#512721 - 03/30/16 06:59 AM
Today's Belize News: March 30, 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
Misc Belizean Sources
Veterinary Ventures is Coming to Belize
On May 3, 2016 Saga Humane Society will welcome six veterinarians and five technicians to San Pedro for a fourteen-day Spay and Neuter event. The doctors of Veterinary Ventures will visit Saga Humane Society,
Caye Caulker Humane Society and the
Belmopan Humane Society. During the fourteen days, the doctors will travel into the
community, access current conditions, and take part in outreach, wellness and vaccination programs.
Of equal importance, the travel team has set a goal to spay and neuter over 400 animals. Read on for more...
Veterinary Ventures is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing humane veterinary care to the under-served animals of the world by providing veterinary services and care of animals in needy regions of the world. We work directly with local humane groups to help them help their communities by organizing spay-neuter campaigns to control stray animal populations. 100% of funds raised will go toward the medications and supplies for our campaigns!
We will be travelling to Belize in May 2016 and working with SAGA Humane Society, Belmopan Humane Society, and Caye Caulker Humane Society for spay-neuter campaigns in several locations in Belize. Our goal is to provide spay-neuter services for 400 dogs and cats while there.
We need YOUR help to meet this goal and provide high-quality care to these animals. Cost per surgery is approximately $20 per animal, which includes pain medications, anesthetics, antibiotics, and surgical supplies. Can you sponsor an dog or two?
Governor General Sir Colville Young Attends 15th Conference of the Presidents and Governors-General of the Caribbean Community
It has been announced from Belize House that the Governor-General, His Excellency, Sir Colville Young and Lady Norma Young , are attending the Fifteenth Conference of Presidents and Governors-General of the Caribbean Community to be held in Antigua and Barbuda from the 29th March, 2016 to 1st April, 2016; under the theme “ Maintaining the Relevance of the Crown in a Changing Caribbean”.
The conference will be hosted by the Governor- General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams KGN, GCMG, KNG, KSt. J, GCFO, and MBBS (UWI).
Letter: Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do... not!
by Paco Smith. Amid the latest, illegal and boldfaced move by Guatemala, to outrightly claim not only Sarstoon Island, but also the entire Sarstoon River, which has been acknowledged internationally as the shared border between Belize and its bellicose neighbour to the west, since 1859, understandably the stakes have become even higher insofar as Belize’s territorial integrity and national security is concerned. This is accentuated and compounded via the unholy bipartisan approach involving the recently re-elected UDP administration of Dean Barrow alongside Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition – PUP – as they persist in pushing their failed “4A Policy” of: appeasement, acquiescence, accommodation and adherence.
Given that we have ended the Lenten Season, with the conclusion of Easter, one is inclined to posit the notion of “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do”, to the current, untenable debacle in which Belize finds itself. But to do so, would inevitably lend to and perpetuate the endemic cognitive dissonance that unfortunately defines Belize’s citizenry.
Great Belize Cooking - Episode 5: Corozal (Black Recado & Murcia)
Great Belize Cooking is the newest show produced by Great Belize Television - Channel 5. It is a travelling showcase of the different cultural foods and ingredients used within communities throughout the country of Belize.
Host & chef, Sean Kuylen, takes viewers on this culinary journey, and even creates gourmet recipes using the traditional ingredients in non-traditional ways.
Season 1 will feature 6 episodes. Each episode is shot on location in each of the six districts of Belize, and features food that is popular in that geographic location.
Easter-Week Sailing Clinic Completed at Belize Sailing School in San Pedro
Two fine young Canadian Optimist dinghy sailors who live in the Toronto area came to Belize for a week of training at the Belize Sailing School. They were enrolled in the Belize Sailing School's March 21-27 Easter Optimist Training Clinic. They had spent the week before at a preliminary training on Curacao. The pair are siblings, Dhalia Steinitz, 13, and her brother Andreas, age 12. They and their parents were dedicating the entire spring break to sailing in preparation for three solid weeks of Optimist training events and regattas near their home town this coming August. His father Dan said that Andreas in particular has a shot at making Canada's 40-boat Optimist National Team.
Kevin Velasquez the current Belize National Champion, Caroline Sersland who ranks 3rd in Belize, and Nicholas Lausen who holds the 12th rank joined Dhalia and Andreas in the clinic. The addition of three of the Belize Sailing School's own candidates for international competition heightened all participants' resolve to concentrate and to train hard and enthusiastically. The clinic took place in the balmy waters behind the reef offshore at Caribbean Villas Hotel.
Belize Hotel Association at Beneath the Sea
The Belize Hotel Association, represented by Board members Barbara Hall and Rebecca Rath, will be at Beneath the Sea, this weekend April, 1, 2 and 3. at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Beneath The Sea will see exhibitors from international dive clubs, dive shops, resorts, training institutes and manufacturing units of scuba diving gears and machinery. It is the largest consumer Dive show in the New Jersey area.
Beneath The Sea's audience includes a growing market of professionals who dive and purchase top equipment, fashions, training and travel destinations. Beneath the Sea's 14,00 + attendees visit with the intention of spending their time and
money on ocean adventure, sport and travel. Diving has been rated as one of the U.S. top wealthiest outdoor recreations. In fact, according to The Outdoor Recreation Coalition of America (ORCA)... more than 3.2 million Americans participate in Scuba Diving.
In addition to an exposition floor presenting almost 400 exhibitors, representing everything from dive equipment, travel, instruction, and education about the marvels and needs of the oceans and their world underwater, Beneath the Sea offers a curriculum of over seventy workshops and seminars where the leaders of the dive industry come to lecture, give courses, and introduce new members of the ocean community to new equipment and diving's many specialties.
Many things have changed since Assad Showman was the foreign minister of Belize
By Wellington C. Ramos.
Dr Assad Showman was the foreign minister of Belize under the administration of the People's United Party (PUP) for many years in the 1970s before we became independent on September 21, 1981. He knows many things that we, the average Belizeans, do not know that were negotiated with countries like Russia, the United States, Great Britain, Panama, Guatemala, Latin American countries and many other countries in the world that were for and against the independence of Belize. Apart from him, the former prime ministers of Belize, Manuel Esquivel, Said Musa and the late George Cadle Price, the leaders of the National Independence Party (NIP), the late Philip Goldson and the United Democratic Party (UDP), Dean Lindo and Dr Theodore Aranda should have some knowledge of the issues as well. The most important negotiations that took place concerning our country of Belize, took place when the People's United Party was in power before we achieved our independence.
All the citizens of Belize need to know what was negotiated by the government of Belize prior to our independence because at that time they were asking us to support a document called "The Heads of Agreement". This document was brought from Great Britain by a British diplomat namely Nicholas Ridley, who was sent to Belize to negotiate the terms and conditions of our independence by the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
This is Thursday's painting at Crazy Canucks for Thursday. The sign up is giving us little problems so In order to sign up comment below! See you there on Thursday!
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement on the March 26th, 2016 Incident
The Government of Belize has requested the Office of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Adjacency Zone to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the March 26, 2016 shooting incident that occurred 400 meters east of the Belize/Guatemala border in the Valentin Camp area in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve within Belizean territory.
Members of the Belize Defence Force detachment who are stationed at the Valentin Camp Conservation Post were on a routine water supply and administration task at about 4:50 p.m. on Saturday when they came under fire from men armed with rifles. The encounter resulted in gunshot injuries to the arms and abdomen of a member of the BDF patrol. The injured soldier was subsequently transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and he remains in a stable condition.
Bus owners: "Being small I get squished, squashed and "shub" like cattle
Yamira Novelo is an environmentalist and tertiary level student who commutes from Belize City to Belmopan. She has finally decided she had enough and wanted to share her rant about the bus system and how difficult it must be for kids and people who are 5'4' or less on the road. This is her experience this Tuesday March 29, 2016
Yamira says "It's back to work and the first day of a working week. I haven't taken a bus in months but nothing has changed. The bus system is the same; people behaving like cattle in a pen trying to get out while trampling the smaller individuals. I'm not even sure if cattle would trample their own but people certainly do.
Being small I get squished, squashed and 'shub' like cattle.
And you hear everyone complain and sometimes a fight would break out. People yell all the time. Imagine we are reduced to such things but it is our fault. We complain every time about the public transportation issues and reduced ourselves to cattle behaviour.
Road works between miles 2 1/2 an 3 1/2 on the Consejo Road
Ministry of Works is currently conducting road works between miles 2 1/2 an 3 1/2 on the Consejo Road. Motorists are kindly advised to exercise caution when approaching this area as heavy equipment and road fill may interfere with normal traffic.
Sand Sculpting Competition
Thank you to all who made the inaugural Sand Sculpting Competition a great success at this past weekend's Easter Splash Beach Party. To our competitors and winners - Alvaro Dominguez (1st), Benjamin Cal (2nd) and Carlos Carrillo (3rd), thank you for your participation and creativity. Great thanks to our collaborators and sponsors of the cash prizes; Minister Pablo Marin and Fun Vybes.
Power interruption 10:00am to 12:00 midday, Wednesday, March 30 Stann Creek: Silk Grass, Hopkins, Sittee River, Maya Center & Riversdale.
BEL to replace utility pole carrying high voltage lines in area.
CARSI Economic Support Fund Grant
Thinking about applying for the CARSI Economic Support Fund Grant but have questions?
Please join us on Tuesday, April 12th for an online Q&A at 1:30 PM (Belize Time).
This meeting will address: The background on CARSI, Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) objectives, Discussion of how proposals will be evaluated, Program budget overview, How to submit your application on Grants.gov, DUNS number applications SAM.gov registration, and an open Question & Answer session for any other questions you might have.
BDF Soldier Ambushed and Shot By Guatemalan Bandits At Caracol
On Holy Saturday, waves of concern went out all across the country after news hit the social media that a BDF Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey had been shot near the Western Border in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. More worrying was the information that he and other soldiers were ambushed by Guatemalan civilians in Belizean territory.
We've been pressing the country's security council officials for details all day, but it was not until a few minutes before the start of news that a press release was issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It confirms that the shooting happened 400 meters east of the Belize/Guatemala border in the Valentin Camp area in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve within Belizean territory.
The Ministry release explains that BDF soldiers stationed at the Valentin Camp Conservation Post were on a routine water supply and administration task at about 4:50 p.m. on Saturday when they came under fire from men armed with rifles. The encounter resulted in gunshot injuries to the arms and abdomen of a member of the BDF patrol. The injured soldier was subsequently transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and he remains in a stable condition."
Why Did They Kill Alwayne?
Everyone who knew 24 year old Alwayne Cherrington had nothing but positive things to say about him. He was kind, friendly, and mannerly and very involved in the services and peer activities at the Latter Day Saints Church…just a model young man. That's why when Cherrington was executed on Saturday night after 7:00 in the comfort of his family's home, the entire neighborhood was shaken. I went out to find more answers on this puzzling case.
Alwayne Cherrington spent most of his days here at the BCVI Lab. He had been a lab technician in the Glasses Production Unit for about a year and just in that time, he became a major asset to the organization - customizing these glasses to fit every single client.
Carla Ayres Musa, Deputy Director, BCVI:
"He came on and instantly just impressed everyone with his very charming personality. Very soft spoken and very quiet but also very bright and very intelligent."
With his skills and intellect, Alwayne would have had a promising future at BCVI. He was even planning to get certified and eventually become a doctor.
Cops Questioning Alwayne's Neighbor
So who would want Cherrington dead? Police are following leads on the possible involvement of a jealous neighbor but they can't confirm that as yet. What they can confirm is that Cherrington has no criminal history and is not known to be a part of any gang. Police told us more about this incomprehensible murder.
Insp. Alejandro Cowo, CIB - Precinct 1 & 2:
"What police has gathered so far is that on Saturday, sometime after 7, he was visiting a family member at 202 Lopez Street behind complex. While seated, speaking to family members, he went to look for his wife as his wife resides in that location. A male person just pushed his hand through the door and fired several shots at him causing the fatal injuries. Up to now we have 3 persons in custody that we are questioning who maybe can find provide some information to us in regards to these latest motives that we have in our area."
"Sir a motive for that murder?"
Insp. Alejandro Cowo, CIB - Precinct 1 & 2:
"Up to now we cannot establish a motive. This person is not known to be of any gang at this time, or gang affiliated or any other troublesome person."
Man Killed Outside Club
A man was murdered on Good Friday. It happened in Belmopan sometime around 3 am. Noe Cruz, a 37 year old Belizean Laborer of Las Flores Area, Belmopan, had visited the popular night club, and left. He wasn't seen again until a food vendor found him dead. She was picking up pint bottles at the end of the night and found Cruz in a sitting position beside the front wheel of a Nissan Patrol SUV. His pants were pulled down to his knees and he had cut wounds to the face and back of the head. Police told us via phone what they know so far.
Supt. Howell Gillet, OC, Belmopan:
"We believe that Mr. Cruz was socializing at the main night club and he exited the area appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and he went into the streets. Based on our investigation, we believe that he got into an argument with someone or some persons. We believe that it was then that he was fatally injured."
"Did he attend the establishment alone?"
Supt. Howell Gillet, OC, Belmopan:
"Well that's what we found out so far. He was socializing and he exited the establishment on his own prior to his death."
Cops Have No Clues In Waterlane Stabbing
The long weekend saw two stabbings in the City - none of them fatal. The first occurred in the wee hours of Easter Sunday. Around 2:50 am a man was found lying unconscious and bleeding in the Water Lane Area in Belize City. Ezikiel McKoy was taken to the KHMH where he was treated for multiple stab wounds: two to the back, one to the stomach and one to the throat. Now McKoy remains at the hospital in an unconscious state - and without his input, police don't know who to question:
Insp. Alejandro Cowo, CIB - Precinct 1 & 2:
"With reference to the stabbing incident, it happened on Sunday morning, sometime around 2 in the morning where police from Precinct 1, responded to a male person on Waterlane. Upon arrival they observed a male person lying on the ground with several stab wounds to the body. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he's presently at the ICU unit. He was later identified as Ezekiel McCoy, that's all the information that we have in regards to him. At this time, we are trying to locate any family members since up to now, we have no other information in regards to him. At this time we cannot give you a motive. We have checked about this person and we have no information as to being a person that is causing trouble or having problems with any other person."
Stabbing At Old Belize
The second stabbing occurred later that same day. Sometime around 4:38 on Sunday evening, police responded to a stabbing incident at mile 4 on the George Price Highway involving well known street figure Jason "Soup" Williams. Investigators say the incident stemmed from a fight between his younger brother Jermain Williams and two females at Old Belize. Sometime during the fight 21 year old Deon Warrior of Hattieville and the establishment's security guard got in the middle of the fight. That's when "Soup" Williams arrived in a vehicle, and allegedly knocked down Warrior, then stabbed him and attacked the security Guard before driving off. Here is what police said about it today.
"Well there was an activity at Old Belize. There was a function there, several persons attended that function and just before the function was concluded, there was an altercation at the entrance of Old Belize's gate. Deon Warrior and another person saw what was happening and they intervened. As a result a male person inflicted two stab wounds to him..."
Cops Get Weekend Weed in Benque
William Gonzales, a 20 year old Salvadoran, was busted with close to 7 pounds of weed over the weekend in Benque. Cops found it around 8:30 on Saturday morning when they saw Gonzales acting suspiciously. When Police searched him they found 6.8 pounds of marijuana inside his knapsack. As a result Gonzalez from Duckrun 3 Village was charged for of drug trafficking.
Passerby Spares Woman From Violent Attack
A woman was attacked in Belmopan this weekend but luckily she got away. It happened on Saturday night in San Martin around 10. 27 year old Lorytha Martinez left her house to buy food when a man approached her near the corner of San Martin Road and Guadalupe Street near the old fire station. The man grabbed her hand and tried pulling her in the nearby bushes threatening her with a knife saying, "I'm going to kill you." During the struggle she fell to the grass at the same time the assailant jumped on top of her pinning her head to the ground. But the sound of an approaching motorcycle, caused the assailant to flee the scene, escaping through the bushes. Martinez immediately ran to a nearby house and called police. Belmopan police urge residents to refrain from walking alone especially at night and to be very observant of their surroundings.
Castellanos Caught And Sent To Jail
On Easter Sunday, police managed to take a home-made firearm off the street and foil a planned assault. The man they caught with that gun is Michael Castellanos, and tonight, he's spending the first night of a 3 year sentence.
Just after midday, police came upon Castellanos, and a search led to this home-made gun, which is capable of fire shotgun cartridges.
He was charged with firearm offences, and when he was arraigned today in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Police believe that Castellanos may have been hired as a sort of hit man to conduct an attack on another civilian. Fortunately, police got actionable intelligence and moved confiscate the weapon without incident.
Shoplifting, Not Robbery
There was some excitement in the city this morning when word went out that police had responded to a robbery at Habet and Habet on Cemetery Road. But, it turns out that it wasn't a robbery - only a case of shoplifting where a man had snatched almost a dozen fluorescent tubes. Police responded quickly, arrested the culprit, and got back the lamps.
Pedal By Pedal Breakdown of Cross Country
If you're a patriot - this past Holy Saturday wasn't exactly a day that made your heart swell with pride. First, at midday, a Guatemalan won the cross country, easily, while his brother was second - worst of all? The Belizean they beat, Joel Borland is a young Coast Guard officer. And then it only got worse by 5:00 pm, a BDF Staff Sergeant had been ambushed by Guatemalan bandits in the Chiquibul and shot multiple times. By nightfall, the flag inside your heart was definitely flying at half mast? But how were two Guatemalan brothers able to beat everyone else, and to do it so easily? Well, our Codie Norales was out on the road on Saturday and he saw just how it unfolded. Kwame Scott has this report:...
Sign in on Princess Margaret Drive at the BTL Park started from 4:30 am - we see National under 23 Champion Giovanni Lovell in his Belize jersey.
2013 Champion Darnell Barrow, last year's second place finisher Scottie Weiss, defending 2015 champion Justin Williams and perennial contender Julio Padilla, two time Cross Country Champion Chris Harkey, veteran Fitzgerald Joseph, a blast from the late 80's and 2005 champion Bill Elliston.
At the line - past champions were called up to lead off the race which left from BTL Park in a rolling leadout at 10 minutes to 6:00.
The Winners Take It All
And, right after the riders crossed the finish line, 7News was there to talk with the winners and the losers about how it went.
Joel Borland, the first Belizean to cross the finish line right after the Padilla Brothers, told us that he was outnumbered on the final attack:
"What can you say about today?"
Joel Borland, 3rd Place - 2016 Cross Country
"Definitely hard. Definitely a lot of suffering, I could tell you that. I just to say thanks to the Belizean public, because with motivation even with the people who doesn't even know me "Belize, Belize. Borland, Borland." Thank you very much, because without them I wouldn't stick there as much. The Guatemalans just overpowered and out fast me. I have no excuse."
"At what point in the race did you figure it was going to be tough? Or you thought there was still a chance that you could beat them somehow?"
Teachers Went To Jalacte
And while the Guatemalans came to Belize City for the garland, Wil Maheia today took 100 Belizean teachers to Jalacte - which is at the southwestern border with Guatemala.
We're told that the outing took some three hours and the teachers, who organized the trip got a chance to see for themselves, some of the different cross-border issues at play between the neighboring Villages of Belize's Jalacte and Guatemala's Santa Cruz. We note that Santa Cruz is also an unregulated border point, and also a little shopping hotspot.
Stations Of The Cross In Benque
And, that's the news for this Tuesday night.
In the spirit of Easter - we leave you with images of the very rich religious celebration on Good Friday in Benque Viejo. It's called the Stations of the Cross and provides a vivid re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ and other cornerstones of the Catholic observance of Easter.
We have that tonight courtesy of NICH.
We leave you with that - and please join me back here tomorrow.
A B.D.F. Staff Sergeant is Shot Near Valentin Camp in the Chiquibul Forest
In early March, there was an armed encounter between Belize Defense Force soldiers on foot patrol in the Chiquibul National Park and Guatemalan poachers. At the time, one of the [...]
COLA Speaks Out in Wake of Near Fatal Shooting
This afternoon, COLA issued a statement on the shooting of Lambey. COLA called on the government to undertake an aggressive internationalization of the territorial dispute by Guatemala. COLA’s President Geovanni [...]
BCVI Optician Alwayne Cherrington is Executed Inside His Home
Just after seven p.m. on Holy Saturday, shots rang out on Lopez Street off Mahogany Street Extension in Belize City. It would lead to the first of two murders over [...]
Predawn Murder Near La Cabana on Good Friday
In the capital, a man known to the law was found dead. The family claims Noe Cruz was found in a seated position, but the police point out that Cruz’s [...]
Do You Support a Curfew for Children?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support a curfew for children? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at [...]
Senate Debates 2016/2017 Budget: No Stimulus for Business Community
The budget for fiscal year 2016/2017 was discussed at length by the Senate this morning, succeeding a two-day heated debate in the House of Representatives a week ago. Dubbed “Stability [...]
Opposition Says Barrow Budget is Uninspiring and Underwhelming
The Opposition, for its part, describes the budget as both uninspiring and insipid and therefore the party cannot lend its support to the budget that has ballooned into a massive [...]
Unions Say They Were Not Consulted in Drafting of Budget
With government and opposition senators weighing in on the budget in detail, one complimenting the financial plan and the other altogether condemning it, what is the union’s outlook for the [...]
2 Belize City Men Arraigned of Robbery of Gas Station in Scotland Half Moon
Six days after the robbery of Valley Supplies Gas Station, in Scotland Half Moon in the Belize District, an adult and a minor are facing charges. The armed robbery occurred [...]
Belizeans Busted in a Gang Sweep in the U.S.
There are reports tonight that U.S. immigration agents have arrested more than one thousand suspects and have charged them for attempted murder and witness tampering in an anti-gang sweep. The [...]
Who Stabbed Ezekiel McKoy on Easter Sunday?
There were two stabbing incidents in the city over the extended weekend…both on Easter Sunday. Sometime after two a.m., police found Ezekiel McKoy on Water Lane; he had been stabbed [...]
Supal Street Boss Arraigned for Stabbing Dean Warrior
Notorious street figure, Jason “Soup” Williams, is back in the news tonight for committing an aggravated assault with a deadly instrument and causing grievous harm during an incident at Old [...]
Juan Alvarado Loses His Life in Traffic Fatality on Bullet Tree Road
There are two traffic fatalities to report, one in the west and the other across the border. This morning on the Bullet Tree Road, Cayo, a Nissan pickup truck driven [...]
A Fatal Road Traffic Accident in Melchor Claims Life of Belmopan Resident
In the other fatality, reports are that sixty-eight year old Lloyd Andrews was killed as he drove to Melchor de Mencos, Peten. There were four passengers in his vehicle: Nora [...]
Faulty Electrical Connection Cause of Weekend Fire in Belize City
In addition to the murders and shootings, as well as traffic accidents that occurred during the Easter break, a fire also destroyed a small house. The house was unoccupied when [...]
William Gonzalez is Busted and Charged for Drug Trafficking
Police are reporting a drug bust at the Benque Viejo Del Carmen Bus terminal. It yielded them over six thousand grams of weed or more than thirteen pounds of the [...]
Vehicle Stolen from ASP Selvyn Tillett to be Returned to Belize
Assistant Superintendent of Police Selvyn Tillett was robbed at gunpoint on Valentine’s Day and relieved of his son-in-law’s pickup truck while in his hometown of Benque Viejo. ASP Tillett was [...]
Churches Weigh in on Budget
During today’s lengthy Senate debate, the church also had its say on the pros and cons of the annual budget. While Senator Ashley Rocke did not altogether pan the 2016/2017 [...]
Sports Monday: Guatemalan Wins the 2016 Cross Country Garland
Good evening, I’m James Adderley, this is sports Monday and I certainly hope that you had an enjoyable holiday. Of course the entire nation was glued to the 88th [...]
Easter Break Claims The Life Of One Person In The North
The Easter weekend resulted in the tragic death of thirty nine year old Hermelindo Mai, a resident of San Jose Village in the Orange Walk District. Mai along with his family had been invited by a friend to spend Easter Sunday at a ranch located in the village of Progresso. Upon their arrival at the village, they all travelled in a canoe across the lagoon to an island where they planned to spend the day swimming.
At about 4:30 in the evening the family decided to return to shore and that is when a day of fun turned into tragedy as the canoe containing ten persons including four children, capsized causing everyone to fall into the lagoon.
Our news team travelled to San Jose Village earlier this evening and spoke to Mai’s common-law wife, Sheila Corzo, who told us that she basically witnessed her partner’s death as he slowly drowned with his daughter in hand.
BDF Shot While On Duty, OAS To Investigate
News spread like wild fire on Saturday that a BDF Staff Sergeant was shot several times allegedly by a Guatemalan poacher. While over the weekend and most of today…there was no official report of the incident despite the press pressing for answers, late this evening the Government of Belize issued a release shedding some light into the incident.
According to GOB, members of the Belize Defense Force detachment who are stationed at the Valentin Camp Conservation Post area in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, were on a routine water supply and administration task at about 4:50 p.m. on Saturday when they came under fire from men armed with rifles. The encounter resulted in four gunshot injuries to the arms and abdomen of Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey, a member of the BDF patrol.
The injured soldier was subsequently transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and he remains in a stable condition.
COLA Voices Opinion On Shooting Of BDF Sergeant
While the BDF Commander, the Minister of National Security nor the Minister of Foreign Affairs has spoken about the issue, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA is not keeping quite. Today COLA issued a release stating that Saturday’s incident involving Belize Defence Force Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey provides another impetus for aggressive internationalization of Belize’s dispute with Guatemala.COLA calls on Government to issue a timely and relevant response and goes to say in the release that this is not the time to blame the media, no time to deflect deserved criticism.COLA also called on the trade unions, civil society, the NGO’s, the Chamber of Commerce and the Maya leaders to denounce these acts of aggression by Guatemala.
Fuel Price On The Rise
If you were one of the many Belizeans who visited the pumps last week to fill your gas tank just before the Easter vacation you probably didn’t even notice that you paid more for a gallon of fuel and that’s because Government did not announce the hike that took effect on Wednesday March 23rd.
Before the increase consumers paid $8.23 per gallon of regular gasoline now you will pay $8.85 per gallon that’s 62 cents more. As for Diesel…it went from $7.57 to $7.78 cents seeing an increase of 21 cents. While the price of premium remained the same, the price per gallon of kerosene reduced by a mere seven cents and now sells for $4.29.
As mentioned the increase was not announced by GOB who has indicated by the end of the year they plan to collect an additional fifty million dollars in revenues from fuel taxes.
Belizean Detained In US Raid
U.S. immigration agents have arrested more than 1,000 suspects on charges including attempted murder and witness tampering, in a nationwide operation aimed at international gangs, among those detained are Belizeans, according to a report on Reuters.
While most of those detained were Americans, 239 were nationals from Mexico, Spain, El Salvador, China, Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, Philippines, Belize and other countries.
The five-week operation headed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, dubbed Project Shadowfire, targeted criminal organizations linked to drug trafficking, murder and racketeering.
Of the 1,133 arrested, 915 were cross-border gang members and associates. Just over 1,000 were charged with criminal offenses and the rest face immigration charges, it said.
Governor General Travels To Antigua And Barbuda
Governor-General of Belize, His Excellency, Sir Colville Young accompanied by Lady Norma Young are scheduled to attend the Fifteenth annual Conference of Presidents and Governors-General of the Caribbean Community that will be held this year in Antigua and Barbuda under the theme “Maintaining the Relevance of the Crown in a Changing Caribbean”.
The conference which will be hosted by the Governor- General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams, commenced today 29th March and concludes on the 1st of April where several important issues will be discussed including presentations by Sir Christopher Geidt, the Private Secretary to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, on the topic, “The Crown and the Caribbean Realms – The Relationship”.
During the absence of his Excellency, Sir Colville Young, the functions of his office will be performed by Carlos Perdomo CVO, Cabinet Secretary.
Attempt Robbery On Stadium Street, One Person Charged
A female resident of Lamanai Street in Orange Walk Town reported that on Thursday March 17th while walking home on Stadium Street she was approached by a male individual on a bicycle who demanded money from her. The victim reported to police that while she refused to give up her items a struggle ensued between herself and her assailant. With the assistance of concerned residents of the area who came out to her aid, the female individual was able to get away from her attacker who fled the scene but was later captured by police.
Superintendent Selvin Tillett – Orange Walk Branch formation:
“Police patrol team detained the said male person and conducted an investigation and formally arrested and charge one Jorge Jimenez resident of Orange Walk Town for the crime of attempt robbery, Jimenez was arraigned and pleaded guilty and was send to three years imprisonment.”
Eighteen Year Old Nearly Beaten To Death
An 18 year old individual is tonight recuperating at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was assaulted over the Easter weekend.
Reports are that on Sunday at around 8:30 p.m. police received information of an altercation on Mahogany Street in Trail Farm Village in Orange Walk involving several youths from the area. When police arrived they found 18 year old Luis Fernando Lopez in a ditch bleeding profusely from injuries to his head and body.
He was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital suffering from head trauma, broken right rib, stab wound on the right leg and a broken jaw. Lopez was then transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a critical condition. One witness to the attack told our news team that she was at home when she heard the commotion; she said that she saw one individual being attacked by a group of boys who are known to cause trouble in the area.
#512722 - 03/30/16 06:59 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: March 30, 2016
Bullet Tree Accident Proves Fatal
The body of a San Ignacio carpenter is at the morgue awaiting a post mortem examination after he was involved in a traffic incident on the Bullet Tree Road in that municipality. Love News spoke with the Western Regional Commander, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez on the investigation. ANDREW RAMIREZ “ The other two passengers have been […]
Belizean Borland Claims 3rd; Padilla Brothers Claim Cross Country Garland
A new cross country cycling classic champion was crowned this past weekend. We have the details in the following report.
Foreign Affairs Issues Release on Shooting of BDF at Valentin
Earlier in our newscast we reported on a shooting incident involving a BDF soldier. A release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs came in a short while ago and we will read it verbatim. It says quote “The Government of Belize has requested the Office of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Adjacency […]
Senate Meets on Budget and Five Bills
Sitting of the Senate took place today with the aim of looking at the budget for the fiscal year 2016/2017. Senator for Government Business, Godwin Hulse explained the role of the Senate, today’s aims and objectives as well as the next step forward. GODWIN HULSE “After we close off the sessions and we pass the […]
Senator Lizarraga Concerned Over 2016/2017 Budget
The Senate sat in session today at the National Assembly where concerns and clarifications regarding the budget for the fiscal year 2016/2017 were aired. The session began a few minutes before ten o’clock with Eamon Courtenay being officially sworn in as a PUP Senator. Senator Macario Coy was the first to speak and he opened […]
Mechanic Dies in Traffic Incident in Peten, Guatemala
A well-known mechanic of Belmopan, Cayo District is dead following a road traffic accident that occurred about five miles outside Melchor de Mencos in Peten, Guatemala over the weekend. Lloyd Andrews was traveling with his wife, Leticia Andrews and his three children, ages five, twelve and fourteen when the incident occurred. His 14-year-old son, Jimmy […]
Orange Walk Resident Drowns in Progresso
On Easter Sunday, reports are that nine men went to Progresso in a canoe. Late that evening, while in the water, the canoe capsized. All passengers resurfaced except thirty nine year old Hermilindo Mai. His body was retrieved an hour later. Superintendent Dennis Arnold, Officer in Command at Corozal says that they do not suspect […]
Quintero to Be Arraigned Following Fight in Northern Belize
Orange Walk Police have detained 21-year-old Freddy Quintero of Trial Farm Village pending charges. Police say on Sunday night they responded to reports of a fight on Mahogany Street in Trial Farm Village. There they saw 18-year-old Luis Fernando Lopez lying in a drain bleeding from the head. He was transported to the Northern Regional […]
Two Busted with Cocaine on Ambergris Caye
22-year-old Michael Anthony Mendez has been charged with drug trafficking. On Friday, morning police responded to a fight in front of Luna Loca located on Pescador Drive in San Pedro Town. Mendez was detained and escorted to the San Pedro Town Police Station where a search was conducted on him resulting in the discovery of […]
Breaking Belize News
City man murdered on Saturday night
Belize City Police are investigating a Saturday night shooting that claimed the life of 24-year-old Alwayne Cherington who was at a friend’s house when the incident occurred. Investigations revealed that while socializing inside the friend’s house on Lopez Street at around 7:05 p.m., a […]
Teenager critical after being badly beaten
Police officers responding to reports of a fight in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk District on Sunday night, saw the badly beaten and stabbed body of 18-year-old Luis Fernando Lopez upon their arrival at the scene. At 8:35 p.m., Lopez was discovered on Mahogany […]
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement on the March 26th, 2016 Incident
A short while ago the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a formal statement on the incident that played out on Holy Saturday where a BDF was shot while on duty. The statement says that members of the BDF detachment stationed at the Camp Valentin conservation […]
Man hospitalized after Sunday morning stabbing
Investigation are ongoing into a pre-dawn stabbing incident that happened on Water Lane in Belize City and left Ezikel McKoy lying unconscious with multiple wounds. Around 2:50 on Sunday morning, police were called to the scene of the stabbing and were redirected to the […]
PACT awards over $1M in grants this week
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust will be awarding over one million dollars in grants to seven organizations on Thursday this week. $19,719 will be awarded to Celso Poot for “Evaluating the Central American Tapir’s Habitat Use and Movement in Central Belize: A Human Dominated […]
“Soup” Williams in Old Belize assault
Police have arrested and charged “street figure” Jason Williams, who goes by the alias “Soup”, for aggravated assault in connection with a stabbing incident that occurred at Old Belize on Easter Sunday. Inspector Alejandro Cowo, Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch South Side said […]
HE Sir Colville Young attends conference in Antigua and Barbuda
Governor General, HE Sir Colville Young and Lady Norma Young are in Antigua and Barbuda attending the Fifteenth Conference of Presidents and Governor Generals of the Caribbean Community. The event began today March 29, and runs to April 1st under the theme: “Maintaining the Relevance of the […]
Police brutality claim by accused in Scotland Halfmoon robbery
Police last week announced the arrests of 22 year old Trevor McFoy, a evening division student of SJC Junior College, and a 17 year old high school student of Belize City in relation to an armed robbery at the River Valley Supplies Gas Station in […]
Belizeans busted in US gang sweep
U.S. immigration agents have arrested more than 1,000 suspects, including several Belizeans, on charges including attempted murder and witness tampering, in a nationwide operation aimed at international gangs, officials said on Monday. The five-week operation headed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, dubbed Project […]
Dangriga man charged for rape of female minor
A 28-year-old Dangriga resident has been charged by police for the offense of ‘unlawful sexual intercourse’ after a female minor reported that he raped her last Wednesday while she was at home with her sister and grandmother. The minor told police that a man she knows entered […]
Warm and dry conditions to prevail
Winds will be blowing to the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be moderate.
High temperatures today are expected around 87 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast; 94 degrees Fahrenheit inland and a comfortable 80 degrees Fahrenheit up at the exposed areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and along the Maya Mountains in the south.
Overnight at Cayo Frances Farm & Fly – Leeward Side of Ambergris Caye
Sunday afternoon, we headed up to “the farm”…or to the entrance Cayo Frances lagoon – a huge lagoon in the center of Ambergris Caye. And one of a handful of developed properties on that whole side of the island…
Sunday was a gorgeous gorgeous day. We passed the 5 star Cayo Espanto as we looped out of the lagoon behind San Pedro town.
And then, about 10 miles north passing “Secret Beach” and the pretty pinkish sand bars, we dipped into a little cut in the mangroves…a deep channel and then shallow shallow water.
And back to a little peninsula where “the farm” is well on its way to being finished. A place for flyfishermen, people who like to relax, kayak, swim, sun, SUP and more…
The shallow water – you can see the little cut where the channel is and how shallow the little lagoon is.
Belize – 8 things that just won’t happen here!
People travel to make memories, have experiences, grow, or relax. Regardless of where you go, things are bound to happen! but here in Belize, we can assure you that these 8 things just won’t!
1. You’ll never stay at a chain hotel,
2. You’ll never eat at a chain restaurant,
3. You’ll never get lost at an airport,
4. You’ll never get stuck in traffic,
5. You’ll never breathe cleaner air,
6. You’ll never run out of things to see,
7. You’ll never be closer to nature,
8. You’ll never want to leave.
GRAND CARIBE BELIZE’S EASTER ACTIVITIES – A HUGE SUCCESS!!
Grand Caribe Belize hosted what is becoming an annual event. Our Easter Egg Hunt Activity.
With about 30 plus youngsters, including guests as well as owners’ children, the day was set to be a fun filled one.
Our first activity was the Balloon Popping contest. The object of the game: the participant must run and fetch the balloon, blow it up, run over to an assigned chair and – using only the pressure from bouncing on the balloon – pop the balloon. The first one to pop three balloons would be named the winner.
With little effort – 13 year old Azalea took this competition. The kids were quite adorable, as they pounced up on the slippery balloons.
The kids were too eager to get it started so – we moved straight into the Easter Egg Hunt.
The day before, Grand Caribe Staff with the help of our eager office practice students, Mali & Julius, prepared some 200 eggs stuffed with goodies and hid them around the property.
The Enemy of My Culture is Religion
by Julio Saqui.
I am a Maya teacher in my village. One of the things I teach is about our culture and traditions. Having been in the cultural field and a cultural enthusiast for decades, I now firmly believe that RELIGION is the most destructive force on our Maya culture in my lifetime.
Understand that I come from a family that valued our traditions and was proud of our culture. My grandfather taught my father, he taught me and my siblings, and we have tried to teach our children. It is a much more difficult task today than it was when I was a boy. But what does Maya culture mean? Our Tradition & Culture teaches our children Survival, Respect, Dignity, Appreciation, Love and Togetherness.
Maya culture is taught to us by our parents and elders, and it takes many years to fully understand our traditions. They include our attitude to our world, our village, the rain forest, our family, our community. It is our food, our marimba music and dance, our traditional dress and our celebrations. We have traditions for birth, marriage, raising children, looking after our elders and death. We have special ceremonies that ask our God for help and thank Him when he provides it. In those celebrations we pray and worship and learn to love and respect all of the gods that make up our GOD. All of our cultural practices are designed to ensure a peaceful life, free from hunger and fear. We have a system of restorative justice, known as alcalde, which keeps our villages in order and in peace. And historically that has been the life for Maya people, but not anymore….
Strategic Planning and Sustainability
How does a group of diverse community representatives start with an agreed upon vision for future community improvement and then turn ideas into tangible results through a planning process? Once community stakeholders have created a set of objectives aligning with their vision and goals for community improvement, the community must set about designing a revised organization and structure to move forward with the development of a plan that will minimize chaos and unintended consequences. “Planning” could be defined as creating a process that allows a group of people, such as in a community, to take action that will result in an outcome that would otherwise not have come about.
When thinking about planning for a community, maintaining and even increasing the assets available to people living in the future is an important operating principle. When developing a plan to improve the local area, you can see your whole community as an enterprise unto itself – one that serves its customers – all citizens – by satisfying human needs. By building your capital (e.g., natural, built, social, cultural, financial, political, and human), you are increasing your ability to satisfy human needs now and for future generations.
Business Case for Sustainability
In broad brush strokes, elements supporting the business rational for sustainability can be categorized into two basic areas: cost savings and enhanced brand reputation.
Business should be especially cognizant of the savings that can be realized by operating sustainably. Reducing reliance on fossil fuels and saving energy are not only good for the environment, but those savings drop straight to the bottom line. Similarly, anything a business can do to eliminate waste and use materials more efficiently can create cost savings both in terms of purchased materials as well as avoided costs affiliated with disposal of waste. Regardless of the size or type of company you work for, material and energy savings are typically easy to quantify and monetize. These are the sustainability no brainers.
There are additional benefits to be reaped when companies focus on environmental and social responsibility efforts. For example, enhanced brand reputation strengthens customer loyalty and can drive preferential purchasing behaviors. Given an equal playing field on cost and service, customers will more often choose products because of sustainability promises. Responsible companies also want to buy from responsible suppliers.
The March 27, 2016 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- SAN IGNACIO TAXI MAN AND WIFE
ROBBED ON BULLET TREE ROAD:
Sixty-one-year-old Albino Itzab,
a taxi driver of San Ignacio Town, and
his wife are lucky to be alive after
they were lured to the Santa Rosa
area by three passengers and
robbed of his vehicle and their
possessions. Caoba Restaurant in San Ignacio
Town when two males and a female
requested service Calla Creek on
Wednesday afternoon, March 16.
Itzab was not the slight bit suspicious
of the three Hispanic decent
individuals. On the way to Calla
Creek, about 500 yards from a farm
in the Santa Rosa area, one of the
males took out a knife and placed it
at Itzab’s neck. The would be robber
made it clear that he was dead
serious and ordered Itzab to hand
over everything he had.
- Man Knocked Down And Killed In Spanish Lookout:
Police have issued a notice of
intended prosecution upon Spanish
Lookout resident, Felix Sandoval,
59, who knocked down and
killed 89-year-old Guatemalan
National, Alejandro Padillo in
Spanish Lookout last week
Wednesday, March 16.
Police received information of a
road traffic accident in Spanish
Lookout at about 11:30 a.m. on
Wednesday. Initial investigation
revealed that Mr. Felix Sandoval of
Duck Run address had just finished
repairing his truck tire at the Esso Gas
Station compound on the Center
Road in Spanish Lookout and
while reversing out he felt an impact
at the rear end of the vehicle.
- New Kitchen At Octavia
Octavia Waight Center for the aged
now has a fully equipped new kitching
thanks to a partnership with the
Gobie Foundation. The center is
managed by Help Age Belize and is
currently home to 32 residents.
The center was founded in San
Ignacio Town about 25 years ago
with a visit by Raleigh International. The kitchen is fully furnished with
stainless steel refrigerators, two
large stoves, mixers and other
appliances. Donations were made by
businesses in the San Ignacio/Santa
Elena area such as Benny’s and
- Benque Viejo Archaeological Reserve Opened:
Benque Viejo del Carmen now has
a new attraction at its center, with
the opening of the Benque
Viejo Archaeological Reserve on
Thursday of last week. Once a
suburb of the nearby flourishing
Xunantunich City State, which existed
around 700 A.D, the just opened
Maya site may have once been the
home of an elite leader or warrior; that
gathered significant tribute last week
with the presence of Ambassadors
from Mexico, Guatemala, Canada,
Britain and Brazil.
Master of ceremony for the
opening was Dr. Allan Moore,
Associate Director of the Institute of
Archaeology, who welcomed all
the guests and attendees. At the
start of the ceremony, the National
Anthem was played by the Benque
Marimba Academy from the Benque
House of Culture. During the
ceremonies, Mayor of Benque Viejo,
Hilberto Ramcharan accredited the
efforts of Subrata Basu, a US Peace
Corps volunteer, who had worked
tirelessly for a period of three years
to preserve the Maya site.
- National Budget Debate Set
For Tuesday And Wednesday:
The General Revenue
Appropriation Bill (the national
budget) will be debatede on
Tuesday, March 22, and Wednesday,
March 23. Prime Minister Barrow
entitled his budget speech, “Stability
in a Time of Change”. The
budget is more conservative than
those of recent years – not because
Government cannot afford bold
ventures but because there is too
much uncertainty ahead. Questions
are left to be answered such as how
will the sugar industry fair in the
changing market; how will the citrus
and aquaculture industry rebound
from disease; how will the financial
sector be affected in the long term by
derisking exercises; what does the
future hold for the PetroCaribe
Initiative and what will be the
payment ordered by the court for
acquisition of Belize Telemedia
Limited, among others.
- Ashton Edwards Drops 45 Down
South, Including 10 From Downtown:
On Friday night, Belize City No
Limit hosted Cayo Western Ballaz at
Bird’s Isle in Belize City. The home
team jumped out to an early 20 - 16
first quarter lead, which they extended
to 36 - 27 by intermission. In the
second half, the lead was extended
to 26 points, which Belize City No
Limit never relinquished, easily
winning the game 85 - 61. Belize City
No Limit (4-5) was led by Michael
Babbles who had the game high of
24 points, to go with 6 assists, 4 steals
and 3 rebounds. Jamal Augustine had
the best game of his career, with 19
points and 6 rebounds, while Gregory
“Chippy” Rudon scored 18 points to
go with 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2
steals. Keith “Superman” Acosta finished
the game with 18 points and 9
- Massive National Convention In Dangriga:
The United Democratic Party’s
army marched into Dangriga Town on
Sunday, March 20, and flexed its
muscle with a turnout of over 5,000
supporters at an uncontested
convention. The coalition that took the
UDP to victory in 2008 was made up
of veteran UDP warriors, patriotic
Belizeans who were disgusted at the
PUP’s stifling of national pride and an
unprecedented youth base that wished
to rescue a future that the PUP was
giving away. The convention on Sunday
proved that the same coalition is
well oiled and growing even stronger.
They assembled under the theme:
“One Team, One Dream… United
We Work, United We Win”.
After years oin control of the
country’s local and foreign affairs,
there is no longer any question about
the strength and staying power of the
UDP coalition. Co-hosts of the event,
Area Representative for Dangriga,
Hope Creek and Sarawee, Hon.
Frank Papa Mena, and Mayor of
Dangriga Town, His Worship
Francis Humphries welcomed UDP
relatives from across the nation. Mena
said the massive showing reaffirms
what just a few months ago we
confirmed when we got the results of
the General Elections.
- STAR Humor
- Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
- Letters to the Editor
- Public Notices
March 30, 2016 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE
This Week's Stories:
- NEW FISCAL YEAR BEGINS, Challenges Abound - Restraint Applied - Optimism Maintained:
This Friday, April 1, 2016, marks the start of the new fiscal year. It is when the new National Budget kicks in with its approved allocations for public spending set out in General Revenue Appropriation Bill.
The new Budget Proposal was introduced in the National Assembly three weeks ago on Tuesday March 8, 2016 and debated in the House of Representatives on Tuesday and Wednesday March 22 and 23, after which the House approved it. It is expected to be ratified by the Senate on Tuesday March 29, after which it will be signed into law by the Governor General.of unprecedented regional and international challenges, against a backdrop of shrinking disposable financial resources, but thankfully on the back of a macro-framework characterized by, in the words of the Prime Minister, “an economy and public finances which stand on the rock-solid foundation of a strong currency backed up by excess reserves, robust fiscal revenues and a well-managed public debt.”
- BelizeanMore Border Problems, Guatemalan Shoots BDF Soldier:
A member of the Belize Defence Force was shot on Holy Saturday, March 26, 2016 by a Guatemalan farmer near the Western border. Sergeant Richard Lambey was at a water-pond more than a Kilometre north-west of the Valentin Operation Post, when he was attacked by the Guatemalan Xatero who had a .22 rifle. There was an exchange of gunfire and Sergeant Lambey was hit a few times, including to the abdomen and hand. As many as twenty-six expended shells have been removed from the scene. Sergeant Lambey is receiving medical attention at the KHMH Hospital.
As we go to press Easter Monday evening, the matter is under investigation by the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in accordance with the usual protocol adhered to with respect to such border incidents that have the potential to escalate tensions between our two countries.
- Guatemalans Grab Garland, Belmopan’s Borland First Belizean:
After 144 grueling miles of pedal-pushing, Belize’s most popular single-day sporting event, the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic, came to a finish at the BTL Park in Belize City, with two visiting Guatemalan cyclists taking first and second place.
The new Cross Country Champion is Alejandro Padilla Miranda, and the second place finisher is his brother Julio Padilla Miranda. Third place was taken by Joel Borland of Belmopan, the first Belizean to cross the finish-line. Fourth Place went to Brandon Cattouse; Fifth Place to Bill Elliston; Sixth Place to Scottie Weisse, Seventh Place to Nissan Arana, Eight Place to Robert Liam, Ninth Place to Henry Moreira, and Tenth Place to Ron Vasquez.
- Editorial: Reflection - Renewal - Recommitment:
The Easter Holiday just past, is invariably
for us a time of reflection, renewal
and recommitment to the principles
and ideals we strive to uphold. We trust
that such is the spirit of the entire nation.
The timing of the holiday this year
was particularly appropriate, as it marked
the end of the old fiscal year and the beginning
of the new. Following some fiery,
sometimes personal exchanges in the
House of Representatives, our parliamentarians
had the extended Easter weekend
to cool off and refocus; and now the work
of nation-building must resume in earnest.
By all accounts, the fiscal year that commences
April 1, 2016 will be exceedingly challenging
as disposable public resources are
shrinking and large sections of our productive
and financial sectors face crippling adversities,
some natural, others induced by the architects
and regulators of the global economy.
- Faber or Saldivar for Deputy?
PM Barrow “Scrupulously Neutral”:
It’s a contest that has been
looking inevitable for quite
some time, but it has now
been hastened by the voluntary
stepping aside of Hon.
Gaspar Vega as First Deputy
Leader of the United Democratic
Party. And, as expected, Belmopan
Representative Hon. John
Saldivar and Collet Representative
Hon. Patrick Faber have
both announced their entry into
the contest to fill the position.
Both gentlemen did so on
Monday, March 21, the day immediately
following the Party’s
National Convention which was
scheduled well in advance when
no one anticipated the position
of Deputy becoming vacant. As to
the special convention to fill the
post, that hasn’t yet been exactly
scheduled, but all indications
are it will be sometime in June.
- Fireworks in the Capital,
Debate on National Budget 2016-2017:
Eagerly awaited, this year’s edition of the annual debate on the national budget did live up to expectations as far as the fireworks were concerned. But how substantive and productive were the often fiery exchanges? The answer can be as subjective or objective as one wants to be. As objective as we can, let’s recap some of the highlights of the two-day debate.
In accordance with tradition as spelled out in the Standing Orders of the House, the debate kicked off on Tuesday March 22 with the rebuttal by Leader of Opposition Hon. John Briceno who gave an almost point by point reply to the PM’s Budget Proposal.
- CARICOM supports BELIZE, Issues Strong Statement against Guatemalan Intimidation:
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has issued a Statement expressing concern over an incident between Belizean Security Forces and Guatemalan Armed Forces, at the Sarstoon River, the Southern boundary of Belize with the Republic of Guatemala, on 12 March 2016. The full statement reads as follows:
“The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) expresses its grave concern over the incident which took place at the Sarstoon River, the southern boundary of Belize with the Republic of Guatemala, between Belizean Security Forces and Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) on 12 March 2016. The GAF entered Belizean internal waters and acted in an intimidating manner towards the Belizean forces at their Forward Operating Base on Belize’s mainland at the mouth of the Sarstoon River.
- National Unity on Belize-Guatemala Issue,
New Bi-Partisan Efforts and Old Political Challenges:
The new efforts at resolving the age-old Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute has an encouraging component, which is the rekindling of national unity around a bipartisan approach to negotiations and bi-lateral talks with the Guatemalans as facilitated by the OAS and supported by our international friends. This has been enabled, to a large extent, by the level of political maturity demonstrated by the opposition’s new leadership.
Shortly after being sworn in as Leader of the Opposition, Briceno met with PM Dean Barrow and expressed his party’s desire to work in unity with the Government on matters of National importance, citing the Belize-Guatemala relations as one such issue. Prime Minister Barrow has reciprocated the goodwill, keeping Briceno and his party updated on developments and including the Opposition in negotiations and bilateral talks at the highest level.
- BELIZE-GUATEMALA-OAS TALKS,
New Efforts At Resolving An Age-Old Dispute:
As we reported in our last edition, an encounter between elements of the Belize Defence Force and the Guatemalan Military in the Sarstoon area two Saturdays ago on March 12, had escalated border tensions between our two countries. In a press release, the Government had indicated talks were to take place in Washington on Tuesday, March 15th between the two sides under the auspices of the OAS, and that the Belize delegation headed by Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Wilfred Elrington would also include Assad Shoman as the representative of the Opposition.
Following the talks, the Government hosted a press conference in Belize City on Thursday, March 17 with Foreign Minister Hon. Wilfred Elrington flanked by Ambassador Assad Shoman and Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala H.E. Alexis Rosado.
- Catalyst For Change,
At the Center of Economic Development, Trade and Investment:
Every ministry and department is important, as it must fulfil its unique function as an essential part of the Government which has the full responsibility to manage the nation’s affairs and look after the overall interest and wellbeing of the people and country. One of them is the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce. That Ministry is led by Honourable Erwin Contreras with Honourable Tracy Panton as his Minister of State.
One of two women who are newly elected to the House of Representatives, Hon. Tracy Panton is a valuable addition to the Cabinet as she brings years of experience in various sectors of economic development, having served as Director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Tourism and CEO of BNE Trust managing proceeds from petroleum revenues for national development.
- Breaking The Cycle of Poverty,
Ground Breaking for Six New Schools:
More than 1,500 Students will soon be enrolled in new pre-schools & primary schools in Belmopan, Stann Creek and Toledo. In this regard, ground-breaking ceremonies were recently held to officially commence construction of the respective schools, thanks to the Government of Belize.
Funding for the construction of the 6 (six) government schools is made available through grant-funds from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) under the bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 7) Program. This means that students in the respective communities will have easier access to a better learning environment.
- “THE ESSENCE OF LIFE,”
Belize Celebrates World Water Day:
Often referred to as ‘the essence of life’, water is one of the most basic elements that distinguish our planet in a universe filled with millions of lifeless cosmic bodies. To highlight its importance, the United Nations has set aside a day, March 22, observed every year as International Water Day. This year, World Water Day was celebrated under the theme, “Water and Jobs”.
In Belize, the day was heralded with an exhibition and Water and Jobs Summit held a week in advance on March 15th and 16th, in Belize City and Belmopan.
- Making Municipalities Child-Friendly:
Much public investment has been made over the past few years in improving the physical infrastructure of our cities and towns countrywide; but most will readily agree that development is really about people, perhaps more importantly about children and young people who represent the future.
The question of how child friendly are our towns and cities, particularly Belize City, was recently addressed by UNICEF’s Country Representative in Belize, Ivan Yerovi at an event in the Old Capital.
- International Belizean Scientist ReturnsStrengthening Capacity against Human Trafficking,
Two-Day Workshop for Caribbean held in Belize:
The International Organization for Migration (OAM) has brought together key stakeholders from five Caribbean territories at a two-day workshop in Belize in an effort to strengthen coordination to counter trafficking in persons in the Caribbean.
Government representatives charged with leading their country’s counter trafficking efforts from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago gathered in Belize City on March 16 and 17, 2016, to discuss best practices as well as to explore areas of collaboration and cooperation.
“One aim of the workshop is to promote amongst the participants the use of regional cooperation and to share information, ideas and techniques,” said Rukiya Brown, project manager. IOM has been working for more than nine years with countries in the Caribbean training stakeholders, providing assistance to victims and governments, and raising public awareness through information campaigns.
- International Belizean Scientist Returns:
President of the University of Belize, Alan Slusher, extended an invitation to Dr. Arlie Petters to visit with the University’s Institutional Curriculum Review Committee.
The visit, held on Friday March 18, 2016 at the Jaguar Auditorium on UB’s Belmopan Campus, was intended to facilitate dialogue with Dr. Petters and the institution’s academic leaders.
Their Discussions focused on strategies to increase UB’s contributions to national decision making processes through a focus on targeted research engagements by Faculty. The group also discussed the significance of STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as a tool to build national capacities to support national development, economic growth and achieve poverty alleviation.
- TRANSFORMATION & INAUGURATION, OFFICIAL OPENING OF ISIDORO BEATON STADIUM IN CITY OF BELMOPAN:
The best FIFA certified stadium with all-weather synthetic turf in the country, was inaugurated in the City of Belmopan Tuesday, March 15. The new facility is home to the Belmopan-based Bandits Football Club.
Attending the opening ceremony was Area Representative and Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Works Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture Hon. Elodio Aragon, and Minister of Immigration and Natural Resources Godwin Hulse, along with Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle.
The magnificent facility was constructed under the supervision of Belize Infrastructure Limited and Pedro Lizarraga & Sons Construction Company.
The opening segued into the inaugural football match, Bandits versus the professional football club Progreso from Honduras. Belmopan Bandits lucked out and the match ended 3-0 in favour of Honduras.
- RibbonNational Coastguard Graduates 46 New Recruits:
Belize’s National Coast Guard brought in the Easter Holidays with its 8th Graduation Ceremonies on Holy Thursday, March 24 for a total of 46 new recruits. The recruits, both men and women, underwent rigorous training over a period of 12 weeks in order to become sailors in the National Coast Guard.
Speaking with Channel 5 News at the graduation, National Coast Guard Commander Admiral John Borland stated, “By and large they get absorbed into the fleet to start doing operations in an apprenticeship role because, remember, their first year they spend as seamen apprentices to get all the practical work and on the job training that they couldn’t get in twelve weeks of basic training, which was basically for transforming them from a civilian into a military figure.”
- Taiwan President’s Farewell Visit To Belize:
He first visited Belize back in 2009, one year into his presidency and the first term of the Dean Barrow Administration which both started in 2008; and President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan was back in Belize from March 16 to 17, 2016 as part as his farewell tour.
Upon arrival at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, he made the following statement: “It is a great honor and privilege for me to be invited by Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, to lead a delegation to visit Belize.
This is my second visit to this beautiful country. On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I would like to extend our warm greetings to the government and people of Belize.
World's Most Amazing Zip Lines
JAGUAR CAVE ZIPLINE, Belmopan, Belize.
Zoom into the depths of a cave for one of the most adventurous flying experiences on the Jaguar Cave Zipline. Fodor's listed the Jaguar Cave Zipline one of the world's best ziplines. They missed Bocawina's zipline somehow... There are some amazing ziplines around the world. Jaguar Cave is in the Nohoch Che'en area, and Dark Night has a short video showing the ride.
A highlight of Belize’s outdoor adventure culture, mainline cruises that port in Belize City—including Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruises—send passengers by the bus load to the Belizean rainforest course. Adventurers seek out the course for the chance to coast through ancient Mayan caves, try their balance on the rickety suspension bridges, and hover among stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Rotarians from Ellsworth, MDI deliver wheelchairs to Belize
Rotarians from clubs in Bar Harbor and Ellsworth joined a contingent from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to help disabled residents of Belize. Earlier this month, the Rotarians traveled to Belize to deliver 126 wheelchairs and help fit them to their new owners. The wheelchairs were purchased from the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation. The project was the work of multiple Rotary clubs from four distinct geographical Rotary districts. Nine Rotary clubs in Belize helped locate and distribute the wheelchairs to those who needed them.
“This is a good thing that Rotary makes possible for us to do, not just our club but our district,” said Shaun Farrar, the Bar Harbor club’s incoming president.
Following on the heels of a successful wheelchair distribution in Panama in 2015, the clubs applied for a Rotary International district grant to help support the effort for Belize.
U.S. Supreme Court Asks Solicitor General to Weigh in on Belize's Petition for Certiorari
On Monday, March 28, the Supreme Court of the United States called for the views of the Solicitor General regarding the Government of Belize’s petition for a writ of certiorari from a decision by the D.C. Circuit. Belize’s petition asks the Court to resolve a circuit split between the D.C. and Second Circuits regarding the vitality of the forum non conveniens doctrine, and provide much needed guidance as to the proper balancing of public policy interests, when U.S. courts are asked to enforce foreign arbitration awards.
"We are pleased that the United States Supreme Court is giving careful attention to these important issues," noted Juan C. Basombrio of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, counsel to Belize.
This case involves the enforceability of an arbitration award in U.S. courts that is similar to one which the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court in Belize, recently held to be unenforceable, because to do otherwise would disregard Belize’s “core constitutional values” and “attack the foundations upon which the rule of law and democracy are constructed throughout the Caribbean.”
2016 Women of Courage Award Winners
Debra Baptist-Estrada, Belize:
Estrada has fought corruption from within the Belize Department of Immigration for the past 20 years. From her position as port commander of the country’s only airport, Estrada helped U.S. officials break up a large drug and human smuggling ring last spring. Estrada was transferred to Belize’s northern border this summer, where she has repeatedly turned down bribes and unflinchingly upheld immigration laws.
US honors ‘International Women of Courage’
The United States issued awards Tuesday to 14 lawyers, activists, humanitarians and reformers said to represent "International Women of Courage."
"Fourteen leaders, fourteen role models, fourteen women of courage, one crystal clear message," said Secretary of State John Kerry.
"Don't accept the unacceptable or wait for someone else to step up. Act in the name of justice. Act in the name of tolerance. Act on behalf of truth."
All but one of the honorees were able to attend the ceremony in Washington, an annual event that began in 2007 to encourage women's empowerment.
The Best Vacation Depending On Your Relationship Status
Ah, relationships (or, depending on where you are in life, the lack thereof). They can be amazing - or amazingly complex. Now throw in a dash of wanderlust and what do you get? Likely confusion about where to go, how long to spend away and what to expect. Whether you’re single and ready to mingle, newly coupled, not even sure if you’re in a couple (uh, it’s complicated), or been married or partnered for years, it can be tricky to find a destination that matches where you are in life (and love). Here are Cheapflights.com‘s travel picks for every level of love.
You’re together, now you’re not. You’re dating, now you’re not sure what’s going on or where you stand. Cue the confusion. A trip during an “it’s complicated” phase of a relationship, or just when you aren’t really sure how committed the two of you are can be risky. However, it’s not out of the question and could, potentially, bring you closer together. Think fun, easy-breezy and eclectic to keep things interesting yet relaxed. A good option, which has both beach and eco-adventure activities, is Belize. It’s not too far and it has enough to keep both of you busy should things get, uh, even more complicated while you’re there.
Caribbean Investment Summit 2016- Miami
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) will host the 3rd staging of the Caribbean Investment Summit on May, 13, 2016 at the Marriott Hotel, Miami, USA. The event will be funded and co-organised by the Inter-American Development Bank as a part of a Regional Public Goods Initiative entitled: Support to Foreign Direct Investment in the Caribbean.
Produced with support from Financial Times’ fDi Magazine, the Caribbean Investment Summit offers a unique window for investors to the region’s diverse opportunities available to them, and aims to attract a wealth of potential investors interested in the dynamic Caribbean brand.
IMF concludes consultation with Belize
The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded the Article IV Consultation with Belize.
Real GDP growth reached 3.6 percent in 2014, up from 1.5 percent in 2013 and well above the five-year average of 2.9 percent. A rebound in agriculture, strong performances in tourism, electricity, construction and services offset the significant decline in oil-related activities. The fall in international oil and food prices pushed headline inflation (y/y) to -0.2 percent as of December 2014. The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded the Article IV Consultation with Belize.
Real GDP growth reached 3.6 percent in 2014, up from 1.5 percent in 2013 and well above the five-year average of 2.9 percent. A rebound in agriculture, strong performances in tourism, electricity, construction and services offset the significant decline in oil-related activities. The fall in international oil and food prices pushed headline inflation (y/y) to -0.2 percent as of December 2014.
IMF Executive Board Concludes 2015 Article IV Consultation with Belize
On September 16, 2015, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV Consultation1 with Belize.
Real GDP growth reached 3.6 percent in 2014, up from 1.5 percent in 2013 and well above the five-year average of 2.9 percent. A rebound in agriculture, strong performances in tourism, electricity, construction and services offset the significant decline in oil-related activities. The fall in international oil and food prices pushed headline inflation (y/y) to -0.2 percent as of December 2014. Despite strong tourism receipts, falling exports and relatively strong imports widened the external current account deficit to 7.6 percent of GDP in 2014, up from 4.4 percent of GDP in 2013. PetroCaribe and other official disbursements continued to finance the current account deficit and help build international reserves (equivalent to 5 months of imports at end-December 2014).
The fiscal stance deteriorated significantly in FY 2014/15 (April–March). The primary fiscal balance recorded a deficit of 1.5 percent of GDP, down from a revised deficit of 0.2 percent of GDP in FY 2013/14 and well below the surplus of 1 percent of GDP envisaged in the FY 2014/15 budget. Revenue collection remained in line with budget targets. Spending continued to grow well above budget targets. Financing of the fiscal deficit essentially came from a drawdown of PetroCaribe deposits and official external loans. Relatively strong GDP growth helped maintain public debt around 76 percent of GDP.
Jaguar Cave Zipline, 1/2min. Check out the only zipline in the world that takes through a cave!!!
Snorkeling in Belize 2016 - Part 1, 3.5min. Snorkeling off the Reef in Belize about 4 miles east of Coco Plum Island Resort (11 miles south-east of Dangriga)
Belize Trip Day 3, 5min. So I hope you all have been enjoying these vlogs and enjoyed the zip lining part in this one. And I will see you all tomorrow with day 4
Trippin to Belize. On a Cruise ship!, 8.5min.
Shark Ray Alley, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 2.5min.
Snuba Diving, Mexico Rocks, Belize., 2.5min.
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