#515712 - 07/02/16 11:03 AM
Today's Belize News: July 2, 2016
The news will be a bit brief for the next week or so due to time constraints
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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
Community spirit shines through tragedy
The humanitarian spirit of La Isla Bonita has been heart-warming, as the island community quickly came together to assist the fire victims that left 88 homeless. Businesses entities, individual volunteers, non-profit organizations – everyone stepped up to the plate and have been going non-stop. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), along with many volunteers headed a massive clean-up campaign in the immediate area as soon as authorities gave the okay. The SPTC has also being hosting meals for the fire victims and volunteer workers at the Town Hall Conference Room. Those affected can stop by during breakfast, lunch hours, and at 8PM. So far, Elvi’s Kitchen, Rojo Bar and Lounge, The Sandbar, Blue Water Grill, El Popular of Orange Walk, and Ramon’s Village has provided food relief assistance. The SPTC advises that anyone who is interested in donating food to drop off warm meals at the conference room. While the clean-up is in its final phase, the community continues ensuring that the affected families are well taken care of. Besides the assistance from the Government of Belize through the National Emergency Management Organization, many local stake holders and Non-Governmental Organizations on the island have joined forces to raise donations for the fire victims. The San Pedro Lions Den, the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch, Leos Clubs, Projects Abroad, San Pedro Food Bank, Saga Humane Society, San Pedro Cancer Society, AIDS Commission, Reef Radio and Lighthouse Radio Station have been busy coordinating the aid coming to the island.
San Pedro’s preschoolers graduate
Graduation Season is nearly done, as over the past week, five pre-schools’ students joined the proud list of 2016 graduates. First to hold their graduation exercises was Holy Cross Anglican Preschool on Thursday, June 23rd. 28 children from Teacher Blake’s preschool class received their diplomas during a ceremony at the San Pedro Lions Den at 5PM. Led by Ayoni Esquiliano, the ceremony saw Delvi Flores giving the welcome address. Vice Principal Olivia Tasher presented diplomas, and the vote of thanks was done by Helen Melendez. On Saturday, June 25th, ABC Preschool held their graduation ceremonies at 3PM. Diplomas were given during a Catholic mass at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, after which graduates and their families moved to the Angel Nuñez Auditorium for a celebratory party. This year’s graduation ceremonies were very special as it marked 25 years that ABC Preschool has been under the administration of Principal Wilfredo Alamilla.
The Belize Bird Rescue launches children’s book
The Belize Bird Rescue (BBR) recently launched a children’s book titled ‘Zack and Kiki’s First Big Adventure: The Great Escape.’ The colourful illustrated book is suitable for children ages 8-12 and is available for purchase online. All profits of the sales will support the BBR, a Non-Governmental Non-Profit rescue, rehabilitation and release centre for indigenous birds of Belize.
The book was written by Nikki Buxton and illustrated by Karin Harvey. “One of the reasons why we did the book was to try to instil some empathy to children about the feelings of parrots, and how it affects them when they are removed from their natural habitat,” said Buxton.
San Pedro celebrates Dia de San Pedro
Dia de San Pedro is officially on June 28th, and the San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC), along with The San Pedro Town Council put together a series of activities to celebrate this grand occasion. The annual week-long event honours St. Peter (San Pedro), the Patron Saint of Fishermen of the island, and San Pedranos, along with those who have adopted the island as their home, come together annually to thank their patron for another bountiful year.
Festivities started on Monday, June 20th at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, where the SPHC hosted ‘The Alba,’ (first light before sunrise) and provided a fisherman breakfast early in the morning. Following a week of Novenas (a devotion ceremony consisting of prayer) and Exhibitions, on Tuesday, June 28th the anticipated ‘La Alborada,’ (the eve of Dia de San Pedro) took place at 8PM in front of the St. Peter’s statue at the Catholic Church. Both Guillermo ‘Mito’ Paz and the Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., welcomed the crowd and gave a brief history of the life of Saint Peter and why it is so important to keep the tradition alive. Afterwards, hundreds of enthusiastic viewers enjoyed the cultural presentations by the San Pedro Dance Academy and the Alma Beliceña Marimba group from Soccotz Village. There was even a serenata (serenade) to St. Peter by Javier Castillo’s Mariachi.
Green Reef Receives PACT Grant for Summer Youth Camp in July
Green Reef, a marine conservation NGO, was awarded a PACT Environmental Support Grant to undertake a four week summer camp at Camp Basil Jones on North Ambergris Caye adjacent to the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. The Summer Youth Camps is being spearheaded by Green Reef in collaboration with the San Pedro House of Culture (NICH), Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and the Department of Youth Services with financial support from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), Belize Kids, Blackadore Caye Resort, Oceana, Hol Chan and NICH.
One hundred campers will have the unique opportunity to participate in this fun-filled adventure and experience the thrill of a lifetime at a week-long summer camp. Campers will pack their bags and head to an idyllic beachside retreat, where they will indulge in over-the-top competitions inspired by classic camp games, learn about Belize’s marine natural resources and create unique art & crafts from sustainable materials.
The environmental education curriculum at the summer camp will entail a training course on the Introduction to Coral Reef Ecosystems and Threats for primary schools children. The course will focus on the primary ecosystems of the coastal and marine environment, Belize’s marine protected areas and the world heritage site, reef fish identification, the life history of sea turtles, and threats to coral reefs and marine life.
Misc Belizean Sources
Official Rules for the NCCO's first annual National Climate Change Youth Video Competition
Find the Official Rules for the NCCO's first annual National Climate Change Youth Video Competition below. For further information please feel free to message us via Facebook or call the NCCO at 828-5960.
Remember, all youths between the ages of 18-30 can participate in the Competition by submitting a video featuring his or her actions to address Climate Change within their community and Belize.
NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE YOUTH VIDEO COMPETITION!!!
The National Climate Change Office (NCCO) is embarking on its First National Climate Change Youth Video Competition. This competition will allow Belizean youths the opportunity to showcase ways in which they are implementing concrete actions in their communities to address Climate Change.
Youths between the ages of 18-30 are eligible for entrance into the competition. See flyer attached for further information.
Submission Date is Friday, July 22, 2016 no later than 4:30 p.m.
Letter: Brexit to exacerbate Belize's downward economic spiral
The $445+ million arbitration judgement for BTL, the $325 million waste of PetroCaribe funds, and the $55 million from SSB are a few of the blatant, in-your-face, evidence of the present government’s mismanagement of the economy in the name of maintaining power at any cost. There are no medium or long-term gains from any of these bad decisions for our ailing economy and frustrated people, and the recent Brexit only serves to compound this dire situation. Great Britain’s exit from the European Union means that Belize, the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean, and the ACP will now have a diminished power position when negotiating trade matters with the EU. The adverse effects on the UK economy includes the weakening of the pound sterling, now at a 30-year low against the US dollar, that will likely cause a reduction in importation of products such as bananas and sugar, and cause British tourist to switch away from visiting our region.
This negative external shock is a clarion call to all Belizeans to recognize the significant present danger of our worsening economic trajectory, with the Statistical Institute of Belize reporting a further contraction of our economy and an ever-increasing trade deficit.
UPDATE: SAN PEDRO FIRE - JULY 1, 2016
As the week comes to an end, the site of the fire has been completely cleared off and fire victims have been receiving much help from businesses and friends from all over Belize. Most of the affected families have received mattresses, stove tops, blankets, food items, water, toiletries, and other items.
On Thursday, June 30, the Reef Radio hosted a radiothon and managed to raise a whopping $172,928.90 Belize dollars. Thanks to everyone who helped during the radiothon and those who donated.
Also on Thursday, June 30, the San Pedro Fire Department was on the site to wash off the ashes from the street.
The San Pedro is so grateful for all the assistance it has received from everyone - whether you donated money, clothes, food, helped for the cleanup or even your time - THANK YOU!
Thanks to the restaurants and volunteers! You guys rocked!
Thank you San Pedro, Thank you Belize!
SUMMER CAMP 2016 IT'S A GO...
Green Reef, a marine conservation NGO, for the third consecutive year, will undertake a four week summer camp at Camp Basil Jones on North Ambergris Caye adjacent to the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve.The summer youth camp programme aims to promote conservation and preservation of the Belize Barrier Reef as we work towards youth empowerment in Belize.
The camp is being spearheaded by Green Reef in collaboration with the San Pedro House of Culture (NICH), Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and the Department of Youth Services with financial support from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), BelizeKids.org, Finn & Martini, Blackadore Caye Resort, Oceana, Hol Chan and the National Institute of Culture & History (NICH).
One hundred campers ages 11-17 will have the unique opportunity to participate in this fun-filled adventure and experience the thrill of a lifetime at a week-long summer camp. Campers will pack their bags and head to an idyllic beachside retreat, where they will indulge in over-the-top competitions inspired by classic camp games, learn about Belize’s marine natural resources and create unique art & crafts from sustainable materials.
World Culture Band at D Catch
The World Culture Band is going to be playing at D Catch on July 4th. What a way to ring in their new location(intersection of Joseph Andrews and Bullet Tree roads). Best of all, it's free!
"D' Catch proudly presents The World Culture Band! Performing live here at D Catch this coming 4th July 2016! Be sure to stop by for dinner and drinks! There is no admission fee! D' Catch, celebrating our foreign neighbors with good food, good drinks and great music!"
Summertastic Art Workshops
The Benque House of Culture has a lot of great Summer Workshops planned.
"Launching our Summ-tastic Art, Culture & History Sessions this summer! For more details inbox, visit us or call us at 823-2697! Learning can be fun & educational in the name of CULTURE!"
Human Trafficking Victims Slapped With Immigration Charges While "Coyote" Runs Free
Last night on the news we told you about the Trafficking in Persons report from the US State Department which spoke about the Victims of trafficking in persons and their, quote "fear of detention or deportation (making) them reluctant to communicate with law enforcement."
Well that's just what 17 Salvadoreans may be facing. We told you about the group earlier in the week. Belize Rural police found them jammed in a van travelling between Ladyville and Gardenia. They were heading from the Western border to the north - but today they were charged, while the person smuggling them - the so-called "coyote" was set free!!
14 of them, 10 men and 4 women pled guilty to charges of failure to produce a visitor's permit when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. They were each fined $1,000 and were ordered to pay forthwith. They were told that if they were unable to pay the fine they will serve 6 months imprisonment and an order has been made for them to be deported to El Salvador after they have either paid the fine or served the time. Three minors - aged 11, 15 and 4 - weren't taken to court, and the Social Department will deal with their case.
Was Dustin Stoned To His Death In Mexico?
Last night on the news you heard the officer commanding for Orange Walk say that 17-year-old San Felipe resident Dustin Cortez is believed to have drowned. That's what he says Mexican police told him. They're in charge of the case because his body was found on their side of the Rio Hondo.
But, the family insists the case is far from closed and tonight new information suggests that he may have been viciously stoned on the Mexican side and that led to his death.
They say, this information is coming from the Mexican police. They are preparing to transport the remains to the family in San Felipe. Still, there is little closure for the family tonight because there are still a lot of questions surrounding Dustin's death. This is what his mother told our colleagues at CTV3 news yesterday.
Shooting Victim Very Critical, No Charge Yet
Tonight police are still grappling with the murder case of 20 year old Kieran Morrison, while 18 year old Kent Brooks continues to fight for his life at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. As we told you last night, Morrison and Brooks, two very close friends were hanging out in front of Morrison's house on La Croix Boulevard when a single gunman appeared and fired several shots in their direction fatally injuring Morrison. We were told that at least 5 shots caught him. Kent Brooks is said to have a slim chance of survival. He was shot once, but the bullet went through his side and damaged several of his internal organs. He underwent surgery on Wednesday night and the family told us today that the doctors are preparing to perform another surgery tonight. As for the investigation police have not yet brought any charges.
Will BTL Debt Bomb Detonate The Economy?
For the past two days all the news has been about Government's half a billion dollar baby, BTL and the very costly settlement with the Ashcroft Alliance. And while the bottom line figure is staggering, what about paying it all back? Government has to pay a total of 454 million dollars. It paid 65 million last year, as partial settlement, so that leaves 390 million dollars outstanding. Half of that has to be paid within 10 days of the judgment, and the other half in a year's time. Government will have to scramble to come up with all that cash - and to do so it has to resort to domestic sources, namely treasury bills. But will it be a shock to the economy, with government crowding out available liquidity. We asked the Prime Minister about it on Wednesday - and we also have a comment from the Leader of the Opposition:...
"Isn't the government, by issuing more paper, stagnating the economy, forcing the stagnation of the economy by sapping up all the available funds in order to pay its debts and in so doing depriving the commercial banking sector of those funds which would in the normal course be on lended for, one hopes, developmental growth purposes? That sort of thing."
Lamp Posts Topple At Municipal
Three lamp posts fell across the road at the Municipal Airstrip sometime early this morning, causing a black out in that area. Now all operations at the airstrip depend heavily on electricity, and that includes everything from the printing of flight receipts, to the cataloging of flights, to even communicating with the pilots. Fortunately the two major airlines - Tropic Air and Maya Island Air - fired up their generators and maintained services without interruption, although their online booking feature was down for a while.
BEL personnel were dispatched to the area last night and have since been working overtime to get the situation resolved. But just what caused the lampposts to topple in the first place? No one could really tell us for sure, but one of the theories was that it had to do with the natural course of erosion, compounded by recent works on a drainage system along the street side.
Urbie Free To Fly
He may have run a few "red lights", but Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla keeps hitting those greens. The cop who was charged for discharging a firearm in public got free on bail last week, and this week his attorney Dickie Bradley successfully argued for one of the terms of his bail to be waived. Bradley appeared before Adolph Lucas today to ask the court's permission to allow Alamilla to travel outside Belize. Bradley, who made the application, explained that Alamilla was granted vacation leave before he was charged with discharging a firearm in public and he had already bought travel tickets for himself and his family. The Crown, represented by Crown Counsel Janelle Tillett, did not object to Constable Alamilla leaving Belize but asked that he furnish the address in the US where he and his family will be staying and provide a copy of his travel itinerary.
Archaeology Symposium: From Punta Ycacos To Caracol
On Wednesday, we told you about the 14th Annual Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium, which has been taking place all week in San Ignacio. It's an opportunity for all the researchers working with NICH to come together and discuss the progress in the work that they've been doing either within the remote communities, or at different Maya sites.
At this week's Symposium, we got an opportunity to see just how many partnerships between NICH and friendly universities it actually takes to keep the work going at Belize's archaeological sites. Daniel Ortiz has that story:
Daniel Ortiz reporting:
Since the beginning of the week, archaeologists and anthropologists from all over the world have been attending the Belize Archaeology Anthropology Symposium.
Getting Garbage Gone
Picking up garbage is never fun, but two organizations made it so and they were awarded today. On May 21st the BDF Youth Cadet and BEL participated in the Department of the Environment's highway cleanup campaign. The volunteers went along the highway from Belize to Benque collecting bags of garbage and this morning there was a short ceremony to honor them for their hard work. Environmental Officer Celi Cho told us more about this initiative.
Celi Cho - Environment Officer:
"When we were organizing the highway clean up, we thought about having 2 categories of prizes that volunteers can win a prize for 1; was for who brought out the most volunteers and who collected the most bags just to give them an incentive to want to come out apart from the whole volunteerism come out and at least get something back. So, what happened is that the BDF cadets, they come out every time we ask and they won the category for bringing out the most volunteers, because they are a large group and they come out. Then the Belize electricity limited they won the category for collecting the most bags. The highway clean up walk for a green Belize we are trying to bring more awareness for why it is important to keep our environment clean. Why not to litter? When everybody throws garbage out of the buses or the vehicles it collects. When we have a lot of garbage it creates a big health problem for the country apart from an environmental problem because it can cause water pollution and with a health problem, garbage attracts pests which carries bacteria and can get illness from. So, it creates a lot of problem, garbage on a whole. We always try to educate the public why it's important to keep Belize clean and healthy. It's for our own benefit."
Police Bike Auction Moved 30 Bikes
Last night on the news, we showed you the stampede by city residents at the Queen Street Police Station to get up front for the highly anticipated police auction.
Well, about 300 bicycles were auctioned yesterday, but that all day event was still not enough to get rid of everything! So this afternoon the police held day two of the action and the last 35 bicycles were gone in minutes along with everything else.
As for the raffle, Lord's Bank resident, Alanie Grinage, walked away with the Red Wingle.
RAV 4 Raffle Finished
And another vehicle raffle was held today - this one for the 2016 RAV 4 raffled by the General sales Tax Department. Security Firm supervisor Delsie Smith won it. She told us that she put in 30 to 40 tickets. She isn't sure what she will do with the vehicle yet. It has a retail value, duty paid of over one hundred thousand dollars.
The Prince Of Brukdown
Cocono Bwai is back on the news tonight, this time with a brand new album release- actually his first. The last time we spoke to 19 year old Cecil Jenkins Jr, who goes by the name "Cocono Boy", it was to talk about his new song Dengue Fever, which seems to catching like, well, fever. Today the brukdown prince visited our studios to speak about this his latest 10 track album.
Cecil Jenkin's is inviting all residents to come out to the Battle Field Park tomorrow on Saturday where he will be promoting his CD, signing autographs and doing what Cocono Boy does best, promiting himself. You can purchase a copy of his CD for $20 dollars Belize.
Agro Forestry Access
The Ya'axché Conservation Trust is trying to promote agroforestry in Southern Belize. The trust partnered with the University of Missouri and the University of Belize- Environmental Research Institute in hosting a three day training workshop for Belizean farmers in the South. According to the Conservation Trust, this is a first step toward increasing knowledge and implementation of agroforestry in the country. Christina Garcia, the Executive Director of the Conservation group explained more about the program.
Christina Garcia - Ya 'axche Executive Director:
"We had farmers from within the Mayan Golden Landscape but we also had the participation of the extension officers from the ministry of agriculture. So they too were involved with these trainings. We've been reviewing topics such as agroforestry, the design of a particular plot. We touch a little bit on the marketing aspect of agroforestry and participants were mainly involved in terms of developing a case study, particularly for a farm that belongs to one of the participant, one of the farmers and basically they have incorporated a pasture along with agroforestry. So, we are looking more at the sylviculture, pastoral sylviculture within that agroforestry system but basically enhancing how more or less that system could be better developed in terms of encompassing different timber, different saplings, different fruit trees, how we can make this farmer farm basically sustainable and shaping it into something that could become a model."
IMF Says Central Bank Lost Two Correspondent Banks
Earlier on we told you about the effect that paying the big bill for BTL will have on the national debt profile. And while that's one major problem affecting an economy which already showed negative growth in the first quarter of 2016, another is the continuing, and worsening problem with correspondent banking relations. The IMF issued a report yesterday which notes that, quote, "Only two of (Belize's) nine domestic and international banks (representing 27 percent of the banking system's assets at the end of March 2016) have managed to maintain Correspondent Banking Relationships with full banking services" End quote. It also discloses that The Central Bank of Belize has also lost two of its correspondent relationships.
14 thousand residents of Stann Creek benefited from a one year Taiwan funded initiative on Community Preparedness and Resilience. The program was led by the Pan American Development Foundation in partnership with the Government of Taiwan and Belize. Throughout the year, PADF trained local emergency response teams in Dangriga and Hopkins, engaged students and teachers in 7 schools with climate change programs and disaster risk reduction, launched eight public awareness campaigns on fragile ecosystems, strengthened early warning systems in the communities, partnered with UB in expanding its GIS Center, and even engaged students in field work. Yesterday the program officially closed with a ceremonial thank you.
PADF and Taiwan have been partnering with countries throughout the region in addressing emergencies and natural disasters.
Female Minor Was Stabbed 52 Times
A gruesome discovery was made on Wednesday morning in Mahogany Heights. Seventeen-year-old Jasmine Petillo was brutally stabbed multiple times before her body was dumped in a ditch behind the community, [...]
Social Scientists Say Gang Interventions Are Not Working
A recent murder on LaCroix Boulevard in Lake I suggests that a longstanding feud between the PIV and bakaland gangs is escalating. These turf wars, rivalries and retaliations have accounted [...]
ACP Chester Williams Responds – Stop Talking and Start Helping
Those comments have not been taken well by those on the ground doing the interventions. Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams struck back in his own unique style. ACP [...]
Fifteen Arraigned in Human Smuggling Ring
Fifteen persons, including ten Salvadoran men, a Belizean farmer and four Salvadoran women were today arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for different offenses mounting from an alleged smuggling [...]
Central Bank Loses Citibank to Derisking
For the past couple months, the issue of de-risking has been placed on the backburner as other pressing national issues, including the Sarstoon and the B.T.L. arbitration award, have taken [...]
Don’t Blame It on the PUP, Says Briceño
The arbitration award will continue to dominate conversations for the next little while, perhaps escalating even, as people begin to recognize the enormity of a four hundred million dollar debt, [...]
PUP Says the UDP is Fostering a Perfect Economic Storm
Apart from claiming that the half-a billion dollar payout for B.T.L. is a deal and a victory, the Prime Minister has gone on record to say that they will not [...]
Will the PUP Count Lord Ashcroft as an Ally?
And then there’s the man who is walking away with the half a billion dollar payout. Lord Ashcroft has been a messiah and a pariah, a friend and a fiend [...]
The PUP Will Not Re-Engage in Guatemala Talks
The Sarstoon River remains a question mark. There are no official rules of engagement or protocols. As far as News Five has proven, civilians cannot go in there. We’ve been [...]
How Will Brexit Affect the Caribbean?
British withdrawal from the European Union, widely referred to as Brexit, follows the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. It is a non-binding vote that took place last Thursday in [...]
Historian Explains Caribbean Links to England’s Rise to Power
From a historic perspective, the Caribbean, according to Vice-Chancellor Beckles, has been central to England’s rise to power. He contextualizes the history of England’s involvement in the region. Sir [...]
Beckles Says Brexit Will Have Adverse Effects on the Region
Those in favor of leaving the E.U. say that it would allow the U.K. to better control immigration, thereby reducing pressure on public services, housing and jobs. It would also [...]
AAA Security Employee is Lucky GST Raffle Winner
Triple ‘A’ Security employee Delsie Smith is the lucky winner of the G.S.T. Grand Raffle. At two o’clock this afternoon, her name was successfully chosen from thousands of tickets and [...]
GST Commissioner Says Raffle Met its Goals
The raffle was done to give back to the community as part of the tenth anniversary celebration of the General Sales Tax Department. Commissioner Betty-Ann Jones told News Five that [...]
Unlmtd Promotes New Video
Today, Belizean musician Bernard Cayetano, street name Unlmtd, stopped by our studio to promote a new video. He’s based in Belize City’s Lake I, and isn’t exactly a stranger on [...]
#515713 - 07/02/16 11:03 AM
Re: Today's Belize News: July 2, 2016
One killed, another critical following late night shooting
20 year old Keiran Morrison is dead and a 17 year old lies in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following a shooting on La Croix Boulevard in the Lake Independence area of Belize City last night. Reports are that the victims were hanging out in front of the deceased’s h...
Accommodation Agreement compensation won’t go to Ashcroft
Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow yesterday said the accommodation agreement portion of the final BTL arbitration award totaling 114.6 million dollars is not to go to the former shareholders. Instead, it will be paid in Belize dollars and is to remain and be spent in Belize. According to th...
PUP does not accept PM’s olive branch over Guatemala
Yesterday you heard Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow extend the olive branch to the People’s United Party (PUP), which pulled out of any negotiations over the Sarstoon protocol and other Guatemala-related matters unless and until Government changes their tune on engagement with the Republi...
Over 100 LBS of Weed confiscated after pursuit
Last night, a high speed pursuit led to the apprehension of 19 year old Maynor Leonel Portillo, and 47,174grams of Cannabis, that’s more than 100 pounds of marijuana. Wednesday night , 29th of June, a checkpoint was being conducted at mile 54 on the George Price Highway when a small Toyota Car sped ...
Belmopan Police Aid San Pedro Fire Victims
The Belmopan police are sending nonperishable goods to the people who fell victim to the San Pedro fire that happened over the weekend. Several businesses were destroyed and over 20 families were left homeless due to the fire. The Belmopan Police decided to lend a helping hand to the victims of the ...
Ride Across Belize 2016 kicks off
The Ride Across Belize Fund Raising event started in 2004 as a public relations tactic for the Social Security Board, but has since grown into one of Belize’s biggest fund raising events in the country. The 13th Annual Ride Across Belize kicked off yesterday as a little over 125 cyclists rode ...
16 year old stabbed to the back in Cayo
A 16 year old boy was stabbed to the back during a brawl in Santa Elena. On Wednesday 29th June 2016 about 8:30 p.m., 16year old Jonathan Valdez, Belizean student of Santa Elena Town, was along with four of his friends at the race track in the Trapiche Area of Santa Elena Town, when a second group o...
Girl, 17, found murdered in Mahogany Heights
At about 10 o’clock yesterday morning, a farmer who was walking in the bushes behind Mahogany Heights, near Mile 30 on the George Price Highway, came upon a horrific sight.
What he saw was the body of a young girl, near a ditch, semi-nude and wrapped in a quilt, with multiple stab wounds to her upper body.
Police and villagers identified the body as that of a 17-year-old girl of the village, Jasmine Petillo, who was well-known, and a leader of the Mahogany Heights Carnival Band. She was found lying face down.
Police believe that she was killed elsewhere and disposed of in that area.
Petillo’s mother told police that at about 3:00 yesterday morning, Wednesday, when she got up to get ready to go to work, her daughter was at home sleeping. She then left home and walked to the bus stop, and that was the last time she saw her daughter.
Family Court sentences repeat violator to $12,000 and 5 years
An ex-Belize Defence Force soldier, who has built a horrifying catalogue of acts of violent, domestic abuse against his ex-common-law wife and mother of his children, totally disregarded a Belize City Family Court order of protection on multiple occasions and was slapped with a 5-year prison sentence and a robust court fine when his cases concluded at the court on Tuesday, June 28.
The 5-year prison sentence and $12,000 fine that Family Court Magistrate Natalia Carter levied on Rennick Baizer, 32, is not the end of his legal entanglement. Baizer still has a criminal charge for wounding pending at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, based on a complaint Shawna Gillett, 28, his children’s mother, filed with police.
Baizer appeared before the court to face charges for three different violations of the protection orders the court had given Gillett against him since their separation.
The court’s $12,000 fine was the penalty for one of his violations of the protection order; for the other violation, Baizer was sentenced to two years.
Half-a-billion bucks for BTL!
The saga surrounding the exorbitant cost of telecommunications liberalization in Belize—which has ballooned because of the tumultuous and litigious landscape that emerged after the Government of Belize moved in 2001 to end the telecommunications monopoly—still has some observers awed with disbelief. The country’s premier telecommunications provider, Belize Telemedia Limited (formerly Belize Telecommunications Limited) has endured privatization, liberalization, and a series of government-brokered deals and takeovers—and Belizeans are still counting the cost.
Seven years ago, when the Government of Belize took control of Belize Telemedia Limited from a group of companies controlled by British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft, Dunkeld, one of his Turks and Caicos companies, triggered foreign arbitration claiming between $300 million and $600 million.
Gang shooting leaves 1 dead, 1 with slim chance of surviving
While one man lies in the morgue, another lies in bed fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after another night of street violence.
Kieran Morrison, 20, and Kent Brooks, Jr., 18, were both socializing at the Morrison’s residence on Lacroix Boulevard shortly after 8 p.m. on Wednesday when a gunman exited a grey car and fired several shots at the duo.
Morrison sustained injuries to the head and neck, and died as a result of these wounds, while Brooks, who was shot in the stomach, remains in a critical condition.
According to the Commander of Eastern Division South, ACP Chester Williams, this incident was gang-related.
At this time, we are unable to confirm that in fact, these two young men were involved in gang activity. However, information to Amandala suggests that both men were the latest casualties of a feud that began some time ago between the Bloods of the Peace in the Village (PIV) gang and the Backa Lands Crips (BLC).
Belize offers quid pro quo to Guatemala
The Government of Belize has softened its stance on a demand which Guatemala made three years ago, in March 2013, for Belize to change its referendum legislation to remove the 60% minimum voter participation required for the referendum on whether the border controversy between the two countries should be adjudicated at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Barrow said that Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, had indicated that the international community and in particular the Group of Friends which has been funding the office of the Organization of American States (OAS) at Belize’s western border with Guatemala “is getting impatient,” as they feel not enough progress is being made toward the ICJ referendum.
Barrow said that it is not Belize’s fault, adding that “We are ready to go just about whenever”—suggesting that Belize could very well go to the polls before Guatemala does.
US sex predators prey upon Belize’s children with help of their relatives, says US TIP report
The US State Department released its 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report on Wednesday, June 29, on 188 countries and territories—and Belize was ranked for the second consecutive year on tier 3, the bottommost tier. The report points to child sex tourism, facilitated by Belizean relatives, as well as cross-border trafficking for prostitution between Belize and Guatemala and exploitation by even some law enforcement officers.
“The UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons reported family members facilitate the sex trafficking of Belizean women and girls. In tourist regions, foreign child sex tourists, primarily from the United States, exploit child sex trafficking victims,” the report said.
The report also points to a case where a Guatemalan girl was trafficked from her home country to Belize, where she was exploited for sex by persons who include a law enforcement officer.
Four Mundialito games were played at Louisiana Football Field on Sunday, June 26. In game 1, Belize bombed Croatia, 9-0, with goals from Alex Alamilla (6), Joel Briceno (2) and Edrei Bobadilla (1). In game 2, it was Germany, 5-1, over Argentina. Germany got goals from Jemario Sanabria (2), Jesse August (2) and Obed Perez (1); while Eladio Ku scored for Argentina. Game 3 saw Holland with the 5-1 win over Spain, courtesy of goals from Angel Ico (4) and Armando Chirinos (1), while Spain’s only goal was by Narciso Cruz. And in game 4, Colombia edged Mexico, 2-1, with a goal each from Miguel Uh and Henry Cordero, while Denilson Tzul got the sole tally for Mexico.
Belikin 8-Ball Tournament – Belmopan update!!!
The Belikin 8-Ball Tournament in Belmopan saw six matches played in the past week, with the following team and individual results.
Sunday, June 26: At Mike’s Cue Club, Special Effects defeated Barrio Fino, 3-2. For Special Effects, Erwin Woodye won Cyrus Mira, 4-1; Edmund Guy shot sharply over Victor Orellana, 4-1; and Clifford King beat Brian Mira, 4-2. For Barrio Fino, it was Amir Paquil running Rony Ramos, 4-2; and Stanley Mira edged Dean Flowers, 4-3, after Dean made a huge comeback, but could not get over the hill, as Stanley finished with a beautiful and sweet shot. At Intentalo Bar, Las Flores blanked Set-Up, 5-0. Marvin Yam won Floyd Thimbrel, 4-2; Julio Hernandez won Juan Hernandez, 4-1; Juan Gusman won Ruben Ruiz, 4-3; Jose Alvarenga won Kenny Arnold, 4-3; and Salvador Orellana put the icing on the cake over Vincent Huang, 4-1. At Capital Entertainment, BRC Shooters won Twin Stars, 3-2, in a tight match. For BRC, Oscar Avelar won Moises Aguirre, 4-3; Tim Banman continued to look good, as he won Mario Lopez, 4-3; and Duane Garbutt reeled in Roberto Sanabria, 4-2. For Twin Stars, Erwin Paredes showed he is the bigger brother, as he won Elder Paredes, 4-2; and Jose Palma did the same over his younger brother, Noe Palma, 4-2, as they play on different teams.
Smart 13 & Under regular season ends
–It was a day of many possibilities on Saturday, June 25, at the MCC Grounds where the final day of the 2016 Smart 13 & Under Mundialito regular season would decide from among 4 contending teams, which one would get the fourth and final spot in playoffs.
City Boys (23 pts), Brown Bombers (19 pts) and Hattieville Riverside Boys (17 pts) were already sure of their playoff berths. Meanwhile, Young Warriors (11 pts), Ladyville Rising Stars (13 pts), Collet Strikers (13 pts) and Carlston FC (14 pts) were all in the hunt for the final spot in the top-4 playoffs. To keep their playoff hopes alive, Young Warriors opened the action with a 3-0 victory over Heights FC, with a goal each from Kaylen McFoy, Anthony Usher and Jeffrey Young. The win gave Warriors a total of 14 points, with a +4 goal difference.
Editorial: The power versus the people
Every now and then, the veil of purity over the face of the power structure in Belize is drawn aside, for one reason and another, and the Belizean people can see the portrait of Dorian Grey: we can see the reality of the oppression, the injustice, and the collaboration with regional and international white supremacy at the highest levels of our society.
In the last week or so, there are two different cases of the power structure’s veil of purity being drawn aside, and it was for those Belizeans with eyes, to see. These are the matters of
The Reporter editorial of last weekend and the exclusion of the lady sprinter, Kaina Martinez, from Belize’s Olympic team for Rio de Janeiro 2016.
Let’s begin with Kaina. When you rise from amongst the people to become a star in Belize, it is not a development which is viewed with favor by Belize’s power structure. This is because the power structure in Belize is jealous of its power, and the power structure, although it is very, very well entrenched, becomes nervous. The reason for their nervousness, we submit, is because they know their positions are derived from family, from favor, from connections, from Buckingham Palace, and so on, and not from talent. The power structure in Belize is fearful of talent, and they always seek to crush native talent, no matter the danger of their bureaucratic perfidy’s being exposed. In a country like the United States, on the other hand, for all America’s evils, they welcome stories of young citizens rising from anonymity to fame: the Americans see it as proof of equal opportunity in America. But, the power structure in Belize doesn’t cut black youth any slack, as we would say. Belize is bogus.
Winty J (Vincent Johnson) – my life
A: You didn’t have any contact with the music world at that time?
W: No. No. ’65, now. Now my music thing will come on now. After, around ’65… I would leave school now.
W: Now, let me finish the school thing first… let me get back to Baptist. I went to Baptist for a little while, and then my parents moved south. And then I was transferred to Wesley. My fourth school now, you know. You hear me? I’m at Wesley School.
So, when I look back, at the things I used to do in school, like for instance: every 2:30, you know after 2:30 they give that 2:30 break? We don’t go back in class! So now, when I grow up now, I ask myself, how those teachers allowed this?
A: Well, some schools, the very small infants would go home 2:30, but the older ones would leave at 3:30 p.m.
W: But this is (Standard) 4 or 5 we are in now, you know. We should be there till 3:30. And what do you think we are doing? We’re looking for mischief. Me and a brother named Pennel. Now, he was my “bom bally,” you know. Well, the Pennels lived right beside Wesley School. Their yard was right, like inside Wesley School. They didn’t have to walk any distance to go to school, just walk right through the fence into school. And there were a lot of Pennel brothers.
From the Publisher
A day or two after I had put together the column which appeared in our midweek issue (reproduced for today), I realized that there are many Belizeans, younger ones, for whom the column would not have had an impact, because they would not have known how big Ydigoras Fuentes was in the lives of British Hondurans in the later 1950s and early 1960s, and how scared we were of him.
When the Americans overthrew Jacobo Arbenz as president of Guatemala in 1954 and replaced him with Carlos Castillo Armas, the process was not democratic. But when Castillo Armas was assassinated in 1957, Ydigoras Fuentes won an election to become president in 1958. In those Cold War days, the U.S. State Department didn’t mind if you were a dictator and how brutal you were, as long as you were anti-communist, but if you had been democratically elected and you were anti-communist, this was the ideal. Fuentes entered Washington’s good books.
Ydigoras knew more about Belize (British Honduras) than the average Guatemalan president, because he had been the governor of neighboring Petén between 1927 and 1929. He had also been Guatemalan Ambassador to London, and “recovery” of the Belize territory was always a big issue for him. The old timers in Belize claim that Ydigoras had a Belizean sweetheart in Benque, and that was why he tried to cross over from Melchor into the colony one time. He was stopped by a Police Sergeant Neal on our side. Ydigoras was president from 1958 to 1963, and the border incident, I’m almost positive, occurred during his presidency.
Open letter to Hon. Elodio Aragon, Jr.
The Editor, Amandala.
Please afford us, the undersigned, newly-elected Village Council Chairman and Councillors of Chan Pine Ridge Village some valuable space in your prestigious newspaper to formally and publicly invite the area representative for Orange Walk East, Hon. Elodio Aragon, Jr., to collectively work with us in the development of our young village as per his mandate as an Area Representative and Government Minister so dictates.
Our landslide victory this past Sunday speaks volumes of the change that our villagers were clamouring for and it is hence high time that party politics not be given the priority that it is traditionally afforded whenever teams and slates of the Opposition surge victorious in these rural political races.
Our commitment to our people will remain resilient and unbendable always having in mind that not only will we toil the soil to accomplish ALL our manifesto promises but to go the extra mile in cementing a closer bond with our elderly, the poor and our youth. The support of Hon. Aragon will certainly be welcomed in these areas; after all, the people of Chan Pine Ridge are deserving of a few dollars of the over $6,000.00 monthly subvention that Hon. Aragon gets for the upliftment of Orange Walk East, which includes Chan Pine Ridge Village.
18 solid reasons why Belize should not go to the ICJ
1. The ICJ does NOT guarantee that Belize will remain with all its territory intact as it is since Belize became a Crown Colony in 1862 and after it became Independent in 1981.
2. Going to ICJ is like buying lottery (boledo). We may win but we may LOSE. We have proof of many court cases where injustice prevails; the innocent are found guilty and the guilty walk away free. We stand a good chance of winning; however, IF WE LOSE, WE WILL LOSE OUR LAND. Our country is too much to lose. We simply cannot, and will not take that chance.
3. Belize is a sovereign nation member of United Nations. Even Guatemala accepted this fact although reluctantly. Guatemala cannot be trusted because they always change their position in their claim with time.
4. The determination of the Belizean people WAS, IS, AND WILL always be: To be a Sovereign and Independent Nation with ALL ITS TERRITORY INTACT.
5. Neither Guatemala nor Spain ever occupied or settled in Belize, NEVER. Guatemala has NEVER EVER had legal rights over the territory, nation of Belize.
Spike in food and fuel prices push prices up for May 2016
After an overall drop in consumer prices in 2015, consumer prices continue on an upward trend in May 2016, which saw an overall increase in prices of roughly 1%—the highest since the year began.
Price increases in food were the most pronounced, followed by price increases in fuel. The first five months of this year saw an inflation rate of 0.4 percent.
Angelita Campbell, Statistician II at the Statistical Institute of Belize presented the latest information on Belize’s consumer price index, as of May 2016.
“For the fuel prices, we realized fuel prices have been the highest since the start of the year, so that’s something that stood out to us,” Campbell said.
Some meat prices are also notably higher. Campbell said that prices have been trending up since late last year, and that has been consistent since December 2015.
Breaking Belize News
Central Bank plays down loss of another correspondent banking relationship
Belize has lost another correspondent banking relationships (CBR), between the Central Bank and Citibank of the United States. But according to Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre, Belize’s financial stability continues unaffected and, as with the previous departures, Citibank cited as its reason that Belize does […]
Accused “coyote” set free
The man police alleged earlier this week aided and abetted 14 Salvadoran men and women to enter Belize, aiming to get to Mexico, left court this afternoon a free man after his charges were withdrawn. 22 year old Anivar Alvarenga, self-employed vegetable vendor from Valley of Peace, […]
“DJ Busch” in trouble over fight
Earlier this year, popular disc jockey James “DJ” Busch was accused by cousin and close friend Marlon Chavez of beating him up for nothing at their deceased friend’s wake. Those charges were dismissed at the request of the complainant; however Busch is once again before the […]
Benque celebrates its Golden Fiesta!
The largest religious celebration in Belize has to be the Benque Fiesta. And this year, the festival got just a bigger! The annual extravaganza held in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town, Cayo District, honors their patron saint Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Nuesta Señora de Monte Carmelo) and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. In honor of the golden achievement, preparations are underway for a can’t-miss event. With traditional marimba bands, local food and drinks, games, mechanical rides, cultural presentations, sports events, and dance nights, Benque Fiesta has something for everyone. The commemoration of the patron saint lasts for a period of about 16 days, starting with solemn religious celebrations prior to the main festival. The focal point of the festival is Saturday, July 16th, when there is fun for all ages. This year’s Benque Fiesta will see activities being held from Thursday, July 14th to Sunday, July 17th. Don’t miss it!
The top 5 countries to move to (that are not Canada) if you hate the election results
Searches for "How can I move to Canada" have spiked during this presidential election.
Ever since the Vietnam War, Canada has been a beacon of refuge for castoff Americans. But there is a major drawback to moving north: Canada's winters often look like the "Star Wars" blizzard scenes on the ice planet Hoth.
So if you're hatching an escape-plan should your presidential pick not win, you might want to consider going south and follow the sun instead. Here are five of best options should your plan ever become a reality:
Nowhere in the Western hemisphere will you be able to remove yourself from the long arm of government better than Cayo, Belize.
Far from the coastal locations that Belize is known for, Cayo consists of Belize's lush, mountainous interior. Water and sunshine are in no short supply, which makes it easy to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs. With a few solar panels, Cayo is ideal for becoming self-sufficient and living off-grid.
CARICOM heads to tackle de-risking, Brexit
When Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government meet in Georgetown, Guyana, next week, they will do so against the background of a number of threats to the region’s financial and economic stability. Chief among these are the threats posed by international banks limiting or terminating their relationships with regional financial institutions, and the yet to be determined implications of the British decision to leave the European Union (EU), a key partner in the Community’s development. The Brexit vote has sent Britain and the rest of the world into a tailspin. The pound sterling fell in value to the lowest in 30 years, and international financial markets took a downturn, as the implications hit home.
The Caribbean is not immune from the potential fallout, and economists and politicians alike are assessing the situation. The majority of CARICOM member states were former colonies of Britain, which was a key ally of the region within the EU.
PUP Says the UDP is Fostering a Perfect Economic Storm
Jul 1, 2016 Apart from claiming that the half-a billion dollar payout for B.T.L. is a deal and a victory, the Prime Minister has gone on record to say that they will not have a difficulty making the first payment of two hundred million dollars. According to Briceño, the P.M. may not have a difficulty making that payment, but Belizean taxpayers certainly will. John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader “We’re going to show exactly how the government has been raiding the Central Bank – just having the Central Bank just printing money so that the government can be paying their bills. Our debt is going to go up, our cost – because we have to pay interest, is going to go up. The liquidity in the system is going to be sucked out because the government is taking that liquidity out of the system, so that when the time comes for the economy to try to rebound they are going to find themselves in trouble because there’s going to be no liquidity in the banks, and that then could have an even worse effect for us in the years to come. Our foreign currency reserves are being drained. As we know, sugar is in trouble, citrus, bananas, shrimp…all of those – the Statistical Institute of Belize pointed out yesterday that our economy shrank by 2% in the first quarter.
U.S. Embassy celebrated U.S. Independence Day, 2min. Last night the U.S. Embassy celebrated U.S. Independence Day (a little early) at Old Belize. Checkout the Ambassador and party goers showing everyone their moves on the dance floor!
PACT: Transition and Transformation, 5min. The Protected Areas Conservation Trust is celebrating 20 years, and they have a wonderful video out explaining what they do around the Jewel. Thanks, PACT, and here's to another 20 years of outstanding accomplishments!
"The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) is the national, non-profit partner in the funding, management and sustainable development of Belize's National Protected Areas System (NPAS). Since 1996 the Trust has invested USD $15.5 million dollars in projects that support conservation and promote environmentally sound management. PACT: Twenty Years of Investing in People and Protected Areas!"
Dolphin Encounter with Belize Pro Dive Center, 1min.
Sunrise Sunset, 1min. My first venture into timelapse video. Taken off of the roof of our condo in San Pedro Belize.
Belize Trip 2016, 4min.
Belize Interviews, 3min.
Sea Change - Episode One, 13min. December 31st, 2015, we set sail from a Fort Lauderdale Florida. Three filmmakers and a cat-sized dog on a 44-foot sloop taking our first definitive step toward circumnavigating the world. We're excited to share Episode One, where we prepare our boat, Cool Change, for departure and begin our journey south. It took us 11 days to sail to our first destination, Belize, where we discover the beauty of the Western Caribbean. Watch as we navigate shallow waters, observe the Red Footed Boobies in nesting season, meet a local fisherman and scuba dive the Great Blue Hole!
Belize - June 2016, 10min. Belize vacation June 18-June 25, 2016
San Ignacio Resort,
Teddy Bear's Shuttle Service,
David's Adventure Tours,
Barton Creek Cave,
Belizean Shores Resort,
Tuff E Nuff Tours,
Hol Chan Marine Reserve,
Shark Ray Alley.
Harry Shaw singing live in Belize. IN 2005, 22min. A GREAT BALLAD SINGER OF BELIZE WITH A MEDLEY OF SONGS AT THE LORD RAYBURN JAZZ FESTIVAL IN BELIZE 2005.
Mountain Pine Ridge Belize - DJI Phantom 3 Footage, 4min.
Belize Family Vacation and Tara and Christian's Wedding., 34min.
Ambergris Caye, Belize - June 2016, 4min. Ambergris Caye, Belize - June 21-June 25, 2016.
Belizean Shores Resort,
Tuff E Nuff Tours,
Ho Chan Marine Reserve,
Shark Ray Alley,
Isabel:Belize 2004, 26min. Isabel's trip to Belize with Grandma & Grandpa.
Belize July 4 dive 2, 18min.
2016 Belize Sailing, 10min.
Belize. Corozal & San Pedro, 17min.
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