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#508725 - 10/31/15 12:02 PM Today's Belize News: October 31, 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

Celebrate Halloween with stories of these Eerie Belizean Folklores
So Halloween is upon and nothing gets us in the mood for ghoulish festivities like a few eerie tales. While Belizeans don’t really believe in the headless horseman or Bloody Mary we have our fair share of Belizean folklore characters whose stories will have you biting your nails. Different cultural groups tell tales of different ghouls, and elders swear that in a time long ago these characters walked among us and may in fact still be around today. Tata Duende– Believed to be a hideous goblin that dwells in the jungle. Belizean children were often warned never to venture into the jungle to play because of Duende, a short little man, with backwards feet, a large red hat and NO THUMBS. An encounter with Duende will result in the request of him wanting to see your hands. Avoid at all costs to show your hands toTata Duende and if you must be sure to not expose your thumbs, because of course he will chop them off and take them for his own.

Jason Reyes found guilty of Manslaughter over the death of Lionel Pinelo in 2010
On Monday, October 26th, Justice Adolph Lucas found 26-year-old Jason Reyes guilty for the death of island resident Lionel Pinelo on November 5, 2010. Reyes had been initially charged by San Pedro Police for murder, but after court deliberation, Justice Lucas decided to lessen the charge to manslaughter in a trail without a jury. Justice Lucas’ reasons for lessening the charge was that while he is certain that Reyes inflicted a stab wound on Pinelo, it was not intended to cause his death and therefore it was not a murder act. Reyes was once again remanded to the Belize Central Prison to await sentencing, scheduled for Monday, November 2nd.

Howling good fun at Saga’s 2015 Spooktacular!
Saga Humane Society brought out all the ghostly, ghoulish, monstrous doggies for the 12th annual Halloween Spooktacular Party. Held at Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar on Sunday, October 25th, the anticipated event saw pet lovers and their pooches dressed in creative costumes. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Saga party without fun giveaways, great food and drink specials. Patrons surely enjoyed a fabulous pet-loving day while contributing to a worthy cause. Taking the prize for funniest costume was Dooley Bear who was dressed as the sea monster. Rob and his fluffy dog Bear won the look-alike award (Rob in Pigtails). Dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and her “big bad wolf” dressed as her grandmother, Charlie and her dog Maya were awarded judge’s favorite. The cutest was hard to decide but Liam and his pup Pixie dressed up as ‘Up’ and took the prize! The final prize of most creative went to the doggie chef and doggie lobster. Another very important activity held on the day, was the crowning of Duke as Saga’s Photo Contest winner.

San Pedro Lions Celebrate 40 Years of Service
Charter members. (L-R) Wilfredo Nunez, Gonzalo Munoz Sr., Pedro Salazar Sr., Angel Nunez, Abel Guerrero Sr., Fransico Verde and Baldemar Graniel Sr. Lionism began in San Pedro as a result of three local men, namely Wilfredo Alamilla, Alan Forman and Pedro Salazar Sr. who joined the Belize City Lions Club and decided to start their own club in San Pedro. On October 25, 1975, the San Pedro Lions Club was officially chartered, boasting an enrollment of 36 members. 40 years later, this historical event was recognized by the San Pedro Lions Club on Saturday, October 24th with a grand anniversary celebration, with seven of the original charter members in attendance. Guests were treated to a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings and brownie dessert. Of course no San Pedro Lions Club celebration is complete without the infectious music of Rompe Raja. The San Pedro Lions certainly were feeling the Lions spirit all the way down to their happy dancing feet, and the historic event was celebrated into the wee hours of the night.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High School Students Make Noise Against Bullying
The month of October is almost over which means the end of Anti Bullying month at the San Pedro High School. On October 29, 2015 the student body gathered at a “Make a Noise about Bullying Assembly” which was full of educational performances addressing the serious issue of bullying amongst teenagers. Six hundred students, along with their teachers and three judges, witnessed some of the most inspirational presentations against bullying in the form of songs, poems and motivational speeches. The invited judges, Angel Nuñez, Lisette Graniel and Francisco Mendez, had a very big task in choosing the winners of the most captivating anti bullying performance. Alexis Guerrero, San Pedro High School Counselor, stated “It has been a very successful month full of activities in raising awareness against bullying.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Social Studies Sponsorship Program
Cubola Productions teamed up with quite a few awesome local businesses to sponsor the Living Together books and workbooks for many of the Cayo primary schools. Thanks to all involved for this boost in education! "Living Together Standard 1 Sponsorship Program continues in the new school year of 2015-16! Congratulations to the new participants joining the Living Together Std. 1 Social Studies Textbook& Workbook Sponsorship Program. The books and workbooks will assist teachers in their class delivery, emphasizing the importance of Social Studies by providing a stimulating environment for our children to learn about Belize, our people and furthermore our place in in a globalized world. Thanks for the great work teachers! Our sincere appreciation and thanks to the programme sponsors: Black Rock Lodge, Chaa Creek Cottages, Cayo Steel Works, Cubola Productions, Pine Lumber, Shell San Ignacio Service Station, and Caracol YCDS."

Xunantunich Stairway Upgrade
The Institute of Archaeology has upgraded the stairway to Xunantunich. Looks great! They also stopped by Howard Smith Nazarene primary school to teach the students about the Popul Vuh. "In our efforts to improve access and safety at our archaeological reserves, the IA completed a new and improved access stairway to the main plaza at Xunantunich. Visit the site today and remember that it is also free for Belizean residents on Sunday!"

FCD is looking for EXPERTS IN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
AND MARKETING with a passion for ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. Please contact us if interested.

APPLY TODAY - Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) is accepting proposals for projects in Belize!
Belize is a cultural melting pot and with over 900 archeological sites in Belize and many more cultural landmarks, items,and traditions there are unlimited possibilities for AFCP projects here! If your organization is interested in applying start your proposal early and remember to apply for your DUNS number ASAP. Please email BelmopanPA@state.gov with questions. Application guidelines and requirements are on the Embassy's website and here: http://1.usa.gov/1jWWoNK. DEADLINE - December 15, 2015 The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries around the world.

Construction of the Ambergris Stadium
Here are some pictures of the progress of the construction of the Ambergris Stadium. October 30, 2015: Currently piles are being installed and the sections (parking, broadcasting booth, field) have been outlined.

Sandpiper Street getting paved
UPDATE: October 30, 2015 - The street is well underway and casting has begun. Expected date of completion is on Sunday, November 1, 2015.

Chief Magistrate of Belize Ann-Marie Smith in serious trouble with the law
According to media sources, Chief Magistrate of Belize, Anne Marie Smith may be facing criminal charges for alleged misappropriation of funds at the Magistrate Court in Belize City. Chief Magistrate Smith was questioned by auditors regarding deposits to her personal account which were traced back to Government funds during an audit of the Magistrate Court by the Office of the Auditor General last year. Smith reportedly denied the allegations and only back-tracked after she was shown a copy of one of the checks. According to sources, the audit done at the Magistrate Court in Belize city is replete with irregularities – the incidences of misfeasance so many that law enforcement had to be called in. It is not expected that anything will be done since other acts of misapporpriation of funds by other staff at the magistrate court were similary ignored.

Benque HoC Skills Workshop
The Benque House of Culture had their skills workshops, where everyone learned the art of candle making and gourd making. "Skills & Knowledge Workshop, the Art of Bee's Wax Candle Making, following and abiding many believes before its preparation facilitated by Mr. Raul Shish. Images courtesy of K.Pinelo"

Belizean Trade Union Leader Antonio Soberanis!
On the advent of the Belize upcoming General Elections 2015, Belizean Legends recall the radical and dynamic work of Belizean Trade Unionist leader, Antonio Soberanis. It is important to highlight him because in that era of politics in Belize, the unions had incredible power and influenced the outcome of the general elections.

AND THE WIND CRIES ERNEST REID!
Through the courtesy of Belizean Sociologist, Dr. Jerome Straughan, a classic piece of Belizean boxing sports history on the legendary Belizean boxer, Ernest Reid, who fought many top Belizean boxers like Slim Terror and others. He also lived in Panama and fought many fights there. The story reflects his coming back home to Belize after 26 years. Let's recall these great Belizean boxers.

MORE VINTAGE RUDY MIGUEL: THE CYCLING CLASSICS!
Here Rudy Miguel is led by Duncan Vernon as they make their rounds around the circular at the famous National Stadium (aka Horse Track) now Marion Jones Sporting Complex during a 1960's Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classics.

THE CLASSIC GARDEN: 70'S BELIZEAN FOOTBALL!
An historic but threatened Belizean football sports arena of the 1960's and 70's. Where Belizean men played the best football.

70'S BELIZEAN SOFTBALL: QUEENS ARE THE CHAMPION!

Channel 7

CCJ Orders Reparations For The Maya
The Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court in land, has given a landmark ruling on the Maya people of Belize. It says that the Mayas have suffered for centuries at the hands of the different systems of Government in Belize. The direct result of that is that the Government of Belize must make "reparation" by setting up a fund valued at 300 hundred thousand dollars of public funds. That will mark the first step of the Government's compliance with the obligation it recently undertook to develop laws and other measures to protect Maya Rights. Essentially, the CCJ declined to award damages but ordered reparation instead. That was the ruling that the CCJ handed down this morning via teleconference from their headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad. As viewers are aware, the Government of Belize has settled the Mayan Land Rights case by conceding that Mayan Land Rights do exist and that a proper framework needs to be established to protect those rights. Not content with that major victory, the claimants pressed on and asked the court to consider granting them damages. They were asking for relief for all the years when the various governments, both in the colonial the post-colonial eras, had not done anything to protect those rights which were never recognized before. Their reasoning was that by taking a hands-off approach, the successive governments allowed outside elements to cause harm to the Mayas use and enjoyment of their lands.

FCIB Workers' Sustained Strike
Last night we told you about how a workers of the First Caribbean International Bank went on strike and picketed the bank because the negotiation over their exit packages has stalled. Well, they didn't ease up today and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and for the midday lunch hour, they staged a second round of protests. It should have caused a number of difficulties for the other non-unionized workers and the management staff who tried to hold over and carry on operations in their absence. Today was the end of their financial year and informed observers told us that the contract staff likely struggled to get all the required transactions done. Well, the news tonight is that on Monday, the protest will continue because the corporate managers have indicated that they will not make the 8 a.m. meeting with the Labour Commissioner, who had been called in to mediate once again. We understand that those managers explain their intended absence as a result of a change of circumstances and short notice. So, what would they have discussed in that meeting if it were to happen? The Chief Union Rep. on the FCIB staff explained it to us yesterday:

Jalacte Mayans Upset With GOB
And from banking back to Maya affairs, tonight, our information is that circumstances are ripening for there to be yet another showdown between the state and the Mayas. This time, the issue is situated in Jalacte Village, which is well-known for that unregulated cross-border interaction between Belize and the neighboring Guatemalan village of Santa Cruz. It is also one of the 39 Mayan Villages in the south. For an entire year now, the Ministry of Agriculture has set up an operation with their partners, namely BAHA, and the United States Department of Agriculture. The Government has built an Agricultural Outreach Station, to provide better extension services and assistance to farmers living in the area. Next, BAHA and the U-S-D-A built a Medfly Inspection Center. That is to ensure that the medfly, or the Mediterranean fruit fly - which has devastated the agricultural industry in other parts of the world - does not get a strong foothold in Belize and wreak havoc on the fruit and vegetable farmers in the south.

What's Happening With Ux Benka?
And from that brewing dispute in Jalacte, we also asked the Maya Leaders Alliance about the situation in Santa Cruz, Toledo. That's where, as viewers are well aware, 13 Mayan residents stand charged with unlawful imprisonment, because they handcuffed and tried to evict Creole Belizean Rupert Myles. They say that Miles is squatting on, and has destroyed, a portion the Ux Benka Mayan Natural Monument. The Department of Archaeology agrees with them that Myles is in the wrong, but Myles says that it's racism that caused them to try to kick him out. He also contends that he is not on the site, and that he did not destroy the monument. Dr. John Morris, the Director of the Department of Archaeology committed 3 months ago to taking legal and criminal action against Myles, and the Mayans say that since that promise was made, nothing much was has been done. Today, the MLA's Program Coordinator told us that the Director of Archaeology has finally gotten in touch with them to brief them about exactly what will happen shortly:

Accused of Patricide, Man Get's Off After 24 Years In Jail
After spending 24 years - more than half his life - on remand for the murder of his own father, 45 year-old Leroy Arnold was sent home today - without even a trial. That's after the Supreme Court determined that the case file and all the evidence against him has gone missing, and will probably not be found. According to police, on September 6, 1991, Leroy Arnold's father, William Arnold, was killed in the village of Teakettle, and they believed that they had evidence to prove that he was the killer, and so, he was charged with murder at the age of 19. A few years later, his case came up for trial, but during that time, before a full jury, Arnold began showing signs of mental illness. The sitting judge concluded at that time that he was mentally unstable and unfit to stand trial. He was left to languish in jail all that time, and when his case was called up this week, it was determined that he was now fit to stand trial. The prosecution then tried to locate his case file, but when the court requested it to start the trial, no one could find it.

Accused Kidnappers Walk
In March of this year, two Belize City men were accused of kidnapping 19 year old Abel Lara Jr. 23 year old Alexander Lopez and 41 year old Amir Reid were charged jointly with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and harm upon Abel Lara Jr. They allegedly forced Lara into a vehicle on Faber's Road, and took him up the highway. But the teenager says he escaped before they could hurt him, running unto the road with his abductors chasing him. He says he escaped when he flagged down a vehicle. It's quite a story, but he didn't tell it to the judge today. The court prosecutor informed Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith that Lara had given the police a further statement requesting no court action against the men. With that, The Chief told Lopez and Reid they were free to go.

Training Officer In Intelligence Gathering
If you follow the hit Showtime series Homeland or the popular American cop shows like "Quantico," you get an idea of what it takes to be an FBI or a CIA agent. And while Belize is a long way from that kind of surveillance state, collecting intelligence is a major part of crime fighting in Belize. That was the objective of the Basic Intelligence Police Training course. A closing ceremony was held this morning at the Biltmore and the participants told us how they will incorporate what they learned into police investigations. Bob Gibson, Coordinator "This is intended to improve the student's abilities to analyze the facts that are gathering from their community, whether it be nationwide or whether it be in a community or district. The idea is that you collect information, you analyze it. Not just how you think about it, but an exact process of how you go about analyzing this and how you use that information to not just respond to crime, but you also want to do it to divert crime and to stop crime from happening. So you have to think broadly, not just simply tactically like a military kind of operation or just simply a police operation."

PUP Accuses Denny Of Getting Unfair Tax Exemptions
UDP Candidate for Orange Walk Central Denny Grijalava is also a contractor - and tonight the PUP are alleging that he used his inside connection to score himself a long list of duty exemptions earlier this year. This letter from the Ministry of Finance in June of this year showed that Demar's Stone Company - which Grijalva owns - received full duty and GST exemption for a very long list of items on a road building contract. The list includes everything from a kitchen sink to twenty three thousand bags of Portland Cement. Looks like he hit the duty free jackpot, right? - but Grijalva says it's standard procedure for the contract he got. When we spoke to him today, Grijalva told us that the contract for the road from Yo Creek to San Antonio is funded by the European Union as part of what are known as the Accompanying Measures for Sugar. He says that the duty exemption is government's contribution to the EU funded project. When we asked why he needs twenty three thousand sacks of concrete for a 3 mile asphalt road, he said that three quarter mile of the road will be cemented - and that is why he was given exemptions for steel rebar and cement.

Doc Vs Sedi - The Battle Over Pickstock
Last night, we gave you short excerpt of our coverage of the election trail in the Pickstock Division. It's perceived to be a battleground because Incumbent Wilfred Elrington had a narrow margin of victory against Dr. Francis Smith in the 2012 general election. Both candidates are oddly similar: they're both political mavericks, outspoken and impolitic: Elrington has been pilloried for so many of his reckless public statement, while Smith made news when he called out his own party leader for his Fonseca name. But, that tendency to throw caution to the wind is where the similarities end. On the ground, their perceptions of the same very small division are as different as night and day. Daniel Ortiz reports: Incumbent Wilfred Elrington claims that his campaign trail started immediately after the 2012 elections when results showed that he won by less than a hundred votes. He's been providing residents of Pickstock with access to all the Government's pro poor programs. He believes that this has given him an edge.

Julius Espat Defends Cayo South Seat Against Ralph Huang
And, from Pickstock we take you to Cayo South where Incumbent Julius Espat is defending his seat against UDP newcomer Ralph Huang. He's made the news already because documents purporting that he has Guatemalan Nationality has emerged. Also, as viewers remember, his constituency office was burnt down in Camelot Village a week ago, in what's believed to be a politically motivated arson. So despite those difficulties, how well matched are these two politicians? The prevailing perception is that Huang is the underdog, and when we asked him about that last week, he didn't agree. Here's what both candidates had to say about their attempts at ascending to elected office:

OAS Observer Team Looking In On Elections
Last night we told you about the OAS observer team which is here in Belize. The team will meet with the political parties and observe the electoral process. Although they wont be directly involved, they play a key role in highlighting major issues that need to be addressed. The Chief of Mission told me yesterday that they are taking a keen interest in women and youth involvement. Courtney Weatherburne "One of the major highlights about an election is the financing. To be more specific campaign financing. It's all about which party can generate more money to fuel their machine, to bring people out on election day. But that also brings about many issues or concerns and questions. Because many people wonder or question if that money is being generate through any illegal or deceptive means, or any under table deals. How involve is the OAS in this process?"

Chief Elections Officer Invites PUP To Look At Proxy Register
Last night we told you about the stern demand the PUP made to the Chief Elections Officer. The Opposition wants to review the register of proxy votes and they say if Josephine Tamai doesn't allow them to do so, they'll take her to court. Tamai wrote back to the Secretary General of the PUP to say that the proxy register is still being prepared, but if the opposition wants to inspect it they can do so starting on Monday afternoon. They must do so in the presence of an elections and boundaries staffer. THE PUP has alleged the abuse of proxy form by the Chairman of the UDP Alberto August. August has flatly denied this.

Teenager Critical After Stabbing Incident
A teenager is in critical condition after being stabbed. Police say that On Wednesday afternoon at around 1:00, 16 year old student Darwin Gamboa was stabbed to the lower back. Police learned that Gamboa was walking on Antelope Street when three men approached him and a fight started, during which one of the men stabbed him. Police have one known suspect they are looking for, and a police report says Gamboa is listed in a critical condition.

Papas Went To Renounce
Last night we told you about Greg Papas Garcia - the PUP Candidate for Corozal Bay who was born in Guatemala. He was born there but never got nationality, so on the face of it - he shouldn't have a problem if he were elected to the House. But, all persons born in Guatemala are said to be Guatemalans. So Garcia told us today that he went the extra step and renounced his Guatemalan nationality. Garcia sent us this 2013 certificate of affirmations as a citizen of Belize as proof.

Sunrise Rotary Donates To KHMH
As we showed you , the new Pediatric and Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH was officially opened on Tuesday. The unit can treat over 31 babies in all and has state of the art treatment and monitoring equipment. While it might seem that the unit is set for operations , there are several pieces of equipment that are still needed. Well, the Sunrise Rotary Club donated $80,000 worth of equipment today to the KHMH. The Head of the PICU Dr. Cecilio Eck told us this donation couldn't have come at a better time. There will be other equipment donations through this link between the hospital and Sunrise Rotary.

CARICOM Ensures Food Safety In Trade
Today a regional workshop was held to discuss the health and safety of agricultural products. Belize signed on to the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement which includes food safety programs and regulations that must be incorporated by both the health and agricultural sectors. Now that sounds like a mouthful, but today a BAHA's Delilah Cabb Ayala explained how this agreement will ensure your food is safe for consumption and trade. BAHA has a module that governs the food safety, quarantine and plant health initiatives.

Living In Abject Poverty
For the past few weeks we have been covering stories on quite a number of fallen houses. But this story tonight is different. It is about a man who has been living in a makeshift shack for over a year. Today 7news traveled to Holy Emmanuel Street where we found Asher - a homeless man whose troubles run very deep. If you would like to assist Asher, you can find him at his home on Holy Emmanuel Street.

El Dia Del Muertos
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico on the second day in November. It's a 500 year old tradition, where it is believed that the souls of ancestors return to join the living, in festivities that include food and dancing. The Mexican Embassy in Belize is hosting an exhibition on the Day of the Dead to display a traditional celebration. Today we stopped by for a sneak peek. The public is invited to the traditional celebration on Monday at the Embassy of Mexico in Belize City and in Belmopan. It starts at 6:30pm.

SIB Trade Stats For September 2015
In September, Belize's total imports were just about the same as last year during that time. The slight dip was caused by the importation of fewer Fuels and Lubricants'. And why less fuel? Well the numbers people at the statistical institute of Belize say that no premium fuel was imported during September 2015, coupled with lower fuel prices for the other major fuels. Notably, there were increased purchases of farm equipment, laboratory equipment and fertilizers. Exports on the other hand were up sharply from last year September, 23.2 percent or $6.8 million dollars more than a year ago. Sugar exports for September 2015, inclusive of August's bulk shipment valued at $8 million, primarily contributed to the increase in exports.

Making Treatment For Pediatric Cancer Patients Accessible
Last night we told you about the agreement activated between Merida in the state of Yucatan, the Ministry of Health and the Belize Cancer Society for pediatric cancer cases. Due to the extraordinary length of the news, we didn't have time to air the comments that accompanied the signing - where the Mexican Ambassador and the Health Minister spoke about possibilities for partnering with other Mexican states for healthcare in the near future. Here are those remarks now:

Channel 5

Was PM’s Letter to Guatemalan President-Elect Too Soft?
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister said that while he would do the courteous thing and offer written congratulations to the new president elect of Guatemala, he would also be stern [...]

CCJ Awards Reparations to Maya Community
A delegation of leaders of the Maya Communities in the south sat today in the chambers of Justice Michelle Arana where by teleconference a decision was delivered by the Caribbean [...]

How Did Grand Belizean Estates Acquire Prime Land in San Pedro?
How did San Pedro developers Grand Belizean Estates get a hold of land conservatively worth at least four million dollars for only three hundred and fifty thousand dollars? And where [...]

…Area Representative Manuel Heredia Explains His Involvement
Heredia Junior insists that his participation was only minimal – just facilitation. He also maintains that Grand Belizean Estates paid far more than what was paid for similar fifty-acre parcels. [...]

Chief Elections Officer’s Residence Under Police Watch
On Thursday, News Five sat down for an extended interview with Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai. She’s been under intense scrutiny in the days leading up to general elections set [...]

Josephine Tamai Dismisses Allegations as Political Mischief
Actually, Tamai says that all her officers are under undue pressure leading up to elections. She claims that it’s unfair, because they are all just doing a job and they [...]

Simultaneous Counting to be Done Upon Close of Polls on Election Day
Polls close at six pm on Election Day, and usually results would start coming out hours after – from around ten for the smallest constituency until the early hours of [...]

Decisions on Recounts to be Decided by Returning Officers
Depending on which side you ask, there would likely be a prediction of a clean sweep either way. But political observers in the know believe that of the thirty-one seats [...]

Pablo Mis on Jalacte and Agriculture Learning Center
Earlier this week, the Maya community of Jalacte staged a peaceful protest against the inauguration of an Agriculture Learning Center in the village.  The building was constructed by the Ministry [...]

What’s the Update on Uxbenka?
Mis goes on to make a comparison between the recent situation in Jalacte and the existing issue in Santa Cruz where Rupert Myles and residents of that village are presently [...]

Employees Walk Off Job at Museum of Belize
The Museum of Belize was closed for business today, and it isn’t a public and bank holiday. We’re told at least twelve members of staff just did not show up [...]

US Embassy Representatives to Observe General Elections
Finally for pre-election coverage tonight, at least where the Elections and Boundaries Department is concerned, Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai confirmed for us that the election will be observed by [...]

Man Freed 24 Years After Killing his Father
A resident from Teakettle is free of the charge of murder after spending twenty-four years in jail for the killing of his father in 1991. Leroy Arnold was set freed [...]

2 Belize City Men Freed of Kidnapping Charges
Two other men were also freed today after being accused of kidnapping a youth near Faber’s Road. Businessman, Amir Reid and Construction Worker Alexander Lopez, were accused in March of [...]

Police Receive Basic Intelligence Training
A “Basic Intelligence Analysis Training” for officers attached to the Belize Police Department concluded today at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza. The training, which is being coordinated through the Central [...]

Officers Ready to Put Skills Into Practice
While the training is to enhance the criminal justice system, for corporals Jane Usher and Jermaine Hyde of the Belize Police Department, the training will allow them to better their [...]

K.H.M.H. Receives Donation of Incubators
The K.H.M.H. has been boosted significantly this week. Aside from a new wing for pediatric care, the Riverview Rotary Club of Edmonton Canada today donated incubators to the hospital. This [...]

LOVE FM

Local Cops Get Training From FBI on Intelligence Analysis
There was a closing ceremony for Basic Intelligence Analysis Training at the Biltmore Plaza for a group of policemen and women of the Belize Police Department. The week long training was provided by the United States Embassy, with training from the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Derrick Stivers, an Intelligence Analysis of […]

PUP Demands Access to Proxy Register at Elections and Boundaries
There is a concern coming out of the People’s United Party surrounding the inspection of the Proxy Register. The PUP, in a letter, dated October 27 to the Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai, requested access to the register but were denied immediate access which led to another letter being sent on October 28, that stated, […]

Chief Elections Officer Condemns Allegations by Opposition Party
It is not strange that since the election has been called the main Opposition Party and in some instances, even the ruling UDP have been expressing concerns at how things are being done in the campaigning process and more so, in the area of voters list and registrations. Those concerns have ranged from the recent […]

CWU Sets Record Straight on Social Security Board Negotiations
Yesterday we told you of the reports we had gotten that the SSB workers countrywide would be going on strike as a result of still not being paid their clothing allowance and negotiations with the Board having failed. That information came from a credible source within the SSB, who told us that the action was […]

Economist Report Forecast Victory for the Barrow Administration
A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit has been published online, dated October 23, 2015 as it relates to Belize. The Economist Intelligence Unit or EIU is based in the United Kingdom since 1946 and is said to be an independent business within the Economist Group that provides forecast and advisory services through in-depth research […]

UB Staff and Faculty Association Continue Agitation for Wage Increase
Earlier this week, we told you about the meeting that members of the University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association had in Belmopan in regards to their request for a 14 percent raise in their salaries. The Executive of the Association has been communicating with the President of the University, Allan Slusher, who in a […]


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#508726 - 10/31/15 12:02 PM Re: Today's Belize News: October 31, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

Two Ladyville men get 7 years for attempted robbery
Two Ladyville men, who were remanded to prison when they were arraigned on a charge of attempted robbery, will not come out of prison anytime soon because this afternoon Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found them guilty and imposed the minimum sentence of 7 years for the offense. Roger Hilton, 27, and Steve Arnold, 32, gained nothing from their attempted robbery of Ian Alexander Holland on May 10, 2015, other than that time, they will now have to spend time behind bars, for attempting to rob a man they have known for over 20 years. In finding them guilty, the Chief Magistrate told the two that the version of events they gave to the court sounded like a fairy tale. And nothing that they said in court could discredit the witnesses for the prosecution, who had given overwhelming evidence against them.

PM Barrow is talking big to Guatemala’s President-elect – or is it election rhetoric?
Prime Minister Dean Barrow made some macho, if not rhetorical, comments today when reporters asked him to comment on the remarks that the Guatemalan President-elect Jimmy Morales had made concerning the revival of his country’s claim to Belize during his presidential campaign. In August, Morales told a Guatemalan reporter who had asked him, “Which Guatemalan historical event do you think is the most deplorable?” In answer to the question, Morales replied, “The most deplorable event – among all the things that have happened in Guatemala. There are certain things that are not spoken about and which I believe we should. Everything that goes contrary to national unity and territorial integrity are things that should hurt us. Something is happening right now, we are about to lose Belize. We have not lost it yet. We still have the possibility of going to the International Court of Justice where we can fight [for] that territory or part of that territory.”

BATSUB! The British answer to Guatemala’s Jimmy Morales!
Exactly one week before Belizeans go to the polls to elect a new government, the British, who had scaled down their operations in Belize in 2011, are back. This time, the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) are planning a multinational presence with Canadian and United States forces in Belize. The timing of this, however, raises a question, because no reason was given as to why the British could not have waited a mere 7 days until a new government was installed. The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Leader Francis Fonseca told Amandala this evening, however, that he is not suspicious about the timing of the announcement, because the British High Commissioner had kept him informed about this for a while now. “We have to see how it will fully materialize, since the British are interested to remain engaged in this part of the world,” Fonseca offered.

Chief Elections Officer denies allegations of “election rigging”
On Tuesday at a press conference at its Independence Hall headquarters, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) had expressed its concern that proxy ballots are not being handled in a legal manner. That same day, the PUP’s campaign manager for the Cayo Central constituency, Horace Grant, wrote to the Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai, complaining that the United Democratic Party (UDP) Chairman, Alberto August, had demanded that hundreds of proxy ballots be signed at the Elections and Boundaries’ Cayo Central office. In his letter, Grant alleged that, “This is blatant act of corruption and also shows that the Elections and Boundaries is allowing one of the main political parties to control the voting for a general election which is illegal and against democracy.”

Chinese community assists city residents impacted by floods
The Chinese Community of Belize, led by the Belize Chinese Association chairman Edmund Kwan, assisted city residents impacted by the recent low weather system that passed over the country and caused widespread flooding and storm damages in the city, with over $15,000 worth of food and groceries. Kwan told Amandala that packages containing groceries were taken to four different locations in the city, including the Gungulung area in Lake Independence, the Jane Usher Boulevard area, Antelope Street Extension, and Belama Phrase 4. Kwan said that they (the Chinese) are a part of the community and the food distribution initiative is a way of assisting the people in the areas that were most impacted by the flood. The donations were made on Saturday.

Pilot and passengers disappear
A United States-registered Piper PA34 Seneca twin-engine plane that had filed a flight plan to land in Belize two days ago arrived this morning, but instead of landing at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA), it mysteriously landed at the Belize City Municipal Airstrip around 5:30 a.m., half an hour before the airstrip opened, and the plane was abandoned by the time authorities arrived to investigate. When Kremandala reporters went to the airstrip around midday, the blue and white aircraft with the number N32218 emblazoned on its fuselage was under police guard and police crime scene technicians were busy processing the exterior of the plane, before a police K9 unit arrived. The commander of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), Superintendent Mark Flowers, told us that the aircraft was being treated as a crime scene because the plane had landed without the required clearance from Belizean officials. Flowers also confirmed that when they arrived at the airstrip, no one connected to the plane was in sight. Flowers told us, “We have made checks and verified that there was no flight plan for this aircraft to land here.”

2015 T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic on November 15
Football: Here are the results of games in the Rodwell Ferguson Football Tournament that were played at the Pomona New Site football field over the weekend. In Saturday night’s opener, Bowman Valley Rangers and Pomona Sliders ended up in a 1-1 draw. Ryan Gregorio scored for Bowman Valley Rangers, while Jessie Baide scored for Pomona Sliders. In game 2, Silk Grass Southern Strikers and Hope Creek United also ended in a 1-1 tie. Goal scorers were Carlos Medina for Silk Grass, and Jevon Parham for Hope Creek United. T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic: The Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association, in collaboration with the Cycling Federation of Belize, will be hosting its Annual T.V. Ramos Cycling Classic on Sunday, November 15. Last year’s race attracted over 98 cyclists from across the country of Belize, who took part. This year is expected to be bigger and better. Last year’s defending champion was Brandon Cattouse from C-Ray Cycling Team. This year’s race, however, will be in three [3] categories. First will be the Elite category, which will consist of Cross Country riders. That race will start from the Wadani Shed at 10:00 a.m. and head on the Southern Highway to Placencia junction and back to the Wadani Shed. First place gets $500.00; second place, $300.00; third place, $200.00; and fourth place, $100.00. Can Brandon Cattouse regain his title back-to-back?

Bze District U-15 Football Tournament starts Sunday @ MCC
Ever since the end the annual Smart 13&Under Football Tournament in mid-July of this year, young footballers have been anxiously waiting for the start of the long promised U-15, U-17 and U-19 tournaments under the auspices of the district branch association of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB). Unfortunately, there have been some miss-steps by the FFB in getting the defunct Belize District Football Association re-constituted, which has delayed the start of the tournaments. No press releases have yet been made towards the election of a new district association executive, or to invite interested teams across the Belize District who would have liked to enter the various competitions. Nevertheless, today we received the full schedule of the U-15 competition which kicks off this Sunday with 9 teams from Belize City, Ladyville and Hattieville participating.

Verdes loses 8-nil to San Francisco in Panama
Making it to the quarterfinals was already out of the question for Belize’s Verdes FC going into tonight’s final game in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage against San Francisco FC at the Estadio Maracana de Panama. But, after a 2-1 victory at home on September 22, Verdes was looking to end our first venture into this prestigious regional tournament on a good note; if not a victory, at least a respectable loss. It was neither. Unfortunately for Verdes and their praying fans back home in the Jewel, a disturbing pattern continued where, after a good showing at home, our team received a big score on foreign soil. After drawing 0-0 with Queretaro FC of Mexico at the FFB Stadium on August 18, Verdes promptly fell to Queretaro by an 8-0 margin on September 17 in Queretaro, Mexico. That was at high altitude; approximately 6,000 feet above sea level. Verdes promptly returned home, regrouped, and dealt the visiting San Francisco FC of Panama a 2-1 surprise a few days later on September 22 at our FFB Stadium. Panama would not be at high altitude like Mexico, so there were high hopes for Verdes going into tonight’s return match a month later; but those hopes were dashed early, as San Francisco came out blazing, taking a 1-0 lead at the 3rd minute, and adding 3 more by half-time, on their way to an 8-0 shelling, to match the score dealt Verdes by Queretaro.

FFB calls Female U-17 players for World Cup Qualifiers in Nov
The Under 17 (U17) Female World Cup Qualifiers is scheduled to take place from November 11 to 15, 2015, in Honduras. The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) hereby calls the following players to camp, which will be held on weekends at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan: Players are: Shardee Lozano; Jayda Lynn Brown; Lisandra Elizabeth Novelo; Kenisha Jones; Marcia Ara; Cesia Alvarado; Jerlin Salazar; Blanca Ryes; Amber Ryannie Gongora; Ashley Janely Rodriguez; Alyssa Ruth Ashley Grant; Shandy Niesha Vernon; Viviannie Izamar Pivaral; Renai Augustin; Vailene Rashawn Lambert; Shantel Brendaley Robinson; Yakzari Marie James; Keanna Nailea Cabanas; Wareyni Diane Gillett; Deedrah Diaz; Kate Jones; Gabriela Cowo; Ada Abigail Cordova; Shari Simone Pandy; Zandra Jozie Juji Phoebe Whittaker. Eighteen (18) players will be subsequently chosen to participate in the tournament.

Editorial: The Brits “intervene,” or is it “interfere”?
Exactly one week before general elections in Belize, the only British Commonwealth country on the Central American mainland, the British know exactly what they have done here. This is a military announcement at a precise time when it will have a political impact in Belize. On Tuesday of this week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow had spoken scathingly of Guatemalan President-elect Jimmy Morales, disrespectfully referring to him as a “neophyte,” with specific reference to Morales’ aggressive statements about “recovering” Belize for Guatemala. Mr. Barrow’s Tuesday remarks had been a noticeable change of direction where this United Democratic Party (UDP) administration’s posture towards Guatemala was concerned. For almost the whole of this year, the Barrow government has been backpedaling on all the Guatemalan incidents and Guatemalan statements which have taken place since late February of 2015. So much has this backpedaling been the case that the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) has seized on it to focus on the Barrow administration’s appeasement attitude toward Guatemala as a prominent feature of their general election campaign.

“The prisoner and the priest”
Dear Editor, In the early 1990’s, as a personal interest, I began doing research on the murder of a Catholic parish priest in Benque Viejo del Carmen which occurred in 1961, a case that, according to the existent records, was never resolved. I was particularly drawn by a letter in the issue of The Amandala dated September 20, 2015 and reprinted on September 27, alluding most certainly to this case. After all, only one priest has been killed in Benque Viejo’s history. I am moved to respond to the content of this letter given the statements the writer makes, which has stirred much concern among the people in the community of Benque Viejo where this unhappy episode is still alive. It is my intention, therefore, to address those allegations made with the purpose of setting the record right.

“I hold out high hopes”
Dear Editor, Please permit me to voice my opinion on a topic of concern. If you can remember, on May 18, 2009, we had a horrible experience at our main hospital here in Punta Gorda. I wish to follow up with another incident that has recently happened again here in our Punta Gorda Hospital. I normally wouldn’t write on the birth of our child but after the recent birth of our son, I just felt that I had to write this letter to thank all those wonderful nurses who are trying so hard to do a good job in our wonderful Belize. If you remember, on May 18, 2009, it was a horribly traumatic experience for my whole family and yet I am content in my heart that we did not sue and deplete the coffers of money our hospitals are so in need of. Now if I can take you to September 30, 2015. I believe that in life we are given a chance by our wonderful Creator to help right wrongs that happened in the past. This, in my opinion, is what happened on September 30.

The illegal border crossing at Bullet Tree
Dear Editor, Residents of Bullet Tree live in a beautiful community which should be safe and secure for people of all ages. For the past few years the calm of this village has been disturbed by trucks of all sizes and other vehicles making illegal border crossings during the day and especially at night via an unmarked dirt road which passes by the Bullet Tree police station. Vehicles stolen in Belize, including government vehicles, are driven on this road to Guatemala never to be seen by their owners again. There are no checkpoints on this road. Vehicles have been seen by residents of Bullet Tree changing license plates from Guatemala to Belize before proceeding into Bullet Tree village. No cargoes are checked for safety and no taxes are collected from these vehicles. To date it appears that the police, Belize military and politicians have not intervened to close this illegal road. It would not be difficult to construct a barrier across the road which would staunch the illegal entry and exit of vehicles at the border and help keep the peace and protect the citizens of Bullet Tree village.

Belize going bananas!
Belize’s exports this September were up by a remarkable 23.2% over the value of exports last September, with the traditional exports from the agriculture and fisheries sectors netting the country over $30 million—a third of the earnings coming from bananas, according to information just released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). Crude oil did not factor among the country’s leading exports. The total value of the country’s domestic exports for September was $36 million, while last September saw exports netting the country $29.2 million in earnings. Although September was a bright spot in the year, the SIB reports that merchandise exports for the period January to September totaled $439.3 million, down 12.5 percent or $62.2 million from the same period last year. The SIB said that, “Diminished sales for three of Belize’s major exports, crude petroleum, marine products and citrus concentrate, led to the downturn over the nine-month period. However, banana and sugar grew steadily from January to September, with banana sales rising from $72 million in 2014 to $77 million in 2015 (roughly 7%) and sugar from $109 million to $113 million (roughly 3%).”

KHMH gets new Pediatric & Neonatal Ward
The Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the latest addition to the Karl Heusner Memorial, and inaugural ceremonies for the facility were held today. Speeches that noted the significance of the occasion were delivered by Dr. Peter Allen, CEO of the Ministry of Health; Dr. Adrian Coye, CEO of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital; Imani Fairweather-Morrison, Program Officer of the Oak Foundation, and Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children. Dr. Allen recalled that at one point in the past, up to fifty percent of critically ill “neonate babies” did not survive; however, he noted that today neonatal mortality is down, and he remarked on the better chances for survival that such babies will have as a result of the opening of the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

OAS Deploys Electoral Observation Mission to Belize
The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS/EOM) to the November 4 general elections in Belize began its deployment today. The delegation, headed by Ambassador Jacinth Henry-Martin, Chief of Staff to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, is comprised of 13 observers from 11 countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, El Salvador, France, Mexico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States). The first members of the Mission arrived in Belize on October 27.

Deflation of -0.7%, as prices fall everywhere except the south
Today, a gallon of premium gasoline is down to $8.58 in Belize City, a dollar lower than it was the same time last month, giving consumers a substantial ease, as anticipated during this pre-election season. All-in-all though, consumer prices have been on a downward trend nationally, with the first nine months of this year recording an inflation rate of negative 0.9 percent and September recording deflation in all municipalities with the exception of the southernmost municipalities of Dangriga and Punta Gorda, according to the latest report from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). “The price of all three types of fuel fell considerably in comparison to September 2014, with prices of premium and regular gasoline down by about 16 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Diesel recorded the highest decline of 32 percent, compared to last September. The decline in fuel prices was the major factor contributing to a 7 percent decline in the ‘Transport’ index,” the SIB said.

Decomposed American man found in apartment
The body of an American man, Delbert Wayne Fenn, 50, of Alaska, U.S.A., living in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, was found in an advanced state of decomposition in his apartment at about 10:30 Tuesday morning. Police went to the Cloisters Condominium located north of San Pedro, where the stench of decomposing human flesh from apartment #102 had become unbearable. Upon entering the apartment, police saw the body of a man lying face-down in a pool of blood. The body was identified as that of Delbert Wayne Fenn, an American who was a retired deep-water diver. At that time there was no sign of physical violence on the body. A post-mortem exam was carried out by Doctor Mario Estradabran, police pathologist, who determined the cause of Fenn’s death to be exsanguinations due to external bleeding resulting from an apparent stab wound to the right shoulder and right posterior forearm.

The Reporter

Fourth edition of INVEST Belize due Monday
The fourth edition of the INVEST Belize Magazine will be introduced on Monday, through a collaborative effort of The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and McNab Publishing Limited. The business and investment-focused publication targets top industry players and business professionals. Since its first volume, the Invest Belize Magazine has aggressively and continuously endeavoured to market the best products. This fourth edition, according to thr government’s Press Office, will feature investments in the rapidly growing tourism market. It has a starting circulation of 7, 500 copies, distributed at worldwide business hubs, all Belizean embassies, international and national trade shows, international business meets, and high-end resorts country-wide.

Stakeholders partner up for child cancer care
This week the Ministry of Health and the Belize Cancer Society formed an alliance with Mexico, to help child cancer patients in Belize receive treatment. The MoH and BCS signed the agreement with the Ministry of Health of Merida, Yucatan, on Thursday at the Mexican Embassy […]

US authorities find railroad drug tunnel at border with Mexico
Smugglers on the U.S.-Mexico border have become so sophisticated in moving drugs that one “super tunnel” raided this week featured a railway. The tunnel stretched the length of eight football fields, from a Tijuana warehouse to a San Diego warehouse, and had a rail system, lighting, electricity, and metal beams […]

First ever FIFA 1-Star-approved synthetic field to be completed by year’s end
The first ever stadium with a FIFA 1-Star-approved synthetic turf and perimeter warm up track is expected to be ready for use by the end of this year. Director of the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) Christy Mastry told the Reporter this week that the reconstructed […]

Election rigging rumors blaze
United Democratic Party (UDP) Chairman Alberto August rejected the allegation that he and the Chief Election Officer coerced an Election &Boundaries registrar to sign 100’s of blank proxy documents. People’s United Party (PUP) Cayo Central Campaign Manager Horace Grant, this week made the allegation […]

First Caribbean employees protest
Unionized employees of First Caribbean International Bank took to strike action this week after negotiations with the bank broke down. On Thursday, union members from the Dangriga, Belmopan, and Belize City branches assembled in front of the bank’s Albert Street branch in protest, while the […]

A BECOL secret agreement?
The People’s United Party (PUP) this week released 10 pages of a document, which it described as a “secret agreement” that Dean Barrow, in his capacity as Prime Minister, signed with Fortis as part of the government’s overall settlement to rcquire Belize Electricity Limited.  For […]

Editorial
The three days of rain which flooded Belize City earlier this month provided a foretaste of what is to come if global warming continues to contribute to rising sea levels. Belize City is not below sea level, but when the ocean tide is high, it raises the level of the […]

Guatemala’s new president renews claim to Belize
Jimmy Morales, a former Guatemalan comedian who has publicly said he thinks Guatemala should actively pursue its claim to Belize, emerged as that country’s president on Sunday after a sweeping victory over his only rival, former Guatemalan first lady, Sandra Torres. Morales won by […]

Watchdog commission warns about false claimssize
The International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC), last week, published a warning against Maxim Capital Limited, a suspicious company which claims to be licensed by the Belize financial regulator. The company, also known as Maxim Trader, offers foreign exchange (Forex) services to clients […]

Belize gets US $134,000 for water sector resiliency
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a US $134,000 technical assistance grant to Belize to help make the country’s water supply less vulnerable to climate change impacts. “Investing in the water sector is critical to the economic and social development of our borrowing […]

Barrow to Guat President: “Belize will not be bullied!”
Soon after it was established that the newly-elected president of Guatemala is Jimmy Morales – a man who has publicly advocated that his country should seek to reclaim Belize – Prime Minister Dean Barrow, approaching the end of his term, sounded a clear warning […]

Belize raises concern over shady foreign exchange company
Belize has issued another international advisory about a sus-picious foreign exchange company, falsely claiming to be registered in the country. Several months after Panteon-Finance made it to the “black list” of Russia’s Forex organization, Belize’s financial markets regulator also voiced its concerns over the […]

Bag of passports found last week is no sinister attempt to steal elections – PM Barrow
The bag of passports found last week inside a business establishment in San Ignacio, was not a part of any sinister attempt by the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) to allow illegitimate people to vote in Wednesday’s General Elections says Prime Minister Dean Barrow. […]

Family seeks assistance for youngest Belizean lymphoma patient
The Bowden family from San Pedro Town is seeking public assistance for their 13-year-old son, Sean Bowden, the youngest Mediastinal Lymphoma patient in Belize who is hospitalized at the Pediatric Intesive Care Unit (PICU) of the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). “When they told me […]

Institutional Strengthening planned for Tax regimes
EDC: Trade and Tax Regime being reviewed Over the years, the acknowledgement that small businesses are the “backbone of an economy” has virtually become a cliché of sorts, as there have been no shortage of reports or officials extending this reassurance of significance to the private-sector. However, to the Economic […]

GSU raids homes in San Jose, Orange Walk! Did a politician dispatch the terror squad?
Why did GSU officers descend on three homes in the northern village of San Jose, Orange Walk District, at 4:30 a.m. Sunday? The families terrorized by the early morning raids allege that the elite squad’s visit was a pre-election intimidation tactic. GSU Commander Mark Flowers, however, claims that they were […]

Three beat murder charges
Three Belize City men accused of the murder of Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier James Noralez were given their freedom on Wednesday morning, after Judge Troadio “John” Gonzalez delivered a “No Case to Answer” ruling. Evidence produced placed defendants Tyrone Meighan, 22, Orel Leslie, 27, […]

Beater gets 5 years for mauling mate
Thomas Card is spending time in jail for beating his former-common law wife unconscious on the street. He is to serve a five-year sentence, which is to run concurrently with three-years of jail time that he got on Monday at the Belize Family Court, for […]

The Belize Times

SAVE BELIZE!!! – VOTE PUP – STAND UP TO GUATEMALA
On Wednesday, November 4th, the people of Belize will finally have a real opportunity to stand up to Guatemala and defend Belize’s territorial integrity when they go the polls and elect leaders who are prepared to put the interest of Belize first. Belizean voters will also have a real opportunity to get rid of a treacherous Government, led by a passive and pretentious Prime Minister and a compromised and delirious Foreign Minister, Dean Barrow and Sedi Elrington, who have accommodated Guatemala in every way possible over the last eight years. Guatemala’s threat is very real. The continuous encroachment and clearing of precious Belizean forest by Guatemalan civilians along the Western Border has gone unimpeded. Their damaging tracks are all over the Chiquibul and Sarstoon Temash National Park. Their military has adopted an even more aggressive policy over Belize’s territory. On August 16, it was confirmed to the nation that the UDP Government had capitulated to Guatemala’s military occupation of the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island. This became evident when the Government not only discouraged the citizens’ group,

GOB sells Caye land to Elvin Penner & family
The Lands Ministry has become a piñata of sweet deals for UDP cronies and the family and close friends of the Minister of Natural Resources and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Even some of the most corrupt UDPs have benefitted. Documents leaked by the Lands Ministry show that earlier this year passport Elvin Penner and his family were sold large tracts of land including special caye land in the Turneffe Islands. Penner, according to one of the documents, was sold 36.17 acres of land in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. His mother, Lena Penner, was also sold Mountain Pine Ridge land, a total of 37.60 acres. Even Penner’s father, Edward, benefitted from a land deal. He purchased 10.07 acres of land on the Turneffe Islands. The document shows that the land first valued at $65,000 was sold at $26,000.

Barrow’s Secret BEL Deal
In June of 2011 the Government of Belize announced a decision to acquire the majority shares in BEL then held by Fortis Inc. of Canada as part of its stated policy to ensure that the major utility companies in Belize including BEL and BTL would be majority owned by Government purportedly on behalf of the Belizean people. At the time, the excuse used was that GOB wanted control of BELIZE in order to “protect consumers and bring down the cost of electricity to consumer, and also avoid the prospect of blackouts. GOB also claimed to be doing so because BEL was in a cash crunch and they were concerned about its viability”. After the seizure of the BEL shares, Barrow’s GOB adamantly refused for years to deal with the compensation. But on August 31, 2015 with great fanfare and ceremony, the PM announced that he had, seemingly singlehandedly, solved the vexing question of compensation to Forts for the acquisition of their shares in BEL.

Making Youth & Culture Priorities!
PUP Leader Francis Fonseca committed to making youth development and cultural advancement priorities in his Government, at the launching of “Agenda For Now”, a youth and culture agenda presented by the Belize Youth Movement, the PUP youth arm. “I say to the young people across this nation. The next PUP Government will respect you, we will work with you and we will deliver for you,” declared the PUP leader when he addressed a spirited group of BYM members and supporters who came to the event. BYM leaders including the National President Alberto Vellos, Chief of Staff Micah Goodin, and member Esmeralda Luna presented on the youth agenda, along with the Party’s youngest Standard Bearer Josue Carballlo. Teacher and Artist, Yasser Musa, and artist/social activist Katie Usher presented on the culture agenda.

Think About It
A private lawyer is the sole witness to Dean Barrow’s arrogant and illegal deed regarding his special accommodation agreement with Fortis. Denys Barrow secretly signing as witness for Dean Barrow-Prime Minister. It’s a slight twist of the phrase: whom the Gods wish to destroy… Dean Barrow cannot remain the Prime Minister of Belize. His dastardly deeds stink to high heaven. Belizeans should have been warned, from early 2008 when the man became power mad. He was above the law. He was above being accountable. On becoming Prime Minister in 2008, Mr. Barrow had no goals, no vision for the people of Belize. It was always just about him. One of his first acts was to champion the oil companies in a big, big way. Within weeks of becoming Prime Minister, little Mr. Barrow from tiny Belize was in Washington taking plots with none other than George Bush, President of the United States.

Forward to Victory
The 2015 General Elections are less than a week away and there is an anticipatory flash of excitement as the people seem riled up and ready to vote. It is as if people were just waiting for this day when they could freely express their discontent and rid the country of this tyrant that currently lords over us. There is a palpable sense of unity and hope and the people are obviously looking forward to better days ahead. If I was to hazard a prediction, I would say that this time around, Belize will see one of the highest voter turnouts ever. Over the past couple of months the People’s United Party had been steadily gathering momentum, but once the elections were called, things really started coming together quickly. Dissenting factions put their differences aside and folks, who would not ordinarily even discuss politics, began coming out in full force to show their support. In retrospect, the countrywide Power to the People tour has turned out to be timely and strategic; it was well received and hugely successful at every stop. The writing is on the wall!

Barrow Haf Fi Go!
Dean Barrow’s “farewell” remarks this said it all, and showed it all. The normally bombastic, braggadocios Mr. Barrow was looked haggard and subdued. He forced a small smile and then reality check set it. He answered the question by saying “well, if I am going, I will go out smiling”. Yes, smiling. After all the millions and after making sure his ex-wife, his wife, his son, his daughter, his brother and his nieces and nephews are all millionaires. He can afford to smile while lounging on a beach at his favourite travel destination, Miami. But in the streets of Belize and across the highways and bi-ways of the districts and villages, poverty is rampant at 48 percent of our people. If there is one most shameful legacy of eight years of self-enrichment by the Government Ministers, presided over by the arrogant Dean Barrow, it is the deep poverty of the majority of Belizeans.

SCA girls lead volleyball final
St. Catherine’s Academy girls dominated the Belize High School girls 3-0 in the 1st Central Division volleyball championship finals at Bird’s Isle on Monday, October 26. The SCA girls won 25-17, 25 – 17, 25 – 10 over the BHS girls. Game 2 of the Finals is set for Wednesday, October 28, with a 3red game on Friday, if necessary. Results: 1st Preston Martinez – 1:43.53 2nd Kent Gabourel 3rd Isaiah Willacey – Team F.T.Williams – 1st ‘B’ rider – 1:45.54. 4th Warren Coye – Team Santino’s 5th Robert Mariano – Team DigiCell 4G 6th Jack Sutherland – Team DigiCell 4G 7th Fitzgerald “Palas” Joseph – Team Lampaz – 1:46.56.

Team Kulture Megabytes dominates Weekend Warriors race
Team Kulture Megabytes’ Preston Martinez and Kent “Bob” Gabourel dominated the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club’s A division 40-mile race from Rockville to the top of Busman Arnold Hill at Mile 63.5 on the George Price Highway on Sunday morning; while Isaiah Willacey of Team F.T. Williams won the B Division, and Elden “Stone Jam” Hyde won the 30-mile C Division race from La Democracia.

Rigo Vellos wins 4th Mr. Belize title
Rigo Vellos of Spartan Gym in Corozal Town won his 4th consecutive Mr. Belize title in a heated competition held by the Belize Bodybuilding & Body Fitness Federation (BBBFF) last Saturday night, besting upcoming challengers. Neal Gordon Gym star bodybuilder Oyinkro Akpobodor was 2nd place, and Edgar Carballo, claimed 3rd place. Three international judges from the Central American Bodybuilding Federation were invited to judge the competition to ensure that the officiating would be impartial and to forestall any suggestions of biased judging. Novice Division 1st prize – M’wafrica Haynes (Neal & Gordon’s Gym) 2nd prize – Barry Castillo 3rd prize – Abu Se-Say (BBBFF Gym) Men’s Physique 1st prize – Auriel Lewis (Neal & Gordon’s Gym) 2nd prize – Andrew Shen (Body 2000) 3rd prize – Dilfio Arnoldo Toledo (Neal & Gordon’s Gym)

GSU raids homes of PUP supporters in OW North
The notorious and chancey Gang Suppression Unit is being used to do the bidding of their political bosses. Over the weekend, a gang of GSU officers conducted an early morning raid of several homes in San Jose Village, a strong-hold community for the People’s United Party in the Orange Walk North constituency. What was the motive? Political intimidation. This occurred on Sunday morning, a day the good people of the community dedicate to attending church and singing praises. But the start of the sacred day was interrupted by the sound of heavy boots and witnessing armed military-dressed men forcing their way into one’s homes. One of the homes visited is that of Pedrito Teck. “When I opened my window they told me not to move, to put my hands on the window. They were kicking the door. They told me to open the door, but I asked them how I was going to open it if they told me not to move and to put my hands on the window. So they told me to let my wife open it."

A New Leader for Belize Rural North
A politician who represents the old ways in Belize Rural North will not do say Major Lloyd Jones, who will be the new Area Representative for the division. Today, the MAJA as his executive members calls him was officially nominated at 10:00 hours to Contest the 2915 general election. He is going up against the incumbent UDP Edmond Clear the Land Castro a two-term corrupt politician who is seeking a third term, and a new comer to Belizean politics, Shawn Nicholas a Union Activist representing the BPP.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Kidnapping charges dropped
Businessman 41 year old Amir Reid and construction worker 23 year old Alexander Lopez are free of kidnapping charges tonight after their alleged victim, Abel Lara Jr., told police in an additional statement that he would not pursue further court action against the two. Reid and Lopez, also […]

Mentally ill murder accused freed
He was accused of killing his own father in the village of Teakettle, Cayo District, nearly a quarter century ago. But 45 year old Leroy Arnold is a free man tonight after appearing today in the Supreme Court. When he was 19 years old according to court and […]

Teenager sent to jail over missed court date
We rarely report on matters taking place at the Belize Family Court due to restrictions on reporting on minors whether victim or culprit. But the court itself is under scrutiny after a Magistrate decided to send a 17 year old junior college student to the Central Prison because […]

CCJ delivers partial damages for Maya in land rights case
On the heels of the historic admission in April by consent order between the Government of Belize and the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) that the Maya system of customary land tenure gives rise to property rights within the meaning of the Constitution of Belize and an order that […]

'The Economist' predicts election win for Barrow, UDP
International economic magazine, ‘The Economist’, based in London has predicted, in its fourth quarter review of Belize that Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his United Democratic Party (UDP) will win a third consecutive election to remain in power as the country’s government. According to The Economist, the Barrow’s popularity and firm grip on […]

PM Barrow writes to President-elect Jimmy Morales
A letter from the office of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, sent congratulations to the new President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, on behalf of the government and people of Belize. The letter further states that Belize wishes only to live in peace and harmony with its neighbors and that over the […]

Harvest for Kids on November 7th
Supporting the children of Belize, “Harvest for Kids” is inviting the general public to its new harvest of soybeans on Saturday, November 7th at Northern Community Lands, Blue Creek in the Orange Walk District. A release from the organization thanks God for allowing the soybeans to grow despite the very […]

Ministry of Sports launches new ‘Mexico’ stadium
A new multipurpose sports building was launched yesterday at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City, which will be funded by the government of Mexico as was agreed upon in 2012. The Mexican Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Quesnel, said that this project will not only involve the design and construction […]

The Gang Suppression Unit accused of allegedly political corruption
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) of the Belize Police Department has come under fire with allegations of political corruption that have been circulating since the beginning of this week. It is alleged that members of the GSU have been raiding homes of well-known People’s United Party (PUP) supporters in Orange […]

Jalacte residents protest over use of communal land, says GOB didn’t consult with them
A large group of residents from Jalacte village in the Toledo District, gathered to protest yesterday, October 29th, against the construction of an Agriculture Learning Center on their communal lands without consultation. The villagers are upset because they say that the Government of Belize (GOB) failed to ask for approval […]

Blogs

Ambergris Caye: First the Sargasso and Now Trash? Our Sea Should Be #1
Just after last week’s storm, the beaches were clear and fresh. Seaweed/algae had been swept away and so had a whole bunch of sand. But as the winds righted themselves and the ocean calmed, the sargassum came in with a fury and then…freaking TRASH! One day thousands of bottles and then the next…hunks of foam and styrofoam. Here is an area about 4 miles north…a beach that has been left “natural”. (It is not raked on a daily or even weekly basis.) In some areas, like coves or beach fronts that have been dredged or have holding structures, the seaweed piles up for 10s of feet. I decided to do some forensic work… Blame doesn’t really help that much. We have our own litter problems in Belize. All I know is that this is a massive mess. And the sargasso is a problem that we (and the entire Caribbean basin) have been battling for over a year now. We need a plan. And our government should be looking VERY closely at one – I think we should demand it.

How to Survive Trick or Treating this Halloween
Trick or Treat…. Give me something nice to eat! These words will fill the air in Belize on Halloween night as children around the world will be prancing around in scary, cute, cool and fun costumes. Whatever the costume is, it’s almost a guarantee that this Halloween will be scary, fun or a delicious mix of the two for those trick or treating. While the fear on Halloween night is often associated with ghosts and other ghoulish creatures for trick-or-treaters, for adults, Halloween events like trick or treating can be a little nerve racking for completely different reasons. For this reason, I have compiled our top seven (7) tips on how you and your family can survive trick or treating this year.

Keeping fitness in mind on vacation
I was recently contacted by Andi Swigart on tacogirl.com Facebook page, she wanted to know if there was a gym on the island so her family could exercise while on vacation. I told her about the two gyms and decided to give her some good island style options. Just as many people like to embrace local food and culture, embracing local exercise classes can be just as fun – especially if you are coming from a cold climate. Since I already had this post in the works, I asked Andy if she would not mind saying a few words about why vacation exercise was important. Our family was overjoyed when my husband made the announcement we would be going on a Belize vacation for Christmas this year! As the date approaches I have to say I’m a little anxious thinking about staying fit while we’re there. We have worked hard to get in shape and have embraced exercise and cleaner eating into our lives. Some of my friends of course roll their eyes when I mention this but it really is that important to me! After contacting tacogirl my mind is put at ease with all of the options of exercise and fitness that are available in Belize. From SUP (stand up paddle boarding) to Pilates and aqua aerobics AND just knowing there are two fitness centers available we are so excited to embrace our holiday vacation knowing that we don’t have to bring unwanted pounds home! My special thanks to tacogirl, we can’t wait to get there and I doubt will want to leave!

Dr. Pepper Roast For Your Crockpot
Ingredients 4 lb Shoulder Roast 1 can Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup 2 cans Campbell’s cream of potato soup 2 cups Dr. Pepper 1 package Lipton onion soup mix 1/2 – 1 tsp. Tony’s Creole Seasoning (depending on how spicy you want it)

A beautiful Belize sunrise doesn’t mean you’re going to have a great day
Some days, nothing goes right but everything is OK. Like today. Let’s say that I no longer look at a gorgeous sunrise as a good omen. There are just too many of them and they seem to hold no sway whatsoever on the day’s events. Like today. Beautiful sunrise. Then it was all downhill. The first thing I did was set out to walk downtown to pick up my golf cart. It was in the same shop for the fourth time since last Friday and each time it came back progressively worse than before. I dunno. Call me an optimist. This time, the guys said, it was fixed. They ran it for 10 minutes and it didn’t conk out. Little bells went off in my head (“Ask him if they drove it for 10 minutes, because that’s when it was conking out — like about every 100 yards.”)

International Sourcesizz

British taxpayers fork out £45m in foreign aid to paradise islands that charge NO TAX
BRITISH taxpayers forked out £45million in foreign aid spending to countries classed as tax havens in just one year, it emerged today. Nations such as Belize, Marshall Islands, Seychelles and Vanautu - which are all included on a European Commission 'blacklist' of international tax havens - have all received cash handouts from the UK Government. Under a controversial new law introduced by the Prime Minister, Britain is legally obliged to spend 0.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on foreign aid spending. However, critics of the foreign aid commitment reacted with fury after it was revealed millions are being handed over to countries that set minimal or even zero tax rates. An investigation by the Independent found that, for example, more than £1.8million of UK cash was given to the paradise Caribbean island of Anguilla in 2013. This is despite the nation - which has an estimated population of less than 15,000 - charging no income, capital gains or any other form of direct taxes on residents or companies, with it described as a "zero-tax jurisdiction".

CCJ grants historic constitutional relief to Maya people
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Friday delivered its decision in The Maya Leaders Alliance et al v the Attorney General of Belize [2015] CCJ 15 (AJ), finding that the government of Belize breached the appellants’ right to protection of the law. The appeal was brought by 25 appellants who are members of the Maya community of the Toledo District. The appellants have been fighting for recognition and protection of Maya land rights before international courts and the courts of Belize during the last 20 years or so. Their appeal before the CCJ arose out of litigation precipitated by an incursion onto farm lands in the Golden Stream village by Francis Johnson, now deceased. While this appeal was being heard by the CCJ in Belize, the appellants and the government entered into a consent order on April 22, 2015, which recognised that the Maya system of customary land tenure gives rise to property rights within the meaning of the constitution of Belize.

Videos

  • 29th October, 2015 Rise and Shine Guest Belize business Bureau, 65min. Guests of Belize business Bureau discuss their manifesto for 2015 general Elections in Belize

  • Protect Belize, 1min. I love Belize. We all know the value of Belize’s marine environment. We depend on the sea every day for our food, our jobs and way of life. We need a beautiful, healthy sea. We want you to protect Belize from the devastating reality of offshore oil. We are doing our part. But now it’s your turn. We’ve trusted you with the power to represent all of us; the people. Please listen. Listen to the sea. Listen to science. Listen to common sense. Offshore oil is a really bad idea. The time to act is now. Please protect my future; your future; our future. Say no to offshore oil, Belize.

  • Beat a Pan, Not a Man - UNICEF Belize: Genesis of the PANDEMONIUM Steel Ban, 11min. Please take a look at this awesome short video that explains the genesis of the PANDEMONIUM Steel Band that is being coordinated by NICH's Institute of Creative Arts. The short documentary "Beat a Pan, Not a Man" is about a UNICEF supported initiative implemented by RESTORE Belize and the Belize National Institute of Culture and History. The video tells the story about the Pandemonium Steel Band, and how it helps young people from Belize City escape their violent environment and instead play music, have fun and learn a new skill.

  • Diving Off San Pedro, Belize, 3min.

  • Belize Trip Day 7 and 8 2015, 25min. Exploring on a golf cart in Belize and traveling back to the U.S. from the Belize International airport.

  • Northern Waterthrush, 1/2min. Filmed at Chan Chich Lodge, Belize, April, 2015.

  • PSAST Project - Belize (Primary Schools Art Skills Training - Belize), 4min.

  • Belize - Destino del Mes buentrip, 4min.

  • Diving the Blue Hole, Belize, 6min.

  • Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Atoll Belize, 7min.

  • Belize Water Entrance to the Underworld 1080p, 3min. Belize Water Entrance to the Underworld is a sinkhole that begins in about 30 ft. of water, and which drops all the way down to 130 ft. and is a domed chamber of 150 ft across

  • Diving Half Moon Caye Wall, Lighthouse Atoll Belize, 8min.

  • Bird Island, Belize 2015, 2min. Bird Island, Belize, Amna, Liz, Heather, Danny, Fred, Donnie, July, 2015.

  • Belize - October 2015, 5min.

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