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#509256 - 11/18/15 11:47 AM Today's Belize News: November 18, 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

Island athletes amongst Belize’s delegation at the U-17 UNCAF Elimination Tournament
From Wednesday, November 11th to Friday, November 13th, Belize National U-17 Female Football Team were in Comayagua, Honduras participating in the U-17 Women’s World Cup Central American Football Union (UNCAF) Elimination Tournament. The tournament saw our young Belizean footballers competing against U-17 National teams from Honduras and Costa Rica in hopes of advancing to the 2016 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Women’s U-17 Championship. Even though Belize did not make the cut, they definitely displayed great skills and sportsmanship. While in Honduras, the Belize team played two matches at the Estadio Carlos Miranda. In their first match Belize lost against Honduras in a 9-1 point game. Their second match also ended in a 15-0 defeat against Costa Rica. With the two losses, Belize placed last in the group.

Nothing but Blue Skies and Blue Seas
Flights to and from the cayes are definitely my favorites. You get the perfect bird’s eye view of the bluest of blues dotted by crests of our Barrier Reef. Marvel at all the channels and take in the view of the sailboats as they’re anchored below.

SPTC donates to San Pedro Cancer Society
The San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS) was the recipient of a donation from the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) on Wednesday, November 11th at the Town Hall. Mayor Daniel Guerrero along with Councilor Ruben Gonzalez, who is in charge of the Health portfolio for the island, presented a cheque of $5000.06 to the president and members of the SPCS. The donation was the result of a fruitful effort from a dollar drive organized by the staff of the SPTC in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Saturday October 31st. Gonzalez encourages everyone to take advantage of the free services at the clinic, especially on Mondays when the exams are done. However, he stated that when it comes to emergencies no one will be denied of the service during any other day of the week.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Miss Earth Belize Christine Syme
Christine Syme at Belize's Phillip Goldson Goldson International Airport departing for Vienna, Austria.

Power Interruption from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Sunday November 22nd for the entire Corozal District
BEL to replace utility poles and conduct testing of equipment at the Buena Vista Substation.

Power interruption 10:00am to 2:00pm, Friday, November 20, Stann Creek: Hope Creek, Alta Vista, Pomona, Steadfast, Valley Community, Hummingbird Community, Middlesex & St. Margaret’s
BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines & lightning arresters & install equipment on power distribution system in area.

CAPPS District Finals
CAPPS and the BNLS are having the district finals for the Story Reading Contest today at the George Price Center. "You're cordially invited to our 10th Annual CAPPS Story Reading Contest, 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Travel Agents from the US on their FAM in San Pedro

International Student's Day
HAPPENING TODAY!!!! If you are serious about studying in the U.S. then you need to check out this virtual college fair! More than 4,500 accredited colleges and universities in the U.S. are welcoming students like you. If you’re thinking about applying, log in to a November 18 live, virtual college fair to get information on many of these schools. sign up here: http://goo.gl/eumgGv 125+ universities, scholarships and more Join this free online college fair to chat with 100+ universities directly including NYU, Cornell, UCLA and get personal advice from EducationUSA, ETS experts and more. When: November 18, 2015 (Wednesday) from 4:00AM to 4:00PM EDT

Waste Water Soakaways
With all these recent rains resulting in water logged land, some may be having problems with waste water Soakaways. I hope I am not speaking too soon, but I have three soakaways in my garden, none have given any trouble this year or any trouble since they were put in. My main soakaway is from my septic tank, which is a large 3 chamber system, which then feeds into a deep underground soakaway, which is about 4 feet wide, 30 - 40 feet long on two sides and about 8 - 9 feet deep. . . . In its bottom there are large stones, then smaller stones and even smaller, then covered with several layers of plastic sheeting and finally with about 3 - 4 feet or regular garden soil. ... There is no indication on the surface lawn and plants where that soakaway is.

BHA BI-ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
BELIZE HOTEL ASSOCIATION BI-ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING !!! Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Time: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Place: Laru Beya Resort, 19 3/4 mls, Placencia Road, Seine Bight. Dynamic Guest Speaker, Get General updates on BHA activities, Learn about the exciting new projects and marketing activities, Chinese Auction to support BHA Scholarship Fund.

Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic Fundraiser Gala
Saturday, November 21at 6:00pm. San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Our menu will feature Lionfish and steak or a scrumptious pasta dish. Silent Auction will commence at 6, dinner at 7:30. Music by Cloud 9 will begin at 9. BWRC continues to receive amazing silent auction items. Please remember to make your reservations for Saturdays Gala event NOW, either through BWRC or at the San Ignacio Hotel front desk. Thanks to a lot of generous donors we have received over 60 awesome items for the silent auction including hotel stays and tours, as well as art work, jewellery, massages, gift baskets and other gift certificates. Support BWRC's free medical care and rehabilitation for imperilled wildlife while enjoying an entertaining night out with a three course meal and accomplish early christmas shopping with great deals to be had. Ticket price is 85 and deadline for reservations is Thursday. Hope to see you there?

Paint N Splash
This Thursday at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar 2p.m. Let me know if you are coming.

Belize delegation at VII Continental Meeting of Indigenous Women of the Americas

Channel 7

How Nanes Shnitzer Became David Banes, Belizean Extraordinaire
International fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer is at the Hattieville prison - after being caught in San Pedro two weeks ago. Right now, he's basically on a holding charge for a fake driver's license - until Mexican authorities can figure out a way to get him transferred to their side of the border where he is wanted for his part in a ponzi scheme, where Mexican investors were defrauded of tens of millions of dollars. So, he's not even being investigated in Belize for all the dubious id's he had. 7News has learned that Nanes Shnitzer changed his named to David Banes - basically taking the "N" out of Nanes and substituting it with a "B". Under that name he got a permanent residency card, a Belizean passport, a driver's license for Belize City, a drivers license for San Pedro, a social security card, a boat master's license, and for good measure, even a voter's ID. Basically Nanes had every type of Belize ID that exists - all under an assumed name. Our sources say that the passport was obtained through the immigration Department - back in 201 or 2011, when the backdoor operations at that Department were in full swing.

Mayas Go Back To CCJ to Force GOB Compliance
Just over 2 weeks ago, we told you how the Maya communities of the south had won a landmark victory in the Caribbean Court of Justice. The country's highest appellate court ordered that the Government of Belize has to make reparations of $300,000 for all the decades that the colonial and post-colonial governments had refused to recognize and protect their land rights. The main case had been decided back in April when the Government surprised everyone and decided to concede to that recognition and protection of their rights. The Court made it a binding consent order which meant that the Government was legally obligated to carry out a process of formally recognizing and protecting that rights within the laws of Belize. But, the Mayans have been waiting for about 7 months for the Government to at least start consultations with the 39 Maya villages on how those rights should be formalized. The Government has done nothing as yet to comply with the order, and so the Maya claimants filed another application to the CCJ as sort of wake up call.

Baby Suzette's Survival Against Stacked Odds In Toledo West
Last night, we took you deep into southwestern Toledo, to San Jose Village, one of the many communities inundated by the floods due to the weekend rains. That's where 2 month-old baby, Suzette Adelicia Caac almost lost her life after falling from a man's arms while he tried to cross a flooded bridge. While there is a collective sigh of relief that the infant did not perish, the near tragedy has given us an opportunity to take a snapshot of what residents of the remote villages in the south face whenever there is any kind of rain. This stream didn't look threatening yesterday, but during the weekend, it was the location where 2 month-old baby Suzette Adelicia Caac could have lost her life. The rains had turned it into a coursing waterway, much like this one which I was crossing to verify that our news team could actually make it into San Jose Village. Yes, what you're looking at is a low-lying bridge covered by floodwaters. We're told it had gone down significantly.

SNAFU: Situation Normal All Flooded Up In Toledo
So, is this an accurate representation of the realities of the 39 Mayan Villages scattered all over Toledo? Well, that's what we asked the Program Coordinator for the Maya Leaders Alliance, and here's what he had to say about the situation: Pablo Mis, Program Coordinator - MLA "Unfortunately that has been the reality of many of our communities when it comes to flooding they become very isolated from the commercial areas in town, but also it hinders the ability to pursue other activities such as generating some income. It is a big issue. It also affects not only when its flooding, but this amount of rain has prohibited many of our students to not reach high schools and primary schools. You will notice at times there are bus drivers, to not go on the road because the roads are very terrible. They are in the worst of conditions. So that unfortunately is the reality for communities and the Toledo districts perhaps has the highest numbers of communities that still does not have electricity. A lot of communities and our children are studying with candle and flash lights - situations that should not be happening at this time. But that is something that we have discussed collectively with the Maya people and those are the main issues, the central issues that the Maya land rights hopes to address. We do recognize that the government will not be able to address all of those issues on their own and it is our hope that by working along with the Maya people, recognizing their rights to those lands, allowing the Maya people to pursue other alternatives of income generation of engaging entrepreneurial initiatives that we would be able to on our own, support and work with the government to remedy some of those extreme poverty situations that we have in our communities."

River Valley Residents Wary Of Floodwaters
So that's the situation in the south but what about the residents of the Belize River Valley? Right now, the water is rolling down to that area, so the situation certainly isn't as severe as it is in the south. We went to Flowers Bank today and the river has risen considerably but the residents don't seem bothered or concerned - at least not for now. We spoke to the Village Chairman Clinton Rhaburn and he told us how they are managing the flood situation in the village. Clinton Rhaburn, Chairman, Flowers Bank "What really happened, we are not affected directly with the flash flood in time of the rain. But if you notice now that the water is coming all the way from Cayo, and then a couple days after where we are affected by the coming down of the water from Cayo. Because all those water that you hear about up there will have to pass here and we are just seeing the back water start to rise. So probably maybe in the next 3-4 days there will be a lot of difference in the community and especially to get out the community because the road will take water. The bridges, they will take water and that will create a big problem. The school probably will have to close down because of the high water on the bridges."

NEMO Sends Warning To River Valley
Before the break we took you to Flowers Bank one of those riverfont communities in the Belize River valley. Well, just a minute ago, NEMO sent their latest advisory - and it says, quote, "The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) hereby urges people in St. Paul's Bank; Willows Bank; Double Head Cabbage; Bermudian Landing; Isabela Bank; Flowers Bank; May Pen; Scotland half-moon; Burrell Boom; Lord's Bank; Ladyville; Belama Phase 4, and Crooked Tree to maintain a state of heightened alert. People on the edge of the lagoon be informed that the water is rising. One family had to be relocated this evening. Take action and protect life and property. Tomorrow a BDF Boat with NEMO personnel will deploy to the area." End quote.

GSU Got Gun and High Grade Weed Stash
This morning, the GSU nabbed a 38 revolver when they searched Dennis TALBERT JR's home on Benbow Street in Belize City. The GSU says they had to kick in the door and when they got in, they saw TALBERT throwing an object resembling a firearm through a window. They took TALBERT outside where they recovered the pistol with two live rounds of ammunition. 20 year old TALBERT who is a food vendor was charged for "Kept unlicensed firearm and Kept Unlicensed Ammunition without a gun license". Police say he is a member of the Supal Street Gang. He was taken to court and remanded to jail.

Up Close At Uxbenka
By now, you're probably family with the Santa Cruz 13, which is a group of Maya villagers and one of their leading spokespersons who remains criminally charged with the unlawful imprisonment of Rupert Myles. Back in June, they handcuffed and tried to evict him from the village because they say that he unlawfully settled and destroyed a part of the UxBenka Archaeological Site. He continues to accuse Santa Cruz villagers of being racist against him because he's creole. And so while we were in the south yesterday, we finally got an opportunity to explore Uxbenka for ourselves. This is Rupert Myles House, it sits atop what looks to be an ordinary hill. He and his family have been living on this structure for some months now, ever since he and his common-law wife decided to move back to her home village.

Was Myles Maligned Based On Race?
So, today while we had opportunity, we asked the first Alcalde of Santa Cruz about Cruz's allegation that he was racially discriminated against. It's a question that's been asked and answered, but because it has been brought up again, we put it to Manuel Pop. Here's what he had to say: Daniel Ortiz "He continues to maintain that when he approached you and the chairman of the village, you all treated him with disdained because of his ethnicity. He says you told him plain and straight that he will not be allowed to live there because he is a black man and that you all don't want it mix-up." Manuel Pop, 1st Alcalde - Santa Cruz Village "It's not the point. We are not saying because he is a black man. But he did not come to the alcalde. It's the law in the village. He did his own law. He didn't want to listen to us, even the chairman and the alcalde. He want to do his own business. That's why they arrested him."

Making Reparation Fund Real
At the top of the news, we told you about the Maya claimants' trip back to the Caribbean Court of Justice on Maya Rights. Less than 3 weeks ago, they got a huge judgement in their favor that the Government must set up a fund of $300,000 to make reparations on their behalf. But, not much detail has been given on how this will exactly work, specifically, what are the terms, and how will this money actually be used? That's the clarification that their attorney tried to seek from the judges who granted the decision in the first place. The spokesperson for the MLA discussed that aspect of this morning's hearing with us, and here's what he had to say:

Could Lisa Lead The PUP?
For the past two weeks since Francis Fonseca stepped down - we've been telling you about the men who are considering offering themselves for the post of leader of the PUP. They are John Briceno, Cordel Hyde, Julius Espat and Kareem Musa. But, what if they were to be joined by a woman? Well, that would be a first, because no woman has ever offered herself for leadership of, or led any political party in Belize. But, it could happen. PUP Senator Lisa Shoman told us she is seriously entertaining the possibility of making a bid for leadership of the PUP. Shoman pointed out that she was the first female president of the bar, the first female ambassador to the OAS and the USA, and the first female minister of foreign affairs. And while she might beat the boys in "firsts", and in a debate, we pointed out to Shoman she would have a hard time matching them in political alliances, and resources. She said that's an assumption and an untested assertion.

Belize Composed For COP 21
Belize is working on a Climate Change Action Plan to reduce green house gas emissions. Today, as a lead up to the COP 21 conference in Paris, a local conference was held at the Biltmore to discuss what measures Belize can take to accomplish this plan - particularly in the Forestry , energy and transportation sectors. Climate Change coordinator Ann Gordon explained the overall objective of the plan A Belize delegation will present that action plan at Cop21 - an abbreviation for the "Conference of Parties" - the parties being the 196 signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC, as it is called. The meeting is expected to deliver a major agreement on the action plan for saving the planet from the disastrous consequences of rising average global temperatures.

Making Accountants Accountable
Balance sheets and rows of numbers: Those are two things that may come immediately to mind when you think of accounting. But really its way more complicated than that. There are international standards and systems that accountants must meet and operate by. Today at the Biltmore there was a seminar built around those standards and the importance of implementing them. The coordinator told us it's all about providing better service to clients:.. Reynaldo Magana, President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Belize "This training is a two-day event covering international financial reporting standards. As you know the institute in Belize is in charge of accounting profession of Belize and this is one way how we try to empower our professionals including many people from the private sector as well as the public sector. It's what you call international financial reporting standards. It's the global framework for accountants as far as accounting standards. We call it 'the bible" if you like.

The Drums Delivered
The tenth anniversary of the Battle of the Drums was celebrated this past weekend in Punta Gorda Town. After a Battle of the Drums Food & Fete: Taste of the Garifuna Cooking Competition on Friday, the battle was held on Saturday at the Toledo Community College Court. The first place winner was Alanga Beidina from Seine Bight, followed by Grupo Huchelo from Baja Mar, Honduras, with the Wageirale Drummers from Dangriga in third. For first prize they won $1,800.00 dollars, plus a pair of Garifuna Drums, Championship T-shirts, Championship caps & a trophy valued at 800.00. The second place finisher got $1,200.00 and third place got $800.00.

NEMO's Latest
Earlier, we told you about the latest NEMO update - well, we have more of that now. In the Toledo District, there are still persons sheltering in the Bladden and Bella Vista shelters. Assessment of homes, and clean up are underway. Farms assessed so far by the Ministry of Agriculture personnel, indicate that cattle farmers will be needing assistance in Bella Vista and the Belize River Valley. In Cayo, the Macal River is receding, but the Iguana Creek Bridge and the Succotz ferry remain closed.

Channel 5

Mayans Return to CCJ for Clarity on Land Rights
At the end of October, in a landmark ruling, the Caribbean Court of Justice ordered Government to make reparation to the Mayan community for damages suffered. The court ordered the [...]

Rupert Myles Still Not Charged for Desecrating Mayan Site
The lack of clarity on the issue, at least where G.O.B. is concerned, has led to some very volatile situations – Rupert Myles and the Santa Cruz Mayans being one [...]

Edward P. Yorke Students Shine in CXCs
The results of the CXC and CAPE Examinations were recently released but were lost in the election fever. We’re finally catching up with the results that indicate that Alisha Anipha [...]

Who Should Get Custody of Neña Perez
Tonight’s question on an ongoing custody battle is: Should two-year old Neña Perez, who is being held by the Department of Human Services, be returned to: her Belizean mother or [...]

Imports Down…Exports Up in Third Quarter
The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its trade figures for the third quarter of 2015, showing that the country imported less and exported more. Where imports are concerned, September [...]

FCD Still Faces Serious Issues in the Chiquibul
A symposium held by Friends of Conservation and Development two years ago exposed the state of affairs in the Chiquibul Forest.  Since then, the dynamics of illegal activities in the [...]

Manzanero Says Illegal Logging Has Decreased
As to the decrease in illegal logging, Manzanero says that there is a pattern to since the beginning of 2015. In one hand, logging is down, but harvesting of   xaté, [...]

Police Search for Abelino Matamoro Following Fatal Hit & Run
An all points bulletin has been issued for the arrest of Abelino Matamoro, following a fatal hit and run incident over the weekend in southern Belize.  On Friday evening at [...]

8 Men Charged for Drunken Brawl at Belize City Bar
A group of eight men appeared in court this morning following a recent brawl at La Catracha Bar on Coney Drive in Belize City.  They are facing charges of disorderly [...]

Courts Belize Donates to the Sister Cecilia Home
Courts Belize stepped up big time to the plate today to assist the Sister Cecilia Home that is just recovering from the floods of last month. Badly needed items such [...]

Refugee Eligibility Committee Reactivated After Eighteen Years
After being dormant for eighteen years, Belize has activated the Refugee Eligibility Committee. The committee of nine persons serves as a refugee assessment group and according to the United Nations [...]

COP to Assess Inroads to Addressing Climate Change
The Belize National Climate Change Office today met to finalize and validate its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, something all countries in the world agreed on two years ago. It’s an [...]

NEMO Provides Update on Flooding in the West
In respect of the flooding in the west, on Monday’s newscast we told you that several crossings including the Iguana Creek Bridge, the low-lying wooden bridge that connects San Ignacio [...]

CTV3

Civilian Shot By Officer While In Process Of Being Detained
Forty eight year old Wilbert Guerra, a resident of Trail Farm Village in Orange Walk, is tonight occupying a bed at the Northern Regional Hospital after he was allegedly shot by a police officer attached to the Orange Walk Police Formation. When we arrived at the scene on Mahogany Street, police and scenes of crime personnel were already leaving the area. Tonight the family of the victim is claiming that the officer abused of his power. Reports are that four cops arrived at the residence to detain Guerra after another resident of the area made a report against him. According to Guerra’s father, Inocencio Guerra, his son was accused of insulting a female, the daughter of the man who made the report. But when police arrived at the scene all hell broke loose. “Tardo como media hora cuando la policía entro aquí y el muchacho estaba metido haya dentro del cuarto cuando vino la policía yo los recibí y me preguntaron adónde esta mi hijo les dije está dentro del cuarto, llámalo me dice y agarre yo y les dije juay te vino a buscar la policía bueno cuando salió el salió con un palo y otra cosa ni se ni que era cuando la policía se le aventó encima pues, ya lo habían detenido y todo entonces se parró el muchacho allí y yo alado y el policía allí y que lo va a tira le digo no lo tires policía porque lo vas a tirar y agarro y lo tiro.”

Social Worker Involved In Baby Nina's Case Receives Threats
Yesterday we told you about a custody battle between a Guatemalan Father and Belizean Mother that landed in the hands of the Belize Family Court and the Department of Human Services. As we told you, Analiz Perez claims that on Friday evening, a social worker accompanied by a police officer arrived at her home on George Street claiming that they were there to take custody of her two year old daughter, Nina Perez. The intervention from Social Services was the outcome of a decision taken by relevant local authorities acting on a formal request made by their Guatemalan counterparts through Nina’s Guatemalan Father. The matter was filed under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction concerning the wrongful removal of this two-year-old Guatemalan child. The child was wrongfully removed and brought into Belize. Why wrongfully you ask? CEO in the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation Judith Alpuche explained to the media that Analiz left Guatemala and returned to Belize with Nina, but failed to notify or receive consent from the father prior to her departure. The removal of the child from her mother was quickly shared on Social Media as “kidnapping” and quickly sparked what CEO Alpuche described as a “media frenzy” on the matter, painting a negative picture of the way the Department of Human Services operate. Also involved in the mix was the Social Worker whose picture and that of her daughter were plastered on Social Media. The Social Worker says Alpuche, was also threatened.

OW Town Council continues With Plan To Upgrade Streets
Pothole ridden streets in Orange Walk Town are without a huge problem, one which the Orange Walk Town Council is dealing with bearing in mind its spending limits. But while the council’s coffers is not overflowing with money, there are plans to address the urgent need of street repairs. “After this rain fall you can see the streets that need more attention and to point out a few there is a main one right in front of us Bethais Lane by Popular Bakery, that street is totally gone and it has to be redone and we are currently sitting down with the Mayor as well as he is hurriedly lobbying with our contractor to see how we can best address these streets in a timely manner and at an affordable manner as well, we have to look at how best agreements we can make, payments plans is a good option as well because we don’t have that money to invest directly into streets it costs a lot of money but when it comes to other streets like Orchid Drive.” And while we all want overnight results and or a permanent remedy for our streets, Cal says in due process, over one million dollars will be invested for infrastructure…

Orange Walkena Celebrates 102 Birthday
Today, Luisa Bardalez affectionately known as “Gran” celebrated her 102nd birthday anniversary among sodality brothers and sisters, Helpage volunteers and honorary family members at her home on Dunn Street. The centenarian is the eldest member of the Zenobia Meggs Helpage family. It’s a milestone for any centenarian to say the least and today her living room was filled with love and care from many well-wishers. This birthday celebration provided us with an opportunity to recognize this unique and outstanding lady. “I feel good and happy because what we want is to be good to people and not fighting with each other they can’t say I am a quarrelsome woman in Orange Walk nowhere I go in Orange Walk and everybody knows me and I don’t fight with anybody home and home I am not around. I got friends but plenty never come but last year more come but I sorry I can’t talk English fine.”

Rotaract OW Does Its Part To Reduce Cases Of Diabetes
Did you know that over forty thousand persons in Belize are diagnosed with Diabetes? That is an alarming rate especially since many persons do not know they are diabetic and are therefore not being treated. The disease creeps in unexpectedly and can have negative health risks, at times fatal, if it is not treated. In in an effort to spread awareness on the “silent killer” on Saturday at the Central Park, the Rotaract Club of Orange Walk will be hosting a Diabetes Fair. Chanelle Lizarraga is the Community Service Director of the Club who told us more….. “We are going to be having nurses and doctors out there who will be providing free glucose testing for the public in general so we would like to invite everyone to come out and support as they always have so it is free of charge why not take advantage of it.”

First Steps Leading To Upgrading Of Streets Around Central Park Taken
At the top of the newscast we told you about the infrastructural plans the Orange Walk Town Council has to address the issue of streets repair. While that project is yet to see its course, there is another project that is about to be completed. Currently under construction is the final phase for the Belize Municipal Development Project where the South and North Streets and periphery of the Central Park will be paved. Councilor Ian Cal says this is the start of a much delayed project, mainly due to inclement weather… “What we are seeing right now is the works of BWS and those are preliminary works that are coming in before after they have completed those works and you will be seeing works around the park, we will be seeing new pavement around the park and of course the council is looking into paving the other streets on the surroundings.”

NEMO Continues To Monitor Flooding In The South
As the waters continue to recede in the southern part of the country the National Emergency Management Organization continue to monitor the situation. According to NEMO’s latest release, communities along the Mopan and Macal must continue to take the necessary actions to save life and property. People in St. Paul’s Bank; Willows Bank; Double Head Cabbage; Bermudian Landing; Isabela Bank; Flowers Bank; May Pen; Scotland half-moon; Burrell Boom; Lord’s Bank; and Ladyville must also maintain a state of heightened alert and take actions to save life and property. Residents along the old northern highway must remain alert and farmers with livestock are being asked to take the necessary precautions. NEMO District Emergency Relief teams supported by the BDF are providing assistance to people in need.

LOVE FM

Police Seeks Driver in Fatal Hit and Run
A driver from Bella Vista Village in the Toledo District has been charged with manslaughter by negligence following a road traffic incident last Friday. Abelino Matamoro was driving a green and white Meilun motorcycle on the Southern Highway at around five thirty on Friday evening when the incident occurred between miles twenty three and twenty […]

Canadian University Offers Scholarships to Belizeans
As one of the initiatives aimed at increasing cooperation among Canadian and Belizean scholars, the Vancouver Island University is offering seven scholarships in the area of environmental studies. The university currently has five Master’s program available namely, Sustainable Tourism, Community Planning, Geographic Information Systems, Business Administration and Educational Leadership. The application for the scholarships was […]

NEMO Continues Relief Efforts and Advisories
The rains have subsided and the waters, particularly in the southern and western parts of the country are rescinding. But despite an improvement in the weather conditions, many families, farmers and businessmen and women are trying to recover from losses they endured over this weekend flooding. The National and Emergency Management Organization continues its efforts […]

16 Days of Activism: November 25 – December 10
It is that time of the year again when organizations and agencies with the responsibility of promoting gender equality and condemning gender based violence, double their efforts in bringing awareness to the issues while discussing possible solutions. Cynthia Williams is the Director of the Women’s Department who spoke on the upcoming annual 16 Days of […]

Free Legal Aid During Days of Activism
Some years ago the Women’s Department ventured outside the traditional workshops and seminars for women, under the 16 Days of Activism program. The team came up with an initiative dubbed, Legal Clinics that serves to provide legal advice and consultations with local attorneys. Cynthia Williams told Love News that this year’s legal clinic has been […]

GSU Takes Talbert In for Gun and Ammo
24-year-old Dennis Arthur Talbert Junior is behind bars tonight after he was charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm and two live rounds of ammunition for a point thirty eight firearm. Late this evening he was taken before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. Members of the Gang Suppression Unit said they found Talbert in possession of a point […]

Belize to Perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
Auditions are being held for local artists around the country as Belize prepares to be the main focus in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival coming up in April 2016. Belize’s inclusion into this world renowned event was done through efforts of Ivan Duran, President of the Music Industry Association of Belize (MIAB). Belize’s […]

Belize Makes Strides in Domestic Abuse Campaigns
Domestic Abuse is an issue that has been discussed time and time again and even more so as we enter into the 16 Days of Activism program under the Women’s Department. But how beneficial or how well have these discussions and awareness campaigns helped those who are victims of domestic violence or gender based violence. […]

Belize Tourism Board Holds Sweepstakes
Last week we told you of the campaign that the Belize Tourism Board has launched dubbed, ‘Small Country Sunday’. It is a marketing initiative that seeks to encourage foreigners to come and experience Belize whilst highlighting the various local destinations. As part of the campaign there is a Watch and Win Sweepstakes taking place online. […]

PlusTV

Courts donates to Helpage
Courts Belmopan is exercising the gift of giving. At a handing over ceremony today, courts donated somewhere between 5 to 7 thousand dollars worth of furniture and utilities to the Helpage Center for the elderly in Belmopan. We spoke to Elvis Slusher, Branch Manager for Courts Belmopan, who explai...

Another mosquito borne disease reaches the Caribbean: ZIKA
With all this rain, one other factor to consider is the increase of breeding grounds for mosquitos and with the latest Ministry of Health public advisory, mosquitos are definitely unwanted right now. That’s because the Ministry of Health says that for the first time, five cases of Zika virus in the ...

Fire in San Ignacio
There was an early morning fire in San Ignacio on Sunday Morning. The building which was completely engulfed in flames was a furniture workshop, property of Julio Cubias. Everything in the workshop was destroyed as a result of the blaze. Cubias told us more. Julio Cubias, Workshop Owner: The...

Telethon for TV Ramos bust raises six thousand
A life size bust of national hero Thomas Vincent Ramos decorates Dangriga Town. The sculpture is the outstanding work of Stephen Okeke. While the piece of art is at its final destination, outstanding is the payment for the bust. While Okeke – like times past – sculpted the bust without anyone first ...

Corozal Free Zone business man killed in Chetumal
A businessman from the Commercial Free Zone in Corozal, identified as Ernesto Alonso De Miguel, aka “El Español” was reportedly killed Saturday night in Mexico. According to Mexican press reports, De Miguel was at a restaurant in Chetumal along with his family. The restaurant is “El Emporio” in Ch...

Three men arrested for Aggravated Burglary
Orange Walk police have arrested and charged three persons for the crimes of ‘Aggravated Burglary’, ‘Robbery’, ‘Aggravated Assault’, ‘Handling Stolen Goods’ and ‘Kept Unlicensed Firearm’. The arrests stem from a report made by a 65-year-old Salvadoran watchman of Camp 22, who told police that on F...

Drugs in LA LA Milk box at Tropic Air
A package on Tropic Air was found with cannabis in it. Personnel of police Special Branch and Criminal Investigation Branch, were tipped off anonymously about a package with drugs at the Tropic air Office in Ranchito Village, Corozal. On Friday , November 13th, officers arrived at Tropic Air and ...

Attempted arson in Succotz
Benque police are investigating a case of attempted arson. On Sunday, 15th November, 31 year old Jaime Chuc, a Belizean Waitress of San Jose Succotz Village, reported that at around 2:30 that morning, she was at her house when she heard a noise coming from outside. She immediately went outside and s...


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#509257 - 11/18/15 11:48 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 18, 2015 [Re: Marty]
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The Guardian

Former death row inmate to get new sentence
Glenford Baptist is awaiting a sentence from Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for the murder of Azrin White on July 24, 2000. Baptist was found guilty of murder by a jury of 12 in November of 2001 and sentenced to death by then Supreme Court Justice Wilfred Elrington. In July of 2015, his attorney Priscilla Banner challenged the sentence. Banner submitted that it was a breach of Baptist’s constitutional rights to be on death row for over 13 years. She said that the long period on death row breached his right not to be subjected to inhumane treatment or punishment. She also submitted that Baptist should not have been subject of an automatic sentence to death because that too is a breach of his constitutional rights.

16 year old executed in front of his father
Crying, Eluterio Choc recounted to the media the final moments of his son, 16 year old Ivan Choc’s life on Friday night. Choc said he was at home with his family including his wife, two year old son and three year old daughter eating fried chicken on the verandah of their home in Camalote village in the Cayo district shortly before 8p.m. when they heard noises coming from the yard. Eluterio armed himself with a machete and went to investigate when he came face to face with two masked men brandishing firearms. One of the men was carrying a 9 millimeter pistol while the other held a 16 gauge shotgun. Choc said he could offer no resistance against the men who went up the home’s steps and onto its verandah where Ivan Choc was. As soon as Ivan saw the men he attempted to hide under the table where he was having his meal but was unable to elude a gunshot which one of the masked men fired at him with the shotgun. Eluterio says that prior to being shot he saw his son on the ground begging and begging for his life. He begged the gunmen not to kill him but none of the pleas were heeded. The first shot hit him on the right hand. Even while being injured Ivan continued to beg for his life but the man bearing the shotgun, cranked it and fired a second shot, hitting him to the right side of the head. He died within minutes.

Orange Walk Cop Accused of Sex with Girl, 14
Police Constable Hector Esquivel, 31, is out on bail after being at the Belize Central Prison on remand for only four nights for allegedly engaging in sexual activities with a 14-year-old minor. Allegations are that on November 1, 2015, he had sexual intercourse with a minor, 14 years and 4 months. On Monday, November 9, Hector Esquivel appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was read a single charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He appeared with his attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, and no plea was taken since the matter is an indictable offense. Due to the nature of the offense bail could not be granted to Esquivel. He was to be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on December 18, 2015.

Mother of 7 in jail for street fight
A mother of seven children, Stephanie Moreira, 40, is serving time at the Belize Central Prison after she pleaded guilty to harm and uttering insulting words upon Shasta Flowers and Georgia Curry. The first time offender was slapped with a 15 day jail term so she can learn a lesson, explained Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. That lesson is, “You learn that you cannot take matters into your own hands.“ In court, Moreira said that she did throw a stone at Flowers because “all of them rushed at me”. She explained that the incident stems from an old matter in which two of her daughters were playing and one of them was injured by one of Curry’s sons who hit her in the face with a ball. The Chief Magistrate asked Moreira if she made a report to police so that they could intervene. She said no.

Kyle Perez accused of beating his girlfriend
Ladyville Resident Kyle Perez, 22, is out on Supreme Court bail of $5,000 after spending ten days on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly beating up his girlfriend. Perez was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 for one count of maim and one count of damage to property upon his ex-girlfriend, Kamisha Yorke. Yorke reported to police that she was at home on Monday, October 26, 2015 when Perez came to see her and they got into an argument. The argument escalated and Perez allegedly took his black Samsung touch screen cellphone and broke it in her face. The phone hit left her with damages to one of her eyes.

Wesley Upper School wins in volleyball competition
The 2015-2016 Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Season regular competition came to an end on Monday 16 November, 2015, at Bird’s Isle here in Belize City. There were two games on the schedule that were played. In the girls’ competition, Wesley Upper School defeated St. John’s Primary School in three sets by the score of 25-21, 21-25 and 15-9. In the boys’ game, Wesley Upper School won handily over St. John’s Primary School in two sets by the score of 25-4 and 25-9. The competition continued on Thursday 12, November, 2015, with two more games on the schedule.

Deep Dow
While majority of Belizeans have accepted that the elections are over and done, there are some talk show hosts who persist in remaining in campaign mode and continue to poke at Government every single day of the week. Maybe it’s good for business, but to some viewers this comes across as perhaps a bit irritating. As for me, I simply switch channels when the host insists in spewing negativity and malice. In any event, someone should advise PUPS TV that the elections are behind us, and that the cycle won’t be repeated for another 5 years. That translates to 60 long, long months of anxious waiting, my brother. For the immediate future the PUP and its surrogates should concentrate in rebuilding their Party, since a weak Opposition does not bode well for our democracy.

We’re experiencing the world wrongly
In a world full of what seems like nothing but corruption, it is a natural tendency to lose a sense of hope for world peace or happiness. When we think we have stroke a balance between poverty, crime, and sustainability among the common good, the world, from our perspective, tells us the opposite. Because we physically experience the world around us, we can undoubtedly point out all its flaws and misfortunes. But are we simply looking at the world from the wrong perspective? Perhaps looking down at the world can give us a better outlook on life itself. The sight of the world from above is a beautiful one. It fills the viewer with awe and plants the idea in their head that not everything has gone wrong. To see Earth, to see it from far away, gives you the sense that the world isn’t as big as you once thought. But that’s obvious right? When one looks at something from a distance it looks smaller than it actually is. But this is different. When you see the world so small it isn’t just the planet itself that’s shrunk. It’s the people on it, friends, acquaintances, strangers, enemies they’re all so small. The human race, the seven billion something people living on this planet- the progress they’ve made, the steps they’ve taken back, the accomplishments, the failures, the problems, the solutions, the love, the hate, the entire range of human emotions, life and death- are all seen in the same light, so minute that they possibly cause no harm, yet still finding time to corrupt the inner planet.

Lee Mark Chang appointed as President of the Senate
The 12th National Assembly of Belize includes the first full time member with Chinese ancestry. Lee Mark Chang was temporarily sworn in to hold over as the President of the Senate in 2010 when Senator Andrea Gill went on maternity leave. That was just an appointment for a cup of coffee; this time, Lee Mark Chang is not holding over for anyone. He is the President of the Senate of Belize. While his appointment is going down in the country’s history books, Chang is not focusing on the historical contexts of his appointment. He is too busy “catching up on the parliamentary skills” to focus on history. Since his invitation to the Senate, Chang has been nose deep in the Constitution and texts covering the Standing Orders of the Senate. In his first address to the Senate as President, Chang assured the members that he “shall do everything in my powers to make sure that the proceedings of the House are carried out with dignity and impartiality.”

What say you Cristina?
It’s always been said that we are our brother’s keeper. That saying should be more so applied in times of emergencies. Such should have been the case during the floods of last weekend. SATIIM and the Mayan Leaders Alliance should fall in that category as their brother’s and sister’s keepers. As such they must do whatever they can do to help in securing the lives of those person in whose names they go out cap in hand to seek funding for. The Alcaldes must also play their roles in securing lives too. After all they are being paid to assist in situations such as these recent floods. In times of disasters people tend to listen to those whom they have some sort connection with. Among our Mayan people in the south that is even more pronounced because of the language barrier and cultural norms. It is not the ideal situation but outsiders (people not from within the area), are viewed as just that, OUTSIDERS! Who knows the cultural norms, tendencies and practices more than the persons on the ground such as SATIIM, MLA and individual Alcaldes? Are these not the same people who stood up in court and trumpeted the rights of the very same Mayans now affected by the floods?

PUP Chess match
There is a strange aura around this PUP Leadership Contest. For some strange reason, the would be combatants are afraid to actually declare they are in the race. All that’s coming from them is that either they are thinking about running for leadership or that people are asking or are encouraging them to run. Could it be that they are afraid of what dirt one or all their would-be opponents may be tossing on them during their campaign? There is also another angle; they too may be looking to unearth neutralizing-dirt on their would-be opponents. What I do know is that there is a shortage of files at all hardware stores. It seems like all the combatants have been stocking up on them to sharpen up their daggers, knives, swords, machetes or anything that has an edge on it to sharpen, in order to stab the other combatants in the back. This fight will be a bloody battle and even the winner will come out limping and worse off than the party is at present. Strange alliances are being formed. Persons who were once co-conspirators are now sworn enemies.

Belize to benefit from Taiwanese watchdog group
Dr. Po-Ya Chang, the President of the Control Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan), visited Belize for three days from November 12, 2015 to November, 14, 2015. The purpose of her visit was to sign an Agreement on Cooperation between her office and the office of Lionel Arzu, the Ombudsman of Belize. This Taiwanese VIP is the leader of the watchdog body of the Taiwanese Government. It is comprised of 29 members of the Ministry of Audit. It is responsible to investigate complaints of misfeasance or criminal acts committed by public servants or government officials. They are completely independent and carry out their mandates to investigate criminal complaints to take to the Judicial Yuan’s Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries. The Control Yuan is one of the most powerful organizations in the Taiwanese Government, and provides oversight to that government.

PADF Donates GIS Equipment to University of Belize
The University of Belize celebrated its second annual Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day on Friday, November 13, and in support of the initiative the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) donated US$4,000 worth of technological equipment, tools and software to the school’s GIS program. The Pan American Development Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by the Organization of the American States to bring stakeholders together to “improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean”. PADF donated a platform software upgrade (ArcGIS Online Level 2), 5 Samsung Galaxy Tablets, 5 Garmin GPS units, 3 fiberglass measuring tapes, 3 metric fabric diameter tapes and 1 pruner/saw package. The donation was made possible through the support of the Republic of China (Taiwan) under the project “Community Preparedness and Resilience: Community-Based Approaches to Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change Adaptation in Belize.” The donation aims to build the technological capacity of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center at the University of Belize. Minerva Pinelo, PADF Project Director in Belize, handed over the equipment saying, “PADF is committed to supporting UB’s goal of expanding its GIS Center to provide advance GIS Courses through its Natural Resources Management Program.”

A year later
It is not that we want to live in the past, but for history’s sake we have to go back to an event of epic proportion that took place exactly one year ago on November 18, 2014. It was a rainy day actually it had rained almost nonstop throughout the previous night. A crowd of about 10,000 people had descended onto Independence Hill and assembled around the National Assembly. They were there to tell Prime Minister Barrow and the United Democratic Party, that they were pleased with the Petrocaribe funded projects. And at the same time they were saying to the COLD AND POWER HUNGRY OPPOSITION, “ we won’t allow you to take food out of our or our children’s mouths.” You see not only did those provide much need infrastructural improvements for the country, but they also provided much needed employment for most of those very same persons gathered there. Those persons would not have been working and perhaps would have resorted to illegal means in order to put food on their tables. For many of these persons the job they had was their first and it was about PRIDE. Their constant cheer throughout the day was ‘’PERTOCARIBE ROLL IT “! This crowd was so big that Jules had to take 2 teams to Belmopan to cover the event. Jules was almost driven to poetry, and this was the way he started his evening newscast “UDP Shows Mass Party Muscle, Mobilization and Multitudes in BELMOPAN. Greek mythology tells us that Helen of Troy had the face that launched a thousand ships..., well our question to the Prime Minister at the end of August about Petrocaribe spending may be the question that sent a few thousand protestors to Belmopan today. At that time, we asked why hadn’t the Petrocaribe indebtedness gone to the House as is required by the Finance and Audit act?

New virus detected: is Zika Virus in Belize?
Residents are very aware that they have to be vigilant when dealing with mosquitoes since they are the vectors for Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya. Well, the Health officials are putting the public on notice that one more called the Zika Virus is out in the Caribbean. Zika is a viral disease transmitted by the same vector for Dengue and CHIK-V, the aedes aegypti. The symptoms last approximately 4 to 7 days, and are similar to Dengue and CHIK-V. Those include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, and a rash. Though complications from Zika are rare, and there have been no deaths reported, there is no treatment for this disease.

Belizean and Guatemalan parents battle for custody of child
Two parents, one Belizean, and the other Guatemalan, are locked in a legal battle over who gets custody and guardianship of their 2 year-old daughter, Belizean and Guatemalan parents battle for custody of child Nina Perez. The Department of Human Services is caught in the middle of what is being negatively referred to as an “abduction by one of it’s officers.” The child was removed from the mother’s care on Friday, November 13, with the authority of a police man who arrived at her Orange Walk Town home. Nina’s mother, Ana Liz Perez Gutierrez, has told the press that an unidentified social worker picked up the child without giving any information or any court order documents. She immediately panicked, suspecting that these persons were trying to whisk the baby out of the country to hand her over to her Guatemalan father.

BDF continue training with BATSUB
All around the world, the military forces of a country is the ultimate test of physical and mental excellence and aptitude, and in this country, the Belize Defence Force is that standard. On Sunday, November 8, five squads of BDF soldiers competed against the team of British Army soldiers currently training in Belize. At around 5 a.m., the moderators got all the soldiers in line for a kit inspection where they were assessed on the items they would be taking with them on a march and shoot competition. They were expected to carry about 30 or more pounds of equipment. All the teams had a flawless inspection, and from there, they were transported to the Burrell Boom bridge where each team was expected to conduct a 9 mile march. Each team was allowed to start in 10 minute intervals, with the premise being that each team would challenge the team at the front to keep a high pace. Each team was expected to run each mile in only 10 minutes, as compared to the usual 15 minute per mile that the normal soldier is expected to run.

Mayan request denied at CCJ
The Maya villagers of the south took the Government of Belize back to the Caribbean Court of Justice on Tuesday, November 17. Although the Government has committed by way of a consent order to recognize and protect their land rights, the Mayas are not convinced that the Barrow Administration is moving fast enough to get it done. The case had been completed back in April 22, when Senior Counsel Denys Barrow announced that the Government did not intend to defend against the lawsuit, as it has done in the Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeal. The Government committed that it recognized Maya Land rights, and that it would commence consultations with the Maya themselves on how those land rights should be best protected. For the past 6 months, however, the Government did not make any tangible show of beginning the process. So, the attorney for the Mayan Claimants, Monica Coc - Magusson, filed an application against the Government asking the CCJ to grant several orders and declarations. They wanted the Court to declare that the Government was in breach of their undertaking to the court, an order of damages for those breaches, an order that the Government and the Maya must agree on how the $300,000 fund set aside for reparations must be spent, and a definition of Maya land rights to include the right to determine who can and cannot live in Maya Villages.

NEMO in full effect
As early as Friday during the Ceremonial opening of the National Assembly Hon. Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro was seen on his phone putting the things in place to get all NEMO Committees activated to deal with what they viewed as an emergency that would stem from what they saw as persistent rains that were predicted to affect the entire country over last weekend. By noon on Friday all NEMO Committees were activated. If one did not know better, one would not think that a NEW MINISTER was at the helm of NEMO. Hon. Rene Montero had just last week Monday been named Minister of Works, Transport and NEMO and Hon. Edmund Castro named his Minister of State and as indicated by the Prime Minister, Hon. Castro would be in charge of the day to day running of the Ministries of Transport and NEMO. For those doubters who started to suggest that the PM had shortchanged Hon. Castro, look at the way Castro is now performing. NEMO is a job for a Lion and “Clear the Land” is that Lion. He may be new to NEMO, but not new to crisis management.

Lionel Quiroz, sentenced to 2 Years for buttocks spank
Lionel Quirroz is at the Belize Central Prison for an inappropriate touch of a little 9-year-old girl. Quirroz appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Friday, November 13, to answer to one count of sexual assault upon a female minor. The child testified in court that she was heading home from by a basketball court when Quiroz, a man she knows well from her neighbourhood, walked up to her and began to hug her. He then touched her inappropriately on her buttocks. The child became annoyed by the action and reported the matter to her guardians who later took her to the police station to report the incident.

Stay of execution on Darrel Cayetano’s prison sentence
The brother of the Director of Belize Family Court is out on bail after a Supreme Court Justice granted a stay of execution on his prison sentence which was handed down by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Darrell Cayetano was found guilty of possession of 4.8 grams of weed on Monday, November 9, and sentenced to two months imprisonment. However, on Friday, November 13, Cayetano’s attorney, Bryan Neal, took his case to the Supreme Court before Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh and asked for a stay of execution on the sentence. Neal appealed on the ground that a prison term was inappropriate given the small amount of weed that Cayetano allegedly had in his possession. Neal submitted that a fine should have been imposed and not a jail sentence.

Truck driver to stand trial for death of Wayne Williams
Belize City truck driver, Ervan Augustine, 43, will have to stand trial at the Supreme Court for manslaughter by negligence and causing death by careless conduct upon Wayne Williams on December 6, 2011. On December 6, 2011, the GMC water truck that Augustine was driving had been parked in the West-bound lane between miles 28 and 29 on the George Price Highway after one of its back wheels broke off. Reports were that the truck was left in the lane until darkness fell. Williams was driving his Toyota Tacoma toward Belmopan and when he passed mile 28 the truck suddenly came into his field of vision on a dark section of the road. He swerved into the lane of the incoming traffic and slammed into the driver’s side of a loaded Westline Bus heading to Belize City.

National U-16 footballers to UNCAF U-16 Tournament
The Football Federation of Belize will have representation at the UNCAF U-16 Tournament that is scheduled for November 17 to November 23, 2015, in Managua, Nicaragua. The National U-16 male football team is scheduled to leave the country on Sunday 15 November, 2015, for Managua, Nicaragua and is expected to return home on Tuesday 24 November, 2015. The games will be played at the Estadio Nacional de Futbol (Grama Artifical) in Managua.

Belize Elementary girls and boys to play Holy Redeemer girls and boys in Belize City primary schools volleyball finals
The Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Semi-final round was played on Tuesday 17 November, 2015, at Bird’s Isle here in Belize City with Belize Elementary School girls and boys and Holy Redeemer School girls and boys earning the rights to face each other in the championship game scheduled for Wednesday 18 November, 2015. In the first game in the semi-final round in the girls’ competition, Holy Redeemer School eliminating Bethel Assembly School in two sets by the score of 25-7 and 25-14 to earned the first spot in the championship game. In the second game in the girls competition, Belize Elementary School eliminated Wesley Upper School in two sets by the score of 25-10 and 25-9 to earn the second and final spot in the championship game.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

CCJ wants action from Government over Maya land rights
They won a major victory in the Caribbean Court of Justice earlier this year when the Government conceded that they have special customary rights over the land in and surrounding their villages in the Toledo District. But while GOB has consented to help the Maya define and enforce […]

Rupert Myles continues to destroy Uxbenka ruin
We last left the matter of the Santa Cruz Maya and their efforts to enforce the law against black resident Rupert Myles who had bulldozed part of the Uxbenka Maya ruin to build a pathway to the house in the village where the Institute of Archaeology (IOA) had […]

El Nino worst ever?
The United Nations’ weather agency has predicted that this year’s El Nino climate pattern will be one of the three strongest such patterns in 70 years as it is expected to strengthen further through the end of the year. While the current El Nino is likely to be […]

Orange Walkeña turns 102
Today marks the 102nd birthday for a well-known Orange Walk Resident, Ms. Luisa Bardalez. Every year, members from the Help Age Center and members from the Santa Ana Church Group get together to show love and joy by providing a cake for her special day. Bardalez, who […]

Tropic Air announces significant accomplishment
A statement released by Tropic Air earlier today, stated that it is pleased to announce its accomplishment of being the first airline in Belize to obtain IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) certification in Latin America. “Earlier this year we launched the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA). While ISSA is not […]

The Ministry of Health preparing for Zika fever
Not affecting Belize as yet, the threat of Zika fever crossing borders into our country is of primary concern to the Ministry of Health and its Vector Control Unit, as five cases have been reported in the Caribbean recently. Zika is carried by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is also […]

Shrimp Industry loses $30 million
Although it hadn’t gotten the media’s attention until just a few days ago, a colossal loss has been suffered by the shrimp industry in southern Belize over the past eight months, beginning in March, when an unusual bacterial infection started to affect more than half of the 15 […]

Climate change song debuted
A song produced by three Saint Lucian artists, entitled “1.5 to Stay Alive”, is to be featured at COP21 in Paris, France, which is a huge climate change conference that is expected to have a big impact on Global Warming this time around. Elijah ‘Arthur’ Allain, Marley ‘Mongstar’ James and […]

What Belize can learn from Singapore
Belize, while still a small young developing nation has many obvious challenges, some more challenging than others, but the leaders of this country would do well to learn from the lessons of success and failure in other nations. One country, which has transformed nearly every aspect of its society positively, […]

Blogs

Changes, Controversies and News: Things Going On Around Ambergris Caye
As the high season ramps up (and it is ramping up quickly this year!), there are new businesses, changes, controversies and just general chatter as always on Ambergris Caye. I have mentioned a bunch of these in various places – I thought I was a good time to summarize the buzz around town. There are two main water taxi service from San Pedro to Caye Caulker to Belize City. San Pedro Belize Express and Caye Caulker Water Taxi. The latter was always advertised as the only “locally owned water taxi”. But after complaints about service and older boats as well a dwindling schedule, the CC Water Taxi supposedly was losing money and was repossessed by the bank sometime this year. Word on the street is that they were purchased by Belizeans recently, renamed Ocean Ferry Belize Limited. The road north has been paved for about 3 miles. At about Belizean Shores Resort, the cement gives way to raised, hard packed gravel/rock/sand. All good. But then…THEN…you reach Las Terrazas Resort. And now, with the weekend rains, the road turns to a disgusting mud puddle/golf cart eating trap as you pass Las Terrazas and the old Journey’s End – which is now used for teen Christian retreats.

My rainy day treat
Just like the well known tropical fish, the Blue Tang Inn is cute and colorful. From the bright mermaid (sirena) sign to the hand painted tropical wood chairs in the courtyard area. Did you know Blue Tang fish plays an important roll in our Eco system? Blue tang fish are known to feed on algae that grows on coral. With their super sharp teeth, they are able to remove it from rocks and coral. Not only does it help prevent the algae from taking over and suffocating the coral reef, it is a healthy diet part of their diet. Because it was so rainy during my stay there, I used a few of the pictures that were taken on the day we went sailing on the Sirena Azul. It was a nice sunny day and I decided to snap a few pics while my waffles were cooking at the breakfast bar.

The Garifuna – an Iconic Belizean Culture!
Belize is considered a “melting pot of cultures”. People of different skin tones, different languages, and people belonging to different ethnic groups live in harmony with one another in this tiny Central American country. Ethnic groups in Belize include the Creole, Mestizo, Maya, Garinagu, Asian, East Indian, and Mennonites, among others. Every year on the 19th of November, thousands of Belizeans celebrate the arrival of the Garinagu people to the southern shores of Belize, a public and bank holiday known as Garifuna Settlement Day. Part of this celebration includes a reenactment of their arrival via the Caribbean Sea. This year’s theme is: “Bungiu Lerebei Sun Katei. Lidan Yein Fureindei luma Benefaü Awanseruni houn Garinagu– which means: God is the strength of all things. Garifuna progress comes from education and hard work.” In light of this we decided to share about the rich Garinagu history and culture:

Mexican Style Pork with Zucchini
1) Prepare the meat by washing it under tap water, pat dry with paper towels then dice to bite-size pieces, cutting out the fat. 2) In a pan put the small pieces of meat with just enough water to barely cover; add garlic and salt and a sprig of thyme. Cook for 2-3 hours; and when the pork is tender, let it cool down, keeping it in the broth. 3) Add the onion and garlic; add the whole chiles. Stir. Then add the chopped tomatoes, black pepper, oregano and cumin, with chicken bouillon powder and let everything simmer. Check and adjust seasoning.

Tasting the good life at Mayan Islands Resort grand opening
Word spread quickly among our friends that the Mayan Islands Resort was holding its grand opening this past Sunday and an invite quickly became the hottest ticket on Ambergris Caye. To say the opening has been highly anticipated is a bit of a reach — it has been years in the making, after all — but it has been the subject of a great deal of curiosity and speculation. For example, every time we set off by boat for the back side of the island and pass close by the resort on the tip of the island’s western prong, it is the subject of much resort envy. “That place looks awesome.” “I wouldn’t mind hanging around there” “I wanna sit in one of those giant basket chairs by the pool and sip on a drink all day!” That sort of thing.

Bird Haven at the Sewage Ponds
There was a buzz of wildlife as the sun set over the horizon beyond the mangrove trees. The crocodiles were lazily swimming along, frogs were croaking, and the fish fry were jumping. The birds were particularly active, swooping in the air to catch that last bit of dinner before night falls and the rain creeps in. As you gaze into the landscape, the plethora of bird species painted the sky and mangroves with various colors and sounds- a birder’s paradise! Surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, one could only feel at peace…until a large gushing sound came out of the corner, possibly due to someone flushing a toilet. No, I wasn’t far off into the wilderness this particular evening to go birding with the bird expert Roni Martinez from the Audabon Society (who has been my go-to guy for my research in relation to the birds of Belize), instead, we were at the sewage Ponds of San Pedro. Roni had come into town for a Urban bird count this weekend. Given I wanted to go birding with an expert and learn some local tricks of the trade, and of course hang out with a fellow conservationist, we decided to spend a Sunday evening together where we could encounter various bird species. And I mentioned to him given my time and croc research thus far, what I noticed was the Sewage Ponds was the place to be for birds! Apparently, Sewage Ponds = high bird species richness/diversity. It’s not uncommon – apparently birds like flocking to the sewage ponds in Belize.

Adobo Skirt Steak (Arrachera Adobada)
1) In a saucepan with oil, cook the meat with half the onions, half of the garlic cloves and season with salt to taste. Shred the meat with forks when it is cooked. 2) Coarsely dice the tomatoes into medium cubes and the rest of the garlic, simmer in a pot over low heat and cover, for about 15 minutes. 3) Meanwhile we can make the achiote marinade, using a blender liquefy the achiote, garlic, some onions, vinegar, chipotle peppers and beef broth. Blend until thoroughly liquefied. 4) Pour this achiote marinade in the pot. When the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked, mash them and add the remaining chopped onion. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce reduces, then add the meat and bay leaf and season with salt to taste. Simmer 5 more minutes, and that’s it, your arrachera in adobo dish is ready! Serve on indivdual plates with lettuce and avocado.

JUAN IN A MILLION CEVICHE BAR
Delicious food, friendly service, where the drinks are strong, and the party begins. Come for lunch, dinner, happy hour or late night – your taste buds will thank you! Fresh delicious Conch and Lobster Ceviche everyday at Juan In A Million Ceviche Bar! We have Italian Sausage on a stick everyday, and delicious food specials every day too! Come check us out. We are open everyday till 12 midnight and our grill is heated up until then!!!

Thanksgiving Feast
Join us Thursday, November 26, 2015 for a Thanksgiving Feast at the Sports Bar! We’ll be starting at 3pm and go until we run out. Fried Turkey, Stuffing, Yams, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Cranberry Sauce, Roll. Desserts will be offered separately. November 26, 2015, Time: 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Front Street, Caye Caulker, Belize

Doggie Dip!
Saturday, November 28, 2015 from 12pm-4pm the Caye Caulker Humane Society is having a Doggie Dip! We will be bathing dogs, providing flea/tick preventatives, and vaccinations. Beer ($3) and Water ($1) will also be available for purchase. Volunteers & Donations are much Appreciated! Location: Beach at Playa Del Ninos (Palapa Gardens)

International Sourcesizz

First ISSA Certification to Tropic Air
Tropic Air is pleased to announce that it is the first airline to obtain IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) certification in Latin America. Tony Tyler, ALTA President. "Earlier this year we launched the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA). While ISSA is not a substitute for IOSA, it is a valuable operational benchmark. Later today, I will present the first ISSA Certification to Tropic Air, based in Belize. Tropic Air was among the first airlines to express interest in ISSA and they helped us to beta-test the standard, so congratulations to Tropic Air."

St. John's mission builds house in Belize
Twelve members of St. John Francis Regis Church in Hollywood, along with the Rev. Ray Schmidt, travelled last month to Belize, in Central America, and built a home for a family in need. The group was led by Sister Luke Boiarski, director of the Lay Mission Volunteer Program, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, based near Louisville, Ky. This was the second house built in Belize by a team from St. John’s. In January 2014, parishioners built the “St. John’s Hollywood House” in honor of the SCN sisters who taught at St. John’s School for 64 years. This year, the team built the “St. John’s Bill Schaefer House,” named for a member of the 2014 Team who passed away just a few months after helping with the first house.

A Haunting Film Explores the Perilous Interface Between Tigers and People in the Sundarbans
Deep in the Sundarbans, a vast mangrove maze where the Ganges and two other great rivers weave their way to the coast in India and Bangladesh, the big-cat conservationist Alan Rabinowitz plays a video clip on his laptop for a cluster of men and women in an impoverished village where tigers — in one of their last big refuges — regularly kill or maim people scouring the shorelines for meager hauls of fish and crabs. They watch, rapt, as residents of another village snare a tiger cornered in a hut and beat and hack it to death. Through an interpreter, Rabinowitz asks what the scene makes them feel. One man immediately shouts, “Euphoria!” Rabinowitz then asks them if they would want the mangrove forests empty of tigers. As quickly, they respond with a definitive no. Without the tigers, there would be nothing to prevent wildlife poachers and other outsiders from threatening their meager livelihood.

Capturing an underwater world:Visiting artist Keith Ellenbogen collaborates with MIT faculty and staff to create a unique underwater photography course
Keith Ellenbogen is a renowned underwater photographer and adventurer. He has spent his career documenting marine life — from Palau’s coral reefs to migrating bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean — not only to showcase their beauty, but also to inspire social change and action toward protecting the delicate underwater environments in which they live. Starting in January, students will have the opportunity to work with the team in an all-expenses-paid “Underwater Conservation Photography” course. “We’ll be teaching students everything from camera settings to how to build lighting systems for underwater work to building ROVs,” Adams says, referring to remotely operated vehicles. Students will spend three weeks in Boston learning new skills, working on the available technology, and testing out their equipment in pools and aquariums before heading south, where they will spend a week with the Wildlife Conservation Society on Glover’s Reef off the coast of Belize. “Students will team up with scientists who will explain the animals and the research they’re doing,” Ellenbogen says. “[They] will photograph individual animals for aesthetic purposes as well as to tell a conservation story or narrative that helps explain why the animals are significant.” The resulting images will become part of an exhibition that will travel to museums, zoos, aquariums, and colleges around the world. An accompanying app will also allow visitors walking through the gallery to look up images to see their backstory and commentary from students. Eventually, the content from the app will serve as a permanent online exhibition.

Conference on Climate Change in the Caribbean Under Way in Puerto Rico
More than 350 people are expected to attend a conference on Climate Change in the Caribbean this week in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands is joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Interior and governments of Puerto Rico to host the conference. The conference features dignitaries and scientists from many Caribbean islands and the U.S. who will explore the consequences of climate change to the region. Participants will discuss the progress that has already been made to address climate change and the need for further action, according to a news release from the EPA.

Videos

  • 38th General Conference – 6 11 2015 General Policy Debate Belize, 7min. by UNESCO

  • Belize & Guatemala Multisport Adventure Tour Video | Backroads, 2min. Jungles, Maya Temples & the Barrier Reef! Belize and Guatemala will enchant you. From Maya temples to jungle trails. The thrill dives deep, like a plunge into the Caribbean, reemerging with each toucan's squawk and howler monkeys roar. Days filled with wonders that stop you in your tracks—or flippers, as the case may be. We're thrilled to have you join us.

  • Diving Belize, 2.5min.

  • Morning Matters At Waruguma, 60minmin.

  • Morning Matters with Obi, 60minmin.

  • Morning Matters WIth Alisha, 60min.

  • Operation Belize - Men & Ladies of Honor, 5min.

  • Minute to Win it for Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch, 9.5min. Minute to Win It for Charity at Roadkill Bar is getting popular fast. Last night's competition was stiff and the video footage very funny.

  • Belize 2015, 12min.

  • La santa clara belize, 3.5min.

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