I have just spent hours trying to find any official proof that TAR 12 was in Belize, and I have to sadly report that I can neither confirm nor deny.
So on the YES!
They were in Belize front we have two pieces of information and a lot of hope...
reported seeing 2 teams in Belize on July 5th--which would fit beautifully with our time line. Sadly, there is no photographic evidence.
2) We have a mention in Jan Van Vuure's CV
of Amazing Race which includes Belize. Unfortunately, we can NOT say with absolute certainty that this mention is for TAR 12--as he could possibly also have worked for the planned TAR 8 visit which never materialized due to Hurricane Emily. He has also previously made a wildlife documentary in Belize. As much as I WANT us to go to Belize, I think this CV (which was additionally translated from Chinese) still leaves room for questions on both sides.
And on the NO WAY!
front I am equally left hanging.
1) The Film Commission
of Belize normally issues permits and facilitates customs import of equipment and the immigration process. I say normally because the Office is now closed due to the unfortunate death of its head in August. And the acting deputy of the commission has been wonderful in looking through their records but has been unable to turn up anything. He also believes he would have been aware of any planned filming, and he was not. (Interestingly--EVERYONE I have spoken to remembers the Season 8 planned filming that didn't happen.) Are permits ALWAYS required legally? Well--apparently not. Sometimes smaller scale productions were allowed to film without an official permit. So again, I can't say either way.
2) There is also a legal office
which issues the actual permits, approves insurance bonds, helps with the customs entry requirements for bringing in film equipment, and notifies Immigration of what to expect. NONE of that was done in this case, but again, does not rule out a quieter entry.
3) Permits are normally required to film at the Airport
in Belize. But upon occasion, verbal permission for say--filming in front of the airport only--may have been given. However, I have spoken with the only two people ever
allowed to give that verbal permission--and neither of them did so. They also have no recollection of any filming being done on or around the 5th of July. And oh yes--again there were no permits either.
So we have a sighting without photos, a CV that is not clear on the dates, and no permits or official awareness of the filming at all --all of which may not be conclusive proof one way or the other.
On the other hand we have a beautiful country whose people have been incredibly warm and generous with their time and energy as I have attempted to figure this out. So I am rooting for Belize all the way.
But I think until we either see some photos or obtain some other hard evidence, Belize will have to remain POSSIBLE but UNCONFIRMED
for now, at least in my eyes.