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April 30, 2016


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

How to Cacao in Toledo
Steeped within the Maya culture, and a revered commodity that only the privileged hierarchy of the civilization were once allowed to indulge in, chocolate is now a sweet treat that thankfully all of us are allowed to enjoy and celebrate…and celebrate we do! A Wine and Chocolate reception kicks off the festival on Friday evening with live music, fine wine, hors d’oeuvres, Belizean chocolate, and Belikin’s specially brewed Chocolate Stout. How can it be a more perfect paring? The following day is the Taste of Toledo street fair, held on Front Street in Punta Gorda town which is closed to traffic during the fair. Cultural displays and areas showcasing Toledo’s five main ethnic groups: Kriol, Maya, Garifuna, Mestizo and East Indian are featured at the event.

SPHS students spread drug awareness at RC School
San Pedro High School’s (SPHS) Drug Awareness week came to a close on Friday, April 22nd with a visit to San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS). Drug abuse is a major issue for youth in the community, and as such, drug awareness week serves to highlight the effect of the said abuse. Drug awareness week was organized by guidance counselor of SPHS, Alexis Guerrero, along with Principal Emil Vasquez, to raise an alarm on the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol, with the hope of preventing the student body from falling victim to substance abuse. A group of 13 peer helpers gathered to give an important presentation on drug awareness to the SPRCS students. Since the ages of these students ranged from 11-14, it was the perfect opportunity for SPHS to instill the prevention of drug use in minors before they enter high school. As Kristina Romero of the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) addressed in her lectures, the misuse of drugs and its effect on students are common within high school students. According to the studies from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “almost 70% of students will have tried alcohol, half will have taken an illegal drug, nearly 40% will have smoked a cigarette, and more than 20 percent will have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose during their time in secondary school.”

Five-a-Side football tournament approaching first round finale
It was another weekend of exciting football action at the Five-a-Side Football Tournament. The San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSP) continue delighting football fans, and excitement grows as only a few games are left in the first round of the regular season. The different matches played on Sunday, April 24th saw players competing in the Under 13, Under 11 and Seniors category. The football action continues this weekend with games set for Sunday, May 1st at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium starting at 11AM.

Government of Belize Places Temporary Restrictions on Movement in Belize’s Portion of the Sarstoon River for One Month
The Government of Belize announces that, after consulting with the Prime Minister, His Excellency the Governor General of Belize has made Regulations under Section 2 of the Public Safety Act, Chapter 142 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, RE 2011. The regulations prohibit persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River.

Despite warning from the PM, BTV’s expedition to the border is a go!
Saturday, April 30th will mark the 157th anniversary of the 1859 Boundary Treaty that defined the borders between Belize and Guatemala. In honour of the historic occasion, the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) have organized an expedition to the border at the mouth of the Sarstoon River, while the Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV) are organizing a trip to the Garbutt Falls monument. However, given the recent tensions with Guatemala, and the amassing of Guatemalan troops at the border, the Government of Belize (GOB) is strongly discouraging both treks. Despite GOB’s attempts to dissuade such activities, both group leaders have announced that the expeditions will go on. According to Wil Maheia, leader of the BTV, one of the main reasons for the trip is to demonstrate support for not only maintaining, but also regaining full control of the Belizean territory. “Amid the most recent acts of aggression by Guatemala in the form of them claiming not only the Sarstoon Island, but the entire Sarstoon River, it is clear that a heightened awareness campaign must be maintained,” said Maheia. He reiterated that the losing of Belize’s sovereignty in that part of the country is greatly due to GOB’s continued, wilful negligence of the issue with Guatemala taking over the area.“ We are losing our country and we all must stand up and defend it.”

8- Ball Pool Tournament semi-finals are a week away
The pre-season 8-ball Pool Tournament is draws closer to the end, and games are high-stakes. Each match continues to draw great intensity as different teams battle each weekend to stay in the competition. The games last weekend took place at Average Joe’s Sports Bar and after tallying the points, Team Amigos continues in the lead with 118 points. The next set of games for this coming weekend will be at One Barrel Bar. Games for Friday and Saturday start at 7PM, while Sunday games begin at 1PM.

BTB holds SICCS Consultation
On Wednesday, April 20th, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hosted a consultation on the Central American Quality and Sustainability Integrated System (SICCS) seal certification project. The SICCS is a new project being launched and supported by BTB in an effort to form a centralized brand that is aimed at improving the standards of the tourism product offered in the country. Held at the Sunbreeze Conference Room, the consultation saw the attendance of several island tourism stakeholders from hoteliers, to restaurateurs and even tour operators. Opening up the consultation was Director of Quality Assurance and Industry Standards at BTB, Herbert Haylock, who introduced the concept behind SICCS. This program will provide certification based on various levels of commitment and adherence to standards focused on four areas: quality standards, procedures and policies, various aspects of operation (cleaning, complaints, customer service, etc.), sustainability of environment, and social responsibility. Attendants were given the opportunity to become familiar with the regional SICCS certification program and its main goal. With the increasing growth of the tourism industry across Central America, SICCS will ensure quality service and continued growth of the industry.

Ambergris Today

Norwegian Getaway Makes First Call to Belize
On April 27, 2016, Belize welcomed the Norwegian Getaway in its first call to Belize. The ship arrived with 4,360 passengers, which is considered double occupancy. The customary plaque exchange ceremony took place on-board the ship between the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Captain Rune Myre of the Norwegian Getaway. Miami's Ultimate ship, the Norwegian Getaway combines the most magnificent amenities Norwegian has to offer with The Waterfront, an innovative, industry-first open-air promenade designed to connect guests with the ocean like no other cruise line. It hosts twenty eight (28) dining options, five water slides, and three levels of action-packed activities in the sports complex. The excitement and entertainment continues with Illusionarium, a surreal magical experience and Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet.


The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development through the Agriculture Department announces this year’s Farmers of the Year winners. This year, the Farmers of the Year reign from the Cayo and Toledo Districts. The male farmer is Ever Blandon of Valley of Peace, Cayo District; the female farmer is Maria Lara of Trio Village, Toledo District; and the junior farmer is Eric Can Jr. of Succotz Village, Cayo District. The National Agriculture and Trade show is an event which has been celebrated since the 1960's. The first one was held in El Cayo which is today known as San Ignacio. Later in 1972, the show moved to the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan and one of the most important highlights over the years has been the recognition of the Farmer of the Year.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Fake SMS sent to Atlantic Bank Customers
If you receive an SMS with a link to Atlantic Bank (or any other bank for that matter), it may be fake. It might take you to a site that LOOKS like Atlantic Bank, but is actually a scam to get your username, password, and other data. Please check with the real Atlabank at 223-4123 to be sure.

Belize Gov't restricts movement on Sarstoon for one month
The Government of Belize announces that, after consulting with the Prime Minister, His Excellency the Governor General of Belize has made Regulations under Section 2 of the Public Safety Act, Chapter 142 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, RE 2011. The regulations prohibit persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize's portion of the Sarstoon River. The regulations take effect from today and the restrictions will remain in force for one month. Government advises that this course of action has become necessary in order to prevent any "commotion" or "threat to public safety" that might arise in consequence of the continuing tense and dangerous standoff between Belize and Guatemala over the Sarstoon, and the tipping point that could be caused by the unregulated insertion of members of the Belizean public into this very volatile mix.

Newspapers on Caye Caulker AMANDALA, REPORTER, GUARDIAN, BELIZE TIMES
You can get your copy at Sea N Sun Guesthouse near the split or at Marty's Lumber Yard/Caye Supplies and Hardware.

Labour Day Holiday Monday:
Monday May 2nd will be a Public and Bank Holiday in lieu of May 1st. Enjoy it and be safe!

The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project
One of the objectives of the Belize City House of Culture and the Downtown Rejuvenation Project is to establish an Eco-Museum in Downtown Belize City. Today's post is one of many posts that will highlight the sites that will be included in the Eco-Museum tour once completed. Today's highlighted site is Channel Five Building. "Preserving and Enhancing Downtown Belize City."

Paradise Theatre closed this weekend
The movie theater is closed this weekend due to all of the key masters being out-of-town at the exact same time. Also, because of certain people who've committed to keep it going this weekend pulling out last minute. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Posting for Inspector, Caye Caulker
There was a last minute cancellation by the Youth Cadets of San Pedro so the community service/sports day event has been postpone till the end of May. As the time comes closer, the date and time will be shared. For those who had donated, a huge thank you goes out to you. If you have any questions, feel free to check with the Inspector.

Kokomo Beach Suites Job Opportunity
Job Opportunity for part time office/cleaning help. Fri/Sat/Sun. Must have great customer service skills and also be willing to clean rooms daily and do laundry. Private Message for more information.

Ms Helen Haylock
Meet the beautiful Ms Helen Haylock who will be representing Ambergris Caye at the Belize YWCA organization's Miss Y Pageant fundraising event. Miss Helen is an incredibly courageous and resiliant woman. Despite the challenges she has faced in life she radiates warmth and love.

Channel 5

Government Enacts ‘Wil’s Law’ to Prohibit Local Travel to Sarstoon
If at first you don’t succeed, send in the big guns. And if they don’t succeed, just change the law. And they have. Via release issued today, the government informs [...]

Wil Maheia Says Trip to Sarstoon Still on Despite Last-ditch Legal Obstacle
Those immediately affected by the law, and in whose honor the law was drafted are the Belize Territorial Volunteers. The group had planned an expedition to the Sarstoon on Saturday. [...]

P.U.P. Decries GOB’s Sarstoon Regulations
Maheia isn’t the only one disappointed by the new law. The P.U.P. has been engaged in the Guatemala discussion, and committed to a bi-partisan approach to resolution, but today the [...]

COLA Calls “Knee-jerk” Law a Gross Act of Cowardice
The grassroots activist organization known as COLA, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, has been quiet lately. But today it re-emerged with a fiery release condemning G.O.B.’s new law, which [...]

…Grassroots Organization Condemns Temporary Restriction on Sarstoon Travel
Brackett says COLA is prepared to go a couple steps further than condemnation by calling for a national shutdown. He told News Five that “For far too long Belize has [...]

Part Two of Recent Military Standoff at the Sarstoon
On Thursday, we aired the first of a two-part series of amateur footage provided exclusively to News Five showing what transpired on the Sarstoon River between the BDF and the [...]

Two Guatemalans Murdered in Belize, Police say it’s a Drug Deal Gone Wrong
Three men were killed in two separate incidents within hours of each other in the west. The first, a double murder, occurred on Thursday afternoon, in the San Francisco area [...]

A Camalote Resident is Chopped, Shot and Killed Near Cedar Hill Farm
There was also a murder in the wee hours of this morning in the village of Camalote. A father of four was killed near a farm off the George Price [...]

Guatemala’s Sovereignty over Sarstoon River Concerns Maya Communities
As we’ve mentioned in our previous newscast, the immediate effects of the present situation at the Sarstoon are being felt by the indigenous communities within the vicinity.  The Garifuna village [...]

How Will the Sarstoon Temash National Park be Monitored Following Restriction?
Of equal concern is that the SATIIM rangers were recently stopped by the Guatemalan military from traveling upstream to conduct routine checks within the Sarstoon Temash National Park.  The area [...]

Commonwealth Secretary General Meets the Belizean Press
Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, held a brief session with the media this afternoon where questions pertaining to her visit to Belize were fielded.  Baroness Scotland is [...]

…Baroness Patricia Scotland Talks OAS and Belize and Guatemala Issues
During her stay, the Secretary General will also be visiting the Office of the O.A.S. in the Adjacency Zone, where she will be received by the Chief of the O.A.S. [...]

A Belizean Movie Debuts in Los Angeles!
True Belizean, it is a U.S. corporation from Los Angeles, California that produces movies, music videos, music and the like. They were featured last year in the Belize International Film [...]

LOVE FM

Government Flexes Muscles and Bans Local Traffic on Sarstoon
What has only been about ten days of heightened tension and waves of criticisms and opposition against the Government of Belize on how they are handling the Belize/Guatemala issue, things have come to a head with the Barrow administration pulling out their strong guns and making it illegal for any Belizean to enter the Sarstoon […]

Wil Says Adjustments Will Be Made But Expedition Is A-Go
With the latest move by the Government, we spoke with Head of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, Wil Maheia. He told us while they are unhappy with Government’s position, the trip will proceed with some adjustments.

Briceno Calls Recent Sarstoon Regulation, A Draconian Measure
A few weeks ago we heard of a bi-partisan approach being taken by both the Barrow administration and the main Opposition, People’s United Party. Since then the opposition, represented by Ambassador Assad Shoman was working hand in hand with the country’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington and had even agreed that one cannot and should not […]

COLA Wants a National Shut Down
The Government of Belize has flexed their muscles against the Belize Territorial Volunteers and the People’s United Party has expressed their discontent with the move to present a Statutory Instrument. The Citizens organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), however, has no time for talk and press releases. Tonight, the group, led by Geovanni Brackett is […]

Camalote Village Murder Under Investigation
Belmopan Police are investigating a murder that occurred in the wee hours of this morning in Camalote Village. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports.

Lead Investigator Speaks on Double Homicide in Cayo
Western Regional Commander of the Belize Police Department, Senior Superintendent Andrew Ramirez has issued an official report on the double homicide uncovered yesterday on a road off the George Price Highway between the towns of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo District. Police were alerted of the two male bodies in the area […]

Baroness Patricia Scotland Hosts Round Table with Media
The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland met with the media today to answer questions on pertinent issues going on in the country at the moment. Having visited the office of the OAS peace fund at the Adjacency Zone, the Secretary General says she is hopeful of a resolution But the tensions […]

Dangriga Fire Claims Residence
A house was destroyed by fire in Dangriga. We get the details of the incident from correspondent Harry Arzu.

Labor For Belize Day Moves to Parks and Playgrounds
Belize City Council is having their fifth annual Labor for Belize day tomorrow. Every year the cleanup campaign takes place on the highways however, the city council has decided to change location this year. The focus for this year will be on playgrounds and parks around the city. Public Relations Officer of the Belize City […]

Belize vs Guatemala In Mixed Martial Arts
Belize is Adran “Fifty cal” Ramirez and the Guatemalan fighter is Saulo “El Experimento” Barrios. Today, the fighters met at a face off in Belize City. Shihan Kelly, Grandmaster, House of Shotokan Karate told us about the upcoming fight. Love News spoke to Belizean fighter Adran Ramirez. He told us how he has been training […]

The Reporter

Drug rehab workers get OAS training
Forty seven care providers received certification from the Organization of American States (OAS) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) for six months of training in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug abuse and violence under a program named PROCCER. The 47 trainees received their UWI accreditation certificates in […]

Belize Internet Exchange Point speeds up service
Nine of Belize’s internet service providers (ISPs) have partnered to establish Belize’s first internet exchange point (BIXP), which will greatly speed up local internet traffic, allowing for greater efficiency and reduced costs. The partners officially launched the new exchange point at a ceremony hosted by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) […]

IICA wins OAS kudos
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) was recognized by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the importance of IICA’s technical support to farming and food production. IICA’s Director General Víctor M. Villalobos reported on the main results achieved by IICA’s technical cooperation initiatives […]

ROC Taiwan gives BDF 2 helicopters
The Belize Defence Force (BDF) has acquired two Bell UH-1H “Huey” helicopters, gifted from the Republic of China/Taiwan, allowing the BDF to now provide air support and to more easily transfer patrols into Belize’s more remote border areas. Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize H.E. Benjamin Ho officially handed over the two […]

Santander field worker crushed to death at job site
An employee of Santander Sugar Company was killed by an accident in the cane field at around midday on Monday. The accident happened when the worker, 24 year-old Francisco Andres Sebastian, a Guatemalan who resided in Cotton Tree village was mowed by a harvester while […]

UB gets $560,435 grant to study acid seas effect on Barrier Reef
The University of Belize has been awarded a $560,435.93 grant from the International Atomic Agency’s Technical Cooperation Program (IAEA-TCP), which will be used to study how the acid seas impact the marine ecosystems of Belize’s Meso-American Barrier Reef. The funds will be used to purchase laboratory instruments and for the […]

UN: Belize is most dangerous Caribbean country
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says Belize is the most dangerous Caribbean country and is even more dangerous than the United States. In an article name, “Ten Caribbean Nations More Dangerous Than the U.S.”, News America quotes the UN as saying that […]

Police make arrest for January murder of taxi driver
Belmopan police have charged Lincoln Bejerano, 25, with the January 8th murder of taxi driver, Isidro Suar. Bejerano was a suspect early in the police investigation, as he was one of three persons found in Suar’s stolen taxi in Ontario village less than an hour […]

Police charge SSG affiliate with murder of GSG leader
Ten days after the shooting murder of George Street Gang leader, Gerald “Shiny” Tillett, police have charged South Side Gang affiliate, Nicholas Swazo, for the killing. Swazo was remanded to the Hattieville Prison until June 19 on charges of ‘murder’ for Tillett’s death and two […]

Editorial
All of Guatemala, and it now appears that even the Organization of American States, hold the view that our BDF patrol was at fault and bears responsibility for the death of 13 year-old Julio Alvarado Ramos. The boy was shot and killed at Cebada, in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve on […]

ACP Ministers support Belize’s territorial integrity
The Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) resolved to commit their support for Belize’s territorial integrity and sovereignty at the conclusion of its 103rd meeting in Dakar, Senegal on Tuesday and Wednesday. The ACP also supported Belize’s call for confidence […]

CJ to rule on libel suit against Guardian
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has reserved judgement for one month in the libel suit against The Guardian’s Editor Alfonso Noble, brought by former PUP Secretary General Myrtle Palacio for an article published in December 2014 with the headline “PUP Secretary General endorses the use of […]

PM says crisis over – Guatemala says “it is not!”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced at a press conference on Monday that the crisis with Guatemala over the shooting of a 13 year-old boy by BDF soldiers had been averted. Steps were being taken to de-escalate the tension, he said, but Guatemala’s Foreign Minister says it’s far from over. At […]

Women charged with $300,000 pension fraud walk free
Three women, all former public servants, charged with embezzling more than $300,000 from the government through a pension fraud scheme walked free of all charges on Wednesday. Monica Aurdette Escarpeta, 31, a pension clerk; her mother, Yvonne Bevans, 60; and Rhea Kadecia Pennell, 34, […]

Zika sample returns negative
The Ministry of Health confirmed this week that results of the first test for Zika sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) showed no sign of the Zika virus. The results come a month after Belize was blamed by an American woman for allegedly […]

Two Guatemalans murdered in San Ignacio
San Ignacio police are investigating the murder of two Guatemalan men, who were shot execution style around 1:30 Thursday afternoon near San Ignacio, Cayo. The Reporter confirmed Thursday evening with Deputy Commanding Officer of San Ignacio, Superintendent Richard Rosado that the shooting took place on […] […]

BTV still planning to visit Sarstoon island, despite dissuasion
The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) members headed by activist Wil Maheia, are making final arrangements to travel to Sarstoon Island on Saturday despite military and governmental dissuasion. Brigadier General David Jones, Foreign Affairs CEO Lawrence Sylvestre and Rear Admiral John Borland of the Belize Coast […]

The Belize Times

Briceño Defends Belize – From Rio Hondo to Sarstoon!
PUP Leader Hon. John Briceno stands ready to defend Belize[/caption] Belize City, April 27, 2016 As concern and even fear spread throughout the entire country like wildfire following the sudden announcement by Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales last Thursday that his Government would deploy 3,000 troops to Belize’s border area in response to the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor in Belizean territory, Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceño was the only credible and conspicuous voice of defense for our country. Prime Minister Dean Barrow had left Belize earlier that day enroute to New York City, U.S., to attend an UN climate change event. Unlike at least one instance in the past when the Prime Minister has chosen to cancel a major trip and return home upon being summoned by gang leaders to a meeting, Barrow was apparently not convinced that the Guatemalan President’s threats required him to be among his citizens. The Government of Belize was leaderless, voice-less and direction-less. Unless Barrow really believed the serial joke that Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega could provide the leadership needed by Belizeans during such a crisis.

Saldivar’s “Harrowing” Weekend!…Minister attended more UDP parties than National Security meetings
A harrowing weekend…that is what Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that he and his National Security Council team that includes Minister of National Security John Saldivar endured while Guatemala’s threat of military aggression became very real, very fast between last Thursday April 21 and through to the weekend. The Prime Minister was quite dramatic about this at a press conference held on Monday morning. “..we just went through an absolutely harrowing weekend…all of us sitting at this table,” he bellowed. But how frightening or traumatic was the entire episode really for the PM and his National Security Minister? Were they shaking in their boots? Did they become super nervous and their blood pressures went up? Did Saldivar lose a few pounds from running from meeting to meeting to ensure that our security units were in place in case of a military invasion (it’s already happening in the Sarstoon)? We don’t have any evidence of any kind of “harrowing” experience for either of them but what we do know is that once Barrow left to New York on the morning of April 20th, there was no turning back for him. Not even Guatemala’s proclaimed amassing of troops at the borders convinced him to return to Belize to provide calm to concerned Belizeans. Throughout Guatemala’s belligerence, Prime Minister Barrow remained in New York, far away from our troubles.

Was Joseph Budna a Target of Irate Guatemalans?
Details are sketchy but the BELIZE TIMES has learned that the very strange and perpetually sensational former freelance journalist Joseph Budna was injured in a prison brawl last week in Granja Penal Cantel, Quetzaltenango. Unofficial reports are that Budna, incarcerated on abduction charges, was attacked by 12 inmates in retaliation for the death of Guatemalan minor Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano near Cebada in the Chiquibul. Budna is no stranger to Guatemalan or Belizean law enforcement officials. Most recently, he is serving thirty years for abduction, with additional time for escaping from custody back in 2014. In Belize, dating back more than a decade, Budna had been charged then for an unnatural crime and for aggravated assault of a minor. He has also, in his storied past, been the alleged victim of a hijacking attempt and has accused the Police of illegal detention. In Guatemala, he has been busted with drugs and has also been accused of being a sexual predator. That was even before the convictions on separate counts of kidnapping.

Christie’s Killer Gets Life in Prison
Osmar Sabido, 26, will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the savage murder of his girlfriend, Christie Carrasco, on February 28, 2011. That decision was handed down by Justice Herbert Lord on Tuesday in Orange Walk Town, in a 69-page judgment which took an hour and a half to read out. Carrasco, 22, was stabbed to death at around 8:30pm on February 28th, in front of the home she and Osmar Sabido shared in the San Lorenzo Housing Site area. When Police responded to reports of an altercation, they saw Carrasco running towards them, bleeding profusely and screaming for help. Sabido stood nearby, a bloody knife on the seat of the car beside him. In his defence, Sabido claimed that he was provoked by Carrasco, who he claims had accused him of cheating on her, and then told him that she was possibly pregnant with another man’s child. In a sworn statement from the dock, Sabido told the Court that Carrasco attacked him with a knife inside the house and they struggled and fell, at which time she accidentally stabbed herself.

Think About It
If Belize owns the northern portion of the Sarstoon River then any Belizean can go on that river at any time. If Belize does not own the northern portion of the Sarstoon River and it is in fact under the ownership or the control of Guatemala, then Belizeans cannot go on that river without permission from its owner. Guatemala has always owned a portion of the southern part of the Sarstoon River. They patrol it. They control it. Belize used to own a portion of Sarstoon. Belizeans used to come and go on this portion of the Sarstoon River. We owned it for more than a hundred years. But starting in February last year, Guatemala started to test the Belize government. By May 2015 Guatemala took complete control and displayed their ownership by demanding that a Belize Coastguard patrol at the Sarstoon Island must leave. The Coast Guards refused. The Prime Minister of Belize ordered them to leave our own island in Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River.

Gunboat Diplomacy
This past week, Belize came as close to serious conflict with Guatemala as it has been for the past 40 years or so. Sometime during the day last Thursday, news began to filter in that a Guatemalan minor had been shot by BDF soldiers. By evening, the town was abuzz with the news and the tension thickened further, when Channel Seven aired an address by the Guatemalan president hurling threats and declaring the incident “cowardly and excessive”. The news sent shockwaves through the country and the subsequent belligerence from the Guatemalan president added more to the anxiety. Always in the back of the minds of Belizeans, is the Guatemalan claim that has long cast a shadow on our development and remains a permanent asterisk to our Independence. Recent aggression at the Sarstoon and a campaign promise by newly elected President Jimmy Morales to “recover Belize for Guatemala” has revived the feeling of uneasiness quite common to older Belizeans. There is a whole generation of Belizeans that has grown up removed from the constant cry of “Guatemala di come” so familiar to those of us born pre-Independence. Last Wednesday’s event and subsequent news that Guatemala had amassed troops at our border however, legitimized for our young, the stories they had only heard around the dinner tables.

Fiat Accompli!
Guatemala’s President Morales, using the unfortunate death of a child caught in the cross fire in a justifiable use of force by the BDF, massed the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) along the Sarstoon River and announced to the world that the GAF will enforce Guatemala’s sovereign rights over the entire Sarstoon. Morales’ pronouncement culminates eight years of an extremely poor diplomatic and national security strategy designed by Dean Barrow and executed by Sedi Elrington. It must be exceptionally clear to all Belizeans that the Guatemalans have used the diplomatic space provided to them by Sedi and Dean, to obtain a strategic advantage on the world stage. So much so that Guatemala can threaten the peace of the entire region by annexing the Sarstoon River and amassing military forces along Belize’s western border with not a single word of condemnation from anybody of substance! When in September 2015, Morales signaled that the recovery of Belize was the most important item on his agenda, Dean Barrow, with his usual arrogance, said: “We will deal with what happens when it happens. Look, he’s made at least one statement that is troubling, but I am hoping that if he does win the Guatemalan foreign policy establishment, the Guatemalan political elite and certainly the international community will make absolutely clear to that gentleman that any notion of pursuing their claim in a way that is disruptive of the good relations between Belize and Guatemala, that is threatening to Belize simply will not be tolerated. So, I am sure that we will be able to deal with that situation if and when it occurs.”

The Guatemala Conundrum
I certainly didn’t think that I would be writing about the Belize-Guatemala issue once again so soon after my entry for this column of a month or so ago. I called it “The Beds Are Burning,” signifying the very serious nature of the problem that we find ourselves in with this Guatemalan difficulty. I think it is accurate to call this situation a conundrum. My trusty Concise Oxford dictionary, my spelling and meaning bible for my writing, defines conundrum as “a confusing or difficult problem or question.” We do have our hands full with this one. My reference to the beds burning brought to the forefront my considered view that the Dean Barrow government has been sleeping big time on this conundrum. How can they sleep while the beds are burning? I repeat. There has been an, again, big time lack of leadership, and now we have had the spectacle of ghastly and frightening saber-rattling on the part of the Guatemalan president and his generals, or should I say the Guatemalan generals and their president?

Carla’s Confessions
Carla Barnett’s endorsement of John Saldivar for First Deputy Leader has triggered major political tremors in the United Democratic Party as the handful of choice delegates consider who to vote for. Carla’s pick, in a sense, is a confession of sorts as to who those she represents will also be supporting. It is then important to analyse the political confessions in her decision. The first confession is that Barnett is a “Barrowite”. She was pulled from the board room into the political realm by no other than Dean Barrow. She is now in the Senate because of Barrow. She answers only to Barrow and had Barnett been successful at fooling the people of Freetown into electing her, there is no doubt that she would have been Dean’s candidate for first Deputy of the UDP.

Labor Day 2016: Together We Can Build A Belize That Works for Everyone
Labour Day is a time to honour the contribution of the working people of Belize. We pay tribute to their work and recognize that they are the foundation upon which our nation is being built. In paying tribute to the Belizean worker we also celebrate the accomplishments of the activists and organizers who brought about the birth of our Nationalist movement. After all it was organized labour, which gave rise to our political movements in Belize. It was the brave Belizean workers who, back in the 1950’s, resisted the colonial masters of their day, fought for more respect and responsibility so that today the Belizean workers’ rights are protected. What we have accomplished as a nation is due in great part to the persistence and the sacrifices of earlier working class Belizeans, and if we are to move our nation forward, then we must be more like them. It must be our goal to ensure that the rights of workers are maintained and enhanced. We in the PUP believe that the best way to do this is to start by increasing the minimum wage. We also say that every working person in Belize deserve a chance at a decent life. We call it economic justice, which is also integral to our creed, which is rooted in social justice.

Hard Knocks
When the Forward Operating Base was launched at the Sarstoon, Minister of National Security John Saldivar said this – “their supposed counter proposals were flatly rejected because it says precisely what was asked. They want us to ask permission. And we flatly reject that.” One week after that, in response to a question asked by the BELIZE TIMES, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sedi Elrington said (regarding those same Guatemalan counter-proposals) – “That was not correct actually. The counter-proposal has been sent to us and we see it as now the basis for us to now go into greater detail in working it out…we didn’t have any difficulty with it other than the very first proposal.” So who’s lying? What exactly happened in Cabinet? Were the Guatemalan proposals rejected or what? See why Belizean people are worried? We can never get a straight answer out of Sedi.

Alleged Killer of George Street Don Arraigned
On Monday he was released from the Western Regional Hospital and on Tuesday morning Dangriga resident Nicholas Swazo was arraigned for the murder of notorious George Street don Gerald “Shiny” Tillett. Swazo was also arraigned on two counts of attempted murder for shooting Wadani Shed owner David Rodriguez and Carlos Sharp, with Tillett at the time of the execution-style murder. Swazo had been receiving treatment for two gunshot wounds to the back, received during the same incident. Police say that as he killed “Shiny” and fired into the crowd with him, an unnamed person who was under the shed, drew his licensed firearm and shot Swazo. The injured man reported for medical treatment at the Dangriga hospital, claiming that he had been injured by the same gunman who killed Tillett. That story would likely had held up except that he was positively identified as the shooter who coldly walked up to the notorious gang leader as he played dominoes at the popular establishment and killed him with one shot to his temple.

BNTU says it self-funded “Stand Up for Belize” forum
The National Executive of the Belize National Teacher’s Union has written to the BELIZE TIMES to clarify that the “Stand Up for Belize” Forum held on Friday April 15th 2016 in Benque Viejo del Carmen was totally funded by their organisation. In a letter written on behalf of the BNTU, Executive Secretary Keesha Young, took umbrage with the Think About It Column published in the Sunday April 24th 2016 newspaper edition which stated that the forum was “a Ministry of Foreign Affairs sponsored event”. “…the entire event was planned and fully funded by the BNTU. Not a penny was offered or would have been accepted from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Young said in her letter.

Failed Foreign Diplomacy: The Guatemalan threat is real
If we did not realize that the Guatemalan claim over Belize was serious, then you might as well continue sleeping. The Guatemalan President took the unfortunate occasion of the recent death of a Guatemalan child in Belizean territory to justify an increased military presence along our borders. The death of the child, like the death and injury of our own in the recent past, are equally regrettable events. Except that in this case, it appears that our own BDF may have done the justifiable shooting. I have a tendency to believe a soldier’s account, even though on more than one occasion, recently, our diplomats appear to prefer proof from third parties. The flexing of Guatemalan military muscle is just another case of bullying and continued disrespect towards us. Make no mistake people, Guatemala and its armed forces have been guilty of committing human atrocities towards their own people. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a history of Belizeans fleeing to Guatemala seeking refuge. Thousands of Guatemalans living in Belize today enjoy privileges and wealth that was never afforded to them in Guatemala.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Early morning murder in Camalote Village
In the wee hours of this morning, Belmopan Police discovered the lifeless body of Hispanic man identified as Gelion De Leon with a large cut wound to the neck and gunshot wounds to the head and left shoulder. Police responded to a call of […]

Cayo man charged for four rounds of ammunition
Floyd Neal, a 25-year-old resident of Young Bank in the Cayo District, was arrested and charged yesterday for four rounds of ammunition found inside his house. Belmopan Police on special operation conducted a search at Neal’s residence at around 5:45 p.m., which resulted in […]

One remanded for the murder of Gilberto Sarcenio Najarro in Corozal
Angel Cahueque, 22, was charged with possession of controlled drugs, aggravated assault, and murder. Chueque was arrested in the Halls Layout area in Corozal Town late Wednesday evening as Corozal Police closed in on him during their investigation into the shooting death of 43 year old Gilberto Sarcenio Najarro in Paraiso Village, Corozal on Monday this week. […]

Belmopan man injured in drive-by shooting
A Tuesday night drive by shooting in the San Martin Area of Belmopan City has left 24-year-old Jose Alberto Marquez Jr. hospitalized in a critical but stable condition at the Western Regional Hospital. At around 10:05 p.m., officers responded to a shooting and upon […]

Mentally challenged man detained for chopping incident
San Ignacio Police have detained a mentally unstable man for an incident in which he inflicted four chop wounds to 35-year-old Amir Tun of San Antonio Village, Cayo District, for no apparent reason. Last night at around 9:50, officers met a vehicle that was […]

Two Guatemalans murdered in suspected drug deal gone bad
The lifeless bodies of two Guatemalan nationals were found between miles 69 and 70 in the San Francisco road area of Cayo District, off the George Price Highway yesterday afternoon. Police arrived on the scene shortly after 2:00 p.m., where they saw two Hispanic […]

Nine BDF Soldiers Face Disciplinary Charges Following Sarstoon Standoff
Brigadier General David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defence Force, steadfastly declined to comment on reports that nine of his men are to be internally disciplined for the March 12 incident at the Sarstoon. The group, assigned to the construction site that now houses […]

Maheia “disappointed” at new Sarstoon regulation but expedition still on
“I am disappointed” says Will Maheia after learning of the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young’s decision to pass a regulation to prohibit persons and vessels to enter the Sarstoon River for one month. Maheia says that government is trying all it can […]

Governor General halts travel into Sarstoon under Public Safety Act ahead of BTV visit
Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young, acting in his capacity as representative of the Head of State, has made regulations prohibiting persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River with effect from today, Friday. The move comes […]

Governor General halts travel into Sarstoon under Public Safety Act ahead of BTV visit
Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young, acting in his capacity as representative of the Head of State, has made regulations prohibiting persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River with effect from today, Friday. The move […]

Government of Belize Places Temporary Restrictions on Movement in Belize’s Portion of the Sarstoon River for One Month
Government of Belize just issued a press release informing the nation that they have placed a temporary restriction on movement in Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River for a whole month. The official release reads: Belmopan. Friday, April 29, 2016. The Government of Belize announces that, after […]

Saldivar or Faber?
May 29th United Democratic Party (UDP) delegates will select either John Saldivar or Patrick Faber as its new Deputy Leader to replace Gaspar Vega. Whoever wins that post will also most likely become the UDP’s party leader when current leader Dean Barrow retires at the end of […]

Blogs

The Many Colors of Fanta in Belize and A History You Might Not Have Imagined
Fanta is a critical part of my day to day life in Belize – much like these products that I never used in the states. Today it is a product of the Coca-Cola company and those products, Coke, Coke Light, Sprite and Fanta are bottled in Belize by Bowen & Bowen Ltd. The company that produces Belikin beer. And it is for sale at every single supermarket in the country. But Fanta’s origins are not in the Latin world at all. In fact, they are in…super strangely…Nazi Germany. Where it was invented when they were cut off from importing American-made Coca Cola. The head of Coca-Cola Deutschland “decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including whey and apple pomace – the “leftovers of leftovers”. It was named after the word “fantasie” in German. (All Wikipedia.) For more information on the connection, check out this uber-interesting blog post.

Best restaurants in San Ignacio Belize
If you’ve ever found yourself at a loss as to which restaurant to visit for good food in San Ignacio Belize, we’ve got you covered! San Ignacio, the other half of the “Twin Town” duo, separated from Santa Elena by a river and connected by two bridges has become somewhat of the culinary capital of the district and infact of Belize, boasting some of the best and high rated restaurants in the area. The diversity and styles of cuisine are almost enough to make your head spin, and for those of you who need a little guidance, in no particular order, are the best places to grab a good bite to eat in San Ignacio Belize. Pops Restaurant, Ervas Restaurant, Crave Restaurant, Cenaida’s Restaurant, Caoba Restaurant, The Guava Limb Restaurant Café (Restaurant of the Year 2015), Ko’ox Han Nah. Honorable mentions: Mincho’s & Mickey’s.

Belize Bike Rally Unites Enthusiasts from Latin America and Beyond
Who knew Belize had bikers? Who knew that there was an official Harley-Davidson store in Belize City? Who knew that there was an active biker community in the country? With the stereotypical biker being pictured as a 300lb, bearded and scary man, one would be surprised to encounter some of the friendliest people in the world at the Belize Bike Rally. It is an entire weekend scheduled with parties, sightseeing, concerts and showing off those really cool bikes that scream for attention. Belize serves as a middle meeting point for hundreds of bikers who ride thousands of miles from Mexico, Central America, South America and those who travel from Europe, USA and Canada to join the camaraderie that brings everyone together under one passion – to ride gnarly bikes.

Not even the US trusts the decisions of the ICJ
The United States has long had an uneasy relationship with the International Court of Justice, which primarily arbitrates legal disputes among UN member nations that recognize its jurisdiction. The United States withdrew from the court’s compulsory jurisdiction in 1986 after the court ruled it owed Nicaragua war reparations. The United States also disagreed with the court’s stance that it failed to fulfill its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in 2005 in cases involving Mexican nationals on death row. “There’s always been a little bit of a love-hate relationship” between the United States and the International Court of Justice, says Judge Joan E. Donoghue, the U.S. member of the court. However, she notes that more recently, the United States has increased its engagement with the ICJ especially with respect to individuals who are facing the death penalty in the United States. She says the United States is making considerable efforts to come into compliance, despite serious obstacles within its own constitutional system. Donoghue says she does not see herself as a representative of the United States to the court. “When I was at the State Department I served my country by representing it,” she says, “and now I serve my country by being independent of it.”

Mango Chamoyada
Boil water with sugar to a syrup. Let it cool. Clean the mangoes and slice the pulp. Blend with syrup and ice. Serve in glasses with liquid chamoy, powder enchilada chamoy and fruit.

Marie Sharp's Factory Tour
Sauces are an important part of Central American cuisine and no sauce better epitomizes Belize more than Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce. The flavorful habanero peppers that go into the sauce are all locally grown and harvested in southeastern Belize on a small 400-acre farm with just 17 employees. Still mixed and blended under the personal supervision of Marie Sharp herself, this unique Belizean hot sauce available in 10 different heat levels is exported all over the world. In April 2016, Marie Sharp was personally inducted into the New York City Hot Sauce Hall of Fame. The word “factory” calls to mind a giant industrial complex with machines churning out thousands of gallons of product. The factory that makes Marie Sharp’s famous sauces is Belizean in scale, a small and friendly workshop with just two dozen employees. In typical Belize fashion, the employees are more than happy to greet visitors and explain how their famous sauces are made. The factory runs Monday through Friday except for holidays but it’s always best to call ahead to arrange for a tour. The phone number for tours is (501) 532-2087 and they can be contacted at the very appropriate email address of fierylady70@yahoo.com. The factory is open during the week but it’s a good idea to call ahead to arrange for a tour, especially if you want to get a chance to meet Marie Sharp herself. On-site is a small gift shop where you can stock up on all of the company’s sauces.

12 Amazing Instagram Travel Photos of Belize for April 2016
April didn’t fool any travelers visiting Belize this year, as it was a fairly warm and dry month; making it the perfect destination for relaxation and outdoor activities. Whether you were visiting the Belize Zoo to get up close and personal with Belize's national animal – The Tapir, diving the Great Blue Hole to capture spectacular images of the marine life or simply catching up with family and friends on a local beach, we’re pretty sure you’ve managed to gather some pretty amazing travel photos along the way. There were thousands of travel photos taken in Belize this April that were shared via the Instagram App and we’ve decided to share our top picks:

International Sourcesizz

Braselton teen collects books for Belize orphanage from which she was adopted
What began as a child’s question about other children without toys remaining in the Belize orphanage from which she was adopted has become an ongoing mission of a Braselton family. Alina Gives Back is a nonprofit for which Alina Rodriguez, now 13 and a 10th-grader Georgia Cyber Academy student, returns to Belize to deliver toys and toiletries and host a dinner meal and a summer day camp at the orphanage. Dominique Rodriguez and her husband had struggled for years to conceive a child and began to explore adoption. Her mother, who was born in Belize and returned there after retirement, joined the mission to find them a child. One day, the couple got a call from her. “I have found your daughter,” she said of the orphaned toddler she took home with her, thus began the lengthy formal process to adopt Alina and bring her to the United States. The bond between grandmother and granddaughter developed as Alina lived with Dominique’s mother for several months.

A Boost for Internet in Belize
The Belize Public Utilities Commission announced that Belize’s first Internet exchange point, named BIXP, was successfully launched in Belize City last week at the campus of the University of Belize. The launch was the culmination of unprecedented collaboration between Belizean Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the highly competitive local telecommunication sector. The Belize Public Utilities Commission, the national regulator, facilitated the process, with support from regional and international agencies. An Internet exchange point is a piece of physical infrastructure through which ISPs exchange traffic between their networks. Many ISPs in the Caribbean pass the data through faraway networks in the United States or Europe, before rerouting to their consumers in their own country.

Belize bound!
South Dakota State University’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is gearing up for a mission trip to Central America, this time to Belize. Twenty-one of its student members, and many more family and friends, will stay at the Calvary Baptist Church in Belize City from May 21-27, where they will make a difference in many ways. They have the opportunity to serve in an orphanage, speak in churches, work in construction, hold sports camps and much more.

What Is “Coral Bleaching” And Just How Bad Is It?
Last week, scientists delivered the news that more than 90% of Australia's Great Barrier Reef is suffering from bleaching. Researchers flew in helicopters and small planes over 911 of the individual reefs that comprise the Great Barrier Reef and found that only 68 of them had escaped bleaching entirely. Many of the rest have turned a ghostly white. "It's like 10 cyclones have come ashore all at once," said Terry Hughes, a researcher at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University and head of Australia's National Coral Bleaching Task Force. Reef-related tourism and recreation as an industry would simply not be viable in a world of boring, bland, bleached coral. Millions of divers and snorkelers visit reefs throughout the world specifically because of the beautiful ecosystems they support, spending some $9.6 billion dollars annually to do so. Fifteen percent of Belize's economy is derived from tourism, and in Southeast Asia each square kilometer of healthy reef within tourism-appropriate areas can draw between $23,000 and a $270,000 each year.

Belize launches Caribbean's latest internet exchange point
The Belize Public Utilities Commission announced that Belize’s first Internet exchange point, named BIXP, was successfully launched in Belize City on April 27 at the campus of the University of Belize. The launch was the culmination of unprecedented collaboration between Belizean Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the highly competitive local telecommunication sector. The Belize Public Utilities Commission, the national regulator, facilitated the process, with support from regional and international agencies. An Internet exchange point is a piece of physical infrastructure through which ISPs exchange traffic between their networks. Many ISPs in the Caribbean pass the data through faraway networks in the United States or Europe, before rerouting to their consumers in their own country.

The Caribbean's 'Disappearing People' renew claim for rights and survival
In many Caribbean lands, they now exist only in history books, having moved, been killed off or exiled when conquering Europeans came in the 16th and 17th century. In Belize, Guyana, Suriname, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, they remain, many in small numbers, their territory shrunk to deep rural lands or coastal fringes where modern services and the arm of the state often do not reach. Once, all was theirs. They are the Caribbean's First Peoples – among the Maya and Garifuna, Saramaca and Maroon, Carib and Kalinago, and a host of Amerindian nations within a nation. For the last five centuries they have been the disappearing people of the Caribbean, as disease, displacement, disproportionately high poverty, discrimination, and the loss of tenure over land and resources have combined to decimate their populations.

Videos

  • Drone Footage of Leonardo DiCaprio's Private island, Blackadore Caye, 2min. Drone Footage of Leonardo DiCaprio's private island and soon to be multi million dollar resort development in Belize just off the coast of Ambergris Caye.

  • A Firsthand Look at the B.D.F./Guatemalan Sarstoon Encounter in March, 7min.

  • Belize 2015 - 2016, 26min. Another amazing Study Abroad trip with EF Educational Tours.

  • Belize Bike Rally 2016, 4min. With the stereotypical biker being pictured as a 300lb, bearded and scary man, one would be surprised to encounter some of the friendliest people in the world at the Belize Bike Rally. It is an entire weekend scheduled with parties, sightseeing, concerts and showing off those really cool bikes that scream for attention.

  • The Making of Kanantik - Featuring: Bob McMahon - Master Planner, 8min.

  • The Making of Kanantik - Featuring: Casey O’Callaghan - Golf Course Designer, 9min.

  • The Making of Kanantik - Featuring: Kenneth Ussenko - Architectural Designer, 9min.

  • Labour Day, 6.5min. Minister of Labour Hon. Hugo Patt would like to take the time to wish the country a happy and safe Labour Day!

  • From Belize: A lesson in cleaning and cooking Lionfish, 1.5min. Eating non-native lion fish helps native waters. Learn how to clean and cook lionfish, now a local dish in Belize.

  • Belize city International Airport, 6min. Belize City International Airport 2016.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize - April 2016, 5min. Some of the video and put together from a trip to Caye Caulker, Belize.

    April 29, 2016


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    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

    Noh Mul destruction calls for increase in penalties
    It’s been almost three years since the De Mars Stone Company bulldozed Noh Mul, an ancient Maya site located in San Pablo, Orange Walk. In May 13, 2013, the company razed the historic site for white marl, sparking outrage across the country and internationally. The four culprits: Denny Grijalva and his wife, Emelda Grijalva, company directors, the company’s project manager Javier Nunez, and excavator Emil Cruz, faced charges for destroying Noh Mul. On Thursday, April 21st, after eight months, the trial ended at the Corozal Town Magistrate Court, where the accused were found guilty and fined for their acts. During the trial, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith stated, “When the Court visited the site of Noh Mul, it was observed that the mound was in the middle of a privately owned sugarcane field, and even lacked the stone sides frequently seen in reconstructed or better-preserved pyramids. The pyramid mound, which is about 30 metres (100ft.) tall, is surrounded by landscape which seemed to be naturally flat. However, there was THE clear demarcation of the ‘make up’ of the mound, which showed a clearly formed brick-like structure which was easily distinguished from a common pile of earth”. To Smith this was more than enough evidence to confirm the site as an archeological reserve, a key factor De Mars Stone Company Limited ignored.

    Helen Haylock to represent San Pedro at Miss Y Pageant
    63-year-old Helen Haylock has been chosen to represent La Isla Bonita in the Young Women’s Christian Association’s (YWCA) 23rd Anniversary Celebration of Miss Y Seenagers Pageant. A fundraising event was hosted on April 23rd by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and Adelle Paz from Adelle’s International Outreach Program at the San Pedro House of Culture. All proceeds will go towards assisting Haylock with wardrobe, traveling expenses, and costs of the pageant. At the event, Public Relations Officer of the YWCA, Shellon Nunez, spoke about the organization and pledged to support Haylock in her quest to pageantry. Photographer Karen Brodie provided the contestant with a professional photo-shoot, and that evening, Haylock was officially sashed and crowned as Miss Y San Pedro.

    Barrow says “Give Peace a Chance”: Tensions between Belize and Guatemala de-escalate
    Prime Minister of Belize, Right Honourable Dean Barrow has petitioned all Belizeans to “give peace a chance” following the increased tensions between Belize and Guatemala. The long standing territorial dispute reached its boiling point last week when Guatemala mobilized troops at the Western Boarder claiming it necessary to protect their people. The entire situation was triggered over the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Guatemalan Julio Alvarado by the Belize Defence Force (BDF) patrol near La Cebada in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve on Wednesday, April 20th. With both countries having different takes on the incident, it took several diplomatic meetings to diffuse the tension and for the countries’ relationship to return to normalcy. Barrow assures Belizeans that there is no threat from Guatemala, and that it is best to resolve the issue diplomatically than with force. “We have just concluded a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) of Belize, and this is a follow-on from the meeting held on Friday, April 22nd when I was in New York, and in which I participated by phone.

    Humpback Whale dies in Belizean waters
    The Belize environmental community is saddened over the death of a 30-foot Humpback Whale within Belizean waters. The whale was first spotted in Belizean waters on February 24, 2016, and since then, had been seen in several areas including Big Creek Port, the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, Scipio Caye and Riversdale. On Monday, April 25th the whale was spotted once again; unfortunately this time it was found dead. While it is still unknown what may have caused the Humpback whale’s death, local scientists believe that the whale was either lost or sick. Efforts are currently underway to attempt a necropsy to determine the exact cause of death. When Oceana Belize personnel traveled to the rough and murky waters offshore of Barranco on Friday, April 22nd, the whale was in obvious distress. It was subsequently observed that the whale’s movement was being hampered by a gill net wrapped around its tail, adding insult to injury,” said Oceana who had been observing the whale since the first sighting.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks make it to the NEBL Finals
    Despite a few hurdles during the past eleven weeks of basketball action, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks are in the finals of the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Tournament for the third year in a row. Against all odds, the island team is hoping to capture the championship for the third consecutive year. The finals promise to be a fierce match-up between two of the strongest teams in Belize. Both teams have a huge front court and are physically strong, while the guard play is also evenly matched. Key players in these finals will be San Pedro Tiger Sharks’ Raul Roches, Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz and Caleb Sutton who will go up against Smart Belize Hurricanes’ Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, Farron Louriano and Brian White.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Welcomes ACP Resolution on Belize Guatemala Dispute
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize welcomes the Resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) on the subject of the Recent Tensions Between Belize and Guatemala. The ACP Council met for their 103rd Session on 26-27 April 2016 in Dakar, Senegal. At the conclusion of their Session on 27th April, the ACP Council of Ministers adopted a Resolution wherein they express their commitment to Belize’s territorial integrity and their concerns over the tensions along Belize’s border with Guatemala, as well as their support for the need for confidence building measures for the Sarstoon River. They also support efforts at finally resolving Guatemala’s claim to Belize at the International Court of Justice, in accordance with the Special Agreement of 2008.

    San Pedro Association of Justice of the Peace & Commissioner of the Supreme Court meeting
    The San Pedro Association of Justice of the Peace & Commissioner of the Supreme Court will be holding its first Wednesday of the month meeting, this Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00 PM at the San Pedro Town Council Conference Room. All JP's are encouraged to attend as we begin to rebuild the San Pedro Chapter. Please pass the word to fellow JP & CSC and looking forward to seeing you there!

    Celebrity Spotting NBA Star Danilo Gallinari Visits Ambergris Caye
    Island sports enthusiast Joel Ruiz was excited to post a picture of himself alongside NBA star Danilo Gallinari just after catching the sports celebrity walking down the main streets of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize this week. Danilo is an Italian professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association. His Instagram profile shows him swimming with the Sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve/Shark Ray Alley.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    TAIWAN OFFICIALLY HANDS OVER HELICOPTERS TO BELIZE
    Two helicopters were donated and handed over to Belize by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Wednesday, April 27th at the BDF Headquarters, Price Barracks, Ladyville. In an official ceremony, the helicopters were officially received from Taiwan’s Ambassador in Belize H.E Benjamin Ho by Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar.

    The Embassy of Mexico presents "Yucatan Abstract and Reality Peintre"
    Happening next Thursday May 5th at SISE House of Culture.

    Colorful water toys line the beach north of San Pedro
    On Ambergris Caye. I've not yet tried paddle boarding, but would like to do so. With such calm water, and a balmy Caribbean breeze, Belize is a fantastic spot to swim, sail, kayak, snorkel or dive, paddle board, windsurf or kite surf...

    Hol Chan Marine Reserve with RC School to celebrate Earth Day 2016
    We were pleased to team up with Karina Paz from the RC School to carry out an activity to celebrate Earth Day 2016. A touch tank and some displays were set up at the RC School last Friday and kids got a chance to get up close to some marine organisms. Karina is young and ambitious, she is also volunteer with the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program. Good job Karina!

    Belize Welcomes Commonwealth Secretary General
    The Government of Belize and people of Belize extend a warm welcome to our fellow Dominican national Baroness Patricia Janet Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth. Baroness Scotland is visiting Belize as a first stop in her official tour to the Commonwealth Caribbean since taking office on April 1, 2016. She arrived today in Belize and will be staying until Monday, May 1st. During her stay, the Secretary General will be meeting with the Prime Minister of Belize Right Honourable Dean Barrow and other senior members of the Government of Belize. She will also take the opportunity to visit the Office of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Adjacency Zone, where she will be received by the Chief of the OAS Fund for Peace. Baroness Scotland has a distinguished career as an attorney, educator, and public officer. At the age of 35 she was the first black woman to become a Queen's Counsel. In 2007 she was appointed Attorney General in the United Kingdom, making it the first time a woman held that post since it was created in 1315.

    Farmers of the Year 2016
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development through the Agriculture Department announces this year’s Farmers of the Year winners. This year, the Farmers of the Year reign from the Cayo and Toledo Districts. The male farmer is Ever Blandon of Valley of Peace, Cayo District; the female farmer is Maria Lara of Trio Village, Toledo District; and the junior farmer is Eric Can Jr. of Succotz Village, Cayo District. The National Agriculture and Trade show is an event which has been celebrated since the 1960's. The first one was held in El Cayo which is today known as San Ignacio. Later in 1972, the show moved to the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan and one of the most important highlights over the years has been the recognition of the Farmer of the Year.

    Belize Welcomes ACP Resolution on Belize Guatemala Dispute
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize welcomes the Resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) on the subject of the Recent Tensions Between Belize and Guatemala. The ACP Council met for their 103rd Session on 26-27 April 2016 in Dakar, Senegal. At the conclusion of their Session on 27th April, the ACP Council of Ministers adopted a Resolution wherein they express their commitment to Belize’s territorial integrity and their concerns over the tensions along Belize’s border with Guatemala, as well as their support for the need for confidence building measures for the Sarstoon River. They also support efforts at finally resolving Guatemala’s claim to Belize at the International Court of Justice, in accordance with the Special Agreement of 2008.

    Poets Corner: Saviours!
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Will Mejia is our saviour The PM is acting like a beggar Shameless begging the Guatemalans in front of his own citizens He literally diminished his charge I thought he was the Head Niger in charge Molina showcasing that his gonads are large Dean is the leader of the nation And can’t even display true command He should be empowering his people Showing them he appreciate their muscle Instead he’s encouraging cowardice For years Goldson was the lonely voice Dean is not of Goldson's saviour brand He has not the intestinal fortitude true leadership demands Who would go to prison! Dean is would never take the route Goldson chose He’s a coward and needs to be exposed He’d rather suck Morales’s toes Than step on his toes A true leader is bold publicly Then negotiates privately Dean’s demeanour was cowardly, Has he ever been to Sarstoon Caye?

    Bad Ting Mek Laugh
    KREM Television is proud to launch our two volume collector's edition DVD of its groundbreaking comedy series, 'Bad Ting Mek Laugh'. All the best laughs and the characters you loved in season one are available on this DVD collection! Please INBOX ME to pre-order. DVDs will be available at this year's Agri Show and starting Friday, April 29th at $20 per volume and discounted price of $30 for both DVDs. We need your support for the survival of our network and the production of season two which commences shortly and returns with a bang on Saturday, August 27th. Keep the laughs alive, buy a copy for your DVD library.

    Channel 7

    Drug Related Double Murder Near Cayo
    Two Guatemalan men were murdered in Cayo and police say it was as a result of a drug transaction gone bad. At around 2:00 this afternoon police were called out to a feeder road between miles 69 and 70 on the George Price Highway. They found 2 men dead - with gunshot wounds the head. One was shot once to the head, the other was shot twice. Here's what San Ignacio police said this afternoon. Supt. Richard Rosado, OC - San Ignacio: "On Thursday April 28th, 2016 about 2pm, San Ignacio police received information of two lifeless body on a feeder road off the George Price Highway between mile 69 and 70. Police visited the scene where the lifeless body of two male Hispanic decent individual with apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head were found. Our initial investigation revealed that the two individual are Guatemalan national and based on certain evidential material that were collected at the scene, it bears the characteristic of a drug transaction gone bad. The bodies were transported to the San Ignacio Polyclinic where it awaits a postmortem."

    Wil Won't Bend, He's Going To Sarstoon
    Last night, BDF Commander, General David Jones told us that he and other high level members of the Foreign Affairs and National Security Ministry were going to Punta Gorda to try to convince Wil Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers not to go to the Sarstoon this weekend.

    The Guats Says They Will Stop Wil From Entering Sarstoon
    And while Wil Maheia is determined to head down the Sarstoon, the Guatemalans are just as determined to stop him. In an interview with Canal Antigua on Tuesday the Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Morales assured the world that Maheia and the volunteers will be stopped if they attempt to go down the Sarstoon. While making his point he also reiterated the Guatemalan position that it is protocol for our BDF to ask for Guatemalan permission before entering the Sarstoon. The political directorate and the military command have both said they never agreed to any such thing, but Morales held to the hardline. Here are his comments on the upcoming BTV excursion and what the Guatemalans believe to be the status quo of the Sarstoon River.

    Alleged Double Murderer's Trial Drawing To A Close
    There was a shocking murder in Belize City on the last day of November of 2010. Businessman David Longsworth and Security Guard Edgar Ayala were killed in a very violent gas station armed robbery.

    Yard Cutter Perseveres Despite Not Being Able To Use Legs
    Have you ever had a really tough day at work, where you just feel like you can’t go anymore? Well after you see our next story, you may think twice about complaining ever again.

    FM Morales Disparages BDF
    And back now to Belize - Guatemala relations, we revisit a few more of the eyebrow - raising remarks made by the Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales in his revealing Canal Antigua interview. He had a lot of derogatory comments about the professionalism of the BDF – and went as far to make the very ugly suggestion that they are actually hunting Guatemalan farmers. Those of us who have been in the Chiquibul know how preposterous that it – when menacing inscriptions such as this have been etched into trees by the Guatemalan bandits who use the Chiquibul as the staging ground for outlaw operations. This one – which we just saw last week says, menacingly, “We are waiting for you.”

    Morales Keeping Pressure On
    On Monday this week, the Prime Minister reassured the nation that the immediate danger with Guatemala had passed. This was after he met with President Jimmy Morales on Friday and they both agreed to de-escalate tensions after the deployment of troops to the border. But in that same interview with Canal Antigua, Foreign Minister Morales, said that the crisis is not over.

    FM Morales Claims Human Rights Violations
    So on that same note, Guatemala is pushing to have Belize taken before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This is apart from pushing for a trial against the soldier responsible for the death of 13 year old Julio Alvarado. In that same extended interview with Foreign Minister Carlos Morales, he highlighted steps that his Government is taking to present a complaint before the Human Rights Commission.

    Belize Looks To Commonwealth
    And while that’s where the Guatemalans are going – Belize is looking to the Commonwealth for a diplomatic boost. The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Janet Scotland, is in Belize tonight – her first stop on a tour of the Commonwealth Caribbean. She’ll stay through to Monday, and on Monday, the Prime Minister announced that Belize would be seeking diplomatic support through her office:

    ACP Nations Support Belize
    Belize is also looking to the ACP – or African, Caribbean and Pacific countries – for support. That’s a bloc of 79 nations which held their 103rd session in Senegal on April 26th and 27th.

    Jazzfest Features Cultural Creators
    Tonight, performers like Sweet Chico Ramos, Supa G, and Bredda David are getting ready for their weekend on the big stage at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. But Belize’s presentation at the jazzfest isn’t all about music; there’s an entire Belize pavilion where select artisans are also given their chance to shine. Courtney Weatherburne visited with them over the weekend:…

    Canadians Help Mitigate Disasters
    The Canadian High Commissioner to Belize Deborah Chatsis, was in country today to visit several Canadian projects. One of them was the Indigenous conference which we told you about yesterday. But while in the city today, she stopped by at the HelpAge Center on Wilson Street to present commemorative plaques to three disaster reduction projects which her government funded in 2013. It is a regional initiative that the Canadian Government heads in the Caribbean and the Belize projects received some $200 thousand Canadian dollars worth of funding. The three organizations that received funding for disaster prevention projects were Helpage, NAVCO and SATIIM.

    Farmers First
    We often take for granted those fresh vegetables and fruits that you buy at the market. But for every shiny sweet pepper, every glowing tomato, and every full head of lettuce, someone had to wake up before dawn every morning for months to tend soil, and nurture the plant. That's the job of a farmer, and every year the Ministry of Agriculture gives the best of them special recognition. Junior Farmer Eric Can Jr. is one of them selected this year, and he spoke to the government press office about the passion that drives him to keep on farming. Female Farmer of the Year was Maria Lara from Trio Village in the Toledo District; and Male Senior farmer was Ever Blandon from Valley of Peace.

    Channel 5

    A Firsthand Look at the B.D.F./Guatemalan Sarstoon Encounter in March
    There was a double murder today in the west and we will come to that shortly, but events of national importance in the Sarstoon continue to dominate the news. Tonight, [...]

    9 B.D.F. Soldiers Face Disciplinary Charges Following Sarstoon Standoff
    Following that dangerous encounter, nine Belize Defense Force soldiers, including Sergeant Kib and Lance Corporal Zuniga, who were assigned to the construction site where the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base was [...]

    Sarstoon Trip Still A Go Despite Official Effort to Dissuade Territorial Volunteers
    This afternoon, Ministry of Foreign Affairs C.E.O. Lawrence Sylvestre, with military leaders General David Jones and Admiral John Borland attempted to dissuade representatives of the Belize Territorial Volunteers from going [...]

    NTV Won’t Accompany Southern Counterpart to Sarstoon
    Today at the meeting the BTV was joined by representatives of the Northern Territorial Volunteers, headquartered in Orange Walk. The mandate of the NTV is to increase awareness of our [...]

    De la Fuente Says BTV Provoking Guatemalans is Absurd
    De la Fuente says that where the trip to the Sarstoon is concerned, any aggression from the Guatemalans will be a result of the weakness of government’s position now and [...]

    Double Murder in Cayo, Was it Drug-related?
    There was a double murder today in the west off the cutoff to the garbage dump near Misty Meadow Farms. Two Guatemalan nationals were found murdered off a feeder road [...]

    Has a Preliminary Report on Chiquibul Been Completed?
    The attempt by Guatemala to inspire international outrage against Belize following last Wednesday incident in the Chiquibul continues unabated. In an interview we aired on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Carlos Raul [...]

    NTV Won’t Accompany Southern Counterpart to Sarstoon
    Today at the meeting the BTV was joined by representatives of the Northern Territorial Volunteers, headquartered in Orange Walk. The mandate of the NTV is to increase awareness of our [...]

    De la Fuente’s Two Cents on Guatemala’s Anti-Belize PR Campaign
    We also asked De la Fuente to weigh in on Guatemala’s obvious intent to wage a PR war against Belize. The incident in which Guatemalan minor Julio Alvarado Ruano was [...]

    Indigenous Communities Affected by Guatemala’s High-handed Sarstoon Stance
    The abrupt decision by Guatemala to exercise sovereignty over the Sarstoon River is an infraction which contravenes the rights of the indigenous communities of southern Belize.  Barranco, the southernmost village [...]

    Threat to Torch Western Border Offices Explained
    Following the shooting death of thirteen-year-old Julio Alvarado Ruano last Wednesday, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced that the western and southern borders with Belize would be militarized.  As tensions built [...]

    Trial of Accused Murderer Ervin Reneau Continues in Supreme Court
    The murder trial of Ervin Reneau, accused of the November, 2010 murder of two Belize City men, Security Guard Edgar Ayala and David Longsworth is nearing an end. Both were [...]

    Canadian High Commission Donates to Belizean Organizations
    Three organizations were recognized today as beneficiaries of the Canada Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Fund. HelpAge Belize, NAVCO and SATIIM have all completed on disaster relief, funded by the Canadian [...]

    Academic Opportunities in Canada
    Canadian High Commissioner Deborah Chatsis is visiting from Guatemala where the High Commission is located. Her visit coincides with the ongoing Caribbean Conference on Indigenous Peoples and she has taken [...]

    Commonwealth Secretary General Arrives in Belize
    Baroness Patricia Janet Scotland is the Secretary General of the Commonwealth. She arrived today in Belize on a first visit since her assumption of the post. It is also her [...]

    ACP Countries Support Resolution of Guatemalan Claim at ICJ
    The Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group known as the ACP was convened on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week in Dakar, Senegal. Ambassador Dylan Vernon [...]

    ITVET Hosts Open House
    It is safe to say that the ITVET is a story of success. Enrollment has been growing and so is the selection of programs offered. At an open house today [...]

    50 Cal Prepares for Belize/Guatemala Bout
    Belize and Guatemala has been constantly in the news cycle the past two weeks.  While the leaders of the two countries are de-escalating tensions at the border, things are actually [...]

    Farmers of the Year are Here!
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show takes place this weekend at the show grounds in Belmopan.  Thousands are expected to converge there for the event which begins on Friday and [...]

    Healthy Living Looks at Polio
    Vaccination week in the Americas and across the region; the focus is on countries to expand their coverage of immunization for infants and children. In Belize we have boasted for [...]

    CTV3

    BTV Unable To Meet With International Media
    Today Will Mejia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers and Orlando De La Fuente of the Northern Territorial Volunteers were scheduled to be interviewed by three media houses from Guatemala: Prensa Libre, Canal Antigua and El Diario. The interview was programmed to take place on the Belize side of the Sarstoon but according to Mejia, at the last minute the Guatemalan press asked for a change of venue and asked for them to travel into Guatemala, a request which Mejia refused. Will Mejia- Leader BTV: “We agree that we would meet at the Belize side of the border and they called back and said that if we could meet on their side and I am totally in disagreement with that and I am sure is Orlando that meeting don’t seem that it will happen unless they decide to come over to Belize but as of now that is not happening because I am not going to go to Guatemala if they want to talk to us they would have to come to Belize.”

    PlusTV

    OAS: Lambey marked for death by Guatemalans
    A preliminary report from the Organization of American States appears to confirm that Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was deliberately ambushed by armed Guatemalan civilians near a watering hole in the Chiquibul forest on Holy Saturday, March 26. They apparently wanted to kill him. We hear more from B...

    OAS to Conduct Independent Investigation into the Death of Guatemalan Minor
    Meanwhile, the Organization of American States (OAS) will conduct, at the request of the governments of Belize and Guatemala, an independent investigation of the April 20 incident that led to the death of the Guatemalan minor Julio René Alvarado Ruano and in which his father and brother were wounded...

    Drive by shooting in Belmopan
    A drive by shooting in the Belmopan Area has left one man in a critical condition. On Tuesday the 26th of April, shots were heard coming from the Salvapan Area of Belmopan. Reports are that 24 year old Jose Alberto Marquez was standing on the corner of St. Peter’s Street in Salvapan when a black car...

    Taiwan hands over BDF helicopters
    The Belize Defence Force (BDF) is now the proud owner of two Huey rotary wing helicopters assembled by a 17-member team from the Republic of China (Taiwan)’s military and donated by its Government. As previously noted by commander of the BDF, Brigadier General David Jones, it has long been a ...

    Recalled Guatemalan Ambassador says Belize is the aggressor
    Guatemalan Presidetn Jimmy morales recalled the Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize, , Manuel Roldan Barillas for consultation following the death of an illegal Guatemalan in Belizean territory. According to an article in Guatemalan newspaper, Prensa Libre, Ambassador Roldan granted them an interview ...

    “Don’t worry” about new British-Guatemalan attaché
    The United Kingdom, and particularly the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB), has long been regarded as a line of first defense for Belize, its former dependency. News of an up-tick in the number of British forces training in Belize over the next few years, reported last year, bolster...

    Leaders hope BTV listen to “ reason”
    Can the Government of Belize convince the Belize Territorial Volunteers not to go to the Sarstoon for their commemorative event on Saturday? It appears a tall order, but Belize’s top military leaders, past and present, intend to take a stab at it on Thursday in Punta Gorda Town. Brigadier General Da...

    The Guardian

    BDF has new helicopters
    Belize Defense Force’s B-11 and B-12 aircrafts are now officially airborne and are transporting soldiers to the most remote parts of the country. His Excellency Benjamin Ho, Ambassador of the Republic of China-Taiwan, handed over the two UH1H helicopters to Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security, on Wednesday, April 27, at Price Barracks. Since the British Government pulled out its helicopters being used by the British Army Training and Support Unit in Belize (BATSUB) in 2012, the Government of Belize had been calling on allies to provide air support for its troops. Requests went out to the Governments of the United States, Taiwan, Canada and others. When it appeared that those request were falling on deaf ears, in 2014 the Government of Belize gave Brigadier General David Jones, Commandant of the BDF, a mission to scout and find helicopters to be purchased by the Government. After checking numerous sources, the prices ranged from US$8 million to US$12 million. These were significantly beyond the reach of government’s budget. General Jones decided to turn his sights from the military type choppers to the type of civilian machines that are cheaper. This resulted in an interest in two refurbished Bell 206 helicopters that were being sold in Florida. After inspecting the vessels and evaluating the purchase, a decision was made to stand down. Around this same time, the Government of Taiwan expressed a willingness to support the Air Wing of the Belize Defense Force.

    7 months sentence for killing her husband
    A hot topic on the streets and on social media on Tuesday was the conclusion of the Kim Brannon, 45, murder trial. Brannon’s trial concluded on Monday, April 25, with an eight year sentence by Justice Troadio John Gonzalez after she was convicted of chopping her common-law-husband to death on December 13, 2008 and lying to police about his cause of death. She reported to police that a group of men killed Anthony Herrera after they invaded their home looking for drugs and found none. Police investigation into the claim by Brannon led to nowhere. There was no evidence to support the story. Instead, all evidence was pointing towards her. Police arrested Brannon and charged her with the murder of her common-law-husband. She chose to stick to her story during trial. She told the court that a group of men came to their Burrell Boom home looking for drugs they thought Herrera had that belonged to them. When Herrera did not come up with the drugs, they chopped him up and left him to die. Brannon was spared by the men. The jury did not believe her story as the evidence presented by the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that she was responsible for Herrera’s death.

    Escalation and De-escalation of tensions between Belize and Guatemala
    It made the headlines on all the local media houses when the sudden escalation of tensions between Belize and Guatemala unfolded late last week. So, if readers are wondering how things got so out-of-hand so quickly to the point that there was almost an armed confrontation between militaries of both countries, we’ve put together a timeline of events. While the nation was focused on the opening of the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base a joint patrol of BDF soldiers and rangers from the Friends for Conservation and Development were in the Chiquibul Forest in an area known as Cebada. That was around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, and the patrol was located 380 meters east of the Border in Western Belize. They had only just detained a Guatemalan man because he was conducting illegal farming about 2 hours earlier. The BDF say that they came under hostile fire in the dark, and they were forced to defend themselves. They took aim in the direction from where the gunshots had been fired, and they returned fire. 13 year-old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano was killed, and his 11 year-old brother Carlos Alvarado Ruano Jr. was injured along with his 48 year-old father Carlos Alvarado Ruano Sr. They managed to flee the area and they received medical treatment at a hospital in Melchor De Mencos.

    Belize’s internet providers make history
    All Internet providers in Belize have come together to form a non-profit company called the Belize Internet Exchange Point (BIXP) in order to vastly improve internet based services in the country. BIXP was launched on Wednesday, April 16, making Belize the only country in the Caribbean in which all Internet providers are connecting at the same exchange point. An Internet exchange point is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers and content delivery networks exchange Internet traffic between their networks. Before the BIXP switch was flipped, traffic from Belize had to go through international points. At the launch on Wednesday, Bevil Wooding, Internet Strategist contracted by the Public Utilities Commission, did his best to explain the importance of a local internet exchange point to a group of laymen. “Imagine you want to get sugar across the fence to your neighbour,” said Wooding, “you had to take the sugar, put it on a plane to Miami and from Miami it would be shipped back to your neighbour.” One does not need to be genius to understand how inefficient that is. “With BIXP,” explained Wooding, “you can now take that sugar and hand it to your neighbour across the fence.”

    Belize/Guatemala: OAS will Conduct Independent Investigation into the Death of Guatemalan Minor
    The Organization of American States (OAS) will conduct, at the request of the governments of Belize and Guatemala, an independent investigation of the April 20 incident that led to the death of the Guatemalan minor Julio René Alvarado Ruano and in which his father and brother were wounded. The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, after receiving formal requests from both governments, confirmed to authorities from the two countries that he will proceed immediately with the identification and deployment of the appropriate experts to carry out the investigation as soon as possible. At the request of both sides, the investigation will be carried out independently from the work of verification taking place at this time.

    Justice for Christie! Life Imprisonment for Osmar Sabido
    “If you do something you need to pay for what you have done, especially to an innocent person,” said a relieved Marie Carrasco after her daughter’s killer was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday, April 26. Family and friends of the late Christie Carrasco, 22, finally have a sense of closure after Justice Herbert Lord ruled that her killer must spend the rest of his life behind bars for causing her untimely death. Carrasco, of a San Lorenzo Housing Site address in Orange Walk, was killed on Monday, February 28, 2011, the night of a wake for her 103-year-old great grandmother. According to reports, she was with her family that night mourning the loss of her great grandmother but she was constantly being harrassed by her common-law-husband, Osmar Sabido, 27-years-old at the time. Relatives say that Sabido was an extremely possessive individual who always wanted Christie with him.

    Bastic busted with weed
    Belizean artist Leslie Jenkins, 26, better known as Bastic, must pay a fine in order to avoid jail time after he was convicted of drug possession on Monday, April 25. According to police, at about 1:18 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, police on foot patrol were passing Ambassador’s Lounge on Hyde’s Lane when they saw Jenkins release an object from inside his left hand. The officers approached and retrieved a bag which contained marijuana. The officers apprehended Jenkins and escorted him to the police station where the weed was weighed in his presence. It amounted to 6.8 grams of weed. He was charged for possession of a controlled drug.

    Joseph Budna, prisoner in Guatemala, claims he was beaten because he is Belizean
    Joseph Budna, the 38 year-old Belizean currently serving prison time in Guatemala for a conviction of kidnapping and escape, is trying to recover from injuries he suffered in the Guatemalan facility. It is believed that he was attacked by fellow inmates as a means of retaliation for the death of 13 year-old Julio Alvarado Ruano, who was fatally injured by the BDF on Wednesday, April 20. Guatemalan press reports say that it happened on Sunday, April 24, at Section 5 of the prison. A spokesperson for the prison says that 10 persons were caught in the middle of a brawl. 3 of those persons suffered stab wounds, and 2 more were injured. There is no official word on whether Budna was only beaten up - which is unfortunate by itself - or if he was also stabbed in the prison brawl.

    Man detained in Cebada before killing of 13 year old boy pleads guilty to illegal entry
    Jose Maria Antonio Reyes who was detained on Wednesday of last week just before the shooting death of a 13 year old boy in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul was arraigned in Magistrate’s court in San Ignacio. He was charged with illegal entry by the Immigration department. When he appeared in court on Monday April 25, he pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined 1,500 dollars plus 5 dollars cost of court which he was able to pay. He was then released into the custody of the immigration department which ordered him to leave Belize.

    A BTV army?
    On Monday we were treated to the airing of a very strange Press Statement via television. It was one that came from the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) through one of it’s members, being the very vocal Patrick Rogers, who is also the leader of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) .The BTV and the BPP have a very close relationship. Some say it is not a close relationship at all and that is because the BTV and BPP are one and the same. We may very well be inclined to believe those persons, because whenever we see either the BTV or the BPP it is the same individuals we see. In the aforementioned statement presented by Rogers he announced that the BTV will be employing the services of retired military personnel to train ordinary Belizeans to be on the ready to assist Belize’s security forces. For us, this sounds very much like the BTV/BPP will be getting its own army of mercenaries. He went on to further state that they were advising the government to take up the size of the BDF to 10,000 members and to take up the active volunteer members of the BDF to 20,000. These volunteer members will be available to join with the regular members should the need arise as the result of external aggression from Guatemala .

    Transformation continues in Dangriga
    The battle cry of the UDP in the last general elections was, “Let the Transformation Continue.” Indeed the transformation is evident here. Without a doubt, the old adage “Progress brings problems,” more often than not in some cases, proves to be accurate. The Dangriga UDP Town Council certainly is not immune to that old saying. While many say “we can’t eat cement streets,” a perfect response to the rhetoric would be to ask motorists and cab drivers their opinion. Motorists and cab drivers would definitely attest to the fact that previously they were spending hundreds of dollars replacing shocks, struts and other mechanical parts to their vehicles before the streets were paved. Phase Two of Dangriga’s Municipal Development Project is well underway with the paving of Gadsby Ramos Street and Trucking Boulevard from its intersection to George Price Drive. The highly trafficked streets connecting Dangriga proper to First and Second New Sites will be paved with double chip and seal paving. At each of the intersections, it will be triple chip and seal paving. Since these streets are mostly utilized by students during the morning rush hours, the project will be complete with proper sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, drainage,and speed bumps. Upon completion, it is expected that the area prone to flooding and drainage issues during the rainy season will be alleviated.

    The route to the International Court of Justice
    Experts and Organizations from both Belize and abroad are increasingly suggesting that the International Court of Justice is a viable route to take for the attainment of peace and tranquility between Belize and Guatemala. These suggestions have only been strengthened by the recent unfortunate incidents on Belize’s border with Guatemala. As the main judicial organ of the United Nations-UN, the International Court of Justice ICJ based in the Hague turned 70 on Wednesday of last week, having kept the peace at such diverse places as Africa and South America. Originally the Court was busy with land or maritime boundary issues, but from the 80s it has been called upon to deal with disputes concerning the use of force between States. The ICJ – the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice – began its work in April 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. It comprises 15 judges, who are each elected for nine-year terms by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. Today the World Court is tasked with settling legal disputes submitted by States and with giving advisory opinions on legal questions that authorized UN and specialized agencies refer to it.

    Johnny remembers the old snakes that bit him
    There is an old phrase that goes like this “once one is bitten by a snake, one then becomes afraid of lizards.” And by the way the PUP leader has been getting rid of people, we can only believe that he was bitten by quite a few snakes during those three years when he was the leader of the PUP the first time around from 2008 to 2011. It seems like anybody in that party, anyone who dares to show that they have one iota of having a spine, will get down and smashed to a pulp. The latest PUP to suffer that faith at the hands of Johnny has been former Ambassador Dr. Assad Shoman. Now it is not that we are any fans of Shoman, but we have to admit that the gentleman speaks his mind and in a sense he is a scholar when it comes to the Belize\Guatemala relations. This gentleman is a Lawyer by training, so he understands legal jargon. He has been engaged in some sort of a way on the Belize\Guatemala scene for around FORTY-TWO years. Many of those years he was either Belize’s Foreign Minister, Ambassador or some sort of Point-man for the PUP. Assad has also done a great deal of research, has written and published those writings on the topic.

    Maximum fine for Noh Mul destruction
    Denny Grijalva, his wife, Emelda, his employee, Javier Nunez, and his business, De-Mars Stone Company, have been handed the maximum penalties under the law for the destruction the Noh Mul Maya Temple in San Pablo Village, Orange Walk. Each defendant has to pay fines to a total of $6,000 each. That’s a total of $24,000 that these convicted persons have to compensate the Government for the destruction of this Natural monument. Their sentencing hearing happened on Thursday, April 21 in the Belize City court room of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. She allowed the prosecutor, Leeroy Banner, to call Dr. John Morris, the Director of Archaeology at the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), to stand. The purpose of his sworn testimony, after the case had concluded, was to provide an impact statement, as the aggrieved party in this destruction. Dr. Morris explained to the court that the destruction at Noh Mul site was complete, and their attempts to salvage whatever cultural or archaeological knowledge after the fact was fruitless. He told the court that it is not possible to put a value on the destruction of a Mayan Archaeological site such as this one. He also pointed out that this destruction has caused the country of Belize quite a bit of negative publicity because of the Government’s inability to protect natural patrimony as important as this Mayan Archaeological site.

    Rural Softball competition opens this Sunday in Lord’s Bank
    The Belize Rural Softball Association 2016 senior female competition will commence on Sunday 10th April, at 9:00 am out in Lord’s Bank Village in the Belize District, with the traditional showcase marathon. This year’s marathon competition will feature the seven teams that will be participating in the regular competition. The teams that will be competing in the competition are Lord’s Bank Sunrise, Double Head Cabbage, Sandhill, Burrell Boom, UB Jaguars, Flowers Bank Easy Does It and Lord’s Bank (new entrant). The champion and sub-champion of the Belize Rural Softball Competition will join the other champions and sub-champions of the affiliated associations that makes up the Belize Softball Federation in August for the National Women’s Softball Championship.

    Instigation & Provocation: Analysis of the recent crisis
    Guatemala’s deployment of troops at the border is indeed a cause for deep concern. Who and what caused the escalation? The crisis? That is the question we need to be asking ourselves! Knowing what caused the problems may very well prevent future difficulties; especially with BTV’s April 30 plans. Our first and best clue comes from Brackett’s Freudian slip: “What is actually restraining our officials from escalating this issue?” The anti-good government group had hoped to use the issue to gain sympathy votes at election time. They did get PUP, BPP, VIP, and a very few Union leaders, although not the rank and file; to jump on the band wagon. They had no problem recruiting some so-called ‘media personalities.’ Mose gave birth to, and then nursed; a personal beef so he was extremely easy. He also brought along the tiny fraction of his staff who shamelessly call themselves ‘Kremites.’ Mai made sure that Channel 5 and the rabid PUP sympathizers, were on board. The losing parties – PUP, BPP, VIP, TPP…were all well represented. Perez, another rabid PUP, secured a seat on the wagon for SATIM. So-called activists’ groups,’ headed by failed partisan political candidates like Wil and De-la-Fuente were only too happy to jump on board also.

    Rare hump back whale dies after being caught in gill net
    After struggling in Belizean waters for approximately a month or a little more, a 30-foot long Humpback whale died off the coast of Barranco Village on Monday, April 25. It is believed that it struggled to death after having been caught in gill nets in those southern waters of the Caribbean Sea. As readers are aware, Barranco Village is one of the last locations in Toledo just before reaching the Southern Border of the Sarstoon River. It is well-known that illegal fishing occurs in those parts, and the scientists from Oceana Belize believe that these nets were set by illegal Guatemalan fisher folks. Oceana Belize’s investigation into the whale’s last days alive is that there were multiple sightings of it in the waters near the Big Creek Port, Sciopio Caye, the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, and Riversdale.

    Words of Life with Barry Fraser
    Many of our youth are involved in drugs, alcohol, and behaviors inspired by movies and television shows. These portray a fast pace life that is throwing away our traditional values and morals. Many parents have done all they know to raise their kids right, but their children follow their friends, rather than the values their parents gave them. For those who have younger children, you still have a chance to lay a foundation for a happy, harmonious family. Children and youth need their parents’ love, time, and attention. Even with older children and youth, it’s not too late to give them these essentials. There is a promise in Isaiah 54:13, “All your children will be taught by the Lord God, and great will be their peace.” Pray to God for your children, and believe that the Holy Spirit will direct them.

    Man crushed at Santander
    A man has been crushed by heavy equipment at Santander. Guatemalan driver, Luis Felipe Rivera at Santander Sugar Mill and resident on the same compound, reported that on Monday of this week at 11:52 am, he was driving a harvester machine when he accidentally went over another fellow worker. The machine that the 21 year old Luis Felipe drives processes cane by first chopping it, and then taking the material through another chopping area into the thrash extractor, where it is then pulled up the elevator into the trailer. Luis Rivera was alerted by a co-worker driving a tractor that was pulling the trailer, who informed that a human body was on the elevator of his machine. Luis Felipe immediately stopped and made checks and discovered the lifeless body of a Hispanic descent male person on the elevator. The human body had a crushed head, with both feet and hands cut off, and a large cut to the abdomen area.

    Darrell Mayen, Jr. gets 8 years for attempted murder
    Darrell Mayen Jr., 22, has been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment after he was convicted of the attempted murder of Rafael Caceres, a 32-year-old tour guide, by Justice Troadio Gonzalez in a trial without jury on Friday, February 12. Mayen was accused of trying to kill Rafael Caceres back in August of 2010. The incident occurred on August 21, 2010, at the corner of Woodpecker Street and Fabers Road. Caceres was shot at several times but only one shot caught him in the back. The bullet left him crippled for life but he survived. During the trial, Caceres testified that he had just left a Chinese shop and was heading home walking on Woodpecker Street when he realized that someone was behind him. When he looked back he saw Mayen pointing a gun at him from a distance of seven to eight feet. Caceres began to run and Mayen opened fire. As he tried to jump over a fence, Caceres said he felt a burning sensation and knew that he had been shot. He fell to the ground and while he was lying there Mayen stood over him and fired four more shots at him. Caceres was able to positively identify Mayen as his shooter that day.

    Tyrone Myers Accused of Burglary
    Tyrone Myers, 26, has been charged with one count of burglary after police lifted his finger prints from the home of Matthias Mariano, which was broken into on February 1, 2016. According to police report, between 8:15 and 9:15 p.m. on Monday, February 1, Mariano’s home at #4135 Curassow Street was burglarized and his Samsung cellular phone was stolen. CIB scenes of crime personnel visited the area and fingerprints were lifted from the scene. They matched that of Tyrone Myers who was later arrested and charged with burglary.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks in basketball finals for third straight year
    The 2016 National Elite Basketball League will commence its championship round, which will utilise the best of three format on Friday 29th April, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium between the top seed in this year’s competition, the Smart Belize Hurricanes and the two- time defending champions the San Pedro Tiger Sharks. On Thursday 21st April, out at the University of Belize Gymnasium in the City of Belmopan, the two- time defending champions, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks defeated the number two seed into the playoffs the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 58-55. The top scorers for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks were Tyrone Edwards who experienced his best offensive game this year, when he scored 19 points, 4 assists and 3 steals; Gene Myvett contributed 11 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 assists; Andrew Ortiz who scored 10 points and had 12 rebounds.

    C-Ray held cycling event
    The C-Ray Cycling club in conjunction with Smart held a cycling race on Sunday 24th April, 2016. The race commenced and concluded in front of Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the George Price Highway. The Elite Race started at 8:00 am where some 30 cyclists travelled to mile 35 and then back to Leslie’s Imports. In the elite category, the first rider to cross the finish line was Giovanni Lovell of Digicell 4G Elite. Lovell received $350.00 for his first place finish. The second rider to cross the finish line was Henry Moriera of Smart and he received $250.00, third place went to Tarique Flowers of Benny’s Megabytes and he received $150.00 for his prize, fourth place went to Phillip Leslie of Benny’s Megabytes and he received $100.00 while fifth place went to David Henderson of Benny’s Megabytes and he received $75.00 for his prize. The other finishers in the elite category included Joel Borland of Digicell 4G Elite and he was followed by Erwin Middleton also of Digicell 4G Elite, and he was followed by Quinton Hamilton who is unattached and he was followed by Angel Tzib of BECOL and then by Mark Staine of Smart.

    Farron Louriano National Elite Basketball League regular season Most Valuable Player
    The National Elite Basketball League has released the names of the players who have captured the Individual Awards during the 2016 Season. The league’s top scorer was Farron Louriano from the Smart Belize Hurricanes who averaged 21.48 points per game. The leading rebounder was Macario Augustine from the Dangriga Warriors and he grabbed 14.46 rebounds per game. Gene Myvett from the San Pedro Tiger Sharks captured the Most Assists title, and his total is 4.67 assists per game. The Coach of the Year award went to Dangriga Warriors’ Matthew Smiling, while Macario Augustine was also named the Defensive Player of the Year. The Rookie of the Year award went to Smart Belize Hurricanes’ Glency Lopez. The prestigious Most Valuable Player Award for the regular seas went to Farron Louriano of the Smart Belize Hurricanes.

    Muslim Community girls and St. John’s Primary boys won Belize City Primary Schools Softball
    The 2015-2016 Belize City Primary Schools Softball competition came to an end on Monday 25th April, 2016, with the championship game in both the girls’ and boys’ competition. In the girls’ championship game, Muslim Community School edged out St. Luke Methodist School by the score of 5-4. The winning pitcher was Misty Ciego and the losing pitcher was Samantha Foreman. In the boys’ championship game, St. John’s Primary School defeated St. Luke Methodist School by the score of 10-3. The winning pitcher was Maleek Wagner and the losing pitcher was Christopher Hower. On Thursday 21st April, three games in the semi-final round were played at the Rogers Stadium. In the first of two games in the girls’ competition, Muslim Community School eliminated Central Christian School by the score of 24-4. The winning pitcher was Misty Ciego and the losing pitcher was Leonelli Sedacy.

    Crooked Tree Government School girls and St. Luke Methodist School boys capture Belize District Primary Schools Softball title
    The 2015-2016 Belize District Primary Schools Softball competition came to an end on Wednesday 27th April, 2016, at Rogers Stadium with the championship being played in both the girls and boys competition. In the girls’ championship game, Crooked Tree Government School defeated Belize Rural Primary School by the score of 5-2 to re-capture the Belize District Primary Schools Softball Title. The winning pitcher for Crooked Tree Government School was Amanda Gillett while the losing pitcher was Sandy Moody. In the first game played, Crooked Tree Government School won over Muslim Community School by the score of 10-8. The winning pitcher was Kyra Gillett and the losing pitcher was Misty Ciego. In game two, Belize Rural Primary School defeated St. Luke Methodist School by the score of 6-1. The winning pitcher was Sandy Moody and the losing pitcher was Samantha Foreman.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    African, Caribbean and Pacific Group issues resolution on Belize-Guatemala dispute
    The Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) issued a resolution today in support of Belize as it relates to the recent tensions with Guatemala as a result of the death of a Guatemalan minor who was shot by the […]

    Two Guatemalan nationals murdered in suspected drug transaction
    Details are only starting to emerge and information is still hard to come by but reports from Benque Viejo del Carmen indicate that two men, both Guatemalan nationals, were shot to death a short time ago in a suspected drug transaction gone bad. Breaking […]

    Interview cancelled by Guatemalan press after Wil Maheia refuses to do it on Guatemalan soil
    According to information reaching our news room, an interview with Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) and Orlando De La Fuente of the Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV) was cancelled by Guatemalan news reporters this morning. Maheia stated that the interview with Guatemala’s […]

    Mainly fair, warm and dry weather prevails
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with cloudy spells 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 […]

    Blogs

    A Trip Up To Camp: Cayo Frances Farm & Fly – Dogs and SUPs
    Yesterday I headed up to camp. The almost-open Cayo Frances Farm & Fly Fishing camp on the leeward side of the island. Not just a farm, not just a fly fishing hang-out but a beautiful spot for reading, camp fires, hammock lounging, sunsets, star gazing, S’mores and now SUPs and kayaks. (My overnight trip.) Up past “Secret Beach” and passing the gorgeous sand bars to a little cut in the mangroves- an entrance to the huge Cayo Frances lagoon. We pulled up to the dock and unloaded. And I went over to admire the new paddle boards and kayaks. And they boards to admire…good grief they are gorgeous. Made by the company, Boteboards. Many set up for fishing…some just for paddling. What a super fun way to go out into the lagoon or out to one of the sandbars for lounging.

    He was emaciated and scared...meeting Kamal
    The first time I held Kamal was on January 28, 2016. He was a young spider monkey confiscated from the illegal pet trade, and estimated to be about eight months old, very similar in age to Cas, the other young spider monkey in the Primate Rehabilitation Centre at Wildtracks. During my first two and a half months at Wildtracks, before Kamal arrived, I was a part of the six-person Nurseryteam caring for Cas and the other nursery monkeys. Cas was thriving at Wildtracks, learning new life skills and gaining more confidence every day. After working with Cas, meeting Kamal the day after his confiscation was a shock - he was emaciated, scared, and extremely confused. He had a bad case of scabies that left him with no hair on his tail, arms, and legs, and a bloated belly from worms. It is very hard to put the experience into words. He felt fragile, weak, and uncomfortable. He was nothing but skin and bones. During the initial transfer from Emma (who provided the first hours of care for him) to me, he was very upset. He settled after a few minutes, but every new movement I made was unsettling for him. The good news, however, was that he had been removed from the environment that had resulted in his condition, and he could now begin his recovery.

    Mayan Temples of Belize - A Short Guide
    The Mayan Civilization dates as far back as 2,600 BC, making the Maya people the oldest ethnic group in Belize. This ancient civilization is regarded for their highly developed writing system, sophisticated calendar, and elaborate architecture. One of the most recognizable and unique accomplishments of the Mayas are the structures found at Mayan Sites across Belize. These sites were once ceremonial and administrative centers, which featured plazas, ball courts, market places, and large temples used in various ancient ceremonies and practices. Today, they are frequented by locals and visitors who explore the now uninhabited location, learn about the history of the Mayas that once occupied the area, and of course, ascend atop the Mayan Temples. But, before someone ventures up one of these temples, it’s advised to be well-prepared for the adventure. Exploring Mayan Temples can prove to be challenging without the proper footwear. It’s recommended to wear a comfortable, yet durable pair of sneakers. Cool, light clothing are ideal options for all the exploration that will be done. Don’t forget to keep hydrated with a refreshing bottle of water. Packing fly repellent is a wise choice, considering the proximity to the Belizean jungle. Additionally, don’t forget to bring along your camera to record your journey. There are approximately 20 excavated Mayan Sites, with hundreds estimated to remain undiscovered. If you are not sure which Mayan Site to visit, here’s a list of several sites definitely worth exploring on your journey across Belize.

    International Sourcesizz

    OAS to conduct independent investigation into death of Guatemalan minor in Belize adjacency zone
    WASHINGTON, USA -- The Organization of American States (OAS) will conduct, at the request of the governments of Belize and Guatemala, an independent investigation of the April 20 incident that led to the death of the Guatemalan minor Julio René Alvarado Ruano and in which his father and brother were wounded. The secretary general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, after receiving formal requests from both governments, confirmed to authorities from the two countries that he will proceed immediately with the identification and deployment of the appropriate experts to carry out the investigation as soon as possible. At the request of both sides, the investigation will be carried out independently from the work of verification taking place at this time.

    Belize at the New Orleans Jazz Festival
    What an incredible week this has been! After more than 6 months working with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to bring more than 50 Belizean artists and musicians to perform at this year's festival, I'm so proud and happy to see the warm reception our artists have been getting each time they've taken the stage. Thank you Jazz Fest!!! Thank you New Orleans!!! Looking forward to another great weekend of music!

    The legacy of Deepwater Horizon
    In Belize, not long after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, it was discovered that the government had made massive oil exploration concessions throughout Belizean waters, including areas inside natural monuments, marine reserves and national parks. Offshore drilling in Belize would threaten the country’s seven World Heritage Sites and the Belizean Barrier Reef, part of the second largest reef system in the world. In 2011, Oceana co-founded the Belize Coalition to Save Our National Heritage – an alliance that included 40 different groups. The Coalition collected and delivered 18,000 signatures to the Governor General’s office calling for a referendum on offshore drilling and exploration. When its petition was denied, the coalition instead organized an election of their own. The resultant “People’s Referendum” brought out more than 30,000 Belizeans, and 95 percent of them opposed offshore drilling. Unable to ignore public pressure, the government announced last December that it intended to impose a permanent ban on offshore oil exploration along the Belizean barrier reef system and within the country's seven World Heritage Sites.

    New addition at Primitive Designs
    In 2015, Rhonda and Ron Dacey took on a personal project in Caye Caulker, Belize – a place that is near and dear to their family's heart. The project is called Little Stars and it is to support the only affordable pre-school on the island. The principal is a single parent who often covers expenses out of pocket for the pre-school, and it is severely underfunded - meaning that they do not have money to cover daily expenses, and that often students go without daily necessities like food or water. The money raised for the project has been covering renovations on the bathroom, playground, interior, water systems and more - making it a beautiful staple piece on the island and bringing attention to much needed action in the area.

    CARICOM Countries Seeks Ways to Strengthen Social Security
    Countries within the region are strategizing ways to ensure sustainability of their respective social security schemes. Minister of Labour and National Insurance, and Minister of the Public Service, the Hon. Shane Gibson, said Wednesday that he was happy the agenda of the 27th CARICOM Heads of Social Security Meeting would focus on advancing social security in the Caribbean. Minister Gibson was delivering the keynote address at the forum, which takes place April 27-29 at Atlantis, Paradise Island. Participating Countries, including The Bahamas, are Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, The British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Christopher & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, and the Turks & Caicos Islands. The meeting also takes into account the global trends in social security and how these fit within the region, and at a national level.

    Disaster Risk Reduction in the Caribbean
    In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution or a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them. It is often espoused by some liberal economists and social scientists that the advent of a disaster should be viewed as positive – destruction can lead to an economic boom as it provides the government with an opportunity to spend more money in rebuilding efforts; thus stimulating the local economy. Simply put, although disasters cause widespread destruction, it can mean a burst of activity and revenue in the short term. However, as articulated by Frederic Bastiat, it is that which is not seen, particularly in the long term, which determines economic equilibrium.

    10 Caribbean Nations Where U.S. Nationals Will Pay Less For Health Care
    1: Belize. In Belize you will pay 97 percent less for health care according to World Health Organization data. Per capita public and private health expenditures combined in Belize are USD 259.50 while The United States spends $8,895.10. However, you could die 11 years sooner since data shows the life expectancy at birth in Belize is 68 while in The United States it is 79.

    Fortis Inc Has Another Very Strong Trading Session
    The stock of Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) is a huge mover today! The stock increased 2.34% or $0.91 on April 28, hitting $39.88. About 1.05 million shares traded hands or 14.29% up from the average. Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) has risen 6.91% since September 22, 2015 and is uptrending. It has underperformed by 0.93% the S&P500. The move comes after 6 months positive chart setup for the $11.37 billion company. It was reported on Apr, 29 by Barchart.com. We have $67.00 PT which if reached, will make TSE:FTS worth $7.73B more.

    Videos

  • Wagerirate Drummers in the Belize tent at New Orleans Jazz Festival, 5min.

  • Dive 3 - Esmeralda Canyons, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 12min.

  • Belize 2016, 15min. Spring Break Study Abroad Trip UW-River Falls (All songs but the last one are from the mix tape of a Rasta man I met in Belize)

  • Diving The Great Blue Hole, 21min. The complete dive. Keep watching the ascent for some sharks that circle us from the abyss.

  • Rihanna is played 24/7 in Belize, 1/2min.

  • Diving at Roberts Grove, Placencia Belize, 2016, 5.5min.

  • 2016 International Dinner Preview, 1min. A preview of this years Society of International Students at VSU dinner presentation with our hosts Alexandra Mejia and Merdan Meredov. As a fellow international student from Belize I must say it was fun being part of this years dinner.

  • B E L I Z E, 6min.

  • Belize ziprafting 038, 4min.

  • WACP.tv: Early in the Mourning - Feat Red Fox, San Antonio Village, Belize, 17min. There is so much to see and know about Belize and the villages therein. This video will give you an idea of the life of ordinary everyday Belizeans... ENJOY!

  • SNORKELING BELIZE - BeautyLovesTech #CarnivalCruise #GoPro, 4min. This video covers mainly the snorkeling part of our visit. We had fun snorkeling and the tour guide was really nice. It was my second time using my GoPro Hero underwater, and I have to admit it's not that easy to take underwater video that looks nice and smooth. There are a lot of fun things to do in Belize, like snorkeling, skuba diving, a nice beach, restaurants. We would recommend it for a nice combination of everything, all in one stop.

  • Belize, 4min.

  • Mike & Stu Fishing Adventure (GoFish Belize), 4min.

  • King Fishers (GoFish Belize), 57min.

  • Currents of Belize (GoFish Belize), 26min.

  • Our Belize Adventure 2016, 33min. Belize is an amazing country found in Central America and we were fortunate enough to get to explore it. From zip-lining and cave tubing to eating termites and riding sharks...we did it all! We hope you enjoy watching our adventures in Belize.

  • Bottom Reef in Belize, 1.5min.

  • Belize Bird Rescue, 1.5min. Here is the release footage of our biggest flock so far - 28 white-fronts! Most of them have been with us since 2014, when they came in as babies with clipped wings. They are former captive parrots that have been liberated from the illegal pet trade. They were transferred for release over a period of 3 weeks and each group spent a few days in pre-release before joining the rest of their flock. Many of them are already paired up - reports indicate that they're doing well!

    April 28, 2016


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    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

    1st KWKC international course hosted in San Pedro
    On Saturday, April 23rd, ‘Keller Williams Kids Can’ (KWKC) hosted its first ever international course in San Pedro Town. Over thirty registered participants, ages 18 and over, gathered at Banyan Bay’s Conference Room, for the “QL: A World Changer Mindset” course. The free, six-hour course was powered by Gary Keller’s Quantum Leap and aimed at empowering those in attendance by inspiring big thinking, model wealth, building and instilling a passion for generous giving. Keller, a successful real estate entrepreneur and co-founder of Keller Williams Realty (KWR) in the United States and now here in Belize, created the educational non-profit organization ‘KWKC’. Designed to inspire young adults to reach their optimum potential and help them create powerful habits that allow them to live a life of intention, Keller’s course provided a wealth of information for island youth. Attendees also learned from qualified real-estate agent at KWR, Margot Weatherford, of Charleston, South Carolina USA, who was the international guest instructor for the course. An eight-chapter workbook was given out to all attendees, and topics such as the science of success, a quantum leap, a wealthy life, maximizing potential, balancing life’s routine, goal-setting, funding the life you desire, and the rules of money were covered. Each participant learned to create a personalized success strategy for each participant.

    Students join Oceana to celebrate Mother Earth
    The 46th celebration of Earth Day took place on April 22nd and not only was it a day of celebration, but also a reminder of the on-going environmental issues that occur worldwide. In honor of the worthy celebration, students participated in a parade commencing at the Central Park. Under the theme, “We Only Have One Earth to Share”, the community came together with demonstrating support for the environment and appreciation of Mother Earth. Students shouted “Happy Earth Day” and proudly held posters that reflected positive environmental messages. Many of them represented trees and others were advocating the importance of recycling. Leading the parade was Oceana’s Ambergris Caye representative, Roxanna Perez Gentle, who explained the background and the meaning of celebrating the cause. Earth Day was founded following a massive-oil spill that occurred in Santa Barbara, California USA in 1969. In 1970, Gaylord Nelson established the day for individuals across the world to become aware of the importance of keeping our planet clean and healthy. “This day plays a significant role on how our society perceives the planet and what we can do to prevent adding on to the damage that is has already been done,” said Gentle.

    Ambergris Today

    Destination Belize Reveals New Magazine Theme
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), and McNab Publishing Ltd., hosted a mixer on April 25, 2016 at Belize Biltmore Plaza to unveil the NEW Destination Belize magazine theme and the winners of the ‘Capture the Cover’ photo competition. The business community, members of the BTIA and other key stakeholders and industry partners gathered as representatives from BTIA, BTB and McNab Publishing Ltd. uncovered the signature publications’ rebranding strategy, industry updates and developments for the upcoming Destination Belize publication. As President of the BTIA, Mr. Osmany Salas opened the event by welcoming all in attendance and highlighting the future of the NEW and improved Destination Belize signature publication. The Belize Tourism Board’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Ms. Karen Pike shared insight on the growth and importance of the tourism industry and the great significance of marketing Belize using the best marketing platforms.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Cornflake Crusted French Toast
    In a pie pan, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, half the sugar, and half the cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate pie pan, stir together the almonds and breadcrumbs with the rest of the sugar and cinnamon. Use a fork to stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter so that the crumbs are slightly moist. Set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the rest of the melted butter over medium-low heat. One by one, dunk the bread in the egg mixture (turning to coat), then lay them in the dish with the bread crumbs, turning them over and pressing them gently so that they stick and totally cover the surface.

    Marie Sharp Inducted in Hot Sauce Hall of Fame 2016
    Belize’s very own Legendary Queen of Habanero Sauce, Marie Sharp, was presented with a most prestigious award and induction Into the New York City Hot Sauce Hall of Fame for 2016 at The New York City Hot Sauce Expo in Brooklyn New York on April 23 & 24. Marie Sharp proudly received a beautiful red jacket commemorating the occasion, as well as a class ring engraved with her name and year -2016. Marie Sharp was extremely honored not only for being the only female entrepreneur to receive this award and recognition, but also because she was the only foreign candidate to have been selected for the New York City Hot Sauce Hall of Fame!! Marie Sharp creator and founder of Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods in Dangriga, Belize, continues to be recognized both locally and internationally for her production of a spectacular selection of pepper sauces.

    Mother's Day 2016 in San Pedro
    Don't miss out on this year's Mother's Day 2016 Extravaganza!

    BDF officially receives helicopters from Taiwan
    It costs about $3,000 to $4,000 per hour to run one of these iron birds.

    Belize Screen on the Green in Dangriga
    Belize Screen on the Green is happening tomorrow night in Dangriga! Hope to see everyone there!!!

    March 2016 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
    MARCH: During the month of March 2016, Belize imported goods valued at $163.4 million, falling by 6.7 percent or $11.7 million from the $175.1 million imported in March of 2015. The ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ category was the primary contributor to the month’s decline in imports, dropping by a substantial $10 million, almost half of what was reported for the comparable month in 2015. The ongoing trend of lower purchasing price for fuel, combined with the fact that no premium fuel was imported, drove the month’s significant decrease. Likewise, imports of ‘Manufactured Goods’ and ‘Other Manufactures’ fell notably within the month, by $5.5 million and $2 million, respectively. While the latter was the result of reduced imports of steel, carton boxes and cement, the former was due to reduced purchases of jewelry and prefabricated steel buildings. Additionally, owing largely to the continued drop in shrimp feed imports, goods destined for the ‘Export Processing Zones’ fell by $1 million for the month.
    The Consumer Price Index for the month of March stood at 102.9, up 0.1 percent from 102.7 in March 2015. This is a continuation of the trend observed since January 2016 when the first increase in the inflation rate was recorded after over a year of decrease. For the first quarter of this year inflation rate is slowly decreasing from a high of 0.4 percent in January. Within the “Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages” category, the prices of “Food” recorded an increase of 1.6 percent. This was largely due to increases in fruits (4.4%), eggs (8.2%), sugar (29.5%), beef and veal (16.5%) and pork (5.5%).On the other hand, red kidney beans continued to reflect a decrease of 14.5 percent.

    BHA Board of Directors Retreat
    The BHA Board of Directors are presently sequestered at Hidden Valley Inn, in Cayo, for an intense two day workshop, to determine the direction of the Belize Hotel Association for the next few years. The main focus is to create a strategic plan for the years 2017 through 2019, that will catapult the Association and its members, to the forefront of our tourism industry in Belize. Marketing strategies for the upcoming years are paramount in these discussions, seeing that the main focus of the BHA is to provide the greatest value for our members and their clients. A revision of the BHA constitution/ By-laws is also being done, and amendments will be made, in a manner to best serve our members needs and interests while preserving the integrity of the organization. A report of the discussions and decisions made at the retreat, as well as the three year marketing and strategic plan, will be discussed at the upcoming Belize Hotel Association AGM which is scheduled for June 30, 2016.

    Babysitter wanted on Caye Caulker
    Babysitter needed starting May 4th for 2 days a week for 5 weeks starting from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. then babysitter will be needed permanently starting the end of July. Babysitting will be done at the parent's residence. Mature female preferred. Send me a private message and i will provide you with the contact information. Serious Inquires only.

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of April 17th – April 23td, 2016
    Another fantastic permit week here in northern Belize. With good weather like this the guides can promise shots at all three species, all year round. BONEFISH BONEFISH… Jeff from Seattle landed 40 in a day and came home an hour early to boot! Several first ever bonefish were caught with Carl, Gary, and Tim collecting their first El Pescador bonefish awards, bonefish seemed like the appetizer served to many guests just to wet their appetites for a try at permit and tarpon!

    Belize Choral Society presents Music: Let it Be!
    The Belize Choral Society presents their end of season concert!! With big hits like "Over the Rainbow", "Let it be" and many more, we aim to provide you with excellent performances, great music, and a night full of fun for the entire family! Tickets can be bought from any of the Choral Society members, or call 637-3294. Cost: $20.00 per person

    Convicted Criminal and Belizean, Budna Beaten in Guatemalan Prison
    Joseph Budna, a Belizean with arrests on both sides of the border for drug trafficking, kindapping, escape etc...was beaten at a Guatemalan prison for revenge for the death of the Guatemalan child that died during a shooting incident on the Belize side of the border. Budna is serving time in Quetzaltenango. The incident left five people injured and three of them were transferred to be treated for stab wounds. According to the prison officials it was a fight among prisoners of sector 5, against Joseph Budna. They allege that a dozen prisoners beat Budna in retaliation to what happened a few days ago in the border area.

    Belize VS. Guatemala Mixed Martial Arts
    7 fighters of Prevail MMA will take part in the Belize VS. Guatemala Mixed Martial Arts at the Belize Elementary Auditorium on Saturday, April 30th at 7p.m. They join the BDF's 50 Cal Ramirez in a night of kicks, punches and tap outs. Tickets available at House of Shotokan on Princess Margaret Drive.

    Land burned for corn
    This is what we are up against. This was cleared and burned for corn. The land is mostly limestone, very little soil. They may get one crop from this land, and then, nothing, for many years.... In the meantime, all the ecosystem services have been compromised. No carbon sequestration, soil creation, soil retention, soil moisture retention, compromised habitat.

    Schofield House to be demolished for new construction
    Schofield House about to be brought down for construction of a cement house for the Nuns. We are asking for donations of construction supplies or monetary. The house can be saved, since it is a colonial building, but it needs lots of repairs. Rat bats are our biggest problem. There're several houses in Corozal that are landmark and needs attention . It's a shame to destroy those structure.

    Belizean Sista protest
    Belizean Sista, Elsie Felix-Edmunds, has been in contact since last week with BREDAA about her protest everyday if possible against the Guatemalan military aggression against Belize on the Sarstoon, and the recent psychological warfare of amassing troops on the Belizean border that was orchestrated by Guatemalan president, Jimmy Morales, in using fear as a weapon against the people of Belize at home and abroad. This is a very dynamic Belizean Sista and her daughter who has shown already on Wednesday, April 26, 2016, that she will stand her ground to protest at the Guatemalan Consulate in Los Angeles, the Guatemalan military aggression against Belize. She spoke to Belizean Legends by telephone today that she won many friends for Belize's cause from Guatemalans, Americans, Ethiopians, Phillipinos, and other Belizeans on her stand for Belize's self- determination and freedom to exist as a nation and people without Guatemalan provocation and intimidation of Belize and the country of Belize.

    Mr. Gaspari Cordova completes Humphrey Fellowship
    The U.S. Embassy and the Belize Alumni Association would like to congratulate Mr. Gaspari Cordova on the successful completion of his Humphrey Fellowship at Penn State! We look forward to your return to Belize to see what you've learned put into action! Congratulations!!!! Job well done!!! Gaspari is pictured in the far right of this photo with the rest of his Penn State Humphrey cohort.

    Belize Alumni Association meeting
    The Belize Alumni Association met today to discuss the goals of the association and elect official board members. Great work today! We look forward to future events and activities hosted by this great new organization!

    Channel 7

    Guardian On Trial For "Witchcraft" Reference
    2 weeks ago, we took you to the Supreme Court where the PUP's Former Secretary General Myrtle Palacio was suing Alfonso Noble over an article printed in the Guardian back in December of 2014. Palacio is suing for libel due to that article, headlined "PUP Secretary General Endorses the Use of Witchcraft in Politics". Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin heard all the evidence in the case, including video evidence from the Defense which they say is justification for the "fair comment" angle they took when they criticized Palacio. Palacio asserts that her character and her culture as respected member of the Garifuna community was maligned, Noble and the Guardian Newspaper's attorney say that her interpretation is incorrect. A significant portion of the trial appeared to put obeah on trial, but today's hearing was for the attorneys to examine the evidence presented. It's a hotly contested lawsuit and in the oral arguments, both Said Musa and Michael Young put their own spin on the case. When the 2 hour hearing was over we spoke with both sides.

    It's Official, OAS Will Investigate
    The OAS today formally announced that it will launch an investigation into the fatal shooting of 13 year old Guatemalan Julio Alvarado. It happened 7 days ago about half a kilometre into Belize, and both Guatemala and Belize have asked the OAs to investigate. OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, announced in a press release today that that, quote "he will proceed immediately with the identification and deployment of the appropriate experts to carry out the investigation as soon as possible." The release says that the investigation will independent of the verification which is currently taking place. Today, the Commander of the BDF told the press that he is confident that the location, and the circumstances of the shooting will vindicate his soldiers:.. Jules Vasquez: "How sound are we on certifying that location and that it happened after nightfall?"

    BDF Commander Not Intimidated By Guat Troop Buildup
    Today's OAS press release ended with the OAS Secretary General calling on both sides to, quote, "redouble the confidence building measures in place to prevent future confrontations or situations that could put at risk the peace and stability between the two countries." But while the OAS churns out its now familiar peace-keeping platitudes with clockwork regularity, the reality on the ground is that 500 additional Guatemalan Troops have been deployed to the 35 communities adjacent to Belize's western border. That's 500 more than the 500 which were there, making it one thousand total. And while it may sound intimidating, the BDF Commander says that may actually increase the peace:.. Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander - BDF: "Having their soldiers over on their side is not of concern to us because it actually will help our cause in stopping their people from coming over. They've deployed in the area but they are operating in their side of the border. So we are operating in Belize, they are operating in Guatemala. They've expressed that they're going to try and ascertain information what's happening along all those communities and this will be a move that may assist us because it will assist them in trying to stop their people from coming over because that's the root cause or the problem."

    What General Will Tell Wil
    And while the General isn't particularly concerned with the Guatemalan troop build-up along the Belize Guatemala western border, he is concerned about Wil Maheia and the Territorial Volunteers going down the Sarstoon on Saturday. The General, along with the Coast Guard Commander and Foreign Affairs staff are meeting with Maheia on Thursday. He told us what his message to will be:… Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander - BDF: "Well we're trying to go and appeal to him in regards to reason. We are aware of his passion, we are aware of his patriotism but I believe that reasoning and logic in regards to the issues that have been evolving due to the shooting incident he would be able to listen to us. We are not going to stop Belizeans, we are not going to stop him, we're just going to try and ask him and reason for him to give us an opportunity to try and workout the situation peacefully. Details of that interview or meeting will come out based on the question he has and I believe we will be able to convince him but it's up to him. If we can unit and joining together as one nation it's going to be the best but if we have different people, different organisations opposing each other we're not going to solve the issue."

    Alleged Government Pension Fraudster Gets Off Free
    By now, you may not even remember that back in 2009, 291 thousand dollars went missing from the Treasury Department. That was 7 years ago, and today, the 3 women accused, 31 year old Monica Escarpeta, 34 year old Rhea Pennill and 60 year old Yvonne Bevans all got off theft and handling stolen goods charges. That happened in the court room of Justice Troadio Gonzalez It was alleged that between September and May of 2009, Escarpeta stole $291,022 while she was working as a pension clerk at the Treasury Department. This was done allegedly by issuing bogus pension checks for deceased persons and others. Pennill was charged with handling stolen goods for $151,967. Bevans was also charged with handling stolen goods for $12,472. During the trial, the prosecution conceded that there was no case to answer for Pennill and Bevans, and so the charges against both were discontinued.

    The BDF Christens Choppers
    Ever since the British Army Training Support Unit, BATSUB pulled put of Belize in 2011, the BDF has been without helicopter support. IT's a major vacuum in operations – and it has meant many man hours lost to arduous and dangerous jungle treks to get to remote border outposts such as Rio Blanco. But, in 2014, the BDF set out on a search for its own helicopters, and today that dream was realized with the support of the Taiwanese Government. 7News was at the Price Barracks Headquarters to witness it, and to take the first flight:.. Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander - BDF: "The sky will indeed be the limit with our new acquired assets."

    Shots Rang Out At Noon In City
    A brazen midday shooting today sent down town city shoppers scrambling for safety. It happened around 11 this morning at the corner of Orange and George Streets. As you may know Orange Street is one of the busiest commercial zones of down town Belize City and is also one of the main arteries that lead to the centre of town. But amidst the hustle and bustle of a normal day at this commercial epicentre, a gunman was lurking, and out of nowhere, he began shooting. His intended target got away with nothing but a graze, according to our sources. And fortunately no passers-by were injured. Police believe that the gunman arrived in a vehicle that rushed him away after missing his target. And while they believe the incident is the product of gang rivalry, the Officer Commanding South Side Division would not tell us who the two groups involved are for fear of further escalations. However he claims they are making major progress in this investigation.

    City Stable After Shiny Slaying
    And so while police prepare to charge three men for this brazen midday shooting - has the city gone back to normal, since the shooting death of Gerald "Shiny" Tillett? As soon as that murder occurred ACP Chester Williams engaged several heads of refuted gangs in Belize City in preventative meetings. So have his efforts worked at stemming retaliation? ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Yes we had anticipated that the death of Shiny would have caused an increase in shooting activities in Belize City and like you would have seen the night he was killed, there was an escalation shooting incidents in Belize City. But we had acted very swiftly through our interventions and through our patrols and operations to move into the respective gang areas and see how best we can assist in trying to bring the situation under control and I think that we have been successful in reaching out to the different gangs. I was out of the country for a week but prior to my departure I had myself and Ms. Finnegan did an intervention with the main players from the George Street gang and they assured us that they will not be retaliating and that they too want to resolve the issue, they want peace and we hold them to their word."

    Police Working To Get Kids Away From Gangs
    So while ACP Chester Williams has established a proper means of communication with several gang bosses, the other side of that same issue are those young gang sympathizers, or "Gun Toddlers," as Williams calls them. They aren't as easy to find, but Williams says they are working on it: ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Often times they recruit these little young ones, the gun toddlers who for some reason or the other, they cannot control and so that causes some of the little pockets who I would normally referred to as sympathizers, to be out there trying to create mischief. We will never be 100% confident that they'll be no further retaliation as a result of the death of Shiny. We must understand that several persons, there are several groups out there who I must say were very connected with them and those persons may want to act in his name. But my thing to them is that you know if you want to do something in the name of Gerald Tillet, do something that is good, do something that is productive. He has children he has left behind, try to see how you can assist in raising those kids rather than being out there killing his name."

    Kids Curfew Collared 30
    And in line with the topic of at-risk youths, Williams says the Kids' curfew has picked up 30 youths, between the ages of 12 to 16 since it was launched last month. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "I must say that we're working cohesively with the Human Services Department on the issue of child curfew. The matter is going well, we continue to bring in these young people off the streets and whenever they are caught we would normally get the Human Services people in, they are on call and I must say they have been very good in responding. We get the parent and deal with the matter then at the end of that session then the people from Human Services decide whether or not they will send the child home with the parent or if they will look for alternative accommodation for the child for the rest of the night. But I must say it has been going quite well and I will applaud them for the effort that they are now putting in to ensure that the curfew issue be successful."

    Justice And The Indigenous
    When the topic of indigenous people arises, it usually centers on the Maya and Garifuna communities and their land rights issues. Well, a group from the Canadian funded project entitled IMPACT Justice has organized a 3 day conference at the Biltmore. The main objective is to bring these groups together to discuss a way forward. The Regional Project Director, Professor Velma Newton explained that these same challenges the indigenous people of Belize face are common all across the region and there are ways to solve them. But Newton told us that all IMPACT Justice can do is open up the conversation. We also spoke to representatives from both the Maya and Garifuna communities and they told us how significant this conversation is. Prof. Velma Newton - Regional Director, IMPACT Justice: "As you see the indigenous people of the region they have similar issues and the attitudes of governments have not been this similar in that what the indigenous people are claiming certain rights that they have exercised memorial. One could say that they've been moves to kind of limit those rights when it comes to development of land. So we are hoping that this conference will lead to greater understanding especially since as you've heard in the Justice Burcher's speech that was read by Professor McNeal. These issues are reason elsewhere and they've found ways of not only dealing with whether or not the claims of indigenous people are legitimate; either in terms of history, in terms of human rights but they've also found a way of solving the same issues in various ways. What we can do, they said bring people together and let them discuss and if there any studies they want us to do, we can help with those but primarily it's for the group and the governments to sit down and decide what is best for everyone."

    Maya Rights Issues Still Pending
    But there are several divisive issues threatening that vision of unity, including the Santa Cruz incident in which Rupert Myles was detained by an angry mob of villagers. The Maya residents of the village say Myles destroyed their sacred Uxbenka monument by constructing a driveway leading to his house. And then there's also the court fight between Jalacte residents and the Government of Belize over communal land rights. The Program Coordinator of the Maya Leaders Alliance and Toldeo Alcalde Association Pablo Mes told us that he hopes this conference will bring them closer to solving these conflicts. Pablo Mes - Programme Coordinator, Maya Leader Alliance: "I'm hoping that this forum will allow for us to be able to see with clarity that there are issues which we will have to develop a process to address immediately and there are processes which are more of a long term more of a broader engagement so being be able to perhaps go out of this meeting with some ideas as to how we might be able to put in place plans to address those two areas. You mentioned Jalacte, Santa Cruz, those are just two of the cases that we wanted nothing other than to sit down and settle these matters."

    Dispute Between Adjoining Maya And Garifuna Villages
    Now as Mes said, Santa Cruz and Jalacte are only 2 of many land conflicts. There is another ongoing issue in Toledo between the Garifuna community of Barranco and the neighbouring Maya community of Midway. The residents of Barranco are building a cultural monument a short distance away from Midway, but the Maya residents aren't too pleased about that because they say it is being built on their village lands. So the leaders from Midway Village sent a letter to the Barranco council urging, quote, "constructions be put to a stop immediately until both our villages meet to discuss the issue", end quote. Today Mis further discussed what the issue is in his perspective. Pablo Mes - Programme Coordinator, Maya Leader Alliance: "I want to make it very clear that a monument to honour the history, the legacy of the Garifuna people of Belize is something that we at any time will support. Unfortunately I believe that the letter that was send by Midway's leaders perhaps was understood out of context. You will realise that all these communities in the Toledo district, 39 of them to this date have not been able to get the support of government to define clearly the limits of their boundaries. Where any effort to define the territory of a community is present, of course it will require a process of negotiation between those two neighbours.

    Coro Cops Have Killer
    Corozal police are now one step closer to solving the murder of 43 year old Gilberto Najarro. The news today is that the alleged shooter has been arrested. However police are still not releasing any names because he has not been formally "charged". As we told you, on Sunday a father and a son threatened Najarro at a farm over a couple of stolen bicycles. The following day- Monday- the son returned and allegedly opened fire on Najarro killing him. The father had turned himself in, and today we are told that police have the son. Now they are waiting to do an ID parade to positively identify the shooter. They hope to have the alleged killer charged by tomorrow.

    Jazzfest Jump Up?
    Last night you saw the Garifuna Collective take the big stage at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and tonight you get to see part 2 of that story featuring the other bands: Sweet Pain and Brad Pattico. Here is how they represented Belize on the Cultural Pavilion Stage. And the New Orleans Feature series isn’t over yet - tune in tomorrow to see another aspect of Belize’s Cultural Pavilion presentation from Kechi Maya Harpists to Cassava Bread makers.

    NDACC Proceeding With PROCCER
    Today at the Radisson, 48 persons graduated from the Training and Certification Program for Drug and Violence Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation - or PROCCER - for short. It's a collaborative effort between the OAS, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, the Ministry of Health, and the National Drug Abuse Control Council. For the past few years, CICAD has been working to put trained staff in Drug Rehabilitation Centers and Violence Prevention programs in countries all around the Caribbean. Well, with today's Graduation, Belize's becomes the second Caribbean Country to become compliant with the goals of the PROCCER program. 7News was there at the Ceremony, and here's what the speakers from the head table had to say about the milestone:

    Modiri Says Paumen Has Other Options Than To Enter His Land
    In last night's news, we spoke with Director of Archaeology Dr. John Morris. He was discussing the latest Supreme Court ruling between the now famous Franks Eddy Village neighbors, Bradley Paumen and Michael Modiri. The two have been locked in both criminal and civil trials over their land issues. Additionally, there's a sinister criminal element as Paumen is accused of abetment to murder for allegedly orchestrating a plot to kill Modiri and 3 other persons, and the Supreme Court has ruled that the Government improperly acquired Modiri's land, which they claimed was for a public purpose. Paumen has built a road on a piece of Modiri's land, and he uses it to ferry his guests to the Dark Night Cave Tubing Tours, a venture in which he partners with NICH. The court says that he has trespassed, and is continuing to trespass on the land. And, in all our conversations with the Government Representatives, they tell us that both Paumen and Modiri are land locked in Franks Eddy - the suggestion being that the trespass is unavoidable.

    More Meeting, More Greeting
    Police in Belize City have done meet and greet sessions through the entire South Side – and now they are going back to places for the second time. Today, they were in the area near Arlington Drive for the second time, following up with residents. We tagged along. ACP Chester Williams says he has no intentions to stop the meet and greet sessions.

    Making Local Internet Move Faster
    And our first to last story tonight is one of the most important – and that's because it has a whole lot to do with your internet connection speed. All Belize's major internet service providers have come together to create a local internet switch which is housed at the UB Campus in Belize City. That means that all local web traffic will be routed through this switch. We found out what this will mean today:… This rack of equipment may not look like much, and if we say that all of it costs about a hundred grand, you might still not be impressed, but if we tell you that the key to Belize's internet future is stacked up right here, then maybe you'd start to get the sense of how important the Belize Internet Exchange Point is: Bevel Wooding - Packet Clearing House "There is an unfulfilled potential inside of Belize as it relates to development of local services that run on the local network that support local needs and those are the needs that we need to identify move forward with."

    Caring For Corozal
    Residents of the northern villages of San Pedro, Cristo Rey, Yo Chen, Patchakan, Chan Chen and the surrounding communities in Corozal are about the receive a new state of the art health Center. The project is being financed by the Government of Belize through a $700 thousand dollar loan with CDB. The health center will be equipped with rooms for consultation, examination, treatment, pharmacy, an asthma bay area and sterilizing room. Ground was broken today and Angel Campos Minister of State with responsibility for NHI, Primary Health and Clinics, underscored the importance: The facility is expected to be completed by December 2016.

    Channel 5

    A High-level Meeting to Dissuade BTV from Upcoming Sarstoon Trek
    Wil Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers are unyielding in their goal to return to the Sarstoon on Saturday where they plan to commemorate the hundred and fifty-seventh anniversary of [...]

    Guatemala’s Foreign Minister says BTV Expedition is an Act of Provocation
    Tonight, however, the BTV remains undeterred to travel to the Sarstoon over which the Guatemalans are exerting sovereignty and have deployed additional troops in the area. The B.D.F. believes the [...]

    Guatemala Will Complain to Inter-American Human Rights Court
    The strategy of the government of Guatemala following the shooting of thirteen-year-old Julio Alvarado Ruano is two-fold. It wants an investigation and for those responsible to be taken to trial. [...]

    Guatemalan Foreign Minister Says Crisis is not Over
    On Monday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow assured the nation that the crisis with Guatemala had been averted and that both he and President Jimmy Morales had agreed to de-escalate tensions [...]

    O.A.S. Investigation into Shooting of B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Still Hasn’t Concluded
    But back to Brigadier General David Jones…he said today that the investigation into the shooting of Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey remains ongoing, but unofficially, he’s been told that Lambey would [...]

    B.D.F. Commander Says Rules of Engagement for Chiquibul Patrol Remains Intact
    The rules of engagement for B.D.F. soldiers on patrol near the western and southern borders with Guatemala are a clear set of directives that each officer must follow.  They provide [...]

    O.A.S. Confirms Investigation into Shooting Death of Guatemalan Minor
    As we have reported, the Organization of American States has been the only organization to “repudiate” the death of the Guatemalan minor at the hands of the B.D.F. even before [...]

    First Test for ZIKA Returns from Caribbean Public Health Agency…
    The Ministry of Health confirms today that it has received the results of a first test of zika sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency. The sample sent to CARPHA [...]

    …Sample Comes Back Negative
    Even though, there is some comfort with the negative result of zika, the Ministry of health is proceeding with its protocols on how to prevent the vector borne disease. Doctor [...]

    San Ignacio Salesman Robbed and Shot in Belize City
    In the Old Capital last night, a salesman was shot, but survived the incident. Forty-one-year-old Zane Robinson, a resident of San Ignacio, was injured on Tuesday evening while conducting business [...]

    Former Pension Clerk Monica Escarpeta Freed of Embezzlement Charges
    A theft that occurred at the Treasury Department in a two year period between 2007 and 2009 landed three women before the court. The case against pension clerk, Monica Escarpeta, [...]

    A Belize City Butcher is Accused of Stealing from Meat Shop
    This morning, twenty-year-old Fernando Guerra, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for a charge of burglary.  The butcher is accused of stealing four knives, a fan, a meat [...]

    B.D.F. Helicopters Launched and Test Flown at Price Barracks
    After weeks of assembling and training of pilots, two helicopters were handed over to the B.D.F. today by the Government of Taiwan. The choppers will be used for evacuation and [...]

    IMPACT Justice Project Commences Three-day Conference in Belize
    The IMPACT Justice Project kicked off today with a three-day conference at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. It had the participation of indigenous people from the entire Caribbean including [...]

    A First-person Narrative from Father of Slain Guatemalan Minor
    The incident in which a Guatemalan minor was shot in the Chiquibul has gone viral, pushed by the highest officials in Guatemala and fueled by the Guatemalan press. At his [...]

    An Internet Hub to Expedite Local Online Traffic
    The Belize Internet Exchange Point, a coming together of internet service providers to create a local hub for the prompt and expedient exchange of online information, was launched today.  This [...]

    Health Workers and Law Enforcement Officers Complete Six-month Training
    Health workers as well as law enforcement officers have completed a six-month course on treatment, rehabilitation as well as on reduction of drug consumption among users. Among young people, there [...]

    CTV3

    Construction Of San Pedro/Cristo Rey Health Center Gets Undreway
    The Belize Social Investment Fund, (SIF) held ground-breaking ceremonies this morning for the construction of the San Pedro/Cristo Rey Health Center in Corozal. The health centre project is financed by the Government of Belize at an estimated cost of $700,000.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Ministry of Health Portfolio and is expected to be completed within a period of five to six months says Executive Director of Social Investment Fund William Lamb. William Lamb - Executive Director of Social Investment Fund: “This is part of a loan that the government has from the Caribbean Development Bank to implement this health center under the health portfolio, under that loan we had several portfolios and this is just one of the clinics that we are going to do in this district through this loan facility. We are having one in San Narciso Village, Chunox and Sarteneja, in those areas that are really far away from a Hospital or a Health Clinic and would provide that primary care that is needed in that area, we signed the contract with the contractor it supposed to start later this week or earlier as next week, we had the contract with E&M construction round about seven hundred thousand dollars and it should take about five to six months to be completed.”

    Does Life Sentence Mean Life Behind Bar For Sabido?
    Yesterday we told you about the case against Osmar Sabido that came to a conclusion after more than five years. After a very long judgment reading by Justice Herbert Lord, Sabido was found guilty of the murder of his then girlfriend Christie Carrasco and sentenced to life in prison. As you heard from Sabido’s attorney, Oscar Selgado, he is not satisfied with the verdict and believes there is grounds for an appeal. Now that is a decision that Sabido’s family will have to take and from what we understand are seriously considering.Here in Belize the law states that when an accused is found guilty of murder the sentence is life in prison. But does a life sentence automatically mean life behind bars without a chance of parole? Here is how Selgado puts it.

    Exports And Imports Continue To Decline
    The Statistical Institute of Belize today published its latest statistics on prices and external trade for the country of Belize. If we take a look at the consumer price index, the report shows that prices increased, on average, by 0.1 percent for the month of March 2016 as it stood at stood at 102.9, compared to 102.7 in March 2015. The increase in prices is a trend observed since January 2016 but for the first quarter of this year inflation rate is slowly decreasing from a high of 0.4 percent in January. The Food category recorded an increase of 1.6 percent largely due to a 4.4% increase in fruits, 8.2% in eggs, sugar 29.5% beef and veal 16.5% and pork 5.5%. On the other hand, red kidney beans continued to reflect a decrease of 14.5 percent.

    Police Detained The Man Who Believe Fatally Wounded Sarsenio
    Tonight Corozal Police believe to have in custody the man who fired at Gilberto Najarro Sarsenio several times thus claiming his life. While the name of the individual or where he was detained is yet to be released police confirmed to us that an ID parade is expected to take place tomorrow to ascertain if the detainee is indeed the man that gun downed Sarsenio. The forty three year old cane farmer from Paraiso Village, Corozal, and a co-worker were working at a cane field on April 26th when they were ambushed at around 10:00 in the morning by two men who has threatened them the day before.

    New Theme Unveiled For Destination Magazine
    On Monday night the Belize Tourism Association (BTIA) in collaboration with the Belize Tourism Board and McNab Publishing Ltd held an unveiling ceremony to introduce the new Destination Belize magazine theme, “Travel Curious… this journey will change you”. Executive Director for BTIA, John Burgos, told us about the process behind the new theme and the significance of marketing Belize using the best platforms which are highlighted in this new initiative. John Burgos- Executive Director- BTIA: “We arrived at the new theme Travel Curious…this journey will change you so that is the theme we decided to go with, the theme basically starts by acknowledging the fact that we want travel to remain curious in terms that we want them to know more about Belize, want them to know more about the culture, about its people, about its destination you know whether you are looking for adventure in the forest or whether you are looking for adventure in the sea, inland you want to know more about our heritage, you want to know about the wellbeing opportunity shared you know we wanted to have something that would capture that and we believe that the travel curious… this journey will change you captures that and this theme was also based on different exchanged that we had with tourist over the course of this year whereby most of them want to express themselves about the experience the have her in Belize they always say you know what I cannot believe how amazing how Belize is and you got to believe that this is and I was able to see so much and able to experience so much here in Belize in such a short period of time.”

    Three Acquitted For Missing Monies At Treasury Department
    Back in 2009 three women were charged and were committed to stand trial in connection with monies that went missing from the Treasury Department. Monica Escarpeta, a treasury clerk was charged with theft after $291,000 disappeared from the treasury department between September 2007 and May 2009. Escarpeta’s mother, Yvonne Bevans and Rhea Pennil were both charged with ‘Handling of stolen goods’ as it was alleged that Bevans helped Escarpeta to conceal over twelve thousand dollars knowing that it was in fact stolen. Pennil on the other hand was accused of hiding over $150,000 between the months of April and May of 2009.

    Guatemalan Arrested By BDF Goes Back Home
    The face of Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, the man first detained in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park last Wednesday before the shooting death of 13 year old Guatemalan National, Julio Alvarado Ruano, has been until this point unknown to Belizeans. On Friday Ruano appeared at the San Ignacio court and was imposed a charge of $1,500, which he paid and was later sent back to Guatemala. Today for the first time since the occurrence, Reyes appeared before the media, in a post on the social media news page of Telenoticias de Peten’. The 38 year old man is featured in a video along with his father as Guatemalan news reporters recount his capture and release by Belizean Officials.

    LOVE FM

    Consumer Prices on the Rise Since January 2016
    Consumer prices has shown an increase in of point one percent for the month of March. The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest figures. For the month of March the consumer price index stood at one hundred and two point nine which is up by point one percent from the same period last […]

    Trio of Women Acquitted Following Case of Missing Monies from Treasury Department
    Three women charged in connection with over two hundred and ninety one thousand dollars that went missing from the Treasury Department, were acquitted of the charges today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. They are 31 year old Monica Escarpeta, 34 year old Rhea Pennill and 60 year old Yvonne Bevans. It was alleged […]

    Military Commander Addresses Issue of Increased Guatemalan Troops
    There were reports that the Guatemalan military had added about five hundred soldiers to the Sarstoon area. 500 is the realistic number following the outrageous report that there were three thousand troops being deployed. This morning at the BDF headquarters, Brigadier General David Jones spoke on if and how Belize is responding to the increased […]

    Is the OAS Peace Fund Working in Deterring Further Incursions
    Monte de Olivos is a site in Guatemala where the Peace Fund for the Organization of American States had invested a tremendous amount of money with the objective to give the villagers alternatives to the illegal planting and harvesting of crops that were taking place. It is a project that has left some questioning whether […]

    Commander Jones Explains Silence from Officials on the Cebada Shooting
    In recent days, social media has been swamped with comments, opinions and harsh criticisms against the Government regarding how they had responded to the recent shooting of the minor in the Cebada area. The criticism was that whilst Guatemala’s President and media were releasing statements and interviews on the media, Belize’s authorities were silent. Brigadier […]

    BDF Commander to Meet with Territorial Volunteers
    As we have reported earlier, Will Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers are adamant on going to the Sarstoon this weekend to commemorate the 1859 Treaty which was signed 157 years ago. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was firm in saying that the current climate is not conducive for such an expedition and as such has […]

    Ladyville Teen Reported Missing
    Fifteen year old Shakti Flowers of Ladyville has been missing for six days. Shakti who is a high school student, left home for school and has not returned. Shakti lives with her father in Ladyville. Her mother, Shirley Jacobs who resides in Punta Gorda, visited our studios today. SHIRLEY JACOBS “Friday morning she was in […]

    New Additions to Agric Show 2016
    The Belmopan Show grounds have been known to only come to life during the annual agricultural and trade show in early May. This year, however, there will be some changes in the rodeo and produce section with the addition of a tilapia pond. Chief Agriculture Officer, Roberto Harrison spoke of this endeavor. ROBERTO HARRISON “ […]

    Special Meet and Greet Session for Newly Promoted Officers
    The Meet and Greet initiative is nothing strange to residents of Belize City as it has become a norm which Love News has been reporting on for some months now. Today’s meet and greet in the Kings Park area, however, is a bit more special as Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dezerie Phillips explained. DEZERIE PHILLIPS […]

    Police Promotions Bring Training and Added Responsibilities
    When the recent promotion list for the Belize Police Department came out we brought you the story of the over one hundred and fifty men and women who were moving up in the ranks. Since that announcement, training has been well underway at the Eastern Division North and South. Assistant Commissioner of Police Dezerie Phillips […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Human Resource Development Professor Selected for Fulbright Scholar Award
    Belizean scholar and professor at the University of Houston, Dr. Consuelo Waight, is coming home. Dr. Waight has been selected for a Fulbright award to Belize by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Dr. Waight is an associate professor in human resource development (HRD) and […]

    Mom fears for missing daughter
    Tonight a mother is hoping and praying for the best that her missing teenager is returned home safely after going missing for 5 days and counting. Third form student Shakti Lakeya Virginia Flowers, a 15 year old attending Edward P. Yorke High School, did […]

    Butcher is accused of burglarizing meat shop
    A Belize City butcher is being accused of burglarizing a meat shop in the city. This morning, 20 year old Fernando Guerra, a Butcher of Cemetery Road was arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza for a single charge of burglary. Guerra is accused of entering […]

    Women acquitted of big Treasury theft
    Three women charged in connection with over $291,000 that went missing from the Treasury Department, were acquitted of the charges today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. They are 31 year old Monica Escarpeta, 34 year old Rhea Pennill and 60 year old […]

    Has Belize lost the Sarstoon?
    The tension between Belize and Guatemala is at an all time high. Emotions on both sides of the border are running high and the situation is probably the most volatile it has ever been. Guatemalan aggression towards Belizeans has steadily increased over the past […]

    New theme unveiled for Destination Belize magazine
    At the Belize Biltmore Plaza on Monday night, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and McNab Publishing Ltd. held a mixer to unveil a new theme for Destination Belize magazine. In attendance were members of the business community and […]

    Belize Vs. Guatemala: “There will be blood”
    It’s been a rough week for the relations between Belize and Guatemala. The death of a child, the recent shooting of a Belizean soldier and tense moments as the Forward Operating Base on Sarstoon Island was inaugurated. But there is a fight that has […]

    Sales agent shot and robbed in Belize City
    Sales agent of San Ignacio Town, 41-year-old Zane Robinson, was shot yesterday evening during a robbery in which he lost items amounting to a total value of $6,500. Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) around 5:43 p.m. and saw Robinson suffering from […]

    BDF receives Huey helicopters from Taiwan
    The Belize Defence Force (BDF) is now the proud owner of two Huey fixed wing helicopters assembled and donated by the Republic of China (Taiwan). As noted by commander of the BDF, Brigadier General David Jones, it has long been a dream of the […]

    International Sourcesizz

    Guatemala's Prensa Libre has published an interview with Carlos Alvarado
    The father of the 13 year old who was shot and killed after BDF came under fire in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul Reserve. In the interview, Alvarado paints a picture of outright assault with a statement which roughly translates to "They attacked without saying anything, as if they were bullies."

    Apr 27 - Happy World Tapir Day!
    World Tapir Day: 24 reasons tapirs are your new favourite animal! Did you know it's World Tapir Day today? And have you celebrated yet? On the 27th April every year, we celebrate the majestic animal, the tapir. The cute, friendly animals with wiggly noses look a bit like fairytale pigs, but they are actually related to horses. Scientists believe that these animals have changed little over tens of millions of years. They should also be your favourite animal. Here's why.

    MARIE SHARP IN 2016 HOT SAUCE HALL OF FAME
    The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation is very proud to announce the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct 5 people all of which have been very instrumental in the fiery foods. After months of balloting, with just shy of 500 voters, the NYC Hot Sauce Expo is now proud to announce and present the Class of 2016. This year's group are the biggest and brightest names in the industry. One of Legend. One of inspiration. Here is your Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Marie Sharp's & the Original Melinda's: Owner Marie Sharp's Fine Foods Ltd. - Started making sauce in the early 80's and actually was the creator of Melinda's sauces. Her sauce is the quintessential Central American hot sauce awesome flavor and great heat!

    OAS to conduct independent investigation into death of Guatemalan minor in Belize adjacency zone
    The Organization of American States (OAS) will conduct, at the request of the governments of Belize and Guatemala, an independent investigation of the April 20 incident that led to the death of the Guatemalan minor Julio René Alvarado Ruano and in which his father and brother were wounded. The secretary general of the OAS, Luis Almagro, after receiving formal requests from both governments, confirmed to authorities from the two countries that he will proceed immediately with the identification and deployment of the appropriate experts to carry out the investigation as soon as possible. At the request of both sides, the investigation will be carried out independently from the work of verification taking place at this time.

    Belize - Milling continues at steady pace
    Belize Sugar Industries milled 44,565 tonnes of cane during week 19 of the 2015/16 crushing season, up from 44,802 a week earlier but slightly below 48,146 in the same period a year ago, the company announced.

    OAS press release on Guatemala matter
    The Organization of American States has issued a press release detailing its communication with representatives from both Belize and Guatemala, and the beginning of an impartial investigation into the incidents leading to the death of the Guatemalan minor and injury of his father and brother.

    Videos

  • Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to hand over 2 helicopters assembled and test-flown to B.D.F. on April 27th, 2016, 1/2min. On April 5th 2016, a seventeen-member assembling team comprised of engineers, technicians, mechanics and two pilots from the Army of the Republic of China (Taiwan), led by Colonel Ao, Cheng – lin, arrived in Belize. The team was dispatched by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to assemble the two UH-1H helicopters gifted to the Belize Defence Force by the Republic of China (Taiwan). Shortly after its arrival, the team embarked on the assembling works at B.D.F. headquarters. The assembling works were completed by April 18th, 2016. H.E. Ambassador Benjamin Ho of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) visited B.D.F. on the morning of April 18th to take a test ride on second helicopter upon the completion of its assembling. Commander of B.D.F., Brig. Gen. David Jones, had also taken a test ride on first helicopter the week before. Both Ambassador Ho and Gen. Jones were satisfied with the progress of assembling and the condition of the helicopter and gave their highest praise to the assembling team of the Republic of China (Taiwan)’s Army.

  • VOA visita zona de adyacencia entre Guatemala y Belice, 2min. While Carlos Alvarado made no mention of an arrest in his interview published by Prensa Libre, the Guatemalan farmer did seem to acknowledge that he was in Belizean territory, and asked for authorities to make efforts to settle the dispute for the sake of the people living in the area. Reporters from Voice of America visited the Guatemalan side of the adjacency zone to speak with some of those residents. There, the takeaway seems to be that there is no dispute as to where they are.

  • Belize 2016, 29min. Aqui nuestra aventura en Belize 2016, donde buceamos en la Isla de San Pedro y fuimos al Blue Hole nos fue increible, vimos Tiburones Gata, Tiburones de Arrecife, tortugas, morenas y muchas cosas mas Gracias por su participacion en una aventura mas de Scuba Excite

  • Burning Sugar Cane Fields In Belize, 1/2min. A video out the window shortly after crossing the boarder of Mexico into Belize. During the drive many sections of road were completely covered in smoke from the burning fields.

  • Rise and Shine Morning Show, VIP says NO to ICJ with reason, 78min.

  • Grace and You Grace Seafood Pasta, 17min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Belize, 3.5min.

  • BELIZE 2016, 4.5min. San Pedro

  • Belize April 2016, 9min. Diving highlights from our trip to Hamanasi Resort, Belize - April 2016.

  • Fishing With The Locals In Belize, 4.5min. Getting some help from some local islanders to spot barracuda off the beach

  • Spring Break 2016//Belize, 3min. Seven gals take a trip to Belize...

  • Luis, Sasamu, Mike Nunez Hama Libana Maraza en Hopkins, Belize, 2min.

  • Belize Spider Monkey, 2min. Spider Monkey takes food from Maya Lamanai tour guide on the New River near Orange Walk, Belize.

  • Hand Rolled Cigars In Belize, 1min. A professional rolling fresh cigars in Belize.

    April 27, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    The Award Winning Tiburon Rum!
    Who doesn’t love drinking an award winning rum? And even more so when that rum comes from Belize! Well if you are looking for a drink with those qualities look no further that Tiburon Rum who is now the back to back winner of the Double Gold and Best in Class rum at the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America Show. Impressed yet?But what makes Tiburon Rum so special? Well the answer is in the way it is made. It’s aged in old oak bourbon barrels and together with the help of the warm climate of Belize its gently matures into a smooth and quite delectable drink. Only the finest local ingredients are used to achieve the highest quality rum, which is re-casked by Master Blenders into Kentucky Oak Bourbon Barrels for the “second maturation” to allow the natural tannins to give the rum a rich golden colour, smooth finish, and subtle hints of vanilla and oak.

    Ambergris Today

    Flashbacks - Everything Was Low Key in San Pedro
    Everything, absolutely everything was low key in San Pedro during the days of this Flashback. The political banner was one out of about ten (only) that was hung in San Pedro at the time. By the way the banner reads: “Baldemar Really Cares for Belize Rural South”. Political campaigns were low key and perhaps had a $10,000 budget as opposed to the millions they carry today. The houses in this part of town were also low key - small wooden buildings on stilts with a small wooden skiff under the house. The street was a simple sandy one without drains because the sand absorbed all the water during the rains. The people are low key with shorts and no shoes as it should be in a low key community. Look at the low key atmosphere of the entire area which is the dead end of Barrier Reef Drive (Front Street) in front of Milo's residence, leading into Paradise Hotel now The Phoenix. Enjoy this Flashback taken from Polo's Golf Cart Rentals. Enjoy a laid-back, low key community that was converted into a town by Baldemar Graniel, a former mayor of San Pedro.

    Death Of Humpback Whale Highlights Indiscriminate Nature Of Gillnets in Belize
    First spotted in February, scientists say whale was either lost or sick - Globally, it is estimated that there are only 80,000 Humpback Whales left in the wild. And tonight, there is one less of these magnificent creatures swimming in the sea. A Humpback whale first spotted in Belize on February 24th 2016, was confirmed dead on Monday, April 25th by fishermen from Barranco Village in the Toledo District. Over the eight week period, multiple sightings of the Humpback whale, estimated to be approximately 30 feet in length, were recorded in several locations in Belize, including the deep water channel leading to the Big Creek Port, Sciopio Caye, the Port Honduras Marine Reserve and Riversdale. Reports out of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala also indicate fishermen encountered the whale in Guatemalan waters on April 6th.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Paint N Splash
    Join us this Thursday to paint one of the most popular docks on Ambergris Caye. Because of its beautiful design Ak'bol's dock is the subject of many photographers. A canvas with a template is provided so don't sweat it if you can't draw. We got you covered. Make sure to click on the link above that says Ticket Available to sign up on our website! !

    Belize Archives & Records Service inaugurated its renovated and expanded building
    On Monday, April 25th, the Belize Archives & Records Service inaugurated its renovated and expanded building in commemoration of the department's 50th anniversary. Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sporthttp://catalog.cies.org/viewAward.aspx?n=7447&dc=BHs and Culture, delivered the keynote address.

    Core Fulbright Scholar Program
    Attention U.S. Scholars - The Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar program is now accepting applications for U.S. scholars in Belize at the University of Belize. DEADLINE - August 1, 2016 The Core Fulbright Scholar Program offers nearly 500 teaching, research or combination teaching/research awards in over 125 countries. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators as well as for professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, independent scholars and many others. In addition to several new program models designed to meet the changing needs of U.S. academics and professionals, Fulbright is offering more opportunities for flexible, multi-country grants. Interested?

    VIOLIN DUO Concert at Gala Lounge
    Come and be part of a VIOLIN DUO Concert at Gala Lounge, Orange Walk on May 4th 2016. This event is a collaboration of National Institute of Culture and History & the Embassies of Belize and Austria in Mexico. Honor us with your presence.

    Canadian Foreign Office delegation visits Chalillo-Chiquibul
    A Canadian Foreign Office delegation visited the Chalillo-Chiquibul region yesterday. Thanks to BECOL for inviting us to interpret the importance of the Chiquibul.

    Dia de la Cruz
    The feast of the Holy Cruz is one of the important symbols in the Catholic religion as it represents the Trinity: God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit; as well as it was on the cross where Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died. Traditionally, the Feast Day of the Holy Cross, also known as Day of the Three Crosses, was celebrated on May 3 and preceded by novenas beginning April 25. In 1960 the Roman Catholic Church removed this feast day from the Catholic calendar in favour of a similar celebration in September. However, some, including México and San Pedro purists, refused to accept the change. The San Pedro House of Culture is dedicated to the promotion and the revival of traditions in San Pedro. We will be celebrating Dia de la Cruz on May 3rd.

    Channel 7

    Life In Prison For Taking Christy's Life
    30 year-old Orange Walk Resident Osmar Sabido will spend life in prison. That's the sentence that Justice Herbert Lord handed him today after he found Sabido guilty of killing his girlfriend, 21 year-old Christie Carrasco. On the night of February 28, 2011, he stabbed his girlfriend Christie Carrasco to death in her home at the San Lorenzo housing site in Orange Walk. Police found him at the house with the murder weapon in his vehicle. Christie's family believes that he did it in the throes of a jealous rage, and they accused him of intending to go as far as burning down the house with her body inside. In his defense, Sabido told the court that it was Christie who pulled the knife and tried to stab him after they'd had a quarrel. He claimed that while he deflecting the blows, she stabbed herself while trying to harm him. Well, after weeks of deliberation, Justice Herbert Lord founded him guilty in this trial without jury. The decision was handed down today in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court in Orange Walk, and the defense waived their right to prepare a mitigation plea. That's because there can only be one sentence for a murder conviction, and that's life in prison.

    Wil Maheia And Territorial Vols Still Going To Sarstoon
    Yesterday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made an impassioned plea to the Belize Territorial Volunteers, telling them "don't go to the Sarstoon." The group has a Sarstoon trip scheduled for this Saturday. Now as viewers are aware, every single time that the territorial volunteers have gone to the Sarstoon, there has either been a confrontation, or a blockade mounted by the Guatemalan Navy based at the river mouth. The very real concern is that if that happens in the present climate with heightened tensions, there could be a military to military showdown - because now the BDF is posted right there on the river banks. But, the territorial volunteers are undeterred. They say that this weekend's trip to the Sarstoon is important to commemorate the 157-year anniversary of the 1859 Convention Between Britain and Guatemala. That's the treaty which first mapped out Belize's boundaries.

    A Recent History Of Border Aggression
    And so while we all hope that Saturday won't result in another flare up between Belize civilians and the Guatemalan military - if recent history is any indicator, then most certainly there will be. In fact, border tensions between Belize and Guatemala have been steadily increasing since February of last year. It started with the arbitrary detention of the Northern Territorial Volunteers while they were returning from their trip to the Gracias a Dios border marker on February 28 of last year. To get there, one has to travel through the Sarstoon River, and the Guatemalan military accused the Belizean civilians of making an incursion into their territorial waters on their way there. They were escorted to Livingston, Guatemala, detained there, and it took the intervention of the Belizean Government to get them back home.

    Budna, Victimized For Tense Border Relations?
    That event immediately overheated Belize - Guatemala relations - and according to Guatemalan news reports, Joseph Budna was the only Belizean made to pay for it. If you watch the news regularly, you definitely know who Budna is. The 38 year old freelance journalist, living in Guatemala, has always had a flair for the dramatic, and a knack to end up in the strangest situations. From assisting to free a Belizean busted with drugs in Guatemala in 2010, to jumping out of a moving vehicle to escape dangerous hijackers in 2011, to even being arrested in Guatemala on charges of kidnapping in 2012- for which he is still serving time. He has developed quite a history of bad-luck over the last decade, which would have ended with him being convicted in Guatemala for kidnapping and attempting to escape prison but tonight Budna has joined the national conversation on the Belize/Guatemala dispute. That's because he was allegedly beaten up by Guatemalan inmates yesterday as a form of retaliation for the slaying of the Guatemalan child.

    Swaso For Shiny Slaying
    Slain gang boss Gerald "Shiny" Tillett was buried on Saturday, and his alleged killer was finally charged. Nicholas Swaso - who had been recovering form his own gunshot wound in the hospital - was charged with one count of murder and 2 counts of attempted murder. He was arraigned yesterday in Belmopan and remanded to prison. Shiny Tillet was killed on Saturday April 16th. He was along with some friends playing "Dice" at the Wadani Shed in Dangriga when Nicholas Swaso opened fire under the shed. He shot and killed Tillett and also shot Carlos Sharp and Wadani Shed owner David Rodriguez in the chest. As Swaso was running away, one of Shiny's friends then shot Swaso in the back with a licensed firearm. Swaso had to be hospitalized but police had said that as soon as he was released he would be charged.

    Coro Killing Was Foretold
    Yesterday we told you about the death of 43 year old Gilberto Najarro, a farmer of Paraiso Village. He was gunned down over a stolen bicycle. It was an excessive response to a petty accusation and while the trigger was pulled on Monday, this story begins on Sunday. Najarro and another were working on the farm, when two men - a father and a son- appeared at the farms accusing them of stealing their bicycles. They threatened to seriously harm the men if they didn't return the bicycles. And they did. The very next day, on Monday the son returned with a handgun and shot Najarro dead. Corozal Police say they know exactly who they are looking for, however they are not releasing any names. In an interview yesterday the wife of the deceased expressed her grief and said that the only thing she wishes now is that authorities can exact justice on the person that did this. She appeared off camera: Voice of: Wife of the deceased: "He doesn't have any enemies. He was just at the farm when two men arrived claiming that he took their bicycles. He said no he didn't take it, and so the other man threatened him with a machete. He also said he had machetes and guns. They just continued cutting cane."

    Paumen Will Stand Trial For Abetment, Attorney Confident
    Three weeks ago, we told you how American tour operator Bradley Paumen was ordered by the Supreme Court to pay his next-door neighbour, Michael Modiri 300 thousand dollars. Justice Shona Griffith has ruled that Paumen has been trespassing on his land to get to his Dark Knight Cave Tubing Tours - in which NICH is a partner. Well, yesterday Paumen was again before the court - but this time in another matter, for allegedly trying to set up a hit on Modiri. In the Belmopan Magistrate's Court - Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith ruled that Paumen must face a criminal trial in the Supreme Court for the four counts of Abetment to Murder. These are the charges he's facing for allegedly trying to orchestrate the murder of Modiri, his attorney and two of his employees. Today, his attorney, Herbert Panton, told us that although the court says he must stand trial, the defense is prepared to poke holes in their case:

    NICH, What Role Now?
    And while those are criminal matters, back to the Modiri/Paumen civil suit. As we told you, Michael Modiri won a second major decision against his Franks Eddy neighbor, Bradley Paumen. The court ruled Paumen, one of Belize's biggest tour operators, was trespassing on Modiri's land to get his guests to a cave site. A portion of Modiri's land was bulldozed and a road was built on top of it just so that the Dark Knight Tour Guests could get to the cave system. Right now, that's still the only way that Paumen's employees can access the caves because both Modiri and Paumen are landlocked. So, since the court has ruled that it is illegal, and no alternatives have been identified to avoid the trespass, shouldn't the Dark Knight Tour be temporarily closed? That's what we asked NICH's Director of Archaeology last week, and here's how he responded: Dr. John Morris, Director of Archaeology: "We cannot stop somebody from going into your property. That is a function of the police of the security of this country. We can stop you from entering the cave but if you have a tour operating license and you get to the mouth of the cave, we cannot stop you. We can sit down with the other authorities and say 'look this person is trespassing on someone else's property to reach the cave so we should work together to solve that particular problem'."

    The Rupert Situation
    3 weeks ago, we told you about the announcement from the Toledo Alcaldes Association. They want to go back to the Supreme Court to compel the Government to move faster in rolling out a Maya land rights system which protects the communal nature of the 39 communities in the south Another part of their statement from that time which we didn't touch is the complaint that the Village of Santa Cruz has against Belizean Rupert Myles. The village of Santa Cruz, which was a claimant in the original Maya Land Rights case, continues to be displeased with the Rupert Myles situation. As you may remember, the village accused him of squatting on their revered ancient Mayan temple, Uxbenka. Just 8 days ago, Dr. John Morris, the Director of Archaeology at NICH told 7News that Myles has vacated the site. Well, Toledo Alcaldes Association disputes that and says that Myles remains on the property, despite their request that he vacate and remove his house. So, both he and the Government of Belize have been named as defendants in one of the actions filed at the Supreme Court.

    7News New Orleans Jazzfest Journey
    Last night we showed you a glimpse of the Garifuna Collective performing at the 48th Annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, tonight we have part 1 of the New Orleans feature series. Overall, 28 artists including bands and cultural demonstrators were invited to participate in this festival, and most of them are still there and will perform next weekend. Now, what is so newsworthy about this Jazz fest? And what role does Belize play? That's what Courtney Weatherburne found out in New Orleans this weekend. "If the music you hear in the background sounds familiar, it should, because that's the Garifuna Collective. We have seen them perform at shows all over the country and at venues in New York and L.A. But today, they are not performing at any regular event, they are here at the 48th New Orleans Jazz Festival, one of the largest music festivals in North America." Over 500,000 people from across the world attend the Jazz Festival every year. And this year is no different. The entire area is about a 2 mile loop - the size of a horse track. For this 2 weekend festival, about 500 bands are scheduled to take 12 different stages.

    Guat Ambassador's Strong Words
    Last week when the President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales flared up with his incendiary address, he announced that he was recalling his ambassador to Belize, Manuel Roldan Barillas for consultation. While he was in Guatemala, Ambassador Roldan granted an interview to the Prensa Libre Newspaper. Now, as we've told you, that newspaper is known for his pro-Guatemalan slant when discussing Belize/Guatemala relations. So, for accuracy, we've translated that interview verbatim, to highlight Barillas' position on the shooting. Speaking about the BDF's fatal shooting of 13 year old Julio Reynosa, Barillas responds, quote, "...it was a condemnable act...an uncalled for and disproportionate incident. I don't have the words to describe...how this incident has impacted us." The next question from the reporter was, "What is the status of the bilateral relationship?" To that, he responded, quote, "...I have been recalled, which is to say that it is a temporary recall to register a Guatemalan protest against Belize for what has happened. I have not been removed from the Embassy. It is only a temporary measure, well recognized in bilateral diplomacy, - the recall of an Ambassador." End quote

    Guatemalan Kids Educated By Belizean Schools
    And while the Guatemalan Ambassador can speak liberally about so called “Belizean aggressors” and an “unprofessional army,” what he won’t speak about are the hundreds of Guatemalan students who come across from Melchor everyday to go to school in Belize. They are educated in a public education system paid for with Belizean tax dollars. It’s been going on for decades, and is one of the reasons why closing the border is the very last thing any Guatemalan government would do. And why not? Well because their kids wouldn’t be able to go to school! And they go to school here because the education is better and it’s in English. In October of 2014, Courtney Weatherburne went to Benque to find out about the cross border phenomenon. Belize and Guatemala may be going through a difficult patch as neighbours. But while there is unease between Guatemala City and Belmopan, on the ground, the true state of relations between these neighbouring countries is being proven daily by the hundreds of Guatemalan School Children who cross the border from Melchor to Benque Viejo to attend school in Belize.

    Film-maker Banking On The "Bank"
    Belizean American Faron Smith is the Director of the film called "States", the story of an immigrant Belizean who gets caught up in the Law underworld. That was 2014, and today he visited our studios to talk about his new project - called "Bank". The plot is a little less "Belizean" than his previous movie but, with all the gunfire, explosions, and drama, he hopes his Belizeans back home will still be able to enjoy it. This film will be launched on Saturday March 30th in Los Angeles. Faron Smith also hopes to bring the movie to Belize very soon. And keeping in line with the topic of Belizean art appreciation, Dell Smart, popular brukdown singer/songwriter is also releasing a piece of his own. "Party Til Daylight" that is the name of his new album. Accompanying it are also a couple of new music videos for tracks like Ram and Jam. He says that Belizean culture needs to change to show a little more appreciation for their own talent.

    New Look For Archives
    The Belize Archives Department in Belmopan has gotten a facelift and extension. Works started mid last year and it included the rehabilitation of the lower flat and the overall construction of the second flat extension of the building. Yesterday the facility was inaugurated by Minister of State Elodio Aragon who cut the ribbon and official handed over the facility: Minister Aragon says there are hopes to build a brand new state of the art archives storage facility in the near future.

    Channel 5

    Osmar Sabido is Guilty of Killing Christie Carrasco
    More than five years after he stabbed Christie Carrasco to death, Osmar Sabido was today sentenced to life in prison for the crime. The lengthy judgment was read into record [...]

    Sabido Gets Life in Prison for the Murder of Girlfriend
    In cases we’ve covered, sentencing would usually be reserved pending mitigation pleas on behalf of the convicted. But in this case sentencing was immediate, as requested by Selgado after conferring [...]

    Wil Maheia Says Forward to Sarstoon River!
    All was quiet today at the adjacency zone as well as in the Sarstoon where Guatemalan troops have been deployed. But are the Belize Territorial Volunteers being defiant by staring [...]

    Guatemalan President Rejects Claim that Julio Alvarado was Shot in Self-Defense
    In Guatemala City, La Nacion Newspaper is reporting a protest in front of the Belize Embassy by about two dozen protestors bearing placards with the names of ten Guatemalans that [...]

    Guatemalan Parliamentarian Gets Hot Under the Collar in Congress
    The death of thirteen year old Julio Alvarado Ruano was ventilated today in the Guatemalan Congress where the rhetoric went up notches. Congressman Oliviera Garcia claimed that Guatemalans have been [...]

    Joseph Budna is Assaulted in Guatemalan Prison
    There are also reports that Belizean Joseph Budna was attacked in a prison in retaliation for the death of the thirteen-year-old boy killed in la Cebada, Chiquibul last Wednesday. The [...]

    PM Barrow Says that Guatemala Flew of the Handle Following Chiquibul Shooting
    Following the incident in the Chiquibul, where a minor was shot and killed when the B.D.F. came under fire, Guatemala’s version of events went immediately viral, led by an inflammatory [...]

    International Media Misses Key Aspect of Deadly Chiquibul Attack
    Barrow says that in running away with Guatemala’s version of events, the international media seems to have missed a critical aspect of the incident – that the B.D.F. soldiers were [...]

    What’s the Role of SouthCom in Belize/Guatemala Situation?
    The Prime Minister explained that he understands that when the country is under threat people want immediate action, but the events of this past few days have underscored the importance [...]

    Chamber of Commerce Says Trade Relations with Guatemala Must Continue
    While a crisis of military proportions has been averted in the days following the death of thirteen-year-old Julio Alvarado Ruano, there is still a level of unease between Belize and [...]

    What Does Chamber President Think of BTV Expedition to Sarstoon?
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers has received its share of flak from government for purportedly aggravating the Guatemalan Armed Forces at the Sarstoon.  While they have been criticized as troublemakers, the [...]

    N.T.U.C.B. Issues Release on Belize/Guatemala Tension
    The increased hostility between Belize and Guatemala over the past week has prompted a number of organizations, both political and non-governmental, to chime in on the escalating border situation.  Aside [...]

    Does N.T.U.C.B. Support BTV Sarstoon Voyage?
    Mora also weighed in on the seemingly hasty release issued by the Organization of American States following the deadly shooting.  While the N.T.U.C.B. has taken notice of the O.A.S. apparent [...]

    A Plan to Internationalize Belize’s Territorial Dispute with Guatemala
    There has been much discussion regarding the internationalization of the Belize/Guatemala dispute and the need for the world to become familiar with what is taking place between both countries.  While [...]

    Tyrone Myers is Arraigned for Belize City Burglary
    A Belize City man was linked to a burglary after CIB personnel lifted a finger print from the home of the victim whose house was burglarized. The alleged burglar, Tyrone [...]

    Nicholas Swazo Charged for Murder of George Street Boss
    Nicholas Swazo, the man accused of killing Gerald ‘Shiny’ Tillett last Saturday in Dangriga, has been arraigned on a number of charges related to the deadly weekend shooting.  As we [...]

    B.P.P. is Disappointed in PM’s Response to O.A.S. Release
    Earlier you heard the N.T.U.C.B. take a stand on the release issued by the Organization of American States in which it prematurely “repudiated” the death of Julio Alvarado Ruano at [...]

    B.P.P. Weighs In on Upcoming BTV Trip
    The N.T.U.C.B. could not support the trip the Sarstoon, but according to B.P.P. Chairman, “those who on their own volition choose to go on the expedition know the inherent risk, [...]

    Minister of Education Supports B.N.T.U.’s Stand Up for Belize Campaign
    Executives of the Belize National Teachers Union are meeting this week to schedule a date, as well as a venue for a subsequent sensitization forum on the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute.  [...]

    A Humpback Whale Dies After Being Trapped in Gill Net
    Our cameras captured images of a humpback whale last week as our news team traveled to the Sarstoon. The whale was in Belizean waters for the past eight weeks, but [...]

    FIU Conducts Training of Customs Officers
    Earlier this year, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Customs and Excise Department signed a Memorandum of Understanding which amended the law in respect of the declaration of currency in [...]

    A New Theme Unveiled for Destination Belize Magazine
    On Tuesday night, the Belize Tourism Industry Association, in collaboration with the Belize Tourism Board and McNab Publishing unveiled the new theme for the 2016/2017 Destination Belize Magazine. “Travel Curious: [...]

    Belizeans Speak on Recent Guatemalan Threat
    The fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor inside the Chiquibul has stirred a lot of emotions among Belizeans. There was unease across the country as Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales made [...]

    CTV3

    Will Sabido Appeal Guilty of Murder Verdict?
    After the ruling was handed down, we got the opportunity to speak with defense attorney Oscar Selgado, who in a previous interview seemed confident that his client would walk a free man or at most be handed a judgment of manslaughter, he told us that he was very surprised by the ruling but believes that there is ground for an appeal. Oscar Selgado- Defense attorney:“I am indeed surprised by the ruling because I am still of the opinion that the defenses raised that of self-defense, provocation and accident having looked at the evidence I still believe that there was self-defense and that there was accident involved, the judge has made a sixty nine page ruling very lengthy took over an hour and a half to read it, I still must now go and critically analyze his ruling but I am convinced that there is grounds upon which an appeal can be launched from the evidence, I am still convinced that the evidence itself does not add up to a conviction.”

    NTUCB To Internationalize Guatemala's Aggression
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), the umbrella organization for all unions held a weekend meeting of its general council and has pronounced itself on the latest developments in Belize - Guatemala relations. Like other entities, it first expresses condolences to the family of the minor that died at the Chiquibul but says that at the same time, we must not turn a blind eye to the circumstances that led to the death. NTUCB puts forth that Guatemala’s behavior exposes its real intentions to use military might to legitimize the escalating illegal activity of its citizens and to stake claim of the Sarstoon. Importantly, the Congress says it will use its own resources to internationalize what is happening, that is, Guatemala trying to spread a twisted narrative that Belize is the bully and Guatemala the victim. Today NTUCB President, Marvin Mora explained how they intend to do just that:

    Belizean Allegedly Attacked In Guatemalan Prison
    Belizean national Joseph Budna is tonight recuperating from injuries sustained during an altercation at a prison in Guatemala where he serving time for child abduction. In a report issued by the ‘Noticias de Peten’ on their Facebook page, it stated that Belizean national Joseph Budna who is presently serving time at a prison in Guatemala, was allegedly beaten in a fight that broke out between prisoners from Sector 5 at the prison. As a result of the altercation, a total of five individuals were injured, however, three of them were transported to a hospital due to stab wounds that were inflicted on them. According to the authorities, it is believed that Budna was attacked by a dozen prisoners in retaliation of the recent killing of a 13 year old Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul.

    Donated Helicopters Assembled
    A luncheon was held in honor of the Taiwanese technical team that traveled to Belize with the aim of assembling two helicopters that were donated to our country by Taiwan. The team, which is led by Colonel Ao, Cheng- Lin, has a total of seventeen members made up of technicians, engineers, mechanics and two army pilots who were all welcomed by the Ambassador of the Republic of China to Belize, H.E. Benjamin Ho. Present at the luncheon were the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, the Chief Executive Officer, Colonel (Ret) George Lovell and the Commander of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones who were all presented with gifts from the team.

    Two Persons In Custody For Corozal Third Murder
    Tonight police have two persons in custody and are looking for another in relation to the murder of 43 year old Gilberto Najarro Sarsenio who was shot to death yesterday at around 10:00 in the morning while working at his cane field in an area known as San Jomal located about 5 1/2 miles northeast of Corozal Town. Sarsenio was with another individual when the incident occurred. That person who managed to get away from the attackers reported the matter to police and when cops arrived at the scene Sarsenio was seen with multiple gunshot wounds.

    LOVE FM

    Justice for Christie: Osman Found Guilty of Killing His Girlfriend in 2011
    32 year old Osman Sabido has been found guilty of the murder of his 22 year old girlfriend, Christie Carrasco. The young woman was stabbed to death on the night of February 28, 2011 at their home in Orange Walk Town. The judgement was handed down today by Justice Herbert Lord in the Orange Walk […]

    Guatemala’s Defense Commission Speaks of Options in Deterring Its Citizens to Continue Incursions
    In a recent development on the Guatemala side of discussions regarding the territorial dispute between Belize and the Republic of Guatemala, Love News understands via the Guatemala’s Congress website that Juan Manuel Perez Ramirez, chief of staff of the Guatemalan army, met with members of the National Defense Commission of Guatemala, made up of members […]

    Swaso Charged for Gang Leader’s Murder
    The death of Gerald ‘Shiney’ Tillett on Saturday, April 16 sent the Belize Police Department in high alert resulting in additional patrols, the shutting down of several bars, clubs and liquor stores and intervention sessions within the gang communities. Tillett who was dubbed the George Street Gang Leader was shot in Dangriga; with the progress […]

    Guatemalan Laborer Dies in Freak Incident
    Yesterday we told you of the freak incident that took place at the Santander Sugar Mill on the George Price Highway, leaving 20-year-old, Guatemalan laborer, Francisco Andres Antonio Sebastian dead. It happened just before midday when the driver of the harvester, Luis Rivera was alerted of a body on the elevator section of the machine. […]

    Belizean Woman Inducted Into the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame
    For the fourth year in a row, the High River Sauces held its New York City Hot Sauce Expo where the tradition has been to induct pepper sauce makers to their Hall of Fame. As we reported some weeks ago, Belize has been placed on that list with businesswoman, Marie Sharp being inducted to the […]

    Belizean Women to Attend Global Summit in US
    An additional incentive of the WINC program, participants were required to apply for the Barack Obama Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Two of those women were selected to represent Belize at the summit. Danalyn Myvette, Belize Facilitator of WINC Acceleration Program spoke about the summit the ladies will attend. DANALYN MYVETTE “The ladies were required to apply […]

    Safety Standards to Be Improved for Tourists
    The tourism officials in Belize are looking to improve the standards of sports and leisure activities being offered to visitors, ranging from jet skiing to scuba diving, among others. John Burgos, the Executive Director for the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) spoke to Love News on this undertaking. JOHN BURGOS “I sit on different […]

    UB Awarded Grant of 1/2 Million Dollars
    The University of Belize has been awarded a new grant for 248,800 Euros which is equivalent to $560,435.93 Belize dollars from the Technical Cooperation Program. In December 2015, Mr. Dazhu Yang, Deputy Director General, Head of the Department of Technical Cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, wrote Wilfred Elrington informing him that the proposal […]

    Archives Department Boasts Renovated Facility
    In August 1965 the National Archives was founded with Leo Bradley Sr being the first appointed honorary archivist. Originally located in a small room at the Bliss Institute, the unit moved to Belmopan in 1974, where all official documents dated from 1900 and beyond were stored as per directive given to the then Permanent Secretaries […]

    BTIA Launches Theme for Destination Belize 2017
    The Destination Belize is a tourism publication that has been in existence for over a decade and has served Belize’s industry well. Last night at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, there was an official launch of the magazine’s theme for 2017 as explained by the BTIA’s Executive Director, John Burgos. JOHN BURGOS “We invited all […]

    PM Says Incursions Will Not Stop But Efforts Must Continue
    At the core of last Wednesday’s shooting of a Guatemalan minor is the fact that there has been an increase in the number of incursions into Belizean territory. While Prime Minister Barrow has said the immediate danger of last week has passed, the reality is there is the chance for a repeat of the situation. […]

    Guatemala’s Defense Minister Says There Was No Deployment of Additional Troops But Admits to Encroachments
    While the local authorities have now briefed the media and the country on where we stand in the current issue with the Belize/Guatemala territorial differendum, the reports from Guatemala keep surfacing and in a publication dated, April 24 in the Prensa Libre newspaper, there has been admission to encroachments in Belize by Guatemalans; an admission […]

    Prime Minister Says Climate Is Not Right for A BTV Expedition
    As you heard earlier in our newscast Prime Minister Dean Barrow stated that both countries will be working on a protocol for the Sarstoon River. Meanwhile the Belize Territorial Volunteers have indicated that they will take an expedition to the Sarstoon this Saturday. Once again the Government is asking the BTV not to embark on […]

    Maheia Says Expedition is A Go for April 30
    Love News spoke to Head of Belize Territorial Volunteers, Wil Maheia following the warning issued by Government officials about this weekend’s planned trip. Maheia responded to the statements. WIL MAHEIA “I don’t understand how we can put anyone at risk when we have zero weapons with us. We are going there as peaceful citizens of […]

    Prime Minister Finds Place for Assad Shoman
    Last week Ambassador Assad Shoman was removed as the Opposition, People’s United Party’s representative on the team addressing the Belize Guatemala dispute. At today’s press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated that the Government will seek to engage Ambassador Shoman going forward. DEAN BARROW “The question of his removal by the PUP is a matter […]

    PlusTV

    “Immediate Crisis is over” says PM Barrow
    Prime Minister of Belize, Right Honorable Dean Barrow declared Monday that the immediate crisis is over. The PM was speaking at a press briefing held in Belize City to address recent troubling developments with Guatemala. As the nation is aware by now, and the international community for that matte...

    GUATS beat Belize to publicizing version of events
    As we’ve said, the story has made international news, but the version in the international press is clearly reflecting Guatemala’s version of events. Prime Minister Barrow was asked about the late response of the Belizean authorities in getting the true version of events out to the media. Hon. Dean ...

    PM to BTV, “Give Peace a Chance”
    Prior to the latest development with the Guatemalans, the Belize Territiorial volunteers had already planned a trek to the Sarstoon while Northern Territiorial Volunteers planned on going to Garbutt Falls monument to commemorate the 157th anniversary of the signing of the 1859 Treaty. Today, Prime ...

    Sarstoon remains under Guatemalan control until protocols are developed
    While the Prime Minister says that tensions between Guatemala and Belize are de-escalating, the Belizean side of the Sarstoon River remains under Guatemalan control. As has been reported, even during the opening of the Forward Operating Base in the Southern most part of Belize’s mainland, Gua...

    Man crushed by cane harvester at Sntender
    A guatemalan worker at Santender in the Cayo District has died in what appears to be an accident at the 35,000 acre Company’s Private compound. We say “appears” because the company representatives at Santender refused to speak to PlusNews about the young man’s sudden death, t...

    Two residents of Belize City Shot
    A shooting incident in Belize City leaves two men in hospital. On Saturday the 23rd of April at around 5:50 p.m., 19-year-old Abraham Craig of Belize City and 22 year old Tyrone Guy also of Belize City were socializing in front of a bar when a lone gunman riding on a bicycle approached them and fire...

    Kim Brannon takes manslaughter plea; claims murder victim abused her
    She allegedly chopped her common law husband to death but blamed others for it when charged with murder. She was found guilty, and a re-trial was ordered. Today, Kimberly Brannon accepted a plea of manslaughter, claiming for the first time that Anthony “Antics” Herrera held her in an abusive relatio...

    Amandala

    “Counterfeit” cops busted
    Security officers and residents of the city can breathe a sigh of relief after two fake cops were busted. At the time they were found, one of the two imposters was carrying a .38 Special revolver loaded with 6 live rounds. The counterfeit policemen have been taken into custody and detained. The criminals were found wearing the pants that are typically worn by policemen on duty, along with khaki shirts, and after investigation, they were found to be imposters. The fake cops were charged for impersonating police offiicers and were additionally charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. They have been detained pending arraignment for the offenses. The incident occurred at about 5:30 this morning, on Ebony Street, Belize City. Police reported that they were on mobile patrol on Ebony Street when they saw two men wearing pants that are usually worn by police officers. One was also wearing a black jacket over a police khaki shirt and a pair of boots.

    Guatemala military crisis “has passed” – PM Barrow
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow briefed the country this morning at a press conference at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel four days after Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales ratcheted up the tension between the two countries in the wake of the shooting death of a Guatemalan teenager by a Belize Defence Force patrol which had come under fire in the Chiquibul National Park. Barrow, who was out of the country during the height of the tension with Guatemala on Thursday, at a press conference held this morning at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, said that he had met with President Morales in New York, where the two leaders had attended a United Nations convention signing on climate change. In reading from a prepared statement, Prime Minister Barrow said, “We have just concluded a meeting of the National Security Council of Belize and this is a follow-up from the meeting held on Friday when I was in New York and in which I participated by phone.”

    “Don’t go to the Sarstoon,” says PM Barrow!
    The Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow, returned to the country yesterday, Sunday, claiming that in a meeting he had in New York with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, there was an agreement on the part of Morales to de-escalate the tension between the two countries after Guatemala announced last Thursday that it has recalled its ambassador to Belize for consultation and that it would increase its military presence on the borders with Belize for “a strict protection exercise over the sovereignty of the Sarstoon River and the entire adjacency line.” Today at a press conference at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel, PM Barrow implored the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) not to go on its planned trip this coming weekend to the Sarstoon River to commemorate the signing of the 1859 Treaty between Great Britain and the Republic of Guatemala, which sets out the boundary of the then British Honduras (now Belize).

    Belizeans boycott Melchor!
    The announcement yesterday, Thursday, by the Republic of Guatemala that it will beef up its military presence at its two borders with Belize, on the south at the Sarstoon River and on the west at the so-called Adjacency Zone, has had a dramatic effect on the traffic of Belizeans going across to the Guatemalan border town of Melchor de Mencos to shop and do business today. Guatemala made the announcement in the wake of the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan teenager who was shot and killed by Belize Defence Force soldiers after a group of Guatemalan poachers opened fire on a BDF patrol on the Belize side of the border, where the patrol had one Guatemalan in custody for being in Belize illegally. Melchor de Mencos, the nearest Guatemalan town to Belize, has traditionally been a place which many Belizeans visit to do their shopping, as well as for medical and dental purposes, but today, the effect of the Guatemalan military buildup on the Belize borders is being felt here, as Belizeans have decided to stay at home.

    7 months and 2 weeks to freedom for Kim Brannon
    A woman, Kim Brannon, 52, who was initially charged with murder and who was tried and convicted and sentenced to serve life in prison but was given a second chance when the Belize Court of Appeal quashed her conviction and sentence and ordered a new trial in 2013, appeared in the Supreme Court of Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez this afternoon and pleaded guilty to manslaughter for causing the death of her common-law husband,Anthony “Antics” Herrera, 43. Justice Gonzalez sentenced Brannon to 8 years in prison and stipulated that the time that she has already spent in prison should be deducted from the sentence. Brannon had already served 7 years, 4 months and 13 days behind bars. For her to complete her sentence, she will now have to serve another 7 months and two weeks in prison.

    Minor drowns in Biscayne water hole
    On April 21, 2016, at around 3:47 p.m., Ladyville police responded to a report of a drowning incident in Biscayne. When they arrived, they found the motionless body of 8-year-old Kimera Dominguez, a standard 2 student at Biscayne Government School, on the banks of a manmade water hole. Kimera had gone into her yard to greet her incoming brother and took unusually long to return inside the house with him. When she did not respond to her mother’s shouts, a search ensued, which led to the discovery of her body in the water hole. Lunnet Dominguez, Kimera’s aunt, told Amandala today that she believes her niece experienced a sudden epilepsy attack and unfortunately, slid into the water hole, located in front of their residence. She further added that when Kimera was retrieved, she was stiff, with visible signs of foam at her mouth.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks back
    San Pedro Tiger Sharks takes first bite in playoffs, defeating Bandits in Belmopan: On Thursday night, the NEBL playoffs tipped off in Belmopan, as two-time defending champions San Pedro Tiger Sharks traveled to Belmopan to take on the Bandits at the UB gymnasium. The game got off to a sluggish start, with both teams struggling in the first quarter, as Belmopan Bandits took an 11-7 lead. The offensive struggles continued for both teams, as the game was tied at 21 apiece going into intermission, with both teams demonstrating great defensive resolve in the first half. The Tiger Sharks took a 35-32 lead at the end of the third quarter, which they extended to 9 points mid-way through the fourth. The home team then went on a 14-2 run of its own, behind 2 huge three-pointers by Stephen “Muerte” Williams, to take a 3-point lead with 4 minutes remaining in the game. However, key free throws down the stretch allowed the visiting squad to steal the 58-55 victory, and home court in the semifinals. San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Tyrone “Mission” Edwards, who had his best offensive output this season, with the game high 19 pts, to go with 4 assists and 3 steals; while Gene Myvett tallied a double-double, with 11 pts, 10 rebs, 5 steals and 2 dishes. Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz also registered a double-double in the game, scoring 10 pts and grabbing 12 boards. Ortiz sank 6 of 9 free throws down the stretch, to seal the victory for the two-time defending champs. With the loss, Belmopan Bandits’ 8-game winning streak was snapped.

    TIDE Junior FWC 2016 Week 1 game results, plans
    The TIDE Junior Freshwater Cup (FWC) 2016 regular season football tournament got under way with 3 games (20 minutes each half) on Thursday, April 21. Boys League – At Forest Home football field, Forest Home Methodist Boys dropped Little Flower Boys, 1-0, with a goal from Jivan Borland (36’). In Punta Gorda Town, St. Peter Claver Boys shut out St. Benedict Boys, 2-0, with a goal each from Kyan Avila (18’) and Journell Lemos (27’). Girls League – Meanwhile, at Forest Home football field, Forest Home Methodist Girls won, 1-0, over Little Flower Girls with a goal by Renisha Cofius (13’).

    Editorial: A leadership unsatisfactory
    It is said that when Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany invaded Russia in June of 1941, the Russian general Georgy Zhukov at one point decided to open the Russian prisons. The story may be apocryphal, but the point is this: when a man invades your country, all bets are off. Do or die. On Thursday afternoon, April 21, Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales did not invade Belize: what he did, essentially, was threaten to do so. Perhaps the question for Belizeans at that moment should have been: what would Zhukov have done? In the Middle Ages, you know, those who were kings actually led their soldiers into battle. As late as two hundred years ago, France’s legendary emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, was leading the French army into combat. A couple decades before, the United States of America’s George Washington, the U.S.’s first president, was doing just that – leading his soldiers into battle. And, in between George Washington in the late 1770s and Napoleon in the early 1800s, Haiti’s Toussaint L’Overture led his troops on the battlefield in the 1790s.

    Letter to the Editor: Strike out and swim to shore: Beryl
    Dear Editor, All life is sacred. Yet Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales makes a mockery of life; no surprise considering his country’s atrocious human rights violations against its own people. The fate of 13 year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano was cast the moment the Europeans decided the people they met in the so-called New World had to be subdued and controlled. Julio entered this world with few human rights, despite the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Guatemala is a party. Fast forward to his growing years. He grew up in poverty, a child laborer in dangerous conditions, his family denied adequate land to make a living. In desperation he believed as he was taught, that his neighbor to the east was claiming land that rightly belongs to his country and that therefore was his for the taking.

    A Diasporan Belizean Response from Nigeria to recent events in Belize
    O MY BELIZEAN SISTERS AND BROTHERS! When Danny Conorquie and Richard Lambey were murdered and wounded on Belizean soil by Guatemalans, Belize did nothing. But when a 13-year-old Guatemalan trespasser on Belizean soil was killed a few days ago in the cross-fire which resulted when BDF men were attacked by Guatemalan trespassers and they retaliated in self defence, and one of the trespassers was even arrested, the Guatemalans shout “Foul”, recall their ambassador from Belize, mass thousands of troops, twice the size of our BDF, at Belize’s borders, and wickedly turn the tables on our little country by lying to the world that it is the victim of Belizean aggression. I repeat: Belizeans in general DO NOT KNOW THE GUATEMALANS. The only politician who did was Philip Goldson, and his changed address is Lord’s Ridge Cemetery. We continue to underestimate Guatemala at our peril!

    CARIFORUM fisheries and SPS professionals participate in unique, interactive training opportunity in Iceland
    Eighteen professionals who have been working in Fisheries Management, Animal Health and Food Safety from across the CARIFORUM region, are currently overseas receiving specialized training in food safety and animal and plant health. Endhir Sosa of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority is among the trainees attending the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Management Course, slated for 17-30 April 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland, under the United Nations University – Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP). The two-week course, developed by the UNU-FTP in partnership with the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), is exposing the selected trainees to the full range of issues faced in fisheries value chain management, with special focus on the best SPS standards and the institutional arrangements required for the optimized performance of the fishing industry.

    Successful prosthetic clinic organizers say thanks
    In the Sunday, March 20, 2016 edition of Amandala, the newspaper ran a feature article for the Belizean Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities (BAPDA), highlighting the prosthetic clinic that was to be held at the Helpage Gym that Sunday. The members of BAPDA would like to sincerely thank the many people who selflessly gave of their time and resources to make this endeavor a success. Thanks to Mr. Russell Vellos, Ms. Ramos, Ms. McKenzie and the rest of the Kremandala crew and also the team from Prosthetic Hope International, Deputy Commander Louis Sutherland of the Belize Defence Force and the soldiers who assisted: PTE Marvin Ical, PTE Ronald Choc, PTE Domingo Ack, and PTE Carlos Chub. Involved in this venture also were Gilroy Middleton, Jr., a lecturer at the University of Belize; Ms. Verie Vassal, the Helpage management and staff, Ms. Eva Middleton, Ireva and Abija Vernon, Lori Hernandez, Mrs. Hillary Rivers, Jeneva Anthony and BAPDA volunteers.

    Adopting energy-efficient practices to help businesses
    Khara Roches is the National Coordinator for the Energy for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean Project for Belize. Roches told Amandala that there are five countries participating in the project: Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Belize. “The main goal”, Roches said, “is to reduce energy intensity by 20%.” Roches added that they are hoping that by having today’s seminar, they can convince importers to get on board by illustrating the benefits to their businesses of adopting renewable energy and energy efficient practices. In line with this effort, Franklyn Magloire, Assistant General Manager, Lending Operations, of the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), told Amandala, “DFC is collaborating with the Caribbean Development Bank and the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology & Public Utilities in providing $2 million dollars available to small and medium-sized businesses in order that they can invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.”

    Drowning in Teakettle
    Manuel Obando, 33, a farmer of Teakettle, Cayo District, drowned while swimming in the Belize River at about 4:30 Saturday afternoon. He reportedly went under the water and did not resurface. Family members organized a search party for him, and his body was found at about 5:45 that same Saturday evening, in the vicinity of the same spot in the river where he went under. Those who know him said that Obando was friendly and easy to get along with. Police said that no foul play has been suspected, and the death has been declared a drowning.

    Minor drowns in Biscayne water hole
    On April 21, 2016, at around 3:47 p.m., Ladyville police responded to a report of a drowning incident in Biscayne. When they arrived, they found the motionless body of 8-year-old Kimera Dominguez, a standard 2 student at Biscayne Government School, on the banks of a manmade water hole. Kimera had gone into her yard to greet her incoming brother and took unusually long to return inside the house with him. When she did not respond to her mother’s shouts, a search ensued, which led to the discovery of her body in the water hole. Lunnet Dominguez, Kimera’s aunt, told Amandala today that she believes her niece experienced a sudden epilepsy attack and unfortunately, slid into the water hole, located in front of their residence. She further added that when Kimera was retrieved, she was stiff, with visible signs of foam at her mouth.

    7 months and 2 weeks to freedom for Kim Brannon
    A woman, Kim Brannon, 52, who was initially charged with murder and who was tried and convicted and sentenced to serve life in prison but was given a second chance when the Belize Court of Appeal quashed her conviction and sentence and ordered a new trial in 2013, appeared in the Supreme Court of Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez this afternoon and pleaded guilty to manslaughter for causing the death of her common-law husband,Anthony “Antics” Herrera, 43. Justice Gonzalez sentenced Brannon to 8 years in prison and stipulated that the time that she has already spent in prison should be deducted from the sentence. Brannon had already served 7 years, 4 months and 13 days behind bars. For her to complete her sentence, she will now have to serve another 7 months and two weeks in prison.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Oscar Selgado: Sabido has grounds to appeal conviction
    Osmar Sabido’s attorney, Oscar Selgado, says that his client can make an appeal following his sentencing today. Selgado told the media today that he is “convinced that there is ground upon which an appeal can be (made)” from the evidence presented which he said […]

    Two detained in connection with shooting death of Gilberto Najarro in Corozal
    Corozal police are closing in on the gunman who shot and killed 43-year-old Gilberto Sarcenio Najarro in Paraiso Village on Monday morning. Authorities have detained two persons and are seeking a third for questioning in the incident. Najarro was shot once to his back […]

    City courts shut down after transformer misfires
    A transformer belonging to Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) caught fire this morning at around 9:30, causing the Belize City Magistrate’s Courts to shut down their offices for the rest of the day. The misfiring transformer, located at the corner of Bishop and Regent Streets […]

    Police charge “Shiney” Tillet’s accused killer
    Nicholas Swazo, accused of shooting 36 year old Gerald “Shiney” Tillett to death at the Wadani Shed on Saturday night, April 16, has been released from hospital after being shot himself during the incident and is now formally charged and remanded to prison. Acting Officer in […]

    Marie Sharp inducted to the New York City Hot Sauce Hall of Fame
    Marie Sharp is officially part of the New York City Hot Sauce Hall of Fame! She was presented with an award over the weekend at the New York City Hot Sauce Expo and received a red jacket, commemorating the occasion along with a class […]

    Osmer Sabido will return to prison for life
    Osmer Sabido, 30, has been found guilty of murdering his then 21-year-old girlfriend and common-law wife Christie Carrasco on Febraury 28, 2011. He has was sentenced to life in prison earlier today. After five years in prison, Sabido’s trial started on March 10 where, in […]

    Tiger Sharks and Hurricanes set to face off in NEBL finals
    In National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) action, two teams have emerged from the playoffs to face off in the finals: the #1 seed Smart Belize Hurricanes and #3 seed San Pedro Tiger Sharks. On Thursday night in Belmopan, the Bandits took on the Tiger […]

    Man first caught by BDF in Chiquibul pleads guilty, is deported
    Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, the first man detained in Belizean territory last Wednesday before the shooting death of Julio Alvarado Ruano, 13, appeared in court on Friday. Reyes was picked up 2 hours before the shoot-out that claimed Ruano’s life. He had been found […]

    Guatemalan national dismembered and crushed in accident at Santander Sugar Mill
    The dismembered and crushed body of a 20-year-old Guatemalan National, Francisco Andres Antonio Sebastian, currently awaits a post mortem examination at the Western Regional Hospital after he was killed in a freak accident. Luis Felipe Rivera, a 21-year-old driver at Santander Sugar Mill, reported […]

    Joseph Budna allegedly beaten in Guatemalan prison
    Joseph Budna, who is currently serving jail time in Guatemala on charges of kidnapping and abduction, was allegedly beaten by Guatemalan inmates as retaliation for the death of 13-year-old Julio Alvarado who was shot by Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldiers. The news was reported by […]

    Blogs

    The Ultimate Belize Bucket List: Tiny Country, HUGE Experiences
    So many things to do in Belize I had to make my own bucket list just to keep track and I thought maybe it could help you. Also, there is a MASSIVE prize involved to anyone that can complete all. MASSIVE.

    Crunchy Salad with Apples & Grapes
    In a small bowl mix all the ingredients to make the dressing:.. Yoghurt, sugar, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cinnamon. Place it in the refrigerator while you make the salad. Once you have all the chopped fruit in a large bowl add all the dressing and mix.

    Chicken Chop Suey
    First, saute the chicken in a large skillet (if you have a wok, much better yet). Gradually add the vegetables in the following order (leaving about a few minutes after adding each so they cook a little and get integrated with what is already in the skillet or wok): garlic, carrots, peppers, onions, broccoli , cauliflower, and finally, mushrooms and dragon's teeth (bean sprouts). Dissolve the chicken bouillon cube in a cup of hot water and add to the mixture, add salt as you like and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until you see that the vegetables are cooked.

    Chipotle Caeser Salad
    For the dressing: Blend all ingredients until a smooth and homogeneous dressing. Reserve it.. For the salad: 1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the garlic and onion for 2 minutes. 2. Add chicken breast halves, increase taste with salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes on both sides. Remove from heat and cut into thick strips. 3. Mix lettuce leaves with croutons, Parmesan cheese and some dressing. 4. Serve above mixture of salad and add the chicken strips.

    Why You Have to Visit Hopkins Belize on Your Vacation
    Often ranked as the friendliest village in Belize, Hopkins is in the center of the Garifuna culture, a unique people with both African and Caribbean roots who migrated to the country in the 18th century. With a laidback, easygoing atmosphere, the village is a popular destination for visitors interested in learning to play Garifuna drums, sampling Garifuna cuisine, learning more about traditional fishing culture, and as a jumping off point for the nearby Belize Barrier Reef. Hopkins is a quaint Garifuna village on the Caribbean coast in the southeastern Stann Creek District of Belize. Hopkins is located eight miles south of Dangriga and approximately 90 miles south of Belize City. Often billed as a village where “time moves like a turtle”, the unhurried and easygoing pace of traditional life in Hopkins is best experienced by adopting an open-minded, relaxed attitude. Stretching approximately five miles around the perimeter of a small inlet, this fishing and farming village is a great place to experience Garifuna culture, including their unique group drumming, home-brewed Punta music, and working alongside with traditional craftsmen.

    A whole lot of weekend
    One of the things that comes with island life and being a blogger is sometimes travelers reach out to me asking if I would be willing to show them around the island a bit. This was the case with Michael he arrived last Friday for a scouting trip to see if living in Belize was for him – not only did he want to learn more about the island he also wanted to meet new people. So I agreed to show him around when I was not working. Here are a few bits and pieces touring around the island. First Farmers Market and an Afternoon at “The Lake” My friend Jack came with us on this one. On our way there we encountered a long line at the toll bridge and ran into friends Chunky, Ruthie and Bob at Marbucks. They urged us to bust a move to The Truck Stop as it was packed earlier and some of the tables selling their wares were running out of stuff.

    International Sourcesizz

    ETBU students help provide clean water in Belize
    Nine students from East Texas Baptist University served in Belize with Hope Springs Water—an Athens-based ministry committed to provide safe water, sanitation and public health education to developing countries. Lisa Seeley, director of global education and the Great Commission Center at ETBU, and her husband, Scott Seeley, pastor of Nesbit Baptist Church in Marshall, accompanied the student team. “The purpose of the trip was to fix wells in villages so that people who live there could have clean water,” said Nycole Renfrow, a sophomore from Nederland. In Cirque Jute, ETBU students deepened a well 10 feet to keep water flowing during the dry season. They also cleaned out out existing wells that produced discolored water. The recent trip marked the second year in a row ETBU student teams journeyed to Belize to work with Hope Springs Water.

    Guatemala rejects Belize 'self defense' claim in boy's death
    Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales on Tuesday rejected an assertion by neighboring Belize that a Guatemalan boy shot dead on the border last week was killed in "self defense." "The way the boy died, with eight bullets -- four in the back and one in the eye -- cannot be justified as 'legitimate self defense'," Morales told journalists. The circumstances of the April 20 death of the 13-year-old boy are disputed by Guatemala and Belize. Each Central American nation claims the shooting occurred on its side of the border and was an unprovoked attack on its citizens.

    ¿Belice...? Por favor Presidente, no es 1970
    The Guatemalan government has shifted gears, making statements to tone down and clarify what appeared to the world to be an escalation of aggression. But in both these actions that nation's government has also come under criticism, with the brunt of it aimed at President Jimmy Morales. The following article on Guatemalan News blog www.soy502.com points out some of those criticisms, of which his handling of the recent events between Belize and Guatemala is only one of many. A rough translation of its final paragraph reads: "The relationship with neighbors is complex and its legal, judicial, and political ramifications should be treated with caution and diplomatic effectiveness, not with improvisations and outbursts."

    Videos

  • PANDY SHOW IN 1992, 10min. Selmo Belisle, Mamacita Chavarria, Jaisen Barrera, Amarsha Arnold and Alston Belisle.

  • Low German Radio in Belize- Destiny 105, 2.5min. Low German Radio is now a reality in Belize! You can hear Henry Redekopp, the voice behind the mic, on Destiny 105 out of Shipyard, Belize.

  • 2015 Belize Pickstock Exodus Church, 3.5min. Exodus Church in the heart of the Jungle - Belize City

  • Belize International (BZE) to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, 6min. on Tropic Air.

  • Belize Reef - Caye Caulker, 4min. Went on a tour with raggamuffin's in Caye Caulker and absolutely loved every moment!

  • Belize Mission Trip 2016: Belmopan, 3min. We teamed up with Experience Mission in Belmopan Belize to help build a structure used for church convention. April 17-23.

  • LAMBS Belize 2016, 7.5min.

  • TRIP TO PG, 7min. from PGTV News Network

  • Bird Island Belize, drone circle, 1min.

  • Belize 2016, 5.5min. Dive Video from our trip to Belize.

  • 2016 San Pedro Belize, 4min.

  • Belize Dives, 15min.

  • Concessions & Deceptions: Gregorio Aleman Exposes 1991 MAA Act, 25min. The piece features an informative interview with Gregorio Aleman in 1991-- the outspoken advocate against the Maritime Areas Act, and former United Democratic Party Senator who lives in the southern town of Punta Gorda in the Belizean district of Toledo. He highlights the drastic mistake that the Belizean government made when they signed the bill that made the Maritime Areas Act law, giving the Guatemalan government access to precious Belizean sea territory for fishing, and robbed the Belizean people of once prized fishing grounds.

    April 26, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    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

    Taste of Belize is back!
    If you just can’t get enough of Belize’s amazing cuisine, then best make plans to attend Taste of Belize. After a four-year hiatus, Belize Tourism Board’s culinary festival is back and it promises an exceptional showing of local beverages and food. Seeking to develop and recognize the best in the culinary arts of Belize, the day will include food and beverage competitions in categories such as of the Pro Chef, Bartending and Cake Decorating. Just think of all the tasty treats available to those in attendance! As a diverse country, Belize offers a wealth of foodie-appeal, from delectable ancient Maya flavours to the cultural spices of the Garifuna and Mestizos! Indulge in succulent Belizean cuisines at the “2016 Taste of Belize” on May 14th 2016, on the grounds of the Orange Walk District’s Muffles College Auditorium! Taste of Belize is an event you don’t want to miss!

    Rockin’ the Caye with the Abracadabra Band
    ormer and current members of the Steve Miller Band ¬ Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy inductees ¬will perform a live concert on June 4, 2016 at Mahogany Bay Village Green. The concert will run from 4 to 7PM. Proceeds will support the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch in providing security and wellbeing to their neighborhood. Tickets going on sale online May 1, 2016 at www.SACNW.org and other locations to be announced. Special thanks to sponsors, Mahogany Bay, Pelican Reef / Athens Gate Resorts, Lone Star Grill & Cantina and Palapa Bar.

    Statement by the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize on Recent Increase in Tensions between Belize and Guatemala
    We have just concluded a meeting of the National Security Council of Belize, and this is a follow-on from the meeting held on Friday when I was in New York, and in which I participated by phone. I am wholly satisfied, based on the NSC’s review of all the facts and its discussion of the pathway forward, that the immediate crisis provoked by Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’s extraordinary address to his nation after the exchange of fire between Guatemalan civilians-who fired first-and the BDF leading to the death of a Guatemalan minor, is over. I am convinced that diplomacy, Belize’s invocation of the Confidence Building Agreement, and its call for peace and the de-escalation of the threat and tension created by the Guatemalan response and the measures that had been announced by President Morales, has worked. Our position has been noted and supported by the international community, and ultimately accepted by Guatemala. There has therefore been success in defusing the situation to a point where the return to normalcy has begun, and the two countries can start again to work on the reiteration and expansion of the protocols governing the complex relations between us.

    Experts seek solutions to address beach erosion on Ambergris Caye
    The beaches of Ambergris Caye have been eroding significantly, and shorelines are fading at a rapid pace. In an effort to address the alarming issue, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has reached out to a team of experts to assess the erosion affecting the island. On Wednesday, April 13th Deputy Mayor Gary Greif, along with Keith Nichols from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, and Carianne Johnson from the Pan American Development Fund conducted a visual assessment to determine the level of erosion on the island’s coast line. According to Johnson, seawalls are the major culprits for the erosion currently taking place. She commented that most of the seawalls along the shoreline are not properly built, and instead of protecting the beaches they are actually speeding the erosion process. Adding to the problem are the many docks lining the shore, which add to the effect of the wave action and shifting currents. Nichols mentioned global warming as a major factor in increasing erosion in many countries. He also pointed out that vehicles trafficking the beach are causing enormous damage.

    New HIV cases on the rise in 2105
    Testing positive for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) no longer means a death sentence, since infected persons can now live long productive lives with the latest anti-retroviral medication. Despite community health programs aimed at preventing the spread of the disease, the infection rate is on the rise, with 239 new HIV cases reported in 2015, as compared to 226 new infections in 2014. The Ministry tested more people than ever before: 31,346 in 2015, compared to 26,589 in 2012, 29,477 in 2013, and 28,626 in 2014. Yet the infection rate has remained 0.8% for the past three years; in 2012, it was 0.9. This represents just the tip of the iceberg. Estimates are that many more people are infected, but remain to be tested. Health workers estimate for every 1,000 positive tests, there are perhaps another 7,000 who are infected. Those living in denial often resist testing until they are already seriously sick with other infections and complications arising from HIV, and it is then too late for treatment. Of the 110 people who died last year of complications related to the virus, 74 were men and 36 were women, the highest death rate was in the Belize district.

    SPHS observes Drug Awareness Week
    San Pedro High School (SPHS) has observed an entire week dedicated to drug awareness from Monday, April 18th to Friday, April 22nd. The theme for 2016 was held under, “The Best Me is Drug Free,” and Guidance Counselor, Ms. Alexis Guerrero, organized a series of events to help influence students to make positive choices and refrain from substance abuse. The opening ceremony was held on Monday, April 18th at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. Principal, Mr. Emil Vasquez, gave remarks as SPHS participates in another year of raising awareness on drug and alcohol prevention. “Drugs are not only a problem at SPHS, but country-wide, and I will be revising the school’s policies. I want all of my students to consider their future and their education,” said Vasquez. Kristina Romero of the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), addressed the misuse of drugs and its effect on students. According to the studies from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “almost 70% of students will have tried alcohol, half will have taken an illegal drug, nearly 40 percent will have smoked a cigarette, and more than 20 percent will have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose.

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week - Belize Flag Proudly Waved at Coachella Music Festival
    He might not have been the only Belizean at the festival, but San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, resident dentist Julio Lara was the only one we knew of attending the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (an annual music and arts festival) that was held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California this year. Last week, Dr. Lara donned his Belize T-shirts and waved his Belizean flag proudly at the festival grounds for everybody to see. Needless to say, Julio says he had a blast sharing his Belizean culture and experiencing the international festival; he even got to meet artist 'Common' at LAX.

    Belize Crisis with Guatemala Over: PM Barrow
    “There has been success in defusing the situation to a point where the return to normalcy has begun,” said Barrow. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in a press conference today, April 25, 2016, in Belize City, that the immediate danger between the current Belize and Guatemala tension has passed and that the country can now rest easily. This announcement comes even as Minister of Defence in Guatemala, Williams Masilla states that the country maintains their military presence at the adjacency zone with Belize and at the Sarstoon River. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said he and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales agreed "it was absolutely necessary to dial down the tension between our two countries," but friction remains.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Beltraide hosts Certificate Ceremony at the Central Prison
    The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in conjunction with the Belize Central Prison, Kolbe Foundation and Restore Belize today held a certificate ceremony for a programme entitled “Equipped for Work/Makin’ It Work Job Preparedness Training” to provide persons leaving correctional facilities with the necessary tools and skills to become productive members of society. The eleven week programme which included participants from the Wagner’s Youth Facility, Tango 2 Division, and the female unit of the Belize Central Prison, lasted from February 9th to April 22nd, 2016 and covered Personal Development and Healthy Self Image; Work Habits and Conduct; Bridging the Gap/Makin It Work; Customer Service; Resume Writing and Interview Skills and provided a platform for participants to improve their communication skills and develop short and long term goals for self-betterment.

    Posting for Inspector Dehanne Augustine
    The Youth Cadets of Caye Caulker will be joined by the Youth Cadets of San Pedro for a community service/sports day on Friday, April 29th here on the island. Their community service will be cleaning the Children's Park and will then move on to the Palapa for their sports day event. They are asking for any rakes, gloves and any other equipment (no sharp or pointed equipment) that they can use to clean the area. Garbage bags and music is being donated by the Manager of Anchorage Resort. Anyone else who would like to give towards this can let me know OR can take it to the Children's Park on Friday morning.

    Poets Corner: Death Trap
    By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez The Starstoon Base Is nothing but a disgrace? This structure was built in haste Just to save face Perhaps we'll wait until our soldier disappear without a trace Given the aggression at the border it’s unsafe? If I was a soldier I would never go to that place People trying to impress the populace to vote for them You all seem to have forgotten Danny Conorquie Murdered in similar hostility Is this base temporary? What about the security Of our men in our military Perhaps the Coast Guard has some guarantee Since they are being funded by Washington DC

    REMINDER - The Belize Alumni Association is holding Board Elections THIS WEEK !!!
    When? Wednesday, April 27, 2016 from 11:00 am—1:30 pm Where? U.S. Embassy in Belmopan OR logon online. LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED!!! If you cannot attend in person you can also attend the meeting virtually via google hangout!!! Interested in running for a position on the board? Please let us know what position you are interested in when you RSVP and be prepared to do short presentation to the members on why the members should vote for you . Please RSVP by COB Monday, April 25, 2016 and forward your Gmail account to be part of the meeting online at BelizeAlumni@state.gov

    CENTAM SMOKE exercise
    Last week was smoking on Soto Cano Air Base, with visitors from all across Central America for the CENTAM SMOKE exercise. Check out our cover story and read about how this training develops long lasting partnerships!

    Channel 7

    PM Barrow: "Rest Easy... Immediate Danger Has Passed"
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned to the country from New York yesterday. He wasn't here when reports went out that Guatemalan troops were amassing at the border, but he was in the right place to meet Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. Both were there to sign the UN Climate Agreement and the two leaders had a sit down on Friday. That's one day after Morales recorded an inflammatory statement in response to the BDF's killing of a 13 year old Guatemalan boy. Morales also deployed the Guatemalan army to the western and southern border - an unprecedented move which sent shivers up the collective national spine. But, as we reported on Friday, PM Barrow talked him down, and this weekend we saw the Guatemalan Minister of Defence say that there never really was any mobilization of three thousand soldiers. So, with that the Prime Minister chaired a National Security Council meeting this morning, and then segued directly into a press conference, with the entire security council at the head table.

    Misunderstanding: Guat Army Says It Never "Mobilised" 3k Troops
    And there was reason to relax just a little yesterday when we saw a press conference hosted by the Guatemalan Minister of Defence, William Mancilla who said that the whole thing about three thousand troops being mobilized was an exaggeration. He explained that there are three thousand total troops in the Peten, and a few hundred of them were simply being moved, not mobilized, to the border areas. Here are portions of his press conference with captions in English:... William Mancilla, Minister of Defence - Guatemalan: (Translated)"In this regard, of those three thousand men, what was done was reinforce the adjacency zone. So if we had five hundred, right now we have about one thousand men. So then, as soon as that act of mobilization of three thousand men from here, the capital, to the city is a lie- that is false. What is being done is that the mechanism in place at Peten reinforced the detachments at the adjacency zone, and I repeat again, to guarantee the life of the persons living in those, approximately 35 communities, in the entire adjacency zone and of course the naval base of the Sarstoon River was also reinforced with 40 persons."

    BDF Reinforces Self Defence Narrative
    So now that the military threat seems to have receded - we can look a little closer at the trigger event - which is Wednesday night's fatal shooting of 13 year old Julio Alvarado in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul Forest. As we have reported, around 7:00 at night, the BDF reports that they came under fire, and returned fire in the dark. This was two hours after they had taken a Guatemalan into custody. Well, we learned today that the BDF was in the area because of aerial reconnaissance flight which saw cultivation within Belizean territory. The BDF had gone there to clear it out:... Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander - BDF: "The patrol deployed in the area because of a reconnaissance that was conducted by our defender aircraft. Whenever we do such reconnaissance operation, we do subsequently send foot patrols on the ground to confirm what we've seen from the air. We saw the encroachments, so BDF and FCD decided to go and do the investigation to see how they can arrest the situation. Unfortunately the incident occurred on Wednesday night where the patrol, at approximately 5 o'clock in the evening, detained the first gentleman who was about 33 years of age."

    Guatemalan Family Says They Came Under Attack
    But, on the other side of the border, the version they are getting is very different. The victim's father and mother gave emotional interviews to Guatemala's Chapin TV. The father painted a very different version of events where, he says he and his two sons came under attack from nowhere. Here's that interview with captions:... Carlos Alvarado - Father: "I was coming on the road from work, and on the road coming in front, like I told you, I was in front meanwhile everyone was at the back, when they appeared in front of me and immediately started shooting, without telling me anything." "There is no line that divides us, we cannot recognize where Belize or Guatemala is. We are poor, we don't have land here in Guatemala and we need. That is why we work in that area that they are claiming." "I couldn't speak to them, not even to tell them "run!" because they immediately attacked me. They didn't speak to me. I could react to try and defend myself and they tried to defend themselves however they could."

    BDF Had Encountered Julio Before
    As we noted, his account differs completely from Belize's official position, and to settle it definitively, the OAS will conduct an independent investigation. The Government of Belize has also invited in the Americans, the Mexicans and whoever else wants to assist in the investigation. And they say one telling detail is that Julio Alvarado was found by the BDF in the Chiquibul before:.. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "One thing we didn't say is that that minor had already been encountered by the BDF in a previous incident in Belize, but he was not armed and all the BDF did was escort him back to Guatemala. We don't engaged children in any hostile manner. That is a core operating principle of the BDF. In the circumstances of that particular incident, the BDF didn't know who the hell they were engaging. It was just a matter of firing back and taking cover. It turned out that the end of it all, that that very minor, who they had met and treated so absolutely properly - out of fundamental concern for his welfare and had taken back to Guatemala when the first occurrence took place, that he had taken fire and died."

    PM Strongly Cautions Territorial Volunteers To Stay Away From Sarstoon
    And so while all parties wait on the outcome of that investigation - there's another event that could cause another flashpoint in Belize Guatemala relations. The Belize Territorial Volunteers are going back down into the Sarstoon this weekend. They say it is a special April 30th expedition to mark 150 years since Belize's borders were established. Wil Maheia told us this evening, he is dead set on it, but today the Prime Minister very strongly cautioned against it:.. "In the current circumstances where we just went through an absolutely harrowing weekend, the entire country - all of us sitting at this table where we have come through unscathed and where our diplomacy and face to face meetings with Guatemala have produced this resolve to de-escalate tensions and to find a way rooted in peace and mutual respect forward. In those circumstances, for these people to maintain that they will still go to the sarstoon on Saturday would in my view be absolutely and utterly unacceptable. We now have a forward operating base at the mouth of the river. If they go and the Guatemalans (as the Guatemalans will) seek to intercept them, our people who are there will have to react, hopefully in a way that would not cause the situation to get out of control. But that could potentially provoke just that occurrence. I am appealing to the Territorial Volunteers, give peace a chance."

    Have The Guats Annexed The Sarstoon?
    And one of the reasons he is so determined is because he says since the forward base opened, Guatemalan encroachments on the Belize side of the Sarstoon continue unabated. He says he's been to the base every single day since it opened, and every day he sees Guatemalan Fisherfolk, freely operating in Belizean waters. Take that fact, and the other fact that Guatemalan gunboats very deliberately pulled over to the Belize side of the river when the forward base was opened, and you get the clear picture that Guatemala is taking over the river. It's called "How can there be an annexation, or how can there be as others have suggested any risk that we run that ultimately a court of justice might say that we have slip on our rights or that we have made a - what in fact would be a territorial concession to Guatemala with respect to the Sarstoon. We continue to act in accordance with that position, including of course the constructing of the forward operating base that sees our vessels moored at the mouth of the Sarstoon. We continue to go up river. That does not stop the Guatemalans from insisting that the entire river is theirs, but it certainly makes clear to the world that that is a position we do not and cannot accept. There cannot be any possible question of Belize having for legal purposes conceding any of its rights with respect to its portion of the Sarstoon."

    Cane Farmer Killed In Corozal
    A Corozal cane farmer was gunned down in his farm this morning, all because of a stolen bicycle. The victim's name is Gilberto Najarro, a 43 year old farmer of Paraiso Village. According to police Najarro and another man were at the farm yesterday when they were threatened by a father and a son, who accused them of stealing their bicycles. The following morning, the son allegedly returned with a hand gun and shot Gilberto dead. Superintendent Dennis Arnold, Officer Commanding Corozal Police Formation told our colleagues at CTV-3 more. "Upon arrival, they saw a male person laying faced down with what appeared to be gunshot wounds; 2 to the back and one to the back of the head. His name was learnt to be Gilberto Najarro, 43 years old of Paraiso Village. The initial police investigation revealed that yesterday while Najarro and the complainant, the person who was his assistant at the cane field, we have a father and a son, came to that cane field and accusing them of stealing their bicycles. The father and son made threats that they would have caused serious bodily harm to those persons. Apparently the son came back this morning and made good on of his threat."

    Relative of Guat Victims Pleaded Guilty
    Back now to Belize - Guatemala relations. A footnote in the entire incident is Jose Maria Antonio Reyes. He was detained in Cebada about 2 hours before the shooting last Wednesday. The Government's official release, says that he was detained in Belizean territory conducting illegal activities. We later learned that he had entered Belizean territory illegally, and he told the BDF soldiers that he had been farming in that location for years. Quietly on Friday, Jose Antonio Reyes was arraigned, and he pleaded guilty to illegal entry. He was fined $1,500, which he paid, and he was handed over to the Immigration Department for an Expulsion Order, meaning that he had to leave the country immediately. A Guatemalan Newspaper suggests that he might be related to the 13 year-old Guatemalan, Julio Alvarado who the BDF fatally shot.

    Guat Fishers At Play In Sarstoon
    Since our news team started making frequent trips to the Sarstoon last year, we've been encountering illegal fishing in Belizean territorial waters. Those living in PG and Barranco say that it has been happening for years, and over time, it has only gotten more widespread. When the Government officials broke ground for the Joint Forces Forward Operating in December of last year, we asked National Security Minister John Saldivar about it. He said that there would be enforcement against that sort of thing as soon as the Base was opened. Well, we went back to the Sarstoon twice last week and on Friday, we saw illegal fishers doing their thing as though nothing had changed. Today, Daniel Ortiz took a closer look at Friday's encounter, and here's his story:

    Overall PM Pleased With OAS
    The Prime Minister today said that he and President Morales have agreed to work on, quote, "an operational modality…to eliminate the possibility of conflict...especially on the Sarstoon." That's the kind of OAS confidence building talk which makes many uncomfortable - because after its statement last week, the public confidence in the OAS on this side of the border is not very high. Their statement said the OAS quote, "repudiates the death of a minor." Now "repudiate" is a strong word, and it makes it seem like they are taking sides against Belize. Today the PM told us he too didn't like that word - but he's just fine with the OAS:

    PUP Sacked Dr. Assad, But He May Make A Comeback As GOB Negotiator
    And, we'd say, Dr. Assad Shoman is just fine with the OAS too - it's the Guatemalans he has said he doesn't trust. But now that he is a free agent - after being sacked by the PUP for not being a PUP - will the Government snap him up to be part of the official negotiating team? The Prime Minister today said that they are talking:.... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "We do think that Assad has a great deal of knowledge, a great deal of expertise with respect to this issue and we will look to see if there is not some professional capacity in which the government of Belize might employ his services. I see in one interview he said that he has always made it plain to me that he is available and I haven't use him. Well Assad, we certainly will talk. I am saying that I am perfectly prepared to try to work something out with him that will see him lend his remunerated services to the issue."

    Worker Crushed At Santander
    There was a terrible accident at the Santander Farm near Valley of Peace this morning. 21 year old Guatemalan Francisco Andres Sebastian a resident of Cotton Tree Village was mowed by a harvester. It happened at around 11:58 this morning, and police suspect that Sebastian was resting in the field when the harvester, driven by another employee ran over him, causing severe damage to his body and killing him almost instantaneously. Right now police are still gathering statements but so far it seems to be a genuine accident. However they say that if there is any fault suspected, they will arrest the driver and proceed with the matter as a criminal investigation. In the meantime Beverly Burke, the Public Relations officer for Santander told what occurred.

    Pol Say He Killed Suar
    A man has been charged for the January killing of taxi man Isidro Suar in Belmopan. As you all may remember, Suar was found dead in the Picini area near Chon Saan Restaurant on Friday January 8th. He had been shot 4 times. After the culprits killed Suar, they escaped in his taxi but police caught up with them shortly after in Ontario. Both Lincoln Bejerano and a 17 year old girl were found in the taxi with weapons. They were both charged with Kept ammunition without a gun license, kept firearm without a gun license as well as robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Well today, 3 months after Suar's killing, Bejerano's charge was upgraded to 1 count of murder. Just to note, Bejerano was also charged for vehicle theft 6 days after Suar's murder. That is in relation to the scary carjacking on the Humming bird highway. 38 year-old Melonie Popper Coc, pulled over on the side of the Hummingbird Highway in Armenia village to make a phone call - and that is when 2 men forced her and her family out of her vehicle by gunpoint and drove off - leaving her along with her mother and four kids stranded on the roadside.

    Kim Killed Husband, After 24 Years Of Abuse
    She chopped her common law husband Anthony Herrera to death in 2008, but Kimberly Brannon was a victim of abuse, so today she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. Justice John Gonzalez sentenced her to 8 years, but she's been in jail since it happened in 2011, so, based on time served, she will only spend 6 months and 17 days before she is free. In a mitigation plea she told the court that she lived with Herrera form she was 14 years old and for 24 years he abused her physically, sexually and emotionally. According to Brannon, whenever she found the courage to leave Herrera she always went back because of feat he would kill her or hurt a family member.

    Belize At New Orleans Jazzfest
    Right now Belize's Sweet Pain Band among several other artists are in New Orleans for the Jazz and Heritage Festival. As we've been reporting , It is one of the biggest music festivals in the US and for the first time ever, Belizean artists are the main feature. Our 7news team Courtney Weatherburne and Codie Noralez was there in New Orleans this weekend to capture this historic moment. They got back this morning and for now, we bring you just a snippet of Belize's presentation. Ivan Duran, Producer, Stone Tree Records: "After months and months of planning you get here and see all the hard work come to fruition and as you can see we are very excited. The musicians are belated to be here and playing their music to I would say a very receptive crowd, you never know what will happen until you get on stage and you see it. From what we've been seeing since yesterday and today is that the reception has been incredible. Obviously beautiful weather works here at a festival so everybody's in a good mood to have fun and to discover the music that we're bringing."

    A Whale Of A Story, But This One Has A Sad Ending
    Oceana Belize is reporting tonight that a 30-foot Humpback Whale, died off the coast of Barranco Village. Scientists suspect that the whale may have been lost or sick, but it's troubles in Belize were compounded by the fact that it was caught in gill nets believed to have been set by Guatemalan fishermen. The whale was seen in the waters of Southern Belize, and Oceana says that it struggled to stay alive in Belize for an entire month before it died today. Oceana says that the whale moved around freely until it was caught in a gill net belonging to Guatemalan fishermen, most likely one of those we told you about in our last segment. It was trapped in that gillnet. While our news team was on the way to Sarstoon on Friday to see if there had been reinforcements of Guatemalan troops at that Border, we encountered the whale struggling. Border Activist Wil Maheia, who was once a part of the Conservation community, told us what he observed when he jumped into the sea to try to render aid:

    Calling All Youths
    Tonight we've told you all about Belize Guatemala relations, but while we've labored to give you all official angles on that story from both sides of the border, one other angle is the Belizean youth population. Many young people don't get too involved in national affairs if they don't appear on their facebook page, but one Belizean youth advocate visited our studios last week, calling on his fellow youths to wake up and stand up.

    Counterfeit Cops Caught
    Last week, Belize City police caught 2 men who they believe have been going around pretending to be police, terrorizing citizens, and then robbing them. Those men are 21 year-old Tyrone Smith of St. Matthews Village, Cayo, and 21 year-old Dorian Blair of Gibnut Street. The Police say that on Thursday morning, just before 6, they were conducting mobile patrols on Ebony Street when these 2 men caught their attention. They were wearing trousers which make up a part of the Police uniform, which is illegal, and one of the men even wore a police khaki shirt, to completely look the part of a legitimate officer. The police detained both men immediately, questioned them, and found out that they were not police officers. Both men were searched and Tyrone Smith was caught with a .38 special revolver which contained 6 live rounds of .38 ammunition. They were then arrested and charged jointly with the false pretense of an officer. Smith was additionally charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

    Channel 5

    A Crisis is Averted as Tensions De-escalate Between Belize and Guatemala
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned to Belize from New York on Sunday after holding discussions with the United Nations, the Organization of American States and others on the aggressive stand [...]

    PM Barrow Maintains that B.D.F. Acted in Self-defense in Killing of Minor
    The de-escalation of the tension, according to the PM, came despite the positions taking by both leaders – Morales seeking justice for the death of thirteen year old Julio Rene [...]

    B.D.F. Commander Reveals Details of Chiquibul Ambush
    While reports from Guatemala have spread like wildfire, along with condemnation of the B.D.F. at the highest levels of government, the incident is still under investigation by the O.A.S.  Guatemala’s [...]

    Guatemalan Minister of Defense Tones Down Anti-Belizean Rhetoric
    If you wanted more assurance that the rhetoric has been dialed way down, you’d only have to listen to an interview from Guatemala’s Minister of Defense Williams Mansilla over the [...]

    What Becomes of the Sarstoon River Debacle?
    So the crisis has been averted, and all attempts will be made to de-escalate tensions in the wake of the incident on Wednesday in the Chiquibul. But the truth is [...]

    PM Barrow Tells BTV Don’t Go There!
    Earlier in our newscast we mentioned the BTV trip scheduled for Saturday. The government has advised that it not happen, while BTV head Wil Maheia insists that he will lead [...]

    Is Strong O.A.S. Release a Drafting Blunder?
    Late last week, the Organization of American States issued a rare statement. We say rare because the O.A.S. has stoically maintained silence in times of tension, like when Special Police [...]

    Guatemala Counter-proposals Weren’t All Flatly Rejected
    The last we heard, Guatemala had rejected eleven proposals presented by Belize to government rules of engagement in the Sarstoon. At the same time, we heard that Belize had roundly [...]

    Minister of National Security Addresses B.D.F. Readiness
    Minister of National Security John Saldivar attended a pair of emergency meetings on Friday, including a session with the upper echelon of Belize’s security forces.  Later that afternoon, he convened [...]

    Guatemalan President Issues Statement Following Meeting in New York
    The Government of Guatemala has also issued a statement following the meeting between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President Jimmy Morales in New York.  That statement makes no reference on [...]

    Guatemala Requests Involvement of O.A.S. in Investigation of Minor’s Death
    The Guatemalan Government has also gone on the offensive. President Jimmy Morales also met with the Secretary General of the O.A.S., Luis Almagro, and with the Secretary of the Commission [...]

    A Guatemalan Canero is Mangled by a Harvester on Santander Farm
    There is tragic news in the west at Santander, whose offices are headquartered in Guatemala. A twenty-four year old Guatemalan national was mangled around midday today by a harvester at [...]

    Father and Son are Prime Suspects in San Jomal Murder
    A father and his son are tonight being actively pursued by Corozal police, following a mid-morning murder in the San Jomal community earlier today.  Sometime around ten o’clock a male [...]

    Is Gang Rivalry Motive Behind Weekend Shooting?
    Is the weekend shooting of a pair of Belize City men a gang related incident?  Nineteen-year-old Abraham Craig and twenty-two-year-old Tyrone Guy were attacked on Saturday evening by a lone [...]

    Julio Alvarado is Laid to Rest in La Rejoya
    The body of thirteen year old Julio Alvarado Ruano, who was killed inside the Chiquibul last Tuesday, was laid to rest over the weekend in his home village of La [...]

    Will Assad Shoman be Hired by Barrow Administration?
    And to close off our coverage of Belize/Guatemala relations tonight, we turn to the status of Ambassador Assad Shoman. P.U.P. leader John Briceño last week made the announcement that Senator [...]

    Kim Brannon is Sentenced for Manslaughter of Common Law Husband
    A case of domestic dispute ended today before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. After pleading guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, Kim Royaline Brannon, who is now forty-five years, learnt her [...]

    An Update on Patrick Faber’s Campaign for U.D.P. Leadership
    Turning to politics….While Minister of Education Patrick Faber applauds the B.N.T.U.’s campaign to educate its membership on the Belize/Guatemala dispute; he has been busy heading a campaign of his own.  [...]

    John Saldivar Launches Music Video for his Campaign
    On Friday night in Belmopan, area representative John Saldivar bused in delegates to attend the launch of a music video and jingle as part of his ongoing campaign.  Saldivar is [...]

    Football and Basketball Stats and More with James Adderley
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We take you out to the Michael Ashcroft Stadium at Independence where game one of the PLB Closing Season [...]

    CTV3

    Brigadier General Speaks On Issue At The Chiquibul
    Since the unfortunate incident that occurred on Wednesday evening between members of the Belize Defense Force and a group of Guatemalan civilians which resulted in the death of a 13 year old Guatemalan minor, tensions between Belize and Guatemala have been on an all-time high. Although we have heard from Prime Minister Dean Barrow as it relates to the incident, the Belize Defense Force until today had not given an official statement about the occurrence. Today a press conference was held in Belize City to discuss the incident and present were Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, Brigadier General David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defense Force and Belize Coast Guard Commander, Rear Admiral John Borland.During the press conference, Brigadier General David Jones, spoke for the first time about the incident, maintaining that his soldiers fired, in the dark, in defense of their lives.

    Sensationalism On Death Of 13 Year Old Guatemalan Expected Says Dean Barrow
    As we have showed you in our previous story, the incident that resulted in the death of 13 year old Guatemalan minor, Julio Alvarado was embellished due to the nature behind it. Today at the press conference held with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, he told the media that although the fact remains that the Belize Defense Force was acting in self-defense, the headline will always remain that a 13 year old minor was killed by the BDF and according to him, it is something that he cannot change. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: “We have a responsibility in circumstance such as occurred to put out and put out early our side of the story sensationalism, emotion will always going to be on the side of the Guatemalans that is inevitably going to be the media take away from that incident, Belizean Soldiers Kill a Minor, whether they say unarmed whether they say that it was in circumstances, they are not going to say in the normal course that our soldiers were fired upon, they are not going to say that they knew not from where the shots, they are not going to say that they retaliated as a matter of self-defense and in circumstances where it all they could do is fire in the direction of which the shots originated without seeing or knowing who the hell was shooting at them you know the take away is a minor was killed by Belizean Soldiers.”

    Prime Minister Cautions BTV On Upcoming Trip To Sarstoon
    Saturday April 30th is the day set out by the Belize Territorial Volunteers to journey to the border at the mouth of the Sarstoon River in commemoration of the 157th anniversary of the signing of the 1859 Treaty between the governments of the UK and recognized the border between Belize and Guatemala. Today during the press conference to discuss the incident that occurred on Wednesday in the Chiquibul where a Guatemalan minor lost his life, Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow ardently pleaded with the Belize Territorial Volunteers not to return to the Sarstoon Island until the government has developed with their Guatemalan counterparts, a Peace protocol for that area. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: “In the current circumstances where we just went through an absolutely harrowing weekend the entire country all of us sitting at this table where we have come through on skid and where our diplomacy and the face to face meetings with Guatemala have produced this resolved to de-escalations tensions and to find a way rooted in peace and mutual respect forward, in those circumstances for these people to maintain that they will still go to the Sarstoon on Saturday would in my view be absolutely and utterly unacceptable.”

    Prime Minister Considering Hiring Assad Shoman
    During the Press briefing that was held today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the announcement that Former Minister, Assad Shoman, who was the PUP representative in the Belize Guatemala relations, but was replaced by Eamon Courtney, may be in a position to assist the current Government with the Guatemala dispute. Prime Minister stated today that Dr. Shoman’s quarrel with the PUP is for them alone to settle and that the Government of Belize may be able to offer the trained attorney a place to work based on his vast knowledge of the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute which may be of invaluable help to Belize. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: “In terms of Dr. Shoman, the question of his removal by the PUP is for him and the PUP we do think that Assad has a great deal of knowledge, has a great deal of expertise with respect to this issue and we will look to see if there is not some professional capacity in which the government of Belize might employ his services, I’ve seen one interview he gave he said that he always made it plain to me that he is available ...”

    O/W Police Recovers Drugs And Firearm Over The Weekend
    Yesterday at around 10:50 p.m., Orange Walk police officers conducted a search in an abandoned lot on Asuncion St, Orange walk Town which led to the discovery of a black bag containing 8,525 grams of Cannabis. Since no one was found in the area, the drug was labeled as found property. And so was a black 9 mm pistol with serial number 30346262 which police found yesterday at around 1:25 am while conducting a search in an abandoned upstairs house on Smith Sonia Street, Orange Walk Town. No one was found in the area.

    Guatemalan President Seeks OAS Assistance To Investigate Shooting Incident
    Many are of the opinion that the drastic measures taken by President Jimmy Moralez after learning about the death of the 13 year old Guatemalan minor at the Chiquibul was nothing but a tactic to defuse tensions in his own country facing huge problems in the areas of Health, education and food security. Moralez, who recently completed his first 100 days as President of Guatemala, accepted during a press conference this morning that the efforts to better off the country have not been enough and just like the populace he too is dissatisfied. Currently Moralez’s government faces a multitude of dissatisfied Guatemalans fighting for the protection of water resources. The March for water, Mother Earth, Territory, and Life brought together Indigenous groups from across Guatemala, unified around demands for a guarantee to the right to water and dignified livelihoods in the face of industrial agriculture and exploitive mining projects that threaten to contaminate and siphon off water resources from remote and vulnerable communities. On Friday, some 15 thousand protested the displacement of their communities by unwanted hydroelectric dams and called for justice for pollution caused by corporate farming and extractive projects in their territories. International reports indicate that leaders of the national water march, were to address Congress today and demand legislation that would punish the unnatural diversion of rivers and waterways.

    Cane Farmer Shot To Death In Corozal Over Bicycle
    Tonight the family of a 43 year old cane farmer from Corozal Town is mourning his death after he became the districts third murder victim for 2016. What we know so far is that Gilberto Najarro Sarsenio and another individual were ambushed at around 10:00 this morning while working at their cane field in an area known as San Jomal located about 5 1/2 miles northeast of Corozal Town. When authorities visited the scene they found Sarsenio with multiple gunshot wounds. Superintendent Dennis Arnold - Police Corozal Police Formation: “Today Monday 25th of April 2016 at about 10am a male person came to the police station requesting police assistance in the San Jomal area as they were fired at, immediately police went to the area which is situated five and a half miles north east of Corozal Town or Paraiso Village upon arrival they saw a person lying face down with appears to be gunshot wounds two to the back and one to the back of the head and his name was learned to be Gilberto Arsenio 43 years of age from Paraiso Village.”

    Belize Ranks As Most Dangerous In The Caribbean
    Viewers may recall that back in the month of January two tourists were murdered here in Belize, and while both executions took place in the Cayo District, the first occurred on January 4th, 2016 when the lifeless body of well-known Canadian film producer, Matthiew Klinck was found approximately fifteen feet away from his residence in the village of Selena with a total of fourteen stab wounds to his upper body. Only a few weeks later, the body of thirty nine year old Anne Elizabeth Swaney, American journalist of ABC 7 in Chicago, was discovered floating along the Mopan River after she had stayed behind to do some early morning yoga. Swaney was strangled to death. Both murders caused Belize to gain a black eye as the reports made it on international news for a number of weeks. Today we can tell you that in a report issued by the ‘News Americas’, it stated that the Caribbean has been identified as one of the most dangerous regions throughout the world when it comes to homicide due to its continuous escalation in recent years.

    LOVE FM

    BPP Plans to Collaborate with Territorial Volunteers
    The Belize Progressive Party has issued a release expressing solidarity with Belizeans. In that release, the BPP has not only condemned what they have dubbed as military provocation by Guatemala but has also called on the general public to remain calm yet vigilant. The release goes on to speak of a collaboration effort with the […]

    Santander Employee Gets Caught in Harvesting Machine
    An employee of Santander Sugar Mills was killed today in an accident. Love News understands that just before midday, 22- year-old Guatemalan national, Andres Antonio Sebastian was working in the fields when somehow he was picked up by a cane harvesting machine and chopped to death. Sebastian’s body was transported to the Western Regional Hospital.

    Abused Woman of 24 Years Gets Convicted for Manslaughter after Killing Spouse
    45- year-old, Kim Brannon was in a situation that mirrors that of Laverne Longworth aka “Anti-Christ” and Veola Pook. Today, after Brannon pled guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, she was sentenced to 8 years by Judge Troadio Gonzalez. Since she has been on remand for some time now, Brannon will be free in […]

    BELIZE: More Dangerous Than the United States?
    Belize has been labeled as the number one country in the Caribbean region that is “more dangerous than the US” in a published article of Newsamericanow.com. The article reportedly compared murder rates from the United Nations Office on drugs and crime for every one hundred persons in top Caribbean nations. Belize was labeled number one […]

    Shooting in the Old Capital Injures Two
    Reports of several shootings over the weekend in the old capital began surfacing from Saturday evening at around six o’clock. Authorities, upon visiting the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, they came across 19-year-old, Abraham Craig of a Racecourse Street address who had a gunshot wound to the right leg. Craig was reportedly on Queen Charlotte Street […]

    Villager Drowns in Teakettle Village
    A villager from western Belize lost his life in a drowning incident on Saturday, April 23. Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ “

    Pat Andrews: From Banker to Ambassador
    Last week we spoke with Ambassador Pat Andrews on the importance of the relations between Belize and Guatemala. Ambassador Andrews, as we have reported previously, also serves in two more diplomatic capacities, which he spoke of to Love News. PAT ANDREWS “The role of a permanent representative to the OAS is one and I have […]

    Humpback Whale Dies in Belize’s Waters
    The death of a humpback whale in Belizean waters has caught the attention of Non-Governmental Organizations such as Oceana. The first humpback whale spotted in Belize was in February of this year and tonight that whale has been confirmed dead by fishermen in Barranco Village. There are only 80,000 of these magnificent creatures swimming in […]

    Eastern Division Awards Cops for Nabbing Imposters
    The Conference Room at the Raccoon Street Police Station was the venue for a brief meeting and a brief award ceremony led by the Officer Commanding the Eastern Division South, ACP Chester Williams. With the recent promotions that took place in the department, ACP Williams found it fitting to meet with his two dozen newly […]

    Belize Featured at New Orleans Jazz Festival 2016
    The annual Heritage and Jazz Festival got underway on Friday in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA with a line-up of Belizean artists scheduled to perform over the next few days. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival also known as the Jazz Fest celebrates music and culture and this year, they are highlighting the richness and […]

    PlusTV

    Tensions remain high between Guatemala and Belize
    Tensions remain at an all time high between Guatemala and Belize as during the course of yesterday, The Guatemalan Armed Force made their way to the Sarstoon to “exercise Sovereignty” and to border areas of the adjacency zone to stop any further “abuse” by BDF against Guatemalan people.. Those are s...

    GUATS Say BDF killed 10 Guatemalan peasants in the last 17 years
    The Guatemalans hastily responded to the Belizean PM’s statement with another press release which says, “The Government of the Republic of Guatemala deplores and rejects categorically the content of the press release issued by the Government of Belize on the afternoon of April 2st 2016, which refute...

    OAS Press Release
    The OAS has issued a statement on the matter as well in which it says that OAS General Secretariat “…repudiates the death of a Guatemalan minor at the hands of a Belizean patrol, and urges both sides to redouble efforts to establish a lasting peace in the adjacency zone between the two countries.” ...

    National Security Council briefed on Belize’s military readiness
    The Minister of National Security held a meeting with Security Forces High Command this morning at the Price Barracks in Ladyville. Minister of National Security Hon. John spoke with Commander of the Belize Defence Force Brigadier General David Jones; Rear Admiral John Borland, Commander of the Nat...

    PUP calls for recall of Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala
    The Opposition Party, People’s United Party, issued a statement this evening from the desk of its Party Leader, Hon. John Briceno. The opposition leader says that “The statement by the President of Guatemala yesterday, constitutes a direct challenge to the independence of Belize, to our territorial...

    Guatemala sends 300 minors into Belize for school
    It’s hard to believe that only 2 days ago, the Secretary General of the OAS was here in the Red Zone between Belize and Guatemala;. complete with pomp and circumstance and Belizean and Guatemalan children holding hands and singing while adult dignitaries of both countries spoke about peace. Today, o...

    8 year old drowns in Biscayne Village
    An 8 year old drowned in Biscayne Village on Thursday afternoon. According to the child’s grandmother, 8 year old Kimera Dominguez was at her home at miles 24 1/4 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, Biscayne Village, The child was inside the grandmother’s house when the school bus arrived at 3:45 p.m. a...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Humpback whale dies in Southern Belize
    A humpback whale was reported apparently sick or injured off the coast of the Toledo District by OCEANA in Belize, which dispatched a team to conduct investigations on Friday. Tonight we can tell you that the whale has unfortunately died. According to the organization, the whale was […]

    Kim Brannon takes manslaughter plea; claims murder victim abused her
    She allegedly chopped her common law husband to death but blamed others for it when charged with murder. She was found guilty, and a re-trial was ordered. Today, Kimberly Brannon accepted a plea of manslaughter, claiming for the first time that Anthony “Antics” Herrera held […]

    Man shot dead in Corozal, apparently over a stolen bike
    Another shooting incident in the Corozal District has left one man dead and police looking for another. Reports are that around 10:00 this morning a male person went to the police station to request assistance after he and another person were shot at in the San Jomal […]

    Police find weed and gun during weekend operations
    Police operations in Belize City and Orange Walk Town over the weekend yielded a total of 19.1 pounds of cannabis and a 9 millimeter pistol but no arrests were made. On Friday morning in Belize City, between the hours of 5:30 and 8:00, officers […]

    Man charged for drug trafficking
    A search conducted at the Belize City residence of 35-year-old Marvin Ottley on Friday night around 8:30, resulted in the discovery of cannabis. Working on information received, officers visited the house located on Vasquez Avenue and inside, they found a plastic bag containing 119.2 […]

    GOB may find place for Assad
    Former Minister, Senator and Ambassador Assad Shoman may be in a position to assist the current Government with the Guatemala dispute, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced today. Shoman publicly declared at the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) rally in Benque Viejo that he is not […]

    Killed Guatemalan boy had been to Belize before; BDF maintains incident was self-defence
    While responding to a media question about why Belize seemed slow off the block to get its version of events last Wednesday in the Chiquibul, Prime Minister Dean Barrow revealed that the dead teenager, 13 year old Juan Jose Alvarado Ruano, had been to Belize […]

    City men shot over the weekend
    On Saturday evening around 5:50, Belize City Police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after responding to a shooting incident on Caesar Ridge Road. Upon arrival, officers saw Abraham Craig, 19, suffering from a gunshot wound to his right leg and Tyrone Guy, […]

    New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival spotlights Belize
    Belize’s music is being featured in the ongoing New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Featured on opening day Saturday at the Belize Pavilion of the Fair Grounds Race Course was The Garifuna Collective, with other Belizean acts scheduled to perform. Visitors speaking to the Associated Press from […]

    Guatemala will not remove troops from borders
    Minister of Defence in Guatemala, Williams Masilla told the Guatemalan press that they will maintain their military presence at the adjacency zone with Belize and at the Sarstoon River, in a press conference on Saturday. Mansilla is quoted as saying that they will keep […]

    PM maintains Belize, Guatemala on way “to normalcy”
    Prime Minister, Right Honorable Dean Barrow, is presently addressing a press briefing in Belize City on efforts to de-escalate tensions along the western and southern border. The Prime Minister said he could not shake Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’ firm belief that Belize Defence Force […]

    Blogs

    Sunday Fishing & Snorkeling Trip with Belize Parasail: It’s Hard Not to Be SHOCKED By the Beauty of North Ambergris Caye
    An invite for a snorkeling, a beach BBQ and boating with one of the most handsome dogs on the island? Who is going to say no? Yesterday, at 9am, I set out with Belize Parasail on a charter north. Laid back and easy, just a handful of Texans, me and the crew setting off on the Miss Demeanor… Carlos and Esban were our tour guides…and we left from Fido’s dock in downtown San Pedro. Heading north before we stopped at our first fishing (spear or rod) stop. We needed to hunt and gather lunch. And it would be a while before we were standing on a perfect beach sipping coconut water and eating delicious fresh fish. After collecting quite a few fish…enough for lunch…we headed to our last snorkel stop just south of Tranquility Bay Resort.

    Why You Have to Visit San Ignacio Belize on Your Vacation
    Originally a small village of logging camps and chicle farmers, San Ignacio and its twin town of Santa Elena have grown to become a thriving metropolitan area in the western part of the country. Close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal just over the border in Guatemala as well as several of Belize’s most prominent Mayan ruins, San Ignacio is a popular tourist destination. San Ignacio is the de facto capital of the western Cayo District. Along with its twin town Santa Elena, San Ignacio is built on the banks of the Macal River and form the second-largest municipal district in the country after Belize City. There’s plenty to do and see in San Ignacio but the town is most popularly used as a base for exploring all of the local attractions including the Mayan ruins of Caracol, Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, the ATM Cave, Barton Creek Cave, the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, zip lining, and Tikal just over the border in neighboring Guatemala.

    A MODERN FAIRYTALE WEDDING AT GRAND CARIBE BELIZE LARRY & MARGO HARMON!
    On July 15th 2015, we published a blog entitled “Love Takes to the Air: A Surprise Engagement Over Ambergris Caye, Belize”. This was about the super romantic proposal made by one of our long term residents Larry Harmon – to his then girlfriend Margo Snyder. For a flash back of that amazing proposal, visit our blog. The day finally came for Larry and Margo to take, what many would consider, the biggest step in their lives, and we are super excited that they chose Grand Caribe Belize as their destination wedding location. On site to capture the moments once again, was one of our favorite photographer, Olivera Rusu. Leading up to the wedding, the guys had some fun with their photo shoot.

    Pool Project: Week Six
    The crew spent most of last week rendering the remaining columns, exterior walls, and the hallway. They also poured the floor for the pump house and added more block. It's well on its way to completion. We also received an unexpected perk when the guys poured a new slab for our butane tank and water heater. In the meantime, we placed Amazon orders for patio furniture. We will have a daybed to curl up on (the canopy is removable), plus two matching recliners. These should be arriving later next month. In the meantime, we will just use some of the chairs we currently have on the porch. But the real excitement happened on Friday and Saturday. First, they poured the pool deck and applied a tinted, non-skid surface.

    International Sourcesizz

    Guatemalan Government statement on the meeting that took place between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President Jimmy Morales
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that this afternoon in New York City, in the margins of the signing of the agreement on Climate Change, the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow who was also at the conference, requested a bilateral meeting with the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales. President Morales agreed to the meeting with Prime Minister Barrow to whom he expressed his total rejection over the cowardly act committed by the Belize Defence Force who killed a thirteen year old in the Adjacency Zone. The President of Guatemala also rejected the Belizean version that the soldier acted in self defence. The President of Guatemala also told the Prime Minister that it was recalling its Ambassador to Belize for consultations and he demanded that the Government of Belize, place before the relevant authorities those responsible for the death of the minor. The Prime Minister of Belize, offered to the President of Guatemala an impartial investigation and additionally proposed that through the OAS, the investigation could be carried out with participation from a US agency.

    Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales meeting with Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro
    On Saturday, April 23rd, the Government of Guatemala tweeted several photos of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales meeting with Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro. The picture was captioned: "It is difficult to argue self-defense, the child has multiple impacts of high caliber" - Jimmy Morales

    Knowing the other side of Eljai
    WHEN Belizean singer Eljai started recording songs for a new project in late 2015, the initial idea was to release an EP. Midway the sessions, he had a change of plan. “Things were going so well we thought it would be better to put out an album. I think we made the right decision,” he told the Jamaica Observer. That album, The Other Side Of Eljai, will be his third. The lead song, Everything I Do, is produced by his Jah Mix Entertainment company; it was released April 1 by Tuff Gong International. Everything I Do is a cover of Canadian singer Bryan Adams’ 1991 mega hit, (Everything I Do) I Do It for You. At the time that song ruled international charts, Eljai was part of Belize, a Rhythm And Blues trio who were signed briefly to Warner Brothers.

    3 Course Interview: Norma Palacios
    The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival's Cultural Exchange Pavilion features Belize in 2016. It includes the culture of the Garifuna, who are descendants of Africans and Native Americans who settled along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Two local women with Garifuna heritage, Norma Palacios and Isa Velazquez, present a cooking demonstration at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the festival's Cajun Cabin. They will prepare hudutu, a traditional seafood and coconut soup. Palacios spoke with Gambit about Garifuna culture and cuisine. What is traditional Garifuna cuisine? Palacios: For me, there are so many different dishes that represent Garifuna food. The traditional soup we serve is called hudutu. It's a coconut and seafood soup served with mashed plantains. It's made with coconut milk, shrimp, fish, cilantro, plantains, peppers, garlic, onions and basil. We'll be serving this at the festival and demonstrating how to make the soup. On the day of the demonstration, we'll be doing all the shopping and preparing beforehand at my home, because the soup takes quite a long time to make.

    Panama proposes to set up its state-owned bank as correspondent in New York
    Faced with the closing of an increasing number of correspondent relationships with New York financial institutions, Panamanian banks are desperate to acquire new correspondent accounts in the United States, lest they be totally denied access to the American financial structure. It has been proposed that a state-owned bank, the National Bank of Panama (Banco Nacional de Panamá) aka Banconal, itself open a branch in New York and thereafter serve as the correspondent for all the country's commercial banks, eliminating the fear that further relationships with American banks will be terminated.

    Videos

  • Trip Mexique/Guatemala/Belize, 6min.

  • DJI Phantom flying around fire in Spanish Lookout, Belize, 1.5min. Richard flew his drone through and around the neighbor's smoke cloud as they burned pasture grass. I edited the footage and speeding it up for some parts and reversing it in others - creating a fun video

  • JazzFest 2016 - Belize Tent, 1.5min. Magic moment.

  • Belize Half Moon Caye in 90 Seconds, 1.5min. Half Moon Caye near Belize bird sanctuary.

  • Frigate birds and Pelicans, Caye Caulker, Belize, 1min.

  • Lion Fish as dinner in Belize, 1.5min. Since this fish is so abundant in Belize's waters, it's become one of the country's local dishes. Learn how to clean and cook a lion fish.

  • Carnival Dream Cruise Vlog Day 5! Sergeant's Cay Belize!!, 14min. Welcome to Day 5 of our carnival dream cruise adventure!! Today we went on a snorkeling adventure in Sergeant's Cay in Belize!

  • The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize - Island Time, 15min. In this episode, host Mike Mann and his team acquire the first-ever interview with Island Time Brewing, who are on the cusp of becoming the first new beer producer in 30 years within Belize. Michelle and Jeff Becker, founders/owners, reveal their journey to putting the country of Belize on the map for craft brew. Furthermore, Garrick Rodemeyer, Head Brewer, breaks down the brew process of Island Time’s pilot system and takes us through their beer line-up.

  • Hand Feeding Tarpon Belize, 1min. Hand feeding tarpon sardines off a dock in Belize.

  • Belize Landing, 4min. Flying over a gorgeous, crystal clear Caribbean Sea, landing in Belize, C.A..

  • Tarpon Caye Belize, 13min. Flyfishing at Tarpon Caye Lodge Belize.

  • KHS Belize Trip 2k16, 5min.

  • Revive Belize April 2016, 5min.

  • Belize, 9.5min.

  • Zip Lining and Tubing in The caves of Belize! 4/6/2016, 21min. Welcome to the everyday exciting life of The Novak's! Watch us learn to parent with our rambunctious son Owen, and our beautiful baby girl Savannah!

  • Belize Trip 2016- Ready, Set, Rum!, 4min.

  • Devastation of nature in full speed, 1/2min. "Progress" just north of Spanish Lookout.

    April 25, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    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

    Wolfe’s Woofer: What’s for Dinner
    “How did Juan get that big bruise on his face?” Mario asked me. “He won’t tell me but I know you were with him yesterday.” I told Mario how it happened. When my phone rang yesterday it was Juan asking, “Hey, you gonna come over and watch the football match with me?” “I’m not sure,” I told him. “I have some things I should be doing.” “Oh, come on over. I got the air conditioner on with the big screen TV. We’ll drink some beers and my old lady will fix us a nice dinner.” When I got to Juan’s house his wife didn’t seem too happy. “You promised me you were going to chop the yard today,” she said to him. “Cruz Azul is playing Guadalajara. I can’t cut the grass during that game.”

    Police Report
    CAYE CAULKER FOUND PROPERTY: On Thursday, April 14th at 12PM, Customs and Belize Agricultural Health Authority personnel in Caye Caulker conducted operations to check for undeclared goods and illegal commodities. Upon checking a local airline cargo section, they observed a white foam icebox on a shelf and discovered five parcels emitting a strong smell of Cannabis.
    SAN PEDRO FOUND PROPERTY: On Saturday, April 16th at 8:15PM, San Pedro Police patrolled in the Boca Del Rio area in San Pedro Town and conducted searches around the western portion of a store. The search led to the discovery of 3 transparent plastic bags, one of which contained a piece of transparent plastic wrap with 10 transparent plastic bags of Cannabis. The other transparent plastic bag contained 5 small transparent zip lock plastic bags and the bigger transparent plastic bag contained white powdery substance suspected to be Cocaine.

    Doctor Love: Abuela and Betrayed
    Dear Doctor Love, My daughter-in-law is not very honest with me. Whenever I tell her how to do things she smiles and agrees with me. Then she goes ahead and does whatever she wants. When my son first married her I tried to tell her that men will always be men. I explained that men are going to go out drinking with their friends and there is nothing that can be done to stop them. She would not have any of that. She fought with him for nearly a year and they almost split up because of her attitude. Finally, because my son is crazy for her he just gave up. I think this also has something to do with her first baby. She is only twenty years old and her mother is not here to advise her so she is raising the baby however she wants. I have told her over and over what to do. She smiles and says yes but then does something completely different. What can I do? /s/ Abuela

    Ambergris Today

    25 Years Ago - The Pride of Being the Teacher's Favorite
    Okay let us find out about this favoritism thing in the classrooms? Let us immediately dismiss this idea that teachers had favorites and gave them free grades. In order to be a teacher's favorite, one had to earn it by being obedient, maintaining good grades, being neat in physical appearance, and other things of that nature. Now here is the fun part! The student who became the teacher's favorite got to erase the chalkboard; as simple as that. At the end of the subject period, the teacher simply turned to face the class and there would be several hands in the air volunteering to do the honors of erasing the blackboard. One of the favorites got to do it. That child would be so proud of being selected would smile at his classmates and proceed with this honorable task. Very often when a child got home, mom would ask, "Did you get to erase the blackboard today?" You can bet that the child would be all too excited to boast that he was the teacher's favorite. What a beautiful relationship developed by teachers with their students in the Good Old Days.

    Pet Parrot Inspection/Registration in San Pedro
    The Forest Department, through this medium, notifies the public that it will be conducting a sweep in San Pedro on Monday April 25, 2016, visiting households with parrots. The primary inspection serves to assess the conditions and housing of parrots in your possession and to give recommendations on how to improve conditions. It is strongly suggested that if the dietary requirements for parrots are not being followed, that they must be improved for healthier and longer lifespans. Please see dietary conditions in the “Minimum Care Standards – Husbandry”. It is highly recommended, that if the housing for the parrots are not up to the minimum requirements based on size, materials and or perches required, for this to be tended to as soon as possible, preferably before the first inspection.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Front Street mural on Caye Caulker
    To create this beautiful Front Street mural Ocean Academy students Alessa, Lilly and Annabella worked together with Oceana artists Roxanne Gentle and Kirkland Smith, Uriel Cowo, Chelsea Johnstone. The mural depicts the beauty and vibrancy of our reef. Oceana is spearheading the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage working to conserve and protect our oceans from the devastating effects of potential oil spills.

    Letter: Guatemala ups the ante by amassing troops at the Belize-Guatemala border
    On Wednesday, 20 April, a Belize Defence Force (BDF) unit in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve (inside Belizean territory) became engaged with illegal Guatemalan usurpers. Matters escalated with those who were illegally operating in Belize and unfortunately, there was a loss of life, in this instance that of a minor, unquestionably, the loss of life is always regrettable, yet given the aggressive nature of the Guatemalans who operate illegally inside Belize's sovereign territory, our security forces must remain vigilant. A case in point involves the recent shooting of a BDF staff sargeant, Richard Lambey, on 26 March 2016. The Guatemalan president, Jimmy Morales, in keeping with his nation's opportunistic and belligerent disposition, seized the opportunity to exponentially escalate his country's aggression against Belize. In effect, he has begun to amass troops on the border between the two countries. Of note, this is in line with his earlier, illegal move in which he claimed the entire Sarstoon River for Guatemala. This is something that requires regional coverage. I have provided a few links from the local media houses, in addition to a statement from the Belize Progressive Party (BPP), concerning this egregious move by the Guatemalans.

    The Reporter

    New AIDs report will help guide NAC’s future plans
    The National AIDS Commission this week said that the recently released National HIV surveillance Report 2015 will assist in planning future interventions in the national HIV response. Executive Director of the NAC, Enrique Romero, explained that the report, released by the Ministry of Health, has pointed out key successes and challenge areas that the NAC will use in preparation of its National Strategic and Operational Plan 2016. Romero said that two areas highlighted in the report that requires the NAC’s attention are the level of HIV testing done among Belizean men and the number of diagnosed HIV positive patients who maintain their Anti-Retroviral (ARV) treatments. “If you look at the statistics compiled by the Ministry of Health, women are tested significantly more than men,” Romero said. “Sixty-four percent of the tests done in 2015 were women and only 35 percent were men.”

    Global heat streak up to 11 months and counting
    The temperature in March 2016 brought the global record breaking heat streak up to 11 months. This is according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “Most of Earth’s land surfaces were warmer than average or much warmer than average … with record warmth notable across eastern Brazil, most of eastern and central Africa, much of southeastern Asia, and large portions of northern and eastern Australia,” NOAA explained on its website. Climatologists attribute the heat streak to El Niño, a weather phenomenon which occurs every few years. During El Niño, an area within the equatorial Pacific Ocean has unusually warm sea surface temperatures because surface winds that usually help to cool the area die down. This warming of the sea dictate long-term weather patterns for much of the world. Another major factor is said to have been ongoing, man-made global warming caused by the use of fossil fuels, among other climate-unfriendly activities.

    PUP issues statement regarding Belize/Guatemalan relations
    The People’s United Party (PUP) has issued its own statement following Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales’ decision to place Guatemalan troops along the Adjacency Zone with Belize. Morales, who has been receiving criticisms from his own native Guatemalans for cutting that country’s health and social budget within the first 100 days of taking office, is now viewed by observers as a reactionary. On Thursday, several hundred thousand indigenous protested in Guatemala City against his decision on the budget affecting their lives and some critics believes he could be using the territorial claim to Belize as a distraction. The PUP shares the same opinion. Following an emergency executive meeting on Friday, the party’s new representative on the Belize/Guatemala negotiating team, Eamon Courtenay was candid in addressing the media on Morales’ grounds for his decision to line our border with troops.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize ranked as most dangerous Caribbean Nation
    An article published on the “News America” website earlier this week, ranks Belize as the most likely Caribbean country that a tourist would be killed while visiting, on its list of the 10 “dangerous Caribbean Nations”. The article, entitled “Ten Caribbean Nations More Dangerous […]

    La Cabana bar owner withdraws anti-BDF social media post
    A Belmopan bar owner has lost face after having to retract a social media statement in which she appears to go after the Belize Defence Force for their actions in the death of the Guatemalan minor in the adjacency zone on Wednesday. According to […]

    Belize drops in press freedom ranking
    According to the Reporter, The Reporters without Borders annual World Press Freedom Index ranks Belize 36th of 180 nations, a drop of six places from last year’s ranking. The Index measures pluralism, media independence, quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists […]

    BPP Condemns Military Provocation by Guatemala
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) is offering to organize a Belize People’s Brigade, which it says will support the active forces with citizen volunteers to be trained to respond to further escalation of aggression by Guatemalan forces. The offer comes in a party press […]

    Blogs

    The Farmers’ Market at The Truck Stop in San Pedro is a RAGING SUCCESS
    HOLY MOLY. A monthly farmers’ market certainly seemed like a great idea…a few merchants selling veggies, fruits and homemade goodies. But I had no clue what a GREAT IDEA IT WAS. The event was yesterday, Saturday April 23 from 11am to 2pm and when I arrived at 10.45am, I can only call it an organics riot… There were a number of vendors including Sue Blair with her Home Baked Breads and her GORGEOUS boules. I can guarantee you much happiness with a Walnut and Cranberry and a stick of Philly cream cheese or the Cheddar & Jalapeno, a toaster and some salted butter… I still think she should name her business “I Pity the Boule” but she is resistant to my idea and obviously, Mr. T. Sue sold all 35 breads within the first hour. Debbie from Pirate Girl Treats and the GORGEOUS cakes, brownies and CARROT CAKE! I’m not sure you are going to find moister cakes. Good lord delicious. Ian Anderson from Cayo (namely of the Farm House Deli – but also of Ian Anderson Cave Branch arrived in San Pedro with 100s of pounds of cheeses, breads, organic veggies and fruits, fermented drinks, pickles, and most popularly, cured and smoked meats. Ian and 6 employees (most of whom had never been to San Pedro) brought 80 loaves of bread – from rye to molasses brown – and returned home with 7.

    International Sourcesizz

    Guatemala Admits Having Little Presence in Border with Belize
    Guatemala has little presence on the border with Belize and only in case of conflict situations between both countries, like the one that occurred this week, the attention is drawn to that place, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Martinez recognized today. During a meeting with journalists in connection to the controversy surrounding the murder of a 13-year-old by Belizean soldiers in the so-called adjacency zone, the official confirmed that the marked poverty in that area obliges residents to redouble efforts in trying to earn a living. He also admitted the lack of projects or actions in that part of the northern department of Peten in order to reverse these kind of situations. He explained that the Ministry only has two officials to deal with all the issues concerning the area of the border with Belize and therefore, they can not cover everything that happens there. He also considered that it is necessary to take the case of the border dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

    Agreement concluded to advance small-scale fisheries in the Caribbean
    The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) last week concluded an agreement with a UN agency to strengthen governance arrangements for the flyingfish fishery in the Caribbean, with special emphasis on maximizing the long-term potential of the fishery, which employs several thousands in the region and feeds many more. Milton Haughton, executive director of the CRFM, signed the memorandum of agreement for Caribbean states; while Kirk Bayabos, senior cluster manager, signed on behalf of the project executing agency, United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), a subsidiary of the UN. The agreement is under a five-year umbrella project, the UNDP/GEF Catalysing Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+) Project, designed to catalyze the implementation of a ten-year Strategic Action Programme (SAP), focused on the sustainable management of shared living marine resources harnessed from the large marine ecosystems in both the Caribbean and the North Brazil Shelf.

    New British Defence Attaché strengthens the UK’s defence relationship with the Guatemalan army
    Colonel David Strawbridge MBE, a serving officer in the British Army, paid a three day visit to Guatemala to initiate his new role as the UK’s Defence Attaché to Guatemala. He assumes the role with over 34 years of military experience including time spent in operational theatres such as Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Iraq as well as peacekeeping in Africa. During this initial visit, Colonel Strawbridge met with the Guatemalan Deputy Minister of Defence, Mynor Francisco Mus Tujab and other high level officials including the Chief of the Defence Staff Brig General Perez Ramirez. The British Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) mission is to protect the security, independence and interests of the UK at home and abroad, working closely with allies and partners. During his visit, Colonel Strawbridge reiterated the United Kingdom’s eagerness to work alongside Guatemalan counterparts and to share operational experiences. Whilst remaining resident in Mexico City he hopes to visit Guatemala on a regular basis.

    Sorry, birdwatchers: People think you’re creepy
    Here’s what most American birdwatchers are, according to a 2013 government study: White, older than 45, fairly well-off and pretty highly educated. Here’s what many people think birdwatchers are: Creepy. That’s according to a recent study that says it is the first “empirical study of ‘creepiness.’ ” Led by psychology professor Frank McAndrew at Illinois’s Knox College, the study set out to introduce “a theoretical perspective on the common psychological experience of feeling “creeped out,” and to figure out what makes us think other people are creepy. As a public service to everyone who wants to avoid being viewed as creepy, we’ll go over some of the other highlights before we get to birdwatching.

    Videos

  • I LOVE BELIZE: HARRINGTON TRAPP!, 5.5min. The legendary Belizean musical artist, Harrington Trapp's 2016 hit single, I Love Belize, that will be an instant hit both in Los Angeles and Belize. The hit single from Trapp's upcoming album celebrates Belizean patriotism and nationalism.

  • Central America, 4min. Another solo backpacking adventure, this time in Central America! Countries visited were Mexico, Guatemala and Belize over 6 weeks in 2016. Enjoy!

  • Diving Belize 2016, 12min. Dive trip to Belize. January 2016. Dive resort, Ramon's Village. Sony RX100 in a Nauticam NRX100 housing

  • My Summer Trip: Belize, 6min. Here's a little taste of what I got to experience in Belize! May be a part 2. I totally recommend visiting a third world country.

  • Belize, 15min. So I took 6 hours worth of video on this trip, and I condenced it down to the best of the best... I present the Cozumel/Belize highlights.

  • AIDAaura in Belize City, 2007, 7min. Rundrang durch Belize City.

  • My Trip to Belize, 5.5min. Took my Phantom 3 Advanced drone, my GoPro Hero 4 Silver, and my Nikon P610 to Belize for two weeks. I snorkeled the Belize Barrier reef, climbed Mayan ruins, and trekked through the jungle.

  • Belize Trip 2015, 2.5min. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize Shot using a GoPro Hero 4 Silver.

  • Just A Glimse Of An Extraordinary Mission Trip to Belize 2015, 5min.

  • Howler Monkey's at the Belize Mayan ruins near San Ignacio, 2.5min. Howler Monkeys up close at the Mayan ruins in Belize between San Ignacio and the Guatemala border. Beautiful to see these amazing animals so close up in the wild.

  • Belize coco beach pick up, 1.5min.

    April 24, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    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

    ‘Spay-ghetti No Balls Dinner’ fundraiser is Saga’s best yet
    Saga Humane Society supporters were delighted to attend the first ever “Spay-ghetti No Balls” Dinner. Hosted at Stella’s Smile in Tres Cocos on Wednesday, April 20th, the event was another successful fundraiser for Saga’s Spay/Neuter Initiative Program (SNIP) Campaign. The activity had an excellent turnout with great music and raffles keeping supporters well entertained. For a contribution of $40, attendees sampled one of the best spaghetti dinners in town. The buffet-style dinner comprised of fresh green salad, spaghetti with marinara sauce and freshly baked garlic bread. Gourmet meat balls were also available for an additional $5 each. Stella’s fabulous sangria simply added to the fun. According to Saga’s Dawn LoCascio, the event was a bit different from the usual monthly cook-off. She indicated that it was also held to commemorate the visit of two veterinarians that frequently visit the island- Dr. Donald Tummons and Dr. Suzanne Stack. They have been coming to the island for many years to spend their vacation, and during their visit they always seek ways to contribute to the community through their profession. During their visit this time, they offered free surgeries through the SNIP program at Saga from Tuesday, April 19th through Thursday, April 21st.

    Another fun weekend of Five-a-Side football action
    The San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSP) Five-a-side Football Tournament continued this past weekend. With just four weeks remaining in the regular season, the tournament has seen a good turnout of fans supporting their teams. The matches played Sunday, April 17th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium saw different teams under three categories competing on the pitch. The football action continues this weekend with games set for Sunday, April24th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. For the schedule of the matches, refer to the table.

    Innovative ideas showcased at SPHS 2016 Business Fair
    The junior and senior business students of San Pedro High School (SPHS) displayed their entrepreneurship skills at the 2016 SPHS business fair. On Saturday, April 16th, students showcased business ideas at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The event is aimed at developing businesses that can benefit Ambergris Caye, and students were tasked to form their businesses and products with the responsibility to prove that their projects could benefit the local economy. According to Alex Nuñez, Dean of Discipline and fair organizer, students were responsible for identifying a product, creating a business, identifying a location, securing funds, preparing a business plan and marketing their product. Judges would then take this criteria into consideration when evaluating each project. “The students definitely let their creativity flow in their unique projects,” said Nuñez. “I believe it is a good idea to do this event every year. It creates awareness for the residents to come and see the students from our community showcasing the different business ideas they have.

    SPTC acquires new garbage compactor
    A new garbage compactor has been added to the San Pedro Sanitation Department fleet. It is the first of four garbage compactors that the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is acquiring as it attempts to keep up with the increasing garbage being produced on the island. It is expected that with the addition of the compactors the sanitation department can be more effective. On Tuesday, April 19th, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gary Greif were on hand for the unveiling and handing over of the first compactor. Top authorities at the SPTC indicated that it would be put to use immediately.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    IT'S A HIT!
    San Pedro's first Farmer's Market.

    2 hour emergency power interruption, entire Corozal District
    Commencing around 10:00am Saturday, April 23, to replace broken utility pole carrying high voltage lines caused by traffic accident in Vivas Layout, Corozal Town.

    Usama Zaid: Rising Belizean-American Basketball Star!
    The expose on the rising young Belizean-American College basketball star, Usama Zaid, is taken from the newspaper, the Torch, which is the independent student newspaper of Lane Community College for March 2, 2016.

    Get to know the Hol Chan staff
    Mr. Killian Azueta is the most senior Ranger on staff with more than 8yrs working for the Reserve. Killian is always cheerful and ready to bring a smile to those he meet. Keep up the good work Killian!!!!

    Sweep visiting households in San Pedro with parrots

    Amandala

    Guats deploy Kaibiles to Belize border
    As we go to press tonight, the Guatemalan military has announced that it has dispatched its most dangerous special forces, the Kaibiles, partly trained by the U.S., to Belize’s western border in an unprecedented military mobilization by Guatemala, which appears to have begun soon after that country’s president, Jimmy Moralez, issued a public statement protesting the killing of a Guatemalan, 13, accused of illegal farming inside Belize. Morales, in a video message which went viral today, called for “a strict protection exercise over the sovereignty of the Sarstoon River and the entire adjacency line…” and the recall of that country’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Manuel Roldan Barillas, back to Guatemala. Several posts appearing on the Twitter feed of the Guatemalan military/Ministry of National Defence over the past few hours show snapshots of that mobilization, which includes detachments to the Sarstoon River, Belize’s southern border, as well as the western border, bounded by the Petén, where troops were photographed moving in armored military vehicles towards the border with Belize, presumably on orders by their military commander. Prensa Libre says 3,000 troops have been sent as reinforcement to the Sarstoon area and Belize’s western border, citing their defense minister, Williams Mancilla.

    $24,000 for destroying ancient Mayan temple Noh Mul
    Denny Grijalva, his wife Emelda Grijalva and Javier Nunez, the manager of their company, De Mars Stone Company, along with their attorney, Bryan Neal, appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court this morning for a sentencing hearing after the three were found guilty on two charges for the destruction of the ancient Mayan temple of Noh Mul, located in San Pablo, Orange Walk District. The Chief Magistrate imposed the maximum penalty for the two offences for which the three were convicted under the current law. All together, the Grijalvas, their company and their company’s manager were fined a total of $24,000. Before imposing the sentence on the three convicted persons and the company, however, the court heard an impact assessment testimony from Dr. John Morris, the Director of the Institute of Archeology, who explained to the court the implication of the destruction of Noh Mul.

    Minutes after Belize FOB opened, Guatemalan spy drone passed over base
    The top-ranking members of the Belize National Security apparatus, the Minister of National Security, the Coast Guard Commander and the Belize Defence Force Commander, all stood powerless just minutes after they had declared open the Forward Operating Base (FOB) on the northern bank of the Sarstoon River when a Guatemalan drone flew overhead, presumably on a video intelligence-gathering flight from across the Guatemalan base on the south side of the river. In December, when the ground-breaking ceremonies for the construction of the FOB were held, a similar incident of Guatemalan violation of Belize airspace occurred, involving a Guatemalan drone flying over the FOB. That first fly-over, however, was longer than today’s, which only lasted for approximately five minutes, and that could have been because the Guatemalans saw the Belize Coast Guard Commander take a rifle from one of his men on the dock, so the drone quickly went back and landed on its Guatemalan base.

    Guatemalans continue the destruction of Chiquibul Forest Reserve
    Guatemala illegally claims the entire Sarstoon River, in direct contravention of the 1859 Treaty that clearly defines the border between the two countries as being in the mid-channel of the Sarstoon and a direct line out to sea, and now, Guatemala farmers and poachers continue to impact the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, in the Cayo District, by clearing plots for farming as far as 45 kilometers into Belizean territory. The Guatemalans are boldly pushing forward in activities involving illegal logging and wildlife depletion, as well as the looting of cultural artifacts, all of which are negatively impacting the Chiquibul. Persistent reports to us are that presently, large areas of the forests are cleared for milpa farming, by fire, and that the practice is destroying the habitats of many plants and animals, and thus threatening the ecosystem within the forest. About 27 milpa farms were located in the Chiquibul in 2015, and about 3,126 hectares of tropical forest have disappeared. The financial loss for Belize as a result of this, is estimated at about $1 million annually.

    OAS says it will investigate Belize-Guatemala border killing
    In a statement issued today, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) said that it “repudiates the death of a Guatemalan minor [Julio Alvarado, 13] at the hands of a Belizean patrol, and urges both sides to redouble efforts to establish a lasting peace in the [border] between the two countries.” Although the OAS press release did not mention the fact that Guatemala has announced that it has dispatched a further 3,000 troops to its borders with Belize, including its most dangerous shooters — the Kaibiles — it said that it “calls on the governments of Belize and Guatemala to avoid an escalation of tensions, and to renew their efforts to establish a lasting peace.” Meanwhile, Guatemala’s Defence Ministry released photos of its minister patrolling the Sarstoon boundary today, and yesterday the Guatemalan military publicized its military deployments to the Belize border by posting several photos on social media.

    OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro snubs Belizean reporters
    The first visit to Belize by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, has come to a close with little opportunity for the Belizean public to engage him in dialogue about the OAS’ controversial role in Belize. During his visit, limited mostly to meetings with government officials, Almagro again announced the OAS’s unequivocal support for going to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to get a ruling on Guatemala’s territorial claim to portions of Belize. The fact that the OAS refers to the ICJ as a “top priority these days,” despite the lack of community consultation or a referendum on the issue, begs the question if the OAS is truly, in a democratic fashion, addressing the desires of the majority. The OAS visit seems to have been one in which only officials were addressed. No meetings were scheduled with unionists or community organizations that reject the ICJ as the path to peace. Perhaps more alarming was the time officially allotted for the Secretary General to meet the press, which was ultimately less than 15 minutes despite the crucial importance of the press in informing the public.

    Tennis News – Samron Pott is U-16 Tennis Champion
    This past Saturday, U-16 juniors were working the Belize Pickwick Club tennis courts, as they competed in the U-16 Singles tennis tournament. In the round-robin, Samron Pott, Harnadar Tut, Stefan Sosa and Noor Tut were the top four with the highest points, who then went on to the semifinals. Although Adrian Marshalleck, Gavin Riveroll and Jonathan Smith did not make the top four, their game has noticeably improved, and they are viable competitors, having lost in the round-robin by only very small margins! In the first semifinal, Samron Pott edged out Noor Tut, 6-4; and Stefan Sosa defeated Harnadar Tut, 6-4. The final was an epic marathon between Samron Pott and Stefan Sosa, proving that the sport of tennis encourages perseverance, endurance, mental toughness, agility, strength, and all round discipline. Stefan Sosa’s power game and impressive ground strokes won him the first set, 6-2; but Samron Pott fought hard and never gave up after losing the first set, adjusting his game to a defensive one, since his offensive game was not working.

    Belize is the best!!
    Hello, cricket fans! After four days of record heat in Lords Bank, the very first Central American Easter Cup Cricket Competition came to a close on Sunday. Five (5) teams participated: Belize Senior and Under 19 teams; Panama “A” and “B” teams; and Costa Rica. Games started on Thursday, April 14, where both Belize Senior and U-19 teams won their respective games. On Friday, Belize’s two teams lost to Panama and Costa Rica, respectively. On Saturday, Belize Senior Team won, and the U-19 lost. Because Panama “A” Team and Belize Senior Team won equal number of games, it was decided that on Sunday these two teams would play for first and second place.

    2016 – 4th Annual Don Omario’s Top 32 18Under Cup
    The 2016 – 4th Annual Don Omario’s Top 32-18Under Cup took place on Saturday, April 16, at the BES Auditorium, ”the home of table tennis”. The Top 32 best 18Under junior players started out in a double-elimination format event, with defending Champion and #1 ranked junior, Latrell Solis; 2015 Junior Player of the Year, Taye Parkinson; and 2016 Primary School Finalist, Terry Su all included in the list of participants… Latrell Solis managed to make it to the quarter finals of the loser’s bracket by defeating Denzel Young (3-0) and Devesh Hukmani (3-2), before falling to Taye Parkinson in the winner’s bracket (0-3), sending him down to the loser’s bracket where he played Kevin Chen, winning, 3-2. His next match would be Rohit Pagarani, where he’d try to continue to make his run to the finals. Unfortunately for him, Rohit Pagarani managed to pull off the win, beating Solis 3 games to 1, putting Solis in fourth place for this year’s event.

    Editorial: Sarstoon and Benque: different, dynamic modalities
    On Wednesday morning, April 20th instant, there were different, dynamic modalities operating at the mouth of the Sarstoon River, which constitutes Belize’s southern border with Guatemala, and at Benque Viejo del Carmen, a town next to Belize’s western border with that same, hostile Central American republic. At the Sarstoon on Wednesday morning, Belize’s Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, accompanied by Ministry officials and the commanders of the Belize Defence Force, Brigadier-General David Jones, and the Belize Coast Guard, Rear Admiral John Borland, and representatives of the Belize media, was officially opening a forward operating base for our military on the northern bank of the Sarstoon. Ambassadors from Panama and Honduras were also present, but the ambassadors of the United States and the United Kingdom found reason(s) to be absent from the Sarstoon ceremony. It appears that tension was pretty high at the Sarstoon River mouth, as uninvited Guatemalan naval vessels clearly and disrespectfully entered the Belize section of the Sarstoon to monitor(?) the ceremony, while a drone originating from Guatemalan air space entered Belize air space. At least one Belize television station reported in its Wednesday evening newscast that the Belize Coast Guard commander had aimed a weapon at the drone, which then quickly returned to Guatemalan air space.

    From the Publisher
    One of the most extraordinary and intriguing aspects of Belize’s situation with respect to the increasingly aggressive Guatemalan claim is the Mexican position. The Mexicans, who signed the British Honduras northern border treaty with Great Britain in 1893, 34 years after the Guatemalans signed the 1859 southern and western border treaty with Britain, have been essentially saying the same thing during the entire course of my lifetime. Mexico has said that Mexico accepts the territorial status quo in British Honduras (which became “Belize” in 1973, and a politically independent nation–state in 1981), but that if the Belize borders are ever adjusted to accommodate Guatemalan demands, then Mexico will activate a claim to Belize. As a historical note, there was a single moment in time, I would say sometime between 1958 and 1959, when Hon. George C. Price, in answer to a question, made the following comment: “If independence fails, I will give the northern half of the country to Mexico and the southern half to Guatemala.” Strictly speaking, I should not be using quotation marks around Mr. Price’s statement, because I cannot swear for it word for word. But I am positive he said words to this effect, and I believe it would have been in response to a foreign journalist in some kind of press conference setting, perhaps abroad.

    Clinton Canul to Dr. Assad
    Editor Amandala, Sir, On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, an article was published under the heading “BNTU launches ‘Stand Up for Belize’ campaign in Benque Viejo,” written by Rowland A. Parks where he stated in paragraph 9 the following: “On the question of the situation in the Sarstoon, Dr. Shoman said, “They say we are losing the Sarstoon; some say we’ve lost it already. Not so. Sarstoon Island is ours. You can’t see the thing, but this is the back of a T-shirt which says ‘Sarstoon Island da fu we.’ So said Colonel Manuel Calle Madrazo, the Guatemalan Boundary Commissioner who signed the map of 13th May, 1861, saying the line on it, drawn in red, below the Sarstoon Island, was correct [that Sarstoon Island belongs to Belize], Dr. Shoman said.” I, as an uneducated academic citizen of this country who is very interested in our history, would like to beg you, Dr. Shoman, please tell me (us) where we can find the above information. With all due respect, Dr. Shoman, one thing is what you say and another is the proof of what you said. I think you’d do us, the Belizean people, who like myself did not have the opportunity to achieve an education, a big favor. That way we can look it up for ourselves.

    Belize tourism sector fights Zika with proactive steps
    Yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a level 2 travel alert for Belize, asking travelers to take “enhanced precautions” after an American woman who had recently visited Belize tested positive for Zika. However, that has not deterred visitors from coming to Belize. Director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), Karen Bevans, told Amandala today that Belize has seen substantial growth in overnight tourism for the first three months of 2016, and cruise arrivals, which had been depressed for 2015, are on the upswing. Nervousness over the spread of Zika in the Caribbean had spurred fears across the Caribbean that the multi-billion-dollar industry, which Bevans said contributes 25% to Belize’s GDP, could be adversely impacted. Nonetheless, Belize has, at least to date, been spared from any adverse impact. Bevans said that tourism stakeholders have been advised to take proactive measures to curb the possible spread of Zika by ensuring that premises are free of receptacles that may collect stagnant water and making insect repellant available to guests.

    PUP fires Dr. Assad
    The People’s United Party yesterday removed Dr. Assad Shoman as its representative in the Belize-Guatemala discussions. His removal is as a direct result of his controversial remarks made at the BNTU’s “Stand Up for Belize” forum held on Friday, August 15, 2016, in Benque Viejo. “I have my own established views on the subject, which are not necessarily shared by the PUP, a party that I used to belong to but I left in 1985,” said Dr. Shoman. “I’m not a PUP; I’m a socialist and they are a capitalist party,” Dr. Shoman further stated. In his candid interview with Amandala today, Dr. Shoman’s replacement, PUP Senator Eamon Courtenay stated that, “you can’t say you are representing a party but you are not a part of that party.”

    A glimpse into Chinese businesses
    Today, the University of Belize’s Faculty of Management and Social Sciences held its 6th Annual Research Conference in Belize City. Of the eight presentations made today, it was the “Study of the Impact of Chinese MSMEs on Belize’s Economy,” by Dong Hoon Choe, that deeply sustained interests. Dong Hoon Choe is a born Belizean with South Korean heritage. He was the valedictorian of his graduating class at Maud Williams, and he has served as president of the student councils of St. John’s Junior College and then the University of Belize, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree. His three-month research focused on 60 Chinese businesses in Belize City. Of the 60 Chinese businessmen and women he interviewed, the majority were males, 31 years or older, who predominantly held a primary or secondary school diploma, according to his findings. Sixty-percent (60%) of the businesses that were studied are grocery stores, while 38% are food shops and 32% are lottery stores.

    Getting the Belize Barrier Reef off the danger list
    Twenty years ago, in 1996, the Belize Barrier Reef was inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the world-famous site as “one of the most pristine reef ecosystems in the Western Hemisphere;” but for the past 7 years, it has been featured on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger, with the primary threats being offshore oil exploration and construction along the coast and on the cayes. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently released a report dubbed, Protecting People through Nature Report 2016: A Report for WWF by Natural World Heritage Sites as Drivers of Sustainable Development, produced for WWF by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, which revealed that almost half of World Heritage Sites are “threatened, underscoring the fact that the problem is not just a local challenge—it is a global one”. Belize, though, can again prove itself to be a leader by tackling the problem head-on with decisive action. According to the study, 114 natural and mixed World Heritage sites out of 229 either have oil, gas or mining concessions overlapping them or are under threat from at least one other harmful industrial activity. The WWF special report cited Belize as “a striking example.”

    Felix brothers to be tried for murder
    Maurice and Emory Felix, two brothers whom police have charged for the May 2015 shooting death of Mark Gentle, made their last trip to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court this morning, along with their attorney Arthur Saldivar, for the continuation of the preliminary inquiry into the case against them. After going over the paper evidence that police had put together to make their case against the two brothers, Senior Magistrate Sharron Fraser ruled that the two have a prima facie case to answer at the Supreme Court, where they will be indicted for Gentle’s murder in the June session of the court. Maurice Felix, 30, and his younger brother Emory Felix, 29, had only enjoyed being on the outside for a few months after they were released from prison, where they had spent more than eight years on remand for the 2006 murder of Mitchum Heredia, a mechanic who was gunned down as he worked on a car in the Port Loyola.

    The Reporter

    Majority of UN members sign Paris Agreement
    More than 170 countries out of 196 have signed on to the Global Climate Change Treaty, known as the Paris Agreement. The United Nations held a special signing session this week, where countries, particularly from Small Island Developing States (SIDS), came to show their support for the treaty. The Paris Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the Secretary-General. At the session, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries to move quickly to join the accord at the national level so that it can enter into force as early as possible.

    Public outrage over Facebook post
    Numerous Belizeans are expressing their outrage on the social media platform FaceBook, after a Belmopan bar owner posted derogatory comments about the Belize Defence Force (BDF), and saying that she supports Guatemala. The user, Lala Chacon Menjivar, owner of La Cabana bar, posted a lengthy rant in Spanish, with respect to the ongoing situation with the BDF and Guatemalan poachers where a minor, who reportedly fired shots at the BDF, was shot and killed. In her post, Menjivar registers her discontent by referring to the BDF soldier as “cowardly” for shooting the child, and went on to insult the soldier’s mother. “Cursed is the dog that had the heart to shoot a child,” Menjivar said. “I hope whoever did it falls into the hands of the Guatemalans and he be made minced meat.” She went on to say that she joins her Guatemalan friends in anger at the scenario, and ended the post with a picture of the Guatemalan flag.

    The Belize Times

    Respect Teachers! – BNTU Shakes Up Sedi, Stands Up for Belize
    On April 15th, 2016, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) mobilized its membership in solidarity with Belize, in the first of a series of consultations aptly named “Stand Up for Belize”. The Teachers are on a fact finding mission to guide their official stance, yet to be taken on the question of the International Court of Justice panacea being offered by the Barrow Administration. If the events of April 15th are any indication of things to come, Sedi and Dean will be in serious trouble with the BNTU. The mobilization by the BNTU which is perhaps Belize’s most powerful union, signals a menacing but righteous threat to the Barrow Administration’s policy of appeasement in relation to Guatemala. The momentum has been building across all sectors of Belize as it becomes clear to the Belizean people that Mr. Barrow and Sedi has bungled the nation’s most important diplomatic duty—the management of the unfounded Guatemalan claim.

    The Fleecing of BTL Pt. II
    Last week the BELIZE TIMES exposed a small sample of the political piñata that BTL has become for special UDP friends and cronies with the Prime Minister’s son Anwar Barrow in charge. We published one of several documents in our possession that was leaked to us by a BTL whistle-blower who is tired of the government-owned company being used as a grab-tub. The document showed that one local used car dealership, owned by known UDPs, was paid $251,100 for two USED 2014 Ford F250 vehicle. The price paid by BTL for the USED vehicle is highly questionable A copy of a payment invoice, dated March 30, 2015, also shows that the phone company even made a pre-payment of 75% of the cost to Belize Auto Trader.

    UDP Incest – Pablo Marin could call Erwin Contreras “Dad”
    It has become the hottest-topic in Corozal Town. Residents say that UDP Corozal Bay area representative Pablo Marin has moved out of the municipality and found a cozy home in the western side of the country. The talk becomes more sensational. Marin, it is said by residents, spends much of his time in Cayo where he has found new spice in his life. Someone should call in Jerry Springer because from here it only gets hotter. The BELIZE TIMES is surely not in the business of prying into people’s bedroom business but when strange conjugations seem too convenient or coincidental, or worse, threaten to negatively affect the nation’s business, then it becomes fair game. This newspaper has confirmed that Health Minister Pablo Marin has found a partner in no other than Danini Contreras. Ms. Contreras happens to be the daughter of UDP Minister Erwin Contreras. Now, if the name rings a bell loudly, it is because three years ago, Ms. Contreras was in the middle of heated controversy over her sudden appointment to the post of “Drug Inspectorate”, which placed her above the Chief Pharmacist – the most senior public officer post in the Ministry of Health.

    Grijalva Is Guilty!! – His company destroyed 2,300 year old Mayan site, Noh Mul
    The reckless destruction of the ancient Noh Mul Mayan site by Denny Grijalva’s construction company drew heavy condemnation nationally and internationally in May 2013. The UDP politician from Orange Walk Central admitted that his company was excavating for road material and had set their eyes on the Mayan site. On Monday, April 18th, almost three years since the start of the trial, the slow wheels of justice finally held the callous politician accountable when the Magistrate Court found Grijalva guilty of the destruction of the 2,300 year old Mayan site. In Court, Grijava hung his head low as Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith read out her judgment, condemning the “irreversible” damage to the Mayan site. Grijalva and his wife Emelda were charged as the Directors of the company, De-Mar’s Construction located in Trial Farm Village. Foreman Javier Nuñez was charged for the removal of stones from an ancient monument wilfully damaging an ancient monument and causing the destruction of an ancient monument, respectively.

    Think About It
    Guatemala’s claim to Belize and Guatemala’s chance to huff Belize is now close to a national crisis. It is finally becoming clear to thinking Belizeans that there is now a serious problem. It is now clear that Guatemala has indeed taken over our portion of the 30 miles length of the Sarstoon River. The government of Belize handled the matter in the most unacceptable manner. Assad Shoman has publicly stated that this has never happened before. Guatemala has taken territory and is insisting that the “usual” protocol must be followed. This “protocol” (procedure), according to Guatemala, is that the Belize Defence Force and Belizeans and anyone going on the river must get permission from Guatemala. Guatemala has even come to the so-called Forward Operating Base constructed by the B.D.F. and told them they must follow the usual protocol. Again, this latest and serious intrusion into our sovereignty and our territory is being badly handled by our government. Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister (following the intrusion by Guatemala) told the media that the Foreign Minister would raise the matter at an OAS meeting with Belize and Guatemala in Washington. The PM was asked what if the issue was not dealt with in Washington. The PM’s public reply was that he would pick up his telephone and speak to the President of Guatemala.

    Chester’s Curfew
    The suggestion by Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams for implementing a curfew has drawn fire from several sides. As many naysayers as have come forth however, there seem twice as many who are in support of this idea. This idea, put forward by any policeman other than Chester Williams, might have been quickly dispelled as ridiculous. But, Chester has developed an interesting rapport with the people of Belize; both criminal and law-abiding. Chester Williams is himself is an interesting study of human character and the man is deserving of whatever accolades are piled upon him. Here is a man who picked himself up from humble beginnings, raised by a single mom but has made something substantial of himself. That in itself is a valuable lesson to anyone who engages in self pity and blames their environment and financial situation for their condition. Chester is a success story worth telling. Chester barely finished primary school when he went to work at a bakery in Ladyville, far from his native village of Seine Bight. At that point, his life could have gone in any direction but he decided to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a Police Officer. He joined the Belize Police Department and his life took a turn for the better.

    A Product of Dean’s Square
    The legacy of Dean Oliver Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, and longest-serving member from Queen Square will include the introduction of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) along with their horror stories of abuses against the Belizean people. While Barrow introduced the American-trained and funded GSU as a paramilitary arm of our security forces, in his constituency he witnessed the rise of members of the well-known George Street Gang which became an asset to his political machinery when it was necessary. The GSU’s objective, as its name declares, is to suppress the gangs in Belize. So far, however, the suppression tactics has only added fuel to the wars on the streets, and at times the police hierarchy itself, but this is a discussion for another Editorial. In August 2011, the GSU struck on George Street residents and well-known members of the GSG when they carried out searches of residences with brutal force. Several residents claimed police brutality and eventually sued and won large compensation for the GSU’s actions. In March 2012, an audio recording revealed the GSU’s planned “War against George Street” as a tactical operation. So much so that when in January 2013, four men connected to George Street were killed viciously in their apartments on Plues Street, the GSU were the first suspects in the eyes of the public.

    MY PERSPECTIVE: Your Own Backyard
    A Jamaica Sunday Gleaner article caught my attention this past week. The headline read: “Jamaican Attorney Slams U.S. Over Treatment of Most Vulnerable.” Of course I went through it with interest and care. It featured Margaret Macauley, an attorney and human rights advocate who was elected in June 2015 as one of the commissioners of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. The IACHR is an autonomous body of the Organization of American States which is responsible for promoting and protecting human rights in the American Hemisphere. Commissioners are elected to a four year term, and Ms. Macauley is thus serving from January 2016 to December 2019. She was previously a judge of the Inter American Court of Human Rights from 2007 until 2012.

    BDF “finances” under investigation
    The BELIZE TIMES has confirmed through reliable sources at the Ministry of National Security that there is an ongoing investigation into a “special” Belize Defence Force (BDF) Account for which records of transactions have not been made readily available. That account, referred to as the Belize Defence Force Account Fund, has been the subject of internal Ministry audits since 2014, but things have apparently now come to a head between Ministry of National Security CEO Retired Colonel George Lovell and BDF Commander, Brigadier-General David Jones. In a MEMO dated March 4, 2016, from CEO Lovell to Commander Jones, CEO Lovell is requesting “a response within two weeks as to why those discrepancies, along with your recommendation as to what will be put in place to ensure that those practices do not re-occur”.

    GOB Gouging Fuel Consumers
    The government of Belize continues to increase the price of fuel at the pumps. Last week Friday, like a red-hooded thief in the night, the cost of Regular fuel rose again to $9.06 in the districts, surpassing the cost of Premium fuel in the Belize City at $9.01. Statistics show that only about 20% of consumers use Premium Fuel, while 80% use Regular, meaning that government is raking in the money from the continuous increases. Diesel fuel increased by 8 cents to $7.79 in the city. There is no moral justification for the high cost of fuel at the pumps in Belize. The cost of crude oil per barrel on the global market has plummeted, and for months has maintained a steady and record low, benefitting consumers all over the world. Except in Belize. Despite lowered cost of insurance and freight, the price of fuel at the pumps has gone up steadily since late last year.

    GOB loses another multi-million dollar case! – Court says Government acted in Flagrant Breach – UNICORN Could Get Millions!
    GOB has stated that it will appeal a $9M judgment handed down in January 2016 when Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel ruled that the raid and seizure of evidence at the offices of Titan International Securities was unconstitutional. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the wake of the decision, he does not think the judgment can stand. But there’s another judgment arising out of the events of that day, by another Justice. And it will potentially cost GOB more millions in damages. On April 15, 2016, Justice Michelle Arana ruled that when an Financial Intelligence Unit team with Police support raided the offices of Unicorn International Securities located at the Matalon Building, they were in flagrant breach of the law.

    Crystal Ball
    A People’s United Party government would look very carefully at regaining control of the Boledo/Lottery system in Belize. This is a staple of our Belizean culture and ALSO a way in which our people can make some extra money to help them make ends meet. BUT it must be a fair game of chance free from any manipulation. For too long this franchise has been in the hands of unscrupulous businessmen who are financiers of the UDP. They care only about making money, anyway they can and in this instance of the backs of the Belizean people. Our people have been complaining for many months that the system is rigged. The Lotteries Commission does not listen. The Government does not listen. And Brads and whoever his partners are rake in all bundles of money. From all accounts, managing Boledo is “pound for pound” one of the most profitable businesses in Belize. Boledo/Lottery must be run by an entity which is honest and works for the people, not a business that cares only about making money. Boledo/Lottery MUST be given back to the people of Belize.

    City Administrator Caught Up in Love Triangle Again
    Over the years, we have heard all sorts of drama coming out of the UDP, Belize City Council. From Zeniada’s under-depositing to guns and money being stolen. There have been all sorts of Human Resource issues as well. Some going all the way to the top. Reliable sources have informed this newspaper that last week the drama landed at the desk of the City Administrator, Ms. Candice Miller. Apparently after hanging out with friends she got information that her partner (who we will call Mr. DJ) was in some house off Wilson Street spending quality time with the partner of a top brass of the police. This tangled web became somewhat violent and we were told that the situation got intense and rough. The Police had to be called to handle the situation. We were also advised that a longtime HR staff of the Council had to lecture the senior employee about her actions and the shame she was bringing on the Council.

    Alleged Killer Cops Get Bail
    In June 2015 pandemonium briefly descended on the island of Caye Caulker after student Hilberto Sotz, 18, died while in police custody. Islanders rioted and additional Police had to be called out to keep the peace. Justice appeared to be swift. Within days two Police officers, PC Hallet King and PC Leonard Nunez were arraigned for murder after a post-mortem examination revealed that Sotz had injuries consistent with a savage beating. But tonight those two officers are out on bail. On April 15ththe charge of murder against them was reduced to manslaughter based on a directive from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The rationale given is that there was a lack of evidence to support the charge of murder, and with that the men were granted bail of $2,000.

    Leon Gordon fatally stabbed in Caye Caulker
    Well-known Caye Caulker resident, Leon Gordon, was fatally stabbed on Sunday night as he attempted to stop a fight at a local club, Sip and Dip Bar. Gordon was reportedly intervening in a squabble between the bar owner and a customer who was being forced out of the bar for disorderly conduct, when he was stabbed with a broken pint bottle. The 29 year old was rushed from the island to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City where he underwent an emergency surgery, but around 3am on Monday morning he passed away.

    Hard Knocks
    Belizeans are not being told the real story about the Sarstoon. We’re not being told the truth. How did we suddenly get into this position where Guatemala has the upper hand? Just the other day there was no doubt that the border in the South was the midpoint of the Sarstoon River. We could go in there with no problem. That’s the “Sarstoon” we refer to in our national anthem. But suddenly it seems that we’re singing anthems about a river belonging to Guatemala. Suddenly we have to ask permission to go into the river. Suddenly, while someone somewhere in the diplomatic fairy tale castle in Belmopan was asleep, Guatemala established a fully manned patrol base on the Sarstoon. And they took it, lock, stock and barrel.

    The Last Word!
    Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on a matter of great importance, and before I go any further, no it’s not the Sarstoon nor is it the dismal economy but a matter of importance because if we can only get this right the whole country will shout out for joy. Mr. Speaker I speak of the Mile 8 (George Price Highway) to Mile 11 (Phillip Goldson Highway) Road for which the Government is borrowing an ELEVEN Million Dollar Loan. This loan is basically for a road going nowhere. For the record Mr. Speaker, I am not against the construction of the road but believe that it is not necessary at this time. I can’t help but to call on my colleagues on the other side to think this through. To prioritise on their priorities and get the best value for borrowed money at this time. Instead of moving ahead on that project, let us examine the pros and cons of spending on a much needed road infrastructure which is the Manatee Road/Coastal Road. This is a project of greater value and impact to various sectors of our community.

    Open Letter to the President, Board of Directors and Administrative Team
    Dear all, The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association recently received copies of various articles and letters which were sent to the editors of our key national newspapers. While these public discussions are private views held by those who work/worked at the University, the UBSFA is of the opinion that most of the issues reflect the current reality of our institution. Additionally, the sentiments reflected in these articles echo a sense of acrimony and disillusionment in the work environment. These issues have been brought up to the UBFSA on multiple occasions by numerous employees. It is true that there is widespread discontent and disenchantment at all levels and across all campuses of the University. Unfortunately, the University will continue to receive bad publicity if these issues are not addressed internally. We therefore call on the President and/or Board of Directors to convene, at your earliest convenience, a general Staff and Faculty meeting to discuss the most pressing issues affecting our institution.

    The Mess Is Here!
    Dear Editor, Last week Ambassador Assad Shoman said something important. He said that he doesn’t trust the persons representing Guatemala in these talks. He said that they’re being disingenuous and Belize needs to be always on its guard. Shoman has been involved with negotiations and discussions over the Guatemalan territorial dispute for about 40 years, so when he talks, I think we should listen. The truth is that for the first time I feel that we’re getting the true sense of what’s happening in these talks. For the past few years Sedi has been meeting with Guatemala and we have to listen to his version of events only. I’m not absolutely sure that Sedi always tells the truth. I’m not absolutely sure that he’s been handling this Guatemala situation properly. I think he’s allowed us to be bullied. I think it could actually be his fault that we are where we are – at a point where Guatemala feels comfortable taking the whole Sarstoon, coming into our waters whenever they want and even aggressing our BDF. Sedi says all that is because Belizean civilians are provoking the Guatemalans. He says that the Belize Territorial Volunteers are to blame. I think Sedi has lost it completely. He should be recalled by his Prime Minister.

    Gaza Don Gunned Down…Violence Erupts
    On Saturday April 16th night in Dangriga, Gerald “Shiny” Tillett, the leader of what is considered Belize’s most powerful and ‘connected’ gang, the George Street Gang (GSG), was shot and killed in an execution-style attack. Three others were also shot, one of them being the man suspected of pulling the trigger on Tillett. Tillett was playing dominoes at the popular Wadani Shed along with proprietor David Rodriguez, Carlos Sharp and others when a man arrived and unleashed a hail of bullets. Tillett was killed instantly, with a shot to his temple, while Rodriguez and Sharp were both shot on their chests. As the gunman fled the scene, he was shot twice to the back by an unidentified male person who was also at the establishment. The assailant, now suspected to be as Dangriga-born, turned Belize City resident Nicholas Swazo, would later be rushed to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan where he is currently listed in stable condition and under heavy Police guard.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    La Cabana bar owner withdraws anti-BDF social media post
    A Belmopan bar owner has lost face after having to retract a social media statement in which she appears to go after the Belize Defence Force for their actions in the death of the Guatemalan minor in the adjacency zone on Wednesday. According to […]

    Belize drops in press freedom ranking
    According to the Reporter, The Reporters without Borders annual World Press Freedom Index ranks Belize 36th of 180 nations, a drop of six places from last year’s ranking. The Index measures pluralism, media independence, quality of the legal framework and the safety of journalists […]

    BPP Condemns Military Provocation by Guatemala
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) is offering to organize a Belize People’s Brigade, which it says will support the active forces with citizen volunteers to be trained to respond to further escalation of aggression by Guatemalan forces. The offer comes in a party press […]

    Dueling versions of New York meeting
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Friday met with his Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales in New York – where he said Morales agreed to de-escalate tensions along Belize’s borders with Guatemala. It happened in the margins of the signing of the UN Climate Change Agreement […]

    Guatemalan boy laid to rest while diplomatic discussions continue
    Julio Alvarado, 12, was buried today in San Jose Las Flores Peten in Guatemala while Guatemalan President Jimmy Moralez and Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow agree to deescalate tensions between both countries. Officials of the Guatemalan Armed Forces attended the child’s funeral. The minor […]

    Blogs

    The Belize Mayan Temple Experience
    The Mayan Civilization dates as far back as 2,600 BC, making the Maya people the oldest ethnic group in Belize. This ancient civilization is regarded for their highly developed writing system, sophisticated calendar, and elaborate architecture. One of the most recognizable and unique accomplishments of the Mayas are the structures found at Mayan Sites across Belize. These sites were once ceremonial and administrative centers, which featured plazas, ball courts, market places, and large temples used in various ancient ceremonies and practices. Today, they are frequented by locals and visitors who explore the now uninhabited location, learn about the history of the Mayas that once occupied the area, and of course, ascend atop the Mayan Temples. But, before someone ventures up one of these temples, it’s advised to be well-prepared for the adventure. Exploring Mayan Temples can prove to be challenging without the proper footwear. It’s recommended to wear a comfortable, yet durable pair of sneakers. Cool, light clothing are ideal options for all the exploration that will be done. Don’t forget to keep hydrated with a refreshing bottle of water. Packing fly repellent is a wise choice, considering the proximity to the Belizean jungle. Additionally, don’t forget to bring along your camera to record your journey.

    “The BLUE in Belize” – Dream places to visit!
    Whether by flight or by water, something ‘blue’ is the first thing you’ll notice as you sneak into the paradise of our jewel, Belize! Some of the best places to visit in Belize are blue and consists of the most attractive colours that illuminate nature’s beauty to the human eye. What comes to mind when combining nature and blue? – That’s right, the sky, the sea! Surrounded by a 1,000 shades of blue, Belize borders the beautiful Caribbean Sea and is most prominently known for many attractions such as the reef, the cayes and the Belizean flag. Belize is known to have some of the riches places to visit with the world’s 2nd largest Barrier Reef which is famous for its most stunning diving paradise – the great Blue Hole! With its unique existence, the Blue Hole is almost a perfect circle and is over 1,000 feet wide and 480 feet deep. What makes the Belize Blue Hole so interesting is the fact that it is in a cave that was formed above sea level with over 500 rare plants and animals, including the hammerheads and black tip tiger sharks. On average, more than 200,000 people yearly explore the Belize Blue Hole and get a chance to dive into experiencing this wonder of underwater nature.

    International Sourcesizz

    Surprising, Vibrant Reef Discovered in the Muddy Amazon
    Colorful sea fans, fish, and gigantic sponges found in murky waters. One scientist says the reef has the most amazing animals she’s ever seen on an expedition. After sampling muddy water from the mouth of the Amazon River, oceanographer Patricia Yager steamed in the research ship Atlantis toward the continental shelf, where a Brazilian colleague was chasing a phantom. Yager’s colleague was carrying a 1977 six-page research paper that included a hand-drawn map suggesting this region might mask an extraordinary set of reefs. Yager was skeptical. The mouth of the Amazon was thick with more runoff and sediment than any river in the world. She had heard diving in this area was like swimming through goopy, dark stew. "I thought that everything would have just been smothered by settling mud from the river's plume," she says. But when her colleague, Rodrigo Moura of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, dredged small areas near the shelf that day in 2012, he uncovered one of the most surprising finds in modern sea research–an extensive deepwater reef system up to 120 kilometers offshore, below the Amazon's thick, dirty plume.

    Jimmy Morales Can’t Fix Guatemala
    As Guatemala wrestles with the ghosts of its civil war past, its new president may already be a lame duck. When comedian Jimmy Morales was inaugurated as Guatemala’s new president on Jan. 14, the question on everyone’s mind was whether he could lead the beleaguered country into a more just and democratic era. Morales, 46, had run on the slogan “not corrupt nor a thief,” in the wake of a sprawling corruption scheme that took down sitting president and former military commander Otto Pérez Molina and his vice president, Roxana Baldetti, who are now in jail awaiting trial. Despite a thin offering of policies and few concrete plans, he rode a wave of widespread discontent to carry nearly 70 percent of the vote. Now, two months into his tenure, his actions have dampened hope that change will come quickly, if at all. The country that Morales inherited is a troubled one. Two decades after the end of Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, which killed over 200,000 people and displaced more than a million, it is still grappling with that legacy. In 1999, the U.N.-sponsored Truth Commission found that 93 percent of the deaths were attributable to the U.S.-backed government forces; in four regions, the commission found, state agents committed genocide against indigenous Mayan groups. The perpetrators, however, have rarely been brought to justice. Meanwhile, the deeply entrenched structural conditions that gave rise to that conflict — the enduring vestiges of colonialism, political exclusion, inequality, and poverty — remain largely intact.

    Videos

  • Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow addresses recent incidents between Belize and Guatemala, 10min. And also speaks about his meeting with President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales.

  • Playing with Lilly and Piggy, 1min. Playing with Lilly and Piggy at Hostel La Vista, San Pedro, Belize

  • Diving with sharks and rays, 1min. Diving with sharks and rays off San Pedro, Belize

  • Diving in Belize, 1.5min. These sharks were not persuaded, they were just real curious.

  • Cayos de belize, 1min. Aerial views

  • ATVs through the jungle of Belize, 4min.

  • Bikepacking Belize - Karem, 6min.

    April 23, 2016


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    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

    New Mayan herbal medicine book launched
    The Maya of Belize had many herbal remedies for just about any ailment know to man, a wealth of traditional healing knowledge preserved by Don Elijio Panti, which his grand niece Aurora Garcia Saqui has now recorded and preserved for future generations, in her new book, “Ix Hmen U Tzaco Ah Maya”. Judy Lumb and Dorothy Beveridge of the publishing house “Producciones de la Hamaca”, helped Garcia-Saqui edit her new work, and introduced Aurora at the launch of her new book at the Image Factory in Belize City on Tuesday morning, April 12. Aurora’s husband and collaborator in her work, Ernesto Saqui was also present at the launch to lead the audience in prayer; while their children Regina and Emanuel sang the national anthem.

    Prime Minister Barrow Convenes National Security Council Meeting
    The Government of Belize informs the general public that Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow convened a special meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) this afternoon in Belize City to address the issues surrounding the incident that claimed the life of a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul Forest in Belize’s territory. The Prime Minister joined the meeting via telephone from New York City, where he is attending the signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Prime Minister briefed the NSC on the meeting he had with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales in the margins of the meeting at the United Nations Headquarters during the Paris Agreement signing. The Prime Minister confirmed to President Morales that an impartial inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the incident had begun and is led by the Organization of American States (OAS). Prime Minister Barrow recommended to President Morales that assistance be sought from the Government of the United States to deploy a criminal/forensic expert to provide the necessary technical expertise to the OAS verification exercise. He reiterated Belize’s position that the Belize security forces patrol was fired upon and only responded in self-defence.

    Minister of National Security Concludes Meeting with Senior Command of Security Forces
    With the conclusion of the meeting this morning between Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar and the senior command of our security forces, all security forces have been placed on high alert and a short term strategy has been devised to deal with further possible incidents along the border areas and in the Sarstoon. A meeting of the National Security Council is to be held later this afternoon and the Council will be briefed on our military readiness. The Ministry of National Security assures the public that the security forces of Belize will take any and all actions appropriate to preserve our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    Minor Charged for the murder of Journalist Kareem Clarke
    On Monday, July 6, 2015, Amandala journalist, Kareem Jabbor Clarke fell victim to gun violence. He was riding his bicycle around the bridge near Lakeview Street on Vernon Street in Belize City when he was gunned down. Clarke, 27, suffered five gunshot wounds on the left side of the forehead, back of the head, abdomen, right upper back and middle of the back. On September 9, 2015, police brought a 17-year old minor into custody in connection with Clarke’s murder. The minor was arraigned on murder charges, and on Tuesday, April 12th he was committed to stand trial at The Supreme Court of Belize. The initial inquiry was held at the Family Court in Belize City, and as a result, the minor was officially charged for Clarke’s murder.

    Dental Volunteers give back to San Pedro
    On April 16th, Dr. Pierre Boumerhi and a team of dental volunteers from Pennsylvania, USA arrived at La Isla Bonita on a quest to provide a week of dental services at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II from Monday, April 18th to Friday, April 22nd. The dental group and volunteers dedicated a full week starting from 8AM to 11:45AM and 1 to 5 PM; providing the community of San Pedro with dental services such as cleaning, cavity fillings, fluoride applications and tooth extractions. Not only were their services open to all ages, but free of charge. They also donated useful supplies to the polyclinic’s dental room. Dr. Boumerhi studied at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Dental Medicine, and along with the support of his wife, Holly Boumerhi, they decided to become active in helping those who can’t afford dental work. “Years ago, I help set up a clinic in Jamaica, but my kids were younger and I never had the opportunity to practice and help out. Since my kids are now older, I have more free time to give back to the community and volunteer,” said Pierre.

    San Pedro Town prepping to combat Zika
    Currently, San Pedro is actively producing a municipal action engagement preparedness and response plan to combat Zika and promote vector control interventions that prevents the spread of the virus. The dynamics of Zika is rapidly changing, and so far, San Pedro is the only municipality in Belize to instill a plan as it relates, not only regarding Zika, but all vector borne diseases. As the plan for San Pedro is broken down into four areas: the actual drafting of the plan, the educational component, eradicating mosquitoes, and preparing for confirmed cases, the SPTC is looking to target the student population by having educational campaigns and several activities. “We will use children to voice child friendly ads as it relates to mosquito-borne diseases and children are San Pedro’s largest group that could help successfully promote awareness about preventative methods,” said Aldana. In the coming weeks, the SPTC will be proactive in educating children by visiting schools and lecturing inside classrooms. The SPTC will be sharing flyers that include information relating to mosquito borne diseases, distributing educational kits, and a poster competition is being arranged.

    Matachica donates vehicle to Police Department
    Matachica Resort and Spa is no stranger to giving back to La Isla Bonita. In the past, Matachica has embarked in projects to help various organizations. The San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) has benefitted from the resort’s generosity, having received help in both housing and transportation. On Friday, April 15th, Gricel Graniel, Executive Director of Matachica, Daniel Lighter, Owner, and Mayor Daniel Guerrero, handed over a 2003 Saturn VUE SUV to the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). Receiving the donation was Office in Charge the Coastal Executive Unit, Sandra Bowden and Deputy Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Henry Jemmott. “We had already donated vehicles to the police, but one of them had a mechanical error. Instead of fixing the vehicle, we decided to donate another vehicle to the CIB Unit of the SPPD because they really needed a replacement,” said Graniel.

    San Mateo residents to benefit from CDB grant
    Residents of San Mateo, Ambergris Caye are rejoicing at the news that a grant has been allocated by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to alleviate some of the structural problems in their subdivision. Representatives of the CDB, Belize Water Services (BWS), and The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) held a series of consultations at the Holy Cross Anglican School (HCAS) in an effort to better understand the issues affecting San Mateo. The first consultation took place on Tuesday, April 12th, where one of the topics discussed was the proper installation of a sewer system. The consultation provided first- hand insight into the living conditions residents face every day in San Mateo. CDB Consultant Dr. Roy Young acknowledged that knowing the vulnerabilities when it comes to their surroundings will further assist them in improving the quality of life for the residents in that area of the island.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize/Guatemala Tension Peaks with Shooting of Guatemalan Minor
    The Government of Belize has requested the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) in conducting a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surrounding the shooting incident which occurred on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park in western Belize. According to initial reports, Belizean security forces were on a patrol to investigate illegal clearings in the protected area. At about 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20, they detained without incident, 33-year-old Guatemalan national Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, who was found conducting illegal activities in our Chiquibul National Park. As darkness descended later in the day, at about 7:00 p.m. the patrol came under fire. The patrol returned fire in self-defense and decided to depart from the location which is approximately 580 meters east of the border. Prior to departure they conducted their standard clearance procedure and discovered the seemingly lifeless body of a minor.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar in session at Price Barrack
    Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar is in session this morning at Price Barracks, Ladyville with Commander of the Belize Defence Force Brigadier General David Jones; Rear Admiral John Borland, Commander of the National Coast Guard; Acting Commissioner of Police Russel Blackett; and CEO Colonel (Ret’d) George Lovell of the Ministry of National Security. This strategic military planning session is in advance of and in preparation for the meeting of the National Security Council to be held later today to determine our further course of action in light of the developing situation on our borders.

    From the Yellow-headed parrot monitoring crew
    Charles Britt, Roni Martinez, Isael Mai, and others (posted on FB today): "Past evidence of nest poaching is obvious as this female Yellow-headed Parrot sites at the entrance of a nest cavity. The machete chop marks remain from a previous year when a poacher opened up a hole to access the chicks." To Alejandro Horcasitas, Ilana Lapid, Daniel Velazquez Artist, Alex Alonso, your films are going to help tell this story. Thank you Carol Farneti Foster for advising/consulting on these - you're invaluable!

    Belize Alumni Association Board Elections
    Belize Alumni Association is holding its annual board elections on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the U.S. Embassy Belmopan. If you participated in a U.S. Embassy Exchange program please join us in electing your board members! Or run for a position!!! PLEASE NOTE YOU MUST BE AN ALUMNI TO PARTICIPATE!!!! Please note the U.S. Embassy will verify your status as an alumni when you RSVP. List of Belize Alumni Association Board Positions and Duties: Each member is elected to a one year terms. Elections will be held April every year to coincide with the first election.

    Seine Bight Rising
    Imagine a beachside village of dynamic artists and entrepreneurs; this is Seine Bight. Yet, no tourism touches this town due to appearance. Help us paint the homes in bright colors to share Seine Bight with the world!

    Ocean Academy and the High School Innovation Challenge
    Ocean Academy's Buddy Magana (alumni 2015) and Principal Heidi Curry joined the Ministry of Education to speak on national TV about the High School Innovation Challenge (interview starts at 1:29 at https://vimeo.com/162693845). Our school team won last year with their mobile app "Hire Belize" to address high youth unemployment. Ashtasia and Adaly, members of last year's winning team, are again competing with a new student team in this year's challenge themed Innovation in Education. Before the Ocean Academy interview is an interesting interview about Robotics at Belize High School, which is a topic our students also find very interesting.

    Farmers Market at The Truck Stop
    Our first monthly Farmers Market is this Saturday from 11am-2pm, and we have some GREAT vendors. With Debbie Piratehearts, Ian Anderson, Harriette Fisher, Home Baked Bread - and more, The Farm House Deli, Belize Chocolate, Ricky's Spice Shack - Belize and Ambergreens Ltd. Organic Aquaponics Greenhouse.

    Prime Minister Barrow Convenes National Security Council Meeting
    While at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Prime Minister Barrow met with the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and apprised the United Nations of what has transpired and the increase tension between both countries, and requested the UN's good offices to urge both sides to respect the Confidence Building Measures. He also met and briefed the CARICOM Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Barbados. Prime Minister Barrow also spoke to the OAS Secretary General via telephone and updated him on the situation surrounding this issue. The Belize security forces assured the NSC that they are on a heightened state of alert and will remain vigilant. The lines of communication remain open between the Belize Defence Force and the Guatemalan Armed Forces and our international partners and allies remain fully briefed on this situation. Prime Minister Barrow gave an audio statement which has been circulated to the media and he will address the nation at a press conference on Monday after he returns to the country.

    Global Big Day - May 14th, 2016
    What is a Big Day? Big Days have become a tradition among birders. You form a team, start counting birds from midnight and end midnight, a full 24 hours of crazy fun birding. Ideally you want to cover a not-too-large area but with as many different habitats as possible, in order to get the most diverse set of birds. A Global Big Day is precisely that... ALL over the world! But, what exactly is eBird? Every single professional birder uses this to keep track of his/her own sightings but more than that, eBird maximizes the efficiency of that effort and uses your data for a bigger conservation purpose. eBird is a real-time, online checklist program, which has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. eBird’s goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence. For example, in May 2015, participants reported more than 9.5 million bird observations across the world!

    Channel 7

    PM Barrow Meets President Morales In NY: Pledges to "De-Escalate"
    Tonight, Belizeans can breathe just a little easier - because the news at this hour is that Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with his Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales in New York - and Morales agreed to de-escalate. It happened in the margins of the signing of the UN Climate Change Agreement - which both leaders are attending at the United Nations. Via telephone, the Prime Minister sent a synopsis of the meeting to Belizean media houses. Here's how he explained their meeting. "I have today met with President Morales in the marching of the UN Climate Change signing ceremony. I have indicated to President Morales that the position taken by him and his government cannot conduce to peace and that there is an immediate need to de-escalate tensions. We agreed that all measures will be taken to achieve end. We agreed that while we are awaiting the results of the inquiry, contact/dialogue must be maintained to ensure that there are no breaches of the peace that exists between Belize and Guatemala."

    The View Across The Sarstoon Clear
    According to the Guatemalan Government's twitter feed, most of those troops will be deployed to the Sarstoon area, which the Guatemalan's seem to want to annex - even though half the river is theirs, and half is for Belize. Now that river is right at the edge of the Toledo District, so today we flew down to Punta Gorda to see if they had started any amassing of troops or arms on their side of the river. Daniel Ortiz reports:... Shortly after arriving in PG, the Belize City based media houses quickly boarded the boat arranged by Border Activist Wil Maheia. The intention was to go the Sarstoon Border, since hearing the bold public statements from Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales to increase military presence at the Borders.

    Guate-Fear In Belize's Southern-most Town
    And so we've already show you what it's like on the banks of the Sarstoon River where Guatemalan troops are not visible in any significant numbers. But how do the folks in Punta Gorda feel? Here's what they told us about the possibility of hostile troops very near to them, which could escalate if just one soldier has an itchy trigger finger: Later on, you'll hear public opinion from the streets Belize City.

    PUP Says Pres Morales' Motives Transparent
    At the top of the news you heard about the Prime Minister's meeting with the Guatemalan President who has agreed to de-escalate. Time will tell what that means on the ground, but in some sense, the damage is already done. Observers say President Jimmy Morales has already shown his hand as a reactionary. One who completed his one hundredth day in the Presidency today and is not getting rave reviews in his home country. In fact, a huge protest was held today in Guatemala City by tens of thousands of indigenous people. So he could be using the old Belizean threat as a distraction. And the PUP didn't mince words in accusing him of that today. The PUP held an emergency executive meeting today - and when it was done the new representative in the Belize Guatemala negotiations Eamon Courtenay addressed the media. Eamon Courtenay, PUP Rep., BZ, Guatemala Relations: "The People's United Party condemns in the strongest possible terms, the aggression by Guatemala by amassing troops at the border. We also condemn and reject its assertion of sovereignty over the Sarstoon. "

    Opposition Finds OAS Language Curious
    But while the Prime Minister's statement served to somewhat take the edge off a very tense period in Belize's history, the OAS may have taken things in the other direction. The Organization issued a statement today that angered many Belizeans. It notes the central event, which is the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor. The statement says, quote, the "OAS...repudiates the death of a Guatemalan minor at the hands of a Belizean patrol...During the incident on April 20, in addition to the death of the minor, his father and brother were wounded by gunfire. The OAS expresses its most sincere condolences to the family. It adds, quote, "This incident reinforces the need to observe the confidence building measures in place, in order to prevent future confrontations or situations that could put at risk the peace and stability in the Adjacency Zone, as well as in the area of the Sarstoon River."

    PUP Still Considering A Revised Position ON ICJ
    And finally from the opposition, the party has yet to reach a final, revised position on the ICJ. Today, Senator Courtney explained the concern:.. Eamon Courtenay, PUP Rep., BZ, Guatemala Relations: "This type of behavior by Guatemala does nothing to give the Belizean people any confidence that that is a realistic approach. This could be very counterproductive is people want this matter to be resolved at the ICJ, but the party has the matter under review. I can tell you that the debate within the party is robust, the debate is not one side at all. I can't tell you what the outcome is going to be, but what I can tell you is this, the fundamental concern of the People's United Party is what is happening on the ground day in day out, what is happening in the Sarstoon day in day out. I think it is, and I speak for myself, romantic to talk about going to the ICJ when Guatemala tells me I can't go down to Sarstoon. I think it is divorced from reality to talk about going into the ICJ and asking the Belizean people to vote yes in a referendum where we have the Guatemalans invading the Chiquibul. These things are connected and if Guatemala is not behaving today like a responsible member of the world community of nations, then we don't go to court with them."

    City Is Militant Against Guatemala
    So the last we heard officially from the Guatemalan President, he had given his army directions to amass at the Belize border. And the Guatemalan Government's twitter page has been regularly posting pictures of the armed forces on the move, saying they are, quote, "going to protect the sovereignty and protect the population" in the adjacency zone. In line with that the Guatemalans sent out a lengthy press release this morning disputing what the Belize government put out yesterday. The release refers to the murder of Danny Conorquie and the shooting of Staff Sargent Lambey. It says, quote, "The Government of Belize insinuates in their press release that there have been Guatemalans who killed a member of the Belizean Police Force and who shot at a member of the BDF. If the Government of Belize has proof of that, they should present it and not limit themselves to accusation without proof."

    National Security Council Meets
    And while Belize City citizens are ready to go to war to protect their home, they might be consoled to know that the National Security Council has also taken a hardline. Security Minister John Saldivar met this morning with the senior command of the security forces. A press release says that quote, "all security forces have been placed on high alert and a short term strategy has been devised to deal with further possible incidents along the border areas and in the Sarstoon." To follow up on that, a meeting of the National Security Council was held this afternoon at the Prime Minister's office - and it was chaired by Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. It finished at a few minutes to six, and he briefed the media on the most important decisions taken today:..

    Into The Chiquibul Tangle
    And so while all this happens in the foreground, in the background lies that vast expanse of green - 414 resource rich square miles, which are being daily plundered by Guatemalan campesinos for land, and by bandits for logwood, Xate, Gold and wild game as well as endangered species. By sheer coincidence, our news team of Emanuel Pech and Angel Noble were on a 12 mile hike in the Chiquibul on the same day the shooting happened - and, in fact, if they didn't have to pull out by nightfall, they might have been near to where it happened. Yesterday we showed you the first part of that report came upon the first illegal clearings for milpa farming. Tonight, we have part two of that report as our team treads deeper into the Chiquibul, in the middle of a hot zone for illegal encroachment. Here is that report.

    Small Girl Drowns
    A little girl, who suffers from epilepsy, drowned in the village of Biscayne yesterday. According to police, on April 21st sometime around 3:45 in the evening 8 year old Kimera Dominguez, a student of 24 miles Philip Goldson Highway, was at home when she ran outside to meet her cousins who were coming off the school bus. However to go from her house to the road side, she had to cross a man-made pond. Authorities believed that as she was making her way across this pond she fell inside. She couldn't swim, and as resulted drowned. Her cousin pulled her out and tried to administer CPR, but in vain. She died before authorities could reach.

    Que Viva Vendors
    And in news that is completely unrelated to the Guatemalan situation, on Wednesday, the Belize City Council gave a couple of South Side Food Vendors a tent. If you can recall, last week, Darrel Grant and his wife Ishtar Williams, a young couple from West Collet Canal, were victimized by some Tourism police officers who forced them to take down their shed. This was done with no authority from the police department nor from the Belize City Council. It became a problem when a neighbor, who is also a special constable complained that they were conducting their business too close to his property. So he seems to have taken it upon himself to order them to take it down. But that's where he stepped out of line. The City Council made their own investigation into the matter and found out that even the community praised them for their positive impact on the children in the area. So after some discussions, on Wednesday they delivered the promised tent.

    Belize Breathes (A Little) Easier
    So, to recap where we are tonight - no amassment of troops or arms were seen on the Guatemalan side of the Chiquibul today. But the Guatemalan government continues to post pictures on its twitter feed, like these which show the military attending the funeral for 13 year old Julio Alvarado - who was fatally shot by the BDF. They also continue to post pictures of their military mobilizing to the adjacency zone. And there are also photos of his injured father recovering in the hospital. The BDF says they came under fire from the Guatemalans on Wednesday night 380 meters inside Belize, and were forced to return fire in the dark. The child's body was not found until they were clearing out the area.

    Channel 5

    Prime Minister Barrow Addresses Heightened Border Tension
    There is an escalating crisis between Belize and Guatemala that is reaching tipping point. In recent days, Guatemala has adopted an aggressive stand against Belize especially in the Sarstoon where [...]

    PM Barrow Reminds Guatemalan President about the Murder of Danny Conorquie
    Guatemala earlier today issued a statement saying that ten Guatemalan civilians had been killed by Belizean troops. But there is also the murder of Danny Connorquie and the shooting of [...]

    P.M. Meets with Senior UN and O.A.S. Officials in the United States
    As tensions continue to mount, the Prime Minister is meeting with high level officials from the United Nations, the O.A.S. and the international community. Here on the ground, the government [...]

    National Security Council Convenes Urgent Meeting in Belize City
    Here in Belize City, the National Security Council met this afternoon at the Office of the Prime Minister in Belize City, following a meeting this morning between Minister of National [...]

    Opposition Leader Addresses Nation as Guatemala Increases Aggression
    As the government of Guatemala becomes more aggressive, The People’s United Party has been swift in issuing a statement following an emergency executive meeting at Independence Hall.  P.U.P. Leader John [...]

    Is Guatemala Attempting to Annex the Sarstoon?
    As we said, the People’s United Party held an emergency meeting this morning in light of the amassing of troops in the Sarstoon as well as at the Adjacency Zone. [...]

    Senator Eamon Courtenay Weighs in on Belize/Guatemala Hostility
    Senator Courtenay explains that once Guatemala moves its troops to exercise their so called sovereignty, it is a clear case of annexation which if left undone, becomes a permanent situation. [...]

    True Story of Guatemalan Aggression must be Internationalized
    Courtenay goes on to say that the internationalization of the Belize/Guatemala crisis, in light of the shooting death of a minor in the Chiquibul, is being used by Guatemalan army [...]

    O.A.S. Issues Statement Repudiating Death of Guatemalan Minor in Chiquibul
    Secretary General of the O.A.S., Luis Almagro, was sitting comfortably witnessing a Culture for Peace Program at the Adjacency Zone on Wednesday removed from what was happening at the Sarstoon [...]

    O.A.S. is Aware of Guatemalan’s Pillaging Belize’s Natural Resources
    Senator Eamon Courtenay, this morning expressed dismay at the O.A.S. pointing out that the organization is well aware of the plunder of Belize’s resources in the Chiquibul by Guatemalan nationals. [...]

    Military Occupation of Sarstoon; Is it Really Happening?
    Since we visited the Sarstoon on Wednesday for the inauguration of the joint operations Forward Operating Base a lot has happened. A Guatemalan minor was shot and killed in the [...]

    Western Border Open but Business Slows Down Considerably
    Aside from the Sarstoon, we headed to Benque which is the western town on the border with Guatemala. We witnessed Guatemalan children crossing the border to attend school in Belize. [...]

    U.S. State Department Issues Release on Chiquibul Shooting
    Apart from the O.A.S. and Mexico issuing statements on the latest developments between Belize and Guatemala, the U.S. State Department made a brief comment on the escalated tension.  The press [...]

    What is Mexico’s Interest in Belize and Guatemala Keeping the Peace?
    The government of Mexico has also issued a statement. Our neighbor to the north reiterates its support for the efforts of both countries to advance the solution to the dispute [...]

    Courtenay and Elrington Set Aside Differences in the Interest of Belize
    The P.U.P. leader told News Five on Thursday that Senator Eamon Courtenay continues as his chief representative on the advisory group to the Belize/Guatemala issue. Former Minister Assad Shoman has [...]

    Wil Maheia Lashes out at O.A.S.
    The Organization of American States has issued a release on the fatal shooting of Guatemalan minor Julio Rene Alvarado, in the Chiquibul on Wednesday. The release states that,  “the O.A.S. [...]

    Will BTV Proceed with Planned Trip to Sarstoon?
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers will be heading to Sarstoon on Saturday, April thirtieth. Or will they? Maheia has been accused of provoking the Guatemalans, so he is certainly on the [...]

    CTV3

    Two Orange Walkenos Sentenced For Robbery
    Two Orange Walk men were today sentenced to serve two years imprisonment after they were found guilty of the charge of robbery. The two individuals, namely Gustavo Hernandez and Christian Sutherland were arrested and charged back in May 11, 2015 for the broad daylight armed robbery at Luda’s Fast Food at the corner of Guadalupe Street and the Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town. At the time of the incident 41 year old Chinese businesswoman Ling Yu Huang reported to police that sometime around 2:45p.m on that day, while at her business place attending to a customer, two male persons with their faces covered and wearing camouflage hats entered the establishment and robbed them at gunpoint.

    Guatemalan President Reacts On Fatal Shooting Of 13 Year Old Minor
    Tonight the tension between Belize and Guatemala is on the rise as Guatemala is accusing Belizean authorities of fatally shooting a thirteen year old Guatemalan minor at the Adjacency Zone. Today at around 5:00 in the evening GOB issued a statement on the matter, we will have that for you in a few, but the first to comment on the incident was Guatemalan press, Prensa Libre, who stated that sometime between the hours of 6:00 and 7:00 yesterday evening BDF soldiers allegedly shot and killed a minor, and injured two others while they were planting pumpkin seeds near the adjacency zone. The report alleges that 48 year old Carlos Alvarado and his sons, 11 year old Carlos Alvarado and 13 year Julio Alvarado, were shot multiple times and that the BDF carried away the 13 year old boy who had received several gunshot wounds to the body. Reports coming from family members are that the minor allegedly died in a hospital in Belize while the others were taken to the Melchor de Mencos hospital for treatment.

    Office Of The Prime Minister Response To President Morales' Statement
    While GOB issued a release relating their version of what occurred at the Chiquibul, just before news time the Office of the Prime Minister sent out a release rejecting the version of events made by President Jimmy Morales during his statement issued today regarding the incident in Belize’s Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park. According to the release, Belizean Security Forces and law enforcement officials would never perpetrate an armed attack on civilians especially minors except in exercise of the right to self-defense. The Government of Belize reiterates that the mandate and authority given to Belize law enforcement and security agencies to enforce Belizean laws and protect Belize’s natural resources and territorial integrity is at all times implemented on the basis of recourse to the use of force only as a last and justified resort, says the release.

    CJC Ends Drug Awareness Week
    The high rate of drug abuse among college students worldwide including Belize can be attributed to a number of factors ranging from stress and most commonly peer pressure. Here in the north the Corozal Junior College (C.J.C) last week held a drug awareness week under the theme “Drugs are Bullies don’t let them destroy your school life.” The week started off with radio talk shows and banner competitions on drug related topics. The week, which concluded on Tuesday, also included testimonials of recovering alcoholics and drug users. According to president of CJC Student Government, John Marin Jr. and Dean of CJC Jose Mai, agree that everyone should be involved in motivating students not to use drugs and alcohol.

    Will OAS Investigates Shooting At Chiquibul?
    As mentioned, the Government of Belize has requested the support of the Organization of American States in conducting a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surrounding the shooting incident that claimed the life of 13 year old Julio Alvarado. Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro was asked during a press briefing, which we will tell you about in a few, to provide input on the shooting incident. Almagro expressed that while the OAS is deeply concerned about this incident, they cannot intervene on the issue until they are asked to do so by both countries.

    General Jones Dissapointed About Guatemala Rejection Towards Proposals
    As for Guatemala’s presence inside Belize’s territorial waters during the inauguration of the forward operating base, Commandant of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones, described it as alertness on their behalf: Brigadier General David Jones – Belize Defense Force Commandant: “Well, it shows that they are on alert and they are going to continuously be alert and apart from the BDF and the Coast Guard our civilian forces also has to be aware that the Guatemalans are alert, this is an international border it shared between us and them so they are rightfully concern if any one comes in to the river that they may be going in to Guatemalan waters so I am not surprised that they are here I expected them here because that is what they should if there some activity occurring in their side and we would see a lot of vessels coming in to the river we equally be alert as well too to take a look and to be concern on what is happening in the river.”

    GOB Says Belizean Authorities Acted In Self Defense
    Now, while the Government of Guatemala is claiming that BDF soldiers surprised Alvarado and his sons and opened fire on them as they were planting pumpkin seeds between 6:00 and 7:00 yesterday evening, a release from the Government of Belize is relating a different story. GOB is saying that according to initial reports, yesterday Belizean security forces were on a patrol in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park in western Belize to investigate illegal clearings when at about 5:00 p.m. they detained without incident, 33 year old Guatemalan national Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, who was found conducting illegal activities in the Chiquibul National Park.

    LOVE FM

    Prime Minister Meets with Guatemalan President over Risen Tensions
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has issued a recorded statement via telephone as he is still in the US where he attended the signing of the Paris Agreement. According to Prime Minister Barrow, he has had a meetng with President Jimmy Morales at the UN in New York. Prime Minister Barrow says that he […]

    Deputy Prime Minister Speaks on Meeting of Nat’l Security Council
    While Prime Minsiter Barrow is away, the National Security Minister, John Saldivar headed a meeting with senior officials this morning at the BDF Price Barracks. Those in attendance included the Rear Admiral of the Belize Coast Guard, Commander John Borland; BDF Commander, Brigadier General David Jones and Deputy Comissioner of Police, Russell Blackett That meeting […]

    Situation at Western Border Sensationalized on Social Media
    The social media timelines and pages were filled with sentiments and reactions to the current relations between Belize and Guatemala. While some were merely expressing their concerns or opinions on the issue, there were some who were sensationalizing the issue and making reports of the western border being closed and high tensions in the area. […]

    Guatemalans Block Entry Into the Sarstoon
    Meanwhile on the southern part of the country, Wil Maheia told Love News that the mouth of the Sarstoon River was blocked by the Guatemalan military and thus Belizean vessels had no access to the area although the Guatemalan civilians were allowed to continue fishing in Belize’s waters.

    Opposition Leader Issues Statement Following Emergency Meeting of His Executive
    As the National Security Minister was in session with senior law enforcements, the Opposition Leader was in an emergency session with the PUP’s National Executive. That meeting began just before midday at Independence Hall and upon completion, the Leader of the Opposition issued a statement.

    OAS To Intervene and Investigate Recent Shooting of Minor
    Yesterday we told of the briefing with the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro and his comments that both Belize and Guatemala would have to make an official request for them to intervene and carry out an investigation into the recent killing of a Guatemalan minor in the Cayo District. A release posted on the OAS […]

    PUP Area Reps Weigh In on Heightened Tensions with Guatemala
    The National Executive of the People’s United Party is meeting in what has been dubbed an emergency meeting to discuss the current situation surrounding the tensions with Guatemala. Several members of the Executive including Francis Fonseca, Anthony Mahler, Kareem Musa, Eamon Courtenay and a few others showed up at the blue and white headquarters for […]

    Is President Morales Using Belize to Overshadow His Country’s Economic Woes ?
    While President Jimmy Morales is putting forth a strong stance on the border dispute and making announcements on the increase of naval officers at the Sarstoon and the western border, there are persons from Guatemala who are saying that this is a political ploy by Morales to distract the citizens from crucial issues affecting the […]

    US State Department Encourages Cooperation with OAS Office
    As the situation escalates between Belize and Guatemala, various agencies are sending out their statements and sentiments on the issue. Earlier today, the Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson for the Bureau of Public Affairs for the US State Department, John Kirby, issued a statement, saying, quote, “We are deeply concerned by reports today that a […]

    Mexican Embassy Weighs in on Belize Guatemala Issue
    Meanwhile coming out of the Mexican Embassy was a release expressing hope that an end to the dispute would be reached. Mexico’s Ambassador to Belize Carlos Quesnell wrote on his Facebook page, quote, “The Government of Mexico, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regrets the events which occurred on April 20 at the Adjacency Zone […]

    PlusTV

    Guatemalan Poacher killed by BDF in the Chiquibul reserve
    To say that tensions are high between Guatemala and Belize would be an understatement at this time and with every new encounter between the two countries’ militaries and civilians, that tension increases; and there has been another incident. A Guatemalan, in Belizean territory illegally, was shot an...

    OAS Secretary General speaks to press
    The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, His Excellency Luis Almagro, held his last engagement in Belize with the press this morning at the Philip Goldson International Airport. He addressed a number of issues including the shooting of the Guatemalan minor by Belize Defence Forc...

    Denny Grijalva makes public apology, fined maximum for Noh Mul destruction
    As we reported earlier this week, Denny Grijalva has been found guilty of removing parts of an ancient monument and causing the destruction of an ancient monument. The monument in question is the Mayan site called Noh Mul. Back in 2013, it was discovered that contractor Denny Grijalva’s company, De...

    Seven years in prison for break-in sex assault
    43 year old Lincoln Flowers of Belize City will spend the next seven years in prison after being caught fondling a woman as she lay in bed sleeping next to her common-law husband. Flowers was sentenced yesterday by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith on charges of burglary with intent to rape and one c...

    Gun found buried in yard
    Police Officers from Intermediate Southern Formation comprising of OC ISF, Special Branch Officer and CIB personnel 0n Thursday 21st April , visited a lot at the entrance of Placencia Village, Stann Creek District where a search was carried out . There, authorities found a black plastic bag buried a...

    Taiwanese helicopters assembled
    At Wednesday’s opening of the Forward Operating Base in the Sarstoon area, the commander of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones confirmed that the recently acquired Taiwanese helicopters for the force have been assembled. In one year’s time, when training for the pilots is compl...

    UB expands research conference
    The University of Belize (UB) hosted its annual research conference in Belize City this morning for students and faculty. It is part of the University’s mandate to be the leading research institution in Belize. Though the conference has always been hosted by the Faculty of Management and Social Scie...

    The Reporter

    Barrow, Morales agree to take measures to de-escalate tensions at borders
    The leaders of Belize and Guatemala have agreed to take all measures necessary to de-escalate tensions at our border areas. A press release from the Government’s Press Office late this evening states that Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the announcement during a special meeting of […]

    YWP to hold second annual diabetes run
    Youth For World Peace (YWP) Wellness Ambassadors, a community organization in western Belize is holding its second annual run for diabetes awareness. YWP set the date for May 22, where participants will run 23 miles, beginning at the Belmopan market square and ending at Palacio’s […]

    IDB making more financing available for climate change projects
    The Inter-American Development Bank has agreed to increase the amount of financing available for countries to conduct climate change related projects. The IDB agreed this week to raise the amount of financing available by 30 percent over the next four years. The IDB estimates that the climate […]

    Government loses big in litigation with Unicorn
    In two separate judgments in 2016 by two separate Justices of the Supreme Court, the actions of the government have been deemed unconstitutional and unlawful. In the first such ruling in January, 2016, Justice Courtney Abel ordered government to pay Titan International Securities US $4.5 million, and last Friday, Justice […]

    Fundraiser to help 12-year-old with leukemia
    The family of 12-year-old Cleyon Marage is holding a fundraiser this weekend to pay for medical treatment for the boy who has been battling leukemia for two years. While Marage is currently receiving treatment in Merida, his family is busy organizing the fundraiser to be […]

    Belize to observe Vaccination Week in the Americas
    Belize is joining other countries in the region this week in celebrating Vaccination Week in the Americas, and World Vaccination Week. The events focus on promoting the benefits of vaccination through education, and the week is being observed under the theme: “Closing the Immunization Gap […]

    GOB building new schools in the north
    The Government of Belize this week broke ground on two new school projects in the northern districts. GOB held ground-breaking ceremonies for the Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. pre-school, in Corozal, and Carmelita pre-school in Orange Walk on Wednesday, giving greater access to education for […]

    Belize to ratify Paris Agreement
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country this week to sign and ratify the international climate change treaty known as the Paris Agreement at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. Climate change experts have said that while countries such as Belize contribute less than […]

    Chamber of Commerce holds first Belizean Roots Expo
    The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), in an effort to promote Belizean products, held it’s first ever Belizean Roots Expo. The expo, held at AyinHa Adventures Castleton Entertainment Park on Saturday April 16, was organized in an effort to highlight and showcase products specifically from […]

    Belize slips in Free Press ranking
    Belize has slipped six places from last year on the 2016 World Press Freedom Index, ranking 36 on this year’s index prepared by Reporters Without Borders. Despite slipping on the index, Belize still ranks high at 36 out of 180 countries included in the index, […]

    Escapee Shane Bennet recaptured in Placencia
    Shane Bennet, a murder suspect who had escaped from police custody in January, was recaptured in Placencia this week through efforts of a joint police operation. Officers from the Special Branch, Crimes Investigation Branch (CIB) and the Placencia police sub-formation found Bennet hiding at a […]

    Three Guatemalans looking for gold caught with weed
    Three Guatemalans looking for gold in Belize were arrested on drug charges in the southern portion of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve late last week. The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) reported that the men were found in jungle camps near the Ceibo Chico creek, […]

    Fatally stabbed In Caye Caulker
    A man identified as Leon Gordon was fatally stabbed w at the Mara’s Sip and Dip bar in Caye Caulker last Suday. Caye Caulker police responded to reports of a fight at the Sip on Avenida Hicaco around 8:15 Sunday night. There, Sharlene Young reported […]

    A permanent military base now present at the Sarstoon
    The Ministry of National Security has established a joint operation Forward Operating Base on the Belizean mainland at the mouth of the Sarstoon, directly opposite Guatemala’s base in that area. The building was officially inaugurated and declared operational on Wednesday by a mixed gathering of security personnel from the various […]

    Impersonators caught in the act
    An early morning police patrol in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City on Thursday resulted in the arrest of two persons, including a Belize Defense Force (BDF) volunteer soldier, posing as legitimate, armed policemen. Tyronne Smith and Dorian Blair, both 21, face charges […]

    Editorial
    The shooting of a thirteen year old boy by BDF Forces in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park on the Belize side of the border has inflamed the people of Guatemala, and on Thursday, April 21 President Jimmy Morales put the Guatemalan forces in the area of the […]

    Tensions high as Guatemalan boy is shot by BDF
    Tensions are at an all time high following the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor by the Belize Defense Force (BDF) Wednesday evening. The death of Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, 13; and the alleged wounding of his brother Carlos Alberto Alvarado, 11; and father Carlos Alfredo Ramirez, 48, have spurred […]

    Guatemala rejects Belize Proposals – Sarstoon in Limbo
    On April 8, 2016, there was a meeting at OAS headquarters in the Adjacency Zone, as Belize presented eleven proposals providing a framework for engagement between the countries on the increasingly volatile Sarstoon area. There were plenty of warm hugs and smiles, back-patting, sincere eye contact and hand shakes. A […]

    Noh Mul cost Grijalva $6,000
    The Belize City Magistrate’s Court ordered Denny Grijalva, and those charged with him for the destruction of the Noh Mul archeological site, to pay the maximum fine under the law: $6,000. On Thursday Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith ordered Grijalva, his wife, and his foreman at De Mar’s Stone Company, […]

    Regional prostitution laws challenged but sex work already legal in Belize
    A York University Professor is calling on Caribbean Community members to decriminalize prostitution, but her appeal would have little effect in Belize since prostitution is already legal. The appeal to revisit prostitution laws sparked a complex, multi¬sectoral discussion, and The Reporter spoke with representatives from […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Prime Minister Barrow Convenes National Security Council Meeting
    Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow this evening convened a special meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) in Belize City to address the issues surrounding the incident that claimed the life of a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul Forest in Belize’s territory. The […]

    OAS asks Belize and Guatemala to avoid escalation of tensions
    A press release issued by the OAS General Secretariat this afternoon, states that it will investigate the shooting incident that has sparked tension between Guatemala and Belize. The release asks both countries to avoid an escalation of tensions and to renew efforts to establish […]

    Eight year old drowns in man-made pond
    Ladyville police are currently investigating a drowning of an 8-year-old in Biscayne village, Belize District. According to a police report, a little before 4:00 p.m. on Thursday April 21st, officers visited the residence of 55 year old Jennifer Moguel between miles 24 ¼ on […]

    Fake police busted in Belize City
    A pair of police impersonators were arrested and charged yesterday morning when a real police mobile patrol noticed them acting suspiciously on Ebony Street in Belize City. Just before 6:00 a.m., the men, identified to be 21-year-old Tyron Smith and 21-year-old Dorian Blair, were […]

    Mexico speaks on Belize Guatemala tensions
    Mexico has issued a release on the April 20th shooting along the Belize Guatemala adjacency zone saying that it laments the incident and trusts that the Organization of American States will conduct a full investigation into the matter to determine who is responsible. The Mexican […]

    Guatemalan Government challenges GOB in press release
    A press release issued from Guatemala and directed to the Government of Belize earlier today, refutes our country’s version of events given about the shooting death of Guatemalan minor Julio Alvarado. He was allegedly shot by a Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier in the […]

    Keep calm; the western border in Belize is open
    Breaking Belize News has investigated reports of threats made to burn Government buildings at the Western Border and that the border is closed. Neither is true. Our information from sources who have visited the border is that traffic into and out of Guatemala is free-flowing […]

    Fair and warm weather prevails
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with little or no rainfall expected. Winds will be blowing to the East from 5-15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures today are expected […]

    Blogs

    San Pedro, Belize 2016 Tattoo Exposition: If You Haven’t Heard? Tattoos are HUGE
    Tattoos, if you haven’t realized, are hot. According to this 2014 survey, 56% of NBA players have tattoos…and surveys seem to estimate 20-25% of Americans sport some ink. It seems to be a trademark for 20 and 30 somethings. And I’d guess that more than 25% of the millenials in San Pedro have a tattoo or 10. So it makes sense that the 2016 EXPO, this year announced bigger and better, comes to San Pedro. It is scheduled for the last weekend of May – May 28th and 29th – and will feature artists from around the world. So…keep if you are a tattoo aficionado, thinking of one for the first time or just like to gawk, this event should be super fun. I’ll definitely see you there.

    Florida Investigator to Caribbean Restaurateur
    Before moving to Belize, 66-year-old Steve Gustat, from Tampa, Florida, hadn’t even considered opening a restaurant. “I had no experience in the restaurant business,” he says of his decision to open the Blue Iguana, the popular restaurant he now operates with his Belizean partner, Shantel, in Corozal, in northern Belize near the Mexican border. “But that has not been a problem. Business principles are the same in any business.”

    Random scenes from 5 days in San Pedro
    I was fortunate that the universe sent my friend Jack over with a golf cart and that he was in a chill mood so was willing to wait for me to finish my work and pack a picnic while my editor Shirlee fixed any bits that came from my dyslexic ADD brain so I could go live. We set off for gas and headed north so he could see the cave and we would have a nice place to picnic. This time around in addition to still pictures I have some great 360 degree video footage for you of the landscape beyond Secret beach. I also shot some video driving out and Grand Belizean Estates area. At the end of that one Jack slowed the cart down to give the ladies a treat.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize says Guatemala “amassing” troops in border areas
    The tiny Central American country of Belize has accused larger neighbor Guatemala of “amassing” troops along the two countries’ border following the death of a 13-year-old boy in a shooting incident apparently involving Belizean soldiers. It’s a new flashpoint in a long territorial dispute between the two countries. Guatemala claims parts of territory governed by Belize as its own. Guatemala says teenager Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, his father and his 11-year-old brother were attacked Wednesday as they planted crops in the border community of San Jose Las Flores near Melchor de Mencos, which is on the border between the department of Peten and Belize. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales called it a “cowardly and excessive attack” that merits the “total condemnation of the Guatemalan state.” He said he had summoned his ambassador to Belize for consultations and urged Belize to investigate and bring those responsible to justice.

    Statement released today by the OAS general Secretariat
    In a statement released today, the OAS general Secretariat says it "repudiates the death of a Guatemalan minor at the hands of a Belizean patrol, and urges both sides to redouble efforts to establish a lasting peace in the adjacency zone between the two countries." The statement goes on to say that the OAS has agreed to investigate the death and make its final reports available to foreign ministries of both countries. The secretariat also took the opportunity to repeat its recommendations that both countries "carry out the procedures provided for in their respective internal systems as soon as possible, to hold referenda on the decision to submit the territorial controversy to the International Court of Justice", stating that this is the only viable way of resolving the dispute permanently.

    MEXICO AMBASSADOR ON THE INCIDENT AT THE ADJACENCY ZONE BETWEEN GUATEMALA AND BELIZE (NON OFFICIAL ENGLISH TRANSLATION)
    "The Government of Mexico, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regrets the events which occurred on April 20 at the Adjacency Zone between Guatemala and Belize in which a minor lost his life and other persons were injured. Likewise it extends its condolences to the relatives of the victims. Mexico is confident that with the support of the Office of the OAS at the Adjacency Zone an extensive investigation will be launched with regard to the events in order to determine responsibilities. The Government of Mexico reiterates its support to the ongoing efforts that Guatemala and Belize carry out to finding a solution to the present dispute as well as its support to the initiatives implemented within the framework of the OAS that encourage confidence building measures between the parties and avoid incidents and tensions that could affect the peaceful process in finding a resolution to the dispute".

    The 'Midnight Terror Cave' of Belize was a child sacrifice site, experts report
    Back in 2006, a local farmer working in the Cayo District of west Belize made one of the most grisly archaeological discoveries of the last decade. Tipped off by the screams of a looter who fell 18 metres (60 feet) to the floor of a pitch-black cave, the farmer discovered human bones and teeth by the thousands, some so smashed up, it’s impossible to count how many bodies they once belonged to. Welcome to the Midnight Terror Cave, where archaeologists suspect countless children were sacrificed to Chaak - the rain god of the ancient Maya civilisation. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Atlanta last week, bioarchaeologist Michael Prout from California State University discussed the results of a recent analysis of the 9,566 bones, teeth, and bone fragments found scattered on the floor of the cave, confirming that they belonged to individuals no older than 14 years.

    4-H around the world: Michigan-Belize connection
    Belize is well known for its Mayan temples and cave tubing, but did you know they also have a National 4-H Youth Development Center? It was revived in 1967 by Hon. David L. McKoy, Minister of Social Services, with technical assistance from Michigan 4-H Youth Development. According to Central Intelligence Agency, Belize wasn’t even an independent country in 1967, they were still having territorial disputes with the UK and Guatemala until their independence in 1981. Guatemala still refused to recognize the new nation until 1992. So imagine a country in turmoil trying to become independent, establishing a 4-H Youth Development Center empowering youth to “Learn to Earn and Save.” A country where the people may be hungry but still wear a smile; a country that counts on tourism for economic stability; a country in the Caribbean where its official language is English; and a country with heavy foreign debt burden, high unemployment, highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, high crime and drug trade. The youth in Belize need adults who see the value in 4-H Youth Development, International Exchange opportunities and continue receiving support from Michigan 4-H Youth Development.

    CDC issues zika virus travel advisory for Belize
    On Monday, the US Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) issued a zika virus travel notice for Belize. CDC has issued a number of previous travel notices (level 2, “practice enhanced precautions”) for people traveling to destinations with zika. Travelers to areas with cases of zika virus infection are at risk of being infected with the zika virus. Mosquitoes that spread zika are aggressive daytime biters. They also bite at night. There is no vaccine or medicine for zika virus. The best way to avoid zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites. Some travelers to areas with zika will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home and they might not have any symptoms. To help stop the spread of zika, travelers should use insect repellent for three weeks after travel to prevent mosquito bites.

    Meet Cleo, an iguana from Central America
    During my time in the Central American nation of Belize, we referred to iguanas as “bamboo chicken.” And I had, on one occasion, the opportunity to dine on this colorful lizard’s meat. Grilled on an open flame and flavored with a considerable amount of lime juice, allspice, and cayenne pepper, it pretty much tasted like chicken, especially after enjoying a couple of rum and cokes! “I can never eat animals I’ve raised,” said Charlie Sammut, director of the Monterey Zoo. “I know what they smell like from having them around me and I can taste that in the rattlesnake or alligator meat I’ve tried.” Angie Krall held Cleo tightly as the full-size iguana displayed its attractive chartreuse color and textured skin. “I don’t recommend iguanas as pets,” Sammut said. “And yet, they are sold in pet stores left and right. First of all, I call them “throwaway pets.” If you get them as babies, your chances of keeping them healthy and alive are slim. The heat source they need, the humidity they need, are just not easy to provide. If you do well, and grow them into a big iguana, you have an animal running around the house that is very dangerous. I’ve met dogs with eyes missing because of the tail of an iguana.”

    CARIFORUM fisheries and SPS professionals participate in unique, interactive training opportunity in Iceland
    Eighteen professionals who have been working in Fisheries Management, Animal Health and Food Safety from across the CARIFORUM region, are currently overseas receiving specialized training in food safety and animal and plant health. The trainees are attending the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Management Course, slated for 17-30 April 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland, under the United Nations University - Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP). The two-week course, developed by the UNU-FTP in partnership with the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), is exposing the selected trainees to the full range of issues faced in fisheries value chain management, with special focus on the best SPS standards and the institutional arrangements required for the optimized performance of the fishing industry.

    OAS condemns shooting death of Guatemalan minor in Belize adjacency zone
    The OAS General Secretariat has condemned the death of a Guatemalan minor at the hands of a Belizean patrol, and urged both sides to redouble efforts to establish a lasting peace in the adjacency zone between the two countries. The OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone of Belize and Guatemala will investigate the incident at the request of both governments. Once the investigation is concluded the report with its results will be delivered to both foreign ministries for the appropriate actions. During the incident on Wednesday, in addition to the death of the minor, his father and brother were wounded by gunfire. The OAS called on the governments of Belize and Guatemala to avoid an escalation of tensions, and to renew their efforts to establish a lasting peace.

    Guatemalan Military's twitter feed
    The latest photos from the Guatemalan Military's twitter feed concerning the current tensions between Belize and Guatemala show the Guatemalan Minister of National Defense visiting the grieving family of Julio Alvarado.

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE STATEMENT BY JOHN KIRBY, SPOKESPERSON: Guatemala-Belize: Shootings in Disputed Area
    We are deeply concerned by reports today that a child was killed and two family members injured in the disputed area between Guatemala and Belize known as the Adjacency Zone. We express our deepest condolences to the family. We urge calm and restraint by both sides, and we call for a full investigation of the facts surrounding this tragedy. Finally, we encourage both countries to cooperate fully with the OAS Adjacency Zone Office and to continue engaging in the confidence building measures agreed upon in 2005. We reiterate our support for both countries to continue efforts to hold referenda on referring the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice.

    Videos

  • Belize a signatory to the Paris Agreement, 1min. This morning at the United Nations Headquarters, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow officially made Belize a signatory to the Paris Agreement. In December, 2015, 195 countries came together and adopted a new international agreement to address climate change; named the “Paris Agreement.” This Agreement is seen as historic in the fight against climate change as it sets the basis for common action against climate change, by countries all over the world. It also marked a breakthrough in global cooperation to address climate change.

  • Aguacate Lagoon in Spanish Lookout Belize - Phantom 3 Footage, 2min. Richard flew explored Aguacate Lagoon in Spanish Lookout with his Phantom 3 drone. The lake is named after its Avocado shape.

  • Belize | Travel Diary, 3min. My friend celebrated her Bday in Belize. So I traveled with her. Come along.

  • Driving from Secret Beach, 1min. Part of the drive from Secret Beach back to San Pedro Town. THe girls will be glad my friend Jack did a slow drive by at the end of the video ;)

  • Secret Beach Landscape, 2min. A short visual of what the different landscape looks like around secret beach and just north of it.

  • Pirate Girl Brownies at The Truck Stop Inaugural Farmers Market, 1min.

  • San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min.

  • Our Snapchat Story: Belize, 11min. Our story of our trip to Belize through the eyes of Snapchat

  • Belize // In 15 Days, 5min. My friends and I traveled Belize in 15 days. This film is the story of our incredible trip! Enjoy! Shot on the GoPro Hero 3+

  • Conservation trip to Belize - 2015, 5min. Exploring, diving and volunteering for a conservation expedition. I spent 6 weeks in Belize last year on a conservation expedition where I learnt to dive (getting both my open water and advanced open water PADI), ID Caribbean fish and conduct marine surveys. As well as learning how to sit back and do nothing - an important skill with the plethora of distractions nowadays.

  • GUILE BRANCO'S BELIZE ARCHEOLOGY ADVENTURE PART ONE, 4min. This video follows Guile Branco as he visits the ruins of XUNANTUNICH in BELIZE - dating back to 850 AD.

  • Belize 2016, 3min. San Ignacio, Tobacco Caye, Ambergris Caye & Belize City.

    April 22, 2016


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    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

    Guatemalan President increases military presence at border after minor is shot
    Guatemalan military presence has heightened in the Sarstoon River and along the entire border with Belize as per President Jimmy Morales’ orders. The decision was taken after a shooting incident at the border left a Guatemalan minor dead, allegedly at the hands of the Belize Defence Force. According to an article published by Guatemala’s Prensa Libre on Thursday, April 21st, an altercation took place between 6PM and 7PM on Wednesday, April 20th, when members of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) attacked 48-year-old Carlos Alvarado along with his family while they were planting pumpkin seeds along the side of the border. In the armed attack, according to the article, Alvarado and his two children, 11 and 13 years old respectively were shot. He and his youngest son Carlos Alvarado managed to get away with minor wounds while his oldest son 13 year old Julio Alvarado was apparently shot dead on the spot and taken by the BDF soldiers. The family, originally from the community of San Jose Las Flores near Melchor de Mencos in Peten, have been admitted at a local hospital and treated for their injuries.

    Oyinkro Akpobodor wins 2016 BBBFF Strongman contest
    “The African”, Oyinkro “Power” Akpobodor of the Neal & Gordon’s Gym won the 2016 Belize Body Building & Body Fitness Federation’s (BBBFF) Strongman contest at the BTL Park in Belize City on Sunday, April 17. Akpobodor won the $1,000 first prize and $100 in prizes for winning two of the five events; lifting 545lbs in the dead lift and doing the tire flip in 1:01 minute. He was also second in bench-pressing 385lbs; lifting 405lbs from a squat and pulling a sports utility vehicle (SUV) 100 yards in 36 seconds. Defending two-time champ Victor “Brown Sugar” Valencia of the Body 2000 Gym won the $600 second prize and a $50 prize for winning the bench press at 405lbs. He pulled the SUV in 35 seconds, the third best time, and lifted 460lbs from a squat. He did the tire flip in 1:13.

    8- Ball Pool tournament narrows as it nears semi-finals
    The semi-finals for the pre-season 8-ball pool competition is right around the corner, and the games are getting tighter. Each match has brought intensity as the different teams battle each weekend to keep on top of the tournament. The games took place at Cholo’s bar this past weekend and after tallying the points, Team Amigos is in the lead with 103 points. The next set of games for this coming weekend will be at Average Joe’s Bar. For Friday and Saturday games start at 7PM, while Sunday games begin at 1PM. Tournament organizers invite everyone to come out and support the teams in their guest for glory. They also thank their sponsors for continuing to make this event possible:

    Amandala’s headline sparks outrage
    The headline “Girl, 13 said ‘YES’ to 4 men,” made the front page of Amandala’s Sunday edition of their newspaper on April 10th. Shortly after, The National Women’s Commission (NWC) and The National Committee for Family and Children (NCFC), issued press releases expressing outrage at the distasteful choice of wording. The article was written by former police officer and Amandala’s staff reporter, Albert Ciego. According to Anne-Marie Williams, the Executive Director of NWC, she believes that Ciego intentionally sensationalized the headline, and since he was formerly associated with the police, he should have been better acquainted with the laws of Belize. According to the Criminal Code of Belize, a child under the age of 16 years cannot give consent and consequently, she cannot say “yes” to the four men stated. As such, the article should have reflected that four men took advantage of the minor and had sexual intercourse against her will.

    ACES hosts 2nd Annual Autism Awareness 5K
    April is Autism awareness month, and Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), along with over a hundred residents of La Isla Bonita, showed their support by participating in the 2nd Annual Autism Awareness 5k on Sunday, April 17th. The participants gathered at the Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant and had the option to either run or walk the 5K. Participants headed north along the beachside by the Boca Del Rio Park, then turned on Laguna Drive Street, headed south to Pescador Drive, and then continued on Coconut Drive to Sands Villas. From there participants moved to the beach where they proceeded north to the starting point.

    BTB reports another increase in Quarterly Tourist Arrivals
    Over the decades Belize has seen a steady increase in tourism numbers. In a quarterly report issued by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) on April 14th, it was noted that the number of overnight visitors to the country saw a significant increase during the January-March 2016 quarter. According to the BTB, the first three months of the year showed impressive numbers, particularly in January and February. An increase of 24% and 18.4% were respectively recorded over the same period last year. The month of March recorded the lowest activity, with an increase of only 10% over the same time last year. But despite the low record, March was historic in recording over 40,000 visitors. TripAdvisor recently named Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District as top destinations, adding to Belize’s marketability.

    Ambergris Today

    Arcadia to Lend Helping Hand to Special Needs Community in Belize
    After a fruitful initial visit to San Pedro, Belize Arcadia University plans to move forward with the global outreach initiative as they travel back to Belize in August, 2016 to begin educating the community in the areas of business, education, and healthcare. April is international Autism Awareness month and members of the Belize community planned events to help the special needs community like the “Light It Up Blue” campaign where local businesses unite by shining bright blue lights in honor of the individuals and families affected by autism. Also, on April 17th Sarah Freudenberg, Special Education Master’s Level Teacher, organized an “Autism Awareness Run,” a 5K marathon in order to raise awareness and funds for autism. The proceeds from the 5K will go to Autism Awareness and Education.

    Spay-Ghetti and No Balls Dinner Benefit by Saga
    We just had to attend last night's Saga Humane Society's benefit dinner after reading the name of the fundraiser. There is no better play of words - simply hilarious. But on a serious note, it was a successful benefit for Saga as the organization keeps on arduously working in raising money for its SNIP program in order to provide free spay and neuter services to the community. Their 'Spay-ghetti and No Balls Dinner" Benefit at Stella’s Smile was a great evening for a worthy cause.

    Belizeans Say: Not Now Not Ever! To Offshore Oil Drilling
    April 20, 2016, marked the six year anniversary of the worst environmental catastrophe in United States history, British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon. When the rig exploded, it killed 11 people, injured 17 others and for the next 87 days, spewed almost 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster wiped out wildlife and crippled thousands of businesses. The really scary part? The spill is still affecting tourism and fishing communities thousands of miles away from the accident site. And yes, the places impacted include Belize.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    CEO Caucus Challenge Cancer Ride
    The CEO Caucus Challenge is next Saturday, May 7th. It starts at mile 25, and ends at the NATS. If you like to ride, and you want to help the cancer society, here's your chance.

    Sperm Whale
    Lucky to get a rare sighting of this large (30 - 35 ft) magnificent creature on route to Turneffe. He was nice enough to flip us his tail before descending into the depths.

    AyinHa Adventures Hiring
    AyinHa Adventures Job Openings for boat captains, tour guides, first mate, cooks, bartender, waitstaff, hospitality officers, receptionist, front desk, security officers, gardeners and janitor. For more information please contact us at info@ayinha.com

    Looking for two female Latin music dancers
    Especially salsa dancers between the ages of 20-30 yrs for April 29th from 7-10 pm. Location: Tipsy Tuna in Placencia Details: We are having a Cuban themed day and would like to provide our customers with dancers to do a dance show perhaps specializing in Cuban salsa. We will provide transport, meal, room plus pay. This may also be the beginning of something more permanent.

    Reaction to Statement Issued by the Guatemalan President
    The Office of the Prime Minister rejects the version of events in the statement by President Jimmy Morales made to the Guatemalan public on 21st April, 2016 regarding the incident in Belize’s Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park. Belize has a long history and tradition as a peace loving country, respectful of international law, human rights, and with a strong democratic culture where the rule of law has always prevailed. The Government and people of Belize always abide by these strong and unshakeable traditions. Accordingly Belizean Security Forces and law enforcement officials would never perpetrate an armed attack on civilians especially minors except in exercise of the right to self defence. The Government of Belize reiterates that the mandate and authority given to Belize law enforcement and security agencies to enforce Belizean laws and protect Belize’s natural resources and territorial integrity is at all times implemented on the basis of recourse to the use of force only as a last and justified resort. But respect for life and rights must always include respect for the life and rights of Belizean law enforcement officials and security forces. In this case the BDF reports of the incident indicate that our patrol in Belizean national territory came under attack to which they responded in justifiable self-defence. It is to be pointed out that the patrol included civilian personnel from the NGO group, FCD, and those personnel confirm the fact that our patrol simply responded after they were fired upon and were in fear for their lives.

    Shooting Incident in the Chiquibul National Park
    The Government of Belize has requested the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) in conducting a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surrounding the shooting incident which occurred on Wednesday, 20th April, 2016 in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park in western Belize. According to initial reports, Belizean security forces were on a patrol to investigate illegal clearings in the protected area. At about 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 20th April they detained without incident, 33-year-old Guatemalan national Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, who was found conducting illegal activities in our Chiquibul National Park. As darkness descended later in the day, at about 7:00 p.m. the patrol came under fire. The patrol returned fire in self-defence and decided to depart from the location which is approximately 580 meters east of the border. Prior to departure they conducted their standard clearance procedure and discovered the seemingly lifeless body of a minor.

    REMEMBERING MARIA SOCORRO BOBADILLA & THE BELIZE ACTION MOVEMENT (BAM)!
    The Heads of Agreement Heroin, Maria Socorro Bobadilla, became a symbol of resistance against the treacherous Heads of Agreement signed between Belize and Guatemalan in 1981 without the Belizean people consent, and the failure of the Belize government at that time to take the agreement to the people of Belize for referendum. We here at Belizean Legends celebrate her most courageous stand as a student at Belize Technical College along with her colleagues at the Belize Action Movement (BAM) against the Anglo Guatemalan crisis at that time. Your spirit live on Maria!

    BRAD PATTICO: BELIZEAN MUSICAL AMBASSADOR ENRICHES CREOLE FOLK MUSIC IN NEW ORLEANS IN 2016!
    Belizean Legends recently spoke with Belizean folk artist, Brad Pattico by phone today who continues to spread Belizean music and culture in the New Orleans in the footsteps of Mr. Peters and Andy Palacio. The legendary Belizean folk artist who is the last remaining Creole folk music artist to come out of Belize, continue his crusade in the United States to bring Belizean Croele folk music to an growing generation of American folk music lovers, who continue to flocked to the U.S. folk music capitol of the world, New Orleans. We appreciate our brothers contribution here at Belizean Legends, and want to send a big shout out to Brads, "Keep the music playing!"

    Josee Bermingham visits Belize Bird Rescue
    Thank you to the wonderful Josee Bermingham of the renown Hagen Avicultural Research Institute. We had her visit BBR for two amazing weeks of training, advice, health-checks, rescues, releases and catching up with old friends, We packed so much into her trip this time, our heads are still spinning. This lady knows a LOT about parrots and a bunch of other things! Thank you for everything Josee: your time, your expertise and of course (yet again) the fabulous donations of Prime vitamins, Tropican food and equipment from Hagen Inc, A huge Thank You to the lovely Mark Hagen for making it all possible!

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    This Weekend! Friday and Sunday only Sagebrush Church is having an event on Saturday night. The Witch, The Choice, Ride Along 2, Gte a Job.

    Channel 7

    Guatemalan Military Amasses at Belize's Southern Border
    Tonight, Belizeans are tense because the Guatemalan Armed forces have mobilized towards the area of the Sarstoon. Prensa Libre reports that three thousand soldiers have been sent to the Sarstoon area, and the twitter page of the Guatemalan government has posted these pictures of troops and armaments - including tanks - on the move. This comes after the BDF killed a 13 year old Guatemalan boy in the Cebada area of the Chiquibl Forest last night. The BDF says the Guatemalan hostiles opened fire on them in the dark and they returned fire. We'll have that full account later on, but first to President Jimmy Morales. He recorded a strongly worded statement and put it up on his website this afternoon. It's some of the hardest language heard form a Guatemalan President in decades, and we will air the full three minutes of it, with English captions underneath:

    Belize Says Soldiers Came Under Fire From Gaute's First
    And to get an idea of how it has escalated so quickly, we have to go back to last night, in the Chiquibul Forest for the incident that triggered the Guatemalan military deployment. The Government of Belize has issued a statement saying that the shooting happened within Belize, in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, in an area known as Cebada, close to the Western Border. The release says that the BDF were on patrol to investigate illegal clearings in the Chiquibul National Park. As viewers are aware, Caracol Makes up a part of the vast Chiquibul Forest. The release adds that the security forces personnel encountered 33 year-old Guatemalan Jose Maria Antonio Reyes conducting illegal activities in the Chiquibul. That was at around 5 p.m. yesterday, and he was detained without incident. About 2 hours later, the patrol came under fire at a location approximately 380 meters east of the Border, in Belizean Territory. The soldiers fired back in self-defense, and they made a decision to leave. They did not realize that someone had been fatally injured.

    OAS Sec. Gen. Had No Report On Shooting
    And the Belize delegation agrees as well - these incidents only aggravate and intensify the hostility between both countries. In fact, Belize's 11 point proposal was sent to defuse all that tension and to try to put an end to those Sarstoon showdown's. But as we told you, Guatemala rejected Belize's proposals and in turn, we rejected their counter proposals which stated that Belize must ask permission to access the Sarstoon River. Well, when we asked Secretary General Almagro about the breakdown in this approach- another fail in trying to reach a peaceful resolution - he told us that a press conference wasn't the place to discuss those issues and that the ongoing negotiations between countries should not be publicized. H.E. Luis Almagro, Secretary General - OAS: "It's not in our mandate to reveal points of the negotiation. The situation you are referring to is something that happens in the way of the negotiations of the two countries. In any case, I don't think we should have opinion related to negotiations that have not ended and that have not finished. So it's very clear that we should be confidential about that."

    Prime Minister Says BDF Were Fired Upon, NGO Can Confirm
    And, just in, there is a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister responding to that inflamatory statement made by President Jimmy Morales. It says, quote, "Belizean Security Forces and law enforcement officials would never perpetrate an armed attack on civilians especially minors except in exercise of the right to self defence." It adds, quote, "In this case the BDF reports of the incident indicate that our patrol in Belizean national territory came under attack to which they responded in justifiable self-defence. It is to be pointed out that the patrol included civilian personnel from the NGO group, FCD, and those personnel confirm the fact that our patrol simply responded after they were fired upon and were in fear for their lives." The statement goes unto say, quote, "This latest shooting attack on Belizean officials is part of a continued pattern of aggression by Guatemalan civilians engaged in illegal activities on Belize's side of the Adjacency Zone. In this regard, the Office of the Prime Minister recollects the earlier attacks which resulted in the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie and the shooting of Sgt. Richard Lambey."

    Director Of Archaeology says Caracol Security An Issue
    So, back to the Western Border where yesterday's shooting incident happened. The BDF soldiers may have to be deployed to the area of the Cebada and surrounding locations to try to contain any type of retaliation for the fatal shooting. For NICH that could mean that the soldiers stationed at the Valentin Conservation Post, which are stationed there to provide military Defence for the Caracol Archaeological Site, might be exposed in the short term. We caught up with the Director of Archaeology in Belize City this morning, and he shared his concerns with us following this incident: Dr. John Morris, Director of Archaeology: "Those kinds of things are a major concern to us. In fact, I'm beginning to have sleepless nights over these kinds of things because like Rafael Manzanero from FCD said 'it's a hot bed of activity out there for illegal activity' and our people are on the front line." Daniel Ortiz: "The suggestion is that the Valentin Patrol may have to move to that location to try to get it under control to ensure that there's no retaliation. Does that expose your people for the time being with the temporary period?" Dr. John Morris, Director of Archaeology: "Well, it certainly does, when you have these kinds of activities there's always the issue of retaliation.

    UDP's Grijalva Will Have TO Pay For Noh Mul Destruction
    On Monday, we told you how Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found Denny Grijalva, his wife, Emelda, his foreman, Javier Nunez, and his company, De-Mars, guilty of the destruction of the Noh Mul Archaeological Site. It's an unthinkable act to destroy part an Ancient Mayan Temple. But, what is the sentence for such an egregious act? Daniel Ortiz was there for the Sentencing hearing, and here's his story: Daniel Ortiz reporting: UDP Politician Denny Grijalva; his wife, Emelda; and their employee, Javier Nunez entered the court to find out what penalties they would face after being convicted of destroying the Noh Mul Archaeological site. When he exited he court, Grijalva was all about the mea culpa when he exited court.

    OAS Sec Gen Urges ICJ Solution
    And back to Belize Guatemala relations….as you heard in the top segment, in response to the fatal shooting of 13 year old Julio Alvarado in the Cebada area of Chiquibul, the Guatemalan Armed Forces are right now assembling at the Sarstoon. It is an extremely alarming and disturbing reality right now for Belizeans who are all wondering what will happen next. Well, Secretary General Luis Almagro says all this can be avoided - all these confrontations and violence at the border can end - but that is if both countries agree to take the dispute to the ICJ. Here is how he put it today. H.E. Luis Almagro, Secretary General - OAS: "It is very necessary that the political state of Belize and also Guatemala, that the case should move ahead to the International Court of Justice as soon as possible. Because this will clear all these problems and will clear the way for solutions for this kind of issues that are happening these days." But, one thing that is somewhat stifling the referendum, is Belize's 60% threshold. Guatemala had suggested that Belize change it to 50% so as to make the process easier. We asked Almagro about how this affects the entire process and he told us it is up to Belize to decide on this threshold as soon as possible so as to move forward.

    Emanuel Goes Into The Wilds Of Chiquibul
    Tonight, our national consciousness is focused completely on the south of Belize where - for the first time in decades - the Guatemalans are amassing troops and arms at the border. The trigger for this rogue move by the Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is an event that happened yesterday in the Chiquibul Forest. Our Emanuel Pech also happened to be in the 400 square mile Chiquibul yesterday - and while he wasn't near to where the fatal shooting happened, there's danger everywhere in that forest. And that's because of encroachment by Guatemalans. Yesterday the FCD took us to the furthest reaches of the Chiquibul reserve to document the level of illegal Guatemalan encroachment in the area. It was a painstaking 12 hour hike- 6 miles in and 6 miles out. Our team left Belize City at 3:00 am yesterday and did not return to Belize City until 2 am this morning. After enduring one of the most back breaking media tours of our news station's history, here's part one of the story they brought back. Emanuel Pech reports.

    FCD Says Guatemalan Aggression Is a Constant
    Now to bring matters into perspective we have to highlight the level of aggression than soldiers and rangers in the Chiquibul are subjected to. But even before this fatal shooting occurred, we began seeing an added level of hostility from the Guatemalan military at the Southern Border. So have all of these activities affected the dynamics of poacher and Park Ranger relations at the Chiquibul? FCD executive director Rafael Manzanero, says not necessarily. The level of and aggressiveness on the part of Guatemalan poachers have been consistently high in the area. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director: "I think there has always been a high level of determination of the people of Guatemala. That is not really a level of surprise to us. We know that if they are left, they will come around this place. So there's always that determination. For us we have not really seen a spiral of those things certainly over the years we have seen that has always been there. I think the Prime Minister was correct to say quite some time ago, probably about a year and a half, about how 'facey' they were when the Valentin camp was being constructed. That's a demonstration that if left alone, they will try to own this kind of land and natural resources. We have to be able to be more abrupt, we have to be much bold to be able to demonstrate that that was what we can do and how to demonstrate that we can do it."

    The Situation Tonight
    And so, to encapsulate all that has happened with Belize Guatemala relations tonight. First: the BDF is believed to have shot and killed a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul Forest yesterday night. They say it was dark and they came under fire. They returned fire, and found the minor's body later on. The Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales says a 13 year old was killed, and an 11 year old was injured, along with their 48-year-old father. In response, President Morales has deployed three thousand troops to the Sarstoon area, and recalled his Ambassador. Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow is in New York to sign the Paris Agreement, but he issued a statement today saying, quote, "BDF reports of the incident indicate that our patrol in Belizean national territory came under attack to which they responded in justifiable self-defence. It is to be pointed out that the patrol included civilian personnel from the NGO group, FCD, and those personnel confirm the fact that our patrol simply responded after they were fired upon and were in fear for their lives." He adds, quote, "This latest shooting attack on Belizean officials is part of a continued pattern of aggression by Guatemalan civilians engaged in illegal activities on Belize's side of the Adjacency Zone. In this regard, the Office of the Prime Minister recollects the earlier attacks which resulted in the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie and the shooting of Sgt. Richard Lambey."

    Channel 5

    Guatemalan Minor Shot by B.D.F. in Chiquibul
    Tonight, there is heightened tension on both Belizean and Guatemalan fronts following the death of a Guatemalan minor and a very strong and disturbing message to Belize from Guatemalan President [...]

    Guatemalan President Releases Inflammatory Statement on Shooting
    The release from the Government of Belize does not respond to the bold statement of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. News Five has been reliably informed that Prime Minister Dean Barrow [...]

    O.A.S. Secretary-General Says Verification Exercise is Critical
    As you heard just now, Belize has asked the O.A.S. for a verification exercise for Wednesday’s shooting near Cebada. This morning, just before he left the country, O.A.S. Secretary-General Luis [...]

    Almagro Says O.A.S. Can’t Speak on Rejected Proposals
    The Secretary General’s brief interview at the Phillip Goldson International Airport was essentially a continuation of an ad hoc question and answer session at the western border on Wednesday which [...]

    P.U.P. Leader Says GAF Actions at Sarstoon Constitute an Act of Aggression
    Before that shooting near Cebada, the biggest thing in the news would have been the actions by Guatemala on Wednesday, as the Ministry of National Security inaugurated its Forward Operating [...]

    Ambassador Assad Shoman is Replaced by Senator Eamon Courtenay
    And where the Opposition’s participation in the Belize/Guatemala talks is concerned, there is very significant news. Ambassador Assad Shoman is out, and Ambassador Eamon Courtenay is in. We could not [...]

    P.U.P. Leader Meets with O.A.S. Secretary-General
    This morning, Briceño also briefed News Five on the meeting with Secretary-General Almagro which included the participation of former P.U.P. Foreign Ministers Said Musa, Lisa Shoman, Godfrey Smith and Eamon [...]

    PM Barrow Responds to Statement by Guatemalan President
    As we reported earlier in the newscast, there is a build-up of Guatemalan troops on the Sarstoon and along the adjacency zone. It comes immediately after President Jimmy Morales issued [...]

    Grijalva Sentenced for Destroying Noh Mul
    Three years ago, Denny Grijalva, the U.D.P. Orange Walk standard bearer, his wife Emelda and their foreman, Javier Nunez were found to be excavating limestone from the Mayan site Noh [...]

    Rupert Myles’ House Will Be Moved
    There is another recent case involving the destruction of Mayan sites, but in the south.  Rupert Myles was detained in June of 2015, according to traditional Maya customs, for desecrating [...]

    The Accused in Bou-Nehra Home Invasion Back in Court
    As many as nineteen persons have been charged in connection with the home invasion of Lebanese Honorary Consul Sarkis Bou Nehra in early December 2015. In the robbery in Burrell [...]

    B.D.F. Destroys Marijuana Plantations in the Chiquibul
    The shooting of the Guatemalan minor occurred in the Chiquibul, in an area which is known for illegal marijuana plantations. Ironically, on Wednesday Brigadier-General David Jones spoke to us about [...]

    General Jones Says Civilians in the Sarstoon Will Be Intercepted by GAF
    We also spoke to the general about the new state of affairs in the Sarstoon following the rejection of the protocols by Guatemala. Jones clarified that any understanding of non-interception [...]

    BTV Head Wil Maheia Not Satisfied With Enforcement of Laws at Sarstoon
    Head of the Territorial Volunteers Wil Maheia attended the inauguration of the Forward Operating Base on Wednesday. He’s been a longtime advocate for a military presence in the Sarstoon, and [...]

    O.A.S. Secretary-General Hopes for Positive Referendum Results in Belize
    While the Belize/Guatemala dispute remains an ongoing geopolitical issue, the option of going to the International Court of Justice for resolution is one that is as openly supported as it [...]

    Almagro Says O.A.S. Open to All Input
    While Almagro has met with proponents of the ICJ alternative, is he open to hearing what COLA or BTV has to say?  In short, his answer is yes, but they [...]

    Belizean Artists Depart for Jazz Festival
    The New Orleans Jazz Festival, one of the most anticipated events in that genre, kicks off this weekend. Half a million persons are expected to visit the fest which runs [...]

    Sixth Edition of UB’s Research Symposium Hosted in Belize City
    The sixth edition of the University of Belize’s Research Symposium was held today at the Radisson in Belize City. UB promotes and facilitates research and disseminates its findings on a [...]

    C-Ray Introduces Cycling in Secondary Schools
    A hundred and three high school students are participating in a string of cycling activities organized by the C-Ray Cycling Club as a precursor to introducing the sport in secondary [...]

    Healthy Living Looks at Zika and Microcephaly
    While Ministry of Health officials await test results on suspected cases of Zika that have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency in Trinidad; the education and prevention strategies [...]

    CTV3

    Guatemalan President Reacts On Fatal Shooting Of 13 Year Old Minor
    Tonight the tension between Belize and Guatemala is on the rise as Guatemala is accusing Belizean authorities of fatally shooting a thirteen year old Guatemalan minor at the Adjacency Zone. Today at around 5:00 in the evening GOB issued a statement on the matter, we will have that for you in a few, but the first to comment on the incident was Guatemalan press, Prensa Libre, who stated that sometime between the hours of 6:00 and 7:00 yesterday evening BDF soldiers allegedly shot and killed a minor, and injured two others while they were planting pumpkin seeds near the adjacency zone. The report alleges that 48 year old Carlos Alvarado and his sons, 11 year old Carlos Alvarado and 13 year Julio Alvarado, were shot multiple times and that the BDF carried away the 13 year old boy who had received several gunshot wounds to the body. Reports coming from family members are that the minor allegedly died in a hospital in Belize while the others were taken to the Melchor de Mencos hospital for treatment.

    Office Of The Prime Minister Response To President Morales' Statement
    While GOB issued a release relating their version of what occurred at the Chiquibul, just before news time the Office of the Prime Minister sent out a release rejecting the version of events made by President Jimmy Morales during his statement issued today regarding the incident in Belize’s Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park. According to the release, Belizean Security Forces and law enforcement officials would never perpetrate an armed attack on civilians especially minors except in exercise of the right to self-defense. The Government of Belize reiterates that the mandate and authority given to Belize law enforcement and security agencies to enforce Belizean laws and protect Belize’s natural resources and territorial integrity is at all times implemented on the basis of recourse to the use of force only as a last and justified resort, says the release.

    CJC Ends Drug Awareness Week
    The high rate of drug abuse among college students worldwide including Belize can be attributed to a number of factors ranging from stress and most commonly peer pressure. Here in the north the Corozal Junior College (C.J.C) last week held a drug awareness week under the theme “Drugs are Bullies don’t let them destroy your school life.” The week started off with radio talk shows and banner competitions on drug related topics. The week, which concluded on Tuesday, also included testimonials of recovering alcoholics and drug users. According to president of CJC Student Government, John Marin Jr. and Dean of CJC Jose Mai, agree that everyone should be involved in motivating students not to use drugs and alcohol.

    Will OAS Investigates Shooting At Chiquibul?
    As mentioned, the Government of Belize has requested the support of the Organization of American States in conducting a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surrounding the shooting incident that claimed the life of 13 year old Julio Alvarado. Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro was asked during a press briefing, which we will tell you about in a few, to provide input on the shooting incident. Almagro expressed that while the OAS is deeply concerned about this incident, they cannot intervene on the issue until they are asked to do so by both countries.

    GOB Says Belizean Authorities Acted In Self Defense
    Now, while the Government of Guatemala is claiming that BDF soldiers surprised Alvarado and his sons and opened fire on them as they were planting pumpkin seeds between 6:00 and 7:00 yesterday evening, a release from the Government of Belize is relating a different story. GOB is saying that according to initial reports, yesterday Belizean security forces were on a patrol in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park in western Belize to investigate illegal clearings when at about 5:00 p.m. they detained without incident, 33 year old Guatemalan national Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, who was found conducting illegal activities in the Chiquibul National Park.

    LOVE FM

    Unremitting Incursions Into Belize Lead to Death of Guatemalan Minor in the Chiquibul
    A 13-year-old from Guatemala is dead after he was shot in the Cebada area in the Cayo District, reportedly by a soldier of the Belize Defense Force. Guatemalan authorities have said that the minor, who was along with his younger brother and his father were in the adjacency zone planting pumpkin seeds but the local […]

    Guatemalan President Turns Heat Up a Notch in 5-Point Statement
    With the killing of Julio Rene Alvarado yesterday in the Chiquibul National Reserve, the Guatemalan government has expressed outrage and as a result, the President, Jimmy Morales has issued a three and a half minute statement, not only expressing condolences to the family but also questioning the Belizean authorities as to what it is that […]

    Ministry of Nat’l Security Not Ready to Comment on Chiquibul Shooting
    As you have heard in President Jimmy Morales’ address, the first of the five points is the one calling for the shooter to be brought to justice. As has become the norm, the ministries of both Belize’s Foreign Affairs and National Security have been very tight lipped with the media when it comes to the […]

    Foreign Affairs Release Says Nothing Much on Fatal Shooting in the Chiquibul
    Outside of CEO Lovell’s response, there was a release issued just after five o’clock this evening from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In that six paragraph document there is nothing that tells of the circumstances leading to the shooting incident but rather the release focused more on Belize’s request to the Organization of American States […]

    OAS Intervention Will Only Seek to Verify Location of the Shooting
    So, the Belizean authorities have asked for the intervention of the Organization of American States in verifying the location of the shooting incident that occurred yesterday. Earlier this morning, just after ten o’clock, the media was able to meet with the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro and that question of the OAS’ involvement […]

    Fake Cops Nabbed in Conch Shell Bay
    Two men were caught in the Conch Shell Bay area this morning with a thirty eight revolver, live rounds and donned in police uniforms. We are uncertain as to what triggered off the suspicion of the real police officers in the area patrolling but the men were detained and searched. Both, Dorian Blair of a […]

    Office of PM Reacts to Morales’ Address
    At the top of our news, we brought you the address by Guatemala’s President surrounding the fatal shooting of a minor yesterday, allegedly at the hands of a BDF soldier. Some minutes ago, Belize’s Office of the Prime Minister responded to Morales’ address via a press release, rejecting the statements made by the leader of […]

    Guatemala Pulls Out All Stops in Internationalizing Recent Shooting
    The message of President Jimmy Morales has been heard and seen by thousands and up to news time this evening his message had gotten over twelve hundred comments and almost five thousand reactions. In comparison to what Belize has done in publicizing and internationalizing the challenges being faced with the constant incursions by Guatemalans, the […]

    BDF Commander Speaks of Guatemalan Incursions Into Belize
    The incursions have been many and organizations like Friends for Conservation has been trying to emphasize the urgency in getting funds to patrol the area and for steps to be taken to have the Guatemalans cease and desist from raping our natural resources. It would be extreme to say that those calls by the FCD […]

    OAS Sec Gen Supports Going to the ICJ
    As we told you, Secretary General Almagro of the OAS met with the media this morning in the VIP Room at the Philip Goldson International Airport. The conference lasted for about seven minutes with the condition that he would only be taking three questions from the media. One of the topics addressed was the issue […]

    PlusTV

    Sarstoon Forward Operating Base officially Opens
    The very controversial Forward Operating Base built on the Southern most part of the Belize Side of the Sarstoon River, was officially opened Wednesday April 20. Ground breaking for the base was in December of last year and some 4 months later, the base is now complete. The inauguration was done am...

    Minister of National Security confirms Guatemala’s rejection of proposals
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to comment on the news of Guatemala’s rejection of Belize’s proposal for a peace protocol in the Sarstoon. Today however, the Minister of National Security, Honorable John Saldivar confirmed the rejection and informed that the matter was discussed in Cabinet y...

    Shane Bennett Arrested after Escaping from Police Station; Arrested for Murder
    Escaped prisoner, 29 year old Shane Bennett, was recaptured Wednesday in Placencia. Bennett had escaped from the holding cell at the Independence police station some months ago and has been on the runever since. A joint task force of Special Branch, Crimes Investigations Branch and officers from th...

    Mango shooting” is manslaughter, shooter to be tried
    A businessman of the Ladyville area accused of fatally shooting and killing a 60 year old Senior citizen who picked some of his mangoes must stand trial at the Supreme Court this year for manslaughter. 48 year old Hilberto Perez was told this morning by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith that a prim...

    Man charged for murder of Leon Gordon
    Police have arrested and charged 20 year old Austin Gabourel of Calle Almendro, Caye Caulker, for the fatal stabbing of Leon Gordon over the weekend on La Isla Carinosa. On Sunday, April 17, 2016, at the Sip and Dip bar located on Avenida Hicaco police saw Gordon with stab wound to the abdomen. Th...

    Belize Territorial Volunteer leader comments on FOB
    The man who has been previously blamed for stirring up trouble with our Guatemalan neighbors, Wil Maheia, was exonerated of sorts at today’s event when the Minister of National Security, as you heard earlier in this newscast, thanked the BTV for their bravery and patriotism. Maheia was present at to...

    MOU signing in Belmopan between City council and Belmopan businesses
    Today April 20th, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Belmopan City Council and the newly formed BBA, Belmopan Business Association. Talks of forming an association for Belmoan businesses started almost a year ago and today, it came to fruition. Earlier today at the Bull Frog in Bel...

    The Guardian

    Teachers Union launches “Stand Up for Belize”
    Hundreds of teachers from around Belize converged last Friday at the Mount Carmel High School in Benque Viejo del Carmen to launch “Stand Up for Belize.” At this Belize National Teachers’ Union sponsored event, two eminently qualified Belizeans on the Belize-Guatemala territorial issue, Dr. Assad Shoman and the Foreign Minister, the Honorable Wilfred Peter Erlington, were present to update teachers and expand their knowledge. Assad Shoman urged that we should have recognized borders with our neighbor Guatemala and to have information on the issues at hand. “We have to have the right information and analyze it correctly,” he said. “Teachers, good teachers, teachers don’t lie….They promote open minds. They invite students to challenge, to question, to think for themselves.”

    200 Police officers promoted
    More than 200 police officers from all over the country have been promoted for the financial year beginning April 1. 146 police constables have been elevated to corporals. 56 of them are from the Eastern Division, 31 are from the Cayo Formation, 11 from Orange Walk and Corozal and 7 are from Stann Creek and Toledo districts. 38 are being promoted from specialized areas; including Special Branch, Anti-Narcotics Unit, Professional Standards Branch, Gang Suppression Unit, Special Patrol Unit, Mobile Interdiction Team and the Joint Intelligence Coordinating Centre. 65 corporals are being elevated to the rank of sergeant. Eight of them are from the West, three from the South, six from the North and 19 from the Eastern Division. In addition to the specialized areas, there are also promotions being given to officers in the Tourism Patrol Unit, Prosecution Branch and the Financial Intelligence Unit. Other promotions are expected to be announced for higher ranks.

    Donation to young couple by City Council and Hon. Patrick Faber
    Belize City Councilors Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar, Kevin Singh and Bernard Pitts Jr. on Wednesday afternoon made a donation as promised to young entrepreneurs Ishtar Williams and her husband Darrel Grant who have been providing healthy and affordable meals to children attending Queen Square Primary School. The couple was recently shut down from operating because of a neighbor who just felt that they should not be selling close to his home. Once the story aired on local television, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councilors of the Belize City Council immediately communicated with each other about the situation and vowed to put their own personal finance to help the young couple.

    Earthquake Johnny
    There is an Earthquake occurring in the PUP, the likes of which has never been seen before . This one may yet go off the Richter Scale. The seismic rumblings are being felt all around the Country. Not being satisfied with forcing Cordel on the general membership of his party even though, at the convention in January of this year, the members had stated loud and clear that they don’t want Cordel in the leadership of their party. He also forced out Munchie Cervantes Jr., Anthony Sylvestre Jr.,Vaughan Gill and Myrtle Palacio, but he is not stopping there. It seems like all the old guards are falling like old buildings during this earthquake. We suspect that Johnny is doing it because, even though he has not said so publicly, it has widely been accepted that he blames the old guard for him stepping down as party leader in 2011, so it is natural that Briceño would seek to surround himself with only those loyal to him.

    Appeal eminent in Noh Mul case
    Denny Grijalva, his wife, Emelda Grijalva, and Javier Nunez, the project manager of the Grijalva family business, De-Mar’s Stone Company, have all been found guilty of the destruction and mauling of the Noh Mul Archaeological Monument. The court will decide on what penalties they must face for the guilty verdict, but the attorney for these defendants has told the media that they are inclined to appealing the decision of the court. Dr. Alan Moore, the Director of Archaeology, which falls under the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), testified that on May 9, 2013, he was called by the Director of NICH. He was informed of the incident, and the next day, he visited the Noh Mul Site in San Pablo Village, Orange Walk. He saw fresh excavation happening on the side of the road. That was the location of Mound 65 and 66, and according to Dr. Moore, he looked around and saw a number of dump trucks, a low boy machine, and a yellow caterpillar excavator, bearing the name of Grijalva’s company, “De Mar’s”. He then reported the incident to the police, and took photographs of the damage to the site, and of the equipment. Those photographs were submitted as evidence in this trial.

    Aggravated burglary in Camalote
    There has been an aggravated burglary in Camalote, Cayo. Roaring Creek Police visited the residence of Gladwin Penner on April 12, 2016, who reported that there had been an aggravated burglary. The 33 year old Belizean Trucker Driver of Camalote Village was at his ranch on the Hummingbird Highway, when he received a call from his worker Ecma Salazar, a 34 year old Belizean maid of Camalote Village, who reported that she had been held up at gunpoint at his residence. Upon Gladwin Penner’s arrival in Camalote, he noticed that his black in color Ruger SR9 9MM pistol with serial number 330-86294 valued at $2,500.00 Belize currency was stolen from his drawer.

    Was man killed in retaliation for Shiney’s killing?
    Shortly after Gerald “Shiney” Tillett, the slain George Street Boss, passed away in Dangriga, there was a flare up of shooting incidents in Belize City. Those are believed to be retaliatory. Among those is the shooting of 22 year-old Kadeem Castillo, a Faber’s Road Resident, who was gunned down and killed in front of his home on Madam Liz Crescent. Castillo was socializing with a friend at around 12:10 a.m. on Sunday, April 17, when a grey car pulled up. 3 men jumped out and opened fire on the pair hitting Castillo twice in the head, and twice in the chest. The men then jumped back into the car and sped off making their escape.

    A 53 year old accidentally shoots himself in Cayo
    A man in Cayo accidentally shot himself and died as a result. Earl Tillett who shot himself in the face whilst on a farming trip passed away while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. On 12thApril, 2016 about 9:45 am, information was received of a shooting incident involving Earl Tillet on a farm located off the Pine Ridge Road in Georgeville Village, in the Cayo District. A family friend, Aaron Vasquez, was able to view when Earl Tillett attempted to cross over a log that was blocking his path. Vasquez also saw when his friend was about to swing his machete, immediately after which he heard a loud bang. He then went to the area and saw Earl Tillett lying on top of his rifle and bleeding from the side of the neck. The 53 year old farmer of Georgeville, had received a gun-shot wound to the right side of the face. He was transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital and later to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment where he later died.

    Stabbed to death in Caye Caulker while parting a fight
    Austin Gabourel, 20, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned on Wednesday, April 20, for the murder of Leon Gordon, 29. Gordon, a Caye Caulker Resident, was fatally stabbed during the weekend at the Sip & Dip Bar, which is located on the island’s beach side. The incident happened on Sunday night, April 17, at around 8 p.m., and Gordon’s family tell the press that he was acting as a peacekeeper. They say that Gordon saw the bar owner, Jeremy Rhaburn, and another man involved in a confrontation. They say that the quarrel ensued because the owner was attempting to kick that man out because he was behaving disorderly. Gordon got involved to stop the incident from escalating, and that’s when another man, believed to be a friend of the man confronting the owner, grabbed a piece of broken bottle and stabbed Gordon in the abdomen. Shortly after that, both men ran away, reportedly in the direction the Island’s iconic split.

    Percival Pilgrim to stand trial for murder
    One year after Edward “Ghost” Usher, 40, was killed, the man accused of firing the fatal bullets, Percival Pilgrim, was committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court for murder. A preliminary inquiry was conducted before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser in the case against Percival Pilgrim on Friday, April 15. The prosecutor, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, submitted 12 witness statements recorded by police. He also submitted eight pieces of documentary evidence; including, 36 sets of pictures taken at the scene and the morgue, a copy of Usher’ s death certificate and post mortem result, two chain of custody forms and a warrant for the arrest of Percival Pilgrim for murder.

    Belize City Primary Schools Softball competition winding down
    The 2015-2016 Belize City Primary Schools Softball competition is fast winding down at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City. On Tuesday 19th April, in the girls game played, Central Christian School defeated Wesley Upper School by the score of 10-3. The winning pitcher was Leoneli Sedacey and the losing pitcher was Tamia Young. In the boys’ game played, Wesley Upper School edged out Central Christian School by the score of 3-1. The winning pitcher was Luis Orozco and the losing pitcher was Malcolm Lopez. On Monday 18th April, in the only game played in the boys’ competition, Calvary Temple School won handily over Salvation Army School by the score of 13-6. The winning pitcher was Shamir Gutierrez and the losing pitcher was Terrence St. Clair.

    Softball Federation calls junior female softballers to camp
    In preparation for the XV Central American Junior Female Softball Championship that is scheduled for August 11-14, 2016, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City, the Belize Softball Federation is calling all junior female softballers, 19 years ( if will turn 20 years in September) and under, to its training camp on Saturday, 23rd April at Rogers Stadium commencing at 9:00 am. Junior softballers are asked to bring along an ID card, to verify date of birth, and their own softball glove.

    Camalote United halt the Belmopan Bandits in the Raymond Garbutt Cayo Senior Female competition
    The 2016 Raymond Garbutt Cayo Softball Association Senior Female competition continued on Sunday 17th April, with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, the Camalote United team won its second game in a row when it edged out the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 5-4. The winning pitcher was Keneshia Sutherland and the losing pitcher was Laniesha Jones. In the second game of the day, the defending champions, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy defeated the Esperanza Wolverines by the score of 5-1. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Shareenie Soberanis.

    A house divided
    It seems that each week brings deeper divide within the leadership of the People’s United Party. This past weekend we saw the installation of Gregorio Garcia’s daughter as chair of the PUP’s Northern caucus. This went against the recommendation of the Party Leaders who would have preferred Ramirez, since it is said that he made a deal with the latter for his support at their national convention. However, the OW delegates at the weekend meeting thought that Ramirez was too close to the Old Guard, which was unacceptable to them. Interestingly, the PUP is evenly split in Corozal and Orange Walk between loyalty to Hon. Briceño and the Old Guard. The deeper rift, however, came on Sunday when a PUP spokesman, Mr. B. Lindo, attacked Dr. Assad Shoman’s position on the Guatemalan issue. Lindo made a statement on Krem’s Sunday show morning that when Mr. Shoman speaks, he speaks for himself and not on behalf of the PUP. Again Mr. Lindo’s remarks came across as interesting, to say the least, since Dr. Shoman was directly appointed by the PUP Party Leader to represent the Opposition in talks with Guatemala. Mr. Lindo is also a member of the present PUP executive.

    GIVEN THE RELATIVE ABUNDANCE OF WATER IN THE REGION, ANY ’WATER CRISIS’ IS MORE INSTITUTIONAL THAN ONE IN TERMS OF PHYSICAL AVAILABILITY (WWDR 2015)
    It is regrettable, that the Ministry of Sustainable Development needed the United Nations Experts to alert them of the existence of the SDGs. It is also regrettable that Belize does not know which of the SDGs are achievable and should be a priority. Minister Figuroea got it right in his speech. “As we develop … you don’t want to develop in a manner that you compromise your future. We have tourism, we depend on tourism, we depend on fisheries and agriculture, we want to make sure that these things are available for our country fifty plus years down the road.” All those mentioned dependencies, and may I add energy and health, depend on the availability of water.I CHALLENGE ANYONE TO PROVE OTHERWISE. For us in the water sector we knew a year ago, that SDG 6 is most important to Belize. As you can see in the article below that was first published in the Guardian on 22 April 2015. The issues yet remain and the achievement of the other 16 SDGs will be difficult, if not impossible, without the achievement of SDG 6.

    National Elite Basketball League regular season concludes
    While at the UB Gymnasium in the City of Belmopan, the Belmopan Bandits defeated the two times defending champions the San Pedro Tiger Sharks by the score of 70-65 to claim the number two seed into the playoffs. The top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Jarrel Velasquez who scored 24 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals; Nick Brown who contributed 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists; Kurt Burgess with 9 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. For the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, the top scorers were Caleb Sutton with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals. He was assisted by Tyrone Edwards with 14 points, 3 steals and 3 assists and Gene Myvett with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. The playoffs will commence on Thursday 21st April, 2016, at 9:00 pm out at the UB Gymnasium in the City of Belmopan.

    Placencia Assassins eliminate Police United from PLB playoffs
    The Premier League of Belize Football Competition Closing Season will commence its Championship round on Saturday 23rd April, 2016, out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village between the Placencia Assassins the giant slayer and the Belmopan Bandits. On Sunday 17th April at the MCC Grounds in the second and final game of the home and away series between the Belize Defence Force and the Belmopan Bandits, the game ended in a 1-1 draw. The Belmopan Bandits was the first that made it onto the scoreboard when Elroy Smith scored the 1st goal of the game via a penalty in the 45th minute of play to give his team a temporary 1-0 lead that he took in the break. It was not until well into the second half of the game that the Belize Defence Force made it onto the scoreboard when Leon Cadle scored the equalising goal for his team in the 78th minute of play for the 1-1 tie.

    Teacher caught with bag of weed in her bra
    Teacher Jacqueline Swasey, 43, of Mahogany Heights is in trouble with the law after she was busted with 6 grams of marijuana at the mile 31 checkpoint on the George Price Highway. According to police reports, Swasey was travelling in a blue car that was stopped at the checkpoint by WPC Kendra Robateau. The officer smelt the strong aroma of marijuana coming from inside the car and decided to conduct a search of the vehicle. As the officer was looking inside the vehicle, she saw Swasey fondling her left breast area. Robateau immediately informed Swasey that a search would be conducted on her. At this time, Swasey pushed the officer away and told her that she does not want to be touched. Robateau then took her flashlight and spotted it in the area where Swasey was touching. She saw a black plastic bag and attempted to take it away. However, Swasey grabbed her hand, kicked her in the stomach and tried to run away. Robateau had to get tough with Swasey. She grabbed her by the wrist and took her to the ground. The plastic bag was then confiscated and it contained 6 grams of marijuana.

    Prosecution downgrades murder charge against Caye Caulker Cop
    Relatives of the late Hilberto Sotz, 18, are upset with the Department of Public Prosecution for downgrading the charge against the men allegedly responsible for killing their loved one. Two police officers, Police Constable Hallet King, 32, and Detective Constable Leonard Nunez, 43, both residents of Caye Caulker were charged with murder after Sotz died in police custody on June 8, 2015. However, on Friday, April 15, 2016 the prosecution informed the court that there was not sufficient evidence to convict the men for murder since they would have to prove that they had intent to kill Sotz. With that, they withdrew the charge of murder and levied a charge of manslaughter against the accused. The men’s attorneys then applied for bail since the charge was a bailable offense. Bail was granted by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith in the sum of $2,000 each plus one surety of the same amount. The men must report to the police station near their home every Friday until the case is disposed of.

    Senior citizen charged for false report
    A senior citizen was dragged to court in chains on Wednesday, April 20, for allegedly making a false report to police about being the victim of a robbery. Ramon Figueroa, 62, a salesman of Antelope Street, appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza to answer to a charge of committing a mischievous act. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense. Due to his guilty plea and the fact that this was his first conviction for a crime of dishonesty, Magistrate Mendoza exercised leniency in a fine of $150. The size of the fine is related to the back story of the case. According to reports, Figueroa was holding $150 for a friend and he chose to go gambling with the money. Unfortunately, instead of dead raising he lost all of his friend’s money. This forced him to bake up a story and he decided to claim that someone robbed him. His friend believed the story was genuine and they went to report the matter.

    Man facing pornography charges shot
    Forty three year old British Belizean, David Taylor, had to be hospitalized at the KHMH after he was shot by assailants who went to his home on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Readers will remember that he made national headlines in December 2012 after being accused of pornographic exploitation of young boys in Placencia Village. His shooting happened on Saturday night, April 16, at around 8 p.m. at Taylor’s Biscayne home at just before mile 27 on Phillip Goldson Highway. He told police that he was home alone when a white SUV pulled into his driveway. He went outside to find out who it was, and that’s when the driver of the vehicle, a Hispanic man, jumped out. Shortly after, another dark complexioned man emerged from the nearby bushes. That man pulled out a gun and ordered Taylor to get on the ground. He told police that he refused to comply, and he ended up in a struggle with the gunman. The gun went off and Taylor was injured. He told police that he immediately ran into his house, locked the door, and called the police.

    New Pre-Schools for Orange Walk and Corozal
    The Government of Belize continues to break ground for new school buildings across the country and on Wednesday, April 20, it was time for the ground-breaking ceremonies for Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. Pre-School in Corozal and the Carmelita Pre-School in Orange Walk. Funding for the construction of the two pre-schools is made available through grant-funds from the Caribbean Development Bank under the bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 7) programme with counter-part funding by the Government of Belize. New school buildings means the pre-schoolers of Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. Pre-School and Carmelita Pre-School in the northern districts will have easier access to a better learning environment. The project also enables the schools to address the increasing demand of enrollment and alleviate over-crowding; thus, enabling the country’s future leaders to further boost their learning skills.

    Work continues in the enhancement of San Ignacio Town with construction of new market
    Work continued today at the San Ignacio Market in a land reclamation project to improve the surroundings for both residents and visitors. These works to create more space for market vendors is being done by employees from the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council, which is to be completed in about two weeks time at a cost of some $30,000 to $40,000.00. Once completed, the retaining cement wall structures at the San Ignacio market will be a welcoming feature for residents moving from Santa Elena Town. Given that San Ignacio Town now faces an ongoing traffic crisis; more parking spaces have recently been created around the Macal River Park in San Ignacio.

    Another Tapir killed on Belize’s highways
    The tapir is vulnerable to vehicular collision because of its movement style and particularly because it prefers to move at night. According to the Belize Tapir Project, they have picked up the carcasses of 21 tapirs off the highways of Belize since 2008. Number 22 was picked up on Sunday, April 17, somewhere between miles 89 and 90 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The animal died some hours before Sunday’s dawn. Celso Poot, Founder of the Tapir Project, was called to investigate the incident and move the carcass. By the time Poot and his colleague Jamal Andrewin were able to reach the scene, after a 150 mile journey, the tapir had already been moved from the road side. They did not give up on the search and eventually found the carcass off road. What they found was something even more disturbing than road kill. “Over the past eight years I have collected more than 22 tapir carcasses off our highways and this is the first time I encountered something like I did this evening. The Tapir was removed from the highway and all four legs were severed...cut off! Photos are too graphic to post!!!” said Celso Poot on the Tapir Project’s facebook page. “I am assuming someone severed the legs for the meat.”

    Workshop for media to better report on HIV
    On Saturday April 16, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) held a one day training workshop in Belize for journalists. Country Manager for PASMO in Belize, Susan Ruether said that the training was specifically geared in order to give journalists current information about the status of the HIV epidemic in Belize as well as to sensitize them on ways in which they can assist in reducing stigma and discrimination in key populations which are more directly affected by the epidemic. Also discussed were correct terminologies to use when writing articles and reporting about HIV as well as LGBT populations which are more affected by the epidemic. For example, it is no longer acceptable to write or say in media reports that a person is ‘dying of AIDS,’ the alternative now is ‘die of an opportunistic infection.’

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    John Briceño replaces Assad with Eamon on Belize/Guatemala team
    PUP Leader John Briceño has replaced Ambassador Assad Shoman with Eamon Courtney as the party’s appointed representative in the Belize-Guatemala talks. Briceño made the announcement yesterday evening after a meeting with the O.A.S. Secretary-General Luis Almagro. It is believed that the sudden removal of Ambassador […]

    Belize Rebukes Morales on video statement
    Working with great speed, the office of the Prime Minister this evening issued its second statement, this time rebutting the video statement by President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales which we reported on earlier. After reiterating Belize’s history and tradition as a peace-loving country which […]

    Ladyville handyman accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour with child
    Tonight, a handyman of Ladyville is on remand at the Belize Central Prison, charged with one count of unlawfu sexual assault upon a minor who he is alleged to have touched inappropriately whilst on a family outing at the river. 35 year old Artimo Ogaldez […]

    Seven years in prison for break-in sex assault
    43 year old Lincoln Flowers of Belize City will spend the next seven years in prison after being caught fondling a woman as she lay in bed sleeping next to her common-law husband. Flowers was sentenced yesterday by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith on charges of burglary […]

    Denny Grijalva makes public apology, fined maximum for Noh Mul destruction
    As we reported earlier this week, Denny Grijalva has been found guilty of removing parts of an ancient monument and causing the destruction of an ancient monument. The monument in question is the Mayan site called Noh Mul. Back in 2013, it was discovered that contractor […]

    OAS Secretary General speaks to press
    The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, His Excellency Luis Almagro, held his last engagement in Belize with the press this morning at the Philip Goldson International Airport. He addressed a number of issues including the report that Belize Defence Force soldiers shot […]

    Belize responds: Soldiers fired in self-defence in the dark; investigation to be conducted
    In a late press release this evening, the Government reports that it has requested the support of the OAS in a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surroundingWednesday’s incident. It emphasized that it, quote, very much regrets any loss of life and will be conducting its […]

    Guatemalan President steps up rhetoric against Belize
    Guatemalan President Jimmy Moralez has issued a statement following reports of a Guatemalan minor being shot and killed by a BDF soldier. Moralez has declared that he intends to heighten and employ strict protection of Guatemala’s sovereignty in the Sarstoon area and along the Adjacency Zone […]

    Police investigating reported impersonation in Belize City
    Police are investigating a case of impersonation of law enforcement by two men, according to Police Department Press Officer Raphael Martinez. No further official details have been released at this time. However, we understand that the bust was made in the Conch Shell Bay area […]

    BDF soldiers accused of attacking a Guatemalan family killing a minor
    A Guatemalan in Belizean territory has reportedly been shot and killed by a BDF soldier. There has been no information forthcoming from Belizean authorities as yet but the Prensa Libre reported that a BDF soldier shot and killed a minor, and injured two others on Wednesday evening […]

    NEBL playoffs set to start tonight
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) season is winding down with four teams left, headed to the playoffs: the Belmopan Bandits, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Smart Belize Hurricanes and Dangriga Warriors. It all goes down tonight. In Belmopan, the Belmopan Bandits will face the Tiger Sharks and the Dangriga […]

    National university hosts annual research conference
    The University of Belize (UB) is hosting its annual research conference in Belize City this morning for students and faculty. Though nominally hosted by the faculty of Management and Social Sciences, the conference is this year dominated by topics related to education, part of […]

    Arlie Petters appointed Trinity College Dean of Academic Affairs
    Belizean mathematical physicist, Arlie Petters, has been appointed dean of academic affairs and associate vice provost for undergraduate education at the Trinity College in Connecticut, USA. His new post becomes effective July 1, and he will serve through June 2020. Petters holds Trinity College […]

    Blogs

    All About DELICIOUS Belizean Food: My Take
    I have lots of friends and readers ask me about Belizean food because well…as a global cuisine, it is not especially well known. Sure, a Garifuna restaurant (Garifuna Flava in Chicago) was once featured on (the OH so irritating) Guy Fieri’s “Dinners, Drive-In and Dives” and Andrew Zimmern of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” did visit Belize looking for the…bizarre. But if you ask the average Joe outside of this country to describe Belizean cuisine, you are going to get a confused look. Because either Joe has no idea where Belize is (though that is changing quickly) or he just doesn’t know what we eat down here. So here is a my take on a Belize Food Primer. I will surely leave things out since Belize is REALLY a melting pot of cultures from the colonizing British to Garifuna, Mestizo, Chinese, Creole and more…and things vary a bit as you move through the country. A drive from north to south in Belize can be like visiting 3 or 8 different countries in a few hours – you’ll probably pass through at least Creole, Mayan, Mennonite and Central American populated villages.

    Explore Caye Caulker, where the island’s motto is “Go-Slow”
    Measuring just five miles north and south and less than a mile across, Caye Caulker is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize. Less commercial and urbanized than its larger sister island of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker offers a spectacular tropical island experience at very affordable prices. A few restaurants on the island provide fresh food and cocktails. Originally the destination of choice for artists, musicians and backpackers, today Caye Caulker still exudes a very funky, laid-back approach to life epitomized by its unofficial slogan of “Go Slow.” With just 30 small locally-owned hotels and inns, Caye Caulker exudes a very laid-back and friendly atmosphere. The beaches on the island are considered some of the most beautiful in the country and the Belize Barrier Reef, a popular spot for diving and snorkeling, is just a few miles away. Situated about 17 nautical miles northeast of Belize City, visitors to the island can either take a water taxi (taking about 45-50 minutes) or fly to the island’s airstrip (a 15-minute journey) via Belize’s two domestic air carriers: Maya Island Air and Tropic Air. Once on the island, transportation is restricted to bicycles and golf carts.

    International Sourcesizz

    Ataque de supuestos soldados beliceños causa un muerto
    There was a shooting incident in the Chiquibul in the Cebada area on Wednesday. During the incident, one Guatemalan civilian was shot and killed by a BDF soldier. There has been no official word from the Ministry of National Security. We'll provide you more official information as they become available. The Guatemalan press report a different version of the incident. The link is linked to above.

    Queen Elizabeth: A Look at 90 Years of Vast Wealth and Perks
    It’s good to be in the Royal Family. April 21 is the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth — the actual birthday, although she gets an official birthday in June because, as a quirk of British history, monarchs since George II have chosen a second date in summer to publicly celebrate when the weather it nice. That is just one of the many perks of being Queen. There will be happy birthday wishes at a function at the Royal Mail postal system, and a 90-minute program of music, dance, and equestrian displays that run nightly from May 12 through 15. Ah, it’s good to be the queen. For Queen Elizabeth, the longest-ruling monarch of the U.K. — technically she’s the ruling monarch of 16 individual sovereign states in the Commonwealth of Nations, but who’s counting? — it has meant a life of pomp, circumstance, achievement, disappointment, and a good deal of financial comfort and security.

    From Belize to Soap Lake -- a murder or a suicide?
    Believing family and friends would never accept their romantic relationship, Tracy Nessl and Tim McNamara left Soap Lake in early 2013 and moved to Belize to begin a new life together. Tim McNamara leased out his Soap Lake farm and with a $240,000 insurance payout he received from a failed crop, then bought a new farm in Belize, where he and Tracy began building a bed and breakfast. And they got married. But their new life couldn't erase their past demons. Tim and his kids stopped communicating. Tracy's teenage daughter was ordered to stay away from her new husband. And as time went on the pair struggled financially. When their second Christmas in Belize arrived, Tim and Tracy were about to open their bed and breakfast venture when something happened that would destroy that dream forever. Tracy said she and Tim spent Christmas Day, which fell on a Thursday, working on the property because they were planning to apply for their board certification with the Belize tourism office on Monday. Tracy said she was doing dishes when the dogs started barking and Tim went out the back carrying the handgun he often used to chase away jaguars and mountain lions that would prey on their dogs and other animals.

    Best of Belize: Jazz Fest’s international focus boasts vibrant traditions in music, food
    Belize is famous for its rich biodiversity and alluring beaches, but the Central American country also is home to deeply rooted cultural groups with unique traditions and languages. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell will showcase that music, art and cuisine at the Belize Pavilion throughout both weekends of the event. “We present the best of Belize at the festival,” said Valerie Guillet, the Cultural Exchange Pavilion coordinator. Musical performances will take place on the Belize Stage and nearby stages, including the one that is set up in Congo Square. Guillet describes the collection of music, which includes punta rock and paranda, as diverse and representative of the Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo and Creole traditions. “Belize is a small country with many cultural groups, and we try to represent as many as possible,” she said. The robust lineup showcases groove-inspiring acts from Sweet Pain, a punta rock band led by Chico Ramos and Supa G; the Garifuna Generation of New Orleans; Brad Pattico & The Talla Walla Creole Drummers; and 78-year-old Maya harp master, Florencio Mess, among other musicians.

    Lacking participation, Caribbean could face loss of influence on New Urban Agenda
    What does Grenada, a speck of an island that can be circumnavigated in a day, have in common with a continental-size country such as Brazil? It’s a head-scratching question for the Caribbean, which often finds itself an appendage to larger Latin America in international negotiations. That feeling was very much in evidence here this week during the Habitat III Regional Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean. In theory, this was a chance for delegates, generally drawn from the ranks of ministries of housing and urban development, to share their national experience with neighbors from around the region ahead of the U. N. Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). In practice, few Caribbean countries made it to Toluca in significant numbers. Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago were represented, some by just one or two technical staff or an NGO.

    Guatemalan Marines and Military Engineers prepare to move materials to the Sarstoon Naval Station
    The Twitter feed of the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense (@Ejercito_GT) has posted the following photos with captions that translate to 'Guatemalan Marines and Military Engineers prepare to move materials to the Sarstoon Naval Station' and 'Peten First Calvary regiment perform movement pursuant to order from the Senior (COMTE) of the army.'

    Mensaje del presidente por ataque en la zona de adyacencia con Belice
    Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has released an announcement on the shooting of a Guatemalan national in the Chiquibul, which he describes as an 'attack in the adjacency zone.'

    New Orleans Jazz Fest Spotlights Belize
    Belize is the focus of this year's Cultural Exchange at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, which starts tomorrow. The Garifuna Collective, TR Shine, Sweet Pain with Chico Ramos and Supa G, and the Wageirale Drummers are some of the Belizean performers. Hope they have a great time sharing their wonderful music. "This year, festival goers will have the opportunity to hear music, see demonstrations and learn about the history and customs of the small Caribbean country of about 300,000, which includes people of Maya, Mestizo, Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Chinese, Lebanese, Mennonite and Caribbean descent. The country was under British rule until 1981. The national language is English."

    Videos

  • Belize 2016, 6min. A 5-1/2 minute video showing some highlights from our February 2016 Belize trip.

  • Snorkeling Belize, 18min.

  • Impact of Climate and Land Use Change on Belize's Water Resources, 2.5min. Short video on the impact of climate and land use change on Belize's water resources. by the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute.

  • Placencia SeaWeed Project, 15min. Fishermen in Placencia are farming seaweed off the Belize Barrier reef in the caribbean sea.

  • Belize, 7min.

  • Bel Campo Belize, 3min.

  • Belize 2015, 13min. Here's some footage from our trip to Ambergris Caye Belize.

  • Overwater Latest in San Pedro, Belize, 3min. overwater cabanas with glass bottom suites and even an underwater master suite. truely sleeping with the fishes.

  • Will hoverboard Belize, 1min.

  • Sea Adventures in Belize 2016, 7min. Snuba

  • Belmopan, Belize April 2016, 5min. A drive around of Belompan from the Agricultural grounds to the government buildings.

    April 21, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    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

    Officers linked to Hilberto Sotz’ death out on bail
    On Friday, April 15th, charges against two police officers formerly attached to the Caye Caulker Police branch were downgraded from murder to manslaughter. PC Hallet King and Leonard Nuñez had been serving time at the Belize Central Prison for the past ten months after they were accused of killing 18- year old Hilberto Sotz, in June of 2015. Despite the gravity of the crime, the change in the charges gave King and Nuñez access to bail and today they are out of jail with their case adjourned until June 16th. In the wake of the angry reaction of the residents, police had to call for reinforcements from Belize City, while it was reported that the police had to fire live rounds to disperse the angry protesters. Sotz’s autopsy revealed that he had been brutalized to the point that he died from his injuries. Despite such findings, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) instructed that the murder charge be downgraded to manslaughter due to lack of evidence to substantiate the murder charge. As a result, the police were granted bail of $2,000 each and were ordered to surrender their passports and report to the police station on a weekly basis. They were also instructed by the Chief Magistrate during the court session that they cannot apply for any new travelling documents and in the case of Nuñez, he must first notify the court when he relocates to a new address.

    NEBL Playoffs start this weekend
    After ten weeks of basketball action, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks are moving into the playoffs of the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Tournament. Hoping to capture their third consecutive championship title to cap off an exciting season, the Tiger Sharks are prepared to challenge the top teams of 2016. The NEBL playoffs will use a best-of-three format, with the higher seeded team having the home court advantage. For the third straight season, Belmopan Bandits (#2 seed) and San Pedro Tiger Sharks (#3 seed) are meeting in the semi-finals. Smart Belize Hurricanes (#1 seed) and Dangriga Warriors (#4 seed) split their season series, where both teams won at home. Smart Belize Hurricanes is in the playoffs for the first time, while Dangriga Warriors is returning for their second straight season as the #4 seed.

    Miss SPHS candidates officially sashed
    Four San Pedro High Sschool (SPHS) lovely contestants were officially sashed as delegates of the 2016-2017 Miss SPHS Pageant. On Thursday, April 14th, a dinner ceremony took place at Hidden Treasure Restaurant, where each contestant was presented to their sponsors. This year’s contestants for the pageant are Faith Edgar sponsored by Sandy Point Real Estate, Norma Lopez sponsored by J&H Golf Cart Rentals, Lisandra Novelo sponsored by Castillo’s Hardware and Janelly Aban sponsored by Water Jets International Ltd. After a delicious dinner, Ramsey and teacher Gabriela Guerrero closed the night off, thanking sponsors for their continued support. Special thanks were extended to Hidden Treasure Restaurant, who hosted the evening.

    Team Catrachos are Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup 2016 Champions
    The Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup came to a contentious end on Saturday, April 16th in a final match between Team Catrachos and Team Veterans. Both clashed on the field at the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting complex, where after an intense match, the Veterans forfeited the game. With a final score of 4-3, Team Catrachos was crowned the 2016 Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup champions. The sporting arena was vibrating with loud fans demanding more action from both teams. Exactly two minutes after Catrachos tied the game, they found another opportunity, taking the 3-2 lead. Fans were ecstatic with the change of pace, while the Veterans struggled to regain momentum. The game’s end drew near when Catrachos scored another goal. Everyone thought the game was done for the Veterans, but experience kicked in, and they scored a third goal. The pressure was on for another goal, and in the last minutes of the match, it was almost sudden death for both teams.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Bandits Host Tiger Sharks
    The Bandits have their first playoff game tonight, when they host the Tiger Sharks, in the 1st game of the best of three. Go Bandits! "Here you go Belmopan your Bandits are in the playoffs, so the place to be this Thursday night where your bandits gonna continue the fish fest. You sure don't wanna miss this one!!!"

    BDF Forward Operating Base officially inaugurated
    The new BDF Forward Operating Base at the mouth of the Sarstoon River was officially inaugurated this morning with heavy security presence from the BDF and Belize Coast Guard. We were also joined in an unofficial capacity by two Guatemalan military vessels stationed in Belizean waters just off the base, along with Guatemalan fishermen in canoes. We'll have much more on today's expedition to the Sarstoon in tonight's newscast.

    Power interruption 7:00am to 9:00am, Sunday, April 24, Orange Walk
    San Narciso Street, San Andres Street, Dangriga Street, Yo Creek Street, Benque Viejo Street, Oleander Street, Orchid Street, Orchid Drive, San Lorenzo Road, Hummingbird Street, Woodpecker Street, Cardinal Street, Lyle Street, Bautista Avenue, Bautas Lane, Main Street, Riverside Street, Trial Farm, Toucan Street, San Lorenzo, Laskot Subdivision and Indian Hill. BEL to repair hotspots on the power distribution system in the area.

    Power interruption 7:00am to 2:00pm, Saturday, April 23, portion Orange Walk & Corozal Districts
    Yo Creek, San Lazaro, Trinidad, August Pine Ridge, San Felipe, Blue Creek, Linda Vista, London, La Rosita, , Cuatro Leguas, Tres Leguas, San Antonio, Santa Cruz, San Lorenzo, San Roman, San Luis, San Jose, San Pablo, San Juan, Douglas, Buena Vista, Caledonia and Progresso. BEL to replace utility poles on the power distribution system in the area.

    Postponed until further notice, power interruption previously scheduled for a portion of Placencia Village
    Previously scheduled for 9:00am to 2:00pm, Thursday, April 21.

    A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited
    For the post of Manager in the Energy Supply Department.

    "FCD Tracks" Issue 23; quarterly newsletter
    FCD’s Quarterly Newsletter is available which covers FCD Tracks of the last 4 months. Interested? Let us know.

    2nd Annual Caye Caulker Music Summer Camp
    Ages 5 and up Adults included Limited spaces per group Registration forms are now available at the center. If you would like to sponsor a child this year kindly Contact me at 605-5904 for more information.

    World Responsible Travel Awards (WRTA)
    The Belize Tourism Board invites you to submit your nominations for the upcoming World Responsible Travel Awards (WRTA). WRTA is looking for organizations and businesses to nominate themselves in the one of the following five (5) categories that cover a wide variety of issues facing the tourism industry. Categories include: Best accommodation for responsible employment, Best contribution to wildlife conservation, Best innovation by a tour operator, Best for poverty reduction and inclusion, Best responsible tourism campaign. The vision of WRTA mentions "that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be organized in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people."

    Prime Minister Departs the Country to Attend the Signing of the Paris Agreement
    The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow will be attending the Signing of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, scheduled for 22nd April, 2016. In December, 2015, 195 countries came together and adopted a new international agreement to address climate change; named the “Paris Agreement.” This Agreement is seen as historic in the fight against climate change as it sets the basis for common action against climate change, by countries all over the world. It also marked a breakthrough in global cooperation to address climate change. Prime Minister Barrow leaves Belize today, 20th April, 2016 and returns to the country on Sunday, 24th April, 2016. During the Prime Minister’s absence, the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

    Poets Corner: Entertained
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez . Are not entertained Seeing, hearing, yet another black gang leader slain Are you not entertained? Yet another mother is crying in pain Are you not entertained? Who will now be blamed? The population has to now be restrained This is insane! Belizeans we are all to blame For surrendering our children To this nasty game Police and media fanning flames Urban terrorism is the name of this game Urban terrorism, playing war games In garrison leaders’ names Are not entertained? Glorifying poverty and pain Subjecting yourselves to conditions that are inhumane

    BELIZEAN SOCIOLOGIST DR. JEROME STRAUGHAN ON BREDAA & THE BELIZE-CARIBBEAN PULSE RADIO SHOW!
    The small expose is just an extract from a fifty page research on the Belizean organization, BREDAA (Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance) popular education program, Belize-Caribbean Pulse that was broadcasted from 1986 to 1996 on KPFK Los Angeles. The Belizean Sociologist who has done one of the most comprehensive study so far on the Belizean diaspora has become a credible voice in the Belizean diaspora and in the Los Angeles Belizean Community on Belizean migration and immigration. ·

    Channel 7

    BDF Commander Disappointed in Guate Rejection
    Tensions have been flaring up on the Sarstoon for months – and Belizean political, military and diplomatic officials had hoped that a detailed protocol they developed would defuse those tensions, and lay out a new "modus vivendi" – a way of coexisting on the shared river. But, the Guatemalans rejected it; they want Belizeans to check in at their military base before going up the Sarstoon. That's no compromise at all, and, today, on the banks of the Sarstoon at the newly opened forward operating base, the BDF Commander told us that the carefully framed proposals were both precise and practical, and he's quite disappointed that they were rejected:.. Brig Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "When that protocol was being drafted it included myself of course. Our Minister of Foreign Affairs, our CEO from Foreign Affairs, A member of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Assad Shoman; so it was a cross section that it was good that both the government, the opposition and also the military was involved in the protocol. When we drafted it we believed it was with the good intention of ensuring that there is peace in the Sarstoon area."

    Cabinet Says No 2007 Agreement With Guats
    So what's the way forward? Well, speaking at that same event, the Minister of National Security said that Cabinet rejected the Guatemalan counter proposal out of hand. What's more, they checked the record and are certain that Belize never agreed to any checking-in with the Guatemalans before going up the Sarstoon. He told us what Cabinet's firm decision is: Reporter: "They are reverting back to the status quo which is to say that they own the river." Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security: "That's not the status quo; they are reverting to their claim." Reporter: "Yes they are reverting to their claim that they own the river and we have to get permission to come on the river, was that permission sought today?" Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security: "No that was never sought by any authority in this country, that is their version of what they think the status quo was or is; it has never been the status quo for us here in country, we'll never have to seek any permission from any Guatemalan authority to use our own territory."

    Pesky Guat Drone Appears Above Forward Base Opening
    And while the official reaction to the Guatemalan counter proposal was tonight’s headline, the really big news is the opening of the Forward Operating Base on the banks of the Sarstoon. It’s been the subject of so much speculation and agitation for months, and tonight we can tell you that the base is built; it’s open, and it’s operational. IT’s a subject of intense curiosity for the Belziean public, and also, apparently, for the Guatemalan military which actually sent a drone across the river to “ faas’ ” on the ceremony on the Belize side of the river. The appearance of the drone, caused some of the soldiers to draw their weapons, which sent the drone whizzing back across the river very quickly. The Military leaders commented on the drone disruption: Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News: "We noticed that there was; it came out 10 minutes ago, a drone which was directly above the base. Do you think that is a breach of our security?"

    Sore Sight On Belize Side Of Sarstoon
    And while the drone was just a brief annoyance, the really sore sight on the Sarstoon today was the amassing of Guatemalan Navy Vessels clearly on the Belize side of the river – which seemed to be calculated very clearly as an affront. But, depending on who we spoke to, their presence was described as either suitable vigilance, or an illegal incursion. Here's what National Security Personnel told us: Daniel Ortiz: "Were the Guatemalans invited for this particular opening ceremony sir? I ask because there is the concern that the presence that you see from the Guatemalan boats is somewhat watchful and the suggestion is if they are not invited here, they incurring"

    Forward Base IS Ready!
    So, now all those were just preliminaries…the big news of the day was that the Sarstoon Joint Forces Operating Base is open and ready for Belizean Law Enforcement to start to use it. Our Daniel Ortiz was there, and here's his story: Exactly 19 weeks ago, these National Security Officials were on this exact same bank at the Sarstoon River mouth to break ground. Over the weeks that followed this frame slowly transformed to become what you see here today. The building is made of wood, but this Forward Operating Base is structurally sound for the wetland terrain Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security: "You will recall less than 3 months ago when this location was merely a swamp marshy mangrove at the time of launching of the ground breaking ceremony for this facility. The transformation has been impressive as you can see. A facility that is now capable of accommodating dozens of law enforcement officers."

    Charged For Fatal Pint Bottle Stabbing on Caye Caulker
    On Monday we told you about the murder of Leon Gordon. It happened on Sunday night on Caye Caulker at a popular bar named Sip and Dip. The 29 year old was trying to part a fight when he was fatally stabbed with a broken pint bottle. Today, police charged the man who they say is responsible. He is 20 year old Austin Gabourel of Calle Almendro Street, Caye Caulker. He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith for a single charge of murder. He was remanded to Prison until June 17, 2016. Gabourel was allegedly struggling with bar owner Jeremy Rhaburn – who was trying to put him out of the bar. Gordon got involved to part the fight, which is when he was stabbed. Gabourel also received cut wounds in the struggle – and appeared in court with a large cut wound to the right side of his face.

    OAS Secretary General Visits Benque Border
    In the top segment, you heard our interviews with both Brigadier General David Jones and National Security Minister John Saldivar about Guatemala's rejection of Belize's 11 point proposal. You also saw the official opening of the Forward Operating Base at the mouth of the Sarstoon. Now while all that was happening at the Sarstoon, simultaneously at the western border there was a special ceremony at the OAS Adjacency Zone in honor of the Secretary General Luis Almagro's first visit to Belize. Courtney Weatherburne was there for the ceremony but she also delved deeper to the parallel that exists in regards to the Belize Guatemala dispute. Here is her story. For Belizeans and Guatemalans, passing this western border crossing is almost an everyday occurrence. The visitors are already accustomed to the immigration signs, and basic protocols at the passport security booths. Although from the outside it might not reflect that easy and open passage, right beyond this barbed wired gate and these stop signs, Kids from both countries swayed and sung for peace. This special show was held at the Belize – Guatemala Adjacency Zone office – and it was all for Secretary General Luis Almagro's first visit to Belize

    OAS Boss Almagro Avoids Answering
    Now since it is his first visit to Belize, we tried to get Secretary General Almagro to weigh in on this ongoing territorial dispute. We say ‘tried' because right as we were going to drill him on Guatemala's rejection of Belize's proposals among several other topics – he was hauled away by his press secretary. All we managed to get out of him is the purpose of his visit and that he supports taking the dispute to the International Court of Justice. Here's that exchange with Secretary General Almagro. H.E. Luis Almagro - Secretary General, OAS: "The official mission was to visit this project, to visit the office and also of course very relevant official meetings with Prime Minister and with Minister of Foreign Affairs. We talk about practicability of this process the judiciary of this process and we have seen your authorities very committed to what is necessary to achieve the steps to move forward this process. So far we need the necessary movements to take this to the International Court of Justice that will be the only place where this can be resolved."

    Emanuel and Angel On The Western Edge Of Belize
    And so, while we had a team at the Sarstoon with the BDF, and another at the Benque border with the OAS Secretary General, we also have another that went into he wilds of the Chiquibul Forest. This morning at 3 am, Emanuel Pech and Angel Noble left Belize City headed for a 10 hour hike across the Chiquibul National Park into the Caracol Archeological Park. They set out with one other media house and a phalanx of BDF soldiers and FCD Rangers and should be getting back to Cayo at about midnight. They went primarily to see new Guatemalan milpa farms that have been put down in Belize territory. Depending on when they actually return, we hope to have some portion of their report in tomorrow’s news.

    Mango Killing Was Not Murder
    He was accused of killing a man for stealing mangoes from his tree, and 48 year old Hilberto Perez must stand trial for it. That's the outcome of a preliminary inquiry which was held today before Chief Magistrate Smith. Perez will stand trial for manslaughter, not murder, in the June session of the Supreme Court for the shooting death of 60-year-old Alexander Trapp. His old bail was confiscated and a new bail of $10,000 dollars was granted, which he met. In May of 2015, Trapp, who had a substance abuse problem picked mangoes form Perez's yard when he was shot, possibly with a recreation air rifle. The injury proved fatal and he died on a nearby feeder road.

    Cop Caught Trini Teacher With Weed
    A school teacher was charged with marijuana possession – and what's more, a lady cop says Jaclyn Swasey kicked her in the belly! On April 17th, Police constable Kendra Robateau was on duty at a police check point at mile 31 on the Western Highway when she picked up the strong smell of marijuana from a blue Toyota matrix car. She went to the passenger side off the car and says she saw Swasey fondling her left breast. The constable spotted her flash light on the Swasey's breast and she saw a transparent plastic bag apparently hidden in her bra. Constable Kendra told Swasey to get out of the car for a search, but says that when Swasey got out, she pushed her aside and fired a kick into her midsection. That's after allegedly throwing herself on the ground. Undeterred, the constable grabbed the woman by her wrists and managed to subdue her and take her into custody.

    PM To NY For Paris Agreement
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today for New York where he will join representatives from 150 other countries in signing the Paris Agreement at the United Nations. The Paris Agreement is a global accord aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change. Prime Minister Barrow signs the agreement tomorrow and returns to the country on Sunday, 24th April. In his absence, Deputy PM Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

    Historic First: 60 Depart For N-O Jazzfest
    Also leaving the country today was a 60-person contingent headed to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. As we've been reporting, it's one of the biggest music festivals in north America, and Belize has been invited to be the featured act at the cultural pavilion. Now, it didn't come together just like that; in fact, it took months of preparation, selection and organization. And today they all boarded a flight headed for New Orleans. That's 50 musicians on a plane along with 8 craftsmen and women. The organizers told us today that it's a quantum leap unto the biggest stage ever for Belize:…. But putting it all together was no laughing matter! That's because more than a handful of the musicians and performers couldn't get a visa. That meant last minute substitutions and changes in lineup – which didn't necessarily sit well with the organizers who run a tight ship:

    Belize Ranks High For Press Freedom
    Belize is ranked 36th in the world for Press Freedom. That is out of 180 countries reviewed by the watchdog group Reporters without Borders. Costa Rica, Jamaica, the OECS and Surinam were the only other countries in the Caribbean and Central America ranked higher than Belize…

    Channel 5

    It’s Confirmed, Guatemala Has Indeed Rejected All Eleven Sarstoon Proposals
    Tonight, there is a lot of news from the Sarstoon in southern Belize, where the Ministry of National Security inaugurated its long awaited Forward Operating Base. There were uninvited guests [...]

    What Does Dismissal of Sarstoon Proposals Mean for the Way Forward?
    While Guatemala was considering the proposals, or claimed to be giving them due consideration, Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington claimed that there was an agreement between generals to keep the [...]

    Sarstoon Forward Operating Base Inaugurated Amid Ongoing Tension
    The inauguration of the joint military and law enforcement Forward Operating Base has certainly taken on new importance with the rejection of the protocols. Government has been criticized for not [...]

    Coast Guard Commander Takes Aim at Overhead Drone
    By the time the ceremony had gotten underway, Guatemalan vessels had made their way into the waters directly in front of the base, less than a hundred feet out. That [...]

    O.A.S. Secretary General Visits Adjacency Zone at Western Border
    While all that was playing out in the Sarstoon, a culture of peace was being promoted in the west. Secretary General Luis Almagro, of the Organization of American States, is [...]

    Ambassador Luis Almagro Says More Discussion is Needed for Sarstoon Protocol
    As we’ve said, Guatemala has rejected all eleven proposal put forward by Belize at a recent round of discussions held between Foreign Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales on [...]

    Still no Confirmed Cases of Zika in Belize, M.O.H. Prepares Nonetheless
    Zika is not yet officially confirmed in Belize and that is because the country remains on a waiting list at Caribbean Public Health Agency as it relates to the testing [...]

    Vector Control Unit Revisits Mosquito Breeding Grounds
    On the ground, work by the Vector Control Unit of the Ministry has been ongoing since November of last year. But with the CDC’s travel notice, the ministry sprung into [...]

    The Link Between Zika and Microcephaly
    There are precautionary measures that are recommended for pregnant women or those who plan pregnancy since it is now confirmed that zika is linked to microcephaly and also the Guillain [...]

    Austin Gabourel Charged for Caye Caulker Murder
    Twenty-year-old Austin Gabourel is tonight behind bars accused of murdering a Caye Caulker resident over the weekend. Late this afternoon, Gabourel was read a single charge of murder for the [...]

    Wanted Fugitive Shane Bennett is Recaptured in Placencia
    The Special Branch Unit in the south has taken an alleged criminal off the streets. Shane Bennett escaped from the Independence police and did not go too far. He has [...]

    B.P.P. Says Rejected Protocols is Tantamount to Failed Diplomacy
    The rejection of the Sarstoon proposals is not sitting well in many quarters. Today, the Belize Progressive Party likened this development to failed diplomacy. Party Chairman Paco Smith says the [...]

    PM Barrow is off to Sign Paris Agreement in New York
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has departed the country on official duties. He is heading to New York for the Signing of the Paris Agreement which takes place at the United [...]

    Cultural Showcase at Western Border Features Garifuna Drums and Marimba Music
    One of the highlights of the visit of the O.A.S. Secretary General was a visit to the Adjacency Zone. There he witnessed a program dedicated to the culture of Belize. [...]

    B.D.F. Commander Discusses Helicopters
    The two helicopters gifted to the B.D.F. by the Government of Taiwan have been assembled and are ready for use. Part of their regular schedule of activities will bring them [...]

    CTV3

    Ground Breaking Takes Place For Pre-School In Corozal District
    Our Lady Of Guadalupe R.C. School is located in the Corozal District, it has a staff of 8 teachers and 1 principal and it is occupied by 268 students on average school days. Today we can tell you though, that, that number will increase as the Social Investment Fund in collaboration with the Education Department carried out a ground breaking ceremony for the new preschool which is about to be constructed. The construction of the pre-school is to be funded under the Caribbean Development Bank, Basic needs Trust Fund 7’s Education and Human Resource Development Sector, through a grant with counter-part funding by the Government of Belize. The project is aimed to increase access and enhance quality inclusive Early Childhood Development and Primary Education services. In the process the project is also designed to construct additional classrooms along with Human Resource Development training for teachers.

    Hearts And Hands Medical Mission Conducts Surgeries In The North
    On Sunday April 17th a team of 35 general surgeons known as Hands and Hearts Medical Mission arrived in Belize. Immediately after their arrival they started screening and prepping patients of Corozal and Orange Walk for surgeries to be performed from the 18th to the 22nd of April. Yesterday just after 7:00p.m CTV3 caught up with team leader and experience veteran Dr. Sue Long, who said that a total of 46 patients have been treated and the most common surgeries so far are for gall stone and hernia. Dr. Sue Long: “We screen approximately 200 people on Sunday to make out the schedule for the week for surgery and today I believe we did 24 surgeries and yesterday 22 so we’ve done a total of 46 operations so far. Mostly we are doing laparoscopic, gall bladder surgery, that is with the small incisions and then we are doing a variety of different types of hernias, about half the patients that we have done have got gall stones and the other half has been hernias.”

    General Jones Dissapointed About Guatemala Rejection Towards Proposals
    As for Guatemala’s presence inside Belize’s territorial waters during the inauguration of the forward operating base, Commandant of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones, described it as alertness on their behalf: Brigadier General David Jones – Belize Defense Force Commandant: “Well, it shows that they are on alert and they are going to continuously be alert and apart from the BDF and the Coast Guard our civilian forces also has to be aware that the Guatemalans are alert, this is an international border it shared between us and them so they are rightfully concern if any one comes in to the river that they may be going in to Guatemalan waters so I am not surprised that they are here I expected them here because that is what they should if there some activity occurring in their side and we would see a lot of vessels coming in to the river we equally be alert as well too to take a look and to be concern on what is happening in the river.”

    Cabinet Discusses Rejection Of Proposals
    As it relates to the news of Guatemala’s rejection of Belize’s proposal for a peace protocol in the Sarstoon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is yet to comment on this issue. Today however, the Minister of National Security, Honorable John Saldivar confirmed the rejection and informed that the matter was discussed in Cabinet yesterday. Honorable John Saldivar – Minister of National Security: “We were informed officially in Cabinet of the rejection of the Guatemalans of our Proposals we also saw what their suppose counter proposal was which we again flatly reject because it says precisely what was asked just now they want us to ask permission and we flatly reject that and so we are going to continue to work the diplomatic channels to try to see some meeting of the minds but in the meantime as you have also indicated militarily we believe that we have some sort of agreement for there to maintain the peace in the area.” Saldivar also out rightly rejected that there is any existing agreed protocol that requires Belizean vessels to check in at the Guatemalan base to navigate through the Sarstoon.

    Helicopters Ready To Fly Over
    Today the commander of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones confirmed that the recently acquired Taiwanese helicopters for the force have been assembled. In one year’s time when training for the pilots is complete, the helicopters will be put into use along Belize’s border. In the South, the Government is expected to clear out a landing area for the helicopters. Brigadier General David Jones – Belize Defense Force Commandant: “The helicopters are already assembled, our pilots have to be fully trained before they are personally operating them so despite the fact that they have been assembled they are flying we will only have them during training flying around this areas, but the future is for this facility to also be services by those helicopters, the area just over to my left is a clearing that is expected to be developed in a helicopter landing site, so that will be an areas where the helicopter will be able to land if there is need for immediate evacuation in this area and it is going to be the same for the rest of the observation post along the western border...”

    Two Orange Walkenos Sentenced For Robbery
    Two Orange Walk men were today sentenced to serve two years imprisonment after they were found guilty of the charge of robbery. The two individuals, namely Gustavo Hernandez and Christian Sutherland were arrested and charged back in May 11, 2015 for the broad daylight armed robbery at Luda’s Fast Food at the corner of Guadalupe Street and the Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town. At the time of the incident 41 year old Chinese businesswoman Ling Yu Huang reported to police that sometime around 2:45p.m on that day, while at her business place attending to a customer, two male persons with their faces covered and wearing camouflage hats entered the establishment and robbed them at gunpoint.

    Forward Operating Base Inaugurated While Guatemala Patrol The Area
    This morning saw the long-awaited inauguration of the one hundred thousand dollar Sarstoon joint forward operating base. The modest building sits on the southernmost part of the mainland facing a military base of Guatemala which claims half of Belize’s territory including the Sarstoon area which has witnessed constant encounters between civilians, the BDF and Guatemalan Armed Forces. Today’s inauguration was celebrated by the top brass of the Ministry of National Security and the heads of the Belize Coast Guard and the BDF who took the long trip South. They traveled from Punta Gorda in three BDF vessels and two Boston Whalers belonging to the Coast Guard. However, today was once more labelled as yet another flagrant violation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity. That’s because on arrival at the mouth of the Sarstoon, just in front of the Sarstoon Island which we know as Belizean territory, a Guatemalan gun boat sat inside Belizean territorial waters. As the Belize expedition approached, it gradually navigated into the Guatemalan side. But three other Guatemalan naval vessels remained. One of the two Colombian type vessels was clearly in Belizean territorial waters close to Belize’s Forward Operating Base.

    LOVE FM

    BDF Commander Says All is Well with the Internal Audit
    Last week we told you of a letter from the National Security CEO, Retired Colonel George Lovell sent to BDF Commander David Jones on an internal audit that had taken place and some queries that had arisen from that audit. Today, Love News asked Jones to comment on the matter. DAVID JONES “ Just as […]

    Minister Says Absence of CBM Could Lead to Heightened Tensions in the Sarstoon
    With the Forward Operating Base now completed at the Sarstoon, it is interesting to see how the relations between the Guatemalan Armed Forces and Belize’s military will be. Minister John Saldivar spoke on some of the challenges they face with the GAF as is and how the absence of confidence building measures could lead to […]

    Guatemala Rejects Protocols and Insists on a Non-Existent Status Quo
    Earlier in our newscast we told you of several Guatemalan fishing vessels in our waters when we arrived at the Sarstoon this morning. Whilst there, we learnt that this is the norm on a day to day basis and in trying to change that situation in a peaceful manner, the protocols came about. DAVID JONES […]

    Did Guatemala Mislead Belize on Proposed Protocols?
    In the meeting held almost two weeks ago in which the eleven protocols were drafted, the Belize side had come out of that meeting quite optimistic based on the reception of the eleven points by the Guatemalans in the meeting as Commander David Jones explained. DAVID JONES “ In yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, the rejected proposals […]

    PM Leaves to Sign Paris Agreement on Climate Change
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow left Belize today to attend the signing of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. In December, 2015, 195 countries came together and adopted a new international agreement to address climate change; named the “Paris Agreement.” This Agreement is seen as historic in the fight against […]

    Belmopan City Council and Business Association Team Up for Small Entrepreneurs
    The Belmopan City Council and the newly formed Belmopan Business Association signed a memorandum of understanding today. Love News spoke with Councilor Ralston Frazer. RALSTON FRAZER “One of the things that we have had in mind, this Belmopan City Council, we wanted to bring some kind of uniformity and organizing to the growing businesses in […]

    OAS Secretary General says “yes” to ICJ
    Secretary General of the OAS, His Excellency Luis Leonardo Almagro is the first secretary general from the organization to visit Belize. While he is scheduled to speak with the media at a press conference tomorrow morning, Almagro spoke to us about his visit so far. He also weighed in on the matter of taking the ongoing […]

    OAS Secretary General comment on Belize’s 11 protocols to Guatemala
    We recently learnt about Guatemala’s rejection to the list of eleven protocols that were shared between Guatemalan counterparts and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belize. The eleven protocols were to establish tranquility and peace between the two countries. Guatemala has out right rejected all the protocols and has referred back to a status quo […]

    OAS depending on sister countries for funding
    Beginning of the year we learnt about the depleting funds of the OAS. They will be forced to seize operations and close down if they do not meet the necessary funds of about two hundred thousand dollars by August. While the OAS office is crucial in Belize at this time Belize and Guatemala are advised […]

    OAS Peace Fund Hosts Cultural Event in Presence of SG
    The Organization of American States held a cultural event at the OAS Adjacency Zone office located at the border of Belize and Guatemala. The aim of the program is to promote peace between both countries. A number of presentations were held including songs, dance and folkloric performances. The theme under which the event was held […]

    PlusTV

    Guatemala Rejects Belize’s Sarstoon Protocols
    Guatemala has finally responded to the eleven point proposal by Belize regarding protocol on the Sarstoon. There has been no official word from Government on the issue but according to several media reports, information leaked to the press indicate that Guatemala has rejected those protocols and ha...

    Grijalva Guilty of destroying ancient monument
    Danny Grijalva has been found guilty of removing parts of an ancient monument and causing the destruction of an ancient monument. This is connection to the destruction of one of Belize’s archaeological monument, the Mayan site called Noh Mul. Back in 2013, it was discovered that contractor Denny ...

    Man badly beaten; back broken
    A man is suffering from a broken back bone after he received a beating in Spanish Lookout. There is not much information at this time but according to sources, a watchman of a property at Spanish Lookout, the same property where a drug plane landed, was emptied of its cargo, and burned on December ...

    Taiwan Gifts two Helicopters to Belize; Assembling Completed
    On April 5th 2016, a seventeen-member assembling team comprised of engineers, technicians, mechanics and two pilots from the Army of the Republic of China (Taiwan), led by Colonel Ao, Cheng – lin, arrived in Belize. The team was dispatched by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to assem...

    Alrick Smith family sues Government over gun detention
    A high-profile case from a little under two years ago is back in the courts. This morning Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith began hearing the case of Alrick Smith Senior, a construction worker, and his family: wife Sandra Casey; son Leon Smith; daughter Tamica Smith and niece Ishaida Brooks. They...

    Felix brothers to be tried for murder again
    Brothers Maurice and Emory Felix, accused but never convicted after three trials of the murder of Mitchum Heredia over a decade ago, are once again to go before the Supreme Court on a murder charge. This time they are accused of the murder of Mark Gentle and attempted murder of the now-deceased Pame...

    Court spares American visitor charged with cannabis
    Belize City Magistrate Carlon Mendoza elected to discharge a cruise ship visitor to Belize after she was caught with cannabis this morning. 31 year old Ashley Williams of Virginia, USA, was held for 1.8 grams of the drug found in her handbag by a security guard at the Tourism Village. Williams said...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Sarstoon Forward Operating Base officially opened
    Minister of National Security, John Saldivar and high ranking officials of the Belize Defense Force (BDF) and Coast Guard joined other dignitaries in officially opening the Forward Operating Base (FOB) at the mouth of the Sarstoon River today. The base is expected to strengthen the […]

    Oceana issues press release on sixth anniversary of British Petroleum’s oilspill
    On the six year anniversary of the worst environmental catastrophe in United States history, British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Oceana issued a press release explaining the negative effects that event is still having on Belize’s ecosystem as well as many other eco-systems […]

    Escapee Shane Bennet recaptured
    Escapee Shane Bennet, was recaptured this morning during a joint operation conducted by officers attached to the Special Branch, Crimes Investigation Branch (CIB) and uniformed police from the Placencia sub-formation. Bennet escaped from a holding cell at the intermediate Southern formation in Independence Village some […]

    VIP proposes alternative to ICJ in resolving of Belize/Guatemala dispute
    Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) has written to the government with an alternative solution to the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute since even with increased tensions GOB “has seemingly chosen not to initiate diplomatic efforts in this regard.” The party has written to the Prime Minister in a letter dated April 18 and has copied the Opposition, People’s United Party. In that letter it requests that GOB discontinue the Special Agreement leading to the referendum on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and to make request of the United Nations Security Council to comply with its mandate of ensuring the security and territorial inviolability of our country.

    Mostly dry conditions to continue
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with some cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight. A few showers will occur mostly over the South today, decreasing tonight. Winds will be blowing from the East at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures today are expected around 87 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast; 93 degrees Fahrenheit inland and a comfortable 81 degrees Fahrenheit up at the exposed areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and along the Maya Mountains in the south.

    Blogs

    It’s a CONVOY! Fill Moving South Towards San Pedro’s New Football Stadium
    If you have driven through San Pedro, Belize over the last few days, you may have arrived home coated in dust. It IS dusty out – as it hasn’t rained in weeks! But there is another culprit… Massive sand and fill filled trucks coming down from the quarry up north in a convoy of 4 or 5 mega-dump trucks. Yesterday, one blew a horn while approaching me at the bridge and I fully expected to be road kill. I kid…though the horn was LOUD, they all waved and smiled as they blew by me. I had to ask…where are they going? And I found the answer quickly. Much of the new football (or the rejuvenation of “The Football Field” in DFC) was finished and they needed LOTS of fill. I drove back to the field last evening. I hadn’t checked in on it for a while… For those of you who have NO clue where this is, I don’t blame you. Here’s the google map. It’s called Ambergris Stadium and it is south of town.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Queen’s Birthday Sees Monarch Turn 90 - Here’s Her Life In 90 Images
    She’s the world’s oldest-reigning monarch, as well as the longest-reigning British monarch - and now the Queen is celebrating her 90th birthday too. In a series of images taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz to mark the occasion, the monarch appeared alongside members of her family. the sovereign - in the tradition of royal portraiture - holds her youngest great-grandchild Princess Charlotte in her arms. Also appearing in the touching image is two-year-old Prince George, as well as Zara Phillips’s two-year-old daughter Mia Tindall, who is proudly holding the Queen’s famous black handbag, and Peter Phillips’s daughters Savannah, five, and three-year-old Isla. The Queen, who is known as Gan Gan to George and Charlotte, is also joined by the two youngest of her eight grandchildren – the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s children - James, Viscount Severn, eight, who has his hands in his pockets, and Lady Louise Windsor.

    MSU student uses her business to start scholarship for international students
    With the funds raised through her online store, sociology junior Kady Cox established her own scholarship for students in Belize. Cox, who started up her own sweets business called VK Sweets this year after growing popularity for her baked goods, said she is offering the scholarship for students at three different schools. “I had the opportunity to study abroad over spring break,” Cox said. “I worked with underprivileged students and the students were kind of unaware of their situation. They thought it was normal to be living in the condition they were living in.” Established for three schools in San Ignacio, Belize, Cox said the Belize 3-Way Scholarship Fund is designed to enrich the education community in Belize, directly affecting St. Andrew's Anglican School, Faith Nazarene Primary School and Sacred Heart Primary School and Junior College.

    New Thoughts on Maya Human Sacrifice
    According to a report in Science News, many of the nearly 10,000 human bones, bone fragments, and teeth discovered in Belize’s Midnight Terror Cave are thought to be the remains of children. Bioarchaeologist Michael Prout of California State University, Northridge, said at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists that the ancient Maya may have considered cave areas near water to be sacred spaces, suggesting that the children might have been sacrificed to Chaac—a rain, water, and lighting god. Radiocarbon dating of the remains suggests that bodies were deposited in the cave over a 1,500-year period, beginning some 3,000 years ago. It had been thought that human sacrifices in the region were largely limited to adults, but another site of possible large-scale child-sacrifice by the Maya has been found in an underground cave at Chichén Itzá. “Taken together, however, finds at Chichén Itzá and Midnight Terror Cave suggest that about half of all Maya sacrificial victims were children,”

    Ocean Warming Will Lead to More Coral Bleaching
    The future is not looking bright. Coral reefs are set to become more vulnerable to bleaching as rising temperatures cripple their self-defence mechanisms. Bleaching occurs when warm waters strip away the colourful photosynthesising algae that provide nourishment to corals. This happens during unusually warm periods, such as during El Niño years, but doesn’t always kill coral, which can recover when waters cool again. Corals are often able to survive heatwaves by developing resistance during periods of milder warming, when water temperatures rise and cool off again, says Tracy Ainsworth of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. The corals are essentially given a warning for what’s about to come, a sort of practice run.

    Videos

  • BELIZE! Cave Tubing!, 6min.

  • Jen's Demo of PD Sugar Rush, Belize, Easy Living, & Under the Sea, 15min. Showing Sugar Rush, Belize, Easy Living, & Under the Sea.

  • Cheti Chand 2016 Belize City, 10min.

  • Family Zip lining in Belize, 2.5min.

  • Belize Mission Trip - March 2016, 13min. Belize Mission Trip - March 2016 - thorough Praying Pelicans... Summit Church (Newcastle, OK) and First Baptist Church (Giddings, TX

  • Culture, food, and music of Belize in spotlight at New Orleans Jazz Festival, 4min. Congrats! to the cohort of Belizean Musicians and Cultural performers representing Belize at the New Orleans Jazz Festival 2016 which kicks off this weekend!

  • One-eyed sea turtle becomes local legend, 2min. Scarface is a loggerhead sea turtle who is well known in Belize. He suffered a facial injury and lost an eye. Now he cruises the reef in Hol Chan, a marine sanctuary, and approaches swimmers with great curiosity. He is loved by the local fisherman who feed him some of their catch every day. Although still very young, he will eventually grow to an enormous size.

  • Summer Camp for Mayan Children of Belize, 4min. Camp Chahim is seeking funding to sponsor a one-week summer day camp for thirty Mayan children living in a remote region of southern Belize. The camp will be free to attend for the children.

  • Belize Snorkeling Views, 3min.

  • A Week in Belize, 3min. A video highlighting Jake and I's trip to Belize (with a side trip to Guatemala) in January 2016. Cities in Order: San Pedro, Belize. Flores, Guatemala. Tikal, Guatemala. Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • Belize 2016, 5.5min. A 5-1/2 minute video showing some highlights from our February 2016 Belize trip.


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