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#513742 - 05/14/16 11:55 AM Today's Belize News: May 14, 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

Oh noooo!!! No 3-peat Championship for our beloved San Pedro Tiger Sharks...
But ... congratulations to the SMART Belize City Hurricanes for winning the 2016 NEBL Championship! Final score 98-92!

Five A Side Football Tournament to conduct first round elimination
There is one more round of games to go, and the San Pedro High School and Island Citizen Sporting Club will be entering its second round on the Five a Side football tournament. The tournament continues delighting football fans, and excitement grows as only one set of games remains in the first round of the regular season. The different matches played on Sunday, May 8th saw players competing in the Under 11, and Seniors category. The football action continues this weekend with games set for Sunday, May 15th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium starting at 11AM. Of the 17 teams that registered at the beginning of the tournament, only eight will advance to the second round. The Five a Side finals will be dedicated to the late Melvin Almendarez, who was very active in the tournament and was coaching one of the teams in the Under- 11 category up till his untimely death.

Blue Water Grill and Phoenix donate funds for Camp Starfish
The Ambergris Caye Camp Star Fish was the recipient of the monthly donation program from Blue Water Grill (BWG) Restaurant for April 2016. Every month, BWG raises funds to support different organizations on the island and their sister business, The Phoenix, also contributes to the cause. For the month of April, customers from BWG donated $1,546, which they matched, while guests of The Phoenix donated $80, which they also matched. In total, the two businesses raised $3,252 and all proceeds went towards the two-week long summer camp held in San Pedro for children with special needs. The camp is free of cost and children who attend get to participate in a number of activities throughout the day, receive a snack, meet new people, and make friends. Some of the activities of the camp include songs, dancing, arts and crafts, finger play, and movement. Camp Starfish also plans to host a couple of off-site trips within the community. To hold these activities, funds are needed, so donations like this are greatly appreciated.

Finn and Martini holds Mother’s Day Lunch
For the second consecutive year, Findley Halliday hosted a Mother’s Day Lunch dedicated to under privileged island mothers. The event took place shortly after midday, on Sunday, May 8th at Finn and Martini restaurant, where dozens of mothers were invited to enjoy a delicious three-course meal. According to Halliday, this is one of the ways to give back to the community and he takes pleasure in doing such events during special occasions. The event is done to acknowledge special mothers who may not otherwise enjoy a proper Mother’s Day with all the pampering they deserve. Halliday has been taking the challenge to identify those mothers who don’t have the means to enjoy their special day and make them part of the celebration. He also extended invitations via recommendation. Anyone who knew of a deserving mother was asked to inform Halliday, who then extended an invitation to the person. The mothers who attended the event were very happy, and extremely grateful to Finn and Martini for the kind gesture.

Saga conducts educational presentation at NHSDA
In an effort to educate students on recently enforced laws regarding pets and proper animal care, Sandie Betz-Eisenberg, a representative from the San Pedro Saga Humane Society, visited the New Horizon Seventh-Day Adventist School (NHSDAS) on Thursday, May 5th. Saga isn’t the only one that promotes kindness and prevents cruelty to animals. Before furthering the discussion, members from NHSDAS’ Dog Club came forward and presented themselves to Eisenberg. The group, consisting of more than fifteen students, explained why they created the club. Over a hundred students gathered at the school’s chapel, ready to listen and learn. Accompanied by her son Spencer, and their foster dog “Lucas”, Eisenberg elaborated on the newly enforced leash law.

SPTC upgrades road in San Pedrito
As development continues in San Pedro Town, so does the need for infrastructure and better roads. Recently, works on the entrance road to San Pedrito have been quite visible. While some believe the road was going to be paved, The San Pedro Town (SPTC) has clarified that it is only being filled. SPTC is fully financing the rehabilitation of the road. The idea to start upgrading the road in San Pedrito and other areas of the island came after speaking with Rommel Burgess, who is in charge of the construction of road in Northern Ambergris Caye. “This company finished the first phase of the road in the north part of the island, now they are waiting for the approval of the second phase. But while they wait, they have agreed to come and help us in fixing our streets in the town,” said Guerrero. He added that this is a good example of team work and giving back to the community without expecting anything in return.

Ambergris Today

Social Scene - Career Day Creativity at San Pedro RC School
The kids at San Pedro Roman Catholic School really got into the career day spirit yesterday. Our Facebook newsfeed was bombarded with the cutest little kids dressed as grownups ever! It was remarkable to see how much effort the children, and of course their dedicated parents, put into their career day ensembles. It’s great to see we have so many youths being inspired by their loved ones in the community. Kahlen wants to be an electrical engineer one day in hopes that she will be “Daddy’s Boss”! We have pilots, scientists, and some excellent additions to the police force and fire department and even a future mayor! Our children are a great reminder and motivator to continue doing our best in whatever profession we have chosen, because they are looking up to us and aspiring to be like us.

Tropic Air Makes Airline History, Rated Safe
In a press release, Tropic Air says it has again successfully completed the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA), which is an internationally recognized evaluation of the safety practices and management of the airline. The assessment focuses on key areas within an airline such as flight and ground operations, maintenance, cargo, security and aeronautical safety. It promotes high industry benchmarks, and allows for expanded partnership opportunities with other airlines. Tropic Air joined IATA’s ISSA Registry in 2015, and was the second airline to be registered. It is also the first airline to complete the renewal assessment, which will now be valid for two years (until 7 May 2018).

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

San Pedro Blood Drive Saturday, May 14

SBDC Workshop: Introduction to Development Financial Statement Workshop
Presented by: Ms. Monique Usher. Post/Teaching Description: Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: Beltraide Conference Room, 14 Orchid Garden Street, Belmopan. Workshop Date: May 19th, 2016. Time: 9am to 4pm. This course is designed for individuals who need to understand basic accounting in order to interpret financial statements. It is ideal for individuals who are accountable for public funds but are not accounting experts! Basic terminology and normal account balances are covered. Please note: No computers are used in this course.

Residents Engagement Meeting
The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project will be holding its Inaugural Residents Engagement Meeting on May 18th at 6:00 p.m. at the Belize City House of Culture for the residents in the Albert and Regents Streets Area of downtown. However, If other residents and businesses in the Albert Division (scope area of project) feel as though they are not being included, don't worry because there will be other meetings targeting other blocks in the Albert Division as you will see from the uploaded maps. The dates and times for the other meetings will be communicated via flyers in your area.

Empowering Belizeans with Excellence at Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence and the Leigh Richardson Knowledge Center
Hundreds of Belizeans will now have even greater access to skills training and income generating programmes for self-empowerment and gainful employment at the newly built and fully furnished Leigh Richardson Knowledge Center on the South Side of Belize City. These programs will complement the ongoing after school and income generating programs already being offered at the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence facility. These programs include training for men, women and youth in cosmetology, information and communication technology, and driving. The Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence has been offering instruction in computer literacy mathematics, reading, sewing, cake decorating and landscaping. The facility was built from funds provided by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Social Investment Fund Program and from a Grant from the Government of Japan. The total cost of construction was $716,960.64.

Road improvements in San Pedro: San Juan area and the street leading to Caribeña Street
White mall material is being spread and rolled on the streets of the San Juan area and the street leading to Caribeña Street. This project is an effort to alleviate the traffic congestion in San Pedro Town which will become safer for all residents, tourists and especially the children.

Benque Art Classes
The Benque HoC is teaming up with Furman University to bring some art classes to Benque for the next 3 Saturdays in May. Still Life is tomorrow, and the lessons start at 2:00pm. "Art Sessions every Saturday for the month of May starting on the 14th - Still Life Lessons at 2:00 p.m."

Consular Tip: Applying for a Visa
Visiting family in the U.S. this summer? As we enter our busy season, we encourage you to apply NOW. Do not wait! Appointments are available on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

Mark your calendar for upcoming events by the San Pedro House of Culture (NICH).

11th Annual Reef Week Fair, History of Fishingr
Join us for the 11th Annual Reef Week Fair at the San Pedro House of Culture. The "History of the Fishing Industry of San Pedro" Exhibition will be on display.

Romantic Nite Under the Full Moon
The San Pedro House of Culutre (NICH) and the SP AIDS Commission invite you to a Romantic Nite Under the Full Moon. Local Musicians serenading with their romantic tunes and then giving way to the dancing music. Full Service Bar and Snack Booth Available. Tables and Chairs for those attending. The friendly members of the AIDS Commission will be your servers for the evening. All are invited for a nite of Good Music, Romantic Atmosphere and and overall Good Time. See you there

Channel 7

Back to Back Shootings On The Same Block!
Last night our headline was a 5:00 pm shooting on King Street at the corner with Far West Street. Well, by 9:00 last night, shots rang out again in the same area, this time about one block away, at the corner of Euphrates Avenue and Cairo Street. The victim this time was 25-year-old Mark Vernon. Police told us more about it today:... ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Yesterday evening shortly after 5pm, police were called to West Street, Belize City, where information was received of shots being fired. One, Aaron Garbutt was met suffering from gunshots wounds to the feet. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated and release for those injuries. The other shooting took place shortly before 9pm last night, when again police received information of shots being fired on Euphrates Avenue and upon responding, police met a male person known as Mark Vernon, suffering from gunshots wounds to the lower back. He was transported to the KHMH where he is currently admitted in a stable condition."

They Shot At Chester!
And the Commander of the Southside police happened to be driving nearby in his personal vehicle when the shots rang out. But Assistant C ommissioner Chester Williams didn't just call for backup, he sprang into pursuit - and a few minutes later, he was coming under fire. He told us what it was like:... The narrative begins on Euphrates Avenue. Mark Vernon had just been shot and South Side Commander Chester Williams heard it on the police radio as he was driving near Vernon Street. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "As I make my way into Vernon Street, I heard a transmission on the police communication network to the effect that shots were being fired on Euphrates Avenue. The transmission also describe the vehicle that was involve in the shooting which is a black Mazda pickup truck super cab. So I applied my instincts and I said 'if the shooting happens on King Street, then more than likely the targets would have been people from the George Street area and the suspects would have been from either the Jane Usher Boulevard or the Faber's Road area or the Supal Street. And so I think about escapes routes where the vehicle involved would use to flee the scene. So I made my way into Magazine Road and onto Dolphin Street. Whilst on Dolphin Street reaching the intersection with Raccoon Street, I saw the black Mazda pickup resembling that described on the police communication network coming out of Raccoon from the direction of Euphrates Avenue onto Dolphin Street. So I went immediately behind the vehicle and upon getting closer to the vehicle, I notice that the vehicle began to pick up speed. So right away I said this must be the vehicle involved in the shooting."

Shootings Are Connected
The vehicle was intercepted near the corner of Central American Boulevard and Faber's Road and all men inside the vehicle have since been taken into custody pending charges. They are 44 year old Larry Wright of Jane Usher Boulevard, and the driver of the vehicle, 21 year old Justin Hyde of Curl Thompson Street and 23 year old Devon Sankey of Unity Street Belize City. 19 year old Zacaharia Knox of Faber's Road Extension was later apprehended. He also awaits charges for the attempted murder of ACP Williams. Yesterday's shootings happened between a four hour span, and near to each other. Two different vehicles are reported to have been used to perpetrate the crimes, but police believe they are very much related. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "What is unique about the entire situation is that the expended shells found at the 5 O' clock scene is the same type found at the 9 O' clock scene and the same type found at the scene where I was shot at. So it appears from our investigation that they were also the ones involved in the earlier shootings and it's the same gun that they use in all 3 shootings. So we will be looking at ballistic evidence to see how we can tie the 3 scenes together and create a nexus between them and the scenes and then we will see how we proceed from there."

Gang Retaliations On the Upswing
Police are investigating all incidents and as a part of this investigation they are looking intently at gang elements as it is believed that these shootings were gang related. And even more, there is strong supposition that it might be a retaliatory shooting for murder of Keon "Gambis" Williams. His brother, Devon Sankey, after all was one of the persons found inside the black vehicle. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "Well there is an issue with the crowd from Supal Street, Jane Usher and Faber's Road, who seemingly had now join forces and attacking George Street and it would seem that it is a situation where in both cases they actually came into George Street area to these shootings. So we were monitoring them because we had received intelligence as to the different players involved and there is a another high profile person who will be taken to custody today, who we believe is one of the key players behind these recent spate of shootings and our investigation into this - it will continue and we are looking at charges of conspiracy and abetment to commit murders in respect to that high profile individual. The key figure that will be brought in today is a very important part of what is happening and he too needs to get the message that we are fully aware of what he is doing and we are fully aware of what he is sending people out here to do."

Teachers Rally Against Sarstoon S.I.
The BNTU is the most powerful union in the country, and so today the nation's focus was on the city where Teachers came to rally against the Sarstoon S.I. Now, this did happen on Teacher's Day - and it was a last minute substitution for a trip - so you can imagine that many of the nation's five to six thousand decided to take it as a day off, rather than take a stand against an S.I. that will be history in two weeks. But, still hundreds did choose to use the day to take a stand. Our news team was out there from the start to the finish, and Daniel Ortiz has that story: Hundreds of teachers, supporters, fellow union representatives, and politicians, from all over the country, took to the Principal Streets of Belize City for BNTU's demonstration. This was all about the Sarstoon SI, which prevents persons from going to that southern river. And as the Parade got closer to the BTL Park, it grew, and by the time it got to our camera on Swing Bridge, it took 6 minutes to pass. The final destination was the BTL Park, and that's where the BNTU Branch Leaders and Guest Speakers, rained fire and brimstone on the Barrow Government for stopping the free movement civilians.

Is PUP Clutching At Coattails?
As you saw in our story, politicians from the PUP and the Belize Progressive Party showed up to the rally to lend their support to the teachers. As we told you, the PUP has its own well publicized opposition to the S.I. - so, shouldn't Belize's oldest mass party be the one taking the lead in organizing events like today's one? That's what we asked Opposition Leader John Briceno: Daniel Ortiz: "The suggestion could be made that the party which is supposed to be able to mobilize people to lead national issues is simply riding the coattails of the unions when you all should be the leaders." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I will not concede that. We have been on the forefront on this matter. We are the ones that are challenging the government on this issue and it is a matter of taken it step by step. We are challenging the case, we are going to the Sarstoon, we are educating our people, we are still engaged with the government with this matter, so there is absolutely no case for you to say that we are conceding..."

Wil Warned About Sarstoon
For the past 2 nights, we've been showing you leaked videos which demonstrate in detail how the Guatemalan military in the Sarstoon, have been confronting the BDF patrols in the Sarstoon River. The videos show clearly that the Guatemalans are exercising authority over the river and sticking by what they say is the mutually agreed protocol: any Belizean vessel going up that river has to check with them first. Now, the government of Belize is certain no such agreement was ever made, but right now, those are just words, the actions are playing out on the river. And the Guatemalans have seized upon the airing of these videos to boast that they do control the river and that the Belizean military does, in fact, have to check in with them before it goes down the river. The Guatemalan Newspaper, Prensa Libre, today reported that the Guatemalan Minister of Defence and Foreign Affairs have commented on the first video. That's the one where the Guatemalan soldiers demanded that the BDF, quote, "Respect the Protocol".

Reckless Driver Spared Custodial Sentence
Yesterday we told you how reckless driver Boyd Lopez pleaded down to the lesser charge of causing death by careless conduct. He had originally been charged with manslaughter by negligence for running over 70 year old retired teacher Marie Knowles. Well today, Justice Adolph Lucas imposed a non custodial sentence, meaning the 20 year old won't go to jail. Lucas ordered him to pay a fine of $5,000, $1,000 of which has to be paid immediately, and the balance in a year's time, in default one year imprisonment. Justice Lucas didn't order Lopez to pay any compensation to the Knowles family, because there is presently a civil suit case against him in court.

Missing Case File Causes Murder Charge To Go Through Door
"The case file is missing" - that's the news that greeted two alleged murderers in court today. With that Tarique Gillett and James Cacho were declared free of murder charges today in the Magistrate's Court. Gillett and Cacho were jointly accused of killing Michael Welch and injuring his cousin Kingsley Morrison on March 1st 2015. Welch and Morrison were hanging out on Periwinkle Street when they were ambushed by 2 gunmen. Morrison was shot to the upper right shoulder and managed to escape but Welch didn't survive. After almost a year on remand, the pair was released.

Alleged New Year's Killer Gets Free For Want Of Witness
Today in court, 26 year old Akeem Humes, beat his second murder rap in the last 5 years. This time it was what's known in court jargon as a "nol-le pros", meaning the prosecution gave up on the case. So, Humes who has been on remand for three years was free to go. He had been accused of killing his neighbor Orlando Williams in January, 2013. Williams was gunned down as he stood in front of his home on East Canal. He received as many as 11 shots. It was an act of stunning violence, because Williams - a grown and working man with no gang involvement - was shot for no reason at all. In fact, the random but ruthless murder it appeared to be a retaliation against the state for detaining gang related men over the Christmas Holidays. This morning in the Court room of Justice Adolph Lucas, Prosecutor in the case, Shanice Lovell informed the court of the nolle prose, but gave no reason. She did add that if their main witness had cooperated, the prosecution would have been able to proceed with the matter.

Jealous Man Slit His Wife's Throat, Man Pleads Down To Manslaughter
53 year old Ermit Bradley, a father of 4 charged with the murder of his wife, 54 year-old Nirba Bradley, pleaded guilty of the to the lesser charge of manslaughter today before Justice Denis Hanomansingh. After consideration, Justice Hanomansingh sentenced Bradley to 15 years. But he's been waiting on remand for 8 years while he awaited his trial. Additionally, the judge subtracted 2 years from the sentence because he pleaded guilty and expressed remorse for his actions. That means that he will only have to serve 5 more years, which began counting back from April 21, last month. The incident happened on July 4 of 2008 at Espat Poultry, which is located in Santa Elena Cayo. Nirba Bradley was working there at the time, and that's where Ermit Bradley went to visit her to question her about her brother's wedding. She reportedly told him that she would not be taking him as her date, and instead, she would be taking her boss. That's what is believed to have triggered Ermit Bradley's jealous rage. He pulled out a knife and slit her throat.

PUP Leader Chastises Government For Hard-Headed And Costly BTL Takeover
2 nights ago, we showed you our interview with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in which he conceded that the final cost of the BTL nationalization is "not cheap". The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands has released a first draft of their review of the take-over. It calculates that the Government should pay about 250 million Belize dollars for The Ashcroft Alliance's 45 million shares in BTL, in addition to sums already paid. That's a hefty price for the Belizean taxpayers, and when Opposition Leader John Briceño was asked about it, he pointed fingers at the Prime Minister. Briceño said that the Barrow Government mismanaged the nationalization simply because the Prime Minister was too proud to settle and pay compensation to the former owners earlier: Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I am not surprised as to what has happened. We know that the Prime Minister was held over the barrel and he had no choice, but to accommodate the formers owners of BTL. It is something that we've been saying from the beginning; if you nationalize a company, you need to pay..."

Shootings Spike, But Crime Still Down
Earlier in the news we told you about the two south side city shootings. It happened only a couple blocks from each other and in the span of just about 4 hours. Fortunately there were no casualties, but it certainly is indicative of a further spike in gun violence. But not to ACP Williams. He says that despite the recent spate of city shootings, city crime is still down.

Dredge In Place But Mayor Non Committal
Yesterday we told you about the dredge that had appeared in the mouth of the Belize Harbour. This is after a dense buildup of siltation that has all but choked up the harbor mouth. Now, we know that the mayor says it will cost 2 million dollars to dredge out the harbor - so has someone decided to foot that bill? Well, no. But something is afoot - and when we asked the mayor about ti today - we almost got a straight answer. Jules Vasquez: "But there's a dredge in the water right now and that is operational so that means the problem is on the mend." Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor: "Of course, I think we are right at the precipice in terms of getting some activity done. Whether not it is something that could complete the entire project that remains to be seen but I think that this is something where we really need the leadership of the Central Government who has far deeper pockets than the municipality. If we don't have a flowing river, then we're going to have a much worse drainage situation because the river isn't functioning in the way that it should function. But I anticipate that if we were to get the full resources it won't be a project that would take very long."

KHMH PICU: ' Getting there ' with more equipment
It's been 8 months since the opening of KHMH's new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The unit has 2 sections: the PICU, which can hold over 8 children, and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which can treat about 23 babies. But right now there aren't any newborns in there. Sure, the unit seemed all decorated and ready at the October 2015 launch, but it is still not fully operational - there are still a few key finishing touches left to complete the unit. A part of that process is getting more equipment and today several pieces were handed over. It's part of the Japan Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security Project. We stopped by to find out how this program has helped build and upgrade the new unit. H.E. Masanori Nakano, Japanese Ambassador to Belize: "I come to know that Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital had been in dire need to improve its facility; to enhance the responsiveness to a patient. We've decided to offer our assistance to the hospital almost 2 years ago."

Future of KHMH, Promising
Now while the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is getting all the attention and fancy equipment, what about other sections of the hospital that urgently need major improvements? Well, KHMH CEO Dr. Adrian Coye told us that the same effort and investment they are putting into the unit - will also be put into the hospital. Coye explained that they are already working on renovating a few wards in the hospital and that more works are on the way. Coye told us that the hospital should get a new paint job by the end of the year. They are also working on opening a new National Physiotherapy Unit among other projects.

Increase of Clinic Fees means better health care for everyone
But to be able to sustain all these renovations and health care upgrades, the hospital needs money and a significant part of those funds come from clinic fees. As we told you, the hospital's clinic fees have increased from about $15 to $25. That new cost went into effect on February 15th. CEO Coye further reiterated why this fee increase was necessary and how it is being used to improve health care services. So, to repeat, the clinic fee is now $25 per visit. This only applies to elective or non -emergency cases.

Hope Through Hoops
Crime in the city - it's been all over the news tonight, from a spike in shootings, to court cases for gang related murder going "kaput". But while it's easy to despair, there's also hope - in the form of a 16 week basketball tournament for the males of gang ridden neighborhoods. The initiative is spearheaded by the police department and sponsored by BTL. It started today at the Roger's Stadium - and the aim is simple, but also complex: to create peace through basketball:... Southside Police will also have a family day for gang ridden neighborhoods on Sunday.

Channel 5

Teachers Rally Against Sarstoon Law
Teachers descended on the Old Capital today for a protest march against one of the most controversial and unpopular laws to be put in effect. The march started from the [...]

PUP Proceeds With Constitutional Challenge to Controversial SI
The People’s United Party is moving full steam ahead with a constitutional challenge of the Sarstoon Law even though the temporary instrument expires on May twenty-ninth 2016 by the time [...]

Senator Courtenay Says SI is Unlawful and Counterproductive
Earlier this week the P.U.P. filed a claim against the attorney general and the governor general seeking a determination from the court to declare the Sarstoon Law unconstitutional. Senator Eamon [...]

BPP Proposes Bypassing the ICJ
Lending its unwavering support to the B.N.T.U. at today’s rally was the Belize Progressive Party.  The B.P.P. is of the position that government has not relaxed the law and that [...]

Gunman Fires at Top Southside Cop
There was an attempt on the life of top cop, Chester Williams who has been strengthening community outreach with the police as a way of reducing crime and violence in [...]

Gang Related Shootings in the Old Capital Escalate
The man who fired at Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, Zacharia Knox, was picked up shortly after at a residence on Benbow Street. Police have also gotten a lucky [...]

ACP Williams Says Police Are Monitoring Gang Activity
So what’s the reasoning behind the sudden spate of shootings? Apparently there is a revival of gang activity in a city which was surprisingly bloodless in 2015. Within the last [...]

Did Guatemalans Detain Mennonites Near El Pilar?
As we bring you the news tonight, Cayo Police are still trying to verify very disturbing reports at the farthest regions of their jurisdiction near the Guatemalan border. Unofficially, News [...]

PUP Leader Speaks on Half a Billion Arbitration Award
A final award on the acquisition of BTL shares by the Government of Belize is yet to be issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal based in the Netherlands.  [...]

Courtenay Says GOB Will Pay Millions in Interest
Government’s procrastination in settling the claim, according to Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, has resulted in an exorbitant amount of interest to be paid outside of the principal cost of acquiring [...]

Humes Beats Second Murder Charge
Three murder cases fell apart in court today. We start with forty-five year old Orlando Williams who was the first murder victim at the start of the New Year in [...]

Duo Walks Free on Murder Charge – Case File Lost
A pair of men also walked free of the murder of Michael Welch and the attempted murder of Kingsley Morrison, who were both shot in the Saint Martin de Porres [...]

$5000 Fine for Fatal RTA
Twenty-year old Boyd Lopez is home tonight following his sentencing for the February eighteenth, 2015 traffic fatality that took the life of seventy year old Marie Knowles. Knowles was walking [...]

State of the Art Equipment for KHMH’s PICU
The Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the K.H.M.H. has been with gifted with cutting edge equipment courtesy of the Government of Japan. The hospital’s C.E.O., Doctor Adrian Coye [...]

When will dredging begin in the Belize City Harbor?
Silt has been accumulating at the Belize City Harbor specifically in front of the Bliss Institute for Creative Arts. But the big question on everyone’s mind is when will dredging [...]

KHMH CEO Says Service Has Improved Dramatically
Earlier this year the K.H.M.H. introduced an increase in clinic fees from fifteen to twenty five dollars. And while some speculated that there would be a reduced number of patients [...]

Cops Promote Hoops for Community Policing
Fighting gang and criminal activities with basketball? That’s what the police department is doing. Today they officially launched a sixteen week basketball programme in the Southside that will see members [...]

Guatemala government is upping the ante on the Sarstoon
And on more issue on the Sarstoon. A provocative article appeared today in Prensa Libre, the mouthpiece of the Guatemala government which is upping the ante on the Sarstoon. The [...]

HelpAge Belize Pays Tribute to an Icon
Jane Usher has led an extraordinary and exemplary life. Over the years she has touched so many lives through her involvement in community affairs, politics and the credit union movement. [...]

LOVE FM

Chester Shot At in High Speed Chase
There were two city shootings yesterday; the first taking place just after five o’clock in the evening on West Street. There were no fatalities as Assistant Commissioner of Police explained to the media this morning. The second shooting took place a few hours later at the junction of Euphrates Avenue and Cairo Street. This incident […]

Top Cop – Not a Fan of Guns
Out of last night’s high speed chase in Belize City, perhaps, the most alarming revelation was the fact that Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams was unarmed while pursuing the group of men suspected to be involved in a shooting, just minutes prior to the chase. Williams spoke to Love News explaining that he is […]

ACP Chester Not Duly Compensated by GOB
Since his return to Belize from studying law in the Caribbean, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams has been making strides in the Belize Police Department and may even be raising the bar for other high ranking and up and coming officers. He has been promoted, he has been called to the Belize Bar Association, […]

Opposition Leader Says Belizeans were Hoodwinked with the BTL Takeover
Belize stands to pay millions of dollars to Lord Michael Ashcroft following the nationalization of the Belize Telemedia Limited in 2009. The matter is before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands and they recently concluded their review of the value of the shares that GOB would have to compensate the Ashcroft Alliance for. […]

Senator Courtenay Speaks of Court Application Against Sarstoon Regulation
Former Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay was at this morning’s rally at BTL Park in support of the message of solidarity. Whilst there, we spoke with him on the recently filed application in the Belize courts regarding the Sarstoon regulation. Love News asked him how effective such an application will have considering that the SI will […]

US Ambassador Says He Is Pro-ICJ on the Belize/Guat Issue
US Ambassador, Carlos Moreno says the involvement of an independent party appears to be the best way to resolve the Belize Guatemala dispute. Ambassador Moreno shared the position taken by his Government on the issue. As has been reported, the Guatemalan military has seemingly stepped up its aggression in the Sarstoon.

Ambassador Speaks on Refugee Issue
The issue of refugees in Belize has been in the headlines over the last week as some have questioned how the program is operating. Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of Immigration, Beverly Castillo said there are two programs that deal with refugees. Last night when we caught up with US Ambassador we […]

Chamber of Commerce Weighs In on Boycotting Guat Products
The debate on the Belize Guatemala situation continues strong on social media. One of the main topics that has gotten a lot of feedback is the suggested boycott of Guatemalan products. A popular bar in Belize owned by a naturalized Belizean, was boycotted because of a post she made on social media using derogatory statements […]

Advocate Group for Lesbians and Bi-Sexual Women Launched
The organization, PETAL- Promoting Empowerment through Awareness for Lesbian and Bisexual Women was launched last night at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. Coordinator of PETAL Simone Hill explains what the organization is about and its aim. In attendance were several high profile figures lending their support. Love News spoke with US Ambassador Carlos Moreno, […]

PICU and NICU More Equipped
Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital added some equipment to their new Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit this morning. A donation of one hundred and twenty thousand US dollars was donated to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital through the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow by the Government of Japan, through its Grassroots […]


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#513743 - 05/14/16 11:55 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 14, 2016 [Re: Marty]
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The Reporter

Dara gets another award for his “mission”
Joel “Dara” Robinson, known in most sectors for his tireless effort to keep hungry schoolchildren fed, has earned another award for his “mission”, and a donation towards his effort. The philanthropist was recognized at the recent international forum, Leadercast, which congregates leaders in various communities […]

Study shows some over-the-counter drugs are dangerous to the brain
Anticholinergic drugs, including Xanax, Zyrtec and Codeine, can cause cognitive impairment and an increased risk of dementia, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Neurology. The study offers proof of what scientists have suspected for at least a decade. Researchers at Indiana […]

Police help villagers; villagers give back
The San Juan village police station has a new look, courtesy a free upgrade and paint job provided late last week by the village chairman, the chairman of the San Juan water board and the villagers of that community. The project encompassed providing new windows, […]

Food drive in memory of “Remo” Clarke
The Kareem Clarke Memorial Fund held a food drive last weekend, the first of three annual events, in honor of the slain Kremandala journalist. Ten months after Clarke’s fatal shooting, representatives of the Fund gathered outside three Belize City supermarkets on Saturday May 7, to collect donations of canned food […]

Caribbean country trying out GMO mosquitoes to fight Zika
To address growing concerns about the Zika virus outbreak in the region, the Cayman Islands has agreed to be a testing site for genetically modified mosquitoes. The Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU), is working with British biotech company Oxitec, for the two phased project. […]

Leadercast 2016 Seminar Develops plan for Belize
At the close of the international seminar, Leadercast 2016, organizers and local organizations produced a document setting out their vision for a future Belize. The document evolved after a preliminary mastermind session at the close of the seminar, where some 160 participants developed a plan of action […]

Belizean Public Officers will get training in Taiwan
Two Belizean public officers, Deogracia Chan and Ender Jimenez have been chosen to receive training in a Land Taxation and Valuation program in Taiwan. Deogracia, who works in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Immigration, will take up her training at the International Center for […]

Teacher’s Day turns into Sarstoon Rally
The Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU), is calling on all teachers to stand up for Belize by attending a rally about Belize-Guatemala issue instead of celebrating teachers day as originally planned on Friday. Three weeks after the BNTU launched it’s “Stand up for Belize” education campaign the […]

Trio Village cacao growers get $250,000 UK funding
An agro-forestry pilot project to organically grow cacao is helping some 200 villagers of Trio Village in the Toledo district adapt to climate change, with US $250,000 in funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) program. They are farming 960 acres within the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve […]

Man survives attempted suicide; charged with double murder
Security guard, Andy Bustillos, 31, is remanded to the Hattieville Prison until July eighth on two charges of ‘murder’ upon his estranged girlfriend, Miriam “Betty” Mai, 39, and her sister-in-law, Daisy Miralda, 29, before he attempted suicide with the same gun. Bustillos was arraigned in […]

Two men charged for illegally cutting Mahogany trees
Two men are out on bail after being charged for cutting mahogany logwood without the required permits for doing so. Silas Ramos, 47, of Maskall Village and 62-year-old British national Martin Rennison of Bomba Village were charged with ‘restricted conversion of certain species of wood without a permit’ and ‘unlawful […]

Honduranean man shot dead in San Pedro
San Pedro police are investigating a possible motive for the fatal shooting last Friday of 26-year-old, Melvin Almendarez, an immigrant from Honduras. Almendarez was an amateur football player who worked as a painter by trade. Residents of the area across from the Belize Water Services […]

Editorial
The People’s United Party at its recent Council meeting decided that the party should take a trip to visit the Sarstoon River. We hope that they will hold off on that decision for at least a few weeks. Here’s why: Guatemala, especially its military, is in a foul mood following […]

Two Bulgarians charged for theft in debit card fraud scheme
Two Bulgarian men have been remanded to the Belize Central Prison after being charged with one count of ‘theft’ for illegally withdrawing money from a Belize Bank ATM machine as part of a massive card fraud scheme. Jeorgi Petrov, 28, and Halid Yuksel Aptula, […]

Bitter neighbours shoot it out at bar; one dead, three wounded
Jose Molina Estrada, 59, a grocer of Duck Run III, was shot dead and three other men were wounded in an exchange of gunfire at a bar shoot-out shortly after 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. The incident occurred at La Pasadita Bar on Iguana Creek […]

Sarstoon highlights international law
Guatemala’s latest aggressive act towards the Belize Defense Force (BDF) on the Sarstoon River, has brought into focus the need for a cooperation agreement which will likely be rooted in the spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of […]

PUP sues GOB over Sarstoon legislation
The one¬ month ban on Belizean civilians visiting the Sarstoon may well have expired by the time a Constitutional motion is heard on the matter in the Supreme Court, but that did not stop the People’s United Party (PUP) from filing the legal papers. On […]

GOB may still owe $168 million for BTL
The Government of Belize (GOB) may still owe the former owners of the BTL (Belize Telecommunications Ltd.) BZ $168 million as compensation for its acquisition of 45,199,961 BTL shares in August 2009. GOB has admitted the final award may total $253,119,781; or $5.60 per […]

Happening now: Teachers rally against GOB’s Sarstoon SI
More than a thousand teachers from throughout the country are at the BTL Park in Belize City, protestìng the Government’s Statutory Instrument (SI), banning Belizeans from entering the Sarstoon river. The teachers decided to stand up against the SI on Friday, designated as Teachers’ Day. […]

Gang tensions flaring! Chester caught in crossfire!
Belize City police are on high alert following a series of shootings on Thursday night culminating with a high speed chase and shootout involving Eastern Division South Commander, ACP Chester Williams. Williams, who was off duty at the time, responded to a shooting incident on Euphrates Avenue after 9:00 p.m. […]

The Belize Times

Barrow’s HALF BILLION DOLLAR Bukut!! – “We [taxpayers] must pay,” says PM, six years after BTL takeover
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned today after a five-day trip to the United States of America for medical reasons. But considering the crises currently emanating from all fronts in Belize, he might need to reserve another plane ticket soon, but this time one-way for a permanent exit. There is jaw-dropping and back-breaking (in the case of the Prime Minister) news that the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands has delivered a ruling on the matter of the outstanding compensation payments for the Barrow Administration’s highly-controversial takeover of Belize Telemedia Limited in 2009. Initial reports are that the Court has set the value of the shares in dispute at rate much higher than expected and predicted by the Government. The Barrow Administration has been praying feverishly that the Court accepts their proposal that the value of shares is not more than $1.44 per share. However, the Court has rejected the position, and set the value at just over $5.00 per share, which means that that the UDP Government could pay as much as $450 MILLION for shares it took away in 2009. Last year in a shameless move to lessen the blow of the Government’s ballooning liabilities as he readied his Party for early elections, PM Barrow held secret meetings with Lord Michael Ashcroft to discuss the payment of compensation. This was six whole years after the actual BTL acquisition.

PUP Challenges Sarstoon Law in Court
Today, Hon John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition, filed a claim in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Sarstoon Law (Statutory Instrument No 42 of 2016). In a decision announced on the 3 May, 2016 the National Executive of the Party had decided to bring this claim. According to Briceño, the Governor General acted solely on the basis of the recommendation of the Prime Minister in making his determination that there was a risk of civil commotion, which could threaten public safety. Given that there was and could not have been any rational basis to determine that there was such risk, the acceptance of the Governor General that there was such a risk was irrational, unreasonable and/or disproportionate.

Well-known athlete found dead in San Pedro
The image of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, aptly called “La Isla Bonita” is fast being tainted by a rise in violent crime on the popular destination spot. On Friday, May 6th, 2016 the body of well-known football player and artist, 26 year old Melvin “Catracho” Almendarez was found dead on a feeder road. “He was seen with injuries to his head and face, and abrasions to his chest,” explained Supt. Sandra Bodden, O.C., San Pedro Police Formation. Authorities said that Almendarez was seen in the area that day, but not in any form of distress. Several of his belongings including a bicycle and clothing were found in another area about half a mile away, near the entrance to the DFC area of the island.

BNTU flexes against Sarstoon Law on Friday
The Belize National Teachers Union will hold a national demonstration in Belize City on Teachers Day this Friday, May 13th, to protest the passage of Statutory Instrument 42, the controversial legislation passed by the Barrow Administration on April 28th 2016 to prohibit Belizeans from the Sarstoon Area. Teachers’ Day is normally a day of enjoyment and celebration for teachers. It is the one day of the year when we recognise their efforts in our classrooms and society. The teachers, however, will sacrifice their day of enjoyment for selfless, bold action on behalf of Belizeans by taking to the streets and sending a strong message to the Barrow Administration. Rescind the S.I. or else! According to the Union President, Luke Palacio, they will mobilise their members from the six branches to Belize City where they will march through the city streets. This, he said, is another initiative under their “Stand Up for Belize” campaign launched last month.

A Prelude to Disaster
For as long as any Belizean living nowadays can remember, there has been a Guatemalan claim hanging over our heads. There was a time when the topic was never far removed from any conversation, but lately, we have become lax and complacent. The recent development at the Sarstoon however, is a stark reminder of the dangers that lurk perpetual on the other side of our western and southern borders. Guatemalans recently literally elected a clown to be the president of their country. As a part of his campaign manifesto, Jimmy Morales promised his people that he would revive Guatemala’s efforts at annexing Belize. Many believe that Morales was just waiting for an incident like that which happened in the Chiquibul on April 20th to make a move in the direction of fulfilling that promise. He knows that there is no way on GOD’S green earth that this is going to happen but it is important for him to at least, seem to be striving toward that end. Even early in his presidency, Morales is already facing severe criticism at home for not doing enough to tackle the rampant corruption that is ingrained in his government. He believes that he has found the perfect distraction but many Guatemalans seem more concerned with the country’s economic woes, soaring crime and endemic corruption than in engaging the world in military conflict.

A Government of Crises & Controversies
Every now and then the Barrow Administration seems to believe that it has to lie to us in the interest of some greater good. This is exactly what has happened to Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington in every press conference when asked about the loss of the Sarstoon to Guatemala directly under his watch. The Belizean people aren’t fools. They know exactly what is going on. They can see the lies coming out of the mouths of our leaders. They know how to cite the fake smiles and the false calm they offer. The Government has been caught in another lie. Our media colleagues from Plus TV News, whom the Barrow Administration has tried over and over to shut down, exposed the secret implementation of an amnesty programme for thousands of illegal immigrants currently in Belize. Were it not for the constant prodding of the media, the Government would have never opened up about what is going on. The amnesty program according to the Government’s official explanation is one of two “refugee” programmes that will be rolled out in Belize.

Elite FC defeats Eiley FC in 1st Division football
Elite FC enjoyed their first win over Eiley FC 2-1, while the Stars Academy and Lake I Strikers struggled to a 1-1 draw when the Belize District Football Association’s 1st Division competition kicked off at the MCC Garden on Sunday. Elite FC drew first blood when Dion Roches scored the 1st goal, but Kevin Rowland answered for Eiley FC for a 1-1 draw at the half. Elite FC was able to exploit the advantage when an Eiley FC player was ejected and Marlon Gutierrez scored the winning goal. In Game 2, the Stars Academy and Lake I Strikers both lost men to red cards, and with each side down to 10 men, they settled for a 1-1 draw. The competition continues on Sunday, May 15.

Tigersharks bite Hurricanes 101-88 in NEBL Finals Game 2
Defending National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) champs, the San Pedro Tigersharks, came back to life in Game 2 of this year’s finals, winning the Belize City SMART Hurricanes 101-88 at the Angel Nunez auditorium at the San Pedro High School last Saturday night. The Tigersharks led from the getgo. Ashton Edwards top scored with 30pts and 3 rebounds. The Tigersharks never let up. The other big scores came from Douglas Valley with 20pts; Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz with 18pts and 8 rebounds; and American import Caleb Sutton who put up 8pts.

Xaibe RC boys & Crooked Tree girls are Softball Champs
The Crooked Tree Government School successfully defended their title when they won the 2016 National Primary School Female Softball Championship at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City on Friday, May 6. The Crooked Tree girls upstaged the Aguacate girls 10-3. Ashanti Gillett struck out 2 batters, gave up 4 hits and walked 2 batters, allowing the Aguacate girls to score 3 runs. Marciala Can struck out 3 batters, walked 6, and gave up 4 hits, allowing the Crooked Tree girls to score 7 runs in the 1st inning and 6 runs in the top of the 2nd inning which was not completed. For 3rd place, Stann Creek district champions from Independence Primary School allowed the St. Francis Xavier RC School girls from Esperanza only one run in the top of the 1st inning. Independence was led by pitcher Rhea Ardon. Esperanza’s Hadie Vernon walked 8 batters, gave up one hit and the diamond made 2 errors, allowing the IPS girls to score 9 runs for the 9-1 win.

Fuel Prices Up Again!
Not even a month has passed since we last told you that the price of fuel at the pumps had increased without even a slight warning from the money-thirsty Barrow Government. The price of fuel went up again last Friday, May 6th, along with the frustration level of commuters across the country. Regular fuel increased by 25 cents, to $9.12, while Premium fuel increased by twelve cents, to $9.26. Diesel fuel increased sharply, from $7.29 to $8.36. This is a walloping hike of 57 cents for fuel on which the productive sector depends on. Now the above are Belize City prices, which means that in every other district the price is much higher. We have tried over and over to get a reasonable explanation for the constant rise in fuel prices from the Ministry of Finance, especially with global crude oil prices still extremely low, but all we get is that the Barrow Administration has already signaled that it will be gutting out Belizean fuel consumers for the $50 million deficit in this year’s budget.

“Tek” Back Sarstoon
Dear Editor, On Wednesday April 20, 2016 tragedy occurred in the Chiquibul forest in southern Belize when a Guatemalan minor was killed in the night inside Belizean territory. The incident happened as BDF soldiers returned shots that were fired at them. Five weeks ago BDF Sgt. Lambey almost lost his life when he was shot in the abdomen by poachers. Prior to that incident Special Constable Conorque was ambushed and shot dead at the Caracol Maya site near the border with Guatemala. Our soldiers have every right to protect their lives when they are fired upon first in the jungle. Guatemala has used the unfortunate incident three weeks to annex the half of the Sarstoon River which belongs to Belize. It has stated that Belize must first seek its permission to use the Sarstoon waters as the entire river belongs to her. In enforcing that position the bully has stationed gunboats in the area. Belize totally rejects Guatemala’s claim to her half of the Sarstoon River including the Sarstoon Island; nevertheless we don’t have the arms to enforce that right. For the time being our soldiers can only observe helplessly as Guatemalan vessels prevent Belizeans from traveling in the Sarstoon River ,and scores of Guatemalans fish on our side of the river every single day.

Court orders psychiatric evaluation for man charged with assaulting Police Officers
A Scotland Half-moon man who policed charged with three counts of assault, two against police officers and one against a fellow resident of the village, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison, where he will undergo a psychiatric evaluation before he returns to court on July 6. John Dawson, a twenty-two-year-old laborer, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. Dawson was charged with aggravated assault upon Police Constable #345 Joseph Pook, who works out of the Scotland Half-moon sub-station, and Corporal Darrell Usher, from the Ladyville Police Station. Dawson allegedly assaulted the two cops with a piece of steel rod. Dawson’s third count of aggravated assault was upon Scotland half-moon resident Charles Sola. The assault upon Sola was reportedly with a machete.

Eucharistic Adoration and Global Rosary Crusade in Belize City on Friday May 13
This Friday May 13th is the 99th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to the 3 kids where She told them to pray the rosary for Peace. We need Peace in our Families, Peace in our Marriages, Peace for our Youths and Peace in our country. The Event starts at 5:30p.m with the annual Guadalupe Procession leaving Holy Redeemer Cathedral to the Marion Jones Stadium. All parishes countrywide are taking part in this procession which will have an attendance of over 2,500 of our brothers and sisters. For the first time, eight BDF soldiers will be carrying the Virgin of Guadalupe. We have confirmation that a total of 57 buses are coming in into the city from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Dangriga, and Punta Gorda and 100 persons from San Pedro. There will also be about 200 Students from St. Johns, 200 students from Pallotti, and 200 Students from Saint Catherine’s.

Barrow Government Gambles Belize’s Sovereignty
I am now more than ever convinced that the Prime Minister of Belize lives in an ivory tower and far removed from the reality of the poor and the real threat posed by Guatemala’s aggression. If this is not so, then the Prime Minister is a classic con man deprecating in his nest. This is a really serious issue of national importance and yet we cannot be told what was the outcome of the bi-lateral meeting between Belize and Guatemala with the OAS in Washington D.C. The Prime Minister is again stalling for time to cover-up his incompetence and that of his Foreign Minister. Why the hell was a press conference called by the Prime Minister on Thursday on the outcome of that Washington meeting if the Prime Minister said that there was nothing to report and all we heard were platitudes -empty platitudes. When pressed by reporters, he had to do his best to restrain his usual outburst of anger when he is challenged. He was uncharacteristically subdued.

PUP –United & Ready to Lead!
It’s called inclusion, people – just so you know. It was amazing to see the roots soldiers of the People’s United Party come together as one Party Council. Now that is how it should be done. That is real Power to the People. This Sarstoon thing is serious business. This Guatemala thing is serious business. And we must approach it seriously and UNITED. Some of us may disagree with one thing or the other. That’s okay – we’re humans, not robots designed to follow mindlessly and blindly and to accept everything we’re told. That’s the UDP. That’s how they do things. WE ARE GOING TO THE SARSTOON because we don’t buy the rotten fruit the government is trying to sell us. As a Party we believe that our border line lies at the mid-point of the river south of Sarstoon. We renounce this unconstitutional Sarstoon Law which benefits only the Guatemalans. We demand that the government rescind this bogus law and that as a nation we work together and fight together to assert our sovereignty diplomatically and on the ground.

Belize – An Economy with Low Capital Formation
According to the World Bank, Gross Capital Formation (formerly gross domestic investment) is described as: “additions to the fixed assets of the economy plus net changes in the level of inventories. Fixed assets include land improvements (fences, ditches, drains, and so on); plant, machinery, and equipment purchases; and the construction of roads, railways, and the like, including schools, offices, hospitals, private residential dwellings, and commercial and industrial buildings. Inventories are stocks of goods held by firms to meet temporary or unexpected fluctuations in production or sales, and “work in progress.” According to the 1993 SNA, net acquisitions of valuables are also considered capital formation. (World Bank Report Gross Capital Formation (% of GDP). In his Budget presentation in March 2016 the Prime Minister quoted that the Belizean economy projected, for the fiscal year 2016-2017, to have an anemic growth rate of between 1.5 – 2.0%. This was coming off a similarly feeble growth of 1.4% in 2015-2016. This level of growth is not sustainable growth. Growth of even between three percent and four percent is still insufficient to make this growth translate into a trickle down for the population. The fundamental problem created is that this weak level of economic growth is due to consumption and not investment.

John Saldivar dropped the ball!
The UDP must be scraping the bottom of the barrel with John Saldivar and Patrick Faber as the only contestants for first Deputy Leader. The April 29 deadline for application came and went and no one else cared to apply. While Patrick has been taking a flogging from his own party colleagues for being quarrelsome and immature, John Saldivar’s failures with one of the nation’s most important Ministries has been exposed fully. John has not shown one iota of leadership over the last few weeks with Guatemala’s persistent disrespect of our sovereignty. When an illegal Guatemalan drone trespassed into our airspace in Sarstoon, Saldivar turned a blind eye.

SSB Shutdown Averted!
A national shutdown of Social Security offices to have taken place on Friday, May 5, 2016 was averted when the Government rushed to intervene and respond to some of the concerns of the employees. Social Security Board employees and the Government-appointed management have been at odds for several months over employment issues. Represented by the Christian Workers’ Union, the employees have called out the management for not practised fair play when addressing their concerns. The Union has accused the management of being disingenuous even during the negotiations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the workers. Employees are also up in arms that while the SSB executives easily benefit from large bonuses and perks, the management squeezes them for minor financial incentives. In October last year the Union members held demonstrations during their lunch hours for several days.

Hard Knocks
Take the politics out of it. Take the propaganda out of it. There’s something screwy happening in the Sarstoon. There’s something we’re not being told. Now even our BDF can’t go into the Sarstoon without having to ask permission. Forget this crap we’re being fed about our soldiers and their soldiers being buddies. Forget that crap about their general and our general being buddies. We’re not buddies. The truth is that we’ve lost the Sarstoon. Somehow, someway this river which is in our national anthem is gone, and our diplomats are so foolish that they’re still playing buddies with the Guatemalans. I swear they must be laughing at us in Guatemala, thinking we’re all a bunch of dummies here. And we can’t trust our own people. They’re lying to us…talking about cautious optimism and progress and a breakthrough when we hear that the Sarstoon wasn’t even discussed at the meetings in Washington. There are traitors among us.

Very Frightened!!
Dear Editor, I am worried, very worried about my country Belize especially under the recent debacle of the Sarstoon and the worsening economy. I try to imagine the country under Patrick Faber or John Saldivar and that frightens me even more. Both seem to have crab mentality of going backwards. You want to tell me that these are the only two that the UDP can find? They are bottom feeders scraping the bottom of the barrel but of course they can argue what is it Finnegan and Boots then? God forbid! To tell the truth, I can’t even sleep just thinking about it. One’s own colleague refers to one as immature. Straight like that. Meanwhile, the other can’t even give an order to shoot down a drone in the midst of an invitation of our country’s territory. Wow!

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

City man injured in shooting
A 20-year-old Belize City resident, Aaron Garbutt Jr., was treated and released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) last night after being shot to the right upper thigh and finger. Garbutt told police that around 5:00 yesterday evening while he and a friend […]

John Briceno attacks BTL compensation award
The Government of Belize has more or less confirmed the final payment to be made to the former owners of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) for the two nationalizations of the company between 2009 and 2011, subject to a final ruling by the Netherlands’ Permanent […]

PUP easing back into diplomacy with Government
At his press conference immediately following meetings in Washington with Guatemala and other elements, Prime Minister Dean Barrow extended the olive branch to the People’s United Party to re-join the diplomatic process which the Opposition complained they were shut out of recently. While Government […]

Teachers rally in Belize City
At today’s “Stand up for Belize” rally, which was organized by the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) on the occasion of Teachers’ Day and attended by many different organizations, there was a united call for the Government of Belize to rescind the statutory instrument […]

Public Officers restricted from speaking to media on Sarstoon issue
A memorandum issued on Monday by the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture’s Chief Executive Officer, cited parts of the constitution which informed all public officers that they are not to give media interviews on anything relating to the Sarstoon issue, or our country’s defense resources. It states that in an effort to support the government in its attempts to de-escalate the Belize/Guatemala situation, the ministry is reminding and asking all public officers to refrain from speaking to the media on that matter.

Cashew Festival and Agricultural Show kicks off tonight in Crooked Tree
Scheduled for May 13th – 15th in Crooked Tree Village, this year’s installment of the annual Cashew Festival and Agricultural Show promises to deliver a fun filled experience with an abundance of cashew infused dishes that are sure to excite taste buds. Located approximately 35 miles outside of Belize City in the Belize District, the unique village is named after the cashew tree which grows with a bend in its stem and is known as the cashew capital of the country. Each year Crooked Tree is host to this very popular event which highlights art, jewelry, food and other items made out of cashew and their seeds, displaying the many uses of that delicious yellow fruit while various contests and horse riding exhibitions keep festival goers entertained.

Guatemalan military hold Belizeans for several hours
We have received reports of a Spanish Lookout Mennonite businessman and a worker who were allegedly taken over to Guatemala for some hours on Tuesday, May 10. The CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Sylvestre reported yesterday evening that the men are […]

Blogs

Where Is Belize Located? – Location And Geography Explained
Belize is, by general standards, a small country; at just 8,860 square miles (circa 22,000 km2) we’re about as large as a medium-sized Caribbean island. Belize, arguably considered by some sources as North American geographically is nestled on the northernmost tip of Central America, bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east. For those of you who want to be even more specific, Belize is located at exactly: 17.1899° N of the equator and 88.4976° W of the Greenwich meridian according to google. A member of the Commonwealth and the only Central American country to officially speak English Belize is considered by locals to be equal parts Caribbean and Central American retaining languages and customs from both regions.

Mr. Manny Birthday Bash
Señor Marlin’s is pulling out all the stops and celebrating big this weekend! Celebrate along with Mr. Manny at Señor Marlin's Sports Bar this weekend.

Relax and Brunch at Caprice Bar and Grill
A sophisticated setting a few steps away from the water and an indulgent brunch menu makes Caprice Bar and Grill a must do on any given Sunday. Not that I’m against their daily menu or endless array of tropical concoctions at the bar on any other day, Sunday Brunch is just a little more my pace. The atmosphere, symbolic to the Holiday Hotel, lends itself to that relaxed state we all crave after a long week of work. The mimosas are carefully crafted with just the right balance of fresh orange juice and champagne and the food just whispers comfort. It may be the only place in Belize were I’ve had the option of both my brunch favorites: biscuits and gravy and chicken and waffles! Another savory dish that grabbed my attention was the Cheese Blintzes filled with Ricotta and Mascarpone and smothered in Shrimp Bearnaise Sauce. If you have more of a sweet tooth, I recommend the Banana Foster French Toast filled with cream cheese and bananas and don’t forget the rum sauce please!

Your Belize Cooking Guide: How to Make Fish Seré
Belize is a cultural melting pot and a country filled with a wide array of ethnicities from across the globe. These groups bring a unique selection of cuisines native to their country and infuse them with a few Belizean twists. To aid in satisfying your taste buds and learn a bit more about these dishes, Maya Island Air will be featuring a monthly ‘How to’ cooking guide that will feature local images, videos and recipes. This month’s dish is a popular selection of the Garinagu (Ga-ri-na-gu) people known as Fish Seré, a creamy chowder made with chunks of fish fillet sautéed with ground foods. This filling meal is also typically served with coconut-milk infused rice and tasty plantain strips.

International Sourcesizz

US Payment Processor Sues Visa, Belize Banks
Evergreen E-Pay Solutions Inc., a Palm Coast e-commerce payment processing company, filed a federal suit Friday alleging Visa allowed three Belize banks to process international transactions without proper licensing, leading them to suddenly terminate Evergreen's agreement. Sir Michael Ashcroft, one of Britain's wealthiest businessmen and a former deputy chairman of its Conservative Party, controls the Belize banks, according to the 21-count complaint assigned to U.S. District Judge Donald Graham. Ashcroft owns Caribbean Investment Holdings, formerly known as BCB Holdings Ltd., which controls British Caribbean Bank International Ltd., Belize Bank Ltd. and Belize Bank International Ltd. The three banks provided Visa credit and debit card processing services in Belize, processing up to 800,000 online purchases made by cardholders who were Internet customers of Evergreen's international merchants.

Hershey Expands ‘Learn to Grow’ Program to Belize Sugar Industry and Launches New Sustainable Sugar Sourcing Policy
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) announced today a new partnership with the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) to expand its Hershey Learn to Grow sustainable farming program to sugar suppliers in northern Belize. The program will train farmers in sustainable agriculture practices to responsibly grow and harvest sugar cane. The new program builds on The Hershey Company’s leadership in ensuring the raw materials used for its iconic brands are procured from sustainable sources where the entire community benefits from the business. The SIRDI Farmer Field School, funded by Hershey, is an expansion of the highly recognized Hershey Learn to Grow program, initiated four years ago to give West African cocoa farmers the opportunity to improve productivity, raise incomes and benefit the entire community.

Panama banks lose US correspondent accounts
Multiple sources in Panama City are reporting that several local financial institutions have lost their correspondent accounts in the United States, and American bank clients seeking to transfer funds to Panama are unable to complete any wire transactions through those correspondents. Banco General SA and Banco Nacíonal de Panama SA are among those who reportedly are now without any means of receiving funds from the United States financial structure. To add to the unease in Panama City, Banco General is alleged to be currently under investigation by a US law enforcement agency, together with a number of other banks. Americans who own businesses in Panama are now completely unable to pay their staff, and to cover expenses incurred in the normal course of business. Given Panama's strong laws regarding employee rights, absentee owners face immediate civil, as well as even criminal, liability, for non-payment of salaries and social security taxes.

Videos

  • Primary School Students Display Products in a Business Showcase, 3.5min. Over a hundred students gathered at the ITVET in Belize City today to show off products that they created under a programme with Peacework. In its third year, the “Business Showcase” which is a collaboration with the Ministry of Education, hosted over twenty schools from across the city in an all-day exhibition that is intended to teach students what it takes to develop a business idea into a product. News Five’s Andrea Polanco stopped in at today’s showcase to check out the work of the young students.

  • A snippet of today's "Stand Up for Belize" March, 1min. Teachers countrywide are marching in Belize City to express their opposition to the recent Sarstoon Law. Today was to be a day of celebration for teachers in honor of Teacher's Day but the educators decided to take the opportunity to participate in the rally instead.

  • Belize: Witnessing Climate Change Firsthand, 14min. How do scientists research climate change? Follow Justin Baumann and his team of coral researchers to find out.

  • Majestic Frigate birds, Hopkins Belize, 1/2min. A common seabird throughout Belize, the Majestic Frigate has a large wingspan and is an excellent fisher. You'll see them floating aloft on the air currents that blow off the ocean.

  • belize 2015, 5min.

  • FARMERS FIELD SCHOOL 2016, 5.5min. Yesterday marked the unveiling of the fourth group of student farmers to participate in the Farmer Field School program hosted by the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute, SIRDI. The FFS program, targets farmers and exposes them through hands-on field sessions, to best practices in sugar cane cultivation. This year though, the program captured the interest of the international company…Hershey’s which is financing the program and is currently purchasing sugar from Belize to produce their chocolates.

  • CARMELITA GOV. SCHOOL GETS A NEW BUILDING, 5.5min. It goes without saying that a proper environment is imperative to good learning, especially for young children, and part of achieving this is ensuring that children have proper and well equipped school buildings. Today there is very good news to tell as children from the Carmelita Government School are now attending classes in a brand new building.

  • TEACHERS TAKE THE STAGE FOR THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS, 5.5min. On Monday night, students from a number of primary schools here in Orange Walk Town took the stage at the football field of the Louisiana Government School where they performed for the annual festival of arts event. However, last night it was the teachers’ turn to shine and take up the stage in order to showcase their many skills and talents at the Teachers Festival of Arts which was held at the Crystal Palace Auditorium by the District Education Council in celebration of education month.

  • Cindy Hand Fishing Tarpon in Belize, 1/2min.

  • Snorkeling Caye Caulker Reef Belize, 11min. Cindy and Lawrence snorkeling at Caye Caulker.

  • Belize Audubon Society Activities 18, 5min.

  • BELIZE NATIONAL TEACHERS DAY RALLY, 6min. BNTU HELD PEACEFUL MARCH IN PROTEST OVER THE "SARSTOON LAW" PASSED BY GOVERNMENT, BANNING BELIZEANS FROM ENTERING THE MOUTH OF THE SARSTOON RIVER.

  • Honeymooning in Belize!, 5min.

  • Top

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