Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

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

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

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

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

Ambergris Today

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

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

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

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

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

The Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Belize Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patrick JonesPJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

International Sourcesizz

Belize confirms 1st three autochthonous chikungunya cases while El Salvador record an additional 30,000
In a follow-up to a report earlier this month, the Belize Ministry of Health has confirmed the first case(s) of local transmission of chikungunya. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported on Friday that Belize had reported three confirmed cases. According to an official release from the health ministry, the case(s) are from the Las Flores area of Belmopan. Health officials say that it will schedule spraying activities and health education sessions will continue in the affected community. Also in Central America, the number of locally acquired chikungunya cases in El Salvador jumped by an additional 30,000 cases, bring that country’s total to 123,000, according to PAHO data. After reporting their first locally acquired chikungunya case about one week ago, the total number of cases has risen to 10 in Mexico.

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


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

Video: Diving Belize, 2min.

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

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

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

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

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

Video: Belize NOVEMBER 2014, 7.5min.

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

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

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

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