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#505750 - 07/08/15 07:11 AM Today's Belize News: July 8, 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

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Summer Water Activities
Summa time deh ya! And we have nothing or no one in mind more than our beloved readers! We’re coming up with ways to keep you both cool and entertained for those days when you know, sunbathing becomes too much of a chore! Jet Skis, Banana Boat Rides, SUP Paddle Boarding, Snorkeling, River Tubing.

Media Colleague Kareem Clarke falls victim to gun violence
Amandala journalist, 27-year-old Kareem Jabbor Clarke was murdered on Monday, July 6th at around 1AM at the corner of Vernon and Lakeview Streets in Belize City. Clarke suffered five gunshot wounds, which resulted in his immediate death. While police still have no suspects, the incident has left family and media colleagues grieving throughout the country. According to initial reports, Clarke was travelling on bicycle in the area when he was approached by a gun man that opened fire at him. Clark received injuries to the left side of the forehead, back of the head, abdomen, right upper back and middle of the back. Ironically, the heinous murder took place about a 100 meters away from a police check point which was implemented to reduce violence in the area.

San Pedro Solid Waste Transfer Station is now open!
The long awaited Solid Waste Transfer Station, located on Marina Drive, was inaugurated on Friday, July 3rd in grand fashion. A project of the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWMA) and funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the San Pedro transfer station had been under construction since 2013 and is one of four transfer stations built across the country. The transfer station is expected to alleviate the major issue of improper garbage disposal by allocating a venue for collecting and sorting garbage before being barged off of the island to the mainland.

Costa Maya Festival® Presents: Miss El Salvador, Miss Mexico and Miss Panama… El Chevo to bring ritmo y sabor to the stage!
The 2015 International Costa Maya Festival® is really coming together. With the latest exciting announcement of another international performer, El Chevo, there truly will be something for everybody! The Honduran electro-punta singer/musician El Chevo is renowned for his collaborative work with Grupo Santa Fe, Las Chicas Rolands, Kazzabe Group, Los Silver Star and more. His popular hit song “Metele, Sacala” truly combines his country’s native rhythm with his popular electronic fusions. Be sure to see him performing live on Friday, August 7th! Genesis, Samantha and Maria join Miss Nicaragua Yuliset Laguna, Miss Costa Rica Corlina On Porras and Miss Honduras Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle as they await the announcement of Miss Belize and Miss Guatemala for 2015 Reina de La Costa Maya®. The coveted crown is currently held by Miss Mexico Elisa Gomez, and a night of pageantry and beauty will determine the next title-holder on Thursday, August 6th.

Area Representative honors top PSE scorers on the islands
Two students from San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) and one student from Caye Caulker Roman Catholic Primary School (CCRCS) were honored on Thursday, July 3rd for receiving high marks in the Primary School Examinations (PSE). Betty Alpuche and Shanelly Gutierrez were jointly the top PSE scorers for San Pedro Town while Tristan Magaña was the top scorer for Caye Caulker Village. Alpuche and Gutierrez both scored 91.3, while Magaña scored 88.5 in the test. For their momentous achievement, Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. recognized the bright students by presenting them with a plaque and $500 check, each. The short ceremony was held at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), San Pedro office with Caye Caulker Chairman Wayne Miller, Caye Caulker Councilor Emelda Rosado, CCRCS Vice-principal Adelita Verde and the parents of the awardees present. Heredia indicated how proud he is of all three students and he hopes that they continue performing excellently at their secondary education institution of choice. The recent primary school graduates will soon be embarking in their high school journey. Magaña will be studying at Muffles College High School in Orange Walk, while Alpuche and Gutierrez will be attending San Pedro High School.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Takes One Step Forward in Solid Waste Management
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Solid Waste Management Authority hosted the inauguration of the San Pedro Transfer Station located on Marina Drive by the D.F.C. Area on Friday, July 3, 2015. The transfer station is a processing site where the garbage (solid waste) will be temporarily deposited, and sorted before being transferred to a larger waste disposal site. This means that San Pedro will eliminate the process of dumping the island’s garbage waste in the current landfill site and burning it. This should alleviate any issues associated with the dump including the smoke affecting the resorts and residents in the area and the harmful effects to the environment. The site will eventually be covered with white sand.

Extreme Selfie in Belize with Poisonous Lion Fish
Extreme Selfie, Right!? We surely think that taking a selfie with a very poisonous Lion Fish just inches from your face and body is extreme. It's a normal day at work for local tour guide Gilberto Alamilla Jr., of Belize Pro Dive Center. He loves the water and taking pictures when he goes skin diving and even scuba diving. He has plenty of pictures with sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and manatees.

Miss El Salvador and Miss Panama for Costa Maya Pageant 2015
The Miss Costa Maya Pageant (Reina de la Costa Maya) has become a prestigious pageant with in the Central American region and the eight participating countries send their top beauty ambassador representatives each year to compete for the coveted crown. The Miss Costa Maya Pageant takes place every year at the beginning of the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival. This year the pageant is taking place on Thursday, August 6, 2015. This week we present you with two more contestants – Miss El Salvador and Miss Panama!

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

SAGA Pasta Spectacular Cook-off July 14
hosted by Crazy Canucks Beach Bar.

Music on Caye Caulker
Luiz AMAURYS Leyva Suarez will be playing at " Il Baretto" tomorrow July 8th from 7.00 to 9.00pm

In Memory of Michael Femrite, June 12th, 2005

Passing of a true Belizean Patriot, Ms. Rosita Baltazar
She is a woman who was very proud of her Garifuna people and their culture but will be most remembered for her passion for the art of Dance. She was not only a great Belizean Dancer but has taught so many others to be passionate about dancing. May you continue to dance in heaven and as you show in your photo here, God has finally fished you away from this earth for eternal blessings. I watched my grand kids who are now 21and two 19yr old dance with the San Pedro dance company, she brought out the best in all the kids and was so proud of them, met Miss Rosita many times, always talked about dance lessons, we never did, but dance for us in heaven Miss Rosita, will do a little shake when I think of you....RIP beautiful lady

Crazy Cocktails
Come get crazy with shapes. Tomorrow at 2:00pm, Crazy Canucks Beach Bar. Beachfront at Exotic Caye Beach Resort, Coconut Drive, San Pedro

On the 7th July, 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between BELTRAIDE, on behalf of SBDCBelize, and Peacework. The objective of the MOU is to support the “Belize High School Innovation Challenge 2015”. The assignment includes: capacity building and technical assistance to the selected high school teams (Belize Rural High School, Ladyville Technical High School, and Ocean Academy) in the development of business model and follow up support on implementing the small grants awarded.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, July 7, 2015: 31

Dia de San Pedro activities held on June 27 - 29th, 2015

Commentary: Why UDP will defeat PUP in the upcoming by-election on Wednesday
By Wellington C. Ramos. On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, the people of Dangriga town, Sarawee and Hope Creek villages will go to the polls to vote for a new representative to replace PUP Ivan Ramos who resigned recently. The election is between UDP candidate Frank “Papa” Mena and PUP candidate Anthony Sabal. All indications are that when all the votes are counted, UDP candidate Frank “Papa” Mena will be the new representative for this constituency. I agree with the assessment that is being made for the following reasons: (1) The way the PUP removed Ivan Ramos as their party representative; (2) The candidate PUP picked to replace him, (3) The differences between Frank “Papa” Mena and Anthony Sabal; (4) The resources of the UDP and the PUP; and (5) The UDP is now the government of Belize and Dangriga people will not leave themselves without having the opportunity to get some money.

Poets Corner: Sovereign immunity
Guatemalan gunboat given “sovereign immunity” In other words crown immunity Powerful forces are working against Belize internationally Legal protection that prevents a sovereign state from prosecution Belize told to back off Guatemalans just the laugh Harriers made their pass Signaling that Elizabeth still dah the boss Damages is 46,000 according to preliminary evaluation When historically it’s always exceed $100,000 Belize’s token government refuses to take a stand Belize’s government is being paid by the Guatemalans Just as Antonio Soberanes, former union leader Just as PUP were during the Price era The games are the same the only difference is the players

Commentary: The rise and fall of Garifuna nationalism
By Wellington C. Ramos. When my Garifuna people were removed from their homeland “Yurumein”, now known as St Vincent and the Grenadines on March 11, 1797, their nation state was dismantled by the British. They then passed decrees to forbid my people from speaking their language, practicing their religion or to engage in any cultural preservation act. The darker skin Garifuna people were then removed to the island of Baliceaux as prisoners of war, unlawfully imprisoned, tortured and the survivors subsequently removed to the British colony of Roatan in Central America off the coast of Honduras where they landed on April 12, 1797. The British were now happy because in their minds they have gotten rid of the "troublemakers” in the region. Our people fought to resist colonialism and slavery against the colonial giants Spain, France and Great Britain and were successful in many battles. This label, troublemaker, is still being used today by the leaders of many governments in the Caribbean countries, when their citizens stand up for their rights against them. My people were handed over to the Spanish like cargoes on a ship and their names were changed to cut off any ties with their families in their motherland St Vincent and the Grenadines. Little did the British realize that the physical removal of the Garifuna people also contained the spirits of their ancestors, which are embedded in us. These are the spirits that give our people the power to endure suffering and be resilient to all enemy forces who are trying to control and dominate us.

Caribbean prosecutors join forces to clamp down on corruption and money laundering
Chief prosecutors from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean region have gathered for the first time to discuss recurrent issues that interfere with the prosecution of corruption and money laundering and the recovery of the proceeds of these crimes. Organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), the three-day regional forum takes place in St Lucia from 30 June to 2 July 2015. Directors of public prosecutions and heads of prosecutions of anti-corruption agencies from the Caribbean will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and explore best practice options in their respective jurisdictions.

Corozal Dream Wall
An amazing week full of energy and creativity! Over 50 children were captivated with all of the activities during the Environmental Art program. A huge thank you to the JICA volunteers who were outstanding!

King of the Hills 2015
The King of the Hills bike race is this Sunday, July 12th, starting at 10:00am. Catch them as they loop around Cayo.

BAS Summer Camp Visits Blue Hole
The Belize Audubon Society took their Summer camp students to do some tubing a St. Herman's Cave. "We kicked off summer the only way we know how...with nature and fun! Exploring and Enjoying St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park on July 4th. It was an awesome day. Thank you to all the participants."

Flor de la Feria Pageant
The Flor de la Feria pageant is this Saturday at the Cancha Marshalleck, starting at 7:00pm. There will be a dance after the pageant.

ANNOUNCING...National Song Competition 2015!!!

Condolences to the family of Ms. Rosita Balthazar
The world of Dance and Culture in Belize and my island community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye has suffered a great loss and it is with sadness that I and my family extend our condolences to the family of Ms. Rosita Balthazar , the Belize National Dance Company and the San Pedro Dance Academy. Ms. Balthazar was a founding member of the Belize National Dance Company which was established in October of 1990 and served as the Assistant Artistic Director of the Dance Company. She was also Artistic Director of the Junior Company of the Belize National Dance Company.


Channel 7

The Day Before In Dangriga
Starting at 7:00 am tomorrow, 6275 voters in Dangriga, Hope Creek and Sarawee will have the chance to vote for a new area representative in a bye-election. They will choose between Frank Pawpa Mena for the UDP, Anthony Sabal for the PUP and independent candidate Llewelyn Lucas. If trends hold, when polls close at 6:00 pm, just under four thousand, or 60% of those voters - are expected to turn out in an election that means little for the balance of power in the House of Representatives, but much for the overall momentum going into what is expected to be an early general election in 2016. Today we visited the camps of both major mass parties as they were putting the last pieces of their election machinery in place - Courtney Weatherburne has the story:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting Whether it's chatting beneath the shade of a coconut tree, greeting fellow party supporters with a spirited handshake or sharp hail or even its playing dominoes and joking around under "The Shed". It's all a part of building momentum for tomorrow's bi election in Dangriga. When we visited each party's divisional headquarters today, last minute preparations were in high gear:

Police Have No Leads In Murder of Journalist
Tonight, police still have no one detained for and no major leads in the murder of Amandala journalist Kareem Clarke. The 27 year old was shot 5 times - twice in the head - as he left a female's home riding early on Sunday night. Clarke had been a journalist for 3 years, known for his relentless work ethic, he had no known gang ties, nor was he connected to the underworld - so, the murder, the very deliberate and cruel nature of it - has baffled friends, colleagues and family. What we do know is that he was in a gang ridden area that had witnessed a senseless murder of a teen two weeks earlier. Surveillance footage from a private security camera on Vernon Street shows Clarke in his last moments alive, about to approach the bridge when 2 men on bike are ride past the camera. A police mobile is next in the frame, a few minutes behind those 2 persons, and then somewhere out of the frame, Clarke is murdered.

The 70K Was Stolen From The Taiwanese Embassy
Last night we told you about the dramatic heist in front of the Belize Bank in downtown Belize City. Today police confirmed that seventy thousand dollars in cash was stripped from an employee of the Taiwanese Embassy as he walked out of the bank at around 3:30 pm. The embassy driver told police he went to the bank to do his regular deposits and withdrawal for the Embassy, but as he was about to leave the bank parking area, a man strode up, put a gun in his face and demanded the money. He handed over a manila envelope containing $70,000.00 dollars in cash. After this very brazen, very lucrative, broad daylight heist, the man then got on a bicycle that he had parked nearby and rode off into the flow of traffic. Police have made no arrests so far.

Kelly Street Community Came Together To Help Family
There was a fire on Kelly Street in Belize City today just before midday in which an entire family lost almost all their belongings. Luckily, a few of their neighbors were at home, and with the combined effort of the community, the fire was contained before it got completely out of hand. Still, the homeowners experienced significant water damage when the Fire Department arrived shortly after to snuff out the blaze completely. Local Musician Gilbert Alamilla, better known as 'Mr. Program', lives in the area, and he was the first to be alerted by the children living at the house that a fire had started. Here's how he explained what happened next: Gilbert Alamilla "Mr. Program," first responder "I just came from Belize Bank and when I was coming in I noticed some flames in the back yard. When I came out I see people and I see the kids in front there crying. A little girl looked at me and yelled that the house is on fire. I got panicky and I ran back there and broke a water pipe (I don't want them to say that I broke their pipe and they charged me), and I ran back and got a bucket of water and started to threw it on the house. I saw the babies came out and I one trying to run back in the house, and so I ran back in thinking that somebody was in there too."

UN Human Rights Scolds GOB Over Mayans
The dispute between the Government of Belize and the Mayas of the Toledo District over the arrest and criminal charging of the Santa Cruz 13 has hit the international stage, and the United Nations has taken a note of it. Writing from Geneva, Switzerland today, The UN Expert, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz , who is the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, filed a report in which she outlines the events as she's been informed of them. In it, she sticks pretty closely to the script that's been presented by the Mayas, and declares, quote, "The Maya village of Santa Cruz holds customary rights to its village lands which the government must respect and protect, as affirmed by a 2007 decision of the Supreme Court of Belize...The current situation of conflict and mistrust cannot be allowed to persist." End Quote. Shortly after UN Expert's public statement went out, the Toledo Alcaldes Association released a follow up statement. They note also that the Government of Belize was sent a letter by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an arm of the Organization of American States in which they inquired about the circumstances of the Santa Cruz incident as well.

PUP Call On Castro To Resign
Last week we told you about the embarrassing end to Edmond Castro's ill-fated lawsuit against whistleblower Alverine Burgess. Basically, the judge told him to ditch a losing case and cut his losses - even if it meant having to pay Burgess's and Channel 5's costly legal bills. And he also has to pay a hefty political price. The PUP issued a release early this morning saying, quote, ""It was expected that on the withdrawal of his lawsuit, the Minister of State would have offered a public apology and tendered his resignation." It continues, quote, "In the interest of decency, the integrity of the high public office he holds and the principles governing Ministerial office..,Minister Castro must resign his office or be fired by the Prime Minister." The opposition formally calls on Castro and/or the PM to take such action. There has so far been no comment from the government, but neither of those things is likely to happen.

Tailoring HIV Message For Teens
Regularly, we tell you on the news how the National AIDS Commission, works to drive down the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS infections. Most of the efforts have been focused on adults, but what about youths and adolescents? Recent studies have shown a spike in teenaged pregnancies, which suggests a simultaneous increase in sexually active youths. That also means that the corresponding risk of new HIV infections is increasing in that group, and so the NAC has been preparing a strategy tailored for that population. For a few months, the commission members did research in Jamaica where they travelled around with that country's Ministry of Health. Today, they unveiled the corresponding strategy for youths at a workshop for all the advocates and workers trying to lower this endemic in Belize. Here's what the coordinators told us about it: Sherlene Tablada - Consultant, Behavior Change Communication, NAC "What we've done, we've brought together about 60 stakeholders from a number of organizations across the country to focus on adolescence and youth prevention in HIV, as this is one of the gaps in the national response. We have strategies to address many vulnerable populations, but currently we do not have national strategy that addresses adolescence and youth."

The Church And The Gay Bash On San Pedro
Last night, we showed you our interview with Fr. Noel Leslie, the Senator representing the Council of Churches, as he discussed why he voted yes for the General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation Bills approving Petrocaribe spending - when, in fact, his church does not support it. Well, that also gave us an opportunity to ask him for the Council's position on the upcoming gay pride event on San Pedro. Hotelier Peter Lawrence is catering to what his PR team is calling the biggest gay pride event in Belize's history, starting from September 5th to the 12th. He wants LGBT tourists to come to Belize and have their vacation at his resort in which they will participate in event planned to attract that population. We've already told you what the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches had to say about that, but what about the other group, the Belize Council of Churches? We asked him about the event, and here's what he had to say: Daniel Ortiz "Are you prepared and able to make any comments? Have you all as members of the different churches discuss this amongst yourselves?"

Will New Southside Commander Meet With Gang Leader To Increase Peace?
Last night we told you all about the new structure in the police eastern division - where southside Belize City is now a branch unto itself. The new commander Senior Superintendent Chester Williams has all kinds of ideas about changing police strategy - but in the middle of a gang war, will he touch that third rail of urban diplomacy?; that is, will he meet with gang leaders? Yesterday, he didn't rule it out:.. Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Commander Eastern Division South "I don't see a problem with it, if that is something that can work. I am willing to try whatever could be done to ensure that we address the crime situation. But I can tell you I will not be meeting with them over and over as if I am begging them to behave themselves. I will give them a fair opportunity like anybody else and let them know what are my intentions, what I expect of them and if they continue to perpetrate crimes, then the next thing to do is to enforce the law against them."

Murder By Numbers For Cops
And while he may meet with gangs - Williams says he isn't going to do anything until he gets a handle on the crime statistics and the patterns that it suggests. Here's how he explained it:.. Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Commander Eastern Division South "I have also met with this morning with my "comstat" people and I am looking at the crime trend, because it is important for me to know what the crime trend to know exactly what I need to do. I cannot come to this post like a chicken without head, just say I am going to do this and do that without having study what is happening on the ground. So, I have met with them and that is also a part of the plan to look at the current crime trend and see what can be done to change that trend."

Cops Will Focus On Community Policing
And this version of Chester Williams says that he's going to focus hard on community policing in the southside. Now we've heard this before and the old version of tough street cop Chester Williams may have scoffed at it - but this time, he says he's serious:.. Sr. Supt Chester Williams, Commander Eastern Division South "What we will do is to ensure that we are out there policing the city, patrolling, meeting the people and coordinate events with the public, because we want the public to see the friendly aspect of the police. We don't want that when people see us, al they see is brutal force or whatever. We want them to see a different image."

Biggest Jackpot Winner In Bze History
Can you imagine how it would feel to come up on a cool half a million dollars? Well, Belize City resident Josephine Humes - doesn't have to imagine it - she's living the dream after winning the richest jackpot prize in Belize's history. That's the first Mek Mi Rich jackpot winner since the game launched in September, 2014, five hundred thousand dollars - and today she was introduced to the press at the Princess Ramada:.. MMR said it will provide a financial advisor free of cost to Humes - who buys 3 tickets per draw.

Visionaries On A Quest
In December of last year we showed you the participants and the winner of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. The aim of the challenge was to get high school students to come up with innovations in Science, Technology and Mathematics. The winner of that challenge was Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk with their Chaya project called "Mayan Power For Modern Times". Well, they traveled to Tampa, Florida to participate in the Regional competition and also to be a part of a 7 day STEM Ambassador Programme. But the experience doesn't end there: while in Tampa, the group will be exposed to nanotechnology and space, engineering, prototyping and testing. They, along with other regional winners, will visit the Kennedy Space Center, as well as the Epcot Centre, where they will go on a Behind the Seeds Tour to interact and learn about different plants, insects and fish, and discover the latest plant-growing techniques. Their Tampa experience will end with a visit to the University of South Florida labs and the announcement of the regional winner. The regional winner will be announced at the upcoming STEM Ambassador Programme in Florida.

Athletics Gets Some Support
Often in the news, we tell you about how the Belize Amateur Athletics Association has delegation of Belizean athletes winning regional tournaments and bringing home medals despite the fact that the country's leading track facility, the Marion Jones Sporting Complex has been closed for a few years. Well, that facility is closer to completion for the first time in a long time, and the association's members now enjoy limited access to the facility since the soft opening by the Ministry of Sports. Another challenge that the BAAA has been experiencing is the lack of equipment and so yesterday, the Belize National Olympic Committee handed over some much need items to help the athletes train and develop. We were there for the handing over, and we spoke with both sides about its importance: Owen Sony Meighan - VP, Belize National Olympic Committee "We've got shotput, we've disks, stop watches, hurdling equipment, marker, which aims to mark the fields easily - that's about it. Everything they requested we've got." Reporter "Tell us about why the NOC believe it was important to donate these sorts of equipment?" Owen Sony Meighan "Well we've just gotten a new track and the equipment they had before had been burnt and lost and we foresee a lot of our young athletes now, very good potential in them and we figure with this help, they will be able to perform much better."

GSU Gets
Earlier you saw Commander of Eastern Division Southside Chester Williams say that he wants to focus on community policing, and while he may want to play Mr Nice Guy, last we checked, the GSU has its own playbook and its own chain of command. They also have their own press releases - and the latest one notes that a member of the Ghost Town Crips Gang was arrested and charged with a drug offense. On Sunday at around 8:15 the GSU searched the house of 31 year old Denvoy DOMINGO of Lakeview Street. The GSU found a transparent plastic bag containing (7) hand rolled cigarettes each wrapped with tobacco leaf containing cannabis to a total weight of 8.6 grams. As a result Denvoy DOMINGO and 21 year old Neika MC DOUGAL were arrested and charged for Possession of Controlled Drugs. And later on at 10 on Sundat GSU found more weed and guns on Taylor's Alley. The GSU searched an abandoned lot and found (1) 9mm pistol and a magazine containing (10) live 9mm rounds of Ammunition wrapped in a shirt. Also in that yard, GSU found a transparent plastic container with 472 grams or 16 ounces of cannabis along with a metal magazine for a .40mm pistol. Police believe the firearm and cannabis belong to members of the Taylor's alley Gang.

UDP Under Pressure To Maintain Momentum
Tonight in Dangriga - but major mass parties are in the last feverish stage of pre-election preparations. But while the PUP stand to lose a seat, the stakes are higher for the UDP - who stand to lose momentum. They have to not to just win but to win big. We asked Minister Patrick Faber about it. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "In fact we are indeed looking for a good size victory here and of course when you win so much you have to wonder what it is we are doing right. We want to make sure that we keep on doing what is right. So it is a measuring stick. We will look at all of the numbers at the end of the day and we will try to determine whether what we are doing is good, if people are indeed starting to just maybe slip back down a little bit. All of that we will look at and of course it's very essential for us looking on to the general elections to see what happens here in the bi-election in Dangriga and for us to use it to help to formulate our strategy forward into the general election whenever they come."

BTB Wants You!
Often in our newscast, we tell you about different promotional initiatives that the Belize Tourism Board launches to attract international tourists. Well, the latest bit of advertising from the tourism body is being put together to entice you into becoming a tourist in your own country. The PR Manager told us today that it is set up to help the tourism industry during the slow season, as well as giving you huge discount on vacation packages: Be sure to look out for those promo-code on the news, or in the local newspapers.

Channel 5

Secret Recording Released on Eve of Dangriga Bye-Election
Both major political parties are in the south right now on the last sprint to Wednesday’s bye elections. News Five will have period reports all day from Dangriga as the [...]

P.U.P. Call for Resignation of Edmond Castro
Earlier today, the People’s United Party issued a statement on the withdrawal of a lawsuit in the Supreme Court by Minister of State, Edmond Castro against Alverine Burgess and Great [...]

Fonseca Praises Catholic Church and Calls on Other Churches to Follow Suit
Last week Senator representing the Council of Churches, Father Noel Leslie, surprisingly voted YES for the very controversial Petrocaribe Amended Loan Act. We say surprisingly because on May first, when [...]

Franks Eddy Chopping – Common-law Wife and Her Family Injured
Late on Monday evening, four members of the same family were released from the Western Regional after they had been hospitalized following a chopping incident that happened on Saturday shortly [...]

No Arrests in the Murder of Reporter Kareem Clarke
It has been over twenty-four hours since the execution-style murder of beloved print journalist Kareem Clarke.  At news time tonight, Belize City police are no closer to ascertaining a motive [...]

Do You Support the Repeal of the Petrocaribe Loans Act?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support the repeal of the Petrocaribe Loans Act? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on [...]

P.U.P. Leader Predicts Victory in Dangriga
On Wednesday political newcomer Anthony Sabal, the P.U.P.’s David, will go up against veteran politician and the U.D.P.’s goliath, Frank “Pawpa” Mena. The U.D.P. has boasted that its victory will [...]

Fonseca says Decision to Contest Election Good for the Party
Three weeks ago, there was some doubt that the P.U.P. would contest the bye-election and indeed, without serious internal agitation, perhaps it wouldn’t have. But today, Fonseca says the decision [...]

Arrest of Cristina Coc and the Santa Cruz 13 Gets More International Attention
The arrest of Maya activist and spokesperson for Maya Leaders Alliance, Cristina Coc and other Maya leaders, is getting further local and international attention. Earlier today no less than the [...]

Chester Williams on Quality of Life Crimes
On Monday’s newscast we told you about the changes to the organization structure and the ranks at the Eastern Division in Belize City. Former Officer Commanding the Eastern Division, Assistant [...]

Daring Robbery of $70K from Taiwanese Mission
There was a daring robbery in the downtown area on Monday afternoon. A Taiwanese member of staff at the Embassy concluded transactions and had just exited the Belize Bank on [...]

5 Persons Hauled to Court for Weed Possession
Five Belize City men charged, in separate incidents, with weed possession were before the courts today.  The first to be arraigned was forty-six year old Michael Wade, who was accused [...]

Developing a National HIV Prevention Strategy
The focus of the National AIDS Commission is on men getting them tested and providing them with prevention tools. But according to studies, the youth are also a most vulnerable [...]

Belize City Resident Wins $500,000 from Mek Mi Rich
The Mek Mi Rich Game Show was introduced to the country nine months ago with a jackpot of half a million dollars. The televised game show plays three times weekly [...]

Iconic Dancer, Rosita Balthazar, Passes
And finally to end the news, there is sad news to report.  The Institute of Creative Arts and the country have lost an icon in the creative arts industry. Rosita [...]


BWU Up In Arms In Request Financial Report From BSI
Tonight, the members of the Belize Employees Holding (BEH) Protectors aligned with the Belize Worker’s Union are up in arms in what they claim as “being left in the dark” by BSI/ASR. From what we have been able to gather, the minority stakeholders are frustrated and dismayed with what they view as a deliberate attempt to keep workers in the dark as it relates to issue of payment for dividends and bonuses. On March 30th, 2015, an organizational announcement was posted by the Chief Executive Officer of BSI/ASR, Jose Montalvo who indicated that neither dividend nor additional bonus was declared for the fiscal year 2014. While the announcement was made there was no further explanation attached. Viewers may recall that since the transaction between ASR and BSIL was made, there have been numerous changes that have been detrimental to the workers interests. Chairman of the Executive Committee at the Belize Worker’s Union, Ramiro Gongora says after countless correspondences to get BSI/ASR to disclose their financial reports, they believe that the miller is deliberately concealing their financial position in order to prevent them from entitlement to dividends.

Cubans Remanded To Prison
Authorities in Orange Walk Town have their hands full investigating several reports including a missing person. At the same time they are aggressively seeking the perpetrator or perpetrators of a burglary that occurred over the weekend. We start off with the group of Cubans that were found in Orange Walk on Friday July 3rd and detained for illegal entry into the country. As reported the Cubans were fined for illegal entry after appearing at the Orange Walk Magistrate Court. And while most of the men and women could not meet the fine, today they were transported to the Hattieville Prison. Deputy Commander at the Orange Walk Police station Sergeant Nicolas Palomo told us more. SRGT. NICOLAS PALOMO – Deputy Commander, OW Police “They were charged a thousand and five dollars and that is the penalty for illegal entry and they have been sent to Hattieville prison and they will face a six months sentence and then deportation to Cuba.”

Congress Of Mayan Teachers Weighs On Maya Issues
But the United Nations is not the only one throwing punches at GOB. So is the Congress of Maya Teachers in Toledo, Belize. The congress is saying that Belize needs to tackle its issues brought to light following the Santa Cruz Village incident, through education. Belize hasn’t heard much, if any at all of the Maya Teachers Congress before now. It was founded in 2009 and aims at improving the quality of education in southern Belize and indicates that as educators the congress is quote, “compelled to register our position on this incident and to contribute for a better understanding of the Alcalde System,” unquote. They start by strongly rejecting the proposition of abolishing the Alcalde System which according to them is a unique system that has made its way into the laws of Belize.

National Youth Engagement & Empowerment Calls For National Prevention
The journalistic community is still reeling in from the unprecedented murder of Kareem Clarke who was gunned down on the morning of Monday July 6th. Clarke’s assassination shocked many and continues to capture the attention of many across the country. Today the National Youth Engagement & Empowerment Initiative issued its sentiments on the senseless killing of the young and promising journalist. In its release the organization said and we quote, “as a “new” Youth – Initiative, is calling on the Government of Belize, and Law – Enforcement Agencies, to embark on a National Crime Prevention Concept, to curb this Violent Crime Wave that is sweeping across the entire country of Belize; especially on South – Side Belize City. We as an Organization, stand “ready” to work along-side any existing organizations, whose sole purpose is to “work” toward tangible results, to endeavour to Inspire our Youth, and reduce Violent – Crimes, especially on South – Side Belize City,” unquote. Twenty-seven year old Kareem Clarke was gunned down around 1:00am on Monday morning as he rode his bicycle on Vernon Street heading towards the Vernon Street Bridge. Clarke sustained gunshot wounds to the left side of the forehead, back of the head, abdomen, right upper back and middle of the back. Police recovered eight 9mm expended shells from the scene. So far no one has been detained for Clarke’s murder and the motive behind his killing is still unknown.

Dangriga Prepares For Bi-election
An keeping the stories in the political ring, tomorrow, constituents from Dangriga will take to the polls for the Bye-election between PUP’s Anthony Sabal and UDP’s Frank “Papa” Mena. This bye-election comes after the resignation of Honourable Ivan Ramos on June 8th, 2015 as area representative of the Dangriga electoral division, including Hope Creek and Sarawee. Political apprentice Anthony Sabal will go up against veteran politician and former U.D.P. Mayor Frank “Pawpa” Mena and from all indications will make for great fight. Leading to the date, the P.U.P. had considered boycotting the election because of a lack of resources. Meanwhile, on the other side of the red fence, Papa Mena has the support of the Government with its high-powered Petrocaribe program. And while both candidates are ready, a bulletin floating in social media is raising eyebrows as it is alleging that Frank Papa Mena has been involved in the passport hustling ring. The bulletin is dated July 29th, 2013 and is addressed to Maria Marin, Director of the Immigration Department.

Driver Of Embassy Of Republic Of China Robbed Of $70,000.00
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is today reeling in from a huge financial loss as a lone thief targeted their driver who was running the embassy’s financial business and had in his possession thousands of dollars in cash. According to police, the Embassy’s driver reported that on Monday, he went to the Belize Bank located on Albert Street in Belize City to do his normal deposits and withdrawal for the Embassy. However, as he was about to exit the parking lot of the bank he was approached by a male person who placed a hand gun to his face and demanded the money. Fearing for his life, he handed over a manila envelope containing $70,000.00 in cash which is the property of the Embassy. The male person then got on a bicycle that was nearby and rode off making good his escape. Up to news time, police were no closer in identifying the perpetrator or the monies recovered.

Belize Participating In Pan-american Games
The Pan-American Games or Pan Am Games as it is also called is a major sporting event in the Americas featuring summer sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The competition is held between athletes from nations of the Americas, every four years and it is governed by PASO, The Pan American Sport Organization. This year Pan Am Games will be held in Toronto, Canada from July 10th to the 26TH and Belize will be among the 41 countries which will be competing in 36 different sporting events. These Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport games.

Police Investigates Allegations Of Police Brutality
As mentioned police have their hands full as among the cases they are investigating is also an allegation of police brutality. As reported yesterday, a resident from Tower Hill in the Orange Walk District is alleging police abuse at the hands of the officer commanding Douglas Village. While we cannot reveal the officers identity as yet, since no charges have been levied, Sergeant Palomo says the officer in question is being investigated. PALOMO ON PC GONGORA “Yes we had a complaint against a police officer but we are investigating the case right now and probably before Friday we will wrap up the case and we will know what we will do with the police officer but we saw a medical form that certifies injuries to a complainant as harm so we are investigating the matter.”

The UN Calls On Belize To Respect Rights Of The Mayas
The case of Rubert Myles versus the Maya leaders has dominated the news since it was reported that Myles was detained by the Alcaldes of Santa Cruz in the Toledo District on the 20TH of June. Myles was handcuffed and hauled out of the village as the Alcaldes have stated that he squatted on land near their Uxbenka Archaeological Site, and destroyed a portion of it when he bulldozed a road to access to his house. Myles on the other hand accused the villagers of Santa Cruz of being racist and since he believed that his rights were violated, decided to report the matter to police. As a result 13 Mayans of Santa Cruz Village including Cristina Coc were arraigned at the Punta Gorda Magistrate Court and charged for unlawfully detaining Myles. That was approximately three weeks ago and today the issue is still alive and has captured the attention of the United Nations.

PUP Calls On Edmund Castro To Resign From Its Position In Cabinet
Last Friday the Minister of State Edmund Castro withdrew his case against Great Belize Productions and Alvarene Burgess for allegations made against him by Burgess which were aired on Channel 5. These were made and aired in October 2013 and Castro said that these allegations had brought him shame and damage to his reputation. Castro sued both Great Belize Productions and Burgess that same year and on Friday July third, when closing arguments were to be heard, Castro withdrew his suit. Castro’s attorney, Rodwell Williams, told the media that his client discontinued the suit as he felt he had been vindicated by taking the matter to court and furthermore, he withdrew the case because of his friendship with Alvarene Burgess, which he did not want to end quote, “on a sour note”. Burgess and her attorney, Anthony Sylvester and attorney for Great Belize Productions, Godfrey Smith, all felt however, that Castro withdrew the suit simply because he had a losing case. So that’s the end of that.

#505751 - 07/08/15 07:11 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 8, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Belmopan Deputy Mayor heads delegation to Honduras
Angelica Cruz reporting… “Deputy Mayor Jaqueline Burns and a team of six left the country on July 2nd en route to Travesia Cortez Honduras for a cultural exchange and to establish a sister city relationship. Deputy Mayor Jaquelin Burns spoke to Love News about the success of the trip.” Jaqueline Burns – Deputy Mayor “Well […]

Woman picks up half a million dollars prize
Today fifty four year old Josephine Humes received a check for half a million dollars. It was handed over to her by Dillon Jones, the host of Mek Mi Rich game show and that’s because Humes won the five hundred thousand dollar jackpot. This is the first time since the game commenced over nine months […]

Revision made to Manatee Recovery Plan
Thirty five Antillean manatees have been killed this year in Belize. For experts, that number is alarming especially since the Antillean manatee is an endangered species. But there is a plan to reduce the number of manatee deaths. A two day workshop is underway at the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute to update and […]

Robber makes off with seventy thousand dollars
An armed thief escaped with seventy thousand dollars yesterday. Police say that the driver of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) reported that he went to Belize Bank Branch on Albert Street to do his normal deposits and withdrawal for the Embassy, however, as he was about to exit the parking lot of […]

Student of Belmopan High School wins award
A student of Baptist High School in Belmopan received the Police department’s do the right thing award. Fem Cruz reporting… “Doralyn Sabal, a third year student from Belmopan Baptist High School this morning was awarded for doing the right thing. Sabal is a great example and she showed us that when we do good things, […]

National HIV Prevention Strategy discussed
Stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS met today to discuss a National HIV Prevention Strategy for adults and youths. A Jamaican delegation representing UNICEF is also a part of the discussions. UNICEF and the National AIDS Commission plan to use these strategies in the most populated areas of the country such as the Belize, Stann […]

Justices of the Peace meet in Punta Gorda
Reports of illegal practices of a few Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of Supreme Court in Punta Gorda were addressed during a recent meeting. Paul Mahung reporting… “The welcome address at Sunday’s meeting was given by Punta Gorda Mayor Fern Gutierrez. Report on activities of Toledo Branch Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of […]

Cuban nationals detained for illegal entry
A total of 20 Cuban nationals were detained in the course of 12 hours for illegally entering Belize. The first detention occurred Friday morning at the Orange Walk by-pass when police intercepted a blue Toyota van. At the time the van was being driven by 39 year old Lucilo Mes of Louisville Village, Corozal district. […]

Man charged for burglary, other charges expected
No murder charge has been laid in connection with the murder of two American nationals in May in Tea Kettle Village. Belmopan Police have made an arrest for burglary in connection with the incident. Superintendent Howell Gillett, Officer in Charge of Belmopan “As you may remember on the 15th of May of this year, two […]

BTB introduces new campaign
Have you ever been a tourist in your own country? Well the Belize Tourism Board encourages you to be. The BTB has decided to launch a new campaign entitled, “Discover How to Be a Belizean Traveller”. Marketing & Public Relations Manager, Noriko Gamero told us more. Noriko Gamero – Marketing & Public Relations Manager, BTB […]


Belizean press remember Kareem Clarke
We almost never get to see the people behind the news on a daily basis. Yes, we are competitors, but believe it or not, we are also friends. A good story never gets in the way of the friendship and camaraderie we share doing this unique job of bringing the world to you our viewers on a nightly basis... Man’s body found near riverside
The third murder took place near the downtown area of the City. Police responded to a report of a body floating in Haulover Creek around 5:15 Sunday morning. Upon visiting the area behind Village Kitchen Restaurant they found the body of Michael Emmerson Cain of Water Lane along the river bank, show... Audrey Matura-Shepherd defends charge of breach of confidentiality.
While the BGYEA matter is now complete, the organization’s attorney faces charges that she breached the confidentiality of the process when she gave multiple press interviews in February. The mediation process is closely guarded and the attorney opposing BGYEA, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams,... Couple hit by gunfire, 21 year old is dead
There were two other murders in Belize City over the weekend. The first took place on Friday night where 21 year old David Steven Reveres of LaCroix Boulevard was shot to the left side of the pelvis, left buttock left thigh and left calf, while 16 year old Shannalyn Augustine of Alvarez Street was s... Journalist Kareem Clarke shot to death
It never gets any easier to report the many murders taking place in Belize City or elsewhere. But when the victim is well-known, and well-liked, and in fact one of our very own in the press corps, it is especially painful.We have the sad duty tonight to report the passing of 27 year old Kareem Jabbo... BGYEA completes Harmonyville mediation process with Government
Back in February, the government of Belize and the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, headed by President Nigel Petillo, reached agreement by mediation on a majority of issues concerning their case in the Supreme Court. The government had sued to stop the implementation of a planned pr... Mexicans Reported Missing In Belize
Mexican nationals are reported missing in the Pine Ridge area. According to Police reports on Wednesday July 1st 27 year old Carlos Tapia, a Mexican farmer of Quintana Roo informed his brother Luis Tapia that he was going on a hunting trip with Regino Garcia and Noe Garcia in August Pine ridge, whic...


Kremandala loses Kareem
As Kremandala employees began arriving at their workplace this morning, a somber mood began enveloping the compound, a heavy sense of wretchedness that progressively grew more intense, as word began to spread that one of our colleagues, one of our shining stars who had quickly become a pillar in so many aspects of what we do, had been tragically murdered. Kareem Jabbor Clarke, 27, a prolific, dedicated Amandala journalist and a constant, reassuring presence on the Kremandala compound, was gunned down around 1:00 o’clock this morning at the corner of Vernon and Lakeview Streets – in a scenario that was ironically similar, in the most bitter of ways, to incidents he himself had described with his unmistakable, elegant prose in so many of the articles he had written which covered tragic shootings on the Southside. Clark had been shot multiple times and apparently died on the spot. The gunshots punctured the silence a stone’s throw away from the Ghost Town Crips neighborhood, where a police checkpoint has been set up to stem the surge of inter-gang rivalry in a neighborhood that has been incessantly plagued by gun violence and death.

Labor Office worker murdered in Punta Gorda
Juana Alberta Cowo, 29, who is originally from Independence village but was working in the Punta Gorda Labor Office, was found dead and decomposing in her apartment at the corner of King and Jose Maria Nunez Streets in Punta Gorda. Cowo, a mother of one, was found at about 8:30 Friday morning by family members who were looking for her after she had not answered her phone since Wednesday evening, and had not shown up for work on Thursday morning. At the time she was living alone in her apartment. Her ex-common-law husband, Alberto Coleman, 55, a bus driver of Hopeville, New Site, Punta Gorda Town, who became worried after his calls to her were not answered and she did not show up for work on Thursday, reported her missing on Thursday evening.

Marked for death – gunned down on his birthday
A man was brutally gunned down on Friday, around 10:00 p.m., in the Lake Independence area. David Steven Rivas, 21, a welder who grew up in the rough surroundings of La Croix Boulevard but who later managed to walk a straight and narrow path, even obtaining a sixth form education, told his family last October that he was marked for death. Death came to Rivas on his birthday as he was socializing with friends on Roches Street; an assailant emerged and sprayed murderous gunfire in their direction. Rivas was shot multiple times. He sustained gunshot injuries to the left side of the pelvis, the left buttocks, left thigh and left calf. Rivas succumbed to his injuries around 1:18 a.m. on Saturday, July 4, while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

17-year-old girl missing 11 days
Loani Alvarez, 17, of Ladyville, left home last week on the morning of Thursday, June 25, and has failed to return. Her mother, Marisela Galdamez, went to the police and reported her missing on Friday, June 26, and shortly after, the girl called her mother and reported that she was okay and that she was with a friend, but when the mother called back to ask where she was, she could not reach her and the calls went to voice mail. The mother reported that the girl called back later that same Friday and said that she had been beaten, tied up and kept locked up in a room, but when the mother tried to press for details, the phone went silent, and since then, she could not contact her daughter in spite of the many phone calls she has made.

Sugar production up 32%; crop extended 5 days
Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega announced in Parliament last Friday that Tuesday, July 7, would mark the close of the sugar crop for this year; but in a press conference held today in Orange Walk, he announced that the owners of the Belize Sugar Industry had agreed to extend the crop by 5 more days, so that all cane farmers could at least get to deliver at least part of their quota. Although the July 7 date had been mutually agreed by the major stakeholders in the industry – the farmers and the officials at the Belize Sugar Industries – Gabriel Martinez, chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB), told our newspaper Friday that farmers had requested an extension of the season until Wednesday, July 15, because there is still a lot of sugarcane on the ground. However, BSI wanted to stick with the originally agreed date of July 7, because it has a program of major repairs and maintenance work that need to be done on the factory in advance of the new crop year. Martinez said that farmers subsequently made their case to the Ministry of Agriculture. Even before the crop season’s extension was announced, Agriculture officials were already calling it a record year for sugar production.

Maya tell CCJ that GOB should pay damages
Monica Coc Magnusson, attorney for the Toledo Maya, is going back to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) with a request for an order against the Government of Belize, claiming a series of declarations, pecuniary and moral damages as well as costs over allegations that the Government of Belize has failed to uphold its end of the bargain in relation to the April 2015 consent order entered by the CCJ. It appears that the filing, announced at a press conference held on Friday in Golden Stream, Toledo, was partly triggered by the recent controversy over the attempted eviction of Rupert Myles, a Kriol Belizean who has a common-law wife with a child in Santa Cruz, Toledo. The CCJ application by Coc Magnusson contends that, “The Government of Belize, through its agents, the police and armed forces, failed to respond at all to multiple requests from the village of Santa Cruz for assistance dealing with interference by a third party, Rupert Myles, with Santa Cruz’s use and occupation of its village lands.

The sports desk mourns “KC”
Kremandala journalist Kareem Clarke joined us on a number of occasions in these sports pages, while his major duties involved other news stories for both the newspaper and Krem radio. Bubbling with enthusiasm and talent, his work was his passion, and he enjoyed every minute of it. As the Amandala editorialized in its Sunday, July 5, issue, things indeed fell apart for us behind the zinc fence today, Monday, as it has on many a day in many a neighborhood in southside Belize City, with the shocking news of his violent passing. Sincere condolences to his family. Our hearts are heavy, but we must trod on, as we mourn the passing of our beloved little brother, the great Kareem Clarke, R.I.P.

Rupert “Canalete” Anderson, Belize’s best in his day
We promised to give a flashback/tribute last week on two outstanding names in Belize football lore, one for his outstanding performance on the field, and the other for his all-around talent and contribution on and off the field in Belizean football/music/culture. Technical difficulties have handcuffed us (our malfunctioning micro-cassette recorder has rendered much of our taped interviews with these gentlemen obsolete in the digital age; unless we can somehow locate a functioning micro-cassette recorder); but we will begin sharing what we have available this week on Canalete. After Canalete, we will discuss Winty J. When you talk about football from the late 1960’s through the mid 70’s, one man who stands out as the giant “between the sticks” is without a doubt Rupert “Canalete” Anderson, who was the starting goalkeeper on a number of All-Belize selections in that era. There are a number of big goalkeeper names that dominated the Belize City football scene at different times over the period of the late 1950’s through the ‘70’s, including Charlie Gardiner, Wilfred “Palmer” Davis, Nelson “the Roo” Robinson, Elston “Bouza” Stoddard (deceased), and then there was Rupert “Canalete” Anderson. After Canalete, other big names come to mind like Karl “Bunu Cal” Robateau, Noel “Flying Fargo” Ferguson (deceased) and Orin “Coco” Orio of the mid to latter1970’s era.

Belize to participate in Toronto 2015 Pan American Games
With just one week to go for the opening of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, Belize’s athletes are ready to represent in Athletics and Triathlon. The delegation will be headed by Chief of Mission, Allan Sharp. The contingent consists of triathlete Amed Figueroa, athletics delegate Deon Sutherland, and athletes Kaina Martinez and Mark Anderson who will both be doing the 100m. The Pan Am Games is set to take place in Toronto, Canada from July 10 (opening ceremony) – 26, where 41 countries will be competing in 36 different sporting events. These Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport games held every four years. Team Belize will travel to Toronto on Wednesday, July 8. Triathlon takes place from the 11th – 12th and Athletics, the 21st – 25th.

Editorial: The Church challenges the state
Only as a matter of historical reference, it should be noted that there were two famous occasions in English history when high-ranking Roman Catholic churchmen challenged the King of England. The first challenge was in the twelfth century, when Thomas a Becket, then Archbishop of Canterbury, ran afoul of King Henry II. Henry II’s followers murdered the Archbishop. In the sixteenth century, Thomas More, the High Chancellor of England, disagreed with King Henry VIII’s decision to separate the Anglican Church from Rome. More was tried for treason and beheaded. In Belize over the weekend, Roman Catholic Bishop, the Right Rev. Dorick Wright, called for the repeal of the 2015 Petrocaribe Loans Act and its amendments. The Church, through a release from Fr. Noel Leslie of Belize City’s St. Joseph’s Parish, called for a return to the legal guidelines of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act of 2005. This constitutes a direct challenge to the power and authority of Prime Minister/Minister of Finance, Right Hon. Dean Barrow, and the Church, we would say, is aware of that. The release pointedly mentioned the fact that the Roman Catholic congregation or flock in Belize is 40 percent of the Belizean population.

From the Publisher
In our editorial last weekend we said that British colonial authorities and the Christian schools in British Honduras had colluded to ensure that in Belize there was no knowledge of the Caste War in the Yucatan, which lasted from 1847 to 1903 and was taking place just north of Belize. In our editorial last weekend we said that British colonial authorities and the Christian schools in British Honduras had colluded to ensure that in Belize there was no knowledge of the Caste War in the Yucatan, which lasted from 1847 to 1903 and was taking place just north of Belize. A similar collusion took place with respect to the uprising of Belizean Ex-servicemen which took place in Belize Town on July 21 and 22 in 1919. The story was suppressed over the years to the point where it was as if it had never happened. The British, with the cooperation of the Christian schools, decided in 1898 to begin glorifying the events of September 1798 and make the Battle of St. George’s Caye an annual calendar event and a part of our colonial consciousness. It was cleverly done, and these were people who had the power to do this. They had the power to make us innocent native children believe what they wanted us to believe, and the power to obliterate the heroic deeds of our roots ancestors.

UDP Glenda P
Dear Editor, I write about your Editorial in the Tuesday, 23rd June Amandala which was reprinted on Friday, 26th June entitled “Submission or resistance”. In this Editorial, you said that: “In 2003, for instance, the then Opposition UDP could not galvanize Belizeans at the roots masses level, because the UDP leadership refused to get out of bed with Lord Michael Ashcroft, who owned the Belizean telecommunications monopoly at that time and had the law firm of the UDP Leader on his payroll. Even though there were PUP financial scandals already available for the UDP to exploit, the UDP were unable to do so, and they were badly beaten in the March 2003 general election.” Those statements are so wrong on so many levels that it is an amazing rewrite of history or just living in a fantasy world! First of all in 2003, it was the PUP that was floating in Ashcroft-type campaign contributions – remember the “caliente girls” and “welcome to the party”? However, just for a little background history, you may recall that it was in the 1989–1993 PUP term that the PUP allowed Ashcroft to buy the 25% of shares that the Social Security Board owned and therefore gave him more than 50% ownership when that was added to the other shares (25% from MCI plus a few others) that he already owned. 1989–1993 was the PUP term when Rt. Hon. George Price served in his last term as Prime Minister, but Ralph Fonseca was pulling the financial strings behind the scenes as the Budget Management Minister, appointed via the Senate.

Catholics want Petrocaribe law repealed
When the Petrocaribe Loans Act was presented in Parliament in March 2015, Senator Rev. Noel Leslie, who represents the church community in the Senate, voted “no” to the legislation, and he had told us back then that at the very least, there should be some changes to the Petrocaribe Loans Act, for which he said Belize could face some wider repercussions down the road. After Parliament passed the new Petrocaribe law, both the unions and the private sector called for its repeal, and it was revealed in a statement released this weekend, on Saturday, July 4, that the Roman Catholic Church, the largest Christian denomination in Belize, is also in favor of its repeal. Leslie told Amandala today that the position against the Petrocaribe legislation was affirmed in a meeting held in June by several members of the church community, including representatives of the Anglican, Methodist and Salvation Army denominations, but the group, which consisted of the major Christian denominations in Belize, had said that they would like to meet with the Prime Minister to see what could be done about the concerns.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BTB promotes local tourism with discounts for attractions
How would you like to visit San Pedro, Placencia or San Ignacio at half-off? Belizeans are often told to “be a tourist in your own country.” And with no shortage of attractions of interest, it’s not that difficult – except that some of the costs can be expensive for […]

Police to work with City on quality of life crimes
Since last September the Police Department, at the order of Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, has been enforcing and insisting on tackling what they call “quality of life crimes” – the minor offences that police usually ignore in order to focus on major crimes. But with crime in […]

Strategy planned to address adolescents with HIV
This week there is a workshop on to discuss the epidemic of youth with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. While there has been a reduction of new cases countrywide so far this year, there are gaps to be addressed with regard to youths and particularly young men […]

Fire damages house on Kelly Street
There was tragedy averted this morning on Kelly Street in Belize City. A fire broke out at a residence in the middle of the morning and neighbors quickly acted to limit the damage. There were several children at home at the time while their parents were at work. […]

Cayo schools burglarized; police warn against buying stolen items
Police have warned residents of the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena that it is a crime to purchase stolen goods. This comes as police in San Ignacio investigate separate burglaries at two primary schools – Santa Elena R.C. School and St. Andrew’s Anglican in San […]

Cubans caught entering Belize illegally
A group of Cubans are now facing time on remand after they were caught in Orange Walk on Friday, July 3rd, without proper documentation to be in Belize. According to cops in the north, they were on mobile patrol on Friday morning and noticed a group of people acting suspiciously beside a […]

Driver of the Republic of China Embassy robbed in the old capital
The Embassy Republic of China (Taiwan) is today reeling in from a huge financial loss as a lone thief targeted their Driver who was carrying thousands of dollars in cash. According to police, the Embassy’s driver reported that on Monday, he went to the Belize Bank located on Albert Street […]

Accused killers freed after surviving victim drops charge
24 year old Charles Young, Jr., and 27 year old Derrick Kuylen are free of a charge of murder. They were accused of the February 4, 2011 murders of 17 year old Daniel Puerto and 34 year old Ian Martinez, and attempted murder of Daniel’s twin brother Darnell […]

GOJoven 2015 Cohort begins training
Since 2004, GOJoven has been building the capacity of young leaders and organizations to create positive change in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) programs, policies, and services in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Quintana Roo, Mexico. Last weekend, the 2015 Cohort gathered at the Chiclero Camp Resort in […]

UN expert warns of GOB “disregard” of Maya property rights
The Government of Belize has been told to respect the rights of the Maya people to non-discrimination and traditional property. United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, announced in a statement today that, “Under international human rights standards, indigenous peoples have the […]


Snorkeling with Sharks in Belize
Splashes erupted from the side of the sailboat. Giant brown sharks thrashed out of the water, surrounded by silvery tuna, each of them vying for the fish bits thrown on the surface of our daredevil crew. Sharks. Sharks were waiting for us. And it was time to dive in and swim among them. Snorkeling with Sharks The single best activity I did in Caye Caulker was a one-day snorkeling trip with Ragamuffin Tours, who offered me a complimentary trip. If you’re a longtime reader, you might remember that I have a big fear of fish. Touching fish while I swim, to be exact. It goes back to my summers camping in New Hampshire, shrieking when the little minnows swam too close to me. And because of that, I’ve mostly steered clear of swimming with sea creatures. I snorkeled for about five minutes in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, then got scared when I saw a school of big black fish hanging out by the ocean floor.

A Special Mystic River Resort Tour: Sapodilla Falls and Blancaneaux Cave
We took the back road towards San Antonio village – a predominantly Maya area – and…who knew? The peanut capital of Belize! I learned something new that day. I had always thought that the pines grew here due to higher elevation but that is not the case. It’s the soil…and it changes when you go over streams…or certain hills. The sandy acidic soil produces pines and brush and you drive a few feet and you are in broad leaf jungle. Many of the trails had been cleared by the Mystic River staff only the day before…and were treacherously awesome driving.

Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium 2015
This is the 13th Annual Archaeology & Anthropology Symposium currently being held at the San Ignacio Hotel in Cayo, Belize. The symposium will be held June 30th- July 4th, 2015. It is being hosted by two departments of NICH: The Institute of Archaeology and the Institute for Social and Cultural Research.

501(c)3 Status Belizean Organizations in the United States
Below is a list of Belizean Organizations that are registered with the IRS under 501(c)3 status should you ever want to make tax deductible donations.The info below is pulled directly from the IRS website. This is only a listing of the names and general information. We are gathering more detailed information like address, phone No., email and website. As soon as we have those we’ll be creating a page including it all for future reference.

The BTB Branding: How to Be Eurocentric & Why Not in Belize
It’s been two years since the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) launched the “Discover How to Be” promotional tourism video (“Discover How to Be”, 2013). However, it was until this week that I encountered the video on Facebook and I must express a grave dismay with the production. I would like to call attention to the segment (time slot: 1:11-1:20) which displays the text “be primitive” and “be peculiar” with our Maya archeological sites in the background. The representation of our indigenous heritage and people as “primitive” and “peculiar” is the perpetuation of Eurocentric discourse which facilitated the enslavement and exploitation of indigenous peoples and non-Europeans in general. To allow this representation of Belize for local and international consumption is disrespectful and prejudicial. The use of the terms “primitive” and “peculiar” in this context are derived from and are reflective of European colonization, enslavement, and hegemony over non-Europeans. These historical processes established a set of violent terminologies which carried great weight in how Europeans viewed and interacted with non-Westerners. On the one hand, Europeans were represented as “civilized”, “advanced”, “cultured”, and “intelligent”. On the “Other” hand, we were “savage”, “primitive”, “pagan”, and “barbaric”. It is from this history in which Europeans are announced as “normal”, “developed”, and “civilized” that the phrases “be primitive” and “be peculiar” locates its common-sense appeal, touristic romance, and vulgarity.

Health, Well-being, and a Beach Home in Belize
Lara Goldman is living her dream in Belize. She lives just 100 yards from the beach for a fraction of what it would cost in the U.S. As a single woman who owns her own home on Ambergris Caye, her outgoings come to just $1,500 a month. She found this perfect home on her very first trip to Belize in 2006. “I walked over the threshold of the house and instantly knew it was meant to be mine,” says Lara. She immediately bought the two-bedroom, one-bathroom house with a loft, and moved into it within a year. Now she relishes the view of the spectacular Caribbean Sea every day from her comfy home. She runs on the beach, or walks with her dog whenever she pleases. “I love this country and the people. People come to Belize for the attractions. But they return because of the wonderful Belizean people. I don’t need to impress anyone. Nobody really cares what I do for a living.”

Banana Cashew Nut Muffin
These muffins are so easy to make and take no time at all. You can make them plain or with chocolate chip or nuts. They are light and go well with coffee or tea.

Belize: A Reading List
If you regularly read this blog you’ve noticed that I lately haven’t been publishing consistently. This is due to a few factors, predominantly because I got a new apartment and had to move. Toronto has a serious, serious problem, it lacks rentals and prices are ridiculous. Also, I’ve been amazed by what I’ve seen during my search…I would constantly be flabbergasted by the condition of the apartments and how expensive it still was. Enough about apartments, the next major reason why I’ve been busy was because I was applying to grad school and fortunately those woes are over. As of September 2015 I will be enrolled at the University of Waterloo doing a Masters in Local Economic Development. I am very excited about the program because it will allow me to develop my knowledge in things that I am passionate about: tourism, entrepreneurship and community development. Anyway, enough about me, I’m writing this post to share a few books to read on Belize. These books are great to read while in Belize or before you visit. You can find them at most Belizean bookstores and gift shops, and some can be bought online. Enjoy

Taking a long walk to the airport makes me homesick for San Pedro — already
This first leg was a modest one, from our home to the San Pedro airport. I suppose that I might have grabbed a cab, or a watertaxi or hitched a ride with a southbound friend. Sooner or later somebody I know would be driving down the road. It is the only road, after all, north to south. But this was a beautiful, cool morning and I was still abuzz from a great day yesterday. Walking just seemed like the right thing to do. I didn’t have to walk far, out to the main road, a distance of about 40 years where a guy named Steve in a big Pilot four-wheeler stopped and offered me a lift. Hey, just because I started walking doesn’t mean I had to walk.

Of sand bars, secret beaches and soccer — life in Belize gets no better than this
Have a seat: The Sandbar offers a variety of seating, from semi-dry sand to 5 inches of warm and soothing saltwater. Beverages are optional. Sometimes all it takes is a boat full of friends, a spit of sand and a glorious day in Belize to make you feel all is right in the universe. Adam and Jackie Feldman of Casa Picasso restaurant wanted to have a special welcome for their longtime friend and fellow restaurateur Hasni Ghazali. What better way to offer up a taste of the island than a daytrip with good friends to the backside and our favorite spot in all of Ambergris Caye — The Sandbar? The Sandbar is just that: a spit of sand on the south side of a very small island just off the “back side” of Ambergris Caye.

Learning a thing or two as a teacher in summer school in Belize
A diphthong is not a bikini designed for safe swimming. Of course, you know that. And I know that. But honestly, if someone came up to you and said, “What’s a diphthong?” would you know? I didn’t. I haven’t even heard the word since college. It came up this week while I was volunteering at summer school at Holy Cross Anglican School in San Mateo, a San Pedro neighborhood built on dreams and stilts over the lagoon. The question came from another volunteer who was filling in, at the diphthong table, apparently. I knew it had to do with the combination of letters but couldn’t recall a thing beyond that. I now know it is the combination of two vowels in a single syllable.

Rock, lobsta! A day on Caye Caulker is like no other day . . . anywhere
Right around Lobsterfest time you wait, and wait, for the call. “We’ve got a boat. Are you in?” And you are happy. And of course you are in. There is no better way to experience the Caye Caulker Lobsterfest than on a boat full of friends, on a Sunday, under clear blue skies. No better way. OK, now I’m just going to add a ton of pics. I’ll return later today after I teach school to add captions where possible. I just want to get these out there before the memory grows cold!

International Sourcesizz

Ambergris Caye, Belize: Back to Nature, Back in Time
As I stepped off the plane in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, I knew that this is the sort of island that Tom Hanks wished he was stranded on. Life in this lush, tropical paradise moves at a slower pace. In place of automobiles, there are golf carts. Jungles of concrete are replaced by coconut trees, and instead of smog-filled skies, your view is of the emerald-green Caribbean Sea and multi-hued crimson sunsets. Unfortunately, this relatively small country is still a mystery to many Americans who don’t know much about it. With a population of 300,000, Belize is nestled in Central America between Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. It is easily accessible from many cities in the U.S. and just a short flight from Miami or Houston. After arriving at Belize International Airport in Belize City, I hopped aboard a short puddle jumper flight via Tropic Air en route to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The flight was quite spectacular with vistas of turquoise-green water, numerous small islands and coral reefs. I couldn’t wait to check in to my room and explore the island. On the way back to my room, I stopped by a little frozen custard shop called DandE’s. “What makes your custard different?” I asked Eileen, the owner. “Taste it,” she said, offering me a sample. If there is such as thing as being hooked on frozen custard, then I am guilty as charged. Chocolate, coconut and mango sorbet are all on my must have list and I am already plotting how to get back for another fix. As it turns out, both Eileen and her husband Dan are expats from the states, and when they initially moved here, they bought the local newspaper and ran it for six years. After Dan could not find a chocolate malt he liked, they both decided to rectify that problem forever and opened their own shop.

Maya Leaders Arrested in Belize As They Peacefully Protect Sacred Site
Maya leaders of Southern Belize were arrested on Wednesday June 24th, 2015 in a gross violation of their rights. On the early morning of that day, traditional leaders of the Maya people of Southern Belize were violently arrested in their homes by police on the charges of unlawful imprisonment. The charges were brought against 12 people, including the Village Chairman, and the Second Alcalde, elected by their communities according to traditional practices. Also arrested was Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) spokesperson, Cristina Coc, a peaceful and well-respected advisor to the traditional leaders and mother of two. At an arraignment that afternoon, bail was initially set at $8,000 Belizean Dollars (US$4,000) each. When one of the attorneys for the Maya defendants explained that this was beyond the means of Maya farmers, the Magistrate increased the amount to $10,000 Belizean Dollars (US$5,000). According to local attorneys, bail for this level of offenses is usually between $1000-$3000 BZD. Bail was posted by other Maya villagers from various communities and all were released. The group warrant was never presented to the attorneys or their clients. The case has been adjourned until July 28, 2015.​

McCaulay, le balaise du Belize
Le Belize a entamé timidement sa campagne de qualification pour Russie 2018 face aux Îles Caïmans. Il lui manquait quelque chose, ou plutôt quelqu'un pour pousser le cuir dans les filets. La pression n'a cessé de monter au fil des deux manches, jusqu'au coup franc tardif d'Elroy Kuylen qui a permis aux Jaguars de franchir le premier tour à la faveur d'un but marqué à l'extérieur. "Deon nous a manqué", avoue le buteur visiblement soulagé. À 27 ans, Deon McCaulay est le meilleur réalisateur de l'histoire du football bélizien. "Sur cinq bons ballons, il en rentre au moins trois, c'est garanti", ajoute Kuylen à propos de l'icône nationale. L'entraîneur Jorge Nunez confirme : "Deon résout tous les problèmes de l'attaque". Ce ne sont pas des mots en l'air... Auteur d'un doublé à l'aller à l'extérieur et d'une tête victorieuse à la fin du match retour, McCaulay a joué un rôle clé dans la victoire des siens 5:1 en score cumulé. Comme l'entraîneur l'avait prédit, avec McCaulay sur le terrain, le compteur se débloque.

9 Reasons Why We Need Sharks
Sharks are good. In fact, life in the oceans and even on earth would not be nearly so productive if it weren’t for sharks. Shark attacks generate sensational headlines and provoke the irrational urge to kill as many sharks as possible. But in fact, there are on average only around 70 shark attacks on humans every year, and of those, only 10 people are killed. By comparison, somewhere between 20 and 30 million sharks are being killed by people every year, a number that cannot be sustained if we want to prevent sharks from going extinct. It is absolutely critical to come to the defense of sharks, which is easier if we understand why we need sharks in the first place. Here are 9 good reasons. 1) Sharks are magnificent animals. They have inhabited Earth for over 450 million years. They are beautiful, complex, amazing creatures that inspire awe and stoke our imagination. The world would be a less remarkable place if there were no sharks.

Suffolk’s Katy Sealy wins gold at Central American Championships
Bawdsey-based heptathlete Katy Sealy won the Central American Championship title for Belize in Nicaragua last week. The Ipswich Harrier finished on 4614 points, 253 points clear of Guatemala’s Ruth Morales Merida in second. Sealy qualifies for Belize through her father and followed her success up with victories at the Southern Athletics League, in the javelin and long jump.

6 of the Best Places on the Planet to Experience Wildlife
For us, exploring nature is part of what globetrotting is all about. If you have been hankering to find some of the best spots for wildlife, then we have you covered. What follows are some of the best spots on the planet for observing wildlife. Along with some well-known staples, there are a few surprises. Pack your bags and have fun — the wild is calling, it's time for you to answer. Belize: This is a more wild and untamed adventure, not for the faint of heart. Diving here requires a guide, but allows you to get up close and personal with sharks and stingrays. If you prefer to journey on land, takes a 2 1/2 hour drive out from Belize City to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you can view China guinea pigs known as pacas, as well as something a bit more dangerous … jaguars.

Have You Ever Wondered What Divers In The Belize Blue Hole See?
What’s it like to dive the Belize Blue Hole? The Belize Blue Hole is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Lighthouse Atoll Belize. It is visited by countless tourists every year who scuba dive it to enjoy the breathtaking reef and the marine delights it has to offer. What’s in there? What do divers see when they descend into the hole? The good folks of Belize Diving Services in Caye Caulker, Belize have put together an incredible video tour of this Belizean national treasure. Grab some popcorn, grab a seat, and come along for the ride! The day starts early A round trip boat ride to the Belize Blue Hole is about 50 miles each way from Caye Caulker, Belize and takes about two hours each way depending on the weather conditions. To get to the Blue Hole the boat will have to pass four reef walls. The first of these walls is just offshore Caye Caulker where the reef breaks and creates a natural channel (1). The dive boat will then travel on the open sea for about an hour until it gets to Turneffe Atoll, cross a reef to get inside the atoll (2), meander through Turneffe Atoll a bit, exit it (3), cross open seas again, and then enter the Lighthouse Reef atoll (4) where the Belize Blue Hole is located. Whew!

All United Airlines flights in US grounded due to computer system glitch
United Airlines flights in U.S. were grounded on Wednesday due to computer system glitch, according to FAANews. A call to the airline was not immediately returned.


  • Belize 2015, 9min.

  • Artifacts of East Indians in Belize, 3min. East Indians in Belize comprise four percent (7,000 persons) of the population. Understandably, they have lost almost all of their traditional Indian culture. Interestingly, Indians in Belize are longing to rediscover and re-claim their Indian history, heritage and culture. They are looking towards Trinidad for inspiration, interaction, support and sustenance. Formally known as British Honduras, Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America. Bordered by Mexico in the North and Guatemala in the West and South, it lies at the heart of the Caribbean Basin. Belize has giant Mayan pyramids and the world’s second largest barrier reef. It has a mélange of over ten different cultures which are concentrated in the six districts. Unlike any other Caribbean country, Belize experienced three waves of Indian migration, commencing in 1858. The first wave of migrants consisted of 1000 deported ex-soldiers (and their families) who had rebelled against the British Government in India’s First War of Independence/Sepoy Rebellion. The second wave of Indians, ex-indentured workers from Jamaica, went to Belize in 1872. The third wave of Indian migrants to Belize came from Guatemala, from where they had gone to work in the coffee plantations in Cafe Mountains.

  • Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures - Birdwatching Belize, 2min.

  • Belize Trip, 8min. Trip to Belize: ATM cave tour, zip-lining, swimming with sharks, cave-tubing, zip-lining, and exploring...all in a week. What a wonderful time and an equally wonderful country.

  • Lina Point: Overwater Development in San Pedro, Belize, 7min. 8 overwater cabanas and the main 3 story cabana on the Point with rooftop restaurant and bar all connected by 500' concrete pier that drops you off to land where you can get to all of the San Pedro attractions within minutes.

  • British Army Jungle Exercise Mayan Warrior, 34min. The British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) has been a hub for jungle warfare training for decades, but in 2011 it was scaled right down. Just six ...

  • Fishing: A Belizean Way of Life, 30min. This 30–minute video documentary is about the sustainable fisheries initiatives underway in Belize that employ various management tools, such as rights-based or managed access and replenishment or no-take zones, and the reaction of fishers to these measures. New technologies to improve enforcement are also featured, such as the use of the SMART software and conservation drones.

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