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6/21/2016 to 6/30/2016
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Today's Belize News

June 30, 2016

The news will be a bit brief for the next week or so due to time constraints


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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

Belizean Olympiad Representative, Katy Sealy visits Ambergris Caye
Belizean athlete Katy Sealy took a well -deserved break on La Isla Bonita after competing alongside 21 other Belizean athletes at the 17th Central American Championships in Athletics held in San Salvador, El Salvador. The tournament took place from June 17th through June 19th, where Sealy performed exceptionally, capturing gold for Belize in the heptathlon division. As a result, she and her Belizean colleague Brandon Jones will be representing the Jewel at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil to be held from the 5th to the 21st of August. Sealy is from England but her father is from Belize’s southern district, Stann Creek. He lived for some time in the valley community of Pomona before moving to England, where he met Katy’s mother. However, Sealy has decided to represent Belize in her sporting career for the sole love of her heritage and Belize.

Area Rep awards outstanding students
On Friday, June 24th, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Area Representative of Belize Rural South, Manuel Heredia Jr. acknowledged three students for their outstanding academic achievements. Minister Heredia hosted a small ceremony at the Belize Tourism Board, San Pedro Branch to honor Rachel Alamilla of San Pedro Roman Catholic School, Rafael Marin of Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School, and Rowan Garel. Both Alamilla and Marin were the top scorers in the Primary School Examination (PSE), while Garel is a visually impaired youth challenging the stigma of his disability. Minister Heredia presented Alamilla and Rafael with certificates, along with a $500 check to assist them in their high school expenses. As for Garel, Heredia awarded him with a $10,000 scholarship to further his education at Drew University in the United States. Receiving the grant was his sister Aesha, as Garel is presently in New Jersey, USA with his mother, Milagro, to get familiarized with the campus of his new school. Garel is the first blind person to dive the Blue Hole and climb Victoria Peak as well. He also walked 90 miles to raise funds for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired. Despite being visually impaired, his vision of his future is bright through his efforts and determination.

International Costa Maya Festival Presents: Miss Panama
This week we present to you the lovely Miss Panama, Margareth Villanueva, as she joins the roster of beauties vying for the title of Miss Costa Maya International 2016. Model, entrepreneur, writer and Panamanian philanthropic, the 22-year-old has determination and conviction to achieve whatever goals she proposes. A model from the age of 15, Margareth has done campaigns, commercials and walkways with some of the best brands in Panama. She is also one of the official candidates for Miss Panama 2017. Her enthusiasm, love and joy for life are contagious. A volunteer at heart, Margareth began to give of her time and efforts from an early age. In 2014, she began her own movement focused on socio-environmental aid, drawing in youth to join her in activities that promote goodwill.

Saga receives generous donation from SPTC
On Friday, June 24th, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), and Mayor Daniel Guerrero made a major donation to the Saga Humane Society. On behalf of Area Rep Manuel Heredia Jr., Mayor Guerrero announced the donation of a red carry-all golf cart with a year of free licensing, two lots in North Ambergris Caye, along with two months’ rent at their current location at Sea Star Street. The donation was given to assist Saga in furthering their work in the community. Not only is the golf cart much needed by Saga, but the extended trunk is convenient when transporting animals. During the presentation, Mayor Guerrero spoke of his positive relationship with Saga since taking on his role of Mayor in 2012. He also recalled the excessive number of stray animals that led to an unfortunate eradication in Ambergris Caye. “After that wakeup call, I gave my 100 percent support towards the team at Saga Humane Society. With support from Health Inspector Horris Patton, and as long as I am Mayor, there will be no eradication here in San Pedro,” said Mayor Guerrero.

Ambergris Today

International Attention Focused on Vulnerability of Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
A World Heritage Committee draft decision released on the 10th of June by UNESCO signaled a possible decision to retain Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Several deadlines to meet required indicators outlined by UNESCO in the Desired State of Conservation Report (DSOCR) have been missed despite the Government of Belize’s affirmation of its resolve in ensuring the continued protection of Belize’s Barrier Reef System and its seven World Heritage Sites in December 2015. The Committee’s Draft Decision notes, inter alia, that the announcement of an offshore oil ban in World Heritage Sites still needs to be translated into a legislative instrument and that the adequacy of the one-kilometer buffer zone needs revision to secure the protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). The 21 member countries of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will gather in Istanbul, Turkey in two weeks’ time to debate the status of some of the most extraordinary natural places on the planet, including our Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. “If adopted by the World Heritage Committee next month, this decision would send a message that more needs to be done”, said WWF’s Reef Scientist and Climate Change Officer in Belize, Nadia Bood.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of June 19th – June 25th, 2016
Good permit fishing despite some of the iffy weather. It was a small group at the lodge with just a few boats going out each day. Christa got the tarpon picture of the week with a tarpon flipping out of hers arms catching her totally by surprise and her face tells it all. Father son team Mike and Sean visited us from Connecticut to attempt some large migratory tarpon. Weather was not in their favor and ended up seeing some rolling fish but no bites. On another day they did manage to land a couple resident tarpon to help ease the pain!

June 2016 External Trade & Consumer Price Index, GDP, Labour Force Survey
Here are the Statistical Institute of Belize's most recent statistics, published today June 29th 2016: May 2016 External Trade, May 2016 Consumer Price Index, First Quarter 2016 Gross Domestic Product, April 2016 Labour Force Survey Findings. Belize imported goods valuing $175.3 million, representing an 8.2 percent or $13.3 million increase over the same month in 2015. More than a quarter of all purchases from abroad fell within the category of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, which totaled $49 million. ‘Manufactured Goods and Other Manufactures’, valued at $32 million, accounted for almost one fifth of total imports for the month. Iin April 2016 there were a total of 146,918 employed persons in the country of Belize. This represented a considerable increase of 8,773 persons over April of 2015, when a total of 138,145 employed persons was recorded. The national unemployment rate stood at 8 percent, down 2 percentage points from April 2015, and was the first single digit unemployment rate recorded in almost a decade. The median monthly salary for employed persons was $1,192, almost unchanged from one year ago.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
The ticket sales and a donation pot will be donated to the San Pedro Fire Relief Fund to assist the families and business in the rebuilding process. Anyone wishing to donate directly can do so by contacting the San Pedro Lions Club. Equals, Green Room, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ronaldo.

Caye Caulker Tourism Plan
CCVC held a meeting today with ministry of tourism and civil aviation to discuss: Caye Caulker destination launch. Sustainable Tourism Product 2 and its benefits Present at the meeting were: Mr. Abel Castellano, Ms. Terry Wright, Ms. Juliet Neal for the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, and members of the CCVC.

Caye Caulker craft market meeting
Our first meeting with BTB to improve area through: Craft market and possible tourism zone area/attraction that will include our fist Caye Caulker welcome center/information center/ museum! More details to come!

Splashers
We will donate $10 to the fire relief programs for every person that comes to paint tomorrow. Please sign up at www.paintnsplash.com under the events tab.

Prime Minister’s Remarks on Final Compensation Award by Arbitration Tribunal on Nationalization of BTL

Humphrey Fellowship Competition
The U.S. Embassy is accepting applications for the the 2017 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program, which would allow people to train in the U.S. The deadline is August 15th. . "The Humphrey Fellowship Program is for experienced professionals interested in strengthening their leadership skills through a mutual exchange of knowledge and understanding about issues of common concern in the U.S. and Fellows’ home countries. As a non-degree program, the Fellowship offers valuable opportunities for professional development through selected university courses, attending conferences, networking, and practical work experiences. During the year, Fellows pursue both their individual program goals and work closely with their Humphrey colleagues in workshops and seminars. Unlike a typical graduate school experience, the Program encourages Fellows to travel away from their host campus to learn more about American culture and to network with their American peers. If you are interested in broadening your perspectives and becoming a global leader, the Humphrey Fellowship is for you.

Sargent Pepper's Grand Opening
Sargent Pepper's had their grand opening on Sunday the 26th. Mayor Trapp was there to help with the ribbon cutting. "On behalf of Sargent Pepper's Management and Staff, we want to thank all our invited guests, our businnes suppliers, family and friends who attended this historical moment for our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Grand Opening Event! An even more special and heart felt warm thank you goes out to our customers who has been supporting us from day one to present! And all those who came out yesterday thank you all! We are committed in serving you!"

Climate Change Video Competition
The NCCO is doing its first Climate Change Youth Video Competition. If you are between 18 and 30, and are doing something to combat climate change, you can enter the competition. Go for the gold! "The National Climate Change Office (NCCO) is embarking on its First National Climate Change Youth Video Competition. This competition will allow Belizean youths the opportunity to showcase ways in which they are implementing concrete actions in their communities to address Climate Change. Youths between the ages of 18-30 are eligible for entrance into the competition.

Channel 7

The BTL Bill?: Half Billion
458 million dollars – nearly half a billion dollars – that's how much the government of Belize will end up paying the Ashcroft Alliance for BTL. The full decision from the Permanent Council on Arbitration came down yesterday. In early May, the preliminary findings were made public and it showed that the shares were valued at five dollars sixty five cents each. That brought the total figure owing to the Ashcroft Alliance to 258 million dollars – which was bad enough, but the final decision adds eight years interest at a bruising 8% per annum. In total it's another 200 million Belize dollars in interest alone - bringing the total to a staggering 458 million dollars. Today at a press conference, the Prime Minister outlined the figures – and he didn't shrink from it. Surprisingly, he said, government is still coming out ahead! Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: The picture looks to be like this. Under costs to GOB I would list the shares at US 128 million. The interest at 99 US million, the arbitration cost awarded by the panel of US 2.2 million for a total of 229 US or 458.4 million Belize. Under benefits to GOB I would list the share value at 5 dollars as opposed to what we paid for just the shares minus accommodation agreement alone. So I would total that as 226 million dollars. I would list the savings of the accommodations on the accommodation agreement; and I set out for you earlier what we were losing, I would list that at 202 million dollars. I would calculate the consumer savings arrived at by way of the lower nationalised BTL charges and service enhancements at 140 million by 20 million per year; dividends and taxes to date 106 million dollars, dividends forecast over the next 10 years is Belize 100 million, for a total of 774 million. Some of you might want to quarrel with my figures but even if I grant you a concession here and there; 774 minus whatever is certainly far greater 458.4 which is what we are paying now. That is why we feel utterly vindicated by the conclusion now of this long saga.

PM Blames Musa for 60% Of Share Cost
And now, those "people of Belize" – have a very big bill to foot – and they have to pay the first half of what's outstanding in 10 days. That's 190 million dollars – and we'll tell you how government plans to do that shortly. But, back to today's press conference, where the Prime Minister deflected blame for the entire bill – and said at least 60% of it has to be blamed on his predecessor Said Musa. He's the one who signed the unlawful accommodation agreement which was what led to the BTL takeover. The accommodation agreement constitutes 60% of the share value – so it's more than half of the 258 million that has to be paid for the shares. But, there's also an upside to it because it can be paid in Belize dollars – and the proceeds are supposed to go for social purposes. The PM explained, while taking serious swipes at Right Honourable Musa:

Staggering Cost Of Interest Doesn't Faze PM
And while he can blame the accommodation agreement on the former Prime Minister, the 200 million dollars in interest payments is all on Mr. Barrow. Coming up shortly you'll hear COLA's attorney argue why the interest never had to go so high, but first, the Prime Minister went deep into the spin cycle when he said that even with that 198 million bill – he feels Government still came out ahead:.. Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "The arbitration panel awarded 8.3% interest with the interest as I indicated also being split 40% for the acquisition of the shares and 60% for the accommodation agreement. Total interest in therefore by my calculation 198.2 million Belize Dollars. The bottom line ladies and gentlemen is that while we would have wished a less onerous interest rate from the tribunal; 8.3%, we can't really complain given how well we did in the actual share price award. So that especially in view of what we were able to accomplish in rescuing the accommodation agreement position, government has no regrets. We consider the nationalisation by any measure to have been absolutely in the best interest of Belize and GOB stands as strongly as ever by its decision."

Government Paper To Pay Ashcroft Alliance
As we mentioned earlier, half of the award has to be paid within 10 days. Subtracting 65 million dollars that has already been paid, the outstanding figure is 380 million dollars. So, that means half – 190 million dollars has to be paid by the end of next week. That's not easy for government to come up with in a few days – and the Prime Minister explained how they will scrape up the money:… Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "Half of the totality of the award is payable within 10 business days with 60% being in Belize currency and 40% in US. The second half of the award will be payable a year from now. Very simply we believe we will have no difficulty especially in view of the excess liquidity in the financial system; getting all the money locally by way of issue of government paper, bills and notes. And the 40% that has to be converted into US and send abroad will also be fairly comfortably covered by Central Bank reserves." And apart from the strain on the reserves, this substantial additional debt will cause Belize's debt load to balloon, likely sending the debt to GDP ratio into the 90% range, which is the red zone. It will also cause a spike in the fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP.

COLA's PUP Attorney Says GOB Didn't Have To Pay
The activist group, COLA, brought in their politician attorney and asked him to interpret the arbitration judgement. He says that the Barrow Administration chose to fight an extensive legal battle dragged out over years, and costing hundreds of millions of dollars, only to retract their defense before this international arbitration tribunal. For COLA and their attorney, they see all that time and money spent in court as especially wasteful, since – in their opinion - the Prime Minister as an attorney – should have known better. They explained that today an impromptu press briefing: Geovannie Brackett - President, COLA: "What we've been saying is that we felt from the very get go that if the government had been more strategic in taking over BTL and if they had just settle from the time that they had the time to settle as you will hear our attorney will explain that the government could have settled this matter a long time ago; rather than dragging this through the mud and dropping it at the mercy of the tribunal."

17 Year Old Female Found Slain In Mahogany Heights
There's another Mahogany Heights murder to report tonight, but this time the victim is a 17 year old girl. Jasmine Petillo was last seen yesterday evening. She was hanging out with a group of friends and left at 4:00. That's the last time they saw her alive because this morning, they woke up to find her half nude body wrapped in a blood soaked quilt. Today we travelled to Mahogany heights to get more answers in this frightening case. It's in her cousin's small bedroom that Jasmine would have her rehearsals. She would plug in her microphone in this sound system and sing the new song she had composed for her aunt's birthday. Jasmine was here on Monday practicing with her other marching band members.

Family Calls Out For Jasmine
And late this evening we also got to speak with Jasmine's grandmother and aunt in Belize City. Her grandmother took care of her and raised her as a child but it is only recently that Jasmine left to go live with her mother in Mahogany Heights. Today Jasmine's family told us what they suspect could have happened and expressed how broken the family will be now without their Jasmine. Judith Petillo - Grandmother of Deceased: "Whatever they do to my granddaughter, who ever do it God no the sleep; da man up there see whe di happen and always he will know what to do. Now you can't think about justice because that you no wa get you understand me so you put everything inna god's hand mommy. Da mi granddaughter, I wa miss ah because then she always say gran when you get sick I will mind you, I will take care of you and now mi granddaughter no wa di deh to mind me again you understand me. I miss mi granddaughter so bad and ih just happen but I feel it to mi heart, I can't take it, I just can't take it miss. She mi have a lee dispute at Mahogany Height I hear with some people and ih mi had a lee case thing and they mi crowd ah, 3 of them crowd ah and they jump ah and self-defence but she help ihself, she mi do they something and we no know if that da the payback for what they do to ah or da something else whe mi happen long time I mi hear da Mahogany Heights because all kind of things happen da Mahogany Heights."

Human Traffic: Coyotes Caught
2 Belizeans and a group of 18 Salvadorans are facing major illegal entry and human smuggling charges. Police intercepted Belizean driver Anival Alvarenga in a van near crooked tree. When they searched the vehicle they found the 18 Salvadorans jammed in the van. Today police told us more about the 2 angles they are considering in this case. ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "Also last evening at about 8 o'clock we intercepted one grey van from Cayo district that had in 18 Salvadorians and 2 Belizeans who were transporting them north. This interception happened between Ladyville and Gardenia. We have managed to confiscate the van and arrested the 2 coyotes who were taking the Salvadorians to the north. We have our assistant superintendent Juanito Cocom presently in Salvador at this time so he'll be making checks to see whether or not any of these individuals are wanted or have any affiliation to the Mara Salvatrucha in Salvador."

PM Says Sarstoon Situation Normalised
Last week Friday, we took you to the Sarstoon River three days after the most recent round of Washington talks. Both sides were locked in meetings for more than 5 hours. Coming out of it was the very vague undertaking that both sides had agreed to, quote, "best practices for the de-escalation of tensions in the Sarstoon River." And we witnessed what may have been that de-escalation on Friday when our news team was not harassed by the Guatemalan Navy. That appears to lend credibility that there was modest success in Washington, since Guatemala was still blocking Belizeans, days after the Istanbul Talks. Today, the Prime Minister was asked to clarify what is the latest understanding on Belizean's free use of the River.: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "We cannot be satisfied until we get that so call cooperation, Sarstoon cooperation mechanism in writing. And I believe that the efforts to do just that are fully underway, ambassadors Rosado from our side and Roldan from the Guatemalan side are to take the first stab at reducing what has been discussed to writing with a view to producing this protocol. In the meantime, it was my expectation after the OAS meeting, last OAS meeting."

GOB Waiting For Sarstoon Mechanism To Consider Changing Referendum Law
The media also asked the Prime Minister if he was still willing to entertain the idea of changing Belize's referendum law from the 60% threshold, to just a simple majority. As we've shown you, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington had advocated for it. The PUPs Leader's former Representative, Assad Shoman, with his considerable knowledge and experience in Belize Guatemalan relations, agreed with him. The Prime Minister said that he still continues to see merit in changing the referendum law, but he's not prepared to do so while the uncertainty over a Sarstoon Protocol remains. Here's how he explained why: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "We certainly have the intention of amending the referendum act to remove that high threshold. I believe the foreign minister has indicated that the international community in particular the group of friends who's been so forth coming in helping to fund the OAS office in the adjacency zone and the OAS presence in Belize; that group is getting a little bit impatient. They feel that not enough progress is being made in respect to the referendum and try as we might in telling them it's not our fault we are ready to go just about whenever. They do point to the fact of us this high what they view as abnormal threshold in terms of our law; it is their feeling that would make it next to impossible or that any vote on that basis would not be a fair vote in terms of the internationally accepted standards."

Belize City Bad Boys Like "Bush Fire"
A book on Belize's Urban Violence called "Like Bush Fire" was launched today at the Image Factory on North Front Street in Belize City. It is based on Dr. Herbert Gayle's 400 page report on male social participation and urban violence in Belize. The report was condensed in a 200 page reader friendly book of sociology and anthropology that attempts to definitively deconstruct the social fabric of urban violence in an attempt to understand some of it's root causes. The report was launched in 2010, but now the authors hope that the published work will make it into schools, and all government institutions. The book was written by Dr. Herbert Gayle from Jamaica and co-authored by Virginia Hampton and Nelma Mortis. They told us more about the creation of the book from it's concept to completion. Herbert Gayle - Main Author: "We started out in 2008 at the Boys and Education forum that was held there by UNICEF where I met Nelma Mortis who was agitated in the meeting about the state of boys in Belize and I said to her you know start a think tank and come up with ideas as to what can be done. And that's where the work started, I came here, I started training people, a think tank of people that recognize we needed to do research."

Judges and Jurists Consider Justice
This morning, the Chief Justice and the Attorney General's Ministry opened a 2-day workshop called "JURIST", or the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project. The premise is that The Judiciary, headed by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, is aware of the public's dissatisfaction with the inefficiencies in the justice system. It was recently well documented when Caleb Orozco and his gay rights activist organization, UNIBAM, complained publicly about the Chief Justice for his 3-year delay in handing down a judgment in Orozco's challenge of Belize's sodomy laws. So, the judges and magistrates participated in the continuation of the JURIST Project, which is a collaboration between the Government of Canada, and the Conference of Heads of Judiciaries within CARICOM. Here's what the Chief Justice and his brother judge, Justice Courtney Abel had to say at today's opening ceremony:

Man Mysteriously Shot On Crooked Tree Road
A man was shot 5 times with a shot gun near Crooked Tree but he survived. Stephen Palacio had parked his car near the junction last night at around 8 and got out. That is when he was shot. Police say they do not have much information as to what exactly happened and why he was there but they told us today that they are still trying to confirm Palacio's version of the story. ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "Last evening we had a shooting at the Crooked Tree junction where on Steven Palacio from number 15 Racoon Street received 5 pellet wounds from the blast of a shot gun. He was rescued by a vender who transported him to the Orange Walk hospital where he was treated. According to Mr. Palacio he saw some individuals catching crabs when he was shot. We don't have any further details at this time; we will be interviewing Mr. Palacio sometime later today. We are investigating what he was doing in the area; as far as we know it seems as though he was out of his vehicle because his vehicle was not injured, he was in a blue Mitsubishi SUV."

Kaina and Kathy, The Controversy And The Competition
Tonight the discussion continues on the topic of Kaina Martinez's exclusion from Belize's Olympic team. As we told you yesterday the National Garifuna Council came out with a strongly worded press release demanding that the Belize Athletic Association rescind its decision of sending Kathy Sealy and immediately engage Martinez as a possible candidate for the Rio Olympics. But just how feasible are these demands? The Olympics, after all, are less than two months away. Today we asked the president of the BAA if that is something they can consider at this time. Here is what he told us. Deon Sutherland - President, BAA: "At this juncture no, what is done is done in terms of the selection in terms of the representation we cannot change that because we have no control over the processes of the IOC who is the International Olympic Committee nor the Organization Committee in Rio. They asked for information, information was submitted while it was gathered. They asked for the final roster to be in, we sent in those final roster; at this juncture one month before the start of the Olympics there is nothing else we can do."

BWSL Bucks
Belize Water Services Limited handed over a total of $45 thousand dollars in grants today to assist in various community driven initiatives. The first grant was to the tune of $5 thousand dollars. This was awarded to the National Sports Council of Belize in assisting them in their CODICADER Belize initiative. The HR manager and Public Relations Officer for BWS Haydon Brown told us why they’ve decided to pitch in to the CODICADER program. The national sports council had earmarked a total of $800 thousand dollars to fund the CODICADER games. Now with this generous BWS donation, the sports council says it is closing in on the half way mark of their targeted financial goal. The other grant, which is to the tune of $45 thousand dollars, went to the Program for Belize initiative to help the organization in funding scholarships for deserving students.

Fabulous Fisherfolk
Very regularly on the news, we show you fishermen who break the fisheries laws with out of season catches. But, there are also responsible fisher folk who follow the laws and practice sustainable fishing with a mind to preserve fish stocks in Belize's rivers and sea. Today, the Fisheries Department honoured 3 of them by choosing two outstanding fisherfolk, and 1 Fisherman of the year for 2016. Two of those exemplary fishermen told us how they balance conservation and their needs to earn as breadwinners: Those 3 responsible fisher folk were given a number of gifts and certificates.

The Ride, The Road, The Reason
As we told you earlier, 120 cyclists joined the first leg of this year’s Ride Across Belize Challenge. Here’s the organizer and a few of the participants as they arrived in Belize City after the 6 hour ride The Ride Across Belize will continue from Belize to San Ignacio tomorrow, from San Ignacio to Dangriga on Friday and from Dangriga to Punta Gorda on Saturday. Beneficiaries of this year’s fund raising initiatives include: St. Paul’s feeding program, St. Peter’s School Feeding program, Together We Can Solve Hunger, Cornerstone Foundation Feeding Program, Holy Cross Anglican School Feeding Program, Belmopan Police Feeding Program, Red Cross Feeding Program, and Toledo Schools Feeding Program.

COLA Condemns Social Security Utility Share Purchase
Last week, we told you about the Social Security Board's decision to approve the purchase of 55 million dollars worth of shares in both BTL and BEL. The PUP disagrees with them, and once again COLA is joining the chorus of objection. They're accusing the Government and the SSB Board of Directors of many things, including cronyism, conflict of interests, and poor judgment on the part of SSB Investment Committee. Here's COLA making their case today as to why they view the impending purchase of shares as questionable: Hon. Kareem Musa - Legal Advisor, COLA: "There's a legitimate expectation that our people must a say in how our hard earn contributions are going to be invested and invested in a company that in my opinion is going to be obsolete in the next 10 years. That there has been no forensic audit carried out on this company; let us bear in mind that it has been under government control and with the stewardship of the prime minister's son for the last 8 years. We have seen no forensic audit to see if this company is even viable and yet SSB and its board is being expected and asked to invest blindly people's money, invest it blindly in a company."

SIB: Unemployment Down, So Is GDP
The Statistical Institute of Belize issued a major tranche of figures today. Due to time contraints with a very loaded newscast tonight – we can't go into them with the depth that we usually do, but just to give you a snapshot, here's what we can tell you. First off, GDP growth was down 2% for the first quarter of 2016. That's a very negative indicator, since it was up 7% in the first quarter of 2015. But there's good news for employment figures. A labour force survey conducted in April 2016, showed the lowed unemployment figures in almost 10 years. Unemployment was 8% in April of 2016, down form 10% in April 2015. Unemployment has been trending down from April of 2012 when it was 14%. And, inflation in May increased by 1%, meaning goods cost 1% more this year than they did a year ago. We'll have a more detailed breakdown in tomorrow's news.

Archaeology Symposium Underway
For the past 3 days, local and international archaeologists and anthropologists have been participating in the annual Belize Archaeology Anthropology Symposium, which is being held at the San Ignacio Resort and Hotel. It's a forum where these professionals discuss advancements and best practices in these two fields. But, on Monday evening, before they jumped into the highly technical topics, they enjoyed a laid-back opening ceremony. Here are the NICH leaders welcoming their guests: The symposium continues tomorrow and concludes on Friday.

Channel 5

FinSec Breaks Down Arbitration Award
As we told you Tuesday night, after years of legal battles, the long anticipated figures for the 2009 nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited are in and they are staggering. According [...]

PM Barrow Blames P.U.P. for Majority of Award
In case you missed it, Government, for the acquisition of B.T.L., must pay approximately four hundred million to the previous owners of B.T.L., give or take a million or two. [...]

Barrow Says Takeover of B.T.L. Was Worth Every Penny
It’s not quite as simple as that. The settlement agreement, agreed to in 2015 between Prime Minister Barrow and Lord Michael Ashcroft, does indeed stipulate that the Accommodation Agreement portion [...]

G.O.B. Claims Analysis Shows Benefits from B.T.L. Outweigh Costs
To round off his sales pitch, the P.M. then launched into a costs-benefits analysis which he maintains is complete vindication of G.O.B.’s seven years of effort and fighting the good [...]

$200 Million Due in 9 Days – Barrow Says No Problem
Two hundred million in ten days, now actually nine, sounds like a big deal. But it’s not, apparently. In fact, Government says they will have absolutely no difficulty raising the [...]

P.U.P. Says Arbitration Award is the Cost of Barrow’s Arrogance
The Prime Minister appears to be deeply impressed with the four hundred million dollar arbitration award, but the P.U.P. is not. In a release issued late this evening the Party [...]

Teenager Brutally Stabbed in Mahogany Heights
A gruesome discovery was made this morning in Mahogany Heights. The body of a young woman stabbed multiple times was found in a ditch behind the village, a short distance [...]

18 Salvadorans Nabbed by Police in Human Trafficking Operation
The police have made a significant bust of a suspected smuggling ring of illegal Central American nationals. Two Cayo residents, twenty-two year old Anival Alvarenga and twenty-four year old Victor [...]

2 Belizean “Coyotes” Detained by Cops
ACP Broaster says that the rural corridor is used by coyotes to transport illegal immigrants into the country as they make their way to Mexico with their final destination the [...]

Belize City Man Shot in Mysterious Circumstances
Ladyville police are also investigating a shooting that occurred around eight p.m. on Tuesday at the Crooked Tree junction with mile thirty-one on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Twenty-five year old [...]

Have Tensions in the Sarstoon De-escalated?
While all eyes will now almost certainly be turned on the arbitration award, the situation at the Sarstoon continues in limbo. Coming out of a meeting at the O.A.S. last [...]

PM Wants P.U.P. to Re-Engage in Talks
The People’s United Party announced on the eve of the Washington meeting that they would be withdrawing from the process because government didn’t appear to be serious in its talks [...]

Did G.O.B. Take Attempted Interception of Media in the Sarstoon Seriously?
The last time News Five went to the Sarstoon just prior to the Washington talks last week, we were chased out by a Guatemalan naval vessel with nine armed soldiers. [...]

G.O.B. Will Change the Referendum Act When Sarstoon Protocols Established
To referendum or not to referendum – that is the question or at least one of the questions. Another involves the amending of Belize’s Referendum Act. It’s been reported that [...]

SIB Releases Latest Statistics
Today was report card day from the Statistical Institute of Belize.  S.I.B. held its quarterly press conference this morning to present the most recent figures pertaining to Belize’s economic performance.  [...]

COLA Steps Up in B.T.L. Arbitration Award
Ahead of the prime minister’s press conference this afternoon, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, held its own media brief to discuss the impact of the B.T.L. arbitration award.  [...]

COLA Attorneys Says Delayed Misappropriation was a Costly Blunder
Attorney Kareem Musa, who describes the entire nationalization as a political blunder, maintains that the former owners of B.T.L. should have been compensated at the time the utility company was [...]

Judiciary Participates in Reform Project
This morning, the courts took a break from court proceedings and instead the judiciary participated in the JURIST project which is the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project.  A cross-section [...]

Chief Justice Says Elimination of Backlog is a Priority
The Chief Justice says that one project that has had success in the Court of Appeal involves backlog elimination. The initiative is still in progress and involves case management methods [...]

Herbert Gayle Launches ‘Like a Bushfire’
Born out of a social research known as the Gayle Report, conducted in Belize over six years ago, Like A Bushfire was officially launched at the Image Factory this morning.  [...]

Gayle Says Project was a Labour of Love
In 2013, Cubola Productions approached the research team with an idea to compile the results of the Gayle Report into book form.  It has been three years since and the [...]

BWS Partners With Restore Belize
Belize Water Services Limited has announced a partnership with Restore Belize’s “I am Belize” Scholarship Program, as well as the Belize National Sports Council.  BWS has pledged to assist with [...]

2 Programs Benefit from BWS Contributions
Each of the various representatives, including Roger Bradley and Ritchel Dominguez, described their respective programs.  The ‘I am Belize’ Scholarship Program began several years ago and was primarily funded through [...]

Outstanding Fisherfolk Recognized
The Fisher of the Year Award Ceremony was held in Belize City this morning to acknowledge fisher folks, men and women, who have been outstanding in their effort to secure [...]

Guadalupe Lampella Is Most Outstanding for 2016
Guadalupe Lampella has been a fisherwoman for over forty-five years.  She was selected as the Outstanding Fisher Folk for 2016 after meeting the criteria of participating in the decision-making process, [...]

LOVE FM

255 Million + 395 Million in Debt Translates to A Victory for Belize, Says PM Barrow (BTL Arbitration)
After almost seven years of court battles surrounding the takeover of Belize Telemedia Limited, the Government of Belize are now better informed on how much money they will need to settle and close this issue. Early last month, a preliminary report was published by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands and from then […]

PM Barrow Says Satisfaction Will Come Via A Written Mechanism with Guatemala
In today’s press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow allowed the issues surrounding the Sarstoon River and the relations between Belize and Guatemala to be discussed. The first question regarding this subject focused on where we are in terms of access to the Sarstoon and our negotiations with Guatemala. Here was the Prime Minister’s response. DEAN […]

COLA Accuses GOB of Appeasing the Guatemalans
Just hours before the Prime Minister’s press conference, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) held a press brief to discuss a couple issues. President, Geovanni Brackett spoke of the Guatemala dispute, he said the decisions being made by Government seems aimed at appeasing Guatemala. GEOVANNI BRACKETT “We’ve seen the veracity by the government who […]

COLA Seeks Legal Counsel to Simplify National Issues
Yesterday, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) spoke to Love News about their concerns as it relates to Belize’s economic state; specifically, the fifty five million dollar shares being bought by the Social Security Board from Belize Telecommunications Limited and Belize Electricity Limited. COLA has since then met with attorney Kareem Musa, to seek […]

Teenager Stabbed Multiple Times and Dumped in a Ditch
Neighbours, relatives and police investigators are tonight trying to put the pieces together as to how a seventeen year old girl ended up in a ditch in the Mahogany Heights residential community bearing over ten stab wounds. Love News was alerted minutes after the body was found and upon reaching the scene we found police […]

Statistics Released for First Part of 2016
This morning the Statistical Institute of Belize released its latest figures as it relates to Consumer Price Index, External Trade, Gross Domestic Products, and the Labor Force. Presentations began with the Consumer Price Index by statistician one, Angelita Campbell who said on average prices were one percent higher in the month of May 2016 when […]

PlusTV

Accident on George Price Highway claims one life
Over the weekend, a traffic accident claimed the life of Rosendo Teck as he was travelling on his motorcycle. On Saturday the 25th of June, Teck was travelling on the George Price Highway when he tried to overtake a bus, but collided head first with a Ford Escape and was flung off his motorcycle, dy...

Two arrested for murder of San Benito man
Police in the South have arrested two persons for the murder of San Benito Poite resident, 36 year old Francisco Ack. The two Belizean farmers were arraigned today for the murder of Ack who was killed while walking home after church on Saturday the 18th of June. On the following day, the 19th of Jun...

Fire aftermath; Picking up the pieces
San Pedranos are picking up the pieces after a massive fire wiped out 8 businesses and 3 family homes after midnight on Monday, June 27th. A total of 88 people have been affected by the devastating blaze and now the relief efforts are on the way on the island. San Pedro residents have kicked into co...

Compol discusses Santa Cruz 13 and lack of village police
In Monday’s newscast we reported that the Government of Belize led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, dropped all charges against 13 Mayans, including MLA spokesperson Christina Coc, after one year of dragging them through the courts in Punta Gorda Town. The charges t...

Police deletes pictures taken by Journalist
Citizens sometimes complain about police overstepping their authority or abusing their authority. Similarly, journalists sometimes find themselves face to face with that same kind of behavior from police. One Journalist from the Belize Media Group, was taking pictures of a police operation in San Ig...

Deidra Smith receives Queens Award
60 young people from across the Commonwealth received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award including Belizean, 28 year old Deidra Smith. The recipients were awarded in London at Buckingham Palace this past week by Her Majesty the Queen in acknowledging the achievements of those young persons who are tra...

San Ignacio’s Officers of the Month
The Belize Western Police Division had a brief ceremony on Friday June 24th at their headquarters in San Ignacio where they honored officers of the month for June 2016. Corporal Michael Salazar told us about some of the criteria looked at when choosing officers of the month. Michael Salazar, San Ign...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

PUP slams GOB over BTL settlement
The People’s United Party (PUP) issued a statement this evening and said it was appalled and deeply concerned by the final figures released by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Tuesday with respect to Government’s acquisition of BTL. The PUP said the figures were even worse […]

Economic stats: Unemployment down, economy shrinks, exports rebound but not enough
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) released a battery of economic statistics during a press conference today in Belize City. The big headline is that the economy shrank 2 percent in the first quarter, primarily due to a slowdown in agriculture, marine production and manufacturing, […]

How much debt has the Barrow government added to the country?
Belize’s national debt, now estimated to be somewhere around $2.6 billion, is always a hot topic of discussion. The national debt is projected to balloon to $3 billion by the end of 2017 and Belizeans should be concerned about how government intends to manage its […]

GOB breaks down BTL settlement
Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference this afternoon at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City to brief the nation on the Arbitration Panel ruling on the final settlement of the BTL nationalization. Barrow was accompanied by Financial Secretary Joseph Waight and BTL Chairman […]

Southern Belize Communities undergo training for natural disasters and climate change
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) has concluded the Community Preparedness and Resilience initiative that was launched in July 2015. Through the program, over 14, 000 residents of Stann Creek District were assisted in preparing for and responding to disasters and climate change adaptation. Through the […]

BWS donates to CODICADER and RESTORE Belize
Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) has entered a four-year partnership with RESTORE Belize to sponsor its “I am Belize” scholarship program for needy students, to the tune of 40 thousand dollars for the next four years. The state-owned water company also gave a check for 5 thousand […]

Woman murdered in Mahogany Heights
Breaking Belize News has been made to understand that a woman was found dead with multiple stab wounds to her body in the small community of Mahogany Heights near mile 30 on the George price Highway. This is a developing story. BBN will post more […]

Half a billion for BTL?
Prime Minister Dean Barrow will be holding a press conference in Belize City this afternoon to brief the country of the decision from an Arbitration Panel regarding the final compensation figures for the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). The judgment, however, has been leaked to […]

Author of Male Social Violence Report on Belize to release book
Dr. Herbert Gayle, anthropologist specializing in social violence and based at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, is in Belize to launch his new book, based on the major report “Male Social Violence and Urban Participation in Belize” released in 2010. Dr. […]

COLA: Consult Belizeans before selling utility shares
The sale of 55 million dollars in shares in Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) appears to be a done deal between Government and the Social Security Board (SSB), after approval was received last week from the latter’s Board of Directors. But […]

Blogs

This is San Pedro Strong
It’s been on everyones mind lately and it weighs more than most Sanpedranos can bare. A fire, one night, 11 buildings, 27 families, 88 people who lost it all. Immediately after our first news report the outpour of concerned calls and messages overwhelmed our phones, websites and social media and we all knew there was work to be done by all of us. I posted a flyer on Facebook the evening of the fire thinking if a handful of volunteers came to help we would do everything in our power to assist in the cleanup of the site. You amazed me San Pedro! Forty-five of us met at Estel’s on Tuesday morning to assist in the cleanup and we were only one of the many groups who volunteered.

No fund me’s please and Important San Pedro Fire Updates
There has been lots of talk and people stepping up from afar to help those affected by the San Pedro Fire. My mom and Stepdad immediately put money in my Canadian Bank account for me to pass along. Yesterday I was asked politely if I was willing to address the individual fundraising campaigns sprouting up and being asked for all over Facebook. Here goes…. A few people have started up “Go Fund Me” campaign type sites to raise money for the cause and we do appreciate everyone’s efforts and wanting to help. However it is easier for all of NGO’s collecting money to be approved by the Lions Den. If too many sites get out there it makes it hard to keep track of and disorganized. At a time like this we all need to be as organized and efficient as we can. This is an enormous task ahead of us and we appreciate everyone who is helping in any way. The Mayor and a few heads of each NGO came together yesterday afternoon and made a concrete plan which we are all doing our part to follow. Different organizations are working together, but still maintaining their own policies and protocols when it comes to disaster relief and management.

San Pedro rises strong from the ashes
Cleanup on Middle Street in San Pedro Town, Belize, continues today after Monday’s devastating fire. More than 60 volunteers showed up this morning to help clear debris from the area where 11 shops, restaurants and homes once stood. And life goes on. The annual fishermen’s breakfast and boat parade were this morning. A stage is being built and chairs set out in front of the Roman Catholic Church to celebrate the annual feast of Saint Peter, our community’s namesake, with a Mass tonight by the Bishop. Across town at Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex an even grander stage is being built for the Dia de San Pedro celebration, with entertainment, music and fireworks planned. Entertainment will continue through Saturday with big name bands on the stage each night. (Here’s the full schedule.) Behind the Sylvestre field stage is the itinerant carnival where so many people were enjoying themselves when the fire broke out. Scores of revelers abandoned the ferris wheel and whirley rides and streamed into town to join the bucket brigades which yet again saved a piece of San Pedro.

International Sourcesizz

NOAA Outlook for Central America June 30 – July 6, 2016
In the last seven days, seasonal rains continued throughout Central America, however below-average totals were again registered across many anomalously dry regions. The highest weekly precipitation accumulations (>100mm) were received throughout many coastal areas in the Yucatan peninsula, southern Guatemala, and along the Atlantic coastline of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Lesser, but well distributed totals were received over many interior departments of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Since the end of May, seasonal dryness continues to strengthen across many central regions of Guatemala and Honduras. While many of these areas have experienced an increased number of days of rain during this span, several weeks of below-average totals have led to many areas experiencing between 50 to 80 percent of their normal rainfall accumulation over the past three months. In western Guatemala, the delayed onset and erratic distribution of rainfall have already resulted in wilted, early-planted crops. A failure of Primera rains by mid-summer would mark the 3rd consecutively failed season of Guatemala and Honduras.

Belize’s IFSC issues warning against binary options broker YieldOptions for forged license
Belize financial regulator the International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC) has issued a warning against binary options broker YieldOptions, owned and operated by HSBO Capital Ltd. According to the IFSC, YieldOptions is fraudulently claiming to hold a license for trading in financial and commodity-based derivative instruments and other securities, issued by the Samoa International Financial Authority. The Licence No. IFSC/60/241/TS/14 carrying its name and purporting to be signed by Mr. Gian C. Gandhi, the former Director General of International Financial Services Commission of Belize is a complete forgery. The IFSC warns with regards to this to take note and exercise extreme caution.

Francis Ford Coppola's Private Island Is Taking Reservations
Francis Ford Coppola has successfully conquered the film and wine worlds, and has been making a serious mark on the hospitality world as well. After successfully opening several resorts around the world, the director is set to unveil his first private island this summer. Coral Caye is located off the coast of Belize, near Coppola's beachfront property Turtle Inn. Beginning July 1, guests will be able to enjoy a rustic two-acre island just eight miles from the mainland, Coral Caye. The property can accommodate up to 12 guests — but a private island for two sounds more romantic.

Videos

  • YannisWCA Video Update #2 - Snorkeling in Belize, 4.5min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize with Caveman Snorkeling Tours, 3.5min. Snorkeling in Caye Caulker, Belize with Caveman Snorkeling Tours

  • A Journey to Belize, 8.5min.

  • Xunantunich, Cayo, Belize 2016, 4min.

    June 29, 2016

    The news will be a bit brief for the next week or so due to time constraints


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro Fire Relief continues
    The humanitarian spirit continues on Ambergris Caye as the community unites to help the victims who were greatly affected by the devastating fire that took place in the early hours of Monday, June 27th. As a result, The San Pedro Town Council, along with many volunteers are heading a massive clean-up campaign in the immediate area. While the clean-up efforts are underway, other volunteers and island Non-profit Organization are ensuring that the affected families are fed, clothed and sheltered. Even organizations around the country have joined in the efforts to assist the fire victims. More volunteers are still needed, especially at the San Pedro Lions Den with the distribution of items, as well as at the NEMO station, which is located at the SPTC Conference Room located at the back of SPTC building. Everyone is informed that the NEMO station will be operating for approximately three days with twenty-four (24) hour assistance. For more information the SPTC can be contacted at 226-2198. The Southern Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch has set up an easy and fast way to donate through their webpage: https://sacnw.org/wp/product/fire-victim-assistance/. Any monetary donations received will be forward to the San Pedro Lions Club chapter.

    Belizeans Honoured by the Queen
    Receiving the insignia of a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George was Mr. Michael Bowen for services to business and industry. Mrs. Eleanor Hulse and Mrs. Dilicia Feinstein received the insignia of an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire; Mrs. Hulse for services to education and Mrs. Feinstein for services to business and the community. The insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was given to Ms. Emelda August for services to nursing; Mrs. Sarita Westby for services to education and the community; Mr. Juan Nunez for services to education and sport; Dr. Aaron Lewis for services to science; and Mrs. Janet Gibson for services to environmental protection.

    Lobster Festival Block Party brings the crowd!
    San Pedro Lobster Festival Block Party-40After winning the Belize Tourism Board Award for best festival in Belize, San Pedro’s Lobster Festival pulled out all the stops for its 10th Annual Lobster Fest Block Party. For nearly two weeks, visitors and residents alike had been enjoying some lobster ‘crawling’ in honor of the crustacean, indulging in all kinds of tasty lobster dishes and themed activities around the island. The celebration culminated in grand fashion at Central Park with a well-attended block party. Gaily decorated booths were being visited as early as 4PM on Saturday, June 25th by hungry lobster aficionados seeking tasty treats. From the classic whole grilled lobsters and lobster dips, to gourmet twists such as lobster empanadas and tacos, sliders, kebabs, wontons, pizza and so much more, it was a true celebration of the Panulirus Argus! After walking past the beautifully decorated venue entrance, which featured some historic photos and information booths and posters, hundreds of revellers made their way to the food and drink booths. To the soothing Caribbean sounds of the Pannerifix Steel Band, they sampled and tasted the best lobster dishes available. Some bought commemorative t-shirts or tickets for a 50-50 draw benefiting the San Pedro Food Bank, while others danced to the tunes being played.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Congratulations to the new cadets!
    These are our two Officer Cadets who are currently studying in Quebec Canada at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean, for a 4 years Junior Officers Training and Education Program Course. OCdt Giovanni Torres is in his second year and OCdt Yascal is on his last year. They are also along with 6 other countries besides Canada on this course. Keep up the hard work and represent the Belize Defence Force in a professional manner.

    "San Pedro Fire Relief" run from Thunderbolt
    The Management of Thunderbolt Water Taxi announces that Thunderbolt II will be making a special trip to San Pedro Ambergris Caye tomorrow June 29th at 8:00 a.m. from the municipal dock in Corozal Town. Send as much sundries as you can! Anyone wishing to send donations to the San Pedro Fire Victims can make deliveries 1/2 hour before the boat departs tomorrow or preferably at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon at the municipal dock. This trip is a special one and will not stop in Sarteneja but Thunderbolt will continue to make FREE deliveries (until further notice) on its regular run departing at 7:00 a.m. each morning and stopping at Sarteneja. Packages MUST be marked "San Pedro Fire Relief" "San Pedro Lions Club" c/o Thunderbolt.

    NEMO NOTICE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC
    The Emergency Operations Committee (EOC), activated by the NEMO - San Pedro, would like to emphasize and advise that all financial aid for the San Pedro Fire victims is officially being channeled through the San Pedro Lions Club - Fire Relief Fund and the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross. The official bank account is ATLANTIC BANK number 211-382-902. We are therefore asking all members of the public to discontinue from creating individual fundraising profiles, since it will only open the door for confusion and unaccountability. The EOC has been working very closely with all the NGO’s, social partners, tourism stakeholders, local and national governmental organizations to ensure that all efforts are being properly coordinated. This is to ensure that all those affected by the unfortunate fire are being given equal assistance. We take the opportunity to thank all those businesses, NGO’s, social partners, tourism stakeholders and other organizations and individuals who are working closely with the San Pedro EOC in this humanitarian effort. For further questions or information, please call the EOC Command Center at telephone number: 226-4458.

    Commentary: Belizeans will vote no to the ICJ unless our government takes certain steps
    By Wellington C. Ramos. Many Belizeans like myself believe that the Guatemalan claim handed down to our country by Great Britain after we attained our independence on September 21, 1981, is an undue burden handed down to us by the British. It was and still is in my opinion the British responsibility to settle this dispute with Spain or Guatemala. They were the ones who landed, settled and created the country we know as Belize today. It is reported in the news this week that they possess $900 billion in total assets compared to Belize and Guatemala. Combined with this, they also have one of the most powerful militaries in the world. They had several opportunities to settle this dispute with these two countries but failed to take advantage when they could have, especially in the Godolphin Treaty. We must demand from the British that they provide us with defence until this dispute is fully settled and a treaty is signed between them and Guatemala or us with Guatemala. Guatemala is saying that, in the 1859 treaty, Britain agreed to fulfill an obligation but did not. They can compensate Guatemala to fulfill that obligation from the money they obtained when they exploited all the logwood and mahogany out of Belize. Once Guatemala is compensated, they will have no other choice but to end their claim and all these hostilities against our people and nation.

    International attention focused on vulnerability of Belize barrier reef
    A World Heritage Committee draft decision released on 10th June by UNESCO signaled a possible decision to retain the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System on the list of world heritage in danger. Several deadlines to meet required indicators outlined by UNESCO in the desired state of conservation report (DSOCR) have been missed despite the government of Belize’s affirmation of its resolve in ensuring the continued protection of Belize’s Barrier Reef System and its seven World Heritage Sites in December 2015. The committee’s draft decision notes, inter alia, that the announcement of an offshore oil ban in World Heritage Sites still needs to be translated into a legislative instrument and that the adequacy of the one-kilometer buffer zone needs revision to secure the protection of the property’s outstanding universal value (OUV). The 21 member countries of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will gather in Istanbul, Turkey, in two weeks’ time to debate the status of some of the most extraordinary natural places on the planet, including the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. “If adopted by the World Heritage Committee next month, this decision would send a message that more needs to be done,” said WWF’s reef scientist and climate change officer in Belize, Nadia Bood.

    Convictions: Supplies Control (Prices) Regulations
    The Belize Bureau of Standards in collaboration with the Police Department (Corozal and Toledo Formation) hereby informs the general public that the following establishments have been prosecuted and charged for violations to the Supplies Control (Prices) Regulations: ---J-Mart Supermarket, Corozal District - Failure to Indicate Prices of Goods. Contrary to section 15 of Supplies Control Prices Regulations. $150.00 Corozal Magistrate Court ---PG Shop, Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District - Failure to Indicate Prices of Goods. Contrary to section 15 of Supplies Control Prices Regulations. $500.00 Punta Gorda Magistrate Court

    Relocation of Lands and Surveys Belize City Office
    The Ministry of Natural Resources & Immigration hereby informs the general public that the Lands and Surveys Belize City Office will be RELOCATED. EFFECTIVE JULY 4, 2016 THE LANDS AND SURVEYS BELIZE CITY OFFICE WILL BE RELOCATED TO CORNER OF CENTRAL AMERICAN BOULEVARD & GEORGE PRICE HIGHWAY, BELIZE CITY.

    AFTERMATH & CLEAN UP OF MASSIVE FIRE IN DOWNTOWN SAN PEDRO
    The community of San Pedro stands strong and united after the Massive fire left 88 individuals homeless. After the impressive efforts of forming a bucket brigade to out the fire and also doing the impossible, they are out once again helping with the clean up of what is left. Thank you to all the volunteers that have been at the site since early morning to help with the clean up. We also extend a huge thank you to all those businesses and people preparing food for the volunteers and the fire victims.

    Two Medical Officers from Ministry of Health and Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital will Attend the "2016 Workshop on Chronic Disease Control" in Taiwan
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that two medical officers from Ministry of Health and Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital are invited through the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to attend the “2016 Workshop on Chronic Disease Control”, which will take place in TaiwanICDF in Taipei City, during July 20th- August 2nd, 2016. The prevalence rates of overweight and obesity in Belize are quite high, which mainly contribute to the development of chronic disease, ex: diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, etc. Also the hypertension and diabetes patients are the high risk group of kidney disease. And the “Renal Failure Prevention Project” between Belize and Taiwan has been implemented from February 10, 2016. The purpose of Renal Failure Prevention Project is to treat the patients at the early stage to prevent the exacerbation and lead to effectively reduce the socio-economic cost of the whole society.

    Belizeans Honoured by the Queen
    Eight distinguished Belizeans were honoured for their dedicated and outstanding services to their community at a ceremony held today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The insignias were presented by the Acting Governor General of Belize H.E. Mr. Carlos Perdomo on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Receiving the insignia of a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George was Mr. Michael Bowen for services to business and industry. Mrs. Eleanor Hulse and Mrs. Dilicia Feinstein received the insignia of an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire; Mrs. Hulse for services to education and Mrs. Feinstein for services to business and the community. The insignia of a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was given to Ms. Emelda August for services to nursing; Mrs. Sarita Westby for services to education and the community; Mr. Juan Nunez for services to education and sport; Dr. Aaron Lewis for services to science; and Mrs. Janet Gibson for services to environmental protection.

    Animal Health Fair
    The BWRC, CAWS, and the Animal Medical Center are teaming up to bring a 2 day animal health fair to Spanish Lookout on July 5th and 6th. They'll have deals on spaying and neutering on the 6th. "Everyone invited! Great animal information and fun planned. Dog training seminar, in the evening and food and fun for the family throughout the day! Looking for your next pet? Come check out the puppy play booth! come and sign up for the low cost spay/neuter clinic on July 6th!"

    Cayo Market Upgrade - June 2016
    They are upgrading the Cayo Market overlooking the Macal river.

    Queen of the West 2016 Search
    The SISE Town Council is looking for contestants for the 2016 Queen of the West. Call them at 804-2035 for more information. Good luck! "THE SEARCH IS ON! The SI/SE Town Council is seeking candidates for : “Queen of the West Competition 2016.” REQUIREMENTS: Age: between 18 - 24 Minimum of High School Diploma Must be a Belizean FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: SI/SE TOWN COUNCIL 804-2035 Councilor Fernandez 627-9690 Karen Fernandez 620-1710"

    St. Peter's Boat Procession and the Blessing of the Boats
    Everyone is invited to attend the St. Peter's Boat Procession and the Blessing of the Boats on June 29th @ 7:00 am

    Open Air Mass
    The San Pedro Catholic Church invites you to a special Open Air Mass with Bishop Christopher Glancy on June 29th @ 6:00 pm in front of the St. Peter statue.

    Channel 7

    Chopped Child Dies, Banner's Charges To Be Upgraded
    Tonight we have confirmed the first casualty in the violent attack that took place in Yo Creek Village last Friday. A total of six persons fell victim to a one man's deadly chopping spree. But none got it worse that 13 year old Danny Choc. He has been on life support ever since arriving at the KHMH in a critical condition. This afternoon, Doctors confirmed him dead, according to his stepfather. Choc was placed on life support after he was hacked to death by 35 year old Larry Banner. The blade of the machete according to authorities had smashed his skull and damaged his brain. There are several conflicting stories as to what happened inside the house of Adela Choc, but one of them says that 13 year old Danny, jumped to his younger brother's defence, when the deranged man began his merciless attack. His mother was also injured in the process, however she remains at the hospital in a stable condition. As for Banner, he will now face additional charges. He was arraigned in court yesterday on charges of attempted burglary and maim. Murder will now be added to that.

    Is Mental Illness A Public Safety Threat?
    Now one of the arguments that has been playing out since the beginning of this incident is the mental health of 35 year old Larry Banner, which is questionable. According to his family Banner is schizophrenic. One of the symptoms of this disease is hallucinations. But when we asked police yesterday they couldn't really confirm, although he had a history of mental instability. In court yesterday the magistrate ordered a psychiatric evaluation on Banner, but that diagnosis is still pending. Now the cases of the mentally deranged, while not uncommon to Belize, is a very complicated matter to say the least. So today we spoke to several professionals in the field of mental health in hopes of clearing the waters a bit, and find out just what could have gone so wrong to trigger the mass chopping. Eleanor Bennet, Coord, Mental Health Services, MOH: "We have dealt with situations like this before. Not often, but we do meet people who, because of their mental illness and drug use, are very violent. What happens in those cases is that we always get the help of the police. Once that service is done and there's a threat, usually the police would bring them to the clinic for treatment.

    Fire Follow-Up
    Last night, we told you about the raging fire which destroyed 11 buildings, damaged another 6, and left 88 San Pedro Residents homeless. Well, as this photographs show, the authorities and the community have been working as quickly as they possibly can to clean up the block between Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street. It's been over 30 hours since the blaze destroyed the homes, and since then, support has been coming from local and international sources. Smart donated $2,500 dollars cash and pledged to match all donations made by their customers who use their credit balance to simply text in how much they would want to contribute. That amount will then be deducted from their credit balance. But, as we told you, the main relief effort on the ground is coming from the non-profit organizations on San Pedro. Yesterday, the Mayor told us how he and NEMO worked to organize them to maximize the recovery effort:

    Cops Saved Drowned Child, But His Prognosis Is Not Encouraging
    Last night we told you about the trio of Belize City police officers who had saved an 11 year old boy from drowning. Those officers, Christian Cawich, Jesse Lopez, and Anibal Castellanos, received certificates for their bravery. Well, while the cops did act heroically to get him out of the water, the story does not have the happy ending we might have thought. A police press release said the minor is recovering - but it turns out, he's not. In fact, the boy's father tells us that his son is in a very critical condition. He says his son is experiencing multiple organ failure and his prognosis is not encouraging. The child jumped off a pier on Marine Parade and did not resurface. A passing police patrol was summoned and the officers jumped in to find him. Police found him underwater and tried to resuscitate him. A police report says he was with a 14 year old female cousin - but neither of them could swim.

    Shop owners Charged For Running Red On Controlled Prices
    If you frequent the grocery store, you'll know that all kinds of malpractice happens behind the counter, from scales that aren't accurate to prices that just don't gel. Well, the Belize Bureau of Standards has convicted four storeowners for shady commercial practices. Stores in Corozal, and PG were convicted of not displaying the prices of controlled items - like rice and sugar. Unethical store owners often do this so that they can secretly sell above the controlled price - once you take the product up to the cash register. Well, J Mart Supermarket in Corozal did it and they got fined $150.00, while PG Shop in Punta Gorda Town got fined $500 for the same. Also in PG, Brad's Store, And Jose Maria Store were selling controlled items at prices above what's allowed so they were fined five hundred dollars as well. No doubt this is just a drop in the bucket, but the Bureau says it is doing tis monitoring and other cases are in the pipeline.

    The Perils Of Children And Unsupervised Internet Usage
    School is out for summer, and the kids are already enjoying their long break. While there are tons of summer programs and jobs for them to do, most of them will stay home on their computer for the entire vacation. It might seem like just a harmless pastime but in reality, it can be toxic. Today at a Cyber Security training, Courtney Weatherburne found out about the two different faces of the internet. For most working adults, browsing the internet is about staying informed and connected whether that's checking the current news on Facebook, reading up on Twitter feeds, or researching for work and business. Clevand Thomas, International Telecommunications Union, Caribbean Area Rep.: "We all recognize the importance and the benefits of using technology and the internet, economic, social or otherwise. We've seen many countries using technology for development throughout the Caribbean region, Belize no exception, recognized in the ICT as a key pillar for development." But behind the great rewards of the internet, there is an underworld, a dark virtual portal that many explore. It's a world of secrets and sex. Millions of nude pictures and sex videos are sent, shared and viewed over the internet and thousands of explicit conversations are conducted on various social media. And frighteningly, kinds are among those navigating this minefield of objectionable content. That topic was addressed at today's Cyber Security Workshop at St. Catherine's Academy.

    Ahmad's Get Back Electronic Items
    Last night we gave you a short snippet of the police press conference on the Ahmad family raid. The conference was held in Belmopan yesterday evening and neither the Special Branch Commander Marco Vidal nor the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie gave us much information. But there was one grave and quite frightening generalization as it relates to the Islamic terrorist group ISIS. Commander Vidal first gave his account of what happened on the day of the search and provided a bit more context to the investigation. Marco Vidal, Special Branch Commander: "Upon executing the operation all persons whose homes were searched and who were detained were told the parameters of the search and the purpose for which we were there. They indicated that they will not answer any questions on the advice of their attorneys and we respect that. They were allowed to go thereafter and that was the process on having their release." Reporter: "How long were they in custody before they were allowed to get their attorneys involved?"

    Sugar Season, It Was A Good Year, Not a Very Good Year
    On Sunday night at 9:00 pm, Orange Walk Town residents may have heard the siren at the Tower Hill Factory sound to mark the end of the 2015 - 2016 cane season. The mill closed at 8:53 pm - bringing an end to a season that saw reduced prices, bad weather and slightly less sugar production than the year before. But there was more cane taken to the factory - a record volume in fact, it was just lower in quality. BSI Financial Controller Belizario Carballo gave an overview: Belizario Carballo - CFO, ASR/BSI: "This crop was I would say good, in terms of production, despite some of the adversities that we faced during the crop. We were able to from that cane produced 134,000 tons of sugar - metric tons, which is less than what we did last crop. Last crop was a record production of 142,000 tons on sugar. So this year with more cane, because last year we did 1.2 million tons of cane. This year we did 1.3 million tons of cane.

    Mother Please For Missing Son With Bipolar Disorder
    34 year old Belize City resident, Tylon Gladden, has been missing for over 4 days and the family is worried sick that something bad might have happened to him. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder some years ago and according to his mother he was taking medication for it. But since he came home from work on Friday, no one has seen him. They have made a police report, but nothing has come of it. Today the desperate mother came to us to make a public appeal in hopes of finding her son. If anybody knows anything about the whereabouts of Tylon Gladden you can reach his family at 227-3942 or 636-7221 or contact the nearest police station.

    Belize Telecoms Case to CCJ
    Last year around this time, we told you about the outcome of an appeal at the Court of Appeal which the telecommunication company, Speednet, better known as "Smart", brought against the Public Utilities Commission. The telephone company was complaining that the Government regulator was overcharging them for licensing 238 channels used to conduct their business, such as phone calls text messaging, and data. Well, the phone company was not satisfied with the outcome, and they took it to the final appeals court, the Caribbean Court of Justice. That case was heard today at the seat of the CCJ in Port of Spain, Trinidad. That's where Smart's attorneys, Eamon Courtenay, and Andrew Marshalleck sought to show the court that the judges of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court misjudged the very technical case. The PUC's attorney, Fred Lumor, tried to convince the judges that once again, after an hour of arguments, they failed to make their case, and that the additional 792 thousand dollars in fees that Smart is being charged for their licenses is justifiable. With video provided by the CCJ, here's an excerpt of the arguments and counter arguments that both sides made:

    Customs Caught Cannabis
    The Customs Department has been keeping a close eye on the Blue Creek Road for drug trafficking activities, and over the weekend they made a weed bust. They found a bag on the side of the road containing about five pounds of marijuana - which is believed to have been smuggled in from Mexico. The weed was thrown from a Mazda pickup by a man who raced away from the checkpoint. It was a joint BDF Customs checkpoint. The road leads to an unregulated border crossing and is believed to be a drug trafficking corridor.

    NGC Calls Out For Kaina
    Yesterday, the National Garifuna Council of Belize sent out a strongly worded press release denouncing the Belize Athletic Association for not including Belizean athlete Kaina Martinez in the Roster for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Last week we spoke to Martinez who expressed her dissatisfaction and strongly disputed BAA's claim that she did not submit all relevant information in due time. The National Garifuna is demanding that they rescind their decision and immediately engage Martinez as a candidate to represent Belize at the Olympics. Sandra Miranda, the National President of the Garifuna Council told us more. Sandra Miranda, National President - Garifuna Council: "After being so good, performing so well at the Central American Games in Salvador, you would expect that Kaina would be selected to represent Belize. I would think that the Athletic Association is encouraging Belizeans to perform at athletic events and forward to the Olympics. So we were appalled at that decision, for this Belizean female and Garifuna athlete. She has made us proud as Belizeans and as Garinagu, so it was very appalling and disappointing. I don't want to say anything about the person selected, because I don't know much about her. But my issue is encouraging our Belizean athlete so that they can have something to look forward to."

    Queens Honors Distributed
    Britain may have exited the European Union, but Belize isn't leaving the commonwealth anytime soon so the tradition of the Queen's Honours continues in full swing. Today eight Belizeans received those honors from Acting Governor General Carlos Perdomo. Michael Bowen, the President of Bowen and Bowen received the highest honour with the insignia of a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for services to business and industry. Eleanor Hulse - the wife of Natural Resources Minister Godwin Hulse, and Dilicia Feinstein from Benny's received the insignia of an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was conferred upon Emelda August for services to nursing; while Sarita Westby received hers for services to education and the community; Mr. Juan Nunez got his for services to education and sport; while Dr. Aaron Lewis got his for services to science; and Mrs. Janet Gibson received hers for services to environmental protection.

    The "No's" Had It
    On Friday, we had coverage of the social security sponsored debate on the question of whether or not Belize should go to the ICJ. Well, audience members were asked to participate in a before and after poll - and the results show that most in the audience and online were swayed against going to the ICJ. Going in 39% favored going to the ICJ, and 37% were opposed. Coming out, the same 39% were in favor with 53% opposed.

    Channel 5

    Chopping Victim, Minor, Succumbs to Injuries
    Thirty-one year old Yo Creek resident Larry Banner is spending his second night behind bars for aggravated burglary and maim following a crazy chopping incident in the northern village. Last [...]

    Police Refuse to Reveal Source in Ahmad Family Mass Detention
    On Monday evening, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, accompanied by Special Branch head Marco Vidal, called a press conference purportedly to brief the media on the detention of nineteen members [...]

    Was the U.S. Involved in Ahmad Investigation?
    Six homes raided in a coordinated sweep, a Muslim family detained by Police, all electronic items seized and surely scrutinized, a warrant presented based on probable cause of a Conspiracy [...]

    Special Branch Head Marco Vidal Says Officers Acted Within the Law
    Neither the Commissioner nor Special Branch Commander would provide any tangible information on the investigation which prompted the detention of the Ahmad family. But they were both adamant that it [...]

    G.O.B. to Pay $350 Million as Arbitration Ruling is Handed Down
    The decision of the three-member Permanent Court of Arbitration is in, and tonight we’ve got a first look at the figures contained in the hundred and thirty-nine page document. Just [...]

    Do You Believe Government Will Increase or Introduce New Taxes?
    And tonight’s question is: If G.O.B. is broke; do you believe it will increase or introduce new taxes? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or [...]

    Cleanup Campaign Continues in San Pedro
    A massive cleanup campaign to remove a substantial amount of debris in the wake of an overnight fire in San Pedro continued this morning.  The flames eviscerated eleven buildings after [...]

    DEMO Works to Implement Plan to Restore Normalcy after Fire
    On the ground in San Pedro, the District Emergency Management Organization continues its efforts to return a sense of normalcy to the area hardest hit by the fire.  Since Monday, [...]

    2 Men Arraigned for San Benito Poite Murder
    Two men have been arrested and charged for the murder of Francisco Ack, who was chopped to death in the remote southern village of San Benito Poite last Saturday.  Ack [...]

    World Heritage Committee Releases Draft Decision on Barrier Reef System
    What is the future of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System as a UNESCO World Heritage Site?  That’s the question conservationists are asking in light of international attention focused on [...]

    WWF Says Government Must Act to Secure Protection of the Reef
    The UNESCO World Heritage Committee will convene in Istanbul, Turkey in July to debate the status of some of the most extraordinary natural places on the planet.  This includes the [...]

    COLA Demands Clarity in S.S.B. Deal with G.O.B.
    As we told you earlier, the arbitration award is in and no matter how it’s spun, it’s bad news for G.O.B. – about three hundred and fifty million dollars-worth of [...]

    Geovanni Brackett Calls for More Consultation Before Deal is Struck
    Brackett today sent out a call to the S.S.B. to halt any transaction with G.O.B. where the shares are concerned, at least until there is much more consultation and much [...]

    ComPol Says Police Resources are Scarce in Toledo
    On Monday Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie also spoke about Police presence in Punta Gorda. There have been two murders recently and while Police have arraigned two persons for the [...]

    Whylie Claims Police Cannot Stop Civilians from Taking Footage of Them
    It’s a question that has been raised in the past – can civilians take photographs and video of Police Officers while they are conducting their duties? It was raised again [...]

    Moses Sulph Claims Court Failed to Deliver Justice
    In March of last year, Moses Sulph entered into an agreement with an individual to order a number of items which would later be purchased upon delivery.  When the products [...]

    MoE Hosts Conference on Cyber Security
    For the past two days, the Ministry of Education has been hosting a conference on Cyber Security. The awareness workshop opened dialogue with principals of secondary schools, IT teachers, parents, [...]

    Experts Say Cyber-Bullying is a Real Concern in Belize
    Cyber bullying, the release of nudes and sex tapes on social media platforms have become a concern in Belize, exposing the lack of personal securities.  But according to the professionals, [...]

    Team Belize at the World Series of Poker Tournament in Las Vegas
    We’re just back from Las Vegas, Nevada where over the weekend; Belize was represented by eighteen poker players in the World Series of Poker Monster Stack Event. It was the [...]

    LOVE FM

    Two Teenagers Arraigned for the Murder of Francisco Ack
    Police in Punta Gorda are laying charges against two men in connection with a recent murder in that municipality. We join our Toledo Correspondent, Paul Mahung for the details. PAUL MAHUNG “Two persons were charged with murder in connection in connection with a recent murder incident in the Toledo District. Officer in Command of the Toledo […]

    Investigators Probe Into the Murder of BDF Soldier
    On Sunday we reported of a body found on the coastline at the centre of Punta Gorda Town. Since then, investigators have identified the body as being that of a Belize Defense soldier. As we hear in this report from Paul Mahung, investigations are underway into the circumstances. PAUL MAHUNG “Police in Punta Gorda continue […]

    COMPOL Speaks of the Need for More Police in Toledo District
    Last week there was a murder in San Benito Poite, a village in the Toledo District and over the weekend the partially decomposed body of a solider was found. When it comes to the presence of police officers, the Commissioner of Police concedes that there is need for improvement in this southern district particularly given […]

    Belize Red Cross Activated as Fire Victims Get Relief Supplies
    After the destruction of several homes and businesses on Ambergris Caye in Monday morning’s fire, relief efforts are underway on the island through the provision of meals, clothing, shelter and other supplies. The Belize Red Cross has been activated since yesterday with supplies and man power sent out to the island to assist in the […]

    Toledo Alcalde Association Congratulates DPP on Decision of the Santa Cruz 13 Case
    Yesterday the case against the thirteen Santa Cruz villagers was discontinued by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Punta Gorda Magistrates’ Court by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. On the heels of the discontinuation, the Toledo Alcalde Association issued a release stating, quote, “This morning the Director of Public Prosecutions discontinued the charges against […]

    COLA Demands Halt on Sale of SSB Shares
    Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has issued a release entitled, “MUST WORKING BELIZEANS PAY FOR GOVERNMENT’S ECONOMIC INCOMPETENCE?” The release begins by questioning the selling of shares. It reads, quote, “For what reason, we ask, is Government seeking to sell to the Social Security Board $55 million worth of shares in Belize Telemedia […]

    Lessons in Sexual Offences and News Reporting for Media Personnel
    Two agencies in Belize with a focus on women and children recently conducted a Media Sensitization Workshop on sexual offences and responsible reporting. We join Renee Trujillo for that story. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING The reports coming out of the Belize Police Department as the only source of information would prove inaccurate when it comes to […]

    Aspects of Sex Crimes in Belize and the Prosecutors’ Challenges
    Sexual offences can come in various forms as Attorney Baja Shoman explained earlier. Child Prostitution is one sexual offence that several agencies with responsibility for children are looking to combat. Brianna Williams of the NCFC Policy and Legislative Committee spoke of what child prostitution is and who can be held accountable in this area. BRIANNA […]

    Belizean Nephrologist Speaks on Dialysis Treatment
    Dr Ronald Hyde is a Belizean Nephrologist who is attached to the Arizona Southwest Kidney Institute and has found ways in giving back to Belize through his expertise. Love News met up with Dr Hyde at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital as he was attending to patients who are receiving kidney dialysis. DR RONALD HYDE […]

    Belize May Remain on List of Endangered Heritage Sites
    The Barrier Reef of Belize has been on the list of World Heritage Sites considered in danger since June 2009. The world Heritage Committee will be meeting in Isntanbul, Turkey on July 10 to discuss the status of various World Heritage Sites including Belize’s Barrier Reef. This week, however, international attention shed light on the […]

    PlusTV

    Well known San Benito man murdered; family fearful
    On Monday of last week, we reported on another murder in the south,where a San Benito man was killed while walking home after church. On Saturday the 18th of June, 36 year old farmer of San Benito Village, Francisco Ack, was walking home from church when he was attacked by two unidentified male pers...

    Massive fire in San Pedro wipes out homes and businesses
    Several businesses were destroyed and over 20 families displaced or left homeless following an early morning fire that tore through parts of downtown San Pedro between Pescador and Barrier Reef Drives. The damage is estimated to be in hundreds of thousands of dollars. The fire, we are told, started...

    COMPOL denies religion played any role in detention of Muslim family
    The sensational story about a Muslim family being detained by Belize Police and their electronic devices confiscated has made full media rounds over the past week. The Ahmad family of Hattieville reported to the public that Special Branch Police orchestrated a predawn raid on Monday at their house i...

    Police recognize brave Eastern Division (North) cops
    A total of seven police officers from Eastern Division (North), which covers Northside Belize City and the cayes, were today recognized for acts of bravery in the call of duty. Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie describes the acts for which the officers were acknowledged: Allen Whylie, Commissioner...

    Police save the life of a drowning minor
    Members of the North Side Eastern Division Strike Team of the police department are being hailed as heroes after they saved the life of a drowning child. On Friday 24th June, sometime around 10:30 a.m., members of the North Side Eastern Division Strike Team were on mobile patrol when they received i...

    Domestic Dispute leads to arson
    Belize City police are investigating a case of arson which arrived as a result of a domestic dispute. On the night of Friday June 24 the two storey structure at #182 East Collet Canal, Belize City was set on fire., the fire started on the first floor of the yellow two storey cement house , property ...

    54 year old man reported missing
    35-year-old Maria Tzib of San Ignacio Town, reported that on Sunday, June 26 at around 12:00 a.m., her common-law husband, 54-year-old David Williams, went to the store and did not return. On the same date, about 9:30 a.m. Tzib’s sister-in -law arrived at her house and informed her that David Willia...

    Amandala

    San Pedro inferno leaves 88 homeless
    Eighty-eight persons were left homeless after a four-hour inferno gutted eleven large buildings on Pescador Drive, one of the main arteries in San Pedro. The devastating blaze stripped 27 families of their homes. According to official reports, 11 buildings were completely destroyed and 6 were partially damaged. Eight businesses were completely destroyed, and six were partially destroyed. Of the 27 families (consisting of 88 individuals) that were affected, 21 families, comprising 68 of the 88 persons affected by the fire, lost everything. While no fatalities were reported, Amandala was told that without the prompt response of the National Fire Services, the Police Department and the approximately one hundred locals who formed a 50-foot bucket brigade to combat the flames, the destruction caused by the fire could have been much worse. However, Assistant Superintendent of San Pedro, Henry Jemmott, had a different view. He told Amandala that many of those individuals who had offered immediate assistance were under the influence of alcohol and in fact, served as major impediments to fighting the fire.


    Today was set as the date for the commencement of the Crown’s case in Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court, against the remaining 11 out of 13 Mayans from Santa Cruz, who were accused of common assault and aggravated assault against Rupert Myles, a Belizean of Creole descent, accused of building a house on sacred Mayan land. Instead of the case going forward after 102 days since it made its way onto the court’s calendar, however, it was struck out by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, who, in a letter to Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, said it would not be in the interest of justice to continue the case. The case against the Santa Cruz 13, as the group came to be later known, had attracted both national and international attention. As recently as Wednesday, June 22, comments that were critical of the prosecution of the Mayas were made in a press release from Minority Rights Group International (MRG), captioned “Prosecution of Maya in Belize politically motivated and evidence of inequality before the law, says MRG.”


    The life of Anthony “Pun” Gillett, Sr., 38, was suddenly ended by a man with whom he usually drank and smoked. According to eyewitness reports, as was his Friday night ritual, “Pun” was drinking and smoking with his friends. He had just taken out a strip of bamboo to roll a marijuana joint when one of his “friends” took out a firearm, put it under his chin and fired a single shot, which then exited through his head. Gillett died on arrival at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital at 1:24 a.m. on Saturday. His friend-turned-alleged killer, Ryan Barnett, a George Street resident, has since been arrested and charged for his murder. Ryan Barnett, 30, did not have to enter a plea today, Monday, when Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser read a single count of murder to him, which stated that he “intentionally and unlawfully cause the death of Anthony Gillett.” Barnett will now join the list of those prisoners who are transported to the Magistrate’s Court on a regular basis for adjournments until a preliminary inquiry is held to determine if his case will be committed to the Supreme Court.

    Mentally challenged man chops 6 people in Yo Creek
    A Yo Creek man who is mentally challenged was remanded to the Belize Central Prison today until August 29 after he savagely chopped six people, maiming two of them. Larry Banner, 37, was taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court, on charges of maim and aggravated burglary, and was remanded to prison. Police say that at about 12:30 Friday afternoon, Banner went to the home of his sister-in-law, Adela Choc, armed with a machete, and without provocation, chopped her on the left side of her face and severed her left thumb. He then attacked her three children, chopping an infant on both her elbows, chopping her 3-year-old son on the back of the head, and severing the thumb of her 5-year-old son. Banner then ran out of the house and disappeared. Neighbours rushed the mother and children to the Northern Regional Hospital, where doctors performed surgery on them.

    Electricity rates going up on Friday
    After an extensive review of an application filed by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) in January for an 11.5% rate increase, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has issued its final decision, declaring that the new mean electricity rate of 36.99 cents per kilowatt-hour, an increase of 5.7%, should take effect as of Friday, July 1, 2016. The rate review applies to the Full Tariff Review period spanning 2016-2020, but the PUC will conduct annual reviews of the tariffs over the period. Social rate customers will pay a penny more per kilowatt-hour, but commercial customers that are among the bigger consumers, as well as industrial customers, will see their service charges increase from $100 to $125. Street lighting bills, paid by the Government of Belize, will also go up from 40 cents per kilowatt-hour to 42 cents per kilowatt-hour. Although average electricity tariffs will increase in the next few days, the PUC has not approved any adjustments to any other previously approved fees and charges. BEL had also asked the PUC to approve changes to its existing fees and charges, and to introduce new ones.

    De-risking discussed at conference of Caribbean accountants in Belize
    Roughly 300 accountants attended the 34th Annual Caribbean Conference of Accountants which was officially opened today at the Ramada Belize City Princess under the theme: “Call to Champions: Breaking Boundaries in the Marketplace”. The event was organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC), which has a membership of 3,700. The region-wide challenges faced by indigenous Caribbean banks in accessing correspondent banking services in the US and other foreign jurisdictions, and the tectonic shifts in the financial landscape, have also impacted the sector, whose clientele have been hard-hit by the phenomenon—some to the extent that their businesses could no longer survive. Shawn Mahler, conference chair, and alternate director for Belize on ICAC’s board of directors, told journalists that they are “feeling a huge impact,” because of the challenges posed by de-risking and delinking by foreign banks, which, she said, have significantly impacted their ability to guide clients on expanding their businesses due to the limitations they now face.

    BAA selects athletes to Olympic Games in August
    The Belize Athletic Association (BAA) announces that it has selected athletes to represent Belize at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in August. Ms. Katy Sealy and Mr. Brandon Jones were selected based on their consistent and progressive performances, as well as compliance with all necessary documentation necessary over the years. Both athletes have shown that they have the determination, discipline and ability to represent the country of Belize, and do so proudly and to the best of their ability. (Ed. Note: Just a week ago, a BAA contingent returned from the Central American Senior Championships in El Salvador with 6 gold medals, accounting for 6 of the 13 new records set at the Championships. Katy Sealy (heptathlon) and Brandon Jones (long jump) are two of our individual gold medal /record holders. Other individual gold medal/record holders for Belize include Kaina Martinez (100m), Tricia Flores (long jump), and Itohan Aikhionbare (shot put).)

    Editorial: Countries and corporations
    At this newspaper we often use the slogan, “Power to the people.” The concept became so popular in Belize that the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) began using it last year for their political campaigns. As far as we know, this was a slogan first used by the Black Panther Party, an organization formed by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in Oakland, California, in the late 1960s. In our editorial today, we want to look at some history, some economics, and some current affairs. When Europe first penetrated Africa and America and began to use the wealth and people of Africa and America to enrich their home countries in Europe, it was Spain and Portugal which led the way. Our ancestors’ wealth began to be transferred from Africa and America to Portugal and Spain. This began in the latter part of the fifteenth century, at a time when Christendom was absolutely dominated by the Roman Catholic Church, with the Vicar of Christ being the Pope of Rome in Italy. In 1494, through the Treaty of Tordesillas, the Pope divided America (the “New World”), between Spain and Portugal, as led by their monarchs. In 1494, the Pope had this kind of power in Europe.

    Winty J (Vincent Johnson) – my life
    W: Yes! So now I will get to meet Randolph (Tiempo) Barrow and the whole crowd now. A: What year was this now? When you docked up at Freetown? W: That was about … ‘bout 1960. A: I remember that Dunlop won the 1958-59 season. W: Yes. Yes. So I came down, and I went to Baptist School. My mother took me to Baptist School right away. So that is three schools I already dealt with, you know – Rockstone Pond, Santana and Baptist. As I got to Baptist, I’m in the backyard where they play ball, and they got me on left wing. I didn’t last too long there; my mother decided to move over here into our own areas, which is for the family, you know? So we pay less money. A: But at that time, from the Freetown experience, you had already started to meet and identify those star player… W: Yeah. Yes, I lived there for about a year, for about the whole of 1960, before Hattie (Hurricane Hattie, October 31, 1961) came. A: When did you first meet the Mugga? W: It’s right around that same time.

    From the Publisher
    The plot was aimed at New York: the most famous city in the richest nation on earth, and the most sought-after prize for any anti-American terrorist. Reports said it was put into motion by a cell of fanatical young men, who saw the United States, with its interventionist foreign policy, as the world’s oppressor. A series of sensational attacks had been planned to hit almost simultaneously across the northeastern United States, with vast and indiscriminate loss of life. The targets were chosen because they were symbols of American wealth or the American military. New York was going to burn, and the world was going to watch.

    Dr. Gayle returns to discuss violence in urban Belize
    Jamaican social violence anthropologist, Dr. Herbert Gayle, will host a forum at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at the auditorium of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus in Belize City. An announcement from UWI says that Gayle, a lecturer at the university, will explore the root causes of social violence in Belize and the necessary policies and approaches required to address this growing social issue, as presented in the “Male Social Participation and Violence in Urban Belize” report published in 2010. The forum is a prelude to the launch of Gayle’s new book, Like Bush Fire, which will be unveiled by his publisher, Cubola, this week. Coauthors of the book are Virginia Hampton and Nelma Mortis. “Come and rap about what’s happening,” Gayle said, in an interview with the press today, adding that the new book also looks at where Belize is currently, 6 years since his 2010 report.

    Rosales to Sedi: why take us there?
    Dear Editor, As in the past, please accord me space in your valuable newspaper to direct an “OPEN LETTER” to the people and Government of Belize, in particular our Foreign Minister and relative to Guatemala’s unfounded claim to our patrimony. Enough is enough, Mr. Foreign Minister. With due respect, if you do not know how to be “STERN and FORCEFUL,” I opine that you remove yourself from such an important position and have the Government appoint someone more aggressive and with “EFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION” to our people’s wishes and aspirations and “STOP” immediately your “PASSIVE” approach to so called “DIPLOMATIC NOTES” and addiction to “CONFIDENCE BUILDING” measures to a people and Government in Guatemala whose words have no “FAITH” and have never shown any respect to such measures and notes.

    Connecting Belize With The Pacifica Radio Network!
    It was a most fulfilling moment for me as a member of BREDAA to revisit the globally progressive media institution, KPFK 90.7 FM, Los Angeles, California, which is a sister station of the internationally recognized grassroots and revolutionary Pacifica Radio Network which was formed in the United States in 1947, some 69 years ago. Accompanied by the Belize Progressive Party’s political leader, Patrick Rogers, and his brother Gerald, the tour of the KPFK studios in North Hollywood, California last week was an impressive event for me as the producer of the legendary Belizean radio issues magazine, Belize-Caribbean Pulse, that was broadcast to the Los Angeles Belizean community from 1986 to 1996. Not only were we so much welcomed by the always warm and friendly staff that has been the trademark of hospitality at KPFK, but for the first time we were being invited to view the world renowned Pacifica Radio Archives that began some three decades ago when radio broadcasting was almost antiquated and analog driven.

    When will Belizeans/New Yorkers take a stand?
    On Saturday the Belize International Solidarity Movement (BISM) had an open forum at the St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn. This was the fourth gathering called by Freddiemae Patnette, founder of BISM. The first was on May 7th, 2016 to discuss actions that could/should be taken in light of Guatemalan hostilities on the Sarstoon River that ended with a decision for the legal formation of BISM before launching a public protest at the Guatemalan Consulate in New York. At last Saturday’s meeting the focus was not on protesting Guatemalan hostilities but was on (1) the focus and purpose of BISM and for (2) a public declaration of who the leaders are. However, the discussion and anger was overwhelmingly directed towards the UDP’s inability to deal with crime, corruption and unwillingness to hold politicians and gang-bangers accountable for their actions; it was also centered on the idea that the confrontation on the border must be seen in the context of the failure of our political leaders, who after 35 years of independence have not provided security and territorial integrity for Belize.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    “Serious investigation” involving Ahmad family: police satisfied with operation
    Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and Head of Special Branch Superintendent Marco Vidal say they are satisfied that the operation conducted a week ago Monday against the Ahmad family in Hattieville was done, in their view, “within the confines of the law and in a professional manner.” […]

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    Conch and Sea Cucumber harvesting seasons closed; Lobster season open (Part 1)
    The period for harvesting, storing and consuming conch and sea cucumber closed last Friday night but it is open season on lobster as of June 15th, as is evident by festivals of celebrations on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and last weekend in Placencia Village, South Stann Creek. Belize’s exports fell last year 2015, down to $535.33 million, the lowest since 2009 and overall continued to struggle this year. Marine fisheries export sales fell sharply from $11 million to $4 million in December 2015, primarily due to an $8 million drop in shrimp export earnings, and it seems that the decrease in production for the overall sector have continued through the first 4 months of this year. The Statistical Institute of Belize reports that for the period January to April, marine exports fell from 5,819,400 lbs produced and sold for a value of $36,124,900 in 2015, to just 603,200 lbs ($13,457,700) over the same period in 2016.

    How Can You Help The Fire Victims and the Clean-Up in San Pedro?
    Sunday night there was a terrible fire on the highly populated, densely packed Middle Street in downtown San Pedro. You can see the truly scary photos in Ambergris Today and San Pedro Sun. THANK GOODNESS NO ONE WAS INJURED. Yesterday morning, I posted pictures of the wreckage. Massive efforts are underway on Ambergris Caye and all over Belize (The Tipsy Tuna in Placencia is holding a fundraiser for the victims in Placencia on July 2nd) to aid the 88 people affected by the fire. People and groups are stepping up almost hourly and the mayor has pledged – with a huge team of volunteers – to have the area cleared and cleaned in 3 days, starting today. The San Pedro Town Council has requested more volunteers – their facebook page is the best place for updates. Stop by the Town Council building – or speak to one of the officers at the site to help. Here are the approved organizations that are leading the effort:

    Belize Summer in a Bowl: Mango Crumble
    Summer in Belize means FRUIT to me. And there is no fruit nearer or dearer to my heart than the mango. It is absolutely delicious…tropically fabulous…a dessert in itself. Why, you may ask, mess with perfection? Gild the lily? Well…because sometimes, eating these orange beauties warm, with a brown sugar/oatie crumble on top with whipped topping or ice cream makes me very very VERY happy. Much fruit in Belize is seasonal and we are now in the heart of the mango season. Big juicy beauties are $2bzd a piece (or cheaper if you buy a bunch) here on Ambergris Caye. And if you live on the mainland? I bet you have a huge mango tree in your yard and you might be wondering what to do with them all – I can think of nothing more luxurious. An explosion of mangoes = heaven.

    Aftermath: Cleanup of massive San Pedro fire begins
    Below is a roundup of news reports and information on the devastating fire that hit downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize in the early morning hours of June 27. More than 10 buildings were leveled and 88 people left homeless. Several businesses were completely destroyed. Bookmark and check back: More content is being posted as it is published throughout the day. (Here is a link to yesterday’s posts and stories about the San Pedro fire: Police treating fire as arson.) At the bottom of this post is a link to the numerous photo galleries posted by professional and amateur photographers. All telling the devastating story as words can not.

    International Sourcesizz

    New research project shows slight increase in reef health
    Healthy Reefs for Healthy People has begun an underwater research project as part of its campgian to monitor local Playa del Carmen reefs. The non-government organization consists of a group of specialized staff from the Ecological Center Akumal who will collect data for a report to be released in early 2017. Marisol Rueda Flores, Mexico representative for Healthy Reefs, says that, “We have 17 reef points we have been monitoring since 2006. Here in Playa del Carmen only we have four points, but will specifically cover from Cancun to the Xcalak area.”

    Videos

  • Belize, 2min.

  • Belize, 2min. A short video about Belize, small, just like Belize. The country has a total size of 50% of the Netherlands. Nevertheless it's a country with divers social cultures, a vivid history and a rich nature full of wild life. So, enough reason for the Word Challenge to visit Belize! Een kleine video over Belize, klein, net zoals Belize. Het land heeft de oppervlakte van ongeveer de helft van Nederland. Desalniettemin is het een land met een diverse cultuur, een bewogen geschiedenis en een rijke natuur. Reden genoeg voor de World Challenge om het land aan te doen.

  • Belize 2016 Island Divers Dive Travel Trip Video, 6min. April 20th to May 7th 2016 in San Pedo, Ambergis Kaye, Belize with Island Divers Hawaii. Underwater scenes and land tour shots.

  • Mangrove Reforestation in Barranco Belize, 2min. Barranco leaders have received training on the establishment of REM mangroves as a form of community adaptation to climate change. The return of mangroves to the area will enhance the nearby fishing areas and protect the coastline.

  • PROFESSOR EGBERT HIGINIO'S PRESENTATION AT THE ANGLO / GUATEMALAN CLAIM TOWN MEETING IN LOS ANGELES!, 26min. The brilliant Garifuna Belizean intellectual, Professor Egbert Higinio, made a most interesting philosophical presentation on the Anglo Guatemalan Claim presenting the case that the imperial powers of Britain and Spain who are the architects of the Anglo Guatemalan Claim are hiding behind symbols and concepts to fool the Belizean and Guatemalan people that the Anglo Guatemalan Claim is just simply treaties and agreements whereby they have hypocritically have their transnational corporations poised and ready to exploit the natural resources and oil rich region of the South of Belize which Guatemala claims. Professor Higinio, exposed the hidden agenda of the British government and its American counterparts in turning the Anglo Guatemalan Claim into a transnational agenda for the exploitation of southern Belize by foreign capitalist corporations. He condemned the recent move to force Belize to settle the claim at the I.C.J.

  • Wanderlust - Belize 2016, 4.5min.

  • United 737-800 Sunny Morning Departure from Belize, 8min. Today I took off from Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, Belize and decided to record it for you guys to enjoy. I hope you enjoy the video, please leave a like if you enjoyed it and subscribe!

  • B.P.P.'S PATRICK ROGERS PRESENTATION AT THE ANGLO / GUATEMALAN TOWN MEETING IN L.A., 45min. The Belize Progressive Party (B.P.P) Patrick Rogers presented his party's position on the issue vehemently declaring that the Anglo Guatemalan Claim has been recently presented as the Belize / Guatemalan Dispute which has been a drastic and deliberate move by Belize's colonial master, the British, to relieve themselves of Guatemala's claim of Belize, and make it appear as though they were not the ones who created the problem from the onset by refusing to settle with Guatemala monetarily British settlers encroachment in the south of Belize on Guatemalan territory acquired from Spain in the 1880's.

    June 28, 2016

    The news will be a bit brief for the next week or so due to time constraints

    88 San Pedro residents affected by devastating fire
    As many as 88 residents have been left homeless after a devastating fire gutted through 17 homes shortly after midnight on Monday, June 27th. 11 buildings were totally destroyed, of which 8 were businesses and 3 were family homes. 6 buildings were partially destroyed. 27 families, totaling 88 people, have been affected by the most devastating fire San Pedro has seen in recent history. 21 families (68 people) lost everything. The fire roared through wooden and concrete buildings on Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street as the San Pedro Fire Department and the ever-present bucket brigade frantically tried to get it under control. By 4AM, the fire was brought under control, but not after it had caused major damage. According to Deputy of the Belize Police Department Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemott, upon receiving the call around 12:30AM, Police and Fire personnel arrived at the scene where they observed the rear part of El Dorado Store engulfed in fire. At about 8:30AM, the fire had passed, stopping just short of Graniel’s Dreamland. Police are calling it an act of arson.

    Canned food drive at the San Pedro Lions Club, Belize starting Tuesday at 8AM.


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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

    Relief efforts for fire victims underway
    If you wish to donate clothing, footwear, toiletries, personal goods, canned goods, equipment, baby supplies, toys, and feminine products, you may drop off your donations to the following places: Lions Den, San Pedro Roman Catholic School, SPTC, Crazy Canucks, Palapa Bar, Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye, and The Sandbar. Maya Island Air, Caribbean Queen Shipping, and Tropic Air are also on board to help, and will be offering free cargo transport to those who wish to ship their donated items. Saga Humane Society is providing pet shelter, dog or cat food, toys, leashes, and collars. Victims may contact Eileen Jamiso at 600-7450 for more details. The SPTC will be organizing a clean-up for the next three days. Those willing to volunteer should meet at The Sandbar at Boca del Rio at 7:30AM with gloves, masks, and any equipment (shovel, rake, wheel barrow, etc.) to speed up the process. Over the course of the clean-up, the SPTC will be hosting meals for the fire victims, and volunteer workers at the Town Hall Conference Room. Those affected can stop by during breakfast, lunch hours, and at 8PM. So far, Elvi’s Kitchen, Rojo Bar and Lounge, The Sandbar, Blue Water Grill, El Popular of Orange Walk, and Ramon’s Village has provided food relief assistance. The SPTC advises that anyone who is interesting in donating food to drop off warm meals at the conference room.

    Aftermath of Fire on Pescador Drive
    Donations are desperately needed, as entire families are now homeless and will have to start all over. Items needed include practical clothing and canned food, household items, towels, pots, pans, silverware, sheets, pillows, toys, toiletries (including sanitary items), toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. UPDATE: Baby items are desperately needed as well: wipes, diapers, formula, etc. As people have no way to cook, instant meals such as cereals and milk are much appreciated.

    San Pedro Magistrate explains court proceedings
    With the escalating crime rates across Ambergris Caye, residents frequently question the effectiveness of the San Pedro Police Department. On many occasions, a person known to have been charged for a crime is seen out on the streets shortly after their arrest. This has led to community frustration, with residents claiming that the local police are not doing their job. Seeking to clarify the situation, The San Pedro Sun sought answers from the local island authorities. The fact is that the release of persons charged is not a decision made by police officers, but by the Magistrate stationed in San Pedro Town. In an interview with current San Pedro Town Magistrate, Janelle Villanueva, the functions of the court and why certain decisions are made was explained. According to her, the main function of the court is to administrate justice in the local judiciary system. She stated that when persons are issued an arrest warrant and brought in for trial, they are entitled to bail by law, as long as the felony is not murder, possession of fire arms or drug trafficking in large quantities. “It is in the constitution of the country that every person has a right for bail, as long as they meet certain conditions. Bail is a form of assurance that the person in question will be present for his/her trial and not flee,” she said. While this is the case for bail, there have been incidents whereby people breach their bail conditions.

    Run away to John’s Escape!
    Just a quick turn off the main road 4.5 miles north of San Pedro Town, to where golf carts once traversed, is a hideaway that is so tranquil and beautiful, you just want to sit and enjoy. That is what we did one fine Saturday, as we took the purple lovebug (aka, the company golf cart) out for a fun afternoon of exploration. Our location for Zen and conversation? John’s Escape! Former home of he-who-must-not-be-named, the brightly colored buildings and expansive beach views offer a relaxing atmosphere after a bit of a hot and dusty drive up. The roads are fantastic and wider, making for smooth driving, but not paved so the dust in these hot months had us thirsting for refreshment. Bartender Cookie was happy to greet us with two ice cold Belikins, and we collapsed under a palapa on the beach, sipping and refreshing ourselves.

    Ambergris Today

    Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Awards Exceptional Youth
    Over the weekend Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Area Representative of Belize Rural South, took time to award three outstanding youth of Belize with scholarships. Rachel Alamilla of San Pedro Roman Catholic School and Rafael Marin of Caye Caulker RC School were the top-scoring students for their school in Belize’s the Primary School Examination (PSE). Rachel scored an average of 94.3 and Rafael scored 79.9. For their top performance in their respective schools, Hon. Heredia granted both students a $500 book scholarship. Considered a Belizean Hero for his great work towards raising funds for the Belize Council for the Visual Impaired, vRowan Garel was granted a $10,000 scholarship by Hon. Heredia as he furthers his education in the United States at Drew University. Visually impaired himself, Rowan takes on the challenge of living on his own a the university expanding on his eco-location training.

    Massive Downtown Fire Almost Destroys Entire Block in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
    Sunrise brought to light the vast destruction that an early morning fire caused in the heart of downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, on Monday, June 27, 2016. The fire started shortly after midnight and spread though homes, businesses, storage rooms and apartment complexes, almost wiping out an entire block. The fire is said to have started in a small structure in the center of the town block and quickly spread to buildings on the left side of Pescador Drive (Middle Street). The destruction starts from Lino’s Meat Shop and upstairs residence on the corner of Buccaneer St. and extends down the street all the way to Graniel’s Dreamland display room and upstairs residence. The fire department was reported to have arrived early at the scene, but that it took the firemen some time to set up their equipment and start battling the fire. It was with the assistance of a bucket brigade of over 1,000 volunteers that the fire department was able to control the fire. A line of volunteers stretched from the seafront at Estel’s diner all the way to the lagoon side of the Sunset Boardwalk in a well-organized bucket brigade that managed to salvage Lino’s Meat Shop and upstairs residence.

    Ambergris Caye’s Massive Efforts to Assist 88 Fire Victims and Cleanup Downtown Disaster Area
    As the community of Ambergris Caye rapidly pushes humanitarian efforts to effectively assist the fire victims of this morning’s tragedy and ensure that they are fed, clothed and sheltered, the San Pedro Town Council pushed forward a massive cleanup campaign of the devastated downtown area and the San Pedro Police Department looks into making an arrest of an individual suspected to be the arsonist responsible for the fire. Henry Jemmott, Assistant Superintendent/Deputy CEO of Police in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, stated that his department is conducting an internal criminal investigation separate from the San Pedro Fire Department’s investigations. They are looking at arson as to the cause of the fire. Just a few hours after the massive and disastrous fire that raved through downtown San Pedro, the Lions Club, Leos Club and the San Pedro Food Bank were first to organize a collecting station for non-perishable food, clothing and personal items for the fire victims. Clothing, toys for children and even diapers have been made available to them, but now donations of towels, pillow, bed sheets and personal hygiene items are being asked for by the Lions Club/Food Bank.

    Big Support for San Pedro Saga Humane Society
    San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero reiterated the Town Council’s full support of the services provided by the Saga Humane Society on the island by presenting the non-profit organization with a newly purchased Carry All vehicle on Saturday, June 24, 2016. Mayor Guerrero promised that the Town Council will not continue the inhumane practice of dog eradication by poisoning as long as Saga Humane Society continues its work in controlling the number of stray dogs in the community. The donation of the Carry All is to assist Saga in their daily operations. The Town Council will pay for the yearly licensing of the vehicle and is looking into providing the serviced of a town dog catcher who will also be of great assistance to the community. It was also announced that Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. committed to assist in the payment of two month's rent for Saga’s office and has acquired two properties for the organization in north Ambergris Caye.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BTIA-Cayo Chapter Unites to Reel In the BTB
    Approximately 45 accommodation owners in the Cayo District met on Thursday June 23, 2016 at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio, Cayo to discuss new Minimum Standards for Accommodations proposed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). The Cayo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) a trade organization for local tourist market stakeholders, sponsored the event. PHOTOS A broad cross section of stakeholders, including many from off-grid jungle lodges, attended the meeting. The large turnout was attributed to the widespread opposition to the BTB’s proposed legislative changes to existing laws governing the industry. Changes that members unanimously feel would have an adverse ripple affect throughout the industry. Judy duPlooy, President of the BTIA-Cayo Chapter stated, “No one is opposed to regulations pertaining to health, safety and emergency measures. However, the new proposed Minimum Standards which total 532 items (for the hotel category) far exceed reasonable requirements for an extremely diverse marketplace. Furthermore, many of the items on the checklist are not relevant criteria for renewing or obtaining a license”. “BTB has not yet looked at the cost of implementing the proposed Minimum Standards, the implication for competitiveness of the sector and more broadly the economy of Belize” commented Dr. Ydahlia Metzgen, a BTIA-Cayo Board member. She went on to say, “The impact of the current proposed Minimum Standards not only will be felt by the hotel owners but also by their employees, tour operators and all businesses touched by the tourism industry, the #1 employer in Belize. The broader consequences of the standards should be examined”.

    Chiquibul Outreach Campaign Finishes
    The Friends for Conservation and Development have finished their Chiquibul Forest Outreach Campaign. Over 6000 students were reached. Thanks, FCD and PACT! Protect the Chiquibul! "The Beauty of the Chiquibul Forest Outreach Campaign has reached its project end. A total of 28 communities, 44 schools, 250 teachers and 6,246 students benefited from the educational presentation throughout the Cayo District. FCD is grateful to PACT, Principals, teachers, students and the Ministry of Education for their support."

    Channel 7

    Block Burner On San Pedro Leaves 88 Homeless
    Tonight, 88 people are homeless, and there is major loss of property as San Pedro town tries to recover from a massive fire that devoured part of a downtown block in Belize's tourism capital. Tonight, we'll have the story from the island plus the answers from the fire chief and the police. We start with the basic narrative. This morning at12:45, The San Pedro Fire department received a report of a fire on Pescador Drive, which is in the heart of the town. By the time it was done four hours later, 11 buildings had burnt and 6 were partially damaged.

    Why Only One Fire Truck And Two Firemen?
    And so while that is the fire and the aftermath, what about the firefight? Did the Fire Department fail to contain the fire effectively? There was only one fire truck working and only two fire men on duty. When they arrived at the scene, they found an unoccupied two storey wooden structure on fire. The bad part was that it was surrounded by other wooden buildings - which was a recipe for the disaster that unfolded. The fire truck quickly expended the 300 gallons of water it had in the tank, and then had to activate mobile pumps to source water from the sea. That's more than 15 minutes down time - which is when the fire quickly spread. We spoke to the Fire chief today about what went wrong, and what was unavoidable:..

    Another City Slaying, Cops Say Not Gang Related, Streets Say Otherwise
    There was another murder on the southside of Belize City close to midnight on Friday. 38 year old Anthony Gillett was shot in the head, allegedly by 30 year old Ryan Bennett who he had been socializing with inside a yard on west Collet Canal. The two were in Gillett's yard hanging out when suddenly things turned, and Gillett was shot to the top of his head. He survived - but died a few hours later at the KHMH. The Southside commander told the media more on Saturday: ACP Chester Williams- O. C., Eastern South Division: "Upon arrival there, they met one, Anthony Gillett, who at the time was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was subsequently transported to the KHMH where he was admitted and subsequently he died shortly thereafter or upon arrival at the hospital."

    Cops With Capes? Police Played Hero And Saved Drowning Child
    Often times on the news, there's an onslaught of bad news about policemen and women - variously accused of abusing their power, or engaging in criminal activities. And while there are more than a few bad eggs in the department of over two thousand men and women, most cops are genuinely just doing their jobs trying to preserve the peace. And, in most cases, they get no recognition for it. Well, tonight, we can say that's starting to change, because a trio of officers from the north side strike team who saved a child from drowning on Friday were recognized by the commissioner for their valiant conduct. At about 10:35, police learned about an 11 year old child who'd gone under water at the pier on Marine Parade and they sprung into action. Sgt. Anibal Castellanos who supervises the team explained:..

    COMPOL Congratulates Courageous Cops
    And another set of cops show showed extraordinary bravery last week also received a commendation today. They're the ones who chased down the 15 year old shooter that tried to kill a man in front of the Eastern Division police station. Corporal Alrick Arnold took a bullet to the chest, while Detective Corporal Brian Miller, Coporal Joel Grinage and PC Criston Moore all teamed up to apprehend the youth. Today, they received their commendation at the police station while the top Brass of the Police Department went all the way to Corporal Arnold's home to tell him how much they appreciated his work:...

    Did Cops Endanger Public With Urbie
    And while those are the good cops - the bad cop of the moment is Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla. He was remanded to prison last week after he was charged with discharging a firearm in public. Turns out, it was the second time in two weekends that he did the same thing, except the first time - even though he was visibly drunk and disorderly - his bother police officers brought no criminal charge. And then when it happened again the following weekend, only then were they quick to charge. Today when we asked the commissioner about the prudence of that decision - he said there is practical metric in a disciplinary charge:..

    Santa Cruz 13 Get Free!
    Exactly a year ago, we showed you when the Punta Gorda Police Department hauled 13 Mayans from San Cruz into the Magistrate's Court on charges of unlawful detention. That's because they tied up and detained Creole Belizean Rupert Myles because they say that he built his house on the sacred Ux Benka Maya Site. Well today, after months of attending court adjournments on the criminal charge, the Santa Cruz 13, now Santa Cruz 11 turned up for their adjournment. To their surprise, This morning the Director of Public Prosecutions discontinued the charges against all remaining 11 defendants setting them free. It's a welcomed end for the case, and in a press release today, the Maya Leaders Alliance said that they congratulate the Director of Public Prosecutions for acknowledging, quote, "the 13 accused who, along with their families, suffered in-calculable hardships as a result of their arrest and prosecution." End Quote.

    Soldier Found Dead In PG
    In other news from Punta Gorda, there was a murder in that southern town this weekend. On Sunday at 9:30 a dead body was found on the seashore on Front Street. It had been there a while, and an area resident only became aware of it when vultures started circling. Police confirmed the identity to be 27 year old BDF soldier Orlando Rash from San Felipe Village. His body was face down, nude and in an advanced state of decomposition. A postmortem conducted on site certified the cause of death as facial blunt force traumatic injuries with ligature around the neck.

    Chopping Victims In Critical Condition, Deranged Man Arraigned
    Tonight, two of six persons who were seriously injured in a chopping incident last week are just barely clinging to life. 29 year old Adela Choc was chopped to her face and sustained an amputated thump, while her son 13 year old Danny Choc, who sustained injuries to the back of his head, are both at the KHMH in a critical condition. The 13 year old is reported to be on life support. The other victims were released from the Northern Regional Hospital after receiving treatment. The horror began unfolding on Friday at midday, when a man known for his history of mental breakdowns went on an all-out chopping spree. The incident has left the community of Yo Creek Village quite shaken. But just what motivated one man to commit such an atrocity? Emanuel Pech travelled north today to find out. The relative peace and tranquility of Yo Creek Village was shattered when a man wielding a machete hacked two families close to the point of death. Today that man, 35 year old Larry Banner was remanded to prison after being arraigned for charges related to aggravated burglary and maim. A crowd of villagers gathered in front of court today to witness his arraignment- as if to make sure he is locked up.

    PUP Challenge Working Its Way Thru Court
    It's been a month since the Barrow Government has ended the controversial 30-day ban on the Sarstoon River. But, Opposition Leader John Briceño remains convinced that the Government wrongly used its executive powers to block Belizeans from entering a part of their territory. Today, the lawsuit he brought against the Government went back before the Chief Justice for a very brief hearing today as part of it's continuation through the court process. Today, when his attorney exited court, we asked him what's next for the case that appears moot. Here's what he told us: Godfrey Smith, Temp, Attorney for Claimant: "This morning they asked for some more time because his Excellency, the Governor General who is supposed to make the affidavit in response, was not in the jurisdiction. So they've been given until next week Monday to file that affidavit. After that, one week later on the 11th of July will be the first hearing where the time tabling and scheduling exercise will be done. So it's still at the preliminary stages."

    Why Did Police Search Ahmads
    It made major news last week when police special branch searched six homes and rounded up an entire Muslim family. The Ahmad's are well known in Belize and the fact that the entire family was arrested for no clear reason suggested that they may have been detained because they are Muslims. With the long shadow of the US Intelligence apparatus, and the shadowy involvement of the Special Branch, which is Belize's spy agency - it raised eye brows. Today police gave answers: Marco Vidal, Special Branch Commander: "For the past several months special branch has been engaged in an investigation concerning information which we consider to be of a serious nature. I am not in a position to divulge the nature of that information, neither can I provide details of the investigation. But you may be aware that on Monday the 20th of June we conducted searches at the residents' of the Acpad family and other persons. Items were taken from the search and these items are being returned to the owners as we speak. Certain allegations have been made in relation to the operation at the manner of which the searches were done. We can categorically state that the operation satisfied us and we are satisfied that in fact the operation was done within the confines of the law and in a professional manner."

    Muslim Woman Charged
    One charge has been brought against a Muslim. Fifty-five year old Filipino national Eloisa Mujahil, who is of the Muslim faith, pled guilty to a charge of failure to comply with the conditions of her visitors permit when she appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. She was fined $1,200 and she was given until December 31 to pay. If she defaults on payment she will serve 6 months. Mujahil arrived in Belize on December 9, 2006 and she was given a permit to remain in Belize until October 4, 2009. Her attorney, Douglas Carr, explained that it was only a matter of circumstance that she was charged because she has been living in Belize with her 2 sons at 102 Amara Avenue and it was only when the police came to her home it was discovered that she had not complied with the conditions of her permit. Carr said her husband, who was looking after the immigration matter had passed away in 2014 and the attorney who was hired to do the work did not do so. The immigration officer who represented the Immigration Department told the court that the Immigration Department is not requesting deportation.

    Channel 5

    88 Persons Homeless after Fire Devastates San Pedro Neighborhood
    As many as eighty-eight persons have been affected by the biggest fire to erupt in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The inferno sent clouds of fire into the sky as smoke [...]

    Massive Relief Effort Launched in Wake of Fire
    The families displaced by the fire are looking for basic necessities following the horrible fire. They lost everything in the blink of an eye. In the island, relief efforts have [...]

    Belize City Fire Classified as Arson
    There is another fire which police have classified as arson.  On Friday night, the first floor of a two-storey building on East Collet Canal, Belize City went up in flames.  [...]

    City Resident Gunned Down Over Money Beef
    There was a murder on Friday night in Belize City. Thirty-eight year old Anthony Gillett was killed at his home on West Collet Canal by a man sources claim was [...]

    Missing B.D.F. Soldier’s Body Washes Ashore in PG
    On Sunday morning a PG resident made a gruesome discovery on the beach. She spotted vultures circling and when she investigated found a badly decomposed body washed up on shore. [...]

    Police Provide Little Clarity in Ahmad Detention
    On Monday, June twentieth, Police rounded up nineteen members of the Ahmad family from six different homes in Hattieville. The homes were searched and documents, weapons and electronic items were [...]

    ComPol Allen Whylie Says He Authorized the Operation
    Still not revealing anything, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie explained that he is satisfied that the investigation, search and seizure were conducted within the parameters of the law. That will [...]

    6 Persons Chopped By Yo Creek Madman
    A resident of Yo Creek, Orange Walk with a mental disability maimed three persons and injured several others while on a chopping spree in the village last Friday afternoon. Larry [...]

    Santa Cruz 13 Freed of All Charges
    After a year of numerous court appearances, the Santa Cruz Thirteen has been freed of all charges stemming from the unlawful arrest of Rupert Myles.  This morning, Director of Public [...]

    Drug Running San Felipe Resident Evades Checkpoint
    On Sunday morning as Customs Officers and B.D.F. soldiers conducted a checkpoint in the Blue Creek community, they intercepted a Mazda pickup truck, driven at the time by San Felipe [...]

    Mexican David Dominquez Fined for Uncustommed Goods
    Late this evening, the Customs Department dragged to court five Mexican nationals and two Belizeans from the San Jose, Orange Walk for uncustomed goods in respect of two hundred and [...]

    Policemen Awarded for Bravery in Apprehension of Queen Street Shooter
    Today, the top brass of the Belize Police Department gathered to pay tribute to seven officers – four of them involved in the bizarre shootout in front of the Queen [...]

    ComPol Whylie Says Urbie Alamilla Embarrassed the Department
    One police officer who certainly won’t be receiving any awards of distinction anytime soon is Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla. Alamilla was charged criminally last week for discharging his weapon in [...]

    Anthropologist Set to Launch Book on Urban Violence in Belize
    Anthropologist Doctor Herbert Gayle is releasing a book on urban violence in Belize. Gayle started his studies of Belize in 2008 and released the infamous Gayle Report in 2010. This [...]

    Gayle Says Public Will to Stop Violence is Strong in Belize
    According to the expert, Belize has the exceptional public will to do away with violence and that’s a critical component of positive change. But the time to start moving is [...]

    Was 15 Year Old Involved in Queen Street Shootout a Psychopath?
    We took the opportunity to ask Gayle about the brazen shootout in front of the Queen Street Police Station, in which a fifteen year old minor wounded four persons, one [...]

    Cops Honored for Saving Drowning Boy
    A young boy in Belize City is alive tonight, thanks to the heroic actions of three members of the Eastern Division North’s Strike Team. According to reports, the eleven year [...]

    Top Brass Says Recognition is Well-Deserved
    For the top brass the positive news is a boost to the Police Department, and the tribute today a necessary recognition to prompt the officers to always strive to perform [...]

    Basketball and Boxing Matchups in Weekend Sports
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Friday night’s big match dubbed the battle banks saw Atlantic Bank challenge the Heritage Bank in a bid for [...]

    PlusTV

    Mad Machette Man chops 5 people in Yo Creek
    Just before our news time, reports reaching Plusnews is that there was a chopping incident in Yo Creek Village in Orange Walk District. Details are still sketchy but we understand that five persons were viciously chopped by a man wielding a machete. We have been told that four of the persons chopped...

    NEAB stands with National Youth council on controversial decision
    NEAB also commented on the decision taken by the National Youth Council to remove gender references fromits constitution and the backlash it has been receiving from LGBT advocates. NEAB says this targeting is bulying in action. The statement says, “The National Youth Council voted on June 11th to am...

    NEAB says it is appalled at LGBT flag hoist by US Embassy
    On Thursdaywe reported that the US Embassy in Belmopan, raised an LGBT flag on its premises alongside the American flag in commemoration of LGBT Pride Month. Members of the Belizean LGBT community were invited to attend the event. While those on the US compound were discussing the pride of those ...

    SSB approves buying shares in GOB utility companies]
    The Board of Directors of the Social Security Board on Thursday June 23, 2016, approved the purchase of Government’s shares in BEL and BTL at a recommended purchase of 40 million dollars of BEL’s shares and 15 million dollars of BTL shares. The Investment committee made the recommendatio...

    APBEL-Petrocaribe marks tenth anniversary of establishment
    Depending on calculations, Belize is closing in on the 11th anniversary of formally joining the Petrocaribe energy union arranged by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which happened on June 29th, 2005; and the 10th anniversary of the formation of Belize Petroleum and Energy Limited, now a minor...

    Belize to source regular gas from Puma after short Venezuela shortfall
    Since early 2015 Belize has stopped importing premium fuel through the Petrocaribe program at Venezuela’s request.According to Deputy Chairman John Mencias it has not much affected his company, which has actually made greater profits as a result. But there is a coming shortfall in regular gasoline f...

    DFC gets 8 million Euros credit line from European Investment Bank
    The European Investment Bank has signed an 8 million EURO loan with the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in Belize. This line of credit is expected to help enhance access to finance by projects implemented by small and medium sized companies and micro entrepreneurs in the country. In addition t...

    Regional HIV/AIDS Testing Day observed
    Friday June 24 is observed as Regional HIV/AIDS Testing Day. It is the 5th year Belize has participated in its regional effort and it is being done under the theme, “Increasing testing to create change.” Executive Director for National AIDS Commission, Enrique Romero, said testings are done countryw...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Santa Cruz 13 case discontinued for lack of evidence
    In Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court this morning, the sitting Magistrate discontinued the case against the Santa Cruz 13 (currently 11 after two defendants were previously dismissed) for lack of evidence on the advice of Director of Public Prosecutions and prosecutor Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd […]

    ComPol says P.C. Alamilla “embarrassed” Department
    Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla is out on bail after being arraigned last week for discharging his firearm in a public place. Defenders say he was trying to stop a violent confrontation from getting worse, but this was the second time he had to draw a […]

    Police recognize brave Eastern Division (North) cops
    Seven police officers from Eastern Division (North), which covers Northside Belize City and the cayes, were today recognized for acts of bravery in the call of duty. Three were involved in a rescue of an 11-year-old drowning child on Newtown Barracks on Friday, while the remaining […]

    ComPol responds to gang problem in Belize City
    Responding to recent incidents including the murderous attempt by a 15-year-old minor on a noted gang affiliate which resulted in four persons including a police officer being injured two weeks ago, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie indicated that police will have to ring the perimeter of their […]

    Ryan Barnett arrested in weekend murder
    George Street resident 30 year old Ryan Barnett has been charged with murder following the death of 38 year old Anthony Gillett who was found shot to death on West Collet Canal on Friday night. Gillett was found lying in a sofa with what appeared to be […]

    San Ignacio police seek suspected burglar
    San Ignacio Police are currently looking for one man for questioning in connection with a burglary. On Friday at around 9:30 a.m. 68-year-old Clifford Marshall from Franks Eddy Village made checks at his trailer house bus and noticed that one of the side windows was broken and saw a […]

    Police capture machete wielding man after he injures six in Yo Creek Village
    Orange Walk Police successfully arrested Larry Banner after a he inflicted chop wounds to six persons, including children. Authorities report that around midday on Friday June 24, Banner entered the home of Moises Pech and attacked him and his companion Juanita Pech with a machete. […]

    Estimated million-dollar fire razes ten buildings on Ambergris Caye
    An early morning fire on Pescador Drive in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye is said to have razed ten buildings including homes and business and caused as much as a million dollars in damage. Around 12:45 this morning, police and fire officials responded to a wooden two-storey […]

    Common law husband burns house over dispute
    Belize City Police are currently looking for Jose Alberto Rivera for questioning. On Friday, June 24 sometime around 9:45 p.m. members of the fire department were dispatched to extinguish a fire that started at a yellow two storey cement house located on #182 East Collet Canal Street. […]

    BDF Soldier murdered in Punta Gorda
    The Belize Defense Forced is today mourning the loss of one of their own in Punta Gorda. Orlando Rash, 27, a resident of San Felipe Village was discovered in an advanced state of decomposition on Sunday morning. According to a police report, officers received information of a […]

    Blogs

    Devastating Fire on San Pedro’s Busy Middle Street Burns Businesses & Homes to the Ground
    Last night, at around midnight, a fire broke out on Ambergris Caye – in perhaps the most densely packed area on the island, Middle Street, San Pedro. It was a rainy night…and that’s a good thing. For pictures of the flames, please check the photos from Ambergris Today and San Pedro Sun. I made it to town this morning at about 7am, to see many cleaning up the still smoking debris. Here are my photos. I parked in front of Elvi’s Kitchen – the block ahead was closed. The building to the left is Lino’s Meat Shop – they will be running there shop down south as this clean-up continues. Behind Lino’s… El Dorado Market. Across the street, doors and signs melted but relatively minor damage compared to what can happen on a windy night.

    5 Ways You Can Help San Pedro Fire Victims
    My heart is heavy today. I woke up to the news that all the buildings between Lino’s Meat and Graniels were badly hit by a fire last night. As I walked home and saw the devastation in my neighborhood and the streets with downed power-lines it made me think just how fragile life can be. One minute everything is normal the next it can all be gone. So many of us take that for granted every day. As I sit here writing I can smell the lingering smoke and it is making it hard for me to concentrate, I keep thinking about everyone who just lost it all in the blink of an eye. The silver lining to that is watching the San Pedro community spring to action to help our most vulnerable and do what we can to get them back on their feet. I would like to recognize those who were part of the late night bucket brigade. There were some amazing members of the community working tirelessly to help douse the fire and those helping get the word out.

    Police treating fire as arson; 26 families homeless, 11 buildings burned; focus turns to cleanup, donations for victims
    Updated June 27, 11:07 a.m.: San Pedro Sun is now reporting that 88 people were affected by the fire, mostly left homeless, and 11 buildings were completely destroyed in the early morning fire in Downtown San Pedro, Belize. Eight buildings were businesses and the others were residences. Updated June 27, 1:12 p.m.: Mary Rodriguez of the San Pedro Sun reports that “police are investigating it as arson.” The Sun quotes Deputy of the Belize Police Department Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemott as saying, ““So far we are doing internal criminal investigation to see what occurred. The fire department was also assisting at this time; we would not like to speculate but we are looking at arson at this time.” The numbers are devastating: 21 families comprising 68 people lost everything in the fire, the Sun reports. This link from the Sun includes around 40 stunning pictures from this morning’s fire scene. Among the businesses destroyed were El Dorado Market, former Waraguma restaurant (recently closed?) and Cortez Upholstery — others?

    International Sourcesizz

    Bookbag Santa bringing Christmas in July to kids in Belize
    Bookbag Santa volunteers are hard at work collecting school supplies that will be delivered to schools in Belize at the end of July. Gary Hunt, president and founder of Bookbag Santa, came up with the idea for the organization over 20 years ago. He hated seeing perfectly good school supplies go into the landfill at the end of the school year. "We literally keep two tons, actually more than two tons of good usable stuff out of the landfill every year. And we take it down to four little schools in Belize or groups here, churches, anybody that asks for stuff that we don't take to Belize, we just give it away,” said Hunt. Hunt says all of the schools in Belize need help. It's a heartwarming experience he's glad volunteers like David Parr will be able to take part in.

    Enabling Belizean operator to become a regional mentor in The Caribbean
    On July 11-12 members of the Cari-WOP and supporting organizations will come together in Miami for a two-day coordination and proposal development meeting. Representatives from the Belize Water Services (BWS), Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association (CAWASA), Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), and GWOPA, will meet at the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) to move forward their actions to strengthen the capacity of Caribbean water utilities through Water Operators’ Partnerships. The purpose of this meeting is to develop a framework that will establish BWS into a regional mentor and replicate the best practices gained from the WOP between BWS and CCWD in the Caribbean region. Furthermore, participants will aim to formulate strategies to obtain funding for this replication phase.

    UK’s exit from EU a threat to the Caribbean, warns region’s top academic
    Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Sir Hilary Beckles has warned the region to brace for the impact of the United Kingdom’s (UK) break with the European Union (EU), as he predicted that every aspect of life in the Caribbean will be negatively affected. The Brexit (British exit) vote last Thursday has already caused ripples across the world, with the value of the pound falling and stock markets dipping among the immediate effects. And Sir Hilary says the region’s fragile economic recovery is now under threat and Britain’s exit should trigger immediate strategic regional reactions, even before Heads of Government meet in Guyana for their July 4 to 6 Summit. “The predictable, highly individualistic action poses both a short-term as well as a long-term threat to the performance of CARICOM economies,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

    Do you speak ‘ocean?’ – UNESCO develops open resource on ocean literacy
    UNESCO is collaborating with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) on a project to develop an open resource learning tool on ocean literacy. The project is being developed by UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programme and IOC as part of the EU Horizon 2020 SeaChange project. It aims to produce a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to sensitize and enable teachers and students from Europe and beyond to incorporate the concept of ocean literacy - how we influence the ocean and it influences us - into learning. The MOOC will focus on Ocean Literacy’s 7 essential principles with the long-term aim is to enhance responsibility towards the marine environment and develop marine citizenship. At the recent Global Ocean Science Education Workshop in Paris highlighting the importance of “citizen science” in protecting the marine environment, Bernard Combes of UNESCO’s Global Action Programme on ESD participated in panel discussions on the Influence of Informal Science Education on Policy and Connections Between Citizen Science, Informal Science Education, and Policy.

    Videos

  • Aftermath of Fire on Pescador Drive, 4.5min. On the early morning of Monday, June 27, 2016 a fire broke out on Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street. Starting around 1AM, the inferno blazed until 4AM when the San Pedro Fire Department and citizen bucket brigades managed to control the flames. 11 buildings were destroyed, leaving 88 people homeless. Fortunately no injuries have been reported. All rights reserved by The San Pedro Sun.

  • Aerial Footage of Fire on Pescador Drive, 2.5min. View of the fire in San Pedro Town on Pescador Drive from the air. June 27, 2016 Drone footage by Bryce Peterson Video & Imaging Productions.

  • Hummingbird Flight Off of the Veranda, 1.5min.

  • HUBERT PIPERSBURG PRESENTATION AT THE ANGLO GUATEMALAN TOWN MEETING IN LOS ANGELES!, 32min. Belizean political analyst, Hubert Pipersburgh, in his presentation at the Anglo Guatemalan Claim Town Meeting made the case in his presentation that the Guatemalan military oligarchy is using a strategy called Effective Control by annexing the Belize Sarstoon River and Island on the southern most border between Belize and Guatemala. Pipersburgh established in his presentation that the Guatemalan military oligarchy will use the annexation to convince the judges at the I.C.J that since Guatemala has sovereignty over the Sarstoon, that the law which states that squatters rights is nine-tenths of the law should take precedence and whereby convinced the court at the Hague that Belizean territory in the South should be held under control by Guatemala.

  • Belize Cancer Society Cervical Cancer Ad 2015, 1.5min.

  • Cave Tubing in Belize, 30min.

  • Ziplining in Belize, 7min.

  • Fire on Pescador Drive San Pedro Belize, 1min. Fire on Pescador Drive San Pedro Belize

    June 27, 2016

    The news will be a bit brief for the next week or so due to time constraints

    Fire engulfs a section of Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street
    A huge fire has engulfed a section of Pescador Drive and Buccaneer Street. The fire reportedly started early this morning. As fire fighters fight to control the area, San Pedro Police are working on evacuating all residents in the vicinity. Reports are that at least two gas containers have exploded, making matters worse. As of an hour ago, The fire is now under control - the bucket brigade stopped it from spreading further and the fire brigade are continuing to douse it. For those in need of a shelter, The San Pedro Roman Catholic School has been opened. Let's spread the word and share this information and ensure all fire victims have a place to rest! San Pedro Sun reporters at the scene say the fire appears to be under control. Due to the fire, electrical power has been cut off to portions of Pescador Drive, Angel Coral Street, Coconut Drive and Eliot Subdivision for an unknown amount of time. Residents are asked to bear with this inconvenience as damaged poles and wires will need to be repaired before the power can be reinstalled.


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Had it All
    “I need to go to the bank this morning,” I told Sherry. “I’m going to stop and have tamales for lunch when I’m done. Why don’t I pick up some for you?” “It sounds like a plan,” she said. “I don’t want to cook.” I was sitting at the big picnic table when a man walked up to me and said, “Mr. Dennis, will you buy me a tamale?” “Juan, is that you?” I asked. “I didn’t even recognize you. I thought you were in the U.S.” “I was,” he said, “until day before yesterday. It was time for me to leave the States and I still had the return part of my plane ticket. I been back and ain’t et nothing since I got here.” “How was it in the States?” I asked.

    SP Boot Camp offering fitness and self-defence lessons
    There is a Boot Camp in San Pedro Town promising to build strength, endurance and agility. This new fitness program incorporates cardio, circuit training, aerobic exercises, and flexibility. With workouts modelled after old-school military training, it has the added bonus of a self-defence technique known as Krav Maga. Facilitated by Eddy Stanzer at Zen Arcade, the Boot Camp invites you to try a class for free. Stanzer recently moved to Belize from Israel. He has vast martial arts experience with a solid background in Tae-Kwon-Do, Point-fighting Kickboxing, Full Contact Kickboxing, Boxing and Krav Maga. According to Stanzer, boot camp classes are designed to help individuals achieve results in the quickest time possible. “It is a body weight form of exercise. We don’t use weights. It involves classic, modern exercises mixed with cardio elements. If you want to lose weight, get fit and make friends in a flexible workout program, then boot camp is your place,” he says.

    SPJC students empowered on Belize sovereignty at Galen symposium
    Students of San Pedro Junior College were empowered to defend Belize’s sovereignty, at a symposium for tertiary level students hosted by Galen University at the Sacred Heart College auditorium in San Ignacio on Friday, June 17. Participating institutions included Corozal Junior College, John Paul II Junior College from Benque, Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College, Independence Junior College, University of Belize and the hosts, Galen University.

    Doctor Love: Trapped and Better Things
    Dear Doctor Love, I am a 52 year old woman married to a man who is impotent. Although we have been married for seven years and live together we have not had relations in five years. He says it is not because he is impotent: he just does not want to have relations with me. He does not abuse me physically but he abuses me emotionally and verbally every day. I would not treat anyone the way he treats me. When I talk to him about divorce he does not want one. Because he does not beat me or run around on me I have no real grounds for divorce. I need help. Please tell me what to do. /s/ Trapped

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Caye Caulker Humane Society Mobile Clinic 2016
    And here are the pictures of the wet & muddy mobile clinic. Many thanks to team North (Amanda, Matt, Susan, dr. Tracy, Diane), team Bahia (Noelle, dr. Turk, Allie, Dave) and team Black Neighborhood (Katie, Tracy, Kimberly, LaRue, Monique).

    The Belize Zoo CONSERVATION CAMP 2016!
    There's still time to get the surly, rebellious teenagers out of the house for 5 glorious days. Camp starts next week Monday (27th), Spread the word! BZ will once again be accepting young Belizeans join our Education team as we explore Belize's natural wonders through our week long conservation camp. This will be the 23rd year of "Zoo Camp." Special guest presentations, field trips, scientific studies and role play are just a few of the many activities planned this year. The goal of Camp, as always, is to foster conservation-minded attitudes in the next generation of stewards of our natural heritage.

    SPTC gifts golf cart to SAGA
    On Friday, June 24, 2016, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council were more than excited to present the team at Saga Humane Society with a Carry All Golf Cart complete with yearly licensing! This golf cart was very much needed by the team at Saga Humane Society and they are very grateful for such donation. During the presentation, Mayor Daniel Guerrero expressed his gratitude towards the team at Saga Humane Society for all their efforts in promoting a more Animal Friendly society. He also mentioned, on behalf of the Minister, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., that the Minister has secured two lots on North, Ambergris Caye for Saga Humane Society and two months rent at their current location. The Saga Humane Society is a very active organization in our community. They are always holding fundraisers and activities in order to help our furry friends.

    Mr. Francisco Arceo passes away
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Arceo family & friends on the passing of Mr. Francisco Arceo, better known as "Don Fashico". Don Fashico was a true pioneer in the development of San Pedro, from its fishing village days to what it is now. May he rest in Peace.

    Miss Panama – Miss Costa Maya Festival 2016 Contestant
    The International Costa Maya Festival is excited to announce its fifth contestant vying the title of Miss Costa Maya International 2016. Meet Margareth Villanueva. If anything defines Margareth is her enthusiasm, love and joy for life. Model, entrepreneur, writer and Panamanian philanthropic, at 22 years she shows that with determination and conviction you can achieve each of the goals that you propose. She started her journey as a model at 15 years leading her to be part of campaigning, commercials and walkways with some of the best brands in Panama. Today she is one of the official participants for Miss Panama 2017 contest in which the highest representatives of the beauty sector in her country participate. The winners become carriers of international titles such as Miss Panama for Miss Universe, among others.

    Belize Alumni Association Spotlight!
    Congratulations to The Embassy's U.S. Exchange Program Alumni Mrs. Argelia Mendoza Ken for winning this year’s Independence Day theme contest for Belize!! This year’s September celebration theme is : “Sovereign and Strong- Together as one” that focused on the Belizean-Guatemalan territorial dispute Mrs. Ken is presently teacher and counselor at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District. In 2014, she participated in the U.S. Embassy, Youth Ambassadors Program as mentor to the six students from different high schools in Belize. The Youth Ambassadors Program brings together high school students and adult mentors from countries across the Americas to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities.

    National Song Competition 2016
    This year's National Song Competition will be on August 13th. If you have a patriotic song, submit it by July 22nd.

    Tertiary Empowerment Symposium
    The Tertiary Empowerment Symposium, led by Galen, was held at the Sacred Heart College auditorium, and 100's of students from all over Belize were in attendance to talk about the encroachment into the Chiquibul. Protect the Chiquibul! "The Tertiary Level Empowerment Symposium, 'Defending our Sovereignty', led by Galen University brought students from all across the country. FCD presented on the Current Environmental Impacts of a Porous Border in the West."

    Angels and Demons Tour
    The Angels and Demons Tour is coming to Cayo next Saturday. Viscera, Commando, Death Suppressor, and Dead at Last will be playing. The Soul Project is the venue, so it'll be a great concert. "For the first time in San Ignacio all the way from Corozal, Dead At Last!!!!! Also we proudly announce that thrash metal legends Commando will also grace the stage, and for the first time ever an American Metal band will grace our solid *expletive removed* Viscera!!!"

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Machete wielding mad man in police custody
    Alleged suspect in the chopping incident that claimed the life of Kian Chuc and hospitalized four others, is currently in police custody pending charges. On Friday June 24th, sometime around midday the peace and silence in Yo Creek was shattered when a lone man armed […]

    PG police investigating circumstances of body found near beach
    Information reaching Breaking Belize News is that a post mortem is currently being performed on a male person that was discovered sometime this morning near a beach in Punta Gorda. BBN has been made to understand that the person is believed to be from San […]

    Fatal traffic accident on George Price Highway claims 1 life
    Breaking Belize News has confirmed that a cyclist lost his life while overtaking a bus on the George Price Highway near Rumors Resort in the Cayo District. According to reports, the cyclist attempted to overtake a bus when he collided into a vehicle traveling in […]

    Belize does claim Sarstoon Island, CEO/Foreign Affairs tells Reporter
    An editorial in this weekend’s edition of the Reporter newspaper makes the case that the Sarstoon River and the Sarstoon Island are not unquestionably Belizean property. The editorial argues that in the case of Sarstoon Island, quote, “maybe as much as one half of this island is […]

    3 Blunders That Crippled Belize’s Growth Potential
    What is stopping Belize from growing? The inhibition is embedded in the decision blunders of the past two decades of post-independent Belize. Here are, what I consider, the top three blunders that crippled Belize’s growth potential. Remember, nothing sits in a bubble, everything is linked. […]

    GOB too big, needs to be cut down
    ny discussion about scaling down the size of government and cutting the country’s wage bill obviously involves a discussion about letting people go. It’s a very touchy and controversial subject because no government wants to feel the wrath of a public dejected by retrenchment. The […]

    Blogs

    San Pedro, Belize’s 2016 Annual Lobster Festival is the Best Yet
    Last night was the big block party for the 10th annual Ambergris Caye Lobsterfest and it was an absolute blow-off. There were more people, more space, more booths (which means more tasty food selections) and it was an absolutely gorgeous night. I got there early. 1. Because my night time photos are…terrible. 2. I was helping to raise money for BelizeKids.Org. I made one huge error last night and I’ll admit it up front – I was asked to judge a few months ago and I TOTALLY FORGOT. I flaked on the opportunity to taste 17 lobster dishes. Am I getting blase? Letting this blogging thing go to my head? Let’s just get back to the topic at hand. LOBSTA! And a huge party.

    Volunteer Vets and Hopkins Humane Society Take on Belize City – Weekend Clinic Kick-Off at St. Catherine’s Academy
    Yesterday I jumped aboard the 7:30am San Pedro-Belize Express water taxi to Belize City to help with the first of a three day veterinary clinic. Goal? To spay and neuter as many animals as possible – in a city where stray dogs and cats are routinely “eradicated”. I’ll get to that in a bit… After a full Thursday of rain on Ambergris Caye, the weather looked promising as we pulled into Belize City. The lobster fishermen were unloading at the fishing co-op. Better weather means more people bringing out their animals. And MAN! DID THE ANIMALS COME OUT! By the time I left to catch the 4pm boat back to San Pedro, they had tagged Lola, #106, to be spayed. Isn’t she gorgeous? Here’s my day. And I’m leaving out the 4 hours of scrubbing instruments…it just doesn’t photograph all that great.

    International Sourcesizz

    In vitro fertilization may save coral reefs
    Marine biologists at the California Academy of Sciences have joined a new international effort to rescue endangered coral reefs from the consequences of widespread human destruction and a warming climate. Marine biologists at the California Academy of Sciences have joined a new international effort to rescue endangered coral reefs from the consequences of widespread human destruction and a warming climate. “If it’s successful,” Shepherd said, “it opens the possibility for widespread application on coral reefs everywhere.” Shepherd’s group has joined with leaders of an international research and conservation group called Secore International — Sexual Coral Reproduction — whose founder and president, Dirk Petersen, led the original research into a unique method of in vitro fertilization of coral organisms. Five years ago, Petersen and researchers diving at the Caribbean Marine Biological Institute in Curacao, collected coral sperm and egg cells in the water while the corals were spawning, and reared the coral larvae in the laboratory. When they matured, the researchers transplanted the coral larvae onto small, fist-size tiles that the divers then transplanted to the degraded reef by the thousands.

    Videos

  • Look out for the Caribbean Queen on August 5!, 1min. Soca Queen Allison Hindes will be performing on Caribbean Night at this year's Costa Maya festival. Faloma ding ding ding...

  • LA VOZ KARAOKE 2016 - WEEK 11, 160min.

  • BELIZE, 5min. Hiking jungles and caves in Belmopan. Scuba diving in Ambergris Caye. Chillin' in Caye Caulker.

  • Shark attack Belize 2016_x264, 3min.

  • Belize GoPro Compliation, 17min. This is a very rough compilation of the GoPro videos / stills I took on a dive trip aboard the Belize Aggressor IV. The sailing was June 18th through the 25th.

  • BREDAA'S NURI AKBAR ESTRADA'S SPEECH AT THE ANGLO / GUATEMALAN TOWN MEETING IN LOS ANGELES!, 12min. In his presentation on the issue, BREDAA's Chairman, Nuri Akbar Estrada, told the Belizean listening audience across the U.S. and in Belize that the Anglo Guatemalan Claim is transnational driven and politically motivated, where western foreign corporations have economic ambitions, and are pushing the present government of Belize to settle the claim at the I.C.J. which has become a very unpopular position so far with many Belizeans rejecting it as an option.

  • BELIZE TRIP !!!, 36min.

  • Belize! - Honeymoon Trip (2016), 7.5min. Hanna Stables, Turneffe Island Resort

  • Belize Rum Factory, 2min.

  • BELIZE CITY 2005, 20min. LEGEND OF THE SEAS 2005 BELIZE CITY TOUR.

  • Belize 2013 snorkelen, 6min.

    June 25, 2016

    I will be unable to do the daily news tomorrow, Sunday morning June 26. I will return on Monday morning.


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro Food Bank thanks Crazy Canuck’s for substantial donation
    The San Pedro Food Bank (SPFB) extends their gratitude to Crazy Canuck’s Beach Bar for donating over $10,000 that directly benefited dozens of local families in need here on the island. Every Tuesday, Crazy Canucks hosts hermit crab races, and 25% of the raised funds are donated to the San Pedro Food Bank and Daryl’s Kids of Belize. According to Brittney O’Daniel of the SPFB, the food bank costs about $1,000 a week to run, and the donations assist with the costs of perishable items. “Every week for the past year, the food bank gets anywhere from $150-300 a week. It’s the only consistent weekly money we get so it’s really helpful. Last week, they hit the 10k mark over the last year, and we would like to express our sincere thanks to Crazy Canucks,” said O’Daniel. Rob Burrows, owner of Crazy Canucks, explained how he carefully selects which charities he donates to. “I was encouraged by Brittney and how she runs the food bank. It’s families in need, and she helps to maintain them. We will always support her and this good cause,” said Burrows.

    Inclement weather delays completion of police barracks
    There is yet another delay in the completion of the second phase of a police barracks for the San Pedro Police Formation. The failure to complete the works in the building has been attributed to the recent rains, which impede the progress of labour, particularly outside of the structure. Town Councillor and contractor Gabriel ‘Gaby’ Nuñez had previously expected to complete the building by Monday, June 6th, but according to him, due to lack of man power, it did not happen. However, he stated that very minimal work is left to do. “The two main touches left to do in order to finish the building is painting the outside walls and covering the floor with marley. We have not been able to do any painting due to the recent bad weather,” said Nuñez. He also commented that even though all plumbing and wiring works have been completed in the building, they are still asking for assistance to get a meter socket to install outside of the building in order to supply the structure with electricity.

    Our National Flower – The Black Orchid
    Belize is full of fascinating cultures, flora, fauna and a history that is varied and colorful. Of course we have equally cool National Symbols to go along with it! They include a flower, a tree, a bird, a large mammal, and of course, our flag and its coat of arms. The Encyclia Cochleatum – or Black Orchid, is our national flower. It is a tiny cluster of bulb-like stems that grow up to half a foot long, with few leaves. The flowers bloom nearly all year round, and the petals and sepals are a mixture of green and yellow, with a purple base. The shape of the flower is similar to a clam shell valve, and is deep purple – almost black – with showy purple veins.

    Fruta Bomba completely closes in Belize
    Fruta Bomba, a foreign owned papaya company that was once one of the biggest employer in Belize, has officially closed its operations in Belize. Since February 19, 2016, Brook’s Tropicals, which is the founder for Fruta Bomba and Belize Food Packers Limited, informed the Ministry of Labor about its intention to close its growing and packing operations in Belize within the next six months after 20 years in business. The closing of the company, however, came sooner than expected, as Fruta Bomba closed its doors on Thursday, June 16th.

    Holy Cross Anglican Primary School celebrates 10th Anniversary
    On June 14, 2006, thanks to the dedication of Francis and Vernon Wilson, ground was broken for San Mateo’s Holy Cross Anglican School. Ten years later, on Saturday, June 18th, the school celebrated its 10th anniversary alongside past alumni as well as new recruits. The administrators had the opportunity to inform those in attendance what the future of the school looks like. Attendees were then shown the master plan for the school’s expansion, which will entail the relocation of classrooms in line with the school property. This move will facilitate the refurbishment of existing buildings to make way for the pre-school. The expansion project also foresees the building of a high school, which will maximize the secondary level education on the island, especially as the demand for classroom space continues to grow on Ambergris Caye. According to school administrators, as soon as the area where they plan to build is filled in, the construction of the new buildings will start. At the moment, filling the land is the main delay, but they are very optimistic that the government, through Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr., will help. The time frame for the materialization of this master plan is five years.

    GOB admits Guatemalan Armed hostility within Belizean waters
    On Thursday, June 18th, nine armed soldiers from the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) vessel attempted to stop a Belizean vessel with two media personnel from traversing the north side of the Sarstoon Area. The incident occurred after 6AM, and the Belizean vessel was able to speed away back to Punta Gorda. The Government of Belize (GOB) is investigating the incident in an effort to verify all the particulars, including that the media vessel was in Belizean waters. Guatemalan authorities have communicated that they attempted to stop the vessel to inquire the reason the media was taking photos of their naval base. However, video footage has shown that the GAF claimed that the vessel was on Guatemalan waters. Mike Rudon, news reporter at Channel 5, recounted to officials that as they traveled, the GAF followed them. As the Belizean vessel entered Sarstoon, and turned back, the GAF ordered them to stop, but the Belizean vessel refused. The GAF continually argued with the Belizeans that they were in Guatemalan waters, and immediately ran their boat close to theirs.

    Ambergris Today

    EUR $8MIL Loan for DFC to Support Private Sector Development in Belize
    The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 8 million loan with the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in Belize, which will help to enhance access to finance by projects implemented by small and medium sized companies and micro entrepreneurs in the country. The long term finance from the EIB provided at attractive rates will boost DFC’s ability to support private sector development in Belize. In addition to the loan, which will be supported by a guarantee from the Government of Belize (GoB), the operation will benefit from technical assistance, which will help to strengthen DFC’s credit risk management and assets and liabilities management. DFC plays an important role in providing long term finance to the productive sectors, including agro-industry, manufacturing and tourism. It is currently undergoing a restructuring process aimed at bolstering DFC’s credit delivery and administration. The EIB will support the restructuring process primarily through its technical assistance program.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Star's Island Fantasy in San Pedro
    There's a new business in town! Be sure to drop by Star's Island Fantasy and in case you're shy they also post their collections on Facebook.

    Government of Belize's position with regards to the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island
    In response to this week's Editorial in The Reporter newspaper, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, has written a letter making clear the Government of Belize's position with regards to the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island

    Sea cucumber season ends June 30th, 2016
    In accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 67 of 2009, under the Fisheries Act Chapter 210 of the laws of Belize Revised edition 2000-2003, the Belize Fisheries Department hereby reminds all fishers and the general public that: No person shall fish for, or harvest, at any time in the waters of Belize, or buy, sell, have in possession, export or attempt to export any sea cucumber after June 30th, 2016. The season will remain closed from July 1st to December 31st 2016. Any person found in possession of sea cucumber after this date will be charged and prosecuted in a Court of Law in accordance to the Fisheries Regulations. The assistance of the fishing community and the general public is greatly appreciated in the sustainable use and conservation of this important fishery resource. For additional information or to report any illegal activity please contact the Fisheries Department at telephone number: 224-4552/203-2623 or by email: fisheries_department@fisheries.gov.bz

    Vocal Workshop 2016
    Jun 27 at 5 PM to Jul 7 at 7 PM. Pallotti School of Music, Belize City. Giselle E. O'Brien is a singer, composer and music teacher currently residing in Belize.

    BEL to Hold Annual General Meeting
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) will hold its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders later today, to announce the results of the Company’s 2015 performance. Central to the report to shareholders, are accomplishments gained from the commitment to BEL’s Mission “To provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.” In 2015, BEL achieved net earnings of $24.9 million, resulting in dividend payments, similar to the previous year, of $0.15 per share. Following three consecutive years of proven financial viability, the Company also repaid the $10 million loan it obtained from the Social Security Board in 2012. The Company was able to achieve this robust financial performance whilst reducing electricity rates to an all-time low.

    Muscle Hut Fitness Club Grand Opening
    Muscle Hut Fitness Club had their grand opening here in San Ignacio. They are still running specials for signing up. Welcome to San Ignacio!

    San Pedro: The History of its Lobster Industry
    Come visit us at the Welcoming Booth at the San Pedro Lobster Festival. On Exhibition will be "the History of San Pedro's Lobster Industry." Lobster a Trash Fish: The first few decades of the twentieth century had brought the beginning of Belize’s spiny lobster industry. Belizeans had traditionally rejected lobsters as “trash fish” and made no effort to exploit them.

    STREET CLOSURE June 24th in San Pedro
    Please be advised that Barrier Reef Drive from the intersection of Buccaneer Street (Alijua Building) to the intersection of Pelican Street (Fido’s Restaurant & Bar) will be closed to all vehicular traffic from Friday, June 24th at 6:00 p.m. and will reopen on Sunday, June 26th at 8:00 a.m..

    Scott's 'Flipper's Upper Deck' at Palapa Bar and Grill.
    It's been a great day at Palapa Bar and Grill. Scott's 'Flipper's Upper Deck' opened and it's been booming all day with their Lobster Crawl specials.

    Letter: The case for the production of industrial hemp
    Last Wednesday, the Marijuana Commission of CARICOM began consultations in Kingstown, St Vincent, as mandated by the 2014 CARICOM conference of heads of governments’ decision to “examine the social, economic. health and legal issues surrounding the various aspects of marijuana use in the Caribbean and its implications and make recommendations back to the conference.” The Belize Hemp Initiative, a group of farmers, alternative medicine advocates and average citizens from Northern Belize, would like to be a part of these regional consultations as it has been on a four-year long mission to get the government to lift the ban on growing industrial hemp with all its myriad economic, agro-industrial diversity advantages for Belize. Industrial hemp is currently categorized as an illegal drug and its production is dubiously deemed a criminal offence under the laws governing the cultivation and possession of ‘cannabis’ or marijuana. Much ground has been covered and legal opinions gathered over the years:

    US Embassy Flag Ceremony & Backlash to National Youth Council
    The National Evangelical Association of Belize and the almost 300 Churches & Ministries it represents nationwide is appalled at the US Embassy raising of the LGBT flag over Belize yesterday. The NEAB finds it terribly disrespectful of our nation and laws, as well as provocative in the pushing and promoting of homosexuality globally. US Ambassador Moreno stated on June 24th, 2014 “I can affirmatively state that from the perspective of the United States there is no LGBT agenda. I think what the mission of the United States is to promote human rights with respect to all groups…” The truth is obvious. We repudiate efforts to redefine human rights in ways that are contradictory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is crystal clear in protecting religious freedoms and the natural family.

    The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George symbolized in the Star of a Knight/Dame Grand Cross
    The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, King George III. (Our downtown history tells us that the street formerly known as “Front Street” in downtown was changed to “Regents Street” in 1818 so this may have had some connection to this event). It is named in honour of two military saints, St Michael and St George. The Order of St Michael and St George was originally awarded to those holding commands or high position in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, and was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. It is at present awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, and can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs.

    Channel 7

    7News To The Sarstoon, No Guatemalan Harassment
    On Tuesday, at the OAS Building in Washington DC, delegations from Belize and Guatemala spoke for 5 hours, and when it was all done, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Ambassador Alexis Rosado were unable able to tell us anything more than that the negotiations over the Sarstoon River Mechanism had started. The Statement from OAS would only say that quote, "good progress was made during the meeting", and that, quote, "best practices for the de-escalation of tensions in the Sarstoon River" would be used. But, it was unclear what "best practices" truly refer to, so, today, we decided to visit the Sarstoon for ourselves to see if the Guatemalan military had truly stopped harassing Belizeans in the river. Daniel Ortiz left the Toledo Coast a little after 7:00 this morning and he has the story: When our news team entered the mouth of the Sarstoon River, the first thing we noticed was that there were no Guatemalan military vessels present and ready to intercept at a moment's notice. In fact, apart from a few other Guatemalan civilian boats, there was almost no traffic.

    Eminent Panelists Debating The ICJ
    Last night at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, the SSB Debate on Belize Guatemala relations was extensive and fiery. The debate went on for 1 hour and 49 minutes as the six panelists for and against the ICJ tried to bring the audience around to their point of view. The affirmative slate, represented by of Ambassadors Lisa Shoman and James Murphy, and Gian Vasquez tackled the issue from the historical perspective. They gave the audience a history lesson outlining the more than 100 years that all persons involved tried and failed to resolve the dispute. Their main pitch for a yes vote is that Belize has tried everything and everything failed, all except litigation at the International Court of Justice. Here's the affirmative slate making the case for the ICJ, along with the rebuttal from the negative slate:

    Mass Chopping In Yo Creek, Maims One, Seriously Injures Minors
    Six people - three adults and three minors were very seriously injured in a chopping in Yo Creek Village in the Orange Walk District this afternoon. It happened at around 2:00 when Larry Banner - who has a history of mental illness - arrived at his family home, erupted into a rage and started flailing his machete wildly. He chopped his sister in law Adela Chuc and three minors, including her son. He then went across the street to his neighbor Moises and 54 year old Juanita Pech's home. She was celebrating her birthday - and he told them he just came to visit. But that is when he lifted his bloodied machete. Moises Pech was the most seriously injured; he raised his arm to defend himself and his hand was severed. His wife was also chopped to her head. Her daughter in law and her two year old son narrowly escaped. Neighbors tell us Banner has a history of mental illness and had been in jail for a similar crime before. We'll have more on this story on Monday's news.

    Police Take Guns Off The Street
    5 more guns are off city streets. For this entire week the police have been patrolling and searching hot spots on the Southside, and today Commander Chester Williams held sort of a showcase of these seizures at his Raccoon Street office. Williams told us more about the weeklong operation and its impact on crime control. ACP Chester Williams- O. C., Eastern South Division: "We have 5 firearms; 3 - 9mm pistols, 1 - 380 and 1- .38 special revolver and these firearms are the product of the hard work of the police officers on the Southside Belize City between precinct 1, 2, the Strike Team and Special Branch working in collaboration to be able to remove as much firearms as we can from off the streets of Belize city. All of them are found properties and they are a result of the police searches in different areas, known hotspots in Belize City. We have two that was found in the St. Martin's area near Flamboyant Street; we have one that was found on Euphrates Avenue, which is the .380 revolver; we have these two that were found on Mahogany Street in the Precinct 1 area. So it's a good catch for the police and these were all retrieve this week. So for this week between Monday and today, we have retrieve a total of 5 firearms off the streets."

    Alleged Burglars Bangled In Court
    Earlier this week we told you about the three young men who were caught inside a house on Franklin Street. The three were allegedly caught red handed burglarizing the place when police intercepted them. Today they were taken before the court where they were read charges of burglary with intent to steal. They are 18 year old James Williams, 25 year old Eric McCoy and 18 year old Elden Flowers. Now although police say they caught them red handed, all three pleaded not guilty. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that they might interfere with witnesses. Senior Magistrate upheld that objection and remanded them into custody until their next court date set for August 10th. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser told the three accused that she was remanding them to prison for their own safety. The incident occurred on Wednesday June 22nd. Police got wind of a burglary in progress on Franklin Street and found the suspects hiding inside the house.

    Urbie Out Of Jail
    After three days in jail, Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla is out on $8,000 bail tonight. The bail was offered on the condition that Alamilla appears in court on each and every adjourned date, that he does not commit any other offence while on bail, that he does not interfere with any of the witnesses and that he reports to the police station until the conclusion of the case. As we told you, Alamilla was charged for discharging a firearm in public. The incident happened on Saturday June 18th at the Green Jade Restaurant in Ladyville. The report is that Alamilla was trying to defuse some disagreement between 2 other persons and that is when he shot at the floor inside the restaurant. This is not the first time he has fired his gun in public. About 8 days before this restaurant incident, he fired 3 shots in the air on Perez Road in Ladyville. In both cases, Alamilla was reported to be intoxicated.

    Rat Bite At Regional Hospital
    Another person has been bitten at a hospital, and this time it's the southern regional. Today's Reporter newspaper reports that a male nurse was bitten by a rat while he was on duty. The paper states that he was working the night shift in the emergency room at the southern regional, when the rat but him near the right ankle while he was sitting at his desk taking a break. The good news is that he didn't get rabies or any other disease. He is on sick leave and has no illness. The bad news is that it's another case of rats on the loose at a regional hospital. If you follow the news, you'll surely remember in August of 2015 when a rat bit a newborn at the Western Regional Hospital. Today the CEO in the Ministry of Health told us that the incident was not reported to the regional health manager, or to the ministry, so they learned of it through the Reporter Newspaper. He confirms that it happened on the 7th of June and since then the public health department has set traps all around the hospital to curb the increased rodent activity.

    Mek Mi Rich Legal Battle Continues
    In February of this year Curtis Swasey's claim was vindicated after Justice Courtney Abel ruled that Mek Mi Rich and BTL indeed profited from his original idea. As a result the court ordered that the claimant be paid $25 thousand dollars in damages in addition to an award of costs. Today all relevant parties met inside the chambers of Justice Courtney Abel to decide on what those additional award costs would look like. But the matter got snagged on a technicality. Eventually the case had to be adjourned for next month. Outside of the courtroom we spoke to Swasey's attorney Kareem Musa, who expressed his client's frustration at having to see this matter continuously dragged on. Hon. Kareem Musa, Attorney for Curtis Swasey: "The court made an order in February of this year that the costs were to be assessed. This morning we had to rehash the same old arguments that we had in February of this year because the defendants want a different method applied to award cost, but the judge had already made an order that it be assessed. That is the difficulty that we had today, basically going through this again and now we have to come back in July for the same thing again."

    Analysing Accounting Norms In Belize
    Today the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean held its 34th annual conference. The main vision for this conference is to discuss ways to improve the Caribbean economy through effective accounting. Now the conference comes at a fitting time given the current state of Government's cash strapped finances, reflected in the impending sale of BEL and BTL shares to the Social Security Board. While Belize's President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Reynaldo Magana could not speak on that specific topic, he admitted that Government's accounting practices need to be improved and upgraded. Magana told us how this conference can assist. Also, one of the presenters Dr. Leroy Almendarez told us about the other major topics that have to address in Belize's outlook. Reynaldo Magana, President, ICAB: "This is not just about the figures, it's about being professional, following the standards, making sure that the accountants in the region sing one song and not be singing different songs. We, as an accounting body, here as well as the Caribbean and globally, we follow international financial reporting standards of accounting."

    PUC Ignores Independent Expert and BEL
    The Public Utilities Commission has made its final decision on what will be the electricity rate from July of 2016 to June of 2020, known as the "Full Tariff Review Period." This final decision comes after months of back and forth between BEL, the PUC and an independent expert. BEL first asked for an average rate of 39 cents per kilowatt hour, the PUC proposed 36 cents per kilowatt hour. That's when BEL asked for an independent expert and he recommended 38 cents per kilowatt hour - which BEL agrees with. But the PUC didn't, and today the regulator's final decision is for an average rate of 36.99 cents per kilowatt hour, nearly 37 cents. The new rate goes into effect at the start of next month.

    Spaying Session For Dogs
    Spaying and neutering of animals can cost anywhere from $150 US dollars to $600 US dollars depending on the size of the animal. But a group of volunteer veterinarians from the US are in Belize to give the service for free. They have joined the Belize Humane Society and the Hopkins Humane Society to conduct this three-day pet clinic at the SCA campus in Belize City. Emanuel Pech visited the clinic today to find out more. The clinic service began today and will continue up until Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm. The organizers hope to treat about 500 to 600 pets by the end of it.

    Getting More Belizeans Tested For HIV
    Today is known as the Regional Testing Day. It's an initiative led by Scotia Bank and Pancap every year since 2007 in an effort to get more people tested for HIV. In Belize, the National Aids Commission partnered with the Ministry of Health and the Belize Family life association to conduct free HIV tests - in an effort to increase the number of persons who know their HIV status. This year the event was held at the Scotia Bank parking lot in Albert Street. We stopped by this morning: Emanuel Pech: "What is the turn out of the event, because normally when it comes to these sort of sensitive issues, they wouldn't want to come to such an open event?" Arthur Usher, Comm. Ofc., Natn'l Aids Commission: "What we're finding is over the years Belizeans have been more sensitized and more aware of their sexual health, so they're coming out more consistently. Again, recognizing that there is more life after HIV positive or negative. If you're negative it's good to always try to continue living that negative lifestyle. If you're positive, there's also resources and help available for those who are positive. There is some fear and stigma still but its dwindling a bit because people are recognizing more and educated."

    Reporter Raises Controversy
    "Treason!" - that's what some said when they read today's editorial in The Reporter newspaper. The editorial makes the case that the Sarstoon River and the Sarstoon Island are not unquestionably Belizean property. The editorial argues that Sarstoon Island, quote, "maybe as much as one half of this island is on the Guatemalan side of the center line. This means that Belize cannot justify a claim to the whole of Sarstoon Island." End quote. Well, the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was one of many who took issue with the editorial - and he immediately fired off a letter to the Editor - which was also sent out as a press release. The letter points to the 1859 treaty which specified the boundary between Belize and Guatemala and makes it clear that the Sarstoon Island is "wholly Belizean territory."

    The African Message
    The Universal Negro Improvement Association is inviting all members of the black community in Belize to join them on Monday for what they call the World Wind Tour forum which is taking place at the Gateway Youth Center in Belize City. The talks will be given by inspirational speaker, researcher and current president general of the UNIA-ACL Runoko Rashidi. He is on a Central American tour and will be in Belize for three days before heading back to the US. One of the main topics of the forum will be black Belizeans' influence in the region. The forum begins at 7 pm on Monday at the Gateway Youth Center in Belize City. Entrance is free.

    Channel 5

    Reporter Editorial on Sarstoon River Raises the Ire of Belizeans
    This week’s editorial in the Reporter newspaper has managed to accomplish what little else has – accord between the Government and the Opposition. We’ll get to that, but first the [...]

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sets the Record Straight on Southern Border
    The Opposition swung first this morning, via text from Senator Eamon Courtenay. He wrote, “The Reporter editorial of today is factually and legally wrong. It is a bizarre and possibly [...]

    Newspaper Owner Harry Lawrence Responds to G.O.B.’s Position
    As we mentioned earlier, the Reporter Editorial was written by newspaper owner Harry Lawrence. He received the letter from C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Sylvester this afternoon, [...]

    Photographer Tony Rath Details Chiquibul Experience in Online Article
    While the Reporter’s Editorial is found to be lacking in accuracy, another article in circulation today puts perspective in what really is happening in the Chiquibul. Renowned professional photographer Tony [...]

    Mek Mi Rich Litigants Return to Court
    On February twenty-third, Justice Courtney Abel ruled that B.T.L. and Mek Mi Rich, MMR, colluded to steal the concept for the game-show from Curtis Swasey. It was a landmark ruling [...]

    B.T.L. and Mek Mi Rich Appeal Supreme Court Decision
    What was also clear at the conclusion of the case in February is that the twenty-five thousand awarded to Swasey as compensation was not satisfactory to the claimant. The Judge’s [...]

    Gun-toting Urbie is Released on Bail
    After two nights on remand at the Belize Central Prison, thirty-five year old police officer, Urbie Alamilla is out on bail granted to him this morning by Supreme Court Judge, [...]

    Trio of Thieves Remanded for Burglary of Franklin Street Residence
    Three men who were caught in the act of burglarizing a house on Franklin Street, Belize City, claim it was all a police set-up. The media was called in at [...]

    Petrocaribe Celebrates Eleven Years in Belize
    Petrocaribe is celebrating eleven years in Belize, following the signing of an agreement with Venezuela on June twenty-ninth, 2005.  The dream of former President Hugo Chavez was to promote regional [...]

    APBEL Set to Enter the Retail Fuel Market
    While the program under APBEL focuses on investing in Belize, there are plans for the company to branch out into the retail sale of fuel.  Mencias provides a breakdown of [...]

    Petrocaribe Agreement Deconstructed
    The agreement provides for a portion of each invoice, known as the Financed Portion, to be paid over fifteen years at two percent interest with a two-year grace period.  That [...]

    Head of Mission Contextualizes Hardships in Venezuela
    Head of Mission Mykel Castillo Pena was also present at this morning’s Petrocaribe presentation.  He explains the current hardship in Venezuela in the context of the Petrocaribe program.   Mykel [...]

    6 Persons Injured in Chopping Incident in Orange Walk
    There is a disturbing report out of Orange Walk. Police are investigating a chopping incident which occurred this afternoon sometime after two o’clock.  Larry Banner, who has a history of [...]

    Police Operations Yield Firearms Across Belize City
    Five firearms have been taken off the streets of south side Belize City. Today, Eastern Division South Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams called the media to his office [...]

    PUC Approves B.E.L.’s Rate Increase
    The Public Utilities Commission announced via press release today that it has concluded a full tariff review for B.E.L. for the period July 2016 to June 2020. The final decision [...]

    34th Annual Caribbean Conference of Accountants Held in Belize
    Public and private sector accountants from across the Caribbean have converged on Belize for the thirty-fourth annual Caribbean Conference of Accountants. With over three thousand seven hundred members, today, three [...]

    Managing Your Accounting with Enterprise Resource Planning
    To assist with the implementation of best accounting practices in the region, a consulting firm from Washington DC is establishing presence in the Caribbean with an Enterprise Resource Planning software [...]

    Correspondent Banking Crisis – Does it Affect Accountants?
    But what are the challenges that correspondent banking relations have posed to the accounting professionals? According to Conference Chair Shawn Mahler, clients have been affected drastically, and it has forced [...]

    National Aids Commission Holds Countrywide HIV Testing
    The number of persons that are HIV positive is high for the size of the population. And even though men are the most affected; they are the least to be [...]

    Belize at World Poker Games 2016
    Starting Saturday, twenty Belizean poker players will be competing in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team has doubled since last year and all the players [...]

    PlusTV

    US Embassy hoists LGBT flag in Belize
    The United States of America continues to promote the LGBT agenda in other nations that have not openly embraced the lifestyle as morally acceptable. Since the arrival of the US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno, he has made it clear that this promotion was part of his mandate; despite laws in Bel...

    “Witch-hunt “ of Youth Council Leaders who voted against “gender” wording in constitution?
    There have been accusations of a “witch hunt” for those young leaders of the Belize National Youth Council who voted to remove references to “gender” and “gender equality” from its constitution. The terms “Gender” and “Gender equality” have become buzz words for the LGBT agenda where gender becomes...

    Man charged in shooting
    33 year old Anthony Crawford, an unemployed of Belize City, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Crawford was also charged with dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and possession of 3.6 grams of cannabis. He pleaded guilty to possession a...

    More transparent process to be applied for hiring of new Regional Health Manager
    Today, we got a chance to catch up with Dr. Angel Campos, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and follow up with him on the resignation of Audibaldo Monima as the Regional Health manager for the North. The last time Dr. Campos spoke to the media on the issue, he said that he had not seen the...

    Chester: I didn’t know about Ahmad raid
    A Hattieville family home was raided earlier this week and its occupants, the Ahmad family, held for hours at Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City, then released without explanation. Police did not take the firearms that the family held, but did hold all their personal electronic equipment an...

    Ministry of Health receives equipment for HIV/AIDS and TB prevention and mitigation
    The Ministry of Health has received a donation of two Toyota Hilux vehicles as well as 25 bicycles from the UNDP-Global Fund (GF). The handing over ceremonies took place today at the UNDP headquarters in Belmopan. The country of Belize has been granted US$3.4 million for HIV/AIDS and TB prevention a...

    Former Olympian left off Olympic team for Rio
    Former Olympian Kaina Martinez was surprised by the announcement by the Belize Athletics Association (BAA) that Katy Sealy, heptathlete, would be wild-card representing Belize in the hurdles event at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. The recent Central American Senior Games champion in women’s 100-...

    Amandala

    BEL reports $29.4 million in profits for 2015
    The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is reporting that it had a profitable 2015, with net earnings reported at $29.4 million, from which it plans to pay shareholders 15 cents per share, following the presentation of company financials at its annual general meeting held on Wednesday night at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The dividend payout would amount to roughly $10.4 million—70% of it going to the Government of Belize and 27% of it going to the Belize Social Security Board. The remainder would be shared among 1,500 minority shareholders. Last year, the company almost doubled its profits, hitting a record in net earnings of $36.2 million, and breaking the ceiling set by the company back in 2007, when it recorded net earnings of $29.86 million.

    Fruta Bomba “is no more”
    Following the final collapse of the papaya industry, two hundred and fifty Belizean men and women will be without work. Fruta Bomba, the nation’s former leading papaya exporter, has decided to move on to greener pastures. This week marks the last day of its operations which had gradually been declining since early February of this year. While Fruta Bomba moves on to the Dominican Republic, there are Belizeans who are unable to move on any at all because there isn’t much economic activity occurring in the Corozal District. For many, the papaya industry was the only real opportunity beside the Princess Casino, the cane fields and the declining Commercial Free Zone.

    GOB “on crack,” says Opposition PUP!
    “It is almost as if they are on crack and are trying to find every which way to get their hands on money,” declared Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceño, who slammed the Government of Belize for “red-eyeing” Social Security funds. “It has come to our attention for the past few days that the government is trying to dump their shares, mostly from BEL and BTL, to the new piggy bank, the Social Security fund, the people’s money. We are viewing this with much concern,” said Briceño following the PUP’s National Executive meeting held on Monday. A leaked letter from PM Barrow indicated that he offered the Social Security Board $10 million of the Government’s shares in BTL and $45 million of its shares in BEL, for a total of $55 million. However, Briceño told us that the Prime Minister is “risking the people’s money.” He pointed out that an investment in BTL, which is saddled with a $48 million arbitration award to British Caribbean Bank Limited (which is to be paid over twenty years as a loan), is not a good investment.

    Shot for refusing to commit a crime!
    One of two men who allegedly shot another man in Belize City on Monday night appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this morning and was arraigned on attempted murder and related indictable offences. He was remanded to prison. Anthony Crawford was not required to make a plea, after the charges were read to him by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, because his case will be tried at the Supreme Court on indictment. Police charged Crawford with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. Crawford, 33, an unemployed resident of Antelope Street Extension, is accused of being one of the two men who shot Anthony “Columbian” Leslie, 40, in the chest on Monday night, June 20, while he was on Iguana Street Extension.

    Gas prices reaching for the sky
    There was a sharp increase in the price of fuel at the pump during the third week of last month, but that was not enough for the cash-strapped United Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, which, like a thief in the night, raised the price of fuel at the pump at midnight last night. This morning the new prices, which affected premium gasoline, and kerosene, came into being, without any prior warning, and with no official reason being given for why the increase became necessary. The price of premium gasoline shot up from $9.95 per gallon to $10.41, an increase of 46 cents, while the price of kerosene was increased by 30 cents per gallon. Regular gas is being sold at $9.69 per gallon.

    Still no Sarstoon mechanism after Washington talks
    Belize and Guatemala were engaged in a 5-hour meeting at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday evening, but still, there is no definite mechanism to resolve the high-tension conflicts between Belize and Guatemala at the Sarstoon, in which Belize has been on the receiving end, having been blocked from freely accessing its side of the Sarstoon. Just last week, a group of Belizeans, including Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers and Mike Rudon of News 5 headed to the Sarstoon—but nine soldiers of the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) tried to stop them, insisting that the Belizeans, who were well on the Belize side of the river, were in Guatemala’s national waters. After the incident, the Government of Belize issued a statement saying, “…the incident [if verified] would constitute a breach of the spirit of the Confidence Building Measures and must also be rejected as prejudicial to the ongoing diplomatic efforts, including next week’s meeting in Washington, to establish a bilateral Cooperation Mechanism for the Sarstoon.”

    Teams for 2016 Mundialito in Orange Walk
    The following teams will be participating in the 2016 Mundialito in Orange Walk: Orange Walk Central - Germany; San Estevan – Mexico; Black Water - Croatia; Louisiana Area – Belize; Palmar - Colombia; Guinea Grass - Holland; Yo Creek - Argentina; Progresso - Spain. Tournament begins on June 26 at Louisiana Football Field. There will be a parade on June 25. President of the Mundialito Committee is Wilson “Chato” Perez.

    Winty J (Vincent Johnson) – my life
    A: Talk to us, Winty J; because you have been around football circles for such a long time, as well as around Belizean music circles. You mean a lot to a lot of us, because you have a lot of memories about a lot of great sportsmen and events, and you have also played a part in many of these events. Just take us back, quickly, to when you came to your senses as a child in Belize, and take us from there; e.g. your parents, etc. W: Alright. Winty J, man. My life. My understanding, from my parents; my father came from Jamaica, Manchester – Ivan Johnson. He stowed away on a ship and ended up in Punta Gorda (Toledo District), and he met a lady there, and he had a daughter, who is my sister and who wasn’t my (half) sister yet, until he met my mother; because he hadn’t met my mother yet. Now, my mother was born in La Ceiba (Honduras); but my mother’s mother (my grandmother) was from St. Vincent; and my grandmother, who was my mother’s mother, Evelyn Brooks, met William Brown, who was my grandfather, my mother’s father, in Roatan (island off Honduras).

    BDFA 1st Division weekend games
    The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) First Division 2016 football tournament had only 1 game played last weekend. On Saturday, June 18, Eiley FC and Ladyville Jaguars reportedly played to a 1-1 draw. Hubert Baptist put the Jaguars in front at the 60th minute; but Brian Martinez got the late equalizer for Eiley FC at the 89th minute. Both Sunday games were postponed due to weather; those same two games will be played this coming Sunday.

    TIDE Primary Schools FWC 2016 championship games & awards
    Today, Wednesday, June 22, at the Cattle Landing Village Football Field, female and male championship games were played in the TIDE Primary Schools Freshwater Cup (FWC) 2016 football tournament. In the female championship game at 9:45 a.m., Silver Creek School Girls won, 2-0, over Trio Primary School Girls, with Annetta Bah (12’ & 27’) scoring both goals for Silver Creek. Silver Creek Girls are therefore the 2016 TIDE Freshwater Cup Primary School Female Football Champions. And in the male championship final that followed, Golden Stream Boys were victorious, 2-1, over St. Peter Claver School Boys. Valeriano Ack (5’) and Samuel Itch (10’) shook the net for Golden Stream, while Ian Selgado (16’) got the lone goal for St. Peter Claver. Golden Stream Boys thus became the 2016 TIDE Freshwater Cup Primary School Male Football Champions.

    Editorial: This belongs to Washington ...
    The first thing we will say to you in this editorial, dear readers, and we say it with pride, is that the family which owns this newspaper and the Ahmad/Bulwer family are related. The matriarchs of the two families come from the Escarpeta/Kingston lines. The breadth and savagery of the Belize Special Branch attack on Monday morning against the Ahmad family suggest to us that the local secret service did not have any really hard evidence: they were searching for same. In medicine, they call this exploratory surgery. They usually perform it on guinea pigs. As we write on Thursday morning, roughly 72 hours after the raid on the Ahmads, the head of the Special Branch has yet to make himself available for questioning by the Belizean media. What is worse is that the secret service has yet to produce any evidence which would justify the massive disrespect shown to a ranking Belizean family. The Ahmad family was violated.

    From the Publisher
    Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was Queen of England from 1558 to 1603. That’s roughly between four to four and a half centuries ago. It seems a very long time ago to the layman: to the historian, it is just yesterday. Christopher Columbus, an Italian in the employ of the King and Queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, “discovered” the so-called New World in 1492. The German priest, Martin Luther, began the Protestant Reformation, which sparked religious wars between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants in Europe, in 1517. The Spaniard, Hernan Cortes, conquered the Aztec kingdom and its capital, Tenochtitlan, in 1521. Another Spaniard, Francisco Pizarro, conquered the Inca empire in Peru between 1532 and 1533. Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII (who beheaded her mother, Anne Boleyn, in 1536), was declared the head of the Anglican Church by the English Parliament in 1534. Ignatius Loyola, a Spaniard, and a few followers founded the Society of Jesus in 1539.

    My music story in 1960’s British Honduras
    There are a few events that stand out clearly in my mind’s eye that sum up my introduction and experience with music in The Jewel. The first one is definitely 1960 Christmas, when as a boy of ten years, I was given my first guitar by my mother, Lydia Ramirez. My mom was a De La Fuente from Macaw Bank, Cayo District. Like her dad and siblings, she played the guitar and she also had a beautiful voice. That guitar (not a professional one) was bought from “Rita’s Smart Shoppe,” which was at the corner of Albert Street and Church Street and run by the two sisters, Sybil Codd and Leonie Wright. Miss Sybil was the mother of the late Francis Codd. My guitar lessons started that Christmas Day in 1960. The second event would be when we got our first record player. My dad, Jose J. Ramirez, better known as Jose Ramirez or “Boss Joe,” had travelled to Florida in 1962 for a serious surgery which turned out successfully. On his return, he brought a portable General Electric record player.

    Not only academics, but creativity
    Fading away all our lives, doesn’t it sound so sad? Dear Editor, Today I must express and share with you this thought. Many do not like school, many are little engaged and others like it more than home. Life out in the streets is not always welcoming, sure that you wish school could be the one place where you could express yourself. I had been helping a teacher at Benque Viejo del Carmen and here I discovered that taking the beautiful job of being a teacher is never easy. Being a teacher should be the most wonderful job someone could have.

    Problem starts with UNICEF and other NGO’s
    Dear Editor, It is a great disappointment to hear that a 15-year- old minor is a suspect to a police investigation in a shooting incident. To make matters worse, it involves a local police officer and three other civilians, in broad daylight steps away from the entrance of the Queen Street Police station. So what does this mean? Children have no respect for our law? Belize is a small country; these types of things should not be tolerated. Months ago the Commissioner of the Police Department set a night curfew for the kids which was a good thing to do because this way they are out of the streets at nights. Problem starts when UNICEF and other NGO’s start defending the rights of a child, which can even allow children to be out as late as they want, and decide which hand gun to use for the shooting later that night.

    What is our security in Arenal?
    Dear Editor, With great worry I am writing you with hope that our country knows of what the village of Arenal had been through. I want to write about two incidents that happened in the village during the nights of the 6 and 7 of May and the negligence of the government towards the community. On Friday 6 of May, some young Belizean men were having a few beers on the Arenal Guatemala. The Guatemalan police and army were called because of a bar fight. They came, but never to see what was the problem, instead came saying that they will arrest anyone who didn’t have any Guatemalan documents. When the Belizeans heard that, they started leaving the bar. The police started chasing them all the way to the Belizean side. The shouts woke up my brother-in-law. When he came out, he was surprised by the Guatemalan police and army who were approximately 25 soldiers and 5 police officers. He immediately called them out and asked what we’re they looking for at our yard and he told them that they were already in Belizean territory and on a private property. They respectfully left and stopped chasing the guys.

    Who was behind the raid on the Ahmads?
    Dear Editor, As I write this letter, I am fully aware that my family or any Muslim family in Belize, for that matter, could be next. For those of you who are not aware, on Monday, June 20th, the Ahmads, a prominent Muslim family in Belize, was hauled off in the back of pickup trucks to the Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City in an early morning raid at their homes. They were detained for over ten hours and not permitted even a phone call to inform their relatives, employees, community members or even a lawyer, of their whereabouts. They were not properly informed as to why they were being detained. Even after they were released, no formal explanation, or apology, was given to them by anyone in authority. This was a most frightening experience for this family of twenty persons, including elderly grandparents with medical conditions; two pregnant wives (one to deliver any day now) and a minor under 13 years old. Five of the male members are self-employed businessmen, who were not allowed to even call their workers to inform them of what they were going through.

    A tribute to Ibagari
    Dear Editor, A Belize audio Cd titled “Ibagari: Portraits of Garifuna Lifecycle in Song” was released three years ago in June 2013 and available online at Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. That audio Cd now has a companion book titled “Ibagari Song Reference: Portraits of Garifuna Lifecycle in Song,” written by Crique Arena, Toledo District-born Leonard Cayetano, MS, MBA, with his wife Dangriga, Stann Creek District-born Joycelin Palacio-Cayetano, Ph.D. for the Len and Joycelin Cayetano Garifuna Heritage Foundation. The music book includes compositions by Garifuna masters, musical notations, Garifuna lyrics, translations of lyrics to English, translation of lyrics to Spanish, historical context and art illustrations. Printed in the United States of America, the book contains many photographs snapped during Len and Joycelin’s inspiring 1997 visit to Yurumei,in the Garinagu homeland of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The first image in the book is of a stone plaque with the words “JOSEPH CHATOYER BLACK CARIB CHIEF FOR FREEDOM DIED HERE 14TH MARCH 1795”.

    Two systems are before the world
    Speaking on the recent 50,000 troop “Anakonda 16” NATO simulation in Poland, Polish President Duda said: “The aim of the exercise is clear…we are preparing for an attack “…meaning against Russia. This shows the desperation of Wall Street and the City of London. Most people in today’s world don’t know how close we are to a full nuclear World War (now worse than 1962) with the Anglo-Americans against Russia, China and India. Why? The Trans-Atlantic sector economies are in complete breakdown, and this includes our Belize. Later I will discuss Belize’s economy. Once the envy of the world, today’s United States is plagued by economic disintegration, suicide, drug addiction, and mass shootings. Europe’s economy is also in disintegration. The basic problem is that since the year 1972, America and Europe’s economies shifted from production to gambling. No economy can develop and grow unless the conditions for “demand” are satisfied, and only production in the physical economy can do that. Now the chickens are coming home to roost – These economies are bankrupt. They either change or implode, when? Soon. Only God can say the time. But soon. This, Belizeans, is the reason driving the provocations to nuclear war against Russia, China and India – the BRICS.

    Belize: A destiny to be questioned
    In January of 2013 in the wee hours of the night four Black Belizean young men’s throats were meticulously and professionally slashed inside their homes. Almost four years later this horrific massacre has remained intentionally unresolved. There is a variety of speculation as to who gave the orders; however, there is no doubt that this clandestine single operation was carried out by trained professional’s killers. What is not clear is whether they were foreign or domestic. On June 20, 2016 in the wee hours of the night another clandestine operation occurred in Belize. This time it was the homes of a well-known Muslim family, the Ahmads (Bulwer). According to the Amandala, 19 members of the entire family including women and children were rounded up like cattle by local police and held for hours in custody without access to any legal representation or counsel. Eventually after this traumatic experience the family was released without any charge being filed.

    Confessions of a Belizean intelligence agent pt. 2
    Pedro Barrera, a Guatemalan guerrilla informant, was murdered on Belizean soil almost three days after being jointly handed over to Guatemala by the Belizean and British authorities. According to an ex-Belizean intelligence officer, “Pedro Barrera wanted support — that we grant him refugee status in Belize to protect him and stay here, so he started to cooperate with us and he promised that he was going to show us a guerrilla camp south of Arenal.” The retired bilingual intelligence agent recalled serving as the translator for communications between a British patrol and Barrera, as he led them in a search for guerrilla camps inside the jungles of Belize. He further recalled that they were deposited about 15 miles south of Arenal and after hiking almost seven hours in search of guerrilla camps they slept in the jungle.

    Chalillo Dam dispute goes before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
    A battle which emerged 18 years ago—back in 1998—between the developers of the Chalillo Dam on the Macal River in the Cayo District and the Government of Belize (GOB), on the one hand, and a group of environmentalists, on the other, did not block the commissioning of the dam back in 2005, but George Gonzalez and his wife, Dr. Candy Gonzalez, who lead the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO), are hoping that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an agency of the Organization of American States, will rule in their favor in a petition (P-633-04) filed as far back as 2004. “The opening of the case is, above all, a victory for the affected communities, the Maya people of Belize and local social movements, who have endured for all these years, and remain strong and determined in their search for justice and compensation,” said Candy Gonzalez, BELPO spokesperson, who told us that they are seeking “mitigation and restitution” for affected communities. Last October, the Commission approved the petition and started to receive submissions from the parties: BELPO and the Government of Belize. BELPO told us that it completed its submissions on June 16, 2016.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Mad man chops 5 villagers in Yo Creek
    Breaking Belize News has confirmed that at least four of the five victims have been transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a very critical condition after a man armed with a machete inflicted chop wounds to several parts of their bodies. One victim had an […]

    NEAB condemns “targeting” of Belize by LGBT
    The National Evangelical Association of Belize, several of whose members publicly protested in front of the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan when it raised the “rainbow flag” as part of an LGBT pride month, today claims that the incident is part of plans to target Belize for a […]

    Taste of Belize is coming to Muffles College Auditorium, Orange Walk Town
    The Belize Tourism Board is getting ready for the 2016 Taste of Belize Competition to be held on July 9 at Muffles College Auditorium, Orange Walk Town. Attendees can sample a wealth of foodie-appeal, from delectable ancient Maya flavours to the cultural spices of the Garifuna and […]

    Teachers in Stann Creek certified in Early Childhood Development
    This morning teachers in the Stann Creek District received their certification after completing training in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Quality Friendly School Initiative (QCFSI). A government release states that the training is designed to “strengthen teachers’ skills in order to prepare them to deliver […]

    Britain votes out of European Union
    More than 16 million Britons have voted in favor of leaving the European Union in a referendum held on Thursday. While the vote is fairly close, a 52 percent majority, according to the BBC, voted against staying. Most of the anti-EU vote came from outside […]

    Cahal Pech Village Resort is offering amazing last minute travel deals to Belize
    The resort of Cahal Pech in San Ignacio, Belize today announced a special day for reduced rates on accommodations for travelers making reservations between June and October 2016. Any visitor who uses the website to make a reservation at Cahal Pech between June 24-30 will receive a […]

    Belize: Decentralization, Rockville and Belize City
    Belize City was founded (originally as “Belize Town”) in 1638 by British lumber harvesters. It had previously been a small Maya city called Holzuz. Belize City is the largest city in Belize and was once the capital of the former British Honduras. Belize City has a […]

    American teen bitten by Yellowjaw in Belize makes slow recovery
    A 15-year-old is recovering in the US after being bitten by a fer-de-lance known as the “Yellowjaw” or “Tommygoff” in Belize. The report was published by SFGATE on Wednesday. The teen, Audrey Benton, was reportedly visiting in Belize with her parents when she was bitten by […]

    Blogs

    In Belize, All That Is Gold Does not Glitter
    The looting, desecration and annexation of the Chiquibul Forest in Belize, Central America. by Tony Rath. Recently I accompanied rangers from Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), the non-governmental organization tasked with managing the Chiquibul Forest, into one of the most remote areas of this protected area to document what I thought was small scale gold mining, the type where a couple of poor villagers in ragged clothes crouch by a stream swirling water and gravel in a pan. What we observed was way beyond anything I imagined. The potential environmental impacts of Guatemalan illegal gold mining in the Ceibo Chico region of the Chiquibul far surpasses the impacts of illegal xate harvesting, illegal logging, wildlife poaching and agricultural encroachments—combined. This story raises troubling questions about where we are as a people and what we value as a nation.

    Ambergris Caye vs Roatán: Which Caribbean Island Would You Retire to?
    So you’ve decided to retire to a Caribbean island paradise. You can already see yourself, toes in the sand, sipping a mojito by the turquoise-blue sea. Behind you, children laugh as they cartwheel down the beach, and by the waterfront fishermen chat as they haul in the catch of the day…but where are you? Narrowing down your dream retirement destination—choosing one place over another—can be the most difficult part of starting your overseas adventure. Many places may share a lot of similar attributes; many may appear downright identical. But if you look close enough you’ll discover that they may not be so alike after all. In the end it’s the little things that will make all the difference to your overall happiness. As always, we recommend that you visit somewhere before you decide to put down roots…but this infographic could help point you in the right direction. Two of our favorite Caribbean retirement havens, Ambergris Caye (the largest island off the coast of Belize) and Roatán (which lies off the coast of Honduras), go head-to-head in key topics such as cost of living, property, healthcare and more.

    In Pictures: Corozal, Belize–A Subtropical Haven for Active Expats
    Corozal sits on the expansive Bay of Corozal. This traditional Belizean family town is a throwback to the 1950s, with residents that are friendly and a pace that’s laidback. A growing number of expats are choosing to relocate to this region, appreciating the simple, serene, and relaxed Caribbean lifestyle. A major attraction is the reasonable cost of living. Food, entertainment, and everyday expenses are affordable; and there are plenty of real estate bargains to be found. Also, while the weather is subtropical—with an average temperature in the upper 80s F—balmy breezes blow off the bay, keeping it comfortable. Corozal Bay offers diverse water sport options such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, sailing, and motor boating. Walking and biking are also popular outdoor activities. Scuba divers and snorkelers can take day trips to the Caribbean Sea’s barrier reef. Being on the mainland, Corozal is also close to a multitude of inland activities. Hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, cave exploration, and zip lining are just a few of the options, while archaeology buffs can easily access several Mayan sites. The Santa Rita site is right at the edge of the town, while the Cerro Maya (Maya Hill) ruins are right across the bay.

    Visiting Tikal from Belize
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, Tikal is one of the most iconic and impressive Maya ruins in the world. Located in the department of El Peten in northern Guatemala, Tikal is a popular attraction for visitors in Belize because of its close proximity to the Belize-Guatemala border. Tikal is the site of one of the oldest and most powerful city states of the ancient Maya civilization with a footprint of 6 square miles (16 square kilometers). The main attractions for modern visitors are the enormous buildings, including the so-called Temple 1 (measuring 154 feet high), royal palaces, and pyramids. The site also includes three ball courts, hundreds of smaller buildings, stelae and a network of elevated causeways. Tikal is located within the Tikal National Park in the northern district of El Peten in the country of Guatemala. The entire area is now a nationally-protected biosphere and consists of dense jungle. The nearest inhabited town is Uaxactun, approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Tikal. International flights depart daily from the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City to the town of Flores in Guatemala. From Flores, private operators offer services to Tikal (about 45 miles/70 km).

    International Sourcesizz

    Caribbean weighs in on BREXIT implications
    The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has begun responding to the news that Britain has voted to leave the European Union (EU). On Friday 52 per cent of voters in a referendum in Britain opted out of remaining in the 28-member grouping. Prime Minister David Cameron has signalled his intention to resign. The implications are far-reaching globally, with serious consequences for financial markets, investment, trade and overseas development assistant. The pound sterling has dropped to its lowest level in 30 years. At least one CARICOM Prime Minister has spoken so far about the fallout from the vote. Dominica Prime Minister, the Hon, Roosevelt Skerrit told a radio station in his homeland that he was shocked at the move. “It’s a major shockwave, it’s a major shock that has hit the world and it has been felt in Dominica from last night,”the Dominica News Online outfit quoted the Prime Minister as saying in a live interview on Kairi FM on Friday morning.

    Washburn announces seventh annual Study Abroad in Belize Program
    Washburn's International House provides students with a chance to study abroad and may be one of the most important experiences in any student’s academic career. However, the dazzling amount of available options could make the decision harder for Ichabods to choose. This 15 day experience is a unique opportunity for Washburn students to explore the diverse culture of Belize City while providing volunteer service among the sites. The seventh annual trip will be held over winter break, which will transport Ichabods from the cold winds of Kansas to the warm, tropical climate of Central America.

    Videos

  • Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) Video, 7min. Our Promise is our Mission...To Improve the Quality of Life in Belize.

  • Belize house, 2min.

  • View from the hammock, 1min.just a normal island tuesday

  • Belize 2016, 2min. Come explore the world’s second largest barrier reef in beautiful Belize aboard the Belize Aggressor III and the Belize Aggressor IV!

  • Conducting Annual Monitoring of Sharks in the Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize, 1min. A brief video highlighting the our annual monitoring of sharks in the Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef Atoll in Belize. The Blue Hole is a globally important UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fully protected area.

  • Belize 2016 Go Pro Slap, 11min.

  • Adrenalina al 100%_Blue Hole, Belize, 8.5min. Espero que le haya gustado y si le gusto regalenme un LIKE ... skydiving the Blue Hole

  • Belize 2016, 39min. University of Arkansas community development trip to Dangriga, Belize Summer of 2016.

    June 24, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Kayak Race in San Pedro July 3
    As part of Dia de San Pedro 2016!

    Countdown to the Lobster Fest Block Party
    There are just two more days to go before San Pedro’s grand celebration of the annual Lobster Fest 2016. But before the epic block party, the San Pedro Lobster Crawl is keeping everyone quite entertained. The crawl continued on Wednesday, June 22nd with the day event at the Belize Chocolate Company. Those wanting to get their Lobster Fest Passports stamped needed only to answer a few Spiny Lobster related questions. Of course the lobster shaped chocolate for full marks was a tasty surprise! As the sun went down, it was time to head to the popular Pedro’s Bar and Pizzeria, where it wasn’t just another night of partying, but also of feasting. For only $25, you could eat all the pizza you wanted!

    San Pedro Police address island business sector on liquor related issues
    In an effort to enhance the relationship and cooperation between the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) and the business community, the SPPD held a public meeting on Monday, June 20th at the San Pedro Lions Den. Various members of the business sector holding liquor licenses were invited to participate in discussing issues affecting the island. Deputy of the Belize Police Department Coastal Executive Unit Henry Jemmott welcomed everyone to the meeting, quickly outlining some of the grave issues that have been increasing on the island. “We have an issue with youth between the ages of 14 to 17 who are seen late at night trying to get inside establishments to purchase liquor,” said Jemmott. “As a moral fact, we should not sell to or tolerate them around the business area.” He stated that it is a serious problem on the island as young people are heading into the drinking habit. He also highlighted the use of drugs at different schools. The SPPD has engaged in setting up mechanisms to tackle this problem at the schools. One of the main ways how police are addressing the issue is by hosting educational sessions on drugs, and by conducting random searches.

    Daniel the manatee visits Ambergris Caye
    A Antillean Manatee from Mexico has been spotted around the waters near Ambergris Caye. The manatee, named Daniel, was raised in Laguna Guerrero, Chetumal Bay in the Mexican State of Quintana Roo as a rehab manatee since 2003, when he was found as an abandoned new born. Daniel, who is now trying out freedom, has been under surveillance by ECOSUR (Colegio de la Frontera Sur) Environmental Research Centre in the Chetumal area via a satellite tag. In his journey to Belize, Daniel made it to a ranch just west of Ambergris Caye, where he mingled with some children. He is very friendly, which according to Jamal A. Galves, – Manateeman, is not good, as hopes are for Daniel to join the wild population. “We are working to keep him as safe as possible. He is very friendly – a little too friendly – and needs to learn to be wild. If you live in the Ambergris Caye/Corozal Bay area, or any other area and see him or any other manatee, please give him his space. Please don’t approach him, don’t touch him, don’t play with him,” said Galvez. According to him, his tendency to approach people will put him in danger if he doesn’t learn to be more cautious, and interacting with him is not going to help him be successful in the wild.

    Ambergris Stadium in its final stage of completion
    Hector Alamilla, Councilor at the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), states that the time frame for the project has been on schedule. “The stadium is coming along well, and is arranged to be handed over to the municipality in September. Both Mayor Daniel Guerrero and I are pleased with the progress of the stadium, and look forward to hosting the finest games in San Pedro,” said Alamilla. However, with any new development, the SPTC has seen its fair share of criticism. There have been complaints about the usage of synthetic grass over natural grass. According to Alamilla, the synthetic grass is something the SPTC studied keenly. In the past, the SPTC has used natural grass, but it did not last, so the field was filled with sand instead. He also notes that salt air is a serious issue in San Pedro, and it kills grass if it is not properly maintained.

    September Celebrations 2016 Theme announced
    There’s no doubt that Belize’s independence is the biggest celebration of the year, and with September fast approaching, the first news regarding the festivities has been announced. On Thursday, June 16th, after careful deliberation by the National Celebrations Commission, “Sovereign and Strong- Together as one” was selected as the official theme for 2016. The theme was submitted by Argelia Mendoza Ken, a teacher and counselor at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District.

    Belizean athletes excel in Central American sporting tournament
    Belizean athletes shone at the 17th Central American Seniors Championships in Athletics held from Friday, June 17th through Sunday, June 19th in San Salvador, El Salvador. The delegation of Belizean athletes captured 12 medals – six gold, four silver and two bronze. They returned to Belize with pride on Monday, June 20th accompanied by officials of the Belize Athletic Association (BAA). Deon Sutherland, president of the BAA spoke about the outstanding performance of the Belizean athletes. “Of the thirteen new records set at this event, Belize captured six. We now hold an impressive seven Central American records,” said an excited Sutherland. According to him this is an annual championship which they use as a platform to qualify for other games they participate in throughout the year.

    Inspiration Center Fundraiser raises over $100K
    Wearing their finest all-white ensembles, guests made their way to the Great House at Mahogany Bay Village, Curio Collection by Hilton, where a night of fundraising for the Inspiration Center took place. Despite a call for rain, the Saturday, June 18th night was clear and perfect, just right for a night of honoring some of Belize’s most vulnerable, our children. Funds are needed to sustain the outpatient rehabilitation center in Belize City, which aids children with disabilities from all over the country, including Ambergris Caye.

    Ambergris Today

    Celebrity Spotting: Belizean Olympic Athlete Katy Sealy Relaxes in San Pedro, Belize
    Track and Field athletes Katy Sealy and Brandon Jones will represent Belize at the Olympics 2016 in Rio, but before she commences her disciplinary routine of preparing for the Olympics, Katy is taking some time to relax in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. She was spotted at El Fogon Restaurant enjoying a great dinner. Heptathlon athlete Katy Sealy competed along with 21 Belizean athletes over the weekend at the 17th Central American Championships in El Salvador and their performance was exceptional. Of the seven participating Central American countries, Belize ranks fourth place, taking six gold medals (all record setting medals) four silver and two bronze.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    CAYE CAULKER ZIKA INTERVENTIONS
    A team of health personnel have been dispatched to Caye Caulker Village to carry out Vector Borne Diseases Interventions in relation to recent Zika positive cases.

    Caye Caulker Bartender and Customer Service training
    Notice: Caye Caulker Bartender and Customer Service by Belize Mixology training starts on June 29th at Roses Grill and Bar at 9 am. See more details below. Spaces are limited.

    Cops Adopt a Park
    ATM: Eastern Police Division South adopts the old Daker's Park on West Street, with the assistance & support from the Belize City Council, Pine Lumber, Brodie's, our Community Policing Officers & the residents!!

    Power interruption 8:00am to 1:00pm, Sunday, June 26, Cayo
    Entire down town area of San Ignacio Town, Branch Mouth, portion Joseph Andrews Drive, John Martinez St, Fourth St, and area along George Price Highway between Kontiki & Police Station including Martin Galvez Blvd, Buena Vista St, Boiton Area, Mosquitoville & Cahal Pech. BEL to replace poles and conduct line clearing in the area.

    Cool T-shirts for a worthy cause
    Sisoda partners with schools around the world by featuring artwork from incredible students on quality goods for sale. With each purchase, we help fund educational programs at chosen schools in need. The Andre collection supports the Isla Bonita Elementary School in Ambergris Caye, Belize by giving back 10% of our profits directly to the school. The drawing was done by Andre Eacosta - a student at the school.

    BTIA 31st Biannual AGM
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association is having their AGM on Wednesday, July 6th, at the George Price Centre, from 10:00am to noon. In the afternoon, Leah Chandler will have a seminar on strategic planning. "The Belize Tourism Industry Association will hold its 31st Bi-Annual General Meeting on July 6, 2016 in the City of Belmopan at the George Price Centre. All members are invited to attend this event... Main guest speaker will be Ms. Leah Leah Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer from Branson, Missouri. The highlight of her speech will be geared on the importance of Strategic Planning for Destination Success."

    Chiquibul Forest Outreach Campaign
    The Beauty of the Chiquibul Forest Outreach Campaign has reached its project end. A total of 28 communities, 44 schools, 250 teachers and 6,246 students benefited from the educational presentation throughout the Cayo District. FCD is grateful to PACT, Principals, teachers, students and the Ministry of Education for their support.

    Succotz Archaeology and Culture Fair
    SundayJune 26 at the Succotz R.C. School.

    Channel 7

    SSB Will Buy 55 Million Dollars of BEL and BTL Shares
    The Board of Directors of the Social Security Board has approved the purchase of Government's shares in BEL and BTL, subject to the final negotiations with the Government of Belize. As we told you, the SSB Investment committee recommended that SSB purchase 40 million dollars worth of BEL's shares and 15 million dollars in BTL shares. The board met this afternoon, and after reviewing the investment committee's reasons on why this is a sound investment, there was unanimous support for the investment, including the representatives from the social partners. This evening, the chairman of the Board of Directors, Doug Singh, told us why the board looked favorably at the proposal. He told us that the monies that will be invested in these shares are sitting in the bank and are growing at only a 2% rate of return, so 6 to 10% that the utilities have historically been making is a far more attractive opportunity:

    US Embassy Hoists Gay Flag Over Belize
    There was a flag raising ceremony this morning at the US Embassy in Belmopan, but it wasn't the US or Belizean flag that was hoisted: it was the rainbow flag that represents the LGBT movement. Now although it was done on the embassy grounds, which is considered American soil, it is the first time that this flag has been flown beneath Belize's skies at an official event, and for some residents, it wasn't a welcomed sight. Today when we traveled to Belmopan we got to see the divisive effect of the ceremony. Now, we warn you, this story features images of men kissing, and if you don't like that kind of stuff, you might want to channel surf for the first few seconds. Here's the story from Courtney Weatherburne: Courtney Weatherburne reporting: For this couple, kissing and being affectionate to one another in public is natural, but in homophobic society like Belize, it's openly rejected and condemned. But that is just at the surface. That denouncement is a representation of a much larger social and cultural battle on human rights, one the LGBT community has long been advocating for, and today their struggle was acknowledged with a symbolic raising of the rainbow flag at the US Embassy. US President Barack Obama declared the month of June LGBT Pride month and this ceremony was part of the commemoration. The Belizean LGBT rights supporters celebrated in this occasion.

    Gay Rights Case Judgment Soon
    So as you heard, the main point brought out at the ceremony was the anticipated outcome to the Section 53 challenge. Now in this case, both sides: the LGBT and religious communities believe they have the upper hand. But they surely disagree with the effects of the final decision. On one hand Caleb says the outcome won't have a polarizing effect on the community while the religious leaders say it definitely will. Here are both sides. Lisa Shoman, Advocate: "Any legal decision is only one component. I think there is a cultural shift and the groups that Caleb mentioned that have been growing and getting support, demonstrate that polarization is only one face, the other face is unification and that is absolutely happening."

    Crawford For Leslie Shooting
    Last night, we showed you our interview with police on the Monday night shooting of 40 year-old Anthony Leslie on Iguana Street Extension. Police told us that they intended to charge 33 year-old Anthony Crawford for that incident, and tonight he is at the Belize Central Prison. Leslie was on Iguana Street Extension at around 7 on Monday night. He was allegedly approached by Crawford and another man who tried to convince him to commit a crime. When Leslie refused, Crawford allegedly shot him in the chest and fled the scene. Today, Crawford was arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on the charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm and possession of 3.6 grams of marijuana. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges except the possession of controlled drugs. For that plea, he was sentenced to spend 1 month in prison, which will run concurrent to another month that he has to spend for defaulting on a 100-dollar fine which he was to have paid since last year.

    Kaina Got The Cold Shoulder
    Yesterday the Belize Athletic Association named the two athletes who will be representing Belize at the Rio Olympics. They are Katy Sealey and Brandon Jones. Perennial favorite Kaina Martinez was not chosen - even after she had just represented Belize at the Central American Games the week before. Last night on the Lik Road TV Show, BAA Vice President Jaheed Smith explained why:... Jaheed Smith, BAA Vice President: "In terms of Kaina and Katy, they were both neck to neck in the events. However, the problems lies because the Olympic Committee sends out information for the athletes to follow up. When Miss Martinez got her information, she did not respond back in time. These things have deadlines and she did not respond in time. So, there is an uproar about why we didn't send her or why we selected.. But the thing is we can't select her if she did not send in her proper paper work. We can't force Rio to put her in. So, it's not a matter of who was.... the dispute is who was closer to qualifying in the event and granted yes, Miss Martinez may have been closer to qualifying, but even if she had qualified and not sending her paperwork, we can't send her. That's the deciding factor right there."

    Gender Politics Invades Youth Advocacy Movement
    In a press release issued this morning, the Youth Advocacy Movement, which is the youth arm of the BFLA, came out strong against one of the District presidents of the National Youth Council of Belize. The issue was a homophobic facebook post made earlier in week. Now before we get into the details of that post, the real issue that the Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM) addressed in their press release has to do with a decision made by the National Youth Council to have the word "gender" redacted from a clause in their constitution. This decision was made at their AGM last week. The release said that YAM is, "disappointed in the actions of elected members of the council." The omission of the word gender, according to YAM opens the doors for discrimination. We spoke to the President of YAM Belize who told us more about their stance. Emanuel Pech: "What are some of those real concerns that you guys have with the word gender now being extracted from their constitution?"

    Ugly Meme Sparks Outrage Against Youth Leader
    Now going back to the matter that triggered this whole thing in the first place. The Stann Creek president of the National Youth Council, Jamal Swaso had posted a homophobic meme on facebook a couple of days ago. Now according to Swaso, it was in no way referring to LGBT community. The issue picked up quite a bit of traction when it was reposted by UNIBAM president Caleb Orosco. District president Swaso did apologize in a subsequent post, but by then the damage had been done, according to Youth Advocacy Movement. Leandra Betson - Pres. YAM Belize City: "We understand that in the leadership position that we don't only represent ourselves, but we present a group of people and we are grateful that Mr. Swazo owned up to his mistake, but we are also kind of dissatisfied of shaky in the way that we expected better because we expected that based on the constitution and the makeup of it that he would re-think and not only - even though it was his opinion when you are in the leadership position, your opinion, you have to kind of put that aside for the betterment of everybody, because maybe somebody else took it in offense."

    Debating A Divisive Matter
    In about half an hour, the Social Security Board debate on the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute will start at the Bliss Center. SSB has put together a panel of experts on both sides of the issue, those who want to go to the ICJ, and those who think it's a bad idea. Those in favour include Ambassadors Lisa Shoman and Jim Murphy, and History teacher Gian Vasquez. Those against include Dickie Bradley, Fred Hunter, and Paul Morgan. The Debate starts at 8:00 and this afternoon, SSB Chairman Doug Singh told us why they want to inform the wider national debate on this divisive issue: Doug Singh, Chair. Board of Directors, SSB: "As a result of the incidents that have happened on the border and the ramping of the dialogue on this whole territorial question and the ICJ, we felt obligated to do what we can to help provide information to the public. There was no better way that to actually bring the parties who we're actually advocating for and advocated against the ICJ to come and present their case to the public. So we're having an open forum at the Bliss Institute tonight and it will be on television nationally and also on the radio nationally."

    Prisoners Performed on PSE
    6 days ago, we showed you the best and brightest primary school students who got the top marks in this year's PSE. But, while the exam is designed for Standard 6 students, there were a number of inmates from the Belize Central Prison who also took the test and passed with excellent grades. IT'S part of the Prison's rehabilitation policy, and on Tuesday, those inmates who passed were honored in their own ceremony. Here's Norman Wallacey, the former Principal for the Belmopan Baptist High school, who now the head of the Prison's Education and Rehab Department, explaining why Kolbe is excited for these inmates: Norman Willacey - Dir. Edu. & Rehab. Kolbe Fdn. Prison: "The program we run here is geared towards helping inmates, to one; recognize that there's a need for a change. Something went wrong in his life, with some decisions making and that person is here. So, we recognize that need and we have implemented programs to help to meet that particular need in inmates' life."

    Police Aren't Playing with Park Initiative
    Community policing - it's about more than just community meet and greet sessions, and to put work behind their words, today, South Side Commander ACP Chester Williams teamed up with a youth group from Mesopotamia and other corporate sponsors, to renovate Daker's Park on West Street. This is a community based initiative to give kids, in less priveliged communities something positive to do. The park was inaugurated at a brief ceremony this morning. The park which had previously been in extremely deplorable conditions received a brand new set of swings, a couple of see-saws, some picnic benches and a brand new fence. The total cost of works at the park are estimated at about 6 thousand dollars. Corporate sponsors that assisted in this project include Pine Lumber Limited, Bulridge, Port of Belize, Brodies, Habet and Habet, and Cisco Construction.

    Cops On the Albert
    Yesterday, police were in the same general area conducting their weekly meet and greet session. We found the south side commander on Albert Street along with some of his officers meeting the local business community and taking note of their concerns. The meet and greet session went from East Canal to Cemetery lane.

    Trinity Gets Upgrade
    Today, the Social Investment Fund formally handed over newly renovated bathrooms to the Trinity Methodist Primary School. Now, receiving new restrooms might not seem like that big a deal but to the students, faculty and staff of Trinity, it is a very welcomed and long overdue upgrade. Here's the Principal expressing their gratitude at today's inauguration ceremony: The project cost just under $60,000 Belize dollars and was funded under the Commonwealth Development Initiative.

    Channel 5

    A Rainbow Flag Flies Over U.S. Embassy in Belmopan
    An event took place in Belmopan today that is causing chatter and drawing controversy in some quarters. The Rainbow Flag, which is the recognized symbol of gay pride, was hoisted [...]

    Evangelical Church Reacts to Observation of Gay Pride Month
    While members of the church did not gather en masse at the gates of the U.S. Embassy this morning, the leadership of the National Evangelical Association of Belize was present [...]

    S.S.B. Chairman Discusses Proposed Purchase of G.O.B.’s Utility Shares
    On Tuesday, News Five broke the story of what has every appearance of being a bailout of G.O.B. by S.S.B. at the Prime Minister’s request. If indeed it is a [...]

    S.S.B. Tentatively Green lights Acquisition of Government’s Shares
    News Five has learned that at Tuesday’s meeting Financial Secretary Joseph Waight was called into the meeting of the Investment Committee to provide some clarity on share value. There was [...]

    Doug Singh Says It’s a Low-risk Investment with High Returns
    The People’s United Party has condemned the transaction, claiming that G.O.B. is raiding the S.S.B. piggy bank because it is broke and needs a cash fix. In an extended interview [...]

    Leader of Opposition Says Immediate Government Action in Sarstoon is Critical
    Following talks in Washington between Belize and Guatemala on Tuesday, there’s been no clear sense that progress has really been made in resolving the conflict in the Sarstoon. Certainly there [...]

    P.U.P. Leadership is Hopeful that Guatemalan Discussions will be Treated Seriously
    Last week the P.U.P. announced that it would be withdrawing its representative from the talks with Guatemala. That move is designed to send a clear message that the P.U.P. believes [...]

    John Briceño Says Barrow Administration is Broke
    As we showed you in our newscast, G.O.B. has orchestrated a hurried divesting of shares to raise cash and the Opposition seized on it to reiterate that the Barrow administration [...]

    Dark Days Ahead, Are They Foretold in Dismal IMF Report?
    And of course there is the IMF report which was less that complimentary in reference to the status of the economy and G.O.B.’s performance. Briceño says he takes no pleasure [...]

    B.E.L. Holds its Annual General Meeting
    Earlier we told you that the S.S.B. Board has approved the purchase of shares in B.E.L.  The utility company held its annual general meeting on Wednesday night and is reporting [...]

    A Judgment in Section Fifty-three Challenge is Nigh
    Gay rights activist Caleb Orozco and members of the local LGBT community are eagerly anticipating a decision from the Supreme Court on a constitutional challenge to strikeout Section Fifty-three of [...]

    Caleb Reflects on Road Less Traveled
    Caleb Orozco, Executive Director of UNIBAM, is at the forefront of the LGBT movement in Belize. He has been long anticipating the court ruling and today he spoke of the [...]

    Anthony Crawford Busted with Weed, Fingered as Suspect in Monday Night Shooting
    An attempted murder suspect who was fingered as one of two shooters in Monday night’s shooting in the city is tonight behind bars serving a one month prison term. Anthony Crawford was busted [...]

    John Briceño on Village Council Elections
    Village Council elections are going into their fourth week, but strangely enough there’s been no real hype. Normally, by this time, both major political parties would have been claiming overwhelming [...]

    But Briceño’s Take on LGBT Issues?
    The Rainbow Flag has been hoisted at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan and responses have been flooding in. Members of the LGBT community and supporters claim that it is a [...]

    Police Department Rehabilitates Daker’s Park
    With assistance from various business houses, the police department stepped up to the plate big time. An abandoned playground in Mesopotamia got a facelift and was inaugurated today as the [...]

    Chamber of Commerce Hosts HIV Testing
    Over the last five years, Belize has participated in the Caribbean Regional Testing Day initiative led by the Pan Caribbean partnership against HIV/AIDS, PANCAP. And on Friday, the country joins [...]

    NCFC Tackles Amendments to Legislation
    A media sensitization workshop will be held on Saturday at the ITVET Compound in Belize City. It will focus on the recent amendments to three pieces of legislation: the Criminal [...]

    Dwight Cadle is IBA Certified Boxing Coach
    The first qualified, Belizean boxing coach since the International Boxing Association began a recertification exercise in 2013 is Dwight Cadle Junior.  He has been hitting the books and the punching [...]

    CTV3

    GOB Receives Grants And Testing Equipment
    The Global Fund which was founded in January of the year 2002 is an international financing organization that is aimed at disbursing resources in order to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Global Fund has approved a sum of 22.9 billion USD that supports about 1,000 programs in 151 different countries. The United Nations Development Programme in Belize (UNDP) has received a grant of $3.4 million USD with the purpose of working towards the preventing and alleviating HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB) for the years 2016 to 2018. This is the very first grant in which measures will be taken to mitigate all forms of TB and TB-HIV co-infections in major populations.

    Premium And Kerosene Increases
    The cost of domestic fuel has seen an increase in both V-power and kerosene which came into effect only two days ago. The new cost of price for V-power saw an increase of fifty three cents which went from nine dollars and ninety five cents to ten dollars and forty eight cents, while the price for kerosene went from four dollars and ninety two cents to a total of five dollars and twenty two cents increasing by thirty cents. The cost for regular fuel remains at a total of nine dollars and seventy six cents while the cost in price for diesel remains at eight dollars and seventy six cents. The last time we reported on an escalation of fuel values, was in the month of May.

    Plans Underway To Safe Guard Belizeans
    A couple weeks ago Mexico held their municipal elections in about 12 states, the opposition party, National Action Party, or PAN took most of the 12 seats forming the New Mexican Government. A report in the Mexican news ‘El Peninsular” indicates that Belizean authorities are confident that the new government can iron out differences, and address the security issues that have recently been affecting Belizeans who visit the southern part of Quintana Roo. This comes after the recent wave of extortions and robberies that have targeted Belizeans visiting the Chetumal, Mahahual and Bacalar at the hands of taxi drivers and hotel employees. According to the report, in an effort to minimize such activities the new administration has held several meetings with the leadership of the Association of hotels and with the heads of the Ministry of Public Security in order to seek a proper solution for the problem.

    Female Taxi Driver Attached By Passengers
    Gloria Alvarez, a naturalized Belizean taxi driver residing here in Orange Walk Town is lucky to be alive tonight after she was assaulted on Friday night by two individuals. According to official police reports, Alvarez was chartered by a well-known friend by the name of Alma Hernandez who was accompanied by a male individual of East Indian descent. Reports suggest that Hernandez asked Alvarez to take them to Yo Creek Village and whilst on their way there, Alvarez was ordered to stop the vehicle somewhere on the Yo Creek road where Hernandez’s partner pulled out a screw driver and placed it on Alvarez’s neck. She was then ordered to give up her car keys and was told that if she didn’t follow instructions, she would be killed.

    LOVE FM

    Police Unaware of the Muslim Raid
    Three days ago it was reported that a Muslim family in Belize was detained by the Special Branch Unit and taken to the Raccoon Street Police Station. The family alleges that their detention was on basis of religious discrimination. Their holy items, such as their holy book, the Quran was also taken along with them. […]

    Crawford Goes to Jail for Weed and Remanded for Attempted Murder
    Thirty-three year old Anthony Crawford, an unemployed of Antelope Street Extension, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Crawford was also charged with dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and possession of three point six grams of cannabis. He pled guilty to possession and he was sentenced […]

    Disciplinary Problems Faced In Schools
    In 2011, Minister of Education Patrick Faber had announced the abolishment of corporal punishment in the schools and that the teachers and principals would have to come up with other alternatives for disciplining the students. PATRICK FABER (April 1, 2011) ” On June 24, 2013, President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Luke Palacio had […]

    PlusTV

    FM responds to leaked diplomatic letter from Guatemala
    On May 28th, 2016 the Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize wrote the Government of Belize a letter refuting and expressing consternation, in diplomatic language, about the May 24th Cabinet release referring to untrammelled access to the Sarstoon. We had been told that the Guatemalans informally agreed ...

    PUP frowns on SSB “utility share dump”
    Opposition Leader John Briceño has described the Government as “being on crack” and desperate for money, such that it has approached the Social Security Board to buy $55 million worth of BTL and BEL shares. Yesterday SSB chairman Douglas Singh, speaking to another media house, cited the ...

    Bumper and license plate left behind by car which fled accident scene
    There was a small accident in Belmopan this afternoon involving a Ministry of Education vehicle. The grey Mahindra was carrying examination papers from Dangriga town, headed to Belize City. While on the Hummingbird Highway, just in front of La Cabana Bar , a white car was in front of the Ministry of...

    Labor investigating case of resigned Northern Regional Manager
    Yesterday we brought you comments made by the Minister of Labor, Hon. Hugo Patt following a Labor workshop held in Belize City. One topic of interest that was brought up by the media was the issue of the recent resignation of the Northern Regional Manager, Audibaldo Monima Junior , a close affiliate...

    Fuel price at the pump increases significantly
    We have told you about the IMF report that suggests that Government of Belize will most likely need to increase taxes and execute retrenchment programs to try and alleviate the financial difficulties it is facing. We don’t know if it was a tax increase that caused a steep increase in the cost of fue...

    P.S.E. passing inmates honored
    Seven inmates of the Kolbe Foundation were honored on Tuesday afternoon at the Central Prison in Hattieville. The short ceremony was to celebrate and acknowledge their accomplishments in passing the 2016 Primary school examinations. While primary school students sat the exams at various schools acro...

    BEL to Hold Annual General Meeting
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) will hold its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders later today, to announce the results of the Company’s 2015 performance. In 2015, BEL achieved net earnings of $29.4 million, resulting in dividend payments, similar to the previous year, of $0.15 per share. Follow...

    The Guardian

    Belmopan floats a bond - More streets to be paved, more drains constructed!
    The Belmopan City Council will be floating a 6.5 million dollar bond in order to service one third of the city’s infrastructural needs at this point in time. Mayor of Belmopan, Khalid Belisle told the Guardian that it is estimated that it would take a BZ $20 million capital investment to pave all areas of the capital city and install proper drainage. Feasibility studies however have determined that a BZ $6.5 million Municipal Bond offering was financially feasible for the city to pursue. This investment will cover roughly one-third of the current needs of the city. On Wednesday, signing took place with key players of the bond offering after cabinet approved the $6.5M offering. Currently legislation is being drafted for passage in the House of Representatives and Senate.

    Negotiations begin between Belize and Guatemala over the Sarstoon
    On Wednesday June 22, the Organization of American States issued a press release in which it states: "The delegations of Belize and Guatemala, headed by their respective Foreign Ministers, met Tuesday at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC with Secretary General Luis Almagro to begin to negotiate the terms of a cooperation mechanism for the Sarstoon River, as had been agreed by the Parties in Istanbul, Turkey, where they met within the framework of the World Humanitarian Summit May 23-24, 2016. In this regard, the General Secretariat of the OAS is pleased to inform that good progress was made during the meeting, which concentrated on the development of best practices for the de-escalation of tensions in the Sarstoon River.

    Third round of Village council elections, UDP continues to dominate
    Elections for village councils continued on Sunday June 19 and the work of the UDP continues to be appreciated with villages that have never gone UDP now doing so. Key villages across the country, including Hopkins and Palmar now have UDP representation. These villages in the past have never gone UDP but now they boast UDP chairmen and 6 councilors. They join 24 other villages which chose to go UDP as well Among those villages is Xaibe which has also had a tradition of voting for PUP and now for the second consecutive time has gone UDP. Silk Grass which also was a traditional PUP village has also gone to the UDP with the chairman and the majority of councilors being UDP. In total there are 24 villages voted for the UDP in the last round of elections where there were 35 which were contested.

    Kenneth Dobson accused of attacking a woman
    Former murder suspect, Kenneth Jermaine Dobson, 32, is in trouble again after he appeared in court for allegedly attacking a 21-year-old woman. Allegations made by Shantay Gabourel are that at about 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, she was at home and four young men whom she knows well were at her house. She knows the men by their nicknames: Zeek, Ghost, Peggy and Fudgie. Fudgie is Kenneth Dobson. He got into a fight with Peggy and Gabourel tried to intervene. That was when Dobson punched her in the face twice and left the yard. He then returned for a bicycle but Gabourel tried to stop him from taking it. He pushed her into some zinc and as a result she sustained a cut wound to her hip. She then grabbed a crowbar and tried to hit him with it but missed. Dobson then pulled out a knife and attempted to stab her but missed. The two were separated and the altercation came to an end.

    Teenager shoots cop during execution attempt
    A 15 year-old gunman, identified to us as Julian Tun, has been arrested and criminally charged with a number of offences including attempted murder of a police officer. On Friday, June 17, he was caught fleeing from a shootout after he shot the cop and tried to kill a suspected member of the George Street Gang, right in front of the Queen Street Police Station. The young man is a minor, which normally affords him the privilege from anyone in the media publishing his photograph. But, in this particular instance, The Guardian believes that it is in the interest of public good, for readers to see the person brazen enough to behave like a hired hitman.

    BDF Volunteer soldier caught with drugs
    At around 10:00 am on Thursday of last week, San Ignacio Police executed a search warrant at the residence of Anthony Goff in Esperanza Village, which led to the discovery of drugs. A search of a pink and black Airliner school bag in the bedroom led to the discovery of three plastic bags, which contained green vegetable substance suspected to be cannabis. Police showed the contents to Anthony Goff and he was placed under arrest for "Possession of Controlled Drugs with intent to supply". The 31 year old was thereafter cautioned and informed of his constitutional rights and then escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station along with the suspected drugs.

    Cassian Young on remand for robbery charge
    Mosul Street resident Cassian Young, 27, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for the robbery of Kareem Yasin Hafiya. Young was remanded despite a strong fight from his attorney, Herbert Panton, who says there is no chance that the facts provided by police can convict his client of the charge. Young allegedly robbed Hafiya, a security guard of Eve Street, on Saturday, June 11. Hafiya reported to police that he was walking on Regent Street West when he was approached by two men. One man walked up to him and the other ambushed him from the back. They held him down on the ground and took away his cellphone and wallet containing bank cards, identification cards and $2,850 cash. The men then ran away from the scene.

    Cop arrested after preventing bar brawl
    Police Constable Urbie Alamilla has been arrested and charged for discharging a firearm in public. However, one week after he was the face of public resentment, Alamilla is now the subject of public sympathy. According to police reports, they responded to a shot fired at Green Jade Restaurant in Ladyville at about 10:52 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. Upon their arrival, officers observed a 9 mm expended shell on the floor of the restaurant. They were approached by Sharmaine Bainton who informed them that PC Alamilla was drunk and just fired his firearm inside the restaurant. Police say they were also met by Ashley Haylock of Burrell Boom Village who informed them that he had an altercation with a fellow he knows as “Borland” and Alamilla withdrew a gun, fired a shot towards the floor and left the establishment. The following day, Sunday, June 19, a police officer lifted both the expended shell and the round off the ground and secured it. Urbie Alamilla was then arrested and charged.

    Gary Sewell’s appeal case set for October
    The extradition hearing appeal case of Gary Gordon Seawell came up on Wednesday, June 22, in the Court of Appeal before President Justice Manuel Sosa, Justice Ducille Murrillo and Justice Minnette Hafiz Bertram. The Office of the Solicitor General was represented by Counsel Triennia Young and Agassi Finnegan, while Sewell was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvester. Both sides agreed to put off Sewell’s case to the October session and the Court accepted the application. The court also dealt with case management for an application made by the Government to introduce new evidence. The Court then gave their directions to both parties that they are to submit their written submissions to the court in 21 days of each other and the matter was set for its next hearing in October of this year.

    MURDER SHOVEL…
    Mark Shepherd, a 23 year-old Hattieville Resident was gunned down in front of his pregnant girlfriend on Saturday, June 18, right on the premises of the Green Iguana Lounge Club. Shepherd, who was also known as “Shubble” (the Kriol word for shovel) was, from all appearances, a law abiding citizen. He unfortunately passed away from the injuries he suffered. According to his family, he came home that day from work, ate his supper and told his grandmother that he was going to the club, which is located right in the village. He took his pregnant girlfriend with him for the evening to socialize. According to reports, he was in the process lighting a cigarette, when 2 gunmen walked into the yard of the business place, and fired at him. He was injured in the back, and this lung was punctured. His girlfriend, who was reportedly returning from the bathroom, saw when the shooters attacked, and she was forced to flee.

    Southie shot and killed in his yard
    Another Belize City family is in mourning after a gunman went to the Kraal Road home of 33 year-old Edison Williams and shot him inside his own yard. The tragedy happened sometime around 8:30 p.m. on Friday, June 17. Williams was relaxing alone, and his wife and daughter were in another part of their yard. While Williams had his guard down, a gunman came up a nearby alley, shot him several times and disappeared back into the night. His family, which was nearby, heard the gunshots, and when they realized that he was the victim, immediately made arrangements to rush him to the hospital. The doctors at the KHMH tried their very best to save his life, but at around 5 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, he succumbed to his injuries.

    Leniency for arson convict, Alden Sutherland
    Justice Traodio John Gonzalez exercised extreme leniency upon recovering drug addict, Alden Denver Sutherland, 41, who pleaded guilty on Wednesday, June 22, to setting Hector Choj’s $60,000 vehicle on fire in September of 2014. Choj, Manager of JEC, was the victim of arson when his $60,000 grey 2008 Toyota Tacoma was set on fire on Sunday, September 14, 2014. In a report to police, Choj said he parked his vehicle on Saturday, September 13, around 8:30 a.m. in front of his apartment on Youth for the Future Drive. At about 2 a.m. on Sunday, September 14, he was informed by a security guard from the JEC Company that his vehicle was on fire. By the time Choj rushed downstairs to check the security guard had already out the fire. Destroyed was a grey fiberglass wheel valued at $1,183, a Hankook tire valued at $581 and a bed liner which was in the pan of the truck valued at $2,126.21.

    Keyren Tzib to stand trial for shooting colleague
    Keyren Tzib, 25, will have to stand trial at the Supreme Court for the attempted murder of colleague Kurt Hyde who she allegedly shot on Easter Monday, April 6, 2015 at the end of a joint maritime operation of Belizean armed forces. At a preliminary inquiry on Thursday, June 16, the prosecutor in the case, Inspector Egbert Castillo, submitted as many as 26 statements from witnesses; including the main witness Kurt Hyde. Castillo also submitted 15 documentary evidence; including, a report from the firearm examiner, Orlando Vera; two chain of custody forms; a medico legal report on Hyde; an operations order for the Belize Coastguard dated August, 2014; a copy of a medical service dispenser for Tzib; “wet ground safety rules” and a coastguard stand down sheet for weapons utilized by officers that day upon others. Tzib’s attorney, Darrell Bradley, chose not to challenge any of the prosecution’s evidence.

    Darren Levi Gillett to stand trial for attempted murder of police officer
    Police Constable Justin Melvin Hall was fixing a flat tire on the street side on Monday, June 29, 2015, when he was attacked and robbed. The man police believe was his attacker is 29-year-old Darren Levi Gillett. Gillett was arrested two days after the incident and arraigned for attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and robbery. A preliminary inquiry was conducted in front of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Thursday, June 16, almost a year after the incident. Prosecutor in the case, Inspector Egbert Castillo, submitted as many as ten statements and seven documentary exhibits in the case against Gillett. Allegations are that Gillett took an LG cellphone and a wallet containing $400 cash and a number of identification cards. He managed to gain an advantage over Hall by hitting him with a gas tank.

    Hondurans caught in Belize illegally
    Life in Belize was short lived for two Honduran cousins who were caught in the city shortly after entering the country illegally on Friday, June 17. Jairo Jose Rodriguez Flores, 25, and Johel Antonio Villalta Rodriguez, 31, were caught by Immigration officials on Cemetery Road at about 2:30 p.m. on Friday. The men had just exited a bus that came from Benque Viejo when Immigration Officer Robert Guernsey intercepted them and requested that they present their travel documents. The men were unable to do so and as a result they were detained pending investigation. In an interview with Immigration officials, the cousins said they came to Belize to seek employment and they entered the country illegally through the Mopan River.

    No case against men charged for murder
    Ronlee Petillo, 28, and Matthew Smith, 23, are free men after their murder trial ended on Friday, June 17, with a successful no case submission by attorneys Leroy Banner and Anthony Sylvester. The men have been on remand for the murder of fruit vendor Miguel Angel Rivera, 57, which occurred on March 11, 2011 at the Michael Finnegan Market. At around 9 p.m. on Friday, March 11, three men on bicycles rode up on Miguel Rivera and shot him to the head. Rivera was eating fried chicken at his fruit stall on West Canal and was accompanied by a friend when the three men rode up on him. Without much exchange of words, one of the men pulled out a gun and fired a single shot which caught him in the head. He fell off a box on which he was seated and died on the spot. According to witnesses in the area, one of the men stood by and watched in Rivera’s direction while the other two men were seen circling the area on their bicycles. Four days after the shooting, police charged Petillo and Smith for Rivera’s murder.

    Malcolm Nunez charged for basketball fight
    Twenty-year-old Malcolm Nunez is out on bail after he was accused of breaking the jaw of Jonathan Samuels during an altercation on the Belama Basketball Court. Samuels reported to police that he was playing ball on Saturday, June 11, when an argument started and he was approached by Nunez who punched him twice in the face. Samuels had to visit the hospital where a doctor confirmed that his jaw was broken and classified injuries as grievous harm. Nunez was detained by police and arraigned before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. He was read a single charge of grievous harm upon Jonathan Samuels and pleaded not guilty. The court prosecutor, Sgt. Bonifacio Rash, had no objection to bail but asked the court to impose conditions. With that, Magistrate Rogers granted Nunez bail in the sum of $1,200 and ordered him to not interfere with the victim and stay 100 yards away.

    Executed just after being released from police custody
    Elroy Perdomo Jr., 20, another youth from the Belize City’s Southside, was murdered as a consequence of gang violence which played out during a funeral procession on Thursday, June 16. Perdomo, who was the main suspect in the murder of Marlon Bonner, was shot 16 times by two gunmen who stalked him in the funeral. Perdomo had been in police custody since the beginning of the week when investigators started their work to solve the murder of Bonner, which happened on Sunday, June 12. Police say that there were plenty of witnesses who saw the gunman when he pulled the trigger and killed Bonner, a father of 3 girls. No one was willing, however, to go on the record and point to Elroy Perdomo as the culprit for fear of retribution from those he may be affiliated with. So, after the required time, police was forced to release him from custody after the 48-hour detention period.

    PACT embraces more responsibilities
    The Protected Areas Conservation Trust is no longer an absentee financier for the conservation community of Belize. The organization which has acted simply as a piggy bank for the past twenty years will now be an active organization tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the management of protected areas to ensure that key objectives are met. Colin Young, Chairman of PACT Board of Directors, says, “PACT is 20 years old and has always just managed funding and granted those on a competitive basis to our partners. The PACT Amendment Act however has now changed fundamentally, both the role and functions PACT and as a result the institution must now change to meet the mandates of the new legislation.”

    Belizean media propagating the Guatemalan agenda
    The PUP operatives and political pundits who have tried to cloak themselves in the garb of journalists, have once again set their crosshairs on Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Wilfred Sedi Elrington. This time they have accused him of lying to the nation about what took place at the Belize/Guatemala talks last month in Istanbul Turkey. One has gone as far as to try and suggest that Hon. Elrington should be removed from his post because of this suspected lie. While another has suggested that the Hon. Minister committed an act treason, he went as far as to explain what constitutes treason. Then there are two Talk show hosts one in Belmopan and another in Belize City who have joined the fray to condemn Sedi. There are also the regular talk show serial callers, but we will not give any ink and paper to them as they are only set up callers. They are used to keep the conversation going during the talk shows. Neither will we pay any attention to the PUP’s official media outlets because they are just doing what they were mandated to do, OPPOSE!

    Belmopan Police continues with gang resistance program
    Some 29 students from St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Las Flores, Belmopan, graduated last Friday evening after completing a Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program. These students have learnt new skills to resist gangs and other criminal activities. Officer Commanding of Belmopan Police Howell Gillett was present for the GREAT graduation where he implored on the students to teach their new skills and behaviors to a friend, brother, a sister or a neighbor. “It feels great to know 26 new people in our communities [are now there] to help us dissuade other from wrong doings,” writes Howell Gillett.

    Meet and Greet continues in Cayo
    Police in the Cayo District continues with their meet and greet with the public. Between the hours of 4:00pm and 5:30 pm last Friday, Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police Formation Superintendent Anthony Rosado and Deputy Officer in Charge Daniel Iche along with members of San Ignacio COPP Team, conducted a Meet and Greet with Bullet Tree Village residents. The purpose of this program is for Police Officers to conduct outreach to the community; listening to issues and their concerns. Residents from Bullet Tree Falls expressed concerns that there was public drinking and bottles being broken in the streets. They also shared with police their concern that youths were also smoking drugs on the streets. As a result the residents requested for more mobile and foot patrols during the night and especially on weekends. A community member also made recommendations that police officers be trained in public relations and to work on responding and giving feedback to the community.

    PUP can’t decide who their representative should be on the Guatemalan negotiations
    Perhaps all across the world there is a childhood practice of playing a ball game with your friends, where the ball belongs to one of you. If the game doesn’t go your way, you might get upset and leave, taking your ball with you, ending the game for everyone. That is the equivalent of what the PUP did last week when they withdrew from the Belize/ Guatemala relations team. They did so over what perhaps they figured was a snub , when they were not taken on a trip to the Dominican Republic. Belize and Guatemala were going to piggyback on this meeting that both counties would be attending as members of the OAS. The Foreign Ministers of both countries would have used that face to face to try and work on the Sarstoon Protocol, the representative of the Leader of Opposition would have been present for the negotiations between the two Foreign Ministers ,but would not have been a part of the OAS meeting on the trip.

    PUP can’t decide who their representative should be on the Guatemalan negotiations
    Perhaps all across the world there is a childhood practice of playing a ball game with your friends, where the ball belongs to one of you. If the game doesn’t go your way, you might get upset and leave, taking your ball with you, ending the game for everyone. That is the equivalent of what the PUP did last week when they withdrew from the Belize/ Guatemala relations team. They did so over what perhaps they figured was a snub , when they were not taken on a trip to the Dominican Republic. Belize and Guatemala were going to piggyback on this meeting that both counties would be attending as members of the OAS. The Foreign Ministers of both countries would have used that face to face to try and work on the Sarstoon Protocol, the representative of the Leader of Opposition would have been present for the negotiations between the two Foreign Ministers ,but would not have been a part of the OAS meeting on the trip.

    2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit Delegate from Belize
    U.S. Embassy Belmopan is happy to announce that Shawn Aviles will attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which will take place June 22-24, 2016 in Palo Alto, California. Ms. Aviles will be joining more than 700 entrepreneurs from around the world along with investors, speakers, and leaders in the entrepreneurship space. These innovative entrepreneurs will be joined by high-level U.S. Government officials, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Administrator of the Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of USAID Gayle Smith, Ambassador at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, and Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel.

    Traffic Wardens receive training in Belmopan
    Traffic wardens from the Traffic Department at the Belmopan City Council have recently received four days of intensive training to improve their skills in traffic management. The four day course was taken by 13 traffic officers at the Belmopan based Police Training Academy (PTA). Mayor Khalid Belisle has applauded the efforts of the Traffic Department and informed them that they should wear their uniforms with pride and serve the Belmopan City Council to the best of their abilities. During the almost one week of training, the traffic wardens were taught Belizeans laws relevant to traffic and public relations. Their lecturers were both Assistant Superintendent of Police Eusebio Lanza and Sergeant Samuel Gladden. According to Tricia Pelayo, Public Relations person at the Belmopan City Council, both high ranking police officers were very adept in delivering the course content.

    Belizean athletes capture six Gold Medals in Central American Senior Athletics Championship
    The Belizean Team to the 17th Central American Senior Championship in Athletics returned home on Monday after participating in the championship that was held at the Jorge “Magico” Gonzalez Stadium in San Salvador, El Salvador over the weekend. Belize’s contingent to the 17th Central American Senior Championship in Athletics consisted of some 21 athletes. During the championship, Belize captured a total of 6 Gold Medals, 4 Silver medals and 2 Bronze medals while establishing 6 new records in the process. Kaina Martinez captured the Gold Medal in the 100m event while establishing a new Central American Record of 11:56sec. She also captured the Gold Medal in the 4x100m relay. Martinez also picked up a Silver Medal in the 200m event in a time of 23.68sec. Tricia Flores picked up a Gold Medal in the Long Jump competition where she established a new meet record at 5.95m. Flores also captured the Gold Medal in the 4x100m relay. The female 4x100m relay team members were Faith Morris, Samantha Dirks, Tricia Flores and Kaina Martinez.

    Mayan Man Warriors clip the Belize Bank Bulldogs in Firms Basketball competition
    The 2016 Belize District Basketball Association Firms competition continued on Friday 17th June, at the Bird’s Isle with two games on the schedule. In the first game played, Mayan Man Warriors edged out the previously unbeaten Belize Bank Bulldogs by the score of 98-94. The top scorers for the Mayan Man Warriors were Winston Pratt with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal; Marvin Skeet with 22 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal and Kevin Lorenzo with 16 points, 1 rebound and 2 steals. For the Belize Bank Bulldogs the top scorers were, Lincey Lopez with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals; Roscoe Rhys with 20 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 3 steals and Marcel Orosco with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. In the second game of the night, Belize Water Services squeak pass over the Belize Telemedia Ltd by the score of 71-67. The top scorers for the Belize Water Services Ltd were Jamir Enriquez with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals; Daron Gentle with 12 points, 4 rebounds and a steal and Akeem Trapp with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals.

    Giovanni Lovell is back to back National Road Champion
    The Cycling Federation of Belize held its National Road Championship on Sunday 19th June, 2016 on the George Price Highway. The event started from in front of the Loma Luz Hospital in the Cayo District and travelled to Garbutt’s Service Station in Roaring Creek village back to the Loma Luz Hospital and then back to Garbutt’s Service Station in Roaring Creek Village where the race concluded for a total distance of 100 miles. At the end of some 4:30:52, it was Giovanni Lovell of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team that crossed the finish line first which allowed him to repeat as the National Road Champion. The second rider to finish was Nissan Arana of Westrac Alliance also in a time of 4:30:53. He was followed by Ron Vasquez of Team Smart in a time of 4:30:57 and he was followed by Josyln Chavarria Jr. of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team in a time of 4:31:40. Chavarria was then followed by Tarique Flowers of Benny’s Megabytes Elite to round off the top five finishers in the event.

    The Belize Times

    Government Bruk!! – UDP gambles with the people’s money
    The Dean Barrow Government is broke, broke, broke. While the impacts of the economic crisis are being felt by all sectors of the country, the Government is demonstrating just how desperate it has become for cash with its recent reckless antics. Two week ago, the Barrow Administration went into overdraft in order to pay public officers. Things are really dread in Belmopan. Reports have now surfaced that the Prime Minister himself has been lobbying for his Government to get a large bailout from the people’s savings at Social Security Board. In a letter from the Prime Minister Dean Barrow to the SSB Investment Committee, Barrow suggests that SSB could buy $10 million dollars-worth of G.O.B. shares in B.T.L. and forty-five million dollars-worth of G.O.B. shares in B.E.L. Barrow is well aware that the people’s savings, collected from social security payments paid for by every single worker sits at the SSB. But this money is not for the Government to dip its dirty hands into whenever and however it wants. It is not meant to bailout a cash-strapped Government that has no solution to the economic crisis it has led us into. Much worse, it is not to be invested in risky ventures such as buying shares with an inflated value which only brings about great losses to the workers’ savings.

    PUP Calls Talks with Guatemalan “a failure” – Opposition Leader Demands Radical Change in approach to Guatemala
    The People’s United Party expresses its deep disappointment at the failed talks held yesterday, June 21 2016, in Washington D.C. However, we are not surprised at yet another failed meeting. Our reports are that there was no positive result except the agreement to continue to talk. It was a complete failure. The PUP decided that it would not attend the talks in Washington D.C. because we fundamentally disagree with the approach being adopted by the Government of Belize. It is plain that Guatemala intends to maintain control of Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River, and the Government’s response is to keep talking and hoping that Guatemala will at some point in the future withdraw from asserting control.

    GOB hikes Fuel Tax AGAIN!
    If you didn’t heed the media’s warning that the Government was about to sneak in higher fuel prices on midnight Tuesday, then your visit to the gas station today led to a major headache with the news that the price of a gallon of Premium gas is costing you 59 cents more. Like it has done for several years, the Government didn’t even send out a simple notice to fuel consumers of the price hike. Just the usual “tek your licking” treatment from GOB, with consumers finding out at the pumps. Since the last report on increased fuel prices on May 6th, the fuel prices have gone up twice. This week’s increase is one of the most painful though. Premium fuel went up by a whopping 59 cents. The price went from $9.87 to $10.36. This is the Belize City price, where it is lowest. In other towns, such as Punta Gorda, the price is now nearing $11.00.

    The Bloody Mess is Here! – Our country has come under siege from crime and violence
    The Ministry of National Security has remained silent on the issue of spiraling crime in the city which has resulted in a spate of shootings and murders. Gang warfare has escalated to new heights with the brazen broad daylight shooting of four persons, one of them a Police Officer, immediately in front of the Queen Street Police Station. The brazen attack took place happened on Friday, June 17, at around 8:15am when a gunman targeted a known gang member coming out of the station. When the gunfire died off Police Corporal Alrick Arnold lay critically wounded, shot in the chest. Also injured were passersby Kean Smith, 24, Elroy Saldano, 44 and Graciela Castillo, 34.

    Barrow’s Financial and Economic Nightmare
    After issuing bloated contracts to their cronies and squandering $325 million in PetroCaribe loan funds with the sole purpose of winning the 2015 General Elections, the UDP Government has maxed out its “credit card” and is now desperately trying to find new ways to maintain their high lifestyle. In vintage UDP style, the Dean Barrow government has begun the systematic draining of the public financial system in Belize. By the end of 2015, with additional domestic borrowings of $118mn, the government had reached its legal ceiling in both Treasury Bills and Treasury Notes at $200mn and $225mn and approached its ceiling with over $63mn in advances from Central Bank, the legal limit being roughly $80m. In fact, Central Bank was the primary willing victim in this raid in 2015 as it increased its lending to the Government through loans, T-bills and T-notes to the tune of $113mn, mostly financed by printing money. Currency issued by the Central Bank in circulation increased by an unprecedented $60mn or 20.6% to an all-time high of $345mn. In one year, the Central Bank increased its lending to the Government by 85%, which means it almost doubled its entire debt stock with the Government. Overall domestic debt of the Government increased by an astounding 31.4% or $118mn in 2015 alone, over 95% of which came from Central Bank.

    Corozal Free Zone Crumbles!
    The images here show a crumbling infrastructure at the Commercial Free Zone in the Corozal District, just one more reason why the once vibrant economic hub has been facing collapse under the incompetent management of CEO Raul Rosado and the UDP Government. Earlier this year, the SSB Board Chairman, Doug Singh indicated that they rejected a request to finance infrastructure works at the Free Zone because “it is dying”.

    New Zika cases surface in Caye Caulker Village
    Latest reports coming out of the Ministry of Health are that there have been a total of five confirmed cases of the ZIKA virus in Belize. The presence of the ZIKA virus in Belize was inevitable as neighbouring countries have been battling with the confirmed cases months prior to Belize confirming its first case. Friday, November 13 saw the Caribbean Public Health Agency announcing the confirmation of five confirmed cases of the virus in the CARICOM territory. Six months later, on May 15, local health officials confirmed its first case in country. That case came out of Belize City and ten days later another case was confirmed in the Cayo District. On June 20, three other cases were found in Caye Caulker Village.

    Antiquated Justice System Gets Technology Boost
    United States Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno symbolically signed off on what is a US$372,000 donation to the justice system in Belize through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). The donation includes state of the art audio recording equipment and related IT equipment for the Supreme Court and Magistrate’s Courts. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin accepted the donation on behalf of the Judiciary, explaining that “as of today, there are ten Courtrooms in the Supreme Court in Belize City, Belmopan, Dangriga and Orange Walk as well as seventeen Magistrate’s Courts in Belize City, San Pedro, Dangriga and Orange Walk as well as in the remaining five judicial districts in Belize outfitted with audio recording systems. Magistrates will now be relieved of the task of taking verbatim notes and they will be able to focus on the adjudication function.”

    Hundreds of Teachers Won’t Return to Classrooms
    Hundreds of teachers will not be returning to their classrooms in September after receiving letters from the Ministry of Education informing them that their applications for teaching licenses were not approved. In February, Education Minister Patrick Faber announced that only persons who have obtained teacher’s licenses and those who qualify for special teaching permits will remain employees of the Ministry. About 1,300 teachers were staring the ugly face of retrenchment. The announcement surprised teachers, principals and school administrations who had not been properly alerted that the Ministry would be taking such drastic decision. School administrators have been encouraging their employees to comply with the requirements for their full licenses. The criteria includes University training and fulfilment of pedagogical and workshop training.

    Hard Knocks
    Here we go again! So Sedi’s back from Washington where he spent some quality time cuddling with Carlos Raul Morales. He explained to the media today that he got a hell of a lot done and we should be proud of him. Like for example he managed to have a cozy tete a tete with Carlos Raul over tea in a corner at Barnes & Nobles. And oh yeah, they went for a walk at the National Mall and the Smithsonian, a little stop at the Lincoln Memorial, some sightseeing, picking up gifts for the family back home in Belize and back home in Guatemala. So then that rascally bunch of reporters, impudent buggers, asked him about the Sarstoon. What about it, said the brand new Guatebelizean minister. Well did you discuss it at all, clamored the media. Isn’t that what you were in Washington to do? Oh sure we discussed it, at length, said Sedi. After five hours of intensive discussion, claimed the fatigued politician, a passionate back and forth and tense standoffs across the diplomatic table, we finally agreed to mention the Sarstoon at our next meeting and probably at the next one too. Ayyy Chihuahua, this fellow has got to go.

    The mess is here indeed!
    The leaders of the PUP went to the Sarstoon in fulfilment of a promise they had made to the people of Belize. I am proud of those that went, and proud of my Party Leader John Briceño for keeping his word. That’s a funny situation down there, though. We understand that the Foreign Ministry informed their Guatemalan counterparts that the PUP would be going and asked them to allow the expedition free passage of the river to avoid conflict with the Opposition. Sounds messed up right? Shouldn’t Belizeans be allowed into our part of the Sarstoon without having to inform anybody? There’s something fishy about the Sarstoon you know. But friends, stay focused. No doubt the Belize/Guatemala thing is huge. We’re talking about going to the ICJ and potentially losing territory. A few years ago we wouldn’t have contemplated the thought of something like that. But it’s happening. Look at what’s going on right at the Sarstoon.

    Another UDP War!
    There is an undercover battle for power going on in the United Democratic Party. We’re not talking about the Patrick Faber vs. John Saldivar chronicles. That one is done and the victor has gotten the spoils while the other’s plans were spoilt. We’re talking about Margarito Gapi Vega vs. El Odio Aragon Jr. battle taking place in the north. That is the one to watch and both men seem to know a few tricks. When Gaspar Vega stepped down the other day he expected Dean Barrow to run behind him and give him back the Ministry of Natural Resources. But ever since Lady Zenaida accused him of being somewhat lacking in the pants, Barrow has been hell-bent on proving that he has bigger cojones than everybody else. So poor Gapi didn’t get that call he was expecting. He didn’t get that plea to come back. And just like that he was gone.

    Herredia keeps hundreds of children poor and uneducated in San Pedro – UDP Rep. promised a new school 4 years ago…STILL NOTHING!
    UDP Belize Rural South area representative Manuel Herredia should hang his head low in shame. He appears to be ignoring one of his constituency area’s most pressing problems – the lack of access to education for hundreds of children on San Pedro due to a lack of classroom space. In 2012, Herredia campaigned and won in the general elections on the promise that he would build a new school for Belize’s top tourist destination. In November 2014, the Government and Herredia announced that they had $1.2 million for the new school on the island and had even designated a parcel of land situated across the Bowen and Bowen Distribution Center located on Blake Street, which would be acquired for the immediate construction of the new Government school. Residents waited and waited. In February 2015, with no construction for a school in sight, a local media house questioned Herredia about why there was still no school. Herredia’s response was one of the most deceptive and shameful.

    Arsonist targets Jeep Wrangler on Amara Avenue
    On Tuesday afternoon at around 2:45 a Jeep Wrangler belonging to Tenchtronics Communications on Amara Avenue was deliberately set on fire while it was parked in front of the business located on Amara Avenue. By the time Fire Department personnel got to the scene, the entire interior of the vehicle was consumed by flames. While the Fire Department is investigating, the cause of the fire seems to be clear-cut since surveillance footage shows a man on a bicycle committing arson. He was seen first scouting out the area before throwing what is assumed to be flammable liquid in it and then returning to light it.

    Galen University hosts “Defending Belize’s Sovereignty” Symposium
    The deeply complex dynamics of the Belize-Guatemala dispute are oft-times enough to drive the most studied of people up the wall. Whether we end up being driven up the wall by all the machinations of the recent updates and stories coming to light on a daily basis, or we merely take it all in stride as part of the lengthy process to resolving the matter for good, it is just as important to have access to the relevant information necessary to make a pertinent decision in a future referendum on going to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in turn will help to shape the future not just of ourselves and our families, but the very future of our nation-state. And since it is the students, the youth, who will be part of that decision in the immediate future, it would naturally fall on the tertiary level institutions to be a part of the information-dissemination process. That process was given a critical boost when the Galen University hosted the first-of-its-kind National Tertiary Level Empowerment Symposium on Friday, June 17th, 2016 at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town. The event which was sponsored by Zitro International Ltd. (Western Union) and Atlantic Bank Ltd., was held under the theme: “Defending Belize’s Sovereignty”.

    Attorney tells court his client has been wrongfully accused of armed robbery
    A Belize City man who was accused of committing an armed robbery was remanded to prison, despite submissions from his attorney who urged the presiding Magistrate not to read the charge to his client because he is not the man who committed the robbery. Cassian Young, 27, appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers to be arraigned on the robbery charge. Young, a resident of Bagdad Street, allegedly robbed Eve Street resident and security guard Kareem Yasin Hafiya, 40. Before the charge was read, however, Young’s attorney Herbert Panton made a lengthy submission, urging Magistrate Rogers not to read the charge to his client, “Because he is innocent and it would be an injustice”.

    Woman accused of obtaining property by deception released on bail
    A Belize City woman was released on bail after she pleaded not guilty to three counts of obtaining property by deception for allegedly taking monies from persons who she reportedly told that she was working on a housing project in the Faber’s Road Extension area along with Belize City Councillor Phillip Willoughby and that the monies they were paying was for their house and lot. The accused woman, Gina Cherrington, a resident of 10 Yarborough Road, appeared for arraignment before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza along with her attorney Simeon Sampson, S.C. this afternoon.

    Team Belize wins 6 Gold at XXVII Central American track & field championships
    Team Belize won six Gold medals and set six new records in the XXVII Central American Senior Track & Field Championships at the Jorge “Magico” Gonzalez Stadium in San Salvador, El Salvador over the weekend. Overall, Belize won 12 medals: 6 Golds, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze. Gold Medals: Kaina Martinez- 100m – 11:56sec, Tricia Flores – Long jump – 5.95m, Itohan Aikhionbare – Shot put – 15.67m, Brandon Jones – Triple Jump – 16.22m, Katy Sealy – Heptathlon – 4817 points, Kaina Martinez, Faith Morris, Tricia Flores, Samantha Dirks – 4×100 Relay – 46.61sec.

    City Boys lead SMART Mundialito
    Defending champs City Boys have already won their spot in the 2016 SMART Mundialito playoffs after their 7th win in Week 10 of the tournament at the MCC Garden last Saturday. The defending champs are leading the tournament with 23pts as the playoffs begin on July 2. In Game 4, the City Boys overpowered an undermanned Reality Youth squad 3-0; with Rasheid Lord scoring in the 1st half, and Cyril Jones and Kayia Requena scoring after the break. The winless Reality Youths started the game with only 9 men.

    Giovanni Lovell, Kaya Cattouse & Shaun Codd win CFB cycling road champs
    Team DigiCell’s Giovanni Lovell, Team SMART’s Kaya Cattouse and Shaun Codd of Belize Youth Club won the Cycling Federation of Belize national road championships, held over a 38-mile circuit from the La Loma Luz roundabout on the George Price Highway to Garbutt’s Service Station in Roaring Creek village on Sunday. The Elites and masters rode 2.5 laps, while the Females, Juniors and Youths rode 1.5 laps.

    Major Papaya Exporters Phase Out
    As of this week, the papaya industry is just about non-existent in northern Belize as the largest papaya exporters, Belize Fruit Packers and Fruta Bomba, based in San Joaquin Village, Corozal District, have scaled down their operations drastically. The company which once employed over 300 Belizeans is down to a mere ten employees today. They will carry through the final activities for the company which includes the destruction of the papaya trees that remain in the fields. Operations will come to a complete close within the next two weeks. The company will migrate to the Dominican Republic and will export papaya grown in Guatemala. The initial announcement came on February 9 when the company confirmed that they would reduce the volume of papaya exports.

    DREAMSCAPES in Belize Became a Nightmare
    Following a review of some of the files in the Panama Papers, it was found that a pair of offshore companies set up by Mossack Fonseca, the law firm in Panama which is at the center of the Panama Papers scandal, and a Florida-based skin-care company that is now non-existent were the initial developers. The project changed hands over the years but the lawsuit names director and founder Clifton Goodrich and Kenneth Dunn, among others as the defendants. Dunn is reportedly a disbarred attorney and makes up part of the group behind this scheme. According to the Miami Herald, the players includes a disbarred lawyer whose penny stock offering ran afoul of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, another disbarred lawyer who went to prison for scheming with mobsters, and two Palm Beach County-based company directors — one past, one present — each of whom blames the other for the project’s troubles. It is estimated that in total the investors had put in about ten million US dollars into Dreamscapes in Belize.

    PM slow to act in call to ban dangerous chemical
    Every year the Coordinating Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean meets in one of its member countries for a few days to discuss the management of pesticides use in their respective countries. The 21st meeting concluded on June 10, 2016 with Belize as its host country and was held under the theme, “A Changing Climate; A Changing World; Responsible Pest and Pesticide Management – Our responsibility”. Interestingly enough, however, despite the 5-day discussions held on disposing of obsolete pesticides, promotion of alternatives and strengthening of pesticides management in the Caribbean as well as the multilateral environmental agreements in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, the Southeastern Watershed Alliance Group has highlighted the Government of Belize’s irresponsibility through inaction when it comes to the Glyphosate pesticide.

    PM slow to act in call to ban dangerous chemical
    Every year the Coordinating Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean meets in one of its member countries for a few days to discuss the management of pesticides use in their respective countries. The 21st meeting concluded on June 10, 2016 with Belize as its host country and was held under the theme, “A Changing Climate; A Changing World; Responsible Pest and Pesticide Management – Our responsibility”. Interestingly enough, however, despite the 5-day discussions held on disposing of obsolete pesticides, promotion of alternatives and strengthening of pesticides management in the Caribbean as well as the multilateral environmental agreements in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, the Southeastern Watershed Alliance Group has highlighted the Government of Belize’s irresponsibility through inaction when it comes to the Glyphosate pesticide.

    Potemkin Dean
    On August 21, 1998 a victorious People’s United Party took the reins of the Government from an inept United Democratic Party. Along with the victory came an air of optimism to the dismal atmosphere left by the worthless red party. In his State of the Nation address at the National Assembly in Belmopan on the 16th day of September 1999, Prime Minister Said Musa began his address with a narrative that bore a striking resemblance to Dean Barrow’s rule in the Esquivel/Barrow administration during the term 93-94. The Honorable Said Musa recalled the story of the Empress Catherine of Russia in 1787. He said “according to the legend when she toured her Empire’s Southern provinces, her Chief Minister Gregorio Potemkin would go one day in advance, setting up fake fronts that made poor wretched villages look prosperous. When the visit was over, he would dismantle the props and move them to the next destination. Ever since, the term “Potemkin village” has been used to refer to apparently happy scenes that are in reality nothing but a façade, bearing no relation to what really lies behind them”.

    BE CAREFUL, MARLENE
    Jamaicans would say: “What a Prekeh!!” and indeed what transpired last week was a hullabaloo involving no ordinary Jamaican. The subject of this prekeh was no other than Jamaican Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte. In the aftermath of the horrendous murders at the Orlando, Florida gay nightclub in which nearly fifty persons were killed and another fifty-odd injured, the United States Embassy in Kingston flew the US flag and the Rainbow flag at half-mast. As is well known the Rainbow flag is a symbol of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community worldwide. The next day, Monday, June 13, 2016 Ms. Malahoo Forte posted a ‘Tweet’ which said: “I strongly condemn Orlando shooting but find it disrespectful of Jamaica’s laws to have the rainbow flag flown here. My personal view”. Everything went crazy for her by the next day. There was a huge firestorm of comments, mostly of condemnation of her, on social media. She really drew the ire of many.

    Live and Let Live
    News that Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin was poised to deliver judgement in the Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize case has sent advocates of both sides scurrying into action. Social media is on fire with comments running the gamut from ridiculous to sublime. It was recently revealed that the CJ would finally deliver said Judgement on Wednesday, July 27th. Anticipation is high and many have drawn forward to the edge of their seats. The case which has been in the courts since 2010 and which concluded over three years ago in May of 2013 has been awaiting judgement for an inordinate amount of time. Justice has certainly been delayed but it is left to be seen if it will also be denied. This case has drawn international attention and no less than the New York Times in 2015 carried a lengthy story about Orosco, prompting many to believe that it might have been an attempt to put pressure on the CJ to deliver his judgement.

    Vile Video Gets Heated Response from Ministry of Health
    A disturbing video which has been circulating via internet since last week has drawn the attention of mental health officials from the Ministry of Health. The video features a man and a woman, said to have diagnoses of mental disorders being instructed to perform sexual acts by the persons who are recording them on a phone or tablet. In its release, the Ministry states that “The audio on the video reveals that the couple was being encouraged in their actions only to be rewarded with a soda by the persons who were watching and recording the couple performing various sexual acts. The Ministry of Health is appalled at this assault on human dignity and is dismayed that these persons felt comfortable enough to record and share this video to further humiliate this couple and their families”.

    Trigger-Happy Cop Remanded for Gun Antics
    A strange maneuver occurred this afternoon when Police Officers who were tasked with escorting an accused colleague to the Magistrate’s Court took evasive action to prevent him from being spotted by court reporters. The accused cop was made to walk behind one of the policemen, while the other walked behind them from the junction of Regent Street and Treasury Lane to the Magistrate’s Court building. They seemed to be covering up Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla, who is assigned to the intelligence section of the Eastern Division South, and who is tonight behind bars at the Belize Central Prison. On Tuesday Alamilla was arraigned for discharging his firearm in public, specifically at the Green Jade Restaurant located on the Phillip Goldson Highway in Ladyville. He was remanded because the Firearm Act does not allow for bail at the Magistrate Court level.

    Wasting Our Tax Dollars
    It appears not all Ministers have gotten the memo that the Government of Belize is facing a severe financial crunch. It seems that while Belizeans have had to make adjustments to their lives in the face of the skyrocketing cost of living and tax increases, the big-timers in Belmopan continue to live like kings and emperors enjoying the perks and lavish living at the expense of everyone else. Just look at this. The Government, through taxpayer’s monies, buys fancy vehicles for Ministers, CEOs and their political cronies. The Government, through taxpayer’s money, pays for the fuel that keeps those gas-guzzling engines turned on and air-conditions blowing cooly so Ministers don’t sweat like the rest of us do. You would think then that with the economic hardships Ministers would consider limiting the use of their vehicles to minimise the waste and unproductivity. But, don’t hold your breath. UDP Ministers continue to abuse these vehicles. Government rides are seen racing up and down our highways after regular working hours, late nights and even weekends.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    First National Climate Change video competition launched
    The Belize National Climate Change Office (NCCO) is hosting its first National Climate Change Youth Video Competition. The NCCO says this opportunity “will allow Belizean youths the opportunity to showcase ways in which they are implementing concrete actions in their communities to address Climate Change”. […]

    Moist and unstable conditions to prevail
    The 24 hour forecast is for cloudy to overcast skies this afternoon and tonight. It will be cloudy with sunny breaks tomorrow. A few showers, isolated thunderstorms and periods of rain are expected mainly inland and over the northern areas this afternoon, then mainly the coast and […]

    Police, local youth group re-open abandoned park
    The West Street (Dakers) Park has been rescued from oblivion by a combination of the Police Department (Eastern Division), the Mesopotamia Youth Group and Pine Lumber Co. Ltd. which donated various play sets and picnic tables. Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams acknowledged that due to circumstances, […]

    Santa Elena primary school looted
    The secretary, Aurora Hernandez, 30, told police that she locked her office located on the the lower flat of the building around 3:00 p.m on Friday, June 17. On the following day, at about 7:30 in the night, she received a call from the school principal who informed her of the break-in.

    UDP’s small crack could grow larger
    “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That’s the way it goes. And in Belize, the government of the day has near absolute power. The previous People’s United Party (PUP) government served two terms in 10 years and that power caused it to splinter and implode. They are still trying to gather the pieces and regroup. The current United Democratic Party (UDP) government is serving its third term in eight years and is already starting to show signs of cracks in the foundation, even if they would like to give the impression that all is well within the party. The recent Deputy Leadership convention that Education Minister Patrick Faber won has caused a crack, if only slightly, in the party.

    Blogs

    My Summer To-Do List in Belize: 14 Different Activities
    June 20th was the first official day of summer – the longest day of the year. Here in Belize, the HOT season tends to start a bit earlier. *Stats at the end of the post All weather data talk aside, it’s SUMMER! The kids are out of school which means you’ll find many of them playing on the beach and on docks and the traffic in town will be down…no more rides to and from school. Temperatures will be warm, we will probably have rain some nights and a few days and the “tourist season” is slowing a bit. The visitors tend to be younger – college kids, families and many who are budgeting and taking advantage of the “slow season” prices. I am one of those budget travelers so I am a woman with a plan. Here are the 8 things I would like to do this summer. 1. Travel Belize: Take advantage of the lower prices and travel! I plan to visit Corozal (the one major area of Belize where I have NEVER overnighted) and Cayo by the end of the summer.

    International Sourcesizz

    UK votes to exit EU, Cameron to quit, Markets plunge
    n the single most momentous day in British politics since WWII, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. The impact of this result has been far and wide, with global markets hit and UK Prime Minister David Cameron announcing his resignation. Outside 10 Downing Street, Cameron tells the nation the people have spoken. Britain will have a new Prime Minister before party conference in October, he said. Cabinet is to meet on Monday to work out next steps forward. Final tally gives victory to Leave -- 17,410,742, Remain -- 16,141,241 (52% v. 48%). European markets tumble, pound crashes to its lowest levels in 31 years.

    David Cameron announces his resignation - full statement
    rime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation following Britain's vote to leave the European Union. In a speech given outside Downing Street this morning, he explained he would step down by October to ensure the country has a "strong, determined and committed leadership". Here is Mr Cameron's speech in full: "Good morning everyone, the country has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise, perhaps the biggest in our history. Over 33 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar have all had their say. We should be proud of the fact that in these islands we trust the people for these big decisions.

    District Court Confirms an International Arbitration Award Granted Under the New York Convention
    Belize Bank Ltd. v. Gov’t of Belize, No. 14-cv-659 (D.D.C., 2016), is one of several recent cases in which the District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Government of Belize (“Belize”) to pay an arbitration award. In this case, the Court addressed questions of when federal courts can enforce arbitration awards granted outside the U.S. In 2007, The Belize Bank Limited (“Bank”) initiated arbitration proceedings at the London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”) against Belize, who failed to pay the Bank debts originating from a loan payment guarantee signed by then Belizean Prime Minister Said Musa. Because Belize did not initially participate in the proceeding, the LCIA appointed an arbitrator, Zachary Douglas, on behalf of Belize. In 2013, the LCIA ordered Belize to pay the Bank BZ$36,895,509.46 plus interest. In 2014, the Bank filed a petition to enforce the 2013 award in the District of Columbia. Belize moved to dismiss the petition.

    Ministry in Belize builds up houses and spirits
    Throughout the week of June 12, twelve parishioners from St. Boniface Parish in Fulda and St. Meinrad Parish in St. Meinrad, built a home in Belize City, Belize, Central America in partnership with Hand in Hand Ministries Building for Change Program. This build was the 293rd home built in Belize City through the Building for Change Program. Many Belizean families live in substandard housing.

    Discover Belize: a small country that's big on flora and fauna
    Imagine brushing up against a nurse shark while diving in a multi-coloured reef, or sipping rum from a coconut on pristine white sounds. With a sub-tropical climate, beaches, coral reefs and jungle to adventure in, Belize should place highly on anybody’s wish lists. I chatted with Trudi Pearce, head advisor to the Belize Tourist Board for European activity, in London at Belize’s first UK trade event, where she shared the tourism strategy with me. “We have launched a digital campaign titled Discover Belize and we are engaging in joint marketing with tour operators. We will also have online agent training early next year and we aim to increase the number of operators selling Belize,” Pearce said. The evening saw UK operators such as Cox & Kings and members of Belize’s High Commission in attendance, including Perla Perdomo, the high commissioner. In 2015 Belize welcomed 12,650 UK visitors, an 11.4% increase on 2014. Almost one third of European tourists were from the UK, making it the largest source market in Europe.

    Videos

  • Daniela Novelo CCRCS Valedictorian speech 2016, 9min.

  • It's not the US Flag. It's not the Guatemala Flag. It's not the Belize Flag. LBGT celebrated at US Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, 1/2min. Today the U.S. Embassy commemorated LGBT pride month here in Belize with a LGBT flag raising ceremony, press conference and round table to discuss LGBT issues in Belize. The LGBT flag will remain at the Embassy until the end of the month. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The stonewall riots were a tipping point for the LGBT movement in the U.S. Today celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month attracts millions of participants around the world.

  • Drone over Ambergris Caye, Belize, 1min. This is what happens when you fly a drone over Belize's San Pedro >>

  • Spider Monkeys of Belize, 1min. Taken December of 2014 Near the mayan ruins of xunantunich.

  • Gopro tarpon fishing in Belize, 1.5min. Quick edit of us tarpon fishing in Placencia, Belize.

  • Hog Head Dance, Belize, 3.5min. The children of San Narciso did this cultural dance for us on our last day at their school. January, 2016.

  • Backpacking Through Belize, 35min. My friends and I backpacked through Belize for 9 days. We went cave tubing, snorkeling, to the Belize Zoo, and a Baboon Sanctuary and we went to 3 Mayan Temples.

  • Maya Leaders Alliance of Southern Belize, Belize - Equator Prize 2015 Winner, 6min.

  • Pamelas road trip (Canada to Nicaragua), 34min. A one year road trip starting in Canada going through USA, Hawaii, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, EL Salvador, and finishing in Nicaragua.

  • Belize, 3min. Views of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, & Lamanai Ruins

  • Shark Dive, Borderline, Belize, 1 of 2, 10min. Nearly uncut footage from the Shark dive in Belize.

  • Placencia Belize Fishing and Diving, 4min.

  • Belize 2016 Night Dive 1, 4min.

  • The Making of Kanantik - Featuring: Kenneth Ussenko - Architectural Designer, 9min. A discussion with the Kanantik Belize Architectural Designer Kenneth Ussenko.

    June 23, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    International Costa Maya Festival Presents: Miss El Salvador & Miss Honduras
    A third and fourth contestant vying for the title of Miss Costa Maya International 2016 have been revealed, and they are Miss El Salvador: Marlin Ramirez and Miss Honduras Corina Alejandra Flores Canales. Marlin Ramirez is 25 years old and in her third year of undergraduate sociology studies at the National University of Santa Ana. The Santa Ana, San Antonio Pajonal native is particularly into history, as her hometown has Maya ancestry. In fact, many ceramic and clay utensils were found in the area, and as such, she loves to learn about the history and culture of the countries she visits while sharing her own. The avid traveler has visited the United States, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Turkey, Iraq, Japan, and Mexico. An international business administrator, Corina Alejandra Flores Canales is no stranger to pageantry. She has represented Honduras at the Miss Ambar Mundial 2015 pageant in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and she won the title of Chica Verano 2015 in her home country. Corina is excited to represent her country proudly, and hopes to keep the title in Honduras for a second straight year.

    Saga hosts first Strides for Strays 5K race
    On Saturday, June 18th, the San Pedro Saga Humane Society held a successful fundraising event called ‘Strides for Strays 5K’ fundraiser. The first of its kind, the race began in front of the Paradise Theatre north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. With a registration/donation fee of $30, participants received a t-shirt and a chance to claim some great prizes at the end of the race. The route took runners from the Paradise Theatre to Grand Caribe Resort and back. Some sprinted, ran in pairs, walked or took their pets along for the competition, all for a good cause. At the end of the race, the top winners were awarded with their prizes, which included medals and gift certificates. The overall winner was D’ Ann Arthur, with a finishing time of 18:11.

    Queen Conch season is closed
    A press release issued by the Belize Fisheries Department informs that the last day to consume the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) will be on Friday, June 24, 2016. The fishing community is advised that all conch fishing activities shall cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

    House of Culture presents San Pedro flag to Mayor and Minister
    Understanding the significance of the flag, one symbol at a time: The inverted Cross: A St. Peter’s Cross is an inverted Latin cross. It symbolizes the death of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. Since Jesus was crucified upright, St. Peter felt he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner, and was crucified upside down. The rooster: The first quarter, the upper left hand section, bears the rooster, which represents the three times St. Peter denied Christ. The crossed keys: The second quarter, the upper right hand side, represents the Papal authority to which the Society of Jesus is dedicated by a special vow, and the Christian people are assured of reliable guidance in faith and morals. The crossed keys symbolize Christ’s keys to heaven, and his authority according to his words spoken to Peter.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Lobster Crawl at Pineapples Restaurant
    San Pedro Lobster Crawl made it to Pineapples Restaurant at Ramon's Village Resort last night. Full entertainment by musical duo Wil & Dale and the always friendly staff of Pineapples. Lots of delicious Lobster dishes on the menu. *Remember that the Block Party is this Saturday*

    Conch Season to Close Friday, June 24, 2016
    The fishing community is advised that all conch fishing activities shall cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on 1st October, 2016. The Belize Fisheries Department further advises Restauranteurs and the General Public to use, consume and dispose of all Queen Conch meat in their possession on or before June 24th, 2016.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Ladies and gents, the Zoo Guy needs some help...
    Ladies and gents, the Zoo Guy needs some help again: We're looking for a female supervisor for Conservation Camp next week (June 27th-July 1st). Our campers are ages 12-17, so all supervisors need to be at least 20 yrs or older. It's 5 days and 4 nights, supervising teenagers, a lot of activities in the great outdoors (so, sun, rain, bugs, random cave troll or two), basically the best week of your summer. We already have the male volunteers pretty much covered, but a balance is always important. Spread the word and inbox me for more details!

    Following the adventures of Daniel, the Mexican Antillean manatee
    Over the last few days, we have been following the adventures of Daniel, the Mexican Antillean manatee, as he made his way into Belize waters. Daniel has been a long term rehab animal, raised near Chetumal, and is trying out freedom. However, along the way, his satellite tag became detached, and he swam off the radar. His arrival in Belize, at the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve ranger station a few days ago, provided an excellent opportunity to replace the tag. The Chetumal-based manatee expert, Dr. Benjamin Morales, from ECOSUR worked with the rangers and staff of Bacalar Chico and Hol Chan Marine Reserves in a coordinated transboundary effort to relocate him and refasten the tag, ensuring he could be tracked in the future. Daniel is an Antillean manatee. He doesn't know about country boundaries - for him, the coastal waters of Belize are the same as those of Mexico. Now he's in Belize, we are working to keep him as safe as possible. He is very friendly - a little too friendly - and needs to learn to be wild. If you live in the San Pedro / Corozal Bay area and see him (or any other manatee), please give him his space. Please don't approach him, don't touch him, don't play with him! His tendency to approach people will put him in danger if he doesn't learn to be more cautious - interacting with him is not going to help him. Be a part of letting him be successful in the wild! I've copied a post from Jamal Galves, below, requesting the assistance of the general public. I would also like to remind people that, under the Belize Wildlife Protection Act, it is illegal to "molest" a manatee in any way. "Molest" has been defined by the National Manatee Working Group as doing anything that might cause a change in behaviour - such as approaching too close, touching or playing with a manatee.

    Dia de San Pedro 2016
    Calendar of Events. June 20-July 2

    2016 International Costa Maya Festival
    San Pedro's International Costa Maya Festival is the only festival of its kind in Central America. It is the biggest festival in Belize, as well as the highlight of Ambergris Caye's entertainment year. August 4 to Sunday, August 6, 2016

    Patchakan Park Day
    Beautiful Patchakan Village invites everyone to their own version of "PARK DAY". Come support and enjoy this Saturday June 25th!

    Ascenthium Concert July 1st
    Ascenthium will be rocking downtown Cayo on Friday, July 1st. They'll be playing at the Bamboo Bar with the PD's. Another free concert that you don't want to miss. "Spread the word! its a show you cant miss! Yhere will be Food, giveaways, 2 live bands, cold drinks and free shots! It's a night of Rock n roll! Bamboo Bar"

    UB Fall 2016 Graduation
    The University of Belize had its Fall 2016 graduation. Congratulations, graduates! More pictures here.

    SATURDAY: Crooked Tree is the place to be!
    at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. Dis da fi wi hiscrhi (That is our history). Come celebrate Crooked Tree's Hstory and Culture! Come out to Crooked Tree Village this Saturday to learn more about the history and culture of the community and savor various delicacies that will be available!

    Shawn Avilez to attend Global Entrepreneurship Summit
    U.S. Embassy Belmopan is happy to announce that Shawn Avilez will attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which will take place June 22-24, 2016 in Palo Alto, California. Ms. Avilez will be joining more than 700 entrepreneurs from around the world along with investors, speakers, and leaders in the entrepreneurship space. Ms. Avilez is the owner and operator of Shawn’s House of Beauty in Belize City; a small business that manufactures wigs, weaves, and other hair products. Ms. Avilez is the only hair producer of this type in Belize. GES is a reflection of the U.S. government’s commitment to utilize entrepreneurship as a foundational tool to build more economically prosperous, secure, and globally connected communities around the world.

    SBDC Workshop: Entrepreneurship Development Workshop in Dangriga
    Presented by: Ms. Monique Usher. Post/Teaching Description: Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, Beltraide. Location: Culinary Building, ITVET Campus, Dangriga. Workshop Date: June 30, 2016. Time: 9am to 3pm. This training is geared towards equipping participants with the knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to self-analyze their capacity as an entrepreneur.

    Paint N Splash
    Join us this week at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar at 2p.m. sign up at www.paintnsplash.com on our events page.

    Let's Support The Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye
    The Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye Belize is proud to be a participant in this year's event. They club is hosting 'Chairs for Charity' at the Block Party on Saturday, June 25th. Come out and enjoy the party from the comfort of your own seat right in the heart of the festivities. See attached poster for details. This is one of the Rotary Club's first events for the newly chartered club and members will be present to help spread the word about the club and its mission within the Ambergris Caye community. Tickets can be purchased at each LobsterFest (Lobster Crawl) event. Give the Rotary Club's Facebook Page a LIKE and feel free to msg them if you have any questions. If you could Share this post to help spread the word, that would be greatly appreciated.

    National Climate Change Youth Video Competition
    The National Climate Change Office (NCCO) is currently embarking on its first National Climate Change Youth Video Competition. This competition is linked to the “Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change” which is being organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and which will culminate in a high-profile awards ceremony in November 2016 at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco. The National Climate Change Youth Video competition offers an opportunity for the youths of Belize to showcase the ways in which they are implementing concrete actions in their communities to inspire leaders and policy makers to address Climate Change nationally. In addition, the top videos will be submitted to the UNFCCC as Belize’s submission to the “Global Youth Video Competition on Climate Change”.

    San Pedro STREET CLOSURE June 25
    Please be advised that Barrier Reef Drive from the intersection of Black Coral Street (El Patio Restaurant) to the intersection of Pelican Street (Fido’s Restaurant & Bar) will be closed to all vehicular traffic from 12:00 p.m. Midday on Saturday, June 25th, 2016. All parked vehicles in the above-mentioned area must be removed by 11:30 a.m. That means 'Block Party' Yippppeeee!!!

    Poets Corner: Ghetto reality!
    By AbdulMajeed K Nunez. This is our reality Real ghetto reality This is my reality Real ghetto reality I remember the days when police use to work eena zone Despite war or peace time officer could talk pan deh phone When push came to shove they could walk home alone When ZBLO officer could walk eena zone four When ZBLO could have gone and knock pan anyone’s door Bad man use to respect police even if they wanted to settle a score Policeman could a walk eena group or walk on their own Now Belize City tun up Through Police deh messed up Bad man get set up Shatta get shat-up Gov’t weh have to pay up Fi mek the youth deh shut up

    BAAS 2016 Schedule
    The Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium starts next Tuesday, June 28th. The schedule is out.

    A BELIZEAN BELIZEAN LEGENDS THROWBACK OF THE BELIZEAN ORGANIZATION SPEAR!
    A 1986 Belizean Legends photo of the popular Belizean organization SPEAR (Society for the Promotion of Education & Research). Seen from left to right is BREDAA's Chariman, Nuri Akbar Estrada, SPEAR's Diane Haylock, SPEAR's Assad Shoman, and SPEAR's Wilfred 'Sedi' Elrington. The popular education Belizean organization had come to Los Angeles, California at the invitation of the organization BREDAA in 1986 to do a series of town meetings on Belize, the nation state, and its political, social, and economical state of affairs in the Los Angeles Belizean Community. A historic Belizean diaspora connection between Belizeans at home and those abroad in terms of bridging the gap between the nation state of Belize and its diaspora. Wow, how time flies!

    International Museum Day
    Cultural Landscapes exhibition at the San Pedro High School.

    Reef Week 2016
    11th Annual Reef Week

    Public Service Information Day 2016
    Exhibition on Historical Building of San Pedro at the Public Service Day

    Charikanari Dancers 2016

    "History of the Lobster Industry in San Pedro" Exhibition
    Held at Costa Blu Resort

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    Allegiant, Everybody Wants Some!, Hardcore Henry, Demolition. See ya at the movies ! (New projectors coming soon) Closed Saturday for Lobsterfest.

    Channel 7

    OAS: "Good Progress" Made In Talks
    Last night, we brought you late evening interviews from Washington DC with the Belize Delegation who had been in talks with the Guatemalans for 5 hours. They were trying to negotiate a protocol for the Sarstoon River, but after 5 hours, the Belize Foreign Minister could only say that they meetings had small success. Tonight, Jules Vasquez recaps what he saw and tells you what's the bottom line on yesterday's meeting: The cordiality shown between the two sides is perfunctory and by now, routine if not rehearsed. And the Uruguayan Secretary General Luis Almagro put on what had to be his best face after more or less staggering out of an extraordinary meeting of OAS Permanent Council. In a week when his leadership is under attack, this meeting, pushed back an hour to accommodate his other pressing engagements, had to be sort of housekeeping. But that didn't mean it was quick work. A session that was expected to take two hours dragged on to over five. At various points, representatives from both delegations could be seen coming out to consult, or to wait while the finer points were hammered out inside the Salon Miranda.

    PUP Blasts GOB For Washington Washout
    Back at home, the Opposition Leader and his representative – who boycotted the Washington meeting - have summed it up as a, quote, "complete failure." This evening, they released a statement saying, "The People's United Party expresses its deep disappointment at the failed talks held yesterday… in Washington D.C" End Quote. The statement continues, quote, "It is plain that Guatemala intends to maintain control of Belize's portion of the Sarstoon River, and the Government's response is to keep talking and hoping that Guatemala will at some point in the future withdraw from asserting control." End Quote. And there's also a swipe at Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. The PUP Statement says, quote, "We repeat our call for the immediate removal of Wilfred Elrington…for lack of competence and for misleading the Belizean people. There is a complete loss of trust and confidence in Mr. Elrington, and his deep affection for the Foreign Minister of Guatemala continues, in our opinion, to cloud his judgment…" End quote.

    PUP Plans...
    So what's their fix for the setbacks in the relationship with Guatemala? Well, the PUP says that the best approach is to go back to the public and get a new mandate on how they want the Sarstoon situation handled. Today when the media asked Courtenay if the PUP is considering going on their own international campaign, he said, that that's certainly a good option. Here's that back and forth: Eamon Courtenay - PUP Representative: "The PUP has a very proud history of dealing with the Belize Guatemala issue before and after independence right; this idle thought that we feel hurt, that we feel disrespected and so we are pulling out like children. It is utter and complete nonsense. The reason that we have taken the position we have taken is because we fundamentally disagree with this approach of talk and hope and unless and until talk and hope is stopped in National Policy, we're not participating. "

    Would-Be Burglars Busted
    Sometime before 11 this morning a trio of would-be burglars was caught red handed stealing items from a house on Franklin Street, in the Complex area. When we got to the scene the three of them were still inside the pan of the police mobile- handcuffed, and being taunted and shamed by the home owners. According to the home owner, an elderly woman, the perpetrators seem to have been scouting the house for a while now. They even made the lookout man pretend to be an innocent worker chopping as the crime was underway. Voice of: Owner of Burglarized House: "Yesterday because the lock the give problem, so yesterday they came. I had a baby Pitbull, they took that so today they came back. It seems like they are watching every time you go to work because I go minutes to 7; go to work and come back after 6 so they have enough time to come into your house, do what they want; the one pretend to chop the yard while the other two are in the house. The door is completely destroyed, the TV off the walls, 2 TVs already taken down; well the police came in time so the third on a slant almost to come down, the machete is on my son's bed in the house. The rooms, the drawers ransacked; one of them seems like he like expensive thing the Michael Kors watch is on his hand. Yes ma'am the earring in his pants."

    Cops Caught Burglars
    Police arrested the three suspects: 25 year old Elick McCoy, 18 year old Elen Flowers, and 18 year old Jamie Williams- all caught in the act. This evening we met up with Sergeant Bradford Berry the Officer in charge of Mahogany Formation, who told us that they were able to foil this burglary thanks to good community intervention. Sgt. Bradford Berry - OC, Mahogany Formation: "Due to the fact that the police have been doing these meet and great and myself and the police officers from Mahogany street police station and our initiative did our own meet and great and I had given out my cell number to some members of the community and they saw the burglary in progress this morning and one of them contacted me. I responded and acted on information that the person had passed on and I went to the address at Franklin Street where I found the burglary in progress."

    Muslim Family Claims Cop Harrassment
    The Ahmad's, a Belizean Muslim family, are demanding answers after a terrifying police raid early Monday morning. Reports are that the Special Branch Unit stormed into and ransacked 6 of their different family homes in Hattieville. The officers took a number of belongings including passports, their licensed guns and all their electronic devices. After that, about 19 family members from these homes including a pregnant woman and children were rounded up and detained. Well, they have finally all been released after 48 hours and the family is still trying to grapple with this scary experience. Today well known barber Fareed Ahmad detailed what happened on Monday morning and the damage it has caused the entire family.

    Southside Commander Says He Knows Nothing of Muslim Family Detained
    So since we had no luck with Special Branch, we asked Southside Commander Chester Williams about the Ahmad raid but he avoided all our questions saying he was not here when the incident occurred and he simply does not know the details. ACP Chester Williams- O. C., Eastern South Division: "I am not aware of that situation so I cannot give you any briefing on that." Emanuel Pech: "Although they were taken to the Racoon Street police station sir?" ACP Chester Williams- O. C., Eastern South Division: "I am not aware of the situation I had been out of Belize City since Monday and I came back last night." Emanuel Pech: "But if the situation is as they claim whereby their religious items were taken by police, I'm talking about their holy book which is their Quran and other religious objects of that nature. It seems that this would be a case or this is their reporting to be a case of religious racism in a way whereby a group of members of the Muslim community were all hauled into the police station and all these holy objects were taken. Could you comment to us in that regard just from hearing what these people are claiming?"

    Anthony Crawford Shot
    One man was shot to the chest on Monday shortly after our newscast and while we got there in time to see the fresh blood stains on the pavement, by the time we arrived BERT personnel had already rushed the bleeding man to the hospital. Later we found out that the victim was Anthony Leslie. The incident happened on Iguana Street Extension, and while that is a known gang turf, police are saying this particular incident was not in any gang related. ACP Chester Williams told us why. ACP Chester Williams- O. C., Eastern South Division: "On Monday night sometime around 7 PM there about police responded to information of shots being fired in the area of Iguana Street extension. Upon arrival they saw one Anthony Leslie suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest region. "

    The Belmo-Bond
    As far back as September of last year, reports emerged that the Belmopan City Council was interested in floating its own Municipal Bond. They hope to duplicate what has been done successfully in Belize City, where dozens of cement streets were funded with the proceeds of that bond. Well today, almost 9 months after Cabinet approved the Bond, Mayor Khalid Belisle and the Belmopan Council formally launched it. 7News was there: This morning, Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle, Heritage Bank's Steven Duncan, and Legacy Fund's Ervin Perez signed the Fiscal Agent Agreement for Belmopan City's first ever Municipal Bond. Belmopan is now the second council float their own, continuing the new Belizean trend in municipal management to raise funds this way. Mayor Belisle freely acknowledged today that he and his council drew inspiration from his Fellow UDP Mayor from Belize City, Darrell Bradley.

    GOB Selling Off Utility Shares To Get $$$, Not A Cabinet Call
    And while we had the opportunity to speak with John Saldivar, we asked him about Government selling off $55 million dollars worth of its shares in BTL and BEL. Social Security Board's Investment Committee is recommending that SSB purchase 40 million dollars worth of BEL's shares, and 15 million dollars in BTL shares. We're told that the Union's Representative on the Investment Committee voted in favour, but the representative from the Chamber of Commerce abstained. For Social Security, which is banking money at low interest yields, the 6 to 8% returns from the utilities is straightforward enough. And for government, it is even more so, because GOB really needs the cash. But today, when we asked Minister Saldivar about it, he told us that it hadn't been brought to Cabinet yet: Daniel Ortiz: "As a member of cabinet do you know anything of this, has it been discussed at the cabinet level?"

    PUP Urges SSB Not To Cooperate
    Well, the PUP has also gotten that report, and not surprisingly, they completely disagree with the move that the Government intends to make. Today, when the media asked Opposition Leader John Briceno about it, he made a public plea to the SSB Board to reconsider approving it: Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader: "Our concern is that here we have the government dumping their shares of these utilities to Social Security whereby their putting our monies; the people's monies, the workers' monies at risk, 48 million dollars BTL is going to be saddled with. I am calling the attention of all Belizeans to be aware of what is going on that the government is broke, they are desperate and now they are trying to do anything possible to get their hands on money and now they want to get their hands on the people's monies and the worker's monies on Social Security. We're also demanding that the Social Security Board be aware that they have fiduciary responsibility to all the workers of this country that not because they have been appointed by their political bosses dictates them to do but that they are there to protect the interest of the workers."

    BEL Got Bank!
    And proving that it is a blue chip investment, BEL held its Annual General Meeting today. The utility realized a handsome profit of $29.4 million dollars, and paid out a dividend of $0.15 cents per share. The Company also repaid the $10 million loan it obtained from the Social Security Board in 2012. The company says it invested $27.7 million dollars to reduce outages, increase access to power supply and improve power quality.

    Hon. Saldivar Speaks On City Crime
    We also asked National Security Minister Saldivar about the spike in Belize District crime. Last week Friday, the crime climate was turned up way past 100 when a 15 year-old shooter went to kill a known gang figure right in of the Police Station. He ended up shooting a cop while trying to flee the scene. Today, Saldivar shared his thoughts on the incident with us: Hon. John Saldivar - National Security Minister: "My first thoughts had to be to the persons who were injured to make sure that they were safe. Yes it was a brazen act, it tells us a lot about where our society has come in terms of these individuals but you know the police pursued and the police detained and I believe the police reaction was adequate and was able to contain the matter." And speaking generally on the spike in violence in the Belize District, we asked him if he and his police management team are taking a close look at what happened. As viewers are aware, he's criticized the media for sensationalizing crime in the news. Here's what he had to say:

    Mystery of Marky's Murder: Unsolved
    Police are still trying to solve the mystery of Marky’s murder. As we told you 23 year old Mark Shepherd was killed on Saturday night in front of the Green Iguana Lounge in Hattieville. Shepherd was with his pregnant girlfriend in front of the Lounge when 2 men approached them, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot Shepherd twice to the back. He died after he was rushed to the KHMH. Police told us today that they had several persons detained but they have all been released. Police say there are still no clear links or answers as to why anyone would want Shepherd dead because they didn’t know him as a troublemaker.

    An attempt At A Hit In Ladyville?
    There was a shooting in Burrell Boom last night. Eugene Henderson was sitting on his verandah after 9 when a man walked onto his property and was heading towards his downstairs flat. Henderson asked what he was doing here and that is when the man pulled out a gun and tried to shoot him, but the gun jammed 3 times before the man ran to the front of the house and fired 4 shots. But by that time, Henderson had already dashed off unharmed. The gunman then ran towards the Boom – Hattieville road where he jumped unto a waiting motorcycle and sped off. Police believe these men came from the city to carry out this hit. Police say they are following a few leads in this case.

    Quarter Mil Jackpot Never Claimed By Corozaleno
    What would you do with a quarter million dollars? Well, one winner did nothing! That’s right, a Corozal ticket holder let $274,000 slip through his or her fingers. That person had the winning ticket for the December 22nd Fantasy 5 draw but did not claim the prize in time. Now that will money will be split up between the government and the current fantasy 5 jackpot. Today the public relations officer Karil Wallace told us how it all works and also gave us the new fantasy 5 prize. Winners have 6 months to claim their prize. As you heard, the new fantasy 5 jackpot is $354,000.

    Golden Guys And Gals
    Yesterday we told you about Belize’s overall performance at the 17th annual Central American Seniors Championships held over the weekend in El Salvador. Our delegation did not participate in all events however our small team still managed to bring back a total of 12 medals: 6 gold, 4 silver, and 2 bronze. Yesterday we only got a chance to speak with Katy Sealy. So today we set off to track down all those home grown athletes, who told us about their experience at Track and Field tournament over the weekend. We start first with Tricia Flores and Shaun Gill. Flores managed to secure two gold medals. First in the relay and then in the long jump breaking the Central American record for the long jump in the process.

    Belize's Olympians
    Now while that event is over, next is the Rio Summer Olympics in August. Belize is sending two track and field athletes to participate. Today, their names were announced. In the females category Belize is sending Katy Sealy, and in the males category Belize is sending Brandon Jones. Sealy is from England and Jones is from the US, but both have parents in Belize. We spoke to Deon Sutherland today as they got ready to make the big announcement. The Belize Amateur Athletics Association is planning to debut the two players at a friendly competition this July. This will be their last race before the Olympic Games which is to take place in Rio in just a couple of months.

    Championing Competition
    Competition is good! That's the idea that the Ministry of Trade is trying to impress unto several key stakeholders. Today, the Ministry of Trade in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat organized a one day training workshop today to sensitize the public, the private sector, and the legal community about the benefits of competition and competition policies. Dr. Leroy Almendarez - Director General, Foreign Trade: "The workshop focuses on competition policy and law. About 2 weeks ago on June 3rd we had a first sensitization it's pretty much sensitization, getting people to have some understanding if you want to put competition policy and law in place what are some of those requirements, what are some of the considerations that we must think about and so it engages the public sector and the private sector. So that any law, any law that comes into place it would mean that the private sector would have a voice in understanding what those requirements, what are the intentions of the legislation; you know the whole objectives of the legislation who will it benefit. As a matter of fact it will benefit producers and the consumer."

    Creative Trade, The Economic Solution
    Manatee conservationists need your help in reintroducing Daniel into the wild. Daniel the manatee was released from a Mexican Rehabilitation Center and is right now in the Bacalar Chico area reorienting himself to the wide open space. So what does that have to do with you? Well …everything, yesterday, Manatee conservationist Jamal Galvez sent an email alerting the public especially those living on San Pedro and other Cayes to warn them that Daniel might be coming their way and that they should not approach him. The email explains that Daniel spent the majority of his life in rehab since he was found as an orphan manatee in Mexico. Daniel is very friendly which is not good as he may approach someone who could harm him. And so, anyone seeing Daniel should avoid approaching or coming in contact with him, including feeding him – which is both illegal and ill advised."

    Channel 5

    Foreign Minister Elrington Returns from Washington, Any Good News?
    Foreign Minister Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington returned from Washington this morning after leading a delegation of government representatives to meet with Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales and his delegation along [...]

    Opposition Representative Says Washington Trip was an Embarrassment
    So with no protocols established, no formal or informal draft and no concrete establishment of a relationship in the Sarstoon pending the formal protocols, what really came out of that [...]

    Belize and Guatemala Army Generals Meet in Washington
    As we said earlier, Brigadier General Jones met with Guatemalan counterpart Carlos Eduardo Perez, Chief of Defense Staff of the Guatemalan army. Guatemala proposes that the head of the armies [...]

    B.D.F. Commander Says Military Changeover at Cadenas is Smooth Sailing
    Where the B.D.F. is concerned, the changeover of personnel at the Cadenas Observation Post, using the Sarstoon River as ingress to the remote location, has been unhindered since early May.  [...]

    Untrammeled Access to Sarstoon is Now a Work in Progress
    Elrington admits that to reach a Sarstoon Protocol is a gradual process that hopefully will materialize a document within the next six months.  As for untrammeled access, well that too [...]

    No Date for Follow-up Meeting on Sarstoon Protocol
    While the meeting has been described as fruitful, there were more questions than answers this morning when the foreign minister returned to the country.  Elrington could not even say when [...]

    Opposition Plans to Remove Foreign Minister
    There you have it. After five hours in Washington there is no agreement on the Sarstoon, no structured plan for discussions – not even a date for the next meeting [...]

    Sedi Explains Confusion Following Istanbul Talks
    Elrington, as foreign minister, constantly faces harsh scrutiny from the public, particularly because of his seemingly passive approach towards Guatemala. In some corners, he has been blasted as disingenuous. Elrington [...]

    Is Sedi’s Bromance with Carlos Raul Getting in Way of Bilateral Talks?
    While Elrington says he doesn’t pay any attention to that, he may pay attention to the stinging criticism leveled at him by P.U.P. Senator and former Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay. [...]

    P.U.P. Says Cash-strapped Government is Attempting to Raid S.S.B.’s Purse
    On Tuesday’s newscast, we broke the news that the S.S.B. has been asked to consider purchasing fifty million dollars of G.O.B. shares in B.T.L. and B.E.L. – a request by [...]

    P.U.P. Calls for Full Disclosure of Purpose for $50 Million Withdrawal
    And with that, the P.U.P. revealed its list of demands where that fifty million dollar proposed withdrawal from the S.S.B. piggy bank. It includes full disclosure of the intended destination [...]

    Is There a Connection Between S.S.B. Withdrawal and Pending G.O.B. Settlement?
    Is there a connection between the sudden desire by G.O.B. to raise fifty million by divesting shares and a court ordered settlement that has now come due? The Opposition isn’t [...]

    South Side Larceny: 3 Burglars Caught in the Act of Breaking and Entering
    A trio of burglars was caught in the act this morning in Belize City. The planned burglary occurred like this. One of the men pretended to be chopping the yard [...]

    Ahmad Family Recounts Predawn Police Raid
    Members of the Ahmad family of Hattieville were detained by the police on Monday morning and kept incommunicado while they were in custody. The Muslim family says that the past [...]

    ….Were Simultaneous Operations Necessary?
    Ten hours later, the Ahmad women, including minors, were released without any explanation or apology from the officers; the men were released late Monday night. The officers claimed the search [...]

    Alden Sutherland Sentenced to 2 Years for Arson of Vehicle
    The June session of the Supreme Court started today. Aside from numerous indictments, Justice Troadio John Gonzalez also dealt with the case of Alden Sutherland, who was charged for the [...]

    Katy Sealy and Brandon Jones to Represent the Jewel at Rio
    Track and Field athletes Katy Sealy and Brandon Jones will represent Belize at the Olympics 2016 in Rio. As we told you in Tuesday’s newscast, twenty-two athletes competed over the [...]

    Track and Field Athlete Ashanti Carr Recaps Central American Championships
    Of the thirteen records set this past weekend in El Salvador, six were clinched by Belizean athletes. News Five spoke with seventeen-year-old track athlete Ashanti Carr, who participated in the [...]

    LOVE FM

    PUP Wants More Than Just the Removal of Sedi
    A National Executive meeting concluded at around one o’clock this afternoon at the PUP’s Headquarters in Belize City. One of the burning issues that the PUP is dealing with is their desire to have the Belize/Guatemala issue treated as a non-partisan one and the Government of Belize not cooperating on the matter. Senator Eamon Courtenay […]

    Briceno Warns Belizeans of Economic Hardships on the Horizon
    Following today’s National Executive meeting of the PUP, Leader of the Opposition presented some figures to the media as Briceno warns that the economy is in shambles and the Government of Belize is in serious debt. Briceno honed in on the debt brought to the country via the PetroCaribe program as well as the proposed […]

    VIP Commends Teachers’ Union for Taking Part in the Education of the Belize/Guat Issue
    VIP’s Chairman also commented on the fact that the Belizean population is limited when it comes to being knowledgeable on a dispute resolution at the International Court of Justice. Chairman Hubert Enriquez commended the Belize National Teacher’s Union for coordinating the country wide consultations to help spread information on the territorial dispute being resolved at […]

    Belmopan City Council Floats Municipal Bond
    This morning the Belmopan City Council and Heritage Trust Financial Services signed an agreement for a municipal bond worth six point five million Belize dollars. The bond is to improve the quality of life for the residents of the city through public works. While an estimated twenty million dollars is needed for public investment, the […]

    Village Leaders, Parents and Students Protest in San Marcus
    A developing situation at San Marcus RC School triggered village leaders and parents to protest and students not attend classes this week. Correspondent Paul Mahung has a detailed report.

    PlusTV

    Belize and Guatemalan delegation discuss Sarstoon protocol in Washington
    Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, Brigadier General David Jones and Ambassador Alexis Rosado are in Washington DC where a high level meeting was held this afternoon at the OAS Main building there. The Belizean delegation met with Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, Guatemala’s C...

    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to give decision on the UNIBAM Sodomy lawsuit
    Three years ago Caleb Orosco and UNIBAM, defended by Lisa M. Shoman and a host of international lawyers, asked the Belize Supreme Court to Strike down Belize’s law which makes sodomy and bestiality illegal acts. Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code states, “Every person who has carnal inter...

    US Embassy to fly LGBT Flag on June 23rd
    In other LGBT news, the U.S. Embassy in Belize announced that it will be hosting a Flag Raising Ceremony in commemoration of LGBT Pride Month on Thursday, June 23rd at 10 a.m. at the Belmopan Embassy. In Jamaica, a similar event did not go unnoticed when Jamaican Attorney General Marlene Forte con...

    Toledo man trapped by submerged trees drowns
    There was a drowning in the Toledo District in Blue Creek Village. On Sunday June 20th , 21-year-old Thomas Salam of Blue Creek , and four other male persons, left home to go fishing. However, while diving in the river, Thomas reportedly got stuck below some fallen submerged trees and drowned. Wit...

    Inmate DID hang himself, according to post mortem
    A postmortem examination has confirmed that 29-year-old Luis Antonio Magana, Belizean driver of Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk District died of asphyxia due to hanging. As we told you yesterday, police were investigating the death of Magana after he was found hanging in a cell in the Orange Walk ...

    Sharon Anderson sues Peter Allen
    In the first quarter of 2014, then Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen was under sustained fire from the Public Service Union primarily over the appointment of an inexperienced Minister’s daughter as the Director of Drug Inspectorate, who along with two others, was giv...

    Constable remanded over public discharge of gun
    Constable Urbie Alamilla, 35, attached to the Intelligence section of Eastern Division (South) and a former Minister’s driver, has been remanded to prison, having been accused of discharging a firearm in a public place, to wit, Green Jade Restaurant located between Miles 8 and 9 on the Phillip Golds...

    Amandala


    The Belize Ministry of Health has confirmed three additional cases of Zika infection in the Belize District, with the latest cases cropping up in Caye Caulker, where the persons reported having fever and rash earlier this month. A Belize City woman was the first in the country to be diagnosed with Zika on May 16, 2016. Then on May 25, 2016, test results confirmed that a pregnant woman, 33, of Cayo was infected with Zika. With a total of 8 cases now confirmed in Belize, including the latest three in the Belize District, the Ministry of Health said that it is investigating and closely monitoring the situation. “We continue to engage with the local authorities in Caye Caulker along with the investigative team from the Central Region offices in Belize City,” the Ministry added.


    Returning to Belize by bus tonight from El Salvador is a contingent of Belizean athletes and officials of the Belize Athletic Association (BAA) who are bringing back 12 medals – 6 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze – won at the 17th Central American Seniors Championships in Athletics, held at the Jorge “Magico” Gonzalez Stadium in San Salvador, beginning last Friday morning and ending yesterday, Sunday afternoon. According to delegation head, BAA President Deon Sutherland, “Belize’s performance was outstanding. Of the thirteen (13) new records set at this event, Belize captured six (6). We now hold an impressive seven (7) Central American records. We captured a total of 12 medals – six (6) gold, four (4) silver and two (2) bronze.”


    At about midnight on Saturday, at the brink of Sunday morning, an unmasked man entered a yard and gunned down an unsuspecting man in front of his common-law wife. Mark Shepherd, 23, was in the yard of Iguana Lounge, socializing with his common-law wife, and both of their backs were turned to two men who had entered the yard. Shepherd was just about to light a cigarette when one of the men withdrew his 9mm firearm from under the waist of his pants and fired several shots at Shepherd, hitting him four times in the right side of the back. Shepherd’s grieving family is puzzled as to why anyone would want him killed. According to ACP Edward Broaster, Shepherd was not involved in the criminal underworld.


    At the end of Week 10 games on Saturday at the MCC Grounds, 3 teams have already clinched a spot in the top-4 semifinals of the Smart 13 & Under Mundialito. And with the last week of regular season this coming Saturday, there are a host of possibilities among 4 teams still in contention for the #4 spot in the playoffs. (See standings below.) In game 1 on Saturday, June 18, Collet Strikers clipped Heights FC, 1-0, with a goal from Chris Maskall. Game 2 saw Hattieville Riverside Boys bombing Ladyville Rising Stars, 4-0, with Ruben Darius netting 3 and Jaheed Baptist getting the other goal for Hattieville. Game 3 was a 1-1 draw between playoff contending Young Warriors and winless Face of Belize. Jonah Chebat shook the net for Young Warriors, while Kassem Santos hit the target for Face of Belize.

    TIDE Primary School FWC 2016 Semifinals results, Finals on Wednesday
    The semifinals are over in the TIDE Freshwater Cup 2016 Primary Schools Football Tournament, and the stage is set for the finals, which are scheduled for Wednesday of this week. The semifinals were played today at the Julian Cho Technical High School football field. In the first semifinal today, St. Peter Claver Boys defeated Bella Vista Boys, 2-0, with goals from Lawrence King (12’) and Elsner Rodney (23’). The next semifinal saw St. Peter Claver Girls playing to a 0-0 draw with Trio Girls. They went to penalties, and Trio Girls defeated St. Peter Claver Girls, 4-3. The second male semifinal saw Golden Stream Boys getting the 2-0 win over San Pedro Columbia Boys, with a goal apiece from JerdyShol (14’) and Valeriano Ack (28’). In the second female semifinal, Silver Creek Girls won by default over San Marcos Girls, who failed to show up. Silver Creek has therefore been qualified for the finals.

    Final game result and award for Simeon Lopez Kids, Youth and Female Cup 2016
    The last game in the Simeon Lopez Kids, Youth and Female Cup 2016 Finals was completed on Sunday, June 12, at the Governor General Field. It had been postponed the week before due to rain. In the U-13 finals second leg, YWAM Valencia and Mountain View Revolution played to a 0-0 draw; but YWAM had won the first leg by a 1-0 margin, so they were declared the aggregate 1-0 winner and U-13 champions. The award ceremony followed. In the U-13 Kids category, 1st place went to YWAM Valencia; 2nd was Mountain View Revolution; and 3rd Piccini Rising Stars. In the U-15 Youth category, 1st was San Martin Medina’s; 2nd was Mountain View Revolution; and 3rd Central Site Bandits. And in the U-17 Female category, the champion was San Martin Medina’s; 2nd was Bmp Compre Flames; and 3rd Central Site Bandits.

    25 PSE top scorers and top schools honored
    The 25 top scorers in the 2016 Primary School Examination (PSE) were recognized at an award ceremony held this morning at the Ramada Belize City Princess. “Hard work pays off. What a valuable lesson we celebrate today! The hard work of these students, their parents or guardians, their teachers and school communities, has certainly paid off in their success, and for this, I congratulate you and encourage you to continue on the path of putting in the work and of pushing yourselves to achieve the great things you want to achieve,” said Hon. Elodio Aragon, Jr., Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, who was filling in for Minister Patrick Faber, who is currently overseas. Kenly Young of St. Andrew’s Anglican School in the Cayo District, who scored 391 points out of 400 on the exam (97.75%), sang the praises of her school—the best, she said—known now not just for its performance in sports but also for performing well academically and on the PSE.

    Clarification from Glenda Parham
    Dear Editor, I write in regards to an article in the Sunday, June 5, 2016 Amandala. The article is entitled “Belize experienced its first act of Guatemalan terrorism on May 2, 1998” and is written by Micah Goodin. I just wanted to clarify two things. First, what happened was pure and simply a heinous criminal act; it was not terrorism. Terrorism is defined as the use of violence, or threatened use of violence, in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim. The robbery, as elaborate as it was and obviously involving persons with prior military experience, in no shape or form can be considered terrorism.

    Ali at the Newtown Club
    Dear Editor, Permit me to add a few words to the account of Muhamad Ali’s visit to Belize. The evening he was a guest at the Newtown Club he would not have any of the liquids available. My wife Laura went to our home, then at Newtown Barracks, and brought equipment and materials necessary to brew tea and coffee. I can’t recall which “The Greatest” had but do remember him contentedly sipping away. My friend Dean Lindo may remember the incident.

    PUP boycott bilateral talks with Guatemala
    “My party and I have done everything possible to work with the government in a bi-partisan effort. Regrettably, this effort has become a partnership of convenience by the UDP administration. That is why I have decided that until the government is prepared to work with us in a meaningful partnership on this issue, we will not attend the talks in Washington, DC, next week Tuesday,” John Briceño told reporters today, Friday. The Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party was speaking to reporters at a press briefing at the party’s Independence Hall headquarters, where he explained the PUP’s position on the next round of bilateral talks with Guatemala. Briceño said, “Yesterday, we were very disturbed when we heard that the media was blocked from entering our portion of the Sarstoon River. They were blocked by the Guatemalan Armed Forces, which was in our territorial waters.”

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    BEL reports steady performance
    State-run Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) reports steady performance in 2015, announcing net earnings of 29.4 million dollars, resulting in dividend payments, similar to the previous year, of 15 cents per share. Shareholders will meet tonight at the Annual General Meeting at the Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel to hear […]

    5 men accused of murder and attempted murder in court
    The Supreme Court has indicted 5 men accused of murder and attempted murder at the start of its June session. While trials will take some time, one man who will soon know his fate is Sanjay Lino who was charged with the murder of 53 […]

    Gary Seawell extradition case continued
    A hearing was scheduled today in the Court of Appeal regarding the extradition of Gary Gordon Seawell to the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. However, it was traversed to the next session of the Court in October, as the parties agreed before today due to […]

    Arsonist spared, says he is changed man
    41 year old Alden Denver Sutherland, a drug addict who has since graduated from the rehabilitation program at the Belize Central Prison, was facing a life sentence for arson. Tonight, however, he is on the verge of freedom after proving to the court that he […]

    PUP frowns on utility share “dump”
    Opposition Leader John Briceño has described the Government as “being on crack” and desperate for money, such that it has approached the Social Security Board to buy $55 million worth of BTL and BEL shares. Briceño reports that the SSB has become a “piggy bank”, […]

    PUP: Government just talking…
    Representing the People’s United Party (PUP), Senator Eamon Courtenay today said yesterday’s meeting in Washington “celebrates an absolute failure” as no effort has been made to advance plans for a Sarstoon protocol. Calling again for the removal of Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, Courtenay […]

    Muslim family comes under siege from Special Branch
    A Hattieville family home was raided and the Ahmad family held for hours then released without explanation. Senior police sources, from Commissioner Allen Whylie to all Eastern Division commanders, deny knowledge of the incident, and culpability has been assigned to the shadowy Special Branch led […]

    Man lucky to be alive after gun jammed three times
    Ladyville police responded to a distress call on #6 Branson Avenue in Burrell Boom Village. Upon arrival they visited the residence of Eugene Henderson who resides in a white wooden house about 3 ½ feet off the ground. Henderson reported to police that between the […]

    OW police seek man for $7,000 theft
    Orange Walk Police are currently looking for Urbano Benedicto Vasquez for questioning in connection with a theft. 24-year-old Adelina Juchim from the village of San Jose in the Orange Walk District, reported to police that on Monday June 20, around 11:00 a.m. she made a land transaction […]

    GOB broke? Talk of wage freeze as Government approaches SSB to buy utility shares
    Even as the International Monetary Fund’s “strong medicine” prescription for the economy gains reaction among its opponents, the Government is seeking other sources of cash. Yesterday Minister of Labour Hugo Patt denied any contemplation of a wage freeze, dismissing the IMF report as “opinion.” But […]

    Blogs

    Meeting to set up Neighborhood Watch ends with two possible anti-crime groups on North Ambergris Caye
    The rising number of burglaries and thefts north of the bridge moved San Pedro police and government officials, residents, business owners and others to seek a way to jump-start the dormant North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch crime prevention group. As many as 30 concerned citizens met at the El Pescador resort and came away reviving, not one. but two crime-prevention organizations for the nearly 20 miles of island extending north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. Both Neighborhood Watch groups have apparently enjoyed active and successful pasts over the last decade or so, and for reasons not completely apparent last night, both went dormant. Importantly, both retained membership mailing lists and institutional memories of successes and failures in running volunteer crime prevention groups.

    My Recommendations for Guest Houses and Hostels in Belize
    This January, 2016, I explored Belize for one whole month, traveling from the southernmost town of Punta Gorda to one of Belize’s most northern towns – Corozal – near the border of Mexico. During that time I traveled on a rather tight backpacker’s budget, staying in hostels, private rooms at small guest houses and in tents. Prior to visiting Belize, I attempted to research online for inexpensive places to stay in the country. I discovered, to my great surprise and dismay, that it was extremely difficult to get correct, detailed and up-to-date information. Most places listed in my rather old LP guide didn’t exist any more, didn’t have contact info or had been transformed into expensive, upscale resorts. So when I finally traveled through Belize, at most destinations I had to search around on foot to find decent budget accommodation. Following are my recommendations for places to stay, starting from southern Belize up through to the border of Yucatan, Mexico. Sadly, I did not take any photos of the places I stayed, so sorry to say I can’t feature any of them. Further, note that although I didn’t visit every single destination, I did stay at most of most popular places and a few less-frequented spots. Naturally, I can only give personal recommendations for destinations I visited myself. For other places in Belize, I share what I learned from researching and/or talking with locals.

    Lobster Fest in Belize
    Ambergris Caye Lobster Fest started earlier this month, and will continue until June 26. Then Placencia's Lobster Fest starts on June 24-26, and will be held at the beach and municipal pier. Caye Caulker is a small village - the island is 4 miles long, however the town only measures about a mile - the water taxi from Belize City takes about an hour. The small island has an easygoing attitude with a strong Creole presence, and Caye Caulker is also home to a small community of Rastafarians.

    THE CARIBBEAN’S BUSINESS LEADERS MEET IN BELIZE (PART 2)
    The conference also seeks to address de-risking and the loss of correspondent banking for financial institutions throughout the region. This will be done through sessions on the opportunities and market support available to the Caribbean through the CSME project (including the development of a regional securities deposit mechanism, regulation/enhancement of services across the region, regulation of competition in the region, work of the commission on the regional economy, contingent rights, free movement, and the development of the region’s cultural industries); Transparency and Governance; the de-risking impacts on small states; discussing strategies to address de-risking and de-linking of correspondent banking relationships. Market risks will be discussed in sessions that address market optimization through understanding and the adoption of effective Enterprise risk management (ERM or E.R.M.) practices; Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP); Risk Assessment in Practice; Emerging Fraud Risk and a presentation on Cybersecurity Risk Management (Responding to the Inevitable Breaches).

    Full Moon and a Blast Wedding at Las Terrazas, Belize
    Nicole & Dan booked me to capture their wedding and on my first live chat with Nicole… we talked for about 30 minutes, and 20 were only about the dress… and me and her got more excited by the minute… by the end of our conversation, we were both beyond anxious for this day to come… I am grateful for them to choose Las Terrazas resort, Ambergris Caye, Belize as their destination wedding… our island is truly amazing!

    International Sourcesizz

    OAS issues press release on yesterday's meeting in Washington D.C. between Belize and Guatemala
    The delegations of Belize and Guatemala, headed by their respective Foreign Ministers, met Tuesday at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC with Secretary General Luis Almagro to begin to negotiate the terms of a cooperation mechanism for the Sarstoon River, as had been agreed by the Parties in Istanbul, Turkey, where they met within the framework of the World Humanitarian Summit May 23-24, 2016. In this regard, the General Secretariat of the OAS is pleased to inform that good progress was made during the meeting, which concentrated on the development of best practices for the de-escalation of tensions in the Sarstoon River.

    American Canyon teen bitten by deadly snake in Belize
    An American Canyon teenager is recovering after being bitten by Central and South America's most dangerous snake. Audrey Benton, 15, was in Belize with her parents when she was attacked by a fer-de-lance, sometimes called the "ultimate pit viper." The snake's venom can cause severe internal bleeding, kidney failure, sepsis and tissue damage leading to amputation. Untreated bites can be fatal. The details of how Audrey was bitten were not immediately available, but she was airlifted to a Florida hospital about a week ago after her condition stabilized in Belize, according to the family's pastor, the Rev. Renie Stamm-Kirk. She has been been undergoing physical therapy at the hospital, but her recovery has been "uneven," according to a post by her mother, Sarah Thompson. Rev. Stamm-Kirk set up a Go Fund Me page to help the teen and her family to offset their mounting bills. She noted that airlift alone was "outrageously expensive."

    Bangladesh ambassador in US accredited to Belize
    Bangladesh Ambassador to the US Mohammad Ziauddin has presented his credentials to Acting Governor-General of Belize Carlos Perdomo. He is the first Ambassador (non-resident) of Bangladesh to Belize. The governor-general welcomed him during the ceremony on Monday at his office “Belize House” in Belmopan, the Bangladesh embassy in the US said in a statement. The ambassador said Bangladesh and Belize would “enjoy the best of relations and that Belize has been to Bangladesh a time tested, trusted and reliable partner in its development and progress.” “It is now time to explore and find those potentials to contribute to the development of our two countries,” he said. The ambassador also drew the attention of the acting governor-general to a small community of around 150 people of Bangladeshi origin, mostly owning shops and small businesses, living in Belize.

    Belize and Guatemala begin negotiations at OAS over Sarstoon River dispute
    Delegations from Belize and Guatemala, headed by their respective foreign ministers, met on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC, with Secretary General Luis Almagro to begin to negotiate the terms of a cooperation mechanism for the Sarstoon River, as had been agreed by the parties in Istanbul, Turkey, where they met within the framework of the World Humanitarian Summit on May 23-24, 2016. Guatemala has been claiming and exercising sovereignty over the entire Sarstoon River, including the Belize side, which has become the latest flashpoint of Guatemala’s territorial claim to a large part of Belize. The General Secretariat of the OAS said that "good progress" was made during the meeting, which reportedly concentrated on the development of best practices for the de-escalation of tensions in the Sarstoon River.

    A strange, low-pitched sound is coming from the Caribbean Sea
    The ocean's a noisy place, but under the regular din of marine life and ship traffic, scientists have detected a strange, much louder sound coming from the Caribbean Sea. It's too low to be heard by human ears, but the whistle-like noise is so powerful that researchers have been able to pick up its signature from space - and it's like nothing they've ever heard before. The sound was detected while researchers were analysing the sea level and pressure in the region over the past 60 years, in an attempt to predict what could happen in the future. Their interest comes from the fact that the Caribbean Sea is an incredibly important part of the global circulation belt, responsible for forming currents that feed into the Gulf Stream. And if we want to understand how our climate's going to change in the future, we need to better understand how hot and cold water moves around the planet.

    CONNECTING BELIZE WITH THE PACIFICA RADIO NETWORK!
    It was a most fulfilling moment for me as a member of BREDAA to revisit the globally progressive media institution, KPFK 90.7 FM, Los Angeles, California, which is a sister station of the internationally recognized grassroots and revolutionary Pacifica Radio Network which was formed in the United States in 1947, some 69 years ago. Accompanied by the Belize Progressive Party's political leader, Patrick Rogers, and his brother Gerald, the tour of the KPFK studios in North Hollywood, California last week was an impressive development for me as the producer of the legendary Belizean radio issues magazine, Belize-Caribbean Pulse that was broadcasted to the Los Angeles Belizean Community from 1986 to 1996, some 20 years ago. Not only were we so much welcomed by the always warm and friendly staff that has been the trademark of hospitality at KPFK, but for the first time being invited to view the world renowned Pacifica Radio Archives that began some three decades ago when radio broadcasting was almost antiquated and analog driven.

    Videos

  • How to treat a jeffyfish sting, 1min. Don't believe this common myth about jellyfish stings.

  • How to shower from a bucket, 1min. Just in time for hurricane season...

  • Blessing of the Boats (Belize City), 1min. The fishing fleet in the Belize City harbor being blessed by Father Matt Ruh. This event was organized by WCS, and was scheduled just before the open of the 2016 Lobster Season.

  • BELIZE 2016, 14min. A memorable adventure with my cousins and aunt, not the best weather, but made use of it.

  • Ziplining Belize June 2016, 19min. Ziplining Belize June 2016.

  • Mexico & Belize 2016, 10min.

  • Nurse Sharks of Belize, 5.5min. The nurse sharks of Belize are like puppy dogs of the sea. With most local reef dives off of Ambergris Caye just minutes from shore the sharks come in contact with divers on a daily basis. This video illustrates that perfectly. Nurse sharks in other areas of the Caribbean are often not as 'friendly'. Any shark obviously can still bite.

  • Burning Cane Field - Ethnographic Field School in Belize, 5min. A cane field being flash burned to remove dead leaves, weeds, rodents, and snakes.

  • Inside A Burning Cane Field - Ethnographic Field School in Belize, 3min. Within a cane field just as it is being flash burned to remove dead leaves, weeds, rodents, and snakes. We were positioned up wind in the area that had just burned.

  • Belize Jungle, 5min. Video from a family trip to the jungles of Belize.

  • Belize 2016, 5.5min.

  • Bird conservation in Belize, 1.5min. Our current bird conservation projects.

  • Belize - Day 5 Dive 1, Borderline, 9min. Major shark party and Green Moral Eel fest. Nice views of the canyons to the deep.

  • Belize 2016 Cessna Flight San Pedro to Belmopan, 3.5min.

    June 22, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Crawling our way through Lobster Fest 2016!
    We are six days into San Pedro’s lobster extravaganza and there is still much partying left to do. The second week of the San Pedro Lobster Fest Crawl started on Monday, June 20th during a full day of conservation awareness at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. But, as the sun went down the lobster crawlers made their way to Crazy Canuck’s Beach Bar for one CRAZY party! With live music, drink specials and of course, tasty lobster treats, Crazy Canuck’s hosted a spectacular event fit for La Isla Bonita’s largest celebration of the Spiny Lobster. The Reggae Boys kept the crowd on their feet and dancing throughout the night. Even the iconic Coconut Leo took to the mic to delight the crowd with renditions from the King of Reggae, Bob Marley.

    Celebrating International Day of Yoga
    Yogis around the world are celebrating International Day of Yoga today June 21st! The 5,000 year old physical, mental and spiritual practice, has become one of the most popular fitness and wellbeing activity adapted into everyday life. With the support of over 175 nations, on December 11 of 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga – and today celebrated with pride! The yoga phenomenon has even touched Belize, with the practice being upheld in almost every district. Ambergris Caye is no exception, and we even have a resort dedicated solely to yoga. Yes, I’m talking about Ak’bol Yoga Retreat! Just a couple miles north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, Ak’bol is a yogi’s dream hosting yoga and wellness retreats all year round. It’s a truly tranquil environment perfect getting your zen on!

    Ambergris Today

    Castillo's Do It Best Hardware Announces Winners of it's Father’s Day Raffle
    1st Prize Robert Bailey, 2nd Prize Chris Rivero, 3rd Prize Mr. Moh, Congratulations to the lucky winners.

    Inspire Gala - A Party with a Purpose
    The community of Ambergris Caye got together to support the fundraiser as local businesses donated of their time, resources, food and beverages that were all donated towards raising funds for the worthy cause. First Lady of Belize Kim Simplis-Barrow hosted the Inspire Celebration Fundraiser that took place on June 18, 2016, at the Mahogany Bay Village - Curio Collection by Hilton in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. “We dress in white for hope tonight,” commented Mrs. Kim Simples-Barrow as she addressed the attendants of the fundraiser. “Hope for the children of Belize who need our assistance.” The Inspiration Center was founded in 2014 by Belize’s Prime Minister’s wife to help some of the most vulnerable children in Belize. The celebration was a complete success, the Great House at Mahogany Bay Village was alive in the spirit of celebration and giving on its inaugural event. Attendees were entertained with music, food, drinks and also made donations in the form of raffles and silent auctions that took place during the course of the evening.

    Pic of the Week - Lobsters Just Wanna Have Fun
    The San Pedro Lobsterfest, Lobster Crawl made its way to The Dive Bar on Sunday, June 19, 2016 on North Ambergris Caye. Attendees were partying like "LobSTARS" and even the lobsters came out to play. There is plenty of food and fun activities scheduled this week, leading up to the main Lobsterfest Block Party on Saturday, June 25.

    Daniel The Orphan Manatee Visits from Chetumal, Mexico
    Meet Daniel the friendly manatee; he lives in semi-captivity in Laguna Guerrero, Chetumal Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico, but lately has found his way down the coast of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. As you can see Daniel is super friendly and apparently loves the company of children. Daniel visited the Rivero ranch just west of Ambergris Caye in the calm waters of the lagoon-side of the island. He approached Angelique and her cousin and decided to stay around and play for a while. “It took the girls a few minutes to get in the water with him,” stated Johnnia Rivero Duarte. “What a great experience for them. He came so close when he heard them playing and left until they went inside. He actually wrapped his front flippers around Angelique as if he was hugging her.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Belize Nature Conservation Foundation releases annual call for proposals
    Our partner in conservation - the Belize Nature Conservation Foundation has released its annual call for proposals. Registered NGOs and community-based organizations - take note - apply for up to BZ$38,000! To access application forms, please contact us at grantsinfo@pactbelize.org. Deadline for submission is June 27, 2016.

    Ministry of Labour and the University of the West Indies Host Interest-Based Bargaining Workshop
    The University of the West Indies Open Campus Belize, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, is hosting an Interest – Based Bargaining Workshop entitled: “Reinventing Collective Bargaining in the Public & Private Sectors”. This workshop will be held for three days commencing today 21st – Thursday 23rd June, 2016 and is facilitated by Dr. Noel Cowell, Senior Lecturer in Employment Relations, at Mona school of Business and Management UWI and Mr. Danny Roberts, Head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Institute, Jamaica. An opening ceremony was held this morning at the University of the West Indies, Open Campus Auditorium in Belize City, where the Hon. Hugo Patt, Minister of Labour, gave the keynote address in which he ensured to the participants what is the expected goal of this workshop.

    Conch Fishery Closure
    The Belize Fisheries Department hereby informs all fishers and the General Public that in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 54 of 2012, the Honorable Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development will declare the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) fishery closed at the close of business on June 24th, 2016. The fishing community is advised that all conch fishing activities shall cease as of this date until the opening of the next fishing season on 1st October, 2016.

    Orthopedic Clinic
    The Rotary Club of Belmopan will once again have its Orthopedic Clinic under the Belize Children Program. If you know of a child up the age of 18 suffering from neck, spine,shoulder, arm, elbow, hand, hip, leg, knee, foot, and other types of bone problems are ask to sign up. Santa Elena, Dangriga, Belmopan, Orange Walk, Belize City.

    Miss Honduras – Miss Costa Maya Festival 2016 Contestant
    The International Costa Maya Festival is excited to announce its fourth contestant vying the title of Miss Costa Maya International 2016. Meet Miss Honduras, Corina Alejandra Flores Canales. The representative from Honduras is an international business administrator. She represented her country in the Miss Ambar Mundial 2015 pageant in Punta Cana Republica Dominicana. She also won the title of Chica Verano 2015 in her country Honduras.

    Interest-Based Bargaining Workshop opens yesterday at the UWI Open Campu
    Interest-Based Bargaining Workshop being held today at the UWI Open Campus, Belize all unions and private sector are welcomed as it will run for 3 days limited spaces available.

    Katy Seely Brought the gold back!
    Even with the events split over two days, it’s hard to expect anyone to perform at so many events so consistently, which is what makes Katy Sealy’s win at the twenty-seventh Central American Championships so special. Katy swept first place in all but two of the events, and was in the top three of the two hundred meter and eight hundred meter races held in San Salvador over the weekend.

    Fruits available in Belize and their seasons
    Hey guys for those who are interested. These are some of the fruits available in Belize and their season. Hope it is helpful. Will be updating this...

    Spay and Neuter Clinic in Corozal a Success
    Jun 21 - THANK YOU! - Spay and Neuter Clinic in Corozal a Success. Though the practice is becoming less frequent, each year many dogs are euthanized in Corozal simply because they do not have homes or the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering. Spaying and neutering can dramatically reduce the number of stray animals on the streets. Your pets should be spayed or neutered before 6 months for a male and before a female's first heat. The Corozal Dog and Cat Protection Program held its three days spay and neuter clinic on June 16th-18th. At the helm of the program were Doctors Tim Fitzpatrick (retiree - photo left) and Doctor Lewis Hanks (from the USA - photo right) and many volunteers/sponsors. Both doctors expressed their willingness to return every year to carry out this program but wish for more participation from the community.

    Cayo International Day of Yoga 2016
    The Full Lotus Yoga Center is hosting Cayo's International Day of Yoga this year. The yoga event will be on Sunday, June 26th, from 9:00am to noon. Airbender will be there to do some yoga dance too. Namaste! "This event is free and open to all levels, no yoga experience is necessary. We will start with the preplanned (same sequence we did last year) yoga session, followed by a short meditation, then a break to sample some complimentary tea, a yoga dance performance by Ashanti of AIrbender Yoga Studio and then kirtan lead by Laine and Evan of Chaya Garden Ashram."

    BELIZE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL DEADLINE EXTENDED
    he submissions deadline for 2016 is now July 15, 2016. It's free to enter and there are FIVE categories this year: Entry info and rules: 1. Narrative Feature (80+ minutes) 2. Short (15 minutes and under) 3. Documentary Feature (50+ minutes) 4. Documentary Short (30 minutes and under) 5. Music Video (5 minutes and under): This category is exclusively open to Belizean filmmakers

    31st Bi-Annual General Meeting
    Don't miss the 31st Bi-Annual General Meeting! With guest speaker Ms. Leah Chandler coming all the way from Branson, Missouri! Wednesday, July 6th from 10 am - 12 pm at the George Price Centre in Belmopan

    SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY
    The OAS Department of Human Development, Education and Employment in collaboration with Centro de Desarrollo y Asistencia Técnica en Tecnología para la Organización Pública (Asociación Civil) TOP, Argentina herein offer the online PAEC course: “Gestión Estratégica de Recursos Humanos en Organizaciones Públicas (GERH)” to be delivered in Spanish. Given the deadline for receiving applications in Washington, D.C. is August 1st, 2016; applicants are requested to submit the hardcopy application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belmopan by July 1st , 2016 for endorsement and forwarding to its high destination.

    CODICADER Belize Games Mascot visits primary schools in Belmopan
    The CODICADER Belize Games Mascot visited primary schools in the City of Belmopan today to spread the word on the games and get the students excited about supporting their country's young athletes. The games are scheduled to be played from July 6th to 11th, in four sporting disciplines: football (to be played in Belmopan), basketball (to be played in San Ignacio), volleyball (to be played in Orange Walk) and table tennis (to be played in Belize City). Participating countries are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

    Muhammad speaks on detention of Belizean Muslim Family
    Nuri Muhammad, an advocate for various causes spoke about the detention of a Muslim family by the police on Monday, June 20. He said "I am fully aware that my family or any Muslim family in Belize, for that matter, could be next. For those of you who are not aware, on Monday, June 20th, the Ahmads, a prominent Muslim family in Belize, was hauled off in the back of pickup trucks, to the Raccoon Street Police station in Belize City, in an early morning raid at their homes. They were detained for over ten hours and not permitted even a phone call to inform their relatives, employees, community members or even a lawyer, of their whereabouts. They were not properly informed as to why they were being detained. Even after they were released, no formal explanation, or apology, was given to them by anyone in authority.

    Some tourist with rental vehicle didn't make it to Barton creek sunday
    ....good thing nothing bad happen to them in the accident... looks like man couldn't open his car so he broke the windshield to get out.

    ZAMAR STUDENT CHOIR at St. Francis Xavier
    Students of St. Francis Xavier Primary School were lucky to host this morning at their assembly, the ZAMAR STUDENT CHOIR while on their Belize 2016 Tour. Thank you from the students, faculty and staff of St. Francis Xavier Primary School.God Bless and safe travels!

    San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of culture Summer Art Wave
    July will be hot in more ways than one at the San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) ! Corn Leaf Doll making workshop, Creole drumming and rhythm workshop, Theatre/Breakdance workshop.

    Water dogs are symbols of a well conserved river system
    Thanks to PACT, FCD is gearing up for a public campaign using the waterdog as the campaign mascot. The task is enormous but with strategic partners we can alleviate the problems facing our rivers.

    Channel 7

    Belize/Guatemala Washington Talks Lasted For 5 Hours; Guat Side Declined Comment
    Delegations from both Belize and Guatemala have been in meetings in Washington DC discussing a protocol for the Sarstoon River. After more than 5 hours of discussion, the meeting concluded at 6:22 pm, Belize Time. The Guatemalan delegation left the OAS Main building in Washington DC upbeat and satisfied that both sides had moved towards building peace. Those were the words used by Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales as he denied us an interview. Jules Vasquez is at the OAS Building right now waiting for the Belize Delegation to hear what's in that agreement for the Sarstoon mechanism and we'll have that for you during tonight's news.

    Anthony Leslie Shot
    While our newscast was winding up last night at around 8 o'clock, we received reports of a shooting on Iguana Street Extension. We responded and found police officers on the scene, and quite an amount of blood. The person who had been injured had already been rushed to the KHMH. Reliable sources tell us that the victim is Anthony Leslie, and he was injured in the back. We've been trying today to get additional details from police, but we've so far been unsuccessful. We're told that at this time, there is suspicion that he may have been targeted due to the completion of a recent court case. We've been unable to confirm because the investigating officer who told us that he was not authorized by his superiors to discuss the matter.

    Constable Alamilla Goes To Jail
    Last night, we told you about how Ladyville Police decided to charge one of their own, Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla, for firing a gun in public for a second time. Well tonight, he's at the Belize Central Prison after he was taken to the magistrate's Court. As we told, on Saturday, June 18, officers responded to a report of shots being fired at the Green Jade Restaurant, which is right down the street from the Ladyville Police Station. There they found 1 live round and 1 expended shell from a 9mm pistol on the floor. They were informed that Alamilla was under the influence of alcohol, he fired his pistol inside the restaurant. According to reports, Alamilla's family member, Elvis Borland, and another restaurant patron, 24 year-old Ashley Haylock, had some sort of disagreement. Sometime during that quarrel, Alamilla got involved and fire the shot. The officers detained Alamilla, and when they asked him for the gun, he took them to an open lot on Woodpecker Street. They lifted up a cement block and found a 9 mm pistol with 8 live rounds of ammunition in its magazine.

    Improving How Belize Does Collective Bargaining
    Very regularly on our newscast, we feature the breakdown of industrial relations between the management of important companies or government departments and the employees who work for them. That's usually at the point where things have come to a head, and there has been a stalemate so impassable that the employees feel that the only outlet they have is to bring their concerns to the media. But, the experts in collective bargaining say that these are the most unhealthy of professional relationships. It is slowly becoming the norm of an "us versus them" mentality where either the workers or the managers approach bargaining in a fiercely adversarial stance that hardly any progress is made in negotiations. Inevitably, the Labour Department staff is then forced to step in as referees in an attempt to break the impasse. Well, the Ministry of Labour says thinks that is counterproductive, and today they partnered with the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Belize to host a 3-day workshop. Its themed "Reinventing Collective Bargaining in the Public and Private Sectors". The organizers invited representatives from the unions, the big companies, and government departments to discuss a better way to resolve industrial disputes.

    Labour Minister Confident Of Fruta Bomba's Severance With Former Employees
    While we had the opportunity to speak with the Labour Minister, we asked him about the severance benefits for the employees of Fruta Bomba. That's the foreign owned Papaya producing company, located near San Joaquin, Corozal, which has been winding down operations in Belize after 22 years of doing business in this country. The Guardian Newspaper reported in their weekend issue that last week was the final 7 days of operations, before they completely closed down. So, we asked Hugo Patt about his Ministry's involvement in making sure that the 251 former employees of the company have been properly compensated for their years of service. Here's what he told us: Hon. Hugo Patt - Minister of Labour: "We knew from the onset because of several situations that Fruta Bomba was practically winding down. As a matter of fact I think this is the last weeks that it's going be operational. "

    Labour Department Reviewing Monima's Severance Terms
    Another labour matter which has landed on the desk of the Labour Commissioner is case of Audibaldo Monima. As viewers are aware, he's the recently hired Northern Regional Health Manager who was forced to resign after he was exposed as being unqualified for the job. It ended up turning into a fiasco where the Ministry of Health has to find something for the former Coast Guard Officer to do for the next 3 months in a field for which he has no experience. Alternatively, the Ministry can choose to send him home and pay him for 3 months' salary, for work he did not complete. The Ministry of Labour has the balance equity in this case, which means that the terms of his contract must be followed. So today, we spoke with the Minister of Labour, and the Labour Commissioner about it. Here's what they had to say:

    2016-2017 Sugar Crop Might Be Extended Slightly
    So, while Hugo Patt was speaking with us today as the Minister of Labour, we asked him for his perspective as a former member of the Sugar Industries Control Board. We understand that the crop is winding down, and while a vast majority of the farmers have delivered their cane, there are still others who have been unable to do so due to weather conditions. We understand that those farmers are hoping that the millers would consider keeping the factory opened a little while longer. So, we asked Patt, who is the Area Rep for Corozal North, a division with a significant number of cane farmers, about it. The said that the Millers are keeping the farmers in mind: Hon. Hugo Patt - Minister of Labour: "We know that the Sugar Industry in its optimum capacity operates under a very dry weather. We had 2 fronts coming in which have practically poured a lot of water into our fields. That is basically the draw back and the farmers not able to deliver cane. You would know that towards the end of the season as well there are farmers who are far advanced their quotas and there are those who still have left overs."

    PACT: How To Make Most Of Conservation Funding
    Yesterday we told you about the PACT forum to discuss the way forward using PACT's new formed policy. As we told you PACT is changing the way it does business, restructuring from acting as an organization which only provides grants, to one that actually invests in the environment. Now PACT is just feeling its way around these new set of responsibilities. And while they have yet to come up with a long term strategic plan to accommodate the new legislation, the organization is already changing the way it invests. They are switching their priorities on where they put their money. This fiscal year PACT has set a portfolio of 1.2 million dollars which they hope to disburse in three main areas. The Chairman of PACT Dr. Collin Young gave us the break down yesterday.

    Kids Sure Learned How To Swim
    The Fiona Stevenson Swimming training camp, organized by YWCA in Belize City, culminated today with a swimming competition. Over 200 kids joined the swimming course in April and today it was all about putting all those lessons to the test. Each school brought out their best swimmers and the result was a much contested swimming marathon. Emanuel Pech was there this morning and has the following report. Wild cheering and determined swimmers- that is what the 9th annual Fiona Stevenson swimming competition was all about. And as it is with every competition there were a few disappointed fans. But true spirit of the race was in making those final few strokes towards the finish line. Andre Godoy - Swimming instructor: "Todays the 2016 Swim Meet for the learn to swim program, Fiona Stevenson learn to swim program. Its just a competition whereby we have 10 primary schools that take part in the swimming and we the best 4 swimmers, 2 females and 2 males and they will show their skills, what they learned at the swim program."

    Blue Creek Villager Drowns
    Last night we told you about the 66 year old man who drowned on a Turneffe Island fishing trip, well there was another drowning, this time in Blue Creek Village. On Sunday evening around 4:00, 21 year old Thomas Salam and 4 friends went to Blue creek to fish. But it's only until later in the night that Salam dove in the creek to go spear fishing. That is when Salam got stuck among some fallen branches. His friends tried to help him but they couldn't get Salam out in time. Police say that Salam and his friends among many other residents usually go spear fishing in the creek.

    15 Year-old Boy Caught With A Bag Of Weed
    A 15 year old boy surprised police with a gift bag of weed. Yesterday morning, police spotted the shirtless boy walking near the corner of Vernon and Mayflower Streets with a blue gift bag. As he saw the police, the boy dropped the bag and ran. But police caught him and found 1 pound of weed in the gift bag he had flung on the street. The boy is in custody.

    Cleyon Needs Help For Surgery
    The last time we heard of little Cleyon Marage was in April. His stepfather had come to our studios asking for financial help to cover the cost of a $100,000 bone marrow transplant. Cleyon had relapsed in March and this surgery is the only way to save his life. But his parents still haven't come up with the money and time is quickly running out for Cleyon. Today his mother Clovis Matura told us that although Cleyon is okay at home right now, she could lose her son any minute if he does not get the transplant. Matura gave us the update on Cleyon and told us about a raffle the family is organizing to raise funds. Clovis Matura - Mother: "We just came back from Merida on Sunday and he's doing good right now. He's at home secluded because his blood might me low after the chemo and we can't have him getting sick because he's like a baby and it could kill him. He's eating a lot of beets and calaloo and healthy things to keep his blood up. So, we can stay here until time to go back. We are planning raffle that is to be held on the 16th of July.

    Alma Castillo Is Missing
    A 33 year old Orange Walk woman has not returned home since Saturday and her family is starting to panic. Alma Lily Castillo left her San Jose Palmar Village home on Saturday afternoon to visit her boyfriend in Town. But she never came back home. The family is asking the public to call the police if anyone sees Castillo. She is 5ft tall, medium built, weighs about 140 pounds, as you can see in the picture she has light brown skin and thin eyebrows. She was last seen wearing a blue jeans short pants, a black blouse, and black sandals.

    Belize Delegation Discusses Sarstoon Talks
    A few minutes ago, our 7New Director, Jules Vasquez, spoke with the Belize Delegation about the outcome of the talks in Washington today. Here's Wilfred Elrington briefly discussing what happened in the 5 hour meeting: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "Good evening Jules and good evening Belize. Let me start off by thanking you for taking the trouble to travel all the way here to Washington to get live and direct what has been transpiring. We started negotiating with the Guatemalan team under the auspices of the OAS with the Secretary General and his team at 3pm this afternoon. It's now 8:20, so we have been going for about 5 hours and 20 minutes. We think we made very good progress. All of us participated in the negotiation. I think that at one point or the other all of us had a chance to speak. Alexis Rosado, Belize Ambassador to Guatemala, General Jones and our man in Washington Ambassador Andrews and of course Miss Ardel who is always there. I think we made very good progress. Alexis is normally the one who takes the most comprehensive notes of what transpires at meetings and if you don't mind I will ask him to share with the Belizean people."

    La Popular Was Robbed
    The well known "La Popular" Bakery at the corner of Logwood and Sarstoon Streets was burglarized yesterday morning. At around 9:00, cashier Adelita Ocompo was behind the counter when two armed men stormed in and demanded money. The men stole $150 from her as well as a $900 Samsung Galaxy S6 phone from another 17 year old assistant cashier. The men then ran off. No one was hurt and police have detained three 17 year old minors.

    Belize's Senior Track Athletes Brought Home Medicals
    The Belize delegation performed remarkably well at the 17th Central American Championships in Athletics. The competition was held over the weekend in El Salvador, and the good news is that Belize brought back a total of 12 medals- 6 of them gold. Not only that, but of the 13 new records that were broken, Belize held 6 of them- bringing our total number of record holdings to 7. Deon Sutherland the president of the Belize Athletics association spoke to us today about this remarkable achievement. Deon Sutherland, Pres., Belize Athletic Association "We have been at this event for years now. This is an annual event for the seven countries of Central America. We had some 22 athletes and 5 officials at this tournament which overall performance were very great. We have a total of 12 medals, 6 gold medals, which are all record breaking medals, we had 4 silver and 2 bronze."

    Making Consumer Protection Work Better
    How can consumer protection agents ensure you, the consumers, are getting value for money? That was the main focus of today's training at the Biltmore. Representatives from the Bureau of Standards, Customs and other organizations were at the training to learn about the revised consumer protection module. But they also discussed a new Information Technology platform that will be used to detect and stop harmful or hazardous non-food items coming into the country. The Bureau of Standards' Consumer Protection Liaison Officer Rudolpho Gutierrez told us more about the significance of this training session. Today is the final day of the training. This initiative falls under a program that was signed between CARICOM and the European Union.

    Police Train On Cash Seizures And Money Laundering Laws
    So, while the consumer protection regulators were being trained to better serve the public, the law enforcement officers were also being schooled on how to properly seize cash. We report countless times on drug and cash busts but it's way more complex than just searching vehicles on the highways or banging down doors and ransacking houses. There are specific strategies that must be enforced to try and stop money laundering and drug transactions. That includes doing a thorough investigation at the site of the seizure so that the evidence can be substantial enough to go to court. All that was discussed at today's training at the Biltmore and coordinator Ian McDonald detailed how significant this training is to effective police work. Today is the 2nd day of the training. The training will end tomorrow with a workshop for Magistrates and other officials on how to deal with these money laundering cases in court.

    A Painting Summer Camp For Kids
    Last night we told you about the Department of Youth Services' DJ Summer training. Well that is only one of the many summer programs available this year. Among those is Edward Rubio's Arts and Sports camp. Rubio better known as Lily White came to our studios this morning to tell us more about his initiative and also to ask the public for help to keep it going every year. 32 kids have already registered. If you want to join the camp you can call 667-9672. The program will run from June 27th to July 22nd at the BTL Park.

    Belize Celebrated International Yoga Day
    Yoga is a 5 thousand year old mental, physical and spiritual practice. It originated in India but today, it is practiced by millions of people around the world, even in Belize. Now today is particularly special for practitioners and enthusiasts of Yoga. That's because in 2014 the Indian Prime Minister successfully lobbied to the UN to recognize this day, the 21st of June, as International Yoga Day. Michelle Williams is the Coordinator for the International Yoga Day Belize. She spoke to us about the week long activities that are being organized in commemoration of International Yoga Day. Placencia celebrates Yoga Day today with a free session at the Placencia pier. This year's Yoga Day is being recognized under the theme sustainable development and its relation to Yoga.

    High Level Red Cross Meeting Hosted In Belize
    We usually only hear about the Red Cross Society when they are helping out in the community during natural disasters or during their regular outreach programs. But for Red Cross members, there is so much more that has to be done in order for their initiatives to be effective and have an impact in the society. One of those objectives is to meet and share ideas at their Annual Resilience in the America's Regional Exchange Meeting. This is the first time that this meeting is being held in Belize and representatives from the 3 other sister national societies, namely Jamaica, Guyana and Bahamas are attending. Today the Director - General from the Belize Red Cross discussed the RITA program and how it can improve their community work. The meeting began yesterday and it ends on Thursday.

    Channel 5

    Is S.S.B. Interested in $55 Million Worth of G.O.B.’s Utility Shares?
    Is Government broke? A recent report from the IMF raised alarm bells painting a dismal economic picture and recommends retrenchment and increased taxes. And tonight, we can report that G.O.B. [...]

    Another Fuel Increase Means More Gas Pains at the Pump!
    It seems that where the price of fuel at the pumps is concerned, it’s all bad news. We wish we could tell you different tonight, but we can’t. News Five [...]

    Belize and Guatemala Commence Rounds of Meeting in Washington
    Foreign Ministers Wilfred Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales met in Washington today. The start of the meeting was somewhat delayed because the permanent council of the Organization of American States [...]

    Trigger Happy Urbie is Remanded to Prison
    Tonight, thirty-five year old police constable Urbie Alamilla is on the other side of the law and on remand at the Belize Central Prison. This evening, he was denied bail [...]

    Muslim Family Comes Under Siege from Special Branch
    A well-known Belizean family within the local Muslim community was the subject of a predawn raid on Monday at their house in Hattieville.  Former Superintendent of the Belize Central Prison [...]

    Monima Employment Investigated by Ministry of Labor
    Audibaldo Monima Junior – he left the Coast Guard to take up a post as the Regional Health Manager in the North. It’s a post that calls for a Master’s [...]

    Chief Pharmacist Versus Former Health C.E.O. Wraps Up in Supreme Court
    The case against former C.E.O. in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, wrapped up this afternoon in the Supreme Court where submissions were made on behalf of Chief Pharmacist [...]

    Government is Sued by Sharon Anderson for Spreading Defamatory Email
    At the time of the dissemination of that email, a subsequent press conference held by the Ministry of Health also conveyed the fabricated information.  The falsehood prompted the Public Service [...]

    ….Was Email Message Confidential?
    In its defense, government, through Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, contends that the email was confidential and presented its argument from that position. But the content of the email was [...]

    A Ceremony Honoring Inmates Who Passed Their P.S.E.s
    This afternoon at the Central Prison in Hattieville, a ceremony was held to honor seven inmates who successfully completed the 2016 Primary School Examinations. The inmates took the exams at [...]

    Is Government Contemplating a Wage Freeze?
    As we showed you earlier in the newscast, G.O.B. appears to be in a serious cash crunch…so much so that they are trying to raise fifty million dollars from that [...]

    Minister of Labor Says Laid Off Industrial Workers Were Duly Compensated
    A significant part of the economic downturn has been attributed to problems in traditionally robust industries – like papaya, shrimp and bananas. Fruta Bomba has closed its doors, shrimp farms [...]

    Hugo Patt on Sugar Industry Negotiations
    Since Minister of Labor Hugo Patt has also been G.O.B.’s representative in the sugar industry, we also asked for an update on negotiations between G.O.B., the three cane-farmers associations and [...]

    Katy Sealy is Triumphant at Central American Championships
    Gold medalist Katy Sealy is back in the country after crushing her competition in the recently held Central American Championships in El Salvador.  Sealy is one of several Belizean athletes [...]

    Belize Sets 6 New Records in Regional Games
    According to Deon Sutherland, President of the Belize Athletic Association, all accomplishments by the participating athletes were record setting.   Deon Sutherland, President, Belize Athletic Association “We attended the Central [...]

    Belize’s Standing Improves Among Central American Athletes
    Belize’s overall ranking has improved since the prizewinning outing over the weekend.  Of the seven participating Central American countries, Belize ranks fourth place.   Deon Sutherland, President, Belize Athletic Association [...]

    A Seminar for Labor Industry Stakeholders
    The University of the West Indies Open Campus Belize, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, is hosting a three day workshop for stakeholders entitled “Reinventing Collective Bargaining in the [...]

    How is that Message Translated on Broader Scale?
    The workshop only caters to a small cross-section of employers, employees and union representatives. So how does the message get from this small room to where it needs to go? [...]

    Fireball Loan Program to Provide Funding to Entrepreneurs and Businesses in the West
    Results of a study show that as it relates to west, seventy-one percent of the population is thirty-five years and younger. Of that sector, thirty-five percent is less than fifteen [...]

    CTV3

    Image Of Virgin Mary Appears In Calcutta Village
    Tonight a family from the Village of Calcutta Corozal strongly believe that the image of the Virgin Mary appeared on a cutting board belonging to the family. According to the husband and wife who wished to appear off camera, this is not the first time they witness the apparition of the Virgin Mary. Nine years ago the Virgin visited them but they did not make much of it. Wife: “Actually I was getting ready for lunch and I was preparing food and my husband came and he moved the cutting board and he saw it and he showed me and it was there, I don’t know, make people can see and let them judge and I don’t know.” Reporter: “Has something like this happened before?” Wife: “Yeah, this is the second time, the first time it happened on my plantain tree, it was colorful but I didn’t pay mind to it, I just saw it and just leave it there so this is the second time and it is just more than obvious and we are not Catholic, let the people judge and see, I don’t know.”

    Monima Gone, Payment Owed To Him Being Reviewed
    Tonight Audibamdlo Monima the former Northern Region Health Manager who resigned last week after being an option to resign or be terminated after his file was reviewed and it was established that indeed he was unqualified for the position which required a Master’s Degree in Public health administration, Health systems management and a minimum of five years’ experience in health administration, finance and human resource management, neither of which Monima possessed. Monima resigned but under the terms of his contract, he was to be given three months’ notice, so the Ministry can now either choose to send him home and pay him for those three months, or keep him around for three months and find something for him to do. That is also being reviewed.

    Drugs Found Near School
    Twenty five marijuana plants ranging from ranging from about 6 inches to about 1 foot in height were confiscated today by Orange Walk Police. The plants were found yesterday at about 12:50 in the afternoon in an area located about 100 feet away from the San Estevan RC School in San Estevan Village, Orange Walk District. All marijuana trees were taken to the Orange Walk Police station and labeled as found property.

    Program To Increase Goat And Sheep Meat Production
    A regional program to increase goat and sheep meat production was launched in seven Caribbean countries last week. The program seeks to improve the stock of sheep and goats in the region while training persons in animal husbandry, with particular emphasis on small ruminants. The program which includes countries like Belize, Jamaica, St Lucia, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and Grenada is funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Government of New Zealand.

    Conchs Season Near Its End
    Belize’s conch season is nearing its closing date of Friday June 24th and will remain closed until October 1st 2016. The general public and restaurants are advised that during the closed season anyone caught with conch meat will be charged and prosecuted in a court of law in accordance to fisheries regulations. The general public is advised to report any illegal fisheries activity by calling telephone numbers 224-4552 or 223-2623.

    Violence Erupts In Neighborhood Chetumal
    Violence erupted in the streets of our northern neighbors, Chetumal after citizens were barred from attending a sitting of the Quintana Roo state congress. According to a report on the Mexican news page ‘Diario La Verdad’ yesterday’s congress sitting was interrupted by an estimated 200 individuals who are opposing the appointment of a new senior state auditor. When the congress decided today to reconvene without a public audience, crowds broke through police barricades and attempted to storm the session hall as Police responded with tear gas. Meanwhile demonstrators who managed to get inside the meeting of the Quintana Roo legislative chamber, shouted 'Out, out' during the meeting. Protesters view the appointment of a new state auditor and public prosecutor as an attempt to avoid investigations of corruption and misappropriation of funds by current governor Roberto Borge.

    High Level Meeting Takes Place In Washington
    A delegation from Belize, comprising of Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, Brigadier General David Jones and Ambassador Alexis Rosado today met with diplomats and senior military officers of Guatemala including Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, Guatemala's Commander of the Armed Forces, General Perez and Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Roland Barillas and OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro at the OAS Main building in downtown Washington DC. The high level meeting which was scheduled to commence today at 2:00pm is a follow up to the discussions that took place in Istanbul Turkey on May 21st to discuss the Sarstoon mechanism - a plan to make certain that Belizean military and civilians enjoy full access to the north side of the Sarstoon without hindrance from the Guatemalan army.

    One Charged For Attack One Carmelita Resident
    On Friday we reported on the case of 33 year old Carmelita resident Rhondine Reynolds who was attacked inside her home on Friday June 17th by a male individual who broke into her residence. As a result of this attack the business woman received cut wounds to the left side of her face, cut wound to the left hand and abrasions to her right shoulder. Reports were that the male person then left running and was chased by concerned villagers. Police have since arrested and charged Lennox Rhaburn for the Crime of Aggravated Burglary.

    Internal Investigation Carried Out In Suicide Of Luis Antonio Magana
    The post mortem examination performed on Luis Antonio Magana, the 29 year old Orange Walkeno who committed suicide while inside a cell at the Orange Walk Police Station, has concluded, ruling his death as “COMBINED MECHANICAL ASPHYXIA AND VENOUS LONGESTION DUE TO HANGING.” As we reported on Friday, Magana was taken into the Orange Walk Police Station on Thursday June 16th following a report of domestic abuse. Reports from the Orange Walk Police indicate that when they went to check on him after 12:00 on Friday morning, Magana was hanging by his neck with piece of cloth that he tied to the cell bar - he used a belt to secure the knot.

    LOVE FM

    Muslim Families Outraged at House Raid by Special Branch
    A raid on three Muslim families has left the Muslim community outraged. Twenty Muslims including men, women, two of whom are pregnant, and children were taken from their homes yesterday morning and detained at the Raccoon Street Police Station. The families were not informed of why they were being taken and were deprived of making […]

    Unions, Government and UWI Team Up to Hone Negotiation Skills
    The University of the West Indies Open Campus in Belize along with the Ministry of Labour, Rural Development and Local Government is hosting a three day workshop. The workshop is being facilitated by Dr. Noel Cowell, a senior lecturer in employment relations at Mona School of Business and Management UWI and Danny Roberts, Head of […]

    Unions and Government Discuss OSHA
    The Occupational Safety and Health Bill has been at a standstill since 2014. Recently there has been a move to address the bill and consultations have been taking place between the National Trade Union Congress and the Chamber of Commerce. Minister of Labour, Rural Development and Local Government, Hugo Patt spoke about the progress of […]

    Guatemala Runs Circles Around Belize’s Foreign Minister, Says JB
    Guatemala has been running circles around the Foreign Minister and this Government” – those are the words of the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno when he spoke to the media on the importance of making it known how Guatemala is behaving and undermining the confidence building measures. JOHN BRICENO ” The People’s United Party […]

    Who Will Supervise Foreign Minister?
    Talks to develop the framework that was agreed upon at the bilateral talks in Istanbul, Turkey on May 24 and 25 are taking place at the OAS Headquarters in Washington DC. As we told you on Friday, the People’s United Party had decided to not take part in those meetings. That decision came after several […]

    PUP Leader Advises Belizeans to Get In-the-Know
    With discussions on the Sarstoon River taking place in Washington DC; with the Opposition Party not taking part in these recent meetings and with the mixed messages coming out of the local and Guatemalan media, the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno shared some words of wisdom when we spoke with him last Friday. JOHN […]

    Inclement Weather Deters Officials from Assessing Damages to Reef
    June 15, 2016, local authorities were called out to an area facing Ambergris Caye where a 39-foot trawler had ran into the reef after experiencing mechanical failure. The captain of the vessel, 66-year-old, Roger Day was arraigned in court on Thursday, June 16 with damage to the Belize Barrier Reef system. The recent weather conditions, […]

    Urbie Behind Bars After Discharging Firearm in Public
    Thirty-five year old police constable Urbie Alamilla, a resident of Mitchell Estate in Ladyville, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza and was arraigned on a charge of discharging a firearm in public. Alamilla pled not guilty to the charge. He was remanded into custody until August […]

    Mexicans Riot Over Unprecedented Level of Debt Incurred by their Government
    A riot took place earlier today in front of the Congress Building in Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico. The following videos were obtained from the Facebook page of the newscast “El Punto Sobre La I (EE)” in Quintana Roo. Citizens are infuriated over alleged public funds mismanagement. The public is directing their rage against Quintana Roo […]

    OAS Operates in the Red
    By now, the Organization of American States is no stranger to the Belizean people, considering that they have played a major role in the Belize/Guatemala territorial differendum over the last few years. Belize, however, is not the only country that the OAS has involvement in as they are the agency that deals with American States […]

    PlusTV

    Murders reported in Hattieville, Belize City
    The small community of Hattieville was rocked by murder over the weekend. The victim has been identified as 23 year old Mark Shepherd and he was shot while socializing at the Green Iguana Lounge with his common law wife. ACP Edward Broaster has the details. ACP Edward Broaster,Officer Commanding ...

    San Benito man murdered while walking home after church
    A man of San Benito Village in the Toledo District was murdered on his way home from church. On Saturday the 18th of June, 36 year old farmer of San Benito Village, Francisco Ack, was walking home from church when he was attacked by two unidentified male persons. On the following day, the 19th of Ju...

    Well Known DJ perishes in road traffic accident
    There was a fatal traffic accident in the north this past weekend near the village of Buena Vista in the Corozal District. Two SUV’s collided and well known DJ, 34 year old Serjio Che Mendez, better known as DJ Che, succumbed to injuries he received during the fatal accident. Some around 9 a.m.,...

    Three new Zika cases confirmed on Caye Caulker
    Three new Zika cases have been confirmed on the island of CAye Caulker. According to a press statement from the Ministry of Health they are investigating and closely monitoring the situation on the island of Caye Caulker. MOH says, “These cases stem from an investigation of fever and rash cases rep...

    Corozal man drowns while fishing in Turneffe Island
    A fisherman of Corozal has drowned as a result of a fishing trip during the heavy rains experienced over the weekend. On Saturday the 18th of June, 29-year-old Eugenio Santos Jr., a fisherman of Corozal was with his father 66-year-old Eugenio Santos Sr, a boat captain of Sarteneja Village, along wi...

    Minor arraigned for Queen Street shooting was steeped in gang life
    A Stann Creek minor, age 15, was charged with attempted murder at Queen Street Police Station. He was alleged to have been brought in to target a well-known gang associate. But indiscriminate gunfire resulted in injuries to 4 persons, including a police officer, and he was unable to get away. A 15 y...

    Orange Walk inmate commits suicide
    An Orange Walk inmate allegedly hung himself after being detained by the police. On Friday the 17th of June at 1:15 a.m., Orange Walk Police reported that earlier that day, a male prisoner, 29-year-old Luis Magana of Trial Farm Village, hung himself in Cell Block number three. Magana’s body wa...

    Corozal experienced flooding over weekend
    Over the weekend due to the heavy rains, parts of the Corozal district received flash flooding. The continuous rains caused significant damages to families in different areas of Corozal. The villages that were mostly affected by the heavy rains were Libertad, San Narciso, San Roman, and Santa Clara,...

    Catholic Church to conduct mass at Belize Guatemala border
    The Catholic Church in Belize held a mass at the borders of Belize and Guatemala over the weekend. The mass was held under the theme “Neighbors seeking the way of peace.” The objective of the mass was for both churches to pray together for a peaceful resolution of the differences betwee...

    Amandala

    Belize and Guatemala to discuss Sarstoon mechanism on Tuesday afternoon
    Belize and Guatemala are scheduled to hold bilateral talks at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday afternoon, according to Lawrence Sylvester, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Belize delegation is being led by Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi’ Elrington. Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado; Belize’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, H.E. Pat Andrews; Belize’s Deputy Chief of Missions at the Belize Embassy in Washington, Ardelle Sabido, as well as Belize Defence Force Commander, Brigadier General David Jones, are part of the delegation, Sylvester said. We asked the CEO, what is the scope of tomorrow’s discussion? He told us that the parties will be discussing bilateral relations, and more specifically advancing the work on trying to get an agreement on the situation at the Sarstoon River.

    Ahmad family raided
    At least 19 members of the prominent Ahmad (Bulwer) family of Hattieville, Belize District, were hauled off by police in a Special Branch operation around dawn this morning. A spokeperson of the Muslim community told Amandala that the family members, including well-known Belize City barber Fareed Ahmad and former prison superintendent, Taheera Ahmad, as well as their elderly parents, were taken from five separate homes this morning to the Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City, where they were held until late this evening and released without any charges. On the other hand, police have kept all the family’s electronic equipment, including their laptops and cellphones, as well as their Islamic books, including the family’s copies of the Koran. Since the phones of the family members were confiscated, other family members who were trying to contact them did not know where they were.

    Murder on Kraal Road
    Another young man has lost his life as a result of the senseless gun violence that is plaguing Belize City. Edison “Southey” Williams, 29, was shot multiple times in the chest and abdomen by a vicious gunman who went into his yard at about 9:00 Friday night. Williams, of a Kraal Road address, was standing alone, leaning on the side of a building at the front of the yard when the unknown gunman came up from through an alley leading from the adjacent street, and appeared at the same side of the house where Williams was standing, and shot him several times. The killer then escaped back through the alley. People who were socializing in front of the house scattered and ran for cover as the gunshots were fired. Williams was then rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by his landlord, who was at home at the time, but at about 5:00 Saturday morning, Williams was declared dead at the hospital while undergoing treatment.

    Editorial: Economics and migration
    Some people have said that politics is “the art of the possible.” Clausewitz opined that war is an extension of politics by other means. Both politics and war are built on the foundation of economics, which has to do with how human beings use the resources in their surroundings to feed, clothe, house, educate, recreate, and protect themselves. The settlement of Belize began as an exercise in predatory economics, which is to say, piracy. The European pirates who took refuge here inside the Barrier Reef later became entrepreneurial. They began to cut down logwood trees (later mahogany) and ship the logs to markets in Great Britain. By the time of mahogany, their market began to include cities in the United States. As we look at the dysfunctional black youth of Belize City today, it is important to remember that their ancestors were brought to these shores as slaves precisely because of their working ability in the forestry and forestry-related industries of the settlement. Our ancestors were brought here in chains by European pirates who were becoming entrepreneurs. Our ancestors built this country.

    From the Publisher
    My family didn’t raise me to think or behave like a slave, but the ultimate reality was that we were all colonial “British subjects” in this territory, and most of us were not white. The fact of being non-white, or to be brutal, black, added a complication to the “subjects” mix, I guess, but I was still a child innocent to sociology and politics, more than sixty years ago, when I had an experience which, in retrospect, may have been a precursor of things to come. I would have been maybe 8 or 9 years old and in Standard II or Standard III at Holy Redeemer Boys School (HRBS) on North Front Street. On beginning school at age 5, I had been a kind of sensation because the HRBS curriculum was very much reading-biased, as opposed to being technical, scientific, or vocational, and letters and reading were where my strengths lay. So they “skipped” me a couple times, early and quickly.

    Letter to the Editor: Why?
    Why did our Prime Minister after reading the letter sent to him by the Leader of the Opposition advising that the PUP intended to use the opportunity to internationalize Guatemala’s arrogation and annexation of the Sarstoon island and river, unexpectedly withdraw his invitation for their representative to attend the OAS meeting in the Dominican Republic, thereby depriving Belize of a timely and significant opportunity to lobby with the heads of state in attendance for support and the condemnation of Guatemala’s annexation of our southern border? Had the aforementioned representative been allowed to attend, might this not have resulted in a demand by those heads of state present, that the relevant OAS resolution passed should include a directive to Guatemala to cease its aggression and immediately withdraw the GAF from our sovereign and internationally acknowledged territory on the Sarstoon River? Why do our leaders appear to be so ostensibly afraid to offend or criticize Guatemala despite its overt belligerence, disparagement, aggression and blatant disrespect for Belize?

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Chief Pharmacist sues former Ministry CEO
    In the first quarter of 2014, then Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, was under sustained fire from the Public Service Union primarily over the appointment of an inexperienced minister’s daughter as the Director of Drug Inspectorate, who along with […]

    Belize, Guatemala in Washington for Sarstoon talks
    Belizean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Wilfred Elrington and his Guatemalan counterpart, Carlos Raúl Morales are in Washington to begin negotiations for a Sarstoon protocol. These are being held at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in the presence of its Secretary General, […]

    Should Labour Department give allegedly fired Facebook poster his job back?
    In the wake of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting nine days ago, many sympathized with the US over the horrific crime, in which one Omar Mateen took 49 lives before being killed by police. However, in some cases, the thoughts of those who felt differently […]

    Labour, unions, business to look at new way of bargaining
    The collective bargaining agreement is the foremost instrument used by labour unions to ensure their members receive maximum benefits from employers. And while some negotiations over CBA’s prove not to be especially stressful, others – like the protracted one between the stevedores and Port of […]

    Constable remanded for firing weapon in restaurant
    Thirty five (35) year old police Constable Urbie Alamilla attached to the Intelligence section of Eastern Division (South) and a former Minister’s driver, has been remanded to prison, having been accused of discharging a firearm in a public place, to wit, Green Jade Restaurant located […]

    Conch season nears closing
    The conch season will close on June 24. The advisory has been issued by the Belize Fisheries Department stating that the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) fishery season closes on that date and reopens on October 1, 2016. All conch should be consumed on or by June 24 by restaurateurs […]

    Blue Creek man drowns on fishing trip
    Punta Gorda police are currently investigating the drowning of 21-year-old Thomas Salam from Blue Creek Village. According to a police report, on June 20 around 2:30 a.m. police received information about a male person who allegedly drowned while on a fishing trip with four other men. Initial […]

    Marijuana plantation destroyed in San Estevan
    Orange Walk police destroyed a marijuana plantation in San Estevan village just about 100 feet away from the primary school in that village. Reports indicate that over 25 plants were uprooted, ranging from 6 inches to a foot in height. No one was in the […]

    Orange Walk woman reported missing
    While Orange Walk police are still searching for the whereabouts of 32-year-old Saul Cooch, Rubicile Castillo from San Jose Nuevo Palmar reported to police that her 33-year-old sister Alma Lily Castillo has gone missing. Castillo reported to police that her sister left her house saying that […]

    Minor detained for 489 grams of cannabis
    Over 400 grams of cannabis was removed from the streets of Belize City. Officers were on their daily patrol when their attention was drawn to a shirtless male person who carried a blue gift bag behaving in a very suspicious manner. When officers approached him, […]

    Police question youth in connection with La Popular robbery
    A 17-year-old boy is being interrogated by Belize City Police for a broad daylight robbery at La Popular Bakery located at the corner of Logwood and Sarstoon Street in the old capital. On Monday, twenty-seven-year-old Adelita Ocompo, a cashier at the bakery reported to police […]

    Blogs

    Celebrating Inspiration and Points for Pineapples
    The “Inspiration Celebration 2016” which took place Saturday night, June 18th and raised a substantial amount of money for First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow’s charity that helps disabled Belizean children receive physical therapy. The first Lady and Prime Minister Dean Barrow were on hand, as were about 300 people in support of the cause. The evening was filled with good company, great food, drinks and dancing with all the proceeds going to the charity. Raffle prizes included a Louis Vuitton bag, Tropic Air tickets to the mainland and Cancun, a stay at Ka’ana Resort, tour gift certificates and a round-trip flight and hotel at Martha’s Vineyard.

    Having a magical moment while doing yoga at the end of a pier
    Happy International Yoga Day. During yoga on this past rainy Sunday morning, under the palapa at Ak ‘Bol, my gaze was drawn to an osprey cruising the shore, then diving into the water for breakfast. I was in downward dog, so the whole scene unfolded with my head upside down. Later, as my head rested on the floor, I looked through the planking with one eye into my own private aquarium. Sargent fish and needle fish were swimming in and out of my view in the crystal clear green water. Honestly, yoga just doesn’t get any better than that.

    Things to do in Belize: Top Attractions & Activities (2016 Guide)
    Belize is frequently called “Mother Nature’s best kept secret”, and for good reason. Being the best-kept secret can make finding out about things to do in Belize a chore. We’ve saved you the hassle of all the research and present you this guide on the best attractions and activities to see and do in Belize. Adventuring Xibalba; The Mayan Underworld (explore Caves), Diving & Snorkeling is one of the top 10 things to do while in Belize Exploring ancient Mayan Ruins can be one of your favorite things to do in Belize! Visit the Belize Zoo, Watersports, Hiking, Camping, Rest and Relaxation.

    THE LOVE THAT ENDURES!!!
    It is human nature to search for happiness! In fact, most people spend their entire lives, searching for the one thing, person, place or situation that makes them most happy. For a lot, this yearning is never quenched. This was NOT the case for two of our guests that recently offered us the honor of hosting them for their 60th wedding anniversary. This was truly an honor. Bob and Patty Steinfeld checked into Grand Caribe Belize on May 28th. Visiting San Pedro Ambergris Caye for the very first time, this vacation was a gift from their lovely daughter Brenda and her husband Mark. Bob and Patti met through a mutual acquaintance when Patty was 18 and Bob was 21. Their first date was a blind date. Patty reminisced on the first time they met. “It was raining the night he came to get me for our date. The poor man got soaking wet as he made his way from the car to my door. It was quite adorable.”

    International Sourcesizz

    Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico after the weekend rain

    Anglers of the Caribbean, Part I: the $75 charter experience
    My wife Anna and I recently enjoyed a weeklong adventure in beautiful Belize. We stayed at an island resort, snorkeled on the world’s second-largest barrier reef, visited ancient Mayan ruins and, in general, had the time of our lives. But this is a fishing column, so I’ll get right to the good stuff. On previous vacations I’ve paid for fishing charters, with varying degrees of success. Anna caught a nice mahi-mahi in Hawaii and we tangled with some feisty sharks off the coast of Mexico. But charters are expensive, and we’ve yet to have one of those “fish of a lifetime” days that would justify the cost. So this time, I decided to go it alone. I bought a telescoping rod and a cheap reel. I didn’t want the saltwater to ruin my nice ones. Local tackle shops don’t exactly have saltwater sections, so buying lures was mostly guesswork. I threw a handful of jigs, spoons, swimbaits and bait hooks into a small tackle box, and I was ready to roll — all at less than 10 percent of the cost of booking a charter. On our first full day in Belize, I set my alarm for 5 a.m. The sun was already up, and the aquamarine Caribbean looked eager to reveal its secrets. I tied on a white, soft plastic squid stuffed with a 3/8-ounce jig head and casted off the pier. One jig. Two jigs. Three jigs. BOOM! A savage hit doubled my rod over. And then it was gone. I reeled in to find my 15-pound line completely sawed through. A barracuda — or something with serious teeth — must have been the culprit. The good news was the squid worked. The bad news? I hadn’t brought any wire leaders.

    Belizean Wins Women in Maritime Logo Competition
    When the Women in Maritime Association for the Caribbean (WiMAC), announced its logo competition last year, Belizean Nicole Allen, a 16-year veteran in the maritime industry, was eager to enter. She wanted to show off her artistic skills and to design a logo that represented the women, who work in the industry. “They wanted a logo that would be reflective of the women in maritime and decided on opening up the competition where everyone across the region could have a say,” the 36-year-old Port of Belize Limited employee told JIS News. “I instantly thought of a design, which would include the words ‘To chart the course for generations of women in maritime’, a design I felt would highlight the importance of women in maritime,” she added. The logo was to represent the women across the industry, at all ages and stages of training or career, in seafaring as well as shore-based professions.

    Videos

  • Belize Ocean Club Resort & Spa, 1.5min.

  • Southern Belize! Nice Diving guys!!, 4min.

  • LA VOZ KARAOKE 2016 - WEEK 10, 124min.

  • June 20 Hurricane Outlook and Discussion, 12min. A look at TS Danielle plus SST anomalies, the MJO and potential for development towards the end of the month. By Mark Sudduth over at HurricaneTrack.com on the current and future state of the Tropics. Video covers the possible development coming out of the Caribbean in about 10 days

  • Chiquibul Jaguars, 1min. Its not every day you see a Jaguar in Chiquibul. But when you do, make sure you take a video of it! Our rangers just came out from the field with this cool lil clip. Want to see these big cats yourself? Then share this post and ask your friends to like the S6 page. Doing this, automatically enters your name for a chance to win a day trip to the Magnificent Chiquibul in Belize where wildlife is still the way it should be... wild!

  • Great Blue Hole - Belize, 1min.

  • Belize Trip 2016, 4min. Belize City, San Pedro & Caye Caulker

  • Belize Movie, 6min.

  • Skydiving into the Blue Hole, Belize, 8.5min.

  • Dolphin Pod Playing in Belize 6-21-2016, 1min.

  • Exploring Pathways to Expand Sustainable Agriculture in Maya Communities of Southern Belize, 70min.

  • Belize Day 4 Dive 3 Tarpon Creek North, Turneffe Atoll, Belize, 5min. Third dive at Turneffe Atoll. Really nice reef.

  • "They Only Take Pictures" Maya Perceptions of Tourism in Southern Belize, 68min.

  • MIDAS RESORT - BELIZE!, 3min. A journey through the jungle resort of Midas Belize, in the town of San Ignacio (Cayo, Belize).

    June 21, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    A romantic getaway at Almond Beach Resort
    After a day full of adventure and exploration in Belize, it’s always delightful to shower and crash into a soft, comfortable bed. With the heat at its peak, cooling air conditioning is a welcome relief, and an array of pillows to snuggle into makes for the best sleep. With all the excitement and activity offered by ViVa Belize, most people would probably just end up flopping face-down on their bed and sleep the night away. Lucky for them, I have had the chance to explore one of their three Hopkins resorts: Almond Beach Resort. I can report back that it is the ideal couple’s getaway. From the dual lounge chairs, lovingly laid out to best take advantage of the serene beach views, to the extra-large beach hammocks to snuggle with your best buddy, a fabulous hot tub and large, swim-up pool – oh yes, this is the romantic nook embedded in between the resorts beachside at Hopkins!

    Enelda Rosado is Caye Caulker’s new Chairperson
    Preliminary results show that Caye Caulker Village has a new Chairperson, and she is Enelda Rosado. Rosado takes over from Wayne Miller after being elected on Sunday June 19th during Village Council Elections. Her slate, “Team Caye Caulker,” took most of the seats in the race to govern the village for the upcoming three years. With this victory, Rosado becomes the second woman to run the village since Ilna Auxillou was elected over 15 years ago. Rosado will head the local government of the island, along with six councillors, once they are sworn in by a Justice of the Peace. The gap between Rosado and her other two opponents (Tracie Young and Ralph Humes) was huge as she topped the polls for chairman by capturing 499 of the 883 votes cast. Rosado had more than over 300 votes over Young, who got 175 votes, while Humes received 148. The six councillors that will form the new local government alongside Chairman Rosado are: Seleny Villanueva (450), Miguel Angel Neal (444), Hans Badillo (370), Elizabeth Usher (342), Myrna Vanina Sosa (335), and Juan Gabriel Cantun (323).

    The People’s Coalition Committee details plan for the island
    Since its creation on May 24, 2016 the San Pedro People’s Coalition Committee (PCC) has been working on project plans to benefit the island. The first is aimed at assisting in the installation of a police booth and the revitalization of the Neighbourhood Watch in Northern Ambergris Caye. The committee, made up of police, citizens and members of the different business sector, have been holding meetings to achieve this first project. At a recent meeting held on Monday, June 13th, members of the committee discussed the need of increasing police presence north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. They also believe they need to encourage residents to join forces and work together with the local coalition. In an attempt to get this done, the PCC will be conducting a public meeting on Tuesday, June 21st at 6PM at the El Pescador Resort. Members of the committee will be introduced at this gathering, followed by a brief presentation regarding current crime statistics by the police. The meeting will then inform attendees of the organization’s projects and how the community can assist. The PCC will also touch on the possibility of alleviating/avoiding potential incidents on the northern side of the island.

    Ambergris Today

    Three Cases of Zika Confirmed in Caye Caulker
    The Belize Ministry of Health is investigating and closely monitoring a situation on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize District where three additional Zika cases have been confirmed. These cases stem from an investigation of fever and rash cases reported earlier in June. “While we continue to aggressively scale up efforts to reduce the mosquito population in the area along with local authorities, we once again ask for cooperation from the community to assist the Ministry and our local partners to clean up areas that may be breeding sites for the mosquitoes. This effort will continue especially with the onset in the increase of rains,” stated the press release from the Ministry of Health. “We continue to engage with the local authorities in Caye Caulker along with the investigative team from the Central Region offices in Belize City. Samples will now only be sent for reporting purposes as we have now confirmed the presence of the Zika virus in Belize.

    San Pedro Town Boasts New Flag and Coat of Arms
    As part of the upcoming celebrations for Dia de San Pedro (St. Peter’s Day), patron Saint of the town, the San Pedro House of Culture presented San Pedro Mayor, Daniel Guerrero and Area Representative, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. with the new flag and emblem that will be used during the Dia de San Pedro Festivities. The flag, which will now be the official flag of San Pedro Town, was endorsed by both the Mayor and Area Representative at the presentation held on Thursday, June 16, 2016, at the Town Hall. Did de San Pedro is celebrated on June 29 with a schedule of activities that take place leading up to it. The flag of San Pedro includes symbols which represent important aspects of its heritage. The Coat of Arms embodies the symbols of St. Peter, the patron saint of San Pedro from whom the town was named after. St. Peter is the patron saint of fishermen, net makers and ship builders.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Caye Caulker Back to School Supplies Drive
    Good morning Everyone this is a project That I've been working on and If there is anyway you can or are willing to help please let me know. I would also love to assist teachers with Supplies as well for their classrooms. New and used uniforms accepted too...

    Transforming Talent Turnover into Revenue Rentntion
    Jun 20 - Excellent Training opportunity for Management and Business Owners!! Facilitated by: Mr. Frank J. Comito, CEO of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) VENUE: Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza -Toucan Hall on Thursday June 30, 2016 from 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM- Cost: BHA Members: $75.00 Cost NON- Member: $100.00 ( lunch included) To register call 223-0669 or email bha@btl.net

    2015 field report of the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project
    Curious to know about archaeological research in the Stann Creek District? The 2015 field report of the Stann Creek Regional Archaeology Project is now out. Stop by our offices to read up on it!

    Yvon Noralez winw an Adobe Creativity Scholarship
    Yvon Noralez (Ocean Academy graduate 2013) was one of 25 students from 13 countries to win an Adobe Creativity Scholarship administered by the Institute of International Education. He has now completed his first year in Graphic Design at St. John's Junior College and we are so excited to learn that his full scholarship has been renewed for another year! The Creativity Scholarship program provides financial support to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, a strong creative portfolio and commitment to pursuing a career in a creative field. Yvon is interested in developing his talents in photography. This photo of Yvon's 2013 high-school graduation may seem dated now, but his Ocean Academy teachers continue to be so proud of his creative efforts and success, and we can't wait to see what comes next.

    Ministry of Health Continues to Caution Public as new Zika Cases Emerge
    The Ministry of Health is investigating and closely monitoring a situation on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize District where three additional Zika cases have been confirmed. These cases stem from an investigation of fever and rash cases reported earlier in June. While we continue to aggressively scale up efforts to reduce the mosquito population in the area along with local authorities, we once again ask for cooperation from the community to assist the Ministry and our local partners to clean up areas that may be breeding sites for the mosquitoes. This effort will continue especially with the onset in the increase of rains. We continue to engage with the local authorities in Caye Caulker along with the investigative team from the Central Region offices in Belize City. Samples will now only be sent for reporting purposes as we have now confirmed the presence of the Zika virus in Belize.

    Presentation of Credentials to the Governor General of Belize
    Three ambassadors presented their credentials to the Acting Governor General of Belize H.E. Carlos Perdomo today, June 20, 2016 at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The credentials of H.E. Mohammad Ziauddin, Ambassador of Bangladesh; H.E. Evagoras Vryonides, Ambassador of Cyprus; and H.E. Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Joseph Smith, Ambassador of Ghana; were graciously received and welcomed by H.E. Carlos Perdomo. The ambassadors expressed their pleasure in being in Belize and extended warm greetings to Belize from their respective governments. Each ambassador conveyed their country’s intention to continue to develop their relations with Belize.

    Congratulations to our Std VI students. Wishing you all the best!
    St.Francis Xavier Primary School, Corozal Town

    Ancient World Week at the Corozal House of Culture
    Mark the dates!! Ancient World Week at the Corozal House of Culture. We are kindly inviting our community to learn more about archaeology with a focus on northern Belize.

    PACT on its 20th Anniversary
    FCD salutes PACT on its 20th Anniversary which was celebrated today. We are grateful for all the financial and technical support given by PACT to FCD since 2005!!

    Belize Bird Rescue children's book available
    The day has finally arrived! Our children's book is available for purchase. What better way to support Belize Bird Rescue than by buying this beautifully illustrated story of two wild red lored babies and their encounter with poachers. Thanks to the incredible talent and generosity of illustrator Karin Harvey, ALL profits will go to help rescue and rehabilitate the birds of Belize Bird Rescue. Order your copy today!

    Vertical axis wind turbine at Glover's Reef
    A new 1000 watt vertical axis wind turbine was installed by Prosolar Engineering at the Glover's Reef Research Station on the 8th of June 2016 replacing the 500 watt turbine that was destroyed in a freak weather event. The new vertical axis design allows it to generate power with minimal wind speeds and will also reduce the incidences of bird collisions. The main purpose of the turbine is to provide a continuous trickle charge to batteries at night that are mainly charged by a existing solar panel array.

    Channel 7

    Belize In Washington DC To Talk Sarstoon Protocol
    Tonight Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, Brigadier General David Jones and Ambassador Alexis Rosado are on their way to Washington DC for high level meetings tomorrow. They will meet with Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales, Guatemala's Commander of the Armed Forces, General Perez and Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize, Manuel Roland Barillas. The meeting will be held tomorrow afternoon at the OAS Main building in downtown Washington DC. The diplomats and senior military officers will discuss the Sarstoon mechanism - a plan to make certain that Belizean military and civilians enjoy full access to the north side of the Sarstoon without hindrance from the Guatemalan army.

    "Southie" Murdered At his Home on Kraal Road
    For the past 2 newscasts, we've been reporting on the violent crimes in the Eastern Division. First there was the broad daylight murder of a man as he was attending a funeral, and then there was the daring execution attempt of a known gang figure. That one was staged in front of the country's biggest police station, and it ended with a police officer down after he engaged the shooter in a gunfight. Well, over the weekend, there were 2 more murders in the Eastern division, one in Belize City, and another in Hattieville. We start first with the murder of Edison Williams, which happened right on his neighborhood of Kraal Road on Friday night. Although a known gang area, Kraal Road had been dormant for a while. So just what led to this latest homicide? Our news team went out this morning looking for answers and Emanuel Pech has that story: 33 year old Edison Williams, was gunned down sometime between 7 and 8 on Friday night as he was socializing inside his own yard on Kraal Road. He was sitting in this corner when the gunman road up to him from this alley and let loose a barrage of bullets in his direction.

    "Shovel" Killed While Out Socializing With Pregnant GF
    And less than 30 hours later, another man was murdered in front of a Hattieville club on Saturday night. Around 11:55, 23 year old Mark Shepherd better known as "Shovel" was out with his girlfriend at the Green Iguana Lounge when 2 men approached them in the yard. That's when one of the men pulled out a gun and shot Shepherd in the back. Shepherd's killing has shocked his family and the Hattieville community because they say he was loved by everyone and that he stayed out of trouble. But now, after his execution, all that is being questioned. Our news team traveled to Hattieville to find out more. Courtney Weatherburne reporting: This is how everyone will remember Mark Shepherd - with his smile and joyous spirit. Marie Shepherd, Grandmother: "Everyone knows Marky, he's a friendly person. He tells jokes and dances, that's why I'm going to miss him because he's the joker in the family and also with friends. As far as we know, he has no enemies."

    Murder in San Benito Poite
    There was a third murder this weekend. This one was far from the crime centers of of the Belize District, it happened in remote San Benito Poite Village, in the Toledo District. The body of 36 year-old villager Francisco Ack, was found at around 11 p.m. on Saturday night near the school. Police saw multiple chop wounds to the head, neck, back, and right elbow. Their investigation has revealed so far that at around 9:30 p.m., he was going home from church when he was attacked by 2 unknown men who inflicted the fatal chop wounds. His body was found an hour and a half later.

    15 Year-old Remanded For Police Shooting; Cops Tried To Help Him
    Police Corporal Alrick Arnold continues to recover at the KHMH from the gunshot injuries he suffered on last Friday. He was injured in the line of duty after he got into a gunfight with a 15 year-old shooter who was trying to kill a known gang figure right in front of the Queen Street Police Station. Family members tell us that reports from the hospital are that he was up on his feet today and is able to walk around, signs that the immediate danger of his injuries has passed. The 15 year-old gunman is now at the Belize Central Prison, and the 3 other civilians who were injured in the shoot-out are also recovering. Investigators, we understand, are working to build an airtight case against him for the very brazen attack he tried to carry out. His target, as we've reported, was George Street's Brandon "BT" Tillett, who was signing in at the Queen Street Station as he is required to do every Friday, as a part of his conditions for bail.

    Zika Cases Found On Caye Caulker
    There are 3 more confirmed cases of Zika in Belize, but this time on Caye Caulker. The infected persons had gone to the hospital with fever and rash earlier this month and they tested positive for Zika. In a health release sent out today it states that the Ministry is working along with the Caye Caulker authorities to monitor these cases. It continues by saying " while we aggressively scale up efforts to reduce the mosquito population in the area along with local authorities , we once again ask for cooperation from the community to assist in keeping their areas clean ." It ends by saying that the main focus is reducing mosquito breeding sites and protecting pregnant women and women who are planning to get pregnant.

    DC Urbie Fired Gun Again?
    Remember Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla? He's the police officer who fired 3 shots in the air in Ladyville on Friday, June 10th. He was hanging out and drinking with some friends on Perez Road when he pulled out his gun and shot in the air. He told us he did it to defend his cousin. A video that was taken after the incident shows an apparently inebriated Alamilla slumped on the street beside a car. Now as we told you, Alamilla was not criminally charged because police determined that he did not point the gun at anyone so no one's life was in danger. But while Alamilla got off with just disciplinary action in that case, he won't be escaping charges for another Saturday night shootout. Yes, that's right! Alamilla fired his gun in public AGAIN! But this time it was inside a crowded restaurant where a woman was injured. Today police told us more about what happened in the Green Jade restaurant and what is being done to address Alamilla's lawless behavior:

    DJ Che Killed In RTA In The North
    34 year-old Disc Jockey Sergio Che Mendez, better known as DJ Che, died in a traffic accident yesterday in Buena Vista Village. Some time just before 9 a.m., his wife, Samantha Cordova-Mendez was driving a white Geo Prism car. He was in the front passenger seat, and also with the couple was 44 year-old Myrna Trejo, and 56 year-old Marina Cordova. They were all heading toward Corozal, and when they arrived near a curve in Buena Vista Village, they slammed head-on into a 2005 gold Nissan X-Trail SUV, which was being driven at the time by twenty one year old Gilberto Sosa. Sosa was accompanied by twenty three year old Rafael Urioste. Everyone in the two vehicles suffered varying degrees of injuries, but Sergio Mendez was the most seriously hurt in the accident. He died as a result, and apart from his immediate family, his sudden absence is affecting his fellow Belizean DJ. Today, they finished up mural in his honor at the Phillip Alvarez Park, which is located in the Union Town area. Our colleagues from CTV3 News caught up with these friends, and Jesse Cal explained why they were moved to do this:

    Sarteneja Fisherman Drowns Near Turneffe
    A 66 year old man drowned this weekend on a Turneffe Island fishing trip. On Saturday morning, Sarteneja resident Eugenio Santos Sr. was with his son and 5 other fishermen on their sailboat. Later on in the day, He went out with 2 of the fishermen on separate canoes to go further out to fish. About an hour later, there was a heavy downpour and Santos Jr. and the other fishermen on the sailboat could not get to his father in time. After the rain stopped, the crew went looking for Santos Sr. and that is when they found him floating in the water near his canoe with a rope wrapped around his foot. The deluge caused the canoe to capsize, hurling Santos Sr. in the water.

    The New Role Of PACT
    The financial burden of organizations who co-manage natural protected areas is mostly so hefty that they often fall short of their their financing targets even to meet operational costs. Take FCD for example. They manage the Chiquibul Rain Forest but because it is not so much of a tourist attraction, they are often faced with difficulties in meeting their operational costs. The Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT, serves as a funding agency for these co-managing organizations. Each year, for the past 20 years, PACT has been disbursing monies to NGO's on a proposal basis- but even that is not enough. So with the financial crisis very real PACT is changing the way it does business, from being an organization that only provides grants to one that investments in the environment. They held a press conference today at the Radisson Hotel, where they spoke about the way forward it relates to these fundamental changes of PACTS operational responsibilities.

    PACT POLICY RIFT?
    So while the PACT is moving forward, the reality is that when the Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives last year it was met with opened hostility. Especially on the part of NGO's who claimed they were being left out of the conversation. So did PACT manage to get all those differences settled before coming today to present its plan for the future? Dr. Collin Young the CEO in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology who also sits on the PACT board as the chairman spoke to us about these rifts among stakeholders. Dr. Collin Young, Chairman - PACT: "Of course, unfortunately there was quite a bit of unease or in some cases perhaps dissatisfaction depending on which group of stakeholders you were with the PACT amendment bill. However, it is now the law and while everyone could probably if they had the power to tweak certain parts of it, the board and the government believes that it is a piece of legislation that can actually achieve the goals of the protective areas system which is to protect them in perpetuity for the benefit of all Belizeans."

    US Vessel Is Off The Reef
    And keeping it on the environment, On Last week Thursday, we told you about the 40 foot US vessel which ran aground on the reef just east of San Pedro town. It happened on Wednesday night at around 7 o'clock, when the vessel, Connie Sue, started having engine problems. Her captain, 66 year-old Roger Day, who was heading to the United States from Guatemala, immediately radioed in for help, and he was rescued by the employees of Amigos del Mar. But, the damage was done to the reef which was raked by the ship. The Authorities have since taken it off the reef, and the captain, Roger Day has been taken before the court for the incident. We understand that a preliminary damage assessment has been done, and it has been submitted to the court as well.

    FCD Welcomes More GAF Presence Near Chiquibul
    Belize and Guatemala are preparing for the diplomatic talks to continue his time in Washington, but the reality on the ground remains the rather unchanged. And that is that Guatemalan encroachers continue to rape the natural resources of the Chiquibul for Forest and other reserves along the border between our two countries. We all heard the news shortly after the fatal shooting in the Chiquibul in April that Guatemala was moving troops to the border. That's what the Guatemalan President announced, and it caused Belizeans to become very concerned about the military build up on the border. So how was the Friends for Conservation handling that episode when it was first announcement was made? Well surprisingly, according to Rafael Manzanero, the amassing of troops at the border might be very well what they need at the Chiquibul border. Here is his rationale. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD: "When the notice came about that there would have been a pronounced effort of the GAF to be along that area, for us on one hand, it could have been seen as good news, because what we need the southern Peten area is a program of governance. Communities have been able to do whatsoever they want, because there is not really any rule of law in those communities in southern Peten.

    Council Of Churches Holds Cross Border Mass
    After weeks of planning, the Belize Council of Churches held their cross border Eucharist at the Benque Border. It happened this Saturday, and all accounts we've received say that it was well-attended, and well received by the Belizean and Guatemalan Catholics who took the time out to attend. As viewers are aware, The Belize Council of Churches has come out in support of going to the ICJ, and this religious mass was an attempt to bring catholics from both Belize and Guatemala together to form relationships.

    The DJ Summer Camp Is Back
    The department of youth services is launching their annual summer camp program as an intervention mechanism to give youths something to do for the summer. There is a lot of things that are happening at the Department this school break but the hottest thing on the list is the DJ summer camp program. We spoke to Shawn Saldano today who told us more about the event. The DJ summer camp program runs from July 18th to August 12th and will all be done at the Department of Youth Services music studio. Registration is free.

    Channel 5

    Mark Shepherd Murdered in Front of Pregnant Wife
    It is almost six months into the year, and the murder count continues to grow. The Belize District continues to be plagued by the most violent crimes. This past weekend, [...]

    Belize City Man Gunned Down on Kraal Road
    But prior to the Hattieville murder, the life of Edison Williams was cut short in Belize City for motives unknown. On Friday night, the thirty-three-year old resident of Kraal Road [...]

    Toledo Man Chopped to Death
    There was a third murder over the weekend – this one in the remotest area of the Toledo District, in San Benito Poite. Sometime Saturday night Francisco Ack, a resident [...]

    Minor Committed Brazen Queen Street Shooting
    Late this evening, a fifteen-year old minor was arraigned in court for Friday’s Queen Street shooting involving a police officer and three other persons.  The minor is facing a slew [...]

    Cop Charged for Shooting Incident
    A police officer attached to the eastern division south tonight remains in custody after he discharged a firearm in a restaurant, wounding a patron at a Ladyville restaurant. According to [...]

    Second Gun and Alcohol Related Incident Involving Same Cop
    Now, this is the second shooting incident involving the same police officer. One week prior to Saturday’s shooting; the officer was detained by police following reports that he discharged his [...]

    3 More Case of Zika Confirmed
    There are three new cases of Zika in Belize, bringing the total so far to five. The news came via Ministry of Health press release this evening confirming the presence [...]

    Katy Sealy Shines in Central American Championships
    The Heptathlon is possibly one of track and field’s most gruelling events, testing both endurance and skill.  Most athletes are hesitant to compete in more than two or three events [...]

    COLA Blasts G.O.B. for Fiscal Irresponsibility
    The IMF Report has been out over a month, but government has yet to respond to what seem to be areas of real economic concern. G.O.B. may not have provided [...]

    Brackett Claims Nationalizations Resulted in Crippling Public Debt
    Brackett says that from their study of the report and other financial indicators, it is clear that the nationalization of B.T.L., particularly, did not have the desired effect. He claims [...]

    Blue Creek Man Drowns While Fishing
    One year ago, ten year old Jason Pau died near the river in Blue Creek, Toledo. He was part of a group touring a cave system when he disappeared. His [...]

    Popular DJ Dies in RTA
    Up north, in the village of Buena Vista, Disc jockey Sergio Mendez, who is widely known as DJ Che, was killed in a traffic fatality on Sunday. Mendez was travelling [...]

    PACT Hosts Stakeholders Forum
    Today, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT, hosted a forum intended as an engagement with PACT’s stakeholders to inform them of the organization’s plan of operations for the year ahead. [...]

    $1.2M to Be Disbursed in Grants
    The forum will also provide stakeholders with valuable information on the categories which will be considered for the always coveted PACT grants. Each year the organization provides grant funding to [...]

    New Revenue Sought for Protected Areas Management
    The third area being funded is anything related to protected areas management, including assistance to co-managers to meet the requirements of their co-management agreement and protected areas management plan. So [...]

    Red Cross Hosts Regional Exchange Meeting
    For the next four days, the Belize Red Cross Society will be hosting the sixth annual Regional Exchange Meeting at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. It is an opportunity [...]

    Red Cross Belize Executive Director Speaks About RITA Strategies
    The RITA Program is being funded through the American Red Cross for the last four years in the Caribbean. The Belize Red Cross, in its program, has been working with [...]

    Sports: Basketball and Football Matches over the Weekend
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   1st Division football returned to the MCC Grounds yesterday where Ladyville Jaguars jumps out against Eiley FC under the [...]

    CTV3

    Sarteneja Fisherman Drowns Near Turneffe Atoll
    Tonight a family from the Village of Sarteneja in the Corozal District is preparing to lay their loved one to rest after he drowned while fishing for lobster on the Turneffe atoll area. Reports are that on Saturday June 18th, between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m,, 29 year old Eugenio Santos Jr., his father, 66 year old Eugenio Santos Sr., and five other fishermen were all fishing inside a sailing boat near the Turneffe Island when his father decided to leave along with two other fishermen in separate canoes, leaving behind Eugenio Santos Jr. and two other fishermen inside the sailing boat. According to Santos Jr., about an hour later a hard rain came down making it impossible for him to take the sail boat to meet his father and the two other fishermen.

    COLA Blames GOB For Economic Woes
    Weeks ago the International Monetary Fund, IMF, issued its Article Four Consultation Report. In that report they speak of a decelerating economy in Belize amid increasing external vulnerabilities which could result in more taxes and retrenchment. The release of this brazen IMF report raised concern for Belizeans and today Citizens Organized for Liberty thru action COLA, issued a release placing the blame on GOB for the dire economic conditions that is being faced by our country at this time. According to their release, COLA attributes the IMF report which speaks of an imminent crisis and a widening of the fiscal deficit based on settlement of a loan to BTL, an increase in the wage bill and a ‘large overrun’ in capital expenditure as well as rising public debt, to the irresponsible spending, arbitrary and arrogant nationalizations and very suspect decisions at the very highest level of political office.

    Leader Of The Opposition Weighs In On Economic Crisis
    As mentioned, its Article Four Consultation Report on Belize’s economy some weeks ago, the IMF suggest that in the face of an economic crisis Belize should implement fewer GST exemptions on basic foodstuffs, cutbacks in the public service, and increasing the eligible age for government pension. During Friday’s interview with the media, PUP Leader, Hon. John Briceno weighed in on the matter attributing our economic crisis to be the result of the UDP's excessive and unsustainable borrowing and spending and called the suggestions made recently by the IMF as “strong medicine” for a weakened economy: Honorable John Briceno – Party Leader People’s United Party" “The issue of the economy, we know that we are going into a deep recession, we know that businesses are in the worst state ever whilst the banks are flushed with cash, we know that businesses has been slowing down where all of our major industries from sugar, bananas, shrimps and citrus all are under severe pressure so people are not having enough jobs, ..."

    Are Guatemalans Planning To Visiting The Sarstoon?
    Are Guatemalans planning a trip to the Sarstoon Island? That is the burning question tonight as indications tonight are that a group of Guatemalan residents are scheduling an excursion to the Sarstoon Island and river. The announcement was made on Facebook under the page “Belice es Nuestro” which posted on June 16th a notice inviting Guatemalans to join in their first mission to the Sarstoon to place a Guatemalan flag on the island. According to the post, individuals who are planning the trip are calling for donors to support the cause, and in a subsequent post, it stated that they were still awaiting calls from the over one hundred people who proclaimed interest in going on the expedition when the first announcement was made. Those asking for more details are told to call or inbox. According to the first post, the date and departure time for the trip is set but has not been announced.

    Oppositon Leader Speaks On third Round Of Village Council Elections
    As mentioned the third round of Village council elections took place this weekend with the PUP only winning two village. During his press conference with the media on Friday, Opposition Leader Honorable John Briceño commented on the ongoing elections considering that the UDP is dominating the results so far. Briceño said that while they are not surrendering to the United Democratic Party, he has seen great improvement in his party and expects the party to be ready for the next general elections. Honorable John Briceno – Party Leader People’s United Party" “I don’t have that number because a lot of this is in flux and sometimes on a Sunday people would appear and get nominated what we’ve have said is that at least that is my position that it is unfortunate that village councils have been political they should have never been political but it is what it is....”

    Three Ambassadors Present Credentials In Belmopan
    Today three Ambassadors presented their credentials to the acting Governor General of Belize His Excellency Carlos Perdomo at the Belize House in Belmopan. His Excellency Mohammad Ziauddin, Ambassador of Bangladesh, His Excellency Evagoras Vryonides, Ambassador of Cyprus and His Excellency Lieutenant General Joseph Smith, Ambassador of Ghana, all expressed their pleasure of being a representative of their country to Belize. Each ambassador conveyed to the Governor General their country’s plan is to develop and maintain strong relationships between their country and Belize while the Governor General warmly welcomed them to Belize.

    Music Industry Mourns The Death Of Popular DJ
    Tonight the music industry is mourning the death of a well-known DJ from Orange Walk Town who lost his life in a tragic accident yesterday morning on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Sometime around 8:45 a.m. yesterday thirty one year old Samantha Cordova Mendez was driving a white 1995 Geo Prism in the company of her husband thirty four year old Sergio Mendez, Belizean DJ and AC technician, forty four year old Myrna Trejo and fifty six year old Marina Cordova. The group was traveling towards the Corozal District when upon nearing a curve in the village of Buena Vista, a 2005 gold Nissan X-Trail SUV travelling in the opposite direction and driven at the time by twenty one year old Gilberto Sosa, Belizean laborer of Clarke Street Orange Walk Town collided head on into Cordova’s vehicle.

    Fellow DJs Honor A Fallen Brother
    Just a couple of hours after the news broke about the fatal traffic accident which claimed the life of Sergio Mendez better known as DJ Che, DJs from the Orange Walk community assembled at the Phillip Alvarez Park in the Union Town area with the objective of painting a mural in order to pay tribute to their fallen collogue. Today when we visited the area, we caught up with a few of Mendez’s close personal friends who told us about the initiative. Lucio Alcoser Jr: “The idea was from a K-Fed that he came up with and doing a mural for DJ-Che and then he contacted me and as well Elvis the artist and I as well spoke to the other DJ’s and we thought that the best place to do this mural would be the Phillip Alvarez Park which is the closest where DJ-Che grew up his neighborhood and as well close to his family, his mom and his dad’s house so we thought out of respect that we should do it here at the Phillip Alvarez Park so then we contacted the Mayor.”

    Heavy Rains Caused Flooding Up North Of The Country
    The incessant heavy rains over the past weekend in caused families in the Corozal District to move out of their homes and move in with relatives. According to District Coordinator for NEMO, Corozal Willard Levy, the heavy rains caused flooding in the Villages of Libertad, Progresso, Santa Clara and Louisville. Libertad, Santa Clara and Louisville were the most affected. Willard Levy District Coordinator for Corozal NEMO: “We had extensive flooding, the reports that I got was from Libertad, Progresso, Santa Clara, Louisville and San Narciso, and those were the only villages that I got reports from. Mostly affected was Libertad, Santa Clara and Louisville, we had the shelters prepared to house them but they did not go to the shelters they preferred going to relatives and friends, the relief and supplies committee had made an assessment of damages and that is what we did during Saturday and Sunday and together with that we gave out some food supplies and cleaning supplies, we are supposed to be giving out some mattresses to some areas that were really wet and damaged and we are doing that but we are waiting for the rains to pass a little because we can’t be giving out mattresses during the rain.”

    LOVE FM

    Kraal Road Heats Up Leaving Edison Williams Dead
    The murder count increased by three over the course of his past weekend. Friday night saw the murder of 22-year-old, Edison Williams on the south side of Belize City. Williams was reportedly socializing in an alley off Kraal Road when he was approached by his killer. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams who commands the […]

    Shepherd Shot at as He Lit Cigarette at Night Club
    A night of socializing turned deadly when gun men executed twenty three year old Mark Shepherd of Hattieville Village. On Saturday night, Shepherd and his girlfriend visited the night club Iguana Lounge. Less than two hours later, Shepard was in a nearby drain fighting for his life. Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster of Rural […]

    Murder in a Rather Peaceful Village Shakes Residents
    The third murder was reported in the Toledo District as we hear from correspondent Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG “The murder has stirred concerns in Pointe village which is known as a rather peaceful community. Officer in Command of the Toledo Police Formation, assistant Superintendent Clement Cacho spoke to Love News about the murder.” CLEMENT CACHO […]

    Teen Who Fired Shots at Precinct Three, Injuring Four, Has History with Police
    Residents of Belize City, particularly in the south side, have become accustomed to hearing of shooting incidents and murders in the various hotspots. But on Friday, June 17, the entire city was taken aback at the new level that a 15-year-old had taken gun violence as he brazenly pulled out his weapon and fired multiple […]

    COLA and the PUP Express Grave Concern Over Belize’s Economy
    The Coalition organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued a press release this morning on the topic of Belize’s economy and the recent report from the International Monetary Fund. The organization has registered serious concerns at Belize’s economy based on not only the findings of the IMF but also from confirmations they have reportedly gotten […]

    Popular DJ Dies in Road Traffic Incident
    A popular deejay is dead and several others injured following a traffic incident over the weekend. The collision between two vehicles occurred just after nine o’clock on Sunday morning near a dangerous curve in Buena Vista Village, Corozal District. Assistant Superintendent of Police, Peter Serrano of the Corozal Police Station spoke to Love News on […]

    Catholics on a Mission at the Western Border with Guatemala
    This past Saturday, Catholic Missions from Belize and Guatemala held a unity and peace mass at the Western border. Representing the Catholic Mission in Belize was Bishop Christopher Glancy and representing the Guatemalan Mission was Bishop Rodolfo Valenzuela. Love News spoke with both bishops. Bishop Glancy said the church can help resolve the conflict in […]

    New Ambassadors Present Credentials to Acting Governor General
    Three ambassadors today presented their credentials to the acting governor General, His Excellency Carlos Perdomo. His Excellency Mohammad Ziauddin, Ambassador of Bangladesh; His Excellency Evagoras Vryonides, Ambassador of Cyprus; and His Excellency Retired Lieutenant Joseph Smith, Ambassador of Ghana expressed their pleasure in being in Belize and extended warm greetings from their respective governments. They […]

    Intervention Follows Friday’s Shooting and Murder
    Following Friday’s two murders, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams conducted meetings and interventions as part of the preventative measures. Williams explained how that intervention went over the weekend. CHESTER WILLIAMS “We did have an intervention myself, Ms. Finnegan and Nuri Muhammad sat in two intervention groups and the objective there was to be able […]

    Chester Appreciates Criticisms But Welcomes Solutions and Ideas
    As ACP Williams and Dianne Finnegan continue their interventions and various initiatives with the objective of fighting crime, they have come under heavy criticism on social media with some commenting that Williams may be doing these programs for the accolades and attention and that their behaviour toward the persons receiving the intervention may be untoward. […]

    PlusTV

    PUP withdraws from Washington talks on Sarstoon
    Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party John Briceno today said that the country has made no progress in the international front in stopping Guatemala from advancing its territorial claim.The PUP is also irked that their political rivals appear to have frozen them out of the Guatemala process...

    COLA seeks clarity from GOB over ICJ
    Accusing the Government of Belize of pushing “an ICJ agenda” at such events as the 46th OAS General Assembly through the draft resolution of support, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) wants to know whether the groundwork has been laid for the needed referenda to secure a trip to t...

    Taxis collide near Northern border; one person injured
    There was an accident near the northern border late Thursday night. According to reports, two passenger taxi vans collided near the Las Vegas Casino, on a curve on the Phillip Goldson Highway.At around 8:30 p.m., 49 year old Belizean taxi driver of San Joaquin Village Delmiro Correa and his wife Mar...

    RonleePetillo and 23 year old Matthew Smith walked free of murder of Miguel Angel Rivera
    Late this evening, the murder trial of RonleePetillo and Matthew Smith, 23, charged with the murder of fruit vendor, Miguel Angel Rivera which occurred on March 11, 2011 at the Michael Finnegan Market concluded in an acquittal before Justice Adolph Lucas in the Supreme Court. The trial came to a en...

    BDF volunteer soldier arrested on drug charge
    A BDF Volunteer soldier of Esperanza has been arrested on drug charges. On the morning of Thursday June 16, 2016, San Ignacio Police executed a search warrant at the residence of 31 year old Anthony Goff in Esperanza Village which led to the discovery of a school bag with cannabis. GOFF and he was p...

    Top performers honored at 2016 PSE awards
    Their hard work is done, and now it is time for some celebration. Belize’s brightest students got their due at the annual national award ceremony for the 2016 Primary School Examination (PSE), held in Belize City at the Ramada Princess Hotel. Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Culture, ...

    Shoot Out In Front of Queen Street Precinct
    A gunman, believed to be 15 years old, opened fire this morning in front of the Queen Street Police Station. Sometime around 8 0’clock this morning, as Belize City residents were moving about to head to work, shots were fired and when the bullets stopped reigning, four persons were injured. One of t...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    National track team grabs medals in El Salvador
    The 17th Central American Seniors Championship in Athletics was hosted in San Salvador, El Salvador over the weekend at the Jorge “Magico” Gonzalez Stadium. Belize’s 30-member delegation captured 12 medals – six gold, four silver and two bronze. They also set six records at the […]

    New Zika cases on Caye Caulker
    The Ministry of Health says it is investigating and closely monitoring three confirmed cases of Zika on Caye Caulker, based on an investigation of fever and rash cases reported earlier in June. This brings to five the number of confirmed cases of Zika in Belize […]

    Stann Creek minor, 15, charged with attempted murder at Queen Street Police Station
    He was alleged to have been brought in to target a well-known gang associate. But indiscriminate gunfire resulted in injuries to 4 persons, including a police officer, and he was unable to get away. A 15 year old minor from Silk Grass, Stann Creek […]

    Family of Cleon Marage seeks funds for bone marrow transplant
    12-year-old Cleon Marage Jr of Belize City has spent the last few years battling acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer in which there is a rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow. These end up interfering with the production of normal […]

    PACT speaks about funding priorities for conservation
    In the 20 years since its founding, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) has assisted local conservation organizations with millions of dollars in funding for grant projects to sustain the development of the more than 20 protected areas on land and sea countrywide. Today, it […]

    Three ambassadors present credentials to Acting Governor General
    Acting Governor General of Belize, H.E. Carlos Perdomo today received the credentials of three ambassadors at the Belize House in Belmopan. H.E. Mohammad Ziauddin, Ambassador of Bangladesh; H.E. Evagoras Vryonides, Ambassador of Cyprus; and H.E. Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Joseph Smith, Ambassador of Ghana were […]

    Orange Walk family seeking missing relative
    The Cardenaz family and the Orange Walk police are requesting the assistance of the general public in locating 32-year-old Saul Cooch from Macal River Street in Orange Walk Town. On Friday June 16, Alicia Cardenaz, 31, reported to police that her common-law-husband left their residence […]

    Man hangs himself while detained in OW
    Orange Walk Police are currently investigating the details surrounding the suicide of a male prisoner while in custody. Twenty-nine year old Luis Magaña was detained after his wife had made a report against him on Thursday, June 16. Magaña was later detained and placed in […]

    Hattieville police investigate murder
    Hattieville police are currently investigating the brutal murder of 23-year-old Mark Shepard of that village. Initial investigations have revealed that on Saturday around 11:55 p.m. Shepard was inside the yard at Iguana Lounge along with his common-law-wife when two men entered the yard. One of them open fired in […]

    Fisherman drowns during storm
    Tonight there are more questions than answers for a family in Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District. Eugenio Santos Jr., 29, reported to police that on Saturday June 18, sometime around 9:00 a.m. he was along with his father, 66-year-old Eugenio Santos Sr., a boat captain […]

    Stable conditions predicted
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is calling for a drier and more stable air mass which has moved over the area. The 24 hour forecast is for sunny skies with cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight. Showers or thunderstorms will be isolated, except […]

    Head on collision claims life of popular Orange Walk DJ
    A head on collision on the Philip Goldson Highway claimed the life of 34-year-old Sergio Mendez, better known as DJ Che, from Orange Walk and left several others injured on Sunday morning. So far police investigations have revealed that 31-year-old Samantha Cordova was driving a white Geo […]

    Blogs

    Can’t Blame Belize for It’s Obsession with Spiny Lobster
    “Wondering if there was anyone in Ambergris Caye who did not have lobster for dinner tonight?” commented Ambergris Caye resident Karen Brodie on her Facebook profile page on the evening that lobster season opened in Belize, Wednesday, June 14, 2016. I guess it was the question on everybody’s mind as they enjoyed a succulent, sweet and meaty lobster dinner that day. Guess what!? I have not had lobster yet….but, I know I will get my HUGE fix during the big San Pedro Lobster Fest Block Party this coming weekend. Once again I have the arduous task of being a judge at the Lobster Cooking competition; poor me! That is when I know I will get stuffed with lobster to my heart’s (and belly’s) content. Just a few days into the lobster season, island residents are boasting pictures of their first catch of the season and the amazing lobster dishes they have cooked up. The best pictures come from the restaurants that are enticing customers to dine out for lobster. YUM!

    THE CARIBBEAN’S BUSINESS LEADERS MEET IN BELIZE (PART 1)
    34th annual ICACIn a speech opening the 2005 annual conference of the region’s accountants in Belize, then Cabinet minister Jose Coye, an accountant by profession, reminded his colleagues that they were mandated by their own ethical standards to bite the hand that fed them. His statement was an allegorical call for the profession, reeling in the wake of the Enron scandal, to return to an emphasis on integrity in accounts, and the promotion of transparency and incEnronreased accountability in financial reporting. The theme of that conference was “We harmonize” and these professionals, perhaps the most assiduous of the financial professions, recognized that creating a harmonized network of accountants in the region was a core objective of the ICAC, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean.

    Pool Project Update: The Fates Have Their Say
    Well it's been a little over a month since our pool project was completed, and I thought it might be a good time to share how things have been going. For starters, we have been very pleased that the screens have been doing their job by keeping leaves and bugs out of the pool. Other than an occasional dusting of marl, the pool water looks pristine. The screens also lend a real Zen feeling to the space. You feel like you're outdoors, but can enjoy the space without being eaten alive by mosquitoes. We took delivery of our furniture for the seating area and it is awesome!

    Green Iguana Conservation Project
    Great article about the Green Iguana Conservation Project. Lots of fun pictures in it too. Everyone love the Iguana Project! "All we can say is give it a go! This is a great activity for families, couples, or those flying solo. Strangers become close friends for a short period of time as you mock everyone’s reaction to the lively lizards. To learn more about the green iguana conservation project visit their website."

    Shipstern Nature and Wildlife Reserve
    Currently officially known as the Shipstern Conservation and Management Area, Shipstern is a large area of land of 21,500 acres (8,700 ha) in Belize’s northern Corozal District. Although not contiguous in design, Shipstern is centered on the Shipstern Lagoon, one of the largest inland lagoons in the country. The conservation area is designed to protect rare forest trees, including seasonal and dry coastal tropical varieties. hipstern is most famous for its large variety of birds that make their home in the reserve, at least 300 in total, including egrets, parrots, warblers, flycatchers, toucans and American coots. The reserve is also home to raccoons, pumas, deer, peccaries, armadillos, tapirs, crocodiles, manatees and jaguars. One of the most popular attractions in Shipstern is a butterfly farm adjacent to the visitor center where butterflies are being bred for trade with the United States, Europe and Asia. The entrance to Shipstern is 3.5 miles (6 km) from the village of Sarteneja in Corozal District. The Butterfly Breeding Center is open from 9:am to 12:00 and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm daily. The reserve is only open during daylight hours but night hikes can be arranged with permission from Shipstern.

    International Sourcesizz

    Controversial park plans in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve
    Hansen’s current Mirador Basin Project proposal includes a designated roadless “wilderness area,” but over the past two decades, proposals have included a Mirador Basin National Monument, a Mirador Archaeological and Wildlife Preserve, and a new or expanded Mirador National Park. Regardless, any redrawing of the boundaries within the Maya Biosphere Reserve would entail legislative reform, as would the creation of a wilderness area, a category of protected area that does not currently exist under Guatemalan law. The Mirador Basin Project encompasses Hansen’s archaeological work, scientific research, and the proposal for the wilderness area. Hansen is the principal driving force behind the idea, but he’s not alone. Backers of the new boundary and tourism development proposals have included the San Francisco-based NGO the Global Heritage Fund (see disclosure statement at end of story) and Pacunam, a Guatemalan corporate-based foundation. “I’m passionate and I’m emphatic about the need for change,” said Hansen. The future of the Mirador region will be determined by the actions of the Guatemalan government that came to power this past January, he said. “If we leave the status quo as it is, we’re going to lose it.”

    Local family rescues dogs from Belize with help from community
    For Boomer, his puppy friend Tony, and even Poogie, the likelihood of getting adopted was pretty slim. But now, these dogs have hope, thanks to an East Lansing family and the community. Rachel Hoke and her family turned a Caribbean vacation into a rescue mission, when they decided to bring these homeless dogs from San Pedro Island off the coast of Belize to Mid-Michigan. "These dogs just know they have another chance, they have a chance at a home and a life," says Hoke. In Belize, the strays are called potlickers, forced to lick empty pots for food just to stay alive. But, thanks entirely to donations, the family cut through some major red tape to get passports for six potlickers.

    Belize downloads its digital dreams
    Errol Cattouse is a man on a mission. He's the chief operating officer of Centaur Cable and the newly appointed chairman of Belize’s internet exchange point. Launched in Belize City on April 27, the exchange point is seen as a key component in the country’s growing technology sector. An internet exchange point or IXP is the physical infrastructure through which data traffic is exchanged between networks on the internet. So far, more than 300 IXPs exist in 80 countries around the world. In the Caribbean, several countries have set up national IXPs to significantly lower the cost of local internet traffic delivery and to eliminate the expensive inefficiency of sending domestically-bound traffic overseas. For Cattouse and others in the Caribbean, IXPs also hold the promise of better network performance and greater options to innovate in the delivery of services to local consumers. Thing is, Cattouse already knows he can’t do it on his own. So he’s on a mission to develop the human resource capacity needed to bring the dream home. And he’s not alone.

    The Grackle’s Secret to Success
    There’s an aura of power around invasive species. How is it that they can sweep in and take over from the locals? Are they more adaptable, tougher? What are their secrets? The great-tailed grackle is a case in point. North America has its own similar species — the common and boat-tailed grackle. But the great-tailed bird, Quiscalus mexicanus, native to Central America, is one of the most invasive species in the United States. The black birds with iridescent feathers were prized by the Aztec emperor Auitzotl, who, by some accounts, relocated some of them from Veracruz to near Mexico City about 500 years ago.

    B.P.P.'s POLITICAL LEADER, PATRICK ROGERS, ON KPFK, LOS ANGELES 90. 7 FM & INNERLIGHT RADIO, RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA!
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP), political leader, Patrick Rogers will be discussing the Anglo/Guatemalan Claim, Belize, and the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) with Sista Nana, host of the Los Angeles popular education show called UPRISING, on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 8 PM Los Angeles time, which is 9 PM Belize time, and other time periods across the United States. Listeners worldwide can hear the exclusive interview by the political leader of the B.P.P by logging on to the KPFK website at kpfk.org and listen to this most dynamic discussion on Belize through KPFK's live streaming.

    BELIZEAN QUEENS WIN GOLD FOR BELIZE AT THE 2016 CENTRAL AMERICAN & CARIBBEAN GAMES!
    It is just a proud thing to declare here at Belizean Legends that Belize's female Track & Field Team recently won the gold medal in the 4x1 relay in El Salvador . As the country of Belize struggles to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity as a nation with all its borders and land intact, these golden girls of Belize's Track & Field are standing up for Belize and winning gold. How best can a country show its strength but through its most prized possession and resource, its youth, who have raised the Belizean flag at the 2016 Central American & Caribbean Games in Salvador.

    Videos

  • Kaina Martinez brings home gold in the Women's 100 M, 1.5min. You made my day, will have to share. Congrats again, made me proud to Hear our Belize Anthem.

  • Belize Vlog!! Day 1||swimming Monkey!, 7min. Hey guys I hope you enjoy today's vlog! I will be vlogging my 3 week trip!!

  • Tropical Ecology in Belize and Guatemala Summer 2016, 8min.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize., 2min. 2 días en una isla de belice!.

  • Half Moon Wall Turtles Lighthouse Reef, 1min. Dive Two of Blue Hole Adventure Day, Half Moon Wall, Lighthouse Reef Belize

  • Get ready to PARTY at Costa Maya 2016!!!, 1min.

  • Costa Maya 2016 Promotion, min.

  • Michele and Chris in Belize and Guatamala, 10min.

  • Snorkeling in San Pedro, Belize 2016, 3.5min. Jan 2016. Snorkeling in San Pedro, Belize. Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley

  • Belize Day 2 - Snorkel Trip #1, 9min.

  • Belize Day 1 Arrival, 4min. This video is about getting to Belize, Ambergris Caye.

  • UNCUT with Tbone in Belize, 18min. Raw footage of the cooking show prep for the NEWDist colony.

  • Rappelling in Black Hole Drop, Belize, 3min.

  • Bicycle tour of Long Caye at Glover's Reef in Belize, 2min. The only vehicles on our island are bicycles. Join us on a mountain bike tour of this 13-acre tropical paradise.

  • Belize Travel Diary 2016, 10min. My trip to Belize through Ecology Project International!


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