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#518253 - 10/13/16 06:41 AM Today's Belize News: October 13, 2016
Marty Offline


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Impressive Increases in Tourism Arrivals Continue
For fifteen (15) consecutive months from June 2015 to September 2016, the Tourism Industry has been experiencing record breaking increases in overnight arrivals every month, with impressive double digit increases of as much as 33% growth. We are now nine (9) months through 2016 and the tourism arrival figures continue to show this upward trend, closing off this third quarter with an incredible 26.9% increase for the month September 2016 over September 2015.

Wassup Expo postponed due to strike
The Wassup Expo, which was originally scheduled for Thursday, October 13th, has been postponed until further notice due to recent strike by the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU). The expo is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with what San Pedro Town has to offer, and this non-profit initiative will allow clubs, and organizations to provide information to both youth, and the general public. According to organizer Kate Corrigan, the date will be confirmed based on the venue’s availability as soon as the San Pedro High School authorities are available to meet. “I am wishing to have the expo in two to three weeks, and I am proposing to set the date to either Thursday, October 27th or Thursday, November 3rd,” said Corrigan.

Intermagia brings magic to La Isla Bonita
In an effort to raise funds to assist the San Pedro Kids Club, the Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye (RCAC) hosted the “Intermagia Magic Show” on Monday, October 10th. Crowds gathered at the Paradise Theater to experience the thrill of magic with two children’s shows, starting at 2PM, and an adult event at 7PM. The magicians represented countries from Central America, South America, and Europe, assembling the best international acts to keep the crowd engaged and entertained.

Ambergris Today

25 Years Ago - Flashback to a Candy Treat of the Past
No, it’s not sand that you are looking at. This is Casham (also spelt Caan Sham) an OLD Belizean treat (or candy back in the days) that you cannot find in the stores anymore. You know you are an Old Time San Pedrano if you know what Casham is. Do you know what it is? I tell you it was every child's delight; it is so nice that even adults used to lick it right off the palm of the hand. Casham was so very popular that folks used to make it and it was sold by little kids all over the village. Five cents could fetch you two match boxes leveled with casham. Okay, now to end the mystery. Casham was a kind of candy made with corn. Corn is roasted until light brown and the ground with a regular corn mill. When it was fine and powdery, sugar was added to make this delicious powdery candy.

Miss Belize Universe Visits La Isla Bonita
Rebecca “Bex” Rath, was crowned Ms. Belize Universe on September 10, 2016. Bex will now compete against 90 other women from all over the world as she represents “The Jewel” in the Miss Universe pageant in the Philippines on January 30, 2017 in Manila. This weekend San Pedro had the honor of her vist. She flew into La Isla Bonita via Maya Island Air and Banana Beach was more than excited to have her as one of their guests where she mingled, practiced, had a photo shoot and a little interview. Rebecca was then trilled to have had dinner at Hidden Treasure Restaurant. She even had time to stop by the Lions Den to give a donation at a fundraiser being held there. Rebecca is working with some of the best designers in the world to assure her wardrobe is world class; is learning from models, photographers and past beauty queens with experience in the world of pageantry; and exercises daily with some of the finest trainers in Belize to put her in the best physical shape possible.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Urban Birdwatch in San Pedro
Inviting everyone from San Pedro to come and learn about the birds in your area. No need to register, just show up at Central Park at 6 am on Sunday the 16th. The schedule for the other locations of Urban Birdwatch is also here.

Help Belize's Teachers Buy Food
Support the BNTU in their courageous and noble quest for good governance, folks. Good governance for country, not party. My name is André Habet, and I am hoping to raise money for the Belize National Teacher's Union who are currently on a nationwide strike in my home country as a result of continued disinterest from the national government in raising their salaries and providing basic benefits. On October 14, BNTU teachers will no longer be getting paid while on their current strike. Due to the miniscule wages they're provided, these teachers have little to fall back on for basics like groceries and other essentials. With this campaign, I hope to raise funds that I will then transfer directly to BNTU's Heritage Bank account, which is 1080719 Heritage Bank Ltd if you'd prefer to transfer money to them directly (they cannot withdraw the money themselves from this campaign because Gofundme has country restrictions).

Scholarship Opportunity!
The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment and the Centro Internacional de Estudios Interdisciplinarios-CIESI- in Perú, are offering scholarships under the PDSP-PAEC Program (Partial scholarships) for the course: “Evaluating the Impact of Development Programs on Food security”. This is an online course and will be delivered in English. The deadline for receiving the applications at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NEMO Building, Belmopan is October 21, 2016 for forwarding to Washington, D.C.

BNTU says planned protest at Headquarters is intimidation tactic
Press Release from BNTU

Award and Recognition Ceremony
On Tuesday 11th October,2016 Eastern Police Division South held its 3rd quarterly "Award and Recognition Ceremony" at Eastern Police Division South Head Quarters. The master of ceremony was; Mr. Douglas Hyde, PC #1471 Frederic Gordon blessed us with the opening pray, the welcome address was done by our esteem commander Mr. Chester Williams, our guest speaker were no other than our Hon. Minister Godwin Hulse, and the vote of thanks were done by the ruler him self Dept. Commander Mr. Alden Dawson. Our special invited guess for this event were; Hon.Minister Godwin Hulse,and CEO Ret'd. Colonel George Lovell. A total of 22 awards were issued to officers from, Precinct No. 1, 2, Community Policing,Crime Investigation Branch, Traffic Branch, Special Branch & our civilian body. Congratulation to all receptionists and we encourage you all to continue serving your community with, pride,dedication and great dignity.

Arsonist caught on camera
Police have a suspect for the burning of a vehicle at the home of Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber.

Grant Funding Opportunity for small business enterprises
You still have time to apply. EMPRENDE BELIZE FUND - Awards will be for seed capital to start-up or expand your business. The program is for new and relatively new innovative businesses who are interested in growing their business. The program will ONLY consider businesses that have been in existence for less than three years continuous service from the moment they collected revenue for their first sale. The maximum you can apply for is $5,555.00 US. Application Deadline: October 26th, 2016.

Swirly Head Fruit Wines
Swirly Head wine has the best sorrel wine around, and it's made here in Cayo. Lower Dover Lodge is where it's made, and they do it right. It's pleasantly dry, and goes good with just about everything. Cool label too. They've been producing for over 2 years now, and have got the technique down to a science.

Four of Belize's BEST collaborate on OUR conservation song!
Thanks to these folks for their time and patience! Will let you hear the song very soon. Hopefully, we're are able to produce a video as well. The message is CLEAR: Conserve our environment for the future because WE ARE BELIZE!!! Thanks to each and every one of you! Nuff LOVE AND RESPECT!!! Sponsored by Wildlife Conservation Society and PCI Media Impact!

Ambassador Carlos Moreno donates maintenance facility, valued at USD $2.23 million
Ambassador Carlos Moreno recently donated a maintenance facility, valued at USD $2.23 million, to the Government of Belize and Belize Coast Guard at a ceremony at the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) headquarters. The facility is part of a USD $30 million investment to support the Belize Defence Force and BCG since 2011. The new facility will enhance the BCG’s ability to conduct around the clock maintenance of Coast Guard vessels and strengthen the BCG’s overall capacity to respond to crises. It also includes rooms for added storage, training, billeting space, and a medical clinic.

SBDC Workshop: Costing and Pricing Workshop
esented By: Mrs. Vicky Heredia Business Advisor, SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: Beltraide, Conference Room, 14th, Orchid Garden Street, Belmopan. Workshop Date: 20 October, 2016. Time: 9am to 12noon. Cost: $25. The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills and capabilities to determine all costs related to the production of their goods or services. By doing so entrepreneurs will be able to apply an adequate price to their product or service which encompasses all the costs while allowing them to make a profit and still being feasible for customers.

Government Condemns Torching of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Vehicle
The Government strongly condemns the actions of those persons who put the lives of the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber and his two young children in danger by illegally entering his yard and setting his vehicle on fire. It is welcomed news that no one was injured in this cowardly and despicable act. The current climate created by the teachers’ strike is no excuse for this lawless behavior and Government calls on the mastermind and other persons involved in inciting violence to stop and allow the peaceful democratic process to proceed.

BNTU Accepts Invitation to Meet with Prime Minister
The Office of the Prime Minister is pleased to inform that the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) has accepted the invitation to meet with the Prime Minister on Thursday, October 13, 2016 to further discuss the governance issues raised by the BNTU. It is the hope of the Government that the meeting will be fruitful and yield results that will see an end to the teachers’ strike.

Job Opportunity at Belize Internet Marketing!
Looking for a creative and hardworking individual for the post of Creative Assistant.

Mayan Expo 2016!!!
This Saturday join us in Belmopan for the annual mayan expo whereby we will showcase, history, literature, music, dance, food and crafts. It's a day you can't miss. Come and celebrate our culture, beliefs and traditions.

Shake Your Shimmy Bellydance Workshop
Oct. 13-15, Bliss Center (on the stage)

Protecting the Vaca is complex
President of Friends of Vaca Forest Reserve, Mr. Orlando Itza explained to GEF SGP National Coordinator and Mr. Patrick Scott about the state of the Vaca F.R.

Channel 7

DPM Vehicle Torched
Early this morning, news went viral on Facebook that another one of Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber's vehicles had been destroyed. This time, it was his Mazda CX-15 – a mid-sized SUV - and it was set on fire sometime around midnight. The arsonist went to his home in the Hollywood area of Lord's Bank – a home which has at least five surveillance cameras on the outside. Seen here, the man, who has not been identified as yet, was caught on camera as he jumped the fence with a bottle of fuel to use as an accelerant. He then poured it all over the Deputy Prime Minister's vehicle – and then went and got a full five gallon canister of fuel – returned six minutes later, doused the vehicle again, and then jumped the fence – after slipping on the surface made slick by all the fuel. The Ladyville Fire Department got the call at 12:15 and Faber posted this video on Facebook of the firefighters putting out the fire. Today, we spoke with the Commander of the Rural Eastern Division, in whose jurisdiction this crime happened, and here's what he had to say about their search for this man:

Teachers Union Agrees To Sit with PM
For his part, Faber posted on his Facebook page, quote, "Regardless of the circumstances, I have not and have no intention of casting any blame on the BNTU and the teachers of Belize for last night's incident at my residence." And government needs all the goodwill it can get – because tomorrow the Prime Minister is meeting with the BNTU for the first time in three weeks. Last night we told you about his invitation to meet on Thursday at 2:00. Well, a government release today reports that the BNTU has accepted the invitation. The main item on the agenda will be the governance issues raised by the BNTU. The government release states, quote, "It is the hope of the Government that the meeting will be fruitful and yield results that will see an end to the teachers' strike."

Strike Goes Into Day 8
Pivotal because the teacher's strike rolled on today – and tens of thousands of school-children remained out of the classroom. The news tonight is that the strike continues tomorrow, going into its eighth day. Today teachers were encouraged to show up at their branch headquarters to participate in unspecified activities. In Belize City, that meant awareness activities. We saw a small group of about 40 teachers proceeding single file along Central American Boulevard at midday where they were handing out leaflets. Under the deathless motto "We shall not be moved" those leaflets re-state the main governance issues and neatly add the 3% - as one of those immovable issues. Tonight, at this hour, the Belize City Branch is having a Vigil at the Memorial Park from 5:30 to 9:00.

Teachers Reject UDP Protest
And tonight at that vigil the teachers may be praying that there are no problems when the UDP holds a protest in front of their union headquarters in Belize City. According to the BNTU, the UDP has been granted a permit to protest and picket in front of their headquarters tomorrow morning until midday. We gather this is not just Alfonso Noble and Yellowman this time. And that's why the BNTU has issued a release saying they are, quote, "very much concerned that the UDP will be allowed to come to the doorstep of the BNTU when we have our members here, daily" end quote. The BNTU asks, quote, "will our members, teachers, (and) supporters…be restricted in their movement in and out of the building by this protest?" End quote. The BNTU concludes that this is, quote, "yet another attempt by the ruling party to instill fear and intimidation." End quote.

Senate Select Comte Meets, Cannot Elect Chair
And before we continue with the news, in an update to the story we just ran about the BNTU's concerns with the UDP's plan to picket their headquarters tomorrow, the UDP has confirmed that there will be no picket tomorrow. It has been called off in view of the afternoon meeting between the Prime Minister and the Union. Continuing now with the news, as we told you last night, the PUP has chosen to boycott the Senate Select Committee, calling it bogus. But, with or without the opposition, the ball is rolling…and the Senate probe which everyone was calling for is underway – even if got off to a patchy start today. That was the first meeting where the 5 committee members were supposed to select the chair for this Senate Committee. Government has said that one of the 3 social partners must chair the committee, but the problem is that both the Labour Senator and the business Senator do not accept the present makeup of the committee – with two UDP Senators.

Chamber Holds Special Meeting To Decide on Shutdown
And the after effects of that impasse are having an effect right now on the Chamber of Commerce's membership, which is holding a Special General Meeting at the Radisson right now. They are deciding whether or not they should embark on a one-day business shutdown in protest of governance issues. The Chamber is considering two resolutions, the first to push through changes to the composition and terms of reference for the Senate Select Committee, and, failing that, effect a shutdown. The second is to effect a shutdown is there is not immediate action on the Public Accounts Committee and the Integrity Commission.

Cops Got Grenade And Gun
Turning now to police news, the Southside strike team came up big this morning when they got a pistol and a grenade at two different locations. The pistol, a 9 millimetre Ruger with 13 live rounds was found this morning on Pelican Street. And then on Banak Street, the strike team found a grenade. The grenade is described to us as non-lethal pineapple type. We note that this is the second grenade found on Banak Street in two years. The first was lethal.

Pair of Dangerous Prisoners on the 'Pan
Tonight, Belmopan Police are a manhunt to find 2 dangerous prisoners who escaped from their custody. They're Lincoln Bejerano, who is on remand awaiting trial for murder, and David Cruz Jr. who is also on remand for the Income Tax robbery which happened 3 months ago. We understand that the men were supposed to have been taken for a routine adjournment before the Belmopan court, but something happened which allowed for them to escape from police custody. We tried to find out more from the police boss, Commissioner Allen Whylie, and here's what he told us today: Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police: "There were two prisoners I was informed this morning who had escaped from the cell block. One was charged for murder and one was charged for robbery and my understanding is that there were to appear on court today. The individual officer who we deemed to be at fault will be dealt with disciplinary. We believe that proper protocol weren't adhere to in terms of his going into the cell block, removing those prisoners to use the ablution and in that process that was when they were able to escape from him."

Mayor and the Moratorium
There are about 2,000 taxi operators in the city, that number includes dollar vans and the inner city buses. That is A LOT of green plates on the streets and Mayor Bradley and his councillors have been working for years to cut that number down. One of the council's approaches was a 2012 taxi license moratorium. Well after 6 months of consultation with the taxi operators, the city council has decided to finally lift the moratorium under specific conditions. Mayor Bradley outlined those conditions at a Battlefield Park press briefing this afternoon. Darrell Bradley - Belize City, Mayor: "We don't want the city to be flooded with taxi operators so that we are giving a commitment that we will not issue a taxi license unless a person is a bonafide member of a union and they come with a recommendation but we are also asking that union presidents and union members: 1. You hold us accountable to that so if you see someone with a new plate and you see them out and about driving about, then you ask "Mr. Mayor how did he get his license?" And then you yourself are discriminating. You don't allow any and everybody, I like how Mr. Robinson put it you want people of a certain calibre, people who are reliable, people who really chose to make this their livelihood, people who have a vested interested in ensuring that taxi operators have a good reputation."

Taxi's On Board With New Plan
But overall, most of the cooperatives endorse this new system. We spoke to two representatives from two different unions and here is what they had to say. Alexander Daniels - Chairman, Belcan Taxi Coop Society: "Da wa valid move, da wa valid point whe he do, I think this is the best way to go with the exception of the freelance and the ones whe no choose to be in a cooperative. You know for some reason they decide they no like rules and regulations so there will be a two or couple bad apples in any organisation." Courtney Weatherburne: "So that's your only concern at this point?" Alexander Daniels - Chairman, Belcan Taxi Coop Society: "Yes ma'am because we are an established cooperative." Courtney Weatherburne: "How does a taxi operator become a part of a cooperative what's the process?"

Pope Caught With A Kilo
Yesterday, Windell Pope, of Mahogany Heights in Belize City, was caught with 1.1 kilos or 2.4 pounds of marijuana. The GSU searched an empty lot on Santa Barbara Street where they found Pope along with a black bag containing the marijuana. He appeared in the Magistrate's Court today where he pled not guilty to drug trafficking. He was released on bail of $5000, and his trial was adjourned until December 13th.

Cops Charged With Extortion, Not Human Trafficking
Last week we told you about two police officers who were pending charges related to human trafficking. Well tonight we can report that two officers have been charged not for human trafficking, but extortion. They are Corporal Clifford Alvarez and P.C Johnny Coba. They were both charged for extortion and received bail of $5,000 each plus surety of same amount. They are not to interfere with witnesses and report to station every Friday between 8am and 5pm. Best information is that they did not facilitate human traffic, but extorted a the owner of an establishment who may have employed illegal or trafficked persons. Police Minister Hulse said they still brought disrepute to their profession:…

Mac-10 Detained For Questioning in Faull Murder
As the Minister, Hulse did not know specifics about that case, and similarly, he could only speak in very general terms about the John McAfee investigation. The documentary made all kinds of explosive allegations, and seemed to offer actionable information for at least a conspiracy to murder investigation, but we haven't heard anything from police since then. We asked the police minister what he has heard:… Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Police: "I got snippets only but I did here it was rather nasty. I understand just a while ago from my officers that in fact a team was sent up there to have further investigations and that's all I can say at this moment. You know I never give out information that I'm not fully accurate on." Reporter: "There are allegations that one of the girls has been detained and she was at one of the police stations here in Belize City."

Shots Fired Arenal
And, while police are looking for these two men, they are also looking for the person who fired a shotgun blast at their Arenal Police Station a few weeks ago. Viewers will remember that Arenal is famous for the fact that half of the village being in Belize and half being in Guatemala. The suspicion that the gunshot was fired as some protest for the outcome of the OAS investigation which vindicated Belizean lawmen in the fatal shooting of 13 year-old Julio Ruano. Today, the police commissioner told the media that there is no evidence at this time to support that suspicion: Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police: "Indeed a report has been received that whilst the officers were there they heard the loud sound of a gunshot and they realised that the building had been shot because pellets came into the building. The matter was reported, the scenes of crime went out there, the investigators went out there and that is still active investigation. While we suspect that the shot could have originated from across the border we have not yet confirmed in terms of the identity of who may have done that."

Hot Mix Turns Into Hot Mess
It's been four months since the Lake Independence Boulevard, the street that connects the George Price Highway to Chetumal Street in Belize City, was paved over with hot mix. Since then, the boulevard has seen heavy usage from cars, trucks and buses, and it's not holding up well. For the past week or so, we've noted a couple spots where the road seemed to be breaking apart, one area developed a hump on the side of the road, and another area in the middle actually cracked open. It's a brand new road, and the rule of thumb is that hot mix – if it is well laid - should last for more than five years, or as much as ten years. So we reached out to Romel Berges, whose company RJB Construction paved the road, for some answers. According to Berges, an excavation on the road is taking place to identify the exact problem so that proper measures can be take in its repair. We'll have an update on the state of the road for you tomorrow.

166 New Cops
Tonight, the Police Department has increased its strength by an additional 166 new officers. They passed out of the Police Training Academy this morning in Belmopan, and our news team was there to speak to the police bosses. Its Police Minister Godwin Hulse's first passing out ceremony, and we asked him about the priority policing areas that he is focused on. Here's what he and the Commissioner had to say today: These officers were part of recruit squad intake number 93.

OCEANA Says Seismic Shadow Looms
At the end of September, the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum, informed the public that, after approval from Cabinet, it would be conducting a multibeam and seep sea survey in the Exclusive Economic Zone, and away from the barrier reef, atolls and other World Heritage Sites. According to the Ministry, these surveys are part of a larger effort involving the US and Mexico to collect new data on the geological features of the area. And though the Ministry promises that these surveys will be conducted away from any major tourism areas and important fishing and spawning sites, some conservation organizations are not happy. According to OCEANA some of the methods used in conducting the surveys could in fact be harmful to the marine life in the surrounding area. In a letter written to oppose the government's decision to allow the surveys, OCEANA cites disruption of mating and feeding habits, abandonment of habitat, and potential deafness in some marine mammals, as major concerns. OCEANA also mentions that this sort of seismic testing is often the first step in the development of oil and gas fields.

Bobby Chin's Birthday
Every year, Bobby Chin of “Black Chiney” comes to Belize to celebrate his birthday. This year, he’s doing it bigger than ever. This Friday to Sunday has been labelled Chin Weekend, and events will take place on each day. Chin joined us in the studio today to let us know what to expect. For more information about Chin Weekend, and how you can get tickets, you can check out Bobby Chin Birthday Weekend page on Facebook.

Channel 5

Deputy Prime Minister’s vehicle set ablaze
At midnight on Tuesday, the vehicle of Deputy Prime Minster, Patrick Faber went up in flames; police are looking for a suspect caught on camera. He was seen jumping the [...]

GOB Believes Teachers Action is Cause for Faber’s Vehicle being Set Ablaze
There are no arrests so far nor have police uncovered the particulars of a getaway vehicle. Late this evening the government seemed to be linking the arson to the ongoing [...]

Senate Special Select Committee holds first meeting
The inaugural meeting of the Senate Special Select Committee to investigate the Immigration and Nationality Department was held this morning in Belmopan, on the heels of a special report by [...]

Who wants to chair Special Committee?
It remains unclear, following today’s meeting, who will preside over the Senate Special Select Committee.  According to U.D.P. senators Aldo Salazar and Doctor Carla Barnett, neither of them was inclined [...]

Church Senator reveals threats to home and family
Perhaps the most controversial representative of the social partners, Pastor Ashley Rocke, whose position on two occasions has angered the churches, declined chairmanship of the Senate Select Committee for fear [...]

Senators discuss how to create budget for Special Committee hearings
When the chair could not be appointed, the focus of the meeting then shifted to an agreed process through which a budget will be created to finance the undertaking. At [...]

Teachers will strike for eighth day; getting ready for meeting with Prime Minister
The strike called by the Belize National Teachers’ Union will go into its eighth day on Thursday. But whether it continues after that will depend on a key meeting between [...]

U.D.P. members to picket B.N.T.U. office; Union warns against intimidation
While the Belize National Teachers’ Union will be meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday, a press release issued today announces that, as confirmed by police, members and supporters of [...]

Belize Branch teachers hit streets to continue public education campaign
After an early morning meeting at their headquarters, about one hundred members of the Belize District Branch of the Belize National Teachers’ Union headed out on foot into Southside Belize [...]

UDP Picketing called off
News Five has confirmed with organizer of the picket called by the United Democratic Party, Alfonso Noble, that it has been called off. The Prime Minister meets with the Union [...]

Chamber Holds Special General Meeting
At this time the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is holding a special general meeting to determine the extent of its participation on the Senate Special Select Committee.  The [...]

Attorney Sharon Pitts also a beneficiary in Haulover land deal
In part one of the story of the scandalous land deal at Mile Five on the Philip Goldson Highway, we reported that Andre Vega, the son of the former Deputy [...]

Commissioner of Police discusses escape of dangerous prisoners in Belmopan
According to Belmopan police, two prisoners escaped from police custody while being held in the capital around midday today. The prisoners have been identified as twenty-five year old Lincoln Bejerano, [...]

Only six defendants proceed to inquiry in Sarkis Abou-Nehra home invasion and rape case
Eighteen persons were initially charged in connection with the December 2015 home invasion at the house of a businessman Sarkis Abou Nehra in Burrell Boom Village.  At least six persons [...]

CitCo lifts moratorium on taxi licenses in Belize City
The Belize City Council has been tackling for the past two years the issue of an overflow of taxi licenses in the Old Capital. It issued a moratorium on issuing [...]

Young woman alleges police brutality at traffic stop
What was supposed to be a routine traffic stop on Northside Belize City this past Friday night became an explosive instance of alleged police brutality. The complainant is a young [...]

Senator Godwin Hulse denies conflict of interest in Senate vote
The People’s United Party is calling out Senator Godwin Hulse for casting a vote during the last sitting of the Senate on September thirtieth.  The argument here is that Hulse’ [...]

Police Minister wants to bring community and department together
Senator Godwin Hulse has been adjusting to his responsibilities as Minister of Police since being assigned the additional portfolio during the last Cabinet reshuffle.  The process has been shaping out [...]

Minister Hulse calls for reforms to criminal investigation
According to Hulse, there is a need for reform within the Belize Police Department particularly where it concerns criminal prosecution.   Godwin Hulse, Minister of Police “The whole crime scene [...]

#518254 - 10/13/16 06:42 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 13, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


San Felipe Resident Accused Of Sexual Assault
Forty eight year old Carlos Quetzal, a resident of San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk District, was formally arrested and charged yesterday for ‘Sexual Assault’ following a report made by a minor who is also an employee at the same company Quetzal works for in the community of Blue Creek. The minor told Orange Walk Police that while at work on the day of Tuesday September 27th 2016, Quetzal approached her from behind and reportedly grasped her on the breast and buttocks causing her to scream. Quetzal then placed a twenty dollar bill inside the minor’s helmet and told her to discontinue screaming. The minor later informed her supervisor about the incident then proceeded to visit the Orange Walk Police Station in the company of her mother where an official report was made.

Mr. Belize Continues To Shine In The World Of Bodybuilding
On Saturday October 9th a Belizean team of bodybuilders travelled to Chetumal for the Mr. Chetumal bodybuilding and fitness competition. Seven athletes representing Spartan Gym in Corozal Town and Hillview Train Station in San Ignacio Town took part in the competition which saw dozens of fitness athletes representing all the gyms in Chetumal and neighboring Mexican states. After the judging, there was good news for Belize as our athletes swept several of the top spots. From Cayo’s Hillview Train Station, Gina Lovell placed 1st in Body Figure, while Barry “Lee Charles” Busano placed 3rd in the Overall, and Benjamin Reneau placed 2nd in Men’s Physique. From Spartan Fitness Gym in Corozal Town, our very own Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos Place 1st in the Overall category, Wendy Lizarraga placed 2nd in the Bikini while Rigo Menjivar placed 1st in the Junior category.

Tourism Arrivals Continue To Trend Upwards
The Belize Tourism Board issued its statistics for tourist arrivals yesterday which shows that the Tourism sector has been experiencing significant upsurges on a monthly basis particularly in overnight arrivals since June of last year up to September of this year. Though nine months have passed by in 2016, the arrivals continue to display an ascending trend, ending the third quarter of this year with a total of 26.9% increase for the month of September as opposed to that of September last year. Overall increases for the first nine months in 2016 amounted to a sum of 293,622 as it relates to overnight visits marking it an increase of 16.4% compared to last year. Cruise arrivals have increased by 20.6% with a total of 54,569 passengers for September 2016. For the first nine months of this year, the overall Cruise passenger arrivals recorded a 1.3 % growth. The BTB reported that the United States continues to be the industry’s largest market followed by Europe and Canada.

BCCI Members To Vote On Tow Important Resolutions
The Special General Meeting of the Belize Chamber of Commerce is currently under way in Belize City. It is a very important one that will decide if there will be a national shutdown of businesses. What we can tell you tonight is that members of the chamber are being asked to agree or disagree on two resolutions. One: that Business Senator Mark Lizarraga shall only participate in the senate inquiry into the Special Audit of the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality if it is reconstituted as directed and the terms of reference are strengthened. And the second resolution that members will be asked to vote for or against is that the members of the BCCI shall shut down their businesses for one day if the governance measures are not met. We will have more on the meeting in tomorrow’s newscast.

Deputy Prime Minister's Vehicle Set On Fire
In less than two months, a government vehicle belonging to Deputy Prime Minister, Honorable Patrick Faber has been targeted. In the first instance, the Minister of Education and now Deputy Prime Minister claimed that the vehicle was stolen from in front of the home of a female friend then driven into the Caribbean Sea. And last night, the DPM’s second vehicle was vandalized this time beyond repairs as it was set on fire. The incident happened at around midnight at the DPM’s home in Ladyville and was captured by the surveillance camera. Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster shared more details about the case with the media.

BNTU And GOB Goes Back To The Negotiating Table
All indications are the teachers’ union strike will continue into its eighth day tomorrow, Thursday. But there is some news tonight regarding the resumption of discussions between leaders of the Belize National Teachers Union and the Prime Minister. A notice released by the Office of the Prime Minister indicates that the BNTU has accepted his offer to meet tomorrow afternoon in Belize City. The notice states [quote] “it is the hope of the Government that the meeting will be fruitful and yield results that will see an end to the teachers’ strike” [end quote]. The BNTU has made no official declaration of the meeting, however.

Former Minister of Lands Benefits From Father's Position
In 2015, following dozens of allegations of wrongdoing in the Ministry of Natural Resources Hon. Gaspar Vega, Orange Walk North Area Representative, was stripped of his Lands Portfolio. Vega, who was once a very powerful Minister in the Barrow Administration, has never properly answered to a litany of allegations of wrongdoing as Minister in charge. These wrongdoings include facilitating land hustling by members of his family, relatives and close UDP cronies. Well, Vega’s Ministry, which the PM once described as a hotbed of corruption seemed to have been on fire. There is more evidence of land grabs by a member of his family and well-known UDP supporters. Documents have been leaked to the media out of the Ministry which show that attorney and senior UDP Sharon Pitts bought property measuring 2.75 acres for $10,569 in July 2012, but apparently the land was privately owned. To correct the land sale, Government ended up acquiring their own land, but this time the price went up and Pitts hit jackpot when she put a price-tag of $400,000. There also a road reserve portion which she sold to Earl Gabb for $45,000.

Prime Minister Calls On Teachers To Return To The Negotiating Table
We’re not sure if the CUT’s letter was a factor for the Prime Minister’s considerations over the past 24 hours but after an entire week of trading harsh words with the Teacher’s Union, today we can report a slight silver lining in negotiations. Last week’s negotiations ended in a very sour state when the PM announced that he will be negotiating good governance issues with the umbrella organization, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, and not the BNTU. Well, it appears an additional letter sent by BNTU President Luke Palacio to the PM today was convincing enough for the PM to reconsider that position. We have obtained a letter sent to Palacio by PM Barrow just a few hours ago, in which he indicates that he willing to continue the negotiations with the BNTU, and then proposes a meeting with Palacio on Thursday at 2pm. We’re not sure if that meeting will come about then, because Union sources have indicated that the BNTU had already scheduled a Council of Management meeting that same time to review the situation.

Tires Burns In Orange Walk
There have been sporadic acts of civil disobedience by members of the public who want to demonstrate support for the BNTU’s strike action. In Belize, burning tires on Belcan Bridge blocked traffic hours for several hours. Again, burning tires on the southern highway a day after lit up the night skies. Well the act of burning tires seems more epidemic than the Zika virus, because it has spread to the north. Over the weekend, tires were seen burning on the Phillip Goldson highway at two locations. There were burning tires at the mameyal curve and again outside San Pablo Village. The fire department had to respond and douse the fire, then clear the road to allow traffic to pass. The Police are also investigating and looking for accused culprits to charge, like they did in Belize City.

Separate Chopping Incident Leaves Two Injured
Two residents from the village of August Pine Ridge are tonight recuperating at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital from chop wounds which they sustained in two separate incidents. First we’ll tell you about Alex Chan who was injured after he was caught in the attempt of robbery. Thirty three year old Carmin Chan, Belizean labourer and resident of August Pine Ridge Village reported to authorities that he left home on Saturday night along with his family to attend two wakes taking place in the village and upon his return home sometime shortly after midnight, he observed that the lights in his home were switched on and that two boards from one of the windows located to the front of the house were removed.


Arson at Deputy Prime Minister’s Home
A vehicle worth fifty five thousand dollars was torched last night. That vehicle belongs to the Government of Belize and was assigned to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. The vehicle was inside Faber’s yard in Lord’s Bank when a man who was captured on surveillance camera, hopped over the fence […]

Minister Hulse Condemns Negativity Regarding Arson at Faber’s Home
The negative comments being spewed on social media following the arson at the home of the Deputy Prime Minister have been abundant. Some of those who comment have not only doubted the story that the Minister’s vehicle was set on fire but they have also been gloating at the misfortune that has befallen him. One […]

BNTU Goes Back to Meet with Prime Minister for Renegotiations
The Belize National Teachers Union has accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to return to the negotiation table. The meeting is set to take place tomorrow at two o’clock at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. The issue of good governance will be further discussed in that meeting and the Government is hopeful that quote, […]

Council of Churches Reiterates Call to Go Back to School
As has been reported the churches have called for the teachers and students to return to the classrooms. That call was reiterated once again by the President of the Belize Council of Churches, Reverend Roosevelt Papouloute. REV ROOSEVELT PAPOULOUTE “I cannot find the word to express my concern. It is a very very unfortunate situation […]

First Meeting of the Senate Special Select Committee; Chairperson Pending
A chairperson is yet to be named for the Senate Special Select Committee, although it was hoped that that portion of the process would have been completed in this morning’s sitting. Government Senator, Aldo Salazar summed up the situation regarding the absence of a chairman for the committee. ALDO SALAZAR “From my understanding Senator Lizarraga is […]

Bejerano and Cruz Escape Arraignment for Murder and Robbery
Lincoln Bejerano and David Cruz Hyde are on the run after escaping from police custody in Belmopan this morning. Love News spoke with the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie on the incident. ALLEN WHYLIE “Yes there were two prisoners, I was informed this morning who had escaped. One was charged for murder and one was […]

Prognosis for Ian and Empress is Guarded but Doctors Remain Hopeful
This past Friday, eight year old Ian Sambula and eleven year old Empress Hamilton, who sustained grave burnt injuries after their home was set on fire, were flown out to Galveston Texas, Unites States of America to the Shriner’s Burns Hospital for Children to receive emergency Medical Services. Saving the children’s life was a difficult […]

166 New Police Officers From Squad #93
Fifty women and one hundred and sixteen men officially became members of the Belize Police Department today under squad number ninety three. The passing out ceremony for these officers took place at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan this morning with the presence of senior police officers from around the country as well as relatives […]

Moratorium Lifted on Taxi Licenses in Belize City
After a couple years of consultations, the Belize City Council is lifting the moratorium on the granting of taxi licences. We hear more in this report from Ingrid Fernandez. INGRID FERNANDEZ REPORTS “

Belize Delegation Looks at Costa Rica’s Best Practices for Child Friendly Spaces
UNICEF introduced the child friendly municipality initiative back in the nineteen nineties to improve the situation of children around the world. The initiative has been thriving in several countries including Brazil. The Mayor of all nine municipalities in Belize have signed on to ensure that their municipality will be certified as being child friendly. There […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Chamber steps up pressure on GOB; one day shutdown agreed
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) held a business mixer at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12th, at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, and members agreed to step up the pressure on government to implement various governance reform measures. […]

Category three hurricane Nicole headed for Bermuda
Nicole became the sixth hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season last Thursday and was located well south of Bermuda. Throughout the same day, it continued strengthening upgrading it to a category two status. Late this evening, Nicole was upgraded to a Category three […]

BNTU accepts invitation to meet PM Barrow tomorrow
In a Belize Press Office release issued a short while ago, the Office of the Prime Minister announced that the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) has accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to meet. The meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October […]

Prisoners escape from police custody in Belmopan
Reports are that two prisoners escaped from police custody while being held in Belmopan around midday today. Sources are also saying that the officers did not follow protocol and that they may be facing disciplinary action. The names of the escaped prisoners are David […]

BNTU calls out UDP for yet another act of “intimidation”
The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) has issued a press release confirming that the law enforcement authority has issued a permit to supporters of the United Democratic Party (UDP) to protest and picket the headquarters of the BNTU in Belize City tomorrow, Thursday, October […]

First Lady of Jamaica attends ‘Children with Disabilities conference’ in Belize
The Jamaican Prime Minister’s wife, Juliet Holness, left Jamaica today to partake in the Regional Partnership for Children with Disabilities Conference, to be held in Belize from October 13-14. The invitation to the conference was extended to Holness by the wife of Prime Minister […]

PUP calls Senate Special Select Committee “bogus”
The People’s United Party (PUP) issued a press release yesterday expressing its continuous demand for an independent and impartial Senate Select Committee to be appointed to conduct a senate inquiry into the Immigration and Nationality Department scandal. The party lists the reasons why the […]

Police seek one man for burning of DPM’s vehicle
Police have obtained the security camera footage from the Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber’s house and are looking for one man in connection with the burning of his vehicle last night. The security camera footage shows the culprit with a gallon in his hand. […]

Tourism arrivals continue to soar
The largest foreign exchange earner in Belize, the tourism industry is the bright spot in a dreary economy. The reports of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) reflect an overall increase in tourist arrivals since June of last year. The month of September saw a […]

Deputy Prime Minister Vehicle set on fire
Reports reaching our newsroom are that the vehicle of Patrick Faber, the Deputy Prime Minister and also Minister of Education was set on fire last night. According to reports, around midnight last night, police officials were called to the Deputy Prime Minister’s home in […]


My Pared Down Travel Dream List for Central America – IT WILL Be a Reality
Central America, mistakenly I think, is often looked at as a place to enjoy nature and wildlife ONLY. But as you look closer, it’s a place of colonial cities, art, indigenous cultures, delicious foods, coffee and chocolate, Maya sites, beaches, diving and, yes, tons of gorgeous and In November of 2011, just a few months after starting the SanPedroScoop, I wrote a Bucket List – Places to Visit In Central America (and Nearby Mexico) Before I turn(ed) 40. I was the tender age of 38…and had almost two full years for completion. Easy, right? I mean…Central America is, comparatively, pretty tiny. Small countries that I should be able to cover in…days. Ok…probably weeks. But still! Here is my NEW LIST. And I need to stop fooling around. Guatemala is 100 miles from where I sit right now typing? And there are flights going to Guatemala City and Flores, Guat that would make the start of my journey SOOO easy. Or, for the slow, cheap route, there are tons of buses.

Explorer Series: Belizean Cowboy Santiago Juan
Ka'ana has started their Explorer Series, and they interviewed Santiago, owner of Hanna Stables. Fascinating gentleman, and if you've ridden with him, you know that he is a true caballero. If you haven't, then it's more than worth riding to Xunantunich with him. "A fantastic tour guide and owner of Hanna’s Stables, Santiago is an expert at giving visitors a truly incredible experience in the jungles of Cayo!"

International Sourcesizz

Climate Prediction Center’s Central America Hazards Outlook October 13 – October 19, 2016
Over the last 7 days, Nicaragua received a beneficial increase in rainfall. TRMM estimates indicate that locally more than 100mm fell over central and eastern parts of the country. The Gulf of Fonseca region of southern Honduras received similar amounts. Conversely, areas to the north received suppressed and below-average rainfall. Some parts of northern Honduras and central Guatemala received very little rain for the week. Other parts of Guatemala and El Salvador received greater, but still below-average, rainfall. The ‘Postrera’ season has generally been dryer than normal, with only some local pockets of more wet conditions. Rainfall anomalies since the beginning of September indicate many areas with negative anomalies exceeding 100mm, especially in Guatemala and Nicaragua. The pattern has been erratic though, and heavier rains have fallen over different parts of the region each week. Some parts of the region that are doing well over the period include southern Honduras, eastern El Salvador, and extreme southeastern Nicaragua.

First-Half 2016 Visitor Arrivals Up in The Caribbean
Most Caribbean destinations reported increased overnight visitor arrivals in the first half of 2016, with several countries producing double-digit increases according to Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) data. Several destinations continued recent patterns of strong growth, the islands in positive first-half territory include some countries that North Americans rarely visit. A handful of destinations also recorded significant arrivals declines. But overall, the statistics project a positive trend of growing visitor appeal for the region.

Caribbean Islands Share Climate Change Adaptation Plans
Representatives from 11 Caribbean countries and development agency partners will meet in Grenada's capital of St George's this week to discuss strategies to prepare for the impact of climate change. Grenada held the final consultation for its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) on Tuesday, October 11, and will now host peers from the region to share lessons from its experience through a two-day regional workshop. "Here in Grenada, we don't have to look far to see the impacts of climate change. We experience them every day," said Senator Simon Stiell, minister of state with responsibility for the environment. "Grenada's NAP process will help protect against the potentially devastating effects of extreme weather like Hurricane Ivan in 2004. We look forward to sharing what we have learned about national adaptation planning with others in the Caribbean community to build our countries' resilience to climate change," added Kevin Andall, permanent secretary with responsibility for human resource development and the environment.

The Magnificent Mayans
Visitors to modern-day Mexico and Central America are amazed when they see the remains of the vast cities of the civilization of the Mayan people – there are tall pyramids, huge ball courts, palaces, plazas and sacred wells. The Maya started off as hunter/gatherers that began to settle together in simple communities. As centuries passed they developed a rich civilization with huge cities – some with populations of well over 75,000 people. The cities were ruled by kings. The kings dressed flamboyantly in jaguar-skin wraps and wore gold and jade jewellery and feather headdresses. The people believed the kings were connected directly to the gods. The great pyramids were built as towering religious buildings. They were brightly painted and decorated with statues. The Maya had a great knowledge of astronomy (the study of the stars and planets). They were able to plot the movement of the sun, the moon and Venus. They built observatories and buildings that light up with the rising sun on the summer and winter equinoxes and solstices.

The Con Man Who Invented His Own Country
In the early 1820s, a Scottish swindler named Gregor MacGregor devised one of history’s most outlandish moneymaking schemes: he invented his own country. After surfacing in London, the former military officer claimed he had been made the ruler of an idyllic Central American nation called Poyais. Nearly everything about the tropical paradise was fictional—MacGregor had forged a collection of official documents and a full-length guidebook—but that didn’t stop him from making a fortune promoting phony Poyais bonds, land certificates and even a disastrous settlement scheme. Beginning in 1821, the city of London was overrun with reports of a previously unknown nation nestled on the Caribbean coastline of what is now Honduras. Called Poyais, it was supposedly a lush and untapped paradise of fertile farmland, rolling hills and gold-rich streams. Its native “Poyers” were described as a friendly and hardworking people, and its capital, St. Joseph, was a European-style settlement dotted with public buildings and even an opera house. Poyais boasted a deep-water port and a pleasant climate that made it immune to the scourge of tropical disease. It was, a guidebook claimed, “one of the most healthy and beautiful spots in the world.” It was also a complete and total fraud. By the time it finally ran its course several years later, it had duped scores of unsuspecting investors and led to the deaths of over 150 people.

Belize reports continued impressive increases in tourism arrivals
For 15 consecutive months from June 2015 to September 2016, the tourism industry in Belize has been experiencing record breaking increases in overnight arrivals every month, with impressive double digit increases of as much as 33 percent growth. Now nine months into 2016, the tourism arrival figures continue to show this upward trend, closing off the third quarter with a 26.9 percent increase for the month of September 2016 over September 2015. Overall, the first nine months of 2016 recorded a total of 293,622 overnight arrivals, a 16.4 percent increase over the same nine months of 2015, which had 252,329 overnight arrivals. Cruise arrivals resulted in 54,569 passengers for September 2016, representing a 20.6 percent increase over September 2015. Overall, cruise passenger arrivals recorded a moderate 1.3 percent increase for the first nine months of 2016, despite having 12 fewer cruise vessels arriving in Belize, inclusive of cruise calls cancelled due to Hurricane Earl.


  • Regional Partnership For Children With Disability, 29min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Minister of Education's vehicle on fire, 15sec. Too close for comfort! My boys and I are safe... thanks to all those showing concern! Surveillance cameras caught the perpetrator in the act! The police is investigating!

  • Select Senate Committee Meeting video, 32min. Today's Senate Select Committee meeting. The Opposition is absent.

  • World Pediatric Project - Belize City, 3min. Logan Buerlein traveled with the World Pediatric Project to Belize City, Belize in October, 2015 to document the mission in photo and video. Here is a short clip from the trip.

  • Punta Gorda, Belize, 4min. I idea was to come down and explore for some sweet water Tarpon. Not feeling great to begin with I catch fever 3days in and can't get a Tarpon jump on film. We did find baby tarpon in the lagoon & 80-90lb fish in a lake. Didn't get to explore the rivers. PG is the Permit capital of the world. In a total of six hours I spent chasing them I got 12-14 great shots, took me awhile to figure out the fly was making to much noise on the entry. Did get some video of some bonefish, location, & the hotel.

  • P.U.P On Senate Select Commttee, 36min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Agriculture Industry And World Food Day, 36min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Nothing like a good Marimba session with the Governnor General in attendance!, 2min. Noah, Noah musical rendition by Los Hijos del West Senior & Junior Membership, gracing the presence of Sir Colville Young.

  • Belize Day 8: Chris and Leah Adventure to Mexico Rocks, 4.5min. Chris and Leah adventure to Mexico Rocks to snorkel with fish, eels, rays, and turtles.

  • Tubeing in Belize Caves, 15min.

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