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#507599 - 09/19/15 11:15 AM Today's Belize News: September 19, 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

Belize is Flavor
Home to many cultures, Belize is bursting with flavors that celebrate its many people! From Creole (Kriol), Mestizo and Maya to Garifuna, East Indians and more experience our culture through FLAVOR!

H.E. Patrick Andrews Presents Credentials to President of the United States of America, Barack Obama
Patrick Andrews presented credentials to President Barack Obama on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at the White House in Washington, D.C. as Belize’s Ambassador to the United States of American States. Ambassador Andrews in his message to President Obama conveyed warm greetings from the Governor General Sir Colville Young and Lady Young as well as on behalf of Prime Minister Barrow and Mrs. Barrow. He underscored the cordial relationship Belize and the USA have always enjoyed; based on mutual respect and on shared values. He also expressed the need for a deepening of understanding and continued relations in a variety of areas of common interest to Belize and the region. He expressed Belize’s commitment to the role as the link between the two sub regions of Central America and the Caribbean with the aim of advancing the common agenda.

San Pedro Roman Catholic School students marched this morning waving their Belizean flags proudly
That was such a fun parade! The San Pedro Roman Catholic School students marched this morning wearing their reds, whites and blues! Happy September Celebrations everyone!

Island footballers train for Female U-17 Selection
Seven island female football players have been called to the National Female Under-17 Selection process. The team will be representing Belize at the Women U-17 World Cup Elimination Tournament which will be held in Honduras from November 11th to 15th, 2015. Players for the national team were selected through the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) National Female U-15 Football Championship, where the San Pedro Team placed fourth. “Out of the 14 girls that travelled to Belmopan as part of the San Pedro Female U-15 selection to compete in FFB’S first ever National U-15 Tournament, seven of our girls have been called up to train with the National Selection to see if they make the final cut. The players are goal keeper Lisandra Novelo; defenders Amber Gongora, Aaliyah Crawford and Yakzari James; midfielders Keanna Cabañas and Loreni Chan and forward Ada Cordova.

Public consultation on the use of coastal areas leaves doubts
According to Samir Rosado from the CZMAI, the need to reach out to as many people as possible is very important for them. “The process of the plan was initiated in 1998 but then reactivated in 2005. Then it was activated three years later in 2008 and since then the CZMAI has been working to finalize the process. In 2012, 2013, and finally in 2015 several public meetings were held in San Pedro, but the turnout was very poor. In consideration of the resources it takes to carry out consultations nationally, CZMAI did all that it could do to reasonable engage the community,” stated Rosado. When it comes to the matter of resources, it is an issue for all government departments. According to Rosado, the plan does not offer a solution for these problems, but rather identifies it as one of the main issues affecting enforcement. “This is in line with the overall purpose of the plan, which includes identification of management gaps and action steps to address them. The plan also coordinates the different mandates of the various government agencies with respect to the coastal zone. It identifies clearly what mandates overlap in relation to certain costal resource use activities and identifies lead agencies and policies under which power stems from,” Said Rosado. He states that in the presentation, CZMAI does not have the authority to restrict activities within the coastal zone. Instead it offers a framework for the best and most sustainable way forward, in terms of coastal resource use through the many Coastal Management Guidelines and zoning schemes available. “Once the plan is legally endorsed and adopted, it will then become the official framework for coastal and marine use. Therefore, agencies will be responsible for carrying out recommended action steps and adhering to zoning schemes presented,” ended Rosado.

La Isla Cariñosa Academy inaugurated on Caye Caulker
The long awaited grand opening of “La Isla Cariñosa Academy” (LICA) on Caye Caulker took place on Monday, September 14th after several months of preparation. The concept of the school was developed by Caye Caulker’s very own Dr. Alberto Luis August, who initiated the project. Currently the school only has classrooms up to standard five, but in the upcoming year, we will have a standard six classroom. Each one is fully tiled with air conditioning and indoor bathroom facilities. The maximum number of students per classroom is 15, and we have highly qualified teachers, all with a degree in education,” said Vice Principle August. The school is focused on positive initiatives by providing an environment where children will feel welcome from the moment they step on the school grounds, until they leave for home. She stressed that their disciplinary measures are all positive reinforcements in order to shape the future generation in a successful, productive manner. August stated that there are many plans to keep expanding the facilities and the compound. “In the next couple of months, we want to transform our school grounds to make it look similar to a resort when you step in. The project will not just stay as it is; we will continue building and continue working together,” said August.

Ambergris Today

Belize Government to Construct First Green Building
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). The facility’s design incorporates Green technology, suitable for sub-tropical climate, as well as taking advantage of SMART technologies to include solar panels and energy efficient air conditioning systems. It is being designed by Mr. Hilberto Riverol Jr. and constructed with energy efficiency and low environmental impact in mind.

More September Celebration Pics coming your way
Students of San Pedro Roman Catholic School took to the streets of downtown San Pedro waving their flags and dressed in patriotic red, white and blue. Happy September Celebrations!! Have a Safe and Happy Independence Day Holiday Weekend!!!

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Gales Point beach cleanup of the Hawksbill Turtle nesting beach
We are planning to head down to Gales Point on the weekend of September 26/27, 2015 to do a beach cleanup of the Hawksbill Turtle nesting beach two miles away from the village. Letting the volunteers know to start getting ready! . It is a fun trip and we do a lot of work so here are some pictures showing what to expect. Crossing the lagoon by boat, walk 2miles across the Savanna, pick up plastic garbage for about 3 hrs, break for lunch and back on the beach. At the end of the day, Alita will feed us while we listen to Kevin update us on nesting activities. Next day, after breakfast....back to the beach! You will lose a few pounds, and gain a great experience! If you can't join us, consider helping financially. No amount is too small!

Hip Hip Hooray for Blanca and Antonio!!!
They shall both be sailing in Malaysia this December! Belize Sailing Association Endorses Our Sailors to Attend ISAF Youth World Championship In December 2015 in Langkawi, Malaysia.

San Pedro High School September Celebration competition
Here are the winners of the San Pedro High School September Celebration competition which included 10th of September Parade and Patriotic Class Decoration. Congratulations to 1st place Class of 4C, 2nd place Class of 2A and 3rd place Class of 2E

Corozal Primary School and children's Rally/Parade
Primary School and children's Rally/Parade bringing out the independence day celebration spirit ALIVE. Hip! Hip! Hurray!!! Happy 34th Independence Day to everyone at home and abroad from the Corozal Daily.

Help Identify John Doe
An unidentified male is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for the past 2 days. Neither the police or KHMH staff have any knowledge of a missing person matching his description. If you know who he is contact the KHMH or the police department.

Carnival 2015
Lots of photos!!!

Ambassadors Arrive in Belize for Celebration of 34th Independence Anniversary
Two visiting ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency SirColville Young on Thursday, September 17th at the Belize House in Belmopan. Ambassadors H.E. David Izzo of France and H.E. Roy Eriksson of Finland both expressed their honour to be invited to celebrate Belize’s 34thIndependence Anniversary. The ambassadors also expressed their hopes for strengthening friendship and cooperation between their countries and Belize. Ambassador Eriksson further conveyed his wish to share knowledge with Belize in the areas of forestry and education as the two nations share deep interests in both areas. The Governor General welcomed both ambassadors expressing his well-wishes to their countries.

H.E. Pat Andrews presents credentials to President of the United States of America, Barack Obama
H.E. Patrick Andrews presented credentials on Thursday, September 17, 2015 to President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. as Belize’s Ambassador to the United States of American States. Ambassador Andrews in his message to President Obama conveyed warm greetings from the Governor General Sir Colville Young and Lady Young as well as on behalf of Prime Minister Barrow and Mrs. Barrow. He underscored the cordial relationship Belize and the USA have always enjoyed; based on mutual respect and on shared values. He also expressed the need for a deepening of understanding and continued relations in a variety of areas of common interest to Belize and the region. He expressed Belize’s commitment to the role as the link between the two sub regions of Central America and the Caribbean with the aim of advancing the common agenda. President Obama in his reply welcomed Ambassador Andrews to Washington and said “Belize and the United States share a strong partnership based on mutual commitment to strengthen democracy and regional security. We value the collaboration between our governments to strengthen the rule of law and promote citizen security.”

Attention Paraders! Please take note of the Independence Day Jump Up Parade Line-Up!

Soca Artist Ricardo Drue live Sept 20, San Pedro
DON'T MISS OUT! For the first time in San Pedro!.....Soca Artist Ricardo Drue, performing live at the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex! Ricardo Drue is popularly know for his soca hit, VAGABOND! See you there!

Meet Jay the Motmot!
Named because we thought he was a Blue Jay before his arrival. Jay was kept as a pet. Although he was in reasonably good health, when he came to us he was very friendly around humans. We kept him in our care for a few weeks to get him onto a better diet and get his weight up. He was then transported to our friends at Cave Branch where he spent several weeks in a soft release enclosure, learning how to be a wild bird again. He was released mid-August and we hear from the Caves Branch staff that he is now interacting with the wild mot-mots. With time he will become completely integrated, wild and flying free with his own kind. Go Jay, and thank you Caves Branch for a safe and beautifully monitored soft-release site!

Channel 7

Communications Workers Union Mauls Barrow Administration
The Belize Communication Workers Union sent out a fiery press release last night - blasting the Barrow Administration for the way it has handled the BTL settlement with the Ashcroft Alliance. The release stands out because of its very combative, hyper-accusatory tone - which is not consistent with the Union's other releases. Still, there's no question that it is authentic - because union members picketed today in downtown Belize City. They've also been banging on their office desks at BTL as a form of protest for the past few days. They're upset about a whole bunch of stuff, but, mainly, on being left out of the settlement discussions. The release starts out with a heavy swipe at Chairman of the Executive Committee, Anwar Barrow. It notes with anger, "Despite meeting with members of the Union...on Monday, 14 Sept. 2015, Anwar Barrow, the prime minister's son and Chairman of the Executive Committee at BTL was not brave enough tell the union that Daddy was calling a press conference less than two hours later to announce that the government had arrived at a settlement with the Lord himself. The Union says the gross disrespect goes beyond anything they had experienced under "smart" Said!" End quote.

Opposition Leader Agrees With BCWU
And while the Chairman of the Board addressed the matters having to do with BTL, those made up about 5% of a release that was primarily political. And while we expect that the Prime Minister will respond to them in time, today we caught up with the leader of the opposition at another event and he told us that the PUP is ready to form an alliance with the Unions:.. Jules Vaquez "We know that the confluence of circumstances that brought 2005 for example, to head, was when the Communication Workers Union got upset with your government at the time. Now we are seeing them saying that this deal is reminiscence smacks of what Said Musa did and we know what came out of that." Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "What I can say is that increasingly we have had a lot of contact, I have had a lot of contact with the workers, the unions and it is clear to me that they are increasingly frustrated and troubled by the path this government is taking as it relates not only their specific areas of concern; telecommunications, electricity, the utilities. But also very concerned about the direction of the country. So yes, I think we see greater opportunity, if you like, for collaboration, working together with the unions because in some respects we share a common objective."

NTCUB Prez Says They Stand In Solidarity With BTL Employees
The Belize Energy Workers is also standing by the Communication Workers. They sent out a statement of support today - and also went out to Battlefield Park to join the Communication Workers in protest. General Secretary Mora told us that the Government has to step in and make things right:... Marvin Mora, General Secretary - BEWU "In essence we realize that everybody is in the same boat. Because we are having problems as well through our collective bargaining as you all know and it seems that the disrespect towards the employees from employers continues and we want the government to step in and to do what is right." Jules Vasquez "We know the confluence of events that lead to the unrest of 2005. We had the Communication Workers Union first, we had the Energy Workers Union after and that a lot of things fell apart after that. Are we at that stage yet or are you guys still at a level where you all are willing to listen to the attempts of the government to try to intervene and resolve?"

Health Minister Blames WRH Admin For The Rat Episode
And while the discord with the utility unions is one headache for the Barrow administration, the Western Regional is like a gaping wound. The catalogue of all that has gone wrong at that hospital just continues to grow. But who is the blame? The Hospital and Regional administrator points to a dilapidated 40 year old building on the ground floor that is open to rats. But yesterday health minister Pablo Marin gave CTV-3 a very different narrative; he told them that it's the hospital manager who didn't spend the rate extermination money the right way - he did that after making the bizarre suggestion that someone may have put the rat in the incubator: Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health "I went personally the following day to see what happened. I don't want to blame anyone in this particular situation, but the incubator is nearly tight-sealed for anything, any animal to enter. If the animal was trying to enter, you would see some bite at where it supposed to go in. You supposed to see maybe some kind of hair attached to the particular entry. Nothing like that was there, but the rat was inside." Reporter "Are you suggesting that one of the employees placed the rat inside the incubator?"

Health Minister Discusses The Death Of Nolberta
And, from one crisis at Western Regional, to another. While the press had the opportunity, Marin was asked about the death of 29 year-old Toledo Resident Nolberta Sanchez, which the family alleges happened due to the negligence of the medical professionals. As we told you, she was giving birth to her 4th child, and she had to be transferred from the Southern Regional Hospital to the Western Regional Hospital. There she managed to deliver her baby, but there were complications which her husband believes were caused by poor medical care. Health Minister Marin told the media that they will find out what caused the death: Hon. Pablo Marin - Minister of Health "I have heard of the case. It's very sad definitely. My heart goes to the family, but we are doing the investigation and the ministry will start to do all the investigations that we need to do and deal with the situation."

Opposition Leader: Pablo Marin Should Be Fired
And while Marin veers from one western regional health crisis to another, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca says it's time for Marin to get from behind the wheel at the Ministry of Health. Fonseca was spirited in his denunciation of the embattled health minister:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "We can no longer have somebody who is incompetent like Pablo Marin heading the Ministry of Health and a CEO Peter Allen who seems to be completely out of touch. We have to deal with that issue. We have to hold the prime minster responsible. He is the one who has put Pablo Marin there and its clear to everybody within the Ministry of Health, within the Health Sector all the practitioners in the health sector, everybody understands and recognizes that this man does not have a clue about running the Ministry of Health. I don't want to overstate what took place because we have rats all over the country, but you can empathize certainly with the family, you understand with the workers there. It's just a tragic situation." We expect that Fonseca will elaborate on the woes in the healthcare system when he makes his independence day address on Monday in Belmopan.

DPM Gapi Vs PUP's Monchie: Case Closed
Political rivals Gaspar Vega and Monchie Cervantes were back in the Supreme Court today, duking it out over a slander lawsuit that Vega brought against Cervantez and the Briceno Family-owned Company, Fiesta FM. As you're well aware, Deputy Prime Minister maintains that Cervantes slandered him by publicly broadcasting a telephone conversation in which one of the speakers accused Vega of setting up the murder of Cervantes' father. Cervantez had to take the witness stand today where he endured over 3 hours of intense questioning from Vega's attorney, Rodwell Williams. While under oath, Cervantes was careful when he explained how and why broadcast of the telephone conversation with alleged murder mastermind Manuel Castillo happened. Under cross-examination Cervantes says that he was not the one who authorized or planned for the conversation to be played on national radio and before a crowd of hundreds.

Keyren Applies For Bail; Judge Want Mental Health Evaluation
Keyren Tzib, the Coast Guard officer accused of killing her common-law husband, formally applied to the Supreme Court for bail today - but the judge said that first he needs a psychiatric assessment. That hearing took place this morning at around 11:15 before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. His court room was packed with relatives, friends, and on-lookers who wanted to observe for themselves whether or not she would be granted bail. Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith strongly objected to bail. She asserted that the prosecution has a very strong case against Tzib who is accused of fatally stabbing Thytis Blancaneaux.

Kariq Tzul Accused of Discharging Gun In Public
Tarique Tzul has been on the news before - he made headlines most recently in September of last year when the GSU beat him so badly that he messed himself. That time he was the one making a complaint against police. Now, Tzul is in jail tonight after police say he discharged a firearm in public. Police say that on carnival day he fired a gun at the corner of Bishop Street and East Canal. He was arraigned this morning and even though he was represented by attorney Ellis Arnold, he was denied bail - because remand is automatic for firearm offences. He will come back to court on November 18, 2015.

Opposition Leader Discuses Truce With G-11 Rebels
As we told you earlier in the week - the G-11 rebellion in the PUP is over - and everyone is back under the big blue tent. We are told that leader Francis Fonseca agreed to everything the rebels were demanding including an open convention where he could be challenged for leader. Today, Fonseca slightly qualified that: Jules Vasquez "We were told that you basically conceded to everything and said, "Let's move forward I accept the 3 main things that you put forward. We will have a challenge leader convention if you wish." Why did you agree to do those things and if you are going to agree to them, why didn't you agree to it 5 weeks ago?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "No, listen we put out a statement which reflects the discussions we had at that meeting. we had put in place a process and a structure that all of us believe will achieve the objectives that we want to achieve and we made it absolutely clear to our party and to the country that we are united in our efforts to defeating the United Democratic Party Government. In terms of the National Convention we will have a discussion about that National Convention with all 31 standard bearers.

Remembering Rt. Hon. Price
We caught up with Fonseca at the wreath laying for National Hero George Price. It is the fourth anniversary of the great man's passing, and in his honour, it is observed as National Service Day. This morning family members and a handful of PUP politicians gathered around Price's burial site. His nephew Bobby Usher spoke about unity in the party his uncle founded:.. Bobby Usher, George Price's Nephew "In unity the strength should be our mantra and we are happy today that we are working towards the objective as we approach eminent national elections. From all our standard bearers in all our constituencies were the people are not united. A leader must know more than the people he leads or else the people will be like a boat in the sea without a rod."

Alleged Rapists Get Bail
The 4 who were charged in connection with the gang rape in Indian Creek Village are free tonight after they were granted bail. Sisters Santa Shol and Zita Shol along with Alberto Canti were charged for abetment to rape, while Wilhem Garbutt was later arrested and charged with rape and aggravated assault. Well, Judge Gonzalez granted them bail today in court: Garbutt, in the sum of $10,000 plus 2 sureties of $5,000 while the Shol sisters and Canti were granted $7,000 bail. The incident happened on Sunday August 30th. A 21 year old woman was walking alone near the Nim Li Punit junction at around 4:30 in the evening. That's when 4 women grabbed her, beat her and pushed her in some bushes nearby where a man held her down while another man - Garbutt - raped her. Police say the Shol family had some unresolved conflict with the 21 year old girl and it was a planned attack.

BCWU Allied With CWU
At the top of the news, we told you about the incendiary release from BTL's Belize Communication Workers Union. Well, the communication workers also saved up some fire for their brothers and sisters in the CWU, who are employees of First Caribbean International Bank. A release says, quote "The Union condemns the Government…for…rushing the Vesting Act through the House…and the Senate followed by a quick assent by the Governor-General." For there is goes unto allege, a, quote, "executive conspiracy" that will, quote, "leave sixty Belizeans and their families out of a job." And, the release end with a flourish, referring to Michael Finnegan's remarks about Audrey Matura Shepherd, calling it, quote, "vile and indecent." It goes unto say, quote, "For male members of the government to hide behind parliamentary privilege to attack an upright female citizen of this country… speaks volumes about the male chauvinist who are the so-called "leaders" in our national government. It adds, quote, that this is "an attack against all females…and an attack on women in general."

Surgical Equipment Stolen From Corozal Polyclinic
The Ministry of Health has recently opened a brand new state-of-the-art surgical unit at the Corozal Polyclinic. It costs somewhere between 800 thousand and 1 million dollars, and the vision for this new medical upgrade is that it will relieve the need to transfer patients from that hospital to the Northern Regional Hospital or the KHMH for life saving surgeries. It is expected to be opened in 2 weeks because the medical professionals need to sterilize it and prepare it for surgeries. But, that good news is marred by the theft of a piece of equipment which a couple days ago. Someone stole a brand new piece of surgical equipment valued at $22,000. Both the CEO and the Minister of Health explained more about the theft to the media: Hon. Pablo Marin - Minister of Health "That's very sad that about a week ago, one of the surgical units, it cost about 22 thousand dollars went missing and that is sad because it's the same people, that will be using the hospital that is doing this mischief. I don't know what the reason was but this is only a tool that can be used in an operating theatre. I am asking the public now, publicly asking them that if anybody comes and try to sell them one of those units to please report that to the police because it is sad."

Bunji and Fay Ann Are In Belize
The second annual Soca Jazz festival will be happening this Sunday night at the Hour Bar. It's all a part of the September celebrations festivities. The festival features soca superstars Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons and Kerwin Du Bois. In a sit down interview with 7news today we asked the First Couple of Soca, what fans can expect on Independence Eve. Concert gates open at 11 on Sunday night at the Hour bar.

2015 Children's Rally
Over 1000 city kids were proudly waving their flags in patriotism at the Bird's Isle today for the 2015 Children's Rally. 25 primary schools from around the city were present and like every year, there were fun activities for the kids but when we spoke to one of the coordinators at the event, she told us that beyond the infectious Soca music and all the festivities - the main message they really want to get across is love of self and country. Each school gave a presentation at the rally. Last year about 700 students attended.

Methodist School Patriotic Day
And while most city kids were at the Bird's Isle today, the students at Wesley Lower just down the street from us were having their own patriotic day at the school. It started off with the kids marching along Regent Street and then back to school where a number of activities were held. We spoke to the Principal and she told us why the kids are an integral part of the September season. There are 450 students enrolled at the school. Guest Speaker for the event was Myrna Manzanares.

Channel 5

P.U.P. Leader Calls for Head of Minister of Health
By now, a video showing a large rat inside a sterile incubator at the Western Regional Hospital just after it bit a newborn has gone viral. Even before that, the [...]

MoH Marin Says Western Regional Managers are to Blame
Where the rats are concerned, though, Minister of Health Pablo Marin takes no blame. He heaps that squarely on the shoulders of Western Regional Manager, Melinda Guerra, and Administrator, Bernadette [...]

Family Claims Hospital Negligence in Maternal Death
On Thursday, news broke that a mother of four from Big Falls had died at the K.H.M.H. after surgery at the Western Regional Hospital. Nolberta Sanchez was haemorrhaging profusely after [...]

Officials Says Intensive Investigation Underway
This morning, there was a critical meeting at the Western Regional Hospital concerning the tragic case of Nolberta Sanchez. We’re told it included all those who tended to her, as [...]

BCWU Workers Protest…Say P.U.P. and U.D.P. Are the Same
Late Thursday evening, the B.T.L.’s Belize Communications Workers Union sent out a release blasting the Government and B.T.L. management. It came in the wake of a settlement with Lord Michael [...]

BEWU in Solidarity with BCWU
The BCWU was joined today by Marvin Mora, president of B.E.L.’s Belize Energy Workers Union and also president of the N.T.U.C.B.  He told us today that it’s a matter of [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says 31 Standard Bearers Support Him
Leader of the People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca, met with members of the dissident G-eleven on Wednesday, and the big news is that there is an accord of sorts. The [...]

Says P.U.P. is Ready Whenever Elections Are Called
Will general elections be announced on Monday during the Prime Minister’s Independence address? Many political observers say yes, and speculate that the big event will happen sometime in early November. [...]

Ramon Cervantes Denies Involvement in Allegedly Libellous Recording
Ramon Cervantes Junior is accused slandering his political rival, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega of Orange Walk North and today the P.U.P. standard bearer got a chance to tell his [...]

Eamon Courtenay Says Case Against Fiesta FM is Non-Existent
As for the matter of the recording, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, attorney for Fiesta FM, denies airing the entire broadcast.  He says it is as he expected – his opposite [...]

Case Resumes on October 16th
The two sides will make oral and written submissions in October concerning whether Courtenay’s decision not to call witnesses on Fiesta FM’s behalf reflects adversely on them. But according to [...]

Keyren Tzib Bail Withheld Pending Psychiatric Evaluation
The courtroom of Justice Troadio John Gonzalez was packed today for the bail application on behalf of Coastguard, Keyren Tzib; she is accused of killing her common-law husband, Thythis Blancaneaux [...]

New Operating Theatre for the Corozal Community Hospital
Today, when we spoke to Minister of Health Pablo Marin, we did so at a most auspicious occasion – the opening of a brand-new operating theatre at the Corozal Community [...]

Who Stole Surgical Equipment from Corozal Hospital?
While the operating theatre is no doubt a boon for the hospital, there is already a black cloud hanging over its opening. About a week ago one of the surgical [...]

George Price Remembered Four Years After Death
National hero and Father of the Nation George Price died four years ago on September nineteenth, and every year on his anniversary, the People’s United Party celebrates his legend and [...]

Belizeans Honoured At Annual Award Ceremony
At the Bliss Institute on Thursday night, a number of Belizeans were honored for their contributions to the country. The ceremony is incorporated as part of the activities of the [...]

A Look Back At September 21, 1981
Thirty-four years ago at midnight, the Union Jack was lowered and the Belizean standard was hoisted to signal’s Belize’s independence as a free and sovereign nation. The giant, who led [...]

LOVE FM

PlusTV

25 year old Christian parade in a 34 year old Nation
The final leg of the 2015 September celebrations is upon us as the nation heads into a long weekend leading up to Monday September 21st. Belize is set to celebrate its 34th year of Independence from Britain under the theme, “Belize renewed; confident, competitive and committed . As part of the...

Western Regional Hospital removes Vendors
Apart from the early- shift nurses and sanitary workers, there is one group of people that is always at the Western Regional Hospital from day break; they are the food vendors. But following the recent scandalous discovery of a rodent infestation at the Western Regional Hospital, the hospital manag...

September Celebrations in the Capital
While Belmopan’s Taking Back the Land Parade is a part of the September Celebrations, there are other activities planned leading up to Monday. Tricia Pelayo, Public Relations Officer for Belmopan CityCouncil told us about some upcoming events for the Nation’s Capital. Today is already th...

Remembering Rt. Hon. George Price
The late Right Honorable George Price died on September 19, 2011, and today, members of the party he led for forty years, the People’s United Party (PUP), gathered for their twice-yearly observance in his honor. Grandnephew and party chairman Henry Charles Usher recalled what the great man sai...

Western Regional Hospital taking heat over maternal death
For a family in Big Falls Village, Toledo, this was supposed to be a time of rejoicing in the miracle of life with the newest addition to the family; baby Heidi. Instead, they are gripped by sadness as they must now bear with the fact that the young mother, 29 year old Nolberta Sanchez, has passed ...

PUP agrees on reform agenda
Concerning the reunification of the party, leader Francis Fonseca disagreed that he has conceded much to the rebel group of 11. He says their main agreement is concerning the holding of a national convention at which a comprehensive formal reform agenda will be outlined. PUP Party Leader Francis Fon...

The importance of 0% Maternal Mortality Rate
Just two years ago, the Ministry of health boasted its zero maternity death record at Western Regional Hospital, an unprecedented feat. It is something the Ministry takes very seriously. However, they have not been doing so well this year. Dr. Ramon Figueroa, as the newly appointed Director of Healt...

Is CEO of Health trying to get rid of Chief Pharmacist?
Reliable reports inform us that the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health Peter Allen is calling for the removal of Chief Pharmacist Sharon Anderson from the Ministry of Health. Now if you have been keeping abreast of the situation, you would know that this is not the first time that An...

First ‘green building’ will house BELTRAIDE units
A Belize Enterprise and Innovation Institute is scheduled to be built at the University of Belize’ Faculty of Management and Social Sciences in West Landivar, Belize City. In a collaboration between the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the University, the new fac...

BCCI calls for transparency of the BTL “Settlement”
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) issued a press release this evening in which it calls for transparency of the BTL “Settlement. The release says that BCCI “stands by its position made six years ago that it was not necessary for the Government of Belize to expropriate BEL and BTL. D...

IRS seeks names of shell company holders at Belize Bank
Belize Bank was the first banking institution in Belize to lose its correspondence with Bank of America. The de-risking process has also seen Atlantic International Bank losing its US correspondence in recent months. All of this is due to the United States’ clamping down on its citizens who have tr...

Belizean youths having intercourse at an earlier age
Our young people are having sexual intercourse, many out of wedlock and school, and at an age very close to the legal age of consent. If that’s news to you, and even if it isn’t, the National AIDS Commission, assisted by the Statistical Institute of Belize, has the statistics to prove it...

NEMO PRAYING FOR RAIN
The communities of Biscayne and Gardenia are among first villages affected by the unusually long dry season. But of course those are not the only communities prone to the effects of drought. In fact, many rural communities are still using the well and pump system, which is affected by the long , dr...

Water Relief in Belize Rural North
The lack of a proper water system coupled with an unusually long dry season has left the communities of Biscyane and Gardenia in Belize Rural North, struggling to meet their water needs. As a result, Major Lloyd Jones, PUP Standard Bearer for Belize Rural North, mobilized to bring some much needed r...


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#507600 - 09/19/15 11:15 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 19, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

Women’s tragic deaths caused by hospital neglect?
In the span of four days, between September 10 and 14, two patients from the Toledo District have died tragically, and information to Amandala is that the deaths were caused by lack of proper equipment, and, in the case of at least one hospital, negligence. The three hospitals involved are the Punta Gorda Town Hospital, Southern Regional Hospital, and Western Regional Hospital, and both of the two patients died in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where they had been sent as a last recourse. On September 10, Norberta Sanchez, 29, died at the KHMH after she was transported there from the Western Regional Hospital via an ambulance on Wednesday, September 9. Sanchez had to be rushed to the KHMH after she had developed complications from a second surgery at the Western Regional Hospital that was supposed to stop her from bleeding after a C-section was done and her baby girl was delivered.

BTL employees vexed; “cuss up” PM Barrow and son, Anwar
Despite meeting with members of the Union executive of the Belize Communication Workers’ Union (BCWU) on Monday, September 14, 2015, Anwar Barrow, the Prime Minister’s son and Chairman of the Executive Committee at BTL, was not brave enough tell the Union that daddy was calling a press conference less than two hours later to announce that the government had arrived at a settlement with the Lord himself. The Union says the gross disrespect goes beyond anything they had experienced under “smart” Said! In an effort to maintain a harmonious and healthy industrial relations climate with the UDP Government and the Management of BTL, the BCWU has been a silent pillar of support, convinced that the Prime Minister’s decision to nationalize the company was for the greater good of Belize and the BTL employees.

IRS probes Belize offshore accounts!
“Uncle Sam” has ramped up collection efforts on US taxpayers, including US citizens, Belizeans with dual nationality and green card holders who are believed to be hiding their wealth in offshore jurisdictions in Belize, which has not only been dubbed as a “tax haven” – but has also been listed as one of the major money laundering jurisdictions by the United States Government. As we go to press tonight, there are concerns over how the latest development will affect the financial landscape, including the channeling of remittances to Belize and investments by US nationals in prime industries such as tourism, since the US probe involves both domestic and international bank transactions carried out by the Belize Bank, the country’s largest commercial bank, with two leading US banks. Miami federal judge Ursula Ungaro—who 10 years ago had presided over litigation in the telecommunications saga of Jeffrey Prosser against the Government of Belize—granted a petition this Wednesday, September 16, to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the United States government agency responsible for tax law enforcement, which will allow the IRS to issue two “John Doe” summonses to Bank of America and Citibank, both of Miami, Florida, in order to probe into offshore accounts held by thousands of Americans who may have stashed their wealth in The Jewel.

Barrow’s “stubborn pettiness” will cost taxpayers $52 million: Fonseca
Following Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow’s announcement yesterday, Monday, that he had negotiated a payment settlement for the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) acquisition with the Ashcroft alliance, the House of Representatives met today for a special sitting to introduce and pass, in one sitting, the Telecommunications Acquisition Settlement Bill 2015. The settlement, which PM Barrow said he personally negotiated with Lord Michael Ashcroft, has three components related to the government’s July 2011 nationalization of BTL, the country’s premier telecommunications provider, over which the Barrow administration has been locked in protracted legal battles for the past six years. Opposition Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca, during the debate on the Telecommunications Acquisition Settlement Bill, lashed out at Prime Minister Barrow, for his “wrongheaded” approach to a loan that BTL had secured from British Caribbean Bank and which Barrow had insisted he would not repay, because the government had viewed the loan from the Ashcroft-affiliated bank as illegal.

Worthless car dealer cons man out of $24,000
Ellsworth Williams, 45, of Ground Dove Street, Jane Usher Boulevard, was conned out of $24,000 of his savings by a car dealer who took his money and disappeared. The thief is now living somewhere in the United States, and despite Williams’ best efforts, he cannot contact the con-artist to get back his money. William came to Amandala today and told us that over two years ago, he paid the car dealer, who is known to him, and who lived on Coney Drive, an initial $3,000 as a down-payment to locate two cars for him when he (the car dealer) went to a car lot sale in Texas. On his arrival in Texas, the dealer called Williams and told him that he had located the two vehicles and needed money to pay for them, and “clear” them, and Williams sent $21,000 through Western Union. ( receipts were presented to Amandala)

14% pay raise for KHMH staff
In July, in their efforts to pressure Government to grant them a salary increase, the staff of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) initiated a go-slow which led to the cancellation of elective surgeries and specialty services. KHMH authorities quickly took action by calling a meeting with all parties involved. As a result, the staff, with the assurance that the salary issue would be resolved within a few months, lifted their protest, and elective surgeries and specialty surgeries were resumed. It has now been announced, that, following a series of meetings between the Government of Belize, the KHMH board of governors, and staff representatives, an agreement was reached that the staff of the KHMH staff will be getting a salary increase of 14%.

2015 Bart’s Bash Regatta this Sunday in San Pedro
The Belize segment of the 2nd Annual Bart’s Bash International Regatta will take place on Sunday, September 20, in the waters off Caribbean Villas and will start at 9:30 a.m. sharp, with a race brief Saturday 6:00 p.m. at Caribbean Villas. This is a highly entertaining and one-of-a-kind sailing race in which sailors all over the world, and in every kind of sailboat imaginable, take to their home waters on the same day and sail courses that have been designated as comparable by a computer program in the hands of the Bart’s Bash Committee, who also have a computer program to handicap the various classes. Last year, 16,780 skippers of all ages competed. It is a fully legitimate regatta, formally recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, which proclaimed last year’s Bart’s Bash the largest boat race in history. Last year, the 28 Belizean boats entered included charter catamarans and mono-hulls, Hobie and other small catamarans of various sizes, Olympic class Lasers, tiny Optimist dinghies, and a couple of really strange homemade boats dubbed UFOs. Belize Sailing Club is the host and expects even more entries, because of the fun everyone reported last year.

Deon on a tear; Verdes leads PLB standings, tackles Queretaro tonight in Champions League
It is 5:00 p.m. right now, and three hours away from game time for Belize’s Verdes FC, who are getting ready to take the field at 8:00 p.m. for their CONCACAF Champions League return match against Mexico’s Queretaro FC in Queretaro, Mexico. They drew 0-0 in their first meeting at the FFB Stadium on August 18. Of some concern going into tonight’s Champions League match is that Verdes’ defense has not pitched a shutout yet in 4 games so far in the PLB Opening Season tournament, conceding a goal in each of their first three encounters, and 2 in their last outing against the young Wagiya team. But on the bright side is that their star striker Deon McCaulay is in fine form, exploding for a hat trick, including an injury time strike, to secure the 3-2 win for Verdes over Wagiya this past Saturday. Reviewing the past weekend’s Week 4 PLB games, there were two Saturday night games and one on Sunday.

Sammy Gentle visits, focusing on primary school football
On a visit home for the September celebrations is Belizean Sammy Gentle, who played for Belize City 1976-77 football champions, White Label, after being our teammate on Diamond-A and Charger football teams in the early to mid-1970s. Sammy presently owns an accounting business in New York, and says he plans to sponsor a primary school football tournament in Belize City. He thinks that is the best place to start, as he is not satisfied with the quality of football he has seen from the Belize Jaguars in recent World Cup Qualifiers. Sammy arrived on the 9th and expects to return to New York after the Independence Day celebrations.

BelCare Academy holds Grassroots Football Festival
The BelCare Youth Football Academy continues to promote the playing of football among the youth at the Grassroots level across Belize. Last week Saturday, September 5, BelCare, in conjunction with the Belmopan Football Committee, under the leadership of Mr. Amilcar Umana, held a successful Football Festival in the village of Camalote. Thanks to all coaches that came out to support: Derick Gordon, Boris Dominguez, Pedro Medina and Hector Martinez. After the Festival, 20 footballs were left with school teachers and representatives for them to continue the program and have kids use the balls. The next village in the BelCare program is the Valley of Peace next Saturday.

Editorial: Independence in Belize – its corrupt aftermath
It has appeared to us for some time that the present United Democratic Party (UDP) government is getting away with a lot of things because of the fear on the part of many Belizeans that harming the Barrow administration in any way would increase the chances of a Said Musa/Ralph Fonseca return to power. Until the early 2000s when his Intelco telecommunications gamble failed, the man Glenn Godfrey was a member of a troika – Said/Ralph/Glenn, which initially inherited power in the People’s United Party (PUP) from the iconic Right Honorable George Cadle Price, with his public blessing. After Intelco, followed by the Social Security Board and Development Finance Corporation revelations in late August of 2004, Mr. Godfrey faded in stature and is seldom mentioned today in the same breath as Said and Ralph are. (There was little damage done, however, to his very substantial bank accounts.) From 1961 until 1979, Mr. Price and his Financial Secretary, Rafael “Falo” Fonseca, had run a famously tight ship where the public finances of Belize were concerned. After Mr. Fonseca’s death in a traffic accident on the Western Highway in late 1979, he was succeeded as FinSec by Edmund Marshalleck. Things did not change much, except that there was an unprecedented spending splurge in September of 1981 when Mr. Price and the PUP welcomed and celebrated Belize’s independence along with many foreign guests.

From the Publisher
This newspaper played a significant role in the successful effort by the People’s United Party to hold on to power in the 1979 general election. That PUP victory, by a 13-5 margin in seats over the Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), represents the political statement which clinched independence for Belize, in that it apparently convinced the United States of America that the people of Belize were committed, inexorably committed to an independence which had been delayed since self-government in 1964. Younger generations of Belizeans have no idea what the political landscape was like here between 1974 and 1979. Between 1961 and 1969, the PUP had won 51 of the 54 seats contested in the 1961, 1965, and 1969 general elections. To a certain extent, the Leader of the Opposition National Independence Party (NIP), Hon. Philip Goldson, represented a one-man army, and even though he was truly heroic, there were prominent Belizeans opposed to the PUP who began to become disillusioned with him. These individuals, including some who were based in New York City, actually believed that the PUP could be defeated, at a time when the blue appeared to be a total juggernaut.

The Altar Boy
Dear Editor, Papito started as an altar boy at the age of 7 years old and took his religious duties very seriously. Born into a solid Catholic family in Benque Veijo Del Carmen, Belize, on the Guatemalan border, he was taught to respect the priest and the church and have pride in his position assisting the Jesuit priest in the daily rituals in the Benque Catholic Church. Even if sometimes his daily religious service was strenuous, the hands in blessing on his head were always reminding him that he was doing an important job. In his innocence he was rather happy with his life, and his dream was maybe one day after finishing school he could become a priest too. After only a few years as an altar boy, at the age of 12, coming into puberty, his harmonious life got turned upside down when one schoolmate a year older than him called him a “maricon”. It was the year of 1961, and in this small British Victorian-ruled colony sexual education was not yet in the curriculum for the primary schools. So he asked around about what that meant. His mother could not tell, his teacher could not tell, but one of his friends told him he was a “faggit”, a “queer”, somebody who had sex with another man.

Praise for the San Roman preschool project
Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your most respectable newspaper, as I express admiration and gratitude toward those who have made a preschool community project possible in the village of San Roman, in the Corozal District. The San Roman village community preschool has been a much needed facility for the delivery of quality education to the youngest generation of our community. The preschool was previously housed in the local community center; however, the location was inadequate as it was close to the Philip Goldson Highway with no fence and no restroom facilities in the building. The use of the community center as a preschool implied that any other community function, would either have to find a new location or run the risk of tampering with the children’s equipment and projects. At times the use of the facility as a learning center and for community activities led to conflicts between the event organizers as the community does not count with any other proper facility to carry out activities such as mobile dental and health clinics, youth development workshops or community celebrations.

St. George’s Caye Day kicks off September Celebrations
The 217th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye was celebrated throughout Belize under the theme “Belize Renewed: Confident, Competitive, Committed” on Thursday, September 10. In Belize City, a ceremony to commemorate the occasion and officially launch the day’s activities was held at the Memorial Park, and in attendance were the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley; Chairman of the National Celebrations Committee, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr.; the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca; the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega; the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin; the Governor General, Sir Colville Young; and other distinguished guests and citizens of Belize. In his welcome address, Mayor Bradley said, “Today, we gather as a nation in this place, as we have gathered each and every year before this, in solemn form, to honor the men and women who fought in the Battle of St. George’s Caye.” After the formal speeches, the crowning of the new Queen of the Bay took place. The crown was passed from last year’s Queen of the Bay, Monisha Stuart, to the, 2015-2016 winner, Falon Tiana Cain, who became the 70th Queen of the Bay.

Belize’s National Team 1997
Here are pictures of one of our first National Teams, who played Panama in 1997 in Cayo at the Norman Broaster Stadium. You will see players like David “Manu” McCaulay, Deon’s dad, who scored Belize’s first International goal. Players included now Minister Erwin Contreras, John Trapp, Nelson Moss, Pablo Madrid, the Tun brothers (Donny and Freddy), among others. I congratulate the Jaguars, which has been together since 2003. It is not an overnight team. Give credit where it is due. Deon, Shane, West, Ian Gaynair, Cafu, Dalton, and all the older guys will recall Renan Couoh, “Chelato,” Cabrera among others. History was made before to the third round.

Hon. Finnegan abused Audrey Matura-Shepherd: Senator Shoman
Debates in the House of Representatives have of late become even more personal and vicious than they typically are, but Members of the House are immune from prosecution for whatever they say. At the House meeting yesterday, Tuesday, the area representative for the Mesopotamia constituency, Hon. Michael Finnegan, who is a UDP whip and a senior parliamentarian, let loose a tirade against Audrey Matura-Shepherd, president of the Christian Workers Union (CWU), who is an unrelenting critic of the administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. At the meeting of the Senate today, Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman took Hon. Finnegan to task for his remarks against trade union leader Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Matura-Shepherd, apart from being an activist attorney and an Amandala columnist, is also the president of the Christian Workers Union.

The Reporter

Ambassador Patrick Andrews presents credentials to US President
Belize’ Ambassador to the United States (US), Patrick Andrews presented credentials to President Barack Obama on Thursday at the White House in Washington, D.C. A press release from the government’s Press Office states that Ambassador Andrews, in his message to President Obama highlighted the cordial […]

Big Falls husband threatens to sue Western Regional Hospital following wife’s death
The Western Regional Hospital, and by extension the Ministry of Health are facng another embarrassment and very likely, a lawsuit after a mother died, allegedly because of negligence or malpractice at the hospital. Norberta Sanchez, a resident of Big Falls Toledo and mother of four small children […]

Fourth annual memorial held to honour the late George Price
A wreath-laying tribute took place on Friday morning at the grave site of the late Father of the Nation, George Price to mark the fourth year since he passed away. At the event, PUP Leader Francis Fonseca spoke of the man who led Belize from […]

Carnival weekend ends in string of shootings
The Carnival weekend ended in a string of shooting incidents, which saw five gunshot victims, three of which have been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and several suspects being detained in connection with the incidents. According to Eastern Division South Commander, […]

Police say shooting was intentional; They charge cousin with murder
Placencia police have charged Warren Jeffrey Cabral, 52, with murder! They say there is evidence to prove that he intended to kill his cousin, Vance Cabral, 45, on September 10, as they socialised with two other men on a luxury boat docked near Seine […]

Belize celebrates 117th Tenth
Hundreds of Belizean patriots braved unseasonably hot, dry weather to celebrate the 217th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye last Thursday, September 10, in the tradition of Simon Lamb, who caused it to be declared a national and public holiday on the centenary […]

Police operation on George Street results in more than a dozen arrests
Eastern Division South formation has made more than a dozen arrests, recovered an unlicensed gun, seized more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana and are expected to charge eight of 12 arrested. The bust follows a police operation in the George Street area early Monday […]

Guatemala’s most popular presidential candidate says Guatemala should pursue its claim over Belize more aggressively
Jimmy Morales, Guatemala’s most popular presidential candidate, has said that he feels that his country’s claim over Belize ought to be pursued more vigorously. Morales, a comic actor by profession, became the most favoured prospect during Guatemala’s first round at the polls a few […]

US State Department lists Belize among world’s largest drug hubs
The United States (US) State Department, this week, listed Belize, along with 21 other countries, including some from the Middle-East and Central America, as being among the major drug producing and trafficking states. US President Barack Obama alerted the US Congress about the countries […]

BTV and COLA ready to take their fight to Belmopan
The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) held a joint press conference with Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) this week, demanding a change in the Government’s foreign policy with relation to Guatemala. BTV leader Will Maheia, along with stalwart Orlando de la Fuente and COLA […]

Belize making progress on gender equality but more work ahead
A new World Bank report on gender equality based on the progress of opportunities for women, has found that among the 173 examined countries, Belize has made improvements in fostering female participation in education and the labor force. While that is the case, however, […]

BEWU puts strike talks on back burner
The Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU), which recently threatened to strike after negotiations with Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) broke down, has decided to delay its decision to take industrial action and continue working with the Labor Ministry to find an amicable solution. According to […]

Sailing Association to decide fate of young sailors
Two young sailors are awaiting a decision from the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) on whether or not they will be allowed to participate in a prestigious international sailing event in Malaysia, hosted by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) in December. The Board, who met […]

Over $160,000 in write offs
The Government of Belize this week motioned to approve some $166,565.40 in write offs as losses. The eight write off motions were tabled at the special sitting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan on Tuesday. The write offs were primarily for damages to vehicles, […]

Editorial
It is no exaggeration to say that Prime Minister Barrow has surprised the nation with his speedy and skilful resolution of the dispute with the Ashcroft interests over BTL. This deal is good for Belize for many reasons. Firstly, it gets rid of a troublesome dispute, and it shows to […]

Family threatens to sue PG hospital!
A grieving family from the Toledo District is accusing health authorities at the Punta Gorda Hospital of total neglect of care for their daughter, who died of an untreated ruptured appendix. While they have yet to make a formal complaint with the Ministry, as […]

Cubans captured after capsizing
After being shipwrecked, rescued, and brought to shore on Tuesday, the hope for freedom was dashed for five Cubans. Two fled after reaching the mainland in Belize City. One male managed to escape, while the other was captured, and up to Thursday all four […]

New NAC survey paints picture of ‘active’ youth sexual trends in Belize
This week the National AIDS Commission presented the findings of the 2014 Country Report on Knowledge, Practices, and Attitudes (KAP) toward persons living with HIV/AIDS, a study carried out by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). The data, which provided the most recent indicators and […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

“Monchi” denies knowledge that recording would be aired at memorial
The man accused of spreading libel and slander against his political rival, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega of Orange Walk North, Ramon Cervantes, Jr., told his side of the story in court today. But contrary to popular belief, “Monchi” says that apart from twice listening to the recording […]

PUP condemns “tragedy” of Western Regional
The storm of incidents to befall the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan and the health system generally in recent weeks has refocused national attention on health issues. Rats biting babies, snakes biting nurses, even a rape of a psychiatric patient – it is all a black eye for […]

Remembering Rt. Hon. George Price
The late Right Honorable George Price died on September 19, 2011, and a grateful nation continues to remember his life and legacy. At his graveside today, members of the party he led for forty years, the People’s United Party (PUP), gathered for their twice-yearly observance in his honor. […]

Ministry of Health begins investigation into Lucia Cal death
The Ministry of Health has begun an investigation of the death of 19 year old Lucia Cal of San Antonio, Toledo District. As we reported earlier this week, she died after delayed surgery to remove a ruptured appendix after being turned away from the Punta Gorda Hospital when […]

BCWU protests BTL settlement deal
On the heels of a strongly worded press release indicating how much they were blindsided by Monday’s bombshell news of a settlement between the alliance of former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and the Government of Belize, members of the Belize Communication Workers Union (BCWU) were protesting in […]

Twenty-one Belizean patriots honored
Thursday night’s Tribute to Belizean Patriots took place in Belize City at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. It is the annual recognition of Belizeans who have made outstanding contributions to Belize. Leading the way with the Order of Distinction are the late Dr. Gian Ghandi, Solicitor […]

Corozal Community Hospital gets new equipped Operating Theatre
With the recent scandals at the Western Regional Hospital, especially the attacks aimed at Minister of Health Pablo Marin, today there is a twist to all the unfortunate incidents occurring in the Health Service. This morning, as members of the Corozal Community Hospital and the community gathered at […]

Police need public help to identify critical patient
Belize City Police is asking for the public’s assistance to identify a man that has been in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for several days and needs family support. He is in a critical condition and neither the hospital nor police have any […]

President Obama receives Pat Andrews as new Belize-US Ambassador
On Thursday September 18th, H.E. Patrick Andrews became Belize’s 7th ambassador to present credentials to the United States (US) when he met with President Barrack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Andrews’ message to Obama was one of appreciation for the cordial relationship between the two nations […]

Police looking for forger
Police are currently looking for a person in connection with forgery charges after an Atlantic Bank Cheque leaflet was stolen from inside a businessman’s office at K-Park Quick Stop in the Kings Park Area of Belize City. That cheque book was then used to cash $3,500 in the name of […]

Man charged for firing gun in public
24-year-old Kariq Tzul of West Street, Belize City has been charged with “Discharging Firearm in Public” in relation to the shooting in the area of Antelope Street. The shooting occurred on September 12th and Tzul was arrested yesterday morning, September 17th, at 6:40 a.m.

Four Cubans arrested for illegal entry, one on the run
One Cuban National is at large after he escaped from police officers, leaving his four companions behind to be arraigned in court and put in the Belize Central Prison. The five men’s original destination was the United States but they landed in Belizean waters after their boat got wrecked and […]

Western Regional caught up in another unfortunate incident
The Western Regional Hospital has been getting a bad rap recently for several disturbing incidents that have happened there, including the rat infestation, the rat bite of a new born child and the most recent snake bite of a nurse. Well another incident from that hospital has put it on […]

BTL employees disgusted with GOB over settlement
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) employees expressed their disgust with government over the recent settlement with Lord Michael Ashcroft in a scathing release, in which they condemn GOB for being no better than the People’s United Party (PUP) government when things came to a head in 2005. According to the release […]

BCCI slams GOB for BTL settlement
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) does not support the terms of the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) settlement with Lord Michael Ashcroft in regards to the legislation passed this week allowing government to request unknown sums of money for the settlement. The BCCI said it stands by its […]

Blogs

Foodie Friday: Belizean Fry Jacks Recipe!
They say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and Belizeans take this very serious. One of the more popular and mouth-watering breakfast meals in Belize includes refried beans, eggs, cheese, bacon or ham and fresh fruits all perfectly paired with fry jacks. Fry jacks are deep fried dough pieces that can be shaped in squares, circles or triangles. Making these delicious fry jacks will be relatively easy and fast with this recipe we have prepared for you. You can make this in the comfort of your home and share a part of Belize with your family & friends!

A Scrumptious Coconut Tart
Coconut lovers will rejoice in the delights of this wonderful baked treat. These luscious little tartlets will have your mouth smiling with pleasure in every bite!

Wednesday was a day of firsts for us on Ambergris Caye
Don’t you just love this question: When is the last time you did something for the first time? How would you answer it? Every day we are presented with opportunities to do something a bit differently. It could be as tiny as changing the time you get up in the morning to taking a previously unexplored route to work to, oh, I don’t know, selling everything and moving to a foreign country. What would your life be like if you decided to do one new thing every day? Mine would be a constant state of exhaustion. This may sound strange, coming from a man living on a tiny island in the Caribbean, but I don’t run toward change. I like a certain amount of predictability. When I find a restaurant I like, for example, I quickly become a regular. I can apply that to many aspects of life: When something works, cling to it. For example, on Wednesday we were invited on the Coco Loco’s Customer and Employee Appreciation Cruise by the bar’s owner, Carmen Arenal. Now that’s a first right there. Coco Loco’s is one of our neighborhood hangouts and Carmen is a great community builder. She seems to always be sponsoring covered dish suppers for holidays, farewells and birthdays. She is a major motivator during our First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick-up days. Plus she is a good friend to all.

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL CELEBRATIONS MONTH IN BELIZE
September 10 was National Day in Belize as Belizeans celebrated the Battle of St George's Caye. This week there were activities held everyday, or night as Belize approached Independence Day on September 21st! Today the Primary school children participated by having their Rally! They marched with the bright colours of the country...Blue, White and Red! Escuela Secundaria Mexico had their Patriotic Assembly today while the Corozal Community College had theirs yesterday. Celebrating these two days is something everyone in Belize looks forward to!

It’s Back to School for our Favorite Kids
Back in June, we told you about our plan to make life a little sunnier for our favorite schoolkids. Just ten minutes down the road from Ka’ana is the Holy Cross Primary School and the most wonderful group of fun-loving, dedicated students. And they needed some help! While the kids were on summer break, the Ka’ana team stepped in to build them new restrooms in the schoolhouse and a cover for their small garden. The best part? Now that they’re back in school, we can start our “green days” program to teach them how to keep their garden growing beautifully! As we know from our own on-site organic garden, there’s nothing like growing your own healthy goodies.

Continue Fighting or Settle? The ongoing BTL Saga by: Aria Lightfoot
The Belize Telecommunications Limited now Belize Telemedia Limited has existed in Belize for decades and arguably one of the highest income/profit generators of any other business entity that currently exists in Belize. The profitability of the BTL has translated into financial and political manipulation resulting in one of the worst parasitic, unscrupulous and corruptive investment environment during the Musa years. The high level of questionable business and legal practices; the backroom wheeling and dealing by Belize’s elected officials; the historical fire sale of BTL’s assets escapes the memory of quite a few people and therefore the discussion has been reduced to sound bites, innuendos and further manipulation of the complex issues. The previous caretakers had complete and wanton disregard for the people of Belize. A very powerful investor manipulated elected officials into creating an atmosphere of corruption unseen in Belize’s history. So bad was the level of corruption that the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court, used very strong language to describe the secret accommodation agreement. The CCJ described the ministers behavior as “repugnant”. The court further described our political leaders actions as “malignant tumors”, malignant tumors on our democracy potentially setting back Belize’s democracy by some three hundred years. With no shame as to how he acquired BTL, the very same investor represented by prominent politically tied attorneys of the previous adminstration, seemed hell bent at destroying Belize’s economic and investment climate after nationalization. Like a big bully who was put in his place, he had a lot of money, legal prowess and minions to accomplish just that.

Force Ripe Baby
This is important. It is about domestic violence/ violence and abuse of women and girls in Belize. It is not pretty, and it is long, but I ask your attention. “Every woman is entitled to the free and full exercise of her civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and may rely on the full protection of those rights as embodied in regional and international instruments on human rights. The States Parties recognize that violence against women prevents and nullifies the exercise of these rights.” Article 5, BELEM DO PARA CONVENTION 1994 This starts and ends with personal anecdotes but it is not about me. It is about the abuse that women in our Jewel have endured and still endure. It is about a culture, and it cuts across all classifications, ethnicity, economic class, education level, rural/urban. This does not present solutions. It is meant as provocation. This is about unmasking. It is about facing our evil because I think we have lived with it so long, we don’t even really see it anymore.

International Sourcesizz

U.S. Targets Tax Evaders Using Belize Accounts
U.S. law-enforcement officials are targeting undeclared accounts in Belize-based banks in an expansion of their hunt for U.S. taxpayers who are hiding money abroad, the Justice Department said. This week, Judge Ursula Ungaro of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami authorized the Internal Revenue Service to serve “John Doe” summonses on Bank of America NA and Citibank NA, seeking information about U.S. taxpayers with accounts at Belize Bank International Ltd., Belize Bank Ltd. or Belize Corporate Services. According to the Justice Department statement, the three Belize entities are subsidiaries of BCB Holdings Ltd. The Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. units aren’t accused of wrongdoing. Federal authorities can use information from correspondent accounts that the U.S. banks maintained for the Belizean entities to trace people who may be evading U.S. taxes.

Sponges akin to redwoods of the sea crowding out corals on Florida reefs
Study shows giant barrel sponges up 122 percent in 12 years. The sponges live for centuries and provide critical food and shelter. But at six feet in diameter, they leave little room for reef-building coral. In the absence of coral on Florida’s ailing reefs, a titan of the sea is taking over: giant barrel sponges. Big as a bathtub, the redwoods of the reef can live for centuries and grow to six feet in diameter. For a healthy reef, a single sponge can provide both plentiful housing and dependable sanitation, with a menagerie of marine life finding food and shelter inside a cavernous barrel that also filters huge volumes of seawater. But in the wake of massive coral die-off in the 1970s and 80s, a new study has found a dramatic increase in sponges threatens to collapse the foundation of the complex ecosystem. The research, published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology in August, found that over 12 years, sponges off Conch Key increased by 122 percent, taking up 39 percent more reef. In some areas, the number of baby sponges increased by 600 percent. “If they’re all that there is, the reefs will flatten out and decay,” said study co-author Joseph Pawlik, a marine biologist at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. “As long as they’re holding the space — and they can live hundreds of years — they won’t give that space up to the coral.” While researchers only documented the rise in the Florida Keys, Pawlik said he has seen the spread all over the Caribbean, from Belize to Tobago. “We think the exact same thing is happening everywhere in the Caribbean,” he said.

Cuban envoy to U.S. presents diplomatic credentials to be ambassador to Obama
The chargé d'affaires at the Cuban Embassy in the United States, José Cabañas, on Thursday presented his diplomatic credentials as ambassador to U.S. President Barack Obama in a new step toward the normalization of diplomatic relations. Obama received the credentials of Cabañas and Mexico's new ambassador to the United States, Miguel Basañez, along with those of 14 other chiefs of mission in Washington, D.C., according to a White House statement. In addition, Obama received the new ambassadors from Belize, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Denmark, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Tanzania, Romania, Finland, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Scotiabank Wins Award
Scotiabank is celebrating a regional sweep of Global Finance Magazine’s Best Digital Bank Awards for 2015, winning the prestigious recognition in St. Lucia and 21 other countries. This is the 6th year in a row in which Scotiabank St. Lucia has won the award (formerly the Best Internet Bank Award). “We are very proud to have been recognized by Global Finance for the quality of our digital banking and customer service in St. Lucia and across the Eastern Caribbean,” said David Noel, Managing Director of Scotiabank Caribbean East. “At Scotiabank one of our priorities is to make it easier for our customers to do business with us. We’ve put a lot of work into developing our multichannel, digital platform so that our customers can bank when and where they want.” Scotiabank received Best Digital Bank recognitions in all nine countries in the Bank’s Caribbean East district – Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Further across the region, Scotiabank also won the award in the Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos and the US Virgin Islands.

Little time left to act on US tax bill
The Caribbean has just 18 congressional working days from Sunday September 20 to try to have the US Congress or the District of Colombia address an act naming 17 Caribbean nations as “tax havens”. If passed without amendment it could have the effect of reputationally damaging the countries concerned with unpredictable trade, financial, and economic consequences. The background is a little complicated. Under the terms of the US Constitution, the District of Columbia, which of course includes that nation’s capital, is able to govern its local affairs, but has to submit its legislation for the agreement of Congress. This provision, which has its origins in events in Washington in 1788, grants the US legislature exclusive jurisdiction over the District in “all cases whatsoever” in order to provide for the maintenance and safety of the capital. This means that in practice any Act passed by the Federal District has to be sent to Congress for oversight by Committees of both houses. In the case of budgetary bills, there is a period of 30 working days during which “active approval” is required.

Videos

  • Roseate Spoonbill, 1min. Filmed at Crooked Tree Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize, April, 2015.

  • Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, 5min. Filmed at Chan Chich Lodge, Belize, April, 2015.

  • Black-and-white Warbler, 25sec. Filmed near Chan Chich Lodge, Belize, April, 2015.

  • Hooded Warbler, 1min. Filmed at Chan Chich Lodge, Belize, April, 2015.

  • Tody Motmot, 2min. Filmed at Chan Chich Lodge, April, 2015

  • Glossy Ibis, .5min. Filmed on a Bird's Eye View Lodge boat tour of the Crooked Tree Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize, April, 2015.

  • White-whiskered Puffbird, 1min.

  • Common Pauraque, .5min.

  • Collared Trogon, .5min.

  • Gartered Trogon, .5min.

  • A nice morning with Boat-billed Herons, 8min. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary - Belize. This small colony of Boat-billed Herons has been using this same area in Cockscomb for many years now. I always like to pay them a visit. Their appearance rather reminds me of a cross between two fictional characters. Their black "hair style" reminds me of the alien in the "Predator" movie series. And their bill reminds me of, and you have to be pretty old to remember this one, "Ollie" the dragon from the very old "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" program in the early days of TV. I used to watch it as a child. Anyway, these birds are amazing and a favorite of mine.

  • Belize - Summer 2015, 4min. Our trip to Belize in summer 2015. Adventures included kayaking, ziplining, cave tubing, and more!

  • Tull Rea Down in the Boondocks Average Joe's San Pedro, Belize, 7min.

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