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#515819 - 07/07/16 05:28 AM Today's Belize News: July 7, 2016
Marty Offline

The news will be a bit brief for the next week or so due to time constraints


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

EKG machine arrives to San Pedro
As for the delay in the machine’s arrival, Westby clarified that Customs were not involved in the situation, and apologized to Belize Customs and Excise Department. “It was not Customs fault. Many people were involved in the process, and there was a lot of miscommunication. The equipment was shipped to Miami [Florida, USA], and the supplier assumed that the MOH was going to send it. I am only in charge of the technical specifications, and not of the shipping, but it was miscommunication with the shipping company. Once we figured out where it was, we shipped it to Belize,” clarified Westby. Dr. Larrinaga expressed her relief upon receiving the machine, glad to replace their version. “I feel really excited because we need this machine to perform important diagnostics. It’s much easier for the doctors to get a conclusion, and especially to avoid referring a patient to a private clinic if it’s not necessary.”

Miss San Pedro High donates backpacks to her school
Miss San Pedro High School (SPHS) 2016-2017, Faith Noel, embarked on a series of projects aimed at benefiting her school, as well as the community. One of her goals was to donate quality backpacks to fellow students who couldn’t afford it, and it was accomplished on Friday, July 1st. Noel, along with her mother Tammy Lemus and Sandy Point Real Estate Sponsor Daniel Hartin, sorted out a total of 89 backpacks. In addition to the backpacks donated to SPHS, Noel reserved 19 for the June 26th fire victims. The backpacks were handed over to Vice-Principal Conchita Flota and Counselor Alexis Guerrero, who both expressed their gratitude to Noel for being the first beauty ambassador to start such an initiative at the high school. According to Guerrero, students who are on financial aid or a scholarship will qualify for a backpack. Students will remain anonymous, and Guerrero stated that so far she has 66 students who will be receiving a backpack. Incoming freshmen were also given a questionnaire so the faculty could determine if they are in need of financial assistance.

Local Organizations and Businesses provide Funds to send over 100 Belizean Youth to Summer Camp
Green Reef, a marine conservation non-governmental organization, 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 Marine Reserve and National Institute of Culture & History (NICH). One hundred campers ages 11-17 from all over Belize 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 a rustic beauty 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 and crafts from sustainable materials.

Ernesto Caliz wins the Dia de San Pedro Karaoke Competition
Dia de San Pedro is aimed at promoting history, culture, as well as the island’s rich tradition. After a week’s worth of religious and recreational activities, Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex hosted some entertainment with the annual Dia de San Pedro Karaoke Competition on Thursday, June 30th. This year’s competition saw nine contestants, hoping to win the first place title: Sergio Aguirre, Ernesto Caliz, Cece, Wilmer Rivero, Javier Castillo, Lisette Gutierrez, Elizabeth Hobarth, Gloria Najera, and Pawa. From romantics to pop to reggae, all performers showcased their musical talents on stage, and sang their selected renditions of their favorite artists/bands. The audience played a vital role in the process as they were encouraged to root on the contestants that delivered a good performance. Among the judges were Yolanda Parham of The San Pedro Town Council, Dion Vansen of The San Pedro Sun and Javier Gutiérrez of Banyan Bay Resort. After much deliberation, the grand prize winner of $750 cash was declared as Ernesto Caliz. Javier Castillo won the second place prize of $500, and Sergio Aguirre came in third place, winning $250.

International Costa Maya Festival Presents Miss Guatemala
The sixth contestant for the Reina De La Costa Maya pageant has been announced, and she is the beautiful Miss Guatemala. Maria Jose Larrañaga Retolaza is a vivacious people-person, with a particular interest in social work. She also enjoys horseback riding, boxing, modeling, as well as traveling – especially to beautiful beaches! She is excited to represent her beautiful country at the Costa Maya festival, and looks forward to a fantastic show.

Ambergris Today

Soccer Superstar Messi’s Tax Fraud Links him to Belize
Messi and Father sentenced for tax evasion connected to Belize - Barcelona soccer player superstar Lionel Messi and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were sentenced to 21 months in jail for tax fraud that includes links to Belize. The Barcelona court had found Messi and his father guilty of using companies in Belize, Britain, Switzerland and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros of Messi's income earned from his image rights from 2007-09. The income related to Messi's image rights that was allegedly hidden includes endorsement deals with Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble and the Kuwait Food Company. Messi will appeal the charges and vowed to clear his name. He told the court during the four-day trial that wrapped up on June 4 that he trusted his father with his finances and "knew nothing" about how his wealth was managed.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

70 (really ?!?) As secret as Secret Beach--shhhh
If you are 2 busy, do a golf cart fly by, wave and shout out Happy Birthday. Please share with Gonzo's Friends that I have missed. 70 only comes once in a lifetime Thank God! clock Friday, July 15 at 5 PM, Sandy Toes Beach Bar & Grill

Framework Agreement Signed Between Belize and Guyana
Today, the nations of Belize and Guyana signed a Framework Agreement to deepen commercial, economic, technical and cultural cooperation between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. Signing on behalf of the Government of Belize, was Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington, and on behalf of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, was Vice-President Carl B. Greenidge. Areas targeted to deepen cooperation include trade, investment, tourism, energy, marine affairs, education, agriculture, sports, culture, security, youth affairs and any other area deemed to be of mutual interest by the two countries. Guyana, also involved in its own boundary dispute, has been and remains a key ally of Belize, and has always maintained strong views in support of Belize on the Guatemala-Belize territorial issue.

Heads of Government of CARICOM, representatives of Heads of Government, CARICOM Secretary-General and Chile President (centre)
At the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Tuesday 5 July, 2016

The General Public is hereby informed that with effect from Monday 4th July, 2016, applications for the following services are to be made at the respective district station: Passports Nationality Permanent Residence Note: Only 24 hrs, 48 hrs and Five (5) days services will be provided at the Immigration and Nationality Services office in Belmopan. Time frame for processing of passports: For applicants residing in the districts:- The Immigration and Nationality Services will ensure the processing and return of approved passports within a period of three (3) weeks - (15 working days) Applications accepted for passports in the Cayo district in Belmopan will be processed within a period of four (4) weeks - (20 working days) (Efforts will be made to reduce this time frame at the Belmopan Office) Through the use of the services at the district offices, we will be able to improve service delivery.

On Wednesday, June 29, 2016, the San Pedro Town Council hosted the opening ceremonies for the Día de San Pedro festivities. The opening ceremonies included a blessing by Bishop Christopher Glancy, the welcome address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, remarks by Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., keynote remarks by guest speaker, Mr. Francisco Verde and closing remarks by Councilor Hector "Tito" Alamilla. Opening night was all about the kids! After the speeches the mascots from Fiesta Mundo from Belize city gave a spectacular show for the children with their favorite characters, Caillou, Elsa, Peppa Pig, Minnie & Mickey Mouse. Following the show, Ozzy the clown was next on stage with his magic tricks! He also had some moms dancing on stage with their daughters - the fathers weren't so brave. On Thursday, June 30, 2016, the second day, the festivities continued with the annual Dia de San Pedro Karaoke Competition hosted by the Reef Radio. This year the competition included nine (9) contestants: Sergio Aguirre, Ernesto Caliz, Cece, Wilmer Rivero, Javier Castillo, Lisette Gutierrez, Elizabeth Hobarth, Gloria Najera, and Pawa. The competition consisted of two rounds were all nine participated and had the choice of one song per round.

CRFM and Japan discuss new initiative for fisheries co-management and socio-economic survey
Milton Haughton, the executive director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), met on Tuesday at the CRFM’s Secretariat in Belize City with Masaru Honda, team leader of the Japan-funded Caribbean Fisheries Co-management Project (CARIFICO) and chief advisor in the Fisheries Department in Saint Lucia. “The CRFM welcomes Mr Honda to Belize to meet with us, and we thank the government of Japan for their continued commitment and support for the sustainable development of the fisheries sector of the Caribbean region,” Haughton said. Honda, whose ties with the Caribbean go back 17 years, when he worked with a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funded regional fisheries project implemented by the Caribbean Fisheries Training and Development Institute (CFTDI) in Trinidad and Tobago, said that he has enjoyed working with the Caribbean to foster the development of co-management arrangements with fishing communities.

BEL crews continue to examine overhead power lines in San Pedro to determine cause of power interruption currently affecting the entire island
Additional crews from mainland Belize are being mobilized to arrive on island by 6:00am to locate fault and assist with restoration. BEL apologizes to customers for this power interruption being experienced since 9:17pm Wed July 6.

Power interruption 8:00am to 4:00pm, Thursday, July 7, Orange Walk
Pasture Street, Pasadita Street, Cristock Street, Santa Familia Street, Belize Road, Blue Creek Street, Sittee River Street, Boundary Road and Palmar, Chan Pine Ridge, Guinea Grass, Tower Hill, Carmelita and Santa Martha. BEL to replace distribution structures & re-conductor 2 miles of distribution lines in area.

Mount Carmel 2016 Alboradas
Alboradas will kick off today, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is having theirs this Saturday, July 9th, at 4:00am. The Benque House of Culture will have a traditional breakfast immediately after. "Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Monte Carmelo Alboradas Starting July 7- July 16th 2016 July 7th - Amy & Lindsay Jeffrey & Family July 8- Mount Carmel Primary School July 9- Benque House of Culture July 10-Lesbia G.Martinez & Family July 11-Mount Carmel High School July 12-Nahib Hernandez July 13-Aracely Castellanos July 14-BRC Printing Ltd July 15-Martha Guerra July 16-Dia del Pueblo-Benque Viejo Town Council"

BAAS 2016 Success
The 14th Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium was a huge success. Some of the best minds in the field came to present their research. The San Ignacio Resort Hotel proved once again to be the best venue for the symposium. NICH Opening Festivities pictures here. Institute of Archaeology pictures of the event here.

The U.S. Embassy sends a shoutout to these young entrepreneurs at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy
For taking charge of their future and planning for their education. If you happen to be in Caye Caulker this summer check them out!


Youth ages 14-24 hardest hit by unemployment and under-employment
The recently released results of the April 2016 labor force survey conducted by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) indicate that the national unemployment rate is down from 10.1% last April to 8% a year later. Whereas this represents measurable improvement in the rate of joblessness in the country, Belizean youth ages 14-24, and particularly young females—most of whom would like to work in the services sector—still have a much harder time landing a job. The survey results were presented by Curwen Arthurs, Statistician I, at a press conference last Wednesday. Furthermore, among the persons who do have a job, the rate of underemployment is most pronounced among Belizean youth, ages 14-24. This means that they do not work a full 35-hour week, which usually translates into lower productivity and lower earnings. The matter of youth unemployment is a major concern now, as many recent graduates will join the unemployment line with thousands of their peers in the 14-24 cohort.

US banks sever ties with Central Bank of Belize, Governor confirms
Since last April, Belize’s financial sector has been hit by the loss of correspondent banking relations (CBR), and ties with the country’s Central Bank—which pays foreign providers for goods and services for the Government of Belize—have also been severed by two foreign banks—Commerzbank and Citibank, the latter taking action only weeks ago. Last week, the IMF issued a discussion note captioned, The Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking Relationships [CBRs]: A Case for Policy Action. The report cites Belize as one of the jurisdictions where only a few CBR providers remain, and even the Central Bank faces difficulties maintaining correspondent banking relations (CBRs). The IMF report said that “…the withdrawal of CBRs has reached a critical level in some affected countries, which can have a systemic impact if unaddressed.” It also added that, “Coordinated efforts by the public and private sectors are called for to mitigate the risk of financial exclusion and the potential negative impact on financial stability.”

Remembering Clifton B. Arthurs
After learning in early May that Cliff had fallen ill in his San Pedro, Ambergris Caye home, and after a stint in hospital in Belize had to be hospitalised eventually in Phoenix, Arizona, I assumed that the fighter in him somehow would weather it all, and he would still be here today. I was wrong. On 28th June, 2016, Cliff transited to a higher plane. And, his caring and loving wife, Joanne, his friends in San Pedro and Belize City, his relatives and friends in Fountain Hills, Arizona; Houston; Wheaton, Illinois; and New York will sorely miss his great smile, infectious bonhomie and genuinely good company. Clifton B. Arthurs was a Victoria St. Northside, Belize City native. He left Belize, then British Honduras, in the 1950s for the US, lived and worked in Wheaton, Illinois, for many years, and retired to San Pedro, Belize, in the 1990s. “Mr. Cliff”, as I knew him as a child, was one of the few, if not the only Creole owner of a truly magnificent estate in Belize. He was loved and respected by most everyone in San Pedro; and because of this and his gracious mien, his sister-in-law, Mrs. Muriel Laing Arthurs, fondly rechristened him “Mayor”. At a time when a number of Diasporan Belizeans assume that Belize is either too dangerous and challenging, or too “up in the air”, to permanently return to, thanks to the Guatemalan Sword of Damocles and the general idiocy surrounding the various permutations on this issue, it is truly heartwarming when former Diasporans like Cliff return to the land of their birth and make a success of living there.

Heart of a champion – Kaina Martinez
Whenever we talk about athletics, and the various track and field events, the signature event is always the 100m. Who is the fastest? The great sprinters are always the primary showpiece at athletic meets. And that’s why we all know who is Usain Bolt – the fastest man in the world. There are many other events, and many great athletes, but the 100m champion is usually the biggest star. Occasionally, there emerges an outstandingly dominant athlete in another event, like Michael Johnson was in the 400m; but from Jesse Owens to Carl Lewis, to Asafa Powell, and Usain Bolt, we all keep our focus on the 100m. In the females, there was Florence Griffith Joyner, and for a while our own Marion Jones, before she ran into problems. Jamaican sprinters have dominated the sprints for some years, with Shelly Ann Fraser Price the big star recently. In Belize, our queen of sprinting is a young woman from Seine Bight Village in Dangriga, who burst upon the track and field scene almost a decade ago, and has been our female sprint champion ever since. Kaina Martinez is the reigning 100m champion and record holder for Central America, a record she has held for over four years, and which she broke recently at the Central American Championships in El Salvador, where she won gold in the 100m, the 4x100m relay, and silver in the 200m.

Channel 7

Gang Warfare's Wednesday Explosion: Tevin and Devin Killed In Northside/Southside Retaliations
Belize City residents in gang zones are wary of retaliations tonight after two ruthless broad daylight murders – which happened just an hour and a half apart this afternoon. The first happened at 3:00 pm on Castle Street – which is on the city's Northside near Douglas Jones Street. 20 year old Tevin "Chicha" Palmer – who is known to be gang affiliated – was inside his home when a gunman stormed in and shot him three times to the head. It was an execution reportedly in retaliation for the murder of Jeovani Gentle which happened on Saturday night. 31 year old Gentle was form a gang affiliated neighbourhood on Banak Street. Our reports say the hit is a gang-sponsored retaliation – which, invariably lead to other retaliatory attacks – which may have already started to play out. But keeping it on Palmer's story – he was notorious in the streets, and in 2014 – when he was on remand for attempted murder, his brother Gerald was murdered, supposedly to get at Tevin.

Lawless: Murder On A Busy Street At Rush Hour
And less than an hour and a half later – there was another gang related murder – this one happened on the open street in a busy area of town – and it was likely an act of immediate retaliation. The victim this time was 19 year old Devin Parham. Parham was walking home on Cemetery Road – right on forn of Habet Hardware with one of his cousins when a gun man opened fire on them from behind. His cousin escaped but Parham was shot dead. Police responded quickly and managed to arrest the suspected shooter and recover his weapon. That's a major plus, but it's a very worrying state of in-security in the city tonight. This evening we spoke to ACP Chester Williams about the tense atmosphere of the city streets where he stressed that situation is not as chaotic as we might think.

Man Killed in Head On Collision With Bus
A man was killed in a collision near Independence village. 48 year old Jose Majano was heading to Bella Vista last night after 7:00 when he slammed head on into a James Express bus. The bus took a hefty hit and Majano's Wingle is barely recognizable. Today we traveled to Independence to find out what caused this fatal accident. Jose Majano was well loved and respected in Independence Village. Although he was a full time electrician, he had another job, one which he loved, and that was to mentor the youth in the village and to always be available to lend a helping hand. Gloria Munoz - Sister: "My brother was very loving you know caring about everyone, every nephew, every niece and neighbours and co-workers." And last night, after work, in that same spirit of kindness and selflessness, Majano was giving his co-worker, 21 year old Kevin Zuniga a ride to his home in Bella Vista. But he never made it to the village because he collided head on with a James Express Bus on the Savannah Road. The 7:30 James express was heading to PG and was to stop at the terminal about 6 minutes away but that is when Majano, coming in the opposite direction slammed into the bus while overtaking a horse and carriage.

Another Fatal Bus Collision
And the fatal accident Majano's sister referred to happened on Saturday morning on the Southern Highway. It also involved a passenger bus. 18 year old Bella Vista resident Carlos Duarte was speeding to Independence Village in a van he stole from his boss when he hit a stretch of road known as "Nuts Curve." That is when he rammed head on into a D&C Bus. Today the police told us more about this collision. OC Sherlet Ramclam - Independence: "About 5:40 AM in the morning the police received a call of a fatal road traffic accident on the Southern Highway in an area we call Luck's Curve and the police went out there and there they found out one Carlos Duarte of Bella Vista Village was driving a minivan, blue in colour heading towards Independence. Approaching the curve he crashed into a passenger bus owned by D & C bus service which does run from Bella Vista to Placencia and at the time he was coming in speed on the wrong side of the road right into the driver. There's no way on a curve a driver could avoid an accident like that."

UDP's Fonso Won Obeah Trial
After almost 2 months of deliberation, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin handed down his decision this afternoon in the libel lawsuit brought by PUP's Myrtle Palacio against the UDP's Alfonso Noble. And, the judge has ruled that Alfonso Noble and the Guardian did NOT disparage her character with his article entitled "PUP Secretary General Endorses the Use of Witchcraft in Politics". Palacio made the entire trial about the Garifuna Culture. She and her attorney Said Musa tried to convince the judge that Noble and the Guardian Newspaper disrespected her and her culture when they printed the article. In response, Noble and his attorney defended against the claim that she wrongly interpreted the article, and that he did not commit a libel since he was making fair comments as a reporter. Well, this evening, the judge agreed and dismissed the case, ruling that Palacio must pay $5,000 as court costs for this case she brought. This afternoon, when we spoke with him, Noble was said he was pretty confident that he would win:

Fonso Fights For Fifteen Year Old's Picture As Acceptable
But while Noble escaped that libel case unscathed, it appears that he may have made an editorial mis-step. 2 weeks ago, he published the name and photograph of the 15 year-old shooter who shot Police Corporal Alrick Arnold while he was trying to excape a failed execution attempt in front of the Queen Street Police Station. As you will remember, we also had the name a photograph of that shooter, but we did not reveal it because of our policy not to reveal the identity of defendants who are minors. Well, Noble and the Guardian did, and apparently he did not know that there is a law which makes it an offence to do so. This evening, he tried to convince our Amandala Colleague, Rowland Parks, that there is no such law: Reporter: "To the best of my knowledge that is a violation of the Juvenile act." Alfonso Noble - Defendant, Editor Guardian Newspaper: "No Perks you have it wrong there is absolutely nothing in the law that says you can't publish a minor's picture. This is a gentleman's agreement or an agreement between the media houses and the NCFC and those childrens..."

#515820 - 07/07/16 05:28 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 7, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Fatback Stabbed In Back
50 year old Eugene Webster – well known as Fatback – is recovering at the KHMH tonight after his stepson stabbed him. It happened this morning around 3:45 at his Los Lagos home. Police told us more today:… ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "Where police visited the home of Eugene Webster and found him lying on the floor with multiple stab wounds. The ambulance service was summoned and they came and took Mr. Webster to the KHMH where he was treated and undergone operation and now he is listed in a stable condition. Investigation reveals that he was stabbed by his step son; we are currently looking for his step son. The scene was processed and we observed that there were 4 knives used in the stabbing. Mr. Webster was talking I must mention at the time the police arrived and explained to the police officers that it was his step son that caused the wounds to him."

Rural Cops Vs. MIT?
Ladyville police should be able to solve that crime easily enough, but they're having a hard time putting the pieces together in a vehicle shooting that happened between Sandhill and Gardenia. Reports say that the Mobile Interdiction Team – which floats between all police zones – set up a checkpoint some time over the weekend in Belize rural. At some point a private vehicle was shot – but Ladyville police simply ended up with the vehicle, no report and no explanation. Today OC Broaster said it has been reported to the Commissioner because something's amiss:…. ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "We have not gotten any report from the individuals involved in this case as it pertains to that particular incident." Jules Vasquez: "So Professional Standards Branch then suggests it's an internal something?" ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "Because of the fact that we've found out that incident may have took place. We reported that matter upward. I will not say we are having a productive engagement with MIT. I believe that some procedures were not adhere to as it pertains to that incident." The vehicle was reportedly found with a small amount of hashish but not much else.

PUP's Eamon Courtenay Goes On The Offensive Against BTL Settlement
Ever since Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced the full details of the final BTL settlement with the Ashcroft Alliance, the Opposition has been criticizing it as a very poor deal. You've already heard from Opposition Leader John Briceno, and PUP Area Rep. Kareem Musa, and today, the party dispatched senior counsel Eamon Courtenay who was a guest on the KREM Wake Up Belize morning talkshow. For almost the entire 7 years that this dispute has been dragging on in court, Courtenay been one of the lead attorneys representing the Ashcroft Alliance. Today, we spoke to him after the talk show about his issues concerning the BTL settlement. Here's what he had to say: Sen. Eamon Courtney - Attorney: "I believe that the settlement was not in the interest of Belize; I think it took too long. All the things that the Ashcroft Group of Companies were asking for they got and I cannot understand why it is after millions upon millions of dollars have been spent in legal fees and millions of dollars in interest have been accrued that we just go to Miami and concede everything on the BCB loan concede virtually everything on the shares and agree to pay it all within a year. I think it's a complete concession by the government and I think the people of Belize want an explanation at the exorbitant 550 million dollars that has to be paid."

BTL Could Benefit From Smart's CCJ Case
So, while that brings some kind of end to the current round of BTL litigation, we also asked him about ongoing case over the other telecoms provider, Speednet. As we've shown you, Smart took the Public Utlities Commission all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court in the land. They continue to dispute the 792 thousand dollar-fee that the PUC says that they should pay for a number of frequencies which they used to conduct their business such as phone calls, text messaging, and data. The case is now awaiting a judgment from the CCJ since Courtenay, who represented Speednet, and Fred Lumor, who represented the PUC, have already argued the case to completion. But, we've since learned a few interesting facts. Firstly, Speednet has not paid these licensing fees for the past 5 years, and so they owe the utilities regulator a total of 3.96 million dollars. Secondly, BTL, which has a larger customer base and a bigger communications infrastructure, has reportedly also not been paying these fees. So they could well owe a few million more than Speednet, since the PUC hasn't collected from them in that 5 year period due to this challenge brought by Speednet. Courtenay explained it in detail to us today:

Cops Removed Youths From Crime Scene
Earlier we told you about shooting death of Devin Parham –which occurred just 1 hour and a half after the murder of Tevin Palmer. Now one thing that played out as police were cleaning up the scene on Cemetery Road was the arrest of two young men who had arrived to observe the crime scene. Today we asked the South Side Commander about that uncharacteristic detention. According to ACP Williams, this is also a part of their south side intervention strategy. Emanuel Pech: "Sir just before police finished clearing out the scene, the one in Southside a couple of young men were taken into custody by police. Might this be another form of intervention method to secure these youth that are associated with the victim to prevent anything from escalating?" ACP Chester Williams - O. C. Eastern Rural North: "Yes and I have said that we have two types of interventions, we have voluntary interventions and we have interventions where we actually pick up the young men and we intervene. Yes we will have an intervention which will not be voluntary, I have directed that they be picked up and they be brought here."

Cops Need Public Cooperation To Solve Murders
And while still on the topic of these two daylight murders in the city, ACP Williams also commented on the persistent problem they have been having in South Side Belize City with witnesses who don't want to come forward. As we told you earlier police have suspects in custody for those two back to back daylight murders. But can police successfully arrest, charge and prosecute them? ACP Chester Williams - O. C. Eastern Rural North: "Like I said before to every murder that took place we know who the killers are but knowing who the killers are we can't go to the court and say my lord we know the killer is so and so and you must convict him. We must have the element from the society those persons who have witnessed these crimes who must go to court and become witness and give evidence so that the court can judge the person. The court cannot go by what we have heard on the streets, they must have witness before them testify in court that testimony will be challenged by way of cross examination and based on that the court will make a determination. So in the absence of the witnesses to be able to come forward and give statement to the police, the police cannot arrest."

2 Years & No Progress In Ramon Sr's Murder Investigation
Tomorrow, July 7, makes exactly 2 years since Ramon Cervantes Sr., the patriarch of the Cervantes Family in Orange Walk, was found murdered in the Orange Walk District. His body was found dumped in a secluded area on the Honeycamp Road. Well, the family is frustrated that the investigation has all but stalled. Information reached them that the police officer, who's handcuffs were suspiciously found restraining Ramon Sr.'s body., has reportedly gone back to work. As you would remember, that police officer faced only disciplinary charges, when the family wanted to have him investigated as part of the crime. That inflamed the family, and today, PUP Standard Bearer Ramon "Monchi" Cervantes, son of the the murder victim, granted an interview to our colleagues at CTV3 News. Here's what he had to say about the reports that this officer has apparently completed his disciplinary punishment and been transferred out to Belmopan:

CODICADER Athletes Arrive In Belize
Delegations that will be participating in tomorrow's CODICADER games began arriving in Belize yesterday. Today we met up with the contingents of Honduras and Nicaragua as they set foot in the country- some of them for the very first time. We spoke to a few of the athletes, who were excited for the first ever CODICADER Belize tournament. Guatemala is the only country that will not have representation at this year's CODICADER games – and, unofficially, we understand that's a boycott. Now as the organizers begin to set the stage for tomorrow's grand opening, the burning question on everyone's mind is this: will the Sports Council be able to pull it off? After all, when we spoke to Sports Council Director Ritchel Dominguez yesterday, he told us that they were short of as much as $300 thousand dollars for their targeted budget.

Belize's Ahmadiyya Muslims Condemn Radical Islamist Terror Attacks
Today one of the Muslim communities in Belize City, Ahmadiyya, invited us to their headquarters as they celebrated the end of their 30 day fasting period. An event they call Eid-ul Fitr. After a brief prayer, they celebrated with a big feast, something many of these in the Muslim community look forward to, after 30 days of neither eating nor drinking during daylight hours. So while the Muslims celebrated this Holy day with a feast, this celebration comes at a troubled time for followers of Islam. Just this week members of the so called ISIS group coordinated attacks in Istanbul, Baghdad and the Prohpet’s Mosque in Medina. The president of the Ahmadiyya community in Belize spoke to us about the growing political stigma against Muslims around the word.

Channel 5

Late Afternoon Bloodbath Leaves 2 Belize City Men Dead
The police department, in separate jurisdictions, is working overtime tonight to quell the late afternoon violence that has erupted on the north and south sides of Belize City.  The first [...]

Another RTA Near Mango Creek Claims Life of Well-known Electrician
There was yet another fatal road traffic accident in southern Belize. On Tuesday night, a well-known electrician and father of two from Independence Village lost his life after the pickup [...]

Carlos Duarte Dies in Weekend Accident at Nuts Curve
There was a second fatal road traffic accident under the jurisdiction of the Intermediate Southern Formation of the Police Department. It occurred on Saturday morning and also involved a passenger [...]

More Accidents in Independence: Police Look at Interventions
That’s a total of three fatal accidents in southern Belize since the weekend, two in the Independence area alone. But Inspector Ramclam says that there have been many other traffic [...]

Eamon Courtenay Chides G.O.B. Over B.T.L. Settlement
On July twelfth, ten working days after the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration was handed down, G.O.B. will need to make a payment of about one hundred and [...]

Why Didn’t Government Challenge Validity of Accommodation Agreement?
The Prime Minister has vilified the Accommodation Agreement signed between B.T.L. and the P.U.P. administration of 2005. In fact, it’s been a main platform of every government campaign since 2008. [...]

Courtenay Says Trust is for Non-government Organizations, Not G.O.B.
At his press conference last week, Prime Minister Barrow claimed sweet victory and vindication on one particular point of the settlement – a claim that G.O.B. will have total access [...]

Should Eamon Courtenay be Criticized for Defending the Ashcroft Group?
So with all that said, can Courtenay himself be criticized for coming out so strongly against the settlement when he was one of the lead attorneys in the protracted litigation? [...]

S.S.B. C.E.O. Comes Under Fire from Within; Contract Won’t be Renewed
There is trouble brewing at the Social Security Board tonight, at the highest levels. First, there’s a memo indicating that C.E.O. Richard Flowers has opted to not renew his contract [...]

Chester Sets the Record Straight on Police and Media Relations
Is there a falling-out between the media and the Belize Police Department?  On Monday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, during a routine press brief, was openly critical of our [...]

Fatback is Stabbed by His Stepson in Los Lagos
Los Lagos resident Eugene “Fatback” Webster is currently at the K.H.M.H., listed in stable condition after he was stabbed to the neck, back and arm by his twenty-one-year-old stepson. It [...]

MIT Officers Accused of Opening Fire on Fleeing Vehicle, No Report Filed
There is also a curious case in the Rural Eastern Division’s jurisdiction, and it allegedly involves the elite Mobile Interdiction Team. What we do know is that there is a [...]

Did MIT Personnel Extort Chinese Businesspeople?
There’s another incident allegedly involving the MIT, and again, there is practically no official information. What we have heard, unofficially, is that in the past few days the MIT was [...]

Smart Awaits CCJ Decision on B.T.L. Case
Eamon Courtenay is also the attorney for Smart, currently waiting for a judgment in a case against the Public Utilities Commission at the Caribbean Court of Justice. It involves the [...]

Emergency Medical Technicians Participate in Refresher Courses
Emergency Medical Technicians from across various occupations are completing a refresher course this week.  The review program is put together by the Belize Emergency Response Team.  According to National Coordinator [...]

BERT Provides Training Opportunity for EMTs
Walter Santos, an EMT employed at Belize Natural Energy Limited, is among the group of technicians.  The update, he says, is necessary since his line of work in the oil [...]

Police Department Awards Outstanding Belize City Cops
The outstanding men and women of the Belize Police Department from various precincts across Belize City were awarded today for exceptional work in community policing and other aspects of law [...]

Young Athletes Arrive for CODICADER Games
Today, delegations from several Central American countries arrived in Belize to join their colleagues who will be participating in the CODICADER Primary School championships over the next week. It’s been [...]


Two Mid-Afternoon Murders Leave 19 and 20 Year Old Dead
The gang warfare in Belize City has claimed two lives in one afternoon. The first incident occurred sometime after two o clock this afternoon where twenty year old Tevin Palmer was executed inside a friend’s house on Castle Street. A witness spoke to Love News and told us at the time of the incident, she […]

Courtenay Speaks on BTL Arbitration as a PUP Senator and Not Ashcroft’s Attorney
Today marks one week since the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow called a press conference to present the figures of the BTL Arbitration Award. With a total of over half billion dollars having to be paid out as a result of an out of court settlement that the Prime Minister agreed to with Lord Michael Ashcroft, […]

Accommodation Agreement Should Have Been Challenged, Says Senator Courtenay
It has been almost eleven years now since the famous Accommodation Agreement was signed in September 2005. Yet, the 31-page document remains alive as the debt it has brought to the country is an unprecedented half billion dollars. Prime Minister, Dean Barrow has laid the blame squarely on the Said Musa administration of 1998 to […]

PM Settled with Ashcroft Instead of Waiting for the CCJ to Rule
As you may or may not know, Prime Minister Dean Barrow did not wait for the final ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice when it comes to the Belize Telemedia Arbitration Award matter. He resorted to meeting with Lord Michael Ashcroft overseas and they both came to a settlement. But had the Government waited […]

Electrician Succumbs in Road Traffic Incident
A road traffic accident sometime around seven o’clock last night has left one man dead and three other persons injured. The incident occurred on the Savannah Road on the Southern Highway, between miles 39 and 40. Independence Police reports that upon arrival at the scene, they saw a horse and carriage on the right hand […]

Belize Hosts CODICADER Games for the First Time
This morning delegations from Nicaragua and Honduras arrived in Belize for the Central American Council of Sports & Recreation (CODICADER) games. The games this year is a historic moment for Belize since it is the first time the country is hosting the regional games. The team from El Salvador is also in the country as […]

Athletes Arrive in Belize for CODICADER 2016
Over a thousand team members and technical staff were to come in today for the CODICADER Games but there has been a drop in attendance. Ritchel Dominguez, Director of National Sports Council says they have not met their budget as yet. RITCHEL DOMINGUEZ “We can’t say that we are short financially right now, what we […]

Chief Justice Rules Against Myrtle Palacio, Former PUP Sec Gen
This afternoon just after two o’clock the case between Alfonso Noble, the Editor of The Guardian Newspaper and the former Secretary General for the PUP, Myrtle Palacio wrapped up in the courtroom of the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. It is a story that began unravelling back in December 2014 when Palacio made some comments on […]

Cervantes Family Wants Closure on the 2014 Murder of Their Patriarch
The murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior in Orange Walk Town came as a shock to the community, friends and relatives on July 1, 2014. The incident also brought on an unprecedented political war particularly between Ramon Cervantes Jr and Gaspar Vega. Today, the Cervantes family issued a press release with the hope that some closure […]

Belize Youths Rank High in Getting Into Trouble with the Law, Says Drug Report 2016
A 130-page report was recently released focusing on the prevalence of drug use in 13 Caribbean countries as well as other contributing factors to drug use. The subjects who filled out the questionnaires were secondary and tertiary school students from a specific area of each country. For Belize, over one thousand nine hundred young persons […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Illegal immigrants charged in recent incidents
Two immigrants living in Belize illegally have been charged in separate incidents. First, Honduran 35 year old Jesus Santos was charged for theft after he was caught red handed stealing from a parked bus in the city. Allegations made against Santos is that yesterday, July […]

Murder and Shooting in Belize City
Belize City was rocked by two shooting incidents within hours of each other this afternoon. We start on Castle Street where a man was reportedly shot dead as he slept in his home. That incident took place around 2:30 this afternoon. We are told […]

CARICOM HoG meeting winds down, Belize hands over to Dominica
As the 37th CARICOM Heads of Government meeting winds down in Georgetown, Guyana, Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow’s six-month term as chairman ended on Monday night in favour of Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit. Among the major issues being tackled are correspondent banking relationships and American […]

CODICADER Games 2016 open on July 7th
The CODICADER (The Central American Council of Sports & Recreation) Games 2016 will be hosted by Belize and will open officially on Thursday July 7th at the Marion Jones Sports Complex in Belize City. Young athletes between the ages of 6 to 12 years from […]

GOB: We won’t pay another award
The Government of Belize must find 190 million dollars to see off that massive first payment to the Ashcroft Alliance. There appears to be a dispute over whether most of the money will be paid in Belize dollars from local reserves and domestic borrowing, or […]

Teens binge drinking, smoking tobacco and marijuana in high quantities
A report from the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs which compiles a comparative analysis of drug use among high school students in 13 Caribbean countries cites high rates of binge alcohol drinking and smoking of tobacco and marijuana among Belizean youths. Almost two thousand students between […]

Messi sentenced for tax evasion connected to Belize
International football star Lionel Messi, along with his father, was sentenced by a court in Spain on Wednesday to 21 months in jail for tax fraud. The prison sentence, however, is likely to be suspended since Messi is a first time offender and the conviction is for […]

Traffic accident on the Southern Highway Claims 1 life
A traffic accident that occurred last night has claimed one life. The accident involved a pickup truck and a passenger bus and happened near Independence in the vicinity of the junction to Punta Gorda. According to information received, another person is in critical condition. We […]


San Pedro, Belize Hodgepodge: Orchids, Lingerie and An AMAZING Clean-Up
Yesterday was a GORGEOUS hot day…one to take a walk to town. I live almost 2 miles south and am WITHOUT vehicle. I’m not a biker – I’d rather NOT arrive somewhere drenched in sweat, I’m a walker…or a taxi taker ($7bzd to town) or one who will readily accept a ride from a passing golf cart. Yesterday, just a minute or two up the road, I stopped in to Grand Colony Island Villas to see if the summer orchids were out. And they were… Lots of these – they stick out on long branches from the plant and dangle in the air. Outside a friend passed and I hitched a ride to town. Passing the Roman Catholic School and the guy who sells fruit outside. This week’s specialty is kinep. On the south corner of Middle Street is a new store – lingerie and…adult items in San Pedro. And just yesterday I was wondering (with the NY bagel shop and the FIFA football field) what else? Star’s Island Fantasy. It’s a really nice shop with a wide array of items – from cotton pjs to more racy sets. Ladies who live here know that finding undies and bras is TOUGH – they have great things here.

International Sourcesizz

NOAA Outlook for Central America July 7 - 13, 2016
In the last seven days, seasonal rains continued throughout Central America, however below-average totals remained prevalent across many anomalously dry regions. The highest weekly precipitation accumulations (>300mm) were received throughout some areas along the Atlantic coastline of Nicaragua. Other regions receiving high rainfall totals include the Gulf of Honduras region, Pacific facing departments of Guatemala and throughout El Salvador. Other areas received lighter, below normal, rainfall. These include western Nicaragua, central Honduras, and the higher elevations of Guatemala. Since the end of May, seasonal dryness continues to remain entrenched across many central regions of Guatemala and Honduras. Though many of these areas have experienced a normal number of days of rain during this span, several weeks of below-average totals have led to many areas experiencing between 50 to 80 percent of their normal rainfall accumulation over the past three months.

BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of June 26th – July 2, 2016
A quiet week at the lodge giving us all time to get to know the guests even better! Alexander returned to El Pescador after being here just 2 months ago. Luckily he brought his good luck charm ( Ivy). Ivy loves the yoga class down the beach, reading by the pool and welcoming Alexander back from a hard day of tarpon fishing. Two tarpon to the hand for Alex this trip, so I would say it was a great success. Mike and Craig were also successful when it came to the silver king.

Will Fortis Inc Run Out of Steam Soon?
The stock of Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) reached all time high today, Jul, 7 and still has $74.81 target or 68.00% above today’s $44.53 share price. This indicates more upside for the $12.67B company. This technical setup was reported by Barchart.com. If the $74.81 PT is reached, the company will be worth $8.62B more. Trading stocks at an all time highs is usually a winning strategy. An all time high points to a stock which has the most positive fundamentals ever. Even thought the pullback rate is high, if correct risk management is utilized, investors can trade very well such events. The stock increased 0.68% or $0.3 on July 6, hitting $44.53. About 1.14M shares traded hands or 22.71% up from the average. Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) has risen 20.06% since November 27, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 20.13% the S&P500. Out of 8 analysts covering Fortis Incorporated (TSE:FTS), 7 rate it a “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 2 “Hold”. This means 78% are positive. Fortis Incorporated has been the topic of 13 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc.


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