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#507156 - 09/04/15 12:08 PM Today's Belize News: September 4, 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

Toledo: Land of Adventure, Beauty and Culture!
I fell in love this summer…a different kind of love…the kind that re-opens your eyes and makes you feel a sense of pride, child-like excitement, and even a sense of calm and peace when you lay your head at night. My Beautiful Belize is about exploring and finding the beauty in our country. Luckily, I got the chance to travel to one of the least explored areas of Belize, and through a series of fortunate events, was able to have one utterly stunning stay in the Toledo District. There were so many words that stood out to me about this two-day adventure: Kind, Genuine, Charming, Adventurous, Beautiful…and best of all, Proud. The moment I found out I needed to be in Blue Creek Village to be a guest speaker at the Peace Corps’ GLOW Camp 2015; I needed to come up with an itinerary. Traveling to the end of the country is usually time consuming, but with Tropic Air flying regularly to the main town Punta Gorda, that time (usually feels like a day’s travels) was cut to two hours. What to do?! I had to make the most of this trip!

Minister of National Security Honorable John Saldivar visits Island Police formation
The Minister of National Security, Honorable John Saldivar paid an official visit to the Eastern Police Division, which includes Caye Caulker and San Pedro police formations. On Wednesday, August 26th Saldivar visited San Pedro where he toured the San Pedro police facilities and had a few words with the police officers. The Minister also toured the areas of responsibility that the police patrol on a daily basis, which took him to the outskirts of the island, and he also met with community members in efforts to foster good police/community relations. The Police Department has an arduous task in maintaining order in their particular communities; however a key role in the motivation of great work has to do with the quality of working and living conditions. “We have looked at various areas of deficiencies which need to be improved. One of the key things out here in San Pedro and Caye Caulker is residential quarters for the police officers. We must keep morale high, and part of it is proper living conditions under which police officers have to work and so the way forward is to try and improve that.” He noted the importance of touring the different police facilities and the communities. “Seeing it first hand and having the officers walk along with me to the various spots of interest and being able to see for myself what they are going through, it definitely gives me a better perspective and it make you understand more the plight of both police officers and the community,” ended Saldivar.

Early-year Avian Influenza outbreak causes egg prices to rise
After an outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N2) early this year that resulted in an estimated $3 million loss for poultry farms in the Spanish Lookout Community, the Belizean population is now starting to feel the financial effect. Since June 2015 residents had been reporting a shortage in egg supply and now the Belize Poultry Association has confirmed a 17% raise in the price of eggs. The price markup is the result of over 86,000 birds being put down due to contamination, which severely affected the farmers’ inventory. The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) identified the outbreak of H5N2 in two poultry farms in Spanish Lookout since January 2015. Since the initial detection, intensive testing of over 75,000 birds across the area was carried out, which resulted in positive cases in 12 poultry farms. The infected samples were initially limited to poultry from the broiler breeder section of the farm, but as the month progressed, chicken used for direct consumption also started showing signs of infection. To avoid human contamination, all birds showing signs of infection were put down.

Ambergris Today

This is How You Unplug in Belize
In a time when it is so hard to detach from your mobile devices, finding activities that allow you some true experiences without having to instantly connect and post something on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram are difficult to come by. I am guilty of burying my head into my smart phone and detaching myself from reality. But let me tell you about one of my favorite destinations that My Traveling Feet just love to visit and UNPLUG! The best part is that you will not even miss being hooked up to Wifi!! Half Moon Caye is one of my favorite cayes (islands) in Belize. It is simply gorgeous, lush with and endless view of coconut trees and quiet to only the natural sounds of the crashing waves on the coral reef literally just steps away from the beach. The sounds of the palm trees swaying in the breeze and the chirping of the Booby and Frigate Birds high above are soothing. Listen closely and you can actually hear the hermit crabs making their way across the natural paths and the scramble of iguanas through the fallen leave as you make your way to the Booby Bird Sanctuary. So there is no time to panic about the nearest wifi spot, because there isn’t any around. Guess what, you will be amazed and consumed by the natural beauty of the island that the only thing on your mind will be soaking up some rays and taking in all that tranquility. Okay! You will definitely pick up your phone/camera to take pictures, which you can share and make your friends jealous when you get back to civilization and wifi.

Explore Belize in 6 Seconds Videos! Belize Starts to Vine
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is ecstatic about the Launch of the Travel Belize VINE profile on September 1st, 2015! After securing a stack of breathtaking images, and harnessing its creativity, the first video was posted; it highlighted the Southeast Coast of Placencia. This enticing 6-second video social media isn't just another social platform, it's an entirely new digital market for Belize to increase its digital engagements! WHY VINE? Our online audience is seeking new innovative ways to share their travel experiences in real-time and to be inspired for their next exploration! With over 50 million users currently on Vine, the BTB's Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Ms. Karen Pike, explained that this new digital venture promises to highlight Belize as one of the top destinations for adventure and leisure, targeting millennia! Video launch: https://vine.co/v/eI3uJKgI9D6

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Press Release BUA supports COLA September 3, 2015
The Belize Unity Alliance supports COLA in its call for the resignation of Minister “Sedi´ Elrington from his post as Minister of Foreign Affairs. We also join with COLA in its call for a complete boycott of Guatemalan goods and services.

19th annual Expo Belize Market
The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry is pleased to announce that the 19th annual Expo Belize Market Place will be held this weekend, Saturday and Sunday September 5th and 6th at the ITVET compound in Belize City. Doors open from 8 am and close at 6 pm on both days. Come out to support local businesses from across the country as they display various goods and services ranging from groceries, back to school supplies, food, craft and art, jewellery and more! Live entertainment will be provided as well as activities and play areas for the children. The Chamber invites the Belizean public to visit our nation’s largest trade show! Advance tickets are available for sale at our office on Coney Drive, Toto’s on the corner of George and Orange Street as well as Doony’s on Albert Street in Belize City. Adult tickets are $5 and tickets for children 11 and under are just $3.

Old Benque Exhibition Launch
The Benque House of Culture is launching the Old Benque traveling exhibit.

Little Miss Pandy Show 2015
This year's Little Miss Pandy Show will be on September 13th at the Cayo Welcome Center. Thanks, Pandy! "Only 5 more contestants needed, from 5 to 10 years, no wait fu mek u come to late.. queen pageant will be September 13th at the Cayo Welcome Center at 7pm"

HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTS SIGNED FOR PORT LOYOLA UNDER SOUTHSIDE POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROJECT – PHASE 2
The Government of Belize secured a loan with the OPEC Fund for the implementation of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project – Phase 2. Through the Ministry of Works, new home construction and home improvement works to beneficiaries in the Belize City Southside communities of Queen’s Square, Pickstock, Port Loyola, Lake Independence and Collet are set to commence immediately. The 21 successful contractors for Port Loyola and Lake Independence signed contracts yesterday, September 2nd and will carry out home improvement works on approximately 90 homes in these two areas over the next year. The works include the construction of a new wooden and concrete homes, inclusive of septic systems as well as general home repairs to existing unsound homes within the area. Repairs such as roof repairs or replacement, rehabilitation of stairs, walls, structural posts and beams, addition of partition walls, replacement or addition of windows and doors, and the provision of septic tank systems for those in areas with no access to waste water infrastructure.

The National Bank of Belize Ltd. Belize City Branch was officially opened today.
Photos

4X4 Beach Volleyball tournament Sept 26, San Pedro
INTERESTED PERSONS CAN SIGN UP AT THE SAN PEDRO TOWN COUNCIL. The range for the juniors is under 16....

Power interruption 1:00pm to 5:00pm, Saturday September 5, Belize City
Mile 3 Philip Goldson Hwy, near Brodies, to North End Estate Rd including Bella Vista, Belama PH 3 and Belama PH 4. Two 5-minute power interruptions from 1:00pm to 1:05pm and 4:55pm to 5:00pm will also affect area from North End Estate Rd to Mile 4 ½ Philip Goldson Highway, near Fen Lan. BEL to facilitate works conducted under Ministry of Works’ Flood Mitigation Project.

Belmopan September Celebrations Launch
Belmopan is having their September Celebrations Kickoff today, starting at 6:00pm, and Mae Gordon Park.

Brian Bushway at Soul Project
Brain Bushway performed at the Soul Project. They made a great video from one of the songs. "'You don't have to be blind to sing the blues' while Brian from World Access for the Blind was in Belize, teaching Human Echolocation, he drop in with students for lunch and after jammed on stage for us."

Channel 7

Guat Prez Resigns: Arrested On Corruption Charges. How Does That Affect Belize?
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina resigned last night - after the attorney general obtained a warrant for his arrest on corruption charges. And today, a judge ordered the former President to be held in Matamoros military prison in Guatemala City pending his hearing on those corruption charges. The judge says it's because he's a flight risk. His former vice president, Roxanna Baldetti is already imprisoned for corruption charges. Perez Molina has not been formally charged, but the attorney general's office plans to bring charges against Perez for illicit association, taking bribes and customs fraud. So, with the resignation, a new president Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre was sworn in today at the Congress building in Guatemala City. It's a time of incredible, unprecedented upheaval in our neighboring country - and it certainly does have ramifications for Belize - especially with Guatemala's unfounded claim on half of Belize's territory. Today we spoke to the Prime Minister and the BDF Commander about what it means for the future of Belize-Guatemala relations:...

General Jones & Admiral Thomas Discussed Sarstoon Incident
And while we had the opportunity, we asked General David Jones about his recent meeting with Guatemalan Vice Admiral Carlos Thomas. He was the ranking officer from the Guatemalan Navy who led his officers in an incursion into Belizean Territory on Sunday, August 16th when they tried to block the Belize Territorial Volunteers from visiting the Sarstoon Island. That prompted a protest note from the Government of Belize and an outpouring of anti-Guatemalan sentiment in Belize. It has also revealed that Guatemala treats the Sarstoon as theirs, and regularly tried to intimidate the BDF on their patrols. In fact, Vice Admiral Thomas told the Guatemalan press that they were out there to stop the Belizeans from asserting sovereignty over Sarstoon Island. Since then, General Jones has spoken to the Vice Admiral, and he shared a few details of their conversation with us:

PM: Elections Coming Near 4 Year Mark
And amidst all this upheaval in Guatemala - they will have elections on Sunday. You've already heard who is the Prime Minister's favourite in that race, but what about elections in Belize? When will those be held? Everyone knows it's soon - but could it be before the end of the year? That's the prevailing wisdom right now and we asked the Prime Minister and about a specific date:... Jules Vasquez "PUPs are saying that elections will be November 3rd. Is that true?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "November 3rd? I'm trying to... But why am I thinking about it? Because I can't know if my calculations have even contemplating the possibility of November 3rd, because I have not yet made those calculations."

Boots Says To Call Elections Tomorrow
So, while the Prime Minister says he is looking to finish up a 4-year term, his colleague, Port Loyola Area Representative "Boots" Martinez, would like if he calls the elections tomorrow(!). When we asked him about November 4th as a possible day, he said he wants it to be September(!) 4th. Jules Vasquez "There are PUPs who told me yesterday that election will be November 4th. Is that accurate sir?" Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez "I don't know sir. The only man who has the date for elections is the Prime Minister. But I wish that election was September 4th. That is my wishes. Which is tomorrow. But the only man who has the string for to call the election is the Prime Minister. I know it can't be tomorrow based on... but I wish it was tomorrow, because I am ready and I think that United Democratic Party is ready and I believe that the People's United Party is not ready. That is my personal view."

Brazen City Murder on Castle Street
There was a murder in Belize City this afternoon. It happened at about 1:45 on Castle Street, which is between New Road and Freetown Road. Police say 25 year old Glenford Vernon was getting a tattoo when he was shot. I spoke - off camera - to the man who picked him up and rushed him to the hospital:... Bystander, Assisted Victim "Right around the lane about 2 lots from this house, my friend came with her daughter. We just came from a press conference and I was laughing and talking having a few drinks and afterwards I heard "pow." So put down the baby and told everyone to duck. After that I heard like 6 more shots. But somebody passes and said that it was one of my family resident on Castle Street. So I ran from here around the lane. When I look, it was in the tattoo shop that my family own. I said it must be my family. So when I ran in there I saw someone with multiple gunshot wounds to his body. I don't know the guy. But from we were little, my father taught us to help people in these situations. So when I ran into the shop I saw him with his head backwards and his eye turned up and blood spraying and like people passing the shop and peeping. I told them to call 911. Someone came and assist. A police who lives on Victoria came and I came and took off some of those guys shirt and place it on the wound."

Micah Blazes His Party On FB (Again)!
Former PUP Candidate for Collet Micah Goodin is in the news again tonight for blazing up his party on Facebook. The last time he was criticizing his successor in the Collett division, but this time it's more serious. That's because Goodin was the former host of a show on the PUP's Vibes Radio. We say former because he quit spontaneously last night. Why? Well, he had booked the PUP's Standard Bearer for Orange Walk East Josue Carballo to be his guest last night - but Carballo is a part of the 11 PUP rebels. And so, word came down that even though he is a PUP Candidate, Carballo could not be on a Vibes Radio show. So, the PUP higher up's cancelled the show - and Goodin then went to Facebook to say, quote, "as of this point I will no longer be the host. Also I offer my immediate resignation from the executive of the Belize Youth Movement." In a later post, he added, "they cancelled the show…based on a...frivolous...rumour that I met with the G11 last week in Orange Walk and planned to overthrow Francis Fonseca." He continues, quote, "I cannot be a part of a leadership that is insecure and petty...that thrives on hearsay and gossip…A leadership that is paranoid and threatened by its own shadow...A leadership that is dictatorial and wants to make me nothing but a little black puppet. I will never be anyone's puppet." He concludes, quote, "Until this leadership sorts out its self esteem issues I will be looking on."

COLA Launches T-Shirts: Build The Base Now
A week ago, we showed you the launch of COLA's campaign to pressure the Government to build the Coast Guard's Forward Operating Base on Sarstoon Island. The campaign is called "Build the Base Now", and we showed you how they seem to have major financial backing, mobilizing supporters, much like a political mass party. Today, they followed up their campaign with the public launch of their T-shirts campaign. COLA President Geovannie Brackett told us that it is the continuation of their sustained activism on the Sarstoon Island issue: Geovannie Brackett - President, COLA "Daniel, being in the media you would understand that marketing is very important. So when you are doing your campaign, people want to be a part of it. People who may be in PG, but might not be able to make it out to a press conference. But by wearing a shirt they are showing solidarity and so the shirts are there. The back of it has our theme for this campaign "Protect Belize, Build the base now." This was effective when we did the "No ICJ" campaign. We had a skeleton budget, but at the same time it made the government had to spend millions in advertisement to battle this. We believe this is the same strategy that we are using and people and our membership, they want to be a part and so wearing the shirt is showing solidarity and it's always a good way to market the campaign."

BDF General: We Won't Make Military Mistakes By Buckling Under Public Pressure
So, as you saw, the pressure groups aren't letting up on the Sarstoon Island issue any time soon, and so we had to ask BDF General David Jones if the military commanders, and by extension, the National Security Ministry, are taking note. He said that, as of right now, whether or not the Government builds the base on Sarstoon Island or somewhere nearby will be determined by logistics and not by public pressure: General David Jones, BDF Commander "The forward operating base in the area of the Sarstoon, the island itself is not really practical to have a base there. There will be too many challenges to have the base on the island. We have checked two areas; one at the mouth of the Sarstoon and about 2km from the mouth of the Sarstoon that has some land that some construction may be able to happen. It will be up to a civil engineer and we are expect that it will be open to tender, but any civil engineer who is willing to go and take on the challenge to construct the base, we will welcome it. Any day they would like to go out into the area, we will go along with them and if they conclude that yes the base can be constructed anywhere in that area, then we will pursue with the construction."

COLA Mauls The BDF Commander
So, as you saw, right now the General is defending himself against COLA, and they made it clear today that they won't spare him criticisms of cozying up to the UDP government. The President Geovannie Brackett and COLA member Rufus X both took a public swipe at him at their press conference. Here's the harsh put down they had for the BDF Commander: Geovannie Brackett - President, COLA "To Brigadier General David Jones who has been interjected into this political exercise in his military capacity. We respect you and your long career, but you are not the government. You are the army. Do not let yourself be used, keep your lane and as you yourself has said, let the military do its job and the politician do theirs." Rufus X - Member COLA "To see that the politician have convert these two people that I have come to respect so much; the Commandant and the Admiral to simple political - really moved me. It touches my heart Daniel and now two more victim." General Jones responded, making it clear that he would prefer to stay out of the conversation between civilians discussing a divisive political issue. The problem, he says, is that civilians are meddling matters of national security which if handled poorly, could cost soldiers their lives:

PM Not Moved By COLA
And while the general is unfazed about COLA's second guessing his military professionalism - the Prime Minister also told us today that he is not feeling the COLA pressure: Reporter "Is COLA even bickering at government radar at this point?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I don't want to be rude. I don't want to be mean. So all I will say is that COLA has every right to do what it's doing. They are supposed to be some sort of a pressure group and one of their objectives is to try and ensure that there is transparency in public affairs. I would really want to know who is funding them, but it doesn't really matter. I wish them well in their continued advocacy. Government of course will simply proceed with its agenda and with its timing convinced."

PM Was Shocked To Find Out About Cpl Wagner
WE also asked the Prime Minister about Police Corporal Ryon Wagner who ahs been charged for murder. The Corporal had been the personal driver and security guard for the Prime Minister's wife going back for at least four years - so he was an intimate of the Barrow household. But tonight, Wagner is in jail, on remand for the murder of Nicaraguan Eduardo Manuel Perez Sanchez. Perez Sanchez was found last weekend - hos body thrown on the Young Gial Road. Reports say Wagner told other cops he shot a man - and appeared to have been drinking. Today the Prime Minister told us he was shocked to hear the accusation:.. Jules Vasquez "Were you shocked at the allegation against Cpl. Ryan Wagner, an intimate of your household now on remand at Hattieville Prison for murder?"

A New Housing Community Off Fabers
Last night, we told you about the housing agreements signed between the Ministry of Works and the local contractors from Port Loyola and Lake Independence to build over 100 houses for needy first time home owners. It's the second phase of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project, and today, we got a chance to see how this agreement will actually work on the ground in these constituencies. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting This area off Fabers Road is well on it's way to becoming a housing community in the Port Loyola Division. A few months ago, however, it used to be all bush and tall trees, very much like what these men are working hard to clear away here. Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez - Area Rep., Port Loyola "It was literally Faber's Road, but it was that kind of road like what you see right over there - raw bush."

3 Belizeans Still Missing At Sea
There is still no sign of the 3 Belize City fishermen who went missing at sea one week ago. 20-year-old Donovan Usher, 29-year-old Giovanni Murrillo, and 33-year-old Jerome Bowen left for Turneffe Island on Thursday morning on a one day fishing trip but have not returned. We spoke with relatives today who are demanding answers from the Coast Guard - because one of the missing men Giovanni Murrillo was in the news in February of this year for allegedly firing on the Coast Guard. The family says he had received threats of retaliation:.. Anna Cardenes, Mother of Donovan Usher "They are fishermen. Every day they go out for one day and come in back. But on the trips that they go they say that they were being threaten - that the coast guard was threatening them. They told them that anytime they meet them out there they will kill them. Giovanni Murrillo and Jerome Bowen had a case with the coast guard and they won the case and ever since they won the case, the coast guard were threatening them. My son went with them."

CSME: How It Really Looks In Belize
How does the Caribbean Single Market and Economy factor into everyday life and business in Belize? That's what 19 tertiary level students from Grenada traveled to Belize to find out. It's part of the CSME mission where these students get to study and evaluate first hand how other member countries operate. Well, when we spoke to the coordinator, he told us that it's more than just an educational trip -it's looking for cross border business opportunities. The mission ends tomorrow and there is a closing ceremony tonight at the Radisson. The team visited various agencies such as the Immigration Department and BAHA.

BDF Trained By The US Marines
A month ago, we showed you how the United States Marines Corps trained 16 officers from the Coast Guard to become part of a new infantry marine division. The goal was to prepare them with modern skills and techniques, the kind that the Marines have used to become one of the most respected fighting forces in the world. Well, for the last 4 weeks, they've been doing something similar for the Belize Defence Force, and today, 21 Belizean soldiers graduated from a regiment in weapons handling, hand-to-hand combat, and marksmanship. We stopped by the graduation and met the newly trained soldiers. Here's what their Chief of Staff had to say about their progress through the program: This the 5th group of soldiers to be trained by the US Marines in this program.

National Bank Opens Bze City Branch
Two years after it was opened in Belmopan, today the National Bank of Belize christened its Belize City branch. The branch is located on Regent Street and is the first branch for the small but growing bank which is headquartered in the Capital. This morning at a very well attended opening, the General Manager said it is about getting closer to customers:.. Alvaro Alamina, General Manager "To help in getting closer to our customers, we now have this modern new office at 53 Regent Street. This branch will mirror the activities of the Belmopan Branch, but will also offer new services such as night safe facilities, safety deposit boxes - targeting business and corporate customers in Belize City. The catchment area for this branch will mainly Belize City, San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Corozal, Orange Walk and the growing areas outside Belize City such as Ladyville, Lord's Bank, Burrell Boom and the other small villages in the Belize District. This bank will continue to follow its motto of being "the people's bank."

Who Did GOB Buy The City Building From For NBB Branch?
And while the bank is opened for business as of Monday - there's been much political banter about the building it's in. The press asked the Prime Minister about it today:... Reporter "Sir, could you confirm for us that the acquisition of the building was indeed bought from the brother of your economic ambassador Mark Espat for 3 million dollars?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I believe it was bought from a company, but there is no doubt at all that the company is either owned by or controlled by members of the Espat family." Reporter "The price of the building?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I don't remember. May have been a little more, may have been a little less."

Mas Camp Madness: Day 2
Carnival is set for Saturday September 12th - that means right about now, Carnival camps are working overtime to finalize costumes and polish their dance chorography for the big day. Last night 7news stopped in at 4 more carnival mas camps around the city. Here's what we saw.

Madness Erupted Into Violence
And there was a commotion outside of Jam Jam carnival camp last night on West Collet Canal. Just before 9, police had to fire warning shots above the crowd of spectators, after a fight broke out and chaos ensued. We are not sure about the persons involved in the fight but we were told that some of the DJ's equipment were destroyed in the mix of things. The incident caused police to shut down Jam Jam carnival Mas camp. And not long after another fight broke out on Allenby Street across from the carnival camp. Police managed to control the crowd- and a minor was detained by the officers. Tonight is the last night for carnival Mas camps. 7news will be visiting Mohogany Masqueraders, Sunshine Masqueraders, Soca Moca, Mother Nature's Creation and Titans Mas Band.

Police Will Shut Down Mas Camps Early
And that incident you just saw is why the officer commanding for the eastern division Southside Chester Williams says he has had enough(!) of the mas camps. He told us today that he will force them to shut down early tonight:… And if you're wondering what got Williams so upset - here is the incident he was referring to:... Tomorrow, we'll tell you how that little experiment went.

Channel 5

P.M. Barrow Reacts to Otto Perez Molina Stepping Down as Guatemalan President
There is a new president in Guatemala; he is Alejandro Maldonado, who will serve until January when a new president takes office. His installation came within hours of the resignation [...]

P.M. Sorry to See Guatemalan President Resign
Former President, Otto Perez Molina, who is in lockdown tonight before another Court appearance on Friday, was in Belize in December 2014. That’s when Belize and Guatemala officially signed off [...]

What Would a Baldizon Presidency Mean for Belize?
The first round of voting in Guatemalan elections is scheduled for September sixth. Since Perez Molina’s resignation at midnight, polls show that the front-runner Manuel Baldizon from the Renewed Democratic [...]

…But What if Sandra Torres Were to Win?
And it is likely that a surprise victory by Sandra Torres, currently running third in consecutive polls, wouldn’t be a bad thing either. Torres is the ex-wife of former President [...]

Several Persons Injured in Collision on Crooked Tree Causeway
A near-fatal collision this afternoon along the Crooked Tree causeway has left several persons, including two minors, hospitalized with varying degrees of injuries.  Sometime around three o’clock, a grey Toyota [...]

Glenford Vernon Murdered on Castle Street
There was a murder in the old capital this afternoon and at this point, there are only preliminary reports about what happened on Castle Street. Just before two this afternoon, [...]

National Bank Opens Belize City Branch
Exactly two years ago, on September second 2013, the National Bank of Belize opened its doors for the first time in Belmopan. The mandate was clear cut – the provision [...]

When Will the Next General Elections Be Called?
The region’s focus is on Guatemala, and on elections there set for September sixth.  But a little closer to home, there is much speculation about our own general elections. The [...]

COLA Reboots and Stays on Course with Anti-government Campaign
COLA is stepping up its aggressive campaign called Protect Belize, Build the Base Now.  As its slogan proclaims, the organization wants the government to proceed with the construction of a [...]

P.M. Wishes COLA Well in Ongoing Public Campaign
While COLA continues to implement what shows promise of being a very muscular campaign, the group, headed by President Geovanni Brackett, has gotten the attention of the Prime Minister. His [...]

B.D.F. and Guatemalan Military Encounters are Routine – P.M. Barrow
COLA’s campaign has been focused on the Sarstoon and the need for a military presence at that location. It is a cry that has resonated, especially after footage last week [...]

Bodyguard turned Alleged Murderer Shocks P.M. Barrow
The officer assigned to the PM’s wife as her personal security was arrested and charged for murder on Tuesday. The fact that police believe one of their own cold-bloodedly murdered [...]

B.D.F Soldiers Complete Skills Training with U.S.M.C.
More than twenty B.D.F. officers are now trained on marksmanship and combat readiness. The month-long training was carried out by the United States Marine Corps and a ceremony was held [...]

No Worries About Petrocaribe Debt Says P.M.
With general elections looming…less than six months away according to the Prime Minister, one of the Opposition’s main criticisms looks to be centred on Petrocaribe – or more accurately the [...]

Meet and Greet on George Street and Rocky Road
The north and south eastern divisions of the Belize Police Department are partnering to tackle crime in the city. Today, they were out in the George Street area talking to [...]

Frankie Reneau at the Bliss this Friday
The national celebrations wouldn’t be complete without Francis “Frankie” Reneau. He returns every year to put on a one-of-a-kind show and on Friday night at the Bliss Center for the [...]

Mas Camp Fever Takes Over Belize City
Day two of mas camps took place on Wednesday night with four bands showing off their costumes and revelry. The more experienced bands came out in full strength with spectacular [...]

LOVE FM

National Bank of Belize opens branch in Belize City
The Belize City Branch of the National Bank of Belize was officially opened today. The National Bank of Belize or as the Government would refer to it, “the people’s bank”, was opened two years ago with its headquarters in Belmopan. The purpose of the bank is to provide low interest loans to Belizeans. General Manager, […]

Prime Minister reiterates position on activities in Sarstoon
On Tuesday, Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers sent out an email in which he says he observed a Guatemalan gun boat at the mouth of the Sarstoon, presumably in Guatemalan waters. It was supposed to the day when the BDF would change over shifts at Cadenas but according to Maheia, he saw no […]

Government keeping an eye on activities in Guatemala
Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina resigned after an arrest warrant was issued. Perez Molina was being investigated over allegations of illicit association and receiving bribe money related to a customs fraud ring known as “La Linea”. He denies the allegations. On Tuesday, the Guatemalan Congress stripped him of his immunity from prosecution. Perez Molina has […]

House destroyed in early morning fire in Punta Gorda
Paul Mahung reporting… “The owner of the house Meredith Martinez Augustine escaped uninjured from the burning building was not able to save any of her belongings. Meredith Augustine – Fire Victim “Last night I was asleep I don’t know what woke me up but earlier two gentlemen came to hail me and I drove them […]

UNICEF issues advisory over fraudulent mail
UNICEF Belize has issued an advisory to the public following the circulation of letters purportedly coming from the organization. According to the release, several people in Belize have received fraudulent award letters and emails that appear to be coming from UNICEF in Spain and Orchadhills Security Company. The letter states that recipients won an award […]

Orange Walk taxi drivers up in arms
Arturo Cantun reporting… “For years residents and especially vehicle drivers of the town have raised concerned about the manner in which drivers of $1 taxis operate through the center of town. The complaints include speeding, racing among each other and unindicated stops in incident vulnerable areas of the main street. Taxi operators of registered associations […]

COLA continues its campaign for construction of forward operating base
Today Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, held a press conference at which they revisited the position they stated last week. The demand for the construction of the forward operating base, the review of policies with Guatemala and the removal of Wilfred Elrington as Foreign Minister. President of COLA, Geovanni Brackett said as in previous […]

Government to proceed with its plans to build forward operating base
So what does the Prime Minister thinks about COLA and their “Build the Base now” campaign? As we have been reporting, the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action has taken up the duty of pressuring the Government of Belize to build the Forward Operating Base as soon as possible. Prime Minister Dean Barrow dismissed COLA’s […]

Election date still unknown, Prime Minister says soon
There has been a lot of talk as to when Prime Minister Dean Barrow will call the general elections. Rumors had it that it would be called in November. Today, Barrow put all the rumors to rest and shared his plans as to when he will call general elections. Prime Minister Dean Barrow “I will […]

Coast guard officers accused of extortion
Love News has received credible reports that three coast guard officers working out of Consejo Village were detained today for allegations of extortion. Details are not readily available at the moment but we understand that a resident of Consejo was bringing uncustomed goods from the Mexican side through the Chetumal Bay when he was intercepted […

PlusTV

National Assembly debates Electricity Acquisition Settlement Act, 2015
The House of Representatives met at the National Assembly in Belmopan today for a Special Sitting of the House. The Electricity Acquisition Settlement Act, 2015 was the item debated today at that Assembly. The act seeks to facilitate the implementation of the terms of a Deed of Settlement and Compro...

Espat says nationalization is all about nepotism
Today the debate on the BEL Acquisition Settlement Bill took precedence in the house with vehement arguments on both sides of the isle. A great deal of the arguments on the oppositions side was centered around the fact that the Government through the Settlement deal granted Fortis Group of companies...

Third Parties say Sweet Deal…for Fortis
Third parties are also adding their voices to the discussion, reiterating that the final settlement on the BEL acquisition is a sugary sweet deal for Fortis alone. They held a 3 man protest outside of the of theNational Assembly today as the representatives met inside. Their main issue was the exemp...

CWU accuses SSB chair of inciting negative public sentiments against workers
The Social Security Board staff is in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, which includes salary increases and benefits. Negotiations have not been going very well for staff members and the board’s counter proposal has not been anywhere near what the staffers are asking. Over the ...

King’s Children’s Home Gets Solar Panels
The King’s Children’s Home is located in the Village of Cotton Tree and is home to some 72 children. The facility is considerably large and spacious and is really a new space for the Orphanage which was previously located in a smaller duplex on Trinity Blvd in Belmopan. The move to the ...

Minor injuries reported in Hummingbird Highway traffic accident
Yesterday we told you about a traffic accident that happened on the Hummingbird Highway in front of Gallardo’s Hardware store. The accident involved a BBOC passenger bus and a private vehicle, a white Mitsubishi Montero. According to the bus driver, Tyrone Gillett , he was driving the bus with 52 pa...

Guatemalan president stripped of Immunity from Prosecution
Guatemalan President, 64 year old Otto Perez Molina has been stripped of his immunity against prosecution in his country. That is a historical occurrence as Molina becomes the first Guatemalan President to endure such a disgrace. Elections in Guatemala are just four days away but the country has bee...


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#507157 - 09/04/15 12:08 PM Re: Today's Belize News: September 4, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Guardian

BEL debt settled
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow, held a press conference on Monday August 31 to announced to the nation that the debt to the former owners of Belize Electricity Limited, Fortis, was settled. Speaking to the media in a press conference, the Prime Minister noted that as a result of a change in presidency at the company, with Barry Perry taking over from Stan Marshal, the former president, the process of negotiations went rather smoothly. That process started in July and one month later it was complete. The settlement will now see the government of Belize paying Fortis 70 million dollars with the company also getting a 33 and 1/3 percent shareholding in BEL. In effect the government which once held a 70% shareholding in BEL after nationalization will now own a 37% shareholding in the company, that along with a 26% holding by the Social Security Board ensures that the Government and people of Belize maintain a majority ownership in the utility company. With the new shareholding spread, BEL will be entitled to three directors to the board. These persons will include Fortis’ Earl Ludlow, former CEO of BEL, Lynn Young and former president of the Chamber of Commerce, Kay Menzies.

More schools to be built across the country
The Government of Belize has entered into a loan agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank for the construction of 35 new school buildings across the country. The loan is for a total of US$35 million and was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 2. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, explained that the Ministry has looked at communities across the country where the population has grown significantly to determine necessary locations for new schools. There will be 22 new schools for early childhood education (preschools). These schools will be built in Valley of Peace, Buena Vista, Billy White, Duck Run, St. Margaret’s, San Pablo (O.W.), San Jose (O.W.), Douglas, San Juan (O.W.), San Antonio (O.W.), Santa Cruz (O.W.), Trial Farm, Cowpen, Caye Caulker, Belmopan, Bella Vista, San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Independence, Pomona, Punta Gorda, San Pedro, Corozal Town and Dangriga.

Marco Tulio Mendez charged with Carnal Knowledge
The good doctor… Marco Tulio Mendez, who is the current PUP Area Representative for the Orange Walk East constituency, is currently in a lot more trouble than he was before. That’s because on Monday, August 31, the Orange Walk police upgrade his charges from aggravated assault of an indecent nature to carnal knowledge. He’s been sequestered for about 5 months, away from the public, only making his way to all his court ordered adjournments after being charged with 6 counts of indecent assault on February 3. He returned back to court on Monday, August 31, expecting that the police would finally conduct what in criminal proceedings is called a preliminary inquiry. This is a hearing where the sitting Magistrate looks at all the evidence that the prosecution has provided to the judiciary to convince them that this case ought to go to full trial.

Musa has steel cohones
There are a few things that Said Musa simply should not indulge in, that is to talk about tax write offs, Venezuelan money and borrowing. But when we deal with Said Musa, anything is possible, and anything is game. Such it was on Wednesday during the special House Meeting when he stood up to talk. Behold- he spoke about all of the above mentioned things. Said, for the first time ever admitted to giving Ashcroft tax write offs. Maybe it was that he was never given the opportunity to say as much or maybe it was that he was simply unwilling to admit that he twisted himself out of shape in order to accommodate Ashcroft, whatever the reason was he has never publicly admitted to having given the lord some huge tax breaks. Tax breaks which allowed for him to be referred to as a malignant tumor by the Caribbean Court of Justice. Another topic which he glibly spoke about was about borrowing. He has some set of steel cohones to be talking about debt. He lamented that the government was borrowing money. And even as he did so he explained the reason for all the borrowing that was currently taking place.

Audrey Matura’s incompetence costs Lucilo Teck over $60,000
Audrey Matura-Shepherd and other radicals may have caused the sugarcane industry to lose millions of dollars in the 2014-2015 crop season but this loss can now be piled on to what veteran farmer, Lucilo Teck, is facing for being the poster boy of Matura’s destructive actions. Readers may remember that cane farmer Lucilo Teck “hired” Audrey Matura-Shepherd to apply to the Supreme Court of Belize for a mandamus to compel the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) to declare the sugarcane crop season open. It was around this very time that the Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association divided into three associations and later signed separate agreements with BSI to proceed with the sugarcane crop on January 28. Despite the fact that the associations moved forward with the crop season, Matura encouraged Teck to proceed with the application which was set to be argued on February 23.

Alvin Hyde Senior has lost eleven family members since May 2015
The much feared and reputed boss of the underworld, Russell Winston Hyde Sr, was found lifeless by the Special Patrol Unit arm of the police department about a hundred yards from his girlfriend Marcie Humes at about 9:30 pm last Friday night at the Hyde’s residence in the Young Bank Area in Camalote Village, in the Cayo District. A witness to the entire incident, who fled the scene unhurt tells police that a screaming Marcie Humes was the first one to be shot by three armed gunmen, who were dressed in dark clothes and had flashlights. The three men had come running to the top of the hill where the Hydes lived. The gunmen then went after Russell Hyde, who had attempted to flee on a dirt road next to his farm. The 45 year old Hyde was shot at close range with two shots to the lower back, one shot to the right side of the jaw, neck and left clavicle areas. While 28 year-old hair braider, Marcie Humes, from Roaring Creek Village was shot a total of seven times to the chest and leg area. Humes was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital, but died from her injuries at 10:23 pm.

Busted with undersized lobster tails
Taiwanese businesswoman, Pin Yin Wu Li, 59, is out on bail after she was caught with 18 undersized lobster tails at her business place, “Billy’s Kitchen”, on Tuesday, August 25. Wu Li appeared in court on Friday, August 28, to answer to the fisheries offense. Pin Yin Wu Li appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers where she pleaded not guilty to a single charge of possession of undersized lobster tails, not exceeding four ounces. Li was unrepresented in court but she was provided with a translator to assist her in court. She pleaded not guilty and explained to the magistrate that when she bought the lobster tails she asked the seller to make sure they were regulation size. She said she only counted and checked some of them because there was a lot and may have overlooked some.

Calm in city still holding despite Malic Dixon’s apparent gang related murder
After a month of relative calm in the Belize City, and 2 months without outward signs of gang violence, 20 year-old Malik Dixon Jr., a resident of Mahogany Street was shot and killed a few blocks away from his home on Saturday night, August 29, just before 8:30 p.m. What police have been able to piece together at this time is that Dixon was riding his bicycle on his way home, and while he was on Flamboyant Street, a still unidentified gunman ambushed him and fired several shots at him. two of the bullets found their mark, and struck him in the lower back, and under his left arm pit. Civilians rushed him immediately to the KHMH, but he died while undergoing emergency medical treatment.

Mark Lopez before the court for robbery and weed
Mark Lopez was in police custody for two nights last week for the alleged armed robbery of Oliver Anthony Sutherland, who turned out to be his own cousin. Lopez allegedly held up Sutherland with a gun on Thursday, August 13, and took away his gold chain valued at $1000. Sutherland made a report to police then Lopez was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. However, Sutherland appeared in court on Thursday, August 27, to inform Magistrate Ladonna John that he does not wish to proceed with the case because he found out that Lopez is his relative.


Bus driver, Placido Vasquez, 46, of Teakettle Village is out on bail after he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Wednesday, September 2, for the offense of aggravated assault with a vehicle upon Clive Hyde. In a report to police, Hyde said that he was at his work place, Harpie’s Security, in Belize City on Tuesday, September 1, when he got into an argument with Placido who eventually jumped into a white Isuzu Rodeo and drove into him. Hyde was hit so hard that he ended up on the windshield of the vehicle.

Police corporal charged for murder
Police corporal, Ryon Wagner, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison on a charge of murder. Police believe that he shot and killed 31 year-old Nicaraguan Eduardo Manuel Perez Sanchez. Police found Perez Sanchez’s body at around 6 a.m. on Saturday, August 29 on a feeder road about 2 miles from the junction of the George Price Highway and Young Gial Road in Teakettle Village, Cayo District. The victim’s body was fully dressed, but it had a black T-shirt over his head and face. When the investigators observed the body, they found 2 gunshot wounds in Perez Sanchez’s head. He had been murdered execution-style.

Roy Zelaya Busted with Crack Cocaine
Belize City driver, Roy Zelaya, 44, was fined $150 after he was busted with 0.9 grams of crack cocaine. According to Zelaya, he went to buy the drug for someone to earn $5 and on his way back was when he was stopped by police. Zelaya was unrepresented when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Wednesday, September 2. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to a single charge of possession of a control drug. Chief Magistrate Smith fined Zelaya $150.00 plus $5 cost of court fee.

Dr. Carla Barnett builds first park for Belama Phase IV
The Belama Phase IV area is undergoing a complete transformation. Within the past couple of years it has seen vast improvements in the roads, drains, electrification and water connections. The main road leading into it, Apollo Street, has been completely upgraded and resurfaced and all in all the living conditions of residents has seen a marked improvement. Now after this transformation that has taken place, residents have requested and began the process to build a new park for the community. A couple of months ago, residents actually to it on themselves to go into a park-designated area and began to clear it to make way for improvements to take place. It was a noble effort and one which proved that the community was ready to take ownership and take care of the park and with that the UDP standard bearer, Carla Barnett took notice.

BEL at a glance: pre and post nationalization
BEL has now been bought and paid for, the previous owner receives 70 million dollars in cash and 33 and 1/3 % in shareholding. The decision was announced on Monday August 31 by Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow and it has now ended years of contention relationship between Fortis and the Government of Belize. And while now it is a matter of history to see where we have come from in this battle for BEL, we at the Guardian will single out two aspects of BEL before and after nationalization. What we've chosen to look at are the operating costs and earnings by the utility company as presented in their annual reports. In 2009 the company ballooned its operating expenses and their annual report stated as follows: "Operating expenses increased mainly due to a reduction in the level of overhead expenses capitalized as directed by the PUC and costs associated with legal challenges and defense against the actions of the PUC. Increased depreciation and finance charges and a decrease in other revenues also negatively affected earnings.

Making history in Cayo Central
Numerous projects are ongoing in the Cayo Central Division at an unprecedented rate. A newly released statement from the Cayo Central Office declares that never in the history of Cayo Central has so much been accomplished, in just two terms of the ruling United Democratic Party. Area Representative for the Cayo Central Division, the Hon. Rene Montero has been observed in numerous sites around Cayo Central monitoring the various projects to benefit the residents of his Division. A six million Belize dollar contract has just been awarded to Belize Roadway construction to pave the stretch of road between Santa Elena Town and San Antonio Village. This roadway between two communities facilitates the movement of farmers, tourists and residents alike, and the improvements are coming thanks to the help from Petrocaribe.

Some clarification on BEL’s settlement and shareholding
The BZ$70m in cash is what GoB is paying for 36.9% (or 25,469,490 shares) of the ordinary shares of the company (that’s the difference between the 70.2% (or 48,454,152 shares) GoB acquired from Fortis and the 33.3% (or 22,984,662 shares) that it is now giving back. Since its acquisition GoB has received dividends from BEL shares of $ 7.3m in 2015 plus $6.3m in 2013 and 14, for which it had not paid a penny, therefore the real cost of the shares is $56.4m which is the difference between the $70m purchase price and the dividends received. What GoB is therefore really paying for those shares is equivalent to $2.21 or just 21 cents more than $2 par value of the ordinary shares. That’s less than half (43%) of the net book value of $5.13 as at December 31, 2014, and only 53% of the 2011 net book value of $4.14, Belizeans have bought almost 37% of BEL for way below book value of shares. Furthermore, $2.21 is only 35% of the $6.29 which Fortis had originally demanded for each share in their claim against GoB.

Calm in city still holding despite Malic Dixon’s apparent gang related murder
After a month of relative calm in the Belize City, and 2 months without outward signs of gang violence, 20 year-old Malik Dixon Jr., a resident of Mahogany Street was shot and killed a few blocks away from his home on Saturday night, August 29, just before 8:30 p.m. What police have been able to piece together at this time is that Dixon was riding his bicycle on his way home, and while he was on Flamboyant Street, a still unidentified gunman ambushed him and fired several shots at him. two of the bullets found their mark, and struck him in the lower back, and under his left arm pit. Civilians rushed him immediately to the KHMH, but he died while undergoing emergency medical treatment. For his family, it is a devastating turn of events, but speaking frankly to reporters, his grandmother discussed with the press that they spoke with him a few times about hanging out with street figures in the Ghost Town Gang. He was regularly in the company of such individuals, and there was nothing they could do to convince him to stop.

Mark Lopez before the court for robbery and weed
Mark Lopez was in police custody for two nights last week for the alleged armed robbery of Oliver Anthony Sutherland, who turned out to be his own cousin. Lopez allegedly held up Sutherland with a gun on Thursday, August 13, and took away his gold chain valued at $1000. Sutherland made a report to police then Lopez was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. However, Sutherland appeared in court on Thursday, August 27, to inform Magistrate Ladonna John that he does not wish to proceed with the case because he found out that Lopez is his relative.

Errol Lynch, pleads guilty to handling stolen TV
Harold Perriott reported to police that on Thursday, August 20, a room he was renting in Belize City was burglarized and a number of items were stolen. Included among the items were a 32 inch flat screen television valued at $700 and a Jordan tennis shoe valued at $150 which police later found. According to police, on Saturday, August 22, Egbert Ferguson was found in possession of the Jordan tennis stolen from Perriott’s room and on Monday, August 24, Errol Lynch was found in possession of the television set stolen from Perriott’s room. Both men were arrested and charged with handling stolen goods.

Raheem Marsden charged for drug trafficking
Raheem Marsden, 23, is out on bail after he was arraigned for a single charge of drug trafficking on Friday, August 28. According to police, Marsden, a resident of Belize City, was busted in possession of nine small parcels of marijuana stashed in his pants waist on Thursday, August 27. Marsden was apprehended and taken to the police station where the drug was weighed. It amounted to 62.4 grams; therefore, police charged Marsden for the offense of drug trafficking with intent to supply to another person or persons.

Three charged for stolen goods
Guatemalans Elmer Trujillo, 31, Celedonio Ortiz, 43, and Fermin Zabaleta, 36, all of #99 Lord’s Bank Road, have been arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates Court for charges relating to the theft of Sanjay Hotchandani’s goods. The trio appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, August 31. First to be arraigned was Trujillo who was read a charge of theft. Allegations are that on August 22, 2015, he stole two Westinghouse brand A/C Units valued at $2,500, property of Sanjay Hotchandani. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge. Trujillo was additionally charged jointly with Ortiz and Zabaleta for handling stolen goods. Allegations are that on August 22, they were found in possession of the two AC units at their Lord’s Bank home. Trujillo pleaded guilty to the charge as well but disagreed with the facts; therefore, his guilty plea was rejected. A plea of not guilty was entered for the three men. They were offered bail in the sum of $2,500 each plus one surety of the same.

Placido Vasquez accused of intentionally driving into Clive Hyde
Bus driver, Placido Vasquez, 46, of Teakettle Village is out on bail after he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Wednesday, September 2, for the offense of aggravated assault with a vehicle upon Clive Hyde. In a report to police, Hyde said that he was at his work place, Harpie’s Security, in Belize City on Tuesday, September 1, when he got into an argument with Placido who eventually jumped into a white Isuzu Rodeo and drove into him. Hyde was hit so hard that he ended up on the windshield of the vehicle.

Dangriga Multi-purpose sporting complex to be rehabilitated
Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize (GOB), is undertaking the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with particular emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. The Design phase for the Dangriga Multi-purpose Sporting Complex has been completed and BIL is pleased to announce that the contract for the Construction phase was signed today. The contract was awarded to Mr. Salvador Habet of BCG Ltd from Belize City for $2,991,544.07.

More streets for Lake-I
Through the Petro Caribe program, central government will be investing 10 million dollars more in street upgrades across the city. One of those areas that will be benefitting is the Lake Independence constituency and Hon. Mark King is none too slow to begin the work. Over the past few days the heavy equipment has once again rolled into lake I digging drains, dumping up roads and graders and rollers as doing the work to improve the roads. Speaking to the Guardian, Hon. King said that the work being done is comprehensive in that the roads will be upgraded to what’s referred as up to paved standard. He said that accompanying the work will be the digging of drains as well as the installation of culverts and concrete walk and driveways for residents where the streets are being upgraded.

Liad Lisa
We are very certain what it is that drives Lisa Shoman- she is a rabid PUP that lives eats and drinks politics every single day. Maybe she is gunning for leadership of that worthless party and while she bids for it she is willing to do and say just about anything to get the prominence she wants. Case in point was a posting on Facebook in which she point blank- lied to her audience, remorselessly, maybe she pretended not to know numbers and accused the government of paying 70 million U.S. dollars for the BEL debt when in reality it was just half of that. The questions to Lisa, is and will remain, do you think that the Belizean people are as gullible as they were in the past? Do you think that they are unable to see through the social media lies that you concoct?

Another PUP horse dies
Another PUP horse has died. On Monday afternoon when P M Barrow announced that there was a settlement between the Government of Belize and Fortis in relation to BEL, a loud bawling could have been heard coming from the PUP Stable on Queen street. The PUP wailed and whined as they moaned the lost of another whipping horse. This was the third PUP horse to have died over the last two months. The first to die back in July was a big strong Clydesdale named Petrocaribe. According to the Vet, Petrocaribe died because of excessive flogging. Petrocaribe was being flogged since last October and had been showing signs of weakness in January during the horse race named Bye-election in Cayo North.

UDP and PUP- Polar opposites
The United Democratic Party and People’s United Party are exact opposites of each other. The difference between the two is like what day is to night. First let us look at the top, the UDP have a brilliant attorney at law and humanitarian as it’s Leader in the person of Hon. Dean Oliver “Lionheart “ Barrow. Hon. Dean Barrow is a great orator, he equips himself on any topic he is called to speak upon always making eye contact with those he is speaking with. Even when he speaks to a huge gathering it is like he is speaking to each person individually. He makes eye contact and one gets a chance to see the sincerity in his speech. Honesty is the mode of Mr. Barrow in both his personal and professional life either as an attorney or as an elected official. His name has never been called in any type of underhanded deal or hustling. Another thing is that Hon. Barrow allows descent from amongst those persons he leads. Democracy reigns supreme in the UDP where anybody’s position may be challenged, including the position of the Leader of the Party.

Bulldogs capture Firms Basketball Competition Title
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition came to an end on Saturday 29 August, 2015, at Bird’s Isle. The third and final game in the competition had to be played when on Friday 28 August, 2015, the Central Bank Team forced the if necessary game. In the championship game, the Belize Bank Bulldogs wasted no time in demonstrating its superiority over the Central Bank team when it blasted it by the score of 71-57. In the second game of the best of three series played on Friday 28 August, the Central Bank team forced a third game in the championship when it edged out the Belize Bank Bulldogs by the score of 70-67.

Junior Athletes to Commonwealth Youth Games
The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association will join seventy other Commonwealth Games Associations at the V Commonwealth Youth Games that will take place in Apia, Samoa, from September 5- 11, 2015. The V Commonwealth Youth Games will see participation from young athletes from all corners of the Commonwealth of Nations in 9 different sporting events. The Belizean Contingent which is consisted of Ashantie Carr (400m & 800m); Ashonti Carr (Long Jump),Marco Mendez (Men’s Singles), Michael Sosa (Coach/Delegate) for the Tennis Athlete and Tricia Flores who will doubled as Coach/Delegate for Athletics and all so as the Chief-of-Mission, left the country on September 1, 2015.

Kent Gabourel captures 16th Lionman Triathlon championship
The Belize Triathlon Association sponsored its 16th Annual Lionman Triathlon on Sunday 30 August, 2015, at the Sanlighters Promenade in Belize City. According to the President of the Triathlon Association Giovanni Alamilla, the course was an Olympic Distance event that included the 1500 metre swim, 40K ride and the 10K run. At the end of the event, it was Kent Gabourel that repeated as the Lionman champion. Gabourel completed the swim in a time of 31m 24s, ride in a time of 1:03:00 and the run in a time of 0.38 for a total time of 2:15. The second tri-athlete to cross the finish line was Amed Figueroa and he completed the course with the following time; swim 26m47s, ride 1 hr 9m and the run in a time of 0:41 for a total time of 2:16. The third tri-athlete to finish was Eric Donis and he completed the course with the following time: swim 25m7s, ride 1h 10m and run 0:44 for a total time of 2:19.

Junior male softballers to Estelí, Nicaragua
The Belize Softball Federation will be participating in the X Central American Junior Male Softball Championship that will be played in Estelí, Nicaragua from September 4-7, 2015. The National Team left the country on Wednesday September 2, and will join the National Teams of El Salvador, Guatemala and the host country Nicaragua. The games will be played in Noel Gamez Sports Stadium in Esteli, Nicaragua. Belize’s National Junior Male Softball Team is made up of players from the Cayo District, Belize Rural, Belize City and San Pedro. The leader of the Delegation is Edison Parks, 1st Vice President of the Belize Softball Federation, while the coaching staff consists of Head Coach Keith Madrill and Assistant Coach Brandon Bood. The players selected are: Keron Tillett, Tyrone Armstrong, Hedras Ramirez, Bruce Hylton, Jerome Carr, Rene Flowers, Lester Games, Nahor Howe, Christian Orellana, Devontae Middleton, Keran Fuller, Damian Pollard, Anfernee Brooks, Charles Stuart and Christian Hernandez.

Verdes FC are the new leaders in the Premier League Opening Season
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament continued over the last weekend with three games on the schedule. On Saturday 28 August, 2015, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the host team Wagiya and the visiting Police United played to a 2-2 draw. The Police United was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Harrison Roches scored the 1st of 2 goals in the 41st minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. It was not until the 2nd half of the game that the host team Wagiya was able to penetrate the Police United defence when Eugene Martinez scored his team equalising goal in the 54th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. Police United took another lead when Harrison Roches scored his 2nd and final goal of the game in the 73rd minute of play to give his team a 2-1 lead.

Two corporals in Cayo awarded for outstanding work
Assistant Commissioner of Police Aaron Guzman did an inspection of Police Officers from the Belmopan, San Ignacio and Benque Viejo Sub Formations at the San Ignacio Police Station on Friday of last week. In his monthly inspection, the Western Regional Commander, Aaron Guzman, sought to discover the standing of each police officer as they report for duty as well as remind the community that the police officers are working in cohesion in the performance of their duties. Guzman also took the time to award two Corporals from the San Ignacio Police Formation for their outstanding work ethic during the month of August of this year. These two police officers were chosen by the Officer in Charge of San Ignacio Police, Inspector Andrew Ramirez. First to be awarded for dedication, commitment and leadership qualities shown to the San Ignacio Police Formation was Corporal Ricky Valencia.

Minister of National Security continues countrywide tour
National Security and public safety is paramount in any society. It reassures communities and promotes positive development of any nation. Keeping a society safe is the job of law enforcement agents and in Belize’s case it is our National Police Department. In order for these officers to carry out the gargantuan task of keeping the community they serve safe they require resources, both material and human. Apart from this it is important that the officers feel taken care of and also motivated. No one understands this better than our Minister of National Security the Honorable John Saldivar. He has since embarked on a mission to visit all the police formations and to engage in meaningful discussions with every officer in the Belize Police Department.

September Celebration Kicks Off on St. George’s Caye
St. George’s Caye was where it all started – a tiny undeveloped island that has morphed into the beautiful jewel the world now calls Belize. It may be easy to forget that 217 years ago there was a move to quash the settlement. Spanish troops loaded huge vessels and approached the settlement with a plan to clear the territory of a bunch of unwelcomed upstart wood cutters. What they did not expect was that a group of whites, free blacks and slaves would stand their ground. The details of their stance has been greatly debated. Undebatable; however, is the fact that this resistance by a few brave men and women paved the road to September 21, 1981 when Belize was granted Independence by Great Britain. And it is for this reason that we must remember the 10th day of September and never forget the significance of Cayo Cocina (St. George’s Caye).

Police and partners remain vigilant in the West
Police in the Western Region will need to remain vigilant to prevent further entries of illegal immigrants from across the Belize-Guatemala border. Recently there were two instances, apart only three days, where five Cubans were detained near Benque Viejo del Carmen and the matter is now being addressed by the Immigration Department. It will now be left to the Belize Courts to decide whether these ten persons will be deported back to Cuba or Guatemala. As recently as Friday of last week, a migrant was detained at a Benque Viejo Police checkpoint as he was travelling from Belmopan to the Belize-Guatemala border. Police now believe that this immigrant had burglarized a place in Belmopan. As revealed by this case, the vigilance of Benque Viejo Police with their regular checkpoints along the George Price Highway shows that the Belmopan, San Ignacio and Benque Viejo Police Formations are working well in conjunction with other security related personnel; as security in the West also hinges on the Belize Defense Force, Tourism Police, Special Patrol Units, Customs, Immigration and even the Forestry Department.

Zone Ten helps needy family in Cayo
Members of the Zone Ten Neighborhood Watch Executive, headed by Chairwoman Desol Neal, recently made a visit to rural Cayo to assist a family in dire need. The Zone Ten Team therein took the opportunity to provide psychological support as well as resources to the family. Funding for this effort by Zone Ten was derived from a Father's Day event that was recently held at the Santa Elena Basketball Court. Neal says that Zone Ten is committed to provide continuous support to the educational needs of the children from this family.

Belize Bank Bulldogs are National Softball Champions
The XXV National Women’s Softball Championship has now been recorded in the Sports Annals of this country. The six teams Double Elimination Format Championship saw some of the finest softball games played in the country for quite a while that brought fans to jubilation in Rogers Stadium the home of softball in the country. On Sunday 30 August, 2015, in the 11 and final game of the championship series which became necessary when the defending champions the Belize Bank Bulldogs rallied from an early deficit to upend BTL in game 10, saw the budding champions retained its title as National Softball Champions of Belize when it edged out the Belize Telemedia Ltd. (BTL) by the score of 5-4. BTL batting in the bottom of the 1st inning scored the first run of the game when Lydia Cacho reached on a hit by pitch and scored when first baseman Barbara Cadle drilled a Kenreen Gillett fastball into the left-centre field gap for the first run of the game.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

COLA skeptical of Fortis deal
This week Government announced a settlement with Fortis Incorporated regarding the acquisition of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). It is now halfway to completion with passage secured in the House of Representatives, but opponents of the original takeover are asking: what was the fuss? Citizens Organized for Liberty through […]

COLA expands “Build the Base” campaign
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has ramped up its campaign in support of the building of the Forward Operating Base at Sarstoon Island. In today’s briefing it introduced a set of T-shirts for those who support the campaign. President Geovannie Brackett suggested that Government would try […]

PM surprised by Ryon Wagner arrest
33 year old Police Corporal Ryon Wagner is tonight behind bars on charges of murder, after being accused of the death of laborer Eduardo Perez Sanchez, who was shot to the head and then dumped in a secluded area on the Young Gial Road, Teakettle Village, Cayo District. […]

When will Belize’s general elections be called?
While he was speaking about Guatemala’s general elections, Prime Minister Dean Barrow will soon face elections of his own. In summary according to our friends at Wikipedia, the last general election, actually a double with the municipals, was held on March 7, 2012. Following a 17-14 victory for […]

Southside Poverty Alleviation Project tackles housing
A total of $1,495,000.00 has been allocated for phase two of the housing project in the Port Loyola and Lake Independence Divisions, as part of the Southside Poverty Alleviation project being funded by the OPEC Fund for International Development. It is estimated that between 100-200 houses will be built for […]

PM sorry to see Guatemalan president’s resignation and speaks about upcoming elections
Following the breaking news overnight of the resignation of President of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina, who faces corruption charges in a long-running customs scandal, Prime Minister Dean Barrow told reporters today that his presidency had not been marked by as much hardline behavior as might have been expected […]

Three men and a minor remanded for drugs and ammunition offenses
Dominique Franklyn, John Henry, Elwin Evans and a 17 year old female minor are spending their first night at the Belize Central Prison after magistrate Hurl Hamilton remanded them for the offences of drug trafficking and possession of ammunition. For context, Corozal Police acting upon information intercepted two vehicles last […]

Orange Walk Traffic Department enforces road rules
This afternoon, about fifteen $1.50 taxi operators met with the Traffic Manager of the Orange Walk Municipal Traffic Authority to voice their concerns over their pick up and drop off zones. The Traffic Department is now enforcing the regulations and policies in place as it pertains to […]

PUP cancels youth radio show
Members of the youth and reform wings of the People’s United Party (PUP) are up in arms following the hasty departure of former standard bearer and youth advocate Micah Goodin, who has resigned as an executive member of the Belize Youth Movement and left his radio program, Outspoken, […]

Teen girl goes missing from home
Police are currently investigating reports of a missing teenager, 16 year old Jocelyn Flores of A-Street, Benque Viejo, who hasn’t returned home since early Sunday morning, August 30. Her mother, 42 year old Martha Flores, reported that she and Jocelyn went to sleep at around 1:00 a.m. and when she […]

Belize City branch of National Bank opens
The “people’s bank”, the National Bank of Belize, is opening a second branch in Belize City on Regent Street. Established two years ago as a low-cost option for public servants, the Bank has achieved and even exceeded expectations, according to general manager Alvaro Alamina at today’s opening. The […]

BELIZE ~ THE NOT-SO-OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL RESERVES
Belize’s OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL RESERVE position in 2014 was $486.8m, up from $291.5m in 2012, $166.4m in 2008, $35.8m in 2005 and $114.7m in 2001. “In a strict sense, foreign-exchange reserves should only include foreign banknotes, foreign bank deposits, foreign treasury bills, and short and long-term foreign government securities. [2] […]

Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina Resigns
The President of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina resigned late last night after a judge issued an arrest warrant against him in connection to a growing corruption scandal that has put the country into a political crisis. Vice President Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre will take office to serve out Mr. Pérez Molina’s […]

Blogs

Dear Belize, it’s time to scrap your ban on LGBTI visitors
Belize is one of only two countries in the Western Hemisphere that still bans the entry of homosexuals. While the law is rarely enforced, it serves to stigmatize and vilify LGBTI people, who are regularly fired from jobs, evicted from their homes, bullied in schools, and suffer verbal and physical assaults. Repealing the entry ban on gays will send a clear signal that LGBTI people are welcome, and belong, in Belize.

Hotter than Hot sauce
Lately it has been hotter than hot sauce. Even our swimming pool was literally like bath water the other day. We have also been experiencing slightly more rain and the past 2 nights there has been middle of the night showers with enough rain to make me get up and close the east windows. That did not cool anything down however. During the daytime you can still spit on the ground and watch it sizzle. I swear it feels like I lose a litre of water every time I ride my bike to town and back to do errands. Thankfully 3 of my errands were in air conditioned buildings. First stop was Atlantic Bank where I had to once again try and sort out why my bank card and matching pin number were not working. I finally got the answer (after a few visits) apparently the very card I was holding was noted “lost” in my file and there for cancelled – go figure. I will be getting a new one within a week. I was glad to have an answer and cool off in the process.

It's slow season, and there is Sargassum, but everyone is still having fun in Placencia!
The Sargassum has been the talk of most of the Caribbean recently, and Belize and Mexico have been getting hit pretty hard for several weeks now. There have been days where it didn't seem more seaweed was coming in, but then the next morning would bring new patches floating around, just when we thought we were done! It is also hitting different parts of the peninsula different days--some parts aren't too bad, and you can still swim at Placencia Point, Maya Beach, and Tranquilo :) A great picture from Mylene Colmar on Twitter from Mexico, which represents how it looks pretty much everywhere, on a very very bad day--most days are about a 1/10 of this: There is still PLENTY to do here and the seaweed does NOT have to ruin your trip. Those that live here and run resorts are more than happy to guide you to where you won't have to deal with it. It could be gone in a week or a month but no one is canceling vacations over this! These two shots were taken within the week, no problem with the views!!

International Sourcesizz

Canada looks to keep focus against Belize
For training, Belize’s national team pits cops against robbers. Not the pre-teen version you played in your backyard. Rather, the domestic soccer derby version. After all, it’s CONCACAF, where bizarre things happen throughout World Cup qualification. Canada hosts a Belizean side Friday night at BMO Field that consists of players predominantly from two domestic clubs: Police United and the Belmopan Bandits. The former was – and maybe still is – comprised of actual law enforcement. We can’t be sure. They don’t have a proper website. As for the Bandits, well, we don’t want to speculate about alleged criminal pasts. It’s safe to assume Canada’s staff likely doesn’t know much about Belize heading into CONCACAF’s third round.

Canadian men look to dispatch underdog Belize in FIFA World Cup qualifying
Superstitious Canadian soccer fans may not be happy to know that Belize is home to the world's largest sinkhole. Located 100 kilometres from the mainland, "the Great Blue Hole" is 300 metres wide and 125 metres deep. Canadian coach Benito Floro will be looking to avoid blundering into a Belize-made hole as his team opens a home-and-away World Cup qualifying series Friday at Toronto's BMO Field. On the surface, it should be smooth sailing. British bookmaker William Hill has Belize as a 12-1 underdog. Canada is ranked 102nd in the world while Belize -- whose population is around 350,000 -- is No. 128. The Canadian men dispatched the Jaguars 8-0 on aggregate when they met in a similar qualifying tie in 2004.

What is Beach Seaweed?
Beach seaweed has been problematic this year, but don’t stress if you are expecting travel to the south. Some of the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean are darkening with an influx of decaying sargassum. Brown-coloured seaweed, with small pods attached – also known as sargassum – are washing up on many beaches in Mexico, as far north as the Dominican Republic, and the eastern shores of Barbados, and reportedly smelling like rotten eggs. The decay and rate of sea weed found on the beaches has been so bad in recent years it has become a global issue, being blamed for everything from Rhode Island’s explosions in the sand to disrupting beach developments in West Australia. Sargasasum is a real nuisance this year, and has been a growing problem since 2011. The Associated Press reported officials calling for an emergency meeting of the 15-nation Caribbean Community and the impact this beach seaweed may have on tourism in the coming months. The costs associated with removing the seaweed are high, and even when the seaweed is cleaned up, the smell can still remain. So what is the takeaway from this news? Is this a natural disaster or an inconvenient part of the natural cycle of ocean life?

Videos

  • Berne Live On Belize Musicians Past And Present, 26min. Berne appears live on Belize Musicians Past And Present with Tony Wright and JC Arzu.

  • Spotted Eagle Rays in Belize, 14min. Swimmimg with spotted eagle rays while diving along the barrier reef in Belize.

  • Come Back from Belize, 4.5min. Bluegrazer

  • Stephen Fry in Central America Season 1 Episode 2 - Belize to Guatemala - Lights Out!, 62min.

  • Belize trip-Vimeo, 3min.

  • Belize Sun Dancer II, 24min. Scuba diving in Belize

  • Belize - wunderbare Vielfalt, 3min. Belize, das mittelamerikanische Land mit langer Karibik-Küste bietet faszinierende Erlebnisse an Land und unter Wasser. Das Video des Belize Tourism Board bietet tolle Eindrücke von dem, was Urlauber erwartet.

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