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#513124 - 04/16/16 11:54 AM Today's Belize News: April 16, 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

A celebration of Belize’s Agriculture Industry
For years the National Agriculture and Trade Show (affectionately known by Belizeans as the Agric) has been a highlight on Belizeans’ calendars. Since its establishment in 1970, the show has grown by leaps and bounds, featuring all aspects of Belize’s agriculture industry. The main objective of the show is to educate the public on the importance of agriculture and its contribution to the Belizean economy and food security. This show is so monumental that the show grounds was created specifically for the Agric – talk about important! Each year during the Labour Day weekend, the grounds at the northern entrance of Belmopan City come alive with general display areas for produce, a rodeo area, stables, and a main stage area for entertainment. One of the main reasons why I attend the Agric is for the food. Be prepared to break that diet, because you will be in for a feeding frenzy! From freshly prepared cuts of meat – grilled, smoked and fried – to sweet treats like ice cream – in a million and ten flavours – your taste buds will go wild! Oh and let’s not forget the drinks! Only at the Agric can you get a ‘yarda’ (oversized tumbler) of freshly squeezed OJ with your favourite local rum – only if you are 18 and older – for chump change.

SPHS Female Softball Team training for the CAJFS Championship
On Saturday, April 2nd, the Belize Softball Federation invited all 19 and under junior female softballers for their first ever training camp. The camp was designed to help players prepare for the XV Central American Junior Female Softball (CAJFS) Championship scheduled for August 11-14. The San Pedro High School (SPHS) female softball team took full advantage of the amazing opportunity. Each team member showed dedication, adhering to all guidelines set by the federation. The team impressed the coaches at Roger’s Stadium in Belize City, so much that they were invited to continue in the ‘try-out’ sessions for a total of six weeks. They will be trying out for the U19 team, where only one or a few players from SPHS will represent Belize in the XV CAJFS Championships. Head Coach Derek Jones, Island Season Coach Jason Carlson, Volunteer Coach Andrew Schulman, and parents of the players are thus appealing to the San Pedro community for help. The team appreciates encouragement and recognition for their efforts, as well as support from their peers and school. However, the team seeks financial assistance to help with traveling costs. Any assistance or advice as to how the school, town and community can offer support, would be greatly appreciated by the team.

SPTC represented at regional workshop in Jamaica
Local Economic Development Officer (LEDO) of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) Jorge Aldana, is one of four Belizeans who recently returned from a regional knowledge building workshop organized and sponsored by CARILED in Kingston, Jamaica. The working visit, which ran from March 30th to April 1st, is a result of the island’s integration into the second phase of the CARILED program in the region. According to Aldana, various countries’ LEDOs, gained a deeper understanding of their role in the local economic development of their particular areas. “It gave us the opportunity to look at the role we play in developing a supportive relationship with the local business sector on the island,” explained Aldana. He elaborated on the importance of taking “an inclusive approach to local economic development as we do strategic planning, especially when developing a strategic plan of action for our island.” San Pedro is the fastest- growing municipality in the entire country, and with development there is an increase in traffic, demands for infrastructure, and goods and services.

8-Ball Pool Tournament heading back to the beach
With less than three weeks before the finals, the San Pedro Billiards Association held another round of fun games in their pre-season 8-ball pool tournament. Games were played at All’s Pool Bar in downtown San Pedro, where teams battled gain extra points as they head to finals. So far, Team Amigos continues to lead the competition. The games continue this weekend by the beach at Cholo’s Bar Pool Room beginning at 7PM on Friday and Saturday, while Sunday’s games start at 1PM.

MOH yet to confirm Zika case linked to Belize
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), outbreaks of the Zika virus have occurred in 34 countries throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, excluding Belize from their travel warning advisories. However, on April 6th, the officials of the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a press release referring to a message that was sent from the United States International Health Regulations National Focal Point concerning a case of Zika detected in a patient from the United States (US). According to the CDC, the transmission may have occurred in Belize. The CDC displayed a report indicated that an adult female resident who traveled to Belize from March 14th through 19th, having an apparent fever and rash on the 23rd of March. At the state health department, serum was tested positive for Zika virus RT-PCR. The patient reported that her travel history during that period was limited to Belize, and there was no evidence of possible sexual transmission.

Veterans and Catrachos to battle for Mayor & Minister’s Cup
After ten weeks of intense football matches, the grand finale of the Mayor and Minister’s Cup is finally here. Fans filled the Louis Sylvestre Stadium as four teams: Veterans, Ambergris Divers, Catrachos, and Peacemakers, played in the determining semi-final rounds. The first game was on Saturday, April 9th and the Veterans faced Ambergris Divers in a grueling match. Each team fought hard for the 1st place spot in the finals. By the first half, Veterans showed their experience with a 2-goal lead. In the second half, Ambergris Divers fought back, scoring one goal, intending to score another to tie the game. However, they ran out of time and the Veterans defense held up. With a final score of 2-1, Veterans took the #1 seed. On Friday, April 15th, Ambergris Divers and Peacemakers will be competing for the 3rd place trophy at 7 PM. The Veterans and Catrachos are set for the championship game, competing for 1st place and 2nd place on Saturday, April 16th at 7 PM. An awards ceremony will follow, with the presentation of the championship and trophies, as well as the announcement of the recipient of the golden boot, and the MVP of the tournament.

Ambergris Today

Impressive Tourism Numbers Prove Belize is Trending
January and February 2016 saw an increase in arrivals for overnight visitors of 24% and 18.4% respectively over 2015.The increase in passengers over 2015 is reflected by 7,416 in January and 5,800 visitors in February. Overnight arrivals to Belize have grown by 21.2% through the first two months of 2016. This is the first year in history in which the total arrivals to Belize have exceeded 75,000 visitors in the first two months. March, however, was an extraordinary month with over 43,000 overnight tourist visitors. This 10% increase over 2015 is the first time in history that the number surpasses 40,000 visitors in a single month.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

2016 Chocolate Festival of Belize
The tenth annual Chocolate Festival of Belize will be held on the weekend of Friday 20 May-Sunday, 22 May. This year the gala opening Wine and Chocolate evening will be held at The Lodge at Big Falls. Music will be provided by the Garifuna Collective and six local chocolatiers will be offering samples of their products to guests. It is $60 per person for the entrance fee for the Wine and Chocolate evening.

Paint Up a Storm 2016
Paint Up a Storm is next Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center. It's always a fun time making art at the CWC.

Rotaract Go Kart Fundraiser
The Rotaract Club San Ignacio had their Go Kart Fundraiser, and it was fun for everyone. Those little go karts really get some speed. Check out their page to see the projects that the funds went towards. Thanks, Rotaract!

Deputy Chief of Mission and Embassy staff meet with Lusiola Castillo
The Deputy Chief of Mission and Embassy staff met with Lusiola Castillo to discuss her participation in the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) in the U.S. Ms. Castillo is participating in the Multi-Regional Project “American Libraries”. The program will open in Washington, DC, the seat of the U.S. federal government and a city with a thriving academic population. The program will begin with an overview of U.S. Systems of Libraries in the United States, highlighting the current trends in library technology and the increasing importance of modernization of library services. Ms. Castillo will meet with national libraries and associations to discuss federal grants, advocacy and the profession of librarianship. She will also participate in a full day of programming at the Library of Congress. Meetings with the Pew Research Center and with DC high school students will shape a discussion on the changing role of Libraries in today’s interconnected world.

The Inspire Celebration Fundraiser
The Inspire Celebration will take place on June 18, 2016 at the Mahogany Bay Village in San Pedro Ambergis Caye. All proceeds go to the Inspiration Center.

Sea Cucumber License Renewal
The Fisheries Department hereby informs Sea cucumber fishermen that RENEWAL of their special license for 2016 Sea cucumber fishing season will run from April 19 – 29, 2016. Failure to comply with the requirements will disqualify fishers from renewing their license for the 2016 Sea cucumber fishing season. Fishers are also advised that fishing for sea cucumber will be allowed during the months of May and June, 2016 only.

Erosion Assessment April 2016
On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, Deputy Mayor Gary Greif along with Mr. Keith Nichols from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) and Ms. Carianne Johnson from the Pan American Development Fund (PADV) conducted an visual assessment of the erosion that is highly affecting our beaches. A further study will be carried out to identify the various causes and possible solutions to the problem and how the Town Council along with the community can contribute to help alleviate this situation. Mr. Nichols and Ms. Johnson mentioned that global warming is a major factor that is increasing the risk of erosion in many countries. An observation that Mr. Nichols pointed out was that the vehicles that are trafficking the beach are causing damage to the existing beach and contributing to the erosion.

Caution when approaching mile 90 on the Philip Goldson Highway
Ministry of Works advises all commuters to exercise extreme caution when approaching mile 90 on the Philip Goldson Highway (formerly Northern Highway) as heavy duty equipment road works is currently being carried out. The road works are being carried out approximately 1 mile from the Corozal, Santa Elena border.

NATS 2016 Layout
This year's National Agriculture and Trade Show will be from April 29th to May 1st. They've been upgrading the grounds for it, and here is the map showing the layout for this year's show!

GS.com Grand Opening
There's a great new electronics store in Cayo. GS-COM is the name, and it's on Joseph Andrews drive right next to CTN (the new option for internet).

The Garifuna Film Festival To Feature Two Outstanding Belizeans!
It would have been a blessed thing for me if the late Ambassador Adalbert Tucker would have lived to see his work transferred to the screen of a documentary film. The thirty or more years ago in which his acquaintance came to me through the work of the Belizean grassroots organization in the diaspora, the Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance (BREDAA), cannot ever be be forgotten in no way, because it was through his very work of self-consciousness and passionate work for Belize, its people, and the oppressed, that gave birth to what could be called my journey to have become a liberated mind.

Channel 7

Teachers Stand Up For Belize
If you're a parent, you probably had to make other arrangements for your children today because classes were canceled countrywide. That was to make way for an event organized by the teachers union called "Stand Up For Belize." It's an educational campaign on the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute - and teachers were the first to get the knowledge. They traveled from all parts of the country to Benque Viejo Town. With all that's been happening with Guatemala, the forum was timely, and they got some all-star guests, namely Wilfred Elrington and Assad Shoman. Our news team was there for the entire event. Daniel Ortiz has that story: Daniel Ortiz reporting: Hundreds of teachers from all over the country converged at the auditorium of the Mount Carmel High School in Benque Viejo. It is famous for being the last town near the Belize Guatemala Border, and so, the stage was appropriately set for the launch of the "Stand Up For Belize" Information Campaign. Luke Palacio - National President, BNTU: "We are so happy to be near the border with Guatemala as we send this message today that the Belize National Teachers Union is launching its campaign for all of us to stand up for Belize, because Belize is for Belizeans."

Foreign Minister's Trial In The Court of Public Opinion
And just before that motorcade to the Benque/Melchor Border, the forum closed with a question and answer section. The teachers were allowed to ask the two Panelists, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, and Ambassador Assad Shoman, about any and everything pertaining to the Belize - Guatemala issue. And the "maestros" seized upon the opportunity. In fact, it got to a point where the teachers more or less put Elrington's handling of the Foreign Affairs portfolio on trial in the court of public opinion. Here are some of the tough questions that they put to Belize's top diplomat: Teacher: "I a lot a lot to say." Organizer: "Excuse me, one minutes please. Let's not forget the rule." Teacher: "I will speak. It's my turn. We are bullied by our neighbor and we can't stand up. We are living in a abusive relationship here and we are afraid… as our minister said. I don't know why, but this is not a relationship that is working. We have to stand up to our bullies. The bullies will be there as long as we do not make a stand sir."

Teachers Say "Sedi" Soft
As you heard, some of the teachers called Elrington out for being too passive on controversial issues surrounding the Belize Guatemala territorial dispute. Aware that he might be criticized for that, Elrington started his presentation with an explanation that he is only following the strict guidelines set out by Foreign Ministers before him. Elrington today revealed that there is a special section of the Confidence Building Measures which mandates that all Foreign Ministers are expected to dial it way back while publicly discussing any matters related to the Guatemalan claim. Here's how he made his case to a roomful of skeptical teachers: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "Before Assad Shoman ceased to be head of the delegation and head of the negotiating team, he caused the confidence building measures to be agreed upon and I will read to you what he put in train and which I am constrain to follow. You will find that sometimes members of my government speak differently about issues. For example, in the Conorquie issue there were members in my government, head of the police and other, even ministers were saying 'I am certain that it is the Guatemalans that killed Conorquie'. My position was if you bring me the evidence I will say that."

Ambassador Assad Challenges Teachers
So, while the teachers gave it to Elrington during the question and answer session, Assad Shoman challenged the teachers to make two decisions which he thinks are in the best interest of resolving the Guatemala territorial Claim. It is by now well known that as part of the education system in Guatemala, they teach "Belize es Nuestro" in their primary schools. Well, Shoman is requesting that the the territorial dispute be made a permanent part of the education system in Belize Here's how he put it to them during his presentation: Ambassador Assad Shoman - Opposition representative: "It would be a great outcome of this campaign, if your union, I'm going to make a proposal to you now, can pass resolution at your next convention demanding that the Ministry of Education put the Guatemalan claim on the curriculum. Don't just stand there and see your country sovereignty and integrity chipped away, do something about it. Let's move on. I want to suggest to pass another resolution asking the House of Representative to amend the referendum act which now says that by any referendum at least 60 percent of the people have to go and vote..."

Charges For Alleged Killer Cops Downgraded
It made major national headlines and even provoked a riot on Caye Caulker last year when 18 year old Hilberto Sotz was killed while in police custody. Two island cops, 32 year old Hallet king and 43 year old Leonard Nunez were charged for murder. It was a swift and decisive move by police, which did somewhat allay public outrage - after all, the teenager died from blunt force trauma. But, today we learned that the charge of murder against two police constables has been reduced to manslaughter. It happened when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, and the directive came from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Fissures On the PUP Front?
Last night we told you about the meeting that the PUP held yesterday with Assad Shoman to discuss the Sarstoon peace-keeping Proposals. It was a meeting for the party's national executive members, its parliamentarians, and standard bearers to hear from Assad Shoman - who is the party appointed representative in the Belize- Guatemala talks. But, 7News has learned that some big names were absent: namely Deputy Leader Julius Espat, Cayo North Standard Bearer Misho Chebat, Belmopan Standard Bearer Jason Patrick Andrews, Corozal Southeast Representative Florencio Marin Jr, Orange Walk North Standard Bearer Ramon Monchie Cervantez, Toledo West Representative Oscar Requena, and Freetown Representative Francis Fonseca. Now, Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat also missed the last major executive meeting, and when it was done he was critical of his party leader's purge of the executive. Well this time, there was no such thing. He told us he was simply otherwise engaged; busy in his area meeting with various village council leaders. Fair enough, but we know from our background sources that Espat is firmly against the pro-ICJ stance that has been adopted by his party since Briceno took over.

Legalize IT, Or Criminalize It?
The Social Security Board's Debate Series concluded today. As we've been reporting, there were a number of debates between junior colleges across the country but it all came down to 2 finalists: Ecumenical Junior College and Corozal Junior College. Now during those elimination rounds several topics were argued such as the impact of media on society and law reform among others, but for this final round - it was all about Weed. The specific topic was: "The criminal legislation of marijuana has been a major discussion in many countries. Do you believe that marijuana should be legalized in Belize?" Tough question and Courtney Weatherburne was there to hear both sides of the argument: Whether its weed, ganja, spliff or any other name used, this herb is all around us. It is sung and celebrated in music, in movies and even more so on the streets. It has become a ubiquitous reality that some have openly embraced while others have resoundingly refused.

Sergio Patt, Postman, Wanted
Police say that second grade Post Office cashier, Orange Walk Resident Sergio Patt, is wanted for questioning. He's the lead suspect in the disappearance of $20 thousand dollars which went missing from the Post Office between October and November of last year. Investigations show that Patt produced a bogus spreadsheet to cover the shortages. Initially, Patt was sent home while the investigation continued and the Public Service Commission decided the fate of his employment status. Now, police are actively seeking Patt in their criminal investigation.

Mexican Art With A Yucatan Flair
The great European artist Leonardo Da Vinci was born on this very day- April 15th - 565 years ago. And to honor his legacy, the Mexican Institute in Belize is bringing a little taste of Yucatan to the country. They invited four distinguished artists from SOMAAP, an association of Mexican Artists to share some of their work. The art exhibit is entitled "Yucatan Abstract and Reality Pientre"- which is French for painter. The official launch began just a few minutes ago at 7:00. But we stopped by earlier today to meet some of the artists and to learned a little about their artistic flavor. We also asked them for some tips for our local artists on how to make a successful career out of art. The exhibit will be on display at the Mexican institute for the next month.

When Will Guats Reply To Sarstoon Proposals?
Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Elrington hosted a press conference to outline an 11 point proposal for a protocol which should de-escalate tensions in the Sarstoon River. The Guatemalan Delegation which came down to the OAS Office In Beqnue Viejo to meet with their Belizean counterparts has since delivered that proposal to their government for consideration. The hope is that a response would be forthcoming today, which is the end of the week. Well, according to Shoman, he and Foreign Minister Elrington are still waiting and that response hasn't come as yet: Ambassador Assad Shoman - Opposition representative: "I was there when and I stopped play the most offended proposals that you gave the Guatemalans last Friday. Well we said this is how we should behave in dealing with the river based on 1859 the treaty, which I want you all to read just like how you read article 7, you read article 6 it talks about the river. We put forward our proposal. We, the Belize side it started over, with the minister and then others came in, you and others added to it but I agree with what you put and we asked the Guatemalans to respond within a certain time. We said within a week. Well guess what today it makes 1 week and they haven't responded."

Percy Pilgrim For Supreme Court in June
Exactly one year ago, 19 year old Percival Pilgrim was remanded for the murder of Edward "Ghost" Usher. Well, today he was committed to stand trial for that killing in the June session of the Supreme Court. Pilgrim was unrepresented and did not challenge any of the evidence that was put before the court. Prosecutor, Inspector Hector Rodriguez submitted as many as 12 statements recorded by police from witnesses in the community. The 40 year old Usher was killed in broad daylight on April 11, 2015, as he stood on his stairs in the Ghost Town area. Pilgrim gave the court two names of persons who can give an alibi for him, namely an uncle and a sister.

Primary School "Ping-Pang" Players
7 primary schools, 60 participants, and 5 hours of intense ping pong battling! That's what the 5th annual Dutch Lady Primary School OPEN was all about. The table tennis tournament was held at the Belize Elementary School compound this morning. At the end of it late this afternoon, the two remaining players battled it out for the first prize. It was intense and emotions flared, but at the end only one could be named the champ- and it went to 10 year old Taye Parkinson of St. Joseph Primary. We spoke to the President of the Belize Table Tennis Association who has been trying to promote the game for 7 years. While the tournament was won by a St. Joseph primary student, the overall champion, based on points, was Belize Elementary School. The 12 top athletes were awarded for their performance and some of those winners will be competing at the upcoming CODICADER regional tournament later this year.

Borland Did Win
And before we leave tonight, a small correction to our final story last night. Cyclist Joel Borland was the winner of the Krem New Year's Classic on race day. He retains that hold on first place, but the original second and third place finishers, Greg Lovell and Byron Pope have been stripped of their second and third places due to testing positive for banned substances. So with the revised results, Justin Williams now takes second, and Johnny Vlaencia takes third. The two riders also lose all their station prizes.


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#513125 - 04/16/16 11:54 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 16, 2016 [Re: Marty]
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Channel 5

BNTU Converges on Benque to Launch Stand Up for Belize Campaign
Teachers converged today in Benque Viejo del Carmen, the community closest to the border with Guatemala in west. This is where the Belize National Teachers Union kicked off a campaign [...]

Union is Challenged to Formulate a Position on ICJ
Seasoned negotiator Assad Shoman, an expert on the Belize/Guatemala issue, has a total of forty-one years of experience dealing with the territorial dispute.  He challenged educators to go a step [...]

How Will Newfound Knowledge on Territorial Dispute be Taught in School?
While the objective of the countrywide campaign is twofold, emphasis is being placed on interpreting the information presented for future use in the classroom.  According to B.N.T.U. National President Luke [...]

The Referendum Unit and its Role in Pedagogy
The role of the Referendum Unit which has now evolved into the International Boundaries Unit is critical to the overall awareness by Belizeans of the Belize/Guatemala issue. The wealth of [...]

Raw Sewage Pumped into Haulover Creek Causes Public Uproar
Can you imagine a scenario where in Belize City, in 2016, raw sewage is being pumped into the Haulover Creek? Incredible, right? But it’s true. News Five visited a site [...]

Sarstoon FOB Nears Completion
The Belize/Guatemala dispute is currently front and center of all national discourse, with special attention given to the Sarstoon where the Guatemalans are insisting that their permission is required to [...]

Officer’s Murder Charge Downgraded to Manslaughter
Back in June 2015, police charged two officers on duty at the Caye Caulker police station with the murder of eighteen-year-old Hilberto Sotz who was killed while in police custody.  [...]

Percival Pilgrim to Stand Trial in ‘Ghost’ Usher’s Murder
A year ago, gunmen executed forty-year old Edward “Ghost” Usher, a resident of Mayflower Street while he was on the steps of his house in the Ghost Town area in [...]

Dangriga Police Make Progress in Disturbing Case Involving Disabled Minor
Tonight we can report that there is some progress in the investigation of an allegation of a disturbing crime in Dangriga. Police have been encountering difficulties in getting a formal [...]

Marijuana is the Topic of SSB’s 2016 Debate Competition
Today the Social Security Board held the finals of its 2016 Debate Competition where six students from two tertiary level institutions faced off – Corozal Junior College and Ecumenical Junior [...]

Ecumenical Junior College Wins Spirited Debate on Marijuana Legislation
The debate raged on all morning, with the three members of each team presenting the results of studies and surveys to support the stance assigned for the debate.   Pearla [...]

An Update on John Saldivar’s Deputy Leadership Campaign
On May twenty-ninth delegates of the United Democratic Party will select a new first Deputy Leader to replace Gaspar Vega. It’s expected that the victor will automatically get a shoe [...]

Primary School Table Tennis Competition Held in Belize City
Student athletes from primary schools across Belize City participated in a table tennis tournament at the Belize Elementary School today.  The event was organized by the Belize Table Tennis Association [...]

How to Prevent ZIKA: A Few Tips You Should Follow
The Ministry of health says it will be providing information on the results of ZIKA tests next week. The samples were taken from two persons in the Stann Creek and [...]

LOVE FM

UNICEF Maintains Stand Against Curfew and/or Detention of Children
Earlier this week we have heard that the curfew or preventative detention of youth on the streets, unsupervised, has been given the green light. Assistant Commissioner Police Chester Williams made the initial announcement of this initiative on March 17 following the BLACK March by the Belize Police Department. That announcement had sparked much debate in […]

Stann Creek Ecumenical Wins SSB Debate
The Social Security Board held their final debate competition for 2016. Participating schools were Corozal Junior College versus Ecumenical Junior College. The topic of the debate was “the criminal legislation of marijuana has been a major discussion in many countries. Do you believe that marijuana should be legalized in Belize?” The Social Security Board held […]

From Murder to Manslaughter for Two Cops
A charge of murder against two police constables, Hallet King and Leonard Nunez, was reduced to manslaughter when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, on instruction from the Director of Public Prosecutions. King and Nunez were both released on bails of two thousand dollars each and their case was adjourned until […]

BNTU Launches STAND UP FOR BELIZE Campaign
About 1500 educators came from the various districts to attend the launch of a campaign of the Belize National Teachers’ Union at the Mount Carmel High School Auditorium. This campaign carries the theme, Stand up for Belize and is geared at educating the teachers on the Belize/Guatemala issue and the progress that negotiators have made […]

ICJ – The Best Option for Belize?
While the BNTU is seeking knowledge on the Belize/Guatemala matter there is also the issue of the International Court of Justice and whether Belize should or should not go. Former Foreign Minister Assad Shoman spoke on the advantages that Belize has over Guatemala in the territorial differendum. According to BNTU’s President, Luke Palacio the union […]

Shoman Agrees with the Artificial Border
‘Artificial Border’ – it is a term that brought on harsh criticisms against Foreign Minister Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington. Today, however, former Foreign Minister clarified the term and told the teachers at today’s forum that he is in agreement with Elrington on the artificial border. According to the National Geographic website, borders are real or artificial […]

Neighbour Complains of Fire Hearth Next Door
Thelma’s Kitchen on Ceasar Ridge Road is a popular restaurant on the south side of Belize City. While many enjoy their food, one person is not happy with Thelma’s Kitchen and that is neighbor, Betty Bradley. Bradley said she has been complaining for some time to officials because the fire hearth used by the owner […]

Mayas Object to Construction of Garifuna Monument
The Maya Land Rights issue against the Government of Belize was one thing but now it seems that they are preparing to take on the Garifuna community in southern Belize. Love News understands that the Chairman and Alcalde of Midway Village, Juan Ico and Thomas Ishim have requested have requested that the construction of a […]

Belize/Guatemala In the Schools’ Curriculum
Yesterday we brought you the interview where BNTU’s President Luke Palacio spoke of incorporating certain subjects into the curriculum including history, geography and civics. Today Palacio spoke of what brought about today could be easily incorporated into the subjects.

PlusTV

Garifuna Community mourns death of beloved leader from Honduras
The National Garifuna Council is mourning the death of one of the ethnic group’s beloved leaders from Honduras. He is Sasamu Celeo Alvarez Casildo; described as a cultural warrior, human rights activist and promoter of justice. Casildo was a founding member of the Central American Black Organization along with the National Garifuna Council. He was the leader and mobilizer of Organization for Community and Ethnic Development (ODECO), an organization focused on empowering and fighting the cause of Garinagu and Afro-descendants of Honduras. The National GArifuna Council says they are eternally grateful for his stalwart leadership and extend sympathies to his immediate family, ODECO family, and the government and people of Honduras. Sasamu Celeo will be laid to rest in Honduras on Thursday April 14th. A delegation from the NGC in elize will be attending the funeral.

The Reporter

CXC going digital
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) announced this week that candidates will soon be able to take their exams online. CXC said that it will launch a pilot project during the week of April 25, which will enable students to take their exams on a computer or another […]

BEL blames Mexico for country-wide outages Sunday night
The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has blamed its Mexican supplier, Comercial Federal de Electricidad (CFE) for three countrywide power outages that occurred on Sunday night, which spanned just over an hour. In a prompt press release following the outages, BEL explained that it stabilized the […]

Consultations on LGP Gas aim to improve industry
The Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) industry will be receiving advice from a team of Mexican experts in the next few weeks, as part of a technical assistance arrangement aimed at improving the industry in Belize. The Mexican team will be in Belize on May 18-19 […]

Taiwan helps Belize vehicle/drivers license system go digital
Belize will soon have an electronic system for driver and vehicle licenses, as well as vehicle registration with a web portal to access information thanks to the efforts of the Central Information Technology Office (C.I.T.O.) and Taiwan’s technical mission in Belize, led by Ming-Cheng (Diego) Tsai. Two information and communications […]

Belize stands to benefit from diplomatic ties with four countries
Belize renewed diplomatic ties with four countries when ambassadors representing each country presented their credentials to Governor General, Sir Colville Young on Monday. Non-resident Ambassadors Aitzaz Ahmed of Pakistan, Yusra Khan of Indonesia, Ibrahim Obeidat of Jordan and Mohamed Saadat of Palestine each conveyed their […]

Britain launches $300 million Caribbean Infrastructure Fund
Commonwealth Caribbean countries now have access to a £300 million fund (some US $426.5 million) for infrastructure projects, through the newly launched United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF). Baroness Sandip Verma, the UK’s Development Minister for the Caribbean, launched the UKCIF on Monday at the […]

Dangriga man accused of molesting step daughter
Dangriga police, with help from the Ministry of Human Development, are investigating the case of a man accused of raping his mentally ill step-daughter. The mother of the 15-year-old girl visited the Dangriga Police Station on April 1 to make the report. According to the […]

Top Cop targets Chinese Shops for posing as restaurants
Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams this week announced his intention to wage war against Chinese businesses which sell beer to patrons after 9 o’clock at night The Deputy Commissioner says he intends to close down those businesses which cannot show that they are are operating as real restaurants. Williams […]

Editorial
The prognosis for those with the Zika virus just got worse! The Centers for Disease Control in the United States announced on Wednesday this week that there is an unmistakable link between Zika and growth deformity in babies. Babies born with this deformity have smaller heads and weaker brains. Sometimes […]

Is Guatemala serious about Sarstoon protocols?
On March 15, 2016, it was agreed at a meeting hosted by the OAS in Washington D.C., that Belize and Guatemala would prepare draft proposals for a way forward in the Sarstoon. This is an area that had become a hotspot shared by both countries. Working together, Belize’s Ministry of […]

Date set for Faber/Saldivar showdown
The United Democratic Party’s (UDP) much anticipated convention to select a new deputy party leader has been set for May 29. The UDP National Party Council decided on the date. The convention will be held at the ITVET compound in Belize City. Some 588 delegates […]

GOB settles with victim’s family, Deputy ComPol still on interdiction
The Government of Belize has agreed to pay $70,000 to the family of Yolanda Valencia after it was sued along with Deputy Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura for causing her death in a traffic accident in August 2014. Justice Shona Griffith presided over the Court […]

Chester cracking down on businesses
The Belize Police Department is proposing a crackdown on business establishments operating after 9:00 p.m. without a restaurant license as part of its ongoing crime prevention measures. According to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Chester Williams, Eastern Division South Commander, the law is clear on the difference between a restaurant […]

Former Hofius employees charged with stealing $287,000
Two former employees of the well-known hardware store, Hofius on Albert Street have been charged with 49 counts of ‘theft’ of more than a quarter of a million dollars from the company. Koshia Gentle, a former supervisor and Lydia Bennett, a former clerk at the […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Accused teenage murderer to stand trial
40 year old Edward Usher of Mayflower Street was shot dead on his doorsteps in broad daylight a year ago this week. The young man accused of pulling the trigger, Percival Pilgrim, will now stand trial for that murder after a preliminary inquiry concluded today. […]

Accused in alleged murder conspiracy allowed to leave country
Korean national businesswoman, Hyang Chong Park, who was granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of $75,000 with stringent conditions after being charged in the plot to kill four persons in Belize, allegedly masterminded by Bradley Paumen, successfully applied to the Supreme Court on Thursday for permission […]

Policemen’s charges in Hilberto Sotz case reduced
Back in June 2016, police had initially charged two of their own officers posted on Caye Caulker with murder, for allegedly beating 18 year old Hilberto Sotz to death while in their custody. Today, after 10 months on remand for murder, a directive from the […]

Immigration Again!? Chinese passports “suspect”
Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality, Beverly Castillo, has confirmed to other media that her Ministry is researching the validity of two passports issued to Chinese nationals recently. The holders are suggested to have acquired their passports with suspect documents, […]

Report finds trouble coming for Latin American region
Latin America and the Caribbean are in contraction, and are unable to find a balance between reducing spending and minimizing its effects on economic activity and hard-won social gains, the World Bank reports. As detailed in “The Commodity Cycle in Latin America: Mirages and […]

Hands and Heart Mission to conduct surgeries in northern Belize
A Medical Mission will arrive in Belize over the weekend and will be conducting a series of general surgeries for patients in the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. The Hands and Heart Mission will be arriving on April 17. Medical Chief of Staff at […]

Mainly fair and dry weather conditions continue over our area
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny and warm weather today, then partly cloudy skies tonight with little or no rainfall expected. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures […]

Blogs

Dreams do Come True
I would like to personally congratulate the new Ambergris Caye Belize Rotary Club for jumping in with both feet and making a difference in our community so quickly. Without a doubt they will go far and grow strong fast. On Wednesday past, Shirlee Arnould our Branch Coordinator, Heidi Simmons our newly appointed Blood Drive Coordinator and I were invited to represent the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross at their weekly meeting. They wanted to know first hand what we do and how they could help. This invitation is as good as gold and proof to me that dreams do come true. I have been quietly asking for more cavalry since 2014 and a large group of really great people just stepped up. I was tasked with telling them about our youth group, volunteer vacations and our First Aid Program. The one thing that is making me finally like public speaking (even though I still get butterflies) is being able to tell people about the unfolding of the movie that has long been running in my head and how the next scene is coming to reality before my eyes. My pleasure in that comes greatly from the fact of seeing the giant puzzle come together where all the charity organizations take it to a new level of working smarter not harder to help each other rise up strong for the greater good of everyone.

There is a Difference: FULL SERVICE Snorkel & Caye Caulker Tour on YOLO with Island Dreams Tours
Yesterday, I took a ride on the beautiful 40 foot, custom built (here in San Pedro) catamaran “YOLO”. A ride out to Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley and then beautiful Caye Caulker and I can attest: this boat and the crew are one of a kind. There were 16 of us in all…and there is SO MUCH ROOM on this boat. For lounging (in and out of the sun), chatting, getting ready to snorkel… We headed out – cruising towards Belize’s most popular snorkel spots. First stop, Hol Chan Marine Reserve – turtles, fish of all colors and gorgeous coral.

International Sourcesizz

Culture, food, music of Belize in spotlight at New Orleans Jazz Fest 2016
The music, food and culture of Belize will be woven throughout activities on Fair Grounds during the New Orleans Jazz Fest this year. Belize is the focus of the 2016 Cultural Exchange Pavilion. Each year, the pavilion, which is in the center of the Fair Grounds, near Food Area II and the African Marketplace, puts the spotlight on a contributions of specific nations, such as Haiti and Brazil, or important New Orleans culture providers, such as Mardi Gras Indians and, most recently, NOCCA in 2015. This year, festival goers will have the opportunity to hear music, see demonstrations and learn about the history and customs of the small Caribbean country of about 300,000, which includes people of Maya, Mestizo, Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Chinese, Lebanese, Mennonite and Caribbean descent. The country was under British rule until 1981. The national language is English. The The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell, which runs April 22-24 and April 28-May 1 at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, 1751 Gentilly Blvd., has hosted cultural exchanges since 1996. Belize and New Orleans share cultural traditions, including Carnival and a respect for local music traditions. Florencio Mess, 78, who maintains the centuries-old harp-making tradition of the Maya K'ekchi' harp, will perform in the pavilion and be interviewed on the Alison Minor Music Heritage Stage on April 30 at 3:15 p.m.

5 Magical Mayan Relics in the Mountains of Belize
Where did the origin of art in the Americas begin? With early colonial artist John White (1540-1593)? With the Aztecs of central Mexico, who ruled an empire from the 14th to 16th centuries? Or perhaps with the tribes of the Great Plains of North America, who produced the oldest known painted object in the region – a Cooper Bison Skull found in Oklahoma from around 10,500 BC? In pre-Columbian times there is only one known civilization that created a fully-developed writing system, along with art, architecture and even astronomy – the Maya. Today most people think primarily of their perfectly-formed pyramids, such as Chichen Itza in Mexico. But the Mesoamerican culture spread right down through modern Guatemala and Honduras to El Salvador, leaving a legacy of creation that is still being discovered today. It’s in Central America’s only English-speaking nation though, that a truly stunning variety of artifacts can be found in such a compact area – Belize. In Western Belize, the Maya Mountains stretch 115 kilometers all the way from eastern Guatemala, covered in a blanket of jungle that once protected the Maya, and then the ruins of their civilization. Now, from the intricate reliefs of Xunantunich to the might of Caracol’s towering architecture, Belize offers a rare chance to get up close and personal with one of the world’s ancient people’s – a situation that may not last for long.

They Said There Was No Hope For This Feeble Stray Kitten, But His Saviour Refused To Give Up
On 9th January 2015, a starving stray kitten was found on a busy highway in Belize, Central America. Bruised and bloody, his jaw was broken and he was almost starved to death. A young woman saw the poor creature as she drove past him in her car. Without a moment’s hesitation, she picked him up and put him in her car. As the kitten sat down in her passenger seat, he let out a soft miaow, as if thanking her for rescuing him. His saviour took him immediately to the nearest veterinary clinic where he would need urgent medical care. The young woman took him home and gave him all the love and attention he had so cruelly been denied. A year on, and Smeagol is doing very well! He has his own Facebook page and Instagram account where his mum shares all his little moments of happiness. You wouldn’t believe his transformation!

Stakeholders set path for establishment of regional creative industries body
The Caribbean is renowned worldwide for its creative culture, including music, folklore, crafts, festivals and carnivals. Despite making some progress in developing the cultural and creative sectors, the region has lagged in translating its creativity into substantial economic gains. This reality prompted the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government at their 26th Intercessional meeting held in February 2015, to recommend the establishment of a Caribbean Creative Industries Management Unit (CCIMU), a dedicated body to address the needs of the region’s cultural and creative industries. Further to CARICOM’s recommendation, on Tuesday, April 12 in Kingston, Jamaica, 28 stakeholders representing the creative industries of the region gathered for a historic consultation. This meeting set the path for the creation of the CCIMU. When established, the Unit will address the needs of the regional creative industries -- including business development, trade opportunities, and the protection of artists’ and stakeholders’ intellectual property rights.

Jamaica moves towards ditching Queen, impeachment legislation and term limits
Legislation to allow impeachment proceedings against corrupt public officials and Parliamentarians, constitutional amendments to transition Jamaica to a republic and fixed election dates and term limits are on the priority list of the Jamaica Government for 2016. Governor General Sir Patrick Allen highlighted those plans, among others, as he delivered the Throne Speech during the 2016/17 ceremonial opening of Parliament yesterday. He told Members of Parliament and Senators the issues were among the “major action items” on the government’s legislative agenda for this year. Listing those items, Sir Patrick said a Constitution (Amendment) Bill will be laid to, among other things, replace the Queen with a non-executive President as Jamaica’s Head of State; Parliament will see legislation to create fixed election dates and term limits for the Prime Minister; legislation to provide for impeachment proceedings to be brought against corrupt public officials and Parliamentarians is on the cards; and an Integrity Commission Bill will establish a single anti-corruption body.

USAID announces $30 million challenge to combat zika
On Wednesday, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) launched Combating Zika and Future Threats: A Grand Challenge for Development, calling innovators around the world to submit groundbreaking ideas to enhance the ability to respond to the current zika outbreak and generate cutting-edge technologies and approaches that better prepare the world to address the disease threats of tomorrow. In support of the Global Health Security Agenda championed by US President Barack Obama, the Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge will invest up to $30 million in groundbreaking innovations and interventions that enhance our ability to prevent, detect, and respond in both the short and long-term by sourcing innovations that mitigate the spread and impact of Zika virus and improve the ability to combat future infectious disease outbreaks.

Garifuna International Film Festival
Friday, May 27 at 2 AM - 4 AM. 1416 Electric Ave, Venice CA 90291. Info Freda 310-663-5813

Videos

  • The Department of the Environment - DOE shares important information on illegal dumping in their latest ad, 2min.

  • Belize w Hugh Parkley thru Carnival Glory, 5min. Few shots on dives in Belize while on western caribbean cruise.

  • Belize Audubon Society Activities, 4.5min.

  • Golfcart,San Pedro Belize, 1min.

  • Economic Support Fund CARSI grants, 65min. Planning on submitting a proposal for the Economic Support Fund CARSI grants, but missed the Q&A session we held earlier this week? Check out the recorded session here. Also here is the link to the Notice of Funding Opportunity for easy reference -http://1.usa.gov/1Sk2qY4

  • Corkscrew Progression by Julian Rivero, 4min. This is my corkscrew progression. Took me a looooong time to get this one down.. I learnt the twist similarly to the Backfull and i couldn't Learn it doing it horizontally with the btwist method..

  • 2016 Belize David and Stephanie, 15min.

  • Butts Up Cave Tubing Belize with Jimmy, 72min. This is a video of out Cave Tubing excursion we took in Belize with Butts Up Cave Tubing you can find them here Pieces of the . Cave tubing with Butts Up tour guides. They also fed us Belizian tamales afterwards. They met us at cruise port. About 1 hour out on motor coach. Took about a . On one of our last days in Belize we went cave tubing with Butts Up with Jimmy as our guide. Jimmy was a wealth of historical . February 2014 with Speedy and Butts Up Tours Bob Martynec, Tim Gagahan, Nancy Moors & Ann Garwood.

  • Pelican violates kayaker's personal space in Belize, 1min. A tourist on a kayaking trip in Belize got up close and personal with a friendly pelican that showed no respect for her personal space. The video, posted to Facebook by the Paddle Me Hard kayaking organization, shows Wisconsin woman Kathy Dahl encountering the pelican while kayaking with a group off Caye Caulker, Belize. The pelican initially stands on the edge of Dahl's kayak, but gradually moves in closer until the bird is on the laughing woman's lap. The pelican flies away when another kayaker pokes at it with a paddle.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize [Explore 180°], 4min. Sur une petit air de Reggea, découvrez l'île de Caye Caulker. Entre vie en mode "slow" sur une 'île de la Caraïbe, plongée sur la barrière de corail méso-américaine et coucher de soleil, partez en voyage au Bélize.

  • Belize with Liam, 12min.

  • BNTU 'Stand Up For Belize" Rally Friday April 15, 2016, 8.5min. Belize National Teachers' Union National President gives his opening remarks at Friday's BNTU Stand Up For Belize rally in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Venue : Mt. Carmel High School auditorium

  • Belize Thatch Roof Lesson, 1min.

  • Belize Audubon Society Activities 8, 4.5min.

  • Belize - Day 1 - Laguna + Lubaantun, 9min. I was lucky enough to be a chaperone with the first year Nunavut Sivuniksavut students on their cultural school trip to Belize in May 2015. This was the first day we were there. We stayed in Laguna. We had a farm tour and visited the ruins at Lubaantun.

  • Spring Break 2015 - Belize, 8.5min. Skip to 7:04 to see my favorite part (diving in Ambergris Caye!) 0:00 Intro 0:42 Lamanai Ruins 1:17 Climbing the High Temple 2:32 Eating Termites!!!! 3:41 *Important Info Regarding Wild Spider Monkeys* 4:06 Drinking Coconut Water 4:26 Ziplining 4:48 Cave/River Tubing 5:36 Xunantunich Ruins 6:08 Butterfly Garden 6:21 The Belize Zoo 6:44 Visiting a Local School 7:04 Ambergris Caye 8:07 Conclusion

  • BELIZE 2016, 3min. Glover reef atoll and Hopkins

  • Belize March 2016 with One World Dive & Travel, 11min. Another adventure with One World Dive & Travel, this time to Ramon's Village in Belize. An amazing week filled with sharks, sailing, Lionfish Hunting, golf carting and many new adventures!

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