press release forgot to mention, was that said meeting had already been scheduled and that it had nothing to do with any incident at the Sarstoon. “What a tangled web is weaved…”

Barrow the Appeaser, Dangerous for Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has shown to be a quisling and an appeaser when it comes to Guatemala. He is also following the script crafted by his British masters. His history is on the written record. So far that record let us state the following. During none of the civil disobedience, public protests or riots was Mr. Barrow ever present or a participant. He was not against the Webster Proposals by the U.S.A mediator to give Belize to the control of Guatemala. He was not against the then infamous Heads of Agreement in March 1981 which was perhaps the worst civil unrest in Belize in relation to Guatemala. He was not against the Maritime Areas Law in 1991 which resulted in Phillip Goldson, Hubert Elrington, Derrick Aikman, Gilda Lewis, Emma Boiton, Herbert Panton and other high ranking members leaving the United Democratic Party. Mr. Goldson went on to form his own party-National Alliance For Belizean Rights NABR and vowed never to join back with the UDP whilst Dean Barrow remained in the party. Mr. Goldson died as a member of NABR and was given a State Funeral by the PUP government of Said Musa.

Grace Kennedy & Unitedville Rebels win softball competition
Defending Cayo softball champs, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and the Unitedville Rebels posted big wins when the2016 Raymond Garbutt senior female softball competition kicked off with 3 games at the Raymond Garbutt Field in Roaring Creek Village on Sunday. Winning pitcher Leandra Guy led the Grace Kennedy ladies from Roaring Creek to a 12-1 win by mercy rule over Belmopan Capital City Emeralds. Grace Kennedy’s Shadalee Ho walloped Dominga Tut’s pitching to hit a home run at the bottom of the 1st inning. Pitcher Nikita Perez led the Unitedville Rebels United to an 8-0 victory by mercy rule over Esperanza Wolverines in the second game of the afternoon. Rebels United’s Indira Ireland walloped Shareenie Soberanis’ pitching to hit the 1st home run of the season at the top of the 3rd inning.

Taye Parkinson & Amiri Hoare win SMART table tennis champs
Taye Parkinson of St. Joseph’s RC School was awarded as the most developed young table tennis player of 2015 by Belize Table Tennis Association. He showed why when he won the 18 & Under championship as well as the 12 & Under division in the SMART national junior ranking table tennis championships hosed by the BTTA at the Belize Elementary auditorium on Sunday. The 15 & Under division championship was won by Amiri Hoare.

Kaya Cattouse wins Women’s Cross Country
Team C-Ray’s Kaya Cattouse won the 27th annual Women’s Cross Country Cycling Classic beating defending champ Alicia Thompson in the sprint to the finish in front the BTL Park in Belize City on Sunday. Kaya rode the 68 miles from the Coronation Park in San Ignacio to the finish line on Newtown Barracks in 4:24:15; winning the $3,000 1st prize, a round trip for 2 on Maya Island Airways, and 2 trophies. Kaya had won Cross country champ in 2012.

Spring Concert at the Bliss
Last Thursday March 10, 2016 the Northfield Mount Hermon School Orchestra and the Belize National Youth Orchestra took the stage at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts for a delightful Spring Concert of musical selections. The concert was fairly well attended, though the Bliss was not full to capacity. Mostly parents and friends of the musicians attended in support of their children in the Belize Youth Orchestra, and the visitors as well as our own Belizean orchestra members performed a diverse one and half hour program, commencing with the excellent playing of the Belizean and American National Anthems. The Northfield Mount Hermon School Orchestra hailed from the US State of Massachusetts. Their director was Steven Bathory Peeler. The ten-member chamber group of seven young women and three young men sounded like a full orchestra, although there were only eight violins, a cello and a double bass. They played a wide range of compositions, from a three-part piece by Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lully – “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” from the seventeenth century to the John Lennon and Paul McCartney composition “Eleanor Rigby.” Also a part of the program were selections by Brazilian, British and American composers and “March of the Toy Soldiers” from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. The versatility of the Northfield School Orchestra was on full display, and the audience showed their appreciation with hearty applause. The range of sound that a small string orchestra can encompass is truly amazing, and their program was very well delivered and received.

How did we lose the Sarstoon?
On Saturday, Guatemalan military forces came into Belizean waters and threatened OUR Belize Defence Force soldiers at the Forward Operation Base at the Sarstoon. Imagine that. It’s gotten to that point. Our soldiers were aggressed by armed Guatemalan soldiers. They were outmanned, outgunned and in a very bad position far from any assistance, nowhere to run. When you see a government release using the words hostile and threatening, and actually admitting that tension in the Sarstoon is at an all time high, then you get the sense of how bad it is. We’ve been trying to tell this government for the longest time that THEY lost the Sarstoon. They told us we lied. They said we were being political. They accused us of sensationalizing things, making things up. The Prime Minister is fond of beating his chest and boasting about how great Belize is at asserting its sovereignty in the Sarstoon. Well tell that to the BDF soldiers at the base on Saturday. Tell that to the Guatemalans. I’ve heard Minister Elrington say that under his term as Foreign Minister diplomatic relations are the best they have ever been. We’ve heard him say that thanks to this UDP administration we are finally making some progress in resolving the claim. But how is this progress now?

Students return from Harvard Association debate conference in Costa Rica
The Belize High School (BHS) debate team participated in their fourth HACIA debate conference held March 10 to 13, 2016. The XXII Summit of the Americas was hosted in San Jose, Costa Rica at the Hotel Real Intercontinental. HACIA, Harvard Association Cultivating Inter American Democracy, remains the oldest and largest simulation of the organization of American States in the world. Over five hundred students come from countries spanning the entire Americas. This year over 500 students of thirty three different high schools throughout 10 countries: Costa Rica, Belize, Brazil, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, United States of America, and Peru. The BHS students have been extensively preparing for several months with direction from Mr. Emmanuel Adighije and Mrs. Jamie Usher. Preparations included meetings after school and Saturdays to ensure proper research materials, writing position papers, seeking resolutions and public speaking skills. Additionally the students learnt proper parliamentary procedures of both the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

PUP Condemns Illegal Guatemalan Action in the Sarstoon
The People’s United Party strongly condemns the illegal military incursion by the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) into Belizean territorial waters on Saturday 12 March 2016. The PUP also deplores the hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards our Belizean security forces in the vicinity of the Forward Operating Base on the shores of the Sarstoon River in Belize. This latest incident is another violation of international law by Guatemala and constitutes a grave risk to peace in the region. The PUP joins the Government and all Belizeans in calling on the Government of Guatemala to immediately cease these provocative and illegal acts, and we demand that the Government of Guatemala ensures that the GAF is instructed to stand down and to respect the long established boundary between Belize and Guatemala in the Sarstoon. The PUP applauds the firm and brave members of the Belizean security forces who resolutely defended our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of hostile and imminent threat from the GAF.


Affordable Coastal Living in Belize’s Corozal District
It’s hard to beat waking to the sweet trill of birdsong accompanied by a glorious view of the sun rising over the Caribbean Sea. Open windows allow the balmy sea breeze to cool the house, all year round. Most people practically live on their verandas, the other option for watching the sun’s ascent over the Bay of Corozal. Corozal Town, a sleepy little Belizean town on the Caribbean Sea, offers great-value property galore. That’s partly because this area of Belize is not a tourist haven. You need not worry about crowds here. Venture a few miles outside of the town and you’ll find expats peacefully living in their dream homes situated by the sea, or on a freshwater lagoon. These expats prefer to be outside of town, in a more private, peaceful environment. The Corozal District has over 33,000 residents, 10,000 of which live in Corozal Town. It’s estimated that up to 2,000 expats live in the region…hailing from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. They all visited Belize seeking a location where they could live an affordable coastal lifestyle in a balmy, friendly, low-key environment. Belize also made it onto many of their shortlists because English is the primary language.

Driving WAY Up North to the End of the Road Or Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs
This May will mark my 9th anniversary as a full-time resident of Belize. I can say with some certainty that I have seen nothing change the island as quickly as the paving of the road north of the bridge. Suddenly, everyone up north needs a vehicle…resorts need to not only tend to the front of their businesses (the seaside) but the back too…and businesses and FOR SALE signs are springing up everywhere. It has the feel of a freeway with the amount of advertising signs along it. ( signs are WOEFULLY missing!) Yesterday I went for a drive up to the end of the road – it has plowed through to Sapphire Beach! And is continuing on… Here is what I saw. We’ll start with this insane sign going up right in front of Reef Village JUST over the bridge. And a bit farther up, the new Dive Bar. The sign is overwhelming…one almost needs to stop to read all the different aspects. And in case you missed something, they have another HUGE one just about half a mile up.

Marine Foundation installs underwater sculpture at Silk Caye Marine Reserve
Last year The Marine Foundation started their adventure in Belize, when invited by a group of Dangriga fishermen to create and install an underwater sculpture. We have installed a number of sculptures in Asia but this would be our first in the Caribbean. We were quickly introduced to Roberts Grove Beach Resort who became our partner sponsor and through a collaboration with Southern Environmental Association (SEA), Silk Cayes Marine Reserve was chosen as the installation location. The one ton sculpture has been waiting patiently in the Roberts Grove workshop since last May, waiting on permissions to sink and selecting the best site. Captain William led the technical journey of getting the sculpture from land into sea. A truck lifted her from her place of creation onto the boat. On Sunday, March 13th, we took The Silk Sea Goddess on her maiden voyage, strapped onto the deck of the Dorado. The weather was kind to us with only lightly choppy waves. We anchored up at South Silk Caye and joined Tamba, SEA’s park ranger and Marisha, Dive guide for some last minute fun photos with the goddess. We had prepared a good strategy over several days, however I was feeling nervous about the sink. I put on my dive equipment and prepared myself to go under, for two reason; one I could not bear the pressure of watching the goddess going over the edge of the boat. Secondly I needed to be there under the water welcoming her to her new home. I had imagines of guiding her down, although the reality was very different.

International Sourcesizz

Prescott Audubon Society Lecture series: Birds, Beaches and the Buildings of Belize
Monday, April 4, 2 p.m. at Prescott Public Library, 215 E. Goodwin St. 928-777-1500;

The Yucatan Peninsula is best appreciated on two wheels
The Yucatan Peninsula is best appreciated on two wheels, says British Independent UK reporter Graeme Green, as he mounts his bike and gets off the tourist trail. It’s a local saint’s day here in southern Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and Dzitás is getting ready for a fiesta. A band of drummers and trumpeters collects a statue of the saint from the church to parade through the village. Men are constructing a makeshift bullfighting arena on the edge of town. It’s these scenes of everyday life that many tourists miss as they hurry between the Yucatán’s famed Mayan archaeological sites and the white-sand beaches that fringe the Caribbean. “There are other places in the world for cycling with more scenic landscapes, more elevation; Yucatán’s attraction is not the road,” admits Fernando. “But when you get to the villages it’s where the magic starts happening. You see the real Mexico.” Mayan civilisation spread across Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, roughly from AD250 to AD900, with Chichén Itzá one of its largest cities. We explore this sprawling metropolis and religious centre, from the soaring El Castillo pyramid and the Temple of Kukulcan to the Jaguar Temple and the Great Ball Court, an arena for ancient ballgames. Carvings of warriors, skulls and the Mayan feathered snake god Kukulkan are still discernible.

Caribbean lagging in shift to renewable energy
President of the Caribbean Development Bank Dr Warren Smith is lamenting the Caribbean’s slow pace in shifting towards renewable energy. Delivering a lecture on the topic ‘Regulating Utilities in Small Island Developing States – Lessons for the Caribbean’, Dr Smith said renewable energy is the most promising option for addressing the region’s current energy security challenge. But he noted that currently, the electricity generation capacity derived from renewable energy in CARICOM countries is less than 10 percent, compared to regional targets of 20 percent by 2017, and 28 percent by 2022. “The major barrier, in my view, to rapid expansion of renewable energy generation in the Caribbean, remains that of the monopoly control over generation by the incumbent integrated electric utilities in several instances.

A force of nature: Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull displayed at Camp Chesterfield
It was standing room only for a chance to see and commune with the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull at Camp Chesterfield Saturday. Around 100 people came to the spiritualist camp in Chesterfield where the skull was being displayed at Hett Art Gallery and Museum. The crystal was discovered by Anna Mitchell-Hedges, the daughter of explorer and author F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, in a collapsed temple in Lubaantun, Belize, in 1924, according to many accounts. Bill Homman took over care of the skull after Mitchell-Hedges died in 2007. The skull in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” in which the famed explorer races against Soviet agents to find a crystal skull, is based on the Mitchell-Hedges skull. Homman said his job as the skull’s “guardian” is to travel with the skull and allow people who believe in its power to feel its energy.

Representatives From Florida In Belize For Trade Mission
A team of business persons from a number of companies in the United States arrived in Belize, Thursday, March 17 for a trade and investment meeting which opens Friday, March 18 at the Placencia Hotel & Resort. The 15- member trade and investment mission is there to discuss investment and trade opportunities with private sector and government officials. Some members of the team have been in Belize since earlier in the week having one-one-one discussions with various officials including Mr. Glenford Ysaguirre, Governor of the Central Bank of Belize. “Over the next three days the visiting mission will be brought up to date with the investment opportunities which Belize offers in a wide range of sectors including hotel development, agribusiness and financial services, among others,” says Michael Devin Young, representative of the Belize Ministry of Trade and Investment in Florida and president of the Greater Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce (GCACC).

1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA
A 1,000-year-old treatment for eye infections could hold the key to killing antibiotic-resistant superbugs, experts have said. Scientists recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow's stomach. They were "astonished" to find it almost completely wiped out methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. Their findings will be presented at a national microbiology conference. The remedy was found in Bald's Leechbook - an old English manuscript containing instructions on various treatments held in the British Library.


  • Ascenthium - Born to Be Wild, St Patricks Day 2016, min. Ascenthium performing Born to Be Wild, by Steppenwolf. They rocked the Bamboo Bar St. Patrick's Day, playing for around 2 hours. Pictures here.

  • Hannah + Chase | Engagement Story, 4min. Brett and I were so honored to shoot Hannah and Chase's engagement video. They are such an incredible example of what a Christ-centered relationship should look like. We are SO happy to be a part of their lives, and we're even happier they are a part of ours. Belize is such a special place to both of them (they were both baptized there), so Chase thought it would be fitting to propose there. He flew down to surprise Hannah on the last day of her mission trip. We made her think that she was doing an interview for the mission trip video, only for Chase to come strolling down the beach with a Bible in his hand and a ring in his pocket.

  • WCU Nursing Student Group Service at Hillside, 2min. West Coast Nursing Students serving at Hillside Health Care International, Winter 2015-2016.

  • How We Ate Termites in Belize!, 4.5min. This was our adventure eating termites in Belize with Belize Yoga! Now you know how I got talked into doing so much...

  • Baby dancing Jonkunu, Belize, 2.5min. 2yr old dancing traditional Jonkunu or Wanaragua Garifuna dance in Punta Gorda Belize.

  • Butterfly Falls in Belize!, 4min. Enjoying the Butterfly Falls in Belize with Belize Yoga!

  • Belize Mission 2016 Recap, 10min. During Spring break 2016, a team from CCF in Florida travelled to Belize. There they spread the word of God through many performances and VBS for the kids of Belize. This is a glimpse at the week they spent there.

  • Jetski Belize with Music, 3min.

  • 2016 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Day 2 2nd, 58min.

    March 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

    Congratulations to the SPHS Boys (Northern Regional Champs)
    for winning the first leg of their National Championship race today! Tomorrow they head to the finals!! Let's gooooo boys!!!

    San Police Officers celebrate International Women’s Month
    As part of Women’s Month, San Pedro’s female officers took part in a community service initiative. March is internationally observed as Women’s Month, and it is dedicated to honouring the achievements accomplished by women, as well as encouraging women to strive for a better future. With this in mind, the women attached to the San Pedro Police Department decided it would be fitting for them to partake in community service demonstrating women’s versatility in the work force and importance in the community. As part of their initiative, Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Sandra Bowden, along with three female officers assisted in the Holy Cross Feeding Program on Wednesday, March 16th. Through participating in the feeding program, the San Pedro female officers joined the kitchen staff at Holy Cross Anglican School to prepare and serve a wholesome meal for the students. Bowden was joined by Woman Police Constable (WPC) 1554 Areille Young, WPC 1049 Yadira Jones and WCP 1672 Veralina Arthurs.

    The San Pedro Town Library gets an upgrade
    The San Pedro Town Public Library’s Senior Library Assistant, Marlene Coral along with volunteers, gathered over the weekend to tackle a series of DIY (do-it-yourself) projects. The renovations were done to improve the durability of the library’s office equipment and furniture. The helpful team of male volunteers began by repainting file cabinets and repairing several book shelves. Many of the book shelves were classed as unstable for patrons, and posed as a safety hazard. Ms. Coral would like to extend an invitation to children from the ages of eight to 11 years to participate in upcoming fun Easter activities that include: watching films, discussions, stories, playing games, and making crafts. Parents are encouraged to sign up their child by the 19th of March. The activities will end on the 23rd, with a competition and an Easter scavenger egg hunt. Activities start from 9am to noon and if space is not limited, walk-ins are welcome. The San Pedro Town Library is located at the South End Barrier Reef Drive, and their contact number is 206-2028.

    The San Pedro Sun celebrates 25 years of service!
    The San Pedro Sun newspaper has strived to keep La Isla Bonita well informed for 25 years and counting. Focused on highlighting the community, The Sun honored the momentous anniversary on Monday, March 14th during a small sunset cocktail reception on board Island Dream Tour’s vessel, the YOLO. In the company of longstanding advertisers, community friends and staff members, The San Pedro Sun celebrated 25 years of serving the community of Ambergris Caye. The San Pedro Sun has certainly come a long way. The first printed publication in San Pedro was “The Village Shopper” which was started in 1981 by Linda Cornelison. The newsletter was more about shopping than news, and in 1982 the publication evolved into The Coconut Wireless, featuring a few community-based columns. The Coconut Wireless was the first paper to be sporadically published on the island and Linda Cornelison was the owner, editor and publisher. Other residents on the island, including Victoria and Bruce Collins (deceased), and Woody Canaday worked with Cornelison to put out the first issue. When Cornelison had to be away, the Collinses and Canaday kept the Wireless going, putting 13 issues out and bringing the newspaper out of debt! In November of 1990, Cornelison returned and took over the publication once again; but plagued with personal issues, she eventually ran into legal problems, was incarcerated for some time, and The Wireless eventually failed to exist. In the meantime, Bruce and Victoria had been in the stages of preparing their own newspaper, and after the inevitable demise of the Coconut Wireless, went into full print mode. On March 14, 1991 the first issue of The San Pedro Sun was printed. The paper went cyber in July 1996 when it started an online page on the popular website. In 1996, the newspaper was sold to Dan and Eileen Jamison, who moved the paper process to their home upstairs of what is now Saga Humane Society’s current location.

    The SP Billiards Association’s 8-ball Tournament continues roaming the island
    The pre-season 8-ball pool tournament continued over the past weekend, and once again billiards fanatics came to check out Ambergris Caye’s talented players. The competition last weekend was described to be an intense one with games taking place at 1 Barrel Bar. Organized by the San Pedro Billiards Association, the tournament has been welcomed by island residents who strongly support the new sporting activity. The tournament will continue this weekend with games taking place at Captain Iguanas. The schedule for Friday, March 18th and Saturday March 19th is 7PM while on Sunday, March 20th , games will start at 1PM. Fans are encouraged to come out and support their teams as they prepare for the big tournament coming up later this year.

    Less students sitting the PSE on Ambergris Caye
    During the first part of the national Primary School Examination (PSE) held on Monday, March 14th, Ambergris Caye registered a considerably lower number of students partaking of the test than usual. The statistics for 2015 indicate that 298 students sat the exam, whereas in 2016 the number of students sitting the first part of the PSE was just 261. This raises concerns as the decrease is noticeable, especially when classrooms are often declared overcrowded. The island’s Education Officer, Nelma Jones visited the school during the examination and mentioned that everything went well. She applauded the work from the SPHS staff in organizing the sitting of the examination with primary schools. However, she also commented on the lower number of students sitting the exam. The second part of the PSE will be sat on Tuesday, May 3rd and will consist of Social Studies and Mathematics. While the Ministry of Education has reiterated that the PSE is not and was never intended to be used as the sole criteria for entrance into secondary schools, it is still very much a part of the complete package that determines students’ enrolment in high school. Secondary schools are advised to use multiple sources of evidence of students’ achievement and holistic development at primary school to get a more complete picture of the students’ abilities, strengths and weaknesses in informing educational decisions with respect to the students they enrol and serve.

    Saga Humane Society holds first Cook Off for the year
    On Tuesday, March 15th, Luna Loca hosted Saga Humane Society’s “March Cook Off.” Pet lovers organized the event to help raise funds that assist in providing quality care to sheltered animals. The theme for this particular event was “Restaurant Chef Choice,” where all of the best restaurant chefs and cooks provided their favorite dishes to an eager and hungry crowd. For only $20, those in attendance indulged in a variety of flavorful samples, all while helping a worthy cause. The menu consisted of: Caribbean Empanadas from Rain Restaurant, Pulled Pork & Cornbread from newly opened restaurant “High Tide”, Chicken Kurma & Chicken Manchurian with yellow rice from Basmati Restaurant, Mashed Balls from Chef Nook, Ginger Coconut Conch Chowder from Pirate’s Treasure Restaurant, Spiced Banana Rum Cake from Cook Nancy Nida and Gorgonzola Gnocchi with chicken bacon matriciana sauce by Ashley’s Smoothie Shack.

    Ambergris Today

    Curfew Imposed on all Belize City Minors after Murders
    The Police Department in Belize City was forced to take immediate strong action and impose a 9p.m. curfew on all minors after they detained three underage males involved in two recent homicides in the city. It’s an unwanted situation for the City but Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams stressed that they need to bring an end to the violence on the streets of the city and that the curfew is one method that will assist the department. “The curfew will help our law-abiding citizens to feel free and safe in our community,” stated Williams to Channel 5 News.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    First Friday of April Roadside and Beach Trash Pick Up, Tres Cocos
    Please join us on Friday, April 1st - no foolin'!! - for our monthly trash pick up. We meet at the Paradise Theatre, just north of the bridge at 9 am. We supply the bags, gloves, trash pickers and water, and you bring your community spirit! Help us make a difference with the garbage situation on our beautiful island!

    Passing of Mr. Hector Munguia
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Munguia family & friends on the passing of Mr. Hector Munguia. May his soul rest in peace. Mr. Hector Munguia was a former employee of the San Pedro Town Council.

    Taste of Belize 2016!
    Save the date folks... May 14, 2016

    Do you like Bird Banding? Join our team today
    Do you have some experience in bird banding and bird extractions looking for an opportunity to exercise it? Stann Creek District, between March 24 and May 7th.

    THIS SATURDAY March 19th 2016 right at my dad house by the FootBall Field Starting @ 9am.

    Critically ill howler monkey rescued at Xunantunich
    There's so much happening all at once, and so little time to share more than "snippets". Here one of the this weeks patients that has kept us very busy, and worried, the last 30 h (sorry no better picture for now): a critically ill howler monkey was rescued at Xunantunich. Many thanks go to Giselle Rodriguez and Mr. Ramon from NICH! Monkey fights had been heard and then this male monkey was found on the ground with obvious lacerations on his throat, back and hind. Unfortunately he had sustained a head trauma from his fall and was in shock. And upon intake examination it quickly became evident that the bite injuries we older, infected, and the monkey burning up with fever. A couple of bot file larva where within the least of his concerns. If only we can control his raging infection we have a good chance. For those new to the field - wildlife often is in critical condition once it is rescued, since wildlife captures are near impossible as long as animals are healthy. So the best news for tonight - while the monkey has many odds against him, and is still in critical condition, he has started to respond to treatment smile emoticon After a day of continuous intensive care with intra venous fluids, strong pain medication, dual antibiotics, diuretics and more; and dreadful struggles with thermoregulation - a stark reminder of our need for 2 medical incubators at BWRC unsure emoticon - tonight our patient was waking up and moving himself into a sternal position and his temperature is finally in a normal range.

    Dorren August Fundraising Efforts
    Late last year, Dorren August (Light Technician at The Bliss Centre) was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation. The tests he took revealed that the section of his skull containing a part of the brain (cerebullum) is too small thus putting pressure on the brain. His cerebellum is pushing into the upper spinal canal, and interfering with the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord. This is creating a blockage of signals transmitted to his brain and body and causing a mild buildup of spinal fluid in his brain. Since then, his neurological symptoms have taken a turn for the worse and leading to serious complications. We are appealing to you - friends and family - to assist in helping Dorren alleviate financial stress and focus on treatment and healing, The money donated will be used to pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance and follow up examinations that he will need. Please keep Dorren and his family in your thoughts and prayers and we thank you for your support.

    Power interruption 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m, Wed, March 23, Corozal
    Ranchito, Orchid Bay, Chunox, Copper Bank, Sarteneja & portion Philip Goldson Highway between Ranchito & Tony’s Inn. Two 15 minute power interruptions from 8:00 a.m to 8:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. will also affect Joseito Layout, Dominguez Layout, Baeza Layout, Olga Marin Drive and a portion of San Andres. BEL to energize high voltage and low voltage lines and install distribution structure in the area.

    NEBL All Star Celebrity Night
    The NEBL's All Star Night is tonight, at the UB gym. They'll have a clebrity match before the North vs. South All Star game.

    Belizean Nationalist Philip Goldson-The Ardent Revolutionary To The Expanionist Guatemalan Claim
    A documentary on one of the most celebrated Belizean nationalist, the late Philip Wilboforce Goldson, and the struggle he waged against the expansionist Guatemalan Claim since 1948. Goldson was also the architect of the National Independence Party (NIP), the opposition party that opposed the policies of the Peoples United Party (PUP) led by the popular Belizean leader and Prime Minister George Cadle Price. Minister Goldson, as he is referred to in Belizean political circles, was also one of the founding members of the PUP before leaving the party in the 1950's. To date, he remains the most ardent revolutionary to the insidious Guatemalan Claim that remains unsettled up to today. The historical presentation in the documentary was aired in 1991 on the popular Dickie Bradley Show on the revolutionary KREM radio.

    Remembering Belize's most astute and skillful Cross Country cyclist and champion, Ernest 'Jawmaine' Meighan. His power to contain the threats to the Garland is missed badly in these Cross Country Cycling classics. Rest in peace champ!

    Channel 5

    Did Oscar Gomez Fatally Stab Himself or was He Murdered?
    It’s not commonplace for News Five to report on suicides, but tonight we look at a particularly disturbing story where a Salvadoran man allegedly took his own life on Thursday [...]

    A Couple Remains Hospitalized Following Near Fatal Road Traffic Accident
    A young couple from Belmopan is in critical condition at the Belize Medical Associates after a three-vehicle pileup on the George Price Highway on Thursday afternoon. Marlo Chavarria and his [...]

    2 Teenagers Arraigned for the Murder of Godfrey Hemsley
    A pair of minors, ages fourteen and fifteen, was arraigned earlier today for the murder of thirty-one-year-old Godfrey Hemsley.  The deadly shooting took place on Wednesday night at the Yarborough [...]

    A Meeting is Called to Discuss Newly Implemented Citywide Curfew
    Two fourteen-year-olds and a fifteen-year-old have been charged within the last twenty-four hours for a most serious crime, murder. It is a damning reality because it highlights the lack of [...]

    …Protocol to be Established for Curfew
    ACP Williams says that several follow up meetings will be held to devise a protocol. The intent is to target parents, who, after a formal warning is issued to them, [...]

    More From Foreign Minister Elrington on Guatemala Claim
    On Thursday evening, Minister Wilfred Elrington, flanked by Ambassadors Assad Shoman and Alexis Rosado, hosted a press conference in Belize City. It was intended as a public briefing, following meetings [...]

    PM Barrow Speaks on National Security Council
    That confusion about the actual claim seems to give rise to some confusion about the seriousness and significance of Guatemala’s active ownership of the Sarstoon – ownership bolstered by military [...]

    Did Foreign Minister Deliver Belize’s Strong Message at Washington Meeting?
    The concern by the head of government and his security council was evident following that meeting. From his words it appears that the Prime Minister intended his delegation to O.A.S. [...]

    Sedi Defines Provocation in Sarstoon Context
    Minister Elrington maintained throughout the briefing that Belizean and Guatemalan diplomat politicians have been mature and responsible. The hard line has also been that military to military there’s absolutely no [...]

    Foreign Minister Forewarned of Heightened Tension Due to Unsolicited Sarstoon Visits
    Elrington would go further to accuse the Belize Territorial Volunteers of putting the lives of Belize’s armed forces at needless risk. According to the minister, every action has a reaction, [...]

    CARICOM Issues Release in Support of Belize on Sarstoon Fiasco
    Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs appears unsure about what happened in the Sarstoon on Saturday, and maintains that Guatemala is being mature, and its behavior impeccable. But interestingly, CARICOM does [...]

    What’s the Fate of O.A.S. Office at the Adjacency Zone?
    The original primary agenda item for the meeting in Washington, and one which is still very pertinent, is the matter of funding for the O.A.S. Office inside the adjacency zone [...]

    Belize City is Declared a Child Friendly Municipality
    The concept of a child friendly city came about in recognition of a number of significant trends.  Those tendencies include the rapid transformation and urbanization of societies across the world, [...]

    …UNICEF Rep Says Children and Youths are Being Given a Voice
    While Belize City is not officially a child friendly municipality, it is well on the way to achieving certification.  UNICEF Country Representative Ivan Yerovi says the idea is aimed at [...]

    Cinderella Plaza to Finally be Renovated
    In the coming weeks, Cinderella Plaza will be receiving a long overdue facelift.  Following the completion of work by the Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project, the heavily trafficked area near the [...]

    …Commercial Center is Next Up!!
    Remedial works is also being planned for a number of streets, as well as the commercial center.  Viewers would recall that the rehabilitation of that public building at Market Square [...]

    A High School Pageant for a Feeding Program
    In the next few minutes, seven students of the Anglican Cathedral College will be vying for the title of Miss ACC. The pageant, which has been revamped, is being held [...]

    Gospel Expo 2016 Goes Down in Belmopan
    The annual Belize Gospel Expo takes place this weekend in Belmopan at the May Gordon Park, near the University of Belize. The expo was created to showcase the talents of [...]


    Godfrey Hemsley Murdered; third City murder in a week prompts police to look at curfew
    Before this week, Eastern Division police had reported just two murders in the first two months of 2016, as the rest of the country saw a spike; this was on the heels of an improvement in the latter half of 2015. But as of today, there have been three murders this week. The latest took place on the ...

    14 year old boy is charged for murder of 18 year old Mario Trotman
    A 14 year old male minor, dwarfed by the police officer escorting him, appeared this morning in the Family Court, with attorney Oscar Selgado. He is charged with the murder of 18 year old Mario Trotman, whose body was discovered on Tuesday in the dyke between the Fabers Road and Jane Usher Boulevard...

    Serious accident on George Price Highway
    There was a serious traffic accident this afternoon on the George Price Highway at mile 11. The accident involved a dump truck, a black Jeep, and an ambulance. Details are still sketchy at this time however, we understand that the Jeep was headed to Belmopan and the dump truck was headed towards Be...

    Kareem Clarke murder case reaches preliminary inquiry
    The minor charged with the murder of Kremandala journalist Kareem Clarke appeared in the Belize Family Court, Wednesday, for a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the case would proceed to the Supreme Court. While it was adjourned because the presiding Magistrate was absent on leave, it took th...

    BSAG soldier sees burglary charge dropped
    24 year old Jamel Webster, a soldier of the Belize Defence Force assigned to the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG), saw a charge of burglary withdrawn for insufficient evidence today. However, he can be re-arrested and charged with the same offence. Webster is accused of removing a 9-millimeter...

    Osmer Sabido takes the stand in murder trial of Christie Carrasco
    Closing arguments were presented in court in Orange Walk in the case of Osmer Sabido, accused of the stabbing death of his girlfriend, Christie Carrasco on February 28th, 2011. On Wednesday, Sabido took the stand and gave his side of the story. He said that he first arrived at the house the couple ...

    Contraband cigarettes confiscated in Guatemala believed from Belize
    A report issued by the Guatemalan news “Agencia Guatemalteca de Noticias” states that Guatemalan police intercepted a truck yesterday driven at the time by 31 year old Guatemalan National, Henry Noe Garcia Urizar. The truck was intercepted near the village of Poptun in the town of Peten, Guatemala. ...

    The Reporter

    Belize City certified as child friendly
    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Friday, certified that Belize City is a “child Friendly” municipality. The Belize City Council, along with partners UNICEF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), held a ceremony at the Battlefield Park to commemorate the milestone in the […]

    Gunman shoots Dad and teenage son
    A man and his 13 year-old son narrowly escaped death from a couple of bullets while at an apartment complex on Ebony Street sometime around eleven on Monday night. The shooting occurred while Dean Parks and his teenage son, Justin were at one of the […]

    Robbers show up at Altun Ha
    In Altun Ha last week two men with a gun held up six tourists as they were hiking along a medicinal trail. The gunmen took money, cameras and cell phones then disappeared into the bush. The tourists were part of an eight person tour interested […]

    Attack on concert-goers leaves one dead, two hurt
    Two women returning from a pop concert in a hired taxi early last Sunday morning were shot as their taxi entered gang territory on Faber’s Road, near St. John Vianney Church. One of the injured women, Tanika Lemott, died of her wounds when she reached […]

    Belize’s Sustainable Tourism Program II gets US$15 Million IDB funding
    The Ministries of Tourism and Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development collaborated with the Inter-American Development Bank in launching the a US$15 million Sustainable Tourism Program II (STP2), with all stakeholders participating in a three-day workshop at the Black Orchid Lodge in Burrell Boom on Tuesday to Thursday, March 8-10. The […]

    Guatemala hostility unites mainstream Parties But BPP stands aloof
    The Belize Progressive Party this week blamed the Barrrow Government and the Organization of American States for the aggressive posture being taken by Guatemalan Armed Forces in the area of the Sarstoon. “Under the aegis of the OAS the Guatemalans have been afforded a free hand in usurping our territory, […]

    OAS is broke! Needs loan funds to continue
    The Organization of American States (OAS) is in danger of shutting down if member states don’t approve an internal loan, OAS Secretary of Administration and Finance, Jay Anania announced this week. Anania, speaking at a meeting of the Permanent Council in Washington, put forward a […]

    GOB pushes on with plans to build 35 new schools
    The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Education, began the construction of five new schools this week under the Belize Education Sector Reform Project. The ministry held ground- breaking ceremonies for Kuxlin-Ha Pre-School and Primary School on Tuesday March 15 in Belmopan.. Ground-breaking ceremonies […]

    New Airport Link Road will help the flow of traffic to Belize City
    The Government of Belize has accepted a loan from the Organization of Oil Exporting countries (OPEC) to pay for building the Airport Link Road. The Airport Link is a new road which will branch off from the George Price ( Western Highway) and lead to […]

    Caribbean women honoured for entrepreneurship
    The Caribbean Center of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (CoESL), in celebration of International Women’s Month, has honored 19 Caribbean women for their work in developing entrepreneurs. Dr. Dionne Chamberlain-Miranda, managing director of Chamberlain Consulting, is among those who have been honoured. “These women entrepreneurs…… are […]

    Unprepared for cyber attacks Central and South America
    Latin America and the Caribbean are highly susceptible to cyber attacks , according to a new report issued jointly by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) this week. The “Cyber Security Report 2016: “Are We Ready in Latin America […]

    GM mosquitoes are safe to propagate, says U.S.
    The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a report saying that the use of genetically modified mosquitoes to help fight the Zika virus is environmentally safe. The FDA this week gave the British company Oxitec, Ltd. tentative approval to hold trials in […]

    If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t […]

    Guatemala diplomats at OAS promise to keep the peace
    Belize and Guatemala have resolved to keep the peace in the Sarstoon, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington reported Thursday evening following a special meeting with Guatemalan counterparts at Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington D.C., on Tuesday. The Guatemalan delegation promised to take […]

    Taiwan’s President Ma visits Belize
    Four world leaders visited Belize this week, three from the Caribbean, for talks with outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan who is on a three¬country tour before the end of his term in office. Prime Ministers Timothy Harris of St. Kitts and Nevis, Prime Minister […]

    Virgin claims rape
    Charges have been withdrawn against four males, three teenagers and one man, accused of raping a young girl, after Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl¬-Lynn Vidal reviewed the case and determined the accuser was an unreliable witness. The three boys, 15 and younger, along with […]

    Three way crash leaves husband and wife in critical condition
    A man and his wife are in critical condition at the Medical Associates’ Intensive Care Unit after their vehicle crashed head-on into a dump truck on Thursday afternoon on the George Price Highway. The accident happened at around 1:30 p.m. between miles 11 and 12. […]

    Is Lords Bank stabbing a suicide?
    The Police Rural Eastern division unit is investigating a fatal stabbing in Lords Bank Village, which may be a case of suicide. Officer Commanding Rural Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster, explained that on Thursday night they responded to a call and found […]

    Happening now: Taiwanese President visits Belize
    Taiwanese President, Ma Ying-Jeou arrived in Belize at 10:50 this morning on an official visit. President Ma is visiting Belize as part of a farewell tour to three countries. The first country he visited was Guatemala, and now Belize. In delivering a speech upon his […]

    Guatemalan military confront BDF at Sarstoon FOB; we are headed to OAS
    After Guatemalan armed forces confronted Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldiers late Saturday evening, the Government has announced that it will take the issue to the Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday. The report of the incident started surfacing on Saturday night. BDF soldiers were […]

    Family Day at Bottonwood Bay hosted by Kareem Musa

    With the intent of bringing the residents of Caribbean Shores together, Area Representative, Kareem Musa hosted a family day with fun activities on Saturday.  Musa stated that he is an avid believer in the family nucleus being the stronghold of the society. He said the […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Traffic accident on the George Price Highway
    Breaking Belize News has received information of a traffic accident between miles 16 and 17 on the George Price Highway in the vicinity of Hattiville Village. Information reaching our news desk indicates that a passenger bus and a bicycle were involve in an accident. This is a […]

    O.W. Town Council releases thieving revenue collector
    The Orange Walk Town Council is dealing with an internal situation involving a former employee caught with thousands of dollars in town revenue. Revenue collector Carlos Tillett was let go for failing to hand in monies he collected from residents. But it is not true, […]

    Motorists avoid death in late evening accident
    While initial reports yesterday suggested possible deaths in an accident occuring between miles 11 and 12 on the George Price Highway involving a Freightliner truck, a black SUV and an ambulance, we now understand that no one died in that accident; rather, the two occupants of […]

    Did Lords’ Bank/Ladyville man kill himself?
    Forty one year old Oscar Gomez may have committed suicide on Thursday night in Lords’ Bank, but the case is strange enough that police have not ruled out foul play. Investigators from Eastern Division Rural are probing the circumstances leading up to the death of the Salvadoran man […]

    2 minors charged for the murder of 31 year old Godfrey Hemsley
    Today, two minors ages 14 and 15 were escorted to the Belize Family Court at around 3:00 to be arraign for the Wednesday, March 16, 2016 murder of 31 year old Belize City man, Godfrey Hemsley, who met his untimely death whilst on the Yabra green area […]

    Court of Appeal drops two cases, upholds two others
    The final day of the Court of Appeal’s March session took place today with announcements of judgments. On the criminal side, the court allowed the appeals of Leonard Godoy on charges ofattempted murder and robbery and in part for Newellyn Nicholas on a charge of […]

    Ronald Ramsey beats murder charge
    19 year old Ronald Ramsey Jr., accused of the murder of 25 year old Kenroy Parham on November 28, 2014 in Mahogany Heights, saw the charge dropped after the prosecution could not provide his case file nor disclosure after ten months on remand. At January’s […]

    Top cyclist suspended after suspicious doping test
    Cycling contender Byron Pope was suspended last week Friday by the Cycling Federation of Belize (CFB) after urine results tested following the 2016 KREM New Year’s Day Classic came back positive for what appears to be a steroid in his system. And several other cyclists, […]

    Warm weather to continue
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is calling for seasonably warm and dry weather to prevail for the next couple days. The 24 hour forecast is for mostly sunny today and partly cloudy tonight. Little or no rain fall is expected. Winds will blow east to southeast […]

    Placencia community joins police in cleanup campaign
    The Placencia police in collaboration with the Village Council, Fire Department, and members of the Belmopan Community Oriented Policing Program and village residents joined forces to clean up one of many abandoned lots popular for drug activity. By the end of the initiative, the entire […]

    Corozal resident busted with two pounds of weed
    Corozal Police arrested and charged 45-year-old Anthony Daniels of Corozal Town for drug trafficking after he was found with a little over two pounds of marijuana. Daniels was caught with the drug on Thursday morning at a checkpoint in Buena Vista Village between miles 67 and 68 […]

    Benque Police seize over 200 grams of weed
    Officers attached to the Special Patrol Unit in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, were on a special operation in Arenal Village in the Cayo District when their attention was drawn to a red and white Toyota Corolla coming from Arenal, Guatemala into Arenal Belize. As a […]


    The Gorgeous Sea, Sharks, Subwings, Snorkeling and Sun with Belize Parasail: What A Day.
    I’m ashamed. I take it for granted. The gorgeous Caribbean Sea and barrier reef right outside my door. I haven’t been in the water off of Ambergris Caye in…months. MONTHS! But yesterday, I made up for it…3 water sports. 5 different locations. My day started at Belize Parasail at the Fido’s Dock in downtown San Pedro at 9:30am. Woefully under-covered with sunscreen, I met Eric, his guides, his awesome Golden-doodle Monte and Ashley from Tampa there for parasailing, trying the new-fangled SUBWING and three snorkel stops. Let the water madness begin! Next up was subwinging. And I won’t lie, I was a little nervous. I hadn’t been waterskiing since I was about 13. I’d been tubing once and remember it being a bit like my idea of waterboarding…I think I had an overly aggressive driver. One who wanted to harshly introduce me to the concept of centrifugal force.

    There’s something about being out on the water that just seems to put you in a good mood. There’s a reason for this. Studies show that the varying moods of a person are largely affected by a body chemical called serotonin. The saltiness of the sea air is composed of charged ions that help in the body’s oxygen absorption which in turn results to more balanced levels of serotonin. The more balanced your body’s serotonin levels are, the happier you’re going to be. Now if this isn’t enough to get you to go sailing, I invite you to continue reading. Imagine. Open water as far as the eye can see that seem to kiss the clear blue skies off in the horizon, combined with that cool refreshing ocean air, the gentle breeze caressing your face, and the magnificent sun as its rays re-energize your body!!! This, coupled with a few awe-amazing snorkeling stops, make for a day of memories that will last a lifetime. This is what you get on our Caye Caulker Day Sailing adventure.

    Foodie Friday with Chefs Ennel and Sean Kuylen
    Sean Kuylen is a name that has become synonymous with Belizean Cuisine. The famed chef has made his mark on the global culinary scene and especially in Belize’s own culinary landscape. Arguably the most well-known Belizean Chef, Sean studied the art of cooking at the City College of San Francisco where he learned the complexities of American and French cuisines. However, as Sean would tell you himself, his true passion for cooking began with his mother who created a foundation of Belize cuisine in him. These influences set in place his unique cooking style blending the best of French and American haute cuisine with the peculiarities of traditional Belizean food. . Given Belize’s interesting cultural blend which translates to a very interesting culinary medley, you will definitely expect some unorthodox but knock-your-socks-off dishes to be served out by Sean. Sean along with other pioneering Belizean chefs are on the edge of a culinary renaissance here in Belize, innovating and creating dishes that will define our cuisine and form a foundation to show the world and ourselves what we know already, and that is “Belize gah nice food fi eat”.

    12 Belize Real Estate Facts Everyone Should Know
    Is Belize the hottest investment market in the Caribbean? We think so. Ex-pats are treated to all manner of investment opportunities, but perhaps the most exciting aspect of moving to Belize involves acquiring a beautiful new home. Find exactly the style and size you seek; including homes in such close proximity to the sea, breezes will lull you to sleep each night. 1. You don’t have to put up with high condominium prices in trendy Ambergris Caye (e.g., $500,000USD) when moving to Belize because you have so many options. Of prime consideration is Corozal, home to Orchid Bay, the district’s most popular ex-pat community where homes, condos and lots are attracting buyers from all walks of life. 2. The Corozal District has been named a top retirement destination by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), International,, “U.S. News and World Report,” “The New York Times,” “Huffington Post,” “Conde Nast Traveler” and legions of other authorities and publications. 3. Since English is Belize’s first language, real estate contracts are written in English, the structure of real estate transactions matches those conducted in the U.S. and Canada, English-speaking realtors, attorneys and title companies make the process a breeze and fees associated with a home buy are extremely reasonable.

    International Sourcesizz

    Genetically modified mosquitoes to fight Zika get FDA nod
    The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says genetically engineered mosquitoes being used in the fight against the spread of the Zika virus are environmentally safe – a decision that could pave the way for a trial in the US. British company Oxitec has modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes so that their offspring die before they can reach adulthood and reproduce. It has carried out trials in Brazil, Panama, and the Cayman Islands to battle the mosquito-borne dengue and says the Aedes aegypti population has been reduced by more than 90 per cent. The FDA said its investigations have determined that a proposed field trial of the insects in the Florida Keys is unlikely to cause any harm to people, animals or the environment. “While we didn’t expect anything different, we’re pleased the FDA has now published their data. Now we want to get everybody comfortable with the decision,” Oxitec’s chief executive officer Hadyn Parry said. “If we do get permission from the FDA to go ahead, we are hoping that we will start running the programme sometime in 2016.”

    Hotel construction stopped permanently
    "A judge ordered that there must be no construction within 100 meters of any mangroves or coastal wetlands, a ruling that a lawyer says puts an end to the 530-room Hotel Riviera Cancún." A temporary halt to the construction of a US $95.6-million hotel in Cancún has become permanent following a judge’s decision this week. A judge ordered that there must be no construction within 100 meters of any mangroves or coastal wetlands, a ruling that a lawyer says puts an end to the 530-room Hotel Riviera Cancún. “Basically, they can’t develop anything,” said Francisco Villarreal Escobedo, who had sought to stop the the Spanish hotel chain Riu Hotels & Resorts from proceeding with the project. He said the entire piece of land on which the hotel was to be built, located at kilometer 17 in the Cancún hotel zone, is affected by the ruling. To one side, and just 14 meters away, are the mangroves of the Nichupté protected area. The hotel is the second Cancún development to be stopped in the past three weeks due to concerns over the depletion of mangrove forests. The Malecón Tajamar project was halted by a court ruling in early February. “Let’s preserve our natural resources, which are so fragile that we have an obligation to take care of them,” wrote Villarreal Escobedo in a comment on Facebook.

    Wild Side: There’s lots to see in the sea in Belize
    Carol and I have been going to Belize on vacations nearly every year since 1990. Belize is a small English-speaking country in Central America on the Caribbean Sea, bordered on the north by Mexico and on the west and south by Guatemala. This year, we are again part of the winter cheesehead invasion of the country along with Bill and Sue Smith and Jeff Cudd of River Falls. Like many others from the snowy parts of the U.S. and Canada, we have found that a winter break in Belize is just what the doctor ordered. Belize is a naturalist’s delight. It’s a physically beautiful country with a variety of ecosystems. Limestone mountains riddled with caves covered in rain forest, pine-covered granite ridges, palm savanna, river jungles, freshwater wetlands, mangrove forests, shallow sea grass flats, hundreds of cayes (islands), the largest coral barrier reef in the western hemisphere, and three big offshore atolls make for spectacular scenery and biodiversity. Three of the first five laws passed by the new Belize government upon gaining independence from Great Britain in 1981 were environmental protection laws. Because Belize has only about 368,000 people, most of the country is wild and undeveloped. In addition to citrus and sugar cane agriculture, ecotourism is a big industry. Belize has set aside over 40 percent of its land area as conservation reserves. The coastal zone and the coral reef are gaining protection with marine reserves.

    Crystal Skull on display at Camp Chesterfield
    A legendary source of healing powers, the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull, will be on display Saturday at Camp Chesterfield. Admission to the display is free, although a love offering will be accepted. The skull will be shown from 1 to 4 p.m. at Hett Art Gallery & Museum, 50 Lincoln Drive. The skull was discovered Jan. 1, 1924, during an expedition led by British explorer F.A. Mitchell-Hedges to Mayan ruins in Belize. His adopted daughter, Anna, discovered a hidden chamber inside a pyramid structure. Inside was the clear crystal skull, according to published accounts. Mitchell-Hedges died in 1959. His daughter inherited the skull. Legend has it that he asked that the skull be buried with him but she chose not to fulfill his wish. Often referred to as the Skull of Doom, the artifact's beauty and mystery have captured the imagination of both scholars and seers, organizers said.

    Belizean in Nigeria on the Annexation of the Sarstoon... The subterfuge, excuses and unimpressive attempts to conceal the truth have ended. The Sarstoon is no longer Belize's, but is now a part of the Republic of Guatemala. This, the redoubtable Wil Maheia recently proved when as head of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), he and 19 other Belizeans were arbitrarily prevented by armed Guatemalan military personnel from entering the Sarstoon river, on their way to the Gracias a Dios border marker. Guatemala's uncompromising Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, justified the action by accusing the Belizeans of "entering Guatemalan water". This recent February 27 action by Guatemala to exercise sovereignty over Belizean territory did not create any great furore among Belizeans at home, including the PUP Opposition, or those in the Diaspora. Diasporan Belizeans neither protested at nor picketed Guatemala's UN Mission in New York, or spoke to correspondents of Al Jazeera, the BBC, Reuters, AP, AFP, even VOA, Press Trust of India, NAN, and CNN - which are among those media organisations with wide international coverage operating in the US. In a sense, I can understand why Belizeans at home did not take to the streets as would have been the case once upon a time. They are a generally decimated people; a former majority, now Diasporan, has become an impoverished minority at home. They are hungry, jobless, careless, unknowing and, therefore, indifferent - broken, used, abused and sold down The Belize or Old River by their black brothers, whose only mantra is: "It's the money, Stupid"!


  • Ernestine Carballo 'Till Di Sun Come Up' Video Debut, 23min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Belize Rotaract Club on Rotaract Week, 20min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Salvation Army on Mega Gospel Concert, 19min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • SubWing Belize, 5min.

  • Belize 2016, 4.5min.

  • Howler Monkey at Hickatee Cottage - Punta Gorda, Belize, 1min. Howler monkeys are prevalent on the grounds of Hickatee Cottages in Punta Gorda, Belize. Not actually visible in this video.

  • Scott Stirm insults the Garifuna and admits his real agenda!, 6min. In his own words, Scott Stirm - the pastor from Texas - admits to a congregation in the USA that: -he is in Belize to seize power by overthrowing authority!

  • Belize Bonefish on a fly rod, 2min. Jake landing a Bonefish in Ambergris Caye Belize.

  • Bonefish on fly rod in Ambergris Caye Belize, 1.5min. 8 weight with a Gotcha shrimp pattern.

  • PADF on "Open Your Eyes" Morning Show March 16, 2016, 27min. PADF Belize staff and George Washington University students appear on "Open Your Eyes" morning show in Belize to discuss coastal erosion, mangrove reforestation and the community resilience project funded by Taiwan.

  • Driving across Belcan(Belize-Canadian) Bridge Belize City, 5min.

  • Belcan Bridge Foot Belize City, 2min.

  • Motion: Hiking in Stunning Belize, 3min. Greg brings a guest hiker to the tropical paradise of Belize for a long-overdo vacation.

  • It's always this cheerful and alive in Belize, 1min. Children celebrating as San Pedro Town Council works on making municipality child friendly.

  • Belize Bird Rescue: Last week we got to do one of the most rewarding releases ever, 1min. The two catfish pelicans (see post 19 Feb) were finally free of parasites, up to weight and raring to go. Their pouches will take time to heal completely, but they will certainly hold for fishing - unless it's another catfish of course... Thanks to the Rawlings family for the assistance with the release, and our apologies for the wobbly video - it was a very windy day!

    March 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

    3 more teams need to qualify for Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup upcoming finals
    The tenth and final week of the Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup is here, and only three spots are left for the playoffs. Five teams have already qualified, and they are: Catrachos, Progresso Boys, Peace Makers, Ambergris Divers and Belize Pro Team. More qualifiers will be taking place on March 18-20th, and fans are invited to come to the Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex to cheer on their favorite teams. Perhaps your favorite will take one of the three coveted spots!

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks fight to stay on top
    Now in the eighth week of the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL), the San Pedro Tiger Sharks are facing some major challenges. In the most recent round of games, the Tiger Sharks experienced yet another loss against the Smart Belize Hurricanes, dropping to fifth place on the tournament ladder. The current leaders of the tournament are the Smart Belize Hurricanes who have won nine out 10 played matches. But hopes are still high that the Tiger Sharks will make a comeback and claim the third consecutive NEBL Championship. Facing off on Friday, were the Smart Belize Hurricanes and the San Pedro Tiger Sharks. Two time defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, traveled to Belize Elementary School gym to try and avenge their first loss in the season against Smart Belize Hurricanes. The home team took a 25 – 15 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Hurricanes kept the lead, as they finished the first half with a 37 – 28 advantage. At the end of the third quarter, San Pedro Tiger Sharks was able to cut the lead to 51 – 48, and a 1-point lead in the fourth quarter. However, Smart Belize was able to pull away in the end, winning 78 – 69, to increase their first place seeding, by two games. The top scorer for San Pedro Tiger Sharks was Caleb Sutton with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Gene Myvett tallied 12 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, while Andrew Ortiz finished the game with 8 points and 11 rebounds. Smart Belize Hurricanes out-rebounded the visiting team, 52 – 43, while having the 20 – 17 advantage on second chance points.

    Five-Year plan set in place to make San Pedro Town a Child Friendly Municipality
    Children are raising the bar as they take on a big role in voicing their concerns and expressing their ideas towards improving the standards of life in San Pedro. Within the next five years, major changes are set to take place as our leaders of tomorrow contribute to structuring an effective plan. According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), San Pedro is one of four municipalities in Belize that has not been certified as a “Child Friendly Municipality”. That changed on Friday, March 11th when the Ministry of Local Government, in collaboration with UNICEF and the Belize’s Mayor Association held an assembly at The San Pedro Town Council’s conference room implementing the “Sustainable Child Friendly Municipalities” Initiative (SCFM). The San Pedro Child Friendly Municipal Developmental Plan is directed in several areas: environment, pollution, educational development and transportation. Presenting the plan was Keisha Rodriguez, an urban planner contracted by UNICEF, who has previously worked with seven other municipalities. Rodriguez organized a presentation with key points and strategies that will guide San Pedro through the years of 2016 to 2021. According to Rodriguez, children make up 50% of the population in San Pedro. School enrollment numbers are decreasing, and education data shows significantly less children enrolled in high school. Schools are at their capacity, having only six primary schools and one high school on the island. Rodriguez introduced concepts that took into consideration children’s top observations: opening other schools, the availability of healthy foods in school, bullying in school, drug use in high school and making education more affordable.

    SPHS Softball male team dominates Northern Regionals
    After the first round of games played on Friday, March 4th and following the postponing of the remaining games due to the inclement weather, the San Pedro High School (SPHS) softball male team finally captured the title of regional champion at the National Secondary School Sports Association (NSSSA) Northern Softball Regionals. The second round of the competition was held on Sunday, March 13th, at the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex on Ambergris Caye. Both male and female teams from SPHS joined the teams of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM), Orange Walk technical High School (OWTHS), Corozal Community College, and Belize High School of Agriculture (BHSA). They all competed for the opportunity to represent the Northern Regionals at the anticipated NSSSA National Softball Championship. During the female championship game, SPHS took a good lead against ESTM who gave the impression that they were no match for the home girls. However, this might have been their psychological strategy, as near the end of the last innings they made a resounding comeback, claiming the victory with a final score of 23-13. The SPHS girls ultimately lost their chance to be in the National Tournament, but they sure put forth a strong effort.SPHS NSSSA Softball Northern Regional Champions-14

    “Celebrating Women” Karen Brodie captures San Pedro women’s stories
    On March 8th, women across all nations celebrated “International Women’s Day”, which is universally recognized for contributing to the cultural, social, political, and economical achievements of females. Not only is the 8th specially dedicated to our women, but the entire month is observed as “Women’s Month”. The San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC) and National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) promoted female empowerment in recognition of “Women’s Month”, by exhibiting a photo collection entitled “Celebrating Women” arranged by Canadian professional photographer, Karen Brodie. The initial launch was on Thursday, March 10th and will continue running until the end of this month.

    Ambergris Today

    Check out Super Buy Supermarket's new vehicle
    Giving new meaning to the words 'Pimp Your Cart!' San Pedro loves the 'bling, bling'.

    Vocational School Launches Facebook Page and Essay & Poster Competitions
    The European Union, through the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) Program, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Chamberlain Consulting Limited, is pleased to inform the public of the launch of its Facebook Page Votech Belize and on-going poster and essay competitions open to students throughout the country. The Votech Belize Facebook page has been launched in an effort to keep the public updated on the many successes of the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions and high schools. The page is managed by key players within the Ministry of Education and helps to showcase the positive factors of each of our vocational schools through thumbnails, updates, newsletters, etc. Like the page on Facebook and come to see all the wonderful things the vocational schools have to offer.

    Why Would Belize Name an Island a After Hip Hop Artist?
    It made news all over the internet, social media and in the music industry, Belize (the Belize Tourism Board) nicknamed its Snake Caye island “Mayor Caye” after DJ Khaled a Miami-based producer, radio personality, DJ and record label executive. Well, the Tourism Board said it was inspired by Khaled’s “love for the ocean” and “constant positivity,” and they nicknamed the island and invited him to come visit. The BTB chose to make the announcement via Belize’s Twitter account. The Miami New Times said, “His appetite for success is insatiable, and his people skills are impeccable. So when we learned that the country of Belize names an island in Khaled’s honor, we can’t say that we were shocked...Ok, maybe a little. But you can’t rule anything out when it comes to DJ Khaled.”

    Norwegian Cruise Line Announces First Call and Reveals Details to Harvest Caye, Belize
    The President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced on March 16, 2016, that the first call to Harvest Caye will be on November 15, 2016, and the caye will have calls four (4) times for the week. The announcement was made during a presentation at Seatrade Cruise Global – the world’s largest cruise industry event. Both the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr, and the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Karen Bevans, were present for the announcement. President and Chief Operating Officer for NCL, Mr. Andy Stuart, stated, “Belize is one of the most ecologically and culturally rich gems in the Caribbean, and Harvest Caye will be the perfect destination for guests to experience all that the country has to offer in authentic, unique ways. There is so much to do on the island from the spectacular seven acre beach and watersports, to interactive wildlife programs. Beyond Harvest Caye, we will strongly encourage our guests to explore Belize through the spectacular eco-adventure and cultural tours this incredible destination has to offer visitors.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Lion's Club Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny!
    Saturday, March 26th, 9am-noon, San Pedro Lion's Den Pancakes with fun toppings! Sausage, juice and fruit! Kid games, craft activities face painting and more!

    BTEC Completes its 5- Star Tourism Trainings in Independence Village
    On Tuesday,March 15th 2016 , The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service ( Beltraide), held the Certificate Ceremony for its 5- Star Wait Staff, Front Desk and Bartender Trainings at the Independence High School in Independence Village. This intense three- week training programme covered professionalism, ethics, an over view of Belize’s tourism industry; customer service and telephone etiquette as well as a technical component which fine-tuned the trainee’s industry-specific skills.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    Anomalisa, Point Break, Snowtime!, Mockingjay part2.

    " The Fair " on Caye Caulker will be opening Friday,March 18
    From 11am-8pm ( across from Rainbow Hotel ... on the beach ) We will start with partial menu and will be serving the following menu items: Tornado Potato - 8 flavors, Deep Fried Chocolate Bars, Deep Fried Oreo Cookies, Fresh Fruit Smoothies, Corn Dogs.

    Chaa Creek Named as Top Venue For Corporate Retreats
    The Lodge at Chaa Creek has long been known as Belize’s premier vacation haven for families, couples, groups and individuals. However, in naming the eco-resort as one of the world’s top five corporate retreats, a recent travel feature highlighted a lesser-known facet of the popular eco-resort, according to Chaa Creek. A March 10 2016 Travel Fantastic feature, “5 Mind-Blowing Corporate retreats” listed Chaa Creek’s Macal River Camp as one of the world’s top five “resorts that offer truly awesome settings for company getaways”. Chaa Creek was also the only resort not located in the United Sates; something that Ms Fleming said reflects on the high level of quality and service as well as Belize’s close proximity to North America. “We were delighted to be included among such distinguished corporate retreats, and took particular satisfaction in seeing that Chaa Creek was the only one not located within the United States. That’s something we attribute to the quality of our offerings as well as the fact that we’re so close to the US.

    Easter Celebrations
    All roads lead to Sarteneja this Easter Holiday. The traditional boat regatta is a MUST SEE. St. Francis Xavier Credit Union will have their canoe raffle on Sunday March 27th during the events. You can still buy your tickets at any of their branches.

    CONGRATULATIONS to Belize's own Clayton "C-Wills" Williams on the numerous WINS at this year's Garifuna Music Awards in New York!
    Clayton continues to make Belize proud with his beautiful music, a testament to the Garifuna culture and legendary musicians before him. WINS: 1. "Song Of The Year" - "Garifuna Nuguya" 2. "Producer Of The Year" 3. "New Artist" 4. "Best Musical Video" 5. "Album Of The Year" Keep up the GREAT WORK Clayton, from your friends at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB)

    List of Religious Processions
    7:00am Sunday March 20th Palm Procession RC school to RC Church. 9:00pm Thursday March 24th RC Church to Pescador Drive back to Church. 4:30pm Friday March 25th Procession around town from RC Church. 7:00am Sunday March 27th "El Encuentro" Barrier Reef Drive. We request the co operation of the driving public and ask they avoid driving in these areas during these times and use the car park. Holy Friday March 25th. Barrier Reef Drive Closed to all vehicles and PARKING from Midday , Pescador Drive closed to all vehicles and PARKING 5:00pm - 7;00pm. Any vehicles parked or trying to use these streets during these times will be ticketed, this includes bicycles.

    Channel 7

    Belize And Guatemala Back To Talking ICJ
    How far will Belize go to preserve peace in the Sarstoon? That's what everyone wanted to know today when Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, flanked by opposition representative Assad Shoman briefed the press. Shoman and Elrington met on Tuesday in Washington DC with a Guatemalan delegation led by Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales in a meeting mediated by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. It was an emergency meeting to discuss the confrontation between the Guatemalan military and the BDF, which happened last weekend at Belize's Forward Operating Base on the Sarstoon River. Elrington opened today by saying that there were actually three meetings: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "We had 3 meetings essentially in Washington; we had the meeting with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States and then we had a meeting with the group of friends, the people who help to finance the OAS office and then we had a meeting with the United States State Department. We like to think that the meetings went quite well. We appeared as national team. The team consisted of myself, Ambassador Shoman, Alexis Rosado, Pat Andrews, our ambassador in Washington and that comprised the team."

    What About The BDF Report?
    But, for the past two days, we've been showing you an internal threat assessment report from the BDF, which was done in October of last year to catalogue Guatemala's incremental aggression in the Sarstoon River. The report details each aggressive encounter the BDF has had with the Guatemalan Military going back to 2003. In their expert opinion, the BDF concluded that these encounters are calculated almost to force an armed conflict between both sides. It's a very different narrative from the one the government has been pushing - where the armed encounters are explained as exceptional events - but the BDF narrative shows that it is almost a program of provocation. Today we asked Elrington about that disparity: Daniel Ortiz: "The calculation of the BDF is that they've always been aggressive and that these aggressions seem to be to force an armed conflict between the Belize side and the Guatemalan side. In light of this, have both governments been downplaying the seriousness of that situation?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "I can honestly say to you that you have better strings with the BDF than I do. I've never seen that report."

    Basketball and Bullets
    Last night just as the news was winding down, we heard police and ambulance sirens scream past our Albert Street studio. They were racing to Cemetery Lane on the Yabra basketball court where a 31 year old had been shot multiple times. Godfrey Hemsley had his guard down, as he rested between games on a court he knew very well - when a shooter crept up on him. Just minutes before, Godfrey Hemsley was dribbling this ball on the court. He had challenged a few friends to a round of 5 games - he lost only one. But those are only 5 games out of the many Hemsley has played every evening on this court - right behind his house. Last night was no different. He went home after work, changed off and went to shoot some hoops. But after those games were over, he rested on the bleachers - getting ready to play a couple more. But that is when a gunman crept up behind him and shot him several times. The ambulance dashed over to the KHMH to try and save him. But shortly after his family got the news.

    The Suspect Is 15?
    Although police didn't catch those shooters in 2005, they have charged a 15 year old boy for Hemsley's murder. They also found 2 guns in the Yabra area - one is believed to be the gun used to kill Hemsley. Today Senior Superintendent Chester Williams gave us an update on this case. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "Information we had obtained so far is that Mr. Hemsley was socializing on the basketball court along with some other friends when two gun toddlers came by and opened fire with a handgun which resulted to the injuries and subsequently to his demise. Subsequent to that police have conducted an operation in the Yabra area this morning and that operation also resulted in the recovery of two firearms one of which we believe is a weapon of choice in committing the murder last night." "From what we have seen, it could be gang related and it does not mean that Godfrey was out there involved in gang activity. We know that he have a past and like many others he was trying to put his past behind him. He was working, trying to make a living for himself. So by any account, I believe that he was chance out of his life."

    Boy Charged for Murder
    Another 15 year old boy has been charged with Mario Trotman's murder. As we told you on Tuesday, police found 18 year old Mario Trotman's body in the Jane Usher Area. Police believe that a friend lured him to that area and shot him to the head. Well police told us that they caught the 15 year old shooter and that he has been charged, but police are still searching for more answers to close this case. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "The only person they have charged is the 15 year old who actually lead us to the body. We have not charged anybody else in relation to that matter, but the investigation is still ongoing. Should we later gathered additional evidence that could put other person on the scene or have other persons as suspect having committed the act itself, then we will proceed with those information. But until now, we only have against that one person who took us to the location where the body was found."

    With Boy Killers On The Loose, Police Set Up Curfew
    Now there is one common factor in the murders over these past few days: the shooters are all minors, boys, actually, and police say they must do something about it. Today Williams told us about a new police program that should take these kids off the street and keep them there. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "As of tonight we will be going after children who are on the streets after 9 at night. Any child found on the street after 9pm at night without a parent or guardian with him/her, that child will be brought to the police station and be detained and the parent will have to come for the child in the morning. We will be getting the social services involved and we will see what we can do to begin to deal with some of the parents who for some reason or the other want to have the street raising their children for them. You will see that the last two murders for which we have made arrest, the one with then guy who we found in the creek behind Jane Usher Boulevard are, the suspect is a 15 year old. The murder we had last night, the suspect again is 15 year old. We are seeing that the age group of person who are creating this problem for us are these toddlers. I will not call them gunmen or gunboy. They are too young, they are toddlers. When we call them gunman, we make them feel like they are bigger than who they are. So I refer to them as gun toddlers and it is time that we begin to focus on these young people and see what we can do to help them by removing them off the street, but at the same time, holding the parents responsible for the action of their children."

    Soldier Freed After Being Accused Of Stealing From BDF
    In 2015 the name of Jamel Webster, a BDF private, was dragged through the mud when he was accused by his own of breaking into the BDF Special Assignment's Group's office, at Price Barracks in Ladyville, and stealing a 9 mm pistol. Today he appeared before the courts for his scheduled trial date but at the start of the session, Prosecutor Cpl. Christopher Smith withdrew the case against him. The incident occurred on April 30th 2015 and the stolen weapon, which was the property of the BDF, was valued at approximately $2,000 dollars. We understand that investigators could not gather sufficient evidence in time to lead a successful prosecution, so the charges were dropped. If at any point police do gather enough evidence Webster could be rearrested and charged again for the same burglary, but for the time being Jamel Webster is a free man.

    Did Cyclist Byron Pope Dope?
    Byron Pope is one of the premier names in cycling and a perennial cross-country contender. But the news tonight is that he has been flagged for a banned substance based on a blood test taken after the 2016 KREM Classic - where he placed third. In short, Byron Pope has been accused of doping. If you follow cycling any at all, you're probably stunned to hear the news - and that's mainly because Pope has earned a reputation for a hard work, rigorous training, and consistent performances. But, this year he won't be taking all that into the cross country - and that's because he's been suspended for use of a banned substance, pending a full review of his results. This morning he came to our studio backed up by his Benny's Megabytes team management to tell us how it came to this:... Byron Pope, Banned From Riding Cross Country: "Further testing have revealed that they have found a steroid or a precursor to a steroid which is something like a family to a steroid in my system and ever since I got that news I was devastated, because I'm not the kind of rider who would go and use banned substance, and just to be on point Jules, the banned substance, I Byron Pope into he last 4 to 5 years I have been tested in Krem Classic at least 4 times I WON THAT RACE BEFORE. I came second in that race and I came third and each and every time I have tested I have never ever have to reach this point."

    Major Accident Launches Couple Through Top of Jeep
    There was a very major accident between miles 11 and 12 on the Western Highway this afternoon - but fortunately no one was killed. Two persons, husband and wife, Aldo and Nicole were very seriously injured when they were flung out the top of their SUV unto the shoulder of the road - where an ambulance driver who also got caught in the traffic pileup used his stretcher to get them to safety. Tonight the couple is in the Belize Medical Associates - with Aldo Chavarria in a critical condition. Here's what happened: this afternoon at 2:00, 34 year old Chavarria was driving a Jeep SUV to Belmopan when he clipped the side of an oncoming dump truck. That sent him barreling into the guardrail alongside the canal. The massive impact launched he and his wife out the top of the Jeep and into the canal. They were hurriedly pulled out of the water still alive and are tonight in Belize Medical Associates. He was bleeding profusely with severe head injuries.

    Woman Knocked Down In City
    A woman was knocked down on Central American Boulevard today. This morning before 10, she was riding her bicycle when a black truck tried to overtake her as she passed a vehicle parked on the side. A witness told us off camera what happened. Voice of Witness: "I didn't see anything really, I just heard. I came out and saw the vehicle speeding off behind her and just stopped. When I heard 'bam' after it stopped, I came by the door and heard someone was on the street. I just stayed inside and I couldn't see anything, but I just called 911. That's all. well it's evident if you're a driver and you see a vehicle parked on the shoulder of the road, you do an observation which is a distraction so you're to wait until the driver, rider or pedestrian proceeds and passes through whatever obstruction is there in the midst of the road before you pursue your journey."

    Maya Mopan Marijuana
    Cops from the Intermediate Southern Formation destroyed a marijuana plantation in the Maya Mopan Nature Reserve on Tuesday. Acting on intelligence, the officers went to a farm 12 miles west of the Maya Mopan Village in the Stann Creek District. There, they found 20 marijuana plants ranging from 1 to 3 feet tall. The plants were uprooted and destroyed. There was no arrest because no one was in the area at the time. AND, Earlier this week, a Coast Guard team, which was patrolling Halfmoon Caye, came upon this plastic bag which contained 12 pounds of marijuana. It was brought in to the Coast Guard Headquarters, and it will be handed over to police. Another team, operating in northern part of the country's territorial seas, came upon this bag containing 15 pounds of marijuana. It was brought in to Coast Guard Headquarters, and these drugs will also be handed over to police.

    Black is the Color, Love Is The Message
    BLACK: Be Loving And Cease Killing, that was the message that was hoisted on flags and banners as 300 police officers and residents marched the city streets in the second annual BLACK parade. The movement was launched in 2015, with the idea of reaching out to the community with a positive message. The event was a precursor to the yearlong of activities in community policing, which the organizers say, will continue on in 2016. The march kicked off this morning at around 8 and we were there. Emanuel Pech Reports. It was difficult to count heads, but we'd estimate the number to be somewhere between 3 to 4 hundred people. Police Officers, were joined today by residents, students, and members of the city council - including the Mayor, for the second annual BLACK parade. The atmosphere was quite celebratory. And why not? The year has seen a significant decrease in the rate of City homicides since the last couple of years.

    Infection App Launched
    Keeping up with its mandate and with technology, the National Aids commission today launched its very own app. It's called "Infection" - and while the name may seem un-appetizing - it's a fun, interactive and information-filled game that you can download for free on any android device. The project has been over two years in the making and it started out as an app competition which a programming club from Escuela Mexico won. Since then, they have been in non stop consultation with the National Aids commission in finishing the proposed app- the product of which was seen today at the launch of "Infection." To download the free app, you can simply go to your google play store, search for "Infection Belize," click download and play on.

    International Group Of Friends Wants To Know When Bze-Guat Dispute Going To ICJ
    At the top of the news, we showed you the press conference with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, which finished around 6:00. He was discussing the meetings that the Belize Delegation had with The OAS and Guatemala, the Group of Friendly Nations, and the US State Department. You heard him say that it costs several million dollars to keep the Adjacency Zone office open. The Group of Friends are concerned that so much money, which are taxpayers' dollars from their countries, have been invested for 8 years now, and still, no ICJ resolution has happened. Well, Elrington went on to explain that he and the Guatemalan Foreign Minister have started a campaign to raise those funds. He said that it started just last night when the outgoing Taiwanese President was in Belize: "One of our major donors to the OAS would have been China, but we can't approach them because we are not diplomatically tied to them. So both the foreign minister of Guatemala and myself agreed that we would approach the government of Taiwan. I can say to the nation that in fact last night we delivered a note of request to the foreign minister of Taiwan who happily was in our country. In a private discussion which I had with him..."

    The Y Is For Women
    The YWCA celebrated its 60th anniversary today. Throughout all those years, the organization's main focus has been on women's empowerment. So we asked the president how their various programs and initiatives have improved the lives of Belizean women. The YWCA has launched another program entitled CASA - Creating a Safe Place Agenda. That project will focus on tutoring kids and training women in business skills among others.

    Slight Citrus Relief, Still No Bridge Financing
    Citrus farmers will get a little bit of a reprieve from very hard times tomorrow when CPBL comes up with money to pay them last week's cheque. But, it's just an interim relief because the Citrus Growers Association reports that the Heritage Bank loan still has not been approved - so that critical bridge financing is still being held up. So payment for this week will be deferred until funds become available.

    A Festival Of Promise
    And that's 7news this evening. We leave you tonight with highlites from the preschoolers festival of the arts. This is Saturday night's show from the Bliss Center where Belize Rural schools were featured.

    Channel 5

    A Brazen Murder at the Yarborough Green
    A late evening press conference convened by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, upon his return from a meeting at the O.A.S. in Washington, has just concluded.  The brief was [...]

    A 14-year-old is Arraigned for Murder of Mario Trotman
    While police have two minors, ages fifteen and sixteen, in custody for the murder of Hemsley, a fourteen-year-old boy has been charged for Tuesday’s murder of Mario Trotman. This morning, [...]

    9 O’clock Curfew to be Imposed on All Belize City Minors
    Three minors have been detained as the gunmen in two of the recent homicides in the city; it’s a reality that is frightening because it is believed that minors are [...]

    Be Loving And Cease Killing: A BLACK March Against Crime & Violence
    Hundreds of Belize City residents participated in a BLACK March this morning. The procession is the second of its kind and seeks to create awareness on the effects of crime [...]

    President Ma Bids Adieu to the Jewel
    Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou departed Belize around eleven o’clock this morning, following an overnight visit during which he met with various government officials, including heads of state from St. Kitts, [...]

    Foreign Minister Holds Conference Following Meeting with Guatemala in Washington
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington is back in the country, following high-level meetings at the O.A.S. headquarters in Washington D.C. He was accompanied by Ambassadors Assad Shoman, Alexis Rosado [...]

    Is BTV to Blame for Heightened Tension in Sarstoon?
    The conference held by Foreign Minister Elrington was delayed because the Belizean delegation spent much of the afternoon briefing Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Opposition Leader John Briceño. But we [...]

    A Peaceful Solution for Age-old Territorial Dispute, is It Possible?
    A government release issued on Sunday, after a military to military incident in the Sarstoon on Saturday made reference to tensions being at an all time high, and spoke of [...]

    Assad Shoman Weighs in on BTV and Sarstoon Debacle
    Ambassador Assad Shoman is a member of the current negotiating team, and negotiating teams of the past. In fact, he is perhaps the most experienced member on that team. He [...]

    COLA Says Government is Finally Seeing the Light in Sarstoon Dispute
    Across the country, much has been said in the wake of the most recent bout between Belize and Guatemala over access to the Sarstoon River.  Since the standoff at the [...]

    A Ban on All Guatemalan Imports?
    In the aftermath of last Saturday’s armed confrontation, the Belize Territorial Volunteers have come under heavy criticism for unsolicited visits to the Sarstoon area.  It is strongly believed that the [...]

    Citrus Woes, Fruit Payments Trickling In Late
    For the past several weeks we have been reporting on a looming cash flow crisis within the citrus industry.  Growers have not been receiving fruit payments from Citrus Products of [...]

    HIV/AIDS Awareness Sees Launch of Mobile App
    A mobile application to test your knowledge of HIV/AIDS was launched by the National AIDS Commission earlier today.  The product of two years of careful research, development and meticulous fine [...]

    Infection – Get it Now on Google Play!
    According to Chairperson Laura Longsworth, the rationale behind the development of the software was to come up with an interactive approach to sharing critical information about the virus with a [...]

    Healthy Living: Belize Family Life Association’s Chit Chat
    Chit Chat – a program executed by Belize Family Life Association since 2013. It connects curious youths with accurate and age-appropriate sexual reproductive health information using technology. In tonight’s episode [...]


    Guatemala Releases Info On OAS Meeting
    This morning the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales issued a release concerning the meeting in Washington with the Group of donor countries from the Peace fund which is responsible for the office of the OAS. In the release Minister Morales commended the efforts made by Foreign ministers of both countries to advance the solution of the territorial dispute and Maritime laws by strengthening trust and good neighborliness between the two countries. The release continued by stating that that a deadline has not been determined to carry out the referendum in which the people of both countries shall allow their respective governments to take the case to the International Court of Justice and that such discussion should be carried out at the most opportune moment for each country, to guarantee successful approval in both populations.

    Two Parcels Of Weed Confiscated By Corozal Police
    A routine checkpoint carried out by Corozal Police between miles 67 and 68 on the Philip Goldson Highway, resulted in the confiscation of two suspected parcels of cannabis and the arrest of one person.According to authorities, while on the checkpoint near the Village of Buena Vista in Corozal, they stopped a white Ford Escort car bearing Corozal Licence plates. At the checkpoint the driver was asked for his license which he immediately produced. But in sight that he was acting suspiciously he was asked to pull to the side of the road for a search to be conducted for drugs and firearms.In the vehicle police found two tightly wrapped parcels and a small transparent plastic bag containing suspected marijuana hidden in the glove compartment weighing 1,070 grams. The driver of the vehicle, identified as 45 year old Anthony Daniels of a Hall’s Layout address in Corozal, was escorted to the Corozal Police Station where a further search was conducted on the vehicle. Nothing else incriminating was found.

    Who Will Win UDP Convention For First Deputy Leader?
    Sticking to the subject of Gaspar Vega, his announcement leaves an immediate empty seat in the party, that of First Deputy Leader. The United Democratic Party has indicated that following the convention on Sunday, the UDP’s National Party Council will meet to decide on the procedure and timing for a special election to choose the new first deputy leader to succeed Hon. Vega. To date three persons have indicated that they are aspiring for the position, Patrick Faber, John Saldivar and Erwin Contreras. Today Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Hugo Patt was asked who of the three is best fit for the position. Here is his response. “All three are qualified, in fact any candidate that you have here in the UDP they are the best qualified that you can speak of about in term of leadership, in terms of character, in terms of honesty and more importantly in term of the service that they have given to this country and to their constituency but most importantly to the people of Belize, certainly at this point I am looking at the possibilities that we have but at the end of the day whosoever wins will stand behind that person and I am sure that any leader that we put any deputy leader that we put is going to be the best choice for us as a party and the best choice for Belize.”

    CEMJC Celebrates 5th Annual Expo
    Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College is a growing institution where students are taught that education is the key to success and to a secure future. Throughout the school year students engage in many carrier subjects and today to showcase what students have been learning, the institution held their 5th annual Open Day under the theme “Promoting Innovative Ideas, Partnering with Stake Holders, Paving the Way to Quality Assurance.” A total of 66 booths, including those from the business community, were set up each one with a different purpose saysDean for CEMJC, Hugo Gonzalez:“Today we are celebrating CEMJC’s annual open day under the theme Promoting Interactive Ideas Partnering with Stakeholders paving the way towards quality assurance, this is the fifth annual open day that we’ve been hosting and every year seems to be getting bigger and better, this year alone we have invited people to and organizations to come both from the business community and other NGO’s and together with them the projects that were developed from the students here at school we have a total of 66 booths here present today; we have agricultural entities like the BSCFA, PAO, we also have SIRDI, BAHA we also have others that deals for example with the sciences, we have FOCUS, we have EPI which is the Ecology Process International, we also have booths for example that deals with the businesses like the banks; we have Scotia Bank. Atlantic Bank, Credit Union, Belize Bank we also have other people like for example Emilio Ahmad Group of Companies.”

    Trial Farm Government School Promoting Healthy Minds
    The Trial Farm Government School here in Orange Walk has been engaging in a School Improvement Project that offers each student the opportunity to sign up for a club in which they are able to express themselves freely and expand their learning in many areas. Today an open day was held at the school grounds with the purpose of showcasing the many skills and talents that the children possess. Naira Romero – Principal, TFGS: “Today’s activity is to showcase what we have done, this year we are embarking in a school improvement project and as part of that we are doing Club, and in it children get to practice different talents that they have, for example we have the sports clubs, we have arts and craft, we have beading, we have environmental, land escaping and gardening club, first time for Trial Farm that we have done these clubs and we have incorporated it in the timetable so for one time period a week the students get to go to one Club of their choice and then they work on the different items this is what we want to show the public and show the parents that the child might not be gifted academically but the child can do something manually or the child has talent in dancing, singing or the child can also become an agriculturist and can grow his/ her garden at home.”

    OWTC Awarded To Be a Child Friendly Municipality
    The Child Friendly Municipality Initiative, headed by the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), was created to promote and approve an international initiative aimed at confirming Mayors as Children’s Defenders. The idea is basically to provide infrastructure, amenities as well as the proper environment for children to be free, healthy and well-informed of what is happening within the community.The Orange Walk Town Council received the Child Friendly Municipality Award earlier this afternoon during a ceremony that was held at the Central Park where a number of invited guests were present. We spoke to the Minister of Labour, Local Government and Human Development, Hugo Patt, who expressed his views about the award itself and how pleased he is with the council for receiving such recognition.

    Hugo Patt Surprised At Vega's Retirement
    On Sunday March 20th the United Democratic Party will hold its National Convention in Dangriga where Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be endorsed as Leader of the party and Erwin Contreras will be endorsed as second Deputy Leader of the party. In that convention Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega would have been endorsed as the First Deputy Leader. That however, won’t happen since Vega does not want the position and has also indicated that he will no longer be seeking re-election in the next general election.Vegas decision to retire early from politics took many by surprise including Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Hugo Patt. “It is a huge lost for us here in the north but it is a decision that he has taken and we respect that decision as much as I can tell you that the Minister has indicated that he will supportive of our efforts and certainly as a party we have to move we have to make sure that we have the necessary kind of gear to be in ground personally I am so thankful for him to be his support and certainly Corozal we will miss him, Orange Walk we will miss him but I am sure that the party will move on as with everything we have to transition and we are gearing up practically for that transition in the upcoming weeks.”


    Taiwan President Concludes Visit to Belize
    President Ma Ying-Jeou of Taiwan ended his visit to Belize this morning. Renee Trujillo has been following his itinerary and filed this report.

    60 Years of the YWCA
    The Young Women’s Christian Association, YWCA is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary this year. A number of activities to highlight this momentous occasion have been taking place. Today a special ceremony was held at the headquarters at the corner of Freetown and St. Thomas Streets in Belize City. Guest speaker was the Special Envoy for Women […]

    Town Hall Cashier Fired for Neglect
    A tax collector from the Orange Walk Town Council has been fired for not handing in thousands of dollars collected for Property Tax. According to Orange Walk Town Mayor, Kevin Bernard, Oscar Tillett, collected the monies between late December and early January and did not submit the monies to the Orange Walk Town Council. As […]

    BLACK March 2016 Sends Strong Message
    An estimated five hundred persons took part in the second annual BLACK March, coordinated by the Belize Police Department. We join Renee Trujillo for that story.

    FAO Targets Small Onion Farmers on Best Practices Training
    Today, twenty eight farmers from the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts were celebrated for successfully completing phase one of the Promoting Agribusiness Development Project in Northern Belize. The project is funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization and it targets small time onion producers in the north. They were trained on how to properly prepare […]

    New High School Planned for Southern Belize
    A new High School will be established in rural Toledo. The announcement was made by Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG “Plans for the establishment of the new high school in Pueblo Viejo Village was made at a recent well attended town hall meeting of education stakeholders in […]


    Taiwanese and Eastern Caribbean leaders meet in Belize
    Three heads of government and a head of state touched down in Belize this morning at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). The Prime Ministers of St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony; St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; and St. Kitts and Nevis, Honorable Timothy Harris, and outgo...

    COLA says Guatemalan aggression unchecked
    Citizens Organized for Liberty thru Action (COLA) expressed its dismay over what it calls the “the continued and unchecked aggression shown by Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF)”. In a press release issued Wednesday March 16, COLA says it “…denounces any attempt by the Government of Belize (GOB) to insi...

    Placencia residents sign petition to keep doctor on peninsula
    Over 800 Placencia residents have signed a petition to have the contract of a medical doctor with NHI renewed. The doctor received a letter on March 4saying that his contract would be terminated as of March 16th. Residents say the doctor has been in the village for 14 years and they don’t see why he...

    CPBL still delayed in payments to CGA
    Citrus Growers will receive their delayed fruit cheque for fruit payroll from March 8, 2016 . That check will be ready on Friday, March 18th, 2015 at 8am. According to a statement from the Citrus Growers’ Association, they were informed that CPBL would be making the payment from CPBL’s Collaboration...

    Five beat burglary charge
    For want of prosecution, five Belize City residents including a female teenager saw charges of burglary dating back to June of 2015 dropped this morning. Released are 30 year old Brandon Errol Smith, aka “Battery;” 30 year old Devon Delon Smith, a Security Officer; 29 year old Leon Lee Smith, unem...

    Group of 4 see sex charges dropped by DPP
    Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Cheryl-Lynn Vidal has directed the courts to withdraw charges of unlawful sexual intercourse against 4 males; 3 minors and an adult male identified as 22 year old Wilfred Ramirez. The group of four were accused of all having sexual intercourse, one at a time, wi...

    Weed plantation inside Natural Reserve
    A weed plantation was found inside a Natural Reserve. On Tuesday 15th of March, 2016 an anti- drug operation was conducted by personnel attached to the Independence Southern Formation 12 miles West of Maya Mopan village, Stann Creek District. There, the team found 20 marijuana plants ranging from 1...

    Ex-employee charged with theft
    Nineteen year old Ricardo Borje, a resident of New Road, who allegedly stole $6,000 from Ricky Perrera, was charged with theft when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Borje pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on bail of $8,000 and his case was adjourned until April 26....

    Fisherman charged with undersized conch
    Thirty-two year old Raymond Myers, a fish vendor of Conch Shell Bay, was fined a total of $9,020 today by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza after he pleaded guilty to possession 444 undersized conch. He was given until July 29, 2016 to pay. if he defaults on payment he will serve 3 months. About 7:30 this m...

    Belmopan ; a sustainable child friendly municipality
    On Wednesday, March 16th, Belmopan was officially inaugurated as a sustainable and child friendly municipality. The inaugural ceremony was held at the Mae Gordon Field in Belmopan with primary and high school students. The child friendly initiative was formed in September of 2015 and aims towards g...

    First game played on new synthetic field
    Last night on Tuesday the 16th of March, fans flocked the newly renovated Isodoro Beaton Football stadium to witness the inaugural match of the new synthetic turf. Earlier Tuesday morning, the new stadium, which cost just under 4 milion dollars was ceremonially inaugurated but Tuesday night’s game ...

    Poetry workshop at St. Johns
    Students from Oklahoma State University under the leadership of Dr. Jen Sanders, along with Peacework, are conducting their annual visit to St. John’s Anglican Primary School in Belize City. For the third year running, they are practicing their skills in literacy on the students of the school, as we...

    The Guardian

    Guatemalan threats in the Sarstoon date back to 2006
    On Saturday March 12, there was a confrontation between the Belize Defence Force and the Guatemalan Armed Forces. Late on that evening the forward operating base at the Sarstoon was approached by GAF personnel. With the use of a loud speaker the GAF informed the BDF that they should not be at the Sarstoon. Even as this was taking place the Belize Forces stood their ground. Reports indicate that the GAF were in the area for approximately an hour after which they withdrew. After a meeting of the National Security Council, General David Jones, BDF commander explained that he had communication with his Guatemalan counterpart about the incident and within 10 minutes the GAF withdrew from the area. He explained that they were dissatisfied that the BDF had not reported to them as it relates to their movement in the Sarstoon River. “Our troops had never gone in there and asked permission to go through and we continue to go through the Sarstoon without asking permission,” stated Jones. He continued explaining that just earlier in the week there was a meeting between the BDF and the GAF at the highest level for the Saturday incident to have unfolded. Jones said that the Guatemalan General was “going to pass the direction that there isn’t going to be anymore interception and we are going to work towards peace in the area.”

    Taiwan President meets four regional leaders in Belize
    Four Heads of State arrived in Belize on Wednesday, March 16, and in that time, they will have a number of meetings in the country. Those leaders include The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Timothy Sylvester Harris, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Everard Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny D Anthony, and the outgoing Taiwanese President, Ma Ying-jeou. President Ma is going to demit office in a month’s time, and his trip to Belize is being interpreted by members of the Taiwanese community living here, as a gesture of good faith that Taiwan’s friendship with Belize will continue. The Taiwanese President has met with each of the Caribbean Prime Ministers in closed door sessions, and he has made a courtesy call on Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He has had a courtesy luncheon with Governor General, Sir Colville Young, and all 5 Leaders have held a round table discussion.

    New Schools for Belmopan, Stann Creek & Toledo
    Ground-breaking ceremonies for new schools in Belmopan, Stann Creek and Toledo are scheduled throughout this week. Funding for the construction of six government schools has been made available through grant-funds from the Caribbean Development Bank under the bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 7) programme. This means that students in the respective communities will have easier access to a better learning environment; enable schools to address the increasing demand of enrollment, alleviate over-crowding and thus enable the country’s future leaders to further boost their learning skills. A ground-breaking ceremony will be held for Santa Cruz’s New Government Pre-School and Primary School and Trio’s Pre-School and Primary School on Friday, March 18. A similar ceremony already took place for the Kuxlin-Ha Pre-School and Primary School in Belmopan on Tuesday, March 15. Officials for the ground-breaking ceremonies in Belmopan were Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security and Area Representative; Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports; representatives of the Social Investment Fund and Ms. Shirlene Wilshire, school Principal.

    The Best is Here! Football fans receive four million dollar renovated stadium
    Football fans from all over Belize now have good reasons to rejoice for having been gifted with an almost four million dollar stadium in Belmopan. The magnificent state of the art Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium was re-opened to the public on Tuesday of this week in Belmopan, this time with the first FIFA qualifying synthetic turf in Belize. Former home of the Bandits, the renovated Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium now has a seating capacity for 1,200 fans and will allow for play any time of the day or night and professional playtime anytime of the year. The FIFA two star polythene turfs would be warranted for up to ten years with the play of up to 40 hours a week. At a brief ceremony on Tuesday, Mayor Khalid Belisle noted that just a few years ago, the idea arose for using some of the portion of the post proceeds of the Petrocaribe Program “…to spark a rejuvenation of sports in Belize.” Mayor Khalid Belisle thanked our Country’s leaders for the realization of a dream.

    Micah get drop again!
    One thing is certain about young Micah Goodin and that is, he will always be a part of a losing campaign . It seems as if though this young man has an aura around him that just turns off people. About a little over 2 years ago he was all set to become the People’s United Party’s Candidate in the Collet division. He was already on the ground in the division. The party was showing him around as if though he was the greatest thing since Sliced Bread. Low and behold there was a Bi-election in Cayo North and his party got to see him operate under pressure and then he was no longer their Collet candidate. We don’t know whether they had dumped him or he had quit. The word at the time ranged that he thought it was not his time yet to certain members of his party referring to him as “WAH LEE BWOI WEH NO READY “ We at the time suspected that he was removed by force, but we could not prove that so we held back our thunder. He was then made to run on a City Council slate that was only put together sort of as to say that they were contesting the City Council election. We use the term contesting very loosely, because it was no contest. In one corner was a bunch of losers and misfits being lead by a person whose confession stated that she was not good with numbers and that she proved by her public statements that dealt with numbers. While in the other corner there was a TEAM with a proven track record being lead by a very popular Mayor Darrel Bradley. We don’t need to go into any details about Mayor Bradley’s team and why everybody knew why he and his team were far better than the others and why they demolished their opponents. One only has to look at the new and improved Belize City under the Mayor Bradley lead City Council, to get a clear picture.

    Atlantic Bank hosts gathering of land and home agents in Belmopan
    There is a general agreement among real estate agents that now is the best time to buy land in Belize. At a gathering hosted by the Atlantic Bank at the Belmopan Civic Center on Saturday of this past weekend, land owners were meeting face to face with members of the public, with messages on how to buy properties. Andrea Rodriquez, a representative from Eagles Wings Belize Property Management and Real Estate was the first one to say that potential buyers of land should “…do their own background checks, references and investigation…” to prevent land scams. Andrea Rodriquez also advises that if the land managers ask their customers that money be placed into a different account, which does not match with the business-- that would be a red flag. Present at the gathering over the weekend were representatives from Our Forest Realty, Atlantic Insurance, Association of Professional Architects and others.

    Citco traffic department to regulate ‘Dalla Vans’
    With mounting complaints against operators of ‘Dalla Vans’ the Belize City Traffic Department is currently in the process of regularizing them for better service to Belize City residents. According to Traffic Manager, Kevan Jenkins, the move is as a result of concerns which have been constantly expressed as to the unsafe manner in which the vans operate. With support from the traffic councillor, Bernard Pitts, meetings have been held with the van operators to get them organized into a cooperative who will be authorized to operate from Mahogany Street into downtown. Lionel Longsworth is the chairman of the cooperative, he says so far there are 56 persons who have signed on to the organization and they have some $3000 to begin to organize themselves. He says that great interest has been put into joining the cooperative. But even as it has generated great interest he added that those who will be members need to go through a series of training workshops for them to improve the manner in which they serve the public. For his part Jenkins says that not all of those who are members with the cooperative will be able to offer ‘dalla van’ services. That number he says is too great for the city and consultations have to be carried out in order to determine an appropriate number of operators to function in the city.

    Speaking to empty seats!
    On Tuesday night Johnny Briceño held a much advertised Budget CONSULTATION Townhall type meeting at the George Price Center for Peace. This meeting as we were made to understand was to discuss the recently presented budget and to get feedback from the audience. He and the PUP had promised that they would then use that feedback to formulate their presentation for the budget debate next week. Such an idea has a very good genesis, and with Belmopan being the place where many Public Officers and former Public Officers reside, that meeting should have been a very productive one. Those potential attendees understand PUBLIC FINANCES and the way things operate or is to be operated in the public sector and their contributions would have been exceptional. In a way they are the public sector. However it seemed like the residents of Belmopan know Johnny and the way he and the PUP operate also, so they stayed away from him and his consultation. It was as if though Johnny had LEPROSY or some other sort of deadly disease that one could catch from him just by being in his company.

    Political Games
    For some folks pushing their political agenda supersedes all logic and common decency. And for the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) it is no different. For them it seems the end justifies the means. From the get go it seemed like this bunch of political neophytes were willing to play politics with any and every thing. One only need to go back and look to see who makes up the majority of the movers in the BPP and one would quickly get the sense of where they started in their quest of forming a political party. The BPP is an offshoot of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV). They started out to try and gain national prominence by using the one thing that invokes a high degree of passion in most if not all Belizeans. That issue is the age old UNFOUNDED GUATEMALAN CLAIM. Belizeans regardless of where they stand in the political landscape share that no Guatemala stance and the BPP is banking on that. They want to gain power without building a reputation as a party that has paid it’s dues. In effect they want to gain power without putting in the work, getting there by default.

    20 thousand strong and the launch of an entrepreneurship assistance program
    Women are far more likely to be unemployed and underemployed than men. The most recent Labour Force Survey shows that the unemployment rate among women decreased from 19.4 percent to 15. 1 percent from 2014 to 2015. Reason for optimism but this is still far higher than it is for men whose rate increased from 5.9 percent to 6.8 percent over that same period. The results show that women are also far more likely to be underemployed than men. Over 20,000 persons were underemployed, 9,373 males and 10,847 females. The underemployment rate for men is 10.8 percent. The underemployment rate for women is 21 percent. On average, males make $90 per month more than women. Those are only some of the statistics that show women and men are operating on different playing fields. Therefore, the need for financial empowerment of women in Belize cannot be overstated and it has become the number one gender based campaign of the National Women’s Commission, the Women’s Department and the Special Envoy for Women and Children.

    Embassy of Japan and Belize High School of Agriculture sign grant contract
    On March 11th, 2016, Mr. Hideki Shinozaki, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan to Belize, signed a Grassroots Human Security Grant Contract of US$90,804.00 with the Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk. The grant will be used for the construction of a new building (two classrooms and a library) to address the issue of overcrowding of students in the classrooms. The contract signing ceremony took place at the Belize High School of Agriculture. Present at the ceremony were Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, and Mr. Monty Sadarangani, Honorary Consul General of Japan. The Belize High School of Agriculture was established in 1984. It currently has 233 students and 15 teachers. The new building is expected to provide an appropriate educational environment for young Belizeans.

    Johnny giving Lisa the cold shoulder, Hmmmm!
    It now appears that the PUP leader Johnny Briceno wants to be as far away from Lisa Shoman as he possibly can . Hot on the heels of replacing her as a Senator, it seems that she has been replaced on the Belize team that handles the Belize /Guatemalan negotiations. We say that because it is now Assad Shoman who has gone to the OAS meeting in Washington D.C. along with Minister Wilfred Elrington to hold talks with OAS and Guatemalan officials. Ordinarily it would have been Lisa who would have been the Leader of the Opposition’s representative, like she has been doing since 2008, but not so this time. Lisa is known to be a person with a rather abrasive character. People don’t flock towards her. It is just the opposite, people seem to try and stay very far from her. Running in the opposite direction may be the best thing to do when one sees her and it seems that Johnny is now of that very same view. Run Johnny run is the name of the game in regards to Lisa.

    Ministry of Health receives three vehicles from IDB
    The Salud Mesoamerica 2015 Initiative which is an innovative public/private partnership funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Carlos Slim Institute for Health and the Government of Spain handed over three new 2016 Ford Ranger Pick-Up trucks to the Ministry of Health’s Maternal and Child Health program. The three vehicles have a total estimated value of $120,000 and will be used to aid with outreach activities for preventive interventions at the community level geared at improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. The vehicles will be distributed to the Western and Northern Health Regions for immediate use. The SM 2015 Initiative seeks to reduce health inequity gaps in the Mesoamerican region faced primarily by those living in extreme poverty. The current project is being implemented in the Northern and Western Health Regions with a focus on Maternal and Child Health Services and it is in its second operational phase which started in July 2015 and which will end in June of 2017.

    Belize receives more benefits from PetroCaribe
    Belize, like all the countries benefiting from the PetroCaribe arrangement with Venezuela, have signed on to a special agreement called “FAO Hugo Chavéz Frías”. It’s an action plan funded by PetroCaribe to help eradicate hunger, and bring food security to the chosen communities in these countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. In Belize specifically, 6 communities in Toledo, along the Southern Highway, will be benefiting from this initiative which currently has a population of 6,000. The Ministry of Agriculture says that the thrust of this initiative will allow for the improvement of crops in the south such as corn and beans, which are important crops for these 6 communities. It will increase, hopefully, the level of production, and reduce post-harvest losses of the crops, when it comes to storage.

    Police’s meet and greet continues in Cayo
    The new Commanding Officer for the San Ignacio Police Formation, Anthony Rosado, continues with his predecessor’s custom in the Meet and Greet with the public, and in doing so forming linkages in the fight against crime. Superintendent of Police Anthony Rosado visited the areas of Cristo Rey Road last week in Santa Elena Town to also become familiar with the residents and come to know their concerns. In a report to the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, community policing Officer Ciriaco Medina notes that the community is very happy with the Community Oriented Policing Program COPP in their home “…by seeing the amount of police walking their beats every day. However; the report to the Commissioner of Police informs that the community complains about bushy lots, poor lighting conditions and people using the parks for the purpose of public drinking.

    UDP to set date for Deputy Leadership election
    The United Democratic Party has issued a release in which it states that a date will be set shortly to select a new first deputy. In the release the party explains that “the National Party Council will meet shortly after the March 20 Convention to decide on the procedure and timing for a special election to choose the new First Deputy Party Leader to succeed Hon. Vega.” Via a letter dated March 8, 2016, the UDP was informed by Hon. Vega that he would no longer stand for elections in the Orange Walk North Constituency and also stated that he would not continue as First Deputy Party Leader of the UDP. With the announcement there will now be room for an election and so far Hon. John Saldivar and Hon. Patrick Faber have expressed their interest to run for the position as soon as the date is set. It is noteworthy that while Hon. Gaspar Vega has said he is no longer interested in electoral politics, he will remain a minister in the UDP’s cabinet and will serve out his term as a minister. Additionally, Hon. Vega has made clear that he will continue to “faithfully serve the United Democratic Party and will do the interest of the betterment of the party”. He also “will work arduously with my successor to ensure another victory for the great constituency of Orange Walk North”.

    President Ma’s Statement Upon Arrival in Belize
    It is a great honor and privilege for me to be invited by Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, to lead a delegation to visit Belize. This is my second visit to this beautiful country. On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I would like to extend our warm greetings to the government and people of Belize. Belize is one of the staunchest allies of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Over the years, our two countries have collaborated closely in perfect harmony in a wide array of fields, and stride forward hand in hand in international community. Belize has rendered strong support to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its continuing campaigns for participation in international organizations. I therefore bring with me the heartfelt appreciation from the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize.

    Belize celebrates World Water Day
    Belize is celebrating World Water Day this year by holding a two day summit featuring various organizations that protect, preserve and process H2O. This year’s theme is “Water and Jobs” and representatives of the Ministry of Health, Hydrology Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Public Utilities Commission, Department of the Environment, Belize Water Services Limited, Crystal Water Limited, National Climate Change Office, University of Belize and the Belize Electric Company Limited (BECOL) are making presentations on the importance of Belize’s water sheds and the income generating opportunities they present. Belize’s 16 water sheds are the Rio Hondo River, Belize River, New River, Sibun River, Moho River, Temash River, Sarstoon River, Monkey River, Manatee River, Mullins River, Deep River, Golden Stream River, Rio Grande River, North Stann Creek and South Stann Creek. These rivers drain the Maya Mountains and provide vital nutrients to the Great Barrier Reef System in the Caribbean Sea. “Our magnificent reef system is of immense socio-economic significance to Belize because it provides employment and a source of income to thousands of people living in adjacent communities,” says Sharon Ramclam-Young, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources. “Tourism and agriculture, acknowledged to be the bedrock of the Belize economy, are completely dependent on the care or our [water based] ecosystem.”

    Shanique Meighan charged for obstruction of justice
    There have been numerous times on which the mother of Tyrone and Ellis Meighan appeared on the evening news to complain about police brutalizing her sons. The latest conflict between the Meighans and police have caused the sister to go public as an alleged victim of police brutality. Police raided the Meighans house on Banak Street early Tuesday morning, March 15, as part of their investigation into the murder of Tanika Lemoth. Shanique Meighan claims that police officers barged into their home early Tuesday morning and started to beat her and her brothers with pipes. “As I open dah door, they pull me by my hair; they pull out my two bredda dehn. Dehn next lee bwai weh mi deh deh, they pull them out and they start wah beating and a half with a white pipe.” Meighan claims that after the beating she was denied access to a medical facility so that she could get treatment from a doctor. Instead, she was kept in police custody and dragged to court in the afternoon.

    Robber shoots man in Cayo
    A man from Cayo is glad to be alive after escaping from being seriously hurt by a robber. Henry Gordon 24yrs of Blackman Eddy Village, Cayo District, reported that on Monday 7th March 2016 about 7:30pm he was at the roadside on the George Price Highway in Unitedville Village where he was robbed. He said he was waiting to catch a bus when a young man known to him as Eric Elrington, placed a black pistol to his head and demanded money. Fearing for his life, the Belizean electrician took out his wallet and gave him $600.00 Belize currency, which he had in different denominations; after which he was shot on the right foot. Eric Elrington shot at Henry Gordon again but the gun snapped. Henry Michael Gordon took the opportunity to run, but was shot again on the lower part of his right hand. Members of the San Ignacio Police Formation are now seeking Eric Elrington and the public is being asked to contact the police if they know his whereabouts.

    Raymond Myers pleads guilty to possession of undersize conch
    Fisherman Raymond Myers, 32, who beat a murder charge in 2014, is now in trouble with the law for undersized conch. Early Tuesday morning, the Gang Suppression Unit conducted a search at #37 A West Collect Canal where they found a white cooler with 444 undersized conch inside. Myers was detained and the police department handed him over to the Fisheries Department along with the conch. Myers was taken before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza and was charged with possession of undersized conch. He was unrepresented in court and wasted no time in pleading guilty to the fisheries offense. Myers told the Magistrate that a friend gave him the conch. He begged for leniency saying that he has been buying and selling conch and other fisheries products for a while and this was the first time he has been in trouble.

    Kaya Cattouse wins 27th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic
    The Cycling Federation of Belize sponsored its 27th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic on Sunday 13th March, 2016. The 69 miles event started at Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town and travelled the full length of the George Price Highway into Belize City for the finish at the BTL on Newtown Barracks. The event saw the participation of 6 female cyclists which included the defending champion Alicia Thompson and former champion Kaya Cattouse. At the end of some 4:24:15, it was Kaya Cattouse of C-Ray Team who out sprinted Alicia Thompson at the finish line to regain the garland and the Cross Country Title. Alicia Thompson of the Belize Bank Swoosh finished second also with the time of 4:24:15. Thompson also captured the Queen of the Hills Title. Patricia Chavarria of Team C-Ray who was the real work girl on the road came in third in a time of 4:24:23. Chavarria was followed by Gabrielle Lovell of Digicell 4G Female Team in a time of 4:24:28. Meanwhile, Gina Lovell also of Digicell 4G Female Cycling finished 5th in a time of 4:31:29 and she was followed by Paulita Chavarria of Team C-Ray in a time of 4:49:21.

    Smart Belize Hurricanes maintain lead in Elite Basketball Competition'
    The National Elite Basketball League competition continued on Thursday 10th March, 2016, at the UB Gymnasium in the City of Belize between the visiting Belize City No Limit Team and the host team the Belmopan Bandits. In the game played, the Belmopan Bandits defeated the Belize City No Limit Team by the score of 81-70. The top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Nick Brown with 17 points, 5 rebounds and a steal; Jarrel Velasquez also with 17 points, 3 rebounds and 7 assists and Stephen Williams with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. For the visiting Belize City No Limit Team, the top scorers were Gregory Rudon with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals; Keith Acosta with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Michael Bables also with 13 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 2 steals. On Friday 11 March, 2016, two games were played, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, the Cayo Western Ballaz edged out the visiting Dangriga Warriors by the score of 63-61.

    Belmopan Bandits maintain lead in PLB Closing Season
    The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued over last weekend with three games on the schedule. On Sunday 13th March, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the defending National Football Champions of Belize the Police United blanked the home team Verdes FC by the score of 2-0. The Police United Team got onto the scoreboard when Andres Makin Jr. scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 4th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. That lead was further extended when Carlton Thomas scored the Police United’s 2nd goal of the game in the 18th minute of play to give his team a 2-0 lead. The Police United defence maintained its presence throughout the game and at the end of the long whistle it was rewarded the 2-0 white wash. On Saturday 12th March, two games were played; at the FFB Stadium in the City of Belmopan the Belmopan Bandits blanked the visiting Wagiya FC by the score of 3-0.

    Ladyville Technical High females and Gwen Lizarraga High males won Central Region High School Softball Competition
    The 2015-2016 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition came to an end on Saturday 12th March, 2016, at Rogers Stadium with the Grand Final Game in the Page System played. In the female championship game, Ladyville Technical High School defeated Edward P. Yorke High School by the score of 12-0 to decide the out-come of the championship in four innings. The winning pitcher was Elma Wade and the losing pitcher was Jasany Westby. In the male championship game, Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated St. John’s College by the score of 7-3. The winning pitcher was Devonte Middleton and the losing pitcher was Alwayne Hendy. On Thursday 10th March, in the Female Final Game that was played, Ladyville Technical High School eliminated Wesley College by the score of 16-6 to advance to the Grand Final. The winning pitcher was Elma Wade and the losing pitcher was Shania Pook.

    Ricardo Borja charged for stealing from his boss
    After working for two months, 19-year-old Ricardo Borja’s boss fired and reported him to police on charges of theft. Allegations are that on January 27, Borja dishonestly appropriated the sum of $6,000 which belongs to his boss, Ricky Perrera, 28. Borja appeared in court unrepresented before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Tuesday, March 15, to answer to a single charge of theft. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered bail in the sum of $8,000 plus two sureties of $4,000 each. Perrera told us that Borja was employed with his business for two months, from December 17 to February 17 before he was fired for stealing. Perrera explained to us that Borja was going to his tenants to collect rent on his behalf without permission. Borja then took the money that he collected. This charge is for rent from one tenant.

    Retaliation on a taximan claims life on Tanika Lemoth
    After months of calm in Belize City’s Southside area, the senseless murder of 34 year-old Tanika Lemoth broke the quiet on the predawn hours Sunday, March 13. Lemoth and 3 other persons were shot in a drive-by, but Lemoth suffered the most serious injuries, and she died 10 minutes after being shot. Police investigation is that at around 4:20 on Sunday, Lemoth, 33 year-old Doris Gilharry,, and 34 Hanifa Flowers all charted taxi man Jaime Villanueva to take them to their Belize City homes. They had only just left the Christopher Martin Concert when they caught Villanueva and instructed him to take them home. Flowers told the press that Villanueva appeared very concerned for his safety, was telling them, "I just threw out a well-known gunman out…I don't want any problems, I had to throw him out of my vehicle. I had to physically get out my front seat and throw him out of my vehicle”.

    Mario Trotman lured to his death
    The family 20 year-old Mario Trotman, had the worst possible news delivered to them on Tuesday, March 15, when his body was found dumped in the dyke area. That’s in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. He had been reported missing the day before by his relatives, and after police went searching for him, they found him floating in the canal’s waters with a gunshot injury to the head. At this time, police believe that he was lured near that location by someone he trusted. His killer shot him in the head, and his body was disposed of. Nobody knows exactly why he was murdered in this fashion. The last his family saw of him, he was washing a vehicle belonging his stepfather. One of his best friends came by the house for him. The next thing they realized is that he didn’t come home, and that’s when they reported him missing to police. They became concerned when they heard that he had been killed.

    Axle load survey for better road building
    The Ministry of Works and Transport is currently conducting an axle weight survey specifically targeting heavy construction and heavy transport vehicles. the purpose of the survey is for the ministry to have better information as to the weight of large vehicles which traverse the highways in Belize. The information gathered will be used by engineers to improve designs of highways as well as to improve the performance of maintenance works that are carried out on the highway. This axle load survey will be taking place in Georgeville Village in the Cayo District in front of the Pine Lumber Company from March 15 to the 21. A similar exercise was held in Camalote village also in the Cayo district from the 2nd to the 10th of this month.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Packed weekend of sports action
    This weekend in Premier League of Belize there are several big games scheduled. On Saturday night the Police United FC will travel down south to take on the Placencia Assassins at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village. On Sunday 2 games will be played. In Belize City […]

    Kareem Clarke murder case reaches preliminary inquiry
    The minor charged with the murder of Kremandala journalist Kareem Clarke appeared in the Belize Family Court yesterday, Wednesday, for a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the case would proceed to the Supreme Court. While it was adjourned because the presiding Magistrate was absent […]

    Police organize second “Be Loving and Cease Killing” March
    The Belize Police Department’s largest division, Eastern Division, covers the nation’s largest municipality, and, at least until recently, its crime capital. In the teeth of the murder epidemic in 2015, now-Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster came up with the idea for an initiative […]

    Godfrey Hemsley Murdered; third City murder in a week prompts police to look at curfew
    Before this week, Eastern Division police had reported just two murders in the first two months of 2016, as the rest of the country saw a spike; this was on the heels of an improvement in the latter half of 2015. But as of […]

    BSAG soldier sees burglary charge dropped
    24 year old Jamel Webster, a soldier of the Belize Defence Force assigned to the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG), saw a charge of burglary withdrawn for insufficient evidence today. However, he can be re-arrested and charged with the same offence. Webster is accused of removing a 9-millimeter […]

    14 year old boy is charged for murder of 18 year old Mario Trotman
    A 14 year old male minor, dwarfed by the police officer escorting him, appeared this morning in the Family Court, with attorney Oscar Selgado. He is charged with the murder of 18 year old Mario Trotman, whose body was discovered on Tuesday in the dyke […]

    Taxi man robbed and vehicle stolen near Bullet Tree
    Belizean authorities have reached out to Guatemala’s Civil Police for assistance in locating a stolen taxi that was taken from 61-year-old San Ignacio driver, Albino Itzab yesterday afternoon. The car was reportedly taken by two males and a female after he picked them up […]

    Elderly man dead after being hit by truck in Spanish Lookout
    A notice of intended prosecution has been served to 59-year-old Spanish Lookout resident, Felix Sandoval after his Ford pickup truck fatally injured an elderly man yesterday morning in the Esso Gas Station compound in that community. Sandoval told police that around 11:30 a.m., he […]

    Round-table discussion: Belize Press shut out
    His Excellency the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Ma Ying-jeou, left Belize for Los Angeles today after his short visit to the Jewel began on Wednesday. Its highlight was a happy greeting from the Taiwanese-Belizean community at the International Airport, and a […]

    SUV and Freight truck collide on George Price highway
    A short while ago, there was a very serious accident at mile 11 on the George Price highway involving a Freightline truck and a black Jeep. Police are still on the scene and no death has been reported as yet but the conditions of […]

    Orange Walk Mayor clears up $60,000 embezzlement accusations
    After Facebook posts emerged recently, making bold accusations that Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Kevin Bernard was responsible for $60,000 that went missing from the municipality’s town council, Breaking Belize News sat down with Bernard in an exclusive interview to see if there is […]

    Drug Bust in Corozal Town
    Breaking Belize News has been reliably informed that police in Corozal have made another drug bust. Presently the vehicle, in which the drugs were found, is being escorted to the police station. This is a developing story and more will be posted as details […]


    6 must do activities in Mountain Pine Ridge!
    The mountain pine ridge forest reserve area of Belize covers over 400km squared of land in the Maya Mountains and is the exclusive home of many of our wildlife species and some interesting jungle resorts. 1. Explore the Barton Creek caves: The Barton Creek cave system, one section of a much more extensive limestone cave system in the region is just about 2km long and home to a host of wonders. 2. Swim in the Rio On Pools: A short drive up into the mountains one would happen upon the Rio On Pools, a wide shallow stream cascading over the granite rock formations, forming pools in the deeper crevices and mini waterfalls on the overhangs. 3. Shower under Big rock falls: Downstream from the 1000ft falls lies another visually impressive wonder of a fall. Big rock falls, so named because of the giant granite boulders that barricade the banks and indeed make up the fall itself, is a wonder to behold and an adventurers dream. 4. Sight the 1000ft falls: The 1000ft falls in Belize is as you’d imagine the tallest waterfall in the country and it is quite an impressive sight, especially being taller than any Belizean man-made building by about 90 floors! 5. Scale Caracol Mayan Ruins: The Caracol Mayan Ruins; seeming as though almost balanced atop the peaks of the Mountain Pine Ridge Range is the largest of our sites and is storied to have been quite the local power, on many occasions rivaling and trumping the inhabitants of Tikal, Guatemala to the west. 6. Take in the sights at baldy beacon: Somewhat of an oddity in Belize, Baldy beacon is so named because it has a stark contrast of foliage compared to the rest of the pine ridge area, trees barely grow there and it’s inhabited primarily by thick grass which gives it a bald appearance when seen from above.

    Entering the world of Wildtracks spider monkeys with Kelly
    Months ago, when I decided to explore the depths of my curiosity with wildlife conservation, I knew I needed to look into volunteer opportunities to get my feet wet. As a postgrad, all I could think about was throwing myself into experiences — immediately linking experience with travel. This couldn’t be just any trip, but one that lit a fire under my arse. It was easy to see after some mild scrutiny that Wildtracks was the best possible option. A lot of programs seem to lack affordability and simply put, they just weren’t as interesting. I arrived at Wildtracks and immediately it was a sensory overload. I met over a dozen people who not only had already developed relationships with each other, but with the animals. After my first day, I found myself constantly questioning whether the volunteers were talking about humans, monkeys or manatees (no joke). A couple of days went by and I caught on that many of them had only been there a week or two themselves. I then received my allocations, working with the spider monkeys and two of the pre-release howler monkeys, and in no time I started to feel the flow of things. I had survived the wrath of the mosquitos (I happened to arrive just after the first influx of rain this season) and I was utterly stoked to be there. I had a purpose, a role. My first encounter with the spider monkeys was when Alysha was giving me a tour of the enclosures. I was walking by and all of a sudden one of the spit-fire females, Mel, came barrelling toward me swinging her tail through the wire and grabbing the string of my hooded jacket. She pulled at it, tightening my hood so that I couldn’t see.

    Step by step guide to taking your (small) dog to Belize from the US! (2016 rules)
    Hopefully you have stumbled on this blog after googling how to get your dog into Belize from the US, because it is stressful, complicated, and there is WAY too much information out there to make sense of it. You will feel like you have no idea what you are doing, and that what you are doing is probably wrong. I successfully brought my dog in and out once and just went through the process of taking him back in, and it was pretty painless, so I thought I'd share a step by step guide to make it easier for anyone researching this!

    And So It Begins
    Yesterday marked the official start of our pool project and, boy, was it exciting and slightly crazy. The crew arrived and started staking out the site. When that was done, work began on digging the trenches for the footers. This is being done by hand and is back breaking work. But in spite of this hard labor, all we heard were guys whistling and laughing. Another thing that amazed us is that they were all wearing hard hats, work boots, and reflective vests. If you live in Belize any length of time, you will realize what a novelty this is for a construction crew. While all that was going on, we started getting more materials delivered. First came the block. I think David said we have about 600 pieces. We suspect more will be needed, but this will at least keep the guys busy for the near term. While the block was being off loaded, in came a dump truck with another load of sand.

    Where to get a $5 salad and 3 international adoptions
    While we do have good agriculture, healthy food in Belize can sometimes be tricky. It can be a common thing for both locals and tourists to feel shorted on vegetables when eating out at fast food places on Ambergris Caye. Today I am here to help solve that dilemma, bringing great news of a $5 salad with two choices available. I have been getting them for a while now and I would say totally they’re worth it. In addition to a lettuce based salad and slaw, Tortilleria Feliz also sell a $5 portion of lightly cooked vegetables. They have take-out only and a lunchtime thing. You will find Them on backstreet right beside Waruguma Restaurant (across the street and just north of Super Buy Grocery.) The Tortilleria is also well known for it’s Rotisserie chicken. You can get a whole one for $20 bzd and a half for $10 bzd. It comes with corn tortillas and salsa – I often use the salsa to make bruschetta. I received a note from Dawn L of Saga Humane Society letting me know that three dogs were going to be sent on a journey. Two to the US and one to Canada (and that the day before one had gone to Lexington Kentucky). I know the lengths that Saga goes through to help get dogs internationally adopted to animal loving families.

    International Sourcesizz

    Guatemala y Belice intercambian acusaciones por diferendo
    The Guatemalan version... Las autoridades de Guatemala y Belice intercambiaron acusaciones por la incursión de una embarcación militar del país caribeño en un río en la frontera no demarcada entre ambos países, que mantienen un añejo litigio territorial. El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Guatemala aseguró que el pasado viernes una embarcación militar de Belice ingresó al territorio guatemalteco por el río Sarstún, sin seguir el protocolo establecido. Un día después, las autoridades guatemaltecas establecieron contacto radial con la embarcación beliceña para pedirle que siguiera los protocolos de seguridad y reclamarle que había cortado redes de pescar de un ciudadano guatemalteco. Según la nota oficial, la “comunicación fue respondida con insultos por parte de los tripulantes de la nave beliceña”. En un comunicado, el gobierno de Belice afirmó que se registró “un enfrentamiento” entre las fuerzas de seguridad de ambos países el sábado por la noche en territorio beliceño.

    Four Caribbean prime ministers meet Taiwan president in Belize
    Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou met in Belize on Wednesday with government leaders from four of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the Caribbean, all of whom expressed hope that Ma's successor will continue to push bilateral relations with their countries. Ma arrived in Belize earlier that day on the second stop of his last overseas trip before leaving office in May, and met with Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow. During the meeting, Ma invited Barrow to attend president-elect Tsai Ing-wen's inauguration May 20, when Ma will conclude his maximum two-term tenure as president. In response, Barrow expressed hope that Ma's successor will continue to enhance relations with Belize based on the existing foundation and that the two countries will carry out more exchanges. Taiwan elected Tsai, its first female president, on January 16. During a bilateral meeting with Ma on Wednesday, the prime minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Timothy Harris, and minister of agriculture, Eugene Hamilton, made a commitment to attend the inauguration in May.

    7 Caribbean Countries Ranked in World Happiness Report 2016
    Of the seven Caribbean territories/countries included in the World Happiness Report 2016 Update, Puerto Rico ranked the highest. Overall, 157 territories/countries from across the globe are included in the report released in advance of the United Nations World Happiness Day on March 20th, and Puerto Rico is ranked 15th. The next Caribbean country is Suriname ranked 40th followed by Trinidad & Tobago ranked 43rd. These top three are then followed by Belize ranked 52nd, Jamaica ranked 73rd; the Dominican Republic ranked 89th and Haiti ranked 136th.

    Caribbean to tackle escalating cybercrime with regional approach
    Commonwealth ministers, policymakers and cybersecurity experts are currently gathering in St Lucia for a three-day meeting (16-18 March) to tackle rising cybercrime in the Caribbean. The meeting will provide a platform for participants to address challenges and develop a coordinated regional action plan to prevent cybercrime and improve cybersecurity. This will involve setting up a virtual platform to share expertise and best practice. Those in attendance will include ministers responsible for legal affairs, ICT and National security, attorneys general from the Caribbean and international organisations, such as Interpol, the Council of Europe, FBI and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

    Caribbean tests tsunami warning system
    A tsunami early warning exercise will take place in the countries of the Caribbean Sea on Thursday. The purpose of the test is to identify possible weaknesses in the tsunami and other coastal hazards warning system for the Caribbean and adjacent regions, which was established in 2005 under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO). The exercise will test a double scenario including a major earthquake off the coast of Venezuela and another off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. It will feature fictitious messages sent by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) to the countries taking part in the exercise. Countries can choose to extend the test at the local level by disseminating the alert via sirens or loudspeakers.

    Belize and Guatemala military clash on southern border
    Tensions between Belize and Guatemala at an “all-time high” following a military clash on Saturday (March 12) at the Sarstoon River on the southern Belizean border. A press statement from the Government of Belize Press Office, which was published on Facebook on March 13, says that on Saturday there was a confrontation on the Sarstoon River between the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF). “The GAF approached the Belize’s Forward Operating Base (FOB), though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon. The Belize Forces stood their ground and after some time the GAF withdrew. In the intervening period the BDF Commander General Jones had spoken to an opposite member in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales,” writes the Belize Press Office. The Belizean government said, however, that although the confrontation was resolved peacefully, “it is clear that tension with Guatemala over the Sarstoon and Belize’s insistence on its sovereignty rights in accordance with the 1859 Treaty Demarcation of the river, is at an all-time high”.


  • American Way Magazine 14th Annual Road Warrior Contest in Belize!, 3min.

  • Greater amberjacks, 1/2min.

  • Allie 1/5, 2min. Allie Johnstone, originally from British Columbia, has lived and work on the tropical island of Caye Caulker, Belize for 15 years. She works as a sailing, snorkelling and kayaking guide as well as being one of the islands main Sign Painters; getting from place to place by bicycle with her dog Rémy Martin riding with her. 1/5 in a series about creatives in Central America.

  • Guatemala - Belize Discovery, 7min. Viaggio alla scoperta delle bellezze naturali e archeologiche in Guatemala e Belize dal 26-12-2015 al 10-1-2016.

  • NYFA Documentary Expedition to Belize, 4min. New York Film Academy Students and faculty travel to Belize to shoot short docs about the coral reef degradation and the unique beauty and attributes of the country.

  • Belize's sovereignty being sold out to Guatemala, 3min. The PUP sold us out then. The PUP and the UDP continue to sell us out today to Guatemala!

  • Supa G - Ay Mami & wala wine Belize Punta sound tsapiky toliara (FIDA CYRILLE RUDY DIDI), 4min. Supa G - Ola Ola Punta Belize Sound tsapiky toliara mars 2016

  • Supa G - Ola Ola Punta Belize Sound tsapiky toliara (FIDA CYRILLE RUDY DIDI), 4min. Supa G - Ola Ola Punta Belize Sound tsapiky toliara mars 2016

  • Punta Rebels - The wine Punta Belize Sound tsapiky toliara (FIDA CYRILLE RUDY DIDI), 4min. Punta Rebels - The wine Punta Belize Sound tsapiky toliara mars 2016.

  • FISHING ABOARD FORTUNA San Pedro Belize, 2min. With guest Johnathan and Nikki Gaskin, Midway, Georgia. Captain Victor Lara, on deck Ballyhoo. Thanks for choosing Fortuna Fishing and San Pedro as you vacation destination.

  • THE AQUARIUM HIGHLIGHTS Mar. 13, 2016, 1min. Marine Life Highlights of dive Sunday Mar 13, 2016.

  • A pair of Manatees in Maya Beach Lagoon, 1/2min.

  • Belize PT 1_v1-HD 1080p, 4min. Copa Airlines and BTB

  • Belize 2016, 4min.

  • Belize Team 2016 Report, 60min. A group of nine people from Calvary Chapel of Truckee traveled to Seine Bight, Belize, in February-March 2016 to minister alongside Pastor Jim and Anna Mensie of Calvary Chapel of the Placencia Peninsula. The group shared their experiences at Calvary Chapel of Truckee on March 16, 2016.

  • Mexico and Belize February 2016, 10min. 8 day trip to Mexico and Belize.

  • [Doku Deutsch]Der KnochenJäger: Die Höhle der toten Mayas [E2/4]- Grab im Dschungel von Belize, 46min.

    March 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

    Caye Caulker has a new beach!
    The white sandy beaches that were becoming a thing of the past in Caye Caulker have been revived via a successful beach reclamation project. Over 2,000 linear feet of beach have been restored to La Isla Cariñosa, and since then, tourists have been flocking to the new beach. Officially inaugurated on Saturday, March 12th, the project was well- executed, but a few concerned residents of Caye Caulker believe that the beach will be a temporary one. Attending the inauguration ceremony were Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr, Caye Caulker Village Council Chairman Wayne Miller, representatives from the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and residents of the island. However, a few residents believe that not enough planning was done on the rehabilitation of the beach. According to them, the project was rushed and no sort of proper protective structure was built around the beach in order to prevent erosion from reoccurring. Despite these observations, the local residents committed to take care of the beach and look after its well-being. The project was financed by the BTB along with the Ministry of Tourism. The total investment was $500,000, which also included marketing of the beach.

    2016 Women’s Empowerment Rally: 20000 Strong – Imagine a Belize without Women
    The second annual 20,000 Strong Women’s Rally took place on Friday, March 12th in Belize City, with close to 700 Belizean women coming out to support female empowerment under the theme “20,000 Strong – Imagine a Belize without Women”. While the rally did not obtain its desired number of participants, this year saw a far greater turn out than the 2015 rally. Led by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, the 20,000 Strong Women’s Rally is a great avenue to voice women related issues in hopes of achieving gender equality across the country. Participants gathered at the Memorial Park in Belize City dressed in orange T-shirts for the rally, which started shortly after 9:30AM. From teachers to students, public officers and entrepreneurs, women from all walks of life made it out to show their support to the cause. The rally ended at Marion Jones Stadium where official remarks were delivered. “I am happy to say that this is a much bigger crowd than the last 20,000 strong. Obviously the message got out that the 20,000 strong is a movement, it’s a movement; to create change. Change in our society of how we view women, how we treat our women and that is very important. This struggle is about all of us. This struggle is about the future of your children, the betterment of society and our world,” said Simplis Barrow at the event.

    Confrontation in the Sarstoon: Belize-Guatemala tensions escalate
    While Belizeans were enjoying their weekend and going about their businesses on Saturday, March 12th, a confrontation between the armed forces of Belize and Guatemala was set to unravel at the Sarstoon area in Southern Belize. The Government of Belize (GOB) confirmed the incident via a press release on Sunday, March 13th, stating that it would take the issue to the Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday, March 14th in Washington, USA. According to the press release, the incident arose on Saturday evening, when members of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) were approached by the Guatemalan Navy. They told the BDF that they should not be at the Sarstoon, and that they could only move about the Sarstoon River with Guatemalan permission.

    Peaceful vigil held in honor of Edwin Ixpatac
    The memory of Edwin Ixpatac was honored during a vigil candle walk held in San Pedro Town on Saturday, March 12th. The event was organized by friends and family members of the late Ixpatac who succumbed to injuries sustained from apparent police brutality. A small group of island residents dressed in white and carrying candles gathered at the Central Park where the walk started. Also present at the event were Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. “We at The San Pedro Town Council, we try our best to keep the peace and try working with everybody, but yet remember that it takes every resident to develop the island in a peaceful manner,” said Guerrero. “The Council is trying its best in all angles when it comes to safety but sometimes it goes beyond us.” He took the opportunity to tell all residents that their cooperation with the law is vital when it comes to ensuring the safety of everyone. He ended by offering his condolences to the Ixpatac family and continued to encourage everyone to trust in the local law enforcement and to work together with them in order to deter crime activities.

    Charges yet to be laid on Alida Barrientos de Catzim over the murder of her husband
    According to police investigation, the couple was known to constantly have disputes. Barrientos de Catzim claims that Catzim showed violence against her during these disputes. “Due to the circumstances of what the investigation revealed, we compiled the file and sent it over to the DPP. So far she has directed that no charges be levelled against the wife of the deceased at this time. Domestic matters are always matters of a sensitive nature, but whenever issues of self-defense arise, we must ensure that the file is sent to the DPP and she is the one who decides whether charges will be laid or not while the investigation continues,” explained Regional Commander of the Eastern North Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Dezerie Philips. And while Barrientos de Catzim is out free, she remains under investigation and the key person of interest. Until the investigation concludes, Barriento de Catzim, who is a Guatemalan national, is not to travel out of the country. The couple had two children together and had been living on the island for quite some years. Police have also indicated that the Barrientos de Catzim stabbed her husband in the presence of their 7-year-old son.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Folklore Documentary of Tata Duende Airs in Canada
    Award winning video program producers CMJ Productions II Inc., show video content around the world by broadcasters such as the Discovery networks (US, Canada and International), and have completed two entire seasons of their documentary TV series titled “Boogeymen” that investigates legendary monsters and its history. For the final episode of the second season, CMJ productions II Inc. joined with GrisDismation, Belizean artists, animators and authors, GrissyG and Dismas, to find evidence and document the mysterious and terrifying gnome called Tata Duende, who is said to have strange powers over the jungles and animals of Belize in Central America. The “Boogeymen” TV series, episode 213, "Tata Duende" documentary aired on the Travel and Escape channel in Canada on March 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th 2016. The documentary was filmed in beautiful Belize, Central America and investigations for the Tata Duende was a three day journey filmed in Belize city and the Cayo District where stories and sightings have been reported and told by the residents, historians, and skeptics.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Heavy load of conch and shells
    At the end of Municipal Pier, just off Central Park in San Pedro, Belize. Fishermen arrived early this morning with a heavy load of conch and shells galore.

    The Belize Zoo is calling all schools and organizations in Belize with active reading program for children to take note. Through the wonderful support of Better World Books, we have a supply of nature themed children's books to help empower literacy efforts in Belize. A mixture of storybooks, fun facts, natural history guides, and classroom science guides are available. Quite a number of boxes have already found good homes, but there are more to go! Message us or email [email protected] for more details.

    Conservation genetics in jaguars, pumas, and ocelot
    A Comparative Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Structure in Jaguars (Panthera onca), Pumas (Puma concolor), and Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) in Fragmented Landscapes of a Critical Mesoamerican Linkage Zone. With increasing anthropogenic impact and landscape change, terrestrial carnivore populations are becoming more fragmented. Thus, it is crucial to genetically monitor wild carnivores and quantify changes in genetic diversity and gene flow in response to these threats. This study combined the use of scat detector dogs and molecular scatology to conduct the first genetic study on wild populations of multiple Neotropical felids coexisting across a fragmented landscape in Belize, Central America. We analyzed data from 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci in 1053 scat samples collected from wild jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor), and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis). We assessed levels of genetic diversity, defined potential genetic clusters, and examined gene flow for the three target species on a countrywide scale using a combination of individual- and population-based analyses.

    Earth Hour
    On March 19, 2016 at 8:30 pm, millions of people around the world will turn out their lights to demand action on climate change. Join us. Turn out. Take action. Join us for a Candle Light Vigil commencing at the Central Park to the San Pedro House of Culture. Live music, campfire, storytelling, fire dancer show and refreshments. Turn out your lights for one hour! Have a candle light dinner! Save the Earth!

    Contraband cigarettes and whiskey confiscated
    According to Roger Gomez Heredia of San Benito Peten Guatemala,Guatemalan authorities in the village of Sabanetas Dolores Petén intercepted a tow head truck with license plate C.878 BLH. After a thorough inspection of its container load, they found nine million nine hundred and forty thousand cigarettes and forty eight bottles of contraband whisky originating from Belize. 31 year old Henry Noe Garcia Urizar was arrested and faces criminal charges for the offence and the contraband goods with a value of approximately $2,500,000.00 Belize Dollars were also confiscated.

    Belize Fishing Report: March 6th - March 13th, 2016
    Despite the windy weather our guests were able to accomplish some pretty solid results! There was more wading than normal since the most sheltered areas were very close to shore on west facing flats.

    Seatrade Cruise Global 2016
    with Manuel Heredia Jr.

    Mr. Ma Ying-jeou Welcoming Address
    President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Mr. Ma Ying-jeou's address given at the Welcoming Luncheon held today at the Belize Biltmore Plaza.

    Manatee around Caye Caulker
    Calling on the right authorities, I assume wildlife and conservation in protecting manatees that live behind Caye Caulker. I've anchored in this spot behind the island the last couple years and they're 3 manatees that call this place home. Yesterday I witness about six boats from San Pedro and Caye Caulker chasing after them with engines turned on. I got to admit that some boats were smart enough to anchor outside the hole, whilst others chase them around. I hope maybe the fisheries can try to get a " no wake" sign around the hole to avoid injuries to the endangered mammals.

    Population survey of the Morelet’s crocodile
    FCD seeks to partner with the Crocodile Research Coalition and the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic this year to perform a population survey of the Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in the Chiquibul Forest.

    Have you partcipated in a State Department Exchange Program?
    Did you know that if you participated in a State Department/ U.S. Embassy sponsored exchange program then you are an ALUMNI! Some of these programs include the International Leadership Visitor's Program (IVLP), Youth Ambassadors Program, Humphrey Fellowship, Fulbright, Sports Exchanges, SUSI, Community College Initiative Program, and many others! If you did participate you were chosen to be part of a U.S. Embassy exchange program because you were identified as a future leader of Belize. The time is NOW, let’s get together to discuss how we can help our communities. As a member of the Belize Alumni Association not only will you have the opportunity to use your leadership skills to give back to your community in Belize, but you also will have countless resources available such as the ability to apply for an alumni grant and other opportunities. Check out the link: to get a better idea of what you can accomplish and what other alumni associations around the world have accomplished.

    Channel 7

    UDP and PUP Will Issue Joint Statement on Guatemala
    Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington returned home today after emergency meetings yesterday in Washington with his Guatemalan counterparts. They met under the auspices of the OAS, to discuss the tense confrontation between the Guatemalan Armed Forces and the Belize Defence Force Soldiers who are stationed at the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base. So, how did the meeting go? And, what was the outcome? That’s what we wanted to ask Foreign Minister Elrington when he landed at the PGIA today. But, he flatly refused, saying that both he and the Representative for the PUP, Assad Shoman, would give a joint statement tomorrow. The BDF reports that late on Saturday evening, 8 Guatemalan soldiers approached the BDF soldiers at their base on the Belize side of the Sarstoon. A government release says they “behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner”, insisting that Belize’s military shouldn’t be at the Sarstoon. With the rapid intervention of the General and the Prime Minister, the confrontation ended without incident.

    Presidents Descend on Belize
    Foreign Minister Elrington also had to rush back to Belize to welcome a slew of international guests. 4 heads of government flew into Belize for a flurry of activity. The Prime Ministers of St. Kitts and Nevis, Timothy Harris, and Ralph Gonsalves were the first to arrive at the airport. St. Lucia’s PM Dr. Kenny Anthony, arrived in the afternoon, and they all came to Belize to meet with the outgoing Taiwanese President, Ma Ying-jeou. It’s his second visit to Belize, as he prepares to leave office. Daniel Ortiz was the airport when he arrived:.. That’s the delighted greeting that outgoing Taiwanese President Ma Ying-Jeou was treated to when he landed at the PGIA this morning. Members of the Taiwanese community living in Belize were excited to greet the leader of their native country. Though there was red tape set up to preserve the safety protocols of airport, the President was more than happy to get up close and press flesh with his country men and women who waited for a few hours to see him.

    BDF Remains on High Alert In Sarstoon
    Now back to Belize- Guatemala military relations after Saturday’s frightening flare-up. With the heightened level of tension at the Sarstoon, how are military operations, like the changeover at Cadenas, being managed? Well according to Brigadier General Jones, nothing will change, although they remain on high alert: Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "On the ground we have the soldiers giving conflicting orders that can lead to conflict and that’s the concern that I discussed with the Guatemalan General that we've both been given opposing directives and because of the opposing directives there could be conflict in the area. But as military professionals we want to avoid that. We discussed that there needs to be a definitive solution or a protocol at least until both countries decide what they want to achieve but in the interim and a matter of urgency we need to have a protocol in the Sarstoon between Belize and Guatemala because absence of that there, there could be some serious incident at the Sarstoon area." Emanuel Pech: "One of the things that has been confusing is that Guatemala says that there is a protocol (status quo). What is that they were referring to?"

    Harvest Caye Opening Slated For November
    Harvest Caye, it was supposed to open in March of this year, but delays in construction pushed that date back. And now, it has been announced that the first call to the Harvest Caye Cruise Port will be on November 15, 2016, and there will be four calls per week. Norwegian made the announcement at a cruise industry event called Seatrade Cruise Global – the world’s largest cruise industry event. Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia and the Tourism Director Karen Bevans, were there for the announcement. According to a press release, Senior Vice President of Destination and Port Operations, Colin Murphy boasted that his company had used up to 200 Belizeans on a regular basis during construction, and that after they start up, they will employ around four to five hundred persons. The island will feature a seven acre beach, a 15,000 square foot pool, 15 canopy pool cabanas a 130 ft. tall Flighthouse for zip lining and free fall jumps. The release adds that to further conservations efforts, 10,000 new mangroves have been planted throughout the island.

    See Yah Vega! The Party Moving on
    Who will be the next Deputy Party Leader of the UDP? That is the question on everyone’s mind after Gaspar Vega resigned a week ago. As we have reported, one of the reasons Vega stepped down is because he felt disrespected after he was stripped as the Minister of Natural Resources. Now regardless of the chatter or speculation surrounding Vega’s abrupt decision, the reality is: Vega is gone and a new Deputy Party leader will be elected. Today at another event we spoke with aspiring Deputy Party Leader/DPL Patrick Faber and he said the same thing – sure Vega will be missed but the party must move on. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "The intention of Mr. Vega to say that he is not any longer pursuing the first deputy leadership position did catch us a bit by surprise; but as you know we're a mass party, we are the most successful party in this country since certainly Independence and so we continue. We're not short of leaders in our party contrary to what the opposition might want to tell you and so where Mr. Vega puts it down there's other of us who want to pick it up."

    Faber: Not Backing down from DPL Post This Time Around
    And Faber is certainly one who wants to ‘pick it up’ and become the new UDP’s Deputy Party Leader. He told us today that he is best suited for this position and that his record speaks for itself. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "Many have said that the work that I have done here in the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports has been very successful and so it is on that premise; of course I also have a record in terms of serving the party as party chairman and I did a lot of organizational work so that there can be no question about my background, my suitability if you will for this position and I look forward to a great challenge with whoever decided to put their name in that hat when it is called."

    Faber Unfazed By “Winchy’s” Candidacy
    But the road to the UDP’s number two seat is not that straightforward. Long – time second Deputy Erwin Contreras is reportedly interested in the post. And While Faber talks about his record in the Ministry of Education, Contreras has his own in the UDP - serving as 2 nd Deputy for over a decade. We asked Faber if this presents any concerns for him. He said no, but conceded that it does raise the question of ethnicity. Courtney Weatherburne: "Dynamics have changed in terms of Erwin Contreras. He has expressed his interest in this position, given that he is the second deputy; he has experience, seniority as well. Does that present somewhat of a threat for you?" Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "Well I wouldn't say a threat but I would that if Mr. Contreras enters the race the age old argument of course has been pulled out before comes a factor. Mr. Saldivar and I are both of Creole descent if you will and Mr. Contreras is a Hispanic and so as people know in Belize we are still not quite at that stage where it doesn't matter what your skin colour is. And so we have traditionally in the UDP try to balance the power, both ethnically and geographically and so yes his entrance would put that as a factor in the convention."

    Faber says : "If I Iose, no hard feelings"
    Now it is that same balance in ethnicity in the UDP that dictated the outcome of the 2013 race for the FIRST Deputy Party Leader Post. You all may remember that Faber tried to unseat Gaspar Vega in 2013 but lost. Another important element to that story is that Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced publicly that he did not support Faber. Now, how confident is Faber this time around that he will get the Prime Minister’s support and come out victorious as the new DPL? Well he told us he is very confident but that if he doesn’t win, he will accept that too and move on. "I turn 38 on Monday. I am a very young man, in fact I continue to be one of the youngest in the Cabinet and I've been the youngest up until Hugo Patt came actually and so I am not contemplating to lose as you pointed out so rightly; but if it is not my time for it to happen and if the people of the party given the mechanism that we have right now say Faber it’s not your time, then it’s not my time.

    General: No Politics On River
    So tomorrow, for the first time in a very long while – we expect a joint statement on the Belize Guatemala issue from Foreign Minister Elrington and Opposition Representative Assad Shoman. That is what Elrington told us would be forthcoming but there has been no further confirmation. Still, it sounds about right to General Jones, whose soldiers are on the frontline. He says politicizing a situation like this does more harm than good. "I had a meeting with the leader of the opposition Eamon Courtney, it was in regards to the incident that took place in the Sarstoon Saturday. So I discussed the details with him, most of it is sensitive that I am not going to disclose but the important thing is I was happy that he came for the meeting because it shows that the country is taking a nonpartisan approach. The best way forward for we with the issue with Guatemala is to unite as a country and for the political parties to unit as a team and then come up with a strategy to decide what Belize wants, what we would like to achieve at the end and then work out a road map on how to reach there and to tackle the issue with Guatemala head but from a national perspective and not from a political or partisan perspective."

    BDF Intel Report Reveals History of Aggression On Sarstoon
    Yesterday, we showed you the first half our extensive look into a internal report from the Belize Defence Force. It’s a threat assessment put together in October 2015, to compile hostile encounters which happened as far back as 2006. Where we left off last night is at 2007, when the then commander of the BDF, realizing the dangers of leaving the Sarstoon encounters unaddressed, engaged his Guatemalan counterpart. They signed a Gentleman’s Agreement on how the militaries of the 2 countries would conduct themselves in the Sarstoon. This agreement took effect in June 11, 2007, and stipulated that both approaches of the River, the Northern and Southern Channels, would be used by the BDF. The Guat Armed Forces would also conduct a joint patrol with BDF soldiers as a confidence building measure for the people living in the area. Both sides agreed additionally that they would share intelligence of any illegal activities spotted in the Sarstoon area. But most importantly, it was agreed that there would be no more "blocking of the Sarstoon or belligerent actions"

    Sargassum Steals Sagicor Challenge
    5 schools across the country participated in this year’s Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. The schools presented 12 projects and they were all on display in the King’s Room at the Princess Hotel. To some, this event might look like just another exhibit – another educational activity for students. But coordinator Marlin Chin says that’s not so, these innovations can contribute to our survival. Marlin Chin - Communication Manager, Sagicor: "The more exciting part of this year's challenge would be the recognition in terms of the prize structure. We've increased in terms of the types of prizes, we've gone very much digital age; so it’s a lot of digital type prizes but more importantly we are recognising entrepreneurship as one of the prizes. You would have heard the minister just quoted and appreciated that we are recognising entrepreneurship in these programmes. It also reinforced the need for the call to the Chambre of Commerce and its members to fund some of these projects and bring them to fruition. It's really through an investment in our youth and ensuring that our youth ensures our future and that would be through the discipline of stem; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, ensuring as we highlighted this morning the need for our own sustainable future. Impacts like climate change are having a negative impact on our ability to survive. And so Sagicor saw it fit to invest in a programme like the Sagicor visionary challenge."

    Law Enforcement To Nevada For 125 Mile Relay
    The Belize Protectors! That is what they call themselves. A team of 25 athletes, who are also law enforcement personnel, who will be competing this weekend in the B2V footrace- a one hundred and twenty five mile relay from Baker City, in Oregon USA, to Las Vegas Nevada. After months of strenuous training, the Belize protectors- made up of personnel from the BDF, Coast Guard, Police Department, and the Customs Department- will travel to Las Vegas today to settle in, before the big race on the weekend. CEO in the Ministry of National Security Col. George Lovell, heads the delegation to Las Vegas as the chairman of the team committee. The Belize Protectors Committee had earmarked 100 thousand dollars to fund this trip, but unfortunately they fell short of 27 thousand dollars. However the committee told us that their fundraising efforts continue. The team left for Cancun this evening and will then board a connecting flight to Las Vegas. The race begins on Saturday March 19th.

    Ruperto Not Bitter At Failed Exec. Coup
    A few weeks ago we told you about the internal power struggle within the Football Federation of Belize. Three of the executive members - Cruz Gamez, Marlon Kuylen, and Sergio Chuc tried to have president Ruperto Vicente suspended. They accused him of making poor administrative decisions that were not in the best interest of the sport and of manipulating the elections of the district associations- a plot to ensure his re-election. If this sounds like déjà vu, it is because former President Dr. Bertie Chimilio went down under these same accusations. But, not so easy with Vicente. The attempt to suspend him failed due to a technicality. In an interview with him yesterday he told us that he holds no grudges, against these three executive members, but that, at the same time, he doesn't blame them for wanting to be like him- making an allusion to the belief that those three execs were after his president's seat. Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB: "I never glory in people's failure; I don't take pride in that. I continue to be the garden of football in this country and I will not allow myself to be distracted. It's gone and the football work continues and I must be pay attention to that. I cannot allow myself to be distracted so I hold nothing against anybody because that is not my responsibility. I believe that every time we have an experience, it is because god wants us to go through this and god is teaching me a lesson. God allows it so that I could become a better person in life and more specifically for football and for that I am very grateful."

    Christie Case Correction
    Last night on the news we told you about the defence testimony accused murderer Osmar Sabido, the man who is currently on trial for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend death in Orange Walk Town, back in 2011. He told the court that he did not kill her; she attacked him, and in the process of trying to fend off the knife she was trying to stab him with, she fatally injured herself in their struggle. We told you about the testimony of prosecution witness, Dr. Mario Estradabran. We reported that he referred to the fatal injury, which punctured to her heart and lung, as a defensive wound. That’s an error. He was referring to another injury, the one she suffered to her thumb, not the injury to the chest. The case continues tomorrow, where Sabido will be cross-examined, and after that, both the prosecution and the defence will wrap up their cases.

    An Association for Museums
    28 collectors, and representatives of local museums took part today in a full day workshop at the Government House in Belize City. They want to discuss the establishment of an association. And why an association? Well for starters, the association creates an avenue for sourcing funds as a body instead of small individual museums. As it currently stands, one of the biggest challenges these small museum owners face is the lack of funding. Here’s what they spoke about today: 18 different museums and independent collectors are involved in the startup of the association. Organizers hope to see the first association of museums established by June 2016.

    Channel 5

    Taiwanese President Arrives in Belize on Farewell Tour
    Outgoing Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou touched down in Belize shortly before eleven o’clock this morning, following the arrivals of the prime ministers of St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Vincent.  [...]

    B.D.F. Commander Says Sarstoon Problem is Result of Inconsistent Political Directives
    Following the National Security Meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow credited the defusing of the situation at the Sarstoon on Sunday to Brigadier-General David Jones – more specifically, the [...]

    Will B.D.F. Changeover at Cadenas Continue Unimpeded?
    The Belize Defense Force is shortly due to make its weekly shift-change run to Cadenas via the Sarstoon, or is it? Has that strongly worded note from the Guatemalan Foreign [...]

    5 Years Later, Is Belize Retrogressing in Sarstoon?
    Just a few years ago, Belizeans were able to use the Sarstoon and there was no question that half of that meandering river was ours. Today, Guatemalans say the entire [...]

    Brigadier General Jones Meet with Oppossition Following Latest Sarstoon Incident
    In tri-lateral meetings conducted at OAS headquarters in Washington DC on Tuesday, the Opposition was represented by former Foreign Minister Assad Shoman. Even in its release issued over the weekend, [...]

    Minister of Education Weighs in on Sarstoon Flare Up
    One government official who is known not to mince words is Minister of Education Patrick Faber. He weighed in on the Sarstoon incident, telling the media today that Belizeans should [...]

    What’s the Pulse of the People on Belize/Guatemala Situation?
    In light of the recent flare up at the Sarstoon River, we took to the streets of Belize City to get public opinion on the incident, as well as the [...]

    Aspiring Deputy Leader John Saldivar Comments on Vega’s Departure
    The unanticipated letter of resignation from Deputy Party Leader Gaspar Vega, relinquishing his post as second-in-command of the ruling United Democratic Party, has created a leadership vacuum within the hierarchy [...]

    …What Does Patrick Faber Think?
    The resignation of Vega also came as a surprise to Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, who contested the deputy leadership back in 2013, but lost to Vega. Faber says despite [...]

    Patrick Faber – No Indications of Discontent Followed Gapi’s Change of Portfolio
    It is highly speculated that Vega stepped down after the portfolio for the Ministry of Natural Resources was given to an unelected minister, Godwin Hulse. But was this what triggered [...]

    Patrick Faber’s Gives His Two Cents on U.D.P. Leadership
    Collet Area Rep Patrick Faber has not been bashful about his intent to become U.D.P. party leader. He believes that acquiring deputy party leadership is a stepping stone to his [...]

    Did a Minor Kill Mario Trotman?
    There were two murders in three days in Belize City. A thirty-four-year-old mother of two teenage boys was killed as she traveled in a taxi with friends on Faber’s Road. [...]

    Police Officers Meet and Greet in North Creek
    Earlier in the newscast, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams gave an update on the recent homicides in Belize City. News Five caught up with him during the department’s weekly [...]

    High School Students Take on Sagicor Visionaries Challenge
    The biennial Sagicor Visionaries Challenge took place today at the Ramada Belize City Princess. A dozen entries were submitted by five schools from across Belize District. The projects focus innovative [...]

    Belize Protectors are off to Vegas for Challenge Cup Relay
    Twenty-five members of Belize’s armed forces are heading to Las Vegas, Nevada where twenty of them will participate in the Challenge Cup Relay – Baker to Vegas Race. The one [...]

    C-Wills Cleans Up at Garifuna Music Awards
    Garifuna parandero C-Wills has won a total of five awards at the recently held Garifuna Music Awards in New York.  The ceremony was held on Saturday at the Hostos Center [...]


    Parents Share Classrooms For Family Day
    For many years the everyday reality of working parents and their children has been captured in notions of ‘quality time’ versus ‘quantity time’. On one hand it is suggested that what families need is ‘more time’ for parents to spend together with their children and less time working. The challenge though is, how to juggle our family responsibilities with our highly demanding jobs. The Ranchito Government School in the Corozal District seem to have found a solution to this problem, by organizing a Family Day. Sergio Magana: “Today is an activity that was planned through the Principal and we had Mrs. Rahburn that was assigned to the school and planned to have a family fun day where parents, students and teachers would do things together so that they can bond with the parents and teachers and the staff and the children. The objective for today is to bring in the parents as stakeholders in their children’s education so we want them to be much more involve and to be aware of what is happening here at school and so in the end we want to have much more community participation, parents participation so that they would feel that they are part of the school and the school being part of the community.”

    President Of Taiwan Arrives In Belize
    The President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Ma Ying-Jeou, today arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. His visit is part of a seven-day farewell tour with high-ranking officers from Taiwan. The President is in Belize for a two-day state visit, that will include meetings with the Caribbean and Central American leaders including the Prime Ministers of St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony; St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; and St. Kitts and Nevis, Honorable Timothy Harris. President Ma was greeted by Belize’s executive leader, Governor-General Sir Colville Young, and a cheering band from the Taiwanese community. Taiwanese locals Jason Chang and Orin Wu, the latter of whom publishes the Chinese Journal for the community here and in Taiwan, spoke about their excitement for President Ma’s visit to Belize, and being able to have met him: During his speech at the welcome ceremony that took place at the airport, President Ma took the time out to thank the people of the Caribbean for their support following the February 6 earthquake in the South of Taiwan. He also spoke of exchanging views on matters of mutual concern and renewing friendships with Belize and the leaders from the Eastern Caribbean, as well as leaders of the Taiwanese Community in Belize. He stated, quote, “In doing so, my delegation and I can see for ourselves first-hand the outcomes and achievement of our viable diplomacy, further consolidate the partnership and friendship between our respective allies, and meet face-to-face with our diplomats and their families who have made tremendous contributions to our bilateral relations with the Caribbean allies.” End quote.

    Truck Carrying Contraband Cigarettes Confiscated In Guatemala
    A report issued by the Guatemalan news “Agencia Guatemalteca de Noticias” states that Guatemalan police intercepted a truck yesterday near the village of Poptun in the town of Peten, Guatemala, carrying a total of nine million nine hundred and forty cigarettes and 48 bottles of Whiskey that were believed to have been coming from Belize. The truck that was being driven at the time by 31 year old Guatemalan National, Henry Noe Garcia Urizar. The contraband goods were confiscated by Guatemalan police.

    Race For UDP First Deputy Leader Is On
    A few days ago via a letter sent to the Party Secretariat and copied to the Prime Minister of Belize, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega informed the United Democratic Party that he would not seek re-election as the Area Representative for Orange Walk North in the next General Elections. In his letter Vega also stated that he did not want to be endorsed as the First Deputy Leader of the party in the upcoming convention set for Sunday March 20. Vegas early retirement from politics took many by surprise and while there are many speculations surrounding his decision, they remain as that…just speculations since Vega nor the Prime Minister Dean Barrow has spoken about issue. But while the two main men of the UDP are not talking, there are those in the party who are not keeping quite. And one of those persons is Minister of Education Patrick Faber. CTV3 News was the first to speak to Faber on the issue of Vega’s retirement last week Friday during the inauguration of a new school building at the Belize High School of Agriculture.

    Farber Blames BTV For Increase Aggressiveness
    There is no doubt that the latest encounter between Guatemalan armed forces and Belizean Authorities has given much to talk about, with several leaders and organizations voicing their opinion on the situation including Prime Minister Dean Barrow who attributed the recent hostility from the Guatemalans to visits from the Belize Territorial Volunteers.But yesterday we told you about a leaked confidential report from the Belize Defense Force that shows “military-to-military” tension at the Sarstoon started flaring up over a decade ago and it is not just recently that the Guatemalan Army has insisted that the BDF should not be on the Sarstoon River.Today Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Patrick Faber, shared his input on the situation saying that he believes that there are proper ways to advance in the territorial dispute with Guatemala and that includes the meeting in Washington that took place yesterday.During the interview Faber also concurred with Prime Minister Barrow in saying that the Belize Territorial Volunteers carry much of the blame when it comes to the aggressions suffered by the BDF as their excursions to the Sarstoon does nothing but aggravate the tension between both countries.

    Cabinet Discusses Vega's Retirement
    At the top of the newscast you heard Minister of Education Patrick Faber expand on his interest for the position of First Deputy Leader of the UDP. With Honorable Gaspar Vega out of the way the UDP is looking at electing a new First Deputy Leader. But what prompted Vega to retire from politics? Today Faber told us that while Vegas retirement was discussed in Cabinet on Tuesday, the three term Area Representative did not go into much detail about the decision he took. Honorable Patrick Faber- Minister Education Youth and Sports “It was just a matter of him, well firstly the Prime Minister stating the position and of course telling us how we would move forward and then of course Mr. Vega had a chance to address the Cabinet and told us of his position and didn’t get too much into the details other than he thought as I said before that he should give the position to a person who of course better be able to lead the party...


    VIP to PM; stop blaming patriotic Belizeans for Guatemalan actions
    We haven’t heard from Vision Inspired by the People for quite a while, as the third party did not even participate in the last General elections. However, the VIP issued a statement today on the illegal incursion into Belize by the Guatemalan armed forces. According to the VIP, “It is abundantly c...

    New beach inaugurated in Caye Caulker
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Caye Caulker Village Council on Saturday afternoon inaugurated new public beaches on the island as part of the Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development of Caye Caulker. The Board says that a total of 1,883 linear feet of the beach was reclaimed in areas betw...

    Ground Breaking Ceremony at Kuxlin Ha Government School
    Today, Tuesday March the 15th, a ground breaking ceremony was held at Kuxlin Ha Government School. The school is located in the Maya Mopan Area of Belmopan and is one of the largest growing primary schools in the community. At the ground breaking ceremony were Hon John Saldivar, Minister of National...

    Missing youth found dead
    A missing Belize City youth was found dead just after ten this morning behind the Fabers’ Road Extension, in the “Dike” area, so-called as the home of the sewers built by Belize Water Services Limited (BWS). We get the details from Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Easter...

    Dean Parks and Son Shot
    A Belize man and his 13 year old son are the latest victims of gun violence in the old capital. Forty seven year old Dean Parks and his son were at a residence on Ebony Street when gunfire was heard. Parks was shot once to the right side of the jaw and once to the right shoulder and his son was also...

    Forward Operating Base construction remains on target
    With the recent aggression of the Guatemalan Armed Forces near the Forward Operating Base under Construction in the Sarstoon area, questions about the progress of that construction and the deadline goals have been raised. Today, the media caught up with Minister of National Security John Saldivar wh...

    Wil Mehia responds to PM’s comments about cause of Guatemalan aggression
    On Monday in an interview with the Media, PM Barrow says that he is absolutely convinced that it is Belizeans visiting the Sarstoon area that precipitated Saturday’s standoff between the GAF and the BDF. We caught up with Wil Mehia via phone today for his response to the PM’s comments after th...

    Eyes on Gaspar Vega’s soon to be vacant post
    Hon. Gaspar Vega, last Tuesday March 8th, tendered his resignation from the post of 1st Deputy Party Leader for the UDP, saying that he has no intentions to pursue another term of office after he finishes serving this current term. In light of that decision, Vega says he decided to step down and wi...


    Tsunami warning simulation: are Belize and the rest of the Caribbean up to the mark?
    The 7.1 magnitude earthquake of May 2009 which struck off the coast of Honduras sparked a tsunami alert for Belize and neighboring countries. Thankfully, we were spared! Tsunamis can be just as devastating, or even more devastating, than the earthquakes which trigger them, and the Caribbean region wants to make sure that it is ready should a tsunami threat emerge again in 2016. Chief Meteorological Officer, Dennis Gonguez, told Amandala that Belize will participate in a region-wide test this Thursday, March 17, to ensure that the channels via which regional alerts and bulletins are issued to individual countries are up to the mark. The exercise, to be undertaken under the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS), under the auspices of the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Caribbean Regional Stakeholders (CEPREDENAC, CDEMA, and EMIZ) will firstly simulate response to an 8.4 magnitude earthquake off Venezuela, in the southern Caribbean Sea.

    Belize security forces ready for relay race from California to Las Vegas
    A contingency of Belize security forces, led by Belize Defence Force Brigadier General, David Jones, visited St. John’s Cathedral this morning for a special service before they depart the country on Wednesday, March 16, to participate in a 120-mile California to Las Vegas marathon relay race in the United States, where they will complete with security forces from other jurisdictions. The 25-member team of runners, representing the different branches of Belize’s security forces — the BDF, Belize Police Department, and the Belize Coast Guard, has been under intensive training since Saturday, January 16, when they ran the 8-mile qualifying time trial race. This morning, General Jones explained to Amandala that the Belize team of runners, who are being coached by marathon runner Ian Gray, went to St. John’s Church so that they could pray together, with the folks who are supporting the team. General Jones said that on Wednesday, the team will travel by bus to Cancun, Mexico, and the following morning they will fly to Los Angeles, California.

    The Reporter

    Taiwanese President visits Belize
    Taiwanese President, Ma Ying-Jeou arrived in Belize at 10:50 this morning on an official visit. President Ma is visiting Belize as part of a farewell tour. The first country he visited was Guatemala, and now Belize. When he departs on Thursday, President Ma’s last stop will be the US. The Reporter will have more details on the visit of President Ma in our printed edition on Thursday.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Group of 4 see sex charges dropped by DPP
    Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Cheryl-Lynn Vidal has directed the courts to withdraw charges of unlawful sexual intercourse against 4 males, 3 minors and an adult male identified as 22 year old Wilfred Ramirez. The group of four were accused of all having sexual […]

    Five beat burglary charge
    For want of prosecution, five Belize City residents including a female teenager saw charges of burglary dating back to June of 2015 dropped this morning. Released are 30 year old Brandon Errol Smith, aka “Battery;” 30 year old Devon Delon Smith, a Security Officer; […]

    Hopkins parandero makes history!
    Belizean paranda artist Clayton “C-Wills” Williams has swept five top awards at the Garifuna Music Awards held over the weekend in the Bronx, New York City, New York. Williams’ debut album “Garifuna Nuguya” took top honors for Song of the Year, Album of the […]

    Harvest Caye opens in November
    At an event abroad, representatives of Belize’s tourism industry and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) jointly announced plans for the first call to Harvest Caye off Placencia. Beginning on November 15, 2016, the cruise port at the caye will receive 4 calls per week. President […]

    Early Childhood Education Expo in Orange Walk
    Activities continue across the country for Child Stimulation Month as the Ministry of Education continues to promote early childhood education nationwide. Part of the activities this week include an education expo held across the country. Hector Moralez, officer in charge of Early Childhood Education […]

    Taiwan President Ma, Eastern Caribbean leaders in Belize
    Outgoing President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Ma Ying-jeou, has arrived in Belize for a two-day state visit. He was greeted by Governor General Sir Colville Young and a band of his countrymen this morning at the Philip Goldson International Airport, […]

    Early childhood expo held in Belize City
    BTL Park in Belize City played host to an Early Childhood Expo presented by that department of the Ministry of Education. Acting Manager, Nadira Ross, described the event as bringing the pre-school classroom to the outdoors, featuring displays of music, language, math and other […]

    Dry weather expected to continue
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with little or no rainfall expected. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots with occasional higher gusts and the sea state will be moderate […]

    Progresso FC beats Bandits
    Last night inside the Isidoro Beaton Stadium fans from all over the country gathered to watch the game between the Belmopan Bandits and Progresso FC from Honduras. The Bandits dominated the first half of the match, trying to score against goalkeeper Woodrow West, formerly […]


    What A Glorious March Day on Ambergris Caye. Period.
    Yesterday’s post got a bit heavier than expected so today I’ll just keep it to the GLORIOUS WEATHER. Beautiful sparkly, breezy but not too breezy, low seaweed/sargasso perfection. The view through San Pedro’s largest church – the Roman Catholic Church on Front Street. I was having lunch at Fido’s and as I cut through Central Park, I saw the fishermen out on the municipal pier. Back from conch fishing (the season ends June 1st – but often earlier if the quota is filled) and displaying the empty shells. Can’t walk right past that. And then just the gorgeous shells. I asked where they were finding these big conch. I know that the shores of Ambergris Caye are pretty much (sadly) picked clean. They go out to Turneffe Atoll and beyond. The entrance from the beach to Fido’s…a look out at their dock AND where I will be subwinging tomorrow.

    Trading a 90-Mile Commute for a Bike Ride in Belize
    by Tamara Sniffin. Even after living on Ambergris Caye in Belize for a dozen years, it still sounds like magic to my ears when I tell people my home is a tropical island. From the Caribbean coast and our stunning Meso-American Barrier Reef, to the mountains, Maya sites, and charming communities of the mainland…we have the best of worlds. When we grow tired of white, sandy-beach views we head to the jungle to hang out with the monkeys. For around $100 a night you can stay in a quaint jungle cottage with meals included, or forget the budget and splurge at a posh resort that caters to your every need. My husband, Ron, shares my passion for Belize and when—in 2004—we had the opportunity to purchase the island newspaper, The San Pedro Sun, we both knew this was our chance to live in a country we had grown to love. We pulled up stakes in Wyoming and permanently moved to San Pedro town with our teenage son. Although we both enjoyed our busy jobs—Ron as a PR and communications director for a national teachers union, and myself a campaign manager for a national health organization—we knew that there was more to life than the comforts of home. Living in the snow had lost its appeal. We quit our well-paying professions, rented our family home, held several garage sales, bought a house sight-unseen on the island and—with twelve trunks, our golden retriever, and a cat—we moved to the island in less than three months.

    Paddleboarding, Kayaking, and a Perfect Income in Belize
    Sue and Carlos Vasquez grew up in the harsh winters of Chicago and Wisconsin…and, eventually, they had enough of them. When their son reached adulthood, and the economy went south in the U.S., they decided to head south themselves. That was five years ago and they have no regrets about making their new home in Belize. ”We dreamed for years about living in the Caribbean. We pinch ourselves every day that we are actually doing it,” says Sue. “I walk out my front door every morning to watch the sunrise over the Caribbean Sea. I couldn’t imagine a better way to start my day.” Sue, 49, and Carlos, 50, have taken up paddleboarding and kayaking in their tropical, paradise home. “In a typical week I find myself on the paddleboard several times for a 15 minute paddle out to Placencia Caye. I get to snorkel among beautiful coral and tropical fish,” says Sue, who recently found herself paddleboarding next to a manatee. Last week, they posted pictures online of dolphins near their shore. When they first landed in Belize, Sue and Carlos stayed in Ambergris Caye, an island in northern Belize that is very popular with expats. They found it an easy place to network. Their dream job was to manage a beachfront resort and, after spending their first year managing a pool supply store, they found the opportunity they were looking for. They relocated to Placencia, further south, to manage a thriving, beachfront, boutique resort.

    International Sourcesizz

    World Happiness Report 2016 update shows significantly more inequality in Caribbean
    The World Happiness Report 2016 Update, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, was released on Wednesday in Rome in advance of UN World Happiness Day, March 20, and shows that two regions – the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America and Caribbean – have significantly more inequality of life assessments within their regions than is true for the world population as a whole. The widespread interest in the World Happiness Reports, of which this is the fourth, reflects growing global interest in using happiness and subjective well-being as primary indicators of the quality of human development. Because of this growing interest, many governments, communities and organizations are using happiness data, and the results of subjective well-being research, to enable policies that support better lives. In the Ranking of Happiness 2013-2015, Latin and Central American countries in the region are generally ranked higher than English-speaking island nations, the top one being Trinidad and Tobago at number 43:

    Norwegian's port in Belize to have ziplines, freefall jump
    Norwegian Cruise Line divulged details of its upgraded Harvest Caye private port, scheduled to open in Belize in mid-November. The port will have a pier where Norwegian ships can tie up, a seven-acre sand beach, a marina that will serve as a departure point for excursions, and a 130-foot-tall lighthouse structure that will anchor a pair of ziplines, a freefall jump attraction and several observation platforms. “We think this is going to be a very, very popular feature," Norwegian President Andy Stuart said in a presentation at the Seatrade Cruise Global conference here. In addition to the beach, there will be a 15,000-square-foot pool with a swim-up bar, cascading waterfall and canopy style cabanas available for rent. There will also be 11 deluxe air-conditioned beachfront cabanas that will have hammocks, private bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers and other premium features. Pricing has not been decided, Stuart said.

    Harvest Caye to Feature Cruise Ship Pier, Seven-Acre Beach, Adventure Activities & More
    Norwegian Cruise Line's new private island port in Belize, Harvest Caye, will have its own cruise ship port, making it the only port in the Central American country where passengers will walk off the ship rather than tender to land. The port will also boast a seven-acre sand beach, 15,000-square-foot pool, zip lining, suspensions bridges and free fall jumps, and five dining and beverage venues. Passengers seeking an exclusive beach experience can rent one of the Harvest Caye's 11 beach villas, each of which can accommodate up to 10 people. The villas are equipped with air conditioning, a dedicated lounge and dining room, a private bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers, hammocks and exclusive dining and beverage options with dedicated concierge service so passengers never have to leave the beach to get food or a drink. For those who prefer pool fun to beach fun, Harvest Caye will offer a 15,000-square-foot pool featuring swim-up bar with stools and lounge tables in the water. The pool will be encircled by lounge chairs and umbrellas, along with 15 canopy pool cabanas available for rent. In the cabanas, you'll find upscale lounge furniture, privacy drapes and beverage service.

    New threat to financial services
    The financial services sector faces a new threat that could thwart the island’s economic development and impact negatively on the local banking sector if quick action is not taken to address it. Banks in the region are beginning to lose access to correspondent banks abroad, after they have been warned that their systems and procedures regarding money laundering were inadequate, inappropriate and much too risky. A correspondent bank is a financial institution that conducts business transactions, accept deposits and gathers documents on behalf of another financial institution. Local officials explain that relatively new international regulations intended to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism required international banks to be satisfied that their correspondent banks in other countries were undertaking the relevant due diligence and that they knew their customers. Participating in the debate on the Appropriations Bill 2016 in the House of Assembly this week former Prime Minister Owen Arthur described the issue as “a very, very serious matter” that, if not fended off, could threaten the future of the Barbados economy. “I am not going to point fingers at anybody, but the Caribbean will not escape. It is the image that the Caribbean is soft on perpetrators of financial crimes. We have some interesting and well-written legislation in respect of combating money laundering and combating financial crime,” Arthur said.

    Tracking The Rise And Plummet Of Shyne 15 Years After His Conviction
    As hip-hop moves forward, significant markers of its past become more clear. The day Dr. Dre heard Eminem’s demo in Jimmy Iovine’s garage, Ol’ Dirty Bastard running from the law for a month, and, obviously, the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. are pretty easy to pinpoint. On the flipside, there are plenty of lesser known moments that could’ve completely changed hip-hop’s trajectory if they’d gone the other way, such as Method Man almost being shot in a drive-by and Kanye checking his ego and not nixing the best verse on all of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Nicki Minaj on “Monster.” But a moment that’s been covered in the dust of time, that easily could’ve sent shockwaves through the culture, happened 15 years ago today. On March, 16, 2001, a jury acquitted Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs of multiple weapons charges and allegedly bribing his driver to take the fall after a shooting in a Manhattan night club. [Johnnie Cochran strikes again.] In the same trial, Jamaal “Shyne” Barrow was convicted on two counts of assault and counts of reckless endangerment and gun possession after allegedly shooting into the crowd. He’d later be sentenced to and serve 10 years in prison and the two men went on to have vastly different lives for the next decade and a half. What came next for Diddy is common knowledge. He went on to become an even larger hip-hop mogul with the success of the Sean John clothing line, stakes in multiple beverages – both athletic and alcoholic – and launching Revolt TV all while keeping his name relevant enough in music with occasional Bad Boys Records releases. In 2015, Forbes claimed he had a net worth of $735 million. His career could’ve been vastly different, or halted, if the tables had turned.

    Misonix Supports Belize Spine Surgery Mission
    Misonix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSON), an international surgical device company that designs, manufactures and markets innovative therapeutic ultrasonic products for spine surgery, neurosurgery, wound debridement, laparoscopic surgery and other surgical applications, has donated a Bone Scalpel® unit to Spine Overseas for mission work at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize. "We are thankful for the donation made by Misonix, allowing us to better treat individuals in need to allow them to return to a healthy and productive life. I am a big fan of the Bone Scalpel from Misonix, and promote its use everywhere I go. I feel it is among the top 2-3 innovations introduced into spine surgery over the past decade," said Peter Gabos, M.D., from Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. "The relationship with the Belize mission is an on-going commitment, and one that I anticipate will be highly visible," notes Dr. Gabos. "The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is fast becoming a center of excellence in spine surgery, and there is a huge training and education component for many South American spinal surgeons."

    Ma meets premiers of four Taiwan diplomatic allies in Belize
    Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeo met in Belize Wednesday with government leaders of Belize and three of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the Caribbean, all of whom expressed hope that Ma's successor will continue to push bilateral relations with their countries. Ma arrived in Belize earlier that day on the second stop of his last overseas trip before leaving office in May, and met with Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow. During the meeting, Ma invited Barrow to attend President-elect Tsai Ing-wen's inauguration May 20, when Ma will conclude his maximum two-term tenure as president. Tsai was elected in January. In response, Barrow expressed hope that Ma's successor will continue to enhance relations with Belize based on the existing foundation and that the two countries will carry out more exchanges.

    Norwegian reveals amenities at its private port in Belize
    Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private port in Belize, will have beach villas, a large pool area with cabanas, a variety of aerial activities including zip lining, water sports in the lagoon, wildlife programs and a shopping village. The cruise line on Wednesday revealed details about the port and recreational area it is building on two adjoining islands off the coast of Belize City. Harvest Caye, originally scheduled to open in mid-February, is now scheduled to open in November. The islands will have a cruise ship pier so that passengers can walk off the ship and onto land and won’t have to be tendered. It will also have a large marina, the departure point for certain shore excursions.

    Belize and Guatemala military clash on southern border
    Tensions between Belize and Guatemala at an “all-time high” following a military clash on Saturday (March 12) at the Sarstoon River on the southern Belizean border. A press statement from the Government of Belize Press Office, which was published on Facebook on March 13, says that on Saturday there was a confrontation on the Sarstoon River between the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF). “The GAF approached the Belize’s Forward Operating Base (FOB), though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon. The Belize Forces stood their ground and after some time the GAF withdrew. In the intervening period the BDF Commander General Jones had spoken to an opposite member in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales,” writes the Belize Press Office. The Belizean government said, however, that although the confrontation was resolved peacefully, “it is clear that tension with Guatemala over the Sarstoon and Belize’s insistence on its sovereignty rights in accordance with the 1859 Treaty Demarcation of the river, is at an all-time high”. Talks between Guatemala and Belize were due to take place on March 15 in Washington D.C. under the supervision of the Organization of American States (OAS).

    Ecologists Can’t Beat Invasive Species, So They’re Joining Them
    The path to Ohe’o Gulch, in Maui, meanders through a short section of forest, past mango trees and pockets of bamboo, then opens onto the ocean. Palm trees of all sizes and varieties line the Pacific coast, their trunks hunched over the sand, fronds waving picturesquely in the trade winds. Though they may seem perfectly at home, iconic to the landscape, most of these trees are outsiders. They hitched a ride long ago, with the Polynesians or Europeans, and not innocuously; they’ve been crowding out the native palm species that belong to the genus Pritchardia—in some cases, almost to the point of extinction. Which raises the question: Should ecologists care that the trees who were here first are being ousted, and do something to stop and reverse it? The ethical—or ideological—quandary is familiar to art conservationists, who argue how best to preserve a masterpiece: by letting its paint gracefully bear the effects of aging, or preventing them altogether to retain the work’s initial appearance. “For a long time,” said Donald Drake, a botanist and conservation biologist at the University of Hawaii, “one of the main strategies of conservation has been restoration: You take a place that’s been messed up, disturbed by people, and you try and put it back to what it was like 100 years ago, or before Europeans came. In a lot of places that’s just not realistic. We need to come to terms with things that are never going back.”

    Instead of migrating, white storks are staying put for the winter and eating garbage
    Birds just aren’t migrating the way they used to. And why should they? Climate change has made winters warmer, meaning they don’t need to travel as far in order to make it through the brutal temperatures. But it’s not just climate change that’s giving birds—particularly white storks—reason to stay. New research published in Movement Ecology this week suggests that land fills provide enough food for the birds to stick around throughout the year. What that means, though, is that they’re literally eating garbage. “It’s gross, actually,” Aldina Franco, an ecologist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England and lead author of the study, told Quartz. “When a truck arrives, they all congregate behind it. Sometimes they eat computer parts, but what they are really looking after are our leftovers.” Franco explained that ordinarily, white storks live all over Europe in the summer, breeding months, and migrate to either southern Europe or sub-Saharan Africa over the winter. They typically eat a diet of small insects or spiders, though they also have been known to eat crayfish in rice fields. Now, however, Franco says that of the population of about 14,000 white storks in Portugal, an increasing number are becoming residents of the areas near landfills. She and her team had been tracking the movements of over 50 of these storks in Portugal, and for this study looked at the movements of 17 birds they knew had set up colonies near the landfills. They found that even with their unusual new dietary patterns, storks that stayed over the winter had the advantage of starting to breed earlier in the season and raise more chicks per nest. “The good consequences of having extra food override the bad ones [of the diet],” she said. Franco added that in this particular study, she and her team didn’t look at the effects of consuming atypical food.

    At the bottom of the Arabian Sea, a 500-year-old shipwreck from the fleet of Vasco da Gama
    Standing atop the rugged, barren peak of Al-Hallaniyah Island, eyeing the blue-gray Arabian Sea as it lashed the rocky coast below, David Mearns tried to transport himself back 500 years. The sky was dark with storm clouds, the sea a raging, surging maelstrom. Two ships, heedlessly anchored on the exposed northern side of the island, were whipped about by the winds and waves, stretching their moorings to the breaking point. Once adrift, the wooden vessels were driven twoard shore and bashed against the rocks. One got close enough to the beach for its crew to escape before it broke apart completely. The other splintered and sank in deep water, dragging everyone onboard, including its captain, to the bottom of the sea. Mearns had spent half a year reading accounts of that disaster, which doomed part of a fleet led by the legendary Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. He’d internalized everything he could find about the weather, the vessels, the island, the perils of the Arabian Sea during the “Golden Age of Exploration” half a millennium ago. And he knew that at least one unparalleled example of a ship from that time lay somewhere within his reach. If only he could find it.


  • WIZING TIME MARCH 14, 2016, 5min.

  • UK and CDB launch the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure (UKCIF) Programme, 13min. Eight Caribbean countries and one British Overseas Territory are closer to accessing funding to build new roads, bridges, ports and other vital infrastructure as the United Kingdom’s Caribbean Infrastructure (UKCIF) Programme becomes operational. The UKCIF was ratified on March 9th by the Board of the Caribbean Development Bank, paving the way for implementation of the game changing programme. The Department for International Development will provide up to £300m in grant financing from January 2016 to March 2020 to Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines and Montserrat.

  • A World UnderWater: The Reefs of Belize,1 min. Underwater 360º Photography: Keith Ellenbogen - MIT CAST Visiting Artist / Assistant Professor Photography SUNY/FIT Allan Adams - MIT Dept of Physics

  • Life Uncommon 15th March, 2016 EPISODE 2, 65min.

  • Rise and Shine Part 1 GUESTS: David Gibson & Dr Herman Byrd (15th March, 2016), 51min. arstoon, Guatemala and ICJ

  • Rise and Shine Part 2 GUESTS: David Gibson & Dr Herman Byrd (15th March, 2016), 59min. Sarstoon island and river; Guatemala takes the Sarstoon... Road to the ICJ

  • Belize Trip 2015, 3.5min. Community service trip to Belize 2015 with IMG Academy (sophomore year of high school)

    March 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

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week - Celebrating Women's Month in Belize
    Karen Brodie did an excellent job at choosing a cross section of women who make up part of this island community. Our country has strong, independent, beautiful women who are not only the essence of the Belizean household, but are now also influential and productive elements in our society. This month the San Pedro House of Culture is running a photographic exhibit that features over 60 San Pedro women in celebration of Women's Month. Featured in this 'Picture of the Week' is one of Karen Brodie's portaits that stood out for us at Ambergris Today. Meet Ms. Helen Haylock - She spent her childhood days playing on the beach area of Holiday Hotel where her dad had his shipyard. As a teenager she danced the hallways of San Pedro. Helen struggled to raise a large family as a single mother and today this dynamic woman enjoys a peaceful happy life overseeing the harmony of her children that comprises of Nolan Haylock, Claudia Haylock, Janine Haylock, Marcia Haylock, Tyrel Hsylock, Denton Haylock, Martha Haylock, Anna Haylock, and Adriana Haylock.

    Caye Caulker is Happy with its New Beach Frontage
    Tourists are sunbathing, playing, walking and flocking to the new beach in Caye Caulker and the island residents could not be happier. The new beach area at La Isla Carinosa was officially inaugurated last week Saturday, March 12, 2016, with the Minister of Tourism and Caye Caulker Village Chairman, inviting everyone to enjoy and take care of it. “It is a pleasure for me to stand here to be a witness of this accomplishment that has been done through funds of the Belize Tourism Board,” stated Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation. The project was half a million dollar investment that reclaimed over 2,000 linear feet of beach with widths varying from 40 to 118 feet in different areas; additional funding is being lobbied for to extend more beach area up to the Caye Caulker Split and further south of the island.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Caribbean Spice Belize
    Check out Libby Vidrine's Caribbean Spice Belize! Yum Yum! Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free! We are in Belize City at San Pedro Belize Express. There we also carry all natural bath and body products from all around Belize. We have over 30 free tasting available every day. In San Pedro, Green House carries everything we make, and Lara at 12 Belize carries some products as well.

    Paint Party Events
    Come paint with us "Dragon Fly" this Thursday at 10:30 AM at Crazy Canucks due to the leprechaun infestation. Don't miss it and see you there!March 17, 2016.

    Caye Caulker's Laughter Flash Mob
    Sunday, March 20 at 4 PM at the football field. You are invited to Join us on our Mission to Create World Peace. When a Community is Laughing Together, Then the Community is Working Together for a Happy, Healthy & Safe Enviroment. Please Join Us for the Wealth of Your Community...Heheheheee

    Child Stimulation Month
    March is Child Stimulation Month. We got our first group of pre-schoolers (Little Angel Pre-school) visiting us at the San Pedro House of Culture to learn about the National Symbols and The History of the Island.

    The feature highlights the present crisis unfolding between Belize and Guatemala since 2008 in the signing of a special agreement called the Comrpomis between the government of Belize and Guatemala. The diaspora based Belizean organization, the Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance (BREDAA) chairman, Nuri Akbar Estrada, addressed the Compromis signed by the Belizean government and the Guatemalan government on December 8, 2008, to take the long lasting territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Today, the Guatemalan military oligarchy continues to expand its claim to Belize over the last 15 years with a series of military aggression against the Belizean people, and the Belizean military, the Belize Defense Force (BDF) on the Southern bordering area between Belize and Guatemalan called the Sarstoon River. The recent series of aggression culminated on February 27, 2016 against the Belize resistance movement, Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), and recently the March 11, 2016 aggression against the Belize Defense Force (BDF) has increased to a high level, tensions between Belize and Guatemala.

    Smart Belize Selects FTS' Convergent Billing Platform
    Belize-based mobile operator Smart Telecom today announced that it has selected FTS’ convergent billing solution to offer more innovative and affordable services to its customers. The implementation of FTS’ billing software will provide Smart with greater opportunities for revenue growth as it evolves to 4G LTE technology. FTS is a global provider of billing, charging, policy control and payment solutions. The new billing platform is a positive step for Smart as the company continues its commitment to being Belize’s leading telecoms innovator. FTS’ billing solution is scheduled to become operational during 2016. FTS' Leap™ Billing provides Smart with convergent charging, billing, invoicing, customer management and partner management. FTS also acts as a systems integrator for the project, providing Smart with a turnkey solution, including network elements, SCP, voicemail and IVR from multiple vendors.

    The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) participated in two business events last week as part of its outreach programme to keep Belizeans informed about its main role in trade and investment promotion and facilitation. The first event was the Business Career and Opportunities Fair held on Thursday, 10th March at the University of Belize Business Campus in Belize City. The event was the first of its kind and was organized by the UB Student Government to allow students in their last year of studies to make inquiries about career opportunities at the participating businesses. Beltraide also participated in the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Open Day held on Friday, 11th March at the Sacred Heart College auditorium in San Ignacio. Over 800 students from high schools in San Ignacio and Santa Elena attended the event, which aimed to create greater awareness on BCCI’s role and functions.

    Over 1,500 Students Will Soon Be Enrolled in New Pre-Schools & Primary Schools in Belmopan, Stann Creek & Toledo
    Ground-breaking Ceremonies in this regard, will be held this week to officially commence the construction of the respective schools thanks to the Government of Belize. Funding for the construction of the six government schools is made available through grant-funds from the Caribbean Development Bank under the bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 7) programme. This means that students in the respective communities will have easier access to a better learning environment; enable schools to address the increasing demand of enrollment, alleviate over-crowding and thus enable the country’s future leaders to further boost their learning skills. To this end, ground-breaking ceremonies will be held for Kuxlin-Ha Pre-School and Primary School at 1:30 pm on Tuesday March 15, 2016, Belmopan; and will also be held for Santa Cruz New Government Pre-School and New Government Primary School and Trio Pre-School and Primary School on Friday 18 March, 2016.

    3rd Annual Disney and Superhero Show
    It's almost that time again for a wonderful night with the entire family. Come out and support Step By Step Tutoring Center with their 3rd Annual Disney and Superhero Show. Lots of prizes and goodies will be on sale. The Arms of Love, Caye Caulkers Cancer group, will be having food on sale. Working hand in hand we can make a difference. So join us on March 20th at 7pm sharp on the basketball court. See you there.

    Belmopan Clean Up Campaign
    Now that's teamwork! Belmopan had a clean up campaign, and around 140 people came out to help. Well done! "Several organizations were contacted and today we had presence from, the Police Cadets, Rotaract, Scouts Bmp.YWAM, Las Flores Community, Girls Scouts, Road Warrior's Motorcycle Club and several citizens who chose to be a part of this annual event. (add other organizations I didn't mention) There was tremendous support from the periphery communities, which was the emphasis of this event. Residents of these areas in many cases took out their own water receptacles where aegis eagypti mosquito could lay their eggs and others welcomed our assistance in getting these receptacles out."

    Ascenthium St. Patrick's Day Bash
    St. Patrick's Day is Thursday, and Ascenthium will be playing at Bamboo Bar to celebrate the ocassion. "Surprise! Ascenthium will be doing another show in Bamboo this week. Just for you! Come help us celebrate St. Patricks Day at Bamboo bar!"

    Ballaz Defeat Warriors
    The Western Ballaz defeated the Dangriga Warriors 64 - 61. They are in 2nd place in the NEBL, and have 4 players heading to the All Star Game is Saturday. Go Ballaz! "Congrats to four of our Western Ballaz players who were selected to play on the NEBL All Star team for this year. These players are James Milton, Winston Pratt, Brandon Flowers and Ivan Flowers. Elvis Usher was also selected but will be unable to play due to injury. Congrats also goes out to our Coach, Douglas Smith, who will be coaching the South All Star team. Emerson King will be partaking in the 3-point shoot out challenge and Elvert PG Ariola will be taking on the skills challenge. James Milton will be competing in the Slam Dunk Contest."

    I Am Belize Scholarship Program
    The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust has teamed up with Restore Belize to fund the 'I Am Belize' Scholarship Progamme. They have a great video describing the scholarship. They are inviting any other businesses to help out also. Education is the key. Thanks, BNECT and Restore Belize! "BNECT is proud and delighted in sharing one of our programs and invites private and public sectors to be part and join this unique and life changing program. The 'I Am Belize' Scholarship Programme. UNLOCKING

    International Day of Forest
    Come Join Us on March 21st 2016 as we celebrate International Day of Forest.. San Ignacio Welcome Center 9am-noon

    Channel 7

    Guatemala Vigorously Rejected Belize’s Protest Note
    Since the weekend, the local news has been dominated by the report from the Government that the Guatemalan Armed Forces aggressed the BDF soldiers stationed at the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base currently in construction. Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since a diplomatic note of protest, and Guatemala is vigorously denying that their military did anything wrong. We've come across this website in which a statement was released yesterday by the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry. It's in Spanish, but we've translated it verbatim, and for proper context, we've not paraphrased it in any way. Translated, the statement says, on Friday March 11, a boat belonging to the Belize Defense Force, without following the security protocol that is customarily used (status quo) on the Sarstoon River, entered the internal waters of Guatemala in the Sartsoon River and sailed to shores of the river.

    BDF’s Record Of Aggression By The GAF
    And that assertion of territorial sovereignty over the Sarstoon seems to fit right in with the history of aggression that the BDF reports it has been under from the Guatemalan Military/Navy. Yesterday, we received this leaked communication of a threat assessment by the BDF of the Sarstoon River. Penned on October 22, 2015, the document is a report from Major Beltran, on behalf of his BDF Commander, and it is addressed to George Lovell, the CEO in the Ministry of National Security. This letter says, quote, "Records show that the aggressive behavior of the Guatemalan Navy/Military started in 2006. The aggression to the BDF personnel are done whilst the BDF are conducting changeover at Cadenas, and have to go through the Sarstoon River." End quote. The BDF notes that the encounters are usually heightened during the years that Guatemala has its general elections.

    Sarstoon FOB Construction Will Still Continue
    Today we spoke to the Minister of National Security, who most certainly has seen this report if it is authentic. He commands the hundreds of men and women at the frontlines, which appear under pressure - if only unofficially - by Guatemala. And although that is nothing new, even the Prime Minister conceded yesterday that he has never in his life time seen tensions ratchet up quite like this before. So how is the Minister of National Security handling? We asked him that today. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "As we've always said it is the role of the Ministry of National Security and its constitution such as the BDF and the Coast Guard to safeguard the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of our country. It is a job that we take very seriously and we wish that civilians would leave us to do our job, which we've been doing over the years. The heightened security concerns in the area really do worry us, but we are at this point exploring the diplomatic avenues to try to get it resolved. We are hopeful. There was a meeting earlier this morning in Washington which we believe we will get some good results out of that and we are hopeful that we can always solve our problems in a diplomatic way. A military solution is not good for any of us." So while the Government continues its peace keeping diplomacy, the other matter is the construction of the Forward Operating Base at the mouth of the Sarstoon. So what's the latest on that? And and is the small wooden structure defensible should there be an escalated incident? Here's how John Saldivar answered those questions:

    Osmar: “Christie Stabbed Herself While Trying To Hurt Me”
    6 days ago, we told you about the start of the murder trial without jury of 30 year-old Osmar Sabido, who was accused by police of stabbing her common-law wife, 21 year-old Christie Carrasco to Death. Well, the prosecution closed it's case today against him, and this afternoon in Orange Walk before Justice Herbert Lord, he gave his version of how the deadly incident played out at their home at the San Lorenzo Housing Area of the town on February 28, 2011. He said that he arrived home at around 6 p.m., and he met Christie Carrasco at the house who approached him and accused him of being with another woman. They started to argue, and she demand to know why he was late. The argument continued in their kitchen, where tried to ignore, and she eventually left in the car.

    18 Year-old Found Murdered in Jane Usher Area
    A teenager was found dead in the Jane Usher Area this morning. 18 year old Mario Trotman went missing yesterday morning at around 8 and his family went out looking for him. But the search ended when police along with the K-9 Unit and Coast Guard officers found his body this morning around 10:30. Today police told us that Troman might have been killed by a friend. Sup. Hilberto Romero - O C, CIB, Eastern Division: "On Tuesday 15th day of March 2016, based on investigation police were carrying out, we found the lifeless body of one Mario Trotman, 18 years old age of a Louise Bevans Street address with apparent gunshots wounds to the head. He was found in the water in a canal that leads to the Dike area of Faber's Road. The area where he was found is about half mile behind the Jane Usher Boulevard area in the canal. Mario Trotman had reported missing since yesterday evening around 8pm and police commence searches and investigation which lead to the discovery of his body. The investigation is showing that he was lured to that area by person he knew at which point he was then shot to the head."

    Father And Son Shot In Their Home
    A father and his 13 year old son were shot, while in their house on Ebony Street last night. At around 10:30 47 year old Dean Parks and his son were asleep when someone opened fire on their house. Parks was shot to the mouth and shoulder while his son was shot to the shoulder. Police told us today that they have detained a minor in connection with this shooting. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "Sometime around 10:30 last night, police were called to Ebony Street and upon arrival they were briefed of a shooting that took place in a residence in that area where one Dean Parks and his son were both shot. Mr. Parks was shot in the mouth and in the shoulder and his son was shot in the shoulder. Since that shooting, both persons were taken to the KHMH where they are currently admitted in a stable condition. Neither injuries is life threatening and the police investigation in that matter continues."

    Police Still Investigation Tanika’s Murder
    Police are still investigating Tanika Lemott's murder. Lemott was shot and killed on her way home early Sunday morning. This is after she and her friends had left the Christopher Martin concert at the ITVET. They all caught a taxi around 4 Sunday morning but as they passed the St. John's Vianney School on Fabers Road a vehicle came up behind them and opened fire - hitting Lemott in the chest and back and her friend Doris Gilharry in the chest. The taxi driver Jaime Villanueva was shot to the back. Gilharry, Villanueva and another friend Hanifa Flowers survived but Lemott didn't make it. Today police told us they have detained several other persons in connection with this murder. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "We have been following up on that murder investigation and the CIB personnel headed by Inspector Cowo has been out there canvassing the area and as well as other parts of Belize City to see what we can gather of evidential value to be able to move forward with the investigation.

    Meighans Vs Police; The Saga Continues
    There is speculation that the well-known Meighan brothers had been investigated for Lemott's murder but police have not confirmed that. Well, whether it is confirmed or not it seems police carried out some sort of unexplained raid this morning. Now, you've heard quite often in this newscast about the Meighan brothers coming in conflict with the police, but today's incident, was somewhat different. Today one of the Meighan sisters told us off camera that the GSU barged into their house at 3 this morning and brutally attacked her and her brothers. Here is her account. "Sometime after 3:30 minutes to 4pm I would say, I heard banging on all the windows, all the doors. So I told them to identify themselves. They were saying police. So I ask to please identify yourselves so that I know it's the police and not someone outside pretending to be the police. Within 3 minutes I opened the door. About 6 police were on the verandah and they had some in the yard, all around the yard. I even gave them the key to open the door from outside, because they were trying to break it down with a stick. As the first police open the door with the key, he pulled me. I had my 3 months nephew in my hands and he pulled me by my hair outside for no reason. I wasn't being bad."

    OC ED South Says Crime Under Control For Now
    So Southside Belize City has seen 2 murders and 1 shooting in just a couple of days. What's happening on the Southside? Has the positive impact of those community policing initiatives worn off ? Today Williams told us that there is nothing to be concerned about - there is just some incidents the police have no control over but, he explained, the police continue to work in these areas. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "There is no cause for alarm. We already know that the first incident that took place on Sunday morning, was something that just develop at the concert and it was not something that was per say gang related and the second murder that we are looking at, from all indications thus far, this person may have been murdered by his own associates. So when you have in-house rivalries, it is difficult for the police to be able to curb those sort of incidents. Those are what we referred to as "None preventable." As it relates to what the police can prevent, we continue to do what we can on the streets of Southside Belize City to do our utmost best to calm the crime situation down."

    Hon. Saldivar Wants To Be 1st Deputy
    Despite being pushed on the backburner, due to the other more important national issues, the talks on Minister Gaspar Vega's sudden resignation continues. Yesterday the Prime Minister refused to take our questions, but this afternoon we were able to speak with Hon. John Saldivar, a hopeful politician who has expressed his interest to move of the ranks of the UDP. With Vega now gone, it leaves and opened a vacancy for those hopefuls to get in as Deputy party leader- Minister Saldivar included. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "We certainly were surprised. We certainly respect his decision. It's a big loss. There is no doubt that it is a big loss to our party. Mr. Vega had contributed greatly to our success since 2006 when I believe he became the deputy leader - helped us tremendously in the north in terms of building up the support to where it currently is, where we have 5 seats out of 8 and so he will be missed. But it is his personal decision and we have to respect that." Reporter: "Where does that placed you as someone who has been said repeatedly that you may have an interest in moving up in the ranks, so to speak?"

    President Slusher Talks UB Business
    Back in April of 2014, the University of Belize was making the evening news due to the private disputes between the then President, Dr. Cary Frazer, and Minister of Education Patrick Faber. But, in just a few short weeks after that, it was announced that Dr. Frazer had decided to step down. The Board of Trustees moved quickly to seek a replacement, and Alan Slusher was chosen as the man to succeed him It's been almost 2 years in that post, and it's our first encounter, and things appear more or less to have calmed down drastically. Yesterday was our first press encounter with the new president, and we took the opportunity to talk UB's education business with him. Here's how that conversation went: Alan Slusher, UB President: "The relationship between UB and the Ministry of Education, relationship are excellent and it is absolutely necessary that we maintained those excellent relationship. In fact the university reports to the Ministry of Education. The university is part of the entire complex of instruments available to the government to boost the level of education in Belize and we pride ourselves as being an important part of the arsenal that the government has to develop the knowledge and capacity of our people. Because if we do that, we will then develop the country. People development is an essential part of country development and we are very happy to be as full supportive as we possibly can in this initiative and the part of the Ministry of Education. And as I say our relationships are absolutely excellent and it is my intention to make sure that they remained that way."

    GSU Made A Fisheries Bust
    Thirty-two year old Raymond Myers, a fish vendor of Conch Shell Bay, found himself in front of the Magistrate's Court after his home was raided by the Gang Suppression Unit. No, it's nothing like the what the GSU are accused of by the Meighan family once again. They managed to make a successful fisheries bust, and the Department's Acting Inspector told us more about it this evening: Calman Hall, Acting Incp,. Fisheries Department: "It was a GSU seizure which was made at 34A West Collet Canal early this morning about 7:30 thereabout and while they do their search, they found a icebox with undersized suspected conch and then brought it over here to the Fisheries Department where they passed over their findings to Elvis Williams to check and verify that the products were in deed undersized and the gentleman was then charged for possession of undersized product. After Mr. Williams had done his due diligence found that the gentleman had 444 individual conch and he was taken to court this morning and a fine of $200 were levied on him and a penalty of $8,880 was levied on him for the 444 individual conch."

    International Social Work Day
    "Promoting and Respecting the Dignity and Worth of People, Builds Belize" That is the theme of today's International Social Work Day Exhibit. Now social workers deal with a number of issues affecting families and the community. But they don't just help people with problems at home or school. The Chair of the Social Work Department at UB, Fermin Olivera told us that today's event is about highlighting the role of social workers in the lives of the marginalized. One of those marginalized groups is mental health patients. Olivera told us that he is aware of how urgent it is to address the mental health crisis but that it starts with a shift in approach. Other vulnerable groups include the LGBT and the Transgender community. They have been targeted and in some cases ostracized. The coordinator of the event told us that with a bit of education and more understanding, they can be accepted in society. The exhibition ended at 3 this afternoon.

    Isidoro Beaton: Belize’s 2nd World Class Stadium
    From the 800 lux lights, to the top of the line VIP headquarters, and to the FIFA 2 star synthetic turf, the striking new features of the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan certainly make it a site to behold. In 2014, the facility was closed down so that works can be done in giving it a 3.5 million dollar facelift. Now after all the long wait, the Isidoro Beaton stadium was finally opened at an officially inauguration ceremony that was held earlier today. Key note speakers included, the Mayor of Belmopan, the Minister of State with responsibility to sports and the General Manager of the Belize infrastructure Limited, who headed the projects. Khalid Belisle, Mayor, City of Belmopan: "It would have to have been a couple of years ago now that the seeds of the idea of using some portion of the proceeds of the Petrocaribe program to spark a rejuvenation of sports in Belize would have taken root. Now as they say, success have many fathers, while failure is an orphan and so I'm sure there are many who would stake claim to at least some of the credit for what we see before us this afternoon. I speak for the city when I say that whomever it may be that deserves the kudos. The City of Belmopan is now and will continue to be immeasurably grateful of the display of vision and the determination to have seen us to this momentous occasion."

    Making Reading More Fun
    Read, read and read some more... That is what parents and teachers constantly advise students to do. But there are different techniques that can make reading more exciting for kids. One of those techniques is guided reading and for the rest of the week, a few volunteers from Oklahoma State University will be training teachers from St. John's Primary School. We stopped by to find out more. The volunteers have been working with these teachers for 3 years. The training ends on Friday.

    Channel 5

    Guatemala Says Belize’s Account of Sarstoon Incident is a Lie!
    Tonight, an impasse between Belize and Guatemala remains in place following an incident involving members of the Belize Defense Force and the Guatemalan Navy near the mouth of the Sarstoon [...]

    Minister of National Security Optimistic about Outcome of Meeting at O.A.S.
    Now in Washington today, a meeting between Belizean and Guatemalan foreign ministers Wilfred Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales was held at the seat of the Organization of American States. That [...]

    What’s the Progress of the F.O.B. at Sarstoon River?
    In the aftermath of the standoff in the Sarstoon between the B.D.F. and the Guatemalan Armed Forces, much has been said about the tense relationship between both militaries.  The National [...]

    B.D.F. Threat Assessment Speaks to Several Areas of Concern in Sarstoon Area
    It is not the first time that hostility has been displayed towards the Belizean military by the Guatemala navy. In fact, alarm bells were sounded since last year that the [...]

    Vision Inspired by the People Denounces Military Aggression Toward Belizeans
    On Monday, the P.U.P. condemned the aggression of the Guatemalan navy. Today, another political party added its condemnation. Vision Inspired by the People denounced Guatemala’s military aggression toward Belizean soldiers [...]

    Murder Trial of Osmar Sabido Resumes in Orange Walk Supreme Court
    Today, the murder trial of Osmar Sabido, accused of stabbing his common-law-wife Christie Carrasco to death, continued in the Supreme Court in Orange Walk before Justice Herbert Lord. Sabido has [...]

    A Look Back at the Tragic Murder of Christie Carrasco
    Attorney Oscar Salgado, representing Osmar Sabido, stated in an interview at the start of the trial that his client would make a case for self-defence. That is consistent with Sabido’s [...]

    Has G.O.B. Been Handling Recent Aggression by Guatemala Appropriately?
    And our question for tonight is: Do believe the government has been handling the recent aggression by Guatemala appropriately? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

    Mario Trotman Murdered Near Dyke
    Over the weekend, a thirty-four year old woman was shot and killed in a taxi. Her murder remains unresolved. Today, Belize City police have another murder on their hands to [...]

    What’s the Update in Weekend Murder Investigation?
    While police have two friends of Trotman detained in connection with his murder, this morning, several others were rounded up and taken into custody for the murder of thirty-four year [...]

    Mayflower Residents Claim Police Harassment Following GSU Sweep
    Since then, several families from within the area of Mayflower and Sibun Streets have been complaining of excessive use of force by GSU and Police officers. Juanita Gongora, a resident [...]

    Chester Williams Says Take it to Professional Standards Branch
    But ACP Williams says he is not moved by the allegations against the officers. And those complaints should simply be made to the Professional Standards Branch of the Police Department. [...]

    Dean Parks and 13-year-old Son Shot Inside Their Home
    The Eastern Division South unit is also investigating a shooting on Monday night in Belize City. Around ten-thirty p.m., a gunman came up to the barracks at the corner of [...]

    Taiwanese President Ma Ying-Jeou on Farewell Visit to Belize
    Details were released this afternoon of the two-day visit of President Ma Ying-Jeou of the Republic of China which begins this Wednesday. The visit comes at the end of Ma’s [...]

    Isidoro Beaton Stadium Reborn
    Belmopan now boasts of another FIFA-certified stadium. The Isidoro Beaton Stadium was launched this afternoon and tonight a first international friendly match will be held to whet the field. Worth [...]

    International Friendly Sees Belmopan Bandits Facing El Progresso
    The Belmopan Bandits are set to play El Progreso of Honduras in an international friendly tonight at the newly reopened Isidoro Beaton Stadium.  Hundreds of football fans are already gathering [...]

    Another Fisheries Bust in Belize City
    A fisherman, who claims he was provided with four hundred and forty-four undersized conchs for free, will end up paying thousands of dollars. Thirty-two year old, Raymond Myers was busted [...]

    An Attempted Kidnapping of Well-known Orange Walk Businessman
    A very well known businessman from the Orange Walk District believes that tonight he is lucky to be alive after what seems very much like a kidnapping attempt, or maybe [...]

    Migration: The Belize/Mexico Matrix
    Migration, identity, cultural influence, as well as the economic impact of movement from one place to another are issues that are being discussed in an academic forum.  The two-day discussion [...]


    Number Of Students Who Sit The PSE Reduces
    Yesterday a total of 7,257 students from 287 primary schools across the country sat the first half of the Primary School Examinations. In the Corozal District alone 811 students from 41 different schools took the Science paper one and English one examination. This year there was a slight decrease in the number of students that took the exams country wide. Statistics also show the participation of more male than female students this year. The good news is though, that the PSE this year saw an increase in the number of Special Needs students taking the exam. Jah More Lopez – Corozal District Education Officer: “We are looking at a 1.2% decrease over last year, we are looking at a total of 287 primary schools country wide and we have slightly higher percentage of males than females we are looking at a 51% male, 3689 as oppose as to the 49% females, 3568 what is encouraging though is that we have an increase of a whopping 53% in comparison to last year 139 candidates more who have special needs and so we are looking at providing support for student with special needs and we’ve gone up 53% and so it shows that all of our students are given that opportunity to well.”

    Corozal Pre-Schoolers Participates In Annual Festival Of Arts
    Today preschool students in the Corozal District showcased their talent as they took part in the annual Festival of Arts which forms part of Child Stimulation Month. The festival saw the participation of 36 out of 37 preschools in the Corozal District. The pre-schoolers were judged on three different categories….dance, music and drama; and out of the 36 schools that participated a few were selected to feature their presentations in the National Festival of Arts scheduled to take place in Belize City in the month of May. Maria Correa - Early Childhood Education Officer: “Today we had our annual Pre-school Festival of Arts 2016 whereby all the Pre-school, I can say not everybody showed up, they showcase the children talents and this year; out of the 37 we had 36 schools participating today only San Victor did not make it. Today we did manage to get participants going to Belize in three categories; we had in dance, music and drama and we did selected some very good ones so they will be going to Belize to participate with other pre-schools and I believe it will be during the month of May.”

    Banquitas House Of culture Upholds Saw Dust Carpet Tradition
    It may not be a common scene in Belize for Holy week but the art of sawdust carpets is slowly making its presence in the country. It first started in Benque Veijo Del Carmen in the Cayo District and this year will make it three years on Good Friday that the tradition was adopted in Orange Walk Town.This morning students from Orange Walk Technical High School gathered at the Banquitas House of Culture to assist in the preparation of materials that will be used to create the saw dust carpets which will be exhibited at the La Inmaculada Roman Catholic Church on Good Friday as part of a procession. Cindy Rivero –Organizer, Banquitas: “We are preparing the colored saw dust for an activity that we have been doing for the past two years so this will be our third year where we will do saw dust carpet in front of the church so what we are doing here is to paint the color so that we can make our designs for good Friday, we have here the Orange Walk Technical High School who are doing community work since they are celebrating Humor week so they have come here to assist us in preparing the different colors that we would want to make our elaborate carpets on Good Friday.”

    Dr. Estradaban Describes Wounds Obtained By Carrasco
    As mentioned, also called to the stand as an expert witness was Dr. Mario Estradaban who was tasked to describe each of Carrasco’s injuries. Most compelling was one stab wound to the middle of her chest which penetrated through her heart and into her left lung; the second was to the upper left side of her chest which punctured her skin and muscle but did not penetrated deeper; and the third, to her left thumb and a fourth to her left knee which were described as being non-life-threatening. Dr. Estradaban confirmed that he had ruled cause of death for Christie Alexandria Carrasco as exsanguination due to internal and external bleeding due to stab wounds to the body.When asked by the prosecution, Estradaban described all stab wounds as having been inflicted with a “heavy force”. But of particular interest in Dr. Estradaban’s testimony was his description of the third wound to the left thumb. He classified the wound as being a defensive wound meaning that the injury was caused as Carrasco attempted to protect herself from her attacker.

    Guatemala MOF Gives Account Of Sarstoon Incident
    As mentioned last night the Government of Belize sent a strongly worded protest note to Guatemala condemning the hostile action by its military in the Sarstoon. The Guatemalans responded to the protest note denying the BDF’s account of what occurred late Saturday evening near the Forward Operating Base. The Guatemalans deny behaving in an extremely hostile and threatening manner. While the P.M related to the media the Guatemalans side of the story, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Guatemala, via a press release issued late yesterday evening, told the tale of the Guatemalan Military. Basically they reiterate what the P.M said when it comes to their version of what took place on Saturday evening, that they did not act in a hostile manner and that at no time was there any provocation by the Guatemalan authorities towards the BDF and that all the Guatemalan Army was looking for was for the crew of the Belizean vessel to follow the security protocol usually followed in the Sarstoon River.

    VIP Urges GOB To Adopt Pro-Active Approach With Guatemala
    There is no doubt that the recent confrontation on the Sarstoon River between Guatemalan Armed Forces and the Belize Defense Force will the main topic of discussion among various groups, political parties and households across the jewel for days. As tension escalates Belize seeks assistance from International parties such as the US and the United Kingdom at the same time relying on the Organization of American States as intermediary in hope of setting protocols in place that will calm the waters at the Sarstoon. Yesterday we heard what the Opposition and the Belize Progressive Party had to say about the incident as they condemned the hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards Belize’s security forces. Today the Vision Inspired by the People political party fired off a release where they are also expressing discontent about the way the Guatemalan Armed Forces reacted to the BDF’s presence at the Sarstoon. VIP states and we quote “It is abundantly clear that the Guatemalan Government is pursuing a path of military aggression and intimidation against Belize. Guatemala’s military aggression toward Belize is a clear violation of Guatemala’s obligations as a member of the United Nations.” end quote.

    Carrasco Alledged Killer Claims Self-Defense As He Takes The Stand
    The murder trial for Osmar Sabido, accused of killing his then girlfriend, 21 year old Christie Carrasco which commenced on Tuesday of last week continued today at the Orange Walk Supreme Court. First to take the stand today at around 10:00 in the morning was Dr. Mario Estradaban, police Coroner, who was called as an expert witness to describe the wounds suffered by Carrasco. We will tell you what he testified in a few but first, we go with Sabido who claimed self-defense as he took the stand today at around 1:30 in the afternoon. In a much unexpected turn of events Sabido gave another version of the story saying that the entire incident transpired inside the house and not outside, how the prosecution had presented it to have been.


    BDF Document Leaked on Encounters with Guatemala
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers, led by Wil Maheia made their first expedition to the Sarstoon River on August 16, 2015. Just four days before that expedition last year, whilst doing their reconnaissance of the area, they were confronted by Guatemalan Armed Forces. That, however, did not deter their plans and they along with about one […]

    Leader of the Opposition Briefed by BDF Commander
    Today the Leader of the Opposition took a proactive approach regarding the Belize/Guatemala issue and attended a meeting which he had requested with the BDF Commander David Jones with the objective to be briefed on the current situation and past occurrences involving the Guatemalan Armed Forces. The meeting which also had the presence of former […]

    Taiwan’s President Makes Last Visit to Belize
    Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-Jeou will be in Belize tomorrow on what will be his last visit to our country in that capacity. May 20, 2016 marks the last day of his presidency and the first day of a female President for Taiwan. Love News spoke with Ambassador Benjamin Ho who spoke on tomorrow’s visit. BENJAMIN […]

    Body of Teenager Found in Canal with Gunshot Wounds
    The body of 18 year old Mario Trotman was found this morning. He had been reported missing since yesterday and after searching near his home on Louise Bevan’s Street, his body was found with gunshot wounds to the head. Superintendent Commanding CIB for the eastern Division, Hilberto Romero, told the media that the 18 year […]

    Father and Son Shot Inside Their Home in Belize City
    A father and his thirteen year old son were shot last night in Belize City. At around ten thirty last night, forty seven year old Dean Parks and his son were inside their home on Ebony Street when someone blasted several shots at their house. Parks was shot to the jaw and right shoulder while […]

    Chester Sends Strong Message to Criminal Elements
    This morning we received a complaint from the notorious Meighan Brothers of Banak Street. They say that GSU officers barged into their home early this morning. They allege that several GSU officers beat them and one of their sisters badly. The Meighan brothers are known to be gang affiliates and today when Assistant Commissioner of […]

    Police Ops Target Suspects In the Lemott Murder Case
    Thirty four year old Tanika Lemott and her friends came under gun fire early Sunday morning while in a taxi after attending a concert. They were on Fabers Road when they came under attack. Lemott died on the spot while the taxi driver, Jaime Villanueva was shot to the upper back and 33-year-old Dorris Gilharry […]

    Fish Vendor Fined 9K for Undersized Conch
    The GSU made a bust this morning but not the regular illegal firearm of drug bust. They busted thirty-two year old Raymond Myers of West Collet Canal with what they believed to be undersized conch. GSU Officers confiscated the conch and took it to the Fisheries Department. From there the Fisheries Department took over and […]


    Guat Army Aggress BDF in Sarstoon
    The Guatemalan Armed Force accosted the Belize Defense Force Personnel at the Sarstoon in the area of Belize’s Forward Operating Base on Saturday March 12, 2016. The Government of Belize issued a statement on the incident saying that GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempt...

    PUP condemns illegal Guatemalan activity
    And while the opposition leader has been briefed, according to a press release from the People’s United deplore the hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards Belizean security forces in the vicinity of the Forward Operating Base on the shores of the Sarstoon River in Belize “. T...

    BPP criticizes Government’s response to Guatemalan acts of aggression
    The Belize Progress Party has also weighed in on the matter issuing a lengthy statement in which it criticizes GOB’s response to Guatemala’s latest aggression. The release says that this most recent act of aggression by the Guatemalans in Belizean territory is “fundamentally a manifestation of the f...

    National Security Council convenes over latest Guatemalan aggression
    On Monday afternoon, March 14, a special meeting of the National Security Council convened in Belmopan to further deal with the latest aggression by the Guatemalan Armed Force. Right Honorable PM Barrow in an interview this afternoon following the meeting with the Security council, stated that th...

    Taxi with female passengers shot up, one woman dies
    A woman was murdered on Sunday while two others are recovering from bullet wounds and another from injuries to her eyes. On Sunday March 13, three women were passengers in a taxi cab being driven at the time by 31 year old Jaime Villanueva. The group had just left a concert which was held at the ITV...

    Caucasian male sandwiched between two vehicles,; dies
    There was a fatal traffic accident on the Southern Highway early Monday morning March 14, 2016. It happened near San Antonio between miles 4 and 5 on the Sothern Highway when a Caucasian male riding a bicycle was slammed between a parked police pickup truck and a travelling Ford excursion, killing h...

    Attempted Kidnapping in Orange Walk
    There are reports of an attempted kidnapping happening in the Orange Walk district. The incident happened on Monday Marc 14th sometime around 12:30 a.m in the San Pablo Vilage area. Police say they received reports of the Orange Walk resident being kidnapped when the alleged victim called his famil...


    BDF “stands firm” against Guatemalan aggression
    The Government of Belize, through a press release issued yesterday, Sunday, has confirmed that there was a confrontation in the Sarstoon River between the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) and the Belize Defence Force on Saturday in the area where Belize is presently constructing a Forward Operating Base (FOB) to combat illicit border activities. As a result of Saturday’s standoff between the two countries’ military forces, tension in the Sarstoon River is now at an all-time high, because recently, Guatemala has been insisting that the entire Sarstoon River belongs to them, notwithstanding the 1859 Treaty between Britain and Guatemala, which recognized Belize’s sovereignty of the Sarstoon River up to the mid-channel, which includes Sarstoon Island. Guatemala has now been using her military might to enforce her insistence that the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island belong to them. A government release yesterday said, “The Government of Belize confirms that a confrontation between Belize Security Forces and Guatemalan Armed Forces occurred late Saturday evening at the Sarstoon in the area of Belize’s Forward Operating Base. The GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon.

    OAS to discuss Belize- Guatemala Sarstoon military tension
    Belize Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, is leading a delegation to the Organization of American States (OAS), in Washington, DC, USA, where the parties hope to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, at 11:00 a.m. (9:00 Belize time) to discuss proposals for a new set of confidence-building measures for the Sarstoon River, Belize’s southern natural boundary with Guatemala, where tensions flared between security forces from both sides of the border this weekend. A key figure at tomorrow’s meeting will be H.E. Assad Shoman, who will join the Belize delegation as the representative of the Opposition People’s United Party. As senior ambassador with ministerial rank, Shoman signed the 2000 “confidence building measures,” which established the “adjacency zone” along Belize’s western border with Guatemala. He also signed the 2003 agreement. As Belize’s Foreign Minister in 2005, he signed the 2005 confidence building measures, also setting up protocols for relations along the western border.

    Guatemala claims Sarstoon!!
    Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement today in which it made the bold-faced assertion that it “…reaffirms once again that the Sarstún River is Guatemalan…” The statement was in answer to the Government of Belize’s Sunday press release in which it confirmed yet another incident between Belize and Guatemalan armed forces. The official Guatemala release added that if the differendum between the two countries is not resolved definitively by the International Court of Justice, Guatemala would continue to “exercise and defend their sovereignty [at the Sarstoon], as it is now doing.” On Sunday, the Government of Belize said, via a press release on Facebook, that “a confrontation between Belize Security Forces [the Belize Defence Force] and Guatemalan Armed Forces [GAF] occurred late Saturday evening at the Sarstoon in the area of Belize’s Forward Operating Base [FOB].” It added that, “The GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon.

    Taxi ride turns deadly
    One woman has been killed and two other women and a man were seriously injured after a cold-blooded killer fired into the taxicab in which they were travelling at about 4:10 Sunday morning on Fabers Road. Tanika Lemoth, 34, of Tibruce Street, was shot in the lower back and in her upper chest, and was declared dead on the scene. Police, at a press brief held this afternoon at the Racoon Street Police Station, said that at 4:10 yesterday morning Jaime Villanueva, 31, a cab driver, was driving his Toyota Camry on Fabers Road, heading towards Central American Boulevard and had three female passengers with him. Suddenly, a vehicle approached Villanueva from behind, in front of St. John Vianney Church on Fabers Road, and the occupant(s) fired several shots into the cab from the rear, hitting him and his passengers. When police arrived at the scene about 10 minutes later, they saw Villanueva lying in the middle of the street, suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper back.

    5 persons missing
    Five persons have been reported missing. They are Alexis Cardinez , 15, of Victoria Street, Belize City; Kirk Dennison, 15, of Ladyville; Jonathan Dominguez 18, of Biscayne; Miguel Rejon of Orange Walk Town; and Carlos Sanchez, 24. Kirk Dennison was reported missing on January 4. His mother told police that at about 7:30 that morning, Kirk was sleeping in his bed, and she went out, but when she came back home at about 6:30 that evening, he was not at home, and she does not know where he is. He is described as being of brown complexion and weighs about 120 lbs. He is about 5 feet tall and has a tattoo of the word “MURDER” on his left arm and chest. Another young man who has been reported missing is Jonathan Dominguez, 18, of Biscayne, who left his mother’s home on Airport Road, Ladyville, on his way to a family friend’s residence in Ladyville, and was last seen on Thursday, February 25, at about 8:00 that night. At the time he was last seen, Dennison was wearing a white T-shirt with a silver design on the front, a pair of cream-coloured 3/4 pants, and a pair of tennis shoes.

    Taiwan president visits Belize on outgoing tour
    President of the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, is scheduled to arrive in Belize at around 11:00 on Wednesday morning, for his final call on Belize before he demits office in May, when Taiwan’s first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, is due to take office. On Sunday, March 13, Ma made a stop-over in Houston, USA, where the city was observing “Taiwanese Friendship Day.” Ma arrived today in Guatemala, where he met with government officials there. He plans to address the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN, Spanish acronym), based in Guatemala, while in that country. He is scheduled to leave Guatemala at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday on a charter flight to Belize. According to a source in the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ma was invited by the Government of Belize to discuss Taiwan’s bilateral relationship with Belize and celebrate the long-standing relations which the countries have enjoyed.

    NEBL teams making final push for playoffs
    On Thursday night, Belize City No Limit traveled to the new capital to take on Belmopan Bandits, who is riding a four-game winning streak. Belmopan Bandtis (5-4) jumped out to an early 21-15 lead at the end of first quarter, which they extended to 45-28 going into intermission. However, the visiting team, Belize City No Limit (2-5) was able to cut the lead to 8 points at the end of the third quarter, 64-56, which they further reduced to 5 points in the fourth quarter. Belmopan Bandits then went on a 7-0 run to seal the 81-70 win down the stretch. Jarrel “Bird” Velasquez was the top scorer for Belmopan Bandits with 17 points to go with 7 dishes and 3 rebounds, while Nick Brown also finished with 17 pts and 5 rebs. Stephen “Muerte” Williams sank 16 pts, which included 4 shots from behind the arc, while grabbing 5 rebs and 2 steals; and Kyle Pascasio finished the night with 10 pts and 8 rebs. Gregory “Chippy” Rudon had his best offensive output for the season with 19 points and 6 assists, to go with 5 steals and 4 boards. Keith “Superman” Acosta finished the game with a double-double, recording 13 pts and 11 rebs; while Michael Babbles and Marcel Orosco netted 13 and 10 pts, respectively, for Belize City No Limit.

    Kaya Cattouse is Women Cross Country Classic Champ 2016
    Six females started, and all six finished the estimated 73 mile journey (within the official time limit of 30 minutes after the winner) from San Ignacio to Belize City’s BTL Park on Princess Margaret Drive yesterday in the 27th running of the Women Cross Country Classic. It is now a team sport, and defending Women Cross Country champion Alicia Thompson gave it her all, riding alone for her Belize Bank Swoosh sponsor, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 3-member C-Ray Team game plan; and when they succeeded in bringing Kaya Cattouse to the last leg of the race on Princess Margaret Drive, their job was done, and Kaya, Belize’s premier female sprinter, knew she could do the rest. Brimming with confidence after the race, Kaya admitted that Alicia was an extremely formidable opponent, and acknowledged the important contribution of her teammates, to allow her to conserve her energy for the final sprint, which she won handily by a couple bicycle lengths. It was a beautiful sun-shiny day for cycling and for Reef Week, which culminated the same day at BTL Park in conjunction with the Women Cross Country Classic, for which it was a part sponsor.

    PLB Week 8 – 4 teams poised to make playoffs
    Only two weeks of regular season games, along with a couple back matches remain before the start of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2015-2016 playoffs. And, with cellar dwellers Wagiya and Verdes FC both losing over the weekend, the playoff picture is almost set, with the other 4 teams expected to pair off in the semifinals. At the FFB Stadium on Saturday night, March 12, Belmopan Bandits maintained their lead in the standings, as they dropped Wagiya, 3-0, with goals from Eugene Martinez (34’), Jordy Polanco (61’) and Rai West (69’). Also on Saturday night, the surging Belize Defence Force FC travelled to the Michael Ashcroft Stadium and did what no other team has done this season, beat the Placencia Assassins on their home turf. Fresh off their 1-0 shocker over Belmopan Bandits the week before, BDF came out of Independence celebrating a 3-1 victory over the Assassins, courtesy of goals from Harrison Tasher (32’), Osmar Duran (40’) and Paul Nunez (81’). The sole tally for Placencia was by Mario Villanueva (61’). On Sunday, the playoff hopes were further dimmed for Verdes FC, as visiting Police United left Norman Broaster Stadium with a 2-nil victory and a secure spot in the playoffs. Shaking the net for Police United were captain Andres Makin, Jr. (4’) and Carlton “Fubu” Thomas (18’).

    Editorial: Defiance and disrespect
    One of the first things that occurred to us, on being informed Sunday evening about the aforementioned incident at the Sarstoon, was that the Government of Belize’s position, for more than a year, has been that Belizean civilians have been endangering Belize’s military by taking trips to the Sarstoon River and border areas in the Toledo District. Belize’s political leaders, as organized in the Cabinet, have instructed the Belize Security Forces not to provide escort and protection to these excursions of Belizean civilians, excursions within the territory of Belize as defined by the 1859 Treaty between Great Britain and Guatemala, and as recognized by the United Nations on the occasion of Belize’s becoming independent on September 21, 1981, because these excursions would offend or provoke the Guatemalan Armed Forces. “Late evening of Saturday,” March 12, 2016, elements of the Guatemalan Armed Forces, presumably the same elements which entered the Belize side of the Sarstoon River on Saturday morning, February 27, 2016, used their boats to blockade the entrance to the Sarstoon, and prevented the civilian Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) from travelling upstream to the Gracias a Dios border marker, extended their field of operations to the southern mainland of Belize on the bank of the said Sarstoon River. In so doing, the Guatemalan military defied the 1859 Treaty, violated Belize’s sovereignty, and disrespected the Belizean military. In refusing to stand by the entry of the BTV into the Belize side of the Sarstoon on February 27, the Government of Belize exposed their own military forces to disrespect on March 13, just two weeks later.

    From the Publisher
    Expatriate Director of Public Prosecutions Isa Peera this morning screamed at Belizean publisher of AMANDALA, Evan X Hyde: “If that is your attitude, you can go to hell.” Hyde then walked out of the press and radio conference being held upstairs of the Treasury building. During the course of the conference AMANDALA was singled out by Peera for criticism and threats. The foreigner said that several times previously he had been on the point of indicting and ordering the arrest of the publisher of AMANDALA, but he had been informed that nobody believed anything that AMANDALA said anyway. Peera went on to warn Hyde that if he published anything about troop movements or anything in connection with the Guatemala business, he would be doing so at his own risk. Hyde countered that he had been publishing at his own risk for seven years and that he had been to the Supreme Court more than once before. At this point Peera began screaming and Hyde departed. After the incident, the publisher of AMANDALA is CREAM has stated: “Their problem is that nobody believes anything from the BELIZE TIMES or RADIO BELIZE because of their habit of covering up and distorting the news. The people believe more in AMANDALA. Somebody has been misinforming Peera. But this looks like the beginning of the end for AMANDALA, because it has no political party or organized body to support it. First restrictions in publishing, and then arrest, and finally seizure and closing down of the press. There is little we can do. Both the PUP and UDP are against AMANDALA. They are too strong for us.”

    CXC keeping up with technology
    Very soon, students will be able to take their Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams online. It is CXC’s way of keeping up with an increasingly automated world. Juan Vargas, registrar of CXC in Belize, told Amandala that on March 3 and 4, he attended a meeting in Barbados with other registrars from the different CXC territories, and there, the council shared information on the implementation of the online exams. Prior to Vargas going to Barbados for the meeting, Dr. Carol Granston, Pro-Registrar, Second in Command of the CXC organization, visited Belize to meet with Ministry of Education personnel, principals of secondary schools and the CXC national committee. The purpose of the visit was to get additional information on how the online CXC exam process will be implemented, Vargas said.

    Well-liked lab technician dies in traffic accident
    A couple – Irma Ester Avella, 55, and her husband, Pastor Ricky Avella, 55, were driving to Flores, Peten (which they often visited for recreation and to attend church revivals) in rainy conditions when they got in a terrible accident. Ricky Avella survived the accident, but his wife Irma did not make it. Adan Sosa, Interim Administrator of La Loma Luz Hospital, told Amandala that Irma Avella worked at La Loma Luz Hospital for twelve years as supervisor of the medical lab. Sosa said that Ricky Avella was first taken to Hospital National de San Benito, then to Shalom Hospital on Saturday night. Thereafter, family members brought him to La Loma Luz Hospital on Sunday night and on Wednesday, he was released and sent home, where he is recuperating, Sosa said.

    Powers of Immigration boss to be delegated to Hon. Bev Castillo
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow tabled a raft of amendments to legislation tailored to provide a carve-out for Minister of State Beverly Castillo, United Democratic Party area representative for Belize Rural Central, to function in the substantive role of Immigration boss, Senator Godwin Hulse. Hulse, the current Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration, was reassigned the Immigration portfolio last November when a new Cabinet was sworn in following the November 4 general elections. However, Castillo, who had snagged her first victory at the polls over the incumbent member at that time, the Opposition People’s United Party member, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, was named Minister of State in that ministry, with emphasis on Immigration. At the sitting of the House of Representatives this Tuesday, Barrow proposed amendments to Belize’s Nationality Act, Immigration Act, Passports Act, Refugee Act and Caribbean Community Free Movement of Skilled Persons Act, to allow Hulse to issue a revocable instrument to delegate powers he now has as substantive minister to Castillo.

    Spike in cattle diseases reported
    Agricultural authorities are reporting an upsurge in two fatal cattle diseases – blackleg disease, which kills those infected with it within two days, and rabies, which causes death within 10 days. Dr. Miguel Depaz, director of the Animal Health Department at the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), told Amandala that 16 of the 25 cattle deaths have been reported from Toledo and the deaths in that district have all been due to blackleg disease, which was determined through clinical diagnosis of dead animals. He said that infected cattle, which have been showing up in every district except the Belize and the Stann Creek districts, were disposed of. Laboratory tests have confirmed bovine rabies in four cases in Orange Walk and Cayo. The diseases are observed every year, usually at the start of the year, but this year, they are more pronounced, Depaz told us.

    5 persons missing
    Five persons have been reported missing. They are Alexis Cardinez , 15, of Victoria Street, Belize City; Kirk Dennison, 15, of Ladyville; Jonathan Dominguez 18, of Biscayne; Miguel Rejon of Orange Walk Town; and Carlos Sanchez, 24. Kirk Dennison was reported missing on January 4. His mother told police that at about 7:30 that morning, Kirk was sleeping in his bed, and she went out, but when she came back home at about 6:30 that evening, he was not at home, and she does not know where he is. He is described as being of brown complexion and weighs about 120 lbs. He is about 5 feet tall and has a tattoo of the word “MURDER” on his left arm and chest. Another young man who has been reported missing is Jonathan Dominguez, 18, of Biscayne, who left his mother’s home on Airport Road, Ladyville, on his way to a family friend’s residence in Ladyville, and was last seen on Thursday, February 25, at about 8:00 that night.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Major Caye Alert! “They” don’t want DJ Khaled to come to Belize
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) made international headlines today when it Tweeted an offer to Snapchat king DJ Khaled, to come to Belize for a one week vacation on the board. In the video posted by the BTB, there were a series of references […]

    Osmer Sabido takes the stand in murder trial of Christie Carrasco
    Osmer Sabido, accused of the stabbing death of his girlfriend, Christie Carrasco on February 28th 2011 took the stand this afternoon for well over two hours. Sabido gave his account of what transpired on the night of February 28th, saying he first arrived at the […]

    Athlete of the week: Jerry Rhaburn
    Jerry Bruce Rhaburn was born in the small village of Flowers Bank in the Belize River Valley and raised in Burrell Boom where he attended Methodist Primary School. Rhaburn use to work at DNA construction before he started to paddle Canoe. When he took it […]

    Rugby comes to Belize
    A press release from the Belize Rugby Board (BRB), issued earlier today, announced the first ever event for that sport, which was held in Orange Walk Town over the weekend and organized with the assistance of Belize City’s Community Policing Unit, as well as […]

    Nine child friendly municipalities to be awarded
    The Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative is a collaboration between the Ministry of Labour, Local Government & Rural Development; the Mayors Association; UNICEF and UNDP that was signed by mayors of nine municipalities in 2014. Those municipalities, the cities of Belize and Belmopan […]

    Woodrow West vs Shane Orio in the goal, Bandits face Honduran Progresso FC
    Tonight there will be massive football action at the newly built Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium in Belmopan City. Our very own Belmopan Bandits FC will face off against the Progresso FC from Honduras. It’s going to be a goal keeper show down between former Bandits keeper […]

    Father and son shot in Belize city
    Forty-seven-year-old Dean Parks and his 13-year-old son are today recuperating at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after they were targeted by a lone gunman this morning. Belize City police responded to reports of a shooting at the corner of 4158 Jasmine and Marigold Lane […]

    Dr. Mario Estradaban takes the stand on Osmer Sabido trial
    The murder trial for Osmer Sabido, accused of killing his then-girlfriend, 21 year old Christie Carrasco continued today at the Orange Walk Supreme Court. A little after 10:00 this morning, Dr. Mario Estradaban, police pathologist, was cross examined by the prosecution and defense. Dr. Estradaban described each […]

    GOB breaks ground for new schools in the West
    Ground-breaking ceremonies are being held this afternoon in Belmopan City, as well as Santa Cruz Village in the Toledo District this afternoon for pre and primary schools that have been constructed by the Government of Belize through funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). These […]

    VIP calls on GOB to take pro-active stance with Guatemala
    A press release issued today by political party, Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), denounced Guatemala’s military aggression toward Belizean soldiers and citizens, who have recently been denied access into and around the Sarstoon River. The release states that Guatemala’s government is pursuing a […]


    What a Glorious Day on Ambergris Caye to, Again, Be Bowled Over By Change!
    I was gone for just about a month on my India mega-adventure and now I’m back. I am a full time resident of San Pedro. I live here all year- usually leaving once or twice for a family visit in the states for a week or two. But I haven’t been off the island for this long in years – and it gives me a small taste of the shock people must experience when they return to the island after a year or two. Things are changing quickly on our small caye – much of it stemming from the “new” road north. And briefly…just my 10 cents. It is my blog and all :) It is SO time to start putting some regulations and covenants in place to make sure building is done in a way that makes sense (both aesthetically AND for the infrastructure of our small caye.) This is an island dependent on tourism…and the current “jam as much stuff as you can on it as quickly as possible” situation is going to lead to one hot mess – one that turns off visitors to the island. Laws really need to be put in place NOW. Okay. Changes. Blue Dolphin House (beachfront) has filled in and built a heli-pad!!!! on the lagoon side. A heli-pad! I wonder if it has been used yet…and how much DUST will be kicked up by a landing.

    “Something in the Air” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
    For such a relatively small place such as Ambergris Caye is there always seems to be something new happening, and much of this revolves around construction. Buildings are knocked down and new buildings go up. Just around a year ago Sam’s Hardware store in Pescador Drive (middle street) was razed to the ground and a fence erected. And now? The foundations are in and the walls are going up. A little further down the road there’s been activity on the lot that has been empty for years. A bodega built and painted, fences erected and electricity connected. And then air conditioning was installed! What next ? This was not going to be a food stall.Obviously there was something in the air! And then yesterday it all became clear. Golf cart rental. It should have been obvious! But the build that I’ve been watching with a fair amount of interest is the hotel just south of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge that I first became aware of in November 2014. Why so interested? Well it’s the first hotel built on Ambergris Caye by Belizeans , including a well known and long standing San Pedrana family, for many, many years. Perhaps as much as 30/35 years. Rose and I had the pleasure a couple of weeks ago of trying the new hotel’s bar, the Rio Bar & Grill.

    Beach or Jungle? Belize Gives You Both…And More
    “From the moment I set foot on Belize, I fell completely in love,” says Mitch Quigly. “Belize is the perfect country. Pristine beaches on one side and beautiful, lush jungles on the other. It is a hidden paradise for anyone wanting a taste of life on the Caribbean or to live in the remote areas of the Maya.” Mitch has now lived in Belize for more than two years. Originally from Idaho, he had been working in the seafood industry in Port Angeles, Washington but knew that wasn’t how he wanted to live the rest of his life. Living in Belize has given him the opportunity to live life on his own terms without getting caught up in the typically stressful lives so many live in the States. “The feeling of independence that comes from starting something new in a foreign place is something beyond compare,” he says. Mitch didn’t just find his dream country—he found friends and a social life, and married a Belizean woman, Priscilla. Together they are creating a fantastic life in their Caribbean paradise. Priscilla owns a salon in Belize City and Mitch has set up a little wine shop to cater to that clientele. When they aren’t running their businesses, they take in all that Belize has to offer…the rainforests and farmlands of Cayo, the Placencia Peninsula surrounded by turquoise waters, or one of the many island getaways.

    Tropical Island, Fresh Food, Small Business…Bliss!
    The island of Ambergris Caye in Belize has been home for my husband, Marcos, and me for the past three years and during that time, I have learned to appreciate and love the more subtle changes of the seasons. I look forward to the time of the butterflies, or when the Roseate Spoonbills will return. My mornings start with coffee and bird songs on the veranda where I match the bird in my book to the sound my computer generates to name the bird. I check the message board and the weather and my calendar to plan my day. Shopping is done entirely differently, and on a daily basis, which I enjoy. Here, I do not find a recipe and make an ingredient list. Instead I find the foods first, then figure out what I will prepare. Fresh vegetables arrive on Tuesday and Saturday from mainland Belize, and there is a season for many things. When we first arrived, I could not imagine why vegetables and fruits tasted so much better than I could ever remember until I figured out that it is because everything is so fresh, literally just picked on the mainland and brought over on boats the same day. Finding a fresh Mango or an avocado is a treat, and has me planning ahead for cooking with the particular ingredients I know will be available. My shopping day is planned around what we can easily carry in our only vehicle—a gas golf cart.

    International Sourcesizz

    Obama Administration To Further Ease Restrictions On Cuba
    The United States on Tuesday eased some of its Cuba restrictions before President Barack Obama's to the former Cold War enemy next week, allowing Cuba and its people greater access to U.S. financial institutions and relaxing travel limits. The trade and travel changes will allow Cubans to open U.S. bank accounts and authorize those living in the Unites States to earn a salary or compensation, the U.S. government said. Amendments to U.S. regulations will also allow individuals to visit Communist-ruled country for "people-to-people educational travel," the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments said in a statement. The easement comes as Obama prepares to travel to Cuba March 21-22 amid moves toward normal relations with the island nation just 90 miles (145 km) from Florida's coast.

    Belice y Guatemala dialogarán sobre disputa fronteriza
    Varios representantes del gobierno de Belice y de Guatemala mantendrán una reunión el martes en Washington , para tratar de reducir la tensión entre ambos países a causa de la disputa fronteriza que enfrentan por la soberanía de un islote del río Sarstún. En un comunicado difundido hoy, el Gobierno de Belice detalló que la negociación tendrá lugar días después de que ocurriera una "nueva escalada" en la controversia. Según detalló, el sábado en la noche un grupo de las Fuerzas Armadas de Guatemala protagonizó un altercado verbal con tropas de Belice en la frontera del río Sarstún, reclamando soberanía sobre sus aguas. El incidente, que no tuvo serias repercusiones, llevó a que el primer ministro de Belice, Dean Barrow, enviara una carta de protesta al presidente de Guatemala, Jimmy Morales.

    Does shark skin really reduce drag? Not so fast, study says
    Many experts have long touted the benefits of covering surfaces in shark skin-like ridges called "riblets" because the technology has been purported to significantly reduce drag. But a new study in the journal Physics of Fluids finds that the denticles covering shark skin might actually increase drag in some situations – indicating that the premise of this technology might be fundamentally wrong. You might expect sharks, deadly fast as they are, to have smooth skin allowing them to slip through the water with ease and speed. But a shark's skin is actually covered in tooth-like features called denticles. “It was a very rough texture — it’s unlike anything I have touched,” said study co-author Fotis Sotiropoulos, a fluid dynamicist at Stony Brook University, who felt one during a snorkeling trip on the coast of Belize. Researchers have long thought that these denticles must manipulate the flow around sharks' bodies in ways that allowed them to reduce drag. In fact, the tiny features have inspired "riblets," patterns of ridges used to manipulate the flow at the surface. These structures, found in a variety of patterns, have been incorporated into wind turbines (to increase efficiency) and swimsuits (to raise swimming speed) and have even been developed for medical devices (to reduce hospital-acquired infections).

    This Wing-Like Device Allows You To Fly Underwater In Epic Fashion
    In search of cool ideas to jot down on this year’s summer bucket list? Well, you might want to add “underwater flying” to the very top of that list! In a recent video uploaded to YouTube by Devin Super Tramp, the YouTube-famous videographer ventures underwater in Belize with a team of experienced divers. Only, these divers weren’t really doing any diving — or swimming, for that matter. Instead, they were hanging onto a wing-like device called the Subwing, which basically allows you to “fly” underwater. The results? Absolutely exhilarating. The best part? You, too, can fly underwater and it’ll only run you a cool $300.

    Ambergris Caye: A Top Caribbean Retirement Spot
    This part of Belize is welcoming, friendly and authentic. Ambergris Caye, Belize, is a small island in the Caribbean surrounded by turquoise waters and skirted along its eastern side by the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Living on Ambergris, you could wake each morning to the sound of waves lapping gently onto the white sand beaches just outside your window and the faint crash of the ocean farther out breaking against the coral reef. Belize is English-speaking, has a stable government and is part of both the British Commonwealth and Caribbean Community and Common Market. Ambergris Caye is the largest of Belize's 200 or so cayes and 35 miles long. The reef runs up to and touches the island in the northeast at a rocky point. Ambergris Caye's heart is San Pedro Town, which is home to a big and growing community of expats and foreign retirees and also an increasingly bustling tourist destination with the restaurants and nightlife that those realities suggest. In addition, the island is enjoying one of the biggest publically funded investments in infrastructure in its history, including an ambitious road building project to allow better access to the relatively untamed northern half. Also under construction is the island's first mixed-use sports and athletics facility, and Belize's prime minister has announced plans for the country's second international airport at the northern end of Ambergris.

    Latin America and the Caribbean called on to strengthen efforts on cybersecurity
    Leaders of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS) on Monday called on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to step up their efforts on cybersecurity after releasing a new study, carried out by the two institutions with the support of Oxford University, that shows the region is highly vulnerable to potentially devastating cyber-attacks. The 2016 Cybersecurity Report, Are we ready in Latin America and the Caribbean?, shows that four out of every five countries in the region do not have a cybersecurity strategy or plans for protecting critical infrastructure. Two out of three countries do not have a command and control center for cybersecurity. And a large majority of prosecutors lack the capacity to punish cybercrimes and face other problems as well. The report analyzes the state of preparedness of 32 countries based on 49 indicators. It is the first significant examination of the level of preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean against the growing threat of cybercrime.


  • Examining Recent Aggression in Sarstoon Region, 28min.

  • Arturo Vasquez and Sharry Sampson of the BCCI on E Government, 25min.

  • Kim Vasquez and Gayla Lopez on the Women In Art Exhibit, 32min.

  • Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, Belize, 3.5min.

  • Watching a pelican fish in Belize, 1/2min. I could watch these amazing fishers all day long.

  • Belize Coast Guard Wonder Woman Challenge, 20min.

  • Trip "Les Ameriques" part 1 - San Francisco - Mexico - Belize, 3min. First Part of our trip "Les Ameriques": San Francisco - California Yucatan Peninsula - Mexico and Caye Caulker - Belize.

  • Drone over Belize River at the Ruta Maya, min.

  • SMU RUF Belize 2016, 12min.

  • Travel : Belize, 17min. Belize city, Caye caulker, San Pedro ambergris caye, ezboy tours, family, friends.

  • Belize La Ruta Maya 2016, 4min. The La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is a grueling multi-day canoe race traveling a perilous river route across the country of Belize. The route runs West to East along the Macal and Belize Rivers, once the only link between beautiful San Ignacio, in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, and the bustling port of Belize City. This is a race for everyone (not just professional racers)!

  • Mountain Biking Black Rock, Belize, 6min. A sample of the trails at Black Rock Lodge and the route to CheChemHa.


  • My Sweet Belize by Roots And Thunder, 5min. Roots And Thunder new hit.

  • belize eagle rays and fishes, 5min.

    March 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

    Playing in the wind
    March through May are commonly known as the windiest months in the Jewel. As Belizeans say ‘bye’ to the rainy season and hello to the dry season, breezes are a welcome blessing. Like with any natural phenomenon, you can’t control the wind, but we can sure find ways to enjoy it! From kite flying to kite surfing, the wind can provide countless hours of fun activities under the sun. Here are just a few: Growing up in mainland Belize, March meant time to build and fly some kites! Using basic materials such as coconut leaf stems, paper or plastic and some thread, we made kites of all shapes and sizes worthy of the skies. Glide through the air wearing an open parachute while being towed by a boat. It’s truly a spectacular experience seeing Ambergris Caye and the Belize Barrier Reef from up high.

    When will Ambergris Caye get their new schools?
    The common phrase “Education empowers a nation,” is used by many educational institutions and even the government, to motivate citizens to get an education. The phrase is certainly true, and indeed the more educated people a country has, the more skills, talents, and abilities it will possess. But what happens when there are not enough schools and proper educational institutions to house our young children, always referred to as the future of a nation. When the Ministry of Education was contacted in Belmopan, they indicated that there is no information available at the moment. We were told that as soon as the information is available regarding the planning of the projects, the educational officer in San Pedro will be the first one to be notified. In the meantime, the schools on the island will continue striving in order to accommodate more students. Each year, the number of new students increases, and while some schools are fortunate to add classrooms to their facilities, others cannot. This can prevent some students from attending school, while others are forced to travel far to get an education. With the current school year almost over, and the new one only a couple of months away, only time will tell if La Isla Bonita will be seeing any new schools in 2016.

    Single mothers seek helpful opportunities
    The Department of Human Development (DHD) is widely known throughout Belize for the assistance they provide to less fortunate members of our communities. However, many are not aware of what those service are or how to go about getting assistance. There is no denying the cost of living on the island is high, and that factor plays a major role when it comes to single mothers. Most of these mothers try their best raising their children on their own, some even working multiple jobs. Then there are those who actively seek employment and are not as successful, perhaps due to a lack of education, experience or skill. According to the DHD, their services are on standstill until their fiscal year reopens in April. However, single mothers and grandparents who raise young children can benefit from an anonymous outreach program that is active here in San Pedro. “They don’t get help from us, they get help through us. We do have a group that helps us in between right now. They have an outreach that aids singles mothers and grandparents who raise children with food, clothing, and education through our connections,” said Kay.s

    The San Pedro Sun celebrates 25 years of serving the San Pedro community
    On March 14th, 2016, The San Pedro Sun celebrates 25 years of serving the San Pedro community. The first printed publication in San Pedro was “The Village Shopper” which was started in 1981 by Linda Cornelison. The newsletter was more about shopping (which is hard to imagine the shopping options 31 years ago in San Pedro) than news, and in 1982 the publication evolved into The Coconut Wireless, featuring a few community-based columns. The Coconut Wireless was the first paper to be sporadically published on the island and Linda Cornelison was the owner, editor and publisher. Other residents on the island, including Victoria and Bruce Collins (deceased), and Woody Canaday worked with Cornelison to put out the first issue. When Cornelison had to be away, the Collinses and Canaday kept the Wireless going, putting 13 issues out and bringing the newspaper out of debt! In the meantime, Bruce and Victoria had been in the stages of preparing their own newspaper, and after the inevitable demise of the Coconut Wireless, went into full print mode. On March 14, 1991 the first issue of The San Pedro Sun was printed. Their first office was inside Fido’s Courtyard, and prepared using a Brother word processor…until the first computer was purchased from Jeanette Salfeety. The paper went cyber in July 1996 when it started a website page on the popular website.

    San Pedro Polyclinic addresses issues of concern
    Healthy smiles are a product of healthy teeth, just ask any dentist. At the dental department inside the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, children are a priority. As such, a few island residents have complained about the limited dental services available to adults. Those complaints are part of the list of issues residents claim are affecting the services of the clinic. Dentist Ingrid Zuniga confirmed the allegations that the dental services are limited when it comes to adults due to the fact that there is not enough material at the clinic. “At the moment, the dental services are mostly for children, but we have been having some issues because adults also need treatment. However, we don’t have that much assistance to tend to children and adults at the same time. From time to time, we have dental brigades from other countries that provide general service for everyone,” said Zuniga. The clinic does provide services to adults, however the target group is diabetic and hypertension patients. “Anything outside of that, like an emergency, we do give them the service. It’s not that we don’t treat adults, but our priority group is children,” explained Zuniga.

    Mayor concerned over excessive signage on the island
    Guerrero also explained that he is against signs that go against the island’s charm. “People will always want to put up signs to advertise their business, but I am of the idea that painted signs look much better than those large electronic screens flashing neon lights. I would hate to see the town covered in neon light, so we are concerned. We want signs that will blend with the island,” said Guerrero He indicated that SPTC is looking into developing new signage regulations specific for the island in regard to putting up signs, even if they are on private property. “We want to create a bylaw to the mother act on the laws on putting up signs. This new regulation would require anyone that wishes to put up a sign to get a special permit from SPTC. The regulation would outline the size and type of sign that can be placed,” explained Guerrero. For now the SPTC is still in the initial stages of researching and drafting the regulations on signage on the island.

    Ambergris Today

    Angelina Worthington Crowned Ms. ACES 2016
    Congratulations to Angelina Worthington winner of the Miss ACES 2016 crown and title at the pageant that took place over the weekend on Friday, March 11, 2016. Angelina was also awarded Miss Popularity amongst the four contestants that competed for the popularity crown.

    Photo Exhibit Celebrates San Pedro Women at House of Culture
    San Pedro photographer Karen Brodie says she is humbled and honored to have been given the task to photograph a broad spectrum of women in the community of Ambergris Caye, 62 of which have been set on exhibit at the San Pedro House of Culture in celebration of International Women’s Month. On Thursday, March 10, 2016, the House of Culture held an official ceremony to open the photographic exhibit that is now available for public viewing throughout the month. Karen Brodie has taken a lot of pictures in the past two and a half years that she has been living on the island. She is an excellent portrait photographer, capturing special moments that come to life in the facial expressions of her subjects. The 62 portraits that Karen chose to display are only a cross section of strong women who make up the island community. Karen says that taking the pictures were easy, it was choosing which ones to exhibit that was the toughest part.

    Tensions High as Belizean and Guatemalan Forces Confront at Sarstoon
    A press release from the Government of Belize confirms that a confrontation between Belize Security Forces and Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) occurred late Saturday evening, March 12, 2016, at the Sarstoon in the area of Belize's Forward Operating Base (FOB). “The GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon,” stated the press release. “The Belize Forces stood their ground and after some time the GAF withdrew. In the intervening period the BDF Commander General Jones had spoken to an opposite number in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Manatees Rescue Vehicle
    Widtracks Link: Good news for the morning! Belize now has its own manatee rescue vehicle! Congraulations, Jamal!!! Jamal Galves: I would like to take this time to thank every single person who assisted to make this become a reality! For years we have been depending on kind individuals, partnering organizations and caring supporters to assist with responding and transporting stranding manatees. We are extremely grateful to you all for the years of support! With the support of many Belizean citizens who attended our fundraisers, bought tickets, purchased items or just cared enough that you sent in their donation simply because you cared. I have received letters, envelopes with notes of encouragement and money sent to me from all over the country and abroad from housewives, students, plumbers, car sales man, teachers,volunteers, business owners, retirees etc Some of whom are people that cannot afford to send money but do! Why?? because they care! Because they love their country and they want to protect what belongs to us.

    17th BEL Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic
    Sunday March 20

    Cayo Easter Fair 2016
    The 2016 Easter Fair will be at Macal Park again, and there will be food, fun, and games for everyone. Supa G, Caribbean Dynamics, and the New Sensation Band will be there.

    Peace Corps Belize is hiring for Language and Cultural Facilitators
    In the following languages: - Q’eqchi -Spanish - Kriol Please visit the Embassy's official website for more information on the specific position and the application requirements.

    DANGRIGA - Belize Screen on the Green
    Belize Screen on the Green in DANGRIGA is back this month with the screening of the movie "The Color Purple" on March 24th at the Slaughter House. Please join us!!!! About the movie - The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as a director, and was a change from the summer blockbusters for which he had become famous. The film was also the first feature-length film directed by Spielberg for which John Williams did not compose the music. The film starred Danny Glover, Desreta Jackson, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey (in her film debut), Adolph Caesar, Rae Dawn Chong, and introduced Whoopi Goldberg as Celie Harris-Johnson.

    Belize Screen on the Green - March Movie
    Belize Screen on the Green is back this Thursday, March 17 at Governor General Field. Please join the U.S. Embassy and the Belmopan City Council for a special screening of the movie "A League of Their Own" in honor or Women's History Month. About the Movie - As America's stock of athletic young men is depleted during World War II, a professional all-female baseball league springs up in the Midwest, funded by publicity-hungry candy maker Walter Harvey (Garry Marshall). Competitive sisters Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (Lori Petty) spar with each other, scout Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) and grumpy has-been coach Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) on their way to fame. Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell co-star as two of the sisters' teammates.

    Splashers Paint Party Events
    Sue to an invasion of leprechaun's at Crazy Canuck's our paint party will be at 10:30a.m! This is NOT a joke we have to be armed to paint early! The official sign up on the website will be posted today.

    Get a chance to WIN Castillo's Harware Grand Easter Raffle!

    World Water Day Exhibition 2016
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Immigration in conjunction with various local water partners is hosting a two (2) day Summit to commemorate World Water Day which is celebrated annually on March 22nd under the United Nations theme for 2016: “Water and Jobs”. The Official Opening Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. The Opening Ceremony will be followed with an open exhibit and the Water and Jobs Summit, to be held concurrently. On Wednesday, March 16, 2016 the Water and Jobs open exhibit and summit continues in the City of Belmopan at the University of Belize’s Auditorium with presentations commencing at 9 a.m. and ending at to 3 p.m.

    Women in Art Fair 2016
    The Women in Art Fair was Saturday. Big thanks to the SISE HoC for making it all happen. They got some good pictures. "Women in Art Fair" SISE House of Culture celebrating women at the Cayo Welcome Center. A big thank you and Kudos to all our women."

    Senior Steps Variety Show
    The Senior Steps Variety Show will be Sunday at the George Price Centre. It'll be fun for all ages, and it's free.

    BCCI Chamber Day
    The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry had their Cayo Chamber Day last week at the Sacred Heart College auditorium. Great turnout.

    By Kaya Cattouse. I'm still marinating in the sound of that. Looking back on the past couple months and reflecting on all the sacrifices, all the hard work, hours on my bike training my weaknesses so that i could be able to confidently race my strengths. It has been a rough road...but yet still I would walk it again! Although I'm the one pedaling my bike, cycling is very much a team sport and I am grateful for my team on the road and behind the scenes!! On the road, my teammate - Patricia Chavarria...we executed our plan perfecrly! Our other teammate, Paulita Chavarria is only 14yrs old and while she isn't able to contribute to the team as yet, these years will serve as experience under her belt. Our service personnel... my mom and my brothers in the truck, you guys were great! Big thank you to my family, in particular my parents Ray Cattouse and Karen Vernon for playing the roles that they do in my life as it relates to my cycling. I couldnt ask for better!! My brothers Brandon, Riis and Yan who are very supportive in training and on race day! My grandparents, I try my best to make them proud

    Channel 7

    Scary Showdown In The Sarstoon; GAF Aggressed BDF
    For the last 2 weeks, since the second showdown between the Guatemalan Military and the Belize Territorial Volunteers, the Sarstoon River has been the topic of national discussion. Well, this weekend, it became the subject of emergency meetings between the BDF and high ranking Belize Government officials. That's after the BDF reported that the Guat. Arm Forces behaved in "an extreme hostile and threatening manner" late Saturday evening. A press release was sent out by the Government yesterday, confirming that the incident did take place at the Joint Forces Forward Operating Base, which the government is currently constructing. As viewers will remember, there are BDF soldiers who are stationed there to provide security for the contractors building the facility. GOB's statement says, quote, "The GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon. The Belize Forces stood their ground and after some time the GAF withdrew. In the intervening period the BDF Commander General Jones had spoken to an opposite number in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales." End quote

    National Security Council Meets To Discuss Guat. Aggression
    So, that brings us to this evening's emergency meeting of the National Security Council in Belmopan. That council consists of chief persons within the country's security apparatus including the Prime Minister, the BDF Commander, General David Jones, the Belize Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral John Borland, and a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington would have been a party to this meeting, but he left for Washington yesterday. This meeting of the National Security Council happened late this afternoon in the Cabinet Room in Belmopan. That meeting finished about 2 hours ago, and we got an opportunity to speak with a few the officials about what was discussed: Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "We had a Guatemalan vessel go over in front of the operating base that the BDF is constructing at the time and were speaking to the troops there over a loud hailer, informing them that the previous day which was the Friday, that a vessel had gone up the Sarstoon and gone all the way to Cadenas and did not actually report to them. They are not aware of our complete schedule of how we go through the Sarstoon. So, they were expressing their dissatisfaction that they didn't know. Our troops had never gone in there and asked permission to go through and we continue to go through the Sarstoon without asking permission.

    Finger Pointing About The Cause Of The Tensions In The Sarstoon
    So, as we told you at the top of the news, Prime Minister Barrow personally briefed the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno on the incident who sent Assad Shoman to Washington as his representative for these high-level meetings with Guatemala's delegation and the OAS. We contacted Briceno for a comment, and he told us that his party would be releasing a statement later in the day. That came this afternoon, and the PUP says that it, quote " strongly condemns the illegal military incursion by the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) into Belizean territorial waters...This latest incident is another violation of international law by Guatemala and constitutes a grave risk to peace in the region. The PUP joins the Government and all Belizeans in calling on the Government of Guatemala to immediately cease these provocative and illegal acts, and we demand that the Government of Guatemala ensures that the GAF is instructed to stand down and to respect the long established boundary between Belize and Guatemala in the Sarstoon." The party applauds the BDF soldiers who stood firm and refused to accede to the demands of the Guat. Military this weekend. The party then notes the steps taken by the Government for these talks in Washington but it says that more must be done.

    Mexico Concerned About the BDF/GAF Showdown
    But turning now to the regional perspective, the very scary showdown in the Sarstoon has been reported to the friendly neighboring countries. The Central American Neighbors have a vested interest in the continued non-violent relations between Belize and Guatemala, and today, we had an opportunity to ask the Mexican Ambassador about his country's perspective on incidents like this. Here's how that conversation went: H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez, Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "We are certainly concerned and we have favored all the pacific talks between both countries. Mexico as a member of group of friends is trying to help to reach solutions at the Organization of American States and we are confident that both countries will find solutions together." Reporter: "As a member of the group of friends, how much is that group maintained informed about what happens say in the Sarstoon when there are incidents - when there are flare-ups? Does Belize inform these group of friends about every incident?"

    City Woman Murdered In A Taxi On the Way Home
    A woman was shot and killed on Faber's Road early Sunday morning. 34 year old Tanika Lemott and her friends 33 year old Doris Gilharry and Hanifa Flowers went to the Christopher Martin concert on Saturday night. After the concert, they all caught a cab at around 4 Sunday morning. But on the way home, they couldn't have even imagined that a night of pure enjoyment would end in such a tragedy. Courtney Weatherburne has the story. No matter how old and shabby, Tanika loved hanging out with her family and friends here at Mike's Club. She would go every Sunday with her older sister for karaoke night. She would stand on this stage and sing her favorite country and western songs. Tanika was the star of those karaoke nights. But now the stage is empty and her voice is muted - - Sunday nights will never be the same without her. Early Sunday morning, Tanika was shot and killed in front of the St. John's Vianney School. She along with 3 friends were heading home in a taxi after the Christopher Martin concert. But as the taxi driver was about to drop off one of the friends, a vehicle came up behind them and opened fire - hitting Tanika in the back and Doris Gilharry to the chest. The taxi driver Jaime Villanueva was also hit to the back.

    Police Investigating Tanika Lemott’s Murder
    Now, police can confirm that there was some misunderstanding between taxi man Villanueva and another passenger outside the concert grounds, but they can't go into all the details at this point. Police did tell us though that these violent flare ups usually happen after concerts. Insp. Alejandro Cowo, CIB - Precinct 1 & 2: "At this time we are working questioning several people as to what transpired, but we cannot tell you exactly what is the motive behind this murder at this time." ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "Our investigation is still in infant stage. We are questioning some people who we have in custody. We are canvasing the area trying to get as much information of evidential value as we could to be able to see how best we could solve this latest crime. The incident as you rightly alluded to Dwayne, begin at the concert. I wish that concert didn't take place, but that has nothing to do with me. But it happens at the concert, after the concert and this is a trend that we have been observing, that to every time we have concerts on Northside and elements from the Southside goes over to the these concerts and when the concerts are over, there is normally a spill-off on the Southside and we were anticipating something to happen. We had our patrols in place to try as much as we can to mitigate whatever situation that might have arisen. But as always the police cannot be everywhere all the time."

    PM Didn’t Take Questions On Gapi’s Intended Departure
    For the past week, we have been reporting on the sudden move on the part of Gaspar Vega step down as the UDP's first deputy party leader. Sources said Vega felt disrespected after being a stripped of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Now, as you saw in earlier in tonight's newscast, we got our first opportunity to interview the Prime Minister since the story broke. Normally, it would have been a headline story, in which we took the opportunity to discuss it with the Prime Minister. But, the aggression by the Guatemalan Military overshadowed that major development for the Barrow Administration. So, when we tried to ask the Prime Minister about it, he wasn't forthcoming: Reporter: "Do you care to entertain us on Vega.....?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "No sir, we are dealing with this matter."

    Hon. Heredia Jr Discusses Vega’s Intended Exit
    So, how do Gaspar Vega's colleagues feel about his unexpected exit? Over the weekend we spoke to Manuel Heredia Jr, who has a history of opposing Vega, once when Vega ran for deputy, and twice when he supported political opponent of Pablo Marin, who was backed by Vega. But when we spoke to Heredia about Vega he showed sympathy for his political colleague. He did concede that, like everyone else, he was surprised by Vega's departure. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism: "To me yes, because I know we are united and so, but again, I respect Mr. Vega's decision. It was a shock because I didn't expect anything to happen soon until probably when it is time to elect another leader." Reporter: "Are you sugesting that this unity is on the horizon?" Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism: "Not really, because If I decide for some reason it can be health wise, it can be because family wise and so. We have a right to decide what to do with our lives and our future."

    There was a scary attempt to kidnap a village resident of Orange Walk. At this time authorities in the north are withholding the name and other particulars of the victim due to the sensitivity of investigation. However what we can tell you is that sometime after 10 pm yesterday the victim was driving his blue pickup between the villages of San Roman and San Jose when he was accosted by unknown two individuals who jumped into the pan of the moving vehicle as it slowed down to cross a bump. Assistant Superintendent Selwyn Tillett told us more. "The investigations revealed that about 10:45pm on 13th March whilst the victim was returning from San Joaquin Village in Corozal District in his pickup, passing the San Pablo RC School, he slowed down to cross the bump, when two slim Hispanic male jumped into the pan of the pickup; one wearing a black shirt and a khaki pants. The other one wearing a black shirt, black pants - pulled out a firearm and ordered the male person to proceed to Douglas Village. The person feared for his life and did what was ordered to do. On reaching the riverside in the said village, was once again ordered to turn the vehicle and head up towards Douglas Village. On his way out, he managed to throw himself out of the moving vehicle and escaped into the cane field where he allegedly heard gunshots thereafter."

    A Collegiate Look At Belize/Mexico Relations
    When we think about trans-border relations - the first thing that comes to mind is the Belize - Guatemala territorial dispute and the tensions arising between both countries because of it. Now there is another trans-border link that is only highlighted when police make major drug busts in the north and that's the connection between Belize and Mexico. But there is so much more to this border linkage, especially the fact that Mexico has been a model of a good neighbor. Today at the Radisson, a number of other topics centered on Belize- Mexico relations were discussed. Those include migration and identity, the influence of culture and the effects on the economy. We spoke with the Mexican Ambassador to Belize and the President of the University of Belize about the seminar: H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez, Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "After almost a year we are very happy to see that. We came to the idea of working first of migration issue and we deice to make it more right and we brought issue environment, economic, cultural issues and we have today w two day seminar where we are talking about decisions. I am pretty sure that this seminar will help to enhance the relationship of both countries. We have great response from several universities of Mexico and Belize. In Belize we have the presence of the University of Belize which is a very good opportunity for us and we received support of the University of Quintana Roo. We are very happy with the results."

    Belize And Venezuela Launch Food Security Project
    6 communities in Toledo will benefit from Petrocaribe funding. Today the Program and Project Initiative Act under Petrocaribe was launched at the main office on Coney Drive. This act focuses on hunger eradication and food security. A representative from the Ministry of Agriculture further discussed the benefits this program will have on the residents in Toledo. Over 6,000 people in these communities will benefit from this project.

    Rebuilding Caye Caulker’s Beach
    La isla Cariniosa got a half a million beach upgrade. Works began last five months and the completed last month. But on Saturday, the Belize Tourism board, official inaugurated the beach which they say is in the excess of 22,000 cubic yards of material that was pumped unto the beach. Emanuel Pech reports.

    Channel 5

    Another Sarstoon Standoff: Armed Forces Stare Each Other Down at F.O.B.
    There is currently unease in the halls of government following an incident in the Sarstoon on Saturday. While reports started circulating that night, the first official verification came via G.O.B. [...]

    Guatemala Denies B.D.F. Account of What Transpired on Sarstoon River
    In that release issued Sunday, the Government also stated that it would send a strongly worded protest note to Guatemala to condemn the very aggressive action by its military in [...]

    PM Acknowledges Need for Real Protocols to Govern Sarstoon Area
    While Belize has operated on the premise that at least half of the Sarstoon is sovereign territory, the Guatemalans claim that the Sarstoon, and much more than the Sarstoon is [...]

    What Does BTV Have to do with Recent Sarstoon Outface?
    We first heard about the BTV in the role of troublemakers in 2015, after Guatemalan gunboats attempted to stop boats carrying BTV expedition members who were intent on circling Sarstoon [...]

    Will Weekend Aggression Take Center Stage at O.A.S. Meeting in Washington?
    But with all that said, PM Barrow is adamant that there must be a resort to democracy to resolve this issue, since war is unthinkable and cannot be contemplated. And [...]

    Taking the Diplomatic Route and Internationalizing Our Territorial Dispute
    And that brings us to the matter of internationalizing the issue. The government argues that it has been doing just that. But critics say that it is not enough to [...]

    People’s United Party Applauds B.D.F.’s Bravery and Steadfastness
    The People’s United Party has also weighed in on the weekend events. In a release issued today the opposition condemns the illegal military incursion by the Guatemalan Armed Forces and [...]

    Belize City Woman Murdered After Weekend Concert
    A Belize City mother of two was shot and killed early on Sunday morning. It is a tragic ending to the life of thirty-four year old Tanika Lemoth as women [...]

    A Confused Cyclist is Fatally Injured on Southern Highway
    A cyclist riding erratically along the Southern Highway lost his life shortly before one o’clock this morning in a deadly collision.  The fatal road traffic accident happened in the vicinity [...]

    What Does Manny H Have to Say About Gapi’s Resignation?
    The decision by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega not to seek re-election as Deputy Party Leader and Area Rep for Orange Walk North has sent the U.D.P. in a tailspin. [...]

    Siltation at the Belize City Harbor, a Plan to Address the Buildup
    News Five also took the opportunity to ask B.T.B. reps about the extreme case of siltation in the Belize City Harbor, particularly in front of the Bliss Center for the [...]

    Over 7000 Students Sit Annual P.S.E.
    Across the country, students sat the first phase of the Primary School Examinations in English and the Sciences. Most of the seven thousand plus students studiously prepared for the anticipated [...]

    Beachfront Reclaimed on La Isla Carinosa
    Sun and beach are two principal attractions that lure visitors to Belize. In the case of Caye Caulker or La Isla Carinosa swimming, surfing, sailing or other water sports are [...]

    A New and Improved Handicraft Center for Caye Caulker
    The reclamation works will be complimented by the establishment of an improved craft center for local artisans in Caye Caulker. Minister Heredia says that additional monies for small projects were [...]

    G.O.B. to Invest in Expanding Ocean Academy
    On the occasion of a beach reclamation initiative, the Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia took the opportunity to comment on an issue of education. It involves the rapidly growing Ocean [...]

    PetroCaribe and Food Security in Southern Belize
    A tripartite agreement to eradicate hunger in six southern communities within the Toledo District was endorsed this afternoon by the Government of Belize, PetroCaribe and the Food and Agriculture Organization.  [...]

    Food & Agriculture Organization Joins G.O.B. and Petrocaribe in Signing Agreement
    The action plan, says Montero, a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, will also assist in mitigating post-harvest losses.   Emilio Montero, Ministry of Agriculture “The geographic area that has [...]

    Salvadoran National Caught Fishing Illegally in Cockscomb Basin
    Dangriga police have detained a Salvadoran national who was illegally fishing and hunting in the Cockscomb Basin Natural Reserve.  On Friday morning, Belize Defense Force soldiers and rangers were on [...]

    Sporting Highlights with James Adderley
    Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Wagiya FC rolled into the FFB Stadium Saturday night to be hosted by a singing Belmopan Bandits. Some 15 [...]


    BDF Confronted By Guatemalans Armed Forces
    The river Sarstoon was witness to yet another confrontation between Guatemalan armed forces and members of the Belize Defense Force over the weekend. The incident, according to the Government of Belize, played out on Saturday evening in the area of Belize's Forward Operating Base and the armed Guatemalan Forces although they never actually attempted to set foot on Belizean territory, acted in a hostile and threating manner towards the BDF. Reports coming from Government indicate that during the confrontation Guatemala’s armed forces insisted that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon. The Belize Forces though, stood their ground and after some time the Guatemalan armed forces withdrew. As a form of intervention BDF Commander General Jones spoke to an opposite member in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow sent a message to President Jimmy Morales. Today in an interview with the media after a special meeting held with the National Security Council in Belmopan, Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that General Jones’ intervention is what appeased the situation.

    PUP Denounces GAF Threat To BDF
    Leader of the Opposition Honorable John Briceno was briefed about Saturdays incident at the Sarstoon by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and today the PUP issued a release weighing in on the issue once again strongly condemning the quote “Illegal military incursion by the Guatemalan Armed Forces into Belizean territorial waters. The PUP considers the latest hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards Belize’s security forces in the vicinity of the Forward Operating Base as another violation of international law by Guatemala and considers the action to be a grave risk to peace in the region. And while the Government and the Opposition don’t often see eye to eye… this occasion the PUP joined the Government in calling on the Government of Guatemala to immediately cease these provocative and illegal acts and demand that the Government of Guatemala ensures that the GAF is instructed to stand down and to respect the long established boundary between Belize and Guatemala in the Sarstoon.

    Police And Community Needs To Work Hand In Hand To Remove More Firearms From Streets
    A search at an abandoned lot on Savannah Street in Orange Walk Town led police to a Chrome Bureau Baretta nine millimeter found in a black plastic bag. The firearm with model number 92FS had no serial number. No one was found in the area and the firearm was labeled as found property. Recently Orange Walk authorities have seen an increase in the confiscation of firearms and this is all due to the good working relationship that authorities have developed with the Orange Walk community says, Superintendent Selvin Tillett. Superintendent Selvin Tillette – Commanding Officer Orange Walk Police formation: “The community has no trust in the police, they would not volunteer information and these successes can’t be only from the police but thanks to the community who seems to trust our Orange Walk Police formation and as such we have been seeing positive results.”

    Pro-Bono Appointed To Defend Men Accused Of Killing Ramon Cervantes Sr.
    The three men that were indicted for the gruesome murder of seventy-one year old Ramon Cervantes Sr. were today back in court before Judge Hubert Lord. The well-known Orange Walkeno was kidnapped and severely beaten before his body was located five days later on July 2nd 2014 in a shallow grave on a farm located in the Indian hill area, some 5 miles on the Honey Camp Road in the Orange Walk District. The three men….namely Mateo Pott, Belizean Masonry of Trail Farm Village in Orange Walk, Angel Cardenas, Belizean Construction worker also of Trail Farm Village and Noe Daniel Gonzales who is a Guatemalan National were today back in court where family and friends of Mr. Cervantes listened as judge Hubert Lord gave each of the men the name of their attorneys who will represent them pro-bono.

    Businessman Kidnapped And Manages To Escape
    A businessman from the Orange Walk District is lucky to be alive tonight after he was allegedly abducted by two men while driving back home to Orange Walk after traveling to the Village of San Joaquin in the Corozal District to drop off some workers. According to Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, Superintendent Selvin Tillett they received the call of the kidnapping at around 12:30 Monday morning. Police immediately organized a search party and combed the entire area between the Villages of San Roman and San Jose in Orange Walk District. During the search authorities found the victim’s pickup truck parked on the side of the road facing the Village of Douglas and a further search of the area led to the victim who was hiding in a farm located about 300 meters from where the vehicle was found.

    Neighbors Of Now Deceased Testifies On Witness Stand
    Osmar Sabido was again today before Judge Hubert Lord responding to the charge of Murder. The case, which was scheduled to commence at 10:00 this morning was adjourned to 1:30 in the afternoon after defense attorney Oscar Selgado was not present for the morning session. At 1:30 the case restarted with the prosecution calling its first witness for the day. Erla Alvarez, who lives next to the house where 21 year old Christie Carrasco died back in February of 2011 was called to the stand to recount her recollection of the incident that occurred at around 8:30 pm on the 28th of February.


    Guatemalans Show Extreme Hostility in Belize’s Waters
    While thousands of Belizeans went about their daily lives on Saturday evening, an incident began unfolding at the Sarstoon in southern Belize that reportedly had the soldiers at Fairweather Camp on standby in the event of any escalation. Love News had gotten word of the incident just after six o’clock on Saturday evening of members […]

    Internationalizing the Guatemalan Incursions to the Brits and Americans
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that the best case scenario is to see the country’s efforts and the support of friendly nations produce a resolution to this specific problem at the Sarstoon. Barrow spoke of the way forward and preparedness if another incident should occur. DEAN BARROW “There must be a resort to diplomacy in […]

    National Security Council Meets on Sarstoon Issue
    This afternoon, the National Security Council met in Belmopan to address the issue. Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with National Security Minister, John Saldivar, Lawrence Sylvestre, the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Retired Lieutenant Colonel George Lovell, the CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Brigadier General David Jones, Commander of the Belize […]

    Opposition Leader Commends BDF Soldiers While Condemning the Act of Guatemalans
    The People’s United Party issued a statement this afternoon strongly condemning the illegal military incursion by the Guatemalan Armed Forces into Belizean waters. The release reads, in part, quote, The PUP also deplores the hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards our Belizean security forces in the vicinity of the Forward Operating […]

    Mexican Ambassador Hopes for Resolution on Belize/Guatemala Dispute
    The Group of Friends is a political and financial support group of twenty two countries who provide advice to the Organization of American States. Mexico is a member of the Group and today the media asked Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, Carlos Quesnel to comment on the issue of Guatemala invading the Sarstoon River this […]

    Mexico Commits to Aid in the Maintenance of the OAS Office at Adjacency Zone
    The OAS, has been playing a crucial role in the Belize Guatemala dispute as an international referee. As has been reported, to keep the office in the adjacency zone open, requires more than two hundred thousand dollars to keep operations running smoothly. The funds that it is has been tapping into all these years has […]

    Young Woman Killed in Taxi Going Home
    Thirty four year old Tanika Lemott was shot to death early yesterday morning. She was with some friends in a taxi on Fabers Road Area when it happened. The group had attended the Christopher Martin concert at ITVET on Saturday night and on their way to the home of 33-year-old Dorris Gilharry, in front of […]

    PSE 2016: English and Science Exams Administered
    Seven thousand two hundred and thirty students from primary institutions from around the country have registered to take part in the 2016 Primary School Examination. The first two papers were administered today, being English and Science; as explained by the Director of the Examinations Unit in the Ministry of Education, Nelson Longsworth. NELSON LONGSWORTH “Well […]

    Territorial Volunteers Stirring the Waters at Sarstoon
    Today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that what happened at the Sarstoon River on Saturday was a result of the events taking place in that area. Prime Minister Barrow was referring to the expeditions being led by the Belize Territorial Volunteers and supported by other political parties. Barrow went to say that this […]

    Prepping for a Re-occurrence of Hostilities at the Sarstoon
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that the best case scenario is to see the country’s efforts and the support of friendly nations produce a resolution to this specific problem at the Sarstoon. Barrow spoke of the way forward and preparedness if another incident should occur. DEAN BARROW “


    Women unite for gender equality
    Thousands of women – and some men in support – marched from the Memorial Park in Belize City and rallied at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex at the annual 20,000 Strong Women’s Empowerment Rally calling for true gender equality. But what does gender equality mean? What exactly is holding women bac...

    New plan for financial independence of women
    While details are still to be ironed out, another effort is underway to promote women’s empowerment, in the area of the economy. The 20 for 20 Plan is an initiative coming out of the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow, who told us more today: One entrepreneur who s...

    Lincoln Bejerano and minor back in court
    Lincoln Bejerano and a 17 year old female minor were back in the Magistrate’s Court today facing charges of various counts of possession of ammunition, possession of an unlicensed firearm, robbery, and conspiracy to commit robbery. Two months ago, on January the 8th, gunshots were fired on George ...

    Alida Catzin not charged with murder
    No charges have yet been filed in the stabbing death forty-three year old Rommel Catzim. On March 6, police were called to the home of Rommel Catzim and his common law wife , Alida Catzim, a Guatemalan national residing in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. When police arrived on the scene, Catzim was dead, ...

    Opposition senators sworn in
    Two new Opposition senators were sworn in at Friday’s regular sitting of the Senate at the National Assembly Building. Senator Valerie Woods and Senator Paul Thompson were both sworn in by President of the Senate Lee Mark Chang. The other newly appointed Opposition Senator, Eamon Courtney was not ...

    Student charged with maim
    A charge of grievous harm against 18 year old Iwin Palma, a fourth form student of Ladyville Technical High School, was upgraded to maim when he appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. Palma was released on the same bail of $1,500 he was offered when he first appeared in court on March 1. H...

    Two charged for beating of technician
    30 year old Shawn Hemmans, a Tour guide of Belize City along with 39 year old Ivan Wilfred Fitzgibbon, a labourer of Belize City, are jointly charged with grievous harm upon 28 year old Belize City Technician, Justin Flowers who was badly beaten allegedly by the pair on March 3, 2016 outside of Wo...


    Pambana to cover Belize-Guatemala story at OAS
    Pambana Bassett, a native of Harare, Zimbabwe, who has also lived in New York, USA, traveled from Belize to Washington, DC, on Monday, March 14, to represent Kremandala for the coverage of the bilateral meeting between Belize and Guatemala. The meeting is scheduled to be held at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington. Bassett, who writes for Amandala, has been assigned to cover the story for both the newspaper and KREM TV. She is expected to file her first report live on Tuesday’s Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes show via videoconference. (Pambana works at the Library of African and Indian Studies on the Kremandala compound.)

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Petrocaribe, FAO sponsor new agricultural program in South
    The Executive Secretariat of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA), executor of the Petrocaribe program, with funding from the Hugo Chavez Frias Petrocaribe Action Plan for the Eradication of Poverty and Hunger, named after the late Venezuelan president, along with the Food and Agriculture […]

    Bandits face Honduran Progresso FC in friendly match
    On Tuesday March 15th at the newly built Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium in Belmopan City, our very own Belmopan Bandits FC will play Progresso FC from Honduras. It’s going to be a goal keeper show down between former Bandits keeper Woodrow West in the goal for Progresso […]

    Orange Walk police take illegal nine-millimeter off the streets
    Orange Walk Police have found an unlicensed nine-millimeter pistol but no arrest was made. Police report that about 11:00 on the night of March 11th, officers searched an empty lot located on Savannah Street in Orange Walk Town. There they found a black plastic bag containing a […]

    Orange Walk man escapes kidnapping attempt
    Police are investigating what they have described as an attempted kidnapping in Orange Walk. Police say that they received information at around 12:30 Monday morning that a Belizean contractor of San Estevan Village in the Orange Walk District had been kidnapped in San Pablo Village. A search was […]

    Why Belizeans should care if Trump becomes the US president
    Most Belizeans don’t pay much attention to American politics but are familiar enough with it to recognize names like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and of course Donald Trump. For the most part, Belizeans here at home aren’t concerned with US politics; hell, they’re hardly […]

    Three detained for fatal Sunday morning shooting in city
    Three persons have been detained by police in connection with a Sunday morning shooting in Belize City that took the life of 34-year-old Tanika Lemoth and injured three other persons who were inside a taxi on Fabers Road. Police arrived in front of St. […]

    Belize City and San Pedro Police seize over 80 pounds of cannabis
    Over the weekend, police in San Pedro and Belize City conducted operations which netted a total of 84.85 pounds of cannabis that was all deposited as “found property”. On Friday morning around 6:15 in an area behind Belize City’s Supreme Court building, police were […]

    Second phase of IDB-sponsored Sustainable Tourism Program focuses on emerging destinations
    Belize has officially launched the second phase of the Sustainable Tourism Program, focusing on emerging destinations and funded by a 30 million Belize dollar loan from the Inter-American Development Bank secured last October and executed in January. Whereas the first phase of the Program […]

    Salvadoran National busted with illegal shotgun and ammunition
    A Salvadoran national was arrested by Dangriga Police on Friday morning after information was received that four persons were hunting and fishing in the Cockscomb Basin Natural Reserve. Police officers, Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldiers and rangers conducted a patrol in the area around […]

    Early morning traffic accident kills one in Toledo, leaves several injured
    Details of a fatal traffic accident on the outskirts of Punta Gorda (PG) Town last night are still sketchy but it has been confirmed that several persons were injured, including police officers who were conducting searches on two individuals when the incident occurred. It […]

    BDF FC, Bandits and Police FC emerge victorious in weekend PLB matches
    On Saturday night inside the Michael Ashcroft stadium the hosting team, Placencia Assasins, lost against BDF FC. Harrison Tasher, Paul Nunez and Osmar Duran scored for BDF and Mario Villanueva scored the only goal for the Placencia Assassins. Then at the FFB Stadium, the […]

    Fair and warm weather prevails
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with little or no rainfall. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be moderate. High temperatures today are expected […]


    7 Best San Pedro Belize Restaurants to try today!
    San Pedro, Belize is brimming with culinary delights of all varieties, here are the 7 best places to experience them in! 1. Elvi’s: This iconic San Pedro restaurant has been filling stomachs of happy patrons for 20 years when it began as a burger aisle. Founded by Elvia Staines for whom it is named after is a must visit restaurant in San Pedro. 2. Wild Mangoes: This funky island favourite has been serving up creative, and innovative dishes for years. The small, cozy beachfront restaurant only takes a few reservations leaving the majority of its open-air deck for walk-ins off the beach and with one of the best lunch menus around it is always busy with patrons ordering a wide variety of dishes from Chef Amy Knox’s robust menu. 3. Blue Water Grill: The Blue Water Grill considered an island staple on the San Pedro culinary scene is always lively with a mix of locals, and tourists. Famed for its popular Sushi Tuesday and Thursday they serve up a wide variety of dishes to suit all palettes. 4. Casa Picasso: Casa Picasso as its motto states “Dine Artfully” is another famed local favourite and is a major stop along the San Pedro culinary scene. With its chic décor, delicious menu, friendly staff and, of course, its famous Tasting Thursday it’s not hard to see why they retain the title as one of Ambergris Caye’s top restaurants. With the menu updated consistently, there is always something good to try at Casa Picasso. 5. Finn and Martini: The new kid on the block Finn and Martini has already made waves since its recent opening. Belize’s first Martini house the restaurant and bar is owned by well-known local personality Findley K Halliday. Finn who designed the entire restaurant down to the artwork which he painted himself is the brain behind the operation. Finn has 10 years’ experience in the restaurant industry previously running one of the best lounges on the island. 6. El Fogon: Local favourite El Fogon is famed for lunch especially among locals, usually running out of food after lunch because of its popularity the restaurant excels in local foods made the traditional Belizean way. Their rice and beans is some of the best you can get in Belize, with a rotating lunch menu every day is different serving mestizo favorites such as Escabeche (Onion, chicken soup) or Chimople/Relleno (check out our recipe). 7. Palmilla at Victoria House: The Palmilla restaurant has one of the best reputations on the island and in the country for its high-quality food and excellent setting. Popular among romantics and for special occasions the restaurant exudes elegance with its cloth napkins, and crystal glasses, your choice of seating either indoor in the classic candlelit dining room or outdoor under the stars of the veranda you can’t go wrong.

    Relax and unwind at Xanadu Island Resort Belize
    When I say Vacation Photography I always smile.. because I know what my clients hope to get and my goal is to exceed their expectations. I LOVE photographing normal looking families and give them the best photos they ever had and Xanadu Island resort is just perfect for this!


    Coconut Fudge
    Grease a baking sheet with at least a 1/2 inch edge with a little butter or margarine. In a saucepan mix coconut, condensed milk and sugar. Place on stove over heat and stir well. Cook the mixture stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Add butter or margarine and stir in then add vanilla essence and mix well. When mixture thickens and can fall from the spoon and can lift from the pot, remove from heat. Pour into greased pan and let cool. Cut into squares as seen in picture

    Dulce de Leche
    Mix milk and sugar in a pot. Heat the milk and sugar and boil until mixture thickens and add the butter and vanilla essence. Mix well. When a color is brown and mixture is thick remove from heat. Pour onto a baking sheet that is coated with butter or margarine. When cold, cut into squares.

    Easter photos at Sagebrush Belize Campus!
    Is that time of year again, when I decide to do something for someone. This year, we had less people, but honest to be, I felt it just perfect! After our shoot, I did offer one session to a single mom and her beautiful daughter. :) Enjoy and feel free to save your photo and use it on social media. - See more at:

    International Sourcesizz

    Cruise Tourists Attacked in Belize
    A couple of days ago, we posted an article about cruise passengers who were robbed while visiting the Altun Ha Maya ruins site in Belize. During this incident, two cruise passengers were reportedly robbed of a gold necklace and $450 in cash by two men, one with a machete and one with a handgun. A local television station said that "the tourism police officers were lax in carrying out their duties. When the last tourist bus left, so did the tourism police, although the site had not been closed." But the Ministry of Culture later issued a press release saying "there was adequate police and security presence at the Archeological Site." Today, we were notified by a passenger, wishing to stay anonymous, who visited Belize City on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Vision of the Seas, and told us that her husband had been physically assaulted and battered in an apparent robbery attempt on March 8th after their cruise ship docked at the Tourism Village. She indicated that after a ten minute walk from the port on Gabourel Lane, she and her husband ate luch and began to return to the ship. A local man "came up from behind with a rifle and said he was going to kill us if he did not get my bag." Here is her account:

    Thirteen Maya villagers will be standing trial in Belize on March 30th, 2016, under fabricated charges. Like many Indigenous leaders fighting to protect their lands, they are being criminalized for these actions, and may face prison time. On the early morning of June 24th, 2015, traditional leaders of the Maya people of Southern Belize were violently awoken in their homes by police. Charges were brought against 13 people, including 10 farmers, two traditional Maya leaders, and Q’eqchi community spokesperson Cristina Coc, advisor to the traditional leaders and mother of two. The Maya leaders’ alleged crime relates to the defense of the Uxbenka archaeological site, a sacred site to the Maya people, located within traditional lands titled to the Maya people under national and international laws. The disputed conflict arose after Mr. Rupert Myles, a Belizean citizen, illegally constructing a house on the grounds of the ancient temple against the advise of the community. According to the Maya community members, the Belize authorities failed to respond to their call to stop Mr. Myles from doing further harm to the site. The community explained that Mr. Myles was invited to a community meeting to resolve the conflict where he became unruly and village police detained him. However, Myles later accused the Mayas of physically assaulting him at the community meeting, a claim the Maya leaders strongly deny.

    Ma visits ROC diplomatic allies Guatemala, Belize
    President Ma Ying-jeou touched down March 14 in Guatemala, the first leg of a seven-day Central America tour including another ROC diplomatic ally Belize and transit stops in the U.S. cities of Houston and Los Angeles. Ma, who was warmly received by new Guatemala President James Ernesto Morales Cabrera, is heading a delegation of around 80 senior government officials, legislators and business representatives. While in country he will hold talks with Jose Antonio Alvarado, president of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), and address the Guatemala City-based institution. After arriving in Belize March 17, Ma is to meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as well as the leaders of ROC Caribbean diplomatic allies St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris, St. Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

    Living Overseas: Are Politics Driving You Crazy ... And Maybe Out?
    We recently read that, come November, Americans who are unhappy about the result of the upcoming presidential election will be welcomed to move to Canada's Cape Breton. It doesn't really matter which party wins the election, some of you ... many of you, in fact ... will be unhappy that your candidate did not win. And quite possibly you'll start looking in earnest for an escape hatch. Should you want to live on an island (like Cape Breton but in a more climate-friendly latitude) you might consider Belize's Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker; or Mexico's Isla Mujeres or Cozumel; or one of Panama's many idyllic little islands; or even a big island like the Dominican Republic. You'll never need a snow shovel in any of these places. (A broom to sweep the sand from your sidewalk is more likely.) You can swim ... snorkel ... fish ... or sit outside and watch the local kids play in the surf ... every day of the year if you like. A bathing suit and a pair of flip flops is about all you'll need.

    Noticias de Interés
    Guatemalans say putting their troops on Belizean soil is justified until they hear otherwise from the ICJ. El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores con relación al comunicado de Prensa emitido por la Oficina de Prensa del Gobierno de Belice con de fecha 13 de marzo de 2016, en el que se hace mención a un incidente ocurrido en la tarde del día sábado 12 de marzo en la desembocadura del río Sarstún, hace saber: • El día viernes 11 de marzo, una embarcación de las Fuerzas de Defensa de Belice, sin seguir el protocolo de seguridad que habitualmente se utiliza en el río Sarstún (statu quo), ingresó en aguas interiores de Guatemala en el río mencionado y navegó por la ribera sur del mismo. • El día sábado 12 de marzo se estableció contacto radial con la embarcación de las Fuerzas de Defensa de Belice, para indicar a los tripulantes que debían seguir los protocolos de seguridad habitualmente utilizados en el río Sarstún (statu quo), y se les informó que en su travesía, habían cortado un trasmallo propiedad de un ciudadano guatemalteco residente de la localidad, comunicación que fue respondida con insultos por parte de los tripulantes de la nave beliceña.


  • Belize 2016, 7min.

  • La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2nd half, day 1, 58min.

  • La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 1st half, day 2, 58min.

  • La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 1st half, day 2, 3min.

  • BELIZE. DIVE TOUR, 3min.

  • Belize 2016 Turneffe, 24min. Roy Elvis (you can message him on FB) - He is the absolute BEST Dive Master - not to mention, my friend! Met him six years ago in Belize and dive with him every trip there! Thanks Roy for an amazing trip, AGAIN!

  • Caribbean Spice Belize: Amazing Flavors in Belize, 2min. Creating All Natural Caribbean Inspired Cooking Sauces & Spice Blends Since 1999

  • Belize Lacrosse, 4min. Global Service Partnerships is partnering with the Boise State Lacrosse staff to bring the game of Lacrosse to the youth of Belize.

  • Till di Sun Come Up -Ernestine Carballo, 3min. Artist: Ernestine Carballo Label: True Belizean Records Producer: Kendoyl Simpson

  • Follow the Mertz' GoPro through Belize!, 7min. Hugging sharks, snorkeling, paddle boarding and lobster-diving. Bumping down jungle tracks and exploring Mayan ruins. All this and more, with the Mertz family!

  • Belize city- caye caulker Island., 8min.

  • BELIZE 2016, 10min.

  • We are going to. BELIZE!, 8min.

  • Mission Field Memories: Belize 2016, 45min. Go along with two mission teams from Longview Heights Baptist Church as they work at Belize Christian Academy and Marla's House of Hope in Belmopan Belize.

  • Adventures in Belize, 19min.

  • GoPro Video--Belize 2016, 6.5min. I had the chance to study abroad for January term in Belize, Central America. This is a GoPro video about the trip!

  • The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize - Intro to Belize, 10min. The Beer Diaries is proud to present The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize, a series dedicated to using beer as an introduction to history, culture and the geo-political state around the world. In this episode we meet Mike Mann, Creative Director of The Beer Diaries and his team that will document and explore the unique beer scene of Belize. In addition, Mike establishes a foundation of the trip ahead with a synopsis of events that makes this country one of the most dynamic places in the Western Hemisphere.

  • HARVESTING PEANUTS IN BELIZE... Featuring Young Farmers of San Antonio Village, 26min. The video takes us through the steps of Harvesting Peanuts live and direct with the Young Farmers of Belize.... ENJOY!

  • MARION JONES: PRIDE OF BELIZE!, 1.5min. A special tribute to one of Belize's most outstanding female athletes, Marion Jones. How spectacular it was, a moment of pride and triumph for all Belizeans at home and abroad the day she visited Belize, and empowered thousands of Belizean young people to live out their dreams in sports. We appreciate and love you always Marion Jones.

    March 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

    Congratulations San Pedro High School Male softball team!
    2016 Northern Softball Regional Champs! They will be representing the island at the National Softball Championship this Friday, March 18th, and Saturday, March 19th in Belmopan.

    Letter to the Editor: Signs across town
    Dear Editor; This letter is addressed to Ramon’s Village, Headrick Signs and Graphics and Tabony Industries Limited. Please remove the billboard which has been erected in front of Barrier Reef Resort. Besides being a 40 foot high monstrosity, consider how it will affect the residents and their guests. This sign is in view of the 5 condo buildings facing the sea. That is 9 units per building, 45 condos, each housing 2-4 residents or tourists-roughly over 100 people whose experience on this island is being diminished by your sign. And then there are all the tourists and residents passing that sign wondering why you are ruining the look and feel of our island. No one likes to see billboards go up. You are creating the Ill-will of many people who will encourage their guests and friends to avoid your businesses. Realtors tell me this sign has depreciated the value of the condo owner’s units between $20,000 BZD and $40,000 BZD depending on proximity to the sign by interfering with their view of the sea. That is over a million dollars in reduced property value!

    Letter to the Editor: Traffic and Exhaust
    Dear Editor, We have written before and expressed our displeasure about the island’s traffic. During our vacation we were wondering about the high number of vehicles and the high number of very dilapidated vehicles (some with terrible, black exhaust), taxis, pick-up trucks and heavy trucks traffic. We thought this was not tourist friendly and appropriate for a vacation island. We did not feel safe in the high traffic, speeding and the terrible exhaust by some vehicle on the way to town and in town. But we have a solution: – I might suggest that the person/officer who is responsible for giving vehicle permits of cars and issues the license plates should stand behind a vehicle, just a few feet near the exhaust and at least for a few minutes, three minutes I might suggest. Once he has done that he will certainly know very well if that car’s exhaust is acceptable for traffic but more importantly if the car’s exhaust is acceptable for local and tourists to drive right behind on public roads and streets in town. If he feels dizzy he should not permit such vehicle.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Say You’re Sorry
    “I’m going to leave you here while I go to the bank and go to buy vegetables,” Sherry said. “I should be back in about forty-five minutes.” She left me at a table on the deck at the Holiday Hotel. I divided my time between reading and watching the waves break on the reef as I sipped my coffee. A middle-aged man with a young man in his early twenties took the table next to mine. “Well, son,” the man said. “You finally graduated college. Have you thought about what you’re going to do now?” The boy said, “Dad, I want to get married.” “We’ll discuss it after you say you’re sorry,” his dad said. “Sorry for what?” “You have to say sorry.”

    Projects Abroad Belize – Living a Healthy Lifestyle
    Eating a healthy diet is very important, but what is a healthy diet? A healthy diet consists of a wide variety of food groups. It is recommended to eat 7-10 servings of vegetables and fruits, 6-8 servings of grains and cereals, 2-3 servings of meat and other proteins, and 2-3 servings of milk and dairy products a day. When choosing vegetables and fruits it is important to pick bright colors and leafy greens. A fresh piece of fruit is better for you than a glass of fruit juice. When it comes to meat, options with less fat or “lean” meat products such as chicken or fish are better for your heart and your overall health. Swapping white bread and rice for brown or whole wheat is an easy way to make healthier choices. Choosing low or no fat milks and cheeses are also a great way to live a healthier lifestyle. It is important to limit the amount of sweets such as chips, pop, and candy, as these have lots of sugar and unhealthy fats that can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Picking water when you are thirsty not only helps you stay hydrated, but brings you one glass closer to the recommended 8 or more glasses of water a day that your body needs to be healthy.

    Doctor Love: Lonely Girl and Unsigned
    Dear Doctor Love, I am a female in my mid-twenties and I have a lot of friends. We meet a lot of times for drinks and we party nearly every weekend. Until lately it has never bothered me that I am not married and that I don’t have a steady boyfriend. Some of my friends are married and some are not but all of them have someone that is special to them. I am the only one who does not have a special someone. I like guys but I am too shy to approach one without a reason. This need to find a partner is really strong. I am realistic so I am not necessarily looking for the ideal man. I just want someone who thinks I am special, too. How do I go about finding somebody? /s/ Lonely Girl

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Incident Between Belizean and Guatemalan Forces at Sarstoon
    The Government of Belize confirms that a confrontation between Belize Security Forces and Guatemalan Armed Forces occurred late evening of Saturday, March 12th, at the Sarstoon in the area of Belize's Forward Operating Base. The GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon. The Belize Forces stood their ground and after some time the GAF withdrew. In the intervening period the BDF Commander General Jones had spoken to an opposite member in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales. Despite the ultimately peaceful end to the standoff it is clear that tension with Guatemala over the Sarstoon and Belize's insistence on its sovereignty rights in accordance with the 1859 Treaty Demarcation of the river, is at an all-time high. Talks are to take place in Washington on Tuesday, March 15th, between the two sides under the auspices of the OAS, and in the meantime Belize has informed key members of the international community, including the US and the UK, of the extremely critical situation.

    Help Save the Yellow-Headed Parrrot!
    Want to help save a Globally Endangered Species? We have just the opportunity for you! An adventure of a lifetime!

    Poets Corner: Mirror!
    By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez. poets_corner.jpg Mirror! Mirror! On the wall The youth is doing what he sees that’s all Learning from the dirtiest of them all The National Youth Council has been stonewalled But the media will not investigate this at all Being afraid to make the call Bagman in trouble and may take the fall I guess the principal has to make the call Greg Chuc was chosen but the PM did not accept it at all Now they want to put in their puppet, and surprise us all One, two, three It even eluded me For those of you who do not believe in conspiracy Tactics used in this National Youth Council is all dirty DJ going to Pallotti! To pick up pickney School pickney used to pay dirty money Isn’t bribery?

    Lovely never-before-seen pics of Miss Nils when she was younger. Such a beauty!
    Ernilda Codd née Carrasco 1927 - 2016. "In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

    Kayak and Bike with Purpose
    Mercedes is an Ocean Academy graduate who is now is in her final year of Biology at the University of Belize. On her weekends she returns to the island and mentors current Ocean Academy students so they can interpret the mangrove and reef ecosystems for visitors in the school's social enterprises "Kayak and Bike with Purpose". This weekend, Mercedes welcomed nursing students from Pitt Community College/CELA on an interactive beach-trail walk to introduce them to Caye Caulker's ecosystems.

    Congratulations to the women who rode in the annual female cross country championship
    and MAXIMUM respect to Kaya Cattouse for being victorious!

    Cross Country Champions
    All the winners to date

    Alfred Parks, one of the baddest Belizean champions of the race!

    In reflecting on the interview with the 2015 National Belize Cross Country champion, Justin Williams, it was very historic for us here at Belizean Legends documentary series as well as it was a privilege for me to see history been made in the Belizean diaspora as a child of Belizean parents in the United States actually competed and won the legendary Belize Cross Country. Justin Williams along with his dynamic cycling powerhouse brother, Corey Williams, like Marion Jones, brought a great degree of pride and happiness to Belizeans at home and abroad being that he ended a cycle of domination by American, Mexican and Guatemalan cyclists of the most celebrated Belizean past time, the Holy Saturday Cross Country Race.

    Solution’s to help San Pedro’s Traffic problem
    If the people of San Pedro are serious about helping reduce the complaints about our traffic, they are the ones that have to change; one only has to stand on the side of any street and watch how people are driving. The way people drive here would not be tolerated anywhere else in Belize, they drive to fast and have no consideration for anyone else including pedestrians; it is only by chance that someone has not been killed. You can see the arrogance of some drivers as they bully their way through traffic, overtaking dangerously just to get one vehicle ahead. The island is small no one has miles to travel to get to work or school, so why do they feel it is necessary to drive so aggressively and dangerously to go just a short distance. I have driven in many countries as a professional driver and have never seen driving as bad as here in San Pedro.

    The Reporter

    Guatemalan military confront BDF at Sarstoon FOB; we are headed to OAS
    After Guatemalan armed forces confronted Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldiers late Saturday evening, the Government has announced that it will take the issue to the Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday. The report of the incident started surfacing on Saturday night. BDF soldiers were approached by the GAF and told that they should not be at the Sarstoon, and according to reliable sources, could only move about the Sarstoon River with Guatemalan permission. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Guatemalan soldiers behaved in an “extremely hostile and threatening manner.” Today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed the incident and stated how it plans to respond. After the confrontation, for the first time the government is sounding the alarm, acknowledging that tension with Guatemala over the Sarstoon “is at an all-time high.”

    Family Day at Bottonwood Bay hosted by Kareem Musa
    With the intent of bringing the residents of Caribbean Shores together, Area Representative, Kareem Musa hosted a family day with fun activities on Saturday. Musa stated that he is an avid believer in the family nucleus being the stronghold of the society. He said the family is essentially influential for a child’s upbringing. And to secure the well being and guidance of the upcoming generation, the family must become a central focus. He intends to highlight the family and community in his activities. Several activities took place at the family day which catered to the entire family. In his capacity of attorney, Musa understands the need and benefits of legal aid for families. Therefore, attorneys Kevin Arthurs and Wayne Piper were present to offer legal aid services. Health Care is also a priority for the young politician and he had nurses offering their services for participants at the event.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Tensions at “all-time high” after Guatemalan Forces confront BDF at Forward Operating Base; GOB, Guats to meet in Washington
    The Government of Belize says tension with Guatemala over the Sarstoon and Belize’s insistence on its sovereignty rights in accordance with the 1859 Treaty Demarcation of the river, is at an all-time high. This follows a confrontation on Saturday evening, March 12, on the river between members of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and their Guatemalan counterparts. A press release issued this afternoon says that armed forces approached the Forward Operating Base where Belizean forces were stationed and insisted that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon. Government says the Guatemalans did not attempt to enter Belizean land, though exact details of the location of the incident have not been provided. In any event, the Guatemalans withdrew after BDF Commander, Brigadier General David Jones contacted his counterpart in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales.

    Kaya Cattouse wins female cross country
    Kaya Cattouse is the winner of the Women’s Cross Cycling Classic, defeating defending champion Alicia Thompson at the tape in Belize City after 68 miles of hard riding. Third place went to Patricia Chavarria and fourth to Gabrielle Lovell. The race was completed in approximately […]

    Taxi driver clings to life while passenger shot dead
    Belize City police are currently investigating another murder in the old capital. A little after 4 this morning a young lady was fatally shot. Information reaching BBN newsroom, is that two other male persons were injured in the incident. So far no further details are available […]


    See the Real Belize by Visiting and Supporting Santa Teresa
    Not everyone visiting Belize is eager spend all of their time swimming, diving, touring attractions like Mayan ruins and bar hopping into the wee small hours of morning. Getting to know the people, the culture and the personal side of Belize has become a favorite way to vacation in this lush Caribbean nation, so if the idea of getting more than a suntan intrigues you, consider a visit to Santa Teresa, located in a remote corner of the Toledo District. What can you expect if you travel here to see the real face of Belize? A peaceful world that time forgot and also an opportunity to help make sure this little village gets the help it so richly deserves. Located deep in the lush tropical wilderness, Santa Teresa’s roots reach deeply down into Belize soil. Today’s population is tiny—perhaps 330—and the community’s cultural heritage originated in the past when this land was occupied by Mayan peoples. While some Santa Teresa residents work outside the village, others play host to visitors eager to know more about the way of life of people living as their ancestors did generations ago. The very best way to experience Santa Teresa is to hire an experienced guide, and you would be hard-pressed to surpass Island Expeditions. You wouldn’t hire someone from Ontario to show you around Belize City, would you? Santa Teresa guides are chosen by Island Expeditions for their knowledge and congeniality and since they speak English, ask all the questions you like when you visit. The highlight visitors seem to enjoy most is sharing a delicious, traditional midday meal of “caldo” with a host family. This tasty dish, prepared from locally-grown chicken, spicy broth and served with fresh tortillas, ends with a roasted cacao bean beverage. It tastes like chocolate coffee—and you’re welcome to sip a second cup.

    Slices of Life in Belize, March 13, 2016
    Well, things are finally moving with our pool project. For starters, we were put in touch with two other contractors and, figuring we had nothing to lose, asked them for estimates. Turned out it was a good decision. We now are signed on with a Mr. Mario. He has done lots of construction, including pools, in the area. He has three teams of workers, owns his own equipment, such as cement mixers, and is as nice as can be. We have already taken delivery of gravel and sand... ...and the crew will be here tomorrow morning to start digging the foundation. We're also going to get another load of sand on Monday. If all goes according to plan, the project should be done in about eight weeks. Clearly, I will be blogging throughout, so be sure to check back here for updates.

    My Belizean Adventures on San Pedro Island, Belize!
    Belizean adventures like snorkeling off Ambergris Caye, exploring the local life, and sampling the food scene are real on the Belize island of San Pedro. One of the many things I loved about San Pedro island was certainly the ease of access to the beach, as well as the very short commute to one of the Caribbean’s best diving spots. Despite Belize being located in Central America and much closer to Mexico than you would imagine, you couldn’t help but feel the laid back vibes that are pretty commonly known across the Gulf of Mexico in the Caribbean Islands much further East.

    International Sourcesizz

    Green administrator builds school in Belize
    For most people, Belize is a tropical paradise with white, sandy beaches, beautiful blue ocean water and a fun-filled night life that abounds with good food, drink, and entertainment. Located on the east coast of Central America, it borders Mexico on the north, Guatemala on the west and south, and the Caribbean on the east. But there is another side of Belize that most tourists do not see. This was the side that Green Local Schools administrator Julie McMahan saw for a week during a recent trip to the country. It all started when her husband Dana forgot his daughter Katey's birthday. She was attending Oklahoma City University, a small, private Methodist school, and he apologized via e-mail. When he asked her what he could give her for a present she asked for money for a trip to Belize. At first he thought she was joking - until he called and she told him she wanted to go there as part of a mission project to help build a school. She also told him they were looking for some chaperones to go along. Katey told her supervisor, Dr. Charles Neff, about the work Julie did with non-profit organizations and her passion for education. After talking with them, Neff invited Julie and Dana to come along as chaperones.

    The Belize financial regulator, the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), has granted license to forex broker Arvis Capital Ltd., trading as Arvis FX, according to data published on the regulator’s website. The IFSC has included the broker in a list of financial service providers registered and regulated in the country. With its addition, the list comprises of 99 regulated entities that provide trading in securities. Arvis FX was set up in 2013 and is based Belize. It offers white-label forex solutions to other brokers, which allow them to offer forex trading under their own brand. Arvis FX allows forex trading and spread betting in nearly 200 currency pairs, as well as binary option on 15 forex pairs. The broker provides no trading conditions on its website, nor any regulatory or authorization information.

    7 Caribbean Treehouse Hotels
    You’re up in the leaves, just the sounds of birds and hoot owls and the sand down below. This is not the beach experience; it’s something else. This is a different Caribbean, a rustic, natural place where you can disconnect from your day-to-day life and connect with something far different. The Caribbean is home to some quirky hotels where you can channel Robinson Crusoe, up among the treetops. They’re not for everybody, but they’re well worth the effort. These are the Caribbean’s treehouse hotels. Belize’s adventure-focused Hamanasi resort is home to some full-fledged treehouse rooms, with all of the luxuries you’d expect. The treehouse rooms are literally built among the trees, perched about 12 feet off the ground.

    Clayton Williams Wins Big at Garifuna Music Awards
    Congratulations, Clayton Williams, for winning 5 awards at the Garifuna Music Awards! The awards took place in New York last night. The opening act is online, and is a must watch, as it has everything in it. Keep up the great music, Clayton! "I want to give thanks to everyone who voted and supported me in the garifuna music awards. Came out with 5 awards. Garifuna nuguya"

    Sofia Gómez Uribe, Pan-American Record Holding Free Diving champion, dives Belize's Great Blue Hole
    Sofía Gómez, campeona panamericana de apnea, se sumergirá por primera vez en el Agujero Azul de Belice, catalogado por investigadores del mar y la vida marítima como uno de los diez mejores en el mundo para explorar y conocer bajo el agua. La apnea es una prueba deportiva en que se mide la capacidad de estar bajo el agua o la profundidad a que se puede bajar en el agua a pulmón libre. Por otra parte, el Agujero Azul en Belice es considerado como patrimonio mundial por la Unesco en 1996, siendo la barrera de arrecife de coral más grande del hemisferio occidental, ya que cuenta con más de 305 metros de radio y 145 metros de profundidad. La pereirana Sofía Gómez, de 23 años, tiene un récord de 81 metros en peso constante, es decir la modalidad de apnea que consiste en bajar y subir en una profundidad sin ayuda de ningún equipo externo. Sofía Gómez manifestó que espera cumplir el reto de descender más de 50 metros. ¿De dónde surgió la idea de hacer este viaje? “Este viaje es una aventura que surgió gracias a la ayuda de Copa Airlines y me siento muy contenta porque es la primera vez que voy al Agujero Azul de Belice, para mi es gratificante conocer otros lugares”. ¿Cómo llegó a ser campeona panamericana de apnea? “Siempre he hecho deporte y desde hace mucho tiempo practicaba natación. Hace cinco años me dediqué a la apnea. Desde hace tres años me enfoqué en profundidades y poco a poco he entrenado hasta llegar a competir”.

    10 things you need to know about a Belize offshore company
    An International Business Company (IBC) is arguably one of the most effective corporations and is a tool used by individuals and corporations around the world to plan their taxes and manage assets. These kinds of companies have the same basic structure, but will have fundamental differences from one to the next, a situation we can attribute to jurisdiction. IBCs are understood as the core drivers of the offshore service platform around the world. Said companies are legally mandated to carry out any international transactions as long as they do it by the book. They have certain privileges too, and one of them includes being allowed not to pay taxes within the country of operation. In addition to that, such an institution is not required to disclose the names and contacts of its owners or the intricate details of its operations. A Belize IBC is a corporation formed pursuant to the stipulations of the Belize International Business Companies Act of 1990. Experts in legal matters consider this as one of the most instructive piece of legislation covering the operations of offshore businesses across the world. This is because it understands the intricacies of a particular jurisdiction (Belize in this case) and provides a friendly leeway for users, regardless of the nature of activities they are involved in (as long as they are legal).

    March 16, 2016 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

    This Week's Stories:

    • National Budget Debate 2016:
      Perhaps as widely and anxiously anticipated as the Cross Country Cycling Classic or the Ruta Maya River Challenge is the Annual National Budget Debate! Set for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22 and 23, the two-day event promises to be one of the most eventful as the first three-term administration in post-independence Belize undertakes the obligatory task of defending its first budget in the new term. Appropriately titled, “Stability in a Time of Change”, the 2016-2017 National Budget is a realistic but ambitious proposal in the face of unprecedented regional and international challenges, against a backdrop of shrinking disposable financial resources, but thankfully on the back of a macro-framework characterized by (in the words of the Prime Minister) an economy and public finances which stand on the rock-solid foundation of a strong currency backed up by excess reserves, robust fiscal revenues and a well-managed public debt.
      The Government of Belize confirms that a confrontation between Belize Security Forces and Guatemalan Armed Forces occurred late evening of Saturday, March 12th, at the Sarstoon in the area of Belize's Forward Operating Base. The GAF approached the FOB, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon. The Belize Forces stood their ground and after some time the GAF withdrew. In the intervening period the BDF Commander General Jones had spoken to an opposite member in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales. Despite the ultimately peaceful end to the standoff it is clear that tension with Guatemala over the Sarstoon and Belize's insistence on its sovereignty rights in accordance with the 1859 Treaty Demarcation of the river, is at an all-time high. Talks are to take place in Washington on Tuesday, March 15th, between the two sides under the auspices of the OAS, and in the meantime Belize has informed key members of the international community, including the US and the UK, of the extremely critical situation.
    • “The BEST is HERE!” New Water System for Maskall Villa:
      Close to 1,500 residents of Maskall Village in Belize District will Soon Have Easy Access to Quality Potable Water. Ground-breaking ceremonies for Maskall’s Rehabilitated Rudimentary Water System were held on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. The implementation of the water project represents the unwavering commitment of the Government of Belize to address the basic needs of Belizeans, in the areas of water, sanitation and health. The water project is being financed by the Government of Belize at a cost of $999,494.96 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank; so that residents of Maskall are provided with continuous supply of reliable quality potable water to meet their daily needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and cooking. The water project will entail the construction of a water tank with a 40,000 gallon capacity, a 10’ x 10’ pump house, installation of transmission and distribution lines.
      The dramatic changes in leadership of the two major political parties might seem earthshaking, but they are part of the normal course of political transition in a dynamic democracy. Political leaders at all levels serve at the behest and pleasure of the people they are presumed to represent. No human endeavor is ever perfect, but in order for the core principles of Democracy to remain relevant, the people must at reasonable intervals be afforded the opportunity to express their satisfaction or disapproval with the quality, effectiveness and consequence of the representation their leaders are discharging on their behalf. When the current Opposition Party made the decision in the last term to pass resolutions constitutionally shielding its leaders from being challenged internally, it was an undemocratic and illadvised move; and this has been borne out by the unbroken chain of political defeats leading to the eventual change, some weeks ago, of its leadership.
    • Reopening of Isidoro Beaton Stadium:
      The brainchild of area representative and Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar, construction works at the Isidro Beaton Football Stadium will be completed this week. Its design genius can no longer be concealed behind curtains of construction activity. The stadium has been upgraded to world-class standards at an estimated cost of just over $3.5 million. The massive complex will be the pride of Belmopan - if not that of the entire country. Yes, this is part of The Best Is Yet To Come pledge from our United Democratic Party government. “I have never seen such a green field,” said Hon. Michael Finnegan an accomplished football sports commentator and writer in his own right, on doing a recent walk through of the facility.
    • 20,000 Strong March & Rally:
      Spearheaded by Special Envoy for Women and Children, First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow, the “20 Thousand Strong” Women’s March and Rally took place in Belize City, on Friday, March 11, 2016. All dressed in orange T-shirts, the throng of women from around the country assembled at Memorial Park, from where they marched to Marion Jones Stadium, the venue of the official ceremony and rally. Speaking with Channel Seven News, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow remarked, “I am happy to say that this is a way much bigger crowd than the last 20,000 strong. Obviously the message got out that the 20,000 strong is a movement, it’s a movement to create change. Change in our society of how we view women; how we treat our women, and that is very important.” Speaking with Channel Five News, she expounded, “Women need to start believing in themselves. It starts with us. It starts with home, and what we allow our boys and girls and children at home to do – in terms of chores, in terms of how we treat each other. It really starts with that, and it’s about us breaking barriers,” she asserted.
    • ConferenceNew Market for Old Road Farmers: Castro Brings Together Farmers & Tourism Industry:
      As Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Honourable Edmond Castro has brought together fruit and vegetable farmers from the Old Road Area, mainly Maskall, Bomba and Naggo Bank, for a working session with representatives of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) Belize City, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker branches. They are formulating a strategy to market the farmers’ produce to be supplied directly to the islands for consumption in the tourism sector. Towards this end, Honourable Castro says another session will be held in the next few weeks with representatives from the Departments of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Port Authority, BTIA and hoteliers.
    • Embassy of Japan Grants US$90 Thousand to Belize High School of Agriculture:
      On Friday, March 11, 2016, Mr. Hideki Shinozaki, Second Secretary of Embassy of Japan to Belize, signed a Grassroots Human Security Grant Contract of US$90,804.00 with the Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk. The grant from the Japan Embassy will be used for the construction of a new building (two classrooms and a library) to address the issue of overcapacity of students in the classrooms. The contract signing ceremony took place at the Belize High School of Agriculture. Present were Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, and Mr. Monty Sadarangani, Honorary Consul General of Japan.
    • DPM Gaspar Vega Attends UN Food & Agriculture Conference:
      Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Gaspar Vega in his capacity as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, led a delegation to the 34th United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Mexico City from February 29th to March 3rd, 2016. The Conference, which was opened by the President of Mexico, H.E. Enrique Peña Nieto, focused on the challenges and prospects for food and nutrition security in the region and reviewed the measures that led to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and to the challenges faced towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
    • “Stability in a Time of Change:” Belize National budget 2016 - 2017:
      Mr. Speaker, I rise to move the second reading of the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year 2016/2017. This is the inaugural budget in the recently won, historic, third consecutive term of the UDP Administration; and this edition, in like fashion as the previous eight budgets I have read, will-I believe-reassure general citizenry and particular stakeholders alike that the current and forecast state of the public finances of Belize are both sturdy and stable. There is, of course, a narrow political minority that reflexively opposes everything UDP. But impartial observers all agree that the sterling stewardship of the people’s money was foremost in the minds of the voters as they cast their ballots last November. Our consistent and long record of judicious financial management, Mr. Speaker, has produced an unbroken period of steady growth and optimal economic conditions. There is now a historical vindication of both our philosophy and our probity.
    • Raising the Bar to Compete Globally:
      More than 50 producers from Orange Walk Town and surrounding villages met at La Inmaculada Credit Union Conference room on Friday, 4th March to obtain crucial information that will assist them to improve their services and raise the bar to compete globally. The meeting was in the form of a Trade Clinic, which was the first of its kind organized by EXPORTBelize, a unit of BELTRAIDE, with the aim to sensitize the private sector on regulations, requirements, export procedures and documentations and opportunities that exist under trade agreements in order to do business in the local and international market. The Trade Clinic included presentations from the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS), the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), the Customs & Excise Department and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. Topics included: Standards (labeling, CODEX, metrology, etc), Export Procedures, Trade Agreement Opportunities and Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary Measures among many others.


  • Female Cross Country Finish , 1min.

  • Belize Spring Break 2016, 2min.

  • The Mission Church Belize Pictures February 2016, 7min.

  • Christopher Martin Big Deal Concert Live in Dangriga Belize, 1.5min. Christopher Martin, Jamaica's BIGGEST Dancehall Reggae artist will be performing live in Dangriga Town, the "Culture Capital of Belize", on Saturday, March 19th 2016. Be there or be nowhere!

  • 2016 Belize for Elisabeth & Robert, 2.5min. Flew down for a week and had the pleasure of exploring San Pedro, Belize and end the vacation with a big wedding celebration of two of my great friends.

  • How to tie island wrap Belize, 3min.

  • Belize River Adventure, 13min. Join us on this EXCITING journey down the Belize River in a speed boat, as we encounter jungle life on the edge of this famous river. Filmed on Feb. 18, 2016, as an excursion while on a Princess Cruise in the Western Caribbean.

  • Jungle Wildlife Rescue, reality TV series set in Belize, 5min. shot edited and produced by Daniel Velazquez cast Arran Bevis, Isabelle Paquet-Durand, Charles Britt produced and written by Kristi Drexler, Ilana lapid

  • Sullivans take on Belize, 5min. Darin, Kelsie, and Kaylee went to Belize on a mission trip and this is the go pro footage they took.

  • Diving Cypress Reef and Victoria Tunnels- Ambergris Caye, Belize- March 2016, 8min.

  • Belize 2016, 22min. Sleeping Giant in Belmopan, Snorkeling in Belize Feb 2016, Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan, Coral Gardens and Conch Alley

  • Belize diving, 13min. Some great dives with lots of nurse sharks and a couple reef sharks with Ramons in Belize.

  • Fishing, Beach BBQ and Snorkel, Lucky Devil San Pedro, 2.5min. Thanks for choosing Lucky Devil Fishing and Tours San Pedro Belize.

    March 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

    IDB funds Belize US$15 Million for 2nd Sustainable Tourism Program II
    A year of consultation with Belize’s tourism professionals, property owners and investors about the industry’s needs culminated with the launch of the Sustainable Tourism Program II (STP2). The project will be funded with US$15 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) with matching funds from the Government of Belize. IDB officials joined representatives of the Belize Tourism Board, the Belize Tourism Industry Association, the Belize Hotel Association, the National Protected Areas System, the National Institute of Culture and History, along with officials from the Ministries of Tourism and Forestry and Fisheries and Sustainable Development for a three-day launch workshop at the Black Orchid Lodge in Burrell Boom on Tuesday through Thursday, March 8-10. IDB natural resources specialist Michele Lemay explained that the IDB has been collaborating with Belize in the development of the tourism sector since 1998, and while STP1 had focused on prime destinations like Belize City and San Ignacio, this second program will now address the needs of other not so well developed destinations like Corozal, Toledo, Caracol and Caye Caulker.

    Tropic Air gives back to Caye Caulker Cancer Support Group
    Tropic Air, The Airline of Belize, has announced the February results of its ongoing nationwide #TropicGivesBack charitable fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 will be donated to an organization chosen by our staff stationed in that community. In January, $500 was donated to the Dangriga Red Cross. February was the chosen month for Caye Caulker, with Belmopan scheduled for March and San Ignacio coming in April. As part of the airline’s largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and customers joined efforts and raised $400 for “Arms of Love”, a Caye Caulker cancer support group. Sergio Marin, Caye Caulker Station Manager and his Staff presented a check to Ms. Enelda Rosado from “Arms of Love” on Thursday, March 3rd.

    Breaking the silence: Human trafficking expert holds workshop for local media correspondents
    A full-day media workshop was held on Saturday, March 5th at the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ITVET) in Belize City. The workshop tackled subjects such as gender-based violence, recent jargon adjustments that reflect gender, femicide and variations of human trafficking. It was hosted under the Head of State and Government of the Central American Integration System (SICA) BA1 Project, and led by none-other by Anne-Marie Williams, director of the Women’s National Commission and a qualified advocate in the area of Trafficking. Williams was the eighth Belizean to be selected for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Program, where she received graduate-level studies in the area of “Trafficking in Persons, Policy, and Prevention” at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington D.C. USA. In attendance were representatives from The San Pedro Sun, Love FM, Centaur TV 3, Krem Radio, Radio Turquesa 91.5, and PG TV. This intensive workshop was organized in an effort to educate Belizean media correspondents in sensitizing their approaches when it deals with sensitive topics. One of the many media mistakes mentioned included victims’ oppression, or their identities are revealed, such as in cases of rape or incest.

    Lutterloh Pattern System taught at SP House of Culture
    Invented in Germany around 1935, the Lutterloh Pattern-Making was created, and on Saturday March 5th, around 27 interested seamstresses and tailors, as well as hobby sewing enthusiasts were able to participate in a free class to learn the method. Inside the San Pedro House of Culture, Frank Lutterloh walked interested attendees through the method of making their own patterns to be able to sew basic items from scratch. Custom-fit patterns were no longer the end product of years of study, as Lutterloh showed simple tricks and tips to creating patterns to follow on a sewing machine. Participants who attended one of the two afternoon classes learned to make two styles of vests and a collar and sleeve, which were then fitted on a volunteer so that they could see the final result.

    BAHA issues advisory for Rabies and Blackleg for cattle farmers
    All that delicious beef that meat lovers enjoy eating may be in jeopardy due to a disease affecting cattle countrywide. An advisory has been issued to all livestock producers, and it strongly recommends farmers to vaccinate their livestock against “Rabies and Blackleg” disease. It has been an ongoing cattle disease threat throughout the country and thus, the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) is advising that if farmers have not vaccinated their cattle in the last year against Rabies or against Blackleg in the last six months, they must do so now. Beef is a common staple on Ambergris Caye and knowing a bit about these diseases that are affecting the suppliers of this delicacy is important for everyone. BAHA personnel have been visiting the main beef suppliers in the country to do inspections in order to avoid the disease from reaching your plates.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Phoenix beach cleanup
    For this week's beach clean up photo we went with a human Maya temple look. Props to folks on bottom using one hand.

    Belize unveils climate-resilient tourism program
    The ministry of tourism and civil aviation in Belize, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), officially launched the Sustainable Tourism Program II in a kick-off workshop on March 8-10, 2016, in Burrell Boom Village. In October 2015, the IDB’s board of executive directors approved a US$15 million loan facility and, in January 2016, a loan agreement was executed between the IDB and the government of Belize for this new program. Tourism continues to be one of Belize’s most important economic sectors, contributing 15 percent of total direct GDP and generating US$747 million in foreign exchange earnings in 2014. It also represents 35 percent of total exports of goods and service and contributes one out of every six jobs for the nation. The first Sustainable Tourism Program (STP I) focused on consolidation of the destinations of Ambergris Caye, Placencia, Belize City and San Ignacio and generated the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan 2030 (NTSMP). Following the implementation of STP I in 2013, the government of Belize and the IDB collaborated on a second Sustainable Tourism Program (STP II), through an extensive planning process.

    Sarteneja Easter Regatta
    Sarteneja Village is coming alive this upcoming Easter Weekend. Lookout for Sunday March 27th. Everyone is invited. Enjoy and be safe!

    Cayo Wins Festival of Arts Competition
    It's Children's Month, and to celebrate, the Festival of Arts kicked off this week. Cayo was represented well...very well. Congratulations! "Congratulations to the Cayo District for bringing in the Championship... Yaaah! You go girls."


    Abused San Pedro wife stabs husband to death
    An abusive relationship that has been festering for years between a couple in San Pedrito, San Pedro, came to a deadly end at the couple’s home at about 9:00 last night, Sunday, March 6. Police say that a woman stabbed her husband in the chest and abdomen with a butcher knife. Rommel Benedicto Catzim, 35, a laborer of San Pedrito, San Pedro, was declared dead on the scene on the verandah of their house. His wife, Alida Lily Borrayo Barrientos de Catzim, 45, was waiting for police at their house with their son, 5 years old, and when they arrived she handed herself over to them and also gave them the knife with which she had stabbed her husband. Alida told police that she killed Rommel because she was tired of being beaten by him. In an interview with Amandala yesterday morning, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, Commander of San Pedro Police, said that the couple was socializing in the yard of the apartment house in San Pedrito when the husband became aggressive and they became involved in an argument. Alida reportedly went upstairs to their flat, leaving Rommel, who was drinking.

    Three San Pedro cops remanded for murder
    A San Pedro bartender, Edwin Ixpatac, 30, died after an alleged beat-down by three policemen while in lockdown at the San Pedro Police Station, San Pedro police say. Police say that Ixpatac, who was intoxicated, was locked up in a cell for the night after an altercation with police, and that he was not taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic for medical attention after he was beaten. When a check was made on Ixpatac in the morning, however, he was unconscious. He was then rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic, then to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a coma. Ixpatac was put on life support in the KHMH’s Intensive Care Unit, where he died at about 4:00 Monday morning, less than 3 days after he had been beaten. A post-mortem conducted on Ixpatac’s body by Dr. Mario Estradabran yesterday morning certified the cause of his death to be blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen. The Police High Command ordered an immediate investigation into the death and arrested the three police officers and the supervisor who was on duty at the time of the incident, Sergeant Raymond Berry.

    PUC approves 4% increase in electricity rates
    On January 22, 2016, the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), a government-controlled utility, asked the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for an 11% increase in electricity tariffs—from 35 cents for each kilowatt-hour used to 39.04 cents. On Monday, PUC chairman, John Avery, issued an initial decision, instead approving a 4% increase. Avery told the media at a press conference held on Wednesday afternoon that although BEL had asked the PUC to approve a higher mean electricity rate, the PUC had decided that the new rate should be 36.43 cents. Although the mean rate is 35 cents per kilowatt-hour, various classes of customers pay different rates. For example, social rate customers pay as little as 20 cents per kilowatt-hour, but the proposed change would put that rate at 21 cents. Similarly, residential customers who use less than 50 kilowatt-hours would pay 29 cents as opposed to the current rate of 28 cents, if the proposed rates are implemented. The new rates, if approved, would take effect on July 1. Whereas the benchmark tariff would be established for the period 2016-2020, the PUC reviews the rates annually and makes adjustments to the rates periodically, to more accurately reflect the true cost of power.

    Gapi shocks UDP!
    The United Democratic Party (UDP) was hit with the political equivalent of a tsunami when the party secretariat issued a press release today confirming a rumor that the First Deputy Party Leader, Hon. Gaspar “Gapi” Vega, will not accept the nomination to continue in the post when the UDP holds its national convention in Dangriga on Sunday, March 20. Hon. Vega, a three-time area representative for the Orange Walk North constituency and a powerhouse for the UDP in the north, has also informed his party that he will not be contesting his House of Representatives seat in the next general elections. Hon. Vega communicated his decision to step down via a letter to UDP Leader and Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Tuesday, March 8. A UDP Secretariat press release opens saying: “The United Democratic Party confirms that First Deputy Party Leader Hon Gaspar Vega has, by letter dated March 8, 2016, informed the Party of his decision not to stand again for his Orange Walk North seat in the next General Elections. Hon Vega has also said that in view of this early notification of his retirement from electoral politics at the end of the current term, he feels it is right that he not continue as First Deputy Party Leader of the UDP.”

    In the Court of Appeal, pedophile gets a break
    A Belize City man who is serving time for multiple sex offences appealed a 20-year prison sentence handed down by a Supreme Court trial judge after a jury convicted him of carnal knowledge against a six-year-old child in August 2014. Last Wednesday, the Court of Appeal heard submissions in Appeal #15 of 2014, Brian Charlesworth v. The Queen. Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez explained to the three Court of Appeal Justices, Hon. Justice Manuel Sosa, Madam Justice Minnet Hafiz-Betram, and Hon. Justice Murillo Ducill, that Charlesworth, who had served 8 years and 7 months of a 12-year sentence for carnal knowledge, had been released on parole when he committed the second carnal knowledge offense. Attorney Oscar Selgado, who represented Charlesworth, argued that the 20-year sentence imposed by Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez was too harsh, and that it would not take 20 years to rehabilitate him. “If he is to remain in prison for 20 years, it would be an injustice to him,” Selgado submitted.

    Money laundering a problem not just in Belize, but also in the US: State Department report
    When Parliament meets on Tuesday, March 8, it will introduce further money laundering control measures—a clear sign that money laundering continues to be a concern within our jurisdiction. However, the just released International Narcotics Control Strategy Report for 2015 makes it clear that money laundering is not only a problem in our jurisdiction—in fact, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Taiwan are listed among over 60 countries which the US has designated as “major money laundering countries.” “A major money laundering country is defined by statute as one ‘whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking.’ However, the complex nature of money laundering transactions today makes it difficult in many cases to distinguish the proceeds of narcotics trafficking from the proceeds of other serious crime,” said the report. In explaining why countries like the US are also listed as major money laundering jurisdictions, the report said, “A government (e.g., the United States or the United Kingdom) can have comprehensive anti-money laundering laws on its books and conduct aggressive anti-money laundering enforcement efforts, but still be classified a major money laundering jurisdiction. In some cases, this classification may simply or largely be a function of the size and/or sophistication of the jurisdiction’s economy.”

    Nadia, we need you now!
    It may be argued that the British have planet earth’s most successful and glorious record in warfare. But, it is the undeniable fact that, until May of 1940, the views of appeasing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain represented the views of the British people. Although the history of the world is famously marked by “wars and rumors of wars,” even a warrior people can go to great lengths to avoid conflict and combat. That is what the British decided to do, go to great lengths to avoid conflict and combat, even after Adolf Hitler’s Germany began to prepare for another “world war” in the mid-1930s. When the British came to the conclusion that their existence as a sovereign people was in mortal danger in World War II, a desperation set in amongst the British which led Great Britain to accept many of their “British subjects” into their fighting military. This had not been the case in World War I (1914-1918). Those men from British colonies and possessions who waged war for Britain against Germany between 1939 and 1945 included notable Belizeans, and some of these Belizeans paid the ultimate price.

    Letter to the Editor: The Special Permit to DIE
    Dear Editor, The Ministry of Education recently made a big announcement that ALL TEACHERS better get their paper work in order, specifically their LICENCE. So they quickly put in place one more bureaucracy, a high-powered committee, to vet thousands of files, applications, and other various assortments of paper. I sympathize with the members of the new committee. Wow! While our system melts under a 19th century philosophy of compliance, regulation and authority, our most creative act to deal with the nation builders (teachers) is to put one more boot on top of their necks and press down. In the video game “mortal combat” when the end is near, the voice declares, “Finish him!” Here I am reminded of two “ancient” reports (a) Dr. Herbert Gayle’s comprehensive research on youth, 2010 and (b) the IDB report on challenges and opportunities in the Belize Education sector, 2013. Both reports make many recommendations, but my takeaway is that we need to put LOVE at the centre of our approach to learning and teaching, and to do this we must build from the ground up a dynamic system where CREATIVITY can flourish and TECHNOLOGY utilized.

    Letter to the Editor: The Nicaragua and Costa Rica case
    Dear Editor: I recently read an article on the above caption and felt that given the current climate in Belize in respect to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and its ruling – the Nicaragua and Costa Rica case provides a suitable background to Belize’s situation. The ongoing national discussions for or against going to the ICJ for a resolution on the Guatemala/Belize situation can be analyzed by your readership – should after your critical review of the published article you find that the article best describes the future of Belize. If you have seen the document before on the subject – I suggest you utilize the site for future information. The recent ruling by the ICJ will not end the long-standing spat between Nicaragua and Costa Rica over the countries’ shared frontier. This was outlined by Business Monitor International (BMI) in regards to challenging economic dynamics and ongoing dispute over immigration policy; relations between the two countries are likely to remain poor in the years ahead (BMI 2016).

    The PUP’s new parliamentary line-up
    Following his January 31, 2016 victory in the leadership convention for the Opposition People’s United Party, Orange Walk Central area representative, Hon. Johnny Briceño, has assumed the seat of former Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca in Parliament. That was not the only change in the PUP’s parliamentary seating arrangement evident today—in fact, the change which drew commentary from the other side of the floor was the decision by Briceño to seat PUP Lake I area representative Cordel Hyde right next to him—a seat formerly occupied by immediate past leader, Rt. Hon. Said Musa, who was seated fourth in line today, with Fonseca being designated the third seat in the front row as immediate past leader of the PUP. Of note is that Briceño and Hyde were two of seven members of the Musa Cabinet who in 2004 established a rival faction which briefly resigned in protest against the financial policies of the then administration after calling for reforms and the resignation of then finance minister Ralph Fonseca.

    Opposition Leader says major exports “in trouble”
    The national budget debate is slated for Tuesday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 23—which gives the Opposition People’s United Party two weeks to prepare its statement on the budget proposal tabled by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow in the National Assembly on Tuesday. Speaking with Amandala today, Opposition Leader Johnny Briceño said that he would be meeting tomorrow, Thursday, with agro-producers, and on Friday with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Next week, he plans to meet separately with representatives of the trade unions and the churches. Briceño said that they also intend to hold their next public consultation in Cayo, at which they intend to discuss the proposed budget. Briceño said that Belize’s major exports are in trouble: papaya is gone; sugar is in serious trouble; and citrus is in trouble, with production down from 7 million boxes a year to under 5 million, and the factory struggling to pay the farmers, he told us. At Tuesday’s House meeting, the application by the Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) for a $10 million loan from Heritage Bank was raised. Barrow said that the bank had not yet received Central Bank approval but had gotten the green light to advance $3.5 million to the company. The Central Bank was due to meet this week to consider further submissions on the loan application.

    Belize reefs fighting third coral-bleaching wave
    Belize’s majestic coral reef seascape is a cherished wonder that attracts nature lovers from home and abroad—but more than that, it is vital to the ecosystem diversity in this part of the Caribbean which serves as a pillar for many thriving industries, key among them being tourism and fisheries. A study released today indicates that Belize’s reef is being impacted by a third global coral-bleaching event. Eli Romero, Conservation Officer for the Belize Audubon Society and chair of the National Coral Reef Network, conducted a monitoring study on coral bleaching in Belize, commissioned by the Healthy Reef Initiative, and he presented the preliminary results of that study at the Radisson today. According to Romero, 25 sites were assessed in Belize between October and December 2015 as part of the Coral Bleaching Emergency Response monitoring plan, and it indicated that roughly 20% of sites in Belize are being affected to varying degrees, ranging from paling to full bleaching in at least a part of the coral colony.

    Voter “pressure” a concern in Belize election report
    Did Belize have free and fair elections in November 2015? If we did, then we can say that we are truly a democratically-run state; if we didn’t, though, our democracy has been compromised. Whereas the last election was generally peaceful, there were tensions leading up to election day with rival factions defacing campaign signs and threats made to the Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai, and her family ahead of the elections, and there are allegations of blatant vote-buying, as noted by a team of observers deployed to Belize by the Organization of American States (OAS). The team, led by Chief of Mission, Jacinth Henry-Martin, who is also the Chief of Staff to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, began its mission in Belize on October 27, 2015, and presented its final report on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, to the Permanent Council of the OAS in Washington, DC, USA. This was the second time the OAS has led election observer missions to Belize. The first OAS mission was conducted back in 2012. Still, there are lingering concerns—such as political operatives invading the 100-yard line, apparent vote-buying, the lack of campaign financing laws, as well as the need for more equity in size across electoral divisions.

    Belize leads in 2016 Mesoamerican Eco-Audit
    In commemoration of Mesoamerican Reef Day 2016 and as a highlight of Reef Week, the 2016 Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef was launched this morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. It was a particularly momentous occasion for Belize, which again leads with the best results in the audit and which also has the largest portion of the reef system under its national jurisdiction. Roberto Pott, Belize coordinator for the Health Reef Initiative, which is responsible for coordinating the audit in collaboration with over 60 partners, pointed out that there has always been a debate and even criticism over the talk of a Mesoamerican reef as opposed to the Belize Barrier Reef. The Belize reef system enjoys international acclaim as the largest in the hemisphere and it has since 1996 been designated as a World Heritage Site. However, its proximity to and connectedness with reefs in neighboring countries—namely Mexico in the north and Honduras and Guatemala in the south—underscores the need for a more regional approach to tackling threats to the reef. “Some of these issues are trans-boundary; some of the nutrients that we see coming into our waters are coming from across the border and then we are starting to see fishers coming from across the border, so if we get our partners from across border lines to start dealing with the same issues, it will be in Belize’s interest,” Pott argued.

    Man killed by home intruders in front of 4-year-old
    Duane Logan, 48, of Independence, died after being shot during a home invasion by two armed men on Saturday, March 5, at approximately 7:40 p.m. Assistant Superintendent of Police, Reymundo Reyes, Officer in Charge of Independence police, told Amandala that Logan was “accosted” by two masked men who were dressed in dark clothing as he opened the door to his home. The two men then took him inside. According to Reyes, one of the men had a pump action shotgun, while the other had a machete. When they got inside, the man with the machete took Logan’s common-law wife, Donavet Burgess, 26, into an adjacent bedroom, where she handed over money to the intruder, Reyes said. The intruders reportedly also wanted marijuana, we were told.

    BPP and BTV protest Barrow government’s weak-kneed response to Guatemalan incursions
    Between 75 and 100 spirited and patriotic Belizeans protested outside the National Assembly Building in Belmopan this morning, greeting arriving parliamentarians with shouts of “No to the ICJ” as they made their way into the House of Representatives for Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s budget presentation. The protest was organized by the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) and the Belize Progressive Party (BPP), which have been castigating the Barrow government for its soft approach to the continuing incursion of Guatemalans in the southern villages of Belize and the Guatemalan Navy’s continued violation of Belize’s territorial integrity. A considerable portion of the protesters were Mayan villagers from the Toledo District. The most recent incident of Guatemala’s violation of Belize territorial integrity occurred ten days ago when members of the BTV were blocked by Guatemalan Navy boats from proceeding up the Sarstoon River, in Belize territory, to the Belize border marker at Gracias a Dios.

    Barrow’s 9th budget calls for $1.15 billion in spending
    Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow presented his 9th national budget in Parliament today, announcing that 12,000 public officers and teachers will this year receive their third consecutive salary adjustment, bringing the total received since 2014 to almost 25%—a figure which Barrow said “by any measure and in comparison with any country anywhere is absolutely spectacular.” He announced that a placeholder of $20 million is being included in the draft budget to help pay for the salary increase, which, according to figures presented in the budget tables, will push the wage bill past $400 million, out of a total budget of $1,151,104,349. He explained that “under the salary adjustment framework that this Government agreed with the unions in February 2013, pay raises for the public officers and teachers are triggered by increases in the actual recurrent revenue outturns between two successive fiscal years. In the past two time periods, salary adjustments of 6 and 8 percent respectively were implemented [and] given the preliminary numbers available so far, there is likely to be a further increase under the framework—albeit at more moderate levels than in the past two years.” He added that, “The actual percentage increase will be determined using the framework agreed with the unions once the final revenue outturn figures are known.”

    Jair Guerra, 35, arraigned for chopping wife to death
    Today, Jair Jeremias Guerra was arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court for the murder of Maria Candelaria Raymundo, mother of seven children, ages 13 to 28, which occurred in the early morning of Friday, March 4. Guerra, 35, and Raymundo, 45, had no children together and lived with another couple and their two children in the same house. Her youngest child is 13, and the two youngest live with their father. The other children live elsewhere. Belmopan police said that in response to a call of a domestic dispute at approximately 5:52 a.m. on Friday, March 4, they visited the premises of 10 Panama Street, Salvapan, Belmopan, there police saw Raymundo “lying face down, her face was bloody and she was suffering from chop wounds on the left side of her neck and on the right side of her face.” Reveca Ventura, 37, who lives in the same house as the victim, told Amandala that on Friday morning at approximately 5:15 a.m., her common-law husband, Carlos Milian, 35, left to go to work. Shortly thereafter she heard Guerra, Raymundo’s common-law husband, beating her in their bedroom.

    The Reporter

    Beach rehabilitation in Caye Caulker
    The Ministry of Tourism and Culture along with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) collaborated to rehabilitate a stretch of beach in Caye Caulker opened to the public on March 12 2016. Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, stated that the project took five months to be […]

    Embassy of Japan gives donation to Belize High School of Agriculture
    The Belize High School of Agriculture (BHSA) received a grant of $90,804.00 om Friday from the Embassy of Japan to construct two new classes. The school, which caters to 233 students, is facing overcrowding issues, and the grant is ezpected to assist with alleviating that […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Guatemalan caught with unlicensed firearm in Arenal Village
    Another Guatemalan national has been arrested00 when members of the police’s Special Patrol Unit were on foot patrol. At around 6:40, officers approached a male person who […]

    “No charges for now” against Alida Catzim
    Police have announced that Alida Barrientos de Catzim, accused of stabbing her husband Romel Catzim to death following an argument at their San Pedro Town home, will not face charges – for now. Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal recommended not prosecuting the case […]

    NEBL results are in, the action continues tonight
    In National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) action on Thursday night, the Belize City No Limits travelled to Belmopan to challenge the Belmopan Bandits. The Bandits won the game with the final score, 81-70. Last night it all went down in San Ignacio and Belize City. […]

    Warm conditions prevail
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is calling for a gusty and southeasterly airflow. This airflow will support warm and relatively unstable conditions over our area. The 24 hour forecast is for sunny skies with some cloudy spells today and mostly cloudy tonight. A few showers […]


    A March Friday On Ambergris Caye: WIND, Jet Lag and Our Coral Reef
    The “Easter Winds” are BLOWING over Ambergris Caye, Belize. There has been a small craft warning in effect for most of this week and it continues today. You can hear the waves roaring over the reef and the water is all churned up, making things like diving and snorkeling impossible but others, like kite boarding and wind surfing amazing. Or so I’m told. The beach looks beautiful but you definitely get a heavy dusting of sand sitting anywhere near it. By sunset, I headed up to The Truck Stop for a presentation for Reef Week by the fabulous Mar Alliance – a group headed by Dr. Rachel Graham that is working to protect the large fish/marine life of Belize and the world.

    A superb wedding on a private island in Belize! at Cayo Espanto
    There are not many things I would like to say about Meagan & James special day… as I really want my photos to speak for it… Was magical and exceeded my clients expectations.. from funny moments before ceremony, with inside jokes and lots of love.. the ceremony was filled of emotions… when you have your family with you and you share those moments… is everything you ever wanted… this day will remain in their memories as one of the best. The location, Cayo Espanto, is world’s finest private island where everything is what you expect, and more. I am very proud to be considered part of their team and I am always doing my very best for my clients as, you might already know… my clients become my friends. The Hairstylist for my beautiful bride was Felix Ayuso and he definitely did a wonderful job! Was a pleasure and an honour to be such a part of your day! Thank you! Enjoy!

    International Sourcesizz

    President Ma to leave for Central America Sunday
    President Ma of Taiwan is set to visit Belize next week... President Ma Ying-jeou will depart Sunday on a seven-day visit to two of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in Central America, his last overseas trip before leaving office in May. Ma is scheduled to arrive in Guatemala on March 14 after a transit stop in the U.S. city of Houston. Then on March 16, he will head to Belize, and is scheduled to leave the country on March 17. On his way back, he will make another stopover in the U.S., this time in Los Angeles, before returning to Taiwan on March 19. During his transit stop in Houston, Ma is expected to meet with several U.S. congressmen and visit a plant of the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), Taiwan's largest investment in the United States. During his stay in Belize, Ma will meet with Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow and government heads of three of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the Caribbean -- Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, and Saint Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony.

    NMSU students travel to Belize to study arthropods
    Students in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will travel to Belize for 10 days in March to study arthropods. The 10 students are enrolled in the tropical insect ecology course with Scott Bundy, who is an entomology professor in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science. “The students will compare the diversity of arthropods in a different habitat,” Bundy said. “I will also be teaching them how to sample insects in various habitats.” Bundy, who is also the director of the NMSU Arthropod Museum, is preparing the students by providing them with lectures regarding Belize’s people, history and habitat. “There is so much history in Belize,” Bundy said. “The students will appreciate the country so much more if they know about it before they make the trip.” In addition to learning about arthropods, the students will have the opportunity to see a Mayan ruin, a cave, the coast, a jaguar preserve in a rainforest and the island Tobacco Caye.

    Plymouth-based Royal Marines hone fighting skills in South American jungle
    PLYMOUTH-based Royal Marines have been honing their jungle-fighting skills in South America - while carefully avoiding becoming lunch to some of its more reptilian inhabitants. 42 Commando's Lima Company recently carried out the specialist warfare training in Belize to prove themselves as the lead-standby for extreme environment combat troops. At its peak there were 160 Marines under training, including elements from across 3Commando Brigade HQ in Plymouth, 24 Royal Engineers in North Devon and 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines in Devonport Naval Base, Plymouth. They were joined by Royal Netherlands Marine Corps and 8 Commando Battery Royal Artillery. It afforded the Marines to prove they have what it takes when they moved through a crocodile- infested river with only their eyeballs and rifle breaching the waterline.


  • Cockpit A320 landing Belize City [FSX], 2.5min. Cockpit A320 landing Belize City [FSX]

  • Landing at Belize Boeing 777-200LR [FSX], 2min.

  • Cockpit Boeing 777-200LR landing at Belize [FSX], 4min.

  • Chicken Drop... San Pedro Belize, 4min. Gambling in Ambergris Caye!

  • Making Belize: Incidents of Travel [HD], 44min. Visit Belize and Tikal in Guatemala. Climb ancient pyramids, visit spectacular ruins, do some snorkeling and get kissed by a jaguar!

  • Snorkeling & Spearfishing Belize, 7min. Snorkeling around Mexico Rocks, Hol Chan reef, and the eastern coast of Ambergris. Went out with Daniel in the reefs north of San Pedro for some excellent spearfishing.

  • Belize Dat: Noob-a Diving, 4.5min. A group of noobs attempt to breathe underwater at Cypress Tunnel near San Pedro in Belize. Nurse sharks are neat.

  • Belize 2014, 10min.

  • BELIZE Boso przez swiat Wojciech CEJROWSKI, 32min.

  • Black Hole Drop, Belize, 5min.

  • Belize Hardcore fishing, 3min.

  • FISHING ABOARD FORTUNA, San Pedro Belize, 2min. With guest Johnathan and Nikki Gaskin, Midway, Georgia. Captain Victor Lara, on deck Ballyhoo. Thanks for choosing Fortuna Fishing and San Pedro as you vacation destination.

    March 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

    ‘Sail and Sea’ at Gales Point
    Gales Point. An area sparsely populated – much like the country of Belize, and 56 nautical miles south of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. It was along its shores upon which a daring kite surfer, Martin John Leslie, crash-landed on January 26th of this year. He was chasing a solo long-distance world record, but instead, found himself experiencing something unforgettable. Calling it the ‘forgotten coast between Belize City and Dangriga’, Leslie speaks of how he fell in love with its ‘pristine, untouched beauty and vast expanse of nature’. Gales Point sure sounds like a keeper! Tropical forest towers above the narrow sandy stretches of beach, as wind blows and waves crash energetically along the shorelines. Leslie is organizing and funding a week-long free Sail and Sea summer camp for the children of and around Gales Point in July. Hosted by his new friends Ken, Taunya and Nigel at Leaning Palm Resort, Leslie will be using sailboats supplied by the Belize Sailing center in San Pedro. “Passion for the sea, wind and waves” will carry the camp through, with the ultimate goal of teaching children to sail, navigate, learning the sea and an appreciation for the environment. If you want to contribute to this fantastic event, you can email Martin John Leslie at [email protected]

    Deputy Party Leader Honorable Gaspar Vega resigns
    First Deputy Party Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Honorable Gaspar Vega has officially submitted his resignation. This was confirmed early on Thursday, March 10th, via a press release from the UDP Secretariat. In a letter dated Wednesday, March 8th, 2016, Vega, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and holds the portfolio of Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, informed the party of his decision not to stand again for his Orange Walk North seat in the next General Elections. According to the UDP, Vega informed them that in view of this early notification of his retirement from electoral politics, he feels it is right that he not continue as First Deputy Party Leader. Furthermore, he mentioned that he is no longer prepared to accept the four year endorsement as First Deputy of the party.

    Dwight Cadle receives two-star AIBA coach certification
    For years, Belize has lacked accredited coaches to accompany boxers who represent the country at national arenas. But that is no longer the case, as a Belizean boxing coach has just received a two star certification from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) allowing him to represent the country at any AIBA sanctioned tournament, including the Olympics. From Sunday, February 14th to Saturday, February 20th, Dwight Cadle from Belize City took part in a certification training held in Panama City, Panama. Cadle explained to The San Pedro Sun that before this training, if Belize wanted to send anyone to a AIBA sanctioned tournament, “we would have to ask certified coaches from other countries to go into the ring with our boxers because Belize lacked a certified coach.” This affected the chances of Belize to participate in events leading up to the Olympics, reducing the opportunity of Belizean boxers to fight professionally. The AIBA training workshop in Panama allowed Cadle to hone the necessary skills to not only properly train boxers but provided him with the knowledge needed when representing a country internationally. “It was an intense training but worth it. Countries must use certified coaches’ at all sanctioned events,” said Cadle.

    SP Billiards Association continues pre-season 8-Ball pool tournament
    Ambergris Caye’s talented semi-professional pool players have been taking their game seriously, getting actively involved in the pre-season 8-Ball pool tournament on the island. The event is being held at different venues every weekend in an attempt to boost local businesses while promoting the sport. Last weekend, the tournament was held at Average Joe’s Bar, where a total of 10 teams participated. Games began at 7PM sharp from Friday, March 4th to Sunday, March 6th , and saw pool enthusiasts coming out to support their favourite teams. With games taking place at 1 Barrel Bar, on the lagoon side in San Juan, the action continues this weekend. See you all there!

    Successful Fashion show held by Sunshine Scholarship Foundation
    On Saturday, March 6th, the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation hosted its first fundraiser for 2016. Under the theme “Fashion Glam Slam”, the fashion show fundraiser aimed to raise much-needed monies to provide primary school scholarships for island students. The show was a complete success, with over $2,500BZ raised through admission fees, raffles and charitable donations. The event started shortly after 7PM at Corona del Mar Hotel. Attendees enjoyed an array of food and drinks as they waited for the young fashionistas to hit the stage. At the start of the show, models of all ages from toddlers to teens strutted the runway, displaying the latest in children’s fashion trends. But the event would not be complete without fun raffles and auctions, and throughout the night, attendees had the chance to win fabulous prizes. One of the most unique items up for auction was the chance to dine with newlywed couple Rob and Elizabeth Moon and Time Out Beach Bar owner Ishmael Lisbey. The top bidder for this fun idea was the editor and owner of the My Beautiful Belize Travel Guide, Tamara Sniffin.

    Rotary Club of San Pedro receives wheelchair donation
    A brand new and energetic club has been formed on Ambergris Caye, with the purpose of contributing to the community and helping those in great need. As such, the island now counts with a Rotary Club that formed three weeks ago, and it has already brought international assistance to San Pedro Town. After weeks of meeting and recruiting new Rotarians the now established, “The Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye,” was a proud recipient of a Rotary International gift. On Friday, March 4th, they received five wheel chairs which were transported to the island via Tropic Air. This first achievement of local Rotary Club brought the hope of mobility for five San Pedro residents who received the chairs at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II.

    San Pedro’s Kevin Velasquez wins Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta
    The San Pedro Racers (SPR) have started out their 2016 sailing season on the right foot, as one of their own claimed first place during the first regatta of the year. SPR’s Kevin Velasquez overcame sailors from across the country to win first place at the 88th Annual Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta held on Saturday, March 5th and Sunday, March 6th. Not even inclement weather could have kept the young sailors from SPR, Belize Sea Scouts (BSS), Placencia Sailing Club (PSC), Crozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC), Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC) and even three new sailors from Gales Point, away from the action. Scores were awarded for each of the five races, with the highest score being eliminated at the end. Sailors were ranked according to the score, with those having the lowest cumulative scores taking top honors. Kevin Velasquez ended up with only four points, earning him the highest honors at the Regatta and the first place trophy. BSS’ Trent Hardwick took second place with nine points, while third place went to PSC’s Abner Lopez with 15 points. The other sailors were ranked accordingly: CBSC’s Jasmin Campos in 4th with 18 points, SPR’s Caroline Sersland in 5th with 18 points, BCSC’s Nashira Ricardez in 6th with 19 points, PSC’s Peter Joo in 7th with 19 points, CBSC’s Adyaneiri Teck in 8th with 34 points, Gales Point’s Leror Samuel in 9th with 37 points, BSS’ Javian Young in 10th with 43 points, Gales Point’s Karl Tillet in 11th with 44 pints and Gales Point’s Kaydia Andrewin in 12th with 48 points.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Town Council Designates Island Parking Lot
    It might not be a solution to the traffic congestion on the island, but there is a lot more space available for parking in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, as the San Pedro Town Council and Traffic Department have opened a designated parking lot that is free of charge. It is one step forward in addressing the traffic situation on the island. Public parking space has been made available across from the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex, adjacent to the Artisan Market in an area that can accommodate 80 golf carts, only; the space is not designated for larger vehicles. The San Pedro Town Council is encouraging everyone to use the free parking lot, especially those in the labor force who are used to parking their vehicle for the entire time they are at work. These prolonged parking hours limit space for others who just need to park in town for a few minutes or a couple hours to run errands in town.

    Saddened About Plastic & Styrofoam Trash in San Pedro
    We visited, coming from an area in the US where each plastic bag used to cost 50 cents US. Such high price makes even a seemingly worthless plastic bag a costly item which nobody would carelessly throw away: "Who would throw $1Bz away"? Last year plastic bags were even completely outlawed. You will need to have your own shopping bag, a re-usable shopping bag; not a big deal, or ? On our vacation here we also brought our re-usable shopping bag with us. Our environmental consciousness was forced on us by a responsible and proactive local government. To outlaw plastic bags was good and one of many necessary steps to protect our city, the environment and the planet. The result: It will be hard for anyone to find carelessly thrown away plastic within our city limits. This cleanliness is also good for our city's tourism, it looks pretty clean everywhere. On your vacation island the lack of education and unawareness about environmental issues seems to still be high, unfortunately. Dozens of times we've seen carelessly thrown away bottles, plastic bags and Styrofoam, in nature and on road sides.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    World Consumer Rights Day
    The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture hereby informs the general public that World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) will be internationally observed on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 under the theme “ANTIBIOTICS OFF THE MENU”. The theme highlights the global commitment to stop the sale of meat raised with the routine use of antibiotics important to human medicine. Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. The World Health Organization has warned that, without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which important medicines stop working and common infections and minor injuries can once again kill. Growing antibiotic resistance is driven by over use of antibiotics. Around half of the antibiotics produced globally are used in agriculture, with much of this being used to promote faster growth and to prevent, rather than treat, disease. Consumers therefore have an important role to play in persuading food companies to make the changes that are needed to stop this global public health threat and protect our medicines for the future.

    Ministry of Health Receive Three Vehicles from IDB
    The Salud Mesoamerica 2015 Initiative which is an innovative public/private partnership funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Carlos Slim Institute for Health and the Government of Spain handed over three new 2016 Ford Ranger Pick-Up trucks to the Ministry of Health’s Maternal and Child Health program. The three vehicles have a total estimated value of $120,000 and will be used to aid with outreach activities for preventive interventions at the community level geared at improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. The vehicles will be distributed to the Western and Northern Health Regions for immediate use. The SM 2015 Initiative seeks to reduce health inequity gaps in the Mesoamerican region faced primarily by those living in extreme poverty. The current project is being implemented in the Northern and Western Health Regions with a focus on Maternal and Child Health Services and it is in its second operational phase which started in July 2015 and which will end in June of 2017.

    A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
    For the post of Supervisor, Customer Relations in the Customer Care Department.

    Belize Fishing Report, Feb. 21- Mar. 5, 2016
    A small percentage of anglers are successful when they first come face to face with a permit. Congratulations to Keith for his first permit ever and it was done with great humility by giving the credit to his guide. Father and son team Patrick and Patrick Jr. teamed up for a total of 4 permit for the week making it look easy. 4 permit is a lifetime achievement for many veteran anglers… not a week! A quiet week at the lodge with some good weather.

    Four Reasons Why You Should Experience the Beauty of Belize
    Since summer is just around the corner, everyone’s busy planning for an out of town trip, hitting the beach, camping in a field and so much more. If your plans include hitting the beach and enjoying the scorching rays of the sun, visiting the Ambergris Caye is a good option. In the past few years, Ambergris Caye, an island that is located in the country of Belize is getting the spotlight not just for tourist but also for real estate investors. The largest island in the country of Belize is filled with natural wonders such as the mangrove swamps, barrier reefs, and lagoons. Even though Ambergris Caye is a haven for natural wonders, there are areas of the island that are being developed for residential areas making it a favorite spot for real estate agents. Aside from Leonardo DiCaprio, there are other celebrities that are drawn with the beauty of Ambergris Caye. These celebrities are Charles Michael Davis (American model and actor), Travis Van (Transformers’ star), Ben Flajnik (The Bachelor actor), and Oscar Generale (King of Product Placement). So, if you want to meet your favorite Hollywood celebrities, visiting Ambergris Caye will give you a good chance of making your dreams come to life.

    Belize unveils climate-resilient tourism program
    The ministry of tourism and civil aviation in Belize, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), officially launched the Sustainable Tourism Program II in a kick-off workshop on March 8-10, 2016, in Burrell Boom Village. In October 2015, the IDB’s board of executive directors approved a US$15 million loan facility and, in January 2016, a loan agreement was executed between the IDB and the government of Belize for this new program. Tourism continues to be one of Belize’s most important economic sectors, contributing 15 percent of total direct GDP and generating US$747 million in foreign exchange earnings in 2014. It also represents 35 percent of total exports of goods and service and contributes one out of every six jobs for the nation. The first Sustainable Tourism Program (STP I) focused on consolidation of the destinations of Ambergris Caye, Placencia, Belize City and San Ignacio and generated the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan 2030 (NTSMP).

    Embassy of Japan and Belize High School of Agriculture Sign Grant Contract
    March 11th, 2016, Mr. Hideki Shinozaki, Second Secretary of Embassy of Japan to Belize, signed a Grassroots Human Security Grant Contract of US$90,804.00 with the Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk. The grant will be used for the construction of a new building (two classrooms and a library) to address the issue of overcapacity of students in the classrooms. The contract signing ceremony took place at the Belize High School of Agriculture. Present at the ceremony were Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, and Mr. Monty Sadarangani, Honorary Consul General of Japan. The Belize High School of Agriculture was established in 1984. It currently has 233 students and 15 teachers. The new building is expected to provide an appropriate educational environment for young Belizeans.

    Channel 7

    Lands Minister Hulse Says He Played No Part In Vega’s Sudden Departure
    News of Gaspar Vega's resignation as the UDP's Deputy Party Leader broke two days ago, but tonight it's still making headlines - and the aftershocks are just setting in. First, Vega says he's not going to run again in Orange Walk North - which opens the door for his PUP opponent, Monchie Cervantez. Only problem is Cervantez is not an ally of the ascendant PUP Leader John Briceno. So how will all that work out? - You'll hear from Briceno tonight. And, second, Vega's resignation as Deputy Party Leader now opens the way for that very important post. It's more important than ever right now - because it's the number two seat, and whoever gets it, is in the best position to slide over to the number one seat when party leader Dean Barrow steps down in the next four years. Tonight, you'll hear from Patrick Faber who wants to be the UDP'S Deputy Leader. But first off - you'll hear from Godwin Hulse, the mighty minister of Natural Resources. Political insiders say that when the Prime Minister assigned him that portfolio after the November fourth General election - that's when Gaspar Vega's political demise began. Today at the senate meeting we asked Hulse if he played any role in Vega's departure:...

    Investigating Vega?
    And there are some who say that Hulse may have pushed the "detonate" button on Vega by investigating his conduct in the Ministry of Natural Resources. Today, the press asked him about that:... Reporter: "Now since the resignation of Mr. Vega, there have been of course speculations naturally and one of those coming out is that there may have been some unwelcoming revelations out of the Lands Department where Mr. Vega's signature. In other words, perhaps some under the table deals that he may have done. Is there any kind of investigation ongoing or anything of that sort?" Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Natural Resources: "No, the department is not undertaking any investigation at all. On a day to day I am interviewing a lot of people who comes to see me and are putting forward their requests for things that have been done or have not been done. I think it is public knowledge that people now within the department, there's been lots of transfers that have been duplicated. There's been title document, leases - all sorts of things and those are some of the things we are trying to straighten up. There is no investigation ongoing and so far there is nothing to point to anything that the minister himself has done."

    Faber Wants To Be Deputy
    Patrick Faber is one of the UDP politicians eager to seize on the vacancy that Vega's resignation has created. He confirmed to us yesterday that he is "definitely interested" in the post of First Deputy Leader of the UDP. Today in Orange Walk, he told our colleagues at CTV-3 as much:... Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "Given the circumstances I think that our current deputy leader or Mr. Vega has indicated that he no longer wishes to pursue that position. Then obviously that opens the door and of course I see that as a kind of normal progression for the leadership of the party and so I would most definitely then offer myself to the people of my party to be the new deputy leader and if the Prime Minister then so desires as the person who calls the shot to be the new deputy prime minister of the country." Of course, that post of Deputy Prime Minister is the prerogative of the Prime Minister - and while it is politically axiomatic that the Deputy Party Leader takes that post, it is a custom, not a constitutional mandate. Fro the time being, and until the PM says otherwise, Vega remains Deputy Prime Minister. But as for the race for the vacant post of Deputy Party Leader, Faber has jumped out the blocks with his candidacy. But we know that John Saldivar is also interested, and reports from the west say that second Deputy Erwin Contreras may also have an interest. That means the next few months will be very politically charged, but the UDP can't forget that it's now very vulnerable in the north, where Vega delivered five of eight seats for the party. Faber conceded as much:...

    PUP Looking for A Rise Out Of Vega’s Resignation
    And while that is the story on the UDP's side, what about the PUP? Today we asked pup leader John Briceno for his reaction. "We were surprised that he has decided that he will not run again. I know that he was very upset and he has felt being disrespected. But that is an internal matter of the UDP which I can't get in or should not comment. But I just will tell you that with him out of the picture, certainly going to make it easier for us. But as it is we felt that the PUP has picked up some momentum and maybe he has decided that he has seen the writing on the wall that quite likely he will lose the next election. So he figured better that he announced from now that he is going to step down."

    Will John Support Monchi?
    But just who will lead that PUP movement in Orange Walk North? The most logical candidate is Monchi Cervantez who, in the last general elections, managed to close the gap in Vega's vote margin. But Cervantez, although hailing from the same Town as Briceno, was a Francis Fonseca supporter during the national party convention which took place last month. So is there bad blood between these two? And could that mean Cervantez's ultimate ouster as the PUP standard bearer for Orange Walk North? Here is what Briceño had to say about it. "Mr. Cervantes, for whatever reasons decided that he wanted to support Mr. Fonseca and that is his right and I respect that. But now that is finished, I am the leader and as the leader I need to reach out to everybody and I want to work with also Mr. Cervantes, as long as he wants to work with me. One of the things that I've said when I was campaigning is that our constitution mandates that there must be conventions to elect our standard bearers. Even in Orange Walk Central we need to have a convention and that goes to say that in Orange Walk North we are going to have a convention. Now, we know that Mr. Cervantes did a lot of work there and obviously he would be the front runner. Is there anybody else that is interested in running in Orange Walk North? I don't know. Nobody has come to me to say that they have any interest. But we will have a convention."

    Women Strong
    The 20 thousand strong women's rally took place today in Belize City. It's a huge effort, bringing in buses flying orange flags from all over the country. And it's all to advance the women's agenda, in a way that is both powerful and symbolic. Emanuel Pech has the story. Crowds of people, mostly women donned in Orange T's, began to assemble at the Memorial park in Belize City from as earlier as 8:00 this morning People came in busses from all corners of the country. Difficult to quantify, but orange blanketed the park. The atmosphere at memorial park was amicable, it almost seemed like a reunion of old friends. At around 9:30 the march kicked off for the second national Women's Rally dubbed "20 Thousand Strong." Teachers, students, public officers, and even members of the armed forces joined the trail as the convoy of orange t's made its way towards the Marion Jones Parade.

    Court Quandary Over Missing Records
    Right now, the judges in the Court of Appeal are in a quandary about how to dispose of 5 criminal appeal cases currently before them. The problem is that while the Court and certainly the 5 defendants, are anxious to get them over with, the records for these criminal trials are missing, and the staff of the judiciary haven't been able to locate them so far. Today, these defendants, Juan Duenas, convicted of carnal knowledge; Harim Perez, convicted of rape; Solomon Marin, convicted of kidnapping and robbery; Lionel Daly, convicted of robbery and attempted murder; and Gilbert Henry, convicted of dangerous harm, all showed up to court with their attorneys. The panel of judges, however, could not hear their appeals because of these missing records. The Court of Appeal usually reviews the record to examine the evidence in the trial, and the trial judge's directions to the jury. It's basically the play by play of each case, and in these 5 criminal convictions, portions of the records are missing.

    PUP’s New Senators Take The Oath
    Today two new PUP Senators were sworn in. Paul Thompson and Valerie Woods took the oath of office - while Eamon Courtney is out of the country. They were welcomed by the leader of government business, Senator Godwin Hulse:..

    Hon. Thompson Tentative About Link Road
    And in that spirit of informed debate, Senator Thompson asked why wasn't there more information about the link road which will connect mile eight on the Western Highway to the Phillip Goldson International Airport:... "Why is there such urgency to get this motion through in one sitting? Who benefits from this project besides the contractor and the land owners whose land will be acquired? I can bet there's some preferred persons in the mix. How many miles will they save when driving to reach the airport as oppose to the Boom/Hattieville road? Why is this priority when there are other pressing matters affecting the lives of many of our citizens? Why is this more priority than say the paving of the coastal road? or building some low income housing? In my view, this is irresponsible, how can you be executing these massive projects and not reveal to the public the reason for such projects? And finally, how this impact the close to 175,000 people and you will may be asking who those people are, well I'll tell you now. These people are the people other the public align."

    Senator Woods Calls For “Internationalization” Of Belize Border Issues
    And, speaking on the adjournment, Senator Valerie Woods called on government to internationalize the various border flare-ups with Guatemala, from Chiquibul to the Sarstoon:... Hon. Valerie Woods, PUP Senator "There should be no doubt that Belize has sovereignty over the Starstoon Island. And while the actions of the Belize territorial volunteers may not be supported by the government or by the many. Their efforts to vigorously raise public awareness to what is an alarming situation on the ground, should be recognized. It is not an easy situation, indeed its complex, it is sensitive but it is very serious. Perhaps it is indeed time for a rising chorus to build an effort for an internationalization of this issue." Hon. Godwin Hulse, UDP Senator "There's a path which has been outlined both on the opposition side and the government side some time ago, to look at a final mechanism to settle this and I think we have to advance towards that in a sober, clear, dedicated, unequivocal manner."

    Minister of State Legislation Is Nothing Out of The Ordinary Hulse Says
    One piece of legislation that hasn't been debated yet is the one to give the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration power to sign certain documents. In the bad old days of Elvin Penner, it was standard practice to let the Minister of State sign nationality documents. Hulse explained today what the new law hopes ot achieve and why:... Hon. Godwin Hulse, UDP Senator: "All that we're doing is, we're saying to the Minister of State is "you can sign nationality certificates, you can sign CSME certificates, you can sign certificates for refugees" and that's basically all that its doing. Also release from jail, in terms of those persons committed for immigration offences. Now you have to look at the structure, that power is not removed from me. That power is delegated to her and can be removed from her at any time. That is all the legislation is doing.

    UDP Politicians Say They Can’t Win With Godwin
    Going back now to Hulse's other portfolio of Natural Resources. You already heard him say he played no role in Vega's departure. But, what about Hulse's hold on that ministry. We've heard a whole lot of grumbling from UDP political operatives about his tight fisted approach to public management. Today we asked him squarely about the complaints against him:... Jules Vasquez: "Most notably, you don't want to give discounts on land that the government is transacting with the public. Now that is a complaint I've heard repeatedly from elected officials because discounts is how politics works, the minister giving land discounts. It's a major means of both raising campaign financing and also gaining political favor with the constituency. Why are you refusing to do this?" Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Natural Resources: "Well, you're hearing differently from me Jules, because to start with, let's take lots per say. The price has been set long ago and that's the price we continue on. Those prices are really a social rate. I mean, $1,500 dollars in towns, $1,000 dollars in harmony, and $2,000 dollars in cities is really a concessionary rate for a lot. You have 3 years to pay it."

    Man Loses An Eye To Robbing Teenager
    18 year-old Irwin Palma, a 4th Form student, is on bail tonight after he was accused of stabbing a man in the eye and then robbing him. The victim, John Popper, has lost vision in that eye. According to police, his attacker stabbed in the eye, and stole $105 dollars from him. Police charged Palma with maim and theft. He was arraigned before Magistrate Deborah Rogers, and he pleaded not guilty. The Magistrate released him on bail of $1,500.

    “Gone Da Back” For Weed And Gun
    25 year-old's Byron Montoya and Godfrey Ramsey are at the Belize Central Prison tonight after they were allegedly caught with a small quantity of weed and a handgun. On April 11, police conducted a raid on a house where both men were present at the time. Inside, they discovered a .38 revolver, which was loaded with 5 live rounds of ammunition, and 4 grams of marijuana. It took almost a month, but police arrested and charged both men with keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and possession of controlled drugs.

    Mother Of Five Needs Urgent Help
    A mother of 5 is battling stage 3 cervical cancer and kidney failure and she needs your help to stay alive. 33 year old Karen Thompson was diagnosed with cervical cancer last year, then a couple months later she ran some more tests and found out she had kidney failure. It came as a shock to Thompson's family because she goes to her doctor regularly. Now the family has to come to terms with this grim reality and do all they can to save her. But they need your help. They want to take her to Guatemala for treatment but they need to raise about $30,000. Thompson's mother came to our studio yesterday to tell us how difficult this journey has been. If you want to help Karen Thompson, you can drop by 7541 Fabers Road tomorrow morning after 11 and buy a BBQ or Turkey dinner. You can also reach Williams at 626 4232.

    Woman Says Cop’s Guilty of Gratuitous Strip Search
    A woman claims that police raided her house and stripped searched her and her family for no reason. Astry Galvez came to our studio yesterday and she told us that she, her family and some friends were hanging out at her house on Monday night when the police arrived. They told Galvez that they needed to turn down the music because it was disturbing the neighbors. But Galvez says that wasn't the only reason they came knocking at her door. She told us what happened after she let the officers inside. Galvez said the 2 female officers took all the females in one of the bedroom and the male officers searched the men in the living room. A 15 year old girl was at the house at the time and the female officers did a cavity search on her as well. The minor's mother also came by to express her outrage. Galvez says she will try again today to make an official police complaint about this incident.

    PUP Leader Calls UDP Out UDP On Youth Council
    It appeared like a miniature version of PUP vs UDP elections when Micah Goodin and Stafin Duncan faced off for the president of the Youth sub council in Belize City. PUP Leader John Briceño today told us that the UDP showed their hand too heavily during the youth elections. Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I think it is sad what has happened that the UDP has decided to make this political, because then it starts to divide the young people at a very early stage in their lives. The very same thing happened in Orange Walk, where, I understand, one of the ministers of the UDP, this time around, went and registered a lot of the defunct youth organizations. Organizations that were not operating, not functioning and not working. But he registered them so that they could vote for his candidate and obviously his candidate won because they made it political. Here in Belize city, it was so obvious that the UDP had their hands on it, it is sad and I think we should speak out against it in the most strongest of ways because we should let the young people to decide on what it is they should want to do. Let's not put party politics at so young in this stage, because what is going to happen now? That a lot of young people who believe that the president, Mr. Duncan was elected simply because of his of the UDP, may not want to participate and where does that put us? So I am very disappointed of what happened yesterday." Emanuel Pech: "So you think there was political manipulation on the part of UDP to get this person elected?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "Well only the ones that are blind can't see it. I mean, you saw all the UDP operatives out there yesterday campaigning for Mr. Duncan. And it's reprehensible and it's unfortunate that they decided to do that."

    On The Verge…
    If you've followed the musical career of Belizean artist Jenko Veli, you may remember his days as part of the seminal group, Hench Mob. Since then, he's continued to practice his craft, honing his skills as rapper with conscious lyrics. But, Jenko has decided to once again collaborate with other artists, and he's now a part of the group, Verge of Umbra. Now, it's a bit unusual because this band fuses rock and heavy metal with hip hop and reggae. They're finished with their latest project, their debut album called "V.O.U." Members of the Band stopped by our office to discuss why they think you'll enjoy their music:

    Channel 5

    Women Empowered at the 20000 Strong Rally
    Thousands of women, men and children from every corner of Belize marched and rallied today. It’s a movement called Twenty Thousand Strong, and it’s all about empowering and uplifting women [...]

    P.U.P. Leader Says Vega’s Departure is a Good Thing
    Why did very powerful Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega decide to give up politics? That’s the million dollar question right now. The last time we interviewed Vega he told us [...]

    Vega’s Announcement Changes Complexion of U.D.P. Convention
    In an exclusive interview conducted with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in mid-January, he told News Five that the upcoming U.D.P. convention scheduled for March twentieth would be an exemption from [...]

    F.F.B. Says FIFA and CONCACAF Have Green-lighted Electoral Process
    Earlier in the week, we reported on a delegation from FIFA and CONCACAF that was in Belize recently to meet with embattled F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente and General Secretary Michael [...]

    Future of Citrus Growers’ Payroll Still Uncertain
    Today, Citrus Products of Belize Limited was expected to have released last week’s fruit payment to growers since there is an existing delay with Heritage Bank awaiting approval from the [...]

    World Pediatrics Project Partners With K.H.M.H.
    This Sunday, the World Pediatrics Project is partnering with the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for yet another round of clinics. The multispecialty clinic starts at eight a.m. and persons twenty-one [...]

    Vivas Fined for Undersized Conch
    Twenty-nine-year-old Jaime Vivas, a fisherman of Sarteneja Village, pleaded guilty to possession of undersized conch in the courtroom of Magistrate Carlon Mendoza earlier today.  In mid-January Vivas was caught with [...]

    3 Men Get Supreme Court Bail Today
    A trio of men charged individually for crimes committed, appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas this morning in the Supreme Court.  Twenty-one-year-old Adolphus Palacio Junior, Eustace Lewis and thirty-year-old Shawn Hemmans [...]

    Director of the Family Court Called to the Bar
    Acting Director of the Belize Family Court, fifty-year-old Dale Cayetano, was called to the bar this morning before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.  The former magistrate took the oath in the [...]

    Marlyn Vansen Debuts ‘Animal’
    Animal – it’s a track by the young Belizean artist Marlyn Vansen that has been blasting on airwaves across the country, but tonight the twenty-year-old singer is debuting the video [...]

    Christopher Martin is in Belize
    Jamaican singer and songwriter Christopher Martin is in the Jewel for a mega concert this weekend in Belize City. The twenty-nine-year-old reggae artist is the internationally featured performer for Flavaz [...]

    Festival of Arts Showcases Young Stars
    The preschool district festival of arts commenced on Tuesday across the country and since then, hundreds of young talented students have graced the stage of the Bliss Center for the [...]


    Godwin Puts Some Speculations to Rest on Vega’s Reasons to Resign
    Gaspar Vega, Belize’s Deputy Prime Minister has been a longstanding First Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party under the leadership of Party Leader, Dean Barrow. On Wednesday, March 9, however, Vega sent a letter to Barrow and the UDP Secretariat, saying that he is resigning from the post of Deputy Party Leader and that […]

    PUP Opposition Senators Sworn In
    The swearing in of new Senators topped today’s agenda as the Senate met in a regular sitting in the National Assembly building just after ten o’clock this morning. President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang presided over the swearing in of the Opposition Senators, Valerie Woods and Paul Thompson as well as that of Marcelo […]

    OPEC Fund to Finance Construction of Link Road Project; Senate Approves
    As it relates to the Loan Motion brought before the Senate, it is a loan for eleven million seven hundred and eighty thousand US dollars from the OPEC Fund for International Development. The proceeds from this loan will be used to construct a road from mile eight on the George Price Highway to the Philip […]

    Belize Continues Efforts in Being Compliant with Money Laundering Treaties
    One of the three Bills brought from the House of Representatives was the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Bill. It is a Bill that seeks to put provisions in place that will make Belize compliant to international money laundering treaties. Business Community Senator Marcelo Blake spoke on the numerous amendments made to the money […]

    Senate Approves Increase of Cash Declaration Threshold at Borders
    Some weeks ago we told you of the agreement signed between the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Customs Department as it relates to the declaration of funds when coming into or leaving Belize. That agreement sought to give the Customs Department more authority in that area rather than having business persons seek a permit from […]

    Belize Can Now Extradite Persons to Mexico
    You may recall the Nanes situation some months ago that gave Belize a black eye as the Immigration Minister revoked his nationality making him illegal in Belize. On that same note, however, David Nanes was granted bail by the courts of Belize. It was a scandalous time for Belize, particularly because Nanes was wanted by […]

    Senator Woods Calls for Internationalization of the Incursions by Guatemalans
    As the Senate concluded their agenda for today, newly elected Opposition Senator, Valerie Woods took the opportunity to bring forth an issue of national concern. Senator Woods addressed her colleagues appealing for the internationalization of the incursions taking place by the Guatemlans in the Chiquibul area and the Sarstoon. Today’s Sitting of the Senate […]

    Hulse Says Policies Will be Adhered to at Lands Department
    At the top of our news, we told you that rumors are that Vega’s resignation is as a result of Minister Godwin Hulse taking over the Lands Department. While Hulse disagrees, we did ask him to respond to some comments that he is clamping down in the Ministry of Natural Resources as it relates to […]

    Immigration Minister Speaks on Powers Given to His Minister of State
    In the last Sitting of the House, we heard wehre the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Beverly Castillo is being given the authority to sign off on nationality documents among other items. Today, Immigration Minister clarified that point for us, saying that it is a form of delegating and it can be […]

    20 000 Strong – A Movement for Continued Uplifment
    This morning, women, men and children from across Belize, joined in on the twenty thousand Strong Women Empowerment rally which is one of the activities in celebration of Women’s Month. The rally was put together by the office of the Special Envoy for women and children and the National Women’s Commission. The objective is to […]


    Deputy Prime Minister tenders registration letter
    Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega has tendered his resignation letter stepping down from his role as Deputy Prime Minister of Belize. According to a statement from the United Democratic Party , Vega, in a letter dated March 8, 2016, the same date as the Budget Speech presentation in the house, als...

    Man robbed and shot while waiting for bus in Unitedville
    A man was robbed and shot as he stood waiting for a bus in Unitedville. The victim is 24 year old Henry Michael Gordon of Blackman Eddy Village Cayo District. On Monday 7th March 2016 about 7:30pm, Gordon was at the road side on the George Price Highway in Unitedville Village waiting to catch a bus...

    Chinese business owner in critical condition following robbery
    A Chinese man is in critical condition after his business place was robbed in Orange Walk. According to reports, Gian Ping Wang, the owner of A and A Store at the corner of Arthur and Progress Street in orange Walk Town received 4 deep cut wounds to the top of his head. Orange Walk Police told us mo...

    Two Guatemalans arrested in relation to gun fight with BDF
    Two Guatemalan Nationals, 56-year-old Luis Diaz Alballeros and 51-year-old Francisco Torres Sucup, have been charged by Belizean authorities for the offenses of “kept firearm without a gun license”, “kept ammunition without a gun license” and “aggravated assault”. The charges are in connection to an...

    Healthy Reefs Initiative gives good marks to Belize and neighbours
    Today is Meso-American Reef Day and the Healthy Reefs Initiative has released its biennial assessment of management targets for a healthy reef system shared among Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. According to the 2016 “Eco-Audit,” regional management of the Meso-American Reef System has impro...

    CPBL waiting for approval of 5 million
    The Citrus Products of Belize Limited is still waiting on word from the Heritage Bank as to whether the Central bank will approve a 5 million dollar facility in order for CPBL to make payments to farmers. In a press release issued today by the Citrus Growers Association, the group that represents a...

    Government Ministry reacts to Altun Ha robbery
    On Wednesday we reported on the robbery that took place at the Altun Ha Archaelogical Site in the Belize District. As we reported, tour guide from Hattieville, Clifford Hoare, and several tourists lost cash and other valuables to two armed and masked men. While crime is always a matter of national c...

    The Reporter

    Kidney Association of Belize holds Health Fair
    To bring awareness to the public on kidney health issues, the Kidney Association of Belize (KAB) held a Health Fair at the Lion’s Club compound in Belize City on Saturday. KAB invited the public to test their sugar level, blood level and pressure at during […]

    Increase in fuel import duty Only one tax increase, Barrow promises is the higher tax on fuel imports
    The two adjustments in fuel import duties since December 2015 are the only tax increase that the Government will impose for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, sPrime Minister Dean Barrow announced at Tuesday’s budget presentation. The last adjustment in February brought the price of diesel to […]

    Opposition Leader Johnny Briceño wants tougher stance on Guatemala
    Leader of the Opposition, Johnny Briceno has done something which other opposition leaders have shied away from doing. He called on Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his Coney Drive office in Belize City on Wednesday. for a one-on-one over Guatemalan intransigence. The two men discussed […]

    Human trafficking and gender-based issues More awareness needed in the media
    More than a dozen media representatives, from as far south as Punta Gorda, were on hand for a media training workshop focusing on proper reporting of human trafficking as well as gender-based issues last weekend. The workshop was held on Saturday at the Institute of […]

    FFB’s Vicente survives because Committee made a tactical error
    Three members of the Football Federation of Belize’s (FFB) executive were within their right to suspend their President, Ruperto Vicente, but because they erred in not giving him enough time to call a meeting to discuss his suspension, their disciplinary action will not stand. That […]

    Protest in Belmopan! over Guatemalan action
    Chanting “No to the ICJ” under an unforgiving sun, Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) founder Wil Maheia, led a group of protesters, including members of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP), in front of the National Assembly building as Prime Minister Dean Barrow made his budget budget […]

    Reject the Compromis Agreement! BPP urges, and start all over again.
    The Belize Progressive Party this week said that taking the Belize territorial dispute with Guatemala to the International Court Guatemala is nt the only option available to Belize. All Belize has to do is to reject the 2008 Compromis agreement and so oblige Guatemala to […]

    Ease of access to the U.S? CSDS ranks Belize 11th.
    How difficult is it for citizens from Caribbean countries to go and visit the United States? Caribbean Data and Statistics Services, an agency of the World Bank, has ranked Belize 11 out of 16. The list, released in late February, showed that the US refused […]

    Million dollar project to bring drinking water to Maskall
    The Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF), this week broke ground at the site for its latest project : to upgrade a rudimentary water system for Maskall Village, at a cost of nearly a million Belize dollars. The government of Belize is financing the project through […]

    Prime Minister Dean Barrow appointed to Privy Council
    Her Majesty the Queen has appointed Prime Minister Dean Barrow of Belize to be a member of her Privy Council. The honor has been given to two Prime Ministers of Belize, the Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel and the Rt. Hon.Said Musa. Prime Minister Barrow is the third person from Belize […]

    Teenage boy missing Since January 4th.
    Kirk Dennison, a 15-year-old boy from Ladyville Village , has been reported missing since January 4 by his mother, Sharon Conner. Dennison is of brown complexion, weighs about 120 pounds and is five feet in height. He has the word “murder” tattooed on his left hand and chest. Sharon Conner, […]

    O.Walk smuggler gets 3 years for 5 lbs. of Otoxha weed
    A man who tried to smuggle five pounds of high grade marijuana from Mexico into Orange Walk has been caught after a high-speed motorcycle chase through the town. Thirty-one year old Genero Leonardo Pott, who was driving the motorcycle, pleaded guilty to a single charge […]

    Discarded fetus points to need for legislative change says BFLA
    The discovery of a discarded fetus in February, and the surrounding unconfirmed reports that it has been traced to an under-age girl highlights the need for policy and legislative changes, the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) said this week. Joan Burke, BFLA executive director, acknowledged that […]

    This week the Belize Progressive Party shook up the political establishment by advocating that Belize should renounce the Compris Agreement signed in Washigton on December 8, 2008 . The agreement was signed between Belize and Guatemala under the patronage of the Orgaizationof America States. Its whole purpose is to help […]

    Gaspar Vega bows out! Will not run again.
    Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega announced on Thursday that he has resigned as the First Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP). He will serve out his term in the House but will not compete in general elections again. He said that in view […]

    Shrinking revenues and mounting costs make for record deficit of $180 million
    Figures for fiscal year 2015/2016 reveal that Belize’s deficit is leaning more menacing than in recent years. The approved budget set total revenues and grants at $980 million and total spending at $1.068 billion – a deficit of $88 million. But the the gap was […]

    PUC proposes a 4% hike in BEL electricity rates
    The cost of electricity will be going up, starting July1. The Public Utilities Commission called a press conference to explain that it has approved an increase in the mean electricity rate of a little more than 4 percent. PUC Chairman, John Avery, said it was a lower […]

    San Pedro bartender beaten to death, three policemen in San Pedro charged
    Popular San Pedro bartender, Edwin Ixpatac, 30, was brutally beaten while in police custody last Thursday and died three days later of his injuries. The three arresting officers now face murder charges for his death. Ixpatac was detained on Thursday night after San Pedro police […]

    Our Independence
    The 1859 Boundary Treaty of April 30th signed by the United Kingdom and the Republic of Guatemala, described the boundary between the British settlement and possessions in the Bay of Honduras and the Republic of Guatemala. The chart describing the southern line (Sarstoon River) and the western […]

    20,000 women strong march held
    A march in commemoration of Women’s Month, organized by the Special Envoy for Women and Children was held on Friday morning, in Belize City. The march, which the Women’s Department helped to organize, amassed women from all corners of Belize. The Women’s Department provided transportation […]

    The Belize Times

    Opposition slams budget – “Worse” than expected, says Hon. John Briceno
    Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceno has described the “highlights” presentation of the 2016/2017 draft Budget presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow as “worse” than expected. Hon. Briceno noted that the flurry with which the Prime Minister normally makes during budget announcements has apparently fizzled. There was no “Prometheus unbound” on Tuesday, March 8th, as Barrow introduced his budget. The estimates propose to spend $1.211 billion, but $142.9 million in revenue has not been identified. This widening deficit has become a prominent feature in budgets presented by the Barrow Administration, along with miniscule Gross Domestic Product growth. In the past two years, this deficit has been plugged by Venezuela’s Petrocaribe loan funds but with that programme not reaping benefits the Barrow Administration says it will have to squeeze the needed funds out of taxpayers. Several weeks ago, the Government increased its taxes on fuel, collecting almost double than previous. "The Prime Minister, because of the crunch that he finds himself in, decided to increase the taxes on fuel. And so now we are starting to get that hit. When you look at the overall budget, there is no excitement in that budget.

    Who robbed the Corozal Town Council?? – $15,000 stolen!
    Authorities are extremely tight-lipped about the criminal investigation surrounding monies going missing at the Corozal Town Council. Last week Wednesday, March 2, 2016 the Council’s messenger was on his way to deposit funds at a bank when he was reportedly assaulted and robbed. The messenger claims he was approached by an armed robber who demanded the money. He gave up the bag of cash as he feared for his life. Inside the bag was believed to be some $15,000, which was revenue collected by the Council from tax payers. The messenger was not injured and has returned to work. The Mayor, as has become normal, was out of the country during the incident and the reports are that he is not so worried since he returned.

    BTL Launches 4G AGAIN
    On February 9th, 2012 the state-owned BTL announced a $20m contract signed with Ericsson for the provision of a 4G Network. Back then BTL’s Chief Operations Officer Karen Bevans trumpeted the signing of the contract by saying that with the millions spent on this network “The Company commits to making the user experience of DigiCell customers ‘faster than ever’ and to introducing the latest in mobile broadband services and devices. This will ensure that we keep Belizean Customers on par with those in the region, while allowing BTL to remain the number one telecommunications provider in Belize”. Last week for the second time BTL announced the launch of ANOTHER 4G Network. The Chairman of the Executive Management Committee, Anwar Barrow, announced that a contract was signed with the Chinese company Huawei. This time the investment announced by a high profile launch would come with a price of $40m BZ dollars.

    Gapi RESIGNS!
    The ground beneath the United Democratic Party shook today with the reports that Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega is preparing to give up his official title in the Barrow Administration and the United Democratic Party. The specific reasons for the announcement are unknown but for weeks the BELIZE TIMES has been receiving and report on the internal divisions in the UDP as the prepared to hold a convention later this month which would have endorsed Barrow as leader for the next four years. We note that Gaspar Vega has had his eyes on the leadership of the UDP for several years. With Barrow preparing to step down any time now, he has been moving to secure his rise.

    Barrow Needs Reality Check
    The budget speech which Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented as Minister of Finance in the House of Representatives on Tuesday is loaded with twisted lies, ironies and mistruths. He certainly did not present a balanced budget. The deficit is the largest it has ever been. The national debt in relation to GDP is far too high by any acceptable economic standards. By his own and unavoidable admission economic growth has “flatlined” except for minor gains in the fragile tourism industry. The most dismal is in farming and Argo-related industries. A lack of an agricultural policy is a clear indication of a red litmus test. This is a clear indication that any farm programmes are misguided without measuring the long term impact. The massive land clearing by a Guatemalan company to plant thousands of acres of sugar cane could have a short-term positive impact for a government desperate to move the economic needle for growth. But in the absence of a development policy, and even worse, an agricultural policy, such development does not take into consideration, the considerable positive impact the ecology and environmental protection has on our Gross Domestic Product.

    Fundraising For Jane Usher Basketball Court
    The youths of the Jane Usher Boulevard Area in Port Loyola and I are planning a bar-b-q sale on April 30th 2016 to raise funds to assist in the much needed rehabilitation of their basketball court. The event will be held near 88 Shopping Center cor. Central American Blvd and Pen Road. Due to the continued neglect of the division by Area Representative Anthony “Boots” Martinez the ball court is in its most disgraceful state. The backboards are so rotten that they are falling apart. Grass has overtaken the court including the two bleachers and there is no light for night games. The situation pains my heart when I see youths playing basketball on a court that is in that state. Some also play basketball on a makeshift court on Jane Usher Blvd. The top of a drum perched on a lamppost is the rim while the bare ground is used as the court. It is directly opposite the home of Minister Martinez’s driver. They all see the struggles the youths are experiencing to survive. They just don’t care about them.

    PUP Appoints New Senators
    After consultations by Party Leader Hon. John Briceno, the People’s United Party is pleased and proud to announce the appointment of Eamon Courtenay, S.C., Valerie Woods and Paul Thompson as its new Senators to represent the Opposition and the country and people of Belize. We are confident that they will discharge their duties honourably and will serve with respect and integrity. The Party takes this opportunity to recognize and extend our sincere gratitude for the sterling work of former Senators Lisa Shoman, Patrick Andrews and Anthony Sylvestre Jr. They have been the strident, passionate and effective voice of the people’s Opposition in the Senate, and they have served well. The new Senators of the People’s United Party will be officially sworn in at the first occasion of a meeting of the Senate in the very near future.

    Questions to Ministers!
    Can the Minister of Sports Minister of State Elodio Aragon say when former Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth will complete the $2 million fence around the Marion Jones Sporting Complex? Can the Minister of Sports Elodio Aragon commit that the contract to turn the MCC Grounds into a parking lot with Princess Ramada is not a sellout? Can the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance confirm whether his son Anwar Barrow collected $175,000 in Christmas bonus as the Executive Chairman of Belize Telemedia Limited? When will the Minister of Human Services provide a full and comprehensive report on the tragic deaths of 14 year old Elizabeth McKoy, 16 year old Ana Carlos, and 16 year old Shadisha Arnold which occurred at the Youth Hostel at Mile 21 ½ on the George Price Highway?

    A Road to Nowhere!
    The Barrow Administration on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 approved the borrowing of over $11 million for the construction of a road that will connect the Phillip Goldson highway and the George Price highway from the Mile 8 area (Western) and the Mile 11 (Northern) sections. Questions were raised by the Opposition as to the urgency of the borrowing since the bill to authorise the loan was rushed through all three readings at the House sitting. The questions are legitimate. Why rush through a loan for a road that is not an imperative at a time when the country would use the resources for priority areas? The only ones to benefit are the special contractors who will be awarded the multi-million dollar contract. Will it be Gaspar Vega’s nephew? Or perhaps BIL’s favourites: the Arguelles crew?

    New Executive leads Bar Association of Belize
    The Bar Association of Belize informs the public that at its Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday, 8 March 2016 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, the following persons were elected to serve on the Executive Committee for a one-year term: Ms. Priscilla J. Banner, President; Mr. Fred Lumor SC, Vice President; Mr. Wayne Piper, Secretary; Mr. Jose Alpuche, Treasurer; Mrs. Cheryl-Lynn Vidal SC, Bar Committee Member; Mrs. Ashanti Arthurs Martin, Bar Committee Member; and Mr. Mikhail Arguelles, Bar Committee Member.

    Deceitful PM!
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow gets an A for rhetoric. For propaganda and twisted language he gets an A+. On Tuesday March 8th, the physically-worn out, ailing and beleaguered Prime Minister was at his best. After eight years of presiding over a sluggish economy barely standing on wobbly stilts, he rose before the House of Representatives to present his ninth budget of nothingness and despair. In those eight years, the Prime Minister has survived on mere political smartness, the same kind that saw him trying to convince Belizeans that somehow the pittance of a salary raise for teachers and public officers was grander that a salary increase for public officers in the United Kingdom.

    HEAD-YOU cation!!!! The Special Permit to DIE.
    Dear Editor, The Ministry of Education recently made a big announcement that ALL TEACHERS better get their paper work in order, specifically their LICENCE. So they quickly put in place one more bureaucracy, a high-powered committee, to vet thousands of files, applications, and other various assortments of paper. I sympathize with the members of the new committee. Wow! While our system melts under a 19th century philosophy of compliance, regulation and authority, our most creative act to deal with the nation builders (teachers) is to put one more boot on top of their necks and press down. In the video game mortal combat when the end is near, the voice declares, “finish him!” Here I am reminded of two “ancient” reports (a) Dr. Herbert Gayle’s comprehensive research on youth, 2010 and (b) the IDB report on challenges and opportunities in the Belize Education sector, 2013. Both reports make many recommendations, but my takeaway is that we need to put LOVE at the centre of our approach to learning and teaching, and to do this we must build from the ground up a dynamic system where CREATIVITY can flourish AND TECHNOLOGY utilized.

    Woman charged for husband’s murder in San Pedro
    San Pedro resident Alida Lily Borrayo Barrientos de Catzim has been arrested for the stabbing murder of her husband, Rommel Benedicto Catzim, which occurred on Sunday, March 6th. Deputy of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, reported that around 10:30PM Police responded to the reports of domestic dispute in the San Pedrito Area. Upon arriving at the scene, police found the body of a male individual lying face down in a pool of blood on a veranda on the second floor of an apartment building. The victim had two stab wounds to the chest and back. Inside the home was Barrientos de Catzim, who was in a frantic state. The couple had been out socializing earlier that night. They got into an altercation and the wife went home. When the husband arrived home, the argument continued and intensified. Sometime during the altercation, the wife stabbed her husband.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Missing soldier found safe
    To update a missing person article posted this morning for 30-year-old Isha Martinez who didn’t report to work or had any communication with family members since Friday of last week, she was heard from this afternoon and is safe. Her sister that initially reported […]

    Female Belize Defense Force soldier missing
    A relative of 30-year-old Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier, Isha Martinez, contacted Breaking Belize News earlier today to report that her sister has been missing since Friday of last week when she was last seen or heard from and has not shown up to […]

    Three vehicles donated to Ministry of Health
    Three Ford Ranger pickup trucks, valued at around $120,000, were handed over to the Ministry of Health’s maternal and child health program from an initiative called ‘Salud Mesoamerica’, which is funded by several partners including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of […]

    “20,000 Strong” rally draws largest crowd
    Thousands of women – and not a few men – rallied at the Marion Jones Stadium this morning for greater progress toward gender equality. From across the country they came – marching from the Memorial Park to the stadium. In her opening, Special Envoy […]


    Foodie Friday – A scrumptious Relleno Negro/Chimole recipe!
    To say Belize is a “melting pot of cultures” would be misleading, as this small country is a medley of different people and ethnicities who wonderfully co-exist. One of the larger groups of people in Belize are the mestizo people, a mixture of European Spanish and native Mayan. Like the population, the cuisine of Belize is very much a giant blend, with immigrants from all over bringing with them their unique styles of cooking – making eating distinct and flavourful. Belizean food is rich with spices, and colours, most foods are now considered pan-Belizean as they are consumed by most members of the population and are no longer specific to any ethnic group. Some of the most popular foods in Belize are mestizo foods, they form a sort of food backbone here in Belize as they are abundant. The Mestizo foods differ depending on the part of the nation you find yourself in. In the northern districts, the Mestizo population is mostly descended from the refugees of the Caste War of Yucatan (1847-1901), they settled in the north and brought with them their rich cuisine and culture. One of their most famed dishes is the Chimole/Relleno, also known as “black dinna”, this savoury black soup of the Gods is a very popular Belizean dish and can be easily found at many culinary establishments. The most striking feature of the soup is its distinctive black colour which is given to it by the use of Black Recado, a paste made from a concoction of spices and roasted until black with ancho chili peppers.

    Chocolate Festival of Belize
    Now in its ninth year, the Chocolate Festival has blossomed into a three-day event featuring local foods, wines, trips to cacao farms and a musical competition celebrating the area’s indigenous heritage. Cacao (the key ingredient in chocolate) is indigenous to the Americas, and Belize’s Toledo District is world-renowned for having some of the finest quality cacao anywhere. Beside traditional chocolate desserts, the festival features everything from chocolate beer to chocolate soap. The festival also coincides with a large street fair with plenty of music, cultural displays, and exhibitions to entertain the whole family. The festival is held in the town of Punta Gorda located in Belize’s southernmost District of Toledo. In 2016, the Chocolate Festival will be held between Friday, May 20, and Sunday, May 22 in the town of Punta Gorda in Toledo District. Be sure to arrive hungry as there are dozens of different chocolate-themed dishes and other delicacies on offer during the festival. The festival also showcases key elements of the local culture, including the Maya and Garifuna cultures, mixing music and food for a truly special experience. Along with all of the chocolate, be sure to save room for fine wine and a special Chocolate Stout beer. Besides all the food and chocolate-related items, the festival is also a great chance to take a tour of nearby cacao plantations as well as kayak or canoe down local rivers to experience the pristine natural beauty of the Toledo District. The second day of the festival features a street fair in Punta Gorda with art displays, music, and a wide variety of local foods. The last day of the festival features a Grand Finale featuring different musical groups competing to be crowned the grand prize winner. For the kids, there are face-painting, puppet shows, and jewelry-making activities.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Megaflyover is focusing on the five largest forest blocks still standing in Mexico and Central America. According to NASA's Earth Observatory, the single biggest direct cause of tropical deforestation is conversion to cropland and pasture, "mostly for subsistence, which is growing crops or raising livestock to meet daily needs." The flyover researchers are sharing the findings with national protected areas agencies in the region as they go, and overtime, they will analyze how human influence has expanded over this region over the past 15 years. If you were to fly over Central America on a small plane, from north to south, starting in Guatemala and ending in Panama, you’d be able to see isolated yet extensive pockets of green canopy covering the territory. This is exactly what the aptly named “Central American Megaflyover” has been able to document during its 3,100-mile flight that took off on February 26th and is set to end by the middle of March. An additional 1,900 miles will be traveled overland.

    Megaproyecto para salvar la naturaleza de centroamérica
    El Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre de Estados Unidos dedica esta semana a resaltar los tesoros naturales de América Central, así como los esfuerzos que se invierten para preservarlos, favoreciendo, a la vez, a las economías locales.

    NMSU students travel to Belize to study arthropods
    Students in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will travel to Belize for 10 days in March to study arthropods. The 10 students are enrolled in the tropical insect ecology course with Scott Bundy, who is an entomology professor in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science. “The students will compare the diversity of arthropods in a different habitat,” Bundy said. “I will also be teaching them how to sample insects in various habitats.” Bundy, who is also the director of the NMSU Arthropod Museum, is preparing the students by providing them with lectures regarding Belize’s people, history and habitat. “There is so much history in Belize,” Bundy said. “The students will appreciate the country so much more if they know about it before they make the trip.”

    The Maya Forest: From the Underworld to the Sky
    We are here to fly. Today we begin our 5,000-mile “megaflyover” through Central America to document the state of the region’s great forests, starting in the vast Maya Forest of Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. However, the day starts underground. “This is a small cave” says Rafael Manzanero of the Belizean organization Friends for Conservation and Development. This is small? The gurgle of a stream echoes off the cave ceiling 60 feet above, and the walls spread far enough apart from each other to play a game of tennis. I feel very tiny in this “small” cave. Chiquibul National Park, in the heart of Belize’s Maya Mountains, hosts the largest caverns in the western hemisphere. The caves hold the mystique of history, harboring offerings that the ancient Maya left 1,200 years ago, as well as mammal bones from the early Holocene 12,000 years ago.

    Entre menores países, Belize tem incríveis ruínas maias além do famoso buraco azul
    Com apenas 270 mil habitantes, Belize é um dos menores países das Américas. A língua oficial é uma mistura de inglês, creole e 25 dialetos indígenas. As opções de turismo são muitas: praias, ruínas maias, o buraco azul, resorts, tudo com muitos turistas americanos. Decidi conhecer o mar do Caribe e mergulhar na segunda maior barreira de corais do planeta. A praia de Ambergris Caye, localizada na cutícula com a fronteira mexicana, foi a escolhida. Tudo parece construído e fabricado no mês passado. Muitas praias são diques e portos artificiais. Após alguns dias de relax, seguimos para o destino que instigava nosso espírito de explorador: as ruínas arqueológicas do complexo astronômico maia de Caracol, para tentar compreender os enigmas dos calendários maias e seus prognósticos. A localização de Caracol é considerada pelas autoridades e guias de viagem uma região extremamente perigosa. Muitos ex-guerrilheiros desempregados e bandoleiros circulam pela zona para assaltar turistas e causas pânico. Decidimos ficar na agradável cidade de San Ignácio, distante duas horas do sítio arqueológico.


  • UK and CDB launch the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure (UKCIF) Programme, 17min. Eight Caribbean countries and one British Overseas Territory are closer to accessing funding to build new roads, bridges, ports and other vital infrastructure as the United Kingdom’s Caribbean Infrastructure (UKCIF) Programme becomes operational. The UKCIF was ratified on March 9th by the Board of the Caribbean Development Bank, paving the way for implementation of the game changing programme. The Department for International Development will provide up to £300m in grant financing from January 2016 to March 2020 to Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines and Montserrat.

  • Map Evolution Punta Gorda, 2min. Over the summer, a friend asked me to put together a map of Punta Gorda, a small coastal town in the country of Belize. Throughout the production process I captured screen shots showing the evolution of the map. When it was finished I sequenced them together to form a simple movie, as I did for the evolution of a map of downtown Madison, WI. Each screen represents about 10-15 minutes of real production work. This movie shows how I got there. As you'll see, it generally involved the transformation of a satellite image into a map by way of a healthy dose of cartographic abstraction and symbolization.

  • Belize 2016 Entering Punta Gorda Belize, 2.5min. Entering Punta Gorda (PG) via Southern Highway, late February 2016. Very rustic town, and key point for bus routes in the region. Departing Placencia about 2 hours south with some breathtaking countryside.

  • Newborn Howler monkey at BFREE in Belize, 1.5min.Recently we observed a relatively rare event in which a newborn Howler monkey had fallen from a tree adjacent to the bunkhouse. We were able to capture the newborn on video.

  • Lamanai - Belize, 3min.

  • Caye Caulker Belize, 2min.

  • Chimney and Tres Cocos, 4.5min. A nice dive on the Mesto American Reef off of Ambergris Caye Belize. Some very pretty Cowfish.

  • Belize 2014 South Tulsa Student Ministry, 8min.

  • Diving Belize, 15min.

  • Belize 2016, 2min. A canoe adventure on the Sittee River in Belize, South of Hopkins. 7:00 am and the various birds are in full effect.

    March 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

    Stability in a time of Change: Barrow delivers 2016-2017 Budget address
    On Tuesday, March 8th, Prime Minster Right Honorable Dean Barrow presented the official budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year emphasizing “Stability in a time of Change”. Now in his third consecutive term as Prime Minster, this is Barrow’s ninth budget address. And even though several of Belize’s industries suffered crisis in 2015, Barrow is confident that the current and forecast state of the public finances of Belize are both “sturdy and stable”.10 Pm Barrow Budget Address-1 Before delving into the projected 2016-2017 budget, Barrow took time to explain how his United Democratic Party (UDP) administration has improved the country’s economy. “First, there is an unmatched string of year on year increases to the size and diversity of the economy. And this has been complemented by the longest post-independence period of low inflation, reductions in the cost of borrowing for both private and public sectors, and increases in revenue generation by the Government.

    Traffic department announces new designated parking area
    The San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD) has announced that opposite of the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex and beside ‘The San Pedro Artisan Market’, it has established a newly constructed parking lot for long term use, free of cost. This parking can accommodate 80 golf carts only. The SPTC recommends and encourages those in the labor force to utilize the new parking area. Many golf-carts are often parked on busy streets for prolonged hours, giving other short-term riders limited spaces to park. The new parking area is excellent and geared to those who park all day during normal business hours. Not only will this method steadily improve a percentage of our congested traffic in downtown areas, but it will also acknowledge a health issue. According to Local Economic Development Officer at the SPTC, Jorge Aldana, “Our parking area has another positive effect. By using the parking lot, we are addressing certain health issues by encouraging people to become more physical. From the center of town to the furthest point up in town is probably a five minute walk,” stated Aldana.

    Northern Softball Regionals: One round down, one to go!
    The San Pedro High School were in the comfort of their own home as they hosted the NTSA Male and Female Northern Softball Regionals 2016 on Friday, March 4th. The games took place at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex, where enthusiastic fans and supporters from other districts attended. Both female and male teams were equipped to compete in the regionals, and came from San Pedro High School (SPHS), Corozal Community College (CCC), Escuela Secondaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM), and Orange Walk Technical High School (OWTHS). In the male division, the second game was played between OWTHS and CCC, where OWTH defeated CCC 15 to 5. CCC team members were officially eliminated from the regionals and OWTHS boys are qualified for the Championship Game. Games resume this Sunday, March 13th commencing at 8:30 am at the same location. In game four, females start off the competition, with as OWTHS going against SPHS. The losing team in this match will be eliminated, and the winner will advance to the Championship game to face Escuela Mexico.

    US Embassy officials meet with AC’s American community
    On Friday March 4th, officials of The United States Embassy from Belmopan met with various American citizens for a scheduled Town Hall meeting at the Blue Water Grill in San Pedro Town. The Embassy initiated this meeting to share beneficial information regarding consular services that it provides. Several guests, many of whom consider San Pedro as their second home, attended this informal event. Prior to the meeting, U.S. Ambassador Carlos R. Moreno gave a preliminary introduction, speaking about all national protocols the United States takes to ensure the safety and well-being of their fellow American citizens. Those who attended were reminded that the US government works in accordance with the Belizean government.

    BDF discover Guatemalan run marijuana planation in the Chiquibul Rainforest Reserve
    A Guatemalan Nation who illegally entered Belize was shot on Thursday, March 3rd by a member of the Belize Defense Force (BDF) following the discovery of a marijuana plantation within the Chiquibul Rainforest Reserve in Belizean territory. According to reports, members of the BDF along with Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) rangers where conducting scheduled patrols in the area when they came across the plantation. As the team approached the area, they were met with gunfire, which resulted in the BDF firing back and injuring one man. The BDF proceed to capture the culprit identified as Guatemalan National from Peten, 51-year-old Francisco Torres Sucup, who received a gunshot to the knee. The BDF also reported that while one of the culprits was detained, another man, later identified as 56-year-old Luis Diaz Alballeros, escaped during the crossfire but was later captured. At the plantation, the team searched a thatched shed where they found 15 live 12-gauge cartridges and 24 live rounds of 9mm ammunition. Two illegal weapons, a 9mm pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun, were also confiscated from the men.

    Koop Sheet Metal takes the 2016 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
    It was that time of the year again, when the river banks of the Mopan and Belize rivers, along with the many communities trailing its course, became alive once again with the 19th annual La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. The four-day canoe race saw competitors enduring the odds of the weather, changing currents of the river and the bogginess of the tropical Belizean environment. Among the teams were two outstanding sets of participants who were all in for the fun of the competition, proudly representing Ambergris Caye. Team “Hope We Finish,” comprised of Dee Regis, Brittney O’Daniel, and Greg Lamb and Team Reef Runners comprised of Edwardo “Wayo” Vasquez, Lisa Rusinek-Cyrier, and Ronnie Cyrier took on the challenge and joined the paddling tradition. “It is a challenge and I am happy to be part of it. Is not about winning, is about committing yourself to the challenge and overcome it,” said a determined Wayo.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Responds to Tourists Robbed at Altun Ha Maya Site
    In a press release issued today, the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture notes with concern and condemns the actions of those criminals involved in the robbery of tour guide Clifton Hoare and eight tourists at the Altun Ha Archaeological Site on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. “This was a crime of opportunity that presented itself when the group visited a somewhat isolated section of the site,” stated the release from the Ministry. “The criminals who had entered through the bushes in the back seized the opportunity to commit their robbery.” There was adequate police and security presence at the Archeological Site. Therefore, a quick police response resulted in the detention of several suspects who are residents of nearby villages. An extensive investigation is being carried out.

    Tropic Air Gives Back To Caye Caulker Cancer Support Group
    Tropic Air has announced the February results of its ongoing nationwide #TropicGivesBack charitable fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 will be donated to an organization chosen by the staff stationed in that community. In January, $500 was donated to the Dangriga Red Cross. February was the chosen month for Caye Caulker, with Belmopan scheduled for March and San Ignacio coming in April. As part of the airline's largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and customers joined efforts and raised $400 for “Arms of Love”, a Caye Caulker cancer support group. Sergio Marin, Caye Caulker Station Manager and his staff presented a check to Ms. Enelda Rosado from “Arms of Love” on Thursday, March 3.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SAGA Restaurant Chef Cook Off
    Join Saga Humane Society March 15th for the Restaurant Chef Cook -Off at Luna Loca. Sample delicous dishes from San Pedro's top restaurant chefs. VIP tickets are available at Pampered Paws 226-2227 or at [email protected] Entertainment by Mar and Gonzo, raffle prizes and more!

    Island Magic Beach Resort on Caye Caulker is still looking for Maintenance Man
    Please visit our office or call 610-1804 or 226-0505 if interested.

    Statement from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports on the Altun Ha Robbery
    The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture notes with concern and condemns the actions of those criminals involved in the robbery of tour guide Clifton Hoare and eight tourists at the Altun Ha Archaeological Site on Wednesday, March 9th. This was a crime of opportunity that presented itself when the group visited a somewhat isolated section of the site. The criminals who had entered through the bushes in the back seized the opportunity to commit their robbery. There was adequate police and security presence at the Archeological Site. Therefore, a quick police response resulted in the detention of several suspects who are residents of nearby villages. An extensive investigation is being carried out.

    UDP confirms Vega resignation
    The United Democratic Party confirms that First Deputy Party Leader Hon Gaspar Vega has, by letter dated March 8, 2016, informed the Party of his decision not to stand again for his Orange Walk North seat in the next General Elections. Hon Vega has also said that in view of this early notification of his retirement from electoral politics at the end of the current term, he feels it is right that he not continue as First Deputy Party Leader of the UDP. Accordingly, he is no longer prepared to accept the four year endorsement as First Deputy, which endorsement would have been done at, and with effect from, the UDP Convention on March 20, 2016. In the result, the March 20 Convention will now proceed only to endorse, for the next four years, the Party Leader Rt Hon Dean Barrow; the Second Deputy Leader, Hon Erwin Contreras; the Party Chairman Alberto August; and the Deputy Party Chair Fern Gutierrez. The National Party Council of the UDP will meet shortly after the March 20 Convention to decide on the procedure and timing for a special election to choose the new First Deputy Party Leader to succeed Hon Vega.

    NOW OPEN IN COROZAL: Sherwin Williams Home Improvement
    aints for all your Cabinetry, Furniture, Interior Trim and Accents, Bathrooms and Kitchens, High Traffic Areas, Ceilings and Do-It-Yourself Projects. Whole-House Paint Schemes with Floor Plan and Examples. Come visit our new friendly location in Corozal. We are located at 5th Avenue, Bahia Plaza Complex (across from COURTS).

    Please note that the March screening for Belize Screen on the Green will take place on Thursday, March 17. There was not a movie Thursday night.

    Protection of The Seabed and Protection of 66 Feet Reserve
    The Lands and Surveys Department, through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Immigration, advises the general public that in Pursuant to Section 2 of the National Lands Act, National Land includes the seabed and the 66 feet reserve, which may include riparian forests, beaches, littoral forests and shoals. Therefore, occupation within the above mentioned spaces without permission from the Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration constitutes an offense of unlawful occupation of National Land. The general public is advised that jetties, breakwaters, seawalls, groynes, and over water structures such as piers or wharfs, and any use of the seabed and the 66 feet reserve requires permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Immigration. Kindly be advised that the applications for the use of reserves that include mangrove also require a mangrove alteration permit through the Forest Department. The general public is informed that there is an official process for obtaining permission to utilize the seabed or 66 feet reserve in Belize, and takes this opportunity to invite the general public to visit the Lands and Surveys Department Headquarters in Belmopan for more information. From the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys

    Three trucks donated to MOH
    Three pick-up trucks were handed over this morning to the MCH programme of the MOH in order to further scale up preventive interventions at the community level in family and community health. The vehicles were donated by the IDB through the Salud Mesoamerica Initiative (a public/private initiative with multiple funders) with a total value of $120,000.00. The vehicles were received by health CEO, Dr. Ramon Figueroa and they will be deployed to the Western and Northern Health Regions.

    SIPL Storytime Saturdays
    It's Children's Month, and the San Ignacio Public Library is having events for local school kids every day. The SIPL will be teaming up with the Belize Raptor Center to bring Storytime Saturdays to the SIPL for the next 6 Saturdays. If you're child is interested sign your child up at the SIPL. Thanks, SIPL, and BRC!

    Alexander & Vincent: The Champion & The Pacer!

    The National Classification System for Accommodation. Kindly see dates and locations.

    Channel 7

    Vega’s Vamoose Leaves Vacuum in UDP Executive
    It's official, Gaspar Vega has resigned as Deputy Leader of the UDP - and with that he is expected to be replaced as Deputy Prime Minister. Those are the broad strokes of a political story that caught everyone off guard yesterday. At first, there were suggestions that Vega could be making the first move to break up the Barrow Cabinet, but tonight we can report that he is simply walking away, not leading a rebellion. 7news has obtained a copy of his resignation letter to the UDP. Dated Tuesday, March 8th. and addressed to the party chairman, it thanks the party for letting him serve as Deputy Leader for the the last 8 years. It continues, quote, "this opportunity ultimately elevated me to the position of Deputy Prime Minister...for which the most gratifying accomplishment was the successful renegotiation of the Petrocaribe agreement...."

    Wife Who Killed Husband Released W/O Charge
    On Tuesday, we told you about a domestic dispute in San Pedro that resulted in a wife killing her husband. It happened on Sunday March 6th sometime after 9:00 pm. Rommel and Alida Catzim had been out socializing and got into an argument. That quickly escalated - and Alida stabbed Rommel. She was immediately apprehended. In her statement she alleged self defense. As a result no charges have been laid against her and she has since been released. ACP Desiree Phillips, Officer Commanding Eastern Division North gave us an update today. ASP Desiree Phillips- O C, Eastern North Division: "Due to the circumstance of what the investigation revealed, we had compiled the file and we sent it over to the Director of Public Prosecution. So far she had directed that no charged be levied against the wife of the accused at this time." Emanuel Pech: "In the meantime the wife has been released?" ASP Desiree Phillips- O C, Eastern North Division: "Yes." Emanuel Pech: "Give us an idea of how sensitive the matter is because of the supposed history of domestic violence between these two?"

    Alleged Killers Cops Got Course on Proper Care And Custody of Prisoners
    But while investigators continue to tread on that matter carefully, in another murder, police were not so hesitant to press charges - even though the accused were cops. On Tuesday police arrested and charged three constables for murder. They are PC Reydel Teck, PC Romelio Logan, PC Jahsimir Cob. In addition to that, Sergeant Raymond Berry, who is being accused of administrative neglect, was placed on interdiction. The men are being accused of carrying out a vicious beat down of San Pedro Bartender Edwin Ixpatac on Thursday last week. The incident occurred while Ixpatac was detained at the San Pedro police station. The next day he was found unconscious in his cell and was later transported to the hospital where he died. A post mortem examination on the body concluded that Ixpatac died as a result of a blow to the head. This comes right after San Pedro police recently participated in a course dealing with the proper Care and Custody of Prisoners. But are these courses working? Today we spoke to Assistant commissioner of Police Desiree Phillips about it.

    Cops Have First Suspect For Altun Ha Robbery
    Yesterday two men robbed a group of tourists at Altun Ha. It happened between 1 and 2 yesterday afternoon. 8 tourists, including 53 year old German retiree Wolfgang Schupp and 62 year old Deborah Lee Horne were on a cruise to Belize and were being chaperoned by local tour guide Clifford Hoare. Reports are that 6 of the 8 tourists decided to go on a 15 minute hike on a trail that leads to a pond on the same grounds of the archeological site. However when they were about the reach the pond they were accosted by two men. Several items were stolen including a gold necklace and $250 US dollars in different denominations. Now as we told you yesterday, several individuals from around the nearby villages surrounding the archeological site were being taken in for questioning. The update today is that authorities have their first suspect and are preparing to conduct an ID parade to see if they can get a positive ID.

    Stann Creek Cops Looking For Killers, One Could Be Escapee
    Independence police are looking for 2 men in connection with Duane Logan's murder. They are escaped prisoner Shane Bennett, and Ronald Jaime. Police believe that these two men broke into Logan's home and one of them shot and killed Logan in front of his 4 year old daughter. Police told us they went out to look for Bennett and Jaime yesterday and found camps set up in a Pine Ridge area where they believe these men were hiding. But police haven't found them yet and will keep looking. The incident happened on Saturday March 5th. Logan had just returned home at around 8:00 Saturday night when 2 masked men held him up. One man had a gun and the other had a machete. They forced him inside and demanded money and weed. When he refused, one of the men took his common law wife in the bedroom and forced her to give up some money and jewelry. But that is when she heard a gunshot. As she came out of the room, she saw her husband on the floor dead - he had been shot to the chest. Their 4 year old daughter and 17 year old niece saw everything. We tried to speak with the wife yesterday after the post mortem but she declined.

    Staffin Wins, Power Politics At Play
    Last week Tuesday, we told you about all those elected to the 6 district chapters of the National Youth Council. But, the race for the Belize District presidency ended in a tie between Stafin Duncan and Micah Goodin. Also in Corozal, the Phillip Wade and Herman Sanchez had the same number of votes for the post of treasurer. So today, the Department of Youth Services held a bi-election in the Belize and Corozal Districts to allow the registered delegates to make a final choice. We stopped by today, and spoke with the Belize District candidates: Shawn Saldano, PR Officer - Dept. of Youth: "Today is the bi-election for both Belize City and Corozal. Belize City, the bi-election is for the president position between Micah Goodin and Stafin Duncan. When we had the district elections on February 29th, they both tied. So today is the election process to try to see which one of them will fit the position of the president for the Belize District Youth Council. Between 9am-10am this morning, we had 24 turnout and between 10:50am we had 7 turnout and this is a total of 31 out of 75 delegates. Bear in mind that Belize City has 92 delegates. In San Pedro, that is where the 17 and the 17 plus the 75 here in Belize gives us a total of 92."

    Eco Audit on MBRS says Belize Improving
    Every two years, marine conservation groups get together to conduct an eco-audit of the Mesoamerican Reef System. There have been 3 eco-audits done to look at what Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, have done to improve or worsen the health and sustainability of the Barrier Reef. Today, the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative released the 2016 Eco-Audit, and it shows that once again, Belize has been making incremental progress. In 2014, the audit gave Belize a grade 57%, and this time around, Belize got a 68%. That's still a C, but the experts say that it's a lot to be proud of since Belize remains a trend-setter when it comes to Marine resources management. Here's an excerpt from the presenters on the findings of the Eco-Audit: Dr. Melanie McField - Director, Healthy Reefs for Healthy People: "For this year we have 62% overall. So we are really continuing to get up there. We are still in that fair range. The marine protected areas is high. The research and education is high and the same to private sector and very lowest ones, sewage and sanitation. And that something we are going to talk about more I think in the Belize section where we really need to bring other players to the table, because its not necessarily this set of people that we collaborate with day to day that can fix the sewage and sanitation problems."

    Is Belize Reef Doing Ok?
    As you heard, the purpose of these assessments is to ensure the long-term viability of the reef system for future generations. But, is Belize's barrier reef actually healthy? Here's how he answered that: Roberto Pott, Belize Coordinator, Healthy Reefs: "There was a global alert towards the end of 2015 and we were concerned that we were going to see some of the same die-offs that we saw in the early 2000 late 90's and so we are happy to report that it wasn't as severe, but we are still continuing to monitor the situation. Climate change is now a reality and we have to be able to monitor the impact that its having and report back to those who could make the decisions to change and make changes." Daniel Ortiz: "What are some of the more prominent threats to the coral system in Belize, the Barrier Reef System?" Roberto Pott, Belize Coordinator, Healthy Reefs: "Well we've seen a lot of fleshly macro agro growth, which is an indicator that we have a lot of nutrients moving into the water that comes from the need for better sewage management, better management of our water sheds. But we are seeing a lot of coastal developments as well and we've had movements with the coastal zone plan and so we need to follow through on that plan. So we are seeing where we understand that there is a need for development and there are issues like global climate change that we can't really addressed locally, but we need to be able to weather the storm and prepare for it."

    Southside Strike Nabs A Gun
    Police from the Eastern Division South are reporting tonight that they conducted several successful raids which led to the seizures of drugs and a gun, all found in gang territories. The Eastern Division Southside Strike Team moved out just before dawn this morning. The first location they visited was the PIV area. At around 6:30, the Strike Team, along with the Special Branch and K9 Unit searched an abandoned lot on Croton Lane where the K9 detected drugs in the area. When the police did a sweep of the location, they found 757 grams - or just over 1 and a half pounds - of marijuana. The drugs were found inside a plastic bag, stuffed inside a speaker, under a pile of garbage. No one was in the area, and so, it was deposited as found property. About an hour later, the police patrol went to another abandoned lot in the CET Site area. There, the K9 "Bosco" again detected drug. This time they found a black plastic bag containing 152.5 grams - or just over 5 ounces - of compressed marijuana. The officers also discovered a .357 magnum revolver, and since no one was in the area, it was deposited as found property.

    DVD Vendor Got Knocked Down In High Speed Police Chase
    33 year old Jamal Young, better known as "Bounty," or "DVD guy", was one of two persons who were injured during a high speed chase on Mahogany Street last Saturday. The incident occurred shortly after midday. Young was in the area making some DVD sales when he heard the distinctive sound of gunshots. The peddler said he felt a sharp pain to his left leg and was knocked down by the fleeing vehicle. Police were in hot pursuit of a vehicle that ran a checkpoint. When police finally caught up with the vehicle, they searched it and found nothing more than an expired license. However the accident has left Jamal Young with a broken leg and the other individual, a fast food delivery-man, with injuries to his chest. Now subjected to a wheel chair, Young is at a loss as to how he will maintain his only daughter. He told us about his plight: Victor Young, Father of alleged shooting victim: "From the story that I got, the police were chasing some people in a car. He was on Mahogany Street going about his business and the police were firing shots apparently and the car swerve into him, because they were chasing, knocking his down and he ended up with a broken foot. He have a hole through his foot where the doctor is saying couldn't be caused by the car - could be a bullet that caused it."

    Citrus Growers Still Waiting On Payday
    Citrus Growers still haven't been paid. The Central Bank Board met yesterday to discuss the 5 million dollar loan from the Heritage Bank to the Citrus Products of Belize. Chairman John Mencias would not comment about it today, but the Citrus Growers association sent a release this afternoon saying, quote, "we have just been informed by CPBL that Heritage Bank is still waiting for 'approval from the Central Bank to release the remaining funds.'" And so, because of this CPBL still can't pay the growers but are holding out hope that they will be able to do so tomorrow. We'll let you know.

    The History Of The Bhojawani Debacle
    Yesterday we had an extended interview with Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley about the debacle with the Hans and Nandini Bhojwani Foundation. The foundation donated a pair of bandstands for the City - and when those were demolished - they said the city had to somehow compensate them. The city has agreed to do so by placing, or as the case may be "replacing" two signs on Marine Parade, calling it the Bhojwani Promenade. In part two of our interview with the Mayor, we went into our archives to find out more:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The BTL Bandstand and the Battlefield park bandstand - donated in the Zenaida Moya years at a cost of 140 thousand dollars total. They were rubbished a few years later to make way for a new vision of a new park with new big money benefactors - except the mayor never told the old benefactors anything but how much of this has to do your leadership style insofar as when you rubbished the 6:04 two bandstands you were advised. Jules Vasquez: "But how much of this has to do with your leadership style in so far as when you started, when you rubbished the two bandstands, you were advised. I'm saying you were appraised at the time. But at that time you were on "romperajo" timing - we are going ahead building this park and we will do that - we don't care, he donated that to Zenaida - that looks bad - we don't business - next."

    Two Men To Jail for Beating
    30 year-old Shawn Hemmans and 39 year-old Wilfred Fitzgibbon, both residents of Kings Park in Belize City, are in jail tonight after they were accused of badly beating Justin Flowers. IT happened last week Thursday outside the Wong Gok Restaurant on 6th Street in the Kings Park Area. Flowers was taking a drink outside the restaurant when he was attacked by 3 men. One of them punched him in the face, another struck him in the head with a Belikin bottle. The third man, who remains unidentified, allegedly pulled a piece of wood and clubbed Justin Flowers in the mouth, knocking out several of his teeth. After investigating the report, police arrested and charged both men grievous harm. When they were arraigned today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, Ivan Fitzgibbon pleaded guilty. He told the Magistrate that he struck Flowers over the head with the Belikin bottle because Flowers was acting drunk and belligerent.

    Child Abusing Pastor Sent Back To Jail By Court of Appeal
    Viewers will remember the sensational story back in 2012 in which Julio Cesar Garcia, who was acting the spiritual leader of the Franks Eddy Baptist Church, was accused of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 11 year-old girl inside the church building. Well, he was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in jail. He appealed his conviction today in the Court of Appeal, and at the end of that hearing, the Judges dismissed his appeal and upheld his conviction. The 11 year-old testified in the Supreme Court trial that on October 28, 2012, and November 1, 2012 Garcia had intercourse with her. He was convinced that he was wrongly accused and convicted, and he hired attorney Oswald Twist to make his case before the Court of Appeal. Twist presented 4 grounds of appeal, including misdirection by the judge. In the end, the judges weren't convinced and upheld the conviction and sentence.

    Bar Assoc. Has New President
    There's a new president of the bar association. She is Priscilla Banner, and she is joined by Senior Counsel Fred Lumor, who is now the Vice President. Wayne Piper was elected as Secretary, and Jose Alpuche was elected as Treasurer. Also on the executive as Bar Committee Members are DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, Ashanti Arthurs Martin, and Mikhail Arguelles.

    Police Trade Pistols For Paint Brushes
    Today police officers from the Eastern Division North in Belize City, led by Assistant Superintendent Desiree Phillips, put down their batons and pistols, and picked up paint brushes. The cops were partnering with the Belize City Council and residents to target two known gang areas for community rehabilitation. One of the areas they targeted was an area of Victoria Street. Cops got down and dirty to clean and give the one and only park in that community a much-needed facelift. What is particular about this park is that it was named after 9 year old Joshua Abraham a child who was caught in a crossfire between rival gangs in 2011. We caught up with volunteers today as they got on with the works. The other structure that was targeted is the area near Pink's Alley. Officers along with members of the City Council and even some youths from majestic alley worked together to repaint a portion of City Hall. An old dilapidated wooden structure that has been the target of much graffiti. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Public Relations Officer for the Eastern Division, led the efforts at that site.

    A Grand Goal For YES: Ending Youth Violence
    "Ending Youth Violence in the country," that was the main topic of discussion during a 2 day workshop with stakeholders including TIDE, PLENTY Belize, POWER, the Child Development Foundation and The Special Olympics. The idea was to train trainers in identifying and intervening in cases of child abuse and child sexual abuse. The program hopes to reach out to parents, medical practitioners, coaches, and just about anybody who comes in contact with youths. We spoke with Karen Cain the Director of the Youth Enhancement Services about the initiative. The workshop was an initiative headed by the Youth Enhancement Service and is being financed by UNICEF.

    Women Stronger Than Just Numbers
    Tomorrow the second women's empowerment rally will be held and women and men from all over the country are invited. Now they expect to get that full 20 thousand strong, but today organizer Anne Marie Williams told us that it's about more than just numbers. The Rally moves off from the Memorial Park at 8:00 am and moves over to the Marion Jones Stadium for the rally. The rally ends at 12:30. Now some may criticize that this movement changes nothing - thousands of women standing around listening and cheering on uplifting speeches is not enough. Williams agrees that so much more needs to be done but that this movement is the step in the right direction. When we discuss women empowerment - abuse and domestic violence comes to mind - cases like Maria Candelaria Chacon and Alida Catzim are brought into sharp focus. Williams says the rally will address this issue, but that above all - there needs to a shift in social conditioning.

    Chinese Vendor Critical After Ruthless Robbery
    A Chinese grocer in Orange Walk Town is in critical condition after he was badly beaten last night. It happened during a robbery and officer commanding, Superintendent Selwyn Tillett told us more:.. "One of them went behind the counter at the cash register where he helped himself to about approximately $1,000 Belize currency cash in different denominations. Whilst the other went to the back of the shop where Jian Ping Wong was and hot him with a handgun several times to the head. Last night about 7:50pm Orange Walk police visited the Northern Regional Hospital emergency room where one Jian Ping Wong a Belizean Chinese man, owner of A & A Store located at corner Arthur Street in Orange Walk Town, was seen suffering with 4 deep cut wounds to the top of the head."

    A Place for Pickups
    As a part of the Meso America 2015 project to enhance maternal and neonatal health services in the region, the Ministry of health today received two brand new Ford Ranger pickups. The original budget was for one vehicle for the maternal and child health sector. But with a little bit of sourcing, the Ministry was able to purchase of two more. Health CEO Dr. Ramon Figueroa told us more. The project is an initiative funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

    Aziatic, Back To His Roots
    Veteran Punta Rocker Aziatic, who has a career spanning almost 15 years, has been hard at work on his latest project. This time around he's departing from his usual albums, and he's putting the finishing touches on an all - Paranda CD titled, automATIC. Today, the Belizean American artist and told us that one of the tracks is a song he collaborated on with the late Andy Palacio: But, Aziatic says that he's reached a point in his career in which he can finally give back to the Belizean community. He's set up a sort of scholarship fund to provide at risk youths with an incentive to stay in school:

    A Festival Flourish
    And some potential recipients can be found right at the Preschool festival of the arts. The Belize District kids had their turn on the stage at the Bliss Center again last night. We leave you with that this evening - do join us back here tomorrow, I am Courtney Weatherburne and thanks for watching:..

    Channel 5

    Minister Gaspar Vega Won’t Run in OW North Again
    It is confirmed. U.D.P. power-broker, financier and three term area representative Gaspar Vega is getting out of politics, or at least that’s what it looks like. The rumors started circulating [...]

    Why Did He Resign?
    There’s no smoking gun in Vega’s letter but there’s no doubt a cannon has been fired somewhere by somebody. Speculation is roaming wild and free. Did Vega resign because he [...]

    2 Men Detained for Altun Ha Tourist Jacking
    At around one Wednesday afternoon the majesty and mystery of the Altun Ha Archaeological site was shattered by the reality of crime in Belize. Six tourists off a cruise ship [...]

    Police Say They Didn’t Shoot ‘Bounty.’ So who did?
    The unintentional shooting of self-employed DVD salesman Jamal Young, presumably by officers in pursuit of a fleeing vehicle, remains a whodunit mystery; at least within the Belize Police Department.  That’s [...]

    GSU Denies Involvement in Pursuit
    According to Commander Mark Flowers, the Gang Suppression Unit did not engage the suspects being pursued.  In fact, they only came to the aid of the responding officers before carrying [...]

    Additional Charges Brought Against Illegal Guatemalan Farmers
    Fifty-one-year-old Francisco Torres Sucup and fifty-six-year-old Luis Diaz Alballeros, both Guatemalan nationals, have been charged for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.  Sucup, who was shot below the left [...]

    Questions Still Circulating over Bartender’s Murder
    Traditionally, the role of Police Officers is to protect and serve, but instead three Police Officers from San Pedro are actually accused of beating bartender Edwin Ixpatac so badly, he [...]

    No Charges for Woman Who Stabbed and Killed Her Husband
    On Sunday, forty-three year old Rommel Catzim was stabbed to death by his Guatemalan wife Alida Catzim in San Pedro. The couple had allegedly been socializing earlier and got into [...]

    D.O.E. Analyzes Silt Situation in Southern Foreshore
    For weeks now, there has been a build-up of silt in the area of Southern Foreshore in the Belize City Harbor. It’s an eyesore for an area that is traditionally [...]

    Belize City Has Record Murder Low
    Unofficially, there have been twenty-eight murders in 2016 – fourteen in January, ten in February and four so far for March. That’s a record-setting trend when compared to 2014 and [...]

    Pastor’s Sentence for Sexual Offences Upheld by Appeal Court
    A self-proclaimed pastor who was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a young girl saw his appeal dismissed and his conviction and sentence affirmed by the Justices of the Court [...]

    Retiree Faces Serious Jail Time
    A sixty-one year old retiree, James Parks is looking to spend a number of years behind bars for breaching a protection order to stay away from his ex-common-law wife, burglary, [...]

    Y.E.S. Explores Ending Violence Against Children
    Every day and in many forms, children endure acts of violence. The lack of awareness of the epidemic is a huge concern for agencies that want to build the confidence [...]

    Mesoamerican Eco-Audit Launched
    Healthy Reefs for Healthy People…an eco-audit is ongoing to determine how far Belize is in respect of a number of reef management measures. The launch of the audit took place [...]

    Eastern Division North Cleans Up the Community
    Today, key members of the Eastern Division put down their guns and batons, picked up paintbrushes and weed-whackers and got to work. It’s a cleanup timed to coincide with Women’s [...]

    Aziatic Touches Down in Belize
    Son of Hopkins Vince Lewis, popularly known as Belizean artist Aziatic and the man behind the punta song Chatty Chatty, touched down in Belize today. Aziatic has been working along [...]

    U.S.-based Urban Management Meets with Belizean Artists
    Meanwhile, Tour Manager and C.E.O. of U.S.-based Urban Management is also in Belize. He’s Belizean American Jeff Christie, whose company focuses on providing high-quality industry services and artist management services [...]

    Healthy Living: Gender Equity in Health
    International Women’s Day was celebrated on March eighth.  The achievements and the important role that women play in our society are underscored throughout the entire month of March.  Gender equity [...]


    Vega Remains In Cabinet But Will Not Seek Elections, UDP Confirms
    News that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Honorable Gaspar Vega would no longer seek reelection as Area Representative for Orange Walk North considered in the past as a sure seat for the UDP, spread like wild yesterday evening just before news time. And while the rumor mill continued to churn up until this morning, right before 10:00am the United Democratic Party issued a press release where they confirmed that First Deputy Party Leader Vega, via a letter dated March 8th, 2016, informed the Party of his decision not to stand again for his Orange Walk North seat in the next General Elections. In the letter addressed to the Party Secretariat Vega states that in view of this early notification of his retirement from electoral politics at the end of the current term, he feels it is right that he not continue as First Deputy Party Leader of the UDP.

    Vega Refuses Endorsement For Deputy Party Leader
    So why did the head honcho of the north decide to practically end his political career at a time when….according to the grape vines of the party…….he was thinking about contesting the post of leadership of the party? Well….so far there are only speculations and nothing is concrete as the UDP release does not state why Vega took such a drastic decision and why is it that the party decided to accept his retirement in such haste if he is so valuable to the UDP. What we can tell you is that reports are that in his letter to the Party Secretariat Vega states that “It has been established that the party in taking the position of not having another biennial convention for another four years. Because of this position and the fact that I will not be a candidate in the next General Elections, I am convinced that the proper thing to do is to withdraw my application for Deputy Party Leader in the upcoming biennial convention.” Reports are that Vega’s problems commenced when he was removed as Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment and his portfolio was given to appoint Minister Godwin Hulse. Vega was then named Minister of Agriculture. Right after that Vega and Hulse began having office problems. Vega is said to have refused to give up his office at the Natural Resources building, which also houses the Ministry of Agriculture.

    Chinese Businessman Attacked At Gun Point, He Clings To Life
    A local Chinese businessman is tonight clinging to life at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital after he sustained several head injuries at the hand of robbers who burglarized his grocery shop at gunpoint. The incident transpired sometime around 7:50 last night while local businessman, Jian Ping Rong and his wife, Xiao Hui Li, were preparing to close their establishment located at the corner of Arthur and Progress Street in Orange Walk Town. The owners of A&A supermarket were approached by two male individuals who had their faces covered with rags; the men who were both armed with a handgun forced themselves into the grocery shop and held the proprietors at gunpoint. Once inside the building one of the men proceeded to empty the cash register of about one thousand dollars in cash while the second robber pistol whipped Jian Ping Rong causing four deep cut wounds to the top of his head. The men then made good their escape through the front door of the establishment. Superintendent Selvin Tillett told our news team about the investigations behind the burglary and assault:

    More Witnesses Takes The Stand On Osmar Sabido's Case
    Today at 10:00 am the case of the crown versus Osmar Sabido resumed at the Orange Walk Chapter of the Supreme Court. Osmar Sabido who is now 30 years of age is being tried for the murder of his girlfriend in an incident that occurred on February 28th, 2011. The Prosecution which is being represented by attorneys Javier Chan, Shanidi Chell and Jaime Burns, today called two witnesses to the stand, namely Eugenio Gomez, Forensic Analyst who was in charge of the case of Christie Carrasco. Gomez was called as an expert witness to present his findings on trace evidence found on items pertaining to the case that were submitted to his lab. Gomez was asked by the prosecution to describe his findings on several items, including the clothes being worn by Osmar Sabido at the time of the incident and the knife believed to have been used to inflict the fatal wounds to Christie Carrasco, to which the forensic analyst attested that his analysis had positively determined that the clothes and knife contained trace evidence of human blood but that his lab was unable to determine any DNA from the blood found on the time.

    Farmers Of San Carlos Gets Ready To Harvest Their Product, Will They Be Able To Sale In Local Market?
    Yesterday in our newscast we told you about the farmers of San Carlos Village in Orange Walk who are receiving assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture as well as from the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation with the aim of protecting the agriculture industry, as farmers are currently preparing to harvest and sell their products in the local market. That is expected to take place two weeks from now and while the Ministry of Agriculture is trying to control the issuing of license to sell vegetables as well as the rate of contraband so as to protect the local production of onions, the Ministry of Agriculture has also decided to take measures to address issues concerning the storage of the crop so that farmers are not compelled to sell their produce in a hurry. Fulton Barry Palacio – District Agriculture Coordinator, Corozal: “We are looking directly at production and productivity, the issue of storage that is the other trust that the ministry is pushing in that we feel that as if we strengthened local production then the issue of storage will come up and we want that farmers will be able to storage their produce so that there is no need to rush to sell their products because as it is right now selling fresh is perishable and they could suffer high masses if the prices become saturated so for the market not to be saturated we need to look at production, stage or phase so that there isn’t that overlap.”

    Patchakan Celebrates Their Culture And History
    This past Saturday members of Jacobs Farm Rehabilitation Centre in the Corozal District carried out their first community outreach program….Patchakan Park Day. The purpose of the event was to highlight the Village’s culture at the same time discovering new talents. Nurse Adela Peterson: “We’ve called this event the Patchakan Park Day, because it is being placed in the park at Patchakan and what we are doing is we are revitalizing the community to come together in one spirit and also to showcase the talent of the people of Patchakan, we did communicate with the House of Culture and they were very instrumental in supporting us so that we could have a successful event today, however we looking forward to collaborate with the different entities that are out there to make this a very vibrant community in the future.”


    UDP Accepts Vega’s Resignation as First Deputy
    With just about ten years in the political arena, Gaspar Vega is hanging up his hat as a politician as he has made it clear that he will not be seeking re-election in the 2020 General Elections. His decision to not only give up the Orange Walk North division but also to step down as […]

    Ministry of Culture Comments on Robbery of Tourists
    Yesterday we told you of the traumatic experience had by six German and American tourists who came off a cruise ship and were on a trip to the Altun Ha Maya Temple in the Belize District. They were approached by two armed men and stripped of their assets. Today, the Ministry of Culture commented on […]

    Youth Council Bi-Election for President and Treasurer
    The Department of Youth Services held their bi- elections for the National District Youth Council. The previous elections saw two ties, one for President of the Belize District and Treasurer for the Corozal District. Polls were opened since nine o’clock this morning and a short while ago. The National Youth Council is a youth governance […]

    Citrus Loan Still Pending Approval from Central Bank; CBL Allocates Monies for Last Week’s Payroll
    Citrus Growers have still not received payment as yet, however, it appears there might be some good news. A release from the Belize Citrus Growers Association states that they were informed by CPBL that Heritage Bank is still waiting for approval from the Central Bank to release the remaining funds. CBL however has indicated that […]

    Low Carbon Initiatives Launched
    Belize is a supporter and signatory of several high-level international agreements relevant to the integration of sustainable development in national policy and planning and the fight against climate change. In keeping with that commitment the South Pole Group was tasked in putting together a publication of policies and strategies for Belize to continue the efforts […]

    OAS Mission Presents Report on Belize’s 2015 Election
    Belize held its general elections in November 2015 with an observation mission from the Organization of American States being in-country taking note of the entire process including the operations at the poll stations as well as the counting of the ballots. Four months later, that OAS observation mission has finalized its report which was presented […]

    Rural North Farmers Market Produce to Islands
    Fruit and vegetable farmers are working with members of the Belize Tourism Industry Association of Belize City, San Pedro and Caye Caulker to put together a plan of action that will seek to have the farmers, specifically from the villages of Maskall, Bomba and Naggo Bank, market their produce to the islands. Area representative Edmond […]

    Shop Keeper Believes Neighbors Burnt Down His Home
    Augustin ‘Aboo’ Ramos is a resident of Hattiville who owns a small grocery store in his community. On Tuesday night, Ramos woke up to someone at his door telling him that his shop was on fire. Ramos managed to put out the fire before it engulfed the entire building. Love News visited Ramos today and […]

    The Guardian

    Third raise for teachers and public officers and No tax increase in budget
    ve general elections victory. And as had been agreed to with the unions three years ago, the teachers and public officers, all 12 thousand of them will receive their third salary increase in as many years. “The outlay on Wages and Salaries remains the single largest component of Expenditure, and at $374 million for FY 2015/2016 it is responsible for 42 percent of Current Expenditure, which is reflecting of the compounding impact of the multi-year salary adjustment package agreed with the Unions,” stated the P.M. Salary increases began for public officers in 2014 when they received a 6 percent salary increase. Last year they received an 8 percent salary increase in July which was retroactive to April as well as an additional 2% increase which officers received based on merit. The PM said that in effect the third raise will see a cumulative 25 percent salary increase for public officers over the last three years if the annual increments were to also be added in. And while public officers will be receiving their salary increase, PM Barrow was very clear when he explained that government was going against requests to increase the tax base through changes in GST. He explained that, “the technocrats spoke to us about GST, about moving from zero rated to taxable, about moving from exempt to full taxable.

    BDF and drug dealers have confrontation in Chiquibul - one man is shot
    There was hostile contact between the Belize Defence Force Soldiers and 2 Guatemalan men inside the Chiquibul National Park. BDF soldiers had to shoot a man in self defence because he was firing at them. It happened on Thursday, March 3 in an area of the Chiquibul known as “Cebada”. On a recent fly-over reconnaissance mission, the BDF and the Friends for Conservation and Development spotted several new marijuana plantations popping up along the Western Border, inside Belizean territory. Several BDF soldiers and FCD rangers went in on Thursday on foot, and they managed to destroy 2 of these plantations without incident. When they were traveling through the area, they ended up spotting a third which had a thatched hut on it. This location was about 600 meters in Belizean territory. The law enforcement team approached this hut and they heard the sound of voices coming from inside. The joint-patrol members then had to take cover after someone fired a handgun from inside. They then identified themselves as law enforcement, and fired a shot in the air as warning to these persons. A few moments later, a man reportedly came running out of the hut, and he was armed with a 9mm pistol. That man took aim at the BDF and fired another shot, and that’s when the soldiers were forced to respond with gunfire.

    3 San Pedro cops charged with murder
    Three San Pedro police officers are on remand at the Belize Central Prison after they were arraigned for the murder of Edwin Ixpatac, 29. The arrests came after investigators reviewed surveilance footage which contained sufficient evidence for police to file charges against three of their own. Ixpatac is a resident of the Cayo District who left his home to seek employment opportunities in San Pedro after his daughter was born four years ago. He has been working on the island as a bartender over the last couple years with his most recent post being at the Holiday Hotel. According to police, on Thursday night, March 3, they received a call from the security guard at Banyan Bay Resort who complained that someone was swimming in the water nearby and behaving disorderly. When the officers arrived, they tried to take him out of the water but he refused. It is not clear what followed but there is enough evidence to suggest that somewhere between the resort and the police station officers delivered a beating to Ixpatac. He was not taken to the San Pedro Poly Clinic until Friday when officers found him unconscious in the cell. Ixpatac died as result of head injuries sustained from a blunt instrument on Monday, March 7.

    Deputy = National Deputy?
    On Wednesday morning we tried to pull the tongue of a PUP insider and a Johnny/Cordel loyalist, to see if we could have gotten him to answer a question that has been bothering us ever since we heard of the new title of National Deputy. However now we have even more questions after we heard his take on the situation. Now this said gentleman is a ranking PUP so we believe we were speaking to an intelligent fellow who was in the know. Our first question to the gentleman was, what is a National Deputy and is it different from a Deputy? Well after he tried to lead us up a dark trail with some strange nonsense he finally said that the National Deputy was like the captain of a football team who directs plays on the field because the coach is not on the field. By this time we knew we had this fellow just where we wanted, but we decided since we had him cornered we would ask another question.

    National Heroes and Benefactors Day Wreath Laying
    The National Heroes and Benefactors day wreath laying ceremony took place on Monday March 7th with much pump and circumstance. Formerly celebrated as Baron Bliss Day on March 9, every year in commemoration of the great benefactor Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, the holiday was changed to include our National Heroes George Cadle Price and Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson. On hand for this year’s wreath laying ceremony were, Belize’s Governor General Sir Colville Young, Cabinet Secretary Mr. Carlos Perdomo, Minister Elodio Aragon Jr., NICH President Dianne Haylock, and other dignitaries of the diplomatic corp. It was a beautiful and solemn ceremony which lasted a little under one hour. Sir Colville Young and Mr. Carlos Perdomo each laid a wreath on the Baron’s Grave while Minister Aragon and Ms. Dianne Haylock place a wreath in front of Mr. Goldson and Mr. Price’s portraits respectively.

    Benque Viejo archaeological reserve opened
    Benque Viejo del Carmen now has a new attraction at its center, with the opening of the Benque Viejo Archaeological Reserve on Thursday of last week. Once a suburb of the nearby flourishing Xunantunich City State, which existed around 700 A.D, the just opened Maya site may have once been the home of an elite leader or warrior; that gathered significant tribute last week with the presence of Ambassadors from Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, Britain and Brazil. Master of ceremony for the opening was Dr. Allan Moore, Associate Director of the Institute of Archaeology, who welcomed all the guests and attendees. At the start of the ceremony, the National Anthem was played by the Benque Marimba Academy from the Benque House of Culture. During the ceremonies, Mayor of Benque Viejo, Hilberto Ramcharan accredited the efforts of Subrata Basu, a US Peace Corps volunteer, who had worked tirelessly for a period of three years to preserve the Maya site. Dr. John Morris, the Director of Archaeology also spoke on Thursday of last week, giving a background to the Benque site and remarked that much effort had gone into making it a central attraction.

    Chan Pine Ridge Fair revived
    This weekend the village of Chan Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District was the venue for the Chan Pine Ridge Agri-Cultural and Trade Fair. This fair was started by Mr. Valerio Torres back in 1966 in his farm named Amelia’s Farm. The main events held back then was trading of livestock and agricultural produce as well as horse-racing. It was subsequently moved to the larger Chan Pine Ridge community grounds as it grew over the years. It had stopped for a period of four years and the started again and had been losing its steam which resulted in another pause in 2015. The Area representative for Orange Walk East, Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr., in whose area Chan Pine Ridge falls saw the importance of this fair and decided to revive it along with a committee from the village. So it was that the Chan Pine Ridge 6th of March Committee took on the challenge of putting together a fair like no other ever seen in Chan Pine Ridge. It started on Saturday 5th of March with sporting activities which lasted well into the night. On Sunday it was the official ceremonies which were immediately preceded by a display by the Corozal Community College marching band. After brief speeches by invited guests including Ministers Elodio Aragon and Omar Figueroa, the cultural presentations took center stage. Several cultural groups decked out in colorful cultural garbs performed dances reminiscent of yester-year.

    More Infrastructural Upgrades for 2016
    The first General Revenue Appropriation Bill of Belize’s only three term Prime Minister was entitled “Stability in a Time of Change”. The budget is more conservative than those of recent years – not because Government cannot afford bold ventures but because there is too much uncertainty ahead. Questions are left to be answered such as how will the sugar industry fair in the changing market; how will the citrus and aquaculture industry rebound from disease; how will the financial sector be affected in the long term by derisking exercises; what does the future hold for the PetroCaribe Initiative and what will be the payment ordered by the court for acquisition of Belize Telemedia Limited, among others. Despite these uncertainties, Government’s infrastructure program continues with $191.9 million budgeted for Capital Expenditure for 2015-2016. Government is proposing to allocate $191.9 million for infrastructure projects in the upcoming fiscal year. According to Prime Minister Barrow, $93.4 million will be locally funded Capital II expenditure and $95.9 million in externally funded Capital III expenditure. “The bulk of our capital program will be allocated toward the upgrading of highways, roads, streets and drains across the country to improve transportation and to make the road network more resilient to extreme climatic changes.”

    19th running of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
    The male team from Koop Sheet Metal was declared on Monday the overall winner of the 19th running of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge as they made their swift entrance into Belize City. Their total time paddling in the waters of the 170 mile stretch of Macal and Belize River during four consecutive days was 17 hours, eight minutes and 16 seconds, followed behind by only a few minutes at their ending point in Belize City by BTL Cobbs Arm, and Belize Bank Bulldogs, which ranked third place. Champions from Koops Sheet Metal, Henry Cruz, Jerry Canto and Jerry Rhaburn were awarded on Monday evening in Belize City for their well deserved efforts. Some 61 teams of canoeists sped off over the higher than normal Macal River, under the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio Town at exactly 7:00 am on Friday and at the signaling of a sounding device at the hands of a Belize Defense Force solider. As they made their way downriver to the lower lying wooden bridge, some boats would flip, leaving others to win station prizes along the waterway, which was once used by the Mayas for transport and later on by the various early Belize settlements. Just a night before at the Cayo Welcome Center, an event was held to prepare the paddlers for their long four day journey, from San Ignacio to Banana Bank on Friday (60 miles), from Banana Bank to Double Head Cabbage on Saturday (49 miles), from Double Head Cabbage to Henderson’s Bank on Sunday (36 miles) and their final and shortest journey from Henderson’s Bank to Belize City on Monday (25 miles). Present to lay the foundation for the race at the Cayo Welcome Center on Thursday night was the Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State for Youth, Sports and Culture, who had a special message for young people.

    Increase in Social Security pension payments
    Come April of this year, persons who have contributed to the Social Security Board and are currently receiving a pension from the institution will receive a 5% increase in their pensions. That increase will see 8 thousand pensioners with the SSB benefit. According to the Social Security Board’s chairman, Douglas Singh, effective April 2016, there will be a 5% increase to pensioners who have contributed to the Social Security Board. Singh says that there are recommendations for an additional 5% increase for April of 2017 but that cannot be done without a change in the wage bands and in order for that to take place there needs to be consultations with the business sector as well as labor representatives in order to have consensus on the matter.

    Second National Women Empowerment Rally
    It has now been 21 years since the first world conference on women was held in Beijing, China in 1995 and women around the world continue to face some of the same challenges that were identified at that historic assembly. Equal pay for equal work; greater representation at the national decision making table; sexual, psychological and physical abuse; lack of employment opportunities; poor sexual and reproductive healthcare in rural communities and wide scale sexual exploitation are only some of the injustices that continue to plague women in Belize and across the globe. There have been gains in these areas but progress has been slow. This is why women around the world have decided to make a “Pledge for Parity” in celebration of International Women’s Day 2016. Here in Belize, women empowerment activists are celebrating IWD16 by organizing a massive rally on Friday, February 10. The second 20,000 STRONG women empowerment rally will take place at the Marion Jones Stadium this Friday. According to Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, “The 20,000 STRONG rally is a women’s movement geared towards empowering and celebrating women. It’s a renewal of the commitment to women by women. It’s a movement with a mission to ignite change in our society; change in how we think about women, change in how we feel about women, change in how we treat women and change in how women see themselves.”

    World Women’s Day observed in Belize
    Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. That’s a book written by American author and relationship counselor John Gray back in 1993. Many of us, depending on who you chose to debate, would believe and go out on a limb to say that men are better than women and vice versa. Those are “fight” talks and could very well lead to hours of heated conversation. If women are indeed from Venus, then for a day, let’s all be citizens of Venus in joining the women of Belize and the world in celebrating world women’s’ day. World Women’s day is celebrated annually worldwide on March 8th and Belize celebrated this important day under the theme “Make It Happen.” In a Facebook video post Belize’s first lady and Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow said “Let’s keep the momentum building, so that one day our daughters and their daughters can live in a world where there’s no limits on their dreams or obstacles to their achievements.”

    Domestic dispute leads to homicide in San Pedro
    There was another domestic incident, less than 3 days after the Belmopan murder of Maria Candelaria Chacon. That tragedy occuredwhen a San Pedro man was stabbed to death by his wife. The incident happened on Sunday March 6, sometime after 9 p.m. in the San Pedrito area of the island. 34-year-old Rommel Benedicto Catzim, and his wife, 45 year-old Guatemalan Alida Catzim, had recently moved to a new apartment, but police say that they were known to have a history of domestic incidents. It is uncertain why the two fought on Sunday night, but residents tell the press that the couple had been drinking. They had an argument which escalated quickly when Alida Catzim allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed Romel Catzim to death.

    Guatemalan woman found with drugs
    Benque Viejo Police were at the Belize Western Border at the Customs Check Point arrival section on Tuesday of this week when their attention was drawn to a Hispanic descent female wearing a grey and white blouse, long black pants, who was carrying a black and purple hand bag with logo BELCORP acting in a suspicious manner. A female Custom Officer retrieved a black plastic bag from inside the BELCORP hand bag and handed it over to the Police, who opened it in the presence of the female. Found inside the hand bag was a transparent plastic bag that contained suspected cannabis seeds. It was shown to the female where she was informed of the offence and cautioned.

    Man kills his wife in Belmopan
    Belmopan Police have arrested and charged 35 year-old Jaird Jeremais Guerra, a resident of Panama Street, for the murder of his common-law wife, 45 year-old Maria Candelaria Chacon. At this time, police strongly suspect that they had a domestic dispute which led to Guerra chopping Chacon, a mother of 8, to death inside their home. It happened at around 5:30 a.m. on Friday, March 4 at the couple’s home in the Salvapan Area of the City of Belmopan. Neighbours were awoken by the shouts and screams between Chacon and Guerra. Chacon had reportedly been the victim of domestic abuse from her common-law husband in the past, and so, the neighbours suspected that it had been one other such instance. That’s until they saw Guerra emerge from the room, grabbed a machete, ran back inside, and locked the door.

    Millionaire’s son cleared of drug charge
    One of the heirs to the Roe fortune, Bradley Roe, was in trouble with the law after he was allegedly busted with cocaine near the Ramada Princess Hotel on January. However, the 25-year-old was cleared of the charge on Thursday, March 3, when test results were presented to the court which revealed that the substance was negative for cocaine and heroine. The forensic examination was conducted by the Forensic Laboratory in Ladyville. With that, the prosecutor in the case, Sgt. Claude Pitts, informed Magistrate Carlon Mendoza that he was withdrawing the charge since he had no case without a positive result. Magistrate Mendoza then told Roe that he was free to go. On Sunday, January 3, Police Constable Allan Domingo responded to a report and visited the Ramada Hotel and Casino where onboard a vessel “Charlie 22013” he saw a Hispanic male later identified as Bradley Roe. He was wearing a navy blue shirt, long blue jeans and slippers. PC Domingo approached and informed him that he will conduct a search for illegal drugs and firearm.

    San Ignacio Police find 135 pounds of weed and shotgun
    A vigilant San Ignacio Police Quick Response Team along with personnel from the Tourism Police Unit, were conducting mobile patrols on the Benque Viejo Road, Cayo District on Saturday of this past weekend when they came upon drugs and a gun. Both teams were making checks in an area known as the San Francisco Road just off the George Price Highway at about 3:15 am, whereupon two male persons dressed in dark clothing were seen in some nearby bushes. However; both men upon seeing the Police, quickly ran off. Checks were made in the immediate area where both persons were initially seen, which led to the discovery of two large parcels in black plastic bag, each wrapped with transparent tape. Both parcels were opened where it was observed that each contained some green leafy substance consistent with being cannabis.

    More weed caught in Orange Walk
    In last week’s issue of the Guardian Newspaper, we reported on 2 separate marijuana busts made by Orange Walk police. The cops followed up with their crackdown and made another on the National Heroes and Benefactors Day. Acting on Special Branch Intelligence, Orange Walk police intercepted a motorcycle on Monday, March 7, at around 7:45. There were 2 persons on the motorbike, and they were later identified as 35 year-old Genaro Pot and 51 year-old Fortunato Coye. As soon as they spotted the cops, they sped off down Princess Diana Street in Orange Walk Town. The police set chase and managed to catch them before they got far. When the police searched the motorbike, they found 2.26 kilograms - or almost 5 pounds - of marijuana. The officers then detained both men, seized the drugs and escorted them back to the Orange Walk Police Station.

    Duck Run
    A short story by Kesha Peyrefitte. We living in an urban-bush ghetto, so the canal-breathing, London Bridge walking Belize City slickers don’t have to throw salt in our face and tease we with backwards names like ‘bushy’. We have plenty killings in our little village too. South-siders, we hear, call we village, ‘Little South Side’ and shake them head proudly for it’s our village this month that make Belize the third most dangerous country in the world. This month, there were ten murders in we urban bush ghetto; we belly plenty full with all the wake and funeral food. We had a grand time playing feech and commenting on which girl now ripe for the picking. Me and my best friend Bigs had a hell of a laugh discussing lucky number three under a cohune shed, we name ‘Food Court’, that sell fast food all week round. “You think the tourist magazines go say that in them article? Come to sunny Belize for snorkelling, cave-tubing, zip-lining and a bullet to your brain!” I chimed. “Maybe they go blog about it.” Now, know this about my best friend Bigs. They call him Bigs because he easy 6 feet and change tall and he plenty wide too. Some call him Big Black since he as black as he big. Nobody think to cross him ‘cause he could crush you like a concas.’ And is probably them same big hands that get him plenty females. I see the way he do it. He go in for the kill, by leaning him face in and soon, he rope in the girls and they eating out his hand, laughing like is the first time they flirting.

    The budget presentation on Tuesday 8 March gave rise to much discussions on the talk shows this morning, especially at PUPS TV in Belmopan. I was watching them a little while and noticed that the usual demagoguery is fully back into play. Wade did not have his regular co-host today, but he had bob and weave Torres, which resulted in significant losses to Smart since the latter did not need to call in to the show, being on it and all. After tuning in, I set the timer on my phone and in 3 minutes 18 seconds flat Don Silva broke his protracted silence and phoned in to make his usual irrelevant and dim comments. No one listens to or cares about Silva’s opinions anymore, if they ever did. He has turned himself into a windbag; full of obsolete ideas and observations. I can’t even offer criticism on what he said this morning since frankly I don’t even recall what he said. Owner and main host Wade was in his usual attack mode, which today centered on the Auditor General. I submit that this gentleman is on a relentless crusade against all which the United Democratic Party has done, is doing and plans to do, and has allowed this fixation to gain control of his life. Mr. Wade is so filled with rancor for the UDP that he freely throws around disrespect and ridicule on Public Servants who are simply engaged in the administration of our country’s affairs. To him, no Government employee is doing his or her job properly if the job is not done his way.

    The failure of public schools
    Education can be defined as “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.” This seems like a basic foundation for what the public education system should be. It certainly would be nice if our public schools taught us general knowledge, helped us develop the powers of reasoning and judgment, and prepared us intellectually for a mature life. Unfortunately, they do none of these things. Currently, the education system accomplishes three things: teaching us irrelevant information, preparing us for the bureaucracy of the college system, and destroying our intellectual curiosity. The saying “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten” is not far off. As students approach high school, the information they learn goes from necessary, like addition, to slightly applicable, like intermediate geometry (while I may use the Pythagorean theorem sometime in my life, I have yet to encounter that time), to just plain unnecessary. For example, sophomore year we were taught the law of cosines, which allows us to find the length of one side of a triangle when we are given the degree of the opposite angle and the length of the other two sides.

    Million dollar baby Gismael Aban returns home after life saving surgery
    After just over 2 and a half months in Richmond, Virginia, in which he was gifted with life-saving medical treatment, Newborn Gismael Aban, who’s parents are from the Corozal District, is back home in Belize. He was in danger of losing his life due to a birth defect called esophageal atresia. Its a medical condition in which he was born without the tube which connects the mouth to the stomach. Normally, according to the medical experts, this condition causes newborn infants to die a slow painful death in which the baby chokes on his/her saliva. The other situation is that the infant starves to death because he or she cannot ingest food, and therefore cannot consume nutrients. He arrived on Saturday, March 5 at the PGIA to an emotional homecoming. His parents were visibly relieved that their son’s life had been saved. This sort of medical intervention was estimated at approximately 1 million dollars in travel and medical expenses. Gismael Aban’s life was saved, completely expense free. The doctors provided the service pro-bono.

    Kitchen at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town blessed
    A newly completed kitchen at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town was blessed by religious leaders over the weekend. Roman Catholic Lay Minister Lawrence Mangar blessed the kitchen on Sunday of this past weekend stating that the work can only be continued with nourishment by the Lamb of God. “The Son of man came not to serve, but to be served,” he said. The Octavia Waight Center kitchen took about six months to complete at a cost of $100,000.00 with funds having largely been raised in partnership with the Gobie Foundation. As it now stands, the kitchen is fully furnished with stainless steel refrigerators, two large stoves, mixers and other equipment. Both the Builder’s Hardware and Benny’s Store also contributed to the kitchen that will now serve our elderly Belizeans.

    Progressive Party’s Scanty Protest
    How did the Belize Progressive Party make news on Tuesday night? Must have been a very slow news day for every media house in the country to waste time covering 44 people masquerading near the National Assembly building. Robert Lopez, National Campaign Manager of the BPP, said buses came from across the country for a protest on the steps of the National Assembly on Tuesday because “we have lost the Sarstoon. Next we lose Toledo and soon we lose our country.” Lopez and company makes Chicken Little looks like the cooler head in the room. Pseudo-nationalists in the Progressive Territorial Volunteers Party, or whatever it is they call themselves, organized a protest on the most important parliamentary day for the country. On Tuesday, March 8, Prime Minister Barrow introduced the first Budget of this administration. It is a day on which all attention should be focused on the economic health of the nation. There are threats to the economy such as the termination of correspondent relationships with local banks, evolving markets for king crops such as citrus and sugar, crisis in the global petroleum industry and the cost of coping with Climate Change, just to name a few. The people of Belize want to know what is the Prime Minister’s plan to tackle these threats, real threats. Instead, the Belize Progressive Party managed to turn the media’s attention to a non-existent threat.

    PUP debt versus UDP debt
    It never gets old to compare the debt which has been accumulated both by the past PUP administrations and the current UDP administrations. In his budget presentation the Prime Minister disclosed as much stating that, “at the end of 2015 the external public debt stood at $2.352 billion or 66 percent of estimated GDP, while Government’s total domestic obligations were $0.494 billion or 13 percent of estimated GDP. Total public debt, then, external and domestic, stood at 79 percent of GDP.” He continued explaining that interest payments were met covering $92.7 million, being 10 percent of projected recurrent revenue. He added that $86 million of existing debt was retired through principal repayments. This year he said, “servicing the public debt is projected to cost $100.0 million or about 10 cents of every dollar in recurrent revenue collected by Government.” That is in comparison to 17 cents of every recurrent dollar which went to debt servicing under the last year of the PUP administration. Comparatively it is 40% less in payments. Additionally the public debt as a percentage of GDP has shrunk by 15 percent, from 92 percent of GDP in 2008, to 79 percent today.

    Life inside the PUP
    During the past few weeks we have heard and seen some strange things from the PUP. They range from Lisa apparently finding out via the nightly television news that she had been fired from the senate by Johnny. Lisa then took to her favorite soapbox Facebook from where she said farewell. The next time we heard from Lisa it was again on Facebook only this time it was a strange image she posted as her cover photo. The image was that of an empty Lighthouse Beer bottle. We immediately began to worry if the loss of her Senatorial job had driven her to drown her sorrows in the beverage. Only time will tell what is going on with her on that one. Another notable thing inside the PUP is that rather public spectacle of a quarrel between the former Belmopan Candidate Jason Andrews and his former convention opponent Oscar Mira. Apparently Mira has made some very serious accusations against Andrews, whereby he is accusing him of stealing some office equipment from the PUP Belmopan Office. Andrews’ only statement so far as we have seen is a comment on Facebook under his name.

    More PUP mud! Call the police!
    It seems as if though the fallout resulting from the leadership convention has started in Belmopan. According to last Friday’s Channel 7 Newscast , a complaint has been lodge with the Belmopan Police. From what we have gathered, Jason Patrick Andrews the PUP candidate for Belmopan in the last election is now being accused by some PUP Belmopan committee members of allegedly cleaning out the constituency office. The complaint that has been made to police is about the stuff Andrews allegedly took from the office, which they say was donated to the office and not to Andrews himself. The items include a water cooler, a laptop computer, a flat screen TV and other items. Belmopan police confirmed that a report was made a few weeks ago, but the officer commanding said he’s handling it with some level of discretion, because the police were being careful that their department was not being used as a political tool. The following is what the O.C Belmopan told Channel 7 News and we quote:

    Rabies and Black Leg disease detected in cattle in Belize
    Some nine cattle have recently died in Belize as a result of both rabies and black leg diseases. There have been at least three cases of rabies among cattle in the Orange Walk and Cayo District and several cases of black leg have been clinically diagnosed in the Toledo District. There is now a concurrent infection among cattle with rabies and black leg and from previous years it has been known that in the starting of every year, cattle would come down with black leg. As a result, the Belize Agriculture Health Authority BAHA is now recommending that farmers purchase the vaccines that can be used to prevent both diseases from occurring. BAHA has since been having meetings with the Belize Livestock Producers Association. A specially assembled team has also been meeting with cattle farmers. In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, a team travelled last week to the Toledo District and have been getting positive response from cattle farmers. BAHA strongly recommends for all cattle farmers to vaccinate their cattle against Rabies if they have not been vaccinated in the last year and against Blackleg if they have not been vaccinated in the last six months.

    Brandon Smith charged for Illegal firearm and ammunition
    Brandon Smith, 18, has been removed from the Belize Central Prison after he was granted bail by the Supreme Court. Smith was on remand for allegedly keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Police say that at about 8:45 a.m. on February 16 they caught Smith at the corner of Kut Avenue and Amara Avenue in possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition. According to reports, police on mobile patrol noticed the teenager acting suspiciously and advanced to conduct a search on him. The weapon was found in his pants waist. Smith was arrested and charged as a result. Brandon Smith appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Thursday, March 4, and was read two firearm related offenses; one count of keeping a prohibited weapon for a homemade firearm and one count of keeping ammunition without a gun license for one cartridge.

    Woman released with a caution for drug possession
    A mother of four children, Josephine Charlesworth, 29, was granted mercy by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza when she appeared in court on Friday, March 4, to answer to one count of possession of a controlled drug. On Thursday, March 3, police searched Charlesworth’s home at #638 Lavender Street in the St. Martin’s area and found 12.6 grams of cannabis. Charlesworth had a child in her arms when police entered the house and found her with a black plastic bag containing the cannabis. She was escorted to the police station and charged with one count of drug possession.

    Jeffery Navarette busted with weed inside Cornflakes box
    Jeffery Navarette, 28, was busted by police last Wednesday, March 2, with almost 500 grams of weed stashed inside a cornflakes box. Police intercepted a Joshua Bus in Sandhill Village and asked all the occupants to exit the bus with their belongings. Navarette was holding a black plastic bag in his hand and a knapsack on his back. The officers searched the knapsack and the plastic bag. Nothing illegal was found inside the knapsack but a search of the black plastic bag led to a cornflakes box that contained marijuana. Navarette was detained and taken to the police station where the drug was weighed. It amounted to 489.1 grams, a substantial amount. He was charged with drug trafficking.

    Four fishermen charged for undersized conch
    On Thursday evening, March 3, the Belize Fisheries Department arrested four Belizean fishermen for being in possession of undersized conch. Cipriano Flores, 49, Freddy Cortez, 31, Yadir Vargas, 21, and Ricky Teck, 18, appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, March 4, to face one charge each. Freddy Cortez of Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk, was allegedly caught with 222 fillet conch that did not exceed 2 ¾ ounces in weight. Yadir Vargas of Ranchito Village was found in possession of 68 market clean conch that did not exceed 3 ounces in weight. Cipriano Flores of Sarteneja Village, Corozal District, was busted with 189 fillet conch that did not exceed 2 ¾ ounces. Ricky Teck was allegedly in possession of 299 market clean conch. In court, all four fishermen pleaded not guilty to their charge.

    Darrel Gough crashes into House of Culture fence while driving dirty
    Darrell Gough, 23, is lucky to be alive after he crashed into the House of Culture fence on Regent Street on Monday, March 7. That is where the luck ends; however, as he is now in trouble with the law for riding extremely dirty. According to police, Gough was driving a car without insurance and he has no driver’s license. Allegations are that on Monday, March 7, police were conducting mobile patrol in the city when their attention was drawn to a vehicle which was seen crashed into the fence of the House of Culture. They then saw a male person exiting the vehicle and holding his abdomen as if in pain. They approached the man and asked him his name and that is when he identified himself as Darrell Gough, the driver of the crashed vehicle. Gough was later asked to produce his driver’s license but was unable to do so. He told the authorities that he has no driver’s license. Police detained him and escorted him to Precinct 1 Police station located on Euphrates Avenue after they discovered that the vehicle was not insured.

    Cayo Western Ballaz pulls off upset against the San Pedro Tiger Sharks
    The National Elite Basketball competition continued over the last week with a number of games played across the country. On Saturday 5th March at the San Pedro High School auditorium in San Pedro Town, the visiting Cayo Western Ballaz handed the two time defending champions the San Pedro Tiger Sharks its second defeat of the season, when it upended it by the score of 61-58. The top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Brandon Flowers with 18 points and 6 rebounds; James Milton with 14 points and 15 rebounds and Winston Pratt also with 14 points, 8 rebounds and a steal. For the host team, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, the top scorers were Andrew Ortiz with 14 points and 6 rebounds; Gene Myvett with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals and Ashton Edwards with 12 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Meanwhile, out at the Stann Creek Ecumenical High School auditorium, the Belmopan Bandits continued on its winning path when it defeated the Dangriga Warriors by the score of 65-60 to improve its record to 4-4. The top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Kurt Burgess with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals; Jarrel Velasquez with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal and Nick Brown with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals.

    Belize Athletics Association to hold National Track & Field championships
    The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts once again to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. The event will be hosted at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on the 12-13 March, 2016. All athletes 16 years and older can participate in the events. Registration forms can be obtained from and returned to the BAA via email ( [email protected]) or from our Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association). Cost of registration is $10.00 per athlete.

    NEBL All-Star Starters selected by fan votes
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will be hosting its second annual All-Star Night on Saturday, March 19 at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan City. The activities will commence at 7 p.m. with the Wings Stop Skills Challenge, followed by its first ever VIP Wireless Celebrity Game. At 8:30 p.m. the Aguada Hotel Three Point Shootout will get underway, as a new champion will be crowned this year, given that Richard Troyer will not be defending his title. In the All Star game, the North team will try to win its first game, as the South will be defending its crown. The nightcap will witness the Slam Dunk Contest, as home town baller, Jarrel “Bird” Velasquez will be defending his title on his home court.

    Edward P. Yorke High School bests Wesley College girls in high schools softball
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball competition playoff round, which is utilising the International Softball Federation’s Page System, commenced on Tuesday 8th March, 2016, at Rogers Stadium with Semi-final game 1 in both the female and male categories. In the female game played, Edward P. Yorke High School the number two seed into the playoffs handed Wesley College the top seed into the playoffs its first defeat of the competition by the score of 14-9. The winning pitcher was Jasany Westby and the losing pitcher was Kia Flowers. In the male game played, Gwen Lizarraga High School the number one seed into the playoffs won handily over St. John’s College the number two seed by the score of 18-3. The winning pitcher was Devonte Middleton and the losing pitcher was Alwayne Hendy. The Finals is scheduled for Thursday 10th March in both the female and male category, in which the loser from game 1 will see action against the winner from game 2, with the winner moving onto the Grand Final scheduled for Saturday 12th March at the Rogers Stadium.

    Belize Defence Force blank the Belmopan Bandits
    The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued over the last weekend with three games on the schedule. Of the three games that were scheduled to have been played, only two games were played since the Saturday night game at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village was postponed because of the inclement weather. On Sunday 6th March, at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, the Belize Defence Force blanked the league leading Belmopan Bandits by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Osmar Duran in the 16th minute of play that gave the BDF the victory. Meanwhile, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting Placencia Assassins edged out the host team Verdes FC by the score of 3-2.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Court of appeal dismisses Pastor’s case for sex with teenager
    A Pastor who was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 14 year old girl saw his appeal dismissed and his conviction and sentence affirmed. Julio Cesar Garcia remains behind bars after he lost his appeal this week. The pastor was convicted of two counts […]

    Guatemalans charged for Chiquibul shooting but not for weed plantation
    Two Guatemalan Nationals, 56-year-old Luis Diaz Alballeros and 51-year-old Francisco Torres Sucup, have been charged by Belizean authorities for the offenses of “kept firearm without a gun license”, “kept ammunition without a gun license” and “aggravated assault”. Those charges were in connection to the […]

    Ian Gaynair is player of the week
    29 years old Ian ‘Yello’ Gaynair was born and raised in Belize City. He started his football career at a very young age by playing every evening after school. Gaynair grew up playing with different teams like Kremandala, FC Belize, and Kraal Road. While playing […]

    Police seek Eric Elrington for robbery and shooting incident
    Cayo Police are asking for the public’s help to locate Eric Elrington, who is wanted for a robbery and shooting incident that occurred on Monday night in Unitedville Village. 24-year-old Henry Michael Gordon of Blackman Eddy Village, also in the Cayo District, reported to […]

    Early morning police operation nets weed and gun in the old capital
    Police with the assistance of its K-9 Unit conducted an operation between the hours of 4:30 and 11:30 this morning which netted a total of 2.5 pounds (1112.5 grams) of cannabis and a firearm in several areas of the old capital. An abandoned lot […]

    Fair and warm weather to continue
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with little or no rainfall. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots with higher gusts and the sea state will be moderate to rough. […]

    UDP confirms Vega resignation
    The United Democratic Party (UDP) Secretariat, via press release this morning, confirmed the resignation of Deputy Party Leader Gaspar Vega. According to the UDP, Vega informed the party of his decision not to stand again for his Orange Walk North seat by way of a letter dated March 8. […]

    Gaspar Vega stands down from United Democratic Party leadership
    The United Democratic Party (UDP) has confirmed via press release that Gaspar Vega is standing down as first deputy leader. A decision will be made on selecting his replacement at a National Party Council meeting after next Sunday’s national convention in Dangriga. Vega continues […]

    Regional management of coral reefs improving; Belize leads the way
    On this Meso-American Reef Day, the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI), reports that regional management of the Meso-American Reef System has improved steadily. In alternate years, HRI releases “Reef Report Cards”, which presents recommendations for improving reef health, and “Eco-Audits” showing assessment of management targets. […]

    Is Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega stepping down?
    Reliable reports reaching our newsroom are that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is stepping down as deputy leader. According to our sources, yesterday afternoon Hon. Gaspar Vega sent a letter to PM Barrow and the Party Secretariat announcing his resignation as the Party’s Deputy […]


    Injured Baby Hummingbirds Safely Land with Tropic Air For Some TLC at Belize Bird Rescue
    Just last week, Jeff of Cayo Frances Farm and Fly* and his friend Mike, part-time Ambergris Caye resident, found two unexpected visitors near their front door step at their rental at Barrier Reef Resort (formerly Reef Village) on Ambergris Caye. It was especially strange since just the week before, the two had fished a hummingbird from the lagoon after watching it fall in. That one quickly recovered but these two baby rufous hummingbirds… Oh wait one second…I forgot to tell you, I am HOME! Home sweet home Belize. It was an epic sleepless trip (who knew that it’s daylight the WHOLE way back?) but jet lag, I can only hope, is beginning to wane and Belize is looking GORGEOUS. Let’s continue. Mike and Jeff scooped up the two injured birds – both had missing feathers on their tiny wings and put them in a little shelter on the back patio. The birds responded well to sugar water, lapping the liquid off a flower bud with their long tongues. And, sadly, their mom came to visit, feeding them as well. Hummingbirds, it seems, cannot live on sugar alone – they need protein from insects. Would these birds get better? Would they fly again? Nikki, bird specialist and owner of the AMAZING Belize Bird Rescue just outside of Belmopan was called in.

    Cave tubing in Belize
    Imagine settling into an oversized rubber inner tube and floating down a river without a care in the world–until you disappear into caves where strange and exotic Mayan rituals were held thousands of years ago. Sound like fun? It should. Tubing is one of Belize’s main attractions and if you specify Nohoch Che’en Caves, you can pick and choose from five different caves, though adventurous souls insist on doing them all! Mother Nature has no dress code here-—but be forewarned: you’re likely to get wet. Just about every travel writer experiencing Caves Branch River tubing comes to the conclusion that this destination reminds them of sailing in and out of big hunks of Swiss cheese. One minute the sun is shining upon your head, and in the next, you’ve got jungle canopy shading your sail. But the fun kicks in once you slip into a surreal world of pitch black caves once explored and used by Mayans for rituals and secret ceremonies. Fun for all ages, there’s nothing quite like tubing. From Belmopan, travel George Price Highway an hour to Mile 37. Drive 6 miles to the reserve entrance. If you’d prefer not to drive (a wise move for vacationers), book a tour that includes a professional guide, transport and a picnic lunch. On the other hand, if you come solo, you won’t starve. Grab a bite at the Canopy Café buffet.

    Tastes Like Chicken
    You never know when you're going to be tested. And I certainly didn't think I'd be on our recent honeymoon to Belize. During part of our trip we were on Ambergris Caye, a small island near the barrier reef. In Belize, the law says that you must have a guide in the water with you to snorkel the reef. Sounded ok to me. We took a boat out about ½ mile to snorkel and found the reef to be teeming with life. There were more fish, rays and turtles than I've ever seen. During the trip, our guide made an extra stop at a spot where fishermen were cleaning their catch. He'd gotten word there was a big, loggerhead turtle for us to see. And sure enough there was a huge turtle there. As we swam around, our guide got closer to it. Then I noticed the normally gentle turtle getting aggressive, swimming towards the guide. And before I knew it the turtle and guide were in a full underwater fight! It didn't last long but our guide was the loser, getting his hand bitten. He was bleeding bad and needed stitches. As the turtle swam in a loop clearly coming back for more, I got in the boat as fast as I could. I'd never seen a turtle attack and I wasn't going to be his next victim.

    The Belize National Agriculture and Trade Show
    Originating in 1970 as a traditional display of livestock and agricultural products, the National Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS) quickly became known as a popular place for partying and rocking out to music. In an effort to return the NATS to its roots, the government has quarantined alcohol consumption and commercial vendors to a small section of the event and now the focus is once again on celebrating the agricultural and farming heritage of Belize. Originating in 1970 as a traditional display of livestock and agricultural products, the National Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS) quickly became known as a popular place for partying and rocking out to music. In an effort to return the NATS to its roots, the government has quarantined alcohol consumption and commercial vendors to a small section of the event and now the focus is once again on celebrating the agricultural and farming heritage of Belize. If you prefer the old-fashioned attractions of marveling at enormous ears of corn and prize-winning livestock, then Zone 1 is where you want to head first. If you prefer more of a carnival and fair atmosphere, then Zone 2 is where you’ll want to go. Inside Zone 2 is a special Kids’ Zone, with activities and rides suitable for young children. All of Zone 1 and the Kids’ Zone of Zone 2 are alcohol-free areas. If you want to sip on rum and other adult brews, then head for Zone 2.

    The Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2016
    The annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Canoe Race was held over the weekend and needless to say, it was a spectacular 4 days of teamwork, endurance and determination! This year drew 60 local and international teams in 7 different categories ranging from “Male, Female, Masters, Mixed, Intramural, Family and Pleasure,” paddling 170 miles on the Belize River to see who would become “La Ruta Maya Champions!” Every year in March, professional and amateur paddlers from across the globe make the journey to Belize and on to San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District, to take part in this race which starts under the Hawksworth Bridge. From battling through intense currents, challenging rapids and intermittent showers, to even overcoming the occasional “tipping-over” of the canoe; paddler teams of 3 are tried and tested at ever stage along the route. If you were one of the many locals and tourists who caught the race this year at various points along its route through Banana Bank, Double Head Cabbage, Burrell Boom and the finish line at “Bottom Dalla Supermarket” near the Swing Bridge, you were surely part of a memorable experience marked by local food, entertainment, prizes and boisterous cheering by fans who supported their favorite team.

    My Belizean Adventures on San Pedro Island, Belize!
    Belizean adventures like snorkeling off Ambergris Caye, exploring the local life, and sampling the food scene are real on the Belize island of San Pedro. One thing’s for certain, if you’re considering a vacation here, there are certainly plenty of things to do. One of the many things I loved about San Pedro island was certainly the ease of access to the beach, as well as the very short commute to one of the Caribbean’s best diving spots. Despite Belize being located in Central America and much closer to Mexico than you would imagine, you couldn’t help but feel the laid back vibes that are pretty commonly known across the Gulf of Mexico in the Caribbean Islands much further East. San Pedro Island has evolved over time from a small fishing village to what is now quite the popular tourist destination for travelers coming from all around the world. However, as I walked from my hotel down the sandy paths and onto the brick laid road, it was quite obvious the island hadn’t lost it’s charm.

    Epic Adventures You Can Take From Ka'ana Resort Belize
    Belize is paradise for the adventure traveler. There are majestic forests for you to zipline through, spectacular barrier reefs for scuba diving and snorkeling, and ancient Mayan ruins and caves to explore. There is an impressive amount of archaeology and caving, exotic wildlife in some of the most pristine jungles in the world, and plenty of options for fitness, history, and culture too. Travelers to Belize will find themselves venturing off the beaten path and immersed in natural history, active adventures and unforgettable experiences. And some of the best adventures are easily organized from our favorite resort – Ka’ana Belize. Adventure activities you can do in Belize. Best Belize adventure. An award winning 5-Star boutique resort in Belize’s Mayan jungle, Ka’ana is a small resort which offers luxury accommodation, adventure tours and all-inclusive packages where guests indulge in personalized service and modern amenities. What kind of things can you do from Ka’ana Resort Belize. This is an upscale outpost for exploring, perfectly located in the midst of everything a Central American vacation could possibly offer. All adventure tours are run privately, never shared, and their guides are some of the best in the country. You’ll find that every adventure is a curated experience that is authentically Belize. The following are epic adventures you can take while staying at Ka’ana Resort Belize. Adventure travel in Belize.

    Give Back: Pack a Pound assists 2 schools in western Belize!
    It is with great pleasure that we announce another successful venture of our Pack-a-Pound Initiative! Our Pack-a-Pound program invites our guests to exchange a pound of luggage to pack school supplies instead of clothing items, or by sending us the items via mail, we then pack them up in pounds and take them to the schools of the villages surrounding San Ignacio and Santa Elena towns. This time our Pack a Pound initiative saw the Chaa Creek team, consisting of our program coordinator Ms Denise Duran, Social Media Admin Jared Bradley and our Driver Allan Chan who is also one of our naturalist guides, make their way past Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo to the villages of Billy White and Duck Run 2. At Billy White Seventh Day Adventist School the team were greeted by Principal Mr. Rick Avella and his wonderful students who had just finished their term exams and were eager to see what the contents of the bags were! Mr. Avella explained the school had just over 100 students and the supplies consisting of: pens, pencils, crayons, water paint, rulers, coloring books, children’s novels and more were well received and would be put to good use.

    International Sourcesizz

    Visit a Vertical Underwater Cave in Belize
    In 1971, famed undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau helped turn Belize into a diver’s paradise when he tagged the Great Blue Hole sinkhole as one of world's top ten diving spots. You'll know it if you see it: a brilliant dark blue pupil 1,000 feet across surrounded by an iris of lighter blue-green, sitting in the middle of the Belize Barrier Reef 43 miles off of the country's tropical coast. How did such a perfect circle end up beneath the crystal-clear water? Blame not one, but four collapses. The Great Blue Hole began its life above water during glacial periods as a dry cavern system full of rock columns and stalactites. It sat on what was once Lighthouse Reef Atoll, a limestone plateau. Until it fell in, that is: According to Frank Gordon Kirkwood, an environmental chemist and Blue Hole expert, four separate geological events occurred between 10,000 and 150,000 years ago. Each time, the ocean level rose, flooding each cavern and causing it to collapse. At the end, he tells, “the roof of the huge round cavern collapsed and the sea level finally rose the rest of the 400 feet to its current level.” Now, it’s considered a vertical cave—and it even looks good from space. That formation process gave the Great Blue Hole its unique color, says Kirkwood. The sinkhole is about 400 feet deep, surrounded by ten-foot-deep water on top of the now-underwater atoll. The deep water looks dark blue, circled by shallower light blue-green water with a sandy bottom spiked with coral. A stalactite gallery sits under 135 feet of water, above several deeper caverns.

    Birds, birds, and more birds in Belize
    One of the more spectacular birding destinations we visited in Belize was a place called Black Rock Lodge. The setting was stunning! The lodge was in the jungle, situated above a river, with views of soaring limestone cliffs on the opposite side of the canyon. We had breakfast outdoors on an open deck and watched a variety of birds such as red-legged honeycreepers, yellow-throated and olive-backed euphonia and aracari feeding at fruit feeders. After breakfast, we did a bird walk along the river, which yielded many life birds, including an ornate hawk-eagle, crimson-collared tanager, yellow-faced grassquit and white-whiskered puffbird. We also saw fifteen different warbler species for the day. Later in the day, we took a hand-cranked ferry across a river – that was an interesting experience!–and visited Xunantunich, a Mayan archeological site. The ruins and birding were amazing, and we added rufous-tailed jacamar and golden-crowned warbler to our trip list. The thing that impressed me the most at this location were the howler monkeys. It is hard to describe the sounds they produce, and how it carries through the jungle. One day we visited St. Herman’s Cave and the Blue Hole. On another day, we visited Rio Frio Cave, an enormous limestone cavern with a river running right through it – the size of the cavern dwarfed us! Ridgeway’s rough-winged swallows liked these limestone caves, and this was a new species for our trip.

    A plane survey of Central America’s last remaining forests
    If you were to fly over Central America on a small plane, from north to south, starting in Guatemala and ending in Panama, you’d be able to see isolated yet extensive pockets of green canopy covering the territory. This is exactly what the aptly named “Central American Megaflyover” has been able to document during its 3,100-mile flight that took off on February 26th and is set to end by the middle of March. An additional 1,900 miles will be traveled overland. The crew includes researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in collaboration with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, a government agency with a history of conservation outside of America’s borders. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been working for years with a variety of partners and communities in Guatemala’s Maya Forest in Guatemala to help conserve the forest. The Megaflyover is focusing on the five largest forest blocks still standing in Mexico and Central America: the Maya Forest that straddles Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua’s Moskitia, Indio Maiz-Tortuguero National Park in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, La Amistad International Park in Costa Rica and Panama, and Panama’s Darién Gap. All of these forested areas share a wide variety of plant and animal species, and are home to numerous indigenous groups.

    Sexual Relations Between Elite White Women and Enslaved Men in the Antebellum South: A Socio-Historical Analysis
    According to former slave Harriet Jacobs, author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), “The slave girl is raised in an atmosphere of licentiousness and fear. The lash and the foul talk of her master and his sons are her teachers. When she is fourteen or fifteen, her owner, or his sons, or the overseer, or perhaps all of them, begin to bribe her with presents. If these fail to accomplish their purpose, she is whipped and starved into submission to their will.” Jacobs’ account of the sexual violence endured by slave women is merely one of many. Although it is impossible to know exactly how many black women were sexually assaulted under slavery, such abuse was widespread. Not all sexual encounters between masters and female slaves would be considered rape according to most definitions of the term.1 Concubinage-type arrangements and even long-term romantic partnerships, perhaps most famously that of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings, were known to exist. Yet, many scholars would agree that “even presumably affectionate and long-term relationships must be reconsidered given the context of slavery” (Foster, 2011, p. 459). The enormous imbalance of gender and racial power between the two parties problematizes the notion of a truly consensual romantic relationship between a slave master and his female slave. These so-called consensual sexual partnerships can be seen, like rape, as an exercise in white patriarchal authority.


  • La Ruta Maya 2016 Video, 2.5min. Flying Eye Productions took to the skies to capture its first Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. Filming live action events proved to be extremely challenging but this was what we pulled together. Enjoy.

  • Belize - The future of energy and sustainability, 10min.

  • Marine life heaven caye caulker belize los mejores destinos del mundo para vacacionar, 3.5min.

  • La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 1st half Day 1, 58min. Follow these tough competitors as they make their way on the Belize River from the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio, past the ferry at Spanish Lookout and under the iguana Creek Bridge

  • , 1min. Well many thanks to Tropic Air Belize for transporting these precious little baby Hummingbirds from San Pedro to Belize Bird Rescue. Here they are having their first nectar feed after arriving. Look for the tiny tongue. These birds drink 15% of their body weight at EACH feed and can consume as much as 80% of their total body weight each day. At Belize Bird Rescue they will also eat fruit flies and mosquitoes to give them the extra protein they need to build healthy muscles and bones.


  • YWCA 60th Anniversary, 30min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • UB Social Work Department on International Social Work Day, 16min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • UWI and National Womens Council on Forum on Gender Violence, 26min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • OAS observer mission delivers report on Belize 2015 general election, 14min. OAS observer mission delivers report on Belize 2015 general election. Ambassador Jacinth Henry-Martin

  • MOJO SPORT FISHING - Caye Caulker- BELIZE, 1min.

  • Belize Trip - Ambergris Caye, 5min. Our amazing trip to Belize with our close friends.

  • Travel to Belize, Caye Caulker, 5.5min. Travel to Caye Caulker in Belize and discover a little caribbean paradise that will make you feel IRIE!

  • Belize'de Suyun içinde sörf keyfi - Latin Amerika Turlar, 3min. Suyun içinde sörf keyfi. Suyun üzerinde yaplan sörf goruntulerine hepimizin gozu asina, peki ya su altnda sorf yaplrsa?

  • Yeah lobsters are cool, 15sec. And serve vital ecological functions in a number of marine habitats including coral reefs. This impressive male Caribbean Spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), distinguished by his single swimmerettes on the abdomen as well as disproportionately large carapace and second pair of walking legs, is protected inside the conservation zone and serves as a megaspawner to replenish populations that provide critical income to local fishers as well as amazing marine life encounters for divers and snorkellers. Help protect local fishing and ecotourim by not purchasing undersized individuals or any lobster during the closed season.

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