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8/21/2016 to 8/31/2016
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Today's Belize News

August 31, 2016


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

BNCF awards over 75k in terrestrial biodiversity research and protected areas management
The Belize Nature Conservation Foundation (BNCF) awarded two grants in the furtherance of conservation efforts in Belize’s protected areas. The ceremony to award the recipients was held at the Programme for Belize office at 1 Eyre Street, Belize City. Ya’axche Conservation Trust and the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) were the successful applicants. Ya’axche received a total of thirty seven thousand, eight hundred and eighty eight dollars (BZ$37,888). APAMO, received thirty eight thousand (BZ$38,000). This marks the BNCF’s tenth grants award ceremony. On this occasion, the BNCF’s Chair, Mr. Edilberto Romero, remarked that the grants given out today will help to “support the conservation of our forests and the management of protected areas”. Ya’axche, for its project entitled, “Strengthening Conservation through Community Participation in Biodiversity Research” seeks to collect baseline biodiversity data in key biodiversity areas throughout the Maya Golden Landscape. Through the collection of this data they hope to increase community awareness of the importance of biodiversity and biodiversity monitoring techniques towards the understanding and management of our natural environment.

Miss Belize Universe delegates gear up for online voting & fashion show
The 11 delegates for the Miss Belize Universe Pageant will shine in the golden spotlight at Midas Belize Resort in a pre-­pageant fashion show on Saturday, Sept. 3. The resort, located at Branch Mouth Road in San Ignacio, will host the event in the lead-­up to the pageant itself, which is Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts. At the fashion show, a panel of judges will score the delegates, and those scores will be taken into account on pageant night.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Updated Cabinet & CEO list
Three unelected persons have been given top ministerial appointments in the Barrow Administration. But why have the elected representative been pushed aside? Following today’s cabinet meeting, the Press Office issued an updated list of Cabinet Ministers and Chief Executive Officers.

BELTRAIDE PARTICIPATES IN SECOND ANNUAL BTIA OW EXPO
In its continuous quest to inform the general public about its role of attracting and facilitating new investment for Belize, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), through its Small Business Development Service (SBDC), actively participated in the second annual BTIA OW Expo held on Saturday, 27th August at the Queen Elizabeth Park in downtown Orange Walk Town. A large number of Expo goers visited the event. Those visiting the SBDC booth had an opportunity to sample and buy products from Fibber’s sauces, K & K’s Beauty Products, Northern Heat pepper sauces and enjoy the delicious bread from Rosita’s Capricho N Bon. Visitors also obtained the latest information on BELTRAIDE’s projects as well as information on the work of its various units. Numerous brochures, INVEST BELIZE Magazine were on display. There were also numerous give-aways on BELTRAIDE’s promotional items. The Orange Walk Tourism Expo was developed to highlight Orange Walk Town as a tourist destination with the aim to attract more Belizeans and international tourists.

The Department of the Environment - DOE is having a Theme Competition and you can win $500.00!
In the context of the 25th Anniversary of the Department of the Environment(DOE), which will be on October 14, 2017, the DOE of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development is organizing a theme competition for the celebration of DOE’s 25th Anniversary. The guidelines and other relevant details pertaining to the competition are as follows:1.The theme should be in English, typewritten in double space with a font size of at least 12, and consist of no more than 10 words. 2.Submit to the Chief Environmental Officer, Department of the Environment, Market Square, Belmopan, RE: 25th Anniversary Theme no later than 12:00 pm on Friday, September 23rd, 2016.

Miss San Pedro 2016 Pageant
The San Pedro Town Council proudly presents the Miss San Pedro 2016 Pageant. This Saturday, September 3rd at the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and Show starts at 8:00 p.m. SHARP! Performing at the pageant, All the way from El Salvador, Grupo Crash! Get your reserved tickets! Exclusively sold at the San Pedro Town Council offices.

The Government of Belize has published the Special Audit on the Immigration and Nationality Department on their website.

Forty police officers joined the ranks of the GREAT( Gang Resistance Education and Training) program
Following a graduation ceremony held last week in Belize City. Guest speaker Ambassador Moreno congratulated the graduates and mentioned that the GREAT program is a revamped strategy toward community policing that has made officers closer to the communities which they protect and serve. The Officers will be visiting various schools throughout Belize to teach students how to resist gangs and gang activities in their schools and communities. Congratulations to the GREAT graduates!

The U.S. Government donated additional assistance to Belize’s recovery from damage from Hurricane Earl
The U.S. government will make available funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) Ambassador’s Emergency Relief Fund. This support builds on the Embassy’s long-term disaster assistance from the U.S. government to Belize since 2006 to strengthen and supplement local response and recovery efforts. Last week the Ambassador Moreno along with the Belize Red Cross donated mattresses and linens to several Belizean families recovering from damage to their homes during the storm.

The Official Fashion Show and Beauty for Miss Belize 2016
Dianira Rivera is representing San Pedro at Miss Belize! Come cheer her on at this preliminary fashion show on Sept. 3 and then attend the pageant at Bliss Center for Performing Arts on September 10!

It's International Whale Shark Day!
This day celebrates these remarkable gentle giants. Whale sharks can grow to 45 feet and weigh in at 24,000 pounds. Belize is blessed to have these seasonal visitors visit us! Photos by Tony Rath Photography and Tour Guide Harry Neal

Clouds over Caye Caulker last night
And not a drop of rain

Caye Caulker Ocean Academy
We warmly welcome our new Form 1 Ocean Academy students and are looking forward to a wonderful school year together.

FARMERS MARKET on Caye Caulker
HERE WE COME.. this Sunday, September 4th, 2016…the FarmHouse Deli will be holding its FARMERS MARKET in Caye Caulker from 11 am to 2 pm at DREADED GRAPE wine and cheese bar. Come enjoy over 12 types of deli fresh baked artisan breads, deli smoked & cured meats and over 14 types of Artisan cheeses from our Caves Branch cheese house. Pro biotic deli brewed drinks including Kambucha, Kvoss, Water Kefir, Dairy Kefir, Coconut Water & Coconut Milk Kefir. BEST QUALITY fresh handpick organically grown farm vegetables from our FARMacy at Barton Creek. Guaranteed freshest entire country.

Splashers
It's almost Thursday and you know what that means! The Splashers will be stroking...tapping... and getting their Happy on Canvas! :) Join us at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar and get your Happy on too!

D Stock Burger Relocates
D'Stock Burger has moved into the old Treatery location at the CAYO Welcome Center. Basically, they shifted 100 meters over. One of the best burgers around, and well priced too.

Channel 7

Christians Protest In Belmopan, To No Great Effect
Last night, we told you that Patrick Menzies and the leadership of the Spanish arm of the Evangelical Churches, the "Alliance of Ministers and Leaders," would be making a second demonstration in Belmopan today to follow up on Friday's protest outside the House meeting. That's the protest which got out of hand when the Belize City based agitators hijacked the church protest and broke the police barrier to rush the Assembly building - the cops had to fire a shot to stop them from storming into the House. Well as we told you last night, the police did not want to grant them any permits to protest today, and so they instead staged a church service on the National Assembly Steps. It didn't have the numbers from Friday; the crowd shrank from 16 hundred persons to only one hundred and sixty. Today, we were in Belmopan to speak with their leader, Patrick Menzies, who told us that they Cabinet must concede to the 10 demands they made public yesterday:

UDP Minister Discuss The Ugly Ejection
While we were in Belmopan, we waited for the Cabinet Ministers to exit today's meeting to discuss the topic on everybody's mind, the ugly ejection of PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat. Not many of those Ministers were in the mood to grant a press encounter, but Michael Finnegan, Elodio Aragon, and Wilfred Elrington did stop to give us an interview. Finnegan told us that in his opinion as a senior parliamentarian, it shouldn't have gotten to that point: Hon. Michael Finnegan, Minister of Housing: "It was unfortunate, disrespectful and disgraceful. That's all I have to say." Reporter: "At one point you even got up to speak on behalf of Mr. Espat and also cross the floor to speak with them. What was your perspective at that specific point in time?" Hon. Michael Finnegan, Minister of Housing: "I didn't talk on behalf of Mr. Espat. That is a wrong interpretation. I got up and was concerned about civility in the house and I believe that a member must be allowed to make his/her point. But a member must act within the framework and the guidelines of the law. You cannot get up and say the speaker is mercenary, the speaker is being paid to stop you from making your presentation, that members of the other side of the house are thieves. Man that is uncalled for. That was totally uncalled for. But the member, I will repeat again, have all right to make his/her presentation within the guidelines."

Vega's Notable Absence on Friday
We didn't get to speak to him, but former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega was in Cabinet today - but he wasn't in the House of Representatives last Friday. Sources tell us Vega - who was in country - may have been staging a quiet sit out in protest of his government's position on the Section 53 judgment - which Vega staunchly opposes. And he was missed in the house on Friday because every other UDP member was there, and also because he was supposed to present a report. Here's the slightly awkward moment when the speaker had to kind of gloss over his absence while new Deputy PM Faber dived in for a save:... Hon. Mike Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House: "I recognized the Honorable Minister of. I recognized in his stead the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister."

PM Discusses Vega And State of Cabinet
It's a small moment that most would have missed, but we caught it - and on Friday when we spoke to the Prime Minister via telephone we asked him about Vega's unexcused absence on Friday, and the wider implications for a division in cabinet. The PM indicated that indeed Vega did oppose the government position on the section 53 judgment. Here's the phone interview from Friday evening:... Rt., Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "He wasn't in cabinet when the decision was taken not to appeal and he has indicated that if he'd been there he would have voted against that position. So that much is clear. But I spoke to him yesterday and he gave me no impression that he's not coming to the house meeting as consequence of his dissatisfaction. So, I'm afraid you have to chase him down to find out the reason for his absence. He has not been in touch to say that I wasn't there and here is why. So I really can't go beyond that."

Cabinet's Tweaks
And coming out of today's Cabinet meeting there's the announcement of minor tweaks and changes to portfolios and Chief Executive Officers. The new listing shows that the Minister of State for Finance is Dr. Carla Barnett and her CEO is Joseph Waight. The CEO for John Saldivar's newly reconstituted Ministry of Defence is Felix Enriquez while George Lovell picks up as CEO for the Police Ministry. Today UDP Party Whip Michael Finnegan explained why government keeps making these changes: Hon. Michael Finnegan, Minister of Housing: "This started way back with Leader Emeritus Hon. George Price. He first started it. George Price who we all love started way back with JW MacMillan, Assad Shoman, Dickie Bradley lost twice, was made minister and I can go on and on. There is nothing wrong with any government whether it's the UDP government or otherwise utilizing the intellectual capacity of people outside parliament. There is nothing wrong with that and there is no powerful ministry more than the other one. We all have equal say in cabinet. We get the same salary."

Cork Street Assault In Tourism Zone Doesn't Surprise Hotelier
This morning there was a stabbing on Cork Street - that's in the heart of a Tourist Zone, right down the street from the Radisson and a street over from the Tourism Village. But, the victim wasn't a tourist - it was a Radisson employee on his way to work. He may have been targeted by gang players from nearby Majestic Alley because he's from a southside neighborhood that's part of the ongoing gang warfare. We found out more when we reviewed the security footage:.. At five to 7:00 this morning, Kendale Green was riding to work at the Radisson Fort George on Cork Street when two men charged out of an alley and tackled him off his bike and then started stabbing him. In the grainy security footage, right in the margins of the time stamp, you can see them hauling him to the middle of the street and stabbing him repeatedly.

Household Survey Finds Punished Children, Happy People
The Statistical Institute of Belize has completed what's known as the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey or MICS report. It is compiled in conjunction with UNICEF and it is designed to gather information on the state of women and children through large scale household surveys. In this case more than 5,200 households were sampled. It shows that 92 percent of those households have access to electricity, while 96 percent reported using improved sources of drinking water. About 87 percent of households had improved sanitation facilities. The average household size was 3.8 persons, and on average the number of persons per each room used for sleeping was just under two. While that's the good news, to bad news is that of all children under five years old, 4.6 percent were found to be underweight, while 15 percent were considered to be stunted, or below the normal height for their age as per World Health Organization standards. 12 percent of infants weighed less than five and a half pounds at birth.

Mike Espat, Mason And Campaign Cash
William Danny Mason is still in jail - and since his name has slipped from the headlines recently, he may be missing the attention. But he's not quite forgotten yet because his name did come up in the House of Representatives on Friday. That's when a member from the PUP asked the Prime Minister about the possibility of appointing an independent investigator for the Danny Mason case. That's when the PM produced the minutes of a most curious political fundraising meeting:... Rt., Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "He is known to have entertained and perhaps made contributions to several persons in public life, including according to the minutes of a meeting held among a number of persons and I'll tell you who were in attendance on February 20th 2014, Mr. Paddy Franks, Mr. Danny Mason, Mr. Arturo Saldivar, Mr. Michael Espat, Mr Ricardo and one Mr. Elvin Pener. Topic of meeting to discuss actions required to prepare for elections. Funds for campaign expense will be provided by Mr. Danny Mason, entrepreneur. The minutes were signed off all the people who attended you know. Here is Michael Espat's signature. So you should have put that in when you talk about the people that the man entertained."

PUP Leader Says Mike Espat/Mason Meeting Not That Bad
Yesterday we did ask the PUP LEADER about Mike Espat's name in the Mason minutes. John Briceno - who had previously come down hard on UDP politicians who met with Mason - was more forgiving with his representative for Toledo West:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "The Prime Minister raised the minutes of some meeting that he has minutes of that shows that Mike Espat had been in meetings with Mr. Mason. Mr. Mike is not at the head table, but if this could be addressed one way or the other." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "Let me address it right now." Hon. Mike Espat: "I haven't gotten one dollar from...."

Julius May Have Met Mason, But Nothing To It
So, while that's the PUP's response to the Prime Minister's assertion that Mike Espat was meeting with accused murderer William Danny Mason, Julius Espat, the Deputy of the PUP's Western Caucus says he has not done any business transactions with him. On Friday, before he was dragged out of the House, he granted an interview outside in which we asked him if he had gone to Intelco Hill, and he said that he did not. Here's that conversation with him: Daniel Ortiz, 7News: "Sir, did you ever had any personal meetings or discussions with William Mason when no one knew that he was involved in the type of things he is accused of?" Hon. Julius Espat - Cayo South Representative: "I don't remember the gentleman that well. I may have had an encounter with him, but it's not somebody that I remembered. I am a businessman and I meet a lot of people and I don't recall everybody. So I can't say that I have or I haven't, but the possibility is there that we have met somewhere. I mean he was around, there were restaurants that probably you met somebody like that, there were social events that probably you met."

Briceno Pounces on PM
But what the PUP won't forget anytime soon is the appearance of the Prime Minister's name in the audit of nationality documents. He vouched for his wife's brother in law, Peter Dahlstrom who is Swedish. He's been married to the PM's sister in law for decades but the PUP leader outlined what the audit report said about his nationality... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP: "He and his wife recommended their brother-in-law for Belizean nationality whilst he has been married to a Belizean for more than 20 years. You need to be resident in Belize for a full year to be able to qualify and the investigations have shown that his brother-in-law has never resided in Belize for a full year. So he did not qualify and the Prime Minister recommended his brother-in-law for that nationality and based on that recommendation his brother-in-law did received his Belizean nationality."

PM Brushes Off Untoward Suggestion
And here's how the Prime Minister explained it when we spoke to him via telephone on Friday: Rt., Hon. Dean Barrow Prime Minister, Prime Minister: "If he's saying that I wrote some sort of a letter asking that he be given his nationality, I do not recollect any such thing and I would believe that that is absolute nonsense. And in terms of the substance of his charge, my wife's brother in law maintains a residence in Belize, you can argue about what is enough to satisfy the requirements of the law, that's a matter between him and the immigration officials." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "But, Sir, were you aware that your name and your wife's name is in the nationality report?" Rt., Hon. Dean Barrow Prime Minister, Prime Minister: "No, I was not, I was not."

Briceno Bristles When PM Comparison Made
And just now you heard how the PM bristled when we suggested that he had been painted however slightly with the same brush as other sin the report. Well, John Bricneo who's also in the report - similarly bristled when we suggested the same to him:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Did she go on and get her passport?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP: "I have no idea." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Because then if she did, you would have been involved in the approval of a passport just like the Prime Minister which did not meet all the requirements." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP: "No, no, hold on. There is a big difference Jules. You are stretching this. Let us make this very clear. First of all, if I did not put the stamp, somehow I forgot to put the stamp, then it is then the responsibility of the immigration office to say that you didn't stamp the passport, so you need to take this back to get it stamp. Now the difference with me and the Prime Minister, is that the Prime Minister knew that his brother-in-law has not live a full year."

PUP Can Have a Field Day With Audit
Briceno was more comfortable speaking about other aspects of the audit - which he did yesterday:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP: "In one case, Rumila Shengila from Leningrad USSR, received the okay for a visa on November 12, 2012, but that person got a passport on March 2, 2012. A full 8 months before the VISA was granted. The back dating of VISA stamps, dates of arrival, temporary employment permits and fraudulent nationality certificates were so pervasive and so frequent. In one case. If it weren't outrageous and sad, it's funny, in one case they put the name of a PUP minister of immigration on a nationality certificate dated August 12, 1998. As you would know PUP did not win the general elections until August 27th, 1998."

Finnegan Casts Doubt On Auditor General
Today we asked the UDP's Michael Finnegan about the Audit reports. It names senior members in his party, but nowhere in the 3 documents is Finnegan named. He told us today that he's reviewed it, and he thinks that there are other errors which he thinks Auditor General Dorothy Bradley made. Here's what he had to say: In the weeks to come, we'll be carefully reviewing the document, and we'll tell you what we find.

BNTU Wants Their Money
In the last 2 weeks, you've heard the Prime Minister; and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, who is the Minister of Education, both ask the teachers and public officers to hold off on the last 3% raise that they are due. It was to have taken effect in April, but the Government finds itself strapped for cash with the Hurricane Earl relief efforts. Damages for the storm is now calculated at 183.6 million dollars. But, the teachers may not want to wait, and though the Union hasn't completed canvassing all its branches countrywide, those that they have consulted with have demanded that their union's leaders reject the Prime Minister's request. We met up with the BNTU National President Luke Palacio on Friday, and asked him to explain:

Hon. Julius Was Punching A Face On The Wall
On Friday PUP Cayo South Representative made the worst kind of history when he was forcibly ejected from the House of Representatives. He left with a broken finger, and a torn shirt. He can blame the cops for his shirt, but, as you saw, he has only himself to blame for his broken finger. Yesterday we asked him how he's doing:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "How is your health?" Hon. Julius Espat - Cayo South Representative: "It's pretty good. It couldn't been better." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Sir and the incident with the wall. Do you regret punching the wall?" Hon. Julius Espat - Cayo South Representative: "Never. I have very vivid pictures on that wall." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Thank you."

The Appropriation For BTL Will Go Down As Unopposed
And while that house meeting continued, Friday's was cut short. But that's not why the PUP missed out on the debate of the Supplementary Appropriation for 2016/2017. That's when they should have debated the additional monies being raised to pay the BTL compensation. But, the party seems to have slipped up - and the speaker said that when he looked around, no opposition member was ready to debate. And then, the opposition left before anyone could speak on the adjournment. So that controversial matter went down in the records without opposition. Today, Michael Finnegan told us that the Opposition missed a golden opportunity for debate because of the Julius fiasco: Hon. Michael Finnegan: "I was amazed when the opposition made that slip them by in parliament. I was totally taken aback, because the matter should have been debated. But they did not get up to debate the matter. So the matter lay there and died there and if the matter was debated, every member of parliament would have been given the opportunity to say something about that motion. So for them to say that the leader of the Opposition was going to speak on it on the debate, so why no use the opportunity."

OAS Will Investigate Conorquie
In last night's news, we told you about Saturday afternoon's quick briefing from the OAS Secretary General's Special Representative. She also mentioned that those same experts who investigated the Ruano shooting, will investigate the fatal shooting of Special Constable Conorquie and BDF Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey. Here's what she had to say on that: Danny Conorquie was killed inside the Caracol Site in September 2014, and Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was shot in March of this year. Both incidents are suspected, but not confirmed, to have been committed by Guatemalan cross-border bandits.

Re-registration Soon, But Not Now
And our last three stories tonight, are catch up events from last week which we didn't have the chance to air because our last two newscasts were totaled a combined four hours. The first has to do with news of re registration form Friday's house sitting. There hasn't been a re registration exercise since 1996 - and there should be one every ten years. The Prime Minister now has a new timeline which will make it slightly more than 20 years. Here's how he put it on Friday:..

The Question of Candelaria
The Prime Minister was also questioned about the case of Candelaria Saldivar. She;s the senior public officer and ministerial sister who is on administrative leave with benefits and pay, for whom government can't seem to find a place. The PM explained the quandary:..

US Embassy Gave Hurricane Relief
The US Embassy donated mattresses, pillows and other bedding materials to the Red Cross on Friday. At a brief handing over ceremony Ambassador Carlos Moreno spoke about the Embassy's various donations to the hurricane Earl Relief efforts. The Director General for the Red Cross Lilly Bowman then spoke to us about how significant this donation is. The Red Cross has assessed 1,008 families so far and they continue reaching out to those storm survivors.

Cops Give Southside Students Schoolbags
And, finally tonight, the Police Department has been giving away schools bags like they're going out of style! They've been going through different southside neighborhoods, and yesterday it was the precinct two area:... Today the Southside Police did the same in the Jane Usher area.

Channel 5

Minister Sedi Elrington on Why He “Named” Julius Espat
The Prime Minister slipped the media today following a cabinet meeting, but his ministers were out to do damage control on Friday’s outrageous House Meeting.  Pickstock Area Representative Wilfred ‘Sedi’ [...]

Veteran Parliamentarian Michael Finnegan Calls Friday’s Events “Unfortunate”
During the fiasco on Friday, the presentation by Espat on the damming Special Audit, which exposes corruption at the Immigration between 2011 and 2013, was muzzled when Espat was physically [...]

Finnegan Tells Why He Is Not in Special Audit Report and Defends Fellow Ministers
The Special Audit conducted by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley into the issuance of Belizean passports and visas during a two-year period spanning 2011 and 2013 still has currency and is [...]

Foreign Minister Says Guat Counterparts’ Comments Will Not Change Situation
Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales has made very unbecoming comments following the release of the O.A.S. report on the fatal shooting of fourteen-year-old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano in April.  [...]

An Updated List of Ministers and C.E.O.’s is Released
Three unelected persons have been given top ministerial appointments in the Barrow Administration. But why have the elected representative been pushed aside?  Following today’s cabinet meeting, the Press Office issued [...]

Senior Minister Finnegan Dishes on Introduction of Unelected Ministers to Cabinet
This afternoon, senior parliamentarian Michael Finnegan shared his thoughts on the new ministerial appointments.   Isani Cayetano “It would seem as if though two of the most powerful portfolios within [...]

Patrick Menzies and Church Leaders Back in Belmopan for Protest
This morning, the Hispanic arm of the Evangelical Church, led by Patrick Menzies, was back on Independence Hill where they marched against government’s decision not to appeal the Supreme Court [...]

Former Open Vote Worker Wins Case in Court over Termination
In February of this year, the Supreme Court heard the case of Melissa Belezaire Tucker, a former Ministry of Education employee who served in the Public Service for seventeen years, [...]

Youth Accused of Murder and Freed is Hospitalized in Stabbing Incident
A Belize City youth is tonight hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was stabbed multiple times near the Radisson Hotel in the Fort George area. Twenty-three year [...]

Callum Sutherland Pleads Guilty for Cannabis Stash
A Belize City man is in debt of ten thousand dollars to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for the trafficking of four hundred and twenty-eighth grams of marijuana on June [...]

San Pedro Man Claims Police Brutality; He is Rival with Policeman for a Girl
A thirty-two year old San Pedro resident is claiming police brutality. Allen Delroy Martinez says that he was beaten before being locked down at the police station for two days [...]

Is Zika on the Rise? Cases Reported in Caye Caulker, Benque and Succotz
It’s been a while since we’ve reported on Zika. In mid June, the first confirmed case of zika was recorded in Belize in the west. Since then, there have been [...]

Ministry of Health Concentrates on Pregnant Women at Risk for Zika
Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services “There is a package that has been developed to be given to pregnant women to try to minimize their risk. The package usually [...]

Results of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey a Mixed Bag
Findings of a survey called the Belize Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Five were released today. The survey was held to identify key indicators to formulate policies and programs and to [...]

Michael Finnegan Surprised that P.U.P. Did Not Speak on B.T.L. Settlement
Litigation in respect of the compensation award, following government’s acquisition of B.T.L. in 2009 is ongoing.  The latest round of legal battle is presently before the Caribbean Court of Justice; [...]

Opposition Leader Blames Speaker for B.T.L. Settlement Not Being Debated
During Monday’s press conference, People’s United Party leader John Briceño explained that the B.T.L. settlement did not make it into Friday’s debate because of the ruckus that ended the House [...]

Elodio Aragon Junior Calls Out Julius Espat for “Tantrum”
During the spectacle in the House on Friday, Junior Minister Elodio Aragon remained in his seat and observed the entire drama involving Julius Espat as it unfolded.  Today, he expressed [...]

Environment and Reality Meet on New Channel Five Show, Enviroconnect
A new show starts tonight right here on Channel Five, following the news package. Enviro-Connect Belize is a reality television show by the Department of Environment to highlight the various [...]

CTV3

Opposition Leader To Set Up Pressure At Tomorrow's Senate Meeting
The Opposition People’s United Party’s bolstered campaign to force the Barrow Administration to resign or call fresh elections starts tomorrow when the Senate meets in Belmopan. The Opposition Senators are expected to ramp up the pressure and introduce a motion to investigate the findings contained in Auditor General’s special audit into the scandals at the Immigration Department. Now, if it feels like de ja vu, it is because back in November 2013 the Opposition had also introduced a similar motion following the Penner scandal. That attempt was unsuccessful however because the then Immigration Minister, Senator Godwin Hulse refused to step away from the Senate meeting despite the conflict of interest in his participation; enabling the Government’s majority members to vote against the motion. At tomorrow’s Senate meeting, Senator Hulse who is now the Police Minister, will be there once more. Yesterday the Opposition Leader indicated that Hulse will be asked to recuse himself when it’s voting time.

PUP Senators To demand Sign On To UN Convention On Corruption
At Wednesday’s Senate Meeting the Opposition Senators will also call on the Government to sign the United Nation’s Convention on Corruption. The Opposition People’s United Party has announced that it plans to push the ruling UDP to a breaking point with the ultimate goal being fresh elections. Honorable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party: “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is clear that this UDP administration has lost the confidence of the Belizean people, the Central Bank governor has confirmed in black and white what we the people of this country feel every day that they have wrecked the Belizean economy with a poverty rate of almost over 43%, almost one in two Belizeans are poor and we continue to get poorer by the day, the government has reneged on their promise to the teachers and public officers, they have not provided opportunities for gainful employment and as a result more and more of our young people have become frustrated since they cannot find work...”

Mexicans Attacks Revenue Agencies At Santa Elena Border
Media reports from neighboring Chetumal, Quintana Roo, are that yesterday a group of irate citizens attempted an act of civil disobedience when they attacked a vehicle assigned to the Tax Administrative Service, one of Mexico’s government revenue agencies whose office is located near the old Subteniente Lopez bridge near the Belize-Mexico border point. Reports are that the attack was triggered when one of the agency oficials attempted to stop a taxi motorcycle for inspection for contraband, but ended up colliding into it. Other taxi motorcycle drivers saw the incident and became furious. Reports are that one of them threw gasoline at the vehicle and was about to light it on fire, but the vehicle was whisked away to safety. The group of irate Mexicans then picked up stones and stoned the agency’s office. The Police had to intervene to restore calm.

Canada Armed Forces Supports BDF
The Independent investigation carried out in to the death of thirteen year old Guatemalan National Julio Rene Alvarado revealed that Belize’s armed forces did not cause the death of the minor during a crossfire between the BDF and Guatemalan civilians back in the month of April at the Chiquibul Forest. The end results of the investigation is not being accepted by the Guatemalan Government which is causing tension to rise once more between both countries. And as this happens Canada is currently assisting Belize in order to determine its defense policy. Back in the month of February, high ranking military officers from Belize travelled to Ottawa with the sole purpose of attending meetings and to receive advice from the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces with regards to defense tactics.

Statistics Indicates Findings Out Of The MICS5
The Statistical Institute of Belize, in collaboration with the Government of Belize and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), today presented the Key Findings coming out of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 5 (MICS5). The survey which was carried out in late 2015 is part of UNICEF’s global MICS program, designed to collect valuable and internationally comparable data on the situation of women and children by means of large scale household surveys. During the study more than five thousand two hundred households across the country of Belize were sampled and for the first time, data was collected not only on women and children but also on men. The survey revealed that of the households surveyed, almost 92 percent have access to electricity, while 96 percent reported using improved sources of drinking water. About 87 percent of households had improved sanitation facilities, or facilities that adequately separate human waste from human contact.

PUP Wants Appointment Of Integrity Commission, PM Says That Is Not Possible
One of the reform issues which the Opposition will be demanding is the appointment of the Integrity Commission. While the law calls for the appointment and functioning of this important check and balance body, it has not functioned for the entire life of the Barrow Administration. At last week Friday’s House Meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow claimed that there was little he could do about it. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “We had appointed a full Integrity Commission or designated the full membership of the Integrity Commission and then when some of those we had designated found out that membership of the Integrity Commission involved being a politically exposed person, a pet in the language employed in the International Community, the refused to proceed, when you are a pep and I am sure the member knows, you are oblige no only to make full disclosure to any commercial institutions, you are prevent from opening bank accounts abroad, your designation once that status is applied to you it is made clear that your entire generation also become peps...”

New Operating Theatre For NRH
Orange Walkenos will soon be able to enjoy and benefit from a new and improved Operating Theatre at the Orange Walk Northern Regional Hospital before the end of this year. Yesterday afternoon, the Minister and Minister of State in the Ministry of Health Hon. Pablo Marin and Hon. Dr. Angel Campos, along with CEO Dr. Ramon Figueroa signed contracts between the Government of Belize and various contractors for works and repairs to the facility. According to a release by the Ministry of Health, the works are scheduled to commence immediately and should conclude at the end of November.

Special Audits' Report Cited PM In Fraudulent Nationality Scheme
The Special Audit names almost every member of the current UDP Cabinet and others who have retired from electoral politics as alleged participants in various schemes. Even Prime Minister Dean Barrow is cited in the audit report for allegedly facilitating the issuance of Belizean nationality for his wife’s brother. Honorable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party: “The auditor general’s report provides proof on the hypocrisy of Prime Minister Barrow who promised to chop off head of corruption with a special machete, he did not do it to Penner, he did not chopped off Castros’ head, they are still Cabinet colleagues, now that his personal involvement had been exposed, the Prime Minister has completely lost the moral authority to discipline any of his ministers, now if he opens his mouth on corruption or immigration illegality they will simply say to him, no watch me, watch yourself, this is why we here in the PUP say that the recommendations of the Auditor General must be followed including but not limited to the cancellation forthwith of all nationality certificates, passports and VISAS fraudulently issued, including to the one issued to the Prime Minister’s brother-in-law.”

PlusTV

Minister of Foreign Affairs sees no need for Guats to apologize
On Friday, we told you about the drama that occurred outside the National Assembly Building with protestors and the drama that occurred inside the National Assembly Building with Area Representative Julius Espat. Those stories dominated the news but there were other topics of interest on Friday, an...

Guatemalan Foreign Minister criticizes Belizeans, PM, and OAS following investigation results
Well even if some Belizeans were still hopeful for an apology from the Guatemalans, they better think again. Instead of an apology, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Morales was extremely critical of the OAS, the findings of the report, and the Belizean people and Prime Minister of Belize. He ...

DPM Faber will buy his own vehicle
On Friday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in the House that GOB would be financing the repairs of the damaged vehicle or purchasing a new vehicle for the Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber. This is after Faber’s Government vehicle somehow ended up in the Caribbean Sea aft...

Early Morning Murder in Orange Walk
There was a murder in Orange Walk on Sunday morning. The victim has been identified as Kevin Flowers. According to police, on August 29 at about 5 o’clock that morning, 28-year-old Kevin Albert Flowers was shot multiple times in front of his home on Smithsonia Street, Orange Walk Town. Police say ...

GSU goes to Mayflower Street, Tyrone Meighan detained, Shaquille Meighan shot
Early Sunday morning on Mayflower Street in Belize City, just after 1 a.m., elements of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), following the killing of Junie Balls McKenzie, visited the area as part of their investigation. According to residents, as GSU came onto the street, shots were fired and they tur...

Cayo man beaten in Benque succumbs to injuries
A man from the Cayo District has succumbed to injuries he received during a beat down in July of this year..36 year old Michael Pagett, a resident of San Ignacio Town was badly beaten by two men in Benque Viejo Del Carmen on July 31st 2016. Pagett was in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Mem...

Body of a female found hanging at an abandoned building in San Ignacio
The decomposing body of a woman was found hanging in a house in San Ignacio on Sunday morning. According to reports, a foul smell coming from an abandoned concrete building on Church street led to the discovery. An onsite post mortem was conducted due to the advanced state of decomposition. The woma...

Queen of the Bay crowned
The 71st Queen of the Bay Pageant was held this past Saturday. Stann Creek’s Cristalyn Castillo won the coveted title of Queen of the Bay 2016. First runner-up went to Toledo’s Aliesha Vernon; second runner-up to Lashania Crawford of Belize City; third runner-up to Aldeesha Castillo of Corozal; a...

Amandala

Junie Balls’ son, 21, killed early Sunday morning
The son of legendary Belizean gangster, George “Junie Balls” McKenzie, met his death shortly after 2 o’clock Sunday morning. George Mckenzie, Jr., 21, like his father, was listed as a main suspect in several criminal incidents being investigated by police, and was even remanded in 2014 for attempted murder. However, unlike his father, this student of Wesley sixth form, athlete and father to one daughter was never convicted of anything. His father, George “Junie Balls” McKenzie, was slain on August 27, 2007, and hours after the 9th anniversary of his death, McKenzie, Jr., also lost his life. McKenzie, Jr., and his girlfriend, Shereffa Jex; his brother, Kiffer McKenzie and friend Michael “Pancho” Usher, all from the Majestic Alley area, had gone to a soca concert held at the ITVET compound in Belize City on Saturday night.

House Speaker kicks out Julius Espat!
The culture of disrespect in the House of Representatives has been around for a long time, but it has never resulted in police being ordered to eject a member of the House who was named by the Speaker in post-independent Belize until today when House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte suspended the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Cayo South area representative Hon. Julius Espat after the Pickstock area representative and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, presented the motion to name him. Hon. Espat, however, refused to leave his seat. Police, in carrying out the order of the Speaker, first cleared the galleries of the House—even putting out members of the media, before they literally dragged Espat out the Chamber of the House of Representatives, with him resisting every inch of the way, as the other members of his party walked out in solidarity, ending the sitting of the House in a controversial way.

PUP call for Speaker Peyrefitte’s head!
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) called a press conference this afternoon at their Independence Hall headquarters, where Party Leader, Hon. John Briceño, briefed the media on the party’s plan following last Friday’s spectacle at the House of Representatives meeting, when all PUP parliamentarians walked out in solidarity with the Cayo South area representative, Hon. Julius Espat, who was named and suspended by House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte. Briceño said that the Opposition has lost confidence in the Speaker and demanded that he be removed, “because he has disgraced the office of the Speaker and brought the House into disrepute.” Apart from calling for the removal of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Briceño also made several other demands of the Barrow government, among them that the government should call new elections.

Shocker: Candelaria Saldivar paid $60,000 a year for 15 months to do nothing!
Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, sister of Defense Minister John Saldivar, has strangely been on administrative leave on full benefits—including monthly allowances—for a year and three months, with no news of when exactly she would be re-assigned, according to revelations made in Parliament on Friday. Last May, it was announced that Saldivar-Morter, who was part of the team which led an internal investigation into the Elvin Penner passport scandal as the Chief Executive Officer responsible for Immigration, had been put on administrative leave until Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who has the portfolio for the public service, can re-assign her, which he has apparently been unable to do for over a year now. A high-ranking government official had reportedly complained about Saldivar’s “management style.” Saldivar’s boss, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse, had said that Saldivar was moved to preserve harmony.

“I want my country back!!”
“I want my country back,” “leave 53,” and “Barrow have to go,” were among the statements being chanted by the approximately 2,000 protesters who turned up this morning at the footsteps of the National Assembly building during today’s House of Representatives meeting/ The protest was the result of a collaboration between the churches and unions, as well as the activist group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), the “I want my country back” movement and the Poor People Organization for a Healthy and Righteous Society (PPOHRS), who say they are not in support of the Chief Justice’s recent ruling on Section 53 of the criminal code and the corruption highlighted in the recent Auditor General’s report. Commenting on that ruling, Giovanni Brackett of COLA said, “We do not support the changing of the sodomy laws in Belize. We don’t believe that the government should allow one percent of our society to dictate the morals of an entire nation; this government is not a government of the majority, but of the minority.”

Police manhandle the media in the House of Representatives!
The meeting of the House of Representatives on Friday will go down as unprecedented in the history of this country because of the chaos that followed both outside and inside of the House, when an Opposition People’s United Party parliamentarian was dragged out of the House by Belmopan police, who disgraced themselves by manhandling the media for no good reason. Police manhandled some members of the media and dragged Channel 7’s news director, Jules Vasquez out of the gallery from where he was recording the House’s proceedings. Who gave the order for the police to drag media representatives out of the gallery? The media was only doing its work, after all. “On Friday, when you cleared out the gallery in the House of Representatives, under whose authority were you acting?” Amandala asked Howell Gillett, the Officer commanding the Belmopan Police formation.

Police United goalie Keith Allen chosen “Goalkeeper of the Week”
In its “Official weekly recap of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League” for “Week 3, August 23-25, 2016,” Belize goalie Keith Allen of Police United has been chosen “Goalkeeper of the Week,” for his splendid performance against Pachuca of Mexico on Tuesday, August 23, where Pachuca defeated Police United, 3-0, in a game that could have seen a much bigger score, if not for the stellar performance in goal by Allen. According to the concacaf.com report, Keith Allen received 18 shots on goal, stopped 15 of them, while allowing 3 goals by Pachuca. On account of his performance, Allen was also selected as goalkeeper in the “Best XI, Group Stage Week 3” in Champions League.

Placencia perfect at Week 2
The double round-robin regular competition of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season 2016-2017 has just completed Week 2, and only one team, Placencia Assassins FC, sports a perfect record so far, with two lopsided wins and no goals allowed, to lead all 9 teams. (See standings below.) There was only one night game this past weekend, and it was at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, where Police United, fresh from their first two CONCACAF Champions League outings (both losses, 4-0 and 3-0), were greeted by their Belizean hosts, defending PLB champions Belmopan Bandits, with another defeat, this one by a 2-1 score. Danny Jimenez gave Police the early lead at the 14th minute, but the Bandits came back with goals from Brazilian import Aloisio Teixeira (25’) and Frank Lopez (68’) to register their first win of the tournament.

Infotel takes Game 1 in BDFA Firms Basketball
The Belize District Basketball Association’s (BDBA) Firms Basketball Tournament 2016 tipped off Game 1 in the best-of-three games championship series on Saturday night at the Belize Elementary School (BES) gym, and it was Infotel eking out the 99-97 victory over Belize Bank Bulldogs. Leading Infotel were Earl Johnson 36 pts 10 rebs, Eyan Rene 18 pts 14 rebs 12 assts, Darwin Elijio 15 pts, Stafford Young 13 pts and Elton Anderson 10 pts; while the Bulldogs were led by Brian White 30 pts 19 rebs, captain Roscoe Rhys 20 pts, Marcel Orosco 16 pts 6 rebs and Lincey Lopez 10 pts 8 assts. According to the BDBA schedule, the championship will be decided this coming weekend as follows:

Agitation and hysteria
In recent years in Belize, a growing number of self-appointed experts have emerged, both in the professional print/electronic media and in amateur social media, who have been confidently expressing their opinions on our society’s plethora of heated socio-political issues. Unlike the case in most other democratic countries, however, in Belize our trained academics with reputations to protect almost never participate in the relevant conversations at the public level. Conversations in Belize feature too much imprecision and indiscipline, but you have to understand that there are powerful special interests here which are always seeking to muddy the waters. The two major political parties, the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), both of which own their own party newspapers and radio and television stations, in addition to the fact that several of their leaders own their own radio and television stations in District constituencies, are dominant in the conversations. Lord Michael Ashcroft, who is like a political party unto himself, owns his own television station in the media capital and uses his various advertising budgets to influence the conversations in the other media outlets.

$183.6 mil in losses due to Hurricane Earl
The damage wrought by Hurricane Earl, which struck Belize on August 3 and 4, 2016, is now estimated at $183.6 million, according to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who gave a report in Parliament on Friday. Barrow had previously told the press that individual property losses had been estimated at upwards of $15 million and losses to agriculture and tourism at over $100 million. In his presentation today, he said that losses to the utility companies—the Belize Telemedia Limited and the Belize Electricity Limited—amounted to an estimated $25 million. Meanwhile, damage to roads was estimated at $29.4 million. According to Barrow, 4,684 households were impacted, amounting to an estimated 17,000 persons in the Belize, Cayo, Orange Walk and Stann Creek Districts.

Morales accuses Barrow and Belizeans of cynicism
Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, Carlos Raúl Morales, has publicly accused Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and Belizeans in general, of being cynics, following a call from Barrow last week for a public apology from Guatemala, after the unveiling of an expert report detailing the circumstances of the April 20th shooting death of a Guatemalan minor inside the Chiquibul National Park. In response to the shooting incident, Guatemala had mobilized its elite troops to the Belize border and waged a public relations offensive, accusing Belize’s military of a “cowardly act of aggression” and claiming that there were 10 such incidents since 1999; but likewise not detailing the circumstances of the shooting incidents. The expert report, filed with the Organization of American States by Dr. James E. Hamby (of the USA) and Dr. Patricia Rosa Linda Trujillo Mariel (of Mexico), confirmed that the bullets which killed the minor did not come from the Belizean military’s weapon. It also documented that there were two bullet holes in trees at the location where the Belize enforcement patrol, and particularly rangers of the Friends for Conservation and Development, co-manager of the national park, said that they had come under fire from the Guatemalans, who, according to the patrol, came flashing lights intermittently and then opened fire at them.

Police were told to ignore leaked Immigration Department documents
The release of the Auditor General’s report on the Immigration Department scandal, which will be tabled at the House of Representatives meeting on Friday, has begun to refocus national attention on a number of illegalities stemming from corrupt practices during the period the report covers, between 2011 and 2013. A lot of high level efforts went into perverting the course of justice in the early part of the process of addressing the scandals at the Immigration Department. In regards to the Elvin Penner passport scandal, the government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow went on a mission to make sure that no one would be held criminally responsible for the illegal sale of a Belize passport by Penner to a man who had never set foot in Belize. The orders were given for the police’s investigative team to limit their investigation to the PUP attorney Arthur Saldivar, and how he managed to obtain Immigration Department documents, a retired senior police officer who called KREM’s Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes (WUB) confirmed yesterday, Monday morning.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Ex-open vote worker wins court case
In February of this year, the Supreme Court heard the case of Melissa Belezaire Tucker, a former Ministry of Education employee who served in the Public Service for seventeen years, from 1995 to 2013, when she was terminated. Tucker was first appointed as a […]

Belize tourism promotes “experiences”
A new series of ads for the Belize Tourism Board, created by the Olson agency, aims to re-define the Belizean experience for potential visitors. Long marketed as “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret,” and later as a place to “Discover How to Be,” the new ads […]

Former Immigration C.E.O. Candelaria Saldivar Still on Government Payroll
C.E.O. Candelaria Saldivar, the sister of Minister John Saldivar, remains on administrative leave over a year after vacating her office in the Ministry of Immigration. That’s because she reportedly couldn’t get along with the Heads of Department. During this time, the senior public officer […]

Central Bank Governor contract up in September
Central Bank Governor Glen Ysaguirre’s contract will be expiring at the end of September. Ysaguirre will reportedly not be renewing his contract. Joy Grant has been named as Ysaguirre’s possible replacement, according to several unconfirmed reports. There were reports from the PUP that Ysaguirre […]

Resort keeper charged for murdering mentally ill woman
Donald Heredia, a 51-year-old grounds-keeper for a Caye Caulker resort, was arraigned and charged for murder on Monday. Heredia was charged for the murder of Jennifer Coleman, 51. Coleman was stabbed to death inside her apartment on August 23 on Aventura Street on the […]

Latin American music icon Juan Gabriel dead at 66
Latin American singer and music icon Juan Gabriel died on Sunday morning in his home in Santa Monica, California. Juan Gabriel, whose real name is Alberto Aguilera Valadez was 66 years old. He suffered a fatal heart attack in his home, a day after […]

Blogs

Going Bananas in Belize City Market
Limes the size of Oranges!! Oranges the size of Grapefruits!! Grapefruits the size of Cabbages!! Cabbages the size of Watermelons!! 5 Limes for $1 10 Bananas for $1 TEN, YES TEN!!! Sorry if I sound too excited or find it hard to believe the prices of produce in the mainland. We have been in the city for two weeks now and enjoying heading to the market to purchase veggies and fruits. Compared to prices in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, I don’t have to cut one arm and a leg to afford eating healthier. The Michael Finnegan Market is one of the best places in the city to get cheap veggies and fruits. Once they make their way to the supermarkets their prices soar, skyrocketing once they reach the islands. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday are the very best days when fresh produce arrives to the market from the farmers/producers in the mainland; and you better get up early to get your hands on the best and freshest products – 5a.m. early! If that is too early for you, getting there around 9a.m. or 10a.m. is not so bad.

Best Time to Visit Belize
Mother nature’s best kept secret see’s a surprising number of visitors for a “secret”, but with lush virgin jungles and cushiony white sand beaches it no wonder why. Despite all the adventurers who trek here, many people still find themselves wondering: When is the best time to visit Belize? The Best Time To Visit Belize Depends On What You Are Looking For! As any local will happily tell you, it’s always a good time for an unBelizable vacation, and that’s true. Depending on your tastes, however, there’s a good time (which is seriously always) and the best time for you to visit Belize. Here are the best times, for who, and why, to visit our slice of Caribbean paradise.

THE ESSENTRICS MOVEMENT AT GRAND CARIBE BELIZE!!
Resident owner at Grand Caribe Belize, Sheryl Hitchens, introduced us to the concept of Essentrics. She had been talking about it for a while and kept inviting us to experience it. Being that it’s now offered here at Grand Caribe I was excited to see exactly what it entailed. But, before immersing myself into anything, I figured it wouldn’t hurt doing a little Googling… and so I did. “ESSENTRICS is a unique program that rapidly changes the shape of your body through a dynamic and fluid combination of strengthening and stretching. The results come quickly – not over years, but in a matter of minutes. Increased flexibility is enjoyed instantly.” (Google 8.28.16) So, on a warm Thursday morning I joined the girls in the gym. Oh yeah, we have a full gym here at Grand Caribe Belize; but, this story isn’t about our fully air conditioned gym, with state of the art equipment. It’s about Essentrics.

It’s a Jungle Out There, You Won’t Want to Vacation Anywhere Else
When you’re asked to describe the most beautiful place on earth, are you tempted to invoke a cliché to get your point across? It’s easy to see why; hyperbole has become a powerful speaking aid, which is how our conversations become littered with “awesomes,” “amazings” and that doesn’t even take you out of the As! But we beg your indulgence as we insist that “a picture is worth more than a thousand words” when it is used to describe Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, a destination so breathtaking, guests often say they’re speechless the moment they visit the Caves Branch website to virtually step through the door of private accommodations that have no equal. This is a magical place. Secrets are shared. Nature is revered. Time speeds by too fast as guests learn how it feels to be one with nature. Allow us to tell you a little about how Caves Branch came to be one of Belize’s crown jewels and why you should visit. A great story deserves a great beginning: Once upon a time, Ian Anderson happened upon Belize long before it became a Caribbean hot spot. He carved out a bit of jungle and built a rustic camp with all of the necessities anyone seeking a primitive outdoor experience could desire. Campers settled into a true jungle adventure that included taking in one-of-a-kind natural sites not found elsewhere and they found all of the basics necessary to enjoy their time, including outhouses and river bathing. Guests returned. The lodge’s reputation grew.

Ambergris Caye: This rolled in this afternoon
As I sat on the deck looking out to the reef, a remarkably chilly breeze swept in from behind me. I turned around and saw this. The chilly wind and the massing cloud formation kept on coming. So ominous, yet so beautiful. It reminded me of the scenes in “Independence Day” when the alien ships would suddenly drop down out of a thick roiling mass of cloud cover. But that didn’t happen. Here is a sequence of the cloud as it moved up from south San Pedro town and eventually skittered across the reef and out to sea. There was the rumble of thunder here and there and a tiny sprinkling of rain. Nothing to match the fierce appearance of this cloud!

International Sourcesizz

Meet the LGBT Activist Who Defeated Belize’s Anti-Sodomy Law
How does it feel, I asked Belize’s leading LGBT activist, to have finally prevailed in a six-year-long effort to have his country’s sodomy law declared unconstitutional? “Stressful,” he replied. At first, I laughed. I’ve known Caleb Orozco professionally for nearly 10 years, and he’s always cut to the quick, throwing shade on those who deserve it while remaining laser-focused on improving the lives of sexual and gender minorities in Belize and throughout Central America and the Caribbean. It didn’t surprise me that only two weeks after the landmark Supreme Court case was decided, he was already focused on the challenges ahead. But then he went into details. “Everybody thinks that because you win a court decision, the social concerns and threats of violence end,” Orozco told me. “They don’t.” As the sole named plaintiff in the case, Orozco is now somewhat famous in his small home country. I asked what it’s like to walk down the street. “I get lots of stares,” he said. “People act like they’ve never seen a gay man before—whispering, or an aggressive kind of silence. A smile or laughter that comes out of nowhere.”

Jungle Combat: Back To Belize
The Infantry Battle School has returned to Belize for the first time in five years. The training centre, which is based in Brecon, has spent the last three weeks in the jungle on 'Exercise Grim Warrior', the final part of its Platoon Commanders Battle Course. The exercise used to be a regular fixture in Belize but in 2011 the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) was mothballed and it had to be moved elsewhere. The course switched to Cyprus, spent a short while in Kenya and then moved to Scotland but commanders have always hankered after its former home. In their eyes, Belize offers the ultimate test which takes soldiers out of their comfort zone.

Canada assisting Belize with defence policy amid tensions with Guatemala
Canada is assisting Belize with its defence policy as tensions between the Central American nation and neighbouring Guatemala continue to simmer over the killing of a 13-year-old boy by Belize soldiers. Feliz Enrique, CEO of the Belize defence ministry, said last week that the US and Britain are also being consulted. Belize is embroiled a border dispute with Guatemala, which deployed 3,000 troops in April to a disputed area between the two countries after the 13-year-old was shot dead. Guatemalan officials claimed the youth and his family were attacked as they planted crops near the border. But Belize’s government said security forces investigating illegal land clearing in a national park had detained a Guatemalan man.

Banking Regulators, Facing Criticism, Seek to Dispel Myths on Money-Laundering Rules
U.S. banking regulators sought Tuesday to “dispel certain myths” around anti-money-laundering rules that critics contend have inadvertently cut off access to the U.S. financial system for some countries, businesses and individuals. The Treasury Department, along with four bank regulators, published an unusual, four-page “fact sheet” along with a lengthy blog post to clarify regulatory expectations related to the rules. While the statements didn’t change the rules, they emphasized that the government doesn’t take a “zero-tolerance” approach to enforcing anti-money-laundering laws and reserves enforcement action for the most egregious instances of widespread or intentional wrongdoing, such as recent fines related to movement of drug-cartel money. Regulators resolve about 95% of compliance failures without penalties, three senior Treasury officials said in the blog post, in which they also said that banks don’t have to vet the customers of their foreign-bank customers.

Videos

  • Cycling the Americas on a Tandem Bicycle - The Random Way Down, 6min. Sam and Julie leave the state of Veracruz behind them and head south through Tabasco and Chiapas. Mechanical problems see them stuck in Palenque for 2 weeks before crossing the border into the hot and sweaty jungles of Guatemala. From there they head to Belize for some quality beach time and manatee spotting before heading back into Guatemala to conquer the highlands.

  • Belize, 8min. Christ's Church Whitewater

  • Belize, 26min. Group presentation about Belize. Presented by a group of scholars from Ecuador at the University of West Indies. Barbados-2016

  • Clapper Rail at Caye Caulker in Belize on 27 August 2016, 1/2min. An adult Clapper Rail walking through the mangroves at close range.

  • Gray-crowned Yellowthroat calling on a post in Belize, 1/2min. A juvenile (based on the tapered tips to the rectrices), on the road to Black Rock Lodge, 25 August 2016.

  • Samuel's Sanctuary Santa Marta, Belize, 4min.

  • Magnificent Frigatebird soaring at Belize City waterfront, birds-eye view, 1.5min. A juvenile Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) riding the wind outside the Hotel Princess in Belize City, 21 August 2016.

  • Brown Pelican flying at Belize City waterfront (birds-eye view), 1/2min. A soaring Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) at Belize City, 21 August 2016, photographed from the 6th floor of the Belize Princess Hotel.

  • Culcha Jam, 4.5min. Belize da me country, Belize is me land, that da weh I come from!

  • Jungle Combat: Back To Belize, 5min. The Infantry Battle School has brought soldiers back to Belize for the first time in five years. The training team which is based in Brecon has spent the past three weeks in the country running the final exercise in the Platoon Commanders Battle Course.

  • Enviroconnect Belize, 69min. Catch our newest show: Enviroconnect Belize right after the News. Episodes air every Tuesday at 8:00 pm.

  • Belize/NY, 6min.

  • Baby shark becomes attached to diver, 1min. This baby nurse shark in Belize becomes curious about a diver and closely checks him out. He then swims under and around the diver before following him over the sea grass through the shallows. He acts more like a lost puppy than a shark. Nurse sharks occasionally follow divers but this one is exceptionally friendly and comfortable being right up close to people.

  • Belize Diving Caye Caulker and San Pedro, 3min.

  • Xunantunich Mayan Ruins in Belize!, 4min. Xunantunich Mayan Ruins tour 8/24/16! We enjoyed getting to see this beautiful area up close. We even climbed the main building which was over 130 feet tall and 690 feet above sea level!

  • The New path - Belize summer 2016, 4min. So happy i was able to go to this amazing country! Thank you everyone who made it one to remember.

  • Trip to San Pedro, Belize, 4min. Here is a compilation of videos we took in San Pedro on a family vacation. Devices used: DSLR T4i, DJI Phantom 3, and GoPro.

    August 30, 2016


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    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Time to celebrate: September Celebrations Calendar of Events Released
    Are you ready for the most patriotic time of the year in Belize? I know I am! September is right around the corner, and it means that Belize will turning 35! To celebrate, Belizeans will be proudly waving the red and blue flag with the coat of arms to honor their heritage. It also means that events will be occurring across the country, leading up to Belize’s Independence Day on Wednesday, September 21st. Since the celebrations are often considered the most patriotic, festive, and memorable part of the year, the National Celebrations Commission (NCC) isn’t holding back from the thrill. This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme “Sovereign and Strong – Together as one” and with the release of the 2016 Playbill and Calendar of Events, which includes celebrations, commemorations and other September-related programs around the country, there are enough activities to keep everyone entertained!

    Ambergris Today

    OAS Report Clears Belizean Soldiers on Shooting Death of Guatemalan Teenager
    The Belize government has welcomed the findings of the Organization of American States (OAS) into the shooting death of a Guatemalan teenager earlier this year that had threatened to escalate the border dispute between the two countries. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has made a statement to Parliament regarding the 22-page report by the OAS that investigated the April 20 killing of 14-year-old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the OAS report is a clear vindication of the country. “It is clearly vindication, we are very pleased; we always knew, though, that that was in fact the position. Still a little worrying as to how the Guatemalans will react now, because this is clear vindication for the Belize Defence Force (BDF).

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    What is the authority of the Speaker of the House of Representatives?
    Section 91 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives addresses this: General Authority of the Speaker 91.(1) The Speaker shall have power to regulate the conduct of business in all matters not provided for in these Standing Orders. (2) The decision in all cases for which these Standing Orders do not provide, shall lie within the discretion of the Speaker, and shall not be open to challenge. (3) The Speaker shall be responsible for the management and general administration of the Chamber.

    How and why can a member in the House of Representatives be named?
    Section 44 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives addresses this: 44.-(5) If a Member shows disregard for the authority of the Chair, or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and willfully obstructing the business of the House or otherwise, the Speaker shall direct the attention of the House thereto, mentioning by name the Member concerned. The Speaker shall then call upon a Minister to move "That Mr. ........................ be suspended from the service of the House", and the Speaker shall forthwith put the question no seconder being required and no amendment, adjournment or debate being allowed.

    In the event a member of the House of Representatives is suspended from the session and refuses to leave, can the Speaker have that member removed?
    Section 44. (10) and (11) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives addresses this: (10) If any Member, who is ordered to withdraw or who is suspended under this Standing Order, refuses at any time to obey the direction of the Speaker to withdraw from the House and its precincts, the Speaker shall call the attention of the House to the fact that recourse to force is necessary in order to compel obedience to his direction, and the Member named by him as having so refused to obey his direction shall thereupon, without further question put, be suspended from the service of the House during the remainder of the Session. (11) If resort to force is necessary, the Speaker may suspend the sitting during the removal of the Member and invoke the assistance of any police officer in ejecting the offending member and such officer shall, for the purposes of this order, be deemed to be an Officer of the House.

    Orange Walk Marketing Expo 2016

    School is back in SESSION!
    Ambassador Moreno and the U.S. Embassy wish all of the students a great school year. Study hard so in the future we can assist you over at the EducationUSA Reference Center in Belize City with your college applications to study at universities in the U.S. Also in the spirit of the new school year, the U.S. Embassy donated over 150 backpacks to the Special Envoy's Back to School Drive. On August 31st this week our Deputy Chief of Mission will join the First Lady as they distribute the backpacks to local students here in Belize. Checkout the backpacks below!

    San Pedro Traffic Department: School is on, be safe on the roads...
    It's that time of year again, schools start this coming Monday September 5th.We are asking all drivers to please take extra care during the times when the children are arriving and leaving school. Please follow the instructions given by the wardens. Let's all keep our children safe. During School time, we are asking all drivers of heavy and big vehicles to avoid the area around the RC school during the time students arrive and leave school, including lunchtime. This is a request but we will force drivers of these type of vehicles to park till the students are safely in or out of school.

    Spanish Reports on the Battle of 1798
    The Belize History Association and the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (NICH) invites one and all to come and learn about the preliminary findings on what the Spanish had to say in regards to the battle in 1798. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Bliss Centre, 9:30-11am. University of Belize, 2:30 - 4pm.

    Cricel Castillo Representing Belize at WBFF Worlds in Toronto Ontario Canada
    Cricel Castillo is ready to make history for Belize by preparing to take the WBFF Worlds Championship. Tune in and watch live as Cricel makes history for Belize. International fans: Purchase the show live on PPV. Preliminaries begin 10AM (8AM BZE TIME) Final Show 5:30PM (3:30 PM BZE TIME)

    First Friday of September Roadside and Beach Trash Pickup
    Join the fun this Friday and keep it clean! Feels like we were just out there, but here we go again! Please join us, along with our friends at Grand Caribe Belize, for our next monthly trash pickup on Friday, September 2nd! We provide bags, gloves, trash pickers and water (and even tasty treats and refreshments at the end courtesy of Marbucks Coffee House!) - all that's missing is you!

    2nd Annual KREMITE/SOS (soca or surrenda) JOUVERT 2016
    call 202-4409/4469 for more details.

    New and improved Operating Theatre at the Orange Walk Northern Regional Hospital
    Residents in the Orange Walk District can expect to see a new and improved Operating Theatre at the Orange Walk Northern Regional Hospital by the end of November. This afternoon, the Minister and Minister of State in the Ministry of Health Belize, Hon. Pablo Marin and Hon. Dr. Angel Campos, respectively, along with CEO Dr. Ramon Figueroa signed contacts between the Government of Belize and various contractors for works and repairs to the facility.

    Special Audit: Passport Immigration and Nationality Department
    Scans of each page of this report.

    Channel 7

    Opposition Calls For Removal of House Speaker
    Tonight Belizeans are still recovering from the stunning images coming out of Friday's house meeting where police forcibly ejected PUP representative Julius Espat from his seat on the opposition bench, and a police officer fired a live round to scare off a small group of protestors who were charging towards the National Assembly building. Those events made history - and now the PUP want to force another kind of history: they want to Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte to resign or be removed because of the events of Friday afternoon. And they want him to apologize to Julius Espat - both of which have never happened before. Today at a press conference at party headquarters, opposition leader John Briceno laid out his party's demands:

    PUP Plans Two Protests, Wants Government Out
    And while that is the demand - based on past events, we'd say there's about….ah, let's say, 0% chance of it happening - which the PUP pretty much knows. So then, what's next for the opposition? Well, they want to use the momentum and the outrage from this event to drive the Barrow Administration out of Belmopan. Today, the opposition leader outlined their action plan:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP: "The People's United Party on behalf of the Belizean people call this government to leave, to resign and to call elections now!" "To prove our commitment to this, I call on all Belizeans, especially those of us who believe in democracy and good governance and who knows that we deserve better, to join us on Wednesday 7th September in Belize City for our "Save Belize" march, where we will take Belizean democracy back in a display of the power of the people."

    Friday's House Meeting History: A Recap
    And so that's where it is tonight: they PUP want both the House Speaker and the Barrow administration gone - and they're going to "take it to the streets" to get that done. There's no telling yet where that effort will go, but if Friday's events do demonstrate anything, it's that in politics, a few minutes can change everything. Tonight Daniel Ortiz recaps all those minutes that made Friday's House Meeting pivotal:... Daniel Ortiz reporting: The day started off as normal with the Members of the House of Representatives debating the different items on their agenda. Outside, a second protest was organized by members of churches, this time by the Spanish arm of the Evangelicals, with a few familiar faces. Louis Wade - Protester/Talkshow Host: "Today is different, we are not afraid to call a demonstration today and we're not afraid to associate with COLA, PPORS, the Alliance and other groups as well as some teachers are here today."

    PUP Says Speaker Made Multiple Errors in Ejecting Espat
    And today the PUP gave it's legal opinion on both the forcible ejection of Cayo South's Julius Espat and the rough-handed removal of the press from the House Chamber. Starting with the Espat incident, where he was named by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington - the PUP says that the House Speaker had his procedure all mixed up. PUP Deputy Kareem Musa explains his interpretation of events:... Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP - Caribbean Shores "The Hon. Julius was very emotional, there was a back and forth and he did say something that offended the house speaker. Now, section 44 3 deals with when something offensive is said in the house and that is called the withdrawal of the member for the day's sitting. That is the particular section that the honorable house speaker should have applied and if I may read that section..."

    Hon. Musa Says Media Should Not Have Been Moved
    And the PUP's also say that the media were wrongfully removed. As we've shown you, the police pushed out the media, and dragged out our news News Director Jules Vasquez on his back. Jules's position was that the police don't have the authority to eject the press - only the Speaker does, and we certainly weren't going to go quietly so that the cops could then eject Julius Espat without having the press witness that piece of history. Today - perhaps not surprisingly - the PUP sided with the media:... Hon. Kareem Musa, PUP - Caribbean Shores: "Because the speaker before leaving his chair did not clear the media from the gallery and so the police officers, I don't know whose instructions they were acting on, then acted unlawfully. Because Jules Vasquez is right. He had all right to be where he was recording history."

    Junie Balls Son Stabbed To Death At Soca Concert
    21 year old George Mckenzie Jr. was murdered yesterday morning around 12:45. If that name sounds familiar it should, because he was the son of George Mckenzie Sr. the notorious, "Junie Balls" - a legendary gangster known as the Godfather of Pink's Alley. Sunday August 28th marked the 9th anniversary of his execution - and it was the same day his son was killed. Now was it some sort of plan to kill Mckenzie Jr. on 9th anniversary of his father's death? Or was it just a bad mix of coincidence and a petty disagreement? Courtney Weatherburne went to Pink's Alley to find out. Courtney Weatherburne reporting: For mother Melissa Major, these two pictures were her favorites, the man standing tall in full white is her son George McKenzie Junior and the picture right beside him, is of his father, McKenzie Sr, better known as "Junie Balls". Looking at her son's picture would always bring her comfort after "Junie Balls" was killed in 2007, but now, these images on her TV stand bring her grief, and they are now just reminders of all she has lost.

    Northside Homicide By Southside Gang
    Now while Northside police are searching for more leads in this murder case, south side police also have their work cut out for them. Police did not confirm this in their briefing but reports are that it was members of a south side gang who murdered Mckenzie. Today ACP Chester Williams told us about the gang interventions he is doing in relation to Mckenzie's execution. ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South: "Well you would know that the Pink's Alley crowd is affiliated or they have some connection to Southside gangsters and then Pink's Alley crowd again have some affiliation with Banak Street, because the son of George McKenzie Jr. do have affiliations in Banak. So we have to be mediating between Banak, Southside and George Street, because from information they stabbing was done by George Street. So we do not want there to be any spillover or any retaliation coming either from Southside or Banak. As it relates to the Pink's Alley crowd, they are over on Northside. I have not been able to have a chance to speak with them, but I'll be going over there this evening to have a talk with them to see how I can also reach out to them to be able to bring this thing to an end and let the investigation takes its course."

    GSU Vs. GTC, Meighan Brothers Shot
    And while ACP Williams is doing gang mediation - on Sunday morning, right after the murder, it seems the GSU was doing gang aggravation. They were caught in a dangerous exchange of fire with gang combatants in the middle of a crowded community. This came after the gang trailed a group of persons associated with the Ghost Town neighborhood to their community and then proceeded to shoot two of them - and not just any two; they shot two of the Meighan brothers - who are considered leaders of the Ghost Town Crips. That set off all kinds of chaos in the community. Now, to make it clear, as you saw in our earlier story, the Meighan's are not suspects in the Mckenzie murder because they were friends and allies with the young man. But, it seems the GSU was either just waiting for a chance to pounce on ghost town, or doing an aggressive pre-emptive strike to block retaliation. Either way, all hell broke loose as gunshots rained down on Mayflower Street. Jules Vasquez went there yesterday for a damage assessment:..

    Chester To GSU: "No Come Yah With That"
    Eventually, the southside commander Chester Williams had to be called in to quell the chaos. Today ACP Williams spoke candidly and courageously about the conduct of the GSU, saying they overdid it and that if the GSU can't get with their new policing program, they better stay out of the Southside. ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South: "Yesterday there was an incident in the Mayflower between the GSU and the elements from the Mayflower/Banal Street area and yes it is an unfortunate situation. I have spoken to the Commissioner about and the commissioner have directed that Professional Standards Bureau conducts an intensive investigation into the matter to ensure that there is impartiality in the way how the investigation is being conducted." Reporter: "Video has been made public, showing that the GSU actually came with a lot of aggression. From what I understand at least 5 shots were fired from one of the officers, one which hit Mr. Meighan."

    Killer Ambushed Orange Walk Resident
    A man was shot and killed in front of his home in Orange Walk. Yesterday morning around 5:00, Kevin Flowers arrived at his gate when someone opened fire on him, hitting him in the head and back. Police believe the gunman was waiting and hiding out in Flowers' yard. ASP Tillett told us the little they have so far. ASP Selvin Tillett, OC - Orange Walk Police: "We don't want to speculate. We have certain information that we are following at this moment." Reporter: "Does the police have any fear of retaliation?" ASP Selvin Tillett, OC - Orange Walk Police: "Well as I said, we are ready for any happens, but at this moment we will try and work as quick and hard as we can to avoid any such incident to happen."

    Caye Caulker Resort Keeper Charged for Knife Murder
    On last week Wednesday's newscast, we took you to Caye Caulker for the very strange murder of 51 year-old Jennifer Coleman. Well, the man who police believe to be her killer is at the Belize Central Prison Tonight. 51 year old Donald Heredia - who is a groundskeeper for an island resort, was charged with her murder when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was remanded until September 30. Herredia is believed to have frequented her house. Coleman was found bleeding from a stab wound to the neck. That was just before midnight on Tuesday, and though the cops tried to get her help, she passed away. The investigators found a knife on the scene which they believe is the murder weapon.

    OAS PRESENTS INDEPENDENT REPORT
    Last week, we reported multiple times on the results of the OAS Independent Investigation Team which did a thorough inquiry into the shooting death of 14 year old Guatemalan Julio Ruano. The report has vindicated Belize, but the Guatemalan officials are not prepared to concede that at this time, and we'll get to their refusal shortly. But first, we tell you about a press conference which the OAS held at their Adjacency Zone Office at the Benque/Melchor border on Saturday. That's where the Secretary General's Special Representative, Magdalena Talamás, hosted a 7 minute press briefing. Though she took questions from the press, she was unable to say anything that you the viewers don't already know. Here are those brief comments: Magdalena Talamas, O.A.S. Representative: "I have traveled to Belize and to Guatemala at the request of the Secretary General to formally hand over the report of the independent commission that carried out the investigation of the incident that took place in the Adjacency Zone on April 20th. I would like to clarify that this report is technical report that was conducted, it was produced by forensic experts that are not OAS staff members. The governments of the United States and Mexico responded affirmatively and put at disposal two very high level experts."

    Foreign Minister Address House On OAS Report
    And while the OAS Special Representative was very conservative in her remarks, so too was Belize's Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington. We showed you on Friday how he didn't need any apology from Guatemala for the outrageous and erroneous comments that the Guatemalan President, His Ambassador to Belize, and his Foreign Affairs Minister made. At Friday's House Meeting, Elrington dryly reported to his colleagues that the Independent Expert's report has been delivered to him. Here's a portion of his presentation: And, if you're waiting for an apology from the Guatemalans, don't hold your breath. The Guatemalan Foreign Minister is quoted in their media as explaining that they question the chain of custody of evidence relied on by the independent experts, and that at the heart of it, the report pits the accounts of the diverging sides of the fatal shooting against each other.

    DPM Says No Free Ride From GOB
    The saga of Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber's drowned SUV continues tonight, and up until Friday it was hemorrhaging the UDP. Before Friday's House Meeting went awry, the leader of the Opposition asked the Prime Minister if he would buy the Deputy a new vehicle. The Prime Minister said that Government would do so. So even though the PM committed to 90 thousand for a new vehicle, plus a little more in consideration of Faber's Deputy Prime Minister-ship - today Faber turned it down. He sent out a release today saying he will personally finance the replacement of his ministerial vehicle quote, "via personal resources." And if that sound sort of vague, the release adds, quote, "For full disclosure, the Deputy Prime Minister informs that the financing of his new vehicle will come by way of a personal loan from his bank and an interest accruing salary advance."

    No Permit, No Problem: Christians Will Protest
    In our recap of the madness at Friday's House Sitting, we showed you outside where Belize City agitators seized control of the protest and turned it from a peaceful demonstration to a riot-like confrontation with the Belmopan police. Well, chief organizer Patrick Menzies, the President of the Spanish Church's Alliance of Ministers and Leaders, told us today that they are going back to Belmopan tomorrow. He told us via phone that the police are refusing to grant him a permit, but they will still be out there nonetheless: We'll be there, and we will tell you what happened in tomorrow's newscast.

    PUP Says GOB Should Appeal Part of Section 53
    At its press conference today the PUP said that the government should challenge the section 53 judgment made by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. But, like the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition urged a challenge based on the Chief Justice's interpretation of the word "sex" to mean "sexual orientation". He explained why the issue of intercourse against the order of nature was not deemed important to challenge: Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP: "When you take a close look at the judgment and there is just one part of the judgment that most people are against or they are concerned, and that is the issue about the new interpretation of sex to mean sexual orientation. And when you have so many citizens demanding clarity on that portion of the ruling then I think it is the responsibility of the government to appeal to get clarity whichever way it will happen, to go to the Court of Appeal and if necessary to the Caribbean Court of Justice."

    Duff Says Audit Has it All Wrong
    On Thursday's newscast, we told you about how House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte is demanding an apology from the Auditor General, and amendment to her Audit Reports on Immigration and Nationality. Well, as you know, it names a number of UDP Ministers, former Ministers, and UDP operatives as being involved in irregular and questionable issuances of passports, visas, and nationality certificates. Well, there is another person who is disputing the Auditor General's findings. He's 76 year-old Ladyville Resident Valvin Seymore Duff Sr., who says that he is sure that the Dorothy Bradley got it wrong in his case. He said that he's been living uninterrupted in Belize for close to 40 years, so he does not know how and why he does not qualify for a passport. Duff told us this evening that he got the surprising news from his friends who pointed it that his name was printed in the Belize Times Newspaper:

    Briceno Explains How He Got Into Passport Audit
    One other person whose name is in the report is PUP Leader John Briceno. We were the first to inform him of this on Friday, but indeed, it's right there in the passport audit for an application that did not meet requirements. We asked him to explain today. Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Your name is also in the audit for the passport section for one Dalia Amanda Brikish. What is the situation with that?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP: "Dalia Amanda Brikish is my wife's aunt. She is a Belizean. She grew up in Orange Walk. She married a man who is a Canadian with origins from Yugoslavia, lived in Belize all his life. She was renewing her passport and according to the report all it says is that I never put the stamp. That's all." Jules Vasquez, 7News: "The problem is that that is a mistake. Elvin Penner seems to have made on 3 successive occasions - so that by association it makes it suspicious." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition - PUP: "Your point is?"

    Channel 5

    P.U.P. Calls Suspension of Espat “An Attack on Democracy”
    The political brouhaha at the sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday remains at the forefront of national discourse tonight.  It is the first time that security forces are [...]

    P.U.P. Leader Gives Kudos to Friday Protestors in Belmopan
    In the wake of Friday’s chaotic sitting, the People’s United Party announced that it has agreed to hold a series of activities; the first to take place on Wednesday at [...]

    Julius Espat Believes He Has Not Been Lawfully Suspended
    Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat was suspended as a member of the House of Representatives, at Friday’s scandalous sitting.  While questions have been raised as to the legitimacy of [...]

    Briceño Says Michael Peyrefitte Must Go
    According to senior parliamentarian and Leader of the Opposition John Briceño, the Speaker of the House has been very biased in moderating House debates.  The P.U.P. claims the Speaker does [...]

    P.U.P. Condemns Police’s Removal of Press at End of House Meeting
    The ejection of the media from the gallery has also raised concerns in respect of the apparent abuse of authority by members of the police department.  Without verbal authorization from [...]

    P.U.P. Does About Turn on Section 53; It Now Wants Appeal
    The People’s United Party is also calling for an appeal of the Supreme Court decision on Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code.  In the days following the landmark ruling, the [...]

    Opposition to Protest in Belize City Next Wednesday
    The P.U.P. touched on a number of other issues. It weighed-in on the massive turnout of protestors who were present for the COLA/Evangelical Church rally in Belmopan on Friday.  According [...]

    Kareem Musa on Standing Orders in House
    Turning to the procedure on the naming of a member of the House of Representatives…. As you know, the House ended in utter confusion not to mention the chaos after [...]

    P.U.P. Joins Call for Government to Join UN Anti-Corruption Convention
    The People’s United Party has joined the B.P.P. in demanding that the Barrow administration immediately sign on the UN Convention on Anti-corruption.  The urgent call for the U.D.P. government to [...]

    George McKenzie Jr. Stabbed to Death During Entertainment Event
    A man well-known to the law was murdered during a fete in Belize City over the weekend. George McKenzie Junior, the son of slain gang leader George McKenzie, was stabbed [...]

    3-cornered Gang Beef Forces Police to Intervene
    But Eastern Division South Regional Commander, ACP Chester Williams, says that information gathered so far indicates that the stabbing murder of McKenzie Junior was carried out by a member of [...]

    GSU Accused of Shooting Meighan Brothers in Mayflower Street Area
    Shortly after the stabbing of George McKenzie Junior on the ITVET Compound, shots rang out over on south side of Belize City in the Mayflower/Banak Street area. Brothers Tyrone and [...]

    Southside Commander Says G.S.U.’s Aggressive Tactics Not Welcome
    ACP Williams says that the incident is counterproductive to the efforts that they have put in place. He laid out why the Gang Suppression Unit’s aggression is no longer welcome [...]

    Orange Walk Police Puzzled Over Early Morning Murder
    In Sugar City, Orange Walk, police are still puzzling over the murder of twenty-eight year old Kevin Flowers, gunned down in front of his Smithsonian Street home in the early [...]

    A Caye Caulker Man is Arrested for Woman’s Murder on Island
    Five days ago, Caye Caulker resident, Jennifer Coleman was murdered at her apartment on the island when her throat was cut.   Today, a mentally challenged man was charged for her [...]

    Independent Commissioners Present Report on Julio Alvarado Death
    A report from experts, Doctors James Hamby of the U.S. and Doctor Patricia Trujillo of Mexico, on the killing of a Guatemalan minor back in April was released last week [...]

    Guatemalan Foreign Minister Blasts Barrow and Talamas – Belizeans “Shameless”
    The report of the independent investigation has incensed Guatemala. As soon as it was released, the Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales made comments to Emisoras Unidas, a news outlet across [...]

    Carlos Raul Morales Says Report is not Conclusive, Must Be Expanded
    By and large in the aftermath of the death of fourteen-year-old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, it was felt that the Guatemalan government was ahead in its campaign to internationalize their [...]

    Eastern Division South’s Back to School drive continues
    The second of three back to school drives organized by the Eastern Division South Police Department took place today at the Raccoon Police Station. Over a hundred and twenty children [...]

    Kaya Cattouse Wins Regional Cycling Race in Merida
    We’ll have much more in Sports with James Adderley, but today, elite female cyclist Kaya Cattouse told us that she competed in a race in Merida over the weekend. The [...]

    James Adderley And the Weekend Sporting Activities
    Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We turn immediately to the Premier Football League Opening season where Week II took us to Sugar City where [...]

    PlusTV

    Cecil Ramirez Jr. freed of murder charge
    An SJCJC Student who was slapped with a single charge of murder back in December 2015, has been set free. 20 year old Cecil Ramirez Jr., saw the charge withdrawn by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for insufficient evidence. Ramirez, defended by Dickie Bradley and Senior Counsel Sai...

    Two charged for King’s Park home invasion
    In mid-July there was a home invasion in the King’s Park area where an elderly senior citizen in the company of her daughter and her boyfriend were held at gun point. The gun man raided the home, taking the home owner’s safe containing all her valuable jewellery worth over $17,000 and 20 thousand US...

    Woman’s troubles after bail revoked
    Belizean American Kimberly Lino, whose bail of $30,000 was revoked last week by Justice John Gonzalez, almost fainted today when she was being escorted from the Supreme Court back to the holding cell at the magistrate’s court after she was told that her reapplication for bail has been adjourne...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    PUP calls on Belizeans to stand against corruption
    The People’s United Party (PUP), in a press conference at Independence Hall in Belize City this afternoon, announced that it is organizing a protest to be held on September 7th in Belize City in response to what the party considers rampant and obvious instances of corruption and […]

    PUP to take to the streets
    Claiming that the Cayo South area representative was attempting to present evidence of one of the worst instances of corruption in Belizean history when he was stopped and hauled out of the House of Representatives, the People’s United Party (PUP) has demanded that Julius […]

    GSU shoots man during confrontation in Belize City
    Reports coming from the old capital are that the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) shot a man during a confrontation in Belize City this weekend. A video posted on Facebook has gone viral and it shows the Gang Suppression Unit firing shots and you […]

    Missing woman from San Ignacio Town found hanging in abandoned cement house
    Desiree Denise Gladden, 49, who went missing this weekend was found hanging in an abandoned cement house located at the corner of Church Street and Bullet Tree road in San Ignacio Town. Mechanical asphyxia was the cause of her death and the body was […]

    Belize City police investigate shooting in the old capital
    Just a little after midnight on Sunday, August 28th 2016, Belize City police visited the KHMH where they saw 19 year old Clarence Thompson of a Belize City address with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to the left shoulder. Initial Investigation has revealed that Thompson was […]

    Belize Progressive Party Commends the Auditor General, Ms. Dorothy Bradley
    This afternoon, the Belize Progressive Party( BPP) issued a release commending the Auditor General, Ms. Dorothy Bradley, for conducting the investigation of the immigration department without fear or favor. According to the press release, the BPP calls all government employees to conduct their service to the public with utmost […]

    Orange Walk police investigate murder of Kevin Flowers
    Kevin Flowers, 28, was gunned down around 5:00 Sunday morning when he arrived home and attempted to open the gate in front of his residence on Smithsonian Street. According to Inspector Selvin Tillett, police believe that the gunman may have been waiting on Flowers inside his […]

    Cayo man beaten in Benque succumbs to injuries
    On August 5th we reported that Michael Pagett, 36, from San Ignacio Town was badly beaten by two men in Benque Viejo Del Carmen on July 31st 2016 and was in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The incident happened […]

    Blogs

    Booking a Hotel in Belize: How To Get Your Best Deal
    So…you’ve been dreaming of a tropical getaway, snorkeling and sunning, and you thought of Belize. Maybe a friend has visited recently and raved or you stumbled upon one of Belize’s new super cute short videos… …or maybe even my blog or Instagram account and the MANY reasons that Belize is SO DIFFERENT from just your average Caribbean beach get-away. (Belize is SO DIFFERENT: Here’s Why) But here’s a tip that might be different for you too. When booking travel, many use travel websites. I love Kayak.com for booking flights. And I always peruse Expedia, Tripadvisor, Hotels.com to research, pick and often book a hotel.

    September Celebrations in Belize
    In early Belize history, the country was under Spanish rule, but Spain did not actually control the area due to a belief that it did not have sufficient resources to gain the country’s full attention. Spain allowed British settlers into the area, and the British eventually gained a large presence. During the Battle of St. George’s Caye, the Spanish and British fought for about a week in September 1798, and this essentially led to British rule of the country. The British held control over the area until it was granted self-government in 1964, and it was renamed Belize from British Honduras in 1973. Belize finally attained independence on 21 of September 1981. Each year during September, Belizeans celebrate their independence in a number of ways. Below are a few examples:

    13 Unique Belize Resorts to Visit this Fall
    If you’re planning to visit Belize this fall, but you can’t decide where to stay because you have found too many choices, it’s understandable. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of resorts known for their luxe environs, amenities and award-winning hospitality—and this doesn’t begin to touch on the natural wonders that await your arrival like our famous reef, jungles, wildlife, Mayan ruins and the friendliest English-speaking people on the planet. The following 13 resorts are not just enclaves of relaxation and pleasure; they’re trend-setting lodgings that have put Belize on the Caribbean tourism map. Are they the only reason Belize has a growing reputation for being the hottest destination in the region? Nope. Airlines are adding routes to meet growing demand–the newest of which are Westjet, starting direct Toronto flights in October, and Southwest Airlines launching a Denver leg to its already-impressive U.S. cities of origin list as of March 2017.

    International Sourcesizz

    Canciller Morales pedirá una ampliación del informe de la OEA
    The Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Raul Morales calls OAS Representative Magdalena Talamas "anything but diplomatic" after her statement concerning the investigation into the April 20th incident in the Chiquibul which resulted in the death of a Guatemalan minor. Prime Minister Barrow has requested an apology for the unfair accusations levied against the Belize Defense force in the wake of the incident. Morales describes the request as irresponsible.

    US tells Haiti it will cut off money transfers in November if no reforms undertaken
    The Obama Administration has reportedly warned that it will end all money transfers from the US to Haiti in November, 2016, unless certain unspecified "corrective measures" are taken. Many Haitians have, for decades, been largely supported by remittances sent by expatriates working in America to their needy families in Haiti, but that route is also used to repatriate the proceeds of narcotics crime, and apparently the United States has lost patience with the Haitian financial industry's non-existent anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) efforts. Most North American compliance officers are ill-informed about the thriving Venezuela-to-Haiti-to USA drug trafficking route, believing Haiti to be an extremely poor country and not understanding its key role in drug smuggling and money laundering operations.

    USD33 mn to Finance Climate Change Resilient Infrastructure in the Caribbean
    Officials from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have signed an agreement to provide USD33,000,000 towards financing sustainable infrastructure projects in the Caribbean region. At least 50 percent of the funds will be used to fund climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. The agreement was signed last month at the CDB Headquarters in Barbados, by French Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados, Eric de la Moussaye, in the presence of CDB Vice-President (Operations), Patricia McKenzie. “Caribbean countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with our geographical location leading to high exposure to natural hazards. Economic conditions also play a role, as there is a lack of access to long-term resources to finance sustainable climate-related infrastructure projects. We believe that these additional funds will go a long way towards building resilience and mitigating the impact of climate change in our region,” said Mrs. McKenzie.

    How to Make the Most Out of Three Days in Belize
    San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye may be tiny, but it has tons to offer the weekend tourist. VACATIONS ARE A BIG COMMITMENT. You want to make the best of your too-short time off and find the best of the best while you’re there. The problem with sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp is that yeah, you get a snapshot view of what you’re interested in, but you don’t really know what it’s like until you get there—at least, that’s how I felt traveling to San Pedro, Belize. Even though I only spent a weekend there, I feel like a combination of planning ahead (with those aforementioned travel sites) and going with the flow gave me a feel for the best Belize has to offer. Below, my own tips for making the most out of a short jaunt south. Only a 2 ½ plane ride to Belize City, piece of cake right? After going through customs in the most adorable little airport ever, complete with duty free liquor stores advertising Rough flight? We’ve got complimentary shots!, you’ve got two options to get over to San Pedro—boat or mini plane. The mini plane is the way to go. The boat a) takes much longer b) is not at all scenic and c) isn’t that much cheaper. The mini-plane, on the other hand, takes you on a gorgeous ride over the ocean and islands and the flight only takes 20 minutes.

    Belize Boy Travels to Baltimore to Receive Life-Changing Eye Treatment
    At just 2-years-old he is facing a battle that could affect the rest of his life. Born in Belize, 3-months premature, George Garcia has faced many medical issues– the latest — leading his family to doctors right here in Baltimore to attempt to correct is eye sight issues. He is your normal 2-year-old full life, energy and laughter. But life has not been so easy for George. “We have been to Guatemala for the first surgery; he got a cataract removed,” said his mother, Maria Garcia. “And then the second surgery was in Mexico. That one was to remove some dry blood that was in his eye that was causing swelling.” In Belize, George was born at just 1 pound and 4 ounces. He spent 11 months in intensive care, underwent his first surgery within his first month of life for a testicular hernia. Now, his family is here in Baltimore meeting with doctors at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute.

    NAU Archaeologist Jaime Awe Describes ‘Unbelievable’ Find in Belize
    Archeologists made a major discovery in Belize this summer: they uncovered one of the largest Mayan tombs ever found, along with two hieroglyphic panels. Northern Arizona University professor Jaime Awe led the expedition. From the Arizona Science Desk, Melissa Sevigny spoke with Awe about the discovery. Melissa Sevigny: So you made some big findings in Belize this summer. Can you talk about that? There’s a site in Western Belize known as Xunantunich. That site has been investigated since the turn of the 19th century, so back in 1890s. Just a large number of people have worked there. Nobody had ever found a burial of an important elite ruler of the site. This year we decided to excavate this one smaller temple, and bingo, we hit this huge tomb, in fact one of the largest tombs ever discovered in the country of Belize.

    NAU Expedition Uncovers Mayan Tomb in Belize
    An archaeology expedition led by Northern Arizona University has uncovered one of the largest Mayan tombs ever found in Belize, and scientists are calling it the most significant discovery in more than a century of research at the site. The dig took place at Xunantunich in western Belize. NAU professor Jaime Awe brought his team of more than 30 students to the site, where they uncovered a burial chamber five times larger than a typical Mayan tomb. “Most tombs in the Maya world are sort of dug into existing buildings,” Awe said. “Not in this case. In this case, they constructed this tomb and then built the pyramid on top of it.” The tomb holds the remains of what appears to be an important Mayan ruler, animal bones and artifacts.

    This time we mean it: Alana Shock's moving on, possibly to Belize
    Chef Alana Shock, who for years has been one of Columbus’ most prized and inventive chefs, says she and her husband/co-owner Kevin Bertschi have put Alana’s Food and Wine (2333 N. High St.) up for sale after 18 years. “I have a great business here. People love this place, but I have been literally standing in my kitchen for 32 years now,” Shock says. It’s time for a change. So, what does the future hold? “It’s rather refreshing to not know,” Shock says. She does, however, have options. One is a job offer in Belize. Her former college roommate’s friends are planning to open an eco lodge in the Central American home of Mayan ruins, dense forests and the Caribbean Ocean. Shock was asked to travel down over her birthday in September to discuss the opportunity.

    “Palo de Campeche”, Logwood natural dye that changed the textile industry
    In 1540, when Spanish troops captured the Mayan port of Kin Pech on the Gulf of Mexico, they found an unexpected treasure: a small, scrawny tree that grew all over the nearby forests — and from which a gorgeous, red-orange dye could be made. That was a big deal back in Europe, where only the rich could foot the hefty bills for purple capes, red waistcoats and other bright clothes dyed with the juices of rare bugs, exotic plants and the like. Commoners could only afford clothes dyed with cheap, drab materials. Like soot. Soon, galleon loads of the Kin Pech trees began showing up in Spain, and news that a cheap source of colorful dye had been found blasted across the European continent like a cannonball. The sooty set could now dress like the silky set. All this from a little tree simply called logwood.

    Concern over Brexit in vulnerable Commonwealth states
    Key industries in some Commonwealth nations could take massive hits if appropriate steps aren’t taken following the UK’s departure from the EU. The forecast over so-called Brexit comes from policy experts’ analysis in two new research papers published by the Commonwealth Secretariat. "Brexit is a journey into unknown trading arrangements, both for the UK dealing with the EU, and the UK’s trading relationship with a large number of developing countries. Many have benefited from EU trade preferences," said Dr Mohammad Razzaque, head of the Secretariat’s international trade policy section. The analysis is part of the Secretariat's peer reviewed 'Trade Hot Topics' series. The latest papers suggest that the uncertainties caused by Brexit may weaken the chances of world economic recovery. This in turn will have severe implications for many developing and so called least developed countries or LDCs.

    Virgin Boss Richard Branson “Amazed To Be Alive” After Crashing Bike in British Virgin Islands
    Sir Richard Branson saw “his life flash before my eyes” during a bike crash close to a cliff edge that left him needing hospital treatment. The Virgin founder suffered a badly damaged cheek and severe cuts to his body after crashing his bicycle during training on the island of Virgin Gorda. Dramatic photos from the incident show a bloodied and bruised Sir Richard receiving emergency treatment at the scene after he missed a bump in the road and was thrust into the air, over the handlebars and onto the concrete. “The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes,” he wrote in his blog.

    Here’s Why Caribbean Bankers Are Giving The IMF Chief A Thumbs Up
    The Caribbean Association of Banks Inc. (CAB) is strongly supporting IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s proposed approach to dealing with the de-risking/correspondent banking issue that threatens some regional economies. It’s her suggestion that “it is a collective action problem that calls for a collective solution” that is getting her a thumbs up from the CAB. De-risking is where international banks limit or terminate their relationships with regional financial institutions because of fears that money laundering and questionable sources of funds which would cause them [international banks] to receive heavy fines from their regulators. The CAB said in a statement issued yesterday that it has been active in raising and advocating on the issue and its effects on the Caribbean region since 2014, when it brought the matter to the attention of Caribbean governments and other stakeholders. The CAB had requested regional intervention and highlighted that the loss of correspondent banking relationships could render the Caribbean region unbankable and ultimately destabilize all sectors of the economies.

    Videos

  • KAYAK RACE AD, 1min. from PGTV News Network

  • San Antonio Village, Corozal North, Corozal, Belize, 3min. Village Meeting, Village Council 2016-2019, Mrs. Veronica Riveroll Chairlady

  • Belize's Citizens Security, People's Referendum & Good Governance, 13min. Paco Smith, Chairman of the Belize Progressive Party - BPP speaks on issues affecting Belize. Excerpt from our August 18, 2016 Press Conference

  • A DAY IN CAYE CAULKER BELIZE, 8min. Our typical day here in Caye Caulker. Diving, fishing and eating!

  • UWI Belize Constitutional Case Briefing, 45min. Tracy Robinson, an LGBT advocate, shares the background story of HOW and WHY Belize was selected for the sodomy lawsuit challenge, characteristics of a "favourable environment" for the first lawsuit of many in the Caribbean. Quite revealing...

  • Belize Vacation Adventure, 5min.

  • Diving with Dolphins on B&D Ambergris Caye Belize, 1min. We saw dolphins in Belize, but on that dive my GoPro was out of charge, so I couldn't record our most phenomenal dive of the week. However, we managed to make contact with another diver in an adjacent group who sent us this video. You can hear the dolphins clearly and see how they were chasing the hapless sharks around. They paused to check out the divers, then went on their way.

  • Booth Random Walk Belize 2016, 2.5min. Making Friends Under Water

  • Carlos Bardalez Jr, 1min.

  • And the 2016 September Celebrations are OFFICIALLY opened: "Sovereign and Strong. Together as One!, 4min. Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture officially declares the 2016 Belize September Celebrations Open.

  • Treasure Found - Long Lost Logs from Belize, 11min. This video gives you an overview of the early logging methods once used to harvest Mahogany in Belize, (once known as British Honduras), and what is being done about all the logs that were lost to the bottoms of rivers and lagoons during 200+ years of Mahogany harvest.

  • Doyle Family Vacation Video - Belize June 10-16, 2016, 15min.

  • Cruise Crew 2016, 3min. Mexico, Belize, Honduras

  • Isla Marisol - Belize, 2min. Little video of our diving in Isla Marisol - Belize 2016.

  • Belize Jungle Tour 2016, 6min. Zip line and cave tubing with King David Castillo.

  • Belize - nurse shark after free lion fish meal, 2min.

  • Belize 2016, 3.5min. Loyola students and faculty members travel to Belize for a service trip.

    August 29, 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

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Neighborhood Watch Summer Camp 2016, Benque Viejo
    The Zone 4 Captain Samuel Bruce; recently hosted the ninth consecutive youth summer camp, held at the spacious facility Sam’s Community Park. The camp encompassed various activities this year, Arts & Crafts with a patriotic theme, Games, Sports, playground, and educational speakers. This year’s summer camp was an historic event for the Zone 4 captain Sam Bruce & Cpl. Joshua McKoy of Benque community policing unit effort; added the Department of Youth Services, Cayo District Youth Council, and Ministry of Health via San Ignacio Hospital staff all joining in working together to bring maximum benefit to the area youths! The pictured youths enjoyed a full week of free instruction, materials, snacks, juice, games with prizes and Rice & Beans & Chicken dinner, and daily engagement of hard hitting issues of life skills for the youths with the international trainer of GREAT program conducted by Cpl. Joshua McKoy.

    Our Honoree for this week is Cpl 1103 Aaron Ferguson of the Belize Police Dept.
    Affectionantely known as Fergy.He is undeniably a true Police Officer,leader and example to many kids in Dangriga Town.Cpl Fergy is the N.C.O.i/c Community Policing in Dangriga Town police station ,and he leads the youth cadeth corp,whilst he assist in the developing the cadets in the entire soutthern region.Cpl Ferguson is recognized for his hard work with the youths in the south more so in Dangriga town.FB friends kindly join our committee in congratulating,and saying thanks to Cpl Aaron Ferguson for his contribution to our precious youths.

    Successful Implementation of Bioenergy Course
    According to Belize policy targets, the country aims at increasing the share of renewable energy. Till now Bioenergy, especially Biogas, is not utilized industrial scales in Belize. To help achieve this goal and build capacity in this sector, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in cooperation with GIZ REETA had offered a free of charge BIOENERGY Course at its training Centre in the country’s capital, Belmopan. Bioenergy as a renewable energy resource offers many advantages: It can be converted into various forms of secondary and final energy. Biomass, the primary energy source, can be transformed into solid, liquid and gaseous energy carriers. The combustion of these energy carriers can produce heat, cold, electricity, mechanical power or a combination of these. Even better than this, bioenergy is storable, so it can be converted right at the time when energy is needed to balance the differences between energy supply and demand. Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Director of the CCCCC and Dr. Ulric Trotz , Deputy Director of the CCCCC both welcomed the participants and thanked GIZ for their contribution. They also thanked Henrik Personn, the integrated expert from CIM/GIZ, for his efforts especially in the Capacity Building and Waste to Energy Sector in Belize. The course was directed by Tobias Sengfelder of GoGreen Ltd.

    Casa Pan Dulce Opens New Bakery
    Casa Pan Dulce has a new location in downtown Cayo. They are in the Embarcadero Plaza. They have an extensive selection of pastries, cakes, and bread.

    Rotaract Turkey Dinner Fundraiser
    The Rotaract Club of Benque is having a turkey dinner fundraiser to raise money for their wonderful community service projects. It'll be at the Benque DYS next Sunday, September 4th. "Delicious Turkey Dinner only $10.00 . PLACE YOUR ORDERS NOW Inbox us for further information "

    Red-Lored Amazon at Belize Bird Rescue
    Pickle is a fledgling Red-Lored Amazon who just wandered into Jamie and her son Trey's garden in the Duck Run area of Spanish Lookout. Pickle was probably yet another victim of Hurricane Earl, and unfortunately the only bridge out of the area was under 6-feet of river! With Jamie's common sense and a little bit of coaching from us, she managed to get Mazuri pellet mush and fruit into their little Pickle for the three days it took for the flood waters to subside. Jamie and Trey brought Pickle to us as soon as they could. He was soon eager to go into the outdoor enclosures and every day now Pickle hangs out with five other Red-Lored Amazons, flying and cuddling with them and having a wonderful time. We have to bring him inside at night as Pickle is missing some feathers and still a bit young to be fully exposed to the overnight rains, but soon enough he will get to have a slumber party with his friends. Great save Jaime and Trey!

    The Reporter

    Tikkun Olam Belize reaches out in community cleanup
    Tikkun Olam Belize, a nongovernmental organization advocating for the rights of commercial sex workers in Belize, joined with community members in the Pickstock constituency for a community cleanup campaign and barbecue this week. The organization, in collaboration with the Sanitation department and residents of the Lovely Lane Community, gathered to clear the children’s park in the community, which was filled of debris which was leftover from hurricane earl. The participants spent over three hours cleaning up the area so the neighborhood children would have a clean and safe environment to play. They used the barbecue to raise funds to carry on other initiatives which will benefit the community. Elisa Castellanos, executive director of Tikkun Olam, explained that that her organization held the event in an effort to foster better community relations and build a sense of unity in the neighborhood.

    Angelus Press joins hurricane relief efforts
    This week the Angelus Press announced that it was partnering with its customers and social partners to assist families affected by Hurricane Earl. Operations manager for the Angelus, John Gillett explained that, considering how many families were affected, many of them students, the company would donate a pack of exercise books for every $50 a shopper spends at one of their branches. Gillett estimated that by the end of August the company will be donating thousands of books to needy children all over Belize. He added that the Angelus would be working with several groups such as the Belie Red Cross, Rotatract Club, UNICEF, and the Rotary Club of Belize, to assist with distributing the books to ensure that the children who need it the most get the donation.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Queen of the Bay crowned
    Stann Creek’s Cristalyn Castillo is 71st Queen of the Bay-Designate, after winning last night’s pageant in Belize City. First runner-up went to Toledo’s Aliesha Vernon; second runner-up to Lashania Crawford of Belize City; third runner-up to Aldeesha Castillo of Corozal; and fourth-runner-up to Darcell Duran […]

    Guatemala ambassador to Belize “expresses doubts” on OAS report
    Recalled Guatemalan ambassador to Belize, Estuardo Roldan, has told Prensa Libre newspaper that the OAS independent report is “not conclusive” to him about what happened to 14 year old Julio Jose Alvarado Ruano, calling it “a story.” According to Roldan, key evidence […]

    George McKenzie Jr. stabbed to death
    Son of notorious ex-gang leader George Junie Balls McKenzie, George Junior, was fatally stabbed on Saturday night. Police have confirmed that the incident happened during the Soca Madness event at the ITVET grounds. More on this story as it becomes available. Save © […]

    Decomposed body of woman found hanging in San Ignacio
    BBN has received reliable reports that the body of a woman was found hanging this morning in San Ignacio Town. According to reports, the body was found in a state of decomposition and was discovered by neighbors due to the putrid stench. The […]

    Early Morning Murder in Orange Walk Town
    BBN Staff: Reports reaching our newsroom are that a man was gunned down just after 5 this morning in Orange Walk Town. The victim has been identified as Kevin Flowers and he was murdered in front of his residence on Smith Sonia Street. According to reports, neighbors […]

    Is Governor Ysaguirre of the Central Bank gone?
    In an interview with the media, including BBN, after the house meeting was suspended yesterday, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. John Briceno, informed that Glenford Ysaguirre was fired as the Governor of the Central Bank. Briceno claimed the Governor was fired for revealing that […]

    No sign of repairs yet of low lying wooden bridge in San Ignacio
    It’s been 3 weeks now since the Ministry of Works confirmed that the low lying wooden bridge, which connects San Ignacio and Santa Elena, sustained damages from the flooding associated with Hurricane Earl. Immediately after the hurricane, the Ministry of Works had estimated a […]

    P.U.P. Politicians Say Government Was Trying to Silence Discussion of Immigration Reports; Prime Minister Avoids Media Comment After House Exit
    Friday’s historic – for the wrong reasons – events concluded with a charged media interview with dismissed Cayo South representative Julius Espat and his party leader, John Briceno. Moments later, flanked by a massive security detail, PM Barrow would exit the building. The shouting […]

    Blogs

    Where on Ambergris Caye, Belize is the Scoop?
    How well do YOU know Ambergris Caye? Here are some photos around San Pedro town and north of town…can you identify where they are? Some are not easy. But all answers are at the end of the post. But first, an update on the weather. Late summer is most definitely here. The wind has died down…the sun is hot. While it hasn’t been raining much yet, heavy clouds sit in the sky threatening passing showers. I call it two shirt weather. If you are out and about, you are going to be changing your shirt 2-3 times a day. Keep hydrated all! This photo of the ocean shows just how still things are. Now to WHERE ON AMBERGRIS CAYE IS THE SCOOP? Hint: You can see this gentleman on a balcony as you land at the airstrip.

    Hurricane Earl: The Aftermath
    After a 20km hike in Belize’s Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary earlier this month, I was enjoying a soda with my teammate Rebecca outside the visitor center. We were discussing the incredible footage we’d just received from our camera traps: a young jaguar mother with two tiny cubs, in perfect daylight. The cubs were the smallest we’d ever captured on camera. We knew we had to keep an eye on this family, but we also wanted to maintain monitoring presence throughout the area. We were excitedly discussing potential strategies when someone from the Belize Audobon Society (BAS) walked by and mentioned that a tropical storm was forming and might pass through Belize. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. I’d heard many similar warnings before—usually the storms die out or change direction. But the next day, the warnings became more serious. The storm was large, and it was headed straight toward us. Our discussion about changing camera locations shifted—now we needed to pull out cameras in flood-prone areas so they wouldn’t be damaged or lost. Apart from the cameras, we also needed to prepare our homes—the storm had been upgraded to a hurricane, and we needed to stockpile drinking water, food, flashlights, batteries, and more.

    This is Belize: ‘Curiouser and curiouser!’
    “Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice. Only this time, her Wonderland turns out to be Belize. Belize is a magical rabbit hole. Once you slide down into it, you almost never want to leave. I don’t and it has now been 2.5 years, one hurricane, three rainy seasons, two bicycles, scores of trips to the reef, more beautiful days than the imagination can grasp and more smiles from passing strangers than I ever thought possible. This is Belize. When I try to explain it, though, it comes off like shiny and colorful postcards — Palm trees! Sand! Blue-green waters! Sunshine! Barrier reef! There is a word for that. Well, a made-up word: Vemodalen. It means “the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.” You can look it up in the entertaining Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Let me explain vemodalen for you in two words: Blue Hole.

    International Sourcesizz

    Canada helping Belize with defence policy amid tensions with Guatemala over soldiers killing boy
    Canada is helping Belize to determine its defence policy even as tensions between the central American nation and neighbouring Guatemala continue to simmer over the killing of a 13-year boy by Belize soldiers. Top military officers from Belize came to Ottawa in February for meetings and to receive advice from the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces on their country’s future defence strategy. Belize is embroiled a border dispute with Guatemala, which deployed 3,000 troops in April to a disputed area between the two countries. “It’s going to look at the tasks the government wants the BDF to achieve, how they are going to achieve it, and then to put together those resources that they need to achieve it,” he said this year. “So with the help of the Canadian government we are finalizing that document.”

    Defective reasoning from the chief justice of Belize?
    I took the time last week Sunday to read through the ruling from the chief justice of Belize in the Caleb Orozco claim against the attorney general (the defendant) regarding his breached right of “freedom to express his preference or orientation”. I found aspects of the ruling puzzling, both legally and especially logically, and I apologise for saying that the reasoning on a key point of law, namely, public morality as per the Constitution of Belize, reminded me of an idiotic statute that was on the books in Kansas, USA, for years before the idiocy was spotted and the statute repealed. That Kansas statute said, “When two trains approach each other at a [railroad] crossing, they both shall come to a full stop and neither shall start up until the other has clean gone.” Chief Justice Benjamin said: “[69] The sole limitation relied upon by the defendant is that of public morality. In paragraph eight of the Ramjeet affidavit, section 9(2) is cited.”

    Children from Belize receive life-saving treatment in Richmond
    Irene Gobey held her 11-month-old daughter, Kelsey Sutherland, in her lap at Virginia Ear, Nose & Throat Associates’ offices in Henrico County on Friday. “When will her voice come back?” 17-year-old Gobey asked Dr. Alan Burke in Spanish, her native language, through translator Pilar Ortiz-Waters, program director of U.S. referrals with the Henrico County-based World Pediatric Project. Though now looking curiously around the room, Kelsey had been crying just a few minutes earlier when a nurse tried to take her temperature. Her wails had sounded scratchy and hoarse. Burke, head and neck surgeon with Virginia Ear, Nose & Throat Associates and a volunteer with the World Pediatric Project, explained that it probably would take about three months for Kelsey’s voice to return.

    SECRETS OF WHALE SHARKS REVEALED
    The world's biggest fish are hungry migrators on a mission, according to a tracking study that mapped whale sharks' long journeys around the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean to a favourite feeding hot spot off the Yucatan Peninsula. And one whale shark's incredible 7,200-kilometre swim could even help solve the long-standing mystery of where whale sharks give birth—an event no scientist has ever seen. The largest-ever study of whale shark migrations, nine years in the making, shows that the hundreds of school bus-sized animals that feed in a plankton-saturated stretch off the Mexican coast come from far and wide. The gentle giants—which can reach up to 12 metres or longer in length, and weigh an average of 5 tons—use mouth filters to feed on the tiny plankton and small fish or eggs.

    Muere el cantante y compositor mexicano Juan Gabriel
    Reports from Mexico say Mexican singer Juan Gabriel has passed away from a heart attack. Share this post if you have been to one of his concerts and share your pic of him in concert to keep his memory alive. RIP Juanga.
    El cantante y compositor Alberto Aguilera Valadez, conocido como Juan Gabriel, falleció este domingo en Santa Mónica, California, a los 66 años de edad. La familia del cantante originario de Parácuaro, Michoacán, confirmó que la causa de su repentina muerte fue fue un infarto. "Juan Gabriel fue un gigante dentro de la industria musical donde fue y será popular", dice un comunicado de su familia.

    Videos

  • THE WHALE SHARK, 3min. Growing up to lengths of 12 metres what do they feed on?

  • Hump back whale in Belizean waters, 1min. After work we went to play around offshore , and we got to encounter this hump back whale today . Was beautiful. ..

  • Jaguar and her two cubs, 1/2min. Not long after our camera traps captured this incredible footage of a jaguar and her two cubs in Belize's Cockscomb Wildlife Basin, Hurricane Earl struck

  • Guitar Class #2 in the Belize Creole Brukdung Project, 1/2min. Sponsored by the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project.

  • Strong Villages Dental Video 2016, 2min. Dr. Laura Matsunaga and the Strong Villages volunteer dental team travel to Belize, Central America in 2016. "Compassion in Action" is more than a slogan its a Strong Villages travelers way of life.

  • Strong Villages-Tumul k’in Health Center - Blue Creek Village, Belize, Central America, 3min.

  • San Antonio Village, Corozal, Belize, 3.5min. Village Council and Czl North PUP promoting East Indian cultural food Curry Chicken with split peas and strained rice.

  • Under The Sea (Belize), 3min. Snorkeling in Caye Caulker

  • Wild Howler Monkeys in Belize, 1.5min.

  • Church Protest Section 53 CJ Ruling - Belize National Assembly - August 26 2016, 11min.

    August 28, 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

    Norwegian Cruise Line presents bz$100,000 donation to Belize Red Cross Society for Hurricane Earl relief
    Norwegian Cruise Line has presented a donation of BZ$100,000 (US$50,000) to assist the people of Belize in the recovery efforts after Hurricane Earl’s impact on the country last month. On Friday, August 19, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Senior Vice President of Destination & Strategic Development, Colin Murphy (above left), presented the donation to Lily Bowman, Director General of Belize Red Cross Society (above right). “Thank you to Norwegian Cruise Line for their generous donation to the people of Belize in this time of hardship after Hurricane Earl’s visit,” said Lily Bowman, Director General of Belize Red Cross Society. “This generous donation will allow the Belize Red Cross to assist at least 170 more families, to address what they perceive to be their highest priority need, with dignity.”

    BTB 2016 Scholarship Recipients
    The Belize Tourism Board awarded five (5) scholarships to students venturing into the Tourism field of studies. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., presented each student with their scholarship package. Two Associate Degree scholarships were awarded. The recipients were Clarita Ack, of Toledo Community College, and Ahkeem O’Brien, of St. John’s College. Both students received a two-year tuition scholarship for a Tourism Program at one of the Junior Colleges in Belize.

    CCRIF makes US$260,000 payout to Belize for rains associated with Hurricane Earl
    On August 18, CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) made a payout of US$261,073 to the Government of Belize under its excess rainfall insurance policy, as a result of heavy rains that affected the country on August 4 & 5 during Hurricane Earl. CCRIF’s prompt payment to the Government demonstrated its commitment to provide policy payouts within two weeks after a qualifying hazard event. The National Emergency Management Organization reported that the rains caused widespread flooding, resulting in damage to homes and businesses, interruptions of water and electricity services and losses to the tourism and agriculture industries.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Monthly Weather Summary, July 2016
    Six, mostly weak, tropical waves crossed the country during the month of July 2016, and rainfall was below average, except over the extreme south. Some stations in the north received only one third of their normal rain for the month, while Punta Gorda received about one quarter more than normal. The month started with a few showers and thunderstorms over southern districts, which became isolated the next day as moisture levels decreased over our area. A moderate easterly surface flow prevailed along with a neutral upper level pattern. A weak tropical wave then supported a few light showers and isolated thunderstorms over most areas on the 3rd, then mainly over northern districts on the 4th. The next two days were generally fair, with a few showers and thunderstorms continuing over the south, especially at night, as moisture levels remained high over the south, and the upper pattern being weakly divergent with an anticyclone to the east.

    Miss Dangriga wins Queen of the Bay 2016-17!!

    Southwest Airlines sale on Belize Tickets
    Get it while it's hot, peeps!!! And while we are in the mood to promote great fares to Belize, our friends from Southwest Airlines have a sale on tickets from Houston to Belize right now. Starting at $274.00 Roundtrip all in. For itineraries from now until December.

    Queen Of The West 2016
    Congratulations, Shameka Armstrong! She's the new Queen of the West. Jem Lyons was 1st runner up. It was held on August 20th at the Sacred Heart College auditorium. More pictures here. "On August 20th 2016, the pageant of 'The Queen Of The West 2016 - 2017' was held. The Mayor and The San Ignacio & Santa Elena Town Council would like to thank everyone who made this possilbe! Hon. Rene Montero, Hon Omar Figueroa, Mr. Emer Hernandez, Thirsty Thursday, Mr. Orlando Montero, Cahal Pech Resort, Sacerd Heart College, Mayan Prince Restaurant, Hode's Place, Chaa Creek Resort."

    Run for Vision Fun Run
    The Run for Vision, a fundraising run to raise proceeds for eye tests and glasses for kids, is next Saturday in Belmopan. "Run For Vision & Boot Camp! Come run for a good cause!"

    Ocelot caught on camera in the Chiquibul
    Photo from PhD student, Lauren N. Watine, and the Program for Tropical Ecology and Conservation Science (PTECS). PTECS is a joint venture between the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Florida.

    We want to give a big shout-out to Albert!
    Albert sells coconut water in Belize City in front of Rainbow Heights on the Philip Goldson Hwy, close to Bennys. Like most coconut water sellers, Albert doesn't use much of the meat from the coconut after harvesting the water, so he has been donating his "used" coconuts to BBR. Thanks to Gordon Kirkwood for setting this up and transporting the nuts to BBR. In just two trips we have already salvaged nearly 100lbs of coconut meat to be fed to the birds! Everyone wins! So if you get thirsty for fresh coconut water please go support Albert, he's a wonderful man, and by supporting his business you are also supporting us. If you are in Belize and have fresh produce going to waste please contact us! The birds aren't too picky, they're just happy to have fruits and veggies.

    Amandala

    War rhetoric criminals
    Always, the big boys in this game, which are the United States of America and the Organization of American States (OAS), feel the need to pamper and coddle the military/industrial complex which has ruled the republic of Guatemala since 1954. We say this because, most recently, the rulers of Guatemala should have been condemned, based on the findings of the OAS inquiry into the April 20 Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano incident, with the same level of regional alarm which Jimmy Morales, the President of Guatemala, dramatically raised on the afternoon of Thursday, April 21, 2016. Passionately condemning the “cowardly” violence of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) which he blamed for the shooting death of the Guatemalan teenager, Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, on that Thursday afternoon of April 21 Jimmy Morales announced on national television, an announcement which received widespread regional publicity, that he was bringing his troops to the republic’s western and southern borders with Belize, and in so doing Morales was threatening the peace-loving people of Belize with a military invasion.

    The Reporter

    Eight new Bills passed in House of Representatives
    The Government of Belize this week passed eight new Bills, at a special sitting of the House of Representatives. The Government pushed the bills through all three of the required readings and House Committee discussions and debates, in a single session lasting around five hours. Those bills included the: Treasury Bills (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2016; General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation (2015/2016) (No. 5) Bill, 2016; Money Lenders (Amendment) Bill, 2016; National Payment System Bill, 2016; Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill, 2016; Electronic Transactions (Amendment) Bill; and the Food and Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Government managed to pass the bills without much rebuttal or debate from the opposition, People’s United Party, because they walked out towards the end of the sitting and did not return.

    GOB comments on independent investigation report on Chiquibul shooting
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, said this week that he is not seeking an apology from the Government of Guatemala for its erroneous statements about Belize and its security forces. Elrington explained this week that since the results of the independent investigation commissioned by the Organization of American States (OAS) has proven that Belize was not in the wrong for the April shooting of a Guatemalan minor, he is only concerned about returning relations with Guatemala back to normal. “People say bad things about me all the time and I forgive them,” Elrington said. He added that if Prime Minister Dean Barrow gives the directive for him to seek an apology for the statements, then he will comply and communicate the request to the Guatemalans; however, his personal view is that he would not seek the apology of his own volition.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Early Morning Murder in Orange Walk Town
    BBN Staff: Reports reaching our newsroom are that a man was gunned down just after 5 this morning in Orange Walk Town. The victim has been identified as Kevin Flowers and he was murdered in front of his residence on Smith Sonia Street. According to reports, neighbors […]

    No sign of repairs yet of low lying wooden bridge in San Ignacio
    It’s been 3 weeks now since the Ministry of Works confirmed that the low lying wooden bridge, which connects San Ignacio and Santa Elena, sustained damages from the flooding associated with Hurricane Earl. Immediately after the hurricane, the Ministry of Works had estimated a […]

    P.U.P. Politicians Say Government Was Trying to Silence Discussion of Immigration Reports; Prime Minister Avoids Media Comment After House Exit
    Friday’s historic – for the wrong reasons – events concluded with a charged media interview with dismissed Cayo South representative Julius Espat and his party leader, John Briceno. Moments later, flanked by a massive security detail, PM Barrow would exit the building. The shouting […]

    Is Governor Ysaguirre of the Central Bank gone?
    In an interview with the media, including BBN, after the house meeting was suspended yesterday, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. John Briceno, informed that Glenford Ysaguirre was fired as the Governor of the Central Bank. Briceno claimed the Governor was fired for revealing that ‘the Emperor has no clothes” as he made reference to the damning letter written on July 22nd 2016 by Ysaguirre. In that letter, the Governor warned the Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight, that the Central Bank was unable to facilitate a request by the Ashcroft Alliance to pay $70 million more in US currency for the BTL settlement agreement without jeopardizing the 2:1 exchange rate peg for the Belize dollar. Ysaguirre also made reference to the dire state of Belize’s public finances, the critically low level of foreign exchange reserves, the significant fall in export earnings and the current shrinking of the real economy.

    Blogs

    International Sourcesizz

    Over half of Britons want Prince William to be King of England instead of Prince Charles
    More than half of Britons want Prince William to be the next King of England instead of Prince Charles. According to a recent poll, 54 per cent want the accession to skip a generation when the Queen passes away, with Prince William taking the throne in place of his father. Even more women favour the 34-year-old to become the next monarch, with 60 per cent of women backing William, compared with 47 per cent of men. The poll by Opinium research found that a mere 25 per cent could see the Prince of Wales, who will succeed the Queen, as the future king. The question of whether the British monarchy should continue was also considered, but with two-thirds of people polled wanting to preserve the institution, the Queen and her successor have nothing to worry about.

    Videos

  • Secretary General of the OAS Special Representative, Magdalena Talamas, 6min. Press Briefing on the independent investigation on the shooting of the Guatemalan minor Julio Rene Alvarado.

  • Mayan Cosmology - Day 5, 1.5min.

  • Mayan Cosmology - Day 6, 1.5min.

  • Mayan Cosmology - Day 7, 2min.

  • Chicken Drop at Wahoo's Lounge in San Pedro, Belize, 2min. Thursday night chicken drop at Wahoo's Lounge in San Pedro, Belize.

  • Las Terrazas Resort - Ambergris Caye, Belize - June 2016, 22min. Las Terrazas Resort Ambergris Caye, Belize June 2016 5 Year Anniversary Trip.

  • Aerial Silks San pedro Belize, 3min.

  • FIRST COMMUNITY ANTIOCH BAPTIST CHURCH 2016 MISSIONARY TRIP TO BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, 6min. Pastor and Mrs. Ferdinand Gaines, Jr., and Pastor and Mrs. James Darby of Houston, Texas along with members and friends of both congregation traveled to Belize City, Belize from August 9 to August 14, 2016 on a Missionary trip to bring the Word of God and to work with the people of Hattieville Baptist Church, where Rev. Mark Sommerville is the pastor.

  • Trip to Belize | Vlog 3: Tubing | Itze De Jesus, 6min.

  • Living To The Dead End - Belize - Cross Continental Motorcycle Adventure, 11min. Living To The Dead End – Belize Days 72-82 of a 276 solo cross continental moto trip Belize signals the start of the Central American leg of the journey as I continue my way south towards the end of the road in Panama. Jungles, caves, friendly faces, new friends and, of course, more nudity! Come along as I spend 10 unforgettable days exploring Belize on the back of motorbike.

  • Belize It, 3min. Contiue to follow the journey of GGG girls as we take Belize and see the world beyond our backyards!

  • Tranquility Bay Belize HD, 5min.

  • REAL UFO LAUNCH BLUE HOLE BELIZE 2017, 42min.

  • Beautiful Belize - 5 weeks in 20 minutes, 14min.

  • My Trip to Belize Bird Rescue, 8min.

    August 27, 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

    Blackadore Caye’s second consultation sparks heated debate
    Blackadore Caye Development Group held its first consultation in January of this year, after which they worked on adjustments that they presented at another public consultation on Wednesday, August 24th at the San Pedro High School’s Angel Nunez Auditorium. The impressive turnout was comprised of students, hoteliers, government officials, tour guides, tour operators, fishermen, business owners, different media houses, community members, and various stakeholders. The objective of the consultation was to get information from both the project proponents and the general public. It was also a means of explaining the revised edition of their Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), and what changes were made. The presentation was carried out by Social Specialist Dionne Chamberlain, Lead Biologist Juan Rovalo, Project Executive Demos Pragastis, and Lead Engineer Mark Buehrer.

    GOB invests $15.8 Million to protect Chiquibul Forest
    The Government of Belize will be investing $15.8 Million over the next two years to protect the valuable resources of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve from illegal logging and poachers from across the border, Minister of State Hon. Omar Figueroa announced at a press conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City Tuesday afternoon, August 23. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, The Environment and Sustainable Development, and Climate Change was launching its Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative, when Figueroa spoke. He said he had already sourced $2.5 Million of that $15.8 Million to come from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (P.A.C.T.) and the Environmental Management Fund (EMF). But to make it sustainable, he proposed to raise the $3.75 conservation fee paid by visitors to US$20, as part of the departure tax which goes into the Environmental Management Fund. To begin the process, he said the P.A.C.T. Board of Directors has approved for a “Willingness to Pay” survey to be conducted among visitors to determine if they would be willing to contribute to the preservation of the natural attractions they have enjoyed in Belize.

    Homicide takes life of 51-year-old Caye Caulker woman
    On the night of Tuesday August 23rd, 51-year-old Caye Caulker resident Jennifer Coleman was murdered inside her apartment complex in Aventurera Street. Around 11:30PM, while in her home, Coleman was believed to have been stabbed multiple times in the neck with a knife. Visibly injured, Coleman proceeded to seek help from her neighbors. Before her neighbor could call the police, Coleman collapsed and hemorrhaged. Shortly after, Police arrived at the scene and rushed her to the local polyclinic.

    September Celebrations Calendar of events announced!
    September is right around the corner, and it means that Belize will turning 35! To celebrate, Belizeans will be proudly waving the red and blue flag with the coat of arms to honor their heritage. It also means that events will be occurring across the country, leading up to Belize’s Independence Day on Wednesday, September 21st. Since the celebrations are often considered the most patriotic, festive, and memorable part of the year, the National Celebrations Commission (NCC) isn’t holding back from the thrill. Last week, NCC announced the release of the 2016 Playbill and Calendar of Events, which includes celebrations, commemorations and other September-related programs around the country. Communications and Marketing Officer Holly Edgell stated that the free booklets arrived a day early on Tuesday, August 23rd. The calendar covers events taking place in August and September, and includes programs sponsored by a wide variety of organizations and businesses.

    Pachuca defeats Police United 3-0
    The action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) continued on Tuesday night, August 23rd in Pachuca, Mexico with Police United FC taking on Pachuca, the reigning Mexican league champion. The game was held at Hidalgo Stadium, where thousands of fans tuned in to watch the game. In the first half, both teams missed plenty of goal opportunities and were tied at 0-0. However, Pachuca made its comeback in the second half to defeat Police United 3-0, taking first place in Group E of the 2016-2017 CONCACAF Champions League. The shining stars of the night from Pachuca were Erick Aguirre, Hirving Lozano, and Uruguayan Jonathan Urretaviscaya. The three team players helped to win their second straight home game of the round-robin stage.

    Ambergris Today

    Blackadore Caye Development Still Under Fire by Tour Guides & Fishermen
    “One of the biggest concerns after the very first public consultation in January was that we were not meeting with the people who would be impacted by this project, both directly and indirectly,” stated Dionne Chamberlain (Dr.), Public Relations Representative, Blackadore Development Group in an email sent out to development stake holders. Thus, before the final edits and presentation of Blackadore’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) were made, the development’s group set out to work diligently to remedy the situation and met wit over 100 people from May to August.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BELTRAIDE telephone survey
    The Belize Trade & Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) wishes to inform the general public that it will be conducting a telephone survey as a part of Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring (GEM) from Monday August 29th to Friday September 16th, 2016. The Adult Population Survey (APS) is a unique instrument used to measure the level and nature of entrepreneurial activity around the world. The focus is not only on business characteristics, but also on people’s motivation for starting a business, the actions taken to start and run a business, as well as entrepreneurship related attitudes. During the survey period, some 2000 randomly selected individuals will receive a call on your mobile device during the day. All information provided will be strictly confidential and will not be shared outside of this survey. The entire survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes.

    Governor General to Travel to Mexico
    Governor General Sir Corville Young will be travelling to Mexico at the invitation of Anahuac University.

    Miss Belize Universe Pageant
    The 11 delegates for the Miss Belize Universe Pageant will shine in the golden spotlight at Midas Belize Resort in a pre-pageant fashion show on Saturday, Sept. 3. The resort, located at Branch Mouth Road in San Ignacio, will host the event in the lead-up to the pageant itself, which is Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts. At the fashion show, a panel of judges will score the delegates, and those scores will be taken into account on pageant night. Tickets for the event are available at the door at Midas Belize. Contact: mike@midasbelize.com | 824-3172, 824-3845 Meanwhile, with the release of the delegates’ official photographs, Belizeans will have the chance to support their favorites! The delegates’ photos are posted on the Miss Belize Facebook Page. Whoever receives the most “Likes” will get the title of “People’s Choice” and will be on the fast track to the finals on pageant night. The delegates: Dianira Rivera, San Pedro; Kimberly Price, Santa Elena; Lyanne Reid, Belmopan City; Marcia Moody, San Ignacio; Marlanie Heron, Punta Gorda; Misty Swaso, Libertad; Moriah Lino. Las Flores; Neidy Rodriguez, Belize City; Shamra Palacio, Esperanza; Theotisha Hall, Corozal; Rebecca Rath, Dangriga.

    Courts presented a $2000 donation to the Belize Zoo
    To help rebuild a habitat for "Chiqui", a jaguar cub who's story will be used to bring awareness of the urgent need to protect the Chiquibul forest.

    Protest at Independence Hill
    The protest is underway at Independence Hill with a sizable number in attendance. Behind the chain installed by police, attendees are being fairly quiet, currently singing a Christian song in Spanish.

    Public Service Union of Belize General Meeting
    The bus will depart from Hilltop at 6:30AM and will be picking up our members at all the bus stops around the ring road. For those who have yet to get their shirt, we will be issuing out on the bus. See you on Saturday.

    Los Hijos del West Fundraiser
    There will be a fundraiser for the Benque Marimba Youths this Saturday, at Benque's Coronation Park. There will be live marimba music, of course. Show your support and have a great time doing it. "Benque Marimba Youths Los Hijos del West Fundraiser Driver this Saturday Evening at the Coronation Park, snacks, goodies, games and live marimba music!"

    Are you ready for Chocolate Jouvert on September 17th in Belize City?

    Annual BHA Lecture Sep 7
    Wednesday, September 7 at 9:30 AM - 11 AM. The Belize History Association (BHA) is once again hosting it's annual lecture. This year's lecture is entitled “Examining the Spanish Archival Records on the Battle of St. George’s Caye”. The lecture will feature a panel of professors from Mexican universities and research institutions in Belize. The panelists will discuss preliminary findings as they work to translate over a thousand pages of the Spaniards’ account of the Battle. It happens on Wednesday September 7th 2016, 9:30 a.m. at the Bliss Center, Belize City. And once again in the afternoon, at 2:30 pm at the University of Belize, Jaguar Auditorium, Belmopan Campus. All BHA members, teachers, students, and the general public are invited to attend this lecture! For more information give us a call at 822-3307 or email us at bha.belize@gmail.com

    Statement delivered by Honourable Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs to the House of Representatives on the report of the experts who conducted the formal investigation of the incident in the Belize Administered Adjacency Zone in which the Guatemalan minor lost his life on April 20th, 2016.
    Mr. Speaker, With your kind permission, I would wish to inform the Honourable House and the citizens of Belize this morning, that yesterday Ambassador Magdalena Talamas, Special Representative of the OAS Secretary General for Belize- Guatemala Affairs, who is charged with responsibilities for the office of the OAS in the adjacency zone, has officially delivered to me a copy of the findings of the two special investigators who had been commissioned by the OAS to conduct a special independent and impartial investigation of the shooting incident which took place on the Chiquibul Forest in April last, for on transmission of same to The Belizean Authorities responsible for conducting criminal investigations in our country- namely the Belize Police Department.

    San Pedro Calendar of Events for September Celebrations!
    Here is our Calendar of Events for this year's September Celebrations! Save your dates and don't miss out on any of them!

    Caye Caulker cleanup thank you!
    The Caye Caulker Village Council would like to extend its gratitude to all who contributed in the clean up effort after Hurricane Earl.

    Caye Caulker September Celebration Calendar
    Due to Hurricane Earl, the CCVC was forced to cancel a few of the events planned and change dates on other events/activites. We do ask for your kind consideration in this matter. This is the official Caye Caulker September Celebration Calendar. Please feel free to inquire about any event you may be interested in.

    Ocean Academy students looking for lessons!
    Do you have a hobby, talent or sport you enjoy and would like to share with island youth? Are you available for 8 lessons, 1x/week, small stipend, in September and October? Ocean Academy students are interested! Tuesday's 2-3pm is Electives (ex. Gardening, Arts & Crafts, Baking, Carpentry, Beauty, Sewing, First Aid etc). Thursday's 2-3:30 is P.E. (ex. Dance, Volleyball, Paddle Boarding, Running etc.). Email miller_joni@hotmail.com or call 615-0408.

    Ocean Academy needs buckets
    Can you help? Do you have large garbage buckets to donate to Ocean Academy? Call 615-0408 or email miller_joni@hotmail.com or direct message. Thanks, in advance.

    Ricky's Spice Shack Open House
    Ricky's Spice Shack - Belize had a special open house, where they showed off the 100's of different spices they have. Amazing collection of spices, and great balsamic vinegars and infused olive oils. The restaurant they are building is impressive, to say the least.

    Cassava Workshop
    Mash Cassava, Cassava shake and bake chicken, bread 50% regular flour, 50% cassava, Starch, Farina, Sahau, Heau, and Cassava bread.

    Beautiful Queen of St. George's Caye Day.
    This year's pageant is Saturday, Aug. 27 at Bliss Center for Performing Arts. We caught some rehearsal on Friday afternoon. Good luck everyone!

    Gang Resistance Education
    The U.S. Embassy and renowned Belizean photographer Tony Rath conducted a series of two all-day workshops on August 18-19, 2016 in Dangriga, Belize with Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) students. During the workshop students received one half day of photography instruction from Mr. Rath and learned about environmental issues impacting the health of oceans and shorelines in Belize. During the second half of the workshop students put what they learned into action and spent the afternoon photographing the ocean and surrounding environment in Dangriga. At the conclusion of both workshops, Embassy staff downloaded the photos the GREAT student took so that the best photos can be featured in a photography exhibit at a local museum in Dangriga in November 2016. Checkout some of the top photos from the first day of the workshop here:

    You can't score a goal if you don't take a shot!
    And of course the U.S. Embassy Eagles are doing just so! They haven't lost a single game and won beautifully against the Social Security Board team 2-1 last week! These inter-office football competitions are great ways to show positivism within the working community and great entertainment for everyone! Come out and support the U.S. Embassy Eagles Monday and Wednesday every week!

    Racing Extinction: Powerful Eco-thriller
    Entrance is free and everyone is invited! Corozal Junior College Department of Youth Services

    Channel 7

    ?Helluva Historic Day At The House
    Today at the House Meeting in Belmopan history was made and in the most ugly way imaginable. In fact what happened exceeds the limits of the imagination. First the police fired a warning shot - while the House meeting was underway - directly in front of the National Assembly stairs when a protestor burst through the police lines….No one was hurt, but we've been covering the house for decades and we've never seen anything like that. That was from a militant splinter of the church protest in front of the house. And when the excitement from that died down that's when things went berserk inside the House chamber...

    ?The Day Started with the Church Protest Which was Hijacked
    but first we start with the church protest that preceded it all - Daniel Ortiz showed you COLA and the Christians along with The Poor People Organization for Healthy and Righteous Society laid the ground for a volatile mix:.. So that was the protest which started the day off - and you saw how the Belize city based agitators more or less hijacked the protest organized by the Spanish Arm of the evangelical churches...and things quickly got out of control after that.

    ?A First: The Forcible Removal Of A Member Of The House
    So we start with the biggest event on a day that had many - the police forcibly ejecting a member of the House, PUP Cayo South Representative Julius Espat...

    ?Espat Says He Was Muzzled Because He Had a Point To Make
    When he got out of the House Sitting, Julius Espat said he was deliberately muzzled by the house speaker: Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South: "Well it's the first I've gotten beaten up by the police forces (smiling) Crowd: "Inside the House." Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South: "God damn. All I was doing was trying to explain the level of corruption that this country is experiencing and they beat me up. The Belizean people have to understand that I am not fighting for Julius Espat, I'm not fighting for PUP, I am fighting for the people that put me here and I have to be given an opportunity to express myself for them. I mean we are having so much problems. You know why they didn't want me to talk was because they knew I had information from the Attorney general about Barrow himself. He knows it. The Speaker called me the day before and say 'boss you can't talk about that man.' You see the Speaker went on the media yesterday to try to explain that the auditor general report is not important, because they made one mistake and to have them do that in the House. I apologized, but I am talking creole because that is coming from my heart."

    ?7News Director Ejected By Police
    We return now to our streaming coverage of today's house sitting - we've already shown you the major events: a shot fired on the stairs of the national assembly and PUP Cayo South Representatives Julius Espat being dragged out of the house. But the media was also put out of the House. That's also a first - but the police wanted us gone so we wouldn't get footage of when they ejected Julius Espat., In studio with me is Jules Vasquez to narrate just what happened - Jules - you were at the center of it - tell us what happened:...

    ?Police Found Kidnapped Stann Creek Child in Belize
    And we'll have a little more from the house meeting later, but we turn now to regular news. 9 month old Aiden Matus has been reunited with his mother after he was abducted yesterday morning in Bella Vista village. The report is that 2 men barged into his mother's house, grabbed the baby and left. The mother posted pictures and posts on facebook, frantically pleading for help to find her baby. Well, the baby was found last night but not in Stann Creek, but in Belize City. Now the entire situation raises so many questions and it is still unclear as to why these men would target this family and kidnap baby Aiden. Today at another event, ACP Chester Williams tried to answer all the questions he could.

    ?Doyle Garbutt's Mysterious Death
    Who killed Doyle Garbutt ? Police still do not have the answer. As we told you, Garbutt was shot in the head on Wednesday night on Balam Street. His body was found inside a white van that was in front of a wooden house. Today ACP Chester Williams told us this murder case will be hard one to crack. ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South: "I just came back into the country yesterday and yes, I have been following the news as I was away and since I came back I have been briefed by my deputy as to the occurrences in my absence and I believe he had given the media an interview on that matter and I think that we still stand where that interview was left. We have no additional information at this time. It is still an investigation that have us baffling. We are trying to figure out what went wrong. When we have these sort of murders they are more difficult to solve. It is not a gang related murder where we can say this gang is responsible or that one as the case may be. So, we don't know what Mr. Doyle's connection to anyone was or why he was in that area."

    ?Sexual Discrimination At Police?
    And continuing with police news - our next story joins crime news and all this talk about section 53. A woman who says she's a lesbian went to make a report at the police station and claims she was treated differently because of her sexual preference.

    ?PM Says He Has Some Flexibility on Section 53 Appeal
    And while temper, ego, and police mishandling of basic situations took the headlines at today's house meeting - there was some real news coming out of the session - before everything went haywire. The most significant is that the Prime Minister found some wiggle room on the case for an appeal of the section 53 judgement. He says he is not prepared to appeal on the grounds that anal sex should be kept illegal - he feels it should be legal. But he says he has common cause with the Catholics in that because of a document from the Vatican:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Somebody drew my attention to the statement of the Vatican of the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy See from as far back as 18th December, 2008 at the 63rd plenary of the United Nations with respect to their declaration on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity.

    ?PM says "Intercourse Against the Order OF Nature" Enters All Spheres of Sexuality
    And so while he is willing to appeal the judgement on the basis that the Chief Justice may have misinterpreted sex for sexual orientation - the PM says the issue of anal sex is non-negotiable - because that is a normalization of the laws which is much needed because it covers both hetero sexual and homosexual spheres of intimacy:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Mr. Speaker, something came to my attention this morning and made me feel that I should say something at this sitting. Please, again the nation needs to understand that section 53 before it was struck down by the chief justice made sexual conduct against the order of nature.

    ?Hon. Elrington Wants No Apology From Guats
    And also today in the House, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington gave a very tepid response to the OAS report. He received it officially yesterday and today in the house he didn't say much other than dispassionately re state the basic findings. So we asked him outside, don't the Guatemalans owe the Belize military an apology?: Jules Vasquez: "What is in the report, suggest that the Guatemalan who raised such a furor such hue and cry, called the Belize soldiers such ugly names, operated in less than good faith with the investigation?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "Well, people have different pressures especially government officials and Guatemala has been going through a difficult time. The officials have been having tremendously difficult times. They like to emphasize that Belize is only 1 issue they are dealing with and it's not all that important to them. So, historically when governments are under pressure they look for an escape goat, this might have been the case."

    ?Elrington Hopes The PM Is Flexible on 53
    We also asked Elrington about his position on section 53. Before the cabinet decision, the former attorney general said he wanted it appealed. Today, he said that the Prime Minister is coming around to his position:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "The roar that started, I had already really expressed my view. That's really in the public domain. Demonstrations are healthy. Expressions of peoples view and opinion and honest and fairway is healthy. That is the basis of democracy and it is when one is able to express one's views, discuss and debate it and come to a consensus in a rational way, that is when we know that we have a good mature democracy. When things break out into violence and that kind of thing, then we know that our democracy is still lacking. So, that I have no difficulty with demonstrations, I used to be very active in them in the 60's and 70's when I demonstrated against Guatemala and was convicted and arrested. So, I can't hold anything against the people who want to express their views. I did the same thing then and I would do the same thing now, if in fact things were happening that I thought..."

    ?Cops Helping Kids
    Today while all hell was breaking loose in Belmopan, Southside Commander ACP Chester Williams was doing some community relations work in Belize City. His formation gave away schoolbags to a hundred kids and 7News was there: Next Williams says he is going to Ghost Town and Jane Usher.

    ?Man Gets Off OW Murder
    A man got free from a murder charge yesterday. Trinidad Pineda was acquitted of the 2012 murder of Cristobal Santos, that is after the judge accepted and ruled that Pineda acted in self defense. Several witnesses were called to the stand, vindicating Pineda's position. One of the witnesses told the court that Santos had threatened to kill Pineda before and on the night of the incident, Santos was the one who assaulted Pineda first. The incident happened in March 2012 in Orange Walk. Pineda went to visit his girlfriend, who is a relative of Santo's wife. When Santos saw them, he went up to Pineda and threw liquor in his face. They got into a fight and when Pineda noticed Santos coming at him with a knife, he grabbed his cutter and stabbed Santos in the chest.

    ?Charged For King's Park Home Invasion
    On Monday there was an armed home invasion at the King's Park home of 75 year old Maria "Maude" Sylvestre. Police say Thieves made off with over $17,000 in jewelry along with $20,000 US dollars in cash. Today, police charged two men: 23 year old Trevor Guy, a Belize City resident who was charged with a single charge of aggravated burglary and 20 year old Victor Franklin who was charged for handling stolen goods. Guy pleaded not guilty to both charges however, due to the nature of the offenses which involved a firearm no bail could be granted and Guy was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Franklin' got bail in the sum of $1,500 dollars.

    PM Laments Teachers On Section 53
    Tomorrow’s House Meeting in Belmopan will be a warm one for the Barrow Administration, and we’re not talking about what the thermometer says; we mean the political temperature. First off, the PUP is expected to attack the Barrow Administration for the BTL half a billion dollar payment, the Danny Mason debacle, the auditor General’s report, and the decision not to appeal the section 53 judgement. And while all that rumbling will take place inside the chamber, outside, the churches are expected to bring their numbers to demand that the government appeal the CJ’s decision. And the churches aren’t alone: as we’ve been telling you, the utility unions and the Teachers union put out releases asking government to do the same. So has it moved the Prime Minister? Will the loudest and most powerful prayers from the church leaders change his mind? Well Courtney Weatherburne asked him today at the airport and he told her that there’s no chance of that happening. He explained why.

    PM Says No Sure Signs Of Corruption in Auditor General Report
    So as you heard, there is no question that Prime Minister Barrow will maintain his position on the Section 53 judgment, but does the Prime Minister uphold or support the shady dealings of his ministers - reflected in the Auditor General’s Reports ? Now, PM Barrow admits that the information in these reports is very troubling but not so much so that he would resort to a Cabinet purge at this point. Barrow says he needs more than just a report hinting at acts of fraud and corruption; he needs concrete evidence.

    Juniour Heredia's Name Appears Many Times In Report
    And one of those Ministers who boldly said he has nothing to answer for is Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. Yesterday, when we asked him about the Auditor General’s reports he boldly claimed that he won’t be named as one of those Ministers who wrongfully intervened to try get passports, nationality certificates, or visas. He said that if indeed auditors did name him, it was only for one of his constituents, but it won’t be for any sort of mass hustling.

    House Speaker Says Auditor General Has It All Wrong
    So, Heredia has some explaining to do, but one person who said he sure doesn’t is House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte. He’s also named in the audits, for recommending a passport for William Lindo, son of Bill Lindo. . Well, the Auditor General names him as a person who ought not to have made a recommendation, but Peyrefitte differs sharply.

    PM Won't Sign Corruption Convention
    Now earlier you heard the Prime Minister say he needs more than what he explained as a “suggestion of corruption”. But if one pores over the 700 plus pages of the audits on passports, visas, and nationality certificates between 2011 and 2013, there’s more than a suggestion – there’s what appears to be clear and consistent evidence of wrongdoing.

    A Man Killed In A Van
    A man was murdered last night in the St. Martin’s area. 29 year old Doyle Garbutt was shot to the head last night around 10 and his body was found in a van on Balam Street. Police don’t have much information at this point but we went out to try and find more answers. Courtney Weatherburne has the story.

    Nine Month Old Abducted
    There are concerns for a nine month old boy who was allegedly kidnapped form his mother in Bella Vista Village at 1:30 this morning. His 17 year old mother, Ingrid Sanchez reports that Aiden Matus was taken form here when two men pulled up in an SUV at her house. A relative has posted on FACEBOOK that the kidnapper demanded fifty thousand dollars from the mother. Police are investigating and have put out a bulletin,

    OAS Report Redux
    Yesterday, we only had a few hours to review the findings of the 22 page OAS’ Independent Investigation Team. Today, we took a closer look. Their findings exonerates the BDF soldier and the FCD rangers in the fatal shooting of Julio Ruano inside the Chiquibul. Today, Daniel Ortiz examined just how important that outcome is in the greater context of the events that happened later, especially the outrageous comments from the Guatemalan Government, and movement of Guat. troops to the Border.

    PM Says Guats Should Apologize
    The Foreign Minister is expected to address the report in tomorrow’s House Meeting. But the PM got to address it today. In an event horizon dotted with one piece of bad news after the other, as we showed you, it’s one bit of good news for the government because the report confirms that the BDF were blameless in the shooting death of 14 year old Guatemalan Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. Today the PM expressed how significant this report is for Belize.

    Justin Hyde Gets Free When Cops Fail
    In April of 2015, we heard the shocking story of the gunman who stormed into the Curl Thompson Boulevard home of Wendy Lambey and fired 10 shots indiscriminately, hitting two persons and endangering an entire family – including small children as they sat and watched television. Police charged a neighbor, Justin Hyde for 6 counts, including two for attempted murder. It was a really big case, but police seem to have treated it like it was nothing. We say that because the case got thrown out yesterday and Hyde was set free when the police prosecutor could not produce a case file. Inspector Egbert Castillo told the court that he requested Hyde’s file from the police many times since 2015, and told them of the urgency in getting it but still no case file was forthcoming.

    Boris Got Lucky
    A man who claims he picked up a single shotgun cartridge and wanted to turn it into police was charged for kept ammunition without a gun license. Now that’s usually a charge that sends the accused straight to jail, but 22 year old Boris Belisle, was lucky to get off with a fine today. The assistant chef pleaded guilty before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza and instead of a sentence of 5 years, the Magistrate fined Belisle $500 and gave him until December 30 to pay.

    Saldivar Doubts Ag's Accuracy
    John Saldivar – he’s a former Minister of Immigration and Minister of National Security whose name appears multiple times in the Immigration Department audits. So what does Saldivar have to say about it? Well, a whole lot apparently! Just that he’s not saying it on camera! Instead he made a lengthy post on Facebook this evening speaking to his tenure as Minister of Immigration. He says that when a file reaches the desk of the Minister of Immigration to be signed, all the processes and verifications are deemed to have been completed and the "minute sheet" in the file always contains a declaration to the Minister that the file is "in order for signature" and that "all legal requirements are met". He adds, “It has not been the tradition for the Minister to then conduct his own investigation before signing. And he concludes, quote, “I therefore can categorically state that I have never knowingly signed any improper nationality certificate.

    PACT Plans For Chiquibul
    Two days ago we told you about the 15 million dollar Chiquibul Forests Investment Initiative. It’s a lot of money, but it’s also a lot of forest, spanning a total of 1.26 million acres, with 28 miles of border along the border with Guatemala. It comprises 14 protected areas, eight forest reserves, two national parks, the Bladen Nature Reserve, one wildlife sanctuary, one natural monument and the Caracol Archeological Reserve. The initiative hopes to invest that money over two years – and while they’re looking at a number of sources, they’re also looking at raising the $3.75 conservation fee. It’s been the same since 1996 and on Tuesday, Minister Figueroa said an increase must be examined:

    MY SON IS MISSING
    21 year old Deron Lizama has been missing at sea since last week Friday. The family has been searching for answers but they are losing hope. Lizama’s father told us today that he left that Friday morning around 11. Lizama was headed for Long Caye to deliver food supplies but he never made it and since then his father has made a missing person’s report and has been called several times about a body that was found near Spanish Caye. But the family hasn’t gotten anything concrete so far. Today we asked police if they know of the report and if it might be related to Doyle Garbutt’s murder last night.

    MY DAUGHTER IS MISSING
    And another city family is also asking for help in finding their loved one. 49 year old Desiree Gladden Hernandez was last seen on Monday August 15th.She left her mother’s home that morning and never returned and now her mother is concerned because Hernandez suffers from depression and anxiety. Hernandez’s mother came to our studio pleading for the public’s help.

    Channel 5

    Cayo South’s Julius Espat Thrown Out of House; Tension at Fever Pitch
    We have been covering House Meetings for decades, but we cannot remember one as chaotic and as dangerous to democracy as today.  There was total pandemonium on Independence Hill where [...]

    Opposition Leader John Briceño Also Manhandled by Police
    As Julius Espat was being dragged out of the building, the Leader of the Opposition John Briceño attempted to intervene, telling the police that Espat was already outside of the [...]

    P.U.P. Politicians Say Government Was Trying to Silence Discussion of Immigration Reports
    Following the madness inside the meeting of the House, Leader of the Opposition John Briceño and Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat spoke candidly with the media.  Briceño and Espat vehemently [...]

    During Mayhem, Channel Seven’s Jules Vasquez Gets Roughed Up
    The media also came under attack by the police. Colleagues were asked to leave, but stood their ground and then the police went into attack mode. The removal of the [...]

    Prime Minister Avoids Media Comment After House Exit
    Moments later, flanked by a massive security detail, PM Barrow would exit the building.  The shouting and jeering from onlookers continued as he made his way downhill towards his vehicle.  [...]

    Police Targeted Protestors: Live Rounds Fired After Missiles Aimed at House
    While all the havoc was taking place inside the National Assembly, outside was no different.  Just around high noon, what had been a peaceful protest on the steps of the [...]

    The Sound and the Fury: Belizeans Rally Against LGBT and Corruption
    While the House debated, outside in the Belmopan sun, a selection of the population railed and called on the Prime Minister and his government to defend the nation from social [...]

    In House, Prime Minister Asks Churches to Meet Attorney General
    The recent controversial Section Fifty-three ruling is the primary reason why almost two thousand protestors from across the country descended on Independence Hill today.  Acknowledging the presence of the demonstrators [...]

    Louis Wade Claims Government Caved in to UNIBAM in 2008
    During today’s protest on Independence Hill, organizer of the “I Want My Country Back Movement,” Pastor Louis Wade, discussed with News Five his belief that the events of August tenth [...]

    COLA’s Geovannie Brackett Claims Support of Utilities’ Unions
    At the end of our story on the protest in Belmopan, you heard COLA president Geovannie Brackett mention the silent trade union movement, but after, he told News Five that [...]

    Who Will Take Care of Deputy PM Patrick Faber’s Government Vehicle?
    Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber’s assigned vehicle, a 2013 Toyota Prado, was plunged into the Caribbean Sea near Marine Parade by an unknown driver on August fourteenth.  The account given [...]

    Former Immigration C.E.O. Candelaria Saldivar Still on Government Payroll
    C.E.O. Candelaria Saldivar, the sister of Minister John Saldivar, remains on administrative leave over a year after vacating her office in the Ministry of Immigration.  That’s because she reportedly couldn’t [...]

    An International Investigation for Pastor Lucas? Said Says Yes, P.M. Says No
    The heinous murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas in early July, as well as the call for an external investigation also came up in the House today.  Pastor Lue was beheaded [...]

    Kareem Musa Discusses Anwar Barrow’s B.T.L. Salary
    How much is the Prime Minister’s son, Anwar Barrow, earning as Chairman of the Executive Committee at B.T.L.?  That’s what Area Representative Kareem Musa asked in the House this morning.  [...]

    Re-Registration Coming; Re-Districting to Create 10 New Constituencies
    There has long been a call for re-registration of the electoral roll and for re-districting of the electoral boundaries. The former has only taken place in 1996 and 1997 after [...]

    Baby Aiden Matus Turns Up Safe in Belize City
    On Thursday night, we reported on the alarming report of the kidnapping of nine-month old Aiden Matus from his home in the south. The baby boy was with his mother, [...]

    Police Have No Answers Yet in Doyle Garbutt Murder
    Meanwhile, police are still looking for answers in respect to Wednesday night’s murder in the Saint Martin’s area of south side Belize City. Thirty year old Doyle Garbutt was shot [...]

    Angelus Press Helps City Students Get Back to School
    A hundred Belize City students will be the recipients of much needed back to school goodies courtesy of the Angelus Press. Today, at its headquarters on Queen Street in the [...]

    More Help for Hurricane Earl Victims, This Time from the U.S.
    By early afternoon, the U.S. Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno was handing over a fifty-thousand-dollar donation of mattresses and other relief supplies to the Red Cross for the victims of [...]

    Eastern Division South Holds Back to School Drive
    Today, the Eastern Division South Police Department hosted the first of three back to school drives at its headquarters on Raccoon Street. Aside from the officers donating books and some [...]

    Amandala

    13 of Barrow’s former and current Ministers named in immigration scandal!
    John Saldivar of Belmopan, Erwin Contreras of Cayo West, Gaspar Vega of Orange Walk North and Rene Montero of Cayo Central are among a list of high-ranking UDP Cabinet ministers who allegedly had intervened in the nationality process without any provision to do so in the Nationality Act between 2011 and 2013, according to an explosive audit published by the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley. Manuel Heredia of Belize Rural South and Pablo Marin of Corozal Bay round out the list of current UDP ministers named for intervening in the nationality process during the period audited. Former UDP ministers like Eden Martinez of Toledo East, Elvin Penner of Cayo Northeast and Ramon Witz of Cayo South were also pinpointed by the audit. Retired UDP ministers Santiago Castillo and Carlos Perdomo of Caribbean Shores along with Gabriel Martinez were also listed by the Auditor General.

    Explosive Immigration audit leaked
    A damning special audit leaked to the media earlier this week, detailing multiple cases of fraud in the issuance of Belizean visas, nationality and passports—including the high profile case of Korean national Won Hong Kim—is due to be tabled in the National Assembly tomorrow, when the House of Representatives meets in Belmopan and the audits should become public documents. The audit, published by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, helps explain how Belize has in recent years seemingly become a hideaway for hoodlums, as persons alleged to be human traffickers and money launderers were listed among those fraudulently assisted with Belize Immigration documents. Bradley now calls for a police investigation into missing files (164 of which could not be found in October 2013 for nationals of Guatemala, Honduras, China, Britain, Nigeria, Lebanon and Taiwan), allegations of fraud, and possible police collusion in her set of recommendations.

    Kidnapped 9-month-old baby found
    A mother was at home in bed with her 9-month-old baby when two men went into her house in Bella Vista, in the Stann Creek District, at about 1:00 this morning, pointed a gun at her and demanded $50,000. She did not have that kind of money to give them, and so, at gunpoint, the men took away her baby and drove away in a grey SUV. At about mightnight tonight, however, we recieved news through Facebook that the baby, Aiden Matus, was found, incredibly, in a cemetery in Belize City, unharmed, by PC Martinez and a Corporal. Jasmin Alert had been activated and a countrywide alert had been put in place to find the baby, Aiden Matus, who is of Hispanic descent.

    51-year-old woman’s throat cut in Caye Caulker
    A woman was murdered yesterday morning in Caye Caulker. Jennifer Coleman, 51, a domestic, was found lying face-up on Adventurera Lane at about 10:30 yesterday morning, with a large cut wound on her neck. Police rushed her to the hospital, but she was declared dead on arrival. Police believe that the killer may have been known to Coleman, and gained entry into her house, where he cut her throat. Coleman ran out of the house to escape her attacker, but she fell in the street not far from her house. Neighbors told police that they did not hear any noise or commotion. Police have picked up a man who they said went to her house frequently.

    Guatemalan minor killed in crossfire, but not by BDF: OAS report
    An “independent and transparent” investigation conducted by Dr. James E. Hamby, retired Special Agent of the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, and Dr. Patricia Rosa Linda Trujillo Mariel, Head of Criminalistics of Mexico’s Federal Police, has revealed that Julio René Alvarado Ruano, the Guatemalan minor who was shot on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, during an enforcement operation led by the Belize Defence Force (BDF), was not killed by military fire, as Guatemalan authorities had alleged. It appears that the bullets which injured the minor came from a .22 caliber weapon and a shotgun – not from a high-powered military rifle, according to a copy of the report leaked to KREM News. Commander of the BDF, Brigadier General David Jones, told the media earlier this week that he expects his soldiers would be exonerated by the findings.

    The changing personas of Dean Oliver Barrow
    On the heels of an IMF prescription for immediate tax increases during the Said Musa administration of 2004, the then Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) called an emergency town meeting on November 17, 2004, at which then Opposition Leader Dean Barrow roared, “The problem with this government is the fact of their undiluted corruption. Promises have been made by them that they have no intention of keeping, that they’re incapable of keeping. But I tell you any UDP government that I lead will never be engaged in corruption! As soon as it rears its ugly head, I personally will cut it off. And I will tell you I will sharpen a special machete with blades on two sides so that every time it springs upright, so I will chop it off. And if it means the government has to fall, then so be it. Let the consequences be damned, the people of this country deserve better and I am determined to give them better.” Nine years later on October 11, 2013, at a press conference after allegations of a visa hustle emerged in which the Cayo North East area representative, Elvin Penner, was accused of selling immigration documents to Won Hong Kim, a South Korean who was in a Taiwanese prison, Dean Barrow, now Prime Minister, said that he told his Cabinet, “If there is one thing that can and would bring down this government, it is hustling in Immigration. I have heard that ministers are procuring visas for people. I’ve said pretty much in every second Cabinet, if you [the Ministers] are doing so (I have no proof), for God sakes stop it! Stop it! That is what would cause the government to fall.”

    U-10 and U-13 games in Orange Walk
    This weekend, it will be the final week of the first ever U-10 Tournament in Orange Walk, the Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) U-10 Tournament. The teams are ranked by their won-loss (W-L) records: #1 Vibes Alive (3-0); #2 Minions (2-1); #3 Real Madrid (1-2); #4 Barca Shock (0-3). Saturday, August 27, Barracks Field 10:00 a.m. – #3 Real Madrid vs #4 Barca Shock 11:00 a.m. – #1 Vibes Alive vs #2 Minions Closing ceremonies, trophies and awards will be issued after the games. Come and witness the completion of the first ever U-10 tournament. U-13 Town Council Tournament The Town Council U-13 Tournament continues in Orange Walk Town:

    BAA Annual General Assembly is this Saturday, but the President remains
    The Rio Olympics have come and gone; no satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming from the Belize Athletics Association (BAA) or the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for the exclusion of Belize’s most outstanding active athlete, Kaina Martinez, from our Olympic team roster; but this Saturday’s BAA Annual General Assembly will not be contesting the post of President, held by Deon Sutherland, the man who led the 3-athlete Belize contingent, including Brandon Jones, Renick James and Katy Sealy, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The “Wild Card” choice of Sealy over Martinez has been widely condemned by Belizean sports fans as grossly unfair and inconsistent with the Olympic spirit. A heptathlon athlete, the Wild Card rule required that Sealy compete in a single track event, and, predictably, she was blatantly overmatched in the 110m female hurdles; whereas the reigning Central American 100m female champion and record holder, Kaina Martinez would have been expected to at least be competitive in her 100m heat, perhaps even moving on to the second round.

    Weekend Warriors race results
    Below are the results from Weekend Warriors (WW) Race # 3 of the current 5-race Series, held on Sunday, August 21. The “A” Class rolled off from Rockville Junction at 9:00 a.m. and finished on top of Busman Arnold Hill, some 40 miles later; whilst the “B” & “C” together left from Mile 25 at 8:30 a.m. for a 35-mile run. Top finishers in Sunday’s race were: “A” Class – 1st place Andrew Brown (Kulture Megabytes, 1:44:03); 2nd Kent Gabourel (Kulture Megabytes, st); 3rd Andrew Vasquez (BFSC – El Pescador, 1:44:33); 4th Kirk Sutherland (Digicell-4G, 1:44:35); 5th Warren Coye (Santino’s, 1:45:10).

    Belize District boys win Atlantic Bank/Atlantic Insurance U-17 Football Championship
    The road to the FIFA U-17 World Cup began for Belize at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan over the weekend, where the Belize District selection won the Atlantic Bank/Atlantic Insurance Under-17 Football Championships. The Football Federation of Belize (FFB), under Acting-President Marlon Kuylen, had assembled some 160 of the country’s best U-17 players, representing the 8 football district/regions of the country, for a 3-day showcase tournament, whose objective was to help the FFB select the National U-17 team to represent Belize at the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers for the Central American region, to be held in Panama in November of this year. Participating district/regions included the six districts – Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize, Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo – along with the capital, Belmopan, and the Mid-South area, which includes players from Independence and surrounding villages. While the luck of the draw, unequal travelling distances, and the number of games packed into 3 days of competition would not necessarily make it a legitimate “national championship,” the purpose was served to have all the teams countrywide showcase their talent, as the first step in putting together a National U-17 Selection.

    Anti-Christs
    The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) lost a golden opportunity to increase the political discomfort of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) when the PUP rushed to support the pro-LGBT ruling of the Belize Supreme Court on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Played at its highest level, politics is not about the personal opinions or preferences of the principals. Politics is about establishing positions which the majority of the people (adult voters) support. Politics is always about numbers, majority numbers: 51 means power; 49 amounts to defeat. It is many years since the Belizean people have marched in numbers in the population center or the new capital. Yet, the explosive issues have come fast and furious – Elvin Penner, rosewood, Chiquibul, Sarstoon, Harmonyville, Petrocaribe, BTL, William Danny Mason, and now, issue of all issues – the homosexual law.

    The injustice at the Hondo
    Dear Editor, It pains me that we should no longer sing “From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon …” in our national anthem. Guatemala has truncated the Sarstoon River from us and our very own GOB has prohibited the Rio Hondo from us. Any Belizean who wishes to traverse the Northern Santa Elena Border has to have a travel document stamped and approved by the immigration authorities to be able to access the Rio Hondo, meaning the casinos, the Commercial Free Zone, and the river proper. That policy, not a law, is in violation of each and every Belizean citizen’s constitutional right to traverse national territory without impediments. We realize that we must have immigration authorities, but they must respect our Belizean citizenship and allow us to pass without a travel document, especially if we are not leaving the country. But, even if we wish to leave and re-enter our country, we should not be penalized, according to the requests of the United Nations.

    Brian Ellis Plummer on crime
    Dear Editor, I would like to add to the discussion about crime. Crime costs Belize millions annually in security costs, health, law enforcement and other related impediments. So far the approach to combating crime in Belize and the Caribbean has been combative instead of preventative. All our police forces have been militarized, triggering an arms race between law enforcement and criminals. This has yielded little success. I would suggest a more comprehensive approach with societal re-engineering. The military or combative approach should be available occasionally, but the mainstay must be education and an adequate social safety net. Criteria-based public assistance.

    Neri O. Briceño writes Olympic President
    Dear Mr. President: I write to you as simply a man, a Belizean and citizen of the world. I come without medals, honors, positions, degrees and titles; just an ordinary man. A man and his nation who are being represented internationally by your organization and the picture I am seeing is not representative of me or the country we all live in. On July 4th, 2016 I wrote to the President of the International Olympic Committee regarding the choosing of Katy Sealy over Kaina D. Martinez to represent Belize in Female Athletics (Track & Field) in Rio 2016. All indications are that this was a totally unfair decision which was not made in the interest of the nation of Belize or in the spirit of the Olympics. I am still convinced that Katy was the wrong choice and my opinion regarding the matter will not change. I will continue to advocate this matter at every level until Olympics representation in Belize is changed so that it reflects Belize, represents Belizeans and works for the promotion of ALL athletes in Belize.

    Unions pressure Barrow
    In a meeting with the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM), Public Service Union (PSU) and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) last Wednesday in Belize City, Prime Minister Dean Barrow requested that they all agree to a deferral of a previously proposed salary increase until next April. According to the Prime Minister, the framework of the collective bargaining agreement allows for the government to review the proposed salary adjustment if there was “a change in material circumstance.” That change “in material circumstance” was attributed to the recent damages caused by Hurricane Earl, according to PM Barrow. The term “material circumstance” to which Barrow refers is contained in item 10 of the proposed framework for salary adjustment, which states, “In the event of any extra ordinary circumstances which affect either revenue or expenditure, then the parties reserve the right to re-open discussion.”

    $15.8 mil to curb illegal encroachment on Chiquibul
    The Chiquibul Forest—the largest expanse within the Maya Mountain Massif—and particularly the area spanning the Belize-Guatemala border, has been under sustained pressure from illegal activities for over a decade, and today, the Government of Belize finally announced an “unprecedented investment” aimed at curbing the pillaging of Belize’s natural and cultural patrimony by Guatemalans who illegally enter into Belize to exploit the area. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, announced the launch of the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative (CFII) at formal ceremonies held at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza this afternoon, adding that they hope to have a measurable impact on the ground.

    The genesis of the Section 53 challenge: Part 2
    Buggery or anal intercourse between males is only aone of severl sexual acts which are deemed a violation of the sacred books of the three dominant world religions—Christianity, Islam and Judaism. For example, the Torah or the Books of Moses contain commandments against bestiality, incest and rape, and the Laws of Belize criminalize these acts as well. The violations spelt out in the aforementioned sacred books are called “ecclesiastical crimes;” and they made their way onto civil law books in many countries across the world—not just in Belize. Leviticus 20:13 says: ‘And a man who lies with a male as he lies with a woman: both of them have done an abomination, they shall certainly be put to death, their blood is upon them.” (The Scriptures, 1998 version) Notably, even European jurisdictions once meted out sentences of death by burning upon homosexuals; but today, those countries have legalized and even liberalized homosexuality.

    Former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan ignored FIU letter: Auditor General
    On September 30, 2013, the Office of the Auditor General received a copy of a memorandum from the Immigration and Nationality Department regarding some missing visas. However, during the early stages of the Visa Audit, a passport scandal had emerged which compelled the Auditor General to expand the audit to both the passport and nationality departments. The audit revealed that the Government of Belize (GOB), through various departments, had facilitated several international alleged money launderers and human traffickers to obtain Belizean passports. Furthermore, questionable practices by the former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, have resulted in a loss of government revenue in several instances. According to the audit, “the Vital Statistics Unit has been illegally facilitating these citizens by registration to change their names.”

    Issue #33 of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online here!.
    Click HERE to download the PDF

    Industrial Uses Of Hemp
    A Short History of Cannabis Hemp Since ancient times, until this century, hemp was used throughout the world to provide food, fiber, paper, medicine, shelter and fuel. In the early 1900’s Henry Ford used fuel made from hemp to run the first cars, and believing that hemp would play an even larger role in the automobile industry, he built a car body made from hemp fiber that was stronger than steel, yet only a fraction of the weight (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srgE6Tzi3Lg). Ford’s engineers found ways to extract methanol, charcoal, tar, pitch, ethyl acetate and creosote – all from hemp and all of which are fundamental ingredients used throughout industry. But since the prohibition of hemp in the 1930’s, these ingredients have…

    From The Editor
    Fruits and Vegetables in Belize’s Markets Tested for Pesticide Residues? Currently Belize has no regular testing system for pesticide residues of fruits and vegetables sold in our stores and markets. Belize law does not mandate any pesticides residue testing of our foods, so there is no way to declare that they are safe or not. Belize products sold for export must meet the demands of the importing country, usually including pesticide residue testing. Importers bringing produce into Belize however, do not need to have any pesticide residue testing done. Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, a country cannot impose restrictions on imported goods which are not required for the same domestic goods. Thus, in order to mandate pesticide residue testing…

    To The Editor
    Dear Editor, Subject: Lack of thinking hinders ag development Agricultural development has a future. Scientists in Kenya at the International Centre of Inset Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and Rothamsted Research, UK in collaboration with other partners developed a natural method for controlling the corn-borer moth. A ground-cover plant, silverleaf desmodium, dissolves moth eggs laid on it; planted in fields between rows of corn, desmodium gives off compounds that repel the stem borer moth. Its roots suppress weeds including striga, a serious parasitic weed of corn. Napier grass, planted at the edge of fields, attracts stem borers out of the field to lay their eggs on it instead of the corn. The sharp silica hairs and sticky exudates on the Napier…

    Potato Research In Peru
    Of all the countries in the world, Peru is one of the most interesting in agricultural history. The diversity of plants and climates from rainforests to snowy mountains to hot deserts are all in a place about 1/8 the size of the United States. The origins of many important food crops such as potato, sweet potato, and certain peppers are here. Researchers in Peru and around the world are aware of the great importance of this region and many are devoting their life’s work to improving agriculture for the country’s people. I wanted to learn more about this curious place of so much diversity. The potato, for example: many thousands of varieties grow only in Peru – nowhere else. I…

    Beyond The Backyard – Ghosts Of The Graveyard
    They stand erect and tall as guardian soldiers, swords at the ready, ever on duty in our cemeteries. The dagger like plants of Draceanaafromontana and then Yucca were planted at the headstone or in place of one at unmarked graves to ward off evil and keep restless spirits from wandering. They are profoundly significant as a symbol of eternity and mourning in the cultural beliefs of tropical Africa. The tradition continued throughout the Americas and the Caribbean settlements, the Yucca becoming our sentinel. The name Yucca applies to more than 50 species that have mostly adapted to all types of terrain and share characteristics of appearance and chemistry. They are evergreens, drought tolerant, spread rapidly, fire adaptive, prefer full sun…

    Belize’s First International Beekeeping Symposium
    Beekeeping is an agroforest activity that protects the environment, contributes to food security through the pollination of crops, and represents an important, albeit underdeveloped, industry that could provide employment to many Belizeans. In time, beekeeping has the potential to become a source of foreign exchange through the exportation of honey and other hive products such as beeswax, propolis, pollen, bees and manufactured products such as soaps, creams and shampoos. On May 27th and 28th, 2016, the beekeeping community met at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio to address the potential of beekeeping in Belize and its present challenges. The two-day event was organized by Cayo Quality Honey Producers Cooperative (CQHPC). CQHPC is based in the Cayo District and was…

    Optimizing Corn Yield With Nitro Xtend+S
    By Edwin Gomez, Axel Hidalgo, Wilbert Ramclam, Eddie Friessen and Albert Reimer The increase in productivity corresponds to the increase of total dry matter as a result of nutrients absorption (Karlen et al, 1987). Furthermore, the adoption of best management practices for the use of fertilizers is necessary to increase and stabilize yields and promote agricultural sustainability (Ciampitti et al, 2007). With these important factors in mind we conducted trials to evaluate the effect of a new product called NITRO XTEND that inhibits the enzyme urease which is responsible for breaking down nitrogen into ammonium. A crop of corn yielding 10,688 pound per acre would need to absorb approximately 219, 42, and 42 pounds per acre of nitrogen (N), phosphorus…

    BEL-CAR Updates
    Those who study the Ag Prices at a Glance page in the Belize Ag Report’s centerfold, will have noted that it has been a good while since Class A corn has been even priced. (It has been marked N/A for not available). Bel-Car refers to Class A corn as dark yellow high quality type which is most desirable for their corn meal, rather than strictly feed corn. Class A has more endosperm and less germ and has high vitreousness. High endosperm kernels are usually brighter orange color, rather then yellow. Hard vitreous kernels have better nutritional, dry milling, breakage resistance and pathogen resistance qualities than soft opaque kernels. After Spanish Lookout’s trials of a new hybrid variety of a Class…

    21 st Meeting of the Coordinating Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean 6 – 10 June 2016
    The Pesticides Control Board of Belize is pleased to report that the hosting of the 21st Meeting of the Coordinating Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean (CGPC) held in Belize from 6 – 10 June 2016, was a resounding success. The meeting was held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in San Ignacio, Cayo under the theme: “A changing climate! A changing world! Responsible pest and pesticide management – our responsibility.” Mr. Carlos Fuller of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre based in Belize was the keynote speaker during the meeting’s first technical session. The CGPC is comprised of representatives from the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Boards or Authorities of the countries of the Caribbean, and associate members…

    Building Life In The Soil
    “How can I improve soil biology or encourage soil life on my land?” From organic to no-till farms, this is one of the most asked questions in agriculture today. Before that question can be answered there are other questions that need to be answered. Will the benefits from following a proposal to build life in the soil be profitable enough to be economically feasible? Will such a program justify the time and effort required? What type of changes may be needed to achieve the goal in a proper manner? The answers to these questions will help determine what may or may not be possible under varying sets of circumstances. There are no simple one-step plans that will apply to every…

    Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) And Green Cane Harvesting
    In 2015 the Department of the Environment (DOE) started a national project entitled “Belize Chemicals and Waste Management Project”, which aims to manage and dispose of all existing stockpiles of POPs, as well as reducing the release of unintentional POPs (UPOPs) into Belize’s environment. In the past DDT was used extensively to control mosquitoes that carry malaria and dengue. Other chemicals continue to be used in agriculture. Now it is being recognized that these chemicals have unforeseen negative effects on human health and the environment. POPs can be transported by wind and water, and affect people and wildlife far from where they are used. They exist for very long periods of time in the environment and can accumulate and pass…

    Belize Livestock Producers Association News
    Belize is now proceeding with cattle sweep 4. Based on our good results indicating a healthy livestock population, and proposals at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) we may qualify for some testing reductions. The OIE has drafted changes for the entire world, that, if accepted, would only require 3 tests for brucellosis under some conditions, rather than the currently required 5. Currently we must test 99.9% of our livestock, but we have applied to test only a representative percent of 22.7% of livestock for the fourth sweep. If those results are clean, they could be accepted and used to declare our official status. Throughout the country, it would then involve selected herds, identified into 6 risk areas: breeding…

    Working Together To Reduce Predator Attacks On Livestock
    Livestock production in Belize is common and increasing. Many farms and villages lie in close proximity to the forest, potentially putting their animals at risk of predator attack. Livestock predation is frustrating and economically damaging, particularly for small-scale farmers who may lose a substantial proportion of their herd if they suffer repeated attacks. Understanding how predators, such as jaguars, pumas and coyotes, use the forest and agricultural lands, and how livestock are managed within the landscape, is helping us to identify practical, cost-effective non-lethal methods to deter predators from attacking livestock. Panthera works in partnership with the Forest Department’s Wildlife Program and theUniversity of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute (UB-ERI). Our applied research combines ecological and social science to understand the…

    Sustainable Harvest International (SHI)
    SHI-Belize began its work teaching farmers in Toledo about organic gardening and agroforestry in March 1999 with only 3 staff members who were Agroforestry extensionists with agricultural backgrounds. The project included 40 – 45 families. Since 2005, when Nana Mensah became SHI-Belize Country Director, the organization greatly expanded in staff from 3 to 9, geographic scope to include Stann Creek and Cayo, number of farmers from 45 to 115, and project scope to include small animal husbandry and micro-business development. At the moment we are in the final stage of completing a project with 21 families in the village of Otoxha; the project was funded as a grant from the Australian government. Under this project we issued 21 sets of…

    Sheep Projects In Belize
    The Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) in Belize, funded by International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), signed an agreement with the Belize government in December 2015 to assist with a 3 year small ruminant project which will run until December 2018. The project is a joint project between Belize and TTM, whereby funds are granted to the host country. TTM will assist with management and Mr. Pin-Nan Lee, a small ruminant specialist is assigned to oversee the new Central Farm sheep breeding facility. The budget of the project is US$1.274M over 3 years, with US$350K provided by the Government of Belize. While the project was initially planned to include both sheep and goats, a decision was made to focus solely on…

    Forest Fires – All Is Not Well In Belize
    The rainy season has started; no longer the gloomy grey dome of smoke choking us and distressing tourists because the rains have cleared the air from the fires of the dry season. Incredibly extensive and costly fires have persistently been devastating the countryside and biodiversity year after year. Before Belize gained its independence fires were considered a very serious business. Extension officers of colonial Belize worked with farmers in the fields every day of the week and issued official fire-permits to farmers to burn their milpa clearings. It was mandatory that all cleared land have a 6-foot wide fire-pass around the entire perimeter. The extension officer of the area would ensure that the fire-pass was well done and up-to-date for…

    Surinam Cherry
    Surinam cherry bushes grow all over Belize; they have pumpkin-shaped fruits that are botanically berries, but resemble cherries. If you are not familiar with Surinam cherries, imagine classic bing cherries with eight ribs growing on beautiful glossy evergreen leaved bushes. The cherries/berries look like cherries, but do not taste like cherries. The taste of the Surinam cherry fruit when ripe is said to resemble fig, mango, green pepper, with undertones of balsam and apricot, and even a touch of pine-like resin and tobacco aftertaste. Before the fruits are ripe they are tart, acidic and bitter tasting. It is best to pick only the fruits which are dark red and readily fall into your hand. There is a rare variety of…

    Blue Moon Over Big Falls
    Chocolate lovers congregated for the gala event of the 10th Annual Cacao Festival, now being called the Chocolate Festival, on May 20, not quite the full flower moon evening (full moon was actually Saturday) but close enough to add magic to the magnificent setting around the pool and lush tropical gardens at Big Falls Lodge, Toledo. This year the exhibitors offering samples of their products and very informative discussion regarding their procedures and mission were: Xoco, an event sponsor who focuses on supplying high end quality cacao beans to chocolatiers worldwide and now farming in Belize. Cotton Tree, who makes chocolate exclusively from beans from the Toledo District. Each batch of chocolate is created from the beans of a single…

    The Majestic Mango
    Stately, massive mango trees are the glory of a tropical farm. No other fruit is anticipated with such eagerness; no other fruit tree is so abundant to the point of overwhelming when they bear well. The varieties are as different as apple varieties and each one may have its own loyal devotee. Grafted mango trees begin to bear from 2 to 3 years from planting and continue for many, many years. As I write, the view through one of the windows of our house is fully dominated by the foliage of a mango tree about 20 yards away; it may be 40 years old and is bearing again this year. It used to bear only a type of mango known…

    Fertility From The Deep – Nature’s Perfect Nutrient Blend for the Farm – Written By Charles Walters
    The hypothesis that the diversity and abundance of chemical elements contained in ocean water could provide “nature’s perfect nutrient blend for the farm” was tested within the context of innovative farming methods proposed and implemented by Dr. Maynard Murray in the mid-20th century. In his book, Mr. Walters describes the inspirational, scientific and practical evolution and implementation of Dr. Murray’s ideas and the experiments he conducted to revolutionize modern agriculture in terms of providing healthier food for an increasingly unhealthy human population. Dr. Murray had taken his medical training at the University of Cincinnati and spent a decade testing the art and science of his profession. While working many years in Boston hospitals, Dr. Murray became increasingly appalled by the…

    Breakfast is Served! You Name The Dish.
    What would you call a dish of green banana flour, seaweed, powdered milk, sugar and peanuts with water added and cooked for 15 minutes? That nutritious combination is being developed into a product at the Central Farm food processing test kitchen for the school feeding program. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forest, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) project, headed by Anna Howe, was started in July 2015 with the help and direction of a food specialist to find the combination of ingredients to (1) use local ingredients (2) make a tasty, nutritious breakfast food for the school feeding program at minimum cost, and (3) explore the marketability of such a product. Anna and her crew of 5 are testing…

    Rainy Season War
    The rains have fallen, the flowers and plants are blooming and the mosquitos are buzzing. That high pitched sound there little wings make in the night time is more than annoying, mosquitos are Vectors of Malaria, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya, and now a new player….Zika! Most of the above mentioned are transmitted by the same villain, Aedes aegypti, which is distributed worldwide, except in the coldest of places. Female mosquitos require blood meal for the protein required by her developing egg brood. Dusk and dawn are active feeding times for mosquitos, and we all know the wet season bed time ritual mentioned above ……..hearing, but not knowing where the attack will eventually come. Vector transmission takes time, as the virus must…

    Ag Events
    The University of Belize College of Agriculture at Central Farm (UBCF) will host prominent soil fertility expert Neal Kinsey for the 3rd time in Belize, on February 27th –March 1st 2017 (the 2016 course was held earlier in Feb 2016). The upcoming course will be a new course to Belize; the 3 day Intro 2 course begins with a day and a half of trace minerals. Workbooks for the new course are available now for paid registrants of the next year’s Intro 2 course. All are welcome to attend this course – students, teachers, private sector. Contact David Thiessen at 670-4817. Neal reports that this is “the favorite course” of farmers. Mark your calendars for Sustainable…

    NATS/Agric Show 2016
    The National Agriculture Trade Show (NATS) name has morphed into Agric Show. The 2016 Agric Show, held on the fairgrounds in Belmopan from April 29 – May 1, drew 39,500 visitors. The 50 acre plus fairgrounds have been updated each year with a vision to eventually use the NATS fairground for a year-round Saturday marketplace with new barns, a permanent horticulture garden and tilipia farm as a training ground for future farmers in Belize with the support of Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega. Mr. Vega is dedicated to helping small farms succeed with the goal of helping Belize reduce its dependence on imports and become more secure in food production and distribution. Some highlights of the 2016 Agric Show included…

    Agriculture Prices At A Glance

    The Reporter

    Police drag Julius out of House of Representatives
    For the first time in Belizean history, a member of parliament was forcibly removed from a meeting of the House of Representatives by police. The Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte, ordered that the area representative for the Cayo South constituency, Julius Espat, be removed […]

    Churches team up with COLA to protest at upcoming House meeting
    The Alliance of Leaders and Ministers of Belize, a religious based organization, has joined with Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA) and IWantMyCountryBack, to stage a protest at the upcoming sitting of the House of Representatives. The organizations said this week that the protest is not a form of […]

    Government invests $15.8 million into CFII
    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development launched the historic “Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative” on Tuesday at the Biltmore Plaza, which will see over $15 million invested into the preservation of the Chiquibul forest (CFII). In trying to curb the amount […]

    Yardman accused of burglarizing home
    The home of the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank ,Christine Maud Vellos was burglarized in mid August, and police say ther yard man is the culprit. Leon Prince, 32, a construction worker managed to deceived the Vellos family and steal more than $3,000 worth of jewellery from their home. […]

    Doyle Garbutt shot in the head through his van
    The lifeless body of Doyle Garbutt, 29, a resident of Dolphin Drive, was discovered in his white van on Balaam Street on Wednesday night. According to police reports, some time around 10:00 p.m., officers received reports of a shooting on Balaam Street. When they responded […]

    Section 53 ruling will help the mental health of LGBT persons, says MHA
    The Mental Health Association (MHA), this week, voiced its support of the Supreme Court striking down Belize’s sodomy laws, saying that it will have positive effects on the mental health of LGBT persons. The Association’s manager, Kathy Esquivel, on Monday described the move as “long overdue,” pointing […]

    Zika virus harmful to adult brains too new study finds
    As the Zika virus global health crisis continues to evolve, new data is suggesting that the virus attacks adult brain cells, not just children as previously thought. A new study done by researchers from both the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Rockefeller University in New York, […]

    Woman appeals to driver who knocked down and killed her husband to provide for his child
    The funeral service for Lionel Villanueva, 32, is still in the planning stage, but his untimely death comes at a time when his six year-old son will return to school and his wife is appealing to the driver who knocked him down for assistance. Adelino […]

    Norwegian Cruise Line donates $100,000 to Belize
    Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Europe’s leading cruise line for eight consecutive years, responded to Belize’s plea for aid and donated BZ $100,000 to assist the Belize Red Cross in its hurricane relief efforts last Friday. Senior Vice President of Destination & Strategic Development for NCL, Colin Murphy, […]

    BTB awards six with scholarships
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) awarded six students with scholarships to help them further their studies in the field of tourism, on Wednesday. The BTB invested approximately $50,000 into the scholarship initiative. BTB’s Director of Quality Assurance and Industrial Standards, Herbert Haylock called it a “worthwhile investment […]

    APAMO needs help
    The Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), Belize’s leading network of non-governmental conservation organizations, is asking for help in providing funds to recover from Hurricane Earl. According to APAMO, over 45 percent of its members suffered severe damages to their headquarters, field stations, gift shops, equipment, […]

    Police look for man who killed mentally challenged woman
    The investigation into the stabbing murder of Jennifer Coleman, 51, a mentally challenged woman, on Tuesday night continues in Caye Caulker and a manhunt is underway, after police found her bleeding on Aventura Street, where she lived. She had apparently been attacked inside her apartment […]

    Man missing at sea
    Deron Lizama, a Belize City resident, went missing while at sea last Friday and all attempts to find his thus fas far have been fruitless. According to Lizama’s sister, Kim Lizama, he went missing last Friday while making a cargo delivery trip to the different cayes. He, […]

    Editorial
    The special forensics report on the shooting and tragic death of 14 year old Julio Rene Alvarado Duarte in the Sapote area of the Chiquibul Forest on the evening of April 20, 2016 is in. It states conclusively that the child was not killed by any member of the BDF […]

    Stench of Corruption AG’s report reveals wrongdoing and proceedural sidestepping
    The eyes and ears of the Belizean nation will be fixed on the National Assembly this weekend, at a meeting of the House of Representatives when the long awaited special audit into visa and nationality irregularities will be tabled, following the sensational Penner passport scandal of September, 2013. Those audits […]

    Leaked OAS report vindicates Belize
    The independent expert report on the shootings in the Adjacency Zone (AZ) involving the death of a 14 year old Guatemalan boy has vindicated the Belize Defense Force. While Guatemalan officials maintained that the BDF randomly began shooting at unarmed civilians on their side of […]

    Nine-month-old baby kidnapped from home at gunpoint!
    A young mother made an emotional plea for help on the Belize Buy & Sell Facebook page Thursday morning, claiming her nine-month-old son had been kidnapped at gunpoint. Police later confirmed the incident and an all points alert was sent out to the public to […]

    Over 1000 protest at National Assembly
    Over 1000 supporters gathered in Belmopan today as a sign of protest against the Government of Belize, on several national issues. The protest held in collaboration with the #IWantMyCountryBack group, Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action, Alon with several unions amd other church groups, are […]

    The Belize Times

    TRAITORS! – UDP SOLD OUR BIRTHRIGHT
    The list of UDP Ministers, Area Representatives and so-called UDP caretakers who are named in the very comprehensive Audit Department investigations into Visa, Immigration and Nationality irregularities between the years 2011-2013 is a scandal and disgrace, though certainly not a surprise. It is also, undoubtedly, the tip of the rotten iceberg in what has been proven to be a systematic, orchestrated and brazen sale of our Belizean birthright to the highest bidder. Contained in three booklets – one each for Visa, Immigration and Nationality, hundreds of pages chronicle the rape of our systems and procedures by unscrupulous officers put in place by their political bosses. The shameful evidence that Ministers of Government intervened to facilitate Visas, nationality documents and passports without any vetting, for foreign nationals In the Visa – many of them with questionable backgrounds – is highlighted throughout the pages of the reports by the Auditors.

    CHURCHES TELL GOB – “ACT OR PAY THE CONSEQUENCES”
    After almost 2 weeks of being taken lightly by the Barrow Government, the Christian leaders from the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) staged a protest in front of the National Assembly building in Belmopan. Holding placards and banners condemning homosexuality and calling on the government to act NOW, they marched on the streets in front of the building which, at least symbolically is the seat of power in Belmopan. These protesters who came out, and many others via social media, talk-shows and other forums, continue to demand that the Prime Minister change his mind on appealing the Chief Justice’s ruling to legalize gay sexual acts conducted in private. About 1000 evangelists who are members of churches in the Orange Walk and Toledo Districts came out in support of the demonstration. Organizers had timed it for maximum effect to coincide with the weekly Cabinet meeting which unfortunately did not happen because Prime Minister Dean Barrow is out of the country.

    The Disappearing Middle-Class in Belize
    In August Category One Hurricane Earl made landfall somewhere around Ladyville or Sandhill. With winds of up to 90 mph, it battered Belize for more than 6 hours. After the all-clear was given, this relatively weak hurricane had, at least according to GOB, put a $158 million dollar beating on our people and economy. What Hurricane Earl really did was expose the growing level of poverty in Belize. This is a reality that not too many in the government want to accept or discuss at all. For years now people who look seriously into how our economy operates have been saying that collectively as a nation we are getting poorer and that the segment of our population most affected is the middle-class. What Earl did when it hammered us for hours is to expose a hidden reality in Belize; that there are many people who are one crisis from becoming impoverished or from losing their lifesavings.

    OAS Reports Clears BDF in Chiquibul Shooting
    The OAS investigation into the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul in April is done, and the report is FINALLY in. Initiated in June, 2016, it was conducted by retired US criminal investigator and forensic scientist Dr. James Hamby and a forensic scientist from the Mexican Federal Police, Dr. Patricia Trujillo Mariel. Both spent weeks visiting the site of the incident which resulted in the death of Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano and the wounding of his father and younger brother. The incident occurred within Belizean territory and the BDF and FCD Patrol involved maintained that they were fired on by unknown assailants in the dark, requiring them to return fire. Belize took unprecedented heat and condemnation from Guatemala, including an accusation of human rights violations by Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales.

    A Teacher of All…to ALL!
    Similar to the “teacher of all things” Jesus Christ, Mrs Jeanette Bennett was a teacher to many. Born to Edward Lord, a mercantile clerk and Rosita Ordonez, a domestic, on April 8th 1934 she began her steps in life. Mrs Bennett was a faithful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, Justice of Peace but first and foremost she was a teacher. Ms. B began her teaching career at a young age at Holy Redeemer in the early 1950’s. She often recognized a student of hers, the man behind the ‘zinc fence’ Evan X Hyde. Her teaching career at Holy Redeemer became short lived when she married her lifelong partner J Alexander Bennett, an educator and teacher at that Institution. J Alexander was given an assignment to teach in the little village of Succotz in the West. Ms. B bore her first of seven children in Succotz, Philip Bennett on May 11th 1957.

    Belize City Man Dies in Tragic RTA
    Lionel Hamilton, the 28 year-old Belize City resident who also went by the name “Lionel Villanueva”, was killed in a terrible traffic accident on Saturday morning, August 20. It happened sometime between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. at around mile 4 and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Police were called to that location where they saw a grey Dodge Neon Car with its front portion smashed in. A short distance away, they found Hamilton’s lifeless body lying on the side of the road. On the scene, they found a green van, which had collided with the car. Its front portion was also extensively damaged.

    First Section 53…Next Gay Marriage?
    The Church and the Government continue to disagree in the wake of the Section 53 judgement recently handed down by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the Supreme Court. The Church and many of their supporters claim that it is not just about Section 53, but about opening a door which should be left firmly closed. But what exactly does the judgment do in the context of gay rights in Belize? The Prime Minister, at a press conference held last week to address the ruling handed down after a three year delay, claims that the judgement does nothing more than decriminalize private consensual acts that were caught up with the net that is Section 53. He balked at the suggestion that it is opening the door to lawsuits from persons agitating for more gay rights gains.

    That Special Machete…
    Mr. Barrow has lost that special machete, his moral compass and without a doubt any golden legacy he hoped to leave in his wake. Always a conceited man, a legend in his own mind, it is a certainty that he became consumed with political success. All that fancy talk about doing better for the Belizean people has been reduced to nothing more than another rhetorical flourish for which the eloquent, hollow gentleman has become famous. On Friday, the Prime Minister will bellow and bluster and bleat like a rear-ended goat, but the reality is that anything he could tell the Belizean people will have lost its lustre, tarnished by the ripe, stinking evidence of most foul corruption pervading the sanctity of his own Cabinet. How will the Prime Minister explain away hundreds of pages outlining the most disgusting, disturbing rape of our birthright by his own Ministers with whom he broke bread? How will he dismiss not a suggestion – BUT A DECLARATION – by the Auditor-General, Dorothy Bradley that Ministers acted ILLEGALLY when they interfered in the established process to grant Visas at our borders?

    The PUP Welcomes Queen of the Bay Candidates
    Early this morning the beautiful candidates for the prestigious Queen of the Bay Pageant, along with chaperones and committee members, visited Independence Hall in the old capital, Belize City. There they spent some time on Vibes Radio before enjoying an informal breakfast with Party Leader John Briceño and other representatives of the Party. It was a pleasure to host the country’s brightest young, talented women who will carry on the long and proud tradition of the Queen of the Bay, to be held in Belize City this Saturday.

    El Odio Plays UDP Blame Game
    UDP Junior Minister and Orange Walk East Area Representative Elodio Aragon Jr. followed in the footsteps of his political boss Dean Barrow when he tried to deflect blame and shame from his fellow elected UDP politicians who are named in the Auditor General’s Special Audits into the disgraceful and criminal hustling at the Immigration and Nationality Department. By now Belizeans are starting to appreciate just how widespread the abuse and the cheapening of national patrimony has been under the UDP. While the audit were only for the period 2011-2013, who knows exactly how long it had been going on? Aragon’s UDP colleagues are being named as persons who issued instructions and manipulated systems all over the public service from port commanders to Immigration officials, to Belizean Embassy officials, clearing all the red tape, and all the checks and balances.

    Stand Against Corruption
    Corruption is the malignancy at the heart of a large number of issues in our lives today. It destroys employment and keeps down development, costing the Belizean economy millions of dollars consistently. It traps the poorest in the most desperate poverty as corrupt government officials siphon off funds and prevent hard-working people from getting the revenues and benefits of growth that are rightfully theirs. It takes indispensable assets from our schools and medical facilities. Corrupt individuals and companies evade the taxes they owe. If we continue to hide from this problem, how will we expect our country which is blessed with natural resources ever break out of the poverty trap? We have to deal with corruption if we are to have any hope of a truly prosperous and secure future. Yet while corruption is such a huge problem, the government’s efforts to deal with it are weak because so many times they are the root of the evil.

    Did the Court Sentence a Mentally-Challenged Man to Prison?
    A nineteen year old Lake Independence man who pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary was sentenced to serve two years in prison this morning, when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith who imposed the sentence. On Saturday, August 20, 2016 Mikel Angel Longsworth entered the Atlantic Bank storeroom as a trespasser. Nothing, however, was stolen from the room which is located at #26 Mahogany Street Extension, in the Lake Independence area. An employee of the Atlantic Bank, Robert Leslie, was informed by Police that there was a burglary and when he went there sometime around 9:00 a.m. he found Police along with the man who had entered the store room.

    Gunman’s Target Escapes Death after Gun Misfires
    A man who went on a mission to kill another man but failed to do so because the firearm malfunctioned when he squeezed the trigger was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after unlicensed firearm and ammunition charges were read to him this afternoon. Linsford Acosta appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza who read a charge of aggravated burglary to him. Acosta, 32, a fisherman residing in the Belama Phase 2 area, allegedly went to the home of Adolfo McKoy, 50, a construction worker, who resides at 50 Iguana Street and entered as a trespasser on Saturday, August 20.

    Accused Kidnapper and Mason Employee Gets Bail
    Ryan Rhaburn, Manager of William Danny Mason’s Outback Ranch, was in the Supreme Court today along with his attorney, Herbert Panton for a bail application hearing, before Justice John Troadio Gonzalez. Earlier during the week Rhaburn was arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on two counts of kidnapping of Mennonite businessman Lloyd Friessen and his wife. Friessen and his wife ended up fleeing from Belize after Mason allegedly began extorting money from him. But he returned to the country after Mason was arrested and charged with the murder of Pastor Llewellyn Lucas. Lucas’ head was found in a bucket in Mason’s vehicle in Belmopan on July 15th, prompting Belmopan Police to charge him and four others with the murder and kidnapping of Lucas.

    SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN BELIZE…
    And that something is Dean Oliver Barrow. Dean Barrow was castigated by Church Leaders of the Evangelical Association during their historic march, prayers and speeches at the steps of the National Assembly.Mr. Barrow has become one of the things he has always feared. He is the object of mockery and scorn. His legacy is in tatters ever more. New heroes are emerging in the Battle for a Better Belize. Pastors from Stann Creek, Toledo, Belmopan, Orange Walk and Corozal addressed the historic gathering of almost two thousand religious citizens. Twenty-five buses from the southern districts and five from the north rolled into Belmopan early Tuesday in protest against Mr. Barrow and his Ministers. It was Pastor Victor Hernandez who eloquently, throughout his sermon, made reference to Shakespeare’s well-known phrase from the play Hamlet- “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.

    MY PERSPECTIVE – SPORTS LAMENT
    The Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are now history. I have not watched much of them at all, what with no electricity for five days after Hurricane Earl and another three or four days until cable supply was restored. However, it has been difficult to refrain from thinking about sports, or sport as the British call it. Of course we, as Caribbean people, have been exceedingly proud to see Usain Bolt cement his superstar status as the fastest human being over a period of more than eight years and three Olympics, the world’s most prestigious stage for track and field. I pondered on how this came about. Jamaica has less than four million inhabitants, but the emphasis placed by authorities on pre-eminence in track and field athletics has succeeded in producing dozens of top notch athletes and gold medalists. They simply cannot be beat, and they have to be highly commended for the astounding accomplishments of Jamaican track and field stars and superstars. We also remember the Cubans as well. I have learned that Cuba and Jamaica have tied for medals from the Rio Olympics.

    Order…new or not
    The Churches were able to draw a sizable crowd to Belmopan this past week where they protested against the government’s decision not to appeal the recent ruling of the Supreme Court in the United Belize Advocacy Movement’s (UNIBAM) case. Caleb Orozco was successful in challenging Sec. 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code which states that “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person … shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years.” Lawyers for Orozco were able to convince the high court that the law as it stood was in violation of his dignity and human rights as guaranteed by Part 2 of the Constitution. Having successfully argued that point, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin had no choice but to declare the law null and void since, according to Part 1 (sec. 2) of Belize’s Constitution, “This Constitution is the supreme law of Belize and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”

    Thinking Out Loud
    The Prime Minister is out of the country again. It seems like he’s always out of the country when there’s a crisis, and these days, crises are the order of the week. There’s another one brewing and bubbling this week – one that has been in the pot for a very long time. Mr. Barrow has been trying as best he can to hold down the findings of the Audit Department into the multiple passport, nationality and Visa scandals under his watch. But it’s out now. I haven’t gotten a chance to go through the books just yet, but I hear the Audit Department is accusing multiple Ministers, Area Representatives and UDP caretakers of acting illegally in facilitating Visas and other documents for people who did not qualify. What has emerged seems like the worst nightmare for the Prime Minister who has stated publicly that corruption in Immigration would be one of those things that would bring down his administration. Based on what is in those audits, if the Prime Minister is serious and he has any principle, he should probably go ahead and call elections.

    THINK ABOUT IT
    Right in the midst of the hard time that has come upon our people a circle of hope has emerged. This is a circle of hope and help. Women are being encouraged to form a group of friends. One person brings in two friends. Four persons bring in eight and a circle is formed. Each person pays the person at the top of the circle. They then move from the bottom of the circle to the second level and then to a smaller third level and then to the top of the circle. Then it is their turn to collect. Nobody holds anyone else’s money. Each person pays the person at the top of the circle. This is a damn good idea – too good to be true. But it is working. So long as you can bring in two good and trusted friends the circle goes on.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Julius Espat, media ejected from House Sitting
    People’s United Party (PUP) area representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat, and Channel Seven News Director, Jules Vasquez, were both forcibly removed from today House Sitting in the National Assembly by police officers. Espat says the incident was fueled by the government, who did […]

    Accident reported near Benque
    Confirmed reports to Breaking Belize News desk is that a traffic accident occurred a short while ago on the George Price Highway near Benque Viejo Del Carmen in the Cayo District. The severity of the injuries sustained by passengers is not known yet. BBN will […]

    House suspended after Cayo South member breaks protocol
    There were extraordinary scenes inside the House of Representatives this afternoon as the Representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat, refused to leave his seat after he was “named” by Pickstock area representative and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. Espat was speaking on the adjournment and […]

    Protestors not charged after throwing missiles at Police during demonstration
    Just around high noon, what had been a peaceful protest on the steps of the National Assembly descended into scenes of near-riot after a protestor began firing missiles toward the Assembly building. Police responded with live warning rounds fire over the protestors’ heads. One […]

    Belizeans the time to fight corruption is now
    If you were caught committing a crime publicly, what would the consequences be? Would the police arrest you and lock you up? Would they hesitate? If you resisted arrest how would the police respond? You would be met with physical force and if you […]

    Governor General travels to Mexico
    Belize’s Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young is currently visiting Mexico City on an invitation made to him by the Anahuac University. During his visit to Mexico City Sir Colville Young will deliver readings in the CARICOM literature to the University including selections from […]

    Person detained for throwing missile inside the national assembly
    Reports reaching our newsroom are indicating that police have arrested a person for throwing missile inside the national assembly. This is a developing story and will be updated shortly. © 2016, www.breakingbelizenews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission […]

    Police fire warning shots at protestors in Belmopan
    We have received reports that police in Belmopan have fired shots in the air to deter protestors from stoning them. According to reports, additional law enforcement officers have been deployed in the area. Our reporters are in Belmopan and have reported that things are […]

    The Church’s Hypocrisy
    Pope Francis once famously remarked that the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations should apologize to homosexuals for contributing to their marginalization in society, citing the catechism, which states, “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” This should be […]

    Belizeans rise against corruption, social decay in Belmopan
    The Belizeans standing in broiling Friday sun at the seat of their nation’s government made clear that they are mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore. “It”, they perceive, is the slippery slope of moral and social decay […]

    Belize – Analysis of the current status of PetroCaribe
    By Richard Harrison: Belize…..do not take your eyes off Petrocaribe…..there needs to be an independent and comprehensive audit…..the numbers that the Government of Belize claim do not add up….many millions not accounted for….in his 2016 budget speech the PM of Belize claims that Belize had only received $325 […]

    Abducted child found in Belize City
    The child who was abducted from Independence Village yesterday has been found. According to reports, a resident of cemetery road saw an unidentified man dropping off the baby shortly after 10 p.m. in the cemetery area. The man then quickly fled the scene. The […]

    Blogs

    8 Cool Belize TV Appearances
    Being a small, relatively inconspicuous nation as far as media goes usually means that Belize sightings on tv are very few, and very far between, and that also means that when we do catch a glimpse of The Land of the Free, for better or for worse, we tend to get a little bit excited. The above being said, we could probably count on our digits how many times Belize has been seen in mainstream media. Here are the eight Belize TV appearances we think are the coolest:

    Your Belize Cooking Guide - How To Make Belizean Powder Buns
    Have you ever tried Belizean Powder Buns? Whether you’re dipping it in a delicious cup of morning brew, having it as a snack while on-the-go or at dinner-time with your favorite portions of cheese; powder buns are tasty treat no matter the time of day! Known locally as “Pow-da” bun, the pastry is a staple snack in Creole households across the country. Easy to make and even easier to eat, powder buns are a lightly sweetened, fluffy and typically crumbly, treat. Some seasoned travelers would even compare it to an English scone. If you're a foodie like us, you'll be sure to enjoy our cooking guide to making Belizean Powder Buns:

    September Celebrations!!!! Here’s Your Guide to the Big Events
    Just this past week, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) released the official schedule of events for September Celebrations in San Pedro and around the country.2016 Schedule of September Celebrations, San Pedro, Belize It IS my favorite time of year. So, if you are visiting Ambergris Caye in September or you are living here for the very first time, here is my guide to the activities. Get your red, white and blue ready! Don’t be shy. I am focusing on my home town of San Pedro in this post but there are some BIG events, like Carnival in Belize City or the Independence Day parade in Orange Walk that are SO worth thinking about. During the first days of September, you will see the town, houses and golf carts decorated for the holiday.

    International Sourcesizz

    Caribbean: Anti-gay law is ripe for reversal, Antigua says
    If LGBTI rights activists in the Caribbean nation of Antigua & Barbuda mount a legal challenge, the courts there would likely nullify that nation’s ban on sexual relations between men, according to Antigua’s cabinet. But the Antiguan government won’t take such action on its own. As Antigua’s Daily Observer reported: The government has said an outright no to repealing the laws [criminalising] buggery, a decision which has disappointed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community. The Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda, on [Aug. 24], agreed that “the buggery law will remain unchanged”. In the same breath, government acknowledged that the results which were obtained in the recent historic Belize case are likely to follow, should an interest group pursue this matter in the courts, since “our jurisprudence is similar”.

    OAS probe absolves Belize in shooting of Guatemalan teen
    Experts from the Organization for American States released a report Friday that indicates a Guatemalan teen killed in April near the two countries' border was shot by members of a conservation group. The bullets that killed 14-year-old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano came from a shotgun and a .22 rifle carried by members of a Belizean conservation group, the Friends for Conservation and Development. The group was accompanied by a lieutenant of the Belize Defense Forces, but he did not fire the shots that hit the boy. The patrol members said they fired in self-defense in a Belizean national park on the border. The shooting had threatened to turn into a diplomatic tussle between the two countries and the latest flashpoint in a longstanding territorial dispute. Guatemala claims parts of territory governed by Belize as its own.

    This Tourism Campaign's 'No Beachside Honeymooners' Rule Boosted Belize's GDP
    Tourism campaigns for Caribbean destinations often have a similar aesthetic—sandy beaches, honeymooning couples, frosty drinks by the pool. But the Belize Tourism Board and its agency, Olson, had enough of that. For its latest ad campaigns, the BTB focused on local experiences unique to Belize and making flying to the country easier. Three years ago, Olson started working with the BTB, launching "Discover How to Be," a campaign that showcased the country's culture and experiences you can have there. Olson and the BTB also worked with Southwest Airlines and WestJet Airlines to open up more routes and direct flights to Belize from the U.S. and Canada. The strategy worked—the campaign was responsible for increasing travel to Belize and boosting the country's GDP by 2.24 percent, according to the Central Bank of Belize. "We set rules from the beginning—no honeymooners, no frozen drinks, nobody getting a massage by the pool," said Kevin McKeon, chief creative officer at Olson. "We want to go for someone who's a little more ambitious about what they're looking for in a vacation. The takeaway is you're going to meet some fascinating people and come back with a story you didn't expect to have."

    NAU Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Mayan Tomb In Belize
    An archaeology expedition led by Northern Arizona University has uncovered one of the largest Mayan tombs ever found in Belize. It’s the most significant discovery in more than century of research at the site. The dig took place at Xunantunich in western Belize. NAU professor Jaime Awe brought his team of more than 30 students to the site. They uncovered a burial chamber five times as large as a typical Mayan tomb. “Most tombs in the Maya world are sort of dug into existing buildings,” Awe said. “Not in this case! In this case, they constructed this tomb and then built the pyramid on top of it.” The tomb holds the remains of what appears to be an important Mayan ruler, as well as animal bones and artifacts.

    Videos

  • AdJENtures: Snorkeling in Belize, 2min. Footage taken on a snorkeling trip in Caye Caulker. Swam with some pretty cute sharks, stingrays, turtles, and fishes.

  • Belize Creole Brukdung Project, 3min. As you know singing is not easy. Here are some of our trainees learning proper singing techniques under the Belize Creole Brukdung Project which is being sponsored by the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project.

  • Blackadore Group second EIA consultation, 3min. Local fishermen tried to voice their concerns about overwater structures to the Blackadore Group last night at the second EIA consultation. Here is the first compilation of important moments from the EIA:

  • , min. Channel 7's Jules Vasquez is dragged out of the House of Representatives as the media was ejected from the room. Video taken by our reporter as she was being removed.

  • Member of the media was manhandled by security forces as he was forcibly removed from the House of Representatives., 1min.

  • Honorable Julius Espat forcibly removed from the House of Assembly by armed forces., 1min. Despite the overwhelming number of police officers carrying him out, Hon. Julius Espat puts up resistance against further manhandling. When the leader of the opposition attempts to intervene, the police turn their attention on him as well.

  • Beautiful Belize - 5 weeks in 20 minutes, 14min.

  • Belize Carnival 2016, 22min.

  • Belize City Carnival Parade 2016, 7min.

  • 3em3 :: Caracol e Placencia - Belize :: Um roteiro pelo país mais secreto do Caribe, 7min.

  • The Big Belize Surprise, 4min. Best reaction ever when my best friend realizes that we have shown up in Belize to surprise her. Living in separate parts of the country for almost 10 years means we don't get to see each other often, and this was the tropical vacation we always dreamt of taking together.

  • Belize Lazy River, 3min.

    August 26, 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

    When will the Ambergris Stadium be completed?
    The state-of-the-art design of the Ambergris Stadium will no doubt transform the professionalism of sports on the island, but it will also develop sports in the country. Despite Hurricane Earl, the renowned sporting complex is still on-schedule, and with the pace of construction, the inaugural ceremony is set to take place in September 2016. The multi-purpose stadium, which is substituted with synthetic grass, will come equipped with a regulation pitch, locker facilities, concession stands, bathroom facilities, and a storage unit. It will also be suitable for various sports, including: softball, running, track and field, and newly added, basketball. Though there were some speculations about changes in the design plan, Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) General Manager Christy Mastry, confirmed that no changes were made in the actual design plan. However, they added additional enhancements to the stadium, such as adding a basketball court facility, to better accommodate the multi-purpose sporting arena.

    Heated matches continue during the 6-a-side Interoffice Football Tournament
    The excitement of the 6-a-side Interoffice Football Tournament continued on Thursday, August 18th and Friday, August 19th. After 10 weeks of competitions at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex, the remaining teams are finally approaching the end of the tournament. As usual, fans came out and supported their teams, motivating them to fight hard towards qualifying for the playoffs. A total of 16 teams, comprising of first, second, and third place teams of each category will qualify for the second round games.

    5-a-side Football action heading to finals!
    The semifinals of the Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSC) and San Pedro High School (SPHS) Five-a-side Football Tournament took place on Sunday, August 21st at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. Four teams fought hard in order to advance in the grand finals. Over the course of the tournament, the games have become heated, and fanatics gathered on the bleachers to cheer on their favorite teams. The exciting matches were intensified, with the possibility that each team playing their last game on the court. The marathon competition kicked off at 11AM with little league matches. In the first match, Juventus Jrs crushed El Pescador in a 5-0 victory. The second match was between Bayern Munich U11 and PSG. The match ended in a devastating 11-0 defeat for Bayern Munich U11.The third round saw a close match between Bayern Munich U13 and PSG U13, which resulted in a 2-1 win for Bayern Munich U13. Juventus saw FC Boca Jrs in the last match of the little leaguers. The game was intense, but Juventus prevailed with a 4-3 score.

    SPBRC holds Blood Drive at Polyclinic
    The San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) hosted their regular blood drive on Saturday, August 20th at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. The doors opened from 9AM, with potential donors coming in prepared to donate their blood. At the end of the day, a total of 11 pints were collected, which means that up to 33 lives can be saved out of the San Pedro blood reserves. On the other side of town, SPBRC Coordinator Heidi Simmons and a couple of volunteers conducted a coin drive. The coin drive brought in a total of $172.91, which will help further their endeavors, and continue their community service. According to Simmons, the results of this blood drive had a lot of setbacks due to Hurricane Earl. However, the SPBRC is still grateful to everyone who took the time to donate blood. “I feel it was a really great turnout considering what the island and community have been going through as of late. The Cancer Society just did a blood drive so those people would have not been in the correct time frame to donate again. Also, we did have to reschedule it because of the hurricane. Plus, I’m sure people are worn out from donating because they’ve given so generously to those in need after the fire, as well as for the hurricane,” said Simmons.

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week: Is There Such a Things as the Perfect Sunset?
    I love sunrises more than sunsets, but every now and then I want to change my mind. When I think I have taken a picture of the best sunrise, there comes along a sunset to match its magnificence.

    More Donations for Belize Hurricane Earl Relief
    Although life has gone back to normal in the cayes after Hurricane Earl struck Belize, there are still some families in the mainland that have damaged homes and others who were left homeless by the storm. Work continued to provide relief for those affected. Recent donations towards Belize’s Hurricane Earl Relief come from Norwegian Cruise Line. On Friday, August 19, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Senior Vice President of Destination & Strategic Development, Colin Murphy (above left), presented a donation of BZ$100,000 (US$50,000) to assist the people of Belize in the recovery efforts to Lily Bowman, Director General of Belize Red Cross Society (above right).

    Seventeen New Persons now Equipped to Take Care of the Elderly in Belize
    The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, is Belize’s leading centre for industry specific workforce development, providing effective, demand driven, user-friendly and value based programs that will develop, deliver and sustain a quality work force. Its’ mission is to develop a cadre of well-trained, marketable and self-sufficient individuals able to confidently compete in the marketplace. In keeping with its mandate, seventeen persons, who are employed or seeking employment as caregivers in homes of the elderly or in assisted living facilities received certificates at the conclusion of a five-week training on Basics of Caregiving during a brief ceremony held on Tuesday, August 23 at the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) on the ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City.

    Belize Awards Scholarships in Tourism Field of Studies
    On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, the Belize Tourism Board awarded five (5) scholarships to students venturing into the Tourism field of studies. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., presented each student with their scholarship package. Two Associate Degree scholarships were awarded. The recipients were Clarita Ack, of Toledo Community College, and Ahkeem O’Brien, of St. John’s College. Both students received a two-year tuition scholarship for a Tourism Program at one of the Junior Colleges in Belize. One Bachelor Degree in Tourism Management was awarded to Janeen Nal, of the University of Belize. She received a two-year tuition scholarship for the Tourism Management Program at the University of Belize.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Water test results round two. With belizewaterservices
    We went back into the community to test again areas we had not already tested. Since round 1 produced bacteria and e coli in the town pipe water we felt we should check other areas and report to Belize Water Services. We met Mr. Jermaine Jones and had a great chat. In the works for next year are improvements in the San Mateo area pipelines. We tourrd San Mateo together this morning informing the resodents and identifying the test sites. Mr. Jermaine has promised they will test all end of lines and check our results from there. This will not identify any areas where the pipe may be broken between the road and the house. Residents can check results with the Belize Water Services in approximately 2 days time.

    Government of Belize to Provide Safe Reliable Water for Pueblo Viejo Village, Toledo District
    Ground-breaking ceremony to kick-off construction of Pueblo Viejo Rehabilitated Water Project will be held in Pueblo Viejo Village at 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, 2016. The Government of Belize is financing the Pueblo Viejo Water Project so that over 600 villagers have access to the continuous supply of reliable and safe quality water to meet their daily needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and cooking. The water project is being made available to the Government of Belize courtesy of a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank under the Water and Sanitation System Enhancement Sector of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF7) Programme.

    Crave Wine House Dinner
    Crave House of Flavor and the Wine House are teaming up to bring Cayo the first Wine Dinner this Friday, August 26th. Call 804-0203 to reserve your amazing meal, which will have an appetizer, entree, dessert, and a bottle of wine. "Join us for a night to remember as The Wine House teams up with Renowned Chef Alejandro from Crave, House of Flavor to bring you a complete culinary adventure with a delicious menu paired with the perfect wines... We will be able to host reservations at 6pm and at 8pm and reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.

    San Pedro Sailors Suspended
    facebook page reports the following: "The resulting suspension of all our sailors was because we attended a sailing regatta! Please note that the attendance to the regatta in Canada is an "open invitation" meaning any one can register and compete if they meet the registration requirements. There was no requirement for sanctioning from BzSA. Our sailors are from Belize and an over zealous admin on our page regrettably used the term "team Belize" which BzSA took issue with. However our sailors are from Belize and can be referred to as "Team Belize." The sailors were great ambassadors for Belize and were popular with fellow sailors from around the world who were in attendance at CORK. Our optimist sailors produced good results with Kevin coming in 7th in the Gold Fleet and Caroline coming in 10th in the Silver fleet. And in the laser radial events Blanca came in 42nd in the Gold fleet and Sarah came in 14th in the bronze fleet. All very respectable achievements". We wish to congratulate the San Pedro Racers Club for so admirably representing Belize at the Cork Regatta in Canada. We hope that the Belize Sailing Association will reconsider and reinstate your membership.

    15 minute power interruption is scheduled for the entire Toledo District from 4:45pm to 5:00pm on Thursday, August 25, Friday August 26, & Saturday August 27.
    BEL to replace transmission poles in the area.

    Power interruption 8:00am to 12:00noon, Sunday, August 28: entire Punta Gorda Town, Hopeville, Cattle Landing & portion Elridgeville.
    BEL to energize Water Supply area of Punta Gorda.

    Bamboo Bar Grand Reopening Concert
    Bamboo Bar is finished with their post-hurricane refurbishments, and they are celebrating by having a concert this Saturday, August 27th. Ascenthium will be playing, along with Barefoot Skinny, and Eddie Allen! Hot Taco will be there, and there will be BBQ. New sand, new paint, and the same great food and drinks. "This Saturday its the Re-opening of Bamboo Bar! we got live music all night! cold drinks! BBQ and Hot Taco in the house! Starts at 4pm and runs till midnight!. Spread the word and lets party!"

    I Got the Voice II
    Are you ready to sing your heart out? I Got the Voice's 2nd season is having open auditions all around Cayo next week. They'll be at Sunset Bar on Thursday, September 1st, then at Wing Stop in Belmopan on Friday, and Wingz in Benque on Saturday. Let the singing begin.

    Queen of the Bay
    Is Saturday, August 27 at Bliss Center for Performing Arts!

    SEPTEMBER CALENDARS!
    Are available via Town Councils in: Belize City, Belmopan, Benque, Corozal, Dangriga, Orange Walk, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio & Santa Elena, and San Pedro. You can also find them at Government House ~ House of Culture (NICH), Bliss Center for Performing Arts, the Museum of Belize (NICH), the Belize Tourism Board, banks, and other businesses in Belize City and around the country. If you have any questions, please call the NICH offices at 227-0811.

    Who will represent Belize at the Miss Universe Pageant?
    You can help your favorite delegate get there! HOW TO: 1) Go to the Miss Belize Facebook Page 2) LIKE the official photo of your favorite Miss Belize delegate 3) Spread the word! The delegate who is "The People's Choice" will be on the fast track to the finals on pageant night: Saturday, September 10 at Bliss!

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    Popstar, Now You See Me, The Darkness, Ratchet & Clank

    Channel 7

    Hulse Says " Tell me Something I didn't know ", Audit Report, nothing new
    Last night we gave you an overview of the very loaded and detailed Auditor General's report on the Visa and Passport irregularities between 2011 and 2013. The two reports combined are 350 pages long, so yes, it is a lot of information to read, analyse and digest. But according to former Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse, it shouldn't be so shocking to read because, the way he puts it, there's nothing new in the report since it was well known that these dubious nationality transactions were happening. Today at another event, he told us that he would not go into any details until the reports are tabled at the house on Friday, but he did highlight all the rigid measures he has put in place to ensure these immigration scandals do not reoccur. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Police: "Well first of all as you know more than a year and a half ago when I said in the Senate let the Auditor General do their work and they did their work. So the reports came out; the only thing I will say to start with is I understand the Auditor General did not comply with what would be a requirement to do a management letter to CEO and other people. I personally was never asked any question by the Auditor General not a question from any of their people so I can't comment on that. My understanding is that they didn't speak to the CEO of the ministry at the time but a part from that majority of the things that come out are things that we've heard, some of them we have seen from the Penner situation and some of the things that I myself have undertook to look into. But I won't comment on anything specifically until it goes to the house on Friday when it's laid on the table and of course subsequently on Wednesday when it goes to the Senate."

    Report Points To Minister, Calls Visa Recommendations Unlawful
    And while Hulse can casually dismiss the Auditor General reports, we'd beg to differ. That's because while we all knew that wholesale hustling was happening at the Immigration Department – we didn't know the full extent of it, the names involved, and generally, how sleazy it all was, reducing nationality documents to something slightly better than used scraps of paper tissue. It was facilitated by politicians, public officers, justices of the peace, and a host of ancillary players. Of course, politicians are singled out for special scrutiny because, ultimately, they either, by commission, fostered, or, by omission, nurtured the culture of lawlessness that prevailed in the Department of Immigration. Tonight we'll look at a few singled out for special mention:,… Jimin Guan, he's a 46-year-old Chinese national who was issued a visa on May fifth, 2013, and he got a Belize passport on June 13th – just one month later. The visa was his gateway document – and usually Chinese nationals have a sponsor in Belize – someone who vouches for them – but he had none, he had better than that; the letter recommending him for a visa was written four months before he set foot in Belize, on 29th January, 2013, by Minister Erwin Contreras. Contreras was busy on January 29th., because that's also the day he wrote letters for two more Chinese, Weidong Li and Muping Chen. Li got his citizenship eight days after he arrived in March – this usually takes a minimum of 6 years. Muping Chen had to wait until July for his passport.

    Mysterious "Mr. Middleton" Says "Wasn't Me"
    One regular citizen who got named in the audit as a visa salesman is called “Mr. Middleton. “ In the audit report he is introduced as the common-law husband of an immigration officer and the report claims he sold stolen Belizean visas to former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang. Well, today Middleton came to our office to say the auditors have it all wrong. He says he’s not that Immigration Officer’s common law and added that he knows nothing about any visas sold to Eric Chang.

    Report Raises Red Flags for Belizeans traveling to US
    Of course, we're all learning the report as we go along, and we aren't the only ones who still have a lot to review: the US Ambassador Carlos Moreno, among other government officials are still familiarizing themselves with the content, or just about to read the reports. Now as you heard, Godwin Hulse declined to comment on any specific topic in the documents, but Ambassador Moreno took our questions on it. Moreno admitted to us that the information is alarming and that it could affect the free and open flow of Belizeans into the US. Courtney Weatherburne: "Shifting over to the Auditor General's report on the visa and passport scandal; first of all have you read it or gone over it?" Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize : "I have not had an opportunity to read it, I just read about it in today's newspapers. I'm looking forward to reading it and ultimately if there are ways that the US government can assist in terms of investigation and so forth I think if we're asked to participate we'll be happy to do so." Reporter: "Does that include cancelling visas for person who may have been involved? We understand that the prime minister has asked certain questions of the US embassy in that regard."

    No sleepless nights for Heredia, He says his name is clean.
    So as you can see, this report complicates things for not only Belize, but for the US and even other countries, not to mention the list of politicians and public servants who are implicated in several acts of fraud and mismanagement. But there is one UDP Minister who couldn't be less bothered by the report and he is Minster of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Junior. We asked Heredia about the Auditor Generals reports and if we can expect to see his name in the report among his colleagues, and he told us that his reputation speaks for itself. Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism: "Even though I'm part of government I always try to focus on what I am doing. If you see my two ministries that I hold; Civil Aviation and Tourism, over the 8 plus years that I have been you have never heard any type of scandal or any negative thing about this particular minister or with my ministry itself."

    Barrow Admin & the "Alibaba's": Poetry, To Prose To Profiteering?
    And while Heredia may live both politically and literally, on an island in the sun, the kind of heat his other cabinet colleagues are feeling comes not from that golden orb in the sky, but from a heat source deep in the bowels of the political netherworld. Indeed, between the Danny Mason Debacle and the exposure of all the lurid details of the Passport and Visa hustle, the Barrow Administration is in rough waters – add to that the blowback over the section 53 judgment, and those waters suddenly become perilous. Sure enough, Prime Minister Dean Barrow is rolling in the deep – and there's no shoal in sight, no rock to run to for rescue. Certainly, it's not how he would have planned it back in the heady days of 2004 – when he was – as they say - campaigning in poetry. But 12 years later, even governing in prose has proved difficult – matter of fact, these days, it's more like governing in doggerel. To measure the trajectory between the ideal and the real, we juxtapose comments he made in 2004 when the Musa Administration was starting to unravel, and in 2013, when the Citizen Kim scandal first emerged:…

    Leaked OAS Report Damning For Guats
    In last night's news, you saw Brigadier General David Jones expressing confidence that his soldiers would be vindicated in the fatal shooting of 14 year-old Guatemalan Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. That's the incident which sent Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales into demagogue mode calling the BDF all kinds of names, accusing them of murder, and triggering a military buildup along the Belize Guatemala border. Well, our colleagues at KREM News managed to secure a leaked copy of the OAS report which has still not been released. The report vindicates the BDF, and exposes that the Guatemalans as trying to bamboozle that investigation by attempting to conceal evidence. That evidence clearly showed that the Belizean Joint Forces Patrol did indeed come under fire from hostile Guatemalan civilians, and they returned fire in self-defence.

    A Killing In Caye Caulker
    Tonight, police officers on Caye Caulker continue to investigate the murder of an island resident. She's 51 year-old Jennifer Coleman who was found bleeding on the side of street she lived on. Daniel Ortiz travelled to the island today to find out that she may have been attacked in her home by someone she knew. Here's his report: The body of 51 year-old Jennifer Diane Coleman was found here on the street in front of her Caye Caulker House. Police say that she had been stabbed and left on the street to bleed out. The police were a short distance away, and they responded as soon as they got the call. ASP Henry Jemmoth - Deputy Coastal Executive Officer: "At about 11:50 police officers were called out to the area of Aventurera Street in Caye Caulker Village. Upon arrival to that area they say a lady on the ground slumped over bleeding profusely from the neck area. Police quick actions took the person to the polyclinic where she was pronounced dead on arrival."

    Section 53 Judgement Good for Tourism
    We all know Cabinet's position on the Section 53 judgment; they won't appeal it. But, how do individual minister's feel? We've heard some grumblings from within the UDP that some are dissatisfied with the collective position – and would support an appeal. Today we asked Belize Rural South Representative Manuel Junior Heredia about it – mainly because he should have a unique perspective. As the song says La Isla Bonita is wild and free – but it's also very openly gay. The island has a thriving gay community, which is welcoming to tourists who live in societies with that same ethos. So what does he think about the judgment and how it affects his voters and visitors to his island? Here's how the Tourism Minister explained it:… Courtney Weatherburne: "We know that in San Pedro many people are openly gay, we have a lot of homosexuals in San Pedro. First of all what do you think the Section 53 judgement, what impact will it have on San Pedroanos?" Hon. Manuel Heredia - Minister of Tourism: "I don't believe it will have any additional effect. You've said it and rightly there are a number and I respect people for what they are. I have my personal feelings for what I believe but I respect everybody's rights and this judgement, all that it did is to simply say that what has been done before supposed to be uphold. I am one of those that believe that the law of a country supposed to be uphold and the court have said so and we as a government I believe that we will not appeal the situation and that because of the treaty that we the human right treaty we then we have to live up to our commitment but I believe that even though I'm a Catholic, our pope has said who is he to judge."

    Powerful Teachers Union Urges GOB To Appeal
    And while San Pedro has its own story with section 53, last night, we told you about the how the light, water and telephone unions came out in support of the Evangelist Churches. They want to the Government to reconsider their decision not to appeal the Section 53 judgment which decriminalizes gay sex. Well today, the Belize National Teachers Union added their voice of support to the churches saying, quote, "The BNTU wishes to express (its) deep concern about the recent judgement (as) representative of the largest group of organized teachers in the country… (The BNTU) had registered our concern about the implications, for the classroom, at the suggested implementation of the National Gender Policy...We now raise our concern at the...Amendment of Section 53." End Quote.

    Hon. John's Man Miley For Manslaughter
    Key advisor to John Saldivar, 58 year old Miley Gracia was charged today for killing a man in an accident. It happened yesterday afternoon after 1 in Belmopan. Garcia was turning into Floriander Street, the street right in front of the Governor General’s residence when 29 year old Osman Jiron drove up in his motorcycle. Garcia then made a sudden turn into Jiron’s lane and slammed into him. Jiron was seriously injured and rushed to the hospital but he died during surgery. Garcia was charged today with death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, manslaughter by negligence and failed to give way when changing direction. A urine sample was also taken but the results have not been released as yet.

    Belize's Rain Insurance Good For Quarter Mil.
    Two weeks we told you about Belize’s Hurricane Insurance with the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility. After the storm they said that the losses from Hurricane Earl did not trigger the policy, and so no insurance payout was due. But, that’s not the end of the story, because as it turns out, Belize purchased excess rainfall coverage for the first time for the 2016/17 policy year, and that began on June 1st. Well, that did trigger, and on August 18th, CCRIF made a payout of $261,073 US dollars to the Government of Belize under its excess rainfall insurance policy. These are as a result of heavy rains that affected the country on August 4 & 5 during Hurricane Earl.

    National Security Strategy: First step in keeping Belize Safe.
    Today, senior officials in the Ministry of Defence met to discuss a National Security Strategy. It was just one of many meetings held around this subject. Now, we weren't allowed to stay in for the entire session but new CEO in the Ministry of Defence Felix Enriquez gave us a very general outline of what the strategy will address. Feliz Enrique - CEO, Ministry of Defence: "Today's event is a stakeholder's consultation meeting. It's one in a series of meeting that is taking place to form what will become the national defence and security strategy. So this process has started some time ago and we're today is informing several stakeholders will includes CEOs from different ministries, heads of departments and key stakeholders within the ministry, within the NGOs where they are at this point with the formulation of the strategy and get input most importantly, getting input from everybody else who are the stakeholders to form what is the national defence and security strategy." Courtney Weatherburne: "Sir are you able to; I know when we are speaking of national security it is such a broad hefty issue or topic. Are you able to give us any details in terms of how the report is set up or is divided and in terms of the focus of the report?"

    New Road Ahead For BTB Scholarship Recipients
    More scholarships were awarded today but this time by the Belize Tourism Board. After a thorough selection process, 5 persons were selected and a short handing over ceremony was held today to recognize the recipients. We stopped by and found out how significant this scholarship is to these youths. The cost for this scholarship program is between $40 to $50,000 dollars.

    Policing and Teaching : What it takes to be GREAT.
    Gang Resistance Education And Training – it is a programme spearheaded by the police department and funded by the US Embassy. The Embassy brought in five trainers from the GREAT National Program in the US, joined by three from the Police Department. They trained 40 police officers who graduated today as “GREAT” instructors. Today we spoke to the coordinators about the importance of this programme. The US embassy reports through CARSI funded programs that ongoing efforts will enhance capacity throughout Belize with programs for police, forensics, prosecution, judiciary, prison, immigration customs and more.

    Channel 5

    P.M. Barrow Finds No Smoking Gun in Audit Reports, But Will Question Ministers
    The Special Audit Reports on the Immigration and Nationality Department are to be laid before the House of Representatives on Friday, and are sure to engineer much talk and opprobrium. [...]

    Ministers Intervened in Visa Process Repeatedly – and Flouted the Law
    Not a smoking gun on corruption?….well the Special Audit during the period 2011-2013, unearthed so many irregularities in the issuance of visas and passports that could not have been carried [...]

    Government Ministers Also Wrote-in for People to Get Nationality Despite Irregular Documents
    Ministers of government also illegally intervened in the nationality process when there is no such provision for them to do so in the Belize Nationality Act, pointed out by the [...]

    Prime Minister Pleased With O.A.S. Report – But What Will Guatemala Say?
    The Barrow Administration is reeling from scandal to scandal. Fresh off the Danny Mason saga interrupted by Hurricane Earl, the hustle of visas, nationalities and passports at the immigration department [...]

    B.D.F. Commander Says He Knew it All Along – His Soldiers Did Not Kill Julio Alvarado
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it today officially received the independent report on the killing of Guatemala minor Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. The report carries a chronology [...]

    Patrol May Still Be Responsible For Teen’s Death
    The O.A.S. investigation confirms that the incident occurred within the Adjacency Zone administered by Belize. On the twentieth of April, Julio Alvarado was killed and his father and brother were [...]

    Border Tensions Eased Down After Guatemalans’ Mass Deployment
    The international campaign that the Guatemalan government launched against the B.D.F. and Belize requires skilful diplomatic work to undo any eroding of Belize’s credibility.  Guatemala assumed the role of the [...]

    No Turning Back On Section 53, Says P.M. As He Goes After Teachers’ Union
    In spite of the protest that took place on Tuesday while he was out of the country, and the one he faces when he goes to the House on Friday, [...]

    Doyle Garbutt Shot To Death in Van On Southside; Police Baffled As to Why
    A north side resident is the latest murder victim. It is not quite known why thirty year old Doyle Garbutt was in a dangerous spot of the south side last [...]

    9-Month Old Baby Kidnapped In Bella Vista, Ransom Demanded
    There are disturbing reports from the south. A young baby boy, nine months of age, has gone missing. His mother, Yoselyn Ordones, believes it is a case of kidnapping. She [...]

    Orange Walk Man Acquitted Of Murder
    A resident from the north was freed of a murder which occurred in Orange Walk in March of 2012 but he will remain behind bars for another conviction.  Trinidad Pineda [...]

    Construction Worker Charged for Jewellery Theft at Central Bank Deputy Governor’s Home
    The home of the Deputy Governor of Central Bank, Christine Maud Vellos, was burglarized in mid-August and the culprit is believed to be her own yard man who was entrusted [...]

    Minister John Saldivar Defends Immigration Involvement
    The Special Audit will be fully ventilated at Friday’s House meeting where it is expected that the government side will try their best to exculpate themselves from the shenanigans. Earlier [...]

    Guatemalan on the Run for Wife’s Murder Got Belize Passport to Enter Mexico
    In the Special Audit, it is reordered that a number of persons who illegally obtained the Belizean birthright were anywhere from human traffickers to terrorist suspects. Among the undesirables is [...]

    General David Jones Says Dangers Remain in Chiquibul
    When we caught up with B.D.F. Commander, Brigadier General David Jones, we also wanted to know about the state of affairs in the Chiquibul. According to Jones, the area where [...]

    Jones Says It’s Time for Independent Investigation into Danny Conorquie’s Death
    The Government of Belize supported an international independent investigation on the shooting death of the Guatemalan minor and four months later, the results showed the joint patrol of B.D.F. soldiers [...]

    Courts Gives $25,000 to Hurricane Earl Victims
    Today Unicomer (Belize) Limited, the company which manages the Courts and Tropigas merchandise store chains in Belize, made a formal donation to families affected by Hurricane Earl through the Belize [...]

    Red Cross Says Gift Vouchers Will Be Used to Get Back Needed Household Items
    The donation, according to Director General of the Belize Red Cross Lily Bowman, will be used to replace much needed household items lost to the hurricane.   Lily Bowman, Director [...]

    Healthy Living’s Smart Start for Back to School
    Summer vacation is officially coming to an end. By the first week of September, all children across the country will be back in school. At this point, all the schools [...]

    Vindication! O.A.S. Report Says B.D.F. Did Not Kill Guatemalan Child
    An official report is completed, but is yet to be presented to the Government in respect of the shooting death of fourteen year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. The minor [...]

    Suspected Human Trafficker, One of Many to Benefit from “Blank” Passports
    The special audit on the visas, nationality and passports hustle covers a two-year period: 2011 to 2013. The feeding frenzy during that brief period was obviously gluttonous, and if the [...]

    Immigration Minister Complains: Auditors Didn’t Speak to Him
    The Special Audit ahead of Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives remains a hot topic of national importance.  The lengthy report names a number of elected officials and sitting [...]

    Chinese Nationals Welcome to Come to Belize If They Are Qualified Says Hulse
    According to Hulse, the influx of Chinese nationals into the country should not be seen as a negative if the country is able to benefit financially from the sale of [...]

    Hulse: Visas Have Lengthy Process Before Approval
    So, what about the visas that Hulse himself signed for?  Well according to the immigration minister, he went to great lengths a year ago to explain the process in full.  [...]

    U.S. Ambassador Says Washington is Watching Immigration Issues in Belize
    Also keeping an eye on matters concerning the Special Audit Reports on Immigration and Nationality is the U.S. Government. While he has not read the reports himself, U.S. Ambassador Carlos [...]

    U.S. Will Not Reveal If Players in Scandal Will See Their Papers Cancelled
    Former Director of Immigration and current C.E.O. in National Emergency Management, Ruth Meighan, was recently the subject of public embarrassment as she was denied entry into the U.S. and turned [...]

    COLA, Evangelicals Back to Belmopan on Friday
    Another round of protest has been scheduled for Friday in Belmopan where COLA and the Evangelical churches are set to demonstrate in front of the Assembly Building.  Organizers have secured [...]

    U.S. Ambassador Backs Section 53 Decision; Glad It Wasn’t Appealed
    Ambassador Moreno also had thumbs up for the Government’s decision not to appeal the judgment of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on August tenth regarding consenting sexual acts in private between [...]

    Teachers’ Union Asks for “Ventilation” of Section 53 Issues
    While the U.S. Ambassador is applauding the recent ruling on Section Fifty-three; the Belize National Teachers Union is taking a different view. The teachers of the most militant union recall [...]

    Utilities’ Union Warn of Threat to Way of Belizean Life
    Others have also weighed in on the Chief Justice’s judgment. The unions representing the workers of the three major utilities in Belize say that the recent judgment, and the Government’s [...]

    Woman Knifed to Death On Caye Caulker; Did She Know Her Killer?
    A person is in police custody tonight following the stabbing murder of a woman on Caye Caulker. Fifty-one year old Jennifer Coleman was injured once to the neck, believed to [...]

    Minister’s Employee Convicted for Not Providing Blood Specimen
    Seven months after the incident, William Henry, the driver of Minister “Boots’’ Martinez appeared in court today. Just before two in the morning on January ninth, 2016 police saw him [...]

    National Defence Strategy Discussed with Stakeholders
    Protecting Belize from attack and other dangers remains a primary concern for the Ministry of Defense.  Today, various agencies within the national security apparatus came together to discuss what will [...]

    6 Students Awarded Tourism Scholarships from B.T.B.
    In time for the new academic year, six young Belizeans are preparing to pursue their academic dreams in the field of tourism. Today, the Belize Tourism Board gave them important [...]

    Police Officers Graduate from GREAT Training
    Forty police officers joined the ranks of the GREAT program – short for Gang Resistance Education and Training – following a graduation ceremony this morning at the Radisson Hotel. Guest [...]

    Salvation Army Hands Out Relief Supplies for Victims of Hurricane Earl
    The Salvation Army’s giving is not limited to the Christmas season. In times of disaster they can be found reaching out with what resources they have. Today, forty families from [...]

    Remembering Education Pioneer, Jean Bennett
    The education system has lost a pioneer in early childhood education movement. Jean Bennett, the well-loved and highly respected educator passed away on Sunday morning inside the Intensive Care Unit [...]

    CTV3

    Independent Investigation Exonerates BDF
    The independent report ordered by the Organization of American States (OAS) earlier in the month of June, on the shooting death of 13 year old Guatemalan Julio Ruano in April of this year in the El Sapote area of the Chiquibul National Park concluded earlier this week. Today the results of that report was released and the findings upheld Belize’s position on what transpired that led to the death of the minor. The 22-page report, which was put together by two international forensic specialists commissioned by the OAS establishes that the Joint BDF and ranger patrol was fired upon FIRST by a group of three Guatemalans, which was being led by 48-year-old Carlos Alfredo Alvarado Ramirez along with his two sons, 14 year old Julio René Alvarado Ruano and 2 year old Carlos Alberto Alvarado Ruano. Information obtained by the forensic experts indicate that Ramirez was in the army for a few months and is quote “mentally nimble and able to find arguments to justify his actions quickly and effectively”.

    BNTU Calls On Government On Section 53
    The landmark ruling that was handed down inside the Supreme Court earlier this month which saw the amendment of section 53 of the criminal code of Belize followed by GOB’s decision not to appeal the decision today continues to the topic of much discussion. Today the Belize National Teachers Union as well as the Unions representing the workers of the three major utilities in Belize issued releases in response to the recent ruling and expressed their dissatisfaction with the Government’s response to the Judgment. In the release issued by the BNTU, educators express their concern on the implications that the amendment of Section 53 could have in the classroom as it relates to the implementation of the National Gender Policy.

    Nine Months Old Baby Allegedly Kidnapped
    Social Media was in complete disarray this morning at around 10:30 when, Yoselyn Ordonez from Bella Vista village in the Toledo District posted that her 9 month old baby boy, Aiden Matus had been kidnapped from their home sometime between 1- 1:30 a.m. Official information coming from pertinent authorities indicate that a report was filed at the Independence Police station and the matter is currently under police investigation. Police are currently searching for two dark male individuals traveling in a Grey SUV or Minivan. While Ordonez provided her contact number and asked the public to contact her if anyone has information on the whereabouts of her son, our calls went unanswered.

    Dean Barrow Reiterates No Appeal For Section 53
    Tomorrow, there will be a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives at the National Assembly building in Belmopan. While inside the House, Government and Opposition members will be debating national matters, outside the Evangelical Church leaders along with activist group COLA will be holding a protest against the Government’s decision not to appeal the Court’s ruling on the revision of Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code. The Church Leaders and COLA are demanding that the Government challenges the ruling, and their appeal picked up steam yesterday when the Belize Energy Workers’ Union and the very-powerful Belize National Teacher’s Union issued separate releases in which they also demanded that the decision be appealed. Today the Prime Minister reacted to the increasing resistance and said that while he respects the positions being taken, his Government will stick to their decision.

    BDF Vindicated, Prime Minister Barrow Says Guatemala Should Apologize
    Prime Minister Barrow also spoke on the Organisation of American States’ report which has exonerated the Belize Defense Force soldiers in the April shooting death of 14 year old Guatemalan national Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano. In reaction to the shooting incident, the Guatemala Government immediately launched a slanderous campaign against the BDF accusing them of being unprofessional and human rights violators, without first carrying out an investigation. PM Barrow expressed satisfaction with the OAS report and said that perhaps Guatemala should demonstrate contrition.

    Belize Can't Afford To Sign UN Anti-Corruption
    Recently Belize has been pointed as the face of corruption in the Caribbean and Central America after more than 50% of Belize’s banks were cut off by larger international correspondent banks, and even more so with the Special Audit that was released which encompasses a bed of corruption within the immigration and other departments of the Government of Belize. Some may attribute this as a direct result of GOB’s 8 years refusal to sign the UN Anti-Corruption Convention. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow again spoke of the matter stating that Belize simply cannot afford to sign on to that convention.

    Former Immigration Minister speaks On Auditor General's Report
    So what does former Minister of Immigration Senator Godwin Hulse have to say about the scandalous audit report? This afternoon, the media caught up with him and while he was reluctant to speak about the damning auditor general reports on the Immigration and Nationality Department he did state that most of what is in the report is nothing new. Senator Godwin Hulse – Minister of Immigration: “First of all, as you know going back more than a year and a half ago when I said in the Senate let the Audit General do their work and they did their work so the reports came out and the only thing I would way to start with that I understand the Auditor general did not comply with what would be a requirement to do a management letter to the CEO and other people, I personally was not asked any question by the Auditor General, not a question by any of their people...”

    US Ambassador concern About Passport Scandal
    US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno today also spoke about the audit report, although he was hesitant to comment on specific areas of the report, he assured the US’s willingness to assist in the investigation in any way possible. Ambassador Carlos Moreno – US Ambassador to Belize: “I have not had an opportunity to read it, I just read about it I think it is in today’s newspapers and I am looking forward to reading it and ultimately if there are ways that the US government can assist in terms of investigation and so forth I think if we were asked to participate we will be happy to do so.”

    BPP Continues To Push Referendum for Section 53
    About one thousand protestors from across the country descended on Independence Hill in Belmopan yesterday to voice their discontent with section fifty three of the criminal code which Government has decided not to appeal. Apart from Evangelical leaders and followers, also taking part in yesterday’s demonstration were members of the Belize Progressive Party. As viewers may recall the BPP announced last week of the party’s plans of raising funds to hold a people’s referendum on several issues. Treasurer of the party, Robert “Bobby” Lopez shared an update on the progress made.

    PlusTV

    Woman stabbed and killed in Caye Caulker
    A woman was killed in Caye Caulker. She has been identified as 51 year old Jennifer Diane Coleman, and she was stabbed after 11:30 pm on Tuesday night on Aventura Street on the island. Police have detained a suspect who is said to suffer from mental illness. No motive has yet been established and n...

    BNTU requests that amendment to section 53 not go to House as yet
    In more BNTU news, today the union issued a statement, calling on the Prime Minister to allow for public discourse on the suggested Amendment on Section 53 before it is taken to the House of Representatives. BNTU says it has “deep concern about the recent judgement of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin...

    Justin Hyde beats charges
    21 year old Justin Hyde of Belize City was freed of six criminal charges by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith after it was found that he was not given proper disclosure by police during the specified time under court rules. As a result, Hyde no longer stands accused of two counts of attempted murder ...

    BTB gives out six tourism scholarships
    Six young Belizeans are preparing to pursue further academic dreams in the field of tourism, and today the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) gave them important assistance. Herbert Haylock, Director, Quality Assurance and Industrial Standards, B.T.B. explains: Herbert Haylock, Director, Quality Assurance a...

    Police United FC faces early elimination
    On Tuesday night, Police United FC played against Mexican Champions Pachuca after losing four to zero against Club Deportivo Olimpia from Honduras. The match was no different than the one we saw in their debut match: a poor Police United which barely managed a 9% possession in their entire match. I...

    Accident on Belmopan Ring Road; one man dead
    There was a tragic accident this afternoon on the Ring Road in Belmopan which claimed the life of one man. He has been identified as 29 year old Osman Orlando Giron, a resident of Salva Pan who worked at Barack Trading Store in Belmopan. According to reports, well known Belmopan resident, Ismael “Mi...

    Utilities Union calls for GOB to appeal S53 decision
    The Unions representing the workers of the three major utilities in Belize: that’s the Belize Communications Workers Union, The Belize Water Services Workers Union, and the Belize Energy Workers Union, have issued a strongly worded press release this evening, following today’s Evangelical Protest in...

    The Guardian

    15.8 million dollars to protect the Chiquibul
    The Chiquibul Forests Investment Initiative (CFII) was officially launched on Tuesday August 23 and through it an unprecedented 15.8 million dollars will be invested in protecting the Chiquibul forests. At the launch of the initiative, Minister of the Environment Dr. Omar Figueroa pointed out the pressures that the Chiquibul is under. These pressures include illegal gold mining, pollution of the head waters, illegal logging and harvesting of non-timber forest products and poaching and illegal wildlife trade. He said that "the extent and scale of the incursions often overwhelm the management presence on the ground. The difficult terrain and lack of road access into the forests on the Belize side of the border make enforcement activities on the ground extremely challenging, expensive and arduous." Faced with the challenges the ministry along with partner agencies including PACT, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and Ya'axche Conservation Trust (YCT), the Belize Defense Force, Forest Department, Ministry of Tourism, NICH, and UNDP-Small Grants Program, have teamed up to come up with a comprehensive plan to address the threats on Chiquibul.

    BDF commander wants investigation into death of Danny Conorquie and shooting of BDF Sgt. Lambey
    On Tuesday August 23, BDF commander, David Jones upon being interviewed by the media, even before the results of the OAS’s independent investigation into the shooting death of 15 year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano maintained the position that the report would vindicate his soldiers. And in a way the report has. In the findings the report is clear that it was not BDF weapons that killed the boy. He was killed by weapons carried by personnel of the Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD).

    Churches protest Chief Justice ruling
    Estimates on the ground say that just over a thousand Evangelists, led by the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), took to Independence Hill in Belmopan for a protest on Tuesday, August 23. They were there to show the country that there is a sizeable number of the population who strongly disagree with the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin’s ruling to decriminalize gay intimacy. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated clearly why the state will not be appealing the ruling. Having rejected those reasons, the Christian protesters made the point that they interpret the Prime Minister’s decision as some sort of disrespect to the will of the electorate. They continue to insist that he reconsider and lodge the appeal. Buses from all across Toledo and Orange Walk converged in Belmopan bringing those religious demonstrators who hoisted placards and picket signs with their message. They spent about 3 or so hours listening to the leaders of the protest make the point that the Government ought to show more respect for the Church.

    Senior Citizen killed in Caye Caulker
    Fifty one year-old Jennifer Diane Coleman, a resident of Caye Caulker was found by police on Tuesday, August 23, at a few minutes before midnight. Police were called out to Aventurera Street at around 11:50 p.m., and that’s where they found Coleman bleeding out from stab wounds to the neck. They tried their very best to rush her to the clinic for medical attention, but she was pronounced dead on arrival. It appears at this time that she may have been attacked in her apartment building on that very same street. The assailant most-likely ran off, and trying to seek help, she went out on the street. That’s where it is believed that she collapsed due to the injuries. A knife was retrieved on the scene of the crime which they believe to be the murder weapon. One person has been detained, and the police are in the process of interrogating him to establish if he was or was not involved in the murder of Coleman. Residents say that she was suffering from mental health issues.

    September Celebrations officially opened by Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr.
    Belizeans at home and abroad, it is my distinct pleasure to officially launch the 2016 National September Celebrations. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Sovereign and Strong-Together As One”. This theme, coined by Mrs. Argelia Mendoza Ken, provides a central narrative that aptly describes our people. It reflects our spirit of strength in the face of adversity. This is more evident today, as we slowly emerge from the ravages of Hurricane Earl for which the damages to our infrastructure and industries run in the millions. In response to this natural disaster, Belizeans have risen as one people to rebuild our homes, our communities and our lives. Our desire to assert our freedom is the reason we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of our Independence and the 218th year of victory at the battle of St. George’s Caye. For this year’s festivities, the National Celebrations Commission, comprised of the Government of Belize, municipalities, and other valued partners, have put together a series of activities for you to enjoy. This year’s Calendar includes events which honour our national heroes and patriots, which showcase our cultural diversity and which reflect on our achievements as a young nation.

    Churches protest Chief Justice ruling
    Estimates on the ground say that just over a thousand Evangelists, led by the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), took to Independence Hill in Belmopan for a protest on Tuesday, August 23. They were there to show the country that there is a sizeable number of the population who strongly disagree with the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin’s ruling to decriminalize gay intimacy. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has stated clearly why the state will not be appealing the ruling. Having rejected those reasons, the Christian protesters made the point that they interpret the Prime Minister’s decision as some sort of disrespect to the will of the electorate. They continue to insist that he reconsider and lodge the appeal. Buses from all across Toledo and Orange Walk converged in Belmopan bringing those religious demonstrators who hoisted placards and picket signs with their message. They spent about 3 or so hours listening to the leaders of the protest make the point that the Government ought to show more respect for the Church.

    Moving data management from paper to electronic
    The Belize Archives and Records Service –BARS held a workshop this week titled “Moving from Paper to an Electronic Records Management System: Benefits, Challenges, Resources and Strategies”. The four day workshop started on Monday at the Central Information Technology Office CITO in Belmopan and was attended by 25 data managing officers from 12 Departments and Ministries in Government. The aim of this workshop was to introduce participants to a set of tools required to establish a standardized electronic records management system applicable across all government ministries. Considering the latest technologies that are based on international standards, this training followed records management and archives principles that are appropriate and legally sound for both public and private institutions.

    Five more ambitious youngsters get BTB Scholarships
    Five more deserving youth have the opportunity to further their studies in preparation for a career in the tourism industry, thanks to the Belize Tourism Board. Clarita Ack and Ahkeem O’Brien will study Tourism Management at the Associate Degree level, Janeen Nal and Nissa August will study Tourism Management at the Bachelor Degree level and Einar Marin is studying the culinary field for a Bachelor Degree in Gastronomy. Hon. Manuel Herredia Jr. congratulated the recipients during a brief recognition ceremony at BTB’s Belize City headquarters on Wednesday, August 24. He encouraged the recipients to take full advantage of the opportunity being presented and challenged them to be pioneers in the tourism industry.

    Big event coming up at the Cayo Welcome Center
    The Cayo Welcome Center will be hosting its annual Back to School Extravaganza on the 27th August, 2016 at 10:00 am. An announcement by Bernz Mendez, the Director of the Cayo Welcome Center over the weekend makes clear that this event is being brought to the people of the Twin Towns through the kind courtesy of Mayor Earl Trapp Jr. and the San Ignacio & Santa Elena Town Council in collaboration with the Management and Staff of the Cayo Welcome Center, the Business Community and assistant Ms. Lisa Gordon “… who continues to empower our children in Education, that will enable them to be successful in their endeavors and to be positive thinkers who will pave the way forward for our future generations…”

    Ms. Lisa Shoman
    Ms Lisa Shoman, former PUP Minister/Ambassador/Senator/PUP representative on the Belize - Guatemala relations team and now apparent UNIBAM mouth piece appears to have been emboldened by the recent Supreme Court ruling on section 53 of the criminal code. She now appears to be taking on all comers. First to get his was PUP apologists Louis M Wade Jr. of Plus TV. For him Lisa has no remorse about putting him in his place, because he and his cohorts have been a thorn in Lisa’s pants seat for about 3 years, ever since he began to take his ANTI - LGBT stance. Sure Lisa has been the PUP who has been on his show the most but it’s because they are both members of the USER SOCIETY. Using each other was beneficial to both of them.

    Neighborhood watch summer camp held in Benque Viejo
    Zone Four Neighborhoods Watch recently hosted the 9th consecutive Summer Camp at Sam’s Community Park, located between Philip Goldson Street and Arenal Road in Benque Viejo del Carmen. At the camp the children learnt valuable lessons in life and in doing so were involved in such activities as Arts and Craft and sports. Corporal Joshua McKoy from the Benque Community Policing Unit, as well as members from the Department of Youth Services and the Cayo District Youth Council were present to give the young people a fresh start. Zone 4 Captain Samuel Bruce coordinated with his most dedicated and experienced teacher zone 4 quadrant leader Ms. Isela Tesucum who has been there ready to assist since 2008. Other volunteer assistants at the camp for this year were Amin Avilez, Jair Avilez, Wendy Roque, Criselda Diaz & Juri Del Cid.

    Mason’s alleged accomplice out on bail
    Danny Mason’s alleged accomplice in the kidnapping of the Friesens, Ryan Rhaburn, is out on bail after a successful application to the Supreme Court by attorney Herbert Panton. Police finally levied charges of kidnapping against Mason’s Ranch Manager Ryan Rhaburn last week in the Belmopan Magistrates Court; however, he is a free man after Supreme Court Justice John Traodio Gonzalez upheld a bail application on Friday, August 19. The first attempt to charge Rhaburn for his alleged role in the kidnapping of Canadian-Belizean couple Lloyd Friessen and his wife failed in late July after officers mismanaged the case files. The magistrate in Belmopan set Rhaburn free and the case preparation was handed over to Assistant Commissioner of Police, Attorney Chester Williams. Rhaburn has now been properly arraigned for two counts of kidnapping.

    Two serious accidents in Cayo
    There were two serious accidents in the Cayo District this week. A pickup knocked down and fatally injured a motorcyclist near the Governor General’s residence in Belmopan on Tuesday of this week. The family of the deceased is now in the process of being informed. There was also a two vehicle accident involving several persons on Tuesday in Ontario Village. As a result of the accident, there was a back-up of vehicles on the George Price Highway. Members from the Belize National Fire Service responded promptly to clean and clear the Highway of debris. Rescue crews from Spanish Lookout were at the scene, and had to resort to the ‘Jaws of Life’ mechanism to free persons from the wreckage. We have been informed that some three persons are now critically injured as a result of the accident in Ontario.

    ACCIDENT…
    The family of 28 year-old Belize City Resident Lionel Hamilton, who was also known as Lionel Villanueva, is preparing to lay him to rest after he was killed in a traffic accident early on Saturday, August 20. Police say that Hamilton was driving a Dodge Neon car some time between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. that morning on the Philip Goldson Highway. The investigators have not revealed which direction they believe he was driving in, but around miles 4 and a half, the vehicle started giving mechanical troubles. The cops think that it caused the vehicle either to come to a complete stop, or that Hamilton was struggling to move. Hamilton and his companion tried to steer it onto the shoulder of the road, but all attempts were unsuccessful. That’s because a green minivan, being driven at the time by 52 year-old Godwin Pantin, slammed into the car with such violent force that it smashed Hamilton’s driver’s side, tore off the front bumper, and flung Hamilton’s body a short distance away, and smashed a culvert nearby before coming to a complete stop.

    Teenager pleads guilty to burglary
    Mikel Angel Longsworth, 19, broke into Atlantic Bank’s storage room, located at #26 Mahogany Street Extension, on Saturday, August 20. Police responded to reports of a burglary in progress and found Longsworth inside the building. He didn’t have a chance to steal anything. Police arrested and charged the teenager for the offense of burglary with intent to steal. Longsworth was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, August 22, where he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the single charge. When the Chief Magistrate asked why he was in the building, Longsworth said, “I just found myself entering the building, and for no apparent reason… this is not the first time I’ve tried to enter.” Longsworth said he went to the house a lot before it was turned into a storage room by Atlantic Bank.

    Richard O’Neil charged for gun play
    Richard Edward O’Neil Jr. of Tibruce Street is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned for two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. O’Neil is being accused of causing threat to the lives of Norris Leslie and Redford Tillett in Belize City on Monday, August 15. There was no fact sheet presented in court so the exact details of the incident are not certain. Oneil appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Thursday, August 18, where he pleaded not guilty to both charges. Due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until November 1, 2016. Disclosure has been ordered to be provided by October 17, 2016.

    Peter Portillo gets drunk and is busted with firearm
    Peter Portillo, 28, is at the Belize Central Prison after police responded to a drunk and disorderly complaint on Sunday and busted him with an unlicensed .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. Portillo appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Monday, August 22, and pleaded not guilty to one count of keeping an unlicensed firearm and one count of keeping unlicensed ammunition. Due to the nature of the offenses, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 21, 2016.

    Chinese Businessman makes payment to accident victim
    Chinese businessman David Wong is free after he was sent to prison by Justice Shona Griffith on Thursday, August 18, for failing to make payments on an order handed down by the Supreme Court in 2014. On April 31, 2014, Wong was driving a Buick truck on the Phillip Goldson Highway when he ran into Kelvin Aguilar, who was driving a motorcycle. Aguilar was injured as a result of the incident and he brought a law suit against Wong. Justice Griffith ruled in Aguilar’s favour in October 2014 and ordered that Wong pay $82,000 for his pain and suffering, $8,552 for the damages to the motorcycle and doctor fees and $18,100 for attorney and other fees. Wong has made no payment on this order since 2014 and, due to a six percent annual interest rate, he now owes $117,000 for the order.

    Football returns to Carl Ramos in Dangriga
    ootball returned to the legendary Carl Ramos Stadium in a big way on Sunday August 21st, 2016. Dangriga’s very own WAGIYA took on the visiting Verdes team from out of the Cayo District. It was indeed wonderful to see our residents coming out on a beautiful Dangriga Sunday afternoon to support the home team. Our boys didn’t disappoint as they went on to post a 2-0 win over the Verdes team. We say congrats to WAGIYA for kicking off the season with a BIG W. Looking forward to seeing many more games at Carl Ramos Stadium and many more wins from the home team. Rugged Flores and Pele big up on the great commentating and thank you to the wonderful residents of Dangriga for your support of OUR home team.

    WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
    In the Gospel of Mark chapter 10, verses 13 to 16 we have a great story about Jesus and the children. “People were bringing little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them.”

    Taiwanese man rides across the world
    Equipped with a bicycle and bare essentials including a tent, sleeping bag a laptop and some clothing, 39 year old Jacky Chen set off from Taiwan to Alaska; his mission: to travel the globe on bike. Chen, an engineer back home says his motivation is to show his friends on social media the beauties of the world. One year and two months after setting off from Alaska in June of last year he entered Belize on Thursday of last week via the northern border. He's made his way through all the countries from here to Alaska, in Belize here what he's most impressed with is the people's hospitality. That aside he says he's been wowed by Relleno from the northern districts along with the ubiquitous rice and beans.

    National Celebrations theme winner receives her prize
    Argelia Mendoza Ken, a teacher and counselor at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District, is this year’s September Celebrations Theme Competition winner. Mrs. Ken made two submissions and in her words, “forgot about it until I was called and told that one of my entries had won”. The winning entry and this year’s theme is “Sovereign and Strong - Together as one!” For her contribution to history Mrs. Ken was presented with a $1000.00 cheque by Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Elodio Aragon Jr. at a small ceremony at the NICH office on Tuesday August, 23. This money comes in handy for Mrs. Ken as she said she will put it to good use in paying for a course she is currently taking at the University of Belize. Congratulations to Mrs. Argelia Mendoza Ken.

    September Celebrations officially opened by Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr
    elizeans at home and abroad, it is my distinct pleasure to officially launch the 2016 National September Celebrations. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Sovereign and Strong-Together As One”. This theme, coined by Mrs. Argelia Mendoza Ken, provides a central narrative that aptly describes our people. It reflects our spirit of strength in the face of adversity. This is more evident today, as we slowly emerge from the ravages of Hurricane Earl for which the damages to our infrastructure and industries run in the millions. In response to this natural disaster, Belizeans have risen as one people to rebuild our homes, our communities and our lives. Our desire to assert our freedom is the reason we celebrate the 35th Anniversary of our Independence and the 218th year of victory at the battle of St. George’s Caye. For this year’s festivities, the National Celebrations Commission, comprised of the Government of Belize, municipalities, and other valued partners, have put together a series of activities for you to enjoy. This year’s Calendar includes events which honour our national heroes and patriots, which showcase our cultural diversity and which reflect on our achievements as a young nation.

    Why Participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is Important for the Republic of China (Taiwan) as it is for Belize?
    Civil aviation in Belize has grown fast in recent years. In addition to two national air lines providing domestic air traffic service, there are six foreign airlines flying between Belize and six cities in the U.S., namely Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston; Cancun, Mexico; Panama City, Panama; and El Salvador to provide air transport service for hundreds of thousands of passengers for tourism and business every week. More air traffic is expected to be seen soon, including the direct air linkage between London and Belize later this year. Given the fast growth in civil aviation, air traffic safety has been put on the top of the agenda for the government of Belize. Terminals including the Philip Goldson International Airport have been expanded and facilities have been modernized and strengthened. Immigration control has been computerized in step by step manner. Passengers spend less time for immigration and custom processing nowadays than before.

    The struggle to address garbage problems in Belize
    The sight of garbage in areas that are not designated garbage dumps is one that is becoming more and more prevalent across the country. With the exception of the Western corridor where there has been a multimillion dollar investment by the Government of Belize to address the proper disposal of garbage, the entire country lacks the ability to properly do so. Speaking to Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of the Environment, Dr. Colin Young, he explains that the problem of garbage disposal is one that is very concerning to his ministry. “It is a significant concern especially with Zika and for sanitary reasons as well as for the health and safety of our population,” he stated. Having highlighted that, Young says that his ministry in collaboration with the Solid Waste Management Authority has been conducting cleanups of unapproved sites throughout the country.

    Group Hug gives backpacks
    It’s just a year and one month old and already the charitable organization, Group Hug, is making small but meaningful strides at improving the lives of Belizeans. On Wednesday afternoon we found Andre Pitts along with members of his group distributing school bags at the Memorial Park in Belize City. Pitts, the president of the organization says that this is the second annual back to school backpack drive. He says his organization had been aiming at acquiring 200 bags but his drive has exceeded that amount and he is at 250. He is now left to distribute the bags and supplies. On Tuesday he was in Hattieville where he gave out 50 bags and on Wednesday he distributed an additional 150. Pitts says that the recipients were identified in various ways. Some he identified personally while others were recommended by others and the rest shared their needs with him via facebook (www.facebook.com/grouphugbz).

    Belize Receives over $500,000 through Regional Insurance Program
    The Government of Belize decided to purchase a tropical cyclone and excess rainfall insurance policy in June of this year so the country may have a safety net if it were to unfortunately be hit by a hurricane or other rain aided natural disaster from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017. The unfortunate did come to pass when Hurricane Earl tore through the heart of the country on August 3 and that triggered a policy payout of US$261,073 from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF). CCRIF goal is to limit the financial impact of natural disasters to Caribbean and Central American countries by giving member governments the opportunity to purchase earthquake, hurricane and excess rainfall catastrophe coverage at a cheap cost with quick payouts. CCRIF prides itself in being able to make payouts within two weeks time when a policy is triggered.

    Linsford Acosta arrested for home invasion
    Linsford Acosta, 32, a fisherman of Belama Phase 2, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused of entering the home of Adolfo McKoy, 50, on Antelope Street and holding him at gun point. According to McKoy, a construction worker of #43 Antelope Street Extension, he got out of bed to open his house door for a female friend on Saturday night, August 20, and went back to sleep. The next thing he remembers is waking up to a gun in his face. The intruder grabbed him around the neck with his right hand, pointed a gun to the right side of his head and said, “Dead now asshole.” The intruder then pulled the trigger but it snapped. McKoy then defended himself by kicking the intruder and picking up a machete that was inside his room. However, the intruder managed to get off a hit to the left side of McKoy’s head and ran out of the house. He set chase behind him but the intruder jumped on a motorcycle and rode off into the direction of Seagull Street.

    Ulide Allen on remand for shooting at a woman
    Dorita Tillett, 36, is lucky to be alive after a gunman opened fire at her and her boyfriend, Dwayne Garbutt, 34, on Tuesday, August 16. She reported to police that she was walking on Tibruce Street with her boyfriend when a man came from the opposite direction on a bicycle and opened fire at them. They ran into a yard to dodge the shots and hide from their attacker. From where they were hiding, Tillett saw when the gunman rode past and she recognized him as someone she knows as “Beelie”. Police investigation led to the arrest and charge of Ulide Allen, 18, of Antelope Street Extension.

    16 year old charged for unnatural crime in Cayo
    A police report now indicates that reference to a report of sodomy by an 11 year old male minor against his 16 year old brother, San Ignacio Police have since arrested the brother for un-natural crime. He has been further remanded to Kolbe until September 12, 2016. The minor was arraigned in the San Ignacio Magistrate Court last Friday where the charge was delivered. The incident of sodomy reportedly occurred about a week ago. Another of the boy’s brother had taken the 11 year old to the Western Regional Hospital where the doctor on duty agreed that the child had been sexually abused.

    Elderly man beaten severely - suffers broken leg
    A shocking video has emerged in Benque Viejo del Carmen showing an elderly man, Alberto Guerra, being placed unto a stretcher by medical responders. As he was carefully placed on the stretcher it was observed that his right foot had been broken. A Family member tells the Guardian that Alberto Guerra is now at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in need of blood. The family member also says that there is need for justice as Guerra was cornered near to his home on Wednesday night of last week and attacked by an unknown group of young people. Guerra had been attacked with pints and stones earlier that day but the young men had been chased away, reports the family member.

    Domestic violence between two men
    Noel Garcia, 39, reported to police that he got into a domestic dispute with his partner Justin Arnold, 23, on Wednesday night, August 17, which ended with Arnold slapping him across the face. Garcia visited the Queen Street Police Station and requested court action. Arnold was arrested and charged with one count of common assault. Justin Arnold appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, August 19, and pleaded not guilty to the charge. There was no objection to bail which Magistrate Mendoza offered in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount. Arnold was unable to meet bail and was remanded at the Belize Central Prison until he was able to do so.

    Football returns to Carl Ramos in Dangriga
    Football returned to the legendary Carl Ramos Stadium in a big way on Sunday August 21st, 2016. Dangriga’s very own WAGIYA took on the visiting Verdes team from out of the Cayo District. It was indeed wonderful to see our residents coming out on a beautiful Dangriga Sunday afternoon to support the home team. Our boys didn’t disappoint as they went on to post a 2-0 win over the Verdes team. We say congrats to WAGIYA for kicking off the season with a BIG W. Looking forward to seeing many more games at Carl Ramos Stadium and many more wins from the home team. Rugged Flores and Pele big up on the

    Athletics Association to hold Annual General Assembly
    The Belize Athletics Association will hold its Annual General Assembly at Edward P. Yorke High School on Princess Margaret Drive, on Saturday 27th August, 2016, at 10:00 am. There are three vacancies open for the election of: 1. The 1st Vice President; 2. The 2nd Vice President; and 3. A committee member for which nominations are sought. All members are required to pay their annual dues by the 24th August, 2016. Payment of dues can be made at any of the National Sports Council offices throughout Belize. All members are asked to please bring along an identification card.

    Firms Basketball competition enters semi-final round
    The Belize District Basketball Association 2016 Firms’ Competition will play its semi-final round on Friday 26th August, at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium. Meanwhile, the Quarter Final round came to an end on Saturday 20th August, 2016, with two games on the schedule. In the first game scheduled to commence at 7:00 pm Belize City Council will go up against the Belize Bank Bulldogs and in the second game BTL will square off against Infotel. The finals which will utilise the best of three format will commence on Saturday 27th August, at 8:00 pm. In the first game played, BTL eliminated Mayan Man Warriors by the score of 85-82. The top scorers for BTL were Jason Vasquez with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals; Devon Lozano with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal and Lupito Acosta with 15 points and 2 rebounds. For the Mayan Man Warriors the top scorers were, Winston Pratt with 30 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal and Sheldon Williams with 12 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal.

    CYDP 5th Annual Peace Cup to commence
    The Conscious Youth Development Programme 5th Annual Peace Cup is scheduled to commence on Saturday 27th August, 2016, at the MCC Grounds. In connection with the 5th Annual Peace Cup competition, there will be a meeting on Friday 26th August, at 1:00 pm at 117 North Front Street. All coaches and managers are asked to make every effort to attend and to be on time. Also note that all registrations forms are due at the meeting.

    Second-half goals propel Pachuca over Police United
    Pachuca (2W-0D-0lL, 6 points) erupted for three second-half goals to defeat Police United FC, 3-0, in the 2016/17Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night at the Estadio Hidalgo. Half-time substitute Jonathan Urretaviscaya set-up a first goal and scored the third for the Tuzos, who outshot their opponents from Belize 29-3 to move ahead of Olimpia (1-0-1, 3) at the midpoint of group play. Erick Aguirre and Hirving Lozano also scored for Pachuca, which will close the group with two away matches, beginning with a visit to Police United (0-0-2, 0) on September 13. The 2009/10 SCCL champion has now recorded clean sheets in back-to-back SCCL matches, after a string of six games conceding at least one goal. The visitor fell to a second straight shutout defeat despite the heroics of goalkeeper Keith Allen, who made 15 stops.

    Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tournament set for September 18th, 2016
    The VII Charles Solis Memorial Softball Tournament has been rescheduled for Sunday 18th September, 2016, at the Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize. The Memorial Tournament will feature the defending Charles Solis Memorial Champions (Unitedville Rebels United), Camalote as a special invitation as issued by Charles Solis, the top team from Belize City, Belize Rural, Cayo and the Stann Creek Softball Associations. The championship will commence at 9:00 am on Sunday 18th September 2016.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Section 53 In Context: The Church, The State, and You
    Not every moral wrong can be a criminal wrong attracting imprisonment. This much we know intuitively to be true. For instance, though we would not encourage wanton promiscuity, it would not sit well with us if someone’s twenty-year old son or daughter could be […]

    Alert for missing baby
    Reports flooded the social media today of a 9 month baby kidnapped from inside his mom’s room. Breaking Belize News contacted the mother who would not speak on record for fear of jeopardizing her child’s return. However, late this evening a text message from […]

    Doyle Garbutt shot to death in vehicle
    Police are baffled by the apparent murder of 29 year old Doyle Garbutt, found yesterday evening in a vehicle at the corner of Balan and Giles Street in Belize City with a single gunshot wound to the head. But there was no trail to […]

    Police investigate latest murder in the Old Capital; Belize City
    Reports coming out from the old capital is that police officers are putting the pieces together in the latest homicide. Breaking Belize News was made to understand that the incident took place behind the complex in Lake Independence area of Belize City. This is […]

    The National General forecast of Belize calls for a light and slightly moist northeasterly airflow to prevail over the region
    The 24 hour forecast is for sunny skies with cloudy spells during the daytime and cloudy later tonight. Showers and thunderstorms will generally be isolated except for a few more over inland areas this afternoon then along coastal areas tonight and tomorrow morning. Winds blow […]

    Francis Fonseca: time for governance reform
    Following his recent Facebook statement on sports, the former People’s United Party leader Francis Fonseca has commented on the Auditor General’s reports to be tabled this Friday at the meeting of the House of Representatives. “No Prime Minister,” says Fonseca, “should be able to spend every […]

    Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility pays out for Hurricane Earl
    The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) will pay out more than 522 thousand Belize dollars under its excess rainfall insurance policy, first purchased for the current policy year which began on June 1st – the same day as the hurricane season. The payment relates […]

    BTB hands out six scholarships in tourism
    Six young Belizeans are preparing to pursue further academic dreams in the field of tourism, and today the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) gave them important assistance. The over fifty thousand dollars in scholarship money from the Belize Tourism Board is, according to the BTB’s […]

    Alliance of Leaders and Ministers of Belize makes demands on Government
    A formal protest led by Patrick Menzies’ Alliance of Ministers and Leaders of Belize and supported by COLA, the I Want My Country Back Movement, other church organizations and civil society, will take place on Friday in Belmopan during the House meeting. The Executive Body of the hereby […]

    OAS report vindicates Belize soldiers and rangers
    The Organization of American States’ (OAS) report on the incident in the Chiquibul in April, where a Guatemalan minor died, has leaked to the media and while neither government has released any official response, the report vindicates Belizean armed forces indicating that Belize Defense […]

    Blogs

    Giving Orange Walk Tacos a try
    Before I can even reveal my final thoughts on the famous Orange Walk tacos, I must explain a few things. I am from the Cayo District. I love the Cayo tacos that were rolled up in the factory made yellow-corn tortillas, dripping with stewed shredded chicken, topped with a cabbage slaw and a dash or two of pepper. They were a treat, and so in my head, they’re a bit romanticized. On Ambergris Caye, Neri’s Tacos are the go-to place to get those delicious little meat-filled treats. I love them so much, I’ve gotten Ruben and Enrique’s numbers on speed dial so I can avoid the long wait in line! When I show up, Vanessa (my favorite taco-maker) is quickly finishing up my double-meat, spicy $3 order. Hot, fresh, ready to go – made with love and served with a smile. (And if I go longer than a week without placing an order, they even tell me they miss me! I CAN be bought…with tacos!)

    Blackadore Caye’s 2nd Public Consultation For Development: Reaching A Balance for Belize
    Last night, at the San Pedro High School, the Belize Department of the Environment held the 2nd Environmental Impact Assessment Public meeting for the proposed project at Blackadore Caye, Belize. Blackadore Caye (just a quick refresh) is the long slender (beautiful) sandbar that is located west of Ambergris, almost exactly between the us and the mainland. It was added, just earlier this year, to the Hol Chan National Marine Reserve as a conservation zone. You can see it below as Zone V (land is in lavender). And you can see it here in lots of photos that I took in May – gorgeous and seriously barren. A sand bar covered in grass and crabs. Leonardo DiCaprio and investors purchased the island in 2007. Just this last year, after numerous rumors of a Four Seasons Resort, a development plan was announced at a January meeting with the public in San Pedro. The question and answer portion of that meeting became quite heated around the issue of over-the-water structures and the restricted use, by sport and commercial fishermen, of the flats around the caye.

    My Cost of Living on Ambergris Caye, Belize
    How much does it REALLY cost to live in Belize? A friend of mine just forwarded me an article: 8 Countries Where $200K Will Last 30 Years of Retirement. The list includes all the budget retiree hot spots: Panama, Ecuador, Thailand but then also includes Belize. Nerd that I am, I plugged that amount into an annuity calculator. 6% growth (aggressive), inflation, $200,000, 30 years…it comes out to $1,187US per month. Ouch. So…in actuality, the only country listed in this article that MIGHT work is Ecuador. Can you live in Belize on that “salary”? Probably. I would think about rural Belize – perhaps Benque in the West or small villages where rent is low. On Ambergris Caye, I would argue that you would have a lifestyle VERY different from what you are used to. Depending on the choices you make, you are not going to have transportation or air conditioning, you are not going to get to fly home to see the kids or grandkids, you are going to be scrimping and saving.

    The Biggest Maya Tomb Ever Discovered Found at Xunantunich
    Archaeologists have been excavating the ruins of Xunantunich in western Belize for more than 120 years, but it was only this year that a royal tomb was discovered buried 10 meters underneath the floor of the central building on the site. After pulling out tons of rubble that filled a central staircase, archaeologists unearthed one of the largest Maya tombs ever discovered. Inside, they found the skeleton of what is believed to have been a leader of the infamous “snake dynasty” as well as animal bones, vases, jade beads, and more than a dozen obsidian blades. What has the archaeologists most excited is the discovery of several panels covered in hieroglyphs dating back to the dynasty’s rule. Similar panels have been found at other sites in the region, depicting the story of a series of conquests by the so-called “snake dynasty” (named for the snake head emblem that the family used) that once dominated the area. Many of the panels were found partially destroyed, and archaeologists believe that one of the kingdoms that the snake dynasty bragged about conquering on the panels later usurped the family and smashed the panels in an effort to rewrite history. Once properly translated, archaeologists believe that the recently-discovered panels found at Xunantunich will fill in the missing parts of the dynasty’s history to tell the full story of a family that once ruled over what is now Caracol, Xunantunich, and several Maya city-states in Guatemala.

    International Sourcesizz

    NOAA Outlook for Central America August 25 – 31, 2016
    During the past week, an increase in rainfall was observed over parts of Central America. Moderate to heavy rain fell over Guatemala, eastern Honduras, eastern Nicaragua, and the Southern Caribbean. The heaviest (> 100 mm) rain was received over the southwestern and northern portions of Guatemala, localized areas of eastern Honduras, southeastern Nicaragua, and the Pacific and Atlantic Basins of Costa Rica and Panama. In Guatemala, torrential rain caused the overflowing of the Cotoxa River, affecting many people in the San Luis area of the Peten department. Despite this past week’s average to above-average rain over some areas, moisture deficits have persisted over localized areas of Honduras and most parts of central Nicaragua over the past thirty days. The continuation of insufficient and poorly-distributed rain could negatively affect ongoing crops, associated with the Primera, May-August, and land preparation and planting for the Postrera, August-November rainfall seasons over some local areas.

    The man behind Belize’s gay rights ruling
    Until last week, I was an “un-apprehended felon” in my country. The law I broke — just by being myself — criminalized “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” including anal sex, making it punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Although I am an openly gay man, I was never prosecuted. Still, I was imprisoned all the same. Ever since 2010 when I decided to challenge the law, I’ve spent most of my time in my home, behind a security gate. Whenever I leave, I am insulted and threatened for being effeminate. I’ve also faced death threats and endured protests fueled by homophobic hatred. But not even these realities could dissuade me from pursuing my case. On Aug. 10, all the hardships—which pale in comparison to what many other LGBTI people face—were validated when the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Belize ruled in my favor on every argument. I brought my sister to the courtroom for the decision. Like my mom, she’s been with me from the start, paying my bills when I had no job or money. She even helped me establish the United Belize Advocacy Movement, the oldest and only policy and advocacy group of its kind in Belize. In court, she sat beside me. When she whispered that she was anxious, I whispered back, “tell you what—if you stay calm, so will I.”

    Ancient Mayan Text Reinterpreted: Dresden Codex Reveals Astronomy Discovery 500 Years Before Copernicus
    A reinterpretation of the Dresden Codex, the famed ancient Maya civilization pictographic text, suggests that a Mayan astronomer figured out that Earth’s sister planet Venus required a “leap year” — and the astronomer calculated it 500 years before Polish astronomer Nikolaus Copernicus discovered the same orbital oddity. What is revealed, by extension, is that the ancient Mayas were very aware that the Earth and other planets revolved around the Sun, and they had made the discovery half a millennium before Copernicus’ published his findings in defiance of the commonly held belief that the universe was geocentric. News.com.au reported last week that University of California Santa Barbara professor of anthropology Gerardo Aldana believes the text of the Dresden Codex, one of less than 20 codices that survived the Spanish conquest of Central America, has been misinterpreted, particular in the pictographic panel known as the “Venus Table.” Making his argument in the Journal of Astronomy in Culture, Aldana posits the argument that the Venus Table is not just a collection of calculations of the phases of Venus as it moved between the Earth and the Sun, but instead is a calculation of Venus in its orbital revolution of the Sun.

    Belize receives US$260,000 insurance payout for rains associated with Hurricane Earl
    On August 18, CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) made a payout of US$261,073 to the government of Belize under its excess rainfall insurance policy, as a result of heavy rains that affected the country on August 4 and 5 during Hurricane Earl. CCRIF’s prompt payment to the government demonstrated its commitment to provide policy payouts within two weeks after a qualifying hazard event. Belize purchased excess rainfall coverage for the first time for the 2016/17 policy year, which began on June 1. The modelled “Rainfall Index Loss” determined from the level of Hurricane Earl’s rainfall was greater than the attachment point (the “deductible”) on the country’s excess rainfall policy and therefore the policy was triggered. As part of its disaster risk management programme, Belize also has a CCRIF tropical cyclone (TC) – or hurricane – policy, which is based on modelled losses due to wind and storm surge. However, the modelled losses from wind and storm surge due to Hurricane Earl were below the policy attachment point as selected by the government and therefore the country’s TC policy was not triggered.

    US$33 million to finance climate change resilient infrastructure in the Caribbean
    Officials from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have signed an agreement to provide US$33 million towards financing sustainable infrastructure projects in the Caribbean region. At least 50 percent of the funds will be used to fund climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. The agreement was signed last month at the CDB headquarters in Barbados, by French ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Barbados, Eric de la Moussaye, in the presence of CDB vice-president (operations), Patricia McKenzie. “Caribbean countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with our geographical location leading to high exposure to natural hazards. Economic conditions also play a role, as there is a lack of access to long-term resources to finance sustainable climate-related infrastructure projects. We believe that these additional funds will go a long way towards building resilience and mitigating the impact of climate change in our region,” McKenzie said.

    Videos

  • Morning Matters with Eunice, 69min.

  • Morning Matters at xunantunich, 58min.

  • Enviroconnect Belize Competition reality TV, 1min. Want to learn about the environment in an exciting, competitive, and thrilling way? We are so excited to share our first Enviroconnect Belize Competition reality TV series with you all!!! So tune in on August 30, 2016 at 8 p.m on Channel 5!!!!

  • GLA BELIZE 2016, 5min. Went to Belize for 3 weeks and had the time of my life!!

  • Great Blue Hole - Belize - 2016, 18min.

  • Great Blue Hole - Belize - 2016 - Ascent, 14min.

  • DJ JOSE SAN PEDRO BELIZE, 4min.

  • CCSA Belize Anthropology, 5min. This video documents my experience during the Ethnographic Field School in Belize hosted by CCSA in June 2016. The video shows views of Orange Walk Town, Belize, images of group outings and excursions, Belizean food, and images of Yo Creek, San Lazaro, and San Estevan villages in Orange Walk District, Belize. There was also a cave tubing excursion I was not able to get pictures of, because my camera is not waterproof. This was an amazing experience. I would highly recommend this program to any anthropology student, or any student interested in getting to really know Belizean culture. I would like to thank CCSA, NKU, and specifically, Dr. Douglas Hume and Dr. Nicole Roth for making this experience possible!

  • Condiff Dive Trip - Belize 2016, 4min. San Pedro, Belize

  • Belize Scuba Diving, 5.5min. 2016 - Dive trip to Ambergris Caye Belize

  • Belizean Soka (Lenny Bailey 2016), 4min. Lenny has been writing songs since the early 80’s and is popularly known in Belize for his hit single “Belizean Soka”, a tribute to his native country, Belize. Belizean Soka first debuted on the Belize radio station in 1983 and is still currently requested and played, especially around Belize’s national holidays; because of its national references.

  • NGSE Belize 2016, 3.5min. A 12 day adventure with NatGeo on the islands of Belize!

    August 24, 2016

    I will be unable to do the daily news tomorrow, Thursday morning August 25. I will return on Friday 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

    Tropic Air donates to Rotary Club of Placencia
    Tropic Air, The Airline of Belize, has announced the July results of its 2016 nationwide #TropicGivesBack fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 is donated to an organization chosen by our staff stationed in that community. July was the chosen month for Placencia, with Belize City Municipal coming in August. As part of the airline’s largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and Customers joined efforts and raised $450 for “Seniors Sitting Together”, a program of the Rotary Club of Placencia. A check was presented to Jim Weller, Acting President of the Club on Tuesday, August 16th.

    Ambergris Today

    NEMO Issues Flood Advisory for Southern Belize
    While central and northern Belize is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Earl, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) yesterday issued a flood advisory for Southern Belize. NEMO informs that Southern Belize, in particular the Toledo District, is experiencing flooding. Jacintoville is currently under flood conditions. Aguactae village is inaccessible and water is 15ft above the bridge. Other villages along the Moho River must closely monitor the flood situation and take the necessary precautions. Other villages in the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts must be on alert for flooding.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    National Evangelical Association of Belize convene a protest
    Scenes from the assembled crowd outside the Assembly Building in Belmopan as Evangelical leaders protest the recent decision on Section 53.

    Firefighters cross-training with the Puerto Rico National Guard
    Last week Ambassador Moreno joined more than 60 firefighters from across Belize in Ladyville to witness cross-training with the Puerto Rico National Guard. During the exchange firefighters utilized the almost BZ$1.2 million dollars’ worth of fire fighter equipment that was donated by the US Southern Command through the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) last year. Over 200 pieces of personal protective gear, 80 breathing apparatus replacement cylinders, 12 heavy Duty Rescue saws, 14 combustible gas detectors, 6 vehicle stabilization kits, 5 transportable pumps and 40 hand held radios were provided to the Belize National Fire Service. Last week’s exchange represented the second phase of that firefighter project where members of the Puerto Rican National Guard were able to provide their expertise on best practices and procedures to use the equipment with Belizean firefighters from every fire station in Belize. The information exchange allowed the local fire departments to improve their ability to respond to large scale fires, fire threats, and road traffic accidents.

    Banana Bank Horse Camp 2016
    Banana Bank Lodge has finished another successful Summer Horse Camp. The kids, and the horses, had a fun time. Thanks, Banana Bank! "Every year we have a Family Horse Camp and this year was no exception to the fun-filled adventures at Horse Camp. This year we held camp from July 27th - August 1st and the weather could not have been better - ehem fortunately missing hurricane Earl that started 3 days later."

    Zack & Kiki's First Big Adventure at Belize Bird Rescue
    62 copies of Zack & Kiki's First Big Adventure: The Great Escape have just arrived at BBR! We are so excited to finally have them on hand in Belize, many people who have visited wished they could buy one and have it signed and had to "make do" with Amazon instead. A great story for all ages about two baby Red-Lored Amazons in the Belize wild. Get your copy when you visit or buy it on Amazon now! Available now at BBR and Corkers Restaurant in Belmopan for $30 ($15 US) and more outlets soon to be. Signed copies by request.

    American Sex Offender George Stephen Cunningham in Belize Police Custody
    George Stephen Cunningham, 51, American from Delaware, Ohio was arrested on Friday night in Belize City after his boat ran aground off the City's coast. Coast guard came to his rescue and took him into custody after they learnt his identity and background. A warrant has been issued by his home state for his return. No word on when Cunningham arrived in Belize and whether he violated anyone there. He was convicted in Delaware for "Gross Sexual Imposition, Victim Under 13, (attempted)sexual Motivation Conviction Date:15 September 2015"

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: August 14th – 20th, 2016
    Adam Marton and this tarpon tagging expedition has become an annual event here at El Pescador. Adam brings a skilled group of Anglers to Belize each summer to satellite tag adult migratory tarpon (fish that are 80 pounds or more are sure to be sexually mature) This is in an effort to save tarpon throughout the world and especially Belize. We do not have any idea where our migratory tarpon are migrating to or from! Tarpon are in decline worldwide and Adam has taken on the cause full force. I personally thank him for this efforts and I am humbled by the time and energy he donates to this cause. The Silver Kings TV show also took up residence here for a few days of permit and tarpon fishing. Look for a couple episodes coming your way soon!

    Chosen to Carry the Canadian Host organization's Flag, young Belizean Girl Sailor Excels in International Regatta
    In a gracious salute to Belize for participating in Canadian Regattas for the very first time, the host organization (CORK - Canadian Olympic Regattas, Kingston) chose Blanca Velasquez, 16, a Laser sailor from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, (Belize) to be its standard bearer at the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Sail Canada International Youth Championship Regattas in Kingston, Ontario, August 14th (PHOTO 1). Arrangements for Blanca and another San Pedrana, Sarah White, 16, to enter the regatta were made by San Pedro's Belize Sailing School. In the regatta itself, Blanca (PHOTO 2) fought her way through the qualifiers to become one of only 7 girls out of the 38 girls entered to advance to the Gold fleet (the top third of 146 international entrants). And she was the only foreigner among the Gold fleet girls; the others were all Canadians desperate to show that they are worthy of selection to the highly competitive Canadian international team and qualify for Worlds.

    Seventeen (17) New Persons now Equipped to Take Care of the Elderly
    The Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), a unit of BELTRAIDE, is Belize’s leading centre for industry specific workforce development, providing effective, demand driven, user-friendly and value based programs that will develop, deliver and sustain a quality work force. Its’ mission is to develop a cadre of well-trained, marketable and self-sufficient individuals able to confidently compete in the marketplace. In keeping with its mandate, seventeen persons, who are employed or seeking employment as caregivers in homes of the elderly or in assisted living facilities, were certified by BTEC on August 23, 2016. The brief ceremony, which was held at the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) on the ITVET Compound, Freetown Road, Belize City; signalled the end of 5 weeks of training and internship. Training began on 18th July 2016 and was conducted by BTEC in collaboration with PAHO/WHO, the Ministry of Health, the National Council on Ageing, and with Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly.

    MEET THE WINNER OF THE SEPTEMBER CELEBRATIONS THEME!
    The National Celebrations Commission is pleased to announce that the winner of the competition to select the September theme received her prize today, August 23. Mrs. Argelia Mendoza Ken is a teacher and counselor at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District. Hon. Elodio Aragon, Jr., Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, will acknowledge her contribution and award her a check for $1,000. This award usually takes place at St. George’s Caye during the official September Celebrations Launch ceremony. However, due to damages from Hurricane Earl, that ceremony will not take place this year. Instead, Minister Aragon made an address, which will be broadcast nationwide.

    BELIZE DEFENCE FORCE PISTOL COMPETITION
    The Belize Defence Force hereby informs the general public and in particular Pistol Clubs, that its Annual Pistol Competition will be held on Saturday 3rd September 2016, at the Hattieville Range next to the Kolbe Foundation. Registration for the competition will commence at 0700 hrs and conclude at 0800 hrs, however pre-registration can be done by contacting Major Ismael Romero at ismael.romero@bdf.mil.bz, fhqops@bdf.mil.bz or by cell 620-5510 or office 225-4889. Members of the media are invited to cover this Competition. For further information contact Lt Col Louis Sutherland, Chief of Staff at 634-7226 or 225-3584

    Ground-breaking Ceremony to officially commence the construction of a new Grace Primary School Extension in Belize City
    Was held at the new school’s site on Fabers Road, Collet Division on Wednesday August 17, 2016. The Government of Belize in recognition of the critical role of education for social, economic, cultural, environmental and political development by way of empowering future leaders with knowledge, skills and values to enhance Belize’s socio-economic development; is funding the construction of a new Grace Primary School Extension at an estimated cost of $562,300.00 courtesy of a loan from Caribbean Development Bank with counterpart funding from Government. Belize Social Investment Fund is an implementing agency of the Government of Belize and is collaborating with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports for the implementation of this school project as part of its mandate to work in line with the Government’s strategy to address the basic needs of Belizeans in the areas of education, water, sanitation, health, human development and social transformation etc.

    Rotaract School Bag Drive
    The Rotaract Club of Belmopan had a very successful first School Bag Drive. Thanks, Rotaract! "The Rotaract Club of Belmopan completed their first annually bag drive project. Thanking our sponsor Social Security Board for their kind and generous donations! "

    Benque September Celebrations Calendar Launch
    Benque is having their September Celebrations Calendar Launch next Saturday, September 3rd, at the Benque Market Plaza. "September celebrations is around the corner! Join us for our official launch on September 3rd! "

    Channel 7

    General: 13 Year Old Was Not Killed By BDF Weapon. General Says OAS Report Will Vindicate His Army
    Last night, we told you that the independent OAS team of experts has completed their investigation into the fatal shooting of 13 year-old Guatemalan Julio Ruano. That's the shooting which happened in April of this year inside the Cebada area of the Chiquibul Forest, which caused the Guatemalan President and his senior diplomats to accuse the BDF soldiers of murder and human rights violations. A press release from the Government of Belize said that the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, would be making a statement on it, but up to news time this tonight, no such comment has been forthcoming. They did tweet these photographs of a meeting between Almagro, OAS Adjacency Zone official Magdalena Talamas (prounounced Tala Mas), the Belizean delegation; Ambassadors Pat Andrews and Alexis Rosado; the Guatemalan delegation, and representatives of the International Group of Friendly Countries. So, tonight, we still don't know what the investigation from the forensics experts says, but BDF Commander David Jones told us this evening, that he confident that it will vindicate his soldiers who came under fire that night in the Chiquibul. Here's what he had to say about his suspicions of where the fatal gunshot came from:

    Christians March Against Section 53 Judgment, GOB Non-Appeal
    Last night, we told you about how the evangelists were preparing to stage a protest on the steps of the National Assembly Building. They're trying to bring public pressure against the Barrow Government to force them to re-consider their decision not to appeal the Chief Justice's ruling to decriminalize gay sex. It happened today, and our 7News team was right there to watch it all unfold. Daniel Ortiz was also there to challenge them on their continued attempts to resist the ruling. Here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting: Hundreds of Evangelists assembled at the foot of the National Assembly Building to show what they claim is just a breath of the full might of their discontent. There were moments which resembled the religious leaders delivering powerful sermons from the pulpit, and at times, it looked like a church crusade had taken up residence on Independence Hill.

    Stirm: Church Leading, Not Misleading
    While we had the opportunity today, we asked Pastor Scott Stirm about the suggestion that leaders within the church are misleading their congregations to create a false sense of urgency that the ruling is the first step toward same-sex marriage. Last week, the Prime Minister himself took a few questions from the pastors who challenged him that indeed the ruling paves the way in that direction, which conservatives say is the final plan in the LGBT agenda. The Prime Minister firmly rejected that, and when we asked the Attorney General that question once again yesterday she maintained the same position. So, today we asked Stirm if he and the other church leaders who insist that the ruling opens the door to other gay rights challenges are simply misrepresenting the facts. He told us that the leaders of the National Evangelical Association of Belize has gotten numerous legal opinions to back their assertion, and so they firmly believe that they are not misinforming anyone:

    The Auditor General's Report: The Visa Hustle
    The Citizen Kim scandal broke three years ago in September of 2013, and since then we have learnt many despairing details about how the Immigration and Nationality Department was run like a flea market by public officers, politicians, party cronies, and passport and visa peddlers of all types and backgrounds. Well, tonight, the wider picture is just becoming apparent, and it's like a horror movie, that's so scary, you just can't look away. The long delayed Auditor General Special Audits into the issuances of passports and visas between 2011 and 2013 will be tabled in the House of Representatives on Friday and members received copies last week. It's two documents, the first on passports is well over 200 pages, and the other on visas is about 150 pages. We've been poring over the documents all day, and tonight we can share a few initial details.

    Aragon: Tough Time For UDP
    So, right now, with all this breaking, it's a tough time to be a member of the ruling UDP, especially for those young politicians who are at the beginning of their career. The Barrow Administration is lurching from one scandal to the next, having only being given a small ease from the William Danny Mason saga. So, what does what Orange Walk East Representative think about the Auditor General's reports? That's what we asked him today, and here's how he responded: Daniel Ortiz: "It would be a very tough time to be affiliated with the UDP Government. Are you prepared for that?" Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, Youth, Culture & Sports: "First and foremost I am a representative of the people of Orange Walk East Division and I've been given this opportunity to serve them as a representative in the House of Representatives and thus a part of the United Democratic Party in government and I will continue to do that. I don't see any issues that are there. I was not there in terms of that, so I don't see it as an issue. Of course there are issues out there and I think those are being addressed as best as they can by the government."

    Workshop On Inner City Violence
    In June we told you about the launch of Dr. Herbert Gayle's book entitled "Like Bush Fire". The book explores the topic of violence and what fuels it among young people. Well, Dr. Gayle wants the youth advocates, counselors and leaders to put the content of this book and his research to practice. Today was the start of a 3 day training that focuses on a number of relevant topics dealing with crime and violence in Belize. Dr. Gayle explained why this training is crucial to the future of Belizean youth and those who interact with them: The workshop ends on Thursday.

    Educating Caregivers For The Elderly
    Today 17 persons graduated from a 5 week care giving course. The main objective was to train those who are interested in caring for the elderly. It was about ensuring these care givers understand what to do with an elderly, how to meet their basic needs and why it is important to properly care for them. We spoke to the coordinator and she told us more about the course. 17 people graduated today.

    Investing In Chiquibul
    The Chiquibul Forest, its 423 thousand acres make up almost 8% of Belize's territory - but as we've shown you many times on this newscast - it's abundant protected areas are almost a magnet for Guatemalan farmers who have run out of arable land in their own country, and for Guatemalan poachers who press into`the Chiquibul to steal Xate, timber, gold and wildlife. Well now the effort to protect the Chiquibul is getting a major boost form the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development. It's called the Chiquibul Forests Investment Initiative - which was launched this afternoon at the Biltmore. Minister Omar Figueroa outlined the broad strokes of the effort:.. The two and a half hour launch finished this evening - and we'll tell you more about the details in tomorrow's news.

    September Theme-Maker Honoured
    The September CELEBRAITON SEASON is starting, and this year, theme is "Sovereign and Strong - Together as one!". The person who penned that theme and handed it over to NICH is Argelia Mendoza Ken, who's a teacher and counselor at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District. So, to make sure that she does not go down as just a footnote in the September Celebrations, NICH and Minister of Culture Elodio Aragon, awardED her with a cheque for $1,000 and an opportunity to meet the press. Today, Aragon told us that he was happy to recognize her public, especially because she is a fellow Suga City resident: This year is also Aragon's first time as co-chair of the September Celebrations Commission, and told us what Belizeans can look forward to on this year's calendar:

    Eric Chang Worked Hard For Citizen Kim
    Eric Chang - he's the former Belize City Councillor who seemed to have been the intermediary between Wong Hong Kim, or Citizen Kim and former Minister of State Elvin Penner. Penner got the passport fast tracked in Belize, and Chang - it seems - was the man who was to grease the wheels for Kim in Taiwan. At the time, Kim was in a Taiwanese jail - awaiting - and desperately trying to avoid - extradition to South Korea. He wanted the entirely fraudulent Belizean passport to use as a sort of get out of jail card. Now, the auditor general's report on passport irregularities shows the extent of Chang's machinations to get Citizen Kim freed. The report details this in an email from the then Belize Ambassador to Taiwan Cherie Nisbet who says that she got an urgent call from Chang in mid-September 2013. Chang reportedly told her he needed two urgent visas to Belize for two South Korean nationals who needed to go to Belize the next day. Nisbet said she needed all the details before she could help anyone. Chang - she claims - could not explain the emergency and said he may have to call a minister in Belize to issue visas upon arrival.

    Channel 5

    Christian Pastors Protest Section 53 Change on Independence Hill
    Independence Hill on Belmopan felt the wrath and fury of the evangelical movement this morning. About a thousand strong, protesters from all over the country came out against the recent [...]

    COLA: “Government Has Washed its Hands like Pontius Pilate”
    Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, shares the same position that the Church has taken where it concerns the preservation of Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code.  While the [...]

    COLA President Demands That Maya People Be Respected Too
    Interestingly, Brackett makes the comparison that government has moved with haste to state that it will not appeal the Section Fifty-three judgment, while it has gone to great pains in [...]

    1000 Marched; But Was Anybody Listening?
    There was no weekly Cabinet meeting today since Prime Minister Barrow is presently out of the country.  In fact, all was quiet on Independence Hill this morning, save for a [...]

    Do You Believe the Ruling on Section 53 Should Be Appealed?
    And tonight’s question is: Do you believe the ruling on Section Fifty-three should be appealed? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote [...]

    News Five’s First Look at the Special Audit Report on Nationality
    The Special Audit Report on Nationality at the Immigration and Nationality Department, 2011-2013, to be laid at the House of Representatives this coming Friday. The audit was concluded three years [...]

    Immigration Officials Got Sloppy with Passport Documents
    In the following report, News Five Duane Moody zeros in on specific cases of persons provided with passports without the requirements. It is a sorry state of affairs that stinks [...]

    No Word As Yet on Independent Investigation of Shooting Death in Chiquibul
    The report from the O.A.S. on the shooting death of Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano is highly anticipated and up to news time, the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, [...]

    American Sex Offender Captured off Belize Coast
    There’s another revolting report…Police made a significant arrest last Friday which has landed U.S. Sex Offender George Stephen Cunningham in police custody. Fifty-one year old Cunningham, from Delaware, Ohio was [...]

    Minister of State for Culture Comments on Immigration Audit Reports
    We have been reporting on the Auditor General’s trio of reports on the Immigration and Nationality Service between April of 2011 and September of 2013. They contain hard-to-swallow truths about [...]

    Nearly $16 Million to be Spent on Chiquibul Forest
    Nearly sixteen million dollars will be spent over the next two years in what the Government is calling its most significant investment to date in the endangered Chiquibul forest and [...]

    F.C.D. Has Ambitious Plans for its Portion
    Rafael Manzanero, the executive director of F.C.D., welcomes the resources as his organization and its Guatemalan partner, Asociacion BALAM continue to fight illegal Guatemalan incursions for land and natural resources. [...]

    Dr. Herbert Gayle Trains Frontline Workers in Fighting Violence
    Anthropologist Doctor Herbert Gayle is currently in the country. Along with a team, he is providing training to youths to equip them with the skills to effectively fight and reduce [...]

    Caregivers for Older Persons Graduate Training
    A caregiver provides three levels of care: preventative, assistive and educational care. They are the bridge between older persons and society and often times recommend interventions to make life better [...]

    Argelia Ken Collects Prize for September Celebrations Theme
    This afternoon, the National Institute of Culture and History presented the winner of the theme competition for the September Celebrations with a cheque for one thousand dollars. Orange Walk teacher [...]

    Why Theme is Appropriate, According to Culture Minister
    Co-Chair of the National Celebrations Commission and Culture Minister Elodio Aragon Junior, like Ken, hails from Orange Walk. He told us the theme is apt for this year’s festivities.   [...]

    CTV3

    OAS Allegedly Rules BDF Not Responsible For The Death Of Guatemalan National
    During an interview with the media last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the independent investigation into the death of 13 year old Guatemalan, Julio Alvarado, who was shot and killed in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul forest reserve, allegedly by members of the BDF, was about to conclude. Following the incident Guatemala’s president, Jimmy Morales and Foreign Minister, Raul Carlos Morales launched an aggressive campaign against the BDF in which they accused them of behaving inhumane and unprofessional. We can report tonight that the investigation has been concluded and unofficial reports reaching our news station is that the findings of the probe vindicates our soldiers. While the report has not become available there are very credible reports that point out that the BDF are not responsible for the death of the Guatemalan minor. We are awaiting the official release from the OAS which reportedly should have been released today.

    Sex Offender Caught In Belize
    Fifty one year old US national and resident of Delaware, Ohio, George Stephen Cunningham, is tonight in custody of authorities from the Belize Police Department after his boat ran aground off the city’s coast on Friday night. Reports indicate that at the time of the incident, members of the Belize Coast Guard responded to his aid but after learning Cunningham’s identity he was handed over to police where he was detained thereafter. Back in his hometown, Cunningham had been indicted November 10th, 2014 on four counts of first degree rape charges against a nine year old minor which he pleaded not guilty to all charges. However, in October of 2015, Cunningham returned to court where he pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted gross sexual imposition so as to avoid facing a jury trial on the previous four rape charges, and a result was sentenced to eighteen months in prison.

    Hundreds Demonstrates In Belmopan Against Section 53
    Earlier today some 800 hundred religious leaders and members of the National Evangelical Association of Belize convened a protest at the foot of the National Assembly Building in Belmopan, demonstrating against the recent decision taken by the Supreme Court to strike down Section 53 of Belize's criminal code and the Government of Belize’s decision not to appeal. Concern Citizens - Demonstrators: “I came out here to support the church and stand by what the bible says and no turning back.” Reporter: “So you are one of those persons who would like to see the ruling of the Chief Justice appealed?” Concern Citizens - Demonstrators: “Yeah for sure, 100%”

    PUP Southern Caucus Joins NEAB In Demonstration
    As previously mentioned, members of the PUP Southern caucus were present in this morning’s protest in Belmopan, which was carried out by members of the Evangelical community in demonstration of the Section 53 ruling which overturned Belize’s sodomy law. But this stance is in contrary to previous statements made by the Opposition Leader, Honorable John Briceño in which he accepted the Court’s decision. In an official release, the party leader had gone as far as to say that it supports the Church’s decision to appeal but he did not call on the Government to appeal the order of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Ministers who were present during the protest today were questioned about the official stand of the party. Honorable Mike Espat – Southern Caucus Representative: “The Party Leader has its own opinion just like everybody else and they are free to share their opinion and that is the way they feel we are just telling you that the Southern caucus is present her today is not supporting this we all members of the People’s United Party and I believe that we can put our heads together and think this out properly.”

    Explosive Findings In Auditors General' Report
    Explosive – that’s how we can best describe the findings in the three-part special audit carried out by the Auditor General’s office into the Immigration and Nationality Departments. We continue to carry out our own thorough review of the document, and tonight we can report on something else that has caught our eyes. According to Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, while the audit was initially supposed to have been carried out on the Visa Section only, due to the mountain of irregularities the investigation was expanded to cover the National and Passport Sections. And apparently, there is more than enough reason for this decision. According to one of the findings, there were 55,579 cases of approved passports that did not have the required biometric checks during the period August 2011 to September 2013. This is the finger-print and eye scan which are now requirements of passport applications.

    PlusTV

    Auditor General report says ministers’ interference in visa application illegal
    At Friday’s House Meeting, the Prime Minister is expected to table four special audit reports. Three of them are about the Immigration and Nationality Department. Our colleagues at KREM News report that they have obtained a copy of the audit for the period 2011 to 2013 of the Visa Section. Plusnews ...

    NTUCB calls for independent investigation into murder of Pastor Lucas
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has issued a statement in which it calls for an independent investigation into the murder of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas. NTUCB says; “The NTUCB has been and continues to be in disgust, by how Pastor Lucas met his demise. NTUCB wishes to state, for the record; ...

    Man shot on Rivero Street, Belize City
    A Belize City man was shot twice on Saturday 20th August, in Belize City. Sometime before 7 p.m., 35 year old Clive Arnold, a Stevedore of a Rivero Street address, was shot once to the upper right abdomen and once to the right hand. Police say Arnold was walking on Rivero Street, heading towards B...

    Attempted murder of Belize City man in his home
    There was another attempt on another Belize City man’s life on Saturday. 50 year old Adolfo McKoy reported that about 11:00 p.m., he opened the house door for one Adajjha Gonguez and went back to his bedroom. He said moments later, he was approached by one Linsford Acosta who had a chrome revolver i...

    Car accident near Cotton Tree Village
    There was an early morning traffic accident near Cotton Tree Village on the George Price Highway at mile 42 and 43. The incident involved a car and a blue bird passenger bus. The driver of the passenger bus was Omar Barahona, a resident of Cotton Tree Village. Sometime around 7 o’clock on Monday mo...

    BSI launched internal investigation into employee’s death
    On Friday we told you about the employee of BSI/ASR who died as a result of injuries received on the job site. 41 year old Ismael Jimenez, a father of 5, had been a mechanic with the company but on Friday he was somehow pinned while was using heavy machinery. He was rushed to the Northern Regional ...

    Mental Health Association says pushing for a referendum on S53 will increase hate speech
    The Mental Health Association has applauded the Chief Justice’s ruling saying that it was made from a base of knowledge rather than emotion. The Mental Health Association of Belize, whose president is Jenny Lovell, says that the right to privacy in consensual sexual activity in adults is long overd...

    Amandala

    Churches to protest against Section 53 ruling
    Although they have not formally said that they will appeal the recent decision by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to overturn Belize’s sodomy law, the churches are meeting and mobilizing not just to strategize on their next actions—but also to tell the Barrow administration just how displeased they are with its decision not to appeal the Supreme Court ruling. The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), which says it represents 280 churches in Belize, is mobilizing its troops for what it dubs “a prayer patrol” around the National Assembly and government administration buildings in Belmopan from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, August 23. Amandala understands that the demonstration was originally to coincide with the meeting of Cabinet usually held on Tuesdays, but organizers later learned that the Prime Minister had departed the country and is not due to return until Friday. They decided to press ahead nonetheless. Reports to our newspaper tonight indicate that at least 20 buses may be headed to Belmopan for the protest.

    Sydney “Mackis” Thompson, of Kremandala Raiders, dies
    A basketball player of the legendary basketball team, Kremandala Raiders, the most successful team in Belize’s semi-pro basketball history, has died. Sydney “Mackis” Thompson, 52, died on Friday night at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a long bout of illness. He had been suffering from an incurable disease. After the glory days of Kremandala Raiders, Mackis, who was also a tumbler for the Tumblers, became a car washer and cleaner at the Save U car stand at the Belcan Bridge area of the city, where he cleaned cars daily. However, a friend of his at that stand told us that something went wrong and Mackis became homeless, and sometimes slept under the Belcan Bridge. Mackis had told his friend that doctors had given up on him due to the disease.

    Homosexual lover charged with assaulting his partner
    On Wednesday, August 10, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled that Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, which makes sodomy an offense, is unconstitutional. The ruling has been hailed as a victory for the LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community. Today, a man who shares living quarters with another man in what appears to be a homosexual relationship was charged with common assault against his partner. Justin Arnold, 23, appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza and pleaded not guilty to one count of common assault against Noel Garcia, 39, his partner of six months. Arnold allegedly slapped Garcia, and Garcia went to the police station and made a report about the incident.

    Faster banking promised with new national payment system
    New banking sector reforms are due to be tabled in Parliament on Friday which are intended to modernize money transactions, cutting down the waiting period for customers to receive credit from check deposits and enabling the kind of networking that will allow customers to transfer funds in just minutes from an account at their bank to a party at another bank in Belize. “You can be home in the night and make a credit transfer to somebody in Dangriga at any time of the night—as long as they have a bank account… I can’t wait for it…” said Marilyn Gardiner-Usher, Deputy Governor – Operations at the Central Bank of Belize, who explained the developments in the context of the establishment of a national payment system (NPS) for Belize. The go-live target date is September. She told Amandala that the changes should reduce operating costs for commercial banks, and the Central Bank expects that the reduction will be passed on to customers.

    Conductress flung out of bus after it was hit by car
    –A conductress was flung from a Baizar bus as a result of the impact of an early morning road traffic accident on the George Price Highway. Mamsie Caliz, 42, a conductress for two years, was thrown onto the street when a black car leaving Belmopan ran into the front side of her father’s bus at around 7 a.m. today, Monday. The bus, which was at the time driven by Omar Barajona, was heading to Belmopan; however, it slowed down near a road bump in Cotton Tree, and at that point a vehicle, allegedly driven at high speed by an unidentified woman, swerved out of its lane and hit the bus.

    Tropical wave over Belize causes flooding in southern Belize
    NEMO is advising residents of southern Belize, particularly those who reside in the Toledo and Stann Creek districts, to take extra precaution in light of a flood advisory which has been issued in response to a tropical wave that is passing over Belize. According to the Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez, a tropical wave is passing through the country today, Monday, and is expected to pass by tomorrow, Tuesday. The tropical wave, he said, is not widespread, but localized in southern Belize. A statement released by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) advises, “People who live along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas and whose home is likely to flood are cautioned to move to a high and safe building with friends, family or in the community shelter before nightfall. Drivers are asked to slow down and put on their hazard lights when driving through the rain and flooded areas.”

    Semipro football is back; PLB Opening Season 21016-2017 under way
    Belize City fans will have to wait a few more weeks before semipro football returns to the MCC, but the new Premier League of Belize (PLB) Opening Season kicked off in four other venues over the past weekend. There are 9 teams participating in this Opening Season, and Police United was excused from Week 1 action, as they just returned from their opening Champions League encounter with Olimpia, which they lost, 4-0, in Honduras on Tuesday, and were making their way to Mexico City for their match with Mexican champion Pachuca tomorrow, Tuesday. Two games each were played on Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21, in Week 1 of the PLB Opening Season 2016-2017. At the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, defending champion Belmopan Bandits FC was held to a 0-0 draw by visiting FC Belize, who returned to action after sitting out last year’s competition. Meanwhile, down south at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, home standing sub-champion Placencia Assassins FC welcomed Freedom Fighters FC back to the PLB competition (after a year lay-off) with a 3-0 put down, courtesy of first half goals from Ashton Torres (15’), Delone Torres (19’) and Justin Linarez (29’).

    BDBA Firms Basketball Semi-finals and Finals this weekend
    Quarterfinal games were played in the Belize District Basketball Association (BDBA) Firms 2016 Basketball Tournament last Friday and Saturday at the BES gym, setting the stage for the semi-finals and the first game of the finals this weekend. In quarterfinal action on Friday night, August 19, Belize Bank Bulldogs clipped BWSL, 83-78; and Belize City Council Dragons crushed Heritage Bank Heatz, 78-56. And in the other quarterfinals on Saturday, it was BTL edging Mayan Man Warriors, 85-82; and Infotel blowing out Atlantic Bank, 84-56. The semi-finals, which will be played this Friday at BES gym, are “knockout” rounds, with the two winning teams advancing to a “best-of-three” finals series.

    EDITORIAL: Anti-Christs
    The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) lost a golden opportunity to increase the political discomfort of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) when the PUP rushed to support the pro-LGBT ruling of the Belize Supreme Court on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Played at its highest level, politics is not about the personal opinions or preferences of the principals. Politics is about establishing positions which the majority of the people (adult voters) support. Politics is always about numbers, majority numbers: 51 means power; 49 amounts to defeat. It is many years since the Belizean people have marched in numbers in the population center or the new capital. Yet, the explosive issues have come fast and furious – Elvin Penner, rosewood, Chiquibul, Sarstoon, Harmonyville, Petrocaribe, BTL, William Danny Mason, and now, issue of all issues – the homosexual law.

    The genesis of the Section 53 challenge: Part 1
    Caleb Orozco’s constitutional challenge against Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code represents a landmark ruling for Belize—but it is also an example of “strategic litigation,” designed to achieve broader aims across the wider Caribbean. According to Tracy Robinson, a Jamaican attorney, almost a decade ago, she worked with a doctoral degree student to conduct a desk review to find “whether there was a reasonable case to be made before a constitutional court regarding the laws criminalizing ‘same sex’ sex.” Robinson, who once chaired the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an organ of the Organization of American States, said that Belize was chosen because it was the optimal country to bring the case. “No other country has the constellation of factors, in law, which come together to make Belize the ideal location…” she said, in a video conference briefing held in July 2016, leading up to the ruling by Belize Justice Kenneth Benjamin on August 10.

    Ruptured water main disrupts supply to 20,000 BWS customers
    The Belize Water Services (BWS) dispatched roughly 20 workers and deployed a range of equipment in an effort to tackle the unexpected rupturing of its main on the Sandhill route, which left the company’s biggest customer base, totaling about 20,000 customers, without water for most of Sunday. The areas affected spanned Biscayne and Gardenia off the Philip Goldson Highway, and extended into Belize City as well as locations up to Mile 9 on the George Price Highway. The company informed us that a 24-inch pipe located near New Moon Restaurant in Ladyville broke. The BWS has yet to determine what caused it, but they have ruled out vandalism, since the pipe was located 10 feet underground.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Caribbean on watch for two tropical storms
    Tropical Storm Gaston could be the first major hurricane for 2016 in the Atlantic, but a wave headed toward the northern Caribbean Sea could be more of a threat according to forecasters. Gaston has sustained winds of 65 miles per hour as of 11 […]

    Minor accused in Queen Street shooting “under hit”
    The 15 year old boy accused of the trying to kill a George Street associate a few months ago in front of the Queen Street Police Station missed his intended target and caught a police officer and three other innocent by-standers. He appeared today […]

    SMART contributes to hurricane relief efforts
    Belize’s leading innovator in telecommunications, SMART, presented a check for $5,000 to the Belize Red Cross. The Red Cross will use this donation to assist in their relief efforts as Belize recovers from the effects of Hurricane Earl. In presenting the check on August […]

    Another road traffic accident on George Price Highway
    Reports coming out from the west is that there is another traffic accident on the George Price Highway, this time in the village of Ontario. Information is yet sketchy but BBN was made to understand that police officers and paramedics are currently at the […]

    Cyclist in afternoon accident passes away
    Confirmed reports reaching our newsroom indicate that the cyclist who was knocked down off his bike by a pick-up truck earlier today has passed away. The incident happened in front of the Governor General’s residence in Belmopan. Belmopan police are currently investigating the details surrounding […]

    Cyclist knocked down in Belmopan
    Reports reaching our newsroom are that a cyclist was knocked down from his bike by a pickup truck just before noon today. The incident happened in front of the Governor General residence in Belmopan and the man has been rushed to the Western Regional […]

    Government introduces Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative
    Two non-Governmental organizations and two Government departments are to receive grants in what has been described as an investment initiative by the Government of Belize. Rafael Manzanero’s Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and the Ya’axche Conservation Trust along with the Forest Department and […]

    Tourism industry prepares for biennal expo
    The drumbeat is sounding for the 2017 Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX) to be held at the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino from May 3rd to 5th. Officially hosted by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) along with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), BETEX attracts approximately […]

    Francis Fonseca calls for “meaningful investment” in sports
    Former PUP leader and former minister of sport Francis Fonseca recently observed on Facebook that, “no government (PUP or UDP) has made serious meaningful investments in Sports…this has to change!” Attached to the post is a quote from Nelson Mandela, who during his time […]

    Investigation at Vital Statistics on Mason’s fraudulent birth certificate now in hands of the police
    Vanessa Retreage, Attorney General, has confirmed that the Vital Statistics Unit’s internal investigation into how accused murderer William Danny Mason got a fraudulent Belizean birth certificate is completed, and a report has been made to police. Earlier Prime Minister Dean Barrow had stated that […]

    NTUCB condemns Pastor Lucas murder
    The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) has finally spoken out, condemning the murder of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas. In a press release, the NTUCB demanded than an external investigation be conducted into the horrific murder of Pastor Lucas. NTUCB President Marvin Mora […]

    Lucky woman survives accident with passenger bus
    Latoyah Meighan, 32, is recuperating from minor injuries after being involved in a traffic mishap yesterday morning on the George Price Highway within the village of St. Matthews. The incident took place a little after 7:00 while driving her black Chevy car towards Belize City. In […]

    PSU Belmopan branch to meet over salary adjustment delay
    The Belmopan branch of the Public Service Union (PSU) has called for an urgent meeting today with general members at the Hilltop at 4:30 p.m. In a post published to its Facebook page, the PSU is urging that all members attend since important matters […]

    Blogs

    Celebrate Independence Day in Belize
    After several centuries as a British colony, Belize gained its independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981. Today, the national holiday is the occasion for two weeks of partying, parades, and street exhibitions leading up to September 21 when every town comes alive with people waving the red, white and blue (the colors of the Belizean flag). Independence Day 2016 will be a special time in Belize as the country celebrates its 35th anniversary of gaining full sovereignty. The occasion will be marked with a number of amazing celebrations, parties, and activities. This year’s official theme is “Sovereign and Strong Together as One.” The issue of whether Spain or Britain would end up controlling Belize was decided in a colossal, week-long naval battle in 1798 off the coast of St. George’s Caye. The British emerged triumphant on September 10, now a national holiday in Belize celebrated by the playing of patriotic music and people dressed in the national colors. In 2016, the September holidays begin on August 28 and will continue right on up to Independence Day on September 21. Every town and village across the country will hold parades featuring marchers, bands, and floats. Be on the lookout for a sea of red, white and blue as Belizeans of all age celebrate the season with patriotic pride. The month of September is also when you can find live music concerts throughout the country. Some as small affairs held in local villages featuring indigenous music while others are big events that draw top-name acts and thousands of fans.

    Everything You Need To Retire Or Invest In This Beautiful Caribbean Nation
    For me, it was love at first sight. From the first morning I arrived in Belize, nearly 30 years ago, climbed down from the plane onto the runway, threw my backpack over my shoulder, pulled on my sunglasses, and walked across the tarmac in the direction of the one-room Belize City airport, I was smitten. It was nothing I could put my finger on at the time. Just a feeling, like falling in love. You know it when it hits. On that first visit, I met a handful of Belize expats with whom, over the years, I’ve developed friendships I treasure. Visit by visit, in the years to follow, they helped me to get to know this country founded by pirates and where independence and free thinking are prized above all else. These are qualities that I, too, value a great deal. Instinctively, I guess, putting my feet on the ground in this country for the first time, I knew that Belize and I were made for each other.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize cashes in excess rainfall insurance
    CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) paid US$261,073 to the Government of Belize under its excess rainfall insurance policy last Thursday, two weeks after heavy rains brought by Hurricane Earl drenched the country on August 4 and 5. The payout, CCRIF said, demonstrates its commitment to act within two weeks after a qualifying hazard event. Earl caused widespread flooding, damage to homes and businesses, interruptions of water and electricity services, and losses to the tourism and agriculture industries across Central America. “The CCRIF board and team are relieved that there was no loss of life – and we hope that the funds received from CCRIF will be useful to the Government of Belize in their recovery efforts. We wish the Government and people of Belize a rapid recovery,” CEO Isaac Anthony stated.

    Guardians of the world’s ocean icons convene in Galapagos to chart sustainable future
    From 27-31 August 2016, managers from the 49 marine sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List will convene in the Galapagos Islands to explore solutions to some of the world’s most pressing conservation challenges including climate adaptation strategies and market-based approaches to strengthen sustainable fisheries. Along with leading experts and ocean conservationists they will help chart a sustainable path forward for the world’s most iconic marine protected areas. Since the first marine site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982, the marine network has grown into a global collection of sites that stretches across topical, temperate and polar zones. Today, World Heritage marine sites comprise 10% by surface area of all the world’s marine protected areas, and include icons such as the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize), Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Philippines), Phoenix Islands Protected Area (Kiribati), and Everglades National Park (USA). They are home to the breeding grounds of the world’s last healthy population of grey whales, the highest density of ancestral polar-bear dens, the world’s most ancient fish and the inimitable marine iguanas.

    IACHRreport on historic Belize judgment: Worsening conditions for gays in T&T
    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) says it welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court of Belize “that declared unconstitutional the criminalisation of consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex.” “With this historic decision, Belize becomes the second country in the English-speaking Caribbean to repeal laws that criminalise consensual sex between adults of the same sex that originate in the region’s colonial past,” a release issued on Monday stated. A recent report on violence against members of the LGBTI community in the Americas has, however, noted a gradual worsening of legislative conditions for them in T&T and the Commonwealth Caribbean. The English version of a report on “Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Persons in the Americas” released last week was researched by the IACHR and initially published in Spanish last November. The report notes that T&T “maintains legislation criminalising adult same-sex intimacy” and that “the issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation remains a matter of concern.”

    Videos

  • CNN special on Caye Caulker, Belize, 3.5min. Videography for CNN special on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize

  • Wildboyz Season 1 Episode 8 Belize, 22min.

  • Belize 2016, 6min. Trip to Hatchet Caye 2016.

  • Downtown Belize City, 1.5min.

  • Snorkeling in Half Moon Caye. Belize, 17min.

  • Blue Kamikaze on the rocks Belize Mixology style., 2.5min. Edward Alvarez creating a Blue Kamikaze at Belize Mixology's practical training segment at Rumors Resort in San Ignacio, Belize.

  • Belize 2016, 7.5min. Vacances au Belize.

  • Belize Creole Brokdong Project, 1min. Here are some of our participants in the Belize Creole Brokdong Project doing some vocal training.

    August 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

    SPTC Delivers Building Supplies to San Mateo
    Through the generous donations of various organizations and businesses, Vice-President of the San Pedro Lions Club, Brittney O’Daniel, along with her business partner, Dave Jenkins, were able to purchase their first batch of plywood, plycem, lumber, and zinc on Thursday, August 18th. The building supplies were distributed among the community members of San Mateo, and will help rebuild homes that were completely destroyed by Hurricane Earl. According to Jorge Aldana of the San Pedro Town Council, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) performed a damage assessment immediately after the storm. “When we first did our assessment, 49 familes had some level of damages, and since then, that number has grown. All those who indicated that they needed supplies will receive supplies. NEMO also dispensed mattresses to affected families,” said Aldana.

    Atlantic Bank LTD plans to install a second ATM Machine
    Recent concerns from residents in San Pedro Town, has revived the question regarding the possibility of another Automated Teller Machine (ATM) for the local branch of Atlantic Bank. Over the years, while the population has increased by the thousands, the bank continues operating with just one external ATM. This has caused several inconveniences, as customers have to wait in long lines only to find out there is no cash left by the time they reach. In an effort to address the issue, Atlantic Bank has some good news to share. The bank’s management admits that operating with just one ATM is uncomfortable for their customers, thus, the installation of a second external ATM machine is imperative. Branch Manager Karen Lopez commented that a second ATM will be installed, but they do not have a specific date when it will happen. “There is no clear decision as yet where the second ATM will be installed, but what we can say for now is that another ATM will be installed to alleviate the situation,” said Lopez. Even though there are additional machines inside the banks, the introduction of another external ATM will target the customers who do not have access to the bank until late evening, and visitors alike.

    66 Foot Reserve and Use of Seabed: Ministry of Natural Resources explains
    In light of the damage caused by Hurricane Earl, the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys issued a press release on Wednesday, August 10th explaining the utilization of the seabed and of the 66 feet reserve; which may include riparian forests, beaches, littoral forests and shoals. Through the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and the Lands and Surveys Department, the general public was advised that in order to rebuild or construct a new dock/pier, a permit from the MNR is needed. This once again brought the issue of Queen’s Land/66-foot reserve to the forefront. In Belize, all land up to 66 feet from the high water level is considered national land or “Queen’s Land”. It also means that it is to be kept accessible to the public and free from development. Therefore, occupation of the land without permission constitutes as an offense of unlawful use of National Land.

    Mahogany Bay Village donates vehicle to San Pedro Police Department
    The official handing over of a 2003 Ford Ranger extra cab pickup truck to the San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) came after a generous donation from Mahogany Bay Village. The company has been very involved in the community by assisting different organizations in various ways. On Thursday, August 18th, Pete Davis represented the donor organization and had the honour of handing over the vehicle to Deputy Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Superintendent Henry Jemmott. The addition of the new vehicle to the present fleet was welcomed by Jemmott, who indicated that the characteristics of the vehicle will make it very efficient in their patrols. “The durability of this vehicle will enable us to continue improving our patrols, south and north of the island,” said Jemmott. According to him, vehicles are always a huge necessity for the force, and since the island continues to grow at a rapid pace, the need to increase their patrol coverage is another challenge the police face. “It is important to notice the support of the community and as well, this shows the good relationship between the business community and the police,” said Jemmott. He further stated that any donations given to the police, in this case a vehicle is utilized to ensure the safety of all residents of the island and the well-being of San Pedro Town.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Performs Exceptional at Canada’s Intl. Championship Regatta
    Kevin Velasquez, 14, who trains at San Pedro's Belize Sailing School, tacked and trimmed his boat to finish 7th over all, out of 127 other international competitors in Canada's Olympic Regattas, Kingston (CORK) 2016 International Optimist Regatta. Sailors from the USA and Bermuda were the only ones who topped him. Kevin's Belize Sailing School team-mate, Caroline Sersland, who just turned 12, made her last race-day here her best and finished 10th in her fleet. Both Velasquez and Sersland were top finishers at the National Optimistic Championship Regatta that was held last year in Corozal Town. Due to their top performances they were ideal candidates for the 2016 Canadian Regatta which the San Pedro Belize Sailing Club facilitated their participation.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Splashers
    Lets get our splash on this Thursday at Crazy Canucks at 2pm. Please sign up on our website

    Emmeth Young Playing Soul Project
    Emmeth Young, one of the best drummers in the hemisphere, will be performing Friday night at the Soul Project. Emmeth has been in Cayo a lot lately, helping with the drumming wokshop at the SISE House of Culture, and playing some at the September Celebrations launch. "THIS FRIDAY, Emmeth Young AND HIS CREW WILL BE DRUMMING ON SOUL PROJECT STAGE. GIG STARTS LIKE AROUND 7PM"

    St. George's Caye September Celebrations Launch cancelled
    Due to damages from Hurricane Earl, there will not be the usual Official Launch of the September Celebrations at St. George's Caye this year. Instead, Hon. Elodio Aragon, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, will launch the celebrations with an address that will be broadcast across the nation. Otherwise, the National Celebrations Commission and its partners are planning a full slate of activities for September.

    3rd ANNUAL YELLOW GINGER FESTIVAL
    YOU ARE ALL INVITED TO COME OUT TO THE 3rd ANNUAL YELLOW GINGER FESTIVAL ON AUGUST 28, 2016 IN FOREST HOME VILLAGE ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD BRING THE ENTIRE FAMILY TO HAVE FUN AND ENJOY OUR CULTURAL DISHES

    Calendar of Events for September Celebrations 2016
    Scheduling your September festivities? Here's this year's Calendar of Events for September Celebrations 2016!

    Belize Screen on the Green in Dangriga Aug. 25
    Please join us for the Belize Screen on the Green in Dangriga for the screening of the movie "42" at the Slaughter House in Dangriga. We are brining the BIG SCREEN, and as always popcorn will be served while supplies last! Movie starts at dark (no exceptions ;)). Hope to see you there!!!

    Southern Belize Flood Advisory
    The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) hereby informs that Southern Belize in particular the Toledo District is experiencing flooding. Jacintoville is currently under flood conditions. Aguactae village is inaccessible and water is 15ft above the bridge. Other villages along the Moho River must closely monitor the flood situation and take the necessary precautions. Other villages in the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts must be on alert for flooding. People who live along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas and whose home is likely to flood are cautioned to move to a high and safe building with friends, family or in the community shelter before nightfall. Drivers are asked to slow down and put on their hazard lights when driving through the rain and flooded areas NEMO Emergency Coordinators in the south can be reached as follows; Stann Creek, Mr. Victor Castillo at 630 9780; and Toledo, Mr. Kenton Parham at 630 9787. The NEMO Emergency Hotline is 936.

    UPDATE ON THE FORMAL ORGANIZATION OF THE AMERICAN STATES’ (OAS) INVESTIGATION INTO THE 20TH APRIL 2016 SHOOTING INCIDENT IN THE ADJACENCY ZONE
    he Government of Belize (GOB) has received confirmation from Secretary-General of the OAS, H.E. Luis Almagro, that the formal investigation into the incident in which the Guatemalan minor, Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, lost his life in the Adjacency Zone as a result of gunshot wounds, has been concluded. In this regard, the OAS Secretary-General Almagro in a letter addressed to the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize, informed the Belizean Government, “that the forensic experts that the Governments of the United States of America and Mexico put at their disposal to carry out this investigation have completed their duties and prepared a joint exhaustive report on the matter…” It is expected that the OAS Secretary-General will release a formal statement on the report and its findings tomorrow, Tuesday, 23rd August 2016.

    Jazzfest 2016 Opening Ceremonies
    The CAYO Welcome Center was the perfect place for the opening of the Belize International Jazz Festival. 3 stages, all with wonderful music, and every different kind.  Ascenthium rocked, as did Project Orchestra. Karen Vernon got some great shots too.

    Channel 7

    Pastors To Protest In 'Pan
    There's a House Meeting in Belmopan on Friday - but the National Evangelical Association isn't waiting around - they're planning a protest for tomorrow! The group sent out a release today saying they'll be protesting on the steps of the National Assembly Building. They say that Pastors, Leaders and Evangelical Churches from all over the country will be making the trip to show how strongly they disapprove of the section 53 judgment, and government's refusal to appeal it. This evening, the Pastor Scott Stirm, Vice President of NEAB, released a statement saying quote, "The ramifications of this controversial decision will bring horrendous results upon our nation and MUST be appealed for [the] full... legal judicial process." End quote. Now, you might ask, why protest on a Tuesday? Well, we are told it was planned to coincide with the regular Cabinet meeting, but it turns out that the Prime Minister isn't even in country - so there won't be any cabinet meeting.

    Government Goes On PR Offensive For Section 53 Judgment
    So, NEAB continues to be the most vocal church group to oppose the gay sex judgement, but the Government is trying to make sure that they aren't moving crowds based on misinformation and misunderstanding. So government has gone on a media offensive - to get its message out. The Barrow Administration wants to make it clear why government isn't appealing and why it does not believe that the judgment paves the way for same sex marriages. So, the Attorney General Vanessa Retreage and Human Development CEO Judith Alpuche were deployed today to the Love FM Morning Show. They were there to again outline what the Government's position is on the Section 53 judgement, and when they came off the air, the Attorney General granted us a brief interview:

    Mental Health Assoc. Says No Referendum, on A Minority's Rights
    And so while the Evangelists will protest against the judgement and government's reaction to it, while at the same time government is making its case in the media - as to why it has no choice but to accept the judgment. And now - to add one more voice to the fray, the Mental Health Association is applauding the judgement. The Association sent out a press release saying that any move to reduce decriminalization and stigma against LGBT people will have positive mental health consequences. The Association agrees with the Chief Justice that the fact of the law's existence was enough to give implied permission for continued stigma and discrimination against the LGBT persons in Belize. And the Association also addressed the idea of a referendum which the Evangelical community and the Belize Progressive Party has been pushing.

    OAS Report On Shooting of 13 Year Old Done, Only Awaiting Delivery Now
    On last week Friday's newscast, we showed you our interview with US Ambassador Carlos Moreno, who revealed that the OAS investigation into the fatal Chiquibul shooting has been completed by the Independent investigating team. Well the Government sent out a statement less than 10 minutes ago confirming it. That late evening statement says, quote, "(GOB) has received confirmation from Secretary-General of the OAS. Luis Almagro, that the formal investigation into the incident in which the Guatemalan minor, Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, has been concluded." End quote. The Government press release continues to explain that Secretary General Almagro wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington saying, quote, "the forensic experts that the Governments of the United States of America and Mexico put at their disposal to carry out this investigation have completed their duties and prepared a joint exhaustive report on the matter…" End quote.

    Fatal Accident When Vehicle Shut Down
    Over the weekend, there were 2 accidents in Belize City; one of them resulted in a fatality, and the other put a woman in the hospital with serious injuries. We start tonight with the accident which killed Belize City resident Lionel Robert Hamilton, who also went by the name Lionel Villanueva. That accident happened between Miles 4 and 5 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. It appears that Hamilton was struck by a driver who did not see that his vehicle was in the road. Today our news team went looking for answers, and we found out that Hamilton couldn't get out of the way because the vehicle was having mechanical problems. Daniel Ortiz has that story:

    Slippery Road Causes Car To Crash Into Bus
    And there was another accident, but this time near St. Mattews Village on the Western Highway. It happened this morning around 7:10. 32 year old Latoyah Meighan was driving her black Chevy car to Belize City when she lost control of the vehicle and rammed into an oncoming Baiza Bus that was heading to Belmopan. Meighan reported that the road was slippery and that is why she slid into the bus's lane. Luckily nobody was killed. Meighan complained of pain to the left side of her head, while the bus conductor along with one other passenger received minor injuries.

    Waters Rising In South
    While Central Belize is just recovering from Hurricane Earl, now there's flooding in the south. NEMO reports that a few flood prone areas in the western Toledo District are underwater. Aguacate village is inaccessible and water is 15ft above the bridge. Jacintoville is also experiencing flood conditions. This is due to the Moho River and other villages along the River are advised to closely monitor river levels. NEMO also advises, quote, "People who live along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas and whose home is likely to flood are cautioned to move to a high and safe building with friends, family or in the community shelter before nightfall."

    Clive Arnold Shot Again
    There was a shooting in Belize City over the weekend which put a man in the hospital. He's 35 year-old Clive Arnold who has been shot before. According to police, Arnold, who is a waterfront worker from Rivero Street, was walking home on Saturday evening before 7 o'clock. That's when a man he reportedly did not see fired a number of shots at him, injuring him in the upper abdomen and the hand. Today, the one of the lead investigators briefed the press on the details they have so far: Sgt. Isai Sanchez, OC - CIB Precinct 1: "36 year old Clive Arnold, a Belizean stevedore of 19 Rivero Street is recovering now at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot to the abdomen and right hand. The incident happened on Saturday 20th August, 2016 about 6:45pm. Clive Arnold was walking on Rivero Street heading home from the direction of Kraal Road when he heard several gunshots.

    AG: Mason Matter With Police
    Earlier in the news we showed you our interview with Attorney General Vanessa Retreage. We also asked her for an update into the investigation into the issuance of a fraudulent birth certificate to accused murderer William Danny Mason. You'll remember it as that fake document which claims that Mason was born in Crooked Tree Village to parents James Mason, a farmer from Cooked Tree, and his common-law wife, Sharon Tillett. The last time we asked the Prime Minister about it, 21 days ago, he told confirmed that the Investigation from the Attorney General's Ministry reveals that 4 public officers from the Vital Statistics Unit was implicated in the document's origin. Today, when we asked the Attorney General, she told us that the report has been passed on to the police, and it is up to them to take criminal action against 4 named persons:

    Gun Misfired at Point Blank Range
    A fisherman is in prison tonight after he barged into another man's house and assaulted him. The incident happened last night at around 11:00. 50 year old Adolfo Mckoy was at his Antelope Street home when he got up to open the door for someone he knew. McKoy reported that when he went back to bed 28 year old Linsford Acosta came in, grabbed him by his neck, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. But luckily for Mckoy, the gun misfired. McKoy then kicked Acosta and there was a struggle. Acosta then ran out of the house and jumped on a motorcycle . Acosta was later arrested and charged. He is remanded to prison until October 21st.

    Portillo Packed A Pistol In His Pocket
    Peter Portillo is in jail tonight, because the 28 year old had a gun in his pocket when he jumped into a police pickup. On Sunday at midday, 72 year old Lincoln Sunders reported that his friend Portillo had become a drunken nuisance and he wanted the cops to get him out of his house. The police went to Saunders' home on Morter's Alley and offered to take Portillo home. But before he got into the vehicle the cops wanted to search him. Instead, Portillo jumped into the passenger side of the pickup and the police heard something fall to the ground. When they checked, the cops found a silver .38 pistol with 5 rounds of ammunition in its chambers. Portillo was unable to produce a license for the firearm and as a result, he was arrested and charged.

    PM In Houston
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Houston tonight. A government press release reports that he left on Saturday to accompany his wife, Kim for a medical checkup in Houston. He returns on Thursday, August 25th, and until he does Deputy Patrick Faber is holding over as PM.

    Loose Rice Illegal
    We haven't heard about rice for a while now - but when importer Jack Charles shook up the industry months ago with the threat of imported rice, it forced meaningful change. The effect is that all local rice producers have been forced to bag their rice in one pound bags to protect consumers and avoid price gouging. The one pound bags have clear markings, and that means no grocery store or vendor should still be selling loose rice in bags. But yet today when we went shopping at our neighborhood store "Lucky Long," on West Canal we found the same old tactics. WE checked with the Belize Bureau of Standards, which confirms that this is illegal and has promised that it will be visiting Lucky Long. Now, of this is still happening in your neighborhood, the Bureau wants you to call them at 822-0446 or email them at BBS@btl.net.

    Converting Public Service From Paper To Digital Records Mgm't
    The Belize Archives and Records Service is trying to get government to move from Paper based records to an Electronic Records Management System. Now that's no small feat considering the amount of paperwork that is built into the culture of the public service - they just love paper! But, the longest journey begins with one step and today that first step was taken with a workshop at the CITO office in Belmopan. We found out what the participants learned about: At the end of the workshop, participants should be able to adopt a standardized approach to the management of electronic records.

    Tropigas With Back To School Money
    Last week we told you about the 25 kids who got a full high school scholarship from BTL. Well, in that same vein - even if not on quite the same scale - Tropigas today gave away grants of $150 to 35 students. It's not quite a King's Ransom, but it will help needy families with foot the bills for a key back to school supplies. We spoke to the General Manager Maleek Singh about the donation. A parent and a couple other recipients also detailed how this gift will be put to good use. Each of the 35 kids got $150 grant.

    Yu' Numba Play!
    Ought-three" that was the winning single number for Sunday. Now you might ask, why did this Sunday lottery make it in the news? Well, those of you who follow and study the science of numbers will know that it has been a while since 03 has played, almost two years to be precise. The last time 03 played in the lottery is on October 5th, 2014 and the last time it played in boledo is on February 25th, 2014. Many boledo specialists were chattering about 03 this weekend and those who know how to play the averages or just have the luck, won big yesterday when it finally came through.

    Channel 5

    Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on Passport and Immigration
    As many as five years ago, a major immigration scandal rocked the government. It was revealed that ministers as well as senior officials were involved in facilitating visa approvals to [...]

    Lionel Hamilton-Villanueva Perishes in Early Morning RTA in Belize City
    An unfortunate traffic accident claimed the life of a popular mechanic of Belize City. The predawn accident occurred at mile four and half on the Phillip Goldson highway. A taxi [...]

    A Stevedore is Shot Near Kraal Road
    Also in the city, a near fatal shooting incident occurred on Saturday evening.  Clive Arnold, a known associate of the George Street Gang, came under fire while he was walking [...]

    Was Shooting of Clive Arnold Gang-related?
    According to police, they were unable to recover any expended shells from the scene of the shooting since the area covered by the gunman and his intended victim was expansive. [...]

    N.T.U.C.B. Demands External Investigation into Murder of Pastor Lu
    Evangelical Pastor Llewellyn Lucas was abducted from the residence of businessman William ‘Danny’ Mason on Intelco Hill in Belmopan on July eighth.  Along with two other men, Lucas was blindfolded [...]

    Why Was Union Position So Long in the Making?
    The release from the N.T.U.C.B. is rather tardy, almost a month and a half after the incident made international headlines.  According to N.T.U.C.B. President Marvin Mora, the cumbersome structure of [...]

    N.T.U.C.B. Has Section 53 Decision as Agenda Item for Upcoming Union Meeting
    Religious leaders from across the country, particularly those who are members of the National Evangelical Association of Belize, are planning to descend on Belmopan on Tuesday to protest the controversial [...]

    Mental Health Association Welcomes Section 53 Decision
    The recent ruling on Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code is getting support from the Mental Health Association. The MHA says it applauds the Chief Justice’s recent ruling which is [...]

    Mikel Longsworth Gets Two Years for Burglarizing Atlantic Bank Storage Room
    A nineteen-year-old Belize City resident who picked up his first conviction for burglary of a storage room belonging to the Atlantic Bank is behind bars tonight having been sentenced to [...]

    Gun-toting Fisherman Forces His Way into Home of Adolfo McKoy
    Another Belize City man is on remand at the Belize Central Prison, accused of forcing himself into the home of a fifty-year old man while armed with a firearm.  Linsford [...]

    U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno Says OAS Report on Chiquibul Shooting is Done
    What is the status of the O.A.S. Investigation on the shooting death of thirteen-year old Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano that occurred back on April twentieth inside the Chiquibul?  In mid-May, [...]

    Mesoamerican Congress – What is it Saying about Illegal Trade of Exotic Wildlife?
    A science conference called the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Consultation Congress is being held in Belize. Today and for the rest of the week, regional experts in biodiversity and [...]

    Flooding in the South
    There is major flooding taking place in southern Belize due to heavy rains on Sunday night.  The National Emergency Management Organization confirms that Jacintoville in the Toledo District is experiencing [...]

    Tropigas Awards Grants for Back-to-School Initiative
    There are four Tropigas Branches across the country—in Belize City, Belmopan, Orange Walk and San Ignacio. Today, about seventy-five students from those municipalities were chosen as the recipients of a [...]

    United States to Assist Belize with Hurricane Relief
    Relief efforts continue across the country in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl. G.O.B. through its partner agencies as well other humanitarian organizations have been providing support to the many families [...]

    Sports Monday: Basketball, Football and Cricket
    Good evening, welcome to Sports Monday.   The Premier Football League Opening Season got off over the weekend with 4 matches countrywide. Saturday night at Capital City, Belmopan hosted FC [...]

    CTV3

    BNTU O/W Branch Rejects Government Proposal
    Last week we aired interviews with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of Education Patrick Faber in which they both outlined their reasons for proposing that a salary increase for public officers and teachers, which was due since July of this year, be delayed for a year. The Government is claiming that it has had to use its revenues for Hurricane Relief, following the damages sustained from Hurricane Earl two weeks ago. As a result, they have asked teachers and public officers to wait for the agreed on salary increase until next year. Well, the idea isn’t really sitting well with teachers and their Belize National Teachers Union. Today, the Orange Walk branch met at the La Inmaculada School auditorium here in Orange Walk Town to discuss the Government’s request and arrive at a position. According to the Union President, Otilio Munoz, the Government’s proposal is just not acceptable.

    Chopping Victim Gives Statement To Police
    Almost two months ago the peaceful village of Yo Creek in the Orange Walk District was shuddered when news spread like wild fire that several villagers including two children were attacked with a machete by a villager known to suffer from a mental disability. For one of the victims, Luisana Chuc, the harrowing ordeal, which claimed the life of her fourteen year old son, is still fresh in her memory and as she relived that ordeal today while making her official statement at the Orange Walk Police station, she hopes that this painful chapter of her life comes to a close. Luisana Chuc – Victim: “Me siento ya más tranquilla que di mi reporte y se va hacer justicia a este accidente que paso a lo de mi hijo, sé que él está muerto y nada lo revive otra vez pero que paguen todo lo que ellos han hecho.”

    Unicomer Paves The Way For Students To Get Higher Education
    We all know that famous phrase “Education is the key to success” and today UNICOMER, upheld that phrase by assisting 75 students from across the country to be one step closer at achieving higher education. Here in the North Seven deserving youths from Orange Walk and Seven from Corozal received monetary grants from Tropigas as part of their annual grant and scholarship program geared at providing better opportunities for students in need. Zenaida Melendez- Tropigas- OW –trop 1: “Every year Tropigas selects a good amount of students that are in need of a scholarship or a grant, this year we are so privilege to be able to help 75 students and these students are from Standard III to Standard VI but we made a slight exception with some high school this year but they needed to apply through an application form and also be able to submit an essay stating why we should help them and these students were selected after a thorough analysis of all letter.”

    NTUCB Demands International Investigation Into Case Of Pastor Lucas
    It has been more than one month since the gruesome discovery of Pastor Llewelyn Lucas’s decapitated head inside the notoriously known alleged con-man, Danny Mason’s pickup pan in the capital city of Belmopan. Since then, we have heard from the Opposition, the Evangelical Churches and the third parties. They have all demanded that an international investigative team probes the murder. The Government has refused, however, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow has claimed that the Belize Police Department is most fit to carry out the work. Today, the demand got major support when a key social partner group woke up from deep slumber and added their voice to the call for an international investigation. The National Trade Union Congress of Belize, the umbrella organization for all unions, issued a press release calling on the Government to [quote] “ensure that justice is not only seen to be done, but is done”.

    BSI Launches Internal Inquiry Into Death Of Former Employee
    Forty-one-year-old Ismael Jimenez Junior, a mechanic employed at BELCOGEN, lost his life on Friday afternoon after being pinned between two vehicles at the power plant in Tower Hill. The tragic incident has left employees at B.S.I/ASR mourning the loss of a dear friend and today the company issued a release on the tragic accident. Although it is still unclear what exactly transpired that resulted in Jimenez being fatally crushed, BSI has launched an internal enquiry into the accident and at the same time, the company is cooperating with all relevant authorities investigating the incident. In their release BSI also extended condolences to the family and friends of Jimenez and has offered support and assistance to the family. As part of the support, the company has also engaged the services of a certified counsellor to support staff and also family members deal with the trauma of the loss.

    LOVE FM

    Lionel Villanueva Dies in RTA
    A road traffic accident early on Saturday morning left a young man dead. Senior Superintendent Linden Flowers, Officer Commanding Precinct four Police Station, stated that on Saturday morning around three o’clock, police reported to mile four and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway where they discovered the lifeless body of twenty eight year old […]

    FIFA Tells Women: Live Your Goals
    Live Your Goals Campaign is a FIFA-sponsored event that took place in Belmopan for the first time. The campaign was launched by FIFA in several countries where females are being encouraged to play football. Saturday’s event was geared at the females in the northern districts of Orange Walk and Corozal. Idania Ramirez is the Project […]

    PlusTV

    BSI Employee succumbs to work site injuries
    An employee of BSI/ASR was seriously injured Friday afternoon by heavy machinery and has since succumbed to those injuries. Ismael Jimenez has been a mechanic with BELCOGEN since 2012 but reports are that sometime between 1 p.m and 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon, he was pinned between two vehicles. We u...

    VIP stands in support of section 53
    Vision Inspired by the people has weighed in on the discussion in the aftermath of the Chief Justice’s historic decision to strike down section 53 of the criminal code as unconstitutional, thereby making homosexual acts between consenting adults no longer criminal. VIP says it, “..stands in full sup...

    Ryan Rhaburn makes bail on kidnapping charge
    After previous issues stymied attempts to charge manager Ryan Rhaburn with kidnapping of Canadian-Belizeans Lloyd Friesen and his wife, police were able to lay charges earlier this week. Today the Crown did not object to Supreme Court Justice Troadio Gonzalez granting Rhaburn, represented by ...

    Brother Charged for Unnatural Crime
    The 16-year-old brother of an 11-year-old boy from the Cayo District has been remanded for the crime of committing an unnatural act. He was accused of sodomizing his 11-year-old brother at around 3 on the morning of Friday August 12th while the minor was sleeping. The teenager was arraigned on Frida...

    Gay partners in domestic dispute
    23 year old Justin Arnold of Sandhill village has been accused of domestic assault on his gay partner; a male 16 years older than Arnold with whom he has been in a homosexual relationship for 6 months. This case was brought to court just one week after last week Wednesday’s landmark decision by Chie...

    US considering proposals for hurricane assistance to Belize
    The country of Belize is trying to recover from the onslaught of Hurricane Earl which made landfall in the country on August 3rd. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, at a press conference on Wednesday, hurricane relief funds have been slow in coming in; only 1.2 million dollars received so far,...

    FFB holds first day of its U-17 Championship
    The Football Federation of Belize held its opening ceremony for its U-17 Championship, a youth cup where teenagers from all parts of the country come with the hopes of one day forming part of the Under 17 National Team. This Championship is currently taking place at the newly renovated Isidoro Beato...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Rotary Club of Placencia benefits from Tropic Air’s community program
    Tropic Air, Belize’s premier airline, today announced that a check for $450 was presented to the Rotary Club of Placencia to be used to benefit its hallmark community program referred to as “Seniors Sitting Together”. President of Tropic Air, John Grief III, presented the […]

    Orange Walk teachers want their salary increase now!
    La Inmaculada Auditorium in Orange Walk Town was filled to capacity by members of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) from that municipality. According to President of the Orange Walk BNTU branch, Otilio Muñoz a resounding “No” was heard from teachers to the deferral […]

    One charged for illegal firearm
    Peter Portillo Jr., 28, has been formally arrested and charged for the crime of ‘keeping a firearm without a gun license’. Police reports are that on August 21 sometime between noon, officers were conducting patrol when their attention was drawn to Portillo where a search […]

    Man escapes shooting
    A 35-year-old man is lucky to be alive today after he was targeted00 on Saturday night Belize City police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) emergency room where they observed Clive Arnold suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper right […]

    Man escapes death after guns jams
    Adolfo Mckoy, 50, is alive today after the gun of his shooter snapped. According to Mckoy, on Saturday August 20th around 11:00 p.m. he opened the door for one Adajjha Gonguez. Upon returning to his bedroom he was confronted by Linsford Acosta who was armed […]

    NEMO Issues Flood Advisory for Southern Belize
    The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has issued a flood advisory for Southern Belize, particularly villages along the rivers in the Toledo district. NEMO reports that Jacintoville is currently experiencing flooding and Aquacate village is inaccessible as water is 15 ft. above the bridge. Other […]

    Bus conductor hospitalized after highway collision
    An early morning road accident between a passenger bus and a four door car caused a female conductor to be hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) for medical attention. Breaking Belize News was made to understand that the incident occurred near St. […]

    Unstable conditions to continue
    The general situation for today’s weather is for relatively moist and unstable conditions to prevail. The 24-hour forecast is for cloudy skies with a few showers and thunderstorms mainly over the south and along the coast this morning, spreading inland this afternoon and then […]

    Fiona weakens into a Tropical Depression; meteorologists watch two other tropical waves
    Now a Tropical Depression, Fiona has become less organized and continues to weaken at this hour due to 35 mph wind shear from the west and mid-level dry air impacting the system. But while Fiona may weaken more in the next day or two, […]

    Family desperately seeks to find missing relative
    Deron Lizama has been missing for three days and his family is desperate to find him. Kim Lizama, Deron’s sister, told Breaking Belize News in a phone conversation that her brother went out to deliver cargo to the different Cayes on Friday and has not returned […]

    Blogs

    The Scoop: Are Our Beaches Made of Poop?
    A few months ago, I headed to the Truck Stop for a movie presentation by Rachel Graham, shark champion, sea warrior, educator and biologist with the Mar Alliance. She was presenting an episode of The Great Barrier reef narrated by David Attenborough – SIR David Attenborough – and amidst all the talk of polyps and coral reproduction one statement screamed out to me as totally absurd: our white sandy beaches are made of parrot fish excrement. Wait…what? Parrot fish? The beautiful multi-colored clown fish that are constantly gnawing at the reef? They make our beaches? I don’t remember seeing thousands of them on my last snorkel. This seemed incredibly hard to believe. But then…as I often do…I forgot all about it. Yesterday I went for a walk north and sat for a bit…admiring the sand and the tiny shells that are all over. No really…that’s what I was doing. Lots of things washed up on the shores during and after Hurricane Earl, big chunks of coral, lots of sponges, lots of seagrass and seaweed, logs, trees and plenty of pretty little shells. So I got thinking about this bold statement made by the BBC… And I decided to do some research (no…no parrot fish dissections) – some internet research. And I found out that the common parrotfish is one interesting creature. And some think, may be one of the answers for climate change affecting our coral reefs.

    Buses, bikes, boats and burros: getting there is half the fun!
    They say half the adventure is how you get there, and that couldn’t be more true than when you are exploring the beautiful country of Belize. Chances are you arrived to our country via airplane, and you may even have traveled by air to your final destination within Belize, but now this is where the real fun begins! If you are traveling on a budget, or want to experience seeing the country through the window of a bus, this is the number one mode of distance transportation for the majority of Belizeans. Some routes offer express runs as well as standard runs that make frequent stops along the way. There’s no better way to fully immerse yourself into the local culture than on a bus. Not only will you enjoy the views as you pass through villages, mountains, savannahs and countryside, but the people watching and interacting with fellow passengers is half the fun. No matter what means of transportation you use while discovering Belize, chances are they will be great fun and a big part of your fond vacation memories.

    Belize Culture: Ethnic Groups Explained
    Belize is often called a “melting pot” of cultures, but this may be a bit of a misnomer. The Belize cultures are far better described as an elegant latticework of different peoples weaving around and between each other. The term melting pot is inaccurate because Belizeans don’t meld into one homogenous people, but stand out proudly, displaying their ethnicity and sharing their culture. Of course, not melting into one does not ensure segregation, the dynamic of Belize culture effortlessly reflects facets from each group’s influences and food.

    Exploring Southern Belize
    Whether you’re seeking a relaxing tropical getaway or an exotic jungle adventure, Belize is the ideal destination for travelers seeking a break from the ordinary. One particular portion of the country that’s sure to offer memorable experiences is Southern Belize. The Stann Creek and Toledo districts offer a wide variety of breathtaking sights and scenery to intrigue visitors simply spending a weekend, or calling the country their new home. Here’s what you can expect with a trip down south: Belize features a wide variety of ethnic groups, with the Maya and Garinagu being the two most prominent in Southern Belize. These groups have long preserved their rich culture through delicious food, intricate clothing, vibrant music and unique language. With a visit to the Stann Creek and Toledo districts, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultures of these ethnicities and more.

    International Sourcesizz

    The peak of the hurricane season – why now?
    Although the Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1st, we’re now entering the “season within the season” - a roughly eight-week period that is often the most active and dangerous time for tropical cyclone activity. From mid-August through mid-October, the activity spikes, accounting for 78 percent of the tropical storm days, 87 percent of the category 1 and 2 hurricane days (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale), and a whopping 96 percent of the major (category 3, 4 and 5) hurricane days. Why does this peak period of activity begin so deep into summer? There certainly is no lack of disturbances throughout the entire six-month hurricane season. Tropical waves are coming off of the coast of Africa roughly every three days, and the very early and late parts of the year provide additional types of potential seedlings. What’s different, though, is the environment that these potential tropical cyclones tend to encounter. Both dynamics (wind factors) and thermodynamics (temperature and moisture) play a role.

    Advocates urged to use Belize judgement to challenge laws criminalising buggery
    One of the attorneys who played a role in the succesful challenge mounted by a gay rights activist against Belize’s homosexuality laws, said local HIV/AIDS advocates could also test similar legislation. Earlier this month, the Belize Supreme Court ruled that the law criminalising same-sex intimacy was unconstitutional after Caleb Orozco, who heads an LGBTQ rights group, challenged Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, which banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and disproportionately affected gay men. Attorney and member of the University of the West Indies (UWI) rights advocacy project Westmin James said that it is widely recognised that the buggery laws on the books in regional jurisdictions, save for the Bahamas, constitute a breach of an individual’s fundamental rights. He said the recent judgment in Belize could “definitely” be applied within member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

    Belize gets parametric insurance payout for hurricane Earl rainfall from CCRIF
    The Government of Belize has received a payout of $261,073 from parametric insurance coverage provided by the CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility), after torrential rainfall caused by hurricane Earl. Demonstrating the value of a parametric insurance policy and sticking to its stated commitment, the CCRIF SPC paid out to Belize within two weeks of the event occurring. The CCRIF is a parametric risk pool, providing tropical cyclone, earthquake and excess rainfall coverage to countries in the Caribbean and Central American region. Backed by reinsurance capital and a cat bond, the parametric insurance facility has been called on a number of times to make payouts since its launch. Belize is one of the Caribbean and Central American nations covered for torrential rains by the CCRIF, after the country purchased an excess rainfall policy for the first time for the 2016/17 policy year.

    A vacation interrupted by a hurricane
    At the end of each July, most of the travelers from western Virginia heading down to Placencia, Belize, are looking for an inexpensive beach vacation and some diving, snorkeling or rain-forest adventures. They’re also there to distribute school supplies for Bookbag Santa, a tiny Roanoke charity that organizes the annual trip. My wife and I went on that trip last year. This summer, 25 Bookbag Santa travelers got a bit more adventure than they had bargained for. That was courtesy of Hurricane Earl, a deadly category 1 storm that struck Belize while they were there. The first hurricane of the 2016 season, Earl made landfall in Belize City shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. That was about 70 miles north of Placencia, a fishing village of about 1,000 people at the southern tip of a 16-mile-long peninsula.

    Videos

  • WATCH! "Flags in the Air" by Jeanie Brooks, 4.5min. Runner up for Belize Song and winner of "Breakout Artist"

  • WINNER, Carnival Song: Wilson Grinage, 3.5min. The song "Soca Session" took top honors in the National Song Competition 2016 category for Carnival Song.

  • Mayan Cosmology - Day 2, 2min.

  • Mayan Cosmology - Day 3, 5min.

  • Scuba diving in the Great Blue Hole, Belize, 14min. Diving at 40m (131 feet) deep with 20m (65 feet) visibility in The Great Blue Hole, Belize.

  • ALKALINE - PERFORM LIVE IN ( BELIZE ) DISSING POPCAAN | GULLY" VENDETTA HE SAID - AUG 2016, 30min.

  • Half Moon Caye Aug 9, 2016, 27min. Half Moon Caye is an island and natural monument of Belize located at the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll. This natural monument was the first nature reserve to have been established in Belize under the National Park Systems Act in 1981 and the first marine protected area in Central America. This is also Belize's oldest site of wildlife protection since it was first designated as a bird sanctuary in 1924 to protect the habitat of the red-footed booby birds (Sula sula)

  • Alkaline Tells Fan To Let Go Of His Foot Full Live Performance In Belize|August|2016, 41min.

  • MAN SHIT w/ Sean Murphy - ep 22 - TARPON IN BELIZE (w/ Andrew Zimmern ), 1.5min. Welcome to BELIZE!! A fly-fisherman's paradise. Today Sean meets up with special guest Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre foods to venture out onto the crystal clear flats of Ambergris Caye to find the elusive "Silver King" - otherwise known as the TARPON! He will NOT fail!

  • Interview with Stephen Okeke at Onyx Artifacts Bookstore July 2, 2016 part 3, 18min. The Psychology of The Belize Market Place addresses directly the problems most Belizeans encounter in their efforts at succeeding in small business ventures. It is evident that most Belizeans that go into small business put in more effort than is necessary to succeed; yet many still fail. The author believes that there are underlying factors that when understood and resolved will enable people who start small businesses to channel their efforts in a direction that will ensure success.

  • Freddy Sanchez on practical test in Belize Mixology's Advanced bartender training in Belize., 2min.

  • Mennonite of Belize, 10min. Ethnic Groups of Belize, Shipyard Mennonites.

  • A Belize Destination Wedding - Megan & Marcus Wedding Story, 3min. Megan and Marcus shared vows at their dream beach wedding at Xanadu Island Resort, San Pedro, Belize.

  • Swimming with Sharks in BELIZE, 8min.

  • Belize diving at Southwater Caye August 2016, 15min. Fantasic diving experience with the family during august 2016. Diving together with Belize Underwater Diving Hopkins.

  • WINNER, Belize Song: Cecil "Cocono Bwai" Jenkins, 5min. The song "Border to Border" took top honors in the National Song Competition 2016 category for Belize Song.

  • Aerial Views~ The Great Blue Hole Lighthouse Reef Atoll, 1/2min.

    August 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

    Letter to the Editor: Disappointed fire victims
    Letter to the Editor: It’s close to two months after the fire, and the organization responsible for the funds collected finally distributed it to the victims. A huge thanks to all of the people who gave their time and money towards this cause. It is greatly appreciated and so wonderful to have seen the island come together. Sadly, it is a bit disappointing to learn that after a long wait, not only were the victims scolded for putting forth their opinion to the media after the organization wouldn’t listen or offer a clear answer, but also made them feel as they should be grateful to receive money from this organization—as if they were the ones making the donation. It was also very unclear about how exactly the money was divided from the $260,000. Most of the victims only received $400 to $2,000. So the question is, how can these people (fire victims) start over with that kind of money? Why should the property owners get most of the funds? /s/A group of fire victims that were renting

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Fat Man on the Bus
    “Excuse me, Miss,” I said. “Am I stepping on your foot?” The lady in question was hanging on to the same pole that I had grabbed. I was on the bus from Belmopan to Belize and the passengers were jammed in together like pickles in a jar. It was hot and smelled just like a . . . well, you probably already know what a hot, crowded bus in Belize smells like. “No,” she said. “You’re not stepping on my foot.” “Oh, then it must be you stepping on mine,” I told her. She moved her foot and glared at me. My smart mouth tends to get me in trouble and I figured I’d better watch myself. She was three inches taller than me and outweighed me by forty pounds. She also looked as fit as a mixed martial arts fighter.

    San Pedro resident remanded for carnal knowledge
    The consequences of unlawful sex with a fourteen-year-old female, has 32-year-old Edair Dominguez on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Dominguez is accused of the sexual assault on the minor who resides in the same vicinity as him in the San Juan subdivision of San Pedro Town. When Dominguez appeared in court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, he was read a single charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. At the time of the alleged abuse, the young girl was 14-years and six months of age. According to the report that the mother gave to police, the offense is said to have happened on July 31st at a house on the island. Following a medical examination, it was confirmed that the child had been carnally known. On Monday, August 8th, while at court, Dominguez was read the indictable offense and no plea was taken. He was remanded to Central Prison in Hattieville and is to re-appear in court on September 23, 2016

    Doctor Love: Getting Desperate
    Dear Doctor Love, My wife is never satisfied no matter what I do. We have been married over three years and I have a good job and I work hard to take care of her. Yet, no matter how much money I make she always says it is not enough and that if we had more we could buy this and that. I have given her a nice vehicle but she is not satisfied with it. She is always picking it apart and finding things wrong with it. I am ready for us to have children but she says that we can’t afford to have them until I get a better job. I showed her that I make more money than most of her friend’s husbands but she ignores that. When I threatened to leave her she started crying and said that she acts the way she does because she is bi-polar. She says the disorder overpowers her true personality and makes her act the way she does.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Governance issues in Belize
    by the Belize Progressive Party. In the wake of the chief justice’s decision regarding Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) takes this opportunity to highlight the urgent need for the enactment and utilisation of appropriate governance tools to address a variety of pressing issues facing our society. In keeping with the best practices of good governance, the BPP views this as a watershed moment to underscore the fact that, by placing in the hands of the judiciary matters that ultimately should be voted on and decided by the public, it serves only to limit society to the confines of a legal system that is undoubtedly subject to undue external influences and pressures, as well as other persuasive factors. As Belize’s ever-increasing stressors multiply concerning matters of: social justice, the preservation of moral standards and local cultural norms, as well as fundamental democratic principles, amid the unquestioned, blatant corruption and the accompanying undue pressures brought on by highly influential, outside forces that impinge upon our society at all levels, there are a number of additional social issues which stand to be resolved in a more suitable fashion.

    Ocean Academy needs router brought down
    Are you coming to Caye Caulker next week (before August 29th)? We need someone to carry down a wifi router for our high school. It weighs 4.8lbs and is 10x6x13 inches. Send your mailing address and phone to us and we will ship it asap to you. Also 7 small tablets need transportation. Thank you, in advance, from Ocean Academy staff and students.

    Kid's Campfire Night
    The SISE Town Council is planning a special Campfire Night at the Galvez Stadium as one of the September Celebrations events. All kids are welcome to do their patriotic performances, and they'll get a gift for doing so. Call 804-2035 for more information.

    How you make good bird guides into great birding guides
    The course is ON. We have been challenging them...and they have been responding!

    A few pictures from a busy full day of birding in 4 location
    Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary 45 species - Salt Creek Estate road 29 species and Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, board walk 41 species and Crooked Tree Village, Pine/oak forest 21 species. Many sightings of first arriving migrants and an awesome 100+ of returning Swallow-tailed kites. I got several life birds through this weekend and some of the more rare sights - at least for us birders from the Southern part of Belize.

    The Reporter

    BNTU Orange Walk branch calls emergency meeting for Monday
    The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) Orange Walk branch has called an emergency meeting with all its members for Monday, August 22nd. The purpose of the assembly is to discuss the Government’s decision to delay the salary adjustment it had promised and had delivered on for the last few years. Soon after Hurricane Earl, Prime Minister Dean Barrow called a press conference and said he was going to have a discussion with the unions over having a delay with the salary increase for public officers and teachers. This was in light of the hurricane relief efforts. The meeting will take place at the La Inmaculada School auditorium starting at 1 p.m.

    Man and woman injured in motorcycle RTA
    A man and a woman were injured in a motorcycle accident on Princess Margaret Drive Sunday morning. The incident occurred before 6:00 a.m., and involved a Ninja bike that crashed into the cement fence near the Princess Hotel and Casino. While both persons were injured, the woman reportedly suffered several broken bones. Police have not released any information about the incident so far, but sketchy information is that the woman was in a serious condition.

    Investigation underway to determine how mechanic was crushed to death at Tower Hill
    An internal investigation will commence at BELCOGEN cogeneration plant at Tower Hill to determine how Ismael Jimenez Jr., 41, a mechanic at the facility was crushed to death Friday afternoon. Jimenez was trapped between two vehicles and suffered serious internal injuries. The mechanic’s co-workers freed him and took him to the Northern Regional Hospital, where doctors performed surgery to try to stop excessive bleeding. When their efforts were only partially successful, they transferred him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City, but he died on the way. Jimenez suffered massive internal injuries to major organs and was bleed profusely internally.

    The Belize Times

    Under The Sea… – DPM’s vehicle plunges into Caribbean Sea
    If pigs could fly…and cars could swim, oh but wait, Minister of Education Patrick Faber’s Ministerial ride did go for a swim on Sunday night when it plunged into the Caribbean Sea off Marine Parade Boluevard. The Minister has a lot of explaining to do, and according to reports, he tried to with an incoherent series of posts on Facebook, followed by a more sober press conference on Monday in which he babbled on about leaving the car in the care of a friend and it being stolen under the friend’s watch. Faber’s version of how the $130,000 luxury 2013 Toyota Prado assigned to his care found its way into the sea is as good as the story of Santa Claus coming down the chimney to leave your kids Christmas toys. According to Faber, he returned to the city from what we understand was an exclusive Caye party earlier the day. Around 7pm, when Government vehicles should be parked, he drove to an undisclosed address at Mile 3.5 on the Western Highway where he left the vehicle with a friend. He then got a lift to Old Belize and a short while after he was informed that his vehicle was under the sea. How odd, right?

    Corozal Mayor’s vehicle wrecked!
    Was it reckless driving that caused Corozal Mayor Hilberto Campos’s almost spanking new Ford truck to veer into a deep drain in Ranchito Village? Residents are now suggesting that UDP politicians get mule and carts to minimise the damage and losses to the country.

    Ladyville man remanded on murder charge
    A Ladyville man was remanded to the Belize Central Prison this morning, after he was arraigned on a charge of murder. Egbert “Eggie” Baldwin, 18, an unemployed from the Japan area of Ladyville appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith who read the single count of murder to him. Ladyville Police charged Baldwin for the August 2 murder of John Michael Williams, who was shot inside his home. Smith, after reading the charge, asked him if he understood what she had just read. Baldwin replied that he understood the charge.

    PUP Leader visits farming areas damaged by Hurricane Earl
    Party Leader John Briceño along with Hon. Julius Espat, Hon. Orlando Habet and Michel Chebat yesterday toured the communities of Spanish Lookout and Valley of Peace to get a first hand look at the damage Hurricane Earl caused.

    Think About It
    Homosexuality is no longer a crime in Belize. The law at Section 53 of the Criminal Code, Chapter 101 had laid down the following: “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” This was a cruel law. But there was a time when sodomy was considered a dirty, nasty and abhorrent act. It was a hard pill to swallow that men should lust and desire to have sex with other men. Thanks to American movies, television, music videos and music and movie stars, Belize has been softening its views over the years. For the young generation in 2016, homosexuality is no big deal. To the churches in Belize, particularly the Evangelical churches and their followers, homosexuality is not merely a crime but a sin of major proportions. The Roman Catholics in Belize, under the seasoned and experienced leadership of the Rt. Reverend Bishop Dorick Wright also strongly believed homosexuality flies in the face of the Almighty God of the Universe. The Bishop’s view and the view of the Pope is that Christians hate the sin but have love and forgiveness for the sinners.

    Let us stay on track
    If ever a society could fit the description of being “chaotic” or interesting” as is described in the above Chinese sayings, it would have to be a place like Belize. For some time now, we have been watching our country descend into a state of chaos, callousness and immorality. Our evening news has become an exercise in despondency and just when we think it has gotten as bad as it can get, things seem to get even worse. Religious leaders are now pointing to the recent Supreme Court ruling that strikes down Sec. 53 of our Constitution as the key that will finally unlock Pandora’s Box and set upon us the hounds of hell. I put it to them that “this box” has been open for some time now and that just maybe, the hatred, bigotry and intolerance currently on display following Judge Benjamin’s ruling, is more a sign of our decadence than the lewd and lascivious conduct associated with homosexuality. To put things in context, we can compare the brevity of our alarm over the recent beheading of a pastor from Belmopan to the staunch and fervent disapproval emanating from certain quarters regarding this recent court ruling. In all fairness, Hurricane Earl did “blow away” much of the disquiet associated with Pastor Lue’s beheading but really, should we be so much more concerned about two consenting adults living together than the fact that we have living among us, those capable of such heinous villainy?

    The UDP’s Mess
    The Barrow administration is meting out its full arrogance, its greed, its corruption, its nepotism, its mockery and hypocrisy towards the poor and dispossessed, its indifference to the voices of dissent AND of reason. This ruthlessness is no longer palatable to the masses-certainly not to the majority of this small multi-ethnic population which has been suffering. The voices of discontent and disdain towards this vision-less and no-good Government administration are slowly becoming a crescendo. There are frightening signs that the attitude of the Prime Minister is that not one single member of the Cabinet can do wrong. So much so that recently when the PM talked about corruption, he preferred to blame “all of Government” and highlighted that this also includes the public officers who are the operators. Unlike the Prime Minister would readily admit, there is evidence that he should look more to his Cabinet’s way. There is strong evidence that money laundering is one of the many favourite crimes of choice for the criminals in Belmopan. The Financial Intelligence Unit, which falls within the Prime Minister’s portfolio in his role as Minister of Finance, has its head in the sand while people in the international business of following money, sees Belize as a money laundering and crime haven.

    Young Belizean Architect Receives Trainings on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development in Taiwan
    A Belizean Architect, Mr Kristian Chanona, will attend a workshop in Taipei, Taiwan on the topic of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development for Latin-America in the first two weeks of August of this year. It is one of the two dozens of workshops Taiwan offers every year as a means to help countries develop and contribute to international community. Kristian is proud to be representing Belize at the workshop, and will share Belize’s perspectives and experiences in this area. Kristian was born on Christmas Eve in 1976. In the midst of holiday celebrations during a family visit to northern Belize, his parents, Al and Candy Chanona, unexpectedly had to cross the Corozal border into Chetumal, Mexico for the nearest hospital to welcome Kristian’s arrival.

    Judge will allow Bradley Pauman to travel to the US
    Bradley Pauman, an American national who owns and operates Dark Knight Tours, a tour guide business in the Cayo District, and who has been accused of four counts of abetment to commit murder, was granted permission to leave the country today, when he and his attorney Herbert Panton appeared before Supreme Court Justice John Gonzalez. On January 15, 2016, Paumen was granted bail in the sum of $50,000 plus one surety of like amount, after police charged him with the indictable offences. Panton told Justice Gonzalez that his client has been adhering to all the conditions of his bail and today he was asking for a variation to his bail conditions which ordered him not to leave the country, unless he gets permission from the court.

    MY PERSPECTIVE – A CRITICAL RULING
    In the early 2000’s I was the chief advocate, cook, and bottlewasher in Maria Roches’ legal challenge of the Roman Catholic School System’s decision to terminate her employment as a teacher in Toledo because she had become pregnant out of wedlock. I was Ambassador/Special Envoy for Children, Women and HIV/AIDS at the time, and together with many tireless advocates in the National Women’s Commission and other agencies, I advised Ms. Roches and obtained legal representation for her so that she could bring the landmark case of Maria Roches v. Clement Wade to the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh. I remember many of the occurrences then as if they were yesterday. And I chuckled later when one or two Labour union leaders tried to take all the credit for Ms. Roches’ successful challenge. Senior Counsel Magali Marin Young took on the case, and Women’s Commission members and other feminists and supporters provided backative and support. I can recall very clearly sitting in the packed courtroom for the hearing of the case. By then, now Prime Minister Dean Barrow had joined with Ms. Magali as attorneys for Ms. Roches. My most vivid recollection is that when Senior Counsel Phillip Zuniga tried to invoke the policy of the Catholic school management as to the immorality involved, CJ Conteh, abruptly stopped him and made it clear that the court was not a court of morality or religion. It was a court of law, he said, in making sure not to entertain the argument that Ms. Roches had knowingly violated Church teachings and the Catholic Management’s rules on morality.

    Judge revokes Belize-American woman’s bail
    A Belizean-American woman, who got caught up in the criminal justice system, is in more trouble than she bargained for after she had successfully applied for and received Supreme Court bail on Friday, only to have Justice John Gonzalez revoke her bail upon discovering that she is the holder of a United States passport. Three sisters allegedly decided to beat-up another woman at her house in Dangriga Town. During the assault, they pulled off the top of her clothing and beat her in front of her young children. Dangriga Police charged the three with aggravated burglary, wounding and damaged to property, and when they were arraigned on the charges in the Independence Magistrate’s Court, only one of them who has an advanced pregnancy was granted bail, so the two who were remanded to prison applied for bail at the Supreme Court.

    Cop accused of rape of 15 year old girl, granted bail
    While the Supreme Court is on recess until the September Session commences in a few weeks, the work of the court continues with Fridays set aside for bail hearings in Belize City. A number of persons who were on remand at the Belize Central Prison appeared today before Justice John Gonzalez for bail consideration. Apart from the high profile bail application of Melissa Ferguson, the common-law wife of William Danny Mason, the bail application of Addison Gillett, 53, a police Special Constable, caught the attention of Justice Gonzalez, who read out some of the police’s facts on the charge against Gillett. Justice Gonzalez, before he offered bail to Gillett, noted that he has been accused of a brutal sexual assault of a teenaged minor.

    Hard Knocks
    So who wants to know who was driving that fancy government SUV when it went submarine mode off Marine Parade? Let me tell you who it wasn’t. It wasn’t some really random person who stole it from where it was parked and went on a joyride. That bogus crap was pulled out of a magician’s hat. Everybody knows a certain someone came back from Goff’s Caye a little “happier” than usual and docked along with the babes at Old Belize. Why in the world would someone park at a “friend’s” on the highway and then go back to Old Belize? That’s just plain stupid. The DPM was at Old Belize having some drinks until about 7:00pm. Some say his “friend” was pissed at him because he overdosed on happy juice. A little while after that the government ride was sitting in the Caribbean Sea and Faber was spinning his story. Listen, even the Police don’t believe that tale but you know how things are in Belize. The Police take orders from their political bosses so as far as they’re concerned that is the end of that.

    A Government of Hopelessness
    Seems like all the Prime Minister has been doing lately is calling press conferences to put out fires. Just the other day he was on the hot seat trying to defend his Ministers who were way too cozy with a man who allegedly cut the head off a Pastor and drove around with it in his vehicle. Then he was dealing with his very good friend and head of the GSU Mark Flowers who allegedly sexually assaulted a minor. Then it was back to the hot seat to remove Mr. Saldivar as Minister of Police. There’s no rest for the wicked, because now he will be bashed again for the DPM’s fancy ride taking a swim in the sea. He’ll probably take heat for his DPM’s drinking problem and domestic issues too. And then there’s the situation where another senior Police Officer’s name has come up in a situation with a very young girl. And of course there’s the economy and an increase in GST (very soon) which will make Mr. Barrow very unpopular in a hurry – even more unpopular than he is lately. And then there’s the fact that teachers and public officers won’t be getting their salary adjustment this year, and the cost of fuel going up, and all our industries screwed. And just all in all, everything is just getting worse, for everybody. So Mr. Barrow is not a happy camper.

    Gilroy Usher, Sr. summer basketball to begin in Port Loyola
    All are welcome to enjoy an evening of Basketball at the Cumberbatch Field in the Port Loyola this Saturday, August 20th, 2016. This event which is sponsored by Gilroy Usher Sr. and the PUP Port Loyola Committee will start at 3:30 P.M. sharp. With the exception of Saturday September 10, which is the Tenth Holiday or St. George’s Caye Day, there will be basketball matches at the Cummerbatch field for five consecutive Saturdays from this Saturday August 20th, 2016 to Saturday September 24th, 2016.

    Hurricane Relief for all, not just some
    Here in Orange Walk we are blessed. After our jewel was hit by a storm more powerful than we anticipated, the cleanup continues and life goes on. For all of us, it could have been much worse. This truly was an incredible storm, strong enough to destroy the low-lying bridge connecting San Ignacio and Santa Elena, powerful enough to destroy the iconic Bird’s Isle in Belize City, yet we suffered no loss of life, while tragically the same storm crossing Mexico caused the deaths of thirty-eight persons. I say again, we are blessed, and we must always remember to give thanks for our continued blessings. I use this opportunity today to remind our government, though, that the real damage extends far beyond Belize City. As we’ve seen in past disasters, this administration tends to focus all attention and a majority of its resources in Belize City. I understand the reason why. The UDP holds a majority of the seats in the old capital and it is considered their stronghold. I understand that the Prime Minister’s constituency is in Belize City. So is the Deputy Prime Minister’s constituency. And other very senior UDP ministers. So this is where all the attention traditionally goes. ...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fiona weakens
    Tropical storm Fiona is expected to weaken as it moves into unfavorable conditions. At 5:00 a.m. on Sunday Tropical Storm Fiona was located at latitude 22.2 north, longitude 51.7 west and moving toward the west-northwest at 16 mph. The maximum sustained winds are near […]

    BNTU calls urgent meeting with members in Orange Walk
    The Orange Walk branch of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) urges all members in Orange Walk to attend an emergency membership meeting on Monday, August 22, 2016 at the La Inmaculada R.C. School Auditorium. The meeting will commence at 1 p.m. and the topic of discussion is […]

    Traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway
    A traffic accident happened around 4 a.m. on the Philip Goldson Highway near the Belize Road in the Orange Walk District. According to reports, the driver of a red pickup lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a BEL post. Our sources are indicating that […]

    Blogs

    Crunchy Honey Garlic Pork Chops
    Whisk the eggs and 4 Tbs. water together in a shallow dish. Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in another shallow dish. Dip the chops in the flour, then over into the egg. Then back over into the flour mixture once again. This is what puts the extra crispy coating on the chops. Be sure to get plenty of flour on in this last coating, then shake them a little and place in a pan with about a half inch of oil. Be sure the oil is hot, but not too hot or the chops will cook too fast. You need to get it good and hot and then turn to about medium.

    International Sourcesizz

    Technology Observations From Belize
    In July, I had the opportunity to join a team of 37 people and spend a week helping the citizens in Progresso, Belize, a remote village of approximately 2,000 people. By design, I was fairly disconnected from my “regular life,” but still I thought about what I could learn from a technology perspective during this unique experience. There were certainly some surprises in this area as well as some reminders for when you (or your clients) travel internationally. There was limited electricity, some running water (but no hot water) and dirt roads in Progresso, and yet I had five bars on my AT&T iPhone because of the single cell tower in the center of the village, which was operated by BTL, the government-owned telecommunications service. The connection speed from this one cell tower was surprisingly fast considering the remoteness of our location. I could have conducted a number of work tasks fairly efficiently if I had wanted to (don't tell my office associates — they were very forgiving about my “inaccessibility”). In fact, I was surprised by the large number of adults and teenagers in the village who owned smartphones. Granted it often wasn't the latest version of the iPhone or Galaxy, but it was still surprising given the lack of other resources. They might not have a bank account, but they had smartphones, and they were very proficient in using them.

    HOW I SURVIVED IN CENTRAL AMERICA WITHOUT A CELL PHONE FOR A WEEK
    It felt like my “home away from home.” I spent so much of my childhood and adolescence listening to the mothers of my Belizean friends speak Kriol, eating Johnny cakes in the morning and stew chicken in the evening, and attending more than a few different family gatherings over the years. A dear friend of mine from college invited me with her to visit her family for the first time, and I was excited to say the least. Nothing could compare to actually being in Belize, being hugged by the humidity, embracing the people and the fresh fish panadas. Although I was almost devastated after forgetting to pack bug repellent, I was excited to snap a gazillion photos to document my trip — one of myself at the Mayan Ruins, on a secret beach, of my fish, plantains and rice and beans, even my unwarranted mosquito bites. That plan failed miserably. Although I managed to make it to the island of San Pedro and all the way to secret beach, all my day’s memories were washed away when I concocted this grand idea that resulted in my playing drunk flip cup with my phone while in the water.

    CHEVENING IN BELIZE
    Applications for 2017/2018 Chevening Scholarships are open between 12:00 GMT on 8 August 2016 and 12:00 BST on 8 November 2016 (both midday UK time). Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at any UK university. The scholarship programme provides a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK. A Chevening Scholarship offers financial support along with the opportunity to become part of the highly regarded and influential Chevening global network. Applicants can choose any course of study at any UK higher education institution. Visit the UK government's website if you would like to learn more about what the UK is doing in your country.

    Videos

  • BLUE HOLE SHARKS BELIZE, 2min. Aug 2016 Resident sharks of The Great Blue Hole Belize.

  • Belize, 5min. Belize- Summer 2016.

  • Lime Cay Belize, 1min.

  • Alkaline August 2016 Concert in Belize, 2.5min. Alkaline Performing live in Belize at the ITVET Compound.

  • Here it is From Belize, the hatching of the sea turtles It was,something to see Very majestic, 1min.

    August 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

    Belizekids.org donates second eye screening device to San Pedro Lions Club
    The San Pedro Lions Club is gearing up to provide eye screenings to the children of Ambergris Caye for the new school year. Just a little over a month ago, Canary Coves Resort handed over a Plus Optix eye screening device to the San Pedro Lions. Through Canary Coves, and the non-profit organization Belizekids.org, the San Pedro Lions were privileged to receive another Plus Optix eye screening device, on Wednesday, August 17th. Since November 2015, the San Pedro Lions Club has been conducting an “Eye Screening Program”, and has screened over 1,500 children on Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Corozal. The Lions are committed to providing eye glasses for free to children who need them, and parents/guardians who cannot afford them. Now, with the newly donated eye screener, Lion Jan Brown is optimistic that the figures will increase. “By having a second machine, this means that San Pedro can stand on its own. It also means that we will not have to borrow the machines from the mainland, and have to wait turns to use it. We can do better and faster work, and we can now share our machines if we need to,” said Lion Brown.

    Arts Camp Begins at Boca Del Rio Park
    A group of five college students from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota began the first segment of their free arts camp on Thursday, August 18th at the Boca Del Rio Park. From percussion to coloring to dancing, the camp saw several children ages five to fourteen being taught various art mediums, and how to appreciate art in general. The camp continued on Friday, August 19th, and the second segment will start on Tuesday, August 23rd and end on Wednesday, August 24th at the Central Park. Camp organizer Kimberly Bartling is looking for more children to participate from 10AM to 12PM and 1PM to 4PM. Kids will enjoy percussion classes, crafts, drawing, dancing, singing, as well as games. It is also requested that children bring along their lunch.

    Turtle nesting sites being assessed after Hurricane Earl
    Since the beginning of turtle nesting season, Hol Chan Marine Reserve has scouted and discovered a total of 55 incubating nests for this year. After Category 1 Hurricane Earl made landfall in Belize, there was only hope that the nests were not affected. August is usually the peak period for the nesting season in Belize, and the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program (ACMTP) recently made another assessment post-Earl on Tuesday, August 9th. The three species native to Belize are the Loggerhead turtle (ChleoniaCaretta), the Green turtle (ChleoniaMydas) and the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate). After a crew of Hol Chan members and volunteers assessed Robles Beach, they observed that the hurricane brought a lot of debris to the nesting site, and caused erosion to the southern end of the beach. They recorded two nests as hatched prior to the storm, and one nest completely spoiled.

    SPTC begins plans to relocate Water Taxi companies
    A less trafficked, less congested coastline, is what The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) hopes to achieve for the eastern coast of San Pedro Town. In an effort to begin relocating water taxi companies to the International Terminal at the Sunset Board Boulevard, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, along with Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr, representatives from the respective water taxi companies, Department of the Environment, the Belize Port Authority, the Belize Coast Guard and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve conducted as assessment on the back of the island to discuss arrangements for the ease of transition of the water taxi services to the lagoon side. Guerrero made it clear that once all arrangements are completed, the water taxi services will be moved to the international terminal at the back of the island. “We need to ease down on the congestion at the front of the island, and the change of route is for the better as the island continues to develop,” said Guerrero. “The route we are suggesting for them is viable and it will work. It’s just a matter of time when all the arrangements have been carried out to properly facilitate the companies using it.” Guerrero added that the visitors to the island will be treated with beautiful scenery as they reach the island through the lagoon.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Prime Minister Barrow Departs Country
    The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow will depart the country on today, August 20th to accompany his wife, Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow for a medical checkup in Houston. The Prime Minister is expected to return to the country on Thursday, August 25th. The Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister during the Prime Minister’s absence.

    September Celebrations Launch
    The SISE Town Council had their September Celebrations Launch at the Cayo Welcome Center, and the Queen of the West contestants were there too. There was a lot of fire, and fine, entertainment. Thanks, SISE Town Council!

    Wisdom to Respect, Helping Elders
    The Rotaract Club of Benque and Ka'ana are teaming up to create a special fundraiser to aid the Octavia Waight Centre. There will be a fabulous dinner with a special performance by Alberto Rodriguez. The door prize is a night in the Balam Suite.

    Thirsty Thursdays 2nd Anniversary
    Thirsty Thursdays is celebrating its 2nd anniversary next Saturday, August 27th. It's going to be a big affair, and they'll have giveaways through the night. Richie Galvez will be mixing, as will be DJ Khris and Mr. Ros. Happy birthday, Thirsty Thursdays!

    LUCIO!
    He can play a guitar behind his neck. He can play a guitar while playing a saxophone. His repertoire includes originals, classic Belize songs, and Santana. It was amazing to see Lucio and the new generation (including his young grandson on trumpet) play and equally amazing to see the band appreciating Lord Rhaburn at the Belize International Jazz Festival 2016.

    Lord Rhaburn and Lucio Alcoser
    Two legends who can still make great music! 90 years of performing experience between them... Living legends!

    The Reporter

    St. Vincent de Paul Society donates thousands of schoolbags to selected children
    Thousands of schoolchildren will for the next few days benefit from donations of knapsacks with school supplies through the Saint Vincent de Paul Society’s 10th “Back to School” initiative. The Society’s more than 50 volunteers spent Saturday packing the schoolbags with exercise books, pencils, pens and crayons and began to distribute to the children. Marion Marsden, national president of the Society, told the Reporter newspaper that about 2,500 children from the Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek districts will benefit from the donations. The Society fundraises throughout the year and accepts donation in order to reach these goals. Marsden explained that the volunteers are encouraged to give selflessly towards the project.

    Man loses life on Philip Goldson highway
    A man lost his life on the Philip Goldson highway early Saturday morning. The incident happened when Lionel Villanueva was heading towards Belize City at around 3:30 in his vehicle, which began experiencing mechanical problems. The vehicle came to a complete stop in the road at around Mile 4 and Villanueva got out to push the vehicle off to the shoulder of the road. Just then, however, a van traveling behind slammed into Villanueva and his vehicle, killing him on the spot. Police have since issued the driver of the other vehicle with a Notice of Intended Prosecutions. They have also taken a urine sample to test his blood/alcohol level at the time of the accident.

    US military and local firefighters simulate life-threatening training
    A team of US military soldiers this week completed a five-day intense rescue training with close to 80 local firefighters. The purpose of the exercise was to hone the skills of the firefighters in life-threatening situations. To do this, the chief instructors simulated extreme scenarios where people had to be rescued from an accident scene, which entailed cutting a vehicle to extricate a passenger, in one instance; and someone else from a fire, in the other. Fire Chief, Ted Smith explained the technical intricacies of fighting a fire from inside a building: “In a structure when there is a fire, it produces hot gases. To you, you recognize it as smoke…which affects visibility. And of course the fire produces light, but only within the immediate fire area, you will be able to see. So during the exercise, the search and rescue unit was blindfolded, creating a situation similar to entering a structure that is not directly impacted by the blaze, but the hot gas within the structure spread around.”

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    UN envoy hails “significant human rights landmark” of Section 53 decision
    Dr Edward Greene, United Nations (UN) secretary-general’s special envoy for HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean, has congratulated Belize following the Section 53 decision on August 10, calling it a significant human rights landmark. “This decision … is as important as the judgment of Chief […]

    Activist calls for fight against corruption
    Today is the first day of a planned 3-day rally event called by Raymond Rivers of Belize City. It is not clear what will take place but the event was scheduled for the Marion Jones Stadium. Rivers published a list of demands on Facebook, […]

    Saturday morning accident claims one life
    An early morning accident on Saturday has claimed the life of Lionel Villanueva. We have been unable to get official details from police. Love News published on its Love News Facebook page that Villanueva was travelling on the Philip Goldson Highway when he experienced mechanical problems […]

    Minister of Defense attends two day conference
    Minister of Defense John Saldivar, is attending a two-day conference in Punta Gorda with senior officers from the Belize Defense Force (BDF). In a press release issued today the Government’s press office said the purpose of the annual conference is to apprise and update […]

    PM Barrow departs the country
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow will depart the country today to accompany his wife Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow for a medical checkup in Houston. Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister during the Prime Minister’s absence. The PM is expected to return to […]

    Belize: The LGBTQIAXYZLMNOP, The Business Community and The Constitution
    The LGBTQIAXYZLMNOP community in Belice pooled enough resources and human brain muscle over the years….with which they sustained a challenge to the Constitution of Belize….and the courts and politicians recently rolled out the red carpet for them, agreeing with them that the sodomy law […]

    Putting Poverty Into Perspective: When Money Talks And No One Listens
    By: Leon Westby Make no mistake about it, the government is not responsible for our success in life. Ultimately, a man’s wealth is his own to make. Or as Emerson so eloquently put it, “no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil […]

    Blogs

    This, That and a Bit of Complaining on Ambergris Caye
    Things around here are feeling back to normal…late August on Ambergris Caye. Hot days, hot nights, a bit of rain and…from my perspective more tourists than usual. I do not work in a bar, restaurant, hotel or at one of the airlines so I have no numerical proof. But my guess is more – I’m seeing large groups of young people around the island, more people getting off the water taxi with backpacks. You let me know if you agree. Earl is definitely not going to hold us back. Many docks are still in need of repair after Hurricane Earl but much of the town is back to business as usual. And it feels good. Here are some snapshots of the gorgeous weather this week. We did have a few rain showers but man…pretty. And thank GOODNESS for the breeze. Tacklebox: After 2 years of being closed, the 2nd oldest bar on the island is re-opening. Big Daddy’s is the first. The famous Tacklebox then Shark’s Bar then Tacklebox now Island Tackle. I managed the place for 3.5 years (OY!) late 2007 to mid-2011 and now it has changed hands after a lawsuit…

    Lemon Pie
    Preheat oven to 350F / 180C degrees. Brush a square baking dish with melted butter. Crush graham crackers Then add in sugar and butter and blend to mix. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool crust, 30 minutes.

    Videos

  • Belize: Garifuna!, 3min. Today we learned more about the diverse people of Belize. The Garifuna have a rich culture that they preserve.

  • Belize Jazzfest 2016, 2min. The cuban group performing.

  • Honeymoon on Ambergris Caye, Belize, 5min. Hanging out at El Pescador, fly fishing, exploring Lamanai, and taking a catamaran trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, and Caye Caulker!

  • Lighthouse Reef Belize, 5.5min.

  • Snorkle Fun Day at Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark-Ray Alley near Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min. Just a fun day of snorkeling and swimming at Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley just off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Thanks to XSite Belize Sailing & Charters for taking us out. Even though it was rainy, fun was had by all.

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize 2016, 3min. My wife and I took a quick trip to Belize in April 2016. We stayed on an island off the coast at an awesome new resort that was 90% empty which is why there are very few other people in any of the footage. We got scuba certified and had a great time snorkeling, kayaking, and all kinds of other cool things. Our friend Luis also drove us around the mainland on our last day and took us to the ruins at Altun Ha.

  • Voyage Guatemala - Belize 2016, 9min. guatemala, belize, antigua, tikal, sumucchampey, flores, lagoatitlan, cayecaulker, bluehole, diving.

  • Rachel Graham: Sharks in Belize Changing Attitudes, 23min. Changing Entrenched Beliefs and Encouraging Long-Term Conservation: Lessons from the Shark World

  • The Great Blue Hole Lighthouse reef, Belize Aug 9, 2016, 13min. The Great Blue Hole- One of the World's Best Dive Sites... Approximately 80 km / 50 miles (2.5 hour) boat ride from San Pedro-Ambergris caye


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