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#509473 - 11/27/15 11:58 AM Today's Belize News: November 27, 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 hopping!
With roughly 386 km of coastline, Belize’s waters are dotted with islands of all shapes and sizes. Of course, most of them remain undeveloped and inhabited only with our region’s rich flora and fauna. But nevertheless each of our little jewel islands are unique and there is no better way to view them than from high above the sky. Just from flying from Belize City to San Pedro Town you can get a good dose of island spotting. From way up in the sky it’s easy to marvel at all of nature’s creations. In a sea of blue, islands stand out with their bright greens. The four major islands that you can spot will flying to San Pedro town are St. George’s Caye, Caye Chapel, Caye Caulker and your final destination, Ambergris Caye! With a population of less than 50 permanent residents, St. George’s Caye is only eight miles east of Belize City and is one of the first ones to be spotted from my short 15 minutes flight from Belize City to San Pedro onboard Tropic Air’s aircraft. But what it lacks in population, this tiny island makes it up in history and heritage. Previously known as Cayo Cosina, St. George’s Caye is synonymous for the Battle of St. George’s Caye which took place from September 3rd to the 10th in 1798. The battle saw the Baymen (British settlers) defending our home land from Spanish invaders.

Fun at SPHS Cultural Day
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) once again brought to life the many cultures that exist in Belize at their annual cultural day. The event was held on Friday, November 20th, and the highly anticipated event offered a day of fun and education for families and friends. Taking into consideration the various cultures that call Belize home, students at the SPHS were challenged to transform their classrooms into booths adorned with cultural attire, information, food and either a presentation of singing or dancing. Each group was graded based on the quality of the cultural items they presented and the message being brought across. Each booth offered the visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the cultural groups in Belize, such as the Creole, Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, Chinese/Taiwanese, Mennonite, East Indians, Central American regions and even from as far as Chile and Argentina.

Bicycle race held on Garifuna Settlement Day
The San Pedro Cycling Club (SPCC) hosted its annual Garifuna Settlement Day Bicycle Race on Thursday, November 19th as part of the day’s festivities. The race was organized by Kent “Bob” Gabourel, a renowned triathlon athlete, in conjunction with the SPCC. The main purpose of the sporting activity is to promote sportsmanship on the island. The race started at the Central Park and included three categories: juveniles, juniors, and seniors. In the juvenile division, walking away with the first place was Adrian who received a trophy and a $25 gift certificate while in second place was Luis winning a trophy and $15 gift certificate. In the juniors’ category Dixon Paguada took the first place, winning a trophy and a $75 gift certificate. In second place was Jose who won a trophy and $50 gift certificate and in third place was Kyle Jacobs who received a trophy and a $25 gift certificate. In the last division, the seniors, Jason Marino took home the first place along with a $75 gift certificate while the second place was won by Charles Garay who went home with a trophy and $50 gift certificate. The third place which included a trophy and a $25 gift certificate was won by Andrew Vasquez.

Alfonso Wiltshire out on bail
It has been over a month since member of the San Pedro Taxi Association, 50-year-old Alfonso Wiltshire, was arrested and charged for the rape of a 13-year-old female child. He was consequently charged with two accounts of Aggravated Burglary and two counts of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse and remanded to the Belize Central Prison. The taxi drivers’ incarceration did not last long, and he is now out on bail and back to work. This has raised questions in the community, and residents want to know how this can happen. According to San Pedro Police, Wiltshire was granted bail by the Supreme Court under conditions unknown to them, as they are waiting for a full report. “It’s his right to get Supreme Court bail and due to the nature of the crime he qualified for it,” said the station sergeant. Police emphasized that Wiltshire is not free but on bail, which means that he is required to attend a court trial for the case to continue, where at the end, a decision will be made if sufficient evidence is on hand to find him either guilty or not.

Annual Tacos Festival Celebrated in Orange Walk
The original and authentic Orange Walk Tacos Festival took place on Sunday, November 22nd at the Banquitas House of Culture. The fifth annual festival showcases a large variety of tacos, a dish that Orange Walk Town is known for. At the celebration, vendors competed to gain judges’ votes and impress the crowd that showed up from all corners of the country. This year the festivities also showcased an array of cultural presentations and musical performances. According to organizer Dillon Jones, the taco industry in the northern district is a big business and the festival is a great way to promote it. “The Taco festival is intended to be a family fun day and at the same time, highlights how important the taco business is in Orange Walk. If you take a look at the different tacos from the vendors, you will see the creativity of the people, the different styles like the Mexican one. However, everything that we see here today is made in Orange Walk. We make the best tacos in Belize and we really appreciate the support that we get every year,” said Jones. He called on everybody to keep supporting the festival so it can be possible year after year.

Ambergris Today

STAR Restaurant & Bar Holds Grand Opening
To celebrate the grand opening of their STAR Restaurant and Bar, Mayan Islands Resorts held a cocktail party for invited guests who were served with complimentary drinks, appetizers, music and a spectacular lagoon view of San Pedro Town. Guests mingled by the bar, restaurant, pool area and large lounge areas as the chef put out tasty samples of food from the menu and also toured the resort’s facilities. Prizes raffled during the evening kept guests entertained and happy.

Belize Government Workers Take Road Safety Training
The Government of Belize is partnering with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) towards the approach to address Road Safety in Belize. The Ministry of Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Commerce, Road Safety Project underscores training as a crucial tool in development. Therefore, all key persons in the Road Safety System will undertake continuous development to create relevant opportunities. The course was held at Belize Princess Hotel, Belize City for approximately 100 participants from throughout the country. Participants included personnel from the Municipalities, Police Department, Tourism Police, Transport Department, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Works, Transport and NEMO, Press Office, and the Private/Business Sectors.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Ambergris Caye Camp Starfish raising funds for Special Olympics
The San Pedro Police Department, Community Policing Unit is once again joining with Ambergris Caye Camp Starfish and this year also with Special Education Teacher at ACES Elementry and now Ambergris Caye Camp Starfish Head Organizer, Ms Sarah Jean to Raise funds for Special Olympics Belize. This funding will go towards sports training and atheltic competition in a variety of Olympic Type sports for children and adults with intellectual disbilities living within the country. This year we were not fortunate to have the Torch come to the island but we are hoping and looking for its arival on 2016. Nevertheless, we will continue supporting 100%. Tomorrow there will be a BBQ taking place infront of the San Pedro Police Satation and our guest chef is no other than JOHN from Robbin's Kitchen. So if you want to eat tasty tomorrow and support a very worthy cause pass by the San Pedro Police Station at midday. Lets show the love for SPECIAL OLYMPICS BELIZE!

"Go Slow" in Caye Caulker...literally!!!
If this picture does not describe the state of mind of the island, then nothing does. Nope! the cute dog is not dead, it's just ‪Siesta time‬ in the middle of the street.

Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Miss Garifuna Cultural Pageant Winners and Participants
Mayor Daniel Guerrero presents the Miss Garifuna Cultural Pageant Winners and Participants with their gifts for participating.

San Pedro Town Council Open House
Don't forget that today, we will be having an Open House for everyone to witness the new additions and changes that have been made to the San Pedro Town Hall. Also, we will be having 5% OFF on Trade License Fee of 2016! Take advantage of this opportunity!

Miss World Belize 2015
Miss World Belize Jasmine Rhamdas participating in the dances of the world audition she is wearing the national costume which represents the Great Blue Hole and the Coral Barrier Reef.

National Youth Week
Department of Youth Services will be celebrating its National Youth Week from November 29th - December 5th, 2015. Each District has their own week of activities planned. Here is the schedule for Corozal District. EVERYONE IS INVITED TO COME AND BE PART OF THIS CELEBRATION!

Family's house being searched by Corozal Police
The following video has gone viral. It shows a family's house being searched by Corozal Police. Apparently the owner of the house was searched on the street by Police and nothing incriminating was found on him. We only know the complainant's name as "Jim" who is an expat residing in Corozal. The police further escorted "Jim" to his house where from the video, the search clearly continued. He complained that the police harassed him. "Jim's" son who was at home at the time recorded the search but was forced to delete the file. He later was able to recover the video as evidence. Apparently "Jim" has been targeted by the Corozal Police before and has expressed his desire to relocate with his family because of fear. We are having problems uploading the video today as we feel it may have been red flagged but will keep trying but if you click on the link, you will be able to access it.

Power interruptions 5:00am to 5:15am & 4:45pm to 5:00pm, Sunday, November 29, Belize City
entire Belize City inclusive of all areas up to Mile 1 on the Philip Goldson Highway and Mile 1 on the George Price Highway. BEL to conduct climbing inspections of the Transmission System in the area.

Children's Day in Benque
The Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo visited Mount Carmel primary to celebrate Children's Day. They even brought a clown. Thanks, Rotaract. In related news, they are also doing a Christmas Food Drive. Help them by donating food items if you can. "On Friday, November 20, 2015 we celebrated Children's Day in partnership with Mount Carmel Primary School for over 300 children in the Infant Division."

16 Days of Activism
16 Days of Activism By: Abdulmajeed K Nunez Every year there is 16 days of activism But there is still chauvinism Men need to be taught that women are not possessions We need to get to the root which is socialization Men need to know that women are the cradle of socialization Men need to be taught that God is a woman Men need to be taught that heaven lies at the feet of a woman Reprogram the thought that woman is Woe – to- man All women have the right to chose just like men A woman is not a man’s possession A woman is the man’s equal A woman is the source of a man’s survival A woman is a man’s ambition A woman is a man’s protection A woman is a man’s companion A woman is a man’s advisor A woman is the guardian of the world’s cultures A woman is not a man’s tenure

Longtime resident Peter Jones found deceased
On Tuesday,November 24th Peter Jones was discovered dead of natural causes in his home. Peter Brandon Jones of Great Britain was one of the island greatest SCUBA diving enthusiast and promoted technical diving through his dive shop on Ambergris Caye for many years before his retirement. Mr. Jones was 68 years old.

Exploring the Cayes of Belize on a stand-up paddleboard
“Is that where we’re heading?” I gesture, carefully, toward a blurry mirage of mangrove trees hovering in the tropical heat, somewhere on the horizon. I am, after all, balancing rather gingerly on a stand-up paddleboard. “That’s South Water Caye, one of Belize’s national marine parks,” nods my guide Norman Hann. He reckons that it’s about eight nautical miles away. (It's actually five and a half.) “Looks like it’s somewhere off the curve of the Earth,” I mutter, a remark that gets a hearty laugh from fellow paddler Jenny Poppitt, one of our group of 10, who along with three Island Expeditions guides will propel ourselves slowly, yet purposefully, over azure Caribbean waters toward the island in the sky. If the idea of a dozen or so middle-aged paddlers several nautical miles offshore in the Caribbean Sea sounds vaguely dangerous, rest assured that it’s not. The Cayes (pronounced “keys”) of Belize are protected by the second-largest barrier reef in the world; one that effectively depowers waves and tidal currents. This reef gives the waters off Belize luminescent blues and greens that, along with stunning clarity, make it one of the richest marine environments in the world.

Happening right now: Southwest Airlines
One way HOU to BZE - $132 US.

Donation of care packages and meal distribution to Homeless
Bay Trust International Ltd, a financial service provider of the establishment and administration of Belize international trusts and foundations services and proponent of the less fortunate, is giving back to the community with a donation of care packages inclusive of sleeping mats and a meal to the homeless of Belize. The donation will occur at the Resource Centre located at the corner of Vernon and Tibruce Street in Belize City on Friday, November 27th, 2015 at 11am. BTIL believes in giving back to those in need and decided to concentrate its philanthropic efforts in Belize City by providing basic survival packages to the homeless and also those households who have lost their homes during the recent floods. These people will not be forgotten and deserve a helping hand.

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…Location : Beach at Playa Del Ninos (Palapa Gardens), Start Date: November 28, 2015End Date: November 28, 2015, Time: 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Channel 7

Businessman Killed During Armed Attack
Businessman Ruben Perez was killed this afternoon in Belize City. 47 year old Perez owned an aggregates business at the end of Vernon Street near the George Price Highway - where he sold sand and gravel and cement blocks. Surveillance video obtained by 7News shows him sitting calmly behind his desk at 3:14 pm playing with his cell phone. Perez seems to detect a disturbance and stands up. Suddenly, two men - one of them with a gun - come running into the frame. There is a brief standoff - and then Perez pushes the one without a gun. And that's where the very jumpy gunman then shoots Perez in the neck at close range - we won't show that part of the video. After that, with Perez on the ground, the gunman comes back to collect something - what it is we don't know. Police say they need your help in identifying those two men - and we'll tell you how you can help with that later on. But first, we spoke to a neighbor and police at the scene: VOICE OF: Neighbor "And about 5-6 minutes after 3pm, we heard bang! And that bang - I said eh. I told my grandkids it didn't sound like an acid bomb. That sounded like some sort of gun. A few minutes later we saw the police come."

Flood Relief For Flowers Bank
Last week, we took you on the Belize River to show you how the Valley Community in Belize Rural North was being affected. The heavy rains of the weekend before had inundated the entire country, and all the floods from the Cayo District rolled into the Belize River Valley. Well during the course of the last 48 hours, those flood waters rolled past Flowers bank Village. It caused major flooding of the main road into the village, and the only bridge in and out was under water. To add to that, there have been intermittent rains all across the country over the last 24 hours. Flowers Bank does not have grocery shops, and so the 36 families who live there are forced leave out of the village to get food supplies. But, since they are cut off due to the flood, NEMO went in with rations today to distribute and provide them with assistance. NEMO Minister Edmond Castro, who is their Area Representative, spoke with us today. He told us that the Ministry is trying to be pro-active avoid any incidents or loss of life or property because the villagers would be forced to leave to get their groceries:

US Blacklists Belize Offshore Company
What does Belize have to do with Syria and ISIS? You might think, nothing at all…but today the Obama Administration blacklisted an offshore company registered in Belize because it is allegedly involved in backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control today designated four individuals and six entities for providing support to the Government of Syria. According to international news reports, the state department has gathered information which says that a Syrian businessman described as a "middleman" facilitated oil purchases by the Syrian regime from the "Islamic State" terror group. Now, bringing it back to Belize, one fo the six "the blacklisted entities" is an offshore company called KREMSONT COMMERCIAL INC. which is linked to Russian Mudalal KHURI. Kremsont is registered at suite 302 of the Blake Building at the corner of Eyre Street and Hutson Street, in Belize City. We called that office today but were told that no one could speak on behalf of Kremsont.

17 Year Old Says He Needs Gun to Protect Himself
Yesterday we told you about the trio the GSU busted for firearm, ammunition and marijuana at the mile 8 community. They are 18 year old Sherman Samuels, 20 year old Shakedi Baizar and a 17 year old minor. Well today the 17 year old pleaded guilty, and told Magistrate Carlon Mendoza that the gun is his that he got from a friend who went away to the states and left him with it. He said he has been using it for protection for his life because someone wants to kill him. The Magistrate inquired further into the minor's story and found that he is not sure of his age because both his parents died 10 years ago and they gave him away to foster parents without first registering his birth. Still, his guilty plea was accepted, but that doesn't mean that the other two got off. Samuels and Baizar who pleaded not guilty to the firearm and ammunition offenses were all remanded into custody until December 10, 2015.

The Rules Of The Road, Reinforced
Don't drink and drive, wear a seatbelt, don't speed: those are just a few of the road safety rules that are constantly being repeated on TV commercials and through programs. One of those programs is the Belize Road Safety Demonstration Corridor Project. Today the program coordinators hosted a course for drivers from all sectors of society. International Road Safety Consultant for Belize Mavis Johnson told us that this project is more than just upgrading roads, it' about reducing traffic accidents through responsible driving. Mavis Johnson, International Road Safety Consultant "It's many things. It isn't just one thing and that's the thing about road safety and improving the conditions on the road. We have to look at the roads themselves; the infrastructure, the signs and markings and I don't know if you've driven between Belize City and Belmopan at night, but it's so impressive now. You can actually see where the road goes, instead of just being in blackness. So some of those things; the shoulders on the sides have been improved. Again, one of the great things in development right now is the new round-about at the entrance in Belmopan. It's going to spectacular and then the Belmopan ring road which will provide plenty of opportunities for cyclists and pedestrians and car drivers to actually share the road together in a safe manner.

Surveillance Video Frees Men From Murder Charge
Tonight, 28 year-old Bartolomeo Lucas, 28 year-old Daniel Cain, and 20 year-old Oscar Flores, all residents of Pinks Alley, are at home after spending a year in prison. They were on remand awaiting trial for the murder 33 year-old Harrison Smith which happened a year and 2 months ago. Today, the Magistrate sent them home because the police could not provide any evidence linking them to the murder. Moreover, police had surveillance footage which proved that they were innocent and sat on it for the entire time that the men were languishing in jail. On Friday, October 3, of last year, 32 year-old Harrison Smith, and 23 year-old Eustace Lewis were both gunned down on North Front Street, where 3 men targeted them while they were riding past. Both men were shot, but Smith's injuries took his life. Well, a few days later, police were swift in bringing a murder charge against Bartolomeo Lucas, Daniel Caine and Oscar Flores, and since then, they've been in jail waiting their case to move forward.

Cops Got A-K
Police have taken a dangerous assault rifle off the streets. This evening around 5:15 the Southside Strike Team searched an empty lot on Allan Pitts Crescent in the Port Loyola area and found this Ak47. No one was found in the area so the gun was labeled as found property.

Ambassadors For Children
15 young men and women from across the country are being trained as Child Right's Ambassadors. The training started yesterday and it focuses on the rights of a child and number of issues affecting kids in Belize. The Information Coordinator for NCFC, Lindburgh Smith, told us that it is all about protecting children and giving them a voice. Lindburgh Smith, Information Coordinator, NCFC "NCFC had a plan a long time ago to spread their wings to reach more children about educating them about their rights and responsibilities. And so we thought that putting together a program would be very key and we came up with the Ambassador's Program which represents child rights ambassadors and we have representatives countrywide. These representatives are being trained since yesterday and that training will be completed on Friday and then they're back to their respective local communities where they will be doing community sensitization with both students, teachers and the community at large." Courtney Weatherburne "What does the training entails?" Lindburgh Smith, Information Coordinator, NCFC "It's quite comprehensive. We have training on human trafficking, training on child abuse, the penal and juvenile act. We have on the children and family act. We also have facilitations skills which will be for tomorrow and we also have presentation on different topics which will also include training modules on how to go about presenting what they have been learning over the next 3 days."

Police Need Your Help
As we told you at the top of the news, two men are being sought by police tonight for killing businessman Ruben Perez. As this surveillance footage shows, Perez was sitting behind his desk on his phone, when the men stormed into the compound at the corner of Vernon Street. He stood up to confront them, pushed away one of the men, and the gunman then shot him in the neck. It was a fatal injury. Police cannot identify the attackers and are asking the public to assist. Crime stoppers is offering a $500 dollar reward for any information which leads to their arrest - not conviction, but arrest. To give that information, you should call 0-800-922 TIPS.

Churches Unified, But Groups Divided
2 weeks ago, we told you about the controversy surrounding the appointment Reverend Ashley Rocke, the Senator representing the Churches. 200 plus churches nationwide, minus the Belize City Churches, have complained that the Belize City chapter of the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches excluded them from the decision and hijacked the appointment. Since then, that disagreement has caused a rift which appears to be widening within the Christian Community. Today, representatives of these 200 plus aggrieved churches announced today that they've gone off on their own and formed a new organization called the National Evangelical Association of Belize. Today, we reached out to the new association, and their President, Pastor Lance Lewis, was unable to give an interview. He did authorize Pastor Scott Stirm, the Vice President, to grant us comments, and he explained to us via phone what this new association means to the Church Community outside of Belize City: Scott Stirm, VP - National Evangelical Association of Belize "Well as we stated in our press release, there have been some difficulties with the (BAEC) Belize Association of Evangelical Churches which resulted in them sending a letter of suspension all national leaders. We pursued meeting together for two months - requesting a meeting and we were not able to get a meeting with them and so all of us have been working together on a new national plan for BAEC - all the nationwide chapters, all the nationwide leaders and what we have done is we've taken that plan and we've taken that constitution and that is our constitution.

The Short Term Plan For 4gLTE
BTL mobile users know well enough about 4g frustration with BTL's overloaded data service. But the company says that in 2016 it's upgrading the 4gLTE - that's short for long term evolution which is the global standard in mobile internet. A release issued today says the company expects to finalize the selection of its LTE vendor in matter of weeks and to begin deployment of the new network shortly thereafter. is in the final stage sof selecting its mobile network vendor to build and launch its mobile LTE network in 2016. A press release says, quote, "the new…network is expected to be among the fastest, most robust…in the Americas." In the meantime, the existing 4g system is being upgraded before the end of the year, the boost the system which is currently overwhelmed.

BEL Helps St. Mary's
Yesterday you saw BEL partner with Hand in Hands Ministries to gift a new house to a deserving family, and today the utility company was sponsoring a feeding programme. The St. Mary's program started in 1994 and has become a mainstay for the hundreds of children who attend the Fort George Primary School. We found out how it works and how BEL will help with a 5,100 dollar cash donation:.. The program serves 850 meals per week.

Dance X is Next
If there's one thing that brings people together - it's music and dance: and that's just what Dance X Belize hopes to accomplish. The 7th edition of the dance extravaganza was launched last night with a welcome reception at the Bliss. Today we got a chance to speak with one of our own senior dancers - Jaimie Thompson and he told us that Dance X Belize is not all about sharp choreography,- it's also about promoting unity and culture through dance. The show continues tonight with performances from the Yucatan Classical Dance Company "Vao". It starts at 8 at the Bliss. The other performances through to Sunday will also be held at the Bliss at 8.

Guate Farmers Flattening Chiquibul
The Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD, are reporting tonight that they have caught 3 Guatemalans farming inside the Chiquibul National Park, very near the Belize/Guatemala Border. Yesterday, a joint forces patrol, comprised of the BDF, Police, and FCD Rangers, were on patrol in the Chiquibul near an area known as El Retiro, which is about 1.4 kilometres away from the border. There they found 27 year-old Jorge Felipe Gudiel Garcia, along with a 7 year-old and a 9 year-old minor. They had cut down the forest in this area, and planted a 2.5 acre farm of black beans. Jorge Garcia informed authorities that he had planted pumpkin earlier in the cleared area that was approximately 2.5 acres in size, and that he knew of other farmers further north of his location also doing farming. Garcia was charged for illegal entry and cultivating in a protected area. The two minors were released promptly to Guatemalan authorities.

Channel 5

Belize City Businessman Executed on Vernon Street
B elize City Businessman and owner of Perez Construction, Ruben Perez was murdered in cold blood sometime after three this afternoon. Perez was killed at his Sand and Cement Distribution [...]

What Does ISIL Have to do with Offshore Banking in Belize?
Following the news of the amazing catch and release of prize fish and fugitive millionaire David Nanes, Belize certainly got a black eye on the international scene. And tonight there [...]

Trio Acquitted of Murder Charge in Shooting Death of Boxer
Three men who have been on remand for murder just over a year were today told that they could leave the courtroom free men. Daniel Caine, Bart Lucas and Oscar [...]

Minor Pleads Guilty to Firearm Possession, Associates Remanded to Custody
A trio of men is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being busted with an unlicensed firearm, as well as a stash of marijuana.  Twenty-year-old Shakedi Baizar, [...]

More Men Employed in 2015 Say SIB Statisticians
The latest unemployment figures released by the Statistical Institute of Belize indicate that there are presently more men who are unemployed than there are women without jobs.  Over the past [...]

Cruise Tourism Arrivals Down Ten Percent
The tourism industry which is among the top revenue generators for the country has also experienced a slight decline in the number of cruise passengers disembarking in Belize City.  That [...]

Dance X Celebrates Seven Years with Show Series at the Bliss
Dance X Belize 2015 started on Monday of this week with master classes being held with local dance groups throughout the country. following a Forum and Barefoot Belize production on [...]

A Thousand Smiles Continues to Raise Funds for Ailing Kids
A dollar to save the life of a child afflicted with cancer. A Thousand Smiles for Cleyon, is an organization that has been working with several pediatric cancer patients. Together, [...]

BEL Donates Generously to St. Mary’s Feeding Program
Today the St. Mary’s feeding program benefitted from a very generous donation from Belize Electricity Limited, part of its ongoing outreach and support initiative. The feeding program is generally funded [...]

It’s Hopes Week for Young Table Tennis Athletes
Organized under the auspices of the International Table Tennis Federation Education and Training Program, in liaison with the Belize Table Tennis Association, ping pong expert Aleksey Yefremov is hosting a [...]

LOVE FM

Floods affect Cayo South
The steady rainfall is having an impact in several areas and today our Western correspondent Fem Cruz spoke with some of those affected in Cayo South. The rains continued here in the Cayo South for the last eight hours, as a result a number of families are affected. Love news spoke to one of the family members affected by the flood here in Arizona. Voice 1: We’ve been getting so much rain and the water height has been about a foot and a half in my yard. Many kids have been affected in this area because of the water that has been passing through and I would like to send out a message to the chairman to try to get something done in this area for the drainage system so that we can be less affected by this water and this rain. Voice 2: We never experienced this kind of water like now so we are asking the help from government, the chairman to see if they can at least do some drainage back here. First of all I think they need to find out where the water is coming from and then try to do a drainage to divert the water,. Then you have some people who live in the low lying area and that is what messes up a lot of the people and they have to come out of their house.

PlusTV

Fraudulent company uses Prime Minister’s Law firm address in scheme
Another fraudulent investment company has illegally used Belize’s name and the Prime Minister’s law firm address in its scheme to attract investors. Profit Riders Inc. , via its website, claims that it can secure investors a return of as much as 200% a day. The company claims that it registered with...

Guatemalan women rescued from human trafficking in Orange Walk
33 year old Rosa Anita Garcia Julian appeared in court today for the second time after she was arrested and charged for Immigration offences on Monday November 23rd. The arrest came after the Orange Walk police department raided Dominguez Bar, located at Otro Benque Road, Orange Walk Town, on Saturd...

5 persons arrested for drug trafficking
5 people, including a minor, were arrested and charged for drug trafficking when they were busted with four thousand grams of cannabis in the village of Arenal in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. According to San Ignacio Police, authorities were on foot patrol within Arenal Village, Cayo, when th...

Sandhill man spared jail over flare gun
Sandhill resident and Fisheries Department officer Andrew Baptist is guilty of keeping a prohibited firearm tonight, but he is not in jail, and for that he can thank Police Corporal Gino Peck. Peck’s infamous 2013 case, in which the Director of Public Prosecution cited a little-known provision of th...

World Wide Travel Alert
The United States State Department released a World Wide Travel Alert due to recent terrorist attacks. A couple weeks ago, on the 13th of November, Paris was attacked at different locations leaving 130 people dead, and 368 people injured. Due to that attack and other intel, on the 23rd of November, ...

The First Ever Artificial Pitch in Belize
It has been described as a world class stadium in the making. The Isidoro Beaton Stadium, home of the Belmopan Bandits, went under construction the earlier part of last year to transform the local stadium to a top notch facility that can host international FIFA standard matches. While the FIFA stand...

Hand in Hand Ministries and BEL provide house for single mother
A Belize City family of four, today received keys to a new house from Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and Hand in Hand Ministries (HHM) under HHM’s “Building for Change” program. The 16’ by 16’ wooden house, complete with electrical installations and plumbing facilities was donated by BEL and cons...


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#509474 - 11/27/15 11:58 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 27, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

The Guardian

New Belize City Civic Center Underway
In September of 2013 the old Belize City Center was torn down with great hope and anticipation for the start of the construction of a new first class facility that would serve the needs of Belize City residents. After waiting for two and a half years, Belize city residents will shortly see that promised construction. A few days ago work teams began to move into the space which was left after the old structure was torn down and the groundwork has commenced for the construction. After signing a contract on October 8, 2015, JVCA Medina’s Construction Ltd/International Environments Ltd. began the work. Valued at BZ$32,940,261.34 the new facility will include civil works and FIBA certified equipment. In a release from Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) it states that: “The new Belize City Center Arena and Cultural Complex design will qualify for world championship women’s U-21 and U-19 world championship men and women events. There will be three (3) interior practice basketball courts, and one (1) professional center court. The design allows for designated seating for up to 4000 for games and 5000 for indoor entertainment events such as conventions, concerts and other sporting events such as boxing and volleyball.

Ponzi Scheme mastermind caught and released on bail, now nowhere to be found
David Nanes Schnitzer, an international fugitive with an arrest warrant from Mexico waiting for him, has been living in Belize for a few years. As of 3 weeks ago, on November 3, his presence in Belize was made public to the world when he was caught with a fake driver’s license in San Pedro. Schnitzer is infamous as a suspected white collar criminal because he is believed to have been involved in an elaborate ponzi scheme. This system was set up and headed by Robert Allen Stanford, a Texas Financier who is serving 110 years at the high-security Coleman II federal prison in Sumterville, Florida. Stanford, who has appealed and failed at that appeal, was convicted of running a 20-year scam. In this criminal enterprise, according to US Prosecutors, Stanford sold fraudulent, high-yielding certificates of deposit through his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank. He then used the money from investors all across Latin America, including Mexico, Panama and Venezuela to live a lavish lifestyle. These investors lost a combined 7.2 billion dollars trusting Stanford’s companies with their money.

Melvin Hewlett, a 35 year-old Vice Principal of Wesley College, is Wesley Vice Principal allegedly caught with cocaine
On Friday, November 20, at around 11:35 a.m., the GSU set up a sting operation where they followed this informant to the Wesley College Compound. There they saw him making an exchange with Melvin Hewlett, who had been identified as this main supplier. The GSU team immediately closed in on both men, and that’s when Hewlett supposedly saw them coming. He allegedly threw away a piece of white paper which was crumpled up. They retrieved the piece of paper and found 2 transparent plastic bags containing a total of 14 grams of crack cocaine. Anything over 1 gram is treated as drug trafficking under the law. So, the GSU charged him with possession of a controlled drug with the intent to supply. He was arraigned on Friday, November 20, before Magistrate Deborah Rogers, where he pleaded not guilty. He was granted bail of $7,000, and he must return to court on January 8, 2016. Now, Hewlett’s reputation has been greatly sullied due to these allegations. Apart from being a senior administrator at the school, he is a well-known member of the Methodist family. He has helped to organize sporting events as a community activist. Back in 2009, he was a member of Dr. Herbert Gayle’s research team. Gayle is the Caribbean’s only social violence anthropologist. He assisted Gayle as a researcher in the study of Youths and Gang Violence in Belize. There is the worry that the student body at Wesley may have been exposed to someone with great authority who has messed around with drugs.

Ohhhh Johnny!!!
With the PUP Leadership Convention SOUP BUBBLING, we will be highlighting one of the COMBATANTS each week. This week we take a look at Johnny.To really get a clear view of how things stand with Johnny and the party, we relied on past issues of the Guardian to get a historical perspective. Let’s go back to when Wikileaks made Johnny a star. The Wikileaks cables emerged where it was alleged that he took a 3 million dollar bribe. Although he publicly claimed that he did not take the bribe he was unable to prove otherwise. Then he came up with two very inappropriate speeches both on Independence Day and on the occasion of the public funeral of George Price. He must have been handed both speeches together and he read the wrong speech on the wrong occasion.That could have been blamed on the pressure from the Wikileaks cable. Up to today we are still awaiting that proof, he claimed he had proof of how he came in to the possession of the cable companies, remember he had promised Jules Vasquez that he would bring the papers. Perhaps Johnny made a stop at the toilet on his way to Channel 7. Those were only a few significant nails in his coffin but his undoing came at the hands of the former party leader Said Musa.

Top cop officially called to the Bar
Senior Superintendent of police Chester Williams has been in the evening news regularly for the past few months, explaining why his take on community policing is the best route to take in trying to deal with gang violence and violent crimes in Belize City. He’s had measurable success with his and the Police Department’s efforts, but now, he’s become one of only 7 police officers who have been called to the Bar of Belize. He is now a senior police officer who is also a certified attorney who can practice law in this country. He was formally introduced before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin as an applicant by Senior Counsel Edwin Flowers on Wednesday, November 25. After Flowers applied on his behalf to the Chief Justice, the judge was sufficiently convinced that he had fulfilled all the requirements of practicing law in Belize. His application was removed, and for the first time, he was robed in the required attorney’s court dress. Those attorney’s robes were placed over his shoulders by Flowers as a ceremonial affirmation that he had been admitted.

Charge of sexual assault struck out against security guard
After 10 months on remand, 56 year old Belize City Security Guard, Adrian Cruz is a free man after a charge of sexual assault was struck out against him. He had been charged for allegedly inappropriately touching a child under the age of 14. Cruz who was never granted bail after being arraigned remained imprisoned from January 16, 2015, when he was first brought before the courts The Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith had denied him bail and due to his status of not being a Belizean by birth, he appeared to be a flight risk so he was kept on remand.

Burglar caught breaking into Atlantic Bank ATM
On Tuesday November 24, 32-year- old resident of Belize City, Malique Martinez appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser where he was read a single charge of burglary with intent to steal. Allegations are that on Monday, November 23, 2015, he entered the Atlantic Bank Collet Branch office located at the corner of Magazine and Cemetery Road and caused damages to seven (7) office desks valued at $2,700, a glass window located at the Southwest side of the building valued at $2,200, the lower portion of the ATM safe value $5,000 and 2 office doors value at $1,000, all to a total of $10,700.00, the property of Atlantic Bank Collet Branch office. Martinez pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser informed him of the police allegations being made against him that it was he who was identified as the culprit coming out of the hole located on the extreme rear of the building. In response Martinez told the Magistrate Fraser, that it was not him after thinking for a long time whether or not he wanted to change his plea that he had already entered.

Friends charged for killing 16 year old
In last week’s issue of the The/El Guardian, we reported the story of 16 year-old Ivan Choc, who was brutally murdered in an armed invasion of his home in Camalote Village, Cayo. Well, police have since charged 2 men, who police say were his friends. These men are 20 year-old Damien Velasquez Bowden and 18 year-old Justin Banner, and they’ve been arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on the single charge of murder. They have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison, since there is no bail for the capital offence. Belmopan Police have not released much details on their investigation at this time, but they believe that all 3 persons were once friends who had a some sort of falling out. Whatever argument they had, must have been terrible. That’s because, as readers may remember, on Friday night, November 13, the victim and his parents were having their evening meal when 2 masked men barged unto their verandah.

Cashier charged with theft walks free
On Monday November 23,former James Brodies employee who worked as a cashier was set free after his former employer requested no further court action of theft against him. 22 year old Alfonso Marin, former Cashier at James Brodies & Co. Ltd., had been charged in July of this year with 5 counts of theft. In court #2 before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser, Inspector Egbert Castillo informed the court that they would offer no evidence in the case against Marin. That is because James Brodies and Co. Ltd., who are the complainant in the matter against Marin chose not to pursue the matter anymore. With that, Magistrate Fraser told Marin that he was free to go.

Earl Pitts Junior charged with manslaughter by negligence
On Monday November 23, whilst still limping from his injuries, Earl Pitts Junior was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to be read three offenses of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct and driving without due care and attention. He appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser in Court #2 at around 3:45. In court, Pitts was unrepresented and due to the nature of the offenses, no plea was taken since they are being dealt with on indictment. Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser only asked him if he understood the charges for which he replied saying “Yes.” Allegations are that on Sunday, November 1, 2015, Pitts Junior being the driver of a Yukon GMC brown in color vehicle with license plate, BCC-51992, caused the death of Sharmaine Humes, 33. Allegations are that Humes along with Pitts Junior and two others, minors ages 17 and 10 were travelling inside the vehicle at the time.

Former cop called to the Bar
The police department now has two additional attorneys who were called to the bar over the past few days. The first to be called was police inspector Llewelyn Usher who on Friday November 20 was called to the Bar before Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin. PC Usher was born to parents Charles Usher Sr. and Erminia Usher. He studied at the Teakettle Village Primary School after which he moved on to the Belmopan Comprehensive High School. On March 13, 1994, shortly after completing his secondary education, he joined the then, Belize Police Force. He was then posted for duties in Hattieville Village where he worked for two and half years then was transferred to San Pedro Town.

Beltraide teaches you to start your own business
Between Friday November 27 to Sunday November 29th the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) which is an arm of Beltraide and the Young Professionals of Belize will be holding Belize’s version of Startup Weekend. The initiative is powered by Google worldwide and in the past it has assisted in the creation of hundreds of new businesses in 120 countries. In Belize, the same concept is being taken on and persons who want to become entrepreneurs are being asked to register and be a part of the event. Beltraide’s Amilin Mendez says that the goal is to have persons who have a business idea or want a business idea to attend an intensive 54 hours of instruction at the ITVET compound in Belize City. At the end of the weekend hopefully those who participate would have been able to get enough information and training to be able to start up a new business.

Crawling from under a rock
As soon as the General Election were over some folks who were very vocal in their assault on the UDP before the election, went into hiding. Some people have been asking if some of those folks had either gone into hiding, gone to jail, gone to the States, gone to the crazy house, in the hospital or died. See in Belize when we start to not see certain people it’s usually is because of one of the above. Last week we were treated to a brief media appearance by Audrey, but just as soon as we saw her she went back under cover. Word is there is a Latino Christmas rehearsal dinner to plan this year as a to build up for the real thing on Christmas day. This year there will be no “Gud Mawnin Miss Lady “, at AUDREY’S HOUSE, it will more be like “Bueñas dias Señora.” You see she has gotten used to preparing a Creole feast in different flavors over the years so this Latin Fiesta although she knew how it was way back then, is now a bit difficult because she is out of practice.

Tacos Fest delights thousands in Orange Walk
When it comes to tacos, Orange Walk is the epicenter of where to find the best of them and on Sunday November 22 the best of the best of them were all available in one location. Organized as a yearly event, the fifth annual Tacos Festival was held at the Banquitas House of Culture where hundreds of visitors arrived from all across the country to savor the best tacos in Belize. According to organizer, Dillon Jones, the event is held every year as a sort of recognition to tacos vendors and the industry that they represent. He says that if you were to take into consideration the many ingredients that go into taco making as well as the employment that it creates you’d realize that it is a burgeoning industry. On Sunday however it was all about showcasing the quick meal. There were all manner of tacos from pork and chicken. Some featured meat on a skewer while others were prepared from earlier on be it on fire hearths or even baked underground (pibil). No matter what the taste buds required, the tacos were available to suit.

Good juice for Belizean citrus farmers this year
Citrus farmers in Belize are once again receiving better prices for their oranges. On Wednesday of last week the price per box of citrus which is exported went up to $12.23 per 90lb. Last ear at this very same time it was at $10.12. That is an increase of over two dollars which in the industry is a big deal. In the past receiving a 10 cent increase in the price per box was a major challenge. The price increase is largely due to citrus greening which is placing a major challenge to citrus producers including Belize. But the industry here has been able to keep on fighting the citrus menace. While production in this country has been affected it has not been as devastating as it has been in Florida where production was in the region of 100 million boxes of oranges annually. Now with the citrus greening projections have reduced it to somewhere closer to 74 million boxes this year. This has in effect driven international prices up and that means a bigger payday for Belizean farmers.

Belize Receives First Place Award for Immunization Programme for the Fourth Time
Belize was awarded first place for the surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD) at the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Managers’ Meeting, which was held in Guyana from November 17-20. As part of the week’s activities, awards were presented to countries who demonstrated improvement in the immunization programme, specifically for achievements in the area of surveillance of VPD. The selection criteria are based on efforts, meeting the indicators for surveillance of diseases, and timely weekly reporting on the surveillance. Surveillance activities are conducted by all Health Care providers throughout Belize, including some of the private care providers who participate in the reporting of communicable diseases. The Ministry of Health recognizes and applauds the tremendous efforts by health care personnel, in particular the Rural Health Nurses and the Public Health Nurses, who on a daily basis actively search for suspected cases of diseases that are preventable by vaccine, and complete the investigation of such suspected cases as Acute Flaccid Paralysis for Poliomyelitis, fever-rash illness for Measles and Rubella, and Pertussis (Whooping Cough), among other diseases.

The University of the West Indies Open Campus Belize will be hosting the UWI Open Campus Belize to host Barbara Cleland Day of Races
Barbara Cleland Day of Races 2015 on Sunday 29 November, commencing at 1:00 pm on the Marine Parade Circuit. The races will start with the primary school event in which the girls will do a lap and the boys 2 laps. This will be followed by the high school female which will do 3 laps and the male 5 laps. In the tertiary level, the female and male riders will do a total distance of 10 laps. In the junior/youth category, the riders will do 15 laps and this will be followed by the female/Masters 4/5 riders that will also do 15 laps.

Holy Redeemer girls and Belize Elementary boys are Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball champions
The Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball championship came to an end on Wednesday 18 November, 2015, at Bird’s Isle with the championship game in both the girls’ and boys’ category. In the girls’ championship game, Holy Redeemer School upended Belize Elementary School in three sets by the score of 25-13, 20-25 and 15-11 to capture the 2015-2016 championship. In the boys’ championship game, Belize Elementary School won over Holy Redeemer School by the score of 25-18 and 25-20 to capture the Belize City title.

Thin on patience
For those who are familiar with Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra, there is a famous phrase in the play when Cleopatra is told that Anthony has married another woman. The queen threatens to pull out the messenger’s eyes, eliciting the response “gracious madam, I that do bring the news made not the match.” The response from the messenger probably is what made the phrase “attacking the messenger” so often quoted. I gave you that introduction so that you will appreciate that I know about attacking messengers, since that is what I intend to do today: go after three messengers who are harping on the same subject, that of the international fugitive David Nanes Shnitzer, and throwing around insults and accusations wantonly. But before I go on, let me state that unlike Cleopatra and the other historical “messenger- hater” Tigranes, I do not hate the message from these three individuals, it is their attitude that irks my spleen.

Seven years for prohibited firearm
Back in November 2010, a 17,year old student of Sadie Vernon High School was accidentally shot and killed while inside her home after a man she knew began playing with another man’s gun he had stolen several months prior to the incident inside his home. While he still waiting trial for manslaughter in her death, 23 year old Ibrahim Smith, a resident of Mopan Street was found guilty of keeping a prohibited firearm, a 16 gauge shot gun, which was altered to form a prohibited firearm. On Wednesday November 25, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser who heard the case found that there was overwhelming evidence to convict him for the offenses. The prosecutor in the case, Inspector, Hector Rodriguez called a witness, a man, who testified that on the night of the fatal shooting of the student, he saw Smith run out of the house and hid a gun behind the house.

Teenager charged for shooting
The city had seen a decrease in shooting incidents for the past few months and according to Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, the regional Commander, Eastern Division South, murder is down, but there was a spike in shooting incidents over the past weekend. On Sunday, November 22, 2015, at around 7:00 a.m., police say they responded to a shooting incident on Antelope Street Extension where Liston Myers was injured as a result. According to police reports, Myers was walking in the company of another male, when they were shot at by two male persons carrying a firearm. Police say that they believe Myers was not the intended target but rather his companion, another male who is a known figure and associated with a gang. He was missed but the gunman opened fire in their direction and caught Myers. Myers is listed in a stable condition at the KHMH recovery from his injury.

Human Trafficking in Orange Walk
Persons who frequent the different bars around the country know that human trafficking sort of takes place unabated, especially at the hispanic-run bars. The women there offer sex for money with the patrons if there is enough trust that they will not be reported to the authorities. Orange Walk Police have therefore caught a major break in one such case. A 27 year-old Guatemalan went to the station to make a report over the weekend. She told investigators that 33 year-old Guatemalan Rosa Anita Garcia, the person running Dominguez Bar, on the Otro Benque Road, tricked her and her mother, 48 year-old, to come to Belize. She offered them a job at a fast food restaurant. When they came to Belize on November 12, she instead forced them to work at the bar under the threat that she would have their children in Guatemala killed.

High schools basketball competition heats up as it nears playoffs
The Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball competition continued on Tuesday 24 November, 2015, at Bird’s Isle with two games on the schedule. In the first game played which was in the female competition, Wesley College defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 24-18. In the male game, Wesley College continued on its winning path when it edged out the Anglican Cathedral College squad by the score of 51-47. On Monday 23 November, in the only game played, Sadie Vernon Technical High School squeaked passes St. John’s College by the score of 70-69.

Face of Belize wins in U-15 Football competition
The Belize District Interim U-15 competition continued on Sunday 22 November, 2015, at the MCC Grounds with four games on the schedule. In the first game played, City Boys defeated Smart Brown Bombers by the score of 2-1. The goals for City Boys were score by Jalen Babb and Kenroy Linares, while the goal for the Smart Brown Bombers was scored by Maynor Hernandes. In game two, Carlton Strikers defeated Berger United by the score of 3-2. The goals for Carlton Strikers were scored by Cion Augustine, Lawnie Leslie and Eton Panton. Meanwhile, the goals for Berger United were scored by Delbert Flowers and Travis Flowers.

U-16 male footballers fail to qualify
The National U-16 Male Football Team of Belize returned home on Tuesday 24 November, 2015, from Managua, Nicaragua, where it participated in the UNCAF – U 16 tournament. Team Belize played its first game on Tuesday 17 November, when it lost to the host country Nicaragua by the score of 1-0. In its second game on Thursday 19 November, Belize fell to Panama by the score of 5-0. In the third game of the series, which was played on Friday 20 November the U16 boys also fell to Costa Rica by the score of 9-0.

Youth Talks
Have you ever noticed that when a student walks into a school they suddenly lose all aspects of their freedom? In most schools around the nation, students have limited rights, as there are rules covering what students can wear, say, and eat. What should be personal choices and obligations are seen more like restrictions that students are bounded by, and should be sure to abide by these rules. While rules aim to promote good conduct in students, some of them tend to ask quite obscure things of students. The most complicated rule to understand and even worse, obey, is the rule for dress codes. School dress codes are one of the most enforced school policies of all time. Everyone has an opinion about what is too short, what is too long, what is too low, what is too high, what is too tight, and what is too loose. According to schools, many girls, if not given proper rules of what not to wear, are all indecent. Because of this, there are very specific rules about what girls can and cannot wear. “Skirts, dresses and shorts cannot be more than two inches above the knee.” So can females only wear long shorts? “All pants and shorts must be worn on the waist.” Would someone be punished for wearing pants above the waist? What if they want to wear their pants around the chest? That’s a nerd style. Perhaps schools are now frowning upon smart people doing well in school. Of course, there are certain general rules about dressing appropriately in school for both males and females, but often times, schools tend to overly exaggerate on the dress code for female. Having a policy stating “due to safety and health concerns, flip-flops, sandals, chains and studded earrings are not permitted in school,” can be quite a major concern, since none of these objects seem to have the ability to cause harm or health issues.

Celebrating Garifuna Settlement Day in Cayo
In keeping with Garifuna tradition, a ceremonial boat landing took place on November 19th 2015 by the low lying bridge that connects San Ignacio to Santa Elena Town, thus becoming part of a number of events relating to Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations in Western Belize. At about 8:00 am, Garifuna men, bringing along a variety of tubers and roots, arrived in two canoes and asked permission to land at the bank of the Macal River, for which permission was granted by the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town, Earl Trapp Junior. The five Garifuna canoeists’ were also greeted by other Garifunas and locals, who had gathered by the flooded Macal River with much anticipation. From there, the Garifunas paraded through the principal streets of San Ignacio Town, despite the overcast skies. “I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Garinagus a Happy Garifuna Settlement Day,” said Mayor Earl Trapp Junior. “Belize is rich in different traditions and ethnic groups and we need to do our part in trying to preserve them, if we don’t do it, it will just go extinct,” he also said. A day earlier, on 18 November, the House of Culture in San Ignacio Town held an open day to highlight the outputs and history of the Garifunas. Students from Primary Schools and members of the Public had an opportunity to view a panoramic history of the Garifuna as displayed on the walls of the House of Culture as well as learn directly from Garifuna presenters.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Evangelical Churches break away from Belize Association of Evangelical Churches
A press release was issued earlier today from a new church organization, called the “National Evangelical Association of Belize” and is made up of more than 30 national executives of the former Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC). These executives will be representing more than 200 churches across Belize, with […]

Businessman murdered in Belize City
A Belize City Businessman, whose name we can’t reveal because his next of kin hasn’t been notified, was murdered in cold blood shortly after three this evening at his Sand and Cement Distribution Company located at the far end of Vernon Street, a short distance from the George […]

Department of Youth Services annual Youth Week
The Department of Youth Services’ (DYS) annual Youth Week, coordinated with assistance from local stakeholders in each district, will begin on Sunday November 29th, featuring all day activities for young people all across the country. In the Toledo District, Sunday will kick off the jam packed week of […]

Orange Walk Police Department praises November officer of the month
Following an inspection of uniformed police officers, the Orange Walk officer of the month for November was announced. Commander at the formation, Assistant Superintendent Selvin Tillett described the latest award recipient, Police Constable Gilberto Vasquez, as hard working and committed to his duties. Tillett reiterated that the […]

Schnitzer is a free man, drinking margaritas
David Nanes Schnitzer, the American fugitive wanted for his role in a multi-million dollar ponzi-scheme, is probably sitting on a beach somewhere sipping a margarita patting himself on the back after Belizean authorities managed to let him slip away so effortlessly. Schnitzer, who is wanted in Mexico, apparently has a […]

Belize Electricity Limited and Hand in Hand build house for woman in need
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) started a program, in its third year now, as part of the company’s community outreach portfolio, which has helped underprivileged people all across Belize. This annual program focuses on building houses for people in need, through a partnership with Hand in Hand Ministries, which also helps […]

Potential Alternatives to Cruise Tourism in Placencia
As Chairman of Placencia Village in 2012, together with my councilors, I championed the fight against cruise tourism. However, my views and the views of those against cruise tourism, mainly the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) membership, became misaligned. I did not think it was wise to […]

Former Belize Water Services employees vindicated in Court
More than two years ago, in February of 2013, six former employees of Belize Water Services (BWS) took the company to court after they claimed that they were wrongfully terminated from their jobs because of victimization. After two years of waiting for the case to settle and a decision to […]

Analiz Gutierrez allowed to visit baby Nina
On November 13th, the heartbreaking ordeal of 22-year-old mother, Analiz Perez Gutierrez began when her two-year-old daughter, Nina Perez was taken away from her in a bizarre manner by the Human Services Department. This came after Gutierrez’s ex-boyfriend, who is a Guatemalan National and resides in that country, filed a […]

Alleged Human Trafficker Charged
Guatemalan bar owner of Orange Walk, 33 year old Rosa Garcia, has been charged with trafficking in persons offences under the trafficking in persons act. She has been accused of sexual exploitation and forced labour for allegedly holding two Guatemalan women, a mother and daughter, captive, and forcing […]

Relatively moist conditions exist across the country
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting generally cloudy skies for today and tonight, with some showers or periods of rain occurring over most areas today, then decreasing tonight. Winds will be blowing from the Northeast at 10-20 knots with higher gusts near heavy showers and the sea state […]

People’s United Party calls out government on Schnitzer case
A release issued by the People’s United Party (PUP), states that it is deeply dis-satisfied with the way international fugitive, David Schnitzer’s case was handled by the Ministries of National Security and Immigration, as he was released on bail and has not been located since. It goes on to mention […]

Blogs

Happy Thanksgiving From Ambergris Caye, Belize
Happy Thanksgiving – a holiday not really celebrated by Belizeans but adopted a bit locally due to the influx of American residents and visitors. Plus – Food and football. Friends, family, gratitude. The one holiday where The Peanuts cartoons don’t annoy me. I hope you all have a fabulous day. It is currently…pouring rain in San Pedro. POURING ALL NIGHT. It’s no official holiday here. And the set-up for Christmas will continue if it just stops raining!

A reflection on Garifuna History: After the celebration, what next?
Garifuna Settlement Day, which is observed on November 19th each year since 1943 in the southern districts and 1977 countrywide, draws many Belizeans together to celebrate the arrival of the Garinagu to Belize in 1823. Around 1823, the Spanish republics were preoccupied with endless cycles of civil wars, assassinations attempts and revolutions. Around that time most Garinagu and their communities were (and still are) found in these republics, their population having spread across the region ever since their banishment from their homeland, St. Vincent in 1797 – about twenty five years earlier. 1823 was also the pivotal year in which the short-lived Federal Republic of Central America (then, a single nation comprising of the provinces of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica) declared itself independent of Mexico. The fear of persecution and the mere business of keeping alive within that environment of bloody revolution, necessitated the mass migration of Garinagu to join others who were already peacefully residing south of the Sibun River. Each year, the celebrations seem to have drowned the fact that the mass migration of Garinagu in 1823 was really not their first arrival to Belize. As noted in Sir John Alden Burdon’s Archives of British Honduras Vol 2 : 1801 -1840, the decision to formally admit the first Garinagu into the settlement was made by Superintendent Richard Bassett at a Magistrate meeting held on August 9, 1802.

How to Maximize Your Shore Experience if Your Cruise Ship Stops in Belize
Rumor has it that cruise ship passengers have fallen so in love with Belize when they disembark for day trips and shore excursions, some have come close to missing their departures. It happens. Belize’s top attractions, sites and cultural experiences are in close proximity to port, so it’s not unusual to find passengers racing for their cruise liner at the very last minute! If your cruise itinerary includes a Belize stop, these tips can save you time–and last minute sprinting! Hire a guide to maximize your shore time because he knows where everything is and he won’t waste your valuable time. These independent contractors work hard to get you where you want to go so you see and experience the sites you’ve prioritized. Ask to see your guide’s license if you need assurances and then put yourself into his hands. Walk around the old capital for a taste of Belize’s governmental origins. There are fascinating tales behind buildings like The House of Culture, Belize Supreme Court, St. John’s Cathedral and Baron Bliss Lighthouse that recall days of British colonization. If time allows, visit the Museum of Belize, formerly a prison, to see artifacts and historical documents. Don’t leave for the ship without taking a selfie. Specify a wildlife adventure on shore if you are traveling with kids because there’s plenty of time to get to Swallow Caye Marine Resort, the Belize Zoo, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary or the Community Baboon Sanctuary before you must report back to your cruise ship. That’s the beauty of docking in a small country.

International Sourcesizz

IRS Begins Sending Individual Account Information to Foreign Countries
Exchange is part of Fatca, a tax-evasion-detection program enacted in 2010. Some worry that information sent abroad by the IRS could fall into the wrong hands. “Many countries aren’t as stable as the U.S. and their residents fear their safety is at risk if local authorities know about their assets,” said Kevin Packman, a lawyer with Holland & Knight in Miami, who often advises people from Latin America. According to the IRS, it will only share information with foreign countries which meet its “stringent safeguard, privacy, and technical standards,” and it has the ability to halt transmissions if it believes the standards aren’t being met. The IRS declined to say which countries received information from the U.S. This week, the agency added 16 new countries, including Brazil, South Africa and India, to the list of those already eligible to receive financial-account details.

Two Horses for One Book
Today the History Department of St. John’s College formally presents the first form curriculum – African and Maya History and the second form curriculum – Belizean History to the Principal of St. John’s College Ms. Yolanda Gongora. In addition to the curricula we will also present the accompanying e-readers. Of course these elements of education are connected to our online classroom www.belizehistorysjc.com. In a recent conversation in St. Louis, Missouri, USA our history teacher Delmer Tzib listened to Fr. Richard Buhler, SJ explain that in the 1970s St. John’ s College set up the Belizean Studies Journal and introduced the teaching of Belizean History at the JC level because the Jesuits felt that our road to Independence needed to be supported by the leading academic institution in promoting our national identity inside the classroom.

Crime, Safety, And Gun Ownership In Belize
Creole Proverb: Wen teef teef fram teef, God laff. Translation: When a thief steals from another thief, God laughs. Belize can be a wonderful sun- and fun-filled place to live, but, like anywhere, there are some things to be aware of. Unlike Mexico, Guatemala, and other countries in the region, Belize has no organized crime. In Belize, no drug cartels are fighting for dominance or control. Luckily, our sleepy little country seems too small to interest those types. That said, there is gang-related crime in some areas of Belize City, but this doesn't spill over into the general population. You probably aren't going to want to move to Belize City anyway, unless you're looking for a job. The Cayes, Cayo, Northern Belize, and the Deep South are all better locations for expats. Serious crime statistics can seem high for Belize, until you realize that they really all take place in very localized areas of Belize City. The statistics are still high, but the crimes aren't something you have to worry about unless you plan to move into a gang-ruled neighborhood in the city's capital (and, of course, that's not something you're going to do).

Videos

  • I HAD TO DO IT ~ Belize Liberator Productions, 30min. Bringing domestic Voilence from behind closed doors to the big screen. Filmed in Belize

  • Low Lying Bridge -Iguana Creek, 1/4min.

  • BEL and Hand in Hand Ministries Partner to Provide a Home for 3rd Consecutive Year, 1min. A Belize City family of four, today received keys to a new house from Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and Hand in Hand Ministries (HHM) under HHM’s “Building for Change” program. The 16’ by 16’ wooden house, complete with electrical installations and plumbing facilities was donated by BEL and constructed primarily through volunteer work by BEL employees. Recipient, Ms. Angela Bennett, is a mother of 3 children View video ages 8, 9 and 13, residing on Police Street, who expressed, “A Home for Angela” “It’s really a dream come true. I am a single mother and I do not have the finance to build a new house. Thanks to God because I will be in my new house for Christmas with my children. A major thanks to BEL and Hand in Hand for making my dream come true.”

  • GIS Expo_Channel 7 News Cast, 2min.

  • Belize 2015 Wedding & Vacation, 30min. This video is from our trip to Belize for Tim and Jen's wedding. It was a fabulous time. None of the pictures are in order however just to warn any viewers.

  • Travel with me in Belize!, 5min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 3.5min.

  • Our Honeymoon in Belize, 8min.

  • Flood advisory issued as the rains continue to fall, 5min.

  • Belize: Wrasse, 3min.

  • Tackle Box, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min. Diving at Tackle Box. This is my first encounter with sharks. Nurse sharks are curious and don't mind interaction.

  • Belize 2015, 12min.

  • Life's A Trip Belize, 8min.

  • River swing in Spanish Lookout, Belize, 1.5min. Throwback to hitting this slippery but fun river swing with my buddy Marco on my last visit to Belize.

  • Two barn owl chicks, min. We are so lucky to be helped regularly by great friends and supporters. A fabulous example of such support happened a couple of days ago. We had a call from a school teacher in San Vincente, which is a village right on the southern border with Guatemala - just about as far away as any village could possibly be. The caller reported that a villager had 4 harpy eagle chicks in his possession, and wanted to give them up for rehabilitation and release. We were naturally excited, but very, very sceptical: harpies are rarer than hens teeth and we figured it was going to be 'something else'. We knew it was a cruel thing to do to him, but we called our 'go-to' person in Punta Gorda: Ian Morton of Hickatee Cottages - a stand-up guy who is passionate in the extreme about wildlife and NEVER lets us down! He agreed that it was unlikely to be harpies, but said he would go anyway. Three and half excruciating hours on the bumpiest road in the world, and he arrived back having given the entire village a lecture on not removing baby birds from the nest, and proudly clutching two barn owl chicks. He then found out that a friend happened to be flying to Belize City on Tropic Air, ad persuaded poor Jim to carry the stinky, noisy cargo on his lap. The birds are now settled in their nursery accommodation and chowing down on their favourite food - rats! When you hear them on this video, you will see why people with barn owl nests in their roof call them the 'devil bird and think there are evil spirits living above their heads.

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