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#509687 - 12/05/15 05:47 AM Today's Belize News: December 5, 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

San Pedro Fitness Club celebrates Grand Re-opening
The San Pedro Fitness Club held its grand re-opening with a fun pool party on Sunday, November 29th. From 12PM to 5PM, there was a good community turnout, including a few long time members of the club. Families brought their children to enjoy a fun day in the pool, while a DJ kept the atmosphere lively. To beat the heat, Manelley’s Ice Cream scoops were available during the festivity along with delicious food on sale from Coconut Café. Many also took advantage of the membership specials that were available during the event. The facility comes with a fully equipped gymnasium, and membership offers multiple services. The different membership options accommodate individuals, families and corporate groups as well. An individual membership runs $80BZ per month, or $200BZ for three months. Family and corporate memberships are $200BZ dollars per month, covering up to four members in the respective groups.

Abandoned house destroyed by fire in San Pedro
The San Pedro Fire Department (SPFD) and the Police Department are investigating a fire that occurred on Friday afternoon shortly after 2PM. The SPFD was notified about a fire taking place at an abandoned building on the beach adjacent to Crazy Canucks beach sports bar by Coconut Drive. When they arrived at the scene, they observed a two story building belonging to Exotic Caye Beach Resort, engulfed in flames. The quick response by the SPFD put the fire under control and stopped it from spreading to the nearby buildings. The building did not have electricity, which raises suspicions as to what caused the fire in the first place.

PM Dean Barrow speaks on the disappearance of David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer
It’s been 13 days since Supreme Court Judge Denis Hanomansingh granted David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer bail and he has still not reported to the San Pedro Police Department. While one knows his whereabouts, authorities strongly believe Nanes Schnitzer is on the run again. With this development, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has expressed his disappointment in the legal system for having granted the wanted Mexican fugitive in the Stanford Ponzi scheme bail. In an interview with the media, Barrow indicated that he wanted to extradite Nanes Schnitzer to Mexico in order to face pending charged for defrauding Mexican investors of $42US million. But due to the fact that Nanes Schnizter also faced charges in Belize, Barrow was obligated to follow legislative protocol and allow the judiciary system process Nanes Schnitzer before handing him over to Mexican authorities. “We have a legal process that we must follow. And in the course of trying to comply with due process requirements in this country, he was taken before the court and the court gave him bail. I have my own views about that determination of the court, but you know in this country, we respect judges,” said Barrow.

SPHS Girls are Northern Regional Basketball Champs
The National Secondary School Association (NSSA) Northern Regional Basketball Championship was held over the weekend in Corozal Town. The games took place at the Corozal Complex on Saturday, November 29th, and saw four high schools competing for the top prize and the opportunity to represent the country’s Northern Division at the National Championship level. At the end of the games, it was the San Pedro High School (SPHS) female team and the Muffles College High School (MCHS) male team that walked away with the win. The final statistics show SPHS girls and MCHS boys in first place and the official Northern Secondary School Regional Champs for 2015. Both SPHS and MCHS will be representing the Northern Division at the 2015 National Secondary School Association National Championship. The games are to take place at the Corozal Complex in Corozal Town on December 11th and 12th.

San Pedro AIDS Commission hosts successful awareness fair and fundraiser
The San Pedro AIDS Commission and the National AIDS Commission/Island Committee (NAC Island Committee) collaborated in hosting the annual World AIDS Day Awareness Fair at the Central Park on Sunday, November 29th. Some of the activities held in commemoration of the day were free HIV rapid testing, information and counseling, condom distribution, pastry and food sales. International AIDS Day is officially observed on December 1st across the world as an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV. The two HIV/AIDS awareness groups on the island got the activities underway at 9AM sharp with a good turnout of visitors stopping by the various booths. There was even a booth where children could entertain themselves learning how to paint while their parents were tested. Serenading the event was no other than San Pedro’s number one band, Rompe Raja! The San Pedro AIDS Commission sold delicious pastries, rice and beans, and drinks for fundraising, while the NAC Island Committee offered free testing, education and counseling.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Founder's Day
San Pedro High School celebrated Founder's Day with speeches acknowledging Ms. Martha Guerrero, Mr. Alan Forman (+), Ms. Celi McCorkle and Mr. Angel Nuñez. The student body showcased their talent in singing and dancing performances in honor of the founders of SPHS.

Fire Destroys Abandoned Building Next to San Pedro Resort
The San Pedro Fire Department responded to a fire report on Friday, December 4, 2015, at about 2:00p.m. just south of downtown San Pedro where they encountered an abandoned building on fire. The wooden second floor of the building was completely destroyed by the blaze. The fire threatened the adjacent Exotic Caye Beach Resort and Crazy Canucks bar, but fire officials were quick to out the blaze before any nearby structures were in any danger. Destroyed along with second floor of the building were furniture and other stored items of the vacant building. Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire as the building did not have a supply of electricity.

San Pedro Person of the Year 2015
This year we are doing things a bit different and reaching out to our readers and the community asking for nominations. Who do you think deserves to be recognized as Person of the Year for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye? Do you know an exceptional person who is doing great and positive things for the island community? Someone who is helping others, giving of his/her free time, making a positive change for the betterment of others or promoting a good cause? Let us know; we would love to find out more about that special person and place him/her on our list of potential nominees. All nominations will be looked at closely in order for us to decide on the best possible recipient of San Pedro's Person of the Year 2015

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Fill The Basket
Dear friends of Cap’n Ron and Belize fans, this winter as you consider end-of-year charitable donations, can you help us Fill The Basket and support more Belizeans through educational scholarships and community grants? “Wan, wan, okra, ful baaskit.” This adage means that together, bit-by-bit, with perseverance, hard work, and cooperation, we will fill the basket. Our 100% volunteer-run organization endeavors to “fill its basket” over the next several weeks with generous donations so we can continue to support Belizeans and their communities. Will you join us and add your donation to the basket? Unlike in the US, public school in Belize is not free. For a typical high school student, one year of tuition, fees, uniforms, books, and materials costs up to US$1,700. These costs can be a real burden—and a deterrent—for low-income Belizean families. Our scholarship program has become so well-known and respected that we had nearly 70 students vying for our limited scholarship funds for 2015-16. Each and every one of these students is an intelligent, hard-working student at risk of not completing his/her high school education. You can help us break the cycle of poverty and enable these deserving students to continue their education.

San Pedro Diabetes Information Meeting at the Polyclinic
Thursday Dec. 10th, 8am and 5pm

Fresh roasted Coffee on Caye Caulker
Fresh roast coffee contact me at 6634853 or 6290958.For more info

Yard Sale on Caye Caulker
Bring your old stuff to sell at the open lot across from LICA on Saturday!

NY Eve on Caye Caulker
Just a little something to look forward to - bringing in the New Year with a firework display in the ultimate party location - you better be ready for 2016!!

Ms. Florence Dillett, Ms. Margaret Nicholas in spearheading the investigation into the fire at the Youth Hostel
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation informs that Ms. Florence Dillett has now joined Ms. Margaret Nicholas in spearheading the investigation into the fire at the Youth Hostel that occurred on November 28th, 2015. Ms. Florence Dillett has decades of experience working with young people both locally and internationally. She has done pioneering work in Belize with at-risk and vulnerable girls. She is the founder of the Youth Enhancement Services, an organization which continues to do sterling work. Ms. Dillett holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. The Ministry reiterates its commitment to a full, comprehensive and objective investigation of this tragedy.

The Government of Belize is in negotiation to receive 4,000 Cuban refugees
The refugees left Cuba with the intent of making their way to the United States. They arrived in Ecuador, traveled in smaller groups through Columbia & Panama & are now in Costa Rica on transit visas after being denied entry into Nicaragua - a known close ally of Cuba - and have also now been denied entry into Guatemala. Costa Rica's media reports that the Governments of Costa Rica & Belize are in negotiation to fly the refugees into Belize. A decision is expected to be made by next week when the recently reactivated Refugee Eligibility Committee convenes.

BTB Western Belize Video
The Belize Tourism Board has released a short travel video for Cayo. You'll see many of the landmarks you know and love in the minute long video. Well done, BTB!

Florida Travel Industry Association in town
Miss Michelle Bowers Flowers (Travel Trade Manager ) & Deborah Gilharry (Senior Travel Trade Officer) giving a presentation to approximately 80 agents from the Florida Travel Industry Association.

The San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) invites one and all in continuing the tradition of the Posadas scheduled for December 15th, 2015. You are cordially invited to "Posadas" at SISE House of Culture on December 15th at 7:00 pm.

Increase in the Control Price for Plantation White Sugar
The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, hereby informs the general public that effective January 1, 2016, Plantation White Sugar will retail at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound countrywide. A Statutory Instrument has been signed by the Minister responsible for Supplies Control dated December 4th, 2015 to give effect to this increase. While the GOB has maintained the controlled prices for sugar for more than a decade, this increase of 25 cents per pound is to allow the industry to earn a fair price in comparison to other producers in the region.

Watch the Miss Earth 2015 Pageant Final LIVE from Vienna, Austria
Miss Belize Christine Marie Syme tries to secure Belize's first ever placement at Miss Earth and only Belize's second placement in one of the Big 4 pageants! The pageant final is today, Saturday December 5th, 2015 beginning at 1pm (BZ)/ 2pm (ET) on Venevision or NEXtv. If your cable provider doesn't carry any of those channels, you can stream live online via the websites or YouTube channels linked below. NEXtv Stream: http://www.nexpanama.com/envivo Venevision Stream: http://www.tv-porinternet.com/…/venevision-en-vivo-por-inte… Rappler (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/user/rapplerdotcom/videos Hey-U (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/user/HeyUEntertainment

WET PAINT in Central Park!
Central Park getting a paint job just in time for Christmas and the New Year!

Roots Reggae with Julian Melodyman Escobar
Saturday Night is Roots Reggae at the Sports Bar with Julian Melodyman Escobar from 6 - 9 pm! Come listen and dance to the beats of Roots reggae -- Belizan…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill, Front StreetStart Date: December 5, 2015End Date: December 5, 2015Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

COPA AIRLINES Launches Flights to Belize December 8th, 2015
Panama and South America, Closer To Belize Than Ever. Copa Airlines will soon be offering fights to Belize.This is exciting news for those of you planning a trip to Belize from Panama, Central and South America, as well as Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba or the Dominican Republic. In total, Copa will have flights to 31 countries and 71 cities. Flights will begin December 8th, 2015, so get ready to book your flight! Copa Airlines will be flying to Belize on Tuesdays and Fridays from Panama at 11:29 a.m. and arrive in Belize City at 12:52 p.m. They will offer flights from Belize City to Panama also on Tuesdays and Fridays with a departure time of 2:17 p.m. from Belize City and an arrival time in Panama of 5:34 p.m. The flight will be direct and take approximately two hours and twenty minutes. Copa will be using a modern Embraer 190 with passenger seating for 94 people, including ten in business class and 84 in the main cabin. For extra passenger comfort, there will be two seats on each side of the aisle, eliminating a middle seat. 1) No immigration, customs or visa in Panama. 2) Complimentary on-board service including hot meals and beverages. 3) Luggage checked through from Belize to your final destination. 4) One of the best on-time performances in the world. 5) Earn miles with ConnectMiles loyalty program when flying with Copa Airlines or any other Star Alliance member airline. 6) Inaugural Flight to Belize: December 8th, 2015

UB Science Expo and Biogas Lab Inauguration
The University of Belize had their Science Expo on the same day that they inaugurated the first biogas lab in the Caribbean Commonwealth. "The laboratory was recently delivered to Belize and after final installation of the lab, the opening ceremony was held on November 27, 2015. In the speeches delivered at the ceremony, the speakers highlighted the importance of promoting science for students. Well deserved recognition was given to the CCCCC and GIZ REETA, which supplied the Biogas Laboratory to UB. The University was recognized for being a strong partner with the best capacity in Belize to utilize the Laboratory. UB committed to integrate the laboratory in its curriculum to ensure ‘the students of today could use the technology tomorrow.’ Dr. Andreas Täuber also mentioned that in the future, support by GIZ for UB might be on the agenda to support the implementation of a Renewable Energy Study programme."

Belize's First Community Bird Guides being recognized as we speak!
A powerful partnership between Belize Audubon Society (BAS), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and National Audubon Society (NAS).

Channel 7

Parliamentarians Battle Over the Use of Petro Dollars For Flood Relief
Today was the first business session of the newly elected House of Representatives. There are 4 new first time representatives in the UDP's 19, and two first timers for the PUP's 12. All of them took their seats on the back bench of their respective sides this morning - as they took in their first house meeting in the chamber. And it was a good one - nothing too feisty - but there was robust debate, particularly on the Petrocaribe spending between October and December. 44.7 million dollars has been approved for those three months - and the PUP called it vote buying - especially the over 4 million dollars spent on flood relief. Here's how the debate on that went:... Rt. Hon. Said Musa, PUP Area Rep. Fort George "In other words Mr. Speaker, that 44.7 million dollars was spent just prior to the elections. Between October and now. I note further Mr. Speaker that flood assistance, there are several items dealing with flood assistance. A total, if my math's serve me right of $4,378,000.00 spent on flood assistance. That an extraordinary figure Mr. Speaker. I supposed that explained why all this mattresses were circulating all over the place just before the election. Why refridges and stoves and plywood and everything else was circulating. Yes. Mr. Espejo was circulating those things as well in the Fort George division, but it didn't help him. In other words Mr. Speaker, the government is boasting that it bought the election. This is what they are doing today. It's boasting that they bought the election. And just look at how they treated the poor rural constituencies' man. Only $20,000 assistance for the small farmers. But 4.3 million for so called flood assistance."

Hon. Espat Exposes Immig. Scam; Prime Minister Says Espat's Associate Was Involved
And while that geographically diverse debate took up most of the business of today's house sitting, the PUP members still had plenty to say on the adjournment. That's when they speak on matters of public importance and Toledo East Representative Mike Espat detailed an immigration scam where over a dozen of his constituents form the villages of Bella Vista and Trio had been tricked into paying a thousand dollars for their nationality:... Hon. Mike Espat, Toledo East Area Rep. "The 28th October Mr. Prime Minister, 14 approval for nationality was granted by the Immigration Department. The people hat got their nationality came from the village of Trio and Bella Vista and they work on these poor people. They want to be legal in Belize. They all have to pay for a work permit and sometimes they go to extremes to try and achieve what they want and I can't blame them. The price Mr. Prime Minister for each nationality was $1,000. That is the report that we got - $1,000 per nationality.

Hon. Kareem Musa Questions Charges For Mex. Fugitive
And that wasn't the only immigration matter raised on the adjournment. New member Kareem Musa spoke about the case of the fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer who - through fraudulent means - became Belizean David Banes, possessor of every kind of Belizean identity document, right down to a voter's ID Card. His case has been extensively documented in the media - but Musa focused on the criminal charge he was held on. Police charged him for uttering upon a false driver's license. Musa asked why didn't the government bring a charge against him for the more serious offence of fraudulently obtaining a passport: Hon. Kareem Musa, Caribbean Shores Area Rep. "So what I am saying Mr. Speaker is that the government had a fair opportunity before the 20th November to make a criminal complaint. All I am asking is whether one was made by the government in relation to this fraud. This is not about any driver's license. This is fraud obtaining a passport. So all I am asking and anybody on that side can be free to clarify whether a criminal complaint was made. That is all I am asking. Mr. Speaker, this case the David Schnitzer has demonstrated to the world that there not just collusion as the Prime Minister said in an interview, but there is the other "C" word that the Prime Minister seems to be skirting around. The other big "C" being corruption. Multi-layered corruption Mr. Prime Minister from top to bottom."

Lebanese Diplomat's Home Invaded (Again!)
Early this morning, the home of 77 year old Lebanese Diplomat Sarkis Abou Nehra was targeted for a frightening home invasion. Abou-Nahra wasn't in Belize, but his caretaker was viciously assaulted by a team of armed thieves who cleaned out the house and raped his wife. This morning, we found Ladyville Police investigators at Abou Nehra's home a few miles outside Burrell Boom village. They had first responded about 5 hours earlier when the caretaker and his spouse called them in distress. They reported to police that sometime between 8 p.m. last night and 3:00 this morning, 8 masked dark complexioned men stormed the compound, held them at gunpoint and tied them up. The men then searched Abou Nehra's palatial estate, and stole an assortment of jewelry to a total value of ten thousand dollars, 1,500 US dollars in cash, two 9mm pistols, a 12 gauge shotgun, and a .22 rifle. They then stole Abou Nehra's Mercedes 500 s to escape - and pried open the trunk. Police found the car later in the morning in Belize City, abandoned on Saint Joseph Street, directly in front of the school. The scenes of crime team dusted it extensively for prints and it had to be hauled away.

Police's Version Of King Street Robbery
Last night we told you about the robbery on King Street, well we got the official police report today. Yesterday Western Pines resident 39 year old Angela Hislop was walking at the corner of Far West Street after 12:30 midday when two men approached her. One of the men held her up at gunpoint and took her purse. The man then hit her in the head with the gun and fled. The robbers took off with Hislop's Black IPhone 5S cellular phonec valued at $1,300, $600.00 in cash, her Social Security Card, Driver's License, her ATM Card, house and vehicle keys. But Police have recovered her property and have detained a 17-year-old boy of Bagdad Street for the crime.

Making CAPE Exams More Effective
As we told you on Wednesday, the 17 top CAPE and CSEC performers in the Caribbean were awarded here in Belize as part of the 2015 annual meeting of the CXC council. It's the first time they are meeting here since 1993 and now that these outstanding students have been awarded, the council members must still evaluate the overall performance in order to improve and upgrade the exam. Today at the Radisson, council members discussed the improvements Belize has made in the number of CXC applications but they also spoke about other critical issues that need to be addressed. There are plans to create a CXC package that will act as the actual High School certification. The council is also working on adding new subjects to the CXC curriculum - one of which is Animation and Game Design. That will be available in September of next year.

PM Discloses A Request To Bring 3,000 Cubans To Belize
And now…back to Belmopan. Today the Prime Minister discussed a request from the President of Costa Rica for Belize to assist with three thousand Cuban immigrants who have been stuck at the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua for weeks. The proposal is for the migrants to be flown into Belize, and then unto Mexico. Today the Prime Minister discussed the rpoposals and outlined some of the difficulties with it:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Said it was a humanitarian crisis and ask whether Belize would consider allowing the use of our facilities for transit purposes. Said he was asking me and he was asking Guatemala. As I understand it the deal would be that how many we thought we could handle if we agreed would come, land at the PGIA in planes that the international organization for migration would pay for, would get onto busses that would also pay for. But the Mexicans would give us an assurance that there would be immediately processed at the border with Chetumal and then allowed to enter into Mexico for purposes of transit ultimately to the US.

Fabers Road Shooter Arraigned
11 days ago, we told about the shooting on Fabers Road in which 35 year-old Clive Arnold and 27 year-old Herman Ramsey were shot. Well tonight, Trevor Guy, the man accused of pulling the trigger, is at the Belize Central Prison. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers for 2 counts of attempted murder, 2 counts of dangerous harm, and 2 counts of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken, and he was remanded into custody until February 4, 2016.

Two Months Jail Time For 2 Grams Of Weed
2 grams of marijuana is next to nothing, less than one-tenth of an ounce. Under the law a conviction for possession of this small amount usually means just a fine. But, tonight instead of a fine, 34 year-old Albert Ford has been confined and is spending the first night of a 2 month prison sentence. According to police, at around 8:45 yesterday morning, they were on patrol in Pitts Alley when Ford threw away a plastic bag. Police recovered the bag which contained 2 grams of weed, and an additional 65 grams in another section of the bag. He was charged with drug possession for the 2 grams and drug trafficking for the second amount.

Local Sugar Price Increase Takes Effect On New Year's Day
A week ago, we told you about how the Government approved an increase in the price of local sugar. Well, the Belize Bureau of Standards announced today that the statutory instruments putting this price increase into effect has been signed. A release from the Bureau says quote, "The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. hereby informs the general public that effective January 1, 2016, Plantation White Sugar will retail at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound countrywide. A Statutory Instrument has been signed by the Minister…" That's a steep 50% increase, which will likely put a hurting on consumers, but it provides relief for the farmers who requested it to mitigate the losses that will result as a consequence of the low sugar prices in Europe.

Another Investigator For Hostel Fire
The horrific death of 3 girls in the Youth Hostel fire on November 28th sent waves of hysteria and rage across the country. There still are many questions as to what actually happened, where procedures broke down and who is to blame. As we have reported, a number of crucial protocols were not followed: from the faulty padlock that was put on the door to the lighter that the girls allegedly had in the room. But so much more needs to done in the investigation so that means more help and expertise is needed. To this end, The Ministry of Human Development today announced that Florence Dillett has joined Ms. Margaret Nicholas in spearheading the investigation in to the fire. Dillet, the release says has decades of experience working with young people both locally and internationally. It ends saying, quote, "The Ministry reiterates its commitment to a full, comprehensive and objective investigation of this tragedy."

Special Olympics For Special Kids
Yesterday you saw hearing impaired kids competing in finger spelling but tonight you get to see more kids with diverse abilities competing on an open field. Today the National Special Olympics Games was held at the Marion Jones Stadium and a number of kids from Special Education Schools across the country participated. This is all part of Disabilities Awareness Week where these children are celebrated and included in various educational and sporting activities. The National Director of Special Olympics Belize told us more about the event and why it's important to engage kids with diverse abilities. Over 170 children attended.

Bragging Rights On The Line For 2015 Volleyball Nationals
Today, 12 primary school volleyball teams from across the country competed in the 2015 Nationals Tournament. The dozen had each won at the district level, and today;s competition was for the national title. 7News stopped by this morning for the opening of the tournament to see how the match ups looked. Here's what the National Sports Coordinator had to say: And, after all 6 district males and females competed against each other, it was a battle between the south for this year's bragging rights. The male and female teams from coming from Stann Creek and Toledo were ones who made it in the finals. Holy Angels Primary from Dangriga won for the females while St. Matthews Primary won for the males. These representatives from Stann Creek defeated the male and female teams from Toledo. The male and female hosts from Belize Elementary School came in third.

PM Tips Hat To Outgoing Leader Francis F.
As you've seen on the news so far tonight - today's house meeting had presentations from a wide cross section of members. But, there was nothing from the Leader of The Opposition, Francis Fonseca. And that's because he's just holding over until a new party leader is installed at the end of the month. It may be his last house meeting in the head seat for the opposition and the Prime Minister used the opportunity for a rare showing of across the floor comity:

Hon. Faber & Hon. Requena Battle Over Road Works In Toledo
That moment of grace was about the only one today - a day when the debate was uniformly robust. Representatives for Toledo West and Collet clashed over the issue of flood-affected roads in the south. Here's how that went:

PM Barrow Discusses The Displeasure Of the Mexicans
And finally tonight - here's the media's conversation with the Prime Minister about David Nanes Shnitzer - who gave Belizean authorities the slip. It's become an international embarrassment for the Government of Belize, with major disappointment from the Mexicans and scrutiny from the Americans - who spearheaded the apprehension of Nanes Schnitzer on San Pedro. Today, the press asked the Prime Minister if Nanes Schnitzer is even being sought in Belize:... Sources tell us that Nanes Shnitzer's cell phone was last tracked to Corozal a few days after his release.

#509688 - 12/05/15 05:47 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 5, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Channel 5

David Nanes Dominates Debate During House Meeting
The house met today in Belmopan for the approval of more than forty million dollars being spent in three months but it is the curious tale of multi-millionaire fugitive David [...]

PM Admits Nanes Debacle Has Created Tension with Mexico
But speaking on a more serious note, P.M. Barrow expressed that he greatly regrets the Nanes situation which has created some tension with our northernmost neighbour who had requested the [...]

PM Addresses Corruption in Immigration
After that apology of sorts to Mexico, P.M. Barrow also embarked on a variation of his infamous ‘for God’s sake stop it’ exhortation, and again…the issue is corruption in immigration [...]

$44.7 Million in Petrocaribe Money, Was It Used for Electioneering?
Today’s sitting of the House of Representatives was the last of this year, and the one usually reserved for the only bit of goodwill and cheer ever seen in that [...]

Opposition Chides Barrow Administration on Distribution of Flood Relief Funds
While there is some issue from the Opposition on the use of more than four million dollars on quote unquote flood relief just before elections, a major point of contention [...]

Toledo West Area Rep Comes Out Swinging on Flood Relief Efforts
The always feisty member for Toledo West, Oscar Requeña was on fire this morning, claiming that while Belize City residents got stoves and refrigerators, all the people of Toledo got [...]

Is Belize Prepared for Mass Cuban Influx?
Costa Rican and Belizean officials are in negotiations over the fate of thousands of Cuban refugees stranded in Costa Rica for weeks where they were detained as they made their [...]

PM Says There Are More Questions Than Answers
According to the Prime Minister, there are more questions than answers and a whole lot of verification that would need to be done. One question which immediately arises, says the [...]

New Allegations of Immigration Hustle in Bella Vista
G.O.B. has come under intense scrutiny for the fact that when fugitive David Schnitzer Nanes was caught and released he had every form of Belizean I.D. it is possible to [...]

More from PM on Immigration Fiasco
As you saw, when the Prime Minister was protected by the parliamentary privilege afforded in the House, he was quick to make a connection between the alleged Immigration scam artist [...]

Psychologist Florence Dillett Joins Investigation into Deadly Hostel Fire
Three young girls perished in a fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel seven days ago. The details provided so far are less than convincing and questions continue to linger [...]

Couple Attacked, Wife Sexually Assaulted During Home Invasion in Burrell Boom
Police are investigating a home invasion that occurred on Thursday night in Burrell Boom, Belize District. The residence of the Honorary Counsel of Lebanon and businessman Sarkis Abou Nehra was [...]

Fire in San Pedro Guts Two-storey Building
Authorities on San Pedro Ambergris Caye are trying to determine the cause of a fire that completely destroyed a two-storey building in the island.  The fire started shortly after two [...]

Women Caught Stealing Underwear are Granted Bail
Two women who were captured on surveillance camera footage stealing more than two hundred pieces of underwear are out on bail. Donela Smith and Johny Netty Lopez were seen stealing [...]

Cost of Local Sugar to Increase in January
The price of white sugar on the domestic market will increase from fifty cents per pound in January 2016. A Statutory Instrument was signed today setting the maximum price to [...]

Sugar Crop Scheduled to Begin on December Seventh
The C.E.O. also provides an update in respect of sugar industry. A new crop season begins this Monday.   Via Phone: Jose Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Agriculture “As they said [...]

Regional CXC Awards Ceremony Held in Belize
This week, top achievers from the Caribbean have been in Belize to be recognized for their impressive performances at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) C.X.C.  An award ceremony paying [...]

47th Meeting of CXC Concludes at the Radisson
A press conference following the meeting of the Caribbean Examinations Council was held this afternoon at the Radisson.  While the panel gave an update on matters that were discussed during [...]


Costa Rica Asks Belize for Help with Cuban Immigrants
Thousands of Cubans are currently displaced after making a failed attempt at reaching the United States on the backdrop of the Cold War Era Policy whereby the US accepts them once they set foot on US soil. Almost four thousand Cubans are currently in Costa Rica and Panama but they are facing difficulties as Guatemala […]

Estate of Lebanon’s Honorary Consul General Invaded Again
Almost ten years ago, the home of the Honorary Consul General of Lebanon, located on the Bermudian Landing Road just outside of Burrell Boom Village in the Belize District, was invaded by armed robbers. Tonight, it is like history repeating itself only that this time there were eight armed men who invaded the estate between […]

Fire on Ambergris Caye Destroys 2-Storey Structure
Just after two o’clock this afternoon there was a fire on Ambergris Caye in which an abandoned building near the beach became engulfed in flames. The San Pedro Fire Department was notified and responded immediately to the scene, right next to the Crazy Canucks Sports Bar near Coconut Drive. The two-storey structure that was destroyed […]

Two Minors from Children’s Home Go Missing
Two minors who were in the care of the Dorothy Menzies Children’s Home in the Kings Park Area, Belize City, have been reported missing. According to the police blotter, the 11-year-old boy and girl were sent to school with the other children, as per the norm, yesterday morning at around eight o’clock. When the van […]

Dillett Joins Nicholas in Hostel Fire Investigation
It has been less than a week since the tragedy unfolded leaving three young girls burnt and creating outrage from the public as well as myriad questions. Monday morning saw the administration of the Youth Hostel where the fire occurred, sitting at the head table of a press conference along with the Minister and the […]

Traffic Incident Injures Four on Southern Highway
Four persons were involved in a traffic accident last night on the southern highway. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

Belize Hosts Governance Meetings of CXC
Belize is the only Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) participating country in Central America and our country has been selected to host the 2015 annual governance meetings of CXC. The CXC governance meetings are held annually in one of the CXC participating countries. The meeting of the School Examinations Committee took place yesterday in Belize City […]

Youth Awards Gala Comes Together with DYS and Love Foundation
To end the celebrations of Youth Week, the Department of Youth Services along with the Love Foundations have come together, once again to hold the National Youth Awards Gala at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. Tonight’s show, which starts at seven o’clock, seeks to recognize the outstanding achievements of several young persons in […]


Contraband Cigarettes from Free zone confiscated in Chetumal
Federal Police in Mexico have confiscated a truckload of contraband cigarettes they say are from Belize’s Free zone. The large white cargo truck was speeding down the highway and police began following it. When the truck stopped at a gas station to refuel, the police approached the truck only ...

Escaped prisoner still on the run
Police are still trying to locate 27-year-old Lawrence Bernardez of Lakeland area Dangriga. As we told you yesterday, Bardalez escaped from police custody while being transported to the Hattieville Prison on Wednesday December 2. Bernardez, was along with fellow prisoners Eden Guzman and Daniel McKe...

New Church Senator wants to bridge divide among Evangelicals
There are now two Evangelical associations in Belize. The new group, the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) left behind the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC), accusing it of being unwilling to finalize a constitution that would make the BAEC more representative of chu...

Top CXC candidates visit Belize
Belize’s top awardees in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) were honoured last week. Their fellows from around the Caribbean have come to Belize for the annual meetings of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and award ceremo...

Teenager pleads guilty to firearm possession
Eighteen year old Richard Bennett Jr., one of 7 persons charged with keeping a prohibited firearm and keeping ammunition without a gun license, pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Bennett was sentenced to 3 years for the firearm and 5 years for the ...

693g of Cannabis found
The North Side Strike team in Belize City found 693 g of Cannabis. Today, the 3rd of December, members of the Team conducted a search in an open lot located on Kelly Street where they found a black plastic bag containing 496 grams of Cannabis. Further searches of the empty lot led to the discovery o...

Belize City resident charged with drug trafficking
A Belize City resident was found with 65g of Cannabis. Today, the 3rd December, members of the North Side Strike team were conducting mobile patrols on Pitts Alley, when their attention was drawn to Albert Ford, who at the time was holding a plastic bag. When the Ford saw the police, he threw away t...

The Reporter

PM says GOB will consider helping Cuban immigrants
Following an appeal by the Government of Costa Rica, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he is willing to consider the issue facilitating the passage of some 4000 Cuban immigrants through Belize to help them get to the United States. Barrow said on Friday that he […]

House of Representatives gets down to business
The House of Representatives gathered on Friday for its first official meeting since the inaugural ceremony. Amidst the traditional political back and forth between the incumbent and the opposition, government tabled a number of Bills, including: a motion to enter into a loan agreement with the […]

Barrow to hand over Queen Square to Sister B
Denise “Sister B” Barrow, the younger sister of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, will likely inherit the Queen Square Division from him when he leaves politics at the end of the 2015/1520 term. The Prime Minister confirmed the report to the media during a joint […]

MOH holds training for nurses
The Ministry of Health (MOH), along with several international organizations, hosted a sub-regional workshop for nursing educators in Belize on Monday. The workshop was organized with the aim to review, update and develop a plan of action for nursing and midwifery practicioners. The workshop, in […]

Belize observes World AIDS Day 2015
This week countries around the world, including Belize, joined together to observe World AIDS Day under the theme “Getting to Zero”, symbolizing the global target to have zero new HIV infections by 2030. The Ministry of Health, through its various departments, and several of its […]

EDC to lead development of transportation master plan
It is likely safe to assume that most business professionals, academics and policy makers would agree that the “school is out” on whether or not there is a positive link between infrastructure development and a country’s overall economic growth. More specifically, some studies have (including Bom and Ligthart, 2009) gone […]

Taiwan’s Magnificent Gesture:+ donation to the Inspiration Center
Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Benjamin Ho, on bahalf of his government, has made a $400,000 donation to Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, for the community-based rehabilitation (CBR) program at the Inspiration Center. The donation was presented during a ceremony on […]

Bus with passengers erupts in flames
Passengers aboard a West Line Bus on Tuesday morning had a terrifying experience as the bus suddenly erupted in flames near mile 60 on the George Price highway. According to Manager of the West Line Bus Company, Usbaldo Castillo, the bus was transporting workers that […]

Belize and Taiwan team up to improve sheep and goat farming
Belize is looking toward creating a viable export market for sheep and goats, after the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development and the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) signed a project agreement this week. Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega and the […]

Party condemns GSU for ‘excessive use of force’ against protesters ppppppdemonstrators
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) has condemned the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) for what it describes as excessive use of force against unarmed Belizeans who gathered to peacefully protest Guatemalan-President-elect Jimmy Morales’ visit to Belize. The BPP described the actions carried out by the GSU […]

Youth caught with TEC-9 Family escapes serious jailtime
A Belize City family, including an elderly woman and children, has been spared serious jailtime for possession of a TEC-9 submachine gun after a teenage member of the family claimed sole responsibility for the outlawed weapon. On Thursday, 18-year-old Richard Mervin Bennett Jr; along […]

Barranco hosts first Andy Palacio music festival
Celebrated Punta Rock legend, Andy Palacio, will be honoured posthumously in his home village of Barranco, Toledo this weekend with the first ever Andy Palacio Music Festival, in commemoration of his birthday on December 2nd. The event is a partnership between the Wagiya Foundation […]

Proposed new bill will protect the Geographic ID of Belizean products
The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, this week, held a validation workshop for a proposed Bill to protect the Geographical Indicators of Belizean-made products. Geographic Indicators (GI) are aspects of a product that are tied to a specific location, such as […]

Special Envoy launches new Inspiration calendars and agendas
The Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children (SEWC), in collaboration with McNab Design, this week, launched the latest editions of the inspiration calendars and agendas. The SEWC, Kim Simplis Barrow, held the launch at the Inspiration Center on the George Price highway […]

Suspected drug plane lands in Spanish Lookout then burnt
Police have not yet issued any details regarding the circumstances of a suspected drug plane landing on a remote dirt road in the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout, Cayo early Tuesday morning. The private single engine Cessna 210 aircraft, which apparently contained illicit drugs, landed […]

Fallout spawns new evangelical association
After months of contention, the leaders and members of some 200 churches have broken away from the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC) and formed their own association. The national executive for the newly-formed National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), held its official launch on […]

Road fatalities down since Road Safety project introduced
Road traffic fatalities have been on a decline between since the Road Safety Unit introduced a road traffic safety project, called the Pilot Safety Corridor, which extends from Belmopan to the entrance of Belize City.   Of the total number of fatalities that have taken place […]

GOB says “No” to offshore drilling
The Government of Belize, this week, officially banned offshore oil exploration within the seven World Heritage Sites in Belize and in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System. GOB made the announcement after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, stating that the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve […]

Belize 2016 & Beyond – the Perfect Economic Storm in the Making..?
Belize’s economy does not appear to be in ‘freefall’ state, and there is no definite indication of gloom and doom in the immediate future, but there are definite suggestions of a wobble that may turn into a topple if what could be a perfect storm continues to build. Like any […]

British Honduras memorabilia exhibit opens at Corozal House of Culture
British Honduras memorabilia dating back over 100 years and accumulated in the private collection of Canadian visitor James Lindsay, went on public display in an exhibition that opened at the Corozal House of culture on Monday, November 30. James Lindsay hails from Toronto, Ontario, […]

Higher speed internet on the way, says BTL
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) announced it is in the final stages of selecting a mobile network vendor to build and launch its Mobile Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network in 2016, expected to be among the fastest, most robust mobile data networks in Central America. Chairman of […]

Law enforcement in Belize has deteriorated so much that people no longer look to it for answers. The Minister in charge of law enforcement needs to pull up his socks. Here’s why: Last weekend three teenage girls, detained in an institution by order of the court, were killed in a […]

Oil industry in trouble
As Belize’s oil industry continues it’s downward spiral, revenue derived from the industry is at the second lowest it has been since extraction began, according to data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). In 2014 the industry only earned $102 million in revenue, coming in some $15 million above the $87.5 million when the industry first began. the figure is far less compared to the $236.5 million in 2007, and the $292 million in 2012...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Sugar prices set to go up for the New Year
A release from the Belize Bureau of Standards issued today, served to inform the general public of the signing of a Statutory Instrument by the Minister responsible for Supplies Control, which made official the increase in sugar prices effective January 1st, 2016. The document signed […]

Lebanese Consul’s home robbed and vehicle stolen
Preliminary reports from Belize District Police indicate that a group of eight robbers hit the burglary jackpot in the wee hours of this morning when they broke into the residence of the Honorary Consul to Lebanon, Sarkis Abou Nehra, in Burrell Boom Village. Police […]

British Honduras memorabilia exhibit opens at Corozal House of Culture
Toronto’s James Lindsay, a frequent visitor to Belize and collector of Belizean memorabilia on the internet, has offered his private collection for public display in an exhibition opened this week at the Corozal House of Culture. Lindsay has expressed the intention to donate his […]

Petroleum exports will continue to decline, Government says
Former Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities which was also responsible for petroleum, Dr. Colin Young, has told the Reporter Press that oil extraction is projected to continue downward until at least 2024 if no more oil […]

Several arrested in San Pedro drug raid
While conducting drug searches in San Pedro yesterday, police detained four persons from two different apartments and seized a total of 166.6 grams of cannabis in the Bayside area. The first search was conducted at around 5:30 a.m. in an apartment occupied by 53-year-old Anthony Montes and 43-year-old Clarina August, where officers found 67 grams of cannabis and subsequently arrested the pair for “Drug Trafficking”. A second search in the same area around 6:00 a.m., resulted in the discovery of 99.6 grams of cannabis in the apartment of 33-year-old Deon Pitts and 26-year-old Glenis Martin. Upon seeing police, Pitts threw away a plastic bag containing the drugs but it was retrieved and later weighed in his presence […]

Fisherman charged for shooting incident
A Belize City fisherman was charged yesterday in connection with a shooting on November 22nd, in which two other fishermen received gunshot wounds and had to be treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Around 6:20 that morning, police responded to reports of […]

Daring daylight robber caught by police
A bold daylight robbery in the old capital yesterday afternoon resulted in a Western Pines resident losing items and cash valued at $1900, along with identification cards, credit cards and keys. 39-year-old Angela Hislop reported to police that around 12:35 p.m., while walking at […]

Two young boys missing
Up to the time a report was made last night, two boys were missing and had not returned to the Dorothy Menzies Childcare facility after leaving for school that morning. 35 year old Shere Leslie who works at the facility, told police that 11 […]

Costa Rica in talks with Belize over plight of Cuban migrants
After Guatemala refused to allow them in, Costa Rica has turned to Belize to allow thousands of Cuban migrants to enter Belize en route to the United States. Nicaragua too has denied access to the over 4,000 Cubans camped along the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border for […]


Belize Destination Weddings – 11 Breathtaking Photos!
Belize is a small and vibrant country in Central America that offers the perfect elements for a destination wedding. Warm tropical climate year-round, miles of Caribbean coastline, the world’s second largest barrier reef, a pristine rainforest and ancient Mayan temples are just a few of the many reasons why couples opt to have a magical wedding in Belize. Whether you are planning a large group wedding extravaganza, an intimate elopement, or celebrating a vow renewal you are bound to create memories that will last a lifetime in this scenic country. We’ve hand picked a few breathtaking photos that will surely entice you to book your destination wedding in Belize!

Second Fire of 2015 on Exotic Caye Resort Property
Earlier this year, the southern portion of Exotic Caye Resort started fire in the laundry room and spread to a number of rooms in the early morning hours. (See story from February 2015.) Thankfully no one was hurt. At about 2pm today, the property recently acquired by the company and expanded by a sizeable sea wall – also caught fire. And the partially wooden house quickly went up in flames. Here is a photo of the house in September. I arrived just as the fire trucks did. The San Pedro Fire Department quickly went to work… And the fire was quickly put out. THANK GOODNESS. Thank goodness also for the good-sized space between this home and the bar, Crazy Canuck’s and the restaurant above it. Staff was preparing to wet the buildings- but the fire was put out quickly. As I walked home, I spotted the burned buildings from February’s fire.

White Castle comes to San Pedro and other craziness
Inspired by one of our conversations over lunch on the high prices of snack food, I decided see what kind of crazy food items I could find walking home. Anyone who has been grocery shopping here knows what I mean. You can find the weirdest things on the shelves. I knew Island City (the old Island Supermarket) across from Island Academy and Mermaid store were the prefect places to play around with some artistic food photo journalism. The picture story portrays adjectives both locals and tourists often use to describe Ambergris Caye by crazy through things I found at the two supermarkets. Some other interesting stuff around town. If you have been following Ambergris Caye News, you will know that the San Pedro Town Council is revamping Central Park and starting the process of moving the souvenir vendors. Closer to the sea for now then long range plan is the west side of town. The bottom pics show some of the changes going on in the park. The top two bike shots I added for fun, I liked that the first guy was carrying his ride – I am sure he was feeling a little bah humbug.

International Sourcesizz

Upper Mountain Volunteer Fire Co. providing the town of San Pedro, Belize with its first ambulance
Just in time for the season of giving, Upper Mountain Volunteer Fire Co. has announced it will be donating an ambulance to the town of San Pedro, Belize. Upper Mountain’s 1992 Ford E450, Type III ambulance was retired earlier this year after the purchase of a new ambulance. This will be San Pedro’s very first ambulance – a big leap forward for the community. Upper Mountain President Greg Sitek said a former member reached out to ask what the fire company had in store for the retired vehicle. He then connected the fire company with Dominick Walenczak, an EMT with Twin City Ambulance and a procurement officer helping to connect San Pedro with medical supplies. Walenczak said he started visiting Belize when his parents from Amherst began living there part-time. He became involved with the health system down there and works to help grow the town’s EMS program from right here in Western New York. Alex Parmelee is the man leading the charge to improve public health services in this small Central American country. He started volunteering and visiting Belize 10 years ago as a medical school student, said the 48-year-old Colorado native. He has since finished his MD and was recently asked by Belize’s Ministry of Health to start an EMS program in San Pedro with a 24-hour emergency room as the operations manager for San Pedro’s emergency services.

Costa Rica Asks Belize to Accept Stranded Cuban Migrants
Costa Rica has asked Belize to accept nearly 3,000 Cuban migrants who have been stuck at the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua for weeks, authorities said Friday. The plan envisions flying the migrants to Belize, which is on Mexico's southeastern border. From there the Cubans would presumably continue north toward their stated destination: the United States, where special migrant policies let them stay once they touch U.S. soil. Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez said Belize's council of ministers will meet Tuesday to consider Costa Rica's proposal. Gonzalez said authorities ruled out transporting the migrants to Guatemala because officials in that Central American nation said conditions did not exist to guarantee their safety. "Mexico insists that (the Cubans) must be received from another country — that they cannot arrive directly in Mexico," he said. "For that reason we had been thinking of Guatemala, and now we are considering Belize."

Parrots and Plymouth Argyle in the jungle with the Coldstream Guards
In his latest report on an exercise with the Coldstream Guards in the Central American country of Belize, journalist David Wells meets a jungle hero who started out in life bunking off school Coldstream Guard Captain Steve Taylor's name is spoken in reverential terms among the battalion of Coldstreamers training in jungle warfare deep in the jungles of Belize. His skills, expertise and knowledge of survival, military tactics and warfare in this type of swelteringly hot, harsh, unforgiving terrain has even earned him an unofficial title which hints at his command of the environment – 'OC Jungle' – as in officer commanding of the jungle. His status is a far cry from his early days growing up in a working class suburb of Plymouth where, by his own admission, he was less than a model pupil at school.


  • Channel 5 Christmas Spectacular 2015, 120min.

  • Belize, 7.5min.

  • Fire in San Pedro, 1min. The San Pedro Fire Department responds to a fire that has now destroyed an abandoned building next to Exotic Caye Beach Resort south of downtown San Pedro. The blaze has been kept under control

  • Turneffe Island Resort of Belize Nov 2015, 4.5min. Few photos & videos of Turneffe Island Resort in Nov 2015. The private island resort is a special place where you can enjoy scuba diving and fishing. My trip was to dive the famous sites of Belize but also to enjoy the benefits of wonderful people who enjoy diving as much as me. The food was superb, the atmosphere was total relaxation and enjoyment. Turneffe Island has something for everyone! Enjoy & Happy Diving!

  • Belize Guatemala, 4min.

  • The Blue Hole - Belize, 6min. The great Blue Hole of Belize is a wonder of the world! Diving it with the love of my life, Beth, was one of the most exciting experiences of my life! We reached 139 feet!

  • Reef Shark Clips - Half Moon Caye Wall, 1/2min. 7 Foot Reef Shark along the coral reef wall near the island of Half Moon Caye off the shore of Belize.

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