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#514189 - 06/04/16 12:06 PM Today's Belize News: June 4, 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

SPRCS teams head to national Primary School Football Tournament
The Belize District Zone 5 Primary School Football Tournament came to an end on Thursday, June 2nd at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex in San Pedro Town. The tournament was organized by The San Pedro Sports Committee in collaboration with the National Sports Council of Belize. Male and female teams from different primary schools of Ambergris Caye, and from Caye Caulker played heated matches. After two weeks of intense games, both female and male teams from the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) emerged victorious. As such, Ambergris Caye will be represented by SPRCS at the Belize District Finals, on Monday, June 6th in Belize City. The last two set of games were intense, and under the hot afternoon sun, the female division game kicked off the finals. The girls from Holy Cross Anglican Primary School (HCAPS) gave their all on the field, but it was not enough to win the game. The San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) girls walked away with a victorious score of 2-0. The crowd cheered and celebrated the girls’ win proudly.

Diver Alert Networks educates Local dive instructors
The Hyperbaric Chamber adjacent to the Ambergris Hopes Clinic conducted a valuable presentation to several dive instructors on the island on Wednesday, May 25th. Held at the San Pedro Lions Den, the lecture covered two important topics: Guidance on case reviews which dealt with identifying dive related injuries and marine life toxinology. Attendees learned much about the different poisonous marine species they are exposed to every time they go to sea. Leading the presentation was Director of Medical Programs Matias Nochetto of Diver Alert Networks (DAN) who explained about the importance of knowing the different symptoms a patient may develop during and after a diving session. “It is important to be able to recognize when someone has decompression illness and when the patient does not,” said Nochetto. Putting a patient inside a chamber without knowing exactly what is wrong can be damaging. For example, if someone has punctured lungs, placing him inside the chamber, can be fatal.” Nochetto indicated that when air is leaking from the lungs, it can be noticeable in certain areas of the body, as air bubbles would appear underneath the surface of the skin. Another important observation to keep in mind, according to Nochetto, is to know under which conditions the diver became ill. This includes the length of diving, the depth, and the experience of the individual in this water sport.

Dates confirmed for the Annual Eco-Challenge Kayak Race
Preparations for the twelfth annual Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge Race are underway, and the dates have been set for August 6th and 7th. Once again kayakers will take the challenge of navigating 26 miles of Ambergris Caye waters. The race will start at 6AM from the Sunset Boulevard near the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex, heading north through the mangrove channels of the lagoon area of Ambergris Caye. Organizer of the event Elito Arceo says that the main purpose of the race is to sensitize residents to the importance of the eco-system in and around the island, while at the same time promoting the best ways possible to conserve it.

DFC hosts Green Technology Seminar
In seeking a green technological era for Belize, the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in partnership with the Ministry of Energy (MOE) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre held a Green Technology Seminar at the Hidden Treasure Restaurant in San Pedro Town. The event took place on Tuesday, May 31st and saw members of the business community who are eager to be informed on this new venture DFC has to offer. Three presenters discussed the potential Belize has when it comes to renewable energy, especially given the ideal location the country has. The urgency to scale down on fossil fuels while understanding the major advantages of green energy were discussed. Furthermore a call was made for everyone to join the initiative aided by DFC of acquiring credit for renewable and energy efficiency programs.

SPTC launches Clean- up Campaign 2016
As the rainy season nears, an aggressive clean-up campaign has been launched in San Pedro Town. The program aims to address the garbage issues in all subdivisions of the Town, while getting rid of breeding areas for mosquitos that may transmit vector diseases such as ZIKA.. The campaign began on Wednesday, June 1st at the San Pedrito Sub-division, and will last until November when the rainy season is due to end. Giving an overview of the campaign was Deputy Mayor Gary Greif, who stressed on the importance of the campaign as the rainy season is fast approaching. He explained that the project is part of the SPTC plan of action in response to fight vector borne diseases on the island. Greif stated that it is a difficult task but not impossible and encourages everyone to cooperate. The SPTC has come up with incentives for those participating in the campaign. “Members of the SPTC along with the Health Inspector will be going through the different subdivisions, and anyone observed cleaning their yard will be featured in The San Pedro Sun, and as well, will receive a cash prize of $100,” said Greif. “The other incentive comprises of a $500 cash prize sponsored by the SPTC and Mayor Guerrero. The winner will be whosoever keeps their yard clean for the longest of time.” Greif asked for the campaign to not be a one-time event but to continue even after November, when the campaign is scheduled to end. He called on all island residents to make it a tradition and keep their surroundings and the island garbage free.

Ambergris Today

Letters To The Editor: Traffic and Hitchhikers in San Pedro
Dear Ambergris Caye, We had the pleasure of visiting San Pedro just a week or so ago. We loved the time we spent there with one exception. We had rented a golf cart to get around. We were staying outside of the main area of town and needed a way to get in and around San Pedro. However, several times we were approached by the locals to give them a ride into town. With crime rates rising, we were uncomfortable doing so, and when we refused, they yelled out 'F*** You' on more than one occasion. We think it is unwise that tourists are hustled into transporting strangers. It raises safety concerns not only for the tourists, but the local population asking for the ride. We even had small children ask. We also noticed that there does not appear to be any public transportation available for the locals including the schools and the children that attend them. This causes a lot traffic chaos each and every day in and around town; rather unpleasant to see such badly organized traffic.

Santiago Castillo Makes World Milk Day Fun for Island Students
Since 2001, when the first World Milk Day was proposed by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), June 1 has become the day which all aspects of milk are celebrated around the world. Belizean company Santiago Castillo Ltd. came to San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, for the first time to celebrate World Milk day, as it has done in past years at different locations in Belize. Representatives from Santiago Castillo Ltd. set up a fun and educational display at Central Park that included a bouncy house, information booth with lots of goodies for the island students and even a farm display with a functional cow cutout that they could ‘actually’ milk; that was fun to watch.

New Children’s Book Follows the Journeys of a Young Belizean Hero
The true story of a young philanthropist, who is blind, teaches children that through kindness and determination anything is possible! Climb Walk Dive: The Adventures of Rowan Garel was launched on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, at the Image Factory in Belize City. The 32-page illustrated children’s book tells the story of Rowan’s high-adrenaline undertakings to raise funds for Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) to provide services and support for children who are blind. To the summit of Victoria Peak; Across the country of Belize and Down into the Blue Hole, Rowan surpassed his personal and charitable goals each time.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Over 2,000 Residents of San Antonio Village, Cayo District Will Soon Have a New Health Centre
Ground-breaking Ceremonies to officially commence the construction of the new San Antonio Health Centre will be held at the Community Centre, San Antonio village, Cayo District at 2 pm today, June 3, 2016. The Government of Belize, steadfast in its continued commitment to address the basic needs of Belizeans, in the areas of water, sanitation, education and health, is funding the San Antonio Health Centre project at an estimated cost of $623,912.30 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. The new health facility will provide primary health care services aimed to improve community health as well as reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality, waterborne, food borne, and vector borne conditions, communicable and non-communicable diseases. Thus, making critical achievements in improving the quality of health of men, women and children of San Antonio and surrounding communities.

Public Service Information Day
On Wednesday, June 1st, 2016, public officers of San Pedro celebrated Public Service Information Day at the Central Park with an Expo. Official ceremonies initiated with the National Anthem beautifully sang by students of the San Pedro R.C. School, followed by a prayer. Welcoming everyone to the event was Ms. Nelma Jones, followed by an address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, where he emphasized the importance of a public officer's job and daily tasks. All the way from the culture capital, Dangriga, Hon. Frank "Papa" Mena delivered the keynote address, whose portfolio includes the responsibility of Public Service among many others. Hon. Mena stated that the hard work of the hard working public officers does not go unnoticed and his ministry is very proud of their efforts.

Rescheduled power interruption for entire San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye on Saturday, June 4
From 6:00am to 9:10am and 5:00pm to 5:10pm. BEL to relocate mobile substation for maintenance of transmission system which supplies Corozal, Orange Walk and San Pedro.

Beach Cleanup Day in Dangriga
Date: June 4, 2016. Time: 9 - 11 a.m. Where: Town Pier in Dangriga Town. Sign up and Obtain a Small Token!! Partners: Department of the Environment - DOE, Dangriga Town Council and Harlem Beach Group

Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Awards Luncheon
Mrs. Karen Bevans (BTB's Director of Tourism) receiving the award for Belize at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Awards Luncheon during Caribbean Week in New York.

Managed Access National Expansion
The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs fishermen and the general public that on May 19, 2015 the Cabinet endorsed the National expansion of Managed Access to the entire territorial waters of Belize with effect on June 15, 2016. Managed Access has been piloted at two sites: Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve and Port Honduras Marine Reserve since July of 2011. After a series of extensive consultations with fishers, fisheries management will now be strengthened through a national system of secure tenure for fishers to fish in designated fishing areas. In January 2016, more than four years after the successful implementation at these sites, fishers were licensed for a maximum of two fishing areas and an optional area designated for deep slope fishing.

Letter: Belize Progressive Party calls for action under UNSC Article 39
Given the government of Belize’s (GOB) false, singular narrative that going to the ICJ is the only recourse to address Guatemala’s unfounded claim, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) calls on Belizeans both at home and abroad to take definitive action. Having demonstrated the logic of rescinding the Special Agreement/Compromis, given the ever-increasing aggression by the Guatemalans, which has disrupted the peace between the two nations, coupled with the GOB’s willful negligence, the BPP cites justification for urgently taking this matter to the UN Security Council under Article 39 of the UN Charter. Article 39 reads, ”The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Ascenthium Rocks River Run
Ascenthium and Almost 7 played at the Black Pearl, Harley-Davidson, Belize's River Run on the 22nd. Great concert!

REUNITING WITH BROTHER JAMAL GOREE AT THE 5TH. ANNUAL GARIFUNA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL!
There are many African-Americans who quietly traverse the Central American terrain of Belize in their time like Jamal Goree. But his contribution to Belize, and to the largest black immigrant group in Los Angeles called the Belizean Community has got to be documented here on Belize Diaspora Vote. When BREDAA was doing its great popular education programs in the Belizean community in L.A., and had at its disposal one of the most powerful information dissemination programs ever in the history of Belizean diaspora politics called Belize-Caribbean Pulse radio show on KPFK, it was Brother Jamal Goree who stood with BREDAA through thick and thin, and assisted the organization to move beyond radio and on to television and video communication through his most brilliant skills in the visual communication medium.

Channel 7

Sailing Down the Sarstoon, VIP PUP Style
The last time the PUP made a plan to head to the Sarstoon - there was all kinds of media hype, and when it fell through, all that buildup turned into backlash. And that's probably why there was absolutely no announcement made about today's trip to the Sarstoon. It was kept on the political down low - and we didn't find out about it until yesterday evening. But that didn't stop Daniel Ortiz and Codie Norales from getting up before dawn and racing south to see what would happen. They squeezed into a spot on the bow of the big blue boat and what they saw on the Sarstoon surprised them. Daniel Ortiz has this report from the south:... Those intending to make the trip to Sarstoon included Opposition Leader John Briceno; his representative in the Bilateral Talks, Senator Eamon Courtenay; fellow Parliamentarians Oscar Requena, Rodwell Ferguson, Kareem Musa, and Cordel Hyde; Senator Paul Thompson; standard Bearer Major Lloyd Jones; PUP Chairman Henry Charles Usher; National Communications Manager, Anthony Mahler, and a few other important party personalities.

Corozal Fire Chief Killed In Grisly Accident
Tonight the Belize National Fire Service is in mourning after the tragic death of one of their own. Around 11:30 this morning, Meshach Henry, the commanding chief of the Corozal fire station, was heading to work on his black Kawasaki motorcycle when he had a violent collision with a large dump truck. It happened in the middle of Corozal Town - and the 33 year old's mangled body could be seen lying in middle of the road. At this time the cause of his fatal accident is not yet known but best sources tell us that Henry was attempting to overtake a taxi when he collided into the dump truck. But whatever the cause may be, Henry's graphic death has stunned Corozal Town and the Fire Department.

Knox Hard Life, From Hospital, To Jail to Bail
Zachary Knox - he's the 19 year old accused of shooting at Assistant Commissioner Chester Williams. Well tonight, the Belize City resident is out on ten thousand dollars bail. His attorney Oscar Selgado got bail from Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore. One of the conditions is that he must report weekly to the police station and another is that he must stay away from the victim - one of the victims in this case being ACP Chester Williams. He met bail around 5:00 this evening, but with all that's happened to him since the shooting on May 12th - Knox might want to even stay away from the police station. That's because his mother alleges that that a dozen officers from the GSU and the Southside Strike Team put a vicious beating on him after he was caught. Police have denied the allegations, but Knox was in the hospital for two weeks before appearing in court last Friday to be charged for one count of use of deadly means of harm upon Mark Vernon and one count of aggravated assault with a firearm up ACP Chester Williams.

Is Belize Ready For CODICADER? Assessors Are Here
More than a thousand kids from 6 different Central American Nations will be coming to Belize, along with their coaches, and chaperones next month. They are coming to participate in CODICADER - an annual tournament for primary schoolers under the age of 13. Now, for the first time in the history of CODICADER the event is being held in Belize. Representatives from each of the participating countries are here today to do a pre- inspection visit of the proposed facilities for the competitions. Today the Belize CODICADER committee held a press briefing inside the VIP lounge at the International Airport where they officially welcomed the visiting delegates from 5 of the participating countries. Hon. Elodio Aragon, Min. of State, Youth and Sports: "Today I extend a warm welcome to the CODICADER Assessment team. This team is comprised of 2 representatives from each participating country; Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras. This team is here to assess Belize's readiness for hosting the upcoming under 13 CODICADER Games."

City Mayor Swoops In To Hire Who "Bev" Fired
Ingrid Hernandez and Elena Kerr - in one week they've gone from UDP stalwarts known mostly in Belize Rural Central to national names - symbols of how ugly the war inside the UDP is in the aftermath of last Sunday's convention. Both ladies were fired by UDP Belize Rural Central Representative Beverly Castillo after the convention. Since then, Ingrid Hernandez has been hired by UDP First Deputy, Patrick Faber, and today Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley told us that he has hired Elena Kerr. He said he spoke to her, she sent in an application, she did an interview and was found to be satisfactory, and so she ahs been hired. The mayor says, quote, "I did it because we do not support any for of victimization." Speaking with Beverly Castillo today she told us that the Mayor would do well to look after his Belize City supporters, and added that she did not fire Ingrid Hernandez because she supports Patrick Faber. She says she fired her because she was leaking information out of the constituency office - which Hernandez admitted to in a Facebook post.

Lake-I Blvd., The Street's Just The Start
Last night we told you about the hot mix pavement on Lake I Boulevard, which connects to the new bridge in Belize City. Well, the street is only a part of the story, there are very big plans for Lake I Boulevard and tonight we'll tell you what they are:... Jules Vasquez reporting: In the next few days, RJB Construction will have finished the hot-mix pavement of Lake Independence Boulevard. The hot mix is the final touch for the road - a long ways off from how it looked back in August of 2014 when the bridge was being assembled. Compare that to what the location looks like today, and the transformation is immediately apparent. Christy Mastry - General Manager, Belize Infrastructure Limited: "The actual design and actual bidding process took place toward the end of last year around October and we got into construction around that time. We had some significant flooding in October which definitely held back some of the process, but we continued to work, so I think they'd been a little over 6 months now at the entire process. Right now, the bypass is certainly serving its intended purpose. It really was another link from the north to the south particularly for faster moving traffic coming from north going to west and back and forth and so I know that there are many people enjoying the bypass right now."

Bush Fires Abound, Beware
It's been a long dry season, and coming unto the end of the first week of June, the parched earth is giving rise to bush fires everywhere. And it's getting close to areas of habitation. In fact, just last night in Ladyville, this huge fire came right to the roadside across from the Presidente Beer warehouse near Marage Road. 7 Scrap vehicles left on the roadside were burnt. But, the real risk with bush fires is not so much to property as it is to public health. The Ministry of Health sent out an advisory earlier this week warning that if there are bush fires in your area, you can experience over exposure to smoke.

Belize's Best Speller
The 22nd annual Coca Cola National Spelling Bee Final was held today in Burrell Boom. The 12 top Primary schools spellers nationwide converged on the Castelton Park - to be cheered on by their school mates, from Calcutta SDA in Corozal to Golden Stream Government School in Toledo. After two hours of displaying their spelling prowess, it came down to two boys: Jaheel Warrior from Bethel SDA in Toledo and Shaheed Perez from Bernice Yorke in Belize City. Here's the word that decided first place:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting: That was the winning word for the 22nd National Spelling Bee Competition. After several rounds of elimination, these 12 students from across the country made it to the finals today to compete for 1st place. And that took months of organizing. Leanne Castillo, Coca Cola Brand Coordinator, Bowen & Bowen "We have been in planning since last year actually. The process from zone to district to finals has been since February and again in April and now today with the finals. Its a good journey within several months."

BCVI Tackles Retinopathy
The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired wants to save diabetic patients from going blind. They plan to do that by expanding their Diabetic Retinopathy Program through financial support from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. Today the CEO from the trust met with BCVI's Deputy Director Carla Ayres Musa and they both explained just how important this program is to Diabetics in Belize. Carla Ayres Musa, Deputy Director, BCVI "We have been discussing over the past few months. BCVI is expanding our National Diabetic Retinopathy Screening and Treatment Programme. We have an ongoing memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health. What this does is we are getting support from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in the UK to be able to expand the services, make them more accessible and help patients come in the receive not just screening but also treatment for the blinding disease of Diabetic Retinopathy."

Police Team Ready To Rumble In Champion's League
Earlier in the week a delegation from the Police United Football Club travelled to Miami for the drawing of the Champions League Tournament, and what a drawing it was. The team representing Belize will have to go up against renowned football club Pachuca, from Mexico. Not only that, they also face Olimpia from Honduras in their first two rounds of the tournament. So with only a few months left before the games begin how is the team preparing? Today we spoke to the head coach Charlie Slusher, to get his thoughts on the drawing and what the team needs to do to to prepare for the games. Often when teams get a first chance to participate at such an international level, the first thing that comes to mind is the enlistment of foreign players. And in fact the team committee told us they were going to explore this avenue. But is that such a great idea? Head Coach Charlie Slusher warned about the pitfalls of sourcing international players.

Channel 5

Corozal Sub-station Chief Killed in Traffic Accident
The National Fire Service is today mourning the loss of one of their own, Corozal Sub-station Chief Meshack Henry. Henry, who was in his uniform, died instantly this morning when [...]

Jaheel Warrior is Coca-Cola Spelling Bee 2016 Champion
The finals of the National Coca-Cola Spelling Bee took place today in Burell Boom, Belize District. Twelve finalists representing all districts competed to become the top speller in the nation. [...]

Prensa Libre Claims Intimidation at the Adjacency Zone
Prensa Libre T.V. has been airing an amateur video in which it claims that Belizean police and border management personnel are intimidating Guatemalans from Melchor de Mencos along the Adjacency [...]

BCCI and NCC Sign Agreement on Event Scheduling
Scheduling conflicts between the Annual Carnival Road March and the Expo Belize Market Place will soon be a thing of the past.  The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and [...]

Agreement is for a Period of 15 Years
According to Blake, the calendar also takes into consideration the date for the annual Carnival King and Queen Competition.   Marcello Blake, VP Commerce, BCCI “It was a meeting between [...]

Memorial Park Achieving White Elephant Status
The Memorial Park – remixed with a very expensive upgrade, was officially opened in September, 2013 – with what we were told was a modern bandstand and stylishly designed wooden [...]

Cinderella Plaza Works Nearing Completion
Bad news at the memorial Park, but it’s not all bad. The Cinderella Plaza is almost done, and so are adjacent works on Kelly Street and Baymen Avenue. It’s welcome [...]

Mayor Bradley Provides Update on City Street Works
And there is more good news. The Belize City Council, after a noticeable lull, is back at work cementing major streets in the old capital. Following general elections there was [...]

CCJ to Deliver Decision in Maurice Tomlinson Case
The Caribbean Court of Justice is set to hand down a decision in a highly publicized case involving outspoken Jamaican gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson and the State of Trinidad [...]

Youth Who Allegedly Shot at ACP Chester Williams Gets Bail
Nineteen year old Zachary Knox was released on bail today after spending seven nights on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly committing an aggravated assault with a firearm [...]

Belize City Resident Charged for Traffic Offences for RTA
There was a traffic accident in the city in which a boy, Eric Sanchez, was knocked off his bicycle, allegedly by a Tropic Air employee who police believe was intoxicated. [...]

Downs Fined for Traffic Offences
There is another case involving an intoxicated driver. Customer Service Representative, John Downs admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol as he drove a car at the corner of Vernon [...]

CODICADER Delegation Arrives in Belize
A delegation of representatives from various countries participating in the upcoming CODICADER Games arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport today.  The team is here to conduct an assessment of [...]

Assessment Will Aid in Preparing for Games Adequately
The role of the National Sports Council has been crucial in the organization of the coming games.  While it is the first time Belize is hosting the event, Aragon says [...]

Colombia Police Claim Biggest Bust in Country’s History
There is a report tonight out of Colombia where the national police agency says fifty commandos have seized eight tons of cocaine on a banana plantation. The drug was reportedly [...]

Lawyers make Startling Revelations in FIFA Corruption Case
For months a scandal involving widespread corruption in FIFA has continued to unravel. Today, the U.K. based Guardian newspaper is reporting that lawyers representing the football organization have revealed that [...]

Family of Child with Cancer Needs Your Help
The family of two-year old Elaxie Brown needs your help. She was recently diagnosed with leukemia and has been taken to a medical facility in Honduras, where she is currently [...]

Students From Mercer University Interact with Golden Citizens
Eight teacher education students from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia were at Helpage Belize today mingling with our golden citizens, some from the nearby Sister Cecilia Home and some brought [...]

LOVE FM

Foreign Trade Director Advises Potential Entrepreneurs
In an effort to create economic growth, we have been following economic modules from Developed Countries. And so we try to motivate more entrepreneurship in Belize. Yet, implementation of business proves to be a hard reality and it is estimated that, only fifty percent of businesses make it pass the five year bench mark. Director […]

Auto Mechanic Shop Goes Up in Flames
Last night, about nine o’clock, a fire at a mechanic shop in Ladyville resulted in seven scrap vehicles going up in flames. Love News spoke to the owner of the shop on the Philip Goldson Highway, who told us that someone who resides near his establishment, set fire to some bushes and left it unattended. […]

Adventist School Leads in Spelling Bee Competition
The B and B National Spelling Bee competition concluded today with the national finals. Eliminations rounds across the country left twelve participants competing to become the champion primary school speller. Love News was there and spoke to Coca Cola Brand Coordinator Leanni Castillo about the competition. Castillo spoke about the importance of the annual event. […]

Time’s Up for Teachers to Be Qualified
It was about five years ago when the Minister of Education spoke of the improvements to the education system including the mandatory teaching certificate that one must possess in order to be in the classroom. With the new school year coming up in August, we spoke with the CEO for education, David Leacock who spoke […]

PlusTV

Murder in Oasis area of Belmopan; police update
At the time of our evening newscast on Wednesday, police and a doctor conducting post mortem were still at the murder scene where 45 year old Lionel Theodore Gillett, businessman and resident of Belmopan, was found dead. The body was found by a family member who became concerned that they had been ...

Shooting reported in Belize City
While non-fatal, last night’s shooting incident on West Canal is a troubling flare up of violence in the always fiery area where East and West Canals intersect with Rocky Road, Berkley Street, South Street, Dean Street and Prince Street. That’s because that area is home to several gangs that a...

Contraband cigarettes hidden in bread delivery truck
Contraband cigarettes hidden in a bread delivery truck headed to Dangriga were intercepted by Belmopan police. Following a lead, Belmopan police intercepted the bread truck and searched its contents. Hidden between the crates of bread were 45 cartons of contraband cigarettes. Three persons have been...

Gruesome Chopping of youth in Franks Eddy village
A gruesome video of a young man severely chopped to his back has made its rounds on facebook. We won’t be showing it on this newscast as it is highly disturbing images showing three deep cut wounds in the back of a young man bleeding profusely. Instead, we can show you the young man’s back after it ...

Wallace brothers not linked to Shiny death
Earlier this week we showed you interviews with ACP Edward Broaster following the murder of alleged SSG affiliate 22 year old Michael Wallace. Police have said that they believe the killing was possibly retaliation for the April 16th murder of the reputed gang boss of George Street, Gerald ‘Shiny’ T...

UDP Rural Central delegate who lost job over convention vote tries to protest
There was an attempt at a demonstration outside the office of Hon. Beverly Castillo in Ladyville today. Ingrid Hernandez claims she was let go from her job at the constituency office of UDP Minister of State and Belize Rural Central area representative Honorable Beverly Castillo – because she allege...

Serial arsonist in Cayo?
Cayo police are investigating what appears to be the work of a serial arsonist. We have reported on several fires in the cayo area destroying resturaunts and bars. Teher was another one in Santa Familia Vilage in the Cayo district on Wednesday night. According to police reports, On Wednesday June 1...

The Reporter

New health center for rural Cayo
The Government of Belize held a ground breaking ceremony on Friday for a new health center in San Antonio village in the Cayo District. GOB, through the Basic Needs Trust Fund, is building the facility, valued at $623,912.30, which is expected to benefit some 2,000 […]

CODICADER technical team in Belize
A technical team from the Central American Athletic Championships, (CODICADER for its acronym in Spanish) is in Belize this week to do site inspections for the upcoming 2016 games. The delegation of eight arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport Friday morning, where they held […]

BAHA calls for cattle rabies vaccinations
All livestock producers are being advised to vaccinate their cattle against the current Bovine Rabies outbreak in Cayo, Belize. The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) as well as the ministries of Agriculture and Health along with the Belize Livestock Producers warned livestock producers in the Belize River Valley and producers […]

New concerns as Zika virus linked to eye problems
A new report suggests that the Zika virus can contribute to defects in childrens’ eyes. According to findings published in the journal ‘Ophthalmology,’ scientists are trying to determine whether it is the virus causing the eye defects, or if they are a product of microcephaly, a neurological […]

Guatemalan Navy detain eight Belizeans
Eight Belizeans who the Guatemalan Navy detained last Friday were allowed on Monday to travel to the Belizean Embassy in Guatemala City to process their travel documents, pending deportation to Belize. The Government of Belize, through a press release on Monday, assured that the eight […]

2016 Atlantic Hurricane season unpredictable, experts say
The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season opened on Wednesday, but there were two out-of-season storms – Hurricane Alex and Tropical Storm Bonnie before that, signalling an unpredictable season. Alex formed in the northeastern Atlantic in January and moved through the Azores before weakening, while Bonnie developed […]

PUP demands stronger action from GOB over Sarstoon reality
The People’s United Party (PUP) has demanded that the government take swift and more decisive action against “the continuing illegal annexation of the Sarstoon River by Guatemala”. The party called on government to re‐establish full sovereignty and control over the Belizean internal waters of the […]

GAF Says “NO” to Belizean Media Entering Sarstoon
On Friday an expedition which included representatives from three Belize City media houses was refused entry to the Sarstoon River by elements of the Guatemalan Armed Forces despite reports of diplomatic progress between the two nations. The Captain of a Guatemalan vessel, which intercepted the civilian vessel as it entered […]

Belize, Guatemala issue protest notes disputing each other’s accounts of latest Sarstoon military/media encounter
Belize and Guatemala this week fired off protest notes to each other, disputing their individual accounts over a Guatemalan military/Belizean media encounter last Friday in the Sarstoon River. Belize has also requested the intervention of Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro […]

Authorities weigh in on IMF report
Belizean authorities gave their thoughts this week on the recent assessment of Belize’s economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which predicted difficult economic times ahead for Belize. Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight, explained that he feels that the IMF, not wanting to take any chances […]

Latest Belmopan murder raises taximan count to three
Lionel Gillett, 45, is the third taxi driver from Belmopan to fall victim to murder in 2016. His body was discovered around 1:00 on Wednesday afternoon, about 15 hours after he was last seen heading home to his farm in the Oasis area of Belmopan […]

Businessman fined $3,000 for failure to display GST certificate
Businessman, Luis Urbina, owner of Mike’s Spare Parts this week paid the court a $3,000 fine for failure to display his GST certificate. Urbina, who was in an accident over a year ago, is now disabled and was unable to appear in court. Instead, his […]

Woman walks free from 117 counts of theft
After two years with 117 counts of theft hanging over her head, former Travellers Ltd. cashier, Rashida Sedacy is a free woman. All charges were dismissed on Thursday, June 2nd in court No. 1, over which Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith presided. The dismissal, as […]

Editorial
In the fierce competition for leadership within the United Democratic Party last weekend Minister of Education and Youth, Patrick Faber, put on a virtuoso performance, defeating his rival, Defence Minister John Saldivar by 338 delegate votes to 248, in a two-way contest involving an impressive 99.3 percent turnout of party […]

Unity cracks showing in UDP
Minister of National Security John Saldivar, who lost to Patrick Faber at last Sunday’s United Democratic Party (UDP) Deputy Leadership convention, has indicated he still intends to run for the party’s leadership spot. Following the convention, the party has reportedly struggled with an internal rift between the two camps, culminating […]

Cop accused of murder walks
Police Sergeant, Julio Shal, who was accused of killing escaped prisoner, Tyson Rodriguez in 2013, was acquitted of all charges Thursday evening. Shal was found ‘not guilty’ by Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh, in a trial by judge without jury. Hanomansingh ruled that there was not […]

Problems and possibilities for the conch industry
A pending legal battle in the United States over importing queen conch could impact the livelihoods of more than 15,000 Belizeans in the short term, but produce long-term economic benefits, according to the Fisheries Department. Two US-¬based non¬governmental organizations, Wild Earth Guardians and Friends of […]


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#514190 - 06/04/16 12:07 PM Re: Today's Belize News: June 4, 2016 [Re: Marty]
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The Belize Times

Mutiny in the UDP!
A bitter revolt is taking place in the United Democratic Party following the convention for First Deputy Leader, which Patrick Faber won over John Saldivar by 88 votes. Despite the shellacking and rejection from “the base”, Saldivar apparently has the support of those who matter in the UDP, that is, a majority of the Ministers who make up Cabinet and the Ministers of State who participate in Cabinet meetings and its decision-making. This group of anti-Faber Ministers led by Gaspar Vega include Frank Papa Mena, Omar Figueroa, Erwin Contreras, Tracy Panton, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Rene Montero, Edmund Castro, Pablo Marin, Angel Campos, Hugo Patt and Beverly Castillo. On Faber’s side, there is only Michael Finnegan, Manuel Herredia and Elodio Aragon. On Tuesday morning, Saldivar and Vega hosted his 12 disciples for an early breakfast meeting in which they plotted their next move. UDP sources have confirmed that the group crafted a set of demands for the Prime Minister, which they took with them to the Cabinet meeting.

More Blood Shed in Shiny’s Name
Police believe that the carefully planned and orchestrated murder of Michael Wallace, 22, on Saturday was in retaliation for the execution of Gerald “Shiny” Tillett in April. Tillett was killed as he socialized at the Wadani Shed in Dangriga by a single bullet fired into his temple. Tillett was the head of the notorious George Street Gang, and Police say the man arrested for his murder, Nicholas Swaso, is affiliated with the South Side Gang (SSG). But the arrest of Swaso has done nothing to quell the bad blood between the two gangs, and the Wallace murder is just the latest in what Police believe to be continued retaliatory attacks. Michael Wallace, along with his brother Richard, 29 and another man, Edward Flowers, had travelled to the Belize Central Prison to visit their brother, a minor on remand for murder. They were returning to Belize City just after 2:00pm in a white Nissan Altima car, when as they neared Mile 8 on the George Price Highway, they came under a well-planned attack.

Bev Fires Cleaner!!! – 15 more workers sent home; all collateral damage from convention
UDP Belize Rural Central area representative Beverly Castillo has been accused of being one chancey politician by her office cleaner. A letter dated May 30, 2016 from Bev to Mrs. Ingrid Herrera, who she hired to clean her constituency office space in Ladyville, has the shocking news that she is being terminated from her job forthwith. Mrs. Ingrid is a brave UDP. Instead of walking into the sunset, she went to the media to call out chancey Bev. Some say it is Juliet who encouraged her to do it. Mrs. Ingrid, a UDP delegate in Sunday’s convention, said Bev apparently suspects that she supported Patrick Faber. Bev, of course, is part of the losing team that backed Saldivar. If Ms. Ingrid’s suspicions are true, it exposes serious pettiness!

Guat Military Ejects Belize Media from Sarstoon River – PUP Calls for Immediate Action
The Government of Belize’s declaration on May 24th that Belizeans now have “untrammeled access” to the Sarstoon River following bilateral talks in Istanbul, Turkey, was exposed as a lie when Guatemalan military personnel stopped and turned back members of the Belizean media from Sarstoon River last Friday. “You are in Guatemalan waters; you cannot continue so I will ask you to please leave,” declared a Guatemalan military officer on board their vessel, the metal shark. The media group including reporters from Channel 5, Krem Radio and the Amandala travelled to the area to verify whether the Government’s announcement a few days earlier was true. But they found out that the diplomatic talk around the official table contradicts what is happening on the ground. The People’s United Party issued a stinging release calling for urgent action from the government, demanding that Belize asserts its sovereignty over our portion of the Sarstoon and Sarstoon Island.

Kabuki Dance
A couple of weeks ago, Belize came as close to conflict with Guatemala as it has been since 1976. That was the year, when a combined team of Guatemalan and Salvadoran armed forces were amassed at our border in preparation for an assault on our sovereignty. History records that were it not for a massive earthquake in Guatemala City on the very day set for the invasion, our status as “peaceful haven of tranquillity” would have been exchanged for a “region torn asunder”. There is no doubt that it would have been a fight which Guatemala would have lost but the consequence to us would have been dire. War is hell and the philosopher Bertrand Russell once quipped that “war does not determine who is right but only who is left”. What would have been left would have been a nation ravaged by war and with most likely lots of casualties on both sides. I really do not think that Guatemala would dare even think about “punking” ole Mother England and while we are indeed Independent, the image of the Queen on our dollar carries a lot of weight. To trample on Belize would be to tangle with Her Britannic Majesty and while she is no longer the dominant force that she once was, she still ain’t nothing to play with! We need only look to the Falklands Islands Crisis of 1982, when Argentina challenged England by attempting to occupy those territories which are also under dispute, to see what might transpire.

Gangsters’ Paradise
Crime has gripped the nation of Belize and it seems that there is no end in sight. It is undeniable that Belizeans are living in one of the most violent times in all of our young history. Belize’s murder rate continues to be one of the highest in the region and indeed the world – well above the UN defined civil war levels. It cannot be happenstance that all this started under the Barrow administration. What is it about the Barrow Administration’s approach to crime fighting that has led to the surge in violent crimes particularly murder? What if crime is being used as a distraction to have the Belizean people expend valuable resources on internal security instead of national defence? Why is it that such violent crimes seem to take root in predominantly black communities? All question for which we must demand answers. Belize’s national security strategy, like its Guatemala strategy is obscure, disjointed and ineffective. Since 2012 the man responsible for the execution of such strategy has been John Birchman Saldivar. It is under his harmful superintendence of the Belize Police Department that Belize has seen 484 murders in just four short years (145 – 2012; 99 – 2013; 121 – 2014; and 119 – 2015). Compare this onslaught to US combat losses of just 514 in Afghanistan over the same period (310 – 2012; 127 – 2013; 55 – 2014; and 22 – 2015).

Y.W.A.M. U-13 & Medina’s U-15 win in Belmopan youth football
The Belmopan Football Association’s youth football tournament is down to the championship finals, with the first game of a 2-game series played at the Governor General’s field in Belmopan on Sunday. In the U-13 finals Valencia’s Youth With A Mission (YWAM) beat Revolution 1-0, while in the Under-15 finals Medina’s defeated the Revolution 1-0. In the U-17 female finals, Medina’s and Flames drew 1-1. The Game 2 of each series will play on Sunday, June 5, preceded by 3rd place games in each age class.

Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy secures 8th softball win
The Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy ladies outplayed Unitedville Rebels 9-8 to secure their 8th win and the lead in the Cayo Softball Association’s women’s competition. Camalote United and the Belmopan Bandits also posted big wins at the Roaring Creek field on Sunday. Roaring Creek got 8 hits off Nikita Perez’s pitching. She also gave up 4 walks. Sharine Reyes and Ayanah Smith led the attack, scoring 2 runs apiece, while Shadalee Ho, Wendy Stuart, Stephanie Francis, Keisha Garbutt and Arlene Wade scored 1 run apiece. Rebels’ Pat Spain and, Francine Salazar scored 2 runs apiece, while Indira Spain, Shadine Salazar, Jenieve Salazar and Lynn Perez scored 1 run apiece.

Parkinson, Matus & Hukmani win RF&G table tennis championships
Taye Parkinson, Petie Matus and Devesh Hukmani emerged as champions when the Belize Table Tennis Association (BTTA) held its biannual RF&G national table tennis ranking tournament at the Belize Elementary Auditorium on Sunday. A Division 1st – Taye Parkinson (3-0 vs. Amiri Hoare in finals) 2nd – Amiri Hoare 3rd – Latrell Solis 4th – Jorge Espat

Guatemalans Deport 8 Belizean Fishermen
As we go to press eight fishermen detained by Guatemalan authorities late last week should be en route to Belize after being processed in Guatemala City and deported. According to a release issued by Government last Friday, the eight fishermen were held by Guatemalan navy after they were allegedly found getting out of their vessels on a beach located at Punta Manabique, Izabal, located south of the Sarstoon in the Gulf of Honduras. Representatives from Belize’s Embassy in Guatemala were involved, and reported that all eight were in good health. They were identified as Jeffery Gongora, Manuel Flores, Simeon Batun, Antonio Pop, Jorge Tamai, Bartolo Jimenez, Isidro Tamia and Ernesto Megan. According to Guatemalan authorities seven of the eight men had Belizean fishing licenses, but none of them had an authorization from the Guatemalan Port Authority to be in those waters. The vessel they were in was also not registered.

Bad Boyz recruits GSU Boss?
With crime spiralling out of control, in particular the cold-blooded gun violence among gang rivalries in the old capital, we must ask how does Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) Commander Mark Flowers find the time to play bodyguard for the Prime Minister’s notorious son, Shyne Barrow? The GSU boss’s reputation as a no-nonsense, hard-core officer went down the drain when he recently appeared in a Shyne Barrow music video as a thug’s bodyguard. The video featuring the has-been rapper’s one and only music hit “Bad Boyz”, which dates back some 20 years ago, was re-done here in Belize for the kick-off of P. Diddy’s “Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour” in the United States last week. The event featured several of Bad Boyz’s old-time artists and Shyne was on the list. Shyne could not make it there physically. As bad as he would want to return to that life, his criminal record and deportation prohibits him. So the cheap-budget video made it on a big screen, with Shyne lip singing to the once upon a time hit. Fans were heard booing Shyne’s presentation.

A student cries out!
Dear Editor, I am a 4th form student at one of our Belize City high schools. I thought I should write to you about a situation currently facing myself and many others in our graduating class. We have done well in our studies, as a matter of fact I and three of my close friends are on the Honour Roll. When the graduating list was published I had no fear that I would not graduate. My problem and that of many of my classmates is that of money. Our parents do not have the funds to cover our school cost and graduation expenses. My mom a single mother has struggled trying to put food on the table and has not been able to find the money to finish paying my school fees. Graduation is this week and we are still in limbo as to whether or not I will be able to graduate with my classmates. Another issue I face is what I do after high school? My mom did not have the money to pay for me to apply to UB or any other 6th Form. Mr. Editor I have the brains to study and do well. I have been so stressed out lately and so are many of my friends who see our future going down the drain. We are looking for summer jobs and there are none.

Guatemalans Deport 8 Belizean Fishermen
As we go to press eight fishermen detained by Guatemalan authorities late last week should be en route to Belize after being processed in Guatemala City and deported. According to a release issued by Government ...

Calaney Flowers murder trial continues
On Tuesday of last week, the prosecution in the murder trial of Calaney Flowers closed its case and Flowers’ defense team which is led by attorneys Dickie Bradley and Arthur Saldivar made a no case to answer submission. Yesterday, Monday, Supreme Court Justice John Troadio Gonzalez, who is hearing the case without a jury ruled that Flowers does have a case to answer. Calaney Flowers has been accused of the murder of her former boyfriend Lyndon Morrison and the attempted murder of Morrison’s girlfriend Sochyl Sosa. The incident occurred on the night of August 28, 2012, when she allegedly use her red Saturn car to knock down Morrison and Sosa off the Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle that they were riding on Freetown Road.

Obscene Spending at UDP convention
There are unconfirmed reports that the UDP candidates for First Deputy Leader spent over a quarter million dollars in their campaign leading to last Sunday’s convention. The UDP has once again shown that their priorities are messed up, that they put politics before solving real issues facing Belizeans. Both candidates and their factions dug deep in their campaigns. It had the feel of a national election as political banners and paraphernalia were erected on the lamp posts, buildings and homes. Ads costing no less than $300 each flooded the nightly news stations expanding the news time to over the traditional one hour. Each ad played 5-6 times every night for the last two months, with Faber outspending Saldivar for a whole month. The candidates also spent thousands of dollars wining and dining the five hundred and eighty nine delegates in the convention on Sunday, May 29, 2016. Faber claimed to be the “real deal” and held meetings with as many of the 31 delegate groups. He had a special dinner in the north and a rally in the South. On the night before the convention, Faber had a gala banquet reportedly for 360 delegates at Biltmore Hotel, costing over $40,000.

Misplaced Priorities
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia. I am writing this entry the day before the UDP convention to elect their first deputy leader. What a circus and what a bacchanal and orgy of spending, media hype and ego massaging has been going on with the two contenders. Not that either of them seems to bring anything new or exciting to the table of national leadership. Our country is crying out for sound and inspiring leadership from those in control, but alas, we just are not seeing it. There is even a banner on Haulover Bridge, certainly a first in campaigning for any election that we Belizeans have seen, not to mention the lamppost buntings, flags and the ad nauseam television ads. It is to me surreal – the emphasis the two pugilists, as they have been called, are placing on publicity. And all this for the votes of less than six hundred persons. The voting itself is something that the leader must be chagrined about, having come up because after Mr. Barrow threw his deputy Prime Minister under the bus, his deputy replied by suddenly and unexpectedly resigning and leaving open the space that will shortly be filled. No doubt, the PM would have preferred to “hold it down” until he himself was good and ready to begin transitioning towards retirement.

A REMEMBRANCE
By The Rt. Hon. Said Musa. Don Elijio Joe Briceño was a warrior for the PUP. I had to smile when I was preparing my notes for this service of thanksgiving for the life of the Honourable Joe Briceño. I wrote Joe Briceño was a member of the old guard when I entered electoral politics for the PUP in 1974. I had to smile because 42 years later today I am now described as a member of the old guard of the PUP. In his heyday Joe Briceño was a consummate politician. Tip O’Neill a former Speaker of the US Congress once said “all politics is local”. Joe Briceño exemplified the truth of that statement. The Orange Walk District was Joe Briceño’s stumping ground. Orange Walk Town was his home town and he spent his two terms as an elected representative and Minister in the PUP Governments 1974 – 1984, working to serve the people especially of the Orange Walk District. He pursued many projects for the growth and development of his beloved Orange Walk.

Remembering the life of Elijio “Joe” Briceño
Read by Hon. John Briceño, Leader of the People’s United Party. First of all let me begin by thanking the community here at La Inmaculada Church for this beautiful service. Bishop Christopher Glancy, Father Tony and Father Larry, thank you for your assuring and comforting presence. It is a beautiful choir that is leading the singing today and we thank all of you for the uplifting music and Nelita, what a beautiful rendition of Ave Maria. If he could speak directly to me right now, our Father “Joe,” “Boss Joe,” or “Grampa Joe” would be saying how very happy he is that you are here today. He would also say to me: “son no forget to thank the Prime Minister and Mrs. Barrow for coming.” PM, Kim we are grateful for your presence here today, thank you. He would not allow me to be formal with our Former Prime Minister Said Musa, he would say in a serious tone, “John, mek sure you tell Said thanks for his speech. Yes, Hon. Said, thank you for your very kind words about our dad. Then of course: “make sure you offer them something to eat before they go home ok.” So please everyone you are welcome to join us at the family home after the internment.

Hon. Landy Habet to the rescue in Bill White Village!
Billy White Village in Cayo Northeast was without water for three days due to a problem with the water pump. Classes for primary school students were suspended on the second day due to the lack of water. I requested assistance from the Ministry of Rural development and they responded quickly. Water was restored by the 4th day with the installation of a new temporary pump. Billy White is one of those villages with only one functioning Water Board member out of the seven mandated by law. The Water Board should have had a replacement pump available to install on the very first day.

The Gems of Graduation Season 2016 PT3 – Featuring Belize High School, Cornerstone Presbyterian High, Pallotti High, St. Catherine’s Academy, Toledo Community College, Nazarene High and Excelsior High
The ever-prodigious Belize High School (BHS) located on Mercy Lane in Belize City has been noted for its unique, internationalized curriculum. The academic institution will hold its 4th official Graduation Exercise (a special feat for this school, according to Principal Mrs. Jamie Lee Usher) on Saturday, June 4th, starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. 36 graduates will be taking up that final march, and leading those ranks are three members of the school’s sole 4th-year class, 4-Senior, and all of whom boast cumulative GPA’s of 4.48 each [within a few decimal points], are: 17-year-old Ms. Jin Yang (Kelly) Li [Valedictorian], 17-year-old Mr. Amit Nandwani [Salutatorian] and 16-year-old Mr. Ankit Chandwani [3rd Place, will be the Parent’s Night Speaker]. The BELIZE TIMES caught up with the trio and their excited peers during their joint Student’s Parade and Report Card Hand-out/Graduation Practice at sister school Belize Elementary School’s (BES) Auditorium on Wednesday, May 25th.

Hard Knocks
Did you guys feel that tremor Sunday evening, like the earth shook? Well we checked with our local weather experts and nothing. We checked in with our regional weather experts and nothing – no earthquake nowhere in the region. Know what it was? The Big Deal getting knocked the hell out by the Real Deal. The Belmopan bandit get jacked up. I hear his people had to send home for his pressure pills and stand vigil by his bedside, Dougie fanning him on one side and Gambis holding his hand and telling him noh worry boss, noh worry. Dih man get beat like wah oversized, gigantic, fat drum. Anyway, if unnu think the big deal about nothing is a forgiving sort, unnu dead wrong. Reliable sources say that the man is spending hours looking through the lists trying to figure out who took the cheese and voted him out. See, according to the numbers Saldivar figures he had like 380 solid. He ended up with 248. Do the maths. That’s 132 delegates that took the cheese, hug up the big man, blow inna ih ears leebit and then gawn vote fu Patrick. No seh me seh, but unnu days numbered. Oh wait – unnu believe all dah talk bout everything curry right now. Me sorry fu unnu.

IMF Confirms Economic Crisis
The recent IMF Article IV Consultation confirms the dismal state of Belize’s economy under the UDP. According to the IMF “The economic outlook has worsened further since the 2015 Article IV Consultation and is subject to significant downside risks.” “The economy is slowing and fiscal and external vulnerabilities are rising. Falling oil production and multiple shocks in the primary sector reduced GDP growth to 1 percent in 2015. The decline in prices of energy and other commodities led to deflation in 2015, although the increase in fuel tax restored positive inflation, at 0.1 percent in March. The current account deficit widened to 9.8 percent of GDP as exports fell by 9 percent (mainly oil and marine products) and imports continued to grow, partly due to investment projects. Following partial compensation payments for the two nationalized companies, international reserves fell to 4.6 months of imports in March 2016. The fiscal deficit widened to 8 percent of GDP due to a one-off payment related to a settlement of a loan to one of the nationalized companies, an increase in public sector wages and transfers, and a large overrun in capital expenditure. As a result, the stock of public debt climbed to 82 percent of GDP,” said the IM report further.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

House shot up in Belmopan
Last night around 10:05, police were called to a house on Colombia Street in Belmopan City after Russell Arnold, 39, called and reported that his house had been the target of a shooting. Arnold told officers that he was inside his home along with […]

Corozal Fire Chief dies in traffic accident
A late morning traffic accident today claimed the life of 33-year-old Meshac Henry, Fire Chief at the Corozal Fire Department. Henry was driving his Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle when he collided into a dump truck and died immediately. According to police, at around 11:30 a.m a white Ford dump […]

City police seize weed, gun and ammo
Searches conducted in several areas of Belize City yesterday, resulted in the seizure of 424 grams of cannabis, two guns and a total of 92 rounds of live ammunition. A team of officers from 5:30 a.m to 4:55 p.m., searched the South Side where […]

Trio charged for drug trafficking
This morning between the hours of 4:30 and 7:30, members of Belize City Police’s South Side Strike Team and Special Branch personnel, arrested three persons for drug trafficking. The arrests of Clifford Savery, 30; Kareem Thompson, 29; and Nioka Smith, 29, were made after […]

Accused drunk driver charged for knocking down boy
There was a traffic accident in Belize City where a boy was knocked down off his bicycle, allegedly by a Tropic Air employee whom police believe was driving under the influence of alcohol. 45 year old Alexander Tesecum of Black Orchid Street, Belize City represented […]

Lots of alcohol, no license
27 year old John Downs, a Customer Service Representative of Belize City, was caught driving under the influence of alcohol at the corner of Vernon Street and Mopan Street without being the holder of a valid Belizean driver’s license. Downs pleaded guilty before Magistrate Emmerita […]

Sgt. Julio Shal acquitted of murder and manslaughter in death of escapee Tyson Rodriguez
There is not enough evidence for a court of law to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Police Sergeant Julio Shal had committed any unlawful or used any unlawful force to cause the death of escaped prisoner Tyson Rodriguez, or caused him to die. Supreme […]

PUP successfully visit Sarstoon
Members of the People’s United Party today successfully circled Sarstoon Island, after an earlier attempted expedition failed to get off the ground. The expedition consisted of some 18 persons including the boat crew and media houses. Among those on the trip was Party Leader, Honorable […]

Chamber, NCC agree on dates for Carnival and Expo
Two of the biggest events in the September Celebrations calendar will have more or less permanent homes as agreed by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and National Celebrations Commission, a subsection of National Institute of Culture and History. A joint agreement […]

Decision on Tomlinson CCJ challenge on immigration due next week – Orozco and others still waiting
According to Caleb Orozco, president of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) and chief litigant in a case pending judgment in the Supreme Court against Section 53 of the Criminal Code concerns penalties for same-sex encounters, the Caribbean Court of Justice case launched by […]

Moisture is increasing over the area
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies at times tonight. A few showers and isolated thunderstorms will develop mainly along the coast this morning, inland this afternoon and over the South and coast […]

Fire chief of Corozal dies in fatal traffic accident
Meshac Henry attached to the Corozal Fire Department has died in a fatal traffic accident. According to reports, Henry was on his way to work on his motor bike when he collided into a truck. Police are currently at the scene. This is a […]

Bar destroyed by fire in Santa Familia
The owner of Ego Rio bar in Santa Familia Village, Cayo District, suffered a $20,000 loss to a fire which destroyed the structure and its contents last night around 7:15. Manuel Humes, 60, told officers that at 6:30 p.m., he and the bar’s owner locked it and […]

Belmopan Police investigate murder of taxi driver
Relatives of 45-year-old Belmopan City taxi driver, Lionel Gillett, made the shocking discovery of his decomposing body yesterday afternoon, when they went out to look for him in the Rivera area. Police arrived at the scene around 1:30 p.m. and saw Gillett’s body with gunshot wounds to […]

Finger pointing over Belize’s economic state needs to stop
Newly elected Deputy Party Leader of the UDP Patrick Faber says that the People’s United Party (UDP) is to blame for where the country stands economically – it has worsened since last year according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). After concluding its article for […]

Blogs

Ambergris Caye Does the Rain Dance: Water, Water Everywhere…
Depending on who you ask (and who is fastidious with their rain recollection), we haven’t had more than a tiny sprinkle of rain since February 1st. That’s 123 days. Almost 3000 hours. Enough time for the plants of San Pedro to be gasping and the non-native ones, like lawn grass, to be….in hibernation. Wells are drying up…fancy a shower that leaves you smelling like a rotten egg? And cisterns have been dry for a few weeks. The guys that “sell water” – that fill 600L Rotoplasts at the water company and drive them to your home, are having their busy season. Price – based on your location, can be $150 to $300bzd. It’s one of the beauties of vacationing here…or renting. You don’t have to worry about such things. A sunny day is a a thing of beauty. NOT a day where you are figuring out how to flush the toilet.

“Friends Don’t Let Friends Dial Drunk” to San Pedro
After a very restful sleep I awoke around 05.30 hours (a bit of a lie in really) got up, showered, shaved and dressed and went out for an early morning walk around Covent Garden. Deprived of my early morning veranda time this was the next best thing and helped build an appetite for breakfast. Not an Estel’s Dine By the Sea breakfast it’s true but very good nonetheless. And I’d brought a little bit of Estel’s with me. Well I just had to, didn’t I ! Oyster card at the ready I made the short walk to Covent Garden tube station and made the brief journey (only 4 stations) to Holloway Road and I was there. The place where dreams are made and magic is played. Emirates Stadium the home of Arsenal FC. Crossing the road I saw before me the hallowed walls of THE stadium. A shiver ran down my spine. I’m not used to the British climate any more!

HOW WILL YOU EXPERIMENT ON PREPARING YOUR LOBSTER THIS LOBSTER SEASON 2016?
This blog is for the adventurous at heart; for those who do NOT know how to cook a lobster tail, and is looking for some easy ideas on how to take this crusty crustacean and turning it into an aesthetically pleasing gourmet dish – maybe not THAT gourmet! Lobster Season in Belize opens on June 15th and we are super ready to devour those tails, are you? How do you prefer your lobster tails? There are several ways to prepare them. I decided to do some research on some of the easier ways to prepare these delectable crustaceans. Whether your taste buds are craving steamed lobster tails, or tails cooked on the grill, there are ways to get just what your hearts’ desire – and if all fails – there is always Lobster Fest – more on this in next week’s blog. One of the first things that I learned is that it is super important to thaw frozen lobster tails for at least six hours inside the refrigerator. Another good way of accomplishing this same outcome would be to place the tails in a sealed plastic bag and then sit it in warm water for about an hour. But being that we are on Ambergris Caye and our Barrier Reef and surrounded waters have had time to allow these babies to mature to adulthood – chances are, we won’t be needing to thaw! These suckers will be fresh out of the Water!!

A dream come true kind of wedding. At Las Terrazas, Belize
Megan & Chris choosed Belize like destination for their wedding and… WOW! All I can say is WOW! The amount of details and the entire day… was just fantastic! They called it “our dream wedding” and after, they said “it was indeed a dream wedding”. Was truly amazing and tons of fun! Sometimes, last year I photographed their engagement on a sandbar and we were talking about the wedding since then.. and I got excited by each month… until was finally here… all I can say, is I hope they’ll love the images I created and they’ll be able to relieve their wedding day through my photos. Megan, my beautiful bride wrote me this: “To have all of our family and friends with us on the most important day of Chris’ and my life in beautiful Belize was truly a dream come true. I have always wanted to have my wedding in Belize for as long as I can remember. We were lucky enough to celebrate our special day with so many of our favorite people from all over the world… what more could we ask for? Everything was perfect and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for capturing this magical day, Oli! We love your work and are so happy to have found you!!”

If Andy Warhol were watching an Ambergris Caye sunset . . . .
Can you tell I have a new camera to play with? Rose brought me back a waterproof Olympus TG-870 “Tough” from her recent visit to the States for daughter Caira’s graduation from Arizona State. The camera has all sorts of artsy filter options on it (Kind of like an iPhone camera) plus a bunch of options for different shooting conditions. Can you tell which image is the “natural/normal” setting? (I can’t remember.) Watching the Belize sunset, you travel easily and gently through the wide range of emotions each of these photos might elicit, as the colors across the sunset canvas shift from blues to grays to burnt-and-brilliant oranges to an array of reds — and the water changes from blue-green to a burnished metallic blue. And eventually all falls to black with a stunning pattern of stars above. Sunset is my favorite meditation.

International Sourcesizz

Destinos: Placencia, Belize
El encanto de una comunidad pesquera convertida en destino de turistas que buscan tranquilidad se encuentra en Placencia. Los vacacionistas que sueñen con un lugar virgen, de playa y sol, espectaculares vistas al mar y una atmósfera relajada donde no se permite el “estrés” deben conocer Placencia en el sur de Belice. El pequeñísimo pueblo de Placencia está situado en una delgada península con forma de curva en la costa sur del país. El lema de este pintoresco y apacible pueblo es “Perfecto para andar descalzo”. El único lugar de tierra firme de Belice que ofrece playas de arenas blancas es Placencia. En la punta de la península los visitantes pueden disfrutar del encanto de una comunidad pesquera criolla tradicional junto con los numerosos bares, restaurantes, galerías de arte y hasta tiendas de regalos.

CSI Students Return from International Study Trips
Nearly 30 College of Southern Idaho students kicked off their summer by taking classes across the globe. Students recently returned from two academic trips: field geology in Scotland and Wales, and marine biology and ecology in Belize. Harris and biology instructor Carrie Espasandin took 18 students to Belize from May 25 through Thursday for the first time in 11 years. Participants included four CSI students who are studying science and 14 people from the community education program, including several in their 70s. During spring semester, the group met once a week for class to learn about Belize and do a research project. Once they arrived in Belize, “they all got to see firsthand what they learned about in class,” Harris said. They stayed on the island of Ambergris Caye, where they spent every day snorkeling and exploring marine environments such as mangrove swamps, coral reef habitat and seagrass beds. The group stayed at an “upscale youth hostel,” Harris said, with a freshwater swimming pool. It was two blocks from the ocean and about half a mile from a coral reef.

An Elegant Tool Called Squidpop That Scientists Want to Crowdsource
While MarineGEO is committed to employing state-of-the-art methods to approach some of these observations, one of its strengths as a global biodiversity network is the use of very simple experiments, which can be deployed on a large scale using basic materials with minimal training. This immediately opens the door for participation by other research stations and academic institutions, as well as citizen scientists and school groups. For this study we are deploying a tried and true workhorse of the MarineGEO toolbox, a simple bait stick, (recently published in PLOS-ONE) that has come to be known as the Squidpop, or squid lollipop. It consists of a thin fiberglass rod about 18 inches tall with a small slice of squid tissue—about the size of a standard paper-hole punch—affixed at one end. We track how much squid is consumed by local fish over a standardized period of time and compare this information to what is known about the fish community through net traps and visual surveys, or cameras that are recording the predation. In an attempt to capture data over larger regions, MarineGEO is planning to implement a squidpop blitz called Ocean Bitemap for the upcoming World Oceans Day on June 8, 2016.

Wedding Photographers Reveal The Hardest Photo They’ve Ever Taken
“Our instructions were to go scouting in Belize after arriving and look around for a sandbar to hold a small destination wedding of 15 people or so. We live five hours away, so all this was new. I figured it was absolutely necessary to carry our underwater housings on this journey. Housings are big, bulky and not travel-friendly and make the job harder, especially when the images you will be getting are for that ‘one shot.’ We carried these housings on five boats on the wedding day, at the same time documenting the entire event.” — Matt Adcock

Why Top Hollywood Directors Are Turning To Hotel Design
“It’s no coincidence that directors are jumping into the wild world of decorating with hotels, bars and other watering holes," says French director Matthieu Delaporte. "These are places for a quick escape, they are bubbles outside of real life.” Francis Ford Coppola, another renowned director, was looking to relive the lush jungle vibe of Apocalypse Now when he stumbled upon the Blancaneaux Lodge surrounded by rainforest in the Central American nation of Belize. Coppola later opened Turtle Inn, also in Belize, and more recently La Lancha in Guatemala, which he furnished using only material from local markets. Though directors have taken to interior decorating, Delaporte thinks it's unlikely they would take on mainstream projects. “These filmmakers are not about to start working on train stations, for example, because the type of design involved in that is highly functional and requires specialized training,” he noted. “For filmmakers, the atmosphere is crucial because it shapes the way a moviegoer will approach their work.”

CDB funding Caribbean music sector development
The Caribbean region is known and celebrated for reggae and dancehall, soca, zouk and other genres. Yet many regional artistes, performers, their managers and publishers do not earn a sustainable living from their craft. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), noting the challenges facing the region’s music sector and affirming its support for the creative industries, has committed funding for a workshop series designed for Caribbean music sector stakeholders. The Business of Music in the Caribbean developmental workshops will run throughout 2016, and aim to improve participants’ skills in the business aspects of the music sector. “The music sector presents several opportunities for sustainable, inclusive economic growth and diversification in the Caribbean. CDB’s investment in this workshop series brings our Region even closer to unlocking the economic potential of the sector, and gives participants a better chance to build sustainable livelihoods from the music business,” said Edward Greene, Division Chief, Technical Cooperation Division, CDB.

Caribbean tourism planning: Good times are not the time to relax
The past two years have seen the Caribbean tourism market finally shake off the last vestiges of recession symptoms, travelers are spending, airlift is increasing and developers and their backers are investing. The Region's destinations are popular not only for those in close proximity to the islands, but also for travelers from around the world. The recent Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) in Miami was characterized by close to unanimous optimism, and with good reason. However, as we have seen in this industry, market conditions can change in fewer months than it takes to develop a resort, and our industry's players tend to display 'herd' behavior, with most investors reading the same reports, agreeing on which markets are currently 'hot', and then flooding them with new hotel supply.

Videos

  • National Festival of Arts young talent, 6min. Talented little guy...National Festival of Arts - St Peter Claver School - PG

  • Belize Mission Trip, 4min.

  • BELIZE, 8min.

  • Belize it, 5min.

  • VIP | NO To ICJ Presentation, 35min. Belize National Teachers Union "Stand Up For Belize" Educational Forum on taking the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

  • Turtle Nesting beach at North Ambergris Caye, Belize, 1min. A great start to the sea turtle nesting season on Ambergris Caye. Robles Point, North Ambergirs Caye turtle nesting beach. A total of 13 Loggerhead turtle nests have been found on this beach for 2016. Biologists walk the beach to verify and monitor nesting activity.

  • Turtle-Ray Alley. Gladden Split Marine Reserve. Belize, 6min. A brief presentation of the impacting nature of human to wildlife interactions within the Gladden Split Marine Reserve. Video presents some best practices as well as examples of poor stewardship by tourists and tour operators. People travel to experience nature, so why destroy the habitat you've come to appreciate?

  • Barranco Road Belize, Central America, 3.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 4min. Left March 22, Returned March 29. Best week of my life! Made tons of new friends, and shared unforgettable experiences with them. Love you guys!

  • Real America FC in Belize, 4.5min. We went on a trip to Belize and brought a camera.Enjoy!

  • Justin and Haley- Belize 2016 engagement, 11min. Our first trip to Belize including Almond Beach Resort and Ian Anderson's Cave's Branch Resort, snorkeling the barrier reef, the black hole drop, and of course my favorite part an engagement celebration!

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