FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

Hop aboard the YOLO- San Pedro’s Ultimate Party Boat!
Nothing says San Pedro quite like a day on a party boat with a group of your best buds. We’re talking boozin’ and cruisin’- and even snorkeling at famous reserves like Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. For an unforgettable experience, look no further than the YOLO! Janelle and I were invited on a day trip to Caye Caulker and you know we didn’t have to be asked twice! Let’s NOT beat around the bush, the first thing that caught my eye was the fully stocked bar! I mean they had everything from premium vodkas, tequila, rums, beers, juices, sodas, wines and fresh juices. The cocktail menu, with a series of signature drinks made to order, sure caught my eye! After all passengers were onboard, Kevin gave us a briefing on what the day had in store: our first snorkel stop would be at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, followed by Shark Ray Ally. Snorkelers were advised not to consume alcoholic beverages, but the rest of us? Well, drink as much as your little liver desires.

Belize Diving Adventures improves Tuffy Channel marker
On Tuesday, December 1st, Belize Diving Adventures (BDA) restored the buoy marker at Tuffy Channel. The marker had been worn out over time, so staff of BDA took it upon themselves to fix it up, with Everette Anderson spearheading the work. With the renovation of the marker, mariners now have an identifiable marker when entering and exiting the main water channel of San Pedro Town. The improvement of the marker is aimed at bettering Ambergris Caye’s local maritime community. Markers are essential for guiding boat captains trafficking through channels. They assist in avoiding collision with the nearby reef systems preserving the marine life and coral formations. Some of the work that needed to be done on the buoy marker included welding the marker to patch corroded areas and replacing the worn out shackles holding the marker in place.

World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk raises awareness in our community
Island residents joined in the fight to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome) during the annual World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk. Held on the evening of Tuesday, December 1st, the walk was observed worldwide in hopes of challenging people to rethink outdated stereotypes, challenge myths and be positive about HIV. Here on Ambergris Caye, the San Pedro AIDS Commission spearheaded the activities held. Members of the community congregated at Central Park at 6PM with candles in hand. “We have been doing this walk for a little over 15 years. This is a major part of our work in the community to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS. The San Pedro AIDS Commission is not the go to group for people to join because of the stigma that comes along with the disease. But throughout the years and with the work we have done, we have seen a great improvement. People are becoming slightly more open to come and talk to us about HIV/AIDS. The advocation and awareness has gone a long way, mostly, in part to the community who has supported us,” said President of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, Felix Ayuso. Wrist bands displaying the San Pedro AIDS Commission motto ‘Live and Let Live’ were handed out by San Pedro AIDS Commission members to those present.World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk-4

Five-a-side Football Action is back!!
Futsal (Five-a-side Football) action is back on with the commencement of the second San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizens Sporting Club (ICSC) Tournament. The tournament started with a grand marathon at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Sunday, November 29th at 10AM. Residents from across the island came out to support the participating teams and enjoy the games in a fun, family friendly environment. Teams participating in the marathon were divided into six categories to better accommodate the level of each athlete. The categories for the day included Under-11, Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, Female and Male Senior. Each game lasted about 20 minutes, with the team earning the most points in each category winning a championship trophy.

Yakarelis Hernandez represents Belize at Miss Centroamerica Pageant
Yakarelis Hernandez has returned from León, Nicaragua after participating in the Miss and Mister Centroamerica Pageant on Friday, November 27th. Even though our Belizean beauty did not place in the pageant, she certainly represented the country well. Aimed at promoting regional tourism and the beauty and talent of the people of Central America, the pageant sees the participating of delegates from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. Hernandez traveled to Nicaragua from Saturday, November 21st to participate in pre-eliminatory competitions. The pageant consisted of both a teen and regular division for both the Miss and Mister titles. Hernandez competed in the Miss Centroamerica division along with Miss Panamá Khadine Barria, Miss Honduras Francy Ayala, Miss Nicaragua Fatima Bonilla, Miss Guatemala Nadelyn Marroquin, Miss El Salvador Leonor Rivas, and Miss Costa Rica Daima Briseño.

Charred remains of Cessna aircraft found in Spanish Lookout
Investigations are ongoing on the discovery of a charred plane in the Spanish Lookout Community. The Cessna 210 aircraft was found on Tuesday, December 1st in a remote location in the Spanish Lookout Community near the Aguacate Lagoon. Reports indicate that the aircraft landed in the area sometime around midnight on Monday, November 30th. While police have not released any official statement on the aircraft, residents of the area have indicated that they heard the aircraft circling the area prior to landing, after which a number of vehicles were seen in the same area. But when police arrived at the scene, the Cessna had already been burned, with its only recognizable feature being the tail which displayed numbers YZ3241. The speculations are that the vessel is a drug plane used to bring in narcotics to the country. The plane may have been burned to destroy all evidence of drug related crimes.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade
The 2015 San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade is back on! Join us for an evening filled with lights, food, fun, and cash & prize giveaways, all to benefit the San Pedro Food Bank, SAGA Humane Society, and Ambergris Caye Elementary School! The kickoff will be at 5PM from Wayo's Beach Bar / Aqua Vista Beachfront Suites and ends at Sandbar after parading North and South!

A lil hardcore material for the north road on Ambergris Caye
(by Las Terrazas Resort)

Trivia Night!
Come join the fun every Sunday and Wednesday! Test your knowledge of useless facts, have a laugh, and win money towards your bar bill! Always a great time - Fun,…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & GrillStart Date: December 6, 2015End Date: December 6, 2015Time: 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Ms. Janet Gibson receives a custom portrait of Glover's Atoll and Middle Caye
In appreciation for her years of dedicated service as leader of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Belize and broader pioneering work and contributions to marine conservation in Belize and across the region. Despite Ms. Gibson's impending retirement we know that she will continue to lend her voice and support to efforts focused on the management and conservation of the extraordinary wildlife and wild places of Belize.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

A North Wind Doth Blow
It was a blustery morning on Caye Caulker and the North wind dictated many people’s choices of what to do with the day ahead. I was up at 7am and drinking strong black coffee trying to push my sluggish brain into gear. The Friday Jam at Barrier Reef Sports Bar had left my head a little tender. No, no, no! It wasn’t because of the music, that was superb, I think it may have had something to do with the couple of Belikins I drank as I listened to the artists play. Okay…. it was more than a couple of drinks, but it was a Friday night… Walking the dog this morning seemed like the best cure to kick-start the day. I’d had my coffee as fuel; I just needed to get it moving round my body. As soon as the leash was picked up, the dog ran frantically back and forth towards the door and if she could smile, she was beaming. Got to love those furry friends because they always put a smile on your face. A gentle stroll to the split and time to take in the calm before the Lazy Lizard opens and all the people come to drink, party and have fun. At the point of the split, where Mojo Fishing Charters have their sign, I stood with a cool Northern breeze in my face. The skies looked particularly grey for a December morning in Belize and ominous clouds loomed in the distance. I kind of like these days and appreciate the beauty of our surroundings on this lovely caye when they aren’t interrupted by the cacophony of people.

2,000 linear feet of beach being reclaimed
You might have noticed that sand is being dredged and stockpiled in the area of the Palapa Gardens in what has affectionately become known as the “Caye Caulker mountain.” What exactly is this for, you might be asking yourself? According to Mr. Al Chanona, General Manager of the dredging project, a beach reclamation is under way. In an interview, he explained that 2,000 linear feet of beach is being reclaimed. This is so that visitors to the island can have a pleasant experience the moment they step off the water taxi. Narrow areas of the beach are being widened, with the area in front of the basketball court being the recipient of the some of the most fill so far.

Ocean Academy Student, Adaly Cartagena, Wins Environmental Award
Ocean Academy student, Adaly Cartagena, won the National Youth Award for Environmentalism presented by the Department of Youth Services for her work protecting manatees. Co- founders Lilian and Adaly were inspired to start a youth Manatee Club on Caye Caulker because they want to continue the legacy of Chocolate Heredia’s passion for manatees and contribute to the current work of Jamal Galves to protect manatees. The awards ceremony was held at the Best Western Hotel in Belize City yesterday, Friday, December 4, 2016. It was sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Services. Here you can listen as Adaly tells us in her own words how she got interested in manatee conservation.

Amandala

BTIA president urges GOB to tackle tourism challenges
Like any other tourism destination in the world, Belize has its share of obstacles hampering the delivery of the best tourism product that can be offered, and today, on the occasion of the annual general meeting held at the 30th anniversary of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), BTIA president Osmany Salas highlighted the many challenges and needs which need to be forthrightly addressed. “There has been a spate of robberies in Hopkins recently, partly as a result of poor police presence, inadequate street lighting, and bad streets… We feel that the authorities have taken too long to address the situation. We are concerned that if we don’t act very soon, the industry in Hopkins may suffer greatly and people will feel an economic pinch,” Salas warned. He asked for the Government to urgently address the problems being faced in Hopkins.

Mexican thieves giving Belizeans hell in Chetumal!
Hundreds of Belizeans usually flock to Chetumal to shop for Christmas and with the annual festivities approaching, an alert has been issued warning Belizeans of a spate of robberies in Chetumal. According to Periodista, Quintana Roo, Belizeans are being advised to take precautionary measures to prevent attacks both inside and outside of shopping areas, as they may be robbed of cash or exploited by persons who clone their credit cards without their knowledge. Reports have also been surfacing on social media of persons falling victim to career criminals who seek out vulnerable shoppers in places such as Sam’s Club, Walmart and Plaza de Las Americas Shopping Mall, where several Belizeans have reportedly been robbed in broad daylight. In some cases, wallets and purses have been stolen from shoppers who only realized what happened when they could not find their purses or wallets at the cashier desks to pay for their purchases.

Testimonies conclude in Mek Mi Rich trial
Almost one year after he first filed his lawsuit, Curtis Dale Swasey, a Corozal businessman, had his day in court when he took the witness stand to testify in the claim that he brought against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Mek Mi Rich (MMR) Belize Limited, alleging that the two companies stole his idea for lottery by text messaging, using BTL’s network. Following the testimonies of all the witnesses in the trial, the testimony phase of the trial ended late this evening with the attorneys agreeing to make written submissions to Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel by January 29. All the parties will return to court on February 16 to make oral submissions to the skeleton arguments that they will submit. Swasey has alleged that Andre Vega, the son of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar, and his business partner, Sunjay Hotchandani, the directors of Mek Mi Rich, collaborated with BTL to steal his original lottery texting idea. Swasey is being represented by attorneys Kareem Musa and Wayne Piper, while BTL is being represented by attorney Magali Perdomo and Naima Barrow is representing MMR, Belize Limited. Perdomo cross-examined Swasey, suggesting to him that he cannot claim an intellectual property rights violation, because he did not patent his idea.

Cops believe traffickers burned plane after removing drug cargo
San Ignacio police are investigating the origins of a plane that was found completely destroyed by fire yesterday morning near a farm in the Green Hills area near Aguacate Lagoon, in Spanish Lookout. According to police, very little is presently known about the plane, but they believe that the plane was a drug plane that was intentionally destroyed. Civil Aviation authorities have identified the plane as a single-engine Cessna 210, widely used by flight training schools, private operators, air taxis and commercial charter, and private companies. People in the area told police that they heard a plane circling over Spanish Lookout without lights at 1:30 yesterday morning. At about 7:00 yesterday morning, people who were travelling in the area found the plane, already destroyed. Police strongly suspect that the plane was used to transport drugs, most likely to neighboring Guatemala, which is not far from Aguacate Lagoon, and that the drugs had already been transferred.

Belize beats UNESCO deadline to ban offshore exploration
One week ahead of an official visit to Belize by World Heritage Centre (WHC) staff, to discuss efforts made by the Government towards the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef System from UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites in danger, Cabinet announced a decision to adopt a policy that will provide a special carve-out for 8 offshore protected areas where petroleum exploration will be banned for the first time in Belize. The announcement comes amid an unrelenting campaign here in Belize against offshore drilling that began to gain momentum in 2010, and which has benefitted from international pressure brought on by UNESCO. Offshore exploration has been carried out in Belize—without major incident; but the Deep Water Horizon catastrophe of April 2010 quickly galvanized a demand for a more precautionary approach here in Belize, where any such accident would spell nothing short of devastation for this tiny Jewel and its open economy. According to the Cabinet press release issued Tuesday, the total area covered by this historic ban spans 842,714 acres, or 1,316 square miles.

Senate should investigate David Schnitzer’s “fraud!”
An international fugitive, David Nanes Schnitzer, who is wanted in Mexico for his role in a multimillion-dollar offshore banking scam, was located in Belize last month by United States Marshalls and Belize police. Schnitzer, who had been living under the assumed name of David Banes, was remanded to prison on a charge of uttering a forged document, but was granted Supreme Court bail by Justice Dennis Hanomansingh and subsequently fled the jurisdiction, creating a major black eye for Belize in international law enforcement circles. The government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has not issued any statement indicating that it is willing to launch any investigation into how Schnitzer obtained the Belizean identity documents, including nationality certificate and passport, but the Opposition People’s United Party Senator, Lisa Shoman, today served notice of a motion to the clerk of the National Assembly for the Senate to investigate the Schnitzer matter.

Verdes to FIFA/CONCACAF
Football Federation of Belize, or Football Federation of Belmopan Bandits? I write this letter hoping it may find its way in this week’s edition of the Amandala. I also write this letter to inform the general public, the football family and fans country wide of the stifling issues and dilemma affecting the football community. Let’s rewind to August before the start of what can be now termed as the most controversial football season in recent history. In an emergency meeting called by (FFB) President Ruperto Vicente and General Secretary Michael Blease, in the presence of all team owners and Executive Members Sergio Chuc and Cruz Gamez, the President made a proposal termed as the way forward for football in Belize. There were two very important points made in the presentation/proposal by Mr. Vicente. The first being that the FFB is recommending that the PLB (Premier League of Belize) abolish its Executive and form a Board of Directors (BOD) in which each president from each club will be a member of the BOD, and that of the 9 presidents, a Chairman of the Board would be elected. This sounded very good to the team owners/presidents. The other very important point was that each club can register a total of 5 foreign players, with 3 on the field at any given time, but that Central American players would be treated as if they were nationals (a decision passed by UNCAF at Congress, according to Mr. Vicente). Now, this sounded too good to be true, but Mr. Vicente said it was a decision passed by UNCAF.

Fix Falcon Field folly
The Editor, AMANDALA: As much as I applaud the Government of Belize for the huge investment they have made in sporting facilities and infrastructure in the country, via Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), I am disheartened by the quality of basketball facilities that are being constructed. I am writing as a basketball enthusiast, who has been involved with basketball at all levels in the country of Belize. Given that I live in San Ignacio, I will speak solely about the basketball court that was built at Falcon Field. I cannot question the aesthetics of the structure, but can surely question the purpose of the building. Any basketball court that has an overhead covering should be built as a weather proof facility that is accessible when it rains. At Falcon Field, everyone refers to our building as a “dry-weather court,” because just a small drizzle gets the playing court wet, not to mention a rain. It is frustrating that the engineering and architectural designers could not factor in that very elementary component. We are presently having our annual BECOL tournament, and every time it rains, we need to sweep and dry the court, if not, postpone the games.

Special Olympics Torch arrives in Belmopan
Acting Mayor of Belmopan, Retired Senior Superintendent of Police Geraldine Itzab Willis, received the heavily escorted Special Olympics Torch in Belmopan, on the arrival of the torch from Dangriga, at about 11:30 this morning. The torch, which was being carried by Inspector Stephanie Grinage, Deputy Commander of the Belmopan Police Formation, was handed over to Mayor Willis, in front of the Belmopan welcome sign at the junction of Constitution and Forestry Drive. On receiving the torch on behalf of the Belmopan City Council, the city and people of Belmopan, the Mayor began to run, and then walk, with the emblem through the streets of Belmopan. In an interview with Amandala this morning in Belmopan, Mayor Willis said that the event is in support of people with disabilities and special needs. As the torch is being carried throughout the different districts, funds are being collected to help individuals who have disabilities. She said that the torch was taken from Dangriga to Belmopan, then it will be transported to Cayo and then to Belize City, where on its arrival, the Special Olympics games will commence.

Editorial: Weekend drama, weekend tragedy
Within a matter of six hours on Saturday, November 28, two different sets of incidents occurred which probably exposed Belizeans’ exaggerated weekend nonchalance. In colonial days, government departments worked until 12:30 on Saturday afternoons, but today, Belizeans start shifting into weekend gear from Friday evenings.The tourism industry, which has grown substantially in the last two decades, contributes to the party atmosphere in the nation, because at any given time there are many non-Belizeans in Belize, some permanently and some temporarily, who do not work here, but have come here to retire or to party. The Government of Belize no doubt took Belizeans’ weekend nonchalance into their deliberate calculus when they organized the visit of Guatemala’s President-elect, Jimmy Morales, to Belize. Morales is controversial in Belize, for more reasons than one. The security of a foreign head of state, especially a controversial one, was obviously a top priority for the recently re-elected Government of Belize. A front page story in this newspaper last Friday declared that Morales would NOT be visiting Belize on his tour of Central American nations. This was what the Government of Belize wanted the people of Belize to believe. Friday afternoon, within ten hours of this newspaper’s hitting the streets of Belize City on Friday morning, however, news began to circulate that there would indeed be a Morales visit, and it would take place between Friday evening/night and Saturday morning. Belizeans had already gone into their weekend gear. This was how the Government of Belize wanted this tricky visit to be timed. We can see this no other way.

From the Publisher
I was tried in the Supreme Court twice – in July of 1970 for seditious conspiracy and in January of 1971 for housebreaking and stealing. I was also tried in Magistrate’s Court in 1972 on two separate occasions. I was first tried early in 1972 for possession of dynamite and an unlicensed gun and ammunition, and then later in 1972 for resisting arrest, assaulting police officers, and indecent language. When you are tried in Supreme Court, it is after you have been arrested, bailed, and have to attend Magistrate’s Court hearings for months. There are usually several adjournments before the preliminary inquiry begins in order to establish a prima facie case to be sent to the higher court. For example, in the matter of seditious conspiracy, I was arrested in February 1970, but the case was not heard in Supreme Court until July of that year. Between February and July I was up and down at the Magistrate’s Court, which was at Riverside Hall at the time. In the matter of housebreaking and stealing, I was arrested around April or May of 1970, if I remember correctly, and the case wasn’t tried in Supreme Court until January of 1971. In addition, in the matters of the two Magistrate’s Court cases, there were, as usual, several adjournments. (The dynamite case was tried when a Magistrate’s Court was on Church Street, and the resisting arrest and assault business was tried when the Magistrate’s Court was in the old Paslow Building.)

Take care of our Jewel …
Dear Editor, Through your esteemed newspaper I want to express my concern in reference to civic pride. I notice that Belizeans while visiting our neighboring country Mexico, namely Chetumal, abide by the country’s laws by not throwing garbage on the streets or in any public area. In Belize it is quite the opposite, since as soon as they cross to the Belizean side, I notice individuals throwing garbage out of their vehicles. Take a moment and question why? Why take care of another country and not yours? Is it that the penalties over there are so hefty? Or is it that there are more law enforcement officers patrolling the streets or is it that we do not have any civic pride? Whatever the reason, we abide by the laws. So, tell me why not in our beautiful Belize? Are the penalties for littering in our country not strict enough or is it that persons in charge are not enforcing the laws? Is it that the law being enforced is to a selected few or do people in Belize take law enforcement officers for granted? It is estimated that Belize produces approximately 300,000 tons of solid waste annually from domestic households and commercial establishments. This means that each person living in Belize produces approximately two to three pounds of solid waste every day (The San Pedro Sun, 2007).

Belize air traffic control system to get an upgrade
The Government of Belize signed a contract for the modernization of the Philip Goldson airport, which is being made possible through COCESNA (Central American Corporation for Air Navigation), of which Belize is a member. The upgrade will be done to the air traffic controls, the radar system and the meteorology services. On hand for the occasion were Jorge Vargas, executive president of COCESNA; Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation; Lindsay Garbutt, Director of Civil Aviation, and Enrique Castillo, Director of Latin America Affairs for Indra Systems. Minister Heredia said in his address, “Today marks a very important day for civil aviation in Belize, because we will be signing a contract with Indra Systems, an international equipment supplier from Spain. The government of Belize and COCESNA are in the process of carrying out a 9.5 million dollar- project for a state of the art modernization of our air traffic control center, radar system, meteorological system and all other associated equipment of the air traffic control system.”

Epidemiologist Dr. Manzanero named as new DHS
Dr. Marvin Manzanero, the man who has been known as the epidemiologist in the Ministry of Health and the person in charge of the ministry’s HIV/AIDS desk, has been promoted to serve as the ministry’s new Director of Health Services (DHS). Manzanero told us that Health Minister Pablo Marin offered him the job after the general elections, after which the last DHS, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, was upgraded to become Marin’s Chief Executive Officer, replacing Dr. Peter Allen, who was moved over to the Office of the Prime Minister/Ministry of Finance, Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities. The former DHS, Dr. Michael Pitts, had resigned earlier this year, leaving the post vacant. After Figueroa became the DHS, Manzanero succeeded him as Director of the Policy, Analysis and Planning Unit – a job he had held since September. He has more recently served as the interim DHS for the past three weeks, while waiting for the paperwork for his formal appointment to be finalized.

Sugar to increase to 75 cents per pound
Today, Jose Alpuche, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, confirmed to Amandala that a Statutory Instrument (SI) will be signed this week to increase the price of white sugar by 25 cents per pound; however, the increase will not affect brown sugar. This comes after the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association passed a resolution to increase the domestic price of sugar to $1.00 per pound at their Annual General Meeting, which was held on Sunday, November 22. After the cane farmers had their general meeting, they met with the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega, and it was agreed that instead of the $1.00 price they requested, the cane farmers will get a 25-cent price increase, bringing the price for one pound of sugar to 75 cents. Alpuche said that the last time there was an increase in sugar prices was in 2001, and the increase of 25 cents will allow for the farmers to get a reasonable price on the cane. Alpuche added that the SI will not take effect until January 2016, and buyers should know that the current price is still 50 cents per pound.

One-flat house falls; owner seeks the public’s aid
On Sunday, a one-flat wooden house located on Neal Pen Road, belonging to Sherol Brooks, 39, a single mother, collapsed. Brooks told Amandala that on Sunday afternoon at approximately 2:00 p.m. she was at home with her sister when it collapsed while both of them were inside. Brooks said that she has lived in the house for over 10 years and she blames the recent flood which occurred in mid-October for the unfortunate incident; after the flood, she noticed that the posts that held up the house had shifted, she said. Brooks said that her daughter, her niece and her nephew lived with her in the house. She added that the situation has been really difficult for the children. Since the incident her nephew had several attacks of epilepsy and her daughter had an attack of asthma, she mentioned.

PUP withdraws Petrocaribe lawsuit
Yesterday, Tuesday morning, media representatives gathered outside the courtroom of Supreme Court justice Courtenay Abel to cover the case brought against Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the Minister of Finance, over his spending of over 230 million dollars from the Petrocaribe fund, by the Cayo North East area representative Hon. Julius Espat, the chairman of the House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee. The surprising news to come out of the courtroom of Justice Abel, however, is that Espat had withdrawn the lawsuit. Today, Amandala spoke to one of the attorneys who were initially involved with the case, Andrew Marshalleck, SC. Marshalleck told us that he had come off the case before Espat decided to withdraw it from the court. “The law has been changed twice and the ground that the case encompassed has been overtaken by the legislative changes,” Marshalleck added.

The Reporter

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 […]

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 […]

COLA and BTV respond to BDF building FOB at Sarstoon
Leaders of activist groups, Citizens Organized through Liberty and Action (COLA) and the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) have mixed feelings over the announcement by Minister of National Security John Saldivar, that the Belize Defense Force (BDF) will break ground to construct the Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Sarstoon on December […]

Chukka shares the christmas spirit with students
This week, renowned tour company Chukka, gave a special treat to primary school students, by holding a Christmas luncheon and toy drive. Chukka hosted 75 infant school students, ages five to seven, at the luncheon at the company’s corporate headquarters in Belize City. Apart from food and refreshments, students were also entertained by a Santa Clause and well-known Belizean entertainer, Ozzy the clown. Through the toy drive, Chukka managed to give toys to children attending more than 15 primary schools. The management explained that the drive was made possible through a staff effort, which starts in September. The staff contributes a portion of the money made from the tours conducted up until November, and the company matches the amount raised. “Christmas is a very special time of year. Chukka is very happy to be a part of this annual children’s toy program, made special this year with the luncheon where our staff volunteered in preparing the lunch themselves”, commented Country Manager, Valerie Woods.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Abandoned house on hotel property burns 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. According to the San Pedro Sun the Fire Service on the island was notified about a fire engulfing an abandoned building on the beach adjacent to […]

Farewell to Francis; PM tells Opposition they will wait for next election
Prime Minister Dean Barrow made a special tribute to his opposite number, Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, who is serving out his final term as PUP leader and Opposition leader, during Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives. He described him as a dignified, indefatigable […]

First House Meeting of new Government is busy
The Parliament met on Friday for its first business session since the November 4th General Elections. Brought before the house were several loan motions and money related bills. One was a loan motion for US 12 million dollars from the OPEC Fund for International Development. The partial […]

Belize weighs Costa Rican request for help with Cubans
By Aaron Humes: On Wednesday the President of Costa Rica called Prime Minister Dean Barrow to make a request. He wanted to know if Belize could serve as an in transit bridge for some 4 thousand Cubans headed to the US and who are stranded off the coast of Costa […]

Guatemalan judge arrested in FIFA corruption probe
Guatemalan judge Hector Trujillo was arrested by U.S. federal agents on Friday on board a Disney cruise ship in Florida. He is one of many football officials charged by U.S. prosecutors investigating corruption in football’s world governing body, FIFA. According to Reuters news agency, FIFA is in the […]

Blogs

Community Spirit All Over San Pedro, Belize And A Call To Allen Iverson
Yesterday, with the help of Oceana Belize, the kids from Standards 4 to 6 from the Holy Cross School were enlisted. And the team turned to an ARMY. And after the hard work and filling bags, the neighborhood volunteers met back at Marbuck’s Coffee at DayDreamin’ Bed & Breakfast Belize for some tasty donated snacks. Kelly and Mukul, the owners of Blue Water Grill as well as other businesses, have the community in mind with everything they do. Each month, they pick a charitable cause in San Pedro – collect donations and then match (and often match again) to get the project done. This month, the subject is the much used Boca Del Rio Basketball Court. And what Blue Water Grill has to say: “For December, we are raising money to fix up the Boca Del Rio Park (just south of the bridge) with new playground equipment, new basketball hoops, and lots of TLC. We want our fellow Hoya, Allen Iverson, to come inaugurate the new basketball court and speak to the kids here. We’ll fly him and his family down here. We’ll put them up at The Phoenix. And we will NOT ask him about practice. Who can help us get in touch with him?” Can anyone help? I know we all can by donating some money at The Phoenix, the Blue Water Grill or Red Ginger Restaurant. But does ANYONE know Allen? Or Patrick Ewing?

Holy Cross kids join our monthly trash attack
They came, they saw, they picked up trash. I’m talking about 100-plus kids from Holy Cross Anglican School here in San Mateo who joined our growing band of First Friday Roadside Cleanup volunteers yesterday. As we gathered in front of the Paradise Cinema, as we have on first Fridays for half a year now, the students came walking out of the nearby school, one form at a time. Soon we had three grades, eagerly grabbing rubber gloves and black plastic trash bags. The youngest students stayed around the bridge area, off the busy road. They cleaned from the bridge, along the waterfront, to the entrance to the San Mateo neighborhood and right up to the entrance to their school. The next older group walked up to The Cloisters and began cleaning along the road and beach. The oldest kids were driven up to the Marbucks/Palapa Bar area on a fleet of golf carts and worked their way south along the beach and road.

International Sourcesizz

The Privy Council vs the Caribbean Court of Justice as Jamaica's final court
I have refrained from entering the debate on the issue of the replacement of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as Jamaica's final court for the simple reason that I was so close to the arguments and decisions relating to the establishment of the Caricom Single Market and Economy and the CCJ in its two jurisdictions that I thought others should be free to express their opinions. The superficial nature of the debate, if it can be so described, especially in the Senate; the Page 1 editorial in the Daily Observer of Friday, October 23, 2015 'CCJ: How dare you appropriate the people's rights unto yourselves'; and Ronald Mason's column in the Sunday Gleaner, October 25, 2015, have forced me to reconsider. In the Caribbean, Guyana, Barbados, and Belize have withdrawn from the Privy Council. Remarkably, none of these countries has subjected the decision to a referendum or national vote. In several cases, including Canada and Australia, the Privy Council on more than one occasion struck down constitutional amendments to abolish it. In all cases the Parliament simply continued to refine the legislation until it was accepted. The refusal of each country to subject the authority of its Parliament to a referendum or other process has been a tremendous asset to other countries. Jamaica would be the first of the former colonies to subject the determination of its Parliament to another process. This will not only affect Jamaica, but will create a difficult precedent the countries in the line. Many of these countries are very small and take leads from Jamaica.

U.S. Expats Who Know the Rules May Avoid All Income Taxes
There are ways to avoid or limit tax liabilities to foreign countries. But this depends on where someone is living, how often they move, and the nature of the foreign tax system. If an expat is uncertain, consulting a tax professional can help. The web site, Best Places in the World to Retire, covered this topic and others related to expat living. The site has more than 400 contributors who have answered more than 6,500 questions about living in several other countries. Among the contributors is Stewart Patton, a U.S. tax attorney now living in Belize. Patton is founder of U.S. Tax Services. Patton made clear that he could only discuss tax law in general terms and that everyone's situation is different. He said that everyone should consult a qualified professional before implementing a tax strategy. Patton said that "the simplest way" for George to avoid foreign income taxes would be "to live in a jurisdiction that has a zero tax rate."

Tips for top sights to see in the Yucatan, Part 1
The state of Yucatan occupies the northern third of the Yucatan Peninsula, which is separated into the aforementioned Quintana Roo and Yucatan states as well as the undiscovered jewel that is Campeche. The Yucatan Peninsula proper occupies all the territories north of the New River’s entrance into Chetumal Bay in Belize to the northern end of the Laguna De Terminos in Campeche State (roughly mirroring highway 186). This area is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Campeche City, Uxmal Ruins, Chichen-Itza Ruins, and Sian-Kaan Biosphere), all well worth exploring.

Videos

  • Adaly Cartagena wins Environmental Award, 2min. Ocean Academy student, Adaly Cartagena, won the National Youth Award for Environmentalism presented by the Department of Youth Services for her work protecting manatees.

  • 2,000 linear feet of beach being reclaimed: Interview with Mr. Al Chanona regarding beach reclamation, 1min. You might have noticed that sand is being dredged and stockpiled in the area of the Palapa Gardens in what has affectionately become known as the “Caye Caulker mountain.” What exactly is this for, you might be asking yourself?

  • Beach Reclamation on Caye Caulker, 1/2min. A beach reclamation is currently underway on Caye Caulker. The project is expected to last three weeks. 2000 linear feet of beach is expected to be reclaimed. SHOW MORE

  • Diving In Belize-Part 1-A Typical Dav of Diving, 4min. Here is a video of the day diving at did aboard the Sundancer II last January 2015. The video was shot with a Hero 4 Black along with a Sola Lighting Kit bought through backscatter.com. The footage was edited on Adobe Premiere while the other elements were completed in After Effects. The diving, service and experience were all fantastic!!!

  • Get Rich or Die Mayan: Mexico, Guatemala & Belize, 3min. A short film of my 2015 adventure through Cancun, Chichen Itza, Merida, Palenque, Lacanja, San Jose, San Ignacio, Caye Caulker and Playa del Carmen.

  • Bert Tucker International: Special Yearly Tribute!, 33min. It is only a few Belizeans, or may be none at all, that has held the international stature of Belizean revolutionary Adalbert 'Bert' Tucker. His incredible body of work as an economist with a progressive philosophy for development is hardly shared not even by the government for which he worked for in the last days of his life. As a matter of fact, the United Democratic Party (UDP) government Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wlifred 'Sedi' Elrington for which he became their loyal Ambassador of Trade, the Caribbean and Africa, did not even attend his funeral.

  • From Cabana Azul in Hopkins, Belize, 2min. Filmed from the front porch of our little cabana at the Lebeha Drumming Center, in Hopkins, Belize...a young man harvesting coconut juice. My idea of a fine vacation.

  • Belize | Cancun Venture, 4min. San Pedro, Belize offered a fun party atmosphere with many excursions, while Caye Caulker island was a relaxing backpackers paradise. Much recommended trip!

  • Flying over Belize (and landing in Placencia), 1min.

  • Sunrise in Placencia, Belize, 1.5min.