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#518745 - 11/05/16 11:14 AM Today's Belize News: November 5, 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

Financial Intelligence Unit signs MOU with Income Tax Department
A most significant Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on Wednesday, October 26th between the Income Tax Department and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). In this new domestic cooperation, they will fight against money laundering, countering terrorism financing and tax evasion. The new agreement will also facilitate the exchange of information between the two government agencies. Clare believes that there is a real threat of laundering taking place locally in Belize. “Simply put, this is where we are, we are exposed to the unknown,” said Clare. “It is incumbent on us to monitor and not take anything for granted, whether is our borders, the risk from criminal activities, to street crime, to cyber-crime and the protection of our financial systems, and so on.”

Proposed mega development on nearby Cayo Rosario raises many concerns
On the heels of the recently approved Blackadore Caye development, another tourism project has been proposed on the leeward coast of Ambergris Caye. The upscale tourism development is to take place at Cayo Rosario, a 10-acre island densely packed with mangroves and a well-known bird nesting site. Equally troubling is that Cayo Rosario is part of the finalized expansion of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and therefore is within protected grounds. However, investors are claiming that while they do intend on developing the privately owned island, they plan to do so in an environmentally-sound manner. The Cayo Rosario project is being carried out by a group of investors who acquired the island in 2015 from David Mitchell. Among the investors is previous listing broker for Cayo Rosario, John Turley who spoke to The San Pedro Sun about the project on Thursday, November 3rd.

New flight and boat services offered in San Pedro
San Pedro will be able to take advantage of a new boat ferry service, as well as Tropic Air’s new flight schedule that accommodates visitors arriving via international airlines. In support of the new, early morning American Airlines flight that departs the Philip Golson International (PGIA) Airport airport at 7:30AM, Tropic Air announced on October 26th that they have added a 5:30AM flight from San Pedro to the airport. The new American Airlines flights will land in Miami, Florida, USA on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. In addition, a new San Pedro based water-taxi company, Isla Norte Ferry will be offering two daily runs from San Pedro to Sarteneja or Corozal Town starting on Friday, November 4th. At one point, the Thunderbolt was the only Sarteneja/Corozal based boat water taxi, but Isla Norte Ferry will be introducing a new time schedule that differs from Thunderbolt, to provide more convenience to travelers.

Press Officer Director Dorian Pakeman still under investigation
It’s been over a month that Director of the Government of Belize (GOB) Press Office, Dorian Pakeman, was put on immediate unpaid leave following the revelation that cocaine had been found in his blood specimen following a traffic accident that killed a man. Pakeman is still being investigated by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). In March 2016, Pakeman was involved in a traffic accident in Biscayne Village, which resulted in the death of 45- year-old Dean Dawson. Pakeman was never charged and was only served with a notice of intended prosecution. However, when the DPP stumbled across Pakeman’s laboratory exam, which tested positive for cocaine but was hidden by a police officer, he was placed on leave. Rural Executive Officer for the Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Edward Broaster, stated that the police have fulfilled certain directives from the DPP, and the investigation is still ongoing. “The status of the Pakeman file as it is, the DPP had given us certain instructions to carry out and we are in the process of completing those instructions and we will return the file to the DPP,” said Broaster in an interview with Channel 5 News.

Glamour Shots to help fundraise for Red Cross and Food Bank
Getting glammed up and pampered is always a treat, especially when it’s supporting a great cause. CG Esthetics Beauty Salon will be hosting their “Glamour Shots Day” fundraiser on Sunday, November 13th from 9AM to 4PM. The proceeds will be donated to two local charities who greatly assist the community, the San Pedro Red Cross and the San Pedro Food Bank. For a price of $150, you can enjoy the perks of a pampered treatment by having your hair and makeup done with one photo taken, while one single picture without hair and makeup is $75. Group pictures with four or more persons is priced at $40 per person, while those who wish to have their hair and makeup done for the group picture are looking at $140 per person. CS Esthetics will also offer a regular nail polish application for $15. According to salon owner Carole Goudreau, people are liking the idea and she has been getting positive feedback. “It’s the first time that I am doing this type of fundraiser, but it is something I always wanted to do in order to help. I think the Red Cross and the Food Bank are very important when it comes to helping out our community,” said Goudreau.

Ambergris Today

Parents Called to be More Vigilant of Children’s Safety
The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) issued a press release expressing deep concern over the random devastating residential fires that are apparently becoming the new trend of claiming the innocent lives of children lately. The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC), launched in 1994, is the lead national agency and major advisory body to the government on families and children issues. To that end, one of its obligations to our children is to ensure the safety and protection of our children at all times. In fact, Article 36 of the CRC states that children have the right to protection and safety. On that very premise, NCFC issued a press release this week expressing how deeply bothered they are by these random devastating residential fires that are apparently becoming the new trend of claiming the innocent lives of children lately. In just about one month, fire has gutted several homes claiming the lives of two children and therefore, NCFC is calling particularly on parents, to be more vigilant about your child’s surroundings and whereabouts at all times.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize International YOGA Festival
Ring in the new year doing yoga! December 31, 2016. Larbour View Grens, 6am. Workshop and Concert.

Pumpkin pone
Peel, wash and grate the pumpkin and coconut. Add the cornmeal and work the margarine in with a fork. Add the sugar and water to make a soft dropping consistency. Add the essence, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, mixing well. Pour into a greased dripping pan. The mixture should be 1 – 1½ inches thick. Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) until crisp and brown. Cool, and cut into 2 inch squares before serving.

Green Corn Pudding
Mix the corn, sugar, melted butter; add the flour and beaten egg. Mix in gradually the milk. Bake in a moderate oven one hour. Serve with roast beef or lamb.

Remembrance Day Exhibit in Corozal
You are kindly invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Remembrance Day Exhibit one week from today, November 11th. As part of the ceremony; we look forward to honouring Corozal's two ex-servicemen for their service and sacrifice during WW II. Please join us beginning at 9 am.

BELIZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
We have a compelling lineup of short documentaries, including entries from Wil Maheia, Orson Picart, Carol and Richard Foster and Linda Ainouche (Jamaica). Check out the trailers!

Finados celebration in Banquitas
Banquitas held its annual Finados celebration in honor and memory of our dearly departed. We want to sincerely thank all those that help in one way or another. it means a lot to us that we can count on you all to carry out this tradition. I want to thank Ms. Libertad Cal for being our right hand in this. She is always with us every year ensuring that we carry it out. Most of the items on the altars belong to her and for that we are more than grateful. While setting up Ms. Libertad ensures that we all know the meaning of all the essential elements on the altars. Thanks to Ms. Felicita Cantun for being our guest speaker. Ms. Fel gave the history and explain all the important elements on the altars to give all a clear understanding of this tradition. She was a vital role in this celebration. Thanks to our Rezadora/ prayer lady who is always working in collaboration with the HOC, Ms. Bertha Alonzo. Her role was also very important as she lead the rosary and songs. Thanks to the ladies of our community that recited the decades of our rosary. Special thanks to Ismael Quiroa, Christian Cantun , Dion Cal and Kevin Arnold for being with us in the preparation. Lastly we extend a huge thanks to all those that participated and for being with us on this special day.

Grace Kennedy donates to FCD
Grace Kennedy (Belize) Limited handed over a 6 month supplement and groceries for the Park Ranger team yesterday in Chiquibul. Handing over was done by Marketing Manager, Mr. Marnix Perez. These groceries will help rangers with their ration requirements, as they spend two weeks at a time in the Chiquibul jungle. Thank you Grace Kennedy for the support.

The Placencia Breeze November 2016
Pg 3 Tour Operator of the Year Pg 5 BTIA news Pg 6 Poet Bob Pg 7 Rotary Club Ladies Gala Pg 9 Crocodile Research Coalition celebrates Croctober! Pg 11 Placencia Players Theatre presents “Ebony Scrooge” Pg 13 5th Annual End of the World Marathon/Half Marathon Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 19 Ms Cunchie's 79th October 26 Pg 20/21 Placencia Peninsula Guide Pg 22 Placencia Humane Society News Pg 23 Bird Watching in Placencia / Farm House Deli opening in December Pg 24 Volunteer Support for The End of the World Marathon / Drink Contest Form / Marathon Sponsors Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 Licensed Tour Operators in Placencia / Christmas Boat Parade Pg 28/29 The History of Kitty’s Place Pg 30 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 31 Calender of Events

Ocean Academy Visit
Nice to see the little children of LICA visiting their big sister counterparts. LICA students had a great learning experience at OA. Thanks for the invitation.

Lucky Boy, Black Jaguar at the Belize Zoo passes away
The Belize Zoo sadly announces that our beloved black jaguar, Lucky Boy, has passed away. Our staff attended to him for over two weeks, providing care and constant medical attention. Unfortunately, his health steadily declined. Lucky Boy was twenty years old and fought chronic health problems ever since his arrival to the Zoo in 2012. This stellar jaguar brought joy and happiness to the lives of many for well over four years. We are grateful to everyone around the world who were part of his amazing story..The Belize Zoo is committed to keeping his special spirit alive forever. Lucky Boy, such a an incredible guy, is, and always will be, greatly missed.

SPTB gives Donation of $1,000 for Garifuna Settlement celebrations
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilor Hector "Tito" Alamilla presented the Garifuna Council with a donation of $1,000 to be used for the Garifuna Settlement celebrations. Look out for all the activities to take place throughout the month in celebration of the Garifuna's settlement to Belize!

Students from Galen University in the class of Introduction to Sustainable Development
Guided by professor Victor Alegria, visited Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gary Greif as part of their learning trip to San Pedro Town. Their purpose of their trip was to learn about the daily tasks of the town council and how the town council is applying sustainable methods in their day-to day tasks. Thanks for the visit guys!

Battle of the Garifuna Drums, High School Edition!
The competition is on!!!!!!!!!!

Preserving & Promoting Finados to our Schools
Despite the heavy rains, we thank the Schools for making their constant visits to the annual Finados Altar Display & Interaction session in honor of Don Julio Alvarado & Ms. Cristina Bejerano.

Cave Mapping Team
The fourth session of the Chiquibul Cave System Working Group was held today. At this session the recommendation for developing a Cave Mapping team was agreed. Any avid caver who wishes to join this mapping team can write to fcd@btl.net

Christmas Bird Count 2016
My friends, this is YOUR official invite. You need not to be a birder or expert or any sort of bird guru at all. Just join. Mark your calendars and don't say I did not invite you. And the "Christmas" theme actually has nothing to do with Christmas, bring your binos, not gifts.

BTB Customer Service Frontline Personnel Training
The Belize Tourism Board joins with the Ministry of Public Service to launch it's second Customer Service Frontline Personnel Training.

New Roof Covering completed for the Caracol Monuments
After waiting for several weeks for the right time to cut the sticks, the Park Rangers at the Caracol Archaeological Reserve have now completed the new roof cover which protects the monuments from around the site.

Channel 7

Extradition Denied! Alleged Narco Gary Sewell Set Free After 7 Years On Remand
Back in February 2010, it made national headlines when Gary Seawell was found holed up in Esperanza. Sewell had been on the run from the US Government who was seeking his extradition to face trial for narcotics trafficking. Gary was the last Sewell standing after his older brothers Mark and Duane had already been arrested. According to US law enforcement, the brothers, allegedly imported cocaine into the US through Mexico, and sold marijuana in Texas from December 1994 to August 1997. They are also allegedly responsible for 1 million dollars in drug proceeds sent to Houston, Texas; Lakeland, Florida, and Belize. He had been on remand fighting his extradition since his arrest more than 6 years ago. And today, after failing in the two lower courts, he struck gold in the Court of Appeal. Our 7News team was there when he was released from police custody, and allowed to exit the court a free man. We got a chance to speak to the one-time icon of the underworld, and we found an individual who was only very happy to go home to his wife and children. Daniel Ortiz has that story:

Life In Prison No Longer An Automatic Sentence For Murder
And, while that was the huge decision coming out of the Court of Appeal in the morning, there was another massive ruling which was handed down in the afternoon session. The court ruled that a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole can no longer be given to convicted person. That means that defendants who have been convicted of murder will now be given a certain number of years in jail, and if they eligible, they will be given parole after serving part of that sentence. This came out of Gregory August's appeal. In November 2012, he was convicted of the 2009 killing of 73 year-old Alvin Robinson. A jury found him guilty of stabbing the elderly disabled man 9 times in the face and neck. He had been sentenced to life in prison - but the landmark judgment now quashes that life sentence. More importantly, it sets a major precedent, scrapping automatic life sentences for murder convictions. After the hearing, we spoke with his attorney, Eamon Courtenay, about the significance of the decision:

GOB Writes To Vega and Pitts Giving Them 30 Days To Refund Compensation
3 weeks ago, we showed you the press conference, which Prime Minister Dean Barrow held to address the scandal of the land compensation racket. He announced that Gaspar Vega had resigned from the Cabinet as a minister after it became public that under his watch, his son, Andre, received 400 thousand dollars in compensation for a piece land that the Ministry of Natural Resources sold to him. The Lands Department knew that the land was private, and that they should not have sold it, but they did so anyway. The new Minister of Natural Resources, Vanessa Retreage, declared that the Government would seek the return of that 400 thousand dollars of taxpayers money which was given to Andre Vega as compensation. Well, a late evening press release notes that the Government has already started the process. They're asking Andre Vega and attorney Sharon Pitts to pay back the compensation they received. You'll remember that she also received 400 thousand dollars as compensation when it was revealed that government sold her a piece of pre-owned private land.

Paumen's First Interview: Did He Plot To Kill Modiri?
For the past 2 nights, we've been showing you our interview with Michael Modiri, the Franks Eddy business man who is locked in a criminal and civil court battle with his neighbour and major American Tour Operator, Bradley Paumen. Modiri says that he will not stand by anymore and allow Paumen to continue trespassing on his land without compensation, especially since he is collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in his tour guide operation. Today, we got an opportunity to hear from Paumen himself on this alleged trespass, and we also spoke with a number of the villagers from Franks Eddy about this road in dispute. We'll get to that bit later on in the news, but first, we'll show you our interview with Paumen, where we asked that burning question everyone wanted answered since January, when this story first hit the news. Did he hire a hitman to kill his neighbour?

Modiri Responds
Paumen mentioned that Modiri was involved in some shady business back in the US. He handed us some documents connecting Modiri to the prostitution industry. So, we called Modiri and he gave us his side of the story, which involved one of Paumen's partners in this very, very tangled web... Michael Modiri - Refutes Paumen's Claims: "One of those properties which was tens of millions of dollars valued was a huge building in Washington DC. I did not buy it. I couldn't afford it as it was like 18 million dollars to buy that building. So, I leased it. Subsequently, subleased it to a business who owned and operated by Haun Park who is now some sort of a partner. They keep saying partner but I haven't seen any business they run together but they are saying that they have a business relationship and they are the ones who conspired to plant a gun in my vehicle."

Family Of Murder Victim Complains About Cop/suspect Release
27 year old Belize City resident Jeon Peebles was found dead on Monday morning. He had been executed on the Boom-Hattieville road. The last time he was seen by friends was reportedly on Sunday night when he was picked up by two police officers on Mahogany Street. One police officer was detained - after he handed himself in with his attorney. He was held for 48 hours, when he answered no questions. Police released him yesterday and he has been put back on active duty. For the family of Jeon Peebles, it's an outrage, and special treatment given to a police officer. Today, Jeon's sister who asked to appear off camera told us why the family is angry at the development and concerted that justice will not be served: Voice of: Shantel Thompson - Jeon's Sister: "The family of Jeon Peebles very concerned because the 2 officers who held Jeon, one of them held him and the next one, we haven't heard anything about him. He is just not in the picture any at all. The one that was held was already released and he is back on duty and working and I don't think that is fair because if it was someone from the street and they did something and the police hold him for that then the person would have not been released."

Police: They Beat Up Richie Rich!
Two days ago we told you about the beatdown at the scene of the fire where Two year old Kaylee Alvarez perished. Relatives of the deceased beat a man suspected of setting the fire. Well, so far, police say there is no evidence of arson, and, now, additionally, the two persons accused of the beating were charged today. Fisherwoman, 23 year old Nickesha Rhaburn and stevedore, 28 year old Brian Welch were arraigned in court for use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm upon 20 year old Richie-rich Jones (yes, that's the name that went to court!). A mob of men and women allegedly beat and stabbed Jones after knocking him off his bike near the fire scene. He was stabbed three times in the back, and clubbed over the head with a two by four. The police prosecutor objected to bail because a knife was used and Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser agreed and remanded both into custody at the Belize Central Prison. They are due back in Court #2 on December 9th.

The 13th Senator - Who Will It Be?
Probably one of the most surprising outcomes from the October's teacher's strike is that they forced the Prime Minister to activate the 13th Senator. This wasn't something like the United Nations Convention Against Corruption which he had said he might do. Activating the 13th Senator was something he said he would never do - because it would cause paralysis in government. But, when the teachers applied pressure, the Prime Minister caved - and he signed the commencement order two weeks ago, after holding off on it for 7 years before that. So now the way is paved for that Civil Society Senator - but who will it be? The first consultation to come up with that name was held today when 22 NGO's, quote,"in good standing" met at the Biltmore. We interviewed their designated spokespersons after the meeting to find out what they had come up with:... Armando Aban - Int'l Commissioner, Scout Assc. Of Belize: "We have all the NGO's that have been invited by the Attorney General to initiate the process election of the 13th senator. At this present time what we have done is that the NGO has decided that they'll be holding a next meeting for next week where we will father discuss the detail information in terms of how the process will imitate."

Franks Eddy On the March Against Modiri
As you saw in our first segment, Frank's Eddy neighbors Bradley Paumen and Michael Modiri have MAJOR issues. But as they battle for land rights and usage in court, other involved parties have taken to protesting. Many of Paumen's employees and fellow Frank's Eddy villagers took the fight to the government in hopes that it will be able to stop Michael Modiri from blocking them off from their main source of income. Alex Courtenay was in Belmopan for their protest... Alex Courtenay reporting: Today about 80 people from Frank's Eddy, many who work for Paumen's Dark Night Cave Tubing Adventures, were out in front of the Assembly Building in Belmopan to urge the government to intervene. Rudy Barrera - Dark Night employee/Protester: "Now today we all decided to come out. All of us that you see here behind me because we are working with Dark Night, but since a week ago we have been stop by one man. His name is Michael Modiri." Since Modiri started blocking access to the cave system Dark Night uses to conduct its tours, business has declined. Now the tour operators are asking the government to make the road that passes through Modiri's private land public, because they say, that's what it has always been.

What's Up With The Weather?
Is there another storm out there? With all this rain and flooding since Wednesday, it might seem so and those still - recovering hurricane Earl victims are starting to get worried. Well, the experts say there's no need to be overly concerned because it's just the usual wet November weather. Today Meteorologist Ronald Gordon assured the public that the rainy spell will pass, eventually:... Gordon says the weather should clear up by Tuesday. The Northeastern part of the county is being most affected, and that includes Belize City and San Pedro and the northern districts.

Community Service For Copycat Customs Officer
Earlier this week we told you about the copycat customs officer Miguel Manzanilla who was found wearing his neighbour's Customs uniform - which he had stolen. On Wednesday, Manzanilla appeared before newly appointed Magistrate, Norman Rodriguez where he pleaded guilty to committing a mischievous act. He was not jailed or fined; instead Magistrate Rodriguez sent Manzanilla to community service. He was ordered to perform 60 hours of Community Service in his home town of Corozal. Manzanilla got caught when he was stopped at a checkpoint in Ladyville where he told police he was a customs officer but his uniform was off and police arrested him. And while he stole the uniform, he could not be charged for theft since the neighbour has not made a complaint against him.

Those Were Some Pretty Pricey Panties! Panty Pilferers Fined $1,000
They were the famous panty pilferers who went to prison on remand, but today northerners, 36 year old Donaela Bernaldita Smith from Palmar and 27 year old Johny Netty Lopez, from Ranchito changed their not guilty plea to guilty and begged the court for leniency because they have children. Smith told Senior Magistrate that they were drunk when they stole panties from Siloe's store one year ago. The women were caught red handed on a surveillance camera stealing a whole bunch of panties from the store. In mitigation, Smith broke down as she spoke and said she is ashamed of what she did and that she knows that the act made her family ashamed of her too. Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer took into consideration the fact that they saved the court time in and that they have no previous convictions for theft or crimes of dishonesties. So instead of sending them to jail they were fined $1,000 dollars or in default 1 year imprisonment. SO, at one thousand dollars, those were some pretty pricey panties.

Coalition Calls Out GOB
Government has made it official that it won't put legislation in place to confirm the referendum on offshore drilling. The Belize Coalition to save Our Natural Heritage says that won't do - because they say policy can change overnight. It all goes back to 2015, when OCEANA and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage submitted a draft bill outlining the requirements that needed to be met in order to lift the moratorium on offshore oil exploration. While the government acknowledges the submission of the draft, in a letter to OCEANA, it notes that it never asked for a bill. So, rather than making all the Coalition's requirements legislation, the Government has decided to maintain the policy-based moratorium which will only be lifted if three of the Coalition's stipulations are met. This isn't exactly the decision OCEANA was hoping for, and here's what they told us about their position moving forward...

Smooth Sailing Through OW South
In last night's news, we told you about the 2 new multimillion dollar roads which have been constructed in Orange Walk South. Here now is that story about the Yo Creek to San Antonio Road, and the August Pine Ridge to Blue Creek Road. They are valued and 20 million dollars, and instead of having to endure a punishing ride to and from Orange Walk Town, residents of villages along these roads will now cruise all the way. Our news team tested out the new roads when we attended the inauguration ceremonies today. Here's what the Minister of Works had to say about it: The roads were upgraded under the program called the EU's Accompanying measures for Sugar.

Black Cat's Luck Ran Out
If you've been to the Belize Zoo, you have surely seen Lucky the Black Jaguar. Visitors marvel at his glistening coat and massive yet graceful structure. He was rescued from a resort in the South in 2012 where he was an exotic display to entertain guests. But he was neglected and Zoo keepers found him starved, and close to death. Since then the Zoo staff has been trying to rehabilitate him. But his chronic digestive problems among a string of health complications took him over and he died yesterday. The Belize Zoo announced his passing today, noting that staff attended to him for over two weeks, providing care and constant medical attention. But nothing could halt his decline and the 20 year old Lucky Boy passed away. Indeed, caring for the rare and exotic cat was an ongoing struggle and in January of 2015, I was there when specialized vets performed a procedure on him - and it gave a rare chance to observe his majestic power at rest. In memory of Lucky, we repeat that story tonight:...

Channel 5

Gary Seawell free, ending long-running extradition case
After languishing in prison for six years, Gary Sewell is finally a free man. He was apprehended back in February, 2010 but had been on the run since 2007 wanted [...]

G.O.B. demands compensation money from Andre Vega, Sharon Pitts
The government is seeking to recover almost a million dollars paid in compensation to Andre Vega, the son of the former DPM and Minister of Natural Resources as well as [...]

Supreme Court awards damages for victim of police beatdown
But government is settling out of court on another matter. In mid-April of last year, Orange Walk resident Andres Rodriguez was brutally assaulted by three police officers, under suspicion that [...]

A woman without identity: Vital Statistics accused of dragging feet on alleged scam
Imagine a born Belizean being told that she could not access her birth certificate because someone else may have her identity. Then, imagine that an investigation has been underway for [...]

NGO’s begin consultations on Thirteenth Senator
A thirteenth Senator will be appointed in January, the choice of Belize’s non-governmental organizations. Following the Prime Minister’s signing of the commencement order for Sections seven and nine of the [...]

NGO leaders promise appointee will be ready for January
The Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), following the passing of the Sixth Amendment, nominated former executive director of Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, Gregory Ch’oc, but he [...]

Another Ministry of Health pick-up stolen, this time in San Ignacio
A government owned vehicle was stolen in the early hours of this morning in San Ignacio Town. The vehicle attached/assigned to the Ministry of Health was parked in an employee’s [...]

Cubs hold big parade, will retired catcher visit Belize?
Today was celebration day for fans of the Chicago Cubs, as the biggest parade in the city’s history flowed from Wrigley Field, the World Series’ champions’ home stadium, to Grant [...]

Government responds to environmentalists on moratorium
The Government of Belize has responded to the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, putting aside for now the issue of legislating the currently policy-based moratorium on activities relating [...]

A step forward, but environmentalists still want complete ban
So, is this a step forward or a step backward? And will it move the Coalition even slightly from its position that a complete ban on offshore petroleum-related activity of [...]

Cop accused in Jeon Peebles death released; family wants answers
Twenty-five year old father of one, Jeon Peebles, died in mysterious circumstances nearly a week ago. Peebles was picked up by the cops on Sunday night near a supermarket on [...]

Accused underwear thieves plead guilty; blame it on the alcohol
In December of 2015, a woman from Palmar Orange Walk and another from Ranchito, Corozal District were accused by a Belize City businesswoman of shoplifting underwear from her store. This [...]

Children’s surgeries planned for Dangriga
The World Pediatric Project will be conducting surgery clinic at the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga Town. The surgery clinic is only for children from birth to twenty one years [...]

Rain, rain, please go away!
Incessant rains across the country have inundated parts of Belize City and the weekend forecast indicates that there are more showers ahead.  The downpour began in the wee early hours [...]

B.N.T.U.’s Council of Management will plan new strategy
The council of management of the Belize National Teachers Union is meeting on Saturday to discuss the way forward in light of recent developments in the education sector.  Earlier this [...]

B.N.T.U.’s Palacio said Education Minister never put Strike Fund in play
The strike fund and its intended use are also at the center of the ongoing controversy.  According to B.N.T.U. President Luke Palacio, the Minister of Education quotes liberally from a [...]

Taking C.S.E.C. examinations online
C.X.C. going online? Yes, well, at least a part of it and it is happening sooner than you’d think. In January of next year, students who are sitting CSEC exams [...]

Lucky Boy, the Black Jaguar, passes on at 20
There is a bit of sad news coming out of the Belize Zoo tonight. One of its beloved residents, Lucky Boy, has passed away. According to the zoo, the twenty-year-old [...]

The original Halloween monster: Remembering Hattie, 55 years on
Fifty-five years ago, a true monster unleashed havoc, death and destruction on the tiny colony then known as British Honduras. We speak of Hurricane Hattie, which struck on October thirty-first, [...]

LOVE FM

Government Wants Monies Back From Sharon Pitts and Andre Vega
The Government of Belize is demanding four hundred thousand dollars each from Attorney Sharon Pitts and Andre Vega, the son of former Minister, Gaspar Vega. A release from GOB stated, quote, “As a result of the findings, of the investigation into the matter concerning Ms. Sharon Pitts and Mr. Andre Vega, letters were sent to […]

Court of Appeals Frees Gary Sewell
After being in prison for about 7 years awaiting extradition proceedings, Gary Seawell today became a free man when Belize Court of Appeals allowed his appeal and granted him a writ of habeas corpus. Seawell’s attorneys, Ben Cooper and Anthony Sylvestre submitted that a check of the legal files revealed that there was no committal […]

Protesters Upset Over Inaccess to Public Roads
More than one hundred employees and stakeholders of Dark Knight Adventures picketed the Sir Edney Cain Building in Belmopan earlier today. They were protesting against Iranian businessman, Michael Modiri . Correspondent Fem Cruz was there for the protest and he shared the story.

Consulting the NGOs for the 13th Senator
Attorney General Vanessa Retreage called a meeting with twenty two non governmental organizations this afternoon to discuss the selection of the thirteenth Senator which will represent the NGOs. Armando Aban, International Commissioner of the Belize Scouts, spoke on behalf of the NGOs in terms of what was discussed in the meeting. Aban stated that they […]

Coalition Wants Government’s Commitment in Black and White
Is the government of Belize saying yes to offshore oil? That is the question that the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage is asking after a letter was sent to one of the members from the Department of Petroleum in which they claim that the government is refusing to adopt legislation on the offshore oil […]

Bert Vasquez to Stand Trial for Forcible Abduction of Minor
Back in 2012 residents were outraged at the murder of 13-year-old, Jasmine Lowe. The young girl had gone missing on her way to an event where she was to perform in the Scouts Diamond Jubilee celebration on Monday, June 4 but she never made it. Two days later, authorities in San Ignacio found her body […]

Fire in Seine Bight Consumes Home
Police in Seine Bight Village in the Stann Creek District has launched an investigation into a fire that destroyed a two-storey home this afternoon. Love News spoke with Plcencia’s Commanding Officer, Dennis Miles for an update.

Police Probes Into the Death of a Baby Girl
A 1-year-old baby is dead and police are looking for answers following the autopsy report which shows that the child suffered injuries to the forehead and the neck area. Inspector Dennis Miles spoke to Love News on the investigation. The child lived in Seine Bight Village with her mother but the father who also has […]

Police Minister Speaks of Improving Officers’ Incentives
For some time now there have been talks of the officers of the Belize Police Department not being well compensated or looked after when it comes to benefits like insurance and the likes. It is a complaint that has not gone on deaf ears as the recently appointed Minister for Home Affairs, Elodio Aragon Jr. […]

Internet Exchange Training Addresses Various Areas
The Belize Internet Exchange Point (BIXP) in collaboration with Casa de internet de Latin-American and the Caribbean (LACNIC ) provided an Internet Exchange Training with facilitator Guillermo Cicileo; he spoke to us on the content of today’s training. Information Technology Manager for Alliance IP, Andrew Martinez spoke about how the training will benefit his company. […]

Reformed Gang Leader as Guest Speaker at Youth Awards 2016
Dishawn “Jiwe” Morris is the invited guest for the National Youth Awards. Morris has an interesting life story that relates to many Belize City youth. He is a reformed gang member who went on to publish a best-selling book. He does motivational speaking to help young persons gain a better perspective of life. We met […]


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#518746 - 11/05/16 11:15 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 5, 2016 [Re: Marty]
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Amandala

Businesses report problems accessing US dollars
Earlier this week, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) launched a poll to canvass its membership on whether they have been experiencing problems sourcing foreign exchange. The poll was triggered by several concerns expressed by members who said that they had been affected by limited or no access to foreign exchange, and in particular, to US currency. The wider membership has since been asked to submit responses by this Friday, November 4, stating whether they have been affected and if so, to specify the currency they have had problems accessing. Amandala understands that companies who are in both the merchandising trade and services sectors are being polled at this time.

Vital Statistics birth certificate scam?
A Belizean woman from the village of Progresso in the Corozal District is distraught after her birth certificate was allegedly listed by the Vital Statistics Unit as one of the documents in a purported identity scam. According to Jazminie Lino, 29, she went to the Vital Statistics Unit today, Thursday, to apply for her birth certificate and those of her children. While she was able to get those documents belonging to her children, she was prevented from getting hers because her identity has been linked to that of a Mexican woman.

Taxpayers forced to pay $13,000 to victim of Orange Walk police brutality
Policemen with no regard for the constitutional rights of citizens continue to cost taxpayers many thousands of dollars in court awards and legal settlements. On Tuesday in the Supreme Court of Madam Justice Sonya Young, attorney Kareem Musa reached an out-of-court settlement with a government attorney in a case of police brutality in Orange Walk that was captured on video and uploaded to social media—displaying the abuse inflicted by police officers on the man at his home. In the claim filed by Andres Rodriguez against the Attorney General of Belize, named the first defendant; the Commissioner of Police, second defendant; PC Marcial Ramirez, third defendant; PC Edward Swift, fourth defendant; and PC Shawn Chin, the fifth defendant, the evidence of police brutality was overwhelmingly convincing.

Faithful Belizean Cubbies celebrate World Series win!
When the ball settled into the glove of first baseman Anthony Rizzo from a throw by third baseman Kris Bryant off a Michael Martinez slow roller into the infield, Chicago Cubs fans went wild with joy, and that included long-suffering Cubs fans in Belize, who had “adopted” the Chicago Cubs since the early 1980s, when all they watched were Cubs games, and when the Cubs star outfielder Gary Matthews, Sr., came to Belize in the winter of 1985. After Matthews’ visit, the Cubs almost instantly gained practically a whole country of Cubs-mad fans. In Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field, the Chicago Cubs shattered their 108-year championship drought with an 8-7, 10-inning World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 after causing consternation when in the 9th inning, the Indians leveled the playing field by tying the score 6-6.

Cop detained in connection with bullet-riddled body found on Boom Road
On Monday morning, a passerby saw a body on the ground riddled with bullets and called police, who removed the body and several expended shells from the scene at the junction of the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road. The body was later identified as Jeon Peebles, 25, a Belize City man whose family claims that he was in police custody on Sunday night for marijuana possession. Last night, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams confirmed that a police officer was detained and is being questioned in connection with the apparent homicide of Peebles. Williams told 7News, “Yes, we have one officer in custody who we believe was one of the officers who picked him up. That information, though, is yet to be confirmed and the allegation that you’re saying, is that two officers did pick up him.”

Animal Planet’s Monsters Inside Me looks at flesh-eating leishmaniasis in Belize
The UK-based Daily Mail is reporting that a new episode of Animal Planet to air this Thursday on The Discovery Channel will feature the story of a retired US firefighter who contracted a flesh-eating parasite while at his vacation home in Belize. Without treatment, the infection—cutaneous leishmaniasis, caused by a protozoa, a single-celled organism—can prove fatal, the report warned. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cutaneous leishmaniasis usually produces ulcers on the exposed parts of the body, such as the face, arms and legs. It adds that there may be a large number of lesions—sometimes up to 200—which can cause serious disability. Notably, when the ulcers heal, they invariably leave permanent scars, which are often the cause of serious social prejudice, WHO explains. Whereas Belize’s Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, has indicated that he does not know of the case in question, involving Mark Ward of Prescott, Arizona, and his wife Janina, he has indicated that leishmaniasis has been reported in Belize—as in most tropical countries—and soldiers of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) or others out in the forest/jungle are most particularly at risk. In fact, cases have been reported among British soldiers who have been in Belize’s jungles.

Belizean cyclists dominate in Chetumal, Mexico
The third annual “Carrera de la Frontera Sur” was held in Chetumal, Mexico this past Sunday, October 30. Most of the big Belizean teams were present: C-Ray, Benny’s Megabytes, Smart, Digicell, Santino’s, Cabral/Marin Cycling, Marie Sharp. Belizeans placed top-three in the Junior category. Team Marie Sharp took the first and third spots on the podium, with Darien Anderson winning and Patrick Williams in third position. Smart’s Kaydine Pinelo was second. The trio got away from the peloton, and were able to hold them off until the final lap. In the Female race, eleven cyclists lined up – three of which were Belizeans. National Road Champion, Kaya Cattouse of the C-Ray Cycling Club, was in a break-away from the first lap with Mexican Wendy Maldonado Molina. After the 26-mile race, including 10 laps on the circuit, Cattouse finished solo. Molina finished in second place, and Belizean Alicia Thompson of Belize Bank Swoosh rounded out the top three.

Cubs win! And Belizeans celebrate!
There are quite a few Dodgers fans in Belize, and also Giants fans and Yankee fans, and others; but, ever since television arrived in Belize in the early 1980’s with WGN Channel 9 the main station, featuring broadcaster Harry Caray’s Chicago Cubs, large numbers of Belizean baseball fans have been hooked on the ritual cycle of hope and disappointment dished out religiously, year after heartbreaking year, by the never quite good enough, Cubbies. Belizean fans, by and large, were of Harry Caray’s mold, “die hard,” always believing that one day, one fine day, Cubs would be World Champions. Well, that day is here; last night, actually, as the Chicago Cubs finally ended the 108-year drought since the 1908 Cubs won the World Series. They beat the Cleveland Indians, 8-7, in game 7, after being down 3 games to 1 in the best-of-7 series. And we just had to share the adjacent article with the many jubilant Cubs fans among our readership.

Belize Bank Bulldogs 3-peat as Charles Solis Memorial Softball Champions
There were only 3 teams participating in this year’s 8th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Invitational Softball Tournament, which took place on Sunday, October 23, at Rogers Stadium. The competition was nevertheless intense and when it was over, the Belize Bank Bulldogs, who won 3 of their 4 games in the double round-robin, out-scored 2nd place winners, Unitedville Rebels, 6-3, were crowned champions for the third straight time. At the end of the round-robin phase, both the Bulldogs and the Rebels had similar records of 3 wins and 1 loss, while Independence PALS was winless with a 0 and 4 record. By the ground rule agreed upon by the teams, “in the case of a tie, the runs for and against for the two teams tied would be used to determine the winner. As such Belize Bank Bulldogs outscored Unitedville Rebels, 6-3, and were thus declared champion.

Editorial: When the PM overstepped
If Belize were to change to the system of proportional representation, and were Kremandala then, for argument’s sake, to present candidates as a political party, the electoral performances of Evan X Hyde in Collet in 1974 and Rufus X in Belize Rural North in 1989 suggest that Kremandala would gain at least 4 percent of the votes cast. In a system of proportional representation, were the teachers of Belize to present candidates as a political party, the chances are the teachers would gain as much as that 4 percent, and probably more. The way our present first-past-the-post political system has worked, it has produced two major political parties – the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). These two organizations, which have controlled, monopolized political power and public funds in Belize since 1961 to the present, are “big tent” in philosophy in the sense that they include individuals and groups with major differences in political and economic philosophy under the one party tent, under the one party banner.

From the Publisher
When Amandala and the UBAD Party came to Partridge Street from 46 Euphrates Avenue in the latter part of 1972, conditions were really primitive. Ismail Omar Shabazz, the secretary/treasurer of UBAD, had leased adjoining swamp lots on Partridge from the Government of Belize back in 1969, shortly after UBAD was founded. One lot was for UBAD, and the lot on our left was for Shabazz. Our old Chandler & Price letter press, along with the lead type and the trays which held them, were squeezed inside Shabazz’s mechanic shop on his lot. UBAD was trying its best to complete a 20’ x 30’, one flat ferro-concrete building on its land. I remember mosquitoes used to kill our lady typesetters on Thursday nights, paper nights. I can see Gilda Samuels Leslie even now. Everything west of Collet Canal and north of Pound Yard/Cemetery Road was considered Lake Independence back then. The man Lester Smith, known by various nicknames, such as “Bailar”, “Experience,” “Kid,” “Sundance”, and whatever, was a muscular butcher in the old Central Market who was one of the first residents of Mayflower Street. To the best of my knowledge, it was he who organized the young men of this new Lake area into a senior football team which was called, of course, Lakers.

“But this I’ll say openly, that Hattie was the worst in our history”
Editor, Monday, October 31, marked 55 years since an event that changed the course of history in many ways of the then colony of British Honduras. The year was 1961; that event was a category five hurricane by the name of Hattie. Belize had been hit in 1931 by a strong hurricane and the number of lives lost was over 2,500. The loss was great because there was very little warning. The hurricane struck on September 10, a day when the “natives” were out commemorating the Battle of St. George’s Caye. The then governor of the colony refused to warn the citizens, since in his mind the common folks were relieving the stress of a very hard life in the colony. Six years before Hattie, Hurricane Janet did great damage to Corozal and Chetumal (Payo-Bispo). There was much more warning for Hattie, although many did not heed the warnings.

Suffering in silence doesn’t get you closer to heaven!
Dear Editor, It must have been around 1971 or so, that I found myself waiting around the Cement Masons Union Hall in Santa Cruz,California, waiting for my number to be called so I could put food on the table. Having recently received a Bachelor’s university degree, and with the voter registration wars in the deep south still fresh memories, I needed to make a living — plain and simple. Burned-out with academia and tired of sitting behind a desk, I enjoyed the immediate gratification at the end of the work day that comes from doing a measurable task (“product” not “process”) with a handful of other like-minded men, and surveying our accomplishment while having an ice-cold beer. Pouring concrete is hard work, but I always thought of it as “invigorating toil.” Sitting next to me at the Union Hall on another of the many folding chairs strewn around the place, was a grizzled older black man who, judging from his accent, was from somewhere in the South, Louisiana maybe, or Mississippi. We made small talk, and I happened to be riffing on how Santa Cruz sure was changing with the rapid growth of the university and influx of new people, whereas until quite recently it had been home to many generations of Italian fishermen.

Chriss Roggema writes Prime Minister Barrow
Dear Editor, Please publish this open letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow for me. Dear Mr. Prime Minister, I saw a video interview with you which made me feel very uncomfortable as a Caye Caulker resident, and that feeling won’t blow over as a lil’ breeze. Even if I am not a young man anymore, I feel I am obliged to participate in the democratic political process (even if I am not a lawyer) because of my four young sons who were born here on Caye Caulker, who love the sea and the reef and love to fish. Most fishermen might not dare to address you or maybe can’t find the words allowed for publication when they express their feelings concerning the fact that GOB still might consider oil exploration in the waters outside our coast, even close to the Blue Hole. Did our voices not reach your ears or your heart after the people’s “referendum” about oil exploration? Just because it was not arranged by the GOB? Since you say there is so little money to spend on the democratic process, maybe we should use that money on a referendum for more than only this question, at the same time.

2016 murder count already exceeds 2015’s
The Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs, George Lovell, has confirmed to Amandala the tragic news that the 2016 murder count has already exceeded the count for the year 2015. Last Tuesday, Lovell reported that 115 homicides had been reported for the year to date. During last week, there was one murder on San Pedro, pushing the number up to 116. Then over the weekend, four more murders were reported, pushing the number to 120. The year 2015 recorded 119 homicides, which represented a 2% decline from the 2014 figure. Lovell said that the state of crime is a matter of concern for the new minister of state with responsibility for police, Elodio Aragon, Jr. “Some time next week, we have intention to do some media rounds, to lay down what our new minister of state’s plans are to address some of the concerns that he has and the entire nation has as it relates to not just major crimes but in particular corruption,” Lovell told us.

The Reporter

RIP, Lucky Boy
The staff of the Belize Zoo is mourning the loss of their beloved black jaguar, Lucky Boy. One of the zoo’s most iconic animals, the staff had to euthanize him early this morning, because his deteriorated health made it inhumane to keep him alive. He […]

First-ever renewable energy fair being planned
Several regional and international organizations are coming together to hold Belize’s first renewable energy fair. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in partnership with the Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), are collaborating for the fair, which […]

Belize dodges $90 million bullet
The Supreme Court of Belize spared the country’s economy a US $90 million loss when it ruled in favor of the Government of Belize for nationalizing the International Merchant Marine Registry (IMMARBE) and the International Business Companies Registry (ICB). Justice Michele Arana ruled that the […]

Belizean students excel in 2016 CXC
Students from St. Johns College and SJ Junior College topped this year’s Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) for Belize. Rhiki Alegria,16, of SJC ranked as the country’s top scorer in CSEC, earning 16 grade one, one grade two and […]

House Speaker vs Auditor General court battle begins
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peyrefitte went to court this week, for case management in his civil suit against the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley. Attorney Marilyn Williams is representing Peyrefitte, while the office of the Attorney General, in accordance with the laws of […]

To pre-empt Cancer epidemic GOB plans vaccine for pre-teen girls
Female cervical cancer resulting from Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is on the rise, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend that countries with limited resources vaccinate all girls of 9-13 years of age against the virus. Acting on this advice, the Ministries of Health and Education and Youth […]

Man accused of raping woman
Dangriga police have arrested and charged Aldrick Alvarez, a 36-year-old resident of Silk Grass village, Stann Creek with ‘rape’ and ‘sexual assault’ following a report by a young woman that he forcibly had sexual intercourse with her. The 24 year-old woman, a resident of Hopkins […]

Minister’s daughter involved in highway accident
Stacey Martinez, the daughter of Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, was involved in a traffic accident on the George Price Highway on Wednesday evening. Martinez was not seriously injured, but the vehicles were so extensively damaged that it […]

What about the Prevention of Corruption Act?
By Alexis R. Milan Editor Next Wednesday Belize will officially sign on to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the world’s first legally binding international anti-corruption instrument. It is even being heralded by many as a great triumph for Belize’s democracy and the fight against corruption. Legal experts from […]

Political rivals mend fences following heated verbal dispute
Two political rivals, Douglas Grant, Jr., and Paul Ferguson, this week shook hands and settled their differences publicly after they were involved in a heated verbal dispute in front of the Sit and Sip nightclub sometime after 3:00 on Sunday morning. The incident could have […]

CARICOM holds regional consultation on Human Resource Development
Representatives from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) visited Belize this week to meet with various stakeholders to help draft a regional Human Resource Development action plan. CARICOM held the consultations at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, and met with entities such as the Ministry of Human Development, […]

Taiwan helps Belize citrus farmers fight Huanglongbing
Belizean citrus growers, Justino Chiac of Maya Mopan Village on the Southern Highway and Gilbert Galvez of Ringtail Village on the Hummingbird Highway, are learning to control the Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, known as citrus greening, which is so detrimental to citrus orchards, through the technical support of project funded by […]

PUP’s Dr. Mendez walks free of sexual assault charges
Some 21 months after he was charged with six counts of ‘aggravated assault of an indecent nature’ and ‘unlawful carnal knowledge’ upon two female minors, the People’s United Party’s (PUP) former Orange Walk East Area Representative, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, has been acquitted of the […]

Mentally ill man ran over by bus in Corozal
A 22 year-old mentally ill man was knocked down and killed by a Morales bus on Monday night in Corozal Town. According to reports, Javier Luis Chan was in the process of stealing a license plate off a parked vehicle when the alarm went off and […]

Editorial
The November rains have arrived and with them, the seasonal high tide. When this happens water from the sea pushes up in the river and into our canals, shutting down the drainage system. When the tide goes down the drainage system kicks in once more and surface water from the […]

Cops investigate cop for murder
Police are investigating one of their own in connection with the murder of Belize City resident, 25-year-old Jeon Peebles. Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told the media on Wednesday that the Department has one officer detained for questioning in relation to Peebles’ death. Williams […]

Cubs win! Belize celebrates
The Chicago Cubs baseball team, which has since the early 1980’s had some deeply rooted fans in Belize, closed a 108-year world series losing drought on Wednesday when it edged out the Cleveland Indians by a score of 8-7. The seventh and final game was […]

Shorter Christmas and Easter for students, MOE says
Students will have shorter Christmas and Easter vacations, to make up for the days lost due to recent strike action from the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) The Ministry of Education announced this week that it arrived at a formula for making up the lost […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

One year later- Greater days still ahead
Exactly one year ago, on November 4, 2015, the UDP was re-elected to office and Dean Barrow became Belize’s first Prime Minister to secure a third consecutive term. That in itself was a major accomplishment, for such a clear re-endorsement (19 out of 31 […]

Vega and Pitts given thirty days to repay
The government issued a press release this evening informing the public that as a result of the findings of the investigation into the matter concerning Sharon Pitts and Andre Vega, letters were sent to both persons on 31st October, 2016 demanding the repayment to […]

Belize- Mexico Identity theft scheme?
There seems to be another major scandal brewing in another government agency. There are allegations that a woman from Corozal applied for her birth certificate at the registry department in Belize City but was denied the document. According to the infuriated woman, her birth […]

Belama police station dilapidated
Residents in the Belama phase two area of Belize City have raised concerns to BBN over the lack of security they now feel in their community because of the condition of the police station in the area. According to them Precinct 4 of the […]

Flash flooding across highway in Central Farm
This evening heavy rains in Cayo district caused localized flooding in some areas. At the Baking Pot junction in Central Farm there was 6 to 8 inches of water across the George Price Highway about 4:30 pm slowing down traffic a bit. Drivers are […]

“ Yochi” focuses on endangered parrots in Belize
Robert Dugan, cinematographer, left, and Ilana Lapid, director, work on a scene from “Yochi,” in western Belize. (Courtesy Of Ilana Lapid) Albuquerque Journal “Yochi” a fascinating story filmed by a New Mexico State University professor, Ilana Lapid, will be featured on opening night film […]

Gary Sewell freed after fighting extradition to the U.S.
Gary Sewell is today a free man. Sewell had been fighting extradition since 2010. In October of 2014, Sewell, accused of drug trafficking lost his fight to avoid extradition to the U.S. state of Ohio. There he faces conspiracy and drug-related charges. Sewell is […]

Belize in the film festival spotlight
The Belize International Film Festival’s 11th edition will showcase a number of selections that address important societal themes. There are many countries being represented at the festival; however, there will be a feature of events and selections that put Belize in the spotlight. These […]

Lucky Boy, Famous Black Jaguar at the Belize Zoo passes away
The Belize Zoo has issued a statement announcing that Lucky Boy, the famous black jaguar has passed away. “The Belize Zoo sadly announces that our beloved black jaguar, Lucky Boy, has passed away. We struggled for over two weeks to provide care and medical […]

Belize to hold 1st B2B Waste to Energy and Renewable Energy Fair
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in partnership with the GIZ, the Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), is hosting Belize’s First B2B Waste to Energy and Renewable Energy Fair at the Belize Biltmore Plaza, in […]

Bert Vasquez trial starts December 9
Bert Vasquez became one of the most disliked personalities in recent Belizean history after he was charged in connection with the abduction and murder of Jasmine Lowe in 2012. However, he is facing more heat for another instance in which he allegedly abducted and […]

Moist weather is expected to prevail
The 24 hour forecast is for cloudy skies with a few showers and isolated thunderstorms. Showers or thunderstorms are expected across the country and will increase over the coast and the south tonight. The wind will blow from the northeast at 5 to 15 […]

Blogs

What are we Preserving?
If you have been following the news this has been a hot topic in many respects – environmentally, politically and personally. The Barrier Reef is extremely fragile and so many people agree seismic testing is risky business and would put the reef in danger. The process involves airguns to blast shock-waves to penetrate the sea bottom. This is not healthy for the marine ecosystem and can disrupt animal migration, communication and even cause deafness. More than half of Belize’s population 366,942 people, are supported through tourism and fishing related income. It is not worth jeopardizing our most precious natural resource which provides the country with long range economic development and a thriving tourist based industry. Last year (2015) Belize received 1.3 million travelers and overnight arrivals were up 6.2%. Southwest and COPA Airlines’ flights to Belize brought a 7% increase in airport arrivals. If we want to keep increasing our numbers, oil exploration and ultimately oil drilling in our jewel should not be done. The following article was a submission I wrote for for BTIA Destination Belize Magazine. It is geared towards first time travelers and a great reminder of all the wonderful things we stand to lose by allowing oil drilling. We need to give people who have not seen our precious jewel yet the opportunity to do so and for those that have the chance to keep on loving it.

8 Posts that Will Make You Want to Visit Ambergris Caye SOON
I started blogging in June of 2011! And during the last five PLUS years, I have just over 1500 posts – some that have been read tens of thousands of times (like those on how I moved here) and about my (very calculated) run-in with the TV Show “The Bachelor” and others that well…are best left to the deep black hole that is the internet. Here are eight posts that I hope inspire newbies to visit Ambergris Caye (and Belize) as well as perk up those living here as the high season is just on the horizon and cooler breezes start to blow in.

Belize Cruise: 7 Things You Wont Experience On One
Cruise tourism has been a trend for the last few decades, and certainly a growing one in Belize. We can see why; weeks on a big ship at sea with all the large hotel amenities floating along with you, it’s difficult not to be at the very least curious. There’s always something going on in the many lounges and theaters of these sea vessels which serves to say that the main attraction is the ship itself and not the many destinations at which it makes port. That said; you’re stopping in Belize, and for the time being Belize city‘s “Tourist Village” is the first thing you’ll get to see of land when you dock. Sure, they make inland tours available to you, as well as sea tours, however, there is still much you’re going to miss when stepping out of a crowded bus or packed up skiff. Here are just A Few of the things you’d miss if you’re on a Belize Cruise: 1. An Authentic Belizean “Hello.“ 2. The most adventurous moments. 3. Souvenirs with personality. 4. Pristine Belizean landscapes. 5. Cuisine prepared with love. 6. Charming Belizean communities. 7. A sense of belonging.

Game day TV blackout got real on Ambergris Caye during Game 7 of the World Series
The national baseball team of the country of Belize is the Chicago Cubs. This is no bandwagon country. Belize has been Cubs Country since the 1980’s when cable television was first introduced here. The story, which is solidly embraced by everyone, is that the first channel to be re-broadcast here was WGN, home of the Cubs and I believe, the Chicago Bulls, also a local fan favorite. For years, these were the only professional sports teams available to the country, which gained its independence from England in 1983 and still carries the image of the queen on its paper money. The Cubs gained a real foothold in the imagination of Belizeans. It was underdogs rooting for underdogs. Pirating a broadcast signal in those days apparently wasn’t as easy to do as it is today. That’s right. This is still pirate country. One of the unshakable beliefs of Belize is that the country’s one cable content distributor steals his channels from the US. This would explain why our PBS channel comes from Detroit while our network channels rotate periodically between Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City. (Currently they are from New York and we love the ads for Broadway shows.)

Little Kitchen Dogs
These are the two fuzzy dogs who live behind Little Kitchen restaurant. Normally they intimidate me a bit but this evening they were very mellow and even sleeping until I went all paparazzi on them. The darkness and flash make them look a bit spooky.

Island Beach Wedding at Las Terrazas, Belize
Ambr & Jason decided to tie the knot in beautiful Belize and they choose as their destination one of the best resorts from entire country, Las Terrazas Beach Resort, North Ambergris Caye, Belize. Their day was filled with laughter, family love and emotions. I consider myself blessed and I am grateful for being able to capture this special day. Ambergris Caye is fantastic and Las Terrazas, simply amazing!

The Soundtrack of Life
Perhaps the most beautiful demonstration of this statement can be found in the music of his people, the Garinagu, one of the many cultures that make up the melting pot that is Belize. Product of the indigenous Arawaks of South America and shipwreck prisoners destined for slavery, the Garinagu claim St. Vincent as their homeland. Forceful exodus from the Caribbean lead to Central American settlements in Honduras, Guatemala and Belize.. Throughout migratory pathways, the Garinagu have continued to use music in daily life and work to retell their story from elder to younger generation, to diminish the boredom of everyday chores, to accompany sacred rituals that maintain intergenerational bonds and to recreate a sense of shared identity despite borders. The main instrument used in Garifuna music that requires musical accompaniment is the drum. Traditionally these drums were made from a hollowed out trunk of hardwood, covered with animal skin usually a deer, peccary or sheep which was stretched over the trunk and tightened with rope and wooden pegs and they were always played solely with the hands. Today the design is very much the same, although the hollowing out is normally done with a machine rather than by hand. In the majority of everyday secular music, two drums are involved. The main and largest drum provides the bass and is known as the Segundo. Its namesake drummer provides the regular beat. The Primero drum is usually smaller and its player uses a more complicated pattern of beats and is considered the more skilled musician. In Garifuna rituals a third larger drum is used with the central instrument, the Lanigi Garawoun (the heart drum) providing the lead for the other two drummers.

El Lechero
It’s called the “Lechero” (español for Milk Run) but could just as easily be known as “The Supply Run” or “The Grocery Run.” If you’re looking out the window of one of our Cessna Caravans, you might call it the “Victoria Peak” or “Barrier Reef Run” or if you are visiting Belize, maybe just “part of my vacation”. In aviation, the term milk run refers to a scheduled flight with many stops. In shipping or logistics, a milk run refers to a round trip that facilitates both distribution and collection, similar to the way a milkman used to deliver and pick up around the neighborhoods of old. It also refers to the dairy industry practice of picking up from different suppliers – when one truck collects milk from several farmers for delivery to a central location. For our flights, all these definitions seem to fit, and so the nickname has stuck.

International Sourcesizz

Ancient Maya king had a luxury pleasure palace outside the city he ruled
“Lying in a hammock in your courtyard on a mountaintop, being fanned by servants, perhaps is more pleasant at certain times of year than life in your (city) palace,” says Susan Toby Evans of Pennsylvania State University, who wasn’t involved in the discovery. But the site, known as Bejucal, was not always about relaxation. Long before it was a place to get away from it all, it was a sacred center dotted with temples, the researchers report in the Journal of Field Archaeology. At one temple, a sacrificed baby was buried, a Maya ritual for consecrating a holy space, says Thomas Garrison of the University of Southern California, who led the Bejucal excavations. Over centuries, a grand palace complex took shape atop the temples. In the end, Bejucal included two courtyards, each bordered by a pyramid and residential rooms. The ruins of one palace held bits of ceramic painted with colorful designs associated with royalty, objects fit for a king’s household.

Country of Belize invites Cubs' David Ross on free vacation
To celebrate the historic World Series win, the nation of Belize—the biggest Cubs fanbase outside the Windy City—just offered David Ross an all-expenses-paid vacation. The country extended the invite through a Belizean version video of “Go Cubs Go.” After 15 seasons, and admitting “he’s totally exhausted” after Game 7, Ross deserves a little relaxtion and the Belize Tourism Board wants to help. Belize has a long history of cheering for the Cubs. Since 1981, it’s been known to be the most Cubs-friendly place outside Chicago due to WGN being one of the only channels available in the country. You can read more about Belize’s history of Cubs fandom here. While Chicagoans dyed their river blue to celebrate, Belizeans are sharing the excitement by the pristine blue ocean.

Grolier Codex ruled genuine: what the oldest manuscript to survive Spanish conquest reveals
The Maya were, at their height, one of the world’s great civilisations. In the “classic” period, from AD 250–900, Maya cities with monumental architecture and huge populations spread across a large area through what is now Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and western Honduras. Extensive trade networks connected the Maya to the rest of Mesoamerica, producing the dynamic landscapes and bustling ports reported in early Spanish accounts. Much of what we know of the Maya comes from codices – screenfold books made of paper from the bark of a fig tree. Pages were coated in a white stucco wash and then painted by scribes with text, which was often accompanied by images. The Spanish in the 16th century reported a flourishing manuscript tradition comprising histories, prophecies, songs, genealogies and detailed information on the movements of the heavenly bodies. Of the thousands of books produced throughout the Mayas’ long history, however, only three Maya codices were known to have survived, all written in the “postclassic” period after AD 900 and brought to Europe sometime after the conquest. They are named after the cities where they were archived: Dresden, Madrid, and Paris. Now, after years of debate over its authenticity, we can add a fourth manuscript – the Grolier Codex.

Some regional central bank banks turn to SWIFT to combat de-risking threat
Eight regional central banks have signed up to adopt the sanctions screening service and Know Your Customer (KYC) Registry provided by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) in an effort to combat the threat posed to the region by de-risking measures imposed in correspondent banking relationships. The trend of de-risking – the decision taken by international banks partially or fully to exit certain jurisdictions, product domains and currencies by exiting their foreign correspondent banking relationships – has been pervasive in the Caribbean and Latin America. By taking up SWIFT's financial crime compliance services, the central banks of Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti and Paraguay, hope to enhance transparency and build greater trust with the international financial community, mitigating the threat of being disconnected by their foreign counterparts. In addition to adopting the KYC Registry themselves, some of the central banks have also endorsed the uptake of the services across their entire jurisdictions, doubling the number of regional institutions adopting SWIFT’s financial crime compliance tools over the past 12 months.

Videos

  • The Belize Defence Force, 1min. Be Proud. Be Belizean.

  • Kanantik Resort, 1.5min.

  • Belize dive, 3min. Lighthouse reef

  • NORWEGIAN GETAWAY - DAY 4, 7min. Zip lining through the rain forest and cave tubing brings out our inner Steve Irwin in Belize.

  • INSANE FISHING IN BELIZE, 11min.

  • Sun setting in Belize, 1/2min. Time lapse video of sun setting over Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • Big Signs along shore in PG, 5min.

  • My Trip to Belize! Part 1, 27min. Watch me discover an amazing culture in a foreign country!

  • My Trip to Belize! Part 2, 22min.

  • Belize 2015 VIU, 4.5min. Some video taking by LG on the 2015 Belize field school, organized by Professional Baking and Pastry Arts program at Vancouver Island University.

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