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#507531 - 09/17/15 11:45 AM Today's Belize News: September 17, 2015
Marty Offline


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro celebrates Central American and Mexico’s Independence
On Saturday, September 12th the San Pedro Town Council celebrated the independence of Central American and Mexican communities. The island is home to many people from these areas and thus, the island authorities held a celebration in honor of their country’s national day. The event, which is held annually and is listed under the San Pedro’s September Celebrations Calendar of activities, took place at the Central Park where hundreds of residents and visitors enjoyed the showcasing of each country’s culture, food and music. After the welcome address, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr delivered his remarks. “Tonight we commemorate the Independence of our neighbors in Central America and up north with our Mexican brothers. Belize has always maintained a strong and good relationship with our neighbors and tonight I invite everyone out here to enjoy this Noche Centro Americana, taste their food, get to know a bit more about the different countries through their booths, and don’t forget that we also have a Belizean booth. Let’s continue working together for a better island and for a better country,” said Heredia.

Mayor Daniel Guerrero given demerit over unauthorized holiday
After declaring an unauthorized holiday for Friday, September 11th, Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero has been chastised by the Ministry of Education (MOE). During the St. George’s Caye Day celebrations on Thursday, September 10th, Guerrero announced that he was granting a holiday for all island schools on the following day. But that holiday was not sanctioned by the MOE. As a matter of fact, Guerrero’s petition for the holiday before September 10th had been denied. In a press release, MOE started “The arbitrary decision at a municipal level cannot be condoned. The determination of Public and Bank Holidays, or the declaration of non-school days, is not within the jurisdiction of municipal authorities. The Ministry condemns the ill-advised and unauthorized decision of the Mayor.” MOE also indicated that on Wednesday, September 9th a letter had been issued to Guerrero denying his request to give the holiday no matter the reasons he had made.

2015 Carnival Road March brings color and culture to Belize City
The 2015 Carnival Road March took place on Saturday, August 12th and saw thousands of Belizeans making their way to Belize City for the highly anticipated event. Held annually since 1975 as part of the September Celebrations, carnival has been growing each year and has become one of the biggest shows of culture and patriotism in the country. The event starts with pre-dawn J’ouvert and ends with a jump up party at BTL Park immediately after the parade. Prior to carnival day, organizers held the King and Queen completion on Saturday, September 5th. During this event, judges got the first look at the groups’ costumes and selected the best in both categories: junior and senior. Winners for this competition are as follows: Junior Queen- 1st Mahogany Masqueraders, 2nd Jump Street Posse, 3rd Collet Royal; Junior King- 1st Jump Street Posse, 2nd Pickstock Carnival Band, 3rd Sunshine Masqueraders; Senior Queen- 1st Titans Mas Band, 2nd Mother Nature Creation, 3rd Evolution Mas Band; Senior King- 1st Titans Mas Band, 2nd Soca Moca Carnival Band, 3rd Mother Nature Creation.

Ambergris Today

25 Years Ago - Remembering When WE USED TO… in San Pedro Village No. 4
TROLLING: When you talk about trolling today you are talking about navigating slowly with your skiff and dragging behind you one or two fishing lines. Well, trolling is trolling and won’t change but what if you did not have a skiff. Back then we used to go trolling with sailing boats. This was the perfect speed for trolling and when you had a barracuda or tarpon on your line, you simply turned into the wind direction and let your sails flap back and forth while you fought with your catch. HANDLINE FISHING: Tourist guides, professional anglers and even amateur fisher folks today can only do so with expensive rod and reels. Give them a hand fishing line and see what they would do with it. I think I can safely say I would be able to handle it because I learned fishing with hand lines. There are only a few things that you have to take into consideration. BUOY FISHING: For those of you who do not know what is a buoy, let me quickly say that it is an object, any shape or size that will remain afloat in the sea. We USED TO GO beachcombing for buoys made of plastic, glass or aluminum. They were plentiful along our beaches of Ambergris Caye. My father said they were used by fishermen in Japan or China on their seine nets and became loose and drifted to our shores.

Sailing Club Invites to Bart’s Bash Venue Race in San Pedro
Last year it was a Guinness World Record breaking event. This year it is a fundraiser and it will be an annual event. The San Pedro Sailing Club will be hosting a Bart's Bash Venue race at Caribbean Villas Hotel on Sunday, September 20, 2015. All sailing boats are invited to attend; to be entered into the official rolls participants can sign up on the Bart's Bash website. Captains and their crews can sign up. Some boats may have room to accommodate passengers; please check with tour operators for details if you wish to book a seat on a boat. The race will see optimist dinghies, lasers, large catamarans and hand built wooden boats. The Captain's briefing will be at Amber Beach Bar and Grill on Saturday, September 19 during the late afternoon and the race will start at 9:30a.m. Sunday morning. The San Pedro Sailing Club asks participants to arrive at least one hour ahead of race time. After the race enjoy a beach party setting at the resort - Music, Barbeque, Good Friends and Family - What a great way to celebrate during the Independence Day holiday weekend. For further details please contact Cindy Vigna at tel: 624-4659.

Program Started to Support Small Business Startup in San Pedro
The San Pedro Town Council has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED) for the implementation of a program that is aimed to promote local economic development through the support of small business start up incentives. The signing took place on Friday, September 11, 2015, which is being implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), a project funded by the Government of Canada. San Pedro is the first municipality to be signed up into the project’s second phase, with Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio benefiting from the first phase already. This initiative is being held in seven Caribbean countries and now including Belize. The approach of the program focuses on local authorities to work in partnership with the private sector, non-government organizations and local residents to stimulate and encourage business activity in the community. CARILED will provide technical assistance to small business startups in San Pedro. They have already looked at the general economic environment of the town and conducted a local economic profile study that gathers data that will be used to assist participants.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize Enterprise and Innovation Institute
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), focused on fostering Belize’s prosperity through entrepreneurship and innovation, is pleased to announce a collaboration with the University of Belize (UB) for the construction of a new facility, Belize Enterprise and Innovation Institute (BEI2). This collaboration is part of an extended partnership between BELTRAIDE and UB, where UB’s Faculty of Management & Social Science (FMSS) Campus would become an enterprise, innovation, and research hub. BEI2 is foreseen to provide a hub where entrepreneurship, innovation, and business development will be nurtured and supported. The facility will headquarter two technical units of BELTRAIDE, its EXPORTBelize and SBDCBelize. It will, also, provide for a series of advising/meeting rooms, more trained staff, several small business incubators, and a resource centre. BEI2 has been designed to inspire and nurture entrepreneurship and innovation. BELTRAIDE and the University of Belize invite the media to the launch, agreement signing, and ground breaking, which is scheduled for Thursday, 17th September, 2015 at the 10:00am at the University of Belize, Faculty of Management & Social Science (West Landivar). The facility’s design incorporates Green technology, suitable for sub-tropical climate, as well as taking advantage of SMART technologies. Mr. Hilberto Riverol Jr. is designing the new facility.

Benque HoC's 14th Anniversary
Happy 14th, Benque HoC! They had a big celebration in its honor, and launched the Old Benque exhibit simultaneously. "Old Benque Anniversary Exhibition Launch @ 25, Exhibition will be open to the general public at the Benque House of Culture, until November 27th, 2015 and travel around the country of Belize at the various House's of Culture, Art Galleries and supportive Institutions, make your way, learn, preserve and enhance cultural learning of our Belizean folklore"

Panyaad Steel Band Concert
This Saturday at House of Culture 7PM

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Ambergris Stadium Friday Sept. 18th
Everyone is invited to this momentous occasion which is the beginning of a huge milestone for San Pedro.

Poets Corner: Golden Parachute
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. The BEL/ Fortis deal is a golden parachute Fortis’s power is now absolute If Rodwel Barrow’s law partner is BEL’s chair For as long a UDP wins he’ll always be there Lynn Young is the director for Fortis Fortis will have a total of three in practice Including K. Menzies and an expatriate to replace Stan Marshal of Fortis Making the board pro GOB and pro Fortis People realized from the time Fortis Was allegedly nationalized That Barrow was pulling wool over the people’s eyes But they were quickly neutralized Labeled naysayers and makers of noise He remained poised Until their secret deal was crystallized Essentially both BECOL and BEL should have been nationalized Due to the service BEL provides

Belikin Beer Fest
The Belikin Beer Fest will be this Saturday at Falcon Field, starting at 6:00pm.

ROOTS: AN ANDY PALACIO CELEBRATION CLASSIC!
Roots is the 1994 hit single by the Belizean Garifuna Punta Rock artist Andy Palacio. It was released in November of 1994. It was produced by Andy Palacio and Micheal Hyde under the Belizean music label Kalifa Records owned by the Belizean Executive Producer Bilal Morris. Roots is a hit from the the 1994 Andy Palacio album that became the artist's first full CD album called Andy Palacio. It includes other hits like Albert Street, Jammin', Se Busca, Time for Peace and Samina Humein.

JAMMIN': A BELIZEAN LEGENDS CELEBRATION JAM!
The hit single Jammin' by the undisputed King of Punta, Andy Palacio. Written by Andy Palacio. Produced by Andy Palacio and Michael Hyde for Kalifa Records 1994.

ALBERT STREET: THE MOST CELEBRATED STREET IN BELIZE'S SEPTEMBER CELEBRATIONS!
Albert Street is the 1994 hit single by the late Andy Palacio released on September 5, 1994 under the Kalifa Records label. It depicts the famous Belize City street named Albert Street where all the parades and festivals would pass on during the country of Belize September festivities called the 10th. of September or the Battle of St. Georges's Caye. It was written and produced by Andy Palacio and produced by Andy Palacio and Michael Hyde.

Channel 7

Western Regional: A Hospital Or a Zoo!?
From a rat biting a baby’s toe to a snake biting a nurse’s ankle!! That’s right: another appalling case of animals attacking at the rundown Western Regional Hospital. This one happened a couple months ago on July 26th. A nurse was walking to her room in the nurse’s quarters after a late shift when a snake bit her on the left ankle! She went back to the hospital and she was treated immediately – a series of blood tests were conducted and the results came back normal indicating that it was not a poisonous snake. The nurse only had swelling on her ankle. But while the swelling has gone down and the nurse has resumed her duties at the hospital, this incident further highlights that major issue of infrastructural dilapidation at the 40 year old hospital. It started off with the pantry where there was a rat infestation: that room was renovated.

PUP G-11, Rebels No More
The PUP G-11 – they’re the rebels who’ve been at odds with the party leadership since mid-July. That’s two months of alienation form their own party boycotting meetings and rallies. But tonight the news is that they are back under the big blue tent. That is after a meeting today in Burrell Boom where Party Leader Francis Fonseca and ten of the 11 agreed to put their differences behind them and move forward. We say ten of the eleven, because Dan Silva is out of the country. But, best information says that he is on board with his 10 comrades. And why not? We are told that the meeting was a breakthrough where Party Leader Fonseca agreed to the three major demands of the dissidents, including an open convention where he can be challenged, and changes to the national executive. Now that is very major and a press release form the party announced, quote, “ At the conclusion of the meeting all present were satisfied that an agreed upon process and structure is now in place to positively and effectively respond to all concerns raised.” End quote.

Senate Sour over Supplementary
The National Assembly Building in Belmopan was crackling again today when the Senate met to consider the BTL Settlement deal that government has hammered out with the Ashcroft Alliance. But first they had to talk about the General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation – that’s to authorize government to get the 162.7 million needed to pay the first part of the settlement. The second part is blank – because the figure for that won’t be known until an arbitration panel decides what it should be. That blank part really raised the blood pressure of the Senator for Business, Mark Lizarraga. Here’s what he said: Hon. Mark Lizarraga - Business Senator "This blank cheque that we agree to give government today; that we will agree to pay the Ashcroft Alliance has, we don't believe ever been attempted in our history. This indecent proposal before us today Mr. President has gone way too far and is now clearly the full blown cancer the CCJ talks about."

Business Senator Says No Settlement At All
And that skirmish over language was only the start of a much bigger war over the actual terms of the deal – contained in the deed of settlement and compromise. and how it was negotiated by the Prime Minister and Michael Ashcroft. Again, the business senator had a whole lot to say about that – in fact, he said, it signals the end of democracy:.. Hon. Mark Lizarraga - Business Senator "We seem to have before us today a settlement bill that in fact doesn't settle very much at all. What has now proven to be ill-advised and heartiness driven protracted arbitration proceedings have led to what was once a 45 million dollar loan, now being settled at 76 million dollars. This decision to litigate, rather than negotiate; as was advised by the business community then, has cost us today 113% in interest alone. An unnecessary 51 million dollars Belize, wasted." "Now if I know for 6 years that I owe this money; and in the last 2 or 3 years I have had at my disposal 1% and 2% of it; why did we not attempt to take some of the famous Petro dollars to try and pay off this loan make we never had to pay 51 million dollars in interest."

Losing Faith?
Since August 28 th when we broke the story on the problems at Faith Nazarene Primary School, parents and teachers have been complaining about the leadership of Principal Policarpia Pech. There have been several meetings with teachers and parents but still no compromise, no agreement has been finalized and today about 20 parents staged an actual protest. We travelled west and here’s what we saw Courtney Weatherburne Reporting…. It might seem like a regular school day at Faith Nazarene with the kids in their pleated reddish brown uniforms eating their snacks during break time. But instead of running around the compound and playing, they all huddled together near the small snack shop – staring in bewilderment at the boisterous crowd of parents who had gathered outside. The parents stood under a tent outside the school grounds chanting loudly and demanding what they have been demanding for weeks. Crowd Chanting "We want a change, we want change."

He Has To Shepherd A Whole School through Tough Times
The man who has to manage this disruption of classes is the General Manager, Raymond Shepherd, who has temporarily taken over as Local Manager of the school just to deal with this crisis. This evening, we got an opportunity to speak with him, and we asked if there is any plan in place to deal with the 7 days of classes that the students are have lost so far. He told us that there is. And we apologize for that break – apparently due to a naitonwide blackout. We’re back with the news now and we resume with General Manager on Nazarene Schools, Raymond Shepherd talking about the plan for the kids who have missed so many days of classes: Raymond Shepherd - General Manager "Ever since the matter of the disruption of classes commenced the education board; of which I am the chairperson. We had drafted up a plan as to what will be required of our teachers. That plan has been communicated to our teachers in the first instance, to let them know that in fact they are required by the education rules to do make up classes. The teachers are willing and have received the plan very positively and so I am confident that the students will in the long run not lose anything. I have also tried to communicate this message to parents that while the students are missing out now, the teachers are required and will be conducting extra classes to make up for the miss times."

Business And Labor Go Separate Ways On FCIB Vesting Bill
The First Caribbean Vesting Bill also went to the senate today. This one is interesting because the labour senator – who is usually anti-government – couldn’t stand in the way of a piece of legislation which is to facilitate a business transaction. In fact, he ended up acting as the Bank’s spokesperson – and you’ll hear that shortly. But there’s also labour senator – Ray Davis and 60 bank employees are going to lose their jobs. The problem is that the labour senator has been cast aside by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, and even more so the Christian Workers Union, which is led by Audrey Matura Shepherd – who pushed hardest for his removal as Senator. Here’s what both of them had to say about the vesting:.. Hon. Mark Lizarraga - Business Senator "We have every expectation that the employees will receive all that is due to them under any existing law or agreement. And we continue to urge all the parties involved to continue to dialogue and to seek peaceful, mutually agreed upon and speedy resolution to this matter. We have been reassured by the employer; in this instance Mr. President that they will continue to be mindful of the needs of all concerns and involved in this process. And that they will observe at all times the highest levels of professionalism as they work to ensure a seamless and orderly transition of business to Heritage."

Shakeem Shot Debride?
On Monday, we told about 31 year-old Joseph Debride – who was shot on Carnival Day when his police girlfriend tried to take away an unlicensed firearm from a man. Well the man who police believe was the shooter is 28 year-old Shakeem Humes, a resident of the community at Mile 8 on the WESTERN highway. Tonight, he’s at the Belize Central Prison. As we told you, well-known Woman Corporal Christine Avila was off-duty on Currasow Street at around 9:35 on Saturday night. She was with her boyfriend, Joseph Debride, and that’s around the time when a man they recognized came up to them and told them that he was armed. Corporal Avila tried to take the gun away from him, and in the struggle, he escaped. Before he fled, he fired several shots at the couple and ended up shooting Debride in the neck. Well, after investigating the incident police charged Shakeem Humes with 2 counts of attempted murder, 1 count of wounding, 1 count of use of deadly means of harm, and 1 count of damage to property. The last offence was brought against him because according to police, in his spray of gunfire, he damaged a car that was parked nearby.

Hon. Lisa Lambastes Hon. Finnegan
Yesterday in the House of Representatives, UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan set his targets on President of the CWU Audrey Matura Shepherd. She’s been calling on the Prime Minister to do more to protects FCIB workers. Honourable Finnegan jumped to his defence. Here’s some of what he had to say: "The lady must do her job as head of the union properly. Stop behave quarrelsome man. When you behave quarrelsome sir, from my 65 years of experienced you do not get things done. Especially if you are representing people. If you are representing your own self and you want to be an idiot and you want to be quarrelsome, that is different because nobody else get hurt in the process. Anytime this union leader get up and she talk, all she talk is Dean Barrow and Dean Barrow this and Dean Barrow that. I don't know what Dean Barrow do that lady. Or why that lady doesn't like this man. But you must have done that lady something, because every time that lady gets up, she is disrespectful of the Prime Minister of this country. I will not say that. I will be very respectful to the lady, because I think the lady have some abilities too sir."

Call It KAP
There is a new report out on the sexual behaviors of young people in Belize, and it seeks to be the most thorough one to date. It’s called KAP, or Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices in Sexual Behavior and HIV in Belize. The survey was conducted one year ago in September of 2014, and looks at the sexual practices of that section of the population between 15 and 24 years old. Today, 7News attended the launch of this report by the National Aids Commission, and we spoke with the statistician who helped to conduct the survey for this study. Here’s what she had to say about the report and it’s findings: Here are few findings which stand out. According to this survey, 71% of Creoles and 69.4% of Garifuna between 15 and 24 are reporting that they’ve already had sex. Those are the highest numbers of the ethnic groups. Mestizos are third with 60.3% and the other ethnic groups not placed in the other categories have also had sex. The Maya have the lowest occurrence youths having sex at that age, that is, 44.8%. The total from this survey says that 61% of persons aged 15 to 24 in this country have already had sex.

KHMH Kumbaya?
Yesterday, we told you about the ongoing negotiations between the Administration of the KHMH, the Government of Belize, and representatives of the KHMH employees. They were negotiating the possibility of a raise - similar to the one that the teachers and the public officers have been given by the Barrow Administration. As we told you, there was just one issue, KHMH is a statutory body by itself, and so technically, these employees aren’t public officers. Well, the negotiations between the different parties has led to a compromise which will ensure that the salaries of the workers will be increased. A joint release from the management and employees of KHMH says, quote, “There are a number of the breakthroughs with respect to strategies for improving efficiencies and customer service, as well as for implement cost saving and revenue collection measures.” End quote.

Channel 5

Is G.O.B. Handing Over a Blank Cheque in B.T.L. Settlement?
The settlement of the Belize Telemedia Limited nationalization with the Ashcroft Group was signed on September eleventh, taken before Cabinet on September fourteenth…to the House on September fifteenth and today [...]

Opposition Senator Says Request to Settle Arbitration is an Indecent Proposal
Senator for Government Business, Godwin Hulse, insists that the Senate is only being asked to approve the specific sum of one hundred and sixty-two million outlined in the schedule, and [...]

Lisa Shoman on B.T.L. Settlement
As we told you, the settlement was penned and approved in both houses of the National Assembly in a matter of four business days. Senator Shoman says that’s just plain [...]

Has National Assembly Been Asked to Approve 2 Billion Dollars in One Fiscal Year?
But blank check or not…the appropriation bill was pushed through the Senate today. According to Opposition Senator Anthony Sylvestre, all be told, the National Assembly has been asked to approve [...]

P.M. Barrow Under Fire for Mishandling Nationalization and Settlement
The sixty million plus dollars being paid in this first instance to the Ashcroft Group is based on an estimate share value of one dollar and forty-four cents. But when [...]

Senate Majority Supports B.T.L. Settlement
The fact is that despite the fire and fury over the B.T.L. settlement today, any debate has been rendered purely academic because the government has the majority in the Senate. [...]

G-Eleven Kisses and Makes Up with P.U.P. Leadership
The People’s United Party issued a release today signalling that it is closing ranks following a tumultuous period of internal rift.  A meeting was held today at Burrell Boom between [...]

Snake Bites Nurse at Western Regional Hospital! Does It Get Any Worst?
The Western Regional Zoo…sorry we meant Hospital, is back in the news tonight, and as our viewers have come to expect, it’s not good. Just over a week ago a [...]

Parents Protest at Faith Nazarene Primary
Another round of protests was held this morning at Faith Nazarene in San Ignacio where classrooms have been emptier than usual since the beginning of the school year.  Parents are [...]

Senate Passes Vesting Act for Sale of FCIB
While all the fireworks revolved around the B.T.L. settlement, the Senate also passed a vesting act which will facilitate the transfer of FCIB assets to the Heritage Bank. Members on [...]

Finnegan Gets Bukut for Lashing Out at Audrey
Seasoned parliamentarian Michael Finnegan, area representative for Mesopotamia, is once again making headlines for unsavory remarks made against CWU President, attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, in the House of Representatives.  On Tuesday, [...]

United Women’s Group Demands Apology for Finnegan’s Tasteless Comments
While Finnegan’s comments seemingly express disrespect towards women, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, who has been on the receiving end of that vitriol in the past, maintains that he is not fit to [...]

Lisa Shoman Takes Finnegan to Task
Member for Mesopotamia Michael Finnegan took his licks from the UWG, but he was also a topic of interest in the Senate today. Before the debate on the vesting act, [...]

National AIDS Commission Releases Report on Sexual Behavior
Today at the ITVET in Belize City, the data of the 2014 survey on Knowledge, Attitudes and Sexual Behavior and HIV in Belize was officially released. The survey was sanctioned [...]

Ex-police Acquitted of Murder
Former police officer Wilfred Garcia, accused of the murder of Luke Nunez Junior, was acquitted of that charge earlier today in the Dangriga Supreme Court.  Nunez was stabbed twice to [...]

Shakeem Humes Charged for Attempted Murder of Curassow Street Resident
On Monday’s newscast, we reported on several shootings in the city following the 2015 Carnival Road March. The first occurred around nine-thirty p.m. on Curassow Street, about two blocks away [...]

Police Hold Meet and Greet in Kings Park
The eastern division of the police department has been on a community policing campaign for some time now. Officers from precincts around the city and in rural Belize have been [...]


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#507532 - 09/17/15 11:45 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 17, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

CTV3

O/W Police Removes More Drugs From Santa Martha Resident
But that was not the only drug bust that police carried out. At around 8:15 this morning the team conducted a search at a residence situated at mile 54 of the Old Northern Highway on the Santa Martha Road. Reports are that when police arrived at the residence they saw 23 year old Ernest Hinds, Belizean farmer, running towards the bathroom. Cops also saw when he threw a black object inside the bathroom. Upon inspecting the bathroom police found a black plastic bag containing suspected cannabis. As a result Hinds was arrested and charged for the offence of Possession of Controlled. The drugs weighed 17.3 grams.

IMF, Is Giving Belize Not So Good Marks On Its Economic Outlook
The International Monetary Fund, IMF, is giving Belize not so good marks on its economic outlook. A report from the Fund reveals that and we quote, “ the IMF’s medium-term outlook for economic growth for Belize “is worse than envisaged” and that real gross domestic product (GDP) growth would be weaker than expected in the near term”, end quote. The Washington-based financial institution has concluded its Article IV consultation with Belize noting that real GDP growth plummeted to 0.7 per cent in 2013, from four per cent the previous year mainly due to continued declines in oil production and weak agricultural output, especially sugarcane and citrus. It said that unemployment stood at 14.2 per cent in September 2013 and is on an upward trend since it hit its lowest level in 2008. The IMF said average inflation eased to 0.5 per cent from 1.3 per cent in 2012, as commodity price pressures abated. It said that the primary surplus for the financial year 2013/14 is estimated to have fallen to one per cent of GDP, from 1.4 per cent of GDP in the previous financial year. Also noted by the IMF is that Belize’s revenue is expected to be better-than-budgeted, as robust tax revenues more than offset the decline in non-tax revenues.

Police Release Official Report On Marcos Villanueva Murder
Fifty two year old Alberto Hall was charged yesterday for Grievous Harm. This is after forty two year old Marcos Villanueva, Hall’s former employee and cousin was found badly beaten on Hall’s farm located behind the Village of Chan Chen in an area known as Santa Rosa. Villanueva’s family claims that on Friday night he was at his camp located in the same area when he was knocked out, tied, dragged to Hall’s farm and tortured. Reports are that when police arrived in the area after they were called by Villanueva’s wife who was informed of her husbands near death experience allegedly by Hall’s brother, Villanueva was seen thrown on the ground and his body was covered with a piece of cardboard. As mentioned, Hall was charged yesterday and while the family has given the media their version of the story, it is until today that police released an official report on the issue and their version is quite different from what Villanueva’s family related. Police say that on the 12th of September at around 6:00 in the morning they responded to a report of a male person being beaten. They visited an area in Chan Chen Village where they saw 42 year old Marcos Villanueva lying on the ground with head injuries, swelling on his face and mouth and bruises to his body.

How Much Will Lucilo Teck will Have To Pay SICB?
A few days ago news broke that Lucilo Teck, the cane farmer who had filed the suit for a writ of mandamus to persuade the court that the Sugar Industry Control Board is dictated by the law to start the crop is facing a court bill of up to sixty thousand dollars. This is after the case was struck out since the start of the crop was decided before the hearing took place but Teck pressed on with the case however but lost eventually to the SICB attorney Rodwell Williams. Now he faces a huge bill. Yesterday during her press conference, Teck’s attorney, Audrey Matura Shepherd was questioned about the legal fees and here is her response. "There is a hearing that we attended, but there is not a decision as far as I know. But I see that that suddenly comes up as an issue, while the court is in recess since the start of August to the 15th September. So how they have that, I don't know. But I can only think they are saying that to sidetrack from the fact that our prime minister, because this is the issue. If we want to talk about who cost who legal fees, our prime minister is paying legal fees for BEL acquisition to his own brother. Nobody talk about that. Right now, he signed off on a deal. He cost the country 6 years of interest.

Matura Sheppard Responds To Prime Minister's Comments
The First Caribbean International Bank vesting bill went to the house yesterday to facilitate the transfer of banking assets from FCIB to Heritage Bank. The vesting Bill was presented in the senate today and similar to the point raised by the Opposition yesterday, some senators expressed concern for the 60 employees of FCIB who will be without a job and the negotiation of the employees exit packages which is yet to conclude. When he addressed the issue yesterday after receiving several critiques from the Opposition, Prime Minister Dean Barrow stated that he has received assurance from Glen Smith, the current country manager for FICB, that the company will offer the workers a far better term of an exit package than what the labor act demands as a bare minimum. The Christian Workers Union, who represent the 60 employees have categorically stated that the Prime Minister is acting in bad faith and has practically betrayed the FCIB workers for taking the vesting bill to the house before the negotiations of an exit package have concluded. On Monday during a press conference held in Belize City the P.M was questioned about the FCIB issue and he lashed out at the President of the CWU, Audrey Matura Shepherd. He described her leadership as dense and dishonest. Yesterday the P.M also lashed out at Matura Shepherd and this time he held back no punches.

UWG Lashes Out At Michael Finnegan
As mentioned the First Caribbean International Bank vesting bill was tabled in yesterday’s House Meeting. The bill will provide for the transfer of banking assets from FCIB to Heritage Bank. And while Government is aware that 60 FCIB employees will join the ranks of the unemployed, both the Prime Minister and Member for Mesopotamia Michael Finnegan ridiculed the leadership of the CWU, Audrey Matura Shepherd. For his part Finnegan stated that Matura Shepherd must do her job as head of the union properly and stop behaving like a quarrelsome man. We revisit that verbal attack made by Finnegan in the Honorable House yesterday. “First of all I am not going to call her an empty vessel, I won’t be unfair to her and I am not going to say she was a low grade attorney, I will not do that I will be very fair to the lady but the lady must do her job as head of the union properly. Stop behave quarrelsome man. When you behave quarrelsome sir, from my 65 years of experienced you do not get things done. Especially if you are representing people. If you are representing your own self and you want to be an idiot and you want to be quarrelsome, that is different because nobody else get hurt in the process. Anytime this union leader get up and she talk, all she talk is Dean Barrow and Dean Barrow this and Dean Barrow that. I don't know what Dean Barrow do that lady. Or why that lady doesn't like this man. But you must have done that lady something, because every time that lady gets up, she is disrespectful of the Prime Minister of this country. I will not say that. I will be very respectful to the lady, because I think the lady have some abilities too sir."

Two Orange Walkenas To Receive Meritorious Award
Two members of the Orange Walk Community will be honoured and given recognition in the National Tribute to Belizeans night which will be held at the Bliss Center on Thursday night. From what we have been able to gather, Nurse Lupe Ack and Bahdra Coleman will receive meritorious awards for their contributions to the health service of the country. First, some background. According to The National Honours and Awards Act, there are four National Awards: The Highest Is the National Hero, Followed By The Order Of Belize, The Order of Distinction, and Meritorious Service which the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young will be handing over.

O/W Police Removes More Drugs Off The Streets
Orange Walk Police have managed to remove more drugs off the streets. This morning between the hours of 6:30 and 10:00, a joint Orange Walk Police Team formed by C.I.B., S.B. & Q.R.T, conducted an Anti-Drug Operation about two miles South off mile 54 on the Old Northern Highway on the Santa Martha Road in the Orange Walk District where a 75ft by 75ft marijuana plantation was discovered containing 350 mature marijuana plants ranging from 1ft to 6ft in height. No one was found in the area and all 350 Marijuana plants were uprooted and destroyed by fire.

Leader Of The Opposition Mends Fences With G10
The concerns of several standards bearers from the People’s United Party were addressed in a meeting today with the Party Leader Francis Fonseca. A short release issued today states that Party Leader, Francis Fonseca met with 10 Standard Bearers of the Party to finalize discussions related to specific concerns raised by these Standard Bearers over the past several weeks. At the conclusion of the meeting all present were satisfied that an agreed upon process and structure is now in place to positively and effectively respond to all concerns raised. The release ends stating that all Standard Bearers have committed to working fully with the Party Leader and other Standard Bearers of the Party in advancing the Party’s agenda of Reform and Change and to unify against the corruption, mismanagement and incompetence of this UDP government. Missing from that meeting was Dan Silva, who we understand is presently out of the country.

LOVE FM

Senate Debates Vesting Act of CIBC FCIB
Yesterday the House of Representatives debated the Bank Undertaking (First Caribbean International Bank (Barbados) Limited Belize Branch) Vesting Bill, 2015 and today the Senate is doing the same. Most of the Senators touched on the situation revolving around the 60 staff members of the FCIB who also form part of the Christian Workers Union. Interestingly, […]

Belmopan Mayor and Area Rep Discuss Rodent Issue at Western Regional
The news of a rodent invading the incubator of an infant within the confines of the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, Cayo District was viewed as appalling and disgusting; not only because of the germs and threat of disease that it poses but also because it happened at a medical facility. The Minister of Health, […]

Belmopan Mayor Says Over Three Million Dollars in Taxes Are Owed
With social media being accessible to both young and old, many times our news centre gets information from its users. One recent tip that we felt compelled to look into was a report of the Belmopan City Council threatening to take away people’s property as a consequence of owing taxes to the council. Love News […]

Cabinet Gives Green Light for Municipal Bond in Belmopan
Cabinet has given its approval for the Belmopan City Council to float a municipal bond which will bring improvements and refurbishments to some thirty to forty thoroughfares. Love News spoke with the Belmopan Mayor, Khalid Belisle on the way forward with this bond initiative. KHALID BELISLE “The Belmopan City Council has commenced the process of […]

PUP Says Fonseca and G-11 Have Agreed on The Way Forward
There has been a lull in the movements of the G-11 of the People’s United Party in the last few weeks. The last we heard was that they were waiting for concerns to be addressed by the Party Leader Francis Fonseca, among them being a national convention and a one on one meeting with him. […]

AIDS Commission Releases 2014 Figures on Sexual Behavior in Belize
The National Aids Commission released their 2014 report on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) in Sexual Behavior and HIV in Belize. The report provides the most recent indicators and trends in prevailing sexual practices among the younger population ages fifteen to twenty four years and existing knowledge and attitude towards sexually transmitted infections in the […]

Arthur Saldivar Still A No-Show For PUP BRN
As we mentioned earlier, Major Jones was chosen by the Party to replace Arthur Saldivar after the powers that be in the PUP had decided that Saldivar had too many issues going on outside his political aspirations. Back then, Saldivar was livid at the way the party removed him as the standard bearer for Belize […]

Major Jones Continues Campaign in BRN
The General Elections for Belize is expected to take place within the next five months where the thirty one seats in the House of Representatives will be contested. While there are several areas that the party supporters and members will be keeping a close eye on, there is one seat that the Opposition Party, PUP, […]

PlusTV

Senate debates FCIB Vesting Bill
The FCIB Belize Branch Vesting Bill, 2015 that provides for the vesting of assets in Heritage Bank of the business in Belize FCIB limited, was debated by the House of Representatives yesterday. Today it moved to the Senate. Senator Mark Lizarraga, as the senator for the private sector, opened the di...

Week Two: Still No Arrest In Russell Hyde Murder
A little over two weeks ago, notorious resident of Camalote Russell Hyde was killed along with a female companion. This, many said, was the culmination of a spree of murders that started with the murder of Russell Hyde’s common law wife Rosita Galvez who was gunned down near the junction of Gu...

Family questions death of teenager in hospital
A 19 year old store clerk from Toledo District is dead and her family wonders whether she could have been saved by health authorities if she had been properly diagnosed in time. Lucia Cal of San Antonio had just moved to the City to work and had just recently become pregnant. But a simple abdominal ...

Police Seek Cousin For Devin Neal’s Murder
And while police could not disclose much information as to the persons in question regarding that murder, police were more candid in disclosing the person’s name who is being sought for the murder of Devin Neal. Neal was gunned down last week while crossing the Agripino Cawich bridge while on ...

Health Sector needs financial attention says Toledo West Area Rep.
One of the main focuses of the debate at the House of Representatives yesterday was the BTL settlement bill and while the Government danced to the sound of another settlement reached by this administration, according to the member for Toledo West Hon. Oscar Requeña, at the end of the day, many rural...

UWG Condemns UDP Disrespect
The United Women’s Group (UWG) of the People’s United Party issued a press release today stating their disapproval of the, and we quote, “disrespectful and despicable behavior of the UDP members of the House of Representatives during House sittings. ” Yesterday at the House meeting, Hon ...

KHMH staff will receive pay raise
The Staff of Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital will be getting their salary increases retroactive to April 2015. That is the news coming from a press release issued by the KHMH this evening. As we have been reporting, a process of negotiation has been ongoing between the KHMH staff Ad hoc Committee, t...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Three killed in late night earthquake off Chilean coast
CNN reports that three people are confirmed dead following a massive 8.3 magnitude earthquake off the Chilean coast northwest of the capital Santiago, late Wednesday night Chilean time. President Michelle Bachelet confirmed the deaths, including a 35-year-old woman who was killed by a falling roof, a 20-year-old woman who was […]

PUP pledge to mend fences and unite
With the exception of Dan Silva who is currently out of the country, the other 10 Standard Bearers who had been boycotting meetings and PUP functions, met with the party’s leader, Francis Fonseca earlier today to discuss concerns and hash out their differences. The PUP later released a statement proclaiming […]

BELTRAIDE and UB opening new resource center
A collaboration between BELTRAIDE and the University of Belize (UB) will launch a new facility to be inaugurated on Thursday, September 17th, that will headquarter the EXPORTBelize and SBDCBelize units of BELTRAIDE. The new facility, Belize Enterprise and Innovation Institute, designed to nurture entrepreneurship and innovation, is going to provide […]

Police recover unlicensed firearm
A .22 caliber revolver was recovered by police yesterday, September 15th, during a search conducted in the Chula Vista area of Corozal Town. No one was in the area at the time of discovery so the weapon was deposited as “Found Property”.

Man charged for beating alleged intruder
Corozal Police have charged 52-year-old Alberto Hall of Chan Chen Village for the offense of “Grievous Harm” after he beat 42-year-old Mark Villanueva half to death on Saturday, September 12th. Officers responded to reports of a fight around 6:00 a.m. and upon arrival, saw Villanueva lying on the ground with […]

ALBA group condemns Venezuelan “interference”
Venezuela continues to face a stand-off with Colombia over alleged incursions at their border of contrabandists and fleeing rebels of both countries. A statement from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) says they cannot accept alleged “interference in the internal affairs […]

Belizean Army veteran becomes U.S. citizen
After 43 years in the United States – 32 of those serving in its army – Belizean-born retired Sergeant Major Randolph Kelly formally became an American citizen after taking the oath at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Harlingen, Texas, this week, according to the Brownsville […]

With BTL settled, UDP could be set for November elections
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been riding an unprecedented wave of success as his second consecutive term winds down and with the settlement of the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) nationalization with Lord Michael Ashcroft’s interests, his administration is set for general elections as early as November as many have speculated. […]

Blogs

Hawkwatching Across The Globe - Belize Raptor Research Institute
October 15 to December 15.... here is your chance to learn your Belize raptors and contribute in citizen science.... Though our focus at HMANA is mainly on North America, there are hawkwatches happening across the globe. Between September 19-27 we will be celebrating hawk migration both in our region and beyond with our second annual International Hawk Migration Week (info here). During this period we will be sharing information about hawkwatches from around the world both here and on our Facebook page (link here). Time to get your bucket list out, you may want to start adding to it! First up let's hear from Belize Raptor Research Institute, and their relatively recently formed watch in, you've guessed it, Belize. For those that don't know Belize is often a big draw for British and American birders, not just for their incredible birds, but also because it's the only country in Central America that has English as its official language. Imagine being on the Caribbean Sea coastline with the humid ocean breeze on your face as you stand vigilantly under a coconut palm gazing into the hot sky at one of nature’s greatest spectacles, raptor migration. This may feel like a vacation, but this is our (Belize Raptor Research Institute) hawk watch site located in the southern extent of Belize in the Toledo District at a place called Cattle Landing, just north of Punta Gorda Town. This site is truly a special place for migration, as birds, specifically here raptors, get funneled by the geography as they make their migration south to their wintering grounds using the coastline as their leading line via island hopping from Cuba through the Yucatán, passing through Veracruz before making their way through Belize, or through a feat that was thought not to occur in raptors many years ago: crossing the Gulf of Mexico.

Mike the Kite is free!
A heart-warming rescue and release story involving so many people. Thank you to everyone involved. On August 24th we received a notification of a Facebook post by John (Trip) Tripodi regarding a hook-billed kite that he had rescued. Several people alerted us to the post: we love the power of social media! Eventually the connection was made, and Sarah travelled to Pamona village in the Stann Creek District, and 'braved the mountain' to meet Trip and take delivery of the bird. Mike the Kite had been shot: the pellet hitting close to his collar bone but miraculously missing bones and air sacks. He was going to be a challenge: not only was he a picky eater (he would only eat a certain species of snail that lived high in the bush canopy) he was wild and very unhappy with his situation. Poor Mike endured prodding and poking, surgery at Animal Medical Centre, being force-fed disgusting non-snail-like food, undignified catching and medicating daily and being confined in a small crate with only himself for company.

Community Resiliency Through Sustainable Development
Sustainable development requires an empirical means for understanding its complex relationships. Such devices as symbolism help create a certain mindset appropriate for sustainable development problem-solving. But sustainable development also requires systemic methodologies for assessment and analysis. Critical thinking and creative action implementation are two such methodologies that are invaluable to the seasoned practitioner. Critical thinking is self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality and objectivity in a fair-minded way. People who think critically consistently attempt to live rationally and sympathetically. Critical thinking in the context of sustainable development has been described as the artful questioning of the assumptions we make about community. Bob Gibson stated that in a much more comprehensive sense this concept has been characterized as the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

Belize Postal Service, a dirty little secret and current internet pricing
Belize Postal Service is an area of question that often comes up for future expats, they want to know what options are available for mail delivery and in some cases need to have a change of address set up in advance. Our mail system is general delivery and we have no zip/postal codes, something that always mystifies people trying to send you mail. If you opt for this route your new mailing address would be your name followed by; Pescador Dr. Post Office General Delivery, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. (If I am on a website needing my address and it will not accept all zeros for a zip code, I use the ever popular 902010 :) )

Understanding the BTL Settlement
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is known for his sharp tongue – a bellicose whip adorned with eloquent and bombastic thorns that has lashed many a opposition parliamentarian. And after successive electoral victories in the past year and a half, few can fault him for the confidence that he and his party have proudly exhibited. This reputation made his demeanor at the press conference in which he announced the BTL settlement all the more startling. Gone was the chest-thumping bravado. Rather, like an insolent child forced to confess some wrongdoing to a parent, the Prime Minister’s staccato delivery betrayed his assurances that the settlement was a political victory. That the settlement was in fact an acknowledgement of surrender is obvious; and that Belizeans are even bigger losers was a fait accompli when it became clear in 2009 that the Prime Minister would gamble on litigation (while enriching the purse of his law firm and that of his brother) instead of negotiating an out-of-court settlement – or, at the very least, abandoning his ill-fated litigation strategy after repeated losses in foreign courts and tribunals.

6 Tips for Living in Belize
Those who dream of moving to warm and welcoming places know how easy it is to develop expectations. I’ll spend all of my time in the sun, you promise. My working days are over! Then, you move. And suddenly, everything you expected melts away as your new life takes over. Ex-pats who moved to Belize and became part of Orchid Bay community have been there and done that! These six tips for adjusting to the Belize lifestyle are based on their experiences. Tip #1: Pick a Belize community that is already home to like-minded people with whom you can make fast friends and enjoy services approximating the ones you enjoyed back home. When shopping for a home, tour villas, condominiums and peruse vacant land in an established community like Orchid Bay to find one that ideally suits your space requirements and budget. Since English is Belize’s first language–and currency exchange is simple ($2 BZD per $1 USD)—buying your new abode will be as easy as getting rid of your winter coats!

Corbeled Arches
The corbeled arch is found throughout the Mayan territory of Mezoamerica and now decors the Columbus Park in the downtown area of San Ignacio. The corbeled arch is a very unique design that the ancient Maya used within residential and ritual buildings, and even tombs. This style of arch differs significantly from the roman arch and the later Gothic arch in the 12th century. Despite the variation of appearances, all arches have the same principle and characteristics of assembled rock diverting weight and pressure to create an open space below it. When creating the arch, the Maya did have some limitations. This has mostly to do with the arch itself. The walls must be very thick, about three feet. This is so that it can support the weight from the rock above. If it is too thin, then the roof would collapse before even being completed this also means additional limestone materials and labor is needed. The room cannot be too wide. Today, we certainly like our rooms very spacious, and the Maya, although they could have dealt with the smaller size rooms, some of them possibly desired a larger room. However, that meant that the building would take a thatched roof, an ancient art still practiced today, where the large leaves of the bay leaf plant would have been weaved onto the roof. How the corbeled arches work: The width of a room is of an average of 5 to 6 feet. The two outer walls would then have to be built, and slowly, with every layer, the bricks would have been layed closer and closer. As it nears to the apex, the keystone or capstone would then be put into place. As the roof is then completed, the weight of the lime stones above distributes the pressure downward around the arch, towards the walls, then to the foundation of the structure.

The 12 Best Faces of Belize Carnival
One of the biggest September Celebrations events took place in Belize City this past weekend (September 12th, 2015) - the annual Carnival Road March, which surely did not disappoint fans who lined the streets of the “Old Capital” to witness the celebration. Just in case you missed it, here are our picks for the 12 Best Faces of the event:

Your Time to Retire to Belize Is Now! YOUR TIME TO RETIRE TO BELIZE IS NOW!
The Government of Belize offers a special program – the Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program – that lets you move and retire here by age 45. It is especially an option for American citizens, who are two hours away by plane, but a long way off in terms of lifestyle. Living in “The Jewel” is more than just a change of residence; between the cultural richness, natural beauty, and friendly citizens, Belize can provide much more than one might expect. The basics of the QRP program are as follows: a) applicant must be over 45 years of age; b) the applicant can prove a monthly income (from any source) of at least US$2,000; or c) the applicant arranges to deposit in a Belizean bank the sum of US$24,000 on or before April 1 each year for their own care and maintenance. You do not have to be of retirement age (here that is 55); and it does not matter how many days you spend outside the U.S. or inside Belize – you can see the world and still call Belize your home.

International Sourcesizz

Family alleges father's death may be murder
A civil lawsuit filed in Grant County Superior Court by two Grant County residents alleges that a 44-year-old woman from Soap Lake may have murdered their father in Belize on Christmas Day 2014. Jennifer Ralston and Caleb McNamara are claiming that Tracy Nessl, 44, of Soap Lake, murdered their 66-year-old father, Timothy McNamara, according to court records. In 2012, while Timothy McNamara was reportedly going through a divorce, he allegedly entered into a romantic relationship with Nessl, according to court documents. Nessl is reportedly the daughter of McNamara's brother. The lawsuit alleges that Nessl "seduced, manipulated and deceived" McNamara into a trusting relationship with the "sole purpose of financial gain." McNamara allegedly gifted Nessl three properties by quitclaim deed, including a family farm. In addition, the lawsuit claims that Nessl "enticed" McNamara to name her as the primary or sole beneficiary in several life insurance polices. The lawsuit states that Nessl also "enticed" McNamara to purchase property in the Central American country of Belize to operate as a bed and breakfast, which McNamara reportedly did and purchased with his own funds and placed the title in both of their names.

Check Out These Low Fares for Domestic and International Flights
With Southwest Airlines’ soon providing new direct flights in October, travel to Belize, Mexico and Costa Rica for a low price. One-way tickets are starting at $127 and must be booked by September 24. If you plan to stay local, Southwest is also offering one-way domestic flights from Hobby International Airport, starting at $73. Make sure to book by September 24 in order to travel from September 22 through March 3 of next year.

Videos

  • Taking tender to Port of Belize, 2min. Belize tender during our 2015 cruise.

  • More from riding tender to Belize, 2min. Belize during our tender to Port.

  • Belizean Music !!!!!RAS DEMUS, BELIZE STING 2009, 4min. Ras Deemos Ab.s Sting Show.. Presi D's Brother...

  • Cave tubing in Belize, 3min. This was during our cruise in 2015.

  • Belize San Pedro High School Student shares her Vision, 8min. Belize Talk Radio sits with Alice a High School student about her fundraising for much needed White Boards for her school on Ambergris Caye Belize.

  • Belize - Little, 3min. Formada en Pamplona, la banda navarra Belize camina sobre una fina cuerda que separa el espíritu acústico y melódico del pop más directo y las atmósferas y texturas electrónicas de la música dance. maravilloso concierto acústico el que dio la joven banda en la presentación de su disco en la Fnac de Callao el 15 de Septiembre de 2015.

  • Stephen Fry in Central America Season 1 Episode 2 (( Belize to Guatemala )), 58min.

  • Belize's Independence Day: September 21st, 1981 (4:3; Unedited), 8min.

  • Welcome To Belize - Tariq Avilez ft. All Year Summer, Edwin Diaz & Waluco, 4min. Welcome To Belize, a summer time jam inspired by the beautiful weather, people, scenery and spirit of Belize. This music video was directed and shot by Miguel Gallardo, produced by some local Belizean artists who collaborated with other artists from the US (NYC) to make a wonderful vibe.

  • Belize & The Blue Hole, 9min.

  • First Scuba Dive in Belize!, 5.5min.

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