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#495178 - 08/30/14 12:25 PM Today's Belize News: August 30, 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

Mayor Daniel Guerrero leaves to the Bahamas on working visit
The Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero is part of a Belize delegation that left the country on Thursday August 28th to Nassau, Bahamas. Mayor Guerrero, along with the President of the Belize Mayor’s Association and Belmopan Mayor, Simeon Lopez, are scheduled to participate in the biennial meeting of the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA). The biennial meeting is scheduled to take place over the course of the weekend and early next week in Nassau, and in attendance will be mayors and other government leaders from all the Caribbean member countries. One of the items on the agenda will be election of new members. It is uncertain if Belize will be submitting a candidate for the various posts. Currently, Mayor Lopez is the second Vice-President of the regional organization.

Food borne disease cost Belize $6.2 million annually
The effects of Acute Gastroenteritis Illnesses (AGI) commonly referred to as the stomach flu and other food-borne diseases cost the public health sector an estimated $6.2 million annually. That was the result of the Burden of Illness (BOI) report that was released on Monday, August 25th, following research that was conducted during two specific periods. The research had the input of the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) office in Belize and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). According to the release, the survey was launched in September 2012 and was aimed at investigating and estimating the proportion of the population suffering from stomach flu and other food borne diseases, at a specific time period. In addition, it also focused on estimating the economic burden the disease has on the public health system in Belize. According to the report, a total of 3,110 households were sampled countrywide and a total of 2901 questionnaires were filled with a response rate of 93.6%. The study shows that 7.1% of those households reported stomach flu during the sample period of September to October 2012, which is considered the low season, and the period of April to May 2013, which is considered the high season.

Police Report
On the Wednesday, August 27th at about 3:15PM Police visited Swan Street in the San Pedrito Area based on special branch intelligence. Upon arrival, police discovered a grey plastic bag in an abandon lot. Further search of the bag revealed suspected cocaine. It was then taken to the station where it was weighed amounting to 373.7 gram of suspected cocaine. The suspected drug was labeled as found property. Police have no leads as to who the drugs belonged.

Construction starts in Boca del Rio Pump-lift Station
According to BWSL Human Resource and Public Relations Manager Haydon Brown, the main pump for the station has been ordered and ground work is well underway. “The lift station will provide basic control of the sewer waste from the respective homes. The station will process the waste which will later be moved to the treatment plant on South Ambergris Caye,” said Brown. For residents of the area this is a huge step forward, because although the area has been equipped with proper pipe lines for quite some time, the lines were never connected to a central sewage collection station or pump station. This incomplete project has left waste to be haphazardly collected in septic tanks, lagoons and even absorbed into land. These methods of unsafe sewage disposal have had many dire consequences including introduction to fecal matter to the waterbed. While Brown was unable to state how many stations there are in San Pedro Town, he ensures that each station can, in fact, cater to the location. “These pump-lift stations are strategically placed in areas that require the collection of sewage. They not only deal with sewage collection but also reduced stench secreted by the waste. It also helps to keep the sewage waste more controlled.” Residents and business that will be connected to the pump-lift station will be required to pay a fee for the service. “Within the next two weeks, we will be doing a physical property survey in that area. We are looking at both the residential and businesses waste within the area. There are small and medium-sized businesses within the area, and usually, their size attracts different prices for their connection.”

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Fun Snorkeling Belize
Today we bring to you a video capturing the wondrous marine life our beautiful Caribbean Sea has to offer just off the coast of our neighboring island Caye Caulker. The video features “funny rays, lovely sharks, hungry turtles and thirsty people”. The videographer, Christoph Creutzburg, captures the beauty of some amazing spots around Caye Caulker.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

NOTICE FROM NICH
The Public is advised that there has been a change of venue for the official opening ceremonies for the September Celebrations 2014. The ceremony which was schedule to occur at St. George’s Caye on Sunday has been relocated to the House of Culture, Old Government House in Belize City. This is as a result of inclement weather conditions forecasted for the weekend. The ceremony starts at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday August 31st, it is free to the general public and all are invited to attend!

Belikin 8 Ball Tournament
Hode's will be hosting the Belikin 8 Ball National Finals this weekend. In oddly related news, Hode's also hosts the Cayo Line Dancing.

Galen Awards 10 New Scholarships
Galen University has awarded 10 scholarships to new students. They had their Fall semester orientation on Saturday. Congratulations to the 10 students. Do well and excel! "Ten deserving Belizean students are the latest recipients of varying levels and types of scholarships offered at Galen University for the Fall 2014 semester. At a scholarship agreement signing held at the University’s Central Farm Campus on August 25th and August 27th, 2014, the recipients were provided with the relevant guidelines, procedures, and academic expectations of Galen University. Scholarships were awarded in four categories: Academic Excellence, Academic-Financial Need, Athletic, and Music. One outstanding student was also awarded the Daniel Silva Academic-Financial Need Scholarship."

Queen of the West Pageant Pictures
Carmelita Lara, the new Queen of the West, will be heading to the Queen of the Bay soon.  The Queen of the West pageant was held at the Octavia Waight Center.  They have posted a lot of pictures from the event: evening gowns, talent displays, swimsuits, and even the judges.  1st runner up was Shantel Augustine, and 2nd runner up was Hamira Awe.


All the Queen of the Bay contestants met with the Prime Minister in a question and answer session.

Channel 7

Belize Rural Executive Demonstrates Against Their Own Party For Arthur
The suspended PUP Standard Bearer Arthur Saldivar may be on the ropes but he's not going down without a fight. Last night his Belize Rural North Executive Committee met and issued a defiant press release saying, quote, "we completely and wholeheartedly DENOUNCE this illegal and unconstitutional decision taken by the PUP National Executive on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 to place our Candidate and ELECTED Standard Bearer on two (2) weeks' suspension pending a so-called 'investigation'. " The release adds, quote, "the decision...only serves the selfish agenda of a few members of the National Executive who are undermining the Party under the guise of 'love for Party'." They say defiantly that, quote, "We will NOT allow any hand-picked 'replacement' to come into our division and benefit from our years of hard work which was accomplished with much blood, sweat and tears."

Two Men Critical After Evening Robbery Attempt
Two suspected armed robbers are in critical condition at the KHMH after they were shot during an armed robbery this evening in Belize City. It happened at around4:15 at the Western Dairy Ice Cream Parlour where four men rode up on bicycle, stormed in and tried to rob the place at gunpoint. Details are sketchy as to what happened next, but two of the men ended up getting shot - and two others made a dash out of the back of Western Dairies for Saint Thomas Street. Police were in the area and responded immediately - they set chase after the two suspects, following one of them all the way to Meighan Avenue. They did not catch them, but they did recover a weapon - a small silver handgun - behind Western Dairies. They also recovered one of their caps and a pair of sunglasses.

PM Says Fair Trade Problems Were Expected
Last night, we told you about the latest controversy in the Sugar Industry between the Cane Farmers Association and Tate and Lyle, the British company which buys their sugar overseas. They've written to the Cane Farmers saying that they will sharply reduce the volume of sugar bought for the Fair Trade premium price. That figure is going down from fifty or sixty thousand tonnes to ten thousand tonnes. But, that's only a reduction in the fair trade quota. But we must clarify, the company will still buy the same amount of sugar as it has done in the past - only this year, instead of paying the premium price, under the Fairtrade Agreement, on fifty thousand tonnes or more, they will only pay the premium on ten thousand tonnes. That's a decrease of $5.7 million dollars in revenue for the cane farmers association. And it's all because the BSCFA's Fairtrade Certification came into jeopardy after the revelation that its employees fleeced the association of $78,000 dollars. This, as we told you, was revealed in a FLO-Cert Audit a few months ago. The Association was placed on probation, and it has been decertified in the past due to child labour violations and other non-compliances.

Garifunas Protest Against First Caribbean
The Garifuna community took to the streets of Dangriga this morning to protest against First Caribbean International Bank and all other businesses which have allegedly prohibited their Garifuna employees from speaking their language will on the worksite. They were out in numbers carrying signs, marching from in front of the Drums of Our Fathers Monument, through the principal streets, finishing in front of First Caribbean Bank Branch in Dangriga. It was a strong message sent by those protesters that they would not tolerate such violation of their indigenous rights. As we've told you, First Caribbean strongly denies that any such restriction was issued in their Dangriga Branch, but both the National Garifuna Council and the United Garifuna Association say that they have confirmed that it did happen. The protest this morning prompted the Bank to organize an impromptu press briefing 45 minutes before news time to respond to the allegations directly. Here's what the company rep said:

20k Strong: Women and Girl Financial Health
The Special Envoy for Women and Children held a conference on women and girl's financial health today at the Radisson. This conference is part of the 20,000 STRONG Women's Empowerment campaign that strives to celebrate the crucial role women play as well as to educate and uplift women in all sectors of society. Courtney Weatherburne has the story. Training sessions focused on financial management and marketing were held in the afternoon for the women entrepreneurial groups.

Police Find Gun And Drugs
Police are reporting tonight that they've taken a weapon and over a pound of weed off the street. Officers acted on intelligence and searched an empty lot on Jane Usher Boulevard Extension, yesterday afternoon at around 2:30. They found a garbage bag, which contained 5 smaller parcels of marijuana to a total amount of 602 grams - or 1.3 pounds. Because nobody was in the area, it was deposited as found property. 45 minutes later, police searched an abandoned lot on Elston Kerr Street. They found a plastic bag which contained a .380 caliber pistol and 2 empty magazines. They also found a separate bag containing 3 live rounds of .380 ammunition. Again, no one was around, so it was deposited as found property.

PM Says PUP Should Have Acted Sooner
At the top of the news, you saw the uproar created by the executive committee for Belize Rural North in front of the PUP Headquarters. They railed for hours, demanding that the party leader come and meet with them, but he didn't. But, they were not completely ignored. The party chairman Henry Usher just called us and said he met with Chairman Carol Williams at 1:00 pm to assure her that as part of his investigation, he plans to meet with the Committee. But, when we spoke to the Prime Minister today, he said the opposition is moving too slow. Just during the last five years Barrow has expelled Zenaida Moya - who was later re-instated, and, in a first, accepted as resignation from Marcel Cardona even though he had not resigned, and also sent Elvin Penner to the far end of the backbench. So he know a thing or two about icing politicians. Here's his view on the Saldivar suspension:..

PM: CBA Is Closed
At the end of that interview, the Prime Minister referred to hypocrisy in the PUP. It didn't make the cut because it seemed gratuitous, but we mention it because it factors into our next story - when we asked the Prime Minister about the collective bargaining negotiation process with the unions. The unions have refused to sign off on the negotiation as concluded, while the Prime Minister insists it must be at an end. The unions have called his insistence rude and we asked him about it today:.. Jules Vasquez "They had indicated that you were curt, rude and they didn't wish to sign off." Prime Minister Dean Barrow "These people who say all that they say in this shrill and strident way accused me of being rude? My goodness, I won't compare them to the earlier scenario that was outlined in terms of the PUP and hypocrisy, I will not do that.

It's An Unfounded Claim, Not A Disputed Border
We also asked the Prime Minister about recent comments made by the US Ambassador Carlos Moreno. In a media round table two weeks ago, he was asked about the Belize Guatemala relations, and he referred to Belize's quote, "disputed border." Now, ask any Belizean and they will tell you that border is fixed and firm - and internationally indisputable. But how does the Prime Minister feel about it? He said finds the language of a disputed border objectionable.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I don't understand how the whole issue with Guatemala is indeed called a dispute. When I was growing up; when I became a young man during the early days this was the unfounded Guatemalan claim. All of a sudden it's become indeed a border dispute. I will continue to say though that as far as I am concern it is not a border dispute. There is no question as to where the border is subject to the actual exercise of demarcation. This is a matter of an unfounded territorial claim on the part of Guatemala."

Belize Committed to Uruguay For OAS Sec Gen Elections
And keeping it on diplomacy, the Prime Minister also discussed the candidacy of Belize’s Ambassador Nestor Mendez for the post of OAS Deputy Secretary General. It’s news because earlier this week Mendez explained to us that Belize is supporting the Uruguayan candidate for Secretary General largely because his opponent is a Guatemalan. To hear Mendez’s characterization, having a Guatemalan elevated to the post of Secretary General would have a chilling effect on the confidence building process between Belize and Guatemala which is being facilitated by the OAS. The Prime Minister, though, was more circumspect in his assessment. Here’s how he put it today:…

Hon. Barrow Says Awich Judgment Is Wrong
On Monday, we told you about the decision from Justice Courtney Abel that the Judicial and Legal Services Commission ought not to have dismissed the complaints against Samuel Awich’s appointment as a Judge of the Court of Appeal.

Vasquez Acquitted of Kilos Of Hydro
32 year-old Clarissa Vasquez, who was facing drug trafficking charges for over 50 pounds of high-grade marijuana, is at home free tonight after she was acquitted in Magistrate's Court today. As we reported, officers from the Gang Suppression Unit were on mobile patrol on West Collet Canal on February 17, 2014. They spotted 40 year-old RaynardGrinage in a 4-door Taurus car. They searched him and the vehicle, but they didn't find anything incriminating. The officers did find a bunch of keys, and they decided to follow up. They searched the house on Bachelor Avenue, to which the keys belong, and they ended up finding 24.4 kilos - or 53 pounds - of "hydro" type weed.

The Back-To-School Expenses
It’s the end of a long summer and classes resume on Monday. While students are recovering from the summer hang over, their parents have more pressing issues to address such as the financial strain they endure as they prepare their children for another school year. Where will the money come from? How are they managing with all the expenses?

Barber Offering Free Haircuts
Now what goes better with newly pressed uniforms, new school shoes and bags than a clean haircut right? Well, you can get your child's hair done for school this weekend at the Back to School Trimming Initiative. It caters to boys and girls from the primary school level. Brian Dena, the coordinator of the event told us more about it The trimming initiative takes place tomorrow and Sunday from 9 in the morning to 4 at 40 Fabers Road. Along with a free hair cut or braid, the youths get a few back to school supplies. Dena says if you have more than 20 youths in your area you can call him at 637-5728 and he will provide transportation.

Why Hasn't Petrocaribe Loan Been Scrutinized By Nat'l Assembly Yet?
The Finance and Audit Act of 2005 is designed to regulate public revenue, spending and contracts – and provide parliamentary transparency in all manner of government business.

PM Says He's Optimistic About CCJ Case On UHS Loan
Another highly technical matter confronting the government is a case that’s coming to court next month. In September, the Ashcroft Alliance and government are going to court to argue about the enforcement of the arbitral award for the Universal Healthcare Loan. Remember that one? It’s the government guarantee to the Belize Bank for the private hospital which was given during the Musa administration. When the private owners couldn’t pay, government had to – and they did! Still, they never got back the asset and the creditor sold the hospital to Belize Healthcare Partners.

What's Happening With Gun Law Amendments?
And in one final bit of news from the media’s impromptu 32 minute interview with the prime minister today, we asked about the much discussed Gun law amendments. The government committed months ago to revising them – during which time the PUP proposed but never tabled its own version of the laws. Critics say the gun laws are too oppressive, and the Prime Minister says that the new draft legislation had to be careful to balance competing interestS of citizen safety and the presumption of innocence:…

INCAP; Obesity, And The Media
The Obesity epidemic – we often hear about it in the states, but medical professionals says it’s happening right here at home too! The Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama – known as INPAC, says that in Belize, obesity, which is linked to non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, is becoming a very real danger to the population. In response, the Ministry of Health is trying to design an over-weight and obesity Operational plan.

16th Day Of Healing
The event called the 16th Day of Healing is scheduled for tomorrow in the PIV area. This community healing initiative tries to spread peace and positivity in the community. And while it may not fix all of society's ills, organizer of the event Perry "STIKZ" Smith says that at least it is a start. The Day of Peace is set for tomorrow at 9 in the morning to 6 on Flamboyant Street. This initiative started last year as a result of the quadruple murders on Dean Street. Two of the first Days of Peace were held on Dean Street and the other 13 were held in communities across Belize City.

Channel 5

Western Dairies Jacked in Late-evening Heist
There is late breaking news. The Western Dairies, the popular ice cream shop, which is located on Freetown Road was jacked this afternoon by armed men. Police are processing the [...]

Dangriga Residents Converge on CIBC FirstCaribbean in Protest
Just before news time, the CIBC First Caribbean Bank held a press conference in reaction to escalating anger against the Bank for not disallowing one of its employees to speak [...]

Bank Management Says Employees Are Free to Converse in Garifuna
As we told you, there is escalating anger against the CIBC FirstCaribbean. Late this evening, Manager of Retail Banking and Operations, Shaeleen Castillo responded to the allegations being made at [...]

P.M. Barrow Says B.S.C.F.A. Needs to Sort Out Itself Amid Tate & Lyle Crisis
Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke today on a number of hot-button issues of national importance including developments in the sugar industry. Eighteen branches of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association [...]

Prime Minister Confident in Belize’s Economic Performance
On Wednesday, the Statistical Institute of Belize announced that there was significant economic growth in the second quarter of this year, as much as eight point seven percent. But we [...]

What’s the P.M.’s Position on Supreme Court Judgment Justice Samuel Awich?
It is rare, but the Supreme Court has handed down a decision in respect of one of its own, Justice Samuel Awich. The background is that a complaint was lodged [...]

P.M. Says Bar is Political and Won’t Succeed in Justice Awich Challenge
The Prime Minister was at the National Call to Action Conference on Women and Girls’ Financial Health hosted by his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, when he was drilled by the [...]

Accident On Phillip Goldson Highway Leaves Loggers Critically Injured
An accident occurred on Thursday night between Miles thirty-four and thirty five in an area known as Rhaburn Ridge on the Philip Goldson Highway. A vehicle, a small Audi, collided [...]

P.M. Barrow Comments on the Ashcroft Group and Pending Legal Matters
Prime Minister Barrow earlier today also dealt with other significant issues in respect of companies relating to the Ashcroft Group. These include the international arbitral awards; the local enforcement on [...]

B.T.L.’s Second Nationalization Before the CCJ
The Prime Minister also asked about the second nationalization of Belize Telemedia, which is before the Caribbean Court of Justice on appeal.  The PM says that even if the government [...]

Vanessa Champagne Paris Returns to Court
Nineteen-year-old Perfilio Rodriguez, a transgendered woman also known as “Vanessa Champagne Paris” was before the court today.   It was the first appearance since being granted bail for allegedly assaulting Golda [...]

Protest in Wake of Saldivar’s Suspension from P.U.P.
On Wednesday, Belize Rural North Standard Bearer, Arthur Saldivar, was suspended from the P.U.P., pending the outcome of an internal investigation scheduled for conclusion on September twelfth. Saldivar, an attorney, [...]

Did Arthur Saldivar Make Off with Coye’s Money?
But while the Belize Rural North executive shouts for Saldivar’s reinstatement and heckles the P.U.P. and Melonie Coye, the reality is that the allegations against him are serious – career [...]

Saldivar’s Suspension Too Little Too Late
Over at the Radisson, the Prime Minister was asked about the Arthur Saldivar suspension. Barrow says it’s a little too late.   Prime Minister Dean Barrow “(Laughs) I don’t know [...]

P.M. Lashes Out At Unions
Remember the Joint Negotiation Team that comprises of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, the Public Service Union and the Belize National Teachers Union?  For years the unions had [...]

Update on PetroCaribe Initiative
There is another issue that came up this morning…the infrastructure works that are currently ongoing in many parts of the country which are funded through a twenty million dollar loan [...]

Social Media Portal Launched for Business Owners
Connect Americas seeks to promote foreign trade and international investments and is a social platform which allows local businesses to network with clients, suppliers, and investors.  The social platform was [...]

Little Miss Pageant to be Held at the Bliss
The Concerned Belizean Women organization is putting off one of its many annual fundraising activities this weekend. It is the Independence Day Junior Miss Pageant. Eight young girls are contending [...]

LOVE FM

UB A Way Forward
Senior administrators, professors and Board members of the University of Belize were at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel today to discuss issues on education particularly as they relate to the tertiary level. One key item on today’s agenda was a discussion with the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, where the stakeholders were able to get upfront answers to their concerns and questions. Love News spoke to Minister Faber regarding his role in today’s session. Minister of Edu PATRICK FABER “UB act speaks to the minister giving general direction to the board and to the management of the university people who have observed how I have operated as minister of education over the last few years know that I am not one to micromanage the university. I do exactly what the UB act requires me to do and that is to give general direction and I have done so on various occasions at the university and today is one such occasion. The board and the senior managers of the university are gathered here and they have asked me to come to share just a bit with them. In my presentation today I shared with them some of what I have shared over the last couple of years.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he is pleased, pleased.
On Wednesday, the Statistical Institute of Belize, shared data that pointed to an 8.7% increase in economic activity in Belize for the second quarter. this coupled with the less rapid economic expansion of the first quarter of this year resulted in growth of 3.7 percent for the first six months of 2014.Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he is pleased PRIME MINISTER DEAN BARROW “I am very very pleased not just with the extremely strong second quarter growth but I noticed they also indicated there revised last year’s growth figure which I think has gone from something like .7% to certainly 1.5% but in terms of the here and now that second quarter growth is phenomenal and so I am very pleased indeed. The third quarter can I think be expected not to be as strong as the second quarter but then the last quarter can certainly be expected to be stronger than the third quarter so in the end I am hopeful that it will all even out and we will finish with growth that is certainly in excess of the projection and there is nothing anybody can say to rain on our parade with respect to this phenomenal 8.7% second quarter growth.”

Prime Minister Barrow weighs in on Sugar crisis
On Wednesday we reported about the letter sent Tate & Lyle Sugars to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association stating that because of the market vulnerability it has been forced to reduce the association’s quota from 65 thousand tons to 10 thousand tons. The reduction in income is estimated from 6.9 to 1.2 million Belize dollars. It’s bad news for the cane farmers who are facing several different challenges. Yesterday the Directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association met in Orange Walk where they discussed how the situation will be dealt with. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow weighed on the matter….. PRIME MINISTER SEAN BARROW “I believe that there was a suspension of the fair trade premium as a consequence of irregularities that the monitors discovered. I don’t know that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers association has yet remedied the defects, it appears that what is happening number one there is a need for that to be sorted out because if that isn’t sorted out there will be no fair trade premium at all but it seems even if that issue is squared away there is the possibility perhaps the likelihood that the amount of sugar to attract a fair trade premium will be less.

7-Year Contract for Awich – “They Can Take That, Put In Their Pipe and Smoke It”, Says Barrow
Last week Friday, Supreme Court Justice, Courtenay Abel, ruled that the complaint brought against Judge of the Court of Appeal, Samuel Awich, should not have been dismissed as it was. The claims brought by Dean Boyce and British Caribbean Bank Limited challenged the process followed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission. The claimants were seeking to remove Awich as a sitting Judge of the Court of Appeal for allegedly misbehavior while he was a judge of the Supreme Court. Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that the claimants are wasting time…. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “My understanding is that the Ashcroft Alliance was urging this alleged misbehavior on the part of Justice Awich as a basis for seeking his removal as a judge of the Court of Appeal but the alleged misbehavior was according to them something that occurred while he was a judge on the Supreme Court. I don’t see how on earth you can say, when you were a judge on the Supreme Court you misbehaved and that is a ground for removing you as a judge of the Court of Appeal. You would have to urge that as a judge of the Court of Appeal there was misbehavior otherwise it is illogical and absurd.

BRN PUP Committee Demands Retraction of Saldivar’s Suspension
The Belize Rural North Constituency Committee for the People’s United Party picketed in front of Independence Hall in Belize City this morning. The committee is demanding that the Leader of the People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca, overturn the suspension of Arthur Saldivar, as the PUP’s Standard Bearer for the Belize Rural North constituency. Vice Chairman of the Committee, Oscar Pollard Sr., told Love News that due process was not followed. OSCAR POLLARD SR “There is a constitution right here that has certain clauses that must be met and that was not met.” HIPOLITO NOVELO: “What are those criteria?” OSCAR POLLARD “Well first of all the person who the allegation is against must be served at least 7 days with a notice of exactly what is the complaint and the executive committee should be contacted and given whatever the situation is in writing and that is a part of the constitution. We are governed by the constitution and live by it and we will continue to go by it as long as we are PUP’s.”

Gang of Four Rob Ice Cream Joint
A robbery of the popular ice-cream establishment on Freetown Road in Belize City was hit today by a gang of four robbers. The incident occurred just before five o’clock this evening. At the scene, Love News encountered police officers already at the scene taking statements and seeking evidence that would lead them to build a strong case. Up to news time, investigators were still on the scene and our attempts to get any information were futile particularly since a policy recently implemented by the Belize Police Department dictates that the media must go through the Police Press Office for information and so, when we tried calling the numbers given, one of them led direct to voicemail while there was no answer on the other line…..but what we can tell you is that there were four robbers, one of them were reportedly shot by police, due to the mobile’s quick response. Our source tells us that the culprits gained entry at the rear of the building and police are pursuing the other three robbers. It is uncertain how much, if any, money was taken during the robbery.

Prime Minister Draws Analogy On Penner and Saldivar
Prime Minister Dean Barrow also commented on the decision of the PUP’s national Executive to suspend Saldivar. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “I don’t know that I ought to be giving the PUP any sort of advice. I will say though that on the basis of their pronouncements during the course of events that unfolded surrounding Penner, on the basis of the stance they took, indeed they ought to have moved far more quickly and far more forcefully with respect to Arthur Saldivar. I think they run the risk now of appearing to be hypocrites but in that regard what else is new.”

Woman Acquitted Following Judge’s Acceptance of No-Case Submission
Thirty-two year old Clarissa Vasquez, one of two persons who were charged with drug trafficking for 24.4 kilograms of high grade weed, was acquitted of the charge today by Magistrate Herbert Panton. After the prosecution closed its case, Vasquez attorney, Ellis Arnold, made a submission that she does not have a case to answer to because the evidence adduced by the prosecution was insufficient. Arnold said that Vasquez was not present at the house on Bachelor Avenue when the police found the cannabis and that there was nothing to connect her with the drugs. Magistrate Panton agreed and he upheld the submission. The incident occurred on February 17, 2014. The police, members of the GSU, were conducting an operation on West collet Canal Street when they encountered Vasquez’ boyfriend Reynard Grinage, in a four door Taurus car.

Dangrigans Protest Against Bank Following Allegations of Discrimination
A protest took place today in Dangriga. With more on this here is correspondent Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU “The National Garifuna Council Dangriga branch sanctioned by the National Garifuna Council of Belize lead a demonstration in Dangriga here today against work policy indicating that the Garifuna language is prohibited from being spoken inside the First Caribbean International Bank serving this municipality. Dangriga is referred to as the culture capital and is predominantly a Garifuna community. A large number of people of this indigenous ethnic group conducts business at the said bank. Now since the wide spread of the bad news tension has been building here among the Garifuna People who indicated that they will not tolerate such insult and disrespect against their people and culture. Martha Robinson is the Dangriga branch president.”

PlusTV

Arthur Saldivar supporters protest his suspension
The investigation by a four-man committee of the National Executive of the People’s United Party (PUP) into allegations against Belize Rural North standard bearer Arthur Saldivar continues, but neither the embattled politician/attorney or his supporters are taking it lying down...

Pine logs across the highway due to accident
Last night, Thursday August 28, between miles 33 and 34 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, a Tractor with a 12-feet trailer carrying pine logs was rear ended by a 4 door Audi. The crash caused the pine logs to dislodge and scatter across the road while the Audi received damage to its front portion.

Major Crimes down in Belmopan
Officer Commanding Belmopan Police Superintendent Howell Gillett joined the Belmopan police formation in early May of this year. Today we took a look at some statistics...

Belmopan City Administrator resigns
Angela Wade, the sister of Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar, joined the Belmopan City Council in 2013 as the City Administrator. Today, after almost a year of service at the Belmopan City Council, Angela Wade tendered here resignation effective today.The reason for her sudden departure is...

Fire in Maya Mopan; Is arson the cause?
The beginning of this school year starts in less than 4 days, and parents and guardians are doing their last minute shopping for school materials. That is what Sonia Rivera was doing when she got a call that her house, located in the Maya Mopan Area, Belmopan, was engulfed in flames.


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#495179 - 08/30/14 12:26 PM Re: Today's Belize News: August 3.0, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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Amandala

Garifuna language barred at Caribbean bank?
Controversy erupted out of the culture capital, Dangriga, this week over allegations that a Garifuna woman working at a major Caribbean bank, CIBC FirstCaribbean, with offices in Belize, had been barred from the public use of the Garifuna language within the institution. The National Garifuna Council (NGC) issued a cautionary release on Tuesday, August 26, saying that it is “exceedingly bothered” by the allegations that the bank in question does not permit the use of the Garifuna language within the financial institution. “This allegation is being taken seriously and the Council is investigating the matter,” the NGC said, adding that, “We will not stand aside and allow our rich cultural heritage to be disrespected by any entity, individual or organization, if that is the case.”

Belizean caught with 6.5 kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica
A Belizean national who was busted with 6.5 kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica is now in police custody after he reportedly tried to depart the country with the stash of drugs hidden inside 284 pilot markers. According to La Nacion newspaper, the incident occurred at around 8:00 this past Sunday night at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica when a 37-year-old man, known only by his surname, Tillett, was busted by Drug Control Police when the officers asked to him open his hand luggage. Upon inspecting the luggage, Costa Rican authorities discovered 29 boxes of pilot brand markers which contained 290 individual markers – 284 of which were found to be filled with cocaine.

Nephew charged for burning down aunt’s house
A Belize City man who is accused of arson was remanded to prison after the court prosecutor, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, objected to his being granted bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the offense and the fact that the man had threatened to burn down the house, which he did. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith upheld Rodriguez’s objection and remanded Darrell Alvarez, 27, into custody until his next court date on October 3, 2014. A single charge of arson was read to Alvarez, who was not required to enter a plea because the offense is indictable and will be tried in the Supreme Court after a preliminary inquiry is held in the Magistrate’s Court to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to the high court.

55,000-ton bomb dropped on cañeros!
On Tuesday of this week, Tate and Lyle Sugars, a member of the American Sugar Refineries (ASR) group, dropped a bombshell on local cañeros when they announced, in a letter to the farmers, that there might be a drastic cut to the Belize sugar quota that sells under the Fair-Trade logo, and thus, the 18 directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) met this afternoon in Orange Walk to discuss the crippling issue. Sugar quota slashed from 65,000 to 10,000 tons! Apart from market forecasts which are cited in Tate and Lyle’s letter, which was sent from their headquarters in London, the BSCFA was informed that the purchase of sugar for the 2014/2015 crop would be 10,000 tons, 55 thousand tons less than last year, while the premium price, which is US$60, will be paid after the product has been sold to consumers as Fair-Trade sugar.

“Peeping Tom” sentenced to 6 months
A resident of the Mile 8 community on the George Price Highway who was charged with committing a mischievous act after he was caught peeping into the bedroom of a 13-year-old girl was sentenced to 6 months in prison when his trial concluded in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. After the court prosecutor indicated that he was closing the case for the prosecution, Smith told the accused, Angel Dorado, 34, an unemployed man, that he had one out of three options. He could remain silent, or he could give an unsworn statement from the dock where he stood, or finally, he could go across to the witness stand and make a sworn statement and be subject to cross examination. Dorado decided that he would remain silent.

Double whammy: Drought parches Belize amid hotter than normal August
The first three months of the rainy season have produced very little rains, and the National Meteorological Service confirmed today that almost all of Belize has been experiencing a drought, with extreme drought conditions occurring in the Belize District due to record low rainfall at the nation’s premier port of entry, the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Not only has Belize been experiencing drier than normal conditions; it has also been experiencing hotter than normal temperatures this month, according to Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Catherine Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch told Amandala today that daily information gathered up to today, Thursday, August 28, from their network of over 20 weather stations across Belize, indicates that at all stations across the country, rainfall has been way below normal, with the exception of the extreme south, Toledo, which has been registering normal rainfall.

Belizean caught with 6.5 kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica
A Belizean national who was busted with 6.5 kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica is now in police custody after he reportedly tried to depart the country with the stash of drugs hidden inside 284 pilot markers. According to La Nacion newspaper, the incident occurred at around 8:00 this past Sunday night at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica when a 37-year-old man, known only by his surname, Tillett, was busted by Drug Control Police when the officers asked to him open his hand luggage. Upon inspecting the luggage, Costa Rican authorities discovered 29 boxes of pilot brand markers which contained 290 individual markers – 284 of which were found to be filled with cocaine.

Teenager facing murder charge in Cayo and attempted murder charge in Belize City
A Belize City teenager who was wanted by police was charged for a recent murder in Cayo, where he had apparently been in hiding, and was then brought to the Magistrate’s Court and arraigned on attempted murder and dangerous harm charges before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith late yesterday, Monday. Earlier on Monday, Joseph Vaccaro, Jr., 19, had been charged in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court with the August 16 murder of Unitedville resident Victor Vargas, 38, who died from multiple stab wounds to his neck. Vaccaro was seen hanging out with the older man, Vargas, prior to his murder, and investigators believe that they have gathered enough evidence to charge him for the murder.

Plues Street resident remanded for shooting in San Pedro
A Belize City resident of Plues Street was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith to answer to one count of aggravated assault with a firearm, for a shooting incident that occurred earlier this month on San Pedro. Jason “Killa” Gillett, 28, who police believe is an associate of the George Street Gang, pleaded not guilty to the one count of aggravated assault with a firearm against Germaine Zuniga. Since offenses involving a firearm trigger an automatic remand to prison, Gillett was remanded until his next court appearance date on October 7, 2014.

PUP suspeds Arthur Saldivar
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) held a National Executive meeting this morning at its Independence Hall headquarters at which it decided to suspend the Belize Rural North constituency standard bearer, attorney Arthur Saldivar, who was recently catapulted into the national spotlight with an allegation that he commandeered $900,000 from a former client, Melonie Coye. There is, however, no claim filed at the Supreme Court Registry, and neither has Saldivar been served with any notice of a civil action, for which he would have been mandated to provide a defense to the court before a trial date is set. Attorney Eamon Courtenay, S.C., who is representing Melonie Coye, had said that Saldivar would have a chance to explain the allegation against him to a Supreme Court judge. Presently, the Supreme Court is on vacation until its next session, which starts in October.

Lionman Triathlon 2014 this Sunday, 6:30 a.m. at Sand Lighters Promenade
The 15th Annual Lionman Triathlon takes place this Sunday, August 31, starting at 6:30 a.m. at the Sand Lighters Promenade on New Town Barracks, and all are invited, free of charge, to see the brave athletes take that early morning plunge into the cold water to start their swim leg of the triathlon. Participating athletes will compete in the following categories – Juniors (18 and under); Females; Males (elite); Masters (40 and over); and Mixed Relay teams. Each participant will attempt to complete the Olympic Distance event – 1,500 meter swim, 40k ride, and 10k run.

Belize’s Daland Jones wins Gold at Masters Athletics Championship in Cost Rica
Veteran footballer, track & field, and body building athlete, Daland Jones won the Gold medal in Shot Put, beating American Jerry Ropelato at the North, Central American and Caribbean World Masters Athletics (NCCWMA) Championship, held in San Jose, Costa Rica from August 21-24. Three veteran Belizean athletes travelled to Costa Rica for the event. Philip Andrewin, in the Masters 65 category (65 – 69 yrs), took part in the 100m, 200m, High Jump, Long Jump and Shot Put. Lawrence Craig, in the Masters 55 category (55 – 59 yrs), represented in Shot Put, High Jump, and won the Silver medal in the Triple Jump. (Lawrence was 4th in Shot Put in his category.) And Daland Jones, also in the Masters 55 category (55 – 59 yrs), participated in the Discus, Javelin, and won the Gold medal in the Shot Put. Top 4 Masters 5 finishers in Shot Put were Daland Jones (Belize, 10.44m), Jerry Ropelato (USA, 10.36m), James Bristol (Trinidad & Tobago, 10.34m), and Lawrence Craig (Belize, 9.05m).

Belize Jaguars prepare for Nations Cup
While the dust settles concerning the Football Federation of Belize (FFB)’s myriad of internal tangles, the country’s Men’s National “A” football selection, known as the Belize Jaguars, including international superstriker Deon McCaulay, and newly reinstated veteran Costa Rican coach, Leroy Sherrier-Lewis, is currently in preparation for an appearance in the upcoming Copa Centro Americana, or Nations Cup, the tournament which enabled the Jaguars to qualify for their first ever Gold Cup outing last year. One of the wrinkles that had been troubling FFB President Ruperto Vicente is the lack of an affordable coach, but after going back and forth with other international coaches, he managed to procure the popular Leroy Sherrier-Lewis, who is certainly no stranger to Belize or to the Federation’s historical shortcomings.

CONCACAF swoops in to straighten out a reeling FFB
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is on the road to recovery – at least that is the indication that embattled FFB President Ruperto Vicente has asserted, after several months of internal flare ups within his executive, which reportedly resulted from allegations of micromanagement and financial mismanagement on his part, forced two successive marathon meetings in which local football executives first reconciled their differences before they sat with CONCACAF representatives, who were called in to adjudicate the dire situation concerning the current welfare of football in the country. After being kept under wraps for nearly a year due to the fear that the local football community, many of whom are sincerely upset by the recent disqualification of Belize’s Belmopan Bandits from the ongoing Champions League tournament because of a substandard local football pitch, will become even more downhearted by the news, the discord that had been brewing within the FFB management aroused the direct intercession of FIFA and CONCACAF, the international football governing bodies, who stepped in and sent two representatives to the country yesterday to quell the undercurrent of discontent which had been threatening to destabilize the foundation of the fairly new FFB executive, who, like the current UDP administration, was swept into office on a wave of reform two years ago.

Editorial: Greg steps down
On Tuesday the news broke that the chairman of the Sarstoon and Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), Greg Ch’oc, was stepping down and was headed to the University of the West Indies to study law. Over the last decade or so, Greg had become the national face of the Kek’chi Maya of Toledo, so this move, though not completely unexpected, was of deep, troubling significance. It was ironic that the following day, Wednesday, Tate & Lyle announced that they would be cutting the preferential sugar quota of our Northern cane farmers from 65,000 tons to 10,000, a thunderbolt decision which will cost the cane farmers in the neighborhood of five million dollars in the 2014/2015 crop year. The cañeros of the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts are, to a substantial extent, descended from the Santa Cruz and Icaiche Maya, who are referred to as “Yucatec” Maya, having come down into the former British Honduras from the Yucatan in the second half of the nineteenth century. Now, while the Santa Cruz Maya, also called bravos, and the Icaiche Maya, also called pacíficos, have a long history of hostility against each other, it is the case in Belize, where Corozal is more Santa Cruz and Orange Walk more Icaiche, that they are basically the same where their position on the Kek’chi Maya of Toledo is concerned. The Yucatec Maya have accepted the philosophy of private land holding, while the Toledo Kek’chi have been fighting for customary land rights, which involve land being held in common by the village unit.

From the Publisher
To be young, street, and black in Belize City today is to be treated as a criminal or potential criminal, every day and every night, by groups of police officers driving around in pickup trucks with United States flags painted on them. If there is a major crime committed, such as murder or armed robbery, young, street, and black from certain neighborhoods can be arbitrarily grabbed, provoked, insulted, beaten, confined and held for 72 hours without any charge and without any real evidence. In the absence of a major crime, when things are cool, the roving cops can just stop you in the middle of the street, spread-eagle you, search you, and insult you, and the excuse for this is most often the weed law. Recently, the authorities suddenly decided, after decades and decades of ignoring the bell and light statutes for bicycling, that you must have one of each of these on your poor youth’s transport. More stop, more abuse, more insult, more persecution …

Letters: Guns don’t fight climate change … trees do!
Belize faces a major threat over the coming years and we will need the best weapons available to deal with it. The name of that threat is climate change and it will affect the whole world, with tropical regions feeling the worst of the change. Global experts agree that, by the end of the century, Belize will see 5°C increase on average daily temperatures, more frequent and longer droughts, less overall rainfall, more hurricane force winds and sea level rises that could submerge parts of low lying areas such as Belize City. Climate change cannot be stopped solely from within Belize, so we need to find ways to adapt to it. The impacts listed above will clearly hit agriculture the hardest. This is particularly worrying because our agricultural sector currently employs more than 32,000 Belizeans and contributes 23% of GDP. It is clear that Belize needs a successful agricultural sector, but this sector is under serious threat and measures need to be taken sooner rather than later to avoid disaster.

Letters: Begging the Transport Department …
As I prepare for this school year I keep remembering the experience we had last year with the teachers/students bus from Independence to Bladen. I would normally take the bus to Bella Vista and vice versa. In my opinion, the bus is not road-worthy, as the tires were worn out and during the rainy days you need to be selective of your seat, or get wet. On the way back to Independence one day, we experienced a blowout. Concern was mentioned to the person in charge of transportation at the District Education Center (D.E.C.), who promised to look into the situation. I don’t know if the owner was contacted, as the bus looked the same way.

Letters: Neri Briceño writes First Caribbean Bank
I write to you in three different capacities: an account holder with your bank, a Belizean, and most of all a proud Garifuna. Whether the content of this letter affects my current standing with the bank is irrelevant at this point, because I trust the bank as an institution is professional enough to separate the two. A most disturbing and outrageous revelation has emerged from your Dangriga Branch which requires immediate and collective action both by yourself and First Caribbean Bank. It is a known fact and whether the bank chooses to admit it or not is immaterial at this point, but Garifuna employees of that branch have been discouraged by the manager at that location from speaking in their native tongue. For something like this to happen in modern 2014 is incomprehensible, unacceptable and absolutely outrageous. I am sure that an institution such as First Caribbean which boasts of its international range and wide diversity with over 100 branches in 17 regional markets does not sanction such behavior. Your bank has a proud tradition of employing thousands of people from different races and cultures and for a manager to ask employees to comply with such a directive is tantamount to cultural suicide.

Letters: Dr. Aranda writes FirstCaribbean, Barbados
I write you, sir, primarily as a Garifuna person, but also at the request of the Garifuna community of Belize as well as the entire Garifuna Diaspora throughout Central America and the United States of America concerning the harassment and move to dismiss at least one senior officer of the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, Dangriga Branch, Belize, Miss Uwahnie Martinez. The alleged violation by this senior officer is her answering greetings in Garifuna from Garifuna customers who address her in Garifuna within the bank. The FirstCaribbean Bank claims that its official language is English, hence only English is to be spoken on the premises of the bank.

Guat farmers marking survey lines several miles inside Belize: FCD
Incessant illegal encroachments by farmers from Guatemala into the Chiquibul Forest, and particularly the Chiquibul National Park and the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, could be exacerbated by the worsening drought in the neighboring country, which has forced the declaration of a state of emergency, amid reports that Guatemalan farmers are not just expanding slash-and-burn clearings in the verdant lands of western Belize, but are actually marking survey lines several miles into Belize and setting up illegal dwellings inside the national park. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), warns that, “The drought period in Guatemala affecting over 1 million, two hundred thousand people in 16 departments, have created a condition of food insecurity. This has prompted the Guatemalan Government to declare a state of calamity on the 25th of August among the 16 departments. In many of these departments, up to 80% of the corn product has been lost and it will take some 8 months to recover. The search for new lands for cultivations will become more incessant.”

Export earnings plunge $55 mil despite 3.7% GDP growth, Jan to July 2014
Belize’s economy declined marginally by 0.4% for the first quarter of 2014, but the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported an upturn in economic growth for second quarter by 8.7%, bringing the total growth estimate for the first half of 2014 to 3.7%. The news was announced at a press conference held at the Central Bank of Belize this morning, and while the SIB official presenting the data, Jefte Ochaeta, Statistician II, said that he did not have information on what this growth means in dollars and cents, he did indicate to us that the growth in the primary industries, agriculture, forestry and fishing, up by 13.2%, represented a $13.9 million increase in production.

Greg Ch’oc bows out from SATIIM
Yesterday morning was a bittersweet, yet momentous occasion for the non-governmental organization (NGO) known as SATIIM, the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, and the indigenous Maya communities in southern Belize, after Maya leader Greg Ch’oc, who has been a fiery champion of their causes for nearly two decades, declared that he would withdraw from his position as executive director of the organization, relinquishing the administration into the hands of a carefully selected successor who has gotten the blessings of the Maya communities to continue what Ch’oc has termed as “the legacy of resistance”, particularly as it relates to the issue of oil drilling and exploration in Toledo. Ch’oc initially publicized his intentions to pursue a law degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus in Barbados about a year ago during a gathering in Midway Village, and now, with his admission process completed, it was time to make the announcement official.

7-foot bull shark illegally fished at Joe Taylor Creek
Fisheries authorities in Belize are investigating the illegal fishing of bull sharks in southern Belize after two adult bull sharks were found dead near the Joe Taylor Creek area, amid reports that 4 to 5 sharks had been indiscriminately fished and dumped, despite the fact that the season for shark fishing has been closed since August 1 – a measure imposed by fisheries managers to help ensure sustainability of the industry. Only two species of shark can’t be fished in Belize, and they are the whale shark and the nurse shark. Fisheries officials are working on putting in place size limits to further protect the industry from wanton fishing of young sharks. Elmar Requeña, terrestrial biologist for the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), reported that, “At 7:50 a.m. on the 26th August, 2014, residents from Punta Gorda spotted a dead shark floating under the Joe Taylor Creek Bridge.” TIDE’s Celia Mahung told us that another dead bull shark was retrieved from the same area yesterday, and she underscores that “fishing seasons in Belize need to be respected in order for us to continue benefiting from our marine resources.”

GOB signs infrastructure contracts for flood mitigation
The Government of Belize (GOB) signed a total of four contracts for infrastructure projects worth more than $5M as part of an upcoming Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program aimed at upgrading, cleaning and constructing existing streets and canals on the north-side of Belize City. The contract signing took place yesterday in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Works and Transport on Power Lane in Belmopan City. According to GOB, the projects will include the concreting and lining of the Douglas Jones Canal and the Northside Canal in Belize City, as well as the upgrading of Link Road (Apollo Street), and the construction and concrete-lining of the Bill Lindo Canal in Belama Phases 3 and 4. Maheias United Construction Company has been outsourced to build a concrete-lined and earthen addition to the Bill Lindo Canal at a cost of $892,250, to be completed in 8 months if all conditions are favorable, while Medina’s Construction Company is slated to build a concrete-lined, covered replacement for the Douglas Jones Canal which will cost $1.8 million and is scheduled to be completed within a period of 10 months.

Changes in certain US visa and consular fees announced
–The US State Department announced out of Washington, DC, today that effective Friday, September 12, 2014, it intends to adjust processing fees for some services, including fiancé visas and the fee for renouncing US citizenship. “The fees for most categories of immigrant visas will change, while fees for nonimmigrant visas largely remain the same,” the announcement said: The fee for renouncing US citizenship will increase from US$450 to US$2,350. “Documenting a U.S. citizen’s renunciation of citizenship is extremely costly, requiring U.S. consular officers overseas to spend substantial amounts of time to accept, process, and adjudicate cases. The fee for processing renunciation of citizenship, which had previously been subsidized, is now reflective of the true cost,” the 15-day notice said.

The Reporter

PUP Belize Rural North executives protest at party headquarters
Members of the PUP’s Belize Rural North executive committee protested in front of their party’s headquarters on Queen Street on Friday to object to the suspension of Arthur Saldivar from the party. The group led by Oswin Blease, told The Reporter that they will keep the pressure on the party’s leadership in defiance of their standard bearer’s suspension that they say is illegal and not in conformity with the party’s constitution. They also demanded a meeting with the party’s leader, Francis Fonseca, to discuss the suspension that they claim was carried out contrary to the norms of due process.

Conference seeks to empower, uplift women
A conference aimed at empowering women and creating enabling environments for their growth and independence took place on Friday at the Radisson Fort George Hotel In Belize City. The forum, which was a continuation of the 20,000 strong march earlier this year, included speeches by Kim Simplis Barrow, special envoy for women and children, Dr Carla Barnett and others on the role women play in society. An expo, featuring the works of female artisans from across the country complemented the conference.

Two men remanded for crystal meth
Customs officials say that 120 pounds of meth-amphetamine that Orange Walk police intercepted last week Wednesday night did not come through its Belize City port of entry. Selso Marin, a senior officer in the Investigations Unit at the Customs Department, said that it is […]

BML expecting payment on Friday
Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) is expecting a five-week-payment from the Belize City Council on Friday, according to BML owner Lawrence Ellis. Ellis indicated that CitCo has promised to make a payment of approximately $390,000 on Friday. He added that if CitCo didn’t pay on […]

Taiwan provides scholarships for 26 Belizeans
Twenty-six Belizean students will leave the country this weekend for Taiwan where they will pursue tertiary-level studies in fields ranging from engineering to medicine over the next few years. At an orientation ceremony last Saturday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington reminded the students […]

Child Friendly Municipality Initiative launched
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Local Government, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have launched the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipality Initiative geared toward addressing issues affecting children in different municipalities. Ivan Yerovie, UNICEF representative, said they are working […]

Provident Bank robbed of $40,000
About $40,000 was stolen from Provident Bank & Trust of Belize Limited on Barrack Road around 9:15 a.m. on Monday morning. According to Inspector Santiago Ciao, OC Precinct Three, two unmasked men entered the bank and asked to see the cashier. After the men […]

Body of missing Lemonal resident found
The body of a 27-year-man that had been missing for almost two weeks was found in a shallow grave in the village of Lemonal on Saturday afternoon. Denvo Banner’s remains were found in a shallow grave behind the community school by a search team […]

Alleged American murderer could be in Belize
Belizean law enforcement authorities are on the lookout and are in need of the public’s help to locate Lyle Marvin Hoffman, also known as “Ty”, a wanted American felon accused of the murder of a man in Minnesota State, USA. Hoffman, according to Minnesota authorities, […]

A&R security guard charged for plotting robbery
A 28-year-old security guard who worked at A&R Enterprise Limited has been charged in connection with last week’s robbery at the establishment and has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Leroy Ciego was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and […]

SATIIM gets new director
The Sarstoon Temash institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) has a new executive director. Foyla Tzalam officially assumed the post on Tuesday at a press conference held at the conference room of the Belize Social Security Board in Punta Gorda Town. Tzlam takes over from former […]

UNICEF deploys largest amount of aid ever
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) this month deployed over 1,000 metric tons of life saving supplies for children all over the world setting a record for largest amount of emergency aid delivered in a single month. According to UNICEF, the delivery in August […]

EDITORIAL

Since 1976 when the Ebola virus was first identified, the disease has become one of the most deadly the world has seen. It is possible for a person to come down with Ebola symptoms in the morning and be dead by nighttime! The Center for Disease Control in the United […]

‘Draconian’ gun law to be revised! Elrington says amendments expected as early as next month
Amendments to the controversial gun law may come as early as next month, Attorney General Wilfred Elrington said in a recent interview with The Reporter. According to Elrington, the Offices of the Solicitor General and the Ministry of National Security are reviewing the 2008 amendment […]

GDP up, exports down!
The economy has grown by 8.7 percent above last year, the best recorded second quarter growth since 2009, while imports continue to exceed exports according to the latest data released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. The SIB presented the Gross Domestic Product and the […]

Cañeros seek clarification on new payment scheme
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is requesting clarification from the biggest importer of sugar, Tate and Lyle Sugars, on changes made to the payment scheme for the upcoming sugarcane crop. The BSCFA wrote to the company on Thursday, after receiving a letter stating the […]

PUP suspends Arthur Saldivar!
Arthur Saldivar, the PUP’s standard bearer in the Belize Rural North constituency is suspended and faces possible expulsion from the party if ongoing ongoing investigations prove that he is culpable of taking monies that belonged to one of his clients. PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, told […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Galen University awards scholarships
Galen University has announced the awarding of ten scholarships for the 2014 Fall Semester. A statement from Galen University says that the scholarships were awarded in four categories, namely Academic Excellence, Academic/Financial Needs, Athletic and Music. The Scholarship recipients are Ruvi Bautista, Jessie Gentle and Jasmin Nicole Hulse for Academic Excellence. Derrick Seaven Bol and Mario Alberto Villeda for Financial Needs; Romario Romaldo Pech received a Music Scholarship. Kevin Brown, Bryton Edmundo Codd and Christopher Enriquez are recipients of Athletic Scholarships. The Daniel Silva Academic/Financial Need Scholarship has been awarded to Kaycee Nikita Flores.

Blogs

One HOT Day in Beautiful Placencia Village – Taking Things Slow
My taxi driver in Independence/Mango Creek called for rain. The rest of the week, he said with authority, SHOWERS. Quite the bold statement when it basically hasn’t rained for months in San Pedro or Placencia – and the official weather report down here is about as reliable as BTL internet service down here. But I am a sucker for anything said with command AND I hadn’t packed an umbrella, so maybe it could… Just a 3 minute taxi ride or a 10 minute stroll north of the village, I check into the very cutest spot and most homey, Casa Placencia. A labor of love – each room filled with color and art and personal touches. Mosaic tiles everywhere done personally by the owner – Jackie – in her over 30 years in Belize. I took so many pictures but I’ll save them for later.

Belize Gets Big Support in Cooling the Effects of Climate Change
An ambitious US$ 30 million World Bank project will help make a difference! Here at Chaa Creek there’s no debate about climate change. Those doubting that climate change exists as a growing threat to the health of our planet and the seven billion souls inhabiting it will find their arguments falling on deaf ears around here. We’re just too close to nature to ignore the fact that the earth is heating up, water levels are rising, and storms are increasing in intensity and frequency. But doom and gloom has never been a Belizean trait, and we take heart in the many measures being put in place to counter this growing threat. All around us we see people taking part in the worldwide effort to turn climate change around and mitigate its effects.

“It’s So Easy” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I got out on to the veranda – yes the western, lagoon facing one on the first floor – around 05.00 hours yesterday morning with the “must have” mug of black coffee (no sugar) and my iPad. After a few minutes of just taking in the sights,sounds and smells. I know it should be the same vista – I sit in the same position every morning after all – but it never, ever is. The different shades of the early morning light conspire to make it a different and truly enjoyable picture every day. Sated with the ambience (and a couple of sips of coffee) I turned to The Times online and was well in to the Business pages when the tranquility was broken by the sound of hammering from the lot immediately north of our home. I don’t why but this got to me to thinking about how I would have reacted to such an intrusion at 06.30 hours when I was living in London. I’m pretty certain that the reaction from me would have been to utter a few expletives. The next step would likely have been for me to shout similar types of invective at the “offending” workers. My reaction yesterday morning? I had another sip of coffee and went back to the Business pages.

International Sourcesizz

Meet Me in Belize" sweepstakes by AFAR
We want to send you to Belize to meet the locals, who are waiting to show you the best the country has to offer, from its ancient ruins to its newest resorts. Ask our locals for the name of a must-see dive spot, the perfect bar for a sunset cocktail, or a store with the best handicrafts and not only will they tell you where to go, they’ll lead you there. After reading some of our locals’ tips, choose the region you’d most like to explore to enter the sweepstakes. If you are the lucky winner for a trip for two to Belize, pack your bags and we’ll meet you in Belize.

IBRD loan to mitigate climate change effects in Belize
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loaned US$30mn to Belize's government for a five-year infrastructure improvement project to mitigate climate change effects. The loan has a maturity of 40 years, with a five-year grace period, the World Bank said in a release. The financing will be used to restore 30km of roads, upgrade 12 bridges and culverts, develop 26 localized hazard maps, implement the country's land-use policy and train government staff on flood tracking and local residents on road maintenance. Belize was identified by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, given that over half the population and business centers are at sea level.

Good News From One Of The World's Top Retirement Havens
Over the past three decades I've been writing about Belize. I've regularly borrowed Morley Shafer's line from the mid-80s, when he traveled to Belize City to film a segment for 60 Minutes. "The good news from Belize," Morley said looking up from a little wooden boat in the middle of the Belize River, "is no news from Belize." True then, true since, and true now, though maybe a little less so. This month I returned to Belize's Cayo, where I found news worth reporting. The main town in this part of this country is San Ignacio. For the first 20 years I knew San Ignacio, it was a tiny roundabout with concrete benches, a main drag with hostels and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and a river launch that was little more than a muddy hillside that you could slide down or drag yourself and your canoe up.

Tropics May Come Alive Again Next Week Near Mexico
As Cristobal loses its tropical characteristics, attention is turning toward the Bay of Campeche for potential development early next week. A tropical wave moving through the central Caribbean has the potential to become the Atlantic Basin's next tropical depression or storm in the Bay of Campeche, in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, early next week. The Bay of Campeche is where conditions will become conducive for development as the water is very warm and a zone of lower wind shear will be present. Wind shear refers to belts of winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere that can shred apart tropical systems when strong enough. The wave is currently encounter such disruptive wind shear and would continue to do so if it takes a more northern track into the western Gulf of Mexico.

Punta Gorda: Belize’s Forgotten District…
Rounding a bend in the road, you catch your first glimpse of the bay of Honduras. The stunning silhouette of Guatemala’s mountains to the south provides the perfect backdrop as the light scatters off the sparkling Caribbean water. The skies are a cloudless blue and a series of houses painted different colors, here white, there yellow, another green—and all with neatly-groomed yards—greets you along the coast road into the town of Punta Gorda. Every visit I make to the Toledo region of Belize brings unexpected discoveries. Some folks call it the country’s “forgotten district,” and it’s true that Toledo is a bit of an enigma. On the surface it appears peaceful and serene. But look closer and you’ll find a contrasting alter ego. This Toledo is wild, untamed, enticing…

Videos

Video: Diving at Ambergris Caye Belize - 2014., min.
Diving at Ambergris Caye Belize - 2014.

Video: Financial Empowerment for Women in Belize, 10min.
Women entrepreneurs in Belize have the passion, the creativity, and the capacity to be successful in business. What they lack is financing. This video showcase but a few of the women endeavoring to create economic opportunities for themselves and the efforts of Belize's Special Envoy for Women and Children to link them with the financial resources they need to succeed.

Video: Earth Expeditions Baja & Belize Packing Tips, 9min.

Video: Flying Into Punta Gorda Belize, 3min.


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
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We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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