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#510302 - 01/01/16 11:21 AM Today's Belize News: January 1, 2016
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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 NY Eve Celebrations
Happy New Year 2016!!

Hermit Crab Races at Crazy Canucks
Looking for a great way to add some excitement to your Tuesday night? Well, we highly recommend a good evening at the race track- the Hermit Crab Race track that is! The atmosphere is fun, energies are high and so are the stakes down at Crazy Canucks! Get in on the action and bet on your favorite crab for only $10Bz, and cheer on the little fella as he vies for a chance to win bar tabs and fun prizes from different sponsors such as Sand Bar, Lone Star, Caye Coffee, Palapa Bar, Belikin, Go Phones and much more! The first crab to make it over obstacle rope wins, while the first crab to crawl on each sponsor marks wins a prize from that sponsor! Talk about fun, and to make it even better, it’s all for charity! There are several races for the night but crabs sell out pretty quickly, so we recommend you get there early, and buy a crab or two, or three!

San Pedro Officer charged with sexual assault
On Wednesday the 9th December, 2015 at 5:58 p.m., a 13-year-old female reported that she was sexually assaulted by a police officer from San Pedro formation on three occasions (on the 27th, 30th November and 3rd December 2015). San Pedro Police have since arrested and charged 26-year-old police Constable # 1661 Kyle Hubert Serano of San Pedro Formation with three counts of “Sexual Assault”.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

From Team Belize
We are Team Belize, and On Dec. 29, 2015, we read our San Pedro Sun and My Beautiful Belize Visitor Guide while relaxing between races, poolside, at Dayang Bay Resort Hotel, Langkawi Malaysia. We are competing against 75 other countries in the International Sailing Federation’s 2015 Youth World Championship Laser Radial Class Regatta. From Left to right, we are: Chaperone Eva Campos; 15-yr.-old San Pedrana Laser sailor Blanca Velasquez; Coach Juan Mazzini; 15-Yr.-old Belize City Sailing Club’s Laser sailor Antonio Recardez. Exciting doesn’t even describe it. Wish us luck!"

New Year Honours
Order of the British Empire

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, 2016 New Year's Address
"I believe, then, that the symbiosis of new mandate and New Year will be not just symbolic, but a real spur to action."

New Cruise Line in Belize
Today, Belize welcomed the inaugural call for a new cruise line. ‪#‎MSC‬ Cruises had its first call today, with the MSC Divina landing in Belizean waters at approximately 8:00 am. The ship left from its home port in Falmouth, Jamaica on Monday, December 28th, making its way through Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico, before arriving in Belize City, Belize. MSC Cruises is a division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). It officially began operating in the cruise business in 1988. Between 2004 – 2014, MSC Cruises grew by 800 per cent, being today’s market leading cruise company in the Mediterranean. They offer a wide range of itineraries in Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, Cuba and Antilles, South America, South Africa, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. In 2008, they were the first cruise company in the world to be awarded the coveted “6 Golden Pearls” for outstanding standards in environmental protection, health and safety.

BEL Redeems $10 Million in Preference Shares from Social Security Board
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and the Social Security Board (SSB) today closed off a three-year preference shares purchase, which has proven to be a successful venture for both parties. At a signing held this morning at BEL’s Corporate Headquarters, SSB returned share certificates for 5 million preference shares in BEL, valued at $2.00 per share. In 2012, BEL sought funding to meet its financial commitments and offered SSB a guaranteed minimum interest rate of 5%. SSB accepted the offer by purchasing $10 million in preference shares, despite skepticism from some sectors. SSB was also able to acquire $5 million in BEL debentures at 7% interest.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Hotel Transylvania 2, Creed, Concussion, Burnt

Michael Davis and Travis Van Winkle meet San Pedro Sun staff
Today, the My Beautiful Belize and San Pedro Sun staff members, Janelle and Monique had the exclusive opportunity to meet two actors vacationing in Belize. Michael Davis and Travis Van Winkle, along with three friends, are on La Isla Bonita enjoying the best our little jewel has to offer. Charles Michael Davis is best known for his role as Marcel Gerard in The CW's The Originals while Travis Van Winkle has starred in movies such as Transformers, Friday the 13th, Accepted and Meet the Spartans. The meet and greet was made possible by Belize It Yourself concierge services, which is facilitating the group's activities while on Ambergris Caye.

Channel 7

A Soldier's Misfortune
There was a terrible accident just outside of Orange Walk Town last night which claimed the life of a career BDF Soldier, and put another in the hospital. The officers were driving a BDF truck on their way from Orange Walk to Belize City when they lost control and collided head-on into an ADO Bus which makes regular trips from Belize to Cancun, Mexico. The Bus had 34 tourists on it, including Belizeans who were heading to Cancun. Fortunately, none of them were injured. The soldier, Staff Sergeant Artemio Mendez, was not so lucky, and the impact of the vehicle smashed it to bits, trapping him in the driver's seat. It is believed that he died on impact or shortly thereafter, right on the scene. Our News team has been following the story since last night, and with the help of our colleagues from CTV3 News, Daniel Ortiz put together this story today. Here's what he found out: Daniel Ortiz reporting This wrecked vehicle was barely recognizable, but it's the remnants of an unmarked BDF Mahindra Pickup truck. The wreckage clearly shows the massive impact that it experienced when it collided head-on with this ADO Bus. The Mahindra was being driven by Staff Sergeant Artemio Mendez, and he had his fellow officer, Lt. Argel Flores, with him in the vehicle. These Intelligence Officers, were on official business when they slammed into the ADO Bus which was heading toward the Belize Mexico Border.

Ssgt Mendez Missed At Price Barracks
Artemio Mendez was a staff Sergeant at the BDF camp at Price Barracks in Ladyville where most of his friends and colleagues are still trying to come to grips with this tragic incident. A spokesman told us today that Mendez was diligent and steady:... Maj. Thomas Cal, BDF "We understand is that these two gentlemen who are members of the Belize Defence Force were traveling from Orange Walk heading towards Price Barracks here and they were actually on official duty and unfortunately the incident took place around mile 40 on the Phillip Goldson International Highway, with an ADO Bus - those international buses that travel through Guatemala, from Guatemala through Belize to Mexico." Reporter "So they were on duty at the time?" Maj. Thomas Cal, BDF "Yes, they were on duty." Reporter "Talk to us a little bit about him as a person, as a colleague? You said you knew him personally." Maj. Thomas Cal, BDF "Yes I knew him personally. He works here with us at Force Headquarters. He loves playing football, he is a football player. He lives up north in Douglas Village in Orange Walk District. He's done several trainings with us as well. So he is well-known within the BDF."

New Year, New Message For PM
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has released his 11 minute, 1,200 word, New Year's message - and there's some interesting stuff in there. The full message appears later in our newscast as a commercial, but for your benefit, we'll cut right to the good stuff. First, is the general outlook on government's sagging finances - which recently got a boost with new import duties on fuel. The PM acknowledged the Petrocaribe proceeds are down, and the dreaded Superbond step-up is approaching - so government needs the money - but, he made it clear, that does not mean new taxes:.. "Among the challenges that we will confront, the reduction in PetroCaribe flows is perhaps the most pronounced. With the dizzying fall in oil prices, we expect to get much less from these Venezuela loan funds than we did in 2015. And already 2015's intake was only half of 2014." "This, combined with the drying up of earnings from our own petroleum exports, will put a severe dent in Government revenues. It is what, in the face of the coming step-up in SuperBond payments and the Compensation Award expected to be handed down towards the middle of the year, has caused us to raise the duty on fuel imports. The CIF price of these is so low that we were able to judge the increase a bearable burden. And with this, which is the only tax measure we will take, Government will be able to meet debt obligations and pay for expansion in services, particularly regarding national security and the acquisition of assets such as the three BDF 3:04 helicopters and the two latest model Coast Guard boats."

Attorney Blasts Heroin Arrest
As we told you last night, 2 men have been charged in relation to the suspected heroin case. On Monday police found 11 kilos of what appears to be heroin on the floor of a vehicle they intercepted at the Bel China Bridge. As a result, Giovannie Requena and Richard Macdonald were both charged with drug trafficking. Well, after their arraignment today, MacDonald's attorney Herbert Panton told us that the case against his client is ridiculous because Macdonald wasn't even at the Bel China Bridge when the drugs were found. Panton told us there are many discrepancies in the police report and that after the case is concluded they will sue the police. "Your client has been accused of trafficking heroin. Tell us how the case is going so far?" "Well it's an offence that the magistrate at the level of the magistrate's court cannot offer bail. So my client is remanded. What is really unfortunate about that is that there is absolutely no evidence and I am sure you've heard this from every defense attorney out there, but the circumstances are ridiculous..."

Cop Accused of Sex Assault of 13 Year Old
Earlier this week, the biggest news was about police constable Luke Moreira who was charged for raping a woman in the san Ignacio police station. And while the police department is still reeling from the embarrassment of this allegation, tonight, another cop is facing an ugly charge. Twenty-six year old police constable Kyle Serrano is accused of the sexual assault of a 13 year old girl - and he's accused of doing it three times! It happened in San Pedro Town where Serrano was posted. The girl and her mother told police that on November 27 and on December 3, Serrano had inappropriate physical contact with her. She also reported that between November 1 and November 30, he put his private part on her body. Today when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser where he was pleaded not guilty to 3 counts of sexual assault. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offences are of a serious nature and the complainant is a minor. Senior Magistrate Fraser upheld the objection and remanded Serrano into custody until January 26.

City Cops Catch Gun
Last night we told you about the 3 pounds of weed that was found on Casuarina Street. Well, the South Side Strike Team also made 2 other gun and drug busts in the City. Yesterday afternoon at around 12;30 police searched an abandoned lot on Jones Street in the Martin's Area where they found a black 9 millimeter pistol, 2 empty magazines, a .38 live round and two 12 gauge cartridges. No one was found in the area so all the weapons were deposited as found property. Also later on at around 1:30, police searched an abandoned lot on Faber's Road and found a black plastic bag containing about one and a half pounds of weed and another plastic bag with less than an ounce of cocaine. No one was in the area so the drugs were deposited as found property.

Mover Over Carnival, New Cruise Comes To Town
It's cruise ship season, and we're used to hearing of arrivals from carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. But now, you can add MSC Cruises to that familiar lineup. The Swiss based MSC is a division of the Mediterranean Shipping Company and the three thousand five hundred passenger "Davina" made its first call in Belizean waters this morning at 8:00. The ship stopped in Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico, before arriving in Belize. Director of Destination Planning and Cruise, Valdemar Andrade, is quoted in a press release saying the MSC calls are a part of initial calls to explore what the destination has to offer. He adds that in 2016, there will also be an additional line making calls in Belize as well.

Cicely Will Spend New Year's In Jail
A 25 year old woman who says she is a newlywed is spending the new year in prison - after she took money which magically ended up in her account. Martinez was today remanded on a charge of handling stolen goods - what she handled is 3,500 dolalrs of what police say is someone else's money. She said that she was getting married on July 25 and on July 22 someone deposited the money in her account as a wedding gift. She withdrew $1,000 the same day then she withdrew $2,500 afterwards. But the money was somehow pulled from Karen Bevans account at First Caribbean Bank - and Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser remanded her today when she appeared in court. That's when Martinez burst into tears right in the courtroom. Nonetheless, she remains remanded until January 8, 2016.

BEL Says SSB Took A Chance On Preference Shares And Won
For the past few years, big businesses have gotten used to the reality that that banks - saturated by excess liquidity - won't take their millions - so they've had to find other ways to invest it. Social Security did just that when it bought preference shares in BEL three years ago. Today, it closed off that purchase for a handsome return - the kind that it surely couldn't have gotten at the bank. SSB purchased $10 million dollars in preference shares along with $5 million in BEL debentures, and earned $3.1 million dollars in return on its investment, amounting to an average of 6.6% annual interest. It was also well worth it for BEL, which got funding to meet its financial commitments - cheaper than if it had borrowed from the bank.

What Made The Chicken (Truck) Cross The Road?
There was a minor accident on the Boom Road this afternoon where a Chicken Truck barreled into a ditch. No one was hurt - not even a chicken, but as the photograph shows, the truck got badly mashed up.

A Post Christmas Bash For Cops' Kids
It may be the last day of the year, but It's not too late to get into that Holiday Spirit! That's what we learnt from Eastern South Division when we visited their headquarters today for their annual CHILDREN'S After Christmas party. Sure Santa has come and gone, but that doesn't mean the spirit of the season when with him. Emanuel Pech reports. This is an annual event held every year for the officers of Racoon Street Police Station and their children.

VOX POPS...
It's New Year's Eve, and for us here at 7News that means it's time for us to sample street sentiment in downtown Belize City. Today our crew took to Albert street to ask one deathless, ageless question: "What is your new year's resolution?" It was a mixed bag of perspectives as usual, but most seemed to gravitate towards family and health. Emanuel Pech did the questioning.

See Ya, 2015!
And, here at 7News our new year's resolution is to be here for you daily, serving you better in 2016. So as we leave tonight, we hope you have a happy new year's celebration…. For you news fanatics out there waiting to see our year in review, you can catch that tomorrow - in all its sprawling nine hour glory - the show starts at 1:00 pm, and finishes many hours later. To warm you up for that, we close tonight with some of the images that made news in 2015, enjoy, and I'll see you back here on Monday…

Channel 5

B.D.F. Officer Dies in Fatal RTA Involving ADO Bus
A Belize Defense Force officer lost his life of Wednesday in a traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Orange Walk District. The on-duty officer was driving a [...]

Prison Officer Shoots Himself As Prisoner Attempts to Escape
A special constable attached to the Orange Walk Formation of the Police Department is tonight in a stable condition at the Northern Regional Hospital after he accidentally shot himself in [...]

2 Men Remanded for Heroin Bust
Two men were arraigned this morning before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer after they were busted with over eleven kilos of alleged heroin on December twenty-ninth. According to reports, tour guide [...]

Minor Says SP Cop Raped Her
Another police officer is tonight accused of sexually assaulting a minor.  Twenty-six-year-old Kyle Hubert Serrano, an officer attached to San Pedro Police, appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser earlier [...]

Reduced Petrocaribe Flows Change Economic Landscape in 2016
In his New Year’s Address, released on Wednesday, Prime Minister Barrow acknowledged that the landscape in 2016 will be different than that of 2015, and a significant feature of that [...]

PM Says Infrastructure Works Will Continue
Don’t go all melancholy just yet though. Government has successfully campaigned on massive infrastructure works, and Prime Minister Barrow says that for the most part, that will continue in 2016 [...]

S.S.B. Returns Shares to B.E.L. After Major Return on Investment
An investment agreement between Belize Electricity Limited and the Social Security Board concludes today, ending a three-year preference share purchase.  In 2012, S.S.B. infused much needed capital into the cash-strapped [...]

Jamaican Cruise Line Makes First Landing in Belize
At about eight o’clock this morning, Jamaican cruise ship MSC Divina called to port in Belize City.  The inaugural voyage to the Jewel departed from its home port in Falmouth, [...]

Record Low Murders in Southside Belize City at Close of 2015
As we approach the final few hours of 2015, it is with the news that at least at this hour there have been no murders reported on the Southside of [...]

Community Policing Vs Paramilitary Policing – The Results
Interestingly, the decline in violence was not a result of strong-arm tactics by the Police, nothing to do with the infamous GSU breaking down doors and bones. Apparently, it’s quite [...]

Did You Achieve All Your 2015 Goals?
At eight o’clock tonight, we will be revisiting the ten most impacting news stories of the past year.  Indeed, 2015 was an eventful calendar which included four elections, massive overnight [...]

PlusTV

Bul’s Murderers found
Police have made arrests for the murder of farmer Luciano Evaristo Bul. Earlier this week PlusTv reported on the cruel murder of the 55 year old farmer. Evaristo Bul of San Pedro Columbia Village was chopped multiple times and then shot multiple times. According to police, Bul was involved in a land...

David Nanes Schnitzer’s bail is revoked
The bail for international fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer tonight stands revoked over a month after he was granted bail. Justice Herbert Lord this afternoon upheld an application to that effect made by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution. The crown led by prosecutor Kileru Awich present...

Eddy Sanchez passes away after being in critical condition
Eddy Alberto Sanchez has passed away after being involved in a traffic accident. Earlier this week we reported on the accident of Eddy Sanchez and the critical condition that he was left in. On Saturday the 19th of December, Sanchez, a 29 year old Belizean Carpenter of Buena Vista was riding his gre...

Prices for regular gasoline and kerosene decrease
Prices at the gas pump increased two days ago but as of 12 a.m. today, there has been a decrease in prices for regular gasoline and kerosene. According to a press release from the Ministry of Finance, there was an arrival of another shipment of regular gasoline and kerosene over the weekend, and so...

Delegates’ lists ready as PUP move toward National Convention
The People’s United Party (PUP) is moving toward its National Convention scheduled for Belmopan on January 31, 2016. Yesterday, Tuesday, the final list of voting delegates for the Convention was produced. Party Chairman, Henry Charles Usher, told PLUS News via telephone today that all thirty-one con...

Missing woman reports to police
Yesterday we brought you the appeal of 68-year-old American businessman David Edgar of Vista del Mar over his missing 22-year-old fiancée Mindy Jordan Espino. He said she left home on December 11th to visit her grandmother in Belmopan and would also make a trip to her native Rio Dulce in Guatemala b...

Brian Davis of Sandhill sentenced for firearm
Twenty-six year old Brian Davis, a laborer of Sandhill, was sentenced to 10 years today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Davis was sentenced to 5 years each for the firearm and the ammunition. But Senior Magistrate Fraser s...

The Guardian

No increase in electricity rates says PU
Light bill will not go up, says the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). This was the commission’s response to a request submitted by BEL on December 10, 2015 for an 11 percent increase in the Mean Electricty Rates for the current Full Tariff Review Period. The rate increase would mean that the Mean Electricty Rate would increase from $0.35 per kilowat hour to $0.3885 per kilowat hour. According to BEL, the adjustment in rates is necessary to reflect the actual cost of power for the 2012 – 2016 Full Tariff Review Period (FTRP). The company says the current rates features “an underestimation of the Cost of Power (COP) impact of BEL’s Gas Turbine and an overestimation of the COP impact, primarily due to lower rates from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).”

Honourable Bernard Q. Pitts passes
Belize has lost another distinguished gentleman in the passing of former Speaker of the House and Attorney General, Hon. Bernard Quentin Augustus Pitts Sr., who died on Monday morning, December 28. According to reports, the 80-year-old died of heart failure in Belize City after suffering a stroke last week and then a cardiac arrest on Saturday. Pitts was a humble servant of his country. He went to study law at a very late age and after obtaining his legal certificate he immediately started representing many of the less fortunate citizens of Belize. It was his service to the poor and marginalized that made the name B.Q. Pitts a household one in Belize. He was appointed to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1993 to 1998, during Sir Manuel Esquivel’s administration. Pitts later became the first Attorney General appointed in Belize’s history from outside the National Assembly in June of 2010.

Police constable from Cayo charged for rape
A police constable attached to the San Ignacio Police formation has been charged for rape. Police constable Luke Moreira, 21 years, from Santa Elena Town has been charged for two counts of “Rape” under the amended criminal code of 2014. This follows the report of a 25 year old woman from Bullet Tree Falls who reported that she was raped on December 20th while in Police custody. According to the woman, she had been taken out of her cell at 5:30 am and taken into a dark room, where the police constable had sexual intercourse with her against her will. In an identification parade at the San Ignacio Police station held at midday on Monday, the rape victim was given an opportunity to identify her attacker.

A new road to Lamanai
In his independence day address, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the government will be investing in the construction of a road to Lamanai via Lemonal village. Since that announcement the construction on the road has already commenced. The work commenced on November the 6th and work is well advanced to see the hotmixing of 7 miles of road from the intersection of Bermudian Landing to Lemonal Village. The contractor, Rodla Construction Company estimates that the road will be completed by April of next year. With the completion of the road, it will open a new access way to Lamanai which will significantly cut the travel time to this archaeological site.

Was Geovanni replaced?
According to a December, 23rd post appearing on Geovanni Brackett’s Facebook timeline he is in Charlotte North Carolina. Accompanying the post were some pictures of him getting some sort of SUGAR FIX at IHOP. What we saw on the table was a whole lot of starch. IHOP is not known for health food; on the contrary it is known for it’s pancakes, waffles, scones and the likes with plenty of butter and syrups on the side to add to the already rich dishes of eggs ham sausages and other niceties. IHOP is about huge breakfasts all day long. We could also conclude that there was also a lot of rice in his pocket. And by the way we would like to share some advice with our brother Geovanni, that amount of unhealthy food intake and Diabetes don’t mix. It is not that we want to put his business in the streets but it was he who told us about his diabetes during an interview he gave at the time when the gymnasium he goes to was closed down for nonpayment of trade license. Back to him being out of the country. Was he not engaged in the Guyana rice issue? Why then was he out of the country at such a crucial time? What about the poor indigent Belizeans whom he wants to get cheaper rice for? Then what about the importer whose noble cause Geovanni was standing up for?

Council for Aging reacts to recent violence against
Since October of this year there have been reports of violent crimes against older persons in different parts of the country. In each incident these heinous crimes have caused shock and disbelief among our citizens. The newscast coverage of the brutal and senseless attack of a 93-year-old man in his home in Belize City once again highlights the vulnerability of older persons across the country. Belize’s population of older persons continues to grow every year and with it challenges of care, security and safety remains an issue for many and their family. The National Council on Ageing would like to call on all citizens of Belize to take an active interest in older persons living in their community. This can be done through ensuring they are members of an older persons’ organization such as local church groups, HelpAge, and VOICE; through establishing neighborly relationships with them and reporting any suspicious activity in their area. We encourage older persons to build a network of relatives and friends who check on them regularly and who can provide home support during the night.

Belize appoints ambassador to Cuba
On Tuesday, December 22nd, Belize’s Ambassador to Cuba, H.E. Annie Burns Martinez, participated in a ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana where she presented her credentials to Vice President and Comptroller General of the Republic of Cuba, H.E. Mrs. Gladys Bejerano Portela and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Marcelino Medina González. Both parties discussed new areas for cooperation in trade, culture, and tourism. Ambassador Burns Martinez also recognized the contribution of the Cuban Medical Brigade and the general medicine and specialization scholarships that have helped to further develop Belize’s public health sector. Additionally, the representatives spoke about the current Cuban migrant crisis and the role of human traffickers; in particular, the call by Hon. Wilfred Elrington for SICA states to coordinate a regional response that fits within a clear and legal framework and one in which all the parties affected were participating in the discussion, was appreciated. Both parties await the outcome of a follow-up meeting in Mexico with hope to move closer to a resolution.

Increase in import duties on fuel products
The Ministry of Finance hereby informs the general public that with the arrival of the latest shipment of fuel which is due to take effect at the pump on December 28, 2015, the Import Duties on Premium Gasoline and Diesel Oil increased by 65 cents Belize per U.S. Gallon while the Import Duty on Regular Gasoline increased by 57 cents Belize per U.S. Gallon.

Looking back at 2015
The year 2015 may go down as the most politically active year in Belize's political history. With 4 elections being held in 2015, it eclipses 1993 and 2003 when 3 elections were held. For the United Democratic Party 2015 may be a year it's members may want to emulate for all times, sort of a training manual. While on the other hand the People's United Party may want to do over 2015. Our old folks always told us not to pick a fight that you know you can't win. For the PUP that was exactly what they did with the 4 elections in 2015, they picked a fight they could not win. Remember their old battle cry "CALL ELECTIONS NOW"? And every time they chanted that, they started dropping left, right and center. They are even finishing the year without a leader or should we say a leader who is respected. The Political fortunes of the PUP would have been better served had they sat out those 2015 elections. Their explanation for doing so could have been that the party was sitting out those elections and was retooling to get it's house in order to live to fight another day. That may have been one option while another and maybe the better option would have been to DISBAND the party, there are open holes in the bottom and sides of that sinking ship called the PUP.

Hon. Frank Papa Mena’s Christmas message
Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends, and to look back with gratitude, and to look forward with hope. In spite of our political differences, we are all one people and one country more confident and more united than ever. I am committed to keep working hard to create jobs and growth here in Dangriga, and we will keep promoting togetherness to unite us as Belizeans. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. During this holiday season let us reflect on how God has blessed us and remember those who are less fortunate. Let us honor our elders of our communities and extend a helping hand to all when and where it’s possible.

Resolutions we break
As the year 2015 draws to a close and 2016 dawns on us, we start to think of New Year’s Resolutions. Yes resolutions, those same ones we break sometimes as early as New Year’s day, some in the first hour of the new year and others we break later on. Sure there are people who are committed and carry throughout the year with their resolutions but they are in the minority. A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day. Then there are some of us who promise to lose weight. We may even set a benchmark as how much weight we will lose. On the second of January we get our gym clothes together and go to the market and buy those healthy fruits and vegetables. Next we start our exercise and diet routine only to fall short a few days or weeks down the road and we find a valid excuse as to why we stop and there goes that resolution out the door.

Charged for stealing purse with $80 inside
Jacqueline Williams, 45, of #43 Dean Street is out on bail after she was accused of stealing $80 from inside another woman’s purse as she was socializing at a Belize City shop. Sherlette Lamb, a 46-year-old janitor of #135 West Canal, says that on Boxing Day, Saturday, December 26, she was socializing at Nikita’s Shop located at the Corner of #83 George and Dean Street when Williams took her handbag from off her bicycle that was parked in the area. Lamb says she saw Williams remove the bag and put it back. She says she also saw when Williams took the money out of the bag and left the area.

93 year old man attacked inside his home
Ninety three year-old Patrick Grant, a very senior gentleman who lives by himself on Fern Lane in Belize City, is in a coma after he was savagely assaulted in his own house by a thief who stole his TV. Police believe that thief is Grant’s own neighbour, Chester Noralez, 35. Grant suffered head injuries, and his family is hoping that he will recover from the beating which was inflicted on him. It happened on Sunday morning, December 27, just before 6 o’clock. Grant was asleep. That’s when an intruder, who police believe they’ve caught, entered the house, and attacked the law-abiding gentleman hitting him several times to the head and face.

Toddler killed in accident in Orange Walk
Genesis Medina, a 1 year-old child from the village of San Estevan in the Orange Walk District, was killed in a hit and run traffic accident. Police have since charged Eliseo Larios, a 28 year-old resident of Trial Farm Village, with manslaughter for her death. It happened just before 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 27. The toddler was playing with her older brothers in their yard which is normally sealed with a protective gate meant to prevent her from going out on the road unattended. Unfortunately, the brothers lost sight of her for a very brief moment, and in that period of time, she wondered into the street. That’s the time when Eliseo Larios is believed to have been driving by. Police suspect that he was under the influence of alcohol, and when he drove past the child’s house, his gold Mazda pickup truck struck the child, and dragged her tiny body along the road for about a hundred yards or so. The impact was massive, and the head and bodily injuries killed her almost instantly.

Alert Police find ammunition in Belmopan
Alert security personnel in Belmopan have been able to take off ammunition from a public place. On Thursday of last week at about 2:40 am, a Belmopan Quick Response Team was on mobile patrol on the Salvapan main road when their attention was drawn to two male persons on a red white and black Sky Go motorcycle, without license plate, travelling at high speed. They were signaled to stop, but refused to do so. Their fleeing from the law was short lived. Both men on the motorcycle were intercepted at the junction of Guatemala Street and San Martin Main where they were searched. Whilst searching one of the male persons, Police found in his back pocket a black plastic bag, which contained (4) 32 auto w-w brand live rounds of ammunition (2) 32 auto MRP brand live rounds of ammunition and (1) 9mm Aguila brand live round of Ammunition.

Caught trying to enter woman’s bathroom window
Belize City resident Mark Brown, 45, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison until February 26, 2016 after he was charged with attempted burglary with intent to steal from inside a woman’s house. Allegations are that on Sunday, December 27, he attempted to enter the home of Elaine Elizabeth Williams at #54 Racecourse Street, Belize City. Police say that the home owner caught Brown as he was attempting to squeeze his way through her bathroom window. She called police and Brown was detained. In court, Brown appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted burglary and told the court that he was never on Racecourse Street. Brown said that he was stretching to pick an aloe vera plant from a yard and he went too close to the gate causing it to open. When the gate opened it made noise and that was when a Hispanic man saw Brown and alerted the neighbours. Brown said he never entered anyone’s yard to steal anything.

Murder in Toledo over land dispute
Fifty five year-old Evaristo Bul, a resident from the village of San Pedro Colombia in the Toledo District, became the second murder victim to lose his life on Boxing Day. According to Punta Gorda Police, at around 9:21 p.m. on December 26, they received information of a body lying on the Jalacte Road between the villages of San Pedro Colombia and San Miguel. The officers responded, that’s where they found Bul, about a half a mile from the San Pedro Colombia Bridge. He had suffered multiple chop wounds to the left side of the head and shoulder. It appears that his attacker, or attackers, were especially violent, and they followed up with several gunshots to the chest and the right elbow.

Cargo truck and bus collide in Cayo
There was an accident involving a passenger bus and a cargo truck between mile 71 & 72 on the George Price Highway at about 4:15pm on Tuesday of last week. Benque Police visited the accident site and observed a white Isuzu cargo truck bearing L/P A-00504 on the left side of the highway, with its front facing Succotz. Also seen on the right hand side of the highway was a yellow and black Blue Bird bus L/P D-00108, facing Succotz village. Initial investigations have revealed that Ri Fu Feng 25 year old businessman of George Price Highway, Santa Elena was driving the cargo truck when he collided with the bus driven at the time by Florencio Perez, who was travelling in the opposite direction. The bus struck the cargo truck on the left side, causing extensive damage to the entire left side and rear and at the same time caused the cargo of dry goods to scatter. Ri Fu Feng and his passenger Hua Chen Xu, both sustained minor cut wounds above their right eyes and their helper Heri Cocom complained of pain to the left knee.

Fight over a woman leaves teenager dead in Boom
Lennox Pierreze Flowers, an 18 year-old Belize City resident, was killed on Boxing Day, in what looks to be a street fight. He was stabbed multiple times, police believe, by two or possibly 3 assailants in what looks to be a quarrel over a girl. According to his family, Flowers is a very hard worker who has 3 jobs. He went to the horse racing track in Burrell Boom Village with one of his bosses. They went there to enjoy some horse racing on December 26. There was an after party, where Ladyville Police officers were providing security. Police are still investigating, but they believe that at some point during the after-party event Flowers got involved in a quarrel with several Belize City men, believed to be members of the George Street Gang. It escalated to the point where 2 or 3 of these person got into a fight with Flowers, and during that time, he was stabbed multiple times to the body. As soon as the incident got to that point, the on-duty police officers were alerted, but by that time, Flowers had already been stabbed. Two of the men, believed to be the attackers, were immediately detained and Flowers was rushed to the KHMH, but he died on the way there.

Rasheed Pollard in trouble for reckless driving
Fabers Road resident Rasheed “Fresh” Pollard, 23, will not be allowed to apply for a driver’s license for a year because of his reckless driving on Sunday, December 27, that could have had a tragic end. Police say that they visited an area in front of the Michael Finnegan Market on West Collect Canal early Sunday morning, December 27, and found a grey 2007 Dodge SUV in the middle of the road with its wheels in the air. According to reports, the Dodge was being driven by Pollard and it flipped when he collided into a vehicle that was parked in the area. Pollard appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, December 28, to answer to two traffic offenses, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and failure to provide a urine sample so police could verify the alcohol concentration in his blood. Pollard pleaded guilty to both charges. Magistrate Rogers ordered that his license be suspended for a year for the charge of driving without due care and attention. She also fined him $250 for failure to provide specimen. Pollard has until January 29, 2015 to pay the fine or serve two months imprisonment.

Shooting in Belize City leaves teenager fighting for his life
Fifteen year-old Kurk Broaster, a resident of Pickstock Street, is in a critical condition after being shot at least once in the abdomen. It happened in the jungle area, of the city at the corner of Pickstock Street and New Road. He was standing on the street corner sometime around 4 p.m. on Monday, December 28, when 2 men on motorcycle rode up. Broaster was in the company of another minor, and a soon as the men on motorcycle approached, they fired a barrage of shots at both of them.

Police United captures Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament for 2015 came to an end on Sunday 27 December, 2015, out at the Football Federation of Belize Stadium in Belmopan where the second and final game in the championship series between the budding champions Police United FC and the former champions Verdes FC was played. The second and final game in the championship series ended in a 0-0 draw but the Police United FC won the championship on an aggregate score of 1-0. On Sunday 20 December out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the Police United defeated Verdes FC by the score of 1-0 when Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez scored the only goal of the game in the 50th minute of play to give Police United the victory and a 1-0 lead in the series.

Belize Athletics Association to hold 5K and 10 K runs on 1st January
There will be two categories:- 15-19 – top 10 finishers in both the female and male categories will receive medals and gift packages. In the category 20 and up only the top 3 finishers in the female and male categories will receive 1st place $200.00 plus a medal and a gift package; 2nd place will receive $150.00 plus a medal and a gift package, while the 3rd place finisher will receive $100.00 plus a medal and a gift package. The next 7 top finishers will receive medal and gift packages. Interested participants can contact any member of the Belize Athletics Association or by email belizeathleticsassociation @gmail.com or at the BAA facebook page.

Elite Basketball Competition to commence on 16 January, 2016
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will commence its third, annual basketball competition on Saturday, January 16, 2016. The opening game will feature the newly added franchise the Independence Thunderbolt verses the back-to-back defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks out in San Pedro. The 2016 Season will see the participation of eight teams which includes the San Pedro Tiger sharks (the back-to-back champions), Belmopan Bandits, Cayo Western Ballaz, Independence Thunderbolt, Dangriga Warriors, Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes and the Belize City No Limit Team.


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#510303 - 01/01/16 11:22 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 1, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Amandala

Police are champions
Police United held defending champions Verdes FC to a nil-nil draw yesterday at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, which was all the Police squad needed, having won game 1 a week ago by a 1-nil margin, to clinch the championship of the Premier League of Belize 2015-2016 Opening Season. The veteran Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez came off the bench in second half again for Police, after a nil-nil first half draw (Police had won game 1 by a 1-nil margin, courtesy of a goal by Leechi); but no goal was scored this time, although Leechi made his presence felt and created some anxious moments for the Verdes defense. But no goals were necessary for Police, as their iron clad defense, spear headed by the athletic phenomenon Trevor “Burger” Lennen, whose stopper role encompasses a swath of midfield, denied the Verdes stalwarts, including goal scoring king Deon McCaulay and last season’s playoff hero Jarret Davis, as well as dribbling magician Gilroy “Bredda” Thurton, and kept them scoreless for ninety minutes of regulation, until referee Christopher Reid signaled the end with his whistle, and the Police United celebration began.

KREM New Year’s Classic this Friday
The old year is winding down, and the new year is almost here, and it begins again, for the 26th year running, with the second biggest annual sporting event in the nation – the KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic, “from the border to the boulevard”! According to the Technical Guide for the race, the event “is organized by KREM Radio under the regulations of the International Cycling Union and the Cycling Federation of Belize (CFB). It will be held on Friday, January 1, 2016. The Open Elite, U-23, and Masters’ (including 4/5) race will start from Corozal Town at 9:00 a.m. Female and Junior/Youth will start in front of the Town Hall in Orange Walk Town at 9:30 and 9:35 a.m., respectively.” And the “NADO anti-doping regulations” will be in effect for the event.

New Year’s Competition in P.G.
Season’s Greetings! The Concerned Committee for Football, in collaboration with the POLO Committee, continued its New Year’s Competition with games on Saturday and Sunday. In the first game on Saturday, Galaxy defeated Police by a score of 2 to 1. Steven Pop scored 2 goals for Galaxy, while Juan Ica scored the only goal for Police. In second game, Jah Youths defeated Jah Love, 6 to 1. Michael Ricketts and Enfield Arzu, Jr. scored 2 goals apiece, and Alex Terry and Ray Arzu scored 1 goal each for Jah Youths. Ralph Flores scored for Jah Love. In the nightcap, Jahroots/Estrellas and Ray FC played to a 2-2 draw. Aduan Usher scored 2 goals for Jahroots/Estrellas, while Clayton Fitzgibbon and Jaren Lambey scored 1 goal apiece for Ray FC.

Chester – Man of The Year 2015
This newspaper considers Senior Superintendent of Police, Chester Williams, to be the Belizean of The Year 2015. There are of course, other Belizeans who achieved great things in 2015. Belize City-based as the newspaper is, no doubt we have an urban bias. But Chester really jumped out at us, and we’ll try to tell you why. About twenty years ago Amandala developed a Southside model in analyzing the surge of gang violence which was dominating the news in the old capital, the population center, and the nation’s financial and educational hub – Belize City. Immediately, there were intellectual critics who went public with criticism of the Southside model, their main argument being that such a model was dividing the city folk. Our critics insisted that we were one city and one people, so no need for such analytical models to foment division. As the years went by, there were sincere, longtime Southside residents who also criticized our analytical model. Conscious of the proud and glorious history of the Southside, such sincere critics were finding it very difficult to face up to and accept the third millennium realities. The Southside, for whatever the reasons, had deteriorated: the Southside was in crisis.

From the Publisher
One of the issues we never discuss in Belize is the issue of health care. Because of cable television, we Belizeans know that health care is a really big, very controversial issue in the United States of America. On the other hand, relatively few of us Belizeans know that national, all-embracing health care is one of the major, major accomplishments of the Cuban Revolution. There was a point about a decade or more ago when the neoliberals in power in Belize reached the point of proposing that the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital be privatized. It appeared to me then that we were entering the realm of insanity as a people, because it was totally inconceivable how the masses of the Belizean people would be able to access health care in a completely privatized medical system. If I remember correctly, the Minister of Health at the time, the man Joe Coye, was one of those in Cabinet who resisted the KHMH privatization proposal. But, the mere fact that such a proposal had arisen, like the separate proposals by private Belizean citizens to purchase the Caracol Maya site and the Belize Barrier Reef, meant that there was something seriously skewed going on in and around the elected Government of Belize.

Consumers feel the pinch at the pumps, ONCE AGAIN!
Dear Mr. Editor: With the holly and jolly of the Christmas season came tidings of shock, upset and outrage. This is mainly because as the holiday season was wrapping up came the distasteful news that once again, the cost of fuel would be going up. It created major stir and sent tidal shockwaves across the country, both to motorists and non-motorists. The cost of diesel, regular and premium fuel rose by .81 cents, .97 cents and .72 cents, respectively. This unprecedented spike at the pumps left Belizeans flabbergasted, as it comes at a time when world oil prices are at their lowest and have been consistently trending down for the past eleven plus years, and are forecasted to dip even lower. While the people were scrambling for an answer or at least an explanation to this unprecedented spike at the pumps, through means of a press release we were made aware that the reason for the sharp spike in fuel cost is because of an increase on the fuel import duty so as to try to clog the gaping hole of revenue losses from the almost depleted oil wells in the West. This basically means, in layman’s terms, that once again, undue pressure has been placed on the back of the Belizean people to rescue the country’s ailing economy.

Belize’s 2015 import bill pushing past BZ$2 billion
The country’s import bill as of November 2015 had reached approximately $1.9 billion, with a month of imports yet to be included in the tally, which, if the usual trend holds true, will exceed $2 billion by year-end with the conclusion of the annual holiday shopping sprees. Information released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) indicates that the country’s import bill for November alone was $190.2 million, up by 3.8% or $6.9 million, from the $183.3 million imported in November 2014. By last November, Belize had imported $1.82 billion worth of goods, up from roughly $1.7 billion for January to November 2013. According to the SIB, Belize imported $18 million worth of motor vehicle parts purchased during November alone, largely accounting for the rise in imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ by $26 million, from $34 million during last November to $60 million in November 2015.

Bernard Quentin Augustus Pitts, CBE, dead at 80
Bernard Quentin Augustus Pitts suffered a stroke and consequent heart attack and was hospitalized at Belize City’s Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where according to his son, Dr. Michael Pitts, the retired Director of Health Services, “he received excellent care.” BQ, as he was affectionately known by his close friends, passed away on Monday, December 28. Although he originated from humble beginnings in rural Belize District, Bernard Quentin, the fifth son of Roderick Augustus Pitts, was a Belizean nationalist and Garveyite whose phenomenal rise to positions of influence and power in the service of his beloved Belize earned him the title of CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s 2012 New Year’s honors. After he graduated from Wesley College, BQ Pitts, as he is popularly known, began working in the British Honduras colonial civil service, beginning as a clerk, and worked his way up the ranks to become a traveling magistrate by 1964 and District Officer, explained Dr. Pitts. “He went to law school at the age of 35, with six kids in October 1970,” Dr. Pitts said. He did not get a scholarship, said Dr. Pitts, who related that since George Price refused to grant BQ Pitts a scholarship, he took vacation leave from his job and went to study law on his own.

Literary genius, John Alexander Watler, dies peacefully at 77
A foremost Belizean novelist, playwright, poet and orator, John Alexander Watler, known for his culturally exuberant and witty masterpieces, died quietly in his sleep in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on Wednesday morning, December 23, at the age of 77. According to Watler, he was born on November 6, 1938 in Monkey River, Stann Creek. Although he has been living in the USA for several years now, he always considered Belize his only home. Watler, who received a diploma in journalism in 1995, wrote, in a short chronicle of his life story: “I began writing at the tender age of 13 when a schoolmaster told me I had a special talent for writing. He encouraged me with private lessons in English and grammar; I excelled in both in elementary school and high school. “My parents could not afford to send me to a college but the writing bug was within me and I pursued knowledge with a passion, mostly by reading the great books of the Western World and anything else that I could lay hands on.

PUC turns down BEL’s request for 11% hike in rates
Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission John Avery issued a decision last Thursday, December 24, disapproving a recent request filed by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) for an 11% increase in electricity rates, which the company said would reflect the actual cost of power from 2012-2016, the full tariff review period. Avery said that the PUC “approves no adjustments to the Mean Electricity Rate and Tariffs previously approved for the period January 1, 2016, to June 30, 2016, and hereby orders the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) to levy the currently approved Tariffs in respect of the relevant services it is licensed to provide…” He also said that the PUC had approved no adjustments to any other previously approved Regulated Values, Mean Electricity Rates and Tariffs, Charges and Fees. BEL had contended that its submission, made on Thursday, December 10, was based on an underestimation of the cost of power (COP) impact of its gas turbine and an overestimation of the cost of power impact, primarily due to lower rates from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) in Mexico. The company, therefore, asked the PUC to increase the average electricity rate from 35 cents per kilowatt-hour to 38.85 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Pump prices escalate due to hike in fuel tax
Pump prices spiked at midnight on Sunday, December 28, largely due to an increase in import duties on premium and regular gasoline as well as diesel, resulting in an increase of up to 13% at the pumps. “This increase has become necessary as a fiscal consolidation measure to strengthen public finances at the start of the new 2016 calendar year and also to compensate for the decline in revenues linked to the decline in domestic crude oil production,” said a statement from the Ministry of Finance on Monday. When consumers buy regular or premium gas, 45% of the bill consists of taxes to the government. Consumers who buy diesel pay a little less, with 41% going to the government in the form of taxes. Many consumers who have been observing market trends and seeing oil prices tumble to as low as US$30 a barrel have been questioning why Belizean consumers have not seen the prices fall more substantially at the pumps. The latest information indicates, though, that while the cost of landing premium fuel in Belize fell by 7 cents on the gallon from $3.90 to $3.83, pump prices actually increased from $8.58 to $9.30, with the taxes at the pump increasing by 75 cents on the gallon.

Keyren Tzib gets Supreme Court bail in time for Christmas
Belize Coast Guard seaman, Keyren Tzib, 24, who had been on interdiction for a shooting incident involving a fellow Coast Guard officer in April and who was charged three months later, in July, with manslaughter following the stabbing death of her common-law husband, Thytis Blancaneaux, was released on Supreme Court bail this morning. Supreme Court Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez released Tzib on a bail of $10,000 plus two sureties of the same amount. Gonzalez ordered that Tzib report to the Ladyville Police Station every Tuesday and Friday and that she surrenders all of her travel documents to the court. In addition, the court also stipulated that Tzib stay away from all prosecution witnesses in the case.

Rice importer Jack Charles seeks writ of mandamus against BAHA
Today, Christmas Eve, attorneys representing the parties in the rice stand-off between importer Jack Charles and the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) held a brief in-chamber hearing before Supreme Court Justice Sonya Young. Attorney Leroy Banner is representing Jack Charles, while Deputy Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke, is representing the government agency BAHA, and another attorney, Eamon Courtenay, SC, is seeking to join the case on behalf of local rice producers. When the attorneys exited the court, Banner explained to reporters that the government side made an application to the judge for the case to be adjourned because they need “more time to be fully prepared for the case, and be properly apprised of the information.” Banner said that they will return to court on December 31 to make submissions, and then on January 4, there will be a hearing.

Farmer “chopped up” and shot to death in San Pedro Colombia
According to police, a San Pedro Colombia farmer died after being chopped several times and shot in the chest. Evaristo Bul, 55, of San Pedro Columbia, was seen lying in a pool of blood with multiple chop wounds to the left side of the head and shoulder and several gunshot wounds to the left side of the chest and the right elbow. Bul was declared dead on the scene. He was found lying on the ground on the road between San Pedro Columbia and San Miguel, in an area about ½ mile beyond the San Pedro Columbia Bridge at about 9:20 Saturday night, Boxing Day. Police reported that Bul was involved in a land dispute case at the Alcalde Court earlier Saturday evening, after which he was reportedly threatened.

The Reporter

Heroin/weed seized in busts in Belize City and Seine Bight
An anti-drug operation in Belize City on Monday night yielded 22.5 pounds of heroin in a taxi, while police in Seine Bight village earlier that same day resulted in the discovery of just over four pounds of marijuana. The seizure in Belize City occurred on […]

BDF staff sergeant killed in road traffic accident
A head-on collision traffic involving an ADO bus and a pickup truck on Wednesday night ended in death when a Belize Defense Force (BDF) officer lost his life. The victim is Artemio Mendez, a staff sergeant of the BDF. Mendez was driving the Mahindra pickup […]

Stevedores get “bukut” for Christmas, says CWU
With the Government of Belize (GOB) passing a Statutory Instrument regulating the stevedores’ ability to strike, Christian Worker’s Union (CWU) President Audrey Matura-Shepherd says that GOB has given them the “bukut” for Christmas. Matura-Shepherd explained the stevedores’ strike action earlier this month came as a […]

First Caribbean Bank closing its doors! Employees still have no exit package
First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB) has officially announced the date it will cease its operations in Belize. FCIB issued a statement saying it had received formal approval from the Central Bank of Belize to complete the sale of it’s assets to Heritage Bank by January […]

Reform Area: Access to Credit
Legal framework to support use of movable assets In the last “Strictly Business” we had commenced a discussion on the general role that movable assets can play in bridging the credit gap that is often cited as one of the leading constraints to growth of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises […]

Veteran journalist needs financial assistance for urgent medical care
Patrick E. Jones, known internationally for his up-to-the-minute posts and breaking news on his Facebook page entitled, “Breaking News, News at the Speed of Live”, needs assistance to undergo urgent surgery for Acute Pancreatitis. Jones told the Reporter this week that he has been […]

Ladyville cops foil robbery attempt in high speed chase
Ladyville police this week intercepted a vehicleand recovered a sub-machinegun. which they believe was intended for a robbery attack According to Eastern Division Rural Commander, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, police acting pn a tip that individuals in a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, were on their […]

Belizean climate change specialist Carlos Fuller endorses Paris Agreement
Amidst the ongoing controversy with the international climate change commitment, known as the “Paris Agreement,” Belize climate change specialist Carlos Fuller has endorsed the resolution. Fuller, the international and regional liaison officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (5Cs), explained this week that in […]

Year in review 2015
Ingrid Fernandez Staff Reporter General Elections 2015 General Elections, were without a doubt, the most significant event of the year. In October, Prime Minister Dean Barrow called the elections only three years and eight months into the party’s second term, setting the date for November 4th, giving contending parties just […]

Stranded Cubans get to move on
Following an agreement reached by a group of Central American nations this week, some 7,000 Cuban immigrants will be able to continue their pilgrimage to the United States. The countries met in Guatemala City on Monday to discuss how to deal with the immigrants who […]

Toddler killed in hit and run in OW
A tragic accident in San Estevan village, Orange Walk town has left a toddler dead, two days after Christmas. At around 4:40 p.m. on December 27th, 15-month-old Genesis Teresa Medina wandered out of her house and into the street, without her parents’ knowledge. Witnesses told […]

Teen stabbed to death at horse race on Boxing Day
Lennox Flowers, 18, planned on viewing the horse races in Burrell Boom on Boxing Day but instead, met a violent death at the hands of three of his peers bearing knives. The youth, who lived on Partridge Street in Belize City, had gone with someone […]

93 year-old man savagely beaten, sodomized and robbed at home
A 93-year-old man, who lives alone at #12 Fern Lane in Belize City, regained conscious ness on Tuesday, but remains critical in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after being robbed, assaulted and possibly sodomized on Sunday. The family of Patrick Grant is furious over […]

SIB comparisons highlight inflation highs and lows
From January to November, the average prices for goods and services in Belize were lower than they were when compared to the same period in 2014, according to data compiled from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). The SIB’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, which […]

PUC says “no go” on light bill increase
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has rejected Belize Electricity Limited’s (BEL) request to increase the the price of electricity for the new year. The PUC, having reviewed BEL’s request for an 11 percent adjustment to the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) and Tariffs previously approved for […]

Editorial
The Government of Belize through its Ministry of Labour has placed waterfront workers under the Essential Services Act. This means that they are not allowed to go on strike without giving formal notice 21 days in advance. CWU stevedores called a surprise, unofficial strike ten days before Christmas. Port workers […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Soldier dead in bus accident
34 passengers traveling on an ADO bus headed to Cancun, Mexico last night lived a harrowing ordeal when a BDF assigned Mahindra pickup crashed into the driver’s side of the bus at Mile 40 on the Philip Goldson Highway just before 9p.m. While the […]

Two men charged in heroin bust
39 year old Richard McDonald of Hattieville and 25 year old Giovanni Requena of Belize City, were charged with drug trafficking in respect to 11,155 grams of heroin when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. McDonald, a tour operator, and Requena, a […]

Woman charged for theft over wedding gift
A 25 year old woman, who allegedly took $3,500 that was stolen and deposited in her bank account, was denied bail and remanded into custody when she appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was arraigned on a charge of handling stolen goods. […]

Mr. Program” sent to jail for unpaid court fines
Popular artist Gilbert Alamilla, better known as “Mr. Program,” is spending the first five months of the New Year in Hattieville, at the Central Prison, after he was picked up by police for failing to pay fines which he owed the Magistrate’s Court. The […]

San Pedro cop charged for sexual assault
Following the arrest of a San Ignacio cop for a rape inside the police station this week, the Department has arrested and charged another policeman, a constable from San Pedro Town, with three counts of sexual assault. 26 year old Kyle Hubert Serano, attached […]

Prime Minister preaches optimism in New Years address
It’s not quite 2016 yet, but Prime Minister Dean Barrow has released his official message to kick off the New Year. Prime Minister Barrow stated that there are still reasons to be optimistic that Belize will have another successful year despite reduction in Petrocaribe […]

San Pedro police officer arrested for raping 13-year-old girl
In connection to reports made by a 13-year-old female from San Pedro town, on December 9th a 26-year -old police constable attached to that municipality’s police formation, has been arrested and charged with three counts of “sexual assault”. The minor reported around 5:58 p.m. […]

Belize City police make huge heroin bust
It is common in this country that police make busts of cannabis, which is found and seized almost every day in different districts, but on Monday, December 28th officers of the Anti-Narcotics Unit made a huge bust in Belize City. While conducting operations, the unit […]

Placencia police find four pounds of weed
Placencia Police conducting anti-drug operations yesterday morning, made the discovery of more than four pounds of cannabis in Seine Bight village near a dump site. Between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., officers found a three black plastic bags and a jersey shorts […]

San Ignacio police investigate fraudulent cheque
San Ignacio Police are investigating the case of a fraudulent cheque received by Caribbean Tires in Spanish Lookout on Tuesday, December 29th in the name of ‘House of Salvation’ as payment for six tires that were sold on December 10th. The tires, each valued […]

Toledo resident wins new truck from UNO raffle
King’s Service Station along with UNO Gas Station in Punta Gorda Town, held its grand end of year raffle a short while ago in front of the UNO compound, where a brand new 2015 Ford Ranger pickup truck was handed over to its new […]

One dead in Wednesday night bus collision
One man is dead while a Mexican bus driver faces possible prosecution following a traffic accident on Wednesday night. Sometime after 8:00 last night a grey Mahindra pickup truck driven by Artemio Mendez, a BDF Staff Sergeant and an ADO bus from the Linea Dorada bus line in Mexico, […]

Mostly cloudy skies heading into the New Year
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies at times today and tonight with a few showers mostly inland today and over southern areas, as well as some coastal areas tonight. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots with occasional higher gusts and […]

Blogs

The Best of My Week and Others’ In Belize PLUS INDIA! You Are Killing ME!
Merry Christmas and now…Happy New Year. Today is the very last day of 2015 but I’m just recapping the last week or so. A week that has been about The Holidays, INDIA and the wind. My three word summary for the last week of 2015. Now let’s get to Christmas…and then the weather both under and ova the sea. But quickly…let me show you this photo taken on one of the smaller southern cayes. A house (?) built of conch shells…AMAZING. I need more information! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! I’ll see you on the flip side If there is anyone going out tonight – all night – and wants to guest post…PLEASE let me know. But not after 10pm…I’ll probably be sleeping :)

Pictures of Belize – The Best Belize Travel Selfies of 2015!
Selfie, we are all guilty of taking them! And in 2013, when the word “selfie” entered the Oxford Dictionaries it quickly became the word of the year. The selfie is of course a photographic self-portait. Despite it’s recent popularity, selfies have actually been in existence for years, but technology has changed the game. When in Belize, you’ll most likely see tourists pulling out the selfie stick at some of the major attractions. Here we list some awesome selfie travel snaps that portray the fun and exciting things to do in the jewel.

“Who Let The Dogs Out?” In San Pedro, Ambergris Caye,Belize
For first time readers (where have you been?) I’m the real cute and good looking one on the right. Oh, and my full name is Ziggy BelizeEast. I’ve grabbed hold of John’s iPad to let you know what kind of Christmas I had. I was hopeful that Santa Paws would bring me an iPad of my own but I had no such luck. To say I’m gutted would be an understatement. I did get some great presents though but not before we all dressed up in our Christmas gear. I’ve got to admit it, I only kept it on because it had Arsenal’s badge on it. I wanted a snazzy Christmas T shirt like the rest of them.

International Sourcesizz

The Good and the Bad About Moving to Belize
It sounds so perfect: a country with Caribbean islands where the principle mode of transportation is a golf cart, the people speak English and you are surrounded by crystal clear waters and gently swaying palm trees. But what is it really like to live in Belize? On our Web site, Best Places in the World to Retire, more than 50 experts (most of them expats) provided more than 1,000 answers to the most often asked questions about living in Belize. Bentley Wildman, who was born in Canada but who has lived most of his life in Belize, provided another example. "Yearly property taxes are very, very low in Belize. In Consejo Shores (Corozal), they run about $25 a year, either for a house, a bare property, or a mansion." Lisa McCorkle, daughter of the woman who opened the first hotel in Ambergris Caye, put the cost of living in Belize in context when she explained, "What causes us to live more inexpensively overall is that we don't have a lot of the costs you have in the US." McCorkle gave some examples in addition to how much cheaper it was to have a golf cart than a car and the almost non-existent property taxes. "We don't have any heating bills, and we don't have to pay to go on vacations to beautiful places. For many years I kept taking my kids to beaches in Mexico, until I asked myself, 'Why am I doing this? We live on the beach!'"

Forbes 20 Best Foreign Retirement Havens For 2015
A great way to end the year. Forbes 20 Best Foreign Retirement Havens For 2015! Belize at No. 3

First Caribbean Bank to cease operations in Belize
First Caribbean International Bank (FCIB) will cease operations here the end of January to complete the sale of its asset to Heritage Bank. According to a statement from FCIB, it has received formal approval from the Central Bank of Belize to complete the sale of it’s assets to Heritage Bank by January 31 and based on this the bank will close its doors on January 29. However, questions surround the exit package to be offered to the more than 40 employees still working at the institution. President of the Christian Worker’s Union (CWU) Audrey Matura Shepherd on Tuesday said the bank has not met with the Union since October to discuss the exit package.

The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2016
Retiring abroad is easier and more affordable than ever before. These days it really is possible to spend your days relaxing beneath palm fronds on a Caribbean beach, enjoying farm-fresh produce in a mountain haven with year-round spring weather, or wandering the storied streets of a historic and cultured European city…or all of the above. But with so many choices available, finding the right one can seem daunting. Enter International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index. Researched over months with the help of our ever-growing team of correspondents, editors, and contributors all over the world, this Retirement Index is the ultimate resource for helping you find your ideal retirement haven. And our 2016 Index is our most comprehensive yet. We’ve crunched more numbers than ever before…asked more questions of more expats…all in a quest to bring you the best retirement havens in the world. And here they are. Among this year’s 23 countries you’ll find something to suit every lifestyle and budget…

Videos

  • Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, 2016 New Year's Address, 11min. "I believe, then, that the symbiosis of new mandate and New Year will be not just symbolic, but a real spur to action."

  • 2015 Review: In the Net, 7min. Clips from 2015 adventures through Northern California, Nevada, Belize, Mexico and more.

  • CAVE TUBING IN BELIZE, 4min. Cave Tubing with Guide Omar Deras of Belize Inland Tours through Herman's Cave off Hummingbird Highway, Mile 42.

  • Belize 2015 Part 3 of 5: San Ignacio & Caracol, 5.5min. Visiting San Ignacio, Green Iguana Project and Caracol archeological site.

  • CAVE TUBING BELIZE, 4min. Cave Tubing with Guide Omar Deras of "Belize Inland Tours" through Herman's Cave off Hummingbird Highway, Mile 42.

  • Unusual Bonefish in Belize Manatee River, 2min.

  • Belize reef south of Tobacco Caye, 2.5min. Like coral reefs worldwide, the Belize reef is under threat and in places in collapse. Still, large parts of the reef are intact and healthy and full of life.

  • Fam Nibbering in Belize 2015, 7min.

  • News 5 - Top 10 Stories 2015, 53min.

  • 2016 New Years Message from Patrick Rogers BPP Political Leader, 2.5min. A warm greetings and a Happy New Year from BPP's Political Leader, Patrick Rogers.

  • Graphic video removal of a Belize Botfly, min. If you ever have the means to travel to Belize, don't pass it up. But try to pass up the opportunity the botflies will give you to be their human host; it's not as glamourous as it sounds.

  • San Pedro Fireworks NY Eve, 10sec. La Isla Bonita says goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016!

  • BEL employees honor the elderly, 1min. On December 30, 2015, BEL employees honored the elderly by serving luncheons and delivering care packages at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town and HelpAge in Orange Walk Town. In Belize City, lunch and care packages were distributed to the homeless.

  • Dolphins in Belize, 2min. Some dolphins drop by to say hello while we were diving in Belize.

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    Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
    White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
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    We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
    Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
    Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
    Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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