Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#505316 - 06/18/15 07:04 AM Today's Belize News: June 18, 2015
Marty Offline


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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

A few drinks and good laughs at the Squirrel’s Nest
Located just south of town at Matarocks resort, Squirrel’s Nest is the little beachside bar that’s so very easy fall in love with. This little thatched bar is the perfect getaway if you’re looking to escape and enjoy a few beachside drinks in a secluded atmosphere, yet relatively still close to town. Dennis and I headed over for a couple drinks on a Friday afternoon and we couldn’t get enough of the charming little nest. We were greeted by resort manager Sherilyn, who also fills in as bartender, and what a great one she is! Sherilyn was laid back and very easy to strike up a conversation with; she explained to us that Squirrel’s Nest isn’t a “fancy bar.”

ACES benefits from BWG’s monthly donation program
A $1,484 check was presented to the Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) as part of Blue Water Grill’s monthly donation program. During the month of May, BWG customers donated $782, which was matched 100% by the establishment. In addition to monthly donation program funds, an anonymous donor from Houston, Texas, USA through BWG, also donated $3,000 to the school. The generous donation will go towards the school’s scholarship program for children with disabilities. “Words cannot explain how grateful we are for this donation. It will greatly benefit our island children living with disabilities. We thank everyone that donated,” said ACES. For the month of June, monies raised will go to the San Pedro Belize Red Cross to support hurricane season initiatives. “With the start of hurricane season, it’s vital that we support our local Red Cross group that does so much to help our community in times of need. And they also provide invaluable training for our island and support countless local efforts to keep San Pedro healthy,” said BWG.

Two Crocodiles relocated from Northern Ambergris Caye
The American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) removed two large crocodiles from two different resorts north of San Pedro Town. The respective establishments requested their removal after the animals allegedly became a nuisance for the businesses. Both crocodiles measured 11 feet and are now in a safer area where they are not expected to harm anyone. ACES’ mission is to safely relocate troublesome crocodiles in order to conserve the species on the island. Northern Ambergris Caye is going through large scale development, and the crocodiles’ natural habitats in this northern area are shrinking. The end result in most of these cases is crocodiles coming in close proximity with humans. On Friday, June 5th, ACES conducted the removal of a crocodile from the Matachica Resort area. The reptile was discovered while works were being done around the resort near a shallow pond. The animal was relocated to the southern part of the island. Then on Monday, June 8th, ACES once again answered the call of another croc spotting, this time at Grand Caribe Resort area. The large crocodile was removed and remains in captivity in an emergency holding enclosure.

Cleaning up the island, one campaign at a time!
We are so please to report that more and more residents are cleaning up the island. Garbage has been a major issue on the island, but now several establishments/individuals have taken the initiative to organize cleanup campaigns. These campaigns are essential to stir up a movement to keep the island clean. The Phoenix Resort is among those that have spearheaded successful cleanup campaigns. Their weekly garbage collection efforts bring together community members who clean up the beaches and core of San Pedro Town. Each Saturday, the initiative gets bigger, with more persons joining in the cleaning up campaigns. Each week a different business sponsors the cleanup by providing trash bags and gloves. “Everyone’s help is so greatly appreciated, and without it we would not be able to cover as many areas as we do around town. Again, thank you so much to all of you for your help. Without you this wouldn’t be possible to carry out each week,” says the management of The Phoenix.

Island high school students celebrate graduations!
Over a hundred students from San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village have completed their secondary school education, and they were proudly celebrated over the weekend. High School Commencement Exercises were held to present students with high school diplomas, as proud family and friends looked on. Caye Caulker’s Ocean Academy Class of 2015 was first to graduate on Friday, June 12th. 13 students marched to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance before family, friends and honored guests at the Caye Caulker Community Center. The Ceremony was led by Wilfredo Feliz, Poetry and Drumming teacher and English tutor at Ocean Academy. Guest speaker for the night was Katie Numi Usher, an artist working with The Image Foundation, and Heidi Curry delivered the Founder’s Speech. Leyvi Florian received top honors as class valedictorian, while Saira Reyes Ruiz was salutatorian. During the ceremony, a moment of silence was held in loving memory of Adriana Cal, a member of the graduating classed that passed away prior to the ceremony. The ceremony concluded with the Vote of Thanks given by Fernando Novelo. Graduates presented small gifts to parents, and a slideshow of great memories was shown.

Ambergris Today

Building a Blood Supply for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
By helping ensure that blood is available whenever members of the Ambergris Caye community or visitors require medical attention, your blood donation may one day save a life. The San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) 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. It is important for residents of Ambergris Caye to recognize that there is a blood supply allocated for all island residents and visitors. Of utmost importance is 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, Belize City. The SPBRC is working hard to increase the blood supply that is kept on reserve at the Blood Bank in Belize.

Government Gives Public Officers and Teachers an 8% Salary Increase
The Ministry of Finance is pleased to announce that public officers and teachers will receive an eight percent (8%) salary increase, totaling 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.

Costa Maya Festival 2015 Readies for Grand Pageant Night
The eight countries that compete for the coveted crown of Miss Costa Maya (Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant) have confirmed their participation for this year’s pageant. Three countries have already sent pictures and information of their chosen beauty ambassador. This week we introduce Miss Costa Rica Costa Maya delegate: Corlina On Porras, Costa Rica. Miss Costa Rica will join candidates from Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Panama on Pageant Night that has been set for Thursday, August 6, 2015, kicking off Costa Maya Festival with a bang. The pageant will have a Carnaval theme with planned entertainment by the Belize Dance Company and Alma Caribena dance group from Mexico, among others.

U.S. Marine Corps, Central American Countries Participate in Multi-National Exercise in Belize
United States Marines along with 14 other Central American Countries to include Canada and Mexico, will be participating in Tradewinds 2015 from June 15-24 throughout Belize. The exercise consists of eight separate training tracks - Human Rights Awareness, Jungle, Military Support to Law Enforcement, Marksmanship, Riverine, Command and Control, Maritime, and Dive, which will take place at different training areas around Belize. All training tracks are focused on building capacity, improving interoperability, and providing Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs) in security related topics among participating countries and throughout the region. Representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Barbados, and Colombia are expected to participate.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Road Improvement Project in Ambergris Caye: The Key in Unlocking Bigger Investment Opportunities for Belize
Road improvement in North Ambergris Caye is unstoppable as the work continuously rolls to its second phase. The road is expected to be 7 miles of paved road that stretches from the Boca del Rio Bridge to North Ambergris Caye. The phase two of the road improvement will have a three stretching miles of paved road from Belizean Shores Resort up to the Portofino/Canary Coves’ mile 6. The paved road has been anticipated to get completed after three months from the joint venture of San Pedro Town Council and the Government of Belize. However, the GOB will be the one who will cover up the cost for paving the road. The northern road in its second phase will pave all the way to the Blue Reef Resort. But since the water systems might be affected with the road expansion, the San Pedro Town Council still awaits the Belize Water Services’ response with regards to water expansion so that they could start the project. The reason why the San Pedro Town Council got involved in this life-changing project is that they work on placing the speed bumps which will help them deter speeding on the newly constructed paved road. And if this road improvement has managed to finish on time without any hassles, probably, people living in Ambergris Caye will be ecstatic with the news as the road expansion will give them better opportunity to reach places.

Four Belizeans Bestowed the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Four Belizeans were today bestowed the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of the 2015 New Year Honours. The honours were conferred by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Attorney Michael Young received the order of Ordinary Commander for his contribution to legal profession and the community; Ms. Esther Ayuso and Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth received the order of Ordinary Officers: Ms. Ayuso for her contribution to the community and women’s rights and Mrs. Tucker-Longsworth for her contribution to nursing and the community. For her contribution to community and leadership, Mrs. Bernadette Fernandez received the order of Ordinary Member. The Investiture Ceremony took place at the Belize House in Belmo

Another manatee found dead in Belize City.
This photo was posted by Manatee Researcher, Jamal Galvez, with the following caption: "Yet another dead manatee due to boat collision. This poor guy never got to grow up! Seeing the mother in the distance was sad! Manatees need help too."

The Giant Slayer youth rally and concert is this Saturday at Falcon Field. Mervin Budram and R1pple 3ffect will be performing. It's free, and it starts at 7:00pm. "Mervin Budram - MD and R1pple 3ffect Band are heading to Cayo on Saturday! You don't want to miss out!"

UB 2015 Graduation
Congratulations to all 456 of the University of Belize's 2015 graduates. Well done! Now, get out there and give back some of that information to the rest of Belize. The graduation list is here.

Queen of the West Contestant Search
The search is on for this year's Queen of the West pageant contestants. If you are interested, call 804-2035 or email sisetowncouncil@yahoo.com. Good luck!

Esperanza Animal Clinic
CELA is having a free animal health clinic in Esperanza this Saturday, June 20th, from 9:00am until noon. They'll be checking out domestic animals, and will be spaying and neutering also. Thanks, CELA! "We are staffing two animal health clinics this weekend. The one in Cayo is in Esperanza at the community center. The other is in Ladyville at the community center there. Here's the flyer for Esperanza."

Channel 7

Shot Down In Lord's Bank
There was shooting last night in the usually quiet Lords Bank Village. It happened last night at around 8 p.m. when 28 year-old Jorge Caceres was inside a wooden house socialising with several people when someone knocked at the door. When Caceres opened the door, the man on the other side attacked and shot him. Today, the police press officer briefed the media on what investigators know at this time: Rafael Martinez - Police Press Officer "On 16th June at approximately 8:46 p.m, police responded to report of a shooting incident in the village or Lord's Bank. When they arrived at that location at a house at #151 Lord's Bank, just a few feet away they saw 28 year old Jorge Caceres lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. Initial investigation revealed that Caceres was socialising at that residence at #151 Lord's Bank when apparently someone knocked on the front door. He opened it and the person and Caceres got involved in an altercation in which shots were fired and Caceres received his injuries. As a matter of fact he received injuries in the neck, the arm and of course his feet. Caceres was transported to the KHMH where he remains in a critical condition. The Ladyville police are following up on a lead, as a matter of fact they are seeking a person of interest for questioning and of course identification."

Hapless, Luckless Robber Tries to Plead Partial Guilt
Last night, we told you how a man tried to rob a gas station at gunpoint on Bullet Tree Road, but he was stopped by a brace security guard who only carried a machete. Well tonight, that man, 37 year-old Melhem Kelly, a resident of Orange Street, San Ignacio Town, is at Belize Central Prison after being taken to court. He was arraigned this afternoon in the San Ignacio Court, where he was read charges of attempt robbery, keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition, and wounding. Kelly pleaded not guilty to all the more serious offences, but inexplicably, he tried to accept guilt for the crime of wounding. That meant that he was basically putting himself on the scene, admitting that he attacked the Security Guard, Alexander Rios, and inflicted stabbing and cutting injuries to him. What he disagreed with in his plea, however, was that he tried to rob the pump attendant, Romeo Quiroz, and that he was armed with a loaded rusty .38 special revolver at that time.

BTB Says The System Isn't Broken, The Operators Are
Last night you heard from the independent tour operators who are dissatisfied with the system of operation in the Tourism Village. The President of the Fort George Tourism Zone Tour operators and Taxi Union, Arton Bowen told us that the freelance tour operators aren’t getting a fair share of business because the pre booked tour operators are the only ones benefiting. Today we spoke with the Director of Destination Planning and Cruise at the BTB Valdemar Andrade and he told us that it’s not the system at all – in fact he says that the tour operators agreed to this system. Andrade told us it all about the conduct of tour operators on site. He gave us an overview of the system and how it works in the favour of both pre booked and independent tour operators. Valdemar Andrade - Director of Destination Planning and Cruise "The main purpose of the standard operating procedure is we have divided up the gates to allocate people where they do business best, where they would get their better customers from at the end of the day. So at gate 1, we have pre-booked operators, at gate 2 we have independent operators, which is the taxi and tour guide association, presently Mr. Arton Bowen.

DPP Tries To Get Realistic Sentence for Convicted Man
About a year ago, we told you about Wilbert Cuellar, the man who was convicted of attempted murder, but he received a lenient sentence for very serious crime. Well, once again, the Director of Public Prosecutions has gone back to the Court of Appeal to reverse the decision of the sitting judge. As we told you, Cuellar was convicted in December of 2011 of the murder of Josue Chay, but the trial judge, Justice Denis Hanomansingh, believed it to be unjust. So, he invoked what is called “inherent jurisdiction” to set Cuellar free without serving any further time behind bars. In March 2014, DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal challenged it at the Court of Appeal, and convinced the panel to pass an appropriate sentence for the crime. The case went back before Justice Hanomansingh, who decided that an appropriate sentence in this instance was 3 months – or time served in jail – which is what he formally delivered as the final sentence. Again, the DPP decided to appeal the judge’s decision, believing that she was compelled to do so since 3 months is not an appropriate sentence for attempted murder.

Helping Housing
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development… it’s not a ministry that regularly makes the news because as it is currently set up – the ministry exists mainly to dish out political patronage – and not to provide affordable housing. Well, we found out today that the Ministry hasn’t gotten any major donor funding, and so, their options are limited in how they serve the general public. That’s what CEO Denton Belisle told us today at workshop designed to come up with a national housing policy. According to him, this national policy will allow them to approach international funding agencies with a clear plan on how the money would be used to achieve the goal, which is to get more poor people to own their own homes. Here’s how he explained it: Denton Belisle - CEO, Ministry of Housing & Urban Development "This is a workshop which is an initial step - first step towards the elaboration of a national policy on social housing for Belize. Something which we recognise is needed at this point in time because we all know that the need for improvement in the number and the quality of housing that we have in Belize is tremendous. And so this is a first step towards the elaboration of a national comprehensive social housing policy for Belize. We have been actively involved recently in the deliberations and workshops for the SISCA. Which is the social integration system for Central America and they have a council of housing and human settlements and it based on that initiative that we came up with this proposal to develop a housing policy for Belize."

Pulled Serious Weapon On Cop In Club
Last week, we told you about 30 year-old Kareem Betancourt. He’s the man who allegedly pulled a weapon on a police officer outside a night club when he was about to be searched before being allowed to go in. Well, he’s at the Belize Central Prison tonight after being taken to court today. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on the offences of aggravated assault, keeping a prohibited firearm, and keeping prohibited ammunition. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and due to the nature of the offences, he couldn’t be granted bail. He was then remanded to prison until July 31. As we told you, the incident occurred on June 7. According to the police, Betancourt attempted to enter Elements Nightclub on Newtown Barracks. When Inspector Alejandro Cowo tried to search him Betancourt drew a black firearm and pointed it at the officer.

Peninsula Police Get Gun
Yesterday, Placencia Police seized a homemade firearm in Seine Bight Village. The Quick Response Team was in Seine Bight on a drug sweep, and found it in an open lot. It is believed to be a part of a homemade handgun, the rest of which was hidden at a different location. No one was present at the time, it was deposited as found property. Later that same day, the QRT received intelligence from Placencia Special Branch, and that led them to an area behind the cemetery in Independence Village. The officers searched inside a culvert, and that’s where they found this 9mm pistol with an empty magazine, which was wrapped in a plastic bag. Again, no one was found in the area, and so, the weapon was deposited as found property.

Two For GSU
The Gang Suppression Unit has also taken two more guns off the streets. They found the first one last week Friday at around 2:30 p.m. Officers of the GSU were conducting operations on Orange Street. That’s when they searched an empty lot in Taylor’s Alley, and found a black Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol. The officers believe that the weapon belongs to a member of the Taylor’s Alley Bloods Gang. The other weapon was found at around 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 13. A team of officers from the GSU were conducting operations on New Road, and they searched an open lot. They found a black and brown Luger 9mm pistol wrapped in a pink cloth and a black plastic bag, and then stuffed in a blue garbage drum. No one was in the area, so this weapon was also deposited as found property. GSU intelligence is that it belongs to a member of the Victoria Street Blood’s Gang.

Israel's New Ambassador To Belize
Four new ambassadors were sworn in on Monday in Belmopan. They include the new Ambassadors from Guatemala, Manuel Roldan and Oren Bar El of Israel. These two countries have a long history together – and, most notoriously, Israel provided arms – the famous Galil machine guns - to the Guatemalan government during its genocidal civil war. In fact, Israel became Guatemala’s main arms supplier when the United States refused to do so in the late 70’s. Those same weapons were used for sabre rattling along the Belize border. History tells us that a huge shipment of Israeli weaponry bound for Guatemala was seized in Barbados in the late 70’s. But now Israel has normalised relations with all of Central America – including Belize – and today we asked the news Ambassador what is their strategic interest. Orel Bar El - Israeli Ambassador to Belize "Traditionally speaking our priorities are mainly the cooperation and establishing good friendship. We don't have high economic or commercial interest - although I think it's important to try to develop economic ties."

Auction Action
Today, the Queen Street Police Compound in Belize City was crowded with city residents. No, it wasn’t a mass police detention; they were there for a bicycle auction. Hundreds of bikes with varying degrees of damage were on sale. Most-likely, they had been seized as part of some crime, or they may have been stolen, but the owners never came to retrieve it. So, rather than have them sitting around, taking up storage space, and gathering dust and rust, the Police Department regularly sells them off to the public at auctions. 7News stopped by and spoke with a few of the auction winners who got to leave with the rusty, damaged bike of their choice. They told us that with a bit of hard work and investment, all of these old bikes can be restored to almost brand new condition: Daniel Ortiz "Why did you pick the opportunity to come out and win this one at the auction?" Leopold Pineda - Owner of Purchased Bikes "Because I repair them and fix them up and I got it for my own use." Daniel Ortiz "It looks very damaged, how does one fix something like this to a usable state?" Leopold Pineda "I have another bike that I take off parts off it and fix it."

Track And Field Takes On Salvador
The Central American Track and Field Junior Championships were held in San Salvador over the weekend. Twenty Two young athletes represented Belize and when the event was over, Belize won a total of 8 medals – including 1 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze. The group returned home yesterday by road – and after getting some needed rest, 7news caught up with the Athletes at the Marion Jones Stadium. Shanicka Augustine - Gold Medalist "It was a lot of competition but I did my best and I came in first in the triple jump, second in the long jump and third in the 100 metres." Monica Bodden "Tell me, were there any challenges?" Shanicka Augustine "Yes, a lot. Especially with the 100 metres because they were very fast but you just have to do your best and go all out because at the same time you are thinking about your country and bringing home so that they see Belize has talent."

Primary School Football
The 2015 National Primary School Football Championship matches were held in Belize City today. For the entire day, the district champions, went up against each other to find out who is the best football team this year. We stopped by the male games this afternoon, and spoke with one of the Coordinators from the National Sports Council about the tournament. Here’s what he told us the day’s event: At the end of the game you saw, San Pedro RC finished Third, as the representative of the Belize District. They defeated La Immaculada RC from Orange Walk. The winner of this tournament is Independence RC from Stann Creek. They defeated Mount Carmel Primary from Cayo, which now takes second place. The most valuable male player went to goal keeper Marlon Flores.

Angry About Anthem
Someday, those players may be the ones who pick up where Dion McCauley, Woodrow West, Elroy Kylen and Shane Orio left off. But one avid football fan hopes that when they play in a world cup qualifier – they will do so with a proper national anthem. Collymore says his hear sank and his coldseed beat a hasty retreat when the Belizean national anthem was cut short at Sunday’s world cup qualifier in Belmopan… For context, we do know that according to Olympic rules, national anthems cannot be longer than 80 seconds in length, which means that some countries have to work with a shortened version of their anthem.

Belmopan Park Gets Wi-Fi
The Mae Gordon park in Belmopan is the third in the capital city to benefit from a covered basketball court. But, more than that Mae Gordon will also have free wi-fi. Today, area representative John Saldivar and Acting mayor Jacklyn Burns underscored the significance:…

Excellent Belizeans
Four Belizeans received the honor of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire at Belize House in Belmopan. Governor General Sir Colville Young bestowed the order of Ordinary Commander on attorney Michael Young for his contribution to the legal profession and to the community. Esther Ayuso and Laura Tucker-Longsworth both received the order of Ordinary Officers. Ms. Ayuso was honoured for her contribution to the community and women’s rights and Mrs. Tucker-Longsworth for her contribution to nursing and the community. For her contribution to community and leadership, Mrs. Bernadette Fernandez received the order of Ordinary Member.

An Act That's Hard To Follow
Gildon Rowland is a real renaissance man. The ex-cop writes and performs poetry, and he also acts – he’s played bit roles in the recent B-Movies Poseidon Wrecks and Dragon Wasps which were filmed in Belize. And now he wants to develop his talent by attending an audition and training in the Bahamas. But he needs five grand to do it. Now, he’s not asking for a handout – he says it’s an investment:… Rowland says the audition agent is giving him a four thousand dollar discount.

Channel 5

3 Players Being Investigated by CONCACAF
For the first time in Belize’s storied football past, three players are under investigation by CONCACAF and UNCAF for match-fixing. The incredible allegation comes in the wake of a playoff [...]

F.F.B. Spent Half-a-Mil on Rounds 1 & 2
Even as that match-fixing investigation looms, the F.F.B. is coasting on an amazing victory over the Dominican Republic, and history being made as the Jaguars qualify for the Third Round [...]

Vicente Says Gold Cup Accounting Coming Soon
Vicente insists that the almost five hundred thousand dollars used between the First and Second Rounds was finances solely by the F.F.B., with no assistance from the public or from [...]

Lord’s Bank Man Riddled by Bullets
A twenty-eight year old man is tonight clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot multiple times to the body on Tuesday night. Just before [...]

Military Forces Converge on Belize for Trade Winds 2015
If you see increased military activity in your neck of the woods, don’t be alarmed. It is a well organized military training taking place. Personnel from the US, Mexico, Canada [...]

DOE Damage Assessment at Glover’s Reef Completed
The assessment of damages caused to the reef by a Guatemalan vessel running aground last Wednesday has been completed. On Thursday, the preliminary dive was done by members of the [...]

Santa Clara Man Charged With Attempted Murder of His Wife
Up north, a housewife has given police a report of a horrifying experience she lived at the hands of her husband. Maria Pech of Santa Clara Village, Corozal claims that [...]

ADU Makes Million Dollar Heroin Bust in Corozal
Further up north in the village of Ranchito, the Police Anti-Drug Unit, ADU, made a sizeable bust of highly addictive and illegal drug. In operations at a house in the [...]

Placencia Police on Alert Before Lobster Fest
On Tuesday, Quick Response Team of the Police Department in Placencia conducted several searches in Seine Bight for drugs. In an abandoned lot in that community, they found what appeared [...]

GSU Clamps Down in Crime in the City
The Gang Suppression Unit also carried out operations over the weekend. On Friday afternoon, the unit conducted a search through Taylor’s Alley area and in an empty lot they found [...]

Twins Charged for Harm After Beat-down
This morning, twin sisters, Tanisha and Tenisha Bodden of Arlington Drive, Belize City were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a single charge of Harm. It is claimed [...]

Kareem Betancourt Remanded on Firearm Offences
Today, after being released from the K.H.M.H. having spent more than a week under police watch, thirty year old Kareem Betancourt, of the Saint Martin’s De Porres area of Belize [...]

BMI Research Says Belize’s Debt is Unsustainable
Earlier this month, BMI Research, a leader in financial information services, made public the results of a research into Belize’s existing economic state of affairs.  That forecast was dismal, as [...]

Ministry of Housing Explores Social Housing Program
It’s been a while since we’ve heard of anything within the Ministry of Housing. Well, today they held a workshop in at the Biltmore where they met with partners with [...]

Housing Grants Available…But Only If Area Reps Approve
And while the establishment of the social housing policy is the latest initiative being undertaken by the Ministry of Housing in a very long time, the Ministry has long been [...]

Hand in Hand Ministries Builds Home for Lord’s Bank Family
A single father of four of the Lord Bank area, Belize District, is tonight celebrating the comfort of spanking new quarters. Aaron Garbutt and his family are moving from their [...]

Media/Sports Icon Passes
Veteran radio broadcaster and sports enthusiast Gerald Garbutt passed away today after suffering a massive stroke sometime last week.  Garbutt was a mainstay in the local media for over fifty [...]

#505317 - 06/18/15 07:04 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 18, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Moody's Investor Services Grades Belize's Debts
With a debt burden which experts predict will become increasingly unmanageable in the coming years, today Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Belize's Caa2 issuer ratings and the outlook remains stable. The stable outlook on Belize's Caa2 ratings reflects Moody's ongoing concerns about public debt sustainability despite the short-term relief to fiscal liquidity pressures following the 2013 debt restructuring. Moody's says credit risks could potentially escalate by 2017-18 given that: (1) as the general election approaches, the government will find it more difficult to maintain fiscal discipline as demand for public sector wage hikes and increased social transfers increase; (2) debt service on market debt will escalate due to an increase in the step-up coupon rate - amortization payments will start in 2019; and (3) the compensation amount from litigation claims due to the nationalization of BEL and BTL could push public debt into unsustainable levels. Faced with pressures that could translate into financial stress, the possibility of a pre-emptive debt restructuring remains high through 2017 to 2018.

Belizeans Receives MBE Awards In Honor On Queens Birthday
Today at the Belize House in Belmopan, four Belizeans were bestowed the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on the occasion of the 2015 New Year Honours. Attorney Michael Young received the order of Ordinary Commander for his contribution to legal profession and the community; Ms. Esther Ayuso and Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth received the order of Ordinary Officers: Ms. Ayuso for her contribution to the community and women’s rights and Mrs. Tucker-Longsworth for her contribution to nursing and the community. For her contribution to community and leadership, Mrs. Bernadette Fernandez received the order of Ordinary Member. The honours were conferred by the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

BNTU Brings Awareness On Petro Caribe Act
The Belize National Teachers Union has said it is serious about addressing national issues in the country. In staying true to that statement, today Otilio Munoz, President of the Orange Walk Branch told us that the union has joined other concerned groups in the much debated Petrocaribe Act. Even though the act has been passed by government, the BNTU said it had to do its share to educate the public. “We are serious when it comes to national isues because as educators we ned to look at thes things because at the end of the day we as educators we are responsible for educating our children as to anything that is happening in our country.” In its quest to obtain a better and full understanding of the act and its implications, Munoz says the union got input from experts and came up with a flyer containing points to spread awareness on what the act is all about.

Corozal Police Make Heroine Bust, Four Are Detained
Four persons from the Corozal District have been charged for heroin. They are 51 year old Fermin Velasquez and 38 year old Salvadoran Domestic Alba Velasquez both of Ranchito Village, 25 year old Eber Rivera of San Joaquin Village and 51 year old Kua Liao a Chinese businessman of Mile 8, George Price Highway. The four individuals were arrested after the Police Anti-Drug Unit searched a residence near the junction of the Phillip Goldson Highway and the Maya Airstrip road where all four persons were in. There authorities found seven parcels of suspected heroin which amounted to 7, 418 grams. There were two children along with the woman at the time of the search. Police report that the four adults were taken to the police station and have been charged for drug trafficking.

Man Accused On Trying To Set His Wife On Fire
Domestic abuse, without a doubt it is a growing problem in Belize and world wide. Often at times the report is made but right after withdrawn by the victim be it male or female. And most of the times the cases go unreported due t several reason. But tonight we air the story of one woman who decided to speak out and make the report to police placing her husband in the hot seat as he now faces charges of attempted murder after he reportedly tried to light his wife on fire. Thirty six year old Maria Pech, a housewife of Santa Clara Village in the Corozal District is the one who filed the report against her husband. Pech says that on Monday, at about seven thirty in the night she was cleaning some aluminum to sell while her husband Joel Pech was asleep inside their home. When he woke up, she says he began insulting her and when she tried to go inside he began threatening her and her children. At that point, Pech says her husband came outside wielding a machete with which he lashed her on the left leg. In fear for her life, Pech ran but Joel set chase after her and reportedly threw the machete at her but missed.

BNTU Says Salary Adjustments Not Coming From Petro Caribe Funds
Teachers and public officers are receiving an eight percent salary adjustment that becomes effective in July this year and which will total an approximate thirty-eight million dollars. As reported, this is in line with the terms under the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2014 where GOB and unions in representation of public officers and teachers established a framework which includes salary adjustments of up to thirty percent over the course of three years commencing last year. This said the President of the Belize National Teachers Union Orange Walk Branch, Otilio Munoz, is what he wants to clarify. Munoz says he wants the public to be assured that this is an adjustment that has been agreed to by GOB and unions and that this has nothing to do with the current Petrocaribe funds that have been given much campaign in the last months.

BNTU President Speaks On Salary Adjustment And Salary Increment
Yesterday the Government issued a press release where it announced that teachers are to be receiving an eight percent salary adjustment. Today, President of the Belize National Teacher’s Union Orange Walk Branch, Otilio Munoz told CTV-3 News that teachers need to be aware that the salary adjustment is not to be confused with a salary increase. In an interview with him this morning, Munoz clarified the difference between the salary increase that teachers should also be getting this year and the adjustment that has been approved by government. “The salary adjustment is to adjust the salary of the teachers to be in par with what we called the cost of living, to be in par with and the salary increment is based on your performance as a teacher and that is where the principal goes in a does your appraisal and then based on the apprisial and his recommendation then you are to get an increment, so this is where the problem lyes whenever let us say for example many teachers started to teach in September so they should be getting an increment for the whole year which supposed to have been approved already and recommended that you need to be getting an increment so you should be getting your increment plus yous salary adjustment so it is two things and that is what I want to ask teachers to ensure that when they get their pay they check with management that they look at the salary increment and the salary adjustment as well because of nature and money you need to check if your got both of them.”


Media Colleague and Past Cycling President Passes
Veteran personality in the media and sports industries passed away last night at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Gerald Garbutt had suffered a stroke about a week ago and has since been hospitalized. Glenn Tillett, a media personality as well spoke of his time spent around and working with Garbutt. GLENN TILLET […]

Political Momentum Picks Up in Dangriga
Residents of Dangriga have seen an influx of the political machinery of the two major political parties as they prepare for the upcoming by-election in that municipality. We hear more in this report from correspondent Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU “Ivan Ramos, who was the Area Representative for Dangriga resigned from the House of Representatives on […]

Fire Officials Say Fire Was Set on Mahogany Street House
Last night we brought you the story of Dixie Wagner and his wife who lost their belongings in a fire last Thursday night on Mahogany Street. The couple had been renting the lower flat of the two storey structure for almost eighteen months when the incident occurred. We spoke with the Station Officer of the […]

National Housing Policy – A Move Towards Social Housing in Belize
Today was the first day of discussions in creating a National Policy that will focus on charting a way forward for sustainable, equitable Social housing in Belize. The policy is expected to be completed in three months. Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Michael Finnegan addressed stakeholders. MICHAEL FINNEGAN “In my view this must be […]

Gunmen Release Bullets in Rural Residence
Ladyville police are investigating a shooting incident that happened last night in Lord’s Bank. Police say just before nine o’clock they responded to a shooting in Lords Bank Village. On arrival they saw 28- year- old Jorge Caseres lying face down with multiple gunshot wounds. Caseres was transported to the K.H.M.H. where he is listed […]

Drug Bust in Northern Belize
Three men and a woman have been charged for trafficking heroin. Police say that yesterday evening, the Anti-Drug Unit was on special operations in the Corozal District which consequently led them to a residence in Ranchito Village. There they came across three men, a woman and two children. A search was conducted on the premises […]

Man Douses Spouse with Kerosene to Set Her Afire
A villager from Santa Clara in the Corozal District has been charged with attempted murder. A 36 year old housewife of Santa Clara Village reported that on Monday night, her husband, 34 year old, Joel Pech began to verbally abuse her while she was in the back yard doing some work. The woman told Police […]


Belizeans Arrested in Guatemala tell Their Story
Five Belizean’s, including PG Town Councilor Ashton McKenzie, have been charged for battery, in Guatemala after they were detained in Santa Cruz  They had entered illegally through a route in Jalacte and arrived in Santa Cruz sometime around 3:30 pm...

Hilberto Sotz’ father says he will sue police department
Since the death of 18 year old Hilberto Sotz who died in police custody at the Cay Caulker Police Station on June 8th, two officers have been charged with first degree murder and three others have been placed on inderdiction...

Belize music industry unites for business seminar
Music is entertainment and art, but one need only look at the huge sums artists from the surrounding region rake in from concerts, television appearances and endorsements to recognize that it is also a business...

15 year old raped in church yard
A 15 year old student of Dangriga says she was raped in a church yard. The girl told police that on Monday June 15th at 11 o’clock in the morning, she was forcibly taken into the Baptist Church compound located in the Foreshore area by a man who had his face covered...

Another teenager raped in Dangriga
There was another incident of rape reported in Dangriga yesterday, Monday June 15. According to a 16 year old female of Dangriga, she was at home when her baby’s father  arrived at her home. She and the child’s father got into an argument which resulted in her being sexually assaulted...

Security guard and robber battle it out in foiled robbery
Police have detained a man who attempted a robbery in San Ignacio. Last night, Monday June 15 at about 10:05 p.m., San Ignacio Police responded to a robbery in progress at Chuc’s Gas Station located on Bullet Tree Road, San Ignacio...

Public Officers and Teachers Receive an 8% Salary Increase
The Ministry of Finance announced today  that public officers and teachers will receive an eight percent (8%) salary increase, totaling approximately $38 million, effective July of 2015 retroactive to April 1st, 2015...

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...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BTB Responds to Tour Operators: The system is fine; the conduct isn’t
Over the past weeks, the President of the Fort George Tourism Zone Tour operators and Taxi Union, Arton Bowen, has continuously expressed concern on the delegation of tours and distribution of tourists at the Belize Tourism Village. According to Bowen, only pre-booked tour operators are benefitting from the process, while […]

Guns Vs. Machetes – The Saga Continues
On Monday night, security guard, Alexander Rios, courageously defended a co-worker’s life against a gun-wielding robber. Today, 38 year-old Melhem Kelly of Orange Street, San Ignacio Town, is cooling his heels in prison following his arraignment on Wednesday afternoon. Kelly was taken to the San Ignacio Court where he was […]

Man charged for encounter with police
A man who menaced a police officer with a firearm and then tried to run away has been charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition. 30 year old tour guide Kareem Betancourt was read his charges before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer […]

Court to decide on sentence for convict
The Court of Appeal heard a second appeal by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn Vidal today in relation to the sentence given to Wilbert Cuellar of Orange Walk. Cuellar was convicted of attempted murder by a jury along with Darwin Diaz in December of 2011, but Judge […]

Radio pioneer Gerald Garbutt dies
Gerald Garbutt, a founder and pioneer of free broadcast radio in Belize, died Tuesday night of complications from heart problems. Garbutt helped to found KREM Radio in 1989 and acted as its general manager in the early 1990’s, setting the template for its success in modern times. He […]

Muslims prepare to observe Ramadan
In respect of the revelation of the Muslim holy book the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad and in strict observance of devotion and obedience to God, Muslims around the world are preparing to observe the holy month of Ramadan beginning on Thursday morning, June 18. The primary feature […]

Housing Ministry prepares new policy; grants for repairs available
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is rarely heard from but they continue to work at solving the problems of Belizeans in acquiring and maintaining proper housing. Today it embarked on the creation of a policy on establishing social housing for the country. We attended the consultation […]

Man shot in Lord’s Bank
A man shot on Tuesday night is in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. 28 year old Jorge Caseres was socializing at a residence in Lord’s Bank village around 8:46 in the evening when someone knocked on the main front door of his residences. He answered […]

Firearms seized in Placencia
Yesterday, June 16th on two separate occasions, Seine Bight and Placencia police have managed to remove firearms from the streets. Working off tips, Placencia’s Quick Response Team searched multiple areas in the small Village of Seine Bight and in an abandoned yard, officers found a homemade firearm which was then […]

Husband attempts to set wife on fire
A lady from the village of Santa Clara in the Corozal District is lucky to be alive after she had a violent encounter with her husband. Reports are that on Monday night around 7:30 pm, 36 year old Maria Pech, reported that she was in her back yard, when her […]


A Brief History of San Pedro, Belize & Dia De San Pedro: Part Two
The men of Ambergris Caye were jobless (no coconut palms, no jobs) – and many left the island looking for work. America was looking for male labor (even Mito’s uncle went to work in a factory in Pittsburgh, later to return). A few joined the war effort (we were still British Honduras at that point), one or two went down to Panama to help with expansion and lock work on the canal, some went to the mainland… And after the war many returned. The lobster industry had started a bit during the 1920s and 30s…before that it was junk. A Captain Foote came to the island buying lobster for one cent a pound…later freezer boats and canning began to buy lobsters and prices crept up slowly. At one point after WW2, a man with a Catalina seaplane would fly down to the island, fill it with a few thousand pounds of lobster and fly away to Florida. Taking the lobster on concession!

Belize Eco-Kids Summer Camp Winners 2015!
Officially known as the Children’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program, this annual event gives 24 young Belizeans between the ages of 8 and 13 a chance to learn about their natural world through a mix of adventure, social interaction, and fun filled applied education – all aimed at instilling a sense of wonderment in the unique cultures that constitute Belize and the environment that sustains us all. The Eco Kids are selected after submitting a 300 word written essay which is reviewed and shortlisted by the Chaa Creek scholarship committee with the winners going on to attend the week long summer camp. Chaa Creek will be providing all lodging, three healthy meals and snacks each day, structured educational activities, arts and crafts materials, tee shirts, 24-hour camp counsellor supervision, and guided tours conducted by licensed naturalist guides.

Want to know the future of Belize? See Greece
Pay attention to what’s happening in Greece. We’ve posted about this before and things di geh dread as we say in Belize. Greece is slowly being led to slaughter house and Belize is going to the same place, Greece is at the door, Belize is making it’s way down the chute. Greece’s economy will be locked down with capital controls if it can’t find a deal by the weekend European governments are ready to push for capital controls in Greece would mean a severe lockdown on flows of cash … strict limits on the amount that could be withdrawn from banks, taken abroad physically, or passed between international accounts. slam the brakes on outflows of money streaming out of Greek banks, but it would also make it more difficult for the country to recover economically Capital controls are easy to bring in and hard to get out of.

“My Quality of Life is Far Superior Since Moving Here”
The amazing scuba diving in Belize enticed Polly Alford to start a new life in the country. ©dsabo-Istock Name: Polly Alford Age:46 From: Southeastern England Living in: Punta Gorda, Belize Before moving to Belize, Polly Alford lived a cushy life in southeastern England. She had a lucrative job with an IBM partner company, drove a […]

“I Live Simply and it’s Easy to Make New Friends”
In November 2011, Patrick Snyder made his first trip to Belize, to visit his brother. Planning to spend a month, he stayed for seven. He then returned home, took care of his personal affairs, packed his belongings, and returned to Belize in 2012. “I like the peace and quiet in Punta Gorda, and the slow pace of life. I enjoy being right on the bay. People here are friendly. I live simply and it’s been easy to make new friends. At this point in my life, I could not ask for more.”

Belize Travel Diaries – Discovering the Beauty of the Unspoiled Tropical Paradise
Until a year before, I had only heard of all that Belize was about. White sandy beaches, lush green trees, clear blue waters, breathtaking marine life, warmhearted people and relaxed lifestyle. Now, that is history. Because only last year in summer I packed my bag and headed to Belize with some friends. I must say, that was probably one of the best decisions ever. First, because this country is truly heaven on earth. Second, it’s all true. Belize is simply beautiful. As soon as we stepped on Belizean land, the relaxed lifestyle started getting to us. It was quite an experience. Luckily, we had booked a small inn for us, since they’re super cheap as compared to 5 star hotels or resorts. So we headed out towards the small inn. Traveling on the rocky roads of Belize give a feeling of adventure. On our way, we came across street vendors selling rice and beans with potato salad, which is a staple diet of the locals. The aroma of the food spread through miles, and made us realize how famished we all were! While our first day ended travelling and settling in, the discovery in true form started the next day. To tell you the truth, I could write a book on my wholesome Belize experience, but I guess I’ll resort to just a few things to keep reader interest and keep boredom at bay! I hope I am succeeding; fingers crossed!

Backpacking Belize On A Budget
Belize has also one of the lowest population density in Central America and offers a rich variety of wildlife and nature. The lack of development, billboards and other modern world crap, makes Belize one of our favorite countries. However, its beauty comes with a heavier price tag than its neighboring countries. Even experienced budget travelers will spend more money in Belize than anywhere else in Central America, but don’t let that keep you from visiting. With careful planning and our tips below, you can significantly reduce your cost and stay within your budget. Transportation: Public buses are by far the cheapest mode of transportation around the country. Although those old North American school buses can get crowded sometimes, they are just as efficient as private shuttles and taxis. Belize is a pretty small country and a ride from east to west takes about three hours. Fares cost between $1-10, depending on how far you go.

The Breeze is “on the air” in San Pedro, Belize
If you live in San Pedro you probably couldn’t help but notice the “teasers” plastered to nearly every telephone pole on the island “The Breeze is coming.” Did they get your interest up? Well, the mystery is over and the Breeze has been revealed: It is a gringo internet radio station here in San Pedro, aimed at ex-pats and future ex-pats and people who just wish they could be ex-pats. Also described as “A classic hits music and information radio station.” The music format is ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s with a little stand-up comedy tossed in. Ugh, I heard Henny Youngman this morning. “Take my jokes, please!” There also promises to be a sprinkling of island sounds — presumably Bob Marley to Jimmy Buffet. If you were listening around 10 a.m. today you got something like this: The Dixie Cups, “Going to the Chapel”; Wings, “Silly Love Song”; Carole King, “It’s Too Late”; Stevie Wonder, “Isn’t She Lovely”; Bill Haley, “Shake Rattle and Roll”; Leanne Rimes, “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”; Bill Haley again, “See Ya Later Alligator”; and Earth Wind and Fire, “September.” With a little Henny thrown in somewhere in the mix. The internet station intends to be advertising supported. Meanwhile, you can grab a listen right here. Scroll down the home page for some basic information, including how to add the station as a pop-up so you can listen while doing other things on the Web.

International Sourcesizz

Belize coast guard sailor still at the helm during Tradewinds 2015
Petty Officer 2nd Class Edward Lawrence, a coxswain in the Belize coast guard is still at the helm of his high powered chase boat 23 years after joining the military. One of the first Sailors to enter the Belize Coast Guard when the force was formed 10 years ago - branching off from the Belize Defense Force, Maritime Division, a branch of the military, Lawrence had already served for 13 years. "There are only about eight of us left," he said. "I think it's safe to say I'm the most experience coxswain in the Coast Guard." The 40-foot rigid-hull inflatable boat he captains is powered by three 300 horsepower engines - enough it give it a top speed of close to 45 knots. "The boat is designed to chase and capture other boats and it's something we do from time to time. Not long ago we needed the speed to capture smugglers who we found with 20 kilos of cocaine.

Moody's affirms Belize's Caa2 sovereign rating; outlook stable
Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed Belize's Caa2 issuer ratings. The outlook remains stable. The key drivers of today's rating actions are the following: 1) The expectation of ongoing economic recovery mitigates the negative trends in public finances, although downside risks to the fiscal outlook remain. 2) The risk of losses to bondholders through 2017-18 remains considerable given fiscal challenges and a confluence of risks. Belize's long-term local-currency country risk ceilings and the foreign currency bond ceiling remain unchanged at B2. The foreign-currency bank deposit ceilings is also unchanged at Caa3. The short-term foreign currency bond and deposit ceilings remain at NP (Not Prime). These ceilings reflect a range of undiversifiable risks to which issuers in any jurisdiction are exposed, including economic, legal and political risks. These ceilings act as a cap on ratings that can be assigned to the foreign and local-currency obligations of entities domiciled in the country.

Decoded: name on Mayan king’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. “'The House of the Nine Sharpened Spears' is a denomination represented by the nine warriors in the walls of the tomb.”


  • Belize 2015!, 3.5min. 10 days in beautiful Belize condensed into 3 1/2 minutes!

  • OATS - Route of the Maya - Day 12, 18min.Our last day in Guatemala........After breakfast at hotel Camino Real, we visit the Mayan ruins at "Yaxha" and had lunch at the restaurant were the TV show "Survivor" crew members also ate........ Crossed the border into Belize and continued on to our hotel in Belize City.........

  • Takeoff from Belize City Airport, 3min. Taking off in a United Boeing 737-800 from BZE to IAH on 6/15/15.

  • Landing at Belize City's Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, 6min. This was an interesting landing at Belize City's airport. It was drier than expected. However it was the end of the dry season.

  • Half Moon Cay, Belize 2015, 15min. La segunda parte de nuestros viaje: Half Moon Cay, Belize 2015, Gracias por su participacion en una aventura mas de Scuba Excite!!

  • 2015 Belize, 3min. Scuba diving under the Sun Dancer II in Belize from June 7-12, 2015.

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