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#517917 - 09/30/16 06:50 AM Today's Belize News: September 30, 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

BTL acquisition threatens the national economy
The arbitration settlement between the Government of Belize (GOB) and the Ashcroft Alliance over Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) is causing drastic issues on the country’s financial sector. In order for GOB to continue making payments for the settlement of the arbitration award for the nationalization of BTL, the country must borrow money from international agencies to further complete with this obligation, which can lead to an additional debt of $150 million. According to Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, the borrowing of more funds will have a significant impact on Belize’s actual debt status. “Borrowing more increases your debt and debt service. If you have to borrow $150 million at 3% interest, you are looking at $4.5 million more in debt service, and once payments are delayed that amount adds up quickly,” said Waight. Such loan payments will likely come from the banks and the public, and he stated that the need to borrow more money is nothing new, as GOB was committed to this course and are optimistic that they would find ways of repaying the money over time.

Kent Gabourel wins National Beach Cruiser Cycling Classic
Sports Coordinator of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) Kent “Bob” Gabourel defended his National Beach Cruiser Cycling Classic Championship title on Wednesday, September 21st. The annual race took place at Punta Gorda’s Central Park and was sponsored by Punta Gorda Town Council, as well as organizer Chef Prince. Once again, Gabourel emerged victorious, with a great display of sportsmanship. Devine Velasquez of Punta Gorda came in second, and Giovanni Lovell of Belize took third place. Apart from claiming a big trophy and bragging rights, Gabourel won the grand prize of $1,300. This is Gabourel’s fourth successful year competing in this competition. “I won in 2013, 2015, and this year, 2016. I placed 2nd in 2014. All of the wins were great, but this win was more of a statement for me because some of the guys were texting me before the race, and telling that they will make sure I didn’t win. The big name cyclists also thought this was going to be a walk in the park for them, and I proved them wrong. So I must say that this is my best win. Of course, it was all in good fun, and serves as an extra motivation for all cyclists to challenge themselves,” said Gabourel.

BNTU plans to take Industrial Action
Following a mass demonstration on September 19th, and meeting with Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow on September 22nd, the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) has decided to proceed with industrial action. The purpose of the four and a half hour meeting was for BNTU members and Prime Minister Barrow to reach a compromise, but the teachers wrote back to the Prime Minister within 18 hours saying that they are planning to strike again on Monday, October 3rd, as they are not content with his response to BNTU’s eight demands. In a letter released on Friday, September 23rd, BNTU President Luke Palacio stated that the Prime Minister was inconsistent with the BNTU’s demands, which would ensure good governance and respect for workers. Palacio’s letter directly addressed the offerings of the Prime Minister, and the union rejected seven of the eight proposals offered by GOB. The BNTU then stated that they are no longer interested in negotiations. BNTU sites that the Prime Minister’s offer to put one less Government’s representative on the Senate Select Committee is “not favorable” and his response on the request to remove Godwin Hulse as Police Minister was “too vague”.

San Pablo Roman Catholic Church undergoes renovation
Over the past few days, renovations have been in progress at the Roman Catholic Church located in the San Pablo Sub-Division, south of town. The religious structure is in need of more space, and such rehabilitation is a must in order to continue operating. Taking on the task to polish the building is Alfaro’s Construction Company, who expects to finish the work in a few weeks. The project is a donation from the company, and they aim to transform the entrance of the church and expanded the seating area. The contractor in charge explained the work being done. The corridor at the entrance will be removed. “Once the outside portion of the building is annexed to the inside area, the building will be able to hold more people,” said the contractor.

Ambergris Today

Belize Public and Bank Holidays 2017
The Government of Belize Press Office has sent out a press release informing about the Public and Bank holidays for 2017. It is notified for general information that public and bank holidays specified in the First and the Second Schedules to the Holidays Act, Chapter 289 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000 - 2003, will be observed on the following days during the year 2017 in accordance with section 3 of the said Act:-

Belize Gets Nominations for World Travel Awards VOTE NOW!
In July, Ambergris Caye was named Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination at the World Travel Awards Central America Ceremony. There is now more great news to report as the Belize Tourism Board is excited to announce that Belize has received four (4) nominations in the World Travel Awards’ World Category. Voting has officially opened and will conclude on October 24, 2016. We are encouraging everyone to go to www.worldtravelawards.com, register your email address and cast your votes for Belize. Travel Industry voters may apply to upgrade their account, after which their vote is equivalent to two votes. In July, we announced that Ambergris Caye was named Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination for the second year in a row. We now have the opportunity to take home four World category wins. These are categories that have previously been won by the Maldives, Dubai, Zanzibar, and Ecuador, respectively.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Caye Caulker Village Council thanks contributors
We would like to extend our appreciation and huge thank you to all those individuals who cooperated and helped the Caye Caulker Village Council during our September Celebrations! Thank You!!! Thank You All!!

As part of their comprehensive review and restructuring of the nation’s public transportation system, Minister of Transport Hon. Edmond Castro and top officials in the Ministry and Department of Transport have been meeting with bus operators from all regions of the country. They have also been meeting with bus companies which transit Belize transporting tourists to and from neighbouring countries. One such bus company is Fronte Del Norte of Guatemala, representatives of which were called to a meeting this week with Hon. Castro and officials from the Department of Transport headed by Chief Transport Officer Tirsio Galvez. Among the issues discussed was the need for strict compliance with stipulations prohibiting such bus companies from transporting passengers from one point to another within the country of Belize. The meeting was cordial and productive.

Government of Belize Expresses Disappointment over CCJ Decision
The Government of Belize (GOB) expresses its disappointment at the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) this morning on the interpretation of the BTL Settlement Agreement. GOB does not agree with the ruling of the Court but must accept it. It is important to point out that the overall quantum of the Arbitral Award has not been increased or in any wise altered; however GOB now has to pay 10% more of that award in US currency - that is 50% rather than 40% of the total award. The CCJ has said that it is prepared to give GOB time to pay on an installment basis.

Presentation of Credentials to the Governor General of Belize
Her Excellency Nery Magaly Funes Padilla, Ambassador of Honduras, presented her credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young today, Thursday, at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. Ambassador Padilla expressed her pleasure in being in Belize representing her country. The Ambassador shared her nation’s well wishes to Belize and intentions of continuing to work together to strengthen diplomatic relations. The Governor General cordially welcomed and received Ambassador Padilla’s credentials.

On October 1st Belize along with the rest of the world will be celebrating International Day of Older Persons. The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Taking A Stand Against Ageism.” Ageism is the discrimination of any person based on their age. Approximately 6% of Belize’s population is older persons each year this population continues to grow and it is projected that by 2040 this number will have more than doubled to 18%. Older persons in Belize remain a vulnerable population, in recent months they have been the victims of violent crime a reminder that there is need for greater protection of our older persons. Many older persons continue to be the back bone of their families contributing through child care, housekeeping and other domestic tasks that go unrecognized and unpaid. October 1st offers us an opportunity to show appreciation and recognition to older persons for their contributions and also to recognize the challenges that come with ageing.

Catholic Church carefully worded support of teachers and students
The following is commentary from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize and Belmopan September 26, 2016 "St Pope John Paul the Great stated and I quote:'The contemporary world urgently needs the service of educational institutions which up- hold and teach that truth is "that fundamental value without which freedom, justice and human dignity are extinguished" (Veritatis splendor, n. 4).These educational institutions are not the walls that make up our school buildings but our teachers, the 'beacons of light' : who infuse these principles into the consciousness and formation of our children and whose unfailing dedication, commitment and selfless service make them heroes and a key stakeholder in nation building. Today's battle for truth in governance being championed by these selfless teachers, adds to a distinguished list of battles bravely fought on behalf of this grateful nation and its children. Perhaps our teachers have been hearing most clearly and most loudly the echo of Christ's words: “If you continue in my word, you are..."

In Support of our Teachers
By Lincoln Eiley: - I rarely write my own column in this corner, because I want to let others have the opportunity to share their own stories, experiences and events but it is hard for me to keep quiet and hold back with the recent debacle between the Government of Belize and the (BNTU) Belize National Teachers Union on their call for good governance, transparency, 3% salary adjustment, accountability, anti-corruption, respect and justice for all. I think the national cogent call from the BNTU is something of great importance and something not to be taken lightly by us. The BNTU represents over 5,000 teachers. Together with the PSU and APSSM (the two other unions), they represent a total of approximately 15,000 Government employees and public officers (nurses, police, BDF, and open-vote).

Yellow Ginger Festival 2016
The annual Yellow Ginger Festival at Forest Home, Toledo, was a big success. There was an excellent performance by Dwayne Murillo, delicious takari, interesting displays, and fun games.

Second annual cultural fair in San Jose Succot
This past June, Fajina Archaeology Outreach hosted its second annual cultural fair in San Jose Succotz. One of the highlights of this event was the appearance and performance done by the Ek Balam ball players from Yo Creek in Orange Walk. Mrs. Felicita Cantun (Puksi'ik'al Maya) who lives in this village is a very passionate and proud Maya who works endlessly to recapture fading or lost aspects of her culture. This team, though young in their establishment, has represented Belize in Mexico where regional pok-ta-pok games were held, and even though a bit inexperienced and playing against teams with better training they placed very well. It would be very nice to see additional Belizean teams being formed in other Maya communities across the country, so that more Belizeans can admire the beauty and sportsmanship of this game.

The U.S. Embassy in Belmopan is seeking eligible and qualified applicants for the position of Chauffeur
BASIC FUNCTION OF THE POSITION: - Operates assigned motor vehicle(s), including passenger vehicles and trucks, to safely transport embassy personnel, official visitors, cargo, documents, and service personnel, as directed. - Maintains all assigned vehicles in clean and serviceable condition, including thorough cleaning, routine vehicle checks, inspect vehicles for defects or mechanical problems, completes vehicle usage, fuel purchase and daily maintenance reports. - Reports any automobile accidents and prepares accident reports. - Performs messenger/courier duties such as delivery of official correspondence, pays local vendors and performs small petty cash purchases. - Conducts the daily school run on a rotating schedule.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
This Weekend! See you at the movies.. Ghostbusters Answer the Call, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Independence Day: Resurgence, 31 Rob Zombie Horror Movie.

Vivian Noralez is Miss Teen Belize Earth 2016
As the photo shows, Belize has some work to do before we’re completely green and Vivian feels she can jump start the movement to help us get there. Vivian Magdalen Noralez, a bright 18 year-old of Maya and Garifuna descent, hails from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and she is Miss Teen Earth Belize 2016. She recently graduated from San Pedro Junior College with a degree in Business Management. Vivian will be Belize’s first-ever representative at the five-year-old pageant, which will conclude at the Continental Hotel in Panama City on October 1st. Miss Teen Earth focuses on promoting ecotourism and environmentally beneficial activities include a reforestation held on site - a refuge to exotic plants and animals considered endangered. The theme for this year’s pageant is: Green Everywhere.

Billy White Community Outreach Event - their future in our hands
Thanks to a fabulous team of educators (tagged in pics) from BWRC, the Belize Forest Department and Wildtracks for participating in another follow up event for a special patient, with so many lessons to be learned (sorry lengthy post on this one). A kind human sent young Howler Monkey "Molly" to the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic - BWRC for veterinary care and to return to the wild. Molly had been rescued from poachers and briefly kept as a pet before her owner talked to us during an event in the area and decided to relinquish this illegal pet. (#1 In Belize wildlife is protected by law and requires a permit from the Belize Forest Department - check out their web and FB page for more info). Unfortunately this young monkey had been given a huge overdose of a neurotoxic antiparasitic "prescribed" by a (well meaning...) non-veterinarian, but thankfully she recovered at BWRC (#2 please always take your pets to a registered veterinarian - diagnosing disease and prescribing medications is reserved to registered veterinary surgeons in Belize - to protect your pets; For wildlife Belize has the BWRC a registered non-profit with specialized wildlife veterinarians - providing free care to imperilled wildlife in support of conservation and a 24/7 phone line at 615-5159).

Living with crocodiles
I"ve been busy dealing with "problematic croc calls" and I gave this response to the community of Placencia yesterday and have received very positive responses. So, I'd figure I would share some of the highlights with you as a reminder or maybe new information to pass on... rainy season is here and crocs are more active, so there will likely be more sightings: "I will be returning to the site tomorrow to continue to observe the croc’s behavior (although its possible he may have left). Ms. Leanne will be keeping a data log provided by us (the CRC) so that we can begin collecting data on the crocodiles movement, behavior… this type of information can provide us a wealth of knowledge that can help the local community to begin co-existing with these animals, mitigate human-crocodile conflict, and as how they say in Australia, become CrocWise (if anyone else is interested in being a CRC Citizen Scientist, please PM me).

CARSI ESF grants
For years the U.S. Government has shared support and partnership with Belize in all of its various forms. Since 2008 Belize has received USD $ 35 million dollars of Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) Funds. Through the Military Liaison Office they have also received USD$10 million via the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP). Also the U.S. Government provided support to the victims of Hurricane Earl in the amount of USD$315,000 Post-Hurricane Assistance. We are happy to announce that on Tuesday ,September 27, seven organizations in Belize received CARSI ESF grants to provide job creation opportunities to marginalized communities as an alternative to crime and violence. As well as, activities that strengthen local capacity to prevent and/or responding to gender-based violence affecting at-risk youth in Belize.

Caribbean Youth Leaders' Summit in session
Day 2 in the motion. From Rhetoric to Action!

Covering some big holes outside of New Horizon S.D.A. School caused by the rain
Thank you to Grand Belizean Estates for helping us spread the material with their bulldozer.

The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic is having it's 3rd annual Gala on Garifuna Settlement day. They'll be having it at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, and the dinner will be Garifuna inspired, and as always, lionfish is on the menu. "Join your friends at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic for another Wild Night Out on Garifuna Settlement Day! To reserve tickets call 615-5159 or purchase at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel front desk. RSVP by Nov. 1st. Includes Garifuna inspired Lionfish dinner, silent and live auction and music."
The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic is having it's 3rd annual Gala on Garifuna Settlement day. They'll be having it at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, and the dinner will be Garifuna inspired, and as always, lionfish is on the menu. "Join your friends at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic for another Wild Night Out on Garifuna Settlement Day! To reserve tickets call 615-5159 or purchase at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel front desk. RSVP by Nov. 1st. Includes Garifuna inspired Lionfish dinner, silent and live auction and music."

Urban birdwatch 2016
The day after tomorrow, when Belize is under full Neotropical migration, join us on this extremely fun and free outing. No need to be a birder, just join us on this walk around town to discover your own backyard birds. Dates and locations below. I promise you will learn a thing or two.

Channel 7

Teachers Getting Ready To Escalate On Ministry of Education
Last night, we told you about the Ministry of Education's plans to pass a statutory instrument which will allow for temporary teachers to be hired to fill in for teachers who decide to strike. The "temps" will be deployed if the industrial action extends beyond 2 days. As we told you, the Ministry's emergency actions does allow - in theory - for classes to stay open, but it also undermines the BNTU's industrial leverage. We wondered if this response would cause the teachers to escalate further to try to outdo the Ministry, and reliable information reaching 7News is that it will.

Opposition Leader Calls DPM's Actions "Despicable"
And so, the battle lines are drawn, but what's unusual this time around is that the Barrow Administration is attempting to use political persuasion to muscle in in the teacher's turf - which is fueling the escalation. Today the leader of the opposition called the actions of the Minister of Education "despicable": Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "We find the actions of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education despicable, that pretty much what the government is trying to do is union bust. They want to try to break up the BNTU and try to intimidate the teachers by saying that if you don't come to work, we are going to find somebody to replace you. It is so ironic that when you want to see a minister, you can't see them, but right now you have all the elected representatives and ministers of the government and even their none elected representatives going to the schools right now and talking to the teachers and talking to the managers for them to be able to keep the schools open. It is like they are shooting the messenger. Instead of looking at the message that the BNTU is talking about."

PM Appeals To Unions For Urgent Negotiations on 3%
So, while there no doubt that the teacher's strike - like their slogan says - is not about the 3; it's about country, the Prime Minister trying to make sure that money doesn't become part of the fight. He wrote the Teachers Union, the Public Service Union, and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, on Tuesday noting that they have not responded to him as yet on proposal to defer the salary adjustment. In his letter he says, quote, "We met on September 16...the APSSM and the PSU reiterated their 'yes' decision in support of the deferral until April 2017, and the BNTU reiterated its 'no'. I then put forward a proposal for a compromise to try to achieve unanimity on the issue, and the BNTU president agreed to take that proposal to his membership and report their reaction to us." End quote.

Catholic Diocese "Blesses" Barrow Admin, Praises Teachers
The Catholic Diocese - self-described as "the largest stakeholder in education" - today sent out a press release praising the teachers for taking a stand against the government. The release frames the situation in dramatic language, describing the teachers as "selfless", fighting a quote, "distinguished...battle bravely fought on behalf of this grateful nation and its children." End quote. And speaking of those children, the Diocese acknowledges that it's responsible for about 50 thousand of them. And so what will happen to them on Monday? Well, the church says it, quote, "recognizes the temporary vacuum that the teachers in their fight for truth in governance will leave in their absence."

GOB Loses Big $$$ To Ashcroft Alliance In CCJ Judgment
Last week, we took you inside the teleconference hearing that the Caribbean Court of Justice held to resolve the currency fight between the Barrow Administration and the Ashcroft Alliance. The half a billion dollar settlement for BTL is supposed to end the fight over the phone company, but up until this morning, they could not agree on whether the bulk of the settlement was to be paid in Belize dollars or US dollars. Well, the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled today, and the judgment came out against the Government. The CCJ is telling GOB that it must honor the terms of the settlement agreement as they signed. That's something that the Government is disappointed to have to do because millions of dollars that would have gone to the benefit of Belizeans must now be handed over to the Alliance - in US dollars. As we've reported, the two sides agreed in principle that the settlement would have a special "carve-out." The way it was supposed to work is that the Ashcroft Alliance would be compensated for the book value of the shares that the Barrow Administration took away from them to gain control of BTL.

Who Drafted Sloppy (And Costly) Settlement?
As you saw, the judgment reflects what the Government signed and agreed to, not what the Government intended to be put into the agreement. It all comes back to the convoluted wording of the Settlement deed, which the CCJ criticized as poorly done. So today, we wondered which Government attorney fumbled on the crafting of the document, and failed to adequately ensure that what the Prime Minister agreed to by word of mouth was what was ended up in writing. The only man we could get some answers from today was Government attorney Denys Barrow. He made it plain to us that this loss of millions of dollars, locked away behind the agreement, is not his fault:

Will Paying Ashcroft Alliance Force A Crisis In Foreign Reserves?
So now, the Government has to find around 67 million US dollars to pay to the Alliance in a time when the country's foreign reserves are shrinking, and there are a number of financial pressures to contend with. Two days ago, we told you how the IMF says that the economic outlook has worsened when compared to last year. The outgoing Central Bank Governor, Glenford Ysaguirre, wrote to the Financial Secretary saying that it would be destructive for the economy of Belize if the Central Bank were to even attempt to find 70 million US dollars more to meet this demand. That was two months ago, and so, when the Financial Secretary exited from today's hearing, we asked if the country's reserves can realistically withstand the strain. He told us that it will have to:

Swapping Greenbacks for Queen Betty's
So, while the Government has to find 67 million US dollars, the Ashcroft Alliance will refund them that first payment of about 130 million Belize dollars. You'll remember it as the payment that the started this currency fight before the CCJ. They wanted that money to be in US dollars, and so they are willing to get rid of it as soon as possible. Today, Eamon Courtenay, attorney for the Alliance, told us the quicker, the better: Denys Barrow, SC- Attorney for GOB: "The Belize dollar portion has to be paid back. The contention of the Ashcroft group is that Government ought never to have paid that sum in Belize dollars. Therefore, they will accept implicitly that they are not entitled to that sum in Belize dollars. They want it in Belize dollars. They will be happy to give it back, and they have made that plain from the beginning."

Briceno: CCJ Judgment Lamentable But Preventable
Today the Leader of the opposition was careful not to jump all over the Barrow administration for the costly loss in court. He said it is lamentable, but was also preventable:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "It is unfortunate that we had that ruling. I am in no way rejoicing that the government has to pay 67 million US. Because we know that there is a shortage of US dollars. We know, that it's no other than the government's banker, the governor of the Central Bank wrote a letter I think in July to the financial secretary saying that they cannot afford to give out this US dollars, because then our 2-1 peg; $2 Belize to $1 US is going to be threatened. That there could be a devaluation."

Galvez Charged For Shooting Customs Officer
21 year old Nigel Galvez has been charged in connection with the shooting of Customs Officer Jose Acevedo. The incident happened in Orange Walk on September 14th. Acevedo arrived home at 8:00 pm that night when he was ambushed by two armed men. The report is that Galvez allegedly held a .45 caliber weapon and pulled the trigger, but the gun snapped. That is when Acevedo grabbed his licensed gun and shot Galvez in his pelvis. When police got to the scene, Galvez was on the ground with the .45 beside him. Well Galvez has recovered from that gunshot wound but instead of being taken home, he was taken to the Orange Walk police station where he was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition. Galvez has been remanded to prison until November 30th.

Fatal In Independence
A motorcyclist was killed in an accident on the Southern highway. Last night around 6:30, bus driver Julio Caceres was taking a group of construction workers back home to Bella Vista in a bus. As Caceres approached the entrance to San Juan between miles 34 and 35, he saw 50 year old Mango Creek resident, Antonio Valerio on a motorcycle parked on the right side of the road. It seems Valerio had stopped too close to the highway and by the time Caceres saw him, it was too late. Caceres slammed into Valerio and he was flung from his cycle. Caceres told police that he tried to avoid Valerio by swerving unto the left lane but a James Bus was coming at the same time. Police are still looking into this case. Caceres has been served with a notice of intended prosecution.

PUP May Be Ready To Compromise On Senate
The Senate meets tomorrow to consider two motions for the appointment of a Special Select Committee to investigate irregularities at the immigration department. One is put forward by opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay - and that calls for 3 social partners, one member from the opposition and one from government. The other is put forward by the churches senator Ashley Rocke, and that calls for 3 social partners, two government representatives and one from the opposition. So both motions seek to appoint a Special Select Committee, but each proposes different compositions. Rocke seems to have the numbers on his side, since he - along with 6 government senators comprise 7 of the 12 Senators, and the PUP's 3 senators along with the other 2 social partners only count five. Today the leader of the opposition told us that they do have some flexibility:

PUP Start Long Journey On Road To Reform
Now, in a situation like that one where there is expected to be an easy majority supporting Rocke's motion, not even a 13th Senator could swing things against the government. But the 13th Senator could meaningfully tip the balance of power in the Senate, and that's why the PUP has committed to it in a Good Governance platform that it issued today to coincide with the 66th anniversary of the party's founding. Now for the PUP which usually holds events at its party headquarters - this was a big step up - they rented out the largest conference room at the Biltmore and invited a cross section of party supporters and dignitaries. It's a major platform initiative, but it comes less than a year after the most recent general election. Party Leader John Briceno explained that the vision of good governance is something his party wants to work on continuously:...

Mother Missing For A Week
The last time Julie Salazar saw her mother, Cruz Pu, known as Maria, was on Friday morning. Before she left for work, Julie said everything seemed normal, however, when she got home that night, "mom" was nowhere to be found. It's been a week and no word and today she told us why she is worried: Julie Salazar - Daughter of missing woman: "When I got home Friday evening from work I noticed that the shop was closed and she wasn't home. So I called her and no answer. The next day calling, calling and no answer none at all. I went to the police station on Saturday evening to put in a missing person report. Then on Saturday night the police called me and said that they got information that my mother crossed the border Saturday evening. And to me it's really weird because my mother never leaves home without telling anyone anything about where she would go. And I'm really worried because it's not something that she would do. She wouldn't go nowhere without leaving her kids."

Management: Port Will Not Close In solidarity With Teachers
The BNTU's 8 demands and their strike action have been dominating the headlines and as we have reported, the teachers are only getting started. So far the PUP has openly expressed support for the union in their fight - but we haven't heard much from other unions. But today, a call in to a morning show said that the stevedores also want to show solidarity by shutting down or blocking operations at the Port of Belize. The outspoken stevedore advised the public to stack up on supplies for a week because the stevedores will not be unloading any cargo ships in solidarity with the teachers. Today we asked the Port's CEO Arturo "Tux" Vasquez about this and he told us he hasn't gotten any official position or notice from the stevedores about this proposed strike. But if the stevedores plan on going through with it, Vasquez says it really isn't be the best way to show support to the teachers.

Belize Fights For Dominance In Volleyball
Heading into their fifth match of the FIVB International Men's Volleyball tournament, both Belize, and the Dominican Republic had a lot on the line. Both teams lost to the undefeated Guatemala but were still on track to earn one of the top two spots in the tournament, which would grant them entry to the North American tournament. Whoever lost would be out of contention, while the winner would have the opportunity to represent their country, and get a chance at a spot in the World Championship. High stakes - and here's how team Belize fared off:.. Last night at the FIVB Men's Volleyball tournament, Team Belize lost to the Dominican Republic after 5 sets of intense action. After a slow start in the first set, Belize managed to bring themselves back from a double-digit deficit and stay in play until the end of the set. Despite struggling early, Team Belize ended the set with the momentum and carried it over to the second and won.

Fire Leaves Older Woman Homeless
A 70 year old woman is homeless after her Corozal house was burnt down on Tuesday night. Virginia Guy left her son sleeping and went to visit a neighbor. Guy rushed back home after she found out her house was on fire but there was nothing she could do, the fire had already spread throughout the entire house, destroying everything. Police believe it was arson. They will continue to investigate Sources indicate that one of Guy's sons was detained by authorities for questioning, but she defended her son, saying he was blameless.

Questions About Environmental Impact of Marine Multibeam
A marine multibeam - it may sound like some science fiction device, but it's actually a real tool that's going to be used to conduct what's called a "sea seep" survey in the marine territory of Belize east of the barrier reef and in the Exclusive Economic Zone, excluding all marine protected areas. A release says the survey will be done "in deep water only and away from any major tourist activity, fishing areas or spawning sites." It's part of a larger regional geophysical survey currently being done by the United States Government and the Mexican Government in the US Gulf of Mexico, the Mexican Gulf of Mexico and east of the Yucatan Peninsula supposedly to gather new regional data to advance the knowledge of the geology and hydrocarbon systems of these geological provinces. A multibeam survey is usually done to obtain water depth maps and seafloor maps of the world's oceans and harbors for navigation and scientific information.

Channel 5

G.O.B. Must Find US $67 Million for Dunkeld
Sixty-seven million U.S. dollars – that’s how much money the Government of Belize must find to satisfy the first payment of the Belize Telemedia Limited Arbitration Award handed down on [...]

Can Accommodation Agreement Plans Hold Up After Judgment?
The discovery of a shift in the ratio of the award may imperil the Government’s stated intent to use a portion of the award for capital projects in Belize with [...]

G.O.B. “Disappointed,” Promises No Shock to Economy
So, what’s Government’s reaction to this latest decision? This afternoon, G.O.B. issued a statement officially expressing its disappointment in the C.C.J. decision. It points out that, “The overall quantum of [...]

P.U.P. Not Rejoicing After C.C.J. Decision
The media caught up with the Leader of the Opposition today at a separate P.U.P. event. John Briceño has repeatedly shared his discontent with the B.T.L. settlement and has even [...]

“Unofficial” Press Release by Catholic Bishop Supports Teachers
This morning the media received a press release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize and Belmopan. The release expressed similar views as we saw in the Independence Day prayer [...]

Will Catholic Schools Support Strike or Keep Schools Open?
According to the release from the Roman Catholic Diocese, with managing authority for Catholic schools, “We believe that the safety of upwards of fifty thousand students in our care will [...]

Dickie Bradley Warns Teachers to Have Their Own Back Amid Union-Busting Claims
As we have previously reported, the Belize National Teachers’ Union has threatened to take the Government to court over allegations of union busting. The Union has accused the Government of [...]

P.U.P. Decries Government Ministers’ Direct Appeals to Teachers
The Leader of the Opposition also believes that the actions of government are union busting.  He says, “Something is seriously wrong with this government.” Now, there are some who claim [...]

Senate Meets on Friday to Consider Select Committee on Immigration
The Government of Belize has announced that on Friday, September thirtieth, there will be a meeting of the Senate at the National Assembly in Belmopan. The sole order of business [...]

P.U.P. Will Not Agree to Government Majority on Committee
If the motion for the Senate Select Committee is approved on Friday, the composition of that committee is crucial. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has repeatedly stated that the committee should [...]

What Can We Expect During Senate Meeting?
As we said, the special meeting of the senate is expected to debate the two fresh motions expected with regard to this important national issue. But will they cancel each [...]

P.U.P. Says Good Governance is a Shared Responsibility
Today, the People’s United Party launched a “Policy Paper,” titled Good Governance – A Shared Responsibility. The paper contains eleven points that the P.U.P. say will form the basis of [...]

Is There Trouble with Sarkis Abou-Nehra Case?
More than eighteen persons face charges in connection with the Sarkis Abou-Nehra home invasion which occurred almost a year ago, in December 2015, in Burrell Boom where the diplomat’s maid [...]

Former Murder Suspect Charged with Double Shooting Incident
Former murder suspect Bartholomew Lucas has been charged with use of deadly means of harm, grievous harm and aggravated assault with a firearm in connection with a shooting in Pink’s [...]

Belize City’s New Brand is Launched
On Wednesday, we showed you Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Belize City Council parading through the streets of the Old Capital bringing awareness of a brand for the city. Well [...]

City Council Calls On All in Old Capital to Get Involved
According to Councilor for Economic Development, Trade Investment & Small Business, Michael Theus, the business community is integral to the branding initiative.   Michael Theus, Councilor for Economic Development, Trade [...]

Were A.C.C. Teachers Intimidated at Staff Meeting?
The Belize National Teachers Union has said that the government of Belize, through the Ministry of Education, has been making an attempt at union-busting as it relates to the upcoming [...]

Do Belizeans Support Teachers’ Strike?
In the case of any industrial action by teachers, parents are left to make special arrangements for their children. We’re less than a month into the first school year and [...]

Healthy Living: Exercise is Valuable Across the Lifespan
He was a competitive body builder in Belize in the sixties and now at the age of sixty-seven, exercise and healthy living is still a priority for the athlete. Now, [...]

#517918 - 09/30/16 06:50 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 30, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Customs Officer Attacker Remanded To Prison
Tonight, 21 year old Nigel Galvez of Toucan Street in Belmopan is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for the attempted robbery against 34 year old Custom Officer, Jose Luis Acevedo. On September 14th while walking towards the main gate of his property, Acevedo reported that he encountered two male persons standing inside his yard, one of who was in possession of a firearm and pointing it towards him. Acevedo then reportedly shot at the robbers and caught Galvez on the hip while the other individual fled the scene. Since the incident, Galvez had been under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital recuperating from injuries sustained but was released yesterday. Following his release Galvez was transported to the Orange Walk Police where he was formally arrested and charged for the crime of Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Prohibited firearm and Possession of Prohibited Ammunition.

CCJ Rules Against Belize, Orders GOB To Pay Ashcroft Millions Of Dollars
Attorneys for GOB and Dunkeld Investments and the BTL Employees Trust were today again before the Caribbean Court of Justice where a decision was handed down over the latest disagreement between both parties on how the final award should be paid. After hearing from both parties Justices Jacob Wit, Rolston Nelson, and Winston Anderson ordered GOB to pay 67 million dollars in US currency to Dunkeld International Investments and the employees Trust forthwith. Here is a section of the hearing when the ruling was handed down. Denise Barrow – Attorney for Government Of Belize: “The courts orders the financial secretary to pay to Dunkeld US$50,798,613.44 in US dollars and to the trust US$16,521,510.54.”

PUP Presents First Template Of Good Governance
Good Governance has become two of the most discussed words in our nation’s current political dialogue. The idea has been the subject for many debates, passionate speeches at rallies and House meetings, and even the purported rationale for civil disobedience and protests. Everyone agrees it’s an important ingredient in a good democracy, but what is it exactly and does our system of governance allow for adequate Good Governance? Those questions were put squarely on the forefront by the People’s United Party today when it launched its first template for a Good Governance agenda at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City.

Freddy Heredia Captures Police Officer Of The Month
Today Corporal Freddy Heredia of the Orange Walk Police Formation became the honored recipient of the department’s monthly award known as police of the month award. As a result of his continuous perseverance and hard-work within the department and throughout the community for the entire month of September, Heredia received a certificate of appreciation and a monitory contribution among other items as his reward. Freddy Heredia – Police of the month, September: “I feel happy in a way but I need to also congratulate my coworkers because this achievement cannot be accomplished without the person who worked along with me, they are the ones who always push me to work towards that.”

Ambassador Of Honduras Presents Credentials To GG
Her Excellency Nery Magaly Funes Padilla, Ambassador of Honduras, presented her credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young today, at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. During the ceremony Ambassador Padilla expressed her pleasure of being in Belize representing her country and shared her nation’s well wishes to Belize and intentions of continuing to work together to strengthen diplomatic relations. The Governor General cordially welcomed and received Ambassador Padilla’s credentials.

UDP Rep. Dissuading Teachers From Participating In Strike Actions
And while the Belize National Teachers union remains strong in their mandate for strike action scheduled for Monday, the Education Ministry and UDP politicians are going to extraordinary lengths to keep schools open. It has been reported to BNTU that Cabinet tasked area representatives to visit schools in the constituencies and make direct appeals to the teachers and principals not to participate in a strike. Today National President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio spoke on the actions taken by the UDP government calling it a sad day for our country and pleaded to all teachers and parents to remain strong and not to fall in the intimidation tactics of this ruling party who wishes to change the laws of our country with the strike of a pen.


CCJ Rules Against the Government on BTL Arbitration
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) handed down its ruling this morning in the BTL Arbitration matter. The ruling will put a strain on the country’s foreign reserves as it has stated that the estimated sixty seven million US dollars is to be paid forthwith to Dunkeld International Investments and the BTL Employees Trust. Senior […]

Government Expresses Disappointment at the BTL Arbitration Ruling
Early this afternoon, the Government of Belize issued a release expressing their disappointment at the ruling from the Caribbean Court of Justice where they were ordered to pay over sixty seven million US dollars to Dunkeld Investments and the BTL Employees Trust. The release noted, quote, “GOB does not agree with the ruling of the […]

Opposition Leader Says CCJ Ruling Is a Loss for All Belizeans
The People’s United Party has weighed in on the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice regarding the BTL Arbitration Award. Opposition Leader, John Briceno turned the tables on Prime Minister Dean Barrow as he cited the meeting held with Lord Michael Ashcroft in Miami, Florida last September in which an arrangement was made in […]

PUP Predicted IMF Conclusions
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund presented the Government with a list of proposed action to be taken in order to attempt at fixing the current economic situation which the report has described as being weakened. Today, the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno spoke on the IMF Report. Briceno says that the […]

Church Release Was Not Offical
“It’s not official”- this is what the management of Catholic Public Schools told Love News this afternoon at a press conference held to speak on a release supposedly sent out by the Roman Catholic Diocese in Belize. The release, like the ones sent before, looks authentic and it may very well be authentic but one […]

BNTU Not Driven by Politics, Says Opposition Leader
Several agencies have rendered solidarity and support to the Belize National Teachers Union in their plans to take industrial action in the coming days. The People’s United Party is one of those organizations. Despite that support, however, Opposition Leader, John Briceno says they have not met with the BNTU as they do not want to […]

BTL Cooking Books? Allegations Float
Tonight, the Belize Telemedia Limited will be holding its Annual General Meeting where it will be presenting its figures to shareholders for their fiscal period 2015/2016. There are reports coming to our news desk that the numbers presented in the report tonight are not accurate and that the shareholders are being lied to. Kareem Musa […]

Commodities See Price Spike in 2016
Prices of goods and services increased by point four percent in August 2016 when compared to August 2015. This is according to the Statistical Institute of Belize, SIB. For the first eight months of 2016, an inflation rate of point five percent was recorded. All municipalities recorded increases in consumer prices during the month of […]

The Role of CARICOM on Regional Challenges Among Youth
The Caribbean Youth Summit is into its second day. We had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Hilary Brown,Program Manager for Culture and Community Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, about issues that are prevalent in the regional youth community and how CARICOM is addressing them. Brown mentioned that sixty percent of the Caribbean’s population is […]

Caribbean Community Cooperates to Scourge Crime
Dr. Hilary Brown also spoke about the prevalence of crime throughout the Caribbean Region. She mentioned that the exponential growth in crime is a recent development. DR HILARY BROWN “The crime issue as we know is one that we are very concerned about and which seems to be getting worse before it is getting better. […]

The Guardian

Teachers paid despite Monday’s Strike - Monday October 3 - a normal school day parents send children to school
The Belize National Teachers Union is going to strike on Monday, October 3 and there are indications that it could be extended beyond that one day. In an effort to keep the schools opened, Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, who is the Minister of Education, will take emergency measures to ensure that schools countrywide will remain open. The Ministry will make it possible for school managers to hire temporary teachers to fill in for those teachers who decide to heed the call of their union for them to strike. That will be possible by way of a Statutory Instrument which will amend the education rules to allow for suitably qualified persons currently not hired, to be retained on a temporary basis. Those persons will then be able to legally enter the classes and act as caretakers to fill in for those teachers who do not show up for work next week. The Deputy Prime Minister will have to follow a process within the Education Act which will allow for consultation with other professionals within the Education sector. BNTU’s National President Luke Palacio is a member of those organizations which the DPM will have to consult with, and so he will have his opportunity to make his case on behalf of those teachers who will undoubtedly dislike the actions of the Ministry.

40 Million dollars for paving of Coastal Road
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced in his Independence Day Address (see page 9) that the government will be the recipient of a 40 million dollar grant from the U.K. which will be used to pave the Coastal Road. PM Borrow stated that "approval has already been secured for the paving and aligning of the Coastal Road together with new bridges. This comes out of a 40 million dollar UK grant, the balance of which will go for improvements in the North to the Philip Goldson Highway between Orange Walk and Corozal. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, Erroll Gentle told the Guardian that the project will be a long term one. The finances will be channeled through the Caribbean Development Bank. Next week principals with the bank will be coming to Belize to work out the details of the financing arrangement. He added that before any actual work begins on the road there needs to be social and environmental feasibility studies carried out after which a final design and costing for the road will be determined.

Belize battles Zika
Belize, like a number of countries in Latin America, is currently locked in a war against the spread of the Zika virus. There have been 46 confirmed cases so far, and there are 581 suspected case, which means that it could very well be forty-six and counting. 305 of those cases have been screened where the medical professionals have sent blood samples for testing abroad. 262 of those suspect cases are out of the Belize District, and there have been 21 positive cases. In the Cayo District, there are 125 suspected cases, and 13 of them have been tested positive. In Toledo, there are 7 confirmed cases. The most worrying statistic is that there are 6 confirmed cases in pregnant women, 5 of them are from Cayo, and 1 of them is from Belize City. 3 of these women have already given birth, and close monitoring from the Health professionals has so far indicated that the babies don’t show any signs of the debilitating disease known as microcephaly, other brain defects, or physiological abnormalities.

Independence Day Address by the Honorable Dean Barrow, Prime
Your Excellency, the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, and Lady Young, My Lord Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin and Mrs Benjamin, and other Justices of the Supreme Court, Hon Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño, and Mrs Briceño, Hon Ministers of Government and Members of the National Assembly, Your Worship the Mayor of Belmopan, Mr. Khalid Belisle, My Lords the Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches of Belize, Bishop of the Methodist Belize/Honduras District, President of the Evangelical Association of Churches, Other members of the Clergy, Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the Consular Corps, Special guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Belizeans.

BNTU stonewalls PM request to settle 3% salary increase
Prime Minister Dean Barrow sent a letter to the BNTU stating the following: "We last met on September 16, 2016 to further discuss the matter of the 3% salary adjustment. The APSSM and the PSU reiterated their 'yes' decision in support of Government's request for a deferral until April 2017, and the BNTU reiterated its 'no' decision against the deferral. I then put forward a proposal for a compromise to try to achieve unanimity on the issue and the BNTU President agreed to take that proposal to his membership and report their reaction to us. But eleven days have now passed without any BNTU response. Time is clearly of the essence and I therefore write to ask for a meeting at your early convenience so that we might try to progress this long outstanding matter. Government earnestly wishes to finalize our joint consideration of the salary adjustment payment and so I ask for a reply soonest to this letter."

Mayor Khalid Belisle Independence Day Address
It is once again my privilege to welcome you to our nation’s capital, this City of Promise, as we officially celebrate the now 35th anniversary of our young nation attaining Independence. Although it has only been a year since we last came together like this, we have had significant events unfold that have altered the landscape and course of our country. We have once more gone through the traditionally peaceful process of free and fair general elections, been visited by what is considered a minor hurricane but whose effects are still being felt a month and a half later and had the age old dispute with our neighbor once again brought to the fore of the national discourse in a very real and tangible way. It is why despite the many submissions I am certain they received, I’m not sure that the National Celebrations Commission could have chosen a more fitting theme for this year: “Sovereign and Strong – Together as One!”

Belizean passports not for sale
In a Facebook post titled “Second Passport, Citizenship & Residency in Belize” dated 24th September, 2016 by a website “IPC 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.

BNTU prefers the PUP over social partners to lead Senate Select Committee
While there is now an impasse between the BNTU and the government with teachers now threatening to strike on Monday October 3, what is interesting is the fact that the strike has nothing to do with industrial relations between the government and the teachers. The BNTU’s leadership is leading a cause that seems more appropriate to be led by the opposition. Nonetheless the Prime Minister met with them on Thursday September 22 and after 4 and a half hours of negotiations nothing was resolved. What needs to be highlighted of the meeting is that the BNTU leadership seems disorganized in their approach. In his statement the PM Barrow cited that, “their first demand was for a Senate Inquiry. But they were not satisfied that Government agreed to this. Rather, they started quarreling with the composition of the Select Committee that Government was supporting. In order to accommodate them even further, I accepted that Government would have two rather than three Senators on the Committee.

Belize City now branded
The Belize City Council has introduced a new logo for the name of this beloved old capital. It is something which City Hall hopes will become a source of pride for residents of this, the largest population center in the country. That New logo reads “Belize City: Savor the Flavor, Feel the Energy”. The rebranding effort is the product of a collaboration between the City Council and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The objective behind it is to capture all the elements of this City which makes it important socially, culturally, historically, and geographically to the entire country. It is, of course, the namesake of the country, “Belize”, and with that comes it’s cultural and historical significance.

Bridges being improved in the West
To alleviate the current traffic conditions, bridges in Belize’s West are being improved. A release from the Government of Belize’s Press Office informs that the Ministry of Works was going to be closing the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio at ten minute intervals, commencing at 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm as from last Friday. This has become necessary to enable maintenance work to be done on the Hawkesworth Bridge. The Bridge has been inspected by Ministry of Works Engineers and the public is reassured that the Bridge is safe for use by the motoring public states the release. While maintenance is being done at the Hawskeworth, work continues rapidly apace on the low lying wooden bridge that will connect Santa Elena with San Ignacio. In his Independence Day Address, the Honorable Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize had reported that the Caribbean Development Bank had already given an initial grant to undertake the replacement of the low-lying bridge, which had been washed away by the passage of Hurricane Earl.

2016 Central America Regional Security Initiative, Economic Support Fund Grant Signing Ceremony
The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the latest grant awards valued at $1.6 million USD. Seven organizations will receive funding today under the 2016 Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), Economic Support Funds (ESF) program. The U.S. Government has provided over $35 million in programs and grants to Belize through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) since 2008. These grants will support U.S. Government objectives to strengthen citizen security by focusing on job creation, providing alternative activities, and improving education methodologies for youth at higher risk of gang affiliation and/or engaging in criminal activity. CARSI grant applicants this year were asked to address one of the following objectives: • Provide job creation opportunities for youth between the ages of 14 and 25 and marginalized communities as an alternative to crime and violence. • Provide at-risk youth between the ages of 8 and 25 and marginalized communities with productive alternative activities that increase education and leadership opportunities. ..

Minister of State for Transport Hon. Edmond Castro meets with shuttle bus operators in the Belmopan hub
Minister of State with responsibility for Transport Hon. Edmond Castro held a meeting on September 27, 2016 with Shuttle Bus Operators in Belmopan and surrounding areas. The meeting is part of a comprehensive countrywide assessment and restructuring of the Public Transportation System. Issues discussed included the streamlining of shuttle bus services to conform to their originally intended purpose, and to ensure that they do not conflict with traditional runs by the larger bus operators. The Minister of State was accompanied by Chief Transport Officer Tirso Galvez and other officials from the Department of Transport.

Mr. President, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen, Once again I am privileged to address this Assembly on behalf of the Government and people of my country, Belize. And, it is with great delight that I congratulate you, His Excellency John Ashe, upon his elevation to the Presidency of this 68th session of the General Assembly. His election is a testament to all the peoples of the Caribbean and the world, of the height to which each of us can attain when industry and character are fused into one. I assure His Excellency that he will have the unqualified support of Belize throughout his term in office. I take this opportunity as well to thank his predecessor for his service as President of the 67th session of the General Assembly.

Government of Belize and Ashcroft Alliance in court again over BTL payments
The Barrow Government and the Ashcroft Alliance are back to arguing before the Caribbean Court of Justice over BTL. The Government is trying to ensure that none of the money belonging to the deserving Belizean people goes into the pockets to the former owners of BTL. That is money being fought over because of that abusive and arm-bending Accommodation Agreement deal that the heartless Musa Administration signed in 2005 when they were in Government. It has been described as a “currency fight”, but to appreciate what is at stake, the readers need to understand how the BTL settlement came about. A good starting point is a brief explanation of what the infamous Accommodation Agreement is and how it allowed for you to be taken advantage of. The PUP Government, of which Said Musa and John Briceño were high-ranking members, gave the Ashcroft Alliance a guarantee of 15% return on their investment in BTL. If they did not make that money, the Government would allow them to meet the shortfall by not collecting Government revenues from them in the form of taxes and fees that were due to the Public Utilities Commission. They were trying to cover their terrible mistake of guaranteeing the Intelco Properties, which the Musa Government did using 19.2 million dollars from the Social Security fund.

Micah Goodin interrupts meeting between the Ministry of Education and Education Stakeholders
The MOE Senior Management Team this morning met with the General Managers Association, the Belize Association of Principals of Secondary Schools and the Chairpersons of Secondary School Boards along with District Education Managers to discuss putting in place measures to keep schools opened in the wake of the proposed industrial action on the part of the BNTU. Under the Education and Training Act of 2010 and its accompanying rules, the managing authorities ( The GM’s and Boards of Governors) have an obligation to keep schools open and to ensure that teachers who turn up to work are safe and that students who turn up to school are taught and kept safe. While this meeting was going on inside the ITVET, the media gathered outside and there were attempts by Amandala’s Micah Gooding to eavesdrop and record the discussions of the meeting. He was asked to desist and became unruly and disrespectful and was joined by other media houses to demand entrance into the meeting that was not a press conference.

Sharing government’s side of the story
Mesopotamia and Albert Representatives Michael Finnegan and Tracy Panton must be commended for their proactive effort to visit schools and dialogue with teachers in Belize City, sharing with them the Government’s position on issues relating to the proposed strike by the Belize National Teachers Union. As Finnegan explained to the media, Government’s side of the story must be fully and accurately communicated to the teachers, as certainly BNTU leaders seem intent on toppling the Government and are therefore misinforming their membership. As elected parliamentarians and members of a responsible and accountable administration, Finnegan and Panton are thereby discharging their sworn duty, and we applaud them for doing so. Other Cabinet Members and Constituency Representatives in the UDP should do likewise.

Johnny lacking Ideas implements old strategies
It was recently reported in the media that the PUP announced plans to form a “shadow cabinet”. According to the PUP Leader, John Briceno, “A shadow cabinet is a practice widely used in the Caribbean and in other democracies so we believe that here in Belize it is time for us to give it a try.” He further claimed that, “It is the first time that any party has formally adopted a shadow cabinet.” This claim is truly amazing because it is totally untrue and represents just another blatant attempt by Johnny Briceno to mislead the people of Belize. It either means that Johnny is yet again deliberately trying to deceive the Belizean public or that he is totally out of touch, two things that immediately disqualifies him to lead this country. Everyone can recall that back in 2003 when the UDP was in opposition, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, when he was Leader of the Opposition, had established a Shadow Cabinet.

Johnny says He nor the PUP have Moral Authority to speak on corruption!
On Wednesday 21st September we listened carefully to the speeches first from the Leader of the Opposition and then the Prime Minister. This year we were very much interested in what the Leader of the Opposition had to say, because a few weeks earlier he and his party had embarked on what we saw, as their bid to unseat the present government. We thought that whatever he had to say would be interesting and provocative enough, that people would get a sense of what a PUP government would be doing different to make people take them seriously and want to vote for them, if elections were called anytime soon. Well as usual we were disappointed. His speech came and went but we did not hear anything that would attract us to this so-called new PUP.

Giving Children a Voice:
The notion that ‘children should be seen and not heard’ is one that has been interwoven into the tapestry of Belizean locomotion for centuries. Whilst this notion might have been acceptable for the entirety of the eighteenth throughout twentieth centuries; in modern societies, that notion no longer holds substantiation in certain circumstances. As underlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, to which Belize is a signatory; children are entitled to an opinion in maters which pose some significant effect on their lives. Exemplification can be excerpted from custodial mitigations amidst separated parents. Children who are deemed mentally matured are often posed with indicating with which parent they would prefer to reside permanently with and are also asked to provide premises for their answers.

PUP Shadows
The Shadow Cabinet is a feature of the Westminster System of government. It consists of a senior group of the brightest minds, in the opposition, who act as spokespeople, under the guidance of the Leader of the Opposition, as a form of an alternative cabinet to that of the government, and whose members SHADOW or mark each individual member of the Cabinet. Members of a shadow cabinet are often but not always appointed to a Cabinet post if and when their party gets into government. It is the Shadow Cabinet’s responsibility to criticize the policies and actions of the government, as well as offering an alternative program. In Belize, there is a newly appointed Shadow Cabinet, the problems is that the only thing it can do is to cast a very heavy shadow on itself. Most of the members of this Shadow Cabinet all have very shadowy pasts. Then there are those who definitely won’t fit in the category of being the brightest minds. There are also persons like Raddo who should have been disqualified in both instances. Another thing that caught our attention was that the Immediate Past Leader Francis was not appointed. We have to wonder if it was because he did not want anything to do with Johnny or was it that Johnny did not want anything to do with him? Better yet could it be that he is the Shadow Leader and needs to be free to shadow all of them?

Deputy Prime Minister leads delegation at inauguration of new governor of Quintana Roo
Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber led a delegation of Belizean diplomats and Mayors as well as councilors to neighboring Chetumal over the weekend where the New governor of Quintana Roo was officially inaugurated. On Facebook DPM Faber noted that, “it was an honor and pleasure to lead the delegation of my colleagues to Chetumal, Quintana Roo to witness the historic inauguration of the new Governor of our neighboring Mexico’s closest state! We have found in H.E. Carlos Joaquin a friend and we will explore the possibilities to expand that friendship for the mutual benefit of our people.” Among the invited guests were Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, Hon. Elodio Aragon, Mayor of Belize City, Darrel Bradley, Mayor Danny Guerrero among other councilors and Belizeans.

Statement by the Honorable Prime Minister on the Proposed Strike by the BNTU
We have reached a stalemate with the leadership of the Belize National Teachers’ Union and now they are threatening to close down the schools, leaving children without classes and parents desperate. How did things come to this? I want to make clear that their decision has nothing to do with the deferral of the 3% salary increase until April, 2017. In fact, that was not even tabled by them at the meeting I had with their Council of Management last Thursday. And, indeed, the deferral is supported by the other two Unions representing all who are paid from the Government purse. So at the Thursday meeting the BNTU’s agenda consisted exclusively of the demands they had earlier made of Government, and those demands did not include the 3%.

Street works continue in Belize City
The Belize City Council continues on its campaign to pave as many streets as possible in Belize City. Mayor Darrell Bradley announced a few months ago that the street paving program will continue in Belize City stating that the council would be investing an additional 2 million dollars in street works. So far the council through contractor RJB has been able to pave and upgrade the Cinderella Plaza area, complete Baymen Avenue as well as St. Joseph Street. This week the work crews moved over to West Canal where work has commenced to remove material as well as place forms for the start of the concreting of the street. The entire stretch of road from Regent Street West to South Street is expected to be completed by November of this year.

Why are teachers striking before consulting?
Immediately following the Thursday meeting between the Prime Minster of Belize and the leadership of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), union president Mr. Luke Palacio said, “…we now go back to our respective councils of management to discuss the matters that were presented this evening.” That pronouncement however, was short lived , because a letter was penned to the Prime Minister within a few hours of the meeting, expressing a rejection of seven of the eight concessions/proposals offered by GOB and suggesting that they are no longer interested in negotiations. We have since learned that there is a growing fracture within the BNTU executive - as some members have welcomed the concessions offered by the Government, while on the other hand, and by that we mean the Leadership proceeded with issuing a rejection letter without official direction from the general membership.

Teachers contribute $600,000 a year to BNTU
The President of the Belize National Teacher’s Union, Luke Palacio, was on Plus TV on Wednesday morning pleading their 8 point case to the public. While they pleaded their case they were also asking for monetary support from the general public to finance their cause. The entire thing appeared strange since the BNTU is supposed to be one of the better financed unions in the country. The teachers, about 2,500 of them who are part of the BNTU contribute $20 per month to it. We are looking at contributions adding up to a handsome $600,000 a year. While teachers are asking for their 3% increase another thing they should also ask of their union is for them to account for the $600,000 they pay to their union per year. They should also ask why, with so much finance available to the union why the president is resorting to begging on TV?

Caribbean Youth Leaders meet in Belize
Belize is this week hosting the 4th Annual Caribbean Youth Leaders’ Summit which will see youth leaders from throughout the Caribbean come together for two full days of workshops. Celebrated under the theme, Agenda 2030 – Framing Caribbean Youth Development: From Rhetoric to Action this summit is aimed at improving participation, representation and enhance advocacy techniques. This forum will identify mechanisms including monitoring and accountability techniques for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the measurement of youth participation throughout the SDGs. “The medium provided will foster the strengthening of youth networks by the facilitation and development of opportunities for young people. Here they will meet, exchange ideas and share best practices. They will engage in dialogues with stakeholders including the United Nations, Commonwealth, CARICOM, the civil society including youth-led organizations and the respective Governments to actively participate in the realization and implementation of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).” remarked Minister of Youth Hon. Patrick Faber at the opening ceremony held on Tuesday at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City.

Remanded for attempted murder and robbery
A Hattieville resident must call prison his home for a while after he was accused of attacking a man whilst armed with a firearm and robbing him and almost taking his life. 23 year old Carlton Belisle, a Mechanic/Welder of 16 ½ Miles Hattieville Village was remanded to the Belize Central Prison on Monday September 19 after being charged with four criminal offenses including, attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm and robbery with a machete. Belisle was arraigned before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser in Court #2 where he was unrepresented and was read the four charges.

#517919 - 09/30/16 06:50 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 30, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Sent to jail for holding gun for a friend
On Friday September 23, brothers 24 year old Steven Bradley, a resident of #14 Sittee Street, Belize City and his brother 21 year old Kadeem Bradley appeared in Magistrate’s court before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where they were jointly charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm. A team of GSU officers conducted a search at the home of Steven and Kadeem Bradley on Thursday September 22 where they found a .38 pistol. The brothers appeared unrepresented in court where the older brother immediately took the rap for the gun and pleaded guilty. While Kadeem maintained a not guilty plea his brother explained that he had to plead guilty to the charge of keeping an unlicensed firearm without being granted a gun license. He told the court, “I meh the hold the gun for a friend.” He further explained that, “we allow people to come into our house. We don’t know who is who but because of being so trustworthy. I am disappointed that it had to happen like this. I deserve the punishment. I am surprised but I don’t want my brother to go to jail for this. We are cool people and they took advantage of us.”

Eden Primary in Santa Elena, Cayo burglarized
Predators continue to wreak havoc at the Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Santa Elena, Cayo. Burglars broke into the school last Monday night, gaining access through the burglar barred Vice Principal’s office and then entering the Principal’s office to steal valuables. At the time of the burglary, the main door of the Principal’s office had on eight locks; deterring the thieves from entering. But it was the upper beaver board partition between the Principal and Vice Principals office that proved to be the vulnerable point and the thieves seemed to have known exactly where to go. Stolen from Eden Primary Administrators were a brand new LCD Epson Projector. The thieves also went away with a Hewlett Packard lap top which held accounting records as well as a Dell laptop all to a value of $5,000.

Fishermen sent to jail for repeat offenses
On Wednesday September 28 the huge rap sheet of two fishermen, brothers, 25 year old Ergil and 24 year old Marvin Patt came back to haunt them and they were sent to jail for repeated fisheries offenses. The two men along with their friend, 27 year old Medardo Rivero appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith to answer to charges of illegal fishing inside a Natural Monument, the Half Moon Caye Natural Monument. The first to be arraigned was Medardo Rivero, 27 year old Fisherman of Chunox Village. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the two charges he was read and Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith imposed two non-custodial sentences where she fined him $1,000 each plus a $5.00 cost of court fine which he was given until October 31, 2016 and December 31, 2016 to pay in default 6 months each.

Cecil Gill is remanded for attempted murder
On Monday September 26, Graphic Designer, 35 year old Cecil Gill, a resident of #28 Faber’s Road, Belize City was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after being charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm in the stabbing of Michael Herrera Gill along with his attorney Oscar Selgado appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser where he was read the charges. No plea was taken from Gill. The victim appeared in court to ask for no further court action but the charges could not be withdrawn since he was informed that the case is now between the police and the DPP. For him to request such action, he must first give another statement to the police requesting no further court action and then the matter will be forwarded to the DPP’s office for her to direct the court in the matter.

Shop assistant robbed business manager
Leroy Haulze, 20, a resident of #27 Taylor’s Alley in Belize City was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where he was read a charged for a single count of robbery. Allegations are that on Friday, September 16, 2016 whilst armed with a firearm, he stole from business Manager, Rocky Chugani, of Sonu Beauty Store located on Cemetery Road. Chugani was robbed of his $1,000 Samsung cell phone and $400 in cash. In a report to police, Chugani told police that at 8:00 p.m., on Friday night, September 16, whilst inside his business place, Sonu Beauty Centre, he was approached by Haulze and another male person who held him at gun point and demanded that he have over his money. Fearing for his life, Chugani handed over to the robbers, his cell phone and $400 in cash along with a Flip cellular Smart Top Agent Phone value unknown, all to a total of $1,400.00.’

Son of Minister of police and Immigration robbed at gun point
Minister of Police and Immigration, Godwin Hulse’s son was the latest victim of a robbery which occurred on Thursday, September 22, 2016 whilst on Marine Parade Boulevard. Kyrston Hulse, 24, was in the company of his girlfriend celebrating his 24th birthday, which was on Saturday, September 24, 2016, when he was robbed at gun point. His mother’s $30,000 red 4 Runner SUV vehicle was taken. On Friday night September 23, police picked up one of three suspects, identified as 24 year old Lyndon Hinds, a Construction Worker of #57 Iguana Street Extension, Belize City. Hinds was detained by CIB police at an apartment on Matura Street, in Belize City where he was charged with robbery. He was arraigned before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser on Monday September 26 where he was read a single charge of robbery.

Murder case ends in Nolle Prosequi
Erasmo Lino,31, who was charged back in March 2011 for killing his Roaring Creek neighbour, then 24 year old Laurencio Ho Jr., walked away from the Belize City Supreme Court free of charges after the DPP’s office entered a Nolle Prosequi. On Tuesday September 28, Lino who was represented in court by attorney Tricia Pitts Anderson saw his murder case entered into a case of nolle prosequi. With that Justice Troadio Gonzalez told him he was free to go for now. No reason or reasons were given in court for the decision. While for the moment he is free, charges can be brought back against him. On Sunday, March 6, 2011 when Laurencio Ho Jr. was killed, there were conflicting reports as to who made the first move causing Ho’s death. Reports were that Lino had threaten to kill Ho the night before. Police had also gotten reports that it was Ho, who first inflicted a chop wound to Lino as a result, Lino pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the chest.

Man stabbed to death in drunken brawl in Cayo
A man lost his life on Independence day in San Ignacio Town. Police visited the San Ignacio Polyclinic where they observed a Hispanic male suffering from 3 apparent stab wounds to the upper body. That person has been identified as Jesus Mai, a 27 year old construction worker from a San Pedro Town address. While the incident occurred sometime around 2:45 am, he succumbed to his injury about 5:00 am last Wednesday. Jesus Mai was socializing at the Blue Angels Night Club on Hudson Street and on his exit from the night club engaged in a misunderstanding with another male, who inflicted the stab wounds. Jesus Mai subsequently ran and collapsed on King Street near the San Ignacio Police Station, whereupon he was transported to the San Ignacio Hospital. Police are looking for one suspect. Police believe that intoxicating liquor was a contributing factor to the demise of Jesus Mai. He was the father of two young children.

Mutilated body found in Valley of Peace
A former employee of the Belize Water Services Limited BWSL was found mutilated in a patch of corn field in the Valley of Peace Area in the early morning hours of Sunday. The 33 year old Rudolf Selgado was found with wounds to the neck, chest and a bag over the head. He had last been seen on September 21st in Belmopan enjoying the celebrations. Kayla Spencer, common law wife of Rudolf Selgado or Cito had been in a desperate search along with friends for him since last Friday. Their joint search near the Agripino Cawich Bridge and More Tomorrow had proved unsuccessful. Rudolf Selgado had been an employee at BWSL for the last 10 years and had been a faithful worker. From his earnings he would diligently take care of his family.

Former murder suspect remanded on firearm and ammunition offenses
Ernest Staine who beat a murder charge in 2015 was back in court on September 20th after more than a year a free man. Staine, 26, of Belize City was arraigned before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser in Court #2 on two charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition without being granted a gun license. Allegations are that on Saturday, September 17, 2016, Carnival Day, whilst on Giles Street, Belize City he was caught in possession of a 9 mm caliber pistol, with an unknown serial number. He was also found in possession of 10 rounds of ammunition, 7 gold in colour Lugar brand ammunition and 3 S&B brand hallow point ammunition. In court, Staine was unrepresented and he pleaded not guilty to the charges but due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until October 2016.

Belize opens with tie-break win AFECAVOL round WCQT
Belize opened the AFECAVOL Men’s FIVB World Championship qualification tournament defeating El Salvador in tie-break 3-2 (25-13, 18-25, 27-25, 18-25, 16-14) at St. Catherine Academy Center. The crowd went frantic as the home team downed El Salvador in a thrilling five setter. In set one, El Salvador lost their composure with Belize high flying ability over the net. Missed communications in Belize team, combined with El Salvador’s spiking efforts, tied the actions while El Salvador pocketed set two. Belize performed with solid kills and monster blocking stopping El Salvador good rhythm in set three. Belize was totally lost in set four, while El Salvador held enormous advantage to decide the match in tie-break. On Sunday, El Salvador (0-1) faces Panama (0-1) and Belize (1-0) meets Guatemala. Karym Coleman, captain of Belize: “We performed just how we practiced. We worked hard to come from behind and taking the win. Our libero, Riden, is doing well. I don’t like to think about a specific feature from our opponents, we just face them one at a time. In facing Guatemala, we must minimize our errors, every time we do that we blow out other teams”.

Jumanji leads Sugar City Hoops Basketball Senior Competition
The 2016 Sugar City Hoops Competition continued over the weekend with games in all categories at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town. On Saturday 24th September, 2016, in the U- 17 competition, East Coast Ballerz defeated Muffles Bobcats by the score of 46-37. The scorers for the East Coast Ballerz were Kristan Puerto with 16 points, Javier Rosado Jr. with 11 points and Carlos Umana with 8 points. For the Muffles Bobcats, the top scorers were CJ Vasquez with 17 points, Kristian Cabrera with 10 points and Dickerson Li with 6 points. In the U-25 competition, One Love won handily over Devils by the score of 77-57. The top scorers for One Love were Randy Usher with 15 points, Jerry Vasquez also with 15 points and Ronald Sutherland with 7 points. For the Devils, the top scorers were Leonard Jones with 26 points, Vicente Avila with 19 points and Abimael Godoy with 6 points.

CYDP Football Competition rolls on at the MCC Grounds
The Conscious Youth Development Programme Football competition continued at the MCC with six games over the weekend. On Sunday 25th September, in the first game played, Ebony Lake defeated Heights by the score of 2-1. The goals for Ebony Lake were scored by Kevin Najera and Travyon Martinez. For Heights, the only goal was scored by Wingfield Dennison. In the second game of the day, Ladyville defeated Kings Park Strikers by the score of 7-0. The goals for Ladyville were scored by Shawn Young (2), Tyrone Parchue (2), Joel Ottley, Alex Bainton and Michael Hernandez. On Saturday 24th September, in the first of four games played, Yabra defeated Hattieville United by the score of 2-1. The goals for Yabra were scored by Delroy Andrews and Orlando Valasquez, while the lone goal of the game for Hattieville was scored by Marcus Lewis.

Belmopan Bandits maintain lead in Premier League Opening Season competition
The Premier League of Belize 2016-2017 Opening Season Competition continued over the last week with a number of games across the country. On Sunday 25th September, 2016, out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the host team Verdes FC edged out Orange Walk United by the score of 3-1. The host team Verdes FC was the first to make it onto the scoreboard when Jarret Davis scored the first of two goals in the 49th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was extended when Gilroy Thurton scored in the 67th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. The visiting Orange Walk United finally got onto the scoreboard when Alexsis Hernandez scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 90th minute of play to cut the deficit to one goal. However, Jarret Davis assured Verdes FC a win when he scored his 2nd and final goal of the game in the 90?minute of the game for the 3-1 victory.

Belize Bank Bulldogs to defend national softball title
The Belize Softball Federation will be hosting the XXVI National Women’s Softball Championship from September 30 – October 2, 2016, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. The National Softball Championship is played between the champions and sub-champions of the Affiliated Associations that make up the Belize Softball Federation. The teams that have qualified to compete in the XXVI National Women’s Softball Championship includes: Belize Rural Association (Easy Does It from Flowers Bank and Burrell Boom Orchid Girls), Cayo Softball Association (Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Unitedville Rebels United) from the Stann Creek Association (Independence United and Silk Grass Royale Girlz) and from the Belize City Association (Belize Bank Bulldogs and BTL). The Tournament Director for the XXVI National Women’s Softball Championship is Jude Lizama and the chief scorer and statistician is Gilroy Middleton.

Belize strong spikes defeat Panama in AFECAVOL Men’s FIVB World Championship qualifier
Belize strong spikes defeated Panama 3-1 (25-21, 25-12, 20-25, 25-17) on day three of actions of the AFECAVOL Men’s FIVB World Championship qualification tournament at St. Catherine Academy Center in Belize City. Belize brought out their killing spikes while stopping Panama. In set two they held an early 5-0 lead, finishing the set quickly, however their lack of consistency cost them set three and the first set won by Panama in the event. Their strong attack appeared once again as they held an extended advantage in set four, earning their second victory for a 2-1 record. On the other hand, Panama stands with 0-3 record. The 6-2 advantage in serves and 38 opponents’ unforced errors gave Belize the necessary boost to prevail. While in the other skills, the numbers weren’t that significant with Belize leading 43-42 in spikes and scoring the same 8 points than Panama thru blocking. Belize committed 23 errors.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

U.S. Government gives $1.6 million in grants to 7 organizations in Belize
The U.S. Government has shared their support and partnership with Belize in many forms. Since 2008, Belize has received USD $35 million dollars through the CARSI funds (Central America Regional Security Initiative).Through the Military Liaison Office, Belize has also received USD$10 million via the Humanitarian […]

Hurricane Matthew is 5th Hurricane of 2016
.Tropical storm Matthew is now a hurricane in the Caribbean Sea. It became the fifth hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season today at 2pm. This afternoon, Matthew was located 190 miles northeast of Curaçao. Over the next couple of days, Matthew should continue to […]

General Manager of Government Primary Schools asks that schools remain open on Monday
Marvin Kellyman, the General Manager of the Government Primary Schools has sent a letter to Principals around the country asking that schools remain open on Monday, October 3, 2016. Kellyman also asks that the Principals submit to the Ministry of Education a list of […]

Ambassador of Honduras presents credentials to Governor General of Belize
.Her Excellency, Nery Magaly Funes Padilla, Ambassador of Honduras, presented her credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young today, Thursday, at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. According to a Government of Belize press release, Ambassador Padilla expressed her […]

Guatemalan bus company meet with Ministry of Transport to discuss transit through Belize
The Minister of Transport, Hon. Edmond Castro and top officials in the Ministry and Department of Transport have been meeting with bus operators from all regions of the country. The meetings have been part of their comprehensive review and restructuring of the nation’s public […]

Government of Belize expresses disappointment over CCJ decision
The Government of Belize (GOB) has issued a press release expressing its disappointment at the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) this morning on the interpretation of the BTL Settlement Agreement. According to the press release, GOB does not agree with the […]

Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize asks parents to be vigilant about Monday’s strike
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize has issued a press release about Monday’s strike by the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU). “Today’s battle for truth in governance being championed by these selfless teachers, adds to a distinguished list of battles bravely fought on behalf […]

Teenage girl missing; police needs your help in finding her
Police in Cotton Tree Village need your help in finding a teenage girl that went missing on September 28, 2016. According to reports, Irene Buddan, 43, of Cotton Tree Village and an employee of Kings Children Home located at mile 41 on the George […]

Police arrest two persons in San Pedro for keeping unlicensed ammunition and marijuana
Police have arrested two persons for keeping unlicensed ammunition and cannabis in San Pedro Town. According to police reports, on Tuesday, September,27, 2016 around 6:00 a.m. police conducted a search on an unpainted two storage board house in the San Mateo Area of San […]

CCJ rules against GOB
The Caribbean Court of Justice has ruled against the Government of Belize and has ordered the payment of over U.S. 67 million dollars owed to Dunkeld International Investments and the BTL employees Trust forthwith. Because the language of the agreement did not make clear […]

Why it is important to support the BNTU
The lack of economic growth in Belize, due to GRAND CORRUPTION, leads to the stunted growth of upward mobility and social justice. In other words, more and more people can’t make a proper living because they can’t find quality jobs, but that’s not all. […]


Belize in October
The leaves might be turning and the weather getting chilly in North America during the month of October, but there’s plenty of sunshine, warmth, and adventures to be had in Belize during October. The weather does actually cool down in Belize during October, but that’s a good thing! The weather will be perfect for sailing, snorkeling, swimming, or enjoying one of the many festivals and fun events that take place in October. Below are some of the top things to see and do in Belize in October: Halloween is an imported holiday from the United States, but bars and other entertainment venues go all out for this ghoulish holiday. Locals and visitors alike get a chance to dress up and compete for prizes at one of the many Halloween parties. Whether you want to stay in a tiny B&B on a remote island or a luxury resort on the mainland, October is a great time to take advantage of low season prices in Belize. You’ll never have to wait at a restaurant, museum, Maya ruin, or adventure tour when you visit Belize in October. Some places close for renovations and repairs during September, but just about everything in Belize is open and uncrowded in October.

Checking out Two New Island Bars: Dive Bar & Paco’s Tiki Bar
Yesterday I checked out two new spots that have avoided my scrutiny for at least a few months. Both are located north of the bridge, both have great views of the sea and both are serving food. Best to show you in photos. Dive Bar: About 1/2 Mile North, Ambergris Caye. We ordered some very tasty fish tacos. They have a good sized menu for both lunch and dinner. Paco’s Tiki Bar: Down a short road, there’s a good sized bar on the water. With some seriously long hours! Just opened for 4 months… A very nice way to spend a September afternoon…

tacogirl Soul Food Guide for all Relationships
After hearing a new friend Nurse Jennifer, recently compliment an old one Gary Bowline, in saying he is a good soul Sunday afternoon, I started began contemplating what that really meant. Immediately I started thinking of short phrases with the word Soul in them – see below. For me, there was a common thread among the definitions I picked, something along the lines of living in lightness and fulfillment. We are all traveling on a road in which our lives are shaped by the choices we make and as a result the people and events we attract. I strongly believe in cultivating relationships with people who shine a positive light in your life. This will add substance and character to your world and help you stay on the right path as you fulfill your dreams.

A hidden surprise with great food: Coleman’s Cafe
In Belize, you can find all kinds of eateries: from upscale restaurants to a lady selling tamales out of a bucket in the side of the street. It’s often the hole-in-the-wall type of diners that encompass this country’s melting pot of cultures, and these are the places where you find the true tastes of Belize. On a trip down south, I found such unique restaurant; a small café off the beaten path serving up real good food. Coleman’s Café is not your ordinary restaurant. Located at the entrance to Rice Mill, Big Falls in the Toledo District, Coleman’s offers home cooked meals, drinks and second to none hospitality to everyone, from local residents to missionaries and even tourists visiting nearby attractions. Founded in 1995, Coleman’s is the oldest establishment in Toledo. With great reviews from locals and visitors alike, Coleman’s is sort of an institution for those who find themselves in southern Belize. I myself was truly impressed, not only by the food, but by, the hospitality and warm smiles from owner, Perlene Coleman.

International Sourcesizz

Furniture that destroys forests: crackdown on 'rampant' trade in rosewood
The fight to end Illegal Rosewood got a boost from Cites. Cites summit moves to protect the world’s most trafficked wild product by placing all 300 species of the tree under trade restrictions. The Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) summit on Thursday placed all 300 species of rosewood under trade restrictions, meaning criminals can no longer pass off illegally logged species as legitimate.

John McAfee fights back against rape & murder allegations made in Showtime doc
John McAfee's plummeting stocks are the least of his worries — a documentary links him to two murders. Anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee has been making headlines this week because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed information from his company, MGT Capital Investments, resulting in its stocks plummeting. But aside from his stock issues, McAfee has also been the subject of some incredibly damaging allegations. According to Huffington Post, McAfee is the subject of a Showtime documentary titled Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, which, among other things, links him to the murders of two men in Belize. The documentary is helmed by Nanette Burstein and takes a look into what happened in Belize — a country from which McAfee allegedly fled in 2012 after police wanted to question him in connection with the death of his neighbor. Burstein spent three months in the country, investigating and interviewing many of McAfee's former confidants, bodyguards and even his ex-girlfriends, who make him seem like a very dangerous man.

Study suggests commercial fishing depletes key nutrients in coral reefs
Many of the ecosystems most impacted by human activities, such as tropical forests and coral reefs, are also among the most biodiverse in the world. But a recent study determined that conserving biodiversity may not be enough to ensure coral reefs rebound from the impacts of exploitation by mankind. In coral reef ecosystems, fish typically constitute a substantial portion of living biomass and thus represent an important reservoir of nutrients. So it makes sense that the removal of biomass via fishing impacts the nutrient capacity of coral reefs. And because nutrient inputs from outside reef systems are scarce, the replacement of nutrients removed by fishing occurs at a slow rate — “a dynamic that is analogous to the disruption of nutrient cycles in tropical rainforests following intensive timber harvest,” according to an article published in the journal Nature Communications last month.


  • Miss América Latina del Mundo 2016 Preliminar Traje de Baño, 2 min. Belize could not be prouder of Michelle Nunez who is doing an amazing job at the Miss America Latina Del Mundo 2016 Pageant! Don't forget the main event of the pageant takes place tomorrow, September 30th. El 27 de Septiembre del 2016 se llevó a cabo la competencia preliminar en traje de baño dentro del certamen Miss América Latina del Mundo que se lleva a cabo dentro del Hotel Occidental Xcaret en la Riviera Maya mexicana.

  • Are Police Compromised in Gregory Faull Murder Investigation?, 1.5min. Is there any intention on the part of the police to investigate the murders? The documentary, for many, revealed deficiencies in the investigating process into the murders. The feature revealed that in the murder of Faull, former-caretaker Cassian Chavarria was never interviewed by police in connection with the homicide. McAfee also said in an interview that he was protected by police officers who lived on his Tower Hill property. The media asked ACP Williams today if the police department had been compromised.

  • FBC At Word Of Life Belize Camp 2016, 4min. Check out what one of our FBC missions team did in Belize this summer!

  • Belize Boat Party, 1min. Come and party on a boat to the music of top DJ´s and Live Acts. Open bar (first hour) including beer, wine, sangria and soft drinks. A unique and fun experience.

  • Government Offices in Punta Gorda, Belize C.A., 1/2min. The Mayors office, among others are located in this building. Town council meetings take place here as well. If you get a vehicle violation ticket, you will pay the fine here.

  • Hospital in Punta Gorda, Belize C.A., 1/2min. Have a medical emergency, need blood tests or xrays in Punta Gorda, Belize? This is where you'll go..

  • Meet Lillian - Development Instructor in Belize, 4min. Another Kind of School Richmond Vale Academy

  • Drive Along Seaside in Punta Gorda, Belize C.A., 2min.

  • Along the Seaside in Punta Gorda, Belize, Central America, 2min. These are some of the homes along the seaside in Punta Gorda, Belize.

  • TARPON TIMES TWO ~ El Pescador, Belize, 2min.

  • A great look at Belize through David Hunter Jr's eyes!, 5min.


  • Chicago Belize Day Festival 2016, 12min.

  • Green Moray Eel Belize 2016, 1min. Around Turneff Island, we saw free-swimming eels on almost every dive!

  • Proof of Everything, 44min. Discovery channel in Belize

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