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#517441 - 09/10/16 11:55 AM Today's Belize News: September 10, 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

Ian Pou called to train with Belize’s U- 17 football selection
Belize is preparing to participate in the FIFA Male Under-17 World Cup Eliminations taking place on November 17-26, 2016 in Costa Rica. San Pedro’s Ian Pou is once again on the list of 29 selected players from across the country chosen by the Football Federation of Belize (FBB). The players were called for training at the FFB headquarters in the City of Belmopan from September 9th to the 11th. This is not the first time the talented Pou has represented Ambergris Caye and Belize internationally. Pou also had the honour of representing the country at the Central American Football Union Male Under-16 Tournament held from November 17th to November 23, 2015, in Managua, Nicaragua. Pou’s family has expressed their happiness to see their son once again heading to Belmopan for the trials and have the opportunity to represent the country at the regional tournament. They stand behind him support his dream to become a great footballer one day.

Anteater rescued in downtown San Pedro
Another Collared Anteater was rescued in the downtown area of San Pedro Town on Thursday, September 8th. A group of neighbours on Angel Coral Street spotted the creature, also known as Tamandua, around midnight, and safely kept it until dawn before handing it over to the veterinary clinic at the San Pedro Saga Humane Society. At the clinic, the suffering Tamandua was found ill and appeared scared and in pain from an injury to its right arm. After an evaluation, the Tamandua was flown to Belize City where a wildlife surgeon did further check-ups on the creature before sending it to the Tamandua Refuge located at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. According to the findings from the team at Saga, it is believed that the Tamandua was someone’s pet and had been abandoned after Hurricane Earl. They said the creature was very friendly with anyone it came in contact with, adding to its vulnerability. A few nights before it was captured, it was reported that while attempting to climb a light post, it received an electrical discharge which caused an injury to its right arm. The injury disabled its ability to climb trees properly, which leads them to believe that the Tamandua may have experienced a few hard falls while attempting to climb trees.

3rd annual Bart’s Bash sailing event is on!
The 3rd annual Bart’s Bash Sailing event is been scheduled to take place worldwide on Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th. Organizers in San Pedro have planned to make the most of that weekend by holding an open regatta on Saturday, and the qualifying sailing regatta on Sunday. The location for the event will be at the beach side at the Caribbean Villas Hotel just south of San Pedro Town. The event is a highly entertaining race, where sailors from all over the world in every kind of imaginable sailboat take to their home waters on the same day and at the same time. The sailors are connected together through a computer program that is operated by the Bart’s Bash Committee, while another computer program handicaps all the various boat classes involved in the event.

SPTD promotes road safety during the new school season
The SPTD currently counts with ten traffic wardens tasked with keeping order on the busy streets of San Pedro Town. In an effort to alleviate the congestion in the early hours of the day when students are heading to school, certain restrictions have been put in place to avoid jammed streets. Head of the SPTD, Chris Nuñez explained that certain vehicles are not allowed on main streets during the rush hours of the day. “Large vehicles are not allowed to be around during the time when students are heading to school, this includes high school students as well,” said Nuñez. “Our wardens are stationed by the different schools where traffic is an issue. There they direct traffic in a safe way, while students get to their classrooms.” After school begins in the morning, large vehicles are then allowed to transit the town core area for a couple of hours, until lunchtime, when students are picked up. Restrictions on large vehicles are once again exercised, until classes begin again.sptd-promotes-road-safety-1

Zika officially classified as endemic in Caye Caulker
According to Dr. Javier Zuniga, Regional Manager, Central Health Region, there was an increase in the number of persons visiting the health facility on Caye Caulker with symptoms similar to that of Zika in the previous week. “The outbreak in Caye Caulker led to interventions for vector control activities, which we are still doing at the moment. Now, Caye Caulker has been classified as an area endemic to Zika, which means that the disease is now there and it will be present for years to come. We will have sporadic outbreaks, just like dengue. So in some seasons, you might have an increase in the number of cases and other seasons you might not. People who are appearing with these symptoms, we know now that it is Zika that is affecting the community,” said Zuniga.

Ambergris Today

Are We Drowning Our Future? Oceana Belize Fights Gillnet Fishing
The Belize Ministry of Health (MOH) is spraying all schools in San Pedro and Cay Caulker for mosquitoes this week in order to prevent the spreading of the Zika virus. The MOH is very concerned about the Zika virus spreading as the disease has now been classified as an endemic on Caye Caulker. This does not mean that there is a Zika ‘epidemic’ in Caye Caulker; it only means that the disease is now present on the island and that it will be present for years to come, according to Dr. Javier Zuniga, Regional Manager, Central Health Region.

Are We Drowning Our Future? Oceana Belize Fights Gillnet Fishing
As part of ongoing advocacy efforts to promote the use of sustainable fishing gear in Belize’s marine environment, Oceana launched a social media component in the ARE WE DROWNING OUR FUTURE? | #stopthenets campaign. The photographs feature Belizean social media personalities and are designed to highlight the indiscriminate nature of gillnetting at sea. Gillnets compromise the health of commercial fish stocks, the abundance of protected and/or endangered species and the economic benefits of both commercial and recreational fisheries. The gear also threatens the overall health of the reef system, which is a major source of employment, enjoyment and food for the people of Belize. The photo shoot took place in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Once a sleepy fishing village, Ambergris Caye is Belize’s number one tourism destination and a hotspot for recreational fishing. The photos were taken by Oceana’s Alex Ellis and feature models Joyjah Estrada and Emaun Hyde entangled in a gillnet; in the same way many charismatic, protected and economically important species are trapped in this destructive gear.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

2016 Familiarization (FAM) Trip for Mexican Travel Agencies
The Embassy of Belize in Mexico partnered with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), and the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), to organize a Familiarization (FAM) Trip for Mexican travel agencies from 29th August to 6th September 2016. The eight participating agencies represent some of the largest and more established companies in Mexico. During their stay, the travel agents visited Belize City, Butterfly Falls, Caracol, Dangriga Town, Hatchet Caye, Hopkins, Lubaantun, Mountain Pine Ridge, Rio on Pools, San Ignacio Town, Silk Cayes, South Water Caye, Placencia, and Punta Gorda Town, where they were hosted by participating BTIA and BHA members. The event is part of the Embassy’s on-going programme aimed at actively promoting the Belizean tourism product in Mexico. This effort includes a Facebook campaign that has earned almost 140,000 likes to date and events, such as FAM Trips, that serve to promote business-to-business (B2B) contacts between the two countries’ tourism sectors.

Youth Connection Band at Orchid Bay
This Sunday, September 11th! Come celebrate the holiday with the Youth Connection Band at Orchid Bay! This will be an all day event on the beach. SMART will be on hand giving double up and promotions, Pig Roast, Beach Volleyball, fun and sun! From Mid day until sunset. Free Admission...No Coolers Allowed! Don't miss this bash! Drink Specials All Day Long! If you haven't been out to Orchid Bay, this Sunday is the day to be here!

Tropic Air: $21 tickets countrywide on Independence Day
Let's celebrate Independence Day with $21 tickets countrywide, only with Tropic Air. Special conditions apply. Check with your local Tropic Air office for details. Per Segment, each way + rider fees. Excludes Belize Int'l Airport and International routes.

Caye Caulker Community meeting on Zika
The Caye Caulker Community is cordially invited to a public meeting to address the concerns of the ZIKA virus. DATE: September 15, 2016, VENUE: Community Center, TIME: 7:00 PM. Spokesman: Javier Zuniga MD, MIPH, Regional Manager, Central Health Region, Ministry of Health.

PRESENTATION OF CREDENTIALS TO VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT NICOLÁS MADURO
This past Monday, the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, H.E. Nicolás Maduro Moros, formally received the credentials of H.E. Ambassador Lou-Anne Burns Martinez alongside Ambassadors for Belgium, Burundi, Holland, Jordan, Kuwait and Malaysia, and Nepal. The President described the event as the reaffirmation of diplomacy based on peace. Also present for the ceremony were H.E. Delcy Rodriguez, Venezuelan Foreign Minister, H.E. Jesus Salazar, Minister to the Office of the President, H.E. Luis José Marcano, Minister of Communication and Information, and significantly, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yanez who previously served Venezuela in Belize. During his speech, at the Palacio Miraflores, President Maduro assured that the diplomacy envisioned by Commandant Hugo Chávez “consolidates cooperation and complementarity.”

Children SAFETY: Our Priority
The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC), launched in 1994, is the lead national agency and major advisory body to the government on families and children issues. With that said, NCFC takes this opportunity to wish all Belizean families and children a safe and happy 10th September celebration 2016, as well as peace and safety throughout all the September festivities. In line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Children have the right to safety and protection and therefore, we call on all adults to be mindful of their actions while celebrating and ensuring the safety of your children. NCFC also calls on the Carnival Committee as a gentle reminder to be vigilant and ensure the safety of all children participating in the carnival road march.

Letter: BPP responds to Belize PM's press conference
This past week, the prime minister of Belize held a press conference that was “vintage Barrow”, in terms of the contemptuous, yet crafty manner in which he sought to place, under public scrutiny, the auditor general’s report that detailed the scathing irregularities that have occurred during his watch. It was a noteworthy political performance yet, to the discerning public, it was clearly devoid of substance in terms of how the leader of this nation should function. Instead of commending the auditor general, the PM squandered yet another opportunity to demonstrate genuine leadership and to show that consecutive victories at the polls, translate into respectable, national stewardship. We at the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) implore Belizeans from all walks of life, whether resident in Belize or abroad, to sift through the theatrics and white noise of the PM’s recital and focus on the substantive issues that were not addressed.

Why shoot a monkey?
Can you see what is wrong in this picture? Sorry for having to be drastic but when we expected a quick monkey check over we saw another shocking case and sad example. This ex-pet monkey had "skin issues" and "lumps" were felt under the skin, and when we examined she turned out to have 6 rifle pellets and 2 broken bones by gun shot (aside very low body conditions, depression and infection of one of the gunshot wounds). The message: Please do not accept monkeys for pets because this is how these amazing, endangered and protected animals are entered into the pet trade: either the mom is killed or mom and baby are shot to obtain the animal and if they survive they are often presented as a "rescue" or sold as "orphans" :( Fortunately for this monkey she was rescued, we removed the gun shots, treated the wounds and casted the broken bones and she is in the amazing caring hands of Wildtracks so that hopefully one day in the not so distant future she can return to the wild where she belongs.

Pan Yaad 2016 was a great musical event!
The most festive month is here! Sovereign & Strong Together as one!

Channel 7

The Christian Concession: GOB Will Appeal Section 53 Judgment
On Monday, the Prime Minister met with Church leaders to discuss the appeal of the Chief Justice's Section 53 judgement. Some of the Churches want a full appeal, but the Prime Minister made it clear that his Government is only prepared to make a narrow appeal of the Chief Justice's interpretation of the word "sex" to the constitution to mean "sexual orientation". Both sides agreed to return to their constituents and then come back for a follow up meeting today. That happened today, and after 2 hours of discussion, the two sides came out and held a joint press conference. The news coming out of the meeting is that the Government of Belize is ready to launch an appeal of the section 53 judgment. Now government says it's not a full appeal, and that it's an important differentiation for the churches and which is why the Prime Minister says he's going to challenge it:...

With Appeal, Churches Can Also Challenge Ruling Decriminalizing Adult Anal Sex
And while the differentiation between the words "sex" and "sexual orientation" may be important, such an appeal would also open the door for an interested party to challenge to the other substantial part of the judgment, which is the de-criminalization of anal sex between adults. Now that not academic at all, that's the really controversial part of the judgment which has many Christian fundamentalists in an uproar. Today the PM conceded that Government's appeal does open the door to that:... Rt., Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: "Government's appeal on the limited basis, government's appeal of just the one aspect of the ruling that has to do with the extension of the definition of word "sex" in fact opens the door to all who are interested parties in the court below to make submissions across the board. The Roman Catholics as an interested party can now make submissions in the appeal and they can go beyond where government is prepared to go."

Churches Cheer As PM Placates
And what accounts for the reversal of position from then to now? Maybe we can call it the moral suasion of the various church bodies: between the mainline churches and the evangelical groups, they used both soft and hard power, public demonstrations and quiet diplomacy to bring the government around. And today, these Christian soldiers cheered the government for making the compromise:... Bishop Philip Wright, Anglican Diocese of Belize: "The Anglican Diocese, we were an interested party in the whole case and perhaps one of the ways to understand why we're where we are is because we were interested party, we recognize the implications of the verdict of a case such as this. Our church does not intend to appeal the decision of the Chief Justice in total. But in saying that we also made known that we continue to have an interest in parts of that decision."

Rising Down, GOB Agrees To "Church State Commission on Public Morality."
And in a move that is sure to make the LBGT community wince in distress, the Barrow Administration has gone one step further in its renewed partnership with the churches. Government has agreed to set up a "Church State Commission on Public Morality. " Now, if this sounds like some Orwellian concoction, the Prime Minister today told the media that it's not anything that serious, just a logical continuation of their dialog from Monday and today:... Rt., Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: "We will set up a church state commission to be cheered by the Deputy Prime Minister to in fact look at issues having to do with public morality and its role in our society, having to do with the institution of marriage and safeguarding that institution. Government believes, it's a shared position of all of us that marriage is between a man and a woman. The whole question of how to protect family values in an inclusive society. All those weighty matters would be within the provenance of the work of the commission which would undertake studies guided by lawyers and which will consult the general public."

Caleb/UNIBAM Wants To Be On Morality Commission
But no one is going to police Caleb Orozco's morality. He today stressed that as a citizen he is entitled to certain inalienable individual rights. He added that if the Government is determined to be fair, the Prime Minister will invite him and members of UNIBAM as members this Church State Commission:... Daniel Ortiz, 7news: "You and your lifestyle is considered very much outside what is considered morally right in this church environment, so why would they want to invite you and your organization as a member to make your concerns heard?" Caleb Orozco - UNIBAM: "If we still live under the ideals of the constitution which recognizes the diversity of groups, it's only fair to invite the most marginalized to the table to carry out a dialogue which benefits all Belizeans. If we were to be excluded, then it is important to remember that the ministers, be religious and political have their own moral closet which they need to look into and I need not speak very hard or too far about what their issues are. If it's a process of building peace and understanding and its value about building peace and understanding, we will be included without question."

Churches Cheer, Caleb Jeers
And while the churches cheered for the PM today, Orozco and the LBGT community is in more of a mood to jeer. Three weeks ago when government said it wouldn't appeal, they were the ones doing the cheering, and today UNIBAM President Caleb Orozco told us that he is prepared for round 2... Caleb Orozco - UNIBAM: "Philosophical, it was expected of this that he would consider the narrow effort in clarifying the term 'sex' and that he would sought to appease the religious lobby that was before him. While I'm disappointed that his word is difficult to embrace within any confidence, I'm also cautiously optimistic that he is able to navigate the process in such a way that ideals of our constitution is not thrown under the bus." Daniel Ortiz, 7news: "Were you hoping that he would hold out against the churches?" Caleb Orozco - UNIBAM: "I am always hopeful that a politician would defend basic principle and decency about what their word means. The reality is that he had to deal with fanatical thinking, he had to deal with a set of people who had no understanding of the law."

ZIKA On The Rise
The Zika virus is spreading throughout the country and residents of the Belize district including the Cayes, need to be on high alert. So far there have been 10 confirmed cases of Zika on Caye Caulker and health officials say there will be more. Regional Manager for Central Health Region Dr. Javier Zuniga told us more about the Caye Caulker Zika situation among other areas. Zuniga also explained that one of the major challenges in curbing these cases is community involvement. Dr. Javier Zuniga, Reg. Mgr., Central Health Regional: "In Caye caulker yes, we had about 10 cases being confirmed positive but we have stopped doing tests in Caye caulker unless they are high risk patients. What do we mean by high risk? Well we're speaking about pregnant women, children under 5 years old, folks over 65 years and chronic patents. These are the only people we'll be testing for Zika now. We have confirmed that there is local transmission in Caye Caulker which means that basically then it becomes endemic in one way. there will always be cases appearing now and again in the future and in some cases we might have small outbreaks but that is how infectious diseases work and vector borne diseases. We continue to do vector control activities in Caye Caulker, we monitored those closely and are also monitoring our pregnant mothers very closely because of course they are the ones most at risk."

PUP Lobby Church Support For Second Senate Motion
Since last week Wednesday's Senate meeting, we have been closely following the political commentary after the Barrow Administration outmaneuvered and defeated the PUP's motion for a Senate Select Committee to inquire into the Auditor General's Reports on Immigration practices. Prime Minister Barrow proposed that a Joint Select Committee, made up of members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, would do a better job than a Senate probe. The PUP condemned that as the Government attempting to cover-up and protect the UDP Minister's whose names are called in those 3 reports. Well, this morning, we met the Leader of the Opposition, and the senior PUP Senator at the Biltmore. They were there to meet the churches before going into that meeting with the Prime Minister. The PUP leaders told us that even though their motion was defeated last week, and even though the Senate rules don't allow for a defeated motion to be brought twice, they're going to try anyway.

PM Says PUP Should Try A Thing In Senate
Later on, we asked the Prime Minister if his Government would try to block the PUP from doing this, since government controls the numbers in the senate. He said that, subject to Cabinet's approval, he might be willing to withdraw his proposal for a Joint Select Committee, and let the PUP get their way, provided that the Senate probe has the right amount of UDP Representation: Rt., Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: "Listen, we have no difficulty with the public hearings. We genuinely felt that a bicameral procedure would better serve. I heard people say 'oh, it is so that we can put members on the joint select committee, ministers whose names have been called.' We would never do that. But the bottom line, we are very clearly in support of an inquiry and if it is going to be such a big deal, this argument that it should be senate select committee as opposed to a joint senate select committee, I would ask cabinet to re-look at the position. Doesn't much matter to me, because either way the objective of having the public hearings will be achieved."

Chamber Writes Another Letter To PM
Today, the Prime Minister also said the Chamber did not reverse its position as was reported by Channel 5. Well, tonight, reports say the Chamber is sending him another scolding letter, basically, for speaking out of turn. Past President Arturo Tux Vasquez told us today that he was in that meeting, and what the PM said today, is not what was said yesterday:... Arturo "Tux" Vasquez - President, BCCI: "I was at the meeting yesterday and really the Prime Minister today should be getting a letter from the chamber, whereby the chamber would really be explaining to him that following the meeting he had with them before where there was a suggestion of going along with the bicameral committee he had suggested. After we had got legal advice, it appears from the constitution that by doing a bicameral group like that would not be within the constitution and as a result the chamber has now decided that they will go towards and they have gone back to think that the senate select would be the best investigative body for this type of thing. So that's really where the chamber is. That's my understanding from the meeting that I attended yesterday."

PM Says Mayor Bradley Should Have Conferred First
And so now while the Chamber is supporting the PUP's motion for a Senate Inquiry, and the opposition is lobbying the churches to do the same, you could say they're just following the lead of UDP Mayor Darrell Bradley who dramatically broke ranks with his party on Wednesday when he also endorsed the PUP Senate Inquiry. That caused a lot of blowback within the UDP - but today the Prime Minister gave only a mild rebuke: he said the mayor could have at least told him so:... Daniel Ortiz, 7news: "Will there be any political consequences for that position which he says its principle?" Rt., Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize: "I don't know whether there will be political consequences. There will certainly not be any attempt by the party to discipline the mayor. He is entitled to his view, opinions in the society are sharply divided, and I think we have to respect the way he feels and concede that it's a position genuinely held and one that we might have to consider, especially seeing that he has taken such a public stance."

Darrell Being Darrell
Indeed Bradley's interview with 7News on Wednesday made the biggest headlines this week, and today the rest of the media caught up with him to ask if he stands by his endorsement of a Senate Special Select Committee, or if he is waffling in the face of strong blowback from his party. And in a case of Darrell just being Darrell, he enthusiastically embraced both sides of that argument with equal zeal: Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City: "Something's in there are very troubling as a Belizean. I'm a UDP. I love my country. Tomorrow morning i will be giving a speech in relation to the National Day - we're raising flags we're talking about patriotism we're speaking about honoring Belizean patrimony and I think that a, a way that we must show that we are honoring that heritage, those who have gone before us, George price, Phillip Goldson, those who have gave their lives in the struggle for Belizean sovereignty is that we must ensure that government works for the people."

City Shootings Continue
There were 2 more city shootings last night. The first happened after 6:00 on Mckay Boulevard in the red-hot St. Martin's area. 37 year old Jason Longsworth was talking to his girlfriend at the steps of their home when 2 men on bicycles passed by and shot at Longsworth hitting him in the leg and back. Southside Commander Chester Williams gave us more details. ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside: "Sometime around 6pm last night, police were called to the area of McKay Blvd. where on arrival Jason Longsworth was seen suffering from gunshot wounds to the leg and back. He was transported to the KHMH where he is currently admitted in a stable condition." Reporter: "That area was actually where the last murder took place, is this a retaliation for what happened to Mr. Nicasio Zuniga?" ACP Chester Williams - Commander, Southside: "No it is no retaliation, we're trying to find out what happened, and the person who is a victim at this time is from Hattieville. We understand that he has a girlfriend who lives in that area but there is no evidence at this time to suggest that it has anything to do with the shooting death of Mr. Zungia."

Tenth September, Suicide Day
More working men are committing suicide. Now that might come as a shock since we mostly hear about the sad cases of young children or teenagers taking their lives but based on the statistics, there is a rise in suicide among men between the ages of 20 to 35. Now we know most of you are in the celebration mood and will be out tomorrow with your flags, your red, white and blue suits watching the 10th Parade in the city, but Mental Health practitioners are also calling on everyone to be as involved and enthused about World Suicide Prevention Day which is also observed tomorrow. So as to not take away from the September Spirit nor to ignore the importance of suicide prevention, a flag raising ceremony was held at the Battlefield Park today instead, to commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day. Counselor Juliet Simmons told us more about the Ministry's strategy to reach out to this vulnerable group.

PM On OAS
Two weeks ago, we told you about the results of the investigation by the OAS Independent Investigation Team. These forensic experts from the US and Mexico did an exhaustive inquiry, and their findings vindicates the Belizean Lawmen in the fatal shooting of 14 year-old Guatemalan Julio Ruano. As you are well aware, the Guatemalan Government called it murder, and even after this investigation, they have not eased up. They are questioning the report, calling it inconclusive at best, even though the experts found evidence that the family fired shots at the Belizean patrol. Moreover, the experts unearthed the attempts by members of the Guatemalan Army to try to suppress crucial evidence. The Prime Minister commented that their Government should apologize to Belize, and those remarks incensed the Guatemalan officials. The OAS Secretary General's Special Representative, Magdalena Talamas, also remains under intense pressure from the Guats, for comments she made in their media. They're calling for her removal from the post, and they also indicated that they would complain about Prime Minister Barrow.

Carnival Fever Catching, Waist Winding Symptomatic
As you heard earlier Zika is spreading, and it's a high priority public health concern; but, thankfully, it's not spreading as fast as Carnival Fever - for which the main symptom is excessive waist winding - and that's usually good for public health. We tracked the epidemic last night at five Mas Camps - including the Senior Champs, the very road ready Soca Mocha:... The Mas Camp visits continue next week - and our team of Codie Norales and Wilson Grinage will be there in their Soca shoes….

Port of Belize Invests In Megabucks Vessel For Marine Pilots
The Port of Belize Limited may be in receivership - but the Ashcroft Affiliated Management has pumped millions of dollars into Port infrastructure. Three million more has been invested into a highly specialized vessel called "Oliver 108." The 54 foot vessel is for the Port's Marine Pilots, who have to go out at the height of the night to pilot in the big ships coming in to the Port of Belize. Today we found out why the Port is making such a big investment:.. The vessel comes from Chesapeake Virginia and is powered by two large Cummins Diesel engines.

RCCL And Port of Belize, Possible Partnership?
And we also asked Vasquez about a report in today's Amandala that Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is crafting a business plan for the possible cruise port at the Port of Belize. That's a project that's been going from back burner to front burner since 2004 with no results, but now the Ashcroft Allied Waterloo group has resuscitated it. The article suggests that Royal Caribbean which currently owns half of the Fort Street Tourism Village would be involved in the business plan for the new cruise port. Today, Vasquez stressed that it's just an exploratory idea at this time:.. Arturo "Tux" Vasquez - CEO - Port of Belize: "It is not Royal Caribbean that is the partner. Waterloo is doing a business plan and working with the government of Belize to see what it would take to put a cruise docking facility. That's a requirement by the Prime Minister last year when he spoke to our company asking for us to see what it would take to do a cruise. So what we've been doing is we will be working on that business plan. Royal Caribbean is not a investor in that. Royal Caribbean is providing some expertise, giving us information as to the size of ships and that kind of thing."

BPP "Bavs" On Referendum Date
In last night's newscast, we showed you the press conference held by the Belize Progressive Party, to discuss national affairs. But, one thing they couldn't say much about is when they actually intend to launch their People's Referendum. This is an effort to gauge out how the public is reacting to the idea of taking the Belize/ Guatemalan territorial dispute to the ICJ, and whether the Government should legalize marijuana. So, when will the party actually launch their people's referendum? That's what we asked, and Chairman Paco Smith was unable to give a straight answer: But, they've been running a poll with the help of Belize Breaking News where some 900 persons have already participated online. Now online polls are notoriously skewed, but the BPP take it to be a quick reading of the public pulse. Here's the Communications Director talking about the questions and the responses they've gotten:

Restrictions On Public Drinking In Effect This September
Tomorrow is the Tenth of September, and police are preparing for all kinds of - shall we say….recreational excess? That means plenty or partying and booze, but the cops stress, if you're drinking in public, you've got to bag it or put it in a plastic cup. ACP Chester Williams went over the rules one more time for us:...

Channel 5

G.O.B. to launch partial appeal on Section 53 decision
There is a major development in respect of the ruling on Section Fifty Three.  Government and the religious community, including the Belize Council of Churches, have arrived at a mutual [...]

Hardline evangelical community to join appeal as interested parties
In the days that followed the Supreme Court decision, the National Evangelical Association of Belize, NEAB, and the Alliance for Defense of the Natural Family were extremely critical of the [...]

Patrick Menzies issues kudos to Government for forward steps
Firebrand religious and social activist Patrick Menzies has been leading the charge in demanding that government appeals Section Fifty-three.  As the head of the Alliance for the Defense of the [...]

Time ticking for appeal; ruling on sex definition was not asked for
The decision of the Supreme Court on Section Fifty-three was perfected on August twenty-sixth, effectively commencing a twenty-one day period during which government, as well as the churches, can challenge [...]

P.M. steps back; now has no problem with Senate select inquiry if approved
The Prime Minister has been advocating for a joint select committee to investigate the special audit on immigration irregularities. That position is changing very quickly because the motion for a [...]

Barrow insists Government’s majority must be respected
The composition of the parliamentary committee to investigate the Immigration Department remains a contentious matter.  The Prime Minister went on record earlier today to state that personally he has no [...]

P.U.P. will have to re-introduce motion for inquiry
Will President Lee Mark Chang allow the Senate to reintroduce a motion to vote for a Senate Select Committee?  It’s a question that can only be answered at the next [...]

Belize City Mayor endorses Senate Select Committee
At the last senate meeting, the Belize Chamber of Commerce as well as the unions and the P.U.P. voted for a Senate investigation. But that motion was defeated and the [...]

Opposition meets with Council of Churches on Senate inquiry
Leader of the Opposition John Briceño and Senator Eamon Courtenay met with Reverend Roosevelt Papouloute and Bishop Phillip Wright this morning, ahead of the churches’ meeting with the Prime Minister.  [...]

Is Joint Select Committee legal?
Senator Eamon Courtenay explained that for a defeated motion to be re-introduced in the Senate they would have to approach the president and ask for a suspension of the rules.  [...]

Mayor says issues with audit report touch on Belizean nationalism
Earlier we heard from Mayor Darrell Bradley supporting the senate select investigation. Today, he was asked about the immigration irregularities that were exposed in the audit, for which an investigation [...]

Elected officials cannot court corruption, Mayor insists
Bradley took a strong position in respect of corruption. The mayor believes that elected official have to stand against corruption.   Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor “I was very, very [...]

Mayor Bradley brushes off backlash, says society must tackle corruption
After his comments on the audit report earlier this week in support of a senate select investigation, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was criticized over the airwaves of his own [...]

Prime Minister says Mayor should have consulted party before public statement
But will Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley be sanctioned by his party for his candid position on calling for a Senate Select Commission?  The outspoken head of municipal government has [...]

Is industrial action on the table for teachers?
During his interview on Thursday evening following the nationwide meetings of the ten branches of the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU), National President Luke Palacio brought up a phrase that [...]

Port of Belize launches state-of-the-art pilot vessel
The “Oliver,” the Port of Belize Limited’s first-ever pilot launch boat, was christened this afternoon at its compound in Belize City. C.E.O. of the Port, Arturo Vasquez, shares details of [...]

Man shot in troubled area of Southside Belize City
There were two shootings over the past twenty-four hours. The first took place sometime around six o’clock on Thursday evening on south side Belize City. Thirty-seven year old Jason Longsworth [...]

Former Hofius employees freed of theft charges
Back in April of this year, two former Hofius employees were charged with forty-nine counts of theft for allegedly stealing about two hundred and eight-seven thousand dollars from the downtown [...]

Mexican-Belizean granted bail for drugs
A Mexican/Belizean now living in Mexico was busted in Corozal back in July of this year, allegedly in possession of eight hundred and seventy-six grams cannabis. This morning Jose Carlos [...]

Awareness and outreach on prevention of suicides
Saturday, September tenth, is celebrated as World Suicide Prevention Day. The World Health Organization has been building awareness about this issue since 2003, encouraging persons to reach out to people [...]

Mayor addresses support for vulnerable persons in society
The global theme for the prevention of suicide is “Connect, Communicate, Care.” Depression is a main factor in instances where people take their own lives. Mayor Darrell Bradley is advocating [...]

Mas camps continue; five bands present diverse themes
The second night of mas camps took place on Thursday on south side Belize City. Five bands were judged for the creativity of their costumes as well as for the [...]

LOVE FM

Church Leaders Grateful for Dialogue with PM on Section 53
Cool heads prevailed today as the Government and the Churches came to a consensus that a portion of Section 53 would be appealed by the Government while the ruling in its entirety will be challenged by the Catholic Church. It was a lengthy meeting held this morning at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. The media […]

PM Explains Terms of Meeting with Churches
After waiting for an hour and a half to hear what the decision was that came out of the meetings and after getting the initial reactions from a few of the Church leaders that were in the meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow went into detail of the decisions made while explaining the rationale along the […]

PM Says He Is Open to Senate Inquiry
The controversy over what transpired last week in the Senate when the People’s United Party’s senator motion for a senate inquiry into the Auditor General’s report on the Immigration and Nationality Department was defeated, has been the source of much discussion. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow had somewhat of a change of heart and has […]

PM Speaks on Guatemala’s Request for New Investigation
Earlier we have reported that the Guatemalan government is unhappy and dissatisfied with the report submitted by the Organization of American States as it relates to the shooting death of the 13-year-old, Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. The report has cleared the Belizean military of any guilt and has reported that the minor had been previously […]

Education Speaks on HFLE Curriculum
Patrick Menzies of the Alliance of Ministers and Leaders has harped on several occasions, his discontent with the HFLE curriculum in schools as it pertains to sex and gender education. Present in today’s meeting with the church leaders was Education Minister, Patrick Faber who told the media that the issue did come up this morning; […]

Bradley Stands by His Statements on Senate Inquiry
We spoke with Mayor Darrel Bradley about statements he made this week, supporting the Senate Inquiry into the Audit reports on the immigration and Nationality Department. The Audit reports have fingered more than a dozen Ministers for issuing questionable recommendations for individuals to get Belizean passports. Bradley says he is standing by his statements. […]

Bradley and the Backlash for Expression
As we said, Bradley’s comments did not sit well with some within his party. He was asked if he has received any backlash for his comments. According to Bradley, the inquiry into the Audit Reports should be a completely non partisan issue.

PM Says Mayor Bradley Should Have Expressed Views Internally First
And while Mayor Bradley said he has not received any backlash for his comments, today Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that he would have preferred if Bradley had gone directly to his party and express his views.

Shooting on McKay Boulevard
A man remains hospitalized following a shooting incident around six o’clock on Thursday evening on Mckay Boulevard. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, Officer commanding Eastern Division South, spoke about the ongoing investigation. The suspected shooters were riding bicycles when they approached Longsworth.

Police in Southern Belize Makes Firearm Arrests
Police anti-crime operations have resulted in two persons detained in connection with two weapons found in their possession in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.


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#517442 - 09/10/16 11:56 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 10, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

GOB cannot investigate itself!
In an exclusive interview on Wednesday night with 7 News, Mayor Darrell Bradley took a firm position against the move by Prime Minister Dean Barrow to supplant a Senate inquiry into irregularities at the Immigration and Nationality Department with the appointment of a bi-cameral committee to look into the issue. In his interview, Bradley not only expressed his support for the march against corruption organized by the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) on Wednesday morning, but he also made clear his support for a Senate inquiry into the findings of a special audit by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley into the issuance of Belizean passports, visas, and nationality by the Immigration Department. Bradley’s support for a Senate inquiry goes against the wishes of his Party Leader, PM Barrow, and the Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Minister Godwin Hulse, who, during the last Senate meeting, voted a motion tabled by the Opposition for a Senate inquiry into the explosive findings of the Auditor General on massive corruption in the Immigration and Nationality Department, and who, instead, said that the inquiry into the findings of the audit should be held by a joint select committee drawn from the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Did police tamper with Dean Dawson’s blood specimen?
Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster, the commander of Belize Rural Eastern Division, confirmed to Amandala this evening that police are investigating the apparent alteration of a blood specimen that was taken from accident victim Dean Dawson. On the night of Sunday, April 30, Dawson, a mechanic and resident of Gardenia, lost his life when he was knocked down by a Government of Belize Isuzu Rodeo that was being driven at the time by Dorian Pakeman, the Director of the Government Press Office. On Monday, September 5, ACP Broaster told the media that the file concerning the accident had been sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. In a telephone interview on Monday night, Broaster confirmed that the blood specimen that police took from Dawson could not be used in the investigation because it had been tampered with. Now why would anyone tamper with the blood specimen of an accident victim? It appears that whoever tampered with Dawson’s specimen wanted to show that he was under the influence of alcohol.

BNTU ready to rumble!
Teachers from across the country are considering what action they will take in addressing burning national issues, such as the call for an inquiry into the recently unveiled Immigration audits, following polls taken across the 10 branches of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), which met on short notice today, in defiance of objections raised by the Ministry of Education and the Belize Association of General Managers of Pre and Primary Schools. Militant union leaders are now slated to meet this Saturday, September 10, symbolically, on the day commemorating the battle which changed the fate of Belize, to discuss what, if any, industrial action should be taken. Some teachers were polled on whether they would actively participate if industrial action—such as a sickout, go-slow, work-to-rule, picketing, demonstration or strike—becomes necessary.

Chamber position firm on Senate Inquiry into Immigration scandal
The defeated motion for a Senate Select Committee inquiry into the recently unveiled Immigration audits, tabled by the Opposition People’s United Party at the last Sitting of the Senate, remains high on the agenda of the social partners even as the Barrow administration is promoting an alternative inquiry by a joint committee of parliamentarians from the House and the Senate. There are concerns that such a joint committee would be skewed in favor of the ruling party, which some critics say would defeat the whole purpose of such an inquiry. Today, executives of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), which had told Prime Minister Dean Barrow in a meeting held last Thursday that they would support the joint committee mechanism under certain specified conditions, met for the first time at a formal sit-down today with executives of the Belize Business Bureau, to discuss the matter of the inquiry.

Jarrell Velasquez and Devin Daly “Belize’s top two basketball prospects”
Belize’s basketball future appears brighter than it has ever been since the glory days of Milton Palacio, Alex Carcamo, Orlin Simplis, Kent Bennett, Clinton Fuller’s and Kenroy Smith. It truly is an exciting time for Belize’s National Basketball Program as we look toward competing both regionally and internationally in the near future. You may ask, why the optimism? And my answer would be “it’s all in the numbers”. The numbers being the quantity and the quality of “homegrown” Belizean basketball talent that are currently either in structured basketball programs internationally, or whom have completed such programs and now are developing and toning their individual skill sets, while gaining invaluable experience competing and learning abroad in the United States, Europe and Asia. Two such individuals that this article will focus on are graduates, Jarrell Velasquez of Galen University and Devin Daly of Lake Superior State University in Michigan.

3rd Annual Bart’s Bash Sailing Event announced
Bart’s Bash 2016 Sailing Event will take place worldwide on Saturday, September 17, and Sunday, September 18. The organizers in San Pedro have decided to make the most of the weekend by holding an open regatta on Saturday, and sailing Bart’s Bash on Sunday. Bart’s Bash has been a highly entertaining, one-of-a-kind sailing race, in which sailors all over the world and in every kind of sailboat imaginable have taken to their home waters on the same day and sailed courses that have been designated as comparable by a computer program in the hands of the Bart’s Bash Committee. Another computer program handicaps all the various boat classes involved. It has been a fully legitimate regatta. Guinness Book of World Records formally recognized the inaugural Bart’s Bash (2014) as the largest boat race in history. Having secured that record on the first try, the Committee has loosened the all-on-the-same-day rule, and made the world-wide Bart’s Bash an all-on-the-same-weekend sailboat race. Bart’s Bash should attract even more boats than it did its first 2 years; they averaged in excess of 16,000 boats.

Sugar City Hoops Week 2 schedule
Here is the Week 2 schedule for the Sugar City Hoops Basketball Tournament games being played at the East Sports Center: Friday, September 9, starting 7:30 p.m. Game 1 – (17&Under) Muffles Bobcats vs Ever Ballaz Game 2 – (25&Under) One Love vs Belize Road Bullets It’s an alcohol/drug free event! Entrance – children under 12 years – FREE; teens – $2.00; adults – $3.00.

Dangriga sports stats
The U-13 Mundialitos Competition 2016 came to an end over the weekend at the Pomona New Site football field. On Saturday, there were the semifinal matches. In game 1, Spain from Pomona and Belize Young Jaguars both ended up nil-nil in regular time and went into penalty shootout. Hilton Borland for Spain was the only one who scored, to lead Spain to the finals. In game 2, Barcelona from Dangriga won over Argentina from Steadfast, 5 goals to 1. Demille Flores scored a hat trick, and Zion Ramos and Darnel Chavez got one apiece for Barcelona, while Freddy Cho got Argentina’s only goal. Sunday was the day for the big Finals. Game 1 was the third place match, and saw Argentina from Steadfast winning over Belize Young Jaguars to take third place. In game 2, the championship game, Spain from Pomona and Barcelona from Dangriga both ended 1-1 in regular time. Demille Flores hit for Barcelona, while Adrian Nunez hit for Spain. The finals went to penalty shootout, and Barcelona from Dangriga was crowned the champion; Spain from Pomona took second place; and Argentina from Steadfast was third place.

Mundialito results from Orange Walk
The Orange Walk Mundialito finals were held today at the Louisiana Football Field. The third place game was won by Holland of Guinea Grass, 1-0, over Mexico of San Estevan, on a goal by Angel Yco. And in the championship game, it was 0-0 in regulation between Colombia of Palmar and Belize of Louisiana Area. In the ensuing penalty kicks, Colombia of Palmar won, 6-5, over Belize of Louisiana Area. Making good on penalties for Colombia were Izhar Carrillo, Allen Eiley, Andir Chi, Nazir Torres, Jaheim Augustine and Indalecio Caceres; while scorers for Belize were Michael Cruz, Marcos Alvarez, Axel Alamilla, Edrei Alamilla and Jason Cowo. The following awards were distributed after the game: Top Goleador – Axel Alamilla of Belize (18 goals); Best Goalkeeper – Charles Tillett of Holland; MVP – Alexis Chan of Mexico; Fair Play – Portugal of Trinidad Village.

Editorial: The village
A couple decades or so perhaps, it became fashionable in Belize’s intellectual circles to quote an African proverb which says: “It takes a village to raise a child.” The village of Southside Belize City has been wracked by civil war for more than two decades. Sometimes that civil war crosses the Haulover Creek to include Northside Belize City, and sometimes that civil war actually moves outside the city, to Ladyville. Sometimes it even travels west to Roaring Creek, or south to Dangriga. George McKenzie, Jr., was buried in Belize City on Monday, September 5, and after the funeral there was a lot of gunfire in the old capital. One youth was killed, afterwards another was critically injured by gunfire, and later on there was yet another youth shot, though he was listed in a stable condition. Nine years to the night before George McKenzie, Jr., was stabbed to death at a concert on Saturday night, August 27, his father, George “Junie Balls” McKenzie, a charismatic gang leader, had been shot dead on North Front Street in front of Pinks Alley.

From the Publisher
In our midweek issue, Amandala began publication of an article by Jeffrey Blankfort which was run online by CounterPunch.org on Monday, September 5. The article is so long that it will have to be continued in this present (weekend) issue of our newspaper. It is entitled: Congressional Black Caucus: Deep in the Israel Lobby’s Pocket. This is an important article for serious Belizeans, at home and abroad, to study, and I urge you to take the time to read it. African Americans are perhaps 12 percent of the population of the United States of America, and when I went to the U.S. in August of 1965 to attend Dartmouth College, black Americans (as “Negroes” were beginning to call themselves) were waging a struggle for their civil and human rights which had begun ten years earlier with the Rosa Parks bus incident in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1964 and 1965, during the Democratic Party presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had succeeded the assassinated John Fitzgerald Kennedy in November of 1963, there had been pieces of legislation passed which increased the civil rights of black Americans, such as the Voting Rights Law, so that significant gains were being made by black activists with respect to racial integration and equality in America.

Of abalones and fake sincerity
Dear Editor, The bureaucracy of politics in Belize is truly a sight to behold. I’m mystified as to how much more compelling evidence is necessary before Belizeans wake up to just how completely corrupt and how little truth emerges from the various ministerial fiefdoms that are the linchpin of politics in Belize. The power behind the throne, these ministries exhibit malfeasance that would make a dictator blush. You gotta be kidding … these are people who are the LEAST WORTHY of a citizen’s respect, but like an abalone clinging to its rock, prying them loose can be difficult and takes effort. There’s a saying in Hollywood: “Once you learn to fake sincerity, the rest is easy…”

Alfonso C registers a complaint
Dear Editor, I have been following the three days bash that the Belize Brewing Co. has been hosting in Belize city for the last years. I do honestly believe that the concept is an excellent one but the implementation is very short-sighted and unbalanced. Having three days of festivities basically beer drinking and music in the same venue is a win-win situation only for Belize Brewing Co. Ltd. I have been a bar and club owner for almost fifty years and I have seen and felt what those three days do to neighborhood clubs and entertainment spots in the old city. For three days, clubs and other outlets are basically put into an “induced coma” by this event. On these nights we do minimal business, and at twelve midnight, when the event is over, the patrons who leave [the bash] visit the clubs, but are so intoxicated that many places would rather just close for the night than entertain them.

Of necessary checks and balances
Editor Sir: In theory, a democratic government guarantees the free and equal representation to all its citizens in determining the rules and manner in which they are governed. In practice this ideal is never achieved. Often thought of as a model of democracy, the United States limited the vote, for much of its history, to white, property-owning males. Election to public office in that country requires huge campaign budgets and the corporations and special interest groups that provide those funds are represented to a far greater degree than the individual voter. Belizeans can be proud that they have a form of government in which each individual can have his say through his vote and through a remarkably accessible media. But power and greed seem to be part of human nature and to keep the power from being concentrated in the hands of a few, a system of checks and balances must be kept actively in place.

Guatemalan squatters at El Retiro exploited OAS relocation program
Hundreds of Guatemalans have been relocated, and given lands and houses, in a program led by the Organization of American States (OAS) to peacefully address incursions and encroachments into Belizean territory, particularly in western and southern Belize. Over the course of the past year, a number of reports have surfaced, claiming continued squatting by Guatemalans on Belizean soil, including inside the Chiquibul National Park, which has strict protective status. However, latest reports from Belize Defence Force Commander, Brigadier General David Jones, indicate that all those squatters have vacated Belize, the most recent ones being a group of about 15 which have left El Retiro, where they had built 5 buildings which they have since dismantled. Three other buildings closer to Valentin camp had also been vacated, Jones indicated. We had reported on that discovery last December, when we were informed that two had been found in the region of Cebada and a third in the Valentin area, straddling the Belize-Guatemala border.

Janus: The Elected Senate
In 1776, the Declaration of Independence of the British colonies in America was proclaimed. On April 30, 1789, George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States, inaugurating the greatest ever experiment in governance. Before these historic moments, the voice of a king, queen, or dictator determined the fate and behaviour of persons and the masses. Their legitimacy was styled “The Divine Right of Kings”. In America, however, the will of the people expressed by voting in elections would form the only true basis of the legitimacy of all authority. The voice of the people would now become the voice of God. The American Constitution also gave effect to the doctrine of the separation of powers. Article 1 declared all legislative power to be vested in Congress. A single person could not now do what kings and queens used to do. Through Article 3, the third great branch of national government was established. The judicial power of the United States was vested in a Supreme Court.

Don’t “jokey” Belize!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala seem to be reading from the same page out of the same instruction manual when it comes to their individual reactions to recent official independent reports that they find unfavorable, Belize’s Auditor General’s immigration audit spawned by the Penner/Castro passport/visa scandals in the one instance, and the OAS report on the investigation into this year’s death of a Guatemalan youth by gunfire from a Belizean military/forest ranger patrol which occurred on Belizean territory. Both investigations were requested by the respective governments, the Belizean Senate in the audit case, and President Morales himself through his Foreign Ministry in the shooting case. Both Barrow and Morales had uttered words prior to these investigations which have come back to haunt them. They have now resorted to undermining the respective reports and shooting the messengers, smearing their abilities and credibility.

Findings from Spanish archives on the Battle of St. George’s Caye.
With the 218th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye days away, historians from Mexico and Belize have collaborated to present findings transcribed from Spanish archives on the historic battle. On Wednesday morning, the Bliss Centre was packed with students and historians who attended to hear a national lecture entitled: “Spanish Reports on the Battle of 1798: Preliminary Findings,” which was hosted by the Belize History Association (BHA). According to panelists, a 1,200 page record of the battle had to be painstakingly translated from 18th century Spanish to modern Spanish. Also, the panelists had to reconstruct the timeline of the battle. However, while there were no new major findings in the Spanish version of events when compared to accounts from the Baymen, there were minor differences in the details surrounding the planning and execution of the invasion and the justification for the Spanish retreat.

Benque taxi operators demonstrate against Melchor van and taxi operators
About 80 taxi drivers of 5 taxi associations of Benque Viejo Del Carmen Town, Cayo District, converged yesterday on the Benque Viejo Town Hall, where they staged a demonstration in front of the Mayor’s Office, demanding that the council take action against a van from Melchor De Mencos, Guatemala, and Melchor taxi drivers. The taxi associations say that the van is transporting students from Melchor to schools in Benque Viejo, and that the Melchor taxi drivers put Belize taxi license plates on their cars, and after dropping off the students at the schools, offer taxi services, picking up people in the town, and taking away their jobs. The angry taxi drivers say that the Melchor taxi drivers obtain their Belize taxi license plates from the transport authorities, and they are demanding an end to such a practice. The taxi drivers reported that this van is the 7th bus that is transporting the students from Melchor to Benque, and that they, the Belizean taxi drivers, are losing potential income as a result of the arrangement.

The Reporter

GOB agrees to limited appeal on Chief Justice ruling
After a follow-up meeting with representatives from various church organizations, the Government of Belize has agreed to appeal only the portion of the Chief Justice’s ruling on Section 53, which pertains to the constitutional definition of sex. Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced today that after […]

Western bus companies implement new fares; Transport Dept. says not so…til October
Bus fares along the western stretch of Belize increased on Monday but only lasted for four days, until a meeting among the bus operators, Minister of Transport Edmund Castro, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), and Transport officials ended with a few new stipulations. Those […]

Murder in San Pedro
A resident of Dangriga is dead following an altercation with another man in San Pedro on Thursday. Officer commanding the San Pedro police station, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmoth told the Reporter late Thursday that sometime after midday, two men gbecame embroiled in a fierce machete […]

PUP senators make demands
The Senators for the opposition People’s United Party (PUP) this week continued their call for a Senate inquiry into the incidents of illegalities cited in the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department. Senators Michel Chebat, Valerie Woods, and Paul Thomson, held a […]

Guatemalan officials target OAS representatives
Government officials in Guatemala are calling for the removal of two representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS), because they are dissatisfied with the results of the independent investigation into the April 20 shooting incident in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, […]

Belize receives US $109,000 from Taiwan for ICT project
Belize has received US $109,000 from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to play a meaningful role in e-governance in Belize. Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, Benjamin Ho presented the cheque to the Central Information Technology Office (CITO) of the Government of Belize for the bilateral ICT […]

July exports down almost $34 million
Belize’s exports for the month of July fell by $33.9 million, according to the latest data published by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). The SIB’s External Trade Bulletin showed that Belize exported $30 million worth of goods. The figure represents a 53 percent drop from the […]

Police now say Troy Davis’ shooting death was “accidental”
Police are saying they have changed their position on the shooting death of Tyrone Davis, 30, who they initially said was murdered. The incident happened on Saturday afternoon in Sand Hill village near mile 20 in the Belize district while Davis was lying in a […]

Nicosia Zuniga gunned down in Lake I
Police are looking for two men in connection with a homicide this week, which claimed the life of 22-year-old Nicasio John Zuniga. Officer Commanding Police Rural Division South, ACP Chester Williams, explained that Zuniga (known as DJ General) was shot once to the face in the upper […]

Unidentified man killed in RTA
The Rural Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department are trying to find the identity of a man that died in a road traffic accident this week. Thirty-nine-year-old Margendon Conorquie from Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District, reported to police that shortly before 5:00 a.m. on […]

Spanish archives corroborate Battle of St. Georges Caye
Belize, September 7, 2016 Spanish military records and other documents in Spain’s historical archives have corroborated and shed new light on the events leading up to the Battle of S. George’s Caye and the Spanish forces’ subsequent retreat, which were presented to Belizean schoolchildren, university students and other researchers at […]

Santa Elana Town Council suspends employees over Facebook video
The Santa Elena Town Council suspended two of its senior employees this week, after a video of them utilizing the council’s vehicle for personal use ended up on Facebook. Mayor of Santa Elena, Earl Trapp, explained on Monday that the council suspended both employees for two weeks, […]

GOB agrees to increase BERT subvention
The Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) is on its way to financial rebound, after the Government of Belize agreed this week to increase its monthly subvention. BERT and representatives of the government met in Belize City on Monday to negotiate the ministry’s assistance and they agreed to […]

We Stand For Wildlife – tackling the illegal trade in Belize
Illegal Wildlife and Timber Trafficking is having a devastating effect on many species across the globe. This trade, which can be defined as the illegal gathering, transportation, and distribution of plants and animals (and their parts), is undermining legal local livelihoods, weakening the rule of law, fuelling corruption, and providing […]

Editorial
The Audit Report prepared by the Belize Audit Department under Ms.Dorothy Bradley is the most painstaking, most meticulous, most complete audit we have seen in many years. It is a monumental work, compiled by professionals and it puts the spotlight where it belongs – on various ministers without fear or […]

BNTU considers industrial action
The Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU), held a countrywide emergency meeting on Thursday evening to consider industrial action against the Government of Belize. The BNTU is upset at the Prime Minister’s request to delay their scheduled pay raise because of damage caused by Hurricane Earl. […]

Mayor supports PUP supports Senate inquiry despite backlash from UDP
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, voiced his support this week for a Senate Inquiry into the findings of the Special Audit Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department, released by the Auditor General. Bradley said that having read the law, and listening to the senatorial […]

PUP leads thousands in demonstration
By Marion Ali Assistant Editor The sights and sounds in Belize City were different on Wednesday when the People’s United Party (PUP) led a demonstration through some of the principal streets of Belize City, with people flaunting their party’s traditional blue and white colours and showing placards denouncing corruption. Supporters […]

Pregnant woman shot dead by home visitor
By Marion Ali Assistant Editor Jahida Briceno, 22, a pregnant mother of two young children met a violent death Tuesday night when she opened her door to see who had just called her name. Her home is located on Boundary Road in Orange Walk town. Briceno was with her injured […]

MOH observes World Suicide Prevention Day
Today, Belize joins with other member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) to observe World Suicide Prevention Day. In commemoration, the Ministry of Health, held a flag raising at the Battlefield Park in Belize City, to honour those who have died from suicide, the […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Ambassador Lou-Anne Burns Martinez Presents Credentials to President of Venezuela
On Monday, the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, H.E. Nicolás Maduro Moros, formally received the credentials of H.E. Ambassador Lou-Anne Burns Martinez alongside Ambassadors for Belgium, Burundi, Holland, Jordan, Kuwait and Malaysia, and Nepal. The President described the event as the reaffirmation […]

Government agrees to challenge part of Section 53 ruling
As previously indicated, the Government of Belize and the religious community, including the Belize Council of Churches, have reached accord to appeal part of the amended criminal code which also interprets sex to include sexual orientation, following a series of meetings between the church […]

A Guatemalan flag on a September 10th parade?
A video posted on social media this morning shows a Guatemalan flag in a student parade for the Battle of St. George’s Caye celebrations held today in the Capital City of Belmopan. The video has gone viral on Facebook and is causing uproar since […]

Man fatally shot at his home in Belize City
Marvin Ottley, 35, was shot to the left hand in a shooting incident that happened last night in Belize City. Ottley was at home and heard someone calling his name and when he exited his house and went downstairs, he saw two male persons […]

Half a million dollars in fantasies
What would you do with half a million dollars? That – almost – is how much Carmen Gamboa from Concepcion Village in the Corozal District won in the most recent Fantasy Five jackpot collected on Thursday. The draw, for 494 thousand dollars was the resulted […]

Why September is police’s least favorite month
As the countdown begins to the first major weekend of the September Celebrations, spare a thought for the men and women in khaki, white and blue. The Police Department will be working overtime and then some to regulate the excesses of alcohol, sex, and […]

Police Commissioner waiting for personal copy of Audit report; denies Valdez allegation
Police Commissioner Allen Whylie says he cannot start an investigation until he has formally received copies of the Auditor General’s Special Reports on Immigration, which he has not as yet. Whylie said he has briefed the head of National Crimes Investigation Branch (NCIB) “to […]

Who lost Pakeman cocaine test for DPP?
Police Commissioner Allen Whylie commented on the report from the DPP’s Office that when police sent over the Dorian Pakeman accident investigation file, it did not include the forensic lab’s positive test for cocaine. That would be a rather conspicuous omission – and yesterday […]

Tourism Minister “come again” on Auditor General’s reports
Far from his previous comment that he will not lose any sleep over the Auditor General’s report on Immigration, Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. must now explain how it is he cultivated what the report calls “a special connection” with the Lebanese Honorary Consul […]

Belize prepares to celebrate the Battle of Saint George’s Caye
Every year on September 10, Belizeans celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Saint George’s Caye. In the 1500s, the Spaniards made constant attempts to control the region of the Yucatan coast, which included the country of Belize. In the mid-1600s, shipwrecked British sailors […]

Man shot in Belize city
Jason Longsworth, 37, was shot in Belize City on Thursday night. Last night Longsworth was speaking to his common-law-wife at the front door of their home when they were approached by two male persons who fired several shots causing injuries to Longsworth’s lower back […]

Man killed in San Pedro
Yesterday afternoon Elton Polonio, a 32-year-old resident of San Pedro town was inside Maya hardware store where he got into an altercation with another person who stabbed him. Polonio was taken to the San Pedro poly clinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival. […]

Ministry of Education blasts BNTU in press release
Yesterday evening the Ministry of Education and the Managing Authorities of the Pre and Primary Schools sent out a daunting release to the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). In the release, the Ministry expressed extreme disappointment and concerns for the lack of sufficient notice […]

Prime Minister to hold a Press Briefing on meeting with church leaders
Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be hosting a press conference this morning at 11:00 to give an update on the outcome of his meetings with church leaders. PM Barrow met with the council of churches on Tuesday following several protests and demands made to […]

1 injured in traffic accident on George Price Highway
BBN has received confirmed reports that a traffic accident happened this morning on the George Price Highway. According to reports, the accident happened around 6: 30 a.m. and involved a Westline bus and an SUV. One person was injured and fortunately no life […]

Minor raped in Cayo; police looking for suspect
Police officers in San Ignacio Town are looking for a man who raped a 17-year-old minor from Santa Familia village in the Cayo District. According to police, the Belizean minor accompanied by her mother, both of Santa Familia Village, Cayo District reported to them […]

Ministry of Transport resolves issues with Benque Viejo Taxi Operators
Yesterday afternoon in Belmopan, Minister of State for Transport Hon. Edmond Castro, Chief Transport Officer, Tirsio Galvez, and other officials from the Transport Department met with taxi operators from Benque Viejo to discuss issues affecting them. According to a release that BBN received, an […]

Blogs

How Does a Travel Agent See Belize? A Look at a Recent “FAM Trip”
I LOVE to research a trip on the internet…to thumb through travel guides…it has never once occurred to me to visit a travel agent. And while the industry has consolidated considerably since people have been so easily able to buy airline tickets and hotel rooms on the world wide web, it still remains the primary way to book cruises and package tours. I also imagine that agents are used heavily by high end clients and for business travel. All that said, I have always been very curious about how they are used to book vacations in Belize. SO…when Luigi of Magnum Belize Travel asked me if he could send me photos and a summary about his most recent FAM trip (a familiarization trip to get a look at a region) with a bunch of travel agents, I said sure. Though I have never met him or worked with his company (and no…I did not get anything free for this post) – here is a look at the trip. Maybe if I’m interested, others are too? How does your agent see Belize?

Why you should go south when visiting Belize | Southern Belize
Almost all international visitors to the country arrive in Belize City with plans to head to some of the crowded attractions in the north like Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker or sites out west in Cayo District. However, theThis unique culture is an amalgam of African and native Caribbean influences, still preserving much of their heritage like drumming, boat building, and craftsmanship in villages like Hopkins and towns like Dangriga. southern part of Belize offers savvy travelers a chance to get off the beaten path to explore some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches, nature reserves and top attractions of the south. There are seven parks in southern Belize and world-renowned sites like the Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve offer visitors a chance to see waterfalls, hike through pristine rainforests, and marvel at exotic wildlife like howler monkeys, giant iguanas, jaguars, toucans, and parrots. Belize was the epicenter of the ancient Maya Empire, and today visitors can explore famous sites like Nim Li Punit and Lubantuum in southern Belize.

The Work Life Balance (Part 1)
Long hours facing a computer screen, towers of papers at every corner of your desk, endless errands from dawn til dusk, meetings with business personnel, phone calls from family, assignments for courses studied, house chores – did you just picture your life routine? Well, here’s the great news – you’re not alone. Whether it’s reporting to the workplace, studying for another degree, managing your own business or raising children – there is always WORK! So when do we actually take some time out of our busy lives to actually do LIFE? How do we maintain the “work life” balance? Maintaining a healthy work life balance doesn’t mean the number of hours assigned to your work tasks must equal the same number of hours spent on personal activities, as this would be unrealistic and perhaps more stressful. Life in itself is and should be fluid and adaptable to the inevitable changes that occur daily. Thus, in simple terms, the balance exists exactly where your self-fulfillment is met through both working and living life.

International Sourcesizz

Belize will not support second probe into death of Guatemalan teen
Belize has ruled out supporting another investigation into the shooting death of a Guatemalan teenager earlier this year after Guatemala City rejected the findings of an investigation carried out by the Organisation of American States (OAS). Guatemala had originally asked the OAS to carry out the probe into the incident that had threatened to escalate its border dispute with Belize. “I can tell you with full certainty that will not happen. This is our country. An incident occurred within our borders. It is the responsibility of our authorities to do the investigation. We had acceded to the suggestion that we get experts because we wanted to make it clear that we had nothing to hide,” said Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington.

Bohart Museum’s open house features thousands of new moths
Probably not what a group of scientists from the Bohart Museum of Entomology did. They journeyed to Belize to collect insects for the museum and brought back about 100,000 specimens. Entomologist Fran Keller, a museum associate who received her doctorate from UC Davis, co-led the tour. She is now an assistant professor of zoology at Folsom Lake College. Insects collected ranged from orchid bees to morpo butterflies to moths. The contingent to Belize included Steve Heydon, senior museum scientist at the Bohart Museum; entomologist Jeff Smith, who curates the moth and butterfly collection at the Bohart; and entomologists from the doctorate level to graduate students and undergraduate students.

Caribbean countries meet in Grenada ahead of COP22 in Morocco
Grenada is hosting the CARICOM Climate Change Negotiators and Ministerial preparatory meeting in preparation for the Conference of Parties (COP) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be held in Morocco this year. The three-day conference, which began on Monday, is being attended by representatives from 12 countries as well as the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat. The objectives of the preparatory meeting are to provide ministers and negotiators with a forum to prepare for COP 22 to be held in Marrakesh, Morocco from the 7th to 18th November 2016 and to develop the regional positions for the Caribbean states.

Videos

  • The flag!, 3min. Made in Belize by Ms. Sandra Mai of Orange Walk

  • 10th of September Song, 3min.

  • Watch Krazy Kimberlin take on Marie Sharp's - Smokin Marie Hot Sauce!, 7min.

  • BONEFISH RUSH HOUR ~ EL PESCADOR LODGE, BELIZE, 1.5min. On our afternoons off we rented a golf buggy and followed the map given to us by El Pescador lodge where we were staying ~ in this particular "mill pond" spot we cast to the other side and sunk our green weighted clousers for approx 10 seconds and stripped until we felt a tug... great sport for a few hours!

  • The Great Father of Belize George Price mingling with investors in Los Angeles about Belize., min.

  • BPP Press Conference September 8th 2016, 50min. ITEMS DISCUSSED: - Growing Dysfunction in Belize's Governance - Auditor General's Report - Fiasco at the Sitting of the House - Sitting of the Senate - The People’s Referendum - Salary Increase for Teachers - The State of the Economy - Upcoming BPP Initiatives - UNCAC/POCA - BPP Outreach...

  • Belize 4k, 10min. Our trip to Belize in the summer of 2016.

  • Convencion Nacional belize 2016 rev Guztavo Chay, 83min. Movimiento Misionero Mundial.

  • AARON FRANCIS: THE MAKING OF A DYNAMIC BELIZEAN-AMERICAN SCHOLAR!, 25min. My coming across this outstanding young man in the Belizean-American Community and diaspora in Los Angeles was most astounding. Through the kind courtesy of a good friend, Orlin 'Proxy' Lewis, who prompted me on the dynamic youth achievement that this promising Belizean-American young man was contributing to his community, family and people, yours truly was moved by such rare sense of consciousness in our young people today, not to mention Aaron's incredible academic achievements, having to come straight out of South Central Los Angeles.

  • MISSION BLUE DR SYLVIA EARLE w/ Michael, 5min. Actual Date June 2013-The opp to be in the water exploring with Sylvia... words can't express, made a differance in my objectives and focus at sea as Sylvia later labeled me as an Eco Warrior. Just do what you can do and pay it forward, share it out.... Thanks MD

  • Soca Moca Senior Carnival Mas Band, 3.5min.

  • Fantasy Explosion Senior Carnival Mas Band, 5.5min.

  • Belizean Jewels Senior Carnival Mas Band, 1.5min.

  • Collett Royal Revellers Junior Carnival Mas Band, 1/2min.

  • Black Pearl Junior Carnival Mas Band, 1/2min.

  • A short clip of the Fire Engine Parade in San Pedro Town, 1/2min. As everyone is getting ready to bring in the 10th and celebrate the 218th anniversary of The Battle of St. George's Caye! Happy September Celebrations!

  • Nosotros Unidos Con Belize, 2min. Cecilia Bográn habló con representantes de Honduras y Belice sobre la participación de estos países en el Desfile por la Independencia de Centroamérica que se llevará a cabo este fin de semana.

  • Fire engine and emergency vehicle parade. Belize City 2016, 3min.

  • Billy and Rose take on the Western Carribean!, 4min. Adventures in Mexico, Belize and Honduras.

  • Belize Annual Fire Engine Parade 2016, 2.5min. Fire engine parade; carnival.

  • 2016 08 Belize Caye Caulker Snorkeling Shark Ray Alley, 4min.

  • FIFA LIVE YOUR GOALS FESTIVAL (BELIZE), 6.5min.

  • Chan Chich Resort in Belize, 2min. The Chan Chich Lodge in Northwestern Belize may be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Situated in the plaza of an ancient Mayan village, its accommodations and food are fabulous and lush landscape is incredible.

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