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#517930 - 10/01/16 05:46 AM Today's Belize News: October 1, 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

National Policy Monitoring Tool launches
On Tuesday, September 27th, the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation (MHDSTPA) met at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mercy Centre in Belize City to launch BelizeInfo, a new website that will be used as a national policy monitoring tool for the country. BelizeInfo is a two-tier management information system that came as a result of the Community Action for Public Safety project (CAPS) five years ago. The website publicizes data in a structured manner, and is composed of over 65,000 data values. It is designed to also strengthen the monitoring and evaluation in the country to include: project, sector, thematic, national strategic plans, and the growth and sustainable development strategy.

GOB and churches proceed with appeal of section 53
After Chief Justice Benjamin Kenneth issued his judgement on August 10th, striking down section 53 of the Criminal Code that outlawed sodomy for decades, the Government of Belize (GOB) decided not to appeal the decision. However, after several meetings with members of the Belize Council of Churches (BCC), the Government has now decided to partially appeal the amended criminal code, which the churches have appealed in its entirety. The outcome of the last meeting, held on Friday, September 9th, will now see the Attorney General filing an appeal in the days ahead. GOB’s case will be heard by the superior court individually while allowing all interested parties to appeal Section 53 in its entirety. The part of the ruling that the Government is appealing, according to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, is the piece which deals solely with sex and sexual orientation. “Government will appeal the aspect of the Chief Justice’s decision which extends of expands the definition of sex in the Constitution to include sexual orientation,” said Barrow. “That is the context of the constitutional protection to non-discrimination, which is the position government came to after an extensive review of the judgement and the advice of the Attorney General.”

Help us in building a scrapbook of our memories from the last 25 years
The San Pedro Sun has the incredible opportunity to hold an exhibit honoring its 25th anniversary as the island newspaper. It’s been an honor to be the historian of this community for a quarter century, and we look forward to showcasing some of our fondest moments. It’s you the community that has made us who we are today, and now we ask you to help us in building a scrapbook of our memories from the last 25 years. Call 226-2070, email us at spsun@sanpedrosun.com or visit our office located upstairs of Love Belize gift shop on Barrier Reef Drive to share what you can with us as we prepare a fabulous showcase for the public.

SPHS Female Basketball Team participates in CODICADER games
Ambergris Caye and Belize were proudly represented by the San Pedro High School (SPHS) female basketball team and sub-champions of the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA), at the 19th Under-17, Council for Sports and Recreation of Central America (CODICADER) tournament. They competed valiantly at the sporting event held from September 22nd through September 30th in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Despite failing to win any games in all six outings, they played their personal best each time they stepped on the court. All members of the team are thankful for the opportunity to represent Belize in the regional competition. They had the experience of a life-time and learned a lot during the competition, and look forward for another opportunity to represent the island and the country.

Hol Chan leads coastal clean up
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve on Ambergris Caye joined the 2016 Coastal Clean Up campaign for the fourth time. The international clean-up movement was spearheaded in Belize by the Belize Scout Association, and while Hol Chan did a massive clean-up on the North Ambergris Caye beach, there are still a lot of reports of illegal dumping in that area. During the weekend of September 24th, students from San Pedro High School and San Pedro Junior College joined members of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve for a day of hard work. The clean-up activity took participants at the island’s northern point, known as Robles – a favorite spot for turtles during the nesting season. To track the success of the clean-up, everyone was provided with a ‘Volunteer’s Ocean Trash Form’ in which all the garbage picked up was categorized and recorded. According to personnel from Hol Chan, this form of recording is done to provide data on the amount of and types of garbage in our water bodies, as well as to compare to clean-up campaigns of previous years. The official statistics for 2015 reported that 16,948 pounds of garbage were collected from the coastal areas countrywide, which accumulated to 39 miles of coastal areas covered by volunteers.

Mayor Guerrero attends instalment of Quintana Roo’s new governor
The neighbouring Mexican State of Quintana Roo has a new governor, Carlos Joaquin Gonzales. He was officially sworn in on Sunday, September 25th, in the state’s capital city of Chetumal where San Pedro’s Mayor Daniel Guerrero, along with a Belizean delegation, attended the grand ceremony at the state’s Hall. After delivering his message, the Governor invited his special invited guests to a feast in which he spoke to the Belizean delegation. Governor Gonzales and Deputy Prime Minister Faber briefly spoke on the long standing relationship between Belize and Mexico and their commitment to working together. Next to speak and congratulate the new Governor were the different mayors from Belize, including Mayor Guerrero. They all committed to foster good relationship between their municipalities and the state of Quintana Roo. Gonzales will hold the title of State Governor for six years.

Ambergris Today

Lady Dixie Bowen Inducted in Brentwood High School Hall of Fame
Lady Dixie Bowen was among six inductees into the Brentwood High School Hall of Fame Class of 2016, that took place on Friday, September 16, 2016, at Brentwood Missouri. She was nominated by Brentwood Alumni Association for being an exemplary alumna of the school. Lady Dixie just recently arrived from her trip back to her hometown to receive the recognition. She graduated from Brentwood High School, Brentwood Missouri in 1970, and her early travels on a scuba diving trip to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize resulted in Dixie Bowen falling in love with the island that she now calls her home. In 1995 her dream of building a private school on the island for local children became a reality. Dixie credits Brentwood High School as the foundation for her success. The guidance and enthusiasm provided by the faculty and staff in her young live always stayed with her. Today, at the Island Academy, she continues to apply the principles and disciples of those formative years with her entire student body.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Presented by: Mr. Jorge Gentle. Location: BTEC Training Room, ITVET Compound, Free Town Road, Belize City. Workshop Date: October 6th, 2016. Time: 9am to 12noon. The objective of this workshop is to stress the importance of selling, branding, labeling and packaging when marketing your product. Objectives include: Highlighting the importance of branding as a marketing tool, stress the importance of developing a good brand strategy ad, consequently an effective brand, importance of labeling as a marketing tool, Provide participants with the tools to develop an attractive label that conforms to Belize's labeling standard, Highlight the importance of packaging as a marketing tool. To sign up for the workshop contact our office at 223-315 or email us at sbdc@belizeinvest.org.bz. Cost: $30.00, Includes snacks and refreshments.

2016 Coastal Cleanup on Ambergris Caye
Thanks to students of San Pedro Highschool and San Pedro Junior College who participated in this year's Beach Cleanup.

Silky sharks are in trouble and need your support at CITES!
We are getting close to voting day for listing Silky sharks on Appendix II at CITES. This will finally help to regulate the international trade in a species which is seeing rapid declines in populations. Conch is on Appendix II so why not silky sharks which does not even form part of Belize's local fisheries... only the high seas fisheries that are conducted by foreign countries under Belize's registration and flag. Please take a moment to urge our Departments of Forestry and Fisheries to support the listing and align themselves with many supporting countries.

Amazing season for the Scarlet Macaw conservation efforts
Release! My apologies for low quality i-phone pics but we are elated to share that an amazing season for the Scarlet Macaw conservation efforts culminated in the release and reintroduction of 5 hand-reared at risk chicks into the Chiquibul on Wednesday. We are fortunate to still see all 8 chicks released in 2015 thriving, but thanks to our partners from WCS in 2016 we were able to equip one of the chicks with a satellite collar so hopefully we will learn even more how to protect these amazing birds for future generations. The best news of this joint effort: since starting the hand rearing of at risk chicks in 2015 none of the chicks in the monitored area were poached for the pet trade (and all at risk nests were climbed by poachers after extraction!) and the numbers of successfully fledged macaw chicks have more then doubled.

Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic's annual Gala on Garifuna Settlement Day
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. Nov. 19th! Silent auction Gala! A fundraiser event. 6pm, $85. "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."

Commander US SOUTHCOM visits Belize
The Commander of United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Admiral Kurt Walter Tidd concluded a two-day visit to Belize on Thursday September 29th, 2016, with a tripartite meeting held with Commander Belize Defence Force Brigadier General David Jones and Chief of Defence Staff of the Guatemalan Armed Forces, Major General Juan Manuel Perez Ramirez, at Caracol Ruins in the Mountain Pine Ridge Thursday evening. The main purpose of the tripartite meeting was to encourage dialogue and cooperation, particularly on border issues between Belize and Guatemala. Also discussed was the important role that the armed forces must play in regards to regional security. During his stay in Belize Admiral Tidd along with US Ambassador, His Excellency Carlos Moreno, held meetings with key officials within the Ministry of Defence including Minister John Saldivar, CEO Min of Defence, Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard and Commander of the Belize Defence Force, to discuss US support to the BDF and Coast Guard and joint collaboration of operational and training activities between the two countries.

Over 600 Belize City Students Will Soon Benefit from New Queen’s Square Anglican Primary School Project
Ground-breaking Ceremony to officially commence the construction of Queen’s Square Anglican Primary School Substitution Project, Belize City, will be held at the school’s compound at 2:00 pm on Friday September 30, 2016. The Government of Belize in recognition of the critical role of education for social, economic, cultural and political development by way of empowering future leaders with knowledge, skills and values to enhance Belize’s socio-economic development; is funding the construction of the new Queen’s Square Anglican Primary School at an estimated cost of $950,000.00 courtesy of a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. The completion of the school project means that Belize City students will have greater access to a better learning environment in a newly spacious and pleasant setting; as well as address increasing demand of enrollment and alleviate over-crowding in existing classrooms.

Two 20 minute power interruptions 7:00am to 7:20am & 4:40pm to 5:00pm on Saturday, October 1, 2016: entire Orange Walk & Corozal Districts
BEL to replace poles, downguys & ground wires on transmission system.

BEL Light the Night for Kids!
Sept. 30, 7:15pm. "Light the Night for Kids" walk hosted by the Inspiration Center, streetlights will remain off along the route of the walk. Streetlights will be turned on after the "Light the Night for Kids" walk has passed these streets.

Commentary: Donald Trump convinced many that he is not qualified to be president
By Wellington C. Ramos. I have been living in the United States for 38 years now and I have never seen a candidate running for the presidency who is so unqualified like Donald Trump. He became the Republican nominee for their party because his campaign was built on assuring some white men and anti-immigrants that if he is elected he will give them back their country. He is not the first Republican candidate running for president to use this strategy. Others used it before but did not engage in straight talk like him. Some of them were elected and others were rejected. Over the years the American population has changed from a majority white to other ethnic groups. It is not possible for any candidate to win the presidency with only the white vote.

San Pedro Kids Club
Register now for this great opportunity! Free for Kids!

Newly elected Garifuna Council visits San Pedro
On Thursday, September 29, the newly elected Garifuna Council visited the Mayor and Councilor Hector Tito Alamilla to present its new members and its future objectives. The new council consists of Mr. Alex Noralez as the president, Virginia Melendez as Vice President, Eden Velasquez as Secretary, Elsy Guilty as Assistant Secretary, Elroy Castillo as Treasurer and Amancia Martinez as the Assistant Treasurer. Both Mayor Guerrero and Councilor Tito congratulated them on their triumph and expressed their best wishes on a successful term. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council are looking forward to working with this new team to further promote the Garifuna culture in San Pedro.

Belize Workers Union in Solidarity with Teachers
In a press release dated Friday September 30th, the Belize Workers' Union (BWU) expresses solidarity with the strike staged by the Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU) and are prepared to move their cause to the next level. In its release it states "The Belize Workers' Union (BWU) writes on behalf of its members to inform the public and parents in particular, that it stands firmly in support of the Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU) in its decision to strike as a result of its agitation with the Government of Belize over issues pertaining to the economic and social well-being of our beloved country. The teachers are on the side of right! Their fight is a noble fight on behalf of all citizens of this country and their cause and the decision to strike is protected according to right to strike principles set out by the International Labour Organization (ILO). For the BWU to stand aside and do nothing is to abdicate its moral responsibility to not only the teachers and the BNTU but also to all our Belizeans brothers and sisters who are victims of ministerial and Government corruption and mismanagement of the nation's financial resources. The BWU stands in solidarity to move the cause to the next level".

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will close its offices on Monday, October 3, 2016
In solidarity with the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) and is members.

Taiwanese Food & Cultural Festival
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) will host “Taiwanese Food & Cultural Festival” at Fort George Memorial Park between 10AM to 3PM of October 15, 2016 as part of the activities in celebrating the country’s Double Tenth National day. 20 booths from Taiwanese community will sell indigenous Taiwanese food, including Taiwanese fried chicken, Taiwanese sausage, beef noodles, beef puff, fried rice noodles, tea eggs, spring rolls, thick soup noodle, vegetable balls, savory rice cake, turnip cake, caozaiguo, sushi, tempura, yakitori, fried silk thread rolls, mochi, wheel pies, nougat, cake, cookie, taro crispy cake, Moringa tea, herbal tea, juice, coffee and bubble tea. It is an opportunity for all and gourmets to savor the flavor and treat your palates to genuine Taiwanese food. Taiwan Embassy welcomes everyone along with his/her family to participate in the event and enjoy Taiwanese tasty food.

National Team of BELIZE vs The National Team of HONDURAS!!!
WHERE: FFB Stadium, Belmopan WHEN: Saturday, October 8th, 2016 More details coming soon..... Here is a list of players called up for this MATCH UP of a LIFE TIME.. BELIZE vs HONDURAS

Memo from Corozal Junior College
26 teachers in solidarity with the BNTU

Commander US SOUTHCOM visits Belize
The Commander of United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Admiral Kurt Walter Tidd concluded a two-day visit to Belize on Thursday September 29th, 2016, with a tripartite meeting held with Commander Belize Defence Force Brigadier General David Jones and Chief of Defence Staff of the Guatemalan Armed Forces, Major General Juan Manuel Perez Ramirez, at Caracol Ruins in the Mountain Pine Ridge Thursday evening. The main purpose of the tripartite meeting was to encourage dialogue and cooperation, particularly on border issues between Belize and Guatemala. Also discussed was the important role that the armed forces must play in regards to regional security.

Benque HoC 15th Anniversary
Happy 15 years to the Benque House of Culture! They have the Pillars of Benque HoC exhibit up right now. Fun pictures from the party. They have a great little video of the fireworks at the party too. "We bid farewell to one of our most festive seasons, one that leaves us with great memories, friendships and a journey to continue embracing our Belizean Identity! Images of our Benque HOC Quince Años- A walk down through memory lane ceremony & opening of our in house exhibition 'Pillars of Benque HOC' - depicting 15 personalities that have contributed invaluably towards the growth & development of the Arts, Culture & History, locally and internationally."

Yesterday, Mr. Giovanni Pinelo presented at SCA.
We (NICH) are always happy to conduct presentations at schools. The students were interested to learn about the origins of the Anglo-Guatemalan Dispute.

Protecting the Mopan River means working with Guatemalan communities
Thanks to the British Embassy a 5,000 plant nursery was constructed at the village of El Cruzadero. The trees are ready and distribution has started across the 9 communities that form part of the Bi-national Watershed Alliance.

Channel 7

Teachers: One Day Strike, For Now
It's confirmed, the BNTU will strike on Monday. The Union held a press conference this afternoon after their Council of Management met earlier today. There were reports circulating that the teachers would strike for a week others were even saying a month. Well the BNTU clarified that it will only be a one day strike…for now!! BNTU's National President Luke Palacio gave the announcement while National Secretary Endevora Jergenson reiterated their main demands. Luke Palacio, BNTU National President: "So on Monday we call on all our teachers throughout this country not to go to school. We have said to our membership throughout this country and contrary to what the other side is saying we have massive support for the actions we are taking. We are saying to our teachers stay tuned to the media, we will be giving you updates accordingly."

PUP Senators Pounce on Hulse
It's been just over 5 weeks since the Special Audits on the Immigration Department were made public. In 700+ pages spread out across three reports, Auditor General Dorothy Bradley details a very frightening picture of widespread irregularities and rampant corruption in the department. She names public officers, political cronies, and elected UDP officials as being involved with visa, passport and nationality irregularities. It has dominated the public and political discourse, and the news tonight is that a Senate Select Committee has been set up to investigate the reports. That's what came out of a special Senate sitting today to agree on the composition of the Senate Select Committee. But, before the meeting could properly start, Lead PUP Senator, Eamon Courtenay tried to move a motion to excuse Godwin Hulse, the Leader of Government Business from the day's debate. He's the Minister of Police and Immigration. That is the Ministry which will be under the microscope, and so, the PUP says that he cannot be involved because it will be a conflict of interest.

Church Senator Ashley Rocke's Motion Met With Jeers
So, back to the business of the day, which was to appoint a Senate Select Committee - the culmination of so many weeks of agitation. And the agitation continued in the senate Chamber as both sides argued over who would sit on that Committee. The Prime Minister conceded to only 2 UDP members on the Committee, after insisting that it should be 3. But, the Teachers, the Opposition, Business Community, and a faction of the Churches say that the only possible configuration of this Senate Committee is a 1:1:3, one from the Government, one from the Opposition, and 3 from the Social partners. Church Senator Ashley Rocke tabled a motion today that Senate configuration be 2:1:3. That's in line with what the Government is prepared to support, and though his motion was scheduled to go after Eamon Courtenay, the acting president, Dr. Carla Barnett, allowed him to table his first. Here's his presentation to his colleagues:

PUP Motion Was Defeated
PUP's Lead Senator, Eamon Courtenay got his opportunity to make his presentation before the division was called for. Instead of moving his own motion, which was already prepared, he decided to propose amendments to Ashley Rocke's motion, to ensure that while they do not agree on the composition, the objective of a comprehensive Senate Investigation will take place. Here he is making the point that Government should have only one Senator on the committee to investigate the Immigration Audit Reports: After all members of the Senate spoke on the two motions, Acting President Carla Barnett temporarily suspended the Senate meeting. This was to allow for the senators to have an informal discussion amongst themselves about the changes Courtenay proposed. When they returned, there was still the dispute about the composition of the Committee. As we told you, Courtenay's motion recommended only 1 Government Senator, to firewall against Government influence, and possible misdirection of the Senate Probe. When his configuration was voted on, it was defeated. The Senate then took a vote on Rocke's Government friendly configuration, and that's when a division was called for. Here's how it went:

Rocke Under Sustained Fire
So, as you saw, at the end, when the Senate took that short recess, the members went to figure out what to do with Ashley Rocke's motion. There appeared to be consensus among the senators that it was deficient in some areas, and it was not as legally thorough as Senator Courtenay's motion. So, in those deliberations, it was decided that they would improve his motion with portions of Courtenay's - a rare moment of all sides coming together. Of course, they left out Courtenay's part about the composition of the Senate Committee which would reduce the Government's representation from 2 to only 1. They put that and Rocke's more Government-friendly configuration to a division, and as you saw, his recommendations passed, while Courtenay's was defeated. Notably the PUP - while they didn't vote for Rocke's motion -they didn't vote against it.

An Inquiry With Intrigues
So, that's more or less how today's Senate meeting went, and while there will be a raging debate on Church Senator Ashley Rocke's controversial motion, the bottom line is that there will be a public, televised Senate Inquiry on the Auditor General's Report. That's something that the general public has been calling for, and with the working compromise, it's now going to be a reality. But as we told you, there were some amendments recommended by Senator Eamon Courtenay. Some were adopted, and some were rejected. 2 of the rejected recommendations caught our attention this evening. The first is the ability of any member of the Senate Committee to call anyone he or she deems important as a witness. The other is that a clearly defined budget was not identified in this first meeting.

Conflict In the Catholic Church And Schools
Last night we told you about the explosive release from the Catholic Diocese -presumably under the hand of Bishop Dorrick Wright - standing by the striking teachers and taking a few well-placed jabs at the government. Well, the Manager of Roman Catholic Schools put them in check when she told LOVE TV that the release was not in line with the official position of Catholic Schools. Here's how she put it. As Sister Barbara explained - she called in the Papal Nunce from Honduras to come and clear up the matter. And while the Diocese release stated that the 50 thousand children in the Catholic school System should stay home on Monday and wait for further order, the school manager said that they want to keep schools open:

Paumen Got Back His Passport
Earlier this year, American-Belizean tour operator Bradley Paumen was charged with abetment to murder Michael Modiri. The hit was allegedly placed after the court ordered Paumen to pay Modiri, his next door neighbor, $300,000 for trespassing on his land to conduct his tours. After being charged, Paumen was forced to forfeit his passport and ordered not to leave the country. Today, Paumen's attorney, Herbert Panton, submitted an application to Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore, asking permission for Paumen to get back his passport, and for him to travel to the US state of Missouri for twenty days in October. After reviewing the application and deciding that there was no risk of Paumen fleeing, Justice Moore accepted.

BTL Boasts Strong Growth In Revenue and Profits At AGM
BTL has been in the news a lot recently, but mostly because of the ballooning cost of the settlement with the Ashcroft Alliance. But, ultimately, that is a matter for the government which took over the company from the Alliance in 2009. For BTL as a private entity - that company is unfettered by those huge compensation payouts - and is trying to keep up with a rapidly changing telecommunications landscape. Last night at their annual general meeting the company was boasting of sharply increased earnings and profits - but still, nagging questions persist - and we were there to ask them:... Audrey Wallace, Director - BTL: "The fiscal year 2015/2016 has been an exceptional year for BTL in terms of revenues and achieving corporate milestones." Nestor Vasquez, 14th year as Chairman - BTL: "We added over 25,000 new mobile customers to our customer base. We more than doubled the number of postpaid mobile customers and we more than tripled the number of customers using 4g data on a regular basis."

BTL Chairman Takes On Briceno on Value of Phone Company
And that wasn't the end of it for the BTL Chairman, Nestor Vasquez. He took on Opposition Leader John Briceno who told us yesterday that BTL is hardly worth 100 million dollars, and government is paying the Ashcroft Alliance over 500 million dollars for it. Well the Chairman didn't like to hear that one bit, and he scolded the opposition leader:... Nestor Vasquez, 14th year as Chairman - BTL: "The leader of the opposition is misinformed or is just not telling the truth. He should know better than that because what we have right now is already worth over 400 million dollars. The company is worth that with the building, the property, the machinery, the equipment, the train stop, we already own that in assets but the point to remember is that if you add all the profits that they would have made between 2009 when we took over to 2025, you get it from the Price Water House evaluation, their evaluation."

BNTU We Shall Not Be ...Intimidated
So the teachers will strike on Monday, and at this point, no one really knows what will happen because as you heard the Ministry of Education has been working on an emergency plan to keep schools open. One of those measures is to bring in substitute teachers. The BNTU members expressed how they felt about these tactics from Government. Kesha Young Flowers, Executive Secretary - BNTU: "What I will attempt to do is to highlight the intimidation and the attacks that have come fast and furious at the BNTU since Sunday when the prime minister made a public statement to the nation of Belize. A statement that was almost 10 minutes long, and you have seen that statement go countrywide during prime time constantly attacking the BNTU. We have to question, where is the money coming from that this government has invested in vilifying the BNTU? We have also seen on the news items in this week and we have heard from people on the ground that ministers of government have been visiting schools, making calls, reaching out to teachers trying to intimidate them and to stop them from striking on Monday. We have to ask again, why is it that all 31 ministers, caretakers are representatives of this government have been called out and asked to undertake such actions against the teachers of the BNTU. We have also seen letters that have come from managements going directly to teachers and principals indicating that they would initiate action against the teachers if they participate in Monday's industrial action."

BNTU Says Faber Never Wanted to Talk Education Issues
And the teachers union council of management also had some choice words for Education Minister Patrick Faber. He said that the teachers should be focusing on classroom issues, not national issues. They say Faber never game them a chance to ventilate those issues:.. Luke Palacio - National President, BNTU: "Let Minister Faber not continue to try and mislead this nation. We have asked for meetings with Minister Faber, in fact when he first got elected for the previous government, there was an arrangement where we met with the minister on a quarterly basis. He said 'no that's too long, I'll meet with you every 3 months', he has not met with us in over 3 years. So how can we be bringing up education issues with him? Whenever we go to a meeting it's either with his chief education officer or his chief executive officer. Whenever we are to have meetings he agrees to it and when we get there, 'we apologize for the minister, he cannot be here'. If he were so sure of what he's talking about, he should have listed the things that he believes teachers and the BNTU should be addressing because he has not given us that opportunity."

NEMO Sends Out Advance Notice For Hurricane Matthew
As we showed you earlier in the weather report, Hurricane Matthew is out there in the Caribbean gaining strength at a frightening rate. And that's why NEMO has issued what it calls an early advance notice. Now, to be clear, the storm is not forecast to come our way, but NEMO says it is monitoring the Category 4 Hurricane which is presently more than 1, 000 miles from Belize. NEMO stresses that Matthew is expected to make a turn to the North over the weekend. And even though the superstorm poses no threat to Belize and the extreme western Caribbean, persons living on the cayes, in flood prone areas, fisher folks, and farmers are advised to monitor Hurricane Matthew in the event that the northward turn does not materialize over the weekend. NEMO says that national and district committees will be notified to monitor and prepare for any developments associated with the storm.

Honoring The Aged
Stand Up Against Ageism: that was the theme for this senior week. There were a number of activities including an arts and craft display and movie night. Well today, to end off the week HelpAge held a Senior Spa Day where about 50 elderly persons got their nails done. The chairperson for HelpAge Belize City Branch told us more about today's pampering session. But Clarke told us that beyond the pampering, there are a lot of problems affecting the older persons, including neglect and abuse. If you would like to help out an older person or volunteer at the HelpAge you can call 224 5282.

High Level Military Meeting In Belize: Guats, US, Bze
It didn't get a lot of publicity, but this week, military leaders from the United States and Guatemala had a tripartite meeting. Brigadier General David Jones met with the US Admiral Kurt Walter Tidd, Commander of Southern Command, and Major General Juan Manuel Perez Ramirez to discuss strategies for ensuring cooperation and peace in the region. Today Felix Enriquez, CEO of the Ministry of Defense, gave us more details: The military leaders also spoke about the possibility of joint training exercises and the role of the armed forces in the security of the entire region. Admiral Tidd, along with US Ambassador Carlos Moreno, also donated $15,000 US dollars in cleaning supplies to NEMO to assist in the relief efforts after Hurricane Earl, part of US$215,000 pledged by US Southern Command to restock NEMO's warehouses in preparation for another disaster.

Mexican Ship Visits
Today marked the 35th year of diplomatic relations between Belize and Mexico, and to celebrate our port was visited by the "Independencia" Mexican Navy vessel. A ceremony was held to welcome the 282 foot vessel and Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Ambassador Carlos Quesnel spoke about the amicable relationship the two countries share. And after the celebrations on the Independencia concluded, the Chamber Orchestra and Choir of the Mexican Navy performed traditional Mexican folk music at the Bliss.

Channel 5

Breaking News: Hurricane Matthew, A Category 4 Storm, Lurks in the Caribbean
The National Met Service is asking Belizeans to keep an eye on Hurricane Matthew over the weekend. In an advisory sent late this evening, the Met Service says that they [...]

Ashley Rocke Gets Senate Inquiry Motion Passed; Did He Betray Social Partners?
The Upper Chamber of the National Assembly today had a very high-stakes meeting in Belmopan. Its sole purpose: to come to an agreement about the constitution and composition of a [...]

P.U.P.’s Lead Senator Says They Were “Caught Off-Guard” by Change in Motions
The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate admitted following the meeting that they were caught off-guard by the sudden change to the Order Paper putting Senator Rocke’s motion above [...]

Godwin Hulse Saved From Being Thrown Out of Debate – But Should He Have Been?
But, before the Rocke motion could even be heard and debated, there was an intervention by Lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay, asking Minister of Immigration and his opposite number in [...]

COLA Interrupts Senate and Fires Off at Senators Rocke and Hulse
While Senator Ashley Rocke was making the ultimately successful motion before the Senate, he was interrupted by Geovannie Brackett, the President of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action and activist [...]

COLA President Calls for Continued Civil Disobedience and Support for Teachers
In anticipation of the Rocke motion being passed, C.O.L.A. president Brackett vowed to continue civil agitation alongside the Belize National Teachers’ Union. He called for a national shutdown on Monday [...]

Business Community and Union Senators Distance Themselves from Motion
After the debate began, it quickly became clear that the social partner Senators – Mark Lizarraga for the business community and Elena Smith for the trade unions and civil society [...]

Chamber Reserves Judgment on Motion; Supports B.N.T.U.
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said it will review its options in light of today’s successful motion in the Senate. However, in a statement issued just before [...]

Junior Education Minister Calls Composition of Committee a “Concession” by P.M.
While the opposition, social partners and civil society were of the opinion that the motion presented by the Church Senator did not go far enough; the major discontent was the [...]

B.N.T.U. Rallies for Monday’s Strike – But Will It Go Further?
It is for more than the three—it is for country…That was the message from the Executive of the Belize National Teachers Union this afternoon at a press conference in the [...]

Teachers Under Attack! B.N.T.U. Wonders Why?
According to the B.N.T.U., since Sunday, the teachers have been under attack by the Government of Belize. The teachers are known as nation builders, but according to Executive Secretary Keisha [...]

Potential Replacement Teachers Warned as B.N.T.U. Contemplates Extending Strike
The actions taken by government have teachers riled up and ready for Monday’s strike. But they are even more incensed by a statutory instrument that is expected to be signed [...]

Union Stalwart George Frazer Cries Shame on Education Minister
Union executives also called out the government for what they say are acts of Union Busting. Former Union Leader, George Frazer says he’s ashamed of Minister of Education Patrick Faber [...]

Will Stevedores Strike As Well?
For the past few days, it has been rumoured that the stevedores would be striking in solidarity with the teachers union. But both the CWU & the Port of Belize [...]

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association Issues Support for Teachers
In a late evening press release on Thursday, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association declared their support for the teachers. The B.S.C.F.A. release states that the demands of the teachers [...]

Are Roman Catholic School Managers and Bishop Still at Odds?
Is there division between the Management of Catholic Schools and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize and Belmopan? Today, the Belize Catholic Association of Principals of Secondary Schools sent out [...]

Junior Minister Defends Against Claims of Union Busting
Earlier this week we told you about Government ministers on the ground talking to teachers – asking them not to strike on Monday. So, today we caught up with Elodio [...]

Queen Square Anglican School Will Get New Building
Over six hundred students will benefit from a major upgrade to the Queen Square Anglican Primary School in Belize City. The nine hundred and fifty thousand dollars project will include [...]

3 teenagers detained for home invasion in Trial Farm
On Thursday night in Trial Farm Village in Orange walk, twenty-eight year old Salvadoran Kenny Carranza and her neighbors and a few children were the victims of a brazen burglary. [...]

Bradley Pauman Off to U.S. with Supreme Court’s Approval
American Bradley Pauman, has been in the news for over a year as the businessman accused putting a hit on fellow businessman and neighbour Michael Modiri. He was back in court [...]

Elderly Man Freed of Sexual Assault Charge
Well known Belizean tailor, sixty-six year old Felipe Santiago Montejo, is a free man tonight after the charge of sexual assault of a minor was struck out in court today. [...]

A Rape Case is Dropped in the Supreme Court
Another man also walked free of a sexual crime today. Only in the case of Long Caye resident, Pedro Trujeque, he was reminded that the rape charge against him can [...]

Mexican Naval Ship’s Visit Marks Milestone of Diplomatic Relations with Belize
It’s a celebration of thirty-five years of friendship! Our friends from the North are celebrating that anniversary by bringing their prestigious naval vessel for a ceremonial visit. The Embassy of [...]

U.S. SouthCom Commander Visits Belize
On Thursday, the Commander of the United States Southern Command, Admiral Kurt Walter Tidd concluded a two-day visit to Belize with a tripartite meeting held with Brigadier General David Jones [...]

Regional Youth Conference Concludes in Belize
Today, the Caribbean Youth Leaders Summit officially came to a close. The theme for the summit was From Rhetoric to Action Agenda 2030.  Were the dynamic youths able to achieve [...]

#517931 - 10/01/16 05:47 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 1, 2016 [Re: Marty]
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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.nFreddy Heredia – Police of the month, September:n“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.” Though Heredia worked relentlessly to achieve this recognition, he encourages other to follow in his footsteps.

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.

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.

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. Senior members of the Party, including Parliamentarians and National Executive members, Party supporters, some members of the diplomatic corps and concerned Belizeans gathered on the Party’s 66th birthday anniversary to witness the launch of the Party’s platform for reform in a very critical area: governance.

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.” Ending the court hearing, the media got an opportunity to speak with attorneys for both parties who explained the CCJ’s final ruling.

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.


Senate Finalizes Composition of the Senate
The most important outcome of today’s Senate Meeting was the composition of the Senate Select Committee. The committee will be comprised of six members: two from Government, one from the Opposition, one from the Churches, one from the private sector and one from the unions. This composition was introduced by Church Senator Ashley Rocke, there […]

Senator Courtenay Asks Hulse to Recuse Himself
Before Senator Rocke introduced his motion, Lead Opposition Senator, Eamon Courtenay pointed out that Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse should not participate in today’s Senate Meeting. Courtenay’s reasoning was that Hulse was named in the auditor General report and as Minister of Immigration he should recuse himself from all senate proceedings with regards to the Senate […]

COLA Tongue Lashes Senator Rocke
COLA President, Geovanni Brackett and his band of loyal followers were escorted out of the National Assembly today by police officers. At the start of Senator Ashley Rocke’s presentation, Brackett loudly proclaimed that Rocke is not representing the views of the Church. The Vice President of the Senate who was stepping in for President Lee […]

Union Says The Weak Response to Their Demands Is Unacceptable
For the past 45 days the Belize national Teachers Union and the Government of Belize have been in negotiations regarding the proposed deferred three percent salary increase for the teachers as well as several demands made by the teachers to the Prime Minister surrounding matters of national concern. Today, two days before the teachers plan […]

Past BNTU President Says Government’s Attempt at Union Busting is Unprecedented
Eyes will be on the schools come Monday, October 3 to see how many teachers and parents will participate in the planned industrial action by the Belize National Teachers Union. BNTU President, Luke Palacio told the media today that there is no truth to what the Education Minister Patrick Faber is saying regarding this strike […]

Luke Palacio Responds to Education Minister on Education Concerns
In an interview conducted earlier this week with Education Minister, Patrick Faber says that he was at a loss as to the demands being made by the BNTU on national issues when there is so much to discuss and take on in the education sector. We asked the union President, Luke Palacio to respond to […]

BTL Reports Profit of $22.1M at AGM 2015/2016
A profit of twenty two point one millions dollars was reported during Belize Telemedia Limited Annual General Meeting last night. According to the report, this is a four million dollar increase when compared to last year. According to the Chairman of BTL’s Executive Committee, Anwar Barrow, the fiscal year was ended with record operating revenues […]

Anwar Barrow Says Musa’s Allegation of Cooked Books Is ‘Total Nonsense’
“The figures are misleading”- this is what PUP Area Representative Kareem Musa said last night when he was speaking of this year’s Belize Telemedia Limited Annual General Meeting. Musa alleges that the financial reports presented to shareholders are riddled with discrepancies. He says the books are cooked. After the AGM last night, Chairman of the […]

Net Vasquez Says BTL Is Worth $400M Plus
Opposition Leader John Briceno, characterized the BTL Nationalization settlement as a sad secret arrangement that would ultimately cost the Belizean public millions of dollars. Briceno said the latest ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice will cripple Belize’s economy and put Belize’s foreign reserve in a choke hold. Briceno out rightly blamed Prime Minister Dean […]

Dr Barnett Says Government Will Push for Increased Revenue Collection
The International Monetary Fund concluded its latest report on Belize last week. According to the report, Belize is facing multiple economic challenges with the country’s fiscal position weakened and an increasing public debt. The report makes recommendation one of which is for the Government to raise taxes, particularly the General Sales Tax. Today we asked […]


Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead!
Several area representatives and standard bearers of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), including Hon. Tracy Panton and Hon. Michael Finnegan of the Albert and Mesopotamia constituencies respectively, among others, have been seen canvassing their communities and the schools within to discourage teachers from participating in proposed industrial action by their union, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), and encouraging parents to send their children to school on Monday. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, on Wednesday announced that on Friday, he will sign a Statutory Instrument (SI) to hire temporary teachers to replace those permanent teachers who may engage in extended industrial action.

Transferred Immigration officers “left on their own” to cover transfer costs
The Immigration Department transferred almost fifty immigration officers to various parts of the country on August 1, 2016. However, at the present time, just a few days shy of October, these officers are yet to receive their transfer and housing grants which they had been promised would have been included in their salaries at the end of August. When Amandala spoke to several officers today, we were told that none of them who were transferred received their transfer grant of $1,200 or the monthly housing grant of $300. Furthermore, they revealed that last week they were issued a memo informing them that their grants would be suspended until further notice.

BNTU threatens industrial action on October 3
The administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow is gearing up to face its 6th protest in 6 weeks. On August 23, the churches, led by Pastor Louis Wade, protested at the footsteps of Independence Hill in Belmopan, while Patrick Menzies and the Spanish arm of the Evangelical Church would protest at that same location seven days later. One day after, the People’s United Party (PUP) would protest at that same location. On September 7, the People’s United Party (PUP) led another protest in Belize City. Last Monday the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) led another protest in Belmopan. Eighteen hours after their meeting on Thursday with PM Barrow, the BNTU wrote the Prime Minister informing him that, “in accordance with our Stand Up for Belize Campaign, centered on the mantra, ‘It’s for far more than three [per cent]; it’s for country,’ we find that most of what you brought to the table is inconsistent with our demands to ensure good governance and respect for workers.”

CCJ orders GOB to pay Ashcroft US$67.3 million
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Belize’s final appellate court, handed down a decision today ordering Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight to pay the former shareholders of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)—Dunkeld International Investments Ltd. and BTL Employees Trust, two companies controlled by British billionaire Michael Ashcroft—a total of US$67.3 million, in the specified US currency. Eamon Courtenay, SC, attorney for the Ashcroft companies, had told the CCJ last week that his clients have over BZ$130 million they can do nothing with. His clients have been demanding the funds in US currency, which would allow them to repatriate the money from Belize. “I was hoping for a check by now,” Courtenay told us this evening.

Joy Grant replaces Glenford Ysaguirre as Central Bank Governor
Glenford Ysaguirre, the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, who was a member of the Super Bond negotiating team in 2012, and who was also instrumental in trying to solve the challenges faced by the country when some U.S. financial institutions severed their correspondent banking relations with Belize’s banks, is scheduled to demit office tomorrow, Friday. Readers will recall that several international banks, including the Bank of America, severed ties with Belize last year in a process referred to as “de-risking”, which involved a move by US financial institutions to exit relationships with, and close the accounts of, clients considered “high risk” due to their alleged facilitation of money laundering, terrorism and/or crime. Ysaguirre, who spent the last eight years as Governor of Central Bank after first assuming office in 2008, is leaving at a time when the country is experiencing turbulent economic times.

Senate debate composition of Senate Select Committee tomorrow, Friday
“The Prime Minister is being deceitful, he is being a hypocrite just like the Minister of Immigration and Minister of Police,” said PUP Leader, John Briceño, who today slammed the government for wanting to have more representatives than the Opposition on the Senate Select Committee. That issue — the configuration of the Senate Select Committee, which is to investigate the findings presented in the Special Report of the Auditor General on the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments, will be debated on Friday at 10 a.m. in the Senate. The Opposition Leader wasted no time, however, in expressing his concerns.

FC Belize wins Week 6 back-match, still undefeated
In a Week 6 back-match last night at the MCC Grounds, FC Belize posted a 4-2 win over visiting Orange Walk FC. With the victory, FC Belize maintained their unbeaten record, while the fast improving Orange Walk squad remains winless. Hector Martinez opened the scoring for FC Belize at the 19th minute. Following a corner kick, a deflection off the leg of FC Belize sweeper Jordi Lopez resulted in the equalizer for Orange Walk at the 45th minute; but before the whistle to mark half-time, FC Belize’s Russell Cassanova trailed a long center from the right side and used the inside of his right foot to volley it past Bryan Hernandez in goal for Orange Walk, to give FC Belize the 2-1 lead at the intermission. Michael Whittaker (48’) tied it up for Orange Walk early in second half, but Cassanova struck twice more (57’ & 73’) for a hat trick. FC Belize held on for the 4-2 victory, but lost both striker Hector Martinez and sweeper Jordi Lopez to red cards; while Orange Walk’s Michael Whittaker was also red-carded.

Leading the league, but FC Belize players unhappy
With their 4-2 win last night at the MCC over visiting Orange Walk FC, all should be bright and beautiful inside the FC Belize camp; but instead, late word this evening is that the frustration among players with their team management has reached a breaking point, where the players, who have been playing “on hand middle,” so to speak, for some time now, feel like they are being exploited by the team’s management. Apparently, reports have reached a number of the players about funds that were supposedly received by the team management, and which they have received no benefit from. According to a team spokesman, “Rather than continue putting all our energy out there only so that somebody else can benefit off of our sweat, better we just stop playing.”

BBBFF Mr. Belize 2016 Championship
The Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation (BBBFF) held its Annual National Championship, “Mr. Belize 2016” on Saturday, September 24, at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The Bliss was the battlefield and came alive when male and female athletes competed for the prestigious title of Mr. Belize 2016 and Ms. Bikini Fitness. It was a battle of the muscles, as the competition was fierce, and below we have the official results of the winners for each category. We had the assistance of members of the IFBB and representatives of the Central America Confederation, who were among our distinguished panel of local judges. We would like to acknowledge the beautiful Ms. Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath, for gracing us with her beauty, as she assisted in handing out the prizes; thanks to our Chief Judge, Dr. Leroy Almendarez; Josephine Gault, Secretary for the Judges Committee; and the panel of local Judges: Wendy Oxley Assad, Pete Castillo, Ray Usher, Josephine Gault & Guy Neal; to the Chief Statistician, Mr. George Myvette and his team: Colin Griffith, Jr. & Trisha Saunders; to Guy Neal our back stage Judge; and to all the BBBFF Executive; photographers, Mr. Tony Rath & Mr. Michael Arnold; and friends of Bodybuilding for their support; and to the fans for coming out to witness the “Battle of Muscles.”

SSBA Basketball rolls into Week 2
The San Ignacio & Santa Elena Basketball Association (SSBA) hosted its second week of basketball games at the Victor Galvez Stadium in San Ignacio Town. On Friday night, defending Under 19 champions, Pepsi Christian Ambassadors defeated the boys from Sacred Heart College, 85-43. Pepsi Christian Ambassadors was led by Tevaughn Lennan, who had the game high 24 points, while Paul Flowers, Jr. sank 17 pts, Louis Wade, Jr. had 15 pts, and Antwan McFadzean scored 10 pts. In the second game of the night, Tuff Enuff narrowly edged Benque Power, 46-43, in the Under 23 category. Tuff Enuff was led by Rabyane Sacasa who netted 12 pts, while Sydney Bradley and Douglas Valley scored 11 and 10 pts, respectively.

Precedent and procedure
So much of English common law is about precedent. When attorneys present arguments before judges, much of what they do involves citing previous cases and referring to previous judgments. The thing is, there must have been a time, in specific areas of litigation, when there was no precedent. There must have been a time when there was no ruling available for citing in a given matter. There was a time, then, before precedent. When the teachers of Belize hit the Government of Belize with industrial action this Monday, October 3, it appears to us that the whole process leading up to this clash has not been entirely procedural. By that we mean, the process of back-and-forth between the two parties may have been disjointed in spots. At least, this is how the Government of Belize has been presenting its side of the arguments to the parents and people of Belize.

From the Publisher
You will have to bear with me today, because I may not be able to finish this in one column. In a couple weeks time, Belize will celebrate the October 12 holiday, which used to be called Columbus Day here (and is still so dubbed by Italians in the United States, who celebrate it religiously and en masse), because this was the day in 1492 when an expedition of three sailing ships under Christopher Columbus first sighted land in what became known to Europeans as the “New World.” Columbus was an Italian who believed that the world was round (many swore it was flat at the time) and believed he would reach the eastern riches of India and China and so on by sailing west. The Portuguese had previously reached Asia’s riches by sailing south around the Cape of Good Hope tip of Africa, and then northeast. By August of 1592, when the Portuguese carrack named the Madre de Dios, returning from Kochi on the west coast of India, was captured by English pirates, she was the richest prize ever captured by the English.

Tony Wright — Belize’s Real Music Ambassador!
Dear Editor, Another successful “Soundfest” was held in the old Belize capital on September 16, 2016, marking the fifteenth annual event, just in time to celebrate Belize’s 35th Independence anniversary. Soundfest 2016 was also complemented by the publishing of the first edition of the magazine, Belizean Musicians Past and Present. This magazine showcases bands of the past and their history. It was created from the mind of the individual who is now accepted to be Belize’s real music ambassador, Tony Wright, also known as the lovable Tony Wright, along with his partner in radio, JC Arzu, both of whom have almost single-handedly carried the torch of promoting and conserving Belize’s musicians and their music via a program, “Belize Musicians Past and Present,” hosted on KREM Radio, which started back in 1995.

“QUO VADIS, Belize? Where are we going, Belize?” — PART 2
Dear Editor, On the 35th Anniversary of the Independence of Belize, I contribute the following article to initiate a conversation with the people of Belize on bringing about the future we desire for the next generation. This is a follow up to “QUO VADIS, Belize? Where are we going, Belize?,” which you were kind enough to publish in your esteemed newspaper in September, 2014 on the 33rd anniversary of the Independence of Belize. I will be grateful if you would extend a similar courtesy to this article.

41 electoral divisions a bad idea
Dear Editor, There are credible rumors circulating that the Barrow administration intends to expand the number of electoral divisions from 31 to 41 — a whopping 32.25% increase in the size of the House of Representatives. Incredibly, the Barrow administration wants to re-district before carrying out the re-registration exercise that is due by law, come mid 2017. That is like a man putting on his pants before he puts on his underwear; sure he is wearing both, but they are in the wrong order. Belizeans have a name for that: Alan Barton. Section 90 of the Belize Constitution assigns the responsibility to decide on the number and nature of electoral divisions to the Belize Elections and Boundaries Commission. The sole qualifications set out in the Constitution is (1) that each division shall have nearly as equal number of voters as possible and (2) that the number of seats shall not be less than 28. The role of the Elections and Boundaries Commission in the proper exercise of our democracy is therefore weighty but, like many other institutions created to protect our democracy, the Elections and Boundaries Commission has been hijacked by the political parties. I shall leave this discourse for another time.

I am a teacher too
Dear Sir, Amidst the uproar and political crisis of 2005, I addressed a letter to you, but I never got around to sending it. I came upon it in my old notes a few months ago, and thought it worth keeping. Today, I think those thoughts could be relevant to what is happening in our country. It’s like we have come full circle, and gotten nowhere. I fully support our teachers, and I feel for our country. I was a mathematics teacher in the mid-1970s at Belmopan Comprehensive School and later at Wesley College in Belize City. With your indulgence, here is the full script of my letter, started on Monday, April 24, and completed on Wednesday, April 27, 2005.

The persecution of Imhotep Tafari
Dear Editor, Imhotep Tafari Diego is duly registered as a student at Stann Creek Ecumenical High School in Dangriga. Nevertheless, this 13-year-old dreadlocked youth who has never had his hair cut has been prevented from enjoying his right to an education by the principal of the school. Every morning Imhotep does his chores and then he joins his schoolmates from the neighborhood and they walk to school. And each and every morning, the principal of Ecumenical High School makes it her personal duty to remove Imhotep from his class. This illegal state of affairs has been going on for 3 weeks now, since the beginning of the school year. The principal of Ecumenical High School has been informed by the Ministry of Education, as well as by a human rights lawyer and former ombudsperson, that her actions (the principal’s) violate Imhotep’s constitutional right to an education, the right to his cultural and spiritual beliefs; and furthermore, the Ministry of Education advised the principal and Board of Governors of Ecumenical that the very rules cited by the school to keep Imhotep out of school were not legitimate.

Adolphus Rosales tells BNTU to think twice
Dear Editor, Kindly permit me space in your valuable newspaper to shed some light on the recent and planned “illegal” activity of the BNTU and its member teachers. As past leader of a trade union and associate of the National Teachers Union (NTU), my fifty-six (56) years of experience in labour and industrial relations give me reason to side with the Prime Minister and the Government of Belize by advising the BNTU and its members that it is not within its premise to make demands and dictate to the Government on its “constitutional” authority to “govern”. I opine that the BNTU and its members have the right to make suggestions to the Prime Minister on issues affecting the country and its people and may forward recommendations of relevance, but under no circumstance can they usurp the constitutional authority of the Government.

What Now, Belize?
It is indeed a dangerous game the present government of Belize is playing with the issue of corruption in its ministerial and public officer ranks. Belize is a nation in the making, a small and young nation in the making. Belize is a poor nation, a poor and largely uneducated nation. Therefore, unlike wealthy developed countries, Belize cannot afford the cost of the rampant corruption in government. It is a cost that will extend well into the future if this opportunity offered by the findings of the recent Immigration and Nationality audit is not fully embraced and allowed to go forward without government interference. It is the duty of every last citizen to see that this happens, to act to root out the corruption once and for all, wherever in government it exists. Belize must bring this decades-old practice to an end. Belizeans must insist on no less; not a single one can afford to be a spectator and just sit back and watch the show.

Barrow is not to blame, and that is why I support the teachers 100 percent
From 2005 to 2016, we are back to square one. We thought the problem would be solved when we removed the Musa/Fonseca PUP from government, and replaced them with Barrow and the UDP. And look where we are now. To my PUP friends, you had, and you still have, some good people. Not all of your leaders were bad. But the government SYSTEM was flawed, terribly flawed. And so, now we have to deal with cleaning up the mess left behind. To my UDP friends, your leader, our Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, is just a man; a bright and eloquent man, at that; but still, like all of us, a flawed human being; and he is functioning inside a flawed, a terribly flawed, government SYSTEM. And look where we are now.

Zika numbers revised: nearly 600 suspected cases
Updated information released this week by the Ministry of Health indicates that the number of suspected Zika cases in Belize is approaching 600, with the number of laboratory-confirmed positive cases totaling 46 as of last week. Information shared with us last week by the Ministry of Health, after a request we submitted on September 1 for data, indicated that there were 341 suspected and 42 confirmed cases. However, at a press conference held on Tuesday in Belize City, Lorena Perez, Surveillance Officer, Epidemiology Unit in the Ministry of Health, presented the revised numbers, signaling that the number of suspected cases is in fact much higher. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, told Amandala today that the Ministry has refined its classification of suspected cases. He said that whereas initially, fever was included among the symptoms used as a criteria to determine whether a patient may have Zika, they have since found that not all Zika cases result in fever, so the criteria for determining a suspected case involves the patient having a rash and conjunctivitis, and coming from an area of the country where Zika cases have been reported.

Senate debate composition of Senate Select Committee tomorrow, Friday
“The Prime Minister is being deceitful, he is being a hypocrite just like the Minister of Immigration and Minister of Police,” said PUP Leader, John Briceño, who today slammed the government for wanting to have more representatives than the Opposition on the Senate Select Committee. That issue — the configuration of the Senate Select Committee, which is to investigate the findings presented in the Special Report of the Auditor General on the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments, will be debated on Friday at 10 a.m. in the Senate. The Opposition Leader wasted no time, however, in expressing his concerns.

The Reporter

Happening now: BNTU and other unions hold meetings; Senate has special sitting
The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is currently holding a meeting with its members in preparation for its planned industrial action on Monday. Several other unions have also held or are also holding meetings with their membership to reach consensus on what form of support they will […]

Technicality saves man from sodomy sentence
Basil Willis, aka “ET” a resident of Black Orchid Street, this week walked free of sodomy charges due to a technicality. Willis now 49, was happy when the charge was dismissed on Friday morning by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza in Court 5. The dismissal came about after Magistrate […]

Erasmo Lino walks from a Roaring Creek murder due to Nolle Prosequi
The DPP office has made its first Nolle Prosequi submission for this session. Erasmo Lino, who was represented in court by attorney Tricia Pitts Anderson, saw his murder case entered as a case of nolle prosequi and told he was a free man. No official reasons were […]

Man on remand for sexual assault on minor
A 40-year-old maintenance worker, Jose Luis Gonzalez, finds himself on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was denied bail for touching a minor inappropriately on her breast. Gonzalez who was unrepresented, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith in Court 1 on Wednesday, where he […]

Missing man turns up dead; murdered
A man who went missing on Independence Day and whose family turned to social media to help locate him, turned up dead – the victim of a murder. Rudolph Selgado, 33, who had just moved to Roaring Creek Village, was discovered about two miles away […]

PUP blasts GOB for criticizing BNTU
The People’s United Party (PUP) has condemned the government for what it terms as “unreasonable and vicious attacks on the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) and its members”. In a strongly-worded press release that the party issued this week, it summarized the recent meeting which […]

Hundreds of suspected Zika cases, less than 50 confirmed
The Ministry of Health this week, held a press conference to update the nation about the status of the Zika virus outbreak in the country, showing that there are more suspected than confirmed cases. The Ministry assembled Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services; Lorna Perez Surveillance […]

McAfee documentary reveals murder plot; Deputy ComPol says police can investigate
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, says there are some areas the Belize Police Department can investigate pertaining to a 2011 murder, following a television documentary this week about John McAfee, an American computer programmer/businessman who fled Belize following another murder on Ambergris Caye in […]

Matthew strengthens to a category 3 hurricane overnight!
Matthew, which only two days ago was only a tropical storm, has now strengthened to become a category 3 hurricane! Matthew now packs maximum-sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (mph), according to the US National Hurricane Center. The hurricane is moving west-southwest at 12 […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

NEMO issues Advisory 1
.The National Meteorological Service and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has issued advisory No. 1 on Hurricane Matthew. Matthew is being closely monitored as a powerful category 4 hurricane. Matthew is located at 13.5 North latitude and 71.6 West Longitude packing winds of 140 miles […]

Matthew strengthens to a Category 5 Hurricane
.This evening, hurricane Matthew was upgraded to a category 5 hurricane with top winds measured at 160 mph as it moved across the Caribbean Sea on a potentially catastrophic path to Jamaica. Matthew continues to move west-southwest through the Caribbean Sea. It is the strongest […]

Belize Workers Union says it is time to ‘move the cause to the next level’
.The Belize Workers Union issued a release today expressing their full support for the BNTU’S decision to strike. The release states that the BWU stand in solidarity to ‘move the cause to the next level’. In their release, they stated that the fight of the […]

Division goes in favour of Government on amended motion
Senator Ashley Rocke joined the six Government Senators to carry the motion he presented, amended, for a Senate Special Select Committee on Immigration Audits. The Opposition’s senators and those for the business community and unions voted against. The Opposition’s motion was removed prior to […]

Senate approves amendments to motion for Senate Select Committee on Immigration Audits but not composition
The Senate has approved several amendments to the original motion brought 1 Government Senator, 1 […]

COLA: Senator Rocke does not represent the Church
.Calling him a “traitor” and a “sellout”, COLA president Geovannie Brackett made clear he does not represent the Church and in fact has crossed to the Government’s service. While the Senate is currently suspended debating the motion raised by Rocke, COLA insisted that Rocke had […]

Brackett, et al. thrown out of House after interruption
Police removed president of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) Geovannie Brackett and some supporters in order after they interrupted this morning’s meeting of the Senate. As Church Senator Ashley Rocke presented a motion to constitute the Senate Special Select Committee, he mentioned […]

Competing motions to be debated at Senate
.A special meeting of the Senate is underway in Belmopan. The Senate is first considering a motion to suspend the Standing Orders of the Senate to allow for discussion on the implementation of a Senate Special Select Committee to investigate the Special Audit Report on […]

SOUTHCOM visits Belize
.Admiral Kurt Walter Tidd, the Commander of United States Southern Command concluded a two-day visit to Belize yesterday with a meeting held with Commander Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones and Chief of Defense Staff of the Guatemalan Armed Forces, Major General Juan Manuel […]

3 Teenagers Arrested In Orange Walk for Home Invasion Robbery
Police in Orange Walk have arrested 3 teenagers for a home invasion robbery that happened on September 29, 2016. According to reports, Kenny Carranza, 28, of Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk reported that on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 6:30 p.m., while at home […]

Matthew becomes a Category 3 Hurricane
Hurricane Matthew is rapidly strengthening in the Caribbean sea. This morning Matthew became a Category 3 Hurricane with maximum-sustained winds of 115 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was moving to the west-southwest at 12 mph and was located 495 miles east-southeast […]

Village justice for 2 robbers in Santa Familia village
Last night, an elderly man from Santa Familia village was the victim of a home invasion. The man in his early 80’s, Tanishlau Carrias was at home when two people, a man and a woman rushed into his house and beat him up. Reports are […]


30 Reasons to Visit Belize
Coming from the dry ochre desert of Oaxaca, Belize was humid, lush, and full of delicious food. My trip to the country was brief but memorable. And I’m not even talking about the scars on my leg. Located at the Northern edges of Central America, Belize was one the last British colonies on the American continent. Since its relatively recent independence in 1981, it is part of the British Commonwealth. It borders Guatemala, but the two aren’t the friendliest of neighbors. Guatemala has claimed the land held by Belize in whole or in part since 1821. Guatemala, independent from Spain as of 1821, claims that under a 1859 treaty with Great Britain, it agreed to recognize what was then British Honduras so long as Great Britain built a road from Guatemala to Punta Gorda. In 1940, Guatemala said that treaty was void, since the road was never built and other economic assistance never supplied. Belize, on the other hand, says that they weren’t the ones to have signed the treaty, and thus they are not bound by it. Belize also argues that under international law, Guatemala is bound to honor the treaty even without the road’s construction.

The 10 Most Colorful Birds of Belize
There are many attractions in Belize that are worth placing on the top of your travel checklist. The charming islands, the ancient Mayan Temples, and the lush rainforest are just a few examples, but there’s one attraction often overlooked: the wide variety of birds that can be seen across the country. According to the book "Birds of Belize", there are approximately 574 known species of birds found in the country. After consulting with a local birding enthusiast, we’ve compiled our list for “The 10 Most Colorful Birds of Belize”.

International Sourcesizz

Another Robbery Near Port Of Belize
Carnival Corporation (CCL) is always in the news, this time it involves the safety and security of a guest who went ashore during a cruise. Sometimes the company makes headlines for positive reasons, such as being rated America’s Most Trusted Cruise Line based on the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Survey. However, the most recent newsmaking happening centered on a guest robbed at gunpoint near the port of Belize. (See also: This Is America’s Most Trusted Cruise Line.) This incident was reported by Jim Walker’s Cruise Law News. According to The New York Times, Walker is "a maritime lawyer in Miami who has attended more than half a dozen Congressional hearings about cruise ship crime and passenger safety." According to the Cruise Law News, Carnival contacted the guest after the cruise to state that it would increase guest awareness and security at that port, despite the incident taking place just outside the port.

The Obscure, Legal Drug That Fuels John McAfee
In late 2010, anti-virus software pioneer and self-described “God of computer security” John McAfee underwent a dramatic personality shift. Once avowedly sober and gregarious, forever surrounded by a cheerful entourage of yoga enthusiasts and light-aircraft pilots, he in short order became socially isolated, living alone with a shifting roster of prostitutes and armed ex-felon bodyguards at a pair of secluded compounds in Belize. Around the same time, the former teetotaler started posting to a website for recreational drug users called Bluelight in which he described his experiments with various types of bath salts. “I think it’s the finest drug ever conceived,” he wrote of one, singling out “the indescribable hypersexuality” of the “super perv powder,” but warning that “I had visual and auditory hallucinations and the worst paranoia of my life.”


  • Caribbean Youth Leaders' Summit, 2min. The Caribbean Youth Leaders' Summit concludes Friday. Here's a sneak peek of what our youth leaders were up to at day 3 of the summit!

  • Brackett, et al. thrown out of House after interruption, 1min. Police removed president of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) Geovannie Brackett and some supporters in order after they interrupted this morning's meeting of the Senate. As Church Senator Ashley Rocke presented a motion to constitute the Senate Special Select Committee, he mentioned that it was arrived after consultation and compromise, prompting Brackett to stand up and shout that he was lying and had not contacted anyone.

  • Belize City, 2min. My home at night.

  • Miss America Latina del Mundo 2016 pageant. Belize made top 5! Thank you Michelle Nuñez for representing Belize so well., 64min.

  • Michelle Estrella Nunez reaching out to fans and family before the main event!, 1min.

  • Belize & Tikal 2016, 4.5min. 1st Day of Summer compiled a great video from around Belize. Xunantunich, the inland Blue Hole, and other great spots from Cayo can be seen in this video. "Be part of the discovery in Belize!"

  • Beautiful Queen Conch running from me - (Strombus gigas) in Belize Caye Caulker, 1/2min.

  • My Belize Trip, 12min.

  • Beach Dogs at Driftwood Pizza Shack, Hopkins, Belize, 3min.

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