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Minister of Immigration Clueless on Workers’ Status
The news that a Guatemalan company with Guatemalan employees was building a Coast Guard facility on Hunting Caye broke last week Thursday. One week later, the Government says it still [...]
Minister Saldivar Says He Knew About BINARQ…But Kept Mum
While the Minister of Labour, Hulse, is saying that he still does not know about permits, the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, says all required permits were approved. Saldivar [...]
Another Immigration Investigation Underway
The Penner immigration corruption scandal which dominated the public landscape for a year has now fizzled. But with Immigration such a ripe tree full of fruit to plunder, there will [...]
US Embassy Responds
Since last Friday, News Five emailed the US Embassy with a series of questions in respect of the contract issued to BINARQ. Late this evening, we got a response. While [...]
UNIBAM’s Attorney Says It’s About Violence…Not Anti-Gay Lyrics
Three weeks ago an injunction against controversial artist Alkaline put him under manners, bound to keep his lyrical peace and tone down the sex. And now another artist is being [...]
Bobby Chin Says the Show Will Go On
Dancehall performing artist Beenie Man can be considered a mainstay in Belize, having been invited to perform in the country since the mid-nineties. So what is the contention all about? [...]
Beenie Man Says Love & Respect Only…No Hate
But according to UNIBAM’s Attorney, Lisa Shoman, there is precedent for the action being taken against Beenie Man, whose real name is Anthony Davis, and she’s right. Beenie Man and [...]
Belize People’s Front wants to boycott Guatemala
The murder of Danny Conorquie continues to raise the ire of the public. One group that is championing that Conorquie’s murder should not be in vain is the Belize People’s [...]
Minister Saldivar Still Quiet on Compensation Quantum
Earlier today when we caught up with the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, he was drilled about compensation to the family of Danny Conorquie, who was killed two weeks [...]
Saldivar Says TPU Memo is being Investigated
At the beginning of the year, on January twenty-fourth, the Commander of the Tourism Police Unit, ASP Diana Hall, wrote to the ministry outlining the dangers and risks that tourism [...]
Another Accident on the George Price Highway
There have been extensive reconstruction works on the George Price highway, indisputably the most dangerous roadway which can claim the most fatalities from road traffic accidents. This morning at around seven-thirty [...]
Amendments to Firearms Act Passed…More on the Way
Today, the Senate met and with government’s majority, approved amendments to the Firearms Control Act, the Gun Control Act and the Legal Profession Act. Where the Firearms Act is concerned, [...]
Man Remanded for Carnal Knowledge
A teenager who is only thirteen years and nine months of age is claiming that a young man she is acquainted with had sexual intercourse with her against her will. [...]
Belize City Man Remanded for Burglarizing Home
A thirty-nine year old man is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison accused of burglarizing a house and stealing about two thousand dollars worth of household items. Lance [...]
136 Police Recruits Pass Out
One hundred and thirty-six women and men joined the ranks of the Belize Police Department today. The ceremony was held at the police training academy in the capital where family [...]
B.N.T.U.’s call for action to “Unite to Stop the Attacks and tek wi country bak.”
One group that we had not heard from in respect of the execution of Danny Conorquie is the Belize National Teachers Union. Well this evening, we did. Following a meeting [...]
Bodybuilding Championships Set for Next Week
The Belize Body Building and Fitness Championships is set for next Friday, October seventeenth. For months, the federation and athletes, both male and female, have been putting the necessary preparations [...]
Belikin Calendar 2015 is about Fitness & Sports
If you have been following social media, you would know that the launch of the Belikin Calendar takes place on October twenty-fourth, at a reception to be held at the [...]
The Symptoms Of Ebola And How To Prevent It
The second part of the Ministry of Health’s press briefing was to give the media a rundown on the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which has been wreaking havoc in Western Africa. The current outbreak in West Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined.
It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveller only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveller) to Senegal. And while there is no known cases of the deadly Ebola virus in the Caribbean, officials say that the region including Belize should not rest on its laurels. Reporter Maria Novelo has this story in the following report.
Our Lady Of Guadalupe R.C. School Receives New Bathroom Facilities
For years students enrolled at Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic School in Altamira Corozal have been forced to use dilapidated bathrooms, thus putting their health at risk, but not anymore because the staff and faculty of the school can boast of new bathroom facilities. Daniel Moreno, a concerned citizen, saw the need of the school and that’s where the initiative was born.
Daniel Moreno – Concern Parent
“I was informed that the school needed better bathroom facilities and God put it on my heart actually to go ahead and do this and I consulted with my team at a Crossing the Gulf Ministries and we decided to go ahead and constructed the bathroom.”
Is Belize's Poultry Being Smuggled Into Chetumal, Quintana Roo?
A report aired yesterday on one of the media houses in Chetumal, Mexico has suggested that wholesalers who sell chicken may be smuggling chicken into the country from Belize. The suggestion goes further to state that this poultry from Belize can be contaminated and unsafe to eat. The report indicates that some wholesalers are selling chicken at a rather cheap price, somewhere in the vicinity of twenty-seven to twenty-eight pesos per pound which translates to somewhere over four dollars a pound. This is a concern as various wholesalers are competing for sales and the issue was raised because the actual marked price for chicken there is thirty-five pesos or more or almost six Belize dollars. The suggestion therefore was that some wholesalers were able to offer their poultry at a cheaper price because it was smuggled into the country from Belize. As we mentioned earlier too, the interviewee further suggested that this meat could very well be contaminated. Here is an excerpt of that story and the interview aired.
Organizations Meet To Discuss Security At Archaeological Reserves
The shooting death of a tourism police Danny Conorquie at the Caracol archaeological site has stirred a series of events that center on security and justice for the victim. The discussions as to how to deal with the aftermath of the situation continued this weekend with a stakeholder meeting.
Discussions surrounded the archaeological reserve and the Chiquibul National Park among members of the Belize Toursim Board, the National Institute of Culture and History NICH, the Institute of Archeology, the Tourism Police Unit, San Ignacio Police Formation, Friends for Conservation and the Cayo Tour Guides Association. The Cayo Tour Guide Association made a number of recommendations including the need to increase military presence on the route to Caracol and the site itself starting from seven in the morning. This way there would be better access to the site for tourism activities that include botanical tours, ecology, hiking and camping to name a few. The association also suggested that they would like to have a better rapport with the TPU and Armed forces or every security option available for their safety. The second suggestion is that at least two hundred meters or more near the site is thinned, not cleared to allow for better visibility within the park and perimeter.
Belize Being Cleaned Of Debris
The Wavemakers 23rd annual national clean-up campaign which was held on Saturday proved successful once more. Hundreds of volunteers took to the beach, riverbanks, canals and lagoons to collect and remove garbage and other forms of debris from Belize’s waterways. Every article of trash was recorded and the information will be sent to the Ocean Conservancy to document the state of marine debris in Belizean waters. According to the 2013 data, approximately 9,300 pounds of trash was collected from twenty seven miles of coastline and waterways which comprises of fifty different locations. The trash collected this year included the usual non-biodegradable suspects: plastics, Styrofoam, aluminium wrappers and paper. But the debris also included things like car parts, tire rims and medical waste. Beyond compromising Belize’s aesthetic beauty, marine debris poses serious threat to fish, seabirds, marine reptiles such as turtles, marine mammals such as dolphins and manatees.
The clean-up was one spearheaded by the folks at the Scout Association of Belize, Oceana Belize, Rotaract Clubs, environmental clubs and other organizations across the country.
Carmelita Resident Stabbed While She Sleeps
Tonight, Orange Walk police have arrested and charged one male teen in connection to an aggravated burglary in Carmelita Village that occurred last night. According to the situation report, around 12:13am, acting on information received, Orange Walk Police visited Carmelita Village in the District of Orange Walk where they met 43 year old one Ruth Flowers suffering from a cut wound to the right arm and palm of left hand. Information gathered revealed that Flowers was lying on her bed when she was awakened by a male person standing by her bed. This person stabbed her on her right arm and attempted to stab her again but Flowers grabbed the knife by the blade causing the cut to her palm. The person then ran away but not before Flowers recognized him as 18 year old Brandon Vasquez, Belizean labourer of Carmelita Village, who was arrested and charged yesterday for the crimes of Aggravated Burglary and Use of Deadly means of harm.
Robbery In San Pedro Nets Thieves More Than A Hundred Grand
A major heist on Ambergris Caye has netted thieves over $130,000 during a brazen daylight robbery at Milo’s Center in downtown San Pedro. The Sun reports that around 1:20 this afternoon, a security officer identified as Roberto Assi was wounded in the process when two men attacked him as he was heading out with a deposit bag to the bank. The two men stabbed and then robbed him of a deposit bag containing $130,891. One of the suspects was caught and the other with the money bag made good his escape. Police say the men are known to them and are actively seeking the other perpetrator.
SP Police Recovered Drugs And Cash, Two Men Charged
In other news coming out from San Pedro, island authorities arrested and charged a pair of men from the island for the offence of drug trafficking. This morning around 8:30am, a team of San Pedro Police, QRT, CIB and Special Branch personnel, conducted a search at an apartment room located at # 14 Sandpiper Street in the San Juan Area, San Pedro Town. Present at the time were 55 year old Rene Gabriel Perez, Belizean Fisherman and 18 year old Nairo Perez, Belizean fisherman, who both reside at the apartment. A search was conducted inside the room which led to the discovery of a pink plastic container containing green leafy vegetable substance wrapped in transparent plastic amounting to a total of 123.0 grams of suspected Cannabis. Also found inside the plastic container was ($656.00) in different denominations believed to be proceeds from drug sales. Both men were arrested and charged for “Drug Trafficking.”
US Embassy is Examining Contracting Procedures
The US Embassy issued a press release on the building of the Coast Guard facility on Harvest Caye, and the fact that Guatemalans have been contracted to do the work.
The release says that- “The goal of the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) is to support the Belizean military and people so that the United States and Belize can continue to work closely together in strengthening maritime security interests that affect both countries.
In consideration of our strong U.S.-Belize partnership, USSOUTHCOM and the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan are currently examining the contracting procedures and construction efforts underway to address Government of Belize concerns…..The bidding process for these infrastructure projects is transparent and open to a pool of international contractors under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Central America “Multiple Award Task Order Contracts” (MATOCS).
Heavy rains cause flooding in areas across Belize
Heavy showers fell over most parts of the nation on Wednesday, causing flooding in some areas.
Many Belize City streets were completely under water as the rains fell heavily most of the day.
In Belmopan, some streets were also flooded as well as yards.
In the Salvapan extension area of Belmopan, a truck which had just delivered soil to a resident, was moving off when its fuel line burst and spilled onto the streets. That fuel was clearly seen on the flood waters in the area causing an ugly black film. Residents of the area are especially concerned about the oil sheen as some of them have water wells in their yards and fear of contamination has been expressed. The area is prone to flooding but this is a unique situation as the flooding, linked with a simple incident, can now create a potential hazard.
We were unable to get a comment from the Department of Environment late Wednesday evening, when we were made aware of the situation. We will follow up on this story.
Teachers’ Union Issue Call To Action Following Killing Of Danny Conorquie
The Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers’ Union met on Saturday, and unanimously voted for an immediate “call to action”.
BNTU is asking its teachers to stand in solidarity and support of tourism officer Danny Conorquie, who was gunned down in the Caracol Mayan Site by Guatemalans.
This call to action is to bring into sharper focus all the risks Belize’s military and security have to “endure in the absence of solid security”. Via a prèss release, BNTU says, “…BNTU wishes to register our great concern and displeasure over the ongoing varying forms of invasions into Belize by neighbouring Guatemalans.”
BNTU says they are embarking on this call to action under the theme “ Teechaz got yuh back…Unite to stop the attacks, ahn tek wih kuntri back”.
Ministry of Health discusses Dengue, Chinkungunya, and Ebola
On Tuesday the Ministry of Health hosted a press in Belize City to update on its efforts to fight three major diseases, one already making an impact and two others being monitored as a potential threat.
We start with Dengue, the fever spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. It is endemic to Belize and the rainy season from June to November is at its height in terms of cases reported. But the 2014 season has raised some concerns, both in terms of the cluster location of the virus and its mutation to the deadly hemorrhagic fever.
According to Director of Health Services, Dr. Michael Pitts, of the over 700 cases reported, the majority are concentrated in vulnerable areas of Belize City’s Southside.
Doctor Michael Pitts – Director of Health Services
“In terms of what is happening in Belize District, most of the cases that we are seeing are in Belize City. For all public health purposes, we have divided Belize City into nine zones. We are seeing most of those cases in three zones, which are primarily on the Southside of Belize.
Teenage boy reported missing in Benque Viejo del Carmen
A fifteen year old boy from Benque Viejo del Carmen has been reported missing by his father.
Christian Reymundo who is a first form student of the Mopan Technical High School, left home on Tuesday evening around 6:30 pm, telling his dad that he was going to his aunt’s house to do homework.
But the boy never made it to the aunt’s house, according to Omar Reymundo, 36, who lives on Riverside Street. According to the father, when the teenage boy left home on Tuesday evening, he was riding a beach cruiser bicycle.
Robbery in San Pedro; thousands of dollars stolen
There was a robbery in San Pedro town, on Ambergris Caye on Tuesday afternoon.
28 year old Cleofosio Assi, who works as a security guard, was enroute to the local branch of the Belize Bank when he was accosted on Barrier Reef Drive.
According to police, Assi felt someone grab his backpack. A struggle ensued during which Assi was stabbed to the right shoulder.
Still, he was able to identify his attacker, described as being of brown complexion, has dreadlocks and wore a beard on his chin.
Untamed Belize – Spotlight on the Chiquibul, Belize’s Rainforest
Comprising 1,073 square kilometres, (414 sq mi) of rugged, pristine forest, the Chiquibul National Park contains The ancient Maya metropolis of Caracol, a Belizean wonder in its own right. And as the dense environment has daunted explorers for centuries, who knows what ancient Maya wonders are still waiting to be discovered?
Originally part of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, which was marked out in 1956, the park was set aside after intense lobbying by conservationists in 1991, with the current borders drawn up in 1995 to protect the area and ensure that Caracol remained surrounded by a park. Thanks to such forward thinking action, the area has been saved from much of the ecological depredation seen in neighbouring countries.
However – and there always seems to be a however when it comes to the environment – illegal incursions by foreign nationals seeking to harvest gold, game, lumber, xate palm leaves, and other valuable natural resources are increasingly becoming a problem. But more on that later.
BELTRAIDE’s Latest Investment Magazine Centers on Agribusiness
In 2013, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service launched the magazine “Invest Belize” in an effort to promote its initiatives and highlight the investment opportunities available in Belize. On Tuesday, September 30, BELTRAIDE unveiled Invest Belize Volume 3 which is concentrating on opportunities available in the agribusiness sector.
Invest Belize Volume 1 focused on offshore business outsourcing and Volume 2 was centered on tourism development. Mike Singh, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Trade, says this edition may be the best yet. BELTRAIDE selected McNab Publishing Limited for Invest Belize Volume 3. McNab has a track record of producing exceptional pieces such as the Flavours of Belize Cookbook, Belize Travel Guide and the Inspirational Calendar. Singh says he is extremely proud of the quality of articles in the magazine: “We are getting articles written by very senior people in government and very qualified people in the private sector.”
Trade Relations Between the Caribbean and China are Strengthened
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) supported a contingent of representatives from four (4) of the Region’s Business Support Organisations (BSOs) to participate in the 8th China LAC Business Summit that was held in Changsha, China between September 12-13, 2014.
The mission to China led by the Honourable Minister Donville Inniss, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development for Barbados sought to build relations, discover new potential trading partners and promote the Caribbean for viable investment opportunities. Speaking at the China LAC Summit, Minister Inniss noted that the areas for future cooperation between China and the Caribbean included financial services, logistics, tourism and hotel development, agribusiness and infrastructure development.
The participation of these BSOs that included JAMPRO, InvestSVG, The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce of Haiti, is an important step towards not only strengthening the capacity of the BSOs to understand the Chinese market but also to enable the BSOs to work with the regions private sector to strategically target and penetrate the Chinese for exports and investments.
Decade of Destruction: The High Cost of Hurricanes [Infographic]
Katrina. Wilma. Sandy. During the past 10 years, these names have unfortunately become common parts of the American lexicon. They symbolize a decade that featured 15 of the costliest hurricanes on record that resulted in thousands of casualties, millions of destroyed homes, and more than $310 billion in total damage.
This “Decade of Destruction” infographic from MPA@UNC, the online format of the Master of Public Administration program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, explores the devastating damage caused by hurricanes between 2004 and 2013, the relief and recovery efforts of government agencies and NGOs, and preventive measures taken to protect the nation’s most vulnerable communities from future natural disasters.
Jim Can, wanted in Belize tax scheme, linked to Calgary kidnapping
Jim Can, a Canadian businessman wanted as part of a major U.S. investigation involving stock fraud, tax evasion and money laundering in Belize, has a controversial past in Canada, including an admission he was present during a violent kidnapping of a Calgary businessman who says he was held at gunpoint by two associates of the Hells Angels.
Can faces several charges in the U.S. following a two-year undercover investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He is accused along with five others, including another Canadian, of taking part in what is described by U.S. authorities as a "fraudulent" and "intricate" scheme involving sham companies, anonymous debit cards and stock manipulations worth more than $500 million US.
Can is a stock promoter who lived in Calgary for many years before moving to Belize.
International Tourism Conference Showcasing 280 Central American and European Vendors
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) announced that more than 100 European wholesalers and about 180 Central American vendors will participate in the Central America Travel Market Fair 2014 (CATM), which will be held in Costa Rica this October 9 and 10, in the Pedregal Events Center.
Wilhelm von Breymann, Minister of Tourism in Costa Rica and member of the Central American Tourism Council (CCT), said that as hosts they expect attendees to enjoy the event and take advantage of the recent announcements made by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) which reported a 6% increase in international tourist arrivals for the first half of this year to do business.
“CATM has become an exceptional showcase for promoting tourism in the Central American countries, and promoting the dissemination of multi-destination, tourism products and knowledge of the region,” he said.
Strengthening the Caribbean Internet
The promise of a better local Internet experience, data security and commercial opportunities has been one of the greatest incentives to establishing IXPs across the Caribbean. The TTNIX exchange now brings to eight the number of active IXPs in the Caribbean. T&T joins British Virgin Islands (BVIX), Curacao (AMS-IX), Dominica (DANIX), Grenada (GREX), Haiti, St Maarten (OCIX) and St Lucia (SLIX) as Caribbean countries with exchange points. Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines are also actively engaged in setting up local exchange points.
“Tremendous progress has been made in sensitising the region to the importance of building out national Internet infrastructure. Now we are seeing the fruit,” said Bernadette Lewis, secretary general of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
Mayas, la plus grande expo "in the world"
Avec plus de 3000 ans de civilisation, le peuple Maya ne cesse de fasciner. L'exposition proposée actuellement par le Musée du Quai Branly à Paris permet de mieux comprendre la richesse de cette culture mexicaine. Une visite s'impose.
Après la subite et disproportionnée rupture culturelle franco-mexicaine liée à l'affaire Florence Cassez initiée unilatéralement par Nicolas Sarkozy en février 2011, voici qu'à Paris, le Musée du Quai Branly opte en octobre 2014 pour une symbolique réconciliation en mettant en scène, (jusqu'au 8 février) dans son immense espace du rez de chaussée la plus grande exposition sur la civilisation Maya jamais réalisée, rassemblant - essentiellement dans des vitrines parfois trop sobrement éclairées - 385 pièces rares, dont une bonne cinquantaine exceptionnelles par leur rareté , leur signification et leur beauté.
La civilisation Maya (de « maïs », la céréale sacrée) , originaire du Yucatan au Mexique vers 2600 avant JC, ayant également des bases au Belize et au Guatemala, est l'une des plus étudiées, mais nombre de ses activités et ses rites demeurent encore mystérieux. On distingue plusieurs périodes, différentes cultures se côtoyant, notamment les Olmèques.
Mangroves protecting corals from climate change
Certain types of corals, invertebrates of the sea that have been on Earth for millions of years, appear to have found a way to survive some of their most destructive threats by attaching to and growing under mangrove roots.
Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and Eckerd College recently published research on a newly discovered refuge for reef-building corals in mangrove habitats of the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than 30 species of reef corals were found growing in Hurricane Hole, a mangrove habitat within the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument in St. John.
Corals are animals that grow in colonies, forming reefs over time as old corals die and young corals grow upon the calcium carbonate or limestone skeletons of the old corals. Coral reefs make up some of the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth, and face many threats such as coastal pollution, dredging and disease. However, some of their most widespread threats involve warming ocean temperatures, solar radiation and increased ocean acidification.
It is from these threats that corals are finding refuge under the red mangroves of Hurricane Hole. Red mangroves, subtropical or tropical trees that colonize coastlines and brackish water habitats, have networks of prop roots that extend down toward the seafloor, and corals are growing on and under these roots.
Violent Incursions into Belize
On Thursday, September 25, 2014, Tourism Police Special Constable Danny Conorquie was shot at the archeological site of Caracol. His death was witnessed by fellow guards and tourists who took videos of his death.
This week, On October 3, 2014, Guatemalans armed with shotguns and machetes, attacked Belizean carpenters who were building an observation post at Valentin Camp, inside the Caracol Archaeological Reserve
Trans-national organized gangs of poachers, smugglers, and human traffickers continue incursions
into the border area between Guatemala and Belize.
International Archaeology Day
The largest Maya site in Belize, Caracol was bigger than modern day Belize City—the largest city in the country—and supported over 144,000 people. An extensive agricultural system supported this spectacular kingdom. Caracol's monumental architecture includes Canaa—the largest building at Caracol and one of the largest man-made structures in Belize. Caracol was also a military power scoring major victories over Tikal and Naranjo. Will Caracol be able to overpower its competition in ArchaeoMadness?
Video: Belize My New Home on Caye Caulker.mp4, 2min.
Video: A Glimpse of Belize HD, 4min.
Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, offers a unique combination of richly, rewarding experiences that make it unlike any destination on the planet.
Swim with the exotic sea life along the Western Hemisphere's largest barrier reef. Explore the fascinating mysteries of the largest concentration of Maya sites in the region.
Video: Tender docking with Carnival Glory off the coast of Belize, 2min.
Tender boat docking with Carnival Glory off the coast of Belize.
Video: Exploring Cahal Pech, San Ignacio, Belize, 2.5min.
This is a video I shot of me going through Cahal Pech in September of 2014.
Video: Snorkeling and Diving in Belize, 3min.
Snorkeling off Caye Caulker and Scuba at the Blue Hole.
Video: Conch Fishing San Pedro, Belize, 4min.
On the first day of the season, Sanpedranos in Belize are up at the crack of dawn and heading out to fish for conch in order for them to supply the restaurants, bars and homes on the island. Those who don’t fish eagerly await for the days batch to arrive and either purchase their fresh conch or head to their favorite locale to have some conch ceviche, or their conch soup or fritters.
Video: Whale Shark Aggregation in Belize – Cristiana & Alain Bontemps 2009 Natural History Nature Documentary, 10min.