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#516957 - 08/19/16 06:35 AM Today's Belize News: August 19, 2016
Marty Offline


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

Queen of Bacchanal Contestants announced
The second annual Queen of Bacchanal Pageant is fast approaching, and six lovely ladies from across the country will be vying for the grand title on Saturday, September 10th at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex. The theme for this year will be “Breaking Down All Barriers: One People, One Nation.” Held as a fundraiser for Mystic Mas Band, the pageant already has following. Hoping to win the pageant are contestants Vanessa Williams, Princess Acosta, Cristal Ruth McCullough, Felicia Gladden, Kristen Igner Fuentes and Shayna Ariola. The pageant will focus on excitement and energy with a centralized Caribbean Carnival theme, and contestants will be judged on swimsuit, talent, and carnival presentation.

Volunteers help rebuild San Mateo
Thanks to the commitment of the San Pedro Lions Club Vice-President Brittney O’Daniel, relief efforts have been geared at rebuilding homes that were completely or partially destroyed by Hurricane Earl, especially in the San Mateo area. With a goal budget of $20,000, O’Daniel is asking for monetary donations to help purchase materials such as plywood, zinc, lumber and nails needed to repair the homes. The building project is being led by co-owner of The Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant, David Jenkins, and a crew of volunteers lending their hands to help. The first phase of construction took place on Saturday, August 13th, where volunteers dedicated their time and labor to rebuilding. Although homes in San Mateo are built on top of mangroves, volunteers still managed to overcome the challenges of the stagnant water and limited electricity.

Kids 4 Clean Water Camp returns to San Mateo
The fifth annual “Kids 4 Clean Water” camp took place on Monday, August 15th and culminated on Friday, August 19th at the Faith Bible School in San Mateo. The program saw about 25-35 children a day, and served as an eye-opener to some of the issues that plague San Mateo’s water reserves. Since contaminated water has been an alarming concern for many years, the week-long adventure was aimed at teaching children about water safety, environmental conservation, and health issues. The main focus during the program has been sanitation and hygiene. Children, along with their families were also taught about coral reefs, mangroves, and wildlife, as well as the importance of protecting these areas and animals. The children enjoyed every segment of the program, in which they learned about the water cycle, benefits of proper handwashing, took a bird walk, were educated on crocodiles and mangroves conservation.

Ambergris Caye is represented in international Olympic Regatta
San Pedro sailors continue to put our island and country on the map. This time, two sailors from the island, Kevin Velasquez (14) and Caroline Sersland (12), participated in the 2016 Canadian Olympic Regatta taking place in Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in Kingston, Ontario Canada. The young athletes have been sailors for quite some time now, and have been training at the San Pedro Belize Sailing Club, which facilitated their participation in the event. Both Velasquez and Sersland were top finishers in the National Optimistic Championship Regatta in Corozal Town last year. Velasquez captured first place along with the Sailor of the Year award, while Sersland won second place. Due to their excellent showing in the 2015 sailing season, both sailors were ideal candidates for the 2016 Canadian Olympic Regatta.

Ambergris Today

Hurricane Rebuild is Underway, Donations/Volunteers Needed
This is one reason why Ambergris Today honored Brittney O’Daniel with the Person of the Year award, she has a big heart. Just concluding with her fundraising/humanitarian efforts along with the Lions Club/Food Bank for the fire victims of San Pedro, she takes on another challenge to rebuild San Mateo homes damaged by Hurricane Earl. There are 52 homes in the San Mateo neighborhood (one of the poorest on the island) that were severely damaged by Hurricane Earl; six of them are complete rebuilds. Much needed supples are needed to help families rebuild there homes; most of them don't have anywhere else to go and cannot rebuild on their own. “No need to be a master builder (or novice builder for that matter). I just need AS MANY people as possible who don't mind getting a little dirty. These people truly NEED our help! If you can't make it but have some tools we can use that would be a big help as well! Let's step up people!” posted Britney on her Facebook post.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

CALLING OUT ALL ENTREPRENEURS, ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS OWNERS This Workshop is for you!!! Through this workshop you will learn how to write an actionable targeted marketing plan, how to develop your expenses and sales budgets and how to develop your marketing communications strategy and marketing communications mix. Presented by: Mrs. Vicky Heredia. Post/Teaching Description: Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: BTEC Building, ITVET Campus, Belize City. Workshop Date: August 25th, 2016. Time: 9am to 12 noon.

Bring Jerry the Crocodile to BLES
Jerry the crocodile's owners approached BLES a few weeks ago, hoping to re-home their six-foot long Siamese Crocodile. Since seeing his bleak, barren enclosure for myself, I have been determined to turn his life around. Jerry was given as a gift to the head of a neighbouring village over four years ago. He has been sitting, day after day, in murky water, waiting for his weekly meal of a single, live catfish to be tossed into his space. After corresponding with welfare and conservation organizations, it seems like an animal in Jerry's position would be destined to be used for research, breeding, tourism, or to be transferred to a goverment holding facility where we can not guarantee an improved environment. The decision has been made to move him to Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary - BLES, where he will have an enclosure that offers everything he needs to live out the rest of his life in peace.

Seven Houses of Culture around Belize
Did you know? We have seven Houses of Culture around Belize! Use this interactive Google Map to find out more about them: 1) Click here for the map: https://goo.gl/R9KAU1 2) Click each house icon to learn about each House of Culture (PS Punta Gorda-Toledo House of Culture is in the works)

3 Generaciones en la Grafica actual de Yucatan
This free exhibit opens TONIGHT (Thursday, Aug. 18) at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City.

Belize Bird Rescue: We are still seeing the aftermath of hurricane Earl
We are still seeing the aftermath of hurricane Earl. These baby Emerald Toucanets were found by the Forest Department having been displaced by the storm, they went to the Wildlife Clinic for a couple days and then were transferred to us for rehabilitation. The first day that they were here neither of them had figured out how to fly yet, by the second day one of them had. He would fly all around their terrarium while his sibling watched in wonder, flap his wings a little and not take off like his brother, which baffled him. Within a couple of days though he was up and flying around and now they both fly with the same ability. Yesterday they had their first day outside in one of our big enclosures, joining our baby toucan who is very close to release. They came in for the night and this morning were very eager to get back outside.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a non-profit organization, saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. The primary purpose of WCS in Belize is to develop and implement science-based conservation and management programs that will conserve Belize’s ecosystems in the long term. The WCS Belize Program is seeking to recruit a suitable Conservation Science Director to lead the scientific and technical aspects of their marine program in Belize. Objective: The Conservation Science Director, will directly supervise the Technical Coordinator, and other staff as may be assigned, and manage the science and education programs conducted at the Glover’s Reef Marine Research Station. S/he will also provide input on grant proposals and reports. Status: Full-time Reports to: WCS Belize Program, Country Director.

Ocean photography workshop
Checkout the GREAT students receiving their cameras for the ocean photography workshop today! During the workshop they will learn the mechanics of the camera and photo taking techniques before testing out their new skills. Participants are being given the cameras as part of the program so that they can continue to implement the skills they learn long after the program.

Today and tomorrow the U.S. Embassy has joined forces with the famous Belize photographer Tony Rath and students from the Dangriga Gang Resistance Education Training (GREAT) to learn about photography and the impact of climate change and pollution on the ocean. As a culmination to the ocean photography workshops being conducted the U.S. Embassy, in partnership with NICH and the Garifuna Council, will organize a month long photography exhibition in November as part of the Garifuna Settlement Day celebrations. More info. and photos from the workshops to come!

Poets Corner: Challenge
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Now that the door is open Believers need to mount a challenge I invite all Muslims Especially our sistrens We have the Quran and Sunnah to defend We have women and children That needs men to honoured and defend Hence the “Bigamy law” needs to be challenged The Domestic Act has been widened To include “common law unions” After five years they have the rights Why not just make them wife? Since government will not appeal This shizz has just gotten real They opened one of the seven seals So here’s the deal

Jazzfest 2016 Opening Ceremonies
The CAYO Welcome Center was the perfect place for the opening of the Belize International Jazz Festival. 3 stages, all with wonderful music, and every different kind. Ascenthium rocked!

Certificate in School Leadership Program Ceremony
"Today August 12, 2016 marks the achievement of Sacred Heart Junior College third cohort of the Certificate in School Leadership Program (CSLP). The Coordinator of the program, Janeen Quiroz, was noted saying that this cohort excelled, as all the participants competed to be the best in mastering the principles of the program. Two who stood out from the 26 graduates were Ms. Feng-Ting Chiu and Ms. Pauline Gilharry who tied for the highest GPA. The atmosphere during the graduation ceremony was one of celebration with a touch of the spiritual, as the group gave thanks through the praise and worship songs Alive and This is the Day, lead by Mrs. Tharine Gabourel. Entertainment which brought a smile to everyone’s face was provided through the vocal talents of three of the males graduates: Mr. Magnu Sanchez, Mr. Benedicto Menjibar and Mr. Abimael Waight, who did a heartfelt rendition of Wings of Change.

Corn Husk Doll making Workshop
It is already day #3 of the Corn Husk Doll making Workshop and the participants have grasp the concept of the craft quite well. Attached are some pics of their dolls.

The Belizean-American world class sprinter and Track & Field icon, Marion Jones, who captured the hearts of thousands of Belizeans at home and abroad continues to be talked about by Belizeans as this 2016 Olympics showcase the fastest woman who is from the Caribbean, Jamaican Elaine Thompson. After becoming the fastest woman in the world and making her mark as a world class athlete, Marion Jones visited Belize in 2001 which is the country of her mother's birth to a warm homecoming Belizean audience. Belizeans from all walks of life lined the streets of Belize City to see the athletic phenom that made Belize proud and captured the hearts of government and people alike. Fifteen years later, with the likes of Kiana Martinez who was robbed of her opportunity to represent Belize in the 2016 Olympics in a controversial issue surrounding the Belize Athletic Association and the Belize Olympic Association, the memory of Marion Jones comes to many a Belizean who remembered how the dynamic world class track athlete gave Belize's athletic program a booster shot that should have produced many Belizean track stars that would have been shinning now at the world games in London, and now at these 2016 Olympics.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
The Land, Me Before You, Ratchet & Clank, Infinity. New Projectors coming soon!

Channel 7

Overtaking Truck Flips In Dangerous Accident
There was a terrible accident on the western Highway near Cisco Construction at mile four just before 1:00 this afternoon. A black extended cab Ford F - 150 double cab pickup truck was westbound when it was trying to overtake a white cargo truck. When the pickup veered into the lane of oncoming traffic, it drove into the path of an oncoming police pickup. The police driver had to run off the road to avoid a head on collision. But when the F150 finished overtaking, the driver got rattled and when he got back into his lane, he rammed into another pickup that was parked on the side of the road. That high speed impact caused the Ford pickup to violently flip - and at least one man was flung from the pickup and was seen on the road. We spoke to the passenger in the police pickup - Inspector Aaron Gamboa: Insp. Aaron Gamboa, Special Patrol Unit: "We were going towards Belize City and we saw a white truck ahead and a black 150 Ford Pickup overtook and it loses control on the side of the road and then it started to slide sideways into our Ford 150 police vehicle. When we saw that now, the driver said that he have to take one chance and go in the right hand side of the road into the savannah, otherwise it would have been a head-on collision. Definitely I wouldn't be talking to you today."

Bus Ran Into Terminal
And while that accident happened on the Highway, the commuters at the very crowded Novelo's Bus Terminal got a scare a little over an hour ago. It was due to an out-of-control Westline bus which ran through the metal barriers and crashed into one of the tiny shops inside the terminal itself. Nobody was hurt, but it made for quite a commotion when the bus lurched forward and knocked aside the metal barriers set up to protect passengers from harm. Best information to us says that the bus had only just pulled up to the barrier, and the driver was getting ready to allow passengers to disembark. He lost control of the bus when something caused it surge forward and slam into one of the stalls. Other reports suggest that the driver was not in the bus. Our news team was on the scene shortly afterwards, and we spoke to 2 of the business owners whose shops were wrecked because of the accident:

BPP Wants Omnibus Referendum
It's been almost 3 months since we last featured the Belize Progressive Party on our newscast. That's the independent party which wants to become Belize's third party, and a credible alternative to the PUDP two party system. They have adopted the ICJ referendum on the Belize Guatemala dispute as their flagship public issue, along with trying to get the Public to force the government of the day to sign on to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. And now, they've come up with a plan to try to get all that done in one fell swoop. They want to trigger a sort of "omnibus referendum" in which these 2 issues along with the questions of whether marijuana should be legalized, and whether the Government should accept the Chief Justice's amendment to the sodomy law.

PM Says No Referendum
Yesterday at this press conference, the media did ask the Prime Minister whether he would consider a referendum on the sodomy law - so that the electorate could decide the matter and not the judiciary. The Prime Minister made it clear that a referendum is not even being considered - because the judgment is self contained - and nothing more needs to be done:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "There is nothing that we contemplate as being any sort of necessary follow on from the Chief Justice's ruling. It is self-contained, it deals with Section 53, it removes the criminal stigma or possibility of sanction with respect of consensual sexual acts done in private, because another thing I hear people say 'oh, it mean now that people could go out and in public engaged in sex.' The law are still very clear that you can't do that. But there is nothing more that we consider needs to be done or ought to be done in consequence of the ruling. It does what it does and only that and as far we are concerned, it should not be taken any further."

Is the Right To Gay Sex A Human Right?
Those who lobby for a referendum say that society's right to live within the norms of mainstream Christian values must precede the lifestyle choices of a minority. But, those on the other side frame it is a human rights issue: that all Belizeans have certain inalienable rights - and no referendum can take that away. We asked the Prime Minister where he comes down on the issue - and he balked at the question:... Jules Vasquez: "Is homosexuality or the choice to live a homosexual lifestyle or a bisexual or queer lifestyle, is that in your mind a human rights issue? I ask, because the deputy prime minister recently expressed some uncertainly if that was a human right issue." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "Do I see homosexuality as human right? I'm not going to answer that sir. I am here sent by my cabinet to speak about the ruling and I was at pains to say to you that cabinet is united in so far as our determination not to appeal that ruling is concerned."

PUP Weighs In On Section 53 Judgment, Wants To Appease All Sides
And what is the PUP's position on the divisive issue? Well, we've told you about Leader John Briceno's Facebook posts which tended toward a more tolerant outlook. Today the party issued an official release, which seems to be trying to be all things to all people: urging tolerance in one breath, reverence for the churches in the other, respect for the decision in another, and the suggestion of support for a referendum in yet one more. The release opens by saying, quote, "Our nation…was founded on principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God and respect for the principle of social justice." And then it goes unto say, quote, "Enshrined in our Constitution is our "faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms." The release continues to try and have it both ways by saying, quote, "While we may believe that we the people should ultimately determine how we as a society should choose to live and be governed, we in the People's United Party respect the decision of the Supreme Court as the rule of law." And then it adds, quote, "we also respect the right of those who wish to challenge the decision of the Chief Justice in a higher court."

PM Laments Emergence Of Prickly Issue
And while oppositions is apparently contorting itself to appease all sides of the issue, the government doesn't have quite that same luxury. It duly opposed the constitutional challenge but after losing in court, Government has made it clear it won't appeal the judgment - vexing the churches, and many in the public who have expressed disgust at the Chief Justice's decision. And now, the prospect of the even more divisive gay marriage is on the horizon, which will truly test Government's mettle in the extend of its support for individual rights. Yesterday we asked the Prime Minister if he wished the LGBT community would have left well enough alone and not made the challenge:.. Jules Vasquez: "Is this a case that you would have prefer left well enough alone, in so far as people were doing what they were doing unprosecuted in the privacy of their lives and no one was being arrested or haul before the courts for having sodomy. My question then is would you have preferred that the status quo persists rather than having this case divide society as it has?"

Citrus Damages: 16.5 Million
16.5 million dollars - that's who much the citrus industry said it lost due to Hurricane Earl. All the industry stakeholders met with the Ministry of Agriculture where they totaled the loss at 569,444 boxes of oranges and 133,585 boxes of grapefruit. Growers say they need to re-fertilize groves to put back leaves that were lost due to "wind whip." And so now the industry sent a release today making it public that they are asking government for financial assistance to growers. They also want the Central Bank to make the commercial banks and lending institutions restructure loans. Back to government, they want a two year moratorium on land tax payments, duty free diesel, and faster GST reimbursements. There's no response from government yet, but we know that the equally devastated banana industry has asked for help and government's standing position is that it is strapped for cash and cannot help.

Post-Earl Relief Funding Paltry
With the losses to agriculture and infrastructure, official estimates of the damage put it at about 105 million - and that doesn't include all that money you spent on new appliances, replacement furniture, and damaged roofs. All told the cost of hurricane Earl is a staggering figure, but so far government has only received a paltry sum from multilaterals like the CDB and friendly nations like Taiwan and the European Union. How paltry? We'll let the PM break the bad news:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "If you have not gotten it yet, it certainly on the way. The CEDEMA man is coming in tomorrow. I think he is bringing $200,000 Euros, Taiwan is $200,000 Belize, the IDB has agreed to their grant of I think $200,000US, the damage assessment experts have been contracted I think they are coming in next week. That of course is for purposes of the loans that we will be trying to access via both CDB and the IDB. In terms of grant monies, I think we are just about tacked out or reached the limit of what we are going to get. So again, its CEDEMA, CDB, IDB, Taiwan. All together you'd be looking at what 1.2 million dollars."

PACT Gives To Red Cross
And while the appeal to international donors continues, locally, the disaster recovery efforts continues, especially for those who cannot find the funds to repair their homes. Sure enough, the storm left a long trail of wreckage in its wake. That is why the Belize Red Cross continues their relief efforts, helping storm victims. They got a boost today with a $40,000 donation from PACT. Today the chair of the PACT Board Colin Young told us about the significance of the donation and the Director General of the Belize Red Cross Lily Bowman detailed how the funds will be distributed. The Belize Red Cross team has assessed over 600 families and out of that, they have helped over 335 families. The Red Cross continues its relief initiatives. We note that BECOL also gave the Red Cross a substantial donation of two hundred thousand dollars.

Herman Moved On Up! (But He May Move Back Down Soon)
And while government is doing its best to roll out assistance through NEMO, as you heard, the government coffers are just about running on empty. That's why it struck a bad nerve when Belize's new Consul General to New York, the former UDP politician Herman Longsworth posted pictures of his new digs in New York. We haven't seen inside but from the view, we'd say he's moved into one of those "deluxe apartments in the sky." Yesterday the Prime Minister warned that he should enjoy it while he can:... Reporter: "I saw a picture he posted of his new office. He's been sent out already and some people feel that in these times of economic - you'd understanding, to be sending..." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "That was a decision made before the hurricane. I can tell you that we'd also thought of the opening of a consulate in Chicago. That's not going to happen. In other words what has not happened - no professional consulate will be open in Chicago. We don't have the money and in terms of New York, well as I said, they've been after us for a while to separate the consular premises from the permanent mission of Belize to the UN."

Will Other Visas For Senior Barrow admin Officials Be Cancelled
And while Consul General Longsworth doesn't have to worry about his US VISA, are other officials in the Barrow administration losing sleep about having their US visas cancelled. IT happened to the CEO of NEMO - and we asked the Prime Minister if it will or has happened to others:.. Jules Vasquez "We know that Ms. Ruth Meighan Visa was reportedly cancelled. We've heard that other senior officials in your government may be targeted. Have you received any such information?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "No. I did hear about Ms. Ruth Meighan and I believe that confirmed, because she did say to me that she would come to see me. But Earl intervene and she is the NEMO CEO and we haven't had a chance to speak yet. I in fact caused inquiries to be made of the US."

Multifarious Mexican Art
Tonight, 34 art pieces line the walls at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. The exhibit features 3 Mexican painters with distinct techniques and styles. 90 year old Mario Reyes celebrates the beauty and complexity of women in his work, 25 year old Adrain Bastarrachea experiments with abstract art and Jose Luis Rumbo produces surrealist works. Apart from highlighting their individual processes as artists, this showcase reflects an important link or sharing of ideas among men from 3 generations. We spoke to one of the artists today, Jose Rumbo and he told us more about the exhibit and invited us into his world of art. The exhibit is called "3 Generations of Graphic Art in Yucatan" . It opens at the INstitue of Mexico tonight at 8 and will remain open until September 8th.

Company In Toledo Exports Turmeric
Yellow Ginger - it's a spice much used in the East Indian communities of southern Belize - basically it's what makes curry yellow and tasty. And now one Toledo company called "Naledo" is exporting it to Canada as a paste. It's called "Truly Turmeric" - and it's described as a fresh yellow ginger paste. But it's not just for curry, the company says it can be used for cooking, smoothies, teas and as a healing paste. Turmeric is widely recognized as an anti-inflammatory and anti- oxidant. But what's novel about this product is that the company says it's a social enterprise about empowering Toledo youths, and to that end, they are training eight youths under the age of 30 to manage and create the paste. The company is founded by a Canadian mother and daughter team Umeeda and Nareena Switlo. Umeeda first came to Belize as a consultant and saw opportunities. Today, speaking via telephone from Punta Gorda, she told us more about how this business will improve the lives of Toledo youth and she also described all the great benefits of their turmeric paste.

Resorts Falling Over Each Other To Host Gold Medalist Simone Biles And Team
And just a while ago in the news you saw live coverage of Usain Bolt winning his second gold medal in the Rio Olympics. Simone Biles went home with four and now hotel and resort owners can't wait for her and her team to come to Belize. The BTB says it has been overcome by generous offers from tourism industry stakeholders who have offered to host the team while on vacation. The BTB says that when the games are done, it will begin coordinating their visit. They're asking for ideas on how we Belize can best host Simone and her team. If you would like to submit your proposal for hosting the Final Five, contact the BTB's Jana Puga at jpuga@travelbelize.org, or 227-2420. Simone's adoptive grandmother is a Belizean and she calls Belize her second home.

Channel 5

P.M. Barrow: Government Did Not Change Section 53
Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code, its interpretation, as well as the ramifications of the newly modified piece of legislation, remains a trending topic in public discourse.  Chief Justice Kenneth [...]

B.P.P.: Belize Will Not Look “Soft” on Gay Rights Issue
While members of the clergy have opined on government’s stance on appealing the Supreme Court ruling, the respective political organizations are yet to fully weigh in on the matter.  So, [...]

B.P.P. Leader Says Homosexuality is a Life Choice, Not a Human Rights Issue
During a press conference on the Section Fifty-three decision on Wednesday, PM Barrow flatly refused to answer a question concerning his personal stance on LGBT issues, claiming that it was [...]

LGBT Community Has Been Given a “Shield, Not A Sword”
In a letter written by the Roman Catholic Church to Prime Minister Barrow earlier this week, bishops Dorick Wright and Christopher Glancy highlighted the urgent need for appeal.  They alluded [...]

What Does Section 53 Law Now Criminalize?
The sexual abuse of a minor by his sixteen-year-old sibling last Friday, during which the eleven-year-old boy was sodomized by an older brother is most unfortunate.  The timeliness of the [...]

B.P.P. Says “Take It to the People!”
Take it to the people! That is the advice of the Belize Progressive Party on issues ranging from the recent decision on Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code, to legalization [...]

Would a Popular Referendum Hurt Court’s Responsibility to Protect the Law?
Rogers noted that the United States uses referenda at the city, county and state levels to glean the people’s thoughts on important social and governance issues.  But given that the [...]

Progressive Party Wants “Higher Standard” Applied in Patrick Faber Case
Police continue their investigations into how Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s Toyota Prado ended up in the Caribbean Sea near Marine Parade on Sunday night.  The Minister says it was [...]

B.P.P. Has Thumbs Down for Godwin Hulse as Police Minister
In calling once again for the Government to sign the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention, B.P.P. Political Leader Patrick Rogers declared that they are not comfortable with former comrade in the [...]

Will B.P.P. Member Be Expelled in Social Media Fight?
The Belize Progressive Party is approaching its first anniversary of formation; but as with any political party there is internal turmoil. In this case, at least one member may face [...]

2 Women Freed Of Drug Trafficking Charges
Two women accused of trafficking one hundred and forty-eight pounds of cannabis found inside a vehicle at the La Democracia police checkpoint were released after Magistrate Deborah Rogers found they [...]

Senate Discusses Appointment of Doug Singh to Elections Commission
Former U.D.P. senator Doug Singh has been named chair of the Elections and Boundaries Commission.  His appointment was made formal on Monday, despite having assumed the post since January first.  [...]

Opposition Wants Re-Registration Before Re-Districting
Attorney Michel Chebat, who was sworn in as a temporary senator on Monday, sat in for Senator Eamon Courtenay.  He shared the opposition’s perspective on Singh’s appointment.   Michel Chebat, [...]

PACT gives $40,000 for Hurricane Relief to Red Cross
Hurricane relief funds were handed over to the Belize Red Cross today by an unusual donor. The Protected Areas Conservation Trust, an environmental N.G.O., handed over a forty thousand dollars [...]

Funds Will Go to Getting Kids Ready for School
It’s yet another donation to the Belize Red Cross and essentially for Belizeans across the country who were affected by the category one hurricane. The donation will get children prepared [...]

Co-Managers of Protected Areas Also Get Assistance
As to the other sixty thousand dollars; it is being used to assist co-managers, who manage protected areas and parks on behalf of the government of Belize. The winds associated [...]

Healthy Living on Ways to “Love Your Heart”
“Love Your Heart” – That’s the theme under which the Belize Medical Associates will be hosting its annual anniversary symposium. So many of us are at risk of heart disease; [...]

#516958 - 08/19/16 06:36 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 19, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


BPP Demands Referendum In Four Matters
The Belize Progressive party this morning held a press conference to discuss the Country’s economy, governance and Security. As part of their demands the party is asking for a comprehensive referendum on four matters which they believe are of national importance. The first, taking the unfounded Guatemalan claim to the ICJ, secondly, signing unto the UN convention against corruption, decriminalizing marijuana and lastly on the people’s perspective regarding the ruling on section 53. Today the party announced that the BPP is willing to spearhead that poll but in order to do so they need approximately three hundred thousand dollars. Party treasurer, Robert ‘Bobby’ Lopez says he has been given the task of raising the money.

Prime Minister Talks About Patrick Farber's Fiasco
As we had reported on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s government issued vehicle was plunged into the sea near Marine Parade on Sunday night. During a press conference held by the DPM he confirmed that his vehicle had been stolen from the residence of his girlfriend where he had left it, but even though his story was corroborated by the police, many are not swallowing that pill but apparently the Prime Minister is. Yesterday during his press conference, the media asked him about the Minster’s account of how his 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser ended in the Caribbean Sea. Here is what he had to say. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “He had called me from the Sunday night because when I first heard about it I thought that maybe he had been in the vehicle and I was concerned about his safety. He said no and from then he told me that the vehicle had to have been stolen and now clearly a question has arisen, stolen by whom? And the police have been told to try to get to the bottom of this and as I know that’s where things are.”

BPP Leader Speaks On Masons's Case
During their press conference earlier today, the Belize Progressive party also spoke about the conduct of government officials in the recent matter of William Mason, and the Party is not happy with their behavior. Here is what Party Leader Patrick Rogers had to say about the appointment of Senator Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police. Patrick Rogers – Party Leader BPP: “Look at Pastor Llewelyn Lucas, they want to stop it right at Mason kill the man when we are BPP are convinced that somebody is more culpable than whoever beheaded that man, do you think that unelected Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police can send his policemen after elected men to investigate elected member of that Cabinet, it won’t happen so we then don’t feel comfortable with Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police because he didn’t do anything for ministry of lands and I am sure as hell that he didn’t do anything at the Immigration department where we still see our documents are free for all on the world market.”

Hurricane Relief Comes Pouring In
Today marks exactly two weeks since Hurricane Earl made land fall in Belize as a category one storm bringing with it destructive winds and flooding rains, causing financial outlays to the Jewel estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. In the wake of the disaster, relief efforts have been mobilized and include generous donations from various organizations including the EU and IDB, racking up roughly one point two million dollars in grants and related funding from international partners, which according to PM Barrow is just about the peak of what GOB will be receiving. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “We’ve gotten something from CDB or if we’ve not gotten it yet it’s certainly on the way. The CEDEMA man is coming in tomorrow and I think he’s bringing two hundred thousand Euros or about a hundred thousand U.S., something like that.”

No Tax Increments Due To Hurricane Earl
As previously mentioned initial assessments from damages caused by hurricane Earl was estimated at about 105 million dollars, which comes at a time where Belize’s economy is faced with substantial burdens from major blows like the BTL arbitration award and the second Superbond payments which is coming next year. So will this situation then translate to higher tax rates for the people of Belize? That's the question that was posed to the PM yesterday. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: "There will be no tax increases before certainly the next budget year. I'm not saying there will be tax increases then but if tax increases have to come they can't come until then. Especially it was not in my contemplation in any event but especially now with hurricane Earl. You don't respond to a disaster where lives have been shattered by increasing taxes on people."

PUP Officially Speaks Out On Section 53 Ruling
Immediately following the decision by the Supreme Court to amend section 53 of the criminal code of Belize, legalizing gay sex between consenting adults, leader of the opposition, Hon. John Briceño took to Facebook to provide his input on the ruling, proclaiming his respect for the ruling. Today an official statement was issued by the party concerning the amendment of Section 53 of the laws of Belize and in their release the PUP declares their support for Belize’s principles which respects the value of social justice and the fundamental faith and freedom of human rights, stating quote “While we may believe that we the people should ultimately determine how we as a society should choose to live and be governed, we in the People’s United Party respect the decision of the Supreme Court as the rule of law. At the same time, we also respect the right of those who wish to challenge the decision of the Chief Justice in a higher court. We firmly believe that governance ought not to be about our personal impulses or private domain, but should always be about honoring the will of the people. We remain steadfast in our belief in social justice and therefore maintain our position that there can be no room for hatred among Belizeans.”

Protocol For Sarstoon Still In Negotiations
The negotiation between Belize and Guatemala for a Sarstoon Protocol has been ongoing for several months, and the last that we heard from the discussions was that an agreement was expected to be drafted by the end of the year. During yesterday’s press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on the issue stating that the process to establish a protocol was halted by the Guatemalans who are awaiting the result of the investigation into the death of 13 year old Julio Alvarado, to return to the negotiation table. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “It does appear that matters in so far is trying to get in the formal Protocol are stalled and this is deliberate on the part of the Guatemalans, they had indicated that they wouldn’t do anything until the report comes out with respect to the death of the minor, it is my understanding that that report is going to be released fairly shortly my understanding, I would say as soon as that happens hopefully we can get the Guatemalans come back to the table and to some extend I suppose that will depend on what is contained in the report and I have no idea as to the contents but I can say with certainty that it is to be given to both governments fairly soon.”


Evangelical Association Requests GOB to Appeal S.53 Ruling
The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) is calling upon the Prime Minister of Belize to appeal the ruling of the Chief Justice on the Section 53 lawsuit. On August 10th, some three years after the close of the Caleb Orozco vs Attorney General case on the constitutionality of Belize’s...

Catholic Bishop begs GOB to appeal
Bishop Dorrick Wright of the Catholic Church also sent a letter to Prime Minster Dean Barrow dated August 15, 2016 in which he urges the Prime Minister, on behalf of the 120,000 people of the Belizean Catholic Church, to appeal the Supreme Court decision. The letter states that it is imperative to a...

PM says GOB won’t appeal S53 ruling
Well, Government has no plan to appeal the section 53 decision. That is what Prime Minister Dean Barrow, with his new Attorney General on his right and the Solicitor General who argued the case on his left, said today at a press conference called specifically to give Government’s response to the Se...

Church leaders disappointed in GOB’s response on S53 appeal
Several church leaders were in attendance at the press conference held by the Prime Minister today. After the Prime Minister made it clear that his Government has no intention of appealing the decision made on the constitutionality of the section 53 law, the church representatives gave their reactio...

Belizean Man dies in Fatal Traffic Accident in Mexico
A Belizean man was the victim of a fatal traffic accident in Mexico. 50 year old Rene August, also known as “Willie B”, a resident of Santa Elena, Cayo District died on Tuesday night in Vera Cruz, Mexico while driving down from the US to Belize. August was part of a caravan of Belizeans driving do...

Minor in sodomy case to be guarded by State
The Department of Human Services is intervening in the case of the 11 year old boy who accuses his 16 year old older brother of anally assaulting him in his sleep last Friday. While Police investigations continue, the Department, after speaking with the boy’s family, is taking charge of his ca...

Many teachers out of job due to incomplete training
In February of this year, the Ministry of Education announced that over one thousand three hundred teachers from primary and secondary institutions are expected to lose their jobs this coming school year because they did not complete education training. Back in 2008, the ministry notified teachers o...

The Guardian

GOB will not appeal changes to Section 5
Prime Minister Dean Barrow along with government’s legal advisors, the Attorney General, Vanessa Retreage and Solicitor General Nigel Hawke held a press conference in which he announced that the government will not be appealing the decision by the Chief Justice last week to amend Section 53 of the Criminal Code of Belize. As it stood the section read as follows: ‘Every Person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.’ to this the Chief Justice added: “This section shall not apply to consensual sexual acts between adults in private.” The Chief Justice declared that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, Chapter 101 contravenes sections 3,6,12 and 16 of the Belize Constitution to the extent that it applies to carnal intercourse against the order of nature between persons.

Put up $2,800 and receive $23,000 in 4 weeks - FIU says get rich schemes unsustainable
For the past few weeks the Financial Intelligence Unit has been warning Belizeans about getting involved in pyramid schemes that have apparently taken root here. The FIU says that while the schemes are not illegal they do stem in fraud. Adding to those who are warning against the schemes is Dr. Albert Williams a professor of Finance and Economics in the MBA program at Nova Southeastern University in Miami. Williams says that the way the programs are structured they are simply unsustainable. They do not follow the definitions of an investment. Williams asks “If companies can only get 5%, 10% and 20% returns on investments how can anyone get a 700% return on an investment?”

16 year old to be charged with sodomy of 11 year old brother
Police in San Ignacio are investigating a case in which an 11 year old boy was sodomized by his 16 year old brother. The matter was brought to the attention of police by another older brother who reported that the 11 year old had been sodomized. Police and social workers are investigating the matter and have since arrested the 16 year old. Reports indicate that the 11 year old was asleep when his 16 year old brother sodomized him. Tests conducted on the younger brother have confirmed that he was indeed raped. Police are now preparing charges against the 16 year old which are likely to be laid on Thursday August 18.

Attorney General sworn-in as New Senator and Minister of Natural Resources
On Monday August 15, Attorney General Hon. Vanessa Retreage was officially sworn-in as a Senator and a Minister. Ms. Retreage was first sworn-in as a Senator before the President and other members of the Senate at the National Assembly Building during the Senate Meeting. Thereafter, the new Senator took her Oath of Allegiance, as the new Minister of Natural Resources, before H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House. Hon. Vanessa Retreage’s appointments come after the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow’s announcement of a Cabinet shuffle on Monday, August 1st, 2016.

Taiwan contributes to hurricane Earl relief efforts
On Friday August 12, the Government of Belize received a check for US $100,000 from the Republic of China on Taiwan. The check was handed over at a ceremony at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize City. Handing over the check on behalf of the Taiwanese government was H.E. Ambassador Benjamin Ho. In making the presentation he expressed his delight in seeing the resilience and solidarity of the government and people of Belize in the aftermath of the storm, which made landfall on Wednesday, August 3rd, destroying homes and causing serious damage to infrastructure and the agriculture and tourism industries.

17 year old minor arraigned for murder
A teenager, 17, will be celebrating his 18th birthday behind bars on December 19, 2016 after he was remanded to the Belize Wagner’s Facility located at the Belize Central Prison for the Friday, August 12, 2016 murder of Jason Steven Young aka “Packson” who was gunned down on Dolphin Street, in Belize City in front of Belize Dry Cleaners Ltd. The 17 year old minor was whisked to the Belize Family Court on Monday August 15 where he was read a single charge of murder for the killing of well known football player, 37 year old Jason Young, aka “Packson”. Packson met his untimely death on Dolphin Street shortly before 7:00 on Friday morning, August 12, 2016.

William Mason’s wife granted Supreme Court bail
Wife of William Mason, Melissa Ferguson appeared in Supreme Court on Monday August 15 before Justice Troadio Gonzalez on a bail application. Ferguson had applied for bail on Friday August 12 but the matter was adjourned until Monday. After hearing the application, Justice Gonzalez granted Ferguson bail in the sum of $12,000 which she met. Conditions to her bail are that she must surrender all her travelling documents to the Belmopan Magistrate Court clerk and she must report to the Belmopan Police station every Friday effective Friday, August 19, 2016.

Egbert Baldwin charged for murder
Egbert Baldwin, 18, who recently began residing in the Ladyville area after moving from Libertad Village, Corozal District was remanded to the Belize Central Prison for the murder of John Michael Williams which occurred on August 2, 2016 in the Ladyville area just days prior to hurricane Earl hitting Belize. Baldwin appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was levied a single charge of murder. Due to the nature of the offense no plea was taken and Baldwin was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until December 19, 2016 when he is due to be given his disclosure and on January 14, 2017 when he is expected to see his case go to PI for murder.

Luis Carter charged for murder on San Pedro
On Tuesday, August 9 of this week, 33 year old Luis Emmanuel Carter, the man accused of shooting and injuring 30 year old Dwayne Alexander Hyde on La Isla Bonita, San Pedro saw his bail application rejected at the Supreme Court by Justice Troadio Gonzalez in light of the death of the shooting victim who succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. On Thursday August 11, almost a month after the shooting of Hyde, Carter was officially levied a single charge of murder when he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. He appeared before Magistrate, Carlon Mendoza where he was read a single charge of murder for the July 27, 2016 killing of 30 year old Dwayne Alexander Hyde, who was shot on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 on San Pedro.

Three charged for robbing popular TV Chef
On Tuesday August 16, three men appeared in Magistrate’s court following the robbery of popular TV Chef Ainsley. 31 year old Kareem Betancourt, a Tour guide with Chukka Tours; 20 year old Jermaine Wagner, a Fisherman of #173 Neal’s Pen Road and 18 year old Lemar Lamb; appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where they were jointly charged with one count of handling stolen goods. Lamb was additionally charged with robbery. In court, Lamb pleaded not guilty to robbery but guilty to burglary while his other two accomplices charged with handling stolen goods jointly with him pleaded not guilty.

Michael Modiri appealing $150,000 in damages granted to him
On Thursday August 11, attorney for Michael Modiri, Nazira Myles of Chebat & Co., filed a notice of appeal challenging the amount of damages awarded to her client. The appeal was filed before Madam Registrar, Velda Flowers in the Supreme Court. Myles appeared at the court but the respondent, Bradley Pauman, the owner of Dark Night and Daylight Adventure Tour, was a no show in court. Nonetheless the matter was filed against Pauman.

Another murder at La Pasadita in Cayo
The motionless body of a Hispanic male was found at the entrance of La Pasadita Bar on the Iguana Creek Road in Spanish Lookout, Cayo at about 3:00 am on Sunday of this past weekend. The victim was observed lying face up in a pool of blood with three apparent chop wounds and one gunshot wound to the upper part of his body. A further inquiry by San Ignacio Police has revealed that the victim, 41 year old Belizean Hever Miranda, (resident of a Duck Run Three address) had an altercation with two men. Those two men, Gladimir Bartolo Shish and Carlos Antonio Rodriquez Mendendez have since been charged with murder.

Police beating lands man at hospital
Toledo Resident Mario Makin had to be transferred from the PG Hospital, to the Dangriga Hospital, then all the way to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. He had to undergo a number of emergency life-saving surgeries after enduring a terrible beatdown, allegedly at the hands of the police from the Punta Gorda Station. The San Marcos resident was socializing with his friend near a store in the village. The allegation is that the cops were attacking another man, and when Makin and his friend came out to see what the commotion was about their ire was then directed at him. The young man managed to escape, and from there, the story gets a lot more bizarre. The family says that the cops turned their attention on Makin, and that’s when they put a beat down on him.

Mother and daughter arraigned for stabbing incident
Shirley Mejia/Smith, 40, a Domestic of #1 Pinks Alley, along with her 17 year old daughter appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday August 16 where they were jointly charged with wounding after Shantae Gabourel, a patron attending the Belize Sound Fest was stabbed during a brawl during the Belize Sound Fest. Both pleaded not guilty to the charge and since there was no objection to them being granted bail, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser offered them bail in the sum of $1,000 each plus one surety of the same amount with conditions in which they both must stay away from the virtual complainant.

Ernest Stuart pleads guilty to escape but not guilty to drug trafficking
On Wednesday August 17, 39 year old Construction Worker, Ernest Stuart, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser where he was read charges of drug trafficking and escape from lawful custody. Allegations are that on Wednesday, August 10, 2016, he was found in possession of 1.2 grams of crack cocaine which police claim they found in his left front pants pocket during a search at his yard, located at #15 Fredrick Street, Belize City. Further allegations being made against Stuartare that whilst he was being detained by PC #2026, Davis, he escaped.

Groundbreaking for new Grace Primary School building
Hon. Patrick Faber on Wednesday August 17 officially broke ground at the new Grace Primary School’s compound on Faber’s Road for the construction of a new school building. The new building will be built at a cost of $562,300.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank with counterpart funding from the Government of Belize and the Grace Primary Parent Teacher’s Association. They contributed 30 thousand dollars for landfill of the new site. The building will be a single storey reinforced concrete building measuring 121 feet long and 31feet wide. it will have four classrooms, male and female students’ bathrooms, teachers’ lavatory, administrative space, and an access ramp to accommodate students/visitors with diverse abilities. The new expanded structure will also be equipped with a verandah, reinforced aluminum louvered windows, security grilles and timber doors.

Put thine money where thine mouth is
For the past week or so ever since the court's decision on the challenge to certain parts of section 53 of the Criminal Code Chapter 101 of Laws of Belize, there has been a lot of opinions being passed around via talk shows and social media. Many of those interventions have come from Priests, Pastors, members or officials of various religious organizations and other persons who claims to be Christians. Very few of the views appear to have been well formulated. There have been some that appear to be contemptuous and may well cause the authors of those opinions to be taken before the court. Then there have been others that are just plain hate speeches. For clarity's sake let's give a little background of what we are discussing here. A Belizean, Caleb Orozco, had taken the government to court claiming that the aforementioned section 53 violated certain of his right as proscribed in the Belize Constitution.

When the pyramid crumbles
Every so often we would hear of people running scams on others by using some sort of GET RICH scheme and at this time it appears to be a PYRAMID SCHEME being called Dream Catchers that has been employed to con Belizean women out of their hard earned money. We think to do it at this time of the year was crucial for the promoters, because it is the time when the job of getting the children prepared to go back to school for the new school year, falls mostly on the shoulders of the women, many of whom are SINGLE PARENTS. The crunch to get the monies needed for those activities are sometimes overbearing on those women and they could easily be had by the lure of a get rich scheme .

Hon. Patrick Faber launches program of celebrations in San Ignacio Town
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, the Hon. Patrick Faber officially launched the September Celebrations Program for the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday night of this past weekend. Hon. Faber was joined by Earl Trapp Junior, Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns. On Saturday, the Hon. Faber was also joined by the Queens, who will be vying for the Queen of the West Crown. In his main address on Saturday night, Hon. Patrick Faber referred to the theme for this year’s September Celebrations, Sovereign and Strong—Together as One. He said that it is in our young people that the future of our Country lies.

Ernest Staine can no longer practice law in Belize
The last time we reported on attorney Ernest Staine was at the end of March of last year when the Supreme Court ordered that his assets be sold in order for him to be able to pay a client whom he had collected 230 thousand dollars for but did not pay her. We now report that Staine has lost his privilege as an attorney. In quite an unceremonious manner the General Legal Council announced last week that Ernest Staine has been removed from the Roll of Attorneys-at-Law and is therefore no longer eligible to practice law effective June 30th. In mid 2014 Staine was involved in a transaction in which a property belonging to Rita McField was sold to Forward in Faith Ministries for 250 thousand dollars. The transaction saw the church organization give Staine the money for the property which is located on Douglas Jones Street.

CYDP 5th Annual Peace Cup to commence
The Conscious Youth Development Programme 5th Annual Peace Cup is scheduled to commence on Saturday 27th August, 2016, at the MCC Grounds. According to the organisers, there is no registration fee and space is limited. The Registration forms for the 5th Annual Peace Cup can be picked up at the Conscious Youth Development Programme Office at 117 North Front Street in Belize City. The winning team will receive $5000.00 cash plus individual trophies. The second place team will receive $3000.00 plus trophies and third place will receive $2000.00 plus medals.

Vicious chopping murder in Belmopan
Two men, brothers, were chopped on Tuesday night in Belmopan. The men 24 year old Walter Alvarado and his brother 33 year old Clerito Perez had gone out to buy food when they were attacked by a group of men who savagely chopped them. As a result of the attack Clerito lost his life while Walter ended up at the hospital receiving treatment for numerous chop wounds. Walter Alvarado has told police that he and his brother had gone to buy food in the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan when 3 men confronted them. Alvarado says he had bought his food and was waiting on his brother as he had gone to buy two beers when the men started to harass him.

Belizean dies while driving through Mexico
Belizean diplomats in Mexico are working on having the body of 50 year old Belizean Rene August transported back home after he died in a traffic accident. Reports are that at around 6:45 on Tuesday evening August was travelling along the Autopista Teami Veracruz – Córdoba, when nearing kilometer 74 in the municipality of Jamapa, Veracruz he lost control of the vehicle he was driving. The vehicle, a Ford Escape with which he was towing a Jeep Patriot ran off the road killing August at the scene. Reports are that it took well over 8 hours to remove his body from the wreckage. Juan Rudon, 67 who was also travelling with August escaped unhurt.

People’s Coalition of Cayo at the ready
An important meeting of the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC was held at the Aguada Hotel and Restaurant in San Ignacio Town last Wednesday night to usher in new set of priorities for the organization. Chairing that meeting was William Butcher, who is also an avid Rotarian. According to Butcher, the PCC is in existence to help the police. In a report filed in by Superintendent of Police, Anthony Richard Rosado and who is also Officer in charge of the San Ignacio Police Formation, when compared to June 2016, other crimes decreased for the month of July 2016 by 21% and major crimes decreased by 38%. When compared to the same period last year, major crimes also decreased by 35% within an area encompassing 38 villages and the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.

Lessons learnt in Western Belize with the passing of Hurricane Earl
While Hurricane Earl has long passed and gone, there are lessons to be learnt from that experience; especially in Western Belize, where on rare occasions the area becomes susceptible to flooding. Just a few hours after the passing of Hurricane Earl, the Macal River had risen rapidly and it surprised everyone at the levels that it would reach. According to the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town, Earl Trapp Junior, “I think we have had a serious disaster here in our Municipality.” In addition to the blowing away of 12 roofs in the area, several businesses had lost thousands of dollars as a result of water damage from the Macal River as it rose past the Cayo Welcome Centre and neared to the Bismillah Store.

Chinese national ends up in jail for unpaid debts
Chinese national, David Wong, who is now a naturalized Belizean was apprehended last night at around 7:30 after he absconded from Belize and went to China. At the time he refused to pay money he owed to an accident victim after the Supreme Court made a ruling ordering him to initially pay $82,000. As a result of time passed that amount has now grown to $117,000 in lawyer fees, court costs and interest. On Wednesday August 17 Wong who was unrepresented appeared before Supreme Court Judge, Shona Griffith while the claimant, Levin Aguilar appeared with his attorney, Mark Williams as they made attempts to get the money owed to Aguillar for almost 2 years.

Victor Mason Gibbs granted bail after knocking down and killing Emily Guy
Victor Mason Gibbs the alleged drunk driver who on Saturday, July 30, 2016 caused the death of 54 year old Emily Guy appeared in magistrate’s court on Monday August 15 seeking bail. After hearing his application he was granted bail in the sum of 8 thousand dollars plus two sureties of 4 thousand dollars each. He also had to surrender all his travel documents to the Belize City Magistrate’s court and must report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday of the week and not interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses and not be arrested or charged with any other offense whilst out on bail.

Special constable accused of rape granted bail
On Friday August 12, Addison Gillett a special constable was granted bail at the Supreme Court by Justice Triadio Gonzalez in the sum of $8,000 plus one surety of the same amount or two sureties of $4,000.00. Gillett was accused of aggravated assault with a gun and rape of a minor in Belmopan. He is accused of grabbing the minor at gun point in broad daylight then taking her to a hotel where he dragged her up the stairs and then at gun point raped her.

Murder trial concludes against Curtis Lamb, judge reserves judgment
A trial by judge concluded before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Belize City Supreme Court against 22 year old Curtis Lamb, a Belize City youth who at the time of his arrest was only 17. Lamb had been accused of the August 3, 2011 murder of Justin Roaches who was shot whilst socializing on the Gwen Lizarraga High School Basketball court. Lamb’s trial began three weeks earlier and on Wednesday August 10 Judge Gonzalez heard closing arguments from sides. The crown was represented by Sheneiza Smith and the defence was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvester. After the arguments Judge Gonzalez reserved judgement to a later date. Allegations made by the crown against Lamb are that he shot and killed Roaches. Roaches was shot 3 times to the body but according to the crown’s evidence, Roaches was not the intended target.

Bail granted then denied to Kimberly Lino because she is an American Citizen
On Friday August 12, two Belizean/American sisters, Kimberly Lino and Samanti Louis, accused and charged with aggravated burglary after a woman’s house in Dangriga was invaded by 3 women and a 14 year old minor were both granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of $30,000 and stringent conditions. The women had to provide the court with copies of their passports, visas, green cards and identification should they not show up to the Dangriga Magistrate Court on their next court appearance in the matter. Before they could meet the bail, both sisters had to provide the judge with the documents for scrutiny and since their bail application was heard late Friday evening, they could not meet all the requirements as ordered by the court which forced the matter to carry on into Monday August 15.

Accused of having sex with a minor
A labourer of the Gungulung area in Belize City was remanded on Monday, August 15 after being charged with two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse for allegedly having sex with a 15 year old minor. 26 year old Kenroy Timmons, was arraigned before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read the charges. The child reported to police that on June 27, 2016, at the age of 15 years and 6 months, Timmons had sex with her. She also alleged that on a second occasion, on July 1, 2016, 5 days later, Timmons again had sex with her.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BPP calls for comprehensive referendum on social issues
Take it to the people! That is the advice of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) on issues ranging from the recent decision on Section 53 of the Criminal Code, to legalization of marijuana use, to signing the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention. In terms of […]

UNDP joins hurricane relief efforts
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is donating roofing materials and cleaning kits to Belize City residents who were severely affected by Hurricane Earl. The announcement was made late this afternoon via a press release. The materials are expected to help 125 families repair […]

Belizean Student wins Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s Children’s Essay Competition
Belizean student Janae Elisha Rodriguez has won herself first place in the junior division in the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation Children’s Essay Competition. The competition invited students from Latin America and the Caribbean to write about what they would like to see and […]

San Narciso man dies of alcohol intoxication
32-year-old Basilio Patt, a resident of San Narciso Village was found dead on Monday morning at the San Joaquin Fiesta Grounds in San Joaquin Village. Patt’s body was found around 6:00 a.m. by villagers who reported it to the police. The circumstances surrounding Patt’s […]

Corozal man drowns in the New River
Alberto Pott, 41, a resident and cane cutter of Caledonia Village in the Corozal District was found dead in the New River on Wednesday afternoon. According to Corozal police, around 12:30 p.m. someone who had gone to the river to fish saw Pott floating […]

DFC sponsors the Belize Protectors Association
The Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has contributed $5,000 to the Belize Protectors Association. The Association is a team including personnel from the Belize Police Department, the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coast Guard. In March of this year they competed, for the first time, in the B2V race, a relay of 120 miles from Baker California to Las Vegas Nevada, USA. In their debut performance against over 8, 000 other competitors, the team of 25 ranked 14th overall and took first place in the mixed category.


A Guide to Packing for Belize in the Rainy Season
It has many names – the low season, the off season, hurricane season but around here on Ambergris Caye, it’s generally called the rainy season. August, September, October, often into November, like in much of the Caribbean, the weather and the sea are warmer, the air more humid and there is always a chance of rain. It’s the tropics…even the most gorgeous sunny morning can lead to dark storm clouds rolling by at mid-day, heavy rain that blows sideways for 20 mins and then back to bright sun. You definitely have the chance for rain at night…or a shower or two during the day…or possibly a run of a couple rainy days but by no means does the “rainy season” mean that your whole vacation is a rain-out. The weather is…spontaneous. So being prepared will ensure that your trip is much more comfortable. Keep in mind that there are GREAT reasons to visit Belize during this time.

Belize Destinations: 7 Underrated Places To Visit
There’s a small army of activities to participate in when you’re in Belize, some of our other posts can give you detailed guides of the wheres and how-tos of Belize’s most premiere destinations. Today, however, we’d like to bring you a few of the less known wonders that deserve just as much attention as the likes of Big Rock Falls and Victoria Peak. Here Are 7 Underrated Belize Destinations In No Particular Order: Doyles Delight: This is Victoria Peak’s direct western counterpart and the actual highest peak in Belize scraping past the aforementioned by just 4 meters (12 feet is an entire floor level anyway). Vaca Lake: Following the construction and commissioning of the new dam, the floodgates were shut and the reservoir began to fill. Vaca lake was born and today is a long stretch of filled river which unintentionally created beautiful swimming waters and created access to newly river-bank accessible waterfalls. Cockscomb basin: The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, unlike Vaca Lake, had nothing do to with people – we simply found a pristine eco-system and realized it was worth preserving! Cockscomb basin is home to many of Belize’s wildest and must elusive species, most famously of which are our very own Panthera onca (jaguar for short).

Belize has talent: 2016 National Song Competition opens September Celebrations
If you pay attention to the list of events between August and September each year, you will agree that Belize celebrates its official national days in grand style. One very popular activity is the annual National Song Competition, which is the breakaway of the celebratory season. It was my first time at the event this year, and let me tell you, I am a proud Belizean. Hundreds of revellers gathered at the Fort George Memorial Park in Belize City and joined in the singing and dancing. On stage, dancers accompanied the energetic performers, jumping around, exalting the name of Belize, and waving the Belize flag. It was truly a Belizean experience at a truly Belizean landmark, and I’d never felt so Belizean! The patriotic event is the beginning of a journey of festivities leading to the 218th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10th and our official Independence Day on September 21st ,which under the theme ‘Sovereign and Strong, Together as One,’ will bringing Belize’s 35th independence anniversary.

International Sourcesizz

Belize blazes a trail
TINY Belize is having a moment of global fame. Simone Biles, the United States’ spring-loaded gold-medal gymnast, is also a citizen of the Caribbean state. Human-rights advocates, meanwhile, are more excited about the decision by its high court to decriminalise homosexuality. Section 53 of the criminal code, which threatens people who engage in “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” with up to ten years in prison, is unconstitutional, ruled the chief justice, Kenneth Benjamin, on August 10th. The decision may set a precedent for a conservative region. It was a long time coming. Caleb Orozco, a leader of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, a gay-rights group, waited three years for a hearing after challenging the law in 2010. His campaign provoked attacks and insults. Churches fought it, both in the courtroom as “interested parties” and through the media. Lance Lewis, president of Belize’s National Evangelical Association, called the court’s ruling “an abomination”.

Belize commended for not appealing sex act ruling
The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) supports the government of Belize’s decision not to appeal the ruling that criminalising carnal acts, to include anal sex, is unconstitutional. CVC said the Cabinet had a duty to regard and accept the court as ‘Guardian of the Constitution of Belize’, that the ruling brings Section 53 in conformity with the Constitution since the case had been exhaustively argued and the issues fully ventilated. The group also views the decision of the government not to appeal as “an important and bold step forward”. “It is especially noteworthy that Prime Minister Dean Barrow denounced violence, including hate speech, and called for Belizeans to treat each other with respect and dignity regardless of differences,” CVC said.

Belize is recovering from the Tropical Cyclone Earl
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) grants from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) for immediate relief operations 143,828 Swiss francs to support the Belize Red Cross Society (BRCS) in assisting 2,200 people (440 families) affected by Tropical Cyclone Earl. The Tropical Cyclone Earl made landfall on 4 August, with wind gusts of up to 110 km/h, as estimated by National Hurricane Center of the United States. The cyclone was moving west at about 14 miles per hour. At its centre the hurricane was estimated to have wind speeds of 70 miles per hour. Major infrastructure and building damage were reported by the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO). Roads and streets were blocked in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City, and Ladyville, Belize River Valley, Orange Walk, Belmopan and other affected areas.

Soldier volunteers with Gold Star Teen Adventures
Second Lt. Olivia Schretzman, D Company, 326th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, recently participated as a mentor with Gold Star Teen Adventures during the Advanced SCUBA Trip 2016 and Alumni Advanced Outdoor Adventure 2016 in San Pedro and Belmopan, Belize. The mission of Gold Star Teen Adventures is to enable healing, foster enduring relationships and develop character and leadership skills through adventure experiences in the surviving youth of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. Kent Solheim created the organization after being seriously wounded in Iraq in 2007. He wanted teens of fallen heroes to experience the same comradery he found in the service. Schretzman’s participation in the program has had a positive effect on the Gold Star Families, Soldheim said.

Belize sodomy ruling could have sweeping impact in Caribbean
Activists across the English-speaking Caribbean say last week’s Belize Supreme Court ruling that found the country’s sodomy law could have implications throughout the region. Donnya Piggott, director of Barbados Gays and Lesbians Against Discrimination, described the ruling to the Washington Blade as “groundbreaking and extremely promising.” Barbados is among the countries in the English-speaking Caribbean in which consensual same-sex sexual conduct remains criminalized. Piggott told the Blade that authorities earlier this year used the island’s sodomy law to charge a man who allegedly had sex with a 15-years-old. The colonial-era statute is rarely enforced, but the man could face life in prison if he is convicted. “No change comes without initial backlash,” Piggott told the Blade, referring to the impact that the Belize Supreme Court ruling could have in Barbados. “So we have to brace ourselves for a stronger right-wing opposition, but apart from that I see (sodomy laws) tumbling like dominoes in the Caribbean.”

A Belizean student has won a Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation Children’s Essay Competition for students in Latin America and the Caribbean. FCCA Monday said that first place in the junior division was Janae Elisha Rodriguez from Belize, while Jacinth Hunkins from St. Maarten took the gold in the senior division. The competition had invited students from schools around the Caribbean and Latin America to submit essays and FCCA said that in total, this year’s contest provided nearly US$20,000 to the participating students and their schools. “There is nothing more fulfilling than helping children, and I am proud of all the ways the FCCA Foundation achieves this,” said FCCA president Michele Paige.


  • When you bring Marimba and Steel Band together!, 3min. Belize International Jazz Festival

  • Fireworks at San Joaquin Fiesta!, 4min. HAPPY 50 FIESTAS SAN JOAQUIN!!!

  • BELIZE 2016, 6min.

  • Dolphin and Spotted Eagle Ray during dive off Ambergris Caye, Belize., 4.5min. During a dive on the dive site "Mermaids Lair" off Ambergris Caye in Belize, a dolphin joined us as we descended to the bottom to begin the dive. He played with the nurse sharks that were swimming around and then swam off. Later in the dive a Spotted Eagle Ray allowed me to get close enough to get some good video.

  • Johnsen Belize Trip - May 2016, 12min. Blackbird Caye Resort


  • Belize Trip, 15min.

  • Belize 2016, 4min. Trip to Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • Belize Trip (Long), 11min.

  • Climate Change Club Trip to Trio Village, Belize, 5min. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre's (CCCCC) Climate Change Club program took students from Belmopan Active Youths, Belmopan Methodist High School and Belmopan Comprehensive High School to visit an agro-forestry concession which was developed by the Trio Cacao Farmers Association, Ya'axche' Conservation Trust and the CCCCC. They learned about the organic growing of cacao, bee farming and had a home visit with a member of the village. The students, who were encouraged to interact with the other clubs took photos of their trip to be used in the creation of flyers to be used on social media to promote sustainable development and best practices.

  • Belize Zip Lining, 5min.

  • Trailer for Marion Jones: Pride of Belize, 1.5min. The trailer features an upcoming documentary on the Belizean-American world class sprinter and track & field icon Marion Jones who captured the heart of thousands of Belizeans at home and abroad. After becoming the fastest woman in the world and making her mark as a world class athlete, Marion Jones visited Belize in 2001, the country of her mother's birth to a warm homecoming Belizean audience who lined the streets of Belize City to see the athletic phenom that made Belize proud and captured the hearts of government and people alike.

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