FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE
Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.
Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
Department of Immigration and Nationality Services Responds to False Claims of Passport Sales
In a Facebook post titled “Second Passport, Citizenship & Residency in Belize” dated 24th September, 2016 by a website “ICP Belize”, the company claims to be able to provide a Belize passport for sale at US $8,900.00 each. The Government of Belize through the Department of Immigration and Nationality Services categorically state that there is no such programme nor is there any intent to offer Belize passports for sale through any Economic Citizenship Programme or any other programme or agent.
The Constitution of Belize was amended via Act 39 of 2001, Gazetted 2nd January 2002, to remove the Economic Citizenship Program from the Constitution and by extension the Belizean Nationality Act, Chapter 161 of the Laws of Belize.
The only method of obtaining Belizean Nationality by Registration or Descent is in accordance with Chapter 161 of the Belize Nationality Act. It should be further noted that diligent search at the Companies Registry of Belize does not show any company registered to conduct business in Belize under the name “ICP Belize”. Therefore any person seeking to acquire Belizean citizenship through that company does so at his own risk.
Guatemala’s Costa Maya representative chosen during pageant
Since 1992, from its humble beginnings as the Sea & Air Festival to its evolution into the International Costa Maya Festival, entertainment, culture and pageantry has been a highlight of each August on La Isla Bonita. The Reina de la Costa Maya pageant is one major highlight for the festival fans, and has become an international sensation across the region. On Sunday, September 25th, the festival committee learned that during the Miss Guatemala pageant, a special title was awarded to one of the finalists: “Miss Costa Maya Internacional”. Fernanda Flores will be Guatemala’s representative at the festival in 2017. This is the first time that this title has been given to a participant. “It is nice to know that the Miss Costa Maya Internacional pageant is gaining recognition,” said Gach Guerrero, Committee Leader. guatemala-costa-maya-representative-fernanda-flores-2Also chosen in Sunday’s pageant were: Miss Tourism World, Ghalia Ortiz; Miss Queen & Beauty Universe, Sheila Robledo; Miss Guatemala Intercontinental, Nancy Ortiz; Miss Guatemala Internacional, Ana Lucia Villagran; and Miss Guatemala Mundo, Melanie Espina.
Belize Makes Top Adventure Tour Destination for 2017
Stride Travel Announces Top 7 Adventure Tour Destinations for 2017 - The team at Stride Travel, the largest search and reviews site for tours & adventure experiences, has provided some insights into the top trending adventure tour destinations for 2017. YES! Belize made the list at #3!!!
In its press release, Stride Travel stated, “Belize has been a ‘go to’ destination for years among American retirees looking to settle down in a friendly and warm country close to home and you don’t need to wait for retirement to take advantage of Belize’s world-class snorkeling and scuba diving.”
“A guided tour will ensure you gain access to the top snorkeling and diving spots like the Lighthouse Reef atoll, home to the famous Blue Hole. A tour guide will also provide local insights and historical context when visiting places like the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich and Caracol,” the Stride Travel release adds.
Misc Belizean Sources
2016 Coastal Cleanup on Ambergris Caye
Thanks to students of San Pedro Highschool and San Pedro Junior College who participated in this year's Beach Cleanup.
MISS BELIZE “CROWN CHRONICLES”
Miss Belize Universe 2016 hits the ground running and gets her own songBELIZE CITY, Belize—Rebecca “Bex” Rath, Miss Belize Universe 2016, is already busy connecting with Belizeans and preparing for the Miss Universe Pageant early next year.On Friday, September 23, Muffles College welcomed her to Orange Walk with a full day of events, which including a motivational speech to students and a visit to the Banquitas House of Culture. The following day she presented the winner of Mr. Belize 2016, Rigo Vellos, with his trophy.Ms. Rath has also visited the Belize Zoo, met Gulisi School students in her native Dangriga, and received a very warm welcome when she appeared at her alma mater, Ecumenical High School, also in Dangriga.Miss Belize Universe attended the official Independence Day flag-raising in Dangriga and Independence Day ceremonies in Belmopan. Earlier in the month, she attended the Tribute to Belizean Patriots.And, then there’s the song. Recording artist Papa John composed and recorded “Bex Fi Belize,” soon after her pageant win on September 10. When asked why he decided to produce the track, Papa John said he regards Bex as a friend, even as a sister, and wanted to show his support.
Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Customer Appreciation Day
Customers and friends, visit our booth behind Roni's Tortilla Factory in Corozal Town.
Birds of Belize Exhibit
The SISE House of Culture is gearing up for the new Birds of Belize exhibit. The exhibit launch is Friday, October 7th, at 5:00pm. If you like birds, or taxidermy, be sure and check this unique exhibit out.
In related bird news, the Belize Audubon Society is doing their Urban Birdwatch in Cayo this Saturday, and Benque on Sunday.
Happy Independence Day 2016!
Here are photos from Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 by Will Moreno Photography
Benque: October 1st Full Moon Concert
The Benque HoC is having a Full Moon concert to celebrate the new moon this Saturday, and the New Soundz Band will be playing.
Featuring "New Soundz Band" from Northern Belize - Suga City Orange Walk, come one and all and bring your dancing shoes to the Centennial Memorial Park, starting at 7:00 p.m. until
October 15, 10am-3pm, Belmopan. A nation's Culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. Therefore, exposing yourself to various cultures is so vital towards personal growth. Here is an opportunity to understand and appreciate the Maya Culture.
PS. If you are from Orange Walk and /or nearby villages a bus will be leaving from Banquitas HOC 5:30am. Call 322-0517 to secure your space.
Images of the War Monument at Soldiers Park in Corozal Town
After repairs and repainting were carried out by the Corozal House of Culture as part of National Service Day activities.
Perspectives of our Past historical Series
One week from today we will begin our 4th annual Perspectives of our Past historical talks. You are kindly invited to our first presentation by Mr. Alan Baker who will enlighten us on the past railway system of Corozal.
FCCA Cruise Conference & Tradeshow 2016
International Archaeology Day at Cahal Pech
International Archaeology Day celebrates Belizean archaeology in an educational, fun, and interactive way, with the aim that when our guests leave they have a deeper appreciation and understanding of our cultural partimony. Friday, October 14 at 10 AM - Cahal Pech, San Ignacio, Belize. More information
Belize Carnival 2016 Juniors
Here are some photos of Belize Carnival 2016 Juniors captured by Will Moreno Photography for Belize Carnival
BHA President - Guest Speaker at CHIEF Puerto Rico!
The Belize Hotel Association is delighted, that our President, Mrs. Leisa Carr-Caceres, is an invited guest speaker at the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum ( CHIEF) in Puerto Rico. The two-day event will take place this weekend on October 1 and 2, 2016, at the El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), each year CHIEF, attracts more than 250 innovative hoteliers and tourism sector affiliates, from across the region, as well as top speakers from a variety of industry segments for a series of intense networking, and educational sessions.
This year, the BHA is thrilled that our president Mrs. Carr-Caceres joins the ranks as a speaker for the session : Keepin' it Real". - Integrating Culture and Experience
FIVB Men's World Championship Qualification Tournament
Belize cruises to a 3-1 victory over Nicaragua and into serious contention for the medal round. Congratulations Team Belize!!!!!!
Miss Teen Earth International pageant
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to wish Vivian Magdalen the very best as she participates in the Miss Teen Earth International pageant in Panama. We are certain Vivian will represent Belize to the best of her knowledge. We are already proud of her. Enjoy the experience Vivian Magdalen.
Follow her journey by visiting the official facebook page of the pageant: Miss Teen Earth International. Vivian was a delegate for the Miss San Pedro pageant in 2015 where she was proudly sponsored by La Sirene Resort, Spa and Marina.
Saturday Night Alive
"Back in Time" party at the Chetumal Convention Center in Mexico on Saturday October 15th. Come dress up back in time. Best Live Music of the time...DJs. A night to remember. For information and reservations call (country code) 9831399153 - (MX)
BSOLT River Cleanup
The Belize School of Outdoor Leadership Training participated in Oceana's River Cleanup on Saturday. Looks like they had an awesome time doing it. Thanks, BSOLT!
"Cleaning up of Belize River (Teakettle to Banana Bank). Great thanks to all our remembers who collected over 100 lbs of garbage along the Belize River Banks.
Thanks to Maya Guide Adventure for the equipment provided and making this event as smooth as possible. BSOLT and BDARRT helping Oceana in keeping Belize Clean. Raising awareness on how beautiful our country is. "
5 things to know about Rebecca Rath, Miss Belize Universe!
1. She is known by the nickname “Bex.”
2. Growing up on the beaches of Dangriga, she considered herself a tomboy before entering the pageant.
3. She is an accomplished volleyball player and coach.
4. She holds a degree from the University of Houston.
5. Her favorite foods are hudut (which she enjoys cooking herself) and sahou.
Meet one of Belize's YLAI Fellows!
Karryn Dawson is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. She is Founder of ShapDaBelize which aims to simplify trade in Belize by expanding affordable market access for Belizean entrepreneurs while enabling buyers at home and abroad to shop at their convenience.
Ms. Dawson has been selected to participate at the #YLAI2016 Professional Fellows Program that aims to empower young Latin American and Caribbean business and social entrepreneurs to build relations across the Western Hemisphere and develop skills that are needed to succeed in the global economy.
Open House day at the House of Culture
Come spend the afternoon with us at the House of Culture. Share with us your vision for the new National Historic Museum. We are interested in your ideas. Free entertainment and snacks. All are welcome.
Saturday, October 8 at 1 PM - 4 PM,
Government House ~ House of Culture (NICH)
Regent Street, Belize City.
Belize City History and Social Studies Competition
A Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project Initiative to create awareness and willingness to preserve and protect our history and culture among our youths.
Nov 3 at 9 AM to Nov 10 at 11:30 AM, Belize Elementary School
Princess Margaret Drive, Belize City.
581 Suspected Cases of ZIKA, 6 Pregnant Women
On Friday we told you about Amandala's Zika report - which stated that 341 cases of Zika have been reported in Belize and 42 cases have been confirmed by testing. Well, today the Ministry of Health held a press conference to clarify the figures in that report, and also to discuss what those numbers mean for Belize.
Up until September 24th 2016, there are 46 confirmed cases of Zika in Belize. Surveillance Officer Lorna Perez gave us a break down of those cases based on districts. Perez also detailed the number of pregnant women who are infected with the virus.
Lorena Perez, Surveillance Officer, Epidemiology Unit:
"When we look at the numbers here we have 581 suspected cases of these, 305 have actually been screened which means a blood sample or a urine sample has been collected from these persons which represents 52.5% of all suspected cases being screened."
Keeping Zika Contained
And the Vector Control Unit is also prioritizing services to pregnant women. Chief of Operations in the Vector Control Unit Kim Bautista discussed the work they have been doing to reduce mosquito breeding sites in communities. Bautista also outlined what the unit is doing to keep pregnant women safe from mosquito bites. But there is only so much the ministry can do with the resources they have. After Bautista, Technical Advisor for the Child & Maternity Health Unit, Dr. Natalia Largaespada-Beer talks about what you must do to stay protected.
Kim Bautista, Chief of Operations, Vector Control:
"Every major municipality in the country has a Zika plan which is supposed to be in effect at this time. We did several workshops with these municipalities, distributed various sources of educational materials. Since then we've confirmed Zika's presence in Belize around June or July."
BNTU President Says Teacher's One-Day Strike Could Turn Into a Longer Shutdown
In last night's news, we spoke to the president of the Teachers Union who said that teachers countrywide will strike next week. We also framed the war of words between the BNTU President and the Prime Minister, who made a plea to the teachers not to listen to the call of their union, because it will force a shutdown of classes.
Well, preliminary indications are that next week's strike could go for more than one day. That's what President Luke Palacio told the media in San Ignacio this afternoon after he had met with the Union branch from that town. Palacio said that the teachers from San Ignacio are suggesting that it be extended, and that recommendation will be taken onboard with the Council of Management:
Luke Palacio - National President, BNTU:
"Our members here in San Ignacio, today they were very vocal about their position and they are saying that they don't believe that they want the strike action to be only for one day."
Murdered Man Wife's Held For Questioning
Last night we told you about the murder of Rudolph Selgado - the 33 year old who was found decomposing in a corn field in the Valley of Peace area. He had large cut wounds to the neck, chest and to the back of the head. The father of 3 had gone missing on September 21st., and search teams organized by his common law wife didn't turn up anything. Tonight, that same wife Kayla Spencer isn't at home grieving or consoling her children on the loss of their father: she's in a holding cell at the Belmopan police station being questioned about his murder. How did she go from grieving wife to possible murder suspect? That's what we asked her attorney Rachel Montejo via phone from Belmopan today:...
Rachel Montejo, Spencer's Attorney:
"My client was traumatized. She has not been with her children since yesterday and she has never been released and have to come back to facilitate the process. She cried and she complained and she said 'look they are putting it to me Ms. Montejo that I know something and had I know any information I would assist the officers, but they are treating me like I am a guilty person.."
Sulph Acquitted of Rape Charge
Three and a half years after he was accused of rape, community activist Moses Sulph, was acquitted this afternoon in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court.
Well today, he faced his accuser for the very last time, a woman from Belmopan who told police that he forced himself on her. After the many adjournments, he went back before Justice Antoinette Moore, who presided over the full criminal trial. After deliberating, the jurors returned a not-guilty verdict, allowing him to finally get free of the very serious charge.
Our news team was in Belmopan, and here's what he had to say about the weight of this accusation lifted off his shoulders:
Moses Sulph, Acquitted of rape:
"First of all I would like to say thanks to God above all for delivering me from this case and my lawyer Mr. Leeroy Banner. I'd also like to say that I am happy that this ordeal is over, because I was innocent from the beginning and I am still innocent today."
IMF: Serious Economic Times Call For Serious Measures
The IMF is calling for an increase in GST and a cut in government's wage bill . Those are the main recommendations coming out of the Article IV Consultation which finished on September 21st. and found, quote, "high public debt, large fiscal and external deficits, and declining international reserves."
The IMF notes quote, "The economic outlook has worsened further since the 2015 (consultation). GDP is projected to decline by 1.5 percent in 2016, in part due to the damage inflicted by hurricane Earl, and average less than 2 percent in the medium-term, reflecting declining productivity, competitiveness and public investment." The IMF concludes, quote "In the absence of a radical change in policies, rigid current fiscal spending, particularly the public sector wage bill, would fuel high fiscal deficits and add to the already high debt burden. This deficit, combined with remaining payments for nationalized companies and increased debt service, would reduce international reserves to uncomfortable levels."
Central Bank Governor Heads For The Exit
And one major piece of government's macroeconomic and policy apparatus won't be around when those revenue measures are put in place. 7News has received reliable reports that Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre is demitting office. Ysaguirre's contract expires at the end of this month and will not be renewed. And while he leaves at the end of his contract, his departure is still considered sudden because there had been reports that he would be kept on as part of the team to steer government through an especially difficult period. But he leaves officially on Friday making the way for former Minister, National Bank Chairman, and current Director of the FIU, Joy Grant. Grant - who has limited experience in the commercial banking sector - is expected to have a steep learning curve as there are multiple challenges confronting the Central Bank as regulator in an economy that is strapped for hard currency.
SSB CEO On the Outs
Another senior government manager who is leaving office at the end of this month is Richard Flowers, the CEO of the Social Security Board. Again, his contract has come to an end and is not being renewed. Flowers has been CEO since August of 2012 - and in the four years since has enjoyed only middling success as leader of the institution.
No replacement has been selected, and Social Security is advertising for the post. In the interim, a management team is expected to be put together from the core of senior managers.
BelizeInfo, A Development Database
Today the Ministry of Human Development launched BelizeInfo, an online tool for information and statistical monitoring. BelizeInfo is a compilation of over 65,000 data values from over six different sectors. The Ministry's intent is for the website to be used by the general public, academia, NGO's and all others.
Mark Antrobus, Social Planner:
"There are a number of websites, we have the central bank that has a huge number of data values on the financial sector. We have SIB which has information on the economic sector, on the general population. We're hoping to have a crime observatory launch next month. So what we're doing is bringing all of that data together in one central location so you don't have to worry about where to get this data from, what formats am I going to get it in, this is one stop shop for data for the country."
Pro-Poor BOOST Won't Get Slashed in Spending Cutbacks
As you heard earlier in the news, the IMF warns that the Government needs to rein in expenditure, and try to decrease the wage bill. The beneficiaries of the Boost Program need not worry, however,. That's not going anywhere anytime soon.
It's the Barrow Government's flagship pro-poor initiative, but whenever there is a need to cut costs, those unfortunately tend to be the first to go. Well, the CEO in the Ministry of Human Development says that Boost has a special place in the recurrent expenditure, which means that it's there to stay:
Judith Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Human Development:
"This is the Barrow administration's flagship; poverty alleviation program, the boost. We have not been cut, as a matter of fact I think the budget that we have for the then social assistance in 2008 and where we are now, it's the largest program moneywise, that the ministry of human development has."
Some Earl Victims Still Displaced
Another issue that the Government continues to tackle is the aftermath of Hurricane Earl. While most of us have already moved on, there were more than 20 families in the Belize District who were directly displaced by the storm. They either suffered extensive damage to their homes, or the wind and floods completely destroyed the structures. Just 2 weeks ago, we showed you how the storm had compromised the structural integrity of the house belonging to Marsha Smith. It was the headquarters of the Soca Moca Carnival Band, and it fell on top over 15 revelers.
The CEO told us today that they have been working with 22 other such families to try to get them housing:
Judith Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Human Development:
"We have been working with displaced persons as a part of the NEMO structure that we are, particularly focusing on people who have nowhere to go and we've had to help them to move from the shelters."
Hostel Fire Still Awaiting Criminal Sanctions
The press also asked the Human Development CEO about the latest in the case of that tragic fire at the Youth Hostel at the end of November 2015. You'll remember it as the one where 3 teenaged girls perished after they were padlocked inside and couldn't escape.
The Ministry conducted its own internal investigation about what went wrong to cause these girls to be locked in without adult supervision, and the outcome was that several of the employees were fired. Alpuche told us that there is also a Coroner's Inquest which has been conducted to determine if there should be any criminal sanctions:
Harnessing Natural Resource Inputs The Right Way
Fishing, logging, hunting, and agriculture: these are some of the ways through which the world's populations either sustain their families or harness natural resources to make them into industries. And to ensure proper management of the resources, and adequate private sector investment in it, the United Nations Development Programme has been running a pilot program.
It's called the Biodiversity Finance Initiative, or (BIOFIN) for short, and it's a 30-country, 30 million-dollar project from which Belize is now going to benefit.
The project was officially launched in Belize this morning by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment, and Sustainable Development. Here's their public pitch as to why you should embrace the program:
CARSI Gives Grants
This afternoon, the US Ambassador signed over $1.6 million US dollars in grants to Belizean NGOs. These grants are part of the CARSI program, the goal of which is to facilitate security - bot through police guns and batons, but through educational and employment opportunities, which deter participants from a criminal activities. We spoke to the US Ambassador Carlos Moreno about the grants and their goal.
H.E. Carlos Moreno - Us Ambassador to Belize:
"The purpose of today's grant is to recognize outstanding programs that the United States Government is very eager to support. These are programs direct towards steering young people away from gang participation, violence and crime. Through education, increased job opportunities, leadership opportunities, and entrepreneurship in fact."
Hoaxes Affect Major Businesses
The Belize Bank in Dangriga had to be evacuated this afternoon all because of a bogus bomb threat. A man called around 1:30 saying that a bomb was inside the ATM. The manager quickly called the police. The K-9 unit rushed from Belmopan to Dangriga and searched the ATM and the entire bank but found nothing. The police gave the all clear around 3:30. The police say they are trying to trace the number. They told us these bomb threats are usually done out if mischief or as a distraction to committ crime somewhere else.
BSI in Orange Walk was also victim of a hoax today when a website posted, quote, "128 People Dead, 100s More Injured As BSI Factory Catches Fire". The post went viral and created quite a scare across Belize. But it was completely false: There was no accident at the BSI Factory. BSI has sought unsuccessfully to identify the source of the story.
Cayo Branch of the B.N.T.U. is Defiant and Fired Up for Strike
The Belize National Teachers’ Union continues its Stand Up For Belize Campaign in light of the planned strike this coming Monday. Today the union leadership met with the San Ignacio [...]
B.N.T.U. Executive Meets with Social Partners
On Monday, Palacio confirmed that the Union was meeting with other trade unions and social partners. One such meeting has already taken place. It was intended to be a rebuttal [...]
B.N.T.U. President Says Social Partners Must Remain United
The Belize National Teachers’ Union has argued in its response that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has tried a strategy of “divide and conquer” with the many groups flanking him on [...]
B.N.T.U. Concedes – Salary Adjustments Deferred to Next April
In the opening section of his statement to the nation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was at pains to point out that none of the eight items discussed on the agenda [...]
Managers Are Responsible for Each School During Strike
The Ministry of Education has confirmed that it will be meeting on Wednesday afternoon with the managers of various groups of schools to discuss plans and contingencies for Monday’s strike [...]
MOH Hold Press Conference to Give Update on Zika in Belize
The number of cases of ZIKA is on an upward trend and among the affected persons are six pregnant women. The Ministry of Health held the fourth press conference on [...]
Persons with Zika Symptoms Not Seeking Medical Attention
While the ministry has focused primarily on pregnant women and other vulnerable groups, Doctor Marvin Manzanero says there is concern that persons exhibiting the zika symptoms are not seeking medical [...]
What are Reproductive Rights of Affected Women Who Get Pregnant?
So far, the Ministry has not detected any case of microcephaly in unborn children among mothers who have tested positive for zika during pregnancy. Nor has there been any finding [...]
Do You Support the Industrial Action by Teachers?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support the industrial action by teachers? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll [...]
Edward “Mac 10” McKoy Speaks Out in an Exclusive Interview Post Gringo
The dust has not settled in respect of the Showtime Documentary, Gringo: the Dangerous Life of John McAfee. At least four Belizeans were prominent in the documentary casting a net [...]
Documentary Identifies McAfee’s Former Employees as Conspirators to Murder
Based on the documentary, McAfee’s former employees have been identified as conspirators in the murder of Faull. Ex-caretaker at the San Pedro property, Cassian Chavarria, whose nickname ironically is “Cash,” [...]
Can McKoy and Chavarria Face Criminal Charges?
Attorney Bryan Neal represents five of the persons featured in the documentary. Today we asked him if based on their own admissions on the Faull murder, they stand to face [...]
Moses Sulph Vindicated; He Did Not Rape UB Student
Moses Sulph has been cleared of rape. Back in February 2013, Sulph was accused of raping a UB student at a house in Belmopan. He had denied the charge and [...]
BSCFA Backs Up Teachers
With four working days before they go on national strike, the Belize National Teacher’s Union has launched a feverish solidarity campaign, reaching out to as many social partner groups for their support. As we reported last night, the BNTU held a meeting with the three utility unions: the Belize Communications Workers Union, Belize Energy Workers Union and the Belize Water Services Workers Union, and today we confirmed that the meeting also included other groups from around the country including: a Church representative, the hashtag I-want-my-country-back movement, Citizens Organized for Liberty thru Action (COLA), the Belize Christian Workers Union and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association from here in the north. The objective of all these meetings is to get the groups on board with the BNTU, and to even convince them to participate in the national strike as they deem it fit.
Majority Of Orange Walk Teachers Will Support Strike Action
The Belize National Teachers Union is preparing for strike action against the Government if its eight demands are not met which includes the removal of Minister Godwin Hulse as Minister of Police and Immigration. This announcement was made after a meeting between PM and BNTU. Yesterday the president of BNTU Orange Walk, Otilio Munoz, met with its membership, where teachers were informed of the current situation and asked to participate in a one-day closure of school on October third which is next week Monday, a request which was met with open arms, says Munoz. Otilio Munoz – President BNTU Orange Walk Branch: “There is a plan of action by the BNTU, a strike action and I think it was very vital for the general membership what is happening and we had to report on the response to the Prime Minister as it pertains to the eight proposals that we placed on the table for negotiations so I think it was important for us to go back to the members and indicate to them the responses and from there to actually get a feedback from them and as it pertains to the plan of industrial action and what is their intake.”
IMF Reports Belize's Economy Getting Worst
The International Monetary Fund has continued to express serious concerns about Belize’s economic state in its 2016 Article IV Consultation Report which was released yesterday. The IMF report first provides a review of economic activity in 2015 and the first half of 2016. The following is highlighted: Gross Domestic Product growth slowed to 1 per cent in 2015, A decline in oil and commodity prices led to deflation in 2015, Overall fiscal deficit expanded to 8 percent of GDP in 2015, GDP growth was -1.5 percent in first quarter of 2015 and 2016, Decline in exports in the first half of 2016 and a reduction in the international reserves to 4.4 months of imports in late August 2016. On the positive side, the report indicates that: The tourism sector grew in the first half of 2016 and unemployment rate declined from 10.1 percent in April 2015 to 8 percent in April 2016.
Former Ambassador To Belize Chastises Elrington For Speech At UN
Just a few hours after Minister Wilfred Elrington delivered his address at the UN General assembly yesterday, the Permanent representative of Guatemala to the United Nations, Jorge Skinner-Klée Arenales, gave a report defending Guatemala following Elrington’s speech. Skinner-Klée Arenales, a former Ambassador to Belize chastised the Foreign Minister saying he listened in disbelief as Elrington delivered untrue statements about Guatemala. The report continues by stating that Guatemala has always sought peaceful means to reclaim what was taken from them by force and deceit and even as they recognize the independence of Belize, they have never renounced their rights just as they have never resorted to violent acts against citizens of a brotherly country.
BNTU Calls on Support from Other Unions
The Belize National Teacher’s Union is going back to its membership to provide updates on the ongoing discussions with Government. The BNTU has taken a strong stance in favor of good governance. The union made eight demands which the Government so far has been unable to fully satisfy and now, after a meeting held with […]
Ministry of Health: ‘We have 6 Positive Cases (ZIKA) among Pregnahttp://lovefm.com/2016/09/27/ministry-of-health-we-have-6-positive-cases-zika-among-pregnant-women/nt Women.’
Six cases of Zika have been confirmed in pregnant women. The Ministry of Health is currently monitoring these cases and will be monitoring the babies once they are born, for the next three years. Three of the children have already been born and are not showing signs of having contracted the disease. Dr. Natalia Largaespada […]
Aedes Aegypti Unleashes Mayaro Fever
The Ministry of Health also provided updates on other vector infections rates. A new virus, Mayaro Fever, was recently detected in the Caribbean and the Ministry is observing cases that may be related to Mayaro fever. Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services, spoke about the new virus. DR MARVIN MANZANERO “We can’t take off […]
Data Compilation Program will Aid in the Creation of Policies and Programs
The National Policy Monitoring tool, BelizeInfo, was launched today in Belize City. BelizeInfo is an online database system created by the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. The tedious process of collecting years of necessary data began almost two years ago and now the system has over 65,000 data values across a […]
Protecting Belize’s Biodiversity at $1.6M with UNDP
This morning, BIOFIN initiative was launched. BIOFIN, Biodiversity Finance Initiative a partnership between the UNDP and the Government of Belize. Collin Young, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and sustainable Development spoke about BIOFIN and the challenges Belize faces to protect biodiversity resources. COLIN YOUNG “Today we are here to launch […]
Investigation Concludes in the Hostel Fire and Death of Four Young Girls
Forty one weeks ago, a crowd had gathered on the roadside at mile 21 ½ miles on the George Price Highway watching fire officials work at putting out a fire that had claimed the lives of 16-year-old, Shadisha Arnold, 16-year-old, Anna Carlos and 14-year-old, Elizabeth McKoy. The girls were being housed at the Community Rehabilitation […]
Fixing the Youth Hostel
In December 2015 when the fire occurred at the Youth Hostel on the George Price Highway, there was a transition phase ongoing where the young girls would have been moved into a new concrete structure. There was also a revamping of the educational programs for the young persons living there but the three young ladies […]
US Embassy Funds $1.6M in Local Projects
Seven organizations were awarded grant funding by the US Embassy in Belize totaling one point six millions US dollars. The funding was made available through the Central America Regional Security Initiative, CARSI, Economic Support Funds program. A short ceremony was held today at the residence of US Ambassador Carlos Moreno. Love News was present and […]
$100K to Combat Gender Based Violence
The Belize Family Life Association, BFLA, was the first organization to receive funding from the US Embassy to combat gender based violence. According to BFLA’s Executive Director, Joan Burke, the project will positively impact ten thousand young persons in the Belize, Stann Creek and Orange Walk Districts. Participants will go through a serious of training […]
Will the Boost Program be Booted?
Yesterday we told you of the IMF Report that has indicated that Belize’s economic situation has worsened and they have recommended several actions for the Government to take in order to stabilize its economic situation. One of those proposed actions is to tighten up on spending; while Government has not responded to the report, there […]
BNTU threatens industrial action on October 3
The administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow is gearing up to face its 6th protest in 6 weeks.
On August 23, the churches, led by Pastor Louis Wade, protested at the footsteps of Independence Hill in Belmopan, while Patrick Menzies and the Spanish arm of the Evangelical Church would protest at that same location seven days later.
One day after, the People’s United Party (PUP) would protest at that same location. On September 7, the People’s United Party (PUP) led another protest in Belize City. Last Monday the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) led another protest in Belmopan.
Eighteen hours after their meeting on Thursday with PM Barrow, the BNTU wrote the Prime Minister informing him that, “in accordance with our Stand Up for Belize Campaign, centered on the mantra, ‘It’s for far more than three [per cent]; it’s for country,’ we find that most of what you brought to the table is inconsistent with our demands to ensure good governance and respect for workers.”
Missing man found decomposing in corn field
Belmopan police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Rudolph Selgado, 32, of Roaring Creek, a father of three children. He was found in a decomposed state, with his throat slashed with chop wounds on the head and body in a corn field, in the Globe area near Valley of Peace, on Saturday morning, September 24.
An onsite post-mortem exam was conducted to certify the cause of his death, and he was buried at the conclusion of the autopsy.
A police investigation led to a man, also of Roaring Creek, who has been detained.
Selgado’s common-law wife, Kayla Spence, had reported him missing on Thursday, September 22, after he failed to return home after leaving the previous morning, September 21, to go to Belmopan to enjoy the Independence Day activities.
IMF tells GOB to hike GST and cut wage bill amid recession
On September 21, the day on which Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow declared that Belize is experiencing a recession, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded its annual review of Belize, after which it is now calling for austerity measures, including a hike in the General Sales Tax—although some pundits argue that tax hikes are likely to worsen a recession.
Late last year, the Government increased the tax levy at the pumps, saying that the move had become necessary as a fiscal consolidation measure to strengthen public finances at the start of the new 2016 calendar year, and also to compensate for the decline in revenues linked to the decline in domestic crude oil production. The Government hoped to receive an extra $50 million this budget year (2016-2017) from that tax hike.
Last month, we asked Barrow about reports that the Government is contemplating an additional tax increase, through raising the rate of the General Sales Tax (GST).
Football players injured in accident on the Hummingbird Highway
Football players from Benque Viejo Del Carmen Town were injured after a vehicle in which they were travelling yesterday ran off the road and overturned.
Six of the players of the sixteen were seriously hurt, while the others suffered varying degrees of injury. The players were all taken to the Western Regional Hospital, where they were treated and released, but one player was admitted in a serious but stable condition.
The team was travelling from Benque Viejo to St. Margaret to play a football match, but upon their arrival at a curve, a vehicle that was overtaking another vehicle while coming down the hill caused the driver to swerve to avoid a collision, causing the vehicle in which the players were traveling to run off the road and overturn.
PUP rebut Immigration Minister Senator Godwin Hulse
Passport and Nationality documents held by Peter William Dahlstrom, brother-in-law of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, may have been among the 55,000 plus which were issued with irregularities, according to a special audit into the Passport, Visas and Nationality Department for the period 2011-2013 completed by the Office of the Auditor General.
According to the audit, Dahlstrom, who has been married to the sister of PM Barrow’s wife, Kim Simplis, for more than 20 years, did not qualify for citizenship in 2012 because he had not spent a complete year in Belize, as is required.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister recommended him for his nationality documents.
Lionman Triathlon 2016 postponed
The Belize National Triathlon Association (BNTA) would like to notify the general public, sports fans, athletes and sponsors that the 16th Annual Lionman Triathlon, scheduled for September 25th, will be rescheduled to a later date. The BNTA has been monitoring the quality of the water at the Sandlighter Promenade since Hurricane Earl affected Belize. We have also had more rain than in previous years, which has in turn brought down-stream more silt and debris. After much debate, we have agreed that the safety of our athletes has always been, and will continue to be our main priority.
We have been in contact with a number of our supporters in Placencia and San Pedro as a possible venue for the race before the ending of the year.
All not lost; Police United can surprise Olimpia
With only a few days to go before our Police United FC team must take the field at the FFB Stadium against Honduran champions Olimpia in the Scotiabank/CONCACAF Champions League 2016-2017, the picture does appear depressing for our Belize representative. It will be the last match for a Police United team that took an embarrassing 11-nil shellacking at the same venue from Mexican champions Pachuca on Tuesday, September 13. It is hard to get worse than that – a new Champions League record. But, to our great discomfort, Olimpia will be trying their best to do just that – eclipse that outlandish score. And we better take them seriously. Olimpia’s only hope of wrenching the top spot in Group E from Pachuca is to out-do them against Police United, and then settle matters between them in Honduras on October 19 for their final match. Only the group winner advances to the Champions League Hexagonal.
It appears there will be no coaching change right now for Police United. One bright spot, though, is a welcome adjustment in the striking arrangement in Police United’s last outing, where the explosive Fubu was placed up front in the attack, nearest to the opponent’s goal, while Cafu (Harrison Roches) played a more supportive role between forward and midfield, to which he is ideally suited.
Albert/Regent Streets Criterium 2016 results
Here are the results, by category, from the annual Belize City Council/Leslie’s Imports Albert/Regent Streets Criterium, which took place yesterday, Sunday, September 18.
3-5yrs old (1/2 lap) – 1st Arien Pope (2:12).
6-8yrs old (1/2 lap) – 1st Charles Garay, Jr. (3:13); 2nd Orion Butler; 3rd Jayden Tillett.
9-12yrs old (2 laps) – 1st Derrick Brown (6:17); 2nd Jahmai Scott (6:52); 3rd Jayden Sutherland (7:48); 4th Jahroy Gladden (8:46).
13-15yrs old high school girls (5 laps) – 1st Taralee Ordonez (15:13); 2nd Kaylee Gillett (15:20); 3rd Alicee King (st).
13-15yrs old high school boys (5 laps) – 1st Patrick Williams (12:20); 2nd Jerson Lovell (st); 3rd Edgar McKoo; 4th Nelson Zyden, Jr.; 5th Kevaughn Cacho; 6th Sheldon Lynch.
Football’s past and future converge for the Mugger and Gene Guild Day at Yabra
Another football star of the 1960s, John “Gas” Dougal, was laid to rest yesterday, even as two other football greats of the past, Louis “the Mugger” Garbutt and Maurice “Gene” Guild were being honored with a day of fun and football at the Yabra field in Belize City.
The day was well organized, although there were no official speeches and ceremony to kick off the festivities. It was all informal, relaxing and full of a togetherness spirit that saw many old acquaintances and former teammates and adversaries greeting each other, sitting to chat about the old times, and sharing their recollections of historic events, which sometimes led to clarification of facts and dates that had become hazy with time.
Editorial: Inflexible and unreasonable?
In statements made to the media following a meeting between himself and the leaders of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) on Thursday afternoon, September 22, and a full-length broadcast speech on Sunday, September 25, the Prime Minister of Belize, Right Hon. Dean O. Barrow, has sought to portray the negotiating stance of the BNTU as inflexible and unreasonable. Mr. Barrow went so far as to accuse the teachers of Belize of holding the children and parents of Belize to ransom. The Prime Minister was able to point out that the other trade unions of Belize had essentially fallen into line with his administration, most notably on the way forward financially, while civil society partners, such as the business community and the churches, were not behaving as militantly as the teachers.
It may be said, then, that the Prime Minister was isolating the BNTU in the eyes of the public, and this was a raising of the stakes in the confrontation. In the days leading up to the national demonstration of the teachers last Monday, September 19, in Belmopan, the United Democratic Party (UDP) Cabinet had used Minister of Education/Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber in a similar attempt to isolate the teachers and turn parents against the BNTU’s decision to close schools on Monday and march in Belmopan. But now, after Thursday, it was the Prime Minister himself who was leading the charge. Urgency was becoming the order of the day.
From the Publisher
It has been difficult to write this column lately, and one reason for this has been my feeling of futility in regards to the Kaina Martinez matter. It is bad enough that the young lady was denied her proper Belizean place at last month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro: what is worse is that the substantive power brokers in Belizean sports have not felt any need to account to the people of Belize. It is clearly intended that the injustice to Kaina should blow over like Said’s “lee breeze.”
In response to some agitation, the Government of Belize decided to grant posthumous national honor earlier this month to the one Danny Conorquie, who was murdered by Guatemalans in cold blood at Caracol on September 25, 2014. It is necessary that we acknowledge the gesture on the part of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), as little and as late as it is. This is what, I suppose and I submit, was referred to in feudal times in Europe as noblesse oblige. The ruling classes threw a bone, a sop to Cerberus perhaps, to the masses. Whatever, it is appreciated.
Sedi exposes Guatemala’s hostility at UNGA
Belize Foreign Affairs Minister, H.E. Mr. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, chastised Guatemala in his address at the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) this morning, for violating the United Nations Charter in what he described as a “recklessly dangerous” move by Guatemala to deploy thousands of soldiers to its border in Belize following a shooting incident in which a Guatemalan minor was killed in April 2016.
“Regrettably, though not unpredictably, in the last eighteen months, there have been hostile incidents between civilian and military personnel of both Belize and Guatemala in the Sarstoon River, our southern border. Guatemala naval personnel repeatedly impeded the peaceful ingress and egress of Belizeans, both civilian and military on the river, wrongfully claiming the river as theirs.
“However, as the northern side of the river is Belizean territory, the unimpeded use and enjoyment of that side of the river is the right of every Belizean,” Elrington said, adding that Belize has promptly and properly protested each such attempt of the Guatemalans and engaged the OAS “with a view of putting a speedy end to that potentially perilous practice.”
Breaking Belize News
Cayo teachers press for expanded strike; BNTU management to make decision; getting support from social partners
.The Belize National Teachers’ Union continued its quarterly regional branch meeting in San Ignacio Branch to gather at the Octavia Waight Centre Convention Hall this afternoon. Interestingly, on the issue of the planned strike action coming at the start of next week, the hundreds of educators […]
IMF says the best is not coming yet
Just 10 months ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrow declared: “The best is yet to come!” Not even a year removed from the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) glorious third consecutive victory at the polls, Barrow has admitted the country is facing a recession and […]
Miss Belize Universe gets her own song
Rebecca “Bex” Rath, the newly crowned Miss Belize Universe 2016, has hit the ground running and has already gotten her own song. The song is entitled Miss Belize “ Crown Chronicles” (Vol. VII). Rath has been busy connecting with Belizeans countrywide and preparing for […]
Colombian company hired Guatemalan work crews to fix Belizean service?
Yesterday, Belize’s state-run telephone company, Belize Telemedia Limited, responded to queries about its employment of a Colombian telecommunication company, Ingetelca, to assist with their recovery process following the damages to its infrastructure from Hurricane Earl. However, the crews that have been seen in the […]
Guatemala fires back at Belize Foreign Minister Speech
The Permanent representative of Guatemala to the United Nations furnished a report just hours after Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington delivered his address to the UN General Assembly. The report begins by stating that they listened carefully in ‘disbelief’ to the speech given by […]
Who owns the financial sector in Belize?
The domestic commercial banks are owned 28% by Belizeans, 0% by CARICOM citizens, 25% by USA citizens, 12% by UK citizens, 20% by Canadian citizens and 15% by Other Extra-Regional (Honduran). The international banks are owned 18% by Belizeans, 9% by CARICOM citizens, […]
What You Should Know Before Retiring in Belize
Belize is a small country that offers diverse lifestyle choices. Before thinking about buying a home of your own in this English-speaking Shangri-la, ask yourself this critical question: What are your objectives?
In Belize, you could invest in a condo on the beach, a home in a planned community, a house in a local town or a piece of land in the country. Each purchase has its advantages and its downsides. Choosing one over another is all about what you're looking to accomplish. Are you shopping for a place to live or for long-term appreciation? Do you intend to use the property full time yourself or only part time with the hope of renting it out otherwise?
Deciding that you'd like to own a beach condo in Belize leads to more decisions. This little country has a long mainland coast and many cayes offshore. This means lots of beach choices, and all beaches are not created equal. Some Belize beaches are Robinson Crusoe-style. Others are rowdy and noisy with lots of nightlife and tourists. Picking one over another for your retirement comes down to what you're looking for. Do you want privacy or company, solitude or parties?