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#506514 - 08/08/15 11:27 AM Today's Belize News: August 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


The San Pedro Sun

Camp Starfish provides speech and physical therapy to island children with disabilities
As part of the 2nd annual Ambergris Caye Camp Starfish activities, participants will also be benefiting from the assistance of speech and physical therapists. Volunteering their services are Speech-Language Pathology specialist Kimberlee Almon and Physical Therapy specialist Kaity Kobayashi. From Monday, August 3rd to the end of camp, Friday August 7th, the specialist have been visiting the homes of special needs children providing vital therapeutic care. Camp Starfish organizers would like to extend big thanks to Tropic Air for providing the free airfare to specialists from Belize City to San Pedro Town. Special appreciation goes to Almon and Kobayshi for taking the time to visit the homes of children with disabilities and providing them with a service not commonly offered in San Pedro.

Belize’s delegation wins silver at 2015 Special Olympics
On Tuesday, August 4th a large crowd gathered at the Philip Goldson International Airport to welcome the Belize delegation returning from the 2015 Special Olympics. Held in Los Angeles, California, USA from Saturday, July 25th to Sunday, August 2nd, the event saw 6,500 special needs athletes from 165 nations competing in 25 Olympic-type sports. After representing their country proudly, the Belize delegation did not return empty handed as they had captured silver medals in Unified Bocce and Bocce Doubles. Head of the Belize delegation and National Director for the Special Olympics in Belize, Elodia Bautista explained that the four athletes had been practicing for the past nine months and were excited when they placed in their discipline. “It was a first time experience for them, they had no knowledge of what to expect or what to do. When they got there they were surprised at the hospitality of our Belizean community in Los Angeles and of the host village that hosted us for the first few days,” said Bautista. The athletes representing Belize were Jasmine Flores, Ilda Romero, Ana Emmanuel and Jayna Locke, all students from Holy Ghost Primary School in Dangriga.

Police to enforce laws against public drinking and loitering
According Deputy Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, island officers have already been informed of the new regimen. Jemmott also indicated that he has consulted with Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero, who is in full support of the anti-public drinking and loitering initiative. “In working with to reduce crimes that affect quality of life, the department has stated that we will start by first warning the public and educating them on the laws on public drinking and loitering. We will then move on to enforce the regulation,” said Jemmott. Under Section 44:01 (1) of the Intoxicated Liquor License Act, Chapter 150 of the Sustentative laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003, it is an offence to commit the act of public drinking and any person found guilty of violating the law in the first instance is fined $25BZ followed by a fine of $50BZ if convicted for a second time. Loitering is an offence contrary to section 4(1) XLI of the Summary of Jurisdiction Offences Act, Chapter 98 of the Sustentative laws of Belize Revised Edition 2003. It is committed by any person who loiters or carouses in any street or public place or in any open space of ground in the immediate neighborhood of such street or public place or in or about any shop/store and does not quietly leave or move away when desired so to do by any police constable, owner of shop/store; or threatens, insults or cause annoyance to a passerby. Any person in violation of this law will face a fine of $200BZ, in default two month imprisonment, if found guilty in the first instance. Second instance carries a fine of $400BZ, in default six months imprisonment.

Ambergris Today

Miss Honduras Claims Costa Maya Crown 2015
It’s Honduras’ second claim to the coveted Miss Costa Maya crown since 2006 as Miss Honduras Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle was selected as the new Miss Costa Maya 2015 at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that kicked off the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival 2015, on Thursday, August 6. The pageant was bursting with Caribbean flavor as the theme embraced Carnival in the region during the four segments of the pageant. Entertainment that kept ties with the Carnival theme were performances by The San Pedro AIDS Commission Carnaval Group with the opening act, the Belize National Dance Company with Belizean Soca Entertainer Ernestine Carballo and Alma Caribeña dance group from Mexico. The pageant was hosted by Mr. Eiden Salazar and Karen Jordan, Miss Costa Maya 2012 from Panama.

Camp Starfish Delivers Fun Program for Special Needs Children
Camp Starfish celebrated a very successful summer camp for special needs children on the island of Ambergris Caye with a colorful and cheerful parade through the streets of downtown San Pedro on Thursday, August 06, 2015. Running on its second year, the camp has grown bigger and better, providing more fun and services for its participants. Special invited guest for the last day of camp, awards ceremony and celebratory parade was First Lady of Belize Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, Global Ambassador for Special Olympics and Special Envoy for Women and Children, Founder of Lifeline Foundation, who has also extended a helping hand for the amazing summer camp that provides a two-week program for children with mental and/or physical disorders.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

More mangrove explorers!
Today we used our magnifying glasses to take a closer look at the critters that inhabit the mangroves, seagrass and sargassum sea weed. There were lots of new things to see! Kaz was lucky enough to spot a seahorse but these wonderful creatures are very shy, and it quickly jumped off its root and disappeared into the cover of the deeper mangrove roots. We will try and find it again next time!

Independent Horror from Austin
The summer is at its hottest this month and there’s no better way to combat the heat than to read a couple of chilling thrillers with the AC full blast (hoping you avoid the rolling blackouts). I mean, you could drive up to Austin and splash around in a river or lake, but I recommend instead bringing Austin into your home with two titles I recently read by authors living in the land of the weird. With his latest, “Hungry Darkness,” journalist and author Gabino Iglesias has crafted a fun, Benchley-esque horror that will keep you from the beaches the way “Jaws” once did. The book opens with the arrogant Nick Ayres, an explorer who dreams of filming an expedition into Giant Cave, a massive underwater grotto beneath the small island of Caye Caulker in Belize. When National Geographic underwrites his exploration, he surreptitiously hires an advance crew to blow open a narrow entrance into a deeper, uncharted cave. This act of stupid hubris frees a massive and monstrous octopod that destroys his team and then proceeds (in a series of interpolated vignettes) to kill and eat a bunch of humans.

Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle gives her first official address as Reina de La Costa Maya 2015/2016

Government of Belize Acquires New Helicopter as promised
A possible Narco/Human Trafficking Helicopter was found in the Orange Walk District. On Wednesday 5th August 2015 about midday while conducting anti-drug operations in Orange Walk town, the Anti- Narcotics Unit received information of an aircraft circling San Felipe/ Blue creek area. As a result, the team proceeded to the area at 3:00 p.m. they found a grey helicopter with dark tinted windows with registration numbers N607AZ on a feeder road in the Blue creek area. The aircraft was secured and a thorough search was conducted in the area. However, no one or anything else was found.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, August 7, 2015: 27. PICK 3: 7 4 2

Cleanup campaign on Caye Caulker
Today is the last day of the month long cleanup campaign on Caye Caulker. We will meet in the south at the Nature Reserve around 9. This area needs to be cared for, and an awesome team called the Garbage Warriors do a great job at it, but they can use some help because the amount of litter back there is intense. Boots are helpful. And the area is well shaded. We have had such an incredible response from the Caye Caulker community, totally awesome! Miss Roxy of Oceana Belize will continue to schedule cleanups still, and other activities. We also received a commitment for 20 new trash bins donated to the village. Right now we will work with village council to see how these can be used to better community. Thank you for everything!

Channel 7

Mystery Helicopter Found At BZE/MEX Border: Was Chapo In That Chopper?
Two days ago, the Anti Drug Unit found a helicopter - in perfect working condition - abandoned near the Belize-Mexico border. It was kept a closely guarded secret for 48 hours while the police and BDF carefully scrutinized the chopper. Here's what they found: a grey BELL-407 Helicopter with tinted windows, bearing the registration numbers N607AZ, on a feeder road near Blue Creek Village in the extreme northwestern Orange Walk District. The chopper was found in a clearing. Interestingly, it had been outfitted to make long journeys. And inside the aircraft, police found several blue plastic containers with fuel. More interestingly, the chopper is fully functional. A BDF pilot trained to fly helicopters checked it out and today at midday, flew it from Blue Creek to BDF Headquarters at Price Barracks where it is parked tonight. Here's what the BDF's Commander told us this morning: Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "You may or may not have been aware that as few days ago the BDF also captured a Bell 407 helicopter which will now bring our number to three once we get the two from the Taiwanese government in November." Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander - Belize Defence Force "I won't be at liberty to give you much information on that Bell helicopter. That was a police operation. After the aircraft was probably captured I believe in the Blue Creek area, our Belize Defence Force pilots were requested to fly the helicopter into to our area."

Head of Belize's Army Responds to Guat Mistruths About Border Installations
And moving on now to that other neighbor, Guatemala - you'll probably be aware that 5 former PUP foreign ministers have challenged Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales. They say that he lied to the Belizean people last week Monday when he said that in the Confidence Building Measures, signed in 2000 and 2005, both countries agreed that neither Belize nor Guatemala would increase the number of military bases at the border. So, what does the General of the Belize Defence Force think about that statement? After all, he's the leader of Belize's military. Here's what he said today about Morales's statement: Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander - Belize Defence Force "In the Confidence Building Measures, it doesn't specifically say that we are restricted from constructing military bases along the border. What I do recall is in the Confidence Building Measures is that the other nation - each nation is not supposed to be expressing or showing that they are exerting their sovereignty over the other. But it doesn't restrict us from actually constructing other bases. The measures primarily address the western portion of the border, from up Arenal down to south where Cadenas is. But it didn't really specifically address the area of the Sarstoon."

The Fear Of The Forward Operating Base
And, the issue which sparked this discussion is Guatemala's challenge of the National Security Ministry's intent to build the forward operating base on Sarstoon Island - the southern limit of Belizean territory. As we've reported, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister needed a bit of convincing from his Belizean counterpart that this base is going to be used by the Belize National Coast Guard, and not the BDF. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington had to explain to him that the reason that the Coast Guard wants to build the base there is to try to curb illicit activity in the area, including drugs smuggling. So, in the end it came down to the fact that Belize has absolutely no intention of amassing a military presence at the border. This base will be used simply for law enforcement purposes. Today, we asked the General, if the argument on the ownership of the base being for military use, is simply splitting hairs, since the BDF coordinates with the Coast Guard and Police on law enforcement activities regularly. Here's what he had to say:

KHMH CEO Says Beds Aren't The Problem
There is not enough space to accommodate all patients at the KHMH. On Wednesday the hospital sent out a press release stating that they will not be admitting any non -critical patients until Monday. This is as a result of the shortage of beds at the hospital. The release says "the management of the KHMH took the decision to suspend elective admissions to the General Surgical Ward and Day Cases due to the overwhelming numbers of emergency cases." This issue can severely impact patient recovery and comfort since there is already a backlog of elective cases at the hospital. Today we spoke with the CEO of the KHMH and he told us that just buying more beds won't solve the problem. Dr. Adrian Coye, CEO, KHMH "As we said in our press release, recurrently throughout the year we are challenged by just surges of cases that are either transfers from the regional hospitals or just trauma cases and sometimes during the week we have beyond our capacity. Remember, the old Belize City Hospital had a capacity or 170 beds and this Karl Heusner 20 years ago was built with 105 beds capacity. So 20 years ago the population could have been around 200,000 and now we are 350,000.

PM Goes To Miami For One-Day Business Meeting
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country for the USA today on unspecified official business. A government press release only says, quote, "The Prime Minister will be attending a business meeting on behalf of the Government of Belize in Miami, Florida." There's no word on what that business is - we do know that the last time he travelled to Miami it was to meet with the big cruise companies. It's a short tip and the PM returns on Sunday. Deputy Gaspar Vega is acting PM.

Cubans, Immigration Offenders Or Trafficking Victims?
In the past month - Cubans have been much in the news - and for all the wrong reasons. Since July 6th, we've reported on 23 Cubans without papers caught in transit through Belize. In each case, they were charged for illegal entry. But, anyone with knowledge of how these things work will know that there is more at play here, much more. Instead of being offenders, these Cubans are likely also victims - of human trafficking - who are trying to get north to the USA. But, in Belize, the system is unresponsive and these victims are further victimized by being criminally charged. Today we asked the Immigration Minister about it - and he said - there's not much more they can do:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "We are dealing with it as best we can and yes we recognize they are victims of human trafficking but as i said all that can be done is when we find that as we try to arrest the persons concern and they lay charges against them." Courtney Weatherburne "For example the 4 cases yesterday that we reported on, four were charged, four men were charged with illegal entry. Is there any more details you can speak about that and how we are dealing with that?"

Minister Hulse Mediates BEL
And switching hats from Immigration to Labour - Minister Hulse also to mediate the ongoing labour dispute between BEL and its union, the Belize Energy Workers. Hulse called both sides in to his office on July 23rd and told us he was confident that he could find common ground on the outstanding issues in a long negotiation. So has he come up with the silver bullet solution. He might have, but you'd have to parse through his alliterative riff to get the sense of it. Here's what he told me today:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "I sat with BEL this afternoon again at 2 and the union to try resolve their matters, we've been meeting and so far we've had 6 combined meetings, to be able to resolve the 4, what are considered to be the significant sticking points. I feel fairly confident that we will be able to resolve them. The idea there is to get people to come together to work together in a spirit of compromise, commemoration, camaraderie and common ground rather than conflict, confrontation, criticism and being contentious about it. So that is the approach the ministry has taken, and it's the approach I have taken. I am confident we will be able to work it through."

Breastfeeding, Why Not At Work?
Breast feeding: it is usually done in the confines of a home or some private setting. But, it doesn't have to be - in fact coordinators of the World Breastfeeding Conference say it shouldn't be; they say mothers should be provided with a clean and comfortable space to breast feed at their workplace. Now some of you may ask: why do you need a separate space for that? Can't the mother just take a couple minutes out of her lunch break to breastfeed her baby? Well today at the Radisson, health professionals told us that it is about more than just feeding the baby. I found out more. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Mini Mouse strollers, car seats and soft cotton sheets are just a few items that are needed to keep a baby happy and comfortable. But contentment is only one aspect of a baby's life - his or her health is also crucial and there is one steady source/thing that can ensure ultimate wellbeing. Faith Babb, Coordinator Collet Education & Resource Center "Breast feeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children." For mothers, this is something they hear too often. During their pregnancy they are constantly reminded through TV and radio advertisements and through informative pamphlets and booklets outlining the numerous benefits of breast feeding to the mother and the child.

BTL Recoils From Charges Of Sexist Ads, Agrees To Sensitivity Training
Earlier this week PUP Senator Lisa Shoman scolded BTL for sexist ads on social media. Chairman of the phone company's executive committee, Anwar Barrow quickly apologized and informed Shoman that the ads had been pulled. Well today the company's public relations department sent out an official response saying that the company is going farther. The release says that the company will give their staff diversity sensitivity training to make sure the social media posts in question aren't repeated. IT adds, quote, "we extend our deepest apologies to those offended… We…will move to implement a more conscientious form of advertising moving forward." End quote.

GSU Took 82 Year Old Farmer's Shotgun Cause He Lives In a Dangerous 'Hood
An 82 year old farmer says the GSU stole his gun, and his money and he wants both of them back. We met Henry Cunningham at his city home in Conch Shell Bay today. He told Monica Bodden that police broke into his home and took his old shotgun that he uses to go to his farm in the Sandhill area. Here's her report:.. Henry Cunningham Flowers - Dispossessed Gun Owner "Before I reached home my neighbor told me that the GSU was in my yard, went into my house and they took out a bag out there but they don't know what they took out." Monica Bodden reporting Inside the bag was Cunningham's licensed 16 gauge shotgun - it was wrapped inside a crocus bag. Henry Cunningham Flowers - Dispossessed Gun Owner "When I came home I went straight where the gun was and when I got there I didn't meet the gun. I went and I searched for the cartridge and I didn't meet the cartridge. I searched for my money and I didn't meet my money. Well I left from here and I went to the police station by where "Boots" has his house got the house there, that's where the police is. There I went and when I got there the police was right there. When they came but they didn't see me.

Mennonite Accused of Assaulting Child
29 year-old Mennonite businessman, Peter Letkeman, is out on bail tonight after being accused of sexual assault. A 13 year-old girl is accusing him of inappropriately touching her. The teenager says that on July 19, she was in Shipyard, Orange Walk, where she encountered Letkeman. That's where he allegedly touched her inappropriately, and tried to convince her to have sex with him. Police investigated her report, and charged him with the offence of unlawful sexual assault. He was arraigned in Orange Walk, and remanded, since there is no bail for that offence at the Magistrate's Court Level. His attorney, Oswald Twist, applied to the Supreme Court, and that bail hearing took place today before Justice Herbert Lord. After hearing from both the defense and the prosecution, Justice Lord ruled that Letkeman should be released on bail of $10,000. That bail comes with the condition that he must hand over his travel documents, and report weekly to police.

Drug Trafficking For Minor Grams Of Weed
She allegedly tried to smuggle weed into the Belize Central Prison, and tonight, 28 year-old Anna Garbutt, an unemployed of Mahogany Street, is out on bail. Prison authorities say that she tried to smuggle a few grams of marijuana into the prison along with two plates of food. Normally, she would have been charged with drug possession, but because she tried to smuggle it into a correctional facility, she was charged for drug trafficking. She was arraigned before Magistrate Ladonna John, and she pleaded not guilty. She was released on bail of $6,000, and she must return to court on October 7.

BDF's New Soldiers
After 4 months of training, the Belize Defense Force today welcomed 81 new recruits to their ranks as soldiers. It's part of a planned growth of the BDF's numbers - to better equip the army to deal with Belize's wide range of security challenges. Here's more: Daniel Ortiz reporting 81 new BDF recruits passed out today as part of intake number 60, a great accomplishment by young individuals who are now ready to actively serve their country. They had to go through 17 tough weeks of training to get them field-ready and now these newly graduated soldiers now make up an important part of the expansion of the military. Hon John Saldivar - Ministry of National Security "The BDF will have near twice the human resources it had at the beginning of 2012 by the end of 2017. With the 81 soldiers passing out today, this brings our numbers to almost 348 new soldiers that have joined the ranks of the BDF since I took over this ministry. This is addition to 558 police officers, and 156 coast guard officers amounting to a total of 1,062 new personnel who have been employed since 2012. This was done at an approximate cost of 10.6 million dollars."

Army Waiting For Taiwan Helicopters
So, will any of these new soldiers get to take a ride in that mystery helicopter when they take up patrols in far flung border outposts like Rio Blanco? That's usually a grueling 5 day trek through deep jungles with a 70 pound backpack - but with a helicopter, it can just be a 30 minute ride. While this Helicopter is still a piece of evidence in a trans-border mystery occurrence of an illicit nature - the fact is the helicopter is needed, the BDF has someone who can apparently fly it, and it is parked at Force Headquarters tonight. But, that's getting ahead of ourselves. The fact is the BDF is already waiting on 2 helicopters that the BDF will acquire through legitimate means, and those will be coming from the Taiwanese Government. Right now that's all the BDF commander is looking forward to. Here's what he told us: Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defence Force "The 2 helicopters that are expected to come to us from Taiwan, we expect them some time by the end of this year. Before the end of the year we are going to have those two helicopters in the country. we had a team from Taiwan who came in to do the site visit, after that they looked at the facilities we've got and planned to bring the 2 helicopters in, assemble them and fly them around. Subsequently, we are trying to get a different team to come in, to start training our pilots to fly that particular platform. Because our pilots have been trained to fly the Bell, which is the similar helicopter as the flu in. But there needs to be some sort of conversion for them to fly a different platform. So we expect those by the end of the year where they will be operational."

National Security Getting Major Upgrades
And while the Taiwanese will donate those birds, the Ministry of National Security isn't only begging for upgrades - they are buying their own! As we've reported, the Government is acquiring a loan from CABEI, The Central American Bank for Economic Integration. Today at the BDF recruit passing out, Security Minister John Saldivar outlined a package of upgrades that those funds will be invested into, including the renovation of 100 police structures Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "Government has also committed US 30 million dollars for national security programs that will be done by way of a loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). This will see the acquisition of some major equipment and infrastructure repairs for the entire national security infrastructure. Projects such as a new forensic laboratory, 2 patrol crafts for the Coast Guard to patrol our exclusive economic zones, repair and construction of over 100 buildings for the Belize Police Department and the BDF will also be acquiring troop lifting vehicles to replace the ageing 4 ton trucks that the BDF now have. These are but a few of the things that will be done out of that US 30 million dollar loan."

A Camp For Kids
Belize Camping Experience and Harvest for Kids - we know them for harvesting rice and corn in the country - but, for the summer, they are in the city. This week camps are being held on Raccoon and Victoria Streets for the children of those neighborhoods. Today 7news stopped by one of the camps to check things out. The camp has one more week before it wraps up. v The camps are funded by local donations and through the BCE Harvest for kid's project.

Water Board Woes
Water Board Woes - it's happening all over the country where the members of some boards have been accused of funny money business. And, it's not all just water under the bridge - many cases of alleged water board fraud are actively being investigated. That falls to the Department of Rural Development - and their Minister Godwin Hulse says it's a challenge, for sure:

Waiting For The Wing
Remember the new pediatric intensive care unit under construction at the KHMH? We covered the launch of the project in March 2014 and a tour to see the progress in March of this year. But when are we going to cover the official opening? We asked CEO Dr. Adrian Coye about it today: The new unit will have the capacity for over 35 babies.

Channel 5

Abandoned Chopper Discovered Near Blue Creek
An abandoned helicopter, presumably used for narco-trafficking, is currently in the custody of the Belize Defense Force. The Bell aircraft was found on Wednesday afternoon on a feeder road in [...]

Confiscated Helicopter to be Added to Incoming Military Fleet
But while Brigadier General David Jones would not go as far as to say that the helicopter is now the property of the Government of Belize, Minister of National Security, [...]

B.D.F. Commander Says Nothing Stops Belize from Building F.O.B. in Sarstoon
Moving to another hot-button issue…In late July, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, said during a press conference that in the Confidence Building Measures, both Belize and Guatemala had [...]

F.O.B. Will be Built to Fight Drug Activity in Sarstoon
According to Brigadier General Jones, the forward operating base on the mainland near the mouth of the Sarstoon River will be constructed. He says that the B.D.F. and the Coastguard [...]

Minister of Labor Comments on K.H.M.H. Salary Adjustment Negotiations
A little over two weeks ago we told you about the go-slow at the K.H.M.H. that resulted from some six hundred employees’ disgruntlement with G.O.B.’s refusal to grant salary increases, [...]

Elective Surgeries to Resume at K.H.M.H. on Monday Says Dr. Adrian Coye
The nation’s largest hospital was hit with a national embarrassment earlier this week when news broke that the K.H.M.H. was unable to facilitate elective surgeries and that there were no [...]

B.T.L. Explains Away Social Media Marketing Blunder
Earlier this week on Tuesday, Belize Telemedia came under attack for a series of suggestive and offensive ads that it had posted on its Facebook.  Senator Lisa Shoman, a former [...]

Territorial Volunteers Full Steam Ahead to Sarstoon Island
Since an armed standoff between the Belize National Coast Guard and the Guatemalan navy at the end of May, the Sarstoon Island has virtually been declared off-limits to civilians.  In [...]

B.D.F. Commander Says Decision by B.T.V. is Ill-advised…
The Belize Territorial Volunteers, despite not having received government’s blessing, is proceeding with an expedition to Sarstoon Island.  But it seems they will also be trekking to the controversial area [...]

…Relationship Between Armed Forces Can be Jeopardized
In spite of Guatemala’s existing claim for ownership of Sarstoon Island, a routine B.D.F. patrol maintains military presence in the area.  Commander Jones told News Five earlier today that the [...]

Unwarranted Trek to Sarstoon Island Can Inflame Conflict
The unwarranted mission to Sarstoon Island, in Jones’ opinion, can very well result in a split in the relationship that the B.D.F. and the Guatemalan army have forged.  That liaison, [...]

New Recruits Join Ranks of B.D.F.
As the B.D.F. faces a number of challenges, it is also strengthening its numbers. Today, a new squad of officers joined its ranks following seventeen weeks of intense training ranging [...]

Government Acquires Loan for National Security Initiatives
According to Minister of National Security John Saldivar, government is also acquiring a loan of sixty million dollars to beef up the security of the country through national security programs. [...]

Godwin Hulse on Immigration Issues
Just last week, the TIP report issued by the US, downgraded Belize to a Tier Three on the Human Trafficking Watch list. The report stated that the Government hasn’t been [...]

What’s Up With Accountability of Water Boards?
In the past three months, reports of accountability with water boards in different parts of the country have been reported in the media. Earlier this week, allegations surfaced that a [...]

Breast is Best at the Workplace
It’s World Breast Feeding Week and Belize culminated its observance with an all day workshop to discuss breastfeeding and work. While there are no pieces of legislation that mandate work [...]

Costa Maya Is where You Need to be
The prime destination San Pedro Ambergris Caye is overflowing tonight with the local as well as international visitors. The San Pedro International Costa Maya 2015 celebrations started on Thursday night [...]

LOVE FM

Precinct Two Evacuated Following Grenade-Scare
Under normal circumstances the police station is where one would run for security or protection … but today, the officers and employees of Precinct Two at Racoon Street had to call on the Belize Defense Force when an object seemed to be a grenade, was found inside a desk drawer at the police station. Commander […]

Authorities Investigate Plane Found in Northern Belize
The news of a plane being found in the Blue Creek area in northern Belize came to our desk this past Wednesday and while it was difficult to confirm that information at that time, today, the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, did just that as he spoke at an event at Price Barracks in […]

BDF Commander Disapproves of Territorial Volunteers Going to Sarstoon Island
With the soldiers doing their best to carry out their duties and maintain peace and civility at our borders, there is a concern regarding the territorial volunteers who have made several trips to our border areas and have continued to do so. As a matter of fact, they are planning a trek to the area […]

60th Intake for the BDF Produces 81 Recruits
Earlier this year when the Belize Defense Force was taking applications for its 60th intake of recruits, they had received one hundred applications. Today, four months later, there are eighty one men who passed out as part of the BDF’s 60th Intake. Love News was there and following all the pomp and circumstance, Commander of […]

Ministry Supports Breastfeeding in the Workplace
The theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is “Breastfeeding and Work, Let’s Make it Work”. The week began on August 1 and ended today August 7 with a workshop at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. The one day workshop is aimed at promoting and facilitating breastfeeding in the workplace. The main […]

Mennonite Gets Bail After Attempting Unlawful Sex with Minor
Twenty-nine year old Mennonite businessman Peter Letkeman, a resident of Shipyard, Orange Walk, who was remanded to prison on charges of sexual assault and attempted unlawful sexual intercourse, was released on a bail of ten thousand dollars today that was offered to him by Justice Herbert Lord. The bail was offered on the condition that […]

Prison Visitor Caught with Weed
Twenty-eight year old Anna Garbutt, an unemployed of Mahogany Street in Belize City who allegedly attempted to smuggle five grams of cannabis in a foam plate with food inside the Belize Central Prison was charged with drug trafficking when she appeared today before Magistrate La Donna John. Garbutt pled not guilty to the charge. She […]

Government Vehicle Goes Missing from Belmopan
Another vehicle belonging to the Government of Belize was stolen in Belmopan. Police say that an employee from the Solid Waste Management Department reported to them that on June 26, more than a month ago, he had parked a black 2011 Toyota Hilux at the Ministry of Lands compound on Queen Elizabeth Boulevard, Belmopan. Fast […]

Minister Hulse meets with BEWU
Godwin Hulse in charge of several ministries as he is also the Minister of Labor and we asked him about the negotiations happening between his ministry, Belize Electricity Limited and the Belize Energy Workers Unions. As we have reported, members of the union are unhappy and are asking for an eight percent increase. The parties […]

Belize and Guatemala strengthen trade relations.
Officials from the Ministry of Trade and Investment in Guatemala are in Belize for a two day conference with their Belizean counterpart to discuss ways to improve the trade relations between the two countries. An official opening was held this morning at the Ramada Princess Hotel where we spoke with the Head of the Belize […]

PlusTV

It Will Take a Community Effort
The Ministry of Health has made major strides in the fight against vector born diseases which has experienced a gradual decrease in vector disease cases since the early 20’s. As part of their seasonal strategy for dengue and other vector born diseases, the Ministry of Health had included a bra...

Vector Diseases Down but Dengue on the Rise
Three vector control diseases have an impact in Belize, namely dengue, malaria, and chickengunya. Yesterday we confirmed reports that there is an outbreak of dengue in its nastiest form called hemorrhagic dengue fever. According to the Ministry of Health, there are a total of 261 laboratory confirme...

It Will Take a Community Effort
When looking at the figures for Malaria and Chikingunya, the numbers show a steady decrease in the number of confirmed cases. For Chikingunya, the total number of tests which returned positive from CARPHA and Central Medical Lab was 8 in 2014. Five from the Las Flores area and three imported. In 201...

Mayor Bradley discusses cut in trade license fee
We have been reporting on the ongoing battle over trade license fees with City businesses reportedly thinking of moving outside of the Old Capital’s boundaries to Ladyville and Hattieville which pay no kind of license fee at all. The City charges 25% of rental value by square foot annually whi...

Belize Camping Experience winds up summer camp
The Harvest for Kids/Belize Camping Experience crew have been all over Belize City making memories for young Belizeans attending their camps. Their tireless work year round in the name of Christ’s youngest disciples is a reminder that no one is least in the eyes of God. We visited their camp o...

Workshops for Principals
The Education sector is wholly embracing technology and is on a route to completely eliminate the use of paper in classrooms and creating a database to make admission and other records more accessible. The initiative is called Open-Emis. This week 60 primary principals of the Belize District are par...

17 Year old Charged for Theft
On Wednesday, Mr. Linden Flowers, Superintendent of Police, stopped and searched a 17-year-old male and found two phones; a white LG cellular phone and a black Sprint HTC cellular phone in his possession. The minor was then taken to the Belama Police Station where a 15-year-old male reported that ...


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#506515 - 08/08/15 11:27 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 8, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

Deadly vigilante justice?
According to police, on Monday, August 3, Anwar Douglas Garbutt, 34, was found lying face-down on the street side of Isla Road, apparently dead. Police say that he was found “with both elbows tied to the side of his body with a brown leather belt.” A police press release dated Tuesday, August 4, 2015 stated that, “… between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m., four male persons were reportedly seen on Mango Street beating him with a stick and dragging him from under a house and unto the streetside, [where] they tied both his elbows beside his body and continued to beat him … police have since retrieved 2 pieces of 2×4 lumber measuring about 6 feet in length from the scene.” Today, Thursday, police have reported that a post-mortem exam conducted on Garbutt’s body confirmed that he died of hemorrhaging due to head trauma. The autopsy was conducted yesterday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by Doctor Mario Estradabran.

Guat Foreign Minister “di jokey wi!”
In May 2015, Belize Coast Guard personnel were scouting the Sarstoon River area for a fit location to erect a forward operating base (FOB), in order to police illegal fishing, illegal logging, drug-trafficking and other clandestine activities in the area; but the group withdrew from the area before the completion of their mission after the Guatemalans challenged their presence on the island, and furthermore claimed it to be their territory—a claim which Belize flatly rejects, as the island is drawn, even on international maps, well within our national borders. A few weeks later, when the mission was to resume, the Guatemalans, via official channels, insisted that Belize could not build a base at the Sarstoon before the territorial dispute is settled at the International Court of Justice. Last week, Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales amplified the Guatemalan position when he insisted that under a series of confidence-building measures dating back 15 years ago, the parties had agreed not to build any new military bases in the border area.

Naturalized since 1981, but can’t renew her expired Belize passport
A Honduran/Belizean woman has a unique problem with the Belize Immigration Department and visited Amandala to tell her story about trying to renew her Belizean passport for more than one year now. Ruth Castillo, 46, said her parents brought her to live in Belize when she was only three months old. She has lived in Belize all her life and went to school here. In fact, she said that she has never been to Honduras, since living in Belize. The mother of eight children told Amandala that Belize is the only home she knows. She became a naturalized Belizean in 1981, when her mother, who died in 1986, filed her nationality papers. Both of her parents are now dead. The Immigration Department, however, has told her that they cannot process her application to renew her expired Belize passport, although she has the expired passport as proof of her status in Belize.

Farmers to receive $25 mil in record sugar payment
Belizario Carballo, Chief Financial Officer of the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), has indicated to Amandala that this year has proven to be “a record for as long as we have been in the sugar business…” in more ways than one. BSI is projecting that roughly BZ$25 million will be paid out to cañeros next week, based on a total crop value of an estimated BZ$82 million and a record second payment, adding to the gains they will receive for a better-quality cane crop this year. Carballo confirmed that not only is there going to be a record second payment for sugar, but the industry also produced a record amount of sugar—shattering the record 125,000 set in 1997. Last year, 123,000 tons of sugar was produced. According to Carballo, there are about roughly 27,000 tons of bulk sugar and 10,000 tons of bagged sugar in storage, as well as roughly 10,000 tons of molasses in the store. Farmers, who receive payments in three installments, get 65% of what is termed the net strip value, which is derived from a formula that considers the expenses incurred in the production, distribution and sale of sugar on both the local and export markets.

Mentally unstable man remanded to prison on burglary charge
A Belize City man who is apparently suffering from some kind of mental ailment was remanded to prison this afternoon after he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on a charge of burglary. Lincoln Moguel, a former taxi driver, has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison for several months, after he was denied bail on a charge of taking a conveyance without lawful authority. In April 2014, Moguel attempted to drive off with a police pickup truck from Precinct 3, on Racoon Street, but was spotted by Constable Janel Myers, who managed to stop him in time, before he could get away. After many adjournments, Moguel’s case finally concluded before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on Monday, August 3, when he was found guilty of the charge. He was spared from spending more time in prison, but was fined $1,000 and released.

Heritage Bank discusses impending acquisition of FirstCaribbean assets
It was confirmed this Monday that CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has entered into an asset sale agreement with Heritage Bank, and while the ink on the document has dried, it could take a few months before the transaction, which is subject to approval by regulators at the Central Bank of Belize and the Central Bank of Barbados, is complete. Stephen Duncan, manager of Heritage Bank, told Amandala that they want to make the transition as seamless as possible, and for those customers who are thinking of hitting the panic button or jumping ship ahead of the Heritage Bank takeover, Duncan advises them to stay put, as the intent of Heritage Bank, he said, is to honor the arrangements and contacts these customers have in place today with FirstCaribbean, as well as to maintain and even enhance the services they currently enjoy. “Heritage Bank does not want to do anything that will reflect negatively or adversely on our country. We don’t have another country to go to. This is it for us,” he said, as he expressed his hope that the deal will pass the Central Bank’s test.

No Gold, no Silver, no Bronze
The Belize National Junior Female Softball Team returned home on Monday, August 3, after participating in the XI Central American Junior Female Softball Championship that was played in El Salvador. Team Belize placed fourth, after losing a heartbreaking game to Nicaragua for the bronze medal by the score of 8–7. Belize scored 4 runs in the top of the 1st inning, 2 runs in the 5th inning and 1 run in the 6th inning. The team collected a total of 14 hits off the Nicaraguan pitcher; however, Team Belize’s pitching problem continued in the bronze medal game, when starting pitcher Renisha Richards gave up 3 runs in the 1st inning and 2 runs in the 2nd inning, when she was relieved by Shareeni Soberanis in the bottom of the 2nd inning.

Sports Reach of Kentucky, USA to visit Belize this Friday
Christian Sports Ministry Sports Reach of Kentucky, USA is coming to Belize, beginning Friday, August 7, partnering with Hoop Dreams Belize to spread the word of God through sports. Sports Reach has produced several notable alums in the NBA and other organizations, and continues to have an impact on young people’s lives with the awesome power of Christ, who once commanded that no one should keep the children away from him, for they are the kingdom of heaven. Media houses and church groups are hereby invited to a meet and greet with Sports Reach director Bobby Speer and the Division I and II (NCAA) players on the trip. These include Justin Johnson of Western Kentucky University; Ken-Jah Bosley of Kentucky Wesleyan University; and Jordan Montgomery of Union University.

Sunrise tells Easy Does It, “Hold on; we will play THREE.”
The Belize National Cricket Association takes this opportunity to thank our sponsors, Belikin and Smart, for their kind contributions in this year’s cricket competition. We thank you so much. Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015 continued over the weekend with a game played at Lords Bank between Sunrise and Easy Does It. It was the second of a best-of-three games match-up in the semifinals. Easy Does It had won the first, and, as previously stated, Sunrise would try to even things up. And that is what they did, under the strong determination of captain Garrett Joseph and the strong and brilliant bowling of Zaggi. Easy Does It took to bat first, and stumps fell in this order: 1 for 21; 2 for 53; 3 for 54; 4 for 54; 5 for 67; 6 for 80; 7 for 82; 8 for 83; 9 for 99; and 10 for 103. Kenroy Reynolds top scored with 24 for Easy Does It, while Zaggi took 6 powerful wickets, including that of Warren “Bom Jones” Anthony, a very good batsman. This score might seem big to the Easy ones, but Sunrise was not going to give up that easily, knowing that if they lose, it means it will be over for them till next year.

Editorial: Amandala at 46
Next Thursday, August 13, this newspaper will be marking the 46th year of our existence. For many years now, analysts have focused on the business aspect of our publication, but at Kremandala we have tried to ensure that we make time to pay attention to the social devastation around us in Southside Belize City. This newspaper survived and grew because of the loyalty of our core readers, so that there is a business benefit to having a social conscience, we would say. But there is also a contradiction between strict business and having a good heart. The businesses around us are owned by new Belizeans, and they are strictly about business: they have no social conscience. The new Belizeans have made money faster than native Belizeans, because they do not spend any of their profits on sports or other social welfare programs. In Belize, we operate in a capitalist, hence competitive system. There are winners and losers in the capitalist system, but in Belize City, more than that, we have seen thousands of actual bloody human casualties over the last quarter century. In Belize City, the losers are not only dead and incarcerated: our losers are dead and incarcerated youth, our community’s future.

From the Publisher
Bilal Morris, a Belizean who currently resides in Los Angeles, recently e-mailed me several different video documentaries that he’s done. Bilal is doing important work. He’s chronicling the lives of Belizean superstars who have been living in the United States for three, four decades, such as softball’s Linda Lewis, cycling’s Johnito Miguel, and football’s Peru Olivera. The title on one of the videos referred to one Alexander Marin telling the story of Lynam Agricultural College. To be truthful, I was not that interested. I practically forced myself to watch this video, but when I did, I enjoyed it immensely. In fact, the documentary fascinated and moved me, and it humbled me. When I began high school at St. John’s College in 1959, there was where I first heard of Lynam, the reason being that a couple of my friends from Holy Redeemer Boys and S.J.C. itself who were having problems at Landivar, were either sent or made their way to Lynam. The school sounded like an exile from the city, where all the action was.

Belize on drought watch
If it has seemed hotter and drier to you than it normally is, that is because in reality, it has been. Although Amandala has been unable to get updated rainfall data from local authorities for the first two months of the rainy season, June and July, they have confirmed to us that there is a drought watch in effect, particularly for northwestern Belize, as below average rainfall is expected this season for almost all of the country—except the south. This will be particularly pronounced for the next 3 months: spanning August to October 2015. The seasonal precipitation forecast, published by the National Meteorological Service for August to October 2015, uses data dating back to 1979. A stronger than expected El Niño—which has suppressed hurricane activity this season with only three names storms emerging in the Atlantic—has been having major impact on our weather. On Tuesday, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) issued a release, saying that Central America is bracing for a stronger than expected El Niño, although initial forecasts called for a moderate one.

Belize hosts Central American youth for 11th CABO summit
Over 30 youth from 6 Central American countries are meeting in Belize starting today for the 11th Youth Summit being hosted by the Central American Black Organization (CABO). The summit opened tonight with a ceremony held at UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City and it concludes on Sunday, August 9, with an event at the BTL Park. Amandala spoke with two members of the organizing committee — Krisna Morales, 17, a member of AFROSA (Afrodescendientes y Sus Amigos) of Guatemala; and Jamal Reid, 24, of Emergent Corp in Belize, who described what the delegates from Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica hope to achieve over the next few days. Morales said that the main accomplishment they will be working towards is the formulation of a youth master plan, which will have education and employment as its priority.

Two hospitalized from morning shootings on Jane Usher Boulevard
The respite that the city was enjoying from gun violence was shattered this morning just before 11:00 when gunfire erupted in the Jane Usher Boulevard area. Two youths were shot and had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for treatment. Raheem Arnold, 22, and Shamar Moore, 17, were shot during separate shooting incidents that occurred minutes apart. This afternoon police held a press briefing on the shootings. Superintendent Hilberto Romero, the officer commanding CIB Eastern Division said, “Shamar Moore was shot in the right arm, left armpit, left foot and in the left upper leg. Raheem Arnold was shot in the left pelvic area. They are both hospitalized at the KHMH and in a stable condition. We have our investigators out there and there are two suspects that we are presently seeking for this shooting.”

The Reporter

Sharing the good news through sports
Sports Reach, a Christian-based outreach organization is in Belize for a week’s worth of basketball games and missionary work. The Sports Reach team will play against local selections beginning on Saturday at Birds Isle in Belize City, before travelling to Belmopan, San Ignacio and Dangriga. […]

Belize observes World Breast Feeding Day
Belize joined with over 175 countries all over the world this week to celebrate World Breast Feeding Day. To culminate a week’s worth of awareness activities on the importance of breast feeding, the Collet Education and Resource Center organized a workshop at the Radisson Fort […]

9 year-old must have drowned in cave. Human remains found
Divers who have been searching for Jason Pau, a missing Forest Home schoolbo,y have found what are believed to be human remains in the waters of the Hokeb Ha Cave in Blue Creek Toledo. The child had gone on a field trip with 25 […]

Principals train for Open Education system
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, held a series of workshops this week to train principals and school administrators in the new Open Education Management Information System (EMIS). The system captures the personal data of every student and every teacher registered with the Ministry. […]

Fight in Corozal ends in death; minor charged with murder
A young man who was to report for his first week of employment in San Pedro Town, and who would have celebrated his 25th birthday on Monday, was stabbed to death hours before he was scheduled to report to work. The motive is still […]

CARICOM and Vatican connect
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for the first time ever, has an ambassador to the Vatican City. CARICOM and the Vatican began their new era of diplomatic relations on July 30. Archbishop Nicolas Girasoli, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Holy See, presented his credentials to CARICOM Secretary […]

DIGICELL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
Contributed by: Senator Lisa Shoman I write to you on the mentioned subject in several capacities – as a former Chairman of Belize Telecommunications Limited, a Senator, a Belizean, and a woman. As a taxpayer, I would also add the capacity of shareholder. DigiCell has, for some time now been […]

Dad stabs teenage boy for having sex with his 13 year-old daughter
A man of Sand Hill Village has been arrested and charged with wounding for stabbing a teenage boy when he found the lad having sex with his 13 year-old daughter. The 37 year-old man reportedly walked in on love-making the pair at his home […]

Belize City man “flashes”; Dangriga man lashes…to death
A Belize City man was beaten to death after exposing himself to a little girl and one Dangriga man has been charged with murder, as police look for three other suspects linked to the daylight beating. Anwar Garbutt, 34, was in the “Back-a-Town” community […]

Ebola test vaccines 100 percent effective: WHO
Ebola vaccines tested on 4,000 people in Guinea have proven to be 100 percent effective in protecting patients from the deadly virus and could stop its spread help end the outbreak in West Africa and According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the trials […]

Three organizations help feed and improve diet of children in feeding program
The diet of children who are part of “Dara’s” feeding program has been enriched, through a donation and a commitment for continued donations of Lion Fish filet from Oceana and Blue Ventures, two organisations whose purpose is to protect marine resources. Both organisations work closely […]

First Caribbean International Bank robbed of $50,000; four men charged
Belize City police have charged four men for the brazen, early-morning armed robbery at First Caribbean Bank, San Cas Branch last Friday, during which the robbers, who wore no masks, got away with around $50,000 in cash. The men - Patrick Jones, 22, of Gabourel […]

Central Bank Governor clears the air on bank de-risking
Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre cleared the air on the de-risking actions facing the banking sector, confirming that Atlantic International Bank Limited (AIBL) still hasn’t found a new corresponding banking relation since losing its ties with Bank of America (BOA). According to Ysaguirre, no […]

The possibilities of industrial cannabis in Belize
The Committee on the Decriminalization of Marijuana made several recommendations to Cabinet several months ago, after conducting a survey into the benefits of decriminalizing the substance. However, one entrepreneur is suggesting industrializing the plant, which he says would have enormous benefits for the economy. […]

Editorial
The announcement that the Bank of America has targetted another bank in Belize to deny it correspondence facilities is not good news. Three months ago Bank of America cut off the Belize Bank overseas financial transfers, and now it is doing the same to Atlantic Bank International. These are private […]

No beds at KHMH!
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority announced this week that due to a spike in emergency cases, the hospital will suspend all non-emergency surgeries. The authority announced its decision on August 5, in light of the overwhelming amount of emergency cases, particularly trauma victims. These […]

BTL apologizes for offensive ads
Belize Telemedia Limited this week, apologized for a line of advertisements which have raised the public’s ire as being offensive to women. BTL issued an initial response to an open letter sent by Senator Lisa Shoman, addressing the issue, where Executive Chairman of BTL, Anwar […]

Citco to slash trade license fee
The Belize City Council will reduce trade license fees by as much as 50 percent in some cases, following an almost two-year-long collaboration with the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) to make the fees more realistic for businesses, especially those that don’t produce […]

12 boycott PUP meeting again
The People’s United Party (PUP) held a meeting of standard bearers on Monday at the request of the 12 who have been lobbying for change and boycotting executive meetings but they never showed up. According to PUP Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat, the meeting […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BDF add 81 soldiers to the ranks
The Belize Defence Force (BDF) has added 81 members to its ranks. The new soldiers passed out at a formal parade at the army’s headquarters in Ladyville. Commander Brigadier General David Jones spoke to the level of training they experienced en route to becoming a part of the […]

Should women breastfeed in public places?
“Breast is Best” – it is the famous slogan used to encourage the promotion of breastfeeding. As Belize celebrates World Breastfeeding Week this week, the issue is now whether employers should allow working mothers to breast feed their young ones on the job. The issue was discussed at […]

Sports Reach Christian Ministry in Belize
The Christian organization Sports Reach is teaming up with Hoop Dreams Belize, recent winners of the Copa Cancun Tournament, to provide needed experience for local basketball teams and help spread the word of God through sports. Based in Kentucky in the United States, the organization is celebrating 30 […]

BTL to address offensive advertising
This week, Belize Telemedia Limited removed two Facebook posts with suggestive content after complaints by prominent Belizeans including Senator and attorney Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman. The telephone provider on Wednesday sent out a short statement from Chairman of the Executive Committee Anwar Barrow responding to an open letter […]

Woman charged in prison smuggle
Prison officials continue to grapple with the trade of marijuana at the Central Prison in Hattieville. Today 28 year old Anna Garbutt of Mahogany Street, who had gone to visit her brother-in-law around 1:30 Thursday afternoon, was read charges of drug trafficking after officials found 5 grams of […]

Mennonite businessman charged over sex offenses is given bail
A Mennonite businessman from Shipyard accused of sexual assault and attempted unlawful sexual intercourse, allegedly with a girl half his age, has been given bail of $10,000. 29 year old Peter Letkeman was charged following a report that he inappropriately touched a 13 year old girl’s private area […]

Minor arrested for murder of Samir Vivas Richards
A 15 year old minor of San Antonio Village, Corozal District, was arrested and charged by police yesterday, August 6, for stabbing and killing Samir Erick Richards, also known as Samir Vivas, following an argument on August 5. A post mortem examination was conducted on Richards’ body yesterday, August 6, […]

GOB vehicle stolen from Lands Dept. compound
Another Government vehicle has been stolen, this time a 2011 Toyota Hilux from the Ministry of Lands compound on Queen Elizabeth Boulevard in Belmopan City. The vehicle was assigned to the Solid Waste Management Department and was reported missing on August 1st by an employee of the department who parked […]

Authorities in Orange Walk find abandoned helicopter
On Wednesday, August 5th around 3:30 pm, the Anti-Narcotics Unit discovered an abandoned grey helicopter on a feeder road in the Blue Creek area of the Orange Walk District. According to police reports, the helicopter has registration numbers N607AZ and inside the aircraft, officers found several blue plastic containers with […]

CHANGE AND POLITICAL LEADERSHIP
By Delroy Cuthkelvin: The leaderships of both major political parties these days appear to be stuck in their ways and resistant to meaningful change. In the case of the UDP, it is understandable, as the party has been scoring success after success at the polls. As the saying goes, “If it […]

Dengue on the rise as Health Ministry issues warning
Belizean laboratories have confirmed 16% more cases of dengue fever, 261, over the first seven months of 2015 compared to those of 2014 when there were 225. Ministry of Health officials summoned the press for an update in Belmopan on Thursday. According to the Ministry, the majority of cases are in Corozal Town and the corridor of villages from Caledonia to Santa Clara on the Philip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District, and outlying suburbs of Belmopan, Camalote and Teakettle in the east-central Cayo District.

Blogs

Watermelon Juice & Its Variations: World? You are Welcome
WATERMELON JUICE. The world’s MOST refreshing beverage. Iced tea? Yeah…pretty good. Gin and tonic? Meh. THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO BE DRINKING ON A HOT DAY. And the beauty is that it is SO easy to make. Everyone buys a huge watermelon in the summer…it’s on sale and just seems like a great idea. And you and the family feast on the big juicy slices one weekend and then half the watermelon gets relegated to the back of the fridge. And it starts to go soft on the edges. Throw it out? Good grief NO! Watermelon. Juice. Here is how I prepare it. And how you must try it too. The United States for some CRAZY reason is basically devoid of this blended bliss. And also, feel free to laugh at my very sad attempts to be like a real food blog (like my favorite Smitten Kitchen…where everything looks perfect). I find cat hair adds just that je ne sais quoi. Extract that watermelon slab from your refrigerator. Or buy a slice at the market. Mine was $4.50bzd.

The Coming Of Kings Pt. 2
The ancient Maya city of Cerros in Belize is located in the northern-most district of Belize, Corozal. It sits reaching out to the Chetumal Bay just across from Chetumal, a province of Mexico which sits on the Yucatan Peninsula. This village of Cerros was a late pre classic (200Bc-200AD) Maya village of fishing folk, farmers and traders. Certainly, they were smack in the pathway of the great coastal trade which only grew in the classic period. Eventually that little village was buried by the public centre. According to Linda Schele, the people of Cerros “did decide consciously to embrace kingship as an institution and the consequence of that decision was profound for all”. In the space of two generations, this small village transformed itself into a mighty acropolis. Everyone was a part of the transformation. From the farmer to the engineers and architects who organised the building in the city, to the healers and priests who made certain there was zen at the transition. But even more impressive, Linda Schele add, “It is difficult for us to imagine such a complete and rapid metamorphosis, but what happened at Cerros constituted nothing less than a paradigm shift.

Belizean Breezes Soap Company
Located in San Pedro, Belize is a MUST see shop! Getting rave reviews from visitors and locals alike, Belizean Breezes has A LOT to offer and we DO mean a lot! The owner has been making all natural soaps for over 15 years and has earned the title, “master soap maker”. Belizean Breezes pours well over 100 different scents of all natural soaps, all natural meaning NO animal products, NO chemicals or additives. Made from only the finest of oils and of course our own Belizean coconut oil which everyone knows is fantastic for your skin! The scents change often as new ones are created. “Using the perfect combination of oils and essential oils makes the best soap and we make a large, yet fun variety,” commented Lynda Perdue. “We pour our soaps and our body products right here in San Pedro and have the capability of very large orders, we supply to resorts and vacation rentals and their guests rave about our products and come to the store to stock up before they leave Belize”.

Honduran performer El Chevo
Karen Brodie Photography captured the arrival of Honduran performer El Chevo when he arrived on La Isla Bonita earlier today. El Chevo is set to perform Friday night, (August 7th) bringing some punta/Caribbean flavor to the night! Also performing will be Belize's mighty Gilharry 7 Band! You don't wanna miss it!!

International Sourcesizz

7 Countries Flirting With Bankruptcy
A small country in Central America, Belize is home to just over 360,000 people. It is one of the smallest economies in the world with a GDP of $1.8 billion. Borrowing heavily for infrastructure projects, Belize accumulated a total debt of over $540 million. In August 2012, the country’s central bank announced that it would not be able to make a $23 million bond payment. Due to concerns surrounding the impending debt restructuring, Moody's downgraded the country’s government bond rating to Caa1 from B3 in early 2012. It was later downgraded further to Ca only to be upgraded back to Caa2 in April 2013, after terms of the debt restructuring were agreed upon. Belize’s Credit rating has remained stable at Caa2 since April 2013.

Videos

  • Can the airport accommodate more visitors, 4min.

  • Visit Belize, 3min. A brief showcase of some of our locations in the jewel Belize from the air

  • Belize, 17min.

  • Playful Howler Monkeys in Belize, 1.5min. Two little howler monkeys romp at Lamanai Lodge in Belize.

  • The Belize National Dance Company bring some Belizean heat on to the International Costa Maya Festival stage, 1min.

  • Ballet Alma Caribeña pays tribute to the rich Maya heritage of Mexico and Central America..., 1.5min.

  • El Chevo is on and bringing the Punta flavor to the Costa Maya Festival!, .5min.

  • Miss Honduras Crowned Miss Costa Maya 2015, 9min. HERE YOU GO! Video Highlights of Miss Costa Maya Pageant, only on Ambergris Today. It’s Honduras’ second claim to the coveted Miss Costa Maya crown since 2006 as Miss Honduras Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle was selected as the new Miss Costa Maya 2015 at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that kicked off the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival 2015, on Thursday, August 6.

  • Belize 2015, 9min. The Green Room on mission in Benque, Belize

  • 2012 Belize, 20min. Belize vacation trip rain forest beach.

  • 2015 07 02 Belize Turneffe Atoll Reef You Tube, 7min. A full day trip to the Turneffe Atoll. We completed three dives and this highlight video covers all of the dives.

  • Amazing Snuba and Snorkelling in Belize, 5min. Snuba and Snorkelling in Mexican Rocks, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • BELIZE SUMMER 2015, 22min. july 23rd to august 4th.

  • belize 2015, 10min. Trip to san pedro belize july 2015.

  • Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 10min. Snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize.

  • The Chevo in San Pedro, 5min.

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