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April 24, 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

Prepare for the National Agriculture & Trade Show 2015!
The ‘Agric’ Show is coming soon (May 1st – 3rd) and well, the excitement builds as Belizeans anticipate the overload of produce, livestock, FLOWERS (our favorite thing) and food/drink/music that will be available over the 3-day weekend. Click here to read about Dennis’ experience a couple years back. We’ll be swinging by to check out the wares this year for sure…and as such, are planning ahead. As someone from the Cayo District who appreciates the cool sea breeze during these hot months, I also realize that inland will be HOT!!!

Police detain local business man with $177,283.BZ
On Tuesday, April 7th San Pedro Police carried out a search in the home of 59-year-old American businessman, Scott Harnish. Harnish is the owner of the well-established island business, Palapa Bar. According to police, the search was a request on behalf of the Belize Customs Department. While the search did not lead to the discovery of any goods that would violate the Customs Laws and Regulations, police did find a large amount of cash. Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, stated that at 12PM, police visited the home of Harnish in the Tres Cocos Area in North Ambergris Caye. Nothing illegal was found in the home, but police were alarmed at the discovery of $177,283.BZ stored away in a bucket. As such police detained Harnish and his wife, and took them to the San Pedro Police Station where they were questioned on the origin of the cash. The money amounted to $22,505 in Belizean currency and $77,389 in US currency. After preliminary investigation, police handed the cash over to the Financial Investigation Unit and Harnish and his wife were released on Wednesday, April 8th. Since the incident, police can confirm that there are no illegalities with the money and the money was said to be family savings. The San Pedro Sun contacted Harnish for a statement regarding the incident. Harnish indicated that his attorney is currently working on a statement that will be made available to The Sun at a later time.

Ambergris Today

Ninel Pacheco wins SFXCU first ever quiz contest on the island
Ninel Pacheco of San Pedro Roman Catholic School is the winner of the first ever Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union quiz contest held on Ambergris Caye. The competition took place on Thursday April 16th at the San Pedro Lions Den, where four students represented various schools on the island. Participants included Pacheco, along with Caroline Sersland of Isla Bonita Elementary School, Karina Moreya of Holy Cross Anglican School and Chelsey Valdez of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School. Prior to the contests, students were given a list of questions with answers to study. Questions were related to the credit union movement in Belize, the region and the world. It also included information about the Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union and other credit unions in Belize. All the students were given prizes and certificates of participation, meanwhile all schools were awarded with cash prizes. Pacheco will now move on to represent the island in the national competition that will be hosted by Belize Credit Union League next month. Congratulations Ninel Pacheco and good luck at the national competition!

Puerto Azul Luxury Resort in limbo
The proposed development of the Puerto Azul luxury resort on the Lighthouse Reef Atoll got a lot of media attention when its promoters hosted two Belize government ministers for a gala reception at the Cannes Film Festival on the French Rivera last May, but all is not well with the project, neither financially nor environmentally, says property owner John Mills. As Mills explained at a press conference at the Radisson Fort George Hotel last Thursday, April 16th, the developers have not yet purchased the property, in which he has US$3 Million investment, and as far as he knew, an Environmental Impact Assessment has not been prepared nor approved for the project. Mills said he had fallen in love with Lighthouse Reef since he came to Belize 10 years ago and he invested over US$3 Million in Northern Caye Resort to keep it operating when Scotiabank threatened foreclosure in 2006, purchasing the mortgage and keeping the resort open. He said the Puerto Azul developers had signed an agreement to purchase the Caye in March 2013, and he was to receive the first payment on March 2014, and a second payment was due on March 2015, but Mills said he still has not received any payment towards the purchase. So the Puerto Azul developers cannot claim to own the property, since they have not closed the sale.Puerto Azul-3

One Year down, a lifetime to go!
On April 23rd, 2014, I walked into my first CrossFit session with Coach Liliana Nuñez. I had no idea what I was doing, and the sight of the weights and barbells, the sounds of grunting and heavy breathing coming from sweaty members of CrossFit CFS added to my trepidation. It was 7AM, and I was the only one taking that class on that day. Liliana smiled and encouraged me to try a few warm up moves, then proceeded to oh-so-gently walk me through what I needed to do for the next 17 minutes. Yep, my first workout lasted 17 minutes; and I was gasping like a fish on land, feeling every single minute!! But I was also relieved that I did not give up, and thanks to Coach Lil’s neverending encouragement, I kept coming back every morning for the rest of the month. It was also Liliana’s gentle push that saw me pick up the barbell, then add weight to it, then squat with it on my back. By now, I’d moved to evening classes to suit my schedule better, and I eyed those who were lifting heavy with both admiration and jealousy. I wanted to do that too. And so Coach Rene Reyes Jr. suggested I try a few lifts. In no time, I’d found my real love: heavy lifting.

Shrimp Farming Industry Grows as Belize Shrimp Growers Achieve ASC Certification
Five shrimp farms under the Belize Shrimp Grower’s Association have been awarded Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification as responsible and well-managed farms. Alvin Henderson, a member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, describes Belize as a country of rich biodiversity with a stretch of mangrove belt along the coast that acts as a natural filtration system. “The journey towards ASC certification has helped to highlight areas of our operations where we can make meaningful change with minimal financial resources. Sometimes all that is really required is a change of perspective,” Henderson said.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

"Village Life in San Pedro" Photo Exhibition
Join us for the opening of the photo exhibition featuring photos of Kay Scott when San Pedro was a small fishing village. Thursday, April 30at 7:00pm. San Pedro House of Culture, Angel Coral Street, San Pedro, Belize

Neon Party Comes to Benque
Benque will have their first Neon Paint party this Saturday! It'll be at the Picadilly Lounge. The No Fear DJ's will be mixing it up once again. "Two days to go!! No Fear Promotions - Rehab Tour Kick Off!! Tickets available now at Picadilly Lounge and Bar, you can inbox us, or call/text 634-3830/ 803-3066 .... Be prepared..... Early attendance suggested as always...... We will go until sun come up!! 5:00 A.M."

MPR Earth Day Cleanup
A huge thanks to everyone that helped with the Mountain Pine Ridge cleanup in honor of Earth Day. Looks like they collected tons of trash. Go Green...and don't freaking litter! "Happy Earth Day Everyone!! Mariposa Jungle Lodge proudly joins our industry partners in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve as 3 of our team members of the Go Green team embarked on a rigorous clean up campaign this morning. Our designated portion is from the Seven Miles Junction to the Junction of Hidden Valley Inn. Together we can raise more awareness and make a daily difference."

Cayo Celebrates Earth Day
The Belize Forestry Department celebrated Earth Day with the signing of an MoU, the planting of a mahogany tree, and the inaugurating of their nursery. "San Ignacio Celebrating Earth Day 2015. It's our turn to lead indeed. Signing of MOUs with Rehab facilities! Joining the 1 billion acts of green by planting our very own Mahogany tree in our compound and also inaugurating our Nursery.." Guanacaste National Park had a similar celebration, and were joined by the Belize Audubon Society, which got some great pictures too.

Cleanup near Xunantunich
Last weekend as part of the Belize Youth Leadership Initiative, the U.S. Embassy joined forces with the FCD Environmental Youth Group, State Alumni Exchange Program Leaders, and other volunteers from the area to clean up the river bank near Xuinantunich Archeological Ruins. The clean up effort was the first step to clear the land for the eventual installation of a greenhouse in the area by the FCD Youth Group to help benefit and educate the local community.

OCEANA and Earth Day
As part of Earth Day activities held across Belize, today Oceana participated in the University of Belize's annual Earth Day fair. The event was held under the theme "10 Shades of Green--Implanting Awareness". It's our turn to lead!

Operators ink MoU to create first IXP in Belize
Telecoms operators in Belize have signed a Memorandum of Understunding (MoU) to create the country's first local internet exchange point (IXP), Trinidad Guardian reports. Participating companies include Alliance IP, Belize Telemedia, BroadBand Belize, Centaur Communications Corporation, Network Solutions, NetKing Solutions and Speednet. IXPs in the Caribbean are located in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, St Maarten, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic.

Last day permit
Daniel, my guide for the week at Turneffe Flats in Belize didn’t say it, but it was written all over his face. By all rights, he should have been disgusted. Getting two chances at the same permit or group of permit can be rare. Getting a dozen or possibly even more is unheard of. Permit shots don’t come often, and I was giving them away like they were kittens. Had Daniel been angry, it would have been understandable. Well earned, even. And like an adolescent boy being rebuked by his parents, I would have taken it in stride, recycled it with a mixture of my own frustration and returned the sentiment. But this was worse. After a week of hard work during which Daniel delivered on everything I had asked for, when it came time for me to deliver on the permit we’d been in search of for five days, I was letting him down. Repeatedly. It is likely fair to say that permit, much like steelhead, are earned rather than simply caught. Both involve long, searching days on the water, hoping for an encounter but -- more often than not -- failing to spark one. When a shot at a permit does come, you don’t waste it. Not ever. Guides know this better than most anyone else and this knowledge generally comes through in their behavior. There’s more than a heightened sense of urgency when permit are about. When that black sickle tail comes into view, everyone gets down to business. Casual conversation and cavalier attitudes are pushed aside.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, April 23, 2015: 35. FANTASY 5: 37 19 39 3 7 A

FCD Environmental Youth Group
FCD was represented by the FCD Environmental Youth Group at the University of Belize campus yesterday where exhibits and information were shared on the occasion of Earthday. Thanks to all those who expressed interest on our work.

Channel 7

Body Found Floating Near Usher Estate
Ladyville police found a body this evening floating in the sea near mile five on the Phillip Goldson highway - which is near to the Usher Estate. The neighbors called police around 4:15 pm saying that a body was visible form their pier. Police fished the body out of the water - and removed it from the area around 5:30. They took it to a remote location for a post mortem. It was in an advanced state of decomposition - and at this time, police can only say that it is an unidentified male. They could not give any physical characteristics such as approximate age or ethnicity. No identification documents were found and police say they have no active missing person's reports. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

Customs Makes Very Major Bust
There was a huge contraband bust this evening in northern Belize - and the Customs Department had to mobilize a huge operation just to get the stuff out of there. The bust was made in the Rio Hondo River - 12 miles behind August Pine Ridge - where a team of four customs officers saw five dories coming across a canal connected to the Rio Hondo laden with a huge, almost unbelievable load. We're talking about fifty sacks of onions, 40 cases of beers and various other goods. The dories also had engines, and two of the dorey operators threw their cargo overboard, while three others jumped out of their dories and swam away - leaving customs to collect the dories and the huge amount of contraband. How much was it? Well, what started as a four-man operation with only customs turned into a 40 man operation with police and BDF added in. They had to call for backup because the contraband crew had set up improvised roadblocks to take back the goods from the customs officers when they were on their way out! When they did roll out, the goods had to be spread across eight vehicles, including 2 BDF four ton trucks, which were full, a police F-150 truck and four Customs vehicles. They also had to load the very large dories into the trucks. No one was arrested and twenty minutes ago, the goods reached the customs house in Orange Walk. An initial assessment says that the loss to the smugglers - including the engine powered dories is as much as fifty thousand dollars.

Career Criminal Frank Castro, Victim of A Cold Killing In PG
In the mid to late 1990's, the name Frank Castro was notorious; at the time police said he was a criminal terrorizing the countryside with the brothers, Julian Bush, and Greg Casildo. Since then he served 20 years in jail, and had returned to live in Indianville Punta Gorda. But tonight, the news is that the 38 year old was killed in Punta Gorda Town. In an act which resembles the Belize city-style gang violence, he was gunned down at around 7:30 last night as he left a Chinese shop on Corozal Street. The Officer Commanding Punta Gorda Police explained via telephone what information they have so far: Supt. Simeon Alvarez, OC - Punta Gorda Town "Sometime around 7:40pm last night, the police received an information of gunshot being fired in the Corozal Street area, in the Indianville part of Punta Gorda Town. As a result of that they responded to the area and the information was that the person was already been taken to the Punta Gorda Hospital. The police then visited the hospital where they saw the lifeless body of Frank Castro, 38 years old, a resident of Punta Gorda Town with several gunshots wounds to the upper of the body on the left side of the body.

City Fire Burns Family Out
A house on Patridge Street Extension, which was being rented by to Edith Valentine and her family, was completely gutted by an unexpected blaze this afternoon. So, tonight, the family is homeless and relying on the kindness of friends and family.??It happened just after 1:30 this afternoon when the bedroom of the house caught fire and quickly spread. The Fire Department was called in, but by the time they arrived, there was not much they could do to save it. 7 News was there shortly after the fire fighters managed to get the situation under control, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting At a glance, this elevated house on stilts looked to be structurally stable, but closer observation revealed scorch marks all around, especially near the ceiling. No one knows how the house caught fire, but minutes later, the entire structure was engulfed in flames. Residents living nearby caught this view of their neighbor's home and all her possessions going up in smoke. Edith Valentine's mom was emotional for her daughter, knowing very well the value of what they lost, and the difficulties which now lie ahead. Valentine herself managed to put on a brave face.

British Couple Bought Beachfront, Ended Up Facing Someone's Back Yard
Seafront property - whether on an island or the mainland, it's the most precious and valuable land anywhere in the world - and Belize is no different. But, there's only so much of it - and as Will Rogers said, "God isn't making any more." So the pressure to get the very few parcels that are out there is intense - and now that urgency to own sea frontage has pushed land dealers to a new level: they got government sanctioned on the beach reserve and in the seabed - right in front of folks who thought they had sea front property. It happened on Northern Caye Caulker to as many as 25 landowners - and we met three of them today at the Glenn Godfrey law firm. They explained how their retirement dream went to ruin:.. Sydney Higgins, UK Retiree Robbed of Beachfront "How could it happen?" Jules Vasquez reporting That's what Sydney and Anna Higgins keep asking themselves as they look wistfully the picture of the beachfront view had planned to spend their retirement gazing upon - but that picture is all they have now because the beachfront is now someone else's private property and so is the seabed!

PUP Leader Hon. Fonseca Says Rt. Hon. Musa Not Going Anywhere
Earlier this week we told you about the discussion in the PUP over whether Said Musa should retire earlier than planned - since his baggage may be affecting the PUP's electability. Musa himself told us that the matter has been raised, but he said he was not treating it with urgency. We know that others in the party do see it as urgent. But don't count Party Leader Francis Fonseca as one of them. Today in San Joaquin, he told CTV-3 that there is no plan to ditch the party's elder statesman:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "In the case of Mr. Musa, no such decision has been taken by Mr. Musa or by anybody else in the party at this point." Reporter "So, so far that could be just as a rumor?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Yea, at this point it's just speculation. Mr. Musa, as you know has made it clear that he's getting up in age. He has been thinking about that, whether or not he should run in the next elections, that's no secret he has said that. So I think he has yet to make a final decisions to what he wants, but at the end of the day we will respect whatever decision he makes."

Nasley Sommerville's Attorney Says She Didn't Steal Anything
Last night we told you that former Administrator of the Southern regional hospital Nasley Sommerville had been dismissed by the public service commission. This is more than two years after she was accused of fleecing 367 thousand dollars from the Hospital's maternal health and child care account. But, today her attorney told the media that she will appeal her dismissal:.. Jules Vasquez "The Auditor General wrote a report implicating how directly in the theft of $367,000 - 193 bogus cheques. Does she deny this?" Andrew Bennett, Attorney - Nasley Sommerville "She did deny it and she maintains her innocence still. That is the reason why we are appealing the decision. And as it relates to the Auditor General's report, they never did say as a matter of fact that she did anything. This Auditor General's report established that there was some fraud committed on the public funds. But as it relates to implicating Nasley, that was our position throughout this hearing, that there need to have been more. We will be challenging the reasons to say that they are unreasonable not supported by any of the evidence. And as a matter of fact that the commission misdirected themselves, because they did not place any weight on some of the documents that Nasley submitted."

Fines For Out of Season Lobster Fishers
Two weeks ago, we told you how the Fisheries Department caught 45 year-old Kirk Barrow and 18 year-old Jim Ramirez, two fishermen well known to the department for breaking the fisheries laws. They were intercepted on April 10 off Caye Chapel with a small portion of out-of-season lobster. They threw the majority of their catch overboard. Well tonight, they are facing fines after being taken to Magistrate's Court. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Herbert Panton for fisheries offences, and they decided to plead guilty to all counts. The authorities charged them with engaging in commercial fishing without a valid licenses, using a vessel for commercial fishing without a valid boat license, and possession of 3 out-of-season lobsters. They were fined a total of $700 dollars for all the charges, and if they default of payment, they will serve 6 months in jail.

Caught With Two Keys
Tonight, 2 auto mechanics, 20 year-old Emmeth Rhaburn and 31 year-old Alfredo Singh, continue to face a drug trafficking charges after the GSU busted them with almost 2 kilos of marijuana. It happened yesterday when the GSU went to Brian's Mechanic Shop. The officers searched the entire compound and ended up finding 1.7 kilograms the weed in black plastic bag that was under a step. Both men were then arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Singh was then searched, and he was additionally busted with 17 grams - or half an ounce of - marijuana in his pocket, and so he was charged with drug possession. They were arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Ladonna John, where they both pleaded not guilty to that offence. They were granted bail of $4,000, and their case was adjourned until June 4. For the drug possession charge, Singh pleaded guilty and was fined $500 to be paid by June 30, or else he will spend 6 months in jail.

Accused of Arson, Troublesome 13 Year Old Girl Runs Away From Home
A month ago, we told you how 18 year-old Erlene Baizar was charged along with 2 female minors, a 12 year-old and a 13 year-old, with the offence of arson for the fire which destroyed the Youth Hostel's female dormitory. Well, the 13 year-old has violated the terms of her bail, and tonight she is back in custody. Yesterday, the child's mother and other relatives were summoned to court because they were the ones who signed for her bail. The sitting magistrate informed the family that one of the conditions of the child's bail was that she was to remain in the care of her family, but she broke it when she ran away from home and went missing for 12 days. Because of this, the bail was confiscated, and the child was remanded into custody until further notice. Information to court reporters is that the child was found staying at a man's house. The authorities may investigate him to see if any criminal charges can be brought against him.

How Much Customs Caught In 3 "Cayucos"
At the top of the news, we told you about the major customs bust in Northern Belize. It took two BDF four ton trucks, a police F-150 truck and four Customs vehicles to get all the contraband goods out of a river crossing 12 miles behind August Pine Ridge. Those trucks pulled into the customs house in Orange Walk about an hour ago, and right now we have the full rundown. They got 52 sacks of onion, 25 cases soft drink , 20 sacks of lime ,15 cases pears, 15 crates of mango, 30 cases raisin, 15 cases lettuce, 5sacks cabbage, 5 cases tomatoes, 25 cases of beer, 3 sacks of carrots, 15 sacks of flour, and 2 sacks of potatoes. Incredibly all this was loaded unto to just three dories! The other two dories were also loaded - but they their their goods into the river. So, customs also got three heavy duty dories, and a 25 horsepower engine.

Post Mortem on Body Inconclusive
Police have concluded the post mortem on a body that was found floating in the sea near mile five on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Due to the advanced state of decomposition, the post mortem was inconclusive so no cause of death was determined. But, police observed no sign of violence on the body so foul play is not suspected. Still, it is an unidentified person and due to the state of decomposition, police could only say that it is a male, but they could not determine ethnicity. The body was seen floating near the Usher estate around 4:15 and it was removed at 5:40.

Cops Not Playing With Constable Casimiro
On Wednesday, we told you about police constable 1093 Cyril Casimiro - accused of the rape of a 10 year old girl. Well, the 35 year old who has been in the department for over 10 years was charged for rape and wounding and remanded to prison. The head of the Corozal formation told our colleagues at CTV-3 that they dealt with the matter swiftly: Supt. Andrew Ramirez, O/C Corozal "He was remanded into custody. He was also interdicted from duty. The Commissioner of Police was very swift in relation to that aspect. Again, the Professional Standard Branch, Mr. Leal, Assistant Commissioner and his team had visited the family to ensure they are given the necessary assurances. Because this is not one that we want to put under the rug or shield anybody."

OCEANA Wants Draft Petroleum Exploration Guidelines To Stay In Spotlight
The Draft Petroleum Exploration and Exploration Guidelines are on the discussion table again and Vice President of Oceana says that it should remain in the forefront. This morning Oceana along with other stakeholders held a press conference at the Biltmore to make their position on the draft guidelines publicly clear and also to engage the public. Vice President, Janelle Chanona told us today that these draft guidelines are simply insulting. Janelle Chanona, VP - OCEANA Belize "We walked publicly and then we were called sensationalists for doing so. But clearly we want to emphasize that our reaction was not an emotional one. We make our decision to say there remains a lot of work to be done on these guidelines from a scientific basis, from a legal basis, from an economic basis, from a cultural basis, historical basis. There are so many reasons why we have built such a case against offshore oil and why we continue to say no. There is no apparent effort to balance the risk from potential offshore oil activities to the sea and economy with the benefits that might accrue in the future. In short, the proposed guidelines do not comport with the law or with government's more fundamental obligation to manage our marine resources for the best interest of the Belizean people.

Tablets, PUP Style
The Minister of Education had a big fanfare when he gave out tablets to University students a month ago. Well this afternoon, at the Hattieville Government School the PUP had their own tablet giaveway. It was an event of vastly different scale, but the idea is sound: technology is supposed to enhance the educational experience. The way that will be accomplished is by allowing the teachers access to a library of books on one portable device, instead of lugging around weighty texts books. After the handing over ceremony, we spoke to the PUP representative about the origin of this donation, and we also asked the teachers about how the tablets will be put to use: Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Area Rep., Belize Rural Central "Hattieville Government School is near and dear to my heart. And a kind donor who preferred to remain anonymous, donated 14 very good top quality tablets and I said to myself well how can we maximize this for Hattieville Government School. So naturally you're aware of the People's United Party position in relation for the use of technology for education.

DROWNING IN CAYE CAULKER
On 21.04.15 at 3:00 p.m. Caye Caulker Police responded to a drowning incident and visited the Caye Caulker Health Centre where they saw 65-year-old retired American John Carle lying unconscious. Initial investigation revealed that at 2:50 p.m. 45-year-old Jonathan Carle saw his father struggling in the sea and went to his aid and pulled him out. He was rushed to the Caye Caulker Health Centre where he passed away while undergoing treatment and was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m. The body was later transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital Morgue where it awaits a postmortem examination.

Channel 5

Career Criminal Gunned Down in PG
Frank Castro…it’s the name that sparked terror in the nineteen nineties and early two thousand. The notorious street figure was a known ring leader in serious felonies, including the murder [...]

Decomposed Body Found Near Haulover Bridge
News Five has been able to confirm reports that a badly decomposed body was discovered at around four this afternoon between miles five and six on the Phillip Goldson Highway, [...]

Retired English Couple Allegedly Scammed in Land Hustle
A dubious land transaction involving the sale of a beachfront parcel on Caye Caulker has left a retired English couple short of tens of thousands of dollars.  Sydney and Anna [...]

…Says Lands Department Giving Them the Runaround
The Higgins have sought legal advice and despite the efforts of their attorneys, have been given the runaround by the Lands Department.  The uncertainty of how the matter will be [...]

Fire Destroys Belize City Home
A fiery blaze on Partridge Street Extension at around one-thirty this afternoon completely destroyed an upstairs wooden home belonging to Edith Valentine. Nobody was there at the time, and Valentine, [...]

Nasley Somerville Plans to Appeal Dismissal
Former administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital, Nasley Somerville, has been dismissed from the public service after a year of administrative leave.  Somerville was suspended from her post in October [...]

Educators’ Appeal Dismissed by the CCJ
On Wednesday, while all attention was on the outcome of the Maya Land Rights case, the Caribbean Court of Justice also handed down a decision in the case of Juanita [...]

Business Sector Senator Says G.O.B. Lied
Government operatives charged with selling the Petrocaribe Bill 2015 have sought to convince the media that the outcry is much ado about nothing. But tonight the Petrocaribe fire continues to [...]

Mark Lizarraga Demands Details of Petrocaribe Spending
Just in the event that you’re one of the very few who hasn’t been following the Petrocaribe hue and cry, the relevance is this. The government has stated time and [...]

Climate Change Environmental Club Launched
Five Belmopan High schools were the first in the Caribbean to initiate a network of school based environmental clubs with a strong climate change focus. The launch of the network [...]

Independence Residents Claim NCL Project Bypassing their Community
The multi-million dollar Norwegian Cruise Lines tourism port on Harvest Caye is expected to be completed by the end of the year and opened in early 2016. It’s a huge [...]

Environmental Concerns Raised Over Harvest Caye Project
Apart from the social concerns the NCL project raised, there are also some environmental concerns. One, raised just a week ago, is that developers have dumped rocks on top of [...]

Coalition and OCEANA Condemn Offshore Exploration
It is common knowledge that the Belize Barrier Reef is the second longest barrier reef in the world; three of the Caribbean’s four atolls are found in Belizean waters and [...]

OCEANA Says Government Plans Threaten the Industry
But the natural resource has massive economic benefits, which are at risk of being threatened: tourism, the fisheries industry and shoreline. The documents released on January nineteenth, 2015 by the [...]

Environmentalists Claim Communications Deficit
Recently, the Department of Environment, in partnership with three international organizations, hosted an Oil Spill Contingency Workshop that addressed issues such as oil pollution, preparedness, and response and cooperation sensitization [...]

P.U.P. Hands Over Tablets to Hattieville School
Fourteen new tablets were handed over to the Hattieville Government School by the People’s United Party today. But while the gesture was welcomed, it is the information on that portable [...]

Hot Weather Tips for the Elderly in Healthy Living
We don’t know how you’d miss it; but just in case you haven’t noticed, we are currently in the middle of Belize’s dry season. The seasonably hot and humid days [...]

CTV3

Opposition Leader Speaks On Possible Resignation Of Honorable Said Musa
There has been some talk about the possible resignation of former Prime Minister and P.U.P Fort George Area Representative Said Musa from politics. Earlier this week a national news channel reported that the seventy-one year old politician affirmed that while it is something that has been discussed, he had yet to make up his mind. Today we spoke with People’s United Party Leader Francis Fonseca who says that nothing has been decided but that if it should happen, the PUP is confident that the Fort George seat is safe. “We have said very publicly that we are reviewing the entire structure of the party, we made certain changes already to the campaign committee and we are looking at everything how can we make the party more effective, but in the case of Mr. Musa no such decision has been taken by Mr. Musa or by anybody else in the party at this point.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “So far, it could be viewed just as rumor?”

Victim Of Murder In San Victor Still To Be Identified
Another case that Corozal Police have made progress in is the murder case of a Mexican national who was killed in San Victor Village on March first. Authorities believe they are much closer to ascertaining his identity following collaborative work with their Mexican counterparts. “This individual who was known within the village as Sergio Martinez regrettable was buried as a John Doe, fortunately we are getting some head way so to speak and the Mexican Embassy has been in contact with me where they have identified the individual as being Sergio Antonio Martinez Gomez born on June the 7th 1988 of Ejido Arematea Palenque in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, unfortunately the Embassy nor he family has any picture ID of this individual, during our primary investigation the scenes of crime Mr. Romeo Riverol had gotten three items that can be used as future DNA testing so based on that and with the permission given by my police headquarters I have been communicating with the Mexican Embassy in regards of having one of his relative submit themselves to a DNA where if it is match and confirm that it is indeed that person because the wish of the family is basically to have the body cremated and sent back to their home state where the person can be given a proper burial.”

BAPS Holds Annual Convention
The Annual Belize Association of Principal of Secondary Schools conference began today. The conference is being hosted this year in the Corozal District. Day one of the conference was held at the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico School grounds under the theme “The Principal and the Digital generation”. Endevora Jorgensen, Principal at the Corozal Community College told us more about the first day of the conference. Endevora Jorgensen – CCC School Principal “We have two main guest speakers; the first one is Mr. Dwight Gillette from the ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities and then we would also have Mr. David Leacock who is the CEO from the ministry of education and his presentation will be in education and technology, the way forward because the technology is here to stay and we as educators we need to be aware of what it can do, it potential and its use and abuse and how we move with technology.”

Children With Special Needs Learn To Play BOCCE Sport
Today, Special needs students from St. Peters School here in Orange Walk and Mary Hill Primary School in the Corozal District were engaged in a north battle for BOCCE supremacy, an Italian game similar to lawn bowling but played on a shorter, narrower green. Organizers say they are hosting a series of competitions geared at social integration of the children with mental and physical disabilities as well as to bring public attention to the talents and capabilities of the children with special needs. National Director for Special Olympics in Belize, Eloyda Bautista, says the competitions will be taking from North to South of Belize. ELOYDA BAUTISTA – National Director, Special Olympics “We call it bocce and why we have this sport day is because we can involve all other athletes that have severe disability or that are on wheel chairs so then we having a series of competitions from north to south, today is Orange Walk and Corozal and tomorrow id Dangriga and PG and then the following week will be Belmopan and Belize City.”

Festival Of Arts Takes Place in Corozal
Students in the Corozal District are showcasing their artistic side in the annual Festival of Arts. The festival begun yesterday as students of secondary school presented their work. Today, primary schools took to the stage at the Corozal Civic Center. Some twelve schools presented a series of art pieces. Maria Correa is the Coordinator for the Festival of Arts this year. Maria Correa – Coordinator, Festival of Arts “The presentations consist of drama in the drama category, music and dance and this morning we had a very good dance items.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Definitely, some of these presentations will make it to the Golden evening which will be held tomorrow?” Maria Correa – Coordinator, Festival of Arts “We will be having the Festival of Arts Golden evening tomorrow at 2 o’clock here at the civic center; I will be showcasing all the Golden schools that won starting from the Primary and the secondary; however we will be having some good items from the Pre-schools and the Special-eds groups tomorrow.”

Belize Bank To Close Its Doors At CFZ
There is much concern over the reported imminent end to the relationship with the Country’s largest bank, the Belize Bank Ltd and its partner Bank of America. Our colleagues at 7News reported that as of April 30th, the bank will no longer be able to do international banking transactions such as wire transfers to or from the United States. It may seem like some serious implications may occur but according to the report, more than 90 percent of the banks clients will not be affected. Additionally, it is not known if the relationship with Bank of America affected the closure of the Belize Bank Branch in the Corozal Free Zone. We have been reliably informed that at the moment the branch in the Free Zone is the only one closing and returning people’s money. The banks closure will be made official on May 1st of this year. We are told that the staff will be relocated to other branches with staffing needs such as San Pedro and Belmopan. The Free Zone Belize Bank Branch had a total staff of 6. Our attempts to get comment from CEO at the Banks Cooperate Headquarters and comment from the CEO of the Freezone David Ackerman were unsuccessful. We’ll keep pursuing this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

Price Per 100 lbs Cylinder Of LPG Reduces By $2.00
Effective tomorrow, the prices for butane will see a decrease of two dollars, announced the Bureau of Standards today. In the north, the new controlled prices per 100 pound cylinder for LPG imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company from Pemex are as follows: in Corozal the price will go down from 92 to 90 dollars and in Orange Walk Town from 93 to 91 dollars. The controlled price per 100 pound cylinder for LPG imported by Belize Western Energy Limited, Southern Choice Butane, Zeta Gas and Tomza Ltd from Central Central is as follows: in Corozal the price per 100 pound cylinder will go from 90 to 88 dollars and in Orange Walk Town from 91 to 89 dollars. The release ends stating that the current production boom in North America has led to a downward pressure on oil derivatives including LPG. Compared to last year, the butane prices are at an average of 32 dollars lower on the 100 pound cylinders.

Cassanova Soon To Be Charged For The Murder Of Massam
There has been some progress in criminal cases that remain open in the Corozal District. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer In Charge of the Corozal Police Department, says that investigators have been working diligently and there is some good news to report in at least two cases. One of those cases is the murder of twenty-nine year old Mark Massam, of Corozal. Massam was chopped to death on December tenth 2014. Police had reported that about nine fifteen they rushed to College Road where a chopping had been reported. There, officers found a man inflicting chop wounds onto another. The officers state that they tried to stop Carlos Casanova, who was wounding Massam. Casanova refused and officers fired warning shots but Casanova would not desist. Police were forced to shoot Casanova on both legs and knee and moved in to disarm him. By then it was too late for Massam had succumbed to his injuries. Casanova, a resident of Corozal Town remains hospitalized and under police guard, but Superintendent Ramirez says he should be released soon and upon his release he should face charges for the crime.

Lucas & Carrillo Attorney Speaks On Appeals Case
Yesterday we told you about the Caribbean Court of Justice’s decision to dismiss an appeal made back in 2010 by Juanita Lucas and Celia Carrillo two senior principals of the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Corozal. As we reported, the Trinidad-based Court also dismissed arguments that principal Juanita Lucas and vice Principal Celia Carillo, be awarded damages. In dismissing the appeal, the CCJ, the country’s final court, emphasised and we quote “that the suspensions were not to punish the appellants but rather to allow a proper inquiry into the problems at the school”, end quote. The Court noted that the right to work was not a guarantee of continued employment and there was no inference with the appellants’ ability to continue practising their profession. The majority held that there was no breach of the protection of the law or the right to equal protection because the team of persons sent to the school was on a fact-finding inquiry. According to their Attorney Magali Marin Young, even though their suspension was squashed and the investigation was declared unlawful, her clients felt that they had sustained damage to their professional reputation and that the entire process was high handed and unfair. At the CCJ level, the appeal was dismissed at a 3 to 2 split decision. Young says the minority decision revealed that the judges ruled that the appellants’ right to the protection of the law was seriously violated which was stated in section 152 and 156 of the judgment documents. Here is Young’s interpretation of that excerpt…

Officer Accused Of Raping 14 Year Old Placed On Interdiction
Police Constable #1093 Cyril Casimiro appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrates Court on Wednesday to answer to charges for the alleged rape of a fourteen year old girl in Corozal Town. The thirty five year old officer was charged for rape and wounding and today Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation told us that he has also been interdicted. Andrew Ramirez “He was remanded into custody, he was also interdicted from duty, and the Commissioner of Police was very swift in relation to that aspect and again the Professional Standard branch Mr. Leal Assistant Commissioner and his team had visited the family to ensure that they are given the necessary assurances because this is not one that we want to put under the rug or shield anybody as I mentioned to you that what this officer did or any officer her we try to do swift and then place them of discipline matter, discipline charges, the letter with his interdiction I will not wait July 1st until he reappears to get that letter we will be having a prison run very shortly and during that process I will ask one of my senior NCO Sergeant to give him his letter of interdiction.”

PlusTV

VIP attacks structure and objectives of Petrocaribe Act
This morning third party Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) hosted the press in Belize City to discuss a number of topics including and particularly the Petrocaribe Loans Act 2015...

Road Safety Project Plants Mahoganies; Makes it up for Felling Old Tree
Five weeks ago a 75 year old tree at Guanacaste Park Junction, leading into Belmopan, was cut down to make way for a  roundabout, a project under the Belize Road Safety Project. This was despite the impassionate pleas on social media to save the tree...

Internal battle in NTUCB continues
Second vice president of the NTUCB Audrey Matura Shepherd continues to face internal battles with colleagues in the Congress over her public call for the unions to drop Senator Ray Davis...

Historic second Maya Land Rights Case draws to close
This morning final arguments were heard in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for the case of the Maya Leaders Alliance and 23 village leaders and co-leaders of the Toledo District representing 38 Maya villages against the Government of Belize...

University of Belize Celebrated Earth Day
Today is internationally Recognized as World Earth Day. In commemoration with this special occasion the students of the University of Belize for the 9th year held an open day event to raise awareness to keep the earth clean. Today’s event was held under the theme 10 shades of green...

Inter Institutional Sporting Competition
For the third year in a row youth centers in Belize have participated in an annual competition the Inter institutional Sporting Competition where youths compete against one another in sports like high jump and shot pot. Four institutions participated in the series of events that started in November...

Men Shot in Belize City
Gun violence continues to run rampant on the streets of Belize City. The two latest victims: 26 year old Channing Garoy and 29 year old Raymond Bowen, both of a Belize City Address are today hospitalized following a shooting incident that occurred sometime around 8 pm on Monday night...

35 Years Old Police charged for Rape and Wounding
Cyril Casimiro, 35 years Belizean Police Officer attached to the Corozal Police Formation was arraigned today for the crime of rape and wounding of a 14 year old girl...

Auto mechanics charged for marijuana
Two auto mechanics,20 year old Emmeth Rhaburn and 31 year old Alfredo Singh, were charged with drug trafficking for 1.7 kilograms of cannabis when they appeared today before Magistrate Ladonna John. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were each offered a bail of $4,000...

Mexican/Belizean Businessman of Belmopan found with Drugs and Unlicensed Ammunition
On Tuesday April 21sth at about about 3:00pm Corozal Police were conducting mobile patrol in Corozal Town on 7th Avenue when their attention was drawn to a red four door car with Mexican license plate...

The Guardian

Audrey’s “behaviour is out of order” Says NTUCB Past President - Jackie Willoughby Says “Put a leash on her mouth”
“Mrs. Audrey Matura Sheppard I demand an apology for the innuendos you have publicly made against Senator Davis. Your behaviour is out of order…” - Dylan Reneau, Past President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Audrey Matura-Shepherd has quickly become one of the most divisive and destructive personalities in the public domain. Her haphazard activism and bombastic sermons on the evils of every Government initiative have caused her favourability ratings to plummet and her associations to crumble. As President of the Christian Workers Union she has derailed the CBA negotiations with Port of Belize Limited. Waterfront workers are now divided between the anti-Matura faction and the President Matura loyalists. Union members of the Social Security Board are also at odds after Matura-Shepherd halted their transitional increment and delayed a much anticipated salary increase. Matura-Shepherd’s most impressive feat is the destruction of the iconic Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association in the matter of weeks. Her unyielding, uncompromising – in your face- style of negotiating has not benefitted any institution she is involved with and because of her the NTUCB may be the next iconic body to collapse.

Hon. Mark King urges Cordel Hyde to give back community land to the people of Lake I
In reference to the earlier situation in the Lake Independence Area this week, The UDP Lake I committee highly rejects, objects and condemns the PUP former Area Representative Cordel Hyde for privatizing land in the middle of a community oriented area in Lake Independence. This action seeks to destroy the opportunity for Single Parents to be educated at the resource training center, and halts Lake I students from accessing the center for free internet and computer services. It also seeks to damage investment in the community for parks, playgrounds and family/community gatherings as it lays in the middle of the Lake I recreational grounds. The UDP Lake I committee strongly urge the former PUP Area Rep Hyde to give back the land to its legitimate community. UDP Area Representative Mark King remains committed to take Lake I residents out of poverty by educating them and creating the economic investment opportunities and recreational facilities necessary to achieve such objective.

Abuse of any kind against Children is not permitted!
Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. It is testament to our country’s recognition of the importance of caring for our children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. A commitment that obligated our Government to enact laws and policies that creates the enabling environment for children to flourish and reach their full potential. One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the CRC states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. Keeping this in mind, the recent death of 11month old baby Mia is both startling and heartbreaking. According to the media, “Mia Eusebia Lopez died from severe cerebral edema resulting from multiple skull fractures, due to blunt force trauma to the head.” NCFC views these findings troubling and is deeply concerned about the welfare of the other two children in that household; especially since parents are the first line of defense; they are to ensure the safety and protection of their children as well as provide a safe dwelling place. Therefore, NCFC calls on all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and asks that the fullest extent of the law be applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

BAHA attempts to contain Influenza Virus in Poultry
Personnel from the Belize Agriculture Health Authority continued this week to take all measures to contain an outbreak of the Avian Influenza in poultry at chicken farms in Spanish Lookout. The poultry disease, which is caused by a virus, has recently been detected in Buena Vista Village in Cayo and in chicken farms in Spanish Lookout. So far, a third round of testing for the Influenza Virus was conducted just last week for which poultry had to be destroyed. In one of these measures to control the spread of the Influenza Virus, the de-population of some sixty thousand chickens from 15 infected farms has so far been conducted. Four more poultry farms are now on target for the continued de-population. In another all out effort towards the containment of the Influenza Virus, the movement of live chickens are being restricted; with some four checkpoints having so far been established in Spanish Lookout. BAHA officers have this week been actively checking all motorists exiting the Spanish Lookout Community for poultry. It is estimated that poultry producers have so far lost $3000,000.00 in the effort to control the spread of Avian Influenza and for which the destruction of their poultry was necessary.

The YES and NO to communal Land Rights
For the first time since the argument began over the Maya Land rights in the courts there is public opposition to it. Led by Joseph Estephan as chairman of the newly formed National Mopan Maya Council over two hundred residents of the Toledo district made their way to Belize City to publicly state that they were not in agreement with the communal land. Estephan told the Guardian that, "when the matter went to court nobody went into the field to verify what was happening on the ground." "People need to understand the two concepts- there needs to be education," he added. For Estephan who has been canvassing villages across the Toledo district, the issue of communal land rights is one of economics, he stated that, " The whole economy of PG is in decline because nobody can hold title to their land to use as collateral. But we will fight! I understand that there will be polling of villages and we will be there every step of the way!" Candido Chun is the Chairman of San Antonio village, he was out at the Battlefield park, in front of the Supreme Court along with Estephan and shares his views. "We don't want communal land they want land title. Once you have your land documents you can say the land is yours and you can use it as collateral to go to the bank to borrow money for your wife, your children, so you can send them to further their education. The communal land system does not give you that privilege," stated Chun.

Is Puerto Azul Belize for Real?
The billion dollar Puerto Azul project, or idea, is in the news once again. This time an American mortgagee is accusing the Puerto Azul developers of defaulting on a purchase agreement for Northern Two Caye. John Mills held a press conference on April 16, 2015 to voice his concerns over recent reports that the purchase of Northern Two Caye was finalized. Some time ago, Mills bailed out the current owners of the islands, Northern Two Cayes Company Limited and the Lighthouse Reef Resort Limited, by purchasing the mortgage on Lighthouse Reef Resort just before the bank foreclosed upon the property. Therefore, he has a lean on the property and must be paid before any sale can be finalized. Mills says, “Puerto Azul has not closed on the islands. They signed a contract to purchase Northern 2 Cayes in March 2013. The first payment was to be made in March 2014. They did not make that. The second payment was to be made in 2015 and they did not make that.” Puerto Azul says the delay in payment is due to legal procedures. The owners of the property, principals of Northern Two Cayes Company Limited and the Lighthouse Reef Resort Limited, were involved in a civil matter that has now been settled through arbitration. Domenico Giannini, President of Puerto Azul International, responded to John Mills' public comments in a joint release with John M. Black of Lighthouse Reef Resort Limited and Kathy Stuart of Northern Two Company Limited. The release states: “Puerto Azul International Holding Corp. signed a purchase agreement with Northern Two Cayes Company Ltd. and Lighthouse Reef Resort Ltd, who are the legitimate owners of the Northern Two Cayes at Lighthouse Atoll. All encumbrances on the property are scheduled to be paid from closing proceeds by escrow agent Barrow & Williams. Mr. Mills is aware of this as it was settled through legal arbitration.”

PUP asking Musa to step aside as a PR Stunt
The People's United Party is hoping that they can portray an image of a reformed PUP by simply asking Said Musa to not contest the next general elections. They somehow feel like the Belizean people will forget that it was not only Musa who is the cancer within the PUP. Belizeans remember that Francis Fonseca, the current leader of the PUP was like a lose thread attached on to Musa's shirt when all manner of shenanigans were taking place in government during their 1998 to 2008 tenure. Fonseca was in fact a signatory of most of the major misdeeds of the PUP. He signed on to the BTL Accomodation agreement, he secretly signed on to the extension of contracts for the ships registry as well as the company's registry. He also signed on to a government guarantee for 33 million and when asked he could not say if it was U.S. or Belize dollars. He was there when many more sinister deals took place. But it is not only Francis, it is the entire PUP, some like Julius Espat were in the background feeding at the trough. So for the stunt pulled to remove Said from the frontline and expect it to be the cure-all for the PUP is a delusionary pill. Only those who concocted it will take it and it and suffer its effects. For the rest of Belizeans, we say, they must all go, they must all never seek political office in this country. Removing Said will mean nothing to anyone.

Dr. Carla Barnett Clarifies Petro Caribe borrowing and spending PUP and UDP ways
Dear Editor, In 2008, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Amandala in response to the question of whether the government could spend a US$10mn grant for housing from Venezuela even though it was not approved in the Budget. The letter was recently republished in the Amandala and some pundits have used it to suggest that I have been quiet during the current discussion of the PetroCaribe Loan Act because of my politics. I ended that letter by saying “At the end of the day, the law is the law. We are a nation of laws and where a law is felt to be bad, unreasonable or inconvenient; we are still required to obey that law even as we may seek to change it.” I still hold that view. What we were seeing in 2008 with the Venezuela Housing Grant, when that letter was written, is very different from what we are seeing today with the PetroCaribe Loans Act.

19 year old remanded for attempted murder
On Monday April 20, teenager, Justin Hyde, joined his brother, Troy Hyde in prison after being charged with two counts of attempted murder. Hyde was escorted alone on a prison bus to be arraigned before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith in Court #1 where he was read six counts, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of use of deadly means of harm and two counts of dangerous harm with a deadly weapon, to wit, a firearm upon Windy Lambey and Aaron Munnings, two persons who were shot during a shooting incident on Friday, April 17, 2015. In court, no plea was taken from Hyde and the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith asked him if he understood the charges since at this time, no plea can be taken from him. Hyde who was unrepresented then said he understood the charges as read to him. Since the crimes are alleged to have been perpetrated with the use of a firearm, no bail could be granted and he was remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until July 15, 2015. At that time the Chief Magistrate ordered for disclosure to be ready and handed over to Hyde.

Accused of sex with 13-year-old at Gulf Hotel
Belize City mechanic, Francis Avilez, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused of having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old student. Avilez was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Friday, April 17, where he appeared unrepresented before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith to be read two sexual assault charges upon a minor, age 13 years and 8 months. Allegations are that in February 2015 and March 14, 2015 Avilez had sexual intercourse with the child. According to the report which was made last week by the girl in the presence of her mother, sometime in February of this year she went to a house behind Belize Water Services Limited where Avilez had sexual intercourse with her for the first time. Then on March 14, 2015, Avilez took her to Gulf Hotel, said the minor. The minor told police that she first met Avilez in October of 2014.

Celebrating Earth Day in Freetown
“It’s our turn to lead”, that’s the theme for this year’s Earth Day, and lead is exactly what Dr. Carla Barnett, UDP standard bearer for the Freetown Constituency, did. Dr. Barnett celebrated Earth Day with the students of All Saints Primary School, where she spoke to them about the importance of taking care of planet earth. Along with the children, Dr. Barnett, planted a Mahogany Tree on the school’s compound, where the children promised to water it and take very good care of it. She also distributed snacks, made especially to celebrate Earth Day, to all the students.

Walk For A Green Belize 2015
Last year the Department of the Environment, in conjunction with the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society, carried out a Walk For A Green Belize activity. Walk For A Green Belize is a clean-up activity conducted by numerous organizations, students, activists, both government and non-government agencies, and the general public. The activity resulted in the collection of 1,800 (30 to 50 gallon-sized) bags of garbage yielding a weight of 6,226 pounds! As we gear up for the celebration of Earth Day 2015, the Department of the Environment is once again collaborating on the “Walk For A Green Belize” cleanup. This event is aimed at building awareness and sustaining a culture of an environmentally friendly and conscious Belize! This year, the “Walk For A Green Belize” will be held on Saturday, April 25th 2015 along the entire George Price Highway encompassing a total of 77 miles of roadway. It will begin at 7:00 am and expected to conclude at 12:00 pm. In order to ensure the safety of the volunteers cleaning up both sides of the highway from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City and up through Ladyville area, the Police Department and Department of Transport will be setting up courtesy checkpoints at strategic points along the George Price Highway to inform drivers to drive with extreme care.

Belize City’s newest landmark attracts all
In the Button wood bay area of Belize City there is a monument depicting the word BELIZE. If you pass by the area you can’t help but notice it and even get an urge to take a picture of it. Brightly painted in pastel colors and juxtaposed against the beautiful green of the Caribbean sea, the BELIZE sign has become perhaps one of the most photographed landmarks in the city. Everyone from children to tourists to visiting artists and politicians take pictures on, around and anywhere near the sign. Really the sign is a hit for visitors and city residents alike. But how did the sign come about? Well it is the brainchild of attorney-at-law Estevan Perera. He told the Guardian that a couple of years ago he acquired the land across from the seaside, at the time the area was just bushes and mangrove and was an area where much undesirable activities took place. He says that he contacted Mayor Darrell Bradley and asked permission to clear, fix and develop the area which was originally designated as a park area. He got the go ahead and the work started to improve the area. Through personal finances and with the assistance of other neighbors the area was cut down and reclaimed and existing park infrastructure like the gazebo was painted. After the area began to take shape, Perera said he thought of putting up the sign and again through personal finances it was constructed and by September of 2014 it was installed and completed.

US Marines bring comfort to children in Bullet Tree Falls
Primary School Children from Bullet Tree Falls in the Cayo District were on Wednesday of last week, the recipients of numerous gifts from members of the U.S Naval Hospital Ship USNS COMFORT. As part of the effort, teams from the Belize Defense Force, Belize Police Force, the United States Marine Corp and the United States Armed Forces South and Southern Command descended on Bullet Tree Falls to cheer children from both the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist Primary School. In a small ceremony last Wednesday, children from the Immaculate Conception did the traditional ‘Hog Head Dance’ in appreciation to the visit by the U.S marines and companions. Major Charles Lollar from the United States Marines told those in attendance that the U.S Forces are very adamant in protecting the children of Belize. Charles Lollar, who has been in Belize since January, said that when Belize prospers, children will also prosper. He said that he was appreciative of the friendliness of many Belizeans and the way religious faith is upheld.

Charges to be upgraded against Marco Tulio Mendez
On Monday April 13, Area Representative for Orange Walk East appeared in Magistrate's Court in Orange Walk where his case of Aggravated Assault of an indecent nature against two teenage girls was adjourned until August 11, 2015 While Mendez has already been charged, the case file was reviewed by the Director of Public Prosecutions who has publicly stated that the charges that Mendez is facing should be upgraded. According to the DPP, she reviewed the file and found that there is evidence by one of the girls which suggests that Mendez may have tried to have sexual intercourse with her. That should now see Mendez's charge upgraded to attempting to commit Carnal knowledge making it a more serious offence which will see the matter heard before the Supreme Court. Even with the DPP's directive apparently investigators in the case will await his next court appearance on August 11 to upgrade the charge.

Five Years for Czech 9 mm Pistol
Glenford Baine Jr., 25, is serving time at the Belize Central Prison after he was convicted of one count of keeping an unlicensed firearm and one count of keeping unlicensed ammunition. Baine, a construction worker of #3834 Rivero Street Extension was busted with a 9 mm pistol on August 4, 2014. The gun was loaded with nine rounds of 9 mm ammunition. He had been on remand since then and his trial finally concluded on Thursday, April 16, before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. In court, Prosecutor Cpl. Christopher Smith called two officers of the Gang Suppression Unit to testify. The arresting officer, Sgt. Samuel Gladden, and PC Kent Aranda testified that they were on patrol on Rivero Street Extension when they responded to the sound of gunshots heard in the area of Kraal Road and Pen Road. Upon their arrival, they saw three males walking in the area. The men then began to walk very fast towards a fenced yard. According to PC Aranda, he and Sgt. Gladden followed the men and that was when he saw the fair skinned male, later identified as Baine Jr., remove a black object from his pants waist, ducked down in the yard and placed in into a cement block. Immediately he told Baine Jr. to freeze and to lay on the ground. Sgt. Gladden then came to assist and spotted his flashlight in the cement block. There they saw a firearm inside. Police trace shows that the gun originated from Czechoslovakia. Based on the inscription “Gully Gun SSG”, it is believed to have been used by the Southside Gang in their criminal activities.

Pastor arrested for pornography
Edgar Gerardo Lopez who claimed to be a pastor with an Evangelical Church in Trial Farm village was remanded to prison after he was charged with keeping child pornography. The 60 year old of a Boca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm Village in the Orange Walk district was arrested after pictures of two nude girls ages 3 and 10 were found on his cellular phone. He appeared in Magistrate’s Court in Orange Walk on Monday April 20 where he was read four counts of producing child pornography two of the counts were for the 3 year old and 2 counts were for the ten year old. Police are also investigating the possibility of whether or not the mother of the children should be charged as she too is pictured along with the little girls. Lopez apparently was having an affair with the mother of the girls. In Court Lopez was denied bail and remanded to prison until June 29, 2015.

Man denied bail after being charged with burglary and mischievous act
A Belize City man was remanded to the Hattieville prison after he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a charge of burglary and mischievous act. A report was made against him by his ex-girlfriend where she alleged that he entered her home by force without her permission to caused bodily harm to her and thereafter stole her cell phone. On Tuesday April 21, 24 year old Jhovan Mariano appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith in Court #1 to answer to two criminal charges, burglary and mischievous act. Police say that Mariano entered the Ladyville home of 31 year old Kimberly Kingston, on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Whilst at the home he allegedly stole a black Alcatel cell phone valued at $50.00. According to police, after Mariano was escorted to the Ladyville police station,he gave his name to be Rasheed Mariano.

Mother and son charged with drug trafficking!
On Friday April 17, a mother and her son were taken to court to answer to a single charge of drug trafficking after police allege that they found them in possession of 314 grams of cannabis. The woman, identified as Dulce Sutherland, a resident of a Mahogany Street Extension address, and her son, 25 year old Elvis Aldana, a resident of #2931 Rivero Street, Belize City, were escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where they appeared before Magistrate Ladonna John and were represented by attorney, Arthur Saldivar. They were read a single charge of possession of a controlled drug, to wit, 314 grams of cannabis with the intent to supply to another person or persons for the purpose of drug trafficking. Allegations are that on April 15, 2015, they were found in possession of the weed.

Murder Suicide of couple in Ladyville
On Sunday night, April 19, at around 8:30, Ladyville residents living on the old airport road, known for the Bowen and Bowen Factory, and also where the BDF Price Barracks compound is located, ended up in front of Mark’s Bar. Well-known Ladyville couple Coleen Sharp and Michael Estell had been discovered dead inside their homes. Forensic evidence suggests that 54 year-old Estell shot his common-law wife to death, and then took his own life shortly afterwards. When the officers went inside they found both of them lying in a pool of blood with Estell’s .380 pistol lying between them. Preliminary investigation was conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran who found that 30 year-old Coleen Sharp was shot twice in the head. There was also a clutch of her hair which found on the bathroom floor along with Estell’s gold chain, and Sharp’s broken iPhone 6. This along with other evidence suggests that the couple had a violent fight before they died. The working theory is that Estell shot her and then walked around the house for 45 minutes before turning the gun on himself.

Inquiry Determines Lorenzo Smith Jr. Will Stand Trial for Murder
A preliminary inquiry (PI) that began on Friday, April 17, into the murder of prison inmate Arturo Eck has determined that there is sufficient evidence for Lorenzo Smith Jr., 29, to be tried in the Supreme Court for murder. Smith is being accused of the October 2009 murder of Arturo Eck, a prison inmate he shared a cell with while on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Eck was found hanging from a beam in his cell. Authorities recently classified Eck’s death as a murder and not suicide as was first thought to be the case. During the PI, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith was presented with a number of statements; including, that of prison officials and the doctor’s post mortem results. Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that there is sufficient evidence to commit the matter for trial in the June Session of the Supreme Court. Eck’s murder was officially classified as suicide. It was not until Wednesday, January 13, 2015 that Smith Jr. was charged with Eck’s murder. Eck was found dead inside his prison cell on Friday, October 9, 2009. He had been convicted of maim and assault and was due to be released in 2010.

Upsurge in criminal activity in Western Belize
With the recent upsurge in criminal activity in Western Belize, Police authorities are now warning local residents to be on the alert. Second in command of the San Ignacio Police Formation Reymundo Reyes is encouraging members of the community to report any strange vehicle or person in their area by calling the emergency police line 911 or sending in tips to 922. “They have people who we know are staying within our community at different residences, so if the people are concerned and they are willing to help us let them call,” says Reymundo Reyes. Ernie Bruan, Chairman of the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association CNWA writes “We are very well aware of this recent increase in criminal activity and are reminding our people to stay alert and active. We rather prevent crime than fighting it. We have different groups again stepping up their alert level and making sure they’re active and keeping an eye on their neighborhoods. I am my brother’s keeper.” We were unable to get a statement from Mayor Earl Trapp this evening in relation to this story as he was busy in his office at the San Ignacio Town Council. However; a councillor from the San Ignacio Town Council was present at the meeting of the CNWA on Wednesday of last week, where the public turnout to the CNWA meeting was larger than usual.

Crooked Tree Government School girls and Corozal Methodist boys are national primary schools softball champs
The 2014-2015 National Primary Schools Softball championships came to an end of Friday 17 April, 2015, at Rogers Stadium and the Youth Hostel Field in Belize City. The championship was officially declared open earlier in the morning by Pat Bennett, ISF Hall of Fame member, former President of the Belize Softball Federation and former General Manager of Methodist Schools in Belize. In declaring the championship open she encouraged the student-athletes to give of their best, to play hard and most importantly represent well. In the girls’ championship game, Crooked Tree Government School representing the Belize District edged out Camalote St. Jude Roman Catholic School representing the Cayo District by the score of 2-1. The winning pitcher was Charise Quiros and the losing pitcher was Leonie Aldana. In the third place game, Independence Primary School representing the Stann Creek District defeated Xiabe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District by the score of 5-1. The winning pitcher was Rean Ardon and the losing pitcher was Chelsey Hinds.

South Team wins first NEBL SMART All Star Game
The National Elite Basketball League staged its first ever SMART All Star Game on Saturday 18 April, 2015, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District. The players were selected onto two sides representing the geographic north and south sides. In the game played, it was the South Side Team which consisted of players from Dangriga Warriors, Belmopan Red Taigaz, and the Cayo Western Ballaz that went up against the players from the North side which included those from the San Pedro Tigersharks, Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize City No Limit Team and the Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes. In an exciting game played, it was the team from the South that won the All Star Game when it defeated the North by the score of 107-98. The top scorers for the South were Farron Louriano with a game high 26 points and 8 rebounds; Richard Troyer scored 21 points and had 6 rebounds, while Trevaughn Usher scored 13 points with Terrel Eskridge scoring 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

CCJ will decide who will pay
For the first time since its establishment the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) held hearings in Belize. The justices of the CCJ, Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron – President; Justice Rolston Nelson; Justice Adrian Saunders; Justice Jacob Wit; Justice David Hayton; Justice Winston Anderson and Justice Rajnauth-Lee; arrived in country on Saturday April 18 and on Monday April 20 the first case to have been heard was that of the Maya land rights. Before even going into arguments the Government magnanimously conceded that the Maya communal land rights need to be protected instead of dragging it out at the CCJ case. That led way for the second day of hearing on Wednesday April 22 when the only outstanding issue was that of compensation for the Maya people was to be determined. The matter was heard in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin before observes from the legal community and other interested parties who packed the courtroom. The first thing on the agenda was the court delivering a consent order which had been entered by the claimants, the Maya representatives and the Government of Belize. In so doing the CCJ affirmed the judgment by the Court of Appeal acknowledging that the Maya have Customary Land Rights.

Amandala

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

A pair of fishermen fined for offenses
Belize is currently in closed season for lobster but the lure of a quick buck is irresistible for some and today it cost two fishermen more than $1,500 in fines. 45 year old Keith Barrow and 18 year old Jim Ramirez pleaded guilty to illegal possession of lobster […]

Belize Bank Duty Free Branch Closing Down
Reports have been reaching us throughout the day that the Belize Bank Duty Free Branch might be closing down. Workers at the Northern Border Free Zone are claiming that the Bank Branch has notified all its clientele who are currently banking with them at the Duty free zone that they […]

Maya reflect on significance of CCJ decision; reach out to opponents
As we reported on Wednesday, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) entered a consent order agreed to by the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association along with the village leaders of 23 villages in the Toledo District and the Government of Belize, in which the latter […]

OCEANA continues challenge of draft petroleum guidelines; prepares for court appeal
In January of this year OCEANA Belize and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued vehement objections to the draft petroleum guidelines for exploration and extraction developed by the Geology and Petroleum Department of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities following a wide release […]

Decomposed Body Found Near Haulover Bridge
Information reaching our news desk is indicating that a body of a man was discovered near the Haulover Bridge in Belize City in an advanced state of decomposition. Police are at the scene investigating. This is a developing story and we will be updating this report as we receive more […]

Auto mechanics charged for marijuana
Two auto mechanics, 20 year old Emmeth Rhaburn and 31 year old Alfredo Singh, were charged with drug trafficking for 1.7 kilograms of cannbis when they appeared today before Magistrate Ladonna John. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were each offered a bail of $4,000. Their case was adjourned until June 4. Singh alone was charged with possession of 12 grams of cannabis that was found I the pocket of his pants. He pled guilty to that charge and he was fined $500. He was given until June 30 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve 6 months.

Blogs

Pros/Cons--Staying in the US for your beach vacation or going somewhere more exotic?
I am currently in the area of St Pete/Clearwater, Florida, to visit with family and friends, and it has made me think--is it worth going outside the US for a beach vacation?? I will try to put together an unbiased list of what seem to be the pros and cons of each, to help you decide if it is worth it for YOU! What is awesome about staying in the US for your vacation? (Note, some are really obvious:) ) Please enjoy the recent pics I have been taking of the Florida beaches as you read :) (and some stolen from google to enhance certain opinions :)) --You don't need a passport of course! --You can generally get to your place in a couple hours at most, more cheaply than flying internationally.

10 Awesome Belize Summer Vacations to Book NOW
It’s never too early to decide on a summer vacation. Knowing you’ve made a plan can help all members of the family get through tough work and school days. Booking a Belize summer vacation is a no-brainer because there’s something every member of the family will love and isn’t that what summer vacations are all about?

Dr Dolittle and our part time pets
Many of you will remember Dr. Dolittle from childhood days and later the 1988 movie staring Eddie Murphy. The good doctor was known for being able to communicate with the animals. Recently my neighbour Barb earned that nickname when she started getting a range of Belize Animals near our house to fall in love with her after talking to and feeding them. There is one grackle in particular that actually comes looking for her and talks to her most times she is in the pool. He talks to her and lets her know he is there and then comes down from the mangroves. For those of you who are not familiar with grackles, they are in the blackbird/oriole family and from a distance can sometimes be confused the crow even though they are smaller in size. Unlike crows, grackles have bright yellow eyes. We keep hoping Barb’s has the same behavior patterns as crows as they are known to bring “trinkets” to people who befriend them. So far no luck though but it is still fun to watch the two of them chattering away on a sunny afternoon.

A Kite Boarding Guide to Ambergris Caye, Belize – Information, Tips and Lots of Inspiration
One of my badass bucket list items is to kite (naked) under a full moon. THIS just had to be the night. Kiting into my next year in the beautiful tropical island of Belize under an insanely huge pink moon. The only catch was we didn’t know the waters yet, what lurked below and how to best launch the kites from a dock with a thatched palapa, cleat anchors, lamps and other fun catchments like exposed nails and uneven planks of wood. Let’s just say that I cut my toe…and it wasn’t to be. Our first full day on the island, we decided to check out KiteExplorer in San Pedro. Carter had communicated with Audrius about the best places to kite and we were eager to get a ride to what we had seen was gorgeous in photos, the lagoon, the other side of the island. Of course, we salivated over the reef but the boat traffic would make things tougher. There are also more waves, which I like, but taking my freestyle tricks to the next level would be much smoother in shallow flat water.

The April 19, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Trio Charged For Murder:
    A man was found beaten at the Welcome Center in San Igancio. Police received reports that on Saturday, 4 April, 2015, at about 1:27am, of a male person who got beaten. Upon arrival police saw a male person dressed in short blue jeans pants and beige T-Shirt, unconscious with an injury to the right side of the head and was bleeding from the mouth. He was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital, where the doctor admitted him in a stable condition. No means of identification was found in his possession and so far no missing person report has been filed. He was later transferred to KHMH where he died. A picture of the John Doe was posted in social media and with the assistance of Coast Guard Personnel; the body was identified as AURELIO MONTERO 23yrs Belizean Coast Guard Officer of Bullet Tree Village.
  • Cruz Brutally Chopped:
    A San Ignacio man was brutally chopped near his home in San Ignacio Town. Police responded to a machete fight near Marianna’s bar at the corner of Blue Bird and 23rd street. Upon arrival no one was in the area so they visited the San Ignacio Medical Hospital. Police notice a Hispanic male person identified as Steven Cruz, 20 year old Belizean labourer, with multiple chop wounds to the back of the head, right wrist and lower foot. Initial investigation revealed that Steven Cruz was socializing with his friends on a veranda at the home of Alejandro Galvez. Whilst they were there a minor came to spoke to Galvez, however, while the minor departed the yard he was upset because Galvez didn’t want to lend him two shirts. Upon departing the minor ottered the words “All ah unu wa get it!”
  • Remembering Peter Tonti:
    It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing on April 16, 2015, of Mr. Peter Tonti. Mr. Tonti was the CEO of Cahal Pech Village Resort and former 2nd Vice President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA). Mr. Tonti arrived in Belize in the late 1970’s as a Peace Corps Volunteer. After completing his term as volunteer, Mr. Tonti remained in Belize to work in Belmopan for the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, which built and operated the new capital of Belize before it had a municipal government. He later joined the Belmopan Convention Hotel in 1983. From those early days, Peter saw the opportunity Belize held as a thriving tourism destination. He quickly became one of the pioneers at the forefront of the development of the Belize tourism industry. Peter’s accomplishments and contributions for over the past 30 years are countless and immense. He rendered his service to the BTIA wholeheartedly from the inception of the Association as standing member, advisor and later as a Board Member.
  • Belize Not Ready For An Oil Spill!:
    "Belize does not presently have the capacity to address a large oil spill!" Commander Paul Lattanzi of the Regional Activity Centre/ Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre RAC/REMPEITC succinctly stated the situation of Belize's lack of preparedness to address oil spills. The comment emanated from a discussion at the Oil Spill Preparedness Sensitization Workshop being held today by the Department of the Environment. It is clear that Belize is not ready for an oil spill from existing threats such as tankers, therefore extremely far off from being prepared for an oil spill from oil exploration in sensitive areas including in watersheds, protected areas and the offshore. While the DOE was quick to note that Belize Natural Energy (BNE) has an oil spill contingency plan and that the planning process to complete the National Oil Spill Contingency Planis ongoing, the fact remains that Belize does not have a comprehensive overarching National Oil Spill Contingency Plan to allow for adequate response to an oil spill. In addition, the current incomplete draft of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan has been in its draft form for the last 8 years and the current exercise to revise and complete the Plan appears bogged down due to lack of financial resources and political will.
  • Woman Knocked Down:
    Police was called out to an accident that happen only a stone’s throw away from the San Ignacio Police Station. Upon arrival on Buena Visa Street in San Ignacio, the noticed a female lying on the left hand side of the street with cut wounds on her left foot and on both knees. Police investigation revealed that He Yue Li, 39 year old business man of Hudson Street, was driving his white 2005 Ford Ranger pickup on Buena Vista Street heading towards Benque Viejo. As he was reaching the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) office, he started experiencing mechanical problems and noticed that his steering wheel was locked. Li tried to take control of the vehicle and noticed a female and a male person walking down the hill and tried to avoid hitting them but it was too late.
  • Man Charged for Grievous Harm:
    A Santa Elena man is in the hot seat as he is faced with a grievous harm charge. On Thursday, 2 April, 2015, Darryl August, 23 year old Belizean Tour Guide reported to police that around 1:15 am, after socializing with family and friends, dropped off his brother at home on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena near the Hawksworth Bridge. August exited the vehicle to urine and notice a white pickup truck pulled up and two male person exited. August recognize one as Leal and the other as Francis. Francis walked towards him and at about 15 feet away he threw a bottle of rum at him which caught August on his right hand and left side of his chest area.
  • Budna Stabbed:
    The San Ignacio Police are investigating a stabbing incident that happend a popular night club in the area. Police was called out on Saturday, 4 April, 2015, of a stabbing incident at the Blue Angels Night Club. However, after arriving at the vicinity the victim was already transported to the San Ignacio Medical Hospital. Upon arrival they saw a male person who was identified as Melvin Budna, 25 year Belizean laborer of a 3rd street address. Police saw Budna suffering from a stab wound to the left side of his chest where the 6 inch bread knife was still launched inside his body.
  • NEBL Hosts First Ever All Star Game:
    The NEBL resumed after the Easter Break with some key games that had significant playoff implications. 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, as scores are in real time, at nebl.sportingpulse.net San Pedro Tiger Sharks handed Cayo Western Ballaz their first loss of the season The once undefeated Cayo Western Ballaz (7-1) were handed their first loss by the defending champs, San Pedro Tiger Sharks (6-2) on Saturday night at San Pedro High School in San Pedro Town. The home team was able to secure a 79 - 75 huge victory, reclaiming their repertoire of being a fourth quarter team who displays a great degree of confidence and clutch performance down the stretch. Trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, San Pedro Tiger Sharks were able to mount a huge come back, sending the game to over-time, where they were able to secure the victory.
  • Ministry Of Health To Officially Inaugurate The National Vaccine Storage Facility:
    The Ministry of Health in partnership with the European Union and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will be conducting a short ceremony on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm to officially inaugurate the National Vaccine Storage Facility at the Western Regional Hospital Compound. The Ministry of Health is proud to boast that over the last ten years, through our partnerships, we have continued to maintain a minimum of 95% vaccine coverage. While the priority groups for immunization are pregnant women and children under five years of age, all age groups are covered by the expanded program on immunization. Vaccination services are provided countrywide at both public and private health facilities.
  • Tonnes Of Dead Fish Removed From Rio Olympic Rowing Venue:
    Brazilian workers have removed more than 33 tonnes of dead fish from the 2016 Olympic rowing and canoeing venue in Rio de Janeiro. A team of more than 60 people have been working since last week to clear the remains from Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Scientists said the fish were starved of oxygen because of pollution. Water quality has also been a major concern for organisers in Guanabara Bay, where Olympic sailing events are due to be held. The overwhelming smell at the lagoon has led to complaints from residents and members of local rowing clubs.
  • Two Men Shot - One Dead:
    Jermaine Welcome and Allen Garbutt were shot early Saturday morning. At about 1:30 a.m. the men were in Roaring Creek Village. While socializing amongst a group, a gunman opened fire and bullets caught both men. Welcome was killed and Garbutt is in critical condition. The official report stated that on Saturday, 4 April, 2015 at about 1:30 a.m., police responded to a shooting incident in Roaring Creek Village and visited the Western Regional Hospital where they saw 24-year-old Allan Garbutt of Roaring Creek Village being attended to suffering from apparent gunshot wounds to the right hip and shoulder. The other victim was 24-year-old Jermaine Welcome also of Roaring Creek Village, who received a gunshot to his lower back and had passed away while undergoing surgery.
  • Brain Tumor cancers. In children younger than 15,:
    A brain tumor or intracranial neoplasm occurs when abnormal cells form within the brain. There are two main types of tumors: malignant or cancerous tumors and benign tumors. Cancerous tumors can be divided into primary tumors that started within the brain and those that spread from somewhere else known as brain metastasis tumors. This article deals mainly with tumors that start within the brain. All types of brain tumors may produce symptoms that vary depending on the part of the brain involved. These may include headaches, seizures, problem with vision, vomiting, and mental changes. The headache is classically worst in the morning and goes away with vomiting. More specific problems may include difficulty in walking, speaking and with sensation. As the disease progresses unconsciousness may occur.
  • HIV: New Approach Against Virus 'Holds Promise':
    The first human trial of a new type of HIV therapy suggests it could be a promising weapon in the fight against the virus. Reports in the journal Nature show infusions of so-called broadly neutralising antibodies could suppress the amount of HIV in a patient's blood. The approach uses clones of immune proteins taken from a rare individual who has natural control of the disease. Scientists hope with further work this could bolster current treatments. 'Profound effects' People naturally mount a defence against the virus by producing an army of protein based weapons - antibodies. But in most cases these are not powerful enough to defeat it. The international research team harvested copies of unusually potent ones, capable of neutralising many different strains of HIV.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

Videos

  • Snorkeling with Bonefish in Belize, 1min. Peaceful swim with a huge school of bonefish Long caye, Glovers reef.

  • Whalesharks in Belize, 4min. We got lucky and found whale sharks in just one day of diving out of Placencia.

  • Ambergris Caye Belize, 5min.

  • Pooks Hill Lodge Belize, 5min.

  • Low Tide Walk with Slickrock #1 ~ Belize, 15sec. All kinds of fun things under the rocks during low tide...different varieties of starfish too

  • Rescuers Save Injured Newborn Monkey From Poachers, 5min. A tiny newborn monkey had been hurt and snatched by poachers and did not have much hope of surviving. But thanks to the quick actions of authorities and veterinarians, the baby is getting a second chance. After receiving a call about a poached spider monkey, the Belize Forest Department located and confiscated the baby within 3 hours. She was suffering form shock and dehydration, which is the leading cause of death in poached wildlife and was rushed to Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic in order to save her life. They named her Izzie and while rehydrating her, they also discovered she had a broken arm. An X-ray revealed she was suffering from even more broken bones caused by shots from a pellet gun. In the video you’ll see the veterinarians caring for Lizzie. Stay tuned to the end for photos of her recovering! Whereas her chance of surviving at the hands of her poachers was slim, thanks to her rescuers Izzie has a chance to return to her wild home.

  • Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize - Ben's Bluff Trail,2.5 min.

  • Belize, 14min.

  • Погружение в Блю Хол в Белизе | Dive into Blue Hole in Belize, 8min. Дайвинг в Белизском Блю Холе и его окрестностях.

    April 23, 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

    Caye Notes: Football Marathon and Family Church Day
    San Pedro Sports Committee to host Football Marathon: Mundialito Football Soccer Tournament-1On Sunday, April 26th, the San Pedro Sports Committee will be hosting an all-day Football Marathon at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Arena. The marathon will be divided into two categories: Under 10 and Under 14. Games are scheduled to start at 11AM. Trophies and medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category, as well as individual awards. There will be music and lots of food and drinks on sale. All families are invited to come out and support the young footballers of San Pedro. Teams are to register before 10:30AM on Sunday. For more information on registration details contact Councilor Hector “Tito” Alamilla at 623-0772. Family Church Day: The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church is inviting the general public for a family Sunday on the 26th April 2015. The day will start with a 10AM Mass, followed by free food for families, games for kids and live music until 5PM. Let’s all come together as brothers and sisters and making our island SAFE!

    Walk for a Green Belize 2015
    Last year the Department of the Environment, in conjunction with the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society, carried out a Walk For A Green Belize activity. Walk For A Green Belize is a clean-up activity conducted by numerous organizations, students, activists, both government and non-government agencies, and the general public. The activity resulted in the collection of 1,800 (30 to 50 gallon-sized) bags of garbage yielding a weight of 6,226 pounds! As we gear up for the celebration of Earth Day 2015, the Department of the Environment is once again collaborating on the “Walk For A Green Belize” cleanup. This event is aimed at building awareness and sustaining a culture of an environmentally friendly and conscious Belize! This year, the “Walk For A Green Belize” will be held on Saturday, April 25th 2015 along the entire George Price Highway encompassing a total of 77 miles of roadway. It will begin at 7:00 am and expected to conclude at 12:00 pm.

    Another VIP Environmental Success Story
    Press Release – VISION INSPIRED BY THE PEOPLE – April 20, 2015 - As part of the VISION INSPIRED BY THE PEOPLE (VIP)’s commitment to reduce plastics on San Pedro, on January 18th, the VIP San Pedro Chapter contacted the US Embassy, making them aware of the growing bio-degradable pollution on the island and requesting the introduction of their Recycle Shopping Bag Program in San Pedro. The US Embassy accepted the invitation and asked us to contact supermarkets which would be interested in participating. Through these efforts, Super Buy and Save On gladly accepted to participate and be part of this very important environmental program.

    Hurricanes defeat the Tiger Sharks
    With four weeks remaining in the regular season of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL), lower ranking teams are pulling off surprises. One of the big surprises was the match between San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes. The Tiger Sharks were narrowly defeated on Friday April 17th in Belize City, when the Hurricanes made good on their promise of turning The Tiger Sharks into “panades”. When the game kicked off inside the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium on Friday night, San Pedro Tiger Sharks boasted six wins and two losses, while The Hurricanes had two wins and six losses. But the Hurricanes were in to clamp down the jaws of the mighty Tiger Sharks – they came ready to fish! When the game got started, both teams tested the waters on the court, and when the first quarter culminated, San Pedro Tiger Sharks had a small lead of three points. But that was the only lead the Sharks would hold on to, because the Hurricanes turned up the pressure on them. At halftime, they were both 41 points apiece. The Hurricanes were not done with the Tiger Sharks just yet, and they decided to blow harder. Into the third quarter, the Hurricanes took control of the ball and began dominating the unfocused Tiger Sharks. The Hurricanes blew into the fourth quarter with a one-point lead, which they were able to protect throughout the last part of the match. When the time on the clock began to close, the Tiger Sharks tried every possible move, but none worked in their favor. The Hurricanes managed to end the game with 83 to 81 points, picking up the big W and setting off a major upset for the defending champs.

    Ambergris Today

    VIP Party Pushes Recyclable Shopping Bag Program in Ambergris Caye
    As part of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP)’s commitment to reduce plastics on San Pedro, on January 18th, the VIP San Pedro Chapter contacted the US Embassy, making them aware of the growing bio-degradable pollution on the island and requesting the introduction of their Recyclable Shopping Bag Program in San Pedro. The US Embassy accepted the invitation and tasked the VIP to contact supermarkets which would be interested in participating. Through these efforts, Super Buy and Save On gladly accepted to participate and be part of this very important environmental program. The VIP Team relayed this to the US Embassy personnel and is now pleased to announce that thanks to its leadership idea the program was launched today, April 22, 2015, to coincide with Earth Day 2015, by the Embassy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    WALK FOR A GREEN BELIZE 2015
    In order to ensure the safety of the volunteers cleaning up both sides of the highway from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City and up through Ladyville area, the Police Department and Department of Transport will be setting up courtesy checkpoints at strategic points along the George Price Highway to inform drivers to drive with extreme care. The Department of the Environment (DOE) would like to remind motorists, passengers and the general public travelling along Belize’s roadways that littering is a violation of our laws for which a ticket can be issued and carry a fine of $100.00 for a person. Littering creates a huge environmental challenge in terms of land and water contamination and impacts to wildlife and landscape aesthetics. Through this medium, the DOE is inviting all interested persons to join us in this important effort, as well as invite the media houses to cover this important event.

    Sam Hamilton One Night Only!
    COME EARLY -- LIMITED IF YOU MISSED THE INTERNATIONAL RED CARPET AFFAIR HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO SEE THE ONE AND ONLY LEGENDARY MR. SAM HAMILTON UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL THIS FRIDAY @ 8PM./BOMBAY LOUNGE @ LITTLE BELIZE

    September Celebrations Theme Competition
    Do you have a good idea for the theme of this year's September Celebrations? You could win $1000 if it's the winner. It must be 10 words or less, and the deadline for submission is May 29th. Good luck!

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of April 12th – April 18th, 2015
    Record permit catches, good solid tarpon fishing.... life is good! Despite some windy days the anglers that persevered were rewarded. Tom was able to land his first tarpon of his fishing career during his short trip here to Ambergris Caye (Grand Slam capitol of the world). Ted's heart was broken when he lost the tarpon of his dreams, but he will be back for more to even the score. Norm managed to get a tarpon to cooperate on his last day. Steve added another tarpon to his trip, Rhonda got a 50-pound beauty to her hand, but Leah one upped her with a 60 pound tarpon that refused to give up.

    House Break In, Tres Cocos: "Apparently I surprised them, they dropped one thing on the way out. Home made ladder was hidden in the bushes, they watched til I walked the dog. Beware 2nd and 3rd flr dwellers." A comment by another said a Tres Cocos business also had a robbery attempt. Heads up, neighbors.

    Latest scam, San Pedro: Two women are going around town asking for donations to fix their house in Dangriga. They saw me at Celi's on the golf cart with our logo and then later came to the office saying that the boss told them to come for a donation. There is no Town Council stamp on their letter.

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Wednesday, April 22, 2015: 50

    Protein Pancakes/Paleo or Wheat Belly
    Jada shows us how to make protein pancakes using only 3 ingredients. This dish is satisfying and is great for keeping your energy levels up.

    Western Ballaz Host Warriors
    The Western Ballaz are hosting the Dangriga Warriors this Friday. The Ballaz have the best record in the league. The after party will be at Thirsty Thursday. "Play off time is around the corner and we need every win to secure home court advantage. Let's come out and cheer on our Western Ballaz. See you Friday, April 24th at 9pm."

    Top 15 Reasons to Visit the “NEW” Running W Steakhouse
    Agreed! The newly refurbished Running W Steakhouse in the SIRH is awesome. They've listed the top 15 reasons to check it out, saving us from doing anything but going and enjoying it all. They are in the top 10, number 7 right now, on Trip Advisor. Keep up the great...food! "Looking for familiarity but something completely NEW? Then stop by our Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant located in the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Recent renovations have transformed this restaurant into a welcoming space with upscale ambiance and casual elegance. The upgrades also introduced the modern Baroque-themed Lobby Bar featuring signature cocktails and unique appetizers."

    Cristo Rey Mural Project
    The Cristo Rey primary school has a new mural. It was done with the help of many of the visiting Ontario College of Art and Design students, and the Winsom Foundation. Thanks, OCAD! "Ever tried doing a mural with thirty-five little eight and nine year old. Each having their own creative Wisdom ....I watched two masters handle it very well Quentin Babatundé VerCetty and Sam Gottlieb you are true artist and excellent teachers .... More mural pictures ..Thank you Cristo Rey RC school for being such great host to the OCAD University students and the Winsom Foundation."

    Benque Viejo Female Basketball Promo
    They have a cool promo for the BVFB. This Saturday, the Crusaders and the Interstellars play first, and then the Queen B's play Mopan Tech. "Follow us at www.facebook.com/benquefemalebasketball All games are played at Deacon's Court on Saturday's every fortnight as of 7 PM."

    History tour at the BTL Park in Belize City
    Today the Belize City Council in collaboration with NICH launched its history tour at the BTL Park in Belize City...The purpose of the information stops is so that vistors can read and learn about the rich history of the space formerly known as Linbergh's Landing or the Barracks...now BTL Park!

    Las Cuevas Research Station
    Three years ago FCD took over management and administration of the Las Cuevas Research Station located in the heart of the Chiquibul Forest. The station is upgraded and ready for this season of University visits. We welcome the groups for the 2015 season. To learn more about the station visit us at www.lascuevas.org or write us at: fcd.lcrs@gmail.com

    Channel 7

    Alleged GOB Funds Fraudster Nasley Somerville Dismissed; GOB No Closer to Recovering 367k
    Nasley Somerville – her name first came to national attention in October of 2013, when we reported that 189 cheques which totaling $367,000 were fraudulently drawn from the account over three years. As Administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital, the Auditor General found that Somerville was responsible. She was suspended on half pay and the report was handed over to police. Tonight the news is that she has been dismissed by the Public Service Commission. She will no longer receive the half pay she was getting while on suspension. This was confirmed in a letter sent to her on Monday from the commission. This is after she appeared before them twice this year. She denied signing the almost 200 cheques, and said the signature was not hers. Somerville can still appeal to the Belize Advisory Council – but at this point she stands dismissed from the public service.

    CCJ Settles Communal Land Rights Case; Crowds Inside and Outside Court
    The courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin was filled to capacity this morning for a session of the Caribbean Court of Justice. Observers, both from the general public and the legal community, crowded in to hear arguments made in the Maya Customary Lands Rights case, which was argued before the Caribbean Court of Justice. But, before that case could begin, the Court delivered the consent order which was entered into by the Mayan claimants and the Government of Belize. The court formally declared that the judgment of the Court of Appeal is affirmed meaning that Maya Customary Land Rights exist. The court also formally accepted Government's undertaking to develop - in consultation with the Mayans - the necessary administrative and legal steps to protect those land rights. That will include land ownership rights at the Lands Department, and any other agreed upon terms between the Mayan communities and the Government. A very important portion of the consent order is that the Government has to consult with the Mayan people about how outside persons or entities will get permission to exploit resources inside Maya Customary Lands. The Government cannot grant concessions, permits, for resource exploitation - such as logging permits and oil exploration concessions, and land titles - without first consulting with the Villages which own that land. Notably, the court also declared that it retrains the jurisdiction to supervise that the Government commitments are carried out. It has set April 30, 2016 as day when the litigants will report back to the court as to progress of the implementation of Customary Land Rights System.

    Press Conference To Reflect On Gains
    After the case, the Maya Leaders in support of the decision held an impromptu press conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel. We attended, and here's what they had to say a few hours ago: Alfonso Cal - President, TAA "I'm glad, you know why? Because the majority is with me. The majority is with us. The community is seeing now what we are achieving. We have come so far but they're yet to go. But we pray god - that god will help us because we are people not fighting with gun or machete but with justice. Our rights, we have our mouth, we need to speak. That's why I'm not ashamed today, for 3 decades; I start when I was young and up to this date, I'm really happy to see my people, that they were with us together." Martin Chen - Chairman, MLA "Today, the world knows what we are doing here in the country of Belize. It's not only Belize, the world knows why we are here today. So, I must thank you all for coming. I know some of us wake up. I was taking my bathe in the river, 1 o'clock this morning. I got on the road side 3 o'clock in the morning. Maybe some of us get tired and depressed - but we need to be here today. So, I must thank you all, ladies and gentlemen, who are here today with us. Like Mr. Cal said yes, we have some little group on the side that don't like us. They do not understand what we are struggling for. But like Mr. Cal said, we are fighting the cause them and also - not only for us here, for every Maya."

    Belize Bank Loses Correspondent Bank Relationship With Bank of America
    The Belize Bank is Belize’s largest bank – controlling about half of the banking sector, and it’s Belize’s largest domestic lender – but tonight the bank is preparing for a significant change in operations. That’s because as of April 30th., it will lose its correspondent banking relationship with the Bank of America. This means that the bank will no longer be able to do international banking transactions such as wire transfers to or from the US. Importantly, it will still be able to do credit card business as usual. We spoke with Lyndon Guiseppi, the CEO for BCB Holdings and he told us that the vast majority of the Bank’s clients - more than 90% - will not be affected by this. He called it “a manageable phenomenon” and says that the bank is “transitioning smoothly” by reaching out to all its clients who use these services to give them a list of alternatives. He said those customers who need to send a wire can do it through the Central Bank or other commercial banks. Guiseppi said the bank does not anticipate “a major fallout or major impact on day to day operations” and typical clients who go to the bank to deposit, withdraw, borrow or pay on credit cards will experience nothing different. He stressed that it is not a liquidity problem but a regulatory issue coming form the United States. When we asked if the bank will shrink as a consequence of this, Guiseppi said his bank is “still able to do the largest loans in Belize and can still generate foreign exchange through its credit card business.”

    Matura Shepherd Responds To Dylan Reneau
    On Monday’s newscast we told you all about former NTUCB President Dylan Reneau’s letter to Audrey Matura Shepherd, urging her to simmer down in her criticism of labour Senator Ray Davis and, furthermore, to apologize to Davis. Well today the media caught up with Matura-Shepherd at a press conference held by the VIP party – which she advises. She said she will not get into a back and forth:… Audrey Matura-Shepherd - CWU President "You, it's a pity that we'd reach this point where it's gotten personal. Yes Mr. Dylan Reneau sent and e-mail and I think that e-mail was strategically sent just when the meeting was starting with the GC of the NTUCB. It was sent, I did not read it before the meeting, but it was read the meeting. It was addressed to me, clearly it was addressed so it could be leaked to the media, so that the distraction about what the petrocaribe bill is about can continue. Clearly they want to circle the wagon around me but they picked the wrong person because they have skeletons in the closet, I don't have any.

    Effect of Mayan Communal Land Rights Ruling For US Capital Energy?
    At the top of the news, we gave a blow by blow of today’s huge appeal case, which was heard by the Caribbean Court of Justice in Belize today. So, what effect does this consent order have on the case brought by the Mayans against the Government of Belize because it granted an oil exploration permit to US Capital Energy? Viewers may remember that US Capital has a permit to explore for oil inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park, which the Mayans say that the Government granted to them without consultation within the Mayan communities. They asserted that this was especially important because if, by some misfortune, the Temash Drill site were somehow to get out of control and there is a spill or some sort of environmental hazard emerged, they would be the ones directly impacted by a decision they had no say in. It also sparked great controversy when the claimants harshly criticized the government for its decision to extend that permit by waiving the expiration date last year after the case ended up before the Supreme Court. The last we heard of that case was that it was to have been taken through the process of court ordered mediation. We asked SATIIM's Executive Director for an update, as well as her opinion of how this victory before the CCJ could possibly affect that case. The main issue in that case, is whether or not the Government was correct to grant that permit without consultation with the Mayans. This new consent order delivered today says that the Government cannot make any sort of decisions, such as this permit, without involving the Mayans in that decision. Froyla Tzalam told us this afternoon that SATIIM will look at the judgment in the context of that permit to US Capital that they are challenging:

    BTL Park, Not Only Recreation But History
    The BTL Park: it has become a popular recreational spot for city residents but from now on, it will be known for more than that. This morning the Belize City Council launched a public exhibit at the BTL Park. The exhibit features the historical narrative and significance of the area – incorporating the landing of Charles Lindbergh on “The Spirit of St. Louis” in the 1927. Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley told us about the vision he has for this space. Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "One of the things, I was very pleased with the exhibit that's being launched this morning is that, this space mad many purposes for the city. One of the reasons why Charles Lindbergh landed here is because it was used as an airstrip. That's one the reasons why the municipal airstrip is close by because it was one long area. This is something that I myself have barely know, so there is things we can learn even if you look at the 14 panels, which trace the usage of the park from the 1800s to today's date. These are things which many Belizeans may not know about and I think it tells a story of the place, how it has been in the past and how it's growing and evolving for the benefit of our community.

    CCJ Upholds Minister of Education's 2008 Suspension
    In 2008, it made major news when the Ministry of Education suspended the Principal and Vice Principal of Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico in the Corozal district. Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo sued the Ministry saying the suspensions were illegal. The suspensions were set aside by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal which found that the ministry did not have that power. But Carillo and Lucas went to the CCJ, alleging that the way the investigation was conducted and the way they were suspended violated their fundamental rights such as the right to work, the protection of the law and the right to equal protection. They asked the court to award them damages for these breaches. Today the CCJ dismissed the appeal, when it found that the suspensions were not to punish the Lucas and Carillo, but to allow a proper inquiry into the problems at the school. The court found that no disciplinary action had been taken against them to trigger the protection of the Constitution. The Court noted that the right to work was not a guarantee of continued employment and there was no inference with the Appellants’ ability to continue practising their profession. And because they could not prove that any constitutional rights were breached, no award of damages was be made and the alleged hurt feelings and embarrassment suffered by the Appellants could be addressed in the laws relating to defamation, malicious falsehood and judicial review.

    Cordel Has Title, King Backs Down
    Two days ago we told you about the land dispute in Lake Independence between Cordel Hyde’s PUP Committee and Mark King;s UDP Committee. The dispute centres over a parcel of land behind the CB Hyde Complex building. When Hyde was in office – his Lake I Action Committee erected a concrete structure on the property. It burnt down before the 2008 election, and in October of 2014, King’s GOB for UDP Lake Independence Committee got a title for the land. Only problem is, Hyde said he already had a title going back to 2007 – except he couldn’t find it, while King had his handy. Well, Hyde today got a copy of the title and showed it to us. Indeed, it goes back to 2007 and seems to defeat King’s one from 7 years later. Now, how two titles appeared for one piece of land is a question that stumps us – and the answer is probably buried deep in the bowels of the Department of Lands. Today, King publicly yielded to the 2007 title, saying in a release, quote,

    Observing Earth Day By Planting Trees
    On Monday we told you about how the Audubon Society was giving away free Mahogany trees. Well it was all in an effort to commemorate Earth Day which is celebrated today. The planting of trees continued as 15 more were planted at the Guanacaste Park in Belmopan. While we know the cultural and environmental significance of planting these trees, the coordinators of today’s event introduced another angle which surround the topic of road safety. A total of 25 trees were planted – 15 were planted at the Guanacaste Park and 10 will be planted at the Rio Bravo Conservation Management area.

    Making Mediation Work
    Restore Belize wants to show you how to solve conflicts. Today Restore Belize held its 3rd conflict mediation forum at the ITVET. School counsellors, principals as well as students delivered feedback on the progress of their conflict mediation efforts to see how the program can move forward and extend into the wider community. We spoke with two of the peer helpers and they told us that this program has had an impact on their classmates. Sandra Cadle - Coordinator "The schools are not solely responsible to keep students in school, we need to look at what are some support system the school have to ensure that - that happens. We also looking at the roles of social institutions in ensuring that students remain in school because we're all charged with that responsibility to do so." Courtney Weatherburne "Generally the main focus always is youth, making sure they're in school and that they can handle conflict or issues in their lives - personal and academic." Sandra Cadle "A part from in school youths, we're also looking at out of school youths as well. As you know we have serious issue in the streets and so we need to look at positive ways to respond to conflict situation. It's not only school based approach, we're also looking at unattached youths. On a whole how to bring young people together and to help them to resolve conflict in a positive manner."

    Channel 5

    Mayans Win Landmark Land Rights Case
    The Caribbean Court of Justice, the final appellate jurisdiction for Belize, has affirmed Maya customary land rights in a milestone judgment handed down earlier today in Belize City.  In delivering [...]

    Decision to Take Effect By March 2016
    In addressing a gathering during a press conference at the Biltmore immediately following the decision, MLA spokesperson Cristina Coc reiterated that a debt of gratitude is owed to the leadership [...]

    G.O.B.’s Attorney Discusses Damages Sought
    Government’s attorney, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, prior to making his submission before the Caribbean Court of Justice earlier today, raised a preliminary objection, stating that there had never been a [...]

    Barrow Says Mayans Are Not Entitled to Moral Damages
    According to Barrow, the fact that the Maya were deprived of their rights during colonialism, doesn’t make them any better than other ethnicities, including Mestizos and Garinagu, as it pertains [...]

    Some Mayans Protest Communal Land
    This morning, dozens of men, women and children from thirty-eight indigenous communities in the south gathered at the Battlefield Park in anticipation of the CCJ’s ruling on the issue of [...]

    Cristina Coc Says Mayans Free to Choose
    Cristina Coc, spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance, told News Five this afternoon that the objections raised by the gathering are merely statements of preference, since they are free to [...]

    P.U.P. Congratulates Mayans on Victory
    The People’s United Party has issued a release congratulating the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association on the historic achievement of winning recognition from the Government of Belize [...]

    Matura-Shepherd Lashes Out at N.T.U.C.B. Past President
    The Petrocaribe Bill 2015, and peripheral issues arising from its implementation, continues to feature prominently in the news. Just about everybody is speaking up on the controversial bill passed just [...]

    Is Political Office in Matura-Shepherd’s Future?
    Matura-Shepherd sat at the head-table at a conference today hosted by the Vision Inspired by the People. And since it’s becoming apparent that the attorney, activist and thorn in the [...]

    PAC Chairman, Julius Espat, Not Impressed with Petrocaribe
    Debate over the controversial continues to heat up, with the unions, churches and business sector all coming out squarely against it. The P.U.P. has as well, and later you’ll see [...]

    Espat Says G.O.B.’s PR Push is Political Spin
    Espat told News Five that the original rationale behind the Petrocaribe program, conceptualized and implemented by the late President Hugo Chavez, has been bastardized to further the political ambitions of [...]

    Changes in P.U.P. Imminent
    And from Petrocaribe to P.U.P. politics… Reports have circulated of high-level changes in the party following the devastating loss in municipal elections. Espat wouldn’t offer details, since he says those [...]

    V.I.P. Gets Set to Hit the Streets
    This morning, the V.I.P. jumped on board with the church, unions, business sector and P.U.P. – at least when it comes to roundly criticizing the Petrocaribe Bill. At a press [...]

    …Renews Call for Transparency
    And although Petrocaribe dominated the conference which lasted almost two hours, there were other issues. V.I.P. front man Bobby Lopez reiterated the Party’s position on declaration of assets under the [...]

    V.I.P. Demands a Re-registration Exercise
    And finally, the V.I.P. called for a re-registration exercise to clean up voters’ lists which are widely believed to be anything but accurate. It’s an exercise which is a long [...]

    CitCo Launches New Initiatives at B.T.L. Park
    The Belize City Council today launched several new initiatives at the newly refurbished B.T.L. Park on Princess Margaret Drive. Among the many features added to the infrastructure were fourteen display [...]

    BAS Celebrates Earth Day at Guanacaste Park
    The world is celebrating the forty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day. It’s a special day to honor and appreciate nature. For Belize, N.G.O.s use the day to raise awareness of environmental [...]

    UB Students Raise Earth Day Awareness
    And from Guanacaste Park to the University of Belize- the Earth Day celebration continues. We stopped in at UB to check out the festivities, where visiting students were able to [...]

    CTV3

    Island Cops Of San Pedro Discovers Illicit Drugs And Ammunition While Conducting Raid
    There is much that is being done to curb the increase of crime in San Pedro Town. According to officials, their searches and spontaneous raids are proving successful but short on convictions. As a result several searches conducted in one day have yielded the discovery of illicit drugs and illegal firearms. Island cops says on yesterday’s date, at about 12:30 p.m., police officers conducted searches in the San Pedrito area where they discovered (1) black in color magazine Taurus Brand, (7) 9mm live rounds, (1) 3.80 live rounds, (6) .38mm live rounds, (3) 16 gauge live rounds and 20.36 grams of Cannabis. In another incident, police officers conducted a search in the Boca del Rio area were they discovered a large parcel which was wrapped in transparent plastic wrap amounting to 4.18 pounds of Cannabis.

    Andrew Ramirez Talks About His Transfer From Corozal
    In the weeks ahead there should be some reshuffling within the police formations in the northern part of the country. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation is slated to take over in San Ignacio Town while the current OC of the Orange Walk Police Formation take over his post in Corozal Town. Superintendent Ramirez says that in the second week of June, he intends to have a public meeting to introduce the incoming commander, Superintendent Dennis Arnold to the Corozal community. Well, that is about two months away, so why so early? Well, Superintendent Ramirez will be going on leave soon and may not be available to extend that invitation and therefore took the opportunity to do so in an interview conducted with him on Tuesday.

    Corozal Methodist Primary School Wins Math Olympiad
    On last night’s newscast we highlighted the accomplishments of the Corozal Methodist Primary School in sports. Tonight, the school is once again in the news for more outstanding performances. This time, we highlight two students who did well on a local competition that was held at the Corozal Community College Open Day last Thursday. That competition was a math Olympiad that was based on problems that students are reviewing for the Primary School Examinations. Sylvino Chi is the standard six teacher at the school. Sylvino Chi – Teacher, STD 6 “The competition was challenging and the children manage to win this game.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Is this the first time that the school wins this competition?” Sylvino Chi – Teacher, STD 6 “No, we have won before and well CCC had it better this year because they recognize the students this year and gave them their trophies and so it was a great experience for them and honestly I feel very good that we found out that the students are doing excellent and it brings me great satisfaction knowing that they are prepared for this exam, the PSE. I want to thank the parents and the students and the Principal of the school for giving the students that opportunity and we are hoping that they will do well for the PSE.”

    BSI/ASR Celebrates Earth Day
    Across the globe today, it was celebrated and observed as Earth Day which has been an annual event since 1970. On This day, organizations, entities and individuals increase their mindfulness and create a fun and sustainable event in observance. Joining those that observed the day was the Belize Sugar Industries and the American Sugar Refinery (ASR) group of companies. The company says they are committed to continually strive to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce and recycle their waste and increase their resource efficiency. Today, officials at the sugar industry took a pioneering approach of integrating sustainability directly into its business model, driving significant impacts on the ecosystem, environment and public health. Zeidy Cruz is the Regional Environmental Health and Safety Manager for Belize and Mexico.

    Mexican/Belizean Charged For Possession Of Illicit Drugs And Ammunition
    Police in Corozal Town arrested and charged a Mexican/Belizean businessman for having in his possession illicit drugs and ammunition. The report says that on Tuesday around 3pm, Police who were on mobile patrol on 7th Avenue Corozal Town, spotted a red car with Mexican license plates being driven by 41-year-old Martin Barkman Hiebert, Mexican/Belizean Businessman of #8 Margaret Street, Belmopan City, Cayo District. As a result of the search inside his right front pants pocket Police found two (2) small clear plastic containing white powdery substance suspected to be cocaine. The findings were shown to him and he was informed of the offence committed, caution and placed under arrest. A further searched of his front shirt pocket lead to the discovery of (3) .22 live ammunition. He was asked to produce a gun license for the said ammunition but was unable to. Barkman was arrested and charged for the offences of “Possession of Controlled Drugs and Kept Unlicensed Ammunition.”

    CCJ Dismisses Appeal Case By Two Senior Principals
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) today dismissed an appeal by two senior principals who claimed that the manner in which they were suspended breached their fundamental rights such as the right to work, the protection of the law and the right to equal protection. Viewers may recall that in 2008, the unrest took place at the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Village when Minister of Education Patrick Faber had just taken up the education portfolio. Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo, the Principal and Vice Principal of the school reported that the teachers refused to cooperate with them, and parents of the students started to resist them, and so Faber took disciplinary action against them, which he did not have the authority to do. A team was sent to the school to look into the cause of the conflict. Following their report, the Chief Education Officer sent the two appellants on leave with full pay, pending formal disciplinary action.

    Four Men charged For Arson In August Pine Ridge
    On Monday we told you about a fire that left one villager of August Pine Ridge homeless after the blaze rapidly consumed his residence late Saturday night. And when we left you, police had detained four persons they believed were responsible for the incident. After police concluded their investigations, the four men were escorted to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court this morning where they were charged for arson. The men are identified as 23 year old Joseph Tzul, 21 year old Gudiel Madrid, 18 year old Mark Castellanos and a 16 year old minor. Since the matter is an indictable the men are scheduled to reappear in court on June 8th.

    Police Officer Formally Arraign In Court For Charge Of Rape
    Last night we told you about a police officer from the Corozal formation who was being investigated for the alleged rape of a 14 year old female minor. And today, 35 year old Cyril Casimiro was escorted to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s court to be formally arraigned. Casimiro, Police Officer #1093 was charged for the crimes of Rape and Wounding. For context, the minor who was in the company of her mother visited the Corozal police station where she reported that on Monday afternoon while she was walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira area; she met a male person whom she knows as a police officer. The cop who was driving his police issued motorbike offered to give her a ride home. But the girl reported that he drove to an area by the sea off Consejo Road where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will.

    PlusTV

    Investigation of Treasury Department theft continues; officer put on leave
    Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that some $500,000 was taken from the Public Treasury at the Central Bank Building in Belize City. Officials in the Department are accused of deliberately diverting funds by substituting a false bank account number...

    UDP offers legal interpretation of Petrocaribe Loans Act
    On Monday morning, legal advisor to the United Democratic Party (UDP) Senior Counsel Michael Young and Financial Secretary to the Government of Belize Joseph Waight appeared on LOVE FM‘s morning show to present the Government’s take on the Petrocaribe Loans Act, 2015, passed to controversial circum...

    2012 clip shows PM knew Petrocaribe money was a loan
    The argument for producing the controversial PetroCaribe Loans Act is that the funds were not really a loan...

    Depopulation of Chickens in Spanish Lookout Farms continue
    A couple of weeks ago, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, commenced the mass eradication of poultry in the Spanish lookout community after it was confirmed that a number of chickens were affected with the avian influenza virus, a low pathogenic disease commonly found in birds...

    Matute and Conorquie families receive payments from Government
    The families of Janae Matute, the Belmopan high schooler suffering from cerebral palsy due to a doctor’s miscalculation of her delivery date, and Daniel Conorquie, the special constable gunned down in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve last September, are receiving payments from the Government of Be...

    Fatal Hit and Run in the south
    We have reported on a number of hit and run accidents over the past few months and today there is another one to report, this time fatal. Early this morning, Tuesday April 21 at about 1:15 a.m...

    Policeman accused of raping 14 year old girl
    A 14 year old girl has reported being raped on Monday April 20. The child of Corozal Town visited the Corozal Police Station in the company of her mother and reported that earlier that day at about 1:00 p.m...

    Man charged for Break in at ex’s house
    There have been a number of reports recently of relationships gone bad, resulting in violence, even murder. Today, another relationship gone bad has made it to the court room...

    Man Wanted For Robbery of Quality Poultry Truck
    Belmopan Police are one step closer to solving the case of the robbery of the quality poultry truck. As we told you on Friday last week, just before our newscast a quality poultry delivery truck was stolen as it was parked outside of Mary’s Shop in Salvapan Area, Belmopan...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    We Need to Acknowledge Structural Violence in Belize
    By Charles Leslie Jr. Before I get to my main point I take this opportunity to denote how our psychological wiring and thought process often times have us inaccurately prioritizing issues that affect our lives: The Availability Heuristic says that we will react to what is most available to us and easy for us to […]

    Murder in Punta Gorda
    The tranquility of the Indianville area in Punta Gorda Town was shattered on Wednesday night when two gunshots rang out in the area. Belize Media Group has been informed that one person was fatally shot. Details are still sketchy but according to reports, there was a gunman lurking in the […]

    CCJ dismisses teachers’ appeal
    The Caribbean Court of Justice has dismissed the appeals of Corozal school administrators Juanita Lucas and Celia Carrillo, formerly the principal and vice principal of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman, Corozal District. Both women were suspended from their duties in 2008 following a visit by a […]

    Historic second Maya Land Rights Case draws to close
    This morning final arguments were heard in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for the case of the Maya Leaders Alliance and 23 village leaders and co-leaders of the Toledo District representing 38 Maya villages against the Government of Belize. As we reported on Tuesday, following a case […]

    A Tribute To A Belizean Legend
    The following obituary was written by Larry Waight and read by Mike Green at Peter Tonti’s memorial mass in San Ignacio Town, Belize on Wednesday, April 22,2015. Nelson Mandela. George Cadle Price. Maya Angelou. Add the name Peter Tonti to those sorely missed by legions of people whose lives and futures were made better […]

    Rape Case against PC Casimiro Adjourned
    Today, police officer attached to the Corozal formation, 35 year old Cyril Casimiro was formally arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court for Rape and Wounding. Authorities say that on Monday they received a complaint from a 14 year old female claiming that Casimiro, someone she knew and trusted, offered a ride […]

    Aquaculture Certification Council Certifies 8 Shrimp Farms in Belize
    There is good news to report in the advancement of the Belizean Shrimp industry. The Aquaculture Certification Council has certified eight shrimp farms in Belize, which makes it the country with the highest percentage of certified farms in the world. According to a video posted on YouTube by the Belize […]

    Lavern Coe is Toledo’s Top Speller
    On Tuesday, the Toledo District Spelling Bee Finals was held at the Punta Gorda Parish Hall with 14 Primary School students participating. After only four rounds of intense competition, Lavern Coe of Toledo Christian Academy became the new Toledo Spelling Champion. Lavern will now be representing the Toledo District at […]

    Bullu Youth Academy Win 3rd Place in Honduras
    The Bullu Youth Academy is an aspiring young football team hailing from Punta Gorda that has been making big strides over the past year. This team was founded by a group of veteran footballers and comprises of boys between ages 14 to 22. After winning multiple tournaments and marathons in […]

    Maya Leaders Head to CCJ for Maya Land Rights Hearing
    Maya leaders are on their way to the CCJ trial in Belize City to hear the final decision of the Maya land rights case. This morning, the Toledo Alcalde Association President, Alfonso Cal delivered a short prayer and words of encouragement to his fellow Maya people. He spoke […]

    Get Out Of An Abusive Relationship: It Never Gets Better
    By Charles Leslie Jr. If all 340,000+ Belizeans sat in a group meeting, and we all looked at each other and pondered “How are we in this mess? Who all are responsible?” We would go thru the power structure, the people at the head of those power structure, and realize, very fast, that only a […]

    Blogs

    The Pleasure Of Retiring Early To A Tropical Island
    People often ask about my transition from a hectic life in the U.S. to the laidback Caribbean island lifestyle of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Admittedly, it surprised even me how quickly I adapted, considering that I’d spent my entire life living in metropolitan areas. But since we moved to Belize from the San Francisco Bay area, our lives have been enriched beyond our wildest imagination, with adventures galore. We have met the most interesting people, made many new friends from around the world, and experienced unforgettable adventures… And living by the gorgeous Caribbean Sea is a dream come true. Initially my husband and I bought property on Ambergris Caye as an investment. At the time, in 1999, retirement was far from our thoughts. We viewed our little island retreat as a respite—a place to recharge our batteries…to slow down and take a break from our high powered, demanding corporate lifestyles… But with each passing year, as we climbed the corporate ladder, the fast-paced, competitive lifestyle; horrible traffic jams; high cost of living; and lack of time for our friends and family wore us down. In contrast, each time we visited Belize the pressures of city living quickly were left behind—forgotten. Once on our gorgeous island, surrounded by the mesmerizing Caribbean Sea, greeted by warm, friendly Belizeans and expat friends, our worries and tensions dissolved. Each visit brought a new appreciation of the benefits of living a less complex lifestyle in a natural environment.

    Belize Represents at the Houston Rocket’s Play-offs Or “Be Cool, Stay in School”
    Maddox was born and raised in San Pedro. He is 9 years old, is in Standard Two and attends Belize Elementary School in the city during the week while spending every weekend on the island. He’s a solid student but in last semester’s ranking, he didn’t even make it into the top 5 in his class. At the beginning of the semester, Maddox, a HUGE Houston Rockets basketball fan proposed a wager with his dad. Dad, if I top my class…make #1, you have to take me to a Houston Rocket’s play-off game. And guess what… Top of his class. Ha! Take THAT dad! So Maddox is set to go with his dad and his uncle…and get some seats that his dad can find, probably on the internet, and just be super excited that he’s there. But…there is more.

    International Sourcesizz

    CCJ sits in Belize for first time
    The full bench of the Caribbean Court of Justice is in Belize this week for the first time for itinerant sittings from 20-23 April, 2015. The sittings are being held in Courtroom 1, Supreme Court of Belize. This is the fourth itinerant sitting of the court, with previous sittings being held in Barbados in April 2012, Jamaica and Barbados in March 2013, and Guyana in February 2014. The court views these itinerant sittings as important to ensuring that it is accessible to the people of the Caribbean Community, which it serves. During this itinerant sitting, the court will hear appellate jurisdiction matters from Guyana and Belize, including the case of BZCV2014/002 The Maya Leaders Alliance et al v the Attorney General of Belize . The court sittings from the 20-23 April, 2015 are open to the members of the public to attend.

    NASA releases pictures of Earth's beauty
    NASA is marking Earth Day by releasing some of its best images of our planet taken from space - by its satellites, its research aircraft and astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) - in the past year. Here is a selection of them:

    Selby team ventures into Belize for botanical treasure
    An international team of scientists including a botanist from Selby Gardens in Sarasota recently descended into two remote sinkholes in Western Belize. The expedition carried all the hallmarks of an Indiana Jones adventure — danger, difficulty and the discovery of a treasure chest full of botanical and archaeological finds. “You don't go into this area lightly,” said Bruce Holst, Director of Botany for Selby Gardens. Holst joined 19 other scientists for the 10-day expedition to the Chiquibul National Park in Belize during the last week of January and the first week of February. Other than an expedition in 2000 by a different group, this area has remained untouched for centuries. “We're pretty sure no one has been there since the Mayan civilization,” Holst said. The reason is remoteness. “The whole area is limestone, there is no surface water, it took three days traveling by tractors just to get there,” recalled Holst. “It is so vast, so different.”

    Composting With Coppola at Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize
    We've all been transfixed by Francis Ford Coppola's awesome oeuvre of films, but did you know his genius also extends to eco-friendly jungle hideaways? Blancaneaux Lodge, tucked deep in a corner of Belize's Maya Mountains, is one of three sumptuous properties in Central America owned by the filmmaker, who also has a fabulous fourth in Italy. The magic of Blancaneaux is the seamless way it marries mindfulness with luxury travel. Accommodations are artful cabañas and villas constructed with screen walls and open air decks and lounges, inviting guests to truly immerse themselves in nature. Yoga mats tucked into each closet encourage guests to stretch their bodies and spirits while telescopes invite you to contemplate the cosmos close up. Unlike some destinations that use green or holistic accents as the decoration du jour, Blancaneaux actually walks the sustainability walk. In fact, it struts. In 1993, the Coppolas installed a hefty hydro-electric plant that harnesses the muscle of Privassion Creek, which gorgeously gurgles through the property. Any electricity that isn't used in guest rooms or on general operations is diverted to the hot pool at the Waterfall Spa -- which is maintained at a toasty 100 degrees, perfect for a mid-day or late night dip.

    New Development Launches in Belize
    A new resort and residence project is coming to Belize. Itz’ana, inspired by the name of a Mayan deity, has officially launched sales, the property announced. The property will consist of 39 luxury boutique cottages and villas designed by Boston-based architect Roberto de Oliveira Castro. Interior designer Samuel Amoia will be outfitting the residences. The properties will range in size from 1,000 to 5,000 square feet, according to the company, with amenities including a private bar called The Rum Room, a rooftop yoga deck, a restaurant called Limilia and a salt-water pool, among others.

    USNS Comfort arrives in Belize for CP-15
    The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Belize April 9, the first scheduled stop as part of the Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15) mission. “We are looking forward to working hand-in-hand with our partners in Belize on many common interests,” said Capt. Sam Hancock, CP-15 mission commander. “By working together and sharing best practices, we can help address many concerns common to the region, while also demonstrating our commitment to fostering a lasting partnership.” While in Belize, the civilian and military personnel aboard Comfort will partner with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Belize Defence Force, and the Belize Coast Guard to share and build capability through medical, dental, engineering and veterinary events and subject matter expert exchanges.

    Regional Approach To Revive Coconut Industry
    As Jamaica continues to grapple with the devastating impact of the dreaded, lethal yellowing disease, the Coconut Industry Board (CIB) is hopeful that a regional intervention strategy will help to revive the fortunes of this ailing agricultural sub-sector. Jamaica is among nine countries slated to benefit from a four-year regional project aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of small-scale coconut farmers, which will see the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), partnering with the Geneva-based Inter-national Trade Centre (ITC). The €3.5 million project will be financed by the European Union and implemented in the CARIFORUM countries of Belize, Dominica, The Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. One of the first phases of the project will be to engage with national stakeholders to formulate road maps for market-led development of the coconut and coconut products sector. And in the first of a series of workshops, specialists from within and outside the region met with farmers and other stakeholders at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, for a two-day workshop on Monday, where they discussed market dynamics, plant material availability and new technologies.

    More Bad News About The Lionfish Invasion (Happy Earth Day?)
    As I’ve described before, the Indo-Pacific lionfish in the Atlantic and Caribbean are quite possibly the worst marine invasion ever. These toxic predators have been eating their way around for the past few decades, driving down populations of native species and threatening already-struggling habitats. Now, a pair of papers released this month have more bad news: the lionfish are continuing to spread, and they may be eating the very last of critically endangered species. Lionfish have continued to move southward in their quest for Caribbean domination since their introduction off the coast of Florida. In 2004, Matthew Kimball and his colleagues predicted that they could get as far as Brazil based on thermal tolerances, and now, a decade later, they have. A new study published in PLoS ONE today describes the very first sighting of a lionfish off the coast of Brazil. The specimen was noticed by a group of recreational divers in May last year off Arraial do Cabo, explain the authors, which include the California Academy of Sciences’ curator of ichthyology, Luiz Rocha. DNA testing confirmed that this individual was related to the invasive population and was likely not a new introduction.

    Shrimp closures set in Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
    Based on the results of research and biological surveys conducted by the National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA) in different areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, the National Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture (CNPA) set the dates for the start of the temporary shrimp ban this year. The purpose of these closures is to maintain the sustainability of the marine crustacean in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The agreed dates for the closure of the various shrimp species in the Atlantic Coast are: From 1 May 1 to 15 August, 2015: In the offshore area stretching from the US border, in Tamaulipas, to the mouth of the Coatzacoalcos River (Veracruz); From 15 June to 1 November this year: in the coastal strip in front of the states of Campeche and Tabasco, for pink shrimp fishery; From 1 May to 30 September, 2015: in the coastal strip opposite the states of Campeche and Tabasco, for the seabob shrimp fishery; From 15 June to 30 September this year: in the area of Contoy. Furthermore, the authority established a temporary ban for catching all shrimp species in the estuarine lagoon systems under federal jurisdiction of the Gulf of Mexico, in the following periods and areas:

    How historic droughts in Central America contributed to Mayan downfall
    It must have been a time of great hardship and struggle for the ancient Maya civilization. The land was parched and dry as the devastating effects of climate change on brought a great drought. New research has shown that, despite attempts to adapt to the changes, Mayan culture finally collapsed between 800 and 950 A.D. The researchers found that markers of historic droughts in Central America match the patterns of disruption to Maya society during those centuries of hardship. But we now have a clear picture of how the Mayans fought a long hard battle to survive and ultimately failed. redOrbit has been finding out more from the study's first author Peter Douglas, now at the California Institute of Technology. "The research makes clear that the ancient Maya were not passive victims of climate change. They adapted in response to drought, but it only worked up to a point," said Peter. "The south was the center of the Maya population, and their capacity to adapt was limited," Pagani explained. "The north was already accustomed to fairly dry conditions and did much better. There was actual expansion there after the collapse, but the southern cities never recovered."

    On Earth Day, a look at environmental problems facing 20 Latin American countries
    Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has destroyed the natural environment and is responsible for climate change. While not everyone blames mankind’s actions, a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded with 95 percent certainty that people are to blame for at least half the climate change in the last half-century.

    Videos

  • Wildtracks Earth Day Video 2015, 3.5min. A Happy Earth Day, 2015 from Wildtracks!!

  • John Irving III Belize, 3.5min. On April 16, 2015, John S. Irving III caught a permit on the fly, fishing with the Garbutt brothers out of Belcampo Lodge, Punta Gorda, Belize.

  • Belize, 4min. Bats, snakes and caves.

  • Ocean Waste in the Gulf of Honduras, 1/2min. Waste education is a high priority in Belize, Guatemala and Honduras with an emphasis on being responsible citizens and disposing of it properly. Waste education is a high priority in these areas with an emphasis on being responsible citizens and disposing of plastic and waste properly. Eight million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans each year, according to a new Science study, led by Jenna R. Jambeck of the University of Georgia. Less than 5 percent of the plastic in the world is estimated to be actually recycled, according the Environmental Protection Agency. The largest proportion of debris in the ocean consists of plastic, and these petroleum-based objects can take hundreds, even thousands, of years to degrade. As plastic degrades in the ocean, it can break into tiny little pieces with a very high risk of sea floor creatures and fish consuming the toxic substances and entering the food chain. Plastic pieces can also end up turning natural white sandy beaches into a colorful display of ocean waste. I even spotted a discarded mannequin while visiting Roatan, Honduras. Roatan locals clean up their beaches on a daily basis.

  • Hey Gavin from MeganUnderSea, 4min. Sun Dancer II - Belize, Central America

  • Journey to St Herman, Blue Hole Natl Park cave, Belize, 14min.

  • Swimming at the Jaguar Beach Resort, Hopkins, Belize., 3min. 0 year old, Faith DiPaolo almost knows how to swim.

  • Belize’s shrimp farming industry: a seven-year journey towards ASC certification, 8min.

  • Belize St.Herman's Blue Hole Hike, 4min.

  • GoPro Adventures in Belize 2015, 5min.

  • Marine turtle populations around Glover's Reef Atoll., 1min. Last week a team from WCS and representatives from across Belize's marine reserve network assessed the Marine turtle populations around Glover's Reef Atoll. The video highlights the incredible skill and professionalism of the team in quickly capturing and safely securing a Green turtle for data collection, tagging and release at the point of capture. This work will help conserve Marine turtles across Belize. Way to go team and Happy Earth Day to all.

    April 22, 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

    Island benefits from successful Health Fair and Pap Smear Campaign
    Over a hundred island residents came out on Saturday, April 18th to take part in the Washington University of Health and Science (WUHS) Health Fair and the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II Pap Smear Campaign. Residents took advantage of the several free services offered to promote good health in the community, such as pap smears, breast exams, blood sugar tests, blood pressure, nutrition consultations and HIV testing. Along with medical services, those in attendance also had the opportunity to receive valuable information from several community groups on the island. The San Pedro Red Cross, San Pedro Cancer Society and the National AIDS Commission had booths set up to provide information on healthy practices for a healthy life. According to fair organizer Diana Sanchez, who is a Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in San Pedro, the day proved to be a huge success, with residents appreciative of the free service. “We had a great turn out. Everyone that was present benefited from the service. We were so glad to see people checking up and taking the time to ensure that all is well with their health. The people seemed interested in the topics discussed by the various groups,” said Sanchez. Over 70 Pap smear tests and over 42 HIV tests were carried out on that day.

    DOE takes steps at preparing the country for possible oil spills
    While the Belizean coast is not dotted with oil rigs, there are still possibilities of an offshore oil spill. As such the Department of Environment (DOE) held a one day oil pollution, preparedness, response and cooperation sensitization workshop for Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and the media corps. The workshop was held at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City on Wednesday, April 15th and saw the participation of more than 25 invited guests from across the country. DOE partnered with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Environmental Programme- Regional Coordinating Unite for the Caribbean Environment Program (UNEP CAR/RCU) and the Regional Activity Centre/ Regional Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean (RAC-REM-REMPEITIC Caribe) to bring in three oil spill specialists to officiate the workshop. The issue of offshore drilling in Belizean waters has been at the fore-front of concern for environmentalists as well as citizens and tourism stakeholders. The main concern is that offshore exploration and drilling can lead to oil spills that can destroy our delicate marine ecosystem. While many are under the impression that Belize is not at risk of an oil spill, since there is no offshore oil exploration, specialists say that there is still a high threat for oil spills in Belize and it is best to be prepared.

    Ambergris Today

    Healthy Eating
    Chef Jennie Staines of Elvi's Kitchen quizzes students of Isla Bonita Elementary School as they learn about healthy eating in their Health Science Class - Standard 5 & 6 students had a cook off.

    Letters To The Editor: I Was Kicked Off My Volunteered Services by Minister of Culture Because of Politics
    I am truly saddened that it has come to this and now I realize that politics plays a very dirty role on how things are ran (manipulated) in this island. I respond to a letter from the management of the San Pedro House of Culture, under the authority of Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation. The letter states that I have been relieved of my volunteer services as member of the committee of the San Pedro House of Culture in which I was just recently appointed. Clearly, the Minister’s decision is strictly political as he has made that clear to me in person. This saddens me because I only want to volunteer my services to better my community and make the islanders proud of having such a great facility that promotes our rich culture. At first I cried because of my rejection of these two politicians (Mito Paz and Manuel Heredia), but then I realized I was not serving them but my people of San Pedro. Today I smile with pride and joy because there are so many others who have invited me to share my passion of serving with them and for San Pedro. I have worked very well with Mito Paz in the past but cannot believe that he can’t stand on his own two feet and must take petty orders from his Almighty Boss Junior Heredia. And how disgusting it is that Mr. Heredia can only work with persons who are 100% Red. So if one has talents, good ideas and a passion to work for my people, he must be rejected? Now I realize he is no genuine leader for San Pedro but is there with his own special interests to win for himself and not for us the San Pedranos nor for anybody else.

    Zsapphirrah Coleman is the New Miss Isla Bonita 2015
    It was a fun-filled family event at the San Pedro Lions Club on Saturday, April 18, 2015, as Isla Bonita Elementary School held it Miss Isla Bonita Pageant fundraiser where they crowned their newest school queen representative. Zsapphira Coleman (sponsored by Coleman’s Barbershop) took first place in the popularity pageant that is organized every two years by the elementary school. The pageant included segments that displayed casual wear, costumes and evening wear and included dance presentations, song performances, a fashion show, raffles and presentations by the San Pedro Dance Academy. Outgoing Miss Isla Bonita Elementary 2013-2015, Jucely Badillo, was on hand to crown the new school queen and award the other contestants with the following awards:

    Letters To The Editor - Town Council Called Out to be More Proactive on Island Cleanup
    On the environmental side, research conducted over the last seven years has revealed evidence of continuous degradation of the marine environment. The garbage pollutes the air, water and land and subsequently harms human and marine life. This has placed our very livelihood at risk, jeopardizes the tourism and fishing industry and could ultimately result in the collapse of the island. With the garbage separation plant becoming operational and the rainy season only weeks away, the VIP calls on the newly elected council to proactively address this issue by implementing a plan to immediately remove all garbage that is currently dumped on lots and streets before the rains resume. Please do not attempt to cover it up with Sargasso, sand or All-In fill as this is not the solution and only compounds the problem. While the VIP team and volunteers have recently undertaken two garbage cleanup activities in the community, the massive accumulation in certain areas requires tractors and trucks to remove. We have also called on the Department of Environment for their assistance and technical expertise.

    National Committee for Families & Children Speaks out Against Child Abuse
    Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. It is testament to our country’s recognition of the importance of caring for our children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. A commitment that obligated our Government to enact laws and policies that creates the enabling environment for children to flourish and reach their full potential. One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the CRC states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. Keeping this in mind, the recent death of 11-month-old baby Mia is both startling and heartbreaking. According to the media, “Mia Eusebia Lopez died from severe cerebral edema resulting from multiple skull fractures, due to blunt force trauma to the head.” NCFC views these findings troubling and is deeply concerned about the welfare of the other two children in that household; especially since parents are the first line of defense; they are to ensure the safety and protection of their children as well as provide a safe dwelling place. Therefore, NCFC calls on all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and asks that the fullest extent of the law be applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Portfolio of information on British Honduras (1961)
    issued by the Government Information Service. Belize City, British Honduras, 1961.

    Letter from Charleston, S.C. – Colony of a colony | Henry S. Fraser
    For those that like Caribbean history. A story by Sir Henry Fraser. Professor George Rogers, the distinguished historian of South Carolina, described South Carolina as the colony of a colony. And the mother colony was Barbados. This came about because of the phenomenal financial success of the early sugar industry in Barbados, leading to a rush of emigrants from Britain in the 1650s – people of all social classes, looking for opportunities. It was rather like the gold rush in the Wild West in the 19th century. And the man whose vision led to the settling of the Carolinas was Sir John Colleton. Sir John was a Royalist supporter of the embattled King Charles the First, who lost his head. Many Royalists fled to Barbados to avoid losing theirs, or, like Richard Ligon, to avoid debtors’ prison because of putting their money with their mouth in supporting the king. Colleton bought The Ridges, North of Speightstown, (subsequently known as Colleton) sight unseen, and later Colleton in St. John. His descendant, the late Alan Godsal was the brain behind the elegant Cobblers Cove Hotel in Speightstown. Sir John had four sons. This created a challenge for their useful occupation, and the overcrowding of the island with immigrants with no chance of acquiring land led him to propose the settling of the mainland, to be named Carolina after King Charles the Second, “and all that land as far as the Pacific”! After several explorations – one led by Captain Hilton and one by Sir John Yeamans, Charlestown was eventually settled in 1670 after a harrowing odyssey, with three ships, ship wrecks, changes in plans, settling at Charlestown Landaing, and finally relocation from the original Charlestown Landing to the present site of Charleston

    Uniformed Cop rapes 14 year old
    On 20.04.15 at 5:15p.m., a 14-year-old female of Corozal Town visited the Corozal Police Station in the company of her mother and reported that on 20.04.15 at approximately 1:00 p.m. while she was walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira area of Corozal Town, she met a male person dressed in black clothing with police markings and riding on a red motorcycle also marked “Police.” She has known him for the past month. He offered to give her a ride home where she got on the back of the motorcycle and he drove off towards the Consejo Road and into an area by the sea off Consejo Road where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will. A medical examination was conducted on the child that certified that she was carnally known and classified the injuries she received as “Wounding”. The policeman has been detained as investigation continues. The name of the cop has not been released by the police.

    Jamaica Just Planted Its First Legal Marijuana Plant
    Jamaica just planted its first-ever legal marijuana plant. The first legal cannabis plant in the country was planted on the grounds of the University of the West Indies Mona campus on Monday. The University has been accorded an order by the government to cultivate marijuana for medical research and to “set the pace for the development of a legal cannabis industry.” That follows the passage of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, which recently became effective and provides for the development of a medical marijuana industry in the country. A similar licence will also be granted to Jamaica’s University of Technology, according to a statement from the government. “I want to know when you start to do the experimentation, and what is found in the plant,” Science Minister Philip Paulwell told researchers. “We have to start this way, so that we can set the stage for full commercialization.”

    Meet Belizean Leader Nicole Haylock
    the Act. Deputy Coordinator at the National Security Council Secretariat in Belize, AND our next International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) participant through the Exchange Programs - U.S. Department of State. The IVLP is a very competitive and prestigious State Department exchange program that aims to increase mutual understanding through communication at personal and professional levels. The exchange program seeks candidates who are professionals, and have had little professional travel/contact with the U.S., and who are likely to have an impact upon returning to Belize. Ms. Haylock has been selected to participate in a three week exchange program titled U.S. Foreign Policy: The Decision Making Process. Participants in this project will examine the complex foreign policy making process in the United States as it affects a wide variety of global issues such as human rights, security policy, trade policy, global economic issues, environmental policy, human trafficking, and international crime and counterterrorism.

    BBIA Book Week 2015
    The Belize Book Industry Association is celebrating Book Week this Friday and Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center.

    Succotz Festival 2015
    The Succotz Festival was this weekend, and D Russel Photography got some great shots of it.

    Obituary of Peter Tonti
    by Larry Waight. Nelson Mandela. George Cadle Price. Maya Angelou. Add the name Peter Tonti to those sorely missed by legions of people whose lives and futures were made better just because destiny brought him into their lives! Is this too grandiose a comparison to make when placing the name Peter Tonti into this star-studded company? Not if you know the extent to which the man impacted the nation of Belize for half a century—not if you’re aware of the fact that everything he touched during his life in Belize will continue to flourish because he had a hand in so many institutions, movements and changes that shaped the nation. Such is his legacy. Peter Tonti’s story doesn’t begin with fame, fortune and recognition. A powerful urge to make the world a better place in which to live drove the young man to public service: He joined the Peace Corps in the 1970s and by God’s good grace, he was assigned to work with people in the little-known nation of Belize. Simple actions, big changes and sincere devotion to those with whom he interacted during his tenure became so rooted in his consciousness, when time came to end his Peace Corps service, he found himself incapable of leaving. Belize had become his home. And so he stayed to work among the people and the society he had come to treasure.

    Belize shrimp growers achieve ASC certification
    The Belize Shrimp Grower's Association members have achieved certification against the global science-based ASC shrimp standard as responsible and well-managed farms. Alvin Henderson, a member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, describes Belize as a country of rich biodiversity with a stretch of mangrove belt along the coast that acts as a natural filtration system. “The journey towards ASC certification has helped to highlight areas of our operations where we can make meaningful change with minimal financial resources. Sometimes all that is really required is a change of perspective,” Henderson said. “We’re using less water on our farm through improving the way we manage water quality. And, by focusing on compliance, we uncovered that the water in the receiving body is of even better quality since our mangrove buffer acts as a biofilter.”

    Maya Q’eqchi and Mopan of Southern Belize Win Major Land Rights Victory in the Caribbean High Court
    The Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize’s highest appellant court, yesterday reaffirmed the unbroken chain of lower court affirmations that the Maya Indigenous People of southern Belize have rights to lands they have customarily used and occupied. The Court affirmed that these traditional land rights constitute property within the meaning of the provisions of the Belize Constitution that generally protect property free from discrimination. The judgement, which was rendered by agreement between the Maya representatives and the Government of ‪Belize‬, requires the government to demarcate and register ‪Maya‬ village lands, and protect them against incursions by outsiders. The Court accepts the government’s undertaking to adopt the necessary ‘legislative, administrative, and/or other measures’ to that end and, in the meantime, to abstain from and prevent acts that would adversely affect Maya land rights. The Court retains supervision and in twelve months the parties will report on implementation. “We have been dragged through the courts for over 30 years but today we are happy that the highest Court again stood with the my people to ensure that Belize gets on the right side of history,’ said Alfonso Cal the highest traditional leader for all the Maya villages.

    Inauguration of the Orange Walk Central Park
    This evening, the Government of Belize through its implementing arm, the Social Investment Fund (SIF), officially inaugurated the Orange Walk Central Park. Funds for the park were provided through the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP).

    Inauguration of the San Narciso-San Victor Road
    This morning our team travelled to San Narciso Village for the inauguration of the San Narciso-San Victor Road. The road is funded under the Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) Road Rehabilitation Project 2010, a collaborative effort between the Government of Belize and the European Union to assist in poverty reduction and improving the standard of living for communities in northern Belize.

    European Commission Ongoing Projects and Programmes in Belize

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, April 21, 2015: 86. FANTASY 5: 30 21 32 4 25 K

    Corozal Crime Report
    A Corozal Police is in custody pending an investigation of rape of a 14 year old minor. Corozal Police are investigating a serious accusation of rape against a fellow police officer. According to the Corozal Police a report was made at around 5:15 p.m. on Monday April 20th by a 14 year old female in the company of her mother. They both visited the Corozal Police station to report that earlier that day while she (the minor) was walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira Area of Town, she was met by a male dressed in police uniform and driving a police issued motorbike. The officer, who she claims to know, offered to give her a ride home in which she accepted. The minor reported that whilst on the back of his motorcycle, the officer drove off towards the Consejo Road and into an area by the sea off Consejo Road where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will.

    GALA MUSIC CONCERT COROZAL - QUAD MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA!!
    Calling all Corozalenos, a special treat coming your way this weekend! Mark your calendars and bring out the entire family....come in your dancing shoes...cause this promises to be great!!! Put a pin on your calendar this weekend Folks!! GALA MUSIC CONCERT COROZAL - QUAD MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA!! Featuring National Youth Orchestra of Belize along with Corozal Community College Marching Band, Harmony Music Group and Pandemonium Steel Band!!! Date: Saturday April 25th Place: Corozal Community College Auditorium Time: 6:30 P.m. Tickets: Students $5 and Adults $10 Bring out the entire family for this super music extravaganza!! See you there!!

    USNS Comfort Visits Bullet Tree
    The USNS Comfort visited Bullet Tree last week to hand out school supplies with the help of the San Ignacio Police department. Thanks to everyone that took their time to help. "On Wednesday San Ignacio Community Police officers along with personnel from the BDF,US Marines, US Army and US Navy gave out hygiene kits, book bags and school supplies to to the student of both primary schools in Bullet Tree Village."

    BELIZE GRAPHIC DESIGN COMPANY, DEIDRA DEANDRA HAS SOME FUN CARDS YOUR MOM IS SURE TO LOVE!
    Deidra Deandra has designed a variety of cards that are fully customizable. Change text, color and photo to suit your design taste. The cards are also available in different sizes. You can choose the Standard Size, the Fun Square Option or the Long Card Size which is sure to stand out. Deidra Deandra is based in Belmopan, Belize but offers shipping throughout the country. Order your cards by April 30, 2015 to get them in time for Mother’s Day. Belize Graphic Designer, Deidra Deandra says “I always like to create special gifts for my mom that only she will have, and this is a fun and affordable way to do so!”

    Maya ancestral lands
    I just heard from a reliable source the GOB have acknowledged that Maya do own the ancestral lands they occupy in Belize and has been the subject of the ongoing Maya land rights case. This is a big step forward for Maya who then have control of and be able to manage their lands and share in the natural resources with the nation that is contained there in through the Convention on Biological diversity. In the meanwhile Garifuna in Belize have made zero attempts to declare any kind of self determination whatsoever culturally nor legally and none whatsoever to control the lands recognized as their ancestral lands. By the way these lands include Dangriga, Barranco, PG, Hopkins, Seine Bight and one or two others. Why are we not doing so? Also the Maya land case in Belize is a world wide precedence of such significance that they are scheduled to have a conference at the United nations on April 29, 2015. Will Garifuna also take ownership and title to their ancestral lands? Or will we continue to sink lower and lower on the totem pole? It is our choice.

    BELIZEAN BROADCASTING IN THE DIASPORA!
    These incredible stories of the Belizean people's passion in sports, entertainment, music, culture, politics, and many other facets, has been globally broadcasted through this medium, Belizean Legends. The soul of Belizean folk has been widely documented here by yours truly, and has continued to become an international voice for Belizeans at home and abroad. Belizean Legends look forward in bringing more of these sounds, images, and literature of Belize and the Belizean people to the global community as a means of promoting and educating people about Belize worldwide. We here at Belizean Legends stand ready for what is to come. Persevere!

    POST BELIZE CROSS COUNTRY FEVER STILL BURNING!
    Make a wild guess. What year Belize National Cross Country could this have been, and who were the images of these Belizean cyclists?

    POST BELIZE CROSS COUNTRY FEVER: PART 2
    The race for time that changed Belize. Who would have known that a Belizean-American would have won the National Belize Cross Country in 2015. We look forward to feature, Belize National Cross Country champion Justin Williams soon on here on Belizean Legends. The race for the garland continues.

    Channel 7

    Police Constable Charged For Raping Young Girl
    Tonight a police constable in Corozal has been charged for a heinous act: taking a 14 year old girl on his police motorbike and raping her. PC 1093 Cyril Casimiro attached to the Corozal branch will be arraigned tomorrow on charges of rape and wounding. Yesterday evening at 5:00, the girl and her mother went to the police station and told them that earlier that day, at around 1:00 in the afternoon, Casimiro was in what is known as the battle dress uniform - which is the black police outfit - when he stopped to offer her a ride home. He was on a police motorbike - and the child had known him for a month. With that she agreed but alleges that instead of taking her home, he headed towards the Consejo road where he raped her. He then took her home where the child told her mother - who went to the police. From there, the child was examined a doctor who confirmed that she had been raped and classified the injuries as "Wounding". The officer commanding Corozal said it is a compliant that was treated with utmost priority:

    Father Drowns While Trying To Save Daughter
    A father of 5 drowned this weekend in Gracie Rock trying to save his 19 year old stepdaughter. On Sunday, 27 year old Jamel Erin Canto went to swim in the Sibun River with his stepdaughter and stepson along with a large group of teenagers. After swimming for a while, Canto noticed that his stepdaughter was struggling in the water. He swam over to help her and she was pulled out by a friend but Canto didn't resurface. When they finally found his body, desperate but futile attempts were made to resuscitate him. We spoke with Canto's common law wife of 11 years today and she told us she found out about his death around 5, just minutes after it happened. Denise, common-law-wife of Jamel Erin Canto "On Sunday morning we got up and the day was hot, and he says that he is going to swim (he is not someone that usually goes swimming). So I told him that if he goes swimming, then what will happen to mama? He says that he will take mama. I ask him if he will take mama with him and he says no, because mama will throw me off from enjoying myself. I didn't have any argument with him, I just left him that day and he went and about 3-4, they call and told me that something happened to Jamel.

    Police: Mike Estell Shot Wife Colleen Sharp Twice In the Head
    Tonight, Ladyville police are getting ready to close their investigation into the case of the Mike Estell/Coleen Sharp murder suicide. A few new details are known tonight - first, that the 29 year old Sharp was apparently shot twice to the head, not once as had been earlier reported. She was shot to the nose and the forehead. Evidence collected at the scene suggests that after the 54 year old Estell shot her - he walked around the house for about 45 minutes - and then shot himself in the head. Both were killed with his licensed .380 pistol. The evidence at the scene also suggests that the couple had a violent fight before the murder/suicide. A clutch of her hair was found on the bathroom floor along with his chain. Police also found her shattered IPhone 6. Surveillance video indicates that they both got home in separate vehicles around 11:00. The fight that led to the murder suicide is believed to have happened some hours after that. They were both found in their underwear.

    Another Wild City Shooting
    The random city shootings continued in the city last night. Police have not released a report this time, but 7News has confirmed that two men were shot at the corner of Kraal Road and South Creek when an unknown man sprayed shots in the area. Two men Raymond Bowen and Channing Garoy received injuries which we are told are not life threatening.

    Adding Up The Cost and Consequence of Avian Influenza
    In January, we told you that BAHA and the Ministry of Agriculture detected avian influenza at 2 poultry farms in the Spanish Lookout Community. A few days later, the Ministry updated the public that about 12,000 birds tested positive. Well, tonight, we've confirmed that after 3 rounds of testing, the public health officials have discovered approximately 75,000 birds with the virus. 60,000 of that infected population has been destroyed to try to contain the virus which can spread from infected poultry to you if it is consumed. You don't have to be alarmed and stop buying poultry, however. The stocks on the shelves are safe for consumption. What is being affected is the next round of poultry stocks which would have hit the shelves in the next few months. But, the threat has been contained, for now, because BAHA and the Agricultural Ministry have stepped in to take action. And what does that mean exactly? Well, we went to Spanish Lookout today, and we got a chance to speak with several of the poultry farmers whose birds were infected with avian influenza.

    Man Crashes Into House - Said He Was Driven By Love Spurned
    On Sunday at around noon, a man drove his car into his neighbor's house. At the time, it seemed that he must have been drunk - but he told the court today that - instead - he was under the influence of a much stronger drug: jealousy! KHMH Clerk, Harvin Arriola told the court quite plainly that when he found out that his girlfriend was having an affair, it just sent his temperature up. Of course, there's no charge for "head-tek", so he was charged with four traffic offenses including, drove motor vehicle without a drivers license, drove unlicense motor vehicle, drove motor vehicle without due care and attention and drove motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance. There is a fifth charge pending for driving drunk, but first police are waiting on the result of a urine test to see what his alcohol level was. According to Arriola, he went to take a drink - his first in 8 years - and then that's when he exploded.

    Fin. Sec. Says Treasury Thief Took Half A Mil In Months
    Five-hundred and fifty-thousand dollars - that's how much was fleeced from the Treasury Department - and it all happened in a handful of transactions within just a few months. Today, the Financial Secretary, Joe Waight told the media that one person has been suspended:.. Joseph Waight, GOB's Financial Secretary "Right now they are investigating. We have closed a loophole which we have put more reconciliation, more auditing and more oversight in that department. We have moved some officers offline so to speak but again I have to say they are innocent until proven guilty. I am not making a charge because we don't know really what the investigation is." Reporter "Is there a finite sum as to the amount that was embezzled?" Joseph Waight, GOB's Financial Secretary "No, the figure so far is about $500,000, which is a lot of money." Reporter "And the time frame sir? When it started until when?"

    Solving The Petrocaribe Problem
    We caught up with Waight as he was coming out of KREM Television - after a rare talk show appearance. Waight is on a sort of media tour along with UDP Legal Advisor Michael Young trying to debunk public apprehension about the Petrocaribe Loans Bill. Critics say it violates the finance and audit act and gives the government powers to assume loans and spend without the approval of Parliament. And now Waight and Young are doing the morning shows to say that Petrocaribe is a very singular situation - and passing the bill for it does not undo the provisions of the Finance and Audit Act. Here's how they pitched it to the media after this morning's talk show appearance on the KREM W-U-B:.. Michael Young, S.C. - UDP Legal Advisor "There's no repeal of the finance and audit act. It is merely that this is a unique case and special legislation has been passed to deal with the unique case. " Joseph Waight, GOB's Financial Secretary "Under the finance and audit reform act, they specify the types of borrowing. From sources multilateral agencies, financial institutions and so but, it didn't conceive the Petrocaribe as such which is a credit facility, bilateral program. So essentially what this is doing is essentially allows for the borrowing from Petrocaribe."

    Blue Bell's Total Recall Comes To Belize
    A total recall of imported Blue Bell ice cream includes Belize. It started in March when we told you about 7 Blue Bell products that were recalled after 3 American consumers died. Well, the company is now recalling all its products including the ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and other frozen treats. According to CNN, the products could be contaminated with Listeria - which is a deadly bacteria. So what does it mean locally? We spoke to the manager of Arctic Cold, who imports Blue Bell, and he told us that the health department will start taking all these products off BELIZEAN shelves tomorrow.

    Mayans Claim Victory, Greg Ch'oc Questions It
    The Maya Leaders Alliance today sent out a press release claiming victory in the Caribbean Court of Justice. A release says that the Court "yesterday reaffirmed that the Maya Indigenous People of southern Belize have rights to lands they have customarily used and occupied." It adds quote, "the judgement....requires the government to demarcate and register Maya village lands, and protect them against incursions (while) undertaking to adopt the necessary 'legislative, administrative, and/or other measures' to that end." In 12 months the parties will report on implementation. The release adds, that in the past the Government has vigorously contested the assertions of Maya Customary land rights. The release says that, quote, "government reversed this position and came to an agreement that was the basis of the Court's judgment by consent." They note that the Maya's claim for compensation for damages is the only matter outstanding.

    Deon In Camp
    YESTERDAY, star striker Deon McCaulay attended his first practice with the National Team. This is after he was brought home by fans and a generous patron last Friday. As we told you, the Football Federation of Belize welcomed McCauley back on the team, but did his football peers and the coaching staff do the same? Well, that's what we found out today, when we spoke with McCaulay and the Assistant Head Coach. Here's what they told us about the first 2 practices since his return: Charlie Slusher, Assistant Head Coach, National Team "We need to continue working on ball position. I think that was one of the positive things from the team that we maintain good ball position, we pass the ball a lot, and we got opportunities. Now what we have to do is also work and making use of the opportunities that we got during the past games. And so like I said were working basically on our strengths and weaknesses and we are making some necessary adjustments to the way we were playing. So that in the event that we are playing a tougher team, we will be able to survive and advance."

    Caye Caulker Cop Caught On Camera
    Last Friday we told you about a Caye Caulker police officer who was charged with extortion. Well, tonight more details are known. PC #621 Daniel Requena demanded that a Canadian woman give him $800 dollars to get off a marijuana charge. Requena took her to jail and told her that if she paid him $800 dollars Belize she could go free. She complied, went to the ATM and withdrew $600 and gave him another $200 she had on her. Requena also gave her back the weed. There was also security camera footage of Requena doing his alleged deed. Only $491 was recovered and he was charged with extortion and granted bail of $3,000.

    Channel 5

    $550,000 Siphoned Off from Treasury, Employee Placed on Administrative Leave
    The embezzlement of over half-a-million dollars from the Treasury Department, an inside job that was unearthed a little over a week ago by officials within the Ministry of Finance, has [...]

    Corozal Cop on Motorcycle Rapes Minor
    A Corozal police man has been detained following allegations of a rape of a fourteen year old girl. On Monday evening, the minor and her mother visited the Corozal Police [...]

    Post Mortem Results: Coleen Sharp was Shot Twice in Murder/Suicide
    There are still more questions than answers about the murder-suicide that happened over the weekend. In our story on Monday night, we told you about the tragic incident which resulted [...]

    Fin. Sec. Joe Waight on Petrocaribe Expenditure
    The government is under sustained fire for backdating the Petrocaribe Law to encompass two years of government expenditure prior to its passage. Despite borrowing upwards of two hundred and fifty [...]

    Petrocaribe Law Doesn’t Skirt Finance & Audit Reform Act
    The Fin. Sec. and legal advisor, attorney Michael Young, have been making the media rounds trying to explain away the new law, which allows government to borrow and spend without [...]

    Do You Think That There is a Deliberate Attempt to Divide the Unions?
    And our question for tonight is: Do you think that there is a deliberate attempt to divide the unions? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

    U.D.P. Legal Adviser Explains Petrocaribe Law
    Since the beginning of the week, the United Democratic Party’s legal adviser, Senior Counsel Michael Young, has been accompanying Financial Secretary Joe Waight on a series of media rounds to [...]

    Michael Young Says Accessing Petrocaribe Funds is Most Important
    Despite the discussion and subsequent criticisms that have arisen out of the passage of the Petrocaribe Law, Young says the most important thing is to continue retrieving the funds.   [...]

    Is Belize Being Affected by Derisking?
    The process of ‘derisking’ is underway by international financial firms that are withdrawing from sectors within the Caribbean region and elsewhere that represent compliance risks.  It is a situation where [...]

    Belize City Man Drowns While Saving His Stepdaughter
    In Monday’s newscasts we told you about the death of three persons over the weekend—the murder-suicide of well known couple Michael Estell and Colleen Sharp in Ladyville and the execution [...]

    K.H.M.H. Employee Slams Vehicle into Neighbor’s Fence, Charged for Traffic Offences
    On Sunday afternoon, a K.H.M.H. clerk lost his mind when he discovered that his girlfriend was not being faithful to him. Thirty-three year old Harvin Arriolla is suspected of being [...]

    Tanya Carter Wins Music Award in California
    Belizean artist Tanya Carter is making her mark in the music industry. Over the weekend, she won the People’s Choice Award for Best Belizean Artist of the Year at the [...]

    The Story of a Belizean-American Military Veteran Now Deportee
    Many Belizeans have served and are serving in the U.S Military and like many other immigrants, have risked their lives to serve, but even after their service they are still [...]

    PlusTV

    Vern Magdaleno shot dead in Belize City
    Police in the Belize District had a particularly busy weekend, with a body count of three deaths, two homicide and one apparent suicide, and six persons injured, all by gunfireWe begin with the death of 35 year old Vern Magdaleno of Fabers Road Extension on Friday night, April 17. Around 8:14 p...

    Murder-suicide of couple in Ladyville
    The owner of a popular establishment in Ladyville, Belize District, and his common-law wife of 10 years are both dead tonight. But police believe that one of them may have pulled the trigger on the other and then killed themselves afterward.  54 year old Michael Estell, a Belizean-American busines...

    Ex boyfriend chops woman and her male friend
    And in more domestic abuse news; an ex boyfriend allegedly invaded a house and inflicted several chop wounds to his ex girlfriend and her male companion. The incident happened after 2 am on Saturday April 18 in Esperenza Village.  At 2:53a.m...

    Multiple shootings leave six injured
    In addition to the murder in Belize City and murder-suicide in Ladyville there were no less than four shooting incidents in Belize City in the span of 48 hours, leaving a total of six persons injured. Supt...

    CCJ grants leave to appeal to convicted murderer
    The seven-member panel of justices of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) arrived at the No. 1 Supreme Court in Belize City this morning for a historic first itinerant session in Belize...

    CCJ’s First Session In Belize; Mayan Customary Land Rights
    In 2013 the court of Appeal handed down a judgment on the case of the Maya Customary Land Rights to have the matter heard before the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court in the region. That was after a two year and a half delay on the matter...

    Dwight Tillett wants to be UDP standard bearer for Belize Rural North
    Dwight Tillett officially launched his campaign for standard bearer for Belize Rural North under the UDP banner. Tillett is hoping to beat out two time area representative Edmund Castro at a UDP convention to represent the party in the next general elections...

    Deon McCauley Back in Training
    Deon McCauley arrived at the FFB headquarters in Belmopan as early as 8 o clock this morning, ready to start his first week of training with the Belize Jaguars. Earlier this year, the 26 year old forward ran into some issues with the FFB executive...

    Corozal man stabbed during domestic dispute
    Yet another common law relationship has gone bad and is headed to the courts after violence has been reported. This time, the man was hospitalized for stab wounds...

    Man caught with child pornography says he is Pastor; Evangelical Association says not so
    News broke out on Friday that a Pastor in Orange Walk was being arrested for Child pornography...

    No arrests and No recovery of monies stolen from Quality Poultry truck
    Police have not made any arrests in connection with therobbery of the quality poultry truck. We told you the story on Friday as the incident happened just before our news time, but police have since released some more information...

    Amandala

    Tragic murder-suicide in Ladyville!
    Pastor Gerard Lopez, 60, a self-styled “pastor” who was to have headed the prospective Trial Farm Roca Del Poder Evangelical Church, but who did not have a license to be a church pastor, was remanded today by the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court, to the Belize Central Prison until Monday, June 29, on charges of four counts of producing child pornography. Police say that on Friday, they went to the home of a mother and her two little girls, ages 3 years and 10 years old, in the Black Water area of Trial Farm, where they found the naked photos of the girls on the cell phone of the pastor, who was also at the house. Lopez was immediately arrested and taken to the Orange Walk Police Station, where he was charged.

    Mark King goes after Cordel Hyde!
    It caused a scene this morning when a group of police officers gathered on the basketball court that is located behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde building in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. The officers, who included at least two top brass officials, were called out to mediate a situation involving three-time People’s United Party (PUP) Lake Independence area representative, Cordel Hyde, and several Lake Independence residents who wanted to ensure that a building that once served as the offices of the Lake-I Action Committee would not be torn down, allegedly by agents of the current area representative, Hon. Mark King. The said committee was formed years ago through the efforts of Hyde, the current PUP standard-bearer for Lake Independence, and his committee members who obtained the 50-by-70-foot property from the Government of Belize (GOB) on June 12, 2007.

    Trial Farm pastor remanded for child pornography
    Several friends stopped by the white 3-storey mansion on the Old Airport Road in Ladyville to visit their friends, the businessman Michael Estell, 54, and his common-law wife Coleen Michelle Sharp, 30, at various times yesterday, Sunday, but after getting no answer they simple drove away—concerned. The young woman who works in a bar named Mark’s Bar on the ground floor of the building called Coleen’s phone—no answer, and the concerns grew. And as the evening turned into night, the silence from Estell’s house prompted one of his workers to go to the police; family members had also called police. Accompanied by Ladyville police, the worker hammered at the burglar-barred door on the second floor until it eventually gave way, and they entered to find a tragic crime scene inside.

    Catamaran captain executed in front of teen niece
    A weekend of violence has claimed the life of one man, who was one of five persons who were shot in the city between Friday and Saturday nights. Vern Magdaleno, 35, was fatally shot in the head by an unknown gunman at about 8:30 Friday night while sitting in his car at the corner of Fabers Road and the Central American Boulevard, and he died almost immediately. Earlier that night, at about 7:30 p.m., Wendy Lambey, 50, and Aaron Munnings, 17, were both shot in Lambey’s house on Jane Usher Boulevard. Then at about 10:30 Saturday night, Levar Taylor, 35, and a female minor, 14, were shot while walking on Police Street. Taylor was shot in the shoulder and the girl was shot in the leg. They have both been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a stable condition. The shootings began at about 7:30 Friday night in the southside of the city. Wendy Lambey was in her home with four of her grandchildren, ages 2 years to 6 years old.

    Toledo Maya triumphant in historic CCJ hearing in Belize
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has been able to broker a major settlement between the Government of Belize and the Maya of Toledo, southern Belize, in what leading Maya activist, Cristina Coc, said has been a 30-year struggle for them. “It’s been quite the struggle,” said Coc, spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA), one of the parties to the CCJ appeal, adding, “…we’ve reached a certain point of maturity with our communities understanding that we will not tolerate any further violations.” Although the CCJ had set two days’ of hearing to be held in its historic first sitting in Belize—being held as the court enters its 10th year of operation and its 5th year as the final appellate court of Belize—the court has today remarkably been able to lead the parties into developing a consent order, which settles virtually all the points of contention between the parties. “It is a good step forward for the communities and the Government, as we attempt to implement this court order, because it is an order that has to be implemented…” said Antoinette Moore, SC, attorney for the Toledo Maya.

    Gregory August, challenging life without parole sentence, gets CCJ hearing
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), this morning, gave its nod of approval to Gregory August, agreeing to hear his application as “a poor person,” to challenge his conviction for the 2009 murder of Alvin Alpheus Robinson, 73, for which August was sentenced to life behind bars. However, the CCJ will not begin its hearing until the Court of Appeal has had a chance to deliberate on a very critical dimension of the case – a claim advanced by August’s attorney, Eamon Courtenay, SC, asserting that the life sentence handed down to August back in 2012, which under Belize laws means that he cannot get parole, is unconstitutional. The Court of Appeal had ruled in February 2015 that it would uphold the conviction of the lower court. Courtenay takes over at the CCJ level from Anthony Sylvester, who represented August at the Court of Appeal, and Courtenay plans to argue at the CCJ that his client was wrongly convicted.

    NEBL weekend of upsets and exciting All Star Night
    With four weeks remaining in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) regular season, this weekend fans were treated to 2 huge upsets, while the third game also proved to be crucial. 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, as scores are in real time, at nebl.sportingpulse.net Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes stage huge upset against San Pedro Tiger Sharks On Friday night, San Pedro Tiger Sharks (6-3) traveled to Belize City to take on the Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes (3-6), who were in need of a win to remain in the playoff hunt. At the end of the third, Belize Hurricanes had a one point lead, which they were able to protect, as they narrowly edged the defending champs, 83-81. The Hurricanes were led by Winston Pratt, who had 24 points with 4 rebounds and 6 assists; and Brian White had 19 pts and 7 rebs. Also in the win, Akeem Trapp tallied 17 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assists and 3 steals; while Earl Johnson sank 11 pts, and Ty Bradley finished the night with 8 pts and 7 rebs, and Leon Williams finished with 4 pts and 7 boards, 2 of those pts being for the game winner. In a losing effort, San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, who had the game high with 26 pts, along with 6 assists and 5 rebs; while Ashton Edwards tallied 18 pts with 4 boards, and Milton James finished with another double-double, as he scored 18 pts and ripped 15 rebs.

    Lilly White Labor Day Football Bash at Third World Field
    Sports/community activist/entrepreneur, Edward Charles Rubio a.k.a. Lilly White, is at it again. This time he said he is presenting a Labor Day Football Bash at Third World Field in Belize City. The games begin at 9:30 a.m. and go on “until,” and will feature Lilly White U-15 vs Third World U-15, followed by the seniors, Lilly White Blend vs Belize All Star. Lilly White’s flyer says, “… There will be lots of food, music and drinks. Please come out and support Lilly White. Don’t let Lilly White down. I’m trying to build football in Belize city hoods; so come out my people. Show some love. Remember, it is you, me and the neighborhoods to make the way for the kids of Belize.” And finally, “.. I am asking for a small donation or contribution to this event. Thanks for letting the youths of today know that they still have people who care and want them to learn love, respect and understanding for themselves and others.” Contact Lilly White at #84 Barrack Road, Belize City, cell# 667-9672.

    Smart 13 & Under Football Tournament 2015 kicks off at Yabra Field
    The 4th Annual Smart 13 & under Football Tournament kicked off on Saturday at the Yabra Field with 12 teams participating in Week 1 games of the single round-robin tournament. In the opening ceremonies, after welcoming the twelve teams assembled and in uniforms, Smart representative Anthony Mahler said they had already seen the need for another tournament to accommodate the missing players from last year who are now over 14 and can no longer play in the 13 & under tournament. We couldn’t agree more. He said they are working on finding sponsorship for a Smart 14 – 17 Tournament next. According to Mahler, the idea for the first Smart 13 & under resulted from discussions between himself and tournament coordinators Tyrone “T-Bone” Muschamp and Stanley “Jordan” Reneau, when they figured on what they could do “to make a difference in football.” With team sponsorship always a problem for youth coaches, registration in the Smart 13 & under is completely free, and uniforms are provided free of cost to all participating teams, as well as loaning a rotating stock of boots and shin guards to the players at every game. Mahler, who is the Director of Marketing for the FFB national team program, said he believed the Smart 13 & under is likely the best run tournament in the country, and it has now been sanctioned by the FFB.

    Editorial: “Bring back Maccabee Version …”
    This newspaper is very proud of the three young Belizeans who spearheaded a public relations and fund-raising initiative to bring Deon McCaulay home and get him into training camp for Belize’s World Cup qualifier in June. In fact, we’re more than very proud. We’re very, very proud. The problem is, this initiative does not solve the problem inside the administrative and coaching structure of Belize’s national football selection. Our three young Belizeans involved themselves in the aforementioned initiative because they believe, as do most Belizeans, that the Belize selection was not at its best against the Cayman Islands because our most successful striker in international games, Deon McCaulay, was not in Belize’s striker package against the Caymans. They say in big time sports that you fire coaches because you can’t fire a whole team of players. It is the management, hired by the owners, who assembles players and signs coaches to contracts. When the team does not perform up to expectations, coaches get fired by managements. It would be impossible to replace the whole team in mid-stream, so the coaches are the sacrifice.

    From the Publisher
    Cocaine is a processed product which is derived from the coca leaf. The indigenous peoples in the mountains of South American countries like Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and such, have been chewing the leaf of the coca plant for centuries. It helps them to fight hunger, cold, and exhaustion. In its processed form, cocaine is a white powder which is used for stamina and recreation purposes by those people all over the world who can afford it. Cocaine is expensive, and the most lucrative market for it is inside the cities of the largest economy in the world – the United States of America. When cocaine is further processed and becomes crack cocaine, it produces an electrifying high when smoked, and it becomes an absolute, dehumanizing addiction. But when powder cocaine is sniffed through the nostrils, it can be used for many years without major problems, the important thing being that you have to be able to afford it. On Wall Street, where fortunes are made and lost in a single day, and the executives often work 18-20 hour days, it is said that cocaine is practically indispensable. Cocaine enables you to work longer hours under stress. On the recreational side, cocaine is totally in demand at upscale American parties, because cocaine enables more extended, more satisfying sex encounters.

    NTUCB joins Chamber in recording its rejection of PetroCaribe Loans Act
    On Thursday, April 16, 2015, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) issued its first public statement denouncing the recently introduced PetroCaribe Loans Act, approved last month by a majority vote of Parliament. Two days after the Chamber’s statement, on April 18, 2015, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) also issued its first formal statement denouncing the act as a violation of both the Belize Constitution and the country’s Finance and Audit legislation. “The National Trade Union Congress of Belize wishes to state categorically that we contend that this new law flies in the face of ALL we stand for regarding the fiscal management of Belize’s resources. “The NTUCB is NOT against GOB’s right to make loans. However, this Congress contends that neither should any law passed to facilitate loans be in contravention of our Constitution and the Finance and Audit [Reform] Act (a legitimate offspring of the NTUCB) nor should the power of Parliament be used to confirm, validate and legitimize such violations!!!” the statement said.

    Improper grave work causes stench from tomb
    The family of Roy Flowers, who was buried in the Lords Ridge Cemetery on April 9, visited Amandala this afternoon to complain that the brick grave they paid for was improperly done and that the stench of their loved one had been emanating from the grave. When this reporter visited the cemetery to ascertain the accuracy of what the family was claiming, a group of cemetery workers was rude and hostile to us. “Don’t let him take your picture. We will run him out of here if he tek any picture,” one shouted to the worker who had come across to speak to the family. The worker, who was working on a new grave, came across, and in the presence of Flowers’ widow, his brother and his two teenage daughters began to explain that someone had stolen the wood that was used to brace the cement.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Benque Police Investigate Gun Shots in Xunantunich Maya Ruins Area
    According to Officer in Command of the Benque Police Station, Daniel Arzu, BDF and Police were dispatched just now to the ancient Maya site of Xunantunich in San Jose Succotz, Cayo where reports of gunshots were heard. Law Enforcement Officers are in the scene right now; however no further gun […]

    Partial settlement reached in Maya Land Rights Case
    Ahead of Wednesday’s arguments in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) sitting in Belize, the Government of Belize appears to have conceded ownership of lands occupied by the 33 Maya villages in the Toledo District to their residents as communal property. Rulings in 2007 and 2010 by former […]

    Matute and Conorquie families receive payments from Government
    The families of Janae Matute, the Belmopan high schooler suffering from cerebral palsy due to a doctor’s miscalculation of her delivery date, and Daniel Conorquie, the special constable gunned down in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve last September, are receiving payments from the Government of Belize in relation to […]

    Investigation of Treasury Department theft continues as officer is put on leave
    Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that some $500,000 was taken from the Public Treasury at the Central Bank Building in Belize City. Officials in the Department are accused of deliberately diverting funds by substituting a false bank account number. Today Financial Secretary Joseph Waight offered an […]

    UDP officials offer legal interpretation of Petrocaribe Loans Act
    On Monday morning, legal advisor to the United Democratic Party (UDP) Senior Counsel Michael Young and Financial Secretary to the Government of Belize Joseph Waight appeared on LOVE FM’s morning show to present the Government’s take on the Petro Caribe Loans Act, 2015, passed to controversial circumstances last […]

    Patchakan Villager celebrates 100 birthday
    Today is a very special milestone in the life of one resident from the Corozal District. We are talking about Anselma Pott Yam who is celebrating her 100th birthday anniversary today. Born in 1915, Yam celebrated her momentous life achievement among her closest family and friends at her Patchakan Village […]

    Man charged for break-in at ex’s home
    24 year old Jhovan Mariano has been accused of burglary over a report of an incident at his former’s partner’s home in Ladyville. On April 18, according to Kimberly Kingston, Mariano’s ex-common-law wife, he went to her house, forced open the front door and barged in to attack […]

    Hyde and King in Tug-of-war over land in Lake I
    There has been much public discussion centered on the General Elections which many believe will be announced to happen late this year and currently, the tensions between the political parties are soaring to new heights. Yesterday, April 20th 2015, a showdown took place in the Lake Independence Area between PUP’s […]

    Jamaica plants first legal marijuana plant
    Taking a look at regional news, in Jamaica on Monday, the first-ever legal marijuana plant was planted on the grounds of the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. The UWI has been authorized by the Jamaican government to cultivate marijuana for medical research and to “set the pace for […]

    Former PM Said Musa contemplates retirement
    Reports are that after serving his country for more than four decades, the Right Honorable Said Musa is reportedly contemplating to throw in the towel. Credible sources are indicating that senior personalities are in discussions with 71 year old Said Musa to retire from electoral politics. According to Musa while […]

    Uniformed Cop rapes 14 year old
    Corozal police are investigating a serious allegation of rape against one of their own. According to the report made at 5:15pm on Monday, a 14 year old female in the company of her mother visited the station to report that earlier that day while she was walking on Antonio Sosa […]

    Post Mortem confirm Murder-Suicide of Ladyville couple
    A post mortem conducted yesterday evening on the bodies of Michael Estell and Colleen Sharp had confirmed that both died of traumatic shock due to gunshot wounds to the head. According to Forensic investigators, they believe that Estell was the one who shot Sharp – and then turned the gun […]

    Blogs

    Blackadore Caye, and an Un-Belize-Able Biological Process
    Read our adventure on Blackadore Caye. Thank you Leo (totally on a first name basis after printing out a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio for the trip) for allowing us the opportunity. So I think by now everyone in the world, or at least Belize (okay surely at least on Ambergris Caye) has likely read about how wonderful Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio is going to save Blackadore Caye from almost certain extinction. How does an island go extinct? I have no idea... This lucky dude got to take a trip out to Blackadore with some friends this past week - an fairly exclusive deal since no one is really allowed on the island. Charlie and Said captained our vessel (the mighty Koda). Karen (check out her photography via her photography site or Facebook) got us on the island since she is the photographer with the power. Matt, Sara, Robyn, and I were lucky enough to come along for the ride. Perhaps next time I'll bring a real blogger along with me so you all can get a truly professional take on the island and not just hear random musings of an 'untalented hack that apparently breaks all the rules of blogging' and really just tends to anger a certain travel writer with every key stroke (by the way I've purchases those new whiz free Cheerios...but don't know where to deliver them?!). So be advised - what follows is largely un-proofed, un-researched, and completely unsupervised!

    Shopping For Belize And Getting Sucked into The Etsy.com Vortex
    Shopping and navigating Etsy.com can be a challenge for sure. There are so many talented people making gorgeous things. There is the thrill of the hunt…or just getting mired down in 16 trillion items and…giving up. I am headed to the states for a family visit in a few weeks and since I can order things…I thought I’d take a look. 5 hours later, I’ve found some pretty Belize (or Belize inspired) souvenirs and cute things that you can bring to Belize – along with your Kindle, your t-shirts, bathing suits and flip flops. I order nothing but here’s what I extracted from the estimated 29 million items on Etsy. I’m not generally a fan of the coin jewelry – but this is a very pretty bracelet that just happens to have Belize’s (and maybe the world’s) lightest coin dangling from it. The Belize 1 cent coin.

    International Sourcesizz

    Ex-ForceField Energy Chairman Faces Stock Scheme Charges
    More allegations of financial fraud coming out of Belize. The former chairman of an LED lighting provider was charged by U.S. officials with scheming to boost the company’s share price in part by making secret payments to conspirators through a firm based in Belize. ForceField Energy Inc.’s Richard St-Julien, who stepped down from his position after his arrest Friday, was charged with securities fraud conspiracy by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, the government said Monday. Trading in the alternative-energy company’s stock was halted Monday morning after falling 22 percent at 10:21 a.m. The New York-based company told investors in a regulatory filing Monday that St-Julien, founder and majority shareholder, was arrested and had resigned as chairman. St-Julien is accused of scheming from August 2012 to this month to manipulate ForceField Energy’s stock price with help from stock promoters, broker dealers and a dermatologist in Boulder, Colorado, who bought shares on his behalf, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court. St-Julien paid individuals who made the trades using a Belize-based firm and bank account, according to the complaint.

    TripAdvisor best islands for 2015: World's best island named in Travellers' Choice Awards
    Providenciales in Turks and Caicos is the number-one island destination in the world, according to TripAdvisor's latest Travellers' Choice Awards. A former pirate haunt, Providenciales is a little east of Cuba, luring tourists with miles of coral reef close to the shore, renowned for world-class diving. The tiny uninhabited islands dotted off its coast are easily reached by boat, perfect for day trips. Wildlife lovers can keep an eye out for whales, as the island is close to a common migration route. Providenciales knocked last year's "fantasy getaway" winner, Ambergris Caye, off the top spot. This year, Ambergris Caye, which is similarly located in the Caribbean off the coast of Belize, failed to snare a spot in the top 10. At number two is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui. If you like outdoor activities with spectacular backdrops, this is your island. Postcard-perfect waterfalls tumble from steep, lush mountaintops into shimmering pools of water. Visitors can hike or bike its lava trails, or head to the beaches to surf, snorkel or windboard.

    Valley grad delivers light to Belize
    The very first bio-digester in Belize, a country of 341,000 on the eastern coast of Central America, is the brainchild of a Penn State student from Rush Township. Twenty-two-year-old student teacher Kate Bassett has been teaching pupils to create the bio-digester that will generate electricity for their school. She researched the country last spring, and has been working with 45 agricultural or vocational-technical students to create the bio-digester, which will use manure from 10 pigs and chickens at the school. There is an enclosed pit containing bacteria to digest the manure and break it down into basic elements. Methane will be released, collected and burned to create electricity for agricultural facilities at the school, Bassett said. “We are pretty much done,” she said of the unit that is 6 feet wide and 30 feet long.

    Earth Day 2015: Find Out What Environmental Problems 20 Latin American Countries Face
    Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has destroyed the natural environment and is responsible for climate change. While not everyone blames mankind’s actions, a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded with 95 percent certainty that people are to blame for at least half the climate change in the last half-century. "Climate change is a present and growing threat to economic development, and the goals of reduction of extreme poverty and the promotion of shared prosperity," said Erick Fernandes, the adviser for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Latin American and Caribbean region for World Bank, to Latin Times. "Unless the world takes bold action now, a warming planet threatens to put prosperity out of reach of millions, roll back decades of development gains and making it impossible to end extreme poverty by 2030." In Latin America, global warming has already made its mark with corals being bleached by warm temperatures, glaciers melting, cities becoming vulnerable to rising sea levels, and more. And it’s not just global warming that is threatening nature in Latin America: other forms of destruction (e.g. logging in the Amazon) is proving to be detrimental to biodiversity. In fact, according to The World Bank, Latin America is responsible for a small portion of global carbon emissions -- 12.5 percent, to be exact--but the region is the most affected by the temperature spike.

    How lowlands drought contributed to Mayan downfall
    It must have been a time of great hardship and struggle for the ancient Maya civilization. The land was parched and dry as the devastating effects of climate change on brought a great drought. New research has shown that, despite attempts to adapt to the changes, Mayan culture finally collapsed between 800 and 950 A.D. The researchers found that markers of historic droughts in Central America match the patterns of disruption to Maya society during those centuries of hardship. But we now have a clear picture of how the Mayans fought a long hard battle to survive and ultimately failed. redOrbit has been finding out more from the study’s first author Peter Douglas, now at the California Institute of Technology. “The research makes clear that the ancient Maya were not passive victims of climate change. They adapted in response to drought, but it only worked up to a point,” said Peter. Mark Pagani, a Yale University professor of geology and geophysics was a co-author of the study. “Our work demonstrates that the southern Maya lowlands experienced a more severe drought compared to the north,” added Pagani, who is also the director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. “The south was the center of the Maya population, and their capacity to adapt was limited,” Pagani explained. “The north was already accustomed to fairly dry conditions and did much better. There was actual expansion there after the collapse, but the southern cities never recovered.”

    Videos

  • This Ray made my Belize trip..., 1.5min. I was on a lazy snorkel with a couple friends around the lagoon off Long Caye in Belize when magic happened. Rays have always been my favorite, but I was never interested in swimming in a controlled environment, where the water was chummed, trained, etc. I was just swimming along enjoying the scenery and here out of nowhere was my unicorn. :) We ended up spending about 10 minutes swimming together, I would stop or slow down and the ray would circle around and I'd swim above. I can NOT describe this experience and wish the footage was better but I just wanted to live the moment. You can't tell but he was huge and absolutely stunning.

  • Belize 2014r., 4min.

  • Belizean Sea Turtle!, 1.5min. Filmed April, 2015 off Turneffe Atoll, Belize.

  • La Voz Karaoke 2015 Week 4 (DISC 1), 96min.

  • La Voz Karaoke 2015 Week 4 (DISC 2), 42min.

  • Diver's Destination Belize 2015 Trip, 3min.

  • Reportage choc Cœur des Gangs Belize en Amérique centrale 2015 Entier, 47min.

  • Zip-lining at Bocawna Adventures, Hopkins Belize 2015, 6min. Friends from Jaguar beach resort, this is to get you to try again in a couple of weeks- please come back. Ive loaded one scene- without editing until I get the rest loaded and edited. This is of our walk to the first zip line

    April 21, 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

    Abuse of any kind against Children is not permitted!
    Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. It is testament to our country’s recognition of the importance of caring for our children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. A commitment that obligated our Government to enact laws and policies that creates the enabling environment for children to flourish and reach their full potential. One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the CRC states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. Keeping this in mind, the recent death of 11-month-old baby Mia is both startling and heartbreaking. According to the media, “Mia Eusebia Lopez died from severe cerebral edema resulting from multiple skull fractures, due to blunt force trauma to the head.” NCFC views these findings troubling and is deeply concerned about the welfare of the other two children in that household; especially since parents are the first line of defense; they are to ensure the safety and protection of their children as well as provide a safe dwelling place. Therefore, NCFC calls on all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and asks that the fullest extent of the law be applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

    At what point do Police take over?
    There have been several incidents reported to the San Pedro Police by third-party witnesses of civilians being victimized, especially in cases involving domestic violence and sexual abuse, but the victim refuses to press charges on their assailant. Persons who commit these crimes are never brought to justice, even though many are aware of the incident and believe police should have intervened with or without the consent of the victim. Under the Laws of Belize, police can charge any person for committing a crime, whether the defendant requests court action or not, once the act committed is indictable under the Criminal Code of Belize and there is sufficient evidence to warrant an arrest. Jemmott also indicated that these circumstances are also common in sexual abuse and social issues. People believe that is best not to report incidents to police to avoid discrimination and repercussions from the accused. “Cases involving sexual abuse are very sensitive issues. Sometimes the victims do not report the crime because they are afraid or are just embarrassed of stating what has happened to them. In cases like this, we do our best to ensure that the victim is protected. What we are trying to make the community understand is that if abusers are not reported, then they are walking free with the liberty to commit the crime again. It is best to report these incidents the first time it happens to avoid it happening ever again,” said Jemmott.

    Ambergris Today

    Reef Week in Ambergris Caye (May)
    Reef Week serves as a part of the environmental education program where the primary objective is to have students learn about our coastal and marine resources in a fun and rewarding manner. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office has hosted Reef Week since 2005 with the help of the business community and other non-profit organizations. Activities in the past have included Beach Clean Ups, Lion Fish round up/Cook Off, Educational Tours, Trivia Competitions, Skit competitions and Movie nights. Below is the schedule of events for Reef Week 2015 which includes an Amateur Lionfish culling competition is open to anyone just sign up @ the Hol Chan office. Reef Week runs from May 11th to 17th, 2015 on Ambergris Caye. For further information contact us via Facebook page or 226-2247.

    Pic of the Week - Lazy Slow Island Days Call for Sietas
    When slow season kicks in and you find yourself with a little more time on your hands scheduling an afternoon siesta is not a bad thing. It’s not hard to with a magnificent view like this entrepreneur has at Central Park in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. We caught him taking a nap while his sales of inflatable water toys got a bit slow one afternoon. We guess you can take the time to ponder on other things to keep busy and make more money; right?

    Belize Tourism Pioneer Mr. Peter Tonti Passes
    The Belize Tourism Board joins the Tourism family in mourning the loss of one of its very own tourism pioneers, Mr. Peter Tonti, which happened on April 16th, 2015. Mr. Tonti has been in Belize since the late part of the 1970's when he arrived as a volunteer for the Peace Corps. He served Belize significantly during his time after the Peace Corps Tour. He remained in Belize working with the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, which aided in the construction and administration of Belmopan in the early phases. He later made his first investment in the tourism sector by joining the Belmopan Convention Hotel in the 1980's.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Keep Cruise Tourism Away from Placencia, Belize!
    NCL’s Malacate Marina was also captured in the new aerial image taken for Google Earth. The nursery is shown on the R side … the black squares are black netting, where over a 1000 smaller potted plants are kept. The area between the nursery and lagoon is a huge parking lot (for tour busses and other NCL vehicles).

    Poets Corner: Socialist Breeze
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Out of the ashes of failed free market reform Socialism in Latin America was born The 80s and 90s saw the Washington Census Attempts at forcing us to join the globalized and privatized economic circus Failed stabs at amplifying Latin America democracy In association with US hegemony These disastrous cracks at alteration forced Latin American countries Towards other dreams of bring about a much needed end to poverty That has existed since the colonial epoch It’s at the core of these countries efforts to end dearth There is a socialist consciousness hitting Belize It comes from the south with a sweet breeze This noh weh blow over cause its contagious like a disease The people in the region tired a feeling the squeeze Our PM blames the superpower for crisis

    ATTENTION U.S. CITIZENS LIVING IN SAN PEDRO and SURROUNDS
    The Embassy of the United States of America in Belize invites you to a U.S. citizen town hall meeting in San Pedro Town. Date: Monday April 20, 2015 Place: Blue Water Grill (SunBreeze Hotel) San Pedro Town Belize Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Embassy staff that provides assistance to U.S citizens in Belize will discuss public services the U.S. Embassy offers, hurricane preparedness, and answer your general questions on our services.

    Red Bank village meeting
    The villagers are about to lynch the village council for not fully informing them of their plans with Tom Wilson. He mentioned ATV tour and River Tubing. He had to get a permit to operate from some government office or entity, upon applying he has to say exactly where he will be operating, so people did know, this is the only place in Belize we can get to see the Scarlet Macaws and yet they allow this to happen, I am not against development, but we need to be conscious on where and why. I know Red Bank and have very good friends there and am sure they would have never allowed something like this to happen in a forest reserve.

    USNS Comfort visit
    "Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved." -Mattie Stepanek During the recent USNS Comfort visit, they not only provided medical services to Belizeans but they also provided other community services too! While they were in Belize the USNS Comfort crew and the BDF worked hard at the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School to construct a perimeter fence around the school and repaired the fence of the church. They also donated a new stove and refrigerator for the school to continue to provide food to the homeless and to the children. So next time you are travelling keep an eye out for the great work that they have done!

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, April 20, 2015: 07

    Clean up campaigns of the Mopan River
    For many years FCD has developed the practice of conducting clean up campaigns of the Mopan River. This weekend the FCD Environmental Youth Group (FCDEYG) was honoured to have the participation of the US Ambassador join in the clean-up campaign held in Succotz. Other volunteers came from Rotaract, UB Environmental Club, Cadets, ORFG, Caracol YCD, Benque HOC

    Channel 7

    Well Known Couple Found Slain in House, Murder-Suicide
    Mike Estell and Colleen Sharp - they were a well-known couple in Ladyville, affluent, very social and committed parents to their 10 year old child. But last night they were carried out of their homes dead - both of them shot to the head in what looks like a domestic dispute turned murder, turned suicide. For the wider Ladyville community, it is an un-imaginable turn of events: how could this high - class couple end up dead in their home? Well it turns out that it was a murder suicide: police believe Mike Estell shot Coleen Sharp in a rage and then killed himself. 7News was on the scene last night: Jules Vasquez reporting At 8:15 on Sunday night - friends and family of Mike Estell and Colleen Sharp broke down the door of his house on the old Airport Road next to the Belikin Factory. Inside they found 54 year old Mike Estell and his common law wife, 30 year old Coleen Sharp both dead in the bathroom on the second floor - which is here - he was face down, she was on her back with a gun lying between them. They had both been shot to the head:

    Man Murdered In Front Of Fried Chicken Shack
    And while those two deaths will be filed under crimes of passion - senseless shootings dominated the weekend in Belize City. There were 3 shootings on Friday night which left 4 persons injured, and of the four, 35 year-old Vern Magdaleno was the only victim who was fatally injured. It happened on the corner of Faber's Road and Central American Boulevard, where Magdaleno went to buy fried chicken. That's when the gunman shot him execution style while he was sitting in the vehicle. Daniel Ortiz has been following that story, and here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting Just after 8 o'clock on Friday night, 35 year-old Vern Magdaleno, aka "Bird", lay slumped in the middle of the front seats of his Mazda car. He had been shot in the left side of the head by a gunman at close range. His family and friends could only observe the scene, which often became too overwhelming, their tears of grief freely flowing on the crowded Central American Boulevard.

    Shooter Barges Into Home, Releases Barrage Of Gunfire
    That murder on Friday night came after a trio of shootings which all happened around between 7:00 and 7:30. The most dangerous one occurred on Curl Thompson Boulevard when 49 year old Wendy Lambey was watching television with her family when a gunman stormed in and started to fire wildly - as many as 10 shots. Lambey was shot 6 times her in the legs. Her son's friend who was there at the time - 17 year old Aaron Munnings - was also shot in the jaw and hand - but survived. We spoke to Lambey's son who witnessed everything as well as Wendy herself after she was released from the hospital this evening. She told us that those shots were not meant for her but for her son's friend Aaron. Voice of Son of Victim "Basically it happened around 7 o' clock on a Friday night when everyone was watching TV. I, my little brother and a friend of mine were outside socializing. I came inside and walked up and down but they were still socializing outside. So I was coming out of the kitchen and I saw my younger brother run into the room.

    Spree Of City Shootings
    But, before that shooting at around 7:00, there was another, this one on Banak Street. 18 year old Nissane Usher was standing on Magazine road along with 2 friends when someone fired several shots at them, hitting him in the left thigh. Police are still looking into the matter. While on Saturday night a man and a 14 year old girl were shot. 34 year old Levar Taylor and 14 year old Tara Centino, both of Police Street were shot at by two men on a motorcycle around 10:15. Taylor was shot to his left shoulder and Centino was shot to her leg. Both were admitted to the KHMH in a stable condition. And yesterday there was another shooting incident around 5:41 in the morning on Cemetery Road. 41-year-old Kent Cole was shot by someone who rode by in a green Mazda S.U.V, wounding him in the right upper arm. Police are looking into the incident.

    Will Rt. Hon. Said Step Down
    He's had a long, accomplished, and, sometimes-controversial career in politics - and 7News has learned from credible sources that senior personalities are in discussions with 71 year old Said Musa to retire from electoral politics. Today Musa told us that it is something that has been discussed, but, added, quote, "I have not made up my mind." He added that he has quote, "not addressed my mind to it as urgently as perhaps others have." We asked him if such a move might be imminent...his response, "I would say it is not." But, clearly it is a very live issue and we know that there is a move at very senior levels of the party to prevail on Musa to step aside because, reputationally, he is considered a liability to the party. And the urgency Mr. Musa alluded to may indeed be present in the minds of some in the PUP who sense that general elections will be sooner rather than later. But, best sources say, talks are still in progress - and some of this - we are told - could be stuck on who would replace him in Fort George, which is considered one of the safest PUP seats in the country. Musa's first winning general election was in 1979 - and he has served 7 terms in the House of Representatives - wining the last 6 times in succession.

    Dylan Reneau Tells Audrey To Simmer Down
    All of last week, we covered the dispute over Labour Senator Ray Davis. Trade Union congress Vice President Audrey Matura Shepherd said he must resign or be removed because he abstained on the Petrocaribe vote - but his supporters say he never got a directive from the union on how to vote, so he had no choice but to abstain. Former NTUCB President Dylan Reneau elaborated on this at great length in a lengthy email sent last Friday - in which he also took time to lecture Matura-Shepherd for her public criticisms of Senator Davis. 7News has obtained a copy of the three thousand word email - complete with nine attachments - which is addressed to Matura-Shepherd. He says the letter is triggered by her public attack on the integrity of a trade union stalwart. Right off the top, he warns, quote, "I believe you are out of line calling for Senator Davis to resign or for NTUCB to remove him." 7News has obtained a copy of the three thousand word email - complete with nine attachments - which is addressed to Matura-Shepherd. He says the letter is triggered by her public attack on the integrity of a trade union stalwart. Right off the top, he warns, quote, "I believe you are out of line calling for Senator Davis to resign or for NTUCB to remove him."

    CCJ's First Session In Belize
    The Judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Belize's highest court of appeal, are in Belize for their first ever sitting in this country. They arrived on Saturday, and they will be hearing cases until Thursday. One of the cases they hope to deal with in person is the Maya Communal Land Rights Case. As we've reported, former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh ruled in 2007 and 2010 that the Mayans in 33 villages of Southern Belize have customary land rights over their ancestral lands. That's pretty much the same thing that the Court of Appeal affirmed in July of 2013, but they did not grant the relief that the Mayans were asking for. The Court ruled that the Government did not have to protect those rights by legislating their ownership with the Lands Department. So, both sides decided to appeal since the Appeal Court's decision was not fully in either party's favor. That brings us to this week where the Court of Appeal has set aside 2 full days to hear what they expected to be a rigorous and intensive appeal. That's until this morning's case management conference, which was held in closed doors. That's when the Government attorneys Denys and Naima Barrow indicated to the court that they would settle most of the point in dispute with the Mayan litigants. We waited outside of court for an opportunity to speak with both sides about this unexpected settlement, and here's what they told us:

    CCJ Hears First Criminal Appeal From Belize
    The Caribbean Court of Justice will hear its first-ever criminal appeal from Belize. In January, Eamon Courtenay, the former President of the Bar Association explained to the media that the reason no criminal appeals have made it to the CCJ is because the convicted appellants cannot afford it. And now Courtenay is representing the first man to take his appeal to that court. That applicant is convicted murderer Gregory August who recently appealed to the Court of Appeal, but failed to convince the judges that his appeal should be allowed. The CCJ judges held a special sitting this morning to hear his application for leave to appeal and be heard as a poor person. The CCJ panel looked favorably on his application, and granted him permission to appeal his case at a later date before him. They have decided, however, that he must go back to the Court of Appeal to argue new grounds that his attorney is bringing on his behalf. We spoke with his attorney outside of court about the favorable outcome, and the implications of those new grounds. Here's how he explained it:

    Pedophile Pastor
    A pastor of Boca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm, Orange Walk has been arrested and charged with child pornography. The 60 year old pastor Edgar Gerardo Lopez took nude pictures of two girls, ages 3 and 10 standing along with their mother. Apparently, the mother was having relations with him and took her daughters to meet him. That is when the pastor took the naked pictures of the girls. Lopez was charged with 4 counts of producing child pornography, 2 counts for the 3 year old minor and two counts for the ten year old. Police say the mother might also be charged. He was remanded to prison and will re-appear in court on June 29th. A medical examination established that none of the children had been molested.

    Lake I Showdown Between Cordel and King
    A mini political showdown played out in Lake Independence today. IT happened in the community space behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde building. That's where a dispute about land ownership played out between competing political interests: PUP Sheriff Cordel Hyde and his UDP counterpart Mark King. The issue is a piece of land, block 45 of parcel 61. Hyde says he secured it for the PUP Lake Independence Action Committee in 2007, while King has title for the very same piece of land in the name of the GOB for UDP Lake Independence Committee. Two titles for the same piece of land - sounds shady, right? Well, Cordel Hyde says he got title first, he just can't find it. We visited the area today and found his camp holding their ground:.. Cordel Hyde, PUP Standard Bearer - Lake I "We got word late last night that the area representative for Lake Independence was going to bring his people out here to break down this building. This building is owned by the Lake Independence Action Committee. They bought from the government in 2007 for $20,000. They sold a lot of barbeque and a lot of turkey dinner to pay for that. Late 2011 it was burnt down - 5 months before the elections. But you can't just go on someone's private property and invade their space and break down their building without at least having a discussion and saying what it is, is your intention. Even if you are the big bad government."

    What About Squat
    And while Kings says he is not in war mode on this one - Hyde took him to task for how he handles the eviction of 12 squatters last week. As we've reported, they were squatting on six acres of private land in the Gungulung area. The private landowner was about to evict them - and King intervened to give them leases for land in Cotton Tree. Hyde says he could have done better:

    Man Fights With Wife, Stabs Himself
    A man stabbed himself in a fight with his common law wife in Corozal. Yesterday, 38 year old Yeni Gomez along with her common law husband 23 year old Leandro Botes were socializing with family at their home when a misunderstanding erupted. Apparently, Botes broke a rum bottle and attempted to stab his common law wife Gomez but in the struggle he ended up stabbing himself in the left shoulder. He was taken to the KHMH in a critical condition. As for Gomez, she complained of pain to her right hand. Her face was also swollen.

    City Survives Mega Blackout
    Yesterday, residents in some areas of Belize City had an 11 hour mega-blackout! With the April heat coming on, it was surely an unwelcome Sunday sweat session, but BEL says it was important to improve the mechanism for emergency backup power. The main purpose of the blackout was to decentralize power from the Magazine Road plant during times of emergency. 2 newly built substations, one at the corner of Partridge and Banak Streets, and the other on the Phillip Goldson Highway, called the "Pallotti Substation", will take over in the event that there is power failure to the Magazine Facility. BEL's electricity grid will be able to re-route power to these new facilities and provide electricity for the City while Magazine substation is down. Engineers also re-positioned major transmission lines.

    Mahogany Trees For Free
    The Audubon Society has been giving away free Mahogany trees since Wednesday. The Society organizes this initiative every year for Earth Day and publicity coordinator Dirk Francisco says people have been coming in to get their trees. We spoke with Francisco along with a mahogany tree enthusiast and they told us that this initiative promotes both the beauty of the Mahogany tree along with its cultural and environmental significance. The Society had 200 trees to give away and now only has 75 left. So if you're interested, you can stop by the Belize Audubon Society and get your tree. Apart of this year's Earth Day celebration, the Audubon Society along with the Mayor of Belmopan will plant a Mahogany Tree at Guanacaste Park on Wednesday - when Earth Day is officially commemorated.

    Deon Is In Camp
    On Friday's newscast, we showed you how Belize's premier striker, Deon McCaulay, arrived in Belize after a group of fans organized a grassroots effort to pay for his transportation and stipend while he trains for the next 10 weeks. We'll, we've confirmed that McCaulay reported to his first practice today at the FFB Headquarters with the other National Team Members. The FFB also released a statement saying quote, "The Football Federation of Belize and The Belize National Team Committee take this opportunity to welcome home Deon McCaulay. Deon has accepted the terms of the FFB/National Team Committee and has agree to join the Team for workout, commencing Monday, 20th April, 2015. The terms and conditions as it relates to Stipend and traveling per diem are inline with the usual FFB policies and applies to all National Team Players." End Quote.

    Dwight's Declaration
    In the past few weeks we've shown you how two UDP Representatives have stepped aside to make way for new challengers to replace them. No one will say this, but the real reason they did that is because they were considered beatable, and the UDP hoped to replace them with better candidates who have a better chance at winning. Only time will tell if the ruling party made the right moves with Tracy Taegar and Darrell Bradley - but they have no moves to make in Belize Rural north. That's where Edmond Castro will be challenged by Dwight Tillett. Castro is considered to have a lock on the division so we asked Tillett today why he wants to challenge him:.. Dwight Tillet "I've been working in this division since 2003 for the current area representative. I worked as his campaign manager for the first 4 years leading up to the '08 election and I've also worked for him in 2012. He's a total disappointment to me and to many of us who were in his committee and it is these people that have urged me to come out. And I'm glad they have done that because we can't stay on the side-lines and keep on complaining about bad government. All the people who have all these bright ideas on talk shows, they should get out there and start to do something you know. That's the way were going to change our country and make it a better place. I expect to win, there is no doubt in my mind that the momentum we have - I have been at this since July 2013. I left my government job to be out there doing what I'm doing now. The people are ready for change and unless a miracle happens, I will not win but all indications are that we have this in the bag."

    Channel 5

    Well-known Couple Found Dead Inside Ladyville Home, Murder/Suicide Suspected
    A well-known Ladyville couple was found dead inside their house in Ladyville, Belize District. When family members were unable to get in contact with them on Sunday, police were called. [...]

    Tour Guide “Bird” Magdaleno Executed By Lone Gunman Inside His Vehicle
    The spate of violence over the weekend extended to the City where six persons were injured and one man was killed. The gun violence started as early as seven-thirty on [...]

    CCJ Sessions Commence in Belize, Gregory August Applies for Special Leave
    The Caribbean Court of Justice this morning commenced hearings for the first time in Belize, since its establishment in 2001. There are currently three other members, Barbados, Guyana and Dominica, [...]

    Attorney Eamon Courtenay Says Life Imprisonment Without Parole is Unconstitutional
    The basis for the legal challenge, according to Courtenay, is the constitutionality of the court’s decision to incarcerate August for the remainder of his life.  Equally, the case against August [...]

    Cordel Hyde Saves Decrepit Lake-I Building from Demolition
    Just before ten this morning, political friction erupted in the Lake Independence area and police were called in to avert any violence.  Residents and P.U.P. Standard Bearer, Cordel Hyde gathered [...]

    Orange Walk Pastor Arraigned for Child Pornography
    An Orange Walk pastor has been arrested and charged on multiple counts of child pornography of two minors. Honduran national Gerardo Lopez of the Evangelical Church in Trial Farm was [...]

    Brazen Shooting on Curl Thompson Street Leaves Two Persons Injured
    As we reported earlier, there were six persons injured in three other shootings in the Old Capital, but are not linked. Prior to the murder of Vern Magdaleno at the [...]

    Weekend Shooting Leaves Nissane Usher Injured
    Within minutes of the shooting on Curl Thompson Street and even as the scene was being processed, another team of officers responded to a shooting; this time at the corner [...]

    14 year old Girl Shot While Gunmen Pursue Target on Police Street
    By Saturday, night, two other persons including a fourteen year old girl would be shot and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Just after ten p.m., two gunmen approached [...]

    Domestic Dispute in Corozal – Husband Stabbed and Wife Badly Beaten
    And up north, a couple in Corozal Town remains hospitalized tonight, following a domestic altercation on Sunday.  Twenty-three-year-old Leandro Botes, a resident of Altamira, was stabbed in the left shoulder [...]

    Is N.T.U.C.B. a House Divided?
    The controversial Petrocaribe Bill has since been enacted and despite the N.T.U.C.B.’s seemingly lethargic response in criticizing that piece of legislation, a release by the umbrella organization was issued over [...]

    Swedish Student Busted with Drug Paraphernalia in Caye Caulker
    A Sweden student was before the court today after he was busted on Caye Caulker in possession of a pipe used for smoking drugs and one point three grams of [...]

    Home Invasion in Esperanza, Ex-Common Law Hacks Woman and Man With Machete
    We have reported on the violence in the Belize District and up north in Corozal. In the west, a domestic dispute landed a woman in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital [...]

    Businessman Shalman Rahid Robbed in Santa Elena Town
    A businessman was also robbed on Saturday night in Santa Elena Town. Robbers netted over two thousand dollars in cash and valuables. San Ignacio Police say they are investigating this [...]

    Semi Pro Basketball at its Best in Sports Monday
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   As the PLB Closing Season continues to roll, we caught up with yesterday’s showdown in what could be a [...]

    CTV3

    Two Corozal Residents Charged For Drug Trafficking
    A vehicle search in the Village of Progresso yielded successful for authorities from the Corozal District. On Saturday April 18th 2015 at about 5:30am, the Belize Special Assignment Group (B.S.A.G) personnel conducted a search at the premises of 38 year old Nestor Urbina Heredia, Belizean watchman. At the time of the search Heredia was accompanied by 19 year old Raul Pech, labourer and resident of Progresso Village. Searches conducted inside the glove compartment of a green Ford Explorer 4 door SUV resulted in the discovery of green leafy vegetable substance suspected to be cannabis. The suspected drug was wrapped in white paper inside a transparent plastic bag. The finding was shown to both persons who were informed of the offence committed cautioned and placed under arrest. Both men were escorted along with the findings to the Corozal Police Station. At the station the suspected cannabis was weighed in presence of both accused and amounted to 148.7 grams. Both persons were arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

    Another House Burnt Down In August Pine Ridge Village
    Over the weekend, a fire was recorded in the Village of August Pine Ridge in Orange Walk where the blaze consumed one structure and left its owner displaced. According to the report which was made at 11:00pm on Saturday, when police got to the scene it was little too late. Deputy Commander, Inspector Selvin Tillett told us more. “Upon their arrival police saw a 25 by 18 foot cement top building that had been burnt to the ground and the house belong to one Sepriano Estrada 67 year old Belizean labourer of said village August Pine Ridge and his household articles were all destroyed and police conducted an investigation and so far four person from the said village of August pine Ridge were being detained pending investigations.” The total value of the structure and its contents was estimated at $8,000 dollars.

    NCFC Issues Release Condemning The Abuse Of Any Kind Against Children
    At the top of the newscast we told you about the pastor from the Roca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm who has been charged for Child Pornography and at the heels of that charge, today the National Committee for Families and Children issued a release which out rightly condemned the abuse of any kind against children. The statement says and we quote, “One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the Rights of a Child states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. The release continued stating that “Too often in the past, criminal acts against children have gone unpunished. However, perpetrators should bear in mind that whenever children are abused or seriously harmed, there will be severe penal repercussions. A zero tolerance approach against child abuse of any kind must be the stance throughout the length and breadth of Belize”, end quote. The release ended that we all have a part to pay in providing a safe and healthy environment to our future leaders and to commit to creating spaces where children can know they are nurtured and protected. It’s our collective responsibility to make Belize worthy of its children.” End quote.

    NTUCB Yet To Take A Stand On PETRO CARIBE Law
    There has been much debate on the new Petrocaribe law which allows government to borrow and spend without seeking prior approval from the House of Representatives. Today, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize declared that in the hands of the NTUCB, the dissection and unfolding of Petro Caribe Law is only just beginning. In a release issued today, the NTUCB states that, “this new law flies in the face of ALL we stand for regarding the fiscal management of Belize’s resources”. The NTUCB release continues saying that no law passed to facilitate loans should be in contravention of the Constitution and the Finance and Audit Act, nor should the Power of Parliament be used to confirm, validate and legitimize such violations. It goes on to state that the new law circumvents accountability and transparency – a tenet of NTUCB, reference good governance. With that said, the NTUCB states that it will quote, “continue to work its machinery; void of the pressure elements within the media keep mounting, to get the Congress to lose focus on what the real issue is which to find out if the Petro Caribe Law is good for Belize?

    Pastor Charged For Child Pornography Is A False Prophet
    On Friday we broke the story of an alleged pastor criminally charged for Child Pornography offenses of two female minors. When we left you, 60 year old Gerardo Lopez, a construction worker and self-proclaimed Pastor was slapped with four counts of Child Pornography; two counts on the 3 year old and two counts for the ten year old student. And while police continue to investigate and the matter taken up with the Department of Human Development, today Lopez was formally arraigned in court. Reporter Maria Novelo has that story. Maria Novelo – Reporting 60 year old Edgar Gerardo Lopez will be spending day one of his prison sentence tonight after being formally arraigned on child pornography offenses and denied bail. The charge stems from nude photographs found in his personal cellular phone of two minors, ages 3 and ten of Trial Farm Village in Orange Walk. When authorities questioned him about the pictures, Lopez, who proclaimed to be a pastor for the Roca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm, confessed that he took the photographs from the Mother and her two minor daughters. Today, our investigations led us to Oscar Barrera, president of the Pastor’s Association of Orange Walk. Barrera says that while the incident has tainted the image of the Evangelical Ministry, the self-proclaimed pastor is a false prophet.

    Couples Fight Leads To One Person Injured
    An alleged abusive relationship in Corozal Town has left one resident recuperating from stab wounds at the Corozal Community Hospital. On Sunday around 9:00pm Corozal Police visited the Corozal Community Hospital where they saw 23 year old Leandro Botes, Belizean laborer of Altamira Area, Corozal Town, being treated for a stab wound to the lower left shoulder and bleeding profusely. Fifteen minutes later, 38 year old Yeni Gomez, Botes’ common-law-wife, arrived at the Corozal Police Station drenched in blood and smelling of alcohol. In her report, Gomez stated that earlier that day, she and her common law husband along with their family and friends were socializing at the couple’s house drinking a few alcoholic beverages, when she and Botes ended in their private room and a misunderstanding erupted between both.

    PlusTV

    BAHA investigates cause of shrimp die off in the south
    An unconfirmed disease has caused the dying out of shrimps in at least one shrimp farm pond in the South.  When we broke the story on Wednesday, BAHA officials were already on the ground quarantining the pond of the first farm affected to ensure that the unnamed disease does not spread...

    Thousands of chickens slaughtered in the West
    And while shrimps are dying in the South, chickens are being slaughtered in the West...

    says Belize is one of most accepting countries of homosexuality
    Is the stage being set to push through the decriminalization of sodomy in Belize?According to UNAIDS sponsored surveys; Belize may very well be ready for the move...

    Deon McCauley returns home, makes up with FFB
    National Football Team forward Deon McCauley touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) this afternoon on a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta, Georgia, ending several weeks of back and forth over whether he would be here for the start of training camp ahead of the second round ...

    PM promises to keep trying with audit requirements
    Auditor General Dorothy Bradley has fingered the Government of Belize for being unable to reconcile 22 accounts as part of its annual audit exercise which resulted in an adverse review...

    BAY hosts job placement sessions for youths
    As a part of the 2 year program to promote job creation and entrepreneurship, sponsored by the Belmopan City Council and through a grant from the US Embassy, the Belmopan Active Youths will travel to the Jaguar Creek resort with 40 youths for two days to participate in activities geared towards equi...

    Quality Poultry truck robbed and stolen
    A Quality Poultry vehicle with over $8000 in cash was stolen just before news time in Salvapan, Belmopan. The Quality Poultry truck men were stocking Mary’s Store in Salvapan when two men jumped in the truck and sped off...

    Third person charged in Coast Guard’s murder
    San Ignacio police have made a third arrest in the murder of Coast Guard Aurelio Montero who was found badly beaten at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio two weeks ago. The seaman eventually died from his injuries...

    Marco Tulio charges to be upgraded
    PUP Orange Walk East Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez will face more serious charges of child molestation. Back in February of this year, the member of the House of Representatives was arraigned on six countsof aggravated assault; four for one minor and two for the other minor...

    Woman awakened by intruders and robbed
    A store owner in PG was robbed at knife point. 31-year-old Li Zhen Wu, a Belizean businesswoman  and owner of New Choice Store reported that about 3:00 a.m. on Thursday April 16, she was awaken by two male persons of dark complexion who entered her room and placed a knife to her neck...

    MoneyGram in PG robbed
    There was another robbery in Punta Gorda on Thursday April 16. A 17-year-old manager of Money Gram reported that on at around 5:10 p.m...

    Charges against alleged Succotz rioters dismissed
    Alleged Succotz rioters have been freed of charges. The charges against the 14 persons residents of San Jose Succotz village who were dismissed in the Magistrate’s Court on April 16...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Women charged over fight
    Two Belize City women are convicted of disorderly conduct and committing a mischievous act after being found fighting each other on the street and then attempting to cover it up. 25 year old Christie Pope and 24 year old Guatemalan national Gracie Ba were apparently fighting each other […]

    New Zealand visitor fined for cannabis
    A visitor to Belize from the Asian Pacific nation of New Zealand is out $150 after pleading guilty to possession of cannabis and a wooden pipe used for smoking the drug. 19 year old Hamish Miller Rees Malens, a student, was caught on April 17 in Caye Caulker. […]

    BEL employee charged for stolen Dutch cheese
    This weekend an employee of the state-run electricity company was caught apparently taking 2 balls of Dutch cheese from a store on Sixth Street in Belize City. 38 year old Eron Logan of Tibruce Street pleaded not guilty to a count of theft before Magistrate Aretha Ford. Logan […]

    Fisherman charged again for undersized conch
    Fisherman from Sarteneja in the Corozal District 48 year old Sansermo Torres has run afoul again of the law on possession of undersized conch, and it will cost him. He will find out how much when he is sentenced on Friday, April 24, before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith. […]

    CCJ grants leave to appeal to convicted murderer
    The seven-member panel of justices of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) arrived at the No. 1 Supreme Court in Belize City this morning for a historic first itinerant session in Belize. The CCJ is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its founding as final court of appeal for […]

    It’s official! Deon McCaulay joins the National Team
    Belize’s most recognized and loved footballer, Deon McCaulay, was brought back into the country last week by a group of committed fans who joined hands to pay for his flight and give him a stipend while in Belize. The star striker was playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks in the United […]

    Pastor sentenced to prison in child porn case
    Proclaimed Pastor Edgar Gerardo Lopez, has been remanded to prison for the crime of child pornography. 60 years old Lopez, a resident of Black-water Creek in Trial Farm village in Orange Walk will spend his first night at Central Prison after appearing this morning, in court to be formally arraigned […]

    Romeo and Juliet-style tragedy leaves woman and man dead
    Police in Ladyville are trying to puzzle up the pieces to a murder and suicide case that happened around 8:35pm on Sunday night. Police visited the residence of Michael Estell on the Old Airport Road in Ladyville in the District of Belize, and upon entering the premises; they observed 30 […]

    Bloody weekend in the City
    Several shootings recorded over the weekend leaves person dead and about half a dozen recuperating from gun shoot wounds at the KHMH. On Friday night around 8:14 pm, Belize City police were called to the corner of Fabers Road and Central American Boulevard, where they saw the lifeless body of 35 […]

    Lover’s quarrels lands one at the KHMH
    Authorities in Corozal are investigating a lover’s quarrel that landed one of them at the KHMH for treatment. According to the officials, around 9pm on Sunday, they visited the Corozal Community Hospital where they saw 23 year old Leonardo Botes from Altamira Village bleeding profusely. Shortly after the police visited […]

    CCJ begins historic first Belize session
    This morning the seven justices of the Caribbean Court of Justice arrived for a historic first session in Belize on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of its founding. The Court’s first case is a criminal appeal in which convicted murderer Gregory August is seeking leave to appeal his case […]

    A newly formed group in Punta Gorda is making strides in that community
    The St. Vincent Block, also known as “Cerro”, is a small Garifuna community just outside of Punta Gorda Town that spans over 900 acres of land. Although Cerro is a peaceful, culturally enriched and rapidly growing community, it has been faced with many problems since its start. Some major problems […]

    Man Drowns in Gracie Rock
    Belize Media Group has received reports about a man drowning in Gracie Rock. According to reports, around 4:30pm on Sunday, Jamel Canto jumped in the river to save another person who was drowning – but that was when he was tragically swept in the deep waters of the river and […]

    Blogs

    More And More People Are Coming to Enjoy the West Side of Ambergris Caye…And For GOOD Reason
    For many years, the west side of Ambergris Caye was only accessible by boat. Mostly known for the small but very exclusive resort Cayo Espanto (opened in 1998) and for fly fishing, few people went over just for the scattering of beaches and the crystal clear waters. The first time that I got a good view of the untouched coast and the many tiny cayes was on a trip to Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. It’s a pretty special tour (here is one I took more recently: A Mayan Site, One Million Birds and Dolphins…) that takes you almost all the way around the island. Through the tiny cut at the north side that separates Ambergris Caye, Belize from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. But now? The west side is blowing up! And with Leonardo DiCaprio developing Blackadore Caye? Oh my…it’s going to be crazy. Yesterday on a SERIOUSLY blustery day on the reef side of the island, the water was much calmer on the leeward side. I took a boat ride up to Grand Belize Estates and beyond and…WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE THERE.

    Florida or Belize?  That is the Question.
    Prior to making our final decision to move to San Pedro, we had just recently sold everything in Minnesota and set up residency in Florida. We own a home there and would spend winters there instead of the Midwestern Frozen Tundra. Due to the amount of flight miles accumulated going back and forth annually, the airline rewards us with what they refer to as “A Companion Ticket”. We had decided that this year it shall be assigned to J.P. Newman so she could leave the comforts of her icebox in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and relax with us in the Florida sunshine. After pulling the trigger on relocating to San Pedro, a phone call to our lucky companion ticket holder was in order. “So, we decided to move to Belize. Instead of coming to Florida in April, would you like to come visit us there?” She hung up the phone and started packing – immediately. Two cancelled flights out of Duluth later and barely functioning on 3 hours of sleep, our field correspondent arrived on La Isla Bonita. Pool Time and Hot Dogs “First things first! I need some sun! I want my freckles to breed!” – this was J.P.’s early morning proclamation. Time to get our girl to a pool and/or beach for some island time sunshine! Of course, the first place we decided to take her was to Caribbean Villas Resort. There’s always some room at one of the two freshwater pools on site, comfortable loungers by the beach and great food on the menu for breakfast or lunch. The view is nothing to sneeze at, either.


    Many people live their lives without leaving a mark on society. This isn’t the case for Peter Tonti. Originally from the U.S., after completing a Peace Corps volunteer session in Belize in the 1970s, he decided to permanently live there. He set up shop in the tourism industry and helped pioneer a young industry that was in need of much guidance. I officially met Peter when I started working at The Lodge at Chaa Creek; however, I was acquainted with him before that. I’m from San Ignacio and that’s where the Chaa Creek offices are. He was known as the guy who walked all over town. That’s strange in Belize because anyone who can afford a car, owns a car – public transit sucks and it is also considered a status symbol. A car means your standard of living is good. At the office Peter commanded respect, and after work he was super casual and loads of fun to party with. I remember when I just started working with him and I would tell myself I couldn’t wait for us to be cool enough to hang out. His best friend was Mike Green, a guy who also worked at the lodge as the conservation manager, and on Fridays you’d see Mike Green come by the office at the end of the day to pick him up for some TGIF fun. Grrr, I wish I was invited I would tell myself. Haha. There are many things that I learned from Peter but there are two things that I am most grateful for.

    International Sourcesizz

    Natural plaster advocates want to reduce cement in construction
    Rottler is one of the directors of Tierra y Cal, a nonprofit based in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, that uses compressed earth blocks for building, "green" kilns for firing bricks and clay-based plasters and paints to cover walls. Besides working with local builders and the Guanajuato state government to cut air pollution from kilns, Tierra y Cal also hosts workshops teaching its methods to groups such as Engineers Without Borders. One primary goal is to reduce the amount of cement used in construction. Cement has obvious benefits and belongs in the building process, says Rottler, but it is increasingly relied on unnecessarily, dramatically raising the carbon footprint of construction. "There's cement in everything now — floors, foundations, walls, plaster, roofs," he says. "We're trying to build with materials we have locally." In central Mexico the local recipe for a natural plaster is simple: clay, lime, borax and a slurry of cut-up nopal cactus paddles. The lime acts as a stabilizer that makes the clay resistant to moisture, the borax retards molds and the cactus works as a binder, a natural latex.

    US fraud reveals Chavez-connected Caribbean money trail
    The collapse in early 2011 of what prosecutors described as Connecticut’s largest ever Ponzi scheme and subsequent criminal and civil court proceedings have revealed a money trail of ill-gotten gains stretching from one end of the Caribbean to the other, some of which benefited individuals connected to high ranking members of the government of former Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. Venezuelan financier, Francisco Illarramendi, 45, was sentenced in January of this year to 13 years in prison for running what US federal prosecutors in Connecticut called a Ponzi scheme that resulted in $382.2 million of losses to investors, including Venezuela's state-owned oil company.

    And the world's top island for vacationers is ...
    (CNN)Island-hoppers take note: Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos is TripAdvisor's latest pick for the world's top island. Providenciales climbed a rung from last year's No. 2 ranking among the travel review site's Travelers' Choice award winners to bump Ambergris Caye out of the top spot. It was quite a tumble for the Belize island. Ambergris Caye held the top ranking on the TripAdvisor global islands list for two years in a row before dropping out of the top 10 completely this year. Why the disappearance? "It's hard to say, as winners change from year to year based on feedback from travelers," said TripAdvisor spokeswoman Julie Cassetina. "Similar to last year and 2013, winning islands were determined using an algorithm that looked at the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and opinions for hotels, attractions and restaurants on each island gathered during a 12-month period."

    Caribbean Court of Justice begins first itinerant session in Belize
    The Caribbean Court of Justice, or CCJ, on Monday began itinerant sessions in Belize for the first time to ensure that it was "accessible to the people of the Caribbean Community, which it serves." Sessions will be held until Thursday in Courtroom 1, Supreme Court of Belize, the CCJ said in a statement. The CCJ will hear appellate jurisdiction cases from Guyana and Belize, including the case of The Maya Leaders Alliance et al. v. the Attorney General of Belize. The Trinidad-based court held sessions in Barbados in April 2012; Jamaica and Barbados in March 2013; and Guyana in February 2014. Twelve of the 15 Caribbean Community members are signatories of the CCJ: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. EFE

    Two dentists in a rain forest: Slidell Town Talk
    When I sat down with two prominent Slidell dental professionals, the first thought that came to mind was that they looked like a couple of young guys excited to talk about a recent camping trip, and couldn't wait to go again. The guys I'm talking about, although young in spirit if not in actual years, are Joseph Lindsay and Michael Guevara, the two friends for which the Dos Amigos Dental Medical Missions is named. The group has a 26-year history of offering dental and medical care to villagers in the Toledo District of Belize, most of whom have little to no access to health care services we in this country take for granted. Lindsay started the group after attending the slide show presentation at his church by a missionary couple stationed in Belize. By the end of the evening, he was making plans. "I turned to my wife Sandy and said, 'we're going.' We went home," explained Lindsay, "and she told our daughter Abby, 'guess what your silly Dad wants to do?'" That was 1988. Months later, the three family members and a few additional brave souls were standing on a concrete slab with a thatched roof overhead, providing dental care to people sorely in need of even the simplest procedures.

    The best islands in the world, as voted for by TripAdvisor users
    If you’re planning a summer holiday, preparing a gap year itinerary, or maybe even deliberating over where to go on your honeymoon, you may want to take a look at TripAdvisor's latest "best of" list before making your final decision. The travel review website has rounded up the world's best islands, as voted for by its island-hopping users. Topping the list this year is Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, which is ringed by some of the world’s prettiest beaches. The island came second in last year's awards, pipped to the post by Ambergris Caye in Belize, which didn’t made the cut this year. Tropical seems to be a recurring theme, with only two European destinations making the top 10.

    What Traveling for a Living Taught Me About Life
    Without exception, the best lessons I have ever learned in life have come from traveling the world. My partner, Alesha Bradford, and I have been backpacking around the globe for nearly seven years, exploring new destinations, discovering fascinating cultures, and meeting interesting people. Every day that I spend on the road teaches me more about who I am. I look back at where Alesha and I came from and how we’ve changed since those early years of travel, and it’s easy to see and appreciate how travel has turned us into the people we are today. It can be a little be daunting to trust a stranger. After all, we are brought up in the Western world to fear them. But just like you and your friends, most people are inherently good. Strangers in Dangriga, Belize, took us in, fed us, and gave us shelter for no other reason than that they wanted us to have a good time in their country. A man in Myanmar closed his shop for 30 minutes so he could walk us to a monastery to make sure we didn’t get lost. When you travel, you find out that these kinds of people aren’t the minority: The world is full of good, honest, and kind people.

    Marine Expedition to Investigate Plight of Manatees, Dolphins in Cuba
    This has been a record year for counting the number of manatees in Florida, but what about our island neighbor to the south? Columbus first mentioned the waters off Cuba swimming with manatees, but since then they've been hunted for food. No one really knows how many live there. A marine conservation expedition beginning Tuesday aims to shine some light on their plight - as well as that of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. It's being held by Sea to Shore Alliance, a small nonprofit group formed about six years ago in Sarasota. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with it's executive director, Dr. James "Buddy" Powell, who says it's a first-of-its-kind trip to Cuba. Powell says he came up with the first concrete proof that manatees traverse the Straits of Florida and winter in Cuba. He's also documented manatees swimming across the Carribbean, off the nation of Belize.

    Prohíben captura de caracol rosado hasta el 2017 en Q. Roo
    La veda que entra en vigor hoy, prevé el aprovechamiento sustentable del molusco. La veda de caracol rosado y blanco para Quintana Roo entró en vigencia el día de hoy, y hasta el 28 de febrero de 2017 queda estrictamente prohibida la captura de este molusco. A partir de 2018 y años sucesivos, la veda se establecerá en dos periodos, durante todo el mes de febrero y del 1 de mayo al 30 de noviembre de cada año. Autoridades federales publicaron el día de ayer (viernes) el documento que establece las medidas de protección a la especie y la restricción en su aprovechamiento o consumo. También te puede interesar: Sentencian a pescador que sustrajo seis kilos de caracol César Armando Rosales Cancino, delegado de la Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (Sagarpa), refirió que en dicho acuerdo se fija veda temporal para el caracol rosado o blanco (Strombus gigas) en el banco Chinchorro, Quintana Roo, y en la zona desde Punta Herrero, al norte de Mahahual, hasta Bacalar Chico (también conocido como Canal de Zaragoza) en los límites con Belice.

    Videos

  • Week 2 of camp is on in full force.., 1/2min. Belize National Football Team getting ready for their second Wold Cup Qualifier against Dominican Republic in June.

  • Best of 2014 wildlife patients at Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, 9min. The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic released a great video that covers a lot of what they did last year. Spoiler: they did a lot. Great video. Thanks, BWRC!

  • Belize update #2, 1.5min. Fireflies in the hills......on the road again!

  • Easter 2015 @ Barefoot Beach Bar Placencia Belize, 2min. Dj Richie, Dj Dalla, Dj Jago, Remix Berto, Dj Boneyfide, Linda Blease.....Beach Shellas.

  • Taste Of The Islands - Ambergris Caye, Belize! (2.17.15), 8.5min. Scenic flight & island life! :)

  • Belize Barrier Reef Wall Dive, 4min. SCUBA diving at the Belize Barrier Reef. This was a two tank, two location dive.

  • Goldfish Swim School, St. Charles Mission Trip: Gales Point, Belize, 4min. Owner, Alex Tyler, Travels to Belize to teach underprivileged kids how to swim.

  • catamaran belize, 2min.

  • Cruise to Cozumel, Honduras and Belize with GoPro, 6min. Zip lining,Tubing, Dock diving, Horse back riding, Marriage proposal caught on my GoPro.


    Recent Belize News

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