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#517295 - 09/02/16 11:44 AM Today's Belize News: September 2, 2016
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Auditor General’s report unveils high levels of corruption involving elected officials
A special audit revealing details of multiple cases of fraud in the issuance of Belizean visas, nationality and passports has caused major controversy and even the cancellation of the sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday, August 27th in the City of Belmopan. The report names Ministers, Area Representatives and prominent politicians endorsing persons seeking to become new Belizeans. According to the report, one of the ministers involved in the said scheme, is Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr. The audit was published by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, and explained how Belize in recent years has allegedly become a hideaway for human traffickers and money launderers. The audit also includes the high profile case of imprisoned South Korean national Won Hong Kim, who received Belizean citizenship without ever being in Belize. As a result, Bradley is now calling for a police investigation into 164 missing files from October 2013 regarding nationality applications from Guatemala, Honduras, China, Britain, Nigeria, Lebanon and Taiwan.

6-a-side Interoffice Football Tournament approaching quarterfinals
The 6-a-side Interoffice Football Tournament is winding down closer to the championship round. After 11 weeks of games, teams are accelerating on the field, hoping to become Interoffice champions. As usual, fans are welcome to support their favorite teams at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex. So far, only four teams have qualified for the playoffs, and they are: Genesis, Caya Espanto, Costa Blu, and Belize Pro Divers.

U.S sanction affecting the Banana Industry in Belize
It has been almost a year since the Banana Industry in Southern Belize saw the shutting down of one of its largest banana farms – Meridian Enterprises Ltd. The farm’s main buyer for years, Irish based company Fyffes, decided to cut ties after the United States (U.S) blacklisted John Zabaneh, banana farmer and exporter whose family owns the said farm. Despite allegations that Zabaneh is not affiliated with Meridian Enterprises, the US sanction still had a wider impact on the key crop, which intern severely hurt the Belizean economy. During that same year,(2012), when Zabaneh was red flagged, the Banana Growers Association (BGA) issued a statement confirming that Zabaneh and Mayan King had resigned from the trade group, and that the farm was under new ownership not connected to Zabaneh. Following this statement, Fyffes continued buying bananas from the farm for three more years.

CONCACAF officials inspect Ambergris Stadium
The state-of-the-art design of the Ambergris Stadium will no doubt transform the professionalism of sports on the island. With the stadium in its final stage of completion, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) official Development Officer Rodrigo Kenton, along with Football Federation of Belize Technical Director Renan Cowo, led an inspection of the multi-purpose stadium on Friday, August 27th. Guiding the officials were the San Pedro Town’s Council’s Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilor in Charge of Sports Hector Alamilla, Property Tax Clerk Wilbert Magana, and Sports Coordinator Kent Bob Gabrouel. The purpose of the inspection was for the officials to examine the sporting complex, and see if they could help with further recommendations to assist development of football, not only on the island, but throughout the country. After evaluating around and inside the stadium, officials gave their feedback.

Ambergris Today

Norwegian Escape to Belize
Wednesday, August 31, 2016, marked another milestone in the tourism industry as the Norwegian Escape made its second call into Belizean waters. A customary Plaque Exchange Ceremony was held aboard the ship between the Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives, Ms. Noriko Gamero, and Captain Carl Gunnar Hammerin from Norwegian Escape. The ship’s first call to Belize was On August 17, 2016 with approximately 4,248 passengers and 1,731 crew members. The ceremony was scheduled for this date but due to weather conditions it was rescheduled. The Norwegian Escape is in the "Breakaway Plus" class of cruise ships which will include the Norwegian Escape and a second unit originally named Norwegian Bliss. The ship features many new venues and facilities not found on her smaller sister ships such as aromatic salt room, a thermal pool, sauna, steam rooms and spa treatments.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic Wildlife Clinic & Corridor Site Fundraiser
Call me crazy but here it is: I need most urgent help in fundraising for BWRC land purchase. After 13 years since moving to Belize, 5 years of working on BWRC establishment, 4 years of having opened the clinic, it's time to get serious and step up our game now. BWRC has to move out of the rented temporary facility in an old airplane hangar. We found the site for its permanent location but it requires that we raise 150.000 US$ for the purchase... a bit too much for one full-time working vet aside my other duties (and last but not least family!). We need multiple fundraisers, campaigns in different countries and all together a "little miracle" to make this happen. With YOUR help we have accomplished so much already, and we are committed to continue. Please help, donate, share and contact us on how you can help. THANK YOU, Dr. Isabelle

EXPORTBelize holds Trade Clinic in Belize City
EXPORTBelize, a unit of BELTRAIDE hosted a Trade Clinic on August 31st which aimed at sensitizing private sector on regulations, requirements, export procedures and documentations and opportunities that exist under trade agreements in order to do business in the local and international market. Our partner agencies included the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) Customs Department and the Directorate General for Foreign Trade (DGFT). Topics included: Standards (labeling, CODEX, metrology, etc), Export Procedures, Trade Agreement Opportunities and Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary Measures among many others. Some of the participants included rum producers, poultry producers, financial institutions, artisans etc. Previous trade clinics have been held in Orange Walk, Stann Creek and Cayo.

Affirmative Resolution for the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan
The Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute (CZMAI) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development is pleased to announce that the National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (“the Plan”) has received affirmative resolution in the House of Representatives and the Senate as of yesterday, August 31st 2016. This resolution meets the legal requirements for effectuation of the Plan as outlined in Section 23 (6) of the Coastal Zone Management Act, Chapter 329, Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment and the Centro Internacional de Estudios Interdisciplinarios-CIESI- in Perú, are offering scholarships under the PDSP-PAEC Program (Partial scholarships) for the course: “Grant Writing. How to Write Proposals for Fund Search”. This is an online course and will be delivered in English. The deadline for receiving the applications in Washington, D.C. will be December 2nd, 2016.

Rotaract Benque Distributes Backpacks
The Rotaract Club of Benque had another successful Fill A Backpack drive, this was their 3rd, and they distributed 25 backpacks last weekend. Thanks, Rotaract! "On Sunday, August 28th, 2016 Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo deliver 25 bags with school supplies to primary school students from San Jose Succotz and Benque Vijeo. Selection was done based on family' s financial need. "

Humphrey Fellowship
We extended the deadline for the Humphrey Fellowship to September 15th and now we are providing more information! The Embassy is hosting a Humphrey's Fellowship Q & A Session on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at the EducationUSA Reference Center at Leo Bradley Library in Belize City from 6:00 -7:00 pm. Bring along your questions and RVSP by Monday, September 5 at PonceMY@state.gov or call 610-0894.

BELIZE'S WONDER WOMEN! Ms. Jacklyn Burns
Ms. Jacklyn Burns was born on October 25th 1976 in the then new village of Hattieville, Belize. Ms. Burns spent her first decade in the Toledo district where culture, etiquette and neighborly relationships were heavy focuses. At age ten, Ms. Burns, the second of six children moved, with her family, to Belmopan where she attended the Belmopan Junior School, Belmopan Comprehensive School and UCB- Belmopan Junior College. She pursued an Associate’s degree in English and after graduating with this qualification, she became a high school teacher at the Corozal Community College. She later transferred to Belmopan Comprehensive School where she still currently teaches. Ms. Burns has taught subjects to include Caribbean History, Religious Studies, Social Studies, Life skills, Literature and English.

A brief history of medicine in Belize
Come enjoy the exhibit about medicine here in Belize: past, present and future. A Projects Abroad exhibition. Opening at The San Pedro House of Culture this Friday, Sept. 2nd at 1:00 pm.

BELIZE: THE ROAD DOWN SOUTH!
by Bilal Morris. Blocked out on a series of negative events that has engulfed the country of Belize over the last year of 2016, it was time for yours truly to make pilgrimage again to rejuvenate my soulful taste for Belize, my place of birth, and a land of beauty and spirit that has captivated many across the world to leave their own land and settle in peace and tranquility in one of the last remaining paradises on earth, the former British Honduras now called Belize. Rather than traversing the waters this time to the see Belize's awesome Caribbean Sea and onward to the spectacular Cayes, this time my family vacation found me driving across Belize's whining southern highway called the Hummingbird Highway. The journey took us across one of the most picture perfect lanscape ever seen by modern man today, Belize's southern villages and towns. They lie between some of the most green hills, mountains and valleys, and towards one of the world's most talked about travel destinations called Placencia. This was a journey that had begun to change my whole outlook again in terms of why Belize's neighbors to the west of it, has begun to lust so enviously almost to the point of claiming Belize's land in the South through one of the most unscrupulous lies ever told in colonial history. And maybe it is by the mercy of Almighty God that they have not been successful in their annexation of it, and stealing the birthright of a people that God in His Majesty has endowed upon them. Seeing this land is to remind anyone that those people called Belizeans are truly blessed.

SHOOTING INCIDENT IN CHIQUIBUL NATIONAL PARK, BELIZE
The Government of Belize (GOB) informs that on 31st August 2016, a Belize Defense Force (BDF) reconnaissance patrol came under fire within the Chiquibul National Park, approximately 259 meters east of the border. The purpose of the patrol was to follow-up on an official order to leave that was issued on 22nd August 2016, to illegal settlers within the Chiquibul National Park. It has been reported that unidentified persons within the Chiquibul initiated gunfire as the BDF patrol approached the location where the illegal settlement was discovered. The BDF patrol returned fire in self-defense and withdrew to safety. No military personnel have been reported to have sustained any injury and no indication of any casualties have been discovered.

Belmopan September Celebrations Calendar, Parade Route
Here goes Belmopan, your September Celebrations Calendar!

Happy Marcus Canul Day!!!
Day like today but in september 1,1872 our Maya Masewal(Yucatec Maya) hero Marcus Canul and his Maya warriors made their last stand against colonialism/imperialism but who is Marcus Canul? Marcus Canul was one of the better known leaders of the Icaiche Maya. The Icaiche Maya territory included part of northwestern Belize and southern Mexico close to the Rio Hondo. When the British arrived in Belize, they discovered mahogany and started to export it. They reported several attacks on the British camps from the Maya in 1788 and 1801. The Maya retreated to the jungle . At the time when the British wanted to expand their woodcutting operations they faced Maya resistance in Icaiche and in the Yalbac área of Belize. With the support of Marcus Canul and the Maya who had migrated to the San Pedro Yalbac area, the Icaiche led by Asunción Ek defeated the British troops in December 21,1866 known as the battle of San Pedro Yalbac. The British were scared, 5 soldiers dead and 16 wounded. The British sent more troops and weapons to destroy the Maya villages burning their houses and fields. The Maya rebuilt their villages. Marcus Canul and the Icaiche continued fighting. They marched into Corozal town in 1870 briefly taking over the town. The Icaiche`s last stand was in September 1,1872 when Marcus Canul and over 150 Icaiche warriors attacked Orange walk town. Marcus Canul was mortally wounded. With their charismatic leader gone there was a lull in attacks from the Icaiche but the records indicate that their resistance continued until the end of the century.

Metal Haven 2016
The 2016 Metal Haven concert will be on October 29th at 9:00pm at the Cancha Marshalleck. Verge of Umbra will be headlining this year. "With the fast approaching MetalHaven Bash 2016, it is always a pleasure presenting our flyer – No Boundaries/Sin Fronteras Concert. Quite possible our last concert, we call on all followers to take the opportunity to come out and rock the hell out of it this one night. Come out and head bang, growl & scream; let’s show how alive the metal scene is in Belize. MetalHaven Bash 2016 proudly presents for the first time a band from El Salvador - Junkie Rock'n Roll , I Live For Your Death from Guatemala, ICNOS from Mexico, Verge of Umbra and new upcoming band Hypnopompia from Belize and opening the event would be local artist BrainDead! Let the countdown begin!!"

BTL Internet Prices Slashed
Starting this September, customers can now enjoy LOWER PRICES on High Speed Internet! Customers savings of up to 43% and reduced installation fee of only $75. Upgrade your plan today!

Channel 7

Churches Cast Stones At Hon. Rocke
Last night, we told you how the PUP Senators pushed for an immigration probe by way of a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Auditor General's findings at the Immigration Department. Ultimately, the Barrow Administration outmaneuvered them. That's because when it came down to the vote, Government Senator Godwin Hulse suggested that instead of a Senate probe, a joint special select committee from both house would be better at investigating the Auditor General's reports. Church Senator Ashley Rocke - who had spoken in favour of the PUP motion - heard the Government's suggestion of a bi-cameral committee, and he withdrew his support from the PUP motion. So instead of a 6 - 6 deadlock, the final vote to end up as a 7-5 split in favor of the Government's configuration. For that vote, Rocke today came under heavy and sustained fire first form the Evangelicals and today from the Catholic Bishop, Dorick Wright, for his removal as their representative in the Senate.

Hon. Rocke Between PM And a Hard Place
As you might expect, the Prime Minister took a far more charitable view of Senator Ashley Rocke's decision. This afternoon at his three hour press conference, the PM chided the churches for rushing to judgment and urged them to consider that an equally harsh judgment could be made against the business senator Mark Lizarraga:.. Rt., Hon, Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I for one don't understand the attack on Pastor Senator Rocke. It certainly defeats me how a fellow Christian pastor or fellow Christian pastors can treat with the matter and condemn the senator in such venomous hate-filled terms. But that's a matter for you people of the cloth. With respect to the merits though Senator Rocke made clear that he was supportive of the opposition motion for there to be a hearing with respect to the audit report."

PM Meets With Chamber, Agrees To Reform Initiatives
So then that brings us to the Prime Minister's breakthrough meeting with the Chamber yesterday where he committed to sig unto the UN Convention against corruption, to reform the public accounts committee and to have a joint special select committee investigate the auditor general reports. Today at his press conference, the Prime Minister outlined all three:.. Rt., Hon, Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "The chamber is entirely cognizant of the practical organizational and resource difficulties that will arise upon Belize accession to the UN Anti-corruption convention. We have therefore agreed, the chamber and the government to set up a working group to examine all the ramifications so as to ensure that when we accede and accede we will, we are in a strong position to effectively implement the obligations that will accompany accession. That working group is to be convene very early and certainly not later than the next two weeks."

BDF Come Under Fire Again In Chiquibul While Ejecting Squatters
Belizeans are only just releasing that breath of relief after the OAS Independent Investigation exonerated the BDF in the fatal shooting of Guatemalan minor Julio Ruano. But, things at the Belize/Guatemala border are tense again tonight after the BDF came under inside the Chiquibul yesterday. It happened yesterday 259 meters east of the border in Belizean territory. The patrol was out there to follow up on an official order from the Government of Belize to eject illegal Guatemalans squatters who had settled inside the Chiquibul National Park. A late evening Government release says, quote, "... Unidentified persons within the Chiquibul initiated gunfire as the BDF patrol approached the location where the illegal settlement was discovered. The BDF patrol returned fire in self-defense and withdrew to safety. No military personnel have been reported to have sustained any injury and no indication of any casualties have been discovered." End quote.

Three Boys Tell Tales Of Taylor's Monstrous Molestation
British Belizean David Taylor, he's the accused pedophile who was charged back in December of 2012 of committing extreme acts of pornographic exploitation of 3 boys on the Placencia Peninsula. After more than 3 years awaiting trial, he hadn't made our newscast up until April of this year when he was shot in the driveway of his new house at mile 26 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. We'll he's back in the news tonight, because he's in jail, spending his first night of a 2-year prison sentence. That's after he pleaded guilty to 3 counts of indecent assault. Now, to get to that guilty plea, Taylor forced the Police prosecutor, Inspector Dennis Miles, to provide the court with overwhelming evidence against him. That included subjecting the 3 boys he was accused of abusing to relive in graphic detail the sexual abuse that he inflicted on them. The children testified in a trial before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, that he molested them, and forced them to take pictures while naked.

BERT - What Is It Worth To MOH?
If you were near the KHMH this morning around 7:25, you would have seen 4 BERT ambulances rolling into the compound of the Central Health Region. Now there weren't any mass fatalities nor were there any injured persons inside, the EMT's were just showing up to their new work place - albeit with no clear directions or management protocol. This is after a fall out between the Ministry of Health and the management of BERT. Last night you heard the Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero say that BERT was asking for way more money than the Ministry's budget could handle but BERT doesn't agree with that version at all. Today we spoke to two EMT's and they explained what their demands are and why it's not too much for the line of work they do.

PM: Passive Aggressive Takedown Of Auditor General?
So, back to today's press conference…it was all about the auditor general's reports - and the Prime Minister was there to take a "mea culpa," but he and the senior staff of the Immigration Department were also there - you could say - to kind of muddy the waters. They say that what is contained in the report is lamentable, yes, but so are the errors. Here's how he put it:... Rt., Hon, Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "The government of Belize accepts that on any reckoning that report paints a sorry picture. A picture which has legitimately very much alarmed Belizeans. This is a matter of the greatest possible regret to me and as leader of the government it is my duty to apologize to the nation for the fact that things went so wrong during the period covered by the report."

Hulse Explains Nationality For PM Brother In Law
But, PM Barrow would most certainly not concede that he was any part of that. Thought his name is brought up in two reports in the case involving his wife's brother in law, or the person that would be called his "cuncunu", Peter William Dahlstrom. The allegation in the report is that Dahlstrom - who has been married to Kim Simplis's sister for more than 20 years did not qualify for citizenship in 2012 because he did not have uninterrupted occupation in Belize for one year. And the suggestion by the PUP is that the Prime Minister who recommended him, somehow used his influence to get an irregular nationality and passport for this person. Today Immigration Minister Hulse who signed the nationality documents stepped up to explain away any suggestion of wrongdoing:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Police: "At the time when I signed this nationality certificate, it never dawn on me that this was the Prime Minister's wife brother-in-law, because I never spoke with the Prime Minister. There was no need to speak to the prime minister." "A file came to me that says Swedish national Mr. Dahlstrom qualifies for citizenship under section 11 of the nationality act. He is married to a born Belizean Sharet Simpliss since 8th October, 1994 as recorded in marriage certificate blah, blah blah..."

PM Says They Didn't Gang Up
And Minister Hulse wasn't the only Immigration official to talk; his minister of state Beverly Castillo - who now goes by Beverly Williams - also made a representation, as did the Director of Immigration, Diana Locke along with a the Immigration staffer who runs the electronic passport system. They all explained various ways in which the audit report had erred - and it was, as we told you, a three hour press conference. So….at the end of it, with so much energy spent on clarifying various errors in the report, the press wondered, was it a cleverly orchestrated takedown of the auditor general? The PM said they did not gang up on her:.. Rt., Hon, Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "There is no ganging up against the audit department. I was careful to say as was Minister Hulse that in the mean we accept that report. To accept the report though cannot mean that we are prevented from pointing out the instances in which the report went wrong. So there is no ganging up."

Senate Meeting Revisited
And yesterday in the Senate meeting - the government also didn't gang up on the auditor general, they just put it out there that they thought a senate inquiry was a waste of time.

Hon. Hulse Still Angry About Accomodation Agreement
Yesterday's senate meeting also had robust debate on the appropriations bill to allow the government to pay over 200 million dollars of compensation to the Ashcroft Alliance. That large draw down made the debate spirited:.. Hon. Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator: "We the tax payers have been burden once again with 245 million dollars that was not necessary due to egotistical and over confident negotiating and issuing of blank cheques on our behalf." Hon. Valerie Woods, PUP Senator: "It didn't need to be this messy. It could have all been avoided if back then the government just did what is seems to have taken them 7 years to realize. When you ceased somebody's property, you got to compensate them for it. So now, it's costing us far more than is needed, far more than what it's worth."

McKenzie's Murderer Still Out There , Not Enough Evidence to Charge
And switching now to crime news, Police are back at square one in George Mckenzie Jr murder case. Two men were detained but had to be released because there was not enough evidence or any witness statements directly linking them to the murder. Police say they will continue to investigate and follow leads. Now that is not something Mckenzie's mother Melissa Major wants to hear, she wants justice for her son! In fact, she has always been asking for justice for her son while he was alive, because according to one of several interviews Major has done with the media, she claims that the police targeted her son many times and treated him unfairly just because he was the son of gang figure "Junie Balls". Here is that April 2014 interview where Major tried to clear her son's name.

PM Will Meet Churches, Discuss "Range Of Options"
Government's position on the Section 53 judgment is clearly evolving. First, they said that there would be no appeal, and the judgment would stand. Then on Friday at the House Sitting, the Prime Minister indicated that he would be willing to appeal the Chief Justice's interpretation of the word "sex" in the constitution to mean "sexual orientation". And now latest reports say that Cabinet is considering an amendment to the Marriage Act to make it only between a man and a woman. Today at the Press Conference the Prime Minister only announced that he and the Attorney General would be meeting with the Churches on Monday:... Rt., Hon, Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "It is clear that opinions on a particular issue of whether government should appeal are sharply divided even among the churches. The Belize Evangelical Association, one of the interested parties to the action has indicated to me its position that there should be no appeal."

Agua Para Gardenia
Two more communities in Belize Rural North now have running water. For years these villagers have struggled to meet basic needs like bathing, cooking and cleaning. Well those days are over because a water system has been set up in these villages. BWS Chairman Alberto August told the media more about the project and the villagers expressed how life changing this project is. Maypen, Boston and Bomba will also be getting running water soon.

Senator Elena Under Scrutiny
At the top of the news, we showed you how the Roman Catholic Church and the National Evangelical Association of Belize are calling for the head of their Senator, Ashley Rocke. They say that he is not representing their interest, and it appears that all is also not well with the seat of Elena Smith, the Senator for the Unions and the Civil Society. In a letter dated July 27, a group of union members from the utility unions who are members of the National Trade Union Congress, complained that members of the head table "hijacked" the organization, violated the NTUCB's Constitution and "disrespected" the leaders who also make up the union. The trade unionists say that Smith's appointment was never brought to the General Council the NTUCB, which is responsible for making decisions such as this.

St. Martins Celebrates 50 Years
St. Martin De Porres Parish is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this month. The Roman has scheduled a week of activities and tonight that means a Photo Exhibition at the Image Factory. The Exhibition documents the history of the Parish. Parish Priest Matt Ruhl told us more: A Dinner and Dance will be held on Saturday at Old Belize and a Jubilee Mass concludes the week's activities on Sunday.

Rider Ready For The World
Today, we got a very unusual visit from a Brazilian man who has been travelling around the world on bicycle. Now, it might sound as a strange thing to do but, he told us that he kind of fell into the lifestyle while trying to quit smoking, and now, he's chasing the Guiness World Record for most kilometers on the bike. Here's his story:

Caring Like Kareem
Last weekend, the Kareem Clarke Memorial Fund, an organization set up to perform philanthropic work in memory of slain journalist Kareem Clarke held a food drive. Media workers gave of their free time on Saturday convincing normal shoppers to pick up one other item to donate to the 3rd such drive. Simply doing that for about 4 hours, the journalists raised $17 hundred dollars worth of groceries. They then handed over to grassroots philanthropist Dara Robinson. Here's how he explained how the food drive came at a very opportune time:

Channel 5

P.M. Apologizes to Belizeans Over Special Audit Reports
The Special Audit on Immigration has exposed rampant corruption within the Department of Immigration. Thirteen ministers, past and present, as well as senior officers and politically connected persons have been [...]

Barrow Nonetheless Claims Report is “Extremely Flawed”
The audit was triggered by the scandalous Won Hong Kim fiasco involving then Minister of State Elvin Penner and has unearthed the rampant sale of Belizean nationality to persons who [...]

Joint Special Committee Of National Assembly to Investigate Report
At the Senate Meeting on Wednesday, the People’s United Party proposed a motion for a senate select investigation into the immigration irregularities. This is the second time that that motion [...]

Who Will Chair Joint Special Committee? 2 Senators Excluded
The composition of the Joint Special Select Committee also came into question during this afternoon’s press conference.  Among the concerns raised is the fact that the combined task force will [...]

Churches Divided On Section 53 Appeal Ahead of Monday Meeting
Another issue of national importance which has deeply divided the people is the decision not to appeal the recent ruling on Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code. The decision from [...]

Bowing to Chamber of Commerce, P.M. Agrees to Sign U.N. Anti-Corruption Convention
As we told you earlier, there was a meeting on Wednesday morning between the Prime Minister and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Chamber called on the government [...]

Prime Minister Says Belize Must Be “Serious” with U.N.C.A.C. Obligations
A hundred and forty countries, members of the United Nations, have already signed on to the UNCAC. Barrow believes that the stringent requirements of the convention can further complicate matters [...]

Roman Catholic Church Calls for Church Senator Ashley Rocke to Resign
There is a pronounced rift in the Council of Churches tonight following a vote on Wednesday by Senator Ashley Rocke. Rocke first spoke in support of a Senate Select investigation [...]

National Evangelical Association Also Wants Senator Rocke Out
The unprecedented release from Bishop Wright was followed by one from the Executive Team of the National Evangelical Association of Belize, known as the NEAB.  The grouping says its national [...]

Pastor Louis Wade Says Resignation Would Be “Honourable Thing”
  Pastor Louis Wade, I Want My Country Back Movement “It is very clear to us that there is a process for that; but he should do the honourable thing [...]

Pastor Wade Accuses Evangelical Leader of Being Compromised
Pastor Rocke heads the Lake Independence Baptist Church and is a member of the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches, which suffered a big split around the time of the November [...]

Prime Minister Barrow Goes to Bat for Ashley Rocke
With mounting pressure for his removal, Senator Rocke issued a statement this afternoon to say that his actions at Wednesday’s Senate sitting, though unpopular, are for the greater good of [...]

BERT Workers Contemplate Future; Money Dispute Shuts Doors of Emergency Service
Who will the former employees of Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) work for, apart from the residents of the Belize District? That is the question tonight after the ambulance emergency [...]

Ministry of Health Agrees to Take On Salaries, But Will Not Fund BERT Directly
This afternoon, Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero, told us the Government has reached an accommodation with the much-needed emergency service to take on the management as well as [...]

Were B.D.F. Soldiers Fired On at Camp Valentin?
There is a report that the B.D.F. came under fire on Wednesday in the Chiquibul National Park approximately two hundred and fifty-nine meters east of the border. The shooting at [...]

Orange Walk Man Charged for Murder After One of His Victims Dies
Back in June, a minor, Kian Chuc was severely wounded in a chopping incident in Yo Creek, Orange Walk District. Within four days of the incident, on July twenty-eighth, he [...]

Mentally Challenged Woman Suffers Hideous Rape
Rape in itself is repugnant act, but sexual violence against a person living with a mental disability is hideous. Tonight, there is one such allegation from a family in the [...]

Prime Minister Compares Treatment of Ministers Vega and Saldivar
Former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega has kept quite a low profile since being stripped of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the second largest portfolio in government, and losing the [...]

Attorney General Promises J.P.’s in Audit Report Will Face Justice
One more report on the special audit…at least for tonight…Attorney General Senator Vanessa Retreage did not support the need for a Senate inquiry into the Audit Reports on Nationality, Passports [...]

Healthy Living Looks at the Benefits of Family Fitness
It is no secret. Belize – like many other countries across the world – has a problem with obesity.  According to the country’s health statistics, two out of every three [...]

CTV3

Prime Minister Dean Barrow Swings Into Damage Control Goes On The Offensive On The Auditor's General Report
Facing a political firestorm over the past weeks over the scandalous findings contained in the Auditor General’s special audit report into issuances of visa, passport and nationality during the period January 2012 and September 2013, Prime Minister Dean Barrow went into damage control mode today. Flanked by his favourite non-elected Minister Godwin Hulse, State Minister Beverly Williams and Director of Immigration, Diana Locke, the PM addressed the topics that have called into question his administration’s ability to deal with increasing corruption. Rt. Honourable Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: “The Government of Belize accepts that on any reckoning that report paints a sorry picture, the picture which has legitimately very much alarmed Belizeans. This is a matter of the greatest possible regret to me and as Leader of the Government it is my duty to apologize to the nation for the fact that things went so wrong during the period covered by the report.”

Catholic And Evangelical Churches Calls On Senator Rock Resignation
Last night we told you about the proposal made by the opposition to vote in favour of launching a Senate investigation into the irregularities and wrongdoings as it relates to the Auditor General’s Special Audit report. We also told you about Church Senator, Pastor Ashley Rocke’s shocking and unpredicted decision to vote against the motion after it had seemed as if though he was in favour of the opposition during the time of the debate. His decision has without a doubt enraged and infuriated pastors from the different churches countrywide. Shortly after the Senate meeting concluded yesterday evening, Pastor Louis Wade expressed his discontentment with the matter in a release which stated that instead of voting for truth, transparency and accountability, Rocke made the choice of siding with the government where the level of corruption is clearly visible.

Senator Rock Defends His Position
And today the man in the hot seat defended himself via a public statement. In the release Senator Ashley Rocke declared that he did not go against the churches but rather ‘sided’ with the country as he is of the belief that his decision is for the betterment of Belize in a whole. Rocke states that in the Senate yesterday the leader of Government business, Hon. Godwin Hulse presented a more convincing motion than that of the member from the opposition, hence the reason why he sided with Government at the end of the debate as he believes that the counter proposal made way for a more integrated tactic to launch the much requested investigation at the Immigration Department.

Man Accused Of Raping Mentally Ill Woman
One man is behind bars tonight after he was accused by a 54-year-old mentally ill woman of sexually assaulting her. According to reports, the 54 year old woman accompanied by her mother visited the Orange Walk police station yesterday and reported that while inside her home located in the village of San Lazaro, on yesterdays’ date at around 7:30 in the morning, a male individual known to her as a resident of the village entered her home and had sexual intercourse with her against her will. The victim’s mother reported to police that her daughter is mentally sick and is currently being assessed at the Northern Regional Hospital.

BCCI Stands With Senator Lizarraga
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) issued a release late this evening following Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s press conference to discuss the Auditor General’s special report on immigration, tendering support to their business senator who voted in accordance with the motion for a senate Inquiry into the immigration audit. According to their release, the chamber dismisses the suggestion made in today’s press conference that Senator Mark Lizarraga was guilty of misconduct, and stands behind their Senator. The BCCI also adds that it had attended a meeting with PM Barrow to discuss the United Nations Convention against corruption, in which he suggested the Bi-cameral joint special select committee be appointed in lieu of the Public Accounts committee to review the Auditor’s general report, which the chamber did not agree upon, and would prefer the Public accounts committee at the time.

More Good News For The Tourism Industry
The Norwegian Escape, a cruise ship from the Norwegian Cruise Line made its second trip into Belizean waters yesterday marking a very important landmark for the country of Belize with a total of five thousand twenty passengers and one thousand two hundred crew members. While the Norwegian Escape’s customary route is to the Eastern Caribbean, they are now moving towards the Western Caribbean direction, including Belize. A routine Plaque Exchange Ceremony was held on-board where the Director of Cruise and Regional Initiatives of the Belize Tourism Board, Miss Noriko Gamero and Captain Carl Gunnar Hammerin from the Norwegian Escape made the exchange.


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The Guardian

There will be an investigation into wrongdoings at Immigration and Nationality says PM
Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed to the Guardian that there will be an investigation into the irregularities and wrong doings at the Immigration and Nationality departments. The PM confirmed this following the Senate meeting held on Wednesday August 31. During the Senate meeting the Auditor General’s Audit into the Immigration and Nationality Departments was tabled. The opposition also took the opportunity to propose that there be a Senate Select Committee set up to investigate wrongdoings at the departments. During the debate the proposal was supported by Senator Mark Lizarraga representing the business sector, Senator Ashley Rocke representing the churches and Senator Elena Smith representing the trade unions. The full support from the social partner senators however was not maintained after Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Hon. Godwin Hulse rose to make his presentation.

OAS Representative says shooting death of Danny Conorquie and injury to BDF Sgt. Lambey will also be investigated by OAS
Ambassador Magdalena Talamas, Special Representative of the Organization of American States Secretary General for Belize-Guatemala Affairs and charged with responsibilities for the office of the OAS in the adjacency zone met briefly at the Western Border with reporters on Saturday of this past weekend. Ambassador Talamas reported that she has travelled to both Belize and Guatemala to hand over a report of the Independent Commission, which had carried out an investigation of the incident that took place in the adjacency zone on April 20th of this year where a Guatemalan minor was killed. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs stated on Friday at the House of Representatives meeting that he had officially received the report from Ambassador Talamas on Thursday of last week. The Government of Belize had asked H.E. Luis Almagro Lemes, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) to establish an independent investigative commission to support Belize's own national investigations of the incident that occurred on April 20, 2016 involving the Guatemalan minor, Julio René Alvarado Ruano, who was shot and killed in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park in Belize.

House Speaker demands apology from Auditor General
The Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte has written to the Auditor General demanding an apology. In a letter dated August 31, 2016 the speaker states: “I am writing to you because in one of your reports tabled in the House of Representatives at caption you defamed and smeared my character.” The letter goes on to state that the defamation occurred when the Auditor General published in the report titled Immigration and Nationality that he did not have authority to sign on form 3B of the passport application form when in fact as a member of the House of Representatives he can do so. Peyrefitte continued explaining that “I have signed off on form 3B for scores of honest, decent Belizeans whom I have known for many years who are now calling me and visiting me on a daily basis in panic because you have said in your report that was not authorized to recommend them in form 3B, and they are under extreme stress wondering if their passports will be cancelled as a result.”

Who broke Julius’ finger?
In the melee that ensued on Friday August 26th when Julius Espat was ejected from the House of Representatives, images began to appear on social media almost on a blow by blow basis. Some of those pictures included Julius Espat going for medical treatment after he suffered a broken right finger. Now immediately after he was taken out of the house and he cried in front of the cameras for the entire nation to see he said he was beaten by police and that caused his finger to be broken. Now thank goodness for a Channel 7’s cameraman who positioned himself outside of the National Assembly and had his camera rolling as Julius Espat double pumped, beating on one of the concrete walls inside the house with this right hand. It was as if he was shadow boxing but he actually hit the wall two times and on the third attempt he reconsidered and pulled back the punch. Well the end result of it was that he sustained a broken finger.

PUP mischief makers attempt to hijack church protest
Patrick Menzies has been on the news for the last few years making what can only be interpreted as empty threats because his activist approach is often more extremist than reasonable. So, maybe the Spanish Evangelical Churches, and their organization the Alliance of Ministers and Leaders, may have chosen the wrong face to get their message across. He’s the President of the Alliance, and at Friday’s House Meeting, the churches who make up the membership managed to move a total of around 1,600 persons to protest against the Government and the Prime Minister. The Evangelists continue to disagree with the Prime Minister for choosing at this time not to appeal the judgment from the Chief Justice to make consensual sex, that’s against the order of nature, legal. They want the state to continue to criminalize gay sex. So, at Friday’s House Meeting, the Evangelical Churches showed their might, moving their flocks to the steps of the National Assembly for a peaceful morning protest.

Dickie can’t even put on his tie right!
PUP may be trying to revive a ghost named Dickie Bradley. On Wednesday morning, in a manner almost resembling Lazarus , he made an appearance on the Channel 5 talkshow. He looked as if though he were in his casket too long. His Necktie was thrown around his neck as if though he were wearing a scarf or boa. The next thing we noticed was that, the buttons for the sleeves of his long sleeved shirt were unbuttoned. In short he was not properly groomed and looked like he came out a compressed bundle. It was as if he was a last minute addition to the show and he barely made it. Dickie it seems was there on Open Your Eyes, to discuss corruption. We don’t know if he is a corruption expert, but we will say he must be familiar with the topic ,because of the amount that took place under his watch. At this time we won’t get into much of the things that happen under his watch at the ministry of housing , but we will mention a few of them .

Gardenia and Biscayne now have water
Official ceremonies were held in Gardenia community center on Wednesday August 31 to officially inaugurate a newly completed water expansion project into the villages of Biscayne and Gardenia. The water expansion comes at a cost of 1.25 million dollars and was funded through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank and the Belize Water Services. In addressing those gathered UDP area representative for Belize Rural North expressed that, “I am exceedingly pleased that our UDP Government has been able to bring the very Essence of Life (Water) to some of the Country’s oldest communities in a constituency which had potable water in only 5 out of a total of 27 villages when we took office in 2008. Eight and a Half years later, only 4 villages remain, and we are working hard to complete the mission.”

Kareem Musa just learnt the House’s Standing Orders?
On Monday August 29 the PUP held a press conference in which Kareem Musa went to great lengths to tell the Speaker of the House Hon. Michael Peyrefitte how to do his job. He rattled on and on about the various processes that the Speaker could have followed to ensure that Julius Espat not be named and suspended from the House of Representatives. He went as far as to say that they have legal grounds upon which they will be taking Espat’s suspension to court to challenge the Speaker’s Actions. Kareem Musa read from the Standing Order as follows: “Section 44-3 deals with when something offensive is said in the house and that is called the withdrawal of the member for the day’s sitting. That is the particular section that the honorable house speaker should have applied and if I may read that section, it says “the speaker shall order any member to withdraw immediately from the house during the remainder of the day’s sitting and may direct such steps to be taken as required to enforce such order...”

The need for rules
There is a reason for having rules in a civilized society or organization; the reason being to prevent the anarchists from seizing control and thus creating chaos within those societies or organizations . One such organization where there are roles is our very own House of Representatives. Those rules are called the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives. Those Standing Orders have been with us since October 1966 and the duty to ensure that the members of the House of Representatives ashere to them falls solely on the shoulders of the Speaker of the House. Sure we have tweaked those Standing Orders over the years in order to reflect the times, but by and large those Standing Orders have remained the same. Members of the house who serve more than one term in the house, should be very familiar with them.

Two day workshop to better trace foods coming and leaving from Belize
A two day capacity building workshop on traceability systems for stakeholders in the productive sector began on Tuesday of this week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. Providing information on Traceability 101, was Tejas Bhatt, Director of the Global Food Traceability Center at the Institute of Food Technologists IFT based in Washington. Bhatt told the Guardian that IFT has done a lot of research on best practices around traceability, which is now being share with nine countries in the Caribbean Region. With the funding coming from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture IICA, these workshops have a goal of helping small to midsized farmers, fishermen, processors and manufacturers understand the role of traceability and how they can get value from it.

WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
When Jesus was in the Temple in Jerusalem, one of the teachers of the law came and asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” [Mark 12:28] Jesus answered, “The most important one is this: ‘Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:29-31] The first commandment is found in Deuteronomy 6:4 & 5. The second comes from Leviticus 19:18. We are to love God with all our abilities. It’s a total life commitment. Both commandments are a matter of love. Love is the spirit of God’s commandments. In the Gospel of John chapter 14, verse 15, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands.”

Mental case charged for Caye Caulker murder
A psychiatric evaluation will soon be conducted upon 52-year-old Donald Heredia to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial for murder. The Caye Caulker resident is being accused of the murder of Jennifer Coleman, 51. Coleman was killed on Tuesday, August 23. Police responded to reports of a female in distress in the Aventurera Street area of Caye Caulker around 11:50 p.m. and found Coleman slumped over on the ground bleeding profusely from the neck. The officers rushed her to the polyclinic where she was pronounced dead on arrival. A knife believed to be the murder weapon was found at the scene and Donald Heredia was arrested and charged later. Heredia appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, August 29, to answer to a single charge of murder. He was represented by attorney Darrell Bradley who informed the court that his client has a long history of mental illness. Bradley requested that a psychiatric evaluation be conducted to determine if his client understands what is happening.

Boris Belisle fined for ammunition
Boris Belisle, 22, is lucky to be a free man after he was busted with a cartridge for a shotgun at the corner of Louise Bevans Street and Jane Usher Boulevard on Thursday morning, August, 25. He was arrested and charged with keeping ammunition without a license. Belisle was taken to court later that same day. He was unrepresented and pleaded his own case before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Belisle said that he had just left home at 8:30 to go buy at the Chinese shop. When heading back home he saw a cartridge at the corner of the street, near the drain. He decided to pick it up and that was when police moved in on him. He said he was going to take it into the police because he is not a criminal or “bad boy” figure. Belisle begged the Magistrate for leniency, saying that he has two toddler children and one on the way that he has to provide for.

Trinidad Pineda cleared of murder charge
Trinidad Pineda is the man police believe killed Christobal Santos in Orange Walk in March of 2012 but he is now free of murder chargeman after he was acquitted of the charge by Justice Herbert Lord on Thursday, August 25, in a trial by judge. Pineda was accused of issuing a fatal stab wound to Christobal Santos’ abdomen on March 12, 2012. Pineda told the police he stabbed Santos because they were fighting. The prosecution called 18 witnessed to testify in the murder trial. They included two female witnesses, one was the ex-girlfriend of the deceased Santos, the other was the accused’s cousin. Santos’ ex-girlfriend gave a testimony in support of Pineda. The ex-girlfriend said Santos used to curse out Pineda whenever he would see him. She also testified that on the night of the incident that Santos was the aggressor. On the night of the stabbing; Pineda went to visit his girlfriend and whilst they were talking Santos came on the scene and began to curse out and threaten Pineda’s life.

Woman found in unfinished building
A woman was found in a decomposing state in an unfinished building in central San Ignacio Town on Monday. Neighbors were alerted to the presence of the body on Church Street from the stench emanating from inside a cement structure. The body has since been identified as that of 49 year old Desiree Denise Gladden who had reportedly gone missing over the weekend. Her cause of death was due to mechanical asphyxia. The cement structure where the body was found is near where Mary Open Doors is headquartered. A few years ago, Mary Open Doors, which organizes shelter for women, was removed from this abandoned building and had to relocate further uphill.

Two charged for Kings Park home invasion
A home at the corner of Princess Margaret Drive and A Street was invaded on the afternoon of July 25 and the players got away with over $90,000 in cash and valuables. Police believe the men responsible for that robbery are Trevor Guy, 23, and Victor Franklin, 20. Both men were escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, August 26, where they appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Guy was arraigned for one count of aggravated burglary and one count of aggravated assault with a firearm. Franklin was charged with one count of handling stolen goods.

Cecil Ramirez walks from murder of Lennox Flowers
Cecil Ramirez, 20, has been freed from the charge of murder upon Lennox Pierreze Flowers, 18, after the DPP sent directives to the Magistrate Court on Friday, August 26, that the charge should be withdrawn due to insufficient evidence. Senior Counsel Said Musa and attorney Dickie Bradley were prepared to represent Ramirez at a Preliminary Inquiry set for Friday but that was not to be since the DPP was of the mindset that she would not be able to establish a prema facie case. According to Bradley, there was a witness who placed Ramirez at the scene but no witness could say that it was him who inflicted the stab wound that caused Flowers’ death. With that, Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser informed Ramirez that he was free to go.

Belize Bank Bulldogs eliminate Belize City Council Dragons in Firms Basketball competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition semi-final round came to an end on Friday 26th August, 2016, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium with the final two games played. In game one, the Belize Bank Bulldogs eliminated the Belize City Council Dragons by the score of 87-81. The top scorers for the Belize Bank Bulldogs were Brian White with 26 points, 14 rebounds and 2 assists; Rupert Brown with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals and Marcel Orosco with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist. For the Belize City Council Dragons, the top scorers were Sydney Bradley with 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Benedict Terry with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal and Akeem Watters with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal.

Infotel takes first game in Firms Basketball competition championship series
The Belize District Basketball Association 2016 Firms Competition entered its championship round on Saturday 27th August, with the first game in the best of three series at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium between the Belize Bank Bulldogs and Infotel. In game one, Infotel edged out the Belize Bank Bulldogs by the score of 99-87 to take the first game in the series. The top scorers for Infotel were Earl Johnson with 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals; Eyan Rene with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists and Darwin Elijio with 15 points, 1 rebound and 2 assist.

Sugar City Hoops Basketball competition opens this Friday
The 2016 Sugar City Hoops Basketball competition opens this Friday 2nd September, at the East Sports Centre in Orange Walk Town. The official opening ceremony is scheduled for 7:00 pm with game time being at 7:30 pm with the first of two games for the evening. In the first game in the 17 and under competition, East Coast Ballerz will go up against Technical High School and this will be followed by the first game in the 25 and u competition with Devils seeing action against Jumanji.

Placencia Assassins FC blank Orange Walk FC in Premier League competition play
The Premier League of Belize 2016 Opening Season Tournament continued on Saturday 27th August and on Sunday 28th August, 2016, with four games across the country. On Saturday 27th August, 2016, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending national football champions of Belize, the Belmopan Bandits edged out Police United by the score of 2-1. The visiting Police United got on the scoreboard first when Daniel Jimenez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 14th minute of play to give his team a short lived lead. However, the Belmopan Bandits in the 25th minute of play was able to tie the score at 1-1 when Aloisio Teixeira scored the equalising goal for his team. The first half of the game ended in a 1-1 draw. In the second half of the game, the Belmopan Bandits’ Frank Lopez made it a 2-1 score when he scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 68th minute of play for his team. At the end of the long whistle it was indeed a 2-1 victory for the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits.

Stann Creek Softball Association enters second round of competition
The Stann Creek District Softball Association 2016 senior female competition entered its second round on Sunday 21st August, with two games on the schedule at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village. In the first game played, Independence United defeated Silk Grass by the score of 6-2. The winning pitcher was Kern Andrews and the losing pitcher was Sandy Depaz. In the second game, Independence PALS won over Seine Bight Flames by the score of 15-5. The winning pitcher was Thalia Interiano and the losing pitcher was Andrea Valerio. The competition will continue on Sunday 4th September, 2016, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village.

Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tournament set for September 18th, 2016
The VII Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tournament has been rescheduled for Sunday 18th September, 2016, at the Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. The Memorial Tournament will feature the defending Charles Solis Memorial Champions (Unitedville Rebels United), Camalote as a special invitation as issued by Charles Solis, the top team from Belize City, Belize Rural, Cayo and the Stann Creek Softball Associations. The championship will commence at 9:00 am on Sunday 18th September 2016.

Less and less Belizeans in Melchor
On Saturday last we had the opportunity to visit neighboring Melchor . The finding for the OAS investigation must have negatively affected the number of persons who would have visited Melchor on the last weekend before schools would have started to reopen . There was only one excursion on Saturday and we were informed that Sunday it was just a few more. In the past around this time of the year, there is usually around five excursions on Saturdays and around fifteen to twenty on Sundays. Some people go to buy school supplies and gears, while others would go for the entertainment. This year however it was not like that . Belizeans for various reasons stayed away. Some we have been told did not go as a form of protest against the Guatemalan tactics that have been recently employed by the GAF, while others stayed away because of fear of what they perceived could happen to them over there. What we do know is that for every reason they stayed away, it took a hurting on commercial activity over there. Taxis were not moving and the vendors were not doing business at the usual high rate we have become use to see around this time.

Olympic Committee did not select athletes for ‘Rio 2016’
The Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association issued a release on Wednesday, August 31, on the selection of track and field athletes for Rio 2016. The intent of the release was to distance itself from the selection process and point out that it is up to the National Federations/Associations to submit relevant information for their athletes on time. The release states, “[We] would like to inform the public that while we are the body responsible for registering and submitting information to the Organizing Committee we do not select the athletes…We had sent out an email to the [National Federations] requesting athletes’ and coaches’/officials’ information and had set a deadline for them to send us the requested information. We informed the Belize Athletics Association (BAA) that if we do not receive all the requested information for their athletes & coaches/officials, we cannot register them in the Rio e-Accreditation System as it does not allow us to submit incomplete accreditation. The NOC registered all athletes and coaches/officials for whom we received the necessary information within the deadline and before the e-Accreditation System shut down and became read only. As for Ms. Kaina Martinez, her information was not received by the NOC before the deadline.”

You may be carrying a passport which the PUP says was illegally issued!
According to the PUP over 55 thousand passports were fraudulently issued by the Immigration department and with such high numbers there is a great possibility that just about any Belizean who got a passport between 2011 and 2013 would have one of these. But even though the PUP has made much of what they read in the Auditor General’s Report the truth is that they are completely taking what was stated in the report out of context. | We at the Guardian decided to look into the report and indeed on page 39 of the ‘Special Audit - Passport’ we found the following reference: 18. We saw Fifty Five Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy Nine (55,579) Passports issued to individuals without the required biometric check been carried out by the officer in charge.

Queen of the Bay crown remains in Stann Creek
The finalists were each asked questions about social ills in society. Nerves may have betrayed Duran and Aldeesha Castillo because they did not answer as smoothly and confidently as would have been necessary to take to the crown. The decision was clearly between three people. The scores were tallied and the results were announced before an anxious audience. Darcelle Duran was announced as fourth runner up. Aldeesha Castillo was named third runner up. Lashania Crawford was second runner up. Alisha Vernon was first runner up. Christalyn Castillo was named Queen of the Bay-Designate 2016-2017. The special awards were as follows: Miss Amity - Belize City, Lashania Crawford; Miss Eloquence - Corozal, Aldeesha Castillo; Miss Photogenic - Belmopan, Geraldine Flowers; and Most Talented - Stann Creek, Christalyn Castillo.

Survey proves Belizeans are very happy people
A national household survey conducted between 2015 and 2016 shows that the vast majority of Belizeans are happy and think their life is heading in the right direction. The survey, Belize Multiple Indicator Survey (MICS), was carried out by the Statistical Institute of Belize in collaboration with the Government of Belize and UNICEF. Trained interviewers visited 5,242 households of which 4900 were occupied and individuals from 4,636 homes agreed to grant interviews. 8,272 men and women were interviewed during the survey. Results of the survey shows that 96.3 percent of young women age 15 to 24 are very or somewhat satisfied with their life overall and 95 percent of men are satisfied as well. In that same age group, 94.2 percent of women and 94.1 percent of men say that they are very or somewhat happy. And, same age group, 75.3 percent of women and 71.7 percent of men say their lives have improved over the last year and they expect it to be better in the coming year.

Two day workshop to better trace foods coming and leaving from Belize
A two day capacity building workshop on traceability systems for stakeholders in the productive sector began on Tuesday of this week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. Providing information on Traceability 101, was Tejas Bhatt, Director of the Global Food Traceability Center at the Institute of Food Technologists IFT based in Washington. Bhatt told the Guardian that IFT has done a lot of research on best practices around traceability, which is now being share with nine countries in the Caribbean Region. With the funding coming from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture IICA, these workshops have a goal of helping small to midsized farmers, fishermen, processors and manufacturers understand the role of traceability and how they can get value from it.

Police have no clue why Doyle Garbutt was killed
Police from the Eastern Division South are trying to solve the very strange murder of 29 year-old Doyle Garbutt. It happened in the St. Martin’s Area at a time of night when there was hardly anybody around to see it happen. Garbutt, who was originally from Independence Village, was found inside his white van at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24. It had run off the road into the drain on the corner of Balan and Giles Streets. When the cops checked inside, they found that Garbutt had been killed by a single gunshot to the side of the head. Though the cops don’t know much at this time, they think that Garbutt was driving around with his killer who pulled out a gun and shot him in the side of the head. For what reason, they can’t say at this time.

Junie Balls’ son killed on anniversary of his father’s murder
It makes for a terrible co-incidence that on the 9th anniversary of his father’s death, George McKenzie Jr., son of notorious George “Junie Balls” McKenzie Sr., was killed at a Soca concert. He was attending the event, Soca Madness, when a man stabbed him from behind, causing him to bleed out before he could seek help. It happened sometime after midnight on Sunday, August 28 on the ITVET compound. Police were called to the KHMH where they found McKenzie clinging to life after being stabbed several times to the chest and abdomen. Their investigation has revealed that at around 12:40 a.m., he got into some sort of confrontation with a man who pulled out a sharp object. The police have not specified if the weapon used was a knife. Persons who were around at the time say that McKenzie was with his brother, his girlfriend, and her sister. That’s when a group of young men approached him wanting to start a fight.

Attempt murder charge withdrawn against Joseph Nunez
Part time computer technician Joseph Nunez, 20, is a free man after directives were sent to the Magistrates Court for the indictable charge of attempted murder to be withdrawn against him. Nunez was accused of the attempted murder of 17-year-old Tyrone Reyes. Reyes was walking on Boots Crescent in the Port Loyola area at about 9:10 p.m. on Friday, February 12, when he was shot several times. One of the bullets struck him in the center of the back. After undergoing surgery, Reyes was able to make it out alive but still faces daily challenges.

San Ignacio man dies after being beaten
Thirty six year old Michael Pargett from San Ignacio, has passed away at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was severely beaten on July 31. Pargett had been found faced down and bleeding from his head in an area adjacent to the Latin Bliss Bar on George Price Boulevard on July 31st. Reports suggest that he had been severely beaten by two men. Police are investigating this incident.

Callum Sutherland Fined $10,000 for Weed
Callum Sutherland must pay the court $10,000 or serve three years imprisonment for a drug trafficking conviction after he was busted with 428.1 grams of weed on June 28, 2016. According to PC #1068 Tush, he and another officer were on mobile patrol in the Saint Martins de Porres area around 2:45 p.m. on June 28 when they turned unto Aloe Vera Street. There they saw a man riding suspiciously on a bicycle and decided to stop and search him. During the search, PC Tush found a transparent plastic bag inside Sutherland’s left hand and when it was opened it contain cannabis. Therefore, Sutherland was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

BDF come under fire in Chiquibul by illegal poachers
Late this evening, GOB issued a press release informing the nation that on August 31 2016, a Belize Defense Force (BDF) reconnaissance patrol came under fire within the Chiquibul National Park, approximately 259 meters east of the border. According to the press release, the […]

Louis Wade says Ashley Rocke went back on his word
Because he went back on his word, Senator for the Churches Ashley Rocke has lost the confidence of the church leaders and must resign. This is according to Pastor Louis Wade, leader of the I Want My Country Back Movement. Wade told us today […]

More reforms to Immigration
Recognizing the results of the Immigration Special Audit Reports, the Government of Belize has announced further reforms to the Immigration and Nationality Service. In addition, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced plans for a joint Special Committee of the National Assembly – House of Representatives and […]

Roman Catholic Church of Belize calls on Senator Ashley Rocke to resign
The Roman Catholic Church of Belize just issued a statement demanding that Senator Ashley Rocke resign from his post as a Senator. The press release reads: His Excellency Bishop Dorick Wright, Bishop of The Roman Catholic Church of Belize hereby expresses grave disappointment […]

Man charged for murder in Yo Creek
Larry Banner, 31, of Yo Creek Village has been charged for the murder of 13-year-old Kian Chuc which happened on June 24, 2016. According to police reports, Banner had inflicted severe chop wounds on Chuc who succumbed to injuries on June 28, 2016. Banner […]

Mentally challenged woman raped in Orange Walk
A 54-year-old woman who is mentally challenged from San Lazaro Village, Orange Walk District was raped on August 31, 2016. According to reports, the woman was in her kitchen which is located behind her house when a man sneaked in and had sexual intercourse […]

Church Senator votes against motion for a Senate Inquiry into passport scandal
Yesterday at the House of Representatives, the Church Senator, Ashley Rocke voted against the motion for a Senate Inquiry into the irregularities at the Immigration Department as pinpointed in the 700 pages of three audit reports. Immediately after the Church Senator voted against the […]

Blogs

Pimping Your Ride For Belize’s September Celebrations
I love Independence Day just about anywhere. But Belize’s is extra special in tons of ways. Here are just a few… 1. It’s not just a day, it’s about three weeks – there are two official holidays Sept 10th and Sept 21st and events last all month long. You can see the schedule here 2. Belize is younger than I am! 35 years old this year. 3. Belizeans REALLY knows how to throw a party. And today is September 1st so I thought I’d kick off this month of partying with an official party vehicle. A bit of razzle dazzle added to the old Club Cart Carry-All. So…despite the fact that it was 90 degrees (real feel 109), I hit the town. Three different stops for red, white and blue. First stop, the Candle Garden on the very north end of Middle Street. They have moved in the past year and now have so much more than just decorations…flowers, homemade PINATAS (oh how I love a pinata), cake and paninis and real coffee.

2016 New School Year (Students Classroom and/or Learning Challenges)
As we start a new school year in 2016, I salute and validate the hundreds/thousands of teachers and educators in Belize who work enthusiastically everyday to help young Belizeans keep alive and glowing that spark of "wanting to learn". I will always cherish the experience of working closely with young people, starting in 1978 in Belize as a high school English and Spanish Language/Literature teacher, up to 2010-2012 as high school guidance counselor. A large part of any attempt to educate young people, in both Primary and Secondary schools, includes never ever giving up on trying to understand why/how, day in and day out, so many students must struggle so hard to learn. Why is it that some students behave so very well in school, and progress each year with hardly any problems, while others seem so hard-to-handle/teach? Why does learning just never come to some students without a multitude of problems?

Caye Caulker Ocean Academy Honor Roll
Honour Roll 2015-2016 (left to right): Congratulations Mathew Sandoval, Annabella Requena, Milvia Reyes and Mikhail Rosado. These students earned a yearly average of 85% or higher.

Belize in September
September is an outstanding time to visit Belize as airlines offer competitive rates, resorts and lodges offer discounts, and tours and popular spots are less crowded. With great weather and plenty of sunshine, September is when Belizeans come home from abroad to participate in a month-long celebration of their national heritage and history. St. George’s Caye Day – On September 10, 1798, the British won a crucial naval battle over the Spanish navy near the island of St. George’s Caye, an event celebrated every year with a national holiday. Independence Day – September 21 caps off weeks of patriotic pride as Belizeans celebrate gaining their independence from Great Britain on this day in 1981. Other September Celebrations – The country will throng with live musical concerts, parades, food fairs, street dancing, Carnival, and exuberant displays of the red, white and blue (Belize’s national colors).

Rescuing the wildlife of Belize, one animal at a time
As in every war, there are selfless workers on the front lines trying to minimize the damage, salvage the maimed and displaced animals and rehabilitate the wounded. Among those angels of mercy is Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC). Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand co-founded the clinic in 2011 after a somewhat itinerant career rescuing and patching the wounded and damaged in various wildlife field clinics and rehab centers from Costa Rica to Belize. The Cayo clinic has grown to include a staff of six, plus numerous volunteers, who treat as many as 200 Belizean animals a year, from monkeys to Macaws. I should say it has outgrown. The rented building that houses the BWRC operation is no longer sufficient. BWRC has its eye on a 30 acre tract of land that fronts the main road and is bordered by a stream. It is actually part of the life-sustaining wildlife corridor and would be guaranteed to remain a vital link in the migration route should BWRC raise the funds it needs to buy the land.

The Benefits Of Belize’s QRP Retirement Program
When retiring in Belize the first important decision an expat must address is whether to become a resident or a Qualified Retirement Person (QRP). There are major differences between these two residence options. The QRP program is certainly the more flexible program for expat retirees. An immediate benefit is that once you submit the QRP paperwork the process can be completed quickly. Recent expats have reported obtaining their QRP status within a few months of submittal. In contrast, expats aspiring to become long-term residents of Belize must spend a period of 50 out of 52 weeks in Belize during a full year. They can then complete and submit their residence application. After that it still typically takes at least a year to obtain Belizean residence. A big plus of the QRP option is that anyone over 45 is eligible to apply. No need to wait until you’re 65, as is required in the U.S. And you can include your spouse and kids in the QRP program as well, for an additional fee.

International Sourcesizz

Climate Change is affecting your cup of coffee
Climate change is already putting production and cost pressures on the supply of coffee in significant parts of the world’s ‘bean belt’ of coffee producing countries. Increasing temperatures and extreme weather events will cut the area suitable for production by up to 50 per cent, erode coffee quality and increase coffee prices for consumers, according to The Climate Institute’s A Brewing Storm: The climate change risks to coffee report, released on August 29, 2016. “Without strong climate action, the areas suitable for growing coffee could halve in a few decades, pushing production upslope, away from the equator and into conflict with other land uses, such as nature conservation and forestry. By 2080 wild coffee, an important genetic resource for farmers, could be extinct.”

Infantry Officers Put To The Test In The Jungle
For the last three weeks 65 infantry officers have been on exercise in the Belize jungle. Exercise Grim Warrior is the final part of their Platoon Commanders Battle Course. After a year of training, first at Sandhurst and then at Brecon, the end is in sight but they can't get complacent. Everything they've done up until now hinges on them passing this final test and they're feeling the pressure. Maj Bev Allen OC of the Platoon Commanders' Division tells them: "If you can soldier well in the jungle and you can operate well in the jungle, you can pretty much operate well anywhere in the world. Being in the jungle - just living and surviving, keeping your body together - has its challenges."

Whale Sharks and Diving
Whale shark encounters have become very popular over the last few years. These school bus size fish are the largest in the world. While not a whale, they are bigger than many species of whales. Among other locations Mexico, Australia and the Philippines are the leader in whale shark encounters. Whale shark encounters are primarily done while snorkeling or Freediving. Many locations, such as the three mentioned, prohibit scuba diving with them. The encounters are generally shallow waters where the whale sharks come to feed on plankton and small fish. Whale Shark tourism is likely to be worth over US$42 million annually, and indicates that the industry is growing fast as a tourism niche. Some of the most popular whale shark destinations have an entire tourism industry built around the whale sharks. One of the benefits of this increased interest is that in many places those that used to hunt whale sharks are now earning more showing them off. They have become more valuable to them alive then dead.

Videos

  • Caribbean Tires & Caribbean Motors, 24min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Dickie Bradley on Immigration Audit Report, 50min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • National Tsing Hua University, 15min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Caye Caulker Belize Scuba Diving, 9min. No Shirt, No Shoes…No Problem.' You'll see this sign everywhere in Belize, but no place is it more apt than Caye Caulker. Indeed, nothing seems to be a problem on this tiny island, where dogs nap in the middle of the dirt road and suntanned cyclists pedal around them. The only traffic sign on the island instructs golf carts and bicycles to 'go slow,' a directive that is taken seriously. Local residents have traditionally made their living from the sea, specifically from the spiny lobsters and red snapper that inhabit its warm waters. It has also long been a budget traveler's mecca, but in recent years, tourists of all ages and incomes have begun to appreciate the island's unique atmosphere. On Caye Caulker, there are no cars, no fumes and no hassles, just balmy breezes, fresh seafood, azure waters and a fantastic barrier reef at its doorstep. The easygoing attitude is due in part to the strong Creole presence on the island, which pulses to a classic reggae beat and is home to a small community of Rastafarians.

  • Jaguar Cubs Belize, 1min.

  • Spotted Eagle Ray in Belize, 3min.

  • Fortuna Fishing Charters San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Belize, 1min.

  • How to CATCH and properly FILLET Dorado! Belize. San Pedro, 11min.

  • Video captured yesterday in Morales, izabal motagua river. Impressive the amount of garbage!, 1/4min. Mountains of garbage floating in the Montagua River in Morales, Izabal, Guatemala.

  • The streets of Caracas, Venezuela, demand a change of government, 1/4min.

  • NEW Belize Civic Center!, 1min. 4,500 person seating capacity, 3 wooden courts and four locker rooms are just a few of the features of the NEW Belize Civic Center! Coming soon!

  • Underwater in Belize M and K, 7min. Compilation of diving and snorkeling video clips from our honeymoon in Belize.

  • EnviroConnect Belize Competition (Season 1, Episode 1) HD, 60min.

  • The Belize Whale Shark Expedition, 1min.

  • Strong Villages (Spring 2015 trip to Belize), 3min.

  • Belize Wildlife inauguration, 10min.

  • Top

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