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March 31, 2015


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro House of Culture opens “The Golden Years ” Exhibit
The San Pedro House of Culture is featuring a new month-long exhibition called “The Golden Years ”. The exhibit opened on the night of Thursday, March 26th, and features the work of Canadian born international photographer Karen Brodie, who relocated to the island 18 months ago. For the past 16 months, Brodie has filmed over 90 senior residents as part of her first of a series of exhibits being planned. In her opening remarks, Brodie shared with the attendees that when she moved to the island, she wanted to work on a personal project and decided that photographing elders on the island, 60 Years would make for a really interesting project. So far Brodie has photographed over 90 individuals and she believes there are still over 50 more to document. According to Brodie, she always tries to get a story behind each person photographed and has spent countless hours with the elders in the community. “I was looking for our elders to be featured. The reception was amazing and for the most part, people were opened to the idea. I wanted us to really acknowledge our elders. I think that as people begin to age, we tend to stop taking pictures of them and I think it’s really important to have a history of people of their age and have their experience and advice shared to the next generation.”

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Lion's Club Crowns New Queen 2015
The Angel Nuñez Auditorium was the place to be this weekend as the San Pedro Lion’s Club hosted its annual Miss San Pedro Lion’s Beauty Pageant where a happy crowd witnessed the crowing of Marisha Thompson as the Club’s newest beauty queen ambassador. Saturday, March 28, 2015, four lovely contestants, Ezra Jacobs, Jessica Bradley, Ciara Duran and Marisha Thompson graced the stage at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium vying for the title of Miss San Pedro Lion’s 2015. It was a night full of dance presentations and cheers as the contestants shined with their presentations; Kudos to all the contestants for their amazing participation at the pageant. Congratulations to Marisha Thompson for winning the title of Miss Marisha Thompson, Ezra Jacobs – 1st runner up and Jessica Randy – Miss Photogenic.

Celebrity Spotting – TV Couple Lisa Rinna & Harry Hamlin Vacation in San Pedro, Belize
Soap opera star and reality television personality Lisa Rinna (Days of Our Lives, Melrose Place, Soap Talk & The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), her husband Harry Hamlin American actor of stage, film and TV (Clash of the Titans 1981 & L.A. Law) and two daughters are vacationing in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to celebrate the couple’s 18th wedding anniversary. According to US Magazine, the family was enjoying some R&R at at Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, but now Lisa’s Instagram account shows them extending their vacations in La Isla Bonita at the luxury resort El Secreto, located in North Ambergris Caye. Lisa has posted pictures of their travels to Belize on Saturday, March 28, and of her stay/accommodations at El Secreto. Ambergris Today wishes the celebrity couple a Happy Anniversary celebration and a very pleasant stay in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

San Pedro, Belize Places Second on TripAdvisor's Top 10 Destinations in Central America
TripAdvisor named Ambergris Caye as the #1 Island in the World for two consecutive years (2013 & 2014) and Belizeans could not be more ecstatic to celebrate. The pressure to hold on to that title for another year was great and although it was probably time to say goodbye at the turn of the new year, Belizeans wanted to hold on to the glory a bit longer. But come 2015, TripAdvisor has listed San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, in second place on their most recent listing for the Top 10 Destinations in Central America, bested by Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. We are happy to report that Belize made it twice on the list with San Ignacio in the Cayo District also placing on the #10 spot. 3. La Fortana de Can Carlos, Costa Rica 4. Granada, Nicaragua 5. Tamarindo, Costa Rica 6. Copan, Honduras 7. Panama City, Panama 8. West End, Honduras 9. Antigua, Guatemala

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Jaguars waiting to take flight from Cayman and returning to Belize.
congrats to Elroy Kuylen for scoring in the game on Sunday. The game tied at one but Belize moves onto play the Dominican Republic

Tapir Crossing Sign
Please find updated flyer on the tapir's by Manatee Lookout which includes pics of Belize's tapirs for those experts out there!

Update on the Gabriel Hoare Market expansion and rehabilitation
When vendor’s on 6th Avenue were temporarily relocated to the Social Security compound adjacent to the GH Market was to begin the second phase of the Municipal Development Project with the plan to build 15 new fully concreted stalls so as to provide better service to the residents of Corozal. This expansion is seen necessary since the market is a daily hub of activity in Corozal. The market project is designed to upgrade a section of the existing area of approximately 220 square meters, particularly the 15 market stalls which were in a dilapidated condition that posed serious health and security hazards to both vendors and patrons. The objective is to provide a safer and more pleasant environment for vendors and shoppers resulting in significant improvement in the quality of life for residents in Corozal Town and surrounding communities. The expansion of the Gabriel Hoare Market which also includes the rehabilitation of a Sport Complex has been awarded to Liborio Vega of LV and SONS Construction of San Estevan Village, Orange Walk District, Belize and William Lamb Jr. at a value of $721,789.40. This project is being spearheaded by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) and funded by the World Bank in conjunction with the Corozal Town Council and Government of Belize.

Women in Arts Fair 2015
This year's Women in Arts Fair was Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center. Lots of cool art was on display. Thanks go out to NICH and the SISE House of Culture for making this happen.

DYS Female Basketball
The DYS is starting a female basketball league in Benque. They have a promo video for it. The games will be held at Deacon's Court. If you are interested in helping, call 633-5050 to find out more. "The Department of Youth Services in Benque Viejo del Carmen presents its upcoming female basketball tournament scheduled to start on April 11, 2015 at 7PM at Deacon's Basketball Court... Queen Bee'z will be playing Western Queens. Stayed tuned for the upcoming games schedule. If you wish to make this tournament bigger and better contact the organizer Jimmy Leslie at 633-5050."

Liquor Laws on Good Friday
MESSAGE FROM THE SAN PEDRO LIQUOR LICENSING BOARD.

JAWMAINE & BELIZE CROSS COUNTRY FEVER!
CAN'T KILL A SPIRIT, CAN'T KILL A DREAM! A year has passed since Belizean cycling legend Ernest 'Jawmaine' Meighan was murdered. One of Belize's most outstanding protectors of the Garland, and one who came to fear no foreign competition. Let this year's Belize Annual Cross Country be ridden for the baddest pacer of them all, Jawmaine. Regardless of the pumped up pace the foreign riders brought to Belize's Country, Jawmaine held them down to bare minimum. Belize will miss this awesome champion of the race on Saturday, April 4, 2015, and his dependability in riding for the national pride. Belizean cyclists must win this one for Jawmaine. Let his spirit reign in this year's Cross Country.

Channel 7

Belize Advances to Second Round of World Cup Qualifiers
The Belize football jaguars have managed to advance to the second round of the World Cup Qualifiers - after a 1-1 draw last night in Grand Cayman at the Truman Bodden Stadium. Channel 7 streamed the game live from Cayman - and our cameraman Codie Norales was also there for the post-game press conference. The Belize team talked about being taken off guard by a Cayman Goal in the fifth minute of play:.. Woodrow West, Goalkeeper, Belize "I think the team came out too aggressive and it cost us that goal, because we weren't focused on what we were doing. It catches us off-guard. It was a mistake by Danny Jimenez. We came out with a game plan and we didn't execute on the first 10 minutes of the game and cost us a goal due to an error on the back line."

Mek Mi Rich Court Challenge Continues
Viewers may remember that back in February, Belizean businessman Curtis Swasey accused the telecoms company, BTL of giving away his intellectual property to make someone else rich. According to Swasey, he entered into a non-disclosure agreement with BTL and that's when he felt comfortable to pitch the idea of lottery texting. This new and easy form of gambling allows cellphone owners to use their phone credits to play by simply texting in. He claims that he worked with BTL for 2 years, and quite abruptly, they ended all business arrangements. Weeks later, he heard about the Mek Mi Rich gameshow; he claims that he eventually realized that they were using his ideas for his game without his permission, and with any financial reimbursement. So, he sued BTL and Mek Mi Rich's parent company, MMR Belize Productions. Late this evening, the case went back before Justice Courtney Abel for case management conference, and 7News was there to speak with the attorney from both sides about how far this matter has progressed. Here's what they told us about 2 hours ago:

Darrell Declares For Caribbean Shores
It seemed that for months Belize City UDP Mayor Darrell Bradley was going back and forth on whether he run for Caribbean Shores or stay on and seek a second term as mayor. Well it turns out he will do both! Less than a month after winning a major landslide as mayor, Bradley announced today that he's taking on Santino Castillo in Caribbean Shores. 7News was at the launch of his candidacy today:... Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "So it gives me great pleasure, great honor, great pride and great humility to stand before you this morning and to declare in one resounding voice that I intend to run for area representative in the Caribbean Shores division of Belize City." Jules Vasquez reporting And to make the announcement Darrell Bradley set up his launch tent on the freshly paved Blue Marlin Boulevard Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "This street that we are on, Blue Marlin Boulevard, I was told that this street was in the making for 5 years, It did not happen just by chance. It happened because you have men and women leaders who are caring with vision and commitment."

Santino Pleads to Cari Shores Voters
And so while Bradley is laser focused on June 7th - the current area representative Santiago Castillo Juniour says he will defend his ground - and it seems his cabinet colleagues - some of them at least - will stand with him. And in the Budget Debate on Friday, he used that national platform to make an unusual appeal to voters in his division:.. Hon. Santino Castillo, Caribbean Shores Area Rep. "I humbly ask all Cari-Shores voters to please come out on June 7th which is the day of my convention against Mayor Darrell Bradley and give me your vote of confidence once again. You voted him as your mayor and I ask you today to keep him as mayor and I ask your continued support as your area rep. and member in this honorable house representing Caribbean Shores." The convention is June 7th.

PM Answers PUP Deputy Espat
And while that was the budget debate - this year, the debate fireworks were saved up for the debate on the Petrocaribe Loans Bill. As we have reported, the legislation is to make special provisions for loan receipts from Petrocaribe. But the PUP says that the Bill seeks to circumvent the Finance and Audit Act and give superpowers to the Minister of Finance, in this case Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The man leading the charge has been PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat. On Friday we broadcast a small portion of his address, but we couldn't get to the Prime Minister's rebuttal - since it happened at about 7:30. Tonight, we have those, where the Prime Minister says that the Opposition has deliberately misconstrued the intention of the Bill:.. "What the bill is saying, notwithstanding anything contain in the Finance and Audit Reform Act. It shall be lawful for the government to borrow from ALBA Petrocaribe, in any amounts without the prior authorization of the National Assembly. Those are the operative words "without the prior authorization of the National Assembly."

PUP's Camalote Kumbaya
But that probably wasn't on the agenda this weekend when the PUP went for a special retreat. Now, we know, when you hear the words "PUP" and "retreat" you probably think of lifestyle guru Tony Quinn and Caye Chapel back in 2006 - but this weekend's session wasn't anything as posh as that. The party met at a Leslie's Farm at mile fifty one and a half on the Western Highway. According to a release 125 persons attended including members of the National Executive, Standard Bearers, parliamentarians, businesspersons, members of constituency executive committee and party supporters. The release says the retreat was to kick off its campaign planning for the next general election with a full day working session. The release quotes, Party Leader, Francis Fonseca, as saying that he wanted to hear, quote, "frank views (on) the challenges facing the party, (and) recommendations, arising after vigorous debate, as to the strategies required in taking the party to victory."

Attorney Ernest Staine Can't Pay
Another case which went to court today was the lawsuit against senior attorney Ernest Staine. He's being pressed by the court to return 230 thousand dollars which belongs to his former client Rita McField, which should have been done months ago. He was to make final the sale of certain land transaction in 2014 that McField and Forward in Faith Ministries wanted to be dealt with, and then hold it in escrow for his clients. The problem is that he was supposed have handed the money over to his client McField, but he never did. They then pressed the court to order him to do so, and disclosure of his finances shows that he does not have his clients' money; it appears that he spent what did not belong to him. So, the court is compelling him to return the money by selling off his assets. The problem is that it's not so easily done, so the claimants are forced to wait. They attended a case management conference this evening to find out what exactly will Staine do to return this money. Here's what both sides told us when they came out of court:

Got Off the Murder Of Pungo P
Twenty-seven year old Herman Miranda Jr, charged with the murder of 36 year old Norman Gillett, aka "Pungo P", was acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. A statement that Miranda gave to the police in which he said he committed the crime, was not admitted into evidence after a trial within this trial was held. Justice Gonzalez ruled that Miranda was not cautioned nor was he read his constitutional rights before he gave the statement. Without the statement the case for the prosecution fell apart. As a result, Justice Gonzalez directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty.

Coye Family Back In Court
The Coye Family… they've been in an out of court since 2009. First, they had to defend themselves against a criminal charge of money laundering for years. Melonie and Michael Coye were convicted in 2012 for the offence, and they had to spend several months in jail. Michael Coye died while serving that sentence due to complications from his diabetes and his declining health. Then, the family had to appeal the money laundering conviction which they won at the Court of Appeal. The sentence was quashed, and the conviction was set aside, but that set the stage for yet another legal battle. They had to challenge the Financial Intelligence Unit for months to get their money in different bank accounts unfrozen. And then, when they finally won that battle, Melonie and the longtime family attorney Arthur Saldivar had a legal dispute. She claimed that Saldivar made off with almost a million dollars of her family's money. That took a few more months to be settled out of court to avoid litigation.

Police Officers Accused Sexually Abusing Child
They're supposed to maintain law and order, but 2 police officers have been accused of a monstrous act of sexual abuse. On Thursday evening at about 5:30 p.m., a mother of Bella Vista Village reported to the police that her 13 year old daughter was at a bar with Police Constables Arsenio Chub and Arnaldo Ical, and one of them had sexual intercourse with her. A medical examination was conducted which certified that the child had been carnally known. Police have since arrested and charged both officers with one count each for Sexual and Common Assault and P.C Ical for Unlawful Sexual Intercourse.

City Shoplifters Do Skirt Lifting In San Pedro
Police say that a well-known pair of Belize City female city shoplifters were caught shoplifting in San Pedro. And to do the shoplifting, Nokia Smith and Sasha Bowen were also skirt-lifting - stuffing Dutch cheese and top shelf liquor under their skirts. The shoplifting spree started on Thursday afternoon at San Pedro K-Mart where they were caught on camera taking a bottles from the liquor shelf and pushed it under their skirts. One of the females left with a bottle of Vodka. Half hour later they went into "LIQUOR SHOP" on Laguna Drive where they stole one some more top shelf liquor and 1 carton of cigarettes. And one hour later, they turned up at Love Belize Store on Barrier Reef Drive where they stole a pair of short pants, a various pairs of slippers.

Scarlet Macaw Scare In Red Bank
There are plans to set up the first river tubing tour in Red Bank - it would be part of the attraction for the Norwegian Cruise Line Port at Harvest Caye. It is called the Maya Red Bank Tourism Project and owner of H20 Tierra Ltd. Tom Wilson says it will uplift the village and provide employment. Wilson says the village council has approved the project and many of the villagers have welcomed it but others are wary of the project and the manner in which it is being handled in the village. Villager and Tour Guide Basilio Mes told us today that there are several factors that need to be discussed. Basilio Mes, Tour Guide "I did a Scarlet Macaw tour in the area and I encountered some survey line on the hill side where the Scarlet Macaw comes to feed and it goes all the way to the river. So, I started to inquire about it in the village and eventually I was told that there was some sort of a private company that was surveying or cutting survey lines in the area and that it was going to be use for mass cruise tourism in the area. Well, there are talks now that they are going to be doing river tubing in the area. The tour is going to be started somewhere around Roseville. The tour is going to start all the way upstream and it going to end up exactly where the Scarlet Macaw comes to feed. They come to feed from December to March. If this was to be approved, if this was supposed to go through and ATVs are allowed in the area, this would definitely in no doubt would chase away the Scarlet Macaws from the area."

Jawmaine's Son Wins Junior Classic on Anniversary of Father's Senior Win
The Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic is set for this coming Saturday April 4th. So, the juniors had the road for themselves on Sunday in the 16th Annual BEL Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic. At the end of the 70 mile race, Ernest Bradley was the best of 33 riders. The young man is the son of slain cycling legend Ernest Jawmaine Meighan and today he spoke to us about his victory for the SMART Team:.. In a very neat and notable coincidence, Ernest Bradley won the junior cross country on the very same date, March 29th that his father Ernest won his first Cross country in 1997.

Jamie C Killed
And there is a murder to report tonight. It happened about half an hour ago on Berkley Street where Jamie Chavarria - who had been shot recently - was killed. More details on this tomorrow.

Channel 5

Belize Advances to Second Round of 2018 World Cup Qualifier
The hopes and dreams of our nation rested on the shoulder of the Belize Jaguars as they headed to Cayman over the weekend to play compete against that nation’s ‘A’ [...]

Mayor Bradley Throws Hat in Caribbean Shores
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, riding the wake of victory in municipal elections on March fourth, today announced he will be contesting the Caribbean Shores seat in a convention to [...]

Bradley Says Santi Will Spend, But He Will Win
According to Bradley, residents of Caribbean Shores have been asking for new representation, better service and better leadership, and he says that in those areas his record speaks for itself. [...]

Bradley Explains Push for Higher Office
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated openly that he will support his Cabinet colleague in any convention in Caribbean Shores. That doesn’t bode well for Bradley, as we’ve seen the [...]

Who Will Replace Bradley in City Hall?
Looking ahead, however…if the mayor is to step down, who will replace him as municipal leader for Belize City? Today, premature or not, the media asked Bradley about a possible [...]

City Infrastructure Push Continues
Notwithstanding the mayor seeking higher office, Bradley says that as a council, they have been aggressively looking at new plans for the city which will be rolled out in the [...]

P.U.P. Leader Demands Petrocaribe Accountability
There were two debates held in the House of Representatives last week – one on the 2015-2016 Budget and one on a proposed Petrocaribe Bill. The Bill is a controversial [...]

P.U.P. Turns Back on Petrocaribe Monies
With that, Fonseca emphasized that they cannot approve a Bill which seeks to bypass and do away with National Assembly authorization. And to show that he’s dead serious, Fonseca made [...]

Espat Says Roll Petrocaribe in Cayo South
That’s a grand gesture by the Leader of the Opposition, but almost immediately there was some confusion in the House. According to P.U.P. Deputy Leader Julius Espat, any Petrocaribe monies [...]

PM Barrow Scolds Julius Espat
And Prime Minister Dean Barrow wasn’t finished there. He has always reserved special attention for Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat, and Friday was certainly no exception.   Prime Minister [...]

Senate Discusses Petrocaribe Loan Motion
And today, the Senate met in regular session to debate the Petrocaribe Bill which passed through the House on Friday. The government has the majority in the Senate, so the [...]

Business Senator Criticizes Barrow Budget
Business sector Senator Mark Lizarraga had a lot to say about the Prime Minister’s budget today, particularly where borrowing is concerned. The Opposition coined the phrase ‘Borrow and Spend Budget,’ [...]

Cayo Resident Clinging to Life Following RTA
A San Ignacio resident is tonight clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was hit by a vehicle that did not stop. Fifty year old Bernard [...]

Elderly Man Brutally Stabbed in Home Invasion
An elderly Belize City resident is lucky to be alive tonight after he was brutally attacked in his home early Saturday morning. Eighty-eight year old Robert Acosta heard noises in [...]

Herman Miranda Walks on Murder Charge
This morning, the trial of Belize City resident Herman Miranda Junior ended in an acquittal after six years on remand. Miranda was accused of the September twenty-ninth, 2009 murder of [...]

Who Stole the Gracias a Dios Plaque?
In February thirty-seven Belizeans, members of an expedition led by the Northern Territorial Volunteers, were seized by Guatemalan military in Belizean waters and forced to go to Livingston, Guatemala. They [...]

Easter Regatta in Caye Caulker
Easter holiday is upon us and it means that many of us will be hitting the beach and some of the popular destinations locally and across the border. There’s one [...]

Weekend Sports With James Atherley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The nation collectively held its breath with eyes glued to their TVs as the national football team of Belize [...]

Patrick JonesPJ

Shooting incident reported in Belize City
One person is confirmed dead in a shooting incident tonight in Belize City. Preliminary reports are that the shooting happened on Rocky Road. As soon as more information becomes available we will be updating this report.

Herman Miranda acquitted of murder charge
He admitted to killing 36 year old Norman “Pango P” Gillett in September of 2009 and even led police to the alleged weapons used. But 27 year old Herman Miranda Jr was acquitted of murder by a jury at the direction of Justice Troadio Gonzalez in court this afternoon. Gillett […]

Bodybuilding Federation elects new executive
At the end of 2014 the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation celebrated important triumphs in regional bodybuilding with medals at the regional games, while also dealing with internal fallout over the exclusion of body fitness champion Cricel Castillo over critical comments on financing she made via Facebook. Over […]

Darrell Bradley to run for Caribbean Shores
The contrast could not be more different: endorsed and feted, Dr. Carla Barnett and Tracey Taegar-Panton were cocooned in the support of the United Democratic Party (UDP) family at their respective announcements of candidacies in the Freetown and Albert divisions, respectively. Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley, despite […]

Illegal firearms recovered in Orange Walk
Over the weekend following operations and based on information received from the public, the Orange Walk police have successfully managed to take off from the streets, several guns and ammunition in 3 separate occasions. The first was recorded on Friday around 3 pm when police saw a suspicious gold Cadillac […]

Let’s Focus on Cause and Effect
The emotional complexity of human beings have always been the source of our cognitive dissonance, and the control of the masses via the Hegelian Dialectic. To localize this observation to Belize: Last week, our Government gave themselves permission to borrow as much money as they please, using every single Belizean […]

Fatal hit-and-run incident on the Southern Highway
Police are reporting the death of a man in what looks to be a hit-and-run accident on the Southern Highway. The victim has been identified as 31 year old Sylvestre Bah, a resident of Santa Cruz village in the Stann Creek district. Police say that around 9:25 pm on Saturday they went to an area between miles 23 and 24 o the Southern Highway where they found Bah’s body with severe head and body injuries. Police say they found a beach cruiser bicycle near to his body.

Blogs

Is Missionary Work Cultural Imperialism?
by Mardi Collins As I read Mr Saquis’ article last week in this Blog, I became motivated to explore the question above. You see, I too have my culture – I am a Christian Canadian. I attended church for most of my life, collected money for the poor children overseas, and the missions that served them. I attended Mission week and listened enraptured by the tales of adventures in far off lands. I really thought we were doing a good thing! Now I am a grandmother – no longer an idealist. I have been in Belize for several years, and I have changed my mind on the benefit of missions. Certainly in Belize. This is a country which opens the national radio station with morning prayers! Everyone I have met considers themselves to be a Christian (sorry, I mean a Catholic, a Baptist, an Adventist, a Nazarene or maybe a JW) My village of 300 people has 3 churches, which have divided our village into critical camps. And still the missionaries come to “share the word of God”. So I decided to do some research and here is what I found: Early Missionaries were given the notion of cultural superiority due to their religion. Accordingly, early colonial efforts were delighted to destroy cultural heritage, exactly as ISIS is doing today.

Belizean Heavy Bun/Hot Cross Buns
Just in time for Good Friday, I show you how to make Belizean Heavy Buns. Stay to the end and you'll see them made into Hot Cross Buns.

Time to Breath
The world is seemingly nothing of what it was 8 months ago. I thought I had an appreciation for the change ahead in my life, I thought I knew what I was getting into...little did I know I was about enter a world so many long for and don't even realize it. A world where people are genuine, a world where someone's word is worth far more than a claim check, a world where you start asking about your friends if you haven't physically seen them in a few days, a world that can be so busy that you blink in November and open your eyes in March, a world I wouldn't trade for anything... It's been a crazy busy few weeks - Brian is down for a visit, Eric got arrested, I made it on the board for the Tour Operator Association...plenty of other stuff happened. Mark, General Manager of The Phoenix (a multiple winner of the #1 Resort in the Caribbean) paid my staff an amazing compliment yesterday. He told me that he was so impressed at how they cared for everyone on the Sunset Sail and that even though they ran, jumped, cleaned, served, and hustled the entire time, because of the smiles and great attitude they exuded it didn't look like they had worked a minute. A team that truly loves their job will never work, but have fun living life and the things we do. So blessed that is my team.

International Sourcesizz

Cayman draws with Belize but won’t advance in World Cup qualifying
Underdog Cayman Islands drew 1-1 with Belize Sunday (29 March), in the return leg of their FIFA World Cup qualifying series, but won’t advance due to tiebreak rules. After a scoreless draw in the 25 March first leg, Mark Ebanks’ fourth-minute strike gave Cayman a brief 1-0 lead until Belize’s Elroy Kuylen equalised on a 20th-minute free kick. With the teams even on aggregate following the match, the tiebreak rules give the advantage to the team with the most goals as the visiting team. Cayman did not score during its trip to Belize, giving the Jaguars the edge to advance to the next round. “It’s really unfortunate that we played two games and didn’t lose any and we’re not advancing,” Cayman Islands Captain Abijah Rivers said. Cayman’s lone goal came when Raheem Robinson sent a cross into the box. A Belize defender appeared to miss the ball while attempting to clear it and Ebanks was right there to send it in off the bounce and give Cayman the lead.

Belize: Economy continues to grow
Belize continues to set the pace for the region in economic development as the latest figure from the Statistical Institute of Belize shows that the economy grew by 3.6 % in the calendar year 2014. Growth slowed in the fourth quarter of the year to 1.6 % mainly due to shortfalls in the secondary sector. Despite this, still subject to later adjustment, the production value for 2014 is listed as $2.73 Billion. From October to December 2014, in the primary sector the banana industry grew by more than 30 % when compared to the same period in 2013. That is an additional 7000 metric tonnes. Banana and grapefruit with an increase of an incredible 50.7 % were almost solely responsible for the strong performance of the agricultural sector in the fourth quarter. There was no sugarcane production during this time due to the delay in the start of the crop. There was also no harvesting of orange or lime since the fruit had not yet reached the desired maturity level. In the secondary sector, water distribution increased by 3.6 percent and softdrink production increased by 9 percent. Beer and liquor had minor increases as well. In the tertiary sector, the service sector which accounts for half of the country’s total economy grew by 3.6 %. This was driven by a growth of 15 % and 9 % in hotels and restaurant industry and wholesale and retail trade respectively. Overnight tourist arrivals grew by 3.6% (2,000 guests) and cruise tourist arrivals increased by 38.1 % (over 75,000 more).

Soldiers Learn Laws of the Jungle Training in Belize
The jungle is one of the toughest environments on the planet. It’s extremely difficult to navigate and finding food, water and shelter isn’t easy, so learning to survive under the canopy is an important skill for troops going out into the field. When it comes to army training, the jungle of Belize is one of the toughest places to go on exercise. It’s hot and humid, with deadly snakes and mosquitos - and all sorts of tactical obstacles to overcome. But for more than three weeks, members of the 2nd Battalion, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment are taking on the challenge as part of Exercise Mayan Warrior.

Crawley soldier battles the creepy crawlies on jungle mission
A Crawley soldier has been been fighting off the creepy crawlies while training in the Central American jungles of Belize. Lance Corporal Giancarlo Savaglia, 30, from Crawley, who serves in the 2nd Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, is one of 150 soldiers from across the South East of England who have swapped their current base in Cyprus for the hot and steamy jungles of the tiny Central American country of Belize as they take part in exercise Mayan Warrior. Deployed deep in the heart of Belize’s rainforest, Giancarlo is learning how to fight, navigate and survive in the jungle. Giancarlo, who is second in command of a section of eight soldiers, said: “I have to admit I’m a bit anxious of the bugs and snakes, I saw a huge tarantula which looked pretty mean and I got a bite from a bullet ant right on my backside when I was changing my trousers. It felt like a bit of severe cramp for a while.”

Venezuela Cuts Oil Subsidies To Caribbean Nations
Low oil prices are forcing Venezuela to cut a generous subsidy program to Cuba and a dozen other Caribbean nations. Venezuela is Latin America's largest oil producer, and its economy depends heavily on oil exports. It's been been hit hard by the tumbling oil prices. "Venezuela is in desperate straits. The oil sector has been deteriorating, and now with the slumping oil prices, they needed cash desperately," says Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, D.C.-based group that studies the region. Shifter says it's no surprise that Venezuela is trimming back a program that provides oil at subsidized, deferred payment rates to many of its Caribbean neighbors that are dependent on energy imports. Petrocaribe an alliance of Venezuela and Caribbean nations was created a decade ago by the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. It provided subsidized oil to countries such as Belize, Haiti and Jamaica. The subsidies helped Caribbean nations balance their budgets and finance schools, social programs and small businesses and farms. "This was part of his broader strategy to extend his influence to consolidate support and also to curtail influence of the United States in the region," Shifter says. But he says when prices dropped, Venezuela "couldn't sustain this, it was impossible."

Caribbean Fisheries Forum to review regional spiny lobster declaration
Heads of national fisheries authorities from the seventeen (17) Member States of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), as well as observers and partner agencies, will attend the 13th Meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Forum in Grenada this week. The representatives will review the status of fisheries and aquaculture in the region and chart the roadmap for enhancing their contribution to national and regional development. A Caribbean spiny lobster on the sea floor. This photo was shot during a 2010 NOAA expedition in the U.S. Virgin Islands to map underwater habitats and the marine life they support. (Credit: NOAA) CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said, “The fisheries and aquaculture sector is playing an increasing role in food and nutrition security, as well as the provision of income and livelihoods for the people of the Caribbean.”

FOUND! MISSING KU KLUX KLAN LEADER
ill Wilkinson was once the most hated man in America – a domestic terrorist who advocated racial violence as Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. The National ENQUIRER exposed his evil agenda, forcing the coward to flee the country 30 years ago. You can run and hide – but The ENQUIRER will find you! The 72-year-old fiery racist, who still boasts of his controversial past, is hiding in plain sight on a Caribbean island resort – where he’s one of the few white folks! The ENQUIRER exposed Wilkinson in 1979 when he announced he was “going international” with a Klan Youth Corp trained “to do maximum damage!” He claimed his Louisiana chapter of the KKK shot up a black activist’s car in 1978, “and we’re not ashamed of it.” A year later, Wilkinson and his followers were held partially responsible for opening fire on black marchers during a Southern Christian Leadership Conferencein Decatur, Ala. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed multiple lawsuits against the Klansmen, but Wilkinson refused to name participating members.

Archaeologist Discovers Mysterious Ancient Maya Citadel
For three decades, archaeologist Anabel Ford has been exploring and studying the ancient Maya site of El Pilar, but until now she has never encountered anything like the ‘Citadel’. “We discovered a completely new component of the greater site that does not meet with any traditional expectations,” said Ford. “It shares nothing in common with Classic Maya centers: no clear open plaza, no cardinal structure orientation, and curiously no evident relationship to the major Classic site of El Pilar, little more that 600 meters away." What Ford was describing was an unseen building, or associated complex of buildings, that was recently only detected by remote sensing technology—more specifically, a laser application known as LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging—in this instance an airborne remote sensing technique utilizing a helicopter employing laser technology to penetrate the thick vegetation and forest canopy that overlies and enshrouds objects and structures. It is a way of ‘seeing through’ the forest to reveal things otherwise invisible to the naked eye. LiDAR helped to produce a remarkable map of El Pilar, revealing unexposed Maya architectural and other human-made features that, although still hidden from the naked eye, fit an often-seen pattern. This new set of structures, however, was something new. Dubbed the “Citadel” because of its location perched atop a ridge with the appearance of fortifications, it contains concentric terracing and four ‘temples’, each about three to four meters high. Unlike the other structure complexes, it seems by placement to have been isolated from the rest of greater El Pilar.

Videos

  • Belize Bandfest 2015 Apology from Terry Gordon, 6min. Master of Ceremony made a mistake on the announcement of winner .

  • On the road to Placencia Belize, 2min. Old one lane bridge on the way to Placencia Belize with my Mom, Helena Redekop.

  • Dolphin jumping and following tender in Belize **less than great audio - excessive engine noise**, 1min. A wild dolphin showing off and playing as it chases our tender as we leave Belize City, Belize **audio not very good, windy, near the engine and probably not a great mic on camera. **

  • Airboat ride through marshes in Belize - ** excessive engine noise - LOUD**, 1min. Airboat ride through marshes while in Belize. We were looking for manatees and crocodiles, but didn't get any good photos of video. We did see many birds and fauna, but the ride was the most fun. Everyone has to put their hands in the air and shift their weight so the boat will turn more smoothly.

  • Belize Bandfest 2015 Rene Villanueva Sr., 10min. Chairman of Belize Bandfest Rene Villanueva Sr. Apologized on behalf of Terry Gordon.

  • Amerindian House Building -Belize CA Campus, 4.5min. The Luk Makoo house is a calibration of different ancient American building techniques integrated with modern amenities and conveniences ( plumbing, hot and cold shower, electricity, sewage,) into one structure. The house has an octagon shape, consisting of 8 ten foot long walls and 3-8 ft walls as an extension creating 900 square feet of usable space on the ground level and a sleeping loft in the roof. The Luk Makoo house uses building materials that are 100% natural readily available renewable resources that are sustainable and relatively expensive to acquire. The resources used Do NOT leave an imprint on the Earth life cycle resources.

  • Mysterious Ancient Mayan Citadel FOUND in Belize, 4min. For three decades, archaeologist Anabel Ford has been exploring and studying the ancient Maya site of El Pilar, but until now she has never encountered anything like the ‘Citadel’.

  • I'll CU in Belize, 5min. Campbellsville University's School of Education goes to Belize for a Field Experience.

  • You Better Belize It!, 7min. Belize 2015 snorkeling.

  • [NEW] Belize Travel Video 2015, 18min. Trip to belize jan 31 to feb 20th

  • Manatee in San Pedro, Belize, 1min. Best reaction by Nicole!!! We were lucky to see a Manatee in the wild while snorkeling off the coast of San Pedro, Belize!

  • Rain in Belize, 1min. Wash it all away.

  • Belize Cave Tubing, 3min.

  • Exploring The Lamanai Ruins in Belize, 4min.

  • Cave Tubing at Nohoch Che'en Caves Belize, 7min.

    March 30, 2015


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Letter to the Editor: Sunshine Scholarship Foundation
    The Sunshine Scholarship had their second annual fundraiser at Corona Del Mar on Saturday February 28th. The total raised was $5.921. This was made possible by the following who generously donated. Caye Management, Tres Pescados Fly Fishing, Crazee Eddie, Corona Del Mar, Marvin Vernon, Sandy Point Resorts, Kelly McGuire, Carlos and Ernies, Road Kill, Kurt Jason Cruz, Caye Coffee, Caramba, Miss Rose, The Baker, Liquor Box, Richard Lowe, Estelle’s and all the individual donors We would also like to thank the musicians who donated and gave freely of their time;Daryl, Gary, T.P.,Willie, Brent and Karen Brodie for her wonderful photographs.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Breakfast In Mexico
    “What’s the story on the tourist business in Xcalak?” Mike asked me. “I really don’t know,” I told him. “I haven’t been in Mexico for ten years. Why?” “I bought some property up there about eight years ago.” “Why would you do that?” “The Mexican government was building the coastal highway to Mahajual. They planned to extend the highway down to Xcalak and the realtor said business would be booming.” “I know they get cruise ships in Mahajual,” I said. “A lot of cruise ships come in there but I don’t think Xaclak gets any of that business.”

    Police Report
    20-year-old Guatemalan National, Marvin Leonel Shoy Sagui was arrested and charged by the San Pedro Police for theft on Thursday, March 19th. Further checks with The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) revealed that Sagui is wanted in Guatemala for the crime of murder. After facing charges in Belize, Sagui will be handed over the Guatemalan authorities.

    Doctor Love: Seasonal Jobs and Public Bathrooms
    Dear Doctor Love, I am a person that worries about everything. Every month my family has scarcely the money to pay bills. Even then, there are some bills, like for personal loans, that do not get paid. We started building a bedroom for our two girls and we ran out of money halfway through. They are of an age when they need their own room. My husband’s job is good but mine will run out when the tourist season is finished. We need that money and I don’t know when I will get another job. I worry about these things all of the time and now my doctor says I have high blood pressure. Sometimes I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown. Please help. /s/ Too Tense

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Western Ballaz Defeat Hurricanes
    Congratulations, Western Ballaz, for beating the Hurricanes on their home turf. They remain undefeated with an 8 - 0 record. Best in the league. The best quote: 'We dealt with the flooding and all d debris, we cleared our path and reached our goal. D category 5 Hurricane is now just a tropical depression! Western Ballaz all d way!'

    Galen Eagles Band Visit Cayo Schools
    The Galen Eagles Band celebrated Children's Month by visiting St. Hilda's and St. Barnabas primary schools. They sang some songs and shared some stories with the students. Looks like the students had a great time. Thanks, Galen Eagles Band! "The Galen Eagles Band delivered an early Easter treat to neighboring primary schools St. Hilda's Anglican Primary School in Georgeville village and St. Barnabas' Primary School in Central Farm village. The band members engaged in a day of sharing words of wisdom with the children accompanied by a session of live music and dancing. Gooooooooooo Eagles!"

    CTV3

    Man Loses Control of Vehicle, He Escapes Serious Injuries
    One man escaped serious injuries after he lost control of a red Ford cane truck he was driving and overturned. The incident occurred around four this afternoon about two miles on the bypass before reaching the entrance to the Tower Hill Factory. The individual identified so far as Roberto Huchim from San Jose Village was driving towards the factory when he apparently lost control of the vehicle that was packed with sugar cane. Huchim overturned and sustained injuries but police have not been able to verify the extent of these injuries. A motorist traveling on the bypass stopped and rendered aid taking Huchim to the Northern Regional Hospital. We understand that he has been released. The incident caused traffic flow to stand still for several minutes in both directions as truck drivers came to render aid and remove the truck from the road.

    15 Year Old Girl Goes Missing, Family Implores For Her Return
    Police and family members continue their search for a fifteen year old girl who has been missing for over one week. Family members say that fifteen year old Marisol Patt was last seen two Sundays back when she left her house around midday. She has not returned and the family is concerned for her safety. The mother of the teen, Fernanda Copo says that she believes her daughter has ran away with someone they know. They have informed police of the situation. Marisol Patt is described as being five feet five inches in height, has brown hair, brown eyes and weights about one hundred and forty pounds. Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Patt is asked to call 627-9605 or the nearest police station.

    More Drugs Destroyed In O/W
    Yesterday Orange Walk Police were able to confiscate101 marijuana plants after an operation led them to the Cacabish area in the San Felipe/Indian Church road. There police discovered the 101 marijuana plants measuring about 8 inches in height. Present at the time was 58-year-old Eusebio Magana of San Felipe Village. The plants were uprooted and destroyed and Magana was arrested and charged with Cultivation of Cannabis.

    Second Day Of Debate Gets Fiery
    Yesterday we brought to you part one of two of the national budget debate. And as we bring you the news tonight, the Budget Debate raged on in the sacred chambers of the National Assembly in Belmopan up until late this evening. All members of parliament from both sides of the House were given the opportunity to speak on the draft estimates for the year 2015 – 2016. It’s an important event because it is the only time that all parliamentarians will have any valid input on the allocations of money in every sector of the country. But most parliamentarians seemed to have little time for or interest in the actual budget, and on both days of debate, it was more about personalities, insults and some very long-winded monologues. Here is a collage of today’s presentations from both sides of the chambers.

    BTIA Elects New Chapter In Corozal
    Under the helms of Orange Walk’s very own Osmany Salas the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Corozal Chapter held its first meeting On Tuesday March 24th. The meeting was held at the Corozal ITVET with the aim of revitalizing the group and to update its current members and new members on the overview of the BTIA National Plans for all existing Destination Chapters. According to BTIA, the efforts of the organization has not only been focused in promoting the vibrant tourism product, but also, in strengthening and assisting each destination by creating pathways for development which will enhance the sustainable growth of the Tourism industry. During Tuesday’s meeting elections for the new Corozal Chapter were also held. The new BTIA Corozal Chapter board comprises of seven members- Chairman, Guadalupe Rosado, 1st Vice Chair Jennifer Bellerjeau, 2nd Vice Chair Ismael Sorto, Secretary Dimas Sansorez, Assistant Secretary Rosita May, Treasurer Dahlia Castillo, Assistant Treasurer Maria Alcoser and Director Mark Leonard.

    The Reporter

    Police say thieves got away with $20,000 in cash and valuables
    Police have released the details of Thursday’s home invasion at the Budhrani’s reaidence at 63 Albert Street in Belize City and say that the thieves eacaped with about $20,000 in cash and valuables. The men, dressed as BTL employees, went through the gate to the residence and called.out. When Vilma Rauda, 46, came to answer, one of the robbers said they were there to check the phone. Rauda, who has been on the job for only three months, let the men in and they bound her with duct tape and searched the house. The men forced open a safe and a locker and stole $7,000 US , silver coins worth $3,000 and a nine millimeter pistol.

    Belize ties 1-1 with Cayman
    Belize tied with The Cauman Islands in the second of a two-game the World Cup qualifier. Both teams scored a goal each. Belize’s goal came in the 26th minute of the first half by Elroy Kuylen. Cayman’s goal was scored at.the fifth minute in the same first half.

    San Pedro police bust duo accused of shoplifting
    San Pedro police have busted a pair of women who shoplifted from three businesses in that town in one day and hid the loot under their clothes. The two, Nioka Smith, 29 and Shasha Bowen, 27, both of Belize City, are jointly charged with six counts of theft after police nabbed them the following day in possession of items they had stolen from their third target on Thursday. The two went first to the K-Mart store where they stole a bottle of Absolut Vodka worth $100. The store manager said he decided to check his security camera after the two left acting suspiciously. The camera revealed that one of the women hid the bottle of liqour under her skirt. Next the pair went to Laguna Drive where they stole more liquor worth $275 from a store around 2 p.m. $275.20. The third incident occurred at Love Belize Store on Barrier Drive around 3 p.m. where the two women stole a pair of girl’s Denim shorts set and three pairs of girls slippers worth around $50.00.

    Police officers and civilians march for peace
    About 1,000 persons, including police officers from precincts across Belize City and representatives from the private and public sector, the Belize City Council and primary and high schools took to the streets on Friday to participate in the BLACK March – Be Loving and Cease Killing. The six-mile parade started off at the Yorborough Green and went through principal streets and communities that have seen the most bloodshed occur. The event is the brainchild of Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, who decided to create an event such as this after hearing the personal sentiments of policemen who are dispatched to violent situations.

    House discusses rice
    Rice was one of the topics which the House discussed on Friday in Belmopan. The PUP’s Orange Walk South Area Representative, Abelardo Mai, who was the general manager at the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation which ensures the availability of basic food commodities, did not support the notion of having imported rice on our shelves. “If we allow rice to be imported, thousands may lose their jobs. Hundreds of families will be left out in the cold and investments in the millions will be lost. I cannot imagine the social and economic disaster. We cannot allow rice to be imported from Guyana. No sensible government, PUP or UDP, or no P at all, should allow the importation of rice from Guyana or from any other country that subsidies its production. At this time, we have rice to last us for three years. How in the world can the Belizean farmer compete with Guyana producers, when the latter have the full backing of their government?”

    The Belize Times

    PetroCaribe: UDP Piggy Bank!!
    A dangerous and retrograde legislation introduced by the Barrow Administration at today’s sitting of the House of Representatives seeks to turn the hundreds of millions of dollars loaned to the country for poverty alleviation through the ALBA Petro-Caribe initiative, into the United Democratic Party’s very own piggy bank. The controversial legislation entitled Petrocaribe Loans Act (2015) seeks to make the borrowing of BZE$228,614,712 between September 2012 and August 2014, and the borrowing of future amounts under the Petrocaribe programme, absolutely exempt from parliamentary oversight. The borrowing of amounts over $10 million is required by law, the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act (2005), to obtain the approval of the House of Representatives. Late last year, three years after the Barrow Administration had already borrowed over $200 million, the Prime Minister was taken by surprise when the Opposition PUP, led by Hon. Julius Espat, brought feverish heat on him for not taking any of the loans before the House as required by law.

    PM Admits Price Gouging – Marketing Board Cheats Belizean consumers
    Belize was once hailed as the prospective breadbasket of the region, but that dream has been killed by greed and poor management which has led the country to food insecurity. The country imports onions from Holland, potatoes and other vegetables from Guatemala and Mexico, and soon it will start importing rice from Guyana in South America. A very wealthy businessman, who is a close friend and reported financial donor of several UDP Ministers, Jack Chawla aka Jack Charles, has announced that he intends to import rice from Guyana for domestic supply. Charles claims that he could sell Guyanese rice at a retail price of $0.69 per pound, while the existing rice is priced at $1.20 per pound.

    “Borrow & Spend Budget” – PUP Leader Francis Fonseca Blasts 2015-2016 Budget
    Day 1 of the two-day debate of the 2015-2016 Draft Estimates began today and the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca kicked off the discussion on a high pitch as he blasted the Barrow Administration for presenting a budget that “lacked substance” and which has no “new development and no long term job creation plan”. Hon. Fonseca added that the country continues to see very little investment, placing the entire country “dependent on the largesse of the Government”, which means that the Government has had to rely heavily on its tax base and on loans, in this case Petro Caribe loans. “…borrowing money and pouring concrete is all well and good, but what our people and their future. What are the plans for the development of our beautiful Belize? Our rising debt places us in the top 20 worst countries in debt-GDP ratio, at almost 80%,” said the Hon. Fonseca.

    No one charged for OW double murder
    “His death was so cruel. They killed him like worse than a criminal. I don’t know what else to say I just want justice for my little brother,” were the words shared by the grieving sister of 16 year old Oscar Daniel Vasquez, one of the teenage victims of a double murder which occurred on Saturday night, March 21, 2015. Valdez and his neighbour, 17 year old Michael Usher, were socializing in front of Valdez’ home on Palmar Boundary Road when around 9:00pm a vehicle drove up along the street in front of the residence, and someone let loose a barrage of gunshots at them. Usher and Valdez were both injured in the attack. They were rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital, but passed away during the emergency treatment.

    Damn Statistics
    Belize Court of Appeal on Friday 20th March 2015. Seated at the Bench, their Lordships, Judges Morrison, Blackman and Awich. Seated at the Bar, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn Vidal, assisted by Crown Counsel Sabita Maharaj. Attorneys for the Appellant Norma Anderson, assisted by Bryan Neal. In the Prisoner’s Dock, Akeem Thurton, the Appellant who was convicted of Attempted Murder of a wealthy Belizean lawyer, who is also the law partner of the Prime Minister of Belize. In attendance as observers are Amandala Journalist Rowland Parks, BELIZE TIMES Editor Alberto Vellos and several freelance reporters. There is standing room only as many young attorneys are present to hear legal submissions. The major television stations are camped outside with their cameras.

    Think About It
    By the time this article gets published, our parliamentarians will be deep into their debate over this year’s budget. I use the word “debate” sparingly because no doubt, it will be anything but intelligent exchanges that will be crossing the floor of the National Assembly this Thursday and Friday in Belmopan. Prime Minister Dean Barrow will no doubt be tossing a healthy serving of “red meat rhetoric” meant more to appease the appetite of his hungry wolves than to provide any clarity to the figures in his budget. Instead of discussing his fiscal deficits and shortfalls, Mr. Barrow will be attempting to keep the focus squarely on the perceived entanglements of the Opposition. One would hope that the Speaker, as he regularly does with members of the Opposition, will advise the Prime Minister and his pack of yes men to stick to the exercise at hand. The challenge for the Opposition is keep their eyes on the ball and to not allow Dean Barrow to distract them and force them into unnecessary defense mode. We the general public, must listen keenly to the important factors in the discussions and not be continually dazzled by Mr. Barrow’s rhetoric and theatrics.

    UDP – A Sunken Ship
    For the period 1998-2008 there was a massive influx of foreign dollars that entered the Belizean economy via Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). Investor confidence in Belize was high. Countries were booming and Belize prospered for those ten years. A report by the Caribbean Media Corporation news agency of March 18 2006 stated, “The Belize government Friday March 17 presented a 1.2bn-BZE (Belizean dollar) tax-free budget to parliament on the basis that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow in real terms by 3 percent in 2006”. The state of Belize’s economy in those times, marked in history, is important and noteworthy for comparison and analysis by fledgling economists and researching students today. This was under a People’s United Party (PUP) administration and also before any oil profits entered the government’s coffers. While oil in commercial quantities was discovered under the PUP Government in 2005, it was until about 2007/2008 that it began impacting Government’s revenues. This is because the infrastructure for extraction took some time to put in place. Despite all the Prime Minister’s recent chest beating about his “billion dollar” budget, the PUP’s 2006/2007 budget was far more prosperous and equitable. Barrow’s budget for 2014/2015 gives the perception that the UDP Government has the country booming, but Belizeans know the real picture. In fact, the statistics on poverty and unemployment tell a different story. The UDP’s budget is actually stuffed with millions of dollars in projected revenue from the oil sector. Without those oil revenues, the 2014/2015 budget would shrink down drastically, with figures that pale to compare to the period when the PUP had the economy working.

    Ladyville Tech girls are softball champs
    The Ladyville Technical High School girls won the 2015 national high school softball championships hosted by Georgetown Technical High School at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village over the weekend. The Ladyville girls won 10-4 against the Belize Comprehensive girls, as MVP pitcher Elma Wade struck out 7 batters, walked 2 and gave up 5 hits from which the Compre girls scored only 4 runs as they left 4 runners on base. Compre’s pitcher Renisha Richards allowed only 3 hits and struck out 10 batters, walked 8, and her 9 wild pitches allowed Elma Wade, Dejeanne Noralez, Jalecia Jones and Ashley Robinson to score 2 runs apiece, while Jay Gideon and Christy Robinson each came home once.

    UB girls win 3rd ATLIB football championship
    The University of Belize defeated the Southern Zone 2nd place team, the Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College girls 3-0, to win their 3rd Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) national football championship. MVP Emmerlyn Nunez scored the 1st goal when she recovered a rebound off the Ecumenical goalie, after Daniela Vargas shot at goal from a set piece. The UB girls won another free kick, and this time Daniella Vargas threaded the ball right through the goalie’s legs for a 2nd goal: 2-0. The UB defenders Esther Cal, Alberta Garcia, Tricia Coye and Kendra “Peaches” Goff held off the Ecumenical girls’ attacks, while Emmerlynn Nunez blasted in a 3rd goal for the 3-0 win.

    No Deon – No Goals! – Jaguars & Cayman draw, Re-Match on Sunday
    The Belize Jaguars’ blank scoreboard after 90 minutes of peppering the Cayman Islands’ goal with shots had Belizean fans booing the players on their way to the locker room after failing to come up with a win in Game 1 of the World Cup 2018 Russia elimination qualifiers at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Wednesday night. They clearly felt the Jaguars had squandered an opportunity. Harrison “Kafu” Roches had thrilled the fans when his mid-air flying kick found the back of the net in the 66th minute, but referee David Moller Reyna ruled it was offside. Man of the Match goalie Ramon Sealy had put his body on the line to stop Elroy Smith’s attempt to convert a penalty in the 5th minute, and even Smith’s second try on the rebound. Sealy had also come out of his goal to meet every attack when the Jaguars escaped the Caymans’ defenders.

    Regular gas prices increase by $1.15 – Ministry of Finance admits price hike is due to “invoicing error”
    There is more proof that Belizeans are “getting the bukut” courtesy the incompetent Government. On Tuesday night this week the price of Regular gas shot up from $7.74 per gallon to $8.88, an increase of $1.15. Consumers were surprised that the increase took effect without notice to them and without any sort of reasoning. In fact, consumers understand that the prices are connected to the international market prices and they have remained alert by monitoring those prices which continue at their lowest points. But the very puzzling part is that the price was increased even though there was no new shipment of fuel into the country. In fact, while the increase took effect on Tuesday at midnight, the fuel tanker is not scheduled to arrive until the end of the week.

    Gapi Out! Longsworth turned Lame Duck!
    The news that on Wednesday morning the UDP Leader Dean Barrow was himself naming a candidate for the Albert Division and that it wasn’t Herman Longsworth or Phillip Willoughby but his handpicked Mark Espat protégé, Tracey Taegar Panton, came as a shocker to most Belizeans To Albert Division voters, it was downright disrespectful. One must understand that moves like these made by Dean Barrow are his way of dealing with fires in his camp. Inside the UDP, it is strongly believed that Barrow will not be able to take the UDP into a third term. His medical condition is a strong factor. But moreseo, the health of the UDP is in a bad state – too much corruption and hustling is taking place and they know where that ship eventually goes. The only thing holding them together is the Petrocaribe money rolling through their Ministries and for some of them; even through their pockets.

    Down Memory Lane
    The decade of the nineteen seventies is an era to remember. That was the time when bell bottom jeans and dashiki shirts were fashionable; when Afro hairstyle and platform shoes were in vogue. Yes those were the good old days when disco music reigned supreme and the popular dance was the hustle. Soul music too was very much in demand and soul singers like Marvin Gaye and Percy Sledge were constantly heard singing their hit songs on the radio and in the dance halls. Dancers would go searching for a partner when the DJ puts on, “Let’s Get It On” or “When a Man Loves a Woman”. Back then it was the Godfather of soul, James Brown, who brought out hit songs after hit songs like “Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud”, “Prisoner of Love” and “Cold Sweat”. The favorite night spots were “Johnny’s Club”, “Bismar”, “Melting Pot” and “The Tavern”. In those days “christenings” were much more regular because things were much cheaper and people could afford to spend money on parties.

    Another attack on the Cervantes family?
    The Police’s investigation into the chilling murder of Don Ramon Cervantes which occurred last year appears to have gone very cold. There are no updates from Police officials and a recording which implicates the Deputy Prime Minister is not being treated with any seriousness by the authorities. This week the BELIZE TIMES received a report of another attack on the Cervantes family, allegedly at the hands of an individual closely connected to the Deputy Prime Minister’s political circle. The individual, who has asked to remain unidentified, has reported to us that on the night of Wednesday, March 11, while driving on the Phillip Goldson highway from Belize City to Orange Walk, he was almost ran off the road by a vehicle which he believes was the Government vehicle assigned to the Deputy Prime Minister.

    UDP Corozal Town Council raises taxes right after elections!
    The UDP Corozal Town Council has hiked trade license fees for businesses in Corozal Town with no notice and for no apparent reason. One business place located in the Altamira area of the town has shared documents proving that the Town Council increased the amount charged for trade license arbitrarily and illegally. The documents are two different tax assessment notices. The first one (Identified as Document 1 in photo), which is not dated but carries the Corozal Town Council’s official stamp, declared that the trade license was assessed on January 19th 2015 and the fee was $450. But several days after the municipal elections the same business received another notice (Identified as Document 2 in photo), dated March 12th, which now declared that a tax assessment was carried out on January 1st 2015 and which placed the fee at $900!!

    BYM Review of 2015/16 Budget
    ‘The best way to predict your future is to create it’. Youths must become the motor and driving force of a much needed revamped, vibrant and modern economy. Current statistics & key indicators: *Every year over 4,000 young people graduate from high school and tertiary level institutions >> 24,000 job seekers in the past 6 years Unemployment state April 2012 (SIB) 14.4% national unemployment rate (female 22.3%; male 9.2%) Young people (14 to 24 years) = 25.3%

    WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – St. Patrick’s and First Holy Communion
    By Dolores Balderamos Garcia This week I would like to report on two church events which took place within a week of each other – these being the Feast Day Mass at Saint Patrick’s RC Church in Lord’s Bank and the First Holy Communion Mass for children of Our Lady of the Way School and Church in Ladyville. Last week Sunday, March 15th Father Noel Leslie celebrated Mass for the feast of St. Patrick’s Day. Our Catholic Church in Lord’s Bank is named for St. Patrick, and so it was our special day. St. Patrick’s in Lord’s Bank is a tiny and welcoming Catholic Church. The congregation is expectedly small, but I have found that Fr. Leslie just loves saying Mass there on third Sundays. The Mass is at 8:30 am, so at that time of the day it is still fairly cool. In bright pink vestments Father said Mass and preached a lovely sermon, which had three main themes. First, the love of God is universal. Catholic means universal, and the love of our Father is one of universality and full inclusion. Secondly, there is individuality in the love of God our Father for everyone, excluding no one. The example used was that of the Good Shepherd, who left his ninety-nine sheep in order to go out and save the one sheep who had strayed; so God loves each and every one of us. Thirdly, God’s love has redemptive power in the lives of all and for all children of God. We must therefore believe in our Lord and Savior and trust in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

    Say it ain’t so Mr. Speaker!
    Is Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte a gang member or does he support gangs? Peyrefitte has yet to publicly comment on the publication of a photo of him flashing gang signs next to notorious “Gaza” leader and music artist Vybz Kartel. The photo appeared in last week’s edition of the BELIZE TIMES. In it Peyrefitte is seen with his right hand out and his fingers crossed to depict a “W”, which in the gang world is how the deadly “West side CRIPS” distinguish themselves. In Jamaica, there is no CRIPS, but there is the new “GAZA” gang.

    No to Petro Barrow!
    Dear Editor, Belizeans must think critically in these hours. Does the Petro Caribe slush fund undermine democracy in Belize? The answer is YES as it is being used and spent by the Barrow regime as a political slush fund at their whim and fancy without any House approval as required by the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act and without any form of check and balance. This slush funds allows the Government to provide under the table kickbacks to its Ministers. No amount of financing flowing to any other political party can match the Petro Caribe slush fund. The Barrow Government is now awashed with monies and they want to spend it however they feel like. But they have a political plan for this money – to push their agenda with gimmicks and selected projects in which their cronies are allowed to shave off personal profits for themselves.

    Ladyville residents reject toll
    Dear Editor, I read in last week’s BELIZE TIMES newspaper that the Belize City Council intends to construct a toll somewhere on the Phillip Goldson highway and charge commuters entering Belize. We Ladyville residents reject the proposal and I am calling on my neighbors and community members to launch a vigorous campaign against this. There are hundreds of commuters who travel to Belize City from Ladyville daily. I imagine the same can be said from neighboring Lords Bank and northern communities leading to Orange Walk and Corozal. I chose to live in Ladyville to get away from the violent crime in the city but I travel to work daily. Fuel is once more climbing to its usual high price. The idea of a toll is not economically feasible for us.

    Belize Enters Bitter Dictatorship
    Dear Editor, We Belizeans will regret March 26th 2015 for the rest of our lives as the UDP and Dean Barrow has become a total dictatorship! A Bill proposed and passed on Thursday gives complete Dictatorial Power over loans made by GOB. This is the essence of what will be signed today: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act, 2005, or any other law to the contrary, it shall be lawful for the Government of Belize to borrow money from ALBA Petro Caribe (Belize Energy) Limited in any amounts without the prior authorization of the National Assembly and to enter into a loan agreement with APBEL for the said purpose. (3) No limitations shall apply to the use of the money borrowed from APBEL and it may be used to finance capital projects as well as to provide social and community assistance to the poor and the socially marginalized, and any other legitimate purpose as the Government may consider fit.

    Blogs

    10 Reasons Why You Absolutely Must Attend November’s Reset Retreat in Belize!
    You’re mulling the upcoming Reset Retreat scheduled for November 2015, but you worry that your family can’t live without you. Neither can your boss–and for goodness sake, you really don’t deserve to spend that money on yourself when the washer needs replacing. Wake up and smell the enlightenment! When you’re good and kind to yourself, you’re a better mom, friend, wife and partner. Here’s why: 1. You’ll tone your body and mind by undertaking a fun/serious mix of activities that are guaranteed to leave you feeling at peace with yourself by the end of your four days at Ambergris. 2. You’ll hang with like-minded women. Not every woman is honest enough to get in touch with her feelings, insecurities and fears, but every woman you encounter at the retreat will inspire you with her grace and courage.

    IF BELIZE’S 7TH AMENDMENT IS REVIEWED … by Thérèse Belisle Nweke
    Amendment 7 of Belize’s Constitution clarifies the rights of Belizeans who hold dual citizenship. For sometime now there have been appeals for its review in order to confer full citizenship rights to Belizean-born citizens who possess dual nationality. In other words, if reviewed, this group of Belizeans would be able to participate fully in Belize’s political process by voting, standing in elections, and holding political office. They cannot do this, as of today, unless they renounce their other citizenship. Belize’s population is approximately one third of a million people, and it is known that more than one half of this figure live and work abroad. It is called Diasporan Belize. Most Diasporan Belizeans have dual nationality, and they, more than any other group, want the 7th Amendment to be revisited. In fact, it was in response to the demands of Diasporan Americans, that the U.S. many years ago allowed this category of its citizens the right to participate in American politics, even while abroad. There are three reasons why the 7th Amendment to Belize’s Constitution may not be revised by the Barrow administration, or that of the P.U.P. when it returns to power. First, the financial cost will be high, and Belize has no money. Second, the pressure on Belize’s human and institutional capacities to allow for voting outside of the country will be enormous; and these are severely limited. Third, and most significant, the political will is largely absent.

    My path diverted….by: Aria Lightfoot
    During the years of 1999-2001,I worked at the Prosecution department as a Civilian Prosecutor (most attorneys in the United States listen in noticeable disbelief when I tell them what I did). At that time, the department of Public Prosecution was under the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) but closely merged with the Police Department. I was one of five civilian prosecutors hired to create a separation, so that the police who arrested were not prosecuting their own matters. We were public servants that reported to the office of the DPP but worked in the same office with the police department. For those who don’t understand yet- In Belize, the police officers arrest and prosecute their own cases at the magistrate (lower court) level. Most of the magistrates and the police back then did not have formal legal training. I grew up in Belmopan during the years of 1974 thru 1993. Belmopan for the most part was a public servants’ community co-existing with a Central American immigrant community. Both my parents were high-level public servants in Police and Immigration. They were very private and highly professional individuals. My mom and dad, like most public servants in their era, did not openly discuss politics. It was one of those constitutional rules about being a public servant that they followed and took seriously. I was privy however to their times of frustration when they shared their experiences with each other and their limitations as public servants. I have heard them express frustration with some of their political leaders who blatantly disregard the law. At the time it was an abstract concept for me.

    Happiness = Birdwatching In Belize
    What if we told you that there are people who travel to particular parts of the world just to see ONE BIRD! Yes, ornithology is that serious! People have lists to fill – life lists and there are no trophies more important than to fill these lists. At Nine, we know! We also know the people who have developed the ethics and the knowledge of places and birds. We know the many who are driving their energies into falling totally in love with bird watching – those who wake up at 4 or 5 in the mornings to make certain they get first light in the many places where the birds will stir. When one gets a chance to go with a birder to the many places birds nest or where they are found in abundance, or even more impressively, where one single bird or where one single mating pair can be seen, it is amazing the little tips one can learn.

    The V Bar Opens Beachfront at the Venezia Del Caribe Construction Site
    Yesterday was the opening of a new bar on the beachfront just north of Coco Beach Resort – at about 3 mile north, Ambergris Caye. The V Bar at the building site for Venezia Del Caribe – perhaps one of the most ambitious projects to ever be built on Ambergris Caye. Slated to be occupied in about 18 months, they resort-to-be has opened a huge oceanfront bar that can be accessed most easily from the entrance to Coco Beach. Yesterday was the Opening Party… And I gasped loudly as soon as I hopped out of the cart. A gorgeous massive rainbow stretched over the resort. A good sign I think…. We walked over to the bar. The first phase of the resort should be ready in 12-18 months for occupancy. All around – a temporary wall, I think – photos of Venice and Belize. The website says: We wondered what it would be like to build a development inspired by the charm of Venice combined with the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea. The result? The best of both worlds in one location. Que Bella!

    International Sourcesizz

    Soldiers learn the laws of the jungle in tough Belize exercise
    Infantrymen are putting all of their soldiering skills to the test as they learn to fight and survive in one of the world’s most hostile environments. Around 120 troops of the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (2PWRR) have been sent to Belize on a tough jungle training mission. A Company, which includes soldiers from the Portsmouth area, has been thrown into the climate of Central America to learn how to do battle and keep themselves alive in the impenetrable vegetation. From finding food and water in the wilderness to creating fire and fighting through the trees, the unit is being put through its paces to drill each soldier in jungle warfare. The troops are spending each day fighting against intense heat, biting insects and relentless tactical studies – but they say the training will leave them prepared for anything.

    Message in a Belizean bottle: think global, act local and step up plastics recycling
    Who left their trash behind on this remote Caribbean island? Then I realized. It wasn’t left. It arrived. An endless flotilla of refuse heedlessly sent from afar. It’s heartbreaking. The image of a lone bottle washing up on a remote tropical island is the clichéd stuff of literature, movies and New Yorker cartoons. But what about the image of thousands of bottles, millions even, washing up on shores as near as the Outer Banks, or as far away as the Caribbean island where I spent a week in early March with a coral ecology class from Wake Forest University? Each of those bottles carries a message, and it’s this: our actions here have an impact there. We produce and consume far too many disposable, single-use plastic containers. And we don’t safely dispose of, or recycle, nearly enough of them. Long Caye is tiny, just 2.5 miles long and barely a mile wide. Its 683 acres are covered mostly in mangroves and coconut palms. The eco-village that Edwards imagined never materialized. But his heirs built and opened the 24-room Itza Lodge, a kind of eco-resort and biological station for university study, a few years ago. Rainwater is captured for drinking, cooking and showers. Solar panels provide much of the power. Crocodile and iguanas far outnumber the people who live there year round.

    Why this mysterious Mayan cave full of children’s bones may be evidence of ancient human trafficking
    It began with screams of terror in the middle of the night. By the time rescuers traced the wailing to its origin, they found themselves at the jagged mouth of an ancient cave deep in the Belizean countryside. Sixty feet below, down a sheer rockface, an injured looter lay crumpled on the limestone floor. Surrounding him, rescuers would discover after descending by rope, were thousands upon thousands of human bones. The looter would be eventually pulled to safety and taken to a local hospital on that fateful night in 2006, but his misfortune would result in a discovery that may fundamentally rewrite historians’ understanding of Mayan culture. “What we found was a huge collection of human skeleton material, around 9,000 bones,” James Brady, a professor of anthropology at California State University at Los Angeles who has spent decades studying Mayan cave sites, told The Washington Post. “It’s probably the largest collection that has ever been found in a Mayan cave.”

    Tips for enduring a long flight with small children
    Book the bulkhead if possible and be sure to pack enough toys to keep the kids occupied. My love of traveling developed long before I had children and I prided myself in my ability to fall asleep the moment the plane took off and wake up precisely at mealtime. I also had perfected the process of packing. No matter if the destination was diving in Belize or touring Italy, I could squeeze everything I needed into a carry-on. But traveling with kids requires a whole other set of skills — ones that I have learned through (sometimes unfortunate) trial and error, and share here in hopes that it will help my fellow stressed-out parents. I have flown with my oldest son, now 2 1/2, since he was months old, but a recent move overseas took the challenge to a whole new level. In the course of three months, my husband and I traveled with a toddler and infant from Washington to Indonesia, from Indonesia to California, from California to Texas, from Texas to California, and then back to Indonesia. And here is, in part, how we survived:

    Bright spots in a region blighted by graft
    Five years ago, Petrobras raised $70bn in the biggest ever equity offering; rich pickings given the easy credit and soaring commodity prices then enjoyed by Brazil and its fellow Bric nations. Now the state-controlled oil company is at the centre of the country’s biggest ever corruption scandal. Latin America, it seems, is engulfed in news about graft. The same pattern was seen in the west after the global financial crisis. It is only in the inevitable bust that scandals really emerge. This is not the fault of some inherent Latin trait: Belize and Jamaica, with their more Anglo-Saxon traditions, have the third and sixth-highest homicide rates. Rather it is the result of non-cultural factors, including transnational criminal gangs (imagine the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the tropics without the fundamentalism), in­equality and, worst, weak institutions — especially the police and the judiciary.

    Making Caribbean Business Better
    In this article, I examine the status of Greater Caribbean States in “Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency”, particularly with regard to the respective performance indicators, and suggest a way forward. The states considered and their overall ranks are as follows: The Greater Caribbean region is ranked 99, out of the 189 nations examined in “Doing Business 2015”. It should therefore be noted that 7 out of the 12 Latin American states are below this rank; as well as 6 out of the 13 Caribbean Island states. The overall ranks are determined from evaluation across 10 performance indicators, representing the 4 stages of the business cycle: namely, start-up, operation, expansion and insolvency. Figure 1 maps the performance of the Greater Caribbean region with regard to each of these indicators.

    Videos

  • Bike Ride Through the Americas Presently in Belize, 2min.

  • Belize 2015 Day3 The Great Blue Hole Trip, 5min.

  • Belize 2015 Day3 Dive3 Aquarium, 2.5min.

  • Belize 2015 Day4 Dive1 Pinnacle, 5min.

  • Belize 2015 Day5 Dive1 Coco Point, 2min.

  • Belize 2015 Best of Blackbird Caye Trip, 16min. The whole enchilada video, I tried to only keep the best clips from each dive. We had a great trip, our fellow divers were fun to hang out with, and the staff at Blackbird Caye took great care of us.

  • Belize Mexico Pillars, 2min. Action Divers through Portofino Resort, San Pedro Belize. Fantastic dive with great visibility with special thanks to Roberto and Blinky from Action Divers and my fellow divers Allen and Samantha.

  • You Better Belize It!, 3min. This video is a compilation of photos and videos from the Natural History of Neotropics Study Abroad trip through UW-Stout.

  • CAYMAN ISLANDS 1-1 BELIZE 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers - All Goals, 2min.

  • belize zoo, 6min. Our trip to Belize zoo.

  • Cayman Islands - Belize - 1:1 (29.03.2015), min. FIFA World Cup 2018 - CONCACAF - Qualification First round, second match Total score: 1-1. Belize win on away goal.

    March 29, 2015


    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 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Man claims GSU Brutality
    42-year-old Brian Castillo has reported to officials that on Thursday, March 12th he was brutalized by Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) personnel on the island. Castillo claimed that while working at a resort North of Ambergris Caye as a security guard, between 3AM and 5AM, GSU visited the establishment demanding that drugs be handed over. Castillo stated that he indicated to the GSU that he had no drugs but instead of being left alone was badly beaten up. 12 Brian Castillo GSU BrutalitySince the incident, Castillo has been issued a medical report for the injuries he sustained due to the attack. He sustained broken ribs as well as several cuts and bruises across his body. “On the day of the incident the GSU went to my place of work and grabbed me from in front of a door, held me to the ground and started beating me. They asked me to hand over the drugs. I told them I found no drugs and I don’t know about any drugs. They fractured three of my ribs.I got bruises to the leg. They stomped me in the face. I thought I was going to die.

    It takes a community to fight crime!
    The spike in crime has led San Pedro Police to implement several measures to try and bring back peace and stability to the island. One such measure is reaching out to the community. Retired Superintendent of Police and National Coordinator for the Auxiliary Police Unit, Rudolph Orio invited community members to a presentation on Tuesday, March 24th where steps were made to bridge the gap between police and residents. Religious members, elected officials, concerned citizens and even the business community attended the presentation at Living Word Church to offer their full support to the cause. The presentation was regarding the Citizens on Patrol (COP) program and how the community plays an essential role in crime prevention. Before Orio took the stage, Pastor Ian Zaldivar led an invocation for strength to rid the island of crime. Orio started by stating that the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker are in s state of mourning because the recent criminal activity has affected us all. “My friends the community is you, and it is all of you that are suffering. The longer the community stays silent, the more you will suffer, because fear of crime feeds on silence. Gangs and criminals love areas where the community has fear. My advice to you is not to give over to these criminals. Gangs are recruiting children, our children, and it is you that are allowing it because you are not speaking up. We see these things happening, yet we do not voice out our concerns because of fear. If we allow fear to mandate our actions, then we will never achieve a better life for our children,” said Orio.

    San Pedro Tour Operators Association formed
    Following years of discussion, the San Pedro Tour Operators Association was formed during a meeting that included stakeholders in the tour operators industry. The new organization on the island was formed during a special meeting at the La Isla Bonita Yacht Club conference room on Friday, March 20th. The role of the tour operators had been assumed for years by the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA). According to the President of the SPTGA, Phillip “Billy” Leslie, all operators were invited to the meeting. He added that SPTGA felt it fit for the association to be formed in order to assume their role in the industry. “The Belize Tourism Board has a seat on their tour operators committee and has not seen it properly represented by a rightful organization from San Pedro, and as such, the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association has been assuming the responsibility of that seat for years. The legal process of the San Pedro Tour Operators Association is being formalized and registered in Belmopan for it to become a legal entity,” explained Leslie.

    Authorities and San Pedro Animal Hospital at odds
    The San Pedro Animal Hospital is the only private veterinary clinic on the island and provides a full range of 24 hour medical services. Droke has indicated that if her license and permits are not renewed, she will be forced to close down the clinic. “Unless this situation unexpectedly changes, San Pedro Animal Hospital will close its doors by the end of the year, when our current veterinarian is scheduled to return home and our current supplies will be exhausted. I have been writing to the all the relevant authorities but have not received any response. We hope we can get through with our permits and licenses, we are willing to do anything. The clinic is needed here on the island,” said Droke. DePaz stated that along with the complaints, there are other issues preventing Droke’s re-registration. “One of the major problems with the San Pedro Animal Hospital is that we are aware that Droke is not permanently residing in Belize. So the question we have to ask ourselves is, ‘who is running the clinic when she is away?’ We understand that she has volunteer veterinarians that come every so often, but if she is not here, then who is supervising them? These veterinarians that come from abroad just to work for a period of time cannot legally practice without a DVM that has been licensed in Belize supervising them. So there is more than one issue with Droke, and so the board needs some clarification with her before we can made a decision,” said DePaz.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    THE LEGENDARY KENRICK HALLIDAY!
    BELIZEAN CROSS COUNTRY CYCLING POWER HOUSE! When there become a level playing field once again in Belize's most celebrated sport, the Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Race, poised to showcase to the world again on April 4th., 2015, Belize will continue to exhibit exceptional cycling champions again like the legendary Kenrick Halliday. Today we appreciate his exceptional contribution in defending the Garland!

    The Reporter

    Girl, 13, accuses cops of rape
    Two policemen assigned to police stations in the south of Belize have been placed on interdiction after they were accused of rape by a minor. The girl reported that this week, the two policemen, whose ranks we were told are constables, were drinking and offered the 13 year-old girl, who accepted the liquor. However, when she became inebriated, the two law enforcers, who are assigned to the Independence and Bella Vista police stations, had sexual intercourse with her against her will. The matter is now before the Professional Standards Bureau and will be before the court after the two are criminally charged with rape. A medical exam on the girl has since determined that she has had sexual intercourse recently.

    PUP dissects fiscal budget
    The fiscal budget debate went for an entire second day Friday and while the government side of the House supported it, the opposition criticised it. Cayo South Area Representative, the PUP’s Julius Espat, went further by calling the budget “useless”. “What we have in this book, Mr. Speaker, disguised as a budget is useless and has absolutely no credibility … because of the essence of what the Prime Minister said in his budget speech this year, and I will quote: … ‘I serve notice right now that I expect to come back to this House with a mid-year supplementary, for what I present today cannot long survive the tectonic shift caused by last week’s results.’ You see, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister’s continued use of supplementary appropriation bills and special warrants underminds the essence and purpose of what a national budget should be. This is a continued abuse of the financial regulations of this country … he in reality, Mr. Speaker, uses this method of bypassing regulations to enable him to do his political spending”, Espat said, pointing to Barrow’s Christmas cheer, Mother’s Day and back to school programs.

    Man knocked down in Belize City
    A man lies seriously injured after he was knocked down in Belize City tonight. The incident happened at around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and the victim has been identified as Carlos Sosa.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Policeman dies of gunshot wound
    The Police Department is investigating the death of one of their own in mysterious circumstances on Thursday night. 28 year old Shannon Gene Ramirez, police constable of Aloe Vera Street, came home around 6:30 in the evening and went to his room, thereafter a single gunshot was heard and shortly after that his body was discovered lying on the floor face down, a black 9mm Taurus pistol with six live rounds in the magazine and an expended shell lying nearby. But did he inflict it to himself, or did someone kill him? A post-mortem examination is scheduled. Meanwhile, officers are mourning Constable Ramirez’s death. A former community policing officer, he was well liked and Community Public Relations Coordinator Douglas Hyde remembered him as being dependable and an important asset for the Police Department.

    BLACK anti-crime march held in Belize City
    Yesterday morning Belize City was shrouded in BLACK – not the color, but a movement titled Be Loving and Cease Killing, dedicated to lifting the gloom over the Old Capital as a result of criminality, which has become almost a lifestyle and a business in Belize City. The Police Department has tried to mastermind a shift toward community-involved policing and the big kick-off is the BLACK march which took off from the Yabra area around six and marched up Central American Boulevard and out to Battlefield Park for a rally. Most of the route encompasses gang territory, where the criminal element is often seen as heroic, benevolent and in some cases even necessary for the community’s survival.

    International Sourcesizz

    Ancient Maya citadel discovered in Belize is an anomaly
    Many centuries ago on the border of Belize and Guatemala, Maya people built a large city surrounded by a cultivated jungle garden that was home to around 20,000 people, which archaeologists call El Pilar. They had large structures, including palaces and pyramids, and paved their plazas in lime plaster to divert rainwater into reservoirs. Archaeologists using lasers from the air have recently identified a fortress-like structure nearby covered by vegetation. Using LiDAR laser technology from a helicopter for Light Detection and Ranging, archaeologists have identified a citadel-type structure now forested over in the ancient Maya city of El Pilar in Belize. Though a team of archaeologists has been studying the ruins for more than 20 years, this fortress 600 meters (656 yards) away from the edge of the main town was unknown until they started using LiDAR to study the landscape a couple of years ago. The Maya began building monumental structures at El Pilar about 800 BC. The ruins of the stone buildings are largely covered over by forest except a house called the Hummingbird. Archaeologists have been allowing the ruins to stay forested over to preserve them while carefully digging and exposing structures in limited areas. Archaeologists working at the site are trying to gain an understanding of the lives of the everyday people, as opposed to the elites and rulers. One fact they’ve discovered at El Pilar is that the residents fed themselves in part through what is called “forest garden” agriculture, where the forest itself is cultivated.

    EXPEDITION BELIZE: An Unexplored World of Botanical Mystery Beneath the Earth’s Surface
    Due to the scientific and cultural importance of the Chiquibul National Park, and the sinkholes within, it will likely become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There's a plan to study the area for around a year. More pictures from the expedition. "An historic expedition of a 425’ sinkhole located in the Chiquibul National Park of Belize may prove to reveal rare and possibly never-before-seen plants from the heart of the ancient Mayan civilization. The area’s scientific, historic, and cultural significance makes it a likely candidate for a UNESCO World Heritage site designation." Selby Gardens’ Director of Botany Bruce Holst joined an international team for the first of several planned descents into the Nohoch Ch’en Sinkhole, one of the most biologically diverse and difficult to access natural environments in Belize. “This project perfectly aligns with our mission at Selby Gardens to understand, conserve and bring awareness to threatened and endangered wild ecosystems in the tropical world,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “We are delighted to play a role in the discoveries that will no doubt be uncovered by this team and pleased that we can help showcase the historical significance of this special place.”

    Videos

  • Belize Jan 2013, Drive Into Lost World, video of Grounds, 16min.

  • Belize Adventures, 6min.

  • FROM SEA TO SKY // Belize + Guatemala, 6min. Join me as we scuba dive the Belize Barrier Reef, visit the bird paradise of Half Moon Caye, enjoy a sunset sail around Caye Caulker and then a misty morning hike into the Guatemala rainforest to explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal.

  • Deer Dance at Maya Day 2015 in Blue Creek, Belize, 3min. Video of part of the traditional Maya "Deer Dance" performed at Maya Day on 22 March 2015 in the village of Blue Creek in the Toledo District of Belize.

  • Giant Blue Land Crab in Belize, 1min. Crabs are decapod crustaceans of the infraorder Brachyura, which typically have a very short projecting "tail" (abdomen) usually entirely hidden under the thorax. They live in all the world's oceans, in fresh water, and on land, are generally covered with a thick exoskeleton and have a single pair of claws. Many other animals with similar names – such as hermit crabs, king crabs, porcelain crabs, horseshoe crabs and crab lice – are not true crabs. Evolution Gecarcinus quadratus, a land crab from Central and South America Crabs are generally covered with a thick exoskeleton, composed primarily of calcium carbonate and armed with a single pair of chelae (claws).

  • Dolphin in Belize, 3min.

  • SCUBA DIVING - Snorkeling in Belize, 5min.

  • 2015 Belize Diving with Hugh Parkey Dive Connection, 33min. Cruising on the Norwegian Sun to Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel out of Tampa. The video was recorded by another diver who I gave credits to at the end. I just added the music et al.

    March 28, 2015


    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 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Dreaming on the weekend at Daydreamin’ Bed & Breakfast!
    How could we get relaxation back into my vocabulary? Enter Rachel, Marlene (Mar) and Rob of Daydreamin’ Bed and Breakfast in Tres Cocos. They recently opened the most adorable B&B, and would you believe my luck? My hubby and I were invited to stay overnight in one of the cute casitas! I did not have to be told twice – my bags were packed and out the door so fast!! A quick boat ride on board the Coastal Xpress dropped me off right at the Palapa Bar dock. No more than a minute later straight down from said dock, and I was on the grounds of Daydreamin’. Mar greeted me at their on-site coffee house Marbucks with a deliciously cold caramel Frappuccino, which I sipped on and refreshed with before I got the grand tour of the place. Let me tell you, from the outside, the cluster of cabañas is adorable, especially with the pool smack dab in the center of the deck. But on the inside?! So luxurious!

    Editorial: Marine Reserve Politricks
    On Thursday, February 26th one of our front page headlines read, “Monumental expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve is official”. The photo inside on page seven was taken at the grand inaugural ceremony which was held at the office of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on February 25th. The image featured a group of stakeholders poising with two politicians who are grinning like the cat who swallowed the canary. And why so smug you may ask? Well, they knew what we all now know…it was a grand spectacle for, well, nothing really. Sure the project was one step closer, but not a done deal, not by a long shot. Needless to say this was unbeknownst to us…the gullible, the visionary, the hopeful followers who believed that yes, finally, after YEARS in the works this dream was actually going to be realized. In other words we were duped my friends, and we took the bait…hook, line and sinker! We ran as fast as we could to the polling stations, eager to reward their Party with votes of confidence…and won they did! I personally know one tour guide who voted for these politicians (or Party I should say) for this sole reason…by expanding the marine reserve they were providing him with job security while protecting the area.

    San Pedro Food Bank to open its doors in April 2015
    Three island residents have joined forces with the San Pedro Lions Club to kick-start an island Food Bank. Britney O’Daniel, Gualberto “Wally” Nuñez and Darwin Palma are the founders of the first ever San Pedro Food Bank, which will provide weekly groceries to low income families. The Food Bank is located upstairs of the San Pedro Lions Den and efforts are already in place to stock up inventory for the distribution to commence on Tuesday, April 10th.

    Celebrated Hol Chan Reserve Expansion Yet to Happen
    The cold cool beers flowed and a full buffet beckoned as the expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve was launched just days before a major election on February 25th. But even though Cabinet has approved the plan, The San Pedro Sun can confirm that the expansion has not been signed into law, one full month after it was launched in grand style. So what is the hold up and just how long will it take before it is legislated? No one knows for sure how long it will take before it is turned into law. What is known at this time is that the document is before the Solicitor General’s Office, yet to be reviewed before it is returned to the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development to then be signed into a Statutory Instrument (SI). During the official launch of the expansion, Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade indicated that it was just a matter of days before the SI would be signed into law. 30 days after the launch, the document still sits before the Solicitor General’s Office. Before any document is signed into law, it must be reviewed by the Solicitor General’s office to ensure that it does not contravene any other law.

    ‘Unfailing Bridges’ – Connecting black women around the world
    For the first time in Belize, the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI) hosted the International Black Women’s Empowerment Conference. The event took place in Placencia in the Stann Creek District from the 19th to the 22nd of March. A total of 35 women from various countries, including the United States of America (USA), Africa and Belize, participated in the event aimed at connecting black women from around the world. Following the conference, President of the IBWPPI, Barbara Perkins told The San Pedro Sun that the historic event, held under the theme “Unfailing Bridges,” saw positive results. “The success of the conference is that we made a very strong connection with women through WIN-Belize, which is a consortium of women’s organization in Belize. We also made a strong connection with the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Belize who has an excellent program with women from all ages.” During their visit in Belize, the IBWPPI members also made a donation of a wide variety of items to the YWCA that will add to their organization’s supply. They plan to work along with programs that will see the strengthening of women’s agenda in Belize.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Telemedia Ltd. Issues Alert After Robbers Pose as Company Technicians in City
    Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) issued a press release late Thursday, March 26, 2015, with serious concerns of a home invasion in Belize City that was alleged to have involved two individuals who were disguised as BTL employees. The telemedia company stated that the incident is one of great concern to them due to the nature of their operations and the service provided to their customers. Channel 7 News in Belize City reported that there was a home invasion on the Thursday morning at about 10:30am on Albert Street. “Two men dressed in BTL uniforms arrived at the Budhrani residence at the upper flat of Rakhis Hair Salon. Forty-six-year-old house keeper Vilma Rauda who was at the house at the time, along with the cook, let the men in because they told her they were there to check the phone lines. Vilma led them to the phone in the kitchen but the men told her they needed to check the other phone lines and the modem. She then guided them to one of the bedrooms where the modem was located and that's when one of the men grabbed her from behind, tied her arms with tie straps, taped her mouth and threatened that if she made any noise, they would kill her.”

    Superintendent Luis Castellanos Transferred Out of San Pedro
    In a quiet move by the Belize Police Department, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye’s Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos was transferred out of the island with Assistant Superintendent of Police Henry Jemmott taking control of the office while a new head replaces the vacant position. Speculations have been that Castellanos was removed from San Pedro due to the spike in criminal activity in the early months of 2015 that have included murders, shootings and even threats made to the Area Representative and San Pedro Town Mayor. Sr. Superintendent of Police and Deputy Officer Commanding of Eastern Division, Edward Broaster, says that this is not the case and that Castellanos expertise is expected to be used elsewhere in the country as he just recently concluded a FBI course in Quantico, Virginia, USA.

    Officials Investigate Impacts to Coral Patch in Placencia Area
    As pictures surfaced a few days ago showing rocks piled on live coral colonies off the coast of Harvest Caye in the Placencia Peninsula area, the Department of Environment (DOE), Oceana Belize and other entities are closely monitoring and investigating the situation. While it is alleged that the rocks are from works being done on Harvest Caye’s new cruise ship terminal/island resort, the DOE stated that since the matter is still an open case, details about the case have been withheld due to legal implications. The DOE did say that during a routine site inspection in the Placencia area on February 18, 2015, their personnel observed the construction of a groin near a patch reef in the vicinity of Harvest Caye. The DOE personnel issued a verbal stop order on site at the time and returned thereafter to conduct a coral damage assessment of the patch reef in question along with the Fisheries Department.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Police in Placencia are again reporting their successful drug operations as they prepare for Easter Activities
    With Easter being exactly one week away, Placencia Police continue to injure the drug activity on the peninsula sounding the alarm loudly that drugs on the peninsula is not tolerated. Earlier this week, police conducted Anti-Drug Operations in Seine Bight and Placencia Villages which yielded a combined total of 1,362 grams of cannabis.

    Psychedelic Multimedia at Soul Project
    The Soul Project had their Psychedelic multimedia show last weekend, and it was quite the spectacle. Eddie Allen did some amazing blues improv through the show. The Soul Project is open most Fridays and Saturdays, and has unique shows like this one often. Truly the cultural hub of Cayo.

    Harvest Caye: Coral Damage
    Oceana Belize continues to closely monitor the disturbing reports and photos coming out of the Placencia area regarding the destruction of live coral as part of the initial phases of Norweigan Cruise Line project. We note that the Department of Environment has issued a verbal stop order for the project and we look forward to the full report on the damage caused by the introduction of the artificial material to the area. Again, these incidents highlight the vulnerability of our marine resources. Every effort must be made to ensure their protection.

    San Pedro clean up of sargassum
    On Friday, March 27, The San Pedro Town Council staff, Deputy Mayor Gary Greif and Councilors Ruben Gonzalez, Severo Guerrero and Hector "Tito" Alamilla, hit the beach bright and early to help with the clean up of the sargassum that has been invading our shores for almost a year now. Even some citizens and passers by joined in and helped in raking or forking the sargassum into the wheelbarrows. Thank guys! Great Job! Cleaning the already rotten sargassum was quite a challenge since it is smelly and heavy. After we had finished cleaning we noticed that there was more sargassum washing ashore; however, we managed a lot by removing the stagnant and rotten sargassum.

    5th Annual Senior Steps Variety Show
    Senior Steps is having their 5th annual Senior Steps Variety Show this Sunday, March 29th, at the GPC. The entrance is free, and it's always entertaining. Thanks, Senior Steps.

    Seth Montfort concerts
    Seth Montfort is performing his Made for Belize series of piano concerts at the GPC on the 31st of March and the 1st of April.

    Carts and Carrier Cycles Exhibition
    Belize in the 20th Century, Man Powered Machines. Venue: The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, Belize City. Date: Monday, April 13th, 2015. Time: 3:30pm

    Channel 7

    Budget Debate Continues; Hon. J. Espat Calls Petrocaribe An Illegal Addition
    The budget debate continued today at the House of Representatives in Belmopan - and it went all day. After yesterday's session, there were 20 representatives left to speak - but it went along quite quickly and the Prime Minister started the wrap up at about 5:20. We'll have a clip of that later, but first to the day's theatrics which inevitably came from the self-appointed bad boy of the House of Representatives, PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat. In his response to the budget, he said government had become addicted to Petro-Caribe:.. Hon. Julius Espat "That what we are presented with in this book Mr. Speaker, disguised as a budget, is useless and has absolutely no credibility. You see Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's continued use of supplementary appropriation bills and special warrants undermines the essence and the purpose of what a national budget should be."

    Parliamentarians Debate The Importation Of Guyanese Rice
    And while that house humour was the most entertaining potion of today's debate - there was also talk about serious national issues. We're referring to the price of rice that we've been reporting on for the past week. As we told you importer Jack Charles is ready to ring in cheap Guyanese rice - which he says would retail for 50 cents per pound less than the current locally produced rice. The local producers have come forward to say that the high price of rice isn't their fault - it's the grocery shops that are driving up prices beyond the controlled price. Government is urging local producers to bring prices down - and they won't grant a permit to Jack Charles. But today Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington said that with the treaty of Chaguaramas, there's only so much they can do:..

    PM Responds To Petrocaribe Critics
    The budget debate finished at 6:00 pm - and at this hour, the house is debating the Petrocaribe Loans Bill. As per custom, the Prime Minister wrapped up the debate where he challenged the PUP's two principal criticism of the budget: that it was a tax and spend budget and that it relied all on loans - we have this courtesy WAVE TV: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "That we are a government of taxation. You see why I have to accused them of being ignorant and then they get vex? Ignorant, meaning they lack knowledge. My goodness man, the records are there. This government has not imposed any new taxes for the last 5 years. Then the second one was that we borrow. Well Mr. Speaker, of course we borrow. There is no government in the world that doesn't borrow. There is nothing wrong with borrowing, so long as you borrow on the right terms and conditions. So long as you borrow in the right way. So long as you borrow in the UDP way."

    Akeem Thurton's Attempted Murder Conviction Affirmed
    22 year-old Akeem Thurton, the man who was convicted in the first trial without jury of shooting and almost killing attorney Rodwell Williams, got bad news today: his conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeal. Viewers may remember that his appeal was heard exactly a week ago. At that session, Jamaican American Human Rights lawyer Nancy Mae Anderson worked with local attorney Bryan Neal to prepare a 20 ground appeal on Thurton's behalf. After deliberating, the panel of judges delivered its decision today that his appeal was dismissed, but they decided that a small amount of time needed to be subtracted from the sentence that the Chief Justice handed him in 2012.

    Appeal Court President Publicly Berates Former Bar President Courtenay
    Today was the final day of the March 2015 sessions of the Court of Appeal, and an unprecedented event - as far as we are aware - unfolded this morning. The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Manuel Sosa, actually scolded former President of the Bar Association, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, and the legal practitioners who are members of the bar. He also demanded that a public apology be issued. That happened in a packed court room full of Courtenay's peers, and it became so serious that the words, contempt of court, was brought up, though no action was actually taken. Justice of Appeal Sosa's contention is a statement which Courtenay made as President of the Bar on January 12 at this year's ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court. In his presentation to gathering and the press, Courtenay criticized the performance of the Court of Appeal October - November 2014 session. For context we re-air that portion of Courtenay's speech; here's what he had to say:

    Football National Team Travels To Gran Cayman For World Cup Qualifiers
    Today the Belize Jaguars traveled to Grand Cayman for the return match in the first round World Cup Qualifier. Wednesday's nil-nil draw at the FFB stadium in Belmopan wasn't quite what we expected but when we spoke to the players today at the Phillip Goldson International airport, they were confident that their existing game plan is sturdy and according to them, they just need more focus and a little luck. Charlie Slusher, Assistant Coach, Jaguars "I just think that the pressure from the home crowd - I think the guys really wanted to get a victory and maybe even trying to get the 6 goals that was anticipated and I think that we kind of lost our focus and was a little hasty when it comes to that final part of just settling down and making that final pass and making the goal. The level of concentration, I think was a little bit lack in the forward line. I think the goal keeper in the midfield was very great, but the last touches to get the goal was the part that we need to work on."

    Police Constable Commits Suicide
    Last night the police department was shaken after news went out that a well-known police constable had apparently taken his own life. It happened around 7:00 pm on Aloe Vera Street in the Lake Independence Area of Belize City. Police Constable #1200 Shannon Ramirez was staying at a house which is rented by a number of police officers. No one in the neighborhood heard a gin go off, but he was found dead with a shot to the head. Police believe it is a suicide. Police have not released any details but this morning the police community relations officer Douglas Hyde told us that the Department is saddened:.. Douglas Hyde, Public Relations Coordinator "Emotionally I felt it too when I heard the news a couple seconds after it happened. We work very closely. Actually he came through community policing before he actually went to one of the precincts, so it was more of an emotional hurt to us. I think after hearing the different police officers last night, it was like a shock and stunned, because he has never shown any signs to us that he is emotionally depressed, so we didn't see that angle to say that, that would have happened."

    Police's Black March: A Movement For Peace
    This morning about 400 police and city residents marched through the streets for the BLACK march. The "Be Loving Cease Killing" march for peace started at the Yabra Green and wound its way all through the city - going through all hotspots. Now we have reported on countless marches and vigils for peace and the message just doesn't seem to be getting through but today the police officers at the Eastern Division say this is more than a march, it is a movement: The BLACK march is just the start of what police say will be A YEAR FILLED WITH community policing INITIATIVES.

    High School Students Travel To England
    11 students from Belmopan Baptist High School traveled to London today for what's called a World English Experience and we caught up with the anxious group at the airport today. The students will be taken on a tour to major sites in London such as Buckingham palace and Big Ben at Westminster Palace. Apart from sightseeing, one of the main objectives is to provide classes for the students to develop their English skills. One of the coordinators told us how the opportunity came about and how this trip will positively impact their social and academic life. The students will return in time for the Easter break.

    Hon. Julius Stays On the Offensive Against Petrocaribe Bill
    The Petrocaribe Loans bill was debated after the budget - and that debate finished just a few minutes ago - ending a 10 and a half hour day in the house of representatives. The bill seeks to regularize the inflows from the Petrocaribe initiative. While all loans of a certain size have to go to the house, Government argues that since the Petrocaribe flows change every month - it cannot ask for pre-approval of a figure it does not know. This bill seeks to correct that. But the PUP says it seeks to give the Prime Minister superpowers to keep the oversight of the petrocaribe funds away form parliament. One hour ago - this is what the leading crusader against the bill Julius espat had to say:.. "What the Prime Minister is doing today, is what he should have done from the beginning, except giving him this super human power this authority to override accountability.

    Channel 5

    Telemedia’s Claim on Channel 5 Struck Out
    The Court of Appeal delivered a significant judgment ruling in favour of Great Belize Productions/Channel Five, Channel Overseas Investments Limited, Katalyst Developments Limited and Thames Ventures Limited along with several [...]

    Sedi Says CJ Has Not Requested Additional Allocation
    Day two of the budget debate, for the most part, was as unremarkable as day one. The Opposition side criticized every aspect of the Budget and the government side criticized [...]

    Parliamentarians Squabble Over Agriculture
    Elrington was followed by the Area Representative for Orange Walk South Jose Abelardo Mai, who criticized the budget because he says it offers nothing for the agricultural sector, and no [...]

    Espat Says Budget Has No Credibility
    Following that back and forth Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat, definitely not a favourite of the Barrow administration, got up to make his presentation on the budget. When the [...]

    Speaker Shuts Down Espat on Petrocaribe
    The debate on the very controversial Petrocaribe Bill, introduced in the House on Thursday, was scheduled to follow the debate on the Budget. But Espat got in some early shots [...]

    2 Southern Cops Accused of Raping a Minor
    At this time, two law enforcement officers from the south are in deep trouble with the law, and under investigation for a most despicable act. The duo from Mango Creek [...]

    Appeals Court Upholds Thurton’s Conviction
    Twenty three year old Akeem Thurton had expected to go home today after Court of Appeal Justices Samuel Awich, Dennis Morrison and Christopher Blackman ruled on his case. Despite being [...]

    Farewell to Justice Dennis Morrison
    In related news, the Court today bid farewell to long-standing jurist Justice Dennis Morrison of Jamaica, who served just shy of eleven years on the bench after more than three [...]

    Cop Kills Himself With Girlfriend’s Gun
    The police department is tonight mourning the death of one of its officers. Just before seven p.m. on Thursday, Police Constable Shannon Ramirez, who is attached to the Belama Police [...]

    Placencia Police Crack Down on Drugs
    With Easter around the corner, the police are in high alert to curb criminal activity. Earlier this week, Placencia Police conducted anti-drug operations in Seine Bight and Placencia Villages which [...]

    Julius Espat Says PM Barrow Has Destroyed Democracy
    Earlier in our newscast, we brought you some of the highlights of a budget debate which was largely uninspiring and lacklustre. Still, the Opposition managed to get in its jabs [...]

    Mark Espat on Julius’s Mind
    Former P.U.P. Albert Area Representative and current United Democratic Party insider, Mark Espat, may have left the overtly political arena years ago. But there’s no doubt his parting has left [...]

    Jaguars Depart on Delayed Flight
    The Belize Jaguars has been in the news for the past week; from a controversy of what’s seen as a locking out of star player to a disappointing scoreless qualifier [...]

    Spotlight on Table Tennis
    The 2015 fourth annual Dutch Lady Primary School Table Tennis Tournament was held today at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. Seven Belize City schools yielded over ninety-two athletes in the [...]

    City Hosts First Ever BLACK March
    Today, the Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department held a BLACK March. It’s an initiative to take back the city, which has been consumed by gang warfare in the [...]

    Wrong Man Receives Death threat
    About two weeks ago we told you about a shooting in Ladyville that sent Kenroy Arnold to the hospital for gunshot wounds to the back and hand. Well, since that [...]

    1000 Preschoolers Attend Expo in the City
    If there is one place where work is mostly play, it’s in the classroom; a preschool classroom, that is. But it’s not just any kind of play; it’s one that [...]

    Unprecedented & Controversial Petrocaribe Bill Tabled in the House
    Day one of the Budget Debate was uneventful and, as predicted, bursting at the seams with much political rhetoric and very little substance. We’ll have some of the highlights, such [...]

    PM Lashes out at Julius Espat
    The Prime Minister reserved a special dose of vitriol for Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Julius Espat. Espat on Wednesday said that the Bill, if passed, would in effect allow the [...]

    P.U.P. Leader Says Budget’s Short, Empty and Full of Political Rhetoric
    With that out the way, P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca got the budget debate started. He lashed out in short order, stating that not only was the 2015-2016 Budget the shortest [...]

    Will Arrogance and Corruption Bring the U.D.P. Gov’t to its Knees?
    Fonseca ended his presentation on a passionate note, claiming that the People’s United Party may be down, but they are not out. Rolling on the Petrocaribe bounty and unprecedented spending, [...]

    The Haves and the Have Nots in Belize
    Former Prime Minister and Fort George Area Representative Said Musa this morning echoed the words of Party Leader Francis Fonseca, claiming that the budget is all glitter and no substance, [...]

    Musa Says Debt Profile of the Country Unsustainable
    One particular area of interest to Musa is the debt profile of the country. He says that in 2008, the U.D.P. met manageable debt, and in less than ten years [...]

    Local Rice Producers Say They Can’t Reduce Cost of Rice Production
    Rice producers have finally spoken on the hot button issue of the importation of rice from Guyana.  Since last week, it came to light that in May 2014, more than [...]

    G.O.B. Says Error by PUMA Led to Increase in Fuel Prices
    The cost per gallon of regular gasoline increased sharply at the pumps on Tuesday night, ahead of the overdue arrival of a shipment of fuel from Venezuela the following morning.  [...]

    LOVE FM

    Women’s Month Ends with Award Ceremony
    Last night the Women’s Department held an Awards Ceremony at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City. The event was held to mark the closing of Women’s Month celebrated throughout the month of March with various activities around the country. Several women were honoured and recognized last night while those from the past were remembered. Cynthia Williams, Director of the Women’s Department told us about last night’s function. As we mentioned, the ceremony marked the closing of Women’s Month in March and according to Williams, the activities held throughout the month around the country were deemed a success.

    Father Suffers Memory Loss After Defending Teenage Daughter
    On March 2, we told you of the heroic stance that a father of two young girls took against six men who were hurling obscene and disrespectful remarks at one of her daughters. While admirable, the stance left the father, 42-year-old, Oscar Williams hospitalized with a swollen brain and memory loss. The incident marked the start of a troublesome time for not only the father but his children and estranged wife, Yolanda Williams. Since the attack on Williams, his wife, though separated, has been at his side at the hospital and so has his children but it hasn’t been an easy time for them, as the wife explained to us. YOLANDA WILLIAMS “Since then I would say that he is walking around moving about. The thing that still is not working to well is his memory. He doesn’t quite remember much he is living in the past. Every time that he thinks he is going to take his children to school and he needs to do this and he needs to make money to send his children to school so I don’t know if he will ever remember what he was living like before this happened but it is really hard.”

    Police Organize The March to Be BLACK
    Police officers from various precincts in Belize City met up early this morning in the Yarborough Area in Belize City for an event dubbed, the BLACK March; BLACK, b-l-a-c-K, being the acronym for ‘Be Loving and Cease Killing’. It was a march that went through various streets including communities that have been known to be crime ridden including Jump Street, Pink’s Alley and George Street. Douglas Hyde does public relations for the Police Department and he spoke of the initiative, how it came about and its objectives. “After our first walk last year, we did a health walk, Mr. Broaster and another officer had an idea that the police department can get involved in terms of the whole area of crime and violence. The reason why because many times police officers just as we are tasked to deal with investigations to deal with protection of life and property police officers are also human and when they would have incidents of shootings and murders I do hear the police officers expressing their sentiments about it whether or not they felt it personally, directly or indirectly and their emotions of hurt are expressed likewise.

    Police Constable Commits Suicide Reportedly Over Relationship Woes with Colleague
    Last night, our news centre received reports of a police constable who allegedly killed himself in his home on Aloe Vera Street in Belize City. Ordinarily, Love News has a police where we don’t cover stories on suicide due to the sensitivity of the incidents. Tonight, however, we are compelled to shed light on this incident as the officer who chose to end his life has been described by many of his colleagues as kind hearted, gentle, soft spoken, hard-working and dedicated ….. And so, that begged the question, why he would end what was described to us as a promising career he had going for him. 28-year-old, Shannon Ramirez, originally from Georgetown Village in the Stann Creek District, was stationed at Precinct Four in the Belama area and was very diligent in his performance and always well attired.

    According to Estranged Wife, Heroic Father Conditions Deteriorate
    On March 2, we told you of the heroic stance that a father of two young girls took against six men who were hurling obscene and disrespectful remarks at one of her daughters. While admirable, the stance left the father, 42-year-old, Oscar Williams hospitalized with a swollen brain and memory loss. The incident marked the start of a troublesome time for not only the father but his children and estranged wife, Yolanda Williams. Since the attack on Williams, his wife, though separated, has been at his side at the hospital and so has his children but it hasn’t been an easy time for them, as the wife explained to us. YOLANDA WILLIAMS: “Since then I would say that he is walking around moving about. The thing that still is not working to well is his memory. He doesn’t quite remember much he is living in the past. Every time that he thinks he is going to take his children to school and he needs to do this and he needs to make money to send his children to school so I don’t know if he will ever remember what he was living like before this happened but it is really hard.”

    Petrocaribe Court Case Continues; Espat Says Politicians Are Not Gods
    While various expenditure and programs planned for the upcoming fiscal year were debated over the last two days, the item on the agenda that took centre stage not only in the House of Representatives but also on various platforms including the social media was the PetroCaribe Bill that was tabled and pushed for ratification between yesterday and today. On Wednesday, March 25, we brought to you the objection of the People’s United Party via an interview with their Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat, who made it clear that should this Bill be passed it would give the Barrow Administration full control of the monies from the PetroCaribe fund with no obligation to account for the use of the money. This is not the first time that Espat has been vocal on the PetroCaribe issue, as a matter of fact – he went a bit further than talking and turned to the judicial system to sort out the matter. Espat has express grave concerns as to how the Government has been accessing funds from PetroCaribe and how they have been using the monies without proper accountability to the House of Representatives.

    Leslie Speaks on Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic
    On March, the Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with the Belize Electricity Limited will be having their 16th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic. The race is schedule to commence at 9:00 am from the Succotz Ferry in San Jose Succotz to Leslie’s Imports. Today President of the Cycling Federation of Belize, Dion Leslie, spoke to Love News more about this weekend cycling classic race. “This weekend is the 16th annual B.E.L Junior Cross Country. It is on Sunday, it leaves from Succotz Village in the Cayo district at 9 am and travels to Santa Elena through to San Ignacio, Santa Elena, down to Belize City where it will finish in front of Leslie’s imports at mile 1 1/2 on the George Price Highway. It is the 16th annual and for the Juniors it is their largest race if you look at the history of it the big names that are in cycling right now have won this race already so it is a prestigious race it is the most prestigious race for the junior category.

    Woman Busted With Weed Whilst Visiting Her Son at Prison
    Fifty year old Primrose Hendricks who plead guilty to drug trafficking for attempting to smuggle 63 grams of cannabis into Belize Central prison, was spared a custodial sentence today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Hendricks was fined $10,000 and she was given until June 30 to pay. If she defaults on payment he will serve 3 years. Hendricks was busted on December 22, 2013, when she went to prison to take food for her son, who is an inmate. When a search was conducted on the 2 foam plates with food, it was discovered that an additional plate under the foam plates contained plastic bags with cannabis . as a result, Hendricks was arrested and charged.

    GOB Funds Training For Residents of PG on Sustainable Development
    Residents of Punta Gorda Town are being given an opportunity to attend a training on capacity building training for sustainable national development. The training falls under the program, ‘Organizational Strengthening’ and was funded by the Government of Belize at a cost of one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars. The project was launched today and is being implemented by Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF), as part of its mandate to work in line with the Government’s poverty alleviation strategy. BSIF in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Open Campus Belize will train five staff members of PLENTY Belize as trainers; who will then train members of Non-Government and Community Based Organizations based in the Toledo District. Topics will include Group Facilitation Techniques/Adult Learning Theory, Conflict Resolution, Records Management, Management Skills, Training Evaluations and Customer Services.

    Belize Delegation Returns From International Garifuna Summit
    Members of the Garifuna community recently returned home after attending an international Garifuna Summit at the invitation of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The summit took place between March 8 and 15 under the theme, “The Garifuna, a Nation Displaced-Cultural Rights, Economic Survival and Reparations.” At the summit, participants from various countries attended workshops, conference, tours, cultural extravaganza and a wreath laying ceremony at the Garifuna Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer Monument in St. Vincent and Grenadines Day of Heroes, March 14. In addition to these events, a pilgrimage to Balliceaux was done the following day as a remembrance of when the Garinagu were sent to that island in July 1796 before being exiled from their homeland.

    PlusTV

    Roots and Honor releases new music video and single
    MD & The R1pple 3ffect Band released their first music video off the album ‘Giant Slayer EP’ for the single, GIANT SLAYER. Giant Slayer is the official second single from their album, Giant Slayer EP (Extended Play), which was released in February 2015...

    2015-2016 Budget Debate
    Today the was the first day of the budget debate where Ministers on both sides of the aisle gave their input on the Public budget for the fiscal year 2015 to 2016. Last year’s budget was described as a noodles budget by the opposition leader. This year, he had a different description...

    Belize Drew with Cayman Island
    Last night,Wednesday march 25, The Belize national football team, the Jaguars, played to a very small audience at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan against the national team of the cayman islands, which ranks 205 out of 209...

    One Woman Protest Against the Petro Caribe Bill
    The introduction of the Petro Caribe loan motion that puts into law what GOB  has been doing all along- which is the acquiring and spending of Petro Caribe monies without prior approval from parliament, has raised many eyebrows especially...

    Church Bus overturns on highway
    There was a traffic accident last night, Wednesday March 25, on the George Price highway, in the village of Camalote.  The accident involved a Church bus...

    Julius: Barrow think He get Weh
    The bill was moved through all its stages today however it was not up for debate...

    Controversial Petrocaribe loan Bill passed in House
    Today is day one of the two day debate on the Proposed budget for 2015/2016. And while the budget would normally be the highlighted arguments in the house, the BILL passed in the House today seems to have garnered most of the attention. That bill is the PetroCaribe Loan Ac  2015. The bill states:

    Mother of inmate spared jail over marijuana
    Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer declined to send the mother of a prison inmate to serve time herself for allegedly attempting to smuggle marijuana into the Central Prison at Hattieville...

    Soldier arrested for burglary and grievous harm
    A Belizean soldier has been arrested for the crimes of burglary, grievous harm, and damage to property. Alex Candido Tzul, a  38 year old Belizean soldier of Calcutta was accused by 48 year old Jesus Mossiah,  a vendor of Calcutta Village, Corozal District...

    Shots Fired in Belize City
    There was a shooting incident in Belize City on Wednesday night. 31-year-old Mark Medina of Belize City reported that at about 9:30p.m. he was walking  towards his car which was parked on East Canal...

    Amandala

    The price of rice!
    What does it have to do with the price of rice? It is an old adage which happens to be the center of an ongoing controversy that has arisen because an Indian merchant is poised to import cheaper rice, much to the chagrin of local rice producers and government officials who are hesitant to grant him a permit due to the upheaval that it will cause in the local market. The said importer, Jack Charles, has promised to retail the Guyana-based rice for 69 cents per pound – which is about 50 cents less than the current price of local rice – since, according to Charles, the local rice producers, who distribute their product at a wholesale price of 94 cents per pound, are making “unfair and unjust profits” by gouging consumers. After the Government of Belize issued a release yesterday which stated that all relevant ministries are conducting an in-depth review of the local rice industry to address the issue “as it relates to the production and supply of rice to the Belizean public”, the local rice producers called a press conference today to respond to various recent public criticisms, one of which involved an accusation that they have teamed up to monopolize the industry.

    Police constable shot himself in the head
    A number of residents of Olivera Street in the Lake Independence area came out of their homes tonight to watch as a number of police vehicles descended on their neighborhood. After being on the scene for about two hours, police removed the body of a fellow police officer who reportedly shot himself in the head earlier this evening. Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez has confirmed to Amandala tonight that Police Constable Shannon Ramirez died from a gunshot wound to the head, but he was not able to say whether the wound was accidentally inflicted or otherwise. A neighbor told Amandala that she did not hear any gunshot and was surprised to learn that her policeman neighbor had died from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    Wife-beating man sentenced to 2 years in prison
    A Ladyville man who was recently released from prison after serving a fourteen-month sentence was sentenced to two years in prison this morning when he appeared for sentencing before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who had remanded him in custody yesterday after he pleaded guilty to one count of harm upon his wife, who had a court restraining order against him. Smith told Nathan Pratt, 46, “You obviously have a serious issue with anger. You like to beat women and you are a bully. I am going to send you away so you can learn how to control your anger. You are sentenced to two years in prison.”

    PUP will fight “scandalous” new PetroCaribe bill
    Even before the budget debate got underway this morning, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow tried to clear the air on a controversial new bill which had been circulated to Parliamentarians prior to this morning’s House meeting, with the notification that the Government intends to expedite the passage of the new bill concurrently with the passage of the new national budget, which takes effect on April 1. Barrow said that, “On the news last night, some of the people from the other side had some absolutely untrue things to say…” Barrow said that the response of the Opposition People’s United Party has been a mere continuation of their efforts to demonize the government with respect to PetroCaribe funding. The Opposition, he said, had signaled its intent, once again, to try to derail what has been a wonderful initiative that has powered development and transformation across Belize. “We are not going to allow that to happen!” Barrow said.

    Surprise price hike – GOB says “invoicing error”
    After days of scarcity of premium fuel, the gas stations are stocked with a fresh supply – a supply which allows consumers, at least for the time being, to be able to purchase premium gasoline for 9 cents less than they pay for regular gasoline. Earlier this week, the price of regular gasoline was increased by more than a dollar on the gallon to $8.89, although no new shipment had come into the country. The Ministry of Finance has issued a press release claiming that the “surprise price hike” was due to an “invoicing error.” Even as the price of regular gas spiked, consumers had a hard time sourcing premium gasoline and were forced to fill up on regular gas.

    The Opposition begins to pound the 2015-2016 budget
    The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) today responded to the budget presentation made two weeks ago by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow – a budget which Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca said “had nothing to offer,” apart from political rhetoric and grandstanding. Fonseca said that he had two preliminary observations on the budget. Firstly, he said, that although Barrow claimed that his budget speech would be the shortest speech he has given in the past 7 years, it was “not only the shortest budget speech; it is the emptiest budget speech ever read in this House… because the budget does not offer any meaningful path to sustainable development.” “What they offer is more of the UDP agenda of tax, borrow and spend,” Fonseca said.

    Belize, Cayman Islands draw in WCQ
    Belize and the Cayman Islands opened their CONCACAF qualifying first round series for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night at FFB Field. The result snapped Belize’s six-game losing streak, while the match was the Caymanians’ first full international since playing the Dominican Republic to a 1-1 stalemate in a qualifier for Brazil 2014 on November 14, 2011. The best chance of the game fell to the host’s Harrison Roches, whose 66th minute goal was disallowed for offside. Cayman captain Abi-Jah Rivers was delighted with outcome against the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup participant, saying: “That’s football.” The two-legged series will shift to the Caribbean on Sunday, when the sides meet again at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town. The winner will advance to face the Dominican Republic in June.

    Cricket: Sunrise hits Brilliant hard
    The Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2015 continued over the weekend with the following games played. Brilliant of Crooked Tree, to play Sunrise at Lords Bank. What a lovely day it was for cricket. Brilliant took to bat first. Early in the game, things weren’t going well for the Brilliant Boys, as wickets start falling by bowlers Edison Parks and Conway Jones. When 5 wickets fell, Brilliant had scored a mere 38 runs. Later on in the game, the batting started to show good improvement, so the Sunrise captain called in Zaghlool “Zaggi” Muhammad with his tricky left-hand bowling. Things changed again in favor of the home team. Zaggi took down 4 of the remaining 5 batsmen. Brilliant was all out for 83 runs.

    BelCare Grassroots Football Festivals in Belize City and Belmopan
    Earlier this month, the Belcare Football Youth Academy held two more Grassroots Football Festivals, one in Belize City in conjunction with Stars Football Summer Camp under coordinator Stanley Jordan Reneau, and the other in Belmopan in conjunction with the Belmopan Football Committee, headed by Mr. Amilcar Umana. BelCare in Belize City In Belize City, the BelCare Grassroots Football Festival took place on Sunday, March 8, at the MCC Grounds, beginning at 12:30 p.m., and saw hundreds of “Chevrolet One World Football Project” footballs distributed to 4 summer camp organizations, 10 SMART Mundialito teams, as well as a number of other community sports groupings. Later, footballs were also to be issued to primary and secondary schools, and a few other community sports groupings.

    Editorial: ¡Adelante, académicos!
    In an article she submitted recently to Amandala (published in this issue) the lady, Therese Belisle-Nweke, a Belizean who has lived in Lagos with her Nigerian husband for several decades, brought up the serious and important subject of West Indian Federation. One of the reasons the subject was serious and important in the modern politics of British Honduras was because of the matter of race. Another reason was that West Indian Federation involved the issue of large scale immigration into the colony. West Indian Federation was a critical subject in the politics of British Honduras in the late 1940s and the 1950s, and it may have been the dispute about Federation inside the leadership of the nationalist People’s United Party (PUP) which, ultimately, caused PUP leaders, Leigh Richardson and Philip Goldson, to be overthrown and replaced by George Price in September of 1956. Unlike the Belgian government, which cast the Congo people into political independence in 1960 without any preparation for that socio-constitutional change, the British did various studies and wrote several reports in order to assist Belize in its move to self-rule. There was, for instance, an Evans Commission in 1948, and the Downie Report of 1959, both of which looked at the immigration matter. It was felt that the colony was under-populated and required an infusion of immigrants.

    Petition from the Stann Creek Fishermen Association (SCFA)
    Dear Editor, Please allow us a little of your time with this petition. We at the (Stann Creek Fishermen Association (SCFA) have been in an uphill struggle with the Belize Fisheries Department for a couple years now and with this new GoB/World Bank initiative (see info in body), we are trying not get locked out and left behind permanently. It follows: The SCFA, in support of its affected members’ constitutional rights is respectfully calling on the Minister of Fisheries and the Fisheries Department, et al, for an immediate address to the following. The recent realignment of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve (SWCMR) Conservation Zone 1 western perimeter buoys is arbitrary (i.e., absolutely no public consultation was carried out /or nothing was Gazetted to justify amending the S.I. This S.I. was signed into place by GoB Cabinet in 1996 and established specific coordinates for the marine protected area. The current GPS positions of the buoys in question are as follows : 1. Tobacco Caye Range NE, N-16,52,525; W-088,04.812 2. Tobacco Caye Range middle E, N-16,52,256; W-088,04.865 3. Tobacco Caye Range SE, N-16,54,599; W- 088,05.406

    World Water Day 2015 focuses on sustainable development
    World Water Day 2015 will be formally observed on Sunday, March 22, and this year, the theme is “Water and Sustainable Development”. Leading up to that observance, celebrations were held on Friday, March 20, at the Memorial Park in Belize City, where several booths featured displays and lots of information on the importance of water to Belize’s development. City Councilor Bernard Pitts, Jr., said in his welcome remarks at Friday’s opening ceremony that Belizeans need to individually assess their own water consumption habits. If we are not diligent, we will find ourselves in a predicament, Pitts said. “Water is life: let us all do our part!” Pitts said.

    2015 begins with price ease, higher imports, but lower exports
    The year 2015 started off with a price ease, according to data just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). Whereas 2014 ended with an inflation rate of 1%, February 2015 is recording a low inflation rate of -1.2%, the same as January 2015, according to data released this morning by Angelita Campbell, Statistician II. The SIB uses a basket of 260 goods to determine price changes. Looking at the major categories, Campbell explained that prices in the miscellaneous goods and services grouping were up by 1.3%, due primarily to increases in health and transport insurance costs, while prices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels were down 0.7%, with butane prices falling from a high of $125.19 for the 100-pound cylinder last year to an average of $93.14 this year. She said that there was also a decrease in electricity prices by about 2-3 cents per kilowatt hour. Prices in the transport category were down substantially by 7.4%, due to a decrease in the fuel index of 21.4%, with fuel prices down by over 3 bucks per gallon this February as compared to last February. Food prices were down about 1%, with meat prices up by 1.8% but eggs down by 18.3% this February, (down from $3.62 to $3.13), vegetable prices down by 11.6 % (with cabbage prices down by about a third), and the price of fruits down by 4.2% (with pineapple prices down 12.8% and watermelon 33.1%).

    Complaints against police escalate in 2014: Ombudsman’s report
    Since 1999, citizens who are victims of abuses by public authorities have an independent complaints office which could investigate and seek redress on their behalf. That office is the Office of the Ombudsman of Belize, currently headed by Lionel Arzu, MSc. Arzu’s 14th Annual Report, covering the period of January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014, his second year in office, was tabled in Parliament at its last Sitting, and it was this week the subject of a committee review in the National Assembly. Arzu reports that during 2014, private citizens made a total of 220 new complaints against public authorities — comparable to previous years, both in terms of the number and nature of the complaints made. Arzu’s office similarly reported receiving 211 complaints over the course of 2013, and he noted that public authorities had not responded in nearly 7 in 10 of the cases. Of those, 99 complaints were against the police, Arzu told Amandala today.

    The Reporter

    Belize Jaguars’ 0-0 draw with Caymans disappoints fans
    Belizean football fans could not help but voice their disappointment after the Belize Jaguars missed a golden opportunity to score a home victory and settled for a scoreless draw when the Football Federation of Belize hosted the Cayman Islands for the first game of the World Cup 2018 Russia qualifiers […]

    PM Barrow’s 2015-2016 Budget Debated
    Parliamentarians from both sides of the House of Representatives dissected and debated, at great length, the budget for fiscal for 2015-2016. Much of the discussion was agenda-driven, as has become traditional, and much of it was blatant politicking as opposed to a rational, logical analysis of the document, which will […]

    US Coast Guard seizes US $16m in cocaine, three smugglers arrested
    The United States Coast Guard says it has transferred custody of three Dominican Republic smugglers and about 1,100 pounds of cocaine to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) following an at-sea interdiction off the coast of Guayama, Puerto Rico. On Wednesday, the Coast Guard said the interdiction was the result […]

    The Belize Times

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Court of Appeal scolds ex-Bar President over comments
    Former president of the Bar Association of Belize, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, was widely quoted in his speech at the ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court in January as openly criticizing the Court of Appeal on its recent performance, citing the October-November 2014 session as hearing no criminal […]

    Channel Overseas wins court appeal on Channel 5
    The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Channel Overseas Investments Limited, Katalyst Developments Limited, Thames Ventures Limited, Great Belize Productions Limited and several former directors of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) in their case against BTL and the Belize Bank over the acquisition and financing of Great […]

    Akeem Thurton attempted murder conviction upheld in Court of Appeal
    23 year old Akeem Thurton had expected to go home today after Court of Appeal Justices Samuel Awich, Dennis Morrison and Christopher Blackman ruled on his case. Despite being convicted in March of 2012 in the first ever trial of a murder charge heard by a judge alone […]

    Businessman accused of employing undocumented worker
    39 year old David Betancourt, a businessman of 113 Bradley Crescent, Belama phase 2, was charged with employing a person not in possession of a valid temporary employment permit when he appeared today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. Betancourt pleaded not guilty to the charge. His case was adjourned until […]

    Couple charged over assault of woman
    A Honduran national is accused of going into a woman’s home in Belize City with the intention of raping her, only to be foiled by his own significant other who then turned on the victim as well. The accused are 39 year old Honduran Justo Murillo and Belizean 28 year […]

    Belize Jaguars to Play in Cayman Islands on Sunday
    After a spectacular nil nil football match this past Wednesday, Team Belize prepares to travel to Cayman Island to seal what they have already started. This past Wednesday, Belize’s Jaguar’s dominated the entire game, however the opportunity of goal was just not in their favor. The Jaguars attacked the visitors’ goal […]

    Belize Prepares for Band Fest 2015
    With just a couple hours away, the anxiety and nerves are at its peak in all participants. Over 10 marching Bands are today fine tuning their instruments in sight of one of the largest musical competition in the jewel. It’s the tenth edition of Belize Band Fest. Thousands of spectators […]

    Placencia police crack down on drug trafficking
    Police in Placencia are again reporting their successful drug operations as they prepare for Easter Activities on the peninsula. With Easter being exactly one week away, Placencia Police continue to injure the drug activity on the peninsula sounding the alarm loudly that drugs on the peninsula is not tolerated. Earlier […]

    Two Men dressed in BTL uniform made away with over 7 thousand dollars; BTL responds with a press release
    Two Men dressed in BTL uniform allegedly committed burglary and BTL has responded with a press release. According to reports, two men dressed in BTL uniforms arrived at the Budhrani residence at the upper flat of Rakhis Hair Salon, where Forty-six-year-old house keeper Vilma Rauda who was at the house […]

    BTIA Revitalizes Chapter in Corozal
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association, Corozal Chapter held its first meeting with the objective to update current and new members on the overview of the plans of the BTIA National for all existing Destination Chapters. The BTIA is currently under the leadership of Osmany Salas as President and John M. Burgos as Executive Director. The efforts of the BTIA as Belize’s Largest Tourism organization has not only been focused in promoting the vibrant tourism product, but also, in strengthening and assisting each destination by creating pathways for development which will enhance the sustainable growth of the Tourism industry. BTIA President, Salas emphasized on the importance of building a stronger association which is one of the main goals for this fiscal year.

    Blogs

    What You Can Expect From Easter Weekend in San Pedro, Belize Plus The Proper Dress Code
    Easter in Belize is pretty different from the Easter I knew in the States. I grew up with a holiday devoted to church, the Easter bunny, candy and fake green plastic grass that your dog ate and later threw up. It was pretty much a one day event, Easter Sunday…but here in Belize, it’s a full blown 4 day PARTY weekend. The longest holiday of the year (even Christmas is only Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day) – Easter is Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday AND Easter Monday. Even the Labour Department applies some heavy-duty overtime rules that give some businesses enough incentive to shut down for the whole weekend. Employees are paid double time on Easter Monday and Good Friday and 1.5x on both Saturday and Sunday.

    Traditional Maya Farming In Belize
    “’I never say I own this land,” says Eladio Pop, an ethnic Maya who lives and farms near the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Lubaantun in southern Belize. “I can only be a caretaker.’” From “Farming in the forest in Belize” One of the advantages of constantly scanning the media for news about Belize is that you get to learn so many new things. You wouldn’t think that such a tiny country could be that interesting, but when you consider Belize’s colourful history, rich Maya heritage, the amazing ecological diversity packed within an area only some 180 miles long by 68 miles wide (where else can you find the world’s second largest barrier reef, hundreds of islands, vast tracts of wilderness containing the Maya Mountains, pristine rainforests hiding the remnants of the ancient Maya civilization, the largest cave network in the Americas and much more) and an educated, switched-on population, it begins to make sense.

    International Sourcesizz

    ETBU students spend break in Belize
    A small student team from East Texas Baptist University went to Belize over spring break to help a village have pure water again. "Eight 'ETBUers' traveled outside Punta Gorda in the Toledo district of Belize to a small village," said Lisa Seeley, ETBU's director of the Great Commission Center. "This district is one of the poorest areas in Belize. The village of 168 people has no electricity and only three hand pump wells in which all were contaminated." The ETBU team served alongside Hope Springs Water and the Belize Training Center. Hope Springs Waters is a ministry based in Athens, Texas, with the mission to provide safe water, sanitation, and public health education in developing countries. Missionaries Bob and Rhonda Farley are leaders at the Belize Training Center which can house groups who come to Belize to minister. The Farleys also disciple new believers and train local church leaders in evangelism and ministry.

    The Real Estate Market of Belize - Why is it So Hot and Happening?
    While the grim realities of the country do exist, parallel to it, is the inflating tourism industry. Each year, the number of tourists visiting Belize reaches a higher number, while the month of March is when the most tourists visit the country. According to an article, a report by the Belize Tourism Board states that the country surpassed 300,000 overnight visitors in 2014, up by 9.2% from the previous year 2013. Other than that, cruise ship arrivals saw a big triple digit increase of 120.2%, followed by July with 106.8% increase. The economy of Belize significantly runs through the growing tourism industry, and with the numbers increasing each year, the need for businesses, hotels, restaurants and bars is going up. A lot of businesses are opening up regional headquarters or offices in this country as there is great potential to grow. While investing in the Belizean market is highly risky, it gives high returns too. With businesses opening up, the number of expats is growing too, which has led to a flourishing real estate market. Many expatriates are cashing on the easy government taxes to buy a second home, or a retirement home in Belize.

    TaiwanICDF to launch more public health programs overseas
    A Taiwanese government-funded agency is set to launch more aid programs later this year to help improve public health in Central American and African countries that are Taiwan's diplomatic allies. The Taipei-based International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) said this week that it will kickstart a program in June to help Belize promote public education on the prevention of chronic kidney disease and improve its medical treatment for people who suffer from the disease. The agency will cooperate with Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City to carry out the program in the Central American country, it added.

    Seven Perfect Days in Belize
    I have been traveling to Belize every year for more than a decade and am already planning my next trip. Why? As the only English-speaking country in Central America, as well as one of its smallest (it’s about the size of New Jersey), Belize is surprisingly easy to navigate. Local residents are fun-loving, friendly, and appreciate nature; nearly half of the country is protected rain forest, including Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve, the world’s first wilderness sanctuary for jaguars. Just offshore lies the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, teeming with marine life and dotted with dozens of tiny tropical islands ideal for kayaking and snorkeling. Belize’s subterranean rivers make it possible to explore the country’s elaborate underground cave system—which might be the most extensive on Earth (National Geographic explorers have been mapping it since the 1960s)—while floating in an inner tube. There are also dozens of Maya archaeological sites throughout Belize—many still being excavated—including Caracol, which ranked among the ancient civilization’s largest cities. Though most Belize-bound travelers go to escape the winter blues, spring (especially May and June) happens to be my favorite time to visit.

    Videos

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min. A fun video of Ambergris Caye, set to Pharrell's "Happy". Several Ambergris Caye snorkel sites are highlighted, as well as some deep sea and reef fishing. This is all shot with several GoPro cameras and edited in Premier Pro CC.

  • Moray Eel in Belize, 1.5min. This was very cool to see a Moray Eel out swimming. Usually they are tucked away and I just see their heads.

  • Belize 2015 video, 21min. Lots of scuba and snorkeling!

  • Belize Pretty Please, 3min. Belize Pretty Please, written by Bill Zucky, is a catchy little tune that the San Ignacio Resort Hotel uses in its latest promo. You can see plenty of the Green Iguana Conservation Project, along with a lot of the SIRH, in the video.

  • Belize short, 3min. Erin and I traveled to Belize last summer and fell in love with Punta Gorda. Our guesthouse was just steps from a historic cemetery — rather large pieces of which were scattered a little farther along.

  • Belize Draws Nil with Cayman National Team, 3min.

  • Belgium - Belize, 5min.

  • "Q'eqchi' Maya Reproductive Ethnomedicine and Women's Healing Traditions in Belize", 76min. Jillian M. De Gezelle, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor, Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, NC State University

  • Altun Ha in 3D ancient Mayan settlement in Belize, 5.5min. This was a day trip from our Cruise ship Vision of the Seas after a boat ride up the River Wallace or Belize River. This is one of the older yet well preserved ancient Mayan cities in the region.

  • Altun Ha in 2D ancient Mayan settlement in Belize, 5.5min.

  • Belize - Zip Lining and Barton Creek, 5min. Zip lining at Calico Jack's Belize in the Cayo Distrinct of Belize and then onto Baron Creek Cave. Arranged through Francis Ford Coppola's Blancaneaux Lodge

  • Dolphins Playing in Belize!, .5min. It was an awesome snorkeling day in Placencia Belize, and it ended even better with our dolphin friends saying hello.

  • Belize: Hacienda Maya & Gilligan's Island, 16min.

  • Belize 2015, 9.5min.

    March 27, 2015


    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 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    SPJC participates at the ATLIB National Football Championship
    The 2015 Association of Tertiary Level Institution of Belize (ATLIB) National Football Championship was held on Saturday, March 21st and Sunday, March 22nd at Santa Clara Village in the Corozal District. Four female and four male teams face off for the coveted title of National Champions. Participants included the female teams from San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) and Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College (CEMJC) representing the north, while the south was represented by the University of Belize (UB) and Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College (SCEJC). Representation for the male teams included CEMJC and Saint John’s College Junior College (SJCJC) from the north, and UB and Sacred Heart Junior College (SHJC) from the south. Unfortunately, competition proved to be too tough from the SPJC girls as the championship went to UB’s female team. Taking the male championship was the CEMJC team.

    Thousands of students sit the PSE
    Thousands of students countrywide sat the first part of the national Primary School Examination (PSE) on Monday March 23rd. In San Pedro Town, a total of 298 students from seven schools on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker partook in the exams. The examination took place at the San Pedro High School and the first part of the exam tested the students in their knowledge of English and Science. The exam saw the students tackling 50 multiple choice English questions in the first part of the morning and were given four options in each question. They had to fill-in their answers on a computer readable sheet. The second part of the English paper tested the students’ writing, mental and creative ability.

    Four contestants vie for the title of Miss San Pedro Lions
    The Miss San Pedro Lions Pageant is scheduled to take place on Saturday March 28th at 7:30PM at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. Four lovely contestants are vying for the title of Miss San Pedro Lions 2015-2016. Ciara Duran, Jessica Bradley, Marisha Thompson and Ezra Jacobs will take to the stage in all the glitz and glamour of pageantry in hopes of charming the judges. Only one girl will win and be crowned by reigning Miss San Pedro Lions Arlethe Lima. With only a couple days away, the contestants are making final preparations to perform their best on pageant day. Everyone is invited to come out and enjoy the show. General admission is $5, while reserved seating is $10. Tickets are available from Lions Members, The San Pedro Sun, Traveller’s Liquors and at the gate the night of the event. There will be lots to eat and drink on sale, as well as performances by San Pedro Dance Academy, David Aguilar, Miss Carnival 2015 and DJ Debbie. The San Pedro Sun wishes all the contestants the best of luck!

    Tiger Sharks stop the Running Rebels in home court
    Amidst the dispute over the undecided outcome of last week’s game, The San Pedro Tiger Sharks headed to court on Saturday March 21st where they faced the Orange Walk Running Rebels. The game took place at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium in San Pedro Town and by all indication, it was an easy walk for the Tiger Sharks who turned another victory. From the onset of the first quarter, Tiger Sharks set the pace, leading in every quarter, even if it was not by a commanding lead. As is customary in 2015, the most exciting part of the game came in the last quarter. With five minutes remaining in the game, Orange Walk Running Rebels trailed by only two points. But the constant intelligent moves by the Sharks kept them ahead and they eventually rode the wave to victory. When the final blast sounded, Tiger Sharks had secured its victory with a score of 73 to 66.

    Ambergris Today

    12 Million Dollar Project to Boost Belize Forests
    A 5-year project to increase the benefits of people living adjacent to protected areas in Belize will be launched Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Based on a US$6.08 million grant from the Global Environment Facility, the project will strengthen the forests’ sustainable production of food, raw materials, water, medicinal products, boost tourism, help improve protection from natural disasters, and mitigate the effects of climate change. The “Management and Protection of Key Biodiversity Areas Project” (KBA Project) will be carried out by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (MFFSD). The MFFSD will partner with 49 communities to increase their involvement and benefits from sustainable livelihood opportunities offered by the forests.

    Sargasso Releases Poisonous Gas - Are islanders Getting Sick?
    Do you smell that? Probably not through these images of Ambergris Caye’ shorelines literally covered by tons of sargasso (seaweed), but island residents have gotten tired if the rotten smell of eggs created by the gas emitted by the decomposing sargasso. They are now wondering if the gas can, or is making them sick. The stench has pretty much filled the air on the entire island of Ambergris Caye, Belize as the never-ending flow of Sargasso keeps piling up on the beaches. If you have tried to walk along the beach, you've likely stepped in it. The amount of seaweed multiplying on the beach is way above normal and definitely catching the attention of everyone. The stench of gas emitted by the rotting Sargasso is unbearable in some particular areas of the island where it has accumulated in large quantities. But the ‘sargasso problem’ is not isolated to Belize only; the Caribbean, Central America, Africa Coast and even the east coast of USA are being heavily affected. Some scientists are now warning on the health risks linked to the massive invasion of sargassum, a seaweed originating from the Sea of Sargasso, located between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Uses of Petrocaribe Money
    Today, the Government of Belize will pass the following bill through all its stages:- "Notwithstanding anything contained in the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act, 2005, or any other law to the contrary, it shall be lawful for the Government of Belize to borrow money from ALBA Petrocaribe (Belize Energy) Limited in any amounts without the prior authorisation of the National Assembly and to enter into a loan agreement with APBEL for the said purpose. No limitations shall apply to the use of the money borrowed from APBEL and it may be used to finance capital projects as well as to provide social and community assistance to the poor and the socially marginalised, and any other legitimate purpose as the Government may consider fit."

    GOB CLARIFIES CAUSES OF RECENT FUEL PRICE INCREASE
    The Ministry of Finance wishes to clarify that the recent sharp increase in the pump price for Regular Gasoline is due to a correction of an invoicing error made last week on the part of Puma Energy Belize, and that this increase in price is not related to the shipment of fuel that was received in Belize earlier this week.

    Power interruption 8:00am to 11:00am, Saturday, March 28, Corozal
    Villages of San Victor, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Roman, Estrella, Libertad, San Narciso, Luisville, Concepcion, Aventura, San Pedro, Cristo Rey, Yo Chen, Patchakan and Chan Chen. BEL to conduct works related to the expansion of the power distribution system in Santa Clara.

    NEW BTIA COROZAL CHAPTER BOARD
    On March 24, 2015 the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) Corozal Chapter held its first meeting at the Corozal ITVET. The revitalization of this Chapter is part of the progressive work that the BTIA National has undertaken with the supportive leadership of Mr. Osmany Salas, President of BTIA and Mr. John M. Burgos, Executive Director of BTIA. The main objective of this meeting was to update current and new members on the overview of the BTIA National Plans for all existing Destination Chapters. The efforts of the BTIA as Belize's Largest Tourism organization has not only been focused in promoting the vibrant tourism product, but also, in strengthening and assisting each destination by creating pathways for development which will enhance the sustainable growth of the Tourism industry. BTIA President, Mr. Osmany Salas emphasized on the importance of building a stronger association which is one of the main goals for this year. He shared, "Tourism is the nation's largest single industry, yet our influence over that industry's future is far less than it should be. Our task then is for each and every one of us to commit to do our part to revitalize our BTIA." Mr. Salas further comprised, "Our Board will do its part to make that happen, but we will need the support and involvement of all our Chapters and members."

    Power Interruption- San Pedro- Saturday, March 28, 2015
    Belize Electricity Limited advises its customers in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, that the supply of electricity will be temporarily interrupted from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Areas to be affected: the area in San Pedro Town from the BEL Office on Pescador Drive to the San Pedrito area, including Angel Coral Street and Elliot Subdivision. Two ten minute power interruptions from 6:00 a.m. to 6:10 a.m. and from 9:50 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. will also affect the Southern portion of San Pedro from Sunbreeze Hotel onward to Island Cottage Resort. BEL apologizes for the inconvenience caused, but this scheduled power interruption is necessary for the Company to relocate high voltage lines in San Pedro Town.

    Rubbish dumping problem in San Pedro
    A few weeks back, I promised to do regular updates on the rubbish dumping problem in my area. Last week, I was very optimistic and hoping something would be done. Well......something has been 'done'. The rubbish has not been removed. Instead, it has, in parts, been covered with sargassum seaweed. Maybe I'm crazy, but for me, something being done would be removing all the rubbish from the area and tidying it up to make it beautiful again. Here are the photos. Please feel free to share your view on what has been 'done'. I'm sure this wasn't done on purpose and was just a misunderstanding. Because we all know that just because you can't see it (and in this case you still can and as soon as it dries, will be able to see more), doesn't mean it's not there. I'm still hopeful and have my hands waiting in the air waiting to applaud Daniel Guerrero & Gary Greif for getting it right, which I know will be very soon!

    Norwegian Cruise Line illegally dumping boulders on coral
    This photo shows Norwegian Cruise Line illegally dumping boulders on healthy, living coral at Harvest Caye in southern Belize. Norwegian Cruise Line is destroying Belize's reef in preparing Harvest Caye as its cruise port.

    Juegos en la Casita de Caracol
    la casita de Caracol se llena de amor y alegria con niñas y niños que llegan a pasarla BIEN.

    Impacts to Coral Patch in the Placencia Area
    Department of the Environment - DOE

    Dumping in Alta Mar area
    Concerned citizens have contacted the San Pedro Town Council in regards to a street in the Alta Mar area that has been used a site for illegal dumping. Cleaning of said area has commenced as shown in the before and after pictures below. We thank every one that brought this to our attention. Please pass on the message that the proper dumping of garbage is to be done at the Garbage Site in South Ambergris Caye.

    Calla Creek Book Day
    4 the World distributed books to the children at Calla Creek primary school. Look at all those happy faces. Reading is the key. Thanks, 4 the World, for all you do for the children in Calla Creek! "4 the World volunteers handed out free books to all the kids and teachers in the village. It was a really fun to see how happy the kids were when they were able to choose any book that they wanted. Many of our volunteers played games and read books with the kids. The books for this program were all collected or donated from the US and the books were covered with contact paper to make them last longer. Thanks to everyone who donated books to 4 the World and made this day possible."

    Cayo on Tripadvisor Top 10
    San Ignacio once again made it on Tripadvisor's Top 10 Caribbean Destinations list! Oddly, it's number 10, and not 1st place...next year. The Green Iguana Conservation Project, located at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel tops the list of attractions in San Ignacio. San Pedro was listed as 2nd place on the list. "It’s true: parts of Belize are getting touristy. But San Ignacio remains rustic, making it a great base for budget-friendly tropical adventure travel. Canoe on the Macal River, or walk to Mayan ruins at Cahal Pech(just be warned: it's uphill)."

    THE LEGENDARY BELIZEAN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPION, THE LATE ALPHEUS WILLIAMS!
    IN THE SPIRIT OF ALL BELIZEANS CYCLISTS, PAST AND PRESENT, WHO RODE THE CLASSICAL RACE! When the most dynamic cycling race in all of Central America and the Caribbean was void of foreign riders and their doping power, to steal the fame from Belizean riders, and capture the Garland.

    Channel 7

    PM Presents Petrocaribe Loans Bill; Opposition Bristles
    Last night we told you about the Petrocaribe Loans Bill - which had the opposition in an uproar. Well, it was tabled in the House of Representatives today and set to go through all its stages in one sitting. The PUP Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee was outspoken in his criticism, calling it a dangerous price of legislation and a sign that the Prime Minister has gone mad. But today in the National Assembly, the Prime Minister didn't shy away from the legislation, he said it gave him great pleasure to introduce it. But he took no pleasure in addressing Espat:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Those on the other side - you know, let me try to restrain myself. Said that under this bill, if were to be passed, I would be able to write a Petrocaribe cheque to my family. How ridiculous? How absolutely outrageous? Mr. Speaker, if this bill is passed, all it does is to put beyond question our ability - the authority, the jurisdiction to continue to borrow from Apbel - to continue to make use of the Petrocaribe funds.

    House Debate Occasionally Humorous But Not Wholesome
    The Petrocaribe Loan Bill was the first piece of business at today's house meeting - and the second was the budget debate. As is customary, Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca opened the debate with his response to the budget. He criticized the UDP for what he characterized as a hollow budget. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "The Prime Minister, apart from his usual political rhetoric and grandstanding, has nothing to say and the budget speech has nothing to offer the Belizean people. We lay bare for all to see the essence of this budget - empty political rhetoric, rounded in petty, vindictive UDP first governance. Well sir, where is your plan for the country? Your obsession with power? Your obsession with a third terms? Render you rudderless and clueless as to Belize's future."

    Rice Producers Say High Prices Aren't Their Fault - Check Your Corner Grocery for Gouging
    Will the price of the rice you buy from the store go down? Importer Jack Charles says that he can import Guyanese rice that can be retailed for as little as 69 cents per pound, 50 cents cheaper than the current price. But Government isn't prepared to give him the green light to import because of the effect it will have on the local rice producing industry. Charles says those producers are gouging customers with a high mark up because they have a monopoly on the Belizean market. He says that if he is allowed to bring in cheap Guyanese rice, it would drive down the price you pay for a pound of rice. Well, the local rice producers decided to go public today to tell the customers that Charles has it all wrong. They say they're not the ones taking advantage of consumers, it's the retailers - your neighborhood grocer - who is price gouging. They held a press conference today where Dr. Henry Canton, the president of the Agro-Productive Sector explained that position today:

    Home Invasion in Downtown; Men Posed As BTL Technicians
    There was a home invasion this morning right here on Albert Street. Around 10:30 two men dressed in BTL uniforms arrived at the Budhrani residence at the upper flat of Rakhis Hair Salon. 46 year old house keeper Vilma Rauda who was at the house at the time along with the cook, let the men in because they told her they were there to check the phone lines. Vilma led them to the phone in the kitchen but the men told her they needed to check the other phone lines and the modem. She then guided them to one of the bedrooms where the modem was located and that's when one of the men grabbed her from behind, tied her arms with tie straps, taped her mouth and threatened that if she made any noise, they would kill her. Vilma who was too shaken up to give us an interview, told us that she managed to set herself free but when she ran out of the room, the men were already gone. She then called her boss Tara Budhrani and the police. Budhrani told us that the men didn't tamper with the safe she had in one of the rooms but that they went into her room, broke into her drawer and stole 2 bags with $7-$8,000 dollars, jewelry and her son's firearm. Budhrani says it seemed like they knew exactly what they wanted and where to go to find it. Vilma just started to work as the house keeper 3 weeks ago.

    Shooting Victim Needs Surgery Abroad - Says Police Lost His Passport
    Earlier this month we reported on a shooting that happened on West Canal between Berkley Street and Rocky Road. It involved 26-year-old Jamie Chavarria - who was shot while exiting his vehicle. Chavarria survived the attack but was shot twice - once on his left arm and another to the left side of his chest. Today Chavarria told 7news he is trying to leave the country for surgery but his plans have been put on hold because police lost his passport: Voice of: Jamie Chavarria "I came to complain, because of the past 3 weeks I got shot and my girlfriend went back and forth to the police station to get my passport, because that was the only identification that she got for me when I got shot. But now for the past 3 weeks, the police have my girlfriend back and back to get the passport. Yesterday, she went to the station and asked for my passport and they called the officer who had the passport and he told the police that he already have my girlfriend the passport, but she never got the passport from him.

    Smuggled Weed Into Jail, May End Up In Jail
    50 year-old Primrose Hendricks tried to smuggle a small quantity of marijuana into the Belize Central Prison. She was caught in the act, and so tonight, she has to start thinking about how she will come up with 10 thousand dollars to pay her court fine. The incident happened on December 22, 2013, and according to police, she went to the prison to take food for her son who was serving a 3 year sentence. The prison officer on duty searched her and the food, and found that she was trying to smuggle 63 grams, or 2.2 ounces of marijuana under the food in one of the foam plates she was carrying.

    Castellanos Gets Called Up To Headquarters
    Commanding officer of the Coastal Executive area on San Pedro, Luis Castellanos has been reposted and is currently holding over the Staff Officer Desk in Belize City. Unofficial reports say he will be transferred to Belmopan to replace retiring Commander Administration Joaquin Sabal. When we spoke to Castellanos this evening he said the commissioner only told him of this plan but again it is not official as yet. Now, there has been a spike in crime on San Pedro recently and some may speculate that perhaps Castellanos's removal is attributable to this. Today Senior Superintendent ånd Deputy Commander Eastern Division Edward Broaster dispelled that notion.

    The Dispute Over National Debt
    The national debt always factors heavily into the budget debate - and this year more so than usual because the Barrow Administration is using Petrocaribe loans to drive their spending programs. But how much is the national debt, and who is responsible for it. Well there were multiple, differing answers to that question today depending on which side of the house it came from:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "With an overall public debt of some 2.7 billion dollars, at more than two and a half times that of our revenue. Even with the so-called concessionary terms of our borrowing, our debt servicing is projecting at 180 million dollars for the upcoming fiscal year and begins to spike significantly thereafter. As our debt profile matures and the grim reapers come knocking at our doors."

    Parolee Jailed For Wounding Ex
    46 year-old Nathan Pratt, who was recently released from prison on parole after serving over 2 years, is back behind bars tonight because he assaulted his common-law wife, Eldi Landero. She reported to police that on Tuesday, Pratt when to her house and started to behave in a jealous manner. She says that he started to demand who her new boyfriend is, and his accusations escalated to violence. She says that he then grabbed her by the neck, choked her, and dragged her on the ground into the yard, where he started to punch her in the face.

    DOE Confirms Norwegian Cruise Line Damages Reef
    Norwegian Cruise Lines is under scrutiny tonight for damaging a reef structure at its Harvest Caye cruise terminal site - two miles south of Placencia village. Pictures show that they have dumped rocks on live corals - reportedly in their effort to lay the groundwork for an artificial beach. Placencia based Marine biologist Lisa Carne reports that huge chunks of natural boulders and concrete were dumped on top of live coral. It damaged the coral structures which is illegal and alarming. Responding to public pressure, the Department of environment today sent out a tepid and terse release saying that on February 18th 2015, DOE personnel saw a structure being built near a patch reef in the vicinity of Harvest Caye. They issued a verbal stop order immediately and returned to conduct a coral damage assessment of the patch reef. Investigations have revealed that there were impacts to the patch reef as a direct result of the construction. The damage assessment has also determined the extent of impact to the reef, for which the DOE and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Development have been quote, "working with the responsible party for a closure on this matter."

    Police ask City Residents To "Black" Up
    The officers at the Eastern Division want city residents to BLACK. If you're wondering what that means, BLACK stands for "Be Loving and Cease Killing". And the Eastern Division wants you to start by participating in the BLACK march against crime in the city tomorrow. Officers are inviting the public to register for the custom made t-shirts or wear black or white for the march. Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster told us today how this initiative along with other policing programs will bring the community closer. "The initiative is basically to bring together our communities and our young people in particular to stop the killing and the violence and we want the entire community to participate in this march for which we will be passing from Yabra through most of the gang neighborhoods doing the march ad trying to appeal and bring the different groups together for which most of them will be participating in the march as well for tomorrow. BLACK will be a sustain campaign just as "not in my city." As a matter of fact BLACK is a directive from "not in my city" and these campaigns we know we have to continue push in the community to ensure that we have the desired result that we hope to achieved."

    Inside Belize's Newest Sporting Complex
    As we told you last night, the long delayed Marion Jones sporting complex is mostly finished - enough for a soft opening for the media yesterday. We gave you the broad outline yesterday - and tonight we look at some of the finer points for the much anticipated stadium that has had Belizeans sports on hold for years. You be the judge of whether it was worth the wait:..

    PROFILE...
    Tonight, the I am Belize profile series is back. After a few months of re-tooling, this year's profile will focus on mentoring and mediation services provided by Restore Belize. Now, that may sound about as exciting as watching grass grow - but there are interesting stories in there. The first is of two EP Yorke students who had gotten into a deep feud. Now this sort of thing happens a lot in schools and it can often escalate into violence. They told the profile how they avoided that:

    Why Belize Drew In A World Cup Qualifier
    Just two days ago on this newscast - football, Belize's world cup qualifier against Cayman was headline news. And tonight - it's at the end of the newscast. And there can only be one reason for that, right?: last night's game was a major disappointment. FFB bosses were predicting a 6 - nil trouncing and the game ended up in a nil-nil draw. The game was carried live from the FFB stadium in Belmopan right here on Channel 7. When it was done, we spoke with both sides to get their perspective. Depending on who you spoke to, it was because of a superior Cayman Islands defence, or a lack of finishing by the Belizean strikers: Shortly after the game, the social media lit up with harsh criticism that if the FFB had made moves to get Belize's premier Striker, Deon McCauley on the team, the outcome would have been different. We asked Assistant Head Coach Charlie Slusher if McCauley being on the pitch could have changed the outcome of the game:

    Channel 5

    Belize City Man Sentenced to 2 Years for Wounding His Wife
    A Belize City man who was recently released from prison is back behind bars tonight to serve two additional years after he violated a protection order and went to the [...]

    Patrick Faber Has His Take on the National Debt
    Like with most things political, facts depend on who’s doing the talking. Earlier in the newscast, you heard Fort George Area Rep, Said Musa, say the P.U.P. did well where [...]

    John Briceño Says Budget is Band-Aid Style Economics
    We end today’s coverage of the Budget debate with the presentation from member for Orange Walk Central John Briceño, who broke down what he says are severe deficiencies in an [...]

    Belize Draws Nil with the Cayman National Team
    Belize played the Cayman national football on Wednesday night at the F.F.B. stadium in Belmopan as part of the World Cup Qualifier games. Expectations were high going into the game [...]

    Be Loving And Cease Killing; Eastern Division Organize March Through the City
    The police has been making their media rounds for the past two weeks leading up to this Friday’s BLACK March in Belize City. BLACK, is the acronym for Be Loving [...]

    Superintendent Luis Castellanos is transferred from San Pedro
    There will be changes in command of the police department. News Five has been informed that in early April an announcement will be made by the Commissioner of Police of [...]

    Police Crackdown on Crime in San Pedro
    Whether in fact the crime spike on the island triggered the replacement of Castellanos or not, the incidents have given a black-eye on the prime tourism destination in the country. [...]

    Making SMEs More Competitive and Export Ready
    BELTRAIDE and Caribbean Export Development Agency want to make SMEs more competitive and export ready. In a two-day training that started on Wednesday, business owners were engaged in a workshop [...]

    Healthy Living Looks at Water Safety Tips for the Holidays
    After this Friday, the Easter break officially commences for the children. Adults, however, have to wait another week before the highly anticipated four day weekend. If you are like most [...]

    LOVE FM

    World Cup 2018 Qualifiers: Belize vs Cayman Islands
    Earlier this month the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) presented the 30-member men’s National “A” Selection Team, dubbed, the Belize Jaguars who have been in training for last night’s game against the Cayman Islands in their first match of the World Cup 2018 Qualifiers. During that presentation, which included the unveiling of their logo, much confidence was expressed in Belize securing a victory despite the absence of the team’s star striker, Deon McCaulay. The forecast for that victory was made based on several factors including the fact that Belize ranks internationally at 41, outdoing the Grand Cayman National Team … but that victory didn’t come to pass last night as the game ended in a nil-nil score last night at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. Love News had LIVE coverage of the event and spoke with some of the players following last night’s game. RUBEN MORALES IGLESIAS “We have Elroy Smith with us. You missed a penalty but the coach was saying anybody misses a penalty but asking about it you are a very experience player, very confident and we know you took it like that. If you had scored would things have been different.”

    Belize Delegation Returns From International Garifuna Summit
    Members of the Garifuna community recently returned home after attending an international Garifuna Summit at the invitation of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The summit took place between March 8 and 15 under the theme, “The Garifuna, a Nation Displaced-Cultural Rights, Economic Survival and Reparations.” At the summit, participants from various countries attended workshops, conference, tours, cultural extravaganza and a wreath laying ceremony at the Garifuna Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer Monument in St. Vincent and Grenadines Day of Heroes, March 14. In addition to these events, a pilgrimage to Balliceaux was done the following day as a remembrance of when the Garinagu were sent to that island in July 1796 before being exiled from their homeland.

    GOB Funds Training For Residents of PG on Sustainable Development
    Residents of Punta Gorda Town are being given an opportunity to attend a training on capacity building training for sustainable national development. The training falls under the program, ‘Organizational Strengthening’ and was funded by the Government of Belize at a cost of one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars. The project was launched today and is being implemented by Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF), as part of its mandate to work in line with the Government’s poverty alleviation strategy.

    Woman Busted With Weed Whilst Visiting Her Son at Prison
    Fifty year old Primrose Hendricks who plead guilty to drug trafficking for attempting to smuggle 63 grams of cannabis into Belize Central prison, was spared a custodial sentence today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Hendricks was fined $10,000 and she was given until June 30 to pay. If she defaults on payment he will serve 3 years. Hendricks was busted on December 22, 2013, when she went to prison to take food for her son, who is an inmate. When a search was conducted on the 2 foam plates with food, it was discovered that an additional plate under the foam plates contained plastic bags with cannabis . as a result, Hendricks was arrested and charged.

    PlusTV

    Fuel prices dominate economic indicators for 2014-15
    The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) released a batch of economic indicators for the latter part of 2014 and the first two months of 2015. We start with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2014, which grew by 1.6% compared with the same period in 2013. Overall the annual GDP is projected for an increase of 3.6% though final figures will not be released until midway through 2015.Overall, the strongest performances were in agriculture, wholesale and retail trade, and hotels and restaurants due to increased tourist figures, while the fishing, manufacturing and mining, electricity and water and construction sectors suffered decline. But the main story of the day is the effect of fuel prices on Belize – and it is a double-edged sword. A decrease of up to a third in gasoline and butane prices compared with the same time in 2015 contributed to an overall reduction in the consumer price index (CPI), helped along by lower food prices, particularly for vegetables and fresh produce as well as eggs. Statistician Angelita Campbell explains how the fuel price drop reduced prices for transport

    Tracey Taegar-Panton joins UDP in Albert
    The United Democratic Party (UDP) has secured the candidacy of its third woman candidate, CEO in the Ministry of Tourism Tracey Taegar-Panton, who will run in the Albert division. Unlike its other woman candidates – Beverly Castillo in Belize Rural Central and the recently endorsed Dr...

    Guyanese rice imports to compete with Belize
    Since last week, importer Jack Charles also known as Jitendra Chawla, has been publicizing his fight to import cheaper rice from Guyana to Belize to compete with local rice producers who he says have been overcharging consumers...

    Pain at the pump as fuel goes up $1.27
    Last night, prices for gasoline shot up an average of $1.27 after months of steady decline. Combined with a shortage of premium fuel, this has caused consternation among Belizean vehicle owners and alleged contrabanding of fuel, particularly in the North...

    Michael Feinstein Stake Bank suit heads to court
    Developer of the Stake Bank/Drowned Cayes cruise port project, Michael Feinstein, is suing the Government of Belize and owners of the Fort Street Tourism Village over agreements signed in the early infancy of the Village around 2004...

    “My Body Is Precious” animated and translated for children
    And speaking of sexual abuse of children, in 2013, Belizean students were introduced to the book “My Body Is Precious,” co-written by Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow and formerDirector of Community Rehabilitation Department in the Ministry of Human Development Starla Acosta...

    Man convicted for sexually assaulting ten year old
    35 year-old Augustine Bejerano, a labourer of Ladyville, has been convicted of sexually assaulting a ten year old girl. Bejerano was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in prison for the crime...

    Rounding up drugs and firearms
    A joint police operation was conducted in some abandoned lots in Belize City. With the aid of a K-9,  a search was conducted in an open lot in the Kraal Road area which resulted in the discovery of three black plastic bags containing 812 grams of Cannabis...

    Woman tangles with police officer on bus
    An encounter between a Ladyville resident and a police officer on a bus headed to Belize City led to charges for 46 year old Kenecia Velasquez, who is accused of assaulting Sergeant of Police Kenneth Clarke after he approached her about obscene language she was apparently using...

    Man charged with obstruction jailed over fine
    He tried to hide alleged drugs from police but pleaded guilty and was let off with a caution and discharged from the courts. But 32 year old Kareem Flowers is still in jail tonight, serving a two-month default sentence for $200 in outstanding court fines...

    The Guardian

    Tracy Taegar Panton is New UDP Standard Bearer for Albert
    Leader of the United Democratic Party, Hon. Dean Barrow announced a game changer on Wednesday March 25 when he called a press conference to officially introduce Tracy Taegar Panton as the UDP’ new standard bearer for the Albert Constituency. In making the announcement, Hon. Barrow stated that Tracy Panton was both academically and professionally qualified and added that she was well acquainted with the constituency. He stated that “as the UDP moves forward to the next general elections we continue to try to do our very best for our party and for our country.” He added that while there is no plan to call the general elections this year, “any number can play.” As such he added that as the UD P continues the development agenda it is also fine tuning the party and “every seat will count in the next election campaign. We are always ready to make adjustments that may appear to become necessary.” The entrance of Tracy Panton is one such move. PM Barrow noted that while both Herman Longsworth and Philip Willougby would have delivered the Albert division, so too will Tracy Panton. And Panton comes with a wealth of political experience having been a part of the massively successful Mark Espat Campaign which dominated the Albert constituency since 1998 to 2008.

    Supreme Court says political interference costs GOB $17M
    On August 13, 2013, the Income Tax department sent notice to the Belize bank demanding payment of BZ$30,534,849.11. The claim is as a result of taxes which were outstanding to the department since the bank underpaid taxes to the department between 2001 and 2005. At the time the Commissioner of Business Tax sent a demand notice to the Belize Bank for taxes due from 2001 to 2005 that could not be assessed because of a secret accommodation agreement signed between the Belize Bank and the Government of Belize. Under the agreement Ralph Fonseca had agreed to vary the way in which tax is collected from a business and had come up with a different method of calculating taxes owed that was outside the scope of the law. In fact Ralph Fonseca had given directives by way of a letter dated November 25 2002 that the way the tax was to be collected could have been varied. In the letter he stated that “I confirm that the method used by the Belize Bank Limited to calculate business tax from July 1998 to date, as outlined in your letter to Mr. Eric Eusey of the Income Tax Department dated 13 June 2002 is correct and should form the basis for future filings of business tax payable, therefore there is no additional tax nor penalties payable”.

    Belize and Grand Cayman Nil - Nil
    After months of training, the Belize National A Football Team got an opportunity to take on the Cayman Island National Team in the first round of the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers. The game took place in the City of Belmopan at the newly renovated Stadium owned by the Football Federation of Belize on Wednesday, March 25. Kick off time was 8 o’clock where the Jaguars started the match with the energy of the home court advantage. Team Belize held on to the possession of the ball for majority of the first half. There were a number of good plays made, but when it came to finishing with a goal, the Jaguars could not deliver. There were several near misses, and close plays, but in the end, the Jaguars only kept the pressure high on the Cayman team. The first half ended with a score of nil-nil.

    Call on COLA
    The damning revelations made by Johnny Briceño on his now infamous recorded conversation with Julian Chell have been heard by most Belizeans. The only ones who seem not to have heard them are the members of Cola and in particular Giovanni Bracket – its president. Belizeans must be asking themselves, why the Government has not started a criminal probe into these confessions. Well I am willing to bet millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars that the moment that happens it will be attacked and condemned as POLITICAL WITCH-HUNTING. Maybe just maybe, the government is gathering as much ammunition (evidence) before it makes a move.

    Government’s high school computer lab upgrades continue in Belmopan
    In Prime Minister Barrow’s New Years Address to the people of Belize he said, “If 2014 was a year of infrastructure, 2015 will be a year of technology.” The Government of Belize has made good on that promise so far with the roll out of two of the three signature projects. In late February, all tertiary level students were able to receive an ASUS MeMO PAD 7 tablet computer. Now Government is rolling out its countrywide high school computer lab upgrade project. Belmopan Methodist High School is the most recent institution to benefit from this project. The Government of Belize spent over $45,000 to upgrade the computer lab of Belmopan Methodist High. The donation includes 100 student Armchairs, 15 chairs, three desks for teachers, one cupboard, three book shelves and four computer tables. The value of these furniture is $14,525. Government also donated 10 computers and accessories valued at $31,299.41. The total donation amounts to $45,824.41. The Belize Social Investment Fund (BSIF) coordinated and facilitated the donation of the school furniture, computers and accessories as part of its mandate to work in line with the Ministry of Education’s strategy to address basic needs in the education sector.

    Ambassador Benjamin Ho donates soccer balls and sports scarves
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been collaborating closely with the Government of Belize in promoting the activities of education, culture, youth and sports. Last Friday, March 20th 2015, H.E. Ambassador Benjamin Ho presented some soccer balls and sports scarves to Hon. Herman Longworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, at Water Walker International Boys and Girls Club of Belize City in support of the youth and sports activities in the communities. Minister Longsworth introduced Ambassador Ho to the young children in the club and made remarks to appreciate Ambassador Ho’s generosity and support for the youth activities in the communities. Early this year on January 22, 2015, on the invitation of Minister Lisel Alamilla, Ambassador Ho and Mrs. Ho visited Benedict RC School, Seventh Day Adventist School and St. Peter Claver School in Toledo District, where Ambassador Ho also presented some soccer balls and sports scarves to the schools. He encouraged students to study hard and become useful assets of the country.

    Burrell Boom dump site to become a garbage transfer station
    Over the past couple of weeks, heavy equipment and trucks have been mobilized to the Burrell Boom/Hattieville road where construction has begun on a transfer station to manage solid waste in the central corridor of the country. According to the Solid Waste Management Authority’s director, Gilroy Lewis, late last year tender was put out for the construction of the facility at the Burrell Boom dumpsite and that has now commenced. The government with financing from the Inter American Development Bank and co-financing from the United Nation’s Development Program will be investing 1.3 million dollars to improve waste management in the area. Lewis explains that the area is large and expanding and garbage disposal was identified as a problem in the area with garbage being disposed of in an ad-hoc manner. The transfer station will now allow for villages in the surrounding areas to drop off their garbage at the site for further transfer to the mile 24 sanitary landfill.

    12 million dollar project to boost Belize’s forests
    A 5-year project to increase the benefits of people living adjacent to protected areas in Belize will be launched on Wednesday, March 25th 2015. Based on a US$6.08 million grant from the Global Environment Facility, the project will strengthen the forests’ sustainable production of food, raw materials, water, medicinal products, boost tourism, help improve protection from natural disasters, and mitigate the effects of climate change. The “Management and Protection of Key Biodiversity Areas Project” (KBA Project) will be carried out by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (MFFSD). The MFFSD will partner with 49 communities to increase their involvement and benefits from sustainable livelihood opportunities offered by the forests. The targeted protected areas which total more than 500,000 acres, include: 1. Freshwater Creek Forest Reserve 2. Spanish Creek Wildlife Sanctuary 3. Vaca Forest Reserve 4. Chiquibul National Park 5. Maya Moutain North Forest Reserve 6. Columbia River Forest Reserve

    Launch of the Employee Assistance Programme
    The Ministry of the Public Service (MPS) today held its official launch of the Belize Public Service Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). In the broadest sense, an EAP is a management support programme that recognizes that there can be extraneous factors that may detract employees from performing their best in the work place. Some of these factors/stresses – (e.g personal or job-related stress, family or marital problems, legal or financial difficulties, alcohol/drug abuse, and other behavioural problems) – while not necessarily originating from the workplace, can grossly affect productivity. The MPS is moving towards the modernization of the Belize Public Service and hence enhancing customer satisfaction through the psychosocial development of its public officers.

    GDP Grows by 3.6%
    Belize continues to set the pace for the region in economic development as the latest figure from the Statistical Institute of Belize shows that the economy grew by 3.6 % in the calendar year 2014. Growth slowed in the fourth quarter of the year to 1.6 % mainly due to shortfalls in the secondary sector. Despite this, still subject to later adjustment, the production value for 2014 is listed as $2.73 Billion. From October to December 2014, in the primary sector the banana industry grew by more than 30 % when compared to the same period in 2013. That is an additional 7000 metric tonnes. Banana and grapefruit with an increase of an incredible 50.7 % were almost solely responsible for the strong performance of the agricultural sector in the fourth quarter. There was no sugarcane production during this time due to the delay in the start of the crop. There was also no harvesting of orange or lime since the fruit had not yet reached the desired maturity level. In the secondary sector, water distribution increased by 3.6 percent and softdrink production increased by 9 percent. Beer and liquor had minor increases as well. In the tertiary sector, the service sector which accounts for half of the country’s total economy grew by 3.6 %. This was driven by a growth of 15 % and 9 % in hotels and restaurant industry and wholesale and retail trade respectively. Overnight tourist arrivals grew by 3.6% (2,000 guests) and cruise tourist arrivals increased by 38.1 % (over 75,000 more).

    Infotel’s Success a Beacon for BPO Industry
    Infotel started operating in Belize in September of 2006 as a call center with only nine employees. This was a time when the industry was still new, unkown and stigmatized in the country. Though investors were attracted to the relatively cheap quality labour in the country, they were concerned about the extremely expensive cost of doing business. Just getting off the ground requires a substantial investment; then, once the company is operational it had to set a large slice of its budget for bandwidth from Telemedia, the only Internet Service Provider (ISP) at the time. Another challenge was attracting the caliber of employees talented enough to develop an infant business but optimistic enough to see working at a “call center” as a career. The early years at Infotel were challenging. Reynaldo Malik Jr., Vice-Presidents of Operations for Infotel International Limited, was extremely emotional when he reflected on his early days at the helm. He recounted a story from the first week of operations when at the end of the week he did not have a bank to process payroll for the nine employees. Malik says he had to barrow cheques from a friend to pay employees and that went on for a couple weeks. That was just one of the many problems facing an infant Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm in 2006. Malik made light of the fact that they had to run a VPN around the VOIP ban for almost six months in order to cut bandwidth cost. The company thread water for the first few years, taking about two years to break even on its initial investment.

    Indigenous People Leaders from Belize and Guatemala meet
    On the 20th of March a reunion was convened at the Galen University in Punta Gorda with Indigenous People leaders from Belize and Guatemala with the purpose of discussing common environmental concerns and to develop a program of collaboration between the institutions. Led by FCD and Asociacion Balam, the group of institutions represented included Maya Leaders Association (MLA) members from Indian Creek, Golden Stream, San Marcos, Midway, Big Falls and Toledo Alcalde Association (TAA) leaders from Golden Stream, San Felipe and Big Falls. Guatemalan institutions included representatives from Aktenamit, Casa de la Esperanza, Intersectorial Roundtable for Land and the Environment, Commonwealth of Communities of South Peten, San Luis indigenous groups and Asociacion Balam. Both FCD and Balam presented on the actual conditions regarding illegal logging and the cross border initiatives undertaken to contain and reduce the illicit activities that have been advancing more so into the Chiquibul Forest and the Colombia River Forest Reserve. Indigenous leaders from Belize expressed the volatile situation in their communities where encroachment occurs near their communities and where they have also lost much of the forest and other property.

    Land Fraud Cases
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA), through the Lands and Surveys Department, has launched an investigation into fraud cases involving land titles that were recently discovered. The preliminary investigation suggests that there is a systematic effort being orchestrated by persons of both foreign and local nationalities to obtain property by fraudulent means. The perpetrators use fraudulent international passport and other forms of identification to usurp the identity of real land owners to obtain property and subsequently proceed to fraudulently transfer land titles to prospective buyers by forging signatures of MNRA officials in an effort to make the documents appear legitimate as though they were issued from the Lands and Surveys Department. It appears that the con artists are targeting properties owned by absentee landowners who reside abroad. These cases of fraud have come about as a result of the new land management system that was designed to be more rigorous, specifically verifying the authenticity of applicants, especially those not applying in person or with foreign passports. As a result, the Lands and Surveys Department is uncovering several documents that purport competing interest for the same parcel of land. In some cases, the documents refer to land that do not exist.

    Submersible Removed from Barrier Reef
    Conservationists and reef conscious residents of San Pedro need not worry any longer about the remotely operated vehicle which was stuck on the reef since it has been removed by the Department of Environment. The company which owns the vessel has still not been given the privilege to transport it out of the country because the DOE intends to assess the damage done to the barrier reef first. On Wednesday, March 11, residents of San Pedro found the peculiar piece of equipment 6 miles out at sea in the part of the recently expanded Hol Chan Marine Reserve known as Mexico Rocks. Oceana Belize and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve officials have determined that this item is a 12 foot by 6 foot Quantum 9 deep-water submersible. OCEANA Belize reported that they went to investigate the submersible, and they realized that it ran aground in approximately 3 feet of water. The submersible comes equipped with 4 propellers, 2 in the front, and 2 in the back. It also has several underwater cameras, and an extended “arm”.

    Territorial Troublemaking Volunteers?
    The entire country of Belize slipped into panic mode when word was received that a boat full of Belizeans was detained by Guatemalan authorities in Belizean waters. The anxiety grew when it was further reported that they had been taken into custody and escorted to Livingston, Guatemala. While the details of the accounts of what transpired are yet to be pondered upon so that a very clear picture is had, there is no question that this must have been a very scary ordeal for those concerned. Now the question would then be why were these volunteers in this area without official escort? The past week they were seen on television professing to have sent letters to the OAS and to the Prime Minister and to the Police and to the BDF and who knows to whom else. This they deemed as permission to be embarking on what is a very dangerous expedition. The Guatemalan claim over Belize is as old as the Sarstoon River. Experts from all over the world have tried to mediate and find solutions to this dispute. Diplomatic channels have been opened and closed and a solution is yet to be arrived at, Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty, Ramphal-Reichler proposals, the OAS confidence building measures and the list goes on. Meanwhile no one can question the patriotic symbolism of the volunteers, one must question if the means justify the end. Every level headed Belizean would love to see this ominous dispute resolved with our sovereignty and dignity unscathed.

    Statement by Tracy Taegar Panton
    PM & Party Leader, the Hon Dean Oliver Barrow, Esteemed Elected Officials & Distinguished Members of the Head Table, Media Partners, Party Supporters, Friends - Good Morning. My name is Tracy Taegar Panton. Having spent almost 30 years committed to the service of others, today I offer myself as a candidate for the United Democratic Party in the Albert Constituency. I am a daughter of the Albert Division. My roots were planted there in 1974 at the tender age of five. It is in the Albert Division that I played, cultivated life-long friendships, and where my desire to be of service to my country was nurtured. My commitment to Belize’s economic development and to the realization of a better quality of life for all Belizeans has been solidified through my dedicated public service involvement in the many facets of one of our country’s main economic pillars, tourism. This experience has instilled in me the spirit of hard-work, the value of perseverance, and the importance of maintaining humility in the service of others. I am grounded by my faith in God, my family, and my strong sense of community.

    Transformation work continues in Cayo North
    In a highly synchronized manner, the Hon. Omar Figueroa, Representative for the Cayo North Division and newly sworn in Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns, Earl Trapp, teamed up on Saturday of this past weekend to improve the roads in the Kontiki Area, near San Ignacio Town. The roads in Kontiki are being resurfaced with crushed stones says Mayor Earl Trapp, because it’s useful in “..sealing the dust.” The paving of other areas such as in the Santiago Juan Layout in the Cayo North Division will also soon begin; so will work on the Stanton, Mellado, Philip Goldson, Domingo and Eduardo Luna Streets. Stanton Street will be getting a ‘hot mix’ treatment reports Mayor Earl Trapp. The work is being done as a result of excellent resource gathering and team work by both Mayor Trapp and newly elected Area Representative Hon. Omar Figueroa who has been able to lobby for resources as well for the work to be done in his constituency which also falls in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena municipality.

    Territorial Volunteers placing Belizeans at risk again!
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers, with their leader, Wil Maheia, have decided once again, that they will continue to ignore the warning of the Government of Belize. They even decided that the detention of the 37 Belizeans by the Guatemalan military, who then escorted them to Livingston, Guatemala on February 28, is not a big enough deal that they ought to leave border matters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the BDF. Readers may remember that in that incident, the vessel carrying the Belizeans ventured down a tributary on the Sartoon River which took them into Guatemalan Territorial waters for about 5 to 10 minutes. In the wake of that incident, The Organization of American States issued a statement that this was not the first time that the Territorial Volunteers made an illegal incursion into Guatemalan territory.

    Development flowing like water through Belize River Valley
    The Water System for all the villages in Belize River Valley is well on its way to being completed. Our UDP Government is investing 7.2 Million Belize Dollars in the project, with most of the funds obtained through a concessionary loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). When the system is completed, residents in all NINE (9) villages (Flowers Bank, Scotland Half Moon, Bermudian Landing, Isabella Bank, Lemonal, Double Head Cabbage, Willows Bank, St. Paul’s Bank and Rancho Dolores) will have potable water pumped and piped into their homes all year round. In fact, with a good portion of the project already completed, many residents are already enjoying this convenience.

    Eighteen rangers complete course in the Chiquibul
    Some 18 rangers completed an intensive, one and a half month course, at the Tapir Camp within the Chiquibul National Park on Thursday of last week. The rangers were taken through a rigorous course that covered first aid, report writing, patrolling, navigation and intelligence gathering. Handing over the certificates to the participants was Rafael Manzanero, the Executive Director of the Friends for Conservation and Development FCD, an NGO that has taken on the gargantuan task of protecting the Chiquibul. With the completion of the ranger’s course, it confirms FCD’s initial commitment for more rangers in the forest, from the Chiquibul Telethon, which was held in Belize City on October 18th of last year and where some $328,000.00 was raised. But the just completed ranger’s course was also sponsored by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust PACT. Christine Valerio from PACT, who was present at the ceremony for the handing over of certificates, reviewed the importance of the Chiquibul, stating that the 264,000 acre National Park is the largest protected area in Belize. According Valerio, the tropical broad leaf forest holds an enormous stock of both natural and cultural resources and as a result is “…constantly under threat of degradation and fragmentation, primarily as a result of illegal logging, agriculture farming, poaching and looting…”

    Alleged PIV Member Walks from Gang Charge
    Leon Gray, 26, is free from a charge of professing to be a member of a criminal gang. On October 10, 2014, Gray was stopped and searched by police while standing on Fern Lane in Belize City. Nothing incriminating was found on him but during questioning he allegedly told the officers that he is a member of the PIV (Peace in the Village) bloods gang. It was then that a PC Garbutt allegedly cautioned him about the statement to which Gray repeated “Yes, I dah wah PIV Bloods, but I nuh hang out.” The officer then informed him of the offense of professing and took him to the Raccon Street Police Station where he was charged.

    Jermaine Belgrave acquitted of murder
    On Thursday March 19 Jermaine Belgrave, a Belize City resident was acquitted of murder by Justice Adolph Lucas at the end of his trial for murder. On February 23, 2010, the then 34 year old Cleo Robinson, a resident of #40 B Dolphin Street was shot as many as three times to the body. He did not succumb to his gunshot injuries until June 30, 2011, a year 4 months and 7 days after being shot. After being shot Robinson was taken to the hospital, while recovering he spoke to sergeant Alma Mortis in which he did not identify his shooter. A month later he would give a statement of police corporal Rudy Melendez in which he gave a vivid recollection of his shooter and pointed to Jermaine Belgrave, as the shooter. He added that he knew Belgrave for 7 years prior to being shot.

    Alleged gunman says police shot him for no reason
    On March 12, Phillip Mass Samuels was shot by police after it is alleged he was found in possession of a stolen firearm loaded with 6 live rounds of ammunition. He appeared in court on Tuesday March 24 where he was charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without a license and handling stolen goods before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Samuels who was shot in the right leg had to hop back and fourth from one courtroom to another after Magistrate, Herbert Panton, recused himself from dealing with the matter since Samules is presently on trial before him for robbery. We understand that the robbery is as a result of the same firearm he is now being charged with for handling stolen goods. When he appeared before the Chief Magistrate it was alleged that on March 12, 2015, Samuels was found in possession of a chrome black handle, 9 mm pistol loaded with 6 live rounds of ammunitions, a gun which is alleged to have been stolen from one Carl Butler.

    Two teenagers killed in Orange Walk
    Two teenagers, 16 year-old Oscar Daniel Vasquez, and 17 year-old Michael Usher, who were living in Orange Walk Town were gunned down and killed in that municipality. That’s after a gunman opened fire in what appears to be a drive by. That man fired indiscriminately into a crowd, and the two young men became casualties of this shooting incident. It happened at just before 10 o’clock on Saturday night, March 21. Both minors were socializing with a group of young men near the compound of the Boundary Store Warehouse, located on Palmar Boundary Road in the Town. That’s when a blue Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck drove up to the area, and a man jumped out of the vehicle’s passenger side. He was armed with a handgun and he immediately took aim and fired multiple gunshots into the crowd.

    Brandon Cattouse captures Mount Hope Pre-Cross Country Race
    The Belize Cycling Association sponsored its 2nd Annual Mount Hope Pre-Cross Country Race on Sunday March 22, 2015. The event started out at 8:00 am from in front of Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway to Mount Hope and then back to Leslie’s Imports for the finish. The event attracted some 77 riders from the Elite, Under 23 and Masters categories but at the end of the 4:51:36 only some 21 riders had completed the course. At the end, it was Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray Raod Addikzx that captured 1st place. Cattouse was then followed by Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes Elite and he was followed by Joel Borland of Digicell 4G Elite Cyling Team. Borland was followed by Geovanni Choto of C-Ray Road Addikzx in a time of 4:51:40 and he was followed by Greg Lovell of Digicell 4G Elite in a time of 4:52:22 to round off the top five finishers in the event.

    Cayo Western Ballaz win nail-biter from the Red Taigaz
    The National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last weekend with three games across the country. On Friday March 20, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, the league’s leading Cayo Western Ballaz won a thrilling game from its neighbour the Belmopan Red Taigaz that finished in a 61-60 nail-biter. With that win, the Cayo Western Ballazs remains the only team in the competition that has not lost a game so far. The top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Richard Troyer who continues to have an MVP season contributed 17 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal towards the win and he was joined by Geovannie Lennan with 11 points, 2 rebounds,1 assist and a steal and Kurt Burgess who also contributed 11 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals for the win. For the Belmopan Red Taigaz, the top scorers were Terrell Eskridge with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals and Farron Louriano also with 19 points, 18 rebounds, and 3 steals.

    National Football Team eyes Russia
    The National Football Team of Belize will be playing its first match in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against the National Football Team of Cayman Islands at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Wednesday March 25, at 8:00 pm. The National Football Team is hoping that this will be its turn in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup scheduled for Russia. The players that will be representing Belize are: Woodrow West – Goalkeeper Tevin Gamoba – Goalkeeper Dalton Eiley – Defence Denmark Casey – Midfield Devon Makin – Midfield Elroy Smith – Defence

    Ladyville Technical girls and Nazarene High boys are national secondary schools softball champions
    The National Secondary Schools Sports Association held its Annual National Softball Championships on Friday and Saturday March 20-21, 2015, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, Stann Creek District. This year’s championship was hosted by Georgetown Technical High School. On Saturday March 21, 2015, in the female championship game, Ladyville Technical High School defeated Belmopan Comprehensive High School by the score of 10-4, to capture its second national title in the last four years. The winning pitcher for Ladyville Technical High School was Elma Wade and she was also named the Most Valuable Player of the championship with 2 wins and 15 strikeouts. The losing pitcher was Renisha Richards who had a total of 19 strikeouts in 2 games.

    John Saldivar Senior Female Softball Competition opens
    The 2015 John Saldivar Senior Female Softball Competition which is being run under the auspices of the Cayo Softball Association opened on Sunday March 22, with two games played at the Mae Gordon Field in Belmopan. In the first game played, Camalote Blazers defeated the Esperanza Wolverines by the score of 12-2. The Camalote’s offence was keyed by Bridgett Fuller’s home run in the 1st inning of the game, while Esperanza Wolverines’ Shanaya Soberanis also hit a home run in the 2nd inning. The winning pitcher was Nadina Coye and the losing pitcher was Nikita Perez. In game two, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy blasted the Belmopan Emeralds by the score of 22-1. The Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy’s offence were keyed by home run in the 1st inning (Shadalee Ho) and Shanika Anderson in the 3rd inning. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Arlene Wade.

    Belize Softball Federation holds Tryout for U-19 players in Cayo
    The Belize Softball Federation will be holding Open Tryouts for softball players 19 years and under in both the female and male categories on Saturday March 28, 2015, in the Cayo District. Team B of the National Training Team of the Softball Federation will be at the Mae Gordon Softball Field in Belmopan at 10:00 am for Open Tryout for players from Belmopan, Las Flores, Cotton Tree, St. Matthews, Roaring Creek, Camalote, Teakettle and Unitedville. Team A of the National Training Team will be at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza Village at 10:00 am for Open Tryouts for players male and female from Unitedville all the way to Benque Viejo.

    Health Hookup
    FW: Health email Along with the regular barrage of forwards I received one morning, I got this one from a friend. Though I normally pay very little attention to these forwards, this one struck me as something that had to be addressed. On the email there were over a hundred people listed, which left me to think that if even five people believed this nonsense in the email, someone can get hurt. The email addressed brain and liver damage and everyday activities that lead to its dysfunction. 1. No Breakfast - People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration. Yes, lack of food can lead to lower blood sugar levels, especially glucose, which is the only source of energy for the brain; however, a mild drop in glucose level will not affect the brain causing degeneration. The body usually has enough glucose to maintain proper mental function. Degeneration of the brain indicates that the brain tissue is dead and function is lost, so according to this if you skipped breakfast part of your brain will die.

    Sharp Contrast
    So the thirty eight actually played in the Boledo Friday night past, two days after same number of delegates pledged unanimous support for Fonseca to remain as Party Leader of the People’s United Party. Joe Bradley called it a “rake”, but others had a good chuckle at the irony of the entire situation. Joke aside, though, the decision to maintain Fonseca at the helm of the PUP may be a good thing for the United Democratic Party, but it does not bode well for our young democracy. Since 2012, her majesty’s Loyal Opposition has been a political force only to be heard at shielded press conferences given from the sanctuary of their Independence Hall. There is no drive, no spark, and no hunger in the PUP these past three years; only artificial predictions and disappointing results. As mentioned above, after having posed a very real and credible threat to the UDP in March of 2012, the Blue Party has been experiencing only darker and darker days, while the UDP has been reinforcing its base and introducing high caliber candidates in several constituencies that seemed somewhat delicate.

    Legal Corner for the People
    The Question – Pawn Shop loans in Belize Meet Janet. Janet is a 34 year old employed, single mother of two toddlers – Tyler, 5, and Alex, 3, earning a modest salary of $1,200 a month. Unfortunately, Tyler is suffering from appendicitis and needs surgery to have his appendix removed right away. Janet’s salary isn’t enough to cover her current monthly expenses as well as the medical expenses incurred due to Tyler’s condition; so she decides to pawn her vehicle to get the extra money she needs for her son. Janet visits a Belize City pawn shop and pawns out her 2006 Ford Escape, which is valued at $16,000 on her insurance policy. She settled for the $3,000 maximum that the pawn shop offers for vehicle pawns which must be paid back within a month at a 25% interest rate. The pawn shop also made Janet aware that there is a two-month grace period before she is served by the police to repossess the vehicle. Tyler is now recovering well after surgery. But after paying all her medical bills, Janet didn’t have enough to cover her total pawn repayment within the two-month period. Now, the pawn shop is taking her vehicle away. What can she do to get her vehicle back?

    The need for information and news to be more accessible to children
    The media plays an integral role in educating and distributing necessary and important information about our children and their rights. It should be this medium through which they are given the opportunity to express themselves and be showcased. Giving children the opportunities to develop themselves is one of the greatest assets we should closely consider developing. Our children require maximum support and attention; as a result, all sectors have their own weight to pull in ensuring that children are equipped with proper and reliable information and moral support. However, in recent times, we have seen particularly the media shift in empowering the minds of our children. The majority of people will agree that the constant highlights of crime and violence, corruption and negativity have worsened the mind set of our children. In fact, due to and perhaps the unintentional negative footages aired nearly every night on the news, children feel as if it is the norm to involve themselves in unacceptable life styles. This has also created very little influential and positive activities done by or for our youths and children. There is a small portion of media time for our children to express themselves and showcase their talents and embedded gifts.

    Diabetic in Cayo needs your help
    Francisco Villanueva 50, has Diabetes Mellitus Two and needs help in improving his conditions. But his ill health and resulting poverty conditions had not always been as such, since for 22 years he had been selling a variety of spices in both Belize City and Belmopan. He had to stop selling spices two years ago after losing one leg, and now comes the added burden of having lost a portion on another leg. Francisco Villanueva is a fighter and is holding on to life tenaciously, because numerous persons have had amputations only to succumb to their conditions weeks or months later. Today, Spice Man, as he is compassionately called, spends night times in his Nissan Altima by a tree at the San Ignacio Market or by the large walls of the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, to shelter himself from the weather, and faithfully comes out on his wheel chair the next day and head to the market.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Mother of inmate spared jail over marijuana
    Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer declined to send the mother of a prison inmate to serve time herself for allegedly attempting to smuggle marijuana into the Central Prison at Hattieville. Instead, she fined 50 year old Primrose Hendricks $10,000 after receiving a guilty plea for the offence of drug trafficking. On December 22, 2013, Hendricks visited the prison to deliver food for her imprisoned son, but officials searching the package of foam plates found an additional containing plastic bags with a total of 63 grams of cannabis.

    Ma accused of beating his wife sent to jail
    46 year old Nathan Pratt will serve two years in prison on a charge of wounding after pleading guilty to hurting his common-law wife. Pratt was recently released from prison after having served 2 years and 2 months of a sentence of 3 years he got for theft. On March 24 Pratt went to the home of his common-law wife and asked which man she has. He then proceeded to choke her and drag on the ground into the yard and punch her repeatedly in her face. He then grabbed her and tried to take her back into the house and that was when she fell and injured her right leg.

    Charges dismissed against resort managers
    The manager of a resort in Caye Caulker and his female companion who were accused of assaulting a security guard in Belize City no longer faces charges after his accuser declined further court action. 25 year old David Heredia and 23 year old Shannon Martinez faced charges of aggravated assault and wounding and common assault against Darwin Fraser, security guard, and Martha Lopez, a waitress, for Chops Restaurant and Bar on Newtown Barracks after an altercation on July 10, 2014.

    Corozal man detained pending charges of burglary
    Corozal police have detained one man pending charges for a series of crimes including burglary. This follows an early morning incident on Tuesday in Calcutta village. 48 year old Jesus Mossiah reported to police that around 12:30 am on Tuesday, he was awaken by someone hitting him on his face […]

    Corozal family charged for drug trafficking
    Corozal police have arrested and charged three people, including a 14 year old minor, for the offence of drug trafficking. This follows an early morning anti-drug operation in Libertad village, Corozal on Wednesday. According to reports, around 7:30 am yesterday, police searched the residence of James Hinds, Sr. but found […]

    Budget debate: PUP leader says proposed Bill “short on substance”
    The debate on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2015-2016 resumed this morning in Belmopan. The Honorable the Leader of the Opposition Mr. Francis Fonseca opened the debate with the traditional rebuttal to the Prime Minister’s budget speech which was read in the House of Representatives on Friday, March 13. […]

    Blogs

    THE 6 DESTINATIONS YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO VISIT THIS EASTER
    Easter is a spectacular time to visit Belize. It’s usually less crowded as in winter and summer and there’s still plenty of things to see and do!!

    Of Penance and Alfombras
    The British came to Belize around 1635. They were pirates. There mission was wealth, not eternal life. We started this way to tell you that the largest religion in Belize is Catholicism, not Anglican – which you would expect being a former English colony. There are places around the world where people make their way to particular streets of towns and villages and give their time to collect, separate, colour and share saw dust. They become artists. Passionate and creative – all to celebrate the passion of the Christ. Doctors, lawyers, business men and women, they come to offer to their towns their labor and art in penance. Their lord was crucified and he died for them. The very least they could do in the holiest week of the year is give back in sweat, time and art. They create some of the most beautiful Alfombras (sawdust carpets) on the streets of their home towns.

    “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
    Those of you that read this blog with any degree of regularity will know that I like football. And by football (or futbol) I mean the eleven-a-side version referred to as football (futbol) around the world and NOT the inappropriately named game played in America! So when the opportunity was presented to Rose and I to go and watch Belize’s World Cup 2018 qualification group game versus the Cayman Islands it was , as The Godfather put it so eloquently, ” An offer we couldn’t refuse”. We met the other rabid (OK so maybe not rabid but we were enthusiastic and hopeful) Jaguars followers at the Ramon’s Village Resort dock yesterday at 16.30 hours to make the journey to Belize City on a boat chartered just for us. to the FFB Stadiumin Belmopan. Around eighty minutes (and three Belikins – well, for me anyway) later we arrived to join the crowds trying to enter the stadium

    What’s New Around San Pedro: Pou’s Cevecheria, A New Waruguma Location, Super Buy Becoming MEGA Buy and More…
    There seems to be quite a bit of construction going on in San Pedro. Two days ago, I took a quick walk around…just a bit north of town and then down the Back Street. Here’s some of what I saw: A new concrete building is going in just north of the round-about next to one of my favorite spots, Annie’s Pastries. Home of my favorite cheese, chicken and lobster dip. Now let’s head south turning left on Middle Street past this new Smoothie spot. I hear the Green Smoothie with Kale is delicious....

    International Sourcesizz

    Caribbean Export supports Haiti and the Dominican Republic at the 18th International Hotel Investment Forum 2015
    For three days over 2,000 delegates from 70 countries gathered in Berlin at the IHIF 2015 for a truely global gathering and consistently brings together a diverse range of stakeholders from across the hospitality, property and investment communities. Attendees received the benefits of high visibility in an expressive setting, numerous skill-based workshops, and unique networking opportunities. In this framework, the CFI and the CEI-RD were able to engage in over one hundred (100) Business to Business (B2B) meetings with the most important hotel chains representatives from Europe. In addition to the numerous networking sessions organized by the IHIF, the CFI and CEI-RD formed a Binational booth at the Expo Hall, further increasing the two countries overall visibility at the event.

    Honduran president opens 2015 conference on Central American security
    Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez welcomed security and defense leaders from 14 nations as they gathered in Tegucigalpa March 25 for two days of talks on ways to strengthen their ongoing security cooperation and counter transnational organized crime in Central America. The president spoke to more than 100 participants during the opening ceremony for the annual Central American Regional Security Conference (CENTSEC), co-hosted by the Honduran armed force's Joint Staff and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). "We've reached a conclusion that regional efforts and approaches are fundamental, because those we are up against also have a regional approach and have a very high level of sophistication, so the only way to confront them is by working together," he told them.

    All Central American nations ready to develop cooperation with Russia — minister
    All the Central American countries are prepared to strengthen cooperation with Russia in a broad spectrum of spheres, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales said on Thursday upon the end of negotiations with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, TASS reported. "We’re going to strengthen our cooperation and I’m speaking not only on behalf of Guatemala but on behalf of all the Central American nations," Morales said. He confirmed the reports that Russia will file an application for a non-regional observer status in the Central American Integration System (SICA) at the association’s conference underway in Guatemala. "That’s a crucial meeting for us that will help build up our cooperative relations in all the spheres," Morales said. SICA embraces Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and El Salvador.

    Caribbean reports record number of tourists, spending in '14
    A record 26.3 million people traveled to the Caribbean last year and spent an unprecedented amount of money in what is considered the world's most tourism-dependent region, officials said Tuesday. It is the fifth consecutive year that the Caribbean has reported an increase in tourists following an economic crisis that forced resorts to shut down and caused a drop in visitors and spending. Hugh Riley, the Caribbean Tourism Organization's secretary general, said Caribbean tourism rose by 5.3 percent, while the worldwide tourism growth rate was 4.7 percent. Officials attributed the increase in part to improvements at airports around the region, the opening of new hotel chains and an increase in direct flights and airline seat capacity. The Dutch Caribbean saw the most growth, with Aruba for the first time reporting more than 1 million visitors. The Dominican Republic, Cuba and Jamaica also saw an unprecedented number of visitors. Smaller destinations including Haiti, St. Lucia and Belize reported a record number of stay-over arrivals.

    Trouble In Paradise–Too Much Plastic In Our Oceans
    A remote tropical island in the Caribbean and the Yadkin River may seem like worlds apart. But in his column this week in the Triad Business Journal, WFDD contributor Justin Catanoso writes that those watery entities are connected in ways we hardly realize. “If you think about the pollution in our oceans, the problem actually starts in places like Winston-Salem,” says Catanoso. “So look at it this way–the Yadkin River is a huge pump and whatever gets pumped into it gets pumped down river and eventually flows into the oceans and gets circulated around the world.” Catanoso took a closer look at the issue of plastic pollution in North Carolina’s rivers and oceans when he visited Central America recently. Over spring break this month, Catanoso joined a group of Wake Forest University students and faculty in a coral ecology class on a tropical island located about 50 miles off the coast of Belize, just below Mexico. The island is called Long Caye. “It’s gorgeous – all coconut palms and mangroves. And it sits on the second largest coral reef in the world. The beauty underwater is staggering. But on Long Caye’s beaches, it’s another story. Plastic in the form of water and shampoo bottles, toys and shoes continued to wash up on shore.”

    The world's best coral reefs
    A new exhibition at the Natural History Museum showcases the splendour and colour of coral reefs. From the Great Barrier Reef to Indonesia, these are the best dive and snorkelling spots to see them for yoursel. The flutter of a fan and a the flicker of a mauve finger. The gaping of a tubular chasm and the wiggle of a beady eye. These aren’t the actions of aliens, but the movements of coral, some of the most fascinating living organisms on the planet. These marine invertebrates live in colonies made up of polyps – and their bright colours and unique formations draw divers and snorkellers to the locations in which they grow most richly, from the Coral Triangle around the Philippines and Indonesia, to the reefs of Belize and the Australian coastline. Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea at the Natural History Museum (020 7942 5000; nhm.ac.uk) shows 200 specimens from its collections, including the one-metre wide Turbinaria coral, a giant clam that weighs the same as 300 bags of sugar, and 440 million year old corals.

    Internationalizing the Cornell Curriculum grants awarded
    The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs has awarded $350,000 to 25 faculty projects designed to internationalize undergraduate teaching, learning and research at Cornell. Successful proposals involve faculty and students across eight colleges and schools who are working on projects worldwide. The grants create new opportunities for undergraduates to participate in meaningful international experiences, such as the “Identifying Healing Plants Used in Maya Culture in Southern Belize” course that take groups of students and faculty to southern Belize to study medicinal plants and preserve this knowledge for future generations. The course was proposed jointly by faculty members from the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and of Arts and Sciences, Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Stacey Langwick and Kevin Nixon.

    LGBT Community Awaits Caribbean Court of Justice Ruling
    Within the next three months, the Caribbean Court of Justice will determine whether the governments of Trinidad, Tobago and Belize should rescind immigration laws that ban the entry of gays and lesbians. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has jurisdiction over the 15 countries that form the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). One of the Caribbean’s most recognized faces in the promotion of the rights of lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and trans-sexual persons, Jamaican Maurice Tomlinson, filed a landmark lawsuit which challenges anti-gay laws in Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. Tomlinson is challenging Section 8 of Trinidad’s Immigration Act, which allows immigration officials to refuse entry to homosexuals, prostitutes and other people who may benefit from the proceeds of either. He also brought action against the government of Belize whose immigration legislation is similarly worded.

    Cayman hold Belize to goal-less draw in away leg
    The Cayman Islands football team clung onto a goal-less draw in the World Cup qualifying match on Wednesday evening during a relentless game of attack from the Belize squad playing in front of a home crowd in Belmopan. The Cayman national team was in trouble from the first minute, when Belize was awarded a penalty after a desperate tackle by Jason Ebanks in the Belize box. But keeper Ramon Sealy literally saved the game when he kept the shot out with an amazing save, setting the tone for the rest of the match. The busiest man on the pitch throughout the 90 minutes, Sealy let nothing past him, despite the best efforts of the home team. Because of Sealy’s multiple saves Cayman survived their first leg in this first round draw on the road to Russia. Despite facing a team ranked ten places higher in the region that had expected to run rings around the visitors, Cayman held on regardless as a result of Sealy’s incredible commitment and captain Abijah Rivers tireless presence at the back to help block the Belize attack.

    Caldwell University students serve in Belize during winter break
    A group of Caldwell University students had life-changing experiences on a service mission trip in a remote village in Belize during their winter break. They spent nine days in January rebuilding a church, making friends with villagers, sharing food and games with children, and learning a little more about what is most important to them in life. The Caldwell group stayed in Punta Gorda, a port town on the Caribbean Sea, and did service work in Santa Cruz in the country’s Toledo district. Each morning the students would get up and eat breakfast, which usually consisted of leftovers from dinner and food brought from home, such as pop tarts. They would pack their lunches—typically peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and snacks—the night before. They were on the road by 7:30 a.m. and at the work site by 9. They spent their days replacing the wall of a church with cinder blocks and making mortar from scratch with limited tools.

    InternationalLiving.com Ranks the Top 5 Tropical Islands for Retirees on a Budget
    A new report from the editors of InternationalLiving.com ranks and profiles the five best tropical-island paradises for retirees today. Spread throughout the world, these islands are unique—but they share certain characteristics: They’re warm, offer good infrastructure, provide acceptable healthcare facilities either on-island or nearby, and they represent good value—a couple can live comfortably from $1,500 a month, housing included. With less than 20,000 residents, little Ambergris Caye, Belize—also English-speaking—offers expats a laidback, Caribbean retirement with easy access to mainland Belize and to the States. Ambergris has racked up a series of “best island” awards over the last few years, but it is much more than a tourist destination. “Every day I can enjoy the gorgeous Caribbean Sea and the sight of waves crashing on the offshore Mesoamerican Barrier reef. The Caribbean’s aquamarine hues never fail to dazzle me,” says InternationalLiving.com’s Belize correspondent Ann Kuffner. “With the sea to the east, and the lagoon to the west, breath-taking water views surround us here on Ambergris. I just love how the weather is so balmy, year round, that we can dine at an open air beach café, day or night, without the need for a sweater.”

    Videos

  • Vision Inspired by the People demands re-registration, 1min. Our democracy depends on a clean voter's list. Let's demand today that government allocates the necessary funds for re-registration.

  • Scuba-Belize-Manatee-Final, 2min. Saw a West Indian manatee during my scuba diver certification dives inside the reef at Tuff Inn off the coast of San Pedro, Belize

  • Belize - Cayman Islands - 0:0 (SECOND HALF), 48min. Unfortunately, the broadcast of second half was started with delay I haven't the video of first half because I forgot push the button "record" )))

  • Little Beach in the middle of the BELIZE Forest ;), 2min. Se venia calentando el QUAD... y miren lo que encontre...

  • Caldwell University Service Project in Belize, 28min. A group of Caldwell University students had life-changing experiences on a service mission trip in a remote village in Belize during their winter break. They spent nine days in January rebuilding a church, making friends with villagers, sharing food and games with children, and learning a little more about what is most important to them in life. The Caldwell group stayed in Punta Gorda, a port town on the Caribbean Sea, and did service work in Santa Cruz in the country’s Toledo district.

  • Scuba-Belize-Manatee, 1/2min. Saw a West Indian manatee during a scuba dive at Tuffy Inn off San Pedro, Belize.

  • May 6th, 2014 - Half Moon Caye, Belize (#14), 15min. Amazing corals, very cool landscape, barracuda, garden eels, spotted eagle ray (very faint, just before the...), Caribbean reef shark, and a turtle while we were doing out safety stop. Best dive so far!

  • Belize 2015 - Chasing Down Ghosts - El Pescador, 8min. Chasing the dreams that a fly rod can bring in Belize. Great trip with great people from all over. Big thanks to Junior, our guide and Ed for taking care of our sporting needs. Huge thanks to the great staff.

  • Belize 2015, 2min. Diving Belize

  • Belize In America Tours Belize 2014, 4min. Belize In America (BIA), is an online, multimedia news and entertainment magazine that showcases the richness and cultural diversity of Belize; while highlighting the personal and professional success stories of our fellow Belizeans...

  • Howling Howler Monkeys on Belize River at Chaya Maya Jungle Lodge, 1min. We had fun communicating with the Howler Monkeys along the Belize River at Chaya Maya Jungle Lodge.

  • Belize 2015, 8min. Video of our time in Belize with EF Tours. Shout out to Pleasantville, Iowa!

  • La Ruta Maya Rough Start Belize River Challenge Canoe Race 2015, 2min. This team had a rough start at the La Ruta Maya 2015 race in Belize on the Belize River. the race starts in San Ignacia and is 4 days across the country to to Belize City. The racers go past our place near Teakettle called Chaya Maya Jungle Lodge. We saw this team hours later.

  • GOPR1064 Belize Linie on 12m 3 5 15 10 03am, 7min. Belize kiteboarding.... Wednesday 3/5. Working with a 12 m kite and 142cm board in about 15mph winds on the sand flats near Long Caye of Glover's Reef 35miles off of the coast of Belize.

  • Crazy Cruise: Belize & the Journey to Lamanai, 13min. Video 4 of my March 2015 cruise. Featuring the Ruins of Lamanai in Belize (and the journey thereto).

    March 26, 2015


    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 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    BWG donates to SPJC Female Football Team
    The Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) Northern Football Female Champions were the proud recipients of a $2,000 check from Blue Water Grill. The donation was presented to the San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) female football team on Thursday, March 19th. The monies financed the girls’ participation at the ATLIB National Football Championship on Saturday, March 21st and Sunday, March 22nd. Receiving the donation was team coach, Froylan Gilharry, who was grateful for the donation. “The female football team along with the entire faculty and alumni of SPJC would like to thank BWG for this very generous donation. We are always happy to receive support from the community to promote sports,” said Gilharry. The donation was used to fund the team’s transportation, lodging and food for the tournament. The San Pedro Sun salutes BWG for their generosity to our beloved island community.

    ACES students shine at Open Day Fair
    The Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) students demonstrated a vast knowledge of all their year’s curriculum at their Open Day Fair, from Grammar to Science. Held on Friday, March 20th, students had the opportunity to display their lessons to family, friends and visitors. Booths were created by the students to explain topics in English, Health, Science, Social Studies and even Mathematics. The purpose of the event was to promote ACES to the community by showcasing the classrooms, the different approaches, and environment of the school. Emphasis was also placed in the showing of the school’s newly added preschool and special education classroom. According to ACES Principal, Amanda Burgos, the open day provided an opportunity for the community to experience the school before enrollment begins for the new school year.

    Submersible ROV successfully removed from Reef
    A submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) has been successfully removed from the Belize Barrier Reef after being grounded on a portion of the reef near Mexico Rocks. Since the ROV was discovered on Wednesday, March 11th officials began preparations for its removal. The Department of the Environment (DOE) collaborated with the Hol Chan Marine Reverse to remove the 12 feet by 6.6 feet Deep Tech Quantum ROV on Saturday, March 21st. According to DOE, the ROV belonged to ImpreSub, an Italian offshore support service for oil and gas exploration and industries. They had been hired by the Venezuelan oil and gas exploration company, Saipem to conduct research using the ROV, when it was reported as “lost” in the Trinidad and Tobago area on November 18, 2014. Due to the nature of the grounding, the DOE responded to the incident according to the National Standard Operating Procedure for Marine Casualties, which dictates the immediate removal of the item. To assist with removal and recovery, ImpreSub sent over a representative to determine the extent of damage to the ROV. After inspections, DOE hired Island Construction to provide the necessary equipment and services to remove the ROV without causing further damage to the reef.

    Cultural Day celebrated in preschools
    Preschool students countrywide are ending a month long calendar of events as part of Child Stimulation Month. One of the anticipated events was Cultural Day, which took place on Wednesday March 18th in preschools across the island. As customary, the youngsters and teachers were dressed in cultural attire, and they worked on projects which depicted food, clothing, agricultural crops, music and religious beliefs of each of the ethnic groups. According to the teachers at the various preschools, students were put into groups from before the start of Child Stimulation Month, in order to prepare for the various events including Cultural Day. Students and visitors had the opportunity to interact, learn and even sample food pertinent to the different ethnic groups found in Belize.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Highlights Importance of Barrier Reef During Reef Week 2015
    Between March 9, 2015 and March 15, 2015, Belizeans across the country gathered to celebrate Reef Week 2015 under the theme, “Celebrate our heritage. Protect our future. Belief in the reef!” Every year, members of the non-governmental and environmental community as well as Government entities organize a series of events over the course of a week to recognize the incalculable contribution of the Belize Barrier Reef System to the national economy and the nation’s cultural identity. More than 200,000 Belizeans living in Belize’s coastal and island communities earn their livelihoods from tourism, making that industry account for almost 25% of the country’s gross domestic product. Another 18,000 Belizeans are directly dependent on Belize’s fisheries for their livelihoods. Therefore, efforts to ensure protection of those natural resources ensure economic sustainability for almost two thirds of Belize’s population.

    Government Removes Submersible ROV From Belize Reef
    Since receiving report that a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was grounded on the crest of the barrier reef near the Mexico Rocks area in the vicinity of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, the Department of the Environment (DOE) collaborated with the Hol Chan Marine Reverse over the past weekend to remove the Deep Tech Quantum ROV. The DOE hired Island Construction, a private company out of San Pedro, to provide the equipment and services necessary for the removal of the ROV. Together the team planned the best possible way to remove the ROV without causing unnecessary damage to the reef, as well as safeguarding the vehicle from further damages.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    GRANT OPPORTUNITY
    The U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize announces a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) to strengthen citizen security by focusing on job creation and providing alternative activities and better education for youth at higher risk of gang affiliation and/or engaging in criminal activity. Contingent upon the availability of funds and quality of proposals, U.S. Embassy Belmopan intends to issue three to five awards in an amount not to exceed $900,000 in total funding. Each award will be for an amount between $100,000 and $400,000. Project periods should not exceed two years, and the anticipated start date for successful proposals is September 30, 2015. This funding will support U.S. Government objectives under the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) to target the underlying factors contributing to violence and crime in Belize.

    San Pedro Lobster Festival
    Lobster Festival is right around the corner! Book your tickets and hotel rooms for June 14th to the 21st! We have a week long of tasty events and the BIG Block party on June 20th.

    Miss San Pedro, Michelle Nunez is on a mission
    Wish her the best in her travels representing Belize. Goodbye Belize! Heading to North Carolina Charlotte today! I will do my best to represent my beautiful Isla Bonita:) I have a full schedule ahead. I have planning session for future curriculum for SHINE with the prevention director of On Eagles Wings Ministries, Speaking at awareness event about Belize and need for SHINE, attending two networking events and half day training seminar with OEWM. Bring it on!!

    Manatee Appreciation Day
    The last Wednesday of March is Manatee Appreciation Day - join us in appreciating Belize's manatees!

    GOB to Conduct In-Depth Review of Local Rice Industry
    The Government of Belize wishes to inform the public that it is fully aware of the request by a local importer to import rice from Guyana, and his claim that imported rice through that channel could be made available to the public at a price lower than the current market price. The Government is also aware that there is severe overproduction in Guyana and they have domestic pressure to market that product at any cost.

    Upsurge in regular fuel price at the UNO Fuel Depot in Corozal
    Occurred midnight last-night without any official notice. Regular fuel is now $9.00 at the pump!

    Thirsty Thursday Neon Paint Party
    Thirsty Thursday had Cayo's version of the Neon Paint vs. Foam Party on Saturday. The No Fear DJ's have been doing this all around Belize. A wild time was had by all.

    SHC Fair & Business Expo
    This year's SHC Fair and Business Expo will be happening this Saturday. It goes from 9:00am through 6:00pm, and there will be lots of food, and many businesses showcasing their products.

    Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge
    February of last year American Adventure Sport partnered with FCD to undertake the first Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge. The race will be aired on the 29th of March, on NBC Universal Sports Network at 6:00 PM eastern standard time.

    Channel 7

    UDP Officially Endorses Tracey Taegar P. For Albert Div.
    For the past two nights, we’ve been reporting on the big political news that the CEO in the Ministry of Tourism Tracy Panton is going to be the new UDP candidate in the Albert Division. And today the UDP held a press conference at its party headquarters to make official what you already knew: that Area Representative Herman Longsworth and Challenger Phillip Willoughby would step aside to make way to Taegar Panton. But saying it is one thing – seeing it is quite another – as only very rarely does a sitting representative step aside to publicly welcome another. Here’s how that went today:… Tracy Taegar-Panton - Will be endorsed as UDP Standard bearer, Albert "My name is Tracy Taeger-Panton and having spent almost 30 years committed to the service of others, today I offer myself as a candidate for the UDP in the Albert constituency." And Taegar-Panton got glowing endorsements from the current standard bearers and the man who was challenging: Hon. Herman Longsworth - Stepping down as Standard Bearer, Albert "To cut the story short I am here to say that I fully support the candidacy of Ms. Panton and I ask everybody, who supported me, who worked with me to really and truly consider putting their weight behind her going forward."

    UDP Changes Standard Bearers In OW South
    And further to that promise that he’s getting ready for elections – Party Leader Dean Barrow is also making changes in other divisions. IT was rumoured that the UDP candidate sin Orange walk Central and Orange Walk South would be changed – but it seems that the wily OW Central Standard bearer Denny Grijalva managed to hold on. But not so for Juan De Dios Moguel in Orange Walk South. Party Leader Barrow explained:… Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister, UDP Party Leader "There is certainly a discussion and in fact it is very very likely that there will be a new UDP candidate in Orange Walk South. Juan De Dios Moguel who is the incumbent standard bearer, is actively assisting the party in doing the consultations required to try to come up with the best possible replacement. So, that there will be a replacement? Absolutely, who that replacement will be? We're not nearly there yet.”

    Tracey Panton Unchallenged; So What About Hon. Castro, Hon. Castillo?
    And while Barrow as party leader is making interventions in selected divisions, it seems he won’t do so in Caribbean Shores and Belize Rural North. That’s where Ministers of State Santiago Castillo Jr and Edmond Castro will face challengers who want their seats. We asked the PM if he paved the way for Tracy Taegar Panton why wouldn’t he do so for his cabinet colleagues. Jules Vasquez "Sir have you ever seen a bloodless, i'm told micromanage a bloodless transition in the other division? And always in politics, the shedding of blood is a waste of precious resource. Will you try to do the same in the other 2 division that have pending conventions, Belize Rural North and Caribbean Shores?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister, UDP Party Leader "I don't expect that there will be any change in the current position, which is that those conventions will be held." Jules Vasquez "Will you be making any endorsements? Santino Castillo Jr. has said that you support him." Hon. Dean Barrow "Well of course, he is my cabinet colleague. He's family has a long history of supporting the party. There's absolutely no way on the basis of loyalty that I can go against Minister Castillo."

    Regular Fuel Price Spikes Amidst Fuel Shortage
    The fuel tanker ship from Venezuelan fuel supplier PDVSA (Pe-De-Ve-Sa) was scheduled to arrive today – and at midnight the price of regular fuel shot up. Regular which had been lagging behind diesel went up by a dollar and fifteen cents from 7 dollars and 74 cents a gallon to eight dollars and eighty nine cents. That’s a 15% increase – and creates another unusual situation where premium fuel at $8.80 per gallon is now nine cents cheaper than regular per gallon. The change in price is a reflection of the cost of acquisition. Diesel and premium prices did not increase with this shipment.

    PM Will Not Entertain Cheap Imported Rice
    Since Friday we’ve been reporting on the situation with the rice industry. Importer Jack Charles says he can bring in rice from Guyana, which will retail for as little as 69 cents per pound – which is 50 cents cheaper than the one dollar and twenty cents per pound or more that you’re currently paying at the store. But, government doesn’t want to give him a permit to import that rice because it will likely destroy the local rice industry. Charles says that those local rice producers need stiff shot of competition, basically because they are price gouging – and you’re paying for it. Charles has got six containers with half a million pounds on standby and he’s just waiting for government’s go ahead to bring it in. But, for government it’s not quite that simple; the matter was discussed at Cabinet yesterday and the Prime Minister agreed that local producers have to do better:…

    How Did The Economy Do In Last Quarter?
    The budget will be debated tomorrow in Belmopan where the Opposition will get ample opportunity to criticize the UDP government’s economic performance. And while all kinds of figures will be flying – what do the real numbers people, the statisticians say? Well, the Statistical Institute of Belize released their final figures for October to December 2014, and invited the press to their presentation today. Here’s what those numbers looked like: Jefte Ochaeta – Statistician I “As of October to December of 2014 we’re observing that our primary industries increased by 0.2% and that was mainly due because fishing activities are showing a decline of 29.3% where we had less revenue in most our fish products. Shrimp exports for October to December account to be 12.1 million less than what was exported in 2013 for the same period. And you can see the following number that also was hiking was conch, which was basically 5 million less in the same period exported when compared to 2013.

    PUP's Youth Arm Not Impressed With Budget
    And while those figures will be grist for the elected politicians tomorrow in the House of Representatives, today the PUP’s Belize Youth Movement of the PUP scheduled sort of a pre- debate session at Independence Hall - highlighting the shortfalls of the budget from the youth perspective. The areas of concern are education, training and employment. This morning the members of BYM told us that the financing proposed for these areas is not enough. Josue Carballo - BYM member "We see now that there are less registered businesses, less number of active businesses. Which means we saw a shortage in our economy. Even though there has been an increase of over 5,672 jobs within those 5 years. However if you do the maths you will realise that every year there is an increase of over 4,000 new high school and tertiary level institutions graduates. That means within those 5 years we're had over 20,000 new job seekers. So where are they getting placed? Where are the jobs to be created for our newly educated? I have condensed 3 action points when it comes to job creation, job simulation. First has to be the direct action concerning skills development training. Secondly, the direct actions concerning job creation and thirdly, policy making and advocacy."

    Hon. Longsworth's Soft Opening Of Marion Jones
    At the top of the news, we told you how Area Representative Herman Longsworth is stepping aside to make way for Tracey Taegar Panton. That makes him – in political terms – a lame duck representative – but he tried to show the media today that he’s no lame duck minister of state. He took us to a soft launch for the Marion Jones Sporting Complex – whose opening has been delayed more times than we can count. It is envisioned as high caliber multi purpose sporting complex, but it is only being completed in parts. The contract for the bleachers and accompanying facilities is complete, and the sporting complex is in a usable state. The 2015 Bandfest will be the first time that the general public will be invited in use the complex, since the Upgrading works began years ago. Here’s what Longsworth told us about the progress since the last time he showed us around:

    PM Discusses Marijuana Decriminalization
    Last week we told you that Cabinet had agreed in principle with the de-criminalisation of less than ten grams of marijuana. And the principle they agreed with is that persons should not go to jail or get a criminal record for this. But the details are another matter completely. Today the Prime Minister discussed some of those with us today:… Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "Cabinet, and I really have to sweep that room for bugs or find a way to have people respect the confidentiality of Cabinet. Because you had a news report that for the most part was absolutely spot on. There is that agreement in principle. The minister of national security had his reservations. He's the one that has been asked to - and the point about nomenclature. If what we agree in principle in fact is implemented, is it really decriminalisation? We're talking about administrative penalties, we're talking about nobody having to go to jail, but they're penalties.

    Special Envoy's "My Body Is Precious" Book
    Good touch, bad touch! That’s the playful phrase parents and teachers use when talking to kids about sexual abuse. Well, that is the theme of the “My Body is precious” animation film that was launched today at the Bliss. The “My Body is precious” book was launched in April 2013 and this is the animated film version of that book. Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow told us how the short will make teaching and learning about sexual abuse a more open discussion. "Well in 2013, we launched my body is precious book. And really the book, the essence of the book is to teach young children about good touch, bad touch. We know that talking about sexual abuse is not the easiest of things, not for parents and not for teachers. Therefore we made this book into a very child friendly book but also book that would make it comfortable for parents and teachers to share with their students and their children. We contacted the different schools and we had the principal select students from the different schools to voice, Lisa, Dee Dee and the other child for the animati

    Petrocaribe Bill Goes Back To House; Opposition Will Challenge It
    The budget debate is the main business of tomorrow’s house meeting – but the opposition is getting ready to challenge the government on the passage of the Petro Caribe Loans Bill. The bill seeks to regularize the inflows from the Petrocaribe initiative. While all loans of a certain size have to go to the house, Government argues that since the petrocaribe flows change every month – it cannot ask for pre-approval of a figure it does not know. This bill seeks to correct that. But the PUP are saying that it runs roughshod over the laws to do so. They point to this clause. It reads: Notwithstanding anything contained in the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act, 2005, or any other law to the contrary, it shall be lawful for the Government of Belize to borrow money from ALBA Petrocaribe (Belize Energy) Limited in any amounts without the prior authorisation of the National Assembly and to enter into a loan agreement with APBEL for the said purpose.

    Channel 5

    G.O.B. Wants Access to Petrocaribe Without Oversight
    There is a lot of political news tonight. We’ll come to that shortly, but we start with a rather unprecedented proposed new law. This Thursday, Belize’s Parliamentarians go to the [...]

    U.D.P. Announces New Albert Candidate
    It’s official. Albert constituency Area Representative Herman Longsworth is out. The wanna-be Area Rep., Phillip Willoughby, is also out. And Tourism C.E.O. and first-time, full-time politician Tracy Taegar-Panton is in. [...]

    Tracy Taegar-Panton Says She is Now U.D.P.
    Panton comes from a traditionally P.U.P. background, and even worked for years as Manager of the P.U.P.’s Belize Times. She has been affiliated with the very successful Mark Espat era [...]

    P.U.P. Albert Candidate Surprised at the Announcement
    So, the United Democratic Party formally introduced its new standard bearer for the Albert Division this morning, much to the surprise of many who believed that the candidacy would have [...]

    Paul Thompson Says Panton is an Office Worker, Not a Field General
    Thompson also says that he will be re-strategizing in the wake of the recent development and remains confident of his chances in his stomping grounds.   Isani Cayetano “Does the [...]

    Longsworth and Willoughby Step Out in Albert
    Back to Panton…She says she is confident that she can deliver the Albert constituency, and has committed to do just that. To have any chance at all, she will have [...]

    What Did They Get to Walk Away?
    Most would say that Longsworth’s stint as Albert Area Representative has been unremarkable, and while Willoughby wanted it really bad, he’ll never get his chance to shine in the Alberts. [...]

    PM Cagey on Timing of General Elections
    With Panton set to be installed, PM Barrow is setting up conventions in Belize Rural North, Orange Walk South and Caribbean Shores. Like we said, it’s all fine-tuning for general [...]

    Fuel Prices Soar
    Tonight, there is some good news on the fuel scene – the long delayed fuel ship is in port and is in the process of being offloaded. But that’s it [...]

    G.O.B. Meets With Rice Industry Players
    The rice industry imbroglio continues without clear definition because government stakeholders in the Ministry of Agriculture have remained mum. Currently rice retails at over one dollar and twenty cents a [...]

    Belize Squares Off Against Cayman
    Game one of a home and away series between the Belize Jaguars and the Cayman Islands national team kicks off immediately following tonight’s newscast.  Final preparations are underway at the [...]

    Marion Jones Complex Nearing Completion
    The Marion Jones Sporting Complex is finally looking at completion. Since its groundbreaking in August 2009, the projected launch of the state of the art facility has been put off [...]

    B.Y.M. Scrutinizes Budget – A Youth Perspective
    The 2015-2016 Proposed Budget by the Barrow Administration will be heavily debated in the next two days at the National Assembly Building where it is expected that the Opposition will [...]

    B.Y.M. Calls for Value for Money
    BYM also touched on issues affecting the youth such as education and crime. Micah Goodin and Alberto Vellos spoke of not getting the monies worth out of what has been [...]

    S.I.B. Releases Latest Statistics
    The Statistical Institute of Belize today released the Consumer Price Index, Gross Domestic Product and External Trade Stats for Belize for the end of last quarter and the first two [...]

    CTV3

    Authorities Have No New Leads Or Arrests In Double Homicide Of Teenagers
    Yesterday we told you about a double homicide recorded in Orange Walk Town where two teenage boys were shot to death as they socialized with friends on the Palmar/Boundary Road on Saturday night. Danny Valdez and Michael Usher were the victims. Since the incident, police detained one person for questioning and now the standard rule of holding a person for more than the legal 48 hours has elapsed. As a result, police had to release the person they had for questioning. Today, authorities are no closer in solving that murder or figure out the motive in the incident.

    NTV Tends To Write To The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs About Incident
    A few weeks ago we reported on the turn of event for the Northern Territorial Volunteers when Guatemalan authorities detained thirty seven of them at the mouth of the Sarstoon River at around four thirty on February 28th. The group had visited the southernmost part of the border to Gracias a Dios, paint the marker and install a plaque with the name Belize. They were taken to Livingston, Guatemala but later released on Sunday. The matter has stirred a lot of concern and saw the intervention of attorneys and even elected officials. However, the government has been slow to respond to the situation. The prime minister has himself criticized the group for what he deems as endangering those that went on the expedition under the guise of patriotism. So, the government has not responded in the way that the group would hope and even the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington said and we quote, “It is a sensitive dispute and we think that the least we can do to aggravate the situation the better and safer our people will be”. Today, the government remains unresponsive but the Northern Territorial Volunteers are not ready to forget the matter.

    NTV Weighs On Participation Of Assistant Director General To The OAS
    On March 18th at its forty-ninth ordinary session, the Organization of American States elected career Diplomat His Excellency Nestor Mendez as Assistant Director General to the organization. The OAS promotes peaceful relations in the Americas, including the countries of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. As mentioned the organization promotes peaceful relations by conflict prevention by contributing to the political stability, social inclusion and prosperity of the region. With that said, viewers may recall our report in which the OAS had issued a press release stating that the Belize Territorial Volunteers had planted trees in Guatemalan territory in one of their expeditions to the southern border. The group has openly accused the OAS of partiality to Guatemala. Sunday’s trip to the border was to verify once more if the OAS was right or wrong. The group, using GPS, showed that indeed they were in Belizean territory. The group had also invited OAS to send a representative to meet the group there but no one from that office showed up. The question now is that with a Belizean having been elected for the first time as Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, will the volunteers receive some sort of support? The media asked the leader of the Northern Territorial Volunteers Giovanni De La Fuente, a branch of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, for his views.

    DEO Urges For The Prevention Of Illness Before PSE
    Yesterday we told you about the thousands of standard six students that sat part one of the Primary School examinations in exam centers across the country. And while we showed you the statistics and experiences of the students who took the exam, a few glitches were encountered along the way. One of them was that a few students had reported to have the chicken pox on Friday. Accommodations were made for these ill students and on Monday more students turned up sick. And with part two of the exam slated for May, District Education Officer, Carla Alvarez says it is imperative for the administration to know about your child’s health status before exam day. “They really need to be in tune and vigilant with what the students are going through if there is any foreseen illness or so on it needs to be reported to us as soon as possible because for example up to Friday we only had three children who ha chicken pox and obviously those children we have to isolate and we get one invigilator for those children and for us to get the information this morning that we have three more students...”

    LOVE FM

    Final 2014 Statistics Released
    The Statistical Institute of Belize released its latest and final figures for the year 2014. According to the Institute, in the last three months of 2014, the Belizean economy grew by 1.6 percent. In the primary sector, the banana industry grew by more than 30 percent while manufacturing and mining in the secondary sector declined by 6.6 percent. The tertiary or services sector grew by 3.6 percent. Statistician Jefte Ochaeta shared more of Belize’s Gross domestic product. During the month of February 2015, the prices of goods and services fell by an average of 1.2 percent. Statistician Angelita Campbell told us why.

    Brokered Deal …. Longsworth and Willoughby Step Aside for Tracy ….. Mark Espat’s Support to be Sought
    As we mentioned earlier in our newscast, Tracy Taegar-Panton is the woman almost set to run in the Albert division for the United Democratic Party. We say, ‘almost’ because while her candidacy has been announced and supported by the Party Leader, Dean Barrow, she is yet to be officially endorsed. The announcement of Panton’s entry into electoral politics came with lots of questions, even by several of the party’s very own supporters. For instance, why is the current Area Representative, Herman Longsworth being replaced? And what happens to Councillor Philip Willoughby now, when it has been common knowledge that he has had his eyes on that division for some time and has expressed his desire to enter into national politics? Both Longsworth and Willoughby were at today’s press briefing; here is a portion of their remarks.

    UDP Embraces Former Mark Espat Ally for Albert Division
    In a briefing called by the Secretariat of the United Democratic Party for this morning, Tracy Taegar Panton was presented to the media and other party supporters as the candidate for the Albert Division that will be endorsed in an upcoming convention. Remarks from the UDP’s Party Leader, Dean Barrow, was nothing short of accolades for and confidence in Panton’s candidacy. DEAN BARROW “This morning, we formally tell the public that Mrs. Tracy Taegar Panton will very shortly be officially endorsed as the United Democratic Party’s candidate for the Albert constituency for the next general election. She is of course supremely qualified, academically and professionally and she does have a record of service that is next to none. She is currently as you know , is the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and Minister Honorable Heredia is here to support her and before that for very many years was the director for The Belize Tourism Board where she helped with the transformation of the tourism industry in this country and where she helped really to put Belize so firmly on the global tourism map.”

    Espat Says PM Will Pass Bill to Freely Spend PetroCaribe Funds
    Tomorrow at the National Assembly in Belmopan, Cayo District, Day one of the National Budget Debate for the upcoming fiscal year 2015/2016 is taking place. It is a debate based on a budget that was presented in the House of Representatives on Friday, March 13, 2015. While there are several points of contention coming from the opposition regarding the proposed expenditure for the new fiscal year, there is another to add to the list as Love News has learnt that in tomorrow’s sitting, the Prime Minister will be tabling a bill aimed at making special provisions when it comes to borrowing money from the Alba PetroCaribe (Belize Energy) Limited. One Area Representative from the opposition side, who has expressed great concerns regarding the Government’s operations when it comes to the monies from PetroCaribe, is Julius Espat. Espat spoke to Love News this evening, saying, that with the passing of this bill, the Prime Minister would not have to account for monies being used from PetroCaribe.

    Price of Rice Being Looked At But Self Sufficiency Remains an Objective
    Local rice producers have been expressing concerns to the Agricultural Department regarding the proposed move by businessman, Jack Charles in exporting rice from Guyana that would be an almost fifty percent cheaper than that of the local product. It is an idea that Charles says he has written to the Central Government about as he believes it would be more beneficial for the consumers. In response to the issue, Prime Minister, Dean Barrow told the media that meetings are ongoing to discuss the situation with the goal to bring the price down on locally produced rice. PRIME MINISTER DEAN BARROW “It was discussed in Cabinet; there are ongoing meetings between the Ministry of Agriculture and the local rice producers. I will only say at this point that we believe that the situation can be managed in such a way as to bring the price of locally produced rice down for the consumer in such a manner as would make It unnecessary for them to want to consume instead the imported rice but that is a work in progress; the situation is still fluid.”

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Belize and Cayman Islands football teams play to a scoreless draw
    The Belize Jaguars, our national football team, played to a scoreless draw with the Cayman Islands national team tonight in the first game of World Cup 2018 Qualifying Tournament. The game was played at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) stadium in Belmopan. Belize missed a scoring opportunity in the […]

    Decriminalization of marijuana moving forward
    Earlier this month a committee authorized to discuss the removal of criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis released its report in which it recommends such removal for ten grams or less possessed. The report is now before Cabinet and today Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed […]

    Tracey Taegar-Panton joins UDP in Albert
    The United Democratic Party (UDP) today announced another political coup in securing the candidacy of its third woman candidate, CEO in the Ministry of Tourism Tracey Taegar-Panton, who will run in the Albert division for the upcoming general election. Unlike its other female candidates – Beverly Castillo in Belize […]

    Reports say passenger bus overturns in Camalote village
    There are unconfirmed reports of an accident involving a passenger bus on the George Price Highway. Details are still emerging, but preliminary reports indicate that it happened in Camalote village. A source says that there are injuries. More on this story later.

    Fuel prices dominate economic indicators for 2014-15
    The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) released a batch of economic indicators for the latter part of 2014 and the first two months of 2015. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2014 grew by 1.6% compared with the same period in 2013. Overall the […]

    “My Body Is Precious” animated and translated for children
    In 2013 Belizean students were introduced to the book “My Body Is Precious,” co-written by Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow and former Director of Community Rehabilitation Department in the Ministry of Human Development Starla Acosta. It concerns the issue of sexual misbehavior with children, […]

    Man pleads guilty to wounding partner
    45 year old Nathan Pratt is headed back to jail pending sentencing on Thursday following a guilty plea to a charge of wounding. Pratt was remanded by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, who asked for the complainant, Pratt’s common-law wife Eldi Landero, to attend court and to be provided […]

    Man charged with obstruction jailed over fine
    He tried to hide alleged drugs from police but pleaded guilty and was let off with a caution and discharge from the courts. But 32 year old Kareem Flowers is still in jail tonight, serving a two-month default sentence for $200 in outstanding court fines. On March 22, […]

    Woman tangles with police officer on bus
    An encounter between a Ladyville resident and a police officer on a bus headed to Belize City led to charges for 46 year old Kenecia Velasquez. She is accused of assaulting Sergeant of Police Kenneth Clarke after he approached her about obscene language she was apparently using. The […]

    Belize vs Cayman Islands
    UPDATE: Game is over. Belize vs Cayman Islands: 0-0 Wednesday, March 25, 2015. BMG: Belizeans across the country are anxiously waiting the much anticipated and the much adored sport in the world. Today, the Belize National Football Selection is scheduled to play its first match in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. […]

    Prime Minister announces new standard bearer for Albert division
    The Honorable the Prime Minister, Mr. Dean Barrow, has just announced that Mrs. Tracy Taegar Panton will be endorsed as the next standard bearer for the United Democratic Party (UDP) in the next General Elections in the Albert division. Prime Minister Barrow says that with the support of the incumbent, Mr. Herman Longsworth and City Councilor Phillip Willoughby who had intended to challenge Longsworth in a standard bearer convention, will be crucial in ensuring victory for Taegar Panton in the Albert division.

    Blogs

    The Submersible on Our Reef – Who, What, Where… + Subsiding Sargasso?
    Yesterday, after lunch, I took a walk around San Pedro for just about half an hour (on one hot & gorgeous day), got chatting with some folks and learned a few things. Let’s start with my impromptu visit to the Hol Chan Marine Office on the north end of Back Street, San Pedro. The local media has been reporting on it…and I thought I’d follow up. The facts: An Odd Submersible Was Found March 12, Removed from Reef March 21st and Now In Belize City at the Coast Guard Base The local media reported just over a week ago about this odd bulk washing up on the reef about 4.5 miles of San Pedro town. (Photos from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve)

    Mariposa bed and breakfast Belize
    Today’s guest post is by Nadine McCauley from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. It was love at first site. Nadine and her husband Phil have been to Mariposa twice in one year and are booked for another stay in May 2015. The popular Belize Bed and Breakfast has only been open for one year and so the May trip being their third stay, says a lot. Owner Sharron Maddison says she loves them and trust her they are not family members :) On our first trip to Placencia, my husband Phil and I rented bicycles the day before we were set to leave the village. During our bicycle ride, we accidentally stumbled upon the Mariposa and had lunch. We were amazed at the beautiful villa and stunning location on a quiet stretch of beach. As we were leaving, Bruce offered to show us one of their suites which was even more incredible because each of the lower suites has two french doors that open to a patio facing the pool and ocean. A couple of days later, when our scheduled accommodations in the Maya Beach area didn’t work out and we were temporarily homeless for the last few days of our vacation, we knew we were going right back to the Mariposa. We didn’t even call ahead, just showed up with our luggage and said “Hey, you still have that room available?” Lucky for us, they did! Our second stay was for 7 days, over New Year’s and we loved it. We are currently planning our third stay at the Mariposa in May.

    16 Reasons Why People Travel (In Pictures)
    Not everyone on the world gets a chance to travel. For those who travel, travelling is a university. In fact, its a university no other university on the planet have subjects that can truly give you that PHd that travel can. We wish everyone decides to travel. Nothing is impossible, so lets not make excuses. Everything will work if there is a goal and a plan. While there are a million reasons people travel, here are a few reasons in pictures why people travel: People travel because they want to immerse themselves in every inch of their lives…

    International Sourcesizz

    Costa Rica Has Gotten All Of Its Electricity From Renewables For 75 Days Straight
    Costa Rica got 100 percent of its electricity from renewables for 75 days straight this year, the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) announced this week. The Latin American country hasn’t had to use fossil fuels at all so far in 2015, due to heavy rains that have kept hydroelectric power plants going strong. Wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy have also helped power the country this year. “The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica,” ICE announced in a press release in Spanish this week. This reliance on renewables has prompted the country to lower electricity rates by 12 percent. ICE predicts that rates will continue to drop for Costa Rican customers in the second quarter of the year. In 2009, Costa Rica announced its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2021. Already, Costa Rica gets about 88 percent of its total electricity from renewable sources. Hydroelectric plants supply the bulk of that electricity — 68 percent — while geothermal plants provide about 15 percent, wind power provides 5 percent, and solar and biomass also contribute slightly to the country’s energy mix.

    Local dentist to help those in need on mission trip to Belize
    Annette Merlino will be taking in many sights on her journey to Belize, which begins today. She'll see spectacular reefs, beaches, Mayan ruins — and rampant periodontal disease. Merlino, a dentist with offices in Allegheny Township and Delmont, says heredity plays a major role in the dental conditions she's seen on mission trips that have taken her around the globe. In Belize, the problem is gum disease caused by heavy tartar buildup that can lead to tooth loss. “They all have periodontal disease,” Merlino of Delmont said in her office in Allegheny Township on Wednesday. “Even though I tell them to get regular cleanings, there's no one to do it.” Merlino and three others were scheduled to leave Thursday morning for Central America and their final destination of Patchacan, a village of about 1,100 people in northern Belize. It's not far from the country's border with Mexico and west of the larger coastal town of Corozal.

    Belizean soca queen moving to J'can beat
    BELIZEAN soca queen Ernestine Carballo is in Jamaica and doing the rounds with a view to promote her music and break into the local market. "I am hoping to do collaborations with some local acts," she said. On the top of her list is dancehall deejays Busy Signal and Aidonia. Since her arrival a week ago, she has appeared on two live shows. "I performed at an Inkline event in Bog Walk, alongside I Wayne. I went to a dance with Johnny Handsome of Turbo Crown at an event in Kitson Town. I performed five songs including my big hits, Soca Party and the carnival road march song, Carnival Di Cum," said the 30-year-old. "I loved Jamaica even before I came here. I had to come here to promote my music because Jamaica is the heartbeat, the hub of music in the Caribbean. I love how you all dress, the culture, the style, from I was a little girl, seeing Shabba Ranks, Patra, all the way up to Sean Paul coming to Belize," she said.

    Branch out in BELIZE
    Kinga Philipps delves deep into the Belize jungle, exploring caves, visiting ancient Mayan ruins, and sleeping amid the treetops at Parrot Nest Lodge. Charlie, said endearingly as if referencing an old friend, is the palm-sized wolf spider you might see occupying wall space in the cabins and bathrooms at the Parrot Nest Lodge. Let me clarify, Charlie is the common name for ALL the various wolf spiders you might see. Then again, that’s part of the package when you’re in the jungle of Belize. And in the jungle you are. A few miles out of San Ignacio in a village called Bullet Tree Falls. Two tree houses perched in 100-foot Guanacaste trees and seven rustic cabins set on the banks of the Mopan river for $50-$75 a night are the specs you’ll find in a guidebook. But it’s the spirit of the Parrot Nest that makes you contemplate becoming a jungle dwelling ex-pat. The humid air fits the hippy-esque vibe since it makes sense that free spirits would have wild, unruly hair. What also makes sense are the communal tables in the open-air lounge area and abundant hammocks overlooking the riverbank. Really making this spot hard to leave are the fireflies, a pet guinea pig, the family dogs and cats who you will know by name…Nina, Kimba, Pally and Ninjo… and the sound of rain on the roof of your cabin. It will rain. You’re in a jungle.

    Videos

  • Half Moon Caye. Belize. March 2015, 3min. Кормление белизских окуней и прочие подводные тараканы...

  • Eric Williams Off-Roading in BELIZE, 4min.

  • STSM Behind the Scenes: Mission Belize 2015, 14min.

  • BELIZE 2015 Nicole and Mauvrine, 6min. Explaining the ministry at the Bible Society/my father's house.

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize March, 2015, 4min. A fun video, made entirely with GoPros, of our snorkeling and fishing adventures while visiting Ambergris Caye. The snorkeling was phenomenal, and sites visited included Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley, Mexico Rocks, and a secret spot! Enjoy!

  • OYE visits the Belize National Meteorological Service, 12min.

  • Best of News 5: 2014, 185min.

  • Manatee Appreciation Day, 1min. The last Wednesday of March is Manatee Appreciation Day - join us in appreciating Belize's manatees!

  • BRUK IT DOWN MISS JENNY, 37min.

  • Tiburon Rum White Party , Belize, 5min. The Witty Captain ventures to the fabulous Tiburon Rum White Party in San Pedro Belize, hosted by owner Basil Destefano to drink up all the RUM. :)

  • Bianca Banks (Belizean Drag Queen) dances- (Tanya Carter (Belizean Artist) - Pretty Face), 3min. Just decided what the heck everyone is making videos and posting, sooo why not mee :) Ps Gasp! I had on noooo makeup dont kill mee

  • Belize Sunset Timelapse, 1.5min. On our last day on Glovers Atoll Resort I set up my GoPro on time-lapse mode and captured this awesome sunset.

  • The Belize Experience 2015, 3min. David Thomas's documentary on the Loyola High School student service trip to Belize in March of 2015.

  • vlog #2 - belize, 4min. this was filmed with a waterproof camera, so this video isn't the same quality as usual - hope you enjoy!! this was so much fun to film

  • Belize is Awesome, 3min. Swimming with Sharks and Sting Rays? I didn't Belize it either.

  • Belize 0-0 Cayman Islands (missed penalty), .5min. 018 World Cup qualifying - CONCACAF first round missed penalty by Elroy Smith (Belize)

  • Belize, 3min. Climbing a Mayan Temple.

    March 25, 2015


    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 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    PM Dean Barrow presents 2015/2016 Budget: Over $1.1 billion to be spent
    The Prime Minister of Belize, Honorable Dean Barrow presented his eighth budget under the United Democratic Party government on Friday March 13th. Under the Revenue and Appropriation Bill 2015/2016 (Estimated Budget), the Government of Belize (GOB) plans to spend a total of $1.1 billion. Despite the increase of external debt and the 2.5% projected deficit, PM Barrow indicated that this year’s spending will see the “continuing of the transformation,” with even more infrastructural work across Belize. The figures presented by PM Barrow shows a budget proposal targeting a preliminary primary balance of 0% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and an overall deficit of 2.5% of GDP. Total proposed expenditure is budgeted at $1.1 billion, while total revenue and grants are estimated at $980 million. When taken together, this result, in the projected overall deficit of $88 million, which is the equivalent of 2.5% of total projected GDP. A further $86 million must then be added for loan amortization requirements, bring the total financing needs of the Government of Belize to $174 million. The draft estimates has total revenue and grants amounting to $980 million for the 2015/2016 fiscal year, and is comprised of $934 million in recurrent revenue, $5 million in capital revenue and $41 million in grants. Barrow indicated that his government is projecting an increase in recurrent revenue that is expected to come from a boost in the collection efforts from the main tax sources, particularly Customs Duties, Income and Business Tax and the General Sales Tax.

    Ambergris Today

    Flashbacks - The Fun and Pleasure of Working as a Taxi Man in the Village of San Pedro
    These were the days when San Pedro, Ambergris Caye was advertised as Paradise - No Shirt, No Shoes, No problem! If you wanted to have a taxi service, you bought your car, shipped it to the island, parked by the airstrip and waited patiently for an occasional plane to land; you offered your service with a smile. Liborio Azueta Sr. (+) registered your vehicle, issued your license and you were good to go. San Pedro was an idyllic place to live, to work and to visit. The photo says it all - the fun and pleasure of working as a taxi man in San Pedro. Only three scheduled planes landed at the airstrip every day, so those were the real working hours for the taxi man. Furthermore there was very little competition, so the taxi man could take things easily, relax and get moving only when he heard the plane landing. A broad smile to the arriving tourist was a perfect introduction by the taxi man who would proceed to carry the luggage into his car and take his passengers on a short, slow, joy ride around the village. He showed them the bank, park, church and the principal hotels to include Holiday Hotel and Fido’s. Those were two of the pioneers in the hotel industry. Easy job for the early taxi man, ain’t it?

    25 Years Ago - Hand Grinding Corn Mill was a Tedious Childhood Chore
    “Angel, don’t forget to grind the corn before you go to school,” shouted my mom from the kitchen in the yard where she was frying some mullets for the morning breakfast. She was reminding me to grind the corn for her to make the “masa” or dough with which she would make some delicious hot corn tortillas for lunch. And why would she have to remind me every morning? You guessed it right! It was not a chore that anyone enjoyed or even got used to. I was delighted when it was my brother’s turn and I got to fill up the buckets with well water and leave them near my mom’s “batella” or wash tub. Why would I or anyone not delight in spinning that handle of the corn mill? Well, it was a tedious job and it was tiring also. Imagine having to spin that handle of this gadget some five hundred times to grind a quart of boiled corn? This happened in two courses, my friend. First we had to grind the corn but it never came out fine enough to my mom’s satisfaction. The dough had to be returned into the mill (five hundred more rotations) and processed a second time for it to be very fine which would yield pliable dough. According to my mom and all moms of the village, this was the only way to get the best corn tortillas.

    San Pedro Food Bank Sets to Feed the Needy
    Did you know that there are children who go without food during lunch hour at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School? Did you know that there are families in Ambergris Caye struggling to makes ends meet? Did you know that there is a group of people who have organized a Food Bank to work on addressing these and other related issues affecting island residents on a daily basis? The newly formed San Pedro Food Bank has set up collection of food supplies in order to collect groceries to feed as much families as possible on a weekly basis. Pre-packed grocery bags with essential canned/basic food items have been set up on display at Caye Mart that cost $20Bze. Shoppers/donors can purchase the bags and deliver it themselves to the San Pedro Lions Den or Caye Mart makes it even easer as they deliver all the purchased bags every Friday. The Food Bank is located upstairs of the San Pedro Lions Den and for the next three weeks its members will be stocking on food supplies before starting distribution after the Easter celebrations on April 10, 2015.

    HGTV Films Beachfront Bargain Hunt in San Pedro, Belize
    HGTV has been in San Pedro and around Belize filming their popular show House Hunters International before, but this time around they were in Ambergris Caye, filming for a new show called Beachfront Bargain Hunt. Ambergris Today was up close and personal with the film crew and was able to get a first-hand experience during the filming of the series on Home and Garden TV. On Friday, March 20, the film crew was at Solitude condominiums just north of the Boca del Rio Bridge where the house-hunting couple was filmed overlooking the property, amenities and living accommodations of the residential building. Local realtor Brittnay McCann of Belize Sotheby’s International Realty was on hand to showcase the property to the buying couple. The film crew had already been shooting footage around town and in North Ambergris Caye, following the couple around the island. After shooting in San Pedro, the crew indicated that they will be traveling to southern Belize in Placencia to film another episode of HGTV’s Beachfront Bargain Hunt.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    ACTCC stickers ready
    The San Pedro Transport Department would like to inform those that have paid for their ACTCC stickers can kindly pass by the SPTD office to pick up their stickers.

    Eggstravaganza
    Put on your Dancing Shoes for Easter Weekend Eggstravaganza with Gilharry 7 Band at Di V'u Dock Bar and Reef Side Dining

    Cayo's Rotary and Rotaract Month
    Both Rotary Week and Rotaract Week were this month, as well as World Rotary Day, but this has been an amazingly active month for all the clubs around Cayo, from Benque to SI to Belmopan.  They are finishing up the bathrooms at Howard Smith Nazarene.  They have started on bathrooms at New Life.  They had the big dedication at Rotary Park after having added new playground equipment.  They've fixed up Pedro Guerra Mena park.  They've cleaned up Parque de las Americas. And, they've inducted some new Rotaract members along the way too.


    Thanks, Rotary and Rotaract, for never slowing down with all the wonderful work you've been doing around Cayo. 


    In related news, they are getting ready for the 13th annual Voice of the West Contest, which will be on April 16th at Hode's.  And they've started up Sunday Bingo again.  The annual Wine and Cheese fundraiser is April 25th.

    OCEANA Instagram Competition
    As part of Reef Week 2015, Oceana Belize was proud to organize an Instagram Competition to highlight the beautiful visual connection between Belizeans and their marine environment. We loved seeing your photos and reading your stories of how much you love Belize's marine wealth! We highlight that the Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel had four entries that made it to the finals! Way to go guys! The top ten entries that met all the rules of the competition were printed and voted on during a cocktail organized by Oceana Belize and Blue Ventures on March 13th in Belize City. Chef Sean Kuylen concocted an amazing seafood menu using sustainable sourced seafood and lionfish provided by Belizean fishers; DJ Khris kept the dance floor packed, Leonardo Melendez and team took these amazing photos and the decor designed by Signature Events was the perfect backdrop to it all. After counting and verification from our auditors, Stacy Badillo of Caye Caulker walked away with a round trip ticket to Placencia courtesy Tropic Air and a weekend stay at Belizean Nirvana courtesy Barbara and Evan Hall. The grandprize winner of the GoPro Hero 4, generously donated by an anonymous donor, was Emaun Hyde. We thank everyone for participating and we look forward to your entries in the competition in 2016! Go Belize!

    San Pedro Humane Society
    San Pedro is fortunate to have such a dedicated, hard working Humane Society. Please support them when you can...and keep up the amazing work. Spay/Nueter and release program. Catching some kitties. Thanks to Ultimate Rentals for the use of the golf cart.

    LOCA FEST
    Luna Loca sets for "LOCA FEST" for Easter Weekend in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

    A completely useless silt curtain at Harvest caye
    (useless because it is open on one end)

    Forest Department Visits Cayo
    The Belize Forest Department visited Santa Elena primary and Sacred Heart primary schools to plant some trees in celebration of Children's Month. Thanks, Belize Forest Department!

    FCD internship program
    FCD has an internship program with the purpose of exposing young people to core conservation work. Miss Geanina Fripp from Sewanee University visited us last week. She visited the eastern flank of the park, where a good vista of the entire Chiquibul landscape can be observed. Afar on the horizon is Victoria Peak. To learn more on this program do write us at fcd@btl.net . Geanina and her class are involved on a Palm Sunday (Xate) fundraising project. We are grateful for the support.

    Channel 7

    Hon. Longsworth Will Endorse Tracy Taegar Panton
    Last night we broke the news that CEO in the Ministry of Tourism Tracy Taegar-Panton would be offering herself as a candidate for the UDP in the Albert division. Initial reports suggested that she would face a convention against sitting representative Herman Longsworth, who is the Minister of State in the Ministry of Sports, and another challenger Phillip Willoughby. Well, tonight, the news is that she won't face any convention: tomorrow she is expected to be endorsed by Longsworth and Willoughby at a UDP Press conference. It's a stunning turn of events in just a few days - to get a sitting representative and minister of state to step aside for someone who just a week ago was a high level technocrat in the Ministry of Tourism. But it seems that these days things are moving in hyper speed for the Barrow administration as it positions itself to go for what would be a historic third term - possibly in the first quarter of 2016.

    Mike Feinstein Sues GOB, FSTV For Head Tax Legality
    You probably know all about the delay to Mike Feinstein's multimillion-dollar port development. He has all the necessary government approval to build his Stakebank cruise port and docking facility after the house and senate passed the Stake Banks Cruise Docking Facility Development Bill. But government hasn't brought that piece of legislation into effect. And government says that if it goes ahead, it will be sued by the Fort Street Tourism Village, which is owned by Royal Caribbean and Diamonds International. The last government gave them exclusive rights to operate a cruise port in Belize City right through to 2027, and if the Feinstein project goes through, it would be directly competing against FSTV. That's something which the original purchase agreement protects the FSTV shareholders from, and it's also a deal that Mike Feinstein himself entered into when he sold FSTV to those investors.

    Cayman Team Not Joking With Jaguars in World Cup Qualifier
    Right now, football fans are eagerly anticipating tomorrow night when the Belize National A Team, the Jaguars, taken on the Cayman Islands National Team in the first round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers at FFB Stadium in Belmopan. The Cayman Islands Team, arrived in country this morning, and 7News was at the airport to greet them. Remember how FFB President Ruperto Vicente was predicting that the Jaguars would win by 6 goals to nil? Well, we got a reaction from the Management of the Cayman Islands team. Here's what they told us: Kennedy Kelly - Head of Cayman Islands Delegation "We brought 19 players and we are hoping to get a good result here in Belize. We know it's going to be difficult, but we are prepared and we are hoping to come out at least with a point hopefully."

    CGA Takes On Citrus Greening
    There are about 40 - 45,000 commercial acres of land dedicated to citrus in Belize. 80% is set aside for oranges and 20% is for grapefruit. It is a mammoth business generating over 100 million dollars in annual earnings. Although it is a big money business, there are many threats to the survival of the citrus trees such as citrus leprosies and the tristeza virus. But there is another disease that the Citrus Growers Association has been monitoring since it was detected in Belize in 2009- and that's the Huanglongbing disease better known as HLB or citrus greening. Today the CGA hosted a technical training for 10 Caribbean countries about the effective ways to control this disease. We traveled to Dangriga today to find out how deadly the disease is and what is being done to contain it. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This green expanse of land is the scene for miles as you travel along the Southern highway. The landscape that unfolds before you tells of the flourishing citrus industry in Belize. But this beauty and richness is being threatened by an insidious force.

    Land Fraud Dissected
    Last week, we told you about the cases of land fraud that the Lands Department came across. The first case that they discovered last week involved lands on the Placencia Peninsula called plantation palms in a subdivision of about 30 lots. There is the suspicion that former employees of the Ministry may be involved, so when Lands Commissioner Wilbert Vallejos appeared on the Wave Morning show today, the media waited outside to speak with him about it. Here's how he described what was found out about the fraud: Wilbert Vallejos - Commissioner of Lands "When the documents were lodged, the front line officers were going to their check list and verifying that everything was in order, recognized that the forms of identification produced did not match, in terms of nationality. I think they submitted, if I am not mistaken, two forms of identification. On one form of identification, the nationality was X and in the other form of identification, the information was something else. That prompted us to be able to suspect that something was wrong and when we did further checks, we found out that indeed the signatures are not correct, that everything seems to be suspicious and so, we immediately got concerned and sent out the press release."

    EU Supports Confidence Building
    Those who don't trust the OAS and have no use for its confidence building measures or the proposed referendum on the ICJ won't be happy to hear that the European Union has put three million Belize dollars into the OAS Peace Fund. That's the fund which sponsors confidence building measures between both countries. The EU had put 4.2 million Belize dollars into the fund in 2012. This new money is expressly for mediation and monitoring in the Adjacency Zone by the OAS and to develop cooperation projects designed between both countries. The money was approved 11 days ago - but apparently not in time for the OAS Adjacency Zone office to go to Jalacte this weekend to monitor Wil Maheia and the Territorial Volunteers planting coconut trees at the border.

    From the KHMH to the Courthouse
    2 weeks ago, we told you about 28 year-old Phillip Moss Samuels who police shot last week while they were detaining him. Well tonight, he's at the Belize Central Prison after been taken from the KHMH to the courthouse. He was arrested and charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was also charged with handling stolen goods, since the weapon was reported stolen by Carl Butler. He was arraigned before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges. Due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until May 29.

    Man Convicted Of Sex Assault of 10 Year Old
    35 year-old Augustine Bejerano, a labourer of Ladyville, is spending the first night of a 18 month sentence after he was convicted today of sexually assaulting a 10 year-old child. The little girl testified against Bejereano that he called her into a room, and when she went inside, he sexually molested her. In his defence, Bejerano testified that at the time, he was drinking with friends at a different location. After careful consideration, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer didn't buy it, and found him guilty of the offence, and sentenced him to 1 year and 6 months in jail.

    The Truly Epic History of the Catholic Church In Belize
    The word "epic" gets used way too much in popular parlance, I mean, everything from a wild night out on the town to a red sunrise is called "epic." Simply put, the word has lost its "epic-ness." But today the authors of a new book used the "E-word" freely and you might say with good cause. That's because they were talking about the Catholic Church's 491 year history in Belize - which by scale alone is truly epic. It's one of the few remaining meta-narratives of Belizean history, right up there with nationalism and logwood - but this story has never been fully told - not until now at least. The project was first taken on by Charles Woods Sr. in 1986 but when he passed on in 2007 - he had only completed three chapters and the bookoutline. That's where distinguished educator J. Alexander Bennett and Woods's daughters Silvaana and Valerie came in. They finished the 398 page book with major input from others and launched it today. Jules Vasquez was there:.. The book is available now for forty dollars.

    Courts Cares For Kidney Patients
    Today a cheque for eighteen thousand dollars was handed over to the Kidney Association of Belize by Courts. It is a part of the company's Corporate Social Responsibility program called Big Heart. The money is to help deprived dialysis patients who are suffering with kidney disease. Six patients were selected by the association to receive 3 dialysis sessions from the donation. Each dialysis session costs four hundred dollars. The remaining funds - left after three sessions for the allotted 6 patients, which is 10,800 dollars - will be used for dialysis sessions for other patients.

    New Call Center Dedicated
    This afternoon the management of Infotel International Limited invited the media to its dedication ceremony and walk through of its new Call Center. The company which was founded in 2006 began as a 9 employee call center. Now almost 9 years later it has provided jobs for over one hundred and fifty employees. That was enough to make one of the partners very emotional at a dedication today:.. The Call Center is located on Newtown Barracks on the second floor of the Pickwick Building.

    Ryan Bennett Behind Bars
    29 year-old Ryan Bennett is at prison tonight after he was convicted of burglary and harm because he broke into a woman's house and assaulted her with a knife. The incident occurred around 2 a.m. on March 30, 2014. Pedrina White testified that she was at home in bed with her 3 year old grandson when she heard a bang on her door. Shortly after, Barnett reportedly kicked open her bedroom door and dragged her into the yard at knifepoint. That's where he assaulted her and punched her in the face. White's daughter-in-law also testified and corroborated her story. In his defence, Barnett testified that he got a phone call where someone was threatening him. He claims that he went looking for the person, who came at him with a gun, which misfired. He claims that he then pursued this assailant which was when some people came out of the house and then police arrived.

    Channel 5

    Cayman Footballers Arrive for World Cup Qualifier
    This Wednesday, starting at eight p.m. sharp, the Belize Jaguars will be playing against the national football team from the Cayman Islands in the first leg of qualifying matches for [...]

    Major Rice Producer Speaks on Retail Prices
    The retail cost of rice on the local market remains a topic of discussion since last Thursday when Belize City businessman Jack Charles issued a release shedding light on seemingly [...]

    …Says Guyana Rice is Unprocessed
    Despite the argument that the local rice industry is self-sustained, over three million pounds of rice was brought into the country from Guyana in 2014.  The importation, according to Rempel, [...]

    O.W. Police Launch Operation in Wake of Double Homicide
    There have been no arrests in the double homicide of Orange Walk minors Oscar Valdez and Michael Usher on Saturday night. But the unexpected violence has unleashed an intensive Police [...]

    Land Scammers Target Absentee Owners
    The Lands Department is advising private landowners to be on full alert after the discovery of active attempts to rob them of their properties. The scam was discovered last week [...]

    Police Called in to Investigate Land Fraud
    At least twelve instances of land fraud have been discovered, going as far back as 2012. Land scammers are apparently focusing on three areas so far, including Consejo, Commerce Bight [...]

    Stake Bank/FSTV and G.O.B. in Court
    Michael Feinstein, developer of the Stake Bank/Drowned Cayes cruise port project, is suing the Government of Belize and owners of the Fort Street Tourism Village over agreements signed in the [...]

    …Attorneys Say Legal Issues are Complex
    According to Williams, there was opportunity for settlement but the legal issues surrounding the claim are complicated enough, involving issues of both public and private law that need to be [...]

    Accused Man Says Police Shot Him Without Provocation
    Twenty-eight-year-old Phillip Mass Samuels was slapped with firearm offences when he appeared in court today. The Belize City man was charged with kept firearm, and kept ammunition in connection with [...]

    D.O.E. Assesses Reef Damage Caused by Submersible
    The Department of Environment, along with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Management, extracted the deep water submersible that has been lodged in the reef in front of San Pedro for [...]

    17 Manatees Killed in 12 Weeks
    Seventeen manatees in twelve weeks; those are the startling statistics coming from the Belize Manatee Conservation Program Coordinator today, following yet another sighting of dead manatees in Belizean waters. It [...]

    Efforts to Protect Manatees Continue
    But the Belize River Mouth area is heavily trafficked by boaters and is important to stakeholders in the tourism industry. Over the years, human activities in the area are primarily [...]

    Years of Grace Publication Launched
    Years of Grace: The History of Roman Catholic Evangelization in Belize is the brainchild of the late Charles Wood Senior.  The Belizean historian spent countless hours documenting the arrival of [...]

    A Look at Evangelization
    The book is an in-depth look at evangelization dating back to 1524 and was funded by the German Bishops Foundation, Holy Redeemer Credit Union, as well as the Institute for [...]

    UNICOMER Donates to the Kidney Association
    UNICOMER Courts Belize Limited handed over a cheque to the Kidney Association of Belize. Courts and the Association hope that the monies will provide much needed Kidney treatment for patients [...]

    Miracle Foundation Launches With a Bang
    A Thousand Smiles for Cleyon…the foundation was created back in November of last year. It all started with a little boy named Cleyon Marage, who is suffering from Acute Myeloid [...]

    Founder Says 1000 Smiles for Cleyon Provides Hope
    Since its inception, one of the seven children that the foundation has been working with has passed. According to founder, Michelle Rudon, while they cannot guarantee life free of cancer [...]

    LOVE FM

    Lands Commissioner Warns Squatters on Government’s Zero Tolerance
    Last week we told you of a release sent out by the Ministry of Natural Resources regarding the illegal occupation of national and private lands. It was a warning to squatters that came in the form of a press release – a warning that we suspected was the beginning of moves being made by the Government of Belize to alleviate the squatting situation. Love News met up with the Lands Commissioner, Wilbert Vallejos, who explained to us that there is a process coming up to alleviate if not eliminate the issue of squatting. “There is something coming up as it relates to squatting on national land. The government has the responsibility to ensure the illegal occupation of national land is discontinued and not encouraged and so when it comes to that we want to ensure the general public to understand that if they continue to occupy national land without authority or without written permission from the authorities which is the government through the lands department that they may suffer the consequences in terms of being evicted and losing whatever development they go and put on the land without permission. We recognize that some people believe that the easy way of getting land is let me go and squat on it and claim rights to it but that’s not how it goes.”

    Harvest Caye: A Threat to Our LIVE Corals??
    In 2013 Harvest Caye was purchased by the Norwegian Cruise Lines with the intention of constructing a top of the line resort, located about two miles south of the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula in the Stann Creek District. Dredging works have begun around the caye as the investors have received the green light following an environmental impact assessment that was reportedly conducted … but now, there are concerns of what the works are doing to the corals and marine life as expressed by Marine Biologist, Lisa Carne. LISA CARNE “The most pressing concern was the fact that giant pieces of boulder or concrete both artificial and natural pieces were dumped on top of live coral breaking the surface and breaking up the live coral underneath the surface and this is a concern because it is illegal in Belize to damage any live coral, there are fines associated with that and it is completely illegal and it is unclear why this amount of artificial rock was dumped in this area at all; that is a major concern.

    Puerto Azul Advertises For Christmas; Project Still Lacks EIA
    An online article states that quote, “Everything is ready for the first eight-star resort in the world” and that “The inauguration will take place during Christmas”. The article, posted on lamiafinanza.com, is referring to the Puerto Azul project and as far as we know, there has been no development with it. When we asked CEO in the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion and Private Sector Development, Mike Singh, about it, he told us that the investors have not submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment so there is no way that anything is ready for the project. MIKE SINGH “Well I will confess to you I haven’t seen the article so I don’t know what it said. Where we left Puerto Azul was at the point where they were supposed to submit an EIA and it was going to the Evaluation Committee. I don’t know that they’ve submitted it much less to the evaluation committee. So any article that’s claiming that everything is ready to go is not taking into consideration the Government’s requirement for an EIA, for permitting, or for any of the other building permits that they will need to start. They haven’t gotten any of those. I don’t know what the article is so I can’t comment.”

    PlusTV

    Maya Day observed
    Cultural degradation is an issue that many traditional cultures, like the Garifunas and the Maya, struggle against as the younger generations become more westernized...

    BTV back to the border
    On Sunday March 22nd members of the Belize territorial volunteers, the Northern Territorial Volunteers, citizen supporters and the local media, travelled to the furthest reaches of Jalacte Village, in South West Belize to plant some 20 coconut trees at the border line...

    Vehicle crashes into house
    There was a traffic accident over the weekend in the Las Flores Area of Belmopan . No one got seriously injured but the entrance to a couple’s garage was completely destroyed and they are now seeking compensation from the culprit. The incident occurred at around 7:30 pm on Saturday March 21st...

    Two teenagers murdered in Orange Walk
    Two teenagers were murdered in Orange Walk. The incident happened on Saturday March 21 in front of Boundary Store Warehouse compound located on Palmar Boundary Road in Orange Walk Town ...

    Another person shot in Orange Walk
    There was also another shooting incident in Orange Walk. This time the victim was a 41 year old man. At 11 PM on Sunday March 22, 41-year-old Rosendo Santana of 9 Progress Street, Orange Walk Town was inside his house when someone called his name...

    Man shot in foot and buttocks
    There were other shooting incidents over the weekend in Belize City. On Saturday March 21, sometime around 4:45 A.M., shots were at the corner of Central America Boulevard and Faber’s Road. 28-year-old Kareem Stevens was shot to the right foot and buttocks. He was transported to the K.H.M...

    18 year old shot in the neck
    Then on Sunday March 23, more shots were fired in Belize City. Sometime after 7 p.m., 18-year-old Frank Young of Belize City was shot to the neck...

    Belize; Guatemala’s dumping grounds?
    And while we are still on the topic of the disputed border between Belize and Guatemala, Wil Maheia, the leader of the Southern Territorial Volunteers, took the media to an area at the foot of Container Hill in Jalacte Village that has become the dumpsite for residents in the Guatemalan Village of S...

    16 year old girl impregnated by brother
    A disturbing case of incest has been reported in the south. On March 21, a 16-year-old student of IndianVille area, Punta Gorda Town visited the station in the company of her mother...

    Student robbed near school
    Students walking home from the Belmopan Comprehensive School should take caution as a student was recently robbed on his way through the field in front of the high school. On March 19 at about 2:40 p.m...

    Drug trafficking charges across the country
    In the war on drugs, a number of arrests were made this weekend. At 11:00a.m. on March 20, while Police were conducting mobile patrol, they intercepted a silver Kia car, on Liberty Avenue, Orange Walk Town which was being driven by 49-year-old Lavern Herrera Trujillo of Orange Walk Town...

    Fraudulent land deals uncovered at Ministry of Natural Resources
    An investigation is ongoing at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA), through the Lands and Surveys Department...

    Amandala

    US Capital gets Big Creek tankers ready for oil export – but will it find oil in Sarstoon Temash?
    Since last year, US Capital Energy has been exploring for oil inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park in Toledo, and although it has not yet declared a commercial oil find at its first well site on what the Maya contend is ancestral territory, the company’s local representative, Alistair King, told Amandala today that they are putting everything in place in the hope that they will be able to start extracting crude oil – as well as natural gas – within the next two to three weeks, but only for testing. Toledo residents may have seen crude oil tankers in the area, and that is because US Capital has arranged with Belize Natural Energy (BNE) and Maranco to have those crude oil trucks available to facilitate transportation and export from the Big Creek Port. However, King stressed that the extraction, which may run anywhere from 30 to 90 days if oil is found, would be carried out as part of the testing phase – and not commercial production. (Of note, though, is that extraction could yield thousands of barrels a day.)

    Fraudsters target Placencia lands
    Lands Commissioner Wilbert Vallejos and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources Sharon Ramclam told Amandala today that Lands authorities have calaled on the police to investigate five recently unearthed cases of lands fraud – all for parcels of land in the Placencia area, including a parcel on public lands which should form part of the buffer zone for a protected area – after persons showed up at the offices of the Lands Department over the past two weeks with documents which proved to be fake – documents for which they could find no authentic transactions in the Lands Registry. Five cases over the span of two weeks represent an anomalous spike, as Vallejos told us that between 2011 and 2012, they found a total of about a dozen cases of fraudulent land transactions – which were similarly turned over to police for investigation. In some of the recent cases, the documents appeared to be very authentic, and even had the official seal, with a raised imprint on the purported Lands document. Lands authorities believe that there is one person behind the recent cases of fraud, although no suspect has yet been named.

    11-year-old dies after road accident in Ladyville
    The Olivera family of Ladyville is mourning the death of Austin Olivera, 12, a student of Stella Maris School in Belize City, who died last night at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) from injuries he sustained when he was knocked down in Ladyville on Wednesday morning while crossing the road to catch the bus to come to school. Olivera was knocked down by a tourist van around 8:00 Wednesday morning at Mile 8 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway. As a result, he suffered massive head and body injuries, and was rushed to the Belize Defense Force Hospital in Price Barracks, after which he was rushed to the KHMH in a critical and unconscious state. He was admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where he battled for his life, but last night he lost the fight. Sergeant Keith Clark, Deputy Commander of Ladyville police, reported that the driver of the vehicle which knocked down the boy was Errol Belisle, 26, of Amara Avenue in Belize City.

    Sugar City double murder; 2 teens die
    A night of socializing quickly turned deadly for a pair of teenagers from Orange Walk Town, whose lives were cut short by a barrage of bullets that were fired in their direction over the past weekend. Police said that last Saturday, March 21, at about 10:08 p.m., they responded to reports of a shooting at Boundary Store’s warehouse, located on the Palmar Boundary Road in Orange Walk Town. When the officers arrived on the scene, they learned that a group of persons had been socializing at the said location when a gunman dressed in full black with a hooded sweater approached the group and fired several shots towards them. As a result, Oscar Daniel Valdez, 16, of Dunn Street, Orange Walk Town, and Michael Usher, 17, of Royal Palms Street, also in Orange Walk, were hit.

    Curlan Phillips, 25, charged with attempted murder
    –A resident of Curl Thompson Street, in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, was remanded to prison this morning after he was arraigned on attempted murder and related charges. Curlan Herman Phillips, 25, who is unemployed, did not have to enter a plea when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Frazer told Phillips that his case will be heard in the Supreme Court, and the offenses for which he is charged are all indictable, so the court could not offer him bail. Having established the ground rules, Frazer proceeded to arraign Phillips on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm.

    CCJ’s historic sitting in Belize for hearing of Toledo Maya land rights case
    The land rights claim of 23 Maya villages in Toledo against the Government of Belize was set for hearing this week, Wednesday, March 25, and Thursday, March 26, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Belize’s final appellate court. However, the Caribbean Court of Justice, roughly two weeks ago, issued a notice informing the parties that it would hear the case in April, when the court is scheduled to have a historic sitting right here in Belize to commemorate Belize’s 5th year of joining the CCJ. Senior Counsel Denys Barrow told Amandala that the Government has extensively reviewed the previous court decisions in the Maya Land Rights cases, and the Government accepts that the Maya, based on their occupation of certain Toledo villages since 1870 (since their return from Guatemala), should be accorded, as a matter of human rights, protection of property, in a manner similar to persons who would have protection after 30 years of adverse possession of government lands.

    Dangriga excursion to Belize vs Cayman game on Wednesday
    As our Belize national team is getting ready for their World Cup qualifying match this Wednesday night at the FFB Stadium against the Cayman Islands national team at 8:00 p.m., an excursion will be leaving Dangriga on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Round trip is only $12.00; pick-up point will be around town; excursion leaves the FFB Stadium immediately after the game. Contact persons for this excursion are Mervin “Rugged” Flores at 629-8470 and Nelson Moss at 661-0300. Tickets for the game will be at Dangriga branch, Smart Office, today, Monday, and Tuesday for $40.00. At the gate it will be $50.00.

    Belize Jaguars gear up for W.C. Qualifier vs Cayman
    As they unveiled their new team logo today, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) presented its latest 30-member men’s National “A” Selection, better known as the Belize Jaguars, that will go up against the Cayman Islands next Wednesday, March 25, at 8:00 p.m. at the FFB Stadium in their first match of the World Cup 2018 Qualifiers. The event was held at a press conference today at the FFB’s headquarters, which is situated at the said stadium in Belmopan, where the FFB executives explained that, although the team will be missing one of its key players – namely star striker Deon McCaulay – the younger, reconstituted squad has been training and preparing for the game for the past four months, and that they are confident of a victory in the upcoming match, especially since Belize is internationally ranked 41, places higher than the Grand Cayman national team. The Belize team notably consists of mostly new faces and just a few veteran footballers; however, in speaking about the Jaguars’ preparedness, assistant coach Charlie Slusher told the media that it is part of the FFB’s strategy to rebuild and add to the dynamics of the team.

    NEBL wraps up Round One of 2015 tournament – Western Ballaz still undefeated
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) wrapped up its first round games this past weekend, as teams are beginning to figure out each other, making most of the games really exciting and competitive. Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast, where the play-by-play, along with box scores, are available for all games. Fans can follow every game live on the internet, where scores are in real time, via our website at nebl.sportingpulse.net. Hurricanes secure huge home victory, Battle of the west saw Western Ballaz as victors, No Limit won by forfeit over Diplomats, Tiger Sharks defended home court against Running Rebels, Tiger Sharks and No Limit controversial game.

    In the name of Danny …
    Belize was always an under-populated area, “always” being a matter of the Baymen/slavery era and British colonial days. We are told, however, that there was once a large Maya population in this territory, in the centuries before Christopher Columbus, the Spanish Conquest, and so on and so forth. The Guatemalans have been saying that they have rights to this country, on the grounds that they inherited those rights from Spain. But, where did Spain get her rights? As far us we can figure out, Spain received “rights” from the Pope of Rome through the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. Okay, then, at the risk of being sacrilegious in the eyes of our native religious fanatics, from whom did the Pope of Rome receive his rights? One imagines the answer will be that the Pope derives his rights from Jesus Christ, who is said to be the Son of God, God being the Creator of everything our eyes can see and many things still invisible to us human beings. Christ is quoted by defenders of the Vatican as having said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.”

    The entire country has lost …
    Editor, The recorded conversation between John Briceño and a PUP insider has come as a surprise to just about everyone in Belize. The UDP administration is seemingly positioned to gain from the disclosure. As far back as the 1970s, and especially after achieving independence in 1981, there have been rumors of inappropriate financial activity within the ruling PUP party. The Musa administration was voted out as a direct result of suspected mishandling of the people’s finances. The present government came to power on the premise that they would bring good governance and transparency, as promised by the now Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Belize’s Constitution purposefully protects government officials from being prosecuted for criminal acts, and the Barrow administration has done nothing to amend this law. But more importantly, the people of Belize have not seen it fit to demand that the government make constitutional amendments and put laws in place that will go after individuals who betray the people’s trust.

    Ambassador Mendez gears up to tackle hemispheric priorities
    Belize’s OAS Ambassador Nestor Mendez was back at work today, at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, after having enjoyed a successful bid for the second highest executive post in the Organization of American States – the post of Assistant Secretary General — yesterday, Wednesday. Speaking with us in an interview today, Ambassador Mendez told us that his priority on assuming office at the OAS in just a few months would be giving immediate attention to the management- modernization of the OAS, which is already underway, as well as rebuilding trust with member states. “There are many places in the Americas where there are social conflicts brewing, and the OAS has the capacity to bring a facilitative role. They do that if requested,” Mendez said, adding that, “These are the things that we will have to look at very closely.”

    Retired American TV producer dies in Isla Bonita
    Arlando Cooper Smith, 63, a retired American television show producer who has worked in the entertainment field in the USA and who migrated to San Pedo and made the Isla Bonita his home, was found lying motionless on the floor of his apartment at Hol Chan Villas, 3.5 miles north of San Pedro Town, about 4:30 yesterday afternoon. Smith’s body was found by a housekeeper who went into the unit for a regular scheduled cleaning. Smith’s body has been taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where it now awaits a post-mortem exam to certify the cause of his death. Police say that the lock of the door of Smith’s home was not broken, and there were no other signs of forced entry into the home. They also found no signs of violence on the body.

    Accused Guat murderer nabbed in San Pedro
    A fugitive, Marvin Lionel Shoy Sagui, 20, who was on the run from his country, Guatemala, on murder charges, and had been hiding out in San Pedro, initially was arrested by police on Thursday on charges of theft for stealing a golf cart on Monday, March 16. When police made a check on him, however, they found that he was on the Interpol’s wanted list for murder. Since Sagui was already in police custody, he is expected to be handed over to Interpol on Wednesday, March 25, and Interpol will return him to Guatemala so that he can face charges there.

    Curlan Phillips, 25, charged with attempted murder
    A resident of Curl Thompson Street, in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, was remanded to prison this morning after he was arraigned on attempted murder and related charges. Curlan Herman Phillips, 25, who is unemployed, did not have to enter a plea when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Frazer told Phillips that his case will be heard in the Supreme Court, and the offenses for which he is charged are all indictable, so the court could not offer him bail. Having established the ground rules, Frazer proceeded to arraign Phillips on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Armed trespasser sent to jail
    One year ago he disturbed a family’s peace and today 29 year old Ryan Barnett was given prison time by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, who convicted him of 2 counts of aggravated burglary and a count of harm. Barnett will serve three concurrent terms of six months for […]

    Man jailed for sexual assault of ten year old girl
    35 year old Augustine Bejerano, a labourer of Ladyville charged with aggravated assault of a sexual nature on a female child 10 years old, was sentenced to 18 months in prison today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. This is after Bejerano was found guilty of the charge. The […]

    Michael Feinstein Stake Bank suit heads to court
    Developer of the Stake Bank/Drowned Cayes cruise port project, Michael Feinstein, is suing the Government of Belize and owners of the Fort Street Tourism Village. The suit is over agreements signed in the early infancy of the Village around 2004. Feinstein is arguing that the “head tax” collected […]

    Injured man faces firearm charges
    28 year old Phillip Moss Samuels, who was allegedly involved in a shootout with police and was shot in his right leg, was charged with keeping firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Samuels pleaded not guilty […]

    Accused robber given jail term
    21 year old Jamil Warrior is serving a year in prison after being found guilty of attempted robbery of a water store on Coney Drive. Owner of the store Nadine Pelayo testified that Warrior came to her store and realized that he appeared to have forgotten his wallet […]

    BEL-VEN holds an Act of Solidarity with Venezuela Activity
    The Belizean Organization for Solidarity with The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela held a brief ceremony on Saturday, March 21st, 2015, to create awareness of what they call unfair treatment of the United States of America towards Venezuela. In his address His Excellency Yoel Pérez Marcano, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belize, gave a historical synapsis of the Venezuelan Revolution and denounced the actions by the United States Government to impose hostile actions against Venezuelan people and their democracy. Other speakers were Mrs. Zita Muschamp,President of Belize Organization for National Development and President of Bel-VenOrganization; Mayor Francis Humphreys of the Dangriga Town Council; Mr. Ron Wilkins, Representative of the Belize Commission; Ms. Pambana Bassett, Representative of Bel-Ven Organization and the Main Speaker was Mr. Cesar Ross, Chairman of Bel-Ven Organization.

    Belize Territorial Volunteers plant coconut trees near the border
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers, headed by Wil Maheia, made another trek to the border on Sunday, March 22 to plant coconut trees. About fifty BTV volunteers and supporters traveled to the village of Jalacte in remote Toledo, where they planted some 30 coconut trees on the Belize side of the border in the area of “container hill.” According to Maheia, Sunday’s activity was meant to reinforce awareness of the Belize border and that there should be no disputing where Belize ends and where Guatemala begins. Among the group of persons who traveled to the border experts who helped with GPS tracking to ensure that the BTV volunteers and supporters did not cross into Guatemala inadvertently and that the coconut trees are planted on the Belize side of the border.

    Calling All Women: It’s Time to Prioritize Yourself at Belize’s Second Reset Retreat
    Women spend their days taking care of family, bosses and even friends, which is why so many of them flocked to Belize’s first “Reset Retreat,” a females-only adventure held at Ambergris Caye. The inaugural retreat proved so successful, organizers are fleshing out details for second one now. How do they measure success? The first Reset Retreat was completely sold out, which is why the next getaway, scheduled for 4th to 9th November 2015, is likely to be equally as popular and perhaps attract second timers. This unique four-day retreat will be packed with opportunities for relaxation, self-improvement and personal growth. If attendees are anything like those at the first event, they will be inspired and amazed by the variety of activities available to them, including daily life coaching sessions, yoga classes, meals designed to improve health and detox the body. There will also be time set aside for exploring the island and participating in charitable activities as well.

    Blogs

    My Week in Belize: From A Three Legged Cow Dog to Mind Blowing Sunsets
    It’s been a busy week…and most importantly, a HUGE ONE for my favorite dog, Elsie – rescued from Dangriga last October. Who, due to a long standing, unbeatable infection in her leg, had it removed on week ago Saturday. YES! Removed. And she hasn’t really missed a beat. She was tugging on her leash less than 24 hours later. In the Tres Coco’s area of San Pedro (just about 1/2 a mile over this bridge) this tacky sign has been painted over! I much prefer this sign.

    31 Picture Reasons Of Why You WIll Come To Belize
    As if there were not enough reasons all over the world wide web already about why you should come to Belize…Here are 32 more: You will come to Belize because theres no snow here – seriously! Because we have buckets and buckets of light house beer! Because of the Benque House of Culture Dance troupe. Because of El Castillo, Xunantunich. You should definitely come to Belize because you can sit on the edge of a building that was built between 600 and 800AD.

    A step by step guide to getting your passport stamped....from Placencia, Belize to Independence/Mango Creek! No car needed.
    If you are here longer than 30 days, you will need to get your passport stamped. This feels really daunting the first time you do it. At least, it did to me. :) I wish I could have found a step by step guide, so I decided to write one, complete with pictures! Step 1: Look at the date stamped in your passport when you come in the country. Write this date on your calendar so you don't forget! Step 2: Day of, walk to the Hokey Pokey water Taxi by MnM. Walk up to the pier, there is usually a guy sitting at the table, tell him you want a ticket for the 10am ferry to Independence. If no one is sitting there, walk into the office and buy it. Don't lose this ticket as they collect it when you get on. You want to take the 10am because time wise this works out the best-if you take an earlier one you will have hours to wait in between taxis. Fare may be quoted anywhere from $6bz-$5us. You can try asking for locals price :) Step 3: When the boat taxi pulls up, no one is going to announce it, just walk up as it is probably the one. Ask someone if it is going to Independence if you feel unsure. Just pile in as it is probably going to be crowded. They will hand you a life preserver, just put it on, no one wants to wear it or is happy about it, but it is a new rule.

    International Sourcesizz

    Small states to have say on rule of law and justice in post-2015 negotiations
    Commonwealth law experts will meet in New York to ensure negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda reflect rule of law and justice perspectives of small states. The meetings will take place from 23-27 March 2015 during the UN’s third session of the post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations. Participants will consider aspects of rule of law specific to Commonwealth small states, and will review progress and challenges in relation to its promotion. Legal representatives from a number of Commonwealth countries will attend, including Tonga, Jamaica, Botswana and Belize. Because of their economic size and geographical location, the Commonwealth’s 31 small states face unique challenges in establishing robust legal and judicial systems to support sustainable development. Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Josephine Ojiambo described the meetings as ‘crucial’ to ensure Commonwealth countries are equally represented in post-2015 negotiations on rule of law and justice, regardless of their size or economic stature.

    Farming in the forest in Belize
    “I never say I own this land,” says Eladio Pop, an ethnic Maya who lives and farms near the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Lubaantun in southern Belize. “I can only be a caretaker.” Pop farms maize, but also tends and later harvests edible wild plants in the nearby forest, although he never waters these plants. In the nearby Maya Mountain Research Farm, some farmers and NGOs are testing new ways of making agriculture more sustainable. They encourage other local farmers to abandon the traditional ‘slash and burn’ technique, which involves cutting down trees and burning the area to clear space to grow maize and beans. They also want to prove that interspersing crops among forest trees improves food security, the crops’ robustness and human diet.

    Who Were the First Inhabitants of the Caribbean?
    It is in the course of the last glaciation, which affected the planet for more than 100,000 years, and finished about 11,000 years ago, that our species entered America. The archaeological, genetic and paleoenvironmental data show that the first inhabitants of the American continent came from Siberia, taking advantage of the land bridge that had been created between north east Asia and Alaska, by the drop in sea level. However, the dates of this migration and of the occupation of many American archaeological sites from the glacial era are subject to animated debates. If we stick to the datings that have been widely accepted by the scientific community, the oldest remnants of human activity are between 15,000 and 16,000 years in age; they have been recovered in the United States.

    Changing the face of the Caribbean
    Maurice Tomlinson’s case speaks to how the legal situation for LGBT people is — slowly — shifting in the Caribbean. At best, the court could rule that the states must restrict their gay travel bans to non-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nationals. But even that win would be a major milestone in a region where 11 states still criminalize gay sex, and where anti-gay discrimination and violence is rampant. A sprawling, culturally and racially diverse chain of islands, the Caribbean is home to 40 million people living in more than 30 different political entities. While islands that were colonized by other European powers have no anti-gay laws, former British colonies each inherited criminal codes that explicitly criminalize male gay sex, with punishments ranging from 10 years to life in prison. Only The Bahamas have repealed their anti-sodomy law. About six million people live in the other 11 former UK colonies. Caribbean states are at least nominally committed to pluralism, democracy and human rights in constitutions that take inspiration from those of Canada and the United States. And yet those same constitutions have traps for LGBT activists. Colonial-era criminal laws, including sodomy laws, are protected from constitutional challenges, and human rights laws are drafted narrowly so as to prevent judges from “reading in” protected classes of individuals in the way that Canadian and American judges have found unwritten protections for LGBT people.

    First known photo of albino tapir in wild is taken
    According to local legend, an elusive, pure-white lowland tapir was said to be roaming Brazil’s Atlantic rain forest and Brazilian photographer Luciano Candisani was determined to capture an image of it. After all, nobody had ever taken a photo of an albino tapir in the wild, according to National Geographic. Since the tapir is nocturnal, Candisani hung out at night in the Votorantim Reserve where the albino tapir was said to have visited and he waited. Several dark-colored lowland tapir passed by him but not the special one. Eventually he set up a camera trap. It’s unclear how many nights it took until he finally hit pay dirt. “My heart skipped a beat when, while reviewing the photos from one night, the white tapir suddenly appeared in one of the frames,” Candisani told National Geographic.

    Videos

  • Belize Medical Mission Trip 2014, 3.5min.

  • KRIK-linjen i Amerika v/Ansgar bibelskole, 2.5min.

  • BELIZE Crossing the River, 1.5min.

  • Amazon Jungle Tree Bats resting on a tree trunk in Belize, 1/2min. These Amazon Jungle Tree Bats were resting on a tree trunk alongside the Belize River a few tens of kilometres from Belize City off the Caribbean coast. I recorded this video from a boat so had some trouble stabilizing or getting in close...

  • Farming in the forest in Belize, 6min. “I never say I own this land,” says Eladio Pop, an ethnic Maya who lives and farms near the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Lubaantun in southern Belize. “I can only be a caretaker.”

  • Belize, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2015 - HD 720p, 5min.

  • Spring Break: Belize | GoPro, 3min. Our second stop during spring break. We went zip lining through the forest and tubing in a cave.

  • Belize Dance Marathon, 3min.

  • Manatee at Tuffy Inn, Scuba School Belize, San Pedro, Belize., 1.5min. While doing a shallow dive.

  • MIP AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE, 4min. A fun video, made entirely with GoPro's, of our snorkeling and fishing adventures on the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye, in Belize. March, 2015.

  • Dos Hombres to Gran Cacao Archaeology Project, 4min. The HSU field school works under a permit issued from the Institute of Archaeology to Dr. Fred Valdez, Director of the Programme for Belize Archaeology Project (PfBAP). The project area of the Programme for Belize Archaeology Project (PfBAP) is in northwestern Belize on land owned by the Programme for Belize, a Belizean controlled non-profit organization. PfBAP research focuses on the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, a nature reserve of more than 250,000 acres. The research area is home to a great variety of neotropical wildlife, including many birds and monkeys. The field school program involves survey, excavation at several Maya sites, and laboratory experience working directly with excavated Maya artifacts. Field techniques, lectures on Maya culture history and instruction concerning artifact analysis are provided during each session.

  • roundtrip - Belize & Guatemala 2013, 8min. Jungle hiking in Belize and going back in time through the mysterious Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Guatemala.

  • Mexico Pillars Dive1 Belize, 6min. First Dive in Belize with Action Divers at Mexico Rocks.

  • Guacamol-temala with a side of Belize, 7min. crazy roads, warm tortillas, candlelit caves, a little bit of Gallo, and a little mas Gallo.

    March 24, 2015


    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 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Deep water submersible grounds on reef off Ambergris Caye
    Based on requests from residents of Ambergris Caye and the media for more information about the grounding of a deep water submersible on the Belize Barrier Reef, on Friday, March 13th 2015, Oceana Belize and personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve conducted a site assessment of the incident. According to Oceana Belize’s Communications Director Alyssa Carnegie, “The damage already caused by the ROV and the complexity of its removal from the Belize Barrier Reef, as well as the recent sailboat stranding off Caye Caulker, highlights the lack of the necessary resources to respond properly and timely to incidents at sea. How we handle these incidents communicates, nationally and globally, the level of respect we hold for our marine wealth.”

    Mayor Daniel Guerrero says San Pedrito Park will see an upgrade
    San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero has indicated that renovations will be carried out on the San Pedrito Park in the coming months. On Thursday, March 5th, (Volume 25- Issue 11), The San Pedro Sun published an article on the deteriorating condition of the park, which has not received maintenance since 2012. Faye Mounteer, who initially spearheaded the project and also invested in the construction of the park stated that San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has never assisted in the upkeep of the park, even after several resident reached out to the administration. Residents have even voiced concern that the now deteriorated park is becoming a hot spot for criminal activities. In response, Mayor Guerrero stated that the accusations are false. He also indicated that Councilor Severo “Severito” Guerrero has been tasked with renovating the park and will commence work on it in due time. A time frame as to when the renovation will start or what it will entail of was not given. Funds will first need to be secured to finance the upgrade.

    Belizean beaches overwhelmed by tons of sargassum
    The sight and stench of decay from the tons of sargassum that continues to wash up on Belize’s beaches are not only becoming unbearable, but it is also an unexpected expense for some local municipalities along the coastline. The first time sargassum began washing up in such large quantities in Belize was in 2014. The amount in the early part of 2015 surpasses those from last year. While it is an inconvenience that can affect wildlife and residents in urban coastal communities, for the marine life and the ecosystem, the large amount of sargassum may have its benefits. According to the local municipality in San Pedro Town, tons of sargassum has been washing up on the beach daily. “It is just too much to deal with,” said Mayor Daniel Guerrero who explained that sanitation workers have been working around the clock to remove as much of the sargassum as possible. In some areas of the island, sargassum extends up to 100 feet from the shoreline.

    Ambergris Today

    Primary School Examination (PSE)
    Standard Six students of all elementary schools on Ambergris Caye (including Caye Caulker) conclude the first part of the Primary School Examination (PSE) held today March 23, 2015. This examination gives the students their level of competency as they leave primary school to enter high school. Part 2 of the exam is scheduled for May 2015. We wish the best to all the students.

    Jasmin Marin Celebrates Quinceaños
    “Como Una flor, tanto amor, me diste tu…” With these words of Selena in her song “Como una Flor” emcee and toast master Angel Nunez welcomed Jasmin Marin and her entourage at the Lion’s Den, where family, friends and invited guests gathered to celebrate the fifteenth birthday (quinceaños) of San Pedro’ newest quinceañera. Jasmin was accompanied by eight maids of honor and her main chaperon was Cousin Josh Marin. Jasmin was escorted into the reception hall by her parents Mirza and Arely Marin. Two madrinas (Godmothers) were there to share in her joy, Ruth Marin and Aracelie Ritchie who presented Jasmin with her offfcial quinceñera ring. After a blessing and very interesting remarks by Pastor Marvin Gomez, her madrina presented her with a crown and her dad removed her childhood shoe and presented her with her high heels symbolizing her readiness to commence socializing. It was also Arely, her dad, who proudly walked her around the reception hall presenting her daughter into society.

    Pic of the Week- Belize Celebrates Maya Day 2015
    IXCACAO Chocolate Queen proudly sponsored Maya Day Sunday, March 22, 2015, with IXCACAO's stone tools and chocolate grinding competition. There was also a competition for grinding corn with the typical tools used by the Maya people of Belize. The competition was won by a female Maya from Aguacate village Toledo Belize. – photo by Juan Cho

    Celebrity Spotting – Hunger Games Actor Alexander Ludwig Vacations in Belize
    Hollywood movie star Alexader Ludwing shared family vacation pictures with is fans on his Instagram profile page as he enjoyed some adventure and relaxing time deep inside the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of Belize. Prior to his visit, Alexander posted a fun picture of him getting his traveling vaccination shots as he stated: “Heading to Belize next week...just hate getting shots.” After this we were keeping a close eye on Alexander hoping to catch him walking down the streets of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, but he decided to head west in the Cayo area and relax in the pristine area of the Maya Mountains.

    Caye Financial Center Host Belize’s First Shark Tank Investment Program
    Four local and one international entrepreneur who are seeking investment to either start up their business, boost it to the next level or even bring it up from the ground participated in Belize’s first ever Shark Tank International hosted by the Caye Financial Center in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Friday, March 16, 2015. Following the same concept of the popular American tv show ‘Shark Tank’, Caye Financial Center gave the opportunity to five entrepreneurs to present their business plan to a panel of potential investors who were willing to give one of these business people the opportunity to further improve their product/service. They would award one candidate with the funding they needed to take their business to the next level.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    CBBG Visits Valley of Peace
    The Caves Branch Botanical Gardens visited the Valley of Peace primary school for Children's Month to teach the students all about the wonderful plants of Belize. "Valley of Peace primary school third visit to CBBG. See pictures of power point presentation, water coloring,Young Botanist Station, Planting of pineapples and so much more... By: Sayuri Tzul"

    Playa del Cayo Pontoon Club
    Playa del Cayo, a new club which is located at the junction of the future George Price Highway and Branch Mouth road, is preparing to open. The club is in the little lake created over the years as sand was removed from the site. It's a great idea, has clean water, and will be a great place for beach volleyball. Finally, a beach club in Cayo.

    Update on Hero
    The Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program, PJRP, located off-site at the zoo, provides an important sanctuary for jaguars who have no future in the wild. Enclosures are roomy, and the rescued jaguars receive enrichment training on a regular basis. Ice blocks made of chicken blood (yum!) are considered a real treat by the cats. Boxes are a feline favourite, too! Hero the cub currently has a small log to climb in his day quarters. He is also fond of his very own feather, donated by “ Boomer”, our jabiru stork. As Hero grows, he will stand as an example of a jaguar who should have grown up in the forest, not in captivity. In the mean time, the Zoo is continuing its efforts in jaguar conservation education, and will reinforce efforts specifically in the Central Belize Corridor. Respecting our protected areas where jaguars still roam,

    Citizens On Patrol
    Happening tonight at the Living Word Church! Citizens On Patrol - let's work together for a safer San Pedro!

    Maya Day 2015
    IXCACAO Chocolate Queen proudly sponsering Maya Day 2015 with IXCACAO's stone tools and chocolate grinding competition...the competition was won by a female from aguacate village Toledo Belize.....thanks to that have participated and thanks to the organizers of Maya Day 2015...

    Power interruption 7:00am to 12:00 midday, Tuesday, March 24, Orange Walk
    Bakers Street, the portion of Main Street from Bakers Street to Park Street, the portion of the Belize Road from Bakers Street to New River Street, Gravel Lane, Muffles Street, Cemetery Street, Lamanai Alley, Palmar Road from Bakers Street to entrance of Palmar Village, Santa Maria Street, Cypress Street, Mahogany Street, Flambouyant Street, Sapodilla Street, Zericote Street, portion of Liberty Avenue, Liberty Drive, Bliss Drive, Sarstoon Street and Mopan Street. BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines in Orange Walk Town.

    Women in Arts Fair
    The SISE House of Culture is having the Women in Arts Fair this weekend at the Cayo Welcome Center. It's free, and it starts at 9:00am. There will be tons of cool art on display. Go out and support your local female artists.

    Western Ballaz Defeat Belmopan Tiagaz
    The Western Ballaz remain undefeated this year, after beating the Belmopan Red Taigaz 61 - 60 last Friday. Congratulations, Western Ballaz! In related news, they travel to Belize City this weekend to play the Hurricanes, and many of the players will be in the All Star game on April 10th.

    Lady Black Jaguars Three-peat
    Congratulations to the UB Lady Black Jaguars for their three-peat win at the ATLIB National Football finals! They travelled up to Corozal, and won the tournament with an 8 - 0 shutout. "For the third consecutive year, our Lady Black Jaguars have retained the championship at the ATLIB National Football Tournament. After qualifying to the nationals in the regional tournament, our female team made their way to Santa Clara village, Corozal District on March 21, 2015 to face the hosting school: Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College (CEMJC). Our team was able to subdue CEMJC with a resounding victory of 8-0 with goals from Delmi Cornelio, Delmi Hernandez, Rosaria Cal, Esther Cal, Albertha Garcia, Tiffany Gonzalez, Emmerlyn Nunez and Daniela Vargas."

    Earth Day Network Visits BCA
    The University of Belize's Earth Day Network's Outreach campaign has been actively educating students all around Cayo. Along with the help of the Belize Forest Department, they are teaching kids how to be more eco-friendly. They did some organic outreach at the Belize Christian Academy recently. They are planting a mahogany sapling at every school they visit. Awesome! Thanks, EDN!

    March 15, 2015 - March 21, 2015 Belize Fishing Report
    Thanks to our friends at Orvis for hosting another successful bonefish bonanza trip here at the lodge; as usual, the Orvis host was a big help. Orvis offers a nice rod incentive on these trips… check it out! Lots and lots of bonefish were caught. The great weather produced everything it should with multiple permit days and multiple tarpon days – only thing missing was a Grand Slam.

    FCD’s Strategic Plan and Forward Thinking Statements
    FCD announces acceptance of consultancies for elaboration of FCD’s Strategic Plan and Forward Thinking Statements 2015 – 2020. All interested parties are requested to write fcd@btl.net for the ToR. Deadline for submissions of bids is 6th of April, 2015.

    Channel 7

    Child Succumbs 5 Days After Being Knocked Down
    A week ago we told you about accident victim 11 year old Austin Olivera Jr. He was knocked down by a tour van on Tuesday morning at the airport junction in Ladyville. Although he had swelling in his brain from the impact, doctors and his family were hopeful. But that hope was shattered when little Austin died last night at around 10. Doctors told the family it was a result of the head trauma. We spoke to Austin Sr. today as he relived the accident and the moment he found out about his son's demise. Austin Olivera Sr. - Father of Deceased "Today was the date they would have to him on another cat scan, but probably yesterday morning when I was there, he was looking fine and when I got there I saw the machine now and again doing skip, because the currant had went off and they had the machine on generator. So, what I did when I found out from the nurse I ask how the machine is working like that, because they told me he was fighting back with the machine to breathe. So far he had his eyes open and he was breathing perfect. That's up to the time when I left around 7pm and I came home.

    Two Teenagers Killed In Orange Walk
    Two teenagers were murdered on Saturday night in Orange Walk Town. 16-year-old Daniel Valdez Vasquez and 17-year-old Michael Usher were killed in a drive-by at the south end of the town. It was a ruthless indiscriminate shooting that put a whole group of young men in danger. We went north today to find out what could have motivated such indiscriminate violence against teenagers: Jules Vasquez reporting This is the building on Boundary Road where a group of young men were hanging out on Saturday night at 10:00 pm. They were sitting here in front of the warehouse when a blue Toyota Tacoma pulled up, a male jumped out and sprayed gunfire from a nine millimeter pistol. A resident of the upper flat says she heard a dozen shots Voice of: Resident of building "About 12 shots."

    Report: Tourism CEO Will Run For UDP In Albert
    When we spoke to Prime Minister Dean Barrow right after the March 4th Municipal Election he said that he would not call an election this year. But, the emerging conventional wisdom is that he may do so early next year - and that timeline is surely supported by the schedule that the UDP has set for conventions in divisions with sitting area representatives. Those are: Albert, Caribbean Shores and Belize Rural North - where ministers of state will face challenges and could end up as lame duck representatives. The party had said it would defer these to within a year of the election, so that the sitting representatives - if they lose the convention - don't lie around lame for too long. Well, we are now told those conventions must all be held by mid-June - so that surely suggests that the party is getting in gear for a general election. We expect that Darrell Bradley will challenge Minister of State Santino Castillo in Caribbean Shores; Dwight Tillett will challenge Minister of State Edmund Castro in Belize Rural North, and Phillip Willoughby will challenge Minister of State Herman Longsworth in Albert.

    Guyanese Rice Imported By the Ton in 2014: Consumers Never Got Benefit
    Importer Jack Charles says he's determined to bring in rice from Guyana - and it seems the ministry of agriculture is determined to not grant him a permit. Charles says his rice will retail for 69 cents per pound - which is about fifty cents less than local rice currently sells for. But, the Ministry of Agriculture doesn't want him to get a permit because of the upheaval it will cause for rice local producers. But that upheaval may be good news for consumers: Charles says that a conservative estimate is that Belizeans would save half a million dollars a month using the Guyanese rice. And that's because he accused local producers of gouging consumers - raising prices steeply over the last three to four years - for no good reason. As he put it in a release on Friday, the rice producers are making, quote, "unfair and unjust profits."

    Wanted American Caught in Belize
    Another US fugitive has been caught in Belize. Troy Pertuset came across Belize's northern border some weeks ago - and ended up getting caught at the Western Border when he was trying to head to Guatemala. He was kicked out of Mexico because he claimed to be Canadian but he didn't have a passport. When the Mexicans checked with the Canadian government they could find no record of him being a citizen. So, he ende dup in Belize where a routine check with the US Embassy found that he is US fugitive Troy Anthony Pertuset - wanted for probation violations stemming from a sexual assault in West Virginia. A statement from the US Embassy says they are "working closely with Belize authorities to ensure Pertuset is returned to the United States as soon as possible."

    UDP Car Dealers Face Off With OW's PUP Mayor
    In June of 2012 we went to Orange Walk where the car dealers who've been setting up at the Town's Central Park for decades were being ordered to move by the new Mayor, Kevin Bernard. Somehow they held on right though Bernard's entire first term - but it seems as soon as he won a second term - those car dealers were right at the top of his list of priorities. He told them they would be moved bright and early this morning - and we were there to see what went down. Jules Vasquez reports:... Jules Vasquez reporting The car dealers at Orange Walk Central Park - they've been parked here for decades, but for the past three years - the mayor has been trying to move them - and he sent word to the dealers that today would be their last day. This morning at 8:00, Mayor Kevin Bernard came to meet the car dealers halfway - in the middle of the park. Kevin Bernard, Mayor - OW Town "I am asking this thing amicably as citizens of this town and as Mayor I am saying that we can solve this problem. This is not a problem, please man..." Car Dealer "I will not move just like that, because I am here for 20 years. Mayor come and mayor go...."

    Will Maheia Goes Back To Jalacte, Defiantly
    Viewers may remember when the 37 Belizeans were detained 4 weeks ago by the Guatemalan marines and taken to the port town of Livingston. They were accompanying the Belize Territorial Volunteers on an expedition to the Gracias A Dios border marker. On their way back on the Sarstoon River, the Guatemalans captured them. In the wake of that incident, the Organization of American States released a statement saying that the volunteers should be more careful because they almost caused a border incident last year when they planted coconut trees on the Guatemalan side between the Jalacte, Belize and Santa Cruz, Guatemala. The volunteers challenged that official position. They went further than that and challenged the OAS to go back to the area with them where they can do a joint verification using GPS to prove that the volunteers did not trespass on Guatemalan territory.

    BTV's Perspective On OAS Promotion for Ambassador Mendez
    As noted in our story, the OAS did not send a representative to verify whether or not the volunteers planted the coconut trees in the wrong country. But, now the dynamic is slightly changed, and that's because Belize's Ambassador Nestor Mendez was elected the Assitant Secretary General of the OAS. He joins new Secretary General; Uruguayan Luis Almagro who replaces the outgoing Jose Miguel Insulza. So where does that put The Territorial Volunteers which has openly accused the OAS of partiality to Guatemala in dealing with the border dispute? We wondered if they would still take that position, given that a Belizean is now the second highest-ranking official at the OAS. Here's what they said: Giovanni De La Fuente "If you read what the release said in the media, this good gentleman has already declared that his office will distance itself from the Guatemala/Belize issue due to the fact that he is a Belizean and he doesn't want to come off as being bias. So that question that you are asking is - only history will tell. He has already stated that his office will apparently not be active in this issue, since he doesn't want people to believe that he is bias."

    BTV Calls On PM to Come Around
    Getting back to the incident with the 37 Belizeans who were taken into Livingston, Guatemala, against their will, we showed you the comments of Prime Minister Dean Barrow a few weeks ago. He was critical of the volunteers saying that the excursions court danger and are not very helpful. That's not the kind of reaction that the Volunteers were hoping for, and when expedition Leader Giovanni De La Fuente was asked about the Prime Minister's position, he told us that he hopes that the Government will come around in due time: Giovanni De La Fuente "It is very sad when the Prime Minister uttered those words. He described us as a group of people under the guise of patriotism and on our so-called expeditions and once again, I tell you that you have to get up and brush yourself off and keep going when your Prime Minister utters those words about your group." Reporter "Under the circumstances, we see you guys keep coming over and over at these places, trying to place a mark, showing your patriotism, but the government continues to say that you guys are not doing well - you are doing more harm than good. How far are you all willing to go to have the country realize or be on your side or gain more support?"

    7K Kids For The PSE
    Its day one of the PSE and over 7,000 students countrywide sat the first half of the exam. Students had to tackle those Science questions and get creative with the Language Arts paper 1. Now, most of you know all too well the weight the PSE carries; it is one plays a big role in determining whether a student gets accepted to a high school or not. But should a student's aptitude and full potential be confined to one loaded exam? That's what we asked Director of the Examination Unit at the Ministry of Education. He says that they are evaluating the system to see how they can improve on this. Out of the over 7,000 students 91 are special needs students. According to Longsworth a major challenge with this sitting is that many students had to take the exam in isolation because they had chicken pox. Official results should be available in August.

    City Shooter Suspect To Court
    28 year-old Belize City resident Kareem Stevens had to receive medical treatment at the KHMH this weekend after he was shot early on Saturday morning. 25 year-old Curlan Phillips, the man police believe was the trigger man, is at the Belize Central Prison Tonight. According to police, Stevens reported that at around 5:19 a.m. on Saturday, he was riding his bicycle on his way home. As soon as he arrived at the intersection of the Central American Boulevard and Fabers Road, he was reportedly approached by a black SUV. Stevens claims that when he looked closely at it, he saw that one of the occupants pulled out of a black firearm and fired several shots at him. He was struck by the bullets on right leg, and the left side of his buttocks, and he had to be hospitalized those injuries.

    Major Weed Bust On Bus
    Precinct two police mad a major weed bust today. At 9:30 this morning the precinct's operation team got information which led them to check a "D and E" bus at mile four on the George Price Highway. Forty passengers were on board and so was this black suit case on the luggage rack. Inside they found a bail of compressed marijuana wrapped up a garbage bag. No one on the bus claimed any knowledge of the bag or its contents so it was taken in as found property. The weed totaled 17 pounds.

    Glass Breaking At KHMH
    Today a commotion was created when a man broke through a glass door at the emergency unit at the KHMH. 22 year old Adolfo Caceres went to the KHMH from San Pedro complaining of an irregular heartbeat. But when he approached the triage nurse he was sent to sit down because the nurse was with another patient - that triggered Caceres and when he shoved the door open to get out it shattered. We spoke to Caceres and his girlfriend today and they say that it was a reaction to negligence. The KHMH sent out a release in response to this incident and it states that " We would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that patients are seen in the A&E unit based on the severity of the illness." He was treated for his heart and injuries to his hands.

    Removing the ROV from the Reef
    Remember the submersible vessel which was grounded on the reef about 6 miles north of San Pedro? The Department of Environment promised last week that they would try to remove it over the weekend, and this evening, they announced that they did it. A Government release says that the DOE hired a private company out of San Pedro to assist them and got the conservationists from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve to remove it. That company assisted in successfully removing the Deep Tech Quantum ROV on Saturday. The DOE reports that the ROV is now their possession at a secure location. The work will now start in assessing the damages to the coral reef as soon as the weather permits, and the DOE it is, quote, "…still in communication with the appropriate party responsible for this incident." End Quote.

    Mayas Celebrate Unity
    In recent years, whenever Mayan Belizeans made the news, it was either about litigation against Government over Mayan Communal Land Rights, or US Capital Energy's oil exploration operations near to the Mayan buffer communities of the South. But, in the Village of Blue Creek, in the Toledo District this weekend, there were no disputes: It was all about the celebration of unity and cultural identity of all things Mayan. That event, known as Maya Day 2015, had its share of surprises. Daniel Ortiz reports:

    The King Who Still Reigns
    Yesterday's Maya Day was the 11th anniversary of the Celebration, and part of the ceremony was an award which was given to Mayan Musician Florencio Mes. The award is called the Preservation of Maya Music through the traditional Harp, and it is fitting since Mes is the only living member of the 3 Kings. Bruk Down Legend Wilfred Peters passed away in 2010, and so did Parandero Paul Nabor in last year October. Mes is an active musician living San Pedro Columbia Toledo, and at Maya Day yesterday, we got an opportunity to speak him. He told us that old age isn't going to stop him from doing what he loves: The award he was given yesterday in Blue Creek was put together by NICH's Institute of Social And Cultural Research, the Tumul Kin Center of Learning.

    Cops Say OW Home Invasion Bot Related To Double Murder
    Earlier we told you about the teenager double murder in Orange Walk. That town also saw a home invasion and shooting this weekend. On Saturday night - shortly after the double murder - 41-year-old Rosendo Santana was at home at #19 Progress Street, when someone called his name. He opened the front door when and saw a man dressed in dark clothing with a hood over his head who pulled out a pistol and fired two shots at him. He was hit in the left shoulder. Though the timing, description and weapon are similar to the earlier double murder police say they are not related: Reporter "What were the shells on the scene if any?" Supt. Dennis Arnold, O.C., Orange Walk Police "9mm." Reporter "Okay, that kind of fit the description of the trigger man of the double murder, according to eyewitness. Is there a link perhaps?"

    Channel 5

    2 Minors Gunned Down in Orange Walk
    There has been only one other murder in Orange Walk since the beginning the year, but on Saturday night, all that changed when two teenage friends were gruesomely murdered in [...]

    O.W. Salesman Shot
    There was also an attempt made of the life of a forty-one year old salesman of Orange Walk Town on Saturday night. Around eleven o’clock, Rosendo Santana was at his [...]

    City Resident Remanded for Attempted Murder
    There was also a shooting in the city over the weekend. Early on Saturday morning, police headed to the corner of Faber’s Road and Central American Boulevard, where they found [...]

    RTA Victim Succumbs
    Eleven-year-old Austin Olivera Junior has succumbed on Sunday night to injuries he received last Tuesday when he was knocked down by a tour guide near the Airport Road in Ladyville.  [...]

    Frustration at the K.H.M.H.
    Today, police had to be called in to the K.H.M.H. Emergency Area after an irate patient smashed the glass entrance door, cutting himself badly. The story is an old and [...]

    Fuel Shortage Hasn’t Impacted Security Services
    Tonight diesel fuel remains an extremely scarce commodity in the country…and those few gas stations that have gotten stock in by tanker truck from Guatemala are dispensing frugally. The ship [...]

    Minor Impregnated by Brother in PG
    There is a disturbing report of incest that allegedly occurred in southern Belize. An underage sixteen year old girl reports that a brother had sexual intercourse with her earlier this [...]

    Gang Charge against City Resident Dismissed
    Tonight, one Belize City man who the police claim is a member of the gang, Peace in the Village, is free from the charge of Professed to Belong to a [...]

    Puerto Azul under Scrutiny Again
    The Puerto Azul Development Project has remained very much below the radar since Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria gave an update to the media back in January.  The proposed billion [...]

    Will Cheaper Rice Reach Belize?
    The controlled price for locally produced rice is ninety cents per pound, but it is retailing anywhere between one dollar and twenty cents to one dollar and forty cents. This [...]

    BTV Treks To Southern Border
    The Territorial Volunteers is a group of Belizean patriots who have taken it upon themselves to draw attention to the border between Belize and Guatemala, from north to south. They [...]

    Northern Territorial Volunteers Disappointed in G.O.B. Response
    Three weeks ago, thirty-eight Belizeans were detained in Belizean waters by Guatemalan military and forced into the Guatemalan port of Livingston. You might think such an incident would spark national [...]

    Students Sit PSE Part I
    Students from across the country sat Part One of the Primary School Examination which sets the stage for them to advance to secondary school. It is not a requirement, except [...]

    Basketball, Cycling and Cricket in Sporting Highlights
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Sacred Heart Gym in San Ignacio hosted the showdown between undefeated Cayo Western Ballaz and the surging Belmopan [...]

    LOVE FM

    Young Frank Escapes Death After Being Shot
    Eighteen year old Frank Young is lucky to be alive today after he was the target of two armed assailants last night. Young was shot to the neck as he was walking home on Freedom Street Extension at about 7:45pm. He was pursued by two boys believed to be in their early teenage years. Young ran for his life and sought refuge at a friend’s house who told us what he witnessed. EYEWITNESS “Frank and I were just hanging out. Frank left from here saying that he would go home. After he walked out the gate I heard about 4 shots. I peeped through my door and I saw him running coming back. He reached through the gate and opened it, grabbed his throat and told me to call an ambulance. While he was opening the gate a young man passed and stopped and shot two more shots and continued going his way. Frank ran into the yard and I told him to take it easy and not get excited because nothing happened. He had already been shot because I saw blood rushing from his neck. So I peeped out to make sure that the young men were gone and I came out with Frank. I called the police and they showed up and I took Frank to the hospital.”

    Territorial Volunteers Disappointed at the Absence of OAS on Their Trek
    Forming part of the trek was Giovanni De La Fuente of the Northern Territorial Volunteers. De La Fuente says that even though letters were sent to government officials inviting them to be part of the expedition, none showed up. GIOVANNI DE LA FUENTE “Disappointed today when Will Maheia issued that press release inviting the OAS to come and re-verify the planting of the coconut trees. Well I decided to come along to see for myself and I tell you I am very disappointed and we are here as far I can see the OAS has not shown up and I am very interested to see what they would have said when we came today when we were present.” LOCAL REPORTER “Do you believe that the trees that are being planted today will be uprooted again?” GIOVANNI DE LA FUENTE “Well this area is controlled by Guatemalans and if they so choose to uproot the trees I am sure they would. The ones that Will planted last year have been uprooted so now, he will lead us to this infamous container hill and I believe that is where he has said that we will plant those containers today on Container Hill.

    Territorial Volunteers Revisit Southern Border to Confirm GPS Coordinates
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers held a tree planting ceremony yesterday at the southern border. According to the president of the group, Wil Maheia, this exercise was to replace the coconut trees that were uprooted some time ago. The BTV believes the coconut trees are a significant step towards delineating our border with Guatemala. The location of the coconut trees was mapped with GPS coordinates and shared with the Organization of American States/Adjacency Office as evidence that they are on Belize Territory. This is the second time that the group has planted coconut trees along the border. A few weeks ago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a release in which it stated that the OAS had confirmed that the plants were planted on Guatemalan soil and hence were uprooted. Maheia says that the expedition was an opportunity for Belizeans to know our border.

    Union President Says Proposed Budget Is Under Review by Several Players
    The other issue that the Congress discussed was the Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for fiscal year 2015/2016. MARVIN MORA “But what I can tell you in regards to the budget is that as I explained, we look at it in its entirety. We don’t look at portions of it; we look at it from the beginning to the formula and how it is structured and the other factors in the budget. I think we basically have to go back to the drawing board to find out if there is anything we would like to advise the government on and channel that through our Senator and our social partners and other players in the society. So, it is not a done deal in terms of addressing the budget issue. We don’t have that much time so the executive is also meeting to carry some of the plans forward for this congress. So, it’s a lot of work and there is little time to do it in but I can tell you that surely even the issue of the workers at BSI signing that agreement is something that we have not let go because there are other implicating issues surrounding it so we are very much concerned but we are engaged as well.”

    Unions Plan to Request Meeting with Lord Ashcroft
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize met on Thursday to discuss several important issues. One of those issues revolves around Lord Michael Ashcroft, the British billionaire and investor. Lord Ashcroft wants to meet with the unions as indicated by an email sent by one of his employees to the President of the NTUCB, Marvin Mora. According to Mora, the Congress has not made a decision to meet with Ashcroft. However, they did agree to ask Ashcroft what he wants to talk about and based on his response, the Congress will decide whether a meeting will take place or not. Mora says that there is a level of interest in meeting Lord Ashcroft. MARVIN MORA “It is nothing strange; you see the Trade Union Congress can meet with whosoever it wants; once the congress votes and it decides that that is what is going to happen, nobody can tell the congress no. As long as the other parties are interested in meeting we can meet with whomever. We have met with the Prime Minister to the Leader of the Opposition and it wouldn’t be strange if we would meet with Lord Ashcroft or any other investor in Belize. We are the congress, we represent the workers of Belize.”

    Young Student Inspires Minister Castro
    As we mentioned primary school children from across the country sat the first part of the Primary School Examination today. A number of those students hailed from rural communities and had to travel to the city or nearby high schools to sit the exams. Over the past two days, Belize Rural North Representative, Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro, visited several primary schools to assist by making contributions through his constituency office. He sponsored transportation and lunch for all students within his constituency who are sitting the exam. Castro told Love News how the idea developed. “The idea developed on Monday when I was going through my constituency; Monday evening I met some young people from the Catholic School in Burrell Boom, they were there buying chips, so, I offered to pay for their chips – about six of them. So it’s one young man from the Catholic school who said to me, Minister you don’t have to pay for our chips, I said okay; he said this is what I would like for you to do for us, I would want you to give us a little money to pay the bus to take the exam next week Monday at Ladyville Tech...”

    PlusTV

    PUP leaders reaffirm faith in Francis Fonseca; Johnny absent
    The troubles of the nation’s oldest political movement have been grist for the public mill for several weeks, if not months now, as is to be expected after thumping back-to-back defeats in a by-election in a seat which it held comfortably and recent municipal elections...

    CCJ completes case of Maurice Tomlinson
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has reserved its decision in the original jurisdiction case of Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican homosexual activist, who is suing Belize and Trinidad and Tobago over his right to free movement which he contends is being violated under the Treaty of Chaguaramas which...

    Richard Harrison Criticizes Opposition
    Former PUP candidate in Cayo North Richard Harrison hit out hard at the Opposition in a public statement issued through other sources, accusing them of essentially throwing him under the bus after his heavy defeat to the UDP’s Omar Figueroa in the Cayo North by-election in January and freezing him out of plans for the division. Today the party responded in a fashion, saying that it will not allow itself to be distracted further by complaints such as Harrison’s. Godfrey Smith- National Campaign Manager, “We will not be distracted y those sorts of red herrings . The party recognizes that it has a lot deep and fundamental work to do and that is just what we intend to do. Journalist “What about those who interpret that as you are not taking — seriously?”

    Santender will mill sugar from its own cane fields
    The term “Zafra” or “sugarcane season” is always associated with the North since it is home to the only sugar mill in Belize...

    Ambassador Nestor Mendez Elected New Assistant Secretary General of the OAS
    H.E. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), and High Commissioner to Canada, was today elected for a five-year term as the new Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States...

    Found weed, no owners
    Police along with K-9 unit conducted an operation on March 18 within Precinct #1 area on Barracat Street in an open lot. There they found two plastic bags containing Cannabis weighing 96 grams. No one was in the immediate area at the time of the search so it was labelled as “Found Property”.

    Raul Magana Jr. charged with causing wife and child’s death in accident
    Raul Magana Jr was charged with 2 counts of manslaughter by negligence. 1 for his wife, 28 year old Lissa Li, and the other for his 3 year old son, Raul Lee Magana. The charges stem from an accident which occurred in April 2014 where Raul Magana Jr was driving his Toyota Prado on the Phillip Goldson...

    ASR/BSI and Belize Workers Union Sign Agreement
    After negotiations stemming from November of last year, BSI ASR and the Belize Workers Union, signed an agreement today regarding salary increase for permanent workers at the Belize Sugar Industries...

    No diesel in Belmopan
    If you went to the pumps in Belmopan today and wanted to full up your vehicle with diesel, you would know that there is none available. The reason is a delay in shipment of the fuel which normally comes into the country every three weeks...

    Teenager says he was abducted and beaten
    19-year-old Abel Lara Jr. of Belize City reported that on March 16 at about 9:00 a.m., he was taken from Faber’s Road in a minivan. Lara says he was beaten then transported to an area on mile 8 on the Phillip Goldson Highway by a group of men who threatened him...

    Belmopan Man sought for carnal knowledge of minor
    A 14-year-old female of Silk Grass Village, Stann Creek District, accompanied by her mother reported that on March 15, she was sent to purchase at a nearby shop when she received a call from a man, and was later picked up by him around 7:45 p.m...

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Elementary School Students Sat Primary School Examination
    Approximately 7, 343 students weathered anxiety and excitement to recall their English Language Knowledge and Science Knowledge to sit the Part 1 of the Primary School Examination administered by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports Examination Unit. The Paper 1 of the Examination involves Multiple Choice […]

    Man charged for shooting incident
    Police made a quick arrest in the shooting of 28 year old Kareem Stevens of Belize City which took place this past weekend. Stevens was riding his bicycle on his way home around 5:19 in the morning of Saturday, March 21, and at the corner of Central American […]

    Leon Gray beats gang charge
    He is no stranger to the law or to the police, but police did not prove he is a member of a criminal gang, according to attorney for 25 year old Leon Gray, Bryan Neal. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith agreed and dismissed a charge of professing to be […]

    Court of Appeal drops criminal appeals
    At the Court of Appeal in Belize City today, appeals were withdrawn by appellants Niccanor Fermin and Leslie Fraser. Fermin was convicted of 2 counts of canal knowledge of a female child and 4 counts of canal knowledge of a girl. He was sentenced by Justice John Gonzalez […]

    Attorney for Lucilo Teck disputes court costs
    On February 23, Supreme Court Justice Shona Griffith dismissed the claim of senior cane farmer Lucilo Teck against the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) over technical details related to the filing of the case. Teck had sought a writ of mandamus against the SICB to open the 2015-2016 […]

    Teenage boys murdered in Orange Walk
    Shortly after ten o’clock on Saturday night as the nearby Palmar Fiesta was being held, gunshots rang out in the Palmar/Boundary area of Orange Walk Town. After the smoke clear, two teens lay mortally wounded as an unknown gunman unleashed a hail of hot lead into a crowd of youth […]

    Florencio Mes gets public citation from Tumulkin Center of Learning
    Florencio Mes, the last of the Three Kings of authentic cultural Belizean music was given a citation on Sunday, March 22 during the annual Maya Day celebration. With hundreds of people from all over Belize in attendance, the Tumulkin Center of Learning in Blue Creek village, Toledo, publicly […]

    Blogs

    The Enemy of My Culture is Religion
    I am a Maya teacher in my village. One of the things I teach is about our culture and traditions. Having been in the cultural field and a cultural enthusiast for decades, I now firmly believe that RELIGION is the most destructive force on our Maya culture in my lifetime. Understand that I come from a family that valued our traditions and was proud of our culture. My grandfather taught my father, he taught me and my siblings, and we have tried to teach our children. It is a much more difficult task today than it was when I was a boy. But what does Maya culture mean? Our Tradition & Culture teaches our children Survival, Respect, Dignity, Appreciation, Love and Togetherness. Maya culture is taught to us by our parents and elders, and it takes many years to fully understand our traditions. They include our attitude to our world, our village, the rain forest, our family, our community. It is our food, our marimba music and dance, our traditional dress and our celebrations. We have traditions for birth, marriage, raising children, looking after our elders and death. We have special ceremonies that ask our God for help and thank Him when he provides it. In those celebrations we pray and worship and learn to love and respect all of the gods that make up our GOD. All of our cultural practices are designed to ensure a peaceful life, free from hunger and fear. We have a system of restorative justice, known as alcalde, which keeps our villages in order and in peace. And historically that has been the life for Maya people, but not anymore….

    “Some Kind of Wonderful” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
    One day last week Rose and I were invited by a friend to go see the house that he has built on the beach three and a half miles south of ‘Town. Being the inquisitive (no, not nosy) types we are we readily agreed. And I’m pleased that we did. He built the house as a business investment but given the thought, care and attention you’d think that he built it to live in himself. Now I’ve got to admit here and now that I have a vested interest. Why? Well, Pelican Properties Limited/Belize Real Estate -which I have a shareholding in – is marketing the property for him but that hasn’t influenced my description of the property one iota. But even if it had, the photos don’t lie (no photoshopping here I assure you). As we pulled in behind the house we could see it was big

    19 Things To Do Before The Year Ends
    1. Drop your pride, remove your material demands, grab some like-minded friends and go on a spiritual road trip. 2. Climb a mountain. Rest. Look around. Find a trail and follow it. The more rustic the road, the better. 3. Hug your significant other in front of waves. No words. Just hugs.

    A Belize Family Vacation; Make it truly remarkable!
    Generation Gap? What Generation Gap? Baby Boomers and their youthful offspring discover that they’re not so different after all during a rainforest adventure in the stunning Belize One of the best experiences I’ve ever had was watching my mom and dad and my own kids rediscover each other in the jungles of Belize. The years seemed to melt away as my parents challenged themselves with new experiences, and my son and daughter took on a new maturity during these shared adventures. And best of all, a new relationship between the older and younger generation blossomed.

    15 Bucket List Things To Do Before You Turn 100
    We procrastinate a lot. We hesitate sometimes. We miss wonderful opportunities through the space of a life time. Its not too long you know. Planet Earth is suggested to be 4.5 billion years old – living to 100 is a spec in the eyes of time! We need to do some things in our lives before we fly to the sky. Here are 15 things to do before you turn 100 years: 1. Ride a horse. Not only ride a horse, ride it with a soul mate. Its a wonderful thing where man and beast flow. 2. Don’t just collect a library, create one (or two)! 3. Emit good vibes. The universe has blessed you with massive amounts of it!

    Central American Defense Council
    Some Problems and Achievements Lieutenant Colonel Laun C. Smith, JR. “Nicaragua has been invaded by guerrilla forces. We have engaged the aggressors in action near Waspan and Puerto Cabezas but have been unable to contain them. The people in the area have been terrorized to the point where they are afraid to cooperate with government forces. We need help in the form of troops and equipment from the Central American Defense Council.” This was the urgent phone call received by the president of COPECODECA, the permanent working staff of the Central American Defense Council (CONDECA), on 20 March 1968.* The call for help started the CONDECA machinery in operation, and the council responded by sending troops and equipment to Nicaraguds east coast to drive out the enemy. They succeeded, and Nicaraguan soil is again free from the gunfire and terrorism of external forces.

    Belizean Black Beans and Rice
    I show you how to make rice and beans using black beans. I also show you exactly how to troubleshoot the making of this dish. You will be pro next time you try making this dish.

    Women’s Retreat Announces 2nd Event in Belize
    Reset Retreat, an exclusive women’s wellness and adventure retreat, completed a sold out, exclusive event in Ambergris Caye, Belize. The entrepreneurs behind the sold-­out retreat announced a second retreat to be held November 4­9, 2015; the group will again gather in tropical Belize. Unlike other group vacations, Reset Retreat has developed a strategy to inspire the women attending, imparting goals of self­ reflection and growth through daily life coaching sessions and experience sharing. The program includes a personality assessment to expose natural tendencies and patterns to help break boundaries, conquer obstacles and maximize potential. “Our prevailing intention is your personal growth,” says Co­Founder Natalie Jenkins. “We create an opportunity for you to begin a personally unique journey in an unforgettable manner.” To build a community of like­minded guests, the women­all of of varying ages, race and demographics­are encouraged to make themselves the priority, reserve judgment and be present in their own lives.

    International Sourcesizz

    MAYOR OF BELIZE’S LARGEST CITY PRAISES ADVENTIST EDUCATION
    The mayor of Belize’s largest city praised the Seventh-day Adventist Church for its work in the Central American country and underscored his appreciation for its large network of local schools. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, flanked by a vice mayor, welcomed Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson and his wife, Nancy, at the airport upon their arrival Thursday for the start of a six-country tour of the church’s Inter-American Division. Division president Israel Leito is accompanying Wilsons on the trip. “The mayor expressed gratefulness for the many things the church was doing and especially our extensive educational system in Belize,” Wilson told the Adventist Review on Friday. The Adventist Church has a strong educational presence in this small country of 341,000 people that borders Mexico and Guatemala to the west and faces the Caribbean Sea to the east. Wilson said 300 to 600 students are baptized every year in the educational system, which includes four kindergartens, 20 elementary schools, five academies, and a junior college. Nearly one in eight people in Belize is a member of the Adventist Church, and an overwhelming 70 percent of those members are young people.

    Queen conch ban periods set
    The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) determined the closure periods for commercial fishing of the queen conch (Strombus gigas) in waters of federal jurisdiction corresponding to the coast of Quintana Roo. The Government's objective is to ensure the sustainable use of this resource. Specifically, fishing is prohibited in Chinchorro, Quintana Roo and in the zone that extends from Punta Herrero, north of Majahual, to Bacalar Chico (also known as Canal de Zaragoza) on the border with Belize. The ban is divided as follows: Since 20 March, 2015 to 28 February, 2017; From 2018 and following years throughout the month of February; From 1 May to 30 November of each year. Thanks to the ban that began in 2013, the resource population in the Reserve of Chinchorro shows signs of recovery and a slight increase in indicators over previous years.

    Well known Honduran businessman being extradited to the U.S. To face drug charges
    Authorities in Honduras say they have arrested the wife of a prominent Honduran businessman who is accused of drug trafficking and charged her with money laundering. Ricardo Castro of the attorney general's office says Ena Elizabeth Hernandez was detained Saturday while trying to visit her husband, Jose "Chepe" Handal, who is in prison charged with moving tons of cocaine into the United States. The U.S. Office for the Control of Foreign Assets in 2013 froze Handal's assets and blocked U.S. companies from doing business with him based on the accusations, including that he invests in and coordinates drug-laden flights from Venezuela to Honduras. His father, Jose Miguel Handal, and his wife were also named on the Treasury Department list.

    Videos

  • Belize 2015 Spring Break, 9min.

  • Belize 2015 beach bike trail, 7min.

  • OYE TOPIC: BTIA REPRESENTATIVES DISCUSS NCL PROJECT, COUNTRY WIDE EVENTS AND OTHER ISSUES, 39min.

  • Belize SCUBA Ambergris Caye 2015, 6min.

  • Belize 2015 GOPR0074, 5min.

  • Belize Mission Trip 2015, 6min. Video recap of our trip to Ladyville, Belize 3/7/15-3/14/15. We led a sports camp, bibles studies, and devotions with the students from Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute.

  • NEC Tropical Reef Research - Belize - March 2015 highlight video, 7min. A video from the New England College trip to Belize to conduct research on the tropical reef, March 2015.

  • ATM caves Dimparcio's photos around San Ignacio, Belize (burns avenue san ignacio town), 3min.

  • Delfines en Belize!!!, 2min. Super encuentro con Delfines en Half Moon Cay, Belize.

  • Ziplining Belize March 2015, 12min.

  • Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley off Caye Caulker, Belize, 6min. Swimming with the Rays and Sharks off Caye Caulker

  • Belize Travel Video, 4min.

    March 23, 2015


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Under the Sun: It’s a girl!
    We have been so excited about the arrival of this little bundle of joy, but of course, waited for Mommy’s approval to make the big announcement! Our first San Pedro Sun baby, Milah Nicole Smith, graced us with her presence on February 4th at 5:13PM! Born to Monique Smith (our office manager), Milah weighed in at 7lbs, 2oz of pure beauty. Welcome to the world Milah!

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Theif
    “I’m glad you took up my invitation to visit me,” Ricardo said. “It’s good to see old friends from Ambergris Caye.” “I couldn’t miss the opportunity,” I told him. “You’ve come a long way since we met.” I met Ricardo twenty-five years when he was a constable in the Belize police force. After rising through the police ranks he had been appointed as a judge. “I’m sitting at court this afternoon,” he said. “I like to go meet the people I’ll be passing judgment on so I go down to the jail. You can come with me.”

    Letter to the Editor: Janelle Humphrey
    Letters-to-the-EditorDear Editor, This was my first vacation in San Pedro and I stayed very close to town so I would have just a short walk. San Pedro was advertised as an idyllic, old style, relaxed and calm town, tourist friendly and with excellent swimming and snorkeling conditions. This might have been so back, some years ago. In reality swimming and snorkeling in front of the hotel –as one could expect– was impossible and unsafe due to intensive commercial boat traffic. Life in town was hectic and unattractive for tourists due to exorbitant, heavy and noisy traffic.

    Doctor Love
    Dear Doctor Love I am a twenty-two year-old woman married for ten months. My husband and I dated for a year and were engaged for another year. During this two years we got along great and I felt very secure about getting married to him. After we married there was one big change. Two or three nights a week he goes out with his friends and they spend the evening in a bar. When we were dating and engaged I went with him on these nights if I wanted to. Now, he tells me to stay home. I set up a girl’s night out with some friends and he forbids me to go. According to him a married woman has no business in a bar. She should stay at home and take care of the children. I don’t have children. I love him but I have been fighting this attitude for ten months and I am getting sick of it. I have tried reasoning with him and threatening to move back in with my parents. Neither of these things work. What should I do now? /s/ In A Cage

    Police Report
    *On Thursday, March 12th at 7AM, while Belize City and San Pedro Police were on mobile patrol about half mile North of San Pedro Town they stopped and searched one 20-year-old Desmond Budna. The search led to the discovery of three grams of suspected cannabis. He was formally arrested and charged for “Possession of Controlled Drugs”. *40-year-old Yasmin Aminet Cano reported that on Sunday, March 15th she and her common-law husband were driving their golf cart with license plate number SPC-0087 and proceeded to Sea Weed Street where they parked the golf cart. After about 5 minutes they were alerted that someone had taken their cart. She then proceeded to the police station where she saw the cart which was towed in and noticed the front portion of the cart had been extensively damaged.

    Editorial: On this day in history – March 14
    1489 – Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, sold her kingdom to Venice. She was the last of the Lusignan dynasty. 1647 – During the Thirty Years War, France, Sweden, Bavaria and Cologne signed a Treaty of Neutrality. 1757 – British Admiral John Byng was executed by a firing squad on board HMS Monarch for neglect of duty. 1794 – Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin. 1879 – Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Albert Einstein is born. 1891 – The submarine Monarch laid telephone cable along the bottom of the English Channel to prepare for the first telephone links across the Channel. 1991 – The San Pedro Sun newspaper is born.

    Five entrepreneurs seek investment at Belize’s first ever Shark Tank International
    Caye Financial Center has brought to Belize the concept of the popular American television series Shark Tank. Dubbed Shark Tank International, the event followed the same concept as the original show, where entrepreneurs get a chance to present their business ideas to a panel of potential investors. The event debuted on Monday, March 16th as part of the company’s Asset Protection and 17th Annual President’s Week Investment Conference. Five aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to develop their product/service participated in hopes of receiving an investment opportunity of up to $1 million USD. The panel of investors, aptly named the “Dolphin Pool”, consisted of five self-made business titans including Jesus Mantas, James Rickards, Stender Sweeney, Chris Allison and Joel M. Nagel. Mantas, who is the Managing Partner and General Manager of IBM Global Business Services, is a hands-on senior executive leader, with a strong combination of systemic thinking, business acumen, global experience, cultural intelligence, people leadership and deep technology background.

    SPBRC hosts Texas A&M College of Medicine Student Volunteers
    The San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) hosted a group of 14 medical students from Texas A&M College of Medicine. The students were in Belize as Vacation Volunteers, and were San Pedro Town from Saturday, March 14th though Tuesday, March 17th. They had opportunities to visit several medical centers across the island, including the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. Group leader Takashi Hirase reached out to SPBRC volunteer Laurie Norton after seeing a 2013 Tacogirl post on TripAdvisor asking about the potential health-related volunteering opportunities in San Pedro. The group was initially scheduled for one week volunteering at the Corozal Community Hospital, but after seeing the post decided to split their time and also volunteer in San Pedro. Since SPBRC is already working on bringing volunteer groups to San Pedro while encouraging responsible tourism, they willingly accepted Hirase’s request. The group arrived in San Pedro on Saturday, March 14th and enjoyed several recreational activities including a sunset cruise with Ecologic Divers.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BEL Restores Power Supply following System Failure Responsible for Power Interruptions in a Major Portion of the Country
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has restored power supply to the areas across the country, which experienced power interruptions earlier today, due to a system failure on the national grid. In preparation for scheduled maintenance works in Ladyville this morning, a system failure was experienced at 8:40 a.m., which resulted in a power interruption to the entire Belize, Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. At that time, only the Corozal District, Orange Walk District and San Pedro Town were connected to Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), which was undergoing scheduled maintenance on its system. The portion of the country, which experienced the power interruption, was being supplied by local generation. BEL is still investigating the cause of the system failure. Within an hour, BEL was able to restore power supply to a portion of the country using only the Gas Turbine at Westlake, since the other local generating plants experienced technical difficulties during the restoration. It was determined that only two of the three hydro plants at BECOL could be made available; further difficulties were also experienced in receiving power supply from BAPCOL. This caused a delay in full power restoration. The local generating plants were eventually brought back at 10:20 a.m. and restoration of power to the remaining areas was completed by 11:44 a.m., except for a small portion of the Corozal District, for which restoration is underway.

    Belize’s Newest Tourism Executive
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association has its newest executive director. The BTIA announced that John Burgos officially began work as the association’s executive director last week. Burgos comes to the BTIA with 10 years of experience in the Education Sector and seven years’ experience at management-level positions both in the private and public sectors. “With his recent addition to the team this consolidates the Board of Director’s emphasis on a renewed and revitalized Secretariat that will be taking on a significantly increased and proactive role in servicing our Secretariat obligations to the membership and also meeting the needs and challenges of our members in the various Destinations and Sectors that form part of the BTIA,” the BTISA said in a statement. Burgos is a graduate of the University of Belize.

    Here is the proof that Dean Barrow and 6,000 UDP traitors endorsed to question our sovereignty
    They should be taken to court for advocating officially that Guatemala can have its borders way into Windy Hills close to Kontiki, San Ignacio. Here is the proof. Erwin Contreras you are a representative of Guatemala according to this military map. Elvin Penner half of your constituency is Guatemalan. This map is an official map of “la polvora military base” located one and a half miles from Melchor. This map will go to ICJ COURTS, and if Guatemala wins, Benque Viejo, san Jose Sucottz, Calla Creek village, Arenal village, Bullet tree village, Xunantunich ruin, el pilar ruin, San Francisco village, Chialvillage , Chaa Creek Resort, Kana Resort, Clarrisa falls, , will be for Guatemala

    Chaa Creek Eco Kids Summer Camp 2015
    This year's Eco Kids Summer Camp starts on July 19th. If you know any 8 to 13 year olds that want to attend the camp, and learn all about nature, ecology, and the hidden treasures of Belize, let them know that all they have to do is write a short essay about why they want to be an Eco Kid. The camp is free, and lasts 8 days. Thanks, Chaa Creek, for giving 24 lucky kids something amazing to do yet again. "Our annual ECO-KIDS SUMMER CAMP is fast approaching and we're beyond excited to host 24 more beautiful Belizean children!"

    The Reporter

    “Increased cane production critical to the survival of Belize ‘ s sugar industry,” says BSI
    Cane farms in Belize need to produce more cane per acre to be able to cope with tbhe projected falling earnings of 2017, the Belize Sugar Industries explained in its latest publication. The report entitled, “Transforming Sugar Production in Belize into a Modern, Sustainable, Green […]

    Committed to serve- Belize Volunteer Club reaching out to communities
    The Belize Volunteer Club, is reaching out to the public to help expand its network of volunteers to support initiatives aimed at positively impacting communities all over the country. Founder and Director of the BVC, Kadeem Bennett, explained that the organization is actively seeking individuals […]

    Belize Jaguars ready for Grand Cayman
    The Football Federation of Belize unveiled its new logo for the Belize Jaguars at press conference on Friday to update the fans on the Jaguars’ readiness for their first qualifying match towards World Cup 2018 Russia. This is when Belize hosts the Cayman Islands at […]

    YMCA holds family kite day for Fabers Road
    The Young Men’s Christian Association YMCA held a community gathering for Fabers Road residents on Sunday to teach children and adults how to make and fly kites. The Family Kite Day was held at the YMCA compound in the Fabers Road extension area, catering for […]

    Belizean organizations pledge solidarity with Venezuela
    Several social groups and private citizens gathered at the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in support of the government during its diplomatic falling out with the United States of America on Saturday. The function was organized by the Belize Organization for Solidarity with […]

    YCT project trains sports trainers
    The Youth and Community Transformation project, implemented by the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, held a four-day training course this week for coaches and community sports trainers. Community members, representatives from the Community Policing Unit of the Belize Police Department, and […]

    People who extract water from its natural source to use need permission says MoE
    Water abstraction is when people remove water from its natural environment to use, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture this week emphasized the need for stakeholders to get the necessary permission to do so. The ministry issued a public advisory, reminding stakeholders that […]

    Belmopan high school gets $45,000 worth GoB aid
    The Belmopan Methodist High School has received a total of $45,824.41 worth of furniture and computer accessories from the government of Belize through the Social Investment Fund (SIF). The donation included 100 student armchairs, three teachers desks, a cupboard, three book shelves, four computer […]

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Atlantic Bank hosts Pre-Owned Auto Show in Belmopan
    If you are looking for a vehicle and cannot afford a brand new one, then Atlantic Bank is inviting you to a Pre-Owned Auto Show in Belmopan. You might just find the vehicle you are looking for. The Pre-Owned Auto Show takes place on Saturday, March 28 at the Belmopan Branch of the Atlantic Bank at the Garden City Plaza. It runs from 9 am until 3 pm and a team of Atlantic Bank personnel will be available for queries and information about financing options. Monday’s auto show will feature different models of vehicles ranging from automatic to standard transmission SUV’s and other type vehicles.

    Blogs

    A Splash of Spring In Belize!
    Our friends to the North of us and everywhere freezing in the world are coming out of winter. Thawing out; stretching; breathing deeply – that fresh spring air your lungs have longed for since last spring. Where we are, its going to be 92 degrees tomorrow and what we do is exactly what the doctor is prescribing to you: Its a time when families take picnics together. School will be out for a week or two and its a great time for cousins living elsewhere to join us for the treat of inland Belize and our coastal areas. Some families take day trips to ancient Maya sites and others head off to caves – especially the ones with water like Barton Creek Cave where they can refresh after awesome education about the ancient Maya. We sooner more than later, will head to the water. It is a design of spring in Belize!

    Finally! A Weekend in Belize: Sharks GALORE in the Blue Hole & Much More
    Morning guys, Last month, before his trip to Ambergris Caye, a diver (and I later found out – FANTASTIC photographer) contacted me with just a few questions about living on Ambergris Caye. After his trip, we chatted briefly again and I checked out his website, saw some of his pictures and practically begged him to write a post about his weekend in San Pedro. And he did. In the words of B.A. Baracus, I love it when the plan comes together. He are some of his pictures and his words… Thanks Ran…very much. THIS is the way to do a long weekend on Ambergris Caye.

    Steve Aoki: The World’s BIGGEST DJ Parties on Ambergris Caye, Belize
    Steve Aoki is HUGE in the music world. Arguably the most famous DJ, he has spent the last 5 years relentlessly touring colleges…and then larger venues – up to 250 shows a year. AND LAST NIGHT HE WAS AT ROJO BEACH BAR ON AMBERGRIS CAYE! I mean…where else would the coolest man on earth hang out when in Belize? Casually dressed and shy… And after being hesitantly identified by bar staff, Steve Aoki posed for pictures with his friends and with some of his fans. Who played his music… And toasted the world famous star.

    10 Reasons Why You Should Vacation at This Private Island in Belize
    If you find beach resorts too crowded and need a respite from chattering heads, sand-kicking kids and vast expanses of humanity, a private island located just nine miles off south-central Belize should suit your fancy. Specifically, Thatch Caye Resort. This private island may be small, but here you can find everything you desire for a memorable stay on this 11-acre paradise, including peace and quiet. Here are 10 reasons to visit soon. 1. It’s private. Sorry to repeat the obvious, but that’s the draw of this island. This is not your cup of tea if you prefer a hectic schedule of places to eat, things to see and do. Find like-minded people here; if you don’t want to talk to any of them, that’s your prerogative. 2. It’s gorgeous. Even jaded island hoppers are impressed by the lush scenery within the 11 acre marine park sprawling across the island. Treat your eyes to a feast of wildlife and picture-postcard vistas within this 117,878 acre marine reserve that’s located just a kayak away from a world-famous bird sanctuary.

    International Sourcesizz

    Continuing Crime and Insecurity in Northern Central America
    A continuing campaign of unspeakable brutality is morphing through Central America’s northern tier of nations, with a myriad of violent crimes and death. The stability of democracies within the northern triangle, especially El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, could continue at great risk. As well, this instability within the poorly defined borders of the triangle region continues to pose significant threats to Mexico, the southern border of the United States, and beyond. This certainly is much more than what some government officials refer to as a “disturbing trend.” It must be an urgent national security priority. How do these regions match up to world homicide rates? “The isthmus connecting North and South America continues to lead the world in murder rates, with four of the top five rates in the world in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize.” Latin America continues to lead the world, with 31 percent of the world’s murders despite having approximately 9 percent of the world’s population. Honduras remains the deadliest country in the world. Venezuela now holds the title of second-deadliest country in the world, but its murder rate is almost half of the rate in Honduras. Belize’s homicide rate is third; and El Salvador — previously second in the world — is now fourth.

    Videos

  • Belize - A Video Diary, 2.5min.

  • 153- Belize SEQ, 60min. Great underwater footage

  • ISH - Belize, 3min. Dancing and partying!

  • Belize Lamanai tour, 14min. Private shore excursion. Take a river boat to Lamanai, one of great Mayan ruin in Belize.

  • Scuba Diving with Dolphins in Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, Belize, 1min. Diving with Dolphins in front of the Sunbreeze Hotel, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize with Hugh Parkey's Belize Dive Connection

  • Caye Caulker, Belize --Snorkeling with sharks and stingrays, 4min. While on a cruise, we took a water taxi to Caye Caulker and went on a snorkeling tour with E-Z Boys Tours to two coral reefs and the Caye Caulker shark-ray alley. March 2015.

  • Belize Scuba 2015, 13min. Diving near the barrier reef off Ambergris Caye - Belize. March 14, 2015. Shallow dive 0 approx 30 -35 feet deep. Lots of sea life.

  • Underwater Belize, 4min.

  • Belize Talk Radio takes you to Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic Part II, 26min. by Macarena Rose. Mandy Cyphers and Belize Talk Radio at the Belize Talk Radio takes you to Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, in Part II of the show.

  • Garifuna history in Hopkins Belize, 7.5min. Hopkins business man Marlon owned Garimaya gift shop with his Mayan wife. Marlon tells us the history of the Garifuna people.

  • SCUBA Diving Ambergris Caye Belize March 2015, 6min. SCUBA Diving Ambergris Caye, Belize March 15, 2015.

  • Belize dive series

  • Zipline in Belize series

  • Island Expeditions Belize Basecamp on Half Moon Caye at Light House Reef UNESCO World Heritage Site, 5min. Leading the Way in Belize Since 1987, Island Expeditions leads sea kayak, snorkel, natural history, and dive expeditions to beautiful Lighthouse Reef, Belize. Based on Half moon Caye, at Lighthouse Reef in Belize, the group stay in Safari style tent accommodations, and are fully guided and fully catered to for multi day vacation to the most beautiful place in Belize

  • The Chicken Drop @ Wahoo's in Ambergris Caye, Belize, 7min. Jaime prepares the chicken to do his duty.

  • Jaime & Shawn get married in Belize, 35min. Matthew Saul officiates the marriage of Shawn & Jaime at the Victoria House on Ambergris Caye, Belize on March 14, 2015 (Pi Day).

  • 2015 Belize San Pedro Dive [HD], 5min.

  • Belize 2015, 6min. Tropical Biology Class 2015 with Concordia Portland and Concordia Austin.

    March 22, 2015

    Unable to do the news this morning due to travel. Will return Monday morning...

    March 21, 2015


    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 and CTV 3
    Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro bids farewell to Arlando Smith
    On Thursday, March 19th at approximately 4:30PM, information was received that the body of 63-year-old Arlando Smith was found dead in his apartment located 3.5 miles south of San Pedro Town. Reports indicated that the body was found by a housekeeper who had entered the unit for a scheduled clean-up. Smith was found lying on the floor with no signs of life. San Pedro Police inspections of the scene showed no forced entry or robbery attempts. Checks on the body showed no sign of injury or violence. While police are speculating that Smith passed away due to natural causes, as postmortem examination will be conducted at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital in Belize City to certify the cause of death. Smith, an American award winning director, has been a long time resident of San Pedro and even directed the first episode of La Isla Bonita Telenovela. He also contributed to several American television series including All in the Family, Silver Spoons, 227, The Richard Pryor Show, She’s the Sheriff, The Rober Guillaume Show, What’s Happening Now, The Jeffersons, and Malcolm and Eddie. A potluck will be held on Sunday, March 22nd to commemorate his life and contributions.

    MarAlliance celebrates Reef Week with the community
    MarAlliance joined Belize’s conservation community in the nationwide Reef Week recently held from March 10th to 16th with the theme “Celebrating our Heritage. Protect our Future. Belief in the Reef.” Numerous activities were on offer to educate children and adults alike about the importance of a healthy marine ecosystem and sustainable use of marine resources. As part of its Kids Meet Sharks initiative, MarAlliance took 40 students from several communities throughout Belize to experience working as a marine scientist on the Barrier Reef and to monitor its associated fauna. The education and outreach activities continued throughout the week as staff spoke to and met with hundreds of students through open houses, symposiums, television programs, and public fairs. Sunday March 16th’s Reef Fair provided a venue to showcase participatory marine art and science.

    Labour Department hosts Labour Education Seminar
    The Ministry of Labour has held Labour Education Seminars across the country in hopes of informing both employers and employees about the Labour Laws of Belize. The seminar promotes healthy employment relations and social protection. In San Pedro, the seminar was on Thursday, March 12th at the Lions Den and saw the participation of several businesses. Those in attendance learned valuable information on the Labour Department and the right and responsibilities of both employers and workers. San Pedro Labour Officer, Rissela Dominguez, the indicated that seminar was essential to inform the community on the amendment to the Labour Laws. “We recommend all employers and employees to work along with the Labour Department. At many times, there are new amendments to the law that people are not aware of. We at the Labour Department can help them get a better understanding of those laws, and guide them when making decisions. For this seminar we invited two representatives from the companies: one person in management and one auxiliary staff. This allowed us to reach out to both employers and employees,” said Dominguez. Those that attended the seminar were given informative materials that could be shared with other colleagues.

    Sweet Potato Pound
    So, back to those daydreams of eating some of the best Sweet Potato Pound (pudding) from my mom’s fogon. What is a girl on the island to do when she just has pre-packaged coconut milk, one tiny handheld grater and the fresh produce for a tasty pudding? Why she tries her luck at making that pudding she dreams of so often! I huffed and puffed as I grated each potato, one by one. Its consistency is not even close to a pudding, so I know it has to be blended. (I should really buy a box grater…any tips to keep it from rusting?!) After what feels like hours, there’s a huge mound of potatoes with the ginger all mixed in to create a lovely, earthy, gingery smell. I throw a couple handfuls of the mix in my high-powered blender, adding a splash of coconut milk to ensure it blends. When it forms a more gooey consistency, I take it out and repeat the process till all my potatoes have been blended. To this pudding mixture, I add brown sugar and the softened butter. Much like my mother, I go by taste. I like my pudding to be sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. I like to taste the bite of ginger and enjoy the potatoes’ earthy sweetness. So, as I mix, I taste till I hit that perfect sugar ratio.

    San Pedro Business Community takes on Police Barracks Renovation
    The San Pedro Business Community has undertaken yet another Police Barracks project, as they are currently funding the renovation of one of the two existing barrack buildings. Both buildings are in deplorable conditions, yet officers have been residing in them as there is no other housing available. The new project will see a three bedroom building completely renovated with new flooring, walls, roofing and other furnishings. The upgrade will allow officers to live more comfortably while serving in the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD). Renovations started on Monday, March 16th and are being headed by Contractor Armando Graniel Jr. A clear date as to the completion of the project has not yet been stated, but the renovation is not expected to take longer than a couple of weeks. While this barracks project is seeing quick progress, the one being manned by Councilor Gabriel Nuñez is still at a standstill. This project entailed the construction of a two story wooden building with four bedrooms with the $50,000 that was promised by the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday, August 13th. Work on this project commenced in October 2014, but shortly after, construction ceased, and Nuñez indicated that construction would not resume until January 2015. It is now March 2015, and there are still no signs of construction.

    Dental Students visit Holy Cross
    A group of ten members from the Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin, USA were on Ambergris Caye volunteering their time at Smile Dental Clinic at Holy Cross Anglican School. The group of dental students, a doctor and two dental hygiene instructors were on the island from March 16th to March 19th. One of the co-leaders of the mission was Sue Kloosterboer, and she explained that it is the University’s first time to the island on such a study-abroad initiative. She explained that the mission includes seven second-year students who are about to graduate from the university’s dental program. While in Belize, they were under the supervision of a doctor and two dental hygiene instructors.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize to Observe World Water Day
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture in conjunction with various local water partners is hosting an exhibition to commemorate World Water Day which is celebrated annually on March 22. Under the United Nations theme for 2015: “Water and Sustainable Development”, various booth displays will depict the theme at the Memorial Park in Belize City. The Official Opening Ceremony will be held on Friday March 20, 2015 at 9:00 am; while the exhibition is scheduled to take place immediately after, from 10am to 3pm.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY
    Several Caribbean Nations, including Belize, Flagged as Major Money Laundering Jurisdictions and the Corozal Commercial Free Zone cited as major money laundering point. In 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released by the US State Department had listed Belize and the US as major money laundering jurisdictions. At the same time, the US listed Belize as a major transit country for the illicit drug trade. In Belize, the US says the Government of Belize’s encouragement of the growth of offshore financial activities leaves it vulnerable to money laundering, including offshore banks, insurance companies, trust service providers, mutual fund companies, and international business companies. “Belizean officials suspect there is money laundering activity in their two free trade zones, known as commercial free zones (CFZs),’ said the report. “The larger of the two, the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, is located on the border with Mexico. The smaller CFZ, the Benque Viejo Free Zone, is located on the western border with Guatemala. The Corozal CFZ was designed to attract Mexican citizens for duty free shopping; Belizean authorities believe it is heavily involved in trade-based money laundering and the illicit importation of duty free product.” Belize is being urged to become Belize a party to the UN Convention against Corruption.

    Beltraide STRATEGIC PLANNING WORKSHOP
    Understand the strategic planning process · Determine your desired future · Evaluate your current situation · Understand how to develop your strategic plan · Learn tips in how to sustain your strategic plan, avoid running strategic meetings and maintain energy in your planning process (and life). Location: BTEC Building ITVet Belize Compound Workshop Date: March 26th, 2015 9am to 12pm. Cost: $30.00 15% OFF on f1st THREE registrations. Includes a light snack and refreshment.

    WCS and TNC at the Reef Fair
    Education and games formed part of the festive weekend that promoted marine conservation and sustainable fisheries.

    More manatee deaths
    This report just got in. Today would have been the only week without a dead manatee but it literally seems we cannot get out of a week without one. This female manatee got hit by a boat near the river mouth and died leaving the new born calf to fight a loosing battle as no way such a young baby would survive alone. Once again there is serious need for urgent effort and response to put a halt to these incidents, soon no effort we put in will be able to recover our already endangered population. Today's two deaths are number 16 and 17 for the year.

    Registration for 9th Natural Resource Management Symposium
    The theme for this year's symposium is " Balancing ecological and social systems for sustainable trans-boundary resource management". The main purpose of the symposium is to bring together researchers, managers, students, government agencies and NGOs engaged in natural resource management in Belize, to share findings and evaluate the status of resource management in the country The symposium will be held on March 25th, 2015 Registration deadline is MARCH 20, 2015. Late registration warrants an extra $10 will be closed on MARCH 22nd, 2015. Registration fee payable at the symposium OR at Scotia Bank account number 1935451. Bring your receipt to the symposium. SYMPOSIUM FEES: - $20 Bzd (10 USD) for non-member professionals - $10 BZD ($5 USD) for professional Members AFTER SYMPOSIUM SOCIAL: Mingle with presenters and person working in NRM/biology related fields. - $10 BZD for non-presenters.

    Western Highway Upgrade 20-Mar-15
    There's a new road in Cayo! The George Price Highway upgrading project has extended Joseph Andrews drive to the Mopan river, through the orange groves. It looks nice. Ready for the next bridge.

    Bullet Tree Spay Neuter Clinic
    They visiting Vet students had an amazing turnout at the Bullet Tree Falls Spay and Neuter clinic: around 50 animals. Thanks go out to the Institute for Sustainable International Studies for putting it together. "The numbers are in from the very successful animal clinic in Bullet Tree. The Mt Ida group saw about 50 animals which were all dogs except 1 cat. The clinic included 10 surgeries (6 neuters, 4 spays) and all animals were vaccinated against rabies with vaccines donated by Mt. Ida College."

    SHJC Business Expo
    Sacred Heart Junior College is having their annual Fair and Business Expo next Saturday, March 28th. Like always, there will be tons of businesses there, along with food and fun for the entire family.

    Channel 7

    Jack Charles Throws Down The Gauntlet - Says Local Rice Producers Are Gouging, Says Guyana Rice Will Be Cheaper For You
    Last night we told you about the situation in the rice industry, where one Indian importer is trying to bring in rice from Guyana. Government has refused him a permit, but because the rice is from Guyana which is a part of CARICOM - it's not that easy to stop the import; in fact it could be impossible. Mass importation of Guyanese rice would spell out disaster for local rice producers who can fully supply the local demand. But as we told you last night there's a profit to be made for the importer - and that alone could bring things to a head. But, here's where it gets interesting. The importer is Jack Charles of Extra House Imports - and he says it's not about the profit - in fact, to hear him tell it, the importation initiative is almost charity. In a plain spoken press release issued this afternoon, Charles says that last year September, he found out that Belizeans are paying between $1.20 per pound in towns and up to $1.40 per pound in villages for a pound of local rice. He says this is, quote, "unjust profits shared by a group of few producers." He says he reached out to the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture to ask him to enforce the price control of 69 cents per pound. But he says the CEO didn't take him seriously and so he, quote, "did...research to (import) Rice from Guyana to provide rice at an affordable price to all Belizeans."

    FFB Presents New, Younger Team Says It is Rebuilding
    The Football Federation of Belize is preparing for the first round of the World Cup 2018 qualifiers. Game one is on Wednesday night at the FFB stadium against the Cayman Islands. Belize is ranked about fifty places higher than their national team - so betting types might be tempted to ride with the home team. But those betters don't know for sure what they are going to get form this new team - because half of it has been reconstituted. 13 of the players who went to the gold cup in 2013 are not on this new squad. They new lineup and the new look were introduced today at FFB headquarters in Belmopan and 7News was there:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is the logo you'll be cheering for this weekend: And this is the team: Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB "Belize has never gone to war with a gun, but we are preparing these young men to go into war for Belize and they will defend our national flag. They will defend the name Belize."

    The Deon Dilemma: Should Belize's Best Striker Be Given Special Consideration?
    And while we showed you the team, the logo, the newcomers, and all that good stuff…the elephant in the room today is the one who wasn't in the room: Deon McCauley, Belize's most prolific scorer in World Cup Qualifiers. He is not on the team - and will not play against Cayman. Last night you heard him say that he never got even a call from the FFB - even thought he's willing and able to play. Well, there are very many sides to that story - but the FFB has sent the media proof that Vice President Marlon Kuylen was texting him up to February of this year inquiring about his availability and his readiness. Today at the press conference the McCauley issue took center stage - where the media pressed the executive for answers and his father, football legend Manu McCauley showed up in his son's defence. So who's right and who's wrong? - We'll let you decide from the many allegations and counter allegations:.. Charlie Slusher, Asst, Coach "Deon is missed from the team basically and any national team would have love to have him there. He is one of our top players. On the other point, I know for a fact that we have been in communications with Deon and that's a fact, not me personally, the assistant coach, the executive member. Jules, after the press conference you could check the phone and you could check the correspondence between Deon and the assistant coach, as well as the executive member Mr. Marlon Kuylen, where they both speak about how are you doing and back and forth and when you are coming and all that. So, when the press conference is done, there is evidence of that."

    Alleged Rodwell Williams Shooter Says He Didn't Get Justice At Trial W/o Jury
    22 year-old Akeem Thurton, the man who was convicted of attempted murder for the near fatal shooting of attorney Rodwell Williams, got his case heard in the Court of Appeal today. Viewers may remember that Thurton was the first person to stand trial without jury, which happened before the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, in February and early March of 2012. From the witness stand, the victim, Rodwell Williams, identified Thurton as the gunman who shot him in the abdomen as he exited his law office on Albert Street west on May 31, 2010. Thurton didn't have any attorney in that trial, but for today's Appeal Court hearing, he had two attorneys to argue the case for him,:Bryan Neal, and American Jamaican Nancy Mae Anderson who has been a practicing attorney in Jamaica for over 34 years. Anderson has done a lot of human rights case, and she and Neal decided to take on Thurton's case on a pro-bono basis.

    Alleged Drug Kidnapper Sent To Jail
    Tonight, 24 year-old Alexander Lopez, and 41 year-old Amir Reid at the Belize Central Prison after they were accused of kidnapping a man, reportedly because they wanted to know where a stash of drugs were. The incident happened on Monday. According to Abel Lara he was on Fabers Road when 2 men grabbed him, tied him up, threw him into a van and drove him to mile 8 on the George Price Highway. Lara claims that he managed to escape by lying to his captors and telling them that he intended to take them to a location where he knew a stash of marijuana was hidden. While they were walking to this location, he led them to an area where a vehicle was passing by. When the vehicle got nearer, his captors fled, and that gave him time to beg assistance from the driver, who took him to the nearest police station so that he could report the incident.

    Fuel Shortage: When Will It End? Who's To Blame?
    Tonight, Diesel fuel remains scarce at service stations. PUMA has been bringing in fuel by tanker trucks and gas stations are given daily rations to try and supply their customers - but widespread shortages quickly consumer all available supply, and, invariably, those rationed supplies finish by day's end. It will remain that way until fuel tanker ships arrive next week Tuesday night. So, on Wednesday supply should be normalized. But, many are asking how did it come to this? Is it a problem with PDVSA (Pe-De-Ve-Sa)? Or is it happening because APBEL - the Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited is now in charge of ordering fuel? APBEL is run by a government appointee not a fuel industry veteran - and so we asked that government appointee, John Mencias squarely today if it is his fault:.. Jules Vasquez "Because of your lack of expertise, your lack of experience, I should say. You did not forecast that March would be the busiest highest volume month for fuel demands. You mis-forecasted and therefore we have the shortage. How do you respond to that?"

    HS Teacher Accused of Assault, Alleged Victim Withdraws
    Herman Lambey, a high school teacher at one of the Belize City schools, was freed of sexual assault charges today in the Magistrate's Court. An 18 year-old fourth former accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior, but she went to court today to withdraw the charges. According to the allegation, Lambey physically assaulted her, and touched her private parts. That's what she reported to police but when the case was called up before the Chief Magistrate, she presented herself before the court and said that she wanted the charges withdrawn. She added that she was not threatened or induced into doing this. As a result, the Chief Magistrate withdrew the offences of sexual assault, harm and threatening words against Lambey.

    Man Fined For Various Uncustomed Vegetables
    Henry Diaz, 35 year-old former police officer turned business man, was fined 7 thousand dollars today when he was taken to Magistrate's Court for uncustomed goods. According to police, on January 23, 2012, Diaz and his common-law wife, Fanny Williams, were asleep in a van which was parked in an area between miles 1 and 2 on the George Price Highway. That's when the officers noticed something suspicious, and they went to investigate. They crept up on the couple and detained them. When they searched the vehicle they found an assortment of vegetables from Mexico, which had a total value of $2,492 dollars. When the officers asked him to produce receipts and documentation, he couldn't so they decided to hand them over to the Customs Department, and he was charged with uncustomed goods. In his trial before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, he told the court in his defence that he didn't bring the items across the border. He claims that he bought them from a local growers and wholesalers, but he didn't ask for any receipt, thinking he didn't need it.

    Fire Dept Says Source Was Electrical
    On Wednesday night we showed you a fire at the corner of Allemby Street and East Collet Canal that had left a family homeless. The upper flat of the two story building went up in flames in just a matter of minutes. The Fire Department searched for the cause of the fire all of yesterday and today they told us what caused the blaze. Orin Smith - Station Officer, National Fire Service "On Wednesday 18th March, 2015, at around 6:26pm, the National Fire Service received and responded to call of a structural fire at #144 Corner Allemby and East Collet Canal. On arrival on the scene, smoke and flames were seeing coming from the mid-north section of the upper flat of a two storey structure. The lower flat of which is concrete utilized for commercial purposes. The upper flat wooden construction utilized for residential purposes. Investigations revealed that the fire originated in the upper section of that building; the roof or ceiling area. The hallway was extensively damaged. The three bedrooms on the southside of the building were not as extensively damaged. The structure was occupied by 7 occupants, none of which were at home at the time the incident occurred. There were 5 adults and 2 minors."

    Grace Gets Case Satisfaction
    In September of last year we told you about an allegation of outrageous police brutality - when 19 year old Armahni Bailey accused two police officers who he identified as Constable Larry Sutherland and Wayne Trapp of trying to drown him. Bailey told us that he was taken to an area at mile four on the Western Highway - where they tried to drown him in a garbage bin after threatening to shoot him. Bailey's family made an official complaint and the case against the two officers started on November 4th. Both officers were charged with one count of being uncivil when on duty, and Sutherland was additionally charged with prejudice to good order and discipline when he allegedly harmed Bailey. Today the case against the two officers ended in favor of Armahni Bailey and 7news got an interview from his aunt, who was satisfied with the outcome.

    Gold Cup Football Finance Review Amiss
    At the top of the newscast we showed you the new national football team - and told you how they're lacking sponsors so the FFB has been spending its own money so far - 230 thousand dollars' worth of it - to keep the players in camp with a stipend. But they're hoping to get to at least the third round of qualifying - and Vicente says FFB will need your help!: Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB "Financially we are ready for our players and if we moved on to second round, we will need the public assistance even more if we moved on to the third round and we passed third round, we are looking at millions of dollars." But before they ask the public to help with those millions - shouldn't the FFB account for the money spent on the last major international event - which was the Gold Cup? Well, they can't - and the reason behind it is quite a story. It's like the Americans say: "what had happened is"... Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB "Yes that is true. But there is a reason for that. When we took over the federation, we were green to what was happening and the mistake we made was that we had too many people handling the federation's monies. That was wrong on our part.

    Water: Scarcer Than You Think
    Water and Sustainable Development: That is the theme for this year's World Water Day. A ceremony was held at the Memorial Park to launch the event and primary and high school students from the city were invited to attend. Now it might seem like a cliché to say that water is indispensable to human survival and that it shouldn't be taken for granted but the coordinators of the event say that it can't be stressed enough. Director of the Water and Water Waste Sector at the PUC, Rudolph Williams told us why we should conserve this resource. On average Belizeans use 3,000 gallons of water per month.

    Debating Social Security Service
    We have heard debates about social issues such as the use of marijuana, teenage pregnancy, women's empowerment and many others. But a Social Security debate took it to the corporate level. Here's what they argued about: "Be it resolved that the Customer Service offered by the Social Security Board is one of the best in Belize." Now, if you've ever waited weeks for a benefit to be processed - that's a debate you might want to get into! But today it was reserved for tertiary level students at the Biltmore. Communication Officer Gayle Ozaeta says it's all in the spirit of corporate responsibility. Gayle Ozaeta, Communication Officer - SSB "What happens with this, we decided that we were going to a sector of society who we need to hear from.

    Black Women Public Policy Debate In Belize
    A delegation from the International Black Women's Public Policy Institute in Washington D.C are here in Belize. The delegation launched a Black Women's Conference today at Chateau Caribbean focusing on personal and social issues affecting black women in Belize and worldwide. The coordinator Barbara Perkins explained how self- care and development will translate to a stronger more empowered society for black women. The conference ends on Sunday. Perkins and her tram will also meet with the Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow.

    Removing A ROV From The Reef
    On Tuesday, we showed you the comments from the CEO of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development about the submersible which got stuck on the reef about 6 miles north of San Pedro. Well, the news tonight is that the company which owns it is in Belize, and they want to try to remove it within a week's time. A press release from the Department of Environment was released today, and it noted that they learned about the vessel grounding on March 13th , two days after it was discovered by islanders. DOE says that after investigating, they confirmed that the submersible is a Deep Tech Quantum ROV, which was under the responsibility of ImpreSub". A representative of that company has visited Belize, and that representative reported that they were hired by the company, "Saipem", which was working offshore Venezuela when the ROV went missing on November 18, 2014.

    The Wonders of Wayne
    Jamaican Reggae Artist Wayne Wonder is in Belize tonight for his third visit and he's preparing for a concert tomorrow to celebrate the 6 year anniversary of the promotion company called Flavaz Entertainment. Shortly after the artist landed in Belize he dropped by 7News to talk to us about why you should come out. Here's his take on tomorrow's concert: The concert takes place tomorrow night at the ITVET compound.

    Artic Cold Will Give Refunds For Blue Bell Ice Cream Recall Products
    On Wednesday we told you about the recall that the US Food and Drug Administration has put on Blue Bell Ice cream. Well, the local importer Artic Cold issued a release saying that, quote, "out of an abundance of caution…the general public (should) withdraw and discard from their store shelves and storage freezers the following items: Chocolate Chip country Cake, Great Divide Bar, Sour Pop Green apple Bar, Cotton Candy Bar, Scoops, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bar, and No Sugar Added Moooo Bar. All such products are to be reported to Artic Cold Limited for a refund.

    Channel 5

    Bus Drivers in the North Head to the Border for Diesel
    Going into the weekend, a shortage of diesel and premium fuel is having serious effects on the transportation industry so much so that public transportation is heading across the border [...]

    Football Federation Tackles Deon McCauley
    Deon McCauley, Belize’s star player will not be playing in the first world cup qualifying match against Grand Cayman next week. McCauley called us on Thursday to say that he [...]

    Manu McCauley Steps Up to Defend His Son’s Honor
    But, not so fast says David Manu McCauley. The veteran footballer and father of Deon McCauley is refuting some of the claims being made by the F.F.B. He says his [...]

    Mac & Cheese and Blue Bell Ice Cream Recalled in Belize
    Macaroni and cheese is a staple in most pantries in households in Belize. It’s a kids favorite; but, let’s be honest, even adults enjoy it. The same goes for ice-cream, [...]

    Jack Charles Imports Rice from Guyana Amid Self-sufficient Local Market
    Businessman Jack Charles of Extra House Supermarket issued a statement today confirming that he is the businessman who wants to import rice into the country even though Belize is self [...]

    Akeem Thurton Appeals Conviction for Attempted Murder of Rodwell Williams
    Justices Samuel Awich, Dennis Morrison and Christopher Blackman have reserved judgment until next Friday, March 27, on the case of 23 year old Akeem Thurton, convicted in March of 2012 [...]

    Retired Teacher Herman Lambey Indicted for Sexual Offences
    A retired teacher, Herman Lambey, who was once a Principal at the Queen Street Baptist School headed to court today to answer to three criminal offenses including Aggravated Assault of [...]

    Belize City Duo Charged for Kidnapping Abel Lara Jr.
    Also in court, forty year old Amir Reid, of a Faber’s Road address, along with twenty-eight year old construction worker of Race Course Street, Alexander Lopez, were jointly charged for [...]

    FFB Introduces National Football Selection
    On Wednesday, March twenty fifth, the Belize Jaguars will be taking on the national selection from Grand Cayman in game one of the qualifying matches for the World Cup. It [...]

    …But Is It’s Finances In Order?
    It’s no secret that the F.F.B. has had tough times when it comes to financing. The federation has had a hard time obtaining corporate sponsorship and keeping the daily operations [...]

    National Fire Service on Allenby Street Fire
    The Herrera family was left homeless earlier this week when a fire destroyed their house which was located at the corner of Allenby Street and East Collet Canal in Belize [...]

    The Importance of Water and Sustainable Development
    World water day is an international event that is held to bring awareness on the importance of water. This year’s theme is Water and Sustainable Development; the focus is to [...]

    Natural Resources Management to be Discussed in Upcoming Ninth Symposium
    While the focal point of this weekend’s conservation efforts is on water and its importance, a seminar will be held next Wednesday to take a critical look at natural resources [...]

    Police Officers Learn Basics of Public Relations
    In this newscast we have often reported on tensions between the police and the community. Well today police officers from various precincts across the country converged on Eastern Division where [...]

    …Participants Will Implement Lessons in Days Ahead
    Police Constable Keith Cruz, attached to the Raccoon Street Station, shares what he has learned during the session with us. He believes that calm and restraint should prevail in dealing [...]

    Ruta Maya Documentary Airs Tonight on Channel 5
    The Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge was held earlier this month starting on the six and ending on the ninth. Some fifty-seven teams participated in the event that kicked [...]

    LOVE FM

    Lands Department Warns Squatters
    Yesterday we told you of a release coming out of the Ministry of Natural Resources, putting residents on alert regarding fraudulent transactions being carried out across the country. The notice from the ministry spoke of both locals and internationals using fake passports to take up the identity of land owners and then in turn selling land parcels to buyers then subsequently, providing them with forged land transfer certificates. It is an offence that was picked up, according to the release, by the new land management system which was designed with the objective of being able to verify the authenticity of applicants especially those who do not go in to apply in person or those using foreign passports. The release was issued yesterday, reading, in part, quote, “Consequently, and in direct response to the uncovering of these fraudulent land transactions, the Lands and Survey Department warns the general public to beware of internet websites that purports to sell land in Belize.

    Imported Rice Proves Cheaper than Locally Produced
    Shop owners, local rice producers and some investors are up in arms and questioning the presence of imported rice from Guyana in Belize. In some corners, the move is viewed as being underhanded and not done in the best interest of the local farmers. Today, however, the importer of the rice from Guyana, Jack Charles of Extra House Supermarket, issued a release clarifying his reasons behind moving to bring rice from Guyana to sell in Belize. The release reads, quote, “In Late September last year I realized that Belizeans are paying between $1.20 in towns and up to $1.40 per pound in villages for a pound of local rice. I immediately called the CEO Of Agriculture and verbally expressed my concerns of unfair and unjust profits shared by a group of few producers and humbly requested that the price should be controlled as per the current legislation to an affordable retail price of 69 cents per pound and asked him to provide a fair and equitable response within 60 days.

    Appeal Judgement Reserved for Accused Shooter of Rodwell Williams
    The decision on the appeal case of 23-year-old, Akeem Thurton has been reserved until next week Friday after his appeal was heard today. Viewers might recall that Thurton was convicted in 2012 in the first murder trial without a jury. Thurton along with Ricky Valencia is accused of the shooting of senior attorney Rodwell Williams outside his law firm Barrow and Williams on May 31, 2010. At today’s hearing Thurton was represented by Attorney, Bryan Neal and Nancy Anderson. According to Anderson, the matter was appealed on twenty grounds. NANCY ANDERSON “There are a number of decisions that the court can make, they can dismiss the appeal, they can allow the appeal and quash the conviction, they can order a recall and they have said that it is very heartening. They have said within a week they will come with a decision. So next week Friday I hope you are all here I am sorry I can’t but I am very glad that I came and very inspired that I was able to do this.”

    Amandala

    Was child porn movie being filmed in Ladyville?
    Details concerning reports of the filming of a pornographic movie involving children that had allegedly been taking place at a house in Ladyville have been sketchy since the rumors surfaced earlier this month. Although the exact nature of the reports have not been disclosed, we were informed that Ladyville police discovered that children were in the said house at the time that a pornographic movie was reportedly being made. On Tuesday of this week, Officer Commanding Ladyville police, Inspector Frederick Gordon, spoke guardedly about the subject during an interview with the media, and indicated that investigators did a preliminary investigation, and that their findings have since been forwarded to the Department of Human Services for further investigation.

    Fuel rationing will continue longer than expected
    Belizean motorists whose vehicles use diesel fuel will have to contend with fuel rations at service stations for at least a few days more, as it has been reported today that the shipment of fuel which was expected to arrive from Petróleos de Venezuela, the state-owned supplier in Venezuela, may not arrive until next Tuesday. We know of cases where service stations ran out of fuel today, but were replenished tonight, with instructions having been given to gas station attendants that only a maximum of $50 worth of diesel could be sold to each customer. The crunch comes at a time of peak annual demand, and Puma, the fuel distributor in Belize, which also resumed importing premium fuel this year after Venezuela discontinued supply of premium to Belize in February, has been sourcing supplementary diesel via overland suppliers.

    Jermaine Belgrave, 33, beats murder rap!
    Jermaine Belgrave, 33, a Taylor’s Alley resident, was acquitted of murder this afternoon after Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas, who heard the case without a jury, found that he could not rely on a witness statement that had been given to police by the deceased, Cleo “Sick Bitch” Robinson, who was shot on the night of February 23, 2010, and died one year and four months later, on June 30, 2011. Robinson’s statement, however, was admitted into the prosecution’s evidence against the accused. The trial of Jermaine Belgrave, who was indicted for causing the June 30, 2011 death of Robinson, 35, began before Justice Lucas on Thursday, March 5. On the night of February 23, 2010, Robinson was shot multiple times as he rode his bicycle on Glynn Street. Robinson, after sustaining gunshot injuries to the upper and lower back areas and to the abdomen, was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by a Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) ambulance, before scenes of crime technicians and police arrived to process the scene.

    Court makes landmark ruling on tax dispute between GOB and Belize Bank
    The Government of Belize and the Belize Bank have been in court since 2014 in an attempt to settle a $30 million tax dispute arising out of a tax assessment handed down by Income Tax Commissioner Kent Clare back in 2013. Court documents reveal that the dispute was over assessments spanning 2000 to 2005, for taxes which the Belize Bank claimed it did not owe, because its bills had been settled by direct payments as well as a set-off that had been arranged with the Government of Belize. Although the Belize Bank challenged the assessments, the Income and Business Tax Act (IBTA, Section 53.2 and 53.3) contains a provision which says that despite the challenge put forth by the bank, it was liable to pay the full sum assessed.

    Tomlinson vs Belize and Trinidad case ends
    Belize’s Acting Immigration Director Maria Marin appeared in the witness box at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, as the country’s key deponent in the case brought against Belize by LGBT activist, Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican lawyer who is in a same-sex marriage, who alleges that he has refused to visit Belize after learning that immigration laws here prohibit the entry of homosexuals. Tomlinson—who was represented in Jamaica by Douglas Mendes, SC, a Trinidadian who served until last year as a judge of Belize’s Court of Appeal—is also challenging Immigration laws in Trinidad, under a consolidated claim at the CCJ, which has merged the Belize and Trinidad cases. The essence of Tomlinson’s complaint to the CCJ is that the laws in Belize and Trinidad violate his right to hassle-free movement in CARICOM, guaranteed under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

    Jermaine Belgrave, 33, beats murder rap!
    Jermaine Belgrave, 33, a Taylor’s Alley resident, was acquitted of murder this afternoon after Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas, who heard the case without a jury, found that he could not rely on a witness statement that had been given to police by the deceased, Cleo “Sick Bitch” Robinson, who was shot on the night of February 23, 2010, and died one year and four months later, on June 30, 2011. Robinson’s statement, however, was admitted into the prosecution’s evidence against the accused. The trial of Jermaine Belgrave, who was indicted for causing the June 30, 2011 death of Robinson, 35, began before Justice Lucas on Thursday, March 5. On the night of February 23, 2010, Robinson was shot multiple times as he rode his bicycle on Glynn Street. Robinson, after sustaining gunshot injuries to the upper and lower back areas and to the abdomen, was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by a Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) ambulance, before scenes of crime technicians and police arrived to process the scene.

    Belizean referees chosen by FIFA to officiate games in the USA
    and Ricardo Ake – FIFA Assistant Referee have been selected by FIFA to officiate, two FIFA friendly matches in the USA. The first match takes place on Saturday, March 28, in Los Angeles, California. Christopher Reid will be the Official Referee, assisted by Ricardo Ake. They will be officiating, a match for the National Team of Mexico against the National Team of Ecuador. The second match will take place on Tuesday, March 31, in Carson, California. In this case, Ricardo Ake will officiate as Assistant 2 and Christopher Reid as the Fourth Assistant, for the National Team of El Salvador against the National Team of Guatemala.

    Horizon Academy wins first Primary School Tennis Competition!!
    Junior tennis players, hailing from St. Mary’s Primary School, Horizon Academy, Belize Elementary School and Hummingbird Elementary School gathered at the Pickwick Club Tennis Courts on Saturday, March 14, in the first ever Primary School Tennis Competition, hosted by the Belize Tennis Association and sponsored by Atlantic Bank Limited, Simon Quan & Co. Ltd. and Brodies. The tournament was a Red Stage One, geared toward beginner level with smaller tennis courts, bigger and less bouncy balls, and smaller racquets; and it will be held bi-annually. All the children showed awesome potential, and some of the rallies were very long, which shows how greatly they are improving!

    Cricket Corner – Cricket is a gentleman’s game
    The Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2015, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, continued over the weekend. Here are the results. Only one game was exciting, and that was the game played between Cahsu Medicos and Uprising. Medicos won their first game by beating Uprising, 157 to 129. I did not get the full stats. In other games, Police made a good showing in putting down Excelsior, 124 to 91. For the Police team, Baronlee Clare scored 35 runs, while Anthony Fermin took 4 wickets for Excelsior. Norman Revers top scored for Excelsior with 22 runs, and Baronlee took 5 wkts for Police. The Easy Does It and Bright Star game was postponed for this Saturday.

    Athletics past and present – Jeremy Sabido
    Jeremy Sabido, a runner who has a diverse athletic background. From an early age, he was a tumbler in the legendary Tumblers, and was taught by one of its founders, Ras Jen. Basketball is among other sports that he partakes in. He met Mr. Morris, a running coach, who approached him after seeing him play basketball and asked him if he ever ran in a race yet, because he looked impressive running up and down the court. At age 15 he ran his first road race, which was a 10k on the Regent and Albert Street route, and placed 3rd in that event. Thereafter, it took him 13 years before he would run another road race. Under the teaching of Mr. Morris, in 2011 he ran a 5k and came in 3rd. Leon O Brien won that race. That same year, he ran the Marine Parade 10k against Denroy Nembhard, Darwin Rhaburn, just to name a few he recalled that were in the race. He settled for 2nd place in the race.

    Editorial: PUP politics
    There are leaders inside the People’s United Party who believe the Prime Minister may well call general elections within the next 12 months. They know that the honourable Prime Minister has no responsibility to wait until the Opposition is ready for the elections to be called, notwithstanding his public comments that he won’t pull the trigger within this calendar year. The Constitution of the land gives the Maximum Leader the prerogative to call it when he thinks his party has the best chance of winning. But the Opposition has not been acting as if though they are gearing up for early general elections. At least, that is our considered opinion as they jostle for power and go at each other inside the public’s domain – and that is in the wake of a most devastating defeat in the Municipal Elections two weeks ago. In their seventh year in central government, the United Democratic Party was able to return to their 2006 glory, winning 62 of the 67 seats contested countrywide, winning every municipality save one, and trashing the PUP in some constituencies by 2 to 1, 3 to 1, even 4 to 1 margins.

    From the Publisher
    In her column a couple weeks ago, the attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd referred scathingly to this United Democratic Party (UDP) government’s soft attitude towards Guatemala, and contrasted it with the early UDP’s militant position where the Guatemalan claim was concerned. She is confusing the late stages of the National Independence Party (NIP) with the early stages of the UDP, which was established in September of 1973 out of a fusion of the NIP, the People’s Development Movement (PDM), and the Liberal Party. This is quite understandable, because Audrey would have been just a child in the late 1960s. Amongst Belize’s young black males in the 1960s, and I was one of these, we were dissatisfied to the point of anger with People’s United Party (PUP) Premier George Price’s position where the Anglo/Guatemalan Dispute was concerned. Mr. Price, compared to Mr. Philip Goldson, the NIP Leader, appeared to be an appeaser.

    Karen cries for help
    Dear Editor, I was the unfortunate victim of a vehicle break-in on Friday, March 13, along the Newtown Barracks area just across from Hour Bar and Marina Towers. Many personal effects were removed from the vehicle, some of which are irreplaceable. According to the CIB that came to the scene, I wasn’t the only one who has been robbed in that area. I’d like to know why nothing was ever said to warn the public or even some form of police detail circling every now and again.

    Sewage hazards highlight need for better planning
    Last year, Amandala reported that nearly 90% of structures in Belize are actually not connected to sewage networks built by Belize Water Services (BWS), the only utility company responsible for providing those services on a commercial basis in Belize. What is of even more concern is the fact that a substantial amount of sewage waste makes its way into the waters surrounding the old commercial capital – Belize City – and a lack of foresight in development planning has meant that major tourist destinations, premier among them being Placencia, are now grappling with ways to establish a proper sewage treatment system to accommodate and more importantly preserve their peculiar environmental assets. Appearing on KREM Sunday Review on March 15, 2015, Roberto Pott, Belize Coordinator of Healthy Reefs for Healthy People, pointed to major concerns with sewage waste treatment disposal both in the Belize City area and in Placencia in a discussion with Yaya Marin-Coleman, the host of the show. Pott indicated to our newspaper that water wells in areas where sewage treatment facilities are inadequate have also shown contamination with fecal matter.

    Justice Arana will hear contract dispute between GOB and BISL
    Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana has refused an application by the Government of Belize to strike out a claim filed by Belize International Services Ltd. (BISL), challenging the government takeover of the international business corporation registry and the shipping registry, which were put under the control of British billionaire Michael Ashcroft and Panamanian investors with European connections back in 1990. When the Government took over the registries in June 2013, BISL had threatened that, “The Government will become liable to BISL for an amount estimated to be in excess of 60 million United States dollars in damages…” Although the claimant had filed a constitutional challenge to the takeover, Justice Arana has ruled that it is really a contract dispute, and she does plan to hear the matter later this year.

    Cañeros to receive bagasse payment this week
    Cañeros from the three cane farmers associations are scheduled to collect pending bagasse payments for the 2013/2014 sugarcane crop season later this week. The payout comes as part of a new commercial cane purchasing agreement that was signed prior to the belated start of this year’s crop season, which was delayed due to a protracted dispute – partially over a quantum payment for bagasse – between factory owners Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/American Sugar Refineries (ASR) and a faction of the 55-year-old Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA). Now that those differences have been put aside and the 2014-2015 sugarcane harvesting season is underway, BSI’s Chief Financial Officer, Belizario Carballo, told the media today that the monies for the outstanding bagasse payments for last season should be paid by this Friday, March 20.

    Santander showcases new state-of the-art sugar mill in the works
    What started out as a modest family-based sugarcane planting venture 48 years ago is now poised to be the Santander Group’s largest agricultural development in this region, encompassing sugar cane production, harvesting, milling and bagasse co-generation via modern milling facilities with state-of-the-art equipment – with the produce being solely for export on the CARICOM and European markets. Santander, which is the parent company of Green Tropics – a company that came into the public spotlight first when it was slapped with a record environmental fine for dredging within the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary in June of 2012, and subsequently when its representatives allegedly destroyed about 150 to 200 acres of vegetable crops for 30 Valley of Peace farmers in March of 2014 – is in the process of planting sugarcane on a vast expanse of land in the Cayo District as part of its endeavor to enter the market of large-scale sugar production.

    Ambassador Nestor Mendez wins OAS election
    Ambassador Nestor Mendez, who has served as Belize’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) and to the Government of the United States since June 2008, but who has been actively representing Belize at the OAS for the past 15 years, yesterday won by popular vote a hemispheric election held by the OAS, capturing 24 of the 34 votes cast by member states (amounting to 70%), with the remaining 10 going to his CARICOM brother — Bayney Karran, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the OAS. “I stand before you with a grateful heart, a clear mandate and an unwavering commitment, to seize the opportunity that is before us, to work together to transform the OAS into the OAS that we want and that the people of the Americas deserve,” Mendez said, in his acceptance speech.

    In unification move, PUP will endorse Francis Fonseca as Leader
    The inter-party squabbles in the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) in the wake of its municipal elections meltdown were brought to the forefront when former PUP leader, John Briceño, the Orange Walk Central area representative who is a deputy PUP leader, was recorded in a private conversation with two “trusted party members” about two weeks ago. During that conversation, Briceño was critical of the absence of fiscal prudence during the two-term Said Musa-led PUP administrations. Briceño also told his listeners (two PUP supporters), that “millions and millions and millions and millions and millions” of dollars had been stolen from the public purse. And if that was not enough image-battering for the vanquished PUP, this week, the former PUP Cayo North standard bearer, businessman Richard Harrison, who was selected to run in the January 5 by-election, in which he was thoroughly trounced by the UDP’s Dr. Omar Figueroa, was unsparing in criticizing his party’s leaders in an article captioned: “A Post-Election View From Under the Bus.”

    Ministry of Lands draws attention to land title fraud
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA), through the Lands and Surveys Department, has launched an investigation into fraud cases involving land titles that were recently discovered. The preliminary investigation suggests that there is a systematic effort being orchestrated by persons of both foreign and local nationalities to obtain property by fraudulent means. The perpetrators use fraudulent international passports and other forms of identification to usurp the identity of real land owners to obtain property and subsequently proceed to fraudulently transfer land titles to prospective buyers by forging signatures of MNRA officials in an effort to make the documents appear legitimate as though they were issued from the Lands and Surveys Department. It appears that the con artists are targeting properties owned by absentee landowners who reside abroad.

    Penner walks – “story done!”
    About two and a half hours after Elvin Penner arrived at the Supreme Court this morning along with an entourage of personal bodyguards and began to wait inside the court room of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, the appeal decision in the private prosecution case began with the Chief Justice apologizing for his tardiness, and reminding the court that he was “still on vacation.” The private prosecution of disgraced Cayo North East area representative, Hon. Elvin Penner began when Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) filed two criminal complaints in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on February 26, 2014. Giovanni Brackett, COLA president, and Nedal McLaren had filed criminal complaints against Penner against a backdrop of official inaction and Penner was arraigned before Belmopan Magistrate Aretha Ford on passport and immigration charges on March 27, 2014.

    The Reporter

    European Union grants Belize $30 million
    This week the Ministry of Health announced that it has received a $30 million grant from the European Union. Chief Executive Officer in the ministry, Dr. Peter Allen, explained that the Ministry applied for the grant under the 11th cycle of the European Development Fund, through the Ministry of Economic Development. The funds will be used for several development projects. “The principal purpose of the grant is to construct a separate wing at the Western Regional Hospital,” Allen said. He explained that the wing will be constructed to be able to evacuate patients from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in the event of a natural disaster. “This facility will also help the KHMH by being another referral center, particularly looking at referrals from the west and south,” Allen added.

    Kraft Foods recalls not expected to affect Belize
    While two of the major importers of Kraft macaroni and cheese have said that they have not received any of the products currently being recalled by Kraft for suspiscion of contamination, the public is advised to check labels before buying. Bruce Moore, wholesale manager at Brodies, explained that the company received a letter from the Kraft Foods Group this week, informing them that they have not been shipped any of the products which are being recalled. Noemi Espat, brand manager for Kraft products at Santiago Castillo Limited, explained that they received word about the recall on Monday and carried out a search of their stores. “After our checks, we determined that we didn’t have any of the product with the manufacturinfg code that they sent,” Espat said. She added that apart from San Cas and Brodies, there are other small companies who also import Kraft products as well.

    World Water Day observed in Belize City
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture celebrated World Water Day on Friday by holding an information exhibition at the Fort George Memorial Park. Organizations such as the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, Public Utilities Commission and Belize Solid Waste Management Authority attended the event with several other water related stake holder entities. The theme for this year’s World Water Day is “Water and Sustainable Development,” and all booths concentrated on the role the stakeholders play within that realm. They shared how climate change is affecting the quality of marine life due to rising temperatures, while Belize Electric Co. Ltd (BECOL) gave information on water and energy. Tennielle Williams, acting director of the Hydrology Unit in the ministry, said that the event is geared towards giving the public a better understanding and appreciation for water as a resource.

    More Belizeans take advantage of CSME
    A greater number of Belizeans are looking for employment opportunities in the wider Caribbean through the Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy (CSME) says the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development & Consumer Protection. Berinsford Codd, trade economist with the ministry, explained that 187 Belizeans have received their CARICOM skills certificates, and well over 200 have applied for their certificates. These certificates permit them to work indefinitely without work permits in any of the other 12 CARICOM member states, which are signatories to the CSME. “A variety of categories have fielded applications. Majority in Belize are university graduates – engineers, doctors, economists, architects, etc.,” Codd said. He continued that “some applications remain outstanding for a variety of reasons, such as incomplete applications, lack of verification of qualifications etc.” Codd explained that more attractive salaries have members of all CARICOM countries utilizing the freedom of movement afforded by the CSME agreement. A greater number of Belizeans are looking for employment opportunities in the wider Caribbean through the Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy (CSME) says the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development & Consumer Protection. Berinsford Codd, trade economist with the ministry, explained that […]

    Belize welcomes four new ambassadors

    Governor General Sir Colville Young welcomed four new ambassadors to the country on Monday at Belize House in Belmopan. Each ambassador presented his letter of credence to the Governor General and expressed his pleasure to be serving in Belize. The new ambassadors are: The Ambassador of Ukraine, Ruslan Spirin; The […]

    Former KKK imperial wizard owns San Pedro resort
    Bill Wilkinson, owner of the Seven Seas Resort in San Pedro, was once the Imperial Wizard of the violent Ku Klux Klan during the 1970s. The claim is made by the respected Daily Mail newspaper of the United Kingdom. The Daily Mail, which published […]

    Bus passengers help solve manslaughter case after three years
    After three years of no arrests for a traffic accident that ended in death, the passengers on a commercial bus have come forward to assist the police in solving the case.   Corozal police have arrested and charged Humberto Novelo, the driver of a […]

    New budget predicts pay raises for teachers & Public Officers
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented his 2015/16 budget, last Friday in which he gave notice that his government would be doing some substantial capital spending through the Petro-caribe Fund. “The policy of this Government will therefore be to continue to exploit its current access to […]

    World Bank grants Belize US$5.53 Million to farm the sea
    Belizeans living in coastal areas will be learning to farm the sea, with the help of a US$5.53 million grant provided by the World Bank for conservation of Belize’s Meso-American Barrier Reef and marine eco-systems. Some 203,000 Belizeans, almost two-thirds of Belize’s population, live in […]

    San Pedro murder to be featured “The Real Blacklist”
    The 2012 murder of american national Gregory Faull, in San Pedro will fewture on the NBC TV show “the real black list” on thursday. The show is hosted by NBC News’ Richard Engel, and focuses on conspiracy-themed investigations to unsolved murders with high profile suspects […]

    Fire leaves family homeless
    A massive fire at the corner of Allemby Street and Collet Canal around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon engulfed the upper flat of a two-story house and has left a family of five displaced. According to the son of fire victim 54-year-old Beverly Herrera, his mother […]

    Tomlinson takes case against Belize to CCJ
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has reserved its decision in the case case of Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican homosexual activist, who is suing Belize and Trinidad and Tobago over his right to free movement. Tomlinson, who contends that his right to free movement […]

    GOB needs better planning when spending says tried parties
    The political third parties, People’s National Party (PNP) and Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), are binded by their perception that the 2015 national budget reveals a lack of planning on the part of the Government of Belize. PNP leader Will Maheia said this week […]

    New budget borrowing puts burden on tax payers
    The business community has voiced a number of fiscal concerns, following the budget reading by Prime Minister Barrow last week. Areas of major concern is government’s continued borrowing, and the sustainability of the national debt, which ultimately affects the citizens of our country, said […]

    Editorial
    The story of Watergate is the story of a secret conspiracy at the highest level of the White House to spy on the inner deliberations of the Democratic Party. It was the best-guarded secret of the United States until the free press broke the story and exposed the conspiracy. President […]

    Lands Department uncovers fraudulent land sales
    Over a dozen fraudulent, private land transactions have been unearthed country wide by the Ministry of Natural Resources and handed over to the Belize Police Department for investigation. According to officials at the Ministry of Lands, the suspected ring of con artists, used fraudulent land […]

    PUP says Francis Fonseca will NOT be challenged
    Following a five-hour National Executive meeting at PUP headquarters on Wednesday, PUP National Campaign Manager, Godfrey Smith announced that Francis Fonseca had been unanimously endorsed as Party Leader, safe from any challenge. According to Smith, the Executive, Parliamentary Caucus and Standard Bearers present, 38 of them, all support Fonseca’s continued […]

    Belize’s Nestor Mendez is elected OAS’ new Assistant Secretary General
    For the first time in history a Belizean has been elected to serve in a high-ranking position of the Organization of American States (OAS), with this Wednesday’s election of Ambassador to the United States, Nestor Mendez as the Assistant Secretary General. Mendez, described by […]

    PUP makes submission in PetroCaribe challenge
    Attorneys for the People’s United Party (PUP), this week, made their formal submissions at the Supreme Court in the case brought forth by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Julius Espat. According to Espat, they made their submission and presented the grounds on which they […]

    The Belize Times

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Akeem Thurton appeals murder conviction
    Justices Samuel Awich, Dennis Morrison and Christopher Blackman have reserved judgment until next Friday, March 27, on the case of 23 year old Akeem Thurton, convicted in March of 2012 in the first ever trial of a murder charge heard by a judge alone – in this case […]

    Fines and jail time over stolen jewelry
    Samuel Holiday, Godfrey Myvett and John Leslie were accused of burglarizing the home of Zoila Swazo in Lords’ Bank, Belize District on May 29, 2012, taking household items and an assortment of jewelry. Police recovered items from several residences including those of Holiday, Ava Pugh, Myvett and Myvett’s […]

    Businessman charged for uncustomed goods
    He bought assorted vegetables from Mexico, but 35 year old Henry Diaz will pay dearly after it was found that no customs duty was paid for them. Diaz pleaded guilty to the charge of having goods for which no custom duty was paid and was fined three times […]

    Kidnappers allegedly after stolen weed
    Two Belize City men are accused of kidnapping another man because they believe he had stolen their stash of marijuana. 41 year old Amir Reid and 24 year old Alexander Lopez were read charges to be tried on indictment of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping before Chief […]

    High school teacher walks from sex charges
    A Belize City high school teacher was freed of charges of sexual assault, harm and using threatening words against an 18 year old student after the complainant asked to withdraw the charges in court. Herman Lambey was accused of touching the girl’s private area, causing further harm to […]

    Hit-and-Run incident leaves primary school girl hospitalized
    Juan and Dora Gonzalez, parents of Jamilette Gonzalez, who is a student at Raymond Sheppard Primary School in Roaring Creek are asking the public’s assistance in identifying the motorcyclist responsible for the condition of their child. According to the Mr. Gonzalez his daughter was hit on March […]

    Blogs

    Blue Water Grill in San Pedro, Belize is Way More Than Just A Great Restaurant
    There are so many great restaurant on Ambergris Caye, often it’s hard to choose. But almost everyone who visits San Pedro, eats at least one meal at beachfront Blue Water Grill. And it’s not just visitors…during the busier months (December thru April), tables for the super popular Sushi Tuesdays and Thursdays are filled with local residents- reservations are often a must. If such a thing exists in Belize? It is the place to see and be seen. It is BY FAR the best sushi in town. They do tasty specials, classic rolls, sashimi, GORGEOUS SALADS (you must try the Ahi Poke Salad…it’s one of the best eats on the island) as well as their regular menu. Which is pretty damn good. Great pizza, seafood, something for everyone.

    “Reunited” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
    Remember Sam’s Hardware in Pescador Drive (middle street). No. Well it used to look like this. And now this. I’m told that retail units are going up, probably with apartments above. And then there’s the sixteen room, new hotel, Park Place, going up in Boca Del Rio. which I understand could be operational by July. And then there’s the new supermarket going up near Annie’s Pastries. And the huge extension above Save On. Just around the corner – opposite Tropic Air’s Arrivals- an extensive refurbishment and extension is being undertaken.

    The Beautiful Bugs Of Belize
    A BBC “earth” special shows another beautiful bit of Belize A BBC “Earth” feature reveals another fascinating part of Belize many of us miss. We all know that Belize has insects, lots of them, but it took photographer Thomas Shahan’s stunning work to remind us just how beautiful this other aspect of Mother Nature’s handiwork can be. Beginning with the rather innocuous statement that; “Most tourists visit the country for the clear tropical waters off the coast, but inland Belize includes deep jungle habitats with incredible biodiversity and an enormous amount of arthropod life.” The BBC feature goes on to blow our minds with some of the most extraordinary images of insect life you’re liable to see anywhere. But don’t take our word for it – go to BBC’s “The Beautiful Bugs of Belize” at and be prepared to be amazed.

    12 mile drive north Ambergris Caye
    As promised on tacogirl.com facebook page (before I was swept away with our first SPBRC volunteer group) here are the North Ambergris Caye Sargasso highway pics. This was one of the craziest stretches of road we were on, the other was the super narrow beach way. We also hit many stinky areas depending on what state of decay and how much Sargasso was there. The island has had record highs for Sargasso this year and there is still more floating at sea. I did not have to look very hard for it on a recent flight to Belize City. On our North Ambergris Caye drive, I would say easily 90% of the beach road that we drove on had vast quantities of Sargasso blanketing the shore line. I know two different people that have been suffering from the effects of Sargasso allergies and more so it is the hydrogen sulfide causing reactions such as nausea and super itchy eyes, especially the eyelid skin … very much like eczema on the eyelids. To learn more read the following article - Seaweed emits poisonous hydrogen sulfide.

    An Anniversary in San Pedro - Our First!
    As I mentioned in my previous post, South of Town – “The Mosquito Coast”, we held our wedding ceremony in San Pedro last year. As luck would have it, our move to Ambergris Caye allowed us to celebrate our first anniversary in the same beautiful surroundings where we “tied the knot”. We ditched our visiting guests for the day and headed 3.5 miles north of town to Coco Beach Resort. Having heard wonderful things about this place, we were both very excited to see what all the hubbub was about. Upon arrival we were pleasantly surprised! This place is absolutely GORGEOUS! (I do believe that these folks are enjoying their vacation.) And by “GORGEOUS”, I mean that the outdoor spaces and pool areas This is just my opinion, folks. Because we have never been able to afford to stay here, we were pleased as punch (rum punch?) with the staff’s welcoming invitation to enjoy some lunch and relaxing pool time.

    8 Astonishing Photos of Belize Beaches
    Belize boasts of 240 miles of coastlines and 450 islands making it a top Central America beach destination. Here are 8 astonishing photos of Belize beaches that will inspire you to visit this jewel!

    International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
    United States Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, March 2015. Belize is not a major regional financial center; however, it has a substantial offshore financial sector. The Government of Belize continues to encourage the growth of offshore financial activities that are vulnerable to money laundering, including offshore banks, insurance companies, trust service providers, mutual fund companies, and international business companies. The Belizean dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar, and Belizean banks continue to offer financial and corporate services to nonresidents in the offshore financial sector. Belizean officials suspect there is money laundering activity in their two free trade zones, known as commercial free zones (CFZs). The larger of the two, the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, is located on the border with Mexico. The smaller CFZ, the Benque Viejo Free Zone, is located on the western border with Guatemala. The Corozal CFZ was designed to attract Mexican citizens for duty free shopping; Belizean authorities believe it is heavily involved in trade-based money laundering and the illicit importation of duty free products. Belize is a transshipment point for marijuana and cocaine. There are strong indications that laundered proceeds are increasingly related to organized criminal groups involved in the trafficking of illegal narcotics, psychotropic substances, and chemical precursors.

    International Sourcesizz

    ATM on Amazing Cave List
    Actun Tunichil Muknal is - of course! - on Green Globe Travel's top 10 amazing caves list. See pictures of ATM and Handprint Cave from a few months ago here. "Through tropical rainforest, multiple streams and several different chambers, the 45-minute hike from the cave entrance will have you swimming, climbing and exploring along the way. The ATM cave is 5 km deep: The deeper into it you trek, the more recent the Mayan activities were, and the more ceramics and pottery of all sizes to be found. Note that the inner chambers will require you to take off your shoes so as to not damage the priceless artifacts, and no cameras are allowed."

    9th Annual NRM Symposium
    The Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation is teaming up with UB, to have this year's NRM Symposium. It's next Wednesday at the George Price Center. The theme this year is 'Balancing ecological and social systems for sustainable trans-boundary resource management.' "The count down to the annual Natural Resource Management (NRM) symposium is on... This year we have attracted a team from Duke University's Nicholas School of Environment who will be presenting on Blue Carbon. You don't want to miss this one. Talented professional, researchers and works from across Belize and abroad."

    Exciting news for students interested in studying in the U.S.!
    Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have partnered with California Community Colleges to help ease the transition from a two year university to a four year. Unclear on the difference between a community college and a four year university? Let us explain - in the United States, community colleges, sometimes called junior colleges, technical colleges, two-year colleges, or city colleges, are primarily two-year public institutions providing higher education and lower-level tertiary education, granting certificates, diplomas, and associate's degrees. Many also offer continuing and adult education. After graduating from a community college, some students transfer to a four-year liberal arts college or university for two to three years to complete a bachelor's degree. So what is an HBCU anyway? Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the black community.Historically, they admitted students of all races and in recent years some have lost their black majorities. There are 106 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, including public and private institutions, community and four-year institutions, medical and law schools

    Missionaries believed Belize trip went well
    A Moline missionary group are big Belize believers. "You better Belize it," said the Rev. Roger Hungerford, pastor of All Saints Episcopal Church, borrowing a national motto used there. Rev. Hungerford, along with his wife, Liz Hungerford, and eight other All Saints members spent Jan. 18 to 25 in Belize, working at Holy Cross Anglican School in San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye. They took 12 large suitcases filled with school and medical supplies, as well as clothes and shoes for school kids. The suitcases were left for people there to use. And it wasn't just a day at the beach for team members. They worked at least eight hours per day with 25 students ages 7 to 9, and did a variety of painting and odd jobs.

    CONCACAF minnows start up-stream
    The lowest-ranked teams in the CONCACAF zone, take their first steps on the road to Russia 2018 next week. The 14 lowest ranked teams in the zone meet in seven two-legged ties to determine who moves into the next round. The names may be unfamiliar, but the action is sure to be intense in this winner-take-all frenzy. For seven of the sides, these first steps toward Russia will also be their last. Belize are the team to watch in the early rounds of CONCACAF action. The Central Americans have been on the up of late and qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2013. They will be heavy favourites to get a result at home against the Cayman Islands.

    Hearings conclude over homosexual travel ban in Caribbean
    LGBTI rights activist Maurice Tomlinson provides this report on the final day of hearings at the Caribbean Court of Justice in connection with his case challenging the ban against gays entering Belize and Trinidad & Tobago. Wednesday, March 18, was the final day of the case before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) challenging the laws that ban gays from entering Belize and Trinidad & Tobago. On the previous day, my lawyer presented my case, which in sum is that these laws, among other things, violate my rights to dignity, freedom of movement, and non-discrimination in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Wednesday, March 18, was the final day of the case before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) challenging the laws that ban gays from entering Belize and Trinidad & Tobago. On the previous day, my lawyer presented my case, which in sum is that these laws, among other things, violate my rights to dignity, freedom of movement, and non-discrimination in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

    Tourism Policy and Sustainability in the Caribbean Region
    Regional policies with respect to Tourism development initially arose as a response to threats to tourism sustainability, which began to appear in the 1970’s as a result of the rapid global expansion of mass tourism. In the Caribbean, these challenges manifested in the environmental and socio-cultural spheres, and were exacerbated by the region’s high level of vulnerability, often due to the risk of natural disasters, limited natural and human resources, fragile domestic markets and a high level of trade dependency, which created additional pressures to maintain the sustainability element in the region’s tourism practices. Today, a number of tourism policies, specific to individual countries have been developed over the years to varying degrees of success: Barbados, Dominica, Belize, Costa-Rica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago are among the countries, who, after consultation with numerous Ministries, Boards and relevant Regional and International Agencies have established sustainable tourism policies of their own.

    Underground electrical lines could be solution to weather related power outages
    I was in charge of building a $25 million resort in Central America, Belize, on the southern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula called “Casa Caribe” six miles north of San Pedro, a town carved from a jungle with coconut trees planted in rows. My project depended on a generator system to supply electricity to our various tools and the resort, but as the generator became too small for our needs we contracted with the town of San Pedro to get permanent electrical lines. Another resort two miles south of us called “Journey’s End” already had underground power lines. They wouldn’t let our resort string overhead power lines through their property, so we had to go underground; and then we kept it underground all the way to the resort. It was more expensive but paid for itself in no time.

    Beware! You Can Sink Into The Earth
    “Sink holes” appear due to geological changes. This series continues on Earth billions of years and will continue forever. Sometimes these changes occur very slowly that a normal human being is unable to visualize such change for instance increase or decrease in the mass of a mountain. But few changes are so abrupt that human eye cannot only observe it but also feel it as well. Sometimes such changes bring terror. Pit holes are the result of the underground erosion. A large sink hole usually takes more time. Sometimes such holes keep forming for centuries, whereas small sink hole appears rapidly on the surface. Great Blyuhul, Belize: This pit is located near the coast of Belize in Central America. Because the depth of the sea water around the pit is a smaller in amount so the color of the water is light blue, while the pit being more deep water is dark blue. Due to the width and color of the hole it is named as a “Great Blue Hole”. The width of the pit is 984 feet and depth is 407 feet. According to geologists, the pit is half million years old.

    Best ecotourism destinations
    One reason for the popularity of ecotourism is that travelers are now seeking unique experiences. “If you want to do something great, you’ve got to give people something they won’t forget,” he said. A study on ecotourism in Belize in Central America reported that it drew 800,000 tourists from cruise ships that paid an average of $20 to $30. In contrast, the 30,000 tourists who stayed on land spent a more significant amount. “The ecotourists spend more money because they stay at the lodgings and stay longer,” said Mehta.

    Videos

  • Belize 2015, 10min. This was our second port on our Norwegian cruise in Feb 2015. We visited the Lamania Ruins in Belize.

  • Encounter with Eagle Ray, South Water Caye, Belize, 3min.

  • Snorkeling at Caye Caulker, Belize with E-Z Boys Tours, 3min. On a one day excursion in Belize on a cruise, we took a water taxi to the island of Caye Caulker and snorkeled at two coral reefs and shark ray alley. This is the first reef...

  • The Beauty Club in San Pedro, 1.5min. by Betty Salazar

  • 2015 03 09b Caves Branch - Belize Zoo, 21min. Exploring the Belize Zoo. 3/9/15.

  • Diving off Caye Caulker in Belize, 5min. Blue Hole, Half moon Caye wall, the aquarium and Turneffe Atoll dive sites in Belize.

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


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