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November 27, 2014

NOTE: Due to a family get together today, and facing many hours in the kitchen, I will not be doing the news tomorrow (Friday) morning. I will resume on Saturday morning....


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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

Mr Al’s Poolroom and Karaoke Bar
Mr. Al’s Poolroom and Karaoke Bar is one of the newer establishments around town. And we’ve caught word that not only is it a cool local hangout, but that they also have killer karaoke nights and pretty tasty $1 wings. The San Pedro Sun decided to check out the joint located in town on Pelican Street, and we saw first-hand that not even a rainy Friday night could keep away Mr. Al’s patrons! It was a karaoke competition and the cozy bar was jam packed. Cold drinks were being served, yummy wings at almost every table and karaoke selections in full swing.

Creativity and Style showcased 2014 Belize Fashion Week
The highlight of BFW14 took place on Friday, November 21st and Saturday, November 22nd when the models strutted the runway in the hottest of spring-summer 2015 fashion. Overseen by award winning director Arlando Smith, the two-night show was an exceptional presentation of Belizean creativity. From beautiful ball gowns to slinky swimsuits, the models rocked every outfit. The crowd got to enjoy the creations of local designers such as Joris Hendrik, Adrian Rocker, Maureen Navarette (ICONIC),Char Tolentino (A LIST FASHION), Francis Alfaro, Saskia Alejos, Daniel & Jaeil Torres (Jada’s Design), Gabriel Garcia (GMX), Julie McCord, Andazi, Jeana Casey (jewelry designer) and Panamaniean designer John Bejarano. Following the runway show, the designers had an opportunity to market their fashions at the BWF Expo on Sunday, November 23rd held at Central Park. All outfits, jewelry and accessories featured in the runway show were available for purchase.

Fundraiser for Casper Wood a success
Island residents gathered at ABC Pub and Grub on Saturday, November 22nd to raise funds for bass player Casper Wood. After an afternoon of great food, drinks and music, the fundraiser was deemed a huge success raising approximately $3,000BZ for Casper’s medical expenses. Casper, who is a well-known musician in San Pedro, was recently forced to quit working due to his health. His condition requires the use of a pacemaker (a device that is placed in the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms). The fundraising event consisted of raffles and a turkey dinner sale. Generous patrons also made monetary donations both locally and internationally via PayPal. With the money raised, Wood will be receiving immediate medical treatment here in Belize before leaving for his native country of Panama where he will receive further specialized assistance.

Amazing show of culture at Holy Cross Anglican Primary School
The students of Holy Cross Anglican Primary School celebrated Belizean culture on Friday, November 21st with their annual Culture Day Fair. Students had the opportunity to showcase their knowledge on the country’s various ethnic groups to parents, guardians and friends. Many of the students and teachers dressed up in cultural attire and enjoyed a fun day of activities for the whole family. The event required upper level students to present on the food, clothing, music, dance and history of the three main cultures of Belize: Garifuna, Creole and Mestizo. The day started at the Boca del Rio Park with the reenactment of the historic Garifuna landing on the coast of Belize on November 19, 1832. After that, the students held a procession back to the school where the main activities took place.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High Academics Enter Sagicor Visionary Challenge
Two teams from San Pedro High School’s Academic Department have entered the Sagicor Visionary Challenge that encourages secondary and high school students to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing them. Their challenge – to find a problem affecting the community and coming up with a solution through their science background. The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), SAGICOR, and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) partnered to form the first Science competition known as the Sagicor Visionary Challenge. That challenge for the San Pedro High Team, led by Mr. Ricardo Sedacy, Head of the Science and Math Department at SPHS, is aimed as using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the problems that they have identified in the community.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Hi nature lovers
Instagrammers. Wildlife Conservation Society in Belize has started its local account. So you'll see photos of nature above and below water. And if you have photos of the wild or nature, hashtag ‪#‎WCSBelize‬ and ‪#‎Belize‬ in your photos. This means plants of Belize as well. WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. We are in Belize.

Aboard the Uprising in San Pedro Ambergris Caye with our buddy Eric.
It is beginning to feel like Christmas. Tomorrow is celebrated as Thanksgiving Day primarily in the United States of America. This is how we marinate a Red Grouper in Belize. Here is wishing all our North American friends at home and abroad a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Day. Peace!

Christmas Sell-A-Thon at the Lions Den
Saturday, November 29th 8am-1pm

World AIDS Day 2014
Government of Belize Press Office

Channel 7

Arraignment Fiasco For Teenager Accused of Killing Diplomat
Tonight, the family of 18 year-old Wilser Echeverria, the man accused by police of killing Panamanian Diplomat Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa Stanford, continues worry about his fate because police have charged him for murder, but in a confounding twist, the Sitting Magistrate is refusing to arraign him. It all pivots on his claim that he killed the diplomat in self defence because the man wanted to rape him gunpoint. For a few hours today, he was indeed charged by investigators with the capital offence, and Belmopan police marched him before Magistrate Aretha Ford this morning. The arraignment should have gone through, and since it is an indictable offence, no plea would have been taken and Echeverria would have sat in jail on remand for months until the DPP’s Office was able to proceed with a Supreme Court case against him.

Date Set For Opening Of Sugar Crop - but Differences Still Loom
Date Set For Opening Of Sugar Crop – but Differences Still Loom December eighth – that’s the date that has been set for the start of the sugar crop. That’s what was agreed to yesterday at a meeting of the Sugar Industry Control Board. That Government appointed Board acts like a kind of referee in the industry and has representation from the cane farmers association, BSI and the Ministry of Agriculture. They met yesterday – and not surprisingly the Cane Farmers and BSI could not agree on a compromise. But they did agree on one thing: ripe cane is awaiting harvest in the field and the season must start: Oscar Alonzo, CEO - BSCFA "We want the crops to start, early. Especially since we determined there is 1.475 million tons of cane out there that needed to be processed. Yesterday the SICB sought to see if it would be possible let us reach an agreement; But what we did achieve yesterday is set date.

Three More Charged For Gang Rape Of 11 Year Old
Tonight, three more Belize City males have been charged for the alleged gang rape of an 11 year old girl. Today a 14 year old, a 17 year old, and 19-year-old Keron Willoughby were charged jointly with one count each of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female child under the age of 14. They join 22 year old Wilfred Ramirez – at whose Iguana Street home the heinous act allegedly occurred last week Thursday. The trio appeared together this morning all unrepresented before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The two minors had one of their mothers present when the charge was read to them.

Cruise Ships Cancel Due to Rough Seas
This morning, the local cruise machinery was well oiled and in high gear – and why not? After all, what’s known as cruise ship season starts on thanksgiving – and this year – Belize is set to see a record number of cruise ships in port. So, several hundred tourism industry workers gathered outside the Fort Street Tourism Village ready to receive more than 12,000 cruise passengers who should have disembarked from 4 ships. But call it a wicked nor’easter, climate change, or what you wish - those 4 ships, 2 from Carnival Cruise Line and 2 from Norwegian, had a hard time getting their guests to shore. Due to the strong winds and the choppy seas, the authorities onboard the Carnival ships decided that it would be too dangerous to get their passengers into the cruise tender vessels. The passengers would first have to walk down a gangway and unto a tender that’s swaying on rough seas – and then endure the eight mile journey to shore on those same seas. Seas so rough it even left an immigration officer seriously seasick! All that meant that both Carnival ships cancelled their calls, keeping some 6,658 passengers away from Belize’s shores.

COLA Says It's Sitting On Something Big
IF you watch the news regularly, you’ll know that the activist group COLA loves hype – and tonight it is riding a wave of it – by promising to bust out a major police scandal. According to a breathless press release issued this afternoon COLA claims to have got its hands on, quote, “an extraordinary amount of files detailing critical issues affecting the morale, manpower and operation of…the…Police Department.” The release says the documents detail a fistful of cop complaints from arbitrary transfers to poor living conditions. But, according to COLA, there’s more than just the usual grousing. The release says, quote, “one document…fingers key Ministers of Government as masterminds of interference in and disruption of the careers of several police officers to preserve their own agendas.”

Unemployment Figure Down Year to Year
What is Belize’s unemployment rate? Well according to the latest labour force survey, it is less than at this time last year. In September of 2013, it stood at 14.2%, but in September of this year it was down to 12.1%. The new Director General of the Statistical Institute of Belize explained at a press conference in Belize city this morning:…. Dr. Leopold Perriott – Director-General, SIB "This graph is telling us that of the labour force that 12.1 percent of the labour force unemployed country wide. 18.4 percent of the labour force in Stann Creek are unemployed. The lowest of course 6.6 percent in Toledo is unemployed. The high levels in Stann Creek reflects the large amount of jobs that were lost over the last quarter, last half of the year. As fas as trends goes, we're experiencing a down turn in the unemployment rates. 18,479 persons are unemployed in September and most of them are in the Belize district; 37.1 in the Belize district and we have. That wouldn't be surprising with the biggest population"

Broke Into A Church
Two men are behind bars tonight for burglarizing, of all places, a church! Ronald Gill and Tyrone Fitzgibbon have seven years to serve for this offense. It happened on October 25th, 2013 at around 12:30 in the morning a police officer and his mother saw Gill and Fitzgibbon sneaking around the SDA Mount Olive Church on Faber’s Road and hiding items behind a building near the church. According to PC Leslie, at around 12:30 a.m., his family and he went over to the church after he learnt that persons were seen on the grounds. He said he took his flashlight out and that’s when he got a clear visual of Fitzgibbon face who was surprised by their entrance. He then ran out the rear door of the Church, with Leslie chasing behind. Fitzgibbon managed to get away by jumping into a nearby swamp and swimming away.

Cameras For The Cancer Of Crime
And because it has gotten burgled like that church one too many times, the cancer society is getting serious with security. At the beginning of the month, we told you how the Belize Cancer Society had been burglarized for the 5th or 6th time. The Cancer Society sent out a public call for help to assist them in acquiring surveillance equipment to secure the facility. The Feinstein Group of Companies answered that call, and today donated over $6,000 in equipment to build a sophisticated system, which should, at best, deter thieves, and at worse, catch them in the act of stealing from the Non-Profit Organization. The Feinstein Group's Fort Point Security officially handed over the system today, and the media was invited to witness it. 7News was there, and the Vice President of the Cancer Society told us that this is a very welcome donation:

Man Claims Police Brutality, No Justice
Tonight a Cayo resident is speaking out after he was allegedly beaten by two police officers. The incident happened on June 19th in the Cayo District. Ernesto Chan, a taxi driver, said two police officers intercepted his vehicle and proceeded to beat him for no reason. His injuries were classified as dangerous harm and since then Chan has made an official police complaint. But it’s been five months now since the incident and Chan says he is still waiting for justice. Today he visited our studios to explain.

Amputee Tells Court He Needs Weed To Ease The Pain
A couple escaped a drug trafficking charge only to get a lesser charge today in court before Magistrate Herbert Panton. 50 year old Alton White and his common-law wife 36 year old Idolly Fraser were accused of drug trafficking when the GSU found 119 grams of weed or 4 ounces of weed at his residence in the Conch Shell Bay area. This happened on September 3rd 2013. They found 108 grams in his septic and 11 grams in his drawer. But White says that he was not going to sell the drugs and that this stash was for medicinal purposes. White is an amputee and has lost use of his leg and he claims the weed helps soothe the pain.

Celebrating The Best On CXC
Some of you might remember the pressure of CXC exams back in high school. Well, the top achievers at today’s National CXC awards ceremony are very familiar with it. Except that while most of us just break into a cold sweat, these top students just dig deeper into their books. And today their were honoured for their hard work and outstanding accomplishments. Courtney Weatherburne spoke with the top finishers. Siian Rancharan- First Place, CSEC "Make sure you believe in yourself because the moment you have any self doubt, that's when you fail yourself. You have to push on, it's a lot of work, a lot of sleepless nights, it really is tough and intense; But at the end of the day when you go up on that stage, when you get that award, it's just that satisfaction you get from achieving from what you have wanted."

Human Rights Group Goes Behind The Prison Walls
“Jail is where they put the bad people” – that’s what we all learned growing up – but often-times it’s not that simple. Many accused persons are stuck behind prison walls – it seems indefinitely - awaiting trial or a bail hearing – which often never comes – for those who can’t afford an attorney, or pay the bail application fee. Indeed, there are many barriers to freedom for accused persons – who stand before the law innocent until proven guilty – even as they are stuck behind prison walls. And that’s where a British Human Rights group called the Death Penalty Project comes in. They came to Belize in July 2014 to sort of troubleshoot the penal system, to find out where accused persons were falling between the cracks into legal oblivion. British Barrister Joseph Middleton compiled a 40 page report called “Behind These Prison Walls” which is meant to serve as a sort of call to action. The report was officially launched today – but the program to rescue some of the forgotten persons is already underway:…

Talking Taiwan
The Taiwanese Embassy today held its annual end-of-year Luncheon and Experience Sharing at the Chateau Caribbean. It is sort of a review of how the year went from the Taiwanese Embassy's perspective – and the Embassy's invites the media and key organizations from the Public Sector to share in. This year's observance was also the first that the New Taiwanese Ambassador, Benjamin Ho, hosted. We attended and spoke with the ambassador about his perspective on the gains and the losses made during his few months in Belize.

Channel 5

Police and D.P.P. Tangle Over Murder Charges for Wilser Echevarria
The murder of Panamanian diplomat Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford on Sunday is a sensational case. The allegations of attempted rape brought against him by Wilser Echevarria and his [...]

11-year-old Girl Gang Raped on Iguana Street
There is a most disgusting report tonight of the gang rape of an eleven year old girl. The incident allegedly occurred on Iguana Street last Thursday at the house of [...]

What’s the Latest on the Sugar Impasse? B.S.C.F.A. Gives an Update
On November fifteenth, cane farmers from eighteen branches of the B.S.C.F.A. met and issued an ultimatum to the Sugar Industry Control Board. In a nutshell, the farmers had two requests [...]

2014’s Top CXC/CAPE Performers Awarded in Orange Walk
There were happy students and proud parents this morning at the national ceremony for CSEC and CAPE awardees which took place in Orange Walk Town. Hundreds of students were recognized [...]

Patrick Faber Shares Success Stories in Education
At the onset of his speech at today’s CXC/CAPE Awards ceremony, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber spoke to the gathering on the current state of the education system. Faber thumbed [...]

Is Hunting Caye F.O.B. Still a Joint Belize/U.S. Effort?
On Tuesday, News Five had an opportunity to speak with Minister of foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington on a variety of issues, including the murder of the Panamanian diplomat. We also [...]

Derrick Bain Convicted of Theft for a Second Time
A convicted thief, who is already serving time behind bars, picked up his second conviction for crimes of dishonesty after pleading guilty to theft for snatching a chain from an [...]

Behind the Prison Gates
The penal system, despite various initiatives by the Kolbe Foundation to improve overall wellbeing at the Belize Central Prison, is bogged down by a number of human rights issues that [...]

A Look at Belize’s Criminal Justice System
According to Executive Director, Parvais Jabbar of the Death Penalty Project, the presentation of the report is not a question of people being released from prison, in light of the [...]

Bar President Acknowledges Efforts of Lawyers in Prison Report
While the Bar Association has been panned for its so-called political affiliations, as well as its seeming lack of interest in assisting with legal aid, President Eamon Courtenay acknowledges that [...]

SIB Says Employment Is Up
The quarterly press conference of the Statistical Institute of Belize was held today in Belize City. It’s a mixed bag of good and bad news. The good news is that [...]

Cruise Ships Cancel Call on Belize Due to Choppy Seas
Today marks the beginning of the high season for the tourism industry, which coincides with the U.S. Thanksgiving Day. But the season got off to a choppy start because two [...]

Would A Cruise Port Prevent Cancellations?
B.T.B. has gone on record to make clear its support for a cruise port of any kind to be built in Belize.  Andrade told us that today’s incident underscores that [...]

Will P.U.P. Accept a Petrocaribe Funded Christmas Cheer?
Christmas is less than a month away which means that the government’s annual Christmas Cheer Program is around the corner. While the opposition takes credit for starting the program with [...]


BSCFA Says Cane Farmers Are On Their Side Of The Ring
After BSI presented cane farmers with the contracts earlier in the month, there have been several consolations with them on the content of the agreement. So far, we have not been able to confirm if any farmer has signed this contract and the BSCFA has repeatedly cautioned farmers to reflect on the long and short term implications of such a contract. It appears though that there is some misinformation being spread which BSCFA’s CEO, Oscar Alonzo, sought to clarify today. The rumour is that farmers in Corozal are already signing that agreement with BSI but Alonzo says this is not the case and they have the support of farmers in Corozal.Oscar Alonzo – CEO BSCFA“What the farmers are signing there we understand that certain members of the St. Francis Xavier Credit Union are also members of the other Association and they are being given forms to join that Association, not to sign the BSI agreement so farmers are not signing any agreement as we understand there so we just want that to be clear that our farmers are still solid and we are getting increasing support from other organizations in the country.”

SIB Release Shows Improvement In Belize's Economy
And while SIB figures reveal that the transport index was cause for the consumer price index to increase, the third quarter statistics also point out that Belize’s economy grew by 4.8%. The latest Gross Domestic Product estimates reveal that the Belizean economy grew by 4.8percent during the months of July to September 2014 in comparison to last year. Strong performances were reported in several key sectors including agriculture, fishing, hotel and restaurants, while electricity, water and construction were down slightly for the quarter.Production in the Agriculture and Forestry sector rose by 20.4 percent as both crop yields and livestock production increased during the quarter. In the sugar industry, almost 50 thousand long tonnes were being delivered. Banana production is up by 9 percent, while Livestock products increased three-fold to meet the demands from Mexico and Guatemala.

Date for Commencement Of Crop To Be Negotiated
On Tuesday the representatives of the Belize Sugar Industry and ASR group, Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association, and the Sugar Industry Control Board finally met after repeated requests by the BSCFA to have a third party intervention. Now, while the SICB acted as a mediator in this round of discussions, and both principal parties agreed upon three major points, the process of negotiations is still, as they put it, a “very delicate” matter. The two major points of interest to the BSCFA to have the SICB’s participation in the process are to recruit an independent expert in the negotiations for revenue sharing for bagasse and secondly to set a date for start of crop with an interim agreement signed.The BSCFA has stated that it is within their interest, like BSI’s to start the crop early. This was mutually agreed upon yesterday and both parties cited December eight as an ideal start date. Both parties also agreed to restart negotiations but nothing specific was settled upon. In an interview late yesterday evening, Chairperson of the SICB Gabriel Martinez would not go into details of the discussions. Today, representatives of BSCFA elaborated more about the results of yesterday’s meeting and how they hope the matters are addressed in a favourable manner for all sugar stakeholders. Dalila Ical reports.

Belize's Inflation Rate Remains At 0.7%
The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest inflation and trade figures. According to the latest statistics for the Consumer Price index, the national inflation rate for the month of October reflects that of last month and stands unchanged at 0.7%. A release from the SIB reveals that the consumer price index rose slightly in comparison to last October from 102.9 to 103.6.For the first ten months, the average inflation rate remains at 1.3 percent. This month the prices for food items such as eggs, pasta and bread went down by an average of 1.2 percent. And while home rental prices remain high particularly in Orange Walk Town and San Ignacio for October, the transport index, one of the primary drivers of the Consumer Price Index, rose marginally by 0.5 percent. This resulted as higher fees for driver’s license across municipalities were virtually offset by a 10 percent drop in price per gallon of diesel.


Angelita Campbell Speaks About Inflation Rate For October
The Statistical Institute of Belize today released its latest figures including the inflation rate for the month of October which remained unchanged from the previous month which recorded a 0.7% inflation rate. According to Statistician, Angelita Campbell, the consumer price index rose slightly in comparison to last October, from 102.9 to 103.6. ANGELITA CAMPBELL “The annual change of the CPI for the month of October stands at 0.7 percent which means that on average the prices are 0.7 percent higher than that of last October. The average rate of inflation from January to October is at 1.3 percent and there was relatively no change in the price in the TPI in respective to the previous month which is the month of September. The diagram here represents the index for all the food items index as well as the fuel index. If you will look specifically at the oil index which is in blue, we are moving from 102.9 to 103.6 which would correlate with an increase. The all food index shows a decrease from 108.6 to 107.3 and the fuel index also reflects a decrease from 111.5 to 108.5 and that will be explained later on. Higher prices were experienced in the transport category of 0.5 percent and that can be explained by an increase in driver’s licenses which was offset by a decrease in fuel prices. The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels went up by 1.5 percent and that can be attributed to an increase in rent of 2 percent.”

Taiwanese Ambassador Promotes Opportunities for Alumni
The Embassy on the Republic of China on Taiwan hosted a briefing this morning at the Chateau Caribbean where the focus was on the employment opportunities available in Belize following their studies in Taiwan. The morning event had several presentations made focusing on entrepreneurship, business development and accessibility of finances as well as the emerging industries in Belize. One of the speakers this morning was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, who painted quite a dismal picture of Belize, its environment when it comes to attracting foreign investments and the high number of single and uneducated mothers.

CEO Alpuche Responds to Mother’s Complaint of Abuse
It was almost ten days ago when we brought to you the story of a mother, who has claimed that her child was abused and injured whilst in the care of a privately run children’s home in the Belize District. The story was a disturbing one as relayed to us back then by the mother and the child with claims of physical abuse and rough manual labor. At the time, we had made attempts to get feedback from the Department of Human Services and while those efforts didn’t pan out at the time, Love News did meet up with the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche, who told us that an investigation into the matter was launched and that the case is far more complicated than was relayed to us by the child’s mother, Devaun Cacho.

A Report on Status of Prisoners Inside Kolbe
As of July 2013, the Belize Central Prison’s population stood at 1,586. Of that figure 37 are females77 are young men and there is one man in there that has been sentenced to death. The prison also holds more than five hundred prisoners on remand from either the Supreme Court or the Magistrate Court. HIPOLITO NOVELO “A study, called “Behind the Prison Gates” was made reality through the efforts of the Death Penalty Project and the Bar Association of Belize. The study was conducted by Joseph Middleton who visited the prison between July and August 2013. What he found was alarming.” JOSEPH MIDDLETON “We have together with lawyers from Belize some of whom are here today worked to identify miscarriages of justice ad through work with both prisoners and the prison. We have higlighted significant failures in the criminal justice system leading to what we would call fundamental human rights violations.”

Cayo Resident Waits For Justice in Case of Police Brutality
Five months ago, a Belizean man made a report of police brutality to the Belmopan Police Department after he was allegedly assaulted on June 19, 2014 in San Ignacio, Cayo by two police officers. 40-year-old, Ernesto Chan who works as a taxi driver in San Ignacio spoke to Love News today and said he is still awaiting justice. ERNESTO CHAN “This is the second time I am here and the reason I am here is because I believe in justice and I believe in fair in the law. I reported police brutality in San Ignacio and so far nothing has been done. I haven’t gotten an answer about what happened. The commissioner stated that there will not be tolerating officers in police brutality or officers being corrupted. Sgt. Octaviano Victorin and Corporal Rudolph Rodrigues, they brutally battered me up. They are the ones who assaulted me, they chased me and I have witness that saw everything that happened to me when these officers were beating me up.

US Energy Gives to Claver College in Southern Belize
Two computers handed over to Claver College Extension in Punta Gorda was a timely donation. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “The computers were donated by US Capital energy in Toledo and were officially handed over on Monday afternoon Clavier College extension institution by US Capital energy Country Representative Allister King.” ALLISTER KING “Mr. Floyd Lino and Mr. Andre Price who is the head of the Clavier College extension told us that their computers had been stolen from the school and they were badly in need of replacement so I got a hold of Mr.Ben Juarez who is US Capital’s computer man and he immediately expedited these two computers down to replace the stolen ones. So I’d like to thank Ben Juarez for his quick action on this as well.”

DPP Orders That Hendy Be Set Free Following Fatal RTA
Three charges were withdrawn from 36-year-old, Eldon Hendy, a technician of Isabella Bank, when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The charges were manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct and driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention. They were withdrawn on instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions. The charges arose from an incident which occurred on December 4, 2013. According to the allegation, Hendy was driving a white pick-up truck when he knocked down 75-year-old Gregory Lopez, who was riding a bicycle between miles 6 and 7 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Lopez received injuries to his head and body and he died on the spot.

Fort Point Security Reaches Out to Cancer Society
The Belize Cancer Society is a non-profit organization geared at providing guidance and support to both adults and children who are diagnosed with cancer. The centre also serves to promote awareness, regular check-ups and to encourage a healthy lifestyle. As an addition to their services rendered, the Society works at providing Christmas cheer to cancer patients particularly the young children and as part of this initiative, they appeal for donations of gifts each year starting from as early as October and private citizens, business and other entities are always willing to give. Up to early November, several gift items had been collected and stored but those disappeared when thieves broke into the centre and stole the presents valued at about five thousand dollars. Diane Finnegan is the Vice President of the Belize Cancer Society and today, she was on hand to receive some Christmas cheer on behalf of the society from Fort Point Security.

Echevarria Charged With Murder For Panamanian Diplomat
19 year old Wilser Echevarria has been charged for the murder of 64 year old Panamanian Diplomat, Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa. We understand that Echevarria was charged with murder and theft- one count in regards to the motor vehicle and one count in regards to a cell phone. Echevarria confessed to killing De la Rosa but he says it was self defense after De la Rosa allegedly made unwanted sexual advances on him. Echevarria family and friends were out in front of the Belmopan Police Station displaying their support for what they believe is an injustice. SISTER-IN-LAW “I am his sister in law and I am here to support him, we are all here to support him because all he did was defend himself and we know that he did not want to do that because he is a hard worker. He is paying for something that all he was doing was defend himself. We are poor but not because of that the rich will come and do whatever they want with their money.”

Remanded Prisoner Plea Changed From Not Guilty To Guilty
Derrick Bain a remanded prisoner charged with theft from the person, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The complainant, police constable Tanisha Dawson reported to the police that on October 22, 2013, she was walking on Sixth Street when Bain rode beside her on a bicycle and ripped her gold chain from around her neck and rode away. The chain was never recovered. Bain said it fell from his hand when he rode around a lane. Bain was sentenced to nine months. He has already served his sentence because Chief Magistrate Smith said that the sentence was time served. But although Bain has already served the sentence he was not released because he is remanded for a charge of grievous harm. Dawson was not a police officer when the incident occurred.

Eleven Year Old Says She Was Gang-Raped
One adult and two minors were charged with carnal knowledge of an 11 year old girl when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The adult is 19 year old Keiron Willougby and the ages of the minors are 14 and 17 years old. The girl reported to the police that the defendants had sex with her on November 20 at a house on Antelope Street Extension. The defendants were remanded into custody until January 9, 2015.


Evangelical Association outraged by US Embassy’s meddling in Belizean domestic issues
On Tuesday, we reported on statement issued by the US Embassy in Belize, in which the Ambassador called for the repeal of Belize’s Section 53 law. As we told you, retired U.S. judge Carlos Moreno, in June of this year, became the new US Ambassador to Belize...

Four charged for assault of 11 year old girl
Four Belize City men, including two male minors, are being accused of gang raping an eleven year old schoolgirl, sometime last week. Police have rounded up 22 year old Wilfred Ramirez of Iguana Street,  as well as Kieran Willoughby, and two boys aged 14 and 17, and charged them with unlawful sexual ...

City man pleads guilty to theft
Derrick Bain of Belize City pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a charge of theft, after 9 months on remand at the Central Prison. He was given credit for time served by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, but remains on remand on a separate charge of grievous harm. On October 22, 2013, Bain is accused of ...

Traffic charges withdrawn for 2013 accident
36 year old Eldon Hendy of Isabella Bank, Belize District, no longer faces charges of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct and driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention. The charges were withdrawn on his appearance on Wednesday, before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, ...

COLA plans to release documents showing ministerial interference in police matters
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued a press release on Wednesday  evening, claiming that it has come into possession of an extraordinary amount of files detailing critical issues affecting the morale, manpower, and operation of the Belize Police Department. COLA states that ...

Economic statistics: more buying, less selling
On Wednesday the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) offered a last batch of statistics on economic and social services for 2014, up to October. The news is encouraging in most sectors but disappointing in others. We begin with the 3rd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which grew by 4...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

R.I.P. Mr. Bartolo Rodriguez
With deep regret, the Rodriguez Family wishes to announce the passing of Mr. Bartolo Rodriguez, on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. He was the last remaining child of Juan and Arcadia Rodriguez of Caye Caulker. He was 91 years old. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Valentina Rodriguez; his children: Abel, Bartolo Jr., Roger, Arcadia Cruzita, Maria Amparo Montero, Mirta Smith, Jilmar, and Jose Homero, Kay Zehms, Ishmael Hernandez, their spouses, 29 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandson, several nieces and nephews. Mr. Bat or Don Bat, as he was known by many, was a lobster fisherman. He enjoyed music, poetry, sports and teaching his trade. We wish to thank all who, in any way, helped us through this time of bereavement.

Patrick JonesPJ

Belize City taxi operators want to keep license moratorium
A majority of taxi operators in Belize City who met with the Belize City Council on Monday afternoon would like a moratorium on new licenses which has been in effect from 2012 to be lifted. But despite the important service they provide to the Belizean population, there has […]

PUP leader says Joseph Mahmud “made poor decision”
Monday’s resignation of Cayo North area representative Joseph Mahmud from the House of Representatives was a bombshell despite his announced intention not to seek reelection. But no one is more affected than the People’s United Party (PUP), whose leader and executive are, to say the least, disappointed not […]

Gateway Youth Center opens
The Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) initiative of the Government through the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports and Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation on Tuesday opened a brand-new youth center near the campus of Gwen Lizarraga High School in Belize City. It is intended […]

Forum on masculinity underway in Belize City
A first of its kind national symposium on masculinity is underway at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. Organized by the National Women’s Commission, today’s forum is seeking to bring Belizean men together to strengthen efforts in reducing gender-based violence. During the course of the day various […]


Battle with the Sea
There are two things that you know are always going to lead to a good story: "So shit, there I was..." "Hey, hold my beer..." I like bullet points, and "things in threes" - so this is a third bullet point; although completely useless...pretty much made my day First you must know that the tale told did happen. The events that you are about to read are 100% based in reality; the identity of the people has not been changed...cause I'm more than happy for all of you to know about the events that nearly ended my life. It was a dark and stormy night, a front blowing in heavy from the North. Damn this Belizean winter. My brother and I, heroically crossing the sea, reaching the dock. Eric skillfully navigated through the traitorous shallows as we approached the island, our dock, and our safe haven for the night. Now - to tie up. Waves were crashing over the back of our tiny vessel; like the constant bat of a cat with a mouse - the ocean knew it could take us at any moment. Unbeknownst to us it had started a series of events that nearly did just that. Those waves had taken the back tie line off our stern, so as I grabbed the pole and reached for the bow tie the engine wrapped the line on the prop. Stopping it dead.

Belize’s Beautiful Placencia Peninsula

NATO to reside in Belize
NATO is also expanding into the Southern Hemisphere. NATO and Colombia have signed a partnership agreement, the first such agreement with a Latin American nation. Colombia reportedly agreed to facilitate the stationing of additional NATO troops in Central America and the Caribbean, including European colonies and ex-colonies such as Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Belize.

The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
Back by Popular Demand – The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will be held on Saturday, December 6th starting at 6pm til around 9pm. This traditional event introduces the holiday season and brings us into the holiday mood with a fun event filled with twinkling lights, children’s laughter, and Christmas carols. The dazzling boat parade will start at 6pm and span from Wayo’s Beachside Bar, Boca Del Rio to Caribbean Villas Hotel. Our community will have amazing views of the festive boats from all over town! We look forward to past participants as well as new additions lighting up the sea this holiday season! All boat owners and organizations are welcome to enter a boat in the parade and competition. The Central Park Block Party will feature plenty of booths where you can buy food, special holiday drinks, gift items and enjoy fun activities such as taking your family pictures with Santa!

Belize Fashion Week in San Pedro is Finn Approved: Lights, Designer Collections and Catwalk!
From fashion correspondent Fin Kardashian: This past week, BFW (Belize Fashion Week) showcased the best designing talent in Belize and even featured some international designers from around Central America. Although it’s not a Mercedes-Benz Bryant Park NYC fashion show, I would SO love to congratulate Pat Grief for putting on an outstanding event. We have Tropic Air’s 2014 Belize Fashion Week! Me sitting in the front row with designers Joris Hendrick, Francis Alfaro and organizer, Ms Grief. The show is 100% Finn Approved and is one of a kind. The Designers and their collections: Andazi- Andazi, Maureen Navarette-His Glory Designs, Francis Alfaro- Heartink, Saskia Alejos-Saskia Alejos, Adrian Rocker-Iconic, Char- A list Fashion, Joris Graniel- Joris Hendrick, Daniel Torres- Jada’s, Gabriel Garcia- GMX, Julie McCord- Julie Mango and John Vejerano- John Vejerano. Quite a line up.

International Sourcesizz

Panama Diplomat Killed in Belize; Suspect Detained
Authorities in Belize say they have detained a man suspected of killing a Panamanian diplomat. Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa was charge d'affaires at the Panamanian embassy in Belmopan, the capital of Belize. His body was found late Sunday near a highway on the outskirts of the city with cut wounds on his head and neck. The spokeswoman for Panama's Foreign Affairs Ministry said Wednesday a three-member team of investigators and diplomats had been sent to Belize to familiarize themselves with the case. Spokeswoman Monica de Leon said De La Rosa was a 64-year-old career diplomat. The ministry said he had served in various postings, including in Canada, Bolivia, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and Israel.

Death of Winnipeg man in Belize under investigation
Officers launched an investigation into the death of a Winnipeg man in Belize, on the coast of northern Central America, earlier in the week. Winnipegger James Searles, 59, was found dead in a river in Belize. Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson of St. Ignacio Police said the newlywed had just arrived in Belize to reunite with his wife, Nicole Warner. The Canadians spent Saturday, Nov. 22, night together in St. Ignacio after Warner picked up Searles at the airport. They shared some drinks before going to sleep that night at Warner’s home in Bullet Tree, a village just outside of St. Ignacio. “They stopped at a location got some beers. When they got to St. Ignacio town, they stopped at another store and got a quantity of rum, which they went to their home and they consumed, ” said Spt. Thompson.

These spider monkeys kill their male infants
Male infanticide among mammals is quite common, and infants of either sex can be killed. But a new study of spider monkeys has found that, in this species, only the male infants are targeted. What's more, the infants were all from the monkeys' own social groups. Over 119 species of mammal are known to commit infanticide, including about 35 primate species. But in spider monkeys infanticide has only been previously recorded five times. A new long-term field project has now recorded this behaviour again in three separate suspected incidents. The researchers now believe that it may be more common than was originally thought. The report in Primate Journal proposes that males commit infanticide due to sexual competition between the males in the group. If there are too many new males, the competition would only get worse.

Technology to the Endangered Language Rescue?
Much has been written on how technology is helping endangered languages. Creative as they are, online dictionaries, mobile apps, interactive graphics and dedicated keyboards can't by themselves resuscitate or maintain a language. But as part of a larger cultural revitalization effort, technology can help. As William Brennan wrote last year in The New Yorker: "Simply embedding endangered languages into the keyboards of smartphones will not save them. But, keeping these languages enmeshed in the fabric of daily life--which, particularly for the newer, younger speakers who are key to these languages' survival, means being a viable way to communicate through technology--is the only way they will have even a slim hope of surviving." With all the emphasis on high tech, modest community radio stations are reaching thousands of people with easily accessible and low cost technology. They provide forums for indigenous peoples to listen and talk in their own language. Some are specifically geared toward revitalizing languages, like Cultural Survival's network of 80 radio stations in Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize. Others, like Radio Indonesia's Balinese programs, have developed organically. How many people still listen to the radio?

Top Picks: World’s most exciting caves
10 - Belize: Mayan Ceremonial Site In the Cayo District of Belize, the Maya archaeological site of Actun Tunichil Muknal is especially captivating for its evidence of what is thought to be Mayan ceremonial sacrifices. Skeletons, ceramics and stoneware still lie within the cave walls, alongside cave formations that were modified by the Mayans to create shadows or silhouettes against the light that streams in. Tourist numbers are limited to preserve the cave and its artefacts.

National Car Rental expands Emerald Club in Latin America
Frequent travelers to Latin America can now experience the speed, choice and convenience offered through National Car Rental's award-winning Emerald Club loyalty program. National has expanded its Emerald Club Priority Service to airport locations in Aruba, Belize, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Curacao, Peru, Uruguay, Trinidad & Tobago and Tortola. "As National Car Rental continues its Emerald Club expansion in Latin America, we're pleased to provide membership benefits to more of our customers," said Rob Connors, assistant vice president of brand marketing, National Car Rental.


Video: Belize Night Dive, 10min.

Video: Belize, 12min.
Slide show of Belize Dive trip live aboard.

Video: The Great Blue Hole, Belize, 21min.
Dive trip to the Great Blue Hole in Belize on November 17, 2014 with Frenchie's Diving on Caye Caulker.

Video: Belize Night Dive Green Moray and Snapper, 1min.
Green Moray out and about fishing on a Night Dive with a Snapper at Hol Chan Marine Reserve Ambergris Cay Belize.

Video: Belize 2014 Video, 14min.

Video: Belize trip 2012, 4min.
Group of Old Dominion students take a trip to Belize for a study abroad course. With our leader Dr. Butler, we explore and learn about the various ecosystems found within the marine world.

November 26, 2014


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

Parliamentarian Resigns; Bi-election to be held in Cayo North on January 5th
The two leading political parties have to be ready when the GG issues the Election Writ which gives them a minimum or 15 days or a maximum of 21 days before the bi-election. While the UDP has elected Dr Omar Figueroa as their standard, the PUP is yet to identify who will be their candidate. They had originally hoped to have had that candidate by January 2015, but with Mahmud’s unexpected decision, the PUP is forced to have their candidate within 15 days in the worst-case scenario. Two names have surged as possible candidates for the PUP, including well-known Attorney Michel Chebat and well-known businessman Richard Harrison. Mahmud’s decision is also making history in Belize’s politics. That is because since 1981, there has only been two bi-elections that have been called – the two were forced by circumstances. The first was to replace Derek Aikman in Freetown in 1992 after he was forced to step down after declaring bankruptcy. The second was October of 2013 in Cayo South which was forced by the death of Agripino Cawich who lost his fight with cancer. But this is the first time in Belize’s political history that a bi-election is being called by the voluntary resignation of a parliamentarian. Political observers believe that PUP will fight to retain the PUP seat in Cayo North that will keep the UDP on their toes with a very slim majority in the House of Representative. But the UDP will try to regain the UDP strong hold to stretch their slim majority and to check and flex their strength ahead of the municipal elections scheduled in seven towns and two cities on March 4, 2015.

Belizeans dominate Mexican fishing tournament in Mahahual
The Belizean fishing teams of San Pedro Town dominated the 3rd Annual Wahoo de Plata Sport Fishing tournament in Mahahual Quintana Roo, Mexico. The two-day event took place on the 22nd and 23rd of November, and five teams from Ambergris Caye participated. Following two days of intense fishing, the Reel Challenge Team headed by Enrique Marin of San Pedro Town captured the championship. According to organizer of the fishing tournament Carlos Zafra Perez, the tournament ended up being a great success for the many sea and fishing aficionados despite the forecast which called for bad weather. “The prediction for bad weather discouraged many fishermen from entering the tournament. However, the tournament also attracted avid and serious fishermen from outside of the state and from Belize,” said Zafra Perez.

The Battle is on for the semi-finals at the Mayor’s Cup Tournament
It’s been four weeks since the Mayor’s Cup Five-a-side Football Tournament started, and the semi-finals are near. There are four spots available, and one team that doesn’t have to fight for one is Dorados FC, who has automatically earned a spot for being the leading team throughout the tournament. With only one more week of games in the regular tournament season, the teams played extra hard on Saturday, November 22nd and Sunday, November 23rd, trying to gain some much needed points. In the first game on Saturday, November 22nd Eagles FC faced off against Green House FC. It was a grueling match and neither team wanted to lose, but in the end, the victory went to Eagles FC with a 5-4 point game. Pro Divers FC defeated Island Pure FC in the second game of the night in a 3-1 point game. In the third game, the unstoppable Dorados FC easily defeated Warriors FC with a 4-1 score. Swampedrito Lazy Boyz faced off against Airstrip Taxi Strikers FC in the fourth match. The game ended in a 4-2 win for the Swampedrito Lazy Boyz. FC Aluminum Fabricators narrowly defeated Venecia del Caribe in the final game of the night in a 2-1 point game.

Ambergris Today

Saga Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Top Chef Challenge
Celebrate the Saga Humane Society 15th anniversary with Saga Humane Society on Tuesday December 16, 2014, cook-off style. In closing out the year, Fido’s Restaurant and Bar will host the Saga Humane Society December cook off where the 2014 Saga Top Chef will be crowned. Ambergris Caye’s best chefs and 2014 Cook Off winners will be invited to participate in the cook off. The theme for this last cook off will be “chef’s choice” and is expected to draw a record crowd. Seating is limited to 75 total and VIP seats will be extended to the first 15 reservations. Fido’s Restaurant and Bar will be donating $1.00 directly to Saga for each draft and local rum drink sold during the event and will be serving their full menu.

Gaia Riverlodge in Top 10 Eco Resorts in Smith Hotel Awards
In a recent series of environmental initiatives, GAÏA Riverlodge is also one of the only five properties in Belize to be Green Globe Certified. The hotel prides itself in upholding the highest standard of sustainability and recently developed a fresh vegetable garden on-site, where guests can now enjoy hyper-local cuisine at GAÏA's acclaimed restaurant.

Belize Fashion Week 2014 Highlights Belizean Designers
But Fashion Week was also a great platform for new designers like 16-year-old Saskia Alejos who is still attending San Pedro High School, but has a passion for clothing designing. She was one of the designers whose line shined bright on the runway over the weekend. Char Tolentino is also a local from Ambergris Caye who amazed the audience with a stunning collection of sexy swimwear. Needless to say, Belize Fashion Week was very entertaining and a great opportunity for all the designers who participated including the bevy of beautiful models from around the country who also took the event as an opportunity to steer their modeling careers.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Bloody Violence Or just Good Chocolate?
Ok my Friends! Help needed! Had a chocolate accident yesterday and was sure refreshing! The belt gave up on our new BIG machine, placed a new one in, started it and kicked chocolate all our me!!!!!!!. All in a mad rush to have enough quality, high-end Mayan chocolate for Christmas. I need someone to come clean me while it is still available.

US Ambassador to Belize visits Corozal
Ambassador Moreno visited the Corozal district! The Ambassador met with the General Manager of Fruta Bomba Limited, Mr. Gilbert Vivas, who facilitated a guided tour of the papaya plantations in San Joaquin Village. He also visited the Belize Fruit Packers in San Andres Village. In addition, Ambassador Moreno visited the Corozal Free Zone, where he met with Chairman, David Akierman. He also took the opportunity to tour local community and also meet with American Citizens living in Corozal. What else should Ambassador Moreno know about Corozal Town? (6 photos)

Corozal Predators’ Basketball Team
The Corozal Predators’ Basketball Team makes two local sport headlines in the neighbouring state of Quintana Roo, Mexico within the last three weeks of competition. This past weekend, the Predators won over Chetumal to take the First Place lead in Bacalar with the final win against Cancun. The Predators are hoping to make national headlines in that country as they travel to the state of Guerrero, Mexico to face off on a 10 Teams Tournament. The Corozal Daily wishes the Preds, organizing staff and fans the best of luck. We thank all the financial supporters on their behalf.

The Gateway Youth Center officially opened today in Belize City
The Center is an intiative of the Community Action for Public Safety (CAPS) Project, which is funded through a loan facility between the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Belize. The project is being executed by the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, and is a part of the Education Support Services of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The Gateway Youth Center offers organized instructional programs and support services under the following categories: Literacy and Math program, Afterschool Programs, Re-entry and outside referral services and family support services. Equipped with classrooms, offices, auditorium, security and recreational facilities, the Center provides a safe environment and is the ideal location for creating opportunities for youth. Youth must register in order to participate in the programs being offered by the Center. To find out more or register, contact a Youth Officer at 227-0840 or visit the Center at Dakers Street.

Power interruptions scheduled for Orange Walk and Corozal Districts on Saturday, November 29
7:00am – 3:00pm: San Antonio Road from Orange Walk Town to San Felipe including Yo Creek, Trinidad, August Pine Ridge, San Antonio, and Santa Cruz. Also 7:00am to 11:00am: San Lorenzo to Progresso including San Roman, San Luis, San Jose, San Pablo, San Juan, Douglas, Buena Vista and Caledonia; and 7:00-7:30am and 3:00-3:30pm: Blue Creek. BEL to replace utility poles and conduct repairs on high voltage lines.

Captive parrot licensing program
Just in case anyone is unaware of the captive parrot licensing program run by the Forest department. All indigenous captive parrots in Belize require a permit. The permitting program will end January 1st 2015. The permits last from the day of issue until the death of the bird. From Jan 1st 2015, nobody will be able to apply for a new permit. Anyone found in possession of an indigenous parrot without a permit will have the bird seized and they will face prosecution. Ignorance of the law will in future cease to become a valid excuse. You can find details of the program at the link below, as well as download a permit application and the standards of minimum care that have to be met before the issuance of a permit. There is no fee for a licence to keep a parrot.

Channel 7

New Year, New Representative For Cayo North
The New Year will start off with a bang for the voters of Cayo North - and that's because the date for the by-election has been set for the fifth of January 2015. The Governor General has signed the writ of election - and set nomination day for 20 days from now, on Monday December 15th. The election will be held 21 days after that on Monday, January fifth. And while that total of 41 days is fairly quick - we're told that the Barrow administration would have wished for it to be sooner - but the Christmas holidays got in the way of that plan.

GF of Accused Teenaged Male Says Diplomat Tried To Rape Him
But, first to news of a compelling story coming out of the murder of Panamanian Diplomat, Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa Stanford. As we told you last night police were quick to detain the prime suspect and even recover the Charge D' Affairs stolen vehicle. Tonight they are preparing to charge an 18 year old male for the crime. But, there's a disturbing counter narrative that has appeared. It's being led by the girlfriend of the accused. She's not saying he's innocent - she says that the teenager was acting in self defence, as he fought off an unwelcome sexual advance from the 64 year old diplomat.

Hon. Elrington Has To Speak To Panamanian Counterparts
And while the narrative and the confession from the 18 year old should serve to ease the scare in the diplomatic community - the ugly details make it no easier for Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington who has to communicate the news to his Panamanian counterpart. Today, we caught Elrington as he was heading into a cabinet meeting. He told us that he has been in contact with the Panamanian Government to assure them that the authorities in Belize are doing all they can to bring De La Rosa's killer to justice: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "My understanding is that he was seeing leaving his apartment at the Marina Towers on Sunday morning and then his body was found sometime on Sunday afternoon. So it was a 12 hour period within which this incident occurred. It's a very unfortunate situation. We are very saddened about it, exceedingly saddened. I had met the Ambassador, he was only been here for a brief while and I think everybody who came across him were impressed with him. They liked him very much and he was very enthusiastic, he really wanted to get the airline coming out of Panama into Belize as quickly as possible.

Hon. Fonseca Says The Blame Is On Mahmud
As we told you at the top of the news, there's going to be an election in January. That's in Cayo North - a division that went blue in the last election - but, right now it's up for grabs after the Area Representative Joseph Mahmud resigned yesterday. The UDP hopes it can re-claim the seat which it controlled consistently up until 1998 - while the PUP is hoping to hold on in an area where they currently have no elected standard bearer. Making it harder for the PUP is the fact that the outgoing standard bearer Joseph Mahmud will clearly not help his successor, whoever that will be. How do we know that? Well, he didn't tell his party leader he was resigning, and the party leader says that he didn't even tell his committee. At a press briefing at Independence Hall this morning, Opposition Leader Fonseca admitted to being caught off guard:.. Jules Vasquez "Is it something that you might have expected or were you caught off guard?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Yes I would say that I was not anticipating that that would happen. If it were to happen I thought it would may have happen later on and not so quickly."

Hon. Espat Deflects Blame For Mahmud Departure
As you heard, the PUP will also be moving shortly to name a candidate, but first it has to do some house-keeping. The historic Mahmud resignation is like a body blow - and the political subtext is that the first blow against Mahmud was thrown by Deputy Leader for the West, Julius Espat. Ever since the 2012 election, he and Mahmud have been jostling for control of the west: Mahmud was chair of the Western Caucus, and Espat the Deputy for the West. Mahmud's supporters say he was eventually boxed out of that position as Chairman - and that was through the calculation of Julius Espat. Now, that is only one side of the story. Today, in Belmopan we got the other, when Espat answered the media's questions about the perceived tension between him and Mahmud. Reporter "Sir, would you say it was irresponsible for him not to notify the party and the party leader?"

Hon. Elrington Says UDP In Gear
And while the PUP tries to move on from finger-pointing to candidate picking, is the UDP's plan? We know they are eager to get it over with quickly, and we tried to speak with Prime Minister Dean Barrow about it when he came out of the Cabinet meeting this afternoon, but he told us that he couldn't grant an interview because he was running late. We did get a chance to speak with Attorney General Wilfred Elrington about the UDP's take on Mahmud's abrupt departure: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "That's a crisis for the People's United Party and they seem to be lurching from one crisis to the next. I am hoping that in fact the leader Francis Fonseca is not going to be adversely affected by it. These things normally have unintended consequences and I am certain that this kind of resignation brings really great pressure on him. He has been having a difficult time so far and I don't think this helps him. But certainly one has got to commend Mahmud for being principle. I imagine he is taking a principle position on matters of a political nature. I myself had at one time gone off on my own dependently, so these happens with politicians, so again, part of the reality of our democratic system, I think it's healthy. I think it is good that people can feel strong enough about an issue to be prepared to resign."

Will PUP Take Petrocaribe Funded Christmas Cheer
As we said, Petrocaribe is expected to factor significantly into this Cayo North election. Indeed, it is the driving force behind politics right now - and if you don't believe that, just ask the thousands who were rolled up to Belmopan to defend the programme a week ago. Petrocaribe is being used principally for infrastructure projects, but it is also used the Christmas Cheer programme. Last year Christmas, the opposition got shared into the Cheer programme with an allotment - albeit a lesser one - for each PUP representative. But, they took it - one prominent opposition member even asked for it in cash to reimburse himself for toys he had already bought. But, that was before the Petrocaribe challenge - since then the PUP has gone to court to try and shut down the programme as unauthorized spending.

11 Year Old Alleges Gang Rape
There is a very disturbing case of rape to report tonight - it involves an 11 year old primary girl who is alleging that she was gang raped by four men on the southside of Belize City. She told police she doesn't know all their names - but one suspect was charged today. He is 22 year old Wilfred Ramirez of Iguana Street - and she says it happened at his house late last week. He was charged with a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a female child under the age of 14. Ramirez who was unrepresented asked to speak in court and told the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith that he is being wrongfully accused. He said he had asked for an identification parade but got none. He also said he has been detained for four days until he was charged today. He claims he even asked for a DNA test but that too was denied.

Cops and DPP Going Separate Ways
As we've been telling you since yesterday, the killing of the Panamanian Diplomat, Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa Stanford, is a high-profile case being treated in a sensitive manner. And while you might think that all authorities at the state level are being engaged to ensure that the prosecution airtight when it goes to the Supreme Court, that's not so. That's what we found out today when we contacted the Director of Public Prosecutions to inquire about her office's input into the investigation at this time. She told us that her office has not been sought for any advice on how the investigator may proceed to ensure that a prosecutable case is brought against the accused person. Typically, after a case is investigated, the DPP's Office would advise investigators on what evidence they would need to lead a successful prosecution.

Police: Fixing Up From The Inside Out
We know police love the get-tough approach, but the Eastern Police Division is trying to transform its headquarters into a customer friendly environment. A workshop was held on Customer care for 20 police officers today at the Raccoon Street Police station. Instead of learning about suppression techniques or weapons handling, they got training in topics such as effective communication skills, front desk management and job etiquette. Courtney Weatherburne found out more:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Usually the focus of a gathering of police officers such as this would be on weighty matters such as crime control and follow up meetings on ongoing cases. But that was not the focus of today's gathering. These officers are participating in a Customer Care and Front Desk Services Training. Douglas Hyde, Police Press Officer "The idea of the training is to better their skills, of course their approach, their public relation when dealing with the general public when they walk in and these officers who are participating in this two days training are the front line workers. These are the persons when any person walk within the precincts or headquarters here, these are the persons that they will see."

Licenses Discarded In Dirt
If ever there comes a time when you can't find your driver's license - you might want to go to the City Council Compound at mile 4 on the Western Highway where there's a virtual cemetery for them. Today, these pictures of carelessly discarded licenses went viral on Facebook. We found them at the very back of the Belize City council works department compound where some had been recently burned while others were just strewn around the fire. City Councillor Dean Samuels went on Facebook to say that the Council has to discard licenses that accumulate over time. He said they were at the city dump - but in fact they are not.

A Gateway To A New Future
The Gateway Youth Center- it is an initiation of the Community Action for Public Safety Project which aims at creating constructive use of free time for teenagers. The educational, social and recreational facility caters to both males and females who are in school and need additional tutoring and support as well as those out of school youths who wish to re-enroll in an educational institution. Today the official opening of the youth center was held and 7news was there. The project is funded through the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Belize. The youth center provides instructional programs such as Literacy and Math, afterschool program, re-entry and outside referral services and family services. It's equipped with classrooms, offices, auditorium, security and recreational facilities. If you are between the ages of 13 and 19, you can contact a youth officer at telephone number 2-2-7-0-8-4-0 to register to participate in the programs offered.

Yasmin and Patrick Call Names
As the three term representative in the Collet Division Patrick Faber is considered very difficult to unseat. But don't tell that to his new opponent Yasmin Shoman. She's been waging an active campaign on social media - and challenging Faber to do something about the living conditions in his division - which is one of the poorest in the country. Yesterday Faber told the media that she should have done something about it when she was in municipal office:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "To work in the division, continuing our efforts to improve the quality of life for the residence of Collet. I am going to be the first to admit and to agree with Ms. Shoman that in terms of the infrastructure, it has never been what we want it to be, but it is given that it is in an area that is difficult to develop. I would want her to show us her plan as to how she will eradicate the London bridges over Crooman Lagoon. If she can tell us that then I'll let you know. If she can show us where she is going to get the money to fill up Crooman Lagoon, so that no London Bridges are there. It will be a great initiative. I am nor even sure the Petrocaribe funds would be enough. It's a sink hole."

Bze Will Have New Mex Ambassador
Belize will have a new Mexican Ambassador. He is Carlos Quesnel Meléndez. Quesnel holds a Mexican law degree and did graduate studies at the Institute of International Law and Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Zurich. He also has a Masters degree in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland. He joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1990. He has served at the Embassy in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Channel 5

Bye-Election for Cayo North Set for January 2015
Joseph Mahmud handed in his resignation to the offices of the Speaker of the House on Monday indicating that with immediate effect, he was stepping down as P.U.P. Area Representative [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says Joe Mahmud Disrespected the Party
  The People’s United Party is still reeling from the devastating blow it has suffered in the wake of that announcement.  Party Leader Francis Fonseca has gone on record to [...]

Francis Fonseca Says P.U.P. Cayo North Campaign will be Spirited
While the date for the upcoming bye-election has been set for January fifth, 2015, opposition leader Francis Fonseca says that the P.U.P. will lead a spirited campaign in Cayo North, [...]

Did Wilser Chavarria Kill Panamanian Diplomat?
Tonight, eighteen year old San Martin resident Wilser Chavarria is being held by Belmopan Police, and we are told he will be charged for murder by Wednesday. Chavarria is the [...]

Panamanian Officials Arrive in Belize
This afternoon, high level representatives from the Panamanian government landed at the P.G.I.A. to deal with the gruesome murder of one of their own.  While they declined an interview, News [...]

Francis Says Mahmud’s Abrupt Resignation was a Poor Decision
The unceremonious stepping down of Joseph Mahmud on Monday as a duly elected area representative for Cayo North is raising serious concerns about the integrity and unity of the P.U.P.  [...]

Is P.U.P. Western Caucus a House Divided?
Prior to Mahmud’s resignation, there were reports of contention within the P.U.P. Western Caucus.  The rift was said to be between Deputy Party Leader, Julius Espat, and former chairman Mahmud [...]

Boots on Mahmud
The issue of Joseph Mahmud’s resignation as Cayo North area was also discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting.  News Five also raised the issue with Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez on what [...]

“Robbery” Charged with Drug Possession
Well-known criminal figure, Kareem Lopez, aka “Robbery” was back before the court today to answer to a single charge of Possession of a Controlled Drug, being ten grams of marijuana. [...]

Attorney General Comments on Office of D.P.P.
Last week, News Five broke the story of a memo from Assistant Commissioner of Police Russell Blackett to all formation commanders. In that memo, dated September twenty-fourth, Blackett directs that [...]

Expired Drivers Licenses, Are They Being Disposed of Properly?
Earlier today, there were reports that driver’s licenses were being incinerated at the garbage dump near mile three on the George Price Highway. Residents of Belize City were incensed that [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley on Moratorium on Taxi License Plates
On Monday evening, dozens of taxi operators representing various unions and associations across Belize City participated in a public consultation where they shared opinions on an existing moratorium on the [...]

Youth Center Opens in Belize City
The Getaway Youth Center was officially opened today at the Gwen Lizarraga Compound. The facility is intended for use by youths between thirteen to nineteen years to channel positive behavioral [...]

Police Officers Receive Training in Customer Service
The Police Training Academy in Belmopan is the location where officers of the department get the necessary physical training and knowledge to arrest crime. But while they get physical training, [...]

OCEANA Rides for Belize
OCEANA’s Ride for Belize begins this Thursday in Corozal where participants will ride-off on a four day ride across the Jewel. The OCEANA initiative is intended to create awareness on [...]


Negotiations To Resume Between BSI/ASR And BSCFA After Meeting With SICB
At a critical point in the state of affairs of the Sugar Industry a long awaited breakthrough has finally been made. There will be a crop and negotiations between the Belize Sugar Industry and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will restart. This was agreed upon following a meeting among representatives of the BSCFA, BSI and the Sugar Industry Control Board. The meeting took over four hours and at the end of the discussion, which at points became very tense, all parties agreed on three important points. Chairman of the SICB Gabriel Martinez spoke with the media but refrained from going into much details of the discussion. Here is an unedited interview with Martinez. “The Sugar Industry Control Board met this afternoon to consider the request of the BSCFA and the points in the agenda was basically two of them; one was an update of the negotiation between the BSI/ASR and BSCFA as well the start of crop, as we agreed for the sanity and the good advancement of the negotiations, wish to first of all give thanks to all the parties that were involved, the BSCFA, BSI and representatives from government as well as independent members all parties agreed that we should start crop no delay of the crop and they also agreed that they are going to carry on the process of going back to the negotiations on the issue of the starting of the crop and I must say that it means a lot for the industry and basically, I wish not to comment on any details because that was agreed on and basically that is all what I can say.”

Opposition Leader Response To Mahmud Resignation
Yesterday we told you about the abrupt official resignation of PUP Area Representative for cayo North, Joseph Mahmud. The move comes shortly after Mahmud had stepped down from contesting the next general elections. And while there is the public debate on why or what his reasons were for resigning from the party, today the People’s United Party held a briefing at its headquarters in Belize City. Party Leader Francis Fonseca says while Mahmuds decision to not inform the party reflects poorly on him, the party will move on with an intensive campaign for Cayo North. Here is that clip provided with the help from our colleagues at 7news. Francis Fonseca – Party Leader, PUP “And in fact, that is where we are today, moving forward and yes disappointed the Mr. Mamud has resigned from the National Assembly and I think that his decision to do so and let me make it clear that his decision to do so without a consulting the party, without informing the party, without informing his executive in Cayo North, I think reflects poorly on him and I view that as disrespectful to the party.”

Suspect Detained For Diplomats Murder
Belmopan police have one man detained in connection to the murder of Panamanian diplomat Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa and he should be facing charges no later than tomorrow. Authorities have also recovered the missing vehicle and personal belongings of De La Rosa including his cellular phone. The vehicle was found in another area in Belmopan. As has been reported, the body of sixty-four year old was found in the La Choza area in West Belmopan on Sunday evening. He had sustained cut wounds to his neck and head according to police. According to reports from other media, police were led to a person of interest who gave a caution statement and then led them to the vehicle hidden in some bushes.

Corozal Police To Set Christmas Anti-Crime Operational Orders
Each year law enforcement agencies around the country “beef up” their presence on the streets and security measures to curb crime especially during this holiday season. As is customary every year, formations across the nation launch their crime prevention campaigns. And while we have yet to hear of Orange Walk Police’s plans for public security during the holidays, the Corozal Police have launched their operations to minimize crime in that municipality. We spoke to Officer Commanding the formation, Andrew Ramirez who elaborated on the initiative. “On a national level, because first I just want to mention that whatever Corozal is doing is basically on a national level; every formation must step up their patrols so what we have in place is the annual Christmas Anti-Crime Operational Orders, that Orders run from November 16th 2014 to January 15th 2015, what that does is that on a daily basis the police will have to be out in strength until 10pm Sunday to Sunday, there is ten additional officers minimum that have to do additional patrols.”

Education Department Urges Parental Involvement In Schools
That education is important for every child cannot be overstated but what happens when a parent is not as involved in their child’s or children’s’ education? Or perhaps the better question for many parents is why get involved in their education? The answer is not too much of a surprise. Research shows that when parents are involved in their children’s education they get better grades, have better attendance, obtain higher graduation rates, and get this – they develop better self-esteem, use less drug and alcohol, and have less violent behaviors. Now while the benefits are many, being involved can prove a bit difficult for some parents, particularly parents who work. The matter is an important one, and it is especially important for education officials here in Orange Walk. According to Education Center Manager, Carla Alvarez, the lack of parent participation can prove a bit overbearing. “As the child gets older we find out that we don’t see the parents as much and we have gotten to the point where there are some principals who have started to complain and starting to say that the parents are coming to us and say I can’t control my child, you discipline my child, in those communities what we are doing because we have certain communities that we have targeted, we have started what we call parenting sessions; right now we have started in Guinea Grass R.C school and we are working along with the Human Development Department and what we want to do is that we want to foster and we want to help the parent to work on their parenting skills because parental involvement is very important in a lot of communities the parent think that it is the teachers job to educate the child but it is everybody business.”

Renovation Of Orange Walk Well Underway
While you may have seen road and rehabilitation works around the Town Core, you may have drove past the orange Walk central park and seen the works being done there. It’s a great development project for the North but many residents came to us with concerns on the projects timing. Most of the people we spoke to off camera said, they could not understand why they took this “holiday” season to start on the project. Despite the concern, we are happy to report that the park works are coming along just as planned. As we have previously reported, the project is expected to be completed by February of next year. The project is one in collaboration with the Social Investment Fund, Government of Belize and the Orange Walk Town Council.

Dalla Taxi, A Main Issue Among Other Taxi Associations
And while we were filming at the park, we were approached by several persons who had concerns surrounding the operation of the “Dollar Taxis” in Town. It’s been a highly debated topic among other taxi operators who have strict laws to follow as they form part of several taxi associations. But for these Dollar Taxis, the people we spoke too claim that these operators have no regulations to follow or designated parking areas and is creating a traffic issue. We have been informed from reliable taxi operators that suggestions to set a designated parking spot for these dollar taxis and having them operate beyond the two traffic lights would ease the worries of many, but up to date, not much has been done. We’ll take a closer look at this developing story in our subsequent newscasts.

Woman Claiming She Was Robbed, Charge For Mischievous Act
Tonight a couple is in custody at the Corozal Police Department, pending charges for mischievous act. According to Corozal’s Commanding Officer, Andrew Ramirez, on Sunday night Nailea Cardenas was heading back home after spending some time with her aunt in the village of Xaibe in the Corozal District, when she was allegedly robbed. Cardenas told authorities that around 7:45pm she was riding her bicycle towards her house when a man whom she did not recognize came out of nowhere and punched her on the left eye causing her to fall off her bicycle and hit her head on the ground. Cardenas further stated to police that somehow she got up and ran back to her aunt’s home. But not before her attacker managed to get a hold of her purse which contained her cellular phone valued at $600.00bcy and $300.00 in cash. Cardenas was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital where doctors classified her injuries as harm. But why was the woman charged for mischievous act? Today when we caught up with Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Department, Andrew Ramirez, he expanded on the findings of the investigation.


Elrington Speaks on Diplomats Death
According to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, the murder of Jose De la Rosa would not affect any diplomatic relationship between Belize and Panama. MINISTER WILFRED ELRINGTON “I am very saddened about it, exceedingly saddened. I had meet the ambassador, he has only been here for a brief while and I think everybody who came across him were impressed with him and liked him very much and he was very enthusiastic he really wanted to get the airline coming out of Panama into Belize as quickly as possible. I know that was a project he was working on with a great deal of enthusiasm. I was very disappointed to hear of his passing. Our police have been doing excellent work however and I am told in fact they are just about to charge someone for the offense, they have recovered his cellphone, vehicle and they have gotten a caution statement so if there is anything that is good about that situation it is that in fact police have done an excellent job in seeming to resolve that problem.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Does this hinder the relationship between Belize and Panama?” MINISTER WILFRED ELRINGTON “Absolutely not, people understand that these things happen, it doesn’t reflect on the government. Crimes are committed all over the world and every minute of the day so they understand that. Panama is an exceedingly mature society and government and they understand that these things happen in the scheme of things.”

18 Year Old Charged For The Murder of Panama Diplomat in Belize
Belmopan police is waiting to charged one man for the murder of 64 year old Jose Rodrigo De la Rosa, the Charge d’ Affaires for the Panama Embassy in Belize. In most cases, we are unable to release the name of the person detained until he is charged, but his family spoke to the media giving us his side of the story and permission to use his name. And so tonight, we can tell you 18 year old Winsor Chavarria is in a holding cell and expected to be charged sometime tomorrow. Today the story took an unusual twist; Chavarria’s family told reporters that Chavarria acted in self defense. The family said that De la Rosa made unwelcome sexual advances on Chavarria. Hipolito Novelo has the details. Sixty four year old, Charge d’ Affaires for the Panama Embassy, José Rodrigo De La Rosa was found dead on Sunday evening in the Las Flores Area in Belmopan. He was found with a cut wound to the thought and injuries to the head. His accused murderer, 18 year old Winsor Chavarria of the San Martin Area, is behind bars waiting to be charged with murder. However, his common law wife, who asked to appear off camera, told us, that Chavarria acted in self defense after Del la Rosa, made unwanted sexual advances on him.


Suspect in diplomat’s murder alleges self defence
On Monday we told you about the murder of Panamanian Diplomat Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa Standford, whose body was reportedly found around 4 o clock on Sunday evening about a quarter mile from La Chosa in Western Belmopan. Very little information was available as the police remained tight lipped in their handling of information regarding this case; however now we have been able to confirm that a man from the Las Flores Area, Belmopan, has been detained pending charges. The man, who is only 18 years of age, accused of the heinous murder, lead police to recover De La Rosa’s missing white vehicle which had been hidden in the bushes. All in all it seemed like the closure of a high profile murder. However the story took a bizarre turn when the common law wife of the detained spoke to the media outside the police station, claiming her common-law husband acted in self-defence, when he allegedly killed the Panamanian Diplomat.

Couple relaxing on veranda shot at
28-year-old Kareem Morris, a fisherman of Belama Phase 3, Belize City, reported that about 11:30pm on Sunday November 23, he was on the veranda of his residence, along with his common-law wife, when a clear complexion man, wearing a brown shirt, long jeans pants and black cap approached them. Upon reaching about 15 feet away from them he pointed what appeared to be a 9mm pistol at them and fired several gunshots in their direction. No one was injured; however, the cement wall of his residence was damaged. The man then ran towards the Haulover Creek and made good his escape. Three 9mm expended shells and (2) fragments were retrieved from the scene. Police investigations continue.


Panamanian diplomat murdered in Belmopan
Belmopan police are presently attempting to unravel the circumstances surrounding the shocking death of the Charge d’ Affaires of the Panamanian Embassy in Belize whose lifeless body was reportedly found, with cut wounds to the neck and head, at about 4:00 p.m. yesterday, November 23, in the western part of Belize’s capital, Belmopan. Today, police reported that the mutilated body of Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa Stanford, 64, was discovered about ¾ mile from the La Chosa area, and sometime this evening, his vehicle, a white Nissan with diplomatic license plates, which had been stolen, was recovered by police. While authorities have launched an investigation into the apparent homicide, details of the events leading up to the grisly death of De La Rosa Stanford remain unknown, and while we have confirmed that an associate of De La Rosa is currently detained and being interrogated by police, it is still unclear whether was De La Rosa killed in the area where his body was found, or if he was killed elsewhere and his body left in the area near La Chosa, where it was found by police on Sunday evening.

Bombshell: Mahmud resigns!
Since the Immigration scandal broke last year September, there have been calls for Elvin Penner, Cayo Northeast area representative of the ruling United Democratic Party, to resign from Parliament – a move which would be unprecedented in Belize’s parliamentary democracy. Although legally the provisions do exist for such a departure from electoral politics, it has never happened in Belize; that is, until this morning when the National Assembly received a resignation letter – although it was not Penner’s. It was the sudden, bombshell farewell of the PUP’s Cayo North area rep, Joseph Mahmud, who had resigned as the PUP’s standard-bearer for that division last month but who had indicated that he would continue to serve until the general elections, scheduled for 2017. The unexpected resignation of Mahmud in the middle of his first term, and with immediate effect, is unparalleled in Belize’s electoral history. In 1992, Derek Aikman, then Freetown rep for the UDP, was forced to resign due to having been declared bankrupt. In 1975, Vicente Choco crossed the floor from the UDP to the PUP, and in 1989, it was Stanley Usher who did the same, crossing from the UDP over to the PUP.

Epilepic found dead in pit latrine
Herbert Francis, 33, a resident of Eldridgeville, Punta Gorda, who suffered from seizures, yesterday was found dead in a pit latrine with his feet up and his head at the bottom of the latrine. Police took him out, and took him to the Punta Gorda Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. Francis suffered a seizure and fell head-first into the pit, causing him to suffocate. He was found about 10 hours after he fell into the pit, police said. No foul play is suspected, and the death has been ruled to have resulted from a seizure and suffocation.

Ellis Meighan, Jr., remanded for attempted murder of Carlos “Zimbab” Abraham
Two persons, Ellis Meighan, Jr., and a 17-year-old minor, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned them on attempted murder and related charges this morning. Police charged the two with the attempted murder of Carlos “Zimbab” Abraham, 43, a reputed “general” of the George Street gang. No plea was taken from the two accused, because attempted murder is an indictable offense and will be heard in the Supreme Court if the prosecution can make out a prima facie case against Meighan and the minor when the matter comes up for a preliminary inquiry. In addition to the attempted murder charge, Meighan and the minor are also facing charges of use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm against Abraham.

Mexican girl, 16, reported missing in Belize
Noemi Briceño Trapp, 16, a Mexican national of Chetumal, Mexico, whose grandparents and other family members are Belizeans of August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District, has been reported as missing since September 4. The family reported that Trapp left her Chetumal home ,Thursday, September 4, and came over to Belize by the way of Botes, a bordering village between Belize and Mexico, along the Rio Hondo, but she did not arrive at her grandparents’ home in August Pine Ridge. She has not been seen or heard from since. On the night of Tuesday, November, 4, the family told police, the girl communicated with them and said that she was being detained at Belize’s northern border by police.

Cañeros and SICB to meet next week
Today was set as the deadline for the ultimatum that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and it membership, at a meeting last Saturday, November 15, gave the Government-appointed industry regulator, known as the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB), to arbitrate the longstanding dispute between the cane producers and the sugar processors, Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/American Sugar Refineries (ASR). Since we understand that two of the members of the SICB are presently out of the country, a meeting could not be arranged, and therefore, the BSCFA has agreed to wait until November 25, which is the date that the SICB had first planned to hold its meeting. Also of note is that today, the BSCFA executive met with Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega, and while we have not been able to receive any official comment on the outcome of that meeting, we were told that Hon. Vega simply encouraged the BSCFA to return to the negotiating table with BSI/ASR — something BSI/ASR has been reluctant to do.

Marion Jones Sports Complex to be opened soon, says Sports Minister
Earlier this year, this newspaper chronicled the setbacks that have befallen successive governments as they have attempted to complete a comprehensive facelift of the Marion Jones Sports Complex, one of the country’s most prominent sporting facilities, and today, five years after the last groundbreaking ceremony for the facility was held, current Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth, announced that the protracted refurbishments on the stadium should be completed by the end of this month. If works go as planned, the completion of the facility will be welcomed news for both athletes and sports enthusiasts, especially in the population center, Belize City, and when the media caught up with Longsworth at an unrelated event today, he indicated that the long awaited conclusion of the upgrades on what had become a project that was plagued by holdups, is right around the corner.

Five-A-Side Football Tournament in Orange Walk
The Orange Walk Five-A-Side Football Tournament got started on Tuesday, November 18, at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town. Five games were scheduled to open the tournament. The results are as follows: In game 1, in the Inter-Office Division, Leo Corado scored 2 goals for Cuello’s Store, who registered their first big W of the season over Centaur, 2-0. Game 2, in the Open Division, saw Rig Parts overcoming Minions, 5-1, with 3 goals from Mauricio, and 1 each from Nelson and Christian. Filodelfie Quinonez scored the lone tally for Minions. In game 3, in the Open Division, it was Landy’s drawing, 1-1, with Leonardo’s. Bram scored his first goal to open the scorecard in the first half for Leonardo’s, but Enrique Castillo evened the score for Landy’s in the second half.

FFB seeks help in locating its Garifuna drums
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) needs your help in locating these drums. A set of Garifuna drums, a Primero and a Segundo, bearing the name and picture of the Jaguar, designed, built, engraved and donated to the FFB by Mr. Austin Rodriguez. These drums were removed from the Federation Headquarters in Belmopan. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of these drums is asked to please call the Federation at telephone numbers 822-3410 or 822-3717. Thank you for your kind assistance in the recovery of our Federation’s drums.

Nobody safe, 6 teams in hunt for 4 playoff spots in PLB Opening Season
If the Premier League of Belize (PLB) was looking for a formula to obtain parity in the league, it could hardly have done much better, where the competitiveness of this race to the playoff is concerned. Despite the fact that 3 teams are now out of playoff contention, none of them is a pushover, and there is still room for upsets and heartbreaks for the 6 frontrunners chasing 4 playoff spots, as the regular season draws to a close. And none of the 6 teams is yet certain of a playoff berth. Week 6 was completed over the past weekend, with two games each on Saturday and Sunday, November 22 and 23. And there was nearly a monumental upset in capital city Belmopan on Saturday night, where star studded Police United FC found themselves trailing 3-1 at halftime against visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters from Punta Gorda. But in the end, after Freedom Fighters lost their sweeper and captain Wilmer Garcia to a red card early in second half, Police came back strong to take the 5-3 win. It was a real scare for Police United, whose playoff hopes may have been in serious jeopardy. Shaking the net for Paradise/Freedom Fighters were Kenroy Arthurs (19’) and Wilmer Garcia (23’ PK & 34’); while Police got their goals from Harrison “Cafu” Roches (28’ & 51’), Marlon “El Matador” Meza (59’ PK), Kishane “Grill” Pech (79’) and Amin “Tacos” August, Jr. (90+’). The other Saturday encounter took place at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, and saw visiting Belmopan Bandits leaving with a 1-nil victory, courtesy of a 36th minute strike by Elroy “Bibs” Kuylen, to deal home standing Placencia Texmar Assassins their first season loss and first goal conceded.

Editorial: Politics and money
The individuals and corporations who finance political parties in Belize, as indeed all over the world wherever there is electoral “democracy,” may be referred to as “smart money.” These are calculating people who know what they are doing, and they don’t make mistakes. In Belize, the smart money finances politicians in order to get returns on their investments. In the United States, planet earth’s superpower, by contrast, a lot of the financing of the political parties is done by citizens and companies who have a certain agenda or socio-political philosophy which they want to push. This is not to say that when the party they are financing wins, the financiers of American politics do not expect to get back their money, and then some. They do. But, it is to say that in Belize the return on the investment is the primary, and often only, concern for the financiers of the major political parties. And, this is the case in Belize because there is very little difference in socio-political philosophy between the People’s United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP).

From the Publisher
Inside the House of Representatives, to the immediate right of the Prime Minister, sits a man who has been publicly accused of murder. Earlier this year, the Commissioner of Police was ordered by the Chief Justice to carry out a thorough investigation into the involvement of the Hon. Elvin Penner in the sale of a Belize passport to an indicted South Korean businessman who was locked up in a Taiwan prison when the said Belize passport was processed and flown to Taiwan for delivery to him. It really does not appear as if the Commissioner of Police made any serious effort to do as he was instructed to do in the Penner matter. So that, it is very, very difficult for the people of Belize to believe that the police will carry out a thorough investigation into the aforementioned murder allegation. In fact, the accused murderer has gone on a legal offensive. He has retained the Prime Minister’s law partner to commence libel proceedings against his political opponent, the person he considers ultimately responsible for airing the murder allegation on national radio, and so that political opponent must shut his mouth or risk aggravating whatever damages the courts may award to the plaintiff, who, to repeat, sits next to the Prime Minister in the House.

Belize’s first confirmed case of Chikungunya in Las Flores
Chikungunya, a viral mosquito-borne illness which began to spread in the Caribbean a year ago. Director of Health Services (DHS), Dr. Michael Pitts, told Amandala that the positive result was confirmed last week, following tests conducted at the laboratory of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), based in Trinidad and Tobago, on samples taken from a woman of Las Flores, Belmopan, whom he declined to identify. Pitts said that Chikungunya (also known as Chik-V) has been a concern since it began to spread in the Caribbean in 2013. “We have all the conditions: the two subtypes of mosquitos, environmental conditions, the rains,” Pitts said. He noted that Chik-V has been spreading in many countries in the region, including Jamaica, Grenada, Santa Domingo and Salvador, the country from which Belize’s index case was imported.

Allegedly intoxicated cop charged in Pan
Constable Luis Cobarruvias, of the Belmopan police, has been released from custody on a bail of $1,500 and ordered to return to court on January 15, after he was arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court this morning on charges of discharging a firearm in public, common assault, damage to property and obtaining services by deception. Police claim that while in uniform, at about 7:30 Thursday evening in Belmopan, Cobarruvias, in an intoxicated state, broke a taxi cab mirror, refused to pay a taxi fee after he was taken to his destination, and fired shots in the area. In taking further action against him, the police department has interdicted him from duties and he will face additional charges in front of a police tribunal.

Missing Canadian national, 59, found floating in Mopan
The lifeless body of a Canadian national who had been reported missing since this past Saturday, November 22, was retrieved from the Mopan River yesterday, Sunday, wearing only a black jacket, San Ignacio police reported today. According to police, Canadian accountant Nicole Warner, 45, a naturalized Belizean, told them that at about 4:00 p.m. last Friday, November 21, she went to pick up her husband, Canadian national James Garfield Searles, 59, from the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, after which they headed to San Ignacio Town but stopped to have a few drinks on the way. Warner said that when they reached their destination, she fell asleep with her husband at her side, but when she woke up at around 3:00 a.m. the next morning, she realized that Searles was missing.

Cañeros and SICB to meet next week
Today was set as the deadline for the ultimatum that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and it membership, at a meeting last Saturday, November 15, gave the Government-appointed industry regulator, known as the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB), to arbitrate the longstanding dispute between the cane producers and the sugar processors, Belize Sugar Industries (BSI)/American Sugar Refineries (ASR). Since we understand that two of the members of the SICB are presently out of the country, a meeting could not be arranged, and therefore, the BSCFA has agreed to wait until November 25, which is the date that the SICB had first planned to hold its meeting. Also of note is that today, the BSCFA executive met with Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega, and while we have not been able to receive any official comment on the outcome of that meeting, we were told that Hon. Vega simply encouraged the BSCFA to return to the negotiating table with BSI/ASR — something BSI/ASR has been reluctant to do.

Patrick JonesPJ

Cayo North Bye-Election set for January 5, 2015
People in the Cayo North constituency will go to the polls on Monday, January 5, 2015 to elect a new Area Representative. Governor General Sir Coville Young has issued a Writ of Election, paving the way for a bye-election to replace the People’s United Party’s Joseph Mahmud who abruptly resigned on Monday morning. According to a government press release, Nomination Day will be Monday, December 15 with the Administration Building in San Ignacio town being the place where the nomination of candidates will take place.

Forum on women’s issues held in Punta Gorda town
The Punta Gorda branch of the Women’s Department today hosted a forum for students of the St. Peter Claver Primary School. The Father Francis Ring Parish Hall was the venue for the event which was designed to create awareness of current issues that women face on a daily basis. According to Lorraine Johnson from the Women’s Department, the presenters at today’s forum were from various sectors of the community who shared information on HIV stigma and discrimination and violence against women, among others.

Rianne Gutierrez is Miss Teen pageant winner
A first of its kind Teen Pageant was held over the weekend in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Rianne Gutierrez beat out four other beautiful young ladies to claim the crown on Saturday, November 22, 2014. According to organizers Lupita Kuylen, the pageant was a huge success and Miss Teen Rianne Gutierrez will not be involved in various community activities during her reign. According to Gutierrez “words can’t describe how it felt to get something you’ve worked so hard preparing for and this was an unforgettable experience and the journey is just starting.”

Warm weather conditions; but a cold front is approaching
It is a warm, sunny morning in San Ignacio town. Indeed across the nation today, the weather is beautiful; but change is on the way. The Belize Weather Bureau says that an increase in moisture later in the day will herald the arrival of a Cold Front. In the meantime however, the sunny conditions will continue for most of the day; then an increase in shower activity will start inland and move across the entire country tonight. Winds are easterly to southeasterly at 5 t 15 knots; but will shift to the north-west on Wednesday morning. The sea state will be choppy today; but will become locally rough near showers and thunderstorms tonight.

Charges expected soon in the murder of Panamanian diplomat
Police in the nation’s capital, Belmopan, are reportedly close to bringing charges against a suspect in connection with the killing of Panamanian diplomat Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa. The body of the 64 year old diplomat was found late on Sunday evening about a mile off the Hummingbird Highway in west Belmopan. Cut wounds were visible on De La Rosa’s neck and head. Police continue to be judicious their handling of information surrounding the murder. Sources say that the break in the case came late Monday when the suspect allegedly gave a caution statement and subsequently led authorities to where the diplomat’s vehicle was hidden in some bushes.


Belize Winter Vacation: When yuh hot, yuh hot!
How I beat the freeze and became a hero: Lounging here by the side of the infinity pool, watching clouds drift across an impossibly blue sky, serenaded by parrots and other tropical birds while enjoying an ice cold beer, it’s hard to process the images we received this morning from our friends in New York. White mountains of snow with cars buried beneath, people leaning into freezing winds, roads clogged and residents breaking out their snow shovels, it looked like winter on steroids. And Boston looked even worse. I put down the tablet and jumped in for another swim, thinking how amazing it was that all of this was happening just a few hours away. And when she-who-is-often-skeptical joined me, I could tell from her smile that I was still enjoying hero status. Last month she wasn’t so sure when I suggested we take our main vacation early this year and spend it in Belize. For me, it was a snap decision that began with a coworker coming back to the office with a healthy looking tan, fresh attitude and stories of what sounded like the best two weeks one could imagine. “It’s the most amazing place I’ve ever been,” she said, “On one side of the country you have these huge wilderness areas filled with ancient Maya temples and ancient cities, and on the other the Caribbean Sea and all these little islands and coastal villages and resorts, all protected by a huge barrier reef. The people are really friendly and, to top it off, everyone speaks English!”

Snapshots Around Belize This Past Week or So
I post photos in a few places – on my blog for sure, on Facebook and then, the most casual “out and about during the day” photos on Instagram. Instagram certainly has those who love it and those who don’t. It’s packed with all sorts of filters that can turn even my most dull washed out photo into the City of Oz. It makes it fun and artsy but doesn’t always present the real picture. Just a different medium…and I love it. Express yourself. And honestly? There are many people that I’d prefer do that in photos rather than words. And so, for lack of a more serious topic today (like the upcoming election season or Thanksgiving in Belize), here are some snapshots that I’ve taken and posted on Instagram over the last week…or so.

International Sourcesizz

IMF wants to know what PetroCaribe money was used for in St Vincent
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is monitoring the potential impact of Venezuela's current economic stress on PetroCaribe, the country’s oil alliance with several Caribbean islands, and it also wants to know what PetroCaribe money was used for in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Merco Press reported. According to SVG Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Caracas has invited PetroCaribe member countries to a meeting about “reaffirming” their commitment to the initiative, the brainchild of the former Venezuelan president, the late Hugo Chavez. IMF Western Hemisphere advisor, Elie Canetti, told reporters that the IMF’s main concern “is that we know Venezuela is going through increasing financial stress, and oil prices have dropped from around US$120 a barrel to mid 70s a barrel and Venezuela is hugely dependent on selling oils.” “So, we are mindful and concerned about the feasibility of PetroCaribe continuing, certainly at the level it has been, and we are looking into what will be the impact on Caribbean countries,” Cantelli said. “So if PetroCaribe is, in the extreme, wound down, or if PetroCaribe financing benefits become less generous, it is something that will have to be taken in account in the fiscal strategy,” he said, adding that the Washington-based financial institution is trying to understand what exactly PetroCaribe money was used to pay for in SVG.

Belize take note. Belize cited as one of four countries urged to reduce reliance on Petrocaribe Funds
Venezuela Turmoil Signals End of Oil-for-Jeans Giveaway. For a decade, countries from Guyana to Nicaragua have gained from a program that allowed them to trade for Venezuelan oil using everything from the jeans they produced to the pasta they made. Now, the $8 billion Petrocaribe subsidy, which also allows countries to finance part of their oil purchases at 1 percent for 25 years, is looking less secure as Venezuela faces inflation that’s risen to 63 percent and the world’s widest budget deficit. In response, at least four countries are taking steps to reduce their reliance on Venezuela’s subsidy as crude prices plunge, according to the International Monetary Fund. It’s a move other countries should follow, said David Voght, managing director of energy consultancy IPD Latin America. “The scale of the oil price decline should trigger some adjustments,” Voght said by telephone from Miami. He urged countries to “react quickly to the fact that in its current form, this agreement presents a huge financial burden for a struggling Venezuela.” The four countries are Guyana, Haiti, Belize and Jamaica. Cutbacks in the subsidy, created by former President Hugo Chavez, would ripple across the Caribbean and Central America, said Franco Uccelli, an emerging markets analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Miami. Those financing terms are “almost free money,” Uccelli said in a telephone interview. “If somebody were to pull the plug on those flows, it would be difficult to replace with well-priced funds from a different source.”

City man found dead in river near Belize home
The family of Winnipeg's James Searles is in shock after the 59-year-old was found dead in a river in Belize hours after arriving to be with his new bride. "The family is mourning and grieving. This is a complete shock -- the reality hasn't set in," his daughter and family spokeswoman Jennifer Stringer said Tuesday from her home in British Columbia. "Until he's brought home (to Winnipeg), we don't want to speculate," she said, declining to speak further. In an interview with Belize Channel 5 television, police Supt. Dinsdale Thompson said Searles flew into Belize on Saturday and was picked up by his wife, 45-year-old Canadian Nicole Warner, a local resident whom Searles had married in September. They retired to Warner's home after going out for drinks, Thompson said. Thompson told the TV station Warner woke up on Sunday to find Searles gone, and went to the police station to report her husband missing.

Jeff Ransom: Ancient-History Preservationist
When he was a 9-year-old Boy Scout, Jeff Ransom and his fellow troop members got lost in a Venezuelan cave. Flashlights were dying. Kids were crying. Even their adult Eagle Scout leader shed tears. Luckily, the future archaeologist of Miami-Dade County was there to save the day. "I wasn't scared, and I remembered the way back out, so I got everybody out," Ransom, now 49, recalls as he sits in a 12th-floor conference room at the Stephen P. Clark Center. "I've always felt very comfortable in caves." Rather than developing a serious phobia, that early incident sparked a lifelong passion for archaeology. Ransom returned to the caves while studying at Florida Atlantic University and later did graduate field work in Belize, where he documented ancient Mayan activity in caves for five years. But Miami called to Ransom, who wanted to be closer to Venezuela and his family. He began working as the county's official archaeologist in 2006. It's a tricky job that's part scientist and part negotiator. The science part happens whenever another billionaire developer wants to dig up Miami to put up a swanky hotel. Ransom is the guy who makes sure there aren't any ancient artifacts that could be destroyed in the process.

Before You Slice the Turkey, Give Thanks to Those Wild Cousins
According to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the U.S. is the world’s largest turkey producer and largest exporter of turkey products. An estimated 46 million turkeys will show up on American tables this holiday, and most of those will come from turkey production facilities. A much smaller percentage featured on the holiday table will be wild turkeys hunted on private and public lands. There are more than 7 million wild turkeys roaming the countryside, but their numbers were not always that robust. According to the National Wild Turkey Federation, which partners with the U.S. Forest Service, the tasty game bird native to the U.S. faced extinction in the 1930s. The Forest Service works with the Wild Turkey Federation to improve the fowl’s habitat. The federation’s “Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt” campaign has a goal to enhance more than 4 million acres of upland wildlife habitat. Blatt said improving wild turkey habitat includes other projects, such as ridding the area of invasive species. There are only two species of turkeys that fall under the scientific genus Meleagris: Meleagris gallopavo, or the North American wild turkey that includes five distinct subspecies, and Meleagris ocellata, the oscillated turkey that exists only in a 50,000-square-mile area that includes parts of Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.

CARICOM expands diplomatic relations with Eastern European
The expansion of the Caribbean Community's diplomatic relations with Eastern European countries continues with the accreditation of the first ambassador from Georgia to the regional organization. Otar Berdzenishvili is the newest diplomatic representative following the accreditation last week of an ambassador from Lithuania, CARICOM said in a statement on Monday. "This is an historic occasion. The expansion of diplomatic development, trade and economic relations constitutes for CARICOM a deliberate and key element of our coordinated foreign policy," Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque said.


Video: Manatees in Belize, 1.5min.
Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to stumble upon five manatees during a routine survey at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. In honor of Manatee Awareness Month, we put together this quirky, little video.

Video: Blue Tang Inn San Pedro - San Pedro - Belize, 1min.
Picture yourself in a spacious room with the blue Caribbean at your doorstep youre at the Blue Tang Inn. Stretch out on your deck or stroll on the beach. Sunrise at the Blue Tang Inn is something special. We will serve you freshbrewed coffee and Island tasty fruits. No charge, by the way, its on us. All suites are air conditioned, have fully equipped kitchens and are decorated in soft tropical colors. Enjoy the sunlight and breeze provided by the large windows in each suite. Our third floor suites have hard wood floors, vaulted ceilings and Jacuzzi bathtubs. The beautiful accommodations, fun daily activities, unique dining and friendly local culture are all part of what makes your stay at the Blue Tang Inn a truly unique experience.

Video: Belizean Dreams tours, 23min.
Follow two of our guests as they enjoy all that Belizean Dreams Beach Resort has to offer! From the night life at our Palapa Bar in Hopkins Belize, to ziplining, cave tubing, hiking, Mayan ruins tours and more!

Video: Dangriga Belize Service Learning Project, 7min.
Students talk about their experiences in Dangriga Belize as part of the service learning project.

Video: Belize Tire Depot, 1min.
Belize Tire Depot is Belize's number one tire company whose friendly staff will help you find the tires you want at a price you can afford. Belize Tire Depot offers a wide range of manufacturers and a huge selection of styles and sizes and is committed on providing you with the best service and the best quality in tires, car products and construction hardware tools.

Video: Belize Project by Bradlie Morgan, 5min.

Video: Follow the leader... Belize style!, 1min.
Shark footage I shot on Half Moon Caye in Belize November 2014 while at Turneffe Island Resort.. These segments were from one longer video - I edited out parts where the Reef Shark got a little further away from me and resumed where I caught up with him again.

Video: Brenda Johnson: Belize's Humble Softball Giant!, 35min.
The eleventh episode in a video documentary series called Belizean Legends that will profile the legendary Belizean softball player and gold medalist Brenda Johnson who played on the Belize national selection that won the gold medal in the 1974 Central American & Caribbean Games in Santa Domingo. Johnson discusses her softball career in Belize with Belizean Legends host Bilal Morris and revisits highlights of the game where Belize won its first gold medal in an international sports competition, and the homecoming reception that the Belize national team received from Belizeans and government alike. Johnson also championed the legendary Belizean softball pitcher, the late Isolene Heath as Belize's best pitcher ever, and also championed the legendary coach the late Collect Gill as the best softball coach that Belize ever had. Johnson who became a coach herself after retiring from softball as a player, continue to contribute to the development of sports in Belize through her working with young people in Belize to develop the discipline of sports again.

Video: Blue Ventures Belize, 69min.
Blue Ventures Belize Blue Ventures are an award winning marine conservation organisation running expeditions in Belize and Madagascar. Part of the work volunteers are involved wi.

Video: Belize 2014, 5min.
San Pedro, Turneffe, Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, Goff Caye, Caye Caulker.

Video: Jetski and Snorkeling in Belize, 3min.
So blessed to have the opportunity to jetski and snorkel in the barrier reef! This was our second day on the island.

November 25, 2014


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

Fresh New Menu Items at Running W Steakhouse in San Ignacio
Running W Steakhouse will launch its latest menu that features new, innovative items made fresh daily by our Chefs. The restaurant, known for its local and international cuisine, welcoming atmosphere and premium meats from their own family ranch, will introduce the new menu on December 1st which includes eight new appetizers, four new sandwiches & salads, nine new entrées, six new desserts and several new cocktails. During the process of revamping the Running W Steakhouse menu, the restaurant tested many of the new dishes on the weekly specials menu. “We had so many great ideas for new dishes that it became extremely difficult choosing what should be featured permanently,” said Kristin Utsman, Assistant Manager. “We have enough new dishes to feature 3 different menus that will be introduced seasonally.” The lunch and dinner menu now showcases the new appetizer, Filet Mignon Beef Carpaccio: tender thin sliced grass fed filet topped with house made caper crème, roasted red peppers and shaved parmesan accompanied with our own French baguette garlic crostini. If you’re in the mood for a lighter appetizer, you can try our new Chicken Lettuce Cups: Hoisin scented chicken vegetable slaw served with spicy peanut coconut dipping sauce and fresh lettuce leaf wraps.

A Blue Heron hunts for breakfast shortly after sunrise on Ambergris Caye.

Joseph Mahmud resigns as PUP Cayo North Representative
It is announced from the House of Representatives that the Honorable Speaker has accepted the resignation letter of the Honorable Member for Cayo North, Honorable Joseph Mahmud, who advised the Office of the Clerk this morning that with immediate effect he resigns his seat in the House as Member for Cayo North. The resignation letter was received at around 11:00 o’clock this morning, 24th November 2014, by the Clerk to the House of Representatives, Mr. Eddie Webster. In accordance with section 126 of the Belize Constitution, the Honorable Speaker Michael Peyrefitte has accepted the resignation of the Honorable Member for Cayo North. The Honorable Speaker who is currently attending the ACP Meetings in Strasbourg, France, was contacted this morning by the Clerk and he was informed of the resignation letter. The Honorable Peyrefitte has accepted the resignation of the Honorable Member with immediate effect.

Get your Red Cross First Aid Kit today!
The San Pedro Red Cross (SPRC) is now offering first aid kits for both residential and business use. Having a proper first aid kit is very important in case of emergencies, and SPRC’s aim is to make the island a safer place. The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) First Aid Kits contain all the essentials for the immediate treatment of injuries. SPRC offers the Bulk ANSI Kit which contains 196 pieces, and is ideal for a small business with up to 50 employees or for a family home. The kit is Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certified and carries 20 critical products needed for first aid treatment. It comes in a convenient plastic case for easy storage.

Strombus Gigas Alliance attends 67th GCFI conference in Barbados
According to James Azueta from the Belize Fisheries Department, the forum in which the Belize SGA made the presentation was not organized by Government agencies of the region, but by various international non-profit organizations. He explained that such a forum is open to any NGO who wishes to submit presentations. Azueta said that while he is aware of the points made by Belize SGA, the reason it was not being fully entertained was because the US-based NGO, Wild Earth Guardians had petitioned the US government to list the queen conch as threatened or endangered under the USA Endangered Species Act (ESA). That petition, explained Azueta, was rejected earlier in November by the US Court. Notwithstanding the rejected petition, Azueta further explained that as it is, the CITES regulation has benefited Belize tremendously as the conch population has shown constant growth. “That has been contributed largely to the recommended good management mechanism put in place and adopted by fisheries authorities in the region,” said Azueta. The Belize Fisheries Department has confirmed that currently, beside the exportation of conch flesh, there are at least two license holders who are beginning to export conch shell. One of the permit holders is currently exporting about 20,000 conch shells annually at an estimated $5 each. Those shells have been exported and processed into jewelry amongst other products.

Island in need of foster families
There are several different types of fostering families that are needed. “We have different types of fostering available. You can choose to foster children only in cases of emergency. These cases range from an overnight stay to a weekend. You can also foster a child for a week or till we can locate other family members that would wish to care for the children,” said Kay. Person wanting to foster children for a longer period of time can choose the short or long term, which range from three months to three years. “A short term foster would be anything from a week to three months. During this time HHD will determine whether the parents of the child can be rehabilitated and the child returned to them. If the case is not so then the parents will be taken to court so that custody of the child can be taken from them. A long term foster is from a year to three years. This is done for families that would like to adopt a child. During this time they work on a relationship with the child and determine whether adoption is the right choice,” said Kay. Families can also choose to foster children during vacation. Many of the children in need of foster care come for dysfunctional families. Kay explained that removing a child from its home is usually the last resort and is only contemplated when the child’s well-being is at risk. “There are several reasons why a child is removed from its families. Some of the main reasons include physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, mental disability, and drug abuse and alcoholism on behalf of the parents. Another reason for a child to be taken away is if his/her parents simply cannot protect or provide for the child,” said Kay.

NICH inaugurates San Pedro House of Culture
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) inaugurated the facility that will host the San Pedro House of Culture. The new building is located on Angel Coral Street directly across the Honorable Louis “Cuz” Sylvester Sporting Arena (Saca Chispas). The facility was inaugurated on Wednesday November 19th by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. While the San Pedro House of Culture (Casa de Cultura) has been operating for almost three years without a physical structure, the new building will strengthen the work being done to preserve the island’s rich history and culture. During the ceremony, the San Pedro House of Culture Coordinator Mito Paz indicated that the project is a dream come true.

Ambergris Today

WORLD AIDS DAY is December 1
- The San Pedro AIDS Commission has released a schedule of events. Let's show them our support.

Fisheries Department Announces Fisher Folk License Renewal
The Fisheries Department hereby informs the PUBLIC that it will start the renewal of fisher folk licenses for 2015 on December 01st 2014. Licensing in the fishing communities will commence on December 15th 2014. The following are the scheduled dates for licensing in the fishing communities:

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Diplomat Murdered!
UPDATE: Official police report states: At about 4:00 p.m. on 23.11.14 the body of a male Hispanic person was found in the west area of Belmopan about ¾ mile from La Chosa. The person was later identified as 64-year-old Jose Rodriga De la Rosa Stanford, Panamanian national who works at the Embassy of Panama. The body had cut wounds to the neck and head. Investigations revealed that his white Nissan with diplomatic License plates that he was reportedly driving is also missing. Police investigations continue -------------- The body of the Panamanian Chargé d’ Affairs, Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa, was found with his throat slit. His body was found in the outskirts of Belmopan in an area known as La Choza. He was found by a resident of the area who was returning home from church. There are reports that while his car is missing, his personal belongings were found on him. More on this story in tonight’s newscast

San Pedro wins First Place in the "Wahoo de Plata" Fishing Tournament 2014 in Mahahual, Mexico
Ricky Martin was San Pedro's head captain of the winning team. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Mahahual, Mexico share a very close friendship with each other. On Saturday November 22, the Governor of the State of Quintana Roo Roberto Borge Angulo signaled the opening of the Third International Fishing Tournament “El Wahoo de Plata” at the fishermen’s wharf in the heart of the Grand Costa Maya, Mahahual. 24 fishing boats with over 150 fishermen from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize, Tabasco, Chetumal, Calderitas and Mahahual took part. Congratulations to the San Pedro Team!

This weekend Corozal Predators played their basketball game against Chetumal and won.The Preds took Cancun on the second game which they won in a very close one 55 - 67 to take Championship between 4 teams, Cancun, Chetumal, Bacalar, Corozal Predators. Congratulations to the Corozal Predators and best of luck in the next tournament. (5 photos)

Belize FISHING REPORT: Week of November 15th – 22nd, 2014
We know that weather does as it wishes. We had some serious rain this week, but this did not dampen the spirit of our anglers. I mean it poured, and the guides said, “let’s go!” They went out with a prayer and their anglers came back drenched and smiling. A big shout out to Jim, “Catcher on the Fly,” – he landed his slam over the week. He was beyond excited. See photos. And Scott, all we can say is, “wow!” Congratulations on your first slam and the epic tarpon fishing. Nice work Krista on video and stills! And to all who participated in the Orvis Bonanza week, thank you. As I said when you were awarded your bonefish pins – you made lemonade out of lemons. This is the spirit that shares our sport. Thank you.

The Venezuelan Ambassador, Señor Yoel Perez Marcando and his staff, has announced that the revolutionary Belizean thinker, Economist, Belize's Ambassador of Trade, and Internationalist, Adlabert Alexander Tucker, will be honored this coming Saturday, November 29, 2014 in Belize's capital city, Belmopan, at the Venezuelan Institute, at the Canada Precinct, at 9:00 o'clock in the morning. The special program honoring the former Belize's Ambassador of Trade in the Barrow administration, who passed away recently this year in Jamaica after a long battle with cancer, will be having a street named in his honor. All arrangements has already been made to by the Venezuelan Embassy in getting the Street Sign purchased, the area where the sign will placed cleaned, and material to have the Street Sign install by a private contractor, has already been done.

Channel 7

History! Mahmud Resigns House of Rep's, Triggers Bi-Election
Tonight, political players in both mass parties are preparing for a surprise bi-election in Cayo North. That's after a most unexpected thing happened: the PUP's Cayo North Representative Joseph Mahmud abruptly resigned as a member of parliament. Now, he had already indicated he would not run again - but that was a month ago - and the understanding was that he would serve out his term. But all that changed today when he up and resigned. That immediately puts his seat into a play and a bye-election must be held within 90 days to fill the vacant post. The UDP is rearing to go with its standard bearer Omar Figueroa who was elected in February. The PUP on the other hand has not found a new standard bearer since Mahmud indicated he would not run again. Attorney Michel Chebat and businessman Richard Harrison have declared an interest in the division - but the party will now have to move swiftly to have a convention and elect or endorse someone.

Panamanian Diplomat Slain In Bze; Police Have Suspect; Recover Vehicle
And while an elected representative stepping down is a first - so is our other top story tonight: the murder of a diplomat. The Panamanian Charge d' Affairs was found murdered in the greater Belmopan area on Sunday afternoon. There is major breaking news concerning that killing tonight, but we start at the murder scene today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is the road off the Hummingbird Highway across from La Cabana where Jose Rodriga De la Rosa's body was found. It is known as West Belmopan - and the road is called La Choza after the Bar that used to be a popular watering hole - it has now closed down.

Ellis Jr. Charged For Shooting Zimbab
Tonight, the well-know Ellis Meighan Jr. and another 17 year-old minor are prison after being accused by police of shooting Carlos "Zimbab" Abraham, a ranking member of George Street who was targeted in a broad daylight shooting on last week Thursday. Meighan, who lives around the corner from where the shooting happened, and the minor were both arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on the charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. Due to the nature of the offences, they couldn't be granted bail, and they have been remanded into custody until January 30, 2015.

Corozal Cops: Corporal Andrews Had Compressed Cannabis
On Friday night we had breaking news about a police corporal who was busted for marijuana trafficking at the northern border. Well tonight we can tell you that his name is Shaun Andrews, a 30 year old from Corozal attached to the Precinct 2 strike team. He was driving and his passengers were 25 year old Brandon Casey of Camalote and 26 year old Dwayne Zuniga also of Corozal Town. As we told you, his red Geo PRizm had mechanical difficulties right at he northern border customs checkpoint. Andrews lifted the bonnet and that's when alert customs officers saw two parcels wrapped in transparent plastic. Both were retrieved and found to contain 1.5 kilos or about 3.2 pounds of compressed cannabis. All three were handed over to Corozal police and charged for Drug Trafficking. They were arraigned today and bailed for three thousand dollars and scheduled to return to court n January.

Drunk Corporal Discharged His Weapon Negligently?
And it didn't make news last week but another Corporal was criminally charged. Details are somewhat sketchy but a corporal Cobarubia attached to the Belmopan police station. According to reports he was intoxicated and refused to pay a taxi-driver who he had hired to give him a ride home on Thursday night. When the police man told him he owed him 7 dollars for the ride - and instead the Corporal let loose with 7 shots from his service weapon. He was charged disciplinarily and criminally for Common assault damage to property discharging a firearm in public obtaining property by deception.

MOE Working Out CXC Subsidy
Right now, a little over 4,000 students countywide are currently in 4th Form, and they're only a few months away from taking their CSEC Exams - better known as CXC's. Now, these exams aren't cheap, and at the beginning of the year, Prime Minister Dean Barrow promised in his 2014 New Year's Message that the Government of Belize would cover the costs for 6 of the exams for needy students. The requirement is that the parents of these students needed to have applied to the Ministry of Education for the subsidy on or before last week Friday. To ensure that the needy families are the ones who are receiving this financial assistance, the Department of Human Services went out to survey and assess the families who applied for it. The Survey was completed by the Department of Human Services, several months ago, and the Government of Belize set aside a budget to accommodate around 1,600 of the students. The parents of approximately 640 students applied, and just over half of them were accepted. The rest were rejected, and upon further consideration, the Ministry decided that instead of forcing those families to go through a complicated and tedious appeal process, they will pay for all students, whose families applied early.

Hon. Faber Discusses Petrocaribe Rally
And while we had the chance, asked Faber about the Petrocaribe Rally that the UDP held last week at Tuesday's House meeting. As we've told you, it's the first time that a ruling party has protested the Opposition Party, and as we told you, an element of that demonstration was to test the machinery in preparation for the municipal elections, which are a little over 4 months away. Faber claimed that he brought out 12 busloads of supporters from Collet to take part in last week's rally. We asked him about a few of the criticisms which emerged in its wake. Here's how that conversation went: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "The people in my area especially came out. Some of them decided not to go to their jobs on that day because some of the very same work that they do in the constituency rely on the Petrocaribe funds, but we didn't pay anybody.

How The Best Warriors Do Battle
Last week Thursday and Friday we took you deep inside the Coast Guard's Best Warrior Competition. The events were punishing tests of physical and mental endurance that pitted the coast guard against other elite law enforcement units. But what we saw on Thursday and Friday was no match for the merciless obstacles of Saturday. 7News was out there all day getting our own workout and Daniel Ortiz reports:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting When we arrived, the first 4 teams were already on the Hattieville Boom Road; we met up first with the favorites of the competition, the BSAG team. The squad was moving along, full gear in hand, weapons at the ready, and a 40 pound Bergan each to carry on their backs. They were in Second place up until this point, and this was the event they were expected to dominate in. A little further up were the Seals, some members, walking some trotting, the first 2 days of exertion clearly having taken its toll.

Does Belize City need more taxi's? Ask any average driver and they'll tell you, "heck no!". And the city council agreed with that when it was first elected two and a half years and ago and put in place a moratorium on new taxi licenses. But now the council is revisiting its policy based on a revised plan for the transport industry. The council this afternoon called all stakeholders to a meeting at BTL Park where it got a lot of feedback. Here are a few clips:.. Alifah Elrington, Councilor With Responsibility for Traffic "We knew and we understood that we must therefore actually have a discussion in relation to this particular moratorium. I believe that there were no such consultation when we the moratorium was actually put in place and I believe that that need has now arise seeing that we are changing the direction in which we want to take the city and the transport issues in the city whereby we want to regulate the taxi system; we want to regulate the bus system; we want to regulate the dollar van system. We are hoping that this consultation will assist us in actually coming to an understanding between operators and the council with a way forward if it is that there is the need for the lift for the moratorium or if it is that the moratorium should remain, but we must be able to look at different aspects at which point we are going to allow a license plate here, a license plate there."

Stephen Davies' Traffic Arraignment
On Friday's Newscast, we reported on the case of 33 year-old Stephen Davies, a resident of Lords Bank, who is facing 4 traffic offenses after knocking down a BDF Soldier. He told Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer that even though he does not have a driver's license, his took over the wheel from his wife because of the glare which prevented her from seeing the road well. He explained that his vision was also impaired by that glare and it contributed to the accident. All that is accurate, but in Friday's story, we reported erroneously that at the arraignment, Stephen Davies admitted in open court that he was texting while driving. That was wrong; Stephen Davies did not make any such admission. He said he was texting while in the passenger seat - not while driving. We apologize for the error.

Increasing The Number of School Hours?
Education minister Patrick Faber was also the chair of SICA's 20th Ordinary meeting Of Education Ministers of Central America, which was held on Ambergris Caye last week Friday and Saturday Faber oversaw a progressive discussion into the Central American Education Policy. It's a document which seeks to address the similar challenges that all the SICA member countries face. He told us today that there was an intensive discussion at that meeting about how the countries might lengthen the school days. This means more hours in each school day, and more days in the school year, but Faber says that the Education Ministers agree that the quality of education should improve accordingly:

Channel 5

Joe Mahmud’s Untimely Resignation Triggers Bye-election in Cayo North
At news time tonight senior P.U.P. officials are in closed door session following the announcement of the resignation of Cayo North Area Representative Joseph Mahmud from the House of Representative. [...]

Career Panamanian Diplomat Murdered in Belmopan
Tonight, police has one man detained for the vicious murder of a senior career diplomat from Panama, and we are told he is a close friend. The bloody body of [...]

Ellis Meighan Charged with Attempted Murder of Zimbab Abraham
There are arrests in the attempted murder of a George Street boss who was shot in rival territory last Thursday. Twenty-two year old Ellis Meighan, another street figure and a [...]

Canadian National Dies In Bullet Tree. Did He Drown?
The body of a Canadian newly-wed was retrieved from the Mopan River on Sunday morning. James Searles arrived in Belize on Saturday to reunite with his wife of two months [...]

5 Illegal Cuban Immigrants Busted Near Western Border
Also in the west, immigration officers on routine patrol in the Cayo District arrested five Cuban nationals who illegally entered the country. Reports are that on Sunday, the Cuban nationals [...]

Missile Unearthed at Site of Victor Galvez Stadium in San Ignacio Town
A mortar is a military weapon that fires explosive projectiles or bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. For about three weeks now, construction works have been [...]

Joel Gordon Charged with Aggravated Assault of his Sister
A fifty-six year old man was before the court today to answer to two criminal offenses after he was accused of committing an aggravated assault with a machete upon his [...]

Belize City Cop Busted for Drug Trafficking in Corozal
Corozal police busted one of their own on Friday evening when the officer attached to Eastern Division was caught along with two other men inside a vehicle stuffed with suspected [...]

Government To Cover Cost of Up to Six CXCs
High school students across the country will benefit from some financial relief in their senior year, as the Ministry of Education has announced that it will be paying for six [...]

Will Reimbursement Be an Issue for Those Who Have paid?
The method of payment, according to Faber, will be handled internally since government would essentially be paying itself.  The hiccup, he says, may come when students who have paid in [...]

Patrick Faber of Yasmin Shoman’s Collet Candidacy
Aside from the political battle in the Cayo North, there is another fight in the Collet division in Belize City. P.U.P. standard bearer Yasmin Shoman, who replaces Micah Gooding as [...]

Belize City Taxi Drivers Take on CitCo and Transport Department
Taxi drivers from various associations and unions across Belize City converged on B.T.L. Park this afternoon, where they met with representatives of the Belize City Council and the Transport Department.  [...]

Patrick Faber’s Take on Petrocaribe Funds
The Petrocaribe Loan Motion was passed in the House of Representatives last Tuesday, amid massive support for the initiative by stalwarts of the United Democratic Party.  Prior to the meeting, [...]

Sporting highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Stop the press. In week 6 of the PLB Football season, San Ignacio United finally got its 1st win [...]


Panamanian diplomat Murdered In Belize
Police are tonight investigating the homicide of 64 year old Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford who was found in the western part of Belmopan on Sunday evening, about 3/4 of a mile from La Chosa bar. The case is of special interest as De La Rosa Stanford worked as Chargé d'affaires for the Embassy of Panama in Belmopan and the white Nissan automobile with diplomatic license plates that was assigned to him, is missing yet his personal belongings were found on him. When authorities found his body around four yesterday they observed cut wounds to his neck and head but have not released much information about the incident.

GOB To Pay for Six CSEC Exams
Government will be paying for CSEC examination. This was confirmed by Minister of Education Patrick Faber today in a brief meeting with the press. Minister Faber says they will pay for up to six examinations. Students who had applied up to the deadline last Friday will be benefiting from the service says the minister. “There have been some glitches in terms of rolling this initiative out an so because the funds are there and because we want to help the maximum amount of people what we decided to do is to assist all of those who applied now clearly there are those who did not apply and that is an issue for us want to make sure to favor those person who can’t pay that is a major criticism that came for the free tuition issue back in under the Esquivel administration that there were many people who could pay and of course if they could pay they should pay so we turn the idea for paying for all and those who signed up for CXC up to six but decided in the end to go for those who applied. Now what I want to be cautious of is that we don’t set a bad precedence, I want to be clear to people that in fact the way we have gone about trying to get information so that we could pay for these CSEC Examinations is exactly what this ministry and this administration believes in, is just a matter of ease for this first leg that we are doing it in this manner to pay for all those who apply but the foundation is that we want for people to use this mechanism as it was designed that is apply, take the mean survey so that we are able to find out what the conditions are from these families and the situation so that we could provide the various resources from various different initiatives to help these families.”

Tacos Fest Proves To Be Another Success In Orange Walk
Hundreds of Belizeans from all the corners of the country flocked to the 4th Annual Tacos Fest held under the Banquitas House of Culture on the picturesque riverside bank of the New River. The glorious renowned Shugga Citi ‘tacos’ got the spotlight it has long deserved when the tortilla-wrapped fave was celebrated at this food and music festival. Our news team which comprised of Videographer, Jesus Melgar and Reporter Maria Novelo were there and bring you the following report. For most of Sunday, the aroma of the tacos invaded the lower flat of the Banquitas House of Culture during breakfast rush as the many tacos stalls found in Orange Walk Town took part in Tacos Fest. Friends and taco aficionados had the opportunity to taste the best tacos from among a dozen vendors. Whether it was the traditional chicken or pork tacos, rest assure, the event drew a large crowd for the undeniably best tacos in Belize. Our rounds of the event began when we touched base with the vendors, who after only a few hours in, were sold out.

Police Corporal Charged For Drug Trafficking
On Friday night vehicle failure led authorities to a big weed bust that landed three men, one of them a police corporal, behind bars. About five forty-five on the evening of Friday November 21st, Customs Personnel on duty at the Belize Northern Border had cleared a red in color Geo Prism vehicle at the checkpoint but shortly after it began experiencing mechanical problems. While still at the checkpoint, the driver, thirty year old Shaun Andrews, a police corporal, lifted the hood of the vehicle and that is when Custom officers saw two parcels wrapped in transparent plastic bags inside. Andrew Ramirez – OC Corozal “Corporal Andrew who was the driver apparently lifted up the hood as a result two packages were found inside underneath the hood, the Customs Officer suspect the contents to be Cannabis and as a result I was contacted after which myself and a team of officers went up to the Corozal Northern border where we met Corporal Andrews and the two other individuals, I must say the Corporal Andrews did not resist he realized it was a mistake that it was alleged that he had committed and he cooperated fully with us, the offence of trafficking is not a bail able offence by the police and as such he had to remain with the police here in Corozal throughout the weekend.”

Woman Claimed She Was Robbed, Charge For Mischievous Act
Tonight a couple is in custody at the Corozal Police Department, pending charges for mischievous act. According to Corozal’s Commanding Officer, Andrew Ramirez, on Sunday night Nailea Cardenas was heading back home after spending some time with her aunt in the village of Xaibe in the Corozal District, when she was allegedly robbed. Cardenas told authorities that around 7:45pm she was riding her bicycle towards her house when a man whom she did not recognize came out of nowhere and punched her on the left eye causing her to fall off her bicycle and hit her head on the ground. Cardenas further stated to police that somehow she got up and ran back to her aunt’s home. But not before her attacker managed to get a hold of her purse which contained her cellular phone valued at $600.00bcy and $300.00 in cash. Cardenas was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital where doctors classified her injuries as harm. But why was the woman charged for mischievous act? Today when we caught up with Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Department, Andrew Ramirez, he expanded on the findings of the investigation.

PUP Cayo North Area Representative Resigns From His Seat
P.U.P Area Representative for Cayo North Joseph Mahmud has officially resigned from his seat. The announcement was made with immediate effect today and the resignation has been accepted by the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peyrefitte. This comes shortly after Mahmud had stepped down from contesting the next general elections. Late this afternoon the People’s United Party issued a release thanking Mahmud for his service since March 2012 and wished him and his family continued success. Chairman of the Party, Henry Usher says that for his part, he is disappointed in the new developments. Henry Usher – Party Chairman of People’s United Party “As the Chairman of the party, I am disappointed by the news I consider Joseph to be a good friend and a brother in the party so the news is not totally expected and to be honest with you the day that he sent in his resignation letter to not contest the next election we had begun the process of selecting the new standard bearer in Cayo so it is not as if caught us off guard we had begun that process of selecting a new candidate.”

Christmas Tree Goes Up In Orange Walk
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Orange Walk Town as the Town Council sponsored Christmas tree has been assembled at the Fort Cairns Market Square. The 35 foot Christmas tree signals the start of the holiday season and for many residents the gesture sets the mood. Since the Central Park is currently going through its rehabilitation phase, the Fort Cairns plaza will be the venue for many Christmas activities this year, including our annual Christmas Bram.

Mexican National Charged For Bottle Of Perfume
A Mexican National is tonight wishing he did not visit the Corozal Free Zone after he stole a bottle of perfume valued at $11.50 Belize currency and ended up paying a high price for the crime committed. On Friday November 21st, Ada Micheali Fabro, 46 year old Belizean Manager of Hearts International Limited store located at the Corozal Free Zone told authorities that a Hispanic male person, later identified as Mortime Sanchez Silva, entered the store and purchased two perfumes. He later returned and took one Royal Platinum Perfume from the store. The item valued at $69.00 pesos or $11.50 Belie currency was found in his pants pocket by security officers who intercepted him at the exit gate. He was taken back to the store and authorities were called. The 39 year old Mexican Laborer of Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico was arrested and charged for theft. He appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court today where he was fined $500.00 to be paid pay forthwith or in default 4 months in prison. Up to news time Sanchez Silva remains in police custody as he has been unable to pay the $500.00 fine.


Hotel In Cayo District Dubbed As Top Eco-Hotel
The GAIA (GA-EE-YA) River-lodge, formerly known as the Five Sisters Lodge in the Cayo District has been dubbed as a top Eco-Hotel by the Smith Hotel Awards. According to a release, the announcement came after almost twenty five thousand votes were reviewed on various destinations, a panel of judges declared that GAIA River-lodge be put on the short list as one of the top ten Eco-Hotels in the world. GAIA River-lodge, owned by Daniel Lighter, is located in the Mountain Pine Ridge area and is a hydro-powered destination and has also been recognized as one of only five properties in Belize that is Green Globe Certified. In order to be recognized as an Eco-hotel, the establishment has to be committed to conserving and protecting the environment and must have an ethical approach while striving to minimize their carbon footprint. The Smith Hotel Awards is an award system established in 2003 by a London-based couple with the idea of identifying hotels that were the perfect getaway for couples. Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a travel publisher and hotel-booking service specializing in boutique, individual and small luxury hotels with their website being voted as the best website by CondeNast Traveler Readers’ Travel Awards in 2011 and 2012.

Nello Player Selected To Perfom At One Caribbean Music Festival
Belize’s reigning champ for its National Song Competition, Nello Player is moving up to the regional scene as he has been selected to perform at the first annual ONE Caribbean Music Festival in December at the Central Regional Broward Park In Florida, USA. Nello Player, whose original name is Kernelle Nykonie Parks is a local songwriter, producer and Reggae artist who began his professional career in 2005 and has since taken the award for National Song Competition three years in a row since 2012. In addition, Nello Player was named Belize’s Top Male Vocalist at the Belize Music Awards over the last two years as well as Reggae Artist of the Year and Best Dancehall Artist for 2011. Nello Player will be performing his award winning songs at the ONE Caribbean Music Festival. The ONE Caribbean Music Festival is an event aimed at recognizing and celebrating the diversity of Caribbean people and the oneness in culture through music and other forms.

City Council Held public Consultation Pertaining Taxi Moratorium
This afternoon the Belize City Council held a public consultation with the City’s Taxi Associations and private operators to discuss the Taxi Moratorium and the issuance of taxi license plates. It’s a very touchy and serious topic for the taxi operators and several opinions dominated this afternoon’s consultation aside from the actual moratorium. But to make it simple, the City Council wants to properly regulate the transport system in Belize City and asked taxi operators whether they want or not the moratorium lifted or left as it is. The consultations was held at BTL park where Transport Councilor, Alifa Elrington Hyde shared a few comments. “The difficulty the council faces as we try to regulate the entire transport system it hasn’t been an easy road. We’ve had some serious hiccups along the way so it’s not that the council doesn’t want to have regular consultations but it requires much more than just saying that we will talk to the people one day. But to that end we are trying to have better relations in an effort to provide a better transport system in the city. As Mr. Jefferies alluded earlier it was in 2008-2009 that the moratorium came about which means that this current council was not there when they established this moratorium.

Panama Diplomat in Belize Found Dead
The body of a Panamanian national, who had been serving as a diplomat in Belize, was found Sunday evening three quarters of a mile from the La Choza establishment in the Las Flores area of Belmopan. The body of the 64-year-old, Charge d’ Affaires, Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford, who resides in Belize City, was found by a resident of the area at around four o’clock with a cut to the throat and injuries to the head that investigators suspect were caused by blows with a blunt object. It is not clear whether de la Rosa was killed at the area where his body was found or if he was dumped after the fact. Up to late Sunday night, authorities were in the area processing the scene. Love News made several attempts to receive further information; however, investigators have been hushed in their preliminary findings and we were referred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but when we contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we were told that Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington, would be speaking to the press following the post mortem examination. Police are currently seeking the victim’s diplomatic vehicle, a white Nissan X-trail with diplomatic plates. Love News understands that investigations and leads have led the authorities to the detention of one individual.

Faber Speaks About CSEC Payments From Government
Earlier this month we brought to you an interview with the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber who had discussed with us some of the challenges that the Government had been experiencing when it came to residents taking advantage of the various initiatives being offered as they pertain to education. One of the more recent programs being offered was the payment of up to six Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations for students in either third or fourth form. Initially the program was designed for parents who are struggling and who could use the financial assistance but since our last interview with the Education Minister, he has met with the Prime Minister and some changes have made regarding who will benefit from the CSEC payments being offered by Government. PATRICK FABER “Indeed the last time we spoke was probably a week and a half ago at the (Cancaid) meeting where I was saying to people ”Listen if you did not apply now is the time to go into your schools to get in a late application for the survey to be done”.

Man Found Dead In Pit Latrine
The body of a man was found in an outdoor pit latrine yesterday morning in Elridgeville in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “A family member, Adelita Williams who sighted the body of the person in the pit section of the outdoor latrine spoke to Love News about the incident.” ADELITA WILLIAMS “When I got to the toilet on Sunday morning and when I stepped in to use it I saw two feet in the corner and I ran and told my brother. When my brother got there he told me that he had already died when they took him out of the hole.” PAUL MAHUNG “Who took the person to the Punta Gorda hospital.” ADELITA WILLIAMS “Police.” PAUL MAHUNG “How old was the person and what was his name?”

Belize Federation of Fisheries Facilitates Series of Training Workshops
Fisher-folks participated in a series of training workshops facilitated by the Belize Federation of Fishers. We hear more in this report from correspondent Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU “Compact, the Oak Foundation and PACT recently the Belize federation of fishers with financial grants that are currently being used to empower fisher folk in Belize and their communities through a series of workshops. Nigel Martinez BFF director told Love News that over the past weekend on November 22nd and 23rd the organization held two of three training workshops in Sarteneja Village in the Corozal district and in Belize City. The training workshops he said focused on natural resources management with the objective to provide fisher folk with the knowledge of the importance of marine protected areas and its benefits to the member’s community as well as reviewed a legislation governing marine protected areas. Martinez said that the second presentation which focuses on aquaculture enhanced the participant’s knowledge of the history of aquaculture in Belize including harvesting and global aquaculture industry. Moreover he said that fisher folks were also able to gain knowledge about seaweed farming and production which is an alternative to fisher folks leaving the fishing industry. The Grants that the BFF received from the said financial institutions will also assist BFF in the development of a documentary that will highlight the life of Belizean fisher folk.”

Two Men Charged For City Shooting
Two men have been charged with the attempted murder of 44-year-old Carlos Abraham also known as Zimbad. Today Ellis Meighan Junior and a 17 year old minor appeared before chief magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The two were charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and deadly means of harm. They were remanded into custody until January 30, 2015. Last Thursday morning just before ten o’clock, Abraham was at a mechanic shop at the corner of Banak and Lakeview Streets when he was shot.

Belize Has New Designated Mexican Ambassador
Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has designated a new Mexican ambassador for Belize. He is Carlos Quesnel Meléndez. Quesnel Meléndez holds a law degree from the UNAM and did graduate studies at the Institute of International Law and Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Zurich. He also has a Master’s degree in International Law. He has served as Legal Attaché at the Embassy in the United States and officer for Legal Affairs and Human Rights at the Embassy in the United Kingdom. Quesnel Melendez’s appointment goes before the Mexican senate for approval and then he presents his credentials to Belize’s head of state, Sir Colville Young, before he replaces H.E. Mario Velazquez who has been Mexico’s ambassador in Belize since 2011.


Panamanian Diplomat murdered in Belmopan
The Nation is in a state of shock following the discovery of the dead body of Panamanian Diplomat Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa Standford in the Capital City of Belmopan. Police report that sometime around 4:00 pm on Sunday November 23rd Jose De La Rosa, The Charge De Affairs for the Embassy of Panama to ...

Motorcycle accident on Belmopan Ring Road
A motorcycle rammed into the side of a white ford pickup truck on the South Ring Road, Belmopan, as it attempted to overtake. The incident happened shortly after 1:00 pm on Monday. Reports are that 35 year old Rene Pott, of Belmopan, was driving a white ford pickup on the South Ring road from an Eas...

Police charge Ellis Meighan in Abraham shooting
Ellis Meighan Jr., 22, and a seventeen year old male minor face charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm in last Thursday’s shooting of 46 year old Carlos “Zimbab” Abraham on Lakeview Street in Belize City. Carlos Abraham, formerly affiliated with the George Street...

Missing man’s body found floating in Mopan River
45-year-old Nicole Warner, a Naturalized Canadian Accountant residing in Bullet Tree Village, Cayo District, reported that on Friday November 21 at about 4:00pm, she arrived at Phillip Goldson International Airport and picked up her husband 59-year-old James Garfield Searles, a Canadian National als...

Belize Corporal and company busted with weed
A Belize Police Corporal and two others were busted with suspected weed at the Customs Checkpoint at the Belize Northern Border. According to Police reports, on Friday November 21st sometime around 5:45 pm., a red Geo Prism car with Belizean license plates approached the check point...

Belmopan burglars caught in the act
Belmopan Police intercepted a burglary on Thursday last week in broad daylight. According to reports, at around 1:45 pm police responded to a burglary in progress at a two story yellow wooden structure house in Belmopan. The owner of the building lives in the USA. When police arrived at the house, t...

Possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol
On the night of Friday November 21, Belmopan police were on mobile patrol, and passing in front of a bar on Cemetery Road, Belmopan City. They say that a blue Ford Ranger pickup suddenly reversed out from the establishment, almost running into the police vehicle. Police pursued the vehicle and pulle...

Best Warrior Competition’s second year
The Coast Guard’s Best Warrior Competition was held for the second year last week, and the winners acknowledged on Saturday. The tournament tests the fitness, strength and endurance of its members, and includes grueling tasks such as a 2 mile ocean swim, a 6 mile run, 4 mile obstacle course, and tre...

Patrick JonesPJ

Police charge two people in connection with Zimbab’s shooting
Ellis Meighan Jr., 22, and a seventeen year old male minor face charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. This is in relation to last Thursday’s shooting of 46 year old Carlos “Zimbab” Abraham on Lakeview Street in Belize City. Abraham, formerly […]

GOB extends payment plan for CXC examinations
Approaching the final deadline for payment of fees for high school students to take the Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Belize’s Ministry of Education has decided to extend its plan to pay fees for up to six subjects to all students who applied through […]

Sport Minister promises quick opening for MCC and Marion Jones
Belize City’s premier sport venues, the MCC Grounds and Marion Jones Sport Complex, have been out of commission for several months – and in the case of Marion Jones, years – owing to major upgrades and improvements at both stadia. The MCC, which hosts the City’s top football […]

Joseph Mahmud resigns Cayo North seat
Joseph Mahmud who earlier this year announced he will not seek reelection has gone a step further and officially resigned as the area representative for Cayo North, effective immediately. A government statement sent out this afternoon said that Mahmud’s resignation letter was delivered to the Clerk […]

Orange Walk hosts Tacos Fest 2014
For the fourth year running, Orange Walk town this past weekend hosted the much-anticipated Tacos Fest. Organizers say this year’s event was a huge success, bringing in a large crowd of tacos lovers from all over the country. About a dozen taqueros took part in the event […]

Teenager arrested for driving without license
A fifteen year old boy has been arrested and charged for traffic offences in Cayo. Due to his age, the name of the boy cannot be revealed; but police say he was arrested on Sunday in Santa Familia village. Officers on mobile patrol in the village pulled […]

Panama diplomat found dead in Belmopan
Police in Belmopan are investigating the circumstances surrounding the murder of a Panamanian national in the nation’s capital. According to police reports, around 4 pm on Sunday, the body of 64 year old Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford was found in the western part of Belmopan. Police say De La Rosa Stanford worked at the Embassy of Panama in Belmopan and that his vehicle, with diplomatic license plates, has not been recovered. Police also say that when the body was found, it had cut wounds to the neck and head.

Vehicle overturns in San Ignacio town
There was an early morning traffic accident today in San Ignacio town. Around 12:15 am today, an SUV went out of control on the roundabout at the western entrance to San Ignacio town on the George Price Highway and overturned with its four wheels in the air. The vehicle, according to reports received, ended up inside of the compound of a church in the area.


The Great Belize Barrier Reef: No to a luxury resort!
In media, as it life, sometimes when it rains it pours… After posting about the recent Travel Pulse article on Belize that we liked (Belize’s Charm Is Difficult to Describe But Easily Experienced November 21), another piece, this time in the Huffington Post, was brought to our attention. And, as this one has Cheers television star and well known environmental activist Ted Danson sharing the byline with Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless, our ears picked up. Mr Danson has graced our pages before, largely as a board member of Oceana and as a particular friend of Belize who has been selflessly instrumental in helping with things like banning the destructive practices of commercial bottom trawling and oil drilling on the Belize Great Barrier Reef.

Kardashian Correspondent Covers Belize Fashion Week 2014…A Sneak Preview
So this past week, when I saw the announcements for BELIZE FASHION WEEK 2014, I immediately realized two things. 1. That this was a super cool, international, cosmopolitan-style event taking place right here in San Pedro and 2. that I was NOT the one to cover such an event. Fin K., my trusted travel correspondent and man-about-town, to the rescue. He even assured me that he would have the correct outfits and “bling” for the occasion. I mean…PHEW. From Fin: Fashion week has come and gone and Belize has showcased the best in the country and Central America! More to come….2500 pictures is a lot to work on!

Working Together to Spread the Word about Bullying
An Interview with Guest Editors Shelly Hymel, Ph.D. and Susan Swearer, Ph.D. Bullying is an ever-present problem in the lives of school kids. There is not a day that goes by where we don’t hear from parents about a cruel bullying story – the 1st Grade Boy trapped in the Boys Bathroom, the 3rd Grade girl who is excluded from her former friends during every recess, the 5th Grade Boy who came home with a sign taped to his back that read “call me weirdo,” or the 8th Grade girl who was the victim of an untrue rumor that she had sex. This could be your child-one out of three students are bullied every year. Parents of bystanders, children who bully, and victims all must take a proactive stand against these statistics by getting involved in their school and in their community. The movement to dispel bullying has already begun. Parents teach their children tolerance and try to provide a stable, secure home environment; teachers and school administrators work to put policies in place to keep bullying out of their schools; top scholars focus research on the root causes of this behavior.

•2 hard-boiled eggs •1 head romaine or iceburg lettuce •3 medium size ripe tomatoes •1/2 white or yellow onion •1 (6 oz) can tuna in oil •2 oz (50 gr) green olives •2 oz (50 gr) black olives •3 Tbsp (1.5 oz) red wine vinegar •6 Tbsp (3 oz) extra virgin olive oil •salt to taste

International Sourcesizz

Belize Lawmaker Resigns
Joseph Mahmud, member of Belize’s House of Representatives for the Cayo North constituency, has tendered his resignation. The news was announced by Belize’s government on Monday afternoon. Mahmud, a member of the opposition People’s United Party, advised the Office of the Clerk that his resignation would take effect with immediate effect, and Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte has accepted his resignation. The move was reportedly made because Mahmud will not be seeking re-election.

Emilina Nidia Martinez, Janesville, WI and Corozal Town, Belize, (1934-2014)
January 16, 1934 - November 22, 2014 Emelina Nidia “Mama” “Bibi” Martinez, age 80, of Janesville, and Corozal Town, Belize, died Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville. She was born in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize, on Jan. 16, 1934, the second child of Pedro and Amalia (Awe) Ochaeta. Emelina married Leodi Martinez on Oct. 8, 1960. He preceded her in death on Nov. 24, 1984 They had seven children: Lisette Martinez, Jamili Umezawa, Nurlette Arrez, Hamid Martinez, Amini Mendez, Sister Marie Lucette Martinez, and Emil Martinez. Emelina was a housewife and helped with the family tailoring business in Corozal, Belize, while raising her children and spent her later years with her children and grandchildren in Belize, Japan, and America. She peacefully passed in Janesville.

Belize's Blue Hole wins Conde Nast Traveler's 'Best Deep Holes in the World'
This accolade comes as the tourism season gears up in this increasingly popular Caribbean country, featuring natural environments from rich rainforests to beautiful beaches. From November to May Belize welcomes a wave of water enthusiasts, including fishermen, families, and fun-in-the-sun-seekers. They combine with transplanted Americans, Canadians, and Europeans who own property in Belize and enjoy warm winters in the sand and sea. The Blue Hole holds tremendous attraction for those who want to experience a unique SCUBA experience or just test the waters of the beautiful Belize Barrier Reef; Conde Nast comments: “One of the largest sea holes in the world, the Great Blue Hole is located 43 miles from the coast of Belize in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hole is a popular recreational scuba diving spot, made famous by Jacques Cousteau in the early 1970s. This submarine sinkhole is nearly 1,000 feet wide and more than 400 feet deep. Lighthouse Reef atoll surrounds the Great Blue Hole, where sand and coral contrast intensely with the dark blue water.”

Say hello to Dandelion Chocolate’s $45 design-centric chocolate bar
So. Here is a $45 chocolate bar now available from Dandelion Chocolate. It’s dubbed the “Break Bar.” The limited edition six-ounce bar — described as “this holiday’s most delicious design object” — is actually a collaboration with Cool Hunting and Brooklyn-based collaborative designers Snarkitecture. As you might be able to tell, it’s a chocolate bar that looks broken … but actually comes together perfectly with its opposite half. All profits benefit San Francisco non-profit Southern Exposure. And how about that price point? Well, Dandelion’s Jennifer Roy points out that the bars are so time-intensive that they can only make 50 a day, and there are only about 500 available. Apparently, the trial and error with using nesting 70% Belize chocolate bars took the team several months to perfect. “It’s a piece of art. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The packaging is letter-pressed, specifically for the chocolate bars,” she says. “If you saw what went into making each bar, it’s ridiculous.”

Hazel I. Lowe, owner of South Side boutique known for elegant apparel, dies at 97
Bejeweled and behatted, Hazel I. Lowe’s customers were her best advertisement. They emerged from her shop ready for a wedding or black-tie ball — or maybe, stopping traffic. For 43 years, Hazel Lowe’s Boutique was a one-stop destination for women who knew Ms. Lowe would deck them out from shoes to chapeau. She dressed the Rev. Johnnie Coleman, founder of Christ Universal Temple; singer Natalie Cole; business leaders; and wives of pastors and bishops. Services have been held. A native of Belize City, Ms. Lowe immigrated to Chicago to join an uncle, a Belizean mahogany dealer with high-end clients such as the Wrigley family. The lustrous wood played a key role in Belize’s economy and history. Mahogany is the country’s national tree, which appears on the Belizean flag. “She always said to me, when I pass, I want a mahogany casket,” Hart said. “They are expensive, but there was nothing too good for her.”

Drilling the Caribbean: Indigenous Communities Speak Out Against Oil and Gas Exploration in Honduras
In 2013, the Honduran government granted BG Group oil and gas exploration rights in a 35,000 square kilometer block off the coast of the Moskitia. Miskitu and Garifuna community leaders are speaking out to defend their territories from oil and gas activity. In contrast to Belize and Costa Rica, where environmental NGOs, scientists, and others formed powerful national alliances to fight oil exploration, in Honduras, Indigenous opposition is as of yet largely unheard and unsupported. Source: Beacon Inez Eduardo Arzú finds a patch of shade and sits next to the wall a small wooden home in the coral reef cay community of Chachahuate. The clear, turquoise Caribbean waters surrounding the archipelago sparkle in the midday sun. The Afro-Indigenous Garifuna residents of the Cayos Cochinos off the coast of Honduras and their mainland sister communities have fought long and hard for their rights to live and fish in the cays.

IDB supports foreign direct investment in the Caribbean with US$0.9m to CAIPA
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is providing financing under a Regional Public Goods Programme (RPG) that will be managed by Caribbean Export Development Agency in its capacity as the Secretariat for the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), the IDB said in a statement Saturday. "The IDB has provided US$900.000 to CAIPA to support several initiatives geared towards increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Caribbean and will be implemented over a 2 year period. These initiatives include the build-out of an investment opportunities atlas for the Caribbean, providing information on the projects and sectors in the region that are ready for investment, the development of an intra-regional investment programme, the procurement of a client relationship management system for the region's investment promotion agencies (IPAs) and good practices missions, exposing the IPAs to improved methods of investment promotion," the IDB said. It added:

GAIA Riverlodge named by the Smith Hotel Awards as Top 10 Eco Resort
GAÏA Riverlodge, a celebrated ecotourist destination in Belize, has unveiled its recent recognition as a Top Eco Hotel by the Smith Hotel Awards. After careful review of nearly 25,000 votes globally, a panel of expert judges named GAÏA Riverlodge to its short list of top ten Eco Hotels in the World. Tucked away in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and surrounded by the Five Sisters waterfalls, travelers seek out this hydro-powered destination for adventure and to enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of Belize’s culturally rich landscape. In a recent series of environmental initiatives, GAÏA Riverlodge is also one of the only five properties in Belize to be Green Globe Certified. The hotel prides itself in upholding the highest standard of sustainability and recently developed a fresh vegetable garden on-site, where guests can now enjoy hyper-local cuisine at GAÏA's acclaimed restaurant.


Video:Top 5 Adventures in Belize , min.
Andrew Zimmern’s Top 5 on Travel Channel: American television personality, chef, food writer counts down his most memorable moments in Belize. Find out where he ranks his trip to Gales Point.

Video: Belize’s Beautiful Placencia Peninsula, 2min.
Belize’s Placencia Peninsula is 17 miles of white sands, blue Caribbean waters, and gently swaying palms. The paving of the road the length of the peninsula has opened it up for development, with homes and condos ranging from luxury to affordable. Expats are drawn to Placencia by the laid-back lifestyle and tropical climate. If you’re into listening to reggae at a beach bar – you can do that. Boating? With several marinas and anchorages, it’s a center for sailors and other boaters. You can fish, snorkel, and scuba in the surrounding waters. And the small village at the tip is a walkable community of cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and more. And you can always just relax on the beach – without the crowds.

Video: Carnival Liberty Cruise Day 4 - Belize, 13min.
Day 4 Excursion booked through Carnival - Snorkeling Wonders of the Barrier Reef Excursion. This was amazing. I would highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys snorkeling. All levels of experience will be able to enjoy this. The guides do an awesome job of taking care of everything you need.

Video: Belize Cave Tubing Tour - St. Herman's Cave, 3min.
This video contains the walk to cave, entrance to cave, & short review for St. Herman's Cave tubing adventure in Belize. Belize Inland Tours. Blue Hole National Park.

Video: St. Georges Caye, Belize Nov 2014, 11min.

Video: Central America Trip (Guatemala/Belize/Mexico), 3min.
A short video from my 2014 trip to central america. Some videos of whale sharks in there too.

Video:Lunch with a turtle, Belize 2014 , 4min.
Here's the first video of our November trip to Belize.. Dunno why the turtles there always let me hang with them for extended periods of time, but I love that they do..

Video: Belize rough weather- Carnival Pride 11-20-14, 2min.
Rough Weather for the tenders trying to transport cruise passengers to Belize from the Carnival Pride on 11-20-14.

Video: mexique belize, 22min.
Voyage Mexique-Belize mai 2014.

Video: Flavor of Love (Season 2 Episode 11) Flav Belize in Love, 1hr42min.
Flavor of Love - (Season 2 Episode 11) Flav Belize in Love Flavor of Love - (Season 2 Episode 11) Flav Belize in Love Flavor of Love - (Season 2 Episode 11) .

Video: McAfee Founder Interview: John McAfee Says Belize Government Trying to `Assassinate` Him, min.
ABC News' Matt Gutman spoke to the millionaire turned person-of-interest in neighbor's homicide.

November 24, 2014


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

Wolfe’s Woofer: Tourist Economics
Dennis-Wolfe-Wolfes-Woofers“This town is nice and quiet,” I said to the hotel keeper, who also worked as the bartender. “Si,” he said. “It is quiet because we have no tourists. Because we have no tourists, we have no money. Everyone is poor.” Looking around the bar he said, “Since the cruise ships quit stopping here we have no money coming into the town. The two men sitting in the bar have businesses but no customers. The man in the corner is Juan, the butcher. Sitting next to him is Pablo. Pablo has a finca, a little ranch where he raises cattle. Yes, we are very poor. We need some tourist economics.” “What are tourist economics?” I asked. “When money moves,” he said, “everyone benefits. It works like this. First . . ”

Police Report
Wounding *On Sunday, November 16th at around 11AM, 23-year-old Kendis Gongora of DFC Area visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that while at a nightclub located on Barrier Drive, San Pedro Town he was stabbed. Gongora reported that he was with some friends on Saturday, November 15th sometime around before mid-night. He got into an altercation with Rene Cumul and Alex Espat. Shooting *On Sunday, November 16th at about 7:43PM a team of San Pedro Police visited the San Pedro Polyclinic where 20-year-old Marcos Ramirez was found suffering from apparent gunshot wounds to his left and right thighs. Initial investigation revealed that on the same date at about 7:00PM he was at a friend’s apartment located at in the San Pablo Area when he heard four gunshots coming from the street side in front of the apartment. Found Property *On Friday, November 14th at 7:30PM, acting on information received, the San Pedro Quick Response Team personnel searched an abandoned lot located near a well-known drug dealer’s residence in the DFC Area. The search led to the discovery of a black plastic bag which was found under an old plastic fan containing a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis.

Christmas for the Children of Belize
childrens home no edit2Dear Editor: Amidst the sounds of Howler Monkeys and the tranquil beauty of Mayan ruins therein lies in the Central American jungle a small orphanage in Ladyville where 37 abused and neglected children reside. With a pittance of external money to operate, house, clothe and educate the beautiful children, Miss Agatha Valentine the Director of this tiny community works tirelessly night and day to bring each child a sense of HOPE, LOVE and PEACE. It is again my desire this year to bring the spirit of Christmas to each of the children who call this place home, so that they may enjoy and experience a day filled with love, laughter and gifts of their own. Your contribution of new or gently worn clothing or shoes, new Children’s Toys, and/or Funding for these precious little ones is greatly appreciated and urgently needed. At this time ages range from 1 month to 17 years. Deadline for donations/contributions is 5 Dec 2014.

Doctor Love
Dear Doctor Love, My very best friend is the nosiest person I have ever met. I love her to death but she wants to know every detail of my life and says it is all part of the honesty between us. I make it a point to know only about her life that she tells me. The problem is that she tells me everything and expects me to do the same. Usually she is discreet about it and keeps the information to herself. Twice though, she has accidentally said something to someone that came back to me and hurt me. The older we get the nosier she gets. Now I am starting to act angrily when she asks about anything? I don’t want to hurt her. What can I do? /s/ No Secrets

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

University of Belize Marketing Expo in ‪Belize‬ City on November 18th, 2014
Lotsa photos!

Melodyman Escobar and his live Reggae Band
will perform every Thursday at Legends Burger House . Premiere is on Thanksgiving. Enjoy your smoked Turkey together with family and friends at this peaceful Reggaematic evening. One love, one heart ! Jah Bless.

Alberto "Beto" Gonzalez passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Gonzalez family on the passing of Alberto "Beto" Gonzalez. May his soul rest in peace. Funeral services were November 23rd, at the S.D.A. Church at 3:00 p.m.

Patrick JonesPJ

Body of a man found in Belmopan
There is a disturbing report coming out of Belmopan about the apparent murder of a man believed to be a member of the Diplomatic Corps. Police have declined a request for information until Monday morning; but multiple sources have confirmed that the victim, believed to be in his early 50’s was found dead late this evening in Belmopan. Reports we have received say there appears to have been a a cut to his throat.

Concerns raised over bad roads to archaeological site and reserves
The Belize Tourism Industry Association, Cayo Branch, has called on relevant authorities to address the poor state of repair of roads leading to nature reserves and archaeological sites in western Belize. Those relevant authorities are the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Archaeology and History. In a statement issued on Friday, BTIA (Cayo) said that recent rains have further deteriorated road conditions on the eve of the tourism high season. With bad roads leading to many of the highly sought after tourism sites in the Cayo District, BTIA is concerned that the it could deter visitors and result in huge financial loss for tourism stakeholders.


In prep mode for San Pedro and Belize City
Although it may seem like it, I have not gone MIA (missing in action). I have been super busy with Red Cross stuff in preparation for our community meeting tonight (see details below) and planning for a 3-day volunteer forum in Belize City at Princess Hotel & Casino which is now owned by Ramada. Each branch was invited to send 3 people and Shirlee Frank and I made the cut for San Pedro. I just booked my Tropic Air flight this morning and am super excited. I can’t wait to come together as a countrywide group to learn from each other, brainstorm and make plans. Our San Pedro Branch is looking forward to strengthening bonds with other branches through this experience. Some of the topics/areas we will be contributing to and learning about are:

International Sourcesizz

GAIA Riverlodge named by the Smith Hotel Awards as Top 10 Eco Resort
GAÏA Riverlodge, a celebrated ecotourist destination in Belize, has unveiled its recent recognition as a Top Eco Hotel by the Smith Hotel Awards. After careful review of nearly 25,000 votes globally, a panel of expert judges named GAÏA Riverlodge to its short list of top ten Eco Hotels in the World. Tucked away in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and surrounded by the Five Sisters waterfalls, travelers seek out this hydro-powered destination for adventure and to enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of Belize’s culturally rich landscape. In a recent series of environmental initiatives, GAÏA Riverlodge is also one of the only five properties in Belize to be Green Globe Certified. The hotel prides itself in upholding the highest standard of sustainability and recently developed a fresh vegetable garden on-site, where guests can now enjoy hyper-local cuisine at GAÏA's acclaimed restaurant.

Here’s how the ABC’s Mark Colvin introduced a piece last week on the World Parks Congress, held recently in Sydney: “There’s also been criticism of the host nation from at least one visiting minister for not moving further on climate change. “The minister for forestry and fisheries from Belize called on Australia to step up on its commitment to negotiations.” Yes. The fishing minister from Belize. Population just 340,000 or so — although that is subject to unexpected declines due to the tiny Central American nation’s gigantic murder rate, ranked third in the world, by some measures. Belize obviously has more immediate problems than future weather patterns, but fishing minister Lisel Alamilla knows how to throw a perfect distraction the ABC’s way.

Guardian ad Litem volunteer helps the helpless
Getting laid off from a job is not something that many people can say led them to make a positive difference in someone else’s life. For Olenka Morelli, that’s exactly what happened. In 2011, Morelli’s husband died from throat cancer. When she was informed that she would be losing her job just a short while later, Morelli said that she didn’t know what to do with herself anymore. Now she is a volunteer in the Guardian ad Litem program that provides advocates for children. She also is a regular volunteer with the Friends of the Florence Little Theatre and the Florence County Museum, where she is working as a docent. All of this started o ne day when she visited her doctor. He was the same doctor who had helped care for her husband while he was in hospice care. The doctor was going on a mission trip to Belize with his church to provide medical care to the locals, and he invited Morelli to come along. “I decided that I could afford it, and I went, mostly with doctors and nurses for one week,” Morelli said. “That was my first volunteer experience, and it was phenomenal. It was amazing.” During her trip, Morelli realized just how much of a difference she and the others on her team were making. “I worked in the pharmacy, cutting up pills and putting doses together,” Morelli said. “Most of the pills I gave out were for worms; everybody had worms. The pills lasted for six months. The most remarkable thing I found out about this church was that they go every six months, so these people see them again and again and again. It’s like going to the doctor over here.”


Video: Belize, 11min.

Video: Marines Teach Infantry Tactics to Belize Soldiers, 3min.

Video: Nurse Sharks, Hol Chan Reef, Belize, 2min.
Nurse Sharks basking Hol Chan Marine Park, Ambergris Caye.

Video: Belize 2014 Manatee, 10min.
Just a few GoPro video clips from our Belize trip. Our time on the water wouldn't have been the same without THE one AND ONLY Caveman. If planning a trip to Caye Caulker Belize, I would highly recommend looking up Caveman to take you our for your reef adventures.

Video: Loggerhead Turtle, Silk Caye, Placencia, Belize, 2min.
Loggerhead turtle and other marine life, Silk Caye

Video:St. Georges Caye, Belize Nov 2014 , 11min.

Video: Belize Cave Tubing Tour - St. Herman's Cave, 3min.
St. Herman's Cave tubing adventure in Belize. Belize Inland Tours. Blue Hole National Park

November 23, 2014


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

Central American Culture Ministers meet on Ambergris Caye, Belize
The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Culture, hosted their Central American counterparts to the 20th Ordinary meeting of Ministers of Culture. The events took place from the 19th and 20th of November at Grand Caribe Resort on Ambergris Caye. Host of the event was Belize’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Manuel Heredia Jr under the country’s SICA Pro Tempore Presidency. The meeting of the council of Culture Ministers took place on November 20th and was chaired by Minister Heredia. In opening the meeting, Heredia said that common ideals and a vision for culture will be discussed since culture has its rightful place in the region. “Countries in Central America share similar cultural contexts and at the same time there are some significant differences. However, together, both our similarities and our differences are our strength and it should be used to form closer ties and stronger bonds in achieving our aspiration for a better life and a better society for our people of the region,” explained Heredia.

Belize Lions Zone 59 Hosts Second Vice President of Lions International, Robert E. Corlew
The Belize Lions Zone 59 recently had the distinction of hosting Lions International Second Vice President Lion Robert E. Corlew and his wife Lion Dianne to a three day visit to Belize. On Saturday afternoon, November 15th a contingency of Lions from across Belize greeted Vice President Corlew and his wife when they arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. That evening a dinner was held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City, where the guests of honor mingled with the Belizean Lions and enjoyed great food, live music performed by the Pannerrifx Steel Drum Band and dancing. On Sunday November 16th the Belize City Lions Club held a Zone 59 meeting where the Lions Clubs from Belmopan, San Estevan, San Pedro and Belize City presented Power Point presentations on the history and accomplishments of their clubs. Following their presentations, the very personable Vice President Corlew took to the podium where he spoke of leadership and Lionism. Corlew, who is a Circuit Court Chancellor in the Rutherford Country of Tennessee USA, inspired Lions to look at other communities in Belize that are in need of Lions Clubs and work with those communities in establishing new ones. He also spoke of how to increase membership and identifying more projects within the community.

Belizean body builders Rigo Vellos and Cricel Castillo win international competitions
Two Belize body builders, Rigo Vellos and Cricel Castillo, are garnering international recognition and putting Belize’s name on the map in the world of fitness and body building. On Saturday, November 15th, Cricel Castillo captured the coveted World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (WBFF) Pro Card at the 2015 WBFF Armature Competition. Held at the Hyatt Convention Center in Miami, Florida, USA, the competition saw amateur fitness models from across North America competing in a spectacular night of fitness and fashion. At the end of the night Castillo had charmed the judges earning first place in the Diva Fitness Model Short. Her big win also earned Castillo her first pro card which will allow her to compete in professional tournaments.

Neighborhood Watch Presidents discuss island’s well-being
Gonzalez, who works along with Crime Stoppers Belize and the Belize Coast Guard, stated that an initiative has been set into place to reduce drug related crime in Northern Ambergris. Currently plans are being made to construct a Coast Guard base in the Rocky Point Area. “We have secured a grant from the Government of Belize to construct a base on Northern Ambergris Caye. This base will serve to intercept drug activity on the area. With the training I have recently received, I will be assisting the Coast Guard in implementing tactics and strategies to stop drug operations. If we stop the activity at its core then the island will be safer,” said Gonzalez. Discussions are being held to secure land for the base. Once the land is identified, construction will commence immediately. Another issue discussed in the meeting was child protection and the need for a curfew. Child related crimes are escalating on the island. According to Kay, children are being neglected, which is resulting in these problems. While the Human Development Department in San Pedro is working to solve many of these issues, the department lacks resources to counteract all the problem. Kay stated that one of the main concerns on the island is that many children are not attending school and the lack of space in school is adding to the problem. “On a daily basis, we get reports of children out of school selling products on the streets or simply causing trouble. But that is not the main issue that we are faced with; the main problem is that we don’t have enough space in the schools to place the children. Yes we can go arrest the parents, but the problem will not be solved because there isn’t any space in the schools to put the children. Many parents that we have approached tell us that they don’t send their children to school because all the schools are full and they can’t afford the private schools. To solve this issue, we need a government primary school where we can send the children,” said Kay. Kay indicated that several petitions have been sent to the Ministry of Education to construct a government school on the island.

Ambergris Today

Belize Fashion Week
This is what you missed last night if you did not attend the Belize Fashion Week runway show. Fantasy showcase by Belizean designer Gabriel Garcia. See you tonight at 7:30p.m. Door prices have been slashed down to $10 general admission; $26 Silver and $40 for Gold. You cannot miss out on tonight's extravaganza.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Vote for our own Raquel Badillo - Miss World Belize 2014!
The official Miss World People's Choice Award voting has commenced. All you need to do is download the official #MissWorld app and pick #MissBelize Raquel Alejandra Badillo as your top three via the Voting Panel. The app is free to download, and you get one set of three votes for free with an additional set of three votes becoming available if you subscribe to the app (by way of in-app payment). You must choose three different delegates. According to the Miss World website, "the winner of the People’s Choice Award is announced during the latter stages of the Miss World Final, and the winner, if she is not already selected, will join the final few contestants on stage. These contestants will then face the judges questions before the winner of Miss World 2014 is announced!"

Opportunity for Students - Graduate Certification in Destination Development scholarship offered by Canada
If you are aware of students or individuals with family and/or contacts in Belize and the Caribbean who would benefit by these scholarships, we are asking you to promote and forward this opportunity using your networks (international student departments, notifying your international students, contacts, media releases, etc.). We wish to ensure that we receive a large number of applicants from which to select the most qualified. DEFAIT promotes the scholarship program by way of posting through Embassy's in the Caribbean. But if you could support the program by forwarding to your networks, we can ensure broader awareness of the scholarships for those living in the Caribbean; and link those who may not otherwise have opportunity for this great learning opportunity.

Power interruption 7:00am to 11:00am, Tuesday, November 25
Entire Placencia Peninsula, Independence Village and surrounding areas. BEL to repair hotspots at Independence and Placencia Surf Side Substations.

The Reporter

Youth empowerment key in curbing poverty says report
There are 1.8 billion youths under the age of 25 years old today and according to the United Nations Population Fund, between 20 and 30 percent of them live in developing countries such as Belize. According to the organization’s latest report, launched on Friday, the vast majority of youth who receive a tertiary level education make it out of abject poverty as opposed to those who don’t. Belize is among the countries that display a slow rate of transition to turn that reality around. Minister of State in Education, Youth and Sports, Herman Longsworth, Belizean youths must be given fair chance to not only have their say, but to represent us in societal matters. “The young people of today must be able to assume the responsibility for the running of our businesses, our military, our police schools or governments whether local or national, they must also be and become our diplomats.”

Chile court compensates 30 former political prisoners
A Chilean court has ordered the state to pay around US $7.5m to 30 former political prisoners. They were were held on a remote island in the extreme south of the country during the military rule of Augusto Pinochet. The prisoners, who include political leaders and government ministers, were held for two years from 1973 on Dawson island in Tierra del Fuego. The justice ministry said they endured “immeasurable moral injury”. In a statement, the ministry said they were “detained illegally on an island on the edge of the world.” They were “mistreated and lived in a state of anxiety and uncertainty about their own fate.”

Happening now: Yasmin Shoman endorsed for PUP in Collet
Businesswoman, Yasmin Shoman, is being endorsed this evening during a convention on Daker’s Street in the Collet constituency. Shoman said she has a massive plan of upliftment and job-creation for the residents of Collet. She also pledged to eliminate the London bridges in the area. Shoman received support from the other standard bearers in the party, including Cordel Hyde, Gilroy Usher, Senators Patrick Andrews and Anthony Sylvestre, Dr Francis Smith, Mayoral candidate Yolanda Schakron, and Area Representatives Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Former Prime Minister Said Musa and Party Leader Francis Fonseca.

Construction of Nicaraguan canal to begin in December
Nicaraguan officials say construction of a US $50bn canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans will start on 22 December. “We are ready to begin,” said Zhu Xiaoya, from the Hong Kong-based company HKND which is to build it. The 172 mile-waterway will be longer, deeper and wider than the Panama Canal. Opponents are concerned about the impact it may have on Lake Nicaragua and on poor communities in the area. The route announced in July would pass through the lake, an important source of fresh water. Construction will begin with a port on the Pacific.

Belize attends IUCN World Parks Congress
Belize had representation at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney. A delegation led by Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Senator Lisel Alamilla, took part in the event, considered one of the most influential global events focusing on conserving the world’s protected areas. According to the government’s press office, over 6,000 people from 170 countries took part in the congress, which this year looked at formulating common key measures. Minister Alamilla participated in a roundtable meeting along with the IUCN President, Zhang Xinsheng and two Australian Ministers, Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and the New South Wales Minister for the Environment.

Chik-V confirmed in Belize
Belize has confirmed its first case of of Chikungunya. The case originated in the Las Flores area of Belmopan and the test result taken in September came back positive this past Wednesday. The victim is a 34 year-old woman, but her case is not the only one that health authorities suspected from that area. Since the suspected cases emerged, the Ministry of Health started on an awareness and educational campaign to inform people of the risk factors, the symptoms and the effects of the illness.

The Belize Times

Roll the Elections!!
Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca exposed the fraud in Dean Barrow when he challenged the highly-unpopular Prime Minister to call elections if he really felt he had the support of majority Belizeans. Barrow has been beating his chest like a madman about the United Democratic Party’s so-called popularity and even bussed in a crowd of supporters at Tuesday’s special House Sitting held in Belmopan, but all it proved is that the UDP’s false sense of confidence is derived on its ability to dish out money for support and not on any kind of support for its track record over the last seven years in office. The UDP record – with unemployment at some 20%, poverty at 40% and increasing, crime at an all-time high, the economy stuttering and the cost of living through the roof – has made Belizeans very angry and tired of the Government. In fact, the Prime Minister is so ashamed of his performance in those critical areas that he makes no public announcement on them.

Greedy Barrow rebuffed by Eastern Caribbean Court
The creole proverb “greedy choke puppy” is applied when someone loses out big in his/her attempt to be greedy. Well, the brother of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Denys, should now know exactly how greed can choke after his attempt to force the Government of St. Lucia to pay up a bulk of money as pension failed miserably and has resulted in some embarrassment to him. Brother B, as he is known in Belize, was appointed as a justice of appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) on 1st August 2005. Upon being appointed, Brother B came in the service of the Government of St. Lucia, but his tenure ended early when he retired on 31st December 2008. He was at age 56 years old. 2008 was the same year the UDP took office, and Brother B suddenly re-appeared in Belize, only to be appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal and come under the service of the new Government led by his brother Dean.

George Street Gang leader “Sinbad” shot – Deadly street war continues
The deadly war between Belize City gang rivals which has taken the streets of the old capital by siege continued today when George Street Gang leader Carlos “Sinbad” Abraham was shot. Abraham, the reputed leader of the feared gang, was inside his vehicle which was parked on Lakeview Street around 10:00am on Thursday morning when he was ambushed by a gunman and shot multiple times. Abraham was rushed to the hospital where he is in a critical condition. George Street, which sits in the heart of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s constituency, is at the center of the gang rivalries. Last week Andrew Tate, who is connected to the gang, was shot as he rode his bicycle on North Front Street. In February of this year, Tate and Kariq Tzul were shot while in a yard at the corner of West Canal and King Street. On January 2013, Leonard “Ghost” Myers was killed in an execution style murder along with others who were residing at a Dean Street residence.

Auditor General must investigate Petro-Caribe spending
On October 17th Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, in her response to a letter from the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Hon. Julius Espat in which he called for an investigation into Government’s spending of millions borrowed through ALBA/Petro-Caribe, explained that unless the loan motion was tabled and passed by the House of Representatives, she could not carry out a review of the monies already spent. Well, now that the UDP has used its majority numbers in the House to approve the illegal loan on November 18th 2014, the office of the Auditor General has the green light to find out where every cent of the millions went. In his letter October 8th letter to the Auditor General, Hon. Espat explained that the Government has obtained the loan illegally, without the authority of the National Assembly, as stipulated by the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act of 2005.

Noisy Market
The old folks have a saying, “pay no mind to the noise in the market, just make sure that your change is correct”. On Tuesday past, the United Democratic Party, knowing how short our change is, decided to fill the market with a whole lot of noise. The occasion was supposed to be a special Sitting of the House of Representatives to debate and pass a bill for a “loan” granted to the people of Belize by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The problem is, that according to above cited law, such a loan agreement has to be first approved by the House before being entered into and not after. This is what the opposition People’s United Party is objecting to and what Prime Minister Dean Barrow is trying to dismiss and has labeled “a political fig leaf.” It would seem that if anyone is grabbing at a “fig leaf” to cover up, it is the Prime Minster himself who is in obvious violation of the laws of the country. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has described the Petro Caribe loan as a “strange creature” or “what the lawyers call sui generis, “peculiar unto itself’”. This peculiarity however, has nothing to do with restrictions placed on government borrowing but instead, deals specifically with the fluctuations of the actual amount of that particular loan. Depending on the price of oil on the world market, the amount can be more or less. Either way, it amounts to a huge amount of money that goes directly into the hands of our politicians. There is nothing peculiar about the opposition’s demand for transparency and accountability and it is in direct compliance with Hugo Chavez’s design for the use of the Petro Caribe funds.

Elvin Penner continues to be a member of the United Democratic Party after all the things he is accused of doing; none of which he has denied or refuted or been exonerated. A private prosecution by activist group COLA was openly sabotage by the Government which despite a Supreme Court order, did not allow the Police Commissioner to investigate and bring charges against Penner. Penner sits in the meetings of the National Assembly as a member of the United Democratic Party. He is not an independent candidate, nor does he sit in the House of Representatives as a member of a third party. He is there as a member of the U.D.P. That is how the Prime Minister wants it. Were it not for the Prime Minister, Penner could never have gotten into the scandalous and illegal activities for which he stands accused and condemned. The allegations against Penner in relation to his immigration shenanigans are so grave, they are beyond criminal. They border on sedition and treason against the nation. The Director of Public Prosecution had uttered that Penner did commit offences for which he could be indicted. She disappeared from her office for three months at the time when she was expected to pen such indictments. The Attorney General told the nation she had gone on study leave – although she was seen regularly in Belmopan. On her return to office, she claimed she was on vacation. No indictment against Penner has occurred.

Carmelita & Chan Pine Ridge win 8-a-side football games
The Carmelita and Chan Pine Ridge 8-a-side female football teams posted big wins in the Orange Walk football competition at the Orange Walk Barracks field on Sunday. In Game 1, Neisy Payes scored for the Carmelita women to post a 1-0 win against the Guinea Grass Warriors. The Warriors lost their top striker Giselle Baeza to a red card ejection, and while Nayelly Hernandez led the Warriors’ attacks after that, even with support from midfielders Zaneen Pott, Dairani Can and Cathy Maria Ico, the Warriors could not get a goal before the end of regulation. In Game 2, Chan Pine Ridge trampled over the Orange Walk squad 3-zip, with goals by Arveya Torres, Angie Cocom and Frenely Varillas. The tournament continues on Sunday.

Church of Christ wins national volleyball champs
The Corozal district champs, the Church of Christ Primary School boys won the national primary schools volleyball championships on Friday, November 14. In the championship final, the Corozal boys won over the Orange Walk boys: 25-19, 25-20. In Game 9 the consolation match for 3rd place, the Benque boys won over the Toledo boys: 25-19, 25-14. Team trophies and individual medals were presented to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, and Keith Nugent of Church of Christ Primary won the Most Valuable Player award.

Placencia Assassins stops BDF 1-0
The Placencia Assassins handed the top-ranked Belize Defense Force their 1st loss in the 2014 Premier League of Belize at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk on Sunday. The Assassins defeated BDF 1-0 to remain undefeated in the league. They also moved up to the No. 2 spot in the closing season tournament with 10 points. Ashley Torres and Dellon Torres looked to put Placencia on the scoreboard early, but it was midfielder Luis “Barker” Torres who got the job done with a shot in the 65th minute that beat the BDF goalie Tevin Gamboa for the 1-0 win. Other matches: Belmopan Bandits vs. Verdes FC – 3-2 Paradise Freedom Fighters vs. FC Belize – 2-1

Wutless UDP! – Succotz heroes charged, granted bail of $300
The UDP Government’s ultimate display of coldness and abuse towards the people of Cayo is the hauling of hardworking and law-abiding mothers and fathers of Succotz and Benque Viejo del Carmen to the Magistrate’s Court last week Friday November 7th. The residents of the most-western towns were treated as criminals. Their supposed devious action, according to the UDP, was standing up to defend their own. THREE MONTHS AGO, on Tuesday August 19th, a large crowd of Succotz and Benque residents blocked the entrance to Benque and Succotz with burning tires. Yes, the action was drastic, but drastic times call for drastic measures and 72 hours earlier a senior Police Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, had crashed into a vehicle, killing the passenger and incapacitating the driver. The Officer had not only escaped charges up to that morning, but there were reports that fellow officers had aided in the destruction of crucial evidence at the scene.

BSI workers lobby for pay raise through union
The cane farmers are not the only sugar industry stakeholders attempting to sort out their working issues with Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). The workers’ union, Belize Worker’s Union (BWU) has taken their request for a salary increase for 160 workers to officials of American Sugar Refining Inc. (ASR), the owners of BSI. At a meeting held on November 6th, BWU President Richard Tillett proposed a 15% raise for its members/employees. Tillett explained that the amount was arrived at based on the Government’s inflation statistics and data they researched and found regarding BSI’s sales. The second data, although not fully reliable or up to date, is what they had to work with since BSI/ASR officials have reportedly refused to provide them with a financial report.

AMAZING GRACE – Thank You God, For This Day…Amen
Today’s world is peppered with people nurturing a ‘serve-me-now’ mentality. Thanks to the internet and technological advancements, we have access to information with the brush of our fingertips on interactive LCD screens. LCD screens which update so quickly that the IPhone S3 is barely debuted before the IPhone S4 is in the works. Not even food has escaped the brunt of this quick-fix sensation; the popularity of ‘fast foods’ such as fried chicken or fried tacos have swept this nation with a fiery vengeance. These items are so popular because our sense of entitlement has only grown with the time. Nowadays, we want things hot. We want things fresh. We want things now, now, now. Because we’re always in a rush, the most basic standards of politeness have often fallen to the wayside in favor of our pumped-up egos. The words ‘Thank’ and ‘You’ are rarely put in the same sentence anymore, much less directed at someone who has done us a good turn.

An Authoritarian Government
A key feature of democracy is the absence of civil unrest. Any social, economic, and political aspirations must be realized by way peaceful means. In a country where democracy is upheld the state must allow its citizens to express their views and aspirations. This is a principal right enshrined in the Belize Constitution. In this context any form of opposition must not resort to violence. In a country where democracy works properly, the relationship between peaceful demonstration or opposition and policy changes is clear. Almost always, the opposition (protesters), especially if a large number of people are involved, will bring about revisions in the policy or other changes. It is said that in such a country, demonstrations represent public apprehension that office holders, both in the executive and legislative branches of power, need to take seriously. This is because it is public support that puts politicians in office. Disregarding public sentiments will only encourage voters to support another party in the next election. Therefore, democracy requires a system of checks and balances.

In My Perspective – BELIZE’S PAPA DOC?
Wow! it seems like Haiti just can’t get a break – one disaster after another. Then on January 12, 2010 a massive earthquake that measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale killed 230,000 people. I’ve heard some people say Haiti is cursed. I don’t know if that’s true or it is the result of dictatorship. The people of Haiti had enough of this dictator and took to the streets in 1986 for a popular uprising and Baby Doc fled to France. There’s so much we can learn from this experience. When I heard of the death of Baby Doc I said to myself could Belize end up like Haiti? Could we be ruled by a dictator? and what would we do about it? The sad fact is the stars are aligned to become a dictatorship country. I’ve heard the PM is thinking of running for a third term and if he won I believe we would be in for a true awakening. It is reported that Baby Doc had a big problem with the media, as do most dictators. He jailed reporters and closed down the opposition radio and television stations. In Belize we have almost the same situation where the ruling party ministers are regularly suing television stations. In one case it was not what the station employees said, but what a caller said. This is nothing but intimidation. A few years ago the government threatened to close down one of the major television stations!

HOME ECONOMICS – A More Diversified Economy for the San Ignacio Area
San Ignacio once had a thriving agro-forestry-based economy up to mid-1980s….supplying the country’s need for corn, beans, timber, vegetables and fruits. The town bustled EVERY weekend, with trading at the markets during the day….stores used to remain open until 9pm….and several popular entertainment spots filled to capacity with spending customers until 3am…sometimes with two live bands playing in the same place on the same night! Violent crimes were few and far in between….no business or home had security guards….during the summer months, most people slept with their windows wide open to allow cool air into their homes. My mom operated one of the more popular restaurants “Tony’s Inn” and I used to sweep the floor. I used to pick up lots of coins off the floor that people would drop and not bother to pick up…enough to treat my friends at school. Today you cannot pick up a red cent off the floor….things are relatively much tighter.

SCALES OF JUSTICE – “Who will tell the people I am wrong?”
In Season 2 Episode 5 of the HBO mini-series ROME, the young Caesar (Octavian), having emerged victorious over Mark Antony in the battle for control of Rome, convenes a meeting of the Senate (the equivalent of our National Assembly). At the meeting, he proposes a motion which will ensure that he will consolidate power and become the absolute ruler of Rome. It is a motion which the members of the Senate are naturally displeased with, for it evinces once and for all, that Octavian’s campaign to “save Rome” was a sham and a pretext, used merely as a ploy to win over the people. Octavian, though, is shrewd. He anticipates opposition and so, even before any Senator is inclined to show opposition, he strikes. He asks them, who will tell his soldiers that the motion is wrong? At this point, soldiers storm into the Senate Chamber with their swords ready to be un-sheated. “Who,” Octavian repeats, “will speak against the motion?” At this point, the Senate becomes quiet. There is not one voice of dissent.

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Women PM’s and the Gender Gap
It would be no surprise that I actively look for news stories and pieces on women and politics internationally, and yesterday I happened upon an item called “Women Premiers Don’t Reduce Gender Gap in Caribbean, Expert Says.” The expert is Camille Hernandez-Ramdwar, who is coordinator of the Caribbean Studies program at Canada’s Ryerson University. She said a mouthful, and to try to summarize, she stated that the presence of women Prime Ministers in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago has not reduced the gender gap in the Caribbean because female premiers are figureheads and it is really men who “pull their strings.” “Women reaching positions of power does not change the patriarchal structure and political system.” She went on: “To me the whole system is rotten, so just getting women into a rotten system is not going to change it.” “In Trinidad and Tobago having a woman Prime Minister hasn’t changed the culture and what goes on in homes.”

Youth Leadership with Purpose
There is new energy in the leadership of the Belize Youth Movement, the proud youth arm of the People’s United Party. Over the past months, National President Alberto Vellos and the members of the National Executive have reached out to leaders in the Party in an effort to inject new life into the youth arm. Over that period of time, dynamic youth leaders throughout the country have been identified and new BYM groups have been formed in various constituencies with the objective of encouraging youth participation and community building. A series of activities have been held including fundraising drives and community projects.

Cayo Sports Stadium closed for Circus
The Victor Galvez Stadium was once a health hub for daily users as hundreds of citizens on a path of healthy living used this facility for daily exercise. The UDP Town Council may be ruled by a bunch of clowns, but one move which is not making residents laugh is the decision to close the Victor Galvez Stadium to give a Circus access of the facilities for two weeks. The heavy trucks and mechanical equipment have been rolling in, breaking up the running track but the Council could care less. According to the Circus owner, he ‘pays the Mayor’ $3000 per day.

Letters: The truth about the Belize Police Department
The Police Department is plagued by corruption. As a concerned Belizean, I think that the main problem is a lack of confidence and distrust between the public and the police department. The loss of confidence is as a result of a lot of malfunctions throughout the system. There are several other reasons for that loss of confidence; one being corruption within the department which carries high costs. If the Government of Belize is unable to do something about it, it is best to believe that the government/police department will never be able to get the public’s confidence to a certain level and the public will forever be confused as to whether or not turn to the police. As it is evident today, too many police are abusing the level of power they have. On a daily basis, the public is being taken advantage of by acts of police extortion and bribery. Is it a fact that most police officers have the mentality whereby they embrace the bad guy role proudly or is police brutality so common in Third World countries that this abuse is overlooked as a norm?

Letters: Belize City Streets – haste makes waste
In our Public Administration class, we have been discussing Strategic Management and how difficult it is to implement in the Public Sector compared to the Private sector. Strategic Management is about the management of resources to attain the goal in its entirety. Therefore, to achieve any goal successfully there needs to be strategic management and planning. One area that needed strategic management more than anything else presently is the construction of our streets. We are investing millions of dollars to construct streets, but look at the condition of the final product. Several of them have turned out to be substandard and I’m sure will require additional work to get them up to standard. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the work that the Mayor has undertaken; it is a good thing being done here. It will increase the value and look of our country, but if proper management and planning was done, then all the streets would have been satisfactory from the onset.

Letters: Gun Reform
According to the Gun Reform Act, under the regular magistracy system, once you’re below five thousand dollars, real property bail is not required. With the new amendment to the crime control and firearms act, once you apply to the Supreme Court for bail, real property, land is a requirement for bail. The system to give bail in this country is very simple but to get back property papers seem to be a huge issue in the court systems. The purpose of bail is simply a surety to ensure persons attend court. Once the trial is completed getting the document should not be an issue as one might think. This is not the case though in Belize. I have experience posting property bail for less than five thousand dollars just to find when time came to claim back the document several red tapes had to be faced. No one could find the property document and at the end accusations were made of not submitting a property document or making a property bail because it should not have been required by law.

Letters: Deal with Corruption in Government!
In the past year there have been multiple reports about irregularities pertaining to public funds in the Ministry of Health where no charges or convictions were levied upon the accused. It has been widely reported via the media houses about the misappropriation of thousands of Belizean tax dollars in the clinics in Southern Belize that were unearthed through the office of the Auditor General. What alarmed me the most was the fact that some of these people who were singled out have kept their jobs while being investigated. This had me wondering, when has it ever been reported on the news that despite a crime that was committed by a “street criminal” (robber, drug dealer, murderer, etc), he or she has been allowed to roam the streets until the police department has thoroughly investigated the matter? Unbelievable!

Letters: Camouflaged Checkpoints
Dear Editor, Please afford me some space to register a serious concern regarding the current Customs Department checkpoints that are setup on the Phillip Goldson Highway during the dawn hours of the week. Today as I was coming to school in the 4:30am bus from Orange Walk to Belize City, I was awakened by the loud sound of tires screeches and brakes from the bus that I was coming in. As I checked if perhaps some domestic animal had inadvertently crossed the highway I was able to notice that yet another bus was haphazardly stationary on the left-hand side of the highway with Custom Officers swarming that bus. This took place outside Biscayne Village where no lampposts or any other lights were evident. I was very keen to observe that a Customs pickup truck was also parked on a narrow lane by the highway without any visible lights on to warn incoming traffic of their presence. Furthermore, there were only 3 fluorescent cones on the middle of the highway about ten feet apart, without any lights of any kind to further signal to drivers that a checkpoint has been set and thus recognize that they should slow down on their pedals.

Letters: Frosting on the cake
I am utterly dismayed and forever left with a bad taste in my mouth by the administration in Government. There seems to be an assumption that a majority of Belizeans are illiterate or/and that young people are not listening or lack understanding of the reoccurring issues and gross misconduct of this government. There is a lot of “frosting on the cake” over the real issues at hand, as they are masked by other petty issues to distract the public. While I must congratulate our Prime Minister in his firm stance against the slightest possibility of infection by the Ebola Virus as this was his only act with the Belizean public in mind and at heart, the fact remains that there is too much wrongdoing in the governing of our nation.

BWS wants 5% rate increase
There’s no stopping this Government from making living harder for Belizeans. This week the Government-owned water company, Belize Water Services, announced that it has applied for a 5% increase in water rates to the Public Utilities Commission. The rate increase forms part of BWS’s Full Tariff Review Proceeding, an annual application in which the company can seek adjustments to its rates based on company projections. The PUC gives the final approval. According the BWS, the increase is needed to fund a $108m project. But the question is why can’t the Government find the funding through Petro-Caribe, which seems to be the favourite or rather ONLY external source of funds for the Barrow Administration?

Patrick JonesPJ

Mexican national charged for stealing a bottle of perfume
A Mexican national is in jail in Belize, accused of stealing an eleven dollars perfume from a store in the Corozal Free Zone. Thirty nine year old Mortimer Sanchez Silva was identified by a store owner in the Corozal Free Zone as the man who pocketed a […]

Corporal of police accused of drug trafficking
A law enforcement officer with the rank of Corporal in the Belize Police Department is among a trio of men who are in police detention pending charges of drug trafficking. Corporal Shaun Andrews, 30; construction worker Brandon Casey, 25; and Dwayne Zuniga, 26, who is unemployed, were busted […]

Belize Tourism Board hosts media mixer in Belize City
The Belize Tourism Board hosted its media partners at a media mixer this evening in Belize City. The event was part of the BTB’s way of celebrating a successful year and to go behind the scenes with individual members of the press and BTB staff, introducing them to […]

Customer appreciation day hosted by Spanish Lookout establishment
A customer appreciation open day was held today in Spanish Lookout by the local tire supplier ad automotive parts store, Caribbean Tires. The company transformed its parking lot on center road in Spanish Lookout into a an open air showroom today and invited hundreds of people to […]

Male minors are suspects in Carlos Abraham shooting
Police in Belize City have narrowed their list of suspects in the shooting of 46 year old Carlos “Zimbab” Abraham to two male minors in custody, and expect to crack the case very soon. Abraham was shot three times in the neck and arm on Thursday morning while […]

Traffic charges for Lord’s Bank resident
BDF officer Ozaine Augustine was knocked down on the Philip Goldson Highway last Tuesday and today charges were read to 33 year old Stephen Davies, a resident of Lord’s Bank, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Davies is accused of negligent wounding, using a motor vehicle not covered by […]

Four men charged for robbery of teenager
Four young men who allegedly stole $27 from a 13 year old boy were denied bail and remanded into custody when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith and were arraigned on a charge of robbery. They are Joshua Smith, Alexander Turcios, Leon Quince and […]

Two charged for A&R deposit robbery
Damian Leslie and Norman Tillett are charged with the robbery of over $4,000 from an employee of A&R Store, located at mile 1 on Phillip Goldson Highway. They appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith and not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail […]

Big fine for City resident on marijuana charges
Thirty year old Casey Reynolds, a resident of 8344 Riverside Street, was fined $10,000 today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking for 229 grams of cannabis. Reynolds was ordered to pay $5,000 forthwith and the balance by December 31, 2014. […]

Court grants bail for family charged over firearm
41 year old Indira Skeete and her two sons, 23 year old Linsford Lord and 20 year old Hansel Ciego, charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license on Monday, November 17, were released on bail of $5,000 each today after a bail hearing before […]


This Morning is GORGEOUS: Perfect for Urban Bird Watching in San Pedro With Belize’s Audubon Society
For the past few years, they have set out to show that bird watching is not just for completely untouched habitats like our Belizean savannas or jungle. As most of us know who live here in San Pedro, particularly in the winter months, our caye is packed with beautiful birds. From the tiniest hummingbirds to majestic egrets and herons to raptors like the osprey to rock doves – aka dirty park pigeons. This morning was San Pedro’s scheduled event with Roni Martinez as guide. Roni is a bit of a hero to many…he is not only part of the Audubon Society but he is the Director of the Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team protecting one of Belize’s most gorgeous animals. The scarlet macaw. I have been wanting to meet Roni for some time and this urban bird watch was not only a great way to link up with him but…OH WHAT A GLORIOUS MORNING. As of 2 hours into the 3 hour tour, we had spotted 22 birds. I spent much of my time mooning over the gorgeous scenery. Here is some of what I saw…

International Sourcesizz

Belize confirms 1st three autochthonous chikungunya cases while El Salvador record an additional 30,000
In a follow-up to a report earlier this month, the Belize Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case(s) of local transmission of chikungunya. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported on Friday that Belize had reported three confirmed cases. According to an official release from the health ministry, the case(s) are from the Las Flores area of Belmopan. Health officials say that it will schedule spraying activities and health education sessions will continue in the affected community. Also in Central America, the number of locally acquired chikungunya cases in El Salvador jumped by an additional 30,000 cases, bring that country’s total to 123,000, according to PAHO data.

Half a million photographs could hold key to coral health
Queensland researchers have started analysing half a million photographs in a bid to understand and, hopefully, improve the health of coral reefs around the world. Catlin Seaview Survey researchers have spent about 350 hours underwater to take more than 500,000 360-degree photographs, which will be analysed at the University of Queensland. The Catlin Seaview Survey, of which UQ's Global Change Institute is the leading scientific partner, has photographed underwater ecology from 20 countries, spread across 662 kilometres of coral reef. UQ researcher Manuel Gonzales-Rivero said the Global Change Institute's automated image recognition software could monitor and analyse reefs up to 30 times faster than was previously possible.


Video: Belize Fashion Week, min.
Belize Fashion Week continues in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

Video: Diving Belize, 2min.

Video: Isla Marizol Belize Vacation, 10min.
Video of our vacation to Isla Marisol Resort, a small island ~30 miles off the coast of Dangriga, Belize. Isla Marisol is located on Glover's Reef at 16.717066,-87.848913.

Video: Garifuna Settlement Day, vonulás a templomhoz San Ignacio, Belize, 1.5min.

Video: Ocelot macskával játszunk - Belize Zoo, .5min.

Video: Mercedes Lopez Spanish Interview Belize, 5min.
Mercedes & Theresita.

Video: Princess Hotel & Casino, Belize City, Belize, 4min.

Video: Belize NOVEMBER 2014, 7.5min.

Video: Radisson Fort George Hotel And Marina, Belize City, Belize, 2min.

Video: Corona Del Mar, San Pedro, Belize, 3min.

Video: Miss Belize California Beauty Pageant 2014, 5min.
Descriptio Miss Belize California was conceived in the minds of the Members of Belize Cultural Foundation (BCF), producers of the Biggest Belizean 2 Day Celebration in the Unite States in 2004. The concept was to select a young lady, through the process of pageantry, which would properly represent the Belizean community in California. Louis D Reyes was selected as the director and coordinator of the pageant.

Video: Hon. Julius Espat on the Petrocaribe Loan Motion debate. Belize, 44min.

November 22, 2014


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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

The Chef’s Table Experience at Pirate’s Treasure
Just a half mile North of San Pedro Town lies a little thatched -roof style restaurant and bar that has been generating quite some buzz. It’s one of the only establishments specializing in Lionfish recipes, and let’s not forget home of the gourmet Chef’s Table. Yes, you guessed it: I’m talking about Pirate’s Treasure! Since the official launch of the Chef’s Table back in March of this year, the reservations have just kept rolling in. But what makes it so sought after? Well the nightly Chef’s Table is exclusive and available only by reservations, with the perfect setting for group dinners of any sort. The unique seating allows an intimate dining experience between Chef Maresha and her evening guests as she prepares all her recipes with fresh ingredients- all in plain view. At $100 ($50USD) per person, the table can accommodate up to fifteen guests, seventeen at its max. With years of experience under her belt, Maresha smoothly manoeuvres her way across the open kitchen and prepares these gourmet meals with ease, interacting with guests and explaining the local ingredients as they hit the pan.

First Confirmed Case of Chikungunya in Belize
This is the first confirmed case of Chikungunya in Belize. This case is from the Las Flores Community in Belmopan where the Ministry has been conducting active surveillance and vector control activity following rumored suspected cases of Chikungunya. The Ministry continues to collaborate with the municipality and the local community to conduct clean-up campaigns. Scheduled spraying activities and health education sessions continue with the affected community.

Fisher Folk Licensing Schedule 2014
he Fisheries Department hereby informs the PUBLIC that it will start the renewal of fisher folk licenses for 2015 on December 01st 2014. Licensing in the fishing communities will commence on December 15th 2014. The following are the scheduled dates for licensing in the fishing communities:

$228 million Petrocaribe Loan Motion gets house clearance amongst heated debate; Hundreds of UDP supporters gathered to support PM’s Loan Motion
After a much heated debate, the House of Representatives of Belize approved a Petrocaribe loan motion of the $228 million on Tuesday, November 18th. The ruling United Democratic Party lead by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, mobilized hundreds of party supporters who gathered at the foot of the National Assembly building to show support to the Petrocaribe loan motion. The monies, part of which has been spent prior to getting House of Representative approval as required by law, are to be used to roll out several government programs. The Petrocaribe fund comes from the returns of fuel at concessionary terms given to the Caribbean countries by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Since 2005, Belize has been taking advantage of the Petrocaribe financial initiative in which the monies should be used to benefit the poor and middle class. However, under the Finance and Audit Act, PM Barrow is required to introduce a bill for any loan in excess of $10 million. As such, PM Barrow was required to have taken the loan motion to the House of Representative. Until he was questioned by the press, he had not done so.

BSI fights to remove BSCFA out of the sugar cane season negotiations
The uncertainty on the 2015 Sugar Cane season is still looming over the Belize Sugar Industry (BSI). The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) is fighting to improve the commercial agreement with BSI so as to receive compensation for the bagasse (a fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice. It is used as a biofuel and in the manufacture of pulp and building materials. ) used by the company. Negotiations from both sides are getting nowhere and the sugar cane season seems to be in jeopardy as it’s off to a late start. Cane farmers are refusing to deliver cane if BSI doesn’t agree to adjust the commercial agreement. On Monday, November 10th, BSI announced that they will be signing seven year contracts directly with the farmers. This unforeseen event caused much controversy as BSI was asking the farmers to leave BSCFA and deal directly with BSI. “Over one month has now passed and we have not heard from the BSCFA on this matter, which is now critically urgent, given that we are less than a month from the expected start of the 2014/2015 crop. We do not foresee any prospect in the near future of being able to secure an agreement with the BSCFA on behalf of all sugarcane farmers.

Belizean Cultures come to life at 2014 SPHS Cultural Day
On Tuesday November 18th, The San Pedro High School (SPHS) held their annual cultural day. Each year student exhibitions are highly anticipated by the community as they offer a day of fun and education for families and friends. Embracing the various cultures of Belize, each group was tasked with the responsibility of preparing a booth complete with cultural attire, information, food and a presentation of song or dance. Hundreds of colorfully attired students filled the auditorium, as cultural music filled the air and visitors and teachers went from booth to booth to hear the mini presentations and sample ethnic dishes. The more information the students were able to functionally bring across, and the better quality of the cultural item put forward, the higher the grade each group would attain. Each booth presented its visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the cultural groups they represented. Colorful information boards displayed historical points on cultures such as the Creole, Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, Chinese/ Taiwanese, Mennonite, East Indians and Central American regions among others.

San Pedro joins in National Garifuna Settlement Day celebration
Residents on Ambergris Caye joined Belizeans across the country in celebrating National Garifuna Settlement Day on November 19th. The events planned in the various Garifuna communities were held under the theme “Mibe La Yanu. Awanse La Wadagimanu. Bunguiwaba, Wagia Largi – Let’s not just talk. Let the work progress. God Before us and we behind.” In San Pedro Town, the events were spearheaded by the local branch of the National Garifuna Council with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation and the San Pedro Town Council. Due to weather condition, some of the activities had to be cancelled, while others were held in closed door locations. The events started with a small ceremony at the Lions Den on the night of the 18th in which the festivities were officially declared opened. Remarks were delivered by various dignitaries, including local coordinator of the San Pedro House of Culture Councilor Mito Paz, Jorge Aldana from the San Pedro Cultural Committee and the President of the San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council Elroy Catillo. Following the opening remarks, the public was entertained all night with drumming and dance presentations by various Garifuna Dance and Drum groups.

Ambergris Today

Belize Fashion Week Kicks Off with Cocktail Social
Belize Fashion Week 2014 kicked off with a great cocktail party at Carpice Bar and Grill inside the Holiday Hotel on November 20, 2014. International and local fashion designers, along with gorgeous models from all around Belize, came together to celebrate a night of fashion before they hit the runway the following day. Belize Fashion Week brings together local designers with designers from around the region to learn and boost the fashion industry in Belize. The two-day event will take place at the San Pedro High School's R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium Friday and Saturday starting at 8p.m.

First Confirmed Case of Chikungunya in Belize
As anticipated and now confirmed through the country’s regional reference laboratory, Belize’s Ministry of Health has received confirmation of a positive laboratory result for Chikungunya from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad during the November 19 holiday. A press release from Belize’s Government Press Office today has confirmed the first case of Chikungunya in the country. This case is from the Las Flores Community in Belmopan where the Ministry has been conducting active surveillance and vector control activity following rumored suspected cases of Chikungunya.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Melchor Tax Confusion and new Tariff for Belizeans
Many Belizeans travel to Guatemala because there are cheap goods in Melchor De Menchos, the neighboring border town with Benque Viejo. There is confusion with the new SAT system and tariff rate in Melchor, Guatemala. Many Belizeans are now parking in the so called “no man’s land between the border” but space at times in the past week is becoming limited. There is a new tariff on all Belize Vehicles that used to enjoy free entry into Melchor. A 72 hours permit is issued for Q160.00 or $50.00 BZ, Tourist entry cost was Q145, this has been increased to Q190.00, for a period of 90 days.

U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno will visit Corozal on Monday
November 24, 2014 and he is inviting American citizens in the area to join him for a lunch (you purchase your own meal) at Jam Rock Bar & Grill on 1st Ave South, on the sea front in Corozal Town from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Ambassador Moreno is looking forward to meeting and talking to American citizens at this informal, no-host gathering. Please note that this is an opportunity for the Ambassador to get to know you and for you to get to know the Ambassador. No Consular services (i.e. passports, voter registration, etc.) will be provided at this event. Loreta Randall & Wendy Cookson US Wardens for the Corozal District of Belize

CARICOM Governments to increase quality information on the Single Market to CARICOM nationals
(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) CARICOM nationals in six Members States are to benefit from a greater flow of tailored information on the CARICOM Single Market (CSM). This is under a new project that aims to connect nationals with the information they need to work, travel and do business in participating CARICOM countries.

First Confirmed Case of Chikungunya in Belize
As anticipated and now confirmed through our regional reference laboratory, the Ministry of Health has received confirmation of a positive laboratory result for Chikungunya from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad during the 19th November holiday. This is the first confirmed case in Belize.

Fisher Folk Licensing Schedule 2014
The Fisheries Department hereby informs the PUBLIC that it will start the renewal of fisher folk licenses for 2015 on December 01st 2014. More Information on License Requirements, Renewals, Boat Licenses and Card Renewal are available at this link: Licensing in San Pedro is scheduled for December 16, at the Hol Chan office, 8am - 5pm

Urban Birdwatch
Wake up early birds!!!!! This morning (Sat. the 22nd) we meet at Central Park to do some urban/island bird watching! This weekend is San Pedro on Saturday, and Caye Caulker on Sunday. This promises to bring some very exciting birds. Thank you Judy Lumb, Roni Martinez, and Dorothy Beveridge for your kind support and leadership in these activities.

by Bilal Morris Soon after the United Democratic Party (UDP) victory over the Peoples United Party (PUP) in December of 1984, it was written that the flamboyant and eloquent Belize Foreign Minister then, Dean Oliver Barrow, was going to become the most prominent political figure of his party, and would also rise to become one of Belize's most historical political leaders in Belize's post-independence years to come. Since then, those years have come upon us Belizeans, and what became the dream of most black Belizeans at home and abroad to have realized the possibility of a black Belizean Prime Minister since the domination of the imagery of George Cadle Price as Belize's post-colonial leader, and later Belize's first Prime Minister, the mandate of a black majority rule that had appeared as a fleeting illusion, may have come to past.

The MCC Garden is packed to capacity. Isolene Heath is on the mound, and Belize's legendary sports announcer Lindy Rogers is hot on the mike bringing a play by play action to Belizean listeners through the airwaves of Radio Belize. It is 1971, and Rogers mastery as a broadcaster of bringing the softball action to Belizean listeners in their living rooms is important because Belize has no television yet, and so it is just theater of the mind. You have to imagine the game in real time if you can't go to see it play. He is outstanding as a communicator, though he has no radio broadcast training. He comes in live and direct, "Here is the pitch from Heath!" Belizeans cling to their radio with enthusiasm. "It's a strike, so one ball and one strike." As he conducts the action of the game through audio, you want to imagine who is this awesome pitcher he sculpts with perfect vision. "Heath looks to midfield and signals to her catcher. Here is the pitch. Right in there, strike two. I think that the batter didn't even see that one coming." You are tense at the moment. Belize is going against a fierce competitor, and you want to run out there at the MCC Grounds to see the game.

On Saturday November 29, 2014, the legendary Belizean Ambassador, Economist and international political activist, Bert Tucker will be honored by the Venezuelan Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, for his outstanding work as Belize's ambassador of Trade, the Caribbean and Africa. The announcement was made by the Venezuelan embassy that the Belizean nationalist figure, statesman and activist will have a street named in his honor directly in front of the United States embassy in Belmopan. Belizean Legends will be bringing you more on this historic moment in Belizean history as the celebrated day approaches. A native son has been received well in the spirit of his ancestors. It is with humble appreciation that we thank the government and the people of Venezuela for all that they have done for the country of Belize and its people. Viva Venezuela!

Belize's East Indians came to Belize as indentured servants across the Atlantic Ocean through a perilous journey that only their ancestors and living griot could tell about the harshness in narrative of such a journey. But most of them were part of India's racist Cast system derived from centuries of British racism and colonialism. They were called the Untouchables because of their place in a system that identifies the darker of their peoples as the most outcast among the culture. And at the Initiative for Justice & Reparations at the University of Belize on October 10, 2014, launched by The National Convention of The People of Belize, these three dynamic young ladies put off an incredible East Indian Dance that was most admirable to see and appreciated as one of Belize's most unspoken of indigenous peoples. Most Belizeans still don't know much about Belize's East Indian indigenous peoples, and therefore their culture, origin and significance to Belize's history has got to be studied by Belize's students of history and Social Science.

At the Justice & Reparations symposium at the University of Belize on October 10, 2014, launched by The National Convention of The People of Belize, these awesome UB students came out to show their cultural consciousness and concern for the right of the Belizean indigenous peoples to demand justice and reparations for the injustices, imperialism, colonialism, and slavery inflicted upon their ancestors during 400 years of slavery, indentured servitude and genocide. Belizean Legends appreciates their sense of consciousness and interest to participate as Belize's future and strength. You're appreciated.

As Garifuna Settlement Day festivities on November 19, 2014 gets on the way in Belize and in the Belizean Diaspora, this moving and cultural photograph of these three Garinagu young women made a significant impression that the Garinagu people are making a serious and conscientious effort as a people to resist cultural assimilation. It was most impressive for me to see the Garinagu youth still showing love and appreciation for the cultural dress. Belizean Legends honor their commitment and pride in the significance of their culture. Love it!


Channel 7

Zimbab: How I Dodged Death
Tonight the city remains calm after the attempt on the life of George Street General, Carlos "Zimbab" Abraham yesterday in Belize City. As we told you, Abraham was on Lakeview Street yesterday morning at 10:00 when a gunman opened fire on him as he sat in his SUV. Even though he was shot in the face, Abraham survived. Today he spoke to us via phone from his hospital bed and told us how he did it:.. Jules Vasquez "How serious are your injuries?" Carlos Abraham AKA Zimbab, Stable Condition "Minor you know, the bullet didn't touch any main organs, it's just flesh wounds. I got shot in my face, in my jaw and then it ricochet through my neck." Jules Vasquez "But how you survive a shot to the face?" Carlos Abraham AKA Zimbab, Stable Condition "The Father above, I tilt my seat before I see the shot coming and so I just pull back my head."

Police Trying To Supress Possibility Of Gang Retaliation
That dire prediction doesn't seem to bode well for keeping the peace in the streets - which is why police say they have detained key gang figures and dispatched additional patrols. In fact, ever since the shooting, police have been staying ahead of the crime: they were the first to respond and detain the alleged shooter - even though they didn't manage to get the gun. At a press conference at the Queen Street police station today Police said the key suspects so far are minors:.. Supt. Hilberto Romero, O.C., Crimes Investigation Branch "An investigation was carried out which had led to the detention of two minors. Quick police response lead to the detention of one of the minors who is now in custody. Police responded adequately and they pursued one person and he was apprehended." Jules Vasquez "These young men, are they gang affiliated, these suspects and the detained person?"

It's Confirmed, Chik-V In Belize
Three weeks ago - we told you that Chikungunya had been confirmed in Belize - but at the time we couldn't say it with 100% certainty because CARPHA, the Caribbean Public Health Agency hadn't confirmed it. But now they have. A press release today confirmed that the Ministry of Health has received confirmation of a positive laboratory result for Chikungunya from CARPHA in Trinidad. As we had told you, the case comes out of Las Flores in Belmopan. It's nothing that wasn't expected, since Chik-V has appeared in all our neighboring countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Salvador and Honduras. In fact, this first confirmed Belizean case is believed to have originated in Salvador. But, now that it's here, what are health authorities going to do about it? That's what we asked the Director of Health Services today in Belize City:.. Dr. Michael Pitts, Director of Health Services "Over the last 3 weeks we had some rumors. In fact parts of the press reported they believe people were saying they have signs and symptoms of this disease in parts of the country. In fact we zoomed down on rumor surveillance activity in Las Flores area.

Cop Caught Trafficking Weed At Northern Border
Reliable reports reaching us tonight say that a police corporal has been intercepted with wholesale amounts of marijuana at the Santa Elena border in the Corozal District. It happened at 5:20 this evening and the search of his car, a red Geo Prizm with Corozal plates is ongoing at this time - but we can tell you that two parcels of compressed marijuana were found under the hood of his car. This suggests that he was trafficking high-grade marijuana from Mexico. And the particularly hapless corporal was not only trafficking weed - his car also broke down at the border. And when a car breaks down - where do you check? Under the hood, right? Well, that's right where he had the two parcels stuffed.

Cop Charged For Sex With Underaged Girl
Police Constable Rupert Thomas is back in jail - for the second time in less than a year - and again he is accused of having sex with a minor. He took a 15 year old from Cayo to Seine Bight with him where he had sex with her. A friend lured him to Dangriga where police recovered the girl and captured him. He was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge and remanded to the Belize Central prison until the seventh February, 2015. Last year in December he was also remanded - at the time it was Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature. At the time, a 14 year old girl from Cayo told police that he fondled her while having intercourse with her 16 year old sister.

Youths And Road Safety
2,000 Belizean youths are expected to benefit from the Road Safety for Belizean Youth Project. The main objective of the project is to train these youths on driving risks and road safety measures. They're a key demographic because persons aged between 16 and 29 account for 30% of road traffic fatalities. That's a highly disproportional figure, and president of the Belizean Youth for Road Safety explained how this project can considerably decrease this figure. Eric Sanchez, President, Belizean Youth Road Safety "The idea is to try to reach 2,000 youths and we were given a specific timeframe for that and that is why we are doing the training over at the high schools and we did a training at the 6th forms, so what we want to do now with these amount of individuals, it's just going to accumulate for us and with that we would be able to reach our 2,000 maximum. With a presentation to the President of the CDB, we would be able to hopefully garner the trust and support in that we are doing the right thing and that we are making the positive step towards the development and the proper rearing of our country.

UNFPA Scolds Media For Negativity
Youth empowerment is a vision many stakeholders in education and youths themselves attempt to realize. The UNFPA's new report called "The Power of 1.8 Billion Adolescents, Youths and the Transformation of the Future" strives to do just that by highlighting the challenges youths face and possible solutions. Normally one would see youths, government officials, teachers and other key stakeholders involved in this discussion but the main target audience for today's meeting was the media and our role in positively impacting youths. Erica Goldson the Assistant Representative of United Nations Population Fund discussed the objective of the report and how it can improve the lives of youths. Erica Goldson, Assistant Representative, UNFPA "It basically bring to the forefront issues that affect young people and the challenges it's in and it's a global report but when you look at the report, a lot of the issues mentioned in the report is our reality in Belize. And so the report is creating an opportunity for us to really start the discussion around more or greater investment in young people."

Man Admits To Texting While Driving
33 year-old Stephen Davies, a resident of Lords Bank, is facing 4 traffic offenses after being accused by police of knocking down a BDF Soldier. The accident happened on November 11 between miles 9 and 10 on the Northern Highway. According to police, Davies was driving a brown Mercedes Benz, when he knocked down Officer Ozaine Augustine. For the accident, police charged him with negligent wounding, using a motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance, driving a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license, and driving without due care and attention. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, and he tried to plead guilty to the offences while giving an explanation. He told the court that he was driving his vehicle with wife and 4 children heading to Belize City. He said that he was having trouble seeing, and he was sending a text message while driving.

Robbed Of 4K
Police say that Damian Leslie and Norman Tillett robbed an A&R Employee, and tonight, they are at the Belize Central Prison. It happened yesterday at the bus stop in front of the Pallotti High School. The A&R employee told police that he was on his way to make a deposit of over $4,000, when 2 men approached him and robbed him at gunpoint. Police moved immediately to investigate the case, and they charged Leslie and Tillett with robbery. They were arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where they pleaded not guilty. Due to the nature of the offence, they were remanded into custody until January 28, 2015.

4 Men Robbed 13 Year Old
4 other men are in jail tonight after police accused them of robbing a 13 year-old boy on Tuesday. It happened on Thomas Vincent Ramos Street in Belize City where the 13 year-old minor was supposed to go to the store to buy for his parents. On the way there, 4 men who robbed him of $27 dollars, which he would have used to pay for the groceries. Police investigated, and today, they charged Joshua Smith, Alexander Turcius, Leon Quince, and Marquis Coc. They were arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, where they pleaded not guilty. She denied them bail based on the strength of the prosecution's objections. They will return to court on January 28, 2015.

Cane Farmers And SICB Agree To Meet Next Week
On Saturday, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association gave the Government appointed industry regulator, known as the S-I-C-B, or the Sugar Industry Control Board until today to bring all sides of the sugar dispute to the negotiating table so that they can hammer out a resolution. But, two of the members of the SICB are out of the country, so they could not get the meeting together. Today the Cane Farmers Association agreed to wait until November 25th when the SICB had first planned to hold its meeting. In the meantime, the BSCFA executive has met with the Deputy Prime Minister. On the ASR/BSI side of the dispute the company has decided to push back the date for issuing its final agreement. That was to have been done today, but the company says it has been getting sufficient and steady feedback from farmers to convince them to hold off on issuing it until they can factor in all the farmers issue - which, we are told, extend to safety and security.

Wesley Discourages Bullying
Bullying is a social phenomenon that is often dismissed in Belizean society. Self-defense and "rough-play" are used as camouflage against detection and reprimand. But it is a prevalent issue in Belizean schools - more so than you might guess. And today our Albert Street neighbors at Wesley Lower School attempted to put a stop to it, through their anti-bullying initiative called "Say Something: Be a Buddy not a Bully". Today students assembled outside their school compound on Albert Street to promote this initiative. One of the teachers, Rudolph Neal spoke to us about the detrimental effects bullying has on school children and how it can be addressed. Rudolph Neal, Teacher "Definitely bully is indeed a problem. Often times because we live in Belize we perceived that bully isn't a problem here. But it is indeed a problem and even at the school here we experience different acts of bully; teasing, punching, kicking, name calling, some even want to perpetrate acts of violence. Children are accustomed to keeping quiet, holding things in - that is our culture here, even us as adults. When something is bothering us we tend to hold it in. However, for the past week that we have embarked on this venture, we have stressed the theme "Say Something" and that is important because whenever you hold it in that's when it boils up the most and then it leads you to do things that will be undesirable unwanted outcome."

The Finest And Fittest At Coast Guard
Yesterday, we showed you day 1 of the Coast Guard's Best Warrior Competition. The tournament is being held for a second year - as an opportunity for the Coast Guard to assess the fitness of its elite members. Yesterday was all about the fitness test and the 2 mile ocean swim. In today's competition, the teams had to complete a 6 mile run in the morning, and a 4 mile obstacle course called the Coast Guard Medley. 7News was back at the compound during the medley and as the competition officials promised, the level of difficulty was increased. Here's how it looked: Daniel Ortiz reporting This evening, each of the squads had to maneuver around a 1-mile course saddled with heavy weights. The purpose of this event, like the others, is to try to complete it as quickly as possible. The clock didn't stop running until the last man finished the course. They each began by wearing a vest weighing 30 pounds, then, after completing a lap with that, the squad then took up a 40 pound Bergan. By that time, the first lap was already taking its toll.

E Roy Cayetano - he's a well-known educator and the former Deputy Chief Education officer. But you may not know that he was also self-educated - the man with a Master's degree didn't go to high school because his father couldn't afford it. But that same father, a teacher, did instill in him a commitment to learning - and that has taken Roy Cayetano right back to the classroom at the Gulisi Primary School in Dangriga. In tonight's profile, he explains the broad arc of experience that brought him back to school:..

Cayo Tourism Roads In Trouble
We all know about FECTAB and the various issues they are fighting with the BTB and NICH, but now The Cayo Chapter of the BTIA and the Cayo Tour Guides Association are calling on that same NICH and BTB to fix the roads to Mountain Pine Ridge, the Barton Creek Cave, and the Road to Cahal Pech. A release form the group says that the roads in horrible condition and with the tourism high season about to start, the sites will be inaccessible and make for heavy financial losses for industry stakeholders out west.

Channel 5

First Confirmed Case of Chik-V in Belize
After eight months of being in the clear, the first confirmed case of Chikungunya has been recorded in Belize’s public health archives, following a rash of the mosquito-transmitted fever across [...]

Las Flores Woman Infected in Belize
The first suspected case of CHIK-V was believed to have been imported into the country since Las Flores is a predominantly immigrant community. While that case was never confirmed, the [...]

Two Minors Detained for Shooting of George Street General
Two minors believed to be affiliated with the Ghost Town Gang are tonight in custody for the brazen attempted murder of a George Street boss, Carlos “Zimbab” Abraham. Zimbab was [...]

Police Nix Consultation with D.P.P. on Any Crime
It has been and continues to be a practice of the Belize Police Department, whenever queried about the results of an investigation into a serious crime, to state that the [...]

Chamber President Speaks on Sugar Impasse
On Thursday, the Belize Chamber of Commerce issued a release on the continued impasse in the sugar cane industry. It’s been criticized in some sectors because it doesn’t seem to [...]

Sugar Impasse in Full Effect – No Resolution This Week
Today is Friday, the deadline given to the Sugar Industry Control Board to call a meeting in an attempt to break the impasse between the BSCFA and BSI/ASR. But tonight [...]

BCG Holds Best Warrior Competition
This afternoon, forty exhausted soldiers who are being pushed to the limits of their endurance completed in day-two of the Coast Guard’s Best Warrior Competition. There are five teams of [...]

Social Partners Reopen Discussion of 13th Senator
While the Chamber spoke earlier about the sugar impasse, another discussion which has seen some rebirth is the issue of the thirteenth Senator, a commitment by the United Democratic Party [...]

2 Men charged for Robbing A&R Employee
An employee of A and R Shopping Center was robbed as he was heading to the bank to make a deposit. The employee was intercepted and robbed by two suspects [...]

UNFPA Workshop Showcases Youth Issues
The power of one point eight billion….that’s the global population of youths under the age of twenty-five years.  The United Nations Population Fund believes that young people have the power [...]

Cayo Tour Stakeholders Demand Better Roads from BTB and NICH
Recently, the B.T.B. announced that the number of visitors to the jewel had exceeded forecasts and had reached a million even before the tradition spike at the end of the [...]

An Update on cancer patient, Cleyon
Remember Cleyon Marage Junior? He is a fourteen year old who is afflicted with Acute Myloid Leukemia. Since September, Cleyon Junior had been in and out of hospital and doctors [...]

Seeking Assistance for Baby Izak
For Michelle Rudon, a single mother of two, helping children living with cancer who are from poverty stricken families has become her calling. And so she has branched out to [...]

Countdown to Belize vs. Mexico
In one week, eight Belizeans and eight Mexicans will literally bring blood, sweat and tears for the glory of representing their country in a sport that is growing in Belize….that’s [...]


Rigo Vellos Wins Copa Revolucion 2014 In Merida Yucatan
Three time Mr. Belize and professional body builder, Rigo Vellos has done it again, placing Belize in the spotlight as he accomplished another milestone in his career. Over the weekend Mr. Belize travelled to Merida Yucatan, to compete in the Copa Revolucion 2014 among other international body builders from Merida, Cancun, Escarciga, Vera Cruz and Tamaulipas. At the end of the competition, Vellos dominated in the 80 Kilograms division which is equivalent to the heavy weight category. The Belize Body Building Federation which represents Vellos says that the victory is ‘the second year running that he has won at Merida tournament as the reigning Mr. Belize, beating out competitors from Merida, Cancun, Escarciga, Vera Cruz and Tamaulipas,” end quote. Aside from receiving his championship trophy, Rigo Vellos walked away with a cash prize of $900. Vellos will once again appear on an international stage the second week in December when he competes in the Mr. Temple Gym competition in Cancun, Mexico.

Family Plea Missing Teen To Return Home
A teen from Chetumal Quintana Roo has gone missing and while you may be asking why is this making it in our news, well according to relatives she went missing in Belize. 16 year Old Noemi Briceno Trapp left her Chetumal home and ventured over to Belize, and while she did not make it to her destination, her grandparents’’ home in August Pine Ridge, tonight her whereabouts is still not known. We spoke via telephone to her relative Rita Aldana who told us more.Rita Aldana – Relative of Missing Teen “On September 4th she came from the Mexican side and she is a Mexican and vanished.” Maria novelo – Reporter “Since then you haven’t heard from her that is like three months ago?” Rita Aldana – Relative of Missing Teen “Yes miss”


Belize Represented in Australia at International Environmental Congress
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network with a democratic membership union consisting of more than one thousand government and non-governmental organizations and close to eleven thousand volunteer scientists from more than one hundred and sixty countries. Every ten years, this IUCN network holds a World Parks Congress with its members meeting in a specified country. This year, the IUCN World Parks Congress was held in Sydney, Australia and Belize was well represented by a delegation led by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Honorable Senator Lisel Alamilla. The key component of what is considered one of the most influential global event is the conservation of protected areas around the world with leaders imparting their experiences, knowledge and ideas for the development of an agenda for protected areas conservation over the next decade, till it’s time for them to meet again.

Leaks and Fire Scare Reported at Recently Renovated Dangriga Market
The Dangriga market was recently officially inaugurated and today Mayor Gilbert Swazo spoke to Love News to say Dangrigans did not get value for money since the new structure is showing several faulty areas. GILBERT SWAZO “We were called by the vendors to observe what they are going through and we noted that there are several food stalls and mainly food stalls numbers 2, 4, 5 and 9. There are some leaks that are coming from the roofs of the stalls and it is not one that we had expected since we had spent a lot of money to retrofit and extend the market. Similarly when we visited the new portion that is the extension we also noted that stalls number 3, 7, and 21 are also leaking from the roof. We also noted that there is an excessive amount of water that is coming from under the doors.


Police detain minors in Carlos Abraham shooting
46 year old Carlos Abraham was shot three times in the neck and arm on Thursday morning while in “enemy territory” talking to a relative on Lakeview Street at its junction with Banak Street, Belize City. His condition has been stabilized, but the tension in Belize City has not. On Friday Police call...

Police Constable Charged for Offence of Carnal Knowledge
On Monday we reported of an incident of carnal knowledge, where it was reported that a 15 year old runaway child from the Cayo District, reported missing by her father, and was later found in Dangriga in the company of an interdicted police officer in Dangriga, identified as 28 year old PC Rupert Th...

VIP Court Challenge of the Elections and Boundaries
Often during these times when elections are so close at hand suspicions of political manipulation of the voter count start surfacing. One third party has already taken one objection to the courts and lost, to their admitted surprise. On Thursday VIP (Vision Inspired by the People) sent out a press r...

Traffic charges for Lord’s Bank resident
BDF officer Ozaine Augustine was knocked down on the Philip Goldson Highway last Tuesday, and today charges were read to 33 year old Stephen Davies, a resident of Lord’s Bank, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Stephen Davies is accused of negligent wounding, using a motor vehicle not covered...

Big fine for City resident on marijuana
Thirty year old Casey Reynolds, a resident of 8344 Riverside Street, Belize City, was fined $10,000 today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking for 229 grams of cannabis. Reynolds was ordered to pay $5,000 forthwith and the balance by December 31, 2014...

Two charged for A&R deposit robbery
Damian Leslie and Norman Tillett are charged with the robbery of over $4,000 from an employee of A and R Store, located at mile 1 on Phillip Goldson Highway. They appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith and not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds...

Four charged for robbery of teenager
Four young men, who allegedly stole $27 from a 13 year old boy, were denied bail and remanded into custody, when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, and were arraigned on a charge of robbery. They are Joshua Smith, Alexander Turcios, Leon Quine and Marquis Coc. They pl...

Chikinguya in Belize Confirmed and Reconfirmed
Plus TV broke the story in late October that preliminary Chikungunya tests taken by at least two residents of Las Flores Area Belmopan turned out positive, making it the first reported case of Chikungunya in Belize. Almost a week after we broke the first reported case, the Ministry of Health issued ...

Price for Butane Down
Butane Gas Prices are down and just in time for the Christmas season. A press release, sent out by the Supplies Control Unit of the Ministry of Trade yesterday evening, announced that starting Friday November 21st consumers will be paying $6 less per one hundred pound cylinder of butane gas, also kn...


US Ambassadors press Belize to legalize sodomy
Back in August 2014, the recently installed US Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Carlos Moreno, told the media at a roundtable session that ”there is no LGBT agenda by the US Government.” At that same session, Ambassador Moreno – the lone judge to stand against Proposition 8 in California, a petition to overturn homosexual marriage – had confirmed to the press that the US Government had given grants to the LGBT activist group in Belize, UNIBAM, and he also expressed the view that LGBT rights are a subset of rights that are accorded to everyone. There has been no further discussion with the media on LGBT rights since, but on the occasion of the 19th International Day for Tolerance observed on Sunday, November 16, 2014, the US Embassy published a statement from “past and present U.S. Ambassadors” on Belize’s LGBT policy.

Garifuna Settlement Day celebrated in the old capital
Although November 19 this year marks the 191st anniversary of the mass arrival of Garinagu to Belize’s shores in 1823, it also marks more than 212 years since Garifuna families settled the Yarborough area of Belize City. So while the heart of the festivities continues to be held in the culture capital of Dangriga, Belize City’s celebrations continue to hold special symbolism within the context of the historical legacy. The Belize City commemoration of Garifuna Settlement Day began at about 7:00 Wednesday morning when a moderate crowd of Belizeans converged on the Belcan Bridge area to officially welcome the reenactment of the first arrival of the Garinagu to Belize in 1802, now known as the Yurumein – the Garifuna name of the homeland of St. Vincent.

Zimbab shooting bad news for Southside peace
The streets are tense, with fears of gang retaliation, after an attempt earlier today to gun down well-known George Street figure, Carlos “Zimbab” Abraham, 48, who is at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital fighting for his life. Abraham suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his neck and arm, after he was shot at about 10:00 this morning by a masked gunman in the turf of the rival Ghost Town Crips gang, in front of the tire shop on Lakeview Street, a couple blocks away from where he spent his childhood and teenage years. An eyewitness told Amandala that at about 10:00 this morning, Abraham drove up, in front of the tire shop, located at the corner of Banak Street and Lakeview Street and turned off his car’s engine and inquired about some used tires in the yard of the tire shop.

KREM OB crew pinned by towhead on Steadfast Bridge
popular KREM Radio personalities who were returning to Belize City from the official Garifuna Settlement Day ceremony in Dangriga yesterday, November 19, were involved in a traffic accident that occurred shortly before 2:00 p.m. on a vintage one-lane bridge at Steadfast Village, Stann Creek. The daunting ordeal took place when a trailer truck slammed into the white Ford Escort SUV in which Lisa “Love” Kerr, Anthony Grant, a.k.a. “Tony G”; and Yvonne Dionicio, a.k.a. “Ras Von;” were traveling, as they were crossing the bridge, located around Mile 17 on the Hummingbird Highway. Kerr, an employee of KREM for the past 20 years, recounted the circumstances surrounding the nightmarish incident to our colleagues at KREM News today.

8 years behind bars for repeat offender
A Belize City man who has two previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty managed to pick up a third, when he was convicted of burglary at the conclusion of his trial before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, this morning. Roger Bradley, a driver/sideman who has one previous conviction for burglary and one for theft, was sentenced to eight years in prison. The 34-year-old Bradley was convicted of a brazen daylight burglary of a home in which a babysitter was present. According to court testimonies, shortly after 9:00 a.m. on March 25, 2014, Bradley entered the home of Luna Sosa, located at 87 Freetown Road, and attempted to steal two Leap Frog games. When Bradley entered the home, he was not aware that Mara Williams, the babysitter, was inside the house.

2 die, 1 injured in road traffic accidents out west
A woman and a man died tragically over the weekend in two separate traffic accidents which occurred on the George Price Highway between Friday night and early Saturday morning. The first incident happened in Roaring Creek Village at around 9:00 p.m. on Friday, November 14, when Maria Wright, 62, a resident of Roaring Creek, was knocked down while crossing the George Price Highway, between Miles 50 and 51, near the Westar Gas Station. Jorge Luis Romero, 41, of San Martin, Belmopan, was returning home from San Ignacio in a white 1991 Toyota Previa taxi van, when he allegedly knocked Wright down. Police said that their initial investigations have revealed that Wright had been hit while she tried to run across the highway.

Mahogany Street woman charged for stabbing Sandhill teenager in April
In April, Silvia Waight, 19, a resident of Mile 16, Sandhill Village, Belize District, was stabbed at a bar in the village and no one was charged for the incident. However, the Director of Public Prosecutions has recently directed that a Belize City woman be charged with one count of the use of deadly means of harm, in connection with the stabbing. On Tuesday morning, Lorna Jones, 26, a resident of Mahogany Street Extension, was escorted to court by Crimes Investigation Branch (CIB) police. “I direct you to charge Jones with the offense of use of deadly means of harm and that she be tried summarily or on indictment and as such, the 6 months limitation period does not apply,” the DPP’s memorandum to police said.

Alleged North Front Street shooter remanded on attempted murder and firearm charges
After spending the last five days under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) because of a bullet injury he suffered at the hands of Belize City police, the man who police alleged fired at another man at close range on North Front Street was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on attempted murder and firearm charges late this morning. Carl Lino, 22, was escorted by police in handcuffs and limped his way into the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned him on three indictable offences and two firearm-related charges. Around 10:00 a.m., when Lino’s name was first called, only his court book was present; he was a no-show. The reason is that police had to take him back to the hospital so that he could get fresh dressing for the gunshot injury.

Police nab two suspects for rape of girl, 14
Two men of Santa Elena, Cayo, have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison for the rape of a girl, 14, which allegedly occurred at about 2:00 Sunday morning in the Branch Mouth area of San Ignacio. Avery Bahadur, 21, a truck driver, and Craig Molina, 18, both of Santa Elena Town, were jointly arraigned on the rape charge on Tuesday, November 18, at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, before Magistrate Narda Morgan. Magistrate Morgan did not offer them bail but ordered that they be remanded until February 23, 2015.

Harry Cadle doing fine in L.A.
I was in L.A. for a couple weeks around the end of October for a special birthday/family reunion with my in-laws (my mother-in-law, Rosella “Rose” Smith, celebrated her 80th birthday), and I also had the opportunity to make contact with a former football teammate, who was one of Belize’s best, as in All-Belize stature, in both football and basketball. We’re talking about the man that team manager Edison Michael called our “Big Striker” on the original Charger football team of 1975-76 – the team captain, Harry Cadle. (See the X’s “Sin, Sports and Subversion.”) Like some other big name athletes of that era, Harry left the Jewel at the peak of his sports career in his early 20’s in search of “greener pastures” in Uncle Sam.

Central Zone high school basketball games update
Here is an update on results of high school basketball games for females (F) and males (M) since last week Monday in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) Basketball Tournament 2014-2015, being played at Bird’s Isle. On Monday, November 10, (F) Gwen Liz High edged SCA, 18-17 (GLH – Tyra Moreira 9 pts; SCA – Tricia Jefferies and Halle Spence 4 pts each). And (M) E.P. Yorke trounced Belize High School, 74-26 (EPY – Kenroy Davis 16 pts, Nigel Myvett and Tyron Canton 10 pts each). On Tuesday, November 11, it was (F) Maude Williams High, 32-24, over Ladyville Tech (MWH – Ashley Bailey 21 pts; LTH – Dejayney Noralez 18 pts); and (M) Wesley over Gwen Liz, 65-61 (WES – Shaquille Crawford 25 pts, Kyron Samuels 9 pts; GLH – Karl Smith 19 pts, Darney Garcia 16 pts).

National Primary Schools Volleyball Champions 2014
The National Primary Schools Volleyball Championships took place last Friday, November 14, with games being played at two Belize City venues; the males played at Bird’s Isle on the south side, while the female games were held at Quan’s Gym on the north side of the city. There were six female teams and six male teams participating, being the respective champions representing the six districts of the country. The female (F) and male (M) teams participating and the respective districts they represent are: FEMALES - Belize Elementary (Belize), Our Lady of Guadalupe RC (Cayo), Louisiana Gov’t (Orange Walk), Church of Christ Primary (Corozal), Holy Angels RC (Stann Creek), and Toledo Christian Academy (Toledo.

Editorial: PUDP Tuesday
The decision by the LOVE FM management not to broadcast the afternoon session of Tuesday’s House meeting in Belmopan was an interesting one. LOVE FM enjoys a national signal monopoly in the radio business. KREM Radio has not been broadcasting House meetings for years, so when LOVE returned to their Belize City main studio to stay on Tuesday afternoon, this meant that only WAVE Radio and WAVE Television, broadcast media which are owned by the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), were broadcasting the November 18 House session which had the Petrocaribe moneys as its primary subject matter. With national municipal elections scheduled for nine city and town councils in less than four months time, this particular House meeting could have been considered the opening of the campaign for the March 4, 2015 municipals. With LOVE FM being a station guided almost exclusively by business considerations, one question which has to be asked is whether one of the major political parties or a wealthy special interest made it profitable for LOVE not to broadcast. A second question we need to ask is whether the WAVE radio signal has become a national signal. It is for sure that the UDP has pumped a lot of money into the station. Technically, the WAVE Television signal is a national one, because it can be seen on cable television in all six Districts of Belize.

From the Publisher
There’s a lot of money being spent by the ruling politicians, but the air conditioning at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, and there’s nothing else even vaguely like it in the population center, has not been working for many months. I saw an advertisement or read an e-mail last week where a couple plays are going to be produced in Belmopan this week or next week. These will be plays written by foreign playwrights. A few weeks after the PUP won the general election of 1979, I visited the new Education Minister, Said Musa, in Belmopan. I said to him that I’d like access to the then Bliss Institute for a couple months or so in order to produce a major work. His Permanent Secretary, the late Everal Waight, told Mr. Musa in my presence that there was a problem, because the lady Solie Arguelles had some dates for her dance group tied up at the Bliss, and, he said, Solie liked this sort of thing, dancing, that is.

Of the Firearms Act and a mother’s torment
As I stood at the proverbial door, I very sheepishly began to knock. Behind the door was Justice. She must not have heard my first knock, so I gathered myself and tried to stop my involuntary fidgeting and this time I mustered up the courage to give a more audible knock. Still, it was too discreet a knock. No answer; no sound. So, I thought to myself “Ahhhh, forget it!” thus I pounded on the door so much that the mahogany grains began to split. Finally, a faint and almost indistinct response of “Coming!” then, the door was opened. If you’re going to knock… knock. Draconian… Consider the word “draconian” for a moment. In Belize, we tend to overuse certain words that sometimes their power is diminished. Surely however, the use of the dictionary has not evaded us. Therefore, just as a highlight for which the rest of my letter shall hinge upon. The New Oxford American Dictionary gives a very straightforward definition of the word “draconian”. It says: “(of laws or their application) excessively harsh and severe”. I like this definition because it just about sums up exactly what Belize’s Firearms Act is. I would go even further and state that it is grossly inhumane and oppressive. As the wise legal proverb goes “An unjust law is no law at all.”

World Diabetes Day celebrated
World Diabetes Day was observed on Friday, with a health fair conducted,by the Belize Diabetes Association, along with its supporting partners, to draw attention to the disease. The event was held at the Battlefield Park on Albert Street in Belize City, from 9:00 in the morning until about 4:00 in the evening, when it concluded. Many individuals stopped by the fair to get their blood sugar level checked, which is very important in diagnosing diabetes. The theme for this year’s World Diabetes Day is “Healthy Living and Diabetes”. The year’s activities and materials specifically address the topic of healthy eating and its importance both in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and the effective management of diabetes to avoid complications.

8 years behind bars for repeat offender
A Belize City man who has two previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty managed to pick up a third, when he was convicted of burglary at the conclusion of his trial before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, this morning. Roger Bradley, a driver/sideman who has one previous conviction for burglary and one for theft, was sentenced to eight years in prison. The 34-year-old Bradley was convicted of a brazen daylight burglary of a home in which a babysitter was present. According to court testimonies, shortly after 9:00 a.m. on March 25, 2014, Bradley entered the home of Luna Sosa, located at 87 Freetown Road, and attempted to steal two Leap Frog games.

BWS wants 12.5% increase in tariffs
The Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) has submitted an application to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), calling for two successive rate increases totaling 12.5%. BWS says that based on the forecasted growth in the customer base and overall sales volume, it needs an initial average tariff increase of 5% in April 2015 and a subsequent increase of 7.5% in April 2017. The company said that in an effort to keep the tariffs affordable over the next 5-year business plan period, it is proposing $108 mil worth of investments. Of this, $30 million would be financed from its revenue pool, and the remainder from new loans, grants and developers’ contributions. Total capital expenditure for the next five years is projected at $180.3 million. Meanwhile, projected yearly revenues range from $44 mil to $51.9 million.

Senate to consider two treaties for ratification
Two international legal instruments are to be tabled in the Senate when it meets next Wednesday, November 26, 2014, to consider 5 money motions, including the US$114 million PetroCaribe loan motion which has been at the center of political controversy. On the one hand, the Senate will be asked to ratify the landmark Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is supposed to regulate international trade in conventional arms – from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. That treaty will come into force on December 24, 2014. United Nations information indicates that Belize signed on to the ATT on June 3, 2013, but it is pending parliamentary ratification here. So far, 122 countries have signed the treaty.

BDF soldier fined $500 for harm upon common-law wife
A Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier whom police charged with a single count of harm, pleaded guilty to the charge when he was arraigned in the courtroom of Magistrate Dale Cayetano, this afternoon. Rodney Menzies, 32, a resident of Antelope Street Extension, Belize City, who was released on police bail, walked into the courtroom of Magistrate Dale Cayetano and pleaded guilty to the one count of harm. Menzies was spared prison time and a fine was imposed on him instead. (The offense of harm carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years.)

More charges for Coast Guard captain after Crooked Tree Lagoon accident
On January 31, 2014, there was a horrific boat accident on the Crooked Tree Lagoon, which claimed the life of Benjamin Jerome Gentle, 20. The fatal boat accident occurred when two Belize Coast Guard boats collided while ferrying some area residents to the Philip Goldson Highway due to floods that had rendered the road impassable. The accident resulted in one fatality and several persons being injured, and after months of investigation, police charged Coast Guard officer Whaine Williams, a Belize City resident, with manslaughter by negligence for Gentle’s death. Williams was released on bail, while his case began making its way through the slow-moving judicial process at the Magistrate’s Court, where a preliminary inquiry will determine if it will be committed to the Supreme Court for trial on indictment.

Gapi’s deadline passes; no apology and retraction from Monchie
Today is the deadline for the People’s United Party (PUP) Orange Walk North standard bearer Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes, Jr., to “retract and apologize” to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar “Gapi” Vega, the Orange Walk North area representative and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture. The “retraction and apology” are being demanded as amends for an alleged conversation that was aired over LOVE FM on Wednesday, November 5, during a memorial for Ramon Cervantes, Sr., who had been found murdered in a shallow grave on a farm roughly 3½ miles down the Honey Camp road in Indian Hill, Orange Walk, on July 5, 2014. The conversation was reportedly between Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, a fugitive wanted for the murder, and the wife of Cervantes, Sr., and according to Vega’s attorney, Rodwell Williams, S.C., law partner of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the allegations libeled his client.

Belizean consumers demand further pump price adjustments
Since October, pump prices have fallen by an average of 72 cents on the gallon, but some consumers say that’s not far enough, given the extent to which fuel prices have plummeted on the world market. Pump prices peaked in July this year when a gallon of regular gasoline in Belize City was tagged at $11.84 and premium gasoline was tagged at $12.17. Today’s prices reflect a reduction of a mere 10%, contrasting sharply with the 30% decline in world market prices. The last price adjustment was effected last Friday morning, when the Government-controlled prices were reduced to $10.92 for a gallon of premium gasoline. Today, we posed the question to Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who said that further reductions should come by year-end.

Butane prices dip $6
The Belize Bureau of Standards announced late this evening that the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a mixture of propane and butane, will fall effective tomorrow. The price of LPG imported from PEMEX in Mexico will fall by $6, and so consumers in Punta Gorda, who were paying $120 for the 100-pound cylinder, will now pay $114, while Belize City customers will pay $109, down from $115. Meanwhile, the price of LPG sourced from Central America, which has 90:10 mix of propane, will fall by $6, from $112 to $106 in Belize City.

Supporting smart, sustainable growth in fisheries
The region’s fisheries stakeholders will meet, to deepen their understanding of the “blue growth concept”, at a two-day workshop held from November 20-21, 2014, in St. George’s, Grenada under the theme, “Investing in Blue Economic Growth.” The ‘blue growth concept’ is mainly concerned with generating economic growth from the living resources in the oceans and seas. Blue growth strategies seek to achieve growth by sustainable use and conservation of aquatic renewable resources in the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and on the high seas, in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner.

The Reporter

Chile colonels jailed for torturing President Bachelet’s father
Two retired Chilean colonels have been jailed for repeatedly torturing the father of President Michelle Bachelet in 1973. General Alberto Bachelet was arrested and tortured for opposing the military coup led by Gen Augusto Pinochet. He died in 1974 of a heart attack caused by the torture inflicted on him. The former air force colonels – Ramon Caceres Jorquera and Edgar Ceballos Jones – were given three and two years in prison respectively. They “repeatedly committed the crime of applying torture” to their former superior, judge Mario Carroza said in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

Chik-V confirmed in Belize
Belize has confirmed its first case of of Chikungunya. The case originated in the Las Flores area of Belmopan and the test result taken in September came back positive this past Wednesday. The victim is a 34 year-old woman, but her case is not the only one that health authorities suspected from that area. Since the suspected cases emerged, the Ministry of Health started on an awareness and educational campaign to inform people of the risk factors, the symptoms and the effects of the illness. Additionally, it took aggressive measures to eliminate, as much as possible, all potential breeding areas. The ministry is still awaiting the results of more ssmples that were sent abroad after the first batch of suspected cases were taken.

Highway accident claims woman’s life
A fatal traffic accident on the Western Highway last week Friday night claimed the life of Maria Wright, 52, resident of a nearby village. Police have served Jorge Luis Romero, a taxi driver of Belmopan, with a notice of intended prosecution in connection with […]

Nurse raped at home
Dangriga police are on the manhunt for a man who reportedly broke into a nurse’s home and raped her on Monday, November 17th. The incident happened sometime around 2:00 a.m. while the victim slept in her bed at an apartment complex in the New […]

Michel Chebat runs for PUP in Cayo North
Attorney Michel Chebat has announced his intention to run as a standard bearer for the People’s United Party (PUP) in the Cayo North constituency, which became available after incumbent Joseph Mahmud decided not to seek re-election. Chebat said he has started to visit the […]

Huge crowd turns out to support PetroCaribe projects
The United Democratic Party (UDP) government drew a crowd of between 5,000 and 6,000 supporters to Belmopan for Tuesday’s House sitting, vigorously supporting the government’s plan to formalize its borrowing and spending of PetroCaribe funds. The party brought in busloads to Belmopan from all […]

Tourism operators up in arms over new regulations imposed by NICH
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB) is unhappy with amnesty conditions that the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) have decided to grant to tour operators to give them time to comply with new tourism regulations. Tour operators call the […]

Diversifying Income for Fishers: Steps to Improve Livelihood and Fisheries
By Ralna Lewis, Wildlife Conservation Society & Julie Robinson, The Nature Conservancy The fisheries sector is central to the Belizean economy. In 2011 it accounted for $25.95 million BZD in export earnings, representing 2.2 percent of Belize’s GDP. In 2012 the sector supported close to 3,000 fishermen. The Government of […]

Chikungunya outbreak in Belize could reduce blood supply
An outbreak of Chikungunya in Belize would affect the availability of blood for transfusion. This is the view of the Ministry of Health. Director of Laboratories overseeing the Belize National Blood Transfusion Service (Blood Bank), Joycelyn Gonzales, explained this week that an outbreak of the […]

Cricel does it with style!
Cricel Castillo, the fitness model who was suspended three weeks ago from the Belize Body Building & Fitness Federation (BBBFF) stole the show at the the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion Competition at the Hyatt Convention Center in Miami on Saturday. She won the first […]

The few inches of rain which fell on Belize City on Monday night caused many of our Belie City Streets, even those which have been newly paved, to be flooded. Many are blaming the Belize City Council for not having provided an adequate drainage system to take care of the […]

Human Rights Commission joins protest against holding cells
The Human Rights Commission of Belize this week joined community activist, Yaya Marin-Coleman in condemning the conditions detainees must endure at the holding cells of the Queen Street Police Station, and at most police stations countrywide. In a statement released on Thursday, the Commission […]

Sugar stalemate continues Deal sweetener needed on November 25th
The Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association decided not to follow through on its threat to take industrial action against the sugar factory after it became evident that the Sugar Industry Control Board would not be able to gather all stakeholders for a meeting scheduled for this […]

Butane prices tumble in time for Christmas
Belizeans will enjoy a $6 drop in the price of butane (LPG) just in time for the Christmas holidays. The Supplies and Control Unit of the Ministry of Trade, announced the price change for gas imported by Belize Gas Limited, Western Gas Company Limited by […]

House asked to approve M $120 in new loans
The government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced four loan motions at Tuesday’s House sitting for various projects and initiatives, which altogether amount to US $60,304,000 in government borrowings from international financial institutions. The South Side Poverty Alleviation Project Phase 111 loan motion is […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Galen University looks to win ATLIB basketball championship
The Galen University basketball team will be defending its national championship on Saturday morning during the annual Association of Tertiary Level Institution of Belize tournament. The game will be played at the SJC Junior College gymnasium in Belize City. Galen University is the back to back champion of the ATLIB tournament and will seek a three-peat on Saturday. The team has been preparing for this weekend’s championship and head basketball coach Adam Carswell says the team is ready for any surprises that they may encounter on Saturday.

Richard Harrison Offers Himself For Cayo North and Belize
Yesterday, Richard Harrison submitted his application to contest the upcoming Cayo North convention for the People’s United Party. According to the Secretariat of the party, so far, his is the only application that has been submitted. This formal application confirms his will to contest a free, open and fair convention which allows the people of Cayo North to choose the candidate that they believe can deliver the seat in general elections for the House of Representatives, and who can represent the best interest of the people of Cayo North and Belize. His application has been received “like a breath of fresh air” by many from Cayo North, from across Belize, and also from Belizean diaspora and friends of Belize, who have been following his many concrete and practical analysis and recommendations on Belizean economic, political and social issues, and which have been published by various mass media over the years. Anyone can Google “Richard Harrison Belize” to view his many achievements and publications, and appearances on the local and international news promoting his ventures and agitating for improving the investment climate in Belize.

Chikungunya confirmed in Belize
The first case of Chikungunya has been confirmed in Belize. The Ministry of Health made the announcement this morning via a press released. The official release says that the Caribbean Public Health Agency confirmed the Chik-V case during the November 19 holiday. The confirmed case of Chik-V, according to the official release is from the Las Flores area of Belmopan and the Ministry of Health says that it will schedule spraying activities and health education sessions will continue in the affected community.


What’s New San Pedro? Weather, George’s Kitchen, Lazy Croc’s and the New House of Culture
George’s Kitchen is a long standing restaurant just south of town that has been a favorite forever. Maria and George, one of the sweetest couples you’ll ever meet, have run this place, basically solo, for years and years. Making delicious food (the BEST breakfast sandwich you’ve ever eaten – I even called it My Favorite Meal in San Pedro a few years ago!) and working HARD. They are ready to retire to a beautiful home in Belmopan – I actually stayed there before it was completely done – in 2012 for the Belmopan Trade & Agriculture Show. All hotels in town were SOLD OUT and they so kindly let us use their home. SO…now iconic George’s Kitchen is closed. And being renovated a bit for someone to come in and lease the spot. I spoke to Maria and it will no longer be called George’s Kitchen. This one is a bit of a doozy. Lazy Croc’s was a BELOVED business on San Pedro for maybe the last 5 years? They were open a few days a week and had a TOTAL cult following. They did US Style BBQ before anyone else on the island and they did it FANTASTICALLY. Last year, the owners of the business and the property sold the restaurant to a father/son team – Canadians. They came in with huge ideas…delivery in town, expansion of the menu, opening from breakfast to late night. I spoke to the owner, Christiano, a few times and he was excited and energetic.

Belize’s Charm Is Difficult to Describe But Easily Experienced
We were having a look through the November 20 2014 Travel Pulse, as you do, and couldn’t help but notice a piece in the “Editor’s Notebook”section titled, Belize’s Charm Is Difficult to Describe But Easily Experienced. After leading in with a paragraph about Belize’s impressive growth, noting that tourism arrivals this year are expected to set a new record, reaching nearly 1.1 million for 2014, author and executive editor Brian Major goes on to list a few reasons why Belize is attracting so many visitors.

“Rumours” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I’ve also spent a little time snooping and generally looking around and about. So what did I find out/see you’re wondering. Well the Three Kingdom Bar has had a face lift (and maybe a change of focus). This was a bar for lonely men looking for company (you’ll of course appreciate and understand that I’ve never frequented it – honestly) and now Now the next change I noticed is nearer to home. The little grocery store on the eastern side of the road just before the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge (southern side) has been razed to the ground. Hoarding where the grocery store once stood. And it’s rumoured that in its place there’s going to be a sixteen room beachfront hotel. Now the other rumour I’ve heard is that the Palapa Bar might be changing hands very soon. And the final rumour I’ve heard is that the budget for the road north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge has been exhausted. Don’t know if this is true or not but one thing is for sure and that’s that no work on it has taken place this week. Time will tell if these are scoops or poops!

4 Great Ambergris Caye Belize All Inclusive Resorts to Stay In
If you are thinking of experiencing Belize resort vacations for a romantic getaway or honeymoon, you still have a few months left to plan before the rainy season comes. For divers and snorkelers, one top destination in the country, home to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Blue Hole, is Ambergris Caye. This long and slender island is home to a wide range of beach resorts and the whimsical town of San Pedro. Each of these Ambergris Caye Belize all-inclusive resorts is unique in itself. So read on and learned more details about the top hotels in Ambergris Caye and discover the one that’s right for you.

Highest rated excursions by our do while you are in Placencia, Belize!
We have been enjoying having guests here --finally!!!--for the last few weeks. We are learning a lot about how to create the best vacation, and what excursions people are giving the highest ratings to. I have written blogs in the past about what to do for a 7 day trip, budget tips, and the great excursions like Cockscomb (our guests LOVED Cockscomb with Doyle Gardiner, they highly recommended him as a guide and a person!) Here are a few more that got high ratings from our guests:

International Sourcesizz

A Luxury Resort Threatens Belize's Mesoamerican Reef
Belize's Lighthouse Reef Atoll is the home of the world-famous Great Blue Hole -- a massive underwater sinkhole and World Heritage Site. The islands that make up this ring of coral reefs are known for their crystal blue waters, white sand beaches, and vibrant coral reef. Hundreds of species of fish swim amid towering corals, while sea turtles and manatees browse the expansive meadows of sea grass. But two of the islands that make up this special place could soon be dredged and paved to make way for race cars, golfers, and a tarmac. Foreign developers are planning a massive luxury resort on the atoll, which is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System -- the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere and a thriving marine ecosystem. Called Puerto Azul, the proposed project would decimate important marine habitat and compromise the integrity of Belize's eco-based tourism industry.

Expats fish, shop on Belize’s Ambergris Caye
A middle-aged socialite sat in the shade of a beach umbrella at a luxurious condominium complex, her manicured nails tapping a rhythm of impatient discontent on the poolside table. A hint of a smile finally appeared as a waiter brought a mimosa, which arrived just as a friend rattled up the gravel path in a golf cart. It was time to leave this expat pocket of the island, populated by Americans and Canadians living a few months a year in multi-million-dollar beach houses and condos, and do a little shopping. Nearby San Pedro, the island’s only town, and, luckily a fairly upscale one, had a wide range of excellent restaurants, shops and art galleries — enough to keep a high-maintenance expat happy. Her husband, meanwhile, beamed. “Do you know what a grand slam is in Belize?” Without waiting for an answer he told me, “Catching a tarpon, bonefish and permit all in one day.”

No Vacancy: Is America Really at Capacity?
I don't really understand the complexities of immigration reform. Surely it's more complicated that what is inscribed at the entrance to the Statue of Liberty. "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." There's more to it than that simple and inspiring vision of America. Media reports in the past few days share that the past few presidents, Democrats and Republicans, have called for immigration reform. Something needs to be done. And, like so many fellow Americans, I feel completely baffled by what I can do. In this season of thanks and giving I have decided one thing I can do is lose myself in the service of others. I can make good on the noble aspiration at the doorstep of Lady Liberty's residence to take in the tired and poor and in doing so learn a little bit more about the immigrants story. The rain is pounding on the tin roof as students prepare medical lectures alongside doctors from Cuba and Costa Rica. We are seated in tropical Belize, a small, rural country, devoid of industry and teeming with immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. Along with 15 students I have embarked on a mission of service and in return we all are receiving an awakening experience. Poor immigrant families express their health concerns and in doing so speak of a life of struggle and pain, of worry and concern, of constant sickness over things that access to health care could fix.

Supporting Smart and Sustainable Growth in Fisheries
The region’s fisheries stakeholders to deepen their understanding of the “blue growth concept” at a two-day workshop in St. George’s, Grenada under the theme, “Investing in Blue Economic Growth” on November 20-21, 2014. The Blue Growth Concept is mainly concerned about how to generate economic growth from the living resources in the oceans and seas. The Blue Growth seeks to achieve growth by sustainable use and conservation of aquatic renewable resources in the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and on the high seas, in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner. The major components of the Blue Growth concept include: (1) marine and inland capture fisheries; (2) aquaculture development, (3) livelihoods and food systems, and (4) ecosystem services and marine biodiversity conservation at regional and national levels.

Best Belize Beach and Belize Jungle Resorts
Belize is a refreshing and diverse destination where the people are friendly and the landscapes are breathtaking, and is one of our places to visit before it’s too late. It’s a fantastic place for enjoying the beach and the jungle. In fact, one of the major decisions facing anyone who wants to visit is whether to choose a Belize beach or Belize jungle resorts. Both offer advantages. Particularly fortunate travelers may want to consider dividing their time between two resorts to enjoy the best of both worlds. As this isn’t a realistic option for everyone, it’s probably necessary to choose between the beach and the jungle. The attractions of staying close to a Belizean beach are obvious. Belize is well known for the quality of its waters and sand. Guests can spend the day soaking up the sun or playing active water sports. Scuba diving is excellent in the area, with the barrier reef being the most popular attraction for viewing colorful fish. Most beach resorts are attached to nearby cities, guaranteeing a good variety of shopping, restaurants and other attractions. Belize also has some of the Top Beaches in Central America to escape winter.


Video: Drone in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Cayman Islands., 12min.
A little bit of my favorite places I got to record with my qx350 and a go pro.

Video: Rondreis Mexico Belize 2014 deel 2 van 3, min.
Video (foto's en korte filmpjes) van onze Rondreis met de auto door Mexico en Belize mei 2014. In dit 2e deel bezoeken we: Palenque, het tropisch eiland Tabacco Caye San Ignacio en Bacalar.

Video: Cave Diving in Belize, 2min.
Belize is a little known cave diving gem holding some of the most immaculate and under explored submerged structures in the Western Hemisphere. Scuba divers visiting Belize experience the thrill of floating through the massive rooms of Giant Cave and cutting through the shimmering sand coated stalactites of Winter Wonderland.

Video: ChefSessy FoodAlchemist and Macarena talk about Belize, 1hr30min.
ChefSessy- the Food Alchemist and Macarena Rose talk about Belize and the Woman's Healing Event she shall be hosting. Listen in to hear about Belize, Her healing and meet this spiritual Guru !

Video: Diver Down Belize, 4min.
Belize Diving Trip.

November 21, 2014


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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

Fundraiser for Casper Wood
PLEASE JOIN US AT OUR FUNDRAISING-BENEFIT FOR CASPER WOOD, to be held at ABC Pub & Grub (located in front of Wet Willy’s on the corner of Sandpiper & Boca del Rio Dr.) on Saturday Nov. 22nd, from 1 p.m. ‘til 7. FOOD, RAFFLES, HAPPY –HOUR DRINKS & OF COURSE, THE BEST LIVE MUSIC ON THE #1 ISLAND DESTINATION IN THE WORLD! Here is an opportunity for many of us to pay it forward! To the countless musicians, friends and music lovers who have had the privilege and pleasure to play with and/or enjoy the music of Casper Wood, the time has come to show your generosity, your love and your appreciation for all he has given to us. We are gratefully accepting donations at our PayPal account on Casper’s behalf. This is the easiest way to transfer funds in Belize. The PayPal address for cash donations for Casper’s pacemaker is You can reach Casper at ph: (501) 600-9589 We are also accepting donations for raffle prizes and the Turkey Feast that we will be available at $10 per plate donation to Casper’s medical needs. (Many thanks to the ABC kitchen and wait staff for agreeing to prepare and serve!) If you can help with this fund raiser in any way, please contact Lydia at 501-631-2364

Sub-aquatics of Belize Limited educate tour operators on healthy dive practice
Sub-aquatics of Belize Limited hosted seminars in Caye Caulker Village and San Pedro Town to educate local tour operators on healthy dive practices. The seminars are part of a dive accident prevention training campaign and are being offered to all persons in the diving industry, free of cost. Sub-aquatics has been offering dive medicine and treatment to the country for over 25 years via the Hyperbaric Chamber Clinic. With the ever-growing number of visitors partaking in diving activities, there is a need to ensure that safety measures are being taken to ensure the well-being of tourists and instructors alike. According to founding member of the Hyperbaric Chamber Clinic, Mauricio Moreno, the training campaign is aimed to prepare dive masters and instructors for the high tourism season to reduce diving accidents such as decompression sickness. “Having people prepared to handle a situation where an accident might happen, or if there is a case where a dive situation is impairing the health of a diver or crew member, is crucial. If the instructor knows what to do in any of these scenarios, then the situation will be addressed efficiently and speedily, ensuring that the person fully recovers,” said Moreno. The training was carried out by a dive medicine doctor from Cozumel, Mexico, certified in both the United States of America and Europe. “The long term aim of this training is for Belize to offer the best possible dive service. We want tourists to hear about the great diving experience in Belize and nothing on diving problems. We want to create a safe diving environment for Belize,” said Moreno. Also in attendance at the seminar was the chief diving officer of the Spanish Navy in Spain who offered diving tips for those in attendance.

Runway ready for 2014 Belize Fashion Week
Preparations are complete for the 2014 Belize Fashion Week scheduled to take place from Thursday, November 20th to Sunday, November 23rd in San Pedro Town. With aims of connecting Belize to the regional fashion industry, the Belize Fashion Week provides a platform for Belizean designers to showcase their talent in a glamorous event. This year’s events promise to be bigger and better featuring national and international designers. Events kicked off on Thursday the 20th with a cocktail party at Caprice Bar and Grill at Holiday Hotel. Guests had the opportunity to meet the models and designer. The highly anticipate runway show takes place on Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. This year’s runway show will once again be hosted by attorney at law and Telemundo TV personality Sandra Hoyos Mejia.

Marine Conservation partners to safeguard the Mesoamerican Reef
In October 2014 a meeting was held in Tela, Honduras to develop the 2015 Mesoamerican Reef Report Card. Over 60 marine conservationists from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras participated in the meeting which was hosted by the Healthy Reefs for Health People Initiative (HRI). The purpose of the meeting was for information to be shared as it relates to the reef. Regional experts and resource managers shared data on conservation achievements, and identified strategies to be implemented over the next two years for the conservation of the reef. According to HRI Belize Coordinator, Roberto Pott, the meeting highlighted the importance of protecting the reef and the impact that the past year’s activities has had on it. In addition, strategies were suggested to reduce the deterioration of the reef in the short term. “A highlight of the meeting involved the partners working together to identify and prioritize concrete, measurable actions achievable over the next two years that will help reduce the most significant threats impacting the region. Examples include encouraging the implementation of region-wide regulations to protect parrot fish, as successfully done by Belize in 2009,” explained Pott in a press release.

Mayor’s Cup starts weeding out the weak
In its third week of games, competition in the Mayor’s Cup five-a-side football tournament is getting tougher and tougher. While Dorados FC is still on top, they cannot get too complacent, as several teams are still looking to take the grand prize. The weekend of Friday, November 14th to Sunday, November 15th saw ten thrilling matches. Not wanting to miss a single minute of the action, faithful fans came to the Honorable Louis Sylvester Arena (Saca Chispas) to support their favorite team. Airstrip Taxi Strikers FC and Pro Divers FC were the first to take to the field on Friday, November 14th. Both teams still have much to prove as they are relatively new teams and in the end it was Pro Divers that took the win in a 1-0 point game. The second game of the night was between Venecia del Caribe FC and Green House FC. The game was a struggle, with offense and defense locked up, and in the end the teams had to settle for a 2-2 tie.

Belize hosts 2014 CATA Executive Meeting
From Wednesday, November 12th to Friday, November 14th, Belize hosted the 2014 Central America Tourism Agency (CATA) executive meeting. Held at Grand Caribe Resort, the meeting was officially opened by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. on Thursday, November 11th, and saw the participation of delegates from the Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Belize. The primary function of the meeting was for the participating delegates to discuss the growth of tourism in their respective countries. In his opening address, Heredia expressed the importance of the meeting to meet goals in tourism across Central America. He stated that the meeting allows for the opportunity for tourism ideas and information to be shared among the present parties. “I feel very proud to be able to host this meeting in Belize’s prime tourism destination. I believe that this gathering will prove very beneficial and will strength the bond between all the participating countries. We are all here today to discuss ways in which we can continue developing and strengthening our respective tourism products. This is the time to figure out how we can work better as a region by promoting our culture to the rest of the world,” said Heredia.SICA Tourism Conference Ambergris Caye-2

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Miss World Belize Raquel Badillo Arrives in London
Miss World Belize Raquel Badillo has arrived in London, England and is ready for the month-long activities leading to the Miss World Pageant to be held on December 14, 2014. Pictured here is Raquel taking a selfie with her roomate Miss World Guatemala Keyla Bermudez (also Miss Costa Maya Guatemala 2014). San Pedro and Belize wishing the best of luck to both delegates at this year's Miss World Pageant.

San Pedro World Aids Day Schedule of Activities
The San Pedro AIDS Commission and National AIDS Commission/Island Committee invite you to join in the World AIDS Day Fundraiser Fair Sunday November 30, 2014. Free HIV Testing will be available. Food, pastries and drinks will be on sale along with live music by Rompe Raja. Join in on the World Aids Day Community Art Canvas. The Solidarity Walk will take place Monday December 1, 2014 at the 6pm from the Central Park.

San Pedro Inaugurates Its House of Culture
“The Institute of Archaeology, Institute of Creative Arts, Institute of Cultural and Social Research, the Museum of Belize and the Houses of Culture all fall under NICH and the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, stated Diane Haylock, President of NICH. “Together, these various cultural paths are trying to fulfill the cultural agenda of Belize. I feel honored to be in this position and being part of the inauguration of San Pedro’s House of Culture. It is small, but small can also be beautiful; and there is so much we can say and do with this little space here. And ultimately is not about the building, it's about the people and the cultural life that we lead on a day to day basis.” Hon. Manuel Heredia indicated that his ministry already has the plans for a much larger building for the House of Culture and aspires to have that project started before his current term as Minister of Tourism and Culture ends. That was his promise to San Pedro, but he expressed that he is very happy with the work in setting up the current facility.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Images from the official opening of The San Pedro House of Culture. Images courtesy of Mr Clive Welsh. (7 photos)

Communique - Senate Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 26th
Government of Belize Press Office

Energy Efficient Sugarcane Bio-Electricity Plant to Reduce Belize’s Dependence on Imported Electricity
In a bid to address the energy shortage affecting the country, GSR Energy Limited (GSR) fully developed a project, a sugarcane bio-electricity plant and a bio-ethanol distillery in Belize, which will produce electricity for domestic use and ethanol for export. Belize boasts an excellent electrification rate with the national grid reaching 90% of its population. However the country is highly dependent on Mexico to meet their energy needs – with up to 75% of dispatchable electricity being imported. GSR’s mission is to build and operate the most energy efficient and cost effective bio-refinery possible which will relieve Belize of this energy dependency and help secure the electricity grid. By creating an energy efficient bio-refinery, GSR will have the means to produce 25.4 MW (203 GWh) per year of dispatchable electricity (88% of the electricity currently being supplied from Mexico) and 30.8 million gallons of ethanol per year, a percentage of which will be used for sale in the export market, whilst the electricity would be sold to the national grid for a much lower and more stable price than the customers currently pay.

BEL Elec opening
The Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) located in Saint Lucia requires a dynamic professional to join their team as Marketing & Member Services Manager.

Happy Birthday to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young
On behalf of our Press Office team we would like to say a very Happy Birthday to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young, who is celebrating his 82nd birthday today. We were honoured to share in a special performance where the Belmopan Children's Choir, under the directorship of Mr. Yoelvis Medero Lunar, serenaded His Excellency. Photo: The Governor General of Belize with the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela H.E. Yoel Marcano and the members and director of the Belmopan Children's Choir — with I-Elvis Medero Lunar.

Mayor's Ball
The Family and friends of The Honorable Darrell Bradley invites you to Mayor's Ball. A Night of Elegance going down on December 6th 2014 at The Concourse Radisson Hotel 6225 W. Century Blvd. LIVE Entertainment by King Rancho Band and Dj Selecta Easy B....Tickets can be purchase from Joseph Jr. Bradley, Mar's CARIBBEAN plus you can also call 323-405-2484 or 323-733-2359. Formal Attire!!! Donation is only $100 per person which includes Dinner and Live Entertainment.. Doors 7-2am IN SUPPORT OF HIS RE-ELECTION FOR MAYOR.. Limited tables remain....

Celebrate This Thanksgiving at Portofino Beach Resort in Ambergris Caye Belize

Channel 7

Who Shot Zimbab? "Gaza" General Survives Shot To Cheek
Tonight, Belize City police are trying to pre-empt any act of retaliation after a senior figure from the George Street Gang was shot this morning. Carlos "Zimbab" Abraham survived as many as four shots to the head neck and chest. 7News was on the scene shortly after:.. Jules Vasquez reporting At 10:00 this morning, Carlos Abraham known as "Zimbab" was at this tyre shop on Lakeview Street - which is in the territory of the Ghost Town Crips. The 43 year old had been parked there for a while where was reportedly there to find out about the tyre business. It is near to where his brother lives and he was reportedly talking to his nephew when a gunman pulled up and shot him as he sat in his SUV, an Infinity QX4. Abraham was shot in the cheek, twice in the neck, and in the chest. One of the men from the tyre shop took the driver's seat and rushed him to the KHMH. This morning police processed the vehicle, and found that one of the bullets which entered his chest, penetrated his body, the seat, and ended up shattering this back window.

Chamber Supports ASR/BSI (Sort of)
This evening the Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a release on the ongoing impasse in the sugar industry. It sort of sounds like they're on the side of the factory owners - and not the BSCFA, but, truly, it's hard to tell. The statement notes that quote, "each and every cane farmer has a constitutional right to negotiate on his own behalf." Ok. So that sounds like it favors ASR, right? After all they're the ones inviting farmers to sign an independent agreement. The next bullet point on the release talks about Foreign Direct Investment to, quote, "finance economic growth with investors' money." Ok, that's two points for ASR. Bullet point number #3 talks about the social and economic perils of a failed foreign investment. Another one for ASR. But then, instead of bringing it to a neat conclusion endorsing ASR's position, the fourth point goes completely off track saying quote, "Direct stakeholders in the Sugar Industry must be responsible in their decision making…" And if that wasn't vague enough, the release goes unto make some oblique reference to the PUDP, saying, quote, "The BCCI calls upon both political parties to dialogue in a responsible and bipartisan manner..."

7 Homeless After Apartment Blaze
Tonight, the 7 persons, including 3 children, remain homeless after a fire destroyed the Ramos Apartment building in the Lords Bank Village. Bert Ramos is the owner of the well-known Ramos Bus Service, but he's also a landlord. His business interests went up flames yesterday morning at around 10, and the 7 people living in his rooms lost all their belongings. He told us this morning how the flames quickly destroyed his $115,000 investment in the apartment: Bert Ramos "Yesterday about 10:15 my neighbor shouted and tell me fire, fire, but I had felt like as the vice chairman they would just call me to say that something is happening, but when he said it was at the back of the building and I ran back here, I conscious that it is my building on fire. There was nothing I could have done, I just looked at it because it was already engulf in flames. Nobody wasn't at home. My little brother who work at Medical, he was out probably at his girlfriend's house, so everything for him got destroyed. The next tenant who was at the front is a workman who works with me and everything for him got destroyed. He can't even got clothes to work with morning. My daughter wasn't at home either, so everything for her got burnt up and like I said my father is in Dangriga, so all his things are also burnt up."

Rain Felt Like Feet In The City, MET Office Reports Inches In Ladyville
The 19th of November is known for drum-beats and dancing, but yesterday, all across Belize, the only beating most of us heard was of the steady rain drumming on our roofs - and the only dancing we saw were the raindrops in flooded yards and streets. The 7 hour downpour caused considerable flooding in Belize City and around the country. We called the Met office today to find out the extent of flooding. They didn't have countrywide statistics but they say 3 inches of rain fell at the Philip Goldson Airport while in Orange Walk, residents had to deal with as many as 4 inches of rain. They have not received reports out of Belize City or Dangriga as yet but in the city we did see streets like rivers with knee high waters. But, most of that ran off by this morning when the rain let up.

"The Juice" Is Loose; Darrell Carter Gets Free
In January, we told you about how the well-known former politician and businessman, Darrell Carter, ended up in police lockdown and then court after his wife Natalia Carter, the acting director of the family court, accused him of breaching a protection order. Well, tonight, he's free and clear of that charge. Now, protection orders are in the jurisdiction of the Family Court, and Natalia Carter is Acting Director, of that court. This meant all the Magistrates who would have heard the case ultimately answer to her as their boss. Carter's attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, argued in court that this creates an appearance of bias, putting his client's right to a fair hearing in jeopardy. The judiciary took note of that argument, and removed the family court case from under the purview of the Family Court, and placed it in the jurisdiction of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer.

What 19th Was Like In Dangriga
November 19th is a day that Garinagu living in Belize and abroad revere - it marks their arrival in Belize - and is a national holiday - a distinction which only the Garifuna of Belize enjoy - you won't find that in Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua. This year though you might have thought that the celebratory spirit would be dampened by the relentless rain. Indeed, It was a wet Garifuna Settlement Day but that did not dilute the significance of the event nor the sense of community and pride among participants and on lookers. Courtney Weatherburne was in Dangriga. Courtney Weatherburne reporting The history of the Garifuna tells us that they arrived in Belize on November 19th, 1823. 91 years later the re-enactment of the arrival of the ancestors still continues. With the Garifuna flag hoisted proudly, swaying in the early morning wind, the participants of the YURUMEIN paddled in. Their chants and songs reverberating like the infectious beat of the drums.

Just Say SICA For Culture
Culture remains the topic of discussion among members of the Central American Integration System, SICA. On Tuesday we reported on the Food security program launched for Garinagu communities in Central America including Belize. Today discussions continued at another meeting held on San Pedro. The Central American Integration for Culture Policy was reviewed as well as programs that will give momentum to this initiative. Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr. discussed the importance of this meeting to the preservation of the diverse cultures in Belize and in Central America. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism "It's a very important occasion for Central America and the Dominican Republic since we believe that culture is an integral part not only for our countries, but also for the tourism industry."

Seine Byte Man Claims Cops Harassed Him
There is case of alleged police victimization surfacing from Seine Bight. 44 year old Floyd Palacio, the former Chairman of Seine Bight came to our studios claiming that Placencia police are abusing their authority and withholding his property for malicious reasons. He told us that he was wrongfully arrested and charged for theft and damage to property in February after an American realtor Bradely Rhineheart reported that Palacio broke into his vehicle and stole $350 dollars. Palacio - who has a colorful reputation - says he spent almost 2 weeks in jail based on that. Now the story does not end there, he claims that Placencia police took his $5,000 dollar sound system and now refuse to return it. Palacio says he is being targeted for his outspoken behavior. Floyd Palacio, Siene Bight Resident "I am one of the individuals in the community who speaks out. I am one of the individuals in the community who participate and I always try to be at the forefront of the burning issues. I want back my equipment. I believe that the police they victimized me. I believe the police are abusing their authority okay. That is what I believe and I need my equipment now. I use my equipment to supplement my income."

LPG Prices Going Down
The controlled price of liquid petroleum gas, or what most of us call "butane" is going down. A release from the Bureau of Standards says that effective tomorrow, November 21st the price of a hundred pound cylinder of Mexican butane bought from Belize Gas and Western Gas will go down by six dollars, from 115 dollars to 109 dollars in Belize City. The butane imported form Central America and sold by BWEL, Southern Choice Butane, Zeta Gas and Gas Tomza is also going down by six dollars from 112 dollars to 106 for a hundred pound cylinder in the city. And butane from Belize Natural Energy is fixed at 99 dollars.

Hunting Caye Base "Come-Down" Complicated
The last time we reported on the Hunting Caye Forward Operating Base, it was with the news that the US Embassy had told the Government of Belize that if it doesn't allow the Guatemalan company, BINARQ to build the facility, then Government must do so itself. That left only one choice - because with the public uproar over a Guatemalan company building a security facility for Belize - there's no way government would go there. ' So, the Government of Belize will take on the project and finish the Hunting Caye base. It will cost the public purse about 1.6 million dollars to complete the works, and it also puts the Coast Guard's plans for that base on an extended delay. The Commandant of the Coast Guard discussed it with us today:

Who Is The Hardest Warrior?
Right now, 40 law enforcement officers are recovering and preparing for day two of a grueling competition known as the Best Warrior Competition. It's a 3-day event organized by the Belize National Coast Guard where the participants take on some of the most physically demanding elements of combat training to determine who is the roughest, readiest soldier. How tough are these challenges? Our news team was out with the competitors today, and Daniel Ortiz has the story of their torture and travails: Daniel Ortiz reporting 5 teams, 4 from the Coast Guard and 1 from the Belize Defence Force all lined up this morning ready to take each other on in a test of fitness, endurance, skill and most importantly teamwork. The teams are made up of the Coast Guard elements: the officers, the fleet members - the operational officers, SEALS, the recruit squad #5, and BDF's Special Assignment Group.

Cricel Comes Home In Glory
On Monday, we told you how professional bodybuilder Cricel Castillo competed and won in her first ever World Beauty Fitness and Fashion competition in Miami. That event was held last week Saturday, and as part of her validation for winning the Fitness Diva category, she was given her pro-card, signed by WBFF President Paul Dillett. So, she's well on her way to establishing herself in an international federation, but all that happened as a consequence of her dispute with the local federation, the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation. She remains suspended, but even without their backing, Castillo placed first in her weight class in an international competition. She landed at the PGIA this afternoon, and when we spoke to her outside, she told us that because of her win at the WBFF Competition, she's been invited to join a world-class bodybuilding team. Here's how she explained the implications for her career:

Pro Footballer Deon Mc Is Back Home To Rest & Recover
But she wasn't the only internationally competitive Belizean athlete on today's flight. We also met up with football star Deon McCauley, who arrived home today. He's been playing professionally for the Atlanta Silverbacks, a big-time opportunity him as a professional athlete. He's returned home today to rest up, and he told us that he needs to recover from an injury before he can return to professional football: Deon McCauley "As you can see it's a little slow right about now because I have been injures like 6 months now from in May, but when I did my exit physicals about two weeks ago, we found that I had a slight problem that I needed to fix, so I am just trying to recover the best I could." Daniel Ortiz "What's next for you in terms of your aspirations as a pro football player?"

Third Eye Not Blind
It's called the third eye - an art exhibit that puts three female artists in a creative collaboration, which sometimes works out like a collision course - and we mean that in the best way possible. The artists eLise Arelie (Craig), Alyssa Craig and Briheda Haylock threw convention and formalism out the door and embraced works based on ideas, concepts and multimedia challenges. It opens tomorrow at the Image Factory - but today we got an advance look. The exhibit opens tomorrow at 7pm and will remain on display for the next two weeks.

Channel 5

George Street Figure Shot in Rival Territory
A well-known George Street boss, Carlos ‘Zimbab’ Abraham, is listed in stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot down this morning in rival territory. Police [...]

Apartment Complex in Lord’s Bank Up in Smoke
In the Lord’s Bank community, an apartment complex owned by Bert Ramos, the vice chairman of the village, who is also the owner of Ramos Bus Lines, went up in [...]

Chamber Issues Release on Sugar Cane Industry
Late this evening, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a release in respect of the impasse in the sugar industry involving a proposal by B.S.I./A.S.R. to bypass the [...]

PM Barrow Explains Petrocaribe Loan Motion
Tuesday’s Special Sitting of the House of Representatives was crafted for the presentation and passage of what Prime Minister Dean Barrow is calling a validation motion relating to the Petrocaribe [...]

P.U.P. Leader Blasts Barrow in the House
Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca wasn’t buying the PM’s take on the matter, including G.O.B.’s assertion that the P.U.P. in its own time used and abused the Petrocaribe funds [...]

Petrocaribe Money Dominates House Meeting
It was a day for spirited repartee, and the Opposition was able to hold its own inside the House, even as thousands cheered and sang and danced in fine political [...]

Cricel Returns Home Victorious
Bodybuilder Cricel Castillo returned to Belize this morning from Miami, Florida where she rose to international stardom in bodybuilding, clinching the Pro Card Diva Fitness Model Short and Best Costume [...]

Butane Prices Down
Following an increase at the end of October, the prices for butane gas are going down tonight at depots across the country. According to a release, the Supplies Control Unit [...]

Father & Sons Charged for Grievous Harm
Fifty-nine-year-old Agustin Carlos, a Belizean cane farmer of Progresso Village, Corozal District, reported that on Saturday at about six p.m. he visited a cool spot across from his house where [...]

B.D.F. Soldier Convicted of Harm
A B.D.F. soldier was this afternoon convicted of harming his common-law-wife after a misunderstanding ensued at their home this past Tuesday. Thirty-two year old Rodney Menzies is accused of causing [...]

Mexican National Remanded for Illegal Entry
A Mexican national, who says he is from Playa Del Carmen, Quintano Roo, was caught at the Belize side of the border just minutes after he reportedly paid one hundred [...]

Cisco Employee Still Missing
Joeth ‘Chyna’ Pratt has been reported missing since November fourth when she disappeared from work at Cisco Construction Ltd. earlier that afternoon.  A dedicated team of colleagues has scoured Medina [...]

Miss Honduras Laid To Rest After Brutal Murder
  Honduran beauty queen Maria Jose Alvarado and her sister Sofia were laid to rest near their hometown of Santa Barbara today. The tragic story of jealousy and murder has [...]

Briceño on Petrocaribe Funded Projects
Earlier we told you about the House debate in which both sides think the Petrocaribe program is a good thing – hundreds of millions worth of a good thing since [...]

Espat Debates Validity of Petrocaribe Loan Motion
Member for Cayo South Julius Espat has been a particular thorn in the side of the government. It is his name, as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee that is [...]

Third Eye Launched at Image Factory
A new art exhibition is being launched at the Image Factory Art Foundation. Entitled the Third Eye, the exhibit is featuring three female artists: eLise Arelie Craig, her daughter, Alyssa [...]

A Look Back at Garifuna Settlement Day
Garifuna Settlement Day festivities were held across the country on Wednesday, the largest celebration taking place in Culture Capital, Dangriga.  In Belize City, the annual re-enactment of the arrival of [...]

Healthy Living Looks at Dieting for Diabetics
One of the most common misconceptions about diabetes is that it is caused by eating too much sugary foods. The truth is that it isn’t easy to predict who will [...]


BCCI Weights In Current Sugar Impasse
While contentions linger within the sugar industry, other groups have taken note and today the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a press release stating grave concern over the situation. As a major contributor to the country’s economy and a significant source of foreign currency, the BCCI states that quote, “any loss to this Industry will therefore have a dire impact on all Belizeans,” end of quote. They made that point by adding that from January to September this year sugar accounted for in excess of $108 million Belize dollars as a major domestic export. As a result, the BCCI asks that certain things be considered, starting with supporting the constitutional right of each farmer to negotiate on his own behalf under the right Freedom of Association. In addition, the BCCI stresses that Foreign Direct Investment finances economic growth and it’s failure falls directly on the Belizean public as taxpayer funds and employee contributions will inevitably be used to support and grow Belize limiting growth and increases our exposure to risk. Finally the BCCI states that discussion among stakeholders should already have moved to increasing income and productivity via improved technology and expansion. The BCCI ultimately calls upon both political parties to dialogue in a responsible and bipartisan manner, given the major economic impact of this Industry with calm and reason.

More On Petro Caribe Loan Motion
The Petrocaribe loan motion debate was raging in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. By now, it has been established that the move has been met with a resounding rejection by the members of the Opposition People’s United Party. And while the Prime Minister elaborated flamboyantly on the programs rolled out through the Petrocaribe funds, there was also some blame game played by the UDP ministers as it concerns the subject at hand, to which members of the Opposition responded rather emphatically. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “They did not want to partner with Esso because they wanted to give the deal to their crony, they couldn’t partner with Esso because Esso would not play their corrupt hustling game so in order to privilege their crony and arrange no doubt for party ad ministerial kickbacks they shafted the Belizean people, we though do everything above and we care only about getting the results for the country.”

Former Prime Minister Calls Loan Motion Hypocritical
And while the debate rages on, as the matter has now been taken to court by the PUP, the Opposition has called the Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s now full support of the Petrocaribe agreement as hypocritical, especially since he was strongly opposed to the idea when he and his party were in Opposition at the time that the PUP signed the agreement. “Commandant Chavez as he now calls him as a new imperial master with hegemonic aspirations to control all of us in the region so now how this hypocrite will get up now in this house and pay tribute to Chavez.” The debate on the loan motion went on for six and a half hours as at least three other loan motions were tabled.

Corozal Fire Victim Seeks Assistance From The Public
On Monday we reported on a fire that totally destroyed the home of the Gibsons, a family of 7 from College Road in Corozal Town. When we last left you, the wooden structure was completely destroyed as well as their belongings and appliances from within. The estimated value of items lost was not known and today, owner Pauline Gibson said that family’s’ loss is estimated at 15 thousand dollars. Today Pauline stopped by our news room in Corozal seeking an outlet to reach the community for assistance. “I deh around hustling going to people and asking for help, house to house and am trying to get a nice job and I went to the Minister even on the streets to work and get back my things and a job to work and make mines.”Victor Castillo – Reporter“When it comes to your material, we know you have lost all your stuff, all your belongings, how have you been doing without it and for your kids and all of that?”

BSCFA Meets With DPM To Discuss Current Impasse With BSI
The atmosphere within the sugar industry of Belize continues to be tense. BSI waits for farmers to sign contracts individually or as harvest groups while rejecting the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association’s request for another interim agreement to enable the start of crop while negotiations continue. BSI has also rejected the proposal of an external expert’s intervention into the matter. The BSCFA has sent a letter to the Sugar Industry Control Board on the matter of bringing in an external expert and as we understand it, the SICB has answered saying they have been unable to convene and discuss the matter and will do so until November 25th. Earlier, we had reported that the BSCFA had given the SICB until tomorrow to give a response but now that wait will be extended to the 25th of this month. In the meantime, the eighteen branch chairmen of the BSCFA met today with the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega.

Briceno Lashes Out At The Government On Job Poorly Done
Amid the debate on the Petrocaribe loan, government ministers argued their support of the move with a majority of them making reference to projects funded by the monies of the loan, which is something the Opposition has deemed as illegal. Deputy Prime Minister and Orange Walk North Area Representative Gaspar Vega gave his support, naturally, and ardently point out that Orange Walk has been benefiting from the investments of the Petrocaribe funds. “In Orange Walk we have seen millions of dollars invested in the sugar roads. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank on behalf all Orange Walkenos, the Prime Minister and this United Democratic Government for ensuring for bringing prosperity for Orange Walk, we bring betterment to Orange Walk and to all Orange Walkenos regardless of which color, which denomination of religion, which political party hey belong to we work for all. No mek ghosts fool you we will have an election next year March and you will get just what you are asking for.”

LPG Prices Slashed By Six Dollars
There is some relief coming out of the Supplies Control Unit tonight; the price of a one hundred pound cylinder of butane has shown a major decrease. Effective tomorrow, the prices have been decreased by six dollars across the board. The new price for butane imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company from PEMEX Mexico now sells at $109 in Belize City and Corozal, $111 in Belmopan/San Ignacio, $110 in Orange Walk, $112 in Benque, $113 in Dangriga and$114 in Punta Gorda. For LPG imported from Central America, the new price for a 100 pound cylinder in Belize City and Corozal is $106, Belmopan and San Ignacio sells for $108, Orange Walk at $107, Benque sells for $109, Dangriga at $110 and Punta Gorda at $111. Domestic price for LPG distributed by Belize Natural Energy Limited is $99 dollars. The Belize Bureau of Standards denotes the decrease of 6 dollars by a current production boom in this region and compared to 2013, LPG prices are $15 lower on the 100 pound cylinder.


BDF Soldier Plead Guilty To Harm
Thirty-two year old BDF soldier Rodney Menzies, was fined five hundred dollars today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he plead guilty to harm. Menzies was given until January 31, 2015, to pay the fine. If he defaults on payment he will serve one year. The incident occurred on Tuesday, November 18. Menzies’ ex-common-law wife, reported to the police that when she arrived home at her house, she saw that one of the windows was open and her television was wet because of the rain. She said she told Menzies about it and an argument ensued between them. She said Menzies got angry and he pushed her down and she received an injury to her left leg. She said she was issued with a pair of medico-legal forms and she went to the hospital where the doctor who examined her classified her injury as harm.

Mexican national Charged With Illegal Entry
Thirty-three year old Francisco Juarez, a Mexican national, who said he is the promoter of a nightclub in Cancun, was charged with illegal entry when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Juarez plead not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the ground that Juarez has no travel document and he is a flight risk. Magistrate Cayetano upheld the objection and he remanded Juarez into custody until December 16. According to a report from the Immigration Department, Juarez entered Belize on November 18, by crossing the Rio Hondo in a canoe. Later the same day he was stopped at a police check point in Orange Walk and he was handed over to immigration officers after he was unable to produce any travel document. Juarez told immigration officers that he was going to Tikal.

Fisherman Charged With Drug Trafficking
Twenty-nine year old Everal Grey, a fisherman of Jones Street, was charged with drug trafficking and possession of a controlled drug when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Grey plead not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of three thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until January 16, 2015. According to police reports, they went to Grey’s house on November 14, but he was not at home so they took a Justice of the Peace to his house and when they conducted a search they found one gram of cannabis under a sofa. The police also reported that on November 18, they went to Grey’s and he was at home. The police said that when they searched the house they found 136 grams of cannabis in the bathroom under the bath tub. As a result, they charged Grey with the two offenses.


Carlos Abraham targeted in gun violence
Police have confirmed the detention of one man pending investigation of a shooting incident in Belize City on Thursday morning. Around 9:57 at the corner of Banak and Lakeview Streets, 46 year old Carlos Abraham Jr., also known as “Zimbab,” was shot in the neck and arm. The George Street resident is reported to be in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where police were on guard Thursday morning against possible retaliation. Carlos Abraham was associated with the George Street Gang, and in August of 2011 was one of several residents who clashed with the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), following the death of Charles Woodye, and later received a settlement.

Market Vendors Complain About Unruly UDP Crowd
With a massive crowd like the one seen at Tuesday’s rally, you would have expected the Belmopan businesses around the market area and the bus terminal to benefit, but on the contrary, reports are that a lot of people closed down early, due to the unruly behavior of some members of the crowd. One shop keeper at Market square in particular was robbed of several items that were on display. The report however never reached police, and they have declined going on camera with their concerns, instead the shop closed down at 1:00 pm, as did many other businesses around that area. A series of fights broke out throughout the day, but there was one in particular that alerted police. Sometime around midday, a man was stabbed as a result of an altercation.

Lone Loans
The crowd sang Petro-Caribe roll it, but that was not the only loan motion that rolled into the house on Tuesday. Four loan motions were introduced to the House and were taken through all the stages on the same day. The loan motions are as follows: 1. The OPEC Fund for International Development- Belize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project (Phase lll) Loan Motion 2014 which is for the sum of US $15,220,000 for a term of 20 years at an interest rate of 2.75% percent. 2. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Seventh Consolidated Line of Credit to the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Loan and Guarantee Motion 2014 which is for the sum of US $10,500,000 at an interest rate of 3.95% percent per annum on the outstanding balance for the Ordinary Capital Resource portion and 2.5% per annum on the outstanding balance for the Special Funds Resources portion plus a commitment fee at the rate of 0.25% percent per annum on any amount of the OCR portion unwithdrawn.

BDF soldier convicted of harming ex
A Soldier in the Belize Defence Force, Rodney Menzies, avoided jail time on a charge of harm, after being issued a fine of $500 by Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The 32 year old is accused of violently pushing down his former common-law wife Michelle Benguche, following an argument at her Antelope Street Extension residence, in Belize City. According to Michelle Benguche, she came home on November 18 and found a window open, and her television set wet from being exposed to rain. When she told Menzies about it he got angry and they argued, and that was when he pushed her and she suffered injury to her left leg.

Fisherman facing drug charges
Twenty-nine year old Everal Grey, a fisherman of 8378 Jones Street, Belize City, was charged with drug trafficking and possession of a controlled drug, when he appeared on Thursday before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Grey pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of $3,000 and his case was adjourned until January 16,2015. According to police reports, they went to Everal Grey’s house on November 14, but he was not at home. So they took a Justice of the Peace to his house, and when they conducted a search they found 1 gram of cannabis under a sofa. The police also reported that on November 18 they went to Grey’s and he was at home. The police said that when they searched the house they found 136 grams of cannabis in the bathroom under the bath tub.

The Guardian

McCafee’s Cop Out on Bail after Serving Six Weeks
Former Police Corporal Darius Martinez is out on $6,000 bail after Justice Herbert Lord granted a stay of execution on his sentence for attempting to corrupt a police officer. On Tuesday, September 30, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith found Martinez guilty of attempting to corrupt a public officer after he tried to intervene in an investigation surrounding John McCaffee in 2011. In 2011 police raided McCaffee’s compound in Orange Walk and a number of weapons were confiscated and people detained. WPC Stacey Smith of the Gang Suppression Unit reported that she was called by Martinez after the raid and he asked her if she “wanted to make some money”. Smith recorded the conversation in which Martinez told her that she would not have to do anything illegal – all she had to do was take care of someone for McCaffee. Smith recorded the conversation and Martinez was arrested and charged.

American woman charged with drug trafficking
American Expatriate Janneth Elaine McKean is facing a drug trafficking charge after Corozal Police caught her with marijuana in quantities beyond a simple usage. McKean is one of the Americans living in the Consejo Shores community, which is known as being made up of mostly international retirees. Officers visited her house on Saturday evening, November 15, at around 6 p.m. and they informed her that it was their job to search for anything illegal. The officers report that it was at this time that the 54 year-old retiree handed over a black plastic bag. The officers searched it and realized that the bag contained 161.3 grams, or 5.68 ounces of marijuana, and 2 ornamental, hand-crafted pipes used to smoke marijuana.

Charged with Manslaughter Three Years Later
Police have arrested and charged Ervan Augustine, 41, for causing the death of Wayne Williams, 45, in a traffic fatality three years ago. Williams, died in a traffic accident on December 6, 2011 when he ran into a Westline bus near mile 28 on the George Price Highway. Witnesses believe that he swerved into the path of the bus in order to avoid a water truck that was parked on the side of the road with no warning lights. It was after sunset and the area between mile 28 and 29 is especially dark. Williams was driving westward when the water truck suddenly came into his field of vision. Police’s investigation has revealed that Augustine was the individual who left the truck on the side of the road after it had mechanical difficulties; however, it was left too close to the road and without warning lights. Almost three years after the incident, Augustine has been charged with one count of manslaughter by negligence and one count of causing death by careless conduct. He appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Thursday, November 13. The charges are being dealt with on indictment; therefore, bail was not taken in the Magistrates Court. There was no objection to bail which was offered in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount.

Roger Bradley guilty of burglarizing home on Freetown Road
Roger Bradley, 34, a Driver/sideman picked up his third conviction for crimes of dishonestly and a second burglary conviction was sentenced to eight years imprisonment by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, November 18. He was sentenced to 8 years since he has two previous convictions, one for burglary and one for theft. Bradley was found guilty of burglarizing the home of Luana Sosa, located on Freetown Road, Belize City on the morning of March 25, 2014 sometime after 9. He had stolen, two Leap Frog games belonging to Sosa’s children. Bradley was caught in the act by the babysitter, Marva Williams who was startled by the sound of noise coming from inside the house. When she went to see what was causing the noise, Williams said she came face to face with the thief. Williams did not panic and chased Bradley out of the house, running behind him trying to get back the items he had stolen. She caught up with him at the corner of Freeetown Road and Cinderella Plaza where a friend who was passing by grabbed the bag from Bradley and handed it over to her.

Claire Brothers released on bail
Burton Claire, 20, and Gavan Claire, 19, are out on bail after Justice Herbert Lord released them on $5,000 bond each plus a surety of the same amount. The brothers were charged along with Kyle Carter, 19, and James Swazo, 39, for keeping a .38 Special revolver and ammunition without a gun license. Conditions to bail are they must report to the Raccon Street Police Station every Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. until the case concludes. They are to surrender travel documents and appear in the Belize City Magistrates Court on their next court date set for Friday, December 19, 2014.

Petro Caribe... roll it!
Thousands of Belizeans rolled out to Belmopan on Tuesday, November 18, to express their support of Prime Minister Barrow’s use of the Petro-Caribe funds for national development. The morning started with a countrywide downpour but that did not dampen the spirits of enthusiastic supporters. Belizeans from Toledo came out of their homes from before 4 a.m. Supporters from Stann Creek boarded buses around 6 a.m. Corozalenos left their homes from 5 a.m. Orange Walkenos departed at 5:30 a.m. Belize City supporters started boarding at 6:45 a.m. and from the rural villages of the Belize District at about 6:15 a.m. Benque residents left shortly after 7 a.m. By 8:30 a.m. the capital City Belmopan was already flooded with supporters of Prime Minister Barrow. The most common phrase on T-Shirts and placards was “We de with wi PM”. The second most common statement was “Petro-Caribe is Transforming Belize”. One group from Belize City held signs saying, “Leave our jobs alone.” The crowd continued to swell as 10 a.m. approached. There were two groups with Garifuna drums and this prompted a period of singing and dancing. People from all over the country- of different religious convictions, ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds-gathered together in unity for one cause, national development.

Carl Lino remanded for attempted murder
After being on police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for five days, Carl Lino, 22, was escorted to the Magistrates Court to face five criminal charges. Shots rang out on North Front Street, near Majestic Alley, around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 12. When police responded they saw George Street associate Andrew Tate, 28, suffering from gunshot wound to the back of the head. Police in the area intercepted Tate’s alleged shooter and shot him in the foot. The shooter was indentified as Lino. He was found in possession of a chrome .38 revolver with one round of ammunition left. In a report to police Tate said he was riding his bicycle on North Front Street when Lino fired three shots in his direction, one of which caught him in the back of the head. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial where he was treated and stabilized.

Teenager remanded for attempt on life of another teenager
A teenager was shot in the hand on Wednesday, November 12, at the corner of Fuller’s Lane and Currasow Street and police have arrested and charged 18 year old DeShay Williams, a resident of #27 B Banak Street in Belize City. Williams who was unrepresented, appeared in Court before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser, where he was read three criminal offenses of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm with the use of a deadly weapon, to wit, a firearm upon 18 year old Stanley Alexander Flowers Jr., who was shot once in the lower right hand. No plea was taken and due to the nature of the offenses, Williams was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until January 23, 2015. Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser explained to him that she cannot grant him bail at this time but that he can apply at the Supreme Court.

Traffic mishaps leave two dead and one injured
Two traffic accidents, 1 in the north, and another in the west has left 2 people dead and 1 man hospitalized. Belmopan Police responded to a traffic accident at mile 50 and 51 on the Western Highway, just in front of Westar Gas Station, at around 9 p.m. on Friday, November 14. That’s where a van had knocked down 52 year-old Maria Wright and killed her. The driver of the van, 41 year-old Jorge Romero, told police that he was heading home from San Ignacio to Belmopan City. He says that just as he had arrived in front of the gas station, an elderly woman suddenly came into his field of vision and that’s when his van struck her. Wright is believed to have died on impact or shortly afterwards; Romero has reportedly been served by police with a notice of intended prosecution.

Additional charges placed on Coast Guard officer
In September of this year, 49 year old Coast Guard officer Whain Williams was charged for a boat collision that occurred in the Crooked Tree lagoon on January 31, 2014. At the time the collision had claimed the life of student, 21 year old Benjamin Jerome Gentle Jr. Williams reappeared in court on Tuesday November 18 where he was additionally charged for injuries sustained by 3 other persons who were also injured in the same boat collision. He appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith,where he was read three more traffic offenses being two counts of grievous harm upon Anthea Garbutt and Gabriel Cruz and one count of wounding upon Jair Tillett, a resident of Crooked Tree.

Francis, Said and Julius’ too much of something
Francis Fonseca, Said Musa and Julius Espat did add so much to the debate at the house meeting on Tuesday, November 18. They added that little grain of salt that just makes the plate of food unbearable. We start off with Francis Fonseca. Nobody thought him what a debate really was and he began to speak on everything else except what was up for discussion. Making matters worse is when he concluded his presentation on everything except the Petro Caribe loan motion; Francis Fonseca actually called for an election to be held. He is so dense that he did not know or was never told that on March 4th there will be a Municipal Election. Of course there are 67 seats that will be contested and there is no one on this earth that can tell any sane and reasonable thinking individual that the UDP will not all those seats. But that aside, lets humor this jackass a little. He says call the elections, and lets say that the General Elections are called, does he not realize that the way his party is going, his members are dropping like flies? Mahmud gone, Tulio Mendez gone, he kicked out Arthur Saldivar, he took out Michah from Collet; need we do the math and tell him that he is 4 short? Come on, Francis, Call elections? Please, you will be going into it with 27 candidates. Do you really want this?

C.E.O. Coye Expects a “Center for Clinical Excellence”
Dr. Adrian Coye, OBE, has been the Chief Executive Officer of the nation’s flagship hospital, Karl Heusner Memorial, for just about a month but he says his job is simple: “I just want the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to be placed on the map in terms of a center for clinical excellence where all Belizeans benefit.” Dr. Coye was selected by the hospital’s Board of Directors on October 9 in a two candidate race (Linda Johnson was the other nominee). According to Coye, the weeks since being named C.E.O. has been “busy”. Coye says the four years he has been at the institution prepared him well for the new role as chief administrator. “My first four years serving in different ways allowed me to learn more about the institution’s weaknesses and strengths,” says Coye. He added that the journey has been exciting and he has seen positive changes almost every six months in the clinical, nursing and other services resulting in an overall positive transformation. Therefore his job is to “continue the journey to advancing and modernizing the hospital”. In referring to his new role, Coye often mentions the word “journey”. He believes to get the hospital where it needs to be will take a lot of hard work and time. The job may not even be completed during his era. Coye says he is more concerned about paving the way than leaving a legacy. “I just want to make the job easier for the person that comes after me and I believe that after spending the time that I will spend here the journey for others after should be easier and better.”

Orange Walk Residents Rally for Gapi
The people of Orange Walk North rallied in great numbers to show their support for Hon. Gaspar Vega on Sunday, November 16 meaning that Ramon Cervantez Jr. may have done himself more harm than good with his malicious attack on Hon. Gaspar Vegas’ reputation. The people of Orange Walk know Gaspar Vega very well. Some support him politically and others do not. However, there is one shared view. Gaspar Vega or “Gapi”, as he is affectionately called, is viewed as one of the most polite political figure the North has ever had. Even those who don’t support him politically believe that the People’s United Party and the Cervantez family went way too far when they attempted to link him to the murder of Ramon Cervantez Sr. On Sunday Orange Walkenos lined up in the afternoon and paraded through the streets step by step with Hon. Vega and his family. At one point they heisted him on their shoulder and carried him to the Trial Farm Park. The lift, for Vega, was greater than a few hundred yards. He has taken on hits on his character before but never to such a degree. Being accused of murder is something he never contemplated when entering politics. It was the love of his family and kind words and gestures of supporters that provided strength in troubling times.

Belize Athletics Association to host 2014 National Track and Field Championship
The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. This event will be held at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on the 6th and 7th December, 2014. All athletes 16 years (born 1998 and older) can participate in the events. Registration forms can be obtained from and returned to the BAA via email ( or from our Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association). Registration forms can also be obtained from and returned to the National Sports Council’s offices throughout the country. Please be advised that registration forms should be submitted no later than Wednesday December 3rd, 2014; no late registrations will be accepted. Cost of registration is $5.00 per athlete.

Placenica Texmar Assassins leads in Premier League Football Competition
The Premier League of Belize Football competition continued over the last weekend with four games on the schedule. On Saturday 15 November out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the national defending champions, the Belmopan Bandits blasted Verdes FC by the score of 4-1. The Belmopan Bandits were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Elroy Kuylen scored the 1st goal of the game in the 3rd minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. It was not until in the 2nd half of the game that Verdes FC got on the scoreboard when Jarret Davis scored the equalising goal in the 52nd minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. However, Belmopan Bandits’ Woodrow West scored his team’s go ahead goal in the 54th minute of play via a penalty kick to give his team a 2-1 lead. The lead was further extended when Highking Roberts scored his team’s 3rd goal of the game in the 79th minute of play for a 3-1 lead. And then the final goal was scored by Dalton Eiley an own goal in the 84th minute of play for a 4-1 victory. On Sunday 16 November, 2014, at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, the visiting Placencia Texmar Assassins blanked the Belize Defence Force by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Luis Torres in the 71st minute of play.

Belize Softball Federation to host VII Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tourney
The Belize Softball Federation is pleased to announce that the VII Annual Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tourney is scheduled for Sunday 23 November, 2014, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. The tourney will include the Belize Bank Bulldogs the newly crowned National Softball Champions of Belize, Beacon from Belize City along with Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Camalote from the Cayo Softball Association, Sunrise of Lord’s Bank, Belize Rural champions and the champions from Orange Walk Association. The Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will utilise the Double Elimination Format and will commence at 9:00 am. At the end of the tourney, one of Mr. Charles Solis’ sons will present the championship cup and the individual medals to the teams that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Belize has hit the 1 Million mark!
As of October 2014, Belize has seen one million visitors into the country, through overnight and cruise arrivals, two months earlier than forecasted. In October, tourist arrivals increased by 6.7%, exceeding the initial projection which estimated that October would have seen a decrease of 10.82% in overnight arrivals. For cruise arrivals, 56,144 visitors were scheduled for October, but there was a total of 1,769 more cruise visitors over that forecasted number. According to the Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB), projections set forth earlier this year, it was expected that Belize would hit the one million mark at the end of the year; however, we’ve surpassed this figure earlier than was expected. In the past nine years, Belize hit the one million mark twice, in 2005 and 2010, with 1,036,904 and 1,006,547, respectively. Belize is well on its way to having the most visitors ever in its history. The arrival of 1,018,705 visitors last month has already surpassed the 2010 arrivals.

The Suburban Areas of Hillview and Santa Cruz in Cayo connected to population center
The suburban areas of Hillview and Santa Cruz in the Cayo District will now spurt with greater economic activity as the highway connecting those two rapidly growing communities to Santa Elena Town has been rehabilitated. Inaugural ceremonies for the recently paved 760 meters of Eden Street was held on Friday of last week in front of the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School, one of the main beneficiaries to the new road improvements. Students from Eden High as well as community members came out in large numbers to hear how the works at the new Eden Drive were able to be completed within 21 months. Eden Drive was done by the Project Implementation Unit PIU of the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP), under the lead of the Belize Social Investment Fund. As a result Ernest Raymond, Head of the BMDP as well as Government Officials were present for the inauguration.

Land Deal with Cervantes Family and the Accused Killer
Only a desperate, shameless, power hungry PUP would use the death of their own loved one to try and gain political mileage. The truth about what went sour with the Cervantez’s and their whistle blower/accused killer is coming to light in black and white. A land transfer document was filed on June 5, 2014 for Parcel #1641, Block 4 in Orange Walk Town. The transferor in the document LRS-201406775 is Manuel Castillo of #7 Jamaica Street, Orange Walk Town. The title is transferred to joint holders, Ramon Cervantes and Vilma Cervantes. The purchase price is listed as BZE$25,000 and it was witnessed by Raul Torres, Justice of the Peace. The document was filed on June 5, 2014. Ramon Cervantes went missing on July 1, 2014. Is there a connection? Was there any dispute between the transferor and the transferees?

EU inaugurates three rehabilitated roads in Corozal District & breaks grounds for a fourth in Orange Walk
On Thursday November 13, the European Union officially opened three roads and broke ground for the rehabilitation of a fourth road under the Rural Road Rehabilitation Project. The rehabilitated roads from Xaibe to Calcutta, Patchakan and San Roque are located in the Corozal District and have a combined length of 8.7 kilometres while ground was broken for the rehabilitation of the 21.4km road from August Pine Ridge to Blue Creek road in the Orange Walk District. The rehabilitation of the roads is financed by the European Union and the Government of Belize through funds from the EU’s Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) Programme and is being undertaken in four phases. The rehabilitated roads were completed under phase two of the programme while the August Pine Ridge to Blue Creek road is part of phase three. The Rural Road Rehabilitation Project programme began in 2008 and will end in 2016 supporting the upgrade of key roads in the sugar areas at a cost of over € 42.7 million (BZD 106.7million).

Monchie deserves a lawsuit
On the evening News after our last issue of the Guardian had printed, Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes announced that he is not going to apologize to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and neither will he retract the defamatory statements made. He has since made it formal in a letter written to DPM Vega’s attorney, Rodwell Williams. In a letter sent, Friday, November 14, a letter sent from the law offices of Musa & Balderamos stated, quote, “Our client denies making or publishing any statement calculated to disparage the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega… Our client’s and other members of his family’s sole concern was to assist the authorities in their investigation into this heinous crime…” end Quote. Cervantes’ attorney goes on to suggest that the releasing of the phone call between the man claiming to be Manuel Castillo and Monchie’s mother was somehow a matter of public interest, and that’s what justifies them to release it. Remarkably, Cervantes’ attorney claimed, “At no time was our client or any member of his family actuated by malice against the Hon. Gaspar Vega or anyone else. Our client felt duty bound to act as he did in the circumstance…”

Police Constable faces traffic charges
Police Constable Wilbert Chan is out on bail after he was charged for hitting Daniel Grey with a police truck. Chan allegedly knocked down Grey at the corner of Cleghorn and Mapp Street on October 31. According to reports, he rushed past a stop sign and in the process hit Grey with the truck. Chan was served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and was charged on Thursday, August 13. PC Chan appeared in the Magistrate’s Court where he was read three charges: one count of driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, one count of failure to confirm to a traffic sign and one count of negligent harm upon Daniel Grey. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and Magistrate Dale Cayetano granted bail in the sum of $3,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Chan is due back in court on January 12, 2015.

Nicholi Rhys in prison for professing to be a gangster
Nicholi Rhys is spending time on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly professing to be a member of the George Street gang. According to police, on Friday, November 14, he professed to be a member of the George Street gang even after he was cautioned by police. Rhys appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, November 17, where he pleaded not guilty to a single charge of professing to be a member of a criminal gang. Since the matter is an indictable offense, bail could not be granted at the Magistrates Court. He will be remanded until he can secure Supreme Court bail or until his next court appearance on January 22.

10 years for construction worker found with gun and ammo at job site
A Belize City Construction Worker, 27-year-old Justin Richards, who was on remand for another offense was convicted to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition when his trial ended before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Richards was charged after he was found in possession of a .38 revolver loaded with 5 live rounds of ammunitions. The bust occurred at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Antelope Street in Belize City. Cpl. Samuel Bonilla of the Belize Police Department testified that he was on mobile patrol in the city, when he received information and based on that, he visited the area where Richards was seen working. He approached Richards and saw a knapsack on his back. He told him he was wanted at the station and before he left with him from the construction site, he conducted a search of him and the bag and found the firearm and bullets.|

Wesley College boys win two in a row in high school basketball
The Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball Competition continued at Bird’s Isle with a number of games over the last week of play. On Saturday 15, November, 2014, in the female game played, Pallotti High School won over Ladyville Technical High School via the default route. In the first of two games in the male competition, Wesley College defeated Nazarene High School by the score of 60-50. The top scorers for Wesley College were Shaquille Crawford with 23 points and Kirkland Lamb with 8 points. For Nazarene High School, the top scorers were S. Valerio and Calvin Tench Jr. With 15 points each. In the second game, Edward P. Yorke High School defeated Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 75-67. The top scorers for Edward P. Yorke High School were Akeem Baptist with 38 points and Kenroy Davis with 19 points. For Ladyville Technical High School, the top scorers were Degron Joseph with 17 points and Rashid Bethran with 13 points.

Francis, Said and Julius’ too much of something
Francis Fonseca, Said Musa and Julius Espat did add so much to the debate at the house meeting on Tuesday, November 18. They added that little grain of salt that just makes the plate of food unbearable. We start off with Francis Fonseca. Nobody thought him what a debate really was and he began to speak on everything else except what was up for discussion. Making matters worse is when he concluded his presentation on everything except the Petro Caribe loan motion; Francis Fonseca actually called for an election to be held. He is so dense that he did not know or was never told that on March 4th there will be a Municipal Election. Of course there are 67 seats that will be contested and there is no one on this earth that can tell any sane and reasonable thinking individual that the UDP will not all those seats. But that aside, lets humor this jackass a little. He says call the elections, and lets say that the General Elections are called, does he not realize that the way his party is going, his members are dropping like flies? Mahmud gone, Tulio Mendez gone, he kicked out Arthur Saldivar, he took out Michah from Collet; need we do the math and tell him that he is 4 short? Come on, Francis, Call elections? Please, you will be going into it with 27 candidates. Do you really want this?

Patrick JonesPJ

BDF soldier convicted of harming his former common-law wife
Soldier in the Belize Defence Force Rodney Menzies avoided jail time on a charge of harm after being issued a fine of $500 by Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The 32 year old is accused of violently pushing down his former common-law wife Michelle Benguche following an argument at her Antelope Street Extension residence. According to Benguche she came home on November 18 and found a window open and her television set wet from being exposed to rain.

Fisherman facing drug charges
Twenty-nine year old Everal Grey, a fisherman of 8378 Jones Street, was charged with drug trafficking and possession of a controlled drug when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Grey pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of $3,000 and his case was adjourned until January 16,2015. According to police reports, they went to Grey’s house on November 14, but he was not at home so they took a Justice of the Peace to his house and when they conducted a search they found 1 gram of cannabis under a sofa.

Mexican businessman charged with illegal entry
Thirty-three year old Francisco Juarez, a Mexican national who said he is the promoter of a nightclub in Cancun, was charged with illegal entry when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Juarez pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the ground that Juarez has no travel document and he is a flight risk. Magistrate Cayetano upheld the objection and he remanded Juarez into custody until December 16.

Butane price falls by $6
Starting Friday, November 21, Belizeans will be paying less for butane gas. A press release sent out by the Supplies Control Unit of the Ministry of Trade this afternoon announced that a new price structure goes into place on Friday that will see consumers paying $6 less per one hundred pound cylinder of butane, also known as Liquid Petroleum Gas. This means that consumers in Belize City will pay $109, while consumers in Punta Gorda town will pay $114 for a one hundred pound cylinder of butane imported from Mexico.

Belize City man in critical condition following shooting incident
A mid-morning shooting incident in Belize City today has left one man hospitalized in critical condition. Police have identified the victim as 46 year old Carlos Abraham, a resident of George Street in Belize City. According to police, the shooting happened at the corner of Banak and Lakeview Streets. A source says Abraham had just arrived in the area and had gotten out of a car when he was approached and shot.

Rigo Vellos wins Body Building tournament in Mexico
Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos has picked up a major win at the Copa Revolucion 2014 which was held in Merida, Mexico this past weekend. According to a statement from the Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation, Vellos competed and won in the over 80 Kilograms category, which the BBBFF says is equivalent to the heavy weight category. The Federations says that Vellos’ victory is the second year running that he has won the Merida tournament as the reigning Mr. Belize, beating out competitors from Merida, Cancun, Escarciga, Vera Cruz and Tamaulipas.


Finn Kardashian Backpacks BELIZE! A Trip To San Ignacio
Over the past month or so, we followed my SUPER FUN and talented friend Finn on a pretty awesome adventure – from his home town and the place of his birth, San Pedro, Belize, all the way down to Panama City. All backpacking. But all done Finn’s way. We’ve named it the Finn Kardashian way. More fun, stylish and upscale with attention to the finer things and LESS those trashy pictures with the baby oil, butts and champagne that attention hungry Kim has been putting out recently. But that is neither here nor there. Over the past few weeks, Finn’s friend Phil has been visiting. A friend he met backpacking through Central America and came back to visit and stay. So here is a post he wrote about last week’s adventure to San Ignacio. A town that has really (as Belizeans say) CUM UP! over the last few years.

Updates on my Belizean Life
I realize it's been awhile sine an update - not intentional...just happen to be working far more than playing. That tends not to make the best updates (well some of this stuff would, but shouldn't really be public information). "Other Buddy" Status - So there's this local homeless guy, member of the "Red Top Society" (a collection of rum addicted folks), named Marcos Ash. He's a most excellent member of society, served in the Belizean military under our very own boat captain Charlie. Unfortunately he found a rum bottle one day and never found his way out. Despite his station in life he cleans the beach, fishes, washes people golf carts, and keeps an eye out for all of us in the neighborhood. He knows my parents by name (and Koda!), he also knows my brother by name...Kendall is apparently too tough. Despite the fact that I was the first to learn his name; oh well. I used to be "BUDDY!!" when we walked down the street; now Eric is 'Buddy', and I am 'other buddy' or '2nd buddy'. I'm okay with it - as long as I'm his buddy.

International Sourcesizz

Belize’s Charm Is Difficult to Describe But Easily Experienced
Tourist arrivals in Belize are on a record pace in 2014 as the once-sleepy country on Central America’s Caribbean coast is on target to host nearly 1.1 million visitors this year, the most in the country’s history. The country’s emerging profile brings back thoughts of my own limited travels in the country on Central America’s Caribbean coast. It’s small wonder that tourism in Belize is growing. The country has a stunning array of attractions, from some of the most impressive Mayan ruins found anywhere to one of the world’s most extensive cave networks and one of the world’s longest barrier reefs. But Belize also has a quirky nature all its own that is sometimes hard to define. Perhaps it’s the mixture of Mestizo, Mayan, Caribbean, Creole and Garifuna cultures that make Belize a place where everyone can feel somewhat at home. Or the easygoing charm of the array of small beachside towns beyond the capital of Belize City.

Misleading means: An alliance of billionaires and bureaucrats makes a difference
IN FRONT of the skyscrapers on the esplanade in Panama City, joggers puff along a path in the morning heat, as men and women do push-ups and bench-presses. In this part of Panama the enemies are fat and diabetes. But a short flight away indigenous communities living amid fearsome overcrowding on the tropical islands of Guna Yala (formerly San Blas) are so poor and malnourished that their young children can die for lack of a boat fare to get to the nearest health clinic. Parts of Guna Yala are, says an official from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), “hell in paradise”. This disparity between the rich-world health worries of city dwellers and the parlous situation of the poorest is prevalent across Central America. But until recently the IDB says it has never been measured or dealt with directly. Enter two of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates, a founder of Microsoft, and Carlos Slim, a Mexican telecoms magnate. Together with the government of Spain, the IDB and eight regional health authorities, their charitable foundations set out in 2010 to survey and tackle the problem. The alliance between billionaires and bureaucrats has been fruitful. It has revealed the depth of the inequality and shown how entrepreneurial thinking can be applied to seemingly intractable problems. The programme, called Salud Mesoamérica 2015, began by introducing the first large-scale health surveys of the poorest one-fifth of the population in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize and the southernmost Mexican state of Chiapas. The results, from surveys of more than 20,000 households by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, revealed what Julie Katzman, the IDB’s second-in-command, calls “the tyranny of the law of averages”.

IMF monitoring impact of PetroCaribe on regional economies
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is monitoring the potential impact any changes to PetroCaribe, Venezuela's oil alliance with several Caribbean islands will have on regional economies. Analysts say the initiative, which allows countries to pay for part of their oil import from Caracas over a 20-year period at low interest rates, will have to be modified or discontinued amidst a worsening economic situation in the South American country. Several Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Guyana, and Suriname are members of PetroCaribe. St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that Caracas invited PetroCaribe member countries to a meeting yesterday about "reaffirmation" of the commitment to the initiative, the brainchild of the former Venezuelan president, the late Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela pledges commitment to Petrocaribe despite oil-price dip
Venezuela pledged at a Petrocaribe meeting here Thursday to continue supplying oil on favorable terms to member states despite a drop in international crude prices. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez, the former CEO of state oil company PDVSA, stressed at the opening of the gathering that the South American nation remains "firmly committed" to the initiative. Petrocaribe "is an energy agreement that is perfectly sustainable over time," Ramirez told energy ministers of the 18 member states. The Venezuelan government-promoted Petrocaribe alliance has come under increasing criticism in recent weeks due to a sharp drop in oil prices, which President Nicolas Maduro says have caused government revenues to fall by at least 35 percent.

Seafresh reverses Q3 loss on higher sales prices, lower raw material prices
Thai shrimp processor Seafresh Industry turned around a loss in Q3 of 2013, with a net profit of THB 68.94 million ($2.10m) in the third quarter this year. The company, which owns Tesco warmwater and coldwater shrimp supplier Blue Earth Foods, Belize Aquaculture and Sea Farms in the US, reported revenue for the third quarter of 2014 of THB 2.07 billion, up 6.89% year-on-year. In the same quarter of 2013, the company reported a net loss of THB 98.71m. This, according to Seafresh, is as result of its overseas subsidiaries’ sales growth. The gross profit margin of the company and its subsidiaries increased from 2.71% to 9.36%, because the prices of raw material decreased and the sales prices increased, said Seafresh.

Lovin’ in the Oven
Klauber sold the business a few years ago, bought a house in Belize (on the Caribbean coast east of Guatemala and south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula), and soon was living a double life: She spends about five months a year in Belize, where she has good friends and does some baking and catering, and spends part of the year in the Capital Region, where she continues to bake pies (especially around the holidays) and picks up occasional catering work. Here, she lives in a house she bought and renovated in Ravena, a sleepy village 20 minutes from Albany but worlds away from the relative bustle and hipness of Center Square. (She jokes of her Ravena address that she’s in “the witness protection program.”) The spacious kitchen is warm and inviting; you can picture guests gathering comfortably around the room, wine glasses resting on the butcher block table. The design of the space, she confirms, is “both for function of production and for company.” Wherever she may be on any given day, in her head Klauber is feverishly plotting her next move, which presumably will involve a brand she is developing called Pirate Girl Treats (in Belize, people call her Pirate Girl). She has a logo (using a photo of herself as a little girl), a domain name (, not yet a live website) and all sorts of “wacky, creative ideas” of things she might do with the brand besides simply baking and selling her familiar confections. “I just haven’t completely formulated it yet,” she says.


Video: Belize Medical Mission Trip, 4min.
from Cornerstone Baptist Church

Video: Interview with Ben Woodward-Missionary to Belize, 14min.

Video: Rondreis Mexico Belize 2014 deel 1, 18min.
Video (foto's en korte filmpjes) van onze Rondreis met de auto door Mexico en Belize mei 2014. In dit 1e deel bezoeken we: Puerto Morelos, de Flamingo's van Celustun, de tempels van Chichén Itzá, Mérida, de tempels en Cenotes van Uxmal, Campeche en Villahermosa

Video: Bonefishing - Belize 2014, 5min.
Saltwater fly fishing for bonefish in Belize, 2014

Video: Premicia - A Mayan Thanksgiving, 15min.
Deep in the mountains of Belize's San Antonio, Cayo District lives Silverio Canto: a family man, priest, retired teacher, herbalist, and maya shaman. Through compassion, faith, and ancient knowledge of the jungle around him, Silverio Canto is hailed as one of the greatest medicine men in Belize. Premicia is otherwise known as a Mayan thanksgiving; celebrating his hard work, his family, the Maya Gods, and his late mentor: Dr. Don Elijio Panti.

Video: Belize 10/2014, 5min.

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