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#505291 - 06/17/15 11:51 AM Today's Belize News: June 17, 2015
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Huge ship on reef
We were alerted to the presence of a huge ship at our beautiful reef and truly, you could not miss this behemoth. It is the USAV Brandy Military Station measuring 53meters x 10meters, and appears to have entered Belizean waters on Saturday, June 13th (according to Port of Belize logs). The vessel was seen at around 3:30PM attempting to pass the ‘Entrada San Pedro’ cut. It is now outside of the Belize Barrier Reef making its way back to Belize City. The USA Navy was in Ambergris Caye conducting a special training mission. It seems we have quite a few military vessels traversing our waters these days! We have confirmed that indeed the crew is made up of Navy officers parttaking in the United States Southern Command's Exercise Tradewinds.

Lobster Season is a Go!
Yesterday marked the official opening of Lobster season and what a grand opening it was! San Pedro fishermen brought in their highly anticipated bounty to supply a lobster-craving town! We hope there’s room for plenty of lobster in your appetite because local restaurants have already begun whipping up some of their best lobster specials! Grilled lobster tails, lobster ceviche, lobster pizza, fritters, lobster dip and so much more, we hope you’re ready! Don’t forget this coming Saturday June 20th is the annual Lobsterfest Block Party. There will be LOADS of lobster to enjoy.

Public Officers and Teachers Receive an 8% Salary Increase
Government Press Office – June 16, 2015 – The Ministry of Finance is pleased to announce that public officers and teachers will receive an eight percent (8%) salary increase, totalling approximately $38 million, effective July of 2015 retroactive to April 1st, 2015. This increase in salary is separate and apart from the 2% annual increment which is given to public officers and teachers on the basis of merit. The salary increase stems from the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in February of 2014 between the Government of Belize and the unions representing public officers and teachers (PSU, BNTU, APSSMBZ). The Collective Bargaining Agreement established a framework, a part of which is a salary increase every year for three years commencing in 2014. Last year public officers and teachers received a six percent (6%) salary increase. The Government of Belize appreciates all public officers and teachers and the level of service they provide to the general public.

Belize Jaguars dominate Dominica Republic in 2nd round of FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
The Belize National Football Selection captured an impressive victory over the National Football Selection of Dominican Republic in the second round of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup Qualifiers. With a score aggregate of 5-1, the Jaguars managed to win both home and away games, making their country very proud indeed. The results of the two part game series eliminated DR from the competition and is allowing Belize to continue their journey on the road to World Cup Russia 2018. The first match was an away game for the Jaguars on Thursday, June 11th and was played at the Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez in Santo Domingo at 2PM. The Belize team quickly took control of the game with Belize’s star forward, Deon McCauley scoring the first goal in the 11th minute. The Jaguars controlled the entire first half of the match, not allowing DR a single chance to score. Unfortunately the ball slipped past Belize goalkeeper Shane Orio in the second half, tying the game 1-1. But the Jaguars were determined to bring home a victory! In the final minutes of the game, McCauley took control of the ball once more and scored his second goal, securing the 2-1 victory.

Justice for Sotz family
The Caye Caulker Police Department (CCPD) is under new command following the arraignment of two and the interdiction of three, police officers due to police brutality which led to the death of an 18-year-old. Police Constable (PC) 628 Leonard Nunez and PC 819 Hallet King were jointly charged for the murder of Hilberto Sotz on Wednesday, June 10th by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Sotz died under police custody on Monday, June 8th, and this led to a full on investigation of the department. In addition, Woman PC 1107 Bernadette Ramos, PC 1932 Edilberto Patt and former CCPD Officer in Charge, Corporal Kirby Palma, were placed in interdiction as investigations revealed they were on duty at the time of the incident. A candle light vigil was held on Wednesday, June 10th to honor the life of Sotz. Residents from both Caye Caulker and San Pedro converged at the Caye Caulker community basketball court in a show of solidarity against police brutality. “I have known Hilbert for so many years. He was a student at the school where I was principal. It really saddens me. He doesn’t deserve this. God is control and my people I want to ask you to be peaceful. We need to send out a message out there that we are tired of this, and that violence is not the way to go,” said Deputy Chairman of Caye Caulker, Enelda Rosado.

The Belize Mexico Channel- a Maya creation!
San Pedro Town is often considered as one of the most unique destinations in Belize. The local community is rooted with both Mestizo and Spanish traditions, as many of the first settlers are originally from Xcalak, Mexico. But it’s not only the culture that is common, we also share a border! Yes, a border! The only thing that separates Belize and Mexico is a narrow channel within the Rio de Cantena. The channel is believed to have been dug out by the Maya to provide a trade route from the Bay of Chetumal, Quintana Roo to the Caribbean around 600 A.D. Evidence of this theory can be seen in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, which contains several unexplored Maya sites- after all, the entire Ambergris Caye can be considered an Archeological Site. Apparently, Ambergris Caye was a large trading post for the Mayas. Civilizations in the Yucatan peninsula used the channel to get Chac Balam (the Maya ruins that lie within Bacalar Chico). Chac Balam was a very important Maya trading center for everything from salt and food to jade, obsidian, and pottery along the Caribbean coast. From there, goods were distributed to the about 19 known Maya Sites across Ambergris Caye, most of which are unexplored.

San Pedro, Belize to benefit from study of at risk populations
The San Pedro neighborhood of San Mateo on Ambergris Caye, Belize has been identified as at risk by the Belize Red Cross Society. Flooding caused by tropical storms and hurricanes coupled with insufficient water and electric infrastructure has resulted in increased risk of fire and spread of disease. Belize Red Cross Director General, Lily Bowman suggested the area as the focus of a June 13-21, 2015 survey and research project, being made possible by Florida State University Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program (FSU EMHS).

Ambergris Today

Renown Interior Designer Adds Magical Touch at Mahogany Bay Village
With over sixty acres of property, Mahogany Bay Village is one of the largest developments on Ambergris Caye and is steadily moving forward with a grand opening next year that has residents curious as to the full scope of the development. The resort boasts in becoming a new evolution in resort community living, infusing advanced modern amenities, a rustic-chic style and lively ambiance with unforgettable Belizean hospitality, culture and charm. Once completed the property will feature private residences, a four-star hotel, bay and beach club, spa, restaurant, bars, business center and even a general store. Mahogany Bay Village is quite possibly the largest development on the island, employing close to 200 Belizean employees. There is a team of workers out in the Cayo District, Belizean craftsmen who are in charge of producing all the woodwork and furniture being placed into the project. British colonial stylings include rustic furniture with high ceilings, Belizean hardwood finishings and living spaces reminiscent of old British architecture with a touch of modern island style.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Second quarterly Blood Drive of 2015 in San Pedro
In an ongoing effort to build our blood supply for Ambergris Caye Residents and tourists, the San Pedro Red Cross has teamed up with Belize Blood Services for our second quarterly Blood Drive of 2015. Saturday, June 27th at the San Pedro Poly Clinic ll from 9:00am - 3:00pm. During the blood drive, we will have volunteers out directing people to donate blood as well as taking donations. Thanks for your continued support. San Pedro Belize Red Cross

ON JUNE 28 Come and SUPPORT JAZMINE CAMPOS of Corozal Town!
Courtesy Corozal Bay Sailing Club! It is still not late to donate!

Power interruption 8:30am to 1:30pm, Friday, June 19, Cayo and Belize Districts
Affected areas: portion of George Price Highway from its junction with George Price Boulevard at Mile 46 to Mile 30, including Cotton Tree, St. Matthews, More Tomorrow, Franks Eddy, Mahogany Heights & La Democracia. BEL to sleeve high voltage lines, repair lightning arresters & replace angle structures on the power distribution system in the area.

A Painted Conversation Group Painting Sessions
You can help out with the upcoming Cayo mural. They have a Google calendar set up online. They just finished painting a lot of butterflies. They are working in the old Cafe Sol building, right next to the new Ice Cream Shoppe(which has the best ice cream in the world).

Business Plan Development WORKSHOP
The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to develop their business plan. The purpose of this workshop is to help participants understand what the elements of a business plan are. The time constraints of the session, and sensitivity of private client information, do not allow the participants or the facilitator to actually draft any component of the business plan during the workshop. However the workshop instead should be lead as a brainstorming session to allow participants to be thinking of what would be included in their specific plan. Then later they would write their business plan using the ideas generated during this workshop. Therefore the class should be very informal and mostly discussion based. The manual provides pointers, but it is up to the participants to come up with their own specifics. Trainer should actively engage the participants throughout the workshop to be sharing ideas and thinking of how each element of the business plan comes into play in their specific business. PRICE: FREE ** NOTICE ** Workshop location will be at La Inmaculada Credit Union in Orange Walk. University of Belize, Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, West Landivar Telephone Number: 501-223-3195

Caribbean Villas Hotel to Host the Biggest LGBT Pride Event in Belize History
A ground breaking LGBT Pride event will be taking place on the Caribbean island of San Pedro, Belize from Saturday September 5th to 12th at the Caribbean Villas Hotel, an all-inclusive private beach resort. Caribbean Villas Hotel (CVH) will be hosting the first annual Temptation Island Pride Week, an exclusive event with nightly activities such as Drag Shows, Toga Parties, Leather & Lace Parties, a Masquerade Ball, Runway Model Shows and more. As this event will be the biggest LGBT gathering in the history of Belize CVH has set aside all 61 of their rooms in order to exclusively accommodate event attendees.

Free Movement of People in the SICA Region
Consultation workshop for a strategy to improve regional market access for MSMEs and free movement of people in the SICA region. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) has been working on the development of Belize’s MSMEs competitiveness as they represent a high contribution on employment and economic development in Belize. Our aim is to improve the MSMEs position in the market and take the opportunities that the regional market gives. The objective of this workshop is to present the results to the Board of Directors of SIECA, CENPROMYPE and SITCA in order that the recommendations will result in initiatives that promote the use of economic integration and trade, particularly for small businesses of the region.

Expression of Interest: Participate in the 2015 edition of the HAVANA INTERNATIONAL FAIR (FIHAV)
Caribbean Export would like to invite interested CARIFORUM firms to submit applications to participate in the 2015 edition of the Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2015 in Havana, Cuba from November 2nd to 8th 2015. FIHAV is the most important general trade fair in Cuba. This year will be the 32nd year that show has been convened. All sectors of the Cuban economy takes part in this event, which succeeds in putting together the most complete national and international trade exhibition in a space that enables exhibitors and visitors to establish commercial contacts, close business operations, exchange experiences and update in new technological developments.

Commentary: The political blitz in Dangriga will increase tensions and could become violent
By Wellington C. Ramos. When PUP representative Ivan Ramos resigned his seat from the House of Representative, their leader Francis Fonseca and the members of the People's United Party were caught off guard. Why? Because they looked at Ivan Ramos as a faithful, loyal and dedicated PUP who will continue to abide by their instructions. Little did they realize that Ivan Ramos also has families and supporters who were watching the way the People's United Party was disrespecting him over the years. They were telling him: "Ivan you need to do something about how these people from Belize City are disrespecting you, your family and supporters.” This disrespect was displayed when they asked him to come to Belize at their press conference to give our people and the country the impression that he was in support of having Anthony Sabal replace him. I watched that fiasco press conference and so did many other Belizeans and it was clear to me from what Ivan Ramos said that he was not happy with his party for conducting a political coup against him. Most of the people who he thought were his friends for years, he found them to be his frienemies. He went back home and then said, they think I am a fool, I will teach them a lesson. His resignation was a lesson that they were not prepared to take in Dangriga Politics-101.

Honduras Progreso tiene en la mira a dos beliceños
Belize Football stars West and McCaulay to Honduras? It may very well be because there's a Honduras professional Football Team that is knocking on their doors. Nothing has been finalized, but talks are underway! McCaulay presently holds a record, along with six others, for the most goals scored at this stage of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers. West’s achievements on the pitch have also not gone unnoticed. While the Belizean standouts have been touted for their athleticism on the home front, C.D. Honduras or Honduras Progresso, as the team is also known, currently plays in the Liga Nacional de Honduras and is looking to expand its roster by adding two of Belize’s finest. It is a dream that, according to FFB Executive Marlon Kuylen, every player aspires to. He told News Five that while the team is wooing both players, contracts are yet to be signed if the deals are favorable.

NURTURE OUR ENTREPRENEURS
Here is a great opportunity for Corozal businessmen and women to link up with the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce and Tourism to open dialogue for business opportunities. All business people are invited to attend. (See contact number below) The Embassy of Mexico and the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism (CANACO SERVYTUR CHETUMAL) embark of a special TOURISM and COMMERCIAL MISSION to be held this Thursday Jun 18th, 2015 at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City, Corner Newtown Barracks/Wilson Street. The trade mission will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A Chetumal delegation of entrepreneurs will be participating and open to dialogue.

Corozal Rotary Club humbly accepts gift from Canada Rotarian!
Jim Miller, Rotarian from Hillsburoh, Ontariao, Canada has gifted a plaque to our Club to announce our meeting time at the Hok'ol K'in Hotel/Restaurant in Corozal Town Belize. The Club members are posing with the sign and Fred Oreo is holding it up for a better view of it. Thanks Jim! The Hok'ol K'in has agreed to mount the plaque outside the conference room, so the public will know where and when we meet.

BEL Vacancy
A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Messenger in the Executive Services Department.

Spartacus Rehabilitated
Feelgood news of the day! A happy ending to the long journey of the rescued howler monkey, that had a severed hand. Spartacus, after many years at Wildtracks, and a few surgeries at the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, is being released, along with his mate, Jenny. Dr. Isabel Ford credits Spartacus as being the patient that inspired her to open the BWRC as a fully operational veterinary clinic. Thanks to all, and congratulations to Spartacus. "Spartacus, found on the ground at night in a rainstorm at Hickatee Cottages in Toledo District, a bedraggled 4.5 month old baby. His left hand was nearly severed, and he was rushed through to Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, where he was patched up and put on the road to recovery. His wrist has needed another operation since then, but he is now fully recovered and assessed as being ready for life in the wild, with Jenny"

Sensational Belize Video Competition
Oceana is having a video competition for the Belize International Film Festival. The prize is $1000, and the deadline is July 3rd. The winner will be announced at the BIFF. Good luck! "The Belize Intenational Film Festival and Oceana invite you to take part in this year's video competition!"

Rotary Orthopedic Clinics
Rotary is having their annual orthopedic clinics around Belize starting next Monday, when they’ll be here in Cayo at La Loma Luz and Western Regional. Thanks, Rotary! "The Rotary Club of Belmopan hereby notifies the general public of our annual orthopedic clinics across the country. Please see the flyer for additional details regarding dates and times."

DEVELOPING THE POTENTIAL OF BELIZE'S MUSIC INDUSTRY
NICH, through the Institute of Creative Arts, has embarked on formulating a five year plan to develop the music industry in Belize. Since April of this year, an international consultant has been meeting with key stakeholders of the music and entertainment industry, including artists, promoters, government bodies and independent groups, in an effort to document critical areas that are lacking, as well as strengths that must be developed and utilized. Since the consultations, one thing is clear, Belize has unique selling points, but what we lack is turning our industry in a fully fledged business. Today, at the Belize Music and Entertainment Industry Development Initiative project, Lloyd Stanbury explains the key findings.

Belize Bird Rescue Fundraising
We only have 14 more days to reach our first goal of 40 donors contributing a total of $5000. This will earn us a permanent place on Global Giving so we can advance with our Nursery appeal. We are at just over $3200 now from 18 separate donors (bless you all!!!) But maybe there's another 22 souls out there that could help us with the additional $2000...

Channel 7

Machete Wielding Watchman Wards Off Gun Toting Robber
Last night in San Ignacio, a dramatic scene played out when a man went to rob Chuc’s Gas Station on Bullet Tree Road. When police responded, they found the 28 year old security guard in the drain fighting off an armed robber. So what made a watchman with a machete bold enough to take on a robber with a loaded 38 pistol? That’s what Daniel Ortiz asked him today:… Romeo Quiroz - Pump Attendant "I was sitting down on my chair waiting and from there, when I took a glimpse at my side I see the man point a gun at me - a revolver. What I did is not to approach him but to stay behind the pump. Then I called the watchman and the watchman approached him immediately and thing being to wrestle down and we tried to catch him down until the police arrive." Alex Rios - Detained the Armed Robber "He point to the man and tell him give me all your money or you will die. But when he do so and look at me and I was trying to run to the man and the man run to the fence and like he knew the place good and touch the fence and he bounce back and I was close to him and I caught him, bam! Knocked him in the face and he dropped to the ground. When he dropped to the ground I grabbed him by his two hands. When I grabbed him by his two hands he took out a knife for me to let him go, but I no let him go. Then we rolled and we dropped in the drain. In the water he took out the knife again and cut me."

Border Watcher Wil Says Guatemalans Systematically Stepping Up Hostilities
Yesterday 7News travelled to Punta Gorda to hear first hand the account of five men who were detained by the Guatemalan Army when they went across to Santa Cruz, Guatemala. The narrative they shared is quite stunning: they were targeted for arrest, and then roughed up, abused and threatened with death – made to run four miles with army rifles trained on them. The ordeal culminated in a guilty plea at a San Luis Petén courtroom and a fine for what they say is a bogus charge or disorderly conduct. Today, Punta Gorda politician and border activist Wil Maheia told us it is a shocking story – and one that sends ominous signals to Belmopan:… Jules Vasquez "Having heard their story which is a quite surprising story." Wil Maheia - PNP, Border Activist "Shocking! Let me tell you Jules and you ask anybody in Punta Gorda - these guys are respectable guys. One of them I'll even vouch for the UDP councillor knowing I'm a PNP. He's a decent young man and the other guy that was with him, Mr. Martinez and Mr Romero - they are decent young men. I could tell you that nobody in Punta Gorda Town could say they have ever seen these guys drunk and disorderly. I mean it's unfortunately they targeted these guys. I am even wondering if they stood out; because they are two black guys who stood out and were probably the only guys that stood out in the amount of people that were visiting at the time. The military being the Guatemalan military, always wanting to show itself decided - well we will just have some fun this weekend.

PUP On The Ground In Griga Dang, Playing Catch Up
The PUP is on the ground in Dangriga town – and has been since Sunday. That’s what Leader of the opposition Francis Fonseca told us today via text message today when we requested an interview. After making an assessment of whether it would contest the seat, the party is now throwing its energetic support behind candidate Anthony Sabal – who, last we checked, had not been officially endorsed as Standard Bearer. Presumably that will happen sometime soon, but right now the Opposition has to try and recover ground that was lost, first, with the divisive departure of former area representative Ivan Ramos, and , second, with the delay in the commencement of a campaign that started seven days late.

Teachers, Public Officers Get Their Raise
Government today sent out a press release announcing that the 8% increase for teachers and public officers will come though as promised in July. It’s retroactive to April and is going to cost the public purse 38 million dollars, every year, and is in addition to the 6% increase from last year – which cost about 29 million dollars. In addition to this increase, public officers and teachers also qualify for their 2% annual increment. And that’s not the end of it, the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in February of 2014 between the Government of Belize and the unions calls for a salary increase every year for three years commencing in 2014.

Appeals Court Sets Shooter Free
23 year-old Deondray McKoy was serving a 12 year sentence after being convicted in November 2013 of attempting to murder Everald Gray. That’s up until today when he successfully appealed his conviction and actually managed to convince the Justices of Appeal that he should be acquitted. Viewers may remember that in his trial before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, the victim, Gray took the stand and recounted how he got shot. When it was time for him to identify the assailant, he told the court that he couldn’t see the shooter clearly because light in front of his house kept flickering. He never did positively identify McKoy as the shooter in the trial. Also, during his testimony, he told the court that he didn't want to continue with the case. That forced the prosecutor to treat him as a hostile witness who was not cooperating with the case. Despite the turn of the events, and the fact that McKoy provided an alibi, the jury convicted him of the offense.

Remanded For Alleged Sex With Teenager
Nineteen year old Daniel Bradley, a resident of Lord’s Bank, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse today. The incident occurred on June 8. The complainant, a 14 year old girl, accompanied by her mother, went the police station and reported that Bradley had sex with her. When he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, no plea was taken because the offence is indictable. The court also couldn’t offer him bail due to the nature of the offence, and so, Bradley was remanded into custody until July 16.

Tour Operators Tell All
A week ago we told you about the disgruntled terminal 1 tour operators who were complaining about loss of business. According to them, the doors for terminal 1 were closed on Tuesday morning, June 9th around 9 and tourists were being directed towards terminal 2 instead. Well, today we have more from the tour operators – this time it’s the president of the Fort George Tourism Zone Tour operators and Taxi Union, Arton Bowen – he is saying it is way more than just these issues at the terminals; it’s the overall system of operation at the tourism village that’s unfair. Arton Bowen -President, Fort George Tourism Zone Tour Operator and Taxi Union "In terms of the issue affecting us directly as a union, there are several issue affecting us and one of the main issues is that we've been appealing to the BTB, to the police. And the last time we made an appeal to even the minister to try to assist us in putting a system in place that is fair for everybody and so tourist can enter in a move friendly environment but the thing is tha - truthfully speaking we've been in over 10 meetings venting our concerns upon the same issues but nothing has been done to address these issues. The last meeting that we were in was actually had a meeting with the top brass in the tourism police unit and we were assured that steps would be taken to solve these problems but nothing was done again. Given that the people doesn't have a pre-booked tour with these people, we're all considered freelance - it is the tourist when they come out decide who they want to go with.

Memory of Fire Haunts Family
A woman and her husband are staying at her boss’s house after all their belongings were destroyed in a fire. On Thursday night at around midnight, the couple was awakened by a neighbour banging and shouting at the widow of their Mahogany Street home in Belize City. The jumped out of bad to find smoke billowing out of their house. Today we spoke to the couple and they told us that they have no idea what started the fire and are looking for answers. Dixie Wagner - Fire victim "About 9:30 I gone bathe and after that I gone sleep. So, about 2 hours after that I hear somebody shouting my house is getting burn up. So I get frightened and I hurry wake up her to come out of the house and when I gone into the next room, I see the big fire high already so I can't do nothing. All that I do is close up the gas tank and take it out. We want to know how the fire was caused, because I don't see the fireman and they are telling me how it was caused. We lose 2 bed, a stereo, washing machine, all of our clothes got burned up and stove got burned up.”

Will Coach Jorge Stay With the National Team?
Even today, 48 hours after the Belize National Football Team played the game of its life at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan – Belizeans are still on a high from witnessing the masterful performance. High…and hopeful that the success can continue. To hear the assistant coach and the players tell it, a lot of that success depends on the stability of the system that Brazilian Head Coach Jorge Nunez has instituted. He’s shy, laid back and only speaks broken English – so you’ll rarely see Coach Nunez in the spot light. But on Sunday night at the game he spoke to Fredy Cantialiano in the rain. Fredy asked him if he will be staying with the team:… Fredy Cantillano - Reporter "Do you see yourself in the future in the national team? And to what extent do you see yourself working for the national team?" Jorge Nunez - Head Coach, Belize National Football Team "We all know of our financial difficulties, we are not a federation that has a hold of a lot of moneys, but when I accepted to train the national team, I stated that I would work within the national team system and the federation system, I will work with whatever there is, we can work with what is needed, but we will work with what we have. Slowly we will be better, and the national team begins to have a high level of football, that’s where the money will start to come; for now we need to continue work hard and have patience, and be humble. We have not won anything yet, we have just gone from the second to the third round, but no doubt we must continue working. From now I’m inviting the young player, with talent of course, whenever they are called to come to the training, that’s the only way we will continue to change. We have well balanced team, with well experience players, mixed with young ones, and that is very important."

Teenager Raped In Church Yard
Police are investigating the rape of a 15 year old student in Dangriga. Yesterday morning at around 11:00, the 15 year old girl was heading over to meet her father who has a stall at the market in the Foreshore area in Dangriga. But on her way to the market, a man grabbed her and forced her into the Baptist Church compound nearby and raped her. A medical examination conducted certified that she had been raped. The man’s face was covered and police are interviewing people in the area who might have seen something. And in the same Foreshore area, another teenager was sexually assaulted – this time by the father of hew newborn child. Yesterday evening at around 7:30, the 16 year old was at home with her 3 month old baby when the father of the child came by her house with supplies for the baby. But while they were talking, he tried to take her clothes off – she resisted and then he attacked her. She had bruises around her neck and abrasion to her knee. The father has been detained pending charges of harm and sexual assault.

Belize did Complain to OAS
At the top of the newscast we told you how the government of Belize had not sent any formal letter of protest to the Guatemalan Government about the Santa Cruz incident where five Belizean men were targeted for arrest, and then roughed up, abused and threatened with death – made to run four miles with army rifles trained on them. And while nothing ahs been sent form Belmopan to Guatemala City, during this newscast, we have learned that a letter was sent to the OAS on Monday. The letter notes, quote, “there are serious concerns arising from complaints that have been received from these citizens of Belize of their alleged mistreatment and abuse at the hands of officials of the Guatemalan Armed Forces, and by the alleged false charges brought against them.” The letter also notes that OAS officials helped in securing their release.

Where In The World Is Santa Cruz?
So, those of you who haven’t been there must be asking what’s the deal with this Santa Cruz village that’s suddenly at the center of the this national discussion? Well, 7News went there in December 2008 – that’s 7 and a half years ago – and since then, a lot has changed, but the basic setup is the same, and so are the tensions. We revisit Jules Vasquez’s story:… http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=19089&frmsrch=1 Since then the main change has been the road to Jalacte which is now paved – only increasing the two way traffic across the unregulated border point.

The Message Is In The Music
In mid-April we told you about the Belize Music and Entertainment Industry Development Initiative. It focuses on addressing myriad issues crippling Belize’s music industry. During the 1st phase – stakeholders met and compiled a list of issues with business management at the top of the list. But among the major setbacks is the subpar quality of music produced in Belize. Today, producers, promoters and other key players in the industry met at the House of Culture to further engage artists in this musical movement. One of the coordinators discussed the opportunities available for Belizean artists to advance their musical career and the overall vision for the initiative. Jackie Castillo - Belizean Artist: "So we are going to be having 4 days of workshops. Today is the first day at the house of culture, it's a public forum. We don't have as much representation from the artist community which is a bit disappointing because everybody else here is able to give their feedback on the recommendations that need to happen. I hope over the next couple of days we have the Belizean artists coming out so that they can voice their opinion. Blackberry is here and I have to commend him because he's really committed to the process. There is an entertainment lawyer here, Debra Wagnon that has an amazing opportunity with the university of Tennessee. She is bringing 12 music business producers, sound engineers and other people involved in the music industry - 12 students in Belize.

Rachel, Still Strong After Decades Of Doing It
If persistence and commitment is the mark of the artist – the Rachel Heusner has it. We’ve been reporting on her art work since the mid 90’s – and since then, she’s stayed true to her calling, constantly refining her craft. Tonight, she’s back with another display at the Belisle Art Gallery. This is her first exhibit in three years in Belize and features paintings from her collections of scenery and landscapes. Today 7news stopped by to check out the display. The exhibit opened on Monday night and will run for one week only at the Bliss.

Channel 5

Guatemalan Vessel Had ‘Sovereign Immunity’
On Wednesday, Guatemalan gunboat GC-651, Tecum Uman, allegedly suffered mechanical difficulties and crashed into the reef just off Middle Caye in the Glover’s Reef system. By Saturday morning, it was [...]

Wil Maheia Says G.O.B. Needs To Step Up
That explanation by C.E.O. Wallace will likely do little to quell anti-Guatemalan sentiment, especially after two very hostile encounters recently with Guatemalan military. Just over two months ago, thirty-seven Belizeans [...]

….Says Belizeans Now Afraid to Go to Border
Maheia is also very vocal on another, more recent issue – as recent as this weekend. Five Belizeans are claiming that they were detained by Guatemalan military in Santa Cruz [...]

P.U.P. Will Contest Dangriga Bye-Election
In political news…The People’s United Party decided over the weekend to contest the bye-election set for July eighth in Dangriga. Last week, the party met and coming out of that [...]

But Fonseca Says Finances Limited
Today, Fonseca was on the ground in Dangriga, and we are told that the call has gone out to all Standard-Bearers to rally the troops and report for duty. Passion [...]

Do you support G.O.B.’s release of the Guatemalan gunboat?
And our question for tonight is: Do you support G.O.B.’s release of the Guatemalan gunboat? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote [...]

Honduran Team Courting McCaulay and West
Across the regional football community much has been said about the illustrious careers of star striker Deon McCauley and goalkeeper Woodrow West.  McCauley presently holds a record, along with six [...]

So What’s Next for the Belize Jaguars?
What’s next for the Belize Jaguars as they head into the third round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers?  Well, that’s what we asked F.F.B. senior executive Marlon Kuylen today.  [...]

F.F.B. Paid Stipend to McCaulay
In mid-April, the Football Federation of Belize took a hard line position not to sponsor Deon McCauley’s return to the Jaguars, but an ad-hoc team of supporters banded together to [...]

G.O.B. Vs the Bar – Judgment Reserved
Almost never has the Court of Appeal been put in such a dicey position as they were this week in respect of a case concerning the overturning of constitutional amendments [...]

Battle Hinges on Independence of the Judiciary
President Mottley resigned in 2010 while Morrison stayed on until April of this year. Their colleagues on the court at the time, now-President Manuel Sosa and Denys Barrow, were given [...]

McKoy Walks After Appeals Court Quashes Sentence
Diondray McKoy was convicted in November 2014 for the attempted murder of Everald Gray.  He was sentenced to twelve years in prison after being found guilty of shooting Gray multiple [...]

EMTs Train in Belize City
About four hundred and fifty technicians are trained to provide emergency medical services throughout the country via BERT, the Belize Emergency Response Team. Their skills on how to manage an [...]

Teachers & Public Officers to get 8% Increase in Salaries
Just before six o’clock this evening the government announced that public officers and teachers will receive an eight percent salary increase. The package according to the government release represents about [...]

MSME Workshop Launched
A national consultation workshop on the proposed strategy for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from the legal instruments of SIECA was held today in Belize City.  The initiative [...]

Initiative Faces Logistical Challenges
According to Ocampo, there are several logistical challenges that the initiative is faced with, including the harmonization of participating countries. Fernando Ocampo, Consultant, CENPROMYPE “The huge challenge here is coordination, [...]

NICH to Formulate Plan for Music Industry
NICH, through the Institute of Creative Arts, has embarked on formulating a five year plan to develop the music industry in Belize. Since April of this year, an international consultant [...]

Can Music be a Business?
The feedback from this week’s event is expected to be included in the five year plan. And that plan will be assessed, as the consultant says that he will be [...]


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#505292 - 06/17/15 11:52 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 17, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

CTV3

Teachers And Public Officer To receive 6% Salary Increase
Late this evening, the Ministry of Finance announced that teachers and public officers will be receiving an eight (8) percent salary increase effective July 2015 retroactive to April 1st, 2015. The increase, says the Ministry, will total approximately $38 million and is separate from the 2% annual increment which is given to public officers and teachers on the basis of merit. The salary increment stems from the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in February of 2014 between the Government of Belize and the unions representing public officers and teachers among them the PSU and BNTU. The Collective Bargaining Agreement established a framework, a part of which is a salary increase every year for three years commencing in 2014. It is of note that last year, public officers and teachers received a six percent (6%) salary increase.

FFB Cash Trap, Will Team Jaguars Be Able To Play For The Third Round
After an excellent performance on Sunday against the Dominica Republic, the Belize Jaguars are looking stronger than ever. Hopes are high for the upcoming 3rd round of the 2018 CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers as the Belize team has grown even more confident and is performing better than ever, but will the Jaguars have the funding they need to travel for away games? That is the black cloud the team is facing as the Football Federation of Belize, FFB has announced that it does not have the funds to send the team on anymore away games, as the trip to the Dominican Republic cost over a hundred thousand dollars. So what’s the plan? According to Ruperto Vicente, President of Football Federation of Belize, Belizeans must unite as a country, support the national team and make history. Ruperto Vicente – President of Football Federation of Belize “Money is always a serious thing, there is always a question mark on that because to keep a national team and to have a national team going it takes a lot of money, this national team to get it to where it is it has cost us $8000.00 per week to; to keep our players and to feed them and to take good care of them, for these two rounds that we participated in it has cost us over BZ$400,000.00 it is an expensive venture and it is not an easy thing and so we have to be able to depend on the business community and on the population to carry this team out remember that this is not the FFB team, this is the national team, it is going to take all of us, it is going to take all of our effort to get this team forward and to move on.”

Woodrow West Considering Signing Contract With Honduras Football Club
So, what do the players have to say about the possibility of being hired by the national football league of Honduras? This evening we spoke with one of the men Woodrow West who confirmed that he has been contacted about Honduras Progresso’s offer. West says he received a call two weeks ago while he trained with the Belize national team but says that despite the number of calls he has received, he has yet to make up his mind on signing with the club. “The guy that made the contact was Luis Cabrerra, he was a trainer here with the national team for Belize for six year I believe and he is training a team over there and he asked me if I want to go play in Honduras and I told him that it depends and he said that he has a team in Honduras to play which is Honduras Progresso and he made the coach contact me and he told that yes he wants me to go and play with the team and this is not try out but straight line up and I told his that it depends on what they have to offer and so when I came up on Friday the boss from the club he called me personally and told me that he has made adjustment to play over there and he talked about money and we are negotiating up to this point and he called me last night and they are coming to Belize today.”

San Pedro Red Cross Conducts Blood Drive
The San Pedro Belize Red Cross has been working with the Belize Blood Bank and medical professionals of Belize to improve the communication and process for Ambergris Caye residents to receive blood in time of need. Blood drive coordinators in San Pedro say it is of upmost importance for all to recognize the necessity of the SPBRC blood drives on Ambergris Caye to keep a full supply of blood on hand at the Belize Blood Bank in Belize City. And in an effort to keep a healthy flow of blood in the bank, the committee is hosting yet another Blood Drive on Ambergris Caye. Sue Barkhouse is a member of the San Pedro Red Cross. “We’ve been working with the Belize Blood Bank to increase the amount of blood supply because what is happening is we wanted to make sure that anybody from ambergris Caye whether you are a resident or a tourist, if you are going to have surgery or medical emergency or any medical need at all you would have blood allocated for you, in the past what has happened is people unfortunately if they needed blood won’t have blood readily available or they would have to replace any blood that they use so the idea of San Pedro Belize Red Cross got together to have regular quarterly blood drive so that we can have a blood supply available to anybody from Ambergris Cay so no matter if it was a surgery or medical emergency they would have blood on hand and there won’t be any pressure on the individual or family to replace that blood.”

Minister Of National Security Driver charged For Manslaughter By Negligence
Minister of National Security John Saldivar’s driver, Orlando Castillo has been formally charged for manslaughter by negligence after he knocked down caretaker, Vallan Paul Cucul of the Toledo District. Reports suggest that sometime on Saturday Cucul was riding his black and red beach cruiser bicycle in Camalote Village when he may have veered into the highway and was hit from behind by a vehicle, killing him on the spot. Police received the call around 7:00p.m and their investigation led them to the house of Saldivar’s driver, who was arrested and charged after it was determined that he was driving a Volkswagen Jetta car. The vehicle in question belongs to the Ministry of National Security and when he hit Cucul, Castillo did not stop to render aid. The car had minor damages to its front portion.

Honduras Interested In Two Belizean National Players
The Honduran football club, Honduras Progresso has its eyes set on two of Belize’s top football players. Reports are that directors of the team should be in Belize as of today to finalize the contracts with Woodrow West and Deon McCauley. Twenty-nine year old West is Belize’s national team’s goal keeper while twenty-seven year old Deon MaCauley plays forward and is presently holds Belize’s leading goal scorer in the recent games. The report was filed today on the web page of a radio station titled Diez. According to that report, the Honduras Progresso President Elias Nazar has confirmed that the director would be in Belize today. CTV-3 contacted Executive Member of the FFB, Maroln Kuylen who told us they are aware of the situation but say the discussions are in the initial stages.

Mexican National Charged for Theft
Yesterday we told you about the Mexican National who was arrested and charged for theft by Corozal Police after the manager of Mundo Moda located in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone accused him of stealing a cell phone valued at $500.00. Last night we were unable to reveal the name of the individual since he stated to police that he was 17 years old, meaning a minor. But tonight we can release his name since authorities have confirmed that he is 18 years of age. Adriel Azariel Colli Cortez, a resident of Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico, is expected to appear before the Corozal Magestrates Court on Thursday. In the meanwhile he will remain behind bars at the Corozal Police Station. Police were able to confirm Cortez’s age after his mother brought in an ID.

Customs Officer Accused Of Knocking Down Corozal Resident
A resident of Corozal sustained injuries after being the victim of a road traffic incident. According to reports, on Friday night around 9:00, Azir Zalazar was riding his bicycle on College Road in Corozal when he was hit by a car and began experiencing pain to his hands and legs. Zalazar was taken to the hospital by Kenroy Samuels, a 43 year old customs officer who was behind the wheel at the time. Police say that Samuels was suspected to be under the influence of alcohol and subsequently detained. Samuels was then informed in the presence of a doctor, that a blood and urine sample was needed but he refused. He was later taken to the Corozal Police Station where a notice of intended prosecution was given. Samuels is also expected to be charged with “failure to provide specimen.”

PlusTV

Allison “Wally” Williams shot and killed in Belize City
Police are investigating a latest murder in Belize City that took place on Friday evening...

Jason Sutherland a shooting victim in Belize City
There was another shooting incident in Belize City over the weekend, however, this one was not fatal. Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson gives the details of the attack on Jason Sutherland on Saturday night. “On Saturday, the13th after 9:00 pm, inform...

Police Department makes changes in Caye Caulker
The Belize Police Department exited last week with much egg on its face after insisting that 18-year-old Hilberto Sotz had died of natural causes while in their custody being questioned over a series of burglaries...

Minister’s Driver Charged for Fatal hit and Run
Tonight,  57 year old Orlando Castillo, a resident of Belmopan and the driver of the Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar, is facing a slew of charges relating to a hit and run incident that occurred on Saturday June 13th...

Man fixing vehicle on road side hit by motorcycle ; dies
24 hours later after that accident on Saturday, there was another fatality near the George Price Highway; this one involving 33 year old Marco Gutierrez, a Honduran National and a resident of St. Matthews Village...

Court of Appeal discusses judges’ tenure
An appeal heard today in the current session of the Court of Appeal hits home for that court, concerning as it does the issue of security of tenure for judges appointed to sit there...

Two charged with security guard’s murder acquitted
Supreme Court Justice Troadio Gonzalez today directed a jury of seven men and five women to declareTalbert Mena and Jamal Jackson not guilty  of the murder of Nigerian security guard Kabiru Olun-gu-dudu in February of 2010...

Belize Jaguars victorious over DR
Belize Jaguars  made history yesterday by qualifying for the third round of 2018 Gold Cup Qualifiers with a blowout victory against the team from the Dominican Republic; beating them 5-1 in the global score. On Sunday June 14th, Belize played the second leg of the match up against the DR team in ho...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Police Sub formation To Hold Community Meeting On June 18, 2015
The Caye Caulker Police Sub-Formation has scheduled a public meeting on Caye Caulker, Belize. It is set for June 18, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the community center. “Come be a part of the progress!” exclaims the announcement. Two members of the Caye Caulker Police Department were indicted for murder after 18 year old Hilberto Sotz, a local youth who was being detained for questioning regarding a string of burglaries, ended up dead. Hilberto was the third person detained at the station under police watch to end up dead over a span of twelve years.

Celebrate! The Crusty Crustaceans Are Here. Lobster Season Is Now Open!
Celebrate, peeps! Lobster season is now open. The first harvests of the new season have been rolling in steadily since June 15th. The first grilled lobsters, curry lobster, lobster ceviche, lobster salad and just about every other lobster concoction you can think of have been served. So far, the start of the season is looking great for some fishermen. This was the scene at the dock belonging to Blue Sea Diving Services. Everyone is excited the season is open. The annual Lobster Fest, a festival which celebrates the opening of the lobster season, is set to begin on June 25, 2015. Think they’ll have enough for the festival?

Elections & Boundaries Will Be Registering New Voters At The Community Center On Saturday
The Elections & Boundaries Department notifies the General Public that a team of officers will be at the Caye Caulker Community Center on Saturday, 20th June, 2015 from 9am to 4pm. This is to facilitate the registration of persons who have attained the age of eighteen (18) years and older and have not yet registered, and delivery of voter ID Cards.

Amandala

GOB gives Guat gunboat “red carpet” treatment!
The Guatemalan naval vessel GC 651 Tescum Uma, which illegally entered Belize territorial waters on Wednesday night and ended up running aground on Glover’s Reef Atoll, near Middle Caye, was removed from the reef yesterday, Sunday, and was given clearance, presumably on instructions by Prime Minister Dean Barrow to both Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington and National Security Minister John Saldivar, to return to Guatemala immediately, even before damage assessment by the Department of the Environment is completed. Belizeans learned of the so-called “accident” involving the 65-foot Guatemalan gunboat on Thursday morning mostly via social media. In a statement from Ret’d Colonel George Lovell, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, on Thursday morning, it was said that the boat purportedly “experienced propulsion problems,” meaning engine troubles, which caused it to drift.

Two charged for Ralston Patnett’s murder in Dangriga
Two men have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison for the murder on June 8 of retired Dangriga Town fire chief, Ralston Patnett, 51, whose remains were found in his smouldering car that was completely destroyed by fire, in the driveway of a house for which he was the caretaker, near the Commerce Bight Pier in Dangriga Town. Brandon Mason Kerr, 30, of Mile 21on the Hummingbird Highway, and Lindberg Oxford Williams, 32, of Commerce Bight Road, Dangriga, were charged by police on Wednesday for Patnett’s murder. Today, Friday, they were arraigned on the murder charge at the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court by Magistrate Patty Arana, and then remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 29. Police reported that at about 2:30 Monday morning, they were informed that a car was burning in the driveway of a house in the Commerce Bight Pier area of Dangriga.

Allison Williams, 28, gunned down on Partridge St. Extension
Last Friday night, shortly after 9:35, the explosive sound of multiple gunshots alerted residents in the Partridge Street Extension area of Belize City that, given the trend, a murder had just happened. Moments later, an apparently lifeless body was spotted lying face-down in a pool of blood in front of a late-model grey Mazda car which was parked in front of #1011 Partridge Street Extension. While area residents who rushed to the scene were unable to initially discern the identity of the victim, relatives and friends who received the news and went to the area soon declared that it was Allison “Wally” Williams, 28, a resident of Rivero Street, Belize City. According to police, Williams was socializing with two female friends of the abovementioned address when he was accosted by a gunman who shot him several times in the head and body.

Guatemalan soldiers “punk” Belize – again!
Roughly five hours after a Guatemalan gunboat, which was illegally in Belize’s waters, along with one other gunboat and a Columbian-type boat, was allowed to leave Glover’s Reef Atoll, near Middle Caye, where it had run aground, on Sunday, without any penalties for damaging the reef, five Belizeans were allowed to leave a Guatemalan court where they had been charged for an incident fabricated by Guatemalan soldiers in the village of Santa Cruz, a Guatemalan community which borders Jalacte, an informal border point where a lot of commercial activity occurs between Belize and Guatemala. After reaching the safety of Belize, the men told the media that they had to plead guilty to the false charges brought by Guatemalan soldiers who accused them of being drunk, or they would not have been released. They were charged 500 quetzals each, but even after they paid the fine, they still would not have been released if it were not for the efforts of Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado and protocol officer Said Guerra.

Inspector Dehanne Augustine is new Caye Caulker police chief
Inspector Dehanne Augustine, commander of the National Community Policing, is now the new police commander of Caye Caulker. The announcement was made by the police high command on Friday. Inspector Augustine took over on Friday, and the deputy commander is veteran sergeant Norman “Bregal” Benguche. Inspector Augustine has spearheaded many community policing initiatives and came to prominence while spearheading the GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program, and also the Do the Right Thing Program, among other programs that have been implemented nationally.

Computerized student tracking to be implemented new school year
a generic and open source Education Management Information System available to all UNESCO member countries, which is used to collect and report data on schools, students, teachers and staff – is being implemented in Belize by the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and UNESCO, and official sources indicate that the plan is to have the system implemented in schools for the next school year. Alan Gennity, Deputy Chief Education Officer in the Policy, Planning, Research and Evaluation Unit of the Ministry of Education, confirmed to our newspaper today that the plan is to have the systems in place in the coming months, so that schools could begin to directly input student information. He told us that during the months of May and June 2015, Education officials visited schools across the country to collect student-level data, such as the names of students, the names of their parents, their address and other background information, and they are in the process of hiring data entry persons to enter the data into the OpenEMIS.

Belize, 3-nil over Dominican Republic at FFB Stadium
For the first time since the stadium was built and hosted international matches, our Belize National “A” Team was victorious at the FFB Stadium, in an important World Cup Qualifier match against the much higher ranked Dominican Republic team, and Belizean fans were ecstatic. Nothing the Dominican Republicans had seen or heard of Belize, except maybe Deon McCaulay, could have prepared them for what transpired yesterday. Belize got some breaks in game 1 in Santo Domingo, and our acclaimed striker Deon McCaulay was indeed the difference, for our opponents dominated play in midfield as the Belize players strove to find cohesion in transition from defense to attack inside the 3 forward – 3 middle formation they have been battling to master in training sessions since November of last year. In last Sunday’s training match at the MCC, their performance was disappointing; but coach Jorge Nunez and his assistant Charlie Slusher remained confident that their game strategy would, eventually be mastered by the team. In game 1 in Santo Domingo, our squad seemed to be struggling, but there were some moments when we seemed to be putting our game together. And a little luck, and the artistry of Deon was enough to garner the win.

Playoff race hot: Smart 13 & Under Mundialito
While our National “A” Team made the nation proud yesterday with our first step forward to the 3rd Round of World Cup 2018 Qualifiers, the future stars are in one “helluva” battle at the MCC Grounds, where only 2 more weeks remain in the regular season of the 2015 Smart 13 & Under Mundialito. The top 4 regular season teams will go on to the one-game knockout semifinals; then the two remaining teams will play a home-and-away championship Finals. 12 teams are in the tournament, making 11 games each in the single round-robin regular season. Week 9 games were played this past Saturday, June 13, and competition was fierce, with only one game showing more than 1 goal scored. In the opener on Saturday, Collet Strikers got the 1-nil win over Face of Belize on a goal by Michael Palacio. Game 2 was a 0-0 draw between City Boys and London Strikers.

Boxer is gone; R.I.P. Henry “Boxer” Gill
Our heart is still heavy with the shocking news we received yesterday of the passing on Friday, of boxing enthusiast, one time professional boxer, and dedicated youth activist, Henry Gill, a.k.a. Boxer. Just a few days earlier, he had reached out to the public for financial assistance for his “Henry Gill Boys & Girls Boxing Club” located at the Body 2000 building on Coney Drive. As I drove home on Sunday morning after the Press Cadogan Show on Krem FM, I saw the black ribbon on the door at Body 2000, confirming that there was no mistake, my friend had passed. Initial reports are that his funeral will be held on Saturday, R.I.P. brother Henry “Boxer” Gill.

The return of the Jaguars
A confident Belize Jaguars team arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) in high spirits shortly after midday today, after a 2-1 victory over the Dominican Republic’s national football team in the first match of their home-and-away series yesterday, Thursday. Their elation was bolstered by boisterous relatives, friends and fans who greeted the team, which is now one step closer to reaching a historic third round in the 2018 World Cup Qualifying games. Both of Belize’s goals were scored by the country’s most prolific goleador, Deon McCaulay, who explained that, while he was happy to deliver for his team in the Dominican Republic, he is also looking forward to a positive outcome in the return game, which will take place at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Stadium this Sunday, June 14. He said, “I’m very happy to be back with the team. Everybody has given me all the love because they know that once Deon is back, there will be goals. Thank God that I was able to prove myself once again, and I’m looking forward to the game on Sunday, hoping for the same results. Once we come out as a team and work hard, anything is possible.”

Editorial: Risk, symbolism, and independence
In the space of two weeks, the territorial integrity of Belize was violated by the Guatemalan Navy at Sarstoon Island, on May 28/29, and at Glovers Reef on Thursday, June 11. In both incidents, the Belize Coast Guard was instructed to refrain from standard defence protocol. In the case of Sarstoon Island, they were instructed by the Prime Minister of Belize to withdraw from that island, and in the case of Glovers Reef, the occupants of a Guatemalan gunboat stuck on Glovers Reef reportedly refused to hand up their arms and submit to Belizean authorities. Guatemalan Navy personnel were allowed to return to Guatemala. Our reports of the Glovers Reef incident are still incomplete and imprecise. In fact, our reports are probably inaccurate. From the beginning of the incident, it was clear to the Belizean people that the authorities and spokesmen of the Government of Belize have sought to tell a story which, at every turn, casts the Guatemalan gunboats and their crews in the most favorable, least offensive light. The Belizean authorities and their spokesmen have been behaving like defence attorneys for the Guatemalans in such incidents for such a long time that few Belizeans are in any way surprised. Bitterly disappointed, yes, always bitterly disappointed. But surprised? No. We think it is reasonable to say that the masses of the Belizean people have felt repeatedly embarrassed. And every such incident is another blow to our fragile national dignity.

From the Publisher
It is clear that there was an organized attempt at the highest levels of the Government of Belize to downplay the incident at the Sarstoon River Island which took place between Thursday, May 28, and Friday morning, May 29, when armed elements of the Belize Coast Guard and armed elements of the Guatemalan navy confronted each other. At the time of an incident, exactly three months before this May 28/29 incident, when armed elements of the said Guatemalan Navy kidnapped 37 Belizeans who were under the banner of Belize’s Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV) from the same location in the Sarstoon River mouth and forced them to go to the Guatemalan port of Livingston, the response of the various Cabinet Ministers of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) had been inappropriate. One high-ranking leader of the Belize Government actually referred to the NTV mission as “misguided patriotism.” In the House of Representatives, the Toledo East area representative of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), it should be noted, took a similar line, when he criticized the NTV and similar groupings for behavior which he said would provoke violence from “those people” (the Guatemalans).

Caye Caulker in mourning
Dear Editor, Last year I was asked to write an article about the police, by a constable, to shed some light on the problems of serving the law here on Caye Caulker and under what kind of conditions they have to perform their duties. I told him I would have to play the Devil’s Advocate because I have my opinions too, I told him, and those might not be to your liking. And you want me to do this in collaboration with you because you want me to express your concerns and at the same time you want to be anonymous. At the same time, it must be hard when you are straight and you see the corruption around you; probably you feeling like you’ve ended up as a pissing post from all sides – the public, your superiors, your colleagues, etc. Here or abroad, it is not very appreciated to be a whistleblower, which can result in a lot of trouble on the job, especially in a rigid system as the military or the police. Well, I told him, to me, it feels like quite a challenge, so let’s see what comes out of this.

Indigenous leaders prepare declaration to reduce incursions
Maya Q’eqchi leaders of Belize traveled to Poptun, Petén, Guatemala, recently for a three-day meeting, as a follow-up to a reunion of indigenous community leaders that was held in Punta Gorda this March. The representatives of the indigenous communities developed a draft declaration calling for more attention to be paid by their governments to the communities located near the border, so that incursions into the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains area can be reduced. “Once reviewed and finalized, the declaration, whose contents is based on matters related to ‘territory, natural resources and ancestral knowledge,’ will be presented to the Governments of Belize and Guatemala,” said Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD). “The leaders of indigenous communities from Southern Petén and Southern Belize shared their ideas, and vision on how to unite efforts and promote local participation that addresses the environmental, social and economic problems of their communities situated along the Belize-Guatemala border,” Manzanero added.

Spouse jumps out of vehicle during alleged domestic dispute
report on the incident as yet, Amandala understands that an unidentified woman suffered varying degrees of injuries to her body when she reportedly jumped out of a moving SUV during a domestic dispute with her spouse yesterday at around 6:00 p.m. Reliable police sources have indicated to us that the couple was engaged in an altercation inside the Chevy Blazer when the woman reportedly jumped out and injured herself near the La Popular Bakery, which is located along the Philip Goldson Highway in Ladyville. We were told that police took a statement from the driver of the vehicle this morning and that the woman has since confessed to authorities that she was not pushed out of the moving vehicle.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Guns vs. Machetes in Cayo
In San Ignacio Town, two nights ago, 28 year old Alex Rios bravely defended Chuc’s Gas Station on Bullet Tree Road from a pistol-wielding robber – with a machete. According to reports, Romeo Quiroz, who works as a pump attendant, was manning his station when he glimpsed a man pointing […]

Court of Appeal acquits man of attempted murder
Diondray McKoy of Belize City had a conviction of attempted murder quashed, sentence of 12 years in prison set aside and a judgment of acquittal entered after the conclusion of his case this morning in Belize City at the Court of Appeal. McKoy was accused of the attempted […]

Making music big business in Belize
A first of its kind Music and Entertainment Industry Seminar over four days this week brings together heavy hitters from across the Belizean music landscape and their associates for a serious look at advancing music as more than a lifestyle, but also a living for its practitioners. Belize […]

Honduras Progresso Football Club scouts for Woodrow West and Deon McCauley
Today, two star players of the National football team are being drafted by the international football league in Honduras. Members of El Honduras Progreso are en route to Belize to finalize all the paper works for the enrollment of Goal keeper, Woodrow West and goal striker Deon McCauley, confirmed Elias […]

Drawing date for the 3rd round in the 2018 CONCACAF has been set
The drawing date for the third round of the 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers is set for July 25th, 2015 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The 8 teams that have qualified for the 3rd round include: Barbados, Curacao, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Grenada. Meanwhile, […]

Standard Six students engaged in self-awareness lessons
Standard six students from the La Inmaculada Upper School were today engaged in several self-awareness lessons thanks to the schools administration in collaboration with the Department of Youth Services. The students were engaged in lessons on Bullying, Drugs, Self-esteem, self-worth among issues that students face when transitioning from Primary to […]

15 year old raped in Dangriga
Dangriga police are today investigating a case of rape in that municipality. Information reaching our news room is that a 15 year old student from Dangriga accompanied by her aunt reported that on Monday, June 15th, around 11am, she was forcibly taken into the Baptist Church compound located in the Foreshore […]

Melhem Kelly charged for attempt robbery and possession of unlicensed firearm
Police in the west have since arrested and charged 37 year old Melhem Kelly from Orange Street in San Ignacio in the Cayo District for the crime of attempt robbery and possession of unlicensed firearm. Reports are that on Monday, June 15th, around 10:05pm, they received and responded to a […]

Pot bust in Corozal
A resident from Chunox village in the Corozal District has been charged for the crime of Drug Trafficking. According to Corozal Police, on Monday, June 15th, around 6:30 pm, they were on mobile control within the village, when they stopped a public bus and conducted searches on 38 year old […]

Family of Hilberto Sotz is still mourning
Last week’s murder of Caye Caulker resident, 18 year old Hilberto Sotz sent shock waves across the country and sparked a riot in the small community which was angered by the senseless acts of the police officers who were responsible for the teenager’s death. Since the incident occurred, a post […]

Custom officer knocks down cyclist
A traffic incident on Friday in Corozal Town injured a resident of that municipality. According to the report, Azir Zalazar was riding his bicycle on College Road in Corozal when he was hit by a car and began experiencing pain to his hands and legs. The incident occurred at around […]

George Price Highway between Belmopan and Santa Elena will get major upgrade
For the last few years, citizens have constantly complained about the deterioration and many potholes on the Belmopan – Santa-Elena stretch of the George Price Highway. Yesterday, however, it was reported that the government is going to dish out 1.5 million US dollars to upgrade it. That amount will be […]

PUP Questions Guatemalan Intrusion
“How is it that a Guatemalan naval vessel could enter and traverse Belize’s territorial waters unannounced and undetected by Belize’s national security apparatus?” This official release sent by the PUP yesterday is just one of the many questions left unanswered, days after a Guatemalan vessel has been removed from Belize’s […]

PUP will contest the Dangriga bye-election
The PUP will contest the bye-election for a new Dangriga Representative that is scheduled for July 8th. Last week Tuesday, the party was unsure if they would contest the election, due to lack of funds, and available finance being directed towards the upcoming general election. However, the PUP has […]

Blogs

10 Best Belize Family Hotels & Resorts
Every parent knows the secret to taking kids on vacation is finding a spot that’s so kid-friendly, they never miss their electronic gadgets! Belize resorts for families are at the top of many parents’ lists because the country is easy to navigate, big on attractions and activities, affordable and not so crowded you’ll have to compete for beach space. Beaches and forests are enchanting. Seeing wildlife in natural habitats thrills kids of all ages, and there’s much to be said about lullabies courtesy of rhythmic Caribbean waves after full days of family fun.

From Caye to Cayo: Top 4 Experiences in Belize
The Cayes and the Cayo. Typographically, they may be very similar, but topographically these distinctive regions in Belize are worlds apart. The Cayes (pronounced “keys”) are the hundreds of islands that stretch the length of Belize’s coast, ranging from tiny spits of sand and tangled networks of mangrove, to the 25-mile long Ambergris Caye. About half the size of Barbados, Ambergris is a laid-back Caribbean beach town with a decidedly “no shoes, no shirt, no problem” attitude. On its narrow, sandy roads numerous “Go Slow” street signs maintain an orderly flow of golf-cart traffic (there are no car rentals here), while on the water dozens of speedy boats and water taxis whisk vacationers to beachside resorts and some of the best dive and snorkel spots in the world.

PORN - Food Porn Anyway
When I think about the most missed items from my previous life, many are food related. Restaurants, and dishes that you just can't find down here. I will say there is some phenomenal eating in and around San Pedro - and if you know where to go you can really knock out some amazing culinary experiences. They don't all have to come from a restaurant either - I fancy myself a pretty good cook really (had you sampled the grouper I just cooked you would likely disagree...but I can't nail them all). I tend to enjoy telling stories as I write - but my brain is kinda fried. So while thinking and remembering these events as I re-count them for you; I won't be using my normal story telling style, but more just a 'here's a picture and description of the event' type of approach. Or they at least won't be one cohesive story..eh, we'll see what comes out. Home Cooking is often underrated. I'm not a genius in the kitchen, but I have a few dishes that I like to think I've conquered. Tacos is one for sure. I make an crazy good taco. My secret? I do have a proprietary sauce that is yumilicious. But really in my opinion the shell is the biggest factor. There are a million taco vendors here and they all have one major issues - the shell is instantly soggy and the goodies fall out the bottom. It's really not tough to make a decent taco but apparently I'm the only one here that can. Casserole's are my other favorite - not for the yum factor, but you cook once and eat for days.

Where were you when the lights went out?
Around noon I began to grow concerned. A random survey of my neighbors yielded a startling discover: In this condo complex, they all had electricity. Except me. Some asked me if there was a red tag on my meter — a sign that I’d failed to pay my electric bill. Some looked at me with the sad wizened eyes of experience, nodded their heads sagely and said with a touch of concerned, “Looks like it is your turn.” I knew what they were talking about. I’d heard the stories from my elders, around the bar at Feliz Bar & Grill. The Outage. It strikes when you least expect it. Sometimes the power comes back on all by itself, but mark my words, this ain’t over. In another day, a week, a month — it will go out again. Sometimes once it is gone, it is lost until your unit is rewired. It seems that when this complex was built, trenches were cut from the power source to the buildings and wiring was laid. Unprotected aluminum wiring. Wiring that corrodes in the salty air of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

International Sourcesizz

Belize activist: ‘I’ve sacrificed my life to this work’
” ‘Batiman!’ someone called from the shade of a food­-cart umbrella. “In Belize — a small Anglophone Caribbean nation tucked into the eastern flank of Guatemala and Mexico — “batiman” (Creole for, literally, “butt man”) has long been the supreme slur against gay men, the worst possible insult to their personhood and dignity. But now another slur is beginning to take its place: ‘Orozco.’ … ” A seven-foot-tall security gate barricades his driveway. When home, he must remember to lock all six locks — two for his house, two for his office and two padlocks on the gate for good measure. Those precautions do not prevent Orozco’s neighbor or people walking by his house from throwing rocks and bottles over the walls, shouting, ‘Aala unu fu ded’ (‘All of you should die’). Other residents have picked up two-­by-fours and chased him in the street. People stone Orozco’s house frequently enough that he rarely bothers to call the police at this point. …

Central American four lead the way
There were no major surprises in the second round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia. Canada opened their account with aplomb while the Central America quartet of Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize and Nicaragua all move on. Cuba’s hopes were dashed at the first hurdle while goals tumbled in across the Caribbean. FIFA.com takes a closer look at all the action. Deon means goals in Belize: Belize struggled to score without hit-man Deon McCaulay in the opening rounds. They scored only once – and that from a set-piece – in 180 minutes of football against the Cayman Islands. But the return of their star striker in the second-round series against Dominican Republic made all those woes disappear. He scored three in two games and is on track to repeat his amazing feat of four years ago when he finished global top-marksman in qualifying for Brazil 2014, edging out Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. “Deon’s composure in front of the goal is the kind of thing you can’t teach,” veteran Belize midfielder Elroy Kuylen told FIFA.com

Most intriguing creatures of the deep
The elusive batfish was seen in Belize by tourists who had the weird sea creature pointed out to them by a fisherman. The strange fish has legs that allow it to walk on the ocean floor.

2nd Law Enforcement Battalion conducts crowd control training during exercise Tradewinds 2015
Members of 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, conducted crowd control training event for partner nations participating in phase II of exercise Tradewinds 2015 at Price Barracks June 16. The Marines of 2nd LEB shared their knowledge with four other nations on the second day of training during Tradewinds 2015. “We are teaching them how to clear a building and the safeties involved with that, how to exploit evidence if they came across any and crowd controlling techniques, while also learning what we can from them,” said Lance Cpl. Dalton Raven, a field military police officer with 2nd LEB. During the event, the Marines outlined, using caution tape, rooms to a house as a training area for the partner nations to learn how to clear buildings alongside their other military counterparts. Cpl. Aquilo Sho, reconnaissance platoon, 2nd Infantry Battalion, Belizean Defense Force, expressed how much he learned from the training and how valuable it was.

Mexico researchers decode name on Mayan King Pakal's tomb
Researchers in Mexico say they have decoded the hieroglyphic name on the Palenque tomb of ancient Mayan King Pakal, revealing it to read "The House of the Nine Sharpened Spears", more than sixty years after the crypt was discovered. Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier discovered the burial crypt in 1948 and new research into the jaguar, a sacred animal for the Maya civilization, led Guillermo Bernal, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), to make a link with other hieroglyphics of the same form. "This is a name linked with war and an aspect which was not previously known as the hieroglyphic (could not be) deciphered until now," Bernal, from UNAM's Mayan Studies Centre, told a news conference in Mexico City on Monday. "'The House of the Nine Sharpened Spears' is a denomination represented by the nine warriors in the walls of the tomb." Born in the seventh century, King K'inich Janaab' Pakal is said to have ascended to the throne aged 12. He led a prosperous government in the ancient city of Palenque and is believed to have been behind the building of its finest architecture.

Q&A Emma Martin
Interpreting the Mesoamerican civilisation for a UK audience. Emma Martin, the head of ethnology at National Museums Liverpool, discusses her work on a temporary exhibition, displaying 385 objects from the ancient Maya kingdoms, spanning eastern Mexico to Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and El Salvador from 1000BC –1542AD.

Navy Public Affairs Support Element Wes
The U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Mareno, visited a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter here today as the maritime phase of the annual Tradewinds exercise began. Mareno said the U.S. Coast Guard pairs perfectly with its Belizian partners. He added that with the regional-security challenges faced here and throughout Central America, there is no better branch of our military than the Coast Guard to help during this important joint exercise. USCGC Paul Clark (WPC-1106), commanded by Lt. Lloyd Belcher, is leading the Coast Guard’s role in Tradewinds 2015 maritime phase II - which includes coastal patrol operations, small boat operations, engineering administration, maritime law enforcement, and operation center procedures. Up to 18 nations are expected to participate in phase II of Tradewinds 2015 which runs through June 24th.

Videos

  • Mexico Belize Channel, 1/2min.Around 600 A.D the Maya dug a channel to to provide a trade route from the Bay of Chetumal, Quintana Roo to the Caribbean. It now acts as a border between Belize and Mexico.

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize, 10min. I shot this snorkeling video in June 2015 on my GoPro Hero4 Black mainly in 4K, with some 1080p mixed in.

  • Belize Trip, 12min. Catamaran Belize Trip 10/24/14-11/1/14.

  • Belize 2015, 3min. Vacation in Ambergris Caye, Belize with the Nevil's, Day's, Day's, O'Higgins', and the Mears. 2015.

  • Sun Dancer II Liveaboard Belize (Part 1), 7.5min. Sun Dancer II Belize May 2015 - great liveaboard, great crew, awesome time!

  • Sun Dancer II Liveaboard Belize (Part 2), 11min.

  • Swim in marine life heaven Caye Caulker Belize, 3min. Swim in marine life heaven Caye Caulker Belize.

  • Cave Tubing Belize 2015, 4min.

  • IT'S ALRIGHT, BELIZEAN ARTIST STEPHEN SMITH, IS THE MIGHTY ICEBERG!, 4min. The Mighty Iceberg is Belizean reggae musical artist, Steven Smith, who has been a legend in the Los Angeles Caribbean music scene since the 1970's. A classic bass player since the legendary Belizean artist days, bredda David, who lived in the Los Angeles Belizean Community, The Mighty Iceberg is rated amongst some the best Belizean reggae artists and musicians of his time. A cool and humble brother who sings a melodic alto, his incredible album, Meeting Time, is graced by some of Belize's best musicians like Bamiki Bandula's, Carl McGregor on bass, and Delbert McGregor on drums. The 2006 musical release by Smith had passed by many Caribbean music lovers who missed one of the most well played and produced reggae albums of that year.

  • WHEN HARRINGTON TRAPP SINGS THE BIRTHDAY SONG!, 5min. The legendary Belizean musical artist, Harrington Trapp's 2010 hit single, Birthday Song, became an instant hit both in Los Angeles, California, and Belize almost at once when the former Babylon Warriors lead singer released the song on the Los Angeles Belizean music scene. The hit single from Trapp's full album called Harrington Trapp, Bithday Song celebrates Belizean culture with its delicious Central American and Caribbean cuisines, and unique lifestyle.

  • THE ACCLAIMED BABYLON WARRIORS'S TWO FOOT COW!, 5min. The internationally acclaimed Belizean band, Babylon Warriors's track, Two Foot Cow, became an instant hit in 1997 in the Los Angeles Belizean Community, and went on to top the charts in Belize within the Punta Rock music scene. Babylon Warriors being a reggae band of the 1980's, began experimenting with the Punta Rock genre when they added the legendary Garinagu artists, Jesse Flores, the late Dana Martinez, Sapps Sanchez, and Georgette Lambey to their repertoire. It became the first fusion of Belizean Creole and Garifuna artists that would be playing a wide variety of different Caribbean rhythms in the 1990's.

  • THE LEGENDARY BELLA CARIB SINGS FOR WOMEN OF COLOR!, 4min. The 2010 celebratory track, Woman of Color, by the legendary Belizean musical queen and world class dancer, Bella Carib, pays tribute to the first Black First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and her work for women all over the world. The song was written by Bella Carib herself, and produced by the legendary Belizean Grammy Award Winner, Michael Hyde, and Bilal Morris of Belizean Legends. It became and instant hit among many Caribbean and African American women in Los Angeles.

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