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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
It’s Happy Hour!!
Face it; you’re on the island and on holiday. Your sole responsibility is to have fun and relax, enjoy doing nothing, and get exhausted doing so if necessary. This little guide is for those of us who enjoy partaking in some fine alcoholic adventures – and if you can save some extra cash to get Uncle Joe that Belikin t-shirt, well, why not?! This here is your guide to happy hour – and in some cases, happy hours! Why not start directly across from our esteemed offices, where the bartenders at Caprice Bar & Grill will whip up some amazing deals for you during their weekday happy hour of 3PM and 6PM. We’ve been thoroughly spoiled by their two-for-one deal on margaritas and local rums.
Launch: Discover How To Be A Belizean Traveller
July marks the beginning of the Belize Tourism Board’s local ad campaign launch. The theme of the campaign is “Discover How To Be A Belizean Traveller.” This campaign is centered on getting Belizeans to travel locally and to promote the regional icons, which were developed as a part of our rebranding. The objectives of the campaign are:
1. To encourage Belizeans, living in the country, to travel locally in order to keep our dollars at home and promote local businesses
2. Sensitization of the regional icons
Dangriga Constituency By-elections kickoff
Three candidates are contesting at the Dangriga Constituency by-election happening today, Wednesday July 8th. A total of 6,275 registered voters will be casting their votes at six polling station to elect their new area representative. Contesting for the title of Dangriga Constituency Area Representative are The United Democratic Party’s (UDP) Frank “Papa” Mena, People’s United Party’s (PUP) Anthony Sabal and Independent (Indp) Candidate Llewelyn Lucas.
Polls have been opened since 7AM and are scheduled to close at 6PM. Polling stations are located at Dangriga Town, Saeawee Village and Hope Creek Village. While the electoral process had a slow start in the first hour with only 562 or 9% of registered votes casting their votes, it is expected to increase at noon. Historically, the Dangriga Constituency has had an overall voter turnout between 52-60%. In the last municipal election, there was a 56% voter’s turnout. However, the two major political parties (PUP and UDP) are predicting voter turnout to be just below the 60% margin.
Town Library educates children on Technology
The San Pedro Town Library held a one-week summer program under the theme “Technology: past and present”. Divided into two segments, one camp saw children ages six to nine participating from 9AM to 11:30AM and children ages 10 to 13 participating from 1:30PM to 3:30PM. The program ended on Friday, July 3rd and had the combined participation of about 30 children.
Each day the children learned a new lesson on technology, such as technological devices, research tools, software and social media. “The first day we taught them about technological devices that have been used in the past and compared it to today’s technology. The second day they learned how to research books and information in the library. They also learned how to research online using credible sites for homework and projects. The third day the children were given a class on how to use Microsoft Word. They also did research, where they had to choose an animal and present a research document on it in a Word document. The fourth day they were given a Power Point class, where they learned how to design and make a power point presentation of a specific technological device. The last day, the children were given a class on social media, its benefits and potential risks,” said library assistant Brianne Leiva.
Four Belizean Sailors attend 2015 Optimist North American Championship
Four young Belizean sailors are in English Harbour, Antigua participating in the 2015 Optimist North American Championship. From Sunday, July 5th to Monday, July 13th, 13-year-old Kevin Vasquez, 12-year-old Trent Hardwick, 13-year-old Jazmine Campos and 13-year-old Nashira Ricardez will be sailing the unchartered waters of Antigua in their first ever international competition. The championship is being sponsored by Seaboard Marine and organized by Antigua Yacht Club under the authority of the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA). A total of 162 sailors representing 23 countries are participating: Argentina, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA, US Virgin Islands and Antigua.
Child Friendly Initiative Seminar held in San Pedro
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF,) in collaboration with the Government of Belize (GOB) and the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), held a Child Friendly Initiative workshop on Friday, July 3rd, in San Pedro Town. The seminar’s main purpose was to set in place pillars to later develop in an effort to address children’s issues on the island. Six main topics were discussed aimed at the betterment of conditions for the survival, growth, and development of children including ensuring that their rights are at the forefront of policy-planning and policy implementation at the local level. This initiative, which was launched in September 2014, received wide recognition and the official endorsement by all Mayors across the country.
UNICEF Monitor and Evaluation Specialist Paulette Wade called on children’s participation on the island. “It is important to know if children have a right to be heard in any judicial proceedings that may be affecting them. It is also important to have arrangements to ensure consideration of the perspective of babies and very young children and respect the views of the child promoted to the public and in particular to parents,” said Wade.
San Pedro Pays Tribute to Rosita Baltazar
Another beloved Belizean yields to that treacherous and mysterious disease that is cancer. This time around it is beloved Rosita Baltazar, the artistic director for the San Pedro Dance Company. Rosita is a founding member of the Belize National Dance Company and many years ago under the invitation of Lily Nuñez and Mayor Alberto Nuñez, she accepted to be the director of the San Pedro chapter of the Dance Company. Needless to say, she took our dancers to greater heights and earning much glory at home and abroad.
There are a lot of good things that we learned thought the years about Teacher Rosita. She had great taste and looked forward to events to show off her dancers. She exhibited commitment and dedication to her group. She was a professional in all the sense of the word. Rosita was calm and relaxed with her girls, yet firm in her discipline; she inspired confidence and self control and was a role model and a great leader.
Rosita touched the lives of many boys and girls in San Pedro. Those who knew her well will attest to her well poised mannerism. Her inward and outward beauty combined with her high sense of humility to make her an outstanding artistic director, coach and dance instructor. Even though Rosita belonged on a stage, when it was show time, she preferred for her girls to take the applause.
The Evolution of Boca del Rio Cut
In this Flashback of San Pedro you see two tourists enjoying a refreshing swim at the Boca del Rio which is the opening of the canal leading to the back of the island. They are at the edge of the south side and looking towards the north, you see a post seawall of a property belonging to a Belize City businessman, one Mr. Gutierrez.
The canal mouth was very shallow with seaweed or sea grass on both sides reaching only up to one’s knee or legs. The middle of the canal was about two and a half feet deep and a lot of people were able to cross to the other side without getting totally wet, especially on a low tide. A dory or small boat could easily traverse down the canal or river as we used to call it.
As the need for larger boats arose, the center of the canal was dug and made deeper and wider. This was done by the village council in conjunction with Caribeña, the fishing cooperative, to facilitate navigation of its large fishing boats to the west side of the village/island where the processing plant and ice plants were located. As time went by the Boca del Rio was dug/dredged to about five or six feet as it stands today to meet the demands of large sea vessels, and of course the demands of traffic and the bridge. Will add that it was not a popular swimming site, but indeed a very popular fishing spot, especially at night time. A five-pound snapper was very common at this spot.
BTB Launches Discover How To Be A Belizean Traveller Campaign
July marks the beginning of the Belize Tourism Board’s local ad campaign launch. The theme of the campaign is “Discover How To Be A Belizean Traveller.” This campaign is centered on getting Belizeans to travel locally and to promote the regional icons, which were developed as a part of our rebranding.
The objectives of the campaign are:
1. To encourage Belizeans, living in the country, to travel locally in order to keep our dollars at home and promote local businesses
2. Sensitization of the regional icons (shown below in chart)
3. Get local industry partners on board to facilitate locals travelling to various destinations country wide.
Misc Belizean Sources
2007 LGBT tourism event
In 2007, probably what was the biggest LGBT tourism event in Belize (and
ever will be) was held at Banana Beach Resort. The gay & lesbian group
Diving for Life came to Belize to dive, party and primarily to support the
local AIDS Commission - to whom they donated $5000. This event was held
without any fanfare, any trouble and many locals enjoyed the party
thoroughly. Their donation helped so many people in the community.
Hopefully they'll come back one day.
2015 Belize Fashion Week postponed
Due to an impending inclement weather system, the 2015 Belize Fashion Week scheduled from Thursday, July 9th to Sunday, July 12th has been postponed. This event was set to be mostly outdoors, and the rains would severely affect the show. The Belize Fashion Week organizing committee humbly apologizes for any inconveniences caused. A new date will be later announced.
Belize – Winner in Caribbean Countries of the Future – fDi-Financial Times
Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2015
Belizeans converge on the island destination to celebrate the opening of lobster season and take photos with mascot, the Happy Lobser!
The By-Election Hype In Griga
Its bi-election day in Dangriga and the polls were closed about 30 minutes ago. For most of you, it might have just been another calm and ordinary day in your neighbourhood but it was anything but calm in the culture capital today. Courtney Weatherburne is in Dangriga right now covering the election, we join her now: Courtney, What’s it like in the Culture Capital right now? What is the report on the grounds?
"We're here with Mr. Cordel Hyde, PUP standard bearer for Lake Independence. Sir how is it going so far? Explain to us the sentiments and the feelings out here on the ground."
Cordel Hyde - PUP Standard Bearer, Lake Independence
"Well it's been going good, you know it's early in the morning so everybody is energised. The question will be whether we'll be able to maintain that energy all day because it's a long day. And what happens at 7, 8 o'clock in the morning may not reflect what happens 3 or 4 in the afternoon, so we have to prepare to grind all day. So far it's been going good. When you know the challenge for us, this is a candidate who is probably - has the shortest possible time to get ready, less than 3 weeks to be precise. You'll always go and second guess yourself and wonder what you could have done differently in terms of strategy, in terms of support, in terms of work. But we're here and as I said we have an awesome candidate and his resume speaks for itself and the people here know that. Sometimes at the end of the day it comes down to what's inside your gut, what's inside the gut of the voter. And I think deep down inside the voters know that Anthony Sabal is the man."
The By-Election Candidates: Sabal Vs Pawpa
And while those were all the additional political characters on the ground who were zoned in on this single division, in the foreground were the candidates: Frank Pawpa Mena for the UDP and Anthony Sabal for the PUP.
Today, Courtney Weatherburne spoke with both of them:…
Frank "Papa" Mena, UDP Candidate
"Well the thing the work, the work well. Early on the scratch and so but everything tighten up and the thing the work well."
Anthony Sabal, PUP Candidate
"The machinery is well oiled. If you notice we have gotten support from north, south, east and west. Bi-election is very important and yes we're very confident and it's working."
Frank "Papa" Mena, UDP Candidate
"The people energised. As I tell them it's one love. Sometimes things just get out of hand, you see something you get pushed to the edge - but we got that under control. The energy is up! The energy is up! And this is what it is."
Glenn Grant & the Police Department Being Sued For Officer Yearwood's Death
Viewers may remember the very controversial shooting which happened in September 2013 in which Police Constable Glenwayne Grant shot and killed a fellow officer, Constable Dean Yearwood when he was allegedly responding to a robbery in progress. Well, his family wants the Government of Belize to pay financial compensation for his death, which they say is unlawful and unnecessary.
Police Commissioner Allen Whylie and the investigators said that it wasn’t murder, but as we told you, Yearwood’s family believed that it was an unlawful killing. So, since it has been 2 years without any prosecution against Grant, the Yearwood family sued the Government of Belize, the Police Department, the Police Commissioner, and Officer Grant. They are seeking damages and whatever reliefs the court sees fit to order.
So, what’s being examined in this case? Well, viewers will remember that PC Yearwood - dressed in plain clothes was walking front of Public’s Supermarket on Central American Boulevard. That’s when Brian Vasquez allegedly tried to rob him. The off duty Yearwood, who was carrying his police department issued .38 revolver fired at him.
Angel Tzec Hits Fertile Ground In The Courts
Just over a month and a half ago, we told you about how agronomist Angel Tzec sued the Ministry of Natural Resources because they shared up a section of a piece of land that he was the lease holder for. His lease for 250 acres in the Cayo District expired in 2011, but just before that happened, he cleared up his arrears and in even pre-paid his land fees to the government a few months ahead of the time.
He was under the impression that the Government acknowledged his interest in the land, and he went there shortly after the lease expired to speak with the Lands Department staff to start the process to get it renewed. That process was notoriously slow, and shortly after those meetings, the 2012 General Elections happened. Tzec found out afterwards that the Lands Department had given out a lease to a portion of the land he was paying fees for. He says that he went to both the Lands Commissioner and the Minister of Lands who assured him that the error would be cleared up, but weeks later, they started giving him the run-around.
Frustrated, he sued the Government and got his day in court on May 22. Today, Justice Shona Griffith delivered her oral judgment. She didn’t out rightly dismissed his case, but she noted that his public law case was misguided. She offered him an opportunity to come back and sue the Lands Ministry not as a Government agency, but as a party to a private contract. His attorney explained the implications of the conclusion of the case:
Dispute Between BSI Shareholders?
3 months from now American Sugar Refinery will have been the majority shareholder in the Belize Sugar Industries Limited for 3 years. Viewers may know that this is the company which owns the factory, which then mill the cane from the farmers after they have been delivered.
They came into the picture as a strategic investor who bought out the company’s indebtedness of 64.8 million US dollars to the Netherland financiers in exchange for 78.6% equity in the company’s shares. They bought out a significant portion of the shares owned by the BSI Employee’s Holdings Limited. So, they went from being a majority shareholder to a minority shareholder.
Well the BSI Employee’s Holdings Limited, and the Belize Workers Union, to which the employees belong as members, are both complaining that since ASR became the boss of the factory and the company, they have refused to release any financial statements of profits made in the past 2 crop years. The employees say that they were given an assurance by the company and by the Government – which facilitated the deal – that prior arrangements in relation to the declaration of dividends and the payment of additional bonuses if profits meet certain thresholds will remain as they were before ASR.
By-Election Battles: Gapi Vs Monchie
But while the candidates should have been the biggest news, the real news was the very heated atmosphere and the numerous confrontations between rival political parties. IT was unlike anything we’ve ever seen and it was crowned by a confrontation between Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and his political opponent and accuser Ramon Munchy Cervantez. It happened in Hope Creek this morning – and we got very differing accounts from both sides:
"Sir on the topic of emotions and tensions leading up to this day and of course later on for the results, we have been to several polling areas and they have been several arguments or brawls also at these different polling areas. We also understand that there was some misunderstanding, there was was some disagreement between you and the deputy prime minister Gaspar Vega. Tell us exactly from your account what happened? And how it all started?"
Ramon “Munchie” Cervantes - PUP, Orange Walk Standard Bearer
"It wasn't an misunderstanding. I was taking a voter, she's a PUP lady and the deputy prime minister came and pushed me out of the way. I turned around to react and one of his henchmen threw 2 punches at me and I slipped the punches, I ducked the punches and then one of my friends came and punched him in the jaw and he landed on his rear on the pavement. Then Gaspar Vega fell in the drain on the side of the road and then ran towards the voting boot to save himself."
Fists Thrown In Lakeland In Griga By-Election
And while we didn't catch that fight on camera, we did see one that happened at the Holy Ghost polling area. Here's how that one went - and what both sides say happened:...
Another Dead Manatee; Washes Up To CZMAI Compound
Very regularly, we feature stories in this newscast on the unfortunate death of manatees, a mammal which you, the viewers, know is an endangered species. Still, incidents continue to happen on the coastline in which these animals come in contact with boats and they get severely injured by the boat propeller.
One of them washed up on the sea front of the Coastal Zone Management Institute, the organisation which takes the lead in trying to protect the manatee population in Belize. The animal had already been dead for some hours, after suffering cut injuries from a boats propeller.
Even more obscenely ironic than that is that the CZMAI staff and the other agencies who work to protect manatees were in the midst of their second day of a workshop. It’s a strategy to better track and advocate for the animals. One of the attendants saw the dead manatee and alerted Jamal Galvez about it. He told us that it is a disheartening sight:
The First Miss Carnival Pageant
The Carnival Association of Belize is hosting the first ever Miss Carnival Pageant. The event takes place on Friday night at the Bliss Institute - where 6 junior queens and 8 seniors vie for the title of Miss Carnival Queen 2015. Today 7news caught up with the ladies at rehearsals.
The event will be held at the Bliss on Friday night. It starts at 7pm sharp and tickets are 5 dollars for children, 10 dollars for general and 15 dollars for reserve.
Anthony Sabal versus Frank “Pawpa” Mena in the Dangriga Bye-Elections
As we bring you the news tonight, Elections and Boundaries officials, escorted by Police, are transporting boxes from six polling areas to the Father Phillip Marin Parish Hall where they [...]
Voter Turnout at the Polls
The last figures for voters’ turnout in the Dangriga bye-elections were issued at five this evening, an hour before the polls closed. That figure stood at fifty-three percent and the [...]
P.U.P. Leader Calls for Castro to be Removed
On Friday, Minister of State Edmond Castro took a devastating personal, if not political blow, when he was advised to discontinue a defamation case against visa scandal whistleblower, Alvarene Burgess, [...]
PM says Castro Ain’t Going Anywhere
Of course, that call by the Opposition at this point is nothing more than a rhetorical flourish. Castro’s involvement in a visa scam is a moot point because he recently [...]
Fonseca Comments on “Pawpa” Mena’s Visa Memo
And since the P.U.P. is on the subject of visas and a visa scam, Fonseca is also taking a hard look at the U.D.P. Dangriga candidate, Frank “Pawpa” Mena. Just [...]
PM Has No Praises for Catholic Church and Father Leslie
On Tuesday night, P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca praised Senator Father Noel Leslie and the Roman Catholic Church. Leslie and the Church have called on the government to repeal the controversial [...]
Barrow Comments on Latest Secret Recording from Hulse
On Tuesday night we told you about a recording – another recording – of senior U.D.P. former Minister Melvin Hulse. In that recording Hulse claims that the U.D.P. will need [...]
6 Prisoners Escape from the Benque Viejo Jail
Six Honduran nationals have escaped from the Benque Viejo Police Station—only one has been recaptured up to news time. Did they have help from the inside? Well, that’s what we [...]
Cardinal Lemott Detained for Murder
A teen believed to have been involved in the brutal murder of two American nationals in Teakettle more than a month ago was apprehended this weekend in Belize City. Due [...]
Sandra Perez Acquitted
A woman who was accused of stabbing a man once in the abdomen is tonight free of charges of Grievous Harm and Use of Deadly Means of Harm upon Kenrick [...]
Is G.O.B. Responsible for the Alleged Wrongful Death of PC Dean Yearwood?
Will G.O.B. be held liable for the alleged wrongful death of Police Corporal Dean Yearwood, who was shot to death by another cop back in 2013 during a robbery in [...]
Live from Dangriga Bye-Elections 2015
The ballot boxes from six polling stations have arrive at the Father Phillip Marin Parish Hall in Dangriga where counting is about to get underway to determine the new area [...]
Revising the Manatee Recovery Plan
Will Belize’s manatees get the help that they need? For a very long time we have reported on the cases of manatee injury and deaths. Over the past few years [...]
Preliminary Round of National Song Competition 2015
Musical content, lyrics and stage performance….the first round, to determine the winners of the 2015 National Song Competition, is in full gear. This weekend, in Belize City and Punta Gorda, [...]
Unions Maintain Salary Adjustments Are Not From Petrocaribe Funds
In early June, the government announced that teachers and public officers will be receiving a whopping eight percent increase as a salary adjustment. Some, but not all public officers, are [...]
Union Presidents Explain Formula for Salary Adjustments
The Collective Bargaining Agreement is for a three-year period, but was in the pipeline for six years. Back in 2008, the proposals were for a thirty percent adjustment for teachers [...]
A New Licensing Regime for Teachers
But salaries aside, there is another issue that teachers are confronting. It has to do with licenses, which come 2016 will be mandatory. Those who have not obtained a valid [...]
San Pedro Resident Targetted By Thieves
A resident from San Pedro Town is crying foul tonight after he was targeted by a thief who made away with his licensed firearm. According to Walter Medina, Saturday night around 7:30 he parked his blue golf cart in front of the San Pedro Church on Barrier Reef Drive and walked a few feet away to talk to someone. Upon his return he noticed that his bag that was on the front seat of the cart was missing. The bag contained his licensed black and silver Taurus brand .9mm pistol with a magazine containing (13) 9mm live rounds, cash and other personal belongings. Island cops say they have no leads at this point.
Calling On Musicians
The annual National Song Competition is back again and the National Celebrations Commission and Atlantic International Bank issuing a last call for songwriters and musicians to enter their song for the 2015 competition in both junior and senior categories.
This year the commission is doing things a bit different as they will be branching into the municipalities across the country for elimination rounds. Winners from these rounds will face each other off on stage on August 14th in Belize City. In its release the Commission states that quote, “the competition was created to give both professional and amateur song writers and performing artists an opportunity to showcase their original pieces on the grand stage each year,” unquote.
The competition is held in two categories which include the Belize Song competition in which contenders enter an “original song that reflects strong Belizean identity, flavor and rhythm and should inspire a sense of national pride and unity. It should evoke a blessing or celebrate the history, traditions and diversity of the Belizean culture.”
Six Honduran Nationals Escape From Benque Viejo Prison
Police in Benque Viejo Del Carmen are tonight looking for five of six men who escaped from police custody. At around eight on Tuesday night, police officers checked the holding cell area and discovered that six Honduran nationals who were in police custody were nowhere to be seen. When they conducted further checks in the cell they realized the men had dug a hole in the wall and slipped out. So far police have recaptured one of the men and believe that the other five have fled across the border into Guatemala. The men had been detained in Benque Viejo Del Carmen for illegal entry into Belize. Police is asking the public that if they see any suspicious individual in their neighborhood to call the police.
Guatemalan National Found In Possession Of Unlicensed Ammunition
And keeping with the stories from the Corozal District, a Guatemala national was arrested and charged for keeping unlicensed ammunition. Around 6:30 last night while police were on mobile patrol near the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry Road they stopped and searched 22 year old Arnoldo Peck, Guatemalan National of Bella Vista in the Toledo District. The search led police to a green and gold box containing nine 16 gauge cartridges. Puck was arrested and charged for the offence of “Kept Ammunition without a Gun License.”
Shots Fired At Teenager From The Corozal District
A teenager from Corozal is lucky to be alive tonight after he was targeted by a lone gun man. According to 18 year old Alvin Rancharan of 10th Avenue, Corozal Town, yesterday around 1:50 in the afternoon he was hanging out at a residence in the Venezuelan Site Area of Corozal Town when a red and white pickup stopped in front of the residence. According to Rancharan the driver pulled out a firearm and fired a shot in his direction. Police have since detained one person of San Andres Village, Corozal Town pending charges of Aggravated Assault and discharging a firearm.
Fultec Systems celebrates anniversary with IT summit
Fultec Systems is celebrating its twenty third Anniversary. Bjana Smith-Bradley, Operation Manager for Fultec Systems spoke about the anniversary celebrations and the IT Summit that they are hosting. Strategic partners joined with Fultec and are present at the summit to give updates about the newest technologies and how these partners have contributed to not only […]
US basketball team makes donation to youths in the Toledo District
Officials from Cleveland Basketball School in the United States have concluded a visit to the Toledo District. Paul Mahung reporting… “The visit was part of a four day basketball skills camp from July 2-6 with direct participation from Ohio Cleveland’s basketball school founder and manager Paul Haut.” Paul Haut, Manager “It’s our second time in […]
YWCA holds summer programs
The YWCA started their annual Summer Program on Monday. The summer program has been in effect for 58 years and is a program that the children look forward to every year. Most programs are thirty to forty dollars along with a five dollars registration fee. There are approximately 12 different activities that are planned for […]
Guatemalan national charged with firearm offences
22-year-old Guatemalan national Arnoldo Peck has been charged with kept firearm without a gun license. Police say they were on mobile patrol near the Pueblo Nievo Ferry Road when they stopped and searched Peck of Bella Vista in the Toledo District. Police say they found a green and gold box which contained nine sixteen gauge […]
San Pedrano reports licenced firearm stolen
Police are investigating reports of a stolen firearm in San Pedro. 35-year-old Walter Estuardo Medina of San Mateo Area reported that on Saturday about 7:30 p.m., he parked his blue golf cart in front of the San Pedro Church on Barrier Reef Drive and walked a few feet away to talk to someone and upon […]
Four men detained for robbery in Hopkins Village
Dangriga Police have detained four men from Hopkins Village pending their investigation of a robbery. A couple reported to Police that last Thursday they were sitting on the verandah of a local guest cabin on the north side of the village about ten o’clock that night when they were approached by six male persons. One […]
Minister weighs in on upcoming gay pride event
A hot topic of discussion is the upcoming gay pride event scheduled for September in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Our reporter, Renee Trujillo asked Minister Michael Finnegan to weigh in on the debate. Michael Finnegan – Minister of Housing “Life is never 100% and people have a right to be what they want to be, […]
Foreign Minister updates on notes sent to Guatemala
On a couple occasions the Government of Belize has sent protest notes to Guatemala following incidents in which it is believed our sovereignty was infringed upon. Today Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington was asked about Guatemala’s response to the notifications. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs “I can’t’ tell you specifically in detail but […]
Family of slain police officer seeks compensation
PC Dean Yearwood Junior was shot and killed on September 8, 2013 on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. The man who pulled the trigger was a fellow police officer, PC Glenwayne Grant. Yearwood’s family is seeking compensation from the government. A trial hearing began today before Justice Sonya Young. Representing the Government are attorneys […]
Motorcycle accident leaves two men hospitalized
Two villagers of Armenia Village remain hospitalized following a motorcycle accident last night. Fem Cruz reporting… “One man is in a critical condition at the KHMH and another is in a stable condition at the Western Regional Hospital following a motorcycle accident last night. Love News understands that on Tuesday night July 7th sometime around […]
Hilux stolen from Lands Department
It seems that it is Hilux Season again. Last year 2014 around this same time of the year, vehicles assigned to government agencies in Belmopan were disappearing. Police suspected that the vehicles were being transported across the Western Border to Guatemala where the vehicles are later sold. By the...
Thief makes off with Embassy Money
A thief made off with some $70 thousand dollars worth of Embassy money yesterday. According to reports, the driver for the Embassy of the Republic of China(Taiwan) was robbed yesterday, July 6th, while exiting Belize Bank on Albert Street. According to reports, the driver was about to exit the park...
PUP calls for Castro’s resignation or termination
Meanwhile, the People’s United Party has issued a statement, demanding the resignation or dismissal of Edmund Castro . According to the PUP press release, “… by failing to clear his name and his reputation and by withdrawing his law-suit in the Supreme Court, Minister Castro is effectively admitting...
Accused killers freed after surviving victim drops charge
24 year old Charles Young,
urder. 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. . At trial Monday morning in the S...
Teen Charged With Burglary in Connection to Double Murder
Belmopan Police are gaining some ground in the case of the Teakettle double murder which occurred on the 19th of May 2015. In May, Shaylon Santos, 18 year old resident of Teakettle Village, appeared before chief Magistrate Aretha Ford in Belmopan where he was arraigned on charges of burglary in conn...
Breaking Belize News
Frank “Papa” Mena is the new Dangriga area representative
Just after nine this evening, returning officer Colin Griffith announced from Sacred Heart Parish Hall that United Democratic Party candidate for today’s by-election in the Dangriga division, Frank “Pawpa” Mena, had received 2,164 of 3,738 votes or 57.89%. Opponent from the People’s United Party (PUP), Anthony Sabal, received […]
Frank “Papa” Mena wins Dangriga Bye-election
Frank “Papa” Mena, candidate of the United Democratic Party for the Dangriga division has won the bye-election that was held today. According to unofficial reports, Mena (UDP candidate) obtained 2,163 votes, Sabal (PUP candidate) 1,526 votes, and Lucas (Independent candidate) 8 votes. 36 votes were rejected. This is a developing […]
The 6pm weather forecast calls for showers across the country
The general weather situation is predicting that a tropical wave will cross the country later tonight and tomorrow morning and maintain relatively moist and unstable conditions. The 24 hour forecast is for cloudy skies with some showers and a few thunderstorms over most areas but especially over the central and […]
Brothers charged for keeping bar open past closing hours
It may be bad news for those accustomed to carousing, but under the law, bars in Belize do have closing hours, usually midnight. However, two brothers from Ladyville, in the Belize District, 38 year old Jose and 34 year old Oscar Mejia, naturalized Belizeans originally from Honduras, are accused of […]
About a third of Dangriga voters have cast votes in by-election
As of 2:00 this afternoon, 38% of Dangriga voters – 2,404 of 6,275 have cast ballots in today’s by-election. The seat is being contested between the People’s United Party’s Anthony Sabal, the United Democratic Party’s Frank “Pawpa” Mena, and the Belize Green Independent Party’s Llewellyn Lucas. Polls close in four […]
FIFA “bigs up” Deon McCaulay
After two rounds of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, Belize stands on the threshold of an unprecedented appearance among the game’s elite. In a profile released today on FIFA.com, the man who put them there gets his just due. 27 year old forward Deon McCaulay proved every bit of his worth […]
Six Honduran Prisoners escape from Benque Viejo Police Station
Reports reaching our newsroom are that six Honduran nationals captured in Benque Viejo Del Carmen for illegal entry in Belize have escaped from their cell. According to Benque Police, on Tuesday night around 8 pm, officers on duty made physical checks on the holding cell area and noticed […]
Single mom is $425,000.00 richer after winning Mek Mi Rich lottery
Belize City housewife Josephine Humes is the first winner of the grand prize of the television program “Mek Mi Rich,” aired twice weekly on local television stations. She officially won $500,000 playing the draw aired on Thursday, July 2, where the winning numbers were 30, 14, 28, 13 and 3. […]
Heavy rain halts voting in Dangriga Bye-election
The voting at Holy Ghost Primary School in Dangriga came to a halt this afternoon due to a heavy rain with strong winds. And while the rain has subsided, voters are now being brought in a continuous line of vehicles to cast their vote. Chrisbert Garcia, our journalist who is […]
Belize will participate in Pan American Games
The Pan American Games are the world’s third largest sporting competition after the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Held every four years after the Commonwealths and before the Olympics, the competition comes to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from July 10 to 26. Belize’s delegation leaves today, headed by Chief of Mission Allan […]
Why “Pawpa” will win Dangriga by-election
Today is the by-election in Dangriga constituency, which includes the town and the villages of Sarawee and Hope Creek. Voters will select a replacement for PUP Representative Ivan Ramos who resigned his seat recently. There are three candidates running for this seat: for the UDP, Frank “Papa” Mena, for […]
“Catch Us If You Can” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
C’mon now, admit it. You did, didn’t you. You were attracted to this edition by the headline. You thought it must be a post about John McAfee fleeing Belize with Samantha Vanegas , his girlfriend at the time, in December 2012 (yes, it was that long ago).
But no, it’s not about that so if you clicked to read about the eccentric McAfee now is the time to leave this blog post and search again. I really don’t want you here under false pretences because it has nothing at all to do with McAfee. It’s all about the lobster.
Since first coming to Ambergris Caye back in 1998 I’ve spent a fair bit of time with lobsters. Although I have to admit that I first fell in love with a lobster much, much earlier. Around 1985 I think.
I’d been invited out to lunch by a business acquaintance, an older and far more worldly chap than me. And a far, far, far more wealthy chap as well. “Would I like to go to The Ivy” he asked. “Absolutely” I replied without a moments hesitation. I knew of the restaurant but never dreamt I’d actually go there. This is a restaurant that unless you are “someone” or know someone who “is someone” you can wait months to get a table.
Sailing Down the Coast of Belize
I didn’t think that Central America could get any better — and then I got to Belize. I’ve never really dreamed about Belize as a destination. I knew I’d like it, but it didn’t occupy my imagination the way Nicaragua did.
In this country, I found a land of Mayan ruins and caves filled with human sacrifices, of laid-back Caribbean islands and the most turquoise water you’ve ever seen.
The culmination of my trip was my favorite adventure of the year so far: sailing down the coast of Belize for three days with Raggamuffin Tours.
Our boat was an elegant white catamaran that had lots of space to chill out on board, including a net above the water.
Each day would begin with a few hours of sailing through fluorescent turquoise waters. The water around the reef is quite shallow and you could almost always see the bottom.
Best Places to Visit in Belize
Occupying one of the last, remaining unspoiled places on earth just south of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Belize is a beautiful Caribbean getaway where tourists can laze away on white sandy beaches, dive in the Western Hemisphere’s largest barrier reef, hike through lush jungle, and explore ancient Mayan ruins all in one vacation. An English-speaking country with a multicultural population, Belize is best known for its tropical beauty and outdoor adventures. The hundreds of cayes and coral islands are also among the best places to visit in Belize, with their stunning beaches and world-class diving sites.
Must Visit Places in Belize
The largest of Belize’s several hundred islands, Ambergris Caye is a dreamy, tropical place where shorts and flip-flops are the dress code, golf carts are the mode of transportation, and lazing away on sandy white beaches is the primary activity. A short plane flight or ferry ride from Belize City, Ambergris Caye is one of the best places to visit in Belize because it presents the ultimate Caribbean getaway with classic beaches, world-class accommodations, fabulous dining and ultra relaxation.
The Belize Barrier Reef is a 300 kilometer (190 miles) long section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest coral reef system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is Belize’s top tourist destination, popular for scuba diving and snorkeling and attracting almost half of all its tourists. A large portion of the reef is protected by the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which includes 7 marine reserves, 450 cays, and 3 atolls. The reef also includes the Great Blue Hole, the most famous dive destination in Belize.
Myles Away: The Meaning of Santa Cruz and the Possibility of Ethnic Conflict. Written by Dr. Jerome Straughn
It has been almost two weeks since an incident in the village of Santa Cruz in the Toledo district when a black Creole Belizean by the name of Rupert Myles was unlawfully detained by Mayan villagers and the photos of him handcuffed and surrounded by villagers have sparked an at times heated discussion about his detention. Based on his account of what happened, his detention is seen as a clear case of racism and proof is in the photos.
But in the immediate aftermath of the incident Mayan community leaders backed by the Maya Leaders Alliance stated that they did not discriminate against Mr. Myles but were simply enforcing their communal land rights. The MLA later issued a statement regarding the attempted eviction and detention of Myles. Mayan leaders stressed that Myles was detained because he showed little respect for the Alcalde of the village and was belligerent. Worse, he threatened villagers telling them he had firearm in a vehicle.
Mario Lara’s thoughts on the Santa Cruz incident in Belize
Most people who read this essay may already have strong opinions about the Santa Cruz incident, the characters involved, the subsequent aftermath, and all the various related issues. A lot has already been said about this incident as it seems to have dominated the radio airwaves and social media. I must admit that I’m feeling very intimated as I attempt to put my thoughts on paper because I’m not entirely sure that there is anything more that can be said and I am not a blogger. But, a new friend of mine, Aria Lightfoot, with whom I’ve already had some very spirited debate on this and other topics, has invited me to write on her blog. And, I decided that this might be a good opportunity for me to step back and do a bit of reflection. I have been accused, by Aria and by others, based on some comments that I’ve made, of romanticizing the Maya and being biased in their favor. Perhaps by forcing myself to reflect some more, I might be able to disabuse myself of any negative bias that I may have. I encourage all Belizeans to step back a bit and do the same. While it is important for us to speak our minds, it is equally, if not more important, to step back and reflect a bit.
First of all, this is a very unfortunate episode in Belize for all parties involved. In the heat of the moment, there seems to be no winners here at all. But, I am of the conviction that something positive can and must come out of this tragic set of circumstances and that Belize and Belizeans can get through this stronger and more united with a clearer sense of who we are as a nation and a people, and what it means to be a Belizean in all of our various multicultural and ethnic flavors.
Culture Clash. Written by Aria Lightfoot
I have gone back and forth with my thoughts regarding the incident in Santa Cruz. Unlike many people, I was not taken aback seeing a Black man hogtied by the Mayans because I have seen that image before. The time before that, the detained man was a child molester in a village somewhere in the Cayo District.
I grew up in a smaller community in Belize, I know that residents many times take matters into their own hands, with follow up help of the police department. Village justice if you will. However, when I heard Myles’s claim of discrimination and eviction due to that discrimination, I was taken aback. He claims that he was a victim of racial discrimination. The feisty Mayan woman in the background seems to support his claim, even though she said nothing, her body language suggested a frustrated woman. The video showing the interview with Myles also presented a young polite Mayan police obviously carrying out the will of someone else.
The Mayan struggle for integration within Belize’s modern day society By: Hubert Pipersburgh
The rule of law is for all Belizeans and no one group should be excluded from her protection. If we are truly going to live in a peaceful constructive nation as envisioned by our forefathers then we must have laws that promote and uphold justice for all Belizeans from the Rio Hondo to the Sarstoon. In a liberal constitutional democracy the constitution is the supreme law of the land. Mayan, Garifuna, Creole, Mestizo, East Indian and all other ethnicities that live in our nation are protected by the Constitution of Belize.
In the case of indigenous or customary communal rights, as worthy as they may be; human rights, common decency, and societal norms cannot take a back seat to it, in short, those rights ends where international human rights begins. Sweeping the Santa Cruz incident under the rug and kicking the proverbial ball down the road only leads to more of the same. It will continue to fester just below the surface.
The Santa Cruz event grants us an opportunity to seek some concrete solutions. We can live and let live or we can tackle the issue of race relations, as uncomfortable as it may be.
Christopher Nesbitt’s thoughts on the Santa Cruz Incident in Belize
I am probably going to offer a counter narrative to this discussion, but it is based on an intimate understanding of the alcalde system.
Like most Belizeans who saw the image of Mr. Rupert Myles, a black man, handcuffed, tied to a rope, on the side of the road, I was shocked and offended. The images that came out of events in Santa Cruz village were reminiscent of images of slavery, part of Belize’s painful colonial legacy. I found it jarring to see Belizeans holding another Belizean like that.
When I first heard that Mr. Myles had been refused permission to live in the village of Santa Cruz, and was being forcibly removed, I was more than shocked and offended. I was outraged. To think that a man who wanted to live in the community where his wife was born and raised, with their children, and had been refused did not sit well with me. It seemed to me to be a huge injustice.
I think many people who saw the images felt similar feelings. I had the opportunity to work with the people of Santa Cruz and Santa Elena in 2012, installing photovoltaic lighting systems in their schools and in the Rio Blanco National Park. I found the people to be hard working, good company, fun, concerned for the future. At that time, the highway was being run through their villages, and graders, and dump trucks, and bulldozers and other heavy machinery were passing through the village all day. While the work environment as we built the photovoltaic systems was good, the conversation was about the future. The threat everyone identified was Guatemala.
NEITHER OIL NOR WATER-By Therese Belisle Nweke
In AMANDALA’S editorial of 15 May, 2015, “THE OIL OR WATER …” the position advocated was that tourism (water) should be the preferred alternative to the oil industry. Beyond any doubt, the Barrow administration of Belize is determined to fully pursue the fossil fuel route in its avowed aim to develop Belize. However, there is a caveat to this “Drill, we will” approach. It is a known axiom that nations which rely on natural resources alone to develop their economy not only come to grief, but eventually end up in a bad way. The following should be carefully noted:
Nations with an abundance of natural resources, particularly non-renewable ones like oil, gas and minerals, tend to have less economic growth and develop at a slower pace than those with very little or none. While Africa is the world’s most mineral endowed continent, it is also the poorest!
Oil wealth invariably creates a crony capitalist culture and a rentier economy, in which a tiny, powerful elite flourishes at the expense of the development and human rights of the majority. This is true in Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Latin America, but also in the Middle East, where although the Saudi and Qatari rulers in many ways have bettered their people’s lives materially, democratic institutions are either weak or in abeyance.
The Release of Auggy, the translocation howler monkey - Ilke provides her perspective, as Auggy's career
As some of you may know, I recently spent 7 weeks volunteering at a primate and manatee rehabilitation centre in Belize: Wildtracks. I want to share with you an unforgettable and incredibly amazing experience I was lucky enough to be part of, one which helped me reflect on the importance of conservation work - the importance of conserving many unique species on earth which are endangered due to human impacts whether it be through habitat destruction (the major cause of species extinction) or illegal hunting, introduction of non-native species or many other reasons. Not only that but the conservation of our planet, to take care of our environment so as to give not only our species a better future, but every species on earth as well.
My story to share is that of the August Pine Ridge Howler Monkey. He is thought to have been chased out of the forest by his troop and was found malnourished and starving in a small village with nowhere to go, since the rest of the area had been deforested. He was brought into Wildtracks to be rehabilitated and then released back into the wild in a protected forest, Fireburn, that would support him. I was very fortunate to be assigned as his carer.
Auggy quickly captured my heart, being the most handsome monkey at Wildtracks (in my opinion), being very observant at all times and always sporting the smartest look on his face. It was as if he could read people inside out with just a look and he always knew what was going on. For about a month I went in with him four times a day to feed him and clean his enclosure, always respecting and keeping in mind that he was a wild animal.
3 tips for guests!! Free/fun stuff to get before you come...best coffee options....avoiding seaweed woes!
1.) Before you get here, while you are planning your fun, I just found out something interesting this week. BTB--Belize Tourism Board, which is the board who asks for your passport info, and who makes the magazines you see, and promotes tourism here, collects money with each hotel guest. Part of what they give back, is a FREE service to incoming guests.....they will send you a bunch of information to your home for FREE if you sign up here:
2.) I will try to be as nice as I can for #2 :).....Guatemala is known for their coffee, right? I am not sure if this is something Belize is really known for. What I know is, there are coffee bags available at all the stores. I have tried all.of.them. Some are really expensive and some are cheap, but this has little to do with the taste. BIG TIP here.....I am noticing a lot of guests buy the Belize coffee in the green bag, and then leave almost the whole bag in their cabana when they leave.
Lobsterfest 2015....What if it rains on my trip?........Beach art ideas!
Lobsterfest 2015 was a great success again! The only negative was that it was really windy, so the duck race was cancelled, but everyone had a great time. The supposed "rainy" season hasn't been so rainy, only a few showers here and there, mostly at night. It was REALLY hot here about 2 weeks ago, but this past week has been perfect--enough cloud cover to keep the temps down, a nice breeze, and not such oppressive heat :) Here are a few pictures from Lobsterfest:
Many people ask about rainy season, and you will find you get a lot of different answers. Basically, it rains MORE than dry season, but usually at night, so besides waking up to a wet ground or puddles, you don't know it is rainy season :). The tropics are so unpredictable; you can have several days in a row of rain in dry season, which happens from time to time, and long stretches of dry in the rainy season.