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#518923 - 11/12/16 12:29 PM Today's Belize News: November 12, 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

Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport inaugurated
The official ceremony was attended by the Late Sir Barry Bowen’s widow Lady Dixie Bowen and family, Minister Heredia and his wife, Mayor Daniel Guerrero of San Pedro Town, Tropic Air President John Greif and family, board of directors and staff of BAA, Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Edmond Castro, partners in the aviation sector, representatives of the Jesuit Society of Belize, the Belize Police Department, elected officials, the media, and many other invited guests. After a brief introduction by Master of Ceremonies Dale McDougall, the National Anthem was performed instrumentally by Carlos Perrote, followed by Arthur Hoy of Caribbe Air offering the benediction. Severo Guerrero Jr., Chair of the BAA Board of Directors, established protocol and gave the welcome address. “The previous airport served its function, but it had many inconsistencies. One of those problems came with high tides and limited parking. The Belize Municipal Airport was not adequate to sustain the continuous development of the country. It served its purpose, but now has received a major upgrade,” said Guerrero.

San Pedro Police Formation and Eastern Division Command holds meet and greet initiative
In an attempt to strengthen the relationship between the community and the police, a large contingent of police officers from Belize City, Caye Caulker and San Pedro Town held a meet and greet session in San Pedro Town. The activity took place on Wednesday, November 9th in the key areas San Mateo and San Pedrito, where officers interacted with residents. Nearly 40 police officers spread out through the said subdivisions from 10AM to 3PM speaking to hundreds of residents who expressed their discomforts following the recent murders, especially in the San Mateo Area. According to Officer Commanding of Eastern Division North, Dezerie Phillips the reason for the meet and greet was to find out how residents are living in the areas considered ‘hot zones,’ and how the police can assist. “We are sending officers to visit as many households to get valuable information from the different people living those areas,” said Phillips. “We want to know if they feel safe, and if they are satisfied with the work the police are currently doing. At the same time we want them to know that we are here for them.”

Mayor imposes new ban on two-story over the water buildings
Mayor Daniel Guerrero has disclosed the implementation of a new building policy that bans the construction of over the water two-story buildings. The specifications of this policy state that no new two-story buildings can be erected on docks, and all existing second story buildings will not receive approval to rebuild should they be impacted by a natural disaster in the future. According to Mayor Guerrero, two story buildings, as well as numerous docks take away from the charm of the island. “For one, the impact of these structures goes directly on the ground. Two, it takes away from the view. If people are putting big buildings side by side, it is taking away the view of the reef. Plus, these buildings send a negative message, where if one starts to build two-stories, the other will want to follow the trend. I also want to remove some of the existing docks and piers on the beachfront. I believe the excessive amount of docks and piers are negatively impacting the environment by inducing erosion, and pollution,” explained Mayor Guerrero. Mayor Guerrero stated that his new policy came after complaints were received regarding two-story buildings over the water. One such example is the current rebuilding of The Palapa Bar, after it was destroyed by Hurricane Earl in August.

Saga’s Trap, Neuter and Return program returns to reduce stray cat population
In an effort to address the overpopulation of feral cats on Ambergris Caye, Saga Humane Society hosts the ‘Trap, Neuter and Return’ (TNR) program every year. TNR is widely recognized as the most humane and effective strategy for reducing wild cat populations. The process requires to set out traps either during the day or night until cats are trapped, and then transport to the veterinary clinic to be spayed/neutered. Once the cats go through the surgical procedure, they are released back into the community. Lima stated that in 2015 Saga caught 115 cats through the TNR program, and remains committed to reducing the overpopulation of domesticated animals on the island. Traps will be set out in different subdivisions this week to start spaying/neutering.

ACBA ensuring that new buildings are in compliance
The demolition and re-construction of a commercial building near the Boca del Rio Park has raised concerns regarding possible irregularities. The size of the building being erected has residents wondering if the project is following proper building regulations, as it appears to be right on the edge of the street. Furthermore, the improper disposal of construction waste has raised such concern. In April of this year, the Ambergris Caye Building Authority (ACBA) introduced strict construction regulations and demanded that any new commercial buildings must allocate parking areas. According to Fidel Ancona, in charge of the ACBA, the building regulations demand that any construction leave a space of five feet on two sides of a structure, with a minimum of ten feet at the back and eight feet for parking in the front.

Ambergris Today

Minister of Defence Resumes Countrywide Tour of BDF Installations
Minister of Defence Hon John Saldivar this week has resumed his countrywide tour of Belize Defence Force (BDF) installations. Accompanied by Deputy BDF Commander Colonel Steven Ortega and key personnel from the Ministry of Defence, Hon. Saldivar toured BDF bases in Corozal and Orange Walk. In Corozal, those included, Consejo, Free Zone Area, 4 Miles Lagoon, Patchakan, San Victor and Eyles Camp; and in Orange Walk, Douglas, San Roman, Campechito, Santa Cruz and Blue Creek. The Minister began his nationwide tour back in early September, before the National Celebrations, when he visited BDF Headquarters at Price Barracks, the Air Wing at Phillip Goldson International Airport, and Militia Hall in Belize City. The next leg of his tour will take him to installations in the Cayo District. The purpose of the Minister’s tour is to assess the state of readiness and the level of efficiency of the force in executing its various functions.

Belize Properties Receive Awards of Excellence
Ambergris Today congratulates three gorgeous Belizean properties that have been acknowledged by Conde Nast Johansens Awards of Excellence 2017. The Phoenix Resort, Victoria House from Ambergris Caye and Belcampo Lodge Belize from Toledo winners in the Central & South America Category. Best Service - The Phoenix Resort, Ambergris Caye. Best Green Hotel - Belcampo Lodge Belize, Toledo. Best for Weddings, Parties or Special Events - Victoria House, Ambergris Caye. The awards have been created by Conde Nast to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across our recommended properties. The world-renowned Awards for Excellence are a trusted mark of quality recognized by consumers and travel professionals alike. (Viewership votes helped determine the winners.)

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

First consultation on regional model guidelines for sexual offence cases
The JURIST project in collaboration with the Judiciary of Belize today hosted stakeholders in family violence and human development to a national consultation intended as a contribution to a regional model guideline for sexual assault cases. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, opening the meeting at the Radisson Hotel, encouraged participants to bring all of their knowledge and experience to the event. He noted that there still exists a backlog of cases in Belize, especially in the Supreme Court's Southern Division, that has resulted in years of waiting for victims to tell their story. Newly introduced criminal procedure rules are aimed to shorten that timeline. Other reform measures are being considered, including changes in legislation, but all of it is nothing without an "attitudinal change," he said. Consultant and attorney Diana Shaw told reporters that in addition to fairly telling stories of sex victims, media houses should do their best to present a full picture of the situation, including encouraging victims to make formal reports to the authorities in a timely manner.

The official opening of the Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, in collaboration with the Belize Airports Authority (BAA), is pleased to announce the inauguration of the Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport, formerly the Belize City Municipal Airstrip.

2016 Rainfall Statistics
Belize, or in this case Belmopan, has a general pattern. A Wet season starting in the last week of May or early June, tailing off by November, with the Dry season from around February to May. Yet every year is different. Statistics can play tricks, look at this year, mathematically, that is the statistical average for August was by far the wettest month. Yet, in practice, we had a surprisingly long dry period in August. So statistics can play tricks. Some people play with us with statistics, to try to prove their point of view, such as the Climate people. In the below graph, the actual, factual daily RAIN is shown by the blue vertical lines. Even those can play tricks, because I record from about midnight, through the full 24 hours to the next midnight, yet some rains run over the midnight period, so sometimes total a lot, but if shown over 2 days, may look smaller than what we experience.

Veterans Day Ceremony
Members of the U.S. Military, Belize Defence Force, and British Army Training Support Unit-Belize (BATSUB) stationed in Belize participated in a Wreath Laying Ceremony to commemorate Remembrance Day in Belize and Veterans Day in the United States today. Wreaths were laid by all three militaries represented and honor fallen soldiers and all who put themselves in harm's way in defending freedom of each of the respective nations.

Belize Fishing Report Oct 30th - Nov 5th, 2016
Some of the fall Orvis bonefish Bonanza arrived early to get a head start on the rest of the group, only about 4-5 boats went out each day, so pretty quiet week overall! Returning guest (and friend) Frank got his dream permit this week after several encounters with less than enthusiastic fish. A nice 10 pounder that got Frank’s adrenaline flowing. This was his first permit of his fly-fishing life ~ but surely not his last. Tom and Pam have visited us for many years; and this week Tom celebrated another permit to the delight of Pam and all of the staff here.

Please join UB students in our Anti-Street Harassment campaign
We encourage all to make your own shirts and wear them to your school or job and join us for the road march. See details on the flyer and message me if you have any questions. I'll also be on Open Your Eyes this coming Tuesday, 16 Nov around 7:30am (last segment) to discuss this campaign and other UB activities for the 16 Days of Activities Against Gender Based Violence.

Re-organizing of the Watershed Alliance
Belizean Community Leaders located along the Mopan and Macal Rivers met today to discuss the re-organizing of the Watershed Alliance. The next session will bring both the leaders from Belize and Guatemala to review the binational watershed protection effort.

Food & Fete 2016!
To wrap up the night from our live feed, here's some photos of tonight's event! Enjoy Foodies!

Grading in the Mountain Pine Ridge
Much-needed Relief!! Just be cautious when driving in the area. *if only we could get him to grade between San Antonio and the junction.

Channel 7

Late Evening Shooting Ends In Tragedy
There was a shooting just before 5 o'clock this evening in Belize City, which has hospitalized an adult and a minor in who are cousins. It happened on Daily Street when the two were reportedly heading to the shop to purchase some items. They were on bike, and as they rode by they were gunned down by still unknown assailants. Our news team was on the scene shortly after the incident, and that's where we managed to get an interview with Assistant Superintendent Alejandro Cowo, the Officer Commanding Eastern Division's Criminal Investigation Branch. He shared what information he was able to with us: Reporter: "Can you begin by sharing with us some details with regards to the alleged shooting incident that happened here on Daly Street?" ASP Alejandro Cowo, Officer Commanding CIB: "Sometime after 4:30pm, CIB personnel received information of shots fired on Daly Street. So they proceeded to the KHMH where they observed 2 persons suffering with apparent gunshot wounds; an adult and a minor. Present at the scene here we found 6 expended shells and a vehicle that was parked on the road was also damaged."

BNTU Sends Lawyer Letter To Hon. Faber
On Tuesday,, we told you how the Ministry will extend the school year by cutting into holiday days. That's because the Minister of Education, and the BNTU are unable to even sit down and talk to each other about other possible chances to make up the time lost during the 11-day strike. The Ministry has said that the pay cut is coming at the end of the Month, but the BNTU is trying to get him to pump the brakes on that course of action. They have hired attorney Eamon Courtenay, who wrote a letter to the Minister dated Wednesday, November 9. It reads, quote, "…The Government announced that it will be withholding from its November contributions the amounts corresponding to the salaries for the days when teachers were on strike in October. Therefore, the Government intends that the deductions from teachers' salary will be made at the end of November 2016. We are of the view that the decisions taken by the Government are… unlawful, and unconstitutional, as they contravene the Education and Training Act, the Education Rules and sections 3b and 13 (1) of the Belize Constitution." End quote.

What's Up With the 3rd Superbond Restructuring
Prime Minister Dean Barrow returns to the country tomorrow after making a trip for official business. Big business, actually - try the half a billion dollar super bond 3.0. He's trying to get it re-finances so that government does;t have to make crippling bullet payments next year. But all we've seen so far is a press release, and today we asked Minister Elrington what he knew about Superbond 3.0. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "I imagine he is seeking to negotiate terms to make it more favorable for us to discharge our obligations under the contract. It's exceedingly important when one has loans for want to be very careful not to give the impression that one does not want to repay it in accordance with the terms and conditions under which it was granted. Tradition has been for lenders to be reluctant to renegotiate loans. But Prime Minister is prudent and personal. He is doing all in his power to what extent we can in fact reduce the lenders to agree to have a renegotiation of the payment plan."

Hon. Heredia Has High Hope For Superbond 3.0 Restructuring
We also got a chance to catch up with Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr., and we asked him about what he knew of these renegotiation efforts. He couldn't say much, but he told us that he strongly believes that the Prime Minister will be successful: Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "Did the cabinet have any kind of input on the Prime Minister's decision to go to New York to renegotiate the super bond to reshape it into 3.0?" Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism: "Well all I can tell you is that the Prime Minister is abroad trying to negotiate for the best intention of Belize. The details of that will be revealed probably Tuesday, but I am sure that every time our Prime Minister tries to accomplish something he succeeds. This time I believe that whatever the details will be Tuesday, it will be good news for Belize and for everyone."

Handling Sex Crimes Better In the Court
At the end of June, we told you about the JURIST project which the Heads of Judiciaries all across the CARICOM Member States have been participating in. They are trying to draw on the collective wisdom of all officers of the court from these countries, to come up with a regional approach on what works, and what needs fixing. They've been quietly working for during that time to address different areas, and today, they engaged in dialog about all that goes wrong when the court tries to administer justice when dealing with sex crimes. Today, the stakeholders sat down to figure out how to better address sexual offences, in a society where such crimes are on the rise. Here's what the Chief justice had to say: Dr. Penny Reedie, Director. JURIST Project: "The Jurist Project is funded under a 19 million Canadian dollar arrangement with what we now call 'Global Affairs Canada' which was the former foreign affairs and international trade department. The project, as was said, is being executed by the Caribbean Court of Justice on behalf of the conference of head of judiciary of CARICOM. The jurist project has been working with judiciaries in the Caribbean to support their respective efforts to improve court administration and strengthen the ability of the courts and the judiciary to solve cases efficiently and fairly."

The Sir Barry Bowen Airport
17 million dollars, that how much the Government spent to renovate the Belize City Municipal Airport over the past few months, and if you're wondering who paid for it, you can breathe easier. None of that money came out of the public purse. It was raised by the two airline companies who operate out of that airport, namely Tropic Air, and Maya Island Air. Today, after all the bells and whistles were installed, and all the ribbons were tied, they invited the press in for an unveiling event. The airport now has a new name; it now called the Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport, named after the prominent Belizean multi-millionaire who was known for his love of flying. Our news team was there for the ceremony, and here's what the Tourism Minister had to say about the upgrades:

Foreign Minister Doubtful Of Sarstoon Protocol
Earlier this month BDF Commander Brigadier General David Jones expressed how optimistic he is about the swift implementation of the Sarstoon protocol. Jones had told us that the BDF are in constant contact with the Commander of the Guatemalan armed forces and that they plan on reaching an agreement as early as next month. Well, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington doesn't seem to share that same optimism. He told us that the fatal shooting of the 13 year old Guatemalan boy really fractured the already volatile relationship between Belize and Guatemala. Elrington says, since that incident, Guatemala has been giving us the cold shoulder and that has stagnated the Sarstoon protocol process. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "We are not any further than we were the last time we discussed this matter. It is necessary for the Guatemalans to in fact agree to sit with us and to negotiate it. They were very upset about the last incident on the border with the youth who died and in consequence of that, they have really backed off - gone quite. I have tried to engage the foreign minister, but he is not dispose to sit with us yet and neither is he dispose to cause his technical people to sit with our technical people to work. And so we haven't made any head way on that front."

Hon. Elrington: OAS Adjacency Zone Operating On Skeleton Staff
And amidst all this tension, the only place that you could seem to find a sense of harmony between Belize and Guatemala is at the OAS Adjacency Zone. But as we have reported, they have run into some financial hard times and are struggling to remain open. In fact, a few of the cultural programs have been scrapped because the office simply can't afford it. But Minister Elrington told us that they are finding a way to get by: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "That office is not funded through the regular funds that are utilized by the OAS. It's supported by special funds. Funds which have been donated over the years by the group of friends. A major donor has been the European Union. We do have official word from the European Union that they would be shortly transmitting funds to the OAS - bridging funds to make up for the shortfall and that they fully intend to allocate funds for next year as well. But they are still going through the process. In consequence of the shortfall in the funding, I know that some of the programs has been discontinued. And I think we probably have mostly a skeleton staff who are there and that is what the situation is as far as I am aware up to this point in time."

Belize Contemplating Referendum Law Changes
So at this point, while things might look unfavourable for Belize / Guatemala relations, Belize is at least trying to do its part as it relates to the Referendum Act and the Maritime areas Act. Minister Elrington told us that there will be some adjustments to these acts. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "The contemplation is that we would now introduce into our national assembly proposals, legislation to amend both the referendum act and the maritime areas act. We had passed amendment to the maritime areas act to facilitate negotiations at that time way back in 1992 and we have been advised by our legal advisors that it would be prudent for us to seek to amend that act. So we are looking into it. It's not a done deal yet, but we are looking into it. The matter would have to be discussed thoroughly by cabinet and we will determine how we will move forward with respect to that. And then of course under the terms now of the referendum act, we will have to get 60% of the voters to support the measure to go or not to go. We want to bring it to the regular 50% plus 1%, so that it's just like a general election, first pass the post will be the winning verdict. So if we get 50% plus 1% of the voters then we will be able to go."

Hon. Heredia Wants Off-Shore Oil Drilling Referendum
So, while that referendum is a ways off, one man who is hoping that an off-shore oil drilling referendum may be a bit closer is Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. As viewers will remember, the Government announced on Tuesday that those controversial seismic surveys, which they had to cancel when they came under pressure, are now canceled indefinitely. That was a decision from Cabinet on that day, and today, when we spoke to Heredia, he explained why the surveys went from being put on ice, to being thrown in the trash. Here's that conversation: Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism: "There was a lack of consultation. I must admit that there was not proper consulting and based on that, and based on what happened in San Pedro a few weeks ago with people crying that they do not want the seismic test to be done and they do not believe in off-shore drilling, which I believe at this point I can say there is nothing about off-shore drilling in the minds of our government and in the minds of cabinet. Nothing has been discussed about the possibility of anybody getting a PSA for any particular thing. I think it was announced after that meeting in San Pedro that yes we will call it off and the company that was doing that test."

UNFPA, Youths & The Future
The future of Belizean youth depends on our 10 year old girls: That's a lot of responsibility to put on a child, but the United Nations Population Fund says that they along with their partners will help and guide these girls through the many obstacles that are ahead. And the UNFPA's State of the World Population Report outlines those specific challenges. At the launch of the report, Liason Officer for UNFPA Tisa Grant told us more about why it is important to invest in these young girls. UNFPA hopes that this report can be turned into policy and used to implement practical solutions and projects to help these girls.

A New Office In Casa De Fiori
The new office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was officially inaugurated today. The lavish $3 million building is located at #10 St. Mark's Street not far from the Municipal airstrip. It is a major upgrade compared to the office space they shared with NEMO in Belmopan. Today at a short ceremony, Minister Elrington told us they have been long awaiting an office of their own. He also expressed how important this building will be in the Ministry's operations. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is perhaps the most important ministry in the country in terms of the safety and security of our country, because to a very large extent the frontline force for dealing with security matters internationally is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You have to talk, you have to settle matters peacefully and by discussion and agreement in writing and in the 35 years of our independence, we have not have a building dedicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The building which we use in Belmopan now we are borrowing it from NEMO ministry and the most deplorable aspect of it is that Taiwanese have been giving us monies for years for the purposes of strengthening our ministry of foreign affairs and the money was not in fact used to build a building. So we were very happy to take this opportunity to in fact utilize the funds that they have been making available for years."

Taiwanese Ambassador Ho Leaving
Like many other projects, the Ministry's new office was funded by the ever generous Taiwanese Government. And of course, Ambassador Benjamin Ho was celebrating with Minister Elrington. But this will be the last time we see Ambassador Ho at these events, that's because he is retiring after 35 years of service. But don't be alarmed! We will still enjoy the favourable relations with Taiwan. Ambassador Ho told us more about his future plans and assured us that the very amicable relationship between Belize and Taiwan will surely continue without him. Ambassador Ho leaves the country on Sunday. The new Ambassador will start working next week Wednesday.

Why Veterans Should Be Remembered
If you haven't bought a poppy today you should try and get one tomorrow, because that money goes a long way for those war veterans. National Rep. For the Ex-servicemens league told us why it is important to honor and donate to these veterans who served in World War 1 and 2. Today was also celebrated as a Remembrance Day for those war vets from Belize. There are 15 war veterans still living in the country. But 9 are in desperate need of help. If you want to give back you can buy a poppy or you can contribute to the ex-service man's league office in the city.

The Ringing Of the Salvation Army Kettle Bells
The ringing of the the Salvation Army kettle bells have become sort of the signal that the Christmas season is here. Every year, red kettles appear all over the city while volunteers ask passerbys for a small donations. The proceeds are used to make sure that less fortunate children can enjoy their Christmas too. Today was the launch of this year's annual kettle drive and Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley, told us how significant the drive is for raising the spirits of the city's residents.. This year, the Salvation Army joined with Scotia Bank to make the kettle drive possible. We spoke with Major Joliker Leandre, the Regional Commander of the Salvation Army and Michael Shaw, Scotia Bank Belize's Managing Director about the even and their new partnership.. The kettle bells will be out in the city throughout the Christmas season.

BIFF's Red Carpet Opening
The Belize Film Festival had its official red carpet launch last night. Today, the public was invited to come into the Bliss Centre and engage with the participating filmmakers. NICH's Holly Edgell told us more about the event, and what the festival is doing for Belize's growing film community. We also got the opportunity to speak with one of the festival's jurors, as well as two filmmakers, one of whom is Belize's very own, Wil Maheia... The festival's feature films and documentaries will be playing all through this weekend, and up and coming filmmakers can look forward to panel discussions with the experts as the event progresses.

Channel 5

Minor Killed; Adult Male Severely Hurt in “Drive-by” Shooting
A minor is dead following a shooting incident on Daly Street this evening. The minor was accompanied by an adult who remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.  Sometime [...]

B.N.T.U. Offers Last Chance to Government to Stop Deductions Before Court Action
Belize National Teachers Union has been silent in the past few days. That is because we have learned that the union has decided to challenge the government in respect of [...]

Crooked Tree Mom Dies Suddenly in Hospital; Family Demands Answers
A family from Crooked Tree, Belize District is mourning the unexplained death of one of their own. Thirty year old Deonnie Robinson, a mother of three children, was admitted to [...]

Family Asks for Closure with Delayed Post-Mortem Examination
It’s been almost two weeks since Robinson died and a postmortem is yet to be performed to determine the cause of death. Her body remains in the morgue and Crawford [...]

Tourism Minister Says Prime Minister Will Get “Best Deal” for Belize
Belize awaits the return of Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Saturday from New York City, where he urged bondholders tied to the 2038 Bond or “Superbond Three point O” to [...]

Foreign Affairs Minister Expresses Support for Superbond Renegotiation
Both Heredia and Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington concede that the issue of the Super Bond restructuring did not come up during the last meeting of the Cabinet.  While Elrington admits [...]

Harvest Caye Opens Next Week; Will Opponents Relent?
After extensive debate and more than a few hurt feelings, Norwegian Cruise Line is finally ready to get its cruise port at Harvest Caye in the Stann Creek District off [...]

Tourism Minister Issues Fresh Apology for Seismic Testing Debacle
The Government has completely backtracked, for now at least, on the issue of seismic testing, cancelling the visit of one ship scheduled to do testing but allowing another that will [...]

Sexual Assault Under the Microscope; Courts Consult on Regional Guidelines
Sexual assault is a continuing terror to our societies. Unlike murder which is final for the victim if not for those left behind, and robbery, burglary and theft which assault [...]

Chief Justice Laments Delay in Tackling Sexual Assault Cases
During today’s Jurist Project meeting in Belize City, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin acknowledged a severe backlog in criminal cases and especially sexual assault cases in certain parts of the country. [...]

What Will It Take to Implement Sex Offenders’ Registry?
Another aspect of criminal justice as it relates to sexual assault cases is the continued care to ensure that not only victims, but all of society are aware of the [...]

“Sedi” Elrington Still Waiting for Guatemala to Agree on Sarstoon Protocol
The Sarstoon Protocol; it’s been several months since the governments of Belize and Guatemala discussed formalizing a proposed set of guidelines that would govern access to the southernmost reach of [...]

Sir Barry Bowen’s Name Now on Belize City Municipal Airport
He was lost in a plane crash above the San Pedro Airport in February of 2010. But Sir Barry Bowen probably wouldn’t have minded, considering that he regularly made flights [...]

The Green Tech Boot Camp Begins
Green Tech Belize a fifty-four hour intense boot camp geared at fostering entrepreneurship through the use of green technology was officially launched today. Belize Training and Employment Center and the [...]

The World’s Population and Gender Equality Discussed in Report
According to the UNFPA, what the world looks like in fifteen years will depend on what we do today to help a ten-year-old girl realize her potential. In its 2016 [...]

CitCo Addresses Development of Fort George Tourism Zone
On Thursday evening, a consultation was held at the Memorial Park in Belize City on the proposed development of the Fort George Tourism Zone. The master plan looks at specific [...]

Christmas Bells Are Ringing for Salvation Army Kettle Appeal
The Kettle Appeal by the Salvation Army is a given at this time of the year. Every year the Salvation Army pulls out the red pot indicating that generosity is [...]

LOVE FM

Heredia Says PM Will Succeed with Bondholders
The Prime Minister is expected to be back in the country tomorrow after meeting with the Government’s legal advisors in New York City. Earlier in the week, the Government announced that it intends to hold discussions with bondholders regarding the serious economic and financial challenges currently facing the country. According to the Government, the Prime […]

Tourism Minister Says Seismic Activity Lacked Consultations
Earlier this week the Government announced that it has indefinitely cancelled the regional offshore seismic survey. Cabinet has originally given the green light for the survey but later reversed its decision after public outcry, especially from the environmental community. According to Cabinet Minister, Manuel Heredia Jr., the reason GOB decided to cancel the survey was […]


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#518924 - 11/12/16 12:30 PM Re: Today's Belize News: November 12, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Guardian

Holidays shortened for students because of strike
Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber announced on Tuesday November 8 that his ministry will be amending the school year’s calendar in order for students to receive the number of contact hours as prescribed by law. Minister Faber explained that after consultation with the pre-primary, primary and secondary schools a decision was taken to add 6 days to the school days. Minister Faber and members of his ministry had first met with the pre-primary and primary school managers last week and on Tuesday they met with representatives of 42 of the 56 secondary school administrators. In that meeting a vote was taken to add the 6 school days for which 40 administrators agreed to add the days while 1 voted against and another abstained. The days to be added will be the 3rd to the 6th of January 2017 and the 10th and 11th of April. The January sessions would have ordinarily started on January 9th the change will see 4 days taken from school holiday to compensate for the strike. The other two days will come at the beginning of the Easter holidays.

Auditor General publicly apologizes to House Speaker
The work of the Special Select Committee that will investigate the irregularities at the Immigration and Nationality department held its first public meeting on Wednesday November 9. After the Committee’s chairman read out the terms of reference for the body, he called the first witness, the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley. Her first order of business was to apologize to the Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte. In a prepared statement, Bradley explained that while during her work she found irregularities some of which included persons who signed as recommenders for passports when they were not authorized to do so. In doing so, the report stated that Hon. Michael Peyrefitte was one of those who was not authorized to do as he was not an elected member of the House of Representatives. She would admit later however that the Constitution of Belize allows or him to be a member of the House of Representatives by virtue of him being the Speaker of the House.

Micah Goodin slapped around at PUP headquarters
On Saturday last the PUP held it’s BYM election in Belize City at it’s PUP Headquarters on Queen street. And as expected there was carnage, like at any other PUP event. This time the carnage was provided by Kareem Adle Sr and Micah Gooding. According to the reports we received Adle’ s son was running to become Vice President of the BYM while Micah was supporting the slate that opposed Adle’s son, Karim Adle Jr. Micah as we have become to know him is a very antagonistic NUGGET. We don’t know if what occurred on Saturday had anything to do with Micah’s behavior, perhaps it did or perhaps it did not. Micah was allegedly accosted and assaulted on the steps of the PUP Headquarters. The following is what Micah reported that whilst taking a delegate upstairs of the PUP headquarters on Queen Street for the PUP Youth Arm Election, a tall stocky fair complexion male person whom he has known for about 4 years as Kareem Adle came up to him and pushed him in his chest, choked him with his two hands then pinned him against the wall.

Is Eamon Courtenay in conflict of interest at the Senate Investigation?
On Wednesday of this week the much talked about Special Select Committee hearing got started and during it several things that are of note took place. One was that all the members of the committee were in attendance. Even Senators Eamon Courtenay and Mark Lizarraga were in attendance. The first order of business was for the Chairman Senator Aldo Salazar to call the session to order. Chairman Salazar then proceeded to read into the records the terms of reference and rules of engagement of the committee. The first witness in the person of the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley was then called. She appeared in the company of two attorneys namely Sr. Counsel, Derrick Courtenay and Phillip Palacio. The presence of one of her attorneys is something we will get back to later on. Bradley was then administered the oath. The Chairman at that point said that he had been informed that Bradley had a statement to make and he directed her to make her statement, at the same time informing her that since she had been sworn in, her statement would be on record. In her statement she sort of, for a lack of a better term, fell on her sword.

Charity at home – more houses for Belize Rural North
As Minister of National Emergency Management, Hon. Edmond Castro has been delivering houses to victims of Hurricane Earl in all the areas that were severely affected. His own constituency of Belize Rural North is one of those areas, and this week Castro has been handing over a number of houses to residents in villages throughout the division. The houses delivered are mainly in Sand Hill, Maxborro and Gardenia. In addition, he visited a number of families who have been helping themselves with assistance provided by the Government of Belize through the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in the form of materials to repair their homes. The Minister was accompanied by officials from NEMO, namely Belize and Cayo District Regional Coordinator Al Westby, and Belize District Rural Coordinators Alphius Gillett and Lionel Tillett. Last month, Hon. Castro handed over houses to residents in the villages of Maskall, St. Ann’s and Crooked Tree, which are also in the Belize Rural North Constituency.

Raymond Rivers allegedly threatens to kill Councilor Willoughby
Extremely unstable firebrand activists, Raymond Rivers, who was destroyed at the polls by Hon. Patrick Faber a year ago is now in serious trouble with the law for allegedly threatening to kill Belize City Councilor Philip Willoughby. The incident took place at the Independence eve ceremony this year. Rivers was agitating public officials as they arrived for the ceremony and Willoughby took offense. He allegedly told Rivers to relax himself and that was when he said to Willoughby, “Yoh wah dead bwai”. Willoughby took the threat seriously and reported the matter to police. When Rivers was finally set for arraignment on Monday, November 7, he was told that the charge sheet needs to be amended. This frustrated Rivers and his attorney, Kareem Musa, who claims they are being turned around for a trivial matter. In his defense, Rivers claims that all he was saying to the officials was “sign the anti-corruption convention”. He says Willoughby took exception and said, “Watch wat wah ketch yoh”. Rivers point to that statement and other outlandish allegations to claim that he is the one under threat.

Attackers of falsely accused arsonist are remanded
When toddler Kaylee Alvarez, 2, died as a result of a fire in Belize City on Thursday, October 27, relatives and neighbours were emotional wrecks. They were forced to look on helplessly as all their belongings went up in smoke but property was of no concern to the Conch Shell Bay community. Their hearts burned as the fire devoured the home of Phyllis Rhaburn and word spread that baby Kaylee was somewhere inside. Firefighters later found the lifeless infant’s body inside the bathroom. It was a devastating blow for Rhaburn and everyone in the area. Later that evening, someone produced a video recorded by phone showing a man fleeing Rhaburn’s yard shortly after the fire started. That individual was identified as Conch Shell Bay resident Richie Jones, 20, also of Conch Shell Bay. Richie left his house early the following morning, October 28, to start his day and take a circle around the block. It was around 8 o’ clock when relatives and friends of the grieving family spotted Jones near the Vernon Street Bridge. An angry mob went immediately after the unsuspecting youth and unleashed a brutal beating.

Brandon Baptist, John and Sheldon Grinage indicted for murder
Brandon Baptist, 30, John Grinage, 27, and Sheldon Grinage, 25, will stand trial for murder in the January 2017 session of the Supreme Court for allegedly killing 32-year-old George Town Village resident, Mariano Castillo. The accused appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser for a Preliminary Inquiry on Tuesday, November 8. Prosecutor in the case, Cpl. Christopher Smith, presented a total of 11 statements and documentary evidence, including a recorded interview given by the three accused men. The men were unrepresented in court and did not challenge the prosecution’s evidence. Senior Magistrate Fraser then ruled that there is a prema facie case against the men and committed them to stand trial in January 2017. When asked if they have any alibi witnesses to declare only John Grinage gave a name.

Sixty hours community service for wannabe Customs Officer
Miguel Angel Manzanilla, 21, must serve sixty hours of community service after he pleaded guilty to committing a mischievous act. Manzanilla is a mechanic of Corozal Town and on Monday, October 31, he dressed as the scariest thing known to him, a Customs Department officer. The only problem with this dress up session was that he claimed to actually be one when stopped and questioned by police. However, officers at a checkpoint in Ladyville were suspicious when they saw him in short pants with the custom officer’s top. This caused them to do a quick investigation and it turned out that the uniform belongs to Manzanilla’s neighbour. He was then arrested and charged for committing a mischievous act. Manzanilla appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Norman Rodriguez and pleaded guilty to the offense of committing a mischievous act. The offense is minor; therefore, Magistrate Rodriguez sentenced Manzanilla to community service. Manzanilla must serve sixty hours of community service at his home town in Corozal.

He chopped a teenager in the head
Hilberto Keb, 27, is serving the first nights of an 18 months sentence at the Belize Central Prison for wounding 19-year-old Modesto Choc on Sunday, November 6. According to Choc, a shopkeeper from Louise Bevans Street, he was walking with a friend from Gibnut Street towards Racoon Street on Sunday when a man of Hispanic descent and a dark complexion man with dreadlocks approached them. The Hispanic male asked, “Wat deh go ahn with unu?” The man then pulled out a machete from his pants waist and chop Choc to the back of his head. He fell to the ground and his attacker fled the scene. Police investigation led to a quick apprehension of Hilberto Keb, who was identified as the man responsible for inflicting the chop wound. Keb was escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Monday, November 7, where he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He was read two criminal offenses: wounding and aggravated assault with a machete.

Murderers cannot be sentenced to life in prison
The Court of Appeal has had made a landmark decision permanently quashing mandatory sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. A Supreme Court Trial judge now has the ability to determine what sentence a person convicted of murder can receive, and it does not have to be life in jail. That decision was handed down in the appeal brought by Gregory August, who was convicted of murder in November of 2012. He was serving a life sentence, after a jury found him guilty of stabbing 73 year-old Alvin Robinson to death in May 2009. Trial evidence was that Robinson, who was crippled, and blind in one eye, was stabbed 9 times in the head and neck inside his house at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway. August appealed his conviction in the Court of Appeal, and after the court heard the arguments of his attorney, they dismissed that appeal and upheld his murder conviction. He then applied to the Caribbean Court of Justice for special leave to appeal, and in 2015, it was granted to him.

Vehicle stolen from Ministry of Health in Cayo
Under the cover of darkness a vehicle belonging to the Belize Ministry of Health was stolen. Miguel Salazar, a 50 year old Belizean driver of the San Ignacio community hospital has reported that between the hours of 12:30 am and 6:00 am on the 4th of November 2016, a grey Toyota Hilux pickup truck bearing license Cyb1665 was stolen from out of his yard in the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio Town. The Ministry of Health is yet to submit to Police a photo of the stolen vehicle.

Bitter sweet news for accused robbers
Burton Claire, 22, Gavan Claire, 21, Kyle Carter, 21, and James Swazo, 41, are awaiting sentencing after they were convicted of keeping a .38 Special revolver and ammunition without a gun license by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, November 8. The charge dates back to October of 2014 when the men were intercepted by police shortly after a robbery was reported. There was an armed robbery at Guan Fa Shop on Albert Hoy St. in the Belama area on Thursday, October 30, 2014. Three men entered the shop demanding money. One was armed with a chrome handgun and another went behind the cash register and took out $741. The men then ran into a waiting green Geo Prizm and drove out from the area. Quick police response resulted in the men being tracked and captured on Coney Drive. Inside the vehicle were four men along with the loot and a .38 Special loaded with four rounds. They were arrested and taken to the Queen Street Police Station.

Gary Seawell escapes extradition
Accused Narcotics Trafficker Gary Seawell, who remains wanted in the US, was allowed to go home free after the Court of Appeal discharged all extradition proceedings against him. He was languishing in the Belize Central Prison for 6 years and 9 months. The allegations from US law enforcement remains that between December 1994 to August 1997, Gary Seawell, and his other two brothers, Mark and Duane, managed millions of dollars, all allegedly from the drug trade, to be sent to parts of the US, such as Houston, Texas; Lakeland, Florida and Belize. They are additionally accused of importing cocaine into the US, through Mexico, and they are additionally suspected of running in a major marijuana business in Ohio and Texas. So, the US Government made requests to the Belize Government for their extradition to face trial. In February 2010, Police from San Ignacio caught Gary Seawell living about 4 miles inside the jungles of Esperanza Village. It is believed that he moved there with his family, away from public attention, some time after the extradition request was formally made. Since that time, he had been fighting his extradition to the US, first in the Magistrate’s Court, which reviewed the evidence that the Attorney General’s Ministry was provided by their American counterparts.

Man shot in Santa Elena, Cayo
A man is in stable condition at the Western Regional Hospital at this time after being shot on Saturday of this past weekend. At about 10:30 am on Saturday, San Ignacio Police responded to a shooting incident on the Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena Town. A police investigation has revealed that Patrick Gordon, a 33 year Belizean unemployed of a Santa Elena town address was driving his blue Toyota corolla car on Carillo Puerto Avenue along with two other persons when he was shot at by a male person. Patrick Gordon sustained a single wound on the left upper part of his chest. Police combed the area and found four expended 9 mm shells. Police are now seeking out one person, who they believe can assist them with this investigation.

Drugs found near San Ignacio Town
A quantity of drugs have been found near San Ignacio Town. On Wednesday November 2, 2016 about 9:00 am, San Ignacio Police were on mobile patrol on the Casa Maya Road. Whilst travelling towards the Shawville Area, San Ignacio Town, and about 300 yards on the road their attention was drawn to three male persons running across the road and into a bushy area. A search of the area led to the discovery of a black plastic bag which contained 2,750 grams of cannabis. The drug was labeled as found property. Western Regional Commander and Senior Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, L.S.M, applauds the vigilance of the officers involved including the Special Branch personnel as this area is used for transportation of drugs and other contraband.

Denver Skeet busted with weed at Central Prison
Lakeview Street electrician, Denver Skeet, 34, is out on bail after he pleaded not guilty to one count of drug trafficking. According to police, he was caught trying to smuggle weed into the Belize Central Prison on Friday, November 4. Reports are that Skeet went to visit a friend at the prison on Friday and took food for him that was allegedly sent by his mother. A routine search was conducted upon Skeet before entry and an officer found marijuana inside the food container that Skeet was carrying. He was detained by prison officials and handed over to the Hattieville Police. The marijuana was weighed at the Hattieville Police Station and amounted to six grams. This would normally warrant a charge for possession; however, since he tried to get it into a correctional facility, Skeet was charged with one count of drug trafficking.

Women fined for stealing panties
Orange Walk resident Donaela Bernaldita Smith, 36, and Corozal resident Jony Netty Lopez, 27, must pay $1,000 each or spend one year at the Belize Central Prison for shoplifting panties and other female underwear garments. Ingrid Perez, owner of Siloe Store at the corner of Orange and George Street, called police on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, to report that one of her female employees caught a couple of women stealing panties from inside her store. Police visited the location and viewed surveillance footage to identify the women accused of theft. Based on the footage, police were able to identify Smith and Lopez and managed to track them minutes later at the bus terminal. The women were taken to the police station where Perez and her employee were able to positively identify them as the two who entered the store and stole the panties. Both were arrested and charged for theft.

Belmopan Tourism Exposition held
Without a doubt Belmopan as the Nation’s Capital now has a treasure of tourist attractions and is rapidly becoming a central area for people from all over. In recognition of this trend, the managers from the tourism sector have embraced the many touristic opportunities that Belmopan now has to offer. The Belmopan Belize Tourism Industry Association - BTIA Chapter held its first of its kind Belmopan Exposition on Saturday of this past weekend at the Blue Moon Event Center, located at the corner of Constitution Avenue and the Hummingbird Highway. The main purpose of the expo was to showcase the central location of Belmopan and the proximity of a number of excellent natural attractions and hotels in the general area. It was also to highlight that everyone needs to pass through Belmopan, whether traveling from West to East, from East to West or from West to South. “We are the cross-roads to most of the attractions in the West and South of Belize and we are proud of our location and of course of our tourism product,” claims Rhoda Gill, Sales and Marketing Manager at the Belmopan Chapter of the BTIA.

Sir Barry’s Airport set for Friday’s opening
The Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport will be formally inaugurated this Friday, November 11, at the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. The airport was expanded and renovated as part of a $17 million project implemented by the Belize Airport Authority through a loan from the Social Security Board. The refurbished airport allows the simultaneous take-off and landing of several planes in a safer environment. The new features of the airport include an expanded runway 2,900 ft. long and 60 ft. wide with a parallel taxiway measuring 2,700 ft. long and 60 ft. wide, including a new lighting system to accommodate the landing of aircraft at night. With the appropriate marking and signage, the airport is now compliant with local and international civil aviation standards. An apron with safety lines, parking and service road markings and 10 aircraft parking stalls are also among the newly added facilities. A drainage system of the entire airport including box drains, culverts along the apron with major outlets to the sea and pedestrian walkways and new road markings were also installed. Furthermore, 2,600 feet of seashore protection was installed alongside the runway to complement the mangrove system.

Government informs Vega and Pitts of intent to recover compensation
The Attorney General and Minister of Natural Resources, Senator Vanessa Retreage, informed the public on Friday, November 4, that Government has informed Sharon Pitts and Andre Vega that they intend to recover the compensation they were awarded for land that was negligently sold to them. The AG’s office says that letters were sent to both parties at the end of October, which demands the repayment to the Government of Belize the sum of $400,000 which was paid to each of them. The release states that both Pitts and Vega, upon collection of the compensation amounts, made certain representations and warranties which were breached and, by the terms of the agreement with the Government of Belize, agreed to “indemnify and keep indemnified” the Government “from and against all proceedings, costs, claims, expenses, liabilities whatsoever that may directly or indirectly arise from the breach of the warranties and representations made.”

Minister of Defence resumes countrywide tour of BDF installations
On Wednesday of this week the much talked about Special Select Committee hearing got started and during it several things that are of note took place. One was that all the members of the committee were in attendance. Even Senators Eamon Courtenay and Mark Lizarraga were in attendance. The first order of business was for the Chairman Senator Aldo Salazar to call the session to order. Chairman Salazar then proceeded to read into the records the terms of reference and rules of engagement of the committee. The first witness in the person of the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley was then called. She appeared in the company of two attorneys namely Sr. Counsel, Derrick Courtenay and Phillip Palacio. The presence of one of her attorneys is something we will get back to later on. Bradley was then administered the oath. The Chairman at that point said that he had been informed that Bradley had a statement to make and he directed her to make her statement, at the same time informing her that since she had been sworn in, her statement would be on record. In her statement she sort of, for a lack of a better term, fell on her sword.

Joint security meeting held in Cayo
At an unprecedented meeting of security related groups in Western Cayo, community members met at the Aguada Hotel in Santa Elena Town, to chart a new course forward in the fight against crime. Present at this meeting was Ernie Braun, Chairman of the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association CNWA; Daniel Iche, Deputy Commander of San Ignacio Police Formation; Bill Butcher; Chairman of the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC; Alberto Palma, Chairman of the Cayo Special Constables committee and Dr. Gregory Strophshire, fund raiser for the PCC; with each group leader providing their own perspective in the efforts towards bringing greater security to the citizenry. Dr. Gregory Shropshire, fund raiser for the PCC told the members that it was important to having a consolidation of the groups. He reviewed that the PCC had placed a 40 feet steel container for the Police, tiled the floor at the police station, and placed a backup generator for the San Ignacio Police Formation. “If we know what is going on, then we can do better patrols,” said Dr. Shropshire, who takes time out from his busy schedule and uses his private vehicle to do patrols.

Another NEMO Headquarters
Just over a week after United States Ambassador, H.E. Carlos Moreno, handed over a US$1.5 million facility to the National Emergency Management Organization at Machaca Forest Station in the Toledo District, he is at it again. On Monday, November 7, Ambassador Moreno handed over another facility to NEMO, this time in the Orange District. Minister of National Emergency Management, Hon. Edmond Castro, was joined by Minister with responsibility for Home Affairs and Representative of Orange Walk East, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr., and Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard to receive the facility from Ambassador Moreno. A release from the US Embassy says, “The operations center will enable NEMO to effectively coordinate disaster response, provide relief and deliver timely assistance to the people of Belize, especially in remote areas. This project will help to save Belizean lives by providing a state-of-the-art operations center to bring together key emergency response and disaster relief officials from NEMO, the Ministry of Health, Education, the Belize Defence Force, the Belize Coast Guard, and the Orange Walk District Government.”

Pickstock Holds Bashment for Senior Citizens’ Birthday
Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington and the Pickstock Committee are bringing great joy to the senior citizens of that area. The productive age group of a country has two jobs. One is to work tirelessly in an effort to create a better environment for the next generation and the other is to honour the previous generation by showing appreciation, respect and love throughout their later years. Pickstock Committee’s newest program is a monthly birthday celebration for their most treasured residents, the golden ones. The first birthday celebration was held over the weekend for constituents who were born in the month of October. The Committee believes the monthly event is not only effective in bringing smiles to the faces of older residents but also important for community bonding. In Belize we have a terrible habit of keeping our senior citizens locked up inside the home. They may not protest because many prefer to stay in and relax as their energy level fall but it is important to encourage activity, especially outside activity. Plus, when they are locked up there are friends right nearby that they may not see in years. The more contact they have with individuals from their younger days the more sharp their brain is because such social encounters unlock the memory bank.

New bridge in Santa Elena and San Ignacio nearing completion
Ever since the Hawkesworth Bridge, a one lane suspension bridge was built and imported from Middlesbrough, England , in 1949 , it has served as the main river crossing over the Macal River linking San Ignacio to it’s sister-town Santa Elena. It is currently the only drivable suspension bridge in Belize. There is also a wooden bridge further down stream that had been built as a temporary bridge to ease the flow of traffic from crossing the aging Hawkesworth Bridge. As time went by the Wooden Bridge that has now, become known as the LOW-LYING BRIDGE, has become a permanent crossing and is being used for the westward traffic heading into San Ignacio and further west. While the traffic heading east out of San Ignacio use the Hawkesworth Bridge. There has been one problem with that arrangement though, the area where the Low-Lying Bridge is located, has been known to suffer from severe flooding episodes and crossing then becomes impossible for extended periods. When that happens, like recently when it was destroyed by the ravages of hurricane Earl in August of this year, the Hawkesworth reverted to becoming the only crossing. The traffic is slowed down because crossing from either side is then down to intervals. It is then left to the government to spend huge sums of monies to do the necessary repair works to make the wooden structure useable again. The latest repairs cost around $150,000. So back in October 2012, when government announced that it would be building a new, larger bridge to span 154 meters across the Macal River, that would link Santa Elena and San Ignacio the news was well received.

Donald Trump is new American President- a look inside the numbers
The United States of America (USA) Presidential Elections has come and gone, leaving a bitter taste in many peoples’ mouth. While Hillary Clinton seemed to have been the obvious front runner the results proved that to be wrong. She was the clear popular vote winner, but fell far short of garnering the required electoral college votes to safeguard her trip to the White House as President. There are 538 electoral colleges of which the President elect needs to win at the very least 270. Donald Trump, a business mogul and relative new comer to politics, surprised the world by winning the Presidency in his very first attempt. An examination of the election data painted a very clear picture on how Trump’s victory was crafted. An exit poll demographic analysis by Michael Thrasher, Sky News Election Analyst, is being relied on for this article. The data suggests that a quarter of all voters chose either Trump or Clinton based solely on dislike for either candidate. The glaring statistics however indicates that whites made up about 70% of the votes. Of this population Trump appealed to 60%, 6 out of every 10 white voters.

Valley of Peace now has a new police station
A police station was opened on Wednesday morning in Valley of Peace Village. With the opening of the Police Station there will now be a faster response time, which was formerly about 25 minutes from Belmopan. An officer will now be posted for the 24 hours period, which will benefit the 3000 residents in the Valley of Peace Area. Funds for the re-opened Police Station in the Valley of Peace was provided by the Government of Belize. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR provided a motorcycle for use by the assigned officer. Present at the ceremony today were Howell Gillett, Officer Commanding Belmopan Police, Senior Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Western Regional Commander as well as members from the UNHCR.

El Salvador repeats as Central American Junior female softball champions
The Belize Softball Federation played host to the XIII Central American U-22 Female Softball championship from November 3-6, 2016. The Triple Round Robin championship had to be shortened to a Double Round Robin championship when the Friday night games had to be postponed because of the rains. In order to accommodate the championship and making sure that it did play, the federation had to move the championship to the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza Village, and as a result the championship commenced on Saturday 5th November, 2016, with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, the defending champions El Salvador started out on the right footing when it humbled the new entrant to the games Costa Rica by the score of 21-5. In game two, Team Belize won over Costa Rica by the score of 14-6. The winning pitcher was Ashley Lucas for the Belize Team. In the third and final game of the day, Team Belize led by rookie pitcher Renisha Richards, who is only in her second year of international competition, held her own against El Salvador when they Belize team fell by the score of 5-3.

Ever Ballaz and Jumanji force a third and final game
The 2016 Sugar City Hoops Competition championship series will go to the full three games in both divisions. This has become necessary when on Saturday 5th November, at the Orange Walk East Sports Centre in the U-17 competition Ever Ballaz defeated East Coast Ballerz by the score of 38-25. The top scorers for the Ever Ballaz were Tyrique Dawson with 18 points, Rasheed Reneau with 8 points and Gymael Caal with 6 points. For the East Coast Ballerz, the top scorers were Erick Luna with 8 points, Kristan Puerto with 7 points and Norris Fisher with 5 points. In the U-25 competition, Jumanji forced a third and final game when it edged out One Love by the score of 63-62. The top scorers for Jumanji were Craig Cooper with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist; Shemar White with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 assist and Roger Reneau with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 steal.

2017 Copa Centroamericana Groups Selected
The Central American Football Union (UNCAF) has made its selection for the group stage for the upcoming 2017 Copa Centroamericana Tournament. Belize, being a part of the seven (7) UNCAF Nations, has been placed in Group A, which includes Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua. The Tournament will be held from 13 – 22 January, 2017 and will be hosted by the Republic of Panama. The top four teams will qualify for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, while the fifth-place team will advance to a play-off against the fifth-place team from the 2017 Caribbean Cup for the final Gold Cup berth. All matches will be played at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City.

Placencia Assassins stop FC Belize in its track
The Premier League of Belize 2016 Opening Season Tournament continued over the weekend with a number of games played over the country. On Saturday 5th November, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the host team the Belize Defence Force blanked the visiting Verdes FC by the score of 3-0. The goals for the Belize Defence Force were scored by Osmar Duran in the 47th and 79th minutes of play. The final goal for the Belize Defence Force was scored by Shane Flores in the 89th minute of play to give the Belize Defence Force the victory. On Sunday 6th November, at the Victor Sanchez Stadium in Punta Gorda Town, the host team Freedom Fighters FC defeated the visiting Orange Walk United FC by the score of 5-2. The host team Freedom Fighters were able to get onto the scoreboard first when Elroy Coe scored his first of his two goals in the 15th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. Orange Walk United was able to make it onto the scoreboard when Joao Silva scored the equalising goal for his team in the 34th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1.

WORDS OF LIFE
In the First Book of Chronicles, chapter four, verse ten: “Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, keep me from harm, so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.” (New International Version) This week we look at the fourth part of the prayer, “Keep me from harm.” The King James Version reads, “Keep me from evil.” This petition makes sense when you consider that when our Heavenly Father blesses up in a huge way, and when we’re taking territory for God, we are taking this territory from the enemy. Satan, the devil, is outraged! When God’s hand is on you, and you are using the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission, spreading the love of Jesus in your sphere of influence, you become a target for the enemy. That’s why we have to pray to be kept from evil.

Republican Drumpf, Republican House, Republican Senate
There are some who wrongfully believe that we in the Jewel should restrict our focus to Belize; I disagree. The illegal, unjust, unfair Guatemalan claim and the De-risking Dilemma are external issues which hit home! They are but two of many examples why we must NEVER hide our heads in the sand – actually, not even ostriches do that! It is proper for Belizeans to pay attention to World Affairs; Belizeans died in foreign wars. Hitler was portrayed as a messiah-type figure, who could offer strong authoritarian leadership; he played on German nationalism exploiting the discontent since the First World War, to make Germany great again. Hitler is responsible for the death of 150,000,000 human beings – shocking but true. Hitler could have been stopped… but ‘very smart’ Germans voted for him. Drumpf is an extremely dangerous individual who says stupid things and does offensive things. He used the slogan “Make America Great Again.” He will get control of nuclear weapons…Ronald Reagan invaded tiny Grenada to prove his manhood, will Drumpf press the nuclear button?


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#518925 - 11/12/16 12:30 PM Re: Today's Belize News: November 12, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

Belize moves to renegotiate billion-dollar super bond for 3rd time
A three-man team comprised of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, and Economic Ambassador Mark Espat, advisor to the Government of Belize, traveled to New York this week to meet with the Government’s legal and financial advisors: Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, as the Government prepares to embark on a new round of negotiations to ease payments on its billion-dollar debt arrangement, which spans 25 years. Amandala is reliably informed that while the Government is not attempting a full restructuring of the super bond—which could be an involved and lengthy process—it wants to ask bondholders for an amendment to the terms and conditions of the existing arrangement, as it explores options for reducing Belize’s public debt expense through lower interest rates, reduced principal and/or an extension of the maturity date currently set for 2038.

Ian Sambula, 4, succumbs to burns suffered in Aloe Vera Street fire
Exactly one month and five days after Aaron Gabourel, 11, was burnt to death in a fire on Aloe Vera Street, his cousin, Ian Sambula, 4, succumbed to injuries suffered in the same fire. The fire was started on October 4 after an individual whom members of the family have described as a fair-skinned red-haired arsonist, reportedly stormed into the Hamilton’s family home armed with a bottle of gasoline, with which he doused the house and set it ablaze. The arsonist then reportedly fled the scene in a boat, never to be seen again. Sambula and his older sister, who both suffered burns to 95% of their bodies, were both airlifted to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Galveston, Texas, where they were receiving treatment free of cost.

Woman’s mysterious death at KHMH
It sounds incredible, but a woman who went into the hospital, reportedly for a complaint of sore throat and fever, died three days later and according to her family, after ten days, the hospital has still not performed the mandatory post-mortem to verify the cause of her death. Deanne Michelle Robinson, 31, a mother of three children ages 14, 9 and 7, died on Monday, October 31, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and her body is still languishing at the morgue. Her family, who resides in Gardenia, wants to bury her, but the KHMH apparently does not want to conduct an autopsy on her body to certify the cause of her death. Robinson’s mother, Mildred Crawford, who, along with her second daughter, was present at her eldest daughter’s bed at all times, told Amandala that she saw what happened to her daughter, which made her believe that her daughter is dead due to medical negligence, and the hospital is covering it up.

He died that his family might live
Inair Chan, 26, of Orange Walk Town, drowned in the Rio Hondo River at about 9:00 yesterday morning, Monday, while travelling from San Antonio to Orange Walk Town. Chan was a passenger in a car in which he was traveling with his wife; his baby, 4 months old; his wife’s two sisters, Soliema and Cynthia Moralez; and her brother, Edgar Moralez. The driver of the vehicle was Clive August, 58. While driving along the road, August missed the San Antonio Bridge and the vehicle plunged into the Rio Hondo River below, and began to slide into the deep area of the river. Chan managed to get out of the submerging car, but went back to save his baby daughter, while the others began to struggle to come out of the car. He took his baby to safety and went back to help his struggling wife, and got her out of the car, but as he was coming out, he somehow got trapped in the car, which was still sliding downward, causing him to drown.

Gladden Caye Resort Limited faces sanctions for illegal dredging
A tourism developer is facing fines in excess of BZ$10,000 after reports that it had illegally dredged around Gladden Caye, causing substantial alterations to the environment without authorization. On Monday, November 7, the Southern Environmental Association (SEA), based in Placencia, Stann Creek, reported on a site visit conducted last week Wednesday, November 2, when it discovered that workers of Lowen Construction Limited were dredging the area and dumping sand on the smaller island at Gladden Caye. Gladden Caye is located roughly two miles from Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserves, managed by SEA for the benefit of the tourism and fisheries industries, since it is also an important site for fish spawning aggregations. Dolphins and whale sharks are among the attractions there. According to SEA, substantial damage has been done, potentially affecting breeding grounds for commercial species.

Janelle Chanona chairs committee to elect 13th Senator
Representatives of Belize’s non-governmental organizations (NGOs) met yesterday, Wednesday, November 9, at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan to define the process to be followed to elect Belize’s 13th Senator,” stated a press release issued today, Thursday. The statement further revealed that as a result of that meeting on Wednesday, a steering committee was elected to lead the process of electing the 13th Senator. Janelle Chanona (Oceana Belize) serves as the committee’s chairman, while Osmany Salas (Belize Tourism Industry Association) serves as vice chairman, Amanda Acosta (Belize Audubon Society) serves as secretary, Armando Aban (The Scout Association of Belize) serves as treasurer, and Froyla Tzalam (Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management) serves as media relations officer.

Belize hosts, El Salvador wins 13th C.A. Women’s U-22 Softball Championship in Esperanza
Three teams only participated, and El Salvador emerged the winner of the 13th Central American Women’s U-22 Softball Championship, which took place over the weekend, November 5-6, at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza, Cayo District. The tournament was originally planned to be held at Rogers Stadium in Belize City, but was later moved west due to inclement weather in the coastal areas. The tournament followed a double round-robin format. In games on Saturday, El Salvador won, 21-5, over Costa Rica; Belize defeated Costa Rica, 14-6; and El Salvador edged Belize, 5-3. And on Sunday, Belize dropped Costa Rica, 11-3; El Salvador crushed Costa Rica, 10-1; and El Salvador again beat Belize, 6-1.

Bad mind, or just bad timing? An apology, please?
The historic MCC Grounds, scene of many memorable and epic football battles, is pretty much a disaster area nowadays, except for the developed north-eastern portion of the grounds, taken over for a car park to serve the customers of Princess Hotel & Casino across the street. None of the pavilions – the Guinness, Brodies or San Cas pavilions, and none of the bleachers along the western sideline, all destroyed by Hurricane Greta back in 1978, have been replaced. Except for not holding water because of its elevation, the field is in a terrible state, the surface making it difficult for our more highly skilled players to exhibit their true brilliance because of the many uneven areas and bumpy surface that often makes the ball jump instead of roll for an easy kill or right-away shot or pass. Sometimes, it can be embarrassing for a player when his shot goes wild, and he is not completely to blame.

Football Flashback – Milpros, circa 1981-82
The above picture is of a pre-game scene from upstairs of the Guinness Pavilion at the MCC Garden, as Milpros team members head towards the entrance to the playing field near the front gate on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the 1981-82 first country-wide 1st Division competition. The picture (copied and enhanced by Roland Parks) was provided to us by Egbert “Chana” Kisling, the player with the cap and sunshades. Just in front of Chana is Arthur “Goatman” Leslie, and to Chana’s right is Gilroy “Coro” Usher; farther right with the ball is his younger brother, then rookie Earl “Tangi” Usher, pointing upstairs to the cameraman (likely William “Bill” Lindo). To Goatman’s left is #2 Conrad “Can-D” Thomas (deceased). Ahead of Coro is #9 Evaristo “Harrier” Rosado; to his left is #6 Michael Rivero. On the far left near border is Mark “Taypad” Haylock; to his right in sweat-suit is goalkeeper Eddie Daniels, just ahead of yours truly, #8 Charles X Hyde. A fan above Taypad, facing the camera with sunshades is the legendary Rudolph “Sir Andie” Anderson. The player near the top of the picture is Kent “Takeoff” Clother. Above and a little to left of Clother, two men are seen checking notes on a paper; the one to the right with glasses is Radio Belize sports reporter, Manfred Atkins (deceased); and just below Clother is #18 Errol Muslar.

Strange inside business with National U-17
It is always a very delicate and sensitive matter whenever you are dealing with a selection of players, whether it is a neighborhood team, a semi-pro team, a village, town or city selection, and much more so, a national selection. Feelings are inevitably hurt. But there is a good way and a bad way of doing things. Communication is critical. Sometimes, circumstances lead one to suspect there is partiality in the decision making process, and meritocracy is sacrificed for personal reasons. We won’ t call any names for obvious reasons, but it is important for those in authority to know that there are consequences to their actions, and we cannot afford this type of slip-up when we are preparing to do battle. Here is a small part of what an aggrieved parent shared with us:

Editorial: The meaning and implications of the Donald
It will take some time for the real meaning and the full implications of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States of America on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, to be properly understood. Trump’s victory represents a sort of political revolution in the superpower America, because no one has ever been elected president there who did not have some kind of background in their political or military establishment. At the same time, it is interesting that Trump’s defeated Democratic Party opponent, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton, won more popular votes than he did. It was in the so-called electoral college where Trump prevailed. President Trump will find a permanent, professional class in the various branches of government, such as the State Department (foreign policy), the Pentagon (military), the Treasury Department (financial), and so on, which will bring him down to earth somewhat once he assumes the presidency in mid-January of 2017. What we mean is, the American version of what we would call the public service or the technocrat class in Belize, will tell Mr. Trump precisely what he can or cannot do. He would ignore these career experts at his presidency’s peril, and the peril of the United States of America.

From the Publisher
Not all priests are funny guys. I don’t know how they do it, those that do, live these lives of celibacy I mean, but there are those priests that do. Attending St. John’s College at the high school level between 1959 and 1963, I honestly cannot recall coming into contact with any priest or scholastic that gave off funny vibes. In fact, the principal of S.J.C. in 1961, before Hurricane Hattie, Fr. Francis Cull, S. J., ran away with the S.J.C. secretary, and they got married and lived in the States until he died recently. There was the case of the pastor at St. Ignatius Church, Frank Stobie, S. J., who fell in love with his secretary, but I don’t know how that worked out. There was one scholastic at S.J.C., Alvin Roy, S.J., who had many female admirers in the city, and there was gossip about him. But I don’t know how things worked out for him. When we students came back to S.J.C. to begin the 1961/62 school year, and in those days before the historic holiday change in 1964 the new school year began in June or July probably, we heard Fr. Cull had split with the secretary. Hurricane Hattie busted up Belize just three or four months later, and all our lives changed dramatically.

Remembering those who served and those who paid the ultimate price
Dear Editor, November 11, is the day the world sets aside to say thanks and to remember all who served in the armed forces and other efforts to defend their country’s cause. This day is the day the armistice was signed to end World War I. On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the armistice was signed, thousands more died in the conflict because the news did not reach everyone together. As a colony and now as an independent nation, Belize has sent her sons and daughters to both great wars and other conflicts. After World War I, many of the streets of Belize City were named after areas in Mesopotamia — Mosul, Cairo, Tigris, Basra, Euphrates, Amara. There was even a riot by veterans after World War I to express discontent towards their colonial masters.

Are we guinea pigs?
Dear Editor, It was reported last week that the Ministry of Health wants to give HPV vaccines to four thousand four hundred Standard IV female students. The Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, quoted the WHO saying that 9-13 year old girls should be vaccinated before they become sexually active. Based on school attendance rates, those being selected for the first phase are Standard IV female students across Belize. So what is the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccination and why are these girls being targeted? Dr. Manzanero and the Ministry of Health are parroting the propaganda of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the pharmaceutical industry, which profits from the sale of vaccines. We doubt that he has done any scientific research into the “facts” he quotes and we question whether our children are anything but guinea pigs to see the effects of the HPV vaccinations.

Thoughts on the Donald Trump victory
After praying daily and unceasingly to God for a victory of Light over Darkness, Knowledge over Ignorance, Tolerance over Hatred, Sense over Nonsense and Wisdom over Folly, God in His wisdom and in His sovereign will, did not answer my prayer exactly in the way I wished. He did not give America Hillary Rodham Clinton as its first female president, as I had desired, but instead inflicted it with Donald Trump, a man the entire Free World gazes at in alarm, antipathy and fear — and, whose impending knowledge of America’s nuclear codes should fill us all with dread. I am now reminded of Galatians 3:1 — “You foolish Galatians! [substitute,Americans] Who put a spell on you?” What comes to mind too is 2 Timothy 3: 1-5: “Remember that there will be difficult times in the last days. People will be selfish, greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; they will be unkind, merciless, slanderers, violent and fierce; they will hate the good; they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God; THEY WILL HOLD TO THE OUTWARD FORM OF OUR RELIGION, BUT REJECT ITS REAL POWER.”

A lesson for young Belizeans on loyalty and patriotism
The decision to write this article was conceived in April of this year because I took umbrage to comments made by former CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Lt. Col. (retired) George Lovell, which bother me to this day. George Lovell said to a Channel 7 reporter on April 7 while discussing information leaked by a “whistleblower” that the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) were behaving aggressively towards our Belize Defense Force (BDF) on the Sarstoon River continuously for more than 10 years. Lovell said that those responsible for the leak should be sought out and punished (i.e. taken to court). As a young man I learned from the late Hon. Philip S.W. Goldson that a journalist should never under any circumstances divulge confidential sources of information given to him. Mr. Goldson proved this when information was leaked to him in 1959 regarding the Hilary Blood Report 8 days before the government got it. Sir Hilary Blood, former governor of Mauritus, an expert in Constitutions was appointed as Constitutional Commissioner of British Honduras by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Alan Lenox Boyd. Sir Hilary’s appointment was made in answer to complaints made by the National Independence Party (NIP), led by Herbert Fuller, and the Christian Democratic Party (CDP), led by Nicholas Pollard, Sr. Their complaint was that the existing 1945 Constitution should be updated to give local officials more control of the country’s affairs.

“Do The Right Thing” warns youth about human trafficking
For the past two years, Belize has been at the bottommost tier of the United States’ human trafficking index, at level 3, amid concerns over child sex tourism, which the 2016 report by the US has said is sometimes facilitated by Belizean relatives, as well as cross-border trafficking for prostitution between Belize and Guatemala and exploitation by even some law enforcement officers. Although it rarely results in arrests, human trafficking does continue to be a problem in Belize and one that Philip “Fawda” Henry, 48, a Belizean, has added to the personal safety talks he has been having with youths in primary and secondary schools across Belize, including Stella Maris School in Belize City, Bella Vista Primary School in Toledo and Holy Ghost School in Dangriga, Stann Creek. The well-known ex-traffic officer has been traveling around the country to do in-school presentations, and he told us that recently, he has been focusing on southern Belize, including Bella Vista, from where the latest report of a child kidnapping emerged some months ago. That village also has the largest elementary school, he said, adding that he was able to present traffic safety and personal safety talks to about 1,500 students class by class.

Birth certificate scams practically impossible to stop: Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse
Last Thursday a Belizean woman from the village of Progresso in the Corozal District was denied her birth certificate because it was among other documents already under investigation by the Registry Department. In an exclusive interview with Amandala, the distressed woman alleged to us that officials at the Registry told her that a man known only as “Garcia” sold her birth certificate to a Mexican national. She told us that several persons from her village were victims of this apparent birth certificate scheme, in which their birth certificates were sold to Mexican nationals. Despite having a Social Security card and being able to prove her parents were born Belizeans, the woman returned home without her birth certificate.

The Reporter

NGO’s craft criteria for 13th Senator
The newly formed Steering Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to facilitate the process of the 13th Senator, announced this week that it has established criteria for the selection of the Senator. The Committee, comprised of the 22 NGOs deemed to be in good standing by […]

Tour operators being moved- “Butts Up”; says it’s bad business
Tour operators are being relocated from in front of Terminal One at the Fort Street Tourism Village, and Yohny Rosado of CaveTubing.com says it will financially damage small tour operators. Rosado said this week, that the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) informed operators that they will […]

Four men convicted of Illegal gun possession
Four men accused of illegal gun possession have been convicted in the Magistrate’s court, and could face up to five years in jail. . Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Williams has reserved her judgement for November 25. “I am going to be guided by the […]

McLaren vows to fight drug charge
Political activist Nedal “Jihaad” McLaren Murphy, 56, was brought before Magistrate Debora Rogers on Wednesday afternoon, charged with possessing 8.6 grams of weed. Police say they found the marijuana in McLaren’s underwear, but McLaren says the police “planted” the weed on him. Bail in […]

Man injured in weekend shooting in Santa Elena Town
At around 10:30 a.m. last Saturday, Patrick Gordon, 33, was shot to his left upper chest while driving his car on Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena Town. Gordon was in the company of two friends when he was shot at by a male person who […]

Rivers charged with threatening words
Activist Raymond Rivers is out on bail, after being charged with threatening words in the Belize City Magistrates Court this week. Rivers went to court on Wednesday to be charged for allegedly threatening to kill City Councilor Phillip Willoughby. The court granted him bail valued at $400, […]

CGA Auditors’ report due at Dec.17 AGM
The auditors firm of Baker & Tilly is to present the audited financials of the Citrus Growers Association (CGA)at their upcoming annual general meeting scheduled for December 17, CGA Chief Executive Officer Henry Anderson told The Reporter on Tuesday, November 8. This means the auditors will be available for the […]

Tour guide suspended, Yhony cries foul
Yhony Rosado, Owner of CaveTubing.com is at odds with the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) this week for what he calls “unfair suspension” of two of his tour guides. Rosado explained that his guide, Jimmy Cortez, received a suspension letter this week which carried immediate […]

Hulse sues Francis
Minister of Agriculture Godwin Hulse is suing the former leader of the People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca, for defamation of character. Hulse explained on Tuesday that he could not repeat Fonseca’s comments, because the matter is before the court, but that the comments were in reference to […]

ACP Williams suspended; reinstated
Top cop, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams made the news this week after Police Commissioner Allen Whylie suspended him for reducing his officers’ shifts, then Minister of Police, Elodio Aragon reinstated him almost immediately. Williams reportedly made the single-handed decision to take the officers […]

Taiwan’s Ambassador completes tour of duty; new ambassador named
His Excellency, Ambassador Benjamin Ho, the diplomatic representative in Belize for the Republic of China (Taiwan), has completed his tour of duty to Belize and will depart on Sunday, November 13, after having served since July, 2014. Since Ambassador Ho’s assignment in Belize, he has […]

Ministry of Health surpasses malaria reduction targets
The Ministry of Health announced this week that is had exceeded its 2016/2016 targets for malaria reduction. The Ministry said on Monday that it recently completed an external evaluation by the Global Fund and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as part of the regional initiative to […]

Editorial
Mr. Donald Trump’s stunning election victory Tuesday night, like the Brexit Referendum in the United Kingdom four and a half months ago, caught the world by surprise. In both cases voters were so frustrated with the status quo that they decided to dump it instead of trying to fix it. […]

Belize scrambles to avoid Superbond default
The government of Belize is scrambling to restructure the 2038 Superbond in an effort to avoid a chaotic default in early 2017, a report from the Wall Street Journal said late Thursday. According to WSJ, Belize urged bondholders to form a committee before the end […]

Police seize $315,000 worth of cocaine
Two suspects who were transporting more than 22 pounds of cocaine, worth more than $300,000 on the Philip Goldson International Highway last Saturday are still at large after police recovered the drugs. The seizure occurred at around 9:00 Saturday morning when the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), […]

Trump takes US Presidential Elections
Donald J. Trump is the president-elect who will become the United States’ 45th Commanded-in-Chief. Trump, the Republican Party nominee, beat out Democratic party nominee, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, this week in the […]

Public inquiry begins. Auditor General called to the stand.
This week, the Senate Special Select Committee formed to investigate the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on the Immigration and Nationality Department (2011-2013), held its first public session. The six-memberCommittee held the meeting at the National Assembly building in Belmopan on Wednesday. All local television […]

William Mason returns to court
On Wednesday morning, the Belize City Magistrate’s Court was lined with armed police officers who at 9:00 a.m., escorted William, “Danny” Mason to the presence of Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith to face a single charge of murder against pastor Lewellyn Lucas of Dangriga. It […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Man and child shot in Belize City
A man carrying a child was shot near Majestic alley a short while ago in Belize city. The man has been identified as Porshan Pipersburgh, a Majestic Alley affiliate. He was carrying an eight year old child on a bicycle on Daly Street when a […]

Belize fighting Superbond default
As Belizeans carry on about their daily lives, fascinated by US elections and whatever else draws their attention, the country and the lives of its people may soon be rocked by tremors slowly developing beneath the surface. That tidal wave of of force, the wake […]

Two chopping victims lucky to be alive
Two men from the village of Big Falls in the Toledo District are alive after a machete fight ensued on Wednesday night in Punta Gorda. They are both currently receiving medical treatment. According to reports, Marciano Pau was chopped to his hand/arm and is […]

Nedal McLaren charged for weed possession
Nedal McLaren, the BPP’s candidate in Port Loyola during the November 2015 general election, had his day in court yesterday. However, it was not to challenge the constituency’s voter’s list as we saw his PUP rival in the area do yesterday. Instead the 56-year-old […]

PUP nominate candidates to serve on Integrity Commission
Yesterday, the opposition People’s United Party (PUP) issued a press release announcing that Party Leader John Briceno has nominated Melissa Balderamos Mahler and Claudet Grinage to serve as members of the Integrity commission. In accordance with the Prevention of Corruption Act (No. 21 of 2007) […]

Baca Academy seeking contributions
The Baca Academy, a local school in Placencia that works to improve the lives of children in Placencia and Independence, is seeking contributions to continue the positive work it does. Luis Torres, a proud staff member of the Chabil Mar resort, has been working with […]

Stafin Duncan resigns as President of National Youth Council and Belize District Youth Council
Yesterday the National Youth council issued a press release announcing that Stafin Duncan has officially resigned from his post as President of both the NYCB and BDYC effective November 9th 2016. The release explains that Duncan after the district council elections held in February […]

Police find weed on Southside Belize City
Yesterday morning between 4:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. members of the Southside Strike Team and members of the K9 Unit conducted an Anti-Drug Operation on the Southside of Belize City. The operation resulted in the following seizure: in an abandoned lot on Kraal Road […]

NEMO Minister hands over more houses in Belize City
Yesterday, NEMO Minister Edmond Castro was in Southside Belize City where he and officials from NEMO delivered more houses to victims of Hurricane Earl. Castro and his team also did an overall, on-the-ground assessment of the rebuilding efforts in the city and followed up […]

More rainy weather this weekend
The 24-hour forecast is for mostly cloudy skies with a few showers today and tomorrow. Periods of rain, showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected mostly along the coast and over the south and spreading to some inland areas this afternoon. The wind will blow […]

Blogs

How I Fell into One of the Best Jobs Ever
How did I end up living in San Pedro, Belize and making my living writing a blog? Luck? To some degree for sure. It’s probably best just to describe the journey. And it’s not as odd as you think. I’ve spoken to quite a few travel and lifestyle bloggers that started in corporate careers and then decided to do what they enjoy. And try to make a go of it. But, unlike the offerings by 1000s of websites, this is not a step-by-step guide to your dream job. In fact, it may be the “what not to do guide to blogging”. But my one bit of advice, that was really never given to me or asked of me, EVER, is no surprise to anyone – Figure out what you love – don’t be colored by perceived expectations, prestige or money – and do it. Nothing new. As a kid, I was a huge reader but at school, I gravitated towards math and science. There was always a set answer and it helped that I was good at it.

Fun Times at San Pedro and San Ignacio Fundraisers
There are never any shortage of fundraisers in San Pedro, your donations will go a long way – and you can have some fun while helping a great cause. Here are some three great upcoming countrywide charity events that are coming up fast and need your support and one sucess story. Humane Society Bidding Bonanza (online auction), Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic (BWRC) Gala, Holiday Boat Parade, Aside from fabulous fundraisers, San Pedro is also known for it’s community Spirit and helping those in need. As is the case from the following press release detailing everyone that joined together to help.

San Pedro Belize Hotels: Top 12 Accommodations Guide
Winter is coming (no pop culture reference intended) and undoubtedly the migratory species we call people will flock to warmer weather to escape at-least a part of the frost. Chances are if you’ve google searched ‘Belize’ over the past few weeks that you came across the World Travel Award winning San Pedro, Ambergris caye. Shortly after your search began your head probably took a spiral due to the sheer volume of potential stays. If you got lost in the San Pedro rush, fret not, we’ve got you! Today we bring you a recommended list of the best San Pedro Belize Hotels:

International Sourcesizz

Belize Film Festival opens strong with 'Ixcanul'
Two days after the election of Donald Trump, I left the country. But before you jump to any conclusions, the trip was already in the works—a first-time excursion to the Belize International Film Festival, now celebrating its 11th edition. Not a bad place to find yourself in mid-November. The Belize Fest is a small one: 11 narrative features, seven feature-length documentaries, ten narrative shorts, six short docs and, curiously, 19 music-videos (all made in Belize!). There’s a genre movie here and there—an L.A. gangsta tale, a romantic comedy from South Africa, a thriller from Trinidad and Tobago—but what distinguishes the Belize Fest is the preponderance of films about social issues. Festival director Suzette Zayden isn’t seeking after glitz and glam, but movies that have something to say about life in the 21st century. And that’s a refreshing antidote this writer needed after Tuesday’s appalling national tally took the U.S. back to the mid-20th century. The screenings this year are being held at the historic Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and, frankly, the web-based projection system is far from state-of-the-art.* (Funders from the tech world, how about showing this fest some love?) But that doesn’t obscure the fact that the short and feature that opened the fest were both outstanding.

Withdrawal of Correspondent Banks Poses Significant Risk to Caribbean
A significant threat to Caribbean economies has emerged as global banks withdraw their correspondent banking relationships in these countries. Correspondent banking with global banks allows smaller banks access to the international payments system, facilitating money transfers through transactions such as wire transfers, check clearing, and currency exchange. Without these banking relationships, businesses are cut off from international trade and financing, families are unable to collect remittances from relatives working abroad, and foreign investors may be unwilling to invest if there is a risk they will be unable to repatriate their profits. The threat to Caribbean economies from large-scale withdrawal of correspondent banks was high on the agenda of policymakers attending the 2016 High Level Caribbean Forum in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on November 2, 2016. “The withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships presents a clear and present danger to the Caribbean,” declared IMF Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang in opening remarks at the forum, which was co-hosted by the IMF and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

Videos

  • The launch of the annual Salvation Army Kettle Drive, 15min. The sound of a bell ringing and the sight of a red kettle is recognized locally as the start of the Christmas Season in Belize! The funds are used to assist less fortunate children and families during the festive season.

  • Eine Fahrt auf dem Hummingbird Highway - Belize, 2min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • MELANIE GILLETT VIDEO LAUNCH, 30min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • BRUK IT DOWN JENNY, 23min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • BELIZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016, 35min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • UNIVERSITY OF BELIZE - FACULTY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY'S GIS DAY, 24min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Bull shark north San Pedro Belize, 1.5min.

  • I hitchhiked with some pot-smoking fishermen en route to a Tropical Island in Belize (2010), 5min. I was staying in Dangriga but my destination was Tobacco Island, so I hitchhiked with some local fishermen. They dropped me off on the Island for a few hours while they took care of their daily fishing run. En route back to Dangriga they decided to get some last-minute fishing done during sunset. BTW, they said it was mexican-ganja they were smoking, which I did not partake in.

  • Belize 2016, 2.5min. My Trip To Belize San Ignacio | San Pedro.

  • Driving on the Hummingbird Highway - Belize, 2min. Eine Fahrt auf dem Hummingbird Highway - Belize

  • Haie, Rochen und Barracudas - Belize - Reisebericht meineversion, 4min. Belize wird vom zweitgrößten Korallenriff der Welt umgeben. Folglich gibt es hier eine unglaubliche Artenvielfalt von Meeresbewohnern. Mit dem Schnellboot von Belize City auf eine kleine Nachbarinsel ging es auch gleich zum Schnorcheln auf das Riff. Haie, Barracudas, Rochen, Seeigel und Oktopusse konnte man dort bestaunen. Ich war zu nächst noch cool und freute mich den ganzen Tag auf den Ausflug... doch die Minuten davor waren etwas von Angst geprägt. Schlussendlich ein toller Ausflug - unfassbare Bilder und ein unvergessbares Erlebnis.

  • Belize's Garifuna Food Fete 2016, 5min.

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