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February 12, 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

A stunning rainbow!
What can we say? Some evenings you just happen to be up on a roof and catch a spectacular rainbow as its hues deepen and darken, low clouds threatening rain over the reef, maybe the pot gold landing somewhere in the deep!

Bailando a Todo Color: Carnaval 2016, a festival of colors
The island came alive from Sunday, February 7th through Wednesday, February 10th during the 2016 El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro. The traditional celebration is held to usher in the 40-day Lenten Season, and this year’s carnaval was held under the theme “Bailando a Todo Color”. From painting to the comparsas’ presentations, festivities were bigger and more colorful than ever. Originally, festivities were scheduled to commence on Saturday, February 6th with the annual block party at Central Park, but due to inclement weather, the party was postponed. Nevertheless, the spirit of carnaval was not dampened, and on Sunday, February 7th, the fun started in earnest. During this time, traffic access on Barrier Reef Drive and a portion of Pescador Drive was closed. Those not wanting to participate in the painting were encouraged to avoid these areas.2016 Carnaval Celebrations Lent Comparsas Painting-5The three days of painting and comparsas presentations started with a Color Powder and Foam Party at Central Park at 3PM hosted by DJ Debbie and DJ Karma. Of course, the comparsas were also out delighting the crowds with their humorous dance presentations. Three out of the four registered groups took part in Sunday’s festivities: San Pedro AIDS Commission as the Hawaiians, Flora Ancona’s Comparsas Group as the Tourists and the Black and White Charikanari Dancers.

Thousands of teachers to be unemployed following MOE new teaching standards
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is tightening its standards on teachers across Belize, requiring them to have the necessary education and pedagogical skills in order to keep their job in the coming school year. The implementation of these new standards is expected to affect over a thousand primary and secondary school teachers who do not have the necessary qualifications to teach in Belize. This was announced during a press conference on Wednesday, February 3rd in Belize City. The Ministry of Education hopes that with this step, the education system will be strengthened and teachers will become better qualified. Heading the implementation of the new regulations is Minister of Education, Honorable Patrick Faber, who indicated that only about 40% of primary school teachers and 31% of secondary school teacher are actually qualified to be educators. “We invested in teacher’s education and professional development. We provided financial incentives for teachers to acquire professional qualifications. We are continuing to drive the train and certify all principals and vice principals in school leadership; constantly reviewing teacher education programs to meet and exceed new national standards,” explained Faber.

Belize to host Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads
Since May 1, 1974, Belize has fostered an outstanding relationship with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Belize is now scheduled to host the Inter-sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads, to be held on February 16th and 17th at the Placencia Peninsula. The meeting will see the participation of 15 member states including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Belize hosting the meeting is incredibly historic, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow currently holds the Chairmanship of the Conference of Heads of Government of the CARICOM. Belize has a longstanding relationship with CARICOM, including the distinction of a Belizean being the first female Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of CARICOM. Dr. Carla Barnet served CARICOM in that capacity from 1997 to 2002. While acknowledging the milestone that she achieved, she deflected attention to the skill set that she brought to the position. “It was an honor for me to be selected. Being the first female Deputy Secretary-General, while it was a historical milestone, I’d like to think that I came there not because I was a woman, but because I brought a particular set of skills that the Secretariat needed at that time,” said Barnett.

Minister of Local Government, Honorable Hugo Patt visits San Pedro
The Honorable Hugo Patt, Minister of Local Government, Labour and Rural Development, along with an entourage of eleven members of his ministry made an official visit to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye on Thursday, February 4th. The visit was part of a national tour that Minister Patt is doing around the country in order to build and further foster a strong working relationship between all municipalities and ministries countrywide. Mayor Daniel Guerrero, along with Deputy Mayor Gary Greif and Councilors of The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) welcomed Patt and his team to the SPTC office. During the meeting, Guerrero officially welcomed the Minister and his staff to Ambergris Caye. He mentioned that government officials need to make such visits/activities more often to the municipalities so that issues pertaining Central Government can be better addressed. He added that visits should also be done to the educational institutions and other governmental branches in each municipality. Guerrero also touched on the topic concerning the communication between the Local and Central Government, which according to him, needs improvement. Guerrero hopes communication advances with such official visits.

Third EIA held for North Ambergris Caye Water System and Sewage Collection and Treatment
The EIA also looked closely at the effects the project would have on the local environment both in the short and long term. “Taking into consideration the surrounding fragile ecosystem of the island, the project had to be carefully planned and designed. An environmental monitoring plan is vital for any development project. The monitoring plan made for this project will help in assessing the effectiveness of proposed mitigation measures and in providing a focus for the scripting of an Environmental Compliance Plan by the DOE. Even though there will be some changes to the surrounding environment, it is noteworthy to consider the impacts that the surrounding ecosystem would endure of the project is not implemented,” said Garcia. He went on to explain that the lack of a sewage collection facilities is currently causing pollution and damaging the pristine waters of the area. The project is expected to greatly benefit the tourism product as the area is seeing significant business development. The accessibility of water distribution and sewage collection will improve the quality of service offered by resorts in the area, as well as residents who live in the area. Once the project’s EIA is approved, work on North Ambergris Caye Water System and Sewage Collection and Treatment plant is expected to start immediately.

Tiger Sharks experience first home loss
The San Pedro Tiger Sharks fell to the Smart Belize Hurricanes in their third game of the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Season. This loss has left the Tiger Sharks in fourth place, trailing behind the Smart Belize Hurricanes, Dangriga Warriors and Cayo Western Ballaz. Nevertheless, the season is still in its infancy and Tiger Sharks are determined to not experience another loss and claim the NEBL Champion for the third year in a row. The next round of games will take place from Thursday, February 11th to Saturday, February 13th. Independence Thunderbolts will take on the Belmopan Bandits on Thursday, February 11th at the University of Belize Auditorium at 9PM. On Friday, February 12th, the Smart Belize Hurricanes will take on the Belize City No Limit at the Bird’s Isle Basketball Court at 9PM, while the Dangriga Warriors will host the San Pedro Tiger Sharks at Ecummenical High School Auditorium also at 9PM. Saturday, February 13th will see three matches all at 9PM: Cayo Western Ballaz against Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multi-purpose Complex, Independence Thunderbolts against the San Pedro Tiger Sharks at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium and the Dangriga Warriors against Smart Belize Hurricanes at Bird’s Isle. All games can be followed live at nebl.sportingpulse.net, with real time box scores while the game is being played.

Ambergris Today

Government Debunks Claims of Local Rice Having Cancer Causing Agents
Alleged claim of aflatoxin in locally produced rice - The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) in consultation with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority and the Ministry of Health, hereby submits a response on the alleged claim of aflatoxins in local rice as issued in a press release dated February 10, 2016, by rice importer Mr. Jack Charles of Extra House. In a press release, Jack Charles cited tests conducted by an American laboratory indicating that sampled local brands of rice in Belize (Circle R and Tropic) are not safe to consume because they contain low levels of aflatoxins that are cancer causing agents known to kill large numbers of people when consumed in excess causing damage to the liver, lungs, kidneys, brain and heart. Charles had forwarded his results to the Bureau of Standards, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and Ministry of Agriculture on February 1, 2016.

Wait What? OH NO! Lobster Season to Close! When is Lobster Fest?
Unfortunately there comes a time that we, in Belize, have to deal with the issue of not having lobster as an option on the dinner table. Fortunately, the closed season for lobster fishing is there to protect the species for us to have an abundance of it later in the year. We can all look forward to celebrating during three large Lobster Festivals that take place in Belize. This is your last chance to treat yourself to a delicious Belizean lobster meal as the Fisheries Department informs fishers and the general public that the lobster fishing season will close on February 15th and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2016. The department's press release states that any person found in possession of lobster during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance to Fisheries Regulation 3 (1) (b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize (2003).

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

SBDC Workshop: Establishing a Business in Belize
The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to start a business in Belize. The specific objectives of the training are to enable participants to: Better understand the skills of an entrepreneur To understand the importance of a business plan Acquire information on how to adequately formalize your business in Belize Expected outcome: Competent individuals with the skills and knowledge to start a formal business in Belize. WORKSHOP COST : FREE. Location: La Inmaculada Credit Union, Orange Walk. Workshop Date: Feb. 18th, 2016, Time: 9am to 12p

United Kingdom Buying Shrimp in Belize!
A strong will to increase its export market base and achieve the coveted international Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification led to the formation of the Belize Shrimp cluster and it is now reaping the benefits of accomplishing both goals. Challenged by an unforeseen viral disease which severely impacted the Belize shrimp industry, the cluster still managed to successfully supply UK based multinational retailer Marks and Spencer as well as the second largest supermarket chain in the UK, Sainbury’s, with 1.1 million pounds of shrimp in 2015. Under the Sainsbury agreement, the shrimp is repackaged under its premium brand and sold exclusively by the chain as it has agreed not to source shrimp from any other supplier under its brand. This has resulted in a higher than projected price premium for exports to these markets.

JOB OPPORTUNITY - Attorney General's Ministry Post Title: Librarian
The primary role of the Librarian is the management of the Library Registry which is separate from the Records Management Unit and to providing library and research services for the Ministry of the Attorney General and maintenance of the library and its collections. SCOPE OF WORK: 1. Keeping control of books in the library; 2. Developing and managing convenient accessible library and information services; 3. Developing and maintaining indexing of cataloging systems and files for collections; 4. Ensuring an accurate inventory of resources; ...Applications to be submitted to: The Solicitor General, Attorney General’s Ministry Second Floor, East Block, Independence Plaza Belmopan, Belize Tel: +501-822-0519 Fax: +501-822-3390 Email: Ministry.info@agm.gov.bz Deadline for Submission: 29th February 2016

Belize Audubon Society Bird Fair
We are at Red Bank today at the Belize Audubon Society Bird Fair. Come see us if you are closeby. Learn about our conservation efforts and volunteer opportunities.

The Belize - COPA Airlines Presentation in Costa Rica
A presentation on ALL things Belize to COPA Airline wholesalers.

CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador visits Leo Bradley Library
This evening CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque visited the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City, where he observed visually-impaired students using a specially-equipped desktop to assist with their learning. The desktop was provided by CARICOM.

CARNAVAL 2016 - DAY 3
On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, San Pedro celebrated its last day of Comparsas & Painting with a bang! Entertainers were lined up for the closure of Carnaval at Central Park - DJ Debbie, Dj Dalla, DJ Kream and New Sensation Band. The comparsas were very vibrant this year! The San Pedro AIDS Commission paraded the streets as colorful flowers in full bloom, Mrs. Flora's Group were dancing yellow fiery habaneros, the Barbie's wore their most elegant dresses and neon hair do's to the occasion, and lastly the Black N White Charikanari Dancers brought out the bulls to the dance as they all danced throughout the streets of town. This year, we saw the participation of four comparsas that definitely put out their best and once again lived and show cased the true meaning of Carnaval. Que Viva el Carnaval de San Pedro!

Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita
New date for the Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita Site is Saturday February 20th, 2016. Tickets are still available at Hotel Maya or Tony's Hotel. Don't forget that there will be two additional performances. Bring out everyone and let's all enjoy our mayan history and culture. Time: 7:00 P.M. Presenters: Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College "El baile del Cochino - Hog head Dance" Ek Balam - Potapok Mayan Ball Game Admission: Reserve $20, Adults $10, Children 14 years and under $2

Power interruption from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday February 13th, 2016 on portions of Corozal Town
Power interruption from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday February 13th, 2016 on portions of Corozal Town: (1st Avenue & 2nd Street North) (1st to 8th Street South) and (1st, 5th & 6th Avenue South) - Two 30 minute power interruptions. 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. will also affect (G & A Street) (8th & 9th Avenue) (E,F,C & B Street South) (9th & 10th Street South). B.E.L to re-route high voltage lines in Corozal Town.

Line Supervisor opening at BEL
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Line Supervisor in the Transmission and Distribution Operations Department.

Mission 3:16 Concert
The SISE HoC is bringing Mission 3:16 to the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday, February 20th. The concert starts at 7:00pm.

Retired Ambassador Moreno had the opportunity to meet with alumni from Yale University at Chan Chich Lodge
OUT AND ABOUT - Recently Ambassador Moreno had the opportunity to meet with alumni from Yale University at Chan Chich Lodge to discuss the many wonders of Belize. Where would you advise visitors as the best place to visit in Belize? Why?

Applying for a U.S. passport?
Here’s what you’ll need to bring: - One 2”x2” passport photograph. - Proof of citizenship (e.g. your most recent U.S. passport; or other evidence such as a U.S. birth or naturalization certificate and a reliable form of photo identification) - Photocopies of all of your documents, including your passport. - The right application form: http://1.usa.gov/1O9oxvf - The appropriate fee: http://1.usa.gov/1VRdx8O Please visit this page for more details: http://1.usa.gov/1kTrzcn

Channel 7

Fruta Bomba To Close: 251 Nortenos Will Be Left Jobless
251 Employees of Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers were told today that the foreign owned papaya company would be closed down in 6 months. If you don't know about Fruta Bomba, it's Belize's biggest Papaya Producer - located near San Joaquin village in the Corozal District - and it's been operating in Belize for 22 years. The Company is owned by Brooks Tropicals - a fruit company based in the US State of Florida. Brooks Tropicals sent out a release today saying that it is closing its growing and packing operations in Belize by mid-August. And why now? Well, they just aren't making money - or at least that's according to a press release. The release says, quote, "economic conditions, particularly after hurricane Dean in 2007 have hindered the company's substantial efforts to rebuild a profitable operation."

Jose Mai Says Government Bureaucracy Boxed Out Bomba
One man that sounded the alarm on Fruta Bomba months ago was PUP Representative Jose Mai. He warned the House of Representatives that the investor was unhappy because of delays in the Department of the Environment approving the digging of wells. At the time Mai noted that the company had gone down from packing almost 80 thousand boxes of fruit, to packing just 15 thousand. And now he says the company closing will give rise to all the social issues that accompany unemployment:.. Hon. Jose Mai, Area Rep. OW South: "Today I think they've had enough and they decide to move. You see other countries have a lower cost of production and they are moving there. Why would they stay in a country that has high cost of production, high labor cost, unfit or unfriendly farm policies? When you can go to other countries and get labor for half the price in Belize. You have less disease incidents, you have friendly government who understands agriculture - who understands exportation and trade. Why would you stay in Belize? Why would you stay in a country where they tell you you can't dig a well until I approve it and it takes 30 days to approve a well?"

She Trafficked A 15 Year Old Into Sex Slavery
Back in February 2014, it made big news when 64 year-old Estela Gonzalez was accused of human trafficking after she brought in a 15 year-old girl into Belize and forced her to have sex with men. Well tonight, Gonzalez is in jail - after being convicted of human trafficking by a jury of 9. The jury heard testimony from the victim who testified that Gonzalez brought her to Belize from her home in Honduras on August 18, 2013. She said that she was having serious family issues, and that's when she was introduced to Gonzalez who offered her a home in Belize City. The victim told the court that Gonzalez told her that she was going to be working in a beauty salon, but, instead, she took her to Temptation Bar, at Mile 10 on the George Price Highway. She said that whilst there, Gonzalez coerced her into having sexual intercourse with a man who paid Gonzalez $150 for the encounter. The complainant went into further details that Gonzalez paid the bar owner $50, she kept $75 dollars for herself, and paid her $25 for the night. She then went on to recount 2 other occasions where Gonzalez pressured her into having sex with 2 other men for the same price.

Set a Statue Of The Virgin Mary On Fire
A statue of the Virgin Mary was set on fire yesterday evening at the La Inmaculada Church in Orange Walk. A woman went into the church compound around 5 yesterday evening and lit the statue on fire. Now in the Catholic church, everyone knows how sacred these statues are, so who would want to do such a thing? Is it some kind of attack against the Catholic Church? When Father Oliver Smalls of the La Immaculada Parish spoke to our colleagues at CTV3 he told them it has nothing to do with the church, it was just a senseless act by someone who needs help. Father Oliver Smalls, Priest: "I think the person who did that was depressed and upset and needed some sort of metal health. I don't think it was anything against the Catholic Church or the community or the Virgin Mary. I just think the person has problems and somehow the problems were just overwhelming. So we here hold no malice or hurt feelings against her at all. The only action is prayer. We will keep her in prayer. It's unfortunately, but no, we won't seek legal actions at all and the person who donated the shrine is willing to take care of all the damages and fix things up. So God is good to us and we have to share that blessing with others."

The Wind Fed Fire
It was the wind alright: that's what the Spanish Lookout Fire Department confirmed today. As we told you there was a fire at Country Foods in Spanish Lookout around 3 yesterday afternoon. An employee had set a pile of garbage on fire in the yard but the wind blew the fire towards the main storage room of the building. That's when another pile of expired goods that was set out in front of the storage room caught on fire - it damaged about 3 quarters of the building. The fire team got to the scene quickly and extinguished the blaze in a couple of minutes. The manager told us the fire caused over $5,000 worth of damages.

Robbers Playing Cops?
Tonight there are two reports of robbers pretending to be cops! The first comes from CBC Cable on C Street in Belize City. Last night, just before midnight, the security guard heard banging at the door, and someone shouting "Police, Police come out." He went out and was met by two Hispanic men dressed in what looked like police uniforms who said they were there to search for a concealed weapon. One of the pretend-police carried a shotgun - and the other wore a sweater and wielded a flashlight. The security guard dutifully let them in, and they found nothing. They then asked to see the security guard's loaded .38 revolver and told him he will be taken in for questioning. After that, they tied his hands, took the gun, and just left him there. Almost the same thing happened at the Harpy Security Firm at 12:10 am yesterday. Just after midnight, the dispatcher was the company's Antelope Street Extension headquarters, heard someone at the front door and when she opened it, she saw a man dressed in something close enough to a police uniform, who introduced himself as a "Police Officer".

Mek Mi Rich Trial Winding Up
The Battle over the Mek Mi Rich Game Show went back to the Supreme Court today. As we've been reporting, businessman Curtis Swasey has sued BTL and the owners of Mek Mi Rich. He claims that BTL breeched a non-disclosure agreement, gave away his gameshow idea of lottery texting, and that allowed the owners of MMR Belize to profit off his stolen idea. For about 6 hours today, Justice Courtney Abel heard closing arguments from Swasey's attorney, Kareem Musa, and BTL's attorney, Magali Perdomo as to whether or not Mek Mi Rich is a stolen idea. Musa spent much of his submissions trying to convince the judge that though there is no clear proof that BTL gave away the idea, there is enough circumstantial evidence to prove that they did pass on Swasey's ideas to the owners of MMR Belize, Sunjay Hotchandani and Andre Vega, the son of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. The judge was very meticulous picking apart Musa's arguments, and in the afternoon, it was Magali Perdomo's turn to try to convince the judge. She focused a large part of her submissions answering the pointed questions in her case.

Alpuche Alleges Against Jack Charles
Is your rice safe to eat? Importer Jack Charles has questioned that. He says that according to the law, it should be completely free of Aflatoxins. And he commissioned a test form a US lab which shows less than two micrograms of aflatoxins per kilogram in three brands of locally produced rice. Yesterday the Bureau of Standards came out emphatically to say, quote, "none of the rice samples analysed contain detectable levels of aflatoxins and as a result does not pose any threat to human health." Today the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture told us that Jack Charles is playing games with an important industry:.. Jose Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Agriculture: "I believe what he is doing by raising these false alarm is a disservice to the rice industry, a disservice to the consumers and a disservice to Belize. And man, we have to be much more serious than that. We are dealing with people's livelihood when we speak of any productive sector here in Belize and I really would hope that people would be a little bit more responsible than put out these false reports."

Hon. Mai Says Charles Is a Businessman First And Foremost
And today, the PUP's Jose Mai actually supported the government's stance against Jack Charles. He's from Orange Walk south where the greatest number of rice producers are concentrated and he's also a trained agronomist. He says that BAHA is the only one who should be handling samples, not Jack Charles:... Hon. Jose Mai, Area Rep. OW South "The question arises is where do this sample come from? Nobody knows where Mr. Jack Charles got this sample from." Jules Vasquez: "He says he bought it off the shelf." Hon. Jose Mai, Area Rep. OW South: "That's what he says. We have no way to prove that is accurate. What procedure did he use to extract the sample? So what methodology, what protocol did he use to get this sample?" Jules Vasquez: "You are making the thing too complex Mr. Mai. He went to the store and he buys it the same way me or you would go buy these brands of rice and he took that same thing and he sent it. The same thing in the pack and you and I go buy. You don't have to be so high tech. That is what we are going to eat."

PUP Swears Against Santander
And keeping it on agriculture, today the PUP issued a press release, quote "expressing serious concerns and reservation regarding the proposal by the Social Security Board to lend the foreign owned Company (Santander) $12m Bz." The PUP calls on SSB to make public whether its loan will be "a first-ranking charge on the assets of the Company." Today Jose Mai expanded on the party's position:.. Hon. Jose Mai, Area Rep. OW South: "When you hear of a company coming in, the first thing the Prime Minister say oh its foreign investment. It means that they are bringing their money into this country to invest. All of a sudden now they are not foreign investors anymore. They are using our money - Social Security hard-earned laborers money. The question that has been asked is how safe is Santander's investment in sugar industry? Where are we with the sugar industry right now? It's in crisis. Where is their market?" The PUP says the loan is too risky and should not be made by SSB.

Checking The CARICOM Climate
Following the Cop21 meeting that took place in Paris last year December, CARICOM Ministers responsible for climate change along with their technical advisors convened at the Buitlmore Plaza hotel today for the first session of a two day workshop. Coming out of the Cop21 meeting was the Paris Agreement- a new international climate change agreement in which all countries agreed to limit global warming. Today, during the first session of the meetings the technical REPRESENTATIVES of 8 different Caribbean countries discussed the benefits and shortfalls of this agreement in an effort to formulate a regional response in time for the follow up meeting set for April this year. 8 CARICOM countries are represented at this two day workshop.

Mayen For Attempted Murder
21 year-old Darrell Mayen was found guilty of attempted murder today in a trial without jury before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The judge heard the prosecution's case that the incident happened on August 1, 2010 on the corner of Woodpecker Street and Jimmy Dyer Street. The victim, 32 year old Rafael Caceres, was walking on Woodpecker Street, heading for home when Mayen rode up behind him on a bicycle and fired several shots. Caceres was shot in his back just as he jumped over a drain while trying to get away. That injury has left him crippled in one leg. Caceres positively identified Mayen as the person who shot him. In his defence, Mayen testified and said that he was at his mother's house watching television when the shooting occurred. He called his mother as a witness but she could not say whether he had left the house.

"Indian" Gets 3 Years For Touching Child
39 year-old Francisco Gomez, better known as "Indian", is spending his second night of a 3 year sentence after he was convicted of sexual assault in the court room of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. The victim, an 11 year-old child, testified that she was at her grandmother's house on April 19, 2015, in Burrell boom. She was watching television and when she got up to get some water Gomez slapped her rear end. She said Gomez, who smelled of liquor, also slapped her face and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Gomez then put his hand around her waist and tried to kiss her. She said that when she told her grandmother what had happened, she drove Gomez from the house. In his defence, Gomez gave a statement from the dock in which he denied he committed the offences. He said he was at the house watching a movie when the child told him he was watching a simple movie and took out his DVD and put in one of her own. He said when he removed her DVD, she started to cry. Gomez said she then went into the bedroom and her aunt came and asked him why he slapped the child. He said he then threw the remote control on the table and left the house.

Monkey Business In The Streets
The Chinese community celebrates its New Year in every corner of the globe that the Chinese have populated, and Belize is no exception. Although the official Chinese New Year's started on Monday, bad weather conditions forced the Chinese association to postpone the celebrations until today. But nonetheless the street show put on today did not disappoint. Emanuel Pech reports. Fire crackers, percussion instruments, and this- the dance of the lion- are the elements characteristic of the Chinese New year. Today the Chinese association came out with its usual New Year fanfare. President of the Belize-Chinese Association of Belize, Edmond Quan explained that it is more than just a show: Edmond Quan - President of the Chinese Association: "We are celebrating the Chinese New Year. We are doing the Lion Dance parade from shop to shop - different shops that request the Lion Dance. So we are going citywide."

Mayor Meets The King's Park Crew
A few weeks ago on this newscast, you hear residents of King's Park complaining about a high rise apartment building going up in their residential neighborhood. Well, they got a town meeting with the mayor this evening at the Lopez Mateos Park to discuss proper zoning in the area. Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley told us why a public meeting. Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "We are dealing with the issue of zoning and one of the important things with zoning is that you have to make sure that you get consensus in relation to that being a community-led initiative. We've had consultations previously. I met with several groups of residents in the area who were really advocating for the zoning regulations. But its necessary and we did a lot of advertisement for this evening. It's necessary to give everyone their voice to say. Tonight what are going to be doing is we are going to leading a public forum, a discussion. We've circulated copies of the regulations. It's also on our website. We will have Miss Margaret Mckenzie who is the legal counsel for the Belize City Council do a presentation section by section. So that we go through all the sections of the regulations and we will allow for people to give their feedback and response which is proper government."

Earthquake in Taiwan Shook Up Belizeans
A devastating earthquake in Taiwan over the weekend caused a large 17 story residential building to collapse. So far the death toll is 59 persons including children. At the same time there were about 7 other buildings that fell as a result of the powerful quake that registered at 6.4 magnitude. It's news in Belize because there are scores of students there in Taiwan Universities through the ICDF scholarship programme. The Embassy of Taiwan tells us that the last head count of Belizean students in Taiwan was over 280. Fortunately no Belizean were injured, however, the building that collapsed in Tainan, Tawian, was very close to the dorm of one of the universities that houses some 20-0dd Belizean students. We spoke to one of them, a first year student from Toledo, who recounted the traumatic experience. Parham told us that the collapsed building was approximately half a mile from their dorm. Several Belizean students come home during vacations however several others remain in Taiwan.

Channel 5

Fruta Bomba Bids Farewell to Belize
One of the biggest industries up north is the papaya industry. It provides employment for hundreds, but the future of the industry is bleak tonight because Fruta Bomba and its [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says Papaya Company’s Departure Was Foretold
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, they only got word of Fruta Bomba’s departure two days ago, but P.U.P. leader John Briceño, who hails from the north of the country, [...]

Honduran Bar Manager Awaits Sentencing on Human Trafficking Conviction
Convictions for human trafficking are rare, but tonight a grandmother is behind bars for the offence. Honduran national Estella Gonzalez was convicted this morning in the Supreme Court by Justice [...]

Belmopan Police Seek Killer of Zhijuang Zhang
Belmopan Police are still on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer in that jurisdiction, for the brutal murder of Chinese bar owner Zhijuang Zhang on Saturday morning. Zhang was stabbed [...]

Building in Spanish Lookout Almost Completely Destroyed by Fire
On Wednesday, we showed you the images of Country Foods in Spanish Lookout engulfed in flames. At about three p.m., a fire spread to the warehouse from a nearby pit [...]

N.T.U.C.B. Says No to Santander Loan
The S.S.B. loan to the Santander Group is a done deal – at least as far as approval is concerned. The application was made way back in October 2015, and [...]

The P.U.P. Says S.S.B. Should Have Sought Special Protection
The People’s United Party today issued a press release on the S.S.B. twelve million dollar loan to the Santander Group. In the release, the Party states that one pressing question [...]

N.T.U.C.B. President Marvin Mora Says Loan is Too High Risk
The N.T.U.C.B. agrees that the approved, if not disbursed loan to the Santander Group is too risky. President Marvin Mora says that while the S.S.B. is looking at money, as [...]

Regional Technical Climate Change Professionals Meet in Belize
A high-level technical delegation from the region is currently in Belize. The group is finalizing a climate change framework in the wake of the Paris Agreement coming out of the [...]

Belmopan Police Bust Men With 30 Pounds of Marijuana
Two men were busted with a sizeable amount of marijuana while Belmopan Police were conducting vehicle checks on Wednesday in Camalote on the George Price Highway. Travis Sutherland of Georgeville [...]

Alert: Businesses Hit by Fake Cops in Belize City
Police are on the lookout for two robbers who are operating in the city and impersonating cops. Within the past twenty-four hours, they struck twice. In the first incident, the [...]

P.U.P. Says Ministry of Agriculture Has No Vision
The departure of Fruta Bomba is only the most recent of a series of bad news for Belize where industries are concerned. Since last year the country has been taking [...]

Agriculture C.E.O. Responds to Allegations of Industries in Crisis
While Briceño says that the agriculture sector is taking a hit, the Ministry of Agriculture does not agree. Notwithstanding, late last year, Meridian Enterprises in the banana industry closed its [...]

K.H.M.H. Increases Clinic Fees
Representatives from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital have been making the media rounds this week talking about the good things happening at the national referral hospital and there are many, [...]

Finance Director Says G.O.B. Subsidy Does Not Cover K.H.M.H. Costs
The hospital’s large debt accumulated over the years, in part because patients often do not pay their bills. The K.H.M.H. has thus embarked on a campaign to tighten up on [...]

New K.H.M.H. Chair Says Institution is Crippled by Debt
Chair of the Board of Governors at the K.H.M.H., is Marilyn Williams; who is an attorney and has health care experience as a nurse.  Williams says that one of the [...]

Healthy Living Looks at the HPV Vaccine
World Cancer Day was celebrated one week ago on February fourth.  The Belize Cancer Society as a part of the day’s commemoration debuted a documentary entitled “Taking Control, Taking action, [...]

CTV3

Orange Walk Police Receives Equipment To Fight Contraband
The Orange Walk Police Department today received a very generous and much needed donation from the US embassy. The Orange Walk Police department has always enjoyed a good relationship with the embassy and in the past they have received several donations including vehicles, computers and other equipment that has greatly assisted the department in combating crime in our town. But today’s donation of three contraband kits is particularly important for the department because they will benefit greatly from the equipment in combating the very serious and ongoing issue of contraband. Nicholas Palomo- Inspector of Police: “We received a donation worth it of a $20,000.00 worth of equipment that will assist us in the fight against drugs and firearms; received were a contraband detecting kit, comprises of several devices that will detect contraband carried in sealed compartments in vehicles like tires, door panels, engines and the bumper for the vehicle...”

PSU President Speaks On Challenges Meet By Public Servants
The President of the Public Service Union, Eldrid Neal has been meeting with public officers both in Orange Walk and Belize City with the aim of addressing issues that the officers are very much concerned with at this point in time. The meetings have revealed that there are a number of challenges that public officers are facing. One of them is that only a portion of public officers are given the opportunity to excel and obtain privileges within their respective jobs. This morning Neal was on the Despierta Belice morning show and spoke on the issue. “We’ve seen too often individuals being boosted by favor to move into certain capacities and positions and that kind of creates a burden on the system because the religious would have been working themselves into achieving a certain position...”

Youth Arm Of The PUP Speaks On Santander Issue
Today the Belize Youth Movement, the youth are of the PUP also challenged the Social Security Board’s Investment Committee to use the people's money on youth development instead of using the Belizean worker’s money to quote “bail out a rich, foreign company.” The BYM says the decision by the Investment Committee of the Social Security Board to use twelve million dollars to shoulder the financial burdens of a rich, foreign conglomerate, Santander, is a slap on the faces of Belizean workers whose sweat and tears provides SSB with its funds.

PUP Calls On SSB To Release More Info On The $20 Million Dollars Loan
And continuing with the issue of Santander, just some days ago in an interview with new leader of the People’s United Party, Hon John Briceno, he made mention that while he welcomes foreign investment and the benefits that it brings to our country he questioned GOB’s agenda in their decision to allow SSB to lend a large amount of money to a Guatemalan company. Today the PUP further weighed in on the matter of the Santander loan by sending out a release, stating quote “Our primary concern is why the people’s money is being used instead of borrowing from the commercial banks. The Santander Group is either strong enough to borrow an additional twelve million from commercial banks or it’s not. If it is not, then SSB should not be making this loan.” End quote

After 22 Years Brooks Tropical Leaves Belize
With an economy already in shambles the north of Belize is about to feel an even greater impact. This morning word spread that Brooks Tropicals would close its doors in Belize after 22 years of operation. That rumour was confirmed by midday via a press release issued by Brooks and Tropicals, the parent company of Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers both located in the Corozal District. The release states that the company's subsidiaries, Belize Fruit Packers and Fruta Bomba, will operate up to an additional six months and then completely close its doors. So why is the company shutting down after more than a decade of operating here in Belize? Well, according to the release, “economic conditions, particularly after Hurricane Dean in 2007, have hindered the company's substantial efforts to rebuild to a profitable operation. Efforts included the building of a 16,000 sq. ft. operations building and considerable improvements to growing, packing and nursery facilities and processes.

Minister Saldivar Visits Forward Operating In Road To Construction
The Minister of National Security, Hon John Saldivar along with Hon. Frank Mena, senior members of the Belize Defence Force, Belize Police Department and the Ministry of National Security Officials took the opportunity to visit the site in Toledo where the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base is currently being constructed. In a press release issued yesterday, it stated that the Forward Operating Base is being built by the Government of Belize with the aim of protecting Belize’s national sovereignty. It also stated that the FOB will assist in combating unlawful actions such as drug, contraband, human trafficking and weapons trading all of which are known to pose many threats to our country in terms of security.

Mai Says Local Rice Is Good For Human Consumption
Yesterday importer Jack Charles dropped a bomb on the nation when he issued a release alleging that the local rice consumed by Belizeans is contaminated with Aflatoxin which causes cancer and is also linked to liver disease and other illnesses. Charles alleges that test results of samples of the local rice sent to Eurofins Laboratory in New Orleans for testing show the product being contaminated with less than 2 micro grams per kilogram of Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2. The Belize Bureau of Standards has rebutted Charles’ allegation by stating that the test results shows that none of the rice samples analyzed contain detectable levels of Aflatoxins and as a result does not pose any threat to human health. And Orange Walk South Area Representative Jose Abelardo Mai agrees with the bureau. Today he told us that when it comes to the samples sent for testing, there are a number of things to consider.

LOVE FM

Fees for Physiotherapy Go Up at KHMH – A Look Inside the Unit
With the cost of physiotherapy services going up in March, Love News paid a visit to the unit to get first-hand look at how the patients feel about the price change and the kind of service they get at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Renee Trujillo and cameraman Brian Castillo report.

PUP Says No to Loan For Santander
As the comments and feedback keep coming regarding the twelve million dollar loan to Santander from the Social Security Board continue, an official release from the People’s United Party was sent out today expressing opposition to the decision by the SSB’s Investment Committee to invest in the sugar factory in western Belize. The release says […]

Belize Progressive Party Wants More Details on Santander Loan
Belize Progressive Party (BPP) also weighed in on the issue. According to the BPP, even though they have no objections to investments in Belize with greater returns, they are asking the Social Security for transparency in the loan. Public Relations Deputy, Charles Leslie Jr. of the BBP told us about their concerns. CHARLES LESLIE JR […]

Belize Youth Movement Says No to SSB Loan for Santander
The Belize Youth Movement is the youth arm of the People’s United Party with a mandate to advocate on matters that affect the youth population, not only for the present but for the long term as well. BYM has joined the voices advocating against the proposed twelve million dollar loan from the Social Security Board […]

Social Media, SSB and Santander
One of the channels of media that has become an everyday part of life for millions around the world is the social media. From day to day, you can get the opinions and perceptions of individuals on various issues ranging from politics to entertainment. While the issue of the Social Security Board’s decision of lending […]

Dozens Lose Work in Papaya Industry as Company Shuts Down
A company that has been operating in Belize for more than two decades has announced that it will be shutting down business for good. On Tuesday we reported that 38 employees had been laid off last week Friday from both Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers. On Tuesday, CEO of Brooks Tropicals, the parent company […]

Church Statue Set Afire in Northern Belize
Last night as some residents of Orange Walk Town were preparing for the traditional Ash Wednesday mass at La Inmaculada Church, news began spreading of a fire at the Church’s compound. According to reports a woman was outside the compound in front of a grotto that housed a statute of the Virgin Mary. What she […]

Cop Fires in Yard, Almost Hitting Mother and Infant
Sometime around ten o’clock this morning, Love News was called to the home of Kimara Carrillo on New Road in Belize City. Carrillo told us about the terrifying experience she had when the police came running through her home firing a shot which passed inches away from her and her one month old baby girl. […]

Discussing the Outcomes of COP21
Next week the heads of CARICOM States will be in Placencia where they will be engaged in discussions of several issues affecting the region. One of those issues is climate change and today the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre convened a meeting whereby stakeholders discussed the recently signed global agreement that was signed at the […]

UWI Forms ZIKA Virus Task Force
While health officials in Belize have assured the public that they are taking precautions and engaging in public awareness campaigns as they relate to the ZIKA virus, one institution that has taken on their own initiative as a response to the growing threat of the virus in the Caribbean region. The University of the West […]

PlusTV

Fire at Country Foods in Spanish Lookout
There was fire in Spanish Lookout this evening; no one was injured. It happened at the Country Foods warehouse where Spanish Lookout fire officials and BNE officials worked at containing the blaze. By the time the fire was extinguished, the warehouse and its contents were completely destroyed but th...

Missing woman found dead
Last month we reported on the missing persons report made for Lydia Janet Garcia Giron and yesterday, February 9, the missing woman’s body was found in an orchard in Dangriga. On the 19th of January, a missing persons report was filed for the 39 year old woman by her son who told Belizean police t...

Jack Charles says local rice tested is harmful
Jack Charles was not able to get his imported Guyanese rice into the Belizean market for a cheaper price than the local rice producers. After making a public announcement of his intention to do so, the wheels were set in motion to stop him as concerns were raised over the negative effect the importe...

Belize Bureau of Standards responds to Jack Charle’s claims
Late this evening, The Belize Bureau of Standards in consultation with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority and the Ministry of Health issued a response to Jack Charles claims. It starts out by saying that Mr. Charles is not recognized as a competent authority to conduct testing of any basic fo...

Pregnant woman injured in traffic accident
Hattieville resident 37 year old Raquel Burke is in hospital tonight recovering from injuries sustained in a traffic accident this afternoon. This afternoon around 3:15 she was driving a Nissan Xterra from Ladyville to Belize City when, approaching the Northern approach of the Haulover Bridge, she l...

Belmopan resident knocked off motorcycle and robbed
A resident of Belmopan was stopped on his motorbike and robbed. On Tuesday the 9th of February, 22-year-old Gadiel Maldonado was travelling from Buena Vista Village to Valley of Peace Village on his motorcycle through the Farmer’s Road when he felt something hit his helmet. Maldonado stopped to see ...

Edison Johnson free on time served after manslaughter plea
53 year old Edison Johnson was accused of killing two men who he caught in the act burglarizing his home. Johnson pleaded guilty to manslaughter, the lesser charge to murder, but is tonight a free man. Johnson was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment but with deductions for his guilty plea, assisting t...

The Guardian

Sarstoon forward operating base under construction
Belize’s forward operating base is well under construction and on Wednesday February 10, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office, Hon. Frank ‘Papa’ Mena went on a field visit. At the site the ministers who had a contingent of Belize Defence Force soldiers and police found a structure that is well underway. The area for the base has been cleared and the frame for the building is already up. Ground was broken at the site on December 9 and two months in the work has progressed considerably despite adverse terrain conditions and transportation challenges. According the Chief Executive Office in the Ministry of National Security,(Ret.) Colonel George Lovel, the base will be inaugurated on April 11. It is costing the country 100 thousand dollars to construct the base. At its completion the Joint Forces Forward Operating Base will be used as a monitoring and operations point for Belizean law enforcement personnel as the Sarstoon River is suspected of being a transit point for human trafficking, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and other transnational criminal activities.

SSB to decide on 12 Million dollar loan to Santander
Over the past few days much concern has been brought up by some regarding a proposed 12 million dollar loan that Santander has approached the Social Security Board to finance. Santander is the company which is in the process of establishing a sugar producing factory in western Belize. The company has already established a state of the art factory complete with 18 thousand acres of sugar cane ready for harvesting. The company has said that the process of harvesting will commence by the end of this month. While the company prepares itself for full production, it is at this point in time securing financing to complete a U.S. 142 million dollar investment in phase one of their project which includes the factory and cane fields. Already the company has put up U.S. 47 million dollars and borrowed 95 million in a syndicated loan from banks in Belize, Guatemala, Washington DC, Panama and Honduras. Of that syndication Belizean banks hold U.S. 59 million dollars of which the proposed 12 million dollars will be a part of.

Zika: less dangerous than Dengue and Chick-V
There seems to be a new disease or strain of a disease in this region every other year and at the onset these new epidemics cause mass panic amongst the population when most of the time there is really not much to be concerned about. At one point it was Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) then it was Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu). Two years ago it was Chikengunya then recently it was the scary Ebola. Before all these we were worried about Dengue and Cholera. It seems the world is petrified at the thought of a modern day black plague or yellow fever outbreak and every unfamiliar disease that reaches this corner of the world spells D-O-O-M. The Zika Virus is the latest fear generating organism to surface in the West and just like diseases that came in the last two decades, the bark is greater than the bite. Close to 40 health officials from across the country met in Belize City on Tuesday, February 09, to finalize the country’s preparedness plan of action for the Zika virus at a sensitization meeting. This meeting was attended by Dr. Ramon Figueroa, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, and led by Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services. At the end of the meeting, Dr. Manzanero addressed the media on the state of affairs in Belize. He was joined by Kim Bautista, Head of the Vector Control Unit, and epidemiology experts Dr. Russell Manzanero and Dr. Natalia Largaespada.

Licenseless Plus TV responds to Broadcasting Authority
The resource stressed Plus Television is having more difficulty staying on air after its owner, Louis Wade, applied for the wrong broadcasting license, according to the Belize Broadcasting Authority. Wade applied to the BBA for an On Air Broadcasting License but the regulatory body says this was an error on his part. On air broadcasts are those that can be accessed without cable, like Channel 5 and 7. These media houses have a wider audience due to the ease of access; therefore, they can charge more for advertisement. Passing itself off as an on air broadcasting station is a deceitful act by a cash-strapped media house trying to increase advertising revenue. The Belize Broadcasting Authority rejected Wade’s application and returned his money sent for the license. In a letter dated February 4, the BBA scolded Wade, “you have applied to have your on-air broadcasting license renewed for the year 2016, despite the fact that Plus Television is not broadcasting over the air. Therefore, the Board cannot approve the renewal of your on-air licenses.” The Board of Directors of the BBA recommended that Wade apply for a Cablecasting License, which is more suitable for the type of service he currently provides. Wade told the Guardian Newspaper that he believes the BBA made a “genuine mistake in its decision”. Plus TV wrote to the BBA explaining that they have been providing open air service to residents in the Belmopan area for years on Channel 21. Furthermore, he says it is a license they have had for years and he hopes that the situation is rectified quickly.

Taiwan assists with renal failure prevention program
With the help of Taiwan, Belize now has a program in place to help avoid Renal or kidney failures, a chronic and sometimes irreversible condition where the kidney fails to adequately filter waste products from the blood. H.E. Ambassador Benjamin Ho and Minister of Health Pablo Marin signed the Public Health and Medical Skills Cooperation Agreement and the Renal Failure Prevention Project between Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Wednesday at the Western Regional Health Vaccine Room in Belmopan. The Agreement and Project will now be taken into force for 5 years and 3 years respectively. According to statistic figures released from the Ministry of Health, Belize, the prevalence rate of obesity in Belize is over 60%, and the rate of hypertension and Diabetes among adults is over 30% respectively, which contribute directly to the development of chronic renal failure. Thus adequate treatment of patients at the early stage to prevent the exacerbation can effectively reduce the socio-economic cost on the whole society. Also, statistical figures from 2014 reveal that diseases of the heart (13%) and diabetes (9.5%) rank within the top three (3) causes of mortality in Belize. One of the risk factors for these NCDs is obesity, therefore it is important to address this factor through the promotion of healthy lifestyle practices.

Accident victim busted with 14 pound of weed
Roland Raheem Rivers, 34, is lucky to be alive after he crashed a Ford Escape into a tree near mile 16 on the Phillip Goldson Highway just after noon on Friday, February 5. The vehicle was extensively damaged and Rivers suffered from minor injuries. He has since been treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial but that was only the start of trouble for Rivers. Police report that officers of the Road Traffic Accident Team responded to the scene of the accident and saw the driver sitting in the vehicle. He was asked to exit and when he did the officers noticed a number of Brahman beers in the back seat of the vehicle, at least 40. A number of them were empty and Rivers struggled to walk. Further checks in the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag near the front passenger side. Police opened the bag in front of Rivers and it contained a green leaf like substance suspected to be cannabis. Rivers was arrested and taken to the police station where the drugs were weighed. The amount was 6,350.29 grams or just about 14 pounds.

8 years later!
Sunday, 7 February, 2016 marked the eight anniversary of the UDP and the people of Belize sending the PUP scampering into opposition. We at this Newspaper remember that day as it were yesterday. It was a Thursday and that election was held on a Thursday because it was to be held on the day before being Ash Wednesday, but when the then Prime Minister Musa announced to Church Leaders who had assembled at a breakfast meeting he was hosting for them along with his Cabinet of Ministers, the Church Leaders protested to elections being held on a day with such significance to us in what is considered as a Christian Country. He had to push it back a day. Little did the PUP know that had they set that election for at night between the hours of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., where the voting would take place at the various cemeteries across the country on any day they wished , Belizeans would have shown up to vote them out . See Belizeans were set on delivering a beat down to the PUP because of all the atrocities that the PUP had committed against this nation from August of 1998 up to the date of the 2008 election. Belizeans had already given them a sample of what was to come when the PUP took a whipping at the 2006 Municipal Elections. No day or situation could keep the PUP from reaping the fruits of those seeds they had planted back in 1998. It was now harvest time in 2008. The trees had produced bitter fruits that had to be served to the PUP.

Key CARICOM Institutions Headquartered in Belize
Through its role as a Centre of Excellence, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) supports the people of the Caribbean as they address the impact of climate variability and change on all aspects of economic development through the provision of timely forecasts and analyses of potentially hazardous impacts of both natural and man-induced climatic changes on the environment, and the development of special programmes which create opportunities for sustainable development. The Five C’s, as the Centre is called, coordinates the Caribbean region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre, based in Belize, is the key node for information on climate change issues and on the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change in the Caribbean. It is the official repository and clearing house for regional climate change data, providing climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. It has also been recognized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) as a Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. This reputation is a major honour for the Centre, and it should be a great source of prude for the people of the Caribbean as well.

Key CARICOM Institutions Headquartered in Belize Pt. 2
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is a CARICOM institution that was established by the CARICOM Member States by the 2002 Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, which entered into force on 4 February 2002. Its role is to strengthen and promote Regional cooperation in the development, conservation and management of the fisheries and marine resources of the Caribbean Region, in accordance with relevant principles of international law. The CRFM has been coordinating research, data collection, assessment studies, the formulation of policy and management advice and capacity-building initiatives in the Region. The CRFM has emerged as an internationally recognised regional fisheries body whose input and contribution are regularly sought at the international level in respect of fisheries and marine resource management issues. There are currently 17 Member States of the CRFM. The membership consists of 14 independent Small Island Developing States (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago), and three British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands). In addition the CRFM has a formal relationship with the Dominican Republic through a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate cooperation on matters related to fisheries conservation, management and development. In addition, Bermuda and Curacao and a number of regional and international organisations including FAO, OECS, CNFO, UWI, have been accorded observer status with the CRFM.

Pay your bill says KHMH
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has gone on an all out campaign to encourage its clients to pay their bill. According to the Chief Executive Officer Dr. Adrian Coye the hospital operates on a budget of 37 million dollars of which only 18 percent is actually by way of bills to clients. Of that 18 percent less than half (40%) of the bills are paid. This says Coye is not enough to run the hospital efficiently and puts a great dependency on government’s subvention to the hospital. In an attempt to change this situation, Coye explains that the hospital will encourage its users to pay their bill and also it is increasing the fees it charges for clinic consultations. Previously the fee was 10 dollars per consultation, now it will be 25 dollars. Also being increased is the cost for accessing the KHMH’s physiotherapy department. The costs according to Coye, while there is an increase, are even cheaper for the same services if sought at private medical providers.

Lobster season closes
The Fisheries Department takes this opportunity to inform fishers and the general public that the lobster fishing season will close on February 15th and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2016. Any person found in possession of lobster during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance to Fisheries Regulation 3 (1) (b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize (2003).

Milpa encroachment continues in Chiquibul
On February 9th 2016, FCD conducted an aerial reconnaissance along the western flank of the Chiquibul National Park with the intent of monitoring and documenting any expansion of the agricultural frontier. On this occasion FCD recorded 17 new clearings and several dwellings. From the small Cessna airplane, large clearings of primary forest were observed. These clearings appear to be fresh indicating that the milpa activity is starting and may progress rapidly as the dry season sets in. Major areas of impact are noticeable on the northern section of the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and on the southern region of the Chiquibul known as Cebada. This first flight is just one of several that will be conducted as the dry season progresses. Based on the early impacts, FCD recommends the activation of patrols and operations to suppress the advance. This monitoring flight will help FCD develop the necessary coordination and plans to put into effect the ground effort. Meanwhile in Guatemala the communities located nearby Belize’s border are being informed through radio stations of the penalties imposed in Belize if they are caught making milpas inside the Chiquibul Forest.

Alleged claim of aflatoxin in locally produced rice
The Belize Bureau of Standards in consultation with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority and the Ministry of Health, hereby submits a response on the alleged claim of aflatoxins in local rice as issued in a Press Release dated February 10th, 2016, by Mr. Jack Charles of Extra House: In the first instance, the Bureau would like to categorically state that Mr. Charles is not recognized as a competent authority to conduct testing of any basic food item in Belize. Notwithstanding this claim, the Bureau in collaboration with the competent authorities aforementioned concluded that the test results provided on February 1st, 2016, by Mr. Jack Charles shows that none of the rice samples analysed contain detectable levels of aflatoxinsand as a result does not pose any threat to human health.

SICA to Provide support to Belize for Hosting CODICADER
The Honourable Elodio Aragon, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youths Sports and Culture received the visit of Her Excelllency, Ana Hazel Escrich, Secretary General of the Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA). During the visit, Minister Aragon and H.E. Escrich discussed mutual areas of the SISCA Regional Agenda such as Regional Youth Development Programs and the proactive participation of Belize in CODICADER (Consejo del Istmo Centroamericano de Deportes y Recreación). In July 2016 Belize is slated to host the CODICADER Games in fives sports disciplines: Chess, Atlethics, Tennis, Football and Basketall at the Secondary level. SISCA has expressed its support to the Ministry in the area of sports equipment and technical expertise for the success of hosting the games.

Edison Johnson Killed Two Men Protecting His Property
Edison Johnson, a 50-year-old businessman and farmer from Guinea Grass Village, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter on Monday, February 8, for killing 23 year-old Saul Eliseo Garcia, a labourer of Rhaburn Ridge Village, and 24 year-old Luke Cox of Carmelita Village. However, Johnson is right now a free man after he was released on time served. Johnson was charged after he shot and fatally wounded two men who he says were trespassing on his farm on Friday, April 11, 2014. Johnson’s farm is located between miles 46 and 47 on the Northern Highway, and it is in a remote area about one and a half miles in rough terrain, where there are no other houses nearby. His family hadn’t been to the farm for almost a week and during that time thieves burnt their farm down, tore off parts of the roofing for their two houses and stole all the valuable items they had inside the houses. That was how Johnson found his property when he returned to the farm, a property in which he had invested his family’s savings as a sort of retirement plan. When he saw a red pickup truck reversed into his yard and Garcia and Cox jumping out of this vehicle, he thought that they had come back to continue burglarizing his house. That’s when he grabbed his shotgun and shouted at both men who tried to flee. He fired a single shot at both of them. Both Garcia and Cox were struck by pellets of the shotgun blast in their abdomen area.

Byron James murder trial concludes
The trial of Byron James who stands accused of the murder of Frank Vasquez concluded before Justice Traodio Gonzalez on Thursday, February 4, and the fate of the accused is now left to be decided by the court. James is accused of killing Vasquez sometime around 10:30 p.m. on May 5, 2012 on Neal’s Pen Road in Belize City. Vasquez was shot multiple times to the head, shoulder, back and mid-section. He died 4 days later, on May 9, 2012, from his injuries. Prosecutor in the case, Kileru Awich, called 5 witnesses to the stand; including, two relatives of the deceased, his mother Olivia Brown and his sister Sherlyn Fitzgibbon. The main witness was Fitzgibbon who testified she was looking over a five foot zinc fence the night her brother was shot and she saw James riding away. She also told the court that she had seen James over 50 times prior to the murder so she knows him well.

Charged for drug trafficking then detained pending murder charges
The brother of slain George Street gangster Kareem Lopez, Mark Lopez, 27, is a key suspect in a recent double homicide being investigated by police. Lopez appeared in court on Friday, February 5, to face a charge of drug trafficking after he was allegedly busted along with Biscayne Village resident, Aaron Reynolds, 21, with 94 grams of cannabis. Police searched Reynolds’ house in Biscayne Village on Thursday, February 4, and found the drug inside a drawer. Lopez and Reynolds were at the house at the time of the search so both were charged for the discovery. In court on Friday, Lopez pleaded guilty to one count of drug trafficking and Reynolds pleaded noy guilty. The prosecutor, Cpl, Kennard Clark, requested a recess to check with superiors if he can accept Lopez’s plea since Reynolds was pleading not guilty. When the case resumed ten minutes later Lopez changed his plea. Therefore, both men pleaded not guilty to the charge. Both were offered bail of $6,000 plus one surety of the same amount each. Lopez was able to meet bail before 12 noon. However, his freedom was short lived.

Cop free of extortion charge
Police Constable Elvin Nah was assigned to the San Pedro Police Station when he was accused of extortion in July of 2014. A boat builder on the island, Calvin Flowers, 32, reported to police that he and a friend were busted with 4.0 grams of weed by Nah and was going to be charged with possession of a controlled drug. However, before the charge was filed, Nah offered to release them in exchange for money. Flowers said that he then handed over $400 to the officer and they were released without any charge. The disgraced officer appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, February 9, to face an extortion charge. The virtual complainant, Calvin Flowers, did not show up in court. Prosecutor, Inspector Pablo Pikney, called his name three times. Since the main witness was a no show, Pikney had no choice but to withdraw the charge.

One man caught in Tropical Education Center robbery
Twenty one year-old Adolphus Palacio, a resident of Mahogany Heights, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. He went straight from the KHMH, where he was being treated for a chop wound he allegedly received after shooting a man for his vehicle which he used to flee from the scene of a robbery. The incident happened at the Tropical Education Center, a guest house that the Belize Zoo opened in 1994 to host conservation-minded tourists who are excited to experience Belize’s wildlife in western Belize. The Center, located between miles 28 and 29 on the George Price Highway, was hosting 2 Canadians, 75 year-old Stephen Temple and 65 year-old Cynthia Fredrick, who were enjoying their stay in Belize. They reported to the staff at the Tropical Education Center that at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 7, two thieves, one of them armed, held them up at gunpoint, locked them in the bathroom of their room, searched their belongings and stole 2 cameras, and 2 iPhones.

Charged for discharging firearm in public
Belize City teenager, Deshay Dasheeque Williams, 19, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly discharging a firearm in public and assaulting 18-year-old Randy O’Neil Franklin. Williams appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, January 5, and pleaded not guilty to the two charges. According to police, at about 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday, February 2, two men on a motorcycle drove past a crowd standing in front of “Wax House” and fired several shots in their direction. Fortunately, no one was struck by the bullets. Further investigation led police to discover that at about 6:20 p.m. that same day, Randy O’Neil Franklin was on a motor cycle when he was held at gun point at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Banka Street by Deshay Williams who threatened to shoot him if he did not take him to the George Street area. Fearing for his life, Franklin complied with his attacker and took Williams to East Canal where he fired several shots at a crowd and ordered Franklin to drive towards a dead end on Regent Street West. Williams then jumped off the cycle and jumped into the Belize River to escape.

Children need physical education more than ever
Nine times out of ten, students complain to their Physical Education teachers about being out in the hot sun, running around for no reason. Perhaps in lower level education, children see it as a means of escaping the classroom, but as we grow older, it’s simply looked upon as a huge waste of time and energy. However, if we look at our education system, Physical Education is allotted an entire period of the day, maybe because it is essential to students, or at least, it should be. Most people tend to believe that physical activity is only necessary when large amounts of fat build up in the body over a period of time. Engaging in acts of physical activity from a young age is very important for both the mental and physical health of a child; the habits learnt in youth tend to continue onto adulthood, thus having an effect on the prevalence of obesity and related illnesses in society. Teachers play a major role in ensuring that children, who will later grow into youths then adults, participate in physical activity from the very beginning of receiving an education.

Carl Ramos Stadium on schedule for completion
If you have lived in Dangriga or visited for the past 25 years, you would know by now that Dangriga has created some of the most formidable and well respected football franchises throughout the country; but have never had a reasonably adequate facility for these franchises to call home. Quite often and for the most part, ‘Griga based teams travelled further south to Independence for home games when the facility was unavailable to host home games. That trend will end in the not so distant future with the upgrade of what will be one of the best football stadia across Belize, the Carl Ramos Stadium. A team of engineers and advisers from the Belize National Sports Council along with Team Frank Papa Mena campaign chairman Clifford “Boss P” Peters and Mrs. Sharon Williams, visited the work in progress at the stadium on Tuesday October 6th and were quite pleased. Project Director Ms. Christy Mastry toured the facility and told us,“We are very pleased with the work, matter of fact we are pleased with the work and the speed at which this project is being completed. The workmanship is excellent and for that we are thankful. It will be a conversation piece when completed.”

Good or Bad loan?
Whenever we hear a PUP insider speak about SSB investments, we have to refer to that most INFAMOUS period when last the People's United Party was in government. That same period that prompted a Special Senate Select Committee Investigation. The report from that investigation is so long that it took the Amandala some Three months to do it's report on a Bi-weekly basis. We found 19 of those segments they gave us in weekly installments so as not to take up the entire newspaper. Just Google REPORT OF THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE INVESTIGATING THE SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD and read the entire thing. For the purpose of this essay we will only touch on one loan, and that is a loan to INTELCO. The following is what the report from the Senate Special Select Committee stated and we quote direct from the Amandala Edition # 2286 dated 18, November 2008. The Senate Committee reviewed the original mortgage documents, the Assignment of Mortgage document, the Mortgage Purchase Agreement and the Mortgage Loan File obtained from the DFC in connection with the ITL Mortgage and noted the following information contained therein. The Senate Committee also notes that the loan amounts are stated in the original mortgage documents as having been disbursed in US dollars. However, the assignment to the SSB was made in Belize dollars.

Mechanized sugar cane harvesting coming
It’s no secret that the Local Sugar Industry is facing some of its toughest days ahead. Right now, European Prices are at an all time low which makes the local industry struggle to remain viable since the cost of production is higher than the returns. You, our readers, have had to absorb the blow of the low world prices for sugar by paying 50% more for a pound of white sugar, but in 2017, things will get a bit tougher for the industry because the European regulators will remove restrictions currently holding Beet Sugar farmers from competing equally with Sugar Cane Farmers. So, since the price will be driven down further due to high supply and low demand, the local industry needs to do everything it can to remain competitive. Cost cutting measures need to seriously be considered, and one area that the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) is asking farmers to look at is the harvesting of sugar. Currently the cane farming community harvest their crop using cane cutters. Their fields have to be burnt, and then, right after that, these workers go in and use machetes to cut down every stalk of sugar cane. It’s a very inefficient way of doing business, and the SIRDI along with the millers, Belize Sugar Industries Limited, are hoping that farmers will consider mechanized harvesting as a suitable replacement.

Workshop to ensure Human Rights in Belize
A validation workshop on Belize’s Draft Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR, was recently held at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. Present to participate in the draft inputs were representatives from the Human Rights Commission of Belize, UNIBAM and sub-groups, Government Ministries, Traffic Department, Elections and Boundaries, Belmopan City Council and others. The ICCPR is one of the core human rights Treaties and is regarded as one of the three pillars of the International Bill of Human Rights along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The ICCPR was adopted in 1966 and entered into force in 1976.

Yarborough to get a facelift
The Community of Yarborough in Belize City was once a major part of the City’s landscape in it’s history, but in the present day, it has become somewhat forgotten and neglected. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, and this serving City Council local government wants to revitalize it, and make it relevant once again. They’ve turned to the experts at the American Planning Association, a non-profit organization which works to develop communities in the United States. The delegation of American technicians arrived in Belize on Tuesday, February 9, and immediately as they landed, they held a press briefing to introduce themselves to the Belizean public, and more importantly, the resident of Yarborough. Mayor Bradley and the consultants have a general idea to revive this community by preserving and highlighting it’s cultural and historical aspects. The Yarborough Cemetery has always been a part of the landmark, and so, the proposed development to feature it prominently, will have to factor in that specific landmark. The lead consultant on this trip is Justin Moore, a member of the New York Department of City Planning. The hope is that he and the consultants will be able to bring some elements of success to the drawing board at this time, elements which has made a world-renown city like New York to become the powerful municipality it is today.

Convicted of sexually assaulting 11-year-old girl
Boston Village resident Francisco Gomez, 39, also known as Indiana, is at the Belize Central Prison after he was convicted of sexual assault of an indecent nature, common assault and using threatening words upon an eleven-year-old girl. Gomez squeezed the little girl on her butt, told her that she had a fat butt for someone who is only 11 then he tried to kiss her. When the child objected to his actions, he slapped her and threatened to kill her if she told anyone what he had done. The incident reportedly took place on April 19, 2015, at the girl’s grandmother’s home.

Chinese man murdered in Teakettle
A Chinese bar operator was murdered in the early hours of this past Saturday in Teakettle Village, in the Cayo District. Zhijiang Zhang was found motionless in his 69 Bar located on the George Price Highway, with some seven chop wounds on his body. Police now believe that the 52 year old was a victim of robbery. A waitress working at the bar, Jacqueline Aquino, was also injured, shot on the leg whilst coming to the aid of Zhang. By daylight on Saturday CIB personnel were at the murder scene amidst blood splatters in a mini bedroom directly behind the bar. The remains were testimony to the painful ordeals on a private property. A masked robber, armed with a gun, had entered the establishment, just before closing, demanding that he wanted money. But the weapon was deactivated when the clip fell out after a struggle with Zhijuang Zhang. However; the criminal then took out a small machete and inflicted wounds to the back and anterior of the head and neck areas of Zhang. The lone gunman then fled the scene in an awaiting vehicle.

Fined for slapping step-daughter
Security Guard, Phillip Nicholas, 47, has to pay $705 for slapping his 20-year-old step-daughter, Latesha Hughes, who tried to intervene as he was about to hit her sister. The incident occurred at their family home located at #13 Barracat Street in Belize City on Wednesday, February 3. Hughes visited the Domestic Violence Unit around 9 p.m. on Wednesday and reported that shortly after she got home from school she heard a commotion and when she checked to see what was happening she saw her step-father standing over her sister with his right hand up in the air about to hit her. Hughes quickly intervened to protect her sister and that was when Nicholas slapped her to the left side of the face. She went to see a doctor and was issued a medico legal form where Dr. K. Riviera classified her injuries as harm.

Woman facing 7 years prison term for Domestic Violence
Susan Castellanos, 32, of Magazine Road in Belize City, is out on bail and facing a possible jail term of seven years for harm and wounding upon her ex-common-law-husband, Martin Bahadur. Allegations are that Bahadur visited Castellanos’ residence on Sunday, February 7, to see his daughter. He reported to police that as soon as he opened the door she released pepper spray into his face. He then went to the back of the house to see his daughter and that was when Castellanos attacked him with a knife. She cut his finger in the exchange. This caused Bahadur to report the matter to police requesting court action. Castellanos appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, February 8, and pleaded not guilty to one count of harm and one count of wounding upon Martin Bahadur. Trying to get some understanding of the matter, Magistrate Rogers asked Castellanos if she is allowing Bahadur to see his child. Castellanos said yes and added that she intends to go straighten out some things at the Belize Family Court immediately. She pleaded not guilty to both charges.

18 year old charged for assaulting police officer
Police Constable George Savery claims that 18-year-old Adrian Swasey of Croton Lane resisted arrest and assaulted him on Thursday, February 4, on Mahogany Street. According to police reports, Swasey and three other males were together on Mahogany Street when PC Savery approached them. As the officer approached, Swasey walked away despite being told to stay where he was. According to PC Savery, when he ordered Swasey to stop he turned around and struck him in the face with a fist. Other officers had to intervene and they managed to apprehend Swasey after a tossle. The teenager was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, February 8. He was read four charges: one count of aggravated assault, one count of assaulting a police officer, one count of obstructing justice and one count of resisting arrest. Swasey pleaded not guilty to all four charges and told Magistrate Rogers that it was the officer who struck him first. He then presented a medico legal form to the court in which a doctor certified that the muscle in his left hand was sprained. Swasey claims that his injury was caused by the police officers. Magistrate Rogers had a copy of the medico legal form made for the court. She then granted bail to Swasey in the amount of $600 plus one surety of the same amount.

Troy Hyde to stand trial for Robbery’s murder
A Preliminary Inquiry in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, February 9, determined that Troy Hyde, 27, will stand trial for the murder of notorious George Street associate Kareem Lopez, also known as Robbery. Lopez was gunned down and killed on Central American Boulevard on Saturday night, January 3, 2015. Lopez went to buy at a fast food shop at the corner of Central American and Jane Usher Boulevard at about 10:15 p.m. on Saturday but before he could leave the area he was ambushed by multiple men. One of them pulled out a handgun and emptied the clip into his head and body from close range, making sure he was dead. Police responded to the scene shortly after but Lopez had already expired. A postmortem examination concluded that he died of “severe brain injury due to Traumatic fracture of skull due to multiple gunshots to the head”. Lopez was 28-years-old. He was well known to police and was charged for numerous violent crimes; including, gun possession, causing public terror with a firearm, gang affiliation and murder. There were numerous threats on his life but he managed to escape with some very close calls until that Saturday night on Central American Boulevard.

Honduran man busted with 16.5 pounds of weed
Honduras national, Orbin Lenin Reyes, 28, says that he was set up and betrayed after he was busted with over 15 pounds of weed on Saturday, February 6, while travelling on bus towards Belize City. Allegations are that police intercepted a Tillett Bus Line run at about 11:42 a.m. between Miles 8 and 9 in the Ladyville area. Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster says they had been monitoring Reyes “for a while” and an operation was set to apprehend the suspected drug peddler. Police boarded the bus and proceeded to search Reyes and his belongings. A search of his knapsack resulted in the discovery of 7,595.672 grams of cannabis, just over 16.5 pounds. Reyes was arrested and charged with one count of drug trafficking.

Belize Smart Hurricanes remain undefeated in basketball competition
The National Elite Basketball League 2016 Campaign continued over the last weekend with a number of games played across the country. On Sunday 7 Stann Creek Ecumenical High School Auditorium in Dangriga Town, the Dangriga Warriors defeated the February, at the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 60-41. The top scorers for the Dangriga Warriors were Edgar Mitchell with 16 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals; Macario Augustine with 9 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals and Quinton Bowen with 8 points and 7 rebounds. For the Orange Walk Running Rebels, the top scorers were Roger Reneau with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 8 steals; Tyron Baptist with 13 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. On Saturday 6 February, at the San Pedro High School Auditorium in San Pedro Town, the visiting Belize Smart Hurricanes increased its record to (4-0) when it edged out the two-time defending national basketball champions the San Pedro Tigersharks by the score of 89-88. This was the first defeat for the San Pedro Tigersharks at home dating back to the inception of the NEBL some two years ago.

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

Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour
The Cycling Federation of Belize in partnership with Digicell will be sponsoring the Annual Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour which will commence on Thursday 11th February to Sunday 14th February, 2016, for Elite, U-23 and Masters. Meanwhile, the female and Jr. /Youth riders will compete only in the Valentine’s Road Race Classic that will be held on Sunday 14th February. The Valentine’s Cycling Tour will commence on Thursday 11th February with stage 1, which is a 40 miles Road Race that will commence at 6:00 am from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 21 and then back to Leslie’s Imports. On Friday 12th February, Stage 2 which is also a 50 miles Road Race will start at 6:00 am from Leslie’s Imports through the Boom Road to Data Pro and then back to Leslie’s Imports. The Individual Time Trial will form Stage 3 of the Tour and this will be held on Saturday 13th February. The Individual Time Trial will cover a distance of 12 miles and is scheduled to commence at 6:30 am from CD’s – 6 miles up the Boom Road and back to CD’s.

Police United stays on winning track
The Premier League of Belize Closing Tournament continued over the last week with a number of games across the country. On Sunday 7 February, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the defending national football champions Police United continued on its winning ways when it edged out Verdes FC by the score of 3-2. The host team Verdes FC was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Nahjib Guerra scored his team 1st goal of the game in the 4th minute of play to give Verdes an early lead. It was just beyond the mid-point of the first half of the game that the Police United made it onto the scoreboard when Amin August Jr. scored his team 1st goal of the game in the 29th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. The first half of the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

WORDS OF LIFE
with Barry Fraser. There is one thing we all experience in life, and that is death! We all know what it feels like to lose a family member or a friend. Whenever that happens there is sadness and mourning. In his sermon on the mountain side, Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4, New International Version.) It really helps in times of bereavement to be surrounded by caring friends. In fact, when we go to a funeral it is to be with and to comfort the family of the deceased. However in this teaching Jesus meant more than just the death of a loved one. That's in the physical sense. But Jesus had a spiritual application also. We can mourn for the condition of this world. Our enemy, Satan, has turned this world into one of chaos and confusion. God created a perfect world, but now it's a world in rebellion, as we see wars in so many different countries, resulting in displacement, lack of basic necessities, and suffering.

Fire at Country Foods in Spanish Lookout
Late this evening, Wednesday, fire fighters responded to a building in Spanish Lookout, which was engulfed in flames. The building is the property of Country Foods. At this time it is not known what caused the fire and police are investigating.

St. Catherine Academy and Wesley College in finals of high school football competition
The 2015-2016 Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition entered the finals of the high schools’ football competition on Monday 8 February, 2016, with games in the female and male competition. In the first game of the championship series in the female competition, St. Catherine Academy the number one seed into the championship blanked Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 3-0. The goals for St. Catherine Academy were scored by Renisha Martinez, Jada Myvett and Jodi Pott. In the male championship game, Wesley College, the number one seed into the championship round continued on its winning path when it defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 2-1. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Deandre Pitter and Kenyon Lewis. Meanwhile, the goal for Anglican Cathedral College was scored by Trevon Rhaburn. St. Catherine Academy advanced into the championship round on Thursday 4 February, 2016, when it eliminated Wesley College by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Zulema Ayala.

Martin Flowers captures Cross Country 10Km run
The Belize Athletics Association held its Cross Country Trial on Saturday 30 January, 2016, at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District as its selection process for the Cross Country athletes to represent Belize at the CADICA championship scheduled for 20 February here in Belize. In the female U-14 Trial for the 2Km event, Aaliyah Carr took 1st place in a time of 10:10:09. Meanwhile, in the female U-18 4Km event, Ashonti Carr took 1st place in a time of 18:22:20. In the male open 10Km event, 1st place went to Martin Flowers in a time of 43:47. The second runner to cross the finish line was Alexander Alvarado in a time of 44:53, the third runner to cross the finish line was Ervin Hamilton in a time of 46:19 and he was followed by Juan Santos in a time of 48:49 and then by Shaun Bennett in a time of 57:41.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

The Transfer Station – where to take the poop?

New Year – New Standards?
As a new year starts in ernest, it is time to wonder what it may bring this little island of ours. The Village Council with have elections in a couple of months and perhaps now is a good time to start thinking about what we did wrong, what we need and how we need to go about getting it right. One thing that has become obvious to everyone is the huge amount of construction going on, and this reporter wants to know how they got permission to build some of it. The most obvious one is the new, often referred to ’Enjoy’ building of Mr Ming. Whilst it looks like it complies with setbacks, we wonder how they got permission to go 4 floors and then another small building on top of that and then of of course that big sided, often referred to as ‘Mickey Mouse ears’ or ‘love heart’ at the top with another apparently blank 8 ft wall too. Most will remember heated CCVC meetings two years ago about Chinatowns’ building. Take a walk around the island and you will see countless other infractions, but the questions is of course is that if the rules are so easily flouted how can we know, as residents, that more dangerous rules are also not being flouted? Can we trust that they have a full sized septic system that isn’t going to run effluent down our main streets for example. That the wiring is installed correctly and will not cause a massive fire?

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize’s national animal knocked down near Burrel Boom
Disturbing information reaching Breaking Belize News is that a fully grown mountain cow was knocked down in the vicinity of Burrell Boom in the Belize District a short while ago. According to the eyewitnesses, this portion of the highway is a well-known tapir crossing. Drivers are […]

Woman sets fire to Virgin Mary statue in Orange Walk
Shortly before seven on Wednesday night sisters at the convent adjacent the La Inmaculada Church in Orange Walk Town responded to a fire at the grotto located in the church compound. BMG has not received an official police report but understands that a woman […]

“Real” Police issue warning about “fake” police following two robberies
This evening the Police Department issued an advisory warning of vigilance to the general public, business owners and security firms. This is because two robberies occurred during the past 24 hours – one in Eastern Division (North) and one in Eastern Division (South) – involving […]

Belize Progressive Party weighs in on Santander loan contemplation
A press release from the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) on the matter of Social Security Board’s (SSB) $12 million loan to Santander Farms, which is currently in its publication stage, states that the party recognizes the importance of investing wisely for maximum returns and is in […]

Orange Walk man busted with almost 5 pounds of weed
An Orange Walk Town resident has been charged30 p.m., officers on mobile patrol in that municipality, stopped and searched 33 year old Cortis Wade […]

“Substantial losses” force Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers to shut down
Today, following complaints by people who were laid off over the past week, Martin Aguilar, Manager of the Packing House at Belize Fruit Packers confirmed that the subsidiary companies of Brooks Tropicals, Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers are closing its doors. CEO of Brooks […]

Two charged for more than 30 pounds of weed
While conducting a vehicle checkpoint before dawn yesterday morning, Belmopan police made one of the biggest drug busts in recent memory, seizing just over 30 pounds of weed that was inside a storage container and luggage bag thrown from a fleeing vehicle. Around 4:30 […]

Ministry of Agriculture applies new technology for better corn and bean production
The Ministry of Agriculture today hosted a Field Day on the seed production of corn and beans at the Central Farm Crop Unit Production Plot. According to a government press release, the purpose of the field day was to showcase the technological package in quality […]

Jury finds grandmother guilty of human trafficking
A Jury of 5 women and 4 men deliberated for about 90 minutes yesterday in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas before it found 64 year old Honduran national Estela Gonzalez guilty of human trafficking. Justice Lucas deferred sentencing until Thursday, February 18, to give Gonzalez […]

Belmopan police investigate burglary of over $18,000
30-year-old Audrey Ramclam reported to Belmopan police that sometime on February 10, between 7:15 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. her bungalow house located on # 25 Rose Garden Street was burglarized. She reported to police that an assortment of jewelry valued at $9,000 was missing along with $9,800 […]

Weather remains cool and dry
Cool and relatively dry conditions will continue today, then some moisture will return over our area. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mainly fair and cool weather with little or no rainfall today, then some cloudy spells with a few showers or […]

Blogs

Photo blog: Adventure Horseback Riding in Cayo Belize!
It’s safe to say that I’m a city boy, an urban dweller, I have lived in the urban sprawl for most (if not all of) my life. This doesn’t mean, however, that I can’t rough it with the country folk (though there was a learning curve). Living out in the jungle of Cayo, Belize takes some adjusting but I’m certainly not one to pass up an experience, so when I was offered to join a small group going horseback riding I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Now that I think about it, my uncle had horses but I haven’t actually been on a horse for about roughly 8, maybe even 9 years! We came out to a trail which bordered some pastures and I wondered immediately how many spiders may have been crawling in that thick grass (I have a love/fear of spiders). All this time Emil our lead guide was explaining to us the different trees and their potential uses, history, and characteristics while pointing out small animals or sounds as we passed by. I found myself thinking that he was some manner of wizard, he was pointing out insects (tiny ones), identifying bird calls, pointing out trees, and leaves, he was very good at this, I still don’t know how he did it all (my bet is still on magic). We cleared the pasture and arrived to a fork in the road, the guides then announced that we were in for a treat, they created a new trail and we would be the first to go on (I was overwhelmingly eager as you could imagine). We continued down the main trail and I saw a small break in the foliage, I knew immediately that this was the new trail. We turned into the tiny path which took us straight into the jungle. Upon entering, my Zorro fantasy went straight out the window, Luckily Indiana Jones walked through the door promptly to replace him, and I felt like a real jungle explorer. This new trail was awesome, Emil quickly pointed out an Agouti (which is a large jungle rodent, oddly adorable), and soon after we heard some weird deep moans, I knew exactly that was the Howler monkey. The horses knew too but weren’t at all bothered, the monkeys were high up in the canopy and moved quickly making their signature howls which can be deafeningly loud if heard from too close. They were eating the leaves of the Trumpet Tree, which turns out was also popular with the Mayas who used to smoke the leaves of the tree for the reportedly incredible high. The Mayan priests would smoke the leaves of the tree kind of like tobacco especially in religious ceremonies, the howlers seemed to be big fans as well.

Why I Stand By Our “Crazy” Decision To Move to Belize
When my husband Dave and I first visited Belize we were blown away by the island lifestyle and culture. We loved seeing swaying palm trees and white-sand beaches everywhere we looked. We loved seeing people actually enjoying their day, walking to get their groceries, the lack of materialism, and the fact that we could be outside 12 months a year. Although it’s difficult to pick my favorite things about living in Belize, here are some of the reasons I find it so special: 1. The diversity of this small country: From our home in Placencia we have beaches and the jungle just a short drive away. We can spend the morning on the beaches near our house and while away the afternoon deep in the tropical forests at the Jaguar Reserve. We can be looking at tropical birds and waterfalls, and sweeping mountains, winding rivers, and tiny rustic Mayan villages…and be back home in time for dinner and a drink at any one of the many bars and restaurants right on the Caribbean Sea. It really is the best of both worlds. 2. Everyday life is easy. The official language in Belize is English. Although the locals speak Kriol most of the time, they all speak English and you will never be at a loss for someone to help with directions or finding the best place to buy fresh local produce.

Spot Lights to be installed at the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex
Thank you to Mr. Francisco Alvarado (not pictured) from Grand Belizean Island Company on the donation of two (2) large Spot Lights which will be installed at the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex.

5 Prime Belize Resorts for a destination wedding
Truly a tropical paradise, the nation of Belize is one of the premiere wedding destinations in the world. Beautiful ceremonies held on a gorgeous beach or in a pristine rainforest setting make weddings in Belize truly special. Streamlined rules make it easy for foreigners to get married in Belize and stunning resorts allow newlyweds and their friends and family to make the most of a vacation to this Central American country. Couples wishing to marry in Belize must be in the country for three days before they can apply for a license. Permission is usually granted within 24 hours, and most couples take advantage of the many exciting jungle and sea adventures available in Belize before tying the knot. Located just a few hours’ flying time from destinations in the United States, it is easy and affordable for friends and family to join newlyweds for a dream wedding in Belize. Below are five of the best resorts in Belize to hold a destination wedding: Portofino Beach Resort, Victoria House, Yok Ha Island Resort, Chabil Mar, SunBreeze Hotel.

Diving the Great Blue Hole of Belize
We opted for Caye Caulker because the bigger island, Caye Ambergris, sounded too crowded, touristy and expensive for our taste. And if you compare the costs of the dive trips there is actually no big difference from whichever island you go, both Caye Ambergris and Caulker offer day-trips to the ‘Blue Hole’ for similar deals. Caye Caulker is a bit more laid back than it’s bigger sister Ambergris. There are no cars on the island, people sell their arts and handicrafts on the street, you hear music but you can also enjoy peaceful tranquility if you stay away from the small town centre. When you walk the streets on Caye Caulker, you get the impression that there are a LOT of dive companies on the island. But actually there are only three dive shops that take you onto a Day-trip to the ‘Blue Hole’: Belize Diving Services, Frenchie’s Diving Services and Big Fish Dive Centre. All the other small shops that try to sell you their spots, refer you later on to one of these three companies. So, if you don’t want pay a commission on top of the regular price and see directly who you are going with, go straight to one of the above.

International Sourcesizz

DSU students to participate in Belize service-learning trip
Kayla Sveen of Janesville, will be participating in the Belize service-learning trip with other Dakota State University students during spring break. The DSU College of Education students and faculty will spend two weeks at Victorious Nazarene Primary School in San Jose Succotz, Belize. They will focus their efforts on the Pre-K through 8th grade students at the elementary school. This year, one of their goals is to implement a small library in each classroom and expand a larger elementary library with donated, gently-used books. Service-learning is not only in relation to the gain of knowledge in the classroom, it also pertains to giving back to their global community while gaining leadership skills in the process.

8 private islands you can rent on Airbnb that are cheaper than you think
Private island getaways are no longer just for the rich and famous. If you’ve always envied Richard Branson and his getaway, Necker Island, jetting off to your own private island might not be as out of reach as you’d think. In fact, thanks to Airbnb, you can now play at being Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp. Here are eight islands available to rent: 1. Bird Island, Belize It might not have a pool, but this small island – which can sleep four people – is inside a coral reef! You can swim in the clear shallow water, snorkel, fish, kayak, laze around in a hammock and potter around the colourful blue and orange wooden huts that will be your temporary home. Luckily, the island is only 20 minutes from the village of Placencia, Belize, so you’re not cut off from civilisation, even if it feels that way.

Videos

  • Belize Dive Trip, 11min. Diving in Belize from aboard the Aggressor III, Jan 30th thru Feb 6th.

  • Cool lil video of a Macaw dancing at the Bird Fair., 2min. A must see...

  • Kamal: Week One, 2min. Wildtracks is rehabilitating a cute little spider monkey. "Kamal: Week One. Rescued by his namesake, Kamal, of the Belize Forest Department, this little scrap of neglected spider monkey arrived with good doses of scabies, fungal infections, lice, intestinal worms and an unhealthy level of malnutrition. Kamal is a Geoffroy's spider monkey. This species is globally endangered, and in Belize, its range is rapidly shrinking as forests are cleared. They are also targeted for the illegal wildlife trade, with the mothers being shot and killed to obtain the infants."

  • Belize Winter 2016, 5min. 10 of the best days of our lives!

  • Great Belize Cooking - Episode 2: Barbeque Deer Meat, 40min. Sean Kuylen travels to Burrel Boom to experience the painstaking process of making charcoal, and pays a visit to the proprietor of Marvilleous Sauces, Maria Villanueva.

  • An Old-fashioned Mennonite Sale Day at Carribean Tire (Belize), 2min. As seen on Greatest Places on Earth

  • Dolphins on the way back from Diving the Blue Hole of Belize, 1min. What a spectacular and joyful surprise on our way back from the Lighthouse Reef Atoll to Caye Caulker...the pod of dolphins would jump for ages next to our boat and made a perfect end to a perfect day.

  • Belize Video, 16min. Our Belizean adventure in January/February 2016! Music and chapters below: 0:13 Washed Out - Feel It All Around [Scuba Diving] 2:34 Hot Chip - Flutes [Crystal Cave] 3:50 The Knife - Silent Shout [Crystal Cave] 5:22 Calexico - Bullets and Rocks [Rio Frio Cave, Caracol & Rio on the Pools] 7:50 Quantic - Time is the Enemy [driving time lapse] 9:05 Washed Out - Don't Give Up [Cave Kayaking] 11:35 French Horn Rebellion - The Fire [Ziplining] 13:08 Retro Remix Revue - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Gerudo Valley [Cahal Pech & Photos]

    February 11, 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

    CODICADER Meeting
    The Honourable Elodio Aragon, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youths Sports and Culture received the visit of Her Excelllency, Ana Hazel Escrich, Secretary General of the Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA). During the visit, Minister Aragon and H.E. Escrich discussed mutual areas of the SISCA Regional Agenda such as Regional Youth Development Programs and the proactive participation of Belize in CODICADER (Consejo del Istmo Centroamericano de Deportes y Recreación). In July 2016 Belize is slated to host the CODICADER Games in fives sports disciplines: Chess, Atlethics, Softball, Football and Basketall at the Primary level. SISCA has expressed its support to the Ministry in the area of sports equipment and technical expertise for the success of hosting the games. Minister Aragon expressed the continued political and technical support of his Ministry and seeks to enhance the cordial relations existing with SISCA.

    Verge of Umbra independently releases debut album “V.O.U.”
    Belizean band Verge Of Umbra formally announces the release of their debut album, titled “V.O.U” on March 12th, 2016. The grand launch party and live performance will be held at Thirsty Thursday’s in Belize City. The album release is being done independently, and is now available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. Led by vocalists Nello Player, Jenko Veli, Lowell Gillet on Bass, Andres Pineda on Guitar and Faith Madubuko on drums, the group is made up of an eclectic mix of talented Belizean artists.

    Jessie Adrewin Grey crowned Miss Fabulous Diva 2016-2017
    On Friday, February 5th, Amber Bar and Grill at Caribbean Villas Resort hosted a pageant like no other, with the presentation of the third annual Miss Fabulous Diva. Not even the inclement weather could keep spectators away from what promised to be a fierce show of glitz and glamour. The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) themed pageant had a great turnout, with six lovely contestants vying for the crown of Miss Fabulous Diva 2016-2017. After an amazing two-hour show, it was Caye Caulker’s Jessie Andrewin Grey who wowed the judges, taking the crown and title. Organized by DJ Debbie, in partnership with Amber Bar and Grill and Caribbean Villas Resort, the pageant commenced shortly after 9:30PM. In the first segments, the ladies took to the stage in their ‘pretty in pink’ dresses. Master of Ceremony Paul and Mistress of Cermonies Nicole introduced the six contestants to a cheering crowd. Vying from the title were Markisha Ling, Jimena Alexsandra Monterubio, Bianca, Markasha Monroe, Arianna Sheena Bowen and Jessie Adrewin Grey. Before announcing the winner, several other awards were issued out. Bianca took the prize for best introductory outfit, best swimwear and best evening gown. The best talent award went to Arianna, who portrayed a high school girl transitioning to a diva. Jessie was awarded the prize for the best Question and Answer. And taking the Miss Fabulous Diva 2016-2017 title and crown was Jessie Adrewin Grey, while Bianca was awarded first runner up.

    ‘El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro’ exhibit at San Pedro House of Culture
    The San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC) opened their Carnaval Photography Exhibition on Friday, February 5th. The exhibit is in honour of the traditional ‘El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro (The Great Carnival of San Pedro) which took place from Sunday, February 7th to Tuesday, February 9th. The exhibition depicts pictures of the ‘Good Old Carnaval de San Pedro.’ Unfortunately, due to a cold front blowing and a light rain, attendants enjoyed the showcased costumes and applauded the dances to the typical songs used in the traditional festivity.

    Residents and visitors join annual Cancer Walk
    On Thursday, February 4th, the San Pedro Cancer Society joined the millions around the world who hold events in honoring those who have lost their fight or overcome cancer. In celebration of the day, The San Pedro Cancer Society held their annual lighted candle walk which started shortly after 6:30PM from the Central Park. Residents and local business representatives on the island came out to join and support the solidarity walk. The procession made its way through the main streets of Town, all the way to the roundabout of the San Juan area and then headed down through Pescador Drive ending at the Central Park. Many of the participants in the walk have lost family members and friends to the disease. They carried their memories with them as they held lighted candles in their honor, along with printed pictures of their loved ones. Locals and visitors alike joined the walk and many passersby applauded the wonderful solidarity and unity of the community.

    Ambergris Today

    Carnaval Ends with a Bang, is Major Tourist Attraction
    “I love this so much, I want to do it every year,” commented San Pedro Carnaval Queen Melida Pereira about her participation in the Carnaval Comparsas (street dancing). “Why did I not know of all this fun.” Melida participated in the comparsas as part of her winning the Mrs. Reina del Carnaval pageant, now on its third year and a welcome staple to the Carnaval celebrations in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. And while Melida danced, performed and sang her heart out for three consecutive days, alongside four other comparsa groups, hundreds of tourists who visited the island during the festivities enjoyed the celebrations. We met first-time visitors who were thrilled about the painting and others who have been visiting the island for 20 years now, only during Carnaval because they love the tradition so much.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    San Pedro Police Department looking for George Martinez
    The San Pedro Police Department are asking for assistance in the capture of George Martinez. He is wanted for escaping from police custody over a month ago. Anyone with information that can lead to his arrest please contact 206-2022 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477.

    Free movement of labour workshop underway in Belize
    Twenty Belizeans from the private sector, public sector and union representatives are attending a two-day workshop on the free movement of labour in Belize City. The workshop opened with four key speakers that highlighted the history, present progress and the benefits of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Keynote speaker, CEO Kerry Belisle reiterated the commitment of the Labour Department to facilitate free movement and to reinvigorate domestic systems that would create greater efficiency and transparency. Dr Olivia Smith, deputy programme manager, free movement and labour, CARICOM Secretariat, CSME Unit, led an interactive workshop that gave an overview of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). She explained the rights associated with establishing a business in the CARICOM region, the benefits and challenges associated with living and working in the Caribbean. Legal research officer Deborah Barrow expounded on the legal implications and outcomes of key case studies and their link to the legal provisions in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that should guide member states compliance with the treaty.

    Security camera set for sale, Caye Caulker
    Security camera set for sale, $800 BZ. Come with cash to Kokomo Beach Suites office. New in box item. You can monitor using your cell phone from anywhere using this system.

    Paint Party Events
    Come join us this Thursday at the Crazy Canucks Bar where we will be painting the lovely "Stained Glass Mermaid". Please bring a sharpie marker along with you. Regular cost is $25 U.S. and there is a certainly discount for members. See you all there on Thursday! February 11, 2016, 2:00 PM

    Agreement between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on Cooperation in Public Health and Medical Skills
    An agreement on cooperation in public health and medical skills was signed today, February 10, 2016, between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The agreement was signed by the Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health and H.E. Benjamin T.H. Ho, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize. The objective of this agreement is to access technical support from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the area of public health and will include, but will not be limited to, health education, disease screening and clinical services. Another major aspect of this joint collaboration will be the capacity building of medical personnel in Belize. The agreement will apply to projects initiated jointly by both parties. The first major project, Capacity Building Project for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Renal Failure, will address the ever increasing number of patients with end stage renal failure. Activities within this project will include training for nurses in the hemodialysis procedure in Belize, training for hemodialysis technicians and Community Health Workers, as well as the development and production of public education materials. The aim of the project is also to strengthen the screening program for high-risk persons for kidney disease.

    The Free Movement Regime of the Caribbean Community
    Twenty (20) Belizeans from the private sector, public sector and union representatives attended day one of a two-day workshop on the Free Movement of Labour in Belize City at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. The workshop opened with four (4) key speakers that highlighted the history, present progress and the benefits of the CSME. Keynote Speaker, CEO Kerry Belisle reiterated the commitment of the Labour Department to facilitate free movement and to reinvigorate domestic systems that would create greater efficiency and transparency. Dr. Olivia Smith, Deputy Programme Manager, Free Movement and Labour, CARICOM Secretariat, CSME Unit, led an interactive workshop that gave an overview of the CARICOM Community. She explained the rights associated with establishing a business in the CARICOM region, the benefits and challenges associated with living and working in the Caribbean. While Legal Research Officer, Ms. Deborah Barrow expounded on the legal implications and outcomes of key case studies and their link to the legal provisions in the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that should guide Member States compliance with the Treaty.

    CLOSURE OF THE LOBSTER FISHING SEASON
    The Fisheries Department takes this opportunity to inform fishers and the general public that the lobster fishing season will close on February 15th and it will remain closed until midnight of June 14th, 2016. Any person found in possession of lobster during the said closed season will be prosecuted in accordance to Fisheries Regulation 3 (1) (b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize (2003). The Fisheries Department also reminds fishers that lobster traps should be removed from the fishing grounds during the closed fishing season. During the month of March 2016, Fisheries Officials will be visiting fishing camps and coastal fishing community to take stock of lobster traps owned by individual fishers in order to facilitate the registration of such lobster traps.

    Here are the Winners of the Comparsas!
    1st Place: San Pedro AIDS Commission, 2nd Place: Mrs. Flora Ancona's Group, 3rd Place: Black N White Charikanari Dancers.

    The race is one for preventing the agricultural expansion into Chiquibul
    Aerial reconnaissance shows 17 clearings already.

    Paradise Theatre Playing this Weekend!
    The Good Dinosaur, Secret In Their Eyes, The Night Before, Misconduct. Oscar De La O will be performing live in Room 1 this Saturday night at 9 .. There is limited space so Pre-Order tickets are available at Reef Radio .. Get them while you still can .. See Ya at the movies!

    Alleged Claim of Aflatoxin in Locally Produced Rice
    The Belize Bureau of Standards in consultation with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority and the Ministry of Health, hereby submits a response on the alleged claim of aflatoxins in local rice as issued in a Press Release dated February 10th, 2016, by Mr. Jack Charles of Extra House: In the first instance, the Bureau would like to categorically state that Mr. Charles is not recognized as a competent authority to conduct testing of any basic food item in Belize. Notwithstanding this claim, the Bureau in collaboration with the competent authorities aforementioned concluded that the test results provided on February 1st, 2016, by Mr. Jack Charles shows that none of the rice samples analysed contain detectable levels of aflatoxins and as a result does not pose any threat to human health. The Bureau and the Government is committed to ensuring food safety and health in Belize and categorically rejects any suggestion that they are not so committed. It is regrettable that the commercial interests of one individual, veiled under the guise of food safety concerns, is being used in an attempt to erode the confidence in food safety which the people of Belize now enjoy.

    Work Progresses at Sarstoon Forward Operating Base
    Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar, accompanied by his cabinet colleague, Hon. Frank Mena, today, Wednesday, February 10th, visited the construction site of the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base in Toledo. Minister Saldivar was also accompanied by senior members of the Belize Defense Force (BDF), the Belize Police Department and Ministry of National Security officials. On site the delegation was able to appreciate the rapid pace at which the construction is proceeding. Elements of the BDF have set up temporary installations at the site as the work progresses. The Forward Operating Base at the mouth of the Sarstoon River is one of several initiatives being undertaken by the Government of Belize to safeguard and protect our national sovereignty. The Forward Operating Base, though modest in its beginnings, will establish a much needed presence and will serve to combat illicit activities such as drug, contraband and human trafficking, and weapons trading, which threaten Belize's national security.

    Solomon! By Abdulmajeed K Nunez
    Solomon said, “Great men are not always wise! “Ole people sometimes do foolish things” This time highly intelligent people got it mistaken BBA is now at centre stage Did they investigate to ensure they and Plus TV was on the same page? Was this decision made by the BBA INSTITUTION? Since you have the responsibility to draw the final conclusion Was a decision made out of malice or misinformation? Are you conspirators to close down fuh we Plus TV station? At the end of the day our taxes will pay attorneys In the final analysis our taxes will pay court fees Belize Broadcasting Association is being ridiculous Dehnya adults want to be mischievous By saying Plus TV is not on air This being the reason for not accepting license fees Geez! Are these are people with degrees? BBA please! You are being ridiculous! Your letter denying them licence is ludicrous BBA, you are insulting us! There is no suggestion of Plus TV breaking any laws This decision seems to be flawed We are hoping whoever made the decision made it while sleeping Or while dozing off Unaware of the chain reaction this is going to set off Dah noh who have the first laugh

    THE HISTORY OF BLACK BELIZEAN REVOLUTIONARIES AT HOME & ABROAD!
    Let's recall these black Belizean revolutionaries in the true sense of the word who have passed this way before and are no longer with Belize and Belizeans. They have stood up tall in the defense of Belize and Belizeans, and have posed the most succesful resistance against the destruction of the Belizean nation state. Learn about them this Black HIstory Month. If you don't know your history, you will be forced to repeat it.

    Channel 7

    Is Deadly Afla-Toxin Eating Your Rice? Importer Says Yes, Bureau Of Standards Says No
    Is there a deadly contaminant in your rice? Importer Jack Charles says there is! And he says he’s confirmed it with a top lab in the US. The contaminant is called Afla Toxin – which is carcinogenic, meaning it causes cancer, and it’s also linked to liver disease and other ailments. Today, after holding back for more than a week to get some response from Government, Charles sent out the test results, when it became clear that Government wouldn’t budge. They show three different brands of local rice, which he bought off the shelf and sent to Eurofins Laboratory in New Orleans, Louisiana. The test results for all three brands of rice show the presence of aflatoxins – but at less than two micrograms per kilogramme. The law – which is Statutory Instrument of October 2015, says, quote, “Rice shall be free of…contaminants…that is, aflatoxin which is created by improper storage. “

    Police Say He Robbed Tourists, And Put A Gun To Truck Driver's Head
    For the past two nights, we’ve been reporting on the robbery at the Tropical Education Centre, which left 2 Canadian tourists anxious to leave the country, and a man injured in the hospital after the thieves shot him for his pickup, which they used to flee the scene. Well today, the alleged gunman went to court. He’s 21 year-old Adolphus Palacio Jr., a resident of Mahogany Heights Village, and he’s at the Belize Central Prison tonight. He was taken before the Magistrate Court this evening with his arm heavily bandaged, the injury he allegedly suffered after he shot 52 year-old Jorge Lopez and tried to kill him for his vehicle. That’s also another loose end that police tied up. They found Lopez’s truck this morning in Mahogany Heights base don information passed to them by a concerned member of the public. It was found abandoned and parked in a wooded area.

    Guatemalan Perfume Vendor Found Dead, Decomposed Off Southern
    A Guatemalan woman was found dead in an orchard along the Southern Highway. Yesterday afternoon around 3:30, Dangriga police were called out to an orchard near miles 6 on the Southern Highway. They found the partially decomposed body of 39 year old Lydia Janet Garcia Giron. She was found wearing only a pair of short blue jeans pants. A black bra was found beside her. She was identified by her sister. The only recognizable features were Giron’s false teeth and a tattoo on her thigh. According to the police report, Giron went missing on January 19th – and her whereabouts had been a mystery until her body was found yesterday. She lived in Melchor but frequently traveled around Belize selling perfume. When we spoke with police today they told us they are still looking into the case to determine if she was murdered. Although the post mortem results say the cause of death is “blunt force trauma to the head” police say they can’t confirm that until the official forensic report is sent in. That will give police a better idea as to what exactly happened and when it happened. Police suspect she died or was killed a month ago. We will keep following on that case.

    Another Body On Southern Hwy
    While police are looking into Giron’s case, they are also following up on another suspected murder case. On Friday, January 29th around 6:45 in the morning, 30 year old Jose Pedro Menjivar Murcia was found in a semi-unconscious state in another orchard near miles 15 and 16 on the Southern Highway – this is in the Alta Vista Area. He had several injuries to his head. Police told us today that Murcia was out at Finas Bar the night before. He was hanging out with friends but he realized his bike had been stolen. Murcia got into an argument with another man at the bar but the bar owner chased him off. Police found him the next morning thrown in the orchard. He was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital then transferred to the KHMH. He fought for his life for a few days but died on February 6th. Police have questioned the man Murcia got into an argument with at the bar that Thursday night but they can’t confirm if he attacked Murcia.

    Moving Forward With The Base At Sarstoon
    This morning, we received word that a group of high-ranking military officers were heading to the Sarstoon River, and this evening, the Government Press Office confirmed why. National Security Minister John Saldivar, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Frank “Pawpa” Mena, and the top brass of the police and BDF went to the Joint Forces Forward Operating Base being built at the mouth of the Sarstoon River to check on progress. Seen here, the building’ frame was already constructed, and the contractors were moving apace with their work to complete it. A press release from the Government says, quote, “On site the delegation was able to appreciate the rapid pace at which the construction is proceeding. Elements of the BDF have set up temporary installations at the site as the work progresses.”

    Trash Fuels Fire At Country Foods
    There was a fire at Country Foods in Spanish Lookout this afternoon at 3:00. When we spoke to the manager this evening, he told us that one of his employees had lit a pile of garbage on fire in the yard but the wind carried the fire to a pile of expired rice, beans and eggs that was in front of the building. That's when the fire got out of control. The fire department is processing the scene right now. What you see here is a video taken from Facebook – in it , you can see the 2 piles of garbage on fire. The manager told us the fire caused more than $5,000 worth of damages.

    Haulover Collision
    There was a collision on the Haulover Bridge this afternoon. Just after 3:00, a Nissan X Terra was crossing the bridge from the direction of Ladyville to Belize City when the driver crashed into a oncoming dump truck. The impact sent the Nissan barrelling towards the left side of the bridge. The Nissan vehicle with handicapped plates extensive damages to its front end and the driver, 37 year old Hattieville resident Raquel Burke was rushed to the KHMH by a BERT ambulance. The extent of her injuries remains unknown. As for the driver of the truck 33 year old Christopher Gillett of Burrell Boom, police report that he received no injuries although the truck sustained damages to its control arms, hood, rear view mirrors and springs. Police cleared the road around 4:30 after the truck was removed.

    The Sea Swallowed By Silt At Southern Foreshore?
    What’s happening to the sea on southern foreshore? It’s disappearing! That’s what residents have been telling is for the past two weeks – and we thought maybe it had something to do with the cold front and all the north winds playing tricks with the tides. But, that’s not it. The problem persists – and when we went there this morning, we saw that outside the seawall, there was a massive buildup of silt, so much so that where once there was only sea and waves rolling into the seawall, now there’s only a thick buildup of silt pushing against the seawall. Residents in the area say they have never seen it like this. Experts tell us it’s probably the result of siltation buildup in the Belize harbor – which is famous for that. They say it needs a proper dredging by the relevant authority. But who is that authority? Well, there’s an international port right across form this at the Fort Street Tourism Village. And the silt buildup will eventually affect the huge tenders that traffic to and from the village. As far as we know, it was to have been dredged by October of last year, but the sight we saw would suggest that didn’t happen.

    "Yabra", Can History Be Salvaged?
    Yesterday, we told you about the community planning experts from the American Planning Association who arrived in Belize to assist the Belize City Council in making improvements to the part of the City known as Yabra. The head of the delegation is Justin Moore, a professional who works with the New York City Department of City Planning. Today, Mayor Darrell Bradley was on the ground with the team touring the area to come up with the best strategy to revitalize a part of the city which played an important part in its history, but has been forgotten in the present. Daniel Ortiz reports: Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, his technical staff at the City Council, and the consultants from the American Planning Association spent most of morning touring the City. They then moved into the Yarborough Area to survey important aspects of the open space, such as the Football Field and Basketball Court, and the next door Wesley College Compound. The Mayor then hosted his consulting guests on a boat tour of the Yarborough Waterfront, to get a distant perspective of the coast line that “Yabra" occupies.

    Tackling Zoning Squarely At City Hall
    And while Yabra has been singled out for special attention, the truth is the city has been growing in a disorderly fashion for decades, without any plan or zoning considerations. Viewers may remember the public disagreement that residents of Palm Grove had with the City Council 2 years ago when they learnt that an apartment complex was approved for construction in their community. Well, despite protestations, that complex now towers above the residential area. Then, about a month ago, resident of Kings Park called us to complain about an apartment complex in their area. Today, the Mayor told us that these are all instances of an ad hoc attempts at zoning, and so, the council has decided to go all in on this policy but in consultation with the city residents: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council: "We are dealing with zoning and how we've dealt with it is in an ad hoc way. Recently I've had issues with residence in the Caribbean Shores area who wants a particular part of their area zoned. We recently dealt with zoning last year with the Palm Groves estate that was recently completed. We had zoning issues with Bella Vista, we've had the experience under Hon. Carlos Perdomo as it then was in terms of the Landivar area, so that zoning has really been an area that has been looked at in an ad hoc way but when you see all these issues coming to ahead, it really means that the city together with the central government partners need to take the bull by the horn, we need to lead the development of Belize City as opposed to like following up. If I'm investing in a particular area, I want to know the land use policy in that area for the next 30 years."

    Mayor Explains Paving Delay
    But, while Mayor Bradley is pushing zoning as the City moves to roll out the Master Plan, what about unfinished concrete streets like those in the area of Cinderella Plaza? The Mayor told us months ago that the reason this very trafficked intersection was not completed was because the Flood Mitigation Project in this area needed to be finished first. But flood mitigation looks to be finished in that area, and so we asked the Mayor why hasn’t the work hasn’t resumed on this much trafficked area?: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council: "It's not completed, it is going to be completed; the street is finished in terms of the section of Baymen Avenue and in terms of Cindarella Plaza. We have a councillor who sits on the steering committee for the mitigation project; he is involved in the discussions and so forth. I'm confident that we are pushing them in relation to completing that as soon as possible because it is a major woe for residence. The Cindarella Plaza is a major access way and we need that area to be repaired and to be fixed. I can't speak in relation to the specific timeline but I can say that it's going to be done."

    A Proliferation of Paving, Excluding Ebony
    And while Cindarella Plaza will get its pavement eventually, what about Ebony Street? Yesterday, we showed you the public plea from a resident who begged the City Council to work on his street because the dust has become unbearable. Well, when we asked the Mayor about it, and he said that while he hears the concern, the City doesn’t have the money to work on that street right now: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council: "I know that the street itself was improved, we've not focused a lot on the concreting projects but there has been a major improvement in remedial works carried out throughout Belize City so that I can't speak necessarily in relation to Ebony street because I don't look at individual streets; but I can speak on the reports that I get in relation to regular ongoing upgrades which are going on throughout Belize City and I'm satisfied that we are doing a good job. We don't deal with one off streets, so if somebody calls and say I the complain about the street, we don't run and do that. We have a work plan, we follow our master plan, we look at planning in terms of strategic areas."

    Duck Lane Denied "Sake-A Dalla Van"?
    Also, while we had the opportunity, we asked the Mayor about Duck Lane, which is the alley off Orange Street which the City’s Dollar Vans make use of while transporting passengers from Lake Independence to the down town area. A few weeks ago, the dollar van drivers told Yaya Marin Coleman on her Two Cents Cam series that the reason that this street is being neglected is because the City Council views them as a kind of nuisance. When we asked about that allegation, Mayor Bradley said that couldn’t be further from the truth: Daniel Ortiz: "I know that the dollar van persons have requested or have voiced their opinions publicly that they want the city administrators to pave Duck Lane. Have you all looked at that?" Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council: "I haven't heard that concern and I haven't looked at that." Daniel Ortiz: "Recently they aired their concern, we can only take it as their discontent on which it was on the WUB 2 cents cam in which they are suggesting that the city council is neglecting that particular alley because they see the dollar van as a nuisance. Is that the position of the city council in relation to that area?"

    Dauntless Darrell Disheartened?
    And apart from today, you might have noticed that Mayor Darrell Bradley has kind of gone under the radar since his defeat at the polls on November 4th. So has dauntless Darrell - that public official so determined to surpass the status quo of inefficiencies at the local government level – now bowed to business as usual status quo? We asked him about that today: Daniel Ortiz: "Why is it that pre-election and post-election Darrell Bradley seems to be less active?" Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council: "I don't know where that comes from. We are right now dealing with our collective bargaining agreement for the city council. We're dealing with; this morning I was talking to the director of local government about doing a presentation from the municipal authorities’ bill. I'm out here touring with some people from the American Association."

    Renal Relief With Taiwan Assistance
    Belize and Taiwan today signed an agreement to improve public health. The 2 million plus dollars form the Taiwanese will be used principally for a project targeting the Prevention and Control of Chronic Renal Failure – or what you might know as kidney disease. At the signing today, the Taiwanese Ambassador and the Minister of Health discussed the benefits of the project:.. H.E Benjamin Ho - Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize: "With this agreement, we are going to work together with medical professionals from countries to engage in cooperating of mutual assistant in promoting the so called chronical disease preventive contact cooperating."

    KHMH Explains Fee Hike
    As we told you last night, starting on Monday the 15 th of February the price for all non-emergency clinic services at the KHMH will increase to $25 dollars where it used cost $10 or $15 dollars per consult – between a 75% and 150% increase. Today we sat with the Financial Director of the KHMH, Norman Augustine Jr. who told us why the fees need to increase: Norman August Jr. - Director of Finance, KHMH: "There are several areas of services that we do here at KHMH. We have several wards, we have accident and emergency, we have specialties, we have radiology and we have of course when people come in and pay their 10 dollars accident and emergency, they get their service. As you have heard before for just one drip that we place on an individual, its 24 dollars, all they are paying is 10. Generally it cost us far more than what they are paying. At the clinic, which is the specialist clinic, there are one of two that they charge 10 dollars but most of our specialist clinics is at 15 dollars. Compare that to what you would pay at the private sector. It's important for you to understand that currently that fee that they pay; 15 to 10 dollars only represent 16% of what it cost us to run that entire specialist clinic. So we are asking the general public to bear with us and work with the government in their contribution because the government is still matching a significant amount. We are asking them to pay a little bit more at 25 dollars per visit and this is elective, this is not an emergency. So you know your appointment date, you can set aside your little funds and you come in and pay your 25 dollars; which then represents 32% more or less and the government is matching that, a total of 68%. So it's not a fact that we are after the public, it's just that we're asking them to work with us, to contribute a little of what it cost them."

    Keeping KHMH From Backsliding With Bad Debts
    And staying on the topic of KHMH’s past financial woes, the hospital was contending with unpaid bills amounting to 9 million dollars. But in his Independence Day speech the Prime Minister announced a debt relief for those unpaid bills at KHMH. Government then paid the hospital a distressed price for those bad debts. But what’s to stop that kind of receivables backlog form accumulating again – especially with the moral hazard that government wrote it off once, so the politicians might do it again. Augustine spoke to us about initiatives to discourage the same situation from repeating. Norman August Jr. - Director of Finance, KHMH: "What we have done in the past had a collecting agency some 3 years ago in an effort for KHMH to collect its money. That did not work out the way we had wanted it to work out. So we internally create our own collection unit that have a softer approach, a more assertive approach in meeting with the patient. If you are taking to an institution in Guatemala or in Merida, the first thing they do is to greet you with sir how are you going to pay for your bill. So we have taken a different approach and encouraging patients to put down something from the time they are admitted to put down their payment from the time they enter the institution."

    Life's a Beach At Caye Caulker
    Caye Caulker has a long history of trying to build beaches – only to have them reclaimed by the tides, or occupied by some developer. But, the island called “Carinosa” continues to push for a beach, and a beach it has. The Belize Tourism Board sponsored a project which reclaimed 1,883 linear feet of the beach with widths varying from 70 to 118 feet. It runs between the Sobre las Olas restaurant to Rainbow Restaurant, and then there are widths varying from 40 to 60 feet in areas between Blue Island pier to Len’s Guest House. The BTB reports that 22,000 cubic yards of material were pumped unto the beach. The project goes along with the establishment of an improved craft centre for local artisans in Caye Caulker.

    CODICADER Cometh!
    CODICADER is coming to Belize! If you don’t know what that means, CODICADER is the CENTRAL AMERICAN athletic championships. Belize will be hosting it for the first time this year, and the General Secretary of SISCA Anna Escrich was at the Biltmore hotel earlier today where she met with members of the sports council to work out the logistics of the tournament. National competitions will be played to decide who is going to represent the country in all 6 disciplines. Games are to be held in July.

    Central American Cross Country Championship For Belize
    But the CODICADER games are not the only Central American games that are going to be played in Belize this year. The 10th Annual Central American Cross Country Championship is also being hosted in Belize. This event is being sponsored by CADICA, the Central American Track and Field Organization. President of the Belize Athletic Association Deon Sutherland spoke to us about this upcoming event and what it means for Belize.

    Moving Ahead With MCC
    The last time we visited the MCC three weeks ago, workers were just about finishing up the works on the field. A couple of weeks before, the Ministry of Youth and sports, had jumped on a quick fix project to cover a large trench that surrounded the pitch. So now that the sports council has applied that quick fix, where does that put the original plan to build bigger and more up to standard stadium lights? Today we asked the Director of the National Sports Council Ritchel Dominguez just that.

    Channel 5

    Is Local Rice Contaminated With Poisonous Toxins?
    Belizeans consume about twelve thousand tons of rice annually. But is that rice contaminated with a poisonous chemical which causes cancer? Aflatoxins are produced by fungi found on agricultural products, [...]

    Importer Jack Charles Produces Lab Tests and Alleges Contamination
    The documents from Eurofins Lab were accompanied by a press release – the one to which Agriculture C.E.O. Jose Alpuche makes reference. In that release, Charles admits that he commissioned [...]

    Missing Guatemalan Woman Found Dead in Orchard off Hummingbird Highway
    Guatemalan Lydia Janet Garcia was reported missing on January nineteenth by her son, Alexander Enrique Garcia. He told Benque Police that his mother was last seen on January eighth when [...]

    Fire Rages at Country Foods, Spanish Lookout
    At news time tonight a fire is raging at a warehouse in the Spanish Lookout Community. Country Foods went up in flames around three this afternoon and police say that [...]

    Police Locate Stolen Pickup
    Since Sunday, Police have been on the lookout for a red 2001 Mazda pickup, stolen on the old Western highway from Jorge Lopez. Lopez was accosted by two men, one [...]

    SUV and Truck Collide on the Haulover Bridge
    There was an accident on the Haulover Bridge at around three-fifteen this afternoon, when the driver of a red SUV apparently lost control and crashed into a large truck. There [...]

    National Security Officials Visit F.O.B. Site at Mouth of Sarstoon
    This morning, Minister of National Security John Saldivar, with an entourage including Minister of State Frank Mena and representatives from the Ministry, Police and Belize Defence Force, visited the site [...]

    Ray Cattouse Weighs in on Cycling Controversy
    The firestorm caused by the threat to fine and suspend Kaya Cattouse to compete in races organized by the Belize Cycling Federation, has not subsided. The well known cyclist has [...]

    Senior Cyclist Claims the Sport Has Not Grown Under CFB
    According to Ray Cattouse, C-Ray is one of the only clubs in the history of cycling in Belize to annually field a junior team, a youth team, a female team, [...]

    C-Ray Cycling Club Owner Threatens Legal Action
    Cattouse is not taking lightly the threat made to Kaya by the Cycling Federation. He says he wants it removed from her record and if not, he is heading up [...]

    Shopkeeper Who Killed 2 Men is Free
    Fifty-three year old Edison Johnson, a resident of Carmelita, was freed on Tuesday and tonight he is home with his family.  The shopkeeper from Guinea Grass was behind bars since [...]

    Francisco Gomez Convicted for Sexual Assault of 11 Year Old
    While Johnson is free, a resident of Boston Village in the Belize District, Francisco Gomez, aka “Indiana” will be spending time behind bars. Gomez was convicted this morning of allegations [...]

    Mayor Bradley and Urban Planners Looking to Spruce Up Yarborough
    The Yarborough area of the City is poised to get a facelift that will be spurring economic activity. While the neighborhood boasts of many attributes, it does not have in [...]

    Bradley Says Perceived Inactivity Since Elections Is Unsubstantiated
    With general elections well behind, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, some believe, has been lying low as it relates to activities at City Hall. Earlier today when the media caught [...]

    Mayor Plans to Address Zoning in Specific Communities
    A hot-button subject coming up on which the Mayor will not be quiet about relates to zoning. Mayor Bradley says that in the past, the City Council had been dealing [...]

    No Timeline in Long Forgotten Cinderella Plaza Renovation
    Of the many infrastructure projects in the City that have become a nuisance to residents is the flood mitigation project which is only partially completed in the area of Cinderella [...]

    Ministry of Health and Taiwan Sign Cooperation Agreement
    The governments of Belize and Taiwan today penned an agreement to make way for cooperation in the public health sector.  The agreement was signed by the Minister of Health, Pablo [...]

    Stakeholders in CSME Free Movement Meet in Belize City
    Belize is preparing to host the CARICOM Heads of Government Intercessional next week. At least nine heads have already confirmed their attendance and will look at many issues including the [...]

    Belize Prepares to Host CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting
    As it relates to Belize, there has not been a swift movement of persons so the CSME Focal Point, Tricia Gideon spoke of what is being done to engage Belizeans. [...]

    CTV3

    Lobster Season 2015/2016 Comes To A Close
    The 2015- 2016 lobster Belize season is coming to a close. The season opened on June 1, 2015 and lasted for eight and a half months and is scheduled to close on February 15, 2016. The fisheries department issued a release today informing the general public of the closing of the lobster season which will remain closed until June 14, 2016. Fisheries and government officials place this moratorium on lobster fishing for 3 1/2 months to allow the species to spawn and replenish.

    Importer Jack Charles Says Local Rice Is Contaminated
    The rice saga between Importer Jack Charles and local producers continues and from all indications it won’t die anytime soon. Jack Charles’ latest move against rice producers comes in the form of a complaint alleging that the local rice is contaminated. The news first broke last week when reports suggested that Charles had informed the Ministry of Agriculture that the local rice was contaminated with some kind of fungus and that they should look into it. At that time both the Director of BAHA, Emir Cruz and the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero denied having knowledge about the complaint and the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche did not even comment on the issue. Jack Charles though, persisted that Belize’s rice was contaminated but offered no proof. Today Charles continued with his quest as he issued a release which states that based on the Standards (Declaration of Compulsory Standard) Order 2015 Gazetted in October 2015 by the Bureau of Standards, he took the responsibility to test the locally produced rice to see whether it met the requirements of the new Standard.

    Minor Plea Guilty To Cannabis Cultivation
    Two male minors and an adult were detained by Orange Walk Police for cultivation of cannabis. Yesterday at around 5:30 in the evening police searched a house located on San Narciso Street, Orange Walk Town where they discovered eight containers containing 24 cannabis plants measuring two inches in height. Present at the time of the search were the 2 male minors ages 16 and 17 and 36 year old Amir Correa who were all detained and charged for the offence of cultivation of cannabis. This morning all three individuals appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where the 16 year old minor pled guilty to the charge and was fined $500.00 or in default five months in prison.

    Missing Person Found Dead In Citrus Orchard
    Some weeks ago we reported on the story of Thirty nine year old Lidia Janet Garcia Giron, a Guatemalan national who was reported missing by her nineteen year old son, Alexander. Giron was last seen on Friday January 8th as she had left her home in melchor de Mencos and was headed to a Banana Farm located in the Stann Creek District in order to meet up with a male person known only as “El Nica”. Today the sad news was reported that Giron was found dead in an orchard in the vicinity of 6 miles on the Hummingbird Highway. Her body was found yesterday afternoon at around 3:30 and a post mortem examination conducted on her body certified the cause of death as “Blunt Force Trauma to the Head”

    Bureau Of Standards Responds To Jack Charles Allegation Of Rice Contamination
    Today the Belize Bureau of Standards responded to the alleged claim of Aflatoxins in local rice by Jack Charles. In the release Belize Bureau of Standards categorically states that Charles is not recognized as a competent authority to conduct testing of any basic food item in Belize. Notwithstanding this claim, the Bureau in collaboration with the competent authorities aforementioned concluded that the test results provided on February 1st, 2016, by Mr. Jack Charles shows that none of the rice samples analyzed contain detectable levels of Aflatoxins and as a result does not pose any threat to human health.

    LOVE FM

    Jitandra Chawla Says Local Rice is Contaminated
    Jitandra Chawla better known as Jack Charles was last heard of in the recent rice saga when he attempted to have containers of Guyanese rice come onto the local market for a cheaper price than that of locally produced rice. It was a failed attempt as he was not granted the permit to do so. […]

    Missing Woman Found Dead
    Police in southern Belize discovered the body of a woman in an orchard yesterday just after three o’clock about six miles on the Hummingbird Highway. Investigations have found that the woman is a Guatemalan national who was reported missing by her teenaged son on January 16, 2016. Love News did a missing person’s report on […]

    Progress at the Forward Operating Base at the Sarstoon
    63 days ago, ground was broken at the mouth of the Sarstoon River where a Forward Operating Base is to go. The last few weeks saw some members of the public clamouring for answers as to when the construction would start. In a release sent out today by the Press Office, we learnt that the […]

    PUC and BEL Hold Public Consultation on Tariff Review
    Last night the Public Utilities Commission along with Belize Electricity Limited held a Public hearing at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. BEL submitted and presented on their Full Tariff Review proceeding which included regulated values, electricity rates, fees and charges. Senior Manager of Energy and Material Supply, Ernesto Gomez said that the package being presented was […]

    Sugar Production Low; Mud Extraction High
    The ninth week of the sugar cane crop has shown a decrease in the tons of sugar cane ground for the same period last year. Forty two thousand nine hundred and twenty four tons of cane was ground taking the total for the crop so far to three hundred and eight nine thousand two hundred […]

    Friends of Conservation Reports of New Clearings and Dwellings in the Chiquibul
    On Tuesday. Friends of Conservation and Development, FCD conducted an aerial reconnaissance along the western flank of the Chiquibul National Park with the intent of monitoring and documenting any expansion of the agricultural frontier. FCD says it recorded 17 new clearings and several dwellings. From the small Cessna airplane, large clearings of primary forest were […]

    Taiwan and Belize Enter Cooperation Agreement on Health
    The Ministry of Health today signed an agreement on cooperation in public health and medical skills with the Government of Taiwan. The objective of the agreement is to access technical support from Taiwan in several areas including health education, disease screening and clinical services. Minister of Health Pablo Marin tells us more. PABLO MARIN “It’s […]

    Bureau of Standards Responds to Allegations of Contaminated Rice
    Earlier in our newscast we told you of the allegation by businessman, Jitendra Chawla of the locally produced rice being contaminated with a cancer causing agent. Chawla says he sent out sample of the grain to be tested and had forwarded the results to several agencies including the Ministry of Agriculture and the Belize Bureau […]

    CSME Workshop Begins in Belize City
    The CARICOM Single Market and Economy also known as CSME is a program that was built with the intention to provide improved standards of living and work and sustained economic development for the CARICOM member states. It came about on February 4, 2002 under a Protocol on the Provisional Application of the Revised Treaty of […]

    Debits and Credits of the Nat’l Referral Hospital
    Yesterday we brought you the interview with the Director of Finance, Norman Augustine Jr of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. In that interview, Augustine spoke of the rise in prices for the clinic consultations as well as the services of physiotherapy. The increases are sharp particularly for the majority of the hospital’s […]

    PlusTV

    Ill reputed murder scene
    The murder of 52 year old Zhi Jiang Zhang in Teakettle Village that occurred on Saturday was a gruesome one. Zhang was chopped multiple times by a man armed with a machete and a gun. This is after the gunman shot one of the female workers at the bar in the leg and robbed the cash register. Police ar...

    Belize City Mayor updates on bond, zoning issue
    The Belize City Council is hosting a special meeting on Thursday in the Kings’ Park area to discuss zoning issues. A six-story building being currently built on Princess Margaret Drive has raised concern from area residents and revived the zoning issue. Today we spoke with Mayor Darrell Bradley abou...

    Ministry of Health updates on ZIKA virus
    Today the Ministry Of Health held meetings at the Inspiration Center in Belize City with senior staff from across the country to discuss the Zika Virus. The virus has hit international attention recently when increased cases of microcephaly in newborn babies were linked to the disease in Brazil, and...

    Troy Hyde to go on trial for murder of Kareem Lopez
    The trial for Troy Hyde, accused of the murder of Kareem “Robbery” Lopez 13 months ago, has been fast-tracked for the April session of the Supreme Court. Lopez was shot multiple times on Central American Boulevard on the night of January 3, 2015 at around 10:30. He had just left his Jane Usher Boul...

    Second constable beats extortion case
    Tonight another interdicted police officer hailing from the San Pedro Police Sub formation is free from a charge of extortion after a San Pedro resident had accused him of extorting the sum of $400 from him back in July 2014 on San Pedro but failed to show up in court today for trial. Constable Elvi...

    Cannabis and ammunition found
    241.68 grams of cannabis and ammunition were found by police personnel. On Monday the 8th of February, police along with personnel from the Customs Department and the National K9 Unit conducted joint operation searches in Punta Gorda and the surrounding Villages. An abandoned lot on Papaya Street in...

    14year old reported missing
    14-year-old Doreen Rosa, a Belizean student of Punta Gorda has been reported missing. Doreen is of dark complexion, stands about 5ft 2 inches, weighs about 130 lbs, has black braids and was last seen wearing a yellow strapped blouse, gray short pants and a pair of white slippers. Rosa left home in t...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    National Security Minister views progresses at Sarstoon Forward Operating Base
    Today Minister of National Security John Saldivar, flanked by senior members of his office, the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Police Department, visited the construction site of the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base at the mouth of the Sarstoon River in southern most part […]

    Jack Charles claims “cancer causing agents” in local rice; Government responds
    Importer Jack Charles is citing tests conducted by an American laboratory to argue that the major brands of Belizean rice, Circle R and Tropic, are not safe to consume. This is because according to a press release he issued today, the sampled brands contain low […]

    Pregnant woman injured in traffic accident
    Hattieville resident 37 year old Raquel Burke is in hospital tonight recovering from injuries sustained in a traffic accident this afternoon. This afternoon around 3:15 she was driving a Nissan Xterra from Ladyville to Belize City when, approaching the Northern approach of the Haulover Bridge, she lost control and […]

    Belize and China sign health agreement
    Health Minister Pablo Marin and H.E. Benjamin T.H. Ho, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize, on behalf of their respective governments, today signed an Agreement on Cooperation in Public Health and Medical Skills. The Agreement will see the Republic of China (Taiwan) […]

    Old Northern Highway man jailed for assault on pre-teen girl
    39 year old Francisco Gomez, aka “Indian”, was sentenced to 3 years today by Chief Magistrate, Ann-Marie Smith, after she found him guilty of sexual assault on an 11 year old. She also found him guilty of common assault and using threatening words for which […]

    Edison Johnson free on time served after manslaughter plea
    A Carmelita man who was accused of killing two men who were believed to have burglarized his home and which he caught in the act pleaded guilty to manslaughter, the lesser charge to murder, but is tonight a free man. 53 year old Edison Johnson was sentenced […]

    Country Food in Spanish Lookout reportedly burning
    Information reaching our newsroom is that the Country Food building in Spanish Lookout, Cayo District is on fire. Breaking Belize News was made to understand that fire fighters have already dispatched to the scene. This is a developing story. More will be posted shortly. Pictures […]

    Orange Walk man and two minors charged for weed cultivation
    Orange Walk police busted three people, including two minors, for growing cannabis at a house in that town. Police report that at about 5:30 on Tuesday, officers searched a house on #18 San Narciso Street and found eight containers that had a total of 24 marijuana […]

    Woman reported missing found decomposing
    Lydia Janet Garcia Giron was first reported missing 22 days ago on January 19th. Yesterday her decomposed body was discovered in an orchard in the vicinity of mile six on the Hummingbird Highway around 3:30 p.m. A post-mortem examination certified the cause of death as “blunt force […]

    Armed robbers strike again
    A string of armed robberies in Belmopan continue as authorities in that city have received another report of an incident that took place on Tuesday night. Police report that 22-year-old Gadiel Maldonado of Belmopan reported that he was held up around 7:00 p.m. yesterday. Maldonado says he was traveling […]

    Blogs

    Defining Community Problems in Sustainable Development
    It is time to translate the community’s goals for improvement and sustainable development into measurable, achievable terms, and this requires that you set objectives for progress you want to make toward rectifying the problems underlying the definition of the goals. Objectives toward sustainability become the sum of problems identified by community members. Attaining a community’s stated goals requires that stakeholders set realistic objectives toward achieving them. The community of stakeholders must define a process for identifying and understanding the variables at work in a particular problem system, and the influence they exert. Community members should pay careful attention to underlying trends in the problem analysis, which will help them to better understand the problem systems they are working to improve and thus establishing more reasonable objectives to accomplish. A community problem is an issue with six (6) dimensions: -it occurs frequently (frequency), -has lasted for a while (duration), -affects many people (scope, or range), -is disturbing, and possibly intense (severity), -it disrupts personal or community life – deprives people of legal or moral rights (legality), and -the issues are perceived as a problem (perception).

    I’m Leaving For Kerala India TODAY! What Did I Forget to Pack?
    I am amazed and kinda bursting with gratitude. Belize blogger wins trip to the other side of the world. To India, a country I’ve dreamed about visiting but one so overwhelming…culturally, historically, POPULATION WISE (1.25 BILLION people)…it just seemed daunting. A trip that would take intense planning, months and months of time to do it right and maybe a few guides…

    Colonial Education: A History of Education in Belize
    By Karla Lewis (Educational Policy Studies University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign) Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000). This paper discusses the education in Belize (formerly known as British Honduras) during the colonial era and the lasting impact of the educational foundation of the country. The paper examines the influence the British colonial educational system continues to have in. Belize, 20 years after independence. It gives an overview of the history of primary and secondary education in Belize. Although education existed in Belize well before the arrival of the British colonizers and developed among various cultures during colonization, these are not highlighted in the paper because of the limited impact they had on Belize in general once school attendance became compulsory.

    “Let’s Sell the House and Move to Belize”
    “Our day begins early, the local birds love to greet the sun and wake us up so we enjoy the sunrise over the water, too,” says Lynn Lawson. “Add a cup of fresh coffee and warm breezes, and we are totally relaxed. We take morning walks, greeting our neighbors and their pets. “Then we do whatever we want for the rest of the day. We enjoy spending late afternoons on the palapa covered dock stretching into the Caribbean Sea while the warm breezes circulate. No stress; no pressure here.” “During our first visit to Belize in March, 2014, Lynn wanted to move that very afternoon. I wanted to move when I retired in about four years,” says David. “As fate would have it, a year later, I was offered an early retirement package, which I took. On my first full day of retirement, I said to Lynn, “Let’s sell the house and move to Belize.” They traveled to Belize, exploring the coast around Placencia first, then moving on to Consejo near Corozal Town, with stops in Dangriga and Ambergris Caye. After renting a house in the Consejo Shores area, six miles north of Corozal Town, they knew they’d found the location that met their wish-list criteria.

    Honey Orange Fish Fillet
    Combine all ingredients except fillets and pour over fish in glass baking dish. Cover and chill 30 minutes. (You can also make this without marinating the fish; just broil it and brush with the marinade.) Remove fish and reserve marinade. Grill or broil fish 4-6" from heat source, turning once and brushing with marinade, until fish is thoroughly cooked and flakes easily when tested with fork, about 5 to 10 minutes. If the fish is less than 1/2" thick, you can broil it without turning, which makes the recipe much easier! Discard remaining marinade and serve immediately.

    Crispy Fried Fish Fillets in Sweet and Sour Sauce
    1. Sprinkle salt and pepper powder on the fillets. 2. Spread the maida on a plate and lightly dredge the fillets. 3. Place the fillets on a tray. 4. Dip the fillets in the egg and coat them with the breadcrumbs. 5. Keep aside for 20 to 30 minutes in the fridge. 6. Combine all the sauce ingredients and blend well. 7. Heat oil for frying in a large pan. 8. Cook the fish fillets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned. 9. Remove and drain excess oil. 10. Drain water from the onions and pat fry. 11. Sprinkle over the fish and drizzle the sauce over. 12. Serve at once.

    International Sourcesizz

    IRS Remains Focused on Off Shore Tax Enforcement
    On January 27, 2016, the US Department of Justice announced that it had signed the final non-prosecution agreement with a Category 2 Swiss bank.22The DOJ-Swiss Bank Program, which began on August 29, 2013, provided a path for Swiss banks to resolve potential criminal liabilities in the United States. More than 80 Swiss banks voluntarily reported under the program and paid more than $1.3 billion in penalties to the United States. Under the Program, Swiss banks have revealed information on thousands of US accountholders, which has driven many of these taxpayers into the IRS voluntary disclosure programs. As last reported by the IRS, more than 54,000 taxpayers have participated in the voluntary disclosure program, and the IRS has collected more than $8 billion in taxes, penalties and interest. The IRS considered the Swiss program a success and is now looking beyond Switzerland to find additional US accountholders who may have engaged in offshore tax evasion. At the recent American Bar Association meeting held on January 29, 2016, the acting Attorney General for the tax division disclosed that the IRS and DOJ are now focusing bank investigations in Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, the Cook Islands, India, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, the Marshall Islands and Panama, to name a few. The government is pursuing both civil and criminal enforcement efforts to pursue taxpayers who continue to conceal foreign accounts and assets and evade their US tax obligations. The government has encouraged financial institutions and individuals who have engaged in criminal conduct to contact the DOJ to discuss their options. In September, the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida authorized the issuance of “John Doe” summonses to Citibank and Bank of America to produce records identifying US taxpayers with offshore bank accounts in Belize. The “John Doe” Summonses sought information regarding US persons who hold offshore accounts at Belize Bank International Limited and Belize Bank Limited (the “Belize Banks”). These summonses permit the IRS to seek records of the Belize Banks’ correspondent accounts at Bank of America, N.A. and Citibank, N.A.

    Mexico takes measures to protect Pope Francis from Zika virus ahead of visit
    Pope Francis is arriving in Mexico on Friday night for a five-day visit that will take him to remote corners of the country, including the states of Chiapas and Michoacán — where the Zika virus has been the most active for months now... Pope Francis is arriving in Mexico on Friday night for a five-day visit that will take him to remote corners of the country, including the states of Chiapas and Michoacán — where the Zika virus has been the most active for months now. The first local transmission of Zika by mosquito in Mexico happened in November, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Monday, in an interview with Mexico City’s Universal newspaper, Jesús Felipe González Roldán, the head of the country’s National Center for the Control of Diseases and Preventive Programs (Cenaprece), laid out the steps that will be taken to protect the visiting pontiff from the disease. There are concerns for both the health of the 79-year-old Pope Francis, as well as preventing rapid transmission of the disease in the crowds via the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, known to carry Zika, Dengue virus and yellow fever. In order to “protect the public and the pope against Zika, among other things,” González Roldán told Universal, the country has begun aerial anti-mosquito spraying and will also conduct house-to-house fumigation in certain locales.

    Gangs in Central America obstructing health officials' work against Zika outbreak
    Street gangs in much of Central America have near-total control over entire neighborhoods, tracking everyone who comes and goes — and that now includes the health workers struggling to contain the Zika virus. In El Salvador, the growing outbreak of the virus has been putting a lot of pressure on health crews, who sometimes are even denied access to crews by these gangs. "The state is absent" in such areas, said Carlos Carcach, a criminologist with the Superior School of Economics and Business in El Salvador. "The state is being replaced by the gangs." More than 7,000 suspected cases of Zika have been identified in El Salvador, where the government has launched a campaign against the Aedes aegypti mosquito relying on aggressive fumigation and the removal of standing water.

    Windows 10 Worst Secret Spins Out Of Control
    Back in November Microsoft confirmed Windows 10’s worst kept secret: its extensive telemetry (or ‘spying’ as it has been labelled) cannot be stopped. What no-one realised until now, however, is just how staggering the extent of this tracking really is… Blowing the lid on it this week is Voat user CheesusCrust whose extensive investigation found Windows 10 contacts Microsoft to report data thousands of times per day. And the kicker? This happens after choosing a custom Windows 10 installation and disabling all three pages of tracking options which are all enabled by default. The raw numbers come out as follows: in an eight hour period Windows 10 tried to send data back to 51 different Microsoft IP addresses over 5500 times. After 30 hours of use, Windows 10 expanded that data reporting to 113 non-private IP addresses. Being non-private means there is the potential for hackers to intercept this data. I’d argue this is the greatest cost to owning Windows 10. Taking this a step further, the testing was then repeated on another Windows 10 clean installation again with all data tracking options disabled and third party tool DisableWinTracking was also installed which tries to shut down all hidden Windows 10 data reporting attempts. At the end of the 30 hour period Windows 10 had still managed to phone home with data 2758 times to 30 different IP addresses.

    Belize celebrates its independence through art
    On Sept. 21, the Central American nation of Belize will celebrate the 35th anniversary of its independence from Britain. To mark the occasion, the Art Museum of the Americas invited Belizean-American artists Karl Villanueva and Santiago Cal to contribute to a new exhibition, “Belize 35,” open through March 13. Karl Villanueva was a 24-year-old photojournalist on that fateful day in 1981 when the former British Honduras was granted full independence (and became a member of the Commonwealth). His journalistic credentials allowed him to be wherever the action was, but he shot photos mostly for himself. “I tried to make sure I covered everything,” he says, “because I knew it was a historical event that would never happen again.” He covered the reactions of the general public as well as key moments in the official ceremony — it was a peaceful transfer of power — with George Cadle Price, leader of the independence movement, and the British royal family.

    How the Commodities Market is Pummeling Sugar Rights Holders
    Sugar. It’s such a labor-intensive crop that it drove the slave industry in the Caribbean for decades. Even in the two centuries since then, sugar has been at the center of allegations of forced labor, child labor and deadly working conditions. Belize is home to perhaps the world’s most ethical sugar supply chain. It is nearly 100% certified by Fairtrade, from seed planting through sugar refinement — and on to rum production and ice cream churning. Belize’s sugar industry is not without its issues, but the labor challenges, pesticide controls, and capital flows are being addressed. Legions of rights advocates from the local labor associations, to the sugar mill, to Fairtrade auditors, to Ben and Jerry’s, to the Government of Belize itself are working shockingly diligently to address these issues. No, here in Belize, the biggest threat to human rights is the commodities market.

    Videos

  • San Pedro Carnaval Day 3 Celebrations, 7.5min.

  • The joys of Carnaval - cracking an egg on your friends head!!, 7sec.

  • Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge, 46min. There is a video that can be purchased as a rental for $2.99US, or as a purchase for $9.99US. Here is their description: Experience a 300 mile journey into the depths of a historic civilization. The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge (MMAC) has taken on a life of its own. What started as a typical adventure race production has developed into a testament of one of the last truly unspoiled corners of the world. On our first trip to Belize in February 2012, we were introduced to the beauty of the Maya Mountains and its people. When we returned, Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD) director, Rafael Manzanero, unlocked for us the secrets of the Chiquibul and the Mountain Pine Ridge and, with them, the possibilities they contained for epic adventure races highlighting the great Maya Mountains and Central America. The MMAC will take the 16 teams through a 200 mile journey across various types of terrain including the Maya Mountains and the Chiquibul National Park. 50 participants from around the globe will put to test their stamina, survival skills and endurance over a course of three days in a non-stop competition. The racers will bike, rappel, canoe and trek utilizing their orienteering skills with the limited use of a compass and a map to finish the race.

  • Belize trip, 4min. Shouts to Belize! Shouts to Costa Blu! Shouts to the Candyman! Shouts to the sharks and turtles!

  • Crossing Mexico to Belize by Bus, 2.5min. It's not a very complicated process. Just be sure if you are a US citizen, to have your airplane tickets printed out with the itemized fees stating you already paid the fee for entrance or exit.

  • Belize Hurricanes vs Dangriga Warriors3, 1min.

  • Belize Hurricanes vs Dangriga Warriors4, 1min.

  • BSI ASR CROP REVIEW 2016 - WEEK 9, 2.5min.

  • TOP SPELLERS COMPETE FOR A SPOT IN THE BOWEN AND BOWEN NATIONAL SPELLING BEE COMPETITION, 4min. Top spellers from across the country are preparing for the Annual Bowen and Bowen National Spelling Bee Competition. In hopes of winning a spot in the finals students from across the country are already learning how to spell every word in the dictionary as they take part in the zone eliminations marking the first step of the competition. This year zone eliminations kicked off here in Orange Walk and reporter Kyranie Anderson joined the participants as they took part in each round.

  • Corozal Community Hospital bid farewell to The New Horizons Medical Mission, 3.5min. The New Horizon Medical Mission has been in Belize conducting corrective surgeries as well as treating ear, throat and nose related conditions for almost two weeks now. The group arrived in the country on January 29th and was divided into two groups, one carried out basic medical duties and the second performed endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures. After tending to close to 3,000 patients the group is now ready to leave the country and in show of gratitude for their continued support to Belize, a small ceremony was held at the Corozal Community Hospital to bid the members farewell.

  • Carnaval 2016 San Pedro Belize, 2.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 6min. Belize 2016 - Diving with the Merrymans - complete with some fun Belizean Music

  • My cx20 night flight over Belize City, 7min.

  • Travel to San Pedro, Belize, 7min. Here are some highlights of the best that San Pedro, Belize has to offer. 1. Snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve 2. Snorkeling in Shark and Ray Alley (most tours do both together) 3. El Diablo Water Slide 4. Biking or taking a Golf Cart to "Truck Stop" food truck park 5. Breakfast at Estel's Dine by the Sea 6. Lunch at El Fogon 7. Fishing charter (very affordable) 8. Marco Gonzalez Mayan Ruins 9. Captain Morgan Casino 10. If time permits, take a day trip to mainland for cave tubing at ATM

  • Belize oldest sugar mill, 2min.

  • Glover's Reef Atoll, Belize, 1/2min. Snorkeling the house reef at the remote Glover's Reef Atoll in Belize.

  • Cave Tubing in Belize, Central America (2016) Part 1, 15min.

  • BELIZEAN SOFTBALL LEGENDS REUNION 2014!, 3min.The feature highlights the 2014 Reunion in Los Angeles, California of the legendary Belizean women of softball who won gold in the 1974 Central American & Caribbean Games and also won Bronze in the 1979 Pan American Games where they defeated the United States 2-1 in a spectacular match that placed the country Belize among the greats in sports, and demanded the attention of the international community. The celebratory event which marked 40 years of softball greatness in Belize and the Belizean diaspora, was graced by the attendance of the legendary Belizean softball players like Doreth Martinez, Margaret Usher, Bernadine McDougall, Joan Garbutt, Beulah Gillett, Elaine Smith, Beverly 'Bunny' Rhamdas, and Deborah Theus-Sanchez. An historic moment that saw these Belizean greats meet again for the first time since some 20 years ago.

  • WHEN WE WERE QUEENS: BELIZE SOFTBALL DOCUMENTARY!, 2min. Belizean Legends, the producers of the documentary film, When Were Queens, on the legendary Belizean women of softball gold, who won Belize's first ever gold medal in international sports in 1974, and who also beat the greatest softball team on planet earth at that time in 1979, the United States Orlando Rebels, is informing its viewers and readers that the film debut date has been moved from February of this year to summer of 2016. The film was to make its debut this year, but due to stringent production deadlines is pushed back for this summer. We hope to bring our Belizean audience this very important piece in Belizean sports history very soon God's willing. It's a story that has been told!


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